NEWS, UNFIT AND OTHERWISE
22 May 2019 - New (not) Rice Pudding review (Tapioca) at the South Milwaukee Cafe - see Dessert, under the LUNCH tab. And a review of the 1892 story, The Yellow Wall Paper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Books, under the LISTS tab. Also, updated Reading list.
21 May 2019 - Already nearly through May (the shortest month) so I’m going to just extend Memoir May through the whole summer, while I struggle with heat, motivation, 40 hours a week just trying to get by, and trying to figure out, “What’s next.” See Memoir page for the next excerpt of the 1981 Garbage Memo, the secret journal of Garbage Inc., typed with alcoholic abandon. It’s been suggested I implement a rating system, so this entry gets: A, E, I, O, and U (the vowels). A for Alcoholic Abandon, E for Explicit, I for Idiotic or Imbecilic (take your pick), O for Obnoxious, and U for Unrated, I guess. Enjoy! (at your discretion).
19 May 2019 - It’s not Sunday until I have my weekly Saturday bath and have written a new review for Soap Review Saturday - this week it’s: La Saponeria Firenze – White Roses - which you can read about at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab. Now, Happy Sunday.
17 May 2019 - Whatever else today might be, it’s also Farraginous Friday, and you can read a new review of Television’s 1977 record Marquee Moon at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
15 May 2019 - It’s Reading Wednesday! Though unfortunately also laundry day, tax day, a work day, and something else, I forgot. Still, here’s a brief review of a book I just finished, Notes of a Native Son, by James Baldwin, at Books, under the LISTS tab. Also, a new book on the Reading list: The Earth Dies Streaming - Film Writing, 2002—2018, by A. S. Hamrah.
14 May 2019 - More Memoir (under the MEMOIR tab) - and more drunken typing while running the Garbage store.
12 May 2019 - Love and more love to mothers, in all their forms. Probably not much love left over, but I’ve managed to soap-sliver a little bit more for Cinthol – Confidence+ bar soap, which you can read about at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
11 May 2019 - IS May traditionally the fastest-zipping-by month for you? It is for me - I wish I could bottle it. Here’s a new record review - of Average White Band “Cut the Cake” - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
8 May 2019 - After many, many months, a return to the Garbage Memo (another Dag Nabbit entry) even though in 1981 time, it’s just the next day! At Memoir, under the MEMOIR tab,
7 May 2019 - See MEMO tab for the new May Memoir Memo - where I attempt to explain why this might be interesting (recommended for those obsessed with dates and numbers). Or for a much more fun time, the latest Randy Russell Podcast (PODCAST tab) is up, and guest host Amanda Tollefson and RR discuss making stuff (crafts, art, or as a job), in both their own experience and as connoisseurs.
6 May 2019 - It’s Memoir Monday, so now it can be told. (New NOTEBOOK JOURNALS entries!) If that didn’t get your attention, get ready for a big announcement - this kicks off MEMOIR MAY - new Memoir entries almost every day! The roaring silence is almost palpable.
5 May 2019 - very late on Soap Review Saturday, posted a fresh soap review - of Vatika DermoViva – Aloe Vera Soap - at Soap Exotica (under the LISTS tab).
4 May 2019 - Farraginous Friday was yesterday, but you can read this review of Kris Kristofferson’s 1972 album, Jesus Was a Capricorn today, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
1 May 2019 - for Reading Wednesday, a short book review - Good Old Archibald, by Ethelyn M. Parkinson (Books page, under the LISTS tab). Also, as I saw the first dandelion of the season, last weekend, I have continued with an annual ritual of reading Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. (I don’t actually re-read it all every summer, but just pick up where I left off, year to year—I’m such a slow reader!)
30 April 2019 - it’s Cafe Tuesday, for a change, and you can find a new review - of Fuel Cafe, Center Street - on the Coffee Shop page, under the LUNCH tab.
29 April 2019 - later in the day - a little late for Soap Review Saturday, nevertheless, please check out Soap Exotica (under the LISTS) tab, for a review of Goldfish-in-a-Bag.
29 April 2019 - It was a rough week last week, continuing a rough month, of a rough year, or few years, of… whatever. Here is what I am hoping one might find an entertaining review of a Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond record, even if not particularly a fan of Brubeck, Desmond, jazz, or records, or old stuff. At DJ FARRAGINOUS.
24 April 2019 - Someone said it’s Reading Wednesday, so here’s a new book review - The Missing Formula, by Ann Wirt, from 1932, see Books, under the LISTS tab. Also, updated Reading list, under, where else, the LISTS tab.
21 April 2019 - Sober Easter everyone, in the sobering world. Maybe stop and appreciate a new growth from the earth - sometimes that’s enough, and sometimes it’s the only thing that makes sense. If you’re looking for a little more, or something to take you back into the working (or looking for work) week, there’s a new Randy Russell Podcast (under the PODCAST tab) - with guest host Susan Bandusan - and a conversation about many things, including the instances you heard certain music for the first time and the way it affects you. On a similar tack, on the Steely Dan page (under the LISTS tab), there is a new groundbreaking entry of SD scholarship in the form of an excessive rumination on the song “Black Cow.”
20 April 2019 - Happy 420! Sorry to not review the new Edibles movie or something, but anyway, it’s also Soap Saturday, so there’s a new review of an old soap, Caswell-Massey – Newport - at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
19 April 2019 - Happy Farraginous Friday with a review of Allan Sherman’s record, “My Son, the Folk Singer” - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
17 April 2019 - for Reading Wednesday, new book review - Do Not Sell At Any Price by Amanda Petrusich, in Books, under the LISTS tab. Also, Reading list is updated to include The Shore Road Mystery, by that Franklin W. Dixon.
14 April 2019 - I am still struggling to come up with a new “Memo” for April, and Spring, and the near future, plans, and “new way” and changes - too tried to finish it, but in the meantime, I’m changing the cover page image - it’s a photo of my old apartment. Previous cover page image(s) can be found in Photos, under the MEMORABILIA tab.
13 April 2019 - For Record Store Day and Soap Review Saturday, an extensive review of Ivory soap - at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
12 April 2019 - TGIMFGDFF (Thank something something something etc. Farraginous Friday!) Jazz at Monterey with Virgil Gonsalves and lots o’ horns - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
10 April 2019 - for Reading Wednesday I managed to write a very brief review of Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell - at Books, under the LISTS tab.
8 April 2019 - On Memoir Monday, new entry in No Memory (under the MEMOIR tab), and under the PODCAST tab, Randy Russell Podcast Episode 9 with guest host Robert Couchman III - the conversation is about, among other things, bees, bees, bees, beekeeping, and more bees!
6 April 2019 - New soap review - Stoney River Patchouli - at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab. And new record review - Julie London Calendar Girl - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
1 April 2019 - Big announcement! I’m changing the name of this website to: bigfuckinloser.com!!
31 March 2019 - Last day of Reading March Month - added some more books to my Reading list, Good Old Archibald by Ethelyn M. Parkinson, and Atomic Time by Elissa Rashkin. Also, in Songs, under the LISTS tab, a random song review, “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey.
30 March 2019 - It’s Soap Saturday, so a new review - in Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab - Mystery soap from URSA. Also, for Reading March, updated Reading list - added Cat Parade - cartoon drawings by Jeff Curtis.
29 March 2019 - Review of the LP, The Best of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross at DJ FARRAGINOUS. Also, updated Reading list - added Universe City, which is by Randy Russell, a contributor to this site.
27 March 2019 - Click on the Books page - under the LISTS tab - for a brief review of Ruth Fielding at Briarwood Hall by Alice B. Emerson.
25 March 2019 - It’s starting to get embarrassing, and it promises to get much worse. I probably wouldn’t be making this stuff public if I actually thought there was anyone reading it! Ha! NOTEBOOK JOURNALS. Also, updated Reading list (under LISTS tab) - added Tender Buttons, by Gertrude Stein.
24 March 2019 - Postponing Soap Review, Steely Dan, Podcast, Random Song, and Coffee Shop this week - Speen-regular, check back when things quiet down! National Reading March includes comic books - there’s a review of The Amazing Spider-Man – Enter Dr. Strange (1972) - click on Books, under the LISTS tab.
22 March 2019 - Happy F. Farraginous Friday! Review of the soundtrack of the movie, The Sweet Ride - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
21 March 2019 - Updated reading list! (under the LISTS) tab.
20 March 2019 - Happy Vernal March Reading Super Madness Full Equinox Worm Month Wednesday! I wish I could say I wasn’t freaking the fuck out!! Anyway, here’s an attempted coherent review of my favorite thing I read all year, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson - click on Books, under the LISTS tab!!!
19 March 2019 - Later the same day (as yesterday’s post) - NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
18 March 2019 - Happy Memoir Monday! (This is the ONLY thing that made me happy all day!) We continue with the epic month of November 1998, at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS. Also, started a new book, The Missing Formula, by Ann Wirt (1932) and updated my Reading list, under the LISTS tab.
17 March 2019 - Soap review! Pré de Provence – Cashmere Woods - at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
15 March 2019 - T G I Farraginous Friday! Short review of “Tamiko” by Tamiko Jones, a 1968 LP - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
13 March 2019 - Brief review of the 33 1/3 Series book, Aja, by Don Briethaupt - see Books, under the LISTS tab.
12 March 2019 - Here is a notebook entry from a little over 20 years ago that I particularly like - I feel like it really gets at the feeling I had hanging out at the Laurelthirst Public House in Portland, and it’s trying to get at the idea of how I feel most comfortable as a terminal outsider. - at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
11 March 2019 - New Steely Dan article (under the LISTS tab) - “Hey Nineteen” from Gaucho (1980). New soap review - Al Wazir “Soap-on-a-Rope” - at Soap Exotica, also under the LISTS tab. And updated Reading list - just started Anita O’Day’s autobiography, High Times, Hard Times (1981).
8 March 2019 - New Randy Russell Podcast is up, with guest host Kate Balsley - a conversation about places they live and have lived, including Milwaukee and Atlanta. Also, filmmaking and film school - under the PODCAST tab. Also, new record review, The Partridge Family Album - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
7 March 2019 - The next day, 1998 - at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
6 March 2019 - Since it’s National Reading Month I thought I’d try to post a book review every day, but seeing how I’m an exceptionally slow reader, and working over full-time, and I’m just tired all the time - that’s just not going to happen. But I’ll do my best. Today there’s new book review - of A Journey to the Centre of the Earth - see Books, under the LISTS tab. Also, I updated my reading list (Reading, under the LISTS tab).
5 March 2019 - New Memo! (see MEMO tab) called: Uncanny Valley and the 12 Seasons - which has nothing to do with “The Uncanny Valley” (or the band(s) Uncanny Valley - it’s just a BAD PUN). It has a lot to do with the 12 Seasons, though. See you all at Real Chili on Friday, if it warms up a little.
4 March 2019 - Happy Memoir Monday. While it was my intention to keep up my Notebook Journals entries to a time about 20 years in the past, I fell behind, and looking at the notebook from November 1998, it seems I must have been going through a midlife crisis or something, because there is a LOT of writing - much of it embarrassing. So I’ll just keep digesting, typing, and posting it a little at a time at: NOTEBOOK JOURNALS - while in the present, time marches on, and the current crisis is much more dire.
2 March 2019 - New Randy Russell Podcast - under the PODCAST tab - Episode 7 - “Tiki” with guest host, Evan Lipson - subjects include: Improvised music, touring, uncanny valley, memory, The Museum of Jurassic Technology, noise, ASMR, Diamanda Galas, Andrei Tarkovsky, Tiki bars, The Kahiki, and more. You can find Evan Lipson HERE.
2 March 2019 - It’s Soap Review Saturday - new soap review: Pacha – Pipe Tobacco & Coffee - at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
1 March 2019 - So ends Farraginous February - but wait! Today is Farraginous Friday - thus another record review, of Mountain “Flowers of Evil” - at DJ FARRAGINOUS
28 February 2019 - Sadly, no leap-year, so we conclude Farraginous February with a review of an inspiring record, Richard Harris “Slides.”
27 February 2019 - Sammi Smith’s 1977 record “Mixed Emotions” at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
26 February 2019 - An overly long review that is admittedly primarily not even about the record (since when is that unusual) buy nevertheless I fully recommend you read, can be found here: Randy Newman “Sail Away”
25 February 2019 - The last week of Farraginous February gets off to an oldball start with this oddball LP, “Alec Templeton and his Music Boxes.”
24 February 2019 - Farraginous February coincides with Song Review Sunday one last time - Kay Starr “Rockin’ Chair / Stroll Me.”
23 February 2019 - On Soap Review Saturday please find a review of Hemani Black Seed Soap on the Soap Exotica page, under the LISTS tab. Also, today’s installment of Farraginous February is a review of the Skeeter Davis LP, “The Closest Thing To Love” from 1969.
22 February 2019 - It’s the last Farraginous Friday in Farraginous February so enjoy a record review! Today’s selection is: B.J. Thomas “Everybody's Out Of Town.”
21 February 2019 - On the celebration of the anniversary of her birth, listening to a Nina Simone 45 - “I Loves You, Porgy / Love Me or Leave Me.”
20 February 2019 - later in the day (halfway to 4/20) - Farraginous February continues with a lengthy review of the Jefferson Airplane “Bark” LP.
20 February 2019 - Make sure you check out the latest Randy Russell Podcast (under the Podcast tab) - with guest host JW Balsley (check out devilshenchmen.com ) - and subjects that include drawing comics, LA (Los Angeles), yerba mate, kava, garlic, and cats. Also, there’s a new review of Sip & Purr Cat Cafe (on the Coffee Shop page, under the LUNCH tab).
19 February 2019 - If you like watching a clown-like, comic struggle, the spectacle of a man flailing around and knocking breakable stuff off the shelves, maybe you should read my review of (David) Bowie’s 1974 LP, DIAMOND DOGS - seriously one of my 10 favorite records ever, thus, maybe why so hard to write about!
18 February 2019 - I’m going to put more specific links here on the news page, since Farraginous February has so many different records in question. Today’s is “Gene Krupa.”
18 February 2019 - Memoir Monday continues with more from the Garbage Memo (including some re-thinking, re-assessing of the project, and the approach) (as well as some re-typed drunken rambling from Dag Nabbit) - on the Memoir page, under the MEMOIR tab. Happy Monday.
17 February 2019 - I’m not going to use that phrase “kill two birds with one stone” anymore, because I am neither able to nor want to kill a bird with a stone. Nevertheless, it’s Song Review Sunday, and so here is both a song I reviewed and a record I reviewed - continuing my project to review a record a day in February. This one is a 45 - Slim Dusty (“The Dusty Trail Yodeler”) (and His Bushlanders) “The Answer to a Pub with No Beer / Winter Winds” - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
16 February 2019 - Soap Review Saturday - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab, for a review of CINTHOL - Original. And at DJ FARRAGINOUS, find a review of the 1971 LP, “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” by Traffic.
15 February 2019 - An investigation into the mysterious local (Milwaukee) record, The Bon Aires - La Versatile, house band at the Rams Head Inn - as FARRAGINOUS FEBRUARY continues.
14 February 2019 - New Randy Russell Podcast! (under PODCAST tab) - with guest host, JW Balsley.
14 February 2019 - For the longest time I thought “Be Mine” was “B-9” and I wondered why Bingo on Valentine’s Day was a thing. One thing I didn’t mishear was the LP, Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 “Look Around” - and you can read about that here: DJ FARRAGINOUS.
13 February 2019 - As luck would have it, two things from 1958! For Reading Wednesday, a review of Henry Reed, Inc. - click on Books, under the LISTS tab. And a short bit on a 1958 Jimmie Rodgers 45, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
12 February 2019 - A probably overly harsh review of the Ten Years After album,“Cricklewood Green” — at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
11 February 2019 - As it’s Memoir Monday, please read the latest nutso 1981 Garbage Memo post on the Memoir page. As it’s still February, please check out the unusual take on Stan Kenton’s “Cuban Fire!” LP, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
10 February 2019 - Since it’s Song Review Sunday and the 10th day of FARRAGINOUS FEBRUARY - I decided to “kill two birds with one stone” with a review of this scratchy old Dick Lee single from 1953.
9 February 2019 - It’s Soap Review Saturday - read about Barr-Co. Soap Shop – Willow soap - at Soap Exotica - under the LISTS tab. Also, a record review of Bernie & The Invisibles LP, All Possibilities Are Open - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
8 February 2019 - Celebrate FARRAGINOUS FEBRUARY and FRIDAY (as well as, perhaps, the end of this 14 hour work day and 10 day work week, it seems like) with a brief but glowing appreciation of Thelonious Monk, via this solo piano recording.
7 February 2019 - No Podcast today - but the next one is coming soon! There is a new installment of The Garbage Memo (written by a gentleman named “Toad”) on the Memoir page. Also, continuing with FARRAGINOUS FEBRUARY - a review of the mysterious 1957 album “Easy Does It” by Easy Williams. (By the way, click on that “Instagram” logo on this website and it should take you to the R.Speen Instagram, where you’ll see the album cover in question - coinciding with the day of the review!)
6 February 2019 - It’s Wednesday, AKA “Tired as a Rubber Hoop Wednesday” - and you can read a short review of the 1958 Jonah Jones record, “Swingin’ at the Cinema” - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
5 February 2019 - We continue Farraginous February with a Tony Bennett 45, both sides of which express variations on broken hearts. And in NOTEBOOK JOURNALS, a personal and odd expression of a broken heart (or maybe it was just sadness about coming to the end of the notebook).
4 February 2019 - The next Garbage Memo (this one by Dag Nabbit) is on the Memoir page (under the MEMOIR tab) and today’s DJ FARRAGINOUS is the album: Variety Is the Spice of Gale Garnett.
3 February 2019 - New Steely Dan Sunday review, “Bad Sneakers” (under the LISTS tab) and next Farraginous February review (The T-Bones) - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
2 February 2019 - Happy Groundhog Day! I complain a lot about popular culture, so it feels good to admit that a Hollywood movie (Groundhog Day) from that dismal year (1993) immensely improved, even gave reason for continuing to exist, this most pointless of holidays. New soap review - Parrot Botanicals Green wrapper - at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab. And continuing Farraginous February, a review of an old Muggsy Spanier 45 - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
1 February 2019 - Welcome to Farraginous February! My project this year is to attempt to write about one record a day. The reason? Because I like challenges, I guess. Also, I’d like to weed out my record collection, and this is a good way to randomly pick records to play, and if don’t like them I can then get rid of them (to make room for new ones!) Each day this month, check back here for my excuses, or else a new review at DJ FARRAGINOUS. Today’s record is The Chico Hamilton Quintet playing jazz themes recorded for the motion picture, The Sweet Smell of Success (1957).
1 February 2019 - It’s very late on Thursday (actually 3am on Friday) - just a quick note to let you know there is no Randy Russell Podcast this week, and for that we apologize. I don’t know who “you” are, but I’m pretty sure there’s at least one person reading this - this is for you! “We” are the Podcast Teem (like the soft drink) - we are teeming with podcasts! But we’re taking this week off, partly due to the weather - it’s been a hard week for all of us in the vortex - even with “snow days” and “dangerous cold” days, it has felt like TWO WEEKS. (I know logic should dictate that means there should be TWO PODCASTS, but it don’t work that way.) The person who DID have two podcasts was Marc Maron (his WTF podcast always comes out on Monday and Thursday - hardcore in its consistency). I don’t usually do this (here), but I’d like to recommend those two episodes - the first a funny and down-to-earth conversation about acting and other things with Allison Janney (a Ohioan! I knew nothing about her), and then a talk with Allan MacDonell (who I’d somehow never heard of!) an old LA punk from Slash magazine. Interesting timing for me, as I’ve just begun re-visiting (on the Memoir page, here) the “Garbage Memo” - a four month long drinking and typing group experiment from the Garbage Inc., punk record store in Kent, Ohio, 1981. We no doubt carried Slash magazine, and just prior to the store opening (and the beginning of the “Memo”) I remember calling Slash Records on the phone to order stuff (Chris D. of The Flesh Eaters answered). The other funny thing is - in Maron’s intros to each of those episodes, he discusses how he possibly “might be coming around to” Steely Dan - and then some listeners’ irate reactions to that admission. It’s all very funny, but as you few special readers of my Steely Dan obsessions on this website know, Dismissal, Hatred, Ridicule, Parody, and Obsession are the five stages to all-consuming Steely Dan fandom, of which there is no known cure. Anyway, Happy Friday! - don’t go hog-wild because it’s up to 3 degrees and go out in a T-shirt. We’ll see you next Thursday for the next podcast!
31 January 2019 - End of January already, but my focus on memoir is going to continue. New entry in No Memory, and Memoir (both pages are under the MEMOIR tab). The wind-chill has gone up from minus 50 to minus 30 - a virtual heat wave! So I guess it’s back to work, today.
30 January 2019 - It is my good fortune that a stuck-inside-due-to-weather day fell on Reading Wednesday. New book review, of Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem - see the Books page, under the LISTS tab. Also, new Reading list - under the LISTS tab.
29 January 2019 - No Cafe Tuesday review, but an above-average journal entry written IN a cafe, two years ago (kind of interesting in that it’s a similar experience to just LAST SUNDAY - at the Plaza Cafe. You can read it at No Memory (under the MEMOIR tab). Even more interesting, a journal entry from over 20 years ago discussed the same themes - that of the level of intimacy I could achieve writing in notebooks at restaurant counters, and its relation to both my private, personal life and my very memory. This one was written in Portland, Oregon, at a place called Renner’s Grill - the first time I had visited there - and a place that seems to have closed now. Read this one in NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
28 January 2019 - I wanted to make January “Memoir Month” just to get caught up with No Memory, which is my documenting of journals, roughly two years in the past. I just posted the latest one, from October 1, 2016, so I’m behind. Also, there is a new entry in Memoir, which is from October 2, 1981 - a chapter of the Garbage Memo, this one written by the late Keith Busch (AKA Dag Nabbit). There’s still a week of January left - a good time of year for introspection, and typing, and other indoor activities, but right now I have to head off to work in the snowstorm, and we’ll see how the week progresses with possibly record cold temperatures! Take it easy, everyone, and be aware of people who might need your help!
26 January 2019 - For Soap Review Saturday we have a review of Pistachio scented Goat’s Milk Soap, at Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab, and yesterday’s Farraginous Friday review, of Chicago’s second album, “Chicago” took two days to write, but is finally in the world, at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
25 January 2019 - A new Randy Russell Podcast is up (under the PODCAST tab) - with guest host J.E. Sunde, talking about a wide range of topics, including songwriting, playing music, recording, making records, and more! You can find out more about Jon Sunde at JESUNDE.COM and THEDAREDEVILCHRISTOPHERWRIGHT.COM.
24 January 2019 - A particularly engaging notebook entry from 1998, at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS - trying to understand the mysteries of Hellmann’s vs. Best Foods, and Mayonnaise vs. Malaise.
22 January 2019 - Happy Cafe Tuesday - and please find a review of the Blooming Lotus Bakery on the Coffee Shop page, under the LUNCH tab.
21 January 2019 - A diner entry (No Memory) from a couple years ago, and more Garbage Memo (Memoir page).
20 January 2019 - Coldest day of the year (so far) - time for a hot bath! And nothing goes with a hot bath quite like a new soap review - this time it’s: Nubian Heritage – African Black Soap - on the Soap Exotica page, under the LISTS tab.
19 January 2019 - I am thankful for the beautiful snowfall! Also, it’s no excuse, but I’ll use it regardless, as to why I’m a day late with the latest Farraginous Friday vinyl review, the Audiophile record, “Echoes of the Storm” - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
18 January 2019 - The first installment of The Garbage Memo (this one written by Dag Nabbit) is now posted on the Memoir page. Also, the next Randy Russell Podcast is available (you can listen under the PODCAST tab, or download it from Apple Podcasts or the Stitcher app). The guest host for this episode is Stephanie Somers, and she and Randy talk about many things, including cheese.
17 January 2019 - In what is going to be a substantial (in volume) and extended Memoir experiment, the next many, many entries (on the Memoir page, under the MEMOIR tab) will be the documentation of the Garbage Memo, a massive, group writing experiment that happened at the record store, Garbage Inc., in Kent, Ohio, starting October 1981. This will be the only time (I think, probably) there will be additional memoir material written by people other than me. I think it’s all pretty funny, often disturbing, and generally interesting stuff, and some of the people involved are sadly no longer with us. Enjoy in immoderation!
16 January 2019 - This is something I look forward to every year and should be a major news event (at least for excessive list makers): Steven Soderbergh posts a list of all the movies, TV shows, books, and plays he’s seen and read during the previous year. It’s on his website, Extension 765 (and there are previous years, as well). Here is this year’s, last year’s SEEN READ 2018.
15 January 2019 - Continuing with kind of an epic month of October in 1998, here is the next journal entry, describing a visit to the Polar King in Gresham, Oregon - at NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
14 January 2019 - New entry in No Memory (under the MEMOIR tab) from 2016, here on Memoir Monday. Also, I’m continuing to focus on old notebooks, because January is Memoir Month!
13 January 2019 - Check out Soap Exotica (under the LISTS) tab for a review of Disney Resorts H2O+ Beauty – Sea Salt Facial Soap - for Soap Review Saturday.
11 January 2019 - Another Farraginous Friday - go to DJ FARRAGINOUS for a review of Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality.
11 January 2019 - New Randy Russell Podcast (under the PODCAST tab) - a conversation with free improvisation musician and writer, Jack Wright. His book, The Free Musics (2017) can be found on Amazon, and his website is: SpringGardenMusic.com.
9 January 2019 - More Memoir entries (from November 1980) - including a disturbing dream. Whatever I was eating before bed on that night - don’t eat that before bed!
8 January 2019 - Continuing to sort out October 1998, in Notebook Journals, and a very strange dream recorded, in No Memory (under the MEMOIR tab).
7 January 2019 - This morning’s thoughts, under the Memo tab, is titled: 500 Words or Less, which it is, so I’m going to also put it right here: NEW WAY! I usually write a note to myself with that title in sign-style block letters, hi-lighted with at least two colors, a note on paper that usually ends up buried in a box marked “To Do.” If you wait until January 1st each year for your “resolutions,” you're already sunk, and everyone knows that, but there is something about feeling like you're on the farthest north, darkest, coldest apex of the spinning ball that makes a fresh approach to simple things feel actually possible. Though, on this morning, I don't know, it's not the icy 0 degrees it should be, but instead: moist, with Dorothy Gale force winds and no balm-like snow in the forecast (I like snow, okay?)—but still, back to the brutal Monday thru Friday fluorescent office schedule, no day-off holidays until Memorial Day, and I'm officially “pushing 60” but glad, really glad, to be alive. I want to go back to writing fiction, which means up every day at 4am, which means I can maybe go out to dinner some evenings, but I will turn into a pumpkin (only slightly resembling a person) at about 9pm. Making things (drawing, sewing) maybe. We will hope for a new Randy Russell Podcast here, once a week; it's one thing I can do that doesn't cause this intense pain in my hands and arms! (not to mention involves lovely people!) As for the monthly theme (a way of asking to be excused to neglect everything that doesn't fall under the monthly theme)—January is Memoir Month—so I'm going to concentrate on looking back, as well: No Memory is a revealing of journals written just over two years ago, while Notebook Journals is unearthing these same journals that are about 20 years old. Memoir is going way back, to the sporadic days of writing or not, but the next thing there is going to be revisiting “The Garbage Memo”—a document kept during a punk record store lifestyle experiment in 1981. The “jury is still out” about returning to the slightly fictionalized remembrances of The Golden Pineapple, or the new one, revisiting online journals: Blog Day Afternoon (if I can get away with using that title). And, of course, about this “fiction writing”—because “does anyone care” isn't as crucial a question as “do I care”—and in a world of “you couldn't make this shit up,” I guess the question is whether to sit in the tenth row with popcorn, or else: “make stuff up”— and the answer, “we'll see,” comes with no promises except for the promise of (in spite of occasionally being obtuse and confusing) sincerity and love.
6 January 2019 - Very, very late on Soap Review Saturday (i.e. it’s now Sunday) a review of Pre de Provence – Almond (Horseshoe) soap - click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab.
5 January 2019 - Late on Farraginous Friday - very, very late - when cocktail time and coffee time mix and become one - here is a review of The Walter Wanderley Trio’s 1966 Cheganca LP - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
4 January 2019 - The second installment of of The Randy Russell Podcast is now up (under the PODCAST tab) - it’s a conversation with RR and Didier Leplae about places we used to live that are either long ago, far away, or have been demolished.
3 January 2019 - A No Memory post, journal entry from 2016 (under the MEMOIR tab) was written at the Pleasant Kafe, recently referred to in a Coffee Shop post (under the LUNCH tab). Also, The Randy Russell Podcast (under PODCAST tab) is now up, and also available on Stitcher, and can be downloaded from the Apple Podcasts app. Episode 2 coming soon!
2 January 2019 - Reading Wednesday - I finally read the book my favorite movie of all time is based on - The Sweet Ride - for my brief thoughts on it - click on Books, under the LISTS tab.
1 January 2019 - Happy New Year! Sorry to start out 2019 with a bummer, but here’s a little In Memoriam for some cafes that closed last year - click on Coffee Shop, under the LUNCH tab.
31 December 2018 - While many, today, are looking back at 2018, I’m looking back at 1980! Click on Memoir (the Memoir page under the MEMOIR tab) - for a notebook entry from November 1980. It was an active time, so I don’t have too many notebook remembrances from then, so this is rare. This one is an account of our band, The Bursting Brains, playing in Cleveland for the first time. A lot of fun and chaos! Also - I’m going to extend Memoir Monday all week.
30 December 2018 - Most likely a much too long and convoluted and obsessive and even kind of ridiculous examination of the song “Deacon Blues” - for Steely Dan Sunday - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab - or maybe just take a hot bath and watch Columbo.
29 December 2018 - Click in Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab, for a fresh new review of Good Soap – Cucumber, for Soap Review Saturday.
28 December 2018 - Far from this snowy Farraginous Friday, please find a tropical, rum-infused review of Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 LP, The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
27 December 2018 - An entry of No Memory - about the notebook it’s written in - under the MEMOIR tab.
26 December 2018 - The holidays kind of alter all the schedules and routines - that’s okay. It’s Memoir Monday all holiday season (mostly because I’m behind - trying to keep up with being “20 years ago” in NOTEBOOK JOURNALS. This entry, from October 1998 is a little nutty, but has the world not gotten nuttier? Still, might want to stick with tide charts and racing forms on this day after Christmas.
25 December 2018 - Merry Christmas, and good luck finding a restaurant open! Perhaps a movie? Click on Movies, under the LISTS tab, for a review of one of this season’s best, At Eternity’s Gate.
23 December 2018 - Late on Steely Dan Sunday - please enjoy this detailed and probably way-off-base analysis of “The Boston Rag” from Countdown to Ecstasy (1973) - click on Steely Dan, under the LISTS tab.
22 December 2018 - Also, it’s Soap Review Saturday - so click on Soap Exotica, under the LISTS tab, for a review of Denara Bali – Coconut Natural Handmade Soap.
22 December 2018 - Also, I couldn’t go for a day past the Solstice without writing a Solstice inspired memo (also, full cold moon inspired, podcast inspired, Bob Dylan inspired, waking up early with too little sleep inspired) - called, What’s In A Name? - which you can read at your ultimate leisure under the MEMO tab.
21 December 2018 - Happy Solstice! It’s also Farraginous Friday, so there’s a new vinyl review here: DJ FARRAGINOUS. Also, a full moon! Also, the new Randy Russell Podcast page is up! Check it out and listen to the first episode, with guest host Lauryl Sulfate and RR discussing coffee shops, diners, and many other things!
20 December 2018 - 20 years ago - October of that year seemed to be a good month for journal writing - and I’m in the middle of re-reading, typing, and posting that now. It can be found here: NOTEBOOK JOURNALS.
19 December 2018 - I just looked through the almost 20 notebooks I’m currently using (I love notebooks!) - for the chronologically next-to-post journal entry for the page No Memory - under the MEMOIR tab. Just another lunch.
17 December 2018 - No coffee shop review or book review this week - I’m going to concentrate on the MEMOIR pages. First, there is a really odd dream from 1980. I could have easily never looked at this old notebook from 38 years ago - and I guess, no great loss - but it’s funny I wrote it down, and am reading it after all this time. Even though I have no idea what it means! Also, you’ll notice, there is a heading for the Randy Russell Podcast - which we hope to have up later this week!
16 December 2018 - Since Nancy Wilson recently passed away, here’s a brief listen to a record she did with George Shearing - at DJ FARRAGINOUS.
15 December 2018 - It’s Soap Review Saturday - click on Soap Exotica under the LISTS tab to reveal an overly convoluted consideration of Grandma's – Lye Soap.
14 December 2018 - Everyone’s favorite day of the week - Farraginous Friday! Today, please visit DJ FARRAGINOUS for a review of Lesley Gore’s California Nights.
12 December 2018 - Happy Reading Wednesday - review of The Hardy Boys - Hunting for Hidden Gold - click on Books, under the LISTS tab.
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!