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CAN'T STOP MEME-ING: 15 FICTIONAL CHARACTERS

Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen fictional characters (television, films, plays, books) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag at least fifteen friends, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what characters my friends choose. Nick Smith, Metropolitan by White Stillman Ogami Itto, Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima Dorothy Gale, The Oz Series by L. Frank Baum Varla, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! by Russ Meyer Wilson, Wilson by Dan Clowes Harriet Vane, Gaudy Night and other works by Dorothy L. Sayers Unnamed Narrator, Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson Hannah Mole, Miss Mole by E.H. Young Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Gina Aeisi, Synners by Pat Cadigan Eraserhead, Eraserhead by David Lynch Helga Crane, Quicksand by Nella Larsen Winifred "Fred" Burkle, Angel by Joss Whedon Margarita Luisa "Maggie&quo

RIFLE SPORT/BLACK SPOT

Back in the day, I swear I saw Rifle Sport on a monthly basis. "King Of Trash" was my theme song. I really like that type of lean, mean post-punk, usually associated with Chicago but we had our share, with RS, Breaking Circus, Vertigo and Arcwelder (though the latter was almost poppy at times). Is Flour one of the greatest bassists of all time? Possibly. Of course, I could be confusing their shows with lead singer's J. Christopher's other project, the more metallic Black Spot, who sadly lack even a token Wikipedia page. I found this metal site which only lists one of their albums and falsely says they are from Chicago. They sing about being "stuck in the Twin Cities" and cover the Suburbs, for Buddha's sake! I think I sold their second album due to more conventional metal stylings, but I'm more tolerant in my old age, maybe I'd like it now. Here they are--you can't quite get the awesomeness of J. Christopher because his hair is coveri

BELATED HALLOWEEN POST

Photos by Ray S. Sorry I haven't gotten around to a Halloween post, I wanted to used these awesome pictures my friend Ray took and I kept forgetting to ask for permission. We went to see Nosferatu at a cool old church with a live organist. It was great and the show and popcorn was free. Then we hung out a Donny Dirk's Zombie Den , where the bartenders all dress like Shaun of the Dead and the drinks are very strong and dangerous. I think the outfit was one of my best, it fit several Halloween costume criteria: Pretty easy to move around in. I was worried about the heels, but I didn't have any trouble. Certainly nothing like when we went as tikis . . . Re-usable. I could use the whole thing for a convention or parts of it for a night on the town or even work. Fun to make. Good couple costume. Flexible. Was demure at work and the church, but turned magically strumpelicious* at the bar. Special thanks to Christine and Jennifer for providing parts of the outfit and D

INTERNET MEMES STRIKE AGAIN: 15 AUTHORS

Fifteen authors who've influenced you and whose writing will always be with you. List the first fifteen authors who come to mind in no more than fifteen minutes. Dorothy Parker Pauline Kael Emily Dickinson Dawn Powell Henry Green Henry James Charlotte Bronte Jun'ichirō Tanizaki Patrick Macias Octavia Butler Pat Cadigan Jane Austen Ursula K LeGuin George Saunders Jean Rhys I chose writers that have a worldview that jibes with mine and when I read them, they colonize my mind and I start thinking the way they write (that's why it's so dangerous to read late-period Henry James, every thought starts taking forever ). I didn't include any comic book artists because it's a different medium, viewing them as authors doesn't give the art enough props. Like, do I include Neil Gaiman even though I may never read Sandman again because the art was boring? But if you feel differently, or want to limit your list to fiction or 18th-century epistolary novels or

HALLOWEEN TEASER POST

As per usual, I am putting way too much effort into Halloween, but it's fun and the steampunk look will probably come in handy on some other geeky occasion. Here are some of my accessories to give you a little teaser, and because they won't show up too well in pictures of my costume. I made everything but the tiny top hat and the derringer, and no, that's not my real hair (it's just easier to clip the hat to a wig). And yes, I did take a picture of Dr. S just so I could put it in the locket. I am that anal and /or romantic, not sure which. ---------------- Now playing: Waiting For . . . - Yo Reiri via FoxyTunes

GBV!

Once again, Guided By Voices brought the rock to Minneapolis. They are like a mighty machine of rock, rolling over all obstacles while going and going and . . . Oh, Steven Malkmus, why can't you be like them? I thought of going to the Pavement reunion for a minute before realizing that any wish for them to actually enjoy playing in public was but a pipe dream. Some notes on the show: On Mitch Mitchell's request for female companionship: Sorry, but I like you as a friend. You may get more ladies by joining a band that actually has a "cute one". On the other hand, people rush to be with "reality stars", why not someone actually talented? I really wish I could kick my hand. Am I too out of shape, or it my T-Rex like arms? Maybe Uncle Bob could give classes. Unlike some people, Robert Pollard's voice sounds even better live. My only critique: Nothing from Sunfish Holy Breakfast? Best EP ever.

DR S'S 15

Dr. S has authorized me to post his 15 albums: Ramones - Ramones The Action Is Go - Fu Manchu Goo - Sonic Youth Electric - The Cult Spine of God - Monster Magnet Raw Power - The Stooges The Song Remains The Same - Led Zeppelin Are You Experienced - Jimi Hendrix Masters Of Reality - Black Sabbath Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse - Skinny Puppy Boxing The Clown - Helios Creed The Process Of Weeding Out - Black Flag Ummagumma - Pink Floyd Through The Eyes Of Heathens - Dozer Altered Beats: Assassin Knowledges of the Remanipulated - Bill Laswell

I GIVE IN TO PEER PRESSURE AND DO MY 15 ALBUMS

"The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what albums my friends choose. To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note." Singles Going Steady - Buzzcocks Siren - Roxy Music Alien Lanes - Guided By Voices Maxinquaye - Tricky Call The Doctor - Sleater - Kinney Funhouse - The Stooges Seamonsters - The Wedding Present You Turn Me On - Beat Happening Trust - Elvis Costello Vs - Mission of Burma Bullhead - The Melvins Pink Flag - Wire Pinkerton --Weezer Radio City -- Big Star Walk Among Us -- The Misfits These are not in any particular order. There are some bands I love, but I just don't think they've created a "perfect album"

AMREP 25TH

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR . As summer was about to end, I got my punk rock and outdoor festival fix at the Amphetamine Reptile 25th Anniversary show at Grumpy's . I was able to rock fairly hard without throwing out my back by pacing myself and sitting for a while in the chairs thoughtfully put out for the old punks like me. Everyone was surprisingly nice for an event featuring nasty noise music. Dr. S and I were completely embarrassed when we accidentally walking into the green room, but Buzzo didn't seem to mind. Another bad moment was when I thought I saw Craig Finn and almost ran up and kungfued his ass, but it was just some funny-looking guy.* I don't know why the Melvins had to play first (sucked for us, since we missed them while loading up on food to survive this epic event). I think I was waiting for a beverage during the Thrown-ups, but White Drugs, Today Is The Day, and Gay Witch Abortion were all entertaining. The day belonged to God Bu

TOP TEN KARAOKE SONGS I'D LIKE TO HEAR STEVE ALBINI SING

I might not be able to get to PRF BBQ Auktoberfest 2010 to see Steve Albini rock out like this (though I'm more of a "Breakdown Dead Ahead" gal myself) , but I can dream, can't I? Rasputin Everybody Wants You Sweet Talkin' Woman Stand Tall Bust A Move Fox on the Run Temptation Eyes Mama Said Knock You Out This Beat Goes On/Switching To Glide   Word Up

THE RED NINJA WATCH

Here's a watch I made using a Shawnimals Wee Ninja charm I got for like $2 at Robot Love . I bought the watch to match and just happened to have a red bead. I had my 15 seconds of fame today when Shawnimals found this photo and tweeted it: Seriously AMAZING! via @ ash966 posted a photo: A watch I made from a Wee Ninja charm. http://bit.ly/alCAIs Oh Flickr stats, how you feed my ego! ---------------- Now playing: Knack - Good Girls Don't via FoxyTunes

COMCAAAAST!!!!!

Comcast has done it again. It's like they are trying to make me hate them. Why, Comcast, why? I was finally free of the cable box and its attendant wires with the HDTV, but now they're trying to force me to get one again. I just pay $10/month for the network channels because my building has zero reception, so why do I need a box? The above article implies that I can still get channels 2-23 without a box, I will just lose random channels like Food & Travel that I don't really watch anyway. Let's hope so, or my rage against them will be mighty. The new system also seems to be interfering with my EyeTV so I can't set it to record ahead, just while the show is on. This isn't too big a problem, because I mostly record shows when something else is on at the same time or to watch later with my sweetie. Still, it irks me. It couldn't possibly be because they want me to pay a monthly fee for their PVR, could it? Oh noooooo. When I got an extra cable hook

GNEISSMAKER

Gneissmaker was another beloved local band of my youth. They actually thanked me on their one CD. Supposedly, they were about to break up when I asked if they'd play at my sister's birthday party (at the infamous House of Slapstick), but the request inspired them TO CARRY ON. And the rest is very obscure Twin Cities history. I have a thing for the brutal minimalism of a heavy power trio. Gneissmaker were a gateway drug to many things, as I was untutored in the metal back then. The bassist was also responsible for a pre-grunge-explosion Melvins playing at the old Alma Mater outside on a Friday afternoon, to a handful of nonplussed students and me, quietly having an aneurysm. Damn, I wish I'd recorded them live. They were a blast, even after they laid off the male erotic dancers. Their cover of "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" was awesome. Here's their self-titled demo tape: Gneissmaker

MY CAST FOR AN ALL-FEMALE EXPENDABLES

Over at Bitch , they were discussing action movies and how Hollywood still is reluctant to let a female star carry one. There's probably no way a bunch of older and uh, "career-challenged" women could be in a movie like The Expendables , but I can dream, can't I? Here's my cast for the female Expendables : Pam Grier, Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Rothrock, Brigitte Lin, Dixie Peabody, Meiko Kaji, Tura Satana, Christina Lindberg, Linda Hamilton, and Sigourney Weaver. Stephanie Jacobsen and Summer Glau could be the token youngsters who tag along. What kick-ass women have you missed seeing on the silver screen?

I MADE A WATCH

So, I've been wanting a pocket watch for a while now. I miss having a watch on hand instead of checking my phone all the time (and when it's cold it's not good to take the iPod out too much), but don't miss having a band around my wrist that makes a mark and is always getting caught on things. I had a Maneki Neko watch that a friend gave me which I loved, but it broke. On a whim, I searched for "maneki neko watch" in Google and found one. It's nice, but then I realized: watch face + chain + clasp + bead + bead = something I can easily make myself. I still have a bunch of beads from my earring-making period, not to mention having trouble tossing earrings with a nice bead even if I lost the other one, plus jewelry wire and pliers. Watch faces are pretty cheap. I think I'll make a few for myself for different occasions. This is a fairy watch inspired by the Changeling: The Lost role-playing game I'm in now. I'm

BAD, BAD LYRICS

My bro-in-law posted this article on Facebook, which got me to thinking of some horrible rock lyrics to which I have been subjected. Ah, memories . . . "Psycho", Puddle of Mudd: She lays down on the fresh lawn  She can make everything magical  But she tied one on big time  And it makes me want to rewind My sweetie heard this when checking out the local metal station to see what's new. You may need to listen to the music to get the full effect. It's like a not-very-bright record executive trying to reverse-engineer Nirvana on his lunch break, "If I Had $1000000", Barenaked Ladies And if I had a million dollars  (If I had a million dollars) Well, I'd buy you a K-Car  (A nice Reliant automobile)  And if I had a million dollars I'd buy your love I went into a Jimmy John's once and the staff had this cranked up to 11 like it was Megadeth or something and they were trying to sing along. Trying, because it's not really a song, jus

3 x 3 x 3 Here's another one of those note thingies. Do it, tag 10 more peeps, or your teeth will rot.

Once again, I have fallen prey to one of those Facebook memes, but Hilarita tagged me, so what could I do? Three names I go by: 1. Badass Jfro 2.ASH966 3. Dre Three jobs I have had in my life: 1. Library Specialist 2. Library Aide 3. Customer Service Operator Three places I have lived: 1. Waltham, MA 2. Evanston, IL 3. Grinnell, IA Three favorite drinks: 1. Coke 2. Chai Icecrema 3. Raspberry Iced Tea Three TV shows that I watch: 1. Fringe 2. 30 Rock 3. V Three places I have been: 1. Florence 2. Prague 3. Aix-en-Provence People that text me regularly: 1. Verizon 2. Andrew 3. Susan Three of my favorite foods: 1. Dim Sum 2. Ethiopian 3. Pho Three Things I am looking forward to: 1. May Day 2. Dragon Festival 3. Amrep 25th Anniversary Three things I like to do when I am bored: Only boring people are bored, so I am changing it to 3 things I like to do while waiting for something: 1. Read a book 2. Read the New Yorker 3. Play Plants vs Zombies Three things I want to try to d

WEDDOES!

Ladies and gentlemen, the fabulous Miss Terry de Castro  All my Facebook peeps know it's been all about the Wedding Present this week, ever since I saw them on the Bizarro 21st anniversary tour last Saturday at the 400. It must have been around 1987 when Tigerlily played me a tape of George Best . It was like the Fall, The Smiths, Joy Division and the Buzzcocks all thrown into a blender of awesomeness. That's for me, I said. Here's the T-shirt I bought in England in 1989. It's too holey to wear outside, but I can't bear to throw it out. So in 1994, Tigerlily & I went to England and stayed with a friend of hers named Terry. We had a great time. Little did we know . . .Dun dun dun . . .s he would later become the bassist for one of my favorite bands of all time ! (Be patient with me here folks, this is the closest my life comes to a soap opera.) So we hung out with her for a bit after the show and reminisced about old times. Here's

MY BOOKSHELVES

I took some pictures of my bookshelves because I have an irrational desire to appear in the New Yorker's Subconscious Shelf blog. Keen-eyed librarians will notice that my non-fiction is roughly by Library of Congress subject headings, but not in call number order. I did create a catch-all "pop culture" category for things like Drag Diaries , Fruits , and Retro Hell . The second shelf is for my series manga. It used to hold tapes, but those are all in boxes now as I rarely drag them out. The size was just right for tankobon . On my bedside are favorite graphic novels and rotating encyclopedic non-fiction that's good for reading in small bites before sleep. I try not to read novels in bed during the week or I have trouble stopping. There is a whole bookshelf inside the headboard that slides out. I have some science fiction paperbacks in there that were donated to the library with really cool 50-60s covers by Richard Powers and the like. I don't actually want to

OH NO DRAGON

My Scratch project . I did this for a work conference. My job is awesome. The drawing tools are pretty primitive, but it took 1/20 of the time of my 6th grade animation project .

TAX REFUND UPDATE

Well, it was a good thing my tax refund plans were not too ambitious, as my old CRT monitor went all wonky and I finally had to get an LCD . Here is a little screenshot to celebrate my new screen's acreage and clarity. Silent Night for iTunes , where have you been all my life? I also got a cheap webcam made by (gasp!) Microsoft. It was cheap and plug-n-play, OK! My lousy old webcam didn't work with Snow Leopard, so no more webcam software for me. Rawen gave me headphones and a mic for free, very excellent. Skyping with Hilarita99 and Shelbing was great even though we couldn't figure out how to have 3-way video. Maybe I'll have to finally give iChat a try . . . I ended up buying more RAM than previously planned, so I'm speeding along with 9 GB. It was not that hard to install, even though I couldn't figure out the 16 ways to ground things mentioned by this geek . Just the lovely anti-static bracelet for me.

WALT MINK

Walt Mink: I need more pics of Candice... Originally uploaded by Chuckumentary Walt Mink has a special place in my heart as the only band where I went from seeing them from someone's washing machine in the basement to hearing them on a TV commercial. No matter what, they never failed to amaze live. I remember seeing the Smashing Pumpkins opening up for the Coctails at the 7th St Entry and thinking, "Oh, a half-assed Walt Mink." They certainly deserved success more than that Billy what's-his-name.  Here's hoping the movie about them actually get's made in time for the inevitable grunge revival (not that they were grunge, but their sad story is same as many post-Nirvana bands). Walt Mink Live Springfest 1991 PS. The "Wild Kingdom" they opened up for was a horrible band inexplicably popular in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some members later reached one-hit-wonder status as Citizen King.

YOUR OLDEST FRIEND

This forum post, " Your Oldest Friend ", has me all verklempt for some reason. I'm sad I've mostly lost touch with my childhood friends. A few of them are "friends" on Facebook but we don't really chat. Who is your oldest friend?

MY GAMING STYLE

So I took this quiz to see what my roleplaying style is. I think it's pretty accurate, I get bored if a game is just fighting, and I want my character to be consistent, not just a random sack filled with advantages for me the player. The quiz is here , but be warned, it tries to make you watch an ad at the end. You Scored as Storyteller You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director. Tactician 75%

IN WHICH JFRO GETS TOUGH ON CRIME

About the current corporate personhood kerfuffle that's been in the news so much lately: I have an idea that would satisfy both liberals & conservatives. Corporations can be people, but then they have to go to jail when they've been bad just like regular people. No rights without responsibilities, n'est pas ? Fines for breaking rules and lawsuits just don't seem to be getting the job done, and it's too easy for corporations to influence politicians into watering these down (see: "Tort Reform"). If a company breaks the law, we own their ass, and the worse it is, the longer we own them. If they are really bad, it's the death penalty--complete dissolution. It's not nationalization or socialism unless prisoner work details are, it's being tough on crime . What's softer on crime than saying certain people can't ever be put in jail no matter what they do?

TAX REFUND 2010

I got plenty of toys last year, so my ambitions for this year are more modest: Mac-Friendly Webcam for Skyping ($30 - 50) If anyone knows of a good one for Macs, let me know. My sister and brother-in-law had a little trouble setting theirs up. Headphones with Mic for Skyping on iPod Touch (20-$50) Now that my Internet is speedy enough, my plan is to eventually use Skype for all my long-distance calls. I just need to find some headphones without those stupid earbuds. My doctor told me never to put anything in my ear smaller than my elbow, and it seems like good advice. I don't even like using earplugs except for those wax ones that swimmers use. If you've ever had TMJ pain where it feels like someone is drilling into your brain from the inside, you'll know why. I might have to buy the mic separately. Boxee Box ($200?) This is the one that will go bye-bye if my fridge or dishwasher conk out. I love the idea of streaming shows on the Internet, watching them at my computer

VERTIGO

Project Digitization proceeds apace. I was in the mood for something 90's and tight and minimalistic, sort of like a sheared-off shard of slate or obsidian. So, I thought of the underrated Twin Cities band Vertigo . Here's some some vinyl-only goodies from their 4-song 7" Rub . Murder By Guitar Snakes Smoked Rub

THE SEMI-OBLIGATORY, HIGHLY ARBITRARY BEST OF 2009 LIST

Best movie: District 9 Best martial arts movie: Chocolate, Ip Man (tie) Best Documentary: Scott Walker: 30th Century Man About Time It's On DVD Already: Hobson's Choice, Five Deadly Venoms (tie) Best TV Show (Network): Dollhouse Best TV Show (Cable): Mad Men Best Animated Feature: The Sky Crawlers Best Animated Series: Baccano! Best Web Series: The Guild Best book: Maul by Tricia Sullivan Best Young Adult Novel: The Forest Of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan Best Nonfiction: Japrock Sampler by Julian Cope Best Graphic Novel: Likewise by Ariel Schrag Best Manga: A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi Best webcomic: The Order Of The Stick by Rich Burlew Best Blog: Something Awful 's fake Levi Johnson blog (warning: contains lots of swearing and sexual references that I'm sure don't reflect the real person at all ). Best Album: Snailking by Ufomammut Best Single: "That Beep" by Architecture in Helsinki About Time It