Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Do any of you--specifically, the two remaining readers I still have--remember the old days of this site?  When leftist political screeds (laced, sadly, with frequent Star Wars analogies) would alternate with painfully detailed explorations of the minutia of my personal life?  Man, with a surefire combo like that, no wonder this thing took off!

I mention this because, first of all, it seems weird that I never even mention things like the assault on Libya by The Coalition Of The Still-Willing, or the non-existent economic recovery, or radiation leaking over from Japan.  The world could end tomorrow, and I'd still spend all my time here complaining about that stupid fucking Spider-Man musical.

What's even more mystifying is my inability or unwillingness to write about my life.  That is, my life now; God knows, I've spent plenty of time turning over the rocks of my past.  (Talking about past suicide attempts: a positive way to embiggen your readership!)  I mean, for crying out loud, she's been here for weeks now and I still haven't said a word about new cat Cookie.

Cookie is Janie's cat--because Janie has officially moved in, and hey, I haven't mentioned that, either--and, man oh Manischewitz, she's the furriest cat I've ever known.  But the thing is, unlike other recent feline addition Staley--who I should also talk about more often, because she's awesome--Cookie barely sheds at all.  If she sleeps on my pillow, I'll be able to get up the next morning breathing clear.  If Staley's next to my head all night, I'll spend the day hacking up hairballs.

Since there are now three cats roaming around the house (beloved malcontent Delmar is still here, of course, and dealing with all this as best he can), the poor beagle is forced to spend more time in her kennel, just to allow the cats some wandering around time without a rambunctious dog trying to stomp them.

At first, I was kind of opposed to this idea.  Isn't it terrible to confine a dog for long periods of time?  But actually, as many dog trainers can tell you, it is in fact a good idea.  Isabella loves her kennel--she jumps into it willingly, and immediately curls up.  It's kind of her home inside her home, and more importantly, it helps establish a routine for her.  There are rules around here, just like any other household, and this is one Bella is expected to follow.  When she obeys, she is rewarded with love.  And biscuits, which frankly count for more in her world.

It occurs to me that if Bella has rules she is expected to follow, and if Janie and I have certain responsibilities we have to carry out each day, the cats are pretty much free to do whatever the hell they want, any time of day.  As they would no doubt tell you, this is part of the natural order of things.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Looking back, it seems kind of impressive that I used to post here every day, but let's face it: Much of what appeared here was merely padding.  There were lazy, single paragraph posts, there were lame "can't think of a premise" posts and there were shitloads of clip jobs.

And many--too many?--of those clips showcased random numbers from TV variety specials of the seventies.  And yes, many of those numbers featured the barely competent Lynda Carter, because she served as a shining exemplar of seventies celebrity.  Enormous breasts aside, she had no particular reason to be a star, yet there she was on TV anyway, and worse, she was singing.

One might have thought I had exhausted the available library of Lynda clips, and even I thought I had, but the internet is a bottomless pit of unnecessary things, so there's always the dreaded More: More Lynda, More singing, More dancing, More campy Peter Allen songs that aren't even very good on their own terms.

But hey, enough with the talking.  Take it away, Carter Miranda!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Look, I have no control over the types of things that pop into my head.  That's the only way I can explain why I found myself wandering around the other day singing The Hut Sut Song.

If you, quite sensibly, wonder what the hell I'm talking about, you clearly didn't know my mom, who would break into this from time to time.  As to how or why the damned thing ever came to exist, as Dr. Floyd said of the monolith in 2001, its origin and purpose remain a total mystery.  Posting this on St. Patrick's Day makes no sense whatsoever, but what do you want?  At least I'm not going on about El Brendel again.

Monday, March 14, 2011


There was never blood, not any of the times I slashed my wrists.  Oh, I wanted there to be: rivers of crimson, my very essence visibly departing.  I wasn't some fucking cutter.  This wasn't done for cheap effect.  I wanted to die every single time.

Unfortunately, as the great philosopher Daffy Duck once observed, pain hurts.  Sure enough, the more pressure I applied to my wrist, the greater the pain.  Well, I'd think, what if I mess this whole thing up?  What if I don't die, but somehow lose the use of my hands, or otherwise have to continue to live in a state of unbearable agony?

The fact that I could never take that permanent step raises the possibility that I didn't, if fact, want to die.  Okay, maybe a few of those times, when I was just trying to send some kind of message to my mom and dad, or my wife, or whoever was unfortunate enough to be in my orbit at that particular time.  Maybe.  But there were so many other times when I floundered all alone with my despair, when the only shred of hope I could cling to was the promise of sweet oblivion--oh yes, those were the times when I did indeed wish to leave this world permanently.

Funny, though...like so many things in my past, I remember the details--my cat Monika sitting at my feet, the mocking sunshine outside the window, the tender flesh of my wrist growing whiter and whiter as I drove the blade down harder--but I can't recall the context.  What overwhelming depression could have led me to such feelings?  What could have prompted me to want to say The Big Adios?  What emotions were so intense, what could have gone so wrong, what was my fucking deal?

I can remember plots of TV shows from thirty years ago.  I can remember details of aimless car trips my brother and I took when I was in junior high.  I can remember a thousand voices and songs and conversations.  But the circumstances and emotions that made me want to kill myself--sorry, no.  Those are the things I can't recall.

So I continue to live, relatively happily.  There are plenty of down days, sure, but the thought of ending it all never crosses my mind.  Why would it?  That's not a rational way of thinking.  Still, from time to time I'll notice the scars on my wrists, up and down and crisscrossed like a subway map, and I'll wonder what it felt like to hate myself so much.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Of all the unfortunate things to come from the whole Charlie Sheen affair, the worst by far is that it has stolen the nation's pop cultural spotlight away from that godawful Spider-Man musical.

Really, they might as well start billing it as "That God-Awful Spider-Man Musical" but until they do, it's still called Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which, as I've said over and over again, is the worst title of anything conceived in human history.  Turns out, the title was contributed by Bono, who is perfectly happy to have people call him Bono, so the sheer stupidity of it becomes a bit more understandable.

But not acceptable.  The annoyingly pretentious Irishman dreamed up the title based on a story he vaguely recalled about a kid who said "Turn off the dark" instead of "turn on the light".  Ha, ha.  That's cute, Bono, but what the fuck does it have to do with Spider-Man?  By that logic, I could write a terrible musical adaptation of Taxi Driver and call it "Travis Bickle: Masho Peetato" and explain that the title comes from my inability as a child to properly pronounce "mashed potatoes".  Would that have anything to do with the character at hand?  Of course not.  Does "turn off the dark" have anything to do with Spider-Man?  Of course not.

Bono's indulgence is clearly typical of the show right down the line.  Seriously, read this synopsis of the plot.  Sure, a typical Marvel Comics plot could be ridiculously convoluted, but it would at least be straightforward.  This...this makes no damned sense.  And worse, it's obvious that Spider-Man/Peter Parker is a hapless bystander in his own show, that director Julie Taymor (who was referred to in every story about this thing until previews began as "visionary director Julie Taymor") is more interested in the whole Arachne/mythology thing and grafted some shit she was already working on onto the Spider-Man show because there was funding for it.

Taymor deserves all the mockery she's been receiving--did I mention the show includes a supervillain fashion parade?--but to offer a half-hearted defense of her position, the show as it stands is only partially her fault.  Sure, the creative debacle is entirely her doing, but there's no way anyone should have let the show get that far.  Once anybody with any business sense read her script, they should have clearly said, "Thanks, not what we're looking for."  Nobody could have thought that fake-poetic hooha about Greek mythology was a good idea in a show about a contemporary superhero.  Maybe they were waiting around to get some idea of Taymor's staging concept--her, uh, vision, if you will--but again, once they saw this crap in rehearsals, the producers should have either pulled the plug or started over with an entirely different concept.  All the wirework in the world can't save a bad idea.

Now that Taymor has been shown the door (or metaphorically snapped her cable and plunged to the stage) it's unclear how the new creative team can possibly salvage this thing.  They are so far only being given a three-month window to work this into shape, so there's no time to start from scratch.  (Everyone who has seen the damned thing agrees that the whole Arachne thing needs to be dropped, but given how much of the physical production is built around her, that seems unlikely.)  And really, why should they change it?  Taymor's show is already considered one of the worst things in Broadway history; bringing it to the level of respectable competence would reduce a legendary disaster to a merely dull failure.

Monday, March 07, 2011


Oh, this is a crappy song.

I was twelve when this came out, and I hated it then.  I hated the neo-classical piano and the whooshing synthesizers and the whole aliens-and-shit angle, which just comes out of nowhere and...everything about it, basically.

Except.  That whole "reflections in the waves spark my memories" bit.  "Some happy, some sad/I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had."  When I'd hear this song in the middle of the night on the AM radio in my bedroom, those lines seemed authentically rueful, the lament of someone who'd been around, a message to me that everything in life doesn't always turn out for the best--after all, if Dennis DeYoung's friends could miss out on the pot of gold, what hope did the rest of us have?

These days, obviously, I realize that part of the song is just as phony as everything else.  But once upon a time it served its purpose--it injected a bit of melancholia into a profoundly stupid pop song, and it made me realize that even the most placid surface could mask troubling depths.  Which means on some level I'll always be grateful for a Styx song. My life, consequently, has been lived in shame.