Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Five Resolutions for 2004

I've dropped fifteen pounds since Labor Day and am back to fighting welterweight, the bank has finally relented and given me a line of credit, and I got my hair cut even shorter so I don't have to worry about having a comb on me any more. And to top it off, my doctor waived the "avoid alcohol" warning that seems to come with every one of those damn little pills he prescribes for me. Way to go Dr. Nick!

So things are looking up and I feel it's appropriate to come up with some resolutions for the new year:

1) Move to NYC, kick Ryan Adams' teeth in, steal Parker Posey from him. When ordering from the raven-haired beauty at the coffee shop, for once pocket my change without fumbling.

2) Travel, see the world, experience other cultures. Work at retaining my medium-thick NoDak/Finlander accent.

3) Camp out on the plaza of the Rarig Center until Chuck & Joel have another "Since You've Been Gone" mini-thon. Call the Cosmic Slop show more often.

4) Work on my poor vocabulary, I'm a writer and all. Say "what a coinkedink" instead of "what a coincidence" more. And I mean a lot more.

5) Read more books.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Shameless Self-Promotion (Pt. 3)

The Buffalo (NY, not MN) News has a nice review of the Da Capo book. I'm gonna go listen to David Lee Roth's "Ladies' Night In Buffalo?" in honor.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Friendly Tip

The Ted Rall and Tom The Dancing Bug comics have been quite awesome lately. Check 'em out and be sure to flip back through the previous dates.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

They Can't Win The Big One (Or The Little Ones Either)

Where does this choke job rate in the decades-long goof that is the Minnesota Vikings football franchise? You have to taken into consideration all the other hands-around-neck games this team has lost. Let's take 'em chronologically:

1) When they lost their first Super Bowl.
2) When they lost their second Super Bowl.
3) When they lost their third Super Bowl.
4) When they lost their fourth Super Bowl.
5) The loss in the NFC title game when Darrin Nelson dropped the ball in the end zone.
6) The loss on the last game of the regular season when they couldn't beat (I think) the inept Cincinnati Bengals, finished 8-8, and missed the playoffs.
7) The overtime loss in the NFC title game (at home) against Atlanta.
8) The loss in the NFC title game against the Giants, when they were favored by two touchdowns. Not only did they give up 41 points, they scored none.

But then you have today's game. All the Purple had to do was beat the hideous Arizona Cardinals, and they win the NFC North. They lead 17-6 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Their defense coughs up a touchdown to the Cardinals with two minutes left. Their special teams slap around an Arizona onside kick and the Cardinals recover. Their defense picks up a bonehead pass interference call. They lose 18-17 on a time-has-expired touchdown pass by much-feared Slingin' Josh McCown out of Sam Houston State. The Vikings are out of the playoffs completely.

It's safe to say that this game (and their play since starting 6-0) qualifies as one of their Top Ten choke jobs. Lord, it was beautiful. Thanks for the laughs and see ya next season Vikings!

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Which Way To America?

I received the following email earlier this week. My editorial comments are in parentheses.


Will we still be the Country of choice and still be America if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries that came to live in America because it is the Country of Choice?????? (WHEN DID AMERICA BECOME THE COUNTRY OF EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION?)

Think about it . . .

All I have to say is, when will they do something about MY RIGHTS? (CHECK OUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT – YOU’RE GUARANTEED FREE SPEECH AND THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION – YOU’RE COVERED) I celebrate Christmas, but because it isn't celebrated by everyone, we can no longer say Merry Christmas. (I’M GOING TO BRING THIS UP WITH MY NEIGHBOR, ISAAC GOLDSTEIN) Now it has to be Season's Greetings. It's not Christmas vacation, it's Winter Break. Isn't it amazing how this winter break ALWAYS occurs over the Christmas holiday? We've gone so far the other way, bent over backwards to not offend anyone, that I am now being offended. But it seems that no one has a problem with that. (YOU CAN STILL SAY “HAPPY NEW YEAR” WITHOUT BEING PERSECUTED – CHEER UP!)

This says it all!

This is an editorial written by an American citizen, published in a Tampa newspaper. He did quite a job; didn't he? Read on, please!


I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the "politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty (HUH?) and our national identity. As Americans, we have our own culture (HOW IS THIS DEFINED?), our own society (STATING THE OBVIOUS, THANKS), our own language and our own lifestyle (HUH?). This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language! (YEAH, YOU AMERICAN CITIZENS OF PUERTO RICO – GET WITH IT!)

"In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. (ACTUALLY IT IS CLEARLY DOCUMENTED THAT JEFFERSON AND FRANKLIN WEREN’T REGULAR CHURCHGOERS; WASHINGTON RARELY ATTENDED CHURCH AND MADE PAINSTAKING EFFORTS TO AVOID INVOKING THE POWER OF CHRIST IN POLITICAL MATTERS; ALSO THE FOUNDING FATHERS MADE EVERY EFFORT VIA THE CONSTITUTION TO MAKE SURE THIS COUNTRY DID NOT BECOME A CHRISTIAN STATE) It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our Schools. (THE SUPREME COURT SAYS NO) If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. (WHAT IF GOD DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH, WILL YOU STILL TAKE HIM IN? AND THEY TOTALLY HAVE A GOD-FRIENDLY CULTURE IN IRAN, MAYBE YOU YOURSELF SHOULD CONSIDER A MOVE)

If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam (BECAUSE LOVING FICTIONAL CHARACTERS IS WHAT MADE THIS COUNTRY GREAT), then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change (YEAH! OH WAIT – THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION DIDN’T GIVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND HAD SLAVERY LEGAL – ISN’T CHANGE SOMETIMES OKAY?), and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle. Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so. (WHO IS “WE”? I DON’T REMEMEBER ASKING YOUR PERMISSION ANYWAY), But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.

If you agree -- pass this along;
if you don't agree -- delete it! Your CHOICE!


I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) (WHAT IF OUR ENEMIES DON’T READ ENGLISH, HOW WILL THEY UNDERSTAND IT?) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Deck The Halls With Bottles Of Leiny, Tuomala-la-la-la-la-la-la
A Crazed Loner Christmas ... Best Ever?

I woke up at the crack of noon to find that one of my bonehead neighbors stole my paper. I thought Christmas was ruined but I fired up some coffee and walked to the corner vending machine to score a Strib. But what really cooled me off and made me appreciate the day was opening my sole gift under the tree. It was from the girl who I wrote about in Exiled #32. I'm not gonna you what the gift was, but I shook my head and said "omigod, omigod!"

I emailed Radio K and requested a drinking song. The deejays, Kate Silver and Michaelangelo Matos, revealed my identity and chatted a bit about Exiled on Main Street, the Da Capo book, and my love of Radio K. Then they played a set of four beautiful beer-sipping songs. I called 'em up and thanked 'em.

My mom called me to wish me Merry Christmas while I was on the phone with Radio K. Such is the life of a music geek. I called her back immediately, of course.

I started what I think may become a Christmas tradition for me. I drank beer and listened to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. It's horrible, but was made worthwhile by 1) reading Lou's speedfreak liner notes, 2) reading Lester Bangs' hilarious 1976 Creem articles on the album, and 3) hearing my brother chuckle on the phone when I told him about how much I enjoyed his gift of Metal Machine Music.

My sister called me and filled me in on another Tuomala song, which I stole for the title of this post and corrupted with a beer reference. (Oh, and I have found another Tuomala Song: Three Dog Night's "Shambala" - how does your light shine / in the halls of Tuomala?)

I ate a steak.

I took the bus to the CC Club. Sat next to a man in his sixties. He was short, chubby, had long white hair, and a white beard. I'm not making this up. And he drank Bud on tap and smoked Marlboros. I thought Nick would be a Summit Winter Ale guy like me on Christmas night, but no. Hey - he can drink (and smoke) whatever he wants - he's earned it. And sitting next to him, I couldn't help thinking: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Orange Alert Doesn't Hold Him Back

You can track Santa Claus via NORAD here. C'mon, Big Man - I've been nice for at least the last half hour or so ... bring me something nice! There's Jag in the freezer and Leiny and pickled herring in the fridge for ya.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Ooh - Look At Me, I'm Making People Happy! I'm The Magical Man, From Happy Land ...

Today my pal Ben told me that when he's feeling down, he does one of two things to bring himself back up:

1) He types a name of a friend of his into, because the first result is said friend's arrest record.

2) He reads about me declaring myself "The Silver Surfer."

Sunday, December 21, 2003


Like my attempt at writing a witty, punny, sports-page headline?

Congrats to the St. John's football team on knocking off the Goliath that was Mt. Union in the Stagg Bowl and winning the Division III national championship. It was a blast of a game to watch as the Johnnies defense outhit and outmuscled the Purple Raiders vaunted offense. On the other side of the ball: SJU's quarterback calls his own plays - cool. You football geeks who haven't read about John Gagliardi and his "Winning With Nos", check it out here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Holiday Spirits

I asked my favorite bartender - he filled me in. The CC Club:

December 24th CLOSES at/around 5:00 p.m.
December 25th OPENS at/around 5:00 p.m.

Now it's on to figuring out those holiday bus schedules...

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

And Now Grandpa Simpson Makes Complete And Utter Sense

My day this past Saturday:

12:30 p.m.: Wake up (went to sleep on Friday around 11:45 p.m.), go to YMCA for a workout
2:00: Go to grocery store to stock up snack bar for the football game
2:30: Talk to my brother on the phone about the football game
3:00: Listen to, then watch, Sioux lose Division II championship football game
6:00: Talk to my brother on the phone about the football game
6:30: Eat supper
7:05: Fall asleep on futon during A Charlie Brown Christmas
10:45: Get off futon, tumble into bed, wake up on Sunday around 11:30 a.m.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Apparently Dry Hands Had Something To Do With Yesterday's Vikings Loss

I just turned on KFAN and heard Greg Coleman talk and talk about the importance to a punter of keeping your hands moist. All the cliches about sports talk radio are true. Please, someone come up with a smartass remark on this - I haven't had my morning coffee yet.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Sweet Home Alabama

The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux football team has advanced to the Division II national championship game in Florence, Alabama this coming Saturday. (Unlike corrupt Division I; Divisions I-AA, II, and II all have playoffs - what a concept!) The Sioux will be playing the Grand Valley State Lakers, defending national champions and the team that the Sioux beat for the title in a classic championship game in 2001.

It should be a fun one as Division II games are a blast. Last week in the semis, the Sioux successfully faked both a field goal (for a touchdown) and a punt in the fourth quarter. A few years back, Northern Colorado successfully faked two punts on the way to a championship game win. You can check out the title game on ESPN at 3:00 central time on Saturday, December 13th. Internet radio broadcast featuring my guy Eddie Schultz is also available.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Coming Down The Mountain

Football was to Bo Jackson as blogging is to yours truly. Exiled on Main Street #37 is now posted. Essays about Sam Phillips, Lester Bangs, and ... (surprise, surprise) Bill Tuomala. Find out why free beer isn't always free.