Sunday, December 30, 2007

Excitement you can feel

Looking at the photos of JOHNNY BURNETTE AND THE ROCK 'N ROLL TRIO, it is difficult to comprehend the excitement generated by the music.
I had to work today, and as I drove to work and walked for a work-related errand (OK, I walked to the police station to see who had committed crimes overnight), I listened to the trio in all of their 1950s, tearing-up-the-place glory.
The excitement of the music of Burnette, his bass-playing brother Dorsey and guitarist maestro Paul Burlison is palpable, despite the half century or so between these recordings and the present day.
I hummed these tunes all day long.
They are simple, direct and oh-so-memorable.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kalou was soooooo offside

Today was a lazy day, filled with soccer on television and reading my Faron Young book.
I work tomorrow, so it was nice to have no obligations today.
This morning, I watched live on TV as Chelsea defeated Newcastle, 2-1, in the Premier League. The picture above either shows a Nicky Butt goal or a Wayne Bridge own goal -- a goals panel needs to decide. Whoever scored it, the outcome was a goal for the Toon (a nickname for Newcastle in the local Geordie dialect -- it's their pronunciation of "town").
The winner was even more controversial: Saloman Kalou seemed to be several yards offside when he pounced on a ball and sent it into the net for Chelsea in the 87th minute.
It seemed a shame for Newcastle to lose in that way.
I also watched live as visiting Arsenal beat Everton, 4-1, to move back on top of the league table. Brazilian-born Croatian (?!) Eduardo scored twice for Arsenal.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The year in review... sort of

We've nearly reached the conclusion of the calendar year. That means it's time for ROUTE 1 readers to answer the following FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What was your musical highlight from 2007?"
Jim S. -- Going to the ZZ Top concert in Dubuque with a couple of other boomers -- none of our spouses -- was a wonderful highlight. We were two sharp-dressed men (not looking for any tush, by the way) and a woman (she's got legs, but didn't have a pearl necklace). We danced in the aisle (yes, even me) to "LaGrange" and "Cheap Sunglasses," and we felt young again for a night (not the next day, though).
Rick T. -- Opening for country star John Anderson. What an honor!
Mike D. -- My 5-year-old son writing his first song on the piano. "Three Little Birds" may not become a Top-40 hit, but it was tops in my book for 2007.

Kerstin H. -- Watching my first McFly videos.
Mike M. -- My musical highlights: Reading Route 1! Also, NPR's story last January about Bach's elusive Chaconne (read it here).
Musical low light: My almost-5-year-old daughter got a portable CD player with headphones for Christmas this year; our Hank Williams Sr. CD had been grating on my nerves, but after one day of eerie silence in our house, I miss Hank's crooning, and my daughter's lively presence, terribly.
Erik H. -- On May 25, I stepped into San Francisco's massive Amoeba Records with a plan to purchase four albums on CD. I had no clue what I wanted to get, so I could browse among the seemingly endless possibilities.
I chose:
1) Big John Patton's "Let 'em Roll."
2) Dr. Lonnie Smith's "Think!"
-- apart from anything Jimmy Smith created, these are among the finest organ jazz albums produced. They never fail to get me grooving.
3) Baby Face Willette's "Behind the 8 Ball" (with the bonus of including his album "Mo-Rock"). Willette is one of the jazz world's forgotten men. These albums of funky organ jazz indicate he is due for further investigation, and that his other works are due for reissue by jazz labels.
4) Kirsty MacColl's "From Croydon to Cuba... An Anthology." What can one say about the late, great Kirsty MacColl? She was one of Britain's greatest postwar songwriters, for a start. And until there is justice brought against those responsible for her death (find out how, here), we should never rest.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wrestling birthed the video star

One of Kerstin's treats from Mexico was a CD/DVD combination that compiles some of the top Latin hits of the year. We have been watching the videos during the past several days, since our return from Guanajuato.
The music video for "Me Muero," a 2006 single by La 5a Estación, is one of my favorites.
"Me Muero" topped the Mexican charts for 11 weeks after its release.
In the video, La 5a
Estación lead singer Natalia Jiménez is shown cutting and pasting clippings and photos of LUCHA LIBRE star Místico into a scrapbook.
"Me Muero" translates to "I Die," but the video spends more time with the Lucha Libre than anything else, which is cool in a kitschy way.
Lucha Libre is unbelievably HUGE in Mexico, as we learned when we first arrived in Guanajuato. Posters promoting an upcoming series of matches at GTO.'s Parque de Béisbol were up ALL OVER town. I snagged one of the posters the day we left. The poster is marvelously campy.
In the "Me Muero" video, we see Místico ruminating on the aforementioned scrapbook while his opponent smashes a watermelon that has a white mask painted on it. Does this bode ill for our hero Místico? It looks that way for much of the match, which finds Místico on his back with defeat imminent.
I don't want to give away the surprise (?) ending, so you should really see the "Me Muero" video for yourself. Check YouTube, here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Hello ceiling (hello hello) I'm gonna stare at you a while"

I am sipping coffee this morning, listening to FARON YOUNG and preparing to return to work for the first time in 10 days -- I was away on vacation to Mexico.
Oh my.
I can't even imagine the number of e-mails that will be waiting for me. Actually, I don't even want to imagine.
My sister gave me Diane Diekman's "Live Fast Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" for Christmas, and I began reading it last night.
I have always loved Young's music. He had a great voice, chose great songs to sing ("Hello Walls," for example) and mostly stuck to a traditional honky tonk sound, even when many of his contemporaries were aiming for increased sales by sweetening their songs with lush orchestration.
That aversion to the popular movement toward the mainstream probably cost Young a lot of record sales (and contributed to the depression that eventually led to his suicide in 1996), but I think it also means Young's music has aged much better than some of the syrupy staples of the "Nashville Sound" era of country music.
When I get to work this morning (I still have to dig the car out of a mountain of snow), I will probably count the incoming e-mails while humming a Young tune. That will ease the pain of returning from vacation.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!

After several hectic days of traveling (and in my case, sleeping in an airport), I think we all needed a chance to relax today.
We held our CHRISTMAS celebration with my wife Jill's family last night. Today we returned home, where Jill dozed while watching TV, the girls played with Christmas toys and I watched some MEXICAN POP VIDEOS on a CD/DVD combination that daughter Kerstin purchased in GUANAJUATO this past week.
One of the best videos is for "Eres Para Mí," a duet between JULIETA VENEGAS (pictured) and Anita Tijoux.
Venegas is a multi-instrumentalist and singer from Tijuana who has won two Latin Grammy Awards as well as the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album ("Límon y Sal").
"Eres Para Mí" is one of the biggest hits from
"Límon y Sal." It topped the charts in Mexico and several other countries, and hit No. 5 on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart here in the U.S.
This catchy song helped provide a festive soundtrack to our otherwise (and deservedly, I think) low-key Christmas.
To see what all the fuss is about, check out the video on YouTube, here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

If you can't listen to the blues while spending the night in an airport, when *CAN* you listen to the blues?

I decided it was the right and proper thing to do last night, as I huddled down in a chair in a DFW Airport lounge, so I listened to Dallas native BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON on my iPod before drifting off for a few fitful hours of sleep.
Some might argue that Johnson's music is closer to gospel than the blues.
His otherworldly moaning on "Dark Was the Night (Cold Was the Ground)" fit my bleak mood perfectly -- perhaps too perfectly.
A travel day that had begun at 3:30 a.m. in GUANAJUATO, MEXICO had stalled at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Bad weather in Iowa canceled my afternoon flight home. My wife Jill and our two girls, Kerstin and Annika, WERE able to fly back to Iowa on a 7 p.m. flight. I had to wait until 11:30 a.m. today before I could fly north. I didn't walk into the front door of my house until 4 p.m.
It was the first time I have ever had to sleep overnight in an airport. I began the evening on the floor of Gate B16, until a helpful security guard pointed out an airport lounge tucked behind a Starbucks. The lounge included big, comfortable leather chairs. It also included overhead lights and a television (perpetually tuned to CNN Headline News) that remained on all night
Oh well. Cue the Blind Willie Johnson and hope for the best..

Saturday, December 22, 2007

¿Que dia es hoy?

Sabado, I think.
Actually, it is our last full day in Mexico, so I thought now was as good a time as any to finally write about our time in Guanajuato.
Here are six things you should know about Guanajuato, GTO.:
1) It is considered the most "European" city in Mexico, with its ornate colonial architecture, winding and narrow cobblestone streets and numerous statues and plazas.
2) It is a university town. There are young people everywhere. A vast majority dress in trendy American clothes. About one in seven males wears a replica soccer jersey. For example: Today I am wearing my SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY shirt.
3) The food is spectacular. The best meal I have enjoyed thus far was actually in Dolores Hidalgo, a nearby city considered the birthplace of the Mexican Independence movement. We stopped at a restaurant for camida (lunch) and I had molcajete, a steaming stew served in a large stone bowl. My molcajete included steak and a kielbasa-like sausage, with cebollitas (small, sweet onions) and nopalitos (succulent cactus) in salsa roja (a red enchillada-type sauce), all topped with queso (melted cheese) and served with handmade tortillas.
4) The cerveza is good, too. My favorite is Sol, followed closely by Modelo Especial.
We enjoy sipping it while sitting in the sidewalk cafes along the Plaza de la Paz.
5) The Museo Casa Diego Rivera is well worth the 30-peso admission. The home where the great Mexican artist was born and raised includes original furnishings on the first floor. The second and third floors are packed with Rivera's artwork, including an intricately detailed mural -- "Sueno de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central" -- the dominates an entire wall.
6) If you come to Guanajuato, you have to ride the funicular. A funicular railway operates from behind the Teatro Juarez up the steep hill to the Pipila Monument. Independence War hero Juan Jose de los Reyes Martinez, nicknamed "El Pipila," used a torch to burn down a fortress door, enabling insurgents to defeat the Spanish in Guanajuato.
From the statue of El Pipila, you can see the entire city spread out before you. The view is one you will never forget.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Am I in México yet?

Sadly, no.
Instead, I am watching big snowflakes flutter past my window. It is another messy day in Dubuque, Iowa, as recent winter weather continues.
Mexico is tomorrow.
That's how you spell it, right?
I need to familiarize myself with all of the "alt keys," I guess, so I can write "en Español."
That way, when I want to yell "Mexico!" at the end of my work day today, I can do it right:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Almost lost in the Ike Turner obituaries

Most of the IKE TURNER obituaries open with something along these lines:
"Ike Turner, who died Wednesday at age 76, will be largely remembered as the abusive husband of soul queen Tina Turner, obscuring his crucial role in the birth of rock 'n' roll."
I am listening to audio evidence of that "crucial role in the birth of rock 'n' roll" this morning -- "Rocket 88."
Credited to "Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats," most sources now cite Turner as the creative force behind "Rocket 88," which spent five weeks at No. 1 in the R&B charts in the summer of 1951.
Many people consider it the first true "rock 'n' roll" recording.
Brenston was the saxophonist and part-time vocalist in Turner's band, Kings of Rhythm.

Turner and his band reportedly crafted the song during rehearsals at the Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale, Miss.
Credit band guitarist Willie Kizart for the pioneering use of "fuzz guitar" on the track. His amplifier was either damaged by rain or fell on the ground, according to varying legends on how Kizart achieved the sound that would soon become synonymous with rock.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Beginning and End of All Music

JUNIOR KIMBROUGH is providing the soundtrack as I prepare for work this morning. Kimbrough (1930-98) was one of the Mississippi Hill Country blues performers unearthed and recorded by Fat Possum Records.
The other day I enjoyed watching Mandy Stein's 2002 documentary "You See Me Laughin'" -- which serves as an introduction to such Hill Country musicians as RL Burnside, Cedell Davis, T-Model Ford and Kimbrough.
Kimbrough didn't release his first album until 1992, when he was 62 years old.
I love the idea that remarkably talented individuals could be hidden in shacks somewhere in the woods. They become the musical treasure sought by curious treasure hunters.
Musicologists trace the distinctive nature of the Hill Country music to the relative isolation of the rural area.
Indeed, Kimbrough's music differs from the concise, under-three-minute songs that most people associate with electrified blues. Kimbrough's music is often marked by a sprawling drone, a sound music writer Robert Palmer described as "hypnotic." Many of the songs extend to seven minutes or more.
Rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers, a childhood friend of Kimbrough's, once called the bluesman's work "the beginning and end of all music."
Those fitting words now mark the back of Kimbrough's tombstone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"That's a very nice hat you're wearing... and I don't mean that in an Eddie Haskell kind of way"

Jill and I just watched Cameron Crowe's "Singles" on DVD.
It is one of my favorite films of the 1990s, for a whole host of reasons.
The writing is spectacular, with Crowe doling out memorable line after memorable line.
Janet: "So I'm not an Amazon woman?"
Steve: "You're from the high plains, Janet."
I also love the cameos -- Tim Burton as a video dating director, Eric Stoltz as the talkative mime, members of Pearl Jam as Cliff's bandmates, Xavier McDaniel as himself and even Crowe as an interviewer (blame it on Hitchcock: I am a sucker for director cameos).
The cast is great, too. Campbell Scott is probably still "George C. Scott's son" to most people, but I think he does an excellent job heading this ensemble cast. Kyra Sedgwick and Bridget Fonda are fine, too, but Matt Dillon nearly steals the whole picture as rockin' doofus Cliff.
And I don't mean that in an Eddie Haskell kind of way.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And for my 900th post on ROUTE 1, I will...

... reveal the four steps I took to vicariously enjoy tonight's LED ZEPPELIN reunion gig at London's O2 Arena, even as I sat on the floor in front of my computer, thousands of miles away.
1) I cued up my BIG Led Zeppelin iTunes playlist -- 85 songs and more than seven hours of music. It's basically all the studio albums in chronological order, only I took the odds-and-ends songs from "Coda" and sprinkled them after the albums during which their recording sessions took place.
2) I read bits of Keith Shadwick's great "Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music 1968-1980." It's such a wonderful Led Zep resource.
3) I took the Guardian newspaper's online Led Zeppelin quiz. Is it too boastful to announce I scored a perfect eight out of eight? Too bad. I RULE!
4) I watched the NME Web site as they unveiled the set list from tonight's gig as it happened. Without further ado:
"Good Times Bad Times"
"Ramble On"
"Black Dog"
"In My Time of Dying"
"For Your Life" (A surprise from the lads, giving this song its live debut!)
"Trampled Under Foot"
"Nobody's Fault But Mine"
"No Quarter"
"Since I've Been Loving You"
"Dazed and Confused"
"Stairway to Heaven"
"The Song Remains the Same"
"Misty Mountain Hop"
"Whole Lotta Love"
"Rock and Roll"

"and he brought home the bacon so that no one knew..."

I am off today, sipping coffee, watching videos on YouTube and marveling at how the leaders of two of the quirkiest groups of my high school days are now award-winning, well-regarded soundtrack composers.
I never saw that coming!
DANNY ELFMAN (pictured) led the great OINGO BOINGO. I have watched the videos for "Little Girls" (see it here) and the wonderful "Stay" (see it here).
Most people probably remember Oingo Boingo for "Weird Science." That would be a shame, if that is the only legacy. There was so much more to the band. In fact, my estimation of Oingo Boingo has grown in the quarter century (gulp!) since I first heard them.
Elfman, born May 29, 1953, eventually won awards for his compositions for "Tim Burton's Batman" and "Desperate Housewives," among many other projects.
MARK MOTHERSBAUGH helped lead DEVO. The videos for "Jocko Homo" (see it here) and "Mongoloid" (see it here) demonstrate what can happen when art students gain access to the band room. Think DEVO couldn't create insidiously catchy, memorable music? Then you haven't heard "Whip It" in a while!
Mothersbaugh, born May 18, 1950, has scored the Wes Anderson films but is probably best-known in the soundtrack world as the creator of the "Rugrats" theme.
Is it a coincidence that these quirkiest of bands spawned film composers? I don't think so. I listen to the Oingo Boingo and DEVO tracks today, and I hear the creativity simply bursting from the seams. Surely, the creators of this music required additional avenues of expression.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Gary Glitter question

I am completely exhausted today -- a day after seeing off the girls as they flew to Mexico and a day that also included a drive through an ice storm.
Now I am laying around the house, listening to music and staring at the cover of a vinyl EP I cherished in high school: "Glitter and Gold."
Epic Records released this six-track, 10-inch collection of GARY GLITTER tunes in 1980, about eight years after the songs stormed the UK singles charts. Side one includes "Rock and Roll, Part One" (the vocal version), "Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!)" and "Hello Hello I'm Back Again." Side two includes "I Didn't Know I Loved You (Till I Saw You Rock and Roll)," "I'm The Leader of the Gang (I Am)" and "Rock and Roll, Part Two" (the instrumental version played in sports arenas around the world).
I am listening to songs and thinking:
"Am I still allowed to like these songs, given what we now know about Glitter, jailed in Vietnam on child sexual abuse?"
I have to admit, it is hard for me to *NOT* like these six songs. I spun this disk routinely during my high school days.
As Bruce Harris wrote on the back-cover liner notes:
"His music pumps, thumps and throbs with all the power and soul of ROCK while delivering the sleazy edge of ROLL with pre-Disco danceability and pre-techno pop snap."
So, can I like the songs and not the singer?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tip-toe through the one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple they're comin' to take me awaaay Friday Question

ROUTE 1 staff members are celebrating a day off for some of us and the eve of a trip to Mexico for others of us. With this in mind, and with a helpful assist by ROUTE 1 reader Mike D., here is this week's FRIDAY QUESTION (with answers helpfully provided):
"What is your favorite novelty record?"
Rick T. -- Justin Wilson, "Cajun Country Comedy." Funny stuff!
Mary N.-P. -- OK, this is kind of a cop-out, but I'd have to say that it's anything by Weird Al Yankovic. I still think he's the best and was the inspiration for so much satire. I saw him once in Denver like 22 years ago and in East Dubuque, Ill., maybe four years ago and both times, he was great (the entire audience was singing along with every song at each show).
Mike M. -- When I was 4 or 5 years old, my grandfather would wake me up at dawn with a sound recording of a freight train. At first, the distant train was barely audible, except for an occasional, pleasant steam whistle. The end of the recording, of course, was blasting, screaming chaos. It was truly frightening... I should try this on my kids!

Brian C. -- "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)." A studio band named Reunion came out with this entertaining oddity in the mid-1970s. The novel feature is that the lyrics are a rapid-fire reading of the names of various musical artists and bands (with a few other names mixed in). It does have some cadence and rhyme -- no easy trick. And the refrain is sort of catchy.
Mike D. -- In the mid-1970s, we got Ronco's "Funky Favorites" album. I loved "Monster Mash," "Junk Food Junkie" and "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh." My favorite line from the latter is "Wait a minute, it stopped hailing. Guys are swimming, guys are sailing."
Erik H. -- Back in the 1980s, you couldn't tune into alternative rock radio without hearing Jim Carroll (of "Basketball Diaries" fame) singing "People Who Died," which chronicled the deaths of people Carroll knew:
"Mary took a dry dive from a hotel room/Bobby hung himself from a cell in the tombs/Judy jumped in front of a subway train/Eddie got slit in the jugular vein."
I love that song, but I don't find myself singing along while driving. That honor would go to a more acknowledged novelty classic, Sheb Wooley's 1958 hit "The Purple People Eater." It's one of those songs that is so catchy you begin to hate it, but eventually the lyrics seem to become seared into your memory, so you might as well learn to live with it and like it:
"Well bless my soul, rock and roll, flying purple people eater/Pigeon-toed, undergrowed, flying purple people eater/(We wear short shorts) Flying purple people eater/Sure looks strange to me!"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Many surreal elements

There were many surreal elements to my day. I covered a trial, which is something outside the realm of my workaday norm. I also received a press release I never thought I would see. I had to write a pair of high-profile newspaper stories in the course of about one hour and 45 minutes.
After a furious stint of writing, I drove home in yet another surreal environment -- a heavy snowstorm.
I still feel uncomfortable driving in snow, so I knew I needed to hear something while driving home.
I chose "Djed," the 21-minute opener to "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" by Chicago post-rock band Tortoise.
I could concentrate on the various components to this complex instrumental with one side of my brain, while concentrating on steering my car down unplowed roads with the other side of my brain.
"Djed" provided a wonderful complement to the surreal atmosphere that seemed to surround me all day.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We're all watching the weather

We have been paying particularly close attention to the weather forecast this week: My mom and our girls fly to Mexico on Saturday.
Any other time of the year, and the weather would hardly become a factor in that trip. Not this time of the year.
We are experiencing what the "old timers" call a "normal winter," which basically means Dubuque receives 4 inches of snow every three days or so.
This weather makes California-bred drivers sweat. It apparently also piques the interest of our cat Lorelie. She is pictured above, checking on the forecast highs and lows.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It even makes cleaning the litter box seem fun

I had to clean the litter box upon arriving home from work tonight -- even before eating supper.
Good thing I had "The Lexicon of Love" by ABC on my iPod.
I had not heard Martin Fry and co.'s 1982 pop opus in ages.
My bad.
It is wonderful -- easily one of the greatest pop albums of all time.
Listening to "All of My Heart," "Poison Arrow," "Date Stamp" and the other tracks, I thought:
If anything, "The Lexicon of Love" was gotten better with age. Like a fine wine, the songs and the Trevor Horn production seem even better than when I first heard this album -- I had it vinyl shortly after its release.
So, there I was, scooping *stuff* out of the litter box and singing along with a big smile on my face.
That doesn't happen too often!

Monday, December 03, 2007

"We threw in some sleigh bells and some other festive stuff"

Decks the halls and all that, right?
It sure seems like the Christmas season now, with our tree and all the decorations up and ice all over the roads and sidewalks.
We've also been hearing a wide range of Christmas music during the past several days, ranging in quality from the good to the bad to the OH DEAR, WHY MUST WE HEAR THIS CRAP AGAIN?
I think I have discovered a fine antidote to the songs from that latter category.
Eddie Argos of Art Brut has teamed up with members of another high-quality British indie band, Black Box Recorder, to form a collective called. Black Arts, who just released "Christmas Number One," a glam-sounding musical tale of a Christmas hit record that becomes WAAAY too big for its own good.
The song is hilarious and catchy and the video is available on YouTube (look here).
Black Box Recorder, if you don't recall, is the trio of Luke Haines (ex-Auteurs), John Moore (ex-Jesus and Mary Chain) and Sarah Nixey. I adore their songs "Facts of Life" and "England Made Me." Now, this holiday season, there is a new reason to love this band!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

"Bedlam in Belgium, who's to blame, it's a shame"

Leave it to the eerily prescient AC/DC to give voice to the (apparently minority) opinion that the break up of BELGIUM would be a sad chapter in world history.
I was chipping away at the ice encasing our sidewalk this morning and listening to AC/DC when I remembered the band's song "Bedlam in Belgium."
Admittedly, given AC/DC's time-honored sensibilities, the song has more to do with a barroom brawl than with a constitutional crisis. Still, lyrics like "so we'd like to stay, stay just the same" have a weird way of fitting the current political stalemate.
Belgium's problems never make the American news, so here is a brief recap:
Talks at forming a coalition government have collapsed, more than five months after general elections. The would-be prime minister, Yves Leterme, was unable to placate leaders from Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. It is unclear whether King Albert II will be able to do anything to prevent a political split between the two sides.
The nation can host the European Union, NATO and several other international organizations of cooperation, but can't seem to cooperate within their own borders.
Created in 1830, Belgium has always seemed like a unified nation in name only. About 58 percent of the population are Flemish (the folks in the northern region of Flanders) and 32 percent are Walloons (the folks who live in the south and speak French). The two sides watch their own TV channels, send their kids to separate schools, read their own newspapers and -- unfortunately -- seem on the verge of splitting into two separate nations, too.
"It was bedlam in Belgium, Bedlam in Belgium, Came for a good time, left on the run."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

*THIS* is supposed to be a Beaver?

It looks more like a raggedly old, buck-toothed bear.
Sorry -- Do I sound BITTER?
Good. I am bitter.
James Rodgers rushed for a 25-yard score as THAT TEAM FROM CORVALLIS beat MY BELOVED OREGON DUCKS in double overtime, 38-31, to culminate a heart-breaking, 111th CIVIL WAR.
Matt Evensen of Oregon missed a 40-yard field goal attempt as time expired. His kick would have won the game for the Ducks.
Freshman Justin Roper replaced -- oh yeah, you know it -- INJURED starter Cody Kempt and did a fine job, under the circumstances. Roper passed for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another score.
Not good enough, though. Damn.
We watched the game on TV while decorating the house for Christmas.
Did I mention we have been listening to MORE THAN NINE HOURS OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC.
Oh yeah.