Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Pot, Kettle, Etc. (Part 2)
Mayor Quimby: Attack Dog?

Senator Norm Coleman has participated in at least four conference calls in the past month on the behalf of the Bush campaign, wherein he takes John Kerry to task for flip-flopping. "People are looking for consistency," said Minnesota's junior senator and Bush administration buttboy.

Norm Coleman accusing someone else of flip-flopping ... the same guy who was a Democrat, until he decided to become a Republican. He'd switch to the Socialist Workers Party if he thought it'd advance his political career.

This is all too rich. Wonder while when he's on these conference calls if he's still doing the same skipping vinyl LP act, reminding everyone that he was mayor of St. Paul and that he worked with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done. Nice dilapidated downtown, by the way.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

What A Hack

While at Target yesterday, I got a close-up look at the Michael Graves chess set. Ugh. Fifty bucks for this monstrosity?

Hey Graves - THIS is what chess pieces look like. You should stick to designing coffee pots and toilet brushes!

Monday, March 29, 2004


A site that bills itself as "Inside College Hockey" came up with a list of the 16 Greatest College Hockey Coaches Of All Time. Where does the great Gino Gasparini rank? Umm, he doesn't, according to them. Let's see - Gino won three national championships in an eight-season stretch at North Dakota. Only Vic Heyliger (six) and Murray Armstrong (five) have more. Gino is even with Bob Johnson, Herb Brooks, and John MacInnes (three each.)

You honestly want to tell me that Jeff Sauer (.549 career winning percentage vs. 608 for Gino), Snooks Kelley (3-8 in Frozen Four games vs. 7-2 for Gino), and Ronnie "Big Game" Mason top Gasparini?

Sunday, March 28, 2004

From The Desk Of My VH-Blasting, Old-Style-Loving Pal Jerry:

The Sloganator Memorial

Favorites include: "Steady Horsemen For The Apocalypse", "We Cut NYC Relief And Funding", and "We Lied About WMD."

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Pot, Kettle, Etc.

Fitted Sweats has a Chicago Tribune editorial by Steve Chapman.

Nice quips include:

If Kerry sometimes reverses course, it's not because he's wasted 20 years representing the people of his state in the U.S. Senate when he could have been doing something useful, like running a baseball team.


Kerry certainly can't match the heroic consistency Bush has shown on tax cuts--which the president proposes when the economy is growing and when it's shrinking, when the budget has a surplus or a deficit, when the nation is at peace or fighting a war. A guy who uses a hammer on a nail and a screwdriver on a screw, in Bush's book, would be guilty of flip-flopping. A man of principle uses a hammer for every task.


In his 2003 State of the Union address, he said Saddam Hussein had vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. In his 2004 State of the Union address, he said Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."

Friday, March 26, 2004

The Best Time Of The Year

I've been asked to challenge the Elder from Fraters Libertas in an NCAA tourney hockey pick 'em contest. Both of us are UND grads, so the intellectual prowess that will be on display promises to be dazzling. We were going to make the loser buy the winner a delivered four-pack of ham grinders with taco meat from the Red Pepper, but decided that we weren't sure that we wanted to eat any meat that has traveled over night across state lines. So it'll be a friendly contest with bragging rights on the line. The Elder's picks are here. And away I go...

I'm superstitious and dislike picking my own team in these things. But last Saturday I forgot to have coffee from my lucky Sioux mug and UND lost in the WCHA Final Five championship game. So I'm throwing superstitions out the window. Most of these games will likely be close, making for what should be a fantastic tourney this year.

West Regional

North Dakota 5, Holy Cross 2
Miami 4, Denver 2

North Dakota 4, Miami 2

Midwest Regional

Minnesota 4, Notre Dame 1
Minn-Duluth 4, Michigan St. 3

Minnesota 4, Minn-Duluth 3

East Regional

Maine 3, Harvard 2
Ohio State 4, Wisconsin 2

Maine 2, Ohio State 1

Northeast Regional

Boston College 5, Niagara 3
Michigan 3, New Hampshire 2

Boston College 4, Michigan 3

Frozen Four

North Dakota 4, Minnesota 3
Maine 3, Boston College 2

North Dakota 2, Maine 1

Sunday, March 21, 2004

While You Were Out

St. Patrick's Day: Halloween with crummier costumes.

The Hold Steady album: pills and powder baby / powders and pills / we spent the night last night in Beverly Hills / there was this chick that looked like Beverly Sills / we got killed

The Hold Steady show: Craig from the Poster Show was there, as was Joel from Cosmic Slop. And Michael from Aesthetic Appartus, and Patty from the Minnesota Historical Society. Craig Finn gave me a quick hello. And Jim Walsh bought me an Old Style. Name-dropping central. The music was cool too.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

Strippers: Their favorable rating at an all-time high.

Liquor Depot: Leiny for $15.99 a case? I have to raise my bookkeeping rates again? It's only March!

Grumpy's on Washington Avenue: Twenty-five percent tip.

Glenn's Barber Shop: All we talked about was beer and cigars.

Bobby Fischer Goes To War: USA! USA! USA!

St. Urho's Day: Bill Tuomala Goes To War (or) I Fought The Beer, And The Beer Won.

Sioux hockey: Hit first, ask questions later.

Gopher hockey: Peaking again at the right time. Does Pat Riley get a royalty check this year?

Mariucci and Xcel Arenas: Nice delays. I'm being sarcastic.

Charlie Rich: The white Bobby "Blue" Bland.

Bobby "Blue" Bland: The black Charlie Rich.

Saying "Bobby 'Blue' Bland": Almost as enjoyable as listening to him.

My poetry: Time for a comeback?

Cats: I've flip-flopped my position. Sue me.

John Kerry Minnesota Headquarters: Answer your damn phone!

Shutting Down My Computer For A Week: No more neck pain.

Shutting Off My Phone For A Week: Best idea since concocting alternate-universe Van Halen essay.

Hoops Pool: We get Mulligans, right?

Victory Sports Channel: Dear Carl Pohlad ... fuck off and die already. Thank you. ... (On second thought, contributing to denying me NCAA playoff hockey on TV isn't a capital offense. But doing so probably brings Pohlad fond memories of being a young banker who foreclosed on farms. I hope he has to build his stadium with his own damn money. You can't take it with you, you know.)

Friday, March 12, 2004

My Bumper Sticker Will Say: "Masons Do It In Secret"

I'm off to join the Freemasons and hope to be back on this blog on March 22nd. Take care.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

We Shall Overcome

An interesting piece by Jeff Chang in the San Francisco Bay Guardian on the Da Capo Best Music Writing series. For me, it was nice to see the selection process explained. I'm still not quite sure how my essay made it into the 2003 anthology. Paul Bresnick, the series editor, emailed me last summer to congratulate me and to ask me to sign a release form. I did so, then kept my mouth shut - partly convinced if I drew attention to myself they'd have second thoughts.

Chang also boldly addresses the types of music written about and the gender/racial makeup of contributing writers in the series. But these sentences on the 2003 book leaped out at me:

Sixteen of the 20 essays were by males, 3 by women (1 was from the Onion). Half the essays were about rock. Only 2 were about hip-hop. None of the writers were of color.

Huh? My race has always been an ambiguous matter, starting with my last name. A typical situation: a waiter at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Monday night looked at my credit card and asked: "Are you Hawaiian?"

Plus I'm 100% Finnish; which makes me 25% Siberian, i.e. Asian. Some studies show this Siberian portion in Finns to be up to 35%. So why did I get lumped in with all the white folks?

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

New Issue Out

Exiled on Main Street #38 is now posted.


Posters are for sale. Update: Jim Walsh mentions the Poster Offensive opening reception in this week's column. He was also lucky enough to see "A band with a singer dressed in a rooster suit (playing) Velvets-y riff-rock."

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Three Songs I Want Played At My Post-Funeral Keg Party:

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "Lay Me Low"
The Jim Carroll Band - "People Who Died"
Jerry Lee Lewis - "No Headstone On My Grave"

Saturday, March 06, 2004

TV Party

"Arrested Development" is my new favorite show on TV. It's as hilarious as "Pardon the Interruption". And tomorrow night Heather Graham (sigh) makes an appearance. Sunday, March 7th, 8:30 p.m. central time on Fox.
Union Yes
Caught A Buzz? Catch The Bus!

Yesterday I twice drove by Metro Transit pickets. I honked and gave them a thumbs-up. They are the people who have repeatedly driven me home to and from the bar on those nights when one drink just doesn't cut it. They are the people who drove me to and from the CC Club on the most recent (and oh-so-awesome) Christmas Eve afternoon when I sat by myself with a pitcher of Leiny and wrote page after page. They are the people who drove me to and from the Poster Offensive show in Northeast Minneapolis last Friday.

And I'm a guy who only rides the bus for fun. There are thousands of workers and students who use the busses daily to ... ahhhhh, I'm not exactly talking about the Pawlenty contingent here, am I?

The Metro Transit workers do a superb job and deserve what they're asking for. Go strikers!

Friday, March 05, 2004

Sipping From The MacNaughton Cup

Congrats to my (and yours too, of course) University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, for winning the WCHA regular season and capturing the MacNaughton Cup. My math is unofficial, but I believe this is UND's 13th regular season title which puts them at the top of current WCHA members. (Again unofficial - I think Minnesota and Denver both have 10.) The Sioux have also won 5 of the last 8 MacNaughtons. Nice.

But. We Sioux fans don't measure success by regular seasons. The boys in white and green need to go on and win the NCAA title ... where we also lead Minnesota and Denver and Wisconsin - they have five titles, we have seven. Go Sioux!

Oh - and a couple of weeks ago I was quizzed as to the Sioux name. I was asked whether I thought the name should be changed. "I say keep it," I said. Why, I was asked. "I'm afraid if they changed it, I would then have to surrender all of my Neil Young & Crazy Horse albums," I said.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

From The Desk Of Joel McElhany:

The new nickel celebrates the Replacements' Pleased To Meet Me album.