Boy, doesn't it always goes that way ...
On a day of a milestone, it was dark, rainy, but one that has had me running from dawn, to sundown, a moderately cumbersome day on the homefront.
Our 1,000th post this year!
I did set out to be more productive, after the heavy-duty Aunt/hospital runs last year, and it was an Election Year, so, in some respects, I shouldn't crow to loudly, being that the count should have been even higher ...
What a slacker!
It, kind of, snuck up on me.
It was only last week that I noticed where the post count was, and thought, well, if I stay on course, I should be able to make it.
Then, all-of-a-sudden, this morning, I was staring at 999!
Good thing, as the old creativity pool was a bit shallow this evening.
So, time to thank one, and all, for coming out to The Garlic, and reading along the way.
We will endeavor, in 2009, to keep up the pace, good riffs and go where it takes us.
Since this is a celebratory ocassion, we need some celebration-like music, so we turn to one of our favorites, the great Jaco Pastorius, to ring in #1000
Thanks, again, for visiting, and reading, The Garlic!
Jaco Pastorius & The Word of Mouth Big Band - Liberty City
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Boy, doesn't it always goes that way ...
27 December 2006... On The Garlic
Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Third Day
Developing Story - Polar Bears Added To Iraq Options; Bush Administration Wavering On Polar Bears; Considering Employing In Iraq, War Against Terror; Rove Claims He Also Has “The Science”, Says Bears “Will Do Fine In Desert Heat”
Top Ten Cloves: Other Surprising Things Found With Microsoft’s New Windows Vista Software
Friday, December 26, 2008
News Item: 'Viagra lure' for Afghan warlords
10. Special Visas, and a years' pass at the Mustang Ranch
9. Private photo collection of Jennifer Lopez's ass
8. A staff of writers to embellish their letters for them, to Penthouse Forum
7. A Cargo-plane full of Glow-in-the-Dark Condoms
6. The World's Finest Love Doll! ...As many as they wanted
5. Private meeting with Condi Rice, and she'll wear that boot outfit
4. Unedited, Directors Cut DVD of Nine 1/2 Weeks
3. Hours of video of Sarah Palin, winking
2. Ryan Seacrest and Anderson Cooper???
1. Pamela Anderson Posters
Bonus CIA Afghanistan Warlord Bonus Boner Riffs
The Heretik: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
Prairie Weather: Winning Afghanistan with Viagra
Noam Scheiber: The CIA's Secret Weapon in Afghanistan? ... Viagra
Steve Benen: WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS....
Spencer Ackerman: Viagra As Counterinsurgency Asset
Megan - Viagra: The Gift That Keeps On Giving, Even In Afghanistan
Kathy: When Is Prescription Drug Abuse Okay?
dday: Welcomed With Flowers, Sweets And Prescriptions
26 December 2007... On The Garlic
Boppin' Around The Christmas Blogs (Herb Caen-Dot-Dot-Dot Style) ...
Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard In The Returns Department of Retail Stores Today
26 December 2006... On The Garlic
Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Second Day
26 December 2005... On The Garlic
Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves 26 December 2005
Special Announcement - Barry Crimmins 2005 Year-In-Review
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Last evening, Christmas Eve, NBC (or the local affiliate here) replayed the Christmas classic, 'It's A Wonderful Life'.
Interesting viewing this time around, following an article by Wendell Jamieson, in the NYT last week (Wonderful? Sorry, George, It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life).
Was this what adulthood promised?Forget about adulthood.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.
My dreams, were relinquished as a small child.
This is, probably, my least fun time of year.
Ever since I was a young child, after one particular Christmas, I bemoaned the calendar, as it turned from November, to December.
The avalanche of ads that flooded out, gleaming toys beaming out of the television set, made all more annoying, with the weather, getting colder and colder each day, and all those conned into thinking, that, "OMG! ...Will we have a white Christmas this year?", like that actually adds to the merriment of the day.
Yes, I secretly thought.
Let it snow, so much, so heavy, that Christmas would be muted out.
The snow, would be so dense, so deep, that even that fat jolly guy would be grounded, unable to make his way, dropping down chimneys, leaving behind those not-so-gleaming toys (they never looked as good, in your hands, in your house, as they do in those television ads).
And what kind of person drops down a chimney to deliver something, I thought, as I got a bit older.
Why wasn't he using the door, or a window, even?
And, why was it none of the toys, or gifts left, ever carrying a millimeter of soot on them?
Did he stop and clean them?
Then, there is the weight issue.
First of all, he was fat, really fat, so there was a problem.
None of the stories mentioned anything about grease or Vaseline being used, so he could just slide right down, all those chimneys.
Being that fat, and with all those deliveries to make, you have to wonder about stamina, and what kind of shape such a fat person would be in.
All the stories have him being jolly, going "Ho, Ho, Ho", never anything like he was bent over, gasping for air, like a rescued coal miner.
With a few more years under my belt, I begin to look for news articles, that a fat guy in a funny red suit was found, stuck in a chimney, dead, the victim of a heart attack, a odd-looking, sleigh-like vehicle parked nearby, stuffed with toys.
No such articles did I ever find.
Only more PR for Christmas, the same stories, with slight tweaks, appearing year-after-year, carrying the main, and only, theme, of commercialism.
Buy, Buy, Buy!
If you don't go out, traipse all over downtown, arms stuffed with "presents", that you were just a horrible person.
And, school ...
Oh the burden, all my fellow classmates, chirping like little Christmas birds "What are you getting for Christmas?", or "What did you ask Santa to bring to you?"
Their incessant Christmas promoting stopped as abruptly as a crash-test dummy hitting the dashboard, when I would answer, "A blizzard".
The cookies, and other confections ... The dinners ...
All done, and conducted, imbued with that "Christmas Spirit".
After that incident, Christmas morning for me was like a parole hearing, and I never had enough merits to get sprung from it.
All the relatives, seen only this once per year, coming in-and-out, pinching your cheeks, like you were some good-luck totem standing by the door.
After they all piled in, I would look out the door, longingly, cheeks still stinging for the numerous death grips, for a hint, that first lonely flake of the impending snow tsunami I fervently wished for.
And the cameras, the Super 8's ...
The dreary jobs my relatives held down all year long, gave way to their new careers of being the next Cecille B. DeMille on Christmas, documenting your every move, punctured by their frequent shouts of direction, to, basically, due something stupid for their camera, so all the adults could guffaw until their jaws ached, next time we visited the home of that particular film hot shot.
Why no seasonal mirth, oozing out of every pore?
It goes back to that particular Christmas, when I was around four, or five-years-old.
Oh, I was a junior Mr. Christmas back then.
We couldn't get the decorations up soon enough, fast enough, or early enough.
As Thanksgiving dishes were being washed, I would be rummaging through the closets, pulling out all the Christmas booty.
If the tinsel wasn't in stock at the local stores, I had no patience to wait for the next shipment.
I would, with my little hands, using an older sibling's Exacto knife, spend hours-and-hours, cutting the Reynolds Wrap into tinsel-like strands.
Tangled Christmas Tree Lights?
Heck, I could solve a Rubik's Cube with one hand, while my little fingers unraveled them effortlessly.
Christmas was on the line ... The sooner they could be strung on the always tall, plump, blinding-green pine I would lobby, actually badger, that we get (and, as a slightly older child, I wondered, if it is that we cut down trees on Christmas, why don't we cut down crucifixes on Arbor Day?).
No, it was the annual photo trek, downtown, to see Santa Claus.
You know, where you go to the enormo-department store, stand in line for about an hour, with a zillion other kids, quietly dissing them, confident that Santa, not caring about the others, is going to be at rigid attention with your own Christmas order.
Finally, it was my turn and a single bound landed me on his lap.I never told anyone.
After dispensing with my laundry list of gifts I expected, I remembered, suddenly, something I heard my older siblings talking about, so I asked the question.
"Are you really Santa Claus?"
He looked at me, a bit taken back, then leaned forward and whispered in my ear.
"Of course I am ... But let me tell you a secret ..."
OMG! ... Santa was going to tell me a secret, I thought .. How cool was this!
He glanced around for a moment, and then laid it on me.
I was shocked, horrified!
I jumped off his lap, running as fast as I could, tears streaming down my cheeks.
I carried it around, like an ocean liner's anchor for years.
Christmas after Christmas came, and went, and I barely noticed.
No, it wasn't the same anymore.
I never had a good Christmas, the day after a Department Store Santa Claus told me that my parents were fake, that they weren't really my parents.
Merry Christmas! ... Glaedelig Jul! ...Vrolijk kerstfeest ...Boas Festas! ...Hauskaa Joulua! ...Joyeux Noel! ...Frohe Weihnachten! ...
Natale allegro! ...Christmas Alegre! ...Feliz Navidad ...God Jul! ...Joyeux Noel! ...Maligayang Pasko!
Throw another log on the fire, and eggnog for everybody!
And, strap yourselves in, for the most merriest, rollickin', foot-tappin', finger-snappin', sugar-shackin', beboppin' rendition of Jingle Bells you'll ever hear!
It's a gas, the best way to kick-start your Christmas morning!
Crank it up!
Duke Ellington Orchestra - Jingle Bells
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Perhaps, some of you, may have first become aware, and hip, to Vince Guaraldi via his hit tune "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", born out of his work on "Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus".
However, numerous generations are warmed by the music from all the Charlie Brown specials, completely unaware of Guaraldi.
From the Vince Guaraldi website;
The most prestigious task, however, was yet to come. Even before Duke Ellington played San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, that venerable institution's Reverend Charles Gompertz selected Guaraldi to write a modern jazz setting for the choral Eucharist. The composer labored18 months with his trio and a 68-voice choir, and the result is an impressive blend of Latin influences, waltz tempos, and traditional jazz "supper music". It was performed live on May 21, 1965, and the album became another popular and critical hit. Clearly, if Vince Guaraldi could write music for God, he could pen tunes for Charlie Brown.And, Wikipedia;
The jazz pianist's association with Charles Schulz's creations actually had begun the year before, when Guaraldi was hired to score the first Peanuts television special, adocumentary called"A Boy Named Charlie Brown " (not to be confused with the big- screen feature of the same title). The show brought together four remarkable talents: Schulz, writer/producer/director Lee Mendelson, artist Bill Melendez and Guaraldi.
Guaraldi's smooth trio compositions -- piano, bass and drums -- perfectly balanced Charlie Brown's kid-sized universe. Sprightly, puckish, and just as swiftly somber and poignant, these gentle jazz riffs established musical trademarks which, to this day, still prompt smiles of recognition.
They reflected the whimsical personality of a man affectionately known as a "pixie", an image Guaraldi did not discourage. He'd wear funny hats, wild mustaches, and display hairstyles from buzzed crewcuts to rock-star shags.
Unfortunately, with an irony that seemed appropriate for a documentary about Charlie Brown, Mendelson never was able to sell the show, which remains unseen to this day by the general public. Fortunately, the unaired program became an expensive calling-card that attracted a sponsor (Coca-Cola) intrigued by the notion of a Peanuts Christmas TV special. Thus, when "A Charlie Brown Christmas" debuted in December 1965, it did more than reunite Schulz, Mendelson, Melendez and Guaraldi, all of whom quickly turned the Peanuts franchise into a television institution. That first special also shot Guaraldi to greater fame, and he became irreplaceably welded to all subsequent Peanuts shows. Many of his earliest Peanuts tunes -- "Linus and Lucy", "Red Baron" and "Great Pumpkin Waltz", among others -- became signature themes that turned up in later specials.
While searching for just the right music to accompany a planned Peanuts television documentary, Lee Mendelson (the producer of the special) heard a single version of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi's trio on the radio while traveling in a taxicab on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Mendelson contacted Ralph J. Gleason, jazz columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and was put in touch with Guaraldi. He proposed that Guaraldi score the upcoming Peanuts Christmas special and Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job, performing a version of what became "Linus and Lucy" over the phone two weeks later. The soundtrack was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, whose other members were bassist Fred Marshall (who later married Bev Bivens of the folk-rock group We Five) and drummer Jerry Granelli. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for sixteen Peanuts television specials, plus the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown as well as the unaired television program of the same name.
Here's a little something familiar, to warm you up ...
A Charlie Brown Christmas - Christmas Time is Here Song
NORAD Tracks Santa 2008
News Item: Bush's Lame Duck Christmas Dinners: The White House Menus
10. 'Do You Hear What I Hear' ... Even on Christmas, no break from the wiretapping
9. Blackwater USA sings "Sleigh Ride" all year round
8. When John McCain sings "I'll Be Home For Christmas", he has to focus on just one of his seven homes
7. 'Silent Night' is, pretty much, the summation of Condi Rice's tenure as Secretary of State
6. Ted Stevens is afraid to sing "Deck The Halls", fearing it may bring new indictments against him
5. All the Obama Team will say is that he's 'Away In The Manger'
4. For Karl Rove, and his Legacy Project, is all about 'O Come All Ye Faithful'
3. Bob Novak's favorite Christmas tune is 'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer'
2. All of Bush's pardons to cronies are hung by the fireplace with care
1. Cheney's still making the lists, and torturing them twice
Bonus Xmas Links
Wikipedia: Christmas music
Rawlin Blake: Christmas Songs
Santa's Sing-A-Long Christmas Carols
phillyBurbs Staff: Best and worst Christmas songs
Zach Baron: Another Free iTunes Single of the Week: Stephen Colbert's "Another Christmas Song"
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Ah yes ... Today's Christmas Tune is a killer!
Rahsaan Roland Kirk ... Need we say more?
Kirk takes the traditional "We Three Kings of Orient Are" and, well, "Rahsaanifies" it, as only he could.
According to an old-time myth, only a blind man can truly understand the meaning of the blues. On the deeply passionate CD, “We Free Kings”, Roland Kirk transforms this myth to reality. On the title track, Kirk has converted the traditional Christmas carol into a melancholy contemporary gospel performance.
Kick back, and let your Christmas Freak out!
We Free Kings by Roland Kirk Quartet
Monday, December 22, 2008
Yeah, you read that right.
Fully, we didn't expect for The Big O to pop up on our IDOTW radar until after he took office, perhaps due to some gaffe, or other, in the First 100-days, or some major policy mess down the road.
And we held out over the weekend, waiting, hoping, some other twit would come along, proving themselves IDOTW-worthy.
Dick Cheney, going on his victory tour, blabbing away about torture and stomping on The Constitution like he had dipped into the Christmas punch a little to much is in a league all by itself.
And that's part of the whole, on-going Bush Legacy Project, which we anticipate tackling between now, and when The Bush Grindhouse folds its' tent next month.
No, the choice of super-evangelist Rick Warren, for the Inaugural Invocation, rings the IDOTW bell for Obama.
And, it was just two-weeks ago, Rick Warren was our IDOTW!
First-and-foremost, and going with the whole "change" thing, we thought this bright, Ivy Leaguer would have looked at this aspect of the Swearing-In Show, remembering our thing about "the separation of church and state" and announced that he was going to run another one of those "I'm From Kansas" videos, to warm up the crowd, or maybe a new one, a montage of the history of the country, building up to a cacophonous crescendo, right to the exact moment, cutting in live, of Obama and Chief Muckity-Muck Roberts hitting their marks, Obama lying his hand down on the bible, with the backdrop of red, white and blue fireworks.
But, no, we get the Saddleback carny entering, stage right ... Make that entering, stage extremely far right, continuing his hustle of the networks, that he's the Big Cheese Bible Thumper these days.
And the networks are buying it, as we've heard, more than a few times, of Warren being referred to as "America's Pastor" which, I guess, is kind of like when the Dallas Cowboys were "America's Team", expect we drop the busty, scantily-clad cheerleaders for the Purpose Driven hustler.
If the Right Wing Jesus Freaks are in the middle of some kind of Hatfield-McCoy war, on who God is whispering to, let'em fight it out, but maybe, they can do in that infamous Saddleback Cone of Silence.
With Obama giving Warren center-stage, on his own, mega-big day, that seems like a pretty big chip to be tossing into the pot.
As, with the inclusion of Warren on Jan. 20th, he's kicking the LGBT supporters away from the table.
After all, comparing homosexuality to incest and child molestation, like, that wouldn't be offensive to anyone.
Yeah, Yeah ... This is the "reaching across the aisle" thing ... "Bipartisanship" ... Of sitting down with our enemies and talking, working through to find common ground ... Blah, Blah, Blah
It's really great that our next president likes to mix it up, that he's not afraid to step in shit, and then, clean his own shoes ...
But, Rick Warren?
America's Pastor? ...
Please, Shoot Me!
Last week, on Countdown', Keith Olbermann talked with Rob Boston, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Boston summed it up with a killer line;
Well, Warren, to me, is—he has a great P.R. machine. And he has people thinking he‘s a moderate, but he‘s really just Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt. And we don‘t need that again. You know, with the sort of passing of the guard of some of the old religious right leader, some of them have died, others of whom are sort of in semi-retirement, a lot of us are hoping for a more moderate religious voice to come to bear. And we‘re not getting that.Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt ...
Well, whether or not President-Elect Barack Obama wears Hawaiian shirts, he's wearing The Garlic's "Ignorant Dolt of the Week" crown.
And both these guys are big-time, PR-savvy ...
Can't we see a "schedule conflict" or, some other excuse pop up, knocking Warren out-of-the box?
C'mon Guys! ... Get a glove! ... Get in the game, here!
Bonus Obama-Warren IDOTW Riffs
YouTube - Warren: The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers
YouTube - Rick Warren Endorses Prop 8
YouTube - RIck Warren on gays, their immaturity and desire for multiple partners
Brilliant at Breakfast: Sorry, President-Elect Obama, you blew it big time with this one
Attytood: R-E-S-P-E-C-T...find out what it means, Barack
Joe Sudbay (DC): Rick Warren is a major fail and a total affront
Blue Texan: In a Surprising Development, Barney Frank Objects to Incest Accusations
Joan Walsh: Disappointed by Rick Warren
Mike Madden: How the hell did Rick Warren get inauguration tickets? Barack Obama knows liberals are upset he picked the conservative evangelical preacher to pray at the inauguration. And he doesn't care
Think Progress: Warren’s church removes anti-gay statements from website
John Aravosis (DC): Rick Warren pulls anti-gay language from his Web site
TowleRoad: As Obama Bakes, Rick Warren Controversy Simmers
Pam Spaulding: Lowery, Rhue speak out on Warren debacle; Saddleback homophobe to keynote at King Memorial Service
As Steve Benin noted, "the NRA must be desperate";
Estimates vary, but the National Rifle Association reportedly spent about $15 million in 2008 on attacks against Barack Obama. The group is no doubt frustrated, not only with the election's outcome, but with its inability to have a serious impact on the campaign.Or, why else would they be conducting robocalls, during the Holiday Season, and, no less, ignoring the economic meltdown, hitting people up for donations?
Well, the Second Amendment says you can have a gun, but it doesn't specifically mandate that you have a brain.
One such robocall was received Colin McEnroe, at The Hartford Courant.
And, he wrote about it.
Merry Christmas from Wayne LaPierre
So my phone rings today; and after that 1.5-second delay that tells you it''s not a beloved friend, a guy comes on the line and says his name is Chris White from the NRA. Do I want to listen to a message from Wayne LaPierre about "Obama's scheme to ban guns?" You bet I do.
Obama has been "stacking his administration with the most notorious gun-banners in America."
Wayne says he wants to "send a message loud and clear that the fight for our freedom is not coming. It is here and now."
As proof of the administration's deep bias, Wayne says applicants for jobs are asked if they own a gun and, if so, if it is properly registered. (A clear attempt to discriminate against Plaxico Burress.) Of course, the gun question is but one of 63 queries on the famously detailed questionnaire.
After some more of this talk, a different human being comes on the line and tells me that Obama is appointing "a cabinet full of gun haters."
"Could you please tell me the name of at least one of the gun-haters?" I ask.
Go read "Merry Christmas from Wayne LaPierre", it's very funny.
Yes, time for another Christmas Tune.
After this weekend, with all the snow, we're not all that merry, at the moment, and definitely could use rest.
So, we have another classic today.
It's the old warhorse, 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman' but there's noting restful about it, as we give you the Jazz version, by the great Jimmy Smith, one of the Kings of the Hammond B-3 Organ (as you would have to include in that set of royalty, Groove Holmes, Brother Jack McDuff, and Jimmy McGriff).
Crank it up to kick start your Christmas Spirit!
Jimmy Smith - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
I would suspect, this news might even bring tears to the eyes of Boo Radley.
Still, to this day, one of the few works that is both one of my all-time favorite books, and movie.
And news today arrives, that the director of the movie, Robert Mulligan, has passed away.
Robert Mulligan; directed 'To Kill a Mockingbird'; 83
The highlight of Mr. Mulligan's career was "To Kill a Mockingbird," a courtroom drama adapted from Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and centered on Southern attorney Atticus Finch and his children, Scout and Jem. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture, and won three: best actor (Gregory Peck), best screenplay (Horton Foote), and art direction (Alexander Golitzen, Henry Bumstead, and Oliver Emert).
Guardian U.K.: Film director Robert Mulligan dies aged 83
The Hollywood Reporter: Robert Mulligan dies at 83; 'Mockingbird' helmer helped actors find Oscar-winning form
Some other films Mulligan directed, include;
Fear Strikes Out (1957)
Inside Daisy Clover (1965)
Up the Down Staircase (1967)
Summer of '42 (1971)
Yes, mucho cold ... Teens, with wind chill below zero.
After this weekend of shoveling snow (it snowed her from Friday, around noon, until after 7PM last evening, with rain, or frozen rain, mixing in, just to add that little bit of extra weight), we were running, somewhat, low in the energy department.
So, that means we didn't get around to posting everything we would have liked to have posted.
Today (and, perhaps) tomorrow, we'll play catch-up, finishing off those partial-written posts, and get them up, along with anything new that comes down the line.
And, if you are going out, bundled up!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Happy 1st Day of Winter!
And, another Snow Alert today!
Actually, it hasn't stopped snowing, here in Boston, since Friday.
We've had a light, sometimes very light, snowfall ongoing, adding another 1-inch+ to the pile, and this will segue, or give way, to the storm coming up the coast, and dumping another half-a-foot on us, before, possibly, turning to rain (followed by extremely frigid air, so everything will freeze to hardness of cement - wonderful).
Since this is about it, as to any snow for the big Christmas Day, we will give you this absolute treat today.
For many of you, it's possible you have never heard this standard holiday classic, 'White Christmas' quite this way.
It's a gem ... Kick back and enjoy!
Charlie Parker -White Christmas
21 December 2007... On The Garlic
Top Ten Cloves: Other People Mitt Romney Saw His Father With
21 December 2006... On The Garlic
Top Ten Cloves: How Rep. Virgil Goode Believes His Letter and Comments Against Rep Ellison and Muslims Are In The Christmas Spirit
21 December 2005... On The Garlic
Editor's Note: Merry Christmas
Top Ten Cloves: Signs That It Is Christmas At The White House