Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thankful for Loudon Wainwright.

If I argue with a loved one, Lord,
Please make me the winner.

It occurs to me that Loudon's story, which is pretty close to mine, isn't true of my Thanksgiving celebrations anymore. I'm thankful for Kate's family, the whole multi-generational, mostly functional bunch, with whom I've been privileged to share the Thanksgiving holidays for the past 28 years.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Great CD Blowout Sale, Pt. 1

Over the weekend I tried to unload several thousand CDs via a sale at my house. To answer a question that came up frequently, no, I didn't list the CDs. This is because I'm not inclined to spend several weeks of my life typing out the names of CDs, prices, etc. You had to be there.

And being there was actually pretty fun. I had originally intended to set aside four hours of my Saturday to make this happen. The reality is that people continued to stop by all weekend. I sold about 600 CDs, and made some money. But the best part was interacting with the 50 or so people who stopped by, music fanatics one and all. It was like living the part of Rob Gordon in "High Fidelity," but without the attendant snarkiness.

A woman who runs an online business stopped by and wanted to buy the rest of the CDs. Aside from offering a ridiculously low price on the CDs, I didn't want to deal with her because she knows nothing, and cares nothing, about music. As ridiculous and pathetic as it probably sounds, I want these CDs to go to good homes. So I turned down her offer. I'll probably do Round 2 of the Great CD Blowout Sale on December 11th. You all are welcome to venture to central Ohio and participate. I'd love to see you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Wrong Religion

The crazies have had it wrong all along. Obama isn't Muslim. He's Hindu.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Drive in Fundraising Drives

Okay, you all have heard these kinds of pitches before, so I'll make it short and sweet. There's desperate in Ohio, which might mean financially straitened circumstances, and there is desperate in Cambodia. They are not equivalent. Not even close.

Twenty-five percent of the population -- over two million people -- were executed during the Pol Pot regime. The country has never recovered. There are tens of thousands of orphans in the country, and they face a certain future. Shouldn't that be uncertain?, you might ask. Nope. If the orphans are girls, they are sold into sexual slavery. It's just what happens.

Asia's Hope, run by my friend John, feeds, clothes, shelters, and loves on these kids. It's a grandiose claim -- the hope of a continent, for God's sake -- but knowing what happens with these kids, and knowing what might have happened to them instead, is enough to break my heart and fill me with great, great hope. Enough to fill a continent? I don't know. It's enough, though.

You can help them raise $100,000, which will also considerably raise the hope levels of quite a few kids. Some lucky person will win a new car. It's kind of like playing the lottery, except this time if you lose you're helping kids stay alive, and you're hoisting the grand middle finger of hope to anyone and everyone who would exploit these kids. It's a pretty great deal. You can't and you won't lose.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Robert Gordon - Fresh Fish Special

It wasn't Robert Gordon's fault that he came along twenty years too late. And five years too early. Robert wanted to be Elvis. Not Fat Elvis, either, but the Hillbilly Cat who made all the little girls scream in 1956. But Elvis had already come and gone by the time Robert recorded his 1977 debut album. Sha Na Na had led a dubious rockabilly revival in the late '60s, and The Stray Cats spearheaded their own belated and immeasurably more popular revival in the early- and mid-'80s. Stuck in the middle was Robert Gordon, who was the best of the bunch. Robert hooked up with old Link Wray, who had played guitar with the original rockabillies back in the day, and who had made his own indelible mark on rock 'n roll history in 1958 with his scintillating guitar instrumental "Rumble." Link had the guitar hooks and Robert had the six-inch-high pompadour and the snarl, and off they went.

1978 was a weird musical year. Punk had arrived, but not really. The Sex Pistols and The Clash were still rumors to most people in the U.S. The pop charts were dominated by the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Abba, the Johns -- Elton and Olivia Newton -- and schlockmeisters like Debbie Boone and The Commodores. But Robert Gordon detonated this little number in the midst of it. He made me glad to be alive.

Thomas Wolfe, Then and Now

You really can' t go home again. No, really. At the Image Journal blog.