Monday, December 31, 2012

The Crucifier

Yesterday was my 49th birthday.  Danielle McArthur, Lynn Riser and I celebrated at the Metropolitan Grill, a steakhouse in downtown Seattle.  A lovely spot, I have to say, with outstanding service and food, but price-wise it's kind of a special occasion, once a year place (in my opinion).  At any rate, this was the second consecutive birthday I spent in Seattle after enjoying the previous 16, 17 or however many exactly (I don't care to count) in either San Francisco or its surrounding environs (Sea Ranch at least one year).  Next year, when I turn 50, I plan to do so in San Francisco at the House of Prime Rib, which was a regular birthday spot for me in the past.

When Danielle and I left San Francisco in June, 2011, among the other beads and baubles that made the journey along with us was a stack of cocktail napkins from a variety of my favorite SF bars and restaurants, including HOPR.  If you follow this blog at all, you will likely be aware of a couple of things, but one of them almost certainly is this - I like to present crosses in a variety of ways.  Type in the word "cross" in the search feature and you'll get quite a list ("centurion" will also bring up some crosses as well).  Now, of course, Lynn Riser is aware of this penchant of mine.  In fact, I have drawn crosses of a sort in his home in Tacoma (see posts dated 6/30/12 and 7/3/12).

And so because next birthday I plan to dine at the House of Prime Rib, I took three HOPR cocktail napkins along with us to the Met last night, kind of a forward nod.  (And, yes - I appropriated four Met coasters to bring along with me to HOPR in 2013.)  Now two of these HOPR napkins were pristine; I gave them to Danielle and Lynn at the bar.  But one of them did have a small, crude cross addition (see photo below - that was from an April, 2011 farewell dinner I had with Peeber right before D and I left SF).  I kept that one for my drink.  When we moved to the table, the napkins accompanied us to make their final stand.  Lynn, however, didn't realize my napkin had any additions.

Our fantastic waiter, Reggie, introduced himself to us and asked about cocktails; looking down at my napkin he made reference to me as "The Crucifier".  Lynn looked up at him and said, in essence, "But that's what he does, he draws crosses.  How could you possibly know that?" And, for a second or two, through Lynn's eyes, I experienced the tiniest approximation of, let's call it, "notoriety" - the illusion that somehow my crosses (and their connection to me) had made their way out into the world, to a place beyond the scope of these humble pages.  I kind of liked it.



"Shorty Crucified Me"

An original IBL photograph taken December 28th, 2012, Little Red Hen, Seattle, WA.

Brother's Pizza and The Riptide...

... San Francisco, California, looking west from the south side of Taraval, right around 45th or so, the Pacific just three blocks away...

Peeber was there last night, and he sent me this snap.  The Riptide is a fantastic bar with live music several nights a week, an awesome fireplace, and plenty of dogs; Brother's Pizza is super tasty and their custom "slices" are easily TWO slices (try an Indian topping or three!).  In truth, I wouldn't even say "Hey, if you're ever out this way...".  I'd say, "Hey, head on out this way, walk on the beach, enjoy some pizza and a refreshing beverage."  I do not believe you will be disappointed...


Friday, December 28, 2012

U.S. Population - NRA Membership

According to the Census Bureau, the United States entered 2012 with a population of approximately 312.8 million.  The National Rifle Association "boasts" a membership of about 4 million people.  Assuming that both of these numbers are spot on (which seems unlikely, doesn't it? but, for our purposes...), that means that an organization with a membership total that would comprise (just shy of) 1.3% of the entire U.S. population is attempting to dictate the terms of any and all debate on firearms, which is to say there will be no debate.  So far, they have been quite successful.  The folks here at IBL think it's time to change that, and we encourage you and yours to do all you can in this area (pester elected representatives; support the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; gently and patiently explain to people who think otherwise that we have a "militia" already, the National Guard (not to mention Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines)).

Where we at IBL would start? Mandatory background checks for anyone purchasing a weapon (history of mental illness, history of violent crime, restraining orders, etc.).  No "gun show loopholes", no private sales through the mail.  Sell a weapon without properly checking the background of your buyer? Automatic two years in prison.  Also, reinstate the assault weapon ban.  These are basic steps that could make a difference right now, and make far more sense than arming the entire country.  (Because what could possibly go wrong then?)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One Final Stocking Stuffer

I have never understood why Christmas songs are played all December long on radios and in stores and then BLAM - on December 26th it's like they'd never heard of a Christmas song before.  Come on, it was just yesterday! Well, not so at IBL.  At IBL, we're giving you that one extra slice because you deserve it...

And, so - Happy Christmas, War is Over by John Lennon...


Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Black Sheets of Rain"

Original IBL art - crayon, pen and felt pen on torn napkin, 4 5/8 x 4.25 inches, 12/15/12.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Cards for the Troops

A couple of Thursdays ago I went to the Little Red Hen to meet Danielle, and bumped into our friend Katie.  She had a box of holiday cards for the troops and needed folks to write personal messages.  Danielle was already sitting at the bar and had a couple of cards; I took three for myself.

Now, I have had a few conversations with Katie and, although I don't know her well, I would cautiously label her something of a liberal, or at least liberal-minded.  Danielle I know very well - she is very liberal.  I am still learning about myself, but I am clearly very liberal - and then maybe even slightly more than that.

At any rate, at the end of the night all the cards didn't get signed, and Danielle volunteered that we would take half of the remaining stack home with us and finish them up over the weekend - 25 cards or so - and I would run them back over to Katie at the Hen Sunday night.  This we did.

I don't bring this up to say, "Hey, look at me!" I bring it up for this reason: when Katie asked me if I would write notes in some of these cards, my first thought was, "Of course - these people are in a foreign country, far from their homes and families during the holiday season, why wouldn't I make some sort of gesture, however slight, to let them know they haven't been forgotten."  I wished each of them well, I thanked each for his or her service.

So, that's three liberals personalizing holiday cards for the troops in one bar in Seattle.  Likely there were groups of people across the country doing this same thing; possibly other liberals were involved; possibly you were involved yourself.  But you've heard that mantra from the Right - "Liberals don't support the troops!" Bullshit, not true.  Liberals, in general, support the troops and want them all to come home safely.  Hell, we want everyone to come home safely.  It's the war we don't support.  Two different things.


"Pasadena in the Rain"

Original IBL art - crayon, felt pen, lipstick and water on torn coaster, 3 x 2 inches, 12/18/12.

Stocking Stuffer #12

If We Make it Through December, Merle Haggard...


Monday, December 17, 2012

"How Much I Lied", Yo La Tengo Covering Gram Parsons

Heard this for the first time yesterday at lunch.  One of my favorite GP songs, and I believe this is a gorgeous version.  Hope you enjoy...

"How Much I Lied", Yo La Tengo...



An original IBL photograph taken December 15th, 2012, @ Gainsbourg in Greenwood, Seattle, WA.

"Live Music Is Better" Bumper Stickers Should Be Issued

Stocking Stuffer #11

Well it does have Christmas in the title...

I'm Trimming My Christmas Tree With Tear Drops, Ernest Tubb...


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cheeseburger and Bud, Sam's on Broadway, San Francisco

If you live in San Francisco or plan to visit, do yourself a favor and stop by Sam's on Broadway (very near Columbus), for a lovely cheeseburger and fries/onion rings.  A true hole in the wall.  Three tiny tables, as I recall, and a bar counter that holds, I don't know, maybe ten people? But well worth the wait to get a seat at the counter and enjoy some reasonably priced and delicious greasy food.  Oh, but DON'T eat the pizza - that is a whole other matter and one you don't want to investigate.

By the way, you know who was there last night? Yep, that's right - Peeber.  And this photo? Why it's courtesy of Peeber, of course!

Looking good...


Children Also Dying in Pakistan

According to this article in The Telegraph, 168 children have died in Pakistan since the United States initiated drone strikes under the Bush Administration.  In one 2006 strike alone, nearly 70 children were killed.  Under the Obama Administration, these strikes have increased dramatically.    To my mind, it seems fitting to return to this issue in light of what happened in Connecticut yesterday, to imagine the heartbreak and anguish of Pakistani mothers and fathers.  As humans, we are all in this together.  If you said prayers or shed tears yesterday, please don't forget to save some for these children as well, innocent children killed by the United States of America, which means you and me.  Consider ways to influence our government to stop this indiscriminate killing.  Consider ways to work together to stop these mass shootings at home.

Everybody in, nobody out...


Friday, December 14, 2012

Connecticut Shooting

In truth, I get so angry and frustrated after these shootings I often just want to rant and rage, but I try and approach things in a more calm, collected manner.  I have decided not to do that this time.  So, I am going to rant and rage, and I'll do it in words, because words are what I do.  That being said, as it will certainly violate the Civility Clause here at Infection By Light, you will not find it in these pages.  If you are interested I will make it available to you.  Oh, and don't think it won't be on Facebook; also, I'm going to send it to at least two local papers.  File under "You Do What You Can and Hope for the Best".

Peace out.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stocking Stuffer #10

"I have Daddy's word and that's good enough for me..."

Santa on the Roof, the Reverend Horton Heat...


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bush 2nd Term 2004, Obama 2nd Term 2012

A few bits of information summed up nicely in Hendrik Hertzberg's Talk of the Town piece in The New Yorker, 12/3/12 -

  • In 2004, Bush defeated Kerry 286 - 251 in electoral votes.
  • In 2004, Bush had approximately 3 million more "popular" votes than Kerry.
  • In 2004, the Wall Street Journal opined - "Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are fortunate enough to receive."
 (I bet you know where this is going...)
  • In 2012, Obama defeated Romney 332 - 206 in electoral votes.
  • In 2012, Obama had approximately 4 million more "popular" votes than Romney.
  • Also, the Democratic caucus grew from 53 to 55.
  • Also, Democratic Senatorial candidates received 10 million more votes than their opponents.
  • Also, Democractic House candidates had about a million more votes overall than their counterparts, and picked up a few seats.
  • The Wall Street Journal - "President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times."
 As always, you can't make this stuff up.  Me? I blame the liberal media...


Stocking Stuffer #9

Pretty Paper, Willie Nelson...

Christ, the man can sing...


Monday, December 10, 2012

Stocking Stuffer #7

A possible stretch as a "Christmas song", I won't lie to you...

They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore, Kinky Friedman...


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stocking Stuffer #4

Heard a Chuck Mead version of this earlier today, and the DJ mentioned it was originally done by Eddy Arnold.  And, so -

Will Santa Come to Shanty Town, Eddy Arnold...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fictional Lesbian Pairings (X)

Karen Ann Quinlan thought, "That Terry Schiavo, she's kind of cute.  Plus I bet there's a ton of stuff we could talk about."

So, a week after informally meeting Terry at a small party in Mary Magdalene's loft, Karen asked her out for kielbasa sandwiches, potato salad, and polka music.  At a cozy table toward the back of the room, some nuzzling was observed.

It's up to the angels, now.


Interlude, Belligerent (Baptism)

Do you reject Satan?
And what if I don't?

And all his works?
Seriously, what would you do?

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
And let's say I don't - what is it to you?

Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
It's all about the repetition, I see.
Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
Rinse and repeat.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
And what if I don't?

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
And what if I don't?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
And what if, well, you know...

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are we? But what if we're not?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stocking Stuffer #1

Ho ho ho! We here at IBL are a tad late in joining the Christmas Music Assault (tm), but better late than never, am I right? So go ahead - celebrate the holiday season with the first of several stocking stuffers we have lined up for you.  You'll be glad you did!

John Prine, Christmas in Prison...


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Interlude, True (Baptism)

Do you reject Satan?
I couldn't possibly know.

And all his works?
I couldn't possibly know.

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
I couldn't possibly know, that's why you answer for me.

Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
I couldn't possibly know.
Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
I couldn't possibly know.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
I couldn't possibly know, and I can't speak - that's why you answer for me.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
I couldn't possibly know.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
I couldn't possibly know.

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are we? I couldn't possibly know.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interlude, Verisimilitude (Baptism)

Do you reject Satan?
I do.

And all his works?
I do.

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
I do.

Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
I do.
Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
I do.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
I do.

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.


What Good Is That, Simple Wafer?

My mother attends church seven days a week, Catholic Mass, but she would prefer in the extreme to receive the Most Holy Communion from the priest and only the priest - no extraordinary ministers and certainly no extraordinary ministers of the female variety for her.  During the week it's not an issue: the priest handles Communion for the smaller crowds.  But on Sundays, when there's a sizable turnout and extraordinary ministers are often employed, I have seen her walk the interior perimeter of a church in order to avoid one, to get to a priest no matter how far away.  Because, as is widely known, once an extraordinary minister (male or female) touches the Host, the effects of Transubstantiation are rendered null and void via a process called Immediate Negation (citation needed), the Host returning to simple wafer form.  And what good is that, simple wafer, when it's no longer the Body of Christ - when it's just a symbol of Christ's redemptive power, and nothing more?


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Untitled Bryan Daniel Photograph

An IBL ice cross set atop a Douay-Rheims.  Photographed by Bryan Daniel in Green Lake, Seattle, this past September.

"Little Wing" - Jimi Hendrix Would Have Turned 70 Today

Easily one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard.  I wasn't always the biggest fan of Hendrix's vocals, but he shines on this one.  As with some of the others who died so young - Duane, Janis, Gram, Buddy, Eddie, etc. - I can't help but wonder what other gems he may have produced...

Little Wing...


Friday, November 23, 2012

"Reelin' in the Years", Steely Dan

Yes, you've heard it one hundred, two hundred, maybe three hundred times, I understand that.  But hear it again, and watch the incredible musicians performing it in the moment.  A fine piece of video to have available forty years on...

(Also, I posted a poem by William Burroughs yesterday, and Steely Dan takes their name from an object in Burroughs' Naked Lunch - well, a strap-on dildo, in truth.  Utter coincidence, believe it or not, having these posts back to back - it didn't even occur to me until I was typing out the subject line just now.)

Reelin' in the Years...


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Just Inside Our Front Door...

Icons from Paris, San Francisco and New York; Gibson's ashes; three pieces of original art in the back (and a small portion of another on the wall).  The cross on the far right was featured in these very pages on 3/4/12 should you care to see it up close and personal.  As for the others, they will be featured in the coming days and/or weeks.

Photographed by Bryan Daniel in Green Lake, Seattle, this past September.

"Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"

Original IBL art - ink and water on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 11/15/12.

Monday, November 12, 2012

(Untitled Original IBL Art)

Lipstick and pen on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 11/10/12.


Original IBL art - lipstick and wax on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 11/10/12.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Original IBL art - matches and glue, 2 3/4 x 2 inches, November 2012.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

At the Cinema - "Looper"

It's 2013, and Wichita Fred (Eric Roberts), sworn enemy of ex-major league pitcher Braden Looper (Matthew Modine), travels back to 1998 to kill Looper before the pitcher's major league debut, thereby erasing Looper from MLB's record books, and negating the pitcher's two World Series Championships (2003 Marlins, 2006 Cardinals).  Looper, with help from a time cop retiring in a week (Cheech Marin), races against the clock to stop Fred, all the while fighting inner demons who, critical of his career ERA of 4.15, .272 BA against, and 1.37 WHIP, wonder if he just shouldn't forget about the whole thing.  (Co-starring Rhea Perlman as "Aunt Lu".)


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Last Night @ Duck Island Ale House, Seattle


Had Enough of McGrath Yet?


Photographed by Bryan Daniel in Green Lake, Seattle, this past September.

Missive From My Mother - Telegram Enhancement

Young man (62) in Seattle  STOP  (Keith)  STOP  dying of cancer (melanoma)  STOP  Please pray for him.  STOP  Immanent  STOP


Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" - White Stripes, Chris Thile

Return with us now to an IBL staple - the humble offering of a song done by the original artist, followed by what is, at least to our mind, an interesting cover version.  And, so, first, White Stripes' Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground;  and, then, a very different arrangement by Chris Thile...


Chester and His Papa

Photographed by Bryan Daniel in Green Lake, Seattle, this past September.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Chester and Danielle

Photographed by Bryan Daniel in Green Lake, Seattle, this past September.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

McGrath in B&W

Photographed by Bryan Daniel in Green Lake, Seattle, this past September.

Chester, McGrath, and McGrath's Tongue

Photographed by Bryan Daniel in Green Lake Park, Seattle, this past September.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Halloween Head", Ryan Adams

A better contemporary American singer than Ryan Adams? I would love to hear suggestions...

All the best to you and yours...

Halloween Head...


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Ave Maria"

Original IBL art - newspaper and glue, 8.5 x 6 1/8 inches, October 2012.

"Actual Photo"

Original IBL art - newspaper and glue,  9.5 x 7.5 inches, October, 2012.

Brief, Insightful Commentary on the Tigers' Performance Last Night in Game 4 of the World Series

Finally got to see Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (streaming on NetFlix, recommended by Peeber).  Danielle and I both thought it was quite good.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Brief, Insightful Commentary on the Tigers' Performance Last Night in Game 3 of the World Series

The pitching staff allowed four runs in the last two games - four runs - and the offense responded by scoring zero runs combined.  If the offense is not going to put forth the effort to score any runs, I certainly don't need to put forth the effort to watch the game tonight.  And so I shan't. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Detroit Tigers in the World Series

And, as a fan of the Tigers, I have to say that, as the season progressed, I did not think this was a very likely end result.  Yes, they signed Prince Fielder in the off-season; but, in truth, if not for Victor Martinez's January season-ending injury, they likely would not have gone after Fielder.  Martinez is good for a .300 average, 20 homers and over 100 RBI; Prince hit 30 homers on the nose, batted .300 and had 100 RBI.  So, a substitution of sorts, nothing more.  Now last year the Tigers won 92 games to capture their division, then beat the Yankees in a five game ALDS before losing to Texas in a six game ALCS.  This year it seemed a universal opinion that there were even higher expectations (which, to be fair, at this point they have now achieved) and, so, when things did not appear to be going well, I began to investigate why this year was considered a disappointment, and here's my pre-World Series assessment.

They wound up with 87 or 88 wins in a weak division, so only four or five games off last year's pace.  And, so, what went right? Well, Prince Fielder, of course.  Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown, obviously (he also won the batting title last year).  The emergence of Austin Jackson as a lead off batter, and Andy Dirks as a left-handed hitting corner outfielder who could play full time.  Justin Verlander posted a 2.6 ERA after his 2.4 last year, so all well and good there.  Also, Max Scherzer matured as a starting pitcher and, beginning in July and into September (when he missed some starts with a sore shoulder), he was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.  But that's it, really.  I mean that's all good stuff, sure, but here's what went wrong -

Jackson and Dirks, as good as they were, each missed a month with injuries (kudos to rookie Quintin Berry for being a spark plug of a fill-in; I do want to acknowledge that), and that certainly slowed the offense down to a certain extent. Utility infielders were a nightmare, from Danny Worth to Ramon Santiago to Ryan Rayburn to my beloved Brandon Inge, hitting anywhere from like .075 to .220 on the high side.  The Tigers lead ALL of MLB when it came to hitting into double plays.  The collapse of the bullpen in the second half of the season, including usually reliable set-up man Joaquin Benoit ending the year with this remarkable stat - 15 home runs in like 70 innings (inexcusable!).  Last year, Jose Valverde didn't blow a save which still boggles my mind because, if you watched him perform on a daily basis, and you checked out his stats, you simply wouldn't think it was possible.  This year, Jose was even less pleasant, blowing a save on opening day and then wrapping that up in a nice little bow with his 9th inning meltdowns in the playoffs in both Oakland and New York.  Apparently he had no splitter this year, which leaves him a one pitch kind of a guy - a 92 mph fastball folks can sit on.  Doug Fister, the number 2 starter, was on the DL by the second day of the season, the first of two visits and, when he returned, he was simply not as effective as last year.  Good, he was, yes, but not brilliant.  Shortstop Jhonny Peralta? Hit .270 or so last year with 20 HRs; this year, .240 or so with 10.  Catcher Alex Avila? .285 or so last year with 18 HRs and over 100 RBI, slugged over .500.  This year? Mid .240s with maybe 10 HRs and 50 RBI and a slugging percentage below .400.  Brennan Boesch, the right fielder? Hit .240 with maybe 10 HR after hitting .280 last year with 15 or 16 HRs in an injury-shortened season.  In fact, Boesch was finally benched in September (way too late in my opinion) for an Avisail Garcia/Berry platoon, and was even left off the playoff roster.  The top half of the Tigers' order was fine and dandy all year, the bottom half a catastrophe (at some point I coined the phrase "three runs whether we need them or not" for the offense).  Also, their infield defense is not too great - I think they lead the AL in unearned runs; what pitching staff doesn't swoon along to that stat.

So, again, I didn't imagine they'd make the playoffs, let alone last all that long if they did.  They caught a break to be sure playing in the weakest division; they caught a break when, after trailing the White Sox by three games with two weeks to go, the Southsiders decided to reel off a 1-9 during a ten game stretch.  Against Oakland in the first round of the playoffs they managed to split the first four games even though they scored 11 total runs, 8 of them earned - if Coco Crisp does not drop Miguel Cabrera's very catchable ball in Detroit in Game 2, there might never have been a Game 5 series-clinching masterpiece from Verlander, and it would have been the A's (whom I just love, I have to say) advancing.

And speaking of advancing - yes, the Tigers have good starting pitching, no doubt, and I did like the way Leyland moved away from Benoit and Valverde in the late innings after the latter's 9th inning flame-out in Game 1 vs. the Yankees in the ALCS (Phil Coke pitches in all four games, doesn't allow a run, and records 2 saves - I think he had 1 save all year), but let's take a gander at the Yankees, shall we? Their post-season meltdown began against the Orioles in the previous round, and they had A-Rod, Granderson, Swisher, Cano (Cano!), Chavez - none of these guys hitting at all, and piling up strike out after strike out.  Well, this Yankees' meltdown did not hurt the Tigers' chances one bit is all I'm saying.

At some point in late August I started to think about how much better the Tigers were going to be next year, when Martinez returns and is full time DH, batting behind Fielder.  Pretty fantastic, that.  And some of the younger pitchers getting experience, like Smyly and Albuquerque.  And maybe another arm in the bullpen (definitely another arm in the bullpen - Valverde is a free agent).  And perhaps this kid Garcia, the mini-Miggy, really turning into something - he's only 20, the same age as Cabrera when he came up.  He even looks like Cabrera, and apparently has a chance to be the kind of a player Cabrera is but with speed and better defensively.  (We'll see.)  And I still think that's true, I think they can be better next year, which I'm happy about.  But, you know, that was my August thinkng.  In the meantime -

they are inexplicably in the World Series.  And I'll watch as much a I can, the first two games for sure and see how it goes from there, and I'll keep my expectations low because that seems not unreasonable based on what I watched them do on the field all year.  But if there's a Game 5, or a 6, or a 7, series on the line, and Valverde trots in from the bullpen with a one run lead to "lock it up", it's not impossible it may just be the perfect time to walk the dogs.  You'd hate to miss something brilliant, I get that; but, more than that, you'd hate to see something awful, and I've seen that twice already now in the post-season and didn't enjoy it either time, I have to say...


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Narrators With Whom We May Not Particularly Agree

So, as we move closer and closer - inexorably, one might say - to the appearance of David Allen Coe's Fuck Anita Bryant in these pages (and how that song may or may not break the Civility code here at IBL), I would like to return to an issue broached in the post of 10/16/12: using art to literally say one thing when, in fact, your purpose may well be to get across a point that is quite the opposite.

The first time that I can recall experiencing this (though I would not have known how to talk about it) was at age 12 or 13, when I first heard Elton John's Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player album, which included Texan Love Song.  First, it was scandalous (or would have been considered so by my parents if they'd heard it) and memorable because it used the word "Goddamnit" in the chorus.  But, also, I can remember hearing the song and, knowing enough about Elton John at that time (he was my favorite), thinking to myself, "That doesn't sound like something he might actually believe."  And, of course, he was not the lyricist in those brilliant years (1969 to 1975, let's say), that was Bernie Taupin.

And so Mr. Taupin may well have been personally critical of the type of individual represented here but, rather than sermonize (except, perhaps, in the ironic title), he humanizes, creating an actual character, a narrator with his own belief system: we learn about his point of view, and we learn about some of the reasons he's unhappy and/or suspicious.  In truth, some people could have heard this song like I did, as criticism; others, of course, could have heard it as the straight up truth.  What didn't occur to me until years later was the possibility that it may have been intended to elicit something else, a better understanding of our narrator and why he behaves the way he does.  Now, of course, I attempt to do that same kind of thing in my own writing and art, and to seek out the works of others that will challenge my preconceived notions in as many areas as possible.

I read an interview years ago with Martin Scorsese in which he discussed films like Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and Good Fellas, and he said, in essence, "I don't take sides - I just show.  You are free to make your own decisions."

And, so, Texan Love Song, by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, with lyrics following...

I heard from a friend you`d been messing around
With a cute little thing I`d been dating uptown
Well I don`t know if I like that idea much
Well you`d better stay clear I might start acting rough
You out of town guys sure think you`re real keen
Think all of us boys here are homespun and green
But that`s wrong my friend so get this through your head
We`re tough and we`re Texan with necks good and red

So it`s Ki yi yippie yi yi
You long hairs are sure gonna die
Our American home was clean till you came
And kids still respected the president`s name
And the eagle still flew in the sky
Hearts filled with national pride
Then you came along with your drug-crazy songs
Goddamit you`re all gonna die

How dare you sit there and drink all our beer
Oh it`s made for us workers who sweat spit and swear
The minds of our daughters are poisoned by you
With your communistic politics and them negro blues
Well I`m gonna quit talking and take action now
Run all of you fairies clean out of this town
Oh I`m dog tired of watching you mess up our lives
Spending the summertime naturally high


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Blog Comment I Received This Morning

"I knоw this if off tοpіс but I'm looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I'm aѕsuming havіng a blog lіke youгѕ would cost a prettу penny? I'm not very internet savvy so I'm not 100% positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it Look at my page :: the best sitosterol hair loss on Donald Hall on Becoming Old, New Yorker Issue 1/23/2012"

And to think I was complaining just yesterday that NOBODY comments on my blog! Clearly people are just a little behind because there is so much to digest - this post, for example, is from 2/1/12.

Our friend is right about one thing, though, there is a cost to doing this, no doubt about it...


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Word on Yesterday's Lone Post

 (Take a quick peek at it now, I'll wait...)


So I put that on the blog yesterday afternoon, linked it up to Facebook as I do with 95% of these entries, and within an hour I received this response -

Me no speaka good engrish so you fucka you...I no spel good tu Harhar me go laf mor mak crizy song in hed sing tu me orly

First of all, "me go laf mor mak crizy song in hed sing to me orly" is a pretty good line, I have to admit.  Second, I declined to post the comment under the "control your environment" theory (it was, of course, sent anonymously - the courage that must take.)

And then only this -

I am under no illusions as to how many people read this blog on a regular basis.  But I don't mind, I assumed it would be that way going in.  What does seem interesting to me in this instance is that, within an hour of this going up, I could have a comment back.  In general, I don't get that many comments from people I don't know - maybe ten in over a year.  So who was this, somebody randomly patrolling the internet? Possibly, but those seem like long odds.  Or perhaps somebody saw it on Facebook and doubled back to comment? To me, that seems more likely.  And so but anybody who has bothered to take a look around these pages would, I think, come to understand a few things about the creator and, in theory, would be able to bundle yesterday's entry within a context firmament that would indicate this was likely an attempt at irony (could well be failed attempt, of course).  I heard a quote of Sarah Silverman's once where she said, in essence, "If you want to know who I am, just listen to my act.  I'm the opposite of that."  In truth, I think I've given plenty of clues here as to who I am.

Could somebody still have been offended? Sure.  Could somebody simply have been trying to continue the irony? I guess, but then why not leave a name? So, for those of you who got this far - go ahead, comment away.  I'm not going to take offense, ever.  I'm certainly not going to get in some verbal sparring match.  If you're grumpy with something I put out there, or if you're happy with something, I'd love to hear about it and I'd love to talk about it.  But, in general, I'm going to need a name, or the comment is headed to the electronic dust bin, except for the parts I can use later.


A Death in the Family

It is with great regret I must inform you of the passing of  "Cross", an original piece of IBL art completed in ice and featured in these pages on 9/22/12.  In an attempt to create a second version of said piece, I inadvertently left the freezer door open too long and caused irreparable damage to Our Late Lamented (in happier news, the cookies and cream ice cream sammies were none the worse for wear).  Condolences to all involved, especially the artist...


Monday, October 15, 2012

Study For "Jesus Died So You Could Speak English, Bitch, So Speak Fucking English"

Original IBL art - chalk, glue stick, crayon, felt pen and ink on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 4/29/12.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen!

In stores this Friday, on Atlantic Records,
the debut album from 
Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen
"In the Court of the Crimson Spark:
  the Joni Mitchell Songbook"

Yes, that's right:
Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen! featuring -

The "In the Court of the Crimson King" King Crimson line-up
(sans Pete Sinfield's illumination because, you know, we gots Joni)
  • Michael Giles on percussion
  • Greg Lake on bass
  • Ian McDonald on, in truth, lots of stuff like mellotron and clarinet and sax etc.
  • Robert Fripp on guitar
  • and the legendary Jon Anderson of Yes on vocals
Also featuring special guests -
  • William Shatner with a spoken word/rap interpretation of Stardust
  • Bryan Ferry duet on Big Yellow Taxi

Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen!
On tour this summer at a fine auditorium near you.
(O, Canada!)

Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen! -  
Because Joni's a painter now.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars!

In stores this Friday, on Atlantic Records,
the debut, eponymously-titled album from 
Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars
(No, not that John Anderson, the one from Yes!)

Yes, that's right:
Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars! featuring -
  • Vinnie Appice on drums
  • John Wetton on bass
  • Rick Wakeman on keys and synths
  • Steve Hackett on guitar
  • and the legendary Jon Anderson of Yes (!) on vocals
Also featuring special guests -
  • Steve Howe on pedal steel
  • Laurie Anderson on fiddle 
Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars!
On tour this summer performing the Harlan Howard catalogue!
at a fine auditorium near you.

Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars! -  
Preserving our heritage, because the music matters.


Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion!

In stores this Friday, on Atlantic Records,
the debut, eponymously-titled album from 
Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion!

Yes, that's right:
Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion! featuring -
  • Jeff Porcaro on drums
  • Geddy Lee on bass
  • Jonathan Cain on keys
  • Vivian Campbell on guitar
  • and the legendary Jon Anderson of Yes on vocals
Also featuring special guests -
  • The Michaels Bolton and McDonald on backing vox
  • Kenny G on sax 
Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion!
On tour this summer - look for them in the round!
at a fine auditorium near you.

Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion! - Because the music matters.


Friday, October 12, 2012

"Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me" (Set of Four Coasters)

Original IBL art - crayon, felt pen and lipstick on coaster, each coaster 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 7/3/12.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Set of Four Coasters, Untitled

Original IBL art - felt pen, crayon, chalk and pencil on coaster, each coaster 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 9/30/12.

(Promised to Notty Blue, though he may not know it yet.)

Once again, coasters and cocktail napkins are available and, in the near future, I should MOST DEFINITELY say more about that...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Incorrect Headline Fixed (Walrus Edition)

From the Comcast XFINITY home page, 9/28/12 -
  • Walrus Makes Inappropriate Gesture

Correction from the IBL "Sort 'Em Out Proper-Like Desk" (a division of IBL Media Enterprises) -
  •   Walrus Moves - Humans Attribute Cognition, Intent


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

(Untitled Original IBL Art)

Pencil, felt pen, and crayon on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 9/30/12.

"Maybe I Am the Faggot, America"

Original IBL art - pencil, felt pen, and Beefeater gin on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 9/30/12.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Realization You Are Getting Older (Baseball Edition)

The first baseball game I attended was in 1973, the Boston Red Sox at the California Angels.  (I discuss this and provide the box score in these very pages on 2/8/12.)  Leading off and playing second base for the Angels that evening was Sandy Alomar.  Last week, the Cleveland Indians fired their manager, Manny Acta, and appointed an interim manager to guide them through the final six games.  And who was that interim manager? Why, Sandy Alomar Junior, of course...


Thursday, October 4, 2012

And Scene...

I found this Tuesday morning, October 2nd.  I believe our project is now complete.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Miguel Cabrera, American League Triple Crown Winner

Here at Infection By Light we send a special shout-out to the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera for completing the first Triple Crown season (league leader in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in) in Major League Baseball in 45 years (Yastrzemski, Boston, 1967).  Of course, baseball being the oddity that it is, the last Triple Crown before Yas was ... 46 years ago, when Frank Robinson achieved the feat for the Baltimore Orioles (1966).

Also, holy crap - what a year for the Oakland A's.  Did anybody see that division title coming at the expense of the Rangers and the "new-look" Angels? Tigers and the A's square off in the first round of the playoffs starting Saturday, and away we go...


A Taste of the Funny

What did the first drone say to the second drone?

 I don't know, what did the first drone say to the second drone?

"How's about we covertly kill us some Paki civilians!"

(Okay, it's a little oblique, but I still think that on some intuitive, subconscious level the humor gets through.  Though, of course, I've been wrong before...)


Saturday, September 29, 2012

"The Killing Type", Amanda Palmer

The first I heard of Amanda Palmer was last night, after Danielle found a note about her in a local paper (she is doing a show in Seattle tomorrow night).  We went to her website and watched this video.  I was impressed, I have to say.

Today she was on my mind, and a quick Wikipedia search alerted me to the fact she was part of Dresden Dolls (the name was familiar to me but I'm unfamiliar with their music as far as I know (I will likely remedy this state of affairs)).  She is 36, so she's been doing this for awhile.  This is what happens when you spend the majority of your time listening to the Outlaw Country station on Satellite Radio; perhaps if I spent a little more time over at the Underground Garage...?

In any event, I re-watched the video this morning and, in truth, I find the whole thing pretty fantastic.  It is not impossible Ms. Palmer is a familiar name to everybody but me, so apologies in advance if you are already in the loop.  Also, it is not impossible that some of the images here may not be your cup of tea...

 And, with that, The Killing Type by Amanda Palmer...


Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It Pick Me Up and Knock Me Down

I believe they refer to this as "closure".  Hand of fate? Hard to say.  I can tell you it was not my hand that wrought such devastation.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stasis Under the Stairs

No change in our tableaux this Tuesday morning.


Monday, September 24, 2012

"Conditions of Use"

Original IBL art - pencil, felt pen, Seattle bus transfer and glue on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 9/23/12.

Tableaux Under the Stairs

A brief update on our progress downstairs (please look back over the last couple of posts if you don't know what I'm on about)...

As you can see from the photo, my unknown opponent has not moved the white king out of check.  Speculation: he or she went away for the weekend.  However, somebody has graciously placed a stick of gum on each of the two Sapphire bottles in the foreground.  I believe this to be a third party, otherwise why not move the white king? I added a baby picture (oh yes, it's me) in the back on the left and Le Voila!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Work Continues Downstairs

(For context, please refer to yesterday's post - Empty Sapphire Bottles, Unknown Chess Opponent...)

Here is this morning's snap - I think it is obvious what has been added.  Also, the white king is now in check by my black bishop.  Clearly a trap but, at least for this brief and shining moment, well ... the white king is now in check by my black bishop.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Empty Sapphire Bottles, Unknown Chess Opponent

So three Saturdays ago, September 1st, I'd had a couple of Martinis at home and finished up a fifth of Bombay Sapphire.  It was getting late, time for bed, but first I had to take the dogs downstairs for their evening constitutional.  I leashed them up and grabbed the empty bottle for the recycling at the end of the hall but then, for some reason, I decided to take it down the stairs with me instead and, in an alcove beneath and along side the stairs (maybe five by ten feet, I'm guessing), I stood it up in the corner out of sight of the exterior doorway.  Why did I do this? I have no idea.  But as this is an empty space crying out to be filled with something (or so I earnestly believe), I'd often thought about what could be done there - an art installation, perhaps, or maybe Waiting for Godot.  Which, in truth, seemed fairly unlikely (common space - lots of foot and paw traffic to and from Green Lake Way just to the right of this wall), but it crossed my mind nonetheless.  The next morning, Sunday the 2nd, I took the dogs downstairs and, again, for no reason, really, snapped a picture of the empty bottle.

So, then, two weeks go by, it's another Saturday night, and the evening produces yet another empty Sapphire bottle.  And, of course, why wouldn't I hustle this bottle downstairs to stand guard beside the other one? I mean anybody would do that, right? I snapped a picture of the two of them but didn't like the way it came out, didn't save it and, then, for the most part, I forgot about my Sapphire bottles.

Now it's maybe Monday or Tuesday of this week, and I happen to look at the bottles on my way out the door, and think, just maybe, something is different.  I thought I'd stood them next to each other, but now they were one in front of the other.  My imagination, I figure; likely I simply forgot my last arrangement.  But I decided to run a little experiment, and I moved one bottle so that the two were coming out of the wall at a diagonal.  I didn't bother to snap a picture because I didn't really think anything was up. 

The next day I returned and the bottles had been turned around, labels facing the wall.  Still, it didn't occur to me to begin snapping pictures; instead, I laid the bottles on their side, one on top of the other and, when I returned the next morning, found this -

And, so, it finally occurred to me that perhaps I had to get the camera clicking sooner than later because somebody was putting forth a very nice effort and, as I said, this is a common space, and for all I know building management or maintenance or somebody would catch wind of this and put the kibosh on it (undoubtedly it's a safety hazard, am I right?).  So I moved a pawn, then added a circular coaster with one of my crosses -

And, then, yesterday morning this -

Though I should be specific - they added the candle and the motivational CD; I made my move and added the matchbook (Keens Steakhouse, NYC) before snapping a picture.

Finally, I went down late last night and discovered the bottle in the foreground (some type of pumpkin ale), so I added a John's Grill (San Francisco) cocktail napkin beneath it, a leaf alongside, and even lit the candle before taking my snap -

And that is where we stand now, Saturday afternoon.  I plan to continue the game, of course, and adding and/or subtracting items from the general tableau as we go.  But I have already decided this - I am not a very skilled chess player, so when it looks like the game is up (should this all last that long), I am simply going to remove their king from the board and leave some type of ransom note behind.

I will post photos daily as we move forward, you can be confident of that...



Original IBL art - felt pen on ice, 4.5 x 2.75 inches, 9/21/12.

Friday, September 21, 2012


An original IBL photograph taken September 18th, 2012, in Seattle.

Interlude, True

And speaking of Doug Sonderman, when my father was dying in St. Jude Hospital - so this would have been, let's say, late February into early March, 1987 - Doug's brother Denny was there, too, and in a coma after maybe falling out of a truck or something? I can't remember now exactly the circumstances, but it seems like it wasn't even what they might call a bad fall, but there he was hooked up to machines nonetheless.  Good times all the way around.

Anyway, on a couple of occasions, maybe more, I went to Denny's room and sat with him, and I talked to him because I'd heard that was something to do, the voices could be helpful, maybe keep a person going inside; he might even remember the conversations when he woke up.  I had an all access pass to ICU and could pretty much go where I wanted.  I didn't really know Denny, he was a year or two older and mostly a dick to me as kids, but what the fuck, right? Plus I adored their mother - Lola? - she was always lovely to me. And I liked Doug.

Anyway, my dad didn't come out of St. Jude and, though I was living in Santa Cruz at the time and may not have got the final word on Denny, the sense I got was he wasn't going to come back from that, either.  A Goddamn shame on both counts.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"NW Corner of 4th Ave. NE and Woodlawn NE, Seattle, WA"

An original IBL photograph taken September 18th, 2012, in Seattle.


An original IBL photograph taken September 18th, 2012, in Seattle.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Choctaw Bingo", James McMurtry

Tomorrow night at the Neptune in Seattle.  We'll be aiming for the front row seats of the balcony which have amazing sight lines to the stage. The Gourds are opening; they were featured in these pages on 9/1/12 covering Snoop Dog's Gin and Juice...

Perhaps we'll see you there...

And here's one from Mr. McMurtry...


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Collage Art by Geoffrey Bankowski

A brief word on the hand-torn paper collage work of Geoffrey Bankowski, but before I go any further, full disclosure - Geoff is one of my best friends.  That being said (and you'll have to take me at my word) I wouldn't be Joe Collage Pimp if I didn't think he was doing good work...

If you click on the link further down the page you will find snaps of Geoff's work on his website.  We own, I believe, seven of his collages (work from Series I, II and III).  The first one he gave us as a gift, and it hangs directly inside the front door of our apartment...

Here is a snap from our living room where three hang together to give you an idea of what they might look like on the wall (sunny day in Seattle!).

(And because why not - please note "Centurion Piercing Christ's Side" hanging to the right (featured in these pages on 3/1/12), and "Mrs. Cross" (presented here 6/9/12) atop the CD rack.)

So take a peek, see what you think, and give a shout out to Geoff if you are interested in his work.  For one of them artist types, he's very approachable...

A link to the website for Geoffrey Bankowski's Hand-torn Paper Collage...


Saturday, September 15, 2012

"SE Corner of N 21st and Baltimore, Tacoma, WA"

An original IBL photograph taken September 15th, 2012, in Tacoma.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


An original IBL photograph taken September 13th, 2012, in Seattle.

"Let This Cup Pass" (Set of Four Coasters)

Original IBL art - ink, felt pen and water on coaster, each coaster 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 7/1/12.

Coasters and cocktail napkins are available and, in the near future, I will likely say more about that.  Custom versions of said coasters and cocktail napkins could be in your future, too, if you were so inclined.