Friday, April 25, 2014

"The Americans" Update: "Martial Eagle."

More about the show that makes you wonder, "So is there a TV show in Russia about CIA spies with perfect Russian accents living in Moscow called, 'The Russians'?"

WARNING:  Spoilers-a-plenty ahead.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

LIST OF MIGRAINE CURES THAT HAVE NEVER WORKED; but which I have feltcompelled to re-test long after I figured this out:

cold stuff on my head





Child Pose

More chocolate 


Fiorinal and beer


Magnesium supplements


Chocolate and peanut butter

Lemon filled Girl Scout cookies....

Monday, April 21, 2014


I have a theory about why the federal government invests so much time in promoting stupid solutions to problems that don't exist.  Take the cries for the banning of firearms because there are "more and more" school shootings.   This is despite the fact that, statisticaly, millions more men,, women and children die in car accidents, diving into shallow swimning pools, stay home for the hurricane party, or have a cement block dropped on their car from an overpass.  And in fact, violence against school children isn't increasing.  Although the news media is indeed paying more attention to it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Pastorale: Not for the Peasants, Anymore?

My immediate family, or those I live nearby, anyway, are coping with a particularly voracious stomach flu bug, and I'm not feeling all that well myself, so this Easter the cockatiels and I are staying home...avoiding the Easter goodies, doing some light spring cleaning, and participating in a ritual I've enjoyed since my senior year on high schillings:  Playing Beethoven's Symphony #6 and enjoying the spring it portends.  It's a good day for it too; sunshine streaming in, probably teasing us mercifully before the next big polar vortex with its 10 inches of snow and the thousands of Michigan parents being treated for a new illness:  snow day fatigue.

It looks very springy today, on the other hand.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

From Russia With a 2 Kid, 1 Car Family, 2 of whom are Soviet Spies, a Clueless FBI AGent who Lives Next Door, and a Promise of Sympathy Distortion

Those are my words, those last two, and sympathy distortion is something the fan of FX's "The Americans" must learn to live with.  Or stop watching it.

The KGB family brings brownies for the FBI agent under whose nose they reside

If you don't watch much TV, then you, like I before a friend told me about it, may not know about this show. It's a little difficult to explain unless you are a Cold War nerd like myself, but basically, the "stars" are a couple (marriage arranged by the KGB) from the Soviet Union, their accents somehow magically erased, living in a cushy split level in 1980s Washington, DC, next door to a clueless FBI agent; amusing themselves with kidnapping, forced repatriation of the odd Russian intelligentsia, a fake marriage (the husband's), meeting cool people and killing them, and by magically keeping their kids from knowing they are KGB spies from the Soviet Union (don't these kids wonder why they never meet their grandmas?)  While all this is going on, the clueless FBI agent not only misses the KGB agents under his nose, but has fallen desperately in love with the woman he believes is his KGB informant, but who used him to get her way back into the good with her "Soviet ambassador" boss, and who may have been in love with him, but is now sleeping with another sort of free-agent agent who is extorting FBI information from the FBI agent by threatening the life of his KGB "informant"/triple agent informant/lover.  All in the context of wives, children, and innocent bystanders who are flicked away like so much acceptable collateral damage.

Are you getting all this?

Friday, April 11, 2014

The 2013 Tax Year Tax Dirge: Don’t Fine Me, Bro!

Or, All I really want to do….is claim you as a dependent.

The reason for the tax dirge:

The tax dirge is perfect music for seeking lost bits of paper, Googling tax code minutiae (and isn’t it all minutiae?)…and for holding your breath until your accountant calls and says you're getting a refund, or a bigger refund than expected....or until you enter all the numbers into Turbo Tax and the amount "overpaid" comes up positive.  On the other hand, it's good music to drown your sorrows when you see there is no way in H-E Double toothpicks you're getting a fact, you may have to sell your house to pay your bill!!

To be honest, many times the songs in the annual playlist known as the Tax Dirge aren't evocative of those feelings viz their music or lyrics; many times the title just, well, fits.

As usual, the Dirge features songs of all or most song types.  This one includes reggae, hip-hop, opera, 70s punk, folk and country.  And 2014 sees the debut of Mr. Marshall Mathers on the Dirge with not 1 but 2 selections from "The Eminem Show".

We end as usual with the Mother of All Tax Dirge Songs, "Taxman", written and performed mostly by George Harrison....the Grumpy Beatle[1].  If you're singing along to the finale this year, and wondering what to put in place of the descant, "Uh-uh, Mr. Wilson; Uh-uh, Mr. Heath", then "Uh-uh, Mr. Boehner, Uh-uh, Mr. O" works pretty good.  Unless you're Canadian, in which case you have a couple of weeks to figure out how to fit Messrs. Harper and Mulcair in the song in a rhythmic and clever way, eh.

Happy dirging, taxpayers!