Thursday, August 31, 2006

I think I saw Lenn Sakata working at a gas station

Thank you for sticking by CC&P in this dark time of transition and minimal posting. You will each receive a CC&P bumper sticker and commemorative tapir pelt as recompense for your loyalty.

So, yeah, the corporate headquarters of Corn Chips & Pie has moved to Baltimore. Baltimore is a city that takes its slogans seriously; buildings and benches and homeless people are festooned with whichever marketing mantra has most recently given the Chamber of Commerce a boner. The previous mottos of the city, "The Greatest City In The World" and "The City That Reads," have been shelved in favor of "Get In On It"-- a penetrative metaphor stinking of real estate hype. For a city that boasts the highest STD rates in the solar system, "Get In On It But Use Kevlar Condoms" might be more appropriate. Meanwhile, the omnipresent and vague "Believe" signs remain, spooking the shit out of me.

Just a couple of things to report before I scurry around doing logistical things:

  • As I walked down the street, some dude pulled his pickup over next to me, and asked, "Hey man, need some glass?" His truck was filled with windowpanes that were most likely liberated from some nearby row houses.
  • The local market has a food stall called "O.K. Oriental Food," which is a refreshingly honest advertisement of the food's quality and its ethnic authenticity.

Friday, August 25, 2006

moving to Baltimore

I am getting in on it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sorry; I need to make a "TelePhone" call

As you may have noticed, it is difficult for bloggers, myself included, to refer to the internet without employing some sort of cutesy modification to the term. I do not fully understand why. It's not as if mere reference to the internet is so uncool that irony is required (like plastic baggies for dogshit) to avoid becoming stained by association. This Wikipedia entry on "interweb," which reads like the Onion parody of a Wikipedia entry ("Earlier uses in science fiction of the term include the Babylon 5 episodes..."), will cure you of any desire to join the nerds' smug mockery.

I have failed to settle on a pet term. Possibilities include the following:

  • Famous malapropisms and misapprehensions: "the internets" is a favorite. Also "series of tubes."
  • Apocryphal or invented malapropisms: "interweb," "world wide net," "infranet."
  • Quotation marks: ""internet.""
  • Unnecessary capitalization: "InterNet."
  • Unnecessary hyphenation: "inter-net."
  • Combinations of the above: "Inter-Net," "World-Wide-Infra-Net," "InterWeb."

But I have considered and rejected all of them. I shall call it "Gary."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Conspiration terrory

A reasonable response to the Bush administration's cascade of lies is to become suspicious of every official utterance. Unfortunately, this has turned moderates into conspiracy theorists (or, as a friend's window-washer colleague from Hungary once put it, "conspiration terrorists"). Yet another reason to resent the regime.

Take, for example, the recent airline bomb plot scare. Huge scary plot disrupted just in time, or a whole lotta nothing inflated for political purposes? Who can truly say, given the information at our disposal & the admin's track record? Kevin Drum on a USA Today poll showing Bush with his highest approval rating in some time: "'s a sad commentary on the continuing ability of the Republican Party to scare their way to victory. There's very little evidence that the airline bombers were even remotely capable of pulling off their plot, and likewise little justification for the massive fear-mongering and hysterical anti-liquid regulations hastily put in place for air travelers. The risk of terrorists manufacturing binary explosives in the air could almost certainly have been handled in other, more effective ways, and it's increasingly obvious that the government's scare campaign was far out of proportion to the actual immediate danger. The likelihood that it was hyped more for political reasons than for genuine reasons of air safety continues to grow, and someday, when there's a real emergency, this attitude may come back to haunt us."

Least important post so far, stunningly enough

You may want to skip this one if you are pressed for time.

I wish to sort out my confused feelings re: Steely Dan's recent missives to Luke Wilson and Wes Anderson. Often, it can be useful to transfer or "map" information and fundamental relationships from one context to another. Doing so can sometimes help us to break free of habitual neural pathways and to arrive at fresh insights. (See also "log transformation," "metaphor," "rough sex.")

As such, I have composed a simple one-act play. Some background may be required to fully appreciate my work:

  • The two gentlemen who make up the rock group Steely Dan posted an open letter to Luke Wilson on their website. The facetious tone failed to mask glimmers of (a) actual resentment and (b) legitimate cineastic concern. After this letter received a fair bit of attention, Steely Dan posted another letter, this time to Wes Anderson. This letter was a bit more involved, and the joke was more labored (e.g., this post), which was a bit odd, since this kind of attention-getting device is rarely employed by established Famous People. Nonetheless, some bits were sort of right-on.
  • I don't particularly like coleslaw, but I confess that I haven't given it much of a chance.

Bewilderment at 34 Degrees Fahrenheit: a play in one act

(SCENE: interior. An unfancy corner deli in a major American city. The Customer approaches the refrigerated deli case, where various deli meats, cheeses, salads, and Coleslaw are arrayed.)

Coleslaw: I am irritated by Tropicana orange/strawberry/banana juice. Though the flavor combination sounds promising, industrial processing renders the juice insipid.

Customer: I am surprised to hear you speak, coleslaw. I didn't realize you had opinions. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that your opinions concern an item in the beverage case. A condemnation of Boar's Head turkey would have been less jarring.

Coleslaw (emboldened): It is difficult to open the cartons without completely mangling the opening.

Customer: There is truth to what you say. Moreover, it is mildly amusing. Nonetheless, I must respectfully maintain that the beverage of which you speak is refreshing and tasty.

Coleslaw: Tropicana should make cartons of coleslaw.

Customer: Pipe down, chief.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Working at home

Working at home is like drinking coffee with a fork, as Willie Stargell said of hitting against Sandy Koufax. At the moment, I should be renooberating this here Dutch Famine data, a stopgap research task to fill the time & mitigate my debt before moving to Baltimore (!) in five days. But there's something endlessly distracting about one's apartment & its environs.

Lacking a boss to breathe down my neck, I can give my left hand a break from its typically furious alt-tabbing, and browse Christina Rossetti fan fiction in delightful languor. Perhaps I'll scrub the bathtub. Perhaps I'll make a pomander ball. Perhaps I'll cram fistfuls of tuna into inappropriate containers. Perhaps I'll just drool on myself until rivulets of saliva reach the floor. Who can stop me?

Oooh, or I could go outside. Perhaps I'll step outside & join the army of Iggy Pop clones zombie-stepping around Tompkins Square Park, and assist them in their ancient war against the dog-walking yuppies. Or perhaps I'll stop for an espresso at & enjoy the momentary frisson of attention & disappointment as twelve white 28-year-old men glance up from their laptops, hoping that some hot hipster chick will notice their brilliant CAD work. Yes. That is what I will do.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

CC&P goes to the movies

A capsule review of The Descent:
For a Rob Schneider comedy, it is extraordinarily bleak. Although, say, The Hot Chick shied away from portraying troglodytes devouring women alive, The Descent confronts this issue head-on. There are no jokes involving Schneider having sex with unattractive women. Indeed, Schneider himself gets little screen time, which is a wise concession to his selective appeal. In sum: an odd addition to the canon. But did I laugh? I know you like to laugh. Well, in one scene, an Irish spelunker does a pretty funny imitation of The Count from Sesame Street, and I chuckled. Thus: best Rob Schneider comedy of all time.

P.S. No open letters, please. A beating might be OK. But I beg of you: no full-page ads.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Litany of disappointments

  • I read that Tucker Carlson is joining the cast of "Dancing With The Stars." That's a step in the right direction, but they still need to tweak it a bit before I decide to tune in. Lessee... Tucker Carlson, Dennis Miller, and Terry Bradshaw in "Genital Mutilation With The Stars." That I'd watch.
  • When I began this blog a year ago, I fully expected it would catapult me into a dizzying social stratum, like so: within weeks, I am perfunctorily reciting details from the latest book/magazine/mook launch party. God, how wearying it can be to snort cocaine from Sabina Sciubba's navel every. Fucking. Night. John Ashbery constantly leaves me twenty-minute voicemail rants about expired soy milk. One morning, I apply raw meat to my black eye and chuckle, remembering the previous evening's playful cuffing with Jim Jarmusch & Cynthia Ozick. Sure, it got out of hand, but it was a fun time. A good memory.
  • The disappointment really hadn't hit me until I learned that Dana, when she shut down #1 Hit Song a few weeks ago, received some Omaha steaks in the mail as a retirement gift. Now, I know for a fact that I wouldn't get any God-damn steaks in the mail were I to close up shop here. I might get one wizened strip of marmot jerky, tops.
  • And my car was towed this morning for a fee that exceeds the car's blue-book value by an order of magnitude. What good is a blog if not for impotent lamentations?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Desperation = stinky cologne

Backed into a corner by the same strain of ennui that killed Neville. Only bullets can save me. Cue the CC&P theme music.

  • What is the CC&P theme music? Today, it's the Jim Nabors version of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life." There's a part in there where he goes "whoah-whoah-whoah-whoah"-- it misses mimicry, dodges homage, goes well beyond parody, and arrives at an Uncharted Realm of aural pleasure.
  • I really don't know what to expect with the 49ers this year. I expect them to be better. But how much better? Dare I dream of 8-8? After they finished 4-12 last year, fulfilling my prophecy, I became drunk on power. I began trying to will Jeremy Newberry to drive around with a bullet-proof vest, an assault rifle, a bottle of Grey Goose, and a tape roller for lint removal... just to see if I could do it. Of course, I had attributed causation where there was none. I do control pigeons' minds, though. And I can prove it.
  • My otherwise useless friend AS introduced me to the Fun Fair out in Red Hook (at the end of Court St.) every weekend, which is ripe for having its ethnic character diluted and spoiled if you're in NYC and so inclined. And I know many of you are so inclined. Soccer, pupusas, incredibly delicious and gigantic quesadillas, and good times.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Because I got nothing...

...I quote others.

"I use the '^' once every five years and I’m not even really sure what the '`' or the '}' are supposed to indicate, but I can’t get a decent way to put an '~' over an 'n'. I’m sure the right wingers will quake over the symbolic implications of the 'ñ' on their keyboards, no doubt ruffling their mullets and smudging their camouflage face paint as they sit hunkered down along the southern border with big nets or automatic weapons. But for normal people it’s just a matter of convenience."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

With illusory power comes a comically furrowed brow

My phone's been ringing off the hook this morning. Reporters from the MSM want to know what I'll do with my newfound political power now that I & my associates have knocked Joe Lieberman off the Democratic ticket.

To be honest with you, I don't really know yet. And so I gave completely different answers to the AP, Reuters, the NYT, Al-Jazeera, NME, Teen People, Oprah. But that's ok. That's the way the netroots roll. Contradictory and unreliable, but lightning-fast and democratic.

At first I toyed with ending the Israel-Lebanon conflict with a few judicious online polls and a heavy campaign of linking, but then I thought I might blog the hell out of the sun. See if I can get it to explode. Fuckin' A, man, that'd be awesome.

Monday, August 07, 2006

This will have to do

  • I was never a huge mycophile, but as a kid, I used to spend a lot of time poking around the woods in search of chantarelles, matsutake, morels, porcinis. It just provided an extra bit of purpose & reward to hikes. I haven't yet discovered a city equivalent to that activity, but I have tried substituting the following urban Easter eggs for mushrooms, with mixed results: methamphetamines, pigeon embryos, fresh Whatchamacallits, movie posters for RV, hot dowagers, discarded pork.
  • I felt I played a very strong wingman last night. Speed, stealth, flair, execution were all top-notch. But target selection left something to be desired, as the following quote makes clear: "That man set back progressive dog training twenty years."
  • No baseball talk right now because there's only so much bitching one can do about the San Francisco Giants. It is a maddening team: dull, mediocre, and yet a shameless tease. They will finish 79-83, but the shittiness of the NL West combined with their penchant for occasional flashes of competence (how on earth does Pedro Feliz have 17 home runs? Have you seen him quail at triple-A sliders?) will make me pay attention until late September. The enthusiasm portfolio is being shifted heavily toward Oakland.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I like talking about the weather. It's like talking about having a mouth. "Say, have you noticed my mouth?" "Yes. I have a mouth as well."

The heat wave has generated a national debate over undershirts, with brother pitted against brother. Curious about this magical "undershirt", I just went to the Astor Place Kmart to buy a package of white V-necks. The grand experiment will last 3 days, at which point I will shit or cut bait-- maybe both simultaneously.

Pros: sweat absorption. Less washing required of outer shirts. Tremendous stand-alone potential, with nipples peeking suggestively through the thin cotton fabric. Hello, sailor!

Cons: the new 311 public service campaign in New York has stigmatized the formerly glamorous aesthetic of spousal abuse. Even hotter than without undershirt. Resistant to most known antibiotics, and will spread until vast swaths of flesh are necrotized-- wait, sorry; I always mix up "undershirts" and "nosocomial staph infections."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mindless Pleasures, Mindful Regrets

  • Dana has drawn the curtain over #1 Hit Song. It will be missed.
  • An interview with the incomparable Mr. Geography can be found here.
  • The web editor in charge of the teaser quote for this story faced a difficult choice: a) "It was to honor Petrarch's whim that I chose to climb Mont Ventoux in France," or b) "I perfume my nutsack with Drakkar Noir."
  • The video for "Carrot Rope" looks just like the song sounds. Look, I don't have Slow Century yet, ok?
  • In a parallel universe very near ours in probability space, the Matt Houston movie has just opened to acclaim, and Ashton Kutcher is married to Shelley Long.


  • Billy Beane and Brian Sabean have spoiled my July 31st.
  • Here's one of the funnier things I've read recently, several weeks late.
  • And here's what to do when your asshole friend whips out the Blackberry. I once went to a natural history museum in Ulan Bator where there was a hedgehog in a cardboard box & a designated hedgehog pokin' stick for self-evident purposes. It was awesome.
  • Many towns construct their identities around One Thing. Come visit Leggett, CA, where you can drive through a redwood tree! Stop by Tillamook, OR: cheese! Visit Chiaravalle, birthplace of Maria Montessori! The prostitutes of Homestead, FL are 39% syphilis-free! Etcetera. Well, I am pleased to report that Baltimore has more than One Thing. It has crabs, Camden Yards, and John Waters. That's pretty much it. Several additional icons of local pride are tearing up AAA, waiting for September call-ups: Barry Levinson, pit beef, National Bohemian, Hon, and scrap metal theft. They all swing the bat well, but lack plate discipline.
  • I received an alarming email this weekend from the new father of a child named Rufus [the "Work"]. It read, in part: "I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future, bitch." No bloodsucking lawyer, friend or otherwise, will intimidate me into changing my screen name. I am Rufus, the Chippy Highboy.