Category Archives: Krista Detor

Hot Air

Money & Music

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), acc’d’g to sources, has discovered that Chateau Thomas hasn’t been paying licensing fees for music played by the winery’s performers at its three locations. ASCAP and its clone-y org., BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), collect musical licensing fees and distribute the swag to the creative souls who wrote them. Sounds fair, right?

Chateau Thomas

It isn’t. If it only were a matter of songwriters getting their fair share of the dough people make singing their ditties, that would be cool. But the people ASCAP and BMI primarily rep are the big-assed impresarios and corporations that own the rights to said songs. And never forget that the big-assed outfits (pun intended) employed every conceivable method, legit and otherwise, to corner the music market, not always to the benefit of musicians. Wait, let me amend that; rarely to their benefit.

As a result of ASCAP’s detective work, Chat. Tom. apparently has canceled its schedule of upcoming live performances. The fees ASCAP is demanding, it seems, are too much for the winery to bear.

It’s not that Chat. Tom. is particularly nefarious in this little dust-up. Dozens of Bloomington businesses that cater to the public play recorded music — CDs and mp3 cuts — for which they neglect to pay rights fees to BMI. The idea being Nicki Minaj, for example, slaved over her notepad, pencil in hand, creating these eternally beloved lyrics:

You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe [x3]
You a stupid hoe, (yeah) you a, you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe (stupid, stupid)
You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe (you stupid, stupid)
You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe (you stupid, stupid)
You a stupid hoe, (yeah) you a, you a stupid hoe (you stupid, stupid)

[From Stupid Hoe, written by Nicki Minaj and Tina Dunham, produced by DJ Diamond Kuts and Pink Friday Productions, released by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, and Universal Republic Records.]

and so deserves a pct. of every dollar anybody makes playing her music.

Technically, when the UkeTones play Stairway to Heaven either they or the venue at which they perform the opus must kick a piece of the evening’s take to ASCAP. And should the UTs record the classic (a million-seller if I’ve ever heard of one) not only would they have to pay an upfront rights fee, but any public business that played the CD would have to pay its share. Imagine how much more wealthy the already-loaded Robert Plant and Jimmy Page would become in such an eventuality.

UkeTones

The UkeTones

Now, on the other side of the coin, Krista Detor might say Hey, if you play Red Velvet Box at NYC’s Carnegie Hall, you’d better fork over my share of that gate. Detor owns the rights to her music so she’d benefit. Then again, it’s doubtful Hugh and Vusi Masekela will be playing that particular piece at their Hall gig, October 10th. (Although I don’t see why not.)

Chat. Tom.’s Music on the Veranda Series and Singer/Songwriter Series, for instance, last weekend offered diverse acts including Mojo Gumbo, Gary Applegate, Rose Perry, the Foster Jones band, and Two for the Show.

This coming weekend? No such luck.

[Head over to Jeff Foster’s FB page for some very informative takes on artists and their licensing fees.]

13 Years

I’d just started seeing The Loved One when 9/11 happened. That’s why I have no particularly warm and fuzzy memories of our early days as a couple.  The days seemed oppressive and glum in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

Even the music I was listening to at the time still seems fraught with dread and fright and so I can’t listen to those discs to this day. One in particular, the Ivy disc Long Distance, was about to become one of my mainstays. I listened to it a couple of times a day back then, having bought it, IIRC, on September 7th, Friday. Since then, no. In fact, I may have given it away.

I didn’t throw TLC away, though, nor she me and that was good. We met in Winnemac Park, across Foster Avenue from her house, in the early afternoon on that ironically crisp and clear and gorgeous day, just to console ourselves. Chicago’s downtown had been evacuated and so she was home from work. I recall noticing a squadron of Air Force fighters passing high overhead, circling the city just in case. We held hands and didn’t say much to each other. It was enough to feel the warmth of another human being’s hand.

USAF Fighter

Over Chicago

The next day, I bought one of those plastic American flags with suction cups so you could attach it to your windshield. I put it on my motorcycle’s faring. I’m not a flag guy, never have been. But I felt as though I ought to join the crowd just this once. Believe me, I know what bastards we are to much of the rest of the world but I truly believed the terrorists who attacked us came from a culture of hatred and death. Yeah, our oil policies have screwed the majority of the world but I never quite bought the terrorists’ argument that they were lashing out at us because of that.

Anyway, just as soon as the invasion of Afghanistan was announced I took the flag off my bike. It’s one thing to show solidarity with my countrypeople  when we’re under attack. It’s quite another to stay all jingoistic when our unsurpassed military is mowing the enemy down like blades of grass. Besides, Gen. Tommy Franks didn’t need any help from the likes of me.

Franks

Tommy Franks Didn’t Need Me

Everybody, it seemed in the days after the strike, felt we’d be attacked again sooner rather than later. I don’t know precisely why but I was sure the attacks were a one-off thing. It was known almost immediately that maybe a couple of dozen guys had pulled the operation off. They’d slipped through whatever security precautions the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA had set up at the time. They’d picked a time and a spot where we were most vulnerable. And they had great good luck on their side. None of those conditions would be extant again for a good long time, I felt.

That’s why I figured it was foolish to invade Afghanistan, especially since the Taliban had expressed its condolences and was cooperating with the US in attempting to seize and extradite Osama bin Laden. But all those neo-conservatives who surround George W. Bush and who wanted to remake the Middle East saw their own singular, perfect opportunity to do some map redrawing.

And then, after toppling the Taliban, we decided to forget about bin Laden and gobble up another chunk of that corner of the world, Iraq.

bin Laden

Aw, Forget About Him

Today, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is safe or stable. We’ve spent trillions of dollars, lost thousands of our own warriors, wasted several hundred thousand Afghans and Iraqis, and both countries remain as much — or more — of a pain in our collective ass as they were before 9/11.

No wonder I had such a sense of foreboding in the days after the attacks.

Hot Air

Faster, Pussycat

You want further proof this holy land is becoming more deranged by the nanosecond? Okay, you’ve got it.

A report on NPR’s Morning Edition today reveals that sales of breakfast cereals have been off the last few years. In fact, trade in sugar-coated sugar cubes upon which aficionados sprinkle sugar before adding their milk have been dropping since cereal’s high-water mark in 1996. (Which, BTW, was the heyday of the sitcom, Seinfeld. In case you’ve forgotten, Jerry was noted for keeping an enviable stash of breakfast cereals in his kitchen cupboard. Coincidence? I think not.)

From "Seinfeld"

Seinfeld And His Cereals

Anyway, people apparently are shying away from breakfast cereals — either the aforementioned glucose bombs or the less hyperglycemic varieties — because…, swear to god, I can hardly believe what I’m typing…, it takes to long to make a goddamned bowl of cereal.

What are we all, firemen? Honest to the Big Daddy-o in the Sky, who in this crazy, mixed-up world is in too much of a hurry to pour out a bowl of Count Chocula? A crystal meth addict?

BTW: in researching Count Chocula for this entry, I learned that its sister cereal, Frankenberry, was responsible for a condition known as, well, Frankenberry Stool. That is, certain kids who slurped that slop were physically unable to break down the dye used in it, so their daily deuces (AKA feces) emerged a rich carmine. Chemistry, my friends, can brighten up your world.

Frankenberry

“Red Is The Ultimate Cure For Sadness.” — Bill Blass

Pluckin’ And A’picnickin’

Whaddya doing Sunday night? Huh? You don’t know?

Silly.

Everybody who’s anybody will be parked out in front of the Bryan Park bandshell to take in the annual outdoor performance of Krista Detor, backed up by her boy band including hubby David Weber, Steve Mascari, and Tim Moore. The yearly Detor outdoor gig is the best excuse on the planet to lay out a blanket and open up the pick-a-nick basket in the South Central Indiana e’en.

Detor

Krista Detor

The shindig is part of an action-packed end-of-summer month for this world class hamlet. The 6:30pm Detor show serves as the unofficial coda for the 4th Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts, which will have just wrapped up at that time some half a mile north of the bandshell. And just as soon as locals recover from those two bashes, the 2014 Lotus World Music & Arts Festival kicks off less than three weeks later.

Time for a shameless plug: Krista Detor’s book/CD, Flat Earth Diary, is on sale now at the Book Corner. Twenty two bucks, babies — as Alfred E. Neuman used to say, cheap.

Check, Mate

So, news has emerged that a large fellow who this year will earn more money than you or I will ever see in our lifetimes because of his ability to prevent other large fellows from catching a football received a $15 million bonus check on July 29th — and he hasn’t cashed it yet!

Patrick Peterson, defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, got the check when he signed his five-year, $70million contract extension with the NFL team that day. And now it’s been nearly a month and it’s still sitting, presumably, on the passenger seat of his SUV.

Peterson

Payee Peterson

Sheesh. I think of the times I copped $25 checks for stories that’d taken me a week to write and cashing them so fast that I doubt if I left any fingerprints on them. Then again, I have no idea how to prevent a large fellow from catching a football.

Citizen Journos

Kudos to big boss Alycin Bektesh over at the WFHB News Department. She’s conjured a 21st Century solution to an age-old problem at the volunteer scoop shop. She calls it the Wordy 30 Club.

One of the biggest problems Bektesh faces is a dearth of vols to fully staff the Monday-through-Friday news writing shifts at the Firehouse Broadcasting outlet. She and her ass’t, Joe Crawford, have had to pen Daily Local News scripts too many times to count of late. This is especially so in summer when Indiana University journalism students are off for the summer, thereby whittling down the vol pool. Most days in June and July, Bektesh can practice firing off her cannon in the ‘FHB newsroom and not worry she’ll hit anybody.

WFHB

The Wordy 30 ought to remedy that. The way it works is Alycin and Joe will curate a list of news leads that will be available to any volunteer at, well, any place on Earth. All the vols need are their computers or other hand-held devices and they can pick and choose, say, three news leads, then proceed to write headlines or what we in the biz like to call “readers.” These are quick, concise news bits that don’t really deserve the full Woodward/Bernstein treatment but may well be of interest or use to listeners.

Each Wordy 30 shift will last — yep — 30 minutes. Perfect for our fast-paced, short-att’n-span world, nay?

I can see the Daily Local News becoming much more snappy and info-packed once this scheme is in full swing. Those, by the way, are two descriptors few employed in regard to the DLN in the past.

Oh, and don’t fret if your taste in news trends toward long-form, in-depth coverage. WFHB will still churn out those stories. A mix of penetrating journalism and bang-bang headlines ought to make the DLN the indispensable news source for Bloomingtonians.

Hot Air

Schadenfreude & Innocent Joys

Now and then good things happen:

• Arizona Guv Jan Brewer vetoed that state’s vile refusal-of-service bill directed against homosexuals. Conservatives are having apopolexy at this moment because, clearly, the veto is meant to enslave all Christianists. The uber-pious of this holy land were calling AZ’s SB1062 a law ensuring “freedom” for those who buy into the notion of a Big Daddy-o in the Sky. See, those god-ists want to be able to shun and discriminate against a class of human beings because that Big Daddy, apparently, told them to do it. Freedom, right?

From Media Matters

● The National Enquirer was forced to finance a playwrights’ grant well into the future because that rag had published a weird (what else?) accusation that a straight man was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s gay lover and fellow freebase freak. That straight man got all huffy after his schoolboy son pointed out the headline informing anencephalic America that Pops dug men and dope. The straight man sued and — presto! — the Enquirer settled because, natch, they hadn’t a leg to stand on. Now the rag must bankroll something to be called the American Playwriting Foundation which will award a yearly $45,000 prize for a selected, unproduced play.

Hoffman/Katz

Hoffman & David Bar Katz: Not Lovers

[Note: Don’t embarrass yourself and try to point out that I’ve spelled one word playwright and another playwriting. The spellings are correct.]

● The Bruster’s ice cream palace at the junction of SR 46 and SR 446 — a guilty pleasure mecca virtually visible from my back porch — opens for the season tomorrow. Whee! BTW: Now that gay marriage is becoming more and more acceptable to Ma & Pa Kettle, ice cream marriage is sure to follow. Count me in.

Bruster's

Oh, Baby

The Chocolate Moose, meanwhile, remains open daily from 11am-7pm until the Sky Gods come to their senses and remember Bloomington is not Bismark, North Dakota.

● Have I mentioned Krista Detor‘s new CD and book package are now on sale at the Book Corner? Yup, her Flat Earth Diary and the accompanying Notes From the Bridge will cost you a cool $22. So, whip out that wallet and support your local canary and book peddler at the same time.

Flat Earth Diary

● Still looking for that silver lining: My beloved Chicago Cubs have not, as yet, lost a game in 2014. The season starts in five weeks.

Joe Camporeale/USA Today

Photo: Joe Camporeale/USA Today

● Finally, an old radio hit that’s been pleasantly earworming me for a couple of weeks now. I figured I’d share, so here:

Hot Air

And The Answer Is…

Time for a quiz.

In what year did the following events and actions occur?

Cossacks horse-whipped women.

Kazaki

Citizens reacted to news of FDR’s death.

● At least four state legislatures considered bills to restrict the teaching of evolution and biology in schools.

● Fully one quarter of the nation’s population was unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

● Another state legislature worked diligently on a law to deny certain people the right to marry.

● Lawmakers working hand-in-hand with wealthy donors succeeded in defeating a labor movement.

Plutocrats

● A man running for Attorney General of a large state told victims of domestic violence they should stop complaining and be thankful they have men.

● A learned, accomplished black man was characterized as a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee” by a celebrity spokesbeing for a Right Wing political organization.

● A southern state OK’d a Confederate flag display.

● Yet another white man was exonerated for killing a black man whose actions mildly disturbed him.

Lynching

● Athletic team officials worried that a homosexual man may taint their locker rooms.

● A state legislature voted to permit teachers to spank students (so long as they don’t leave any marks).

Choose One:

  • 1907
  • 6 BCE
  • 1892
  • 1066
  • 2014

Salem

1692?

Hurry now and make your selection: Time flies!

Shop Local

Krista Detor’s brand spanking new CD and accompanying book are on sale now at the Book Corner. And she’ll be peddling both the Flat Earth Diary and Notes from the Bridge when she dashes off to Europe for a live tour this spring. She’ll hit Germany, Holland, England, and Scotland.

Flat Earth Diary

Tons o’B-towners dig Detor the most, but it’s a good bet not too many will stage-door-Johnny her all the way across the Atlantic Ocean just to get their mitts on her stuff. So buy it here in So Cen Ind. Whaddya waiting for?

Detor

Detor

BTW: KD and Arbutus Cunningham have tinkered with their sweet musical, The Breeze Bends the Grass, and, in fact, have come up with a whole new shebang of it. The re-designed and re-imagined four-act theater production will debut at the Brown County Playhouse in Nashville on June 6th.

Oh yeah, that Detor gal is a juggler.

It’s A Small, Small World Hot Air

All local, all the time today.

Meters, Made

A member of the notorious Bloomington Seven had his gang’s most egregious crime against humanity on his mind yesterday.

Tall Steve Volan plopped his skyscraping frame in a chair in the WFHB lobby following his Thursday afternoon music show. He accosted innocent passersby for their feelings on how the recently installed downtown parking meters have directly affected them. (Of course, he might use the term canvassed but, y’know, he’s a politician.)

Anyway, Tall Steve is getting all voice of the people-y now. Perhaps he’s concerned about the seemingly universal negative reaction to the downtown pay-to-park move that went into effect in August. As far as I can gather, the only people happy about the new coin bandits around the Square and surrounding streets are restaurant and cafe owners who want the continuous flow of open parking spaces that meters will produce.

Deatil from photo by Ying Chen/IPM

Meter Matters

The rest of the citizenry is ready to string up Volan, Mayor Mark Kruzan, and the other city council members (the B-7) who voted for the meters.

Next, Volan wants to gather the mobs in a safe place in order to convince them he is indeed a servant of the people. He’s looking to set up one or two public forums in hopes of evoking community input on the meter mess.

The ultimate goal, Volan tells me, is to establish a parking commission here in Bloomington. He revealed there was no blue-ribbon body that pondered the philosophical, moral, and practical considerations of making shoppers dig into their pockets and purses for quarters every time they come downtown. The meters were the brainchild only of the mayor and a few Department of Public Works wonks who crunched numbers and felt a frisson when they concluded that pay parking would dump thousands of dollars a day into the general fund.

Image Delete Message

Natch, pols hate to admit money is the sole reasoning for any decisions they make, so Kruzan et al claim to want to prevent all the nouveau downtown residents from hogging parking spaces all day and night long. Volan says the idea is for residents and downtown employees all to park off-street, thereby leaving an open parking field for customers, diners, and other dignitaries.

The city, from this EP vantage point, sees all the East Coast B-students whose parents have copped them swanky condos downtown, are swell for all the dough they spill in the city but their aircraft carrier-sized SUVs take up much of the available municipal acreage.

Volan was surprised to learn that the surface lot behind the Buskirk-Chumley Theater was not packed even at the busy hour of two in the afternoon. That lot and the multi-story garage on 4th Street offer the first three hours free. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting the word out about that,” Volan said.

Buy Local

Here are three things you should spend your hard-earned cash on.

Krista Detor‘s new CD, her first in four years. Titled Flat Earth Diary, you can still catch a free sample download here. The CD is due out in January. Bloomington’s own Krista Detor is a cool dame; if you’re not yet a fan, where you been, mang?

Detor

Krista Detor

The Rise of the Warrior Cop, by Radley Balko. Former Indiana University journalism student Radley Balko has released a pressing new book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop. Balko cut his teeth as a press snoop with the Indiana Daily Student. Believe it or n. the IDS is my daily paper of choice. Balko looks into the the militarization of this holy land’s thousands of police forces.

Boston Police

Officers Friendly

Apparently, too many police chiefs and city fathers have grown up watching RoboCop-type movies and have conflated the images on the screen with real life. Do you really want your local cops to tool around city streets in fully armored vehicles and be armed with battlefield weapons?

I didn’t think so.

March (Book One), by Rep.  John Lewis (D-Georgia) and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell. Lewis, a chairman of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and one of the famed Freedom Riders, got his head broken in Selma, Alabama on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” His crime? Being one of the leaders of the 1960s civil rights movement.

Bloody Sunday

Lewis, On The Ground

Illustrator Nate Powell now lives in Bloomington. He’s famed for numerous graphic novels, including Any Empire, and is n ow working on a graphic adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero.

The first entry in the Lewis graphic novel autobiography trilogy recounts his early days as a freedom fighter. I can’t wait for books two and three.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“A sobering thought: What if, at this very moment, I’m living up to my full potential?” — Jane Wagner

SOME PEOPLE HAVE ALL THE TALENT

Oh, I’m mad.

Don’t get me started.

Alright, but if I say anything that gets me into hot water here, you’ll know why.

I just discovered Krista Detor’s blog. I have no idea why I’ve never stumbled on it before. But I did last night.

I hate her.

Loath her.

With every fiber of my being.

Why?

Simple — she’s good.

Dammit!

Not only is KD arguably Bloomington’s top singer-songwriter, with a brilliant career that takes her all over the nation and the world, for that matter, but she can actually write. And is funny. Incisive, too.

Here I am, just a schlub banging away at this keyboard, and KD can snap off a devastating post as simply as boiling an egg. Grrr.

The only thing that makes me feel better about the whole deal is she doesn’t post daily. In fact, Detor has posted precisely twice this year, with yesterday’s entry being the most recent. She only gave us the benefit of her talents eight times in 2011. The year before that, though, she clacked out some 169 gems.

Man. If she ever gets back to that kind of productivity, no one would ever come to this space.

Fair warning — should she actually be considering posting on a more regular basis, she just might find herself visited by one or two Chicago thumb-breakers. Just sayin’.

I Got A Message For Ya From A Friend A’Mine….

SOME PEOPLE HAVE ALL THE NERVE

Some Penn State students are guarding the Joe Paterno statue 24 hours a day now that the former football icon has been determined by an official investigation to have little concern for 10-year old boys getting sodomized in shower room.

Still Safe And Sound

Sports Illustrated reports that a couple of PSU seniors have organized the watch. They fear some evildoers who are all bent out of shape by the triviality that is child rape might deface or even topple the statue.

A skywriter actually flew over the Penn State football stadium, outside of which the statue still stands, and smoked-out the message: “Take the statue down or we will.”

Paterno, natch, would frown on such criminal behavior. Other kinds of criminal behavior? Not so much.

Saddam Tumbles; Is JoePa Next?

Here’s a question: If you were an employer and one of these chuckleheads came in for a job interview, would you hire him?

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Max’s PlaceWoofstock 2012, fundraiser for Pets Alive, music by Kid Kazooey, Colonel Angus, Hudson Hornet; 5-11pm

Bear’s PlaceMarcos Cavalcante & Family; 5:30pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — 220 Breakers; 6-8:30pm

Third Street ParkOutdoor concert, Kaia, a capella world music; 6:30pm

The Player’s PubBuilt for Comfort; 6:30pm

Monroe County History CenterChristine Friesel discusses historic Smithville newspapers; 7pm

◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre“The Taming of the Shrew”; 7:30pm

The Comedy AtticHannibal Buress; 8pm

Serendipity Martini BarTeam trivia; 8:30pm

The BluebirdBilly Van; 9pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%”; through July 30th
  • Claire Swallow, ‘Memoir”; through July 28th
  • Dale Gardner, “Time Machine”; through July 28th
  • Sarah Wain, “That Takes the Cake”; through July 28th
  • Jessica Lucas & Alex Straiker, “Life Under the Lens — The Art of Microscopy”; through July 28th

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show; through July 21st
  • Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; July 27th through August 3rd

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.” — Criswell

ROLLING INTO THE 2012 SEASON

Wait, what? You weren’t there Saturday night? Come on, people — what’s the matter with you?

Tools Of The Trade

The Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls opened their 2012 regular season at the Twin Lakes Recreation Center. The place was packed, I tell you.

Bloomington’s two traveling derby teams, the B-league Code Blue Assassins and the A-league Flatliners faced off against their counterparts from the Ohio Roller Girls. The CBAs staged a thrilling rally in the final three minutes to overtake Gang Green in the opening bout. The Flatliners, though, fell behind early in the first half and, despite mounting a comeback of their own, couldn’t catch Ohio by the final buzzer, losing 115-90.

The BHRG actually has a mascot now and the kids in the crowd loved it. The mascot doesn’t have a name yet so you might just want to get on over to the team’s Facebook page and make a suggestion. And, hey, the Roller Girls’ ads are becoming slick enough to stand up against the best Apple or Ford has to offer. Okay, I exaggerate, but only a bit. Check out this one for Saturday’s bout:

Wily veteran Truly F Obvious was roaming the roller colosseum Saturday night, natch. She’s retired this year after breaking her arm a couple of times last season. She proudly showed me her scar. She’s got a few bucks’ worth of hardware implanted in her now, holding her radius and ulna together for the rest of her life. Truly made me grasp her forearm, then she twisted it so I could feel the iron. I almost passed out.

Battle Scar

Bleeding Heartland, now in its sixth season, is getting better every year. They were ranked 16th in the North Central region of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association in 2010 and jumped to 13th last year. Could this be the year they crack the top 10?

Their next home bout is Saturday, March 31st, against the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls of Grand Rapids, Michigan. If I don’t see you there, I’ll assume you’re dead. What kind of flowers should I send?

PRESIDENT MITCH DANIELS REVEALED TO BE A KOCHOMATON

There’s still a free specialty drink from Soma Coffee on the line for the lucky aspiring wag who submits the best prediction of how nuts the Republicans will become by the 2016 presidential race (if you click the link, scroll down to “C’mon, Let’s Play”).

I’m figuring the GOP will be trying to decide between Chuck Norris, Marco Rubio, and Ivanka Trump for the nomination. The Dems — book it — will be running Chelsea Clinton.

See? You can let yourself get crazy — just like the GOP!

If you think the party that once claimed Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt as standard-bearers is psycho now, just wait. What are they gonna wanna outlaw next, breasts?

GOP 2016 Slogan: “No Mamms!”

One entrant, Susan Sandberg, worries that the Republicans will run Mitch Daniels in four years. He’ll win, she says, and turn this holy land into a “sexless, artless, colorless, intellectually-starved country.”

Eek.

Bloomington’s own singing sensation Krista Detor submitted her nightmare scenario that builds on Sandberg’s dystopia. Detor writes, “… in 2018, a resistance fighter will be propelled back in time to alert us to the hard truth that Mr. Daniels is actually a cannibalistic automaton, controlled on alternating days by the Koch Bros.” Detor writes a happy ending, though. The resistance fighter will slay Daniels in a light-sabre battle. The Dreamworks people will want to make a movie based on the story and will beg Krista to score it. But our own plucky musical muse will turn them down so she can work for the 2020 presidential campaign of Lucy Lawless.

BTW: Krista Detor coined what might become the most fabulous word in the English language (after the F-bomb, of course.) She calls the android Daniels a Kochomaton.

I hope her vision comes true just so we can use that word regularly.

To enter the contest email me, post it on my Facebook wall, or click on Leave A Comment at the top left of this page.

SCIENCE AS ART

Here’s what you ought to do Wednesday from 6:30-8:00pm: mad scientists Alex Straiker and Jessica Lucas will host an opening reception for their artwork at Finch’s Brasserie.

Straiker will feature photomicroscopy of stained brain cells. He studies the effects of cannabinoids on the brain at the IU Psychological and Brain Sciences Department. Lucas has taken magnificent photos of teensy botanical structures as part of her work in the IU Biology Department.

Plant Root Hairs

Science is fun — and gorgeous. Drop by and ogle the art. If you’re not there, we’ll talk about you.

CHICAGO (THAT TODDLIN’ TOWN)

Man, when I was just starting out in this writing racket, I’d be pounding the Chicago pavement, knocking on doors at the Tribune, the Sun-Times, Chicago mag, the Reader and all the rest, trying to convince any soft-hearted or desperate editor to take a chance on me.

That was back in the mid-80s, before the internet, before the 24-hour news cycle. Dig: I even used a typewriter at the time. Smith-Corona, baby.

Jeez, I’m Old

At the end of any typical day, after getting thrown out of half the editors’ offices in town, I might need some liquid comfort.

If I wanted to cry in my beer with Jeff the Bartender (who was a fine writer and academician in his own right), I’d do Billy Goat’s Tavern under Michigan Avenue.

Every time the door would open, I’d check to see if the Prince of the Papers, Mike Royko, was coming in. Maybe, just maybe, if he could hear what a whippet-quick wit I was, if I could toss off some devastating bon mot, Royko might pull me aside and say, “Y’know what, kid? You got the stuff.”

Never happened.

Royko

If I just wanted hear music and hang around lesser media lights and TV anchors, I’d hit Andy’s Jazz Club on Hubbard Street. If I was lucky, Barrett Deems, Louis Armstrong’s old drummer, might be hitting the skins. It’d be too loud for me to display my verbal chops and, besides, I knew enough to know TV people’d never be interested in me. So I just drank my gin and tonics and floated on the sounds.

This version of “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” by the Oscar Peterson Trio reminds me of those days downtown. The city was everything I’d dreamed it would be back then. Any door in the world could open up for me if only I kept knocking.

Chicago and I celebrated birthdays yesterday — the Windy City turned 175 and I hit 56. Now I know the best door that ever opened was the one that let me in me here, little old Bloomington, Indiana. Go figure.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.” — George Carlin

LOOK OUT, KATY PERRY

Bloomington chanteuse Krista Detor’s star is getting bigger by the day. Not only is she the subject of a breathless profile in the current issue of Bloom magazine, but tix to her shows are almost as hot as Indy Super Bowl ducats.

She wandered into the Book Corner yesterday, looking for last minute gifts. She told this nosy bookseller/correspondent that her holiday show last week at the Bloomington Convention Center was the biggest yet.

Krista’s 6th annual benefit blast, “Once Upon a Time,” packed the center’s Great Room a week ago tomorrow.

Better grab your chance to see her soon before she starts filling up those big arenas around the Midwest — or even the entire nation!

Krista! Krista! Krista!

SECRETS, SECRETS, AND MORE SECRETS

Many of my leftie pals have been screaming to high heaven about the US government’s alleged propensity these days to engage in undercover hijinks, manipulation of information, and generally act like the USSR-lite.

The Obama Administration — and the Bush Gang before it — claims it must keep the citizenry safe from all manner of mayhem.

Here’s a development from NPR‘s Nell Greenfieldboyce. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is urging the feds not to release the findings of government-funded research into bird flu mutation to the public. Their rationale — bioterrorists might take the info and create a virulent strain of the virus to unleash on target cities.

Terrorist?

Usually, federally-funded research is promptly released to scientific journals and even to the mainstream media. The normal follow-up to the time-honored scientific method is to publish findings so other scientists can test and, if needed, poke holes in a new theory. This last step, the Board is saying, is a little too risky in this case.

One aspect of the lab work has been to fiddle with the virus’ genes. Scientists already have developed a strain that is far more contagious than the original.

So, it’s the right to know versus a crippling bio-attack.

Don’t know what my suspicious pals are going to say about this one.

WHERE WE ARE TODAY

This is America, some 300 years after the Age of Enlightenment began.

A 17-year-old California boy was sentenced this week to 21 years in prison for assassinating in cold blood a high school classmate who was gay.

Judge, Jury, And Executioner

A young boy in Washington battled a flesh-eating bacterium in 2006. Doctors expected him to die. He didn’t. Relatives had placed a relic of some Mohawk woman at his bedside. Now Pope Benedict XVI says the whole thing was a “miracle” and will declare the woman a saint next year.

Kids: “You Got A Spare Miracle For Us?”

NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is a flamboyant Christian. He kneels and prays every chance he gets on the football field. His team has won a bunch of games. Some fans argue that the creator of the Universe is interceding on his behalf.

God: “Nah. I’m Busy With This Football Game.”

A little baby has been missing in Kansas City since October 4. A Dallas psychic has claimed to have had a vision of where the kid is buried. A party of volunteers actually went searching for her in the area where the psychic said she was. The kid, natch, wasn’t there.

The Renowned Crime Investigator

And, of course, the old standby: 72 percent of Americans believe in angels while only 45 percent believe in the theory of evolution.

Sigh.

I’M A BELIEVER

Yep, the Monkees.

BTW: For all the rage surrounding Davy Jones back in the ’60s, he sure looks dorky trying to keep time to the beat, doesn’t he? And did you notice he’s a monobrow? And his face is shiny?

Oh, alright, I’m still envious of him.

The Pencil Today:

AIM HIGHER

Dr. Timothy Leary said it: “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

Timothy Leary In 1992, Covered In Psychedelic Images, Natch

FOUND MONEY

This time of year Hoosiers reach into their hall closets for those coats they haven’t worn for nine months or so. They dig into the pockets and, lo and behold, find folded up five dollar bills.

Happens all the time.

Gov. Mitch Daniels did the same thing yesterday and was so pumped that he called a press conference.

Only it wasn’t a fin he found. It was $320 million.

That is, 64,000,000 five dollar bills.

“I’m Gonna Go Check Under the Sofa Cushions Now!”

The Indy Star reports the swag was found in some hidden-away bank account by a State Department auditor. The dough was revenue from corporate income taxes. It was all a happy accident, Daniels said, beaming.

Yeah, what a thrill. Especially for Indiana school districts which — mirabile dictu! — have suffered some $300 million in funding cuts over the last three years.

The whole charade stinks, no?

OLD NUMBER 33 IS 55

Happy birthday, Larry Bird.

ILLITERATES

So, Bloomington’s unofficial poet laureate Ross Gay comes into the Book Corner yesterday afternoon. We chat about our work habits. He tells me he likes to get up at 5:30 in the morning and write for three hours or so. Then he says he isn’t disciplined enough. I tell him he’s nuts.

Poet Ross Gay

Then he browses for a few minutes, comes back, and puts a couple of small books on the counter. One of them is by Marcel Proust.

Anybody who hopes to be considered intelligent must read Proust. Me? All I know of Proust is from that movie, “Little Miss Sunshine.”

You know, where the Steve Carell character has spent his life studying Proust? And finds himself pretty much in nowheresville?

I confess to the lanky rhymer: “I’ve never read a word of Proust.”

He exhales as though he’s relieved. “Neither have I!” he says.

Cool. Ross Gay and me.

JUNK SCIENCE

Let me get this straight. Investors the world over were thrilled that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy agreed on a plan to put wayward European Union nations back on the right track.

Money Can Buy Me Love

Markets went up in the US, China, Japan, and Europe itself. Even those stuffed shirts in the UK started investing again. The party lasted a single day.

Standard & Poors issued a warning Monday night saying the honchos took too long to come to an agreement. So, S&P just might downgrade the credit ratings of 15 eurozone nations. And now the markets are going all to hell again.

What is it about this shell game that I don’t get?

Besides everything.

CATS AND MACHINES

Click the thumb below and see Episode 5 in Grover & Sloan’s tale of the cat and the air pump.

BASEBALL IN DECEMBER

I’m still giddy over the election of my favorite baseball player of all time to the Hall of Fame Monday. Ron Santo had an Italian daddy-o, was as emotional as an opera singer, loved pizza, and hit home runs for the Chicago Cubs in the 1960s and early 70s. When I was a little kid, I imagined he was a member of my own family.

So shoot me if I have the diamond game on my mind. Luckily, baseball junkie Eric Van Gucht reviews the book, “Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert” on our Salon page. This kid is good and I hope he’ll do a lot more writing for us from here on out.

WE DO FACEBOOK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

◗ Only one link today: Facers were particularly unimaginative last night and this morning. This one, though, is well worth standing alone.

Krista Detor, our town’s sweetest canary, is putting on her annual holiday show Thursday, December 15, 7:30PM, at the Bloomington Convention Center. Whip out that wallet and splurge. You’ll thank me — and Krista.

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