Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Disturbance at the pig pen...

So just a few updates as to what's been shakin' down here:

• Another day, another rape... Memphis is like that. Come for the BBQ, stay for the violence.
• Going to England from January 6th through 12th. Mostly for work, but here's a picture of the pub I'll be staying at:

• Turns out, when I do a Google search for my name, it shows me "Bob Stickel, photographer of nude males." Safe Search wasn't on...
• A speedy recovery wish to K, who underwent surgery to remove 2 discs from his spine. I can imagine how much that hurt.
• The last 3 weeks have been filled with holiday parties. One for work, downtown at Pat O'Brians. One at Helen's, one at a lost part of the country in historic civil-war era cotton field lovin' smallville, one at the barn, and Jenn's work party out at some remote location. I think I'm past them all now.

That's all for now.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thought for Thanxgiving...

I like my heretics like I like my turkey...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Memphis changed me (I swear it did)...

This is Angela. She's a very talented stylist. But to understand the point of this post, you must first understand Angela's opposite, her polar force, her Ronin, her anti-avatar... my mother!

My mom was a hairdresser (as they used to call them in that day), and one of the benefits of having a hairdresser-mom is that for my entire life I never had to pay for a haircut. Rarely did I have to make an appointment even. But the process was a give-and-take one. I've been told that I have very difficult hair to work on because it grows 'weird.' So my mother would give me the haircut SHE wanted me to have, while I argued for a different style. I got half-and-half. So when I moved from Ohio to Memphis, mom could no longer cut her lil' son's hair. And her parting words were "no one can cut your hair like your mother." (she would actually criticize the job done by other stylists after I moved out of the house).

Meet Angela. She's not a conservative Catholic. Her arms are covered in tattoos. She's dating an army sniper. Her hair is a different color every week. She has lots of facial piercings. She's great!

Nothing against my mum, but I can't imagine the shock/horror she must be going through reading this (yes, mom reads my blog, so mind your manners you fuckos).

Angela is the best ever. But she's expensive. Mom was free at least...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

She said "I know you and you cannot sing" I said "That's nothing, you should hear me play piano..."

Today is the first day where it really feels like autumn. My dog tried to pee on the largest leaf I've ever seen, but I pulled him off of it at the last second because I wanted to put it on my fridge.
Chickadees are now on the feeders at home. Other birds I've collected: the titpecker, the woodcock, the boob lark.

Mempis is also starting to feel incredibly small. Turns out my friend and massage-therapist knows my stylist, who knows my tattoo guy.

Places I'll be going in 2007: Vegas, England, Indy, maybe Philly, maybe Japan.

Goodbye to: Sher-bear, for now.
Hello to: an increasing amount of really ignorant, self-centered people who call this city home.

Vincent Price made some great, but very gay, movies.

I really need to get back on the DJ gig thing. That was fun.

Saw David Sedaris last month, the Memphis Symphony this month.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pieces of Eight...

I know, I know, long time no post. Well, I've been promoted to Director of Marketing so now I'm doing 2 jobs until I can get a replacement for my graphic design position. Yeah, I've been busy.
Anyway, what do you think of this image (above)? Not the background, just the swirly thing.
I'm now back into the swing of blogging, so I should be posting regularly again. Thanks for not abandoning Official Rumors, and if you have, burn!
Drinks at the Celtic Crossing tonite for Sher-bear's going away party.
See you all there.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hemmed in like a boar between arches...

Hooray! The Devil is dead, now everyone is free to do whatever they wish.

Oh Mr. Punch, you kill me.

Free coffee is coming for me next week, courtesy of a friend from GENCON. This is good, considering how heavily dependent I am on the stuff.

The weather is starting to cool off (high 80's) and I'm no longer boiling like a bug in bourbon. Of course, with cooler weather comes sleeping with the windows open. And you know what comes with that? Motorcycles. Those annoying kinds that go super-fast and super-loud and sound like an alligator be run through a blender. So one of these obnoxious fucks goes tearing down the street at 1:30am and scares the crap out of me. He should be back tonight, and I'll be waiting. He needs to be fitted for a size .22 suit. Let's dress the man...

This weekend, fun is planned for all. The cooper-young festival in midtown (a hippy-fest of crafts, junk, and home-grown 'music') will see our group, and lunch at Molly's!!! Getting my hair cut with Angela, the greatest pink-n-purple, pierced, tattooed punk stylist in Memphis!

Fantasy football: I'm 1-0!! My team (the Crash Test Bunnies) has a big game this week vs. the Mighty Sock Monkeys, but they're goin' down like a prom date on the titanic 'coz we're 1-0 baby!!!

I'm out.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thought I'd share this with you...

The man who sailed around his soul
From east to west, from pole to pole
With ego as his drunken captain
Greed, the mutineer, had trapped all reason in the hold

The man who walked across his heart
Who took no compass, guide or chart
To rope and tar his blood congealed
When he found his self revealed ugly and cold

And the sirens that sing
By your nose with its ring
Theyll drag you in
For your sins

Now he sits all alone
And its no place like home
Its empty skin
A bag to keep lifes souvenirs in
The man who sailed around his soul...

The man who sailed around his soul
Came back again to find a hole
Where once he thought compassion and the truth
Had laid to warm his freezing carcass on return

The man who walked across his heart
Was doomed to journey from the start
Of every love affair hed broken
All the lies hed ever spoken
Tattooed on his arm
And the jellyfish stings
Even angels with wings
Who look too deep
And dare to peep

Now he sits all alone
Knowing flesh blood and bone
Is everything
He found the treasure hed been seeking...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Since when did the 'newgirl' get the right to pick on the veteran?! Anyways, newgirl starts in on how my *sigh* brings down the whole office, FOLLOWED BY how she doesn't really know anything about me. Seems you would want to do these two things in reverse. I mean, really.
Welcome aboard, newgirl! We've taken it easy on you so far...

Anyways, back to yoga this week. Missing 2 weeks is going to be murder.
Also, been neglecting my farm lately...

To sleep, perchance to burn...

This past week:
• Bit by a spider or equally annoying insect.
• Hummingbirds now in an aggressive territorial death match with each other.
• Laptop's monitor dies.
• Had to buy a new one.
• I hate Memphis this week, especially when SOME PEOPLE get to go to Seattle.
• My headache is back.
• I'm really cranky about everything this week, it's only Tuesday and I'm ready for the weekend.

"But in the flesh how would it be
If you could really see
The weaknesses you never knew
Alive and staring back at you..."

Monday, September 04, 2006


This picture and the stingray photo were taken at the City Museum in St. Louis, a sort of twisted wonderland of discarded objects from around the city. For example, if you have an old bank vault door lying around, the museum might want to buy it from you and make an exhibit out of it. This was the most unique museum experience I've ever been a part of. Tomorrow will be the art museum. Home on Tuesday.

Crikey: Croc Hunter gets the 'high hard one' from misunderstood skate...

Official Rumors was deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. While filming a new series titled "Stingrays--A diver's best friend", Irwin became only the 3rd person on record to died from a stingray. I'm currently writing from my hotel in St. Louis, and after hearing the news this morning, went to the St. Louis City Museum where I could pet stingrays in a tank. I'm not sure what the big deal is, since the rays were all too happy to have me pet them. Interesting note, www.jerusalemtimes.com reported Irwin's death took place during a 'DRIVING" accident (not a 'diving' accident). I honestly pictured him driving his truck down a dusty Australian road with a cooler containing a capture stingray, the truck rolling over and the cooler coming open spilling the creature onto Irwin's chest. People in Jerusalem need to spellcheck. Diving makes a lot more sense.

People and animals alike will miss Steve Irwin.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


"There is a secret, and my word was my pass through the mirror..."

Monday, August 28, 2006


I've been total crap at posting lately. Sorry 'bout that. I've been thinking recently of starting an additional, more 'themed' blog: Stickel Figure Theater! I'm still working out the details of what that theme will be, but rest assured it will be full of snobby, upper-crust, well-to-do violence and debauchery!

In other news, Markian (author of the forthcoming short essay "Moth Coffee") has taken full credit for the discovery of the following: www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com

While you go look at that, I'll get started on the new blog. Official Rumors will keep giving you the same erratic nonsuch that it has for OVER A YEAR now! Can you believe that?

You'll hear about the launch of Stickel Figure Theater before it happens, as I begin to gather submissions from the truly submissive: you reader-types!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monthly Horrorscope: LEO

If you were born during daylight savings time, be sure to subtract an hour from your birth time this month or your Horrorscope may be totally inaccurate.

July 23-Aug 22:

A co-worker leaves an interesting package in your office on the 21st. You will retaliate.

Daily Ephemera...

Hi all,
I'm back from GenCon, the most exhausting 4 days in gaming. Give me a day or so to put the whole rundown on Official Rumors, since there is a lot to tell.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Top 5 things I thought of while eating a melon...

We had brunch with D&B this past weekend, which like everything else that they do, was high-class. They are still the bests hosts in Memphis, and have treated us like family. Anyhoo, my job was to cut up the cantalope, and upon eating some I thought:

5. Remember that time at T&J's house when we cut open a watermelon, filled it with assorted fruit and poured in a bottle of rum? That was great.

4. Will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark?

3. The Tom Waits concert was fantastic, but difficult to describe. The crowd was very eclectic. They all had tattoos.

2. This weekend, I really enjoyed living in Memphis. But our air conditioning broke, and I cursed this city into the ground.

1. The consistency of melon is not unlike that of a HUMAN HEAD!!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Get your war on!

Nice one, Israel.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Stuff on my desk:
• a plastic sheep
• little dancing jack o' lantern figures
• a scented tea candle (vanilla)
• cobra commander
• a toothbrush (free when you become a delta dental member)
• an Irish wishing stone
• a bottle opener

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mind Over Matter...

I have this little indulgence I practice every couple of weeks: I'll go to local Borders Books & Music, pick up a few of my favorite magazines off the shelf, then sit in the cafe and browse through them. To understand where this story, one must know that I usually go there after work and that my work 'uniform' consists of a black angst-laden t-shirt and jeans, with my i.d. badge around my neck.
Anyways, a couple weeks ago I was at Borders and when I finished with my magazines, I was kind enough to put them all back in their designated spots. So it came as no surprise when no fewer than 4 customers came up to me and asked me various questions, mistaking me for a store employee. The first few instances I explained that I wasn't an employee, but then I began to just steer people in the wrong direction: "You actually have to have a special permit to buy anything out of our Religious Studies section" or "We're entitled to alert the FBI anytime someone buys that magazine."
I should really fill out an application, since I enjoy talking to the customers more than Border's own employees seem to.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Today is my birthday, and my niece has drawn this rendition of me wearing some kind of shriner's fez. The glowing orbs above my 'head' probably represent something... arcane knowledge or divine mana or poltergeists. Yay!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Life is like a box of chocolates...

A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for.
Unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So
you're stuck with this undefineable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly
wolf down because there's nothing else left to eat.
Sure, once in a while there's a peanut butter cup or an English toffee,
but they're gone too fast. The taste is... fleeting.
They end up as nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and
teeth-shattering nuts. You're desperate enough to eat those and all
you've got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper

Let Them Eat Birthday Cake...

A couple of weeks ago, while at home, my sister made me an early birthday cake. It's the kind of cake my mother had made me for years, but now my sister is carrying on the tradition. This, however, is not your average cake. It's called "Pig licking good cake" and sounds like something you would find here in Memphis. I'm not a big pineapple fan and this cake is choc-full of it. But make no mistake, it's (somehow) my favorite. The rest of the cake is nearly indescribable- I honestly don't know what else is in it. BBQ sauce would be an added bonus. Anyways, it's good. And I'm thankful for it.

I feel pretty apathetic about my impending birthday. I have to work tomorrow anyway.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Live Free or Don't...

I live in Memphis, which is known for a couple of things: Elvis, BBQ, and now the Statue of Liberation Through Christ. Dear readers, I CANNOT make this kind of stuff up. The church of the World Overcomers has erected this statue, a converted version of the green colossus known as the statue of liberty. They’ve added some stone tablets with symbols on them and a cross. I’m hoping these additions aren’t permanent, as I think it would add value to be able to replace them as the season’s change. For example, Halloween could see the statue change its accessories to a wooden stake and wreath of garlic. Anyways, their bullshit explanation of the statue’s meaning basically boils down to a disguised allusion to the reunion of church and state. Thanks to our forefathers, who in no way could see this coming, freedom of expression protects people from receiving death threats for their lawn ornaments. I’m offended, but I’m not really allowed to be. The Fahrenheit 451 sentries, SS stormtroopers, blade runner secret police or democrats who vote would never stand for this. Where is my police state?! I was promised a police state!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Between Something and Nothing...

Our vacation was a success! But there never seems to be enough time to do everything you want. However, zoo pictures will be up soon, so keep an eye on this space.
• Happy (belated) birthday wishes to my dad, Sheri, and Linek
• Special thanks to those who watched after our dogs. Turns out Argus was about as much trouble as we thought.
• Colin, sorry we missed you.
• And a hearty welcome to new readers of this blog. Watch what you say as it may end up in print here.

Friday, June 30, 2006

This is your life...

And you open the door and you step inside
Where inside our hearts

Now imagine that your pain is a white ball of healing light
That's right-your pain, the pain itself is a white ball of healing light

I don't think so

This is your life Good to the last drop
It doesn't get any better than this
This is your life and its ending one minute at a time

This isn't a seminar This isn't a weekend retreat
Where you are now You can't even imagine what the bottom will be like
Only after disaster can we be resurrected
Its only after you've lost everything that you are free to do anything
Nothing is static Everything is evolving
Everything is falling apart

This is your life
It doesn't get any better than this
This is your life
And its ending one minute at a time

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake
You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else
We are all part of the same compost heap
We are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world

You are not your bank account
You are not the clothes you wear
You are not the contents of your wallet

You are not your bowel cancer
You are not your grand latte
You are not the car you drive
You are not your fucking khakis

You have to give up
You have to give up
You have to realise that someday you will die
Until you know that, you are useless.

I say never let me be complete
I say may I never be content
I say deliver me from Swedish furniture
I say deliver me from clever art
I say deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth
I say you have to give up
I say evolve, and let the chips fall where they may.

This is your life
Doesn't get any better than this
This is your life
And its ending one minute at a time

You have to give up
You have to give up

--from Chuck Palahniuk

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Angriest Dog in the World...

This cartoon was written by David Lynch and used to appear in the L.A. Times. The odd gag was that the panels never changed, only the words. I thought it was great, but like all things, it eventually died. I've posted this little tribute in its honor (click to biggie-size it). This dog reminds me of our dog Argus, who has issues all his own and gets upset about similar things. The little intro to the comic is just perfect:

"The dog who is so angry he cannot move. He cannot eat. He cannot sleep. He can just barely growl. ...Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis."

Some wonderful friends of ours have been bravely volunteered to watch our dogs while we are away. Bernard is the attention-hound. Argus is bound so tightly with tension and anger...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

You can always come home...

...it's just a long-ass drive to get there. Next weekend, I'm going home to Ohio to have the family cookout and do all the stuff I loved doing before I moved down here to the blast furnace. In other news...

• The world's largest Warhammer tournament was an incredible experience, and I got to share some authentic 15-year old scotch with a guy from Scotland!
• Robin Guthrie (pictured above) will be putting on his synth-guitar/video show, but I won't be able to attend since I don't live in the UK.
• That local Bistro has a 'for lease' sign in the window. Although it is a sad occasion, it surprises no one.
• I hope to be singing at ON TAP next weekend when I go home. If Colin can make it, we should be able to collapse the place!
• I watched a kid (about 18 years old) urinate on a gas pump. I had no say in the matter.

Hope to see everyone in a week!

Monday, June 12, 2006

5th place...

Somehow, we continue to love him anyway.


I had the opportunity, during a taping of "Inside the Actors Studio," to talk with host James Lipton. So he ran me through those 10 questions asked at the end of the show:

01. What is your favorite word? Porcupine

02. What is your least favorite word? Money

03. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Music played very loudly

04. What turns you off? The News/Media

05. What is your favorite curse word? Wanker

06. What sound or noise do you love? The Ocean

07. What sound or noise do you hate? People arguing

08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Film Director

09. What profession would you not like to do? Laxative test subject

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "Let me explain..."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Desire Lines...

Prise the hair out of her mouth
Whilst the circus is heading south
While we search in the sand
Don't ask them to understand
Why they cover up their hands
And their mouths

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Test Complete...

So I had the MRI on my neck, in light of that car accident thingy. Turns out there's no major damage to any of my main cables, or soft & squishies. Just physical therapy. This is good, considering I've already made up my mind that surgery is not an option that I would accept.
Dead Can Dance was the music chosen for part of yoga last night. A welcome surprise, which makes me want to make a mix cd for next week's class. Holy crap, I could spin live music during yoga. I could be Memphis's first YJ!
Colin-I need to talk with you! I have stuff you might want.
A special shout-out to Sarah--thanks for looking out for me this week.
And Halle-this picture reminds me of the first time you brought Adam over to meet the family.

I'm off to Toronto this week, so be good and NO PARTIES!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Over the Counterculture...

Just a brief update on the state of the 'tarnation: I'm finally getting my car back (Monday) just in time to drive myself to get an MRI (Tuesday) for injuries sustained in that accident. BUT, I've got some great new music to listen to:

• Maximo Park
• Arcade Fire
• The Bees
• StellaStar
• The David Freeman Orchestra (not available)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What Would Jesus Bomb?

Terrorism begins at home.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Official Announcement...

We apologize for any confusion you may be experiencing. But are we to blame? Double click on that HELP button tattooed to your mother’s forehead. She’ll tell you that your confusion stems from a public-school infused childhood, where you were raised by television to believe that one day you’ll be a millionaire or movie god or rock star. What you really should be worried about is that it took this long for you to admit your plight.

End of line_

Friday, May 12, 2006

Welcome to our Neighborhood...

Just to get some of you caught up to speed, we moved in February to a much newer, nicer part of town. A lot of it is still being developed and we have a very nice view of nature right off of our back porch (which is 3 floors up, so it's like having a tree house). There are always birds singing 'tra-la-la' and we are surrounded by lots of lush greenery. So let's recap a few things about our new surroundings:

I should start charging people to come over and look outside. In the last month, right outside my window I've seen:
• A Blue Heron
• A Luna Moth (size of my hand)
• A hawk (size of my dog; holy crap!)
• Hummingbirds, Cardinals, ornothologica en masse

Despite our very nice surroundings, we've had:
• The same bank robbed 4 times
• Kroger robbed at gunpoint
• Tanning salon robbed at knifepoint (all in the same shopping center!)
• Liquor store robbed
• 4 burglaries in our complex

And so last night at 10:30, while the police chopper circled over our little apartment building, 3 cops and a K-9 unit were searching the grounds about 50 feet below me. They searched the creek in my back yard, our stairs, etc. Soon about 9 more police cruisers showed up and they and the dogs combed the area. Not really sure how it all concluded, except that there was some barking and shouting towards the end, and everyone casually packed up and left about an hour later.

I'm off to buy more ammunition tonight after work, and since the wife is really freaking out, maybe a seachlight to mount on my patio.

What our neighborhood needs is a BIG searchlight with a bat logo on it that we can shine on the clouds whenever there's trouble.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lost and Found...

This is my Aunt Susan. She's one of my favorites! She is very dear to me. And lo and behold, her daughter Samantha returns. She went missing off the radar for a few years, and apparently she's back with a degree and a smile! Somewhere I have a picture of Samantha and I dancing at my sister's wedding. I haven't had the privilege of spending that much time with her, but if she's anything like my Aunt Susan, she'll be able to accomplish whatever she wants, on her own terms.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bad Juju to the lot of you...

And you know who you are.

Monday, May 01, 2006

U Plavu Zoru...

"I wish a falling star could fall forever..."

The Pink Martini show will not soon be forgotten. 'D' had said that music these days seemed to be missing 'glamor.' Perhaps Pink Martini merely accumulated all the discarded glamor that available. Backed (almost needlessly) by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Martini surpassed the expectations of the unsuspecting season ticket holders, who thought that they were attending another average symphony performance. The 11-strong lineup infused cuban and asian flavors into their already unique mix of jazz, tango and mambo. You haven't lived until you've witnessed a bald japanese man in an impeccable suit singing in Spanish. But, as I suspect is always the case, singer China Forbes was the center of attention. Truly a show of musicianship not seen elsewhere in the world these days, I may not ever have the chance to see Pink Martini again-- their shows in Seattle, Portland, Istanbul, Paris, Athens, Milan and Rome are sold out in advance.

Special thanks once again to 'D' and 'B' who continue to be the most gracious hosts I know.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Art of War...

Just a sample of what a typical day at work might look like...

(Note: for those of you not 'in the know', I work for Sabertooth Games, a division of Games Workshop--world's largest and best-kept secret manufacturer of tabletop wargames.)


I'm still in a little pain, but the worst is over. Muscle relaxers and high doses of ibuprofin will do that for ya. The fate of my beloved VW Golf, however, hangs in the balance.
Special thanks to all my neighbors who game me their best wishes in light of this incident.

Tomorrow will make up for the past few days: Homemade martinis at 'D&B's' followed by the much-anticipated Pink Martini show. Now what to wear...

I really miss that Buffalo Trading Co. in Vegas; we went last year with my sister-in-law. Lots of fashionable components available including that awesome griffon belt buckle I picked up. In Ohio, The Hidden Pearl was good for that as well.

I'm thinking of adding two things to my wardrob: Shirts that require cufflinks, and making my own cufflinks.

Suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Life comes at you fast...

Today, while on the way to lunch, the car in front of me had to brake hard for someone's creative driving in front of him. I slammed on my brakes and stopped just short of the car. And then the SUV behind me hit. We were slammed into from the rear-end and it pushed my car into the rear of the car in front of me.
Damage to my VW:
The back tailgate is smashed in and won't open. Driver's side door is bent. Back bumper crumpled in and tail lights are totally smashed.
Damage to myself and passengers:
Me- sore neck and headache, but otherwise ok. (1 point of damage).
Amy, front passenger seat- VERY stiff neck and headache, bruising from the seatbelt. (3 points of damage).
Dave, back seat- his glasses flew off and his head hurts, but these may have been pre-existing conditions. (1 point of damage).

The irony: the guy in the SUV who hit me WORKS as a rep for Nationwide insurance.

The aftermath: we waited forever for the police to show up. They never did! 4 police cars drove by, but I guess it wasn't THEIR FUCKING TURN to deal with an accident. Way to go, Memphis PD. We were 2 fucking blocks from the downtown precinct. You'd think they would WANT to show up for an accident since that's EASIER to deal with than domestic violence or murder, and they're all about taking the easy road. Thank you, Memphis PD for wearing that "To Protect and Serve" logo on the side of your cruisers. Try doing it sometime.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Wow, I totally missed Easter. Sorry 'bout that. A rapid-fire update:

• With that big Warhammer Invitational Tourney fast approaching, I find myself painting miniatures at breakneck speed.
• I saw my first Luna Moth, which is like a neon-green version of Mothra the size of my hand! Thanks to the fine folks over at Auf Achse for getting a photo of the monster (which I hope to post soon).
• The 1-year birthday of this great blog is also approaching, so we're planning a huge festival. Roast duck, a maypole, and plenty of washed linens should make for a great birthday celebration.
• With the trees in full-bloom, our magic tree-porch is now home to several finch families and a cardinal.
• I found my next pet: and so I need $15. Please send it to me and I will make this fine pacman frog the official pet of Official Rumors!
• Going to see a concert on Saturday with 'D.' Pink Martini will be playing Memphis!!! If you're not familiar with this band, but find yourself saying "I totally want to hear some cuban-infused jazz" then you should research them and buy your ticket today.

More soon, I promise!

Also, a long overdue shout-out to the readers in Las Vegas! Their support of this blog has been solid, and I may never be able to repay the debt of gratitude to which I owe. I've set my iPod to play "Heaven or Las Vegas" by Cocteau Twins just for them today...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Some friends are frozen...

This is a gummy bear. Alas, he remains nameless. But 'J' befriended him when she was a kid, and they would have many adventures together. She kept him in the freezer when they weren't buddying around. He resides there still, waiting for the next time he'll be taken out to play.

True story.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Favoured of the Gods...

This is Blund. I stole this pic from "M's" Livejournal page. But the ironic thing is, I own this exact bear. His name is Blund, which is Swedish for "bear." I know this because I bought him at IKEA, the one in Pittsburgh. They've built an IKEA in Atlanta now, but those pokes thought it was some kind of Japanese car manufacturer. Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.
Anyways, I love Blund very much. I tell people that all small toy bears in Sweden are recruited for mandatory military service, so Blund served his 2 months (he's only a baby) as a weapons guidance technician. Blund doesn't like to talk about it, but he has no idea how many enemy soldiers he has killed in his day. "It's all part of the job" he says. Here he is now, relaxing on a Sunday morning.

Today will feature lunch with 'S,' lots of coffee, and some evening hang out time with 'C.'


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Unliving Idol...

I was interviewed over the phone today. Here's how it went:

(I.G.=interview girl)

IG: Did moving to the south give you greater confidence in your personal sense of fashion?
Me: I've never been confident in anything. I need to work on that. Tomorrow, maybe.

IG: Are you still having those dreams?
Me: Yes, thank you for asking. Some people dream in color, some in black and white. I seem to be dreaming lately with a 20% blue filter. This makes all my dreams seem more pale and subdued, even colder. It can be annoying but makes for dramatic lighting.

IG: You've nearly given up drinking Coca-Cola due to health reasons. How's that going?
Me: It's been much easier than I thought, but increasing my coffee intake has helped.

IG: How's work?
Me: Great! I love visiting with family and telling them that I look at Daemons and monsters all day.

IG: What's been the biggest challenge lately?
Me: Staying creative. I mean, my job is almost completely creative, but I'm referring to personal creativity. I don't have much time to write or play music these days. Being lazy is very convenient, but makes me feel guilty.

IG: What was the outcome last Easter when you put the marshmallow peep in the microwave?
Me: The peep began to expand. I became concerned so I stopped the microwave, which caused the peep to collapse. Upon further inspection, I determined cause of death to be catastrophic core implosion.

IG: What about the rest of the peeps?
Me: I do plan to launch the first peep into orbit, but this would take government funding, investment capitol, and a marketing strategy. It's on the down-low for now.

IG: What kinds of music have you been listening to lately?
Me: I've been way into jazz since moving down here. Outside of that genre, it's been hard to keep my finger on what's 'new and cool.' Going to Curiosa last summer helped, though. Found some new bands like the Cooper Temple Clause, The Rapture, and got to see Interpol. It goes without saying that the Cure were the main attraction. Also, I'm really into The Creatures' new album "Hai!"

IG: How was the party at ******'s place?
Me: Their parties are always great. Lots of artsy people talking about art and school, and I have very little to offer, but I always have a great time because of the people. Had lots to drink. Got more dirt on people.

IG: You've been taking yoga. How's that going?
Me: Awesome. It's made a world of difference and is just my kind of thing. Being one of the only guys in there is kind of odd though. I'm not sure if I'm resented by the house-frau's or not. It's really helped out my shoulder though.

IG: If you end up getting a band started, how would you like to be labelled?
Me: Great question. I read a reviw recently of a band that broke up in the mid-90's. They were described as being "Shoe-gazers." I thought, 'wow that's totally how I'd want to be described.' It conjures images of art-rock bands that just stare, introvertedly, straight downward. A little fashion, a little art, a little mopey, unusual, misfit, enigmatic--that's how I'd want it to be. These days, some bands are all about the 'emo' thing, which I love, but I think one evolved into the other.

IG: You're a collector. What sort of new things are you collecting these days?
Me: Vintage moonbeam clocks. I'd like to get some vintage coffee makers. I'm also into obtaining classic horror films. I just watched "The Abominable Snowman" with Peter Cushing!

IG: I understand you ran into ***** the other day. How did that go?
Me: I didn't run into her. "J" saw her at a David Sedaris reading. Turns out she's not dead, as I had originally reported. She looks like it though! God, do I hate that girl....

IG: You're still bitter...
Me: hell yeah. I never had closure on what she did to me. As far as I'm concerned, I still owe her one. And it will come. I really hate her... Thanks for bringing that up.

IG: What are you eating?!
Me: Cereal.

IG: Any advice you can offer your readers out there?
Me: Take dead aim at the rich. Take good care of your friends and loved ones. Have a heightened sense of paranoia. Sleep less. Take note of patterns in nature. Eat more cereal.

IG: Thanks again for taking so much time with us. We'll check in with you later.
Me: My pleasure. Good night.

-Official Rumors, April 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

Love Song...

Here's an odd premise I came up with. The following is a list of friends of mine, the bands/music they introduced me to, followed by their Chinese Zodiac sign. Makes for interesting cross-references, debates, philosophical diatribe or vertical lookups (for you Excel users).

Jenn -- Tori Amos -- Horse
Gina -- Lush -- Rabbit
Christine -- Wire -- Dog
Sarah -- The Rapture -- Rooster
Anna -- Interpol -- Rabbit
Mike -- Franz Ferdinand -- Dragon
Sheri -- Opera -- Bat
Kalisa -- Tears for Fears (again) -- Horse
Nicole -- The Smiths -- Rabbit
Stas -- King Crimson -- Rabbit
Millhouse -- They Might Be Giants -- Rabbit
Markian -- Sisters of Mercy -- Rabbit
Julinka -- Voltaire -- Rabbit
William Mann -- The Cure (didn't introduce me to them but was responsible for a lot of my education about them) -- Goat

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Artist Credit...

Dominic X. Johnson, my nephew, is the artist who has been featured on Official Rumors lately. He's sort of a post-modern, neo-malificent transexpressionist working mostly in marker and watercolor. Classical, but with a hint of lime. He does indeed get his talent from his mother (my sister) Halle Johnson. Don't be confused, though, since HOLLY Johnson was the former lead singer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood. He died of AIDS, though. My sister is HALLE, not HOLLY.

Just clearing that up.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm all about it...

Things you should know about me:

• Toy Soldiers
• Jack o' Lanterns
• Lightning storms
• Little hole-in-the-wall Middle Eastern restaurants
• Books about pirates
• Classic horror films (mostly the black and white kind, Hammer films, et. al.)
• Snow!
• Air Hockey
• Making a big pot of chili on cold Sundays before the football games start
• Fishing
• Red Wine (merlot or cabernet, some kinds of zin)

• SUV's
• 'Yard Geese' dressed in rain gear
• Reality shows
• Baseball
• Cell phones
• Asking to sit in 'non-smoking' and having them seat you right next to smoking. Wtf?!
• The spoken sound of the Hindu language
• People who keep dangerous reptiles as pets
• Revolving doors (I have a phobia of these and refuse to go through them)
• Starbucks (great atmosphere, great business strategy, shitty coffee)
• Indecision
• Coupons
• 'Ask Me' buttons
• and much more...