Sounds West: Paul Plagens, Patria Jacobs, Greg Franco and more…

PlagensThe best music in Los Angeles right now…

There’s an electric feeling that shivers right up your spine when a singer nails your head and heart at the same time. Whether that song radiates from the artist’s illium, Sacrum or the “I’ve been to the depths of my personal hell, and I’m back to tell you about it!”   You just know when it’s the real deal.   When someone unearths an uncanny knack for finding your bruises and putting a thumb to them, it makes you take notice. Such is the case with John Doe and Exene of “X”, John Prine,  and Alex Chilton, in my humble estimation anyway.  These folks might hail from different times and places within the rock music continuum,  but in my book,they all aged artistically, and experienced new stages of life.  They are still-expanding musical nebulae.  For John Doe,  Moving deep into the California mountains, gave him the ability  to focus on his land, his community and on the tools of songwriting.  The result was the birth of  his  album, “A Year In The Wilderness.”  Far from he and Exene’s 1987 release “See How We are,”  Doe became less plaintive on depicting the visuals for his songs and instead embedded them adeptly into the sounds and song structures that seem to identify ‘The New Americana”  Doe still uses his  lyrics to “tell” the listener what to “see”but  his writing became more complex and compelling for sure.
Not since John Prine have I seen songwriting this affecting and visual. In John Prine we saw a man in “some deep kind of  funk”,  longing or loving,  whether it was for a woman or his own child, Prine’s songs,sometimes sweet, alot of times funny, share two common links with the writers I mentioned earlier,  irony and brazen honesty.  Mr. Prine kept it country and nailed our funny bone just when we needed it most.

Giving me shivers up my spine as a college kid, not only for his looks, but for the mere sound of his voice,  Alex Chilton’s incandescent, “Big Star”  paired deep suffering growls, poppy eclectic grooves with desirous falsettos. Chilton made me melt and best of all I could see a  creative process at work.    It’s that “well thought out” lyrical muscle that was flexed by some and now seems frighteningly flabby in most writers nowadays.  What about that  lyrical twist? Where are the words that make you think?

I decided to wrestle my dial from NPR just for a brief moment this morning as I was feeling a bit  “song-sick.”  I needed  an anthem for the day.  I often seek out something specifically intended to swirl around in my head for the rest of  the day.  All I found was a “sea of nauseatiatingly common method songwriting” or songs wantonly layered with a multitude of trance tracks with  “Akon-like vocal overlays” that simply use alliteration in efforts to qualify as “the new hybrid rap.”

Even though mainstream top 40 charts seem to have lately produced  a world of “word-weary copy-cats”, the musical landscape does reveal shimmers of placer.  At the urging of a friend  I gave a listen to the very English “Duffy” and immediately downloaded her entire album. Her voice was at once very “antique” yet freshly familiar. “A Fine Frenzy” (one Allison Sudol , apparently enamoured with the imagery of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”),  offers a finely tuned sweet and athletic voice.   Her deft lyrics are organic, lively and refreshing and surprising in structure.  Sudol’s Fine Frenzy is guilty of keeping one or two songs in my head for several days now.   If you ever followed Amy Farris  (how we’ll miss that lady…), whether it’s was Dave Alvin’s Guilty Women or a Brian Wilson record, you would again,found that soulful straightforward style, this time with a Viola or a violin.

While bright spots like Duffy, A Fine Frenzy and others are capturing the hearts and minds of listeners nationwide,  “The singer-songwriter genre,” is alive and tangible in our clubs. A trip into Los Angeles reveals the likes of some of the current autuers:  Paul Plagens, Patria Jacobs, Greg Franco of Rough Church and his “big in New Zealand” solo project:  “Greg Franco’s Wandering Bear.” Also sharing a multi-directional inspired genius is Suki Ewers who brings her swirling  personally lyrical songs that take off where Mazzy Star left off.

The great American art of  songwriting didn’t end with Robert Zimmerman, Arlo or Woody, it’s alive and well and it’s here for the listening.

1. Paul Plagens

The”perfect mix” of all the aspects that make a songsmith shine.  Not unlike a contemporary John Prine, Plagens just cannot be missed. I was invited to 2nd St. Jazz for my birthday back in June of this year,  where Patria Jacobs Tex-Pate and former leader of “RubyFish”  consistently hammers  out one after another “Patriaworld”  experiences.  The lean and cool  Plagens played songs such as:  Lovesick Car and others.  That night Paul stood out with his soulful songs and uncommon humor. He’s been a member of the rock / alt band “Greta”, and done tons of studio work for ‘more than famous folks.  In addition to his own projects Plagens “sings honest” affecting well-crafted alliterative stories of real life interspersed  with unexpected hilarity.   He’s a treat to see and experience and in my opinion seems to inhabit that fruitful web of  artists in the vein of Prine, Doe, and Chilton.  Not yet  having garnered the movement that the luxury of time provides, I believe he’s poised to be “that next great singer-songwriter.  Obviously you should not miss Paul Plagens!

2. Patria Jacobs

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“Tex-pate” (L.A. transplant or many years now) and Chanteuse of American indie pop,  Patria’s swooning visceral songs define anyone’s emotional landscape.  Her deft and oceanic songs are not to be missed.  On her new release “Poison of the Sea” Patria’s smoky growl will have you enraptured. From her time as the co-conspirator behind “RubyFish” with Russ Chaput, to the eclectic forary into the pop/electronic visage that is her single “Do the Pink,”  Patria is a purveyor of fine music of Los Angeles often found hammering out another “Patriaworld” where she spotlights great singer-songwriters and multi-member local bands. Always a great host and performer  herself, she is expanding and changing the L.A. music scene.

3. Greg Franco

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The L.A. Weekly called Greg Franco “An Iconic Auteur,” who began his stay on the Los Angeles scene in the very early eighties with the seminal low brow band, The Blashpemous Yellow.   B.Y., sported some type of pounding and often times sweet bleating “grunky” (Grungy-Punk) type of thing… picture the musical love-child resulting from some  operatic tryst between “The Minute and Men” and “Gang of Four” then you might have an idea of the sound.  Crooning about the barrios of Chavez Ravine, and  the dusty in-betweens of San Fernando road, Franco et. al., haunted all the venues that would have them.  Venues such as  The Anti-Club, the Lhasa, The Music Machine, Madame Wong’s, Al’s Bar and many others.   Later the front-man for “Ferdinand”, a  four piece including Laura Smith and David Guerrero of  Third Grade Teacher, shook Silverlake and other venues up and down the coast with crunch alternative rock and roll that you had to eat with a fork.   Franco’s current troupe, Rough Church, is a “states-living but New Zealand famous” quartet. As if Rough Church wasn’t enough, Franco must believe he’s got  more hands than the Hindu god Vishnu herself, as he’s also working on his flagship personal project, “Greg Franco’s wandering bear.”  You can’t keep a good man down.

I can’t wait for these interviews, and videos, which are coming soon.  However, pictures are below.  But come back soon and we’ll finish the gig.

Below are: Patria Jacobs, Paul Plagens and Greg Franco.

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Some celebrities are blessed to have their “looks” (whether natural or manufactured,or a combination of both) for a long time. Some are not. Some hold on to hairstyles that are frighteningly obvious nods to their past glory.  Take Nick Nolte’s blonde slightly wavy early 90’s tresses, that he  had to cooley brush away as he crouched against the fender of a car whilst he slowly grabbing for his gun to take sniperly aim at some nefarious character.  Those tresses are still being rocked!  And now…they’re only food for papparazi. The vermin that creeps along our city streets stalking celebrities just minding their own business (ruthless and innane hairstlyes or not), seems to parallel the massive increase in Celebrity Worship Syndrome.   A man not helping the situation is one Donald Trump!  Maybe his inspiration for the super-wide girth of the comb-over that he mashes down every AM with some type of sheening potion, was the inspired result of his attendance at a “Player” concert back in 1977? (Remember Player’s “Baby Come Back?)….On the original album cover, Check the guy to extreme the left of the lead singer-the bassist Ron Moss.  The Donald must’ve fancied himself as au’ courant as brother Moss. Obviously vulnerable  to the smallest chinook, these folks have got to know how un-daily life-friendly their coiffes actually are, but still they can’t wrangle themselves from the visual ties to their past. Whether it’s the oft heard, “Hey!  it’s trendy again! mantra,…IT’S JUST FOOD FOR THE PAPARAZZI!!   Public complaints from these  waning nebulai about those predatory plebians falls at least on my deaf ears, as these grumps wait with baded breath to get the holy grail of bad hair shots. For example one Mr. Trump, saunters across Las Vegas Boulebard one breezy afternoon (possibly 12 bodyguards in tow),  a soft chinook sweeps across the stinky cigarette and piss soaked Las Vegas Boulevard and  circles up the belly of The Donald, where it devilishly lifts up Mr. Trump’s rug! OOPS!  SNAP!!!  CLICK!!! Literally taking flight (un-Falcon-Heene-like), the “combie” seems to actually wave back at the photog!  Not unlike catching a senegalese tiger in the depths of India in some natural act ‘never before captured on camera,’ the photog is eccstatic! What a snap, what a day!  ‘I don’t have to work for three months!’  I can drive my daughter to Kindercare in the mornings! My wife can dance later at Spearamint Rhino tonight!

..The Donald’s “faux-woven” (new word alert: “Fauxven”) was merely  hanging on by a few fine strands.  More appropriate for a sail than a toupee, Mr. Trump will have gained lift by the time the wind dies down.  Calling for his “boy” to come and re-coiffe his appendage.  The Donald  quickly re-gains swagger and returns on this path to the limo.   Donald, Mr. Nolte, Ms. Lohan and others REALLY ARE good for the economy.  Lessening depression as they wallow in their own, giving people a laugh and helping papparazi and the entire supply chain that goes with those magazines keep their children in Lucky Brand Jeans.  It’s a rough job, but someone’s gotta do it.Picture 23
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She’s not WILD about “WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE!” what?

WTWTAThis post was Seen in “mom-Formation”
I had a comment about the movie and some words about being an open and brave parent.

FIRST…read the “Mom-Formation” blog

Tagline: Everything you need to know about Moms, Motherhood and the state of parenting today! YAY!!!

Review Title: Not wild about “Wild Things”

“From what I’ve heard from friends, it’s more disturbing to parents than children. Supposedly it does deal with a lot of emotional aspects, and I think that children are often too young to understand them, or to be made uncomfortable by the sudden onset of the unexpected emotional and psychological depth. To kids, it’s just a movie about a boy and his monster friends.”

Either way, I am a huge supporter of seeing any movie before taking your children to it. It’s the best way to make sure you are prepared to answer any questions that your kids may have.

Mom Formation Blog

Here is my response:

chrissylong Says: 
October 24th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

“Where the Wild Things Are.” is a very deep, clever and original movie. It is a “take” on the children’s book. It is a very important lesson for children that “act out” and / or are victims of splintered families. Sometimes we are children of divorce, or some other “life happenstance” are “mad at the world” and we see our parents as “mean” or “uncaring.” We don’t know their battles. But how can we? We are children at the time! This is just a story (extrapolated from a basic story, refining and expanding characters), that attempts to speak about family, the value of family. No matter what your situation you can almost always be sure of three things:

1) You are lucky to have a family

2) Everyone is fighting some kind of battle

3) Anger and escape are not always the answer – Even for kids.

My 9 year old and 12 year old were really affected emotionally by this movie. I could see it in their faces. They got the point. It’s a point that is hard for parents to make…in words that is. I applaud the movie for it’s braveness, it’s depiction of a child’s confusion, their spirit of freedom. Max’s behavior was typical of a child  confused, hurt and angry, as we can all be at several times in our lives. I, personally,  found that my sons’ worst moments of frustation can look amazingly similar to the scenes depicted. Why whitewash the REAL BEHAVIOR of children at different emotional states? Why not show our kids that other kids go through similar emotions and then have  a frank and realistic talk about these ideas?    P.S.  a visit from a few Therapy session refugees from a Woody Allen movie from an alternate universe was a welcome spin on the “Wild things” themselves.  What a clever and poignant outing.  DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE!!

1975 – Cornflakes and Classics in Chavez Ravine

Picture 21975.  The scent of hashish in the air, I look over at my mother who didn’t seem to mind at all. I wonder whether I will get a contact high just sitting there in my seat at Dodger Stadium.  I smile at my brother who smiles back and takes a deep breath.  It is 1976 and the sun is going down.  On my right is a long haired guy with big round glasses and a “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player” decal T-shirt.  I secretly wish I had that shirt and wasn’t instead sporting one that said, “Come Caca”  (In Spanish, it means, “EAT SHIT”).  Funny at the time, but later quite embarssing, as it looks as if I am proudly calling out the shit from whence it hides.  I swoosh the strands of  long brown obvioulsy un-attended hair from my forehead and crane my neck to get a glimpse of the stage. We had been waiting for an hour,  breathing deep and quietly trading visual forecasts of what Elton would wear and whether “Bernie” would come out on stage or not.  Suddenly the soft murmer of laughter, talking, cat calls and the valiant croons of late-comers to their  their “seat-saving parties” or vice versa.   The crowd is strangely silent, collectively expectant.   With a flash of the million-watt stadium lights a Glittery trim Elton bounds across the stage and takes a bow.  HELL …LOW…LOS ANGELES!!!!!   Elton takes his seat at the piano, the lights flash again and Elton is a blaze of movement. Pounding the piano, … outfitted in spectacle of home team adoration,  or at least an admiration of Steve Garvey,  a sequined Elton begins to sing.  His mouth over the microphone,  body seemingly detached from his mouth, Elton’s back rises and falls as he moves from the orchestral opening of the song to the first incredible lines.   His head cocked eyes looking sideways and by now singing wildly, the crowd begins to move.  I mean really move!   We are all singing “Why’s there never light on my lawn?..Why does it rain and never say good-day to the newborn?.”  We revel in “Grey Seal” from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and it has never been so real to me.    WE ARE ECSTATIC!  WE ARE HERE! WE  ARE WITH ELTON!  THIS IS MIIDA!!  AND WE ARE TOGETHER!  and we know we will never have this time again. People are struggling to climb onto the chairs someone uses my back to boost themselves up behind me.  I don’t care.  I put my hand on some else’s shoulder as I am pushed forward.  I don’t mind.   I look tentatively at the young man I just made aware of my existence,  he smiles  as if he knows me,  and that we were ALL friends.  Sharing something so amazing, so special that nothing else at this point in time matters.  We are all helping eachother to be a part of Elton’s show, taking it all in.  The air is sweet and musty the sun is going down over Los Angeles and everyone is smiling. We are all moving as one.  Our mother is laughing, she has forgotten about selling insurance and making the rent.  We hug her and we know that we will never have another time like this, together,  our entire lives.    I notice someone’s younger sister, clearly one of “The babysat,” still clutching a Tigerbeat featuring a zitty Leif Garrett or maybe it was Shaun Cassidy.   No more Tigerbeat for me, I think to myself… I am the brio twelve year old lass proudly holding her  copy of “Rock of the Westies.” I resign myself to the fact that I won’t get it signed and quietly tuck the album under my seat.  I take my place between my brother and mother and resume singing,” And tell me grey seal How does it feel to be so wise?…To see through eyes That only see what’s real…Tell ell  meeeee greyyy  seeeeee  ul.

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What about “thin” makes us feel “whole?”

What makes us value thinness?

What makes us value thinness?

Do American women really want to be “model thin?” Is “model thin” becoming “too thin?” there was an outrage at the “thinness” of Calista Flockhart back in the early ’90’s but now I dare to say she would be lost in the crowd. The photo above is not real, the model was fired for being “too heavy” at 120 lbs on her 5’11 frame! When R.L. Used a photo from her very urproarious shoot, she was aghast at how R.L.’s graphic designers Photoshopped her to a near-death depth of thin. What I ask you is where in the world did R.L. get the idea that American women either identify or pine to look as thin as the model whose image is represented in this photo?  I say “represent” because 99.9% of all photos of either celebrities and / or models, for clothing or couture, are “Photoshopped” in some way.    Most usually they are modified to correct “normal” things such as small sun-spots, blemishes, smile  lines, discoloration of the skin, and increasingly the larger lines of form around the body that are seen as crucial as they define the “value of the woman” as in the angle of the curve of her waist, the breast-to-hip ratio, the width of the thigh in relation to the arms and the torso, are Photoshopped as well.   Some popular “shape profiles” are  “waif”  “statuesque model” “boy shape” ” hard /fit” or “thin but curvaceous” (which by the way is still extremely thin, but the model retains some more normal looking curves) Any of these “profiles” can be achieved with photoshop and most are.  The models provide the basic ballpark figure and for sure the hair, eyes and teeth, but the neck can be elongated, the torso also as other parts can be radically changed by the same process.  What interests me is a psychological question.   Is this seemingly increasing hunger for thinner and thinner icons of beauty a reaction to something that we recognize in our culture that we want to distance ourselves from?  Is it the entropy that American people are seen as embracing?  As diabetes reaches alarming levels and appears more often in poor, lower or even middle class Americans, could it be that we fantasize about setting ourselves apart?  Does 120 lbs at 5’11 scream  un-popular, overweight, and underachieving?  I should think not, but the Ralph Lauren people thought that this weight / height ratio would not send the right image.    It is my theory that by contrasting the shapes of women when shown in print as extrememly thin, the idea of elevated class and superiority within the culture is achieved. During the Roccoco era of American and European Art, women were portrayed as not only voluptuous, but somewhat chubby, no doubt healthy, but not fat by any means. It was widely thought that women of that time who were “fleshy” were more desirable. This was also due to the perception that women who were “thicker” were more sedentary as a result of not “having to” work in a physical vocation. This “women of leisure” or “perceived women of leisure” was in turn sexy to men, either innately, or the idea of a “higher class woman” resulted in feelings of finding them “sexy”   Maybe they just felt better than a bag of pointy bones?  Women of the time wanted to keep that “more than a modicum of thickness” would thereby strive to have the few extra pounds. It’s all tied to class and how our society perceives the body shape of the poor en masse.  For us women with “some extra padding” which even nowadays could mean only  3-4 pounds, we long for the attitudes of the Roccoco period.  Oh what a world that would be!

How the Amelia Bedelia Books SHOULD be titled!

"Amelia Bedelia Fucks it up again!"My kids absoloutely LOVED The Amelia Bedelia Stories, they just delighted in how ABSOLOUTELY STUPID she was, but also they liked the idea of how sweet she really was. It was that lovable F-up syndrome. I guess Spongebob is sort of the same way. Loveable idiots, naivety and whatnot. So cut to the chase…this is the way the book SHOULD be titled!!! Upon opening any new Amelia Bedelia book…that was always our wonder….”WHAT’S SHE GONNA FUCK UP NOW?” Of course the children did not say, “FUCK UP” they said, “mess up” or the like. You know…good kids….

 "furry-loving" family shows the fruits of their predilection

"furry-loving family" shows the fruits of their predilection

The jig is up,  now that little “Tigger ” is here!

No more stealing away to Friendly Acres with Eeyore for a LONNNNNNGGGG time!

Leave the Sexual Harrassment frescoes to the professionals.

Best place to be a piece of A@#.

Best place to be a piece of A@#.

There’s a megalomaniac running the antique store across the street. “Roberto” of “Roberto’s Antiques.” Beto wasn’t happy with just one clock…he had to open an entire shop of clocks! (who buys clocks?). Clocks, schmocks…he thought…so he took over the “Antique shop” that was run by the lady who made empanadas in the back. It was okay he thought, ‘Cecelia basically stuffed her shop with her comadres’ garish garage sale goodies’ But Beto was gonna sell good stuff! On Beto’s open house, I personally, found things like: “a Raggedy Ann and Andy and The Fat Policeman lamp” with a garish and un-matching (but no harm), Barney shade attached to it!! SCORE!!! No need to ask about provenance here! As I chatted up Roberto, he made mention of his sister who was a chola who was “getting her head together” and who had run with the Maravilla gang. “Raggedy Anna” was her “nickname” I recognized it. I was privy to her artwork on my way back from the paintball field I had dropped my son off at, and the entire reason I was perusing this corner of the world. To kill time and explore. Raggedy Anna worked there on Saturdays, Beto was feeling altruistic and I feared a little controlling. I managed a squinty untrusting smile, feeling totally uncomfortable but trying to hide it. I shook off the “sad proud creepies” and couldn’t believe my eyes! Right in front of me was probably the best example of a 1960’s T.V. artifact! a table RIGHT OUT OF MARLO THOMAS’ APARTMENT!!! “That Girl!” was my favorite show and THAT RIGHT THERE…was the table she and Donald sat at and argued back and forth as he shook his head wildly!!! How I LOVED that show! I always had to run and get a hat from my mother’s room and be back quick enough to sing the song and throw my hat at the same time as Marlo in that mysterious street in New York! I just knew I would be just like her! A single independent girl living in her dream, her life all planned out, just one big series of planned out steps to surmount! a cool apartment in New York! A Donald! a hat to throw every week!! What a life!!! ….Yah right, back to reality. The closest I ever got was, “A Steve” (who mark my words is actually 1000 times BETTER than “The Donald” and a house in L.A. which is pretty great too, i must say…  But  on closer inspection, “The Donald Table” looked as though “Donald”  “got up on Marlo” (if you know what I mean) in fact, quite a few times! and sadly bent one of the legs! I took the table anyway, thinking, ‘hey!  this may be a bit of  hollywood’s erotic history?  what else might I find to add to my “Erotic Hollywood Furniture collection?”  The bed that Demi Moore and Robert Redford  uneasily made love in for “The Proposal?”  My mind was afire with potential finds.  But my pristine memory of Marlo and Donald was nonethelses besmirched by the introduction of the idea that the two had premarital sex. My virgin eyes!  How could this be?  Well here was evidence . There was even a bit of clothing snagged on one of the phillips screws attaching the metal tube leg onto the underside of the lined metal rim going ’round the length of the table. I dared not visualize what THAT could be!     So I expect after closing shop on one of those manic selling days, Beto, The Power hungry “Luche Libre Lion of Bloomington” probably sat in his rusty Jetstream parked in the Bloomington junkyard (I know cuz you could see it from the 10 freeway), strategizing like that evil burlap doll out of the movie “9”. No doubt he figured out how to take over that 99 cent “water store” and adjoin his “antique” store to it, cuz that’s just what he did. With much elation one day, after again ditching my kid, not wanting to watch the paintball practice, I again felt the call to peruse the junk (er…quality second life merchandise)…sorry…I actually spotted a ‘john travolta LP in one of the bent up cardboard boxes! (the Marilu Henner days)… …and as if this tattered box wasn’t enough of a ‘gold mine,’  I spotted another masterpiece!  The hairest angel  in tenor vocal history!….Mr. Barry Gibbs! Oh!  I was all aglow, spotting his rough and tumble  mug on The Bee Gees’ “Children of the World” L.P.!!!   I was two for two, things were really going my way!   The planets were aligned until the moment I pulled the vinyl out to inspect it… it was sadly…. scratched to HOLY OBLIVION!!! . I would have to sniff out deals another day. Little did I know, a month later,  I chanced upon an article about my “Short on stature and high on real estate,   “Luche Libre Lion of Bloomington.”    ‘Why…that mini-mogul had bought the third space!’ I said out loud at the Starbucks I was visiting with one of the PTA ladies from my son’s school.   Wow…to think on  that little cracked block that reeked of depression, fish tacos and spoiled horchata, my friend,  El Rey de Bloomington, or as I called him, “La Luche Libre Leon de Bloomington might need a top hat, a tux and a cane soon.  Like “Rich Uncle Pennybags” from the game Monopoly!   If I could give him a “LOL CATS” caption…It’d say:  “I’m wanna be Moguls kay?” Noticing my surprise at the article I was reading, my friend Anabel said, “Oh, what’s that your reading?  You’re laughing, I’m curious, what is it?”   So I began to explain the terrain of that  lovely stretch of stank some call Bloomington, and who “La Luche Libre Leon de Bloomington” was after all.  I may have been too poetic about the entire year I perused the Junk in that stretch of town, just for fun, for stories and as a way to waste time.  Roberto took properties by storm not unlike a Mexican Nazi War Machine… but of course alot nicer.  I told Anabel about the place with the “high art” across the street from Roberto’s, (a little bar “with a fresco on the front that virtually advertises mamacitas potentially available for sexual harassment and a few games of friendly pool).  I let on about the fact that El Rey, the iconic Bloomington “faux-tique” dealer had his eye on buying that bar, but it was virtually untouchable for “El Rey.”  He explained the speedbump to me one day,  ‘it belongs to two brothers, Manuel and Danny and their pretty good dudes”  he said.  “they’d never sell.”  Roberto could only call it his watering hole and a place to pick up some “mamacitas”and play some games.” as he called them.   No matter how bad he wanted to resume his game of risk and “be the Ottoman empire”…this place was OFF LIMITS!!!   It’s cool…hey… where else can an hombre rope a mamacita in Shakira pants, a crop top and HUMONGOUS………… earrings! (check the picture, she has enormous earrings).  I went on to tell Anabel about my personal perseverance in a sea of used CRAP just to escape the dust and four hours of testosterone and expletives. ... I did make sure she knew that this “El Rodeo” bar was not place to to cool your heels or “ride a bull”  but the the best place to BECOME A PIECE OF ASS!!  if you’re not careful. ...especially when El Rey de Bloomington – announces quitting time and….. let’s already let Raggedy Anna go home for the day.

Minotaurs-vs-Pitbulls!!!! You thought it’d never happen!

ENJOY!!! THIS GEM!! ...from an ideator that I don't EVER WANT TO MEET!!!

Just in time for Christmas!! ...from an ideator that I don't EVER WANT TO MEET!!!

Had enough of  Cage fighting? Had enough of Minotaurs? Hate Pitbulls?  No, don’t go there, don’t think of Michael Vick and those POOR POOR dogs, nope, you hold onto that animosity and just center yourself…Cuz here’s what you’ve always wanted…  a showdown to end all showdowns!  and….done in ceramic!  finely crafted, with real life angles! A bloodsport-vision in miniature! It’s even elegant enough t0 go right next to that garish self important Lladro your mother gave you!!! “Boy in tight pants with flower” or some such hunk of clay.

Prophylactic Prophet Protects Penises

I’m no Sinead O’ Connor and I appreciate the antiquity and beauty of the religion I was brought up in, even if I got pinched for looking to the back of the church through my veil, causing great sin and bad luck while in the pew listening to Latin and wonder ‘what the F%#@ are they saying?’ But I must say that this wonderful seasonal gift actually makes moms of “teendults” or “adulteens” very effective. So your multitasking is already on overdrive? You can down 4 cups of coffee, speed drive the Jr. High narrowly missing kids crossing the street next to McDonalds? (it’s okay they’re scrubs anyway), and you can lick clean an oven even after easy-off was applied and even THAT couldn’t do the job? Well now you can add one more incredible task to your list of incredulously hated time wasters (um…I mean wonderfully challenging and necessary family helping duties~!)…Available now are these wonderfully screened limited edition prophylactics with the mug of THE POPE! Even though you didn’t subject your kids to the torture Roman Catholic Catechism or even the indescribably terror filled confession on Saturdays at which you almost had to most certainly always do more Hail Marys and Our Fathers than any axe murderer, you can give the guilt that prevents you adulteen from “giving” if you know what I mean. Limited edition. The Nancy Pelosi edition is coming soon. This edition is rumored to be even MORE effective!

If you're faced with counseling your 18 year old about safe sex (by now it's inevitable), we've got these babies to help.

If you're faced with counseling your 18 year old about safe sex (by now it's inevitable), we've got these babies to help.

Best Sweater!

Leslie Hall can eat my shorts.

Leslie Hall can eat my shorts.

I found the sweater to end all sweaters. It’s Bozo meets Kinko meets John Wayne Gacey ALL IN ONE!! I know not who knitted this but it’s so “au courant” that I had to post it. I think this should usher in an entire new world of Clown Fashion. Sad clowns, Velvet clowns, (Evil clowns are so over…sorry). Enjoy and send me the best (worst? depends on your perspective) sweaters you find. Lesliee Hall was a dubious maverick, an icon for the “left out of bunko” set, but this sweater and the sweeping genre it could “sweep in” is gonna be crazypants. Expect to see more of this liquid gold on

Fetus cat toy (Bonus: umbilical still attached)

Fetus cat toy  (Umbilical still attached)yah, my cat came to me with a sneer having seen this post.  Now I’ve done it. Forget the sweet grass, the uncomfortable, unnatural carpet covered posts of insurmountable angles that end in a real let down of a perch / vantage point….or the really useless “bells on a colored felt ball” disaster, that kitty basically will chase down, give one chomp and walk away from.  He wants “fetus kitty” for real carnivores, okay, sick carnivores.  He’s finally admitting his shame.