Saturday, June 25, 2005

Good word

"Civilized life begins with a boiled egg sitting upright in an egg cup."

--Judith Martin

Friday, June 24, 2005

Going to the chapel

Last Saturday the World's Greatest Lovers played the first of a string of weddings we've booked for the summer. I love playing weddings! And this one was particularly good: the weather was perfect, the revelers appropriately soused. It took place in Spring Green at a place called Hilltop: A Gathering Place (as a former graduate student, I'm a sucker for colons in titles). Hilltop: A Gathering Place used to be, they tell me, a Girl Scouts camp, and it looks it: several rustic-looking structures dot a lovely Wisconsin valley, at the bottom of which is a lush field of corn. We played in an open-air pavilion, and people seemed to have a good time.

To my great satisfaction, I learned that the bride and groom found out about the World's Greatest Lovers from Isthmus' Madison Music Project, which has a database of local groups. On their pages, artists can indicate whether they do weddings; the Lovers proudly answer that question in the affirmative. Love is in the air!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Under where?

In case you missed it, here is a link to my article in last week's Isthmus about an underwear party.

Speaking of underwear, where can I get some of these Gene Simmons panties?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


These surveys don't mean much, of course, but I'm struck by the results of a poll on the website today asking readers who they would vote for if a presidential election were held now. Hillary Clinton is first by a wide, wide margin (the gay boys love their Hillary) but more fascinating is the fact that tied for second are Howard Dean--and Barack Obama. Yes, the appealing Illinois senator finished strong, and we're still three years out.
The beautiful people

I read the daily newspapers in Madison for a long time before I realized what was missing: the society pages. Where I grew up, in Nashville, the paper regularly had stories, with photographs, about fancy people meeting other fancy people at fancy places.

I don't miss the society pages. Here in good old egalitarian Madison, where almost everyone is either a civil servant or a Bolshevik, we got no truck with society.

So I was mortified the other day when I looked at the web site of the Tennessean, the daily newspaper in my hometown, and saw an article and slideshow about the Swan Ball, the swankest of swank society events in Music City. The Swan Ball takes place in Belle Meade, Nashville's toniest neighborhood, at Cheekwood, an art museum--which used to be, yes, a plantation house. In light of that, it's dispiriting to flip through the pictures of the ball and realize that fifty years into the civil rights era, the only documented African-American guests were the Williamses, who--coincidentally or not--appear on the very last page of the 77-page slideshow. The only other African-American I spotted in the slideshow was working.

Shudder. Quick, someone reeducate those people.

I don't know if they still do, but for years the police in Nashville held a charity event called, parodically, the Swine Ball. Good on them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Good word

"It's not snarky. It's just negative."

--Kenneth Burns (I was referring to some petty thing I wrote)
Only undies

In a comment below Jean mentioned the cover of the current Isthmus, which has a refer about me in my skivvies. That is apropos of my article about an underwear party at Cafe Montmartre.

Photographer Kim Keyes took many fabulous pictures, including several of me in my underwear, and I lobbied to have one run in the paper. No such luck, but lucky you, Back With Interest readers: here is one such picture of me, in my skivvies, interviewing a member of the Mad Rollin' Dolls roller derby squad, also in her skivvies.

Sorry I have been a lax blogger! There is nothing like making the switch from freelance to full time to sap the blogging spirit. The new work schedule necessitates a new leisure schedule, not to mention a new sleep schedule, and so blogging is getting short shrift.

Beyond that--excuses, excuses--I have been particularly busy writing stuff for newsprint. I wrote a ton for the arts section in the paper this week, mostly in dribs and drabs, all of it stuff I signed on to do as a freelancer.

I promise to blog more regularly from now on. Meanwhile, I want to comment on Terry Teachout's response to a reader who wondered whether he listens to music as he writes. Quoth Teachout: "Having at one time spent the better part of a decade working in a cubicle at the New York Daily News, I no longer need silence in order to write."

Gods, grant me that superpower! I'm still getting used to writing in a cubicle at a newspaper, as opposed to writing at home, alone. I've adjusted reasonably well to the whole "wearing clothes while I work" thing, but I yearn for the day when I am able to efficiently churn out copy amid the hum of a busy office. Would it help to chomp a cigar?