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September 21st, 2004

Via beetrix

You are a RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD ZOMBIE
You are a Return of the Living Dead Zombie. You
were brought back from the grave by exposure to
245-Trioxin. You crave the heavenly taste of
spicy brains to stop the pain of being dead.
You are virtually indestructible, as even
burning you up will create Zombie Rain and
raise more zombies.

What kind of Zombie are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

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I Hate My Generation

I went off to Newbury Comics today and dropped $$$ on things that are like, 70s-related.
  1. First, Elvis Costello has a new album called The Delivery Man, which sounds pretty good on the first listen. I don't get where people go off calling it similar to Almost Blue – to me, it sounds like a more swampy, bluesy version of many of the tracks on When I Was Cruel, especially “Dust.” What would you expect from songs that were recorded in two cities along the Mississippi and feature help from Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams ? Like the best stuff he's been doing lately, it's not “pure” at all – the “English” pop moves he's mastered occasionally appear in the melodies and chord progressions, his singing as as expressive as ever, and the mixing is nice and ragged and there are even (gasp) a few synths underneath all that mojo stuff.

    The 70s flashback in this case is that John McPhee appears on a track – he was in the Doobie Brothers and Clover, which is the bunch of Americans that backed up Costello on his very first album, My Aim Is True. Man, that goes back !

    I didn't pick up Il Sogno, which is some ballet music that the Imposter was commisioned to do, but Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe gives it surprisingly positive review. I wasn't all that impressed with the Juliet Letters, another of his stabs at “high art,” but this could be a real success for him.</cite>

  2. I also picked up the “Legacy Edition” reissue of London Calling by the band Mick Jones was in before Big Audio Dynamite, the Clash. Perhaps you remember them ? Or Big Audio Dynamite, for that matter ? Anyway, the selling point of the package is the extra CD of the so-lost-they-were-too-obscure-to-legendary rehearsal/demo “Vanilla” tapes, and a DVD on the making of the album and related promotional material. The “Vanilla” tapes are rough – not shambling performances, but volume levels go up and down and clearly their purpose was just to give the band something to refer to when shaping the songs for recording the album. There's a Dylan cover (!) but I think most fans can live without this. I haven't watched the DVD yet.
  3. Finally, there's the Star Wars box – that all began in the summer of 1977. It's really for O and the kids [yeah, yeah, sure] – we watched part of the first movie and it really does look good. I can do without a lot of Lucas' tweaks to the original but it looks incredibly sharp.
Executive summary: living in the media past is easier than ever, and it's better than you remember !

Varmints

The other night, I caught the parties that have been breaking into our garbage, red-handed – a trio of raccoons. This was after we heard the tell-tale thump of a toppled garbage can; I made myself decent and went down to investigate.

The first thing I learned is that they don't care about lights being on. You can make noise and they won't go away or even startle. They just look at you and keep working. They're good at deflecting human aggression – I swear, they adopt a submissive posture, and gaze at you knowing how cute and pitiful they can appear. Then comes the nonchalance. Two of them decided to walk up to the door that I was behind, and stand/lean up to get a closer look at the silly human (i.e., your truly). Bored, they went back to the garbage, while another relaxed under our vehicle in the driveway.

Now, I did want to get out there to clean up the mess, which was rather small since they'd only been at the buffet for a few minutes, but since raccoons can carry rabies (and even West Nile, I think), I shooed them away by throwing water at them. Even then, getting away seemed to be one of their lower priorities. That's not surprising, given the bulk they have to move around – they seem to be twice the size of their wild cousins. And as long as the suburbs provide a moveable feast, those bandits will stay that way.

By the way, it's actually a newer garbage can that these critters can open – I think they've learned that any can is easier to pry open once it's horizontal and they can get some leverage for those deft little paws. So tightening the top with a short bungie cord won't completely do the trick. O wants to get one of those Rubbermaid “hutches” for garbage cans, and now I'm inclined to agree. A man works hard for his filth, and nothing is going to take it from me !

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