NEWS, UNFIT AND OTHERWISE
11 December 2018 - Today is Cafe Tuesday! Click on Coffee Shop, under the LUNCH tab, to read about Colectivo Coffee – US Bank Building.
10 December 2018 - Both No Memory and Memoir (under the MEMOIR tab) have new entries for Memoir Monday, as does Notebook Journals.
9 December 2018 - No random song today, but rather a review of The Mamas and the Papas, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
9 December 2018 - Inspired by the sick and questionable practice of making lists about everything, I made a list of my favorite ever Christmas movies - click on Movies, under the (where else) LISTS, tab.
8 December 2018 - Soap Review Saturday - review of Bee & Flower – Ginseng Soap - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
7 December 2018 - It’s Farraginous Friday - back to my random selection method of odd albums - today is Lowell George's 1979 solo record, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
5 December 2018 - A comic book review - Jughead No. 204 (Archie Series) - click on Books, under the LISTS tab - for Reading Wednesday.
5 December 2018 - Day late for Cafe Tuesday - but here’s a kind of double review - coffee at The Pfister Hotel - lobby and cafe. Click on Coffee Shop, under the LUNCH tab.
3 December 2018 - Memoir Monday reveals more weird dreams from 1979 and faded dreams from two years ago (under the MEMOIR) tab, as well as some notebook thinking from 20 years ago in NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
2 December 2018 - An appreciation of the Steely Dan song, “Sign In Stranger” - from The Royal Scam (1976) - on Steely Dan Sunday (under the LISTS tab).
2 December 2018 - After months and months and millions of dollars of market research, we have arrived at the historic day to implement the new “news page” (this page) title: “News, Unfit and Otherwise” (stylized as: NEWS, UNFIT AND OTHERWISE). Our legal team’s extensive research (though, as you know, the internet is pretty big!) indicate that this title, slogan, or motto has not currently been put into use in other prominent and litigious publications, so hopefully this will be up there for awhile - and right underneath is where you can find what’s new, what’s happening, and be turned on to a generally better way to waste your time.
1 December 2018 - Happy overcast, windy, foggy, damp, cold, rainy, windy and wet December 1st and Soap Review Saturday - a good day to never leave the bathtub! Click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab, for a review of Nature's Blend – Manuka Honey & Argan soap!
30 November 2018 - It must be Farraginous Friday - because there’s a new review on DJ FARRAGINOUS - Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers - the last of the write-ups written during my “recent” stay in the “North Woods” - though I can’t say I’m “out of the woods.” If anyone thinks that they are out of the woods, they are just burying their head in the sand.
29 November 2018 - No podcast yet to speak of yet, on this last Thursday of November, but here is a Rice Pudding Review! Click on the Dessert page, under the LUNCH tab, for: Rice Pudding at Omega Family Restaurant.
28 November 2018 - I’m calling for all to stay home and read today (though not following my own suggestion, sorry) because it’s Reading Wednesday. There is a short review of the first volume of my favorite restaurant guidebook - click on Books, under the LISTS tab. Also, an updated Reading list.
27 November 2018 - Happy Cafe Tuesday - you can read a brief review of Grace Place Coffee - click Coffee Shop, under the LUNCH tab.
26 November 2018 - It’s another Much Maligned Monday - but good news - it’s also Memoir Monday - the day in which multitudes from near and far quiver in anticipation of new entries on the Memoir page (under, yes, the MEMOIR tab) - which happens to be an extensive night of dreams from March 1979 - did they have Welsh Rarebit in the OSU dining hall or something? If that wasn’t enough, from a little over two years ago there is a Sunday Project entry - check out No Memory, also under the MEMOIR tab. And as an extra added bonus, there’s a rather trite and brief notebook entry from 1998 at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS - which goes to show, I guess, even the excessively wordy can have an off day.
25 November 2018 - An examination of “FRIENDS” by Marshmello & Anne-Marie - for Song Review Sunday - see Songs, under the LISTS tab.
24 November 2018 - It’s Soap Review Saturday - please read review #40 - Astrolabe Soap from Ono Kine Grindz - at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab. Also, because the last three vinyl record reviews were kind of linked by similarities of their album covers, I posted the third one in three days - at: DJ FARRAGINOUS.
23 November 2018 - A bit of a non-review (though appreciation) of the Endless Boogie record, Long Island - for Farraginous Friday, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
22 November 2018 - ALL NEW R SPEEN .COM! New exciting features (almost) every day! Here’s the new schedule: Memoir Monday - new entries from 1 to 4 different memoir pages. Cafe Tuesday - local (Milwaukee area) cafe and coffee shop reviews. Reading Wednesday - latest short book review and updated reading list. Podcast Thursday - Randy Russell Podcast - coming soon! Farraginous Friday - vinyl record reviews on the external site: DJ FARRAGINOUS. Soap Review Saturday - poetic investigation of recently used bar soap. Steely Dan Sunday / Song Review Sunday - article about either a Steely Dan song or a randomly selected song. Also, other articles may pop up at any time. Also coming soon: more images of “friends” and “collages” (see Memorabilia tab) - many of which will be offered for sale. Have a happy, long, productive, and healthy winter!
22 November 2018 - Seeing how Podcast Thursday is still in Coming Soon Tunnel, here is another vinyl review composed in the North Woods - for all you Kayla Guthrie fans! Read it here: DJ FARRAGINOUS.
21 November 2018 - It’s Reading Wednesday - review of a coffee guide - see Books, under the LISTS tab! Also, updated Reading list.
20 November 2018 - No Cafe Tuesday today, sorry! I’ve been to a lot of cafes and coffee shops, but just haven’t written a review of one, due to being so busy with my job lately. What is my job? It’s developing, interpreting, and absorbing the internet. If you know what I’m saying. So instead, here’s another review of a record, written during an internet-less period, of a Jim Croce record - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
19 November 2018 - Memoir Monday - a grim entry at No Memory. Maybe - unless you’re feeling too happy - skip this one folks! Better to read about Steely Dan, and soap, and John Prine (see: below)
18 November 2018 - for Steely Dan Sunday, here’s an examination of “Your Gold Teeth II” - from Katy Lied (1975) - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
17 November 2018 - It’s Soap Review Saturday! Go to Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab, for a review of Argane – Savon Pur Vegetal.
16 November 2018 - It’s Farraginous Friday, for real, so here is another record review - DJ FARRAGINOUS. John Prine’s 1999 duet record, In Spite of Ourselves. Another review written in the “North Woods.” (It’s pretty clear to me that I get a lot more done when I’m deprived of the internet!)
15 November 2018 - It’s Podcast Thursday! But seeing how the Randy Russell Podcast is still in the “coming soon” category, here’s another record review from my recent stay “north of the border” - the Grateful Dead’s 1970 LP, Workingman’s Dead - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
14 November 2018 - On Reading Wednesday, please find a brief review of The Haunted Attic by Margaret Sutton (2nd book of the Judy Bolton series) and an updated Reading List (both can be located under the LISTS tab).
13 November 2018 - For Cafe Tuesday - a review of CITY.NET Jazz Café - click on Coffee Shop, under the LUNCH tab.
12 November 2018 - Happy Memoir Monday! As luck would have it, there is a similar discussion from my notebook roughly two years ago (click on No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab) - and 20 years ago (follow this link to NOTEBOOK JOURNALS) - about my ongoing notebook writing project, called Sunday Project!
11 November 2018 - Though it’s late on Steely Dan Sunday, you may like to read a brief analysis of the song, “The Royal Scam” - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
10 November 2018 - Soap Review Saturday - fresh soap review! - Pacha, Watermelon Mint - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
9 November 2018 - In keeping with my “new way” - here is a new record review at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
9 November 2018 - New direction for this website! - See MEMO.
9 November 2018 - Movie review! Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
8 November 2018 - I made it back from the “North Woods” in time to vote, then was looking forward to getting back to writing, but first - laundry. Just after I put the laundry in the “dryers” the power went out in the whole neighborhood. So now my wet clothes are hanging on every corner and knob they will hang on, and the power and internet is back on but first to pay some credit card bills and look at my bank account. The grim news there is I need to find a job. All of this, as you you might expect, is the enemy of writing. As in, it’s not happening. The good thing is I still have a few record reviews I jotted on the back of smooth bark up in my cabin, and I merely have to type them in an word processed format to be able to share them - so here’s the next one, a long hard look at Tangerine Dream’s 1976 album, Statosfear - which you can read at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
5 November 2018 - It’s “Memoir Monday” - so there are new entries in No Memory (under the MEMOIR tab), as well as NOTEBOOK JOURNALS. As much as I haven’t enjoyed fishing, I’m heading back to Milwaukee tomorrow to vote!
4 November 2018 - I guess it must be my “fishing trip” that has inspired me to write a bit about my latest Steely Dan obsession, the song “Throw Back the Little Ones” - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
3 November 2018 - Open late at the Country Pantry, due to the football - so I figured I’d post another record review - this time, Herbie Hancock - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
1 November 2018 - Happy 1st of November! Here’s a new record review - at DJ FARRAGINOUS - of the Silver Jews The Natural Bridge, which hasn’t left the turntable all month. Maybe I should just stay up here in the “North Woods” until I listen to all the records in this old cabin, living off salt pork and hardtack biscuits, trying my hand at fishing, occasionally, and very soon, fire building, and shoveling and shoveling and shoveling snow…
30 October 2018 - It’s a “New Morning” here at the Country Pantry - they’re gearing up for a single day Halloween celebration (tomorrow) - and supposedly something’s (fish-wise) supposed to be biting up around Creepy Creek, where it empties Bottomless Pond. Here’s a new concise vinyl record article: DJ FARRAGINOUS.
29 October 2018 - I’m still in the “North Woods” - working on my memoirs a bit - so today posting some stuff for “Memoir Monday!” At No Memory (under the MEMOIR tab) a milestone - my first visit ever to Qdoba. Then from 20 years ago, more about discovering the (previously, to me, hidden) Jolly Donut - at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS. And finally, in Memoir (under the MEMOIR tab) - from nearly 40 years ago - a strange dream that sounds a lot like it’s from that latest Star Wars movie.
26 October 2018 - I’ve only got a few minutes here at the folding cardtable in the back of Wally’s Country Pantry, my laptop plugged into the “weather-net cable” - so I’m posting a record I reviewed from the cabin, Jimmy Buffett’s A White Sport Coat and A Pink Crustacean - which is at DJ FARRAGINOUS - and if the fish aren’t biting, I might head out on the backroads in search of a Friday fish fry, if that’s a thing up here!
24 October 2018 - Early morning at the Country Pantry because I needed some TP and to post this review on DJ FARRAGINOUS of the Link Wray record that kept me up most of the night (not drinking).
23 October 2018 - Fishing for crappie, but all I’ve caught is crappy weather. Is that the oldest fisherman joke there is? Last night my roof was leaking and after putting out all the buckets, pots, and pans in the cabin, I was ready to resort to a tuba, but it stopped, thankfully. Also, I was happy it didn’t leak on the record albums, and so I completed a review of Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline, which I’ve just posted at Wally’s, and DJ FARRAGINOUS.
21 October 2018 - I’ve got my 15 minutes of internet time here at Wally’s Country Pantry, and then I’m heading out to try “fishing” again - this time my objective is something called “Pike” - which sounds kind of creepy to me. Also, I’m posting a review I wrote of a record in the cabin (there’s quite a collection) - and you can read that at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
18 October 2018 - I’m already feeling better - no reason to look at my phone - no service - but still, it feels like some kind of house arrest tracking device. Caught a yellow perch, or so I’m led to believe. Caught a cold, I guess, and am drinking chicken soup. Will continue to check email at Wally’s Country Pantry, once a day. I may post an update, but maybe not.
15 October 2018 - Gone Fishing! I AM TAKING SOME TIME OFF from this website, and everything, heading up to the “North Woods” totally off the grid at my secret spot on Lake Osego. I’ll be staying in a cabin I found through a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, so I’m not sure if it’s going to be weird. I know there is no wi-fi, no TV, no cable, no internet whatsoever, and no cell phone service. I was told that I can take my laptop over to a place called Wally’s or something and use the internet. I’m not sure how that will work, but I’ll try to post updates here. Also, I’ll check my email - but seeing how no one uses email anymore, I’m not anticipating a lot of activity - but if you need to reach me - email: Randy S Russell (at) gmail dot com. Also, I’m not sure if there will be music there, but one of the “friends” mentioned a hi-fi and some vinyl records, so if it all works out, and it rains, I might write about some records, for DJ Farraginous, which I’ll post later. In the meantime, I just put up a new review of a Gerry Mulligan record - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
15 October 2018 - More notebook anxiety about heat and money, at No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab. I was going to add a new post in Notebook Journals, for “Memoir Monday” - but I lost the notebook! It’s around here somewhere - I live in a single hotel room with things stacked to the ceiling, so I’m constantly losing stuff in this tiny space. It’s maddening. I’m not sure anyone cares about this “memoir” stuff, anyway, but me, so I’m just going to have to take some time and re-consider what I’m doing here.
15 October 2018 - Normally depictions of long dreams are a drag, but this one (click on Memoir, under the MEMOIR tab) is so weird. I’m kind of glad I saw it, because for years I remembered having this notion of a “Shit Machine” but I didn’t remember where it came from!
14 October 2018 - A kind of grim, tri-quarterly report to the board or directors, titled: Blood for Dracula - on the MEMO page.
13 October 2018 - Celebrating 5 years and 2465 carefully chosen images and goofy captions. Click on the Instagram icon at the top of this site (it’s the one between the “bird” and the “f”) and follow, if you’d like to. IG won’t be around forever!
12 October 2018 - Review of Fresh Thyme Orange Patchouli bar soap - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
11 October 2018 - An in-depth analysis of the Steely Dan song, “Your Gold Teeth” - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
10 October 2018 - It’s a World Holiday here at R. Speen dot com - Thelonious Monk’s birthday - but instead of taking the day off, I made a note of the first song of the day I heard upon waking up - on WKCR FM NY - Monk’s solo version of “These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)” - and wrote a paragraph about it for the random Songs page - under the LISTS tab.
9 October 2018 - Review of Hal Ashby’s 1975 movie, Shampoo - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
8 October 2018 - Memoir Monday - More odd dreams from 1979 - in Memoir, under the MEMOIR tab. More complaining over breakfast at Maxfield’s - in No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab. Also, a notebook entry from 1998 about discovering that Jolly Donut, in Sandusky, Ohio, is really an old diner disguised under a brick facade - in Notebook Journals.
7 October 2018 - Review of The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson - click on Books, under the LISTS tab.
6 October 2018 - Updated reading list! Click on Reading, under the LISTS tab.
5 October 2018 - We get to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding Jergens Soap - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
4 October 2018 - An article about the 1979 movie, Being There - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
3 October 2018 - Review of Sarah Vaughan’s 1964 album, The Lonely Hours - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
2 October 2018 - A short review of the new documentary about Hal Ashby - Hal - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
1 October 2018 - Happy 1st of October, it’s cold and rainy and feels like my former home, Portland, Oregon. That is probably what inspired me to catch up on the MEMOIR page - under Memoir I wrote a note trying to define what I’m trying to do, typing stuff from old notebooks. Then a strange dream from nearly 40 years ago. In No Memory there is an entry written 2 years ago at Bollywood Grill, a lot of worrying, but also looking forward to Fall. And in Notebook Journals there is an entry written in Portland, where I was still trying to act like I was in Portland, Maine.
30 September 2018 - Random song review - “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit - click Songs, under the LISTS tab.
29 September 2018 - Review of Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria - click on Eat, under the LUNCH tab.
28 September 2018 - Soap review! Himalayan Blends Lemon Sunrise - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
27 September 2018 - A long, rambling review of the 1962 movie, Lolita - with digressions - that I really should proofread again, first - but I have a migraine this morning, so give me a break. Click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
26 September 2018 - Review of the movie, Nico, 1988 - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
25 September 2018 - A trip to Maxfield’s Pancakes didn’t seem to easy my anxiety - journal entry from two years ago - click on No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab.
24 September 2018 - A dessert-like article about the unique rice pudding at Beans & Barley, Milwaukee - click on Dessert, under the LUNCH tab.
23 September 2018 - Another walking around in the summer looking for tacos entry from two years ago - click on No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab.