NEWS, UNFIT AND OTHERWISE
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!
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!