Friday, December 31, 2010

It's January

Just like that! Here we are!

Nothing much to add to that besides: I almost lost my phone yesterday on the 158 bus to Fort Lee. My phone! With all my numbers in it! Do you know how many brilliant/entertaining/sexy people are attached to those numbers??? And I know I could have sent that mass email asking everyone for their numbers, but that kind of thing is so awful for me to even think of, my notions of decorum and propriety being grotesquely overdeveloped.

So, understanding that losing my phone would mortify me, refusing to enter 2011 with a social and professional clean slate, I crossed the street and waited for the bus, which terminates in Fort Lee, to loop around and head back to wherever it goes after the route is over. (I am not sure where that is. It probably doesn't go all the way back to the Port Authority, but it might.) It came back bearing a banner that said NO PASSENGERS, so I ran up to the door and waved my arms and yelled. The driver pointed to his ceiling and said, "Read the sign!" the way bus drivers do. I said, "No! No, I LEFT SOMETHING IN THERE!" and so he shrugged and let me run inside. It was on a seat in the back that I found my phone, sitting upright like a commuter, waiting for me to claim it. "You're blessed," the driver told me, laughing, as I ran triumphantly out again.

I was so happy that I got a haircut right away. Here are the results of that:

Happy New Year, all. I love you.

ETA: I've been trying for an entire week to post an mp3 here but the file host is being bullshit, so you get nothing. If you can, find a song called "11:59 It's January" by Scrawl, download it, and then play it while reading this.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas From Brooklyn

Throughout my childhood my stepfather, Tom Clack, ran a sound effects studio. Every Christmas that I can remember, our family have listened to a holiday mix tape made in 1980 by a guy, Doug DeFranco, who was Thomas's engineer. (Just yesterday, Thomas told me that Doug also scored the first-ever MTV bumper, with the spaceman -- if that's true, a super big deal!) They lost touch and I don't think I ever met him, which is a shame.

I love the 1980 Doug DeFranco Christmas Tape -- "Accept No Substitutes," the label on the original warned -- which was burned onto a CD years ago and which I have saved in my iTunes library. The songs on it are mostly classics, good classics but still, ones you probably don't need to hear again: Run Rudolph Run, Sinatra singing Jingle Bells, couple of Phil Spector Christmas tracks, "Blue Christmas (To Whom It May Concern)" by Miles Davis and Bob Dorough. I love it less for the songs than for the care he took in making it a perfect mix tape, before I knew what a mix tape even was. My sister and I know every note and sing phrases from each song to each other, the Beatles' Christmas record from 1967 featuring "Plenty of Jam Jars, Baby" being a particular favorite.

There's but one song on the comp that's excitingly rare -- "Merry Christmas From Brooklyn," by Emerson Bimby and the Cadman Kids. Cursory web searching reveals that Emerson Bimby is/was a name used by musician D.B. Fisher, but the origins of this song are not readily apparent; indeed, I don't have any info at all on it and I'd love to hear from anyone who does. ETA: I realize this might be a known song and I am just ignorant about it -- if so, tell me! It is included on DeFranco's tape along with a warm intro by DJ Vin Scelsa at WNEW, which I present also. My parents tell me that when I was three/four years old and I heard him describe the state the station's Alvin and the Chipmunks record was in, I would wail in anguish every time.

Anyway, this is for you, dear Christmas Day blog reader of mine. The quality isn't great, but I think you'll enjoy it anyway, and I hope love and fun-ness find you wherever you are.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Word Twist Thoughts, Part LVII

Word Twist is a game you can play on Facebook, my proficiency in which I like to use as intellectual currency in some of my friendships. Should I hesitate to call these people "friends"? Anyway, I play Word Twist so much that there are a bunch of words I score with in Word Twist whose meanings have remained, nevertheless, unknown to me. Today is the day my lazy ass looks up all those words so I can a.) become smarter and b.) feel like I did something today. Most importantly, this will probably indirectly contribute to my getting better at Word Twist. And here they are.


BEY: (n.) a provincial governor in the Ottoman Empire.

GAR: (n.) Also called garfish, garpike. any predaceous freshwater fish of the genus Lepisosteus, of North America, covered with hard, diamond-shaped scales and having long jaws with needlelike teeth.

HOD: (n.) I'm actually embarrassed I didn't know this one -- a hod is the same thing as a coal scuttle. I mean, you know what THAT is, of course.

NETT: (adj.) This is an alternate spelling of "net" as in "net profits."

RANI: (n.) (in India) 1. the wife of a rajah. 2. a reigning queen or princess.

SETT: (n.) 1. Also called pitcher. a small, rectangular paving stone. 2. Also called stake. a hand-held tool that is struck by a hammer to shape or deform a metal object. 3. Also, set. the distinctively colored pattern of crisscrossed lines and stripes against a background in which a Scottish tartan is woven. <-- WINNER, MOST INFURIATING WORD

SOH: (n.) music (in tonic sol-fa) the name used for the fifth note or dominant of any scale. <-- ALSO INFURIATING; EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS SPELLED "SOL"

TOLE: (n.) enameled or lacquered metalware, usually with gilt decoration, often used, esp. in the 18th century, for trays, lampshades, etc.

UMBEL: (n.) Botany. an inflorescence in which a number of flower stalks or pedicels, nearly equal in length, spread from a common center.