• ITEM! Wrap-up of recent strange Google searches that brought unwitting visitors here lately:
"brain spatula holder" -- ewww!
"i will be eternally hateful" -- which of course, I am (OK, it's a Guided By Voices lyric, really).
"Along Came Polly Hank Azaria took workout"
"how much are Ronald Reagan comics worth?" -- whatever you're willing to pay, of course
• ITEM! Hey, Michael Moore has a blog now.
• ITEM! Spent much of the holiday weekend and all yesterday evening tearing my way through The Song of Susannah, book six (of seven!) in Stephen King's epic Dark Tower series. I've been a King nut for years, and an entire bookshelf in our bedroom is weighed down heavily with about 30-40 King paperbacks (the best format to read him in IMHO). The "Dark Tower" is King's "Lord of the Rings," a sprawling, eccentric beast that is a genre-mixed casserole of horror, fantasy, western and even autobiography. It's very different from his more mainstream work like "The Shining" and "Misery," set in an entirely fantasy world but with echoes to our own. Book six is another corker of a tale, although probably incomprehensible if you haven't read the other five volumes (I feel like I need to sit down and re-read all 3,000 pages or so myself of this increasingly labyrinthine work before the final book comes out this fall). I'm not a huge fantasy man -- I pretty much start and stop at Tolkien -- but King's take on the genre has been memorable, and it's all starting to come together nicely. He's been working on this story on and off since 1970 or so, which boggles the mind, and even turns up himself as a character in this volume in a particularly memorable sequence. King still gets scoffed at a lot by the "lit'rary critic" types and admittedly his work is more hamburger than filet mignon, but I proudly would and do put the "Dark Tower" books side-by-side in my own collection with the works of John Updike, Paul Auster, Kurt Vonnegut or Haruki Murakami. Good stuff.
• ITEM! This week's "kicker" above is a lyric from Modest Mouse's "Bury Me With It," a rocking little Pixies-esque song from their new album. Last week's was willfully obscure, from The Mountain Goats' awesome song "No Children," one of the bleakest sing-alongs you'll ever hear from this rather cool emo-folk type act, about a relationship gone to hell. Dark as Satan's pupils but man, what a great song, it's my lyrics of the day. Here's a sample (imagine it sung in a high-lonesome über-nasal Bob Dylan-meets-Violent Femmes voice:
"I hope that our few remaining friends
Give up on trying to save us
I hope we come up with a failsafe plot
To piss off the dumb few that forgave us
I hope the fences we mended
Fall down beneath their own weight
And I hope we hang on past the last exit
I hope it's already too late
And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here
Someday burns down
And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away
And I never come back to this town
Again in my life
I hope I lie
And tell everyone you were a good wife
And I hope you die
I hope we both die
And on that note, Happy Tuesday!