Me & Stone Calf Warrior Woman

Yesterday evening I had a bizarre chance meeting with a real local celebrity. I was perched in my usual spot at my usual haunt, relaxing after work and chatting with my homegirl Jessi the bartender, some of the boys and “Mama Maggie”, Leo’s friend from Oklahoma. A couple of friends stopped by to see if anyone wanted to go down to the North Idaho College SUB with them to see the Raining Jane concert. “Not until they start serving Martinis” was our group reaction and off they went. The front door has a trigger that sets off an electronic announcement whenever it’s opened that robotically barks “Beep! Beep! Front Door!” This is for when the place is dead and if the bartender is in back she knows someone’s just arrived. However, us regulars hear it and immediately our heads all turn to the front door to see what character is going to enter stage left. “Beep! Beep! Front Door!” and a petite woman in an ugly white and green windbreaker pops down the stairs. She’s talking on the phone and she elicits no reaction from us at first. As we began to absorb her presence, our eyes darted bark and forth, exchanging looks of mirth and confusion. I think Alex was the first one to say it: “Oh. My. God. What in Gay Hell is that poor woman wearing underneath that ugly-ass windbreaker?” Let’s put it this way: Her top half was all soccer-mom casual: the jacket, hair in a pony tail, denim cap. From the waist down it was purple, pink and orange sequined hot pants, shiny black nylons, dancing shoes. She lingered on the other side of the room, still chatting on her phone, as we cattily invented possibilities to explain her look. My favorite was Brett’s: “Oh girl, she just done got off the Greyhound Bus, if you know what I’m saying.” Me: “Um…no, I guess I don’t know what you’re saying...” Brett: (rolling eyes) “She a ho!” We sat motionless and silent as she hung up her cell and walked up to the bar. Even without any help from the outfit, it was plain to see we had a crazy lady on our hands just by her general demeanor and vibe. You could see the fear in poor Jessi’s face as she approached the woman: “What can I get you, sweetie?” “Democracy. Real democracy, that’s what you can get me…” and she prattled on for what must have been about 30 seconds, but what must have seemed like an eternity for Jessi who just stood there, mouth agog, eyes glazed. As soon as she opened her mouth I realized exactly who we had on our hands, and in my excitement I blurted it out: “Oh god, I know who she is!” She heard me say it and the boys withered as she instantly headed over our way. Ask anyone I know and they’ll tell you I’ve always been a magnet for off-the-wall, mentally ill freak-a-zoids. I have no idea why they always find me, but they always do, and I actually don’t mind some of them that much, as long as they bathe. They can be sort of entertaining and I’m always polite and respectful. Sometimes I wish I was a film director in the vein of John Waters or Harmony Korine, so I could put all the weirdoes that flock to me to some good use. As she bounced over to me, she threw off the windbreaker to reveal a psychedelic bustier also made of purple, pink and orange sequins, and with kind of a Native American flair to it. It was like something Bob Mackie might have thrown together for Pocahontas. She had endless beads and gadgets strung around her neck and arms, and on the back of the dress she wore something I can only describe as a cross between a giant dreamcatcher and an eagle’s nest. “So…how do you know me, then?” she chirped, and the question was on everyone else’s lips as well. I thought about how to approach it delicately? “I saw you in the newspaper a couple of times few years ago when I was going to NIC, you’re a little notorious,” I said. Mary B. You’ll likely remember her from an incident in 2004 when Raining Jane was playing the NIC SUB for a packed lunchtime crowd and she leaped onstage, ripped her blouse open to expose her rather pendulous breasts and some gruesome scars, all covered in some crusty body paint. Chaos ensued, and Mary was escorted out. Apparently she had been 86’d off campus quite a few times in previous weeks for creating a variety of public disturbances she’d created to bring attention to her bizarre patchwork of causes. Oddly, in Idaho it’s actually legal for women to bare their breasts in public, but she was jailed for trespassing. The story hit both local papers the following day and Mary B was the name on everyone’s lips. It was her fifteen minutes of fame, you could say. (Here’s a link to the archived news article including her full name.) So, three years later and Raining Jane comes back to NIC to play another concert, and Mary decides she is going to make an encore performance as well. This time, however, she had the courtesy to email her intentions to the college and was greeted upon her arrival with four CDA police officers who kindly told her to scram. After a bit of a kerfuffle she did scram, and somehow our lounge was where she decided to land. And here she was in front of me, suddenly yammering away at 80 miles a minute:
“Yeah, they tried to call these flabby old things breasts in the newspaper, I took that as a compliment, ha, ha…one time, they had all these different tables in the lobby representing all the different groups, so I decided I was gonna set up a table too, to represent the mentally ill, but they didn’t like that idea too much, ha, ha…they tried to tell me I couldn’t lay my protest blanket on the grass, only on the asphalt, and you know what that word sounds like! ha, ha…and they really thought they needed 8 burly cops to handle little me, don't I look like such a hardened criminal? ha, ha...”
Protest blanket? She demonstrated for me her special spiritual juju dance she invented that she wants to film and post on the Christian media site Mosaic (I’m guessing they won’t let her.) She talked about how she loves her camera phone because she can record “the evidence” because “you can’t be too careful when the FBI is following you.” She showed me her tomahawk, which she claimed was “made of a 7,000 year old fossilized sea clam and was blessed at the Altar of the Blackfoot Indian.” She said she’d recently had her name changed to Stone Calf Warrior Woman. I noticed all my “friends” had gradually abandoned ship, leaving me alone to deal with the crazy person, as usual. Actually, although she is quite nutty, she’s essentially harmless and I actually found some of her stories and viewpoints to be quite interesting. In reality, I share many of her basic viewpoints about Bush and the war, the out-of-control CDA Police, the treatment of native Americans. Unfortunately, her message is ultimately lost within her scattered delivery of it. One moment she would say something really eloquent about ending the war in Iraq, and the next minute she was ranting like loon about some utterly nonsensical conspiracy theory involving her son, the FBI, the “internet people”, Jesus Christ and the angry spirits of 9,000 dead Indians. I listened to her for about 20 minutes and excused myself to the men’s room, hoping she might have decided to drift on to another set of ears. Sure enough, when I came out she had latched onto Kris and Jason who’d had just enough pitchers of beer to find her amusing. Actually, Kris was spot-on when he described her as “comedy gold.” She made Kris use her camera phone to snap a shot of her and I, then she asked for my phone number. “Don’t have one right now,” I lied. She said “Email?” Why not, it might be fun to see what kind of messages I might get from her. Our friends that had gone down to the Raining Jane show returned and a mild panic emerged. The band was headed our way after they were done breaking down their set, and they probably would not be delighted at the idea of a reunion with their number one breast-baring, mentally ill fan. Everyone looked at me. I said “Fine, I’ll get rid of her IF you buy my next beer.” I just told her the truth of the situation and she said “I don’t have anything against Raining Jane, they just happened to be there when I decided to stage my protest. I guess I owe ‘em one…call me a cab, I’ll go.” With that, she put on her god-awful windbreaker, grabbed her clam fossil tomahawk and was gone. When I got home I decided to do a quick email check before crawling in and sure enough she had sent me our photo along with a strange little audio file in which she addresses “Representative Sayler… Democracy Now… my son…and whoever else I’m sending this to…” and ends with the mantra “I want to have my dance shown on Mosaic!” Listen here.

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Un Rire Qui Se Perd Sur Sa Bouche

Get Out! to Debut Looks like my first column (the name: "Get Out!") is to be published in the SR next Saturday, the 3rd of March. I have to somehow conjure up a semi-decent picture of myself by Monday for them to use in the byline. The article is about Takara Japanese Restaurant and the benefits of eating sushi before a night out on the town. I ended up cannibalizing an earlier review of mine about Syringa, but so what. Plus, they wanted me to put together a "what's happening" sort of calendar for the N. Idaho metropolitan area (*cough*) and that was actually a lot more work than you'd imagine. Between endless folk and jazz acts, cover bands, and karaoke nights, there's actually a lot going on around here. I guess I'll have to pop into all these places eventually to do a write-up. Can't wait to cozy up next to the drunk Hell's Angels at the Powder River Saloon. Tough job = someone's gotta do it. Anyway, I decided to post the print column here on the blog the Friday before it appears in the paper, starting this coming week. Music Walk is a Dud For the next week's column, my plan was to write about the big downtown Coeur d'Alene Music Walk last night, which supposedly consisted of a dozen or so folksy guitarists and string quartets playing in the dark corners of the uppity cafes and art galleries. Yesterday afternoon saw a crazy blizzard blow in, visibility near impossible, the snow actually pain-inducing as it hit your face. The event was to begin at 5 and around 6 I decided to head downtown just to see what I could see, and what I saw was pretty much nothing. Traffic was light and it seemed like no-one was quite brave enough to take to the sidewalks. I drove slowly up Sherman Ave, peering in windows only to see a series of empty shops. I turned the radio off, rolled down the window and listened carefully for any sign that a music fest was happening. Nothing. Finally, I see Cris Lucas playing his guitar to 3 people inside Cafe Doma and I decide not to bother. I'm not sure if I want to blame the weather or blame whoever was in charge of promoting the event. The only way I even knew about it is because I work for a public city entity, but your average person would have no idea - I saw no ads or write-ups about the event in the local papers, no cool posters, nada. What about TV ads on the ugly new CDA TV Channel 19? I think it's nice that this city wants to support local music, but they are going to have to do more to actually get people out and involved, even in a blizzard. They are doing these Music Walks on a monthly basis, so I will try again next time. What Flavor of Drugs? Britney's third entrance into rehab this week has me asking something specific that no-one ever seems to mention: What kind of drugs is that girl hooked on? Simple hyrdrocodone or hardcore heroin? Is she just into the drinky-drinky? We already know she smokes pot and we don't really care too much about that. She's truly acting like she's trippin' on some bad brown acid or something, but ultimately my guess is a classic cocaine habit she must have picked up from Paris. Thoughts?... La Belle Belinda I'm really loving, of all things, the new Belinda Carlisle album, titled Voila! The erstwhile Go-Go's latest consists of covers of French classics by the likes of Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, and Jaques Brel. Her trademark warbly vibrato is well suited for the French language - it's as if she finally found the niche she's been searching for throughout the ups and down of her solo career. From a gorgeous rendition of "La Vie en Rose" to a dramatic interpretation of Gainsbourg's space-age pop classic "Contact", Voila! is quirky fun, especially when her California-girl accent seeps through to the surface -it's charming. Final track "Jezebel" is a dramatic treat, a wild, shoe-stomping scorcher. Somehow, she hooked in none other than Brian Eno to decorate the album with his distinctive keyboard style, which adds to to the surreal atmosphere, and makes Voila! transcend novelty and merit repeated listens. C'est magnifique! Senioritis I started this semester off with a bang, but six weeks in and I'm starting to slack. My JavaScript book nearly bring tears to my eyes as I nod out in vein attempts to absorb all the codes and boolean expressions and comparative operators. I gave up before finishing my Geology crossword puzzle quiz this week, leaving some answers blank and not really caring, knowing that I'll at least get 7 or 8 out of 10 points. I worked on that mofo for 6 hours. 6 hours work for 10 little points? My time is too valuable, dammit. The InDesign class - this software is very good to know, it will potentially expand my options into more print design rather than strictly web design, but working through the text just makes my eyes glaze over and my brain wander yonder. My easy class is Computer Forensics - read a chapter a week and respond with a brief essay. But, it's too easy - where is the challenge to keep me interested and involved? *Sigh* I've got to just barrel through it I guess, only 2 1/2 more months and I'm done done done. Well, for now anyway...

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Video: Margo Guryan: 16 Words

Wow. Brilliant and utterly haunting:




Egg Salad Sandwiches / Open Mic Night

I just love living here this time of year when the weather is as cracked out as Britney and it's 40 and sunny while somehow snowing heavily at the same exact time. 'Tis Trippy. Don't have much time for a post today, but tomorrow I will be putting up a new restaurant review, likely the first one that will run in the SR in a Saturday or two. Yesterday, I had the most pathetic craving for egg salad sandwiches, so I hit Albertsons and really did it. Fresh eggs, sweet onion, celery and relish. Dollop of dijon, plop of Hellman's mayo, salt, pepper. It was excruciating waiting for it to sit in the fridge for a while, cuz it really has to or it's just not as good. Spooned some into some gorgeous, lightly buttered slices of Seattle sourdough. Oh, mother. Pure egg salad heaven, and made even better by the presence of some dank original Cheetos. I need to start listening to my self-hypnosis weight-loss mp3s again, boy did I run wildly off track on that one... In between all that sexy egg salad action, I was finishing designing the below flyer for the new Open Mic Night down at the bah. Who knows? Maybe I might even plug in the laptop and Casio and do something "improvisational." I really hope people get into this and show up, it seems like a good op for Cd'A to get some kind of little music scene together. I know there's at least some wannabe Eddie Vedders in town, and that's kinda the scary part of the whole deal, really. We can only hope for the best.

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Shave Britney Shave

A zombie-like Britney Spears was seen wandering last evening into a seedy LA hair salon where she proceeded to free herself once and for all from that nasty, overprocessed hair of hers. Literally, she grabbed the clippers and performed the procedure herself. She followed this up with a bit of new ink at a Tattoo place a few doors down. She was reportedly acting "not herself, dazed" and mumbling non-sequitors to papparazi. I woke up to this news on CNN quite early this morning. They yammered on for 15 minutes about it like it was breaking news, then proceeded to tsk tsk and summon a viewers poll to ask how unhealthy it is for us all to be so celebrity obsessed. I'm left pretty much speechless by Britney's surreal antics, so allow me to share a few of my fave priceless quotes from the always witty commenters at fark.com:
"At least the drapes match the carpet now." - StomachMonkey "If you cut your hair off, they can't use samples to track your drug use." - SuperCatBarf "I was listening to the radio today and they were talking about Britney. They said that apparently she's into the ladies, and even had a series of relationships with women while she was still married to K-Fed. Sad to think that it's very possible that she and that walking Sperm Bank Paris Hilton have 69ed together when they were seen hanging out. Now I really don't want to get anywhere near Britney, no telling what STD she licked off of Paris." - Great Janitor "I don't care about Britney at all, but I think the bald but not bic'd look is good for anyone. I employ it myself and love it." - Avocet "Eh, this roller coaster ride has crested. There normally aren't clearly definable moments where you could say a person visibly lost their grip on things. This would be one of those moments though. I feel kind of bad for her now. As annoying as I've found her to be in the past, it's no fun to watch a person self destruct. It's times like this where people should start wondering why family and friends weren't picking up on any indications that she might not have been happy with her life. -All Apologies "Hey - I'm one of those guys who goes into threads about celebrities and asks, "Who Cares?" But this? Holocaust Britney???" - Magic_minox "Much as I'd like to feel sympathy for her emotional downfall and all, who goes to a hair salon to shave their own head? Attention whore much?" - Binnster "Now she's ready for her lesbian coming-out album." - Photo Cindy "Funny. . . I was thinking she's just now starting to (finally) look attractive. The whole blonde Barbie doll thing doesn't work for me, and the trailer-trash look wasn't working either, but this bald, tattooed look? That's one step closer to fuckable. Of course, my tastes tend toward the androgynous, so I can see why all the straight boys are bemoaning Britney's acceptance of her bisexual nature. Next up: Expect her to hit the town with a female lover." -Holly_Wight "Who wants first shift on suicide watch? Soooo, has Britney done anything over the past few years other than: 1) Marry a dumbass hick 2) Pop out two unfortunate kids 3) Drive with said kid in her lap 4) Flash her labia to the world 5) Get nasty looking 6) Get even more nasty looking 7) Enter and exit rehab on the same day 8) Shave her head For god's sake woman, either make some frickin' music or kill yourself! Why is she a celebrity again?" -DarkFriend "She's gonna end up like Edie Beale in Grey Gardens." - Captain Fatass "Remember before Britney got all ruined?... She made news for cursing... She was giving awkward HJ's to Justin Timerlake.. Then she let Fred Durst do terrible things to her ass and next thing you know she is living in dog years." - dougiezerosag



Flyer: Mik-n-Mac's Movie Night

Here's a flyer I designed - thought I'd pass the info on. Sounds like fun - booze and cinema should make a nice combo meal.

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New Wave Candy Bars & Fish Money Lust

Target's Sweet Exotica and Freaky Treacle I could probably come up with a whole new blog just about trying new kinds of candy. I was depressed for months when the Penny Candy store in downtown CDA sold it's last buttery mint and shut down last summer. On gorgeous sunny days like today, I would walk downtown for some fresh air and exercise and stop into the Ramblin' Rose for some Nag Champa incense, browse the towering shelves at George Nolan books, and always the Penny Candy store. Of course, the candy there was never actually sold for a penny, and a trip through the variety of baskets with even a small bag would set you back at least five bucks. They had candy there from all over the globe, and there was always something new to try. Since then, I've been looking for a place with a reasonable selection of oddball and foreign candies and chocolate, and it was under my nose the whole time - Target. It's nowhere near as quaint, and they don't carry the small, individually wrapped candies, but they do have quite an intriguing selection of yummy things. For Valentine's Day, I treated myself to a trip through the Target candy department and came home with these exotic products: Green & Black's Organic Ginger Chocolate, Frey Citron & Poivre (Lemon and Black Pepper) Dark Chocolate, and Australian Soft-Eating Real Red Liquorice, which actually lists "treacle" as an ingredient. That's just the tip of the iceberg, sugar junkies. I also pondered purchasing Brazillian chocolate with cayenne pepper, authentic homemade saltwater taffy, carrot cake candy bites, and peanut-butter yogurt covered graham crackers. Target seems to be one step of the curve when it comes to the mainstream candies as well - I'd never before seen a "Snickers Extreme" (all nuts, no nougat) or a peanut butter stuffed Hershey Bar. It's the only place I've ever, ever seen the coveted Buttered Popcorn Mike-n-Ikes. Oh, the pure decadance! Target even has it's own in-house line of candies sold under the name "Choxie", which is not the most appetizing name, is it? Choxie is way pricey, however, and it has ugly, 70's-nouveau packaging, but my auntie Bonnie Jo swears by the stuff. Insaniquarium Addiction: I Need Help. It's so ridiculous for someone my age to be addicted to a video game, isn't it? I was never really that into them - X-Box 360s and Wiis do nothing for me, I was one of few kids not to own an Atari, and I'd rather stick a quarter ina newspaper machine than a video game. Granted, I did get sucked into the original Sonic the Hedgehog years ago when I lived above Miss Hannah in Spokane. She'd leave her back door unlocked so I could sneak in and play Sonic when she was at work. Eventually, I did finish the game and felt like I'd really accomplished something major. Then, about four years ago it was The Sims that had me glassy-eyed in front of the computer at 4:45AM, pale sun coming up in the window, soda cans and full ashtrays covering the desk. Fun game, but after awhile I got tired of those little buggers yelling at me in their annoying little language, shaking their fist at me, begging for me to clean their house and do their dishes. Sometimes I let them starve to death on purpose. Now, it's hundreds of buggery little fish that have me abusing my mouse and coming away with sore wrists and fingers after hour after lost hour of clicking action. Who new this game had so many levels, they just go on and on in the form of "bonus worlds" and I have an obsessive need to reach some kind of end. Insaniquarium Deluxe is very simple, really. You have a virtual fish tank and you start each round with two guppies and you feed them and they grow and shit coins and other objects that you collect for points so you can afford to buy more food, more fish, and stronger weapons to fight off the "aliens" that periodically invade your tank. You get some creature friends that have odd talents and help you in different ways, and after many levels you fight "the big boss" alien and then (to my surprise and slight chagrin) the whole thing starts over again in the form of "bonus worlds" and you can keep earning points and new creatures for ever and ever and ever, it seems. I find myself using it as a reward - "OK, if I slam though this pile of work in two hours, that'll leave me with three hours to play the game" I'm getting ready for a fix as soon as I post this, in fact - bad, bad, bad. Playlist: New Wave Instrumentals Since I bought my Sansa MP3 Player, I've fully been sucked in to the world of digital-only music and I'm saving a fortune on CD's. I've had a free trial of Rhapsody for several months and I'm keeping it, for sure. For 15 bucks per month, the cost of one CD, I have full access to literally hundreds of thousands of albums, pretty much anything currently in print and including new releases each Tuesday. I can store them on my hard drive and on my mp3 player, or just play them off the site itself. They have "channels" which are 6-8 hours worth of a particular genre of music (My fave:"Computer World") that I can download to my player, as well as Playlists that have about 12-20 tracks and are created by other users and even celebrities. It's kinda like an all-digital mix CD. To some of you, this is probably old hat, but I'm new to the concept and loving it. Anyway, my first Playlist that I contributed is all about swooshing synths and shadowy European moods. (I don't know if there's a way to actually share the music with you via Rhapsody, but you can probably do something similar with iTunes, SoulSeek, or whatever you got...) 01 Simple Minds - Theme From Great Cities 02 Human League - Dance Vision 03 Duran Duran - Tel Aviv 04 David Bowie - Speed Of Life 05 OMD - Architecture and Morality 06 Throbbing Gristle - Walkabout 07 A Flock of Seagulls - DNA 08 Gary Numan - Airlane 09 Depeche Mode - Nothing to Fear 10 Japan - Canton 11 The Cure - A Reflection 12 Brian Eno - Somber Reptiles 13 Tones On Tail - You, the Night and the Music 14 Public Image Ltd - Radio 4 Anyone else think of any other moody instrumentals from the robot hair sex era? I want to add to this playlist. Let me know.

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Buzz About The Seventies

If you enjoy the tunes of that woozy boozy decade the 70's, you need to follow my link over to Bradley's Buzz blog. For the last few weeks, Brad has been counting down his personal favorite singles from 1970-1979 and with each entry he tells an interesting little story. I know Bradley, and I can imagine it must have taken many wine-soaked winter evenings in front of the old turntable making lists and narrowing all those thousands of possibilities down to a mere one hundred musical highlights of the feathered hair era. It's a huge task I'd never have the stamina to undertake, but Brad's not afraid, and the result is meticulous and entertaining. It's a very uniquely Brad-esque list, a world where Dolly Parton rubs her boobs on Gary Numan and The Partidge Family share a joint with Lou Reed. It's probably the only retro-70's list ever to include a Lisa Hartman single and not one but two Melanie singles (so far. We still have the Top 20 to go.) Check it out here:
Bradley's Buzz
Bradley's taste is pretty (very) pop oriented, but if I were to make a similar list, it would wander off a bit into "artier" territories. Here's a few more singles from the seventies, not necessarily the best, but just some essentials off the top of my head... Brian Eno: King's Lead Hat T-Rex: 20th Century Boy Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells The Cure: Killing an Arab Kraftwerk: Trans Europe Express David Bowie: TVC15 The Rolling Stones: Street Fighting Man Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark: Electricity Bauhaus: Bela Lugosi's Dead Can: Spoon The Human League: Being Boiled Donna Summer: I Feel Love Lou Reed: Perfect Day The Normal: Warm Leatherette Siouxsie & The Banshees: Hong Kong Garden

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Video: Pickle Surprise

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Morrissey Footprints




The Jam Was Moving

Oh my, where did the last week go? What was I doing when I should have been blogging? Geology, Dirty martinis, Insaniquarium Deluxe. Nothing, really. Just not a lot to yammer about, I guess. So I'll just come up with some random stuff: Weekly Local Terror Just got the good word that you will be seeing my big face every week in the Spokesman-Review newspaper. I'll be writing a column for the Idaho Extra section that comes out on Saturdays - restaurant and nightlife reviews and previews, that kind of thing. Hopefully, I won't get bludgeoned by angry restaurant owners along the way. Best part is, they're actually paying me to do it, so now I don't have go to the poorhouse when my school money dries up. So beware, North Idaho, I'll be coming to your businesses and lurking in the shadows, testing your cuisine, critiquing your martinis, berating your staff. Coming (Sorta) Soon: Local Restaurant/Nightclub guide I had a good idea recently about starting an offshoot website of Making Flippy Floppy that would be like a categorized list of all area restaurants, food spots, clubs, bars, hangouts where people can leave comments and write short reviews of places. I'll post all my reviews to date to get things started. Admittedly, I stole this idea directly from Jennifer, who runs the fantastic food blog "Taste Everything Once" out of Spokane. However, my site would be focused on Cd'A-PF-Hayden only and would be set up quite a bit differently. This site would be a nice reference for locals and tourists alike and maybe if it takes off I might be able to sell and ad or two on there. I've got 17 things on the burner at the moment so what difference will another new project make? If anyone reading this has any ideas or suggestions I'd love to hear them... Motherucking ilthy Keyboard It all started when the 'f' key on my keyboard quit coughing up 'f's when struck. Carefully I pried the plastic key top up and off its little white hinge. To my sheer horror I saw under there a jungle of cat hair, food crumbs, eyelashes, lint - basically enough material to nest and feed a mouse for the better part of a fortnight. I blew in there and pulled out as much gunk as I could get unstuck and thankfully, 'f' is back in action but it left me with a queasy need to pry all the keys off my keyboard and go for it. I'm kind of new to the laptop thing - is that the best way to do it? I used to just toss my dirty old keyboards and buy a new one at Big Lots for $6. Is there a place I can take it to be cleaned? If so, do I really want a total stranger finding who-knows-what under there? What unfortunate details about my life would be revealed that way? Anna Nicole (Probably Will Never) Rest In Peace This whole Anna Nicole thing is getting more and more surreal by the minute. My mother has been rapt in front of the television set and ringing my phone off the hook every time another gory detail emerges - the collapse, the body being removed, the vomit choke, the inconclusive autopsy. She just called again now to fill me in about the latest bizarre twist - Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband Prince What's-His-Name is now claiming to be the father of Anna Nicole's poor (but one day VERY rich) 5 month old daughter. How many fathers can one child have? Also, Anna Nicole's character in "The Hudsucker Proxy" was named "Za-Za". Eerie coincidence? I wasn't terribly shocked at the news of her death - I was kind of expecting it. In recent interviews following the death of her son, it was clear that her flame was already pretty much extinguished. A dullness in the eyes, sadness around the edges of her mouth. Long gone was the buxom Playboy princess, the fun zoftig airhead whose addictively pointless reality show had us all caught up for a few months. To me, she was never the same after she started popping the TrimSpa. One of my mother's many Anna-Nicole related juicy theories from the last 24 hours is that she never lost a pound from the TrimSpa, rather she shrunk herself away due to a Methadone addiction. Makes sense to me. Some people were just meant to die young in tragic fashion so we can forever preserve them as young and beautiful - Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, so many more, all crushed under the cruel weight of their own fame. True Colors - Beautiful Like A Rainbow I just found out this morning about the upcoming "True Colors" tour that starts in Seattle in early summer. It features the campiest line-up possibly ever: Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, Margaret Cho, The Gossip, The Dresden Dolls and more acts to be revealed soon. The tour will benefit the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, and other gay-friendly groups. Other than my Erasure newsletter, the only place that has any info about it is on Wikipedia, so it must be very new news. Count me in - I've been itching to hit Seattle for a concert and hopefully it will happen right around graduation time, I think I'll buy a ticket as a graduation present to myself. Yay! So Fresh And So Clean Clean I'm a little boring when it comes to new trends in personal care products. I'm okay with whatever brand of shampoo is cheap and smells okay. Conditioner? Maybe, but I have odd hair and it's impossible to tame when overconditioned. Up until recently, a peek into my shower would reveal green bars of original Irish Spring. One impulse Big Lots shopping spree later and I have two new fantastic products to carry on about. I've always loved the collective work of the brilliant Swiss innovators over at St. Ives - the apricot facial scrub has always been one of my few concessions to fussiness. St. Ives Renewing Aroma Steam Body Wash is a silky bluish-green gel that creates a sort-of sweet menthol steamy vibe and yes, a feeling of renewal abounds. However, like heroin, you can try again and again but it's never going to be as great as the first time. The stuff is pretty good, but not quite as vivacious as the mysterious conditioner I purchased that night. I don't have the bottle in front of me at the moment, but I've looked the thing over and over for an actual brand name and there isn't one. It just says something about "Organic mint deep hair treatment" and when you rub some of this light green goo into your hair, look out! It's wow wow wow wow wow! An intense minty tingle takes over not only hair and scalp but sinks deep, deep in, seeping directly in to the brain's pleasure center. It's quite a powerful experience and wakes me up in the morning way better than a chai latte. Even after toweling off, the pleasant feeling lingers for a good 15-20 minutes, like the afterglow of a really great orgasm. Highly recommended.

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Random Photo: The Smokers

Photo by Patrick 02/01/07




Bernice is an older woman who has worked the counter at a downtown Coeur d'Alene convenience store/gas station for many years. About seven years ago, I lived in a house with with Bradley (of Swivek fame) that was a block away from her store, and we would shop there sometimes several times a day. At first Bernice seemed a bit worse for the wear and slightly on the cranky side. However, the more we frequented, the more we wore away her rough and tough exterior and the sweeter she became. At one point I was worried because poor Bernice started losing her hair and I realized she was undergoing cancer treatment. She wasn't around for about a year and I was glad when I came in one day to see her back behind the counter again where she belonged, fully recovered. Since I moved from that house, I haven't seen her very much - I have a different, closer neighborhood store now. The other day, I felt the chugalug my truck likes to make when it's about to run out of gas, and I happened to be a few blocks from her store. It was nice to see her, still there, her eyes lit up like I was a long-lost friend, and that actually made me feel good. Godspeed, Bernice! Anyway, the point of all this is that seeing her reminded me of a classic little ditty about our dear Bernice that I co-wrote and recorded with Bradley doing vocals back in 2000. Here's the lyrics to follow along to, or just to enjoy if you can't or won't download the actual song. MP3 follows...

Bernice (B.Jacobson / P. English)

I’m covered in grease, Bernice Kiss me at least, Bernice When I come in from pumping gas You take my cash, you silver lass Bernice Do you dance like Syd Charisse, Bernice When you die you rest in peace, Bernice You never breakfast on cookies and beer But you’re the only reason I’m here Bernice I cross my eyes, I cross my legs Baby, I walk a thousand steps And take you home in bags Bernice, oh Bernice Some people say maybe she’s gay But I don’t see Bernice that way She got my number, she won’t look me up She knows I’m not just some young pup It’s her destination the convenience store vocation She stocks it up, knocks it up, locks it up And always rocks it up When she walks she stomps When she eats she chomps..she chomps She chomps

She’s my favorite sinner, always the winner If she were thinner she wouldn’t be my Bernice I cross my eyes, I cross my legs Baby I walk a thousand steps I cross my eyes, I cross my legs Baby you’re the bees knees I can take you as I please Bernice

Swivek: Bernice (MP3 3.5 MB / 128kbps )


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