To detour from self-promotion, pop-cultural alienation, and failed stabs at humor, it must be noted that I am amazed daily that one of my cats is about to turn thirteen. This will be simple…the sort of thing one might read on an Elliot Smith fan’s blog.
This (once) solid black, longhaired, somewhat overweight and big-boned (he’s a BIG cat) asshole makes a frequent habit of vomiting hairballs onto my bed, records, and books. His hair is turning a combination of black, gray, and maroon. The name I gave this animal is “Marcel.” It means nothing. He’s smart, one of those “like a dog” cats, which is good, as I don’t like dogs. Cats are the thinking man’s pet. Dogs are a complete hassle.
One of Marcel’s asshole moves went like this:
One night, I returned home from a long evening of drinking to find one of Marcel’s bottom fangs protruding from his mouth at a right angle. Suffering from a fairly serious abscess, Marcel was rushed to the vet during the next day’s mind-shattering hangover (not much you can do about this at four in the morning). One confusing, blurry day and $600 later, Marcel was returned home minus his two bottom grabbers (one had simply fallen out earlier that year…I found it on the floor).
Several years prior, Marcel was prancing around on my balcony and fell fourteen feet, belly-flopping a concrete flowerbed border. He cracked two ribs and shredded his front claws in the failed attempt to regain purchase before the fall. Needless to say, it was soft food for a month. PRESCRIPTION soft food. Familiar with the racket that is prescription pet food? Let’s hope not.
At times, considering some of the healthy gifts that Marcel leaves in the litter box, I hallucinate that I own a giraffe. Either that or a large man is sneaking into my home to use my cat’s toilet. I like to confront Marcel while he’s doing the business. Yelling “BAD CAT” usually does wonders for his little walnut brain.
Marcel gets along fine with his adopted sister, a very fat (18 – 19 pounds) orange tabby named “The Mayor.” I absorbed The Mayor into the fold during the summer of 1998, thus replacing her predecessor, a fascinating cat named “Colby.” Colby could fetch and had bi-colored fur. Each hair started out white, and turned black, giving her the look of a cuddly ashtray. Sadly, Colby died of kidney failure after months of incredibly stressful treatment. The Mayor has a tiny frame. Her obesity makes it appear as though she swallowed a grapefruit. The other cat in the house, my girlfriend’s beautiful calico that owned the premises before I moved in, is another story. Marcel emotionally and physically terrorizes this cat on a daily basis.
Aside from my mom and fewer than four others, I’ve kept a longer relationship with Marcel than any other warm-blooded creature.
This is not an obit, nor is Marcel ill. If anything, he is a little too healthy for a 13-year-old cat, but if he continues to rob me of a good night’s sleep (hairball barfing, furniture destruction, needless howling at all hours), there will be issues that require tissues.
Yeah, right. Marcel is untouchable. You can view Marcel and my two lesser cats by visiting my MySpace profile. You’ll have to find that on your own. Dig around for a picture of me with a horrible haircut, “working” in bed.
Here’s to you, Marcel, may there be many more years in our love/hate relationship.
See, I told you.
1. Anton choking on the peanuts during the “so, you married into it” exchange.
2. Tasteful use of the transponder.
3. It’s not near as violent as the reviewers, especially the ninnie that wrote about it for Slate, would have you believe.
4. It’s a tour of proto-sprawl motels circa-1980.
5. (Goof) Mid-80’s K-Car in motel parking lot.
6. This poorly-written volunteer entry in the ‘Parent’s Guide’ section of the film’s IMDB entry:
Strong, graphic, grim violence throughout. It has a longer-lasting effect than a normal R-rated movie. It is the most violent movie that the Coen Brothers have done yet. A man uses a cattle gun to shoot his victims (a few at point blank). These shootings (there are many) are quite graphic and bloody. A man gets strangled with handcuffs (blood spurts as an artery bursts). A man comes across many dead bodies (and a dead dog). These dead bodies are shown graphically. A man shoots a dog that’s attacking him. A man gets shot at (he gets hit in the arm). A man is in a car crash and a bone is sticking out of his arm. A man is shot in the head and neck, blood pours out. This happens during a shootout. A man is shot in his side, but gets into a hospital. It is implied that a completely innocent woman gets shot. A man shoots an antelope while hunting, and the antelope limps away. The list goes on–violence is one of the movie’s main themes.
7. It is indeed the Coen Brothers’ return to glory.
Though other outlets, probably Pitchfork and definitely the Matador Records web site, will be announcing this over the next week and a half, I’m here to break the news that Andrew Earles and Jeffrey Jensen have finally signed to Matador Records, under the artist moniker, “Earles and Jensen.”
What this means:
Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 and 2 will be released February 19th on Matador Records. It will be the first comedy release for the legendary indie label; a past and current home to Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, Pavement, The Ponys, Interpol, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Mission of Burma, and The Unsane. The double CD set constitutes the world’s greatest collection of prank phone calls. Included in the package will be a book (not booklet) of drawings, photographs, and writing, all courtesy of multiple contributors. It’s a virtual who’s who that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but nonetheless creates a wonderful companion to the recorded works.
Bleachy, absurd celebrity impersonations, pop-cultural clusterf**ks, total insanity – the whole gang is here…a 150-minute assault on your funny bone.
If you are a fan of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, Yes’ Tales from Topographic Oceans, the Hampton Grease Band’s Music To Eat, The Mothers of Invention’s Freak Out, Husker Du’s Zen Arcade, the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime, TFUL 282’s Mother of All Saints, and wish there was a prank call/comedy version of these wonderfully indulgent, macro masterpieces, well, it looks like February 19th is going to be your lucky day. That last sentence is a thinly-veiled way to say that unless you are promotionally serviced by Matador Records or rank amongst the contributors, don’t expect a burn or freebie.
A short list of artists that contributed drawings: Mike Aho, Archer Prewitt, Devendra Banhart, Mark Henning, Ian Marshall, Gavin McInnes, Jake Oas, Aurel Schmidt, Matt Sweeney, and Megan Whitmarsh.
Don’t know ‘em? Look ‘em up. Some of these people can be found on the Internet.
The entire list of writers that contributed forewords: Gregg Turkington (AKA Neil Hamburger, comedy genius, writer, Warm Voices Rearranged), Matador co-owner/co-founder Gerard Cosloy, David Dunlap Jr. (writer, Washington City Paper, Memphis Flyer, funny guy), and master humorist/writer Neil Pollack (books: Alternadad, The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature, Never Mind The Pollacks: A Rock and Roll Novel, editor/contributor: Akashic’s Chicago Noir).
All of the must-be-seen-to-be-believed photography is by Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury. Seriously, it will blow your mind.
Otherwise, the respective introductions and thousands upon thousands of words of track-by-track commentary are provided by Andrew Earles and Jeffrey Jensen.
Who you are dealing with:
Along with writer Ian Christe and artist Steve Keene, Jeffrey Jensen founded modern day Brooklyn NYC around 1992, during the Dinkins administration. He has written or directed the films The Low Down Dirty D.A.W.G.S. (1999), Street Boogie (2001, shelved), and Graceland Too: The Movie (still in production). An accomplished artist, Jeff is known for his puppet shows, intricate nightlight dioramas, and evenings of vast entertainment, as well as anything else you could possibly think of. With his incredibly magnetic personality, Mr. Jensen has left a lasting mental imprint on anyone lucky enough to have spent over an hour in his presence. Jeffrey has played in many bands, including The Closet Case, The Jewish, The Star Spangles, plus he was the bass player for Homestead Records recording artists Smack Dab. He drives a 1982 Chrysler Lebaron, contributes regularly to Vice Magazine, and was accidentally shot with a .22 rifle when he was 13-years-old.
Andrew Earles is a writer and loosely-defined humorist that lives in Memphis, TN. His words regularly appear in The Onion A/V Club, Spin, Harp, Paste, Magnet, Vice, Paste, Chunklet, and The Memphis Flyer…among others. He founded The Cimarron Weekend in 1997, co-publishing and co-editing said argument-starter with David Dunlap Jr. until 2001. Four or five people like to claim that it was a great zine. From 2001 until late 2006, Andrew was a regular contributor to Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show on WFMU. As far as books go, his essays have appeared in the now out-of-print Lost In The Grooves (Routledge) and remainder table favorite, The Overrated Book (Last Gasp). He is a core contributor to The Rock Bible, to be published by Quirk in 2008. Most of his attempts at live comedy have failed miserably. Andrew is a proud Southerner and amateur, wanna-be outdoorsman that loves to fish, act like he knows a lot about animals, and walk around in the woods. He sometimes has a smart mouth, yet against all logic, has yet to receive that long-overdue ass-whomping (not an invitation). This is his blog: www.failedpilot.com
Jeffrey Joe Jensen and Andrew Scott Earles are Leo’s, reliably carrying all of the negative and positive baggage of that particular sign. Amazingly, and unknown to the duo until several years ago, they share the exact same birthday of August 15th.