Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get Well Soon

I found out today that my guy Michael Wilbon suffered a minor heart attack earlier this week. He was supposed to be out of the hospital as early as Wednesday. I hope he is doing well.
Speaking Of Books ...

A few weeks ago Full Metal Jacket was on cable. I watched a few minutes of it and decided that since I had only seen it once many many years ago that I needed to Netflix it. I did some Net surfing on the movie and discovered that Michael Herr had been a co-writer of the movie. Turns out it is the same Michael Herr who wrote the introduction of the edition of Rock Dreams that I own. I did some surfing on Herr and found out that he had written a highly-acclaimed book on the Vietnam War, Dispatches. I headed to the downtown library the following Saturday to check out a copy of the book. Shortly after I cracked it open, I was blown away. As he writes in the book, he covered the war for Esquire, and didn't have a daily or weekly deadline to meet. So he captured vignettes and moments. Herr is not only a stylist with talent to burn, he has damn good eyes and ears. To wit:

In Chu Lai some Marines pointed a man out to me and swore to God they'd seen him bayonet a wounded NVA and then lick the bayonet clean. There was a famous story, some reporters asked a door gunner, "How can you shoot women and children?" and he'd answered, "It's easy, you just don't lead 'em so much." Well, they said you needed a sense of humor, there you go, even the VC had one. Once after an ambush that killed a lot of Americans, they covered the field with copies of a photograph that showed one more young, dead American, with the punch line mimeographed on the back, "Your X-rays have just come back from the lab and we think we know what your problem is."

This scene occurs early in the book and isn't out of the ordinary as the book reads on. As I got further in the book, I was impressed by the kindness that ordinary infantrymen showed Herr during his time in or near the action - they would offer him an air mattress to sleep on or go look for a stretcher to crash on when they would end up sleeping on the ground. When Herr was back in safe positions at a restaurant or bar, "grunts" who recognized him from earlier in the war would seek him out, sit with him, and tell him stories.

Like I said, this book blew me away. Highly recommended, oh-so-highly.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Top 30 Rock Books I Own: #2 Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age Of Rock

Title: Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age Of Rock
Author: Nik Cohn
Year Originally Published: 1969
Edition I Own: First Grove Press Edition, copyright 1996 by Grove Press

What They Say: 1) Cosmic Debris Magazine 2) Book Reporter 3) The editors of The Rolling Stone Record Guide (the first red one): "The best-written, wittiest rock history ... So if he thinks that Bob Dylan is fairly useless and that the Rolling Stones should have died in a plane crash at thirty, that's just part of the sport."

Tuomala's Attempt At A Take: Bought this one in the mid-to-late nineties at the now-closed Hungry Mind in St. Paul, which always had a great selection of music publications on its shelves. I've read it twice and love it. Nik Cohn is an interesting cat: 1) This book is considered one of the first critical histories of rock 'n' roll, and some of its narraration went on to become the basis for the prose in Rock Dreams. 2) Pete Townshend played Cohn some of Tommy before it was finished, Cohn wasn't entirely impressed, so Townshend went and wrote "Pinball Wizard." Cohn is a huge pinball fan, and funny - he went on to write a glowing review of the album. 3) He wrote an article about disco that went on to become the inspiration for Saturday Night Fever. He later admitted he had fabricated much of the article and that he had inserted some of the characteristics of the Mods he had known in England into the disco people in his article.

One song you won't hear at Mariucci Arena this weekend:

I'm waiting for my man
Twenty-six dollars in my hand
Up to Lexington, 125
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
I'm waiting for my man

Hey, white boy, what you doin' uptown?
Hey, white boy, you chasin' our women around?
Oh pardon me sir, it's the furthest from my mind
I'm just lookin' for a dear, dear friend of mine
I'm waiting for my man

Here he comes, he's all dressed in black
PR shoes and a big straw hat
He's never early, he's always late
First thing you learn is you always gotta wait
I'm waiting for my man

Up to a Brownstone, up three flights of stairs
Everybody's pinned you, but nobody cares
He's got the works, gives you sweet taste
Ah then you gotta split because you got no time to waste
I'm waiting for my man

Baby don't you holler, darlin' don't you bawl and shout
I'm feeling good, you know I'm gonna work it on out
I'm feeling good, I'm feeling oh so fine
Until tomorrow, but that's just some other time
I'm waiting for my man

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bye Bye Ma Bell

I hadn't used my AT&T Universal Card since news broke in 2006 that they provided customer data to the NSA. But they kept sending me the usual credit card junk mail (cash advance checks, etc.) and today I finally got around to calling them and cancelling my account. When asked why I was cancelling, I said: "The United States government spied on its own citizens and AT&T aided them in this. I don't want to do business with such a company."

And the customer service rep in India probably marked "other" on the form he filled out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

"Okay Tuomala, Calm Down"

There is a radio ad for Timber Lodge Steakhouse that runs on KFAN feauturing Mike Tice. The ad starts of with Tice introducing himself and asks us: "Remember me?" Of course I do coach, and I miss you. The Monday Night Football music plays in the background and is no doubt a nod to Tice's head coaching debut vs. Baltimore in 2001. (During this game my friend Joel called me and after viewing Tice and Brian Billick said: "I can't decide which head coach looks more like David Puddy.")

Further in the commercial, Tice tells us to: "Take and old coach's advice, tough guy." Damn, now I want to eat a steak with Mike Tice. Does he wear the pencil to dinner? I hope so.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Top 30 Rock Books I Own: #1 Spider Kiss

Note: Here's something new I'm going to try. Late last year I looked through my book shelves and made a list of the favorite thirty rock books that I own. I'll be listing these in the upcoming weeks. I didn't rank the books, but rather will be listing them chronilogically by date of publication. My commentary may be minimal on some of these books, especially the ones I haven't read in years.

Title: Spider Kiss
Author: Harlan Ellison
Year Originally Published: 1961
Edition I Own: Ace Edition, published October 1983 by Ace Books.

What They Say: 1) Wikipidea 2) BlogCritics 3) Greil Marcus in Mystery Train: "At once a roman a clef, a trash rock novel, a prescient version of Elvis: What Happened, and a clear look at the sources of American culture."

Tuomala's Attempt At A Take: Bought this at the B. Dalton in Grand Forks while in college. I have read it twice over the years and enjoyed it both times. I wish it was still published under its original title: Rockabilly.
Who Killed Heath Ledger?

I'll tell you who: Bob Dylan and the Joker. Ledger's body was found with a bottle of sleeping pills nearby. Why the need to sleep?

Ledger told The New York Times in a November interview that he "stressed out a little too much" during the Dylan film and had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker, whom he called a "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."

"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told the newspaper. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." He said he took two Ambien pills, which worked for only an hour, the paper said.

In all seriousness, it was sad to hear of his passing. He was awesome in Brokeback Mountain and his talent should have been obvious to me early - he managed to take my thoughts off of Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You. Gotta go watch that The Dark Knight trailer again. RIP, Heath Ledger.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sioux Surging? It Must Be Late January

All you suckers in the Twin Cities who watched Minnesota vs. Minnesota-Duluth tonight in what must have been a 2-1 yawner (two second division WCHA teams? yawn) (oops ... after Saturday's games, UM and UMD are fifth and fourth respectively in the WCHA standings ... but both teams have losing conference records, so the "yawn" comment still stands) could have flipped over to channel 23 (or 13 depending on where you live) and watched the now-ranked-fifth in the Pairwise Rankings Sioux win their fifth in a row last night over Mankato State. (I'm not going to call that school by whatever name they changed it to - same goes for Moorhead State ... as the sound bite goes on the Common Man Progrum: "Be consistent, that's all I ask.")

Friday night's game was also on this channel, but I didn't know that so I ponied up the six bucks to watch it via MSU's webcast. A genuine fight broke out between UND's Rylan Kaip and Trevor Bruess, and Kaip kicked Bruess's ass! Bruess didn't even throw a punch. This was payback for last season, when Bruess tried to square off with Kaip and kept hitting him. Kaip had already had a fighting major that season, and while being hit looked to the Sioux bench to see if the coaches would give him permission to retaliate. They said no, so he just took his shots. Ironically, in Friday's fight it was Bruess who looked like he wasn't given permission to fight. But it just turns out that he's a wussy. Mankato State hockey ... all they can do is aspire to be a little above mediocre.

Grand Forks Herald Sioux hockey beat writer Brad Schlossman has YouTube links on his blog to the recent UND vs. MSU nastiness, including Friday's fight.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mess With The Bull, Get The Horns
Mess With The Cat, Get The Claws (And Worse)

As I had always suspected, the three young men at the San Diego San Francisco Zoo taunted the tiger that ended up leaping out of its enclosure and killing one of the "victims." This should end up on one of those Darwin Awards thingys that people email me and I don't read, but it won't.

Too bad the tiger had to die as a result. And too bad she didn't take the other two down with her before she was put down. Losers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back When Beer Ads Weren't Horrible

I searched YouTube for a classic Schmidt commercial - the one where the punch line is "Are you kidding? Big Jim's coming!" - but only came up with a political party convention-themed TV ad for the Schmidt Big Mouth. The YouTube poster claims it's from the sixties. You will likely recognize the actor.

Damn, I miss those Schmidty Bigmouths. Sigh.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Cure For Your Monday Blues

The Minnesota Foldin' Gophers (who else?) serve up the biggest upset in NCAA college hockey history.
"Let's Put A Smile On That Face"

Not a day goes by where I don't watch the trailer for The Dark Knight. Looks like the movie could be freakin' awesome!

The movie poster.

Six minute trailer shown in IMAX theaters: The Joker pulls a bank heist. Yes, I have actually watched (repeatedly!) a trailer lifted from a camcorder.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Real Smooth, Tuomala

Last night before the start of deejaying, Geoffrey reminded me of what the different switches and knobs do on the console. He said I could get a record ready, and then give him the thumbs-up when I wanted to start. I couldn't get sound on the headphones from the left turntable. Geoffrey returned and asked me if I needed any help. I told him my problem about not getting sound from the left turntable.

Turns out the needle has to be down for the record to play. The rest of the night went well.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Key To A Jacksonville Upset?

I like to imagine Jaguars assistant head coach Mike Tice as the Lester Freamon of Jacksonville's film room.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Favorite Linemate: Daisy Buchanan

I'm watching the Sioux vs. Michigan Tech in hockey on my Mac and Tech has a player named "Jordan Baker." I think play-by-play man Pat Sweeney gets it, as he always refers to Baker by both first and last names and not simply as "Baker" as he normally would. Plus any time Baker is anywhere near the puck, Sweeney slips in a "Jordan Baker" somehow.

If I were at the game, I would be chanting "Gatsby! Gatsby! Gatsby!" whenever Baker is on the ice. I know "Carraway!" is the more appropriate chant, but "Gatsby" sounds better.
This Pizza Would Not Be A Super Bowl Party Spoiler

A Grafton, North Dakota convenience store comes up huge pizza-wise. 52 x 15 inches, 15 pounds!

Classy of the mayor to quitely stay behind the scenes on this one.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

This Saturday

Saturday, January 12th - You're invited to the King and I Lounge when Geoffrey Trelstad and Bill Tuomala deejay a night of rock 'n' roll.

The music starts at 10:30 p.m.

King and I Thai
1346 LaSalle Ave.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My 2007 Top Ten Netflix Movies That I Had Not Seen Before

I don't write about movies too well. You will likely never hear me use the term "cinematography" because not only do I have to slow down to spell it, I'm certain that I can't spit it out vocally without pausing halfway through. So here's my ten favorite movies I watched from the comfort of my bunker last year, and I'll use lots of words like "great," "brilliant" and "top-notch." Oh, and in 2007 I noticed that I am turning many Internet terms into verbs. This is the natural follow-up to the verb "google", i.e. "I'm gonna Netflix that" and "I Mapquested the address and found it no problem."

1) Superbad

2) The Prestige - I walked around for a week after seeing this, blabbing to all my friends on how "cool and awesome" it was. Everybody seemed to have it mixed up with some movie Edward Norton was in. Same director as Batman Begins!

3) Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf? - Dialogue so cruel and timeless that it was collected on a two-LP set. My Richard Burton fascination started here.

4) Zodiac - David Fincher can take me anywhere. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. all turn in top-notch performances. Each passing minute while I was watching this I was thinking: "Holy crap - how come nobody told me how great this movie is?"

5) A Scanner Darkly

6) The Taking of Pelham One Two Three - I had never heard of this one until I read that Quentin Tarantino referenced/nicked from it in Reservoir Dogs. Martin Balsam! Walter Fucking Matthau! A gem.

7) The Conversation - Gene Hackman brilliant as always in a Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece.

8) The Night of the Iguana - Oh Lord, how hot an "old" Ava Gardner (age 42) is here. Look at how her eyes dance and how she gleefully smiles as Richard Burton's character falls apart. Wow. I think I was prompted to watch this one soon after reading her quote on Frank Sinatra marrying Mia Farrow: "I always knew he would end up in bed with a little boy."

9) Lolita - Peter Sellers! James Fucking Mason! "It was your cherry pies." "Camp Climax."

10) The Upside of Anger - Netflix has this characterized as a romance, but Joan Allen portrays a drunk. As does Kevin Costner, and he holds his own. The Joan Allen slow burn rules.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"Our Business Is Making Change"

All the talk among the Democratic candidates about who would be best at making "change" reminds me of a classic Saturday Night Live commercial.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Little Eleven, What A Joke

Combined score of SEC schools (Florida and Louisiana State) vs. Ohio State in the last two BCS "championship" games: SEC 79, OSU 38. Way to hang in there, Buckeyes.

If we can't get a playoff, could we at least impose a moratorium on Little Eleven teams playing for the so-called championship?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Straight Out Of The Movies

Time named Vladimir Putin its Person of the Year for 2007, and scored a rare interview with him. It was fascinating to hear the leader of a world power use words such as this:

"I wouldn't call NATO a putrid corpse of the cold war, but it is a leftover of the past, indeed."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The King And I January Schedule ... The 12th Is Looking Good ...

7-Mon> Rockit Fuel! is C-Gull, Heavy Metal Amy, T-Machine, Tanner & Cecil Otter
8-Tue> Lisa McGrath
9-Wed> Plain Ole Bill
10-Thu> Housekeeping with Brian Thomas
11-Fri> Verb X
12-Sat> Exiled on Main Street & Papillon

14-Mon> E-DAWG!
15-Tue> D.O. & D.G.
16-Wed> Dj Nikoless
17-Thu> The Saint
18-Fri> Mrs McFeely, Natural Ice, 20,000 Leagues Under the Scene & Bjorn
19-Sat> Blunt City = jamespatrick+danielpaul

21-Mon> Rockit Fuel! is C-Gull, Heavy Metal Amy, T-Machine, Tanner & Cecil Otter
22-Tue> D.O. & D.G.
23-Wed> Jimmy Two Times
24-Thu> Replicant Soul with Dj Tk
25-Fri> Treehouse Records
26-Sat> JOBOT

28-Mon> James Leonardo
29-Tue> It Takes All Kinds... Platetektoniks
30-Wed> Petey Wheatstraw

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"On The Midnight Shift I'm Rarely Sober"

I have been on record before as saying that I think that The Wire is the greatest TV series ever. Finishing up season four on DVD New Year's Eve night further confirms this for me. has three prequels on their site:

1) Young Prop Joe
2) Young Omar
3) When Bunk met McNulty

Two The Wire things happened to me today:

1) I was at Office Max getting some office supplies and ran into the owner of the Country Bar. She asked what I did for New Year's and I said I had watched The Wire. We chatted a little more, then parted ways. Soon a young black man approached me and said I he had overheard that I had watched the show. He said he hasn't missed an episode and asked for my "honest assessment." I told him it was the greatest TV series ever, that it seems so real, that everybody - good guys, bad guys, - comes across as truly human. He nodded in agreement and thanked me for sharing my opinion. We both agreed that maybe it's best that the show will end after its soon-to-air fifth season - it might be best to go out while doing its best.

2) On Pardon the Interruption today, Tony said that people around him are telling him to watch The Wire.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Celebrate the new year by reading the collection of Pardon the Interruption quotes at They include:

Mike: Pardon the interruption, but I'm Mike Wilbon. Tony, I'm dressed like the man that says "Ho! Ho! Ho!".
Tony: Fred Smoot?

Mike: Pardon the interruption, but I'm Mike Wilbon. Tony, the Cardinals have chosen a new Pope. What do you think?
Tony: I'm Tony Kornheiser. Pope? I thought they'd at least get some starting pitchers...

Mike: Pardon the interruption. I'm Mike Wilbon and you'll have to pardon me today because I'm a little rusty after spending a month in Greece.
Tony: I'm Tony Kornheiser. Oh really? Were you in Olivia Newton-John's role?

Mike: Pardon the interruption but I'm Mike Wilbon. The Twins have had three straight shutouts! You surprised, Tony?
Tony: I'm Tony Kornheiser. Yeah, especially since Mary-Kate is on the DL
Mike: You are sick, sick man.