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.
22 September 2018 - Virtual Reality Tequila Volcano, and other adventures in metaphor. Go directly to the MEMO tab.
22 September 2018 - New cover photo! John’s Diner, Lakewood, Ohio.
22 September 2018 - Updated reading list - click on Reading, under the LISTS tab.
21 September 2018 - A short and sweet review of Stephin Merritt’s 2011 record, Obscurities - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
20 September 2018 - The Steely Dan song “Dirty Work” examined - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
19 September 2018 - Memoir (under the MEMOIR tab) - I have included my list of things to take to college, first year at OSU, 40 years ago this fall. It’s very funny, kind of sad - but I choose to find it goofy and humorous.
18 September 2018 - Review of the documentary, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
17 September 2018 - A trip to El Comedor in the heat of the summer, two years ago. Click on No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab.
16 September 2018 - New soap review! Patanjali – Haldi – Chandan Kanti - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
15 September 2018 - Review of the restaurant, deli, diner, and Milwaukee institution, Benji’s, by Richard Skiller - click on Eat, under the LUNCH tab.
14 September 2018 - A few thoughts on Vagabond Tacos, while eating there - two years ago - click on No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab.
13 September 2018 - A meditation on the Steely Dan song, “Do It Again” — click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
12 September 2018 - Review of the novel, TImequake by Kurt Vonnegut - click on Books, under the LISTS tab.
11 September 2018 - My favorite band in 1987 was the (Columbus, Ohio) Gibson Bros. This is a review of Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 album, Tango in the Night - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
10 September 2018 - A journal entry from 1998 about returning to work after vacation - at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
9 September 2018 - Annual Chicago layover Lou Mitchell's journal entry - click on No Memory under the MEMOIR tab.
8 September 2018 - Rice pudding review! Kheer at Milwaukee's Bollywood Grill. Click on Dessert under the LUNCH tab.
7 September 2018 - A civilized review of Au Lait – Extra Large Milk Soap. Click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
6 September 2018 - Cranky journal entry from the heart of summer, two years ago, in which I refer to Chicago as a "foul sty" - ha! Click on No Memory under the MEMOIR tab.
5 September 2018 - Article about the movie, BlacKkKlansman - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
4 September 2018 - Journal entry from a little over two years ago - written at Maxfield's Pancake House - that contains a poem! Click on No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab.
3 September 2018 - Another somewhat labor-related song, Bob Dylan's version of "Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight)" - click on Songs, under the LISTS tab.
2 September 2018 - Labor Day Weekend Random Song Extravaganza continues, and this one even has a "labor" theme (slightly) - "Custard Pie" by Led Zeppelin - click on Songs, under the LISTS tab.
1 September 2018 - Happy September! Finally a new random song musing, the Beach Boys' "You Still Believe in Me" - click on Songs, under the LISTS tab.
31 August 2018 - Review of the first Connie Blair Mystery, The Clue in Blue - click on Books, under the LISTS tab. Also, updated Reading list (also under LISTS tab) with the highfalutin, low-falutin, and coffee-falutin.
30 August 2018 - A review of Mickey Newbury's 1985 LP, Sweet Memories, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
29 August 2018 - A celebration of inspiration, via the movie, The Beaches of Agnès - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab. (Also, further news on the Oriental Theatre's bathroom situation.)
28 August 2018 - Our first rice pudding review! - at Ma Fischer's, in Milwaukee. Click on Dessert, under the LUNCH tab.
27 August 2018 - A brief notebook entry from the heart of summer, two years ago, written at Benji's - click on No Memory under the MEMOIR tab.
25 August 2018 - Review of David Bromberg's 1972 album, Demon in Disguise - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
24 August 2018 - Clicking on No Memory (under the MEMOIR tab) will take you back with me over two years, to an Indian lunch buffet (where I'd like to go to lunch today) where I was composing some kind of giant to-do list, though you know I was just going to go home, after overeating, and sleep!
23 August 2018 - Epic new soap review: Eiwit Zeep - Eggwhite Soap - click on Soap Exotica under the LISTS tab.
22 August 2018 - A story about the origins of "Winter Carnival" - click on Memoir, under the MEMOIR tab.
21 August 2018 - Please don't cane me for my review of Barry Lyndon - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
20 August 2018 - Review of the short novel, You Were Never Really Here (2013) by Jonathan Ames (click on Books, under the LISTS tab), plus a little attempt at match-making.
19 August 2018 - Am I getting more boring the older I get? Journal entries (see No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab) may seem to support this.
18 August 2018 - Observations about life, written at the Hollywood Burger Bar (in Portland, Oregon, though written about as if I was in Portland, Maine) 1998 - in NOTEBOOK JOUNRALS.
17 August 2018 - A review of the 1982 album "Live At The Button" by Charlie Pickett and The Eggs - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
16 August 2018 - Sunday Project - observations from the cafe at the Pfister Hotel - click on No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab.
15 August 2018 - Introduction to Rice Pudding - on the Dessert page, under the LUNCH tab.
15 August 2018 - Review of my personal favorite, at press time, restaurant in the tri-county area: Cudahy's Pancake House - by Richard Skiller - click on Eat, under the LUNCH tab.
14 August 2018 - Review of Colectivo Coffee - Shorewood - by Richard Skiller - click on Coffee Shop, under the LUNCH tab.
13 August 2018 - A paragraph about the Steely Dan song, "Night by Night" (1974) - click on the Steely Dan page, under the LISTS tab.
12 August 2018 - A journal entry so dull... well, who knows... sometimes the everyday, the mundane, the outright dull has its fascination. Click on No Memory under the MEMOIR tab.
11 August 2018 - Review of the Nancy Drew book, The Hidden Staircase (1930) - click on Books, under he LISTS tab.
10 August 2018 - Fresh soap review! Huiles No. 7 - three varieties. Click on Soap Exotica under the LISTS tab.
9 August 2018 - Paragraph about Steely Dan's song, "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again" - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
8 August 2018 - A brief entry from Chuck's Place in Thiensville, Memorial Day, two years ago - click on No Memory under the MEMOIR tab.
7 August 2018 - More summer 1978 calendar of what I did - including work and partying. Unfortunately I didn't keep a calendar past this. Click on Memoir under the MEMOIR tab.
6 August 2018 - Summary of a calendar of events from summer 1978 (it's long, so going up in two parts) - includes work, graduation parties, record buying, and concerts. Click on Memoir under the MEMOIR tab.
5 August 2018 - A "review" of Link Wray's 1971 album, Link Wray, written while I was in the "North Woods" with no internet - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
4 August 2018 - Journal entry - No Memory, under the MEMOIR tab - from a May morning two years ago - shave, haircut, breakfast at Ma Fischer's and a movie at the Oriental.
3 August 2018 - Review of Sorry to Bother You - click on Movies, under the LISTS tab.
2 August 2018 - Short review of Jonathan Gold's book, Counter Intelligence - click on Books under the LISTS tab.
1 August 2018 - Meandering thoughts about memoir (mine, and in general) and the paths you take in life (mine, and in general) - under the MEMO tab.