30 May, 2008

Tired of High Gas Prices? I Can Help.

Are you tired of high gas prices? Are you looking for ways to save on gas? Are you willing to sacrifice some of the smallest creature comforts to save 15-30% of your gas? Well then don’t be a dipshit!
You may be a dipshit if you are using the AC in your car on only the 4th warm day of the year. It’s not even June yet people and I see half the cars on the road with their windows rolled up and their tailpipes drooling AC coolant. What’s your problem, dipshit? If I hear any of you udder one more word about high gas prices and how “someone should do something about this” I’m gonna laugh in your face and point to the rolled up windows in your SUV. Don’t be a dipshit! And don’t think your not part of the problem or the solution. Dipshit. I'm in my early 30's and I didn't grow up with AC. I'm a child of rolled down windows and fans. But as soon as I got an apartment with AC my life was changed, but not entirely for the better. As soon as we're used to AC it's hard to go back, but C'mon. Do you remember hearing birds sing and kids playing outside? You used to hear that when you had your windows open. You lose that when you are a shut-in. Do you remember the lilacs and the honeysuckle growing outside of your house window? Did you too grow up across the street from a bakery and smell sticky buns being baked at 4am? You miss all of that with AC. Do you remember fresh air and the occasional breeze blow in your window and remind you that there is a world out there? Come back. Come back. Roll down your windows today when you go out to lunch. Roll down your windows when you go home tonight and rest your arm in the sun. You may see that you are losing more creature comforts than you are gaining when you shut yourself in and turn the AC on. On yea, and you will save on gas. Dipshit.

29 May, 2008

Are You Girls Guys, or What?

Earlier on Tuesday when I was in the theater getting ready to see the premier of Sex and the City there was a radio station, whose name and call letters I quickly forgot, that was introducing the three winners of their Sex and the City contest. The contest, I think, was to find the fashionista, the cosmopolitan and the something else. Like I said, I wasn’t paying attention. But what struck me was when they were all up in front of the packed theater being recognized. The crowd was mainly women, all the winners were women, the presenter was, yes, a woman. So why did the presenter ask for a round of applause for “these guys”? Now weather or not they were feminists or not I could not tell. Weather they were educated or not I could not tell. But I could tell that they were not guys. Is our language so overly masculine or are people mainly incoherent when they are speaking. Many many times I hear a group of ladies refered to as “guys”. Actually, any crowd, no matter the gender, is referred to as guys.
I was once made to see the error of my ways when I pointed to a lady in the bar while I was making my point. She made note of the gesture and told me of the dominance that I am trying to have in the conversation. She was well studied (I think). She was into re-education of gender and power. I didn’t put much credence into her words after she motioned to her group of girlfriends and said “C’mon guys, let’s go”. I smiled and said “you guys have a good night”. She took one last jab at me and said “See? See? We’re not “guys”. You men need some education”. I love this shit!

28 May, 2008

I Got to See Sex and the City Last Night.

I got to see the sneak premier of Sex and the City last night in White Marsh. I wasn’t really caring one way or the other about this film but then I scored free tix from the B and then emailed my girlfriend that I got tix. There was no turning back from there. I may as well have brought home a new VW Eos convertible. She was giddy as, well, as every other girl there. When we got there we saw that the theater even had a red carpet that all the ladies could walk down and get their picture taken on (if they brought their camera). I brought my camera but if I was gonna snap photos of anorexic white bitches at White Marsh Town Center I would be there all night…every night.
I’m not gonna talk about the film because I don’t want to risk ending up in Guantanamo.
Before the film started there was a plain clothed drill sgt. barking orders at us from the front of the theater. He reminded us that we are the first people in MD to get to see this film (Oooohhhh) and that cell phone calls, recording devices, Bluetooth, smiles, wandering eyes, or anything else that could be detected from the governments secret Total Sensory Awareness system would not be tolerated and that we would be asked to leave the theater. WTF ever, just show the damn film.
Oh, but I did get to snap one pic in the end. I had to get a photo of the heaping trash can full of popcorn, soda and candy garbage that this theater full of fashionista toothpick gals were cramming into their hungry little bellies. Enjoy!

20 May, 2008

My Infatuation With LiP.

I've been checking out Lip Magazine's recent book, Tipping the Sacred Cow: The best of LiP: Informed Revolt, 1996-2007. (**)

Come to think of it. I am very fortunate for my friends at AK Press for taking on this publication because LiP folded last year and I would not have ever heard of them let alone read a Best of book, which reads like a mega issue with comics by Timothy Kreider http://www.thepaincomics.com/weekly080430.htm that guy who does The Pain comic that you can see in the City Paper. I'm usually on a similar wave length and love the artwork.

So back to LiP.
This last issue rocked my progressive thinking world.
The title, Tipping the Sacred Cow, really is a good title because I can read progressive, left wing articles written by knowledgeable folks who are saying things that I expect them to. Hell, one of them was on the VP ticket with Ralph Nader. Oh yea, that was Winona Laduke
For instance:
An article by Matilda, a San Fransisco Gay rights activist on why the gay rights movement is a sham. Yea, check his blog and wonder why he's against the movement? Huh? http://www.nobodypasses.blogspot.com/

Other articles are about business loopholes and tribal land rights deals in US native lands. These are some mega swindle policy deals...And they're environmental firms. That article written by editor, Brian Awehali (now why can't I find a link to the editor?). Oh, here it is http://www.lipmagazine.org/articles/bios.htm

This book really questions what we are really looking at and, well, informing the revolt.

(**) I've read fewer than 25 books from cover to cover in my life. It is now 25 exactly.

19 May, 2008

Mayor Dixon to End Homelessness by Hiding the Homeless

Oh wait, but they're still here.

I just read a story on the B site about the homeless folks at the St. Vinny DePaul park downtown. Looks like the city wants to get rid of them, pardon me, relocate them. I know the city has been battling with St, Vinny for a while now about these homeless folks. They are in a very visible part of town which is one of the worst places for the homeless to be (besides anywhere else). To add another blow, city officials are concerned about drug use and prostitution going on under those blue tarps in the park. So what’s the result? No more tarps. The news article (or B’s rendition of it…it was lifted from the Examiner so who knows for sure what really unfolded) articulated the speech to sound like St. Vinny was allowed to let the homeless remain if they gave up their blue tarps. There goes your rain shelter, your sun shade, your last bit of privacy, your last vestige of a home. That’s hardball. The mayor has found a way to make the homeless even more homeless. The Sun said, “ The agreement with the church, which is known for its social activism, didn't come easy. Lawrence(St. Vinny Rev) and his flock have stood firm for years against city officials who complained that the camp of homeless people was an eyesore.” An eyesore. Yes, that’s what the homeless are. An eyesore too close to the Inner Harbor. Oh we’re gonna put ‘em in homes. Don’t you worry. Once you can’t see the homeless anymore then our goals will have been achieved. If they are trying to reach their goal than how come they still allow a 72 yr old woman to live in the park? That’s someone’s grandmother out there.
So is it really the tarps? What if these folks were given clear tarps? Would that solve the situation? Are the tarps really the problem? Or are the tarps drawing too much visible attraction to homeless people. Kinda like the horse stables being the real reason why the Arabbers couldn't’t keep their horses in their stables. And where are they today?
Or did the mayor achieve her goal in eradicating the Arabbers too? Haven’t seen them in my neighborhood all year. I wonder if they’re now homeless too?

18 May, 2008

Shameless Memorial Day Metromix Playlist.

So I got some high school friends coming out to Baltimore to visit me over the long Memorial Day holiday. They've not been out to Baltimore before so I thought I'd take them for crabs and on a water taxi pub crawl. This is a a pub crawl throughout Canton, Fells Pt. and the Inner Harbor that my girlfriend and I have wanted to take for a year or so now. Should be blogworthy. We may even start with a boat ride to the Fort. I've never done that boat trip before. For $8 for the day on a boat it should be worth it. We'll be taking the light rail form Woodberry station so it will be a no drive trip. Nice. So here's the playlist on Metromix that I made of the weekend. I kinda dig these playlists. I like the user control.


16 May, 2008

Free PDF Issue of LiP Magazine Here!

Wow, OK, so the last post I did was great, probably the best post ever. I just got an email that the NY Times wants to interview me about it too. No really....Fine, whatever, but it's true.

Anyway, while I was doing some post- ass facting research (because research is always best when done in hindsight) I found a link to a PDF of the missing issue of LiP that was not published because publishers caved in...

So...If you're into informed revolt, Indy media, sharp humor and jagged politics then check this like out. Quite possibly the best magazine you've never heard of. http://www.lipmagazine.org/images/LiP_no7_screen.pdf

Ass Facting 101

Ass Fact. Verb. To give incorrect advice or information but in a manner that convinces correctness and wisdom. “Dude, your totally assfacting right now.”

I did not invent this term but read it in the glossary of terms in the back of a Lip Magazine Anthology http://www.lipmagazine.org/ However, I must admit that I tend to do quite a bit of assfacting in my free time. I think of Cliff Claven who is probably one of the best ass factors in recent history.

In my long history of ass facting I can remember convincing my brother that Havarti was a type of ham. He bought it until my girlfriend called me out and told him that it was a cheese. Fine, whatever.

Men have historically been the largest ass factors around. Maybe we just like to hear ourselves talk. I know I do. Anybody else know what I’m talking about here and have an ass fact stories of their own?

O's/ Nat's Rivaly Will be Born Tonight!!

Did any of you see the Rushmores (those dead prez that are the DC Nationals mascots) and Screech at the Inner Harbor yesterday? I didn't but I heard they were there to wip up some healthy beltway baseball rivalry and have some fun. And really, what's more fun than a rivalry? I just scored free tix to the O's/ Nats game tonight. I'll be doing my best to fuel a rivalry. With the $$ I'm saving on tix I may even be able to spill an entire beer on an 8 yr old Nats fan. Oh, what! You think your daddy's gonna help you fight this one? He's not wearing the Nats cap, You are! Bring it on, little man! Let's get it on!!

Where's the NHL?

Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk

Man! I’ve been Jones’n for some NHL playoff madness like….well, like mad. It’s been rough for a Red Wings fan to get good hockey (say it with a Canadian accent ‘eh!) “hawkey” coverage out here. It’s not a big hockey area although there are grat teams around. The Caps did well this year and the PA teams are killing each other (well, mainly Pittsburg is doing the killing).
But where is the coverage? The Vs. Network. Who gets this? My Comcast digital cable doesn’t carry it so I have to go to the bar to hopefully catch a game.
This is Stanly Cup playoffs! I can watch 2 college baseball games and all the NDA finals I want but no NHL madness.

Fortunately for me I went to ESPN Zone for the first time earlier this week to see game 3 of the Pitt/Philly game. WOW! This place is really set up for a good game watching (yea, I know. Duh!) Now this is some hawkey! With hawkey fans to boot. OK, OK, Penguin/Flyer fans but still, hawkey fans.

I was lucky to get in too because when we walked in there was some fire alarm explosion and fire retardant was billowing out of half of the place. Thankfully it was the NBA finals side. Rather than evacuate the place they just shoved us in the NHL side and closed off the glass doors to keep the fog out. OK, so I guess there’s no real fire, that’s cool. Haha, no evacuation but they closed down the kitchen and there were 2 fire trucks outside checking the place out while the bar was still rocking out. Nice. And I got to see big ass hockey on one screen and Pistons kicking ass on another.

I gotta get back there for a Wings game. I especially like it when they crush teams from cities that have no naturally occurring ice. Dallas, hockey? Bring it on! Who’s with me?!

12 May, 2008

Penguins /Flyers Heating Up!

The NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are really heating up now. I caught the Penguins/Flyers game last night and couldn't break away from it (so why did I go to bed with 3 min left in the game?). I could only imagine the rugged playing that would come from a state rivalry like Philly/Pitt and I was not let down. Within the first 5 min of the game they were already scraping pools of blood off the ice. I haven't seen that much blood on the ice in quite a while. I hope that Braydon Coburn is alright. The Flyer took a slapshot to the face and did not return. That was a shot heard round the rink. But that did nothing to soften the game of either side. There were more fights than goals scored last night and I was on the edge of my seat. Not because of the fights but because I just didn't know what was going to happen next. I was pulling for the Flyers but they couldn't pull it off as they lost 4-2. I guess I'm more of a Flyers fan than any other team in the area. I can't believe they weren't showing the Red Wings game though. That's where my allegiance lies. Hopefully I can catch a wings game before they send to Stars packin' for the season. Dallas...hockey...huh? I'm not a fan of hockey towns who don't have naturally occurring ice in their area. And then they win the Cup to boot! Blasphemy! 'eh?

I'm Going to See Thievery Corporation!

I’m Going to See Thievery Corporation!

YES!! My SueSue was able to score tix for the Outernational Tour with Thievery Corp. and TV on the Radio at the end of June at Merriweather Post Pavillion. I am so stoked about this event. If you’ve heard Thievery Corp. before than you may understand my excitement. For those who don’t now it is difficult to sum the band up. It’s a type of group that is larger than the sum of its parts, and there are many parts. Latin roots, hip-hop, reggae, dub, Brazillian, Persian, Indian classical with two of DC’s finest at the helm taking care of programming and mixing.
Thievery Corporation's lyrics are highly influenced by current political events. Tracks such as "Amerimacka" and "Revolution Solution" from their album The Cosmic Game and Richest Man in Babylon from the album of the same title reveal the group's opposition to current political events and most notably initiatives taken by the current Bush administration. (yes I ripped off Wikkipedia).
In September 2005, the group participated in the Operation Ceasefire concert, with the objective of ending the war in Iraq.
This Operation Ceasefire was were I first heard Thievery. Ya see, my buddy, Matt, back in MI told me one day over the phone, “Dude, if ya wanna hear something new and refreshing check out Thievery Corporation. They’re in your part of the country and up your alley.” Well, he was right. Matt usually has a good ear for music so I kept the name in mind. I had one song on the Garden State Sndtk which was cool but that was all I’ve ever heard.
So When I heard that TC was gonna be playing for free on the mall in DC as part of a 12 hour concert to protest the war in Iraq I decided to run down and volunteer with the event. What a good idea. I got to hang out all day, listen to some cool bands (This was the first time I heard Steve Earl, the Coup, Bouncing Souls, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists). I also met CodePink but there’s nothing worth mentioning there other than overhyped feminists who can’t take the pressure of not being able to find duct tape when they need it. Oh and Jello Biafra hosted it which was pretty cool as well.
When darkness fell there was a big white noise screen on the jumbo tron and a Guerilla News Network video came on recapping the moments leading up to the Iraqi war and all big players in the administration going over mantras: WMD, We will be liberators, Warming sign in the form of a mushroom cloud, yellow cake, etc. It was really eerie considering you could look over the jumbo tron and see the Capitol all lit up in the background. And there I was, right in the garden of Babylon, the power center of the known universe, waiting with goosebumps to see what would come next. And then they came on….

11 May, 2008

Happy Mother Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers and to all of you who have mothers, for it is you who will be doing the spoiling of mothers today. Let us all have a good day.

I'm taking my family to the international Map exhibit at the Walters Art museum downtown today. My mom and dad raised me on maps and Nat. Geographic. Mom will love it. Dad will too. I can remember sitting on my mom and dad's laps and looking at the pictures in the National Geographic when I was a wee one. I've always love the photos and the humorous juxtaposition that crops up in unexpected places. So maps and geography have been in my family for a while. In fact, it was my mother who first told me about this exhibit. She will be happy today.
SueSue is making her soon-to-be famous chicken-bacon salad sandwiches for lunch. This is a snazzy recipe we found at a sandwich shoppe in London earlier this spring. Marvelous.

Weather is a refreshing 65F and the sun is out.
And I just remembered that it is my maternal grandfather's birthday as well. He and I had a birthday 5 days apart. I don't remember how old he would've been this year. I'll have to ask my mother.

06 May, 2008

My Day Gets Better

What a lovely evening I had tonight. Yes, it was my birthday evening and my sweetie had a little something planned for me. I knew I was going to Gertrudes and yes that happened but there were a few other surprises to come before.
Sweets got home from work and we headed back into rush hour traffic. But that's OK, we picked up the latest Jack Johnson cd so even honking traffic was a breeze.
We headed south to Federal Hill and sweets took me to cupcake happy hour at the Baltimore Cupcake Co. It was cute, really. But there was no seating inside so we bought a 1/2 dozen cupcakes with no place to go. Hmm. Luckily, lust behind the building on Fort St. was a middle school with a small playground. So, being as that we're a cute couple, we walked to the playground, sat on a big wooden structure and ate cupcakes. It was really sweet. It's not what we expected but when I stopped and looked around at where we were and what we were doing it was just precious. Thank you, sweetie.
We then headed St. Patricks around the corner on Andre St. for a quick cider before our table was ready at Gertrudes.
Gertrudes was lovely as expected and I had a lovely birthday dinner. I don't feel like being a critic right now so I'm not going into detail with the meal but it was splendid nonetheless.

So I'm home now and have to get on with the next phase of birthday cheer...and bloggin' aint on the agenda.


Going to Gertrudes Tonight

Tonight for my birthday I'm going to Gertrudes at the BMA. I've been to this restaurant once before and loved it. And what could be better for a Schott birthday but a freugal one at that. Tuesdays Gertrudes has $10 entres so I can get a great gift and not break the bank. I hope she doesn't think I'm being cheap and should splurge on my birthday. A person can have those feelings when the ones they love don't want fancy things and are not as pleased when you get them fancy gifts anyway.
But really, this was probably as good as, if not better than, the other two choices. And I can save the people I love a buck or two. I pitty da fool who don't love ta save the people they loves a buck or two!


Benefits of the Blind.

Happy Birthday to me again, it is still the day of thy.

I got off early today and was home by 3pm. Jumped in the shower because I took the morning off. I can take my birthday off from showering. It's not like I'm going to do any work today.

So back to living in the now.

It's 3pm and I jump in the shower (insert cute pizza delivery guy forum image here) in a nice bright bathroom. Taking a shower at 3pm always makes me feel like I just woke up prior. And any day when I wake up at 3pm is already a damn fine day!

Oh yea, it's also nice to take a shower with my contact lenses already in. How many times do I shower like that? About every time I shriek "Holy shit! How long has my shower been this damn ass filthy?!"

I swear! I'm blind as a bat in the morning. There could be baby snakes (they live in a hole hole, a holy hole) escaping into the drain and I wouldn't notice.

Thankfully today I saw no baby snakes.

Ugh...I hope I've forgotten about the filthy shower by tomorrow morning when I'm blind again.


I'd like to thank Frank Zappa for the Baby Snakes.

May 6, 1975

Happy Birthday to Me!
May 6, 2008
Today is my 33rd birthday!
Wow. 33 yrs old.
I remember when I was 16 I had such plans for myself by the time I was this age.
I would have graduated college and began work for the State Dept. and become an ambassador to some tiny warm island nation. Or maybe be a history teacher in the public schools. I’d have 2.5 kids (2 great kids and a retard most likely. Maybe a Mongoloid to challenge my charity).
Yes, I had grand plans. So what happened? Life happened.
I did finish school but did not go into either of my 9th grade dream destinations. I moved to Maryland and began working for the state. I quickly learned to slack and wait for retirement. I’m not working for today; I’m working for a pension so whatever it is that you want me to do can wait.
This was not the way to start a career. It was a slow start.
Eventually I moved to Baltimore and received a hefty promotion in a little over 1 year of being here. I live in an amazing neighborhood with stand up neighbors and friendly streets. I feel life in the streets and sidewalks, on my sofa and all other surrounding areas. I credit much of this to my special sweetheart who has become my best friend in life and helped me find that inner peace and vibrancy that I once had.
I also have to thank my family for uprooting from our home state of Michigan and moving to Maryland in search of a better life for themselves. My parents came here a few years ago after retirement. My brother came here a year later and has a better job and better prospects on life. My sister moved out here this year and is already making strides in a job market that is stacked in her favor for once.
Having family and friends around me again brings me home and what’s better than that?

So on this 33rd year I celebrate myself and those who loved me enough to stick with me and help me through life. Here’s to all of you. Thank you to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday (pre-programmed email reminders are great for remembering birthdays) and sent cards and warm wishes. The GW birthday cards are the best. You all keep me in smiles. I love you all.

05 May, 2008

MD Film Festival Brings Me Out of the Closet!

Song Sung Blue
I saw a film at the MD Film Festival this past weekend that has finally brought me fully out of the closet. Let me say it here first that I am no longer afraid of my infatuation. “I am!”, I cried, a Forever in Blue Jeans fan of the man. Yes, without a doubt, I love the music of Neil Diamond. But when I hear the music of the man it is not the man that I think of anymore. Now when I hear the music of Neil Diamond I am reminded of Lightning and Thunder: A Milwaukee husband-and-wife singing duo Mike and Claire Sardina who found fame and a cult following as the Midwest phenomenon known as Lighting and Thunder. Starting in the 80’s the duo decked themselves out in sequins and brought the music of Neil Diamond, ABBA and Patsy Cline to the stage.

How could you now be pumped by the anticipation of such a train wreck of a film? I was all ready for the laugh-fest. I can’t say that I was disappointed however. It was not such a laugh-fest but an engrossing documentary of Lighting and Thunder and the ups and downs that they faced in the running down of their dream.

From starting as the only white guy in an all black R&B band (imagine Steve Martin of the Jerk forming a band with 4 soul brothers but rocking it out! No really) to playing the Wisconsin state fair (and being married at the fair) to playing along side Eddie Vedder at Musicfest in the mid 90’s, Lightning and Thunder were always “almost there”.

Sure they had ups and downs. Thunder was struck by a car outside her house and lost a leg which sent Lighting and Thunder into a tailspin. But the love story that lasted throughout this documentary was pure and unwavering.

I laughed, I cried, I shook my fist in excited agreement as Lighting refused to take a part time job and instead pursued the dream.

One of my favorite scenes was when Lightning and Thunder were on stage with Eddie Vedder and he wanted to close the set with Song Sung Blue. Lighting looked out into the audience and said “Naw man, that’s a Forever in Blue Jeans crowd”. And they rocked it out.

I rally hope this movie takes off and I can see it again somewhere down the road. I hope everyone who wants to can get this same chance. “I am!” I cried, a better man for seeing this film and a bit more comfortable in my own skin as well. I can walk tall and sing Song Sung Blue as I leave work and know it’s gonna be a great day. But I don’t think I’ll ever hear a Neil Diamond song the same. It will be a Lightning and Thunder song from here on out.

02 May, 2008

Baltimore Sun. What?!

City high school closed after 'ice-bombs' found!!

Holy shit!! This was the heading of the Baltimore Sun article that ran today.

Did you read the article? No? Well, you don't have to. The title should fill you in.

Bullshit. Let me share the article with you.
A high school in NE Balto, Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School in the 3500 block of Hillen Road, was evacuated and closed this afternoon after someone poured a chemical substance in three spots in hallways, according to a spokesman for the city Fire Department. No injuries were reported.

Was this the work of Al Qeda? Naw. It was a school prank (I'm sure). The "ice-bomb" was a mixture of dry ice and some other inert shit that looks all crazy but is harmless. So, most likely a school prank. Hey, it's May. School pranks will be is full effect for the next few weeks.

So this was just a school prank and no reason for alarm.

I wish I woulda pulled a prank in my school that gave everyone else the day off. It was a nice day too.
Lucky terrorists.

01 May, 2008

DPW Halts Curbside Recycling for April-May

DPW Halts Curbside Recycling for April-May.

If you live in Baltimore City and are one of the lucky owners of a Dept of Public Works calendar then you are up to date with your neighborhood’s recycling schedules. Well, if you have the same calendar that I do then you will notice that the months of April and May are missing. Now I know that my days to recycle are the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month but it would be nice to have a calendar that kept me on track. I would be more upset at the DPW proofreaders but they did give a nice little bonus to my calendar by adding the months of June and August twice. That was thoughtful.