12.29.2010

Music Video of the Week: Belfegore

I had all but forgotten this song until downloading it from a file sharing blog a few days ago. O, how I loved it in the early 80s and yes, it holds it's own quite well even now. You can keep you Mission UKs and your Sisters of Mercy...give me Belfegore anyday.


"All That I Wanted"
Belfegore

12.24.2010

Woke up this morning and to my surprise my back teeth weren't hurting. I was foolish enough to point this out to my wife, so of course they started to throb just a few moments later. The worst of it was Wednesday...I can't even describe the agony they put me through that night. I kept it under control most of yesterday, with a well stocked supply of ibuprofen. Never got too serious, but there were a couple of instances when the pain came through, Right now it's not unbearable, but I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't already swallowed a few pills it would escalate into some hardcore hurting. God, I hate toothaches. But this time I have GOT to go to a dentist and have them take care of these particular teeth. Which hints at the reason I haven't already gone. I have a very strong suspicion, borne of the continual erosion of the enamel of my teeth, that any dentist I choose will insist that I have all of my teeth pulled. NO NO NO!!! I can't bear the thought of it. But then again, I don't know how long I can take this pain. I can't drink my Dr. Pepper because of the sugar, and I am addicted to that stuff. I kind of worry about eating spicy stuff, because it gets lodged between the teeth and before you know it the agony is back again in full force.

Well, the Christmas holiday is upon us, so that probably means there won't be an opportunity to visit a dentist until Monday. I guess I should commit to it, and not let it be contingent on whether or not the ache has eased up. I want to be optimistic, but it's hard. The Christmas season is no big deal to me, especially as it has turned into such a commercial holiday. Just last night the wife and I were discussing atheists and Christmas. She is of the opinion that there are atheists who "do" Christmas, and I held firm to my belief that you can't truly celebrate a holiday that's based on something you not only believe in, but deny. She says "They put up Xmas trees and give presents and visit relatives". Well, maybe I'm old fashioned, but you can do that any day of the year. So it's the rituals that are being observed and not Christmas itself. Christmas is just a good day for it, because it's convenient...you can always count of vittles and generosity. The Bible Thumpers will tell you "Jesus is the reason for the season", and as corny as that sounds, it must be admitted that were it not for the birth of Christ the 25th would be just another day. I know there are folks out there who would cry foul at that comment, rightfully pointing out that Christmas was a pagan ritual long before the Roman Catholic Church stole it and made it their own. At the risk of offending the Pagan community I must say that I think the Church was justified in doing this. From what I understand the Church had already established it's stronghold by the time it usurped these particular aspects of their rituals. I certainly don't think they did it FOR the pagans. I'm not so sure of how they treated the pagans at the time, if they expected them to hop on board the bandwagon and leave the rest behind. The more I think about it, though, the more I am convinced that, unfortunately, that's probably exactly what happened.

It's too late to fret about now, that's for sure. I'll zip it for now, seeing as how I'm not a scholar. I have my own reasons for being ambivalent about the holiday. Now this toothache will just be the icing on the cake this your.

Ho ho ho.

12.18.2010

Tried to post this as a response to Grey Calx' comment on the Ken's Pizza review a couple of posts down. Apparently there is a character limit for comments, so I will post it here and hope he gets a chance to see it.

*****************

Actually we boycotted Ken's for three years while as they continued to employ a manager who was rude and had no talent whatsoever for management, the result of which being lack of cleanliness and a general decline in overall service. We recently heard that she had either quit or been fired so we decided to give them another chance. The issues seemed to have been resolved, but after all that time I was reminded of just how bad the pizza is. You know, you get used to it as time goes by, but then you take a break and come back..whoo. It's not so bad that I won't eat it again, but when compared to practically any other pizza restaurant it comes out on the losing end every time.

The Ken's in Sapulpa is actually very good. I don't know who has the franchise there but it's not the guy from Prague. The have an evening buffet every night, whereas the Ken's in Prague only has them on Tuesday nights.

And since I wrote that review there have been two restaurants that most definitely qualify as the best in town, leaving Ken's in the dust. Cowpokes is a barbecue place (duh..with a name like Cowpokes what do you expect?). The food there is delicious, though I have had problems with the brisket not being quite warm enough for my tastes. The barbecue sauces are excellent. But the big deal in Prague is an authentic Mexican restaurant called Juana's. It's pricier than anything else in town, but the portions and especially the quality of the food set it far above anything else. It's good enough that I would recommend it to people who lived several miles away, that the trip would be worth it.

I've never eaten at a Simple Simons, but I feel safe in assuming that it HAS to be better than Ken's. Hell, those frozen Totino's pizzas are better than Ken's. And I'm not sure if Greer still charges a quarter for nasty tap water. Knowing him he's probably jacked up the price to 50 cents.

Shilling secrets

When I first saw "PostSecrets" on the Internet several years ago I was impressed. I felt like it was a profound examination of the deepest recesses of people's psyches. And I suppose it still is, even if it's increasing popularity has likely attracted more bogus "secrets" than sincere ones.

The concept of the blog is that people send anonymous postcards with their "deepest, darkest secrets" on the front, along with artwork, original or not, that fits with it. A lot of really disturbing stuff comes in. You can't help but feel better about your own issues when you see just how fucked up other's can be.

Then the owner of the blog, Frank Something-or-another decided to publish a book of these postcards. That bugged me, because it meant that he was profitting from material consisting of the work, thoughts, inspiration etc. of others who received no credit other than a cursory "thank you to all who participated", and certainly no royalties. If memory serves I think he said something about the funds generated from the sales of that first book would go primarily to a suicide prevention program or something along those lines. I don't know exactly how much he personally earned from that book, after publishing costs and the charity cut. But no matter. It's not cool to put that stuff out there under your own name, even if the idea was your own.

Well, now there are, count 'em, FIVE Post Secret books and Frankie has taken to his blog to sling them. He admits that he makes $1.50-$2.50 for every book sold. He says, "That doesn't sound like much"...HUH? Not much? These books sell like hotcakes, and there are five of 'em to sell. That's gotta be a LOT of money. He says it will help keep the site alive (must be a very expensive domain name he's buying). Pooh. He admits that the book royalties help him support his "very understanding family". Which no doubt means he doesn't have a day job, living off of book sales, and living quite well, mind you.

So what's wrong with that? It was the guy's idea, after all. I respect that. But there's something very creepy about taking these postcards, which were sent anonymously, presumably for the website alone, meaning without the thought of ever winding up in a series of books that sell millions of copies. That make money from the guy who solicited them. I'd been under the impression at the start that it was a not-for-profit project. Well, no more, no more.

Yes, it irks me. It irks me even more that he would ask his readers, on his blog, to "consider buying one or all five of the PostSecret books this holiday season for yourself or as gifts". Then he goes on to say "Of course the other way you can SUPPORT THE PROJECT is by mailing in your secrets." Uh, yeah. If the project you want to support is Frank Warren's $1.50-$2.50 per book sale lifestyle.

I'm sure there are many of Warren's supporters out there who could give me myriad reasons why it's proper and okay for him to publish these books. They sell, right? That should be proof enough, I suppose. It's only natural that a person be recognized for a brilliant idea and the wherewithall to set the wheels in motion to see it realized. But I had a sneaky supicion, even when I first kept up with the site all those years ago, that he was itching to compile a book and make some cash. I was disappointed when the first one came out. Now there are five and I'm disgusted.

Oh, and he gets money on the live speaking circuit, too. That would be quite a show to see. I'm sure I would walk out of that auditorium enlightened. What a creep.

12.16.2010

Sorry, once again I've been lax in posting a music video of the week. I think I'll give it a rest this week. Sorry fans. Instead here's a review of a local pizza eatery, Ken's Pizza, that I wrote about 5 years ago. My opinion of the place has changed since then (and not for the better), but most of it is still accurate. Then again, this particular piece was written BEFORE we found a dead fly on the bottom of a thin crust pizza we ordered out. No joke.

You take the good with the bad...: The GOOD: Ken's has a decent salad bar, and the Alpine Italian dressing has always been a favorite. Their Nachos El Grande is a very tasty change of pace, as is their mexican pizza. For the most part their thin crust pizzas are good (sometimes better than others). There are a couple of girls on the wait-staff who are just great and the service, in general, is decent.
Ken's Tuesday Night buffet and their all-you-can-eat lunch buffets are the best deals in town...most of the folks who are "Ken's Haters" have just eaten there so many times that they've burned themselves out on what Ken's has to offer.

The BAD: David Greer must be a real cheapskate to charge 25 cents for a glass of water. TAP WATER, at that.
The Tuesday night buffet, though it is a great value and good food, is just too popular for it's own good. The buffet turns into something that resembles a feed trough on a farm, with customers crowding around it and muscling in on each other to get that last slice of pepperoni.
Their deep pan pizza never seems to get cooked thoroughly, and has a doughy taste and consistency that is unpleasant to me.
It would be nice to have some music playing instead of the chatter of the two televisions. As far as I'm concerned, those Pentecostal Holiness folks are more than welcome to shut those suckers down for a while. If I wanted to watch TV while eating I would have ordered carry-out and dined at home.
It is also disquieting to see their new (Assistant?) Manager working in the kitchen with a full beard (as I saw last night 12-02-05). Isn't there some kind of health code that states that food service workers must be clean shaven? I've worked in food service and was required to shave my beard...what's up with this guy?
The shredded cheddar cheese on the sald bar...it's fake. That's right, they use imitation cheese on the salad bar. That's weak.

OVERALL: Okay, so it might look like I have more bad to say about Ken's than good, but really I think Ken's is the best place in Prague to eat (since Double Daves closed down there's really no reason to drive all the way to Shawnee for pizza when you've got Ken's).
Still, it's not as if I drink water with my meals to save money...I prefer it over sodas because it doesn't interfere with the taste of my food...but lemme tell ya, if they're gonna make me pay even a quarter for a glass of water I think I deserve some Evian or maybe even Perrier. If all I'm getting is Prague city water I could just fill up a canteen and bring it with me.


12.10.2010

hOME aLONE

This is a poem I posted to the HelloPoetry site a few months back. I'm surprised at how well it has been received. At this point it has been read 244 times and 11 people have tagged it as a favorite. By the way, my pen name at the site is J of the Fields, in case you want to see more. Or you could just go to my poetry blog, Bipolar Confessional, and see the ones at HP and many more.

"hOME aLONE"

It's too soon to live in memories
I try to convince myself
Years don't change everything
I try to convince myself
This is no prison I'm living in
I have the keys, the locks are not broken
I try to convince myself I have a reason
For not using them

Grab a pen and some paper
Some of these are important
I just know they are
These are the things that made me what I am
Aren't they?
The sum total of all my experiences, right?
I need to chronicle and catalog
Separate the wheat from the chaff
This will set me straight
Or maybe not...could be a waste of time

Time takes them away, one by one
Teases, bringing some back
Then snatching them away again
Despite my best efforts
To hoard them
Years don't change everything
The cruel workings of time
Are eternal

Of this I am convinced

I've sacrificed freedom
To live in a cage
To settle for memories
For fear that hurt would break in
And make itself comfortable
Quick to remind me of the memories
It helped make

I'm convinced I have no reason
To break these chains
An empty house, alone
Is better than such bad company

12.08.2010

12.02.2010

Music Video of the Week: Fugazi

Late again, but at least not by much. I'll try to get on the ball in the future.


"Waiting Room"
Fugazi