Another Soon to be Aborted Blog?
If you're very sad that this site hasn't been uppdated in nearly a year, then you might be the only one. However, here's some good news you, you one single person who probably leads a very sad life: www.dennisdiclaudio.com has just gone live, and it contains a blog section in which I blog about a bunch of bloggish stuff.
It's totally rad!1
And, this time I promise to break the elusive 20 posts barrier.2 (This, by the way, is post #19 for this site. So close.) I'll have to do something celebratory to celebrate.
So, what have I been doing since last March? Well, there's this. Yes, it's a real book published by an actual publisher. How did this happen? Your guess is as good as mine.3 But I try not to look gift horses in the mouth, or in any other oriface for that matter. (It should be noted that if I were going to look a gift horse in an oriface, which I wouldn't, it would almost definitely be the mouth oriface.)
Also, I helped my friends accidentally burn down a friend's house.4 That was kinda big, too.
1. Not guaranteed.
2. Please see here.
3. My guess would involve a lot of blind luck.
4. This really happened, and it was incredibly depressing.
Three jokes about pirates
Have you ever wondered what a pirate's favorite body part is?
Me neither. But you can find out nonetheless...
...by clicking right here ---> (this is the place to click)
Will on Glenn
Will Oldham, writing about his love for Glenn Danzig:
This makes me feel a little better. I mean, at least I haven't yet sent an animal carcass to the Drag City offices.
At one point, I put together a huge collage of images pulled from school encyclopedias... voodoo and gargoyles, lots of blood and nastiness. I sent it to Glenn, along with a cow skull and ten dollars, hoping against hope for something to come back.
On the other hand, he was thirteen, and I'm thirty-one.
And I still might get around to sending that carcass.
mp3: Will Oldham - Last Caress (Misfits cover)
By the way, I still have your Songs: Ohia CD
A former roommate of mine, one J. Edward Keyes, has a brand new weblog. (There's not much to see just yet.)
Just so you don't get confused, this is not the former roommate who moved away to Chicago. This is a former roommate who moved away to New York. Though, the former roommate who moved to Chicago actually also moved to New York as well. So, now I have two (2) former roommates who moved to New York; one former roommate who moved away to Chicago and then to New York, and one former roomate who just moved away to New York.
Anyway, Joe (most people call him Joe, since that "J." stands for Joseph) knows more about music than just about anyone I know, non-former roommates included. Which is handy for him, since he's been a freelance music journalist for, like, a million magazines and newspapers.
He also has the most spectacular CD collection I have ever seen. When he moved away to New York after three years of us living together, I cried three pints of tears; two pints for the loss of his company and one pint for the loss of his CD collection.
I don't know what Joe is going to blog about yet, but I'm going to try to get him to write about the time I screwed up and forgot to pay the electric bill and got us disconnected during the hottest three-day stretch in recent Philadelphia history. (I'm still suffering a post-traumatic stress disorder from that incident, and when I'm even a little bit late with the bill, I call my home phone, just to make sure the answering machine is working.)
For a few months in 2001, after moving out of a friend's house in West Philly but before I moved into my current place in Bella Vista, I shared an apartment with a guy from my improv group. We had been planning on finding a nice two bedroom apartment, but for some reason which seems ridiculous now, the best we could come up with was a one bedroom apartment that a friend was vacating. It would have been a great place for one guy, but unfortunately, we were two guys. So, one of us had to take the couch. He had a girlfriend and I only had a retarded obsessive crush on a co-worker who really valued our friendship. So, it just made sense that he should get the bedroom.
Hence, I was stuck on the couch, crying myself to sleep and listening to what I fully believe was the loudest refrigerator that has ever been built. (I think it was designed to trick burgalars into thinking they were potentially breaking into a 747's engine.) Let me tell you: when you're really feeling down about yourself, questioning your self-worth and wondering if it's even possible for anyone to love you, the best way to pick yourself up is to go home everynight and climb under the blankets on your comfortable couch.
Things stayed like that for a few months, until our lease was about to end. My roommate decided to persue the improv scene in Chicago, and I decided that there was no way I could afford the place by myself. For one full month, I had the place to myself. Even though my roommate took the television and a lot of that time was spent worrying about my impending homelessness and staring at the deathly quiet telephone, I have very fond memories of that month. I was on my own. I had a bedroom and a bed. I had a TV stand and a CD player that didn't always skip. I felt kind of sort of like an adult. I was starting to feel like maybe I wasn't completely undeserving of some affection from perhaps a girl with not-terribly-low standards. It was a good time.
Here's a song from a pretty rare Will Oldham EP called Western Music, and I must have been listening to the shit out of it at the time, because it instantly pulls me back to that one month, sitting alone in my apartment, banging on my fucking CD player so that I could hear one fucking song all the way through. (I deserved at least that.)
mp3: Will Oldham - Jump In Jump In, Come In Come In
"Contrary to popular belief, I'm not a violent person. But if you wrong me, I'll kill your fucking ass, and I'll spend the rest of my life in jail. I'll kill your fucking ass and you can count on it; depend on it."
- Harry Crews
Excerpts from my inbox (or Why go through all the trouble of thinking up a post when you can get your friends to do it for you?)
(What follows are genuine excerpts from emails that I have received.)
Did you make any progress on your weird story?
Well, not knowing you before, I couldn't tell if you were drunk or retarded.
But once I took a train all the way from Tuscaloosa to Mystic.
It wasn't the kind of rain that smacks you in the face and runs down the back of your neck.
My hopes, dreams crushed.
Not that there's anything wrong with cynical dogwalkers.
I'm hoping to regain some of my sass soon.
A friend of mine here at work and I have become obsessed lately with apotemnophilia.
Who doesn't appreciate the love between a giant duck and a cavewoman who's handy with a laser pistol?
You go over to his house, and he'll be clapping his hands and laughing, pulling books down by the handful.
Oh yeah, and I'm trying to pass this stone.
Seriously, she should at least be hot if she's going to be on TV talking nonsense.
Sometimes I have to read books in a funny way.
I am just overwhelmed with relief that you're not just grossly offended.
Do you eat cheese steaks?
Nobody likes a dead cat
It's true. Nobody likes a cat that is dead. Not even cat people. Not even those crazy cat people. You know that lady who sits a few cubes down from you at work? The one who has pictures of her cats all over the walls of her cubicle? The one who refers to her cats by their names, as though you were supposed to know what the hell she's talking about? Yes, her. Even she doesn't like a dead cat. Don't take my word for it. Tomorrow, walk over to her desk and drop a dead cat onto her keyboard. Watch her reaction. See if you get a St. Patrick's Day card with a picture of a dyed green kitten on it from her this year. Go ahead, just see.
For one thing, dead cats aren't very cute. They're actually rather grotesque. I don't know if you've ever seen a dead cat, but it's like the second they die, they go from being very cute to horrifically ugly. The calm relaxed manner of their faces are stretched thin into masks of terror. Their lips pull back to expose their teeth. Their jaws lock into place. It is not a coincidence that you can't find many pictures of dead kittens on crazy people's cubicle walls. There is no graceful passing into eternity for cats.
Also, they are not fluffy. Their fur becomes matted down and eventually falls out. Their muscles grow rigid and hard. You can pick up a dead cat and its position will not change from the way you found it on the ground.
Also, they smell.
Also, they are often stuffed full with maggots.
Also, they are no fun. You can't play with a dead cat. No matter how many times you roll a balled-up piece of tin foil or toy mouse across the floor, a dead cat will not chase it.
Speaking of mice, there are far better chances of a mouse eating a dead cat than being frightened away by it. So, you can add "not good at scaring away mice" as one of the things that are unlikable about dead cats.
I can think of only a few good things about dead cats. You don't need to feed them or change their litter boxes. You don't have to let them outside every ten minutes. You don't have to hear them meowing outside your bedroom door while you're trying to take a nap. You can invent a game with them in which the object is to bounce them off the wall and into a wicker basket. You can drop them onto the keyboards of people you don't like. But that's about it.
In conclusion, if you are in the market for a new pet, I would strongly recommend against getting a dead cat. I'd opt, instead, for a goldfish. Or maybe a lemur.
The Plastic Bag Sketch
I perform with a Philadelphia sketch comedy group called The Waitstaff. Because other people in the group have done a lot of hard work, once a month I get the opportunity to perform in front of a rather large and accepting audience. It is my reverent belief that this is an opportunity one should not question in great detail. It is also an opportunity to do many stupid things--such as singing folk songs about sacrificing and eating babies (four people exited the theater during this song)--that one does not normally get to do.
Tomorrow night, I will be performing what I call "The Plastic Bag Sketch." If you will oblige me, I would like to explain the simple genius of this piece of performance art. I am on stage. A plastic bag lies on the stage beside me. For a full minute, neither I nor the bag moves at all. Then, I make like the bag is attacking me. I pull it over my head and flail about the stage, pretending like I can't get it off until I finally fall to the ground and feign death.
If you think it sounds not-funny written out as such, I can tell you, your instincts are not incorrect. The first time I performed this sketch, more than a year ago, it received no laughs. That's zero points of laughter (numerically: 0.0). The audience watched in confused silence and then politely applauded when I was finished.
When we were choosing sketches for this month's show, I innocently suggested "The Plastic Bag Sketch," fully believing that it would be immediately vetoed. It was not. No explanation available.
(Note: The rest of the group is very very funny. I swear to God.)
On the philosophy of Mendelssohn (not really)
Has it really been a month since I last updated this site? (A: Yes.) Man, so much has changed since I last posted. I feel like an entirely different person. Let's see... well... um... yeah, I did... no, that was last year. Oh, wait; I got a haircut.
Yep, I got my hair cut, and I feel like a new man. Woo boy! There is nothing like getting your hair cut to enliven the ol' blood in your veins.
This sucks. I suck. I really wanted to be a better blogger this time around. I don't know how many times I've promised myself that I would make a concerted effort to post something every day. Then I thought if I at least updated once a week, just to let people know I have fallen into a wheat thrasher, that would be okay. Now, I've let a whole month slip. Somebody should really punch me in the neck. (Note: Please don't punch me in the neck.)
Oh, here's something that's actually kind of new and exciting if you get excited about geeky things: I have a whole new band to obsess over.
A few months ago, I ordered I Am a Cold Rock, I Am Dull Grass, the Will Oldham tribute album released by Tract Records, and it came with a sampler CD of some of the bands in Tract's catalogue. And they're all really good. Low Fi. DIY. My kind of thing. (For some reason, I'm really into music that sounds like it was recorded in the towel closet of my bathroom.) I'm slowly making my way through it, but one of the bands has already jumped out at me; The Strugglers.
Actually, the Strugglers are for all intents and purposes, one guy named Randy Bickford. I went to their website, downloaded a bunch of songs and then ordered two CDs, which just arrived on Monday. They are now getting regular airtime on my iPod. It reminds me a bit of Smog, for no intelligent reason, but it's what I'm going with.
Here's the song that totally sold me.
mp3: The Strugglers - On the Way to the Grave
Whiskey and iPods, be the death of me
I'm sorry, but this is going to be a very boring post. My apologies in advance. If you're looking for something more intertaining, I suggest you spend a few minutes watching this guy dance, and then check back here later on.
So, I totally eff-ing love my iPod, and when I say "eff-ing," I mean "fucking." I fucking love it to death. I take it with me everywhere I go, even if I'm just walking to by cigarettes. I honestly don't know how I survived such a sad and empty existence for the 30+ years before I had it in my possession. One of my favorite features on the beautiful thing is the alarm feature. I've hooked the iPod up to my bedroom stereo system and set the alarm for 7 am (well before I'm usually (or ever) awake), so that I can wake up every morning to commercial free music that I don't hate. One less reason to contemplate suicide each morning.
Recently, I discovered ephPod, a program which functions the same as iTunes, except that it allows you to pull music off your iPod (a feature I thought was retardedly missing from the actual iPod software) as well as put it on. "Great," I thought, "Now the pieces are falling into place, and soon I will rule the world with a harsh and majestic fist!" Except...
...well, there's an "except."
You see, if you use ephPod software, for some fucked up, crazy, horrible, stupid ass, dumbshitfuck reason, if you use ephPod, it disables the iPod's alarm clock feature. And ONLY the alarm clock feature. That's the one drawback. It does all this cool shit, but it kills the ONE thing I really loved about the iPod. (You can wipe the iPod clean, and reload all the software to get the alarm, back, but then the next time you use ephPod it's gone all over again.) So, I had to choose between being able to pull songs off my iPod and being woken to the sound of music.
I did some online research to see if other people had solutions for this problem, and I tried some experiments, but none of them worked. Finally, I said, "Fuck this. I'm gonna figure this out on my own." So, I put on my goggles and my lead-lined jacket out of storage and went to work, using all manner of tools and gadgets, calling upon the ghosts of my anscentors and bargaining with demigods for the rights to my soul. Eventually, I cracked it. (The problem, not the iPod.)
Simply use the ephPod to pull mp3s off your iPod and iTunes to upload music onto your iPod. When you exit ephPod, it'll ask you if you want to save changes. Click "no."
Being a repository for unpopular opinons, self-deprecation, some mp3s and very little about Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky.
fyodor.dostoevsky at gmail.com
J. Edward Keyes
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Bars & Guitars
Songs To Wear Pants To
Public Domain 4U