Friday, September 24, 2004

American Idiot

Listening to the new Green Day CD, American Idiot. I've been waiting (im)patiently for this for weeks, ever since the title single gave me a reason to listen to the radio again. David Letterman the other night said that Green Day was "singlehandedly keeping rock 'n' roll alive." (They were very impressive on the show, by the way, as was their opener, a guy named John Kerry.)

Simply put, the CD kicks A-Asterisk-Asterisk. It's hard to describe how good it is without using profanity, but let's just say these last few days I LIVE to listen to this album. I eat, drink, and sleep only so that my ears and brain will have the energy to absorb American Idiot. It's given me hope for the Future of the Universe (or at least hope for my own powers of overstatement). I hate when it's over.

It's supposed to be a rock opera, but the songs stand well on their own. The best songs are the
title single, "Jesus of Suburbia," "Holiday," "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," and--and--and arrrgh! every song on this CD is utterly crankable, sing-alongable, pound-your-fist-in-the-airable. Early polls of my brain cells indicate "Holiday" as the favorite.

I don't think a song has captured the national mood (or at least the Mood of People Who Live in My House) as well as "American Idiot"--not since "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (and geez, looking back, why were we so angry in 1991? Well, yeah, there was the fact that no jobs waited for us after college and we were waging Part I of the War for Oil, but it was a freakin' tea party compared to the neo-fascism we're facing now, and it's about time popular music started reflecting our mad-as-hell-ness).

Anyway, click here to listen to a fun remix of the tune interspliced with sound bites from Bush sounding, well, idiotic.

American Idiot. Buy it. Play it obnoxiously loud in your car with the windows down. Grow young again. Then go out and kick some A-Asterisk-Asterisk of your own.

"I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives"

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

God Save the Queen

...since her security force sure as heck ain't up to the task.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

On the DL

(that's "Disabled List" for the sports-deprived)

Posts will be short for awhile, as my elbow seems to be suffering some kind of nerve damage from long hours on the computer. The tipping point came the other day when my boss's cat coerced me into an extended game of Throw the Paper Ball (but how do you deny a cat who fetches?). I guess I should file for worker's comp, but there are no witnesses other than the cat, and you know how unreliable they are on the stand. Dogs are lousy liars, but cats are masters of mendacity.

Besides, it's a Sunday afternoon. You shouldn't be holed up looking at a little computer screen. You should be holed up looking at a BIG screen watching football. Once my elbow stops hurting, I will explain why.

Today's blog was brought to you by the drug Naproxen Sodium.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

If I could make it rain today

This morning I woke to a painfully clear sky whose few cloud wisps only accentuated the boldness of its blue. My joy at its beauty lasted only a moment before I remembered that other perfect morning three years ago. The weather they'd been waiting for.

Maybe it's just my sense of the theatrical, but I've always wished every Good Friday would be rainy (or at least overcast) and every Easter would be sunny. The weather should enhance our mood, not mock it. I'd be happy if I never saw another shiny September 11 morning.

Tomorrow we can be Democrats and Republicans and Greens and Libertarians again, and continue the battle. Today is a day just to be American, and to try not to curse the blue sky.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Meadow Completes Basic Training



(Getting away from politics for one day)

Our greyhound
Meadow graduated basic obedience tonight. At the end we worked with all the dogs off-leash, and somehow total chaos did not ensue. She even did a down-stay while I walked all the way across the room to get more treats. Then she realized that other people had treats, too, and I became much less interesting. The crowning achievement was when all dogs in the class sat and waited until we crossed the room, then came when called.

Okay, it won't get us on Pet Star any time soon, but at the end of a mere six-week beginner obedience course, the dogs might as well have turned water into beef broth--it was that much of a miracle.

Meadow wasn't perfect (her last act in obedience class was to pee on the floor), but she tried her best.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Politics Gets Kinky!

Luminous author, salsa maker, animal rescuer, and Jewish country singer Kinky Friedman is running for Governor of Texas in 2006. His campaign slogan is, "Why the hell not?" Friedman, whose band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys's biggest hit was "They Don't Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore," was featured on CNN's Paula Zahn last night.

When I read his mystery novel "Road Kill" a few years ago, I laughed 'til it hurt to breathe. Definitely try one of his books, unless you're recovering from abdominal surgery.

Profits from his Politically Incorrect line of salsa go to help his Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch at his home outside of San Antonio, where he cares for dozens of unwanted dogs, cats, donkeys, pigs and chickens. If he were governor, declawing cats (the equivalent of chopping off the first joint of our fingers) would be illegal.

Why the hell not, indeed?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Brief Intro

Hi, I'm Jeri Smith-Ready and this is my obligatory blog. (Hey, would that make it "o-blog-atory"? (cringe) So sorry.)

I'm a fiction writer, which means my "real" life is relatively uninteresting and not worth going into much detail about. Those writers you hear about who are always having wild, wacky adventures with successively younger spouses--they're not getting any work done. The most exciting adventure I've had the last couple of weeks was fixing the toilet (with a little-known homeowners' secret I like to call "phoning the plumber").

Gustave Flaubert once said that writers' lives should be as bourgeois as possible so that we can be wild in our books. (Only he said it more eloquently, and in French.) I guess writing about the Devil and an ex-ecowarrior priest counts as wild. Different, anyway.

I promised myself this entry would be short. Stick around to find out more about me, my books, and my thoughts on politics, writing, and, inevitably, the New York Yankees.


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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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