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...