Let me get this straight. The Preznit of these Untied States just repeated the argument–an argument he has made previously–in public, in front of television cameras, that the Attorney General of these Untied States should have given him warning before accepting the job that he would recuse himself from matters relating to Russia; that HAD TRUMP KNOWN BEFORE that Sessions’ actions would lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor, he would not have hired him in the first place? This is his * defense * ? This is his defense * against charges that he has obstructed justice * ?

Brandi Carlile and Tune-Yards

It was about 3 a.m. that I learned of the existence of Brandi Carlile.

I hadn’t yet heard her segment on The Howard Stern Show. I knew it had aired because many Stern “fans” in my social media stream were bitching about it. Bitchy group, Stern fans. So I was having some trouble getting to sleepyland, and often when this happens, I put on the Stern show. They were playing the last half of her appearance in the studio. I was disappointed not to get to hear the entire segment, but I did get to hear Carlile and her “twins” perform her song “The Joke.”

This is a tremendous performer, and she has written a truly touching song. Her story of how she came to pen the song was even moreso: She met a son of her friend’s, and he was at that age, about 13, where he just didn’t feel comfortable in his own skin, and she noticed he had a habit of tugging on his big white t-shirt, as if he was hiding in it. And she felt herself wanting to call him to offer reassurances about life and how it would improve.

She wrote a song instead.

Here’s NPR’s take on it, and it includes a live performance of “The Joke.” But, hey, a warning: Don’t listen to it if you’re not feeling like having your chin and lip quiver a little.

Then, if you’re like me, you’ll wash that down with a little Tune-Yards.

What do you mean, who? I haven’t gushed all over you yet about Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner?

The article referenced (in the Financial Times, of all places) immediately compares Tune-Yards to Talking Heads, which is an apt comparison.

But. To really dig the Yard-Tunes, you must see the live performance. It’s really something. Got an hour 20 to kill?

How about a half hour?

Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda Clasica, 2015

Let’s talk Bonarda grapes.

As announced in November 2016, “Bonarda is a stealthy red wine option from Argentina that we think is going to make a big splash in the coming years.”

Indeed. If the Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda Clasica, 2015 is a typical specimen of this genre of vino, it is well worth seeking out. This wine is the reason you drink red wine; it marches down the center of your tongue, offers you a taste from your palette to your scalp, then leaves you with a pleasant, floating finish, which is indicated in the flavor profile at the previously cited article: “Bonarda wines are at first very fruity on the nose, with notes of black cherry compote, fresh blueberry, and plum.”

I would register its balance between dry and sweet as right on the money, and it has a tangy quality. This is my new favorite wine. It is delicious.

I am having it tonight with smothered oxtail on risotto.

This wine was $7.99 at Marketplace Liquor in Henrietta, N.Y.

Junior Walker

I heard a song on WRUR last night called “Sweet Soul” by Junior Walker and the All Stars. I made a note of the song and listened to it several times today. This guy finds an upper register of a tenor saxophone that should not exist. Dude is freakin’ brilliant. I was so happy to have discovered this new musician that I have never heard before.

Except that I have heard him before.

I grew up listening to Junior Walker.

And, if you’re anywhere around my age, so did you.

Egg to Go

I don’t need big breakfasts, but I need breakfast, and I generally need to break fast about an hour or so into my shift. I don’t wake up famished. My appetite generally takes some time to kick in. Plus, that first hour? That’s for coffee.

So I’ve been playing with ways to take single-egg dishes to the job. The latest iteration:

First you get one of these

Then you poach an egg, let it cool a bit, and put it in there.

Then you get one of these

and cut it in half and throw it in there.


No Beatles? No Zeppelin? WTF?

From Facedbook, as nominated for the challenge by my friend Cliff: 10 all time favorite albums, in no particular order. Albums that really made an impact and are still on your rotation list, even if only now and then. Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate people each day to do the same.

The list:

Day One: Through the Past, Darkly by The Rolling Stones
Day Two: Class Clown by George Carlin
Day Three: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy
Day Four: Chicago II
Day Five: Saturday Night Fever – The Original Movie Sound Track
Day Six: 1999 by Prince and the Revolution
Day Seven: Diver Down by Van Halen
Day Eight: We’re Only In It For the Money by The Mothers of Invention
Day Nine: The Scofflaws by The Scofflaws
Day Ten: Cup of Fish by The TwistOffs

That was fun.

Happy ElisReginaBirthday

Many years ago, I was doing some research into the song “Waters of March,” a song which, as performed by Jane Monheit, just haunts me. And I came upon this.

This discovery was one of those life-changing moments. Because after I viewed it, I had to know who that woman is.

Who she was was Elis Regina. Here’s here becoming famous:

Anyway, I bought this album, and it’s become one of my favorite things. I would put this record next to Led Zeppelin IV, Only In It For The Money, Innervisions, SOTT, and The Man Who Sold the World. It is glorious.

I often cite this as one of her finest performances, which it is:

Also, and I just found this, here’s one of her singing in English. That’s weird.

Elis Regina died in 1982 at 36. Same old story, too much booze, cocaine, and something called temazepam. It was like when Elvis died: “More than 15,000 people, among friends, relatives and fans, held her wake at Teatro Bandeirantes, in São Paulo, with large groups of fans singing her songs. More than 100,000 people followed her funeral procession throughout São Paulo. She was buried in Cemitério do Morumbi.[9]”

Anyways, kids, while yinz are donning green and slurping beers, I will be thinking about Elis Regina on her birthday. Give her music a try. Your life will improve.

Hey, here’s some other good music. Courtesy of alicublog.


I remember when my editor one day had me to sit down and type up an honor roll for the paper. She also had this funny idea that all the names should be spelled correctly, so she made me proof it, too. What a pain it was. I did it grudgingly and hated doing it. But, I did it, and when I was done, I felt like I’d grown a new muscle.

I had to generate a list at work today, too. This was a copy-paste job. From about 80 separate documents into a single list. I was asked to start doing this about about 40 minutes outside of my end-of-day.

I had it done right at 5. And I’m sure nobody in that room knew that I left feeling oddly satisfied about that. Grunt-work is dreadful. But the grunt-work I did today was vital to solving a larger problem. And it sure made me feel great that I could deliver.