Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Piano Man

And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinking' alone

On her belly, one step at a time, the Monkey maneuvered down the stairs. Mama maintained a watchful eye from mere steps away. The girls were heading downstairs to swap the laundry. Slack-ass Daddy sat on the sofa, sipping a Sam Adams, while surfing through a sea of basic-cable sewage.

One step at a time. The Monkey concentrated on foot placement and her relative distance from Mama. She's a careful girl, if not borderline compulsive.

It was then, in the Monkey's mid-descent, that Daddy decided to stop on one of those non-MTV music-video channels that actually show music videos. Shakira, it must have been. (Daddy was always a sucker for writhing belly flesh.) Lured like a stripper to coke, daddy's flipping faltered and the volume spiked under the pressure of his thumb on the button.

If you have ever witnessed one of those fake-hypnotist stage spectaculares at the state fair, (the one where the snake-oil salesman whistles the Chicken Dance and his sleeping subjects peck the stage like hungry hens) then you will have some idea what the Monkey's reaction to Rhythm looks like. Same response to all music, really. Fast, slow, loud, soft, any tune will transfix my daughter, and summon the secret spirit of clapping and stomping.

As the sultry Columbian belly dancer declared the honesty of her wiggling hips, the stair case-rappelling tot rose from her safety-crouch to dance a little ditty. As she was perched precariously upon the mid-flight step, she promptly propelled herself ass-over-tea-kettle down to the landing below.

As you can imagine, this caused quite a stir. Ultimately, though, she proved to be unharmed, and lessons were learned by everyone.

What left me in a post-crisis pre-blogging ponder was where this musical Pavlovism came from. To be sure, Mama marched in a band many years ago. Her specialty was blowing in and on a variety of horns and flutes. (I'll let you make your own jokes here...) However, she will be the first to tell you that all of her flute tooting was the product of practice rather than any mystical musical muse.

And Daddy? Daddy got a drum set for Christmas, 1977. After 128 renditions of Little Drummer Boy, the drums mysteriously vanished from the house.

There were two attempts at guitar, both ending badly. I can still play the C-chord. (I know, you're impressed.) Look out Esteban!

Of course, there was the Jr. High hand-bell choir at church. White gloves. Brass bells. The only thing I recall from that musical safari was the redhead girl who played the half-octave to my right. She had developed at an early age, and if we could pling through the Hallelujah Chorus quickly enough, there was usually enough time to make out and grope her sweater puppies behind the bus barn before my mom arrived.

And that's about it. Well, I guess, there was the piano. A light-wood pre-owned upright thing that my mother imposed upon me. With the purchase of the accursed instrument, came six months of free lessons. Those lessons, please believe, were all intended for me.

The piano instructor was an old woman who was born before the internal combustion engine. Seemingly in the South, as all of her instructional melodies were horribly offensive. "Blackies Toting Bales" and "Negroes in the Field" etc... I was ten years old, and even I knew something was wrong. Oh, and she also smelled like urine.

Needless to say, my musical education went the same way as my foreign-language education. Don't ask me to strike up a song at your next party. However, that leaves me with a dancing monkey and no clear vision of what to do with her tuneful obsession. Lessons of course, though in what, I cannot say. Lessons with someone who is not a closet clucker with a weak bladder I suppose. That much I can say for sure.

Reading for comprehension:

1. What video did Brian stop to watch, and what does this say about his masculenity?
2. What does Brian think about stage-show hypnotists?
3. Why are all old people urine-stained biggots?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

We'll be Right Back

The Lounge will return on June 1, 2006
with all new posts about Christina Ricci,
Cheddar Cheese,
and misfit strippers...

So, stay tuned!

Monday, May 15, 2006


There's nothing to see here folks. Move along...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Res Ipsa Loquitur

Glen A.Larson and the Weinsteins have announced a plan to bring Knight Rider to the big screen.

Nothing else really needs to be said about this.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don't Care

I've been busier than an undocumented house keeper looking for a gringo to marry. Hurry up and wait kind of busy. I had a trial scheduled for this week. As a matter of fact, I should be in the middle of it right now. Same case I had back in February, or whatever. It got bumped back then because the Washington County Court ran out of judges, and the same thing has happened again.

So, my time has been tied, like the hands of a $5.00 whore, and I haven't had the opportunity to blog. Sorry. Get over it. I admit that much water has run under the bridge while I've been away. So many titillating topics have come and gone. The world is really too big and the the topics of conversation too vast to cover all in one post. Nonetheless, I shall do my best to give you all the news that's fit to print. (Yes, I borrowed that...)

Right now, at this very moment, I am drinking a gin and tonic in a pint glass, and I had to make it without a lime. Oh, the humanity! The Injustice! Sure there were a bevy of lemons in the fruit bowl, and sure some drink recipes even call for yellow citrus. Alas, I have standards (stop laughing) and will not accept any sorry substitute for the green garnish. Do you see the sacrifices I make for my readers?? The least you could do is send me pornography...

Trial this week. Due to various privileges, confidentialities and strategic concerns, I can't say anything else, other than the fact that the plaintiff is in a world of hurt and his attorney should take the offer that is on the table.

I have also moved the resident office fish from the dreary 6 gallon tank to the spacious 20 gallon open-range, handed down to me by a regular reader whose current identity, I believe, is anonymous, although he has been other things. Thanks man, the tank is up and running.

The three neon tetras and four blackskirts have been joined by creamsickle mollies and red wag platies. It is a regular tropical menagerie. It has also become a major anti-productivity distraction. I do believe that the swirling scales and flashing fins hold a heavy hypnotic effect, and even conspired to put me under this very afternoon. I indeed dipped into REM at my desk. Fortunately, the lock on my door created the David-Blaine-like illusion that I needed solitude to slog through a stack of mind-numbing medical records. Sometimes, I love my job.

The bright illumination in my back yard is coming from the full-appearing moon. It is not actually full, but really quite bright. A post-blog cigar on the lower deck is a likelihood at this juncture. mmm.... Tobacco.... Might just make up for that goddamn missing lime.

Today, I sustained the world's worst-ever paper cut. A couple of my regular myspace correspondents have already heard this and are permitted to skip ahead. The rest of you, hold on for the creepiest, skin crawlingest, nauseating tale ever told...

It was quiet in the office and the support staff had gone home. Abandoned, I was left to my own devices to do my own filing. Needing a nascent excuse to set aside the well worn dictaphone, I picked up the stack of pre-reviewed records and opened the top drawer of the file cabinet. Reaching in to separate a conglomeration of conjoined accordion files, one renegade Manila folder found its way under my fingernail. The downward lateral motion of my hand did all of the work. I'm not sure how deep it was, but the sub-nail crevice looked like raw salmon.

So, while I have admitted in this blog that I have been assimilated to the Borg-like American Idol collective, I do try to keep the dull chatter to a squeaking minimum. That having been said, holy fucking Christ! Did you see what happened Wednesday night? How can that be?? How did Chris get the boot?? OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD!!! (Yes, I am a brain-dead 14 year-old girl... From Nebraska no less. Who among us hasn't masturbated to Hello Kitty, Scott Baio, and the Mighty morphin Power Rangers? I mean really...)

39 courageous American soldiers died today in Dick Cheney's goddamned conquest of Iraq. Fuck him! Fuck that evil lying goddamn treasonous greedy manipulating murdering son of a fucking bitch. Fuck him!!

Oh, and his retarded ass-puppet George too...

In a major shift in public manipulation, Jessica Simpson has dyed her hair red. I have an unnatural hankering for the red hair. This news made me throw up in my mouth, just a little.

Princess Leah's baby is still breathing. Of course, if the parents start investing now, they may save just enough money to pay for the immanent psychological treatment the child will inherently need just from being raised by the princess.

On the same note, here is photographic evidence that my own personal monkey is the cutest baby in all of human history.

Watched the last episode of Six Feet Under on DVD last night. I'm not sure what makes me more gay, the fact that I got used to all of the man-on-man love in the show, or the fact that the final sequence got me all choked up. Crapass! I should just start wearing panties.

If the president of Iran announces that he is ready to negotiate, will anyone hear him before the bombs start falling. I wonder whether the Israeli air force will allow embedded reporters?

I have not heard from Tom in a very long time. I am starting to hate him, but just a little.

As you know, Dr. Brian sent an offer to the parent company of American Idol an offer to fix goat boy's teeth. What you may not know is that our very own Deuce works on, or around, the American Idol website. Deuce, having known Dr. Brian longer than I have, has forward the offer to his friends at the show. We shall see...

Lisa from Wales has given up smoking. This is a word of encouragement to her and a warning to the rest of you, keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times...

Locally, some whore in the finance department of my fair suburban city has managed to embezzle over $1,000,000 from the city in the past three years. Mayor Quimby and Chief Wiggum are at a loss as to how this crime could have occurred.

The new X-men movie is coming out. Uber-geek that I am, I was never a vermin-like comic book geek. So, I couldn't care less about this craptastic motion picture. Some dude with claws beats the hell out of some blue chick. Whatever...

Have you heard about the ancient pyramid found in Bosnia. It smacks of massive hoax. It remains to be seen. However, the biggest mystery is that Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt is not somehow meddling in this pseudo-scientific extravaganza.

Howard Stern continues his blitzkrieg against censorship. Sirius subscriptions have far surpassed expectations. This very morning, he had Dennis Rodman on as a guest. Unfortunately, while Howard persisted on questioning Rodman about his epic female sexual conquests, Dennis kept bringing the conversation back to having man love, either alone or in a group, with Howard. It started to get weird after a while. Although, really, not that there's anything wrong with it...

Right now, Pearls Before Swine is the funniest daily cartoon in America. Dead Honkey may be third or fourth...

Item Last: Rumor around the ol'law fiesta has it that my secretary may be planning a move to Montana. Anyone with better-than-average typing and grammar skills is encouraged to apply. You must be smart enough to interpret and improve upon my neanderthal-like grunting. This is a full time permanent position. Depending on the color of your hair and the length of your skirt, you may or may not get a recommendation from me.

That is all.

And hey, hey, HEY! Let's be careful out there...

Monday, May 08, 2006


I was bored and flipping channels. I've gotten good at flipping, being able to recognize and decipher the nature and content of any program within about 2 seconds of viewing, allowing me to skip forward, looking for a televised bauble that will hold my deficient attention.

"...stonbury tor..." I heard, as I zipped past the National Geographic channel.

"Avalon," I thought to myself, as I hit the brakes and surfed back to the program that was sure to mention Arthurian Legend in the next breath. Sure enough, the booming voice of the British narrator clarified in the very next sentence that the little hill next to the little town of Glastonbury may have been the legendary Island of Avalon, and King Arthur was once believed to have been buried there. There were even ties to Joseph of Arimathea and the grail...

While likely a hoax perpetrated by local catholic monks, the hill has actually been used as a 5th century fort, an early Christian church, and a montestary. The hill is surrounded by a former coastal wetland (thus it was an island), which has since been drained, and is now a dry farming flatland call the Somerset Levels.

Fascinating geographic stuff, to be sure, but there's no escaping the hokum when Avalon is at issue. (Cue the mystical sounding Celtic harp music) Enter a balding man in a disheveled coat. His name was Barney, or somesuch, and he was a dowser. You see, There are magical invisible lines called ley lines that criss cross mother earth, and human beings can gain great mystical power at their junctions.

The Glastonbury tourist counsel would like you to know that two of the greatest ley lines, the Michael Line and the Mary Line, intersect at the apex of the Tor. And to prove it, they hired Barney the dowser to demonstrate the unquestionably awesome power of Mother Earth. Stepping gingerly, as if trying not to wake the dead, Barney walked in rings around the abbey at the top of the hill. As the currents of mystical power coursed through his aura (or something) his sensitive dowsing hands trembled, and the angled wires resting between his fingers began to sway as if by their own volition. Truly this was proof of the potent powers intersecting in this magical place.

Either that, or Barney was twisting the wires with his thumbs. Hard to say, really.

It's just this sort of hocus pocus that bothers me about David Blaine. OK, really, all telelvision illusionists. Now, I enjoy the craft-work that goes into a well executed illusion. The misdirection, the manipulation, the set up. Contrary to the belief of a few frighteningly naive peasants, Mr. Blaine is not actually MAGIC. He does not actually have any supernatural gifts or abilities. He just has good slight of hand talent and masterful set ups. Unfortunately, he also manipulates what you see with the use of good old-fashioned camera angles and editing.

Yes, editing. Like Jonathan Edwards and all of the other televised cold-reading cranks, Blaine edits out failed attempts, showing you only the successes, creating the greatest illusion of all. Admittedly, however, the successes are entertaining.

So, being the bitch for media hype that I am, after a week of crises and dilemmas, Blaine was to emerge from his giant human fish bowl tonight after an attempt to hold his breath for nine minutes, and I chose to tune in to watch the spectacle, all 2 hours of it.

Bullshit, of course. No one can hold their breath for nine minutes, but the execution of the illusion was destined to be fascinating. So here's the thing. He escaped from his chains and shackles in time, but he FAILED to stay underwater for 9 minutes. He failed, on live network TV. Now, he would never have attempted the trick without being sure it could be done. And, he would never allow the audience to see anything that he didn't choose for them to see.

So, my only conclusion is that he chose not to succeed. Sure, he succeeded in the escape from the shackles, at a very comfortable 6.5 minutes. Very convenient. Then when all was safe, he allowed the stunt to go wrong.

But why? What was the purpose of deliberately televised failure? Build an audience for a second attempt? Maybe. The missus suggested that since the attempt was bogus to begin with, it could never be recorded as a world record. Good point. Maybe he just wanted to be like his idol, Houdini, only without all of the dying...

Maybe for his next attempt, he should do it in Glastonbury. The extra goddess juice could help him hold his breath longer...

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Ricky Ricardo was a one-trick pony. He was a second rate band leader in a smokey night club. He couldn't sing as well as he wished he could, and his star-attraction percussion skills were limited to a single bongo.

The monochromatic audience always looked entertained though, and never more entertained than when he pulled out the blockbuster signature hit "Babalu." Pounding maniacaly on his tribal drum, head banging in time, pompadour flapping to the beat; the white bread squares would work into an absolute lather. They were entertained though. No matter how campy the performance, they could dine and see a show and have an evening on the town.

That doesn't exist anymore. There is food. There is plenty of food. And then, there are shows. Usually, that means a movie, or sometimes a rock concert. However, there are simply no sit-down, sport coat and cocktail dress night clubs anymore. Around Portland there are a couple of bars that do weekend jazz or karaoke, but that is far far far from the Copa Cabana.

So, I was shocked to discover Saturday night that the local suburban Mexican/Peruvian restaurant has live music, and I 'm not talking mariachi. We walked in to the ever-morphing dining space, where the booths have been banished and shimmering blue icicle lights dangle dauntlessly from the tropical painted ceiling.

It wasn't Frank or Dino to be sure. In fact, it was just one gray-haired guy with a guitar relying heavily o the John Denver play list, but it was nice nonetheless.

Well, Come to think of it, it's just sad, really. But it goes to show just how far we'll stoop for a little entertainment.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

More and Less

"There are things that I hate," I said, as I shoved the last medallion of saucy Hirekatsu into my waiting mouth. The timing of my bite was poor, and the breaded-pork goodness cut off the rest of my exposition.

My regular, yet anonymous, lunch companion looked at me as if I had just declared my preference for breathing air. Suspecting that my thought might not be finished, she waited until I finished swallowing. I took a sip of tea, followed by a sip of miso. Then, I continued.

Actually, I hesitated. My mind was meandering over a myriad of bothersome irks, all wanting to take the form of some semi-solid idea, fully composed and rationally delivered. I made a noise that sounded like "Eghrp," and ate the last bit of spicy crab roll to stall for time as I organized my thoughts.

I will not share the first two irritations as they directly relate to acts performed by folks who read this very blog on a regular basis. For you, reading this now, there is probably nothing to be concerned about. The overwhelming majority of you have done nothing to irritate me. Odds are, it is not you. Unless of course, you are one of the two people I was thinking of. In which case, you really suck!

I will share, however, the one thing that really and truly gets under my skin. It is my one and only pet peeve. It drives me fucking nuts. It's bad when regular folks do it, but when broadcasters, journalists, lawyers, politicians and professors do it, it drives me blind with rage.

My personal pet peeve is the phrase "I COULD care less." Can you see it? Can you tell what's wrong? It's usually exclaimed in moments of high drama when an aggrieved party tries to declare that they do not care about the matter at hand. Unfortunately, the phrase makes no sense.

If you could care less, that means that you possess some level of caring, which could be reduced at some time in the future. However, that's not the message that the drama queen wants to convey. They want to say that they DO NOT care; that they care sooo little, that they could not care less than they do. In other words, they should be saying "I couldn't (could NOT) care less."

Now, god bless Howard Stern, but he is perhaps the world's worst perpitrator of this grammar gaff. It makes me want to bite my arm every time I hear it.

Am I too picky? Am I too strict with the rules? Fine, you are entitled to your opinion. Misuse the language all you want. I couldn't care less!

See, just like that...

Friday Friday Friday

The sky is blue. The wind is warm. Should this pattern hold out until Tomorrow (Friday), the monkey and I will be enjoying beverages at Barleycorn's after work. The tot will enjoy some tots and milk. I will enjoy tots and Gin. If you stop by, you can enjoy anything you'd like.

5:00-ish, Friday, Barleycorn's patio.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Words are not coming to me. Sentences are dangling like so many participles...

With so much diction difficulty, I had better avoid actual blogging tonight. Don't worry, nothing I was going to say was going to be interesting.

For today's entertainment, go check out my buddy Dave's running web cartoon. I send you there only because I feature prominently.

He is on episode 19 at Myspace.

He is on episode 4 at his personal website.

Warning, do not be confused. Brian is me. Dr. Brian is, well, Dr. Brian. Deuce is Dave. And Satan is Satan, although apparently sometimes Satan can be Carl. There is no Tom yet. But that is probably for the best.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I have discussed at length my fear and hatred for most of what passed as "children's programming" in the 1970s. Coked-up network executives conspiring with 'shroom-addled production staff churned out abominations such as the afore-mentioned Puff-n-Stuff, et al...

Few, though, were as trauma-inducing as Pippi Longstocking. Concocted by the creative savants of Sweden (or Denmark, whichever...), and poorly dubbed for bland-tasted monosyllabic American youth, this monstrosity ran on endless weekend loops on minor media outlets in most major markets for years on end. Like Bond movies on cable, it was always on.

For those fortunate enough to have been born too late, or to have been raised in some sad peasant hovel beyond the reach of American television, Pippi was the story of a neglected latch-key daughter of an alcoholic sea captain, who lives alone with her pet monkey and horse. Her hair grew, like mine, perpendicular from her head. Her hair, also like mine, adamantly resisted all attempts to lay flat.

Pippi had unnatural physical strength. She also had a couple of sycophantic followers who verbally validated her every whim. Whims which were vast and well funded, by the way, by the never-depleting treasure chest left behind by wayward Captain Dad. Pippi was dirty, disheveled and annoying, just like every other latch-key kid that I grew up with. I hated them, and I hated her.

Yet, I dutifully tuned in week after week, because, well, I had to. It was children's programming. I HAD to watch. These days, my only solace is the fact that the grinning freckled mongoloid that played her is now a dried up shriveled old shrew.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Beer Is Food


In the pantheon of adult beverages, these three stand strong; icons of taste, class and serious fucking inebriation. Gin-Drunk is just plain drunk. It is a silly gurgly useless sort of drunk. It is not functional. It is not social. It is just simply closed-head-wound-like intoxication. Going to drink gin to excess? Pull up a chair. You're going to be here for a while.

Scotch? Mmmm... Scotch drunk. A good Scotch bender will make you feel important. It better, you're paying enough for it. It will make you feel like a goddamn wheeler-dealer, a player, a gentleman. It will make you the tallest, best looking, most influential Caucasian man in the room, I don't care what color or gender you are. The strippers will, in fact, like you. Scotch will make you witty, generous and all around gregarious. You will not wake up with a hangover. No, but you will discover several weeks later when the credit card bill arrives that you did indeed buy several rounds for that bar full of strangers.

Tequila. Hmmm... I don't know about you, but tequila does funny things to me, or more precisely, it does something funny to my testosterone levels. Tequila drunk is wicked, fiery, and pervasive. You don't get drunk with tequila, you get possessed. A thorough Tequila top-off makes me want to hunt down and kill a steer with my bare hands. Maybe fuck it first, then kill it. Maybe fuck it again. Then, eat it. Raw. Then, wake up the next morning cursing at god, sit on the sofa and sip tepid water and apple sauce until three in the afternoon, fighting like a hero not to move.

These three are fine, but to be honest, they are unjustifiably over-represented in the Lounge. The unsung work horse, the true corner stone, is beer. Light beer. Dark beer. Irish beer. German beer. Hell, even Thai beer. Micro-brew. Macro-brew. Basement brew. Pilsner, lager, stout, ale, porter (well, OK, not porter...) dopple bach, amber, blonde, Scotch, nut-brown, hefeweizen, berryweizen, framboise, or malt liquor... Make it hoppy. Make it yeasty. Tap it with nitro, or just pop the top. Beer is always good.

Beer contains all of the basic nutrients needed for survival. The ancient Egyptians knew this, as did the Germanic tribes and the early Chinese. Beer is food. Beer is bread in bottle, but nothing is better on a hot day.

Even the wise Ben Franklin, the foundingest of fathers, once said, "Beer is proof that there is a god, and that he loves us." Ben also said, "Goddamn, that lightning hurts like a motherfucker!" But that is beside the point...