Things I Said on March 28

2012: Apparent horrifying dead-ant infestation across certain sections of the upstairs carpet fortunately turns out to be tiny, uniformly segmented pieces of Navy blue corduroy, from Lalena trimming her pants. Still don’t get how some of the bits crawled all the way out to the hallway, though.

2014: Just collected and froze a whole cup of hailballs with my five-year-old daughter — some of them the size of large marbles. Never did that before in my life. And had to do it quick, before they all melted in the 80 degree heat. (P.S.: Somebody pointed that out to me that they’re actually called hailstones. But I am content to keep deluding myself that the names are mere regional variations, when most likely I just know nothing about hail.)

2020: Best baseball card ever, fwiw: Topps 1952 Gus Zernial. Never had one. But what’s weird is that, as a kid, I swear the oldest Topps card I owned (and second-oldest card overall, after a 1949 Bowman Vern Bickford) was somebody else on the ’52 Philadelphia Athletics. But maybe I’m wrong, because I’ve never figured out whose card it was. Just googled Elmer Valo, Dick Fowler, Eddie Joost, Carl Schieb, Sam Zoldak, and both Kellner brothers’ cards, and none of those look quite familiar enough.

2020: Nine minutes into Bob Dylan’s 17-minute “Murder Most Foul” so far. Started three hours ago. (To be fair, I’ve also been vacuuming the entire house.) (Also took a break to play Coolio’s Greatest Hits. And now Total Coelo’s. So clearly I’m not super motivated.)

Later that day: Okay, finished it! Weirder: I think I kind of like it. But then again, I did always have a thing for endless repetitive drones. Not saying this is “Sister Ray” or “Autobahn,” but it’s in the neighborhood (though I can’t pinpoint off-hand what’s being endlessly repeated), the kind of drone Kraftwerk took from the Velvet Underground and the Velvet Underground took from, well, Bob Dylan! (How does “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” go again? It took up a whole album side! But obviously there are all sorts of examples circa ’64 – ’66 or so. Maybe especially “Stuck Inside of Mobile With Thee”?) See pp. 38-40 of Accidental Evolution if you want.

Also, a list song in the tradition of “I Do The Rock,” or “Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 3.” Or what about “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music? And if people are things, maybe “Walk on the Wild Side” or “People Who Died” or “Pepper” (actually I forget the words of that one.)  If it was a whole album, I’d’ve ignored it for sure. His voice has been painful for decades. I’ve only spent much time with a couple albums in that span. And the last one I love is still Blood on the Tracks.



  1. via facebook (re Dylan):

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    “Polly wolly doodle/ rag and bone/ I was over this shit with Oliver Stone”
    “Cat in the hat & the rain in Spain/ speed up the playback and it sounds like Train”

    Josh Langhoff
    It works as a very pleasant ambient field recording of an old coot at the piano

    Jerry Becker
    I was over Dylan when I saw him mumble and barely get through his songs at the Erwin Center in Austin 20+ years ago.I love his oeuvre. But, geesh. That was painful. Almost as bad as drunk and stoned Kurt Vonnegut not being able to hold a train of thought at an event my college hired him for. That was probably more depressing, come to think of it.

    Tom Carson
    I’ve had at least one person unfriend me just because I said I wasn’t in the mood to get excited about Bob’s latest opus right now. I still haven’t heard it, mind you.
    I thought so too, but it’s his business. (Good writer and so on and so forth.) I was mostly interested in expressing the cultural disconnect between What I’m Thinking About Right Now and my intermittent interest in What Bob Dylan Thinks About Whatever, but I seem to have failed to express this cogently. Not for the first time, not the last.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    I want him to reveal this would have been on tempest except he liked the long ones about Lennon and the titanic more

    Chuck Eddy
    Phil Dellio’s fb thread about this song:

    Jack Livingston
    I guess somethings wrong with me— I’m all in and on my tenth listen. Does that qualify me for a test? (I do listen to all the Sinatra stuff too..yikes).
    By the way the Burns jazz series is great, except it is Wynton’s version of jazz history, meaning no post Miles classic.

    Chuck Eddy
    True story: We are 1 1/2 eps into the jazz one.


  2. via facebook (re ants):

    Barry Walters
    I can’t even think about ants w/o Adam Ant songs invading my mind — and that’s a good thing!

    René Spencer Saller
    Actual ant incursions are indeed horrifying. Their grim death marches are not to be borne.


  3. via facebook (re hail):

    Maria Danielson

    Scott Phillips
    Honest to Gawd, for a minute I thought you wrote “hairballs”. And instead of being disgusted, I just thought “You can freeze hairballs?”. It’s been a long day.

    Deborah Frost
    I thought for a second I read HAIRBALLS!
    And see Scott just had same response : )

    Katherine Pushkar
    Yes, hairballs. Also, where can I get some 80 degree heat?!?

    Chuck Eddy
    Ha — We don’t even have a cat!

    Sneert Beasley
    North Portland = heavy-ass rain tonight.

    René Spencer Saller
    I also read hairballs. (I have six cats, though.)

    Daniel Durchholz
    I love the Frozen Hairballs. They’re from Duluth, right?

    Scott Phillips
    And if you wrote “hailstones” someone would’ve just posted “Gallstones? Boy, that sounds painful.”


  4. via facebook (re baseball cards):

    Tim Ellison
    Fred Harris himself posts in the comments of the original post of this picture and includes the original photograph of this.
    Photograph of Zernial with the bat, I mean (a black and white shot).
    It’s a fun set, with some very fuzzy airbrushing (?) and some cool background colors.
    The following year, all the cards were paintings!

    Tim Ellison
    There are a bunch of others that would be common and not high number: Ferris Fain, Bob Wellman, Hank Majeski, Morrie Martin, Joe Tipton, Billy Hitchcock, Bobby Shantz, Dave Philley.

    Chuck Eddy
    Okay, I’m still not positive, but my best guess is Billy Hitchcock. At least 50% sure. Thanks Tim!

    Michael Little
    They called Gus “Old Sticky Bat.”
    When I was growing up no one wanted what we called face cards. Everybody wanted cards showing the player doing something, anything. It might cost you ten face cards to get a card depicting some no-name journeyman shortstop holding a bat.

    Chuck Eddy
    Huh! I don’t remember that being an issue, at all. (Didn’t Topps put out specific “action” cards sometime in the ’70s, though? Vaguely remember that. Plus there were those “3D” cards, in Kellogs cereal boxes maybe.)

    Michael Little
    I don’t know about the action cards, but they’d have been sure winners where I come from. And come to think of it. I do remember those 3D cards. I don’t recall there being a lot of them in circulation, making them less popular with your rabid completists of the sort who made it their life’s wok to gathering up an entire team’s roster right down to the ballboys. I was, of course, one of these people.

    Chuck Eddy
    1972, apparently.

    Michael Little
    How cool is that? And what makes it even cooler is it’s one of those rare-as-unicorn cards where you get not just one, but TWO players on the same card. That baby would have been worth Kruggerands in Littlestown PA.

    Tim Ellison
    All the regular cards nowadays are game action shots, but Topps does these Heritage sets each year where they replicate whatever was done in a certain year. This year, it’s 1971, so there are a lot of posed shots. Next year will be ‘72, so I’d assume that will include “In Action” cards.

    Michael Little
    Tim Ellison: I wonder sometimes where my baseball card collection went. Wait a minute. My older brother made off with it.


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