Friday, March 24, 2017

Music Friday: "Pure Comedy"

I've heard good things about Father John Misty, but I got intrigued after reading "Here Is the Scandalous Father John Misty Interview You've Been Waiting For" on Pitchfork. 

So yesterday I purchased I Love You, Honeybear

I'm looking forward to the new release, Pure Comedy. Here's the title track with lyrics afterward. 

"Pure Comedy"
The comedy of man starts like this.
Our brains are way too big for our mothers' hips.
And so Nature, she divines this alternative.
We emerged half-formed and hope that whoever greets us on the other end
Is kind enough to fill us in.
And, babies, that's pretty much how it's been ever since.
Now the miracle of birth leaves a few issues to address.
Like, say, that half of us are periodically iron deficient.
So somebody's got to go kill something while I look after the kids.
I'd do it myself, but what, are you going to get this thing its milk?
He says as soon as he gets back from the hunt, we can switch.
It's hard not to fall in love with something so helpless.
Ladies, I hope we don't end up regretting this.

Comedy, now that's what I call pure comedy.
Just waiting until the part where they start to believe
They're at the center of everything.
And some all-powerful being endowed this horror show with meaning.
Oh, their religions are the best.
They worship themselves, yet they're totally obsessed
With risen zombies, celestial virgins, magic tricks, these unbelievable outfits.
And they get terribly upset
When you question their sacred texts
Written by woman-hating epileptics.

Their languages just serve to confuse them.
Their confusion somehow makes them more sure.
They build fortunes poisoning their offspring
And hand out prizes when someone patents the cure.
Where did they find these goons they elected to rule them?
What makes these clowns they idolize so remarkable?
These mammals are hell-bent on fashioning new gods,
So they can go on being godless animals.

Oh comedy, their illusions they have no choice but to believe
Their horizons that just forever recede.
And how's this for irony, their idea of being free is a prison of beliefs
That they never ever have to leave.
Oh comedy, oh it's like something that a madman would conceive!
The only thing that seems to make them feel alive is the struggle to survive.
But the only thing that they request is something to numb the pain with
Until there's nothing human left.
Just random matter suspended in the dark.
I hate to say it, but each other's all we got.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

I was at one of my local liquor stores the other day, and the car I parked next to had a driver's side window that was covered by plastic sheeting and duct tape, but the plastic sheet was ripped. As I walked to and fro getting my bourbon, I noticed a cat on the the dashboard and a young lady texting. As I departed, the cat meowed at me as if it were asking, "Get me out of this madness. This woman is crazy." 

Pistachios are the best nut on the planet. Behind them, I consider it a tie for second place among Brazil nuts, almonds, and walnuts. 

1. Pistachios

2a. Brazil nuts

2b. Almonds

2c. Walnuts

Ummmm .... nuts. Me now hungry.

As much as Puerto Rico is getting all kinds of attention for moving on to the championship game of the World Baseball Classic, the US government is still screwing its unincorporated territory as you can learn about via John Oliver's feature. 

Check out this lengthy article of strong reporting from Politico about the success of the light rail line in the Twin Cities: "The Train Line That Brought the Twin Cities Back Together."

A couple of weeks ago I finished Florence Williams' The Nature Fix, which I highly recommend. Grist has a good interview with her about the book: "Anxious, Depressed, Distracted -- What If the Cure Is Just Outside?" 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Music Friday: "Lilac Breeze," "What's a Fella Gotta Do?," "A Line in the Dirt," "Little Bird," "Spectacular Girl," "The Man," "I Like The Way This Is Going"

Last night as I was driving home from Wisconsin, I listened to three thematic albums that the Eels put out in 2009 and 2010. 

The first, El Hombre Lobo, has songs about the theme of desire. The second, End Times, is about loss. And the third, Tomorrow Morning, offers songs about redemption. 

Here's a number of my favorites from that fine trio of albums. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Music Friday: "S.O.B." & "I Need Never Get Old"

A colleague of mine recommended that I'd probably like Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. 

So I'm checking 'em out. Here are a couple of songs to whet your appetite

Monday, March 6, 2017

Stay Positive: Bizarro Comics

I get Dan Piraro's comics via my FB feed.

Here are two that I particularly enjoy. 

These two come from his "Disguising Insanity" post from yesterday. Check out the guy's work. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Stay Positive: Road Trip Food

What people eat when they're on a road trip tells something about their character, style, and taste. 

For me, I have staples that I eat when I grab something from a gas station. Junk food might give people a perspective on others' troubled souls.

Here are my regular choices:

Jack Link's Peppered Beef "Steak"

Andy Capp's Hot Fries or Cheddar Fries

Snapple, Peach flavor if available 

Royal Crown cola 

My So-Called Thoughts
I'm a fan of peppered beef. That stuff is just delicious. I don't think cooks use pepper enough in their dishes. 

While the Andy Capp comic is sketchy at times (a strip that portrays an alcoholic ne'er-do-well), I love that dude's "fries." 

Snapple is just damn good tea. 

When the cola wars were happening back in the 80s, I was voting third party. I don't usually drink pop much anymore, but when I do, I choose RC. 

If you're intrigued by RC, check out "The Tragic History of RC Cola" on Mental Floss. 

If you're so inclined, I'd like to read about your staples for road trip food in the comments. 

Music Friday: "Get Your Pants Off" & "Black Mold"

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is a band I probably should have more albums from. I only have Meat and Bone

Regardless, here's a couple of tunes from that album.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fumbling Toward Culinary Soup: Kielbasa-Spinach Immunity Soup

This recipe is similar to both my kale soup recipe and the chicken-based immunity soup

1/2 of big bag of spinach 
2 and a half quarts of free range organic chicken broth (Aldi has it at a reasonable price)
1 lb. of turkey kielbasa, halved and sliced into even slices
half of yellow onion, chopped finely
2 cans of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies 
Half a package of button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced relatively thinly
Healthy dose (5-6 cloves) of roasted garlic, chopped (as much as you can chop roasted garlic) 
1 bay leaf
Smidge of thyme
Smidge of basil
Smidge of cayenne pepper
Smidge of smoked paprika 
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the onion and sausage and brown them in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of oil. Transfer that to a slow cooker. Add in the broth, beans, seasonings, and spinach. Cook on high for at least an hour. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Add in mushrooms near the end, so they don't get too small during the cooking. 

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Breakfast Casserole

After watching an episode of Dinner at Tiffani's, I made a similar egg casserole to what she made in the episode. 

That's right Tiffani Thiessen has a cooking show. 

Perhaps there is a Divine Being of some sort. 

Anyway, here's the recipe. It's basically a quiche without crust. And it's a versatile recipe, so you can switch ingredients as you choose. 

1/2 lb. of country sausage
Most of a package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
Half of a yellow onion, chopped finely
Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
8 eggs
Roughly a half cup of milk
Half cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Smidge of thyme
Smidge of smoked paprika
Smidge of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

Brown the sausage and set it aside to drain the fat. In the same pan sauté the onions and sun-dried tomatoes. In a pie plate arrange the sausage, spinach, and onion mixture in the plate. Put the eggs, seasonings, and milk in a bowl and beat. Dump in the egg mixture, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake on 350 degrees for approximately 30-45 minutes. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Stay Positive: Wine without Arsenic

There's a disturbing article out about a lawsuit about a great many California wines that have high arsenic levels. Check out "List of Wines Cited in Lawsuit as Having High Arsenic Levels." 

Thankfully the only brand of those wines I've had are dark wines put out by Menage A Trois  and Corbett Canyon. 

Wild Irish Rose is no surprise. That crap is horrible. I used to sell that stuff all the time to winos when I worked at my dad's liquor store. The list also reminded me of one night my fraternity brothers had a "Cisco Night" that turned out horribly for them. 

The Urban Dictionary definition of Cisco is worth a read. Here are two of my favorite lines: 

  • "It is in the family with the common street wine Wild Irish Rose - except WIR would be a newborn baby and Cisco is the abusive step-father with boundary issues. "
  • "The hangover that can result from Cisco is the equivalent of sticking your head up the ass of a Kentucky Derby horse in full sprint and being ejected into a brick wall all while undergoing Chemotherapy treatments that could kill an elephant."

  • "Often, people on a Cisco binge end up curled into a fetal ball, shuddering and muttering paranoid rants.  Nudity and violence may well be involved too."  
  • "Our research shows that Cisco is actually the second best tasting of the five great bum wines, especially if you're having one of those hankerings for cheap Vodka, Jello and Robitussin."  
  • "A test subject reports, 'Strawberry Cisco has a bouquet similar to that of Frankenberry cereal fermented in wine cooler with added sprinkle of brandy for presentation.'"

So here's to enjoying wine without arsenic. Let's stay positive folks. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Music Friday: "Disconnect"

iTunes classifies the music of the Rollins Band as "alternative and punk." How 'bout just hard rock? 

Regardless of that goofiness, in a world of social media saturation and me reading the paper every morning thinking about how America is in a lot of trouble, I offer "Disconnect." 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stay Positive: Woodpeckers

The Nasty family has been walking the trails around Lake Charleston created by the Parks and Rec department. 

Because I had gotten my work done today, I traveled there alone for a walk in the woods. 

As some readers might know, I'm a lover of birds. I'm particularly fond of woodpeckers. I enjoy hearing them tap the heck out of trees. 

Here are the two species of woodpeckers I saw this afternoon. 

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

And a species I haven't seen in a while: the Red-headed Woodpecker

Monday, February 20, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam wrote "Bushleaguer" about Generalissimo Dubya. I wonder if he's working on any song/s about Moscow Don? 

Mrs. Nasty got a new car, and it has Sirius XM radio. I was pleasantly surprised to see that under the rock category there's a Pearl Jam radio along with stations devoted to Springsteen, Tom Petty, and some station that presents live performances often from "jam bands." I hadn't listened to Yonder Mountain String Band and moe in a good while. 

Swedish officials mocked Moscow Don's bullshit. Check out this article from The Guardian. It's not surprising that 45 takes his policy nonsense from FoxNews because he's unlikely to read anything that has depth and decent analysis. We now have a country being steered by the crap presented by FoxNews. Margot Wallstrom is smart as a whip: “Both functioning democracy and constructive cooperation between states require us to speak with, and not about, each other, to honour agreements and to allow ideas to compete. They also require us to respect science, facts and the media, and to acknowledge each other’s wisdom.”

The former prime minister tweeted this: “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound." I doubt Moscow Don is a smoker of Mary Jane, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did or does cocaine (remember all that sniffing during the debates?). Regardless, the real drug is the programming on FoxNews. 

And here's an article of real journalism from the Washington Post that shows that crime is not on the rise in Sweden and Germany. Facts vs. Bullshit. Link: "Here's What's Happening There." 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

[Belated] Music Friday: "Time"

As debut albums go, Blind Melon's first album has to be my favorite. It's a great album to listen to from start to finish on a road trip. 

Here's what might an underappreciated song from that fine album. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Random Notes from a Crank

I enjoy satirical letters to the editor. Check out John Kilgore's "Trump Move Great for Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster." 

The Church of the FSM has been noted before on this blog via an article from The Atlantic

Here's an article from Alternet that is quite disturbing but not surprising: "A United States of Hate Has Exploded Under Trump." 

As I watch Parks and Recreation, I find myself attracted to the character of Leslie Knope. 

How you doin'?