Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Memorial Day to Remember

M. Patrick Foliglio
For Memorial Day weekend, my sometimes-pregnant wife and I were granted a rare privilege: the gates of the vast Bowling Green compound, the very, very private property of our own Poet Laureate M. Patrick Foliglio, would be opened in an unprecedented display of friendship and trust.  Provided we passed some preliminary screenings (microbes, radioactivity), permission would be given (after a 24-hour quarantine) to spend the holiday with the artist, his many wives and ~30 sons.

With all screenings negative, and having surrendered contraband items (cell phones, leftist propaganda*) at the gate, we were led through a narrow, walled-in drive (or 'kill zone,' as the poet affectionately named it). Finally, after a quick retinal scan, we gained entry to the forested expanse.

"Mi casa su casa," said Foliglio through his surgical mask, and admonished me to stay away from his guns, wives and a small concrete outbuilding he called 'Bunker no. 5.'  Otherwise, we had the run of the place!

Bunker no. 5

Well, I am happy to report that life inside the compound, while certainly militant, secretive and paranoid, is not without its gentle and harmonious side.  Here three of the Foliglio progeny enjoy a dip in the Olympic-sized pool.

Matthew, Jackson and Cameron Foliglio, after 300 mandatory laps

And here Myrtle Foliglio and my wife take a break from a long discussion about our manifold deficiencies as husbands:

'Mine's lazy.'  'Mine too!'

As far as parenting goes, Foliglio and wives earn a solid A+!**  Yes, the cistern was contaminated with sea monkeys and the Lego bunk beds seemed a bit wobbly, but there ain't a one of the little buggers who doesn't know his role in the event of an Obamunist takeover.

Part of 12 obligatory hours of daily training
Ah, we'll miss the stark, mountainous landscapes of Bowling Green, as well as the cloistered mode of living that our hosts have perfected.  In the name of seclusion, we here present a vital part of the Foliglio canon, which first appeared in 1982's Diz-aster Book of Poems: 

Where is the world?

Hey out there.
where is the world!
I want to know whats
going on here. There arent
any children or anybody just
tell me What, Never mind
    forget it.


*HOPE bumper sticker

**This post has been edited for content by M. Patrick Foliglio, Inc

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Million Dollar B-Day Bash

Clipping from my first Dylan concert, 1992
In honor of the former Robert Zimmerman's 70th birthday, Rolling Stone published yet another of its moronic lists: 'The 70 Greatest Dylan Songs.'  Compiled by an expert panel of 13 white men, the list consists of short blurbs treating mostly, from what I can tell, of what the songs mean personally to Bono.  The decreasingly cool magazine's dedication to ranking things has had me cringing for years.  Rock 'n' Roll was never meant to be labeled and ordered and categorized.  The issue does, however, make one good point: Bob Dylan is 70 (yesterday), and we should be celebrating that milestone.

I'm exactly half Dylan's age, and I consider it a great stroke of fortune that several decades of my life will have overlapped with his.  I've seen him in concert nine times--more than a few of those with McBone's official musicologist, Darin.  As long as Bob doesn't tire of re-imagining his songs, I'll never get tired of hearing them.

And that's really the point, isn't it?  More than trying to figure out why Masters of War is the 26th greatest Dylan song, or wondering why the hell Man Gave Names to All the Animals is nowhere to be found on the list?  Bob never had much use for that kind of crap, and so I'll avoid lazy journalism and instead devote my time to doing what my sometimes-pregnant wife has been doing all week: listening to the songs.

I'm gonna start with Rolling Stone's 63rd favorite, which just happens to be my no. 1.

I love you, Bob.  Thanks for everything.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kiss My Ass, Baby Carrot

Trust not the false prophet
You know what baby carrot?  You suck!  Wanna know what makes me feel that way?  How much time you got?

First off, you have no taste at all.  None.  I'm not sure what the people in charge of carrots did to transform a sweet, crunchy and otherwise delightful root vegetable into a perfectly flavorless, dowel-shaped imposter, but it's about time someone called you on it.  You may have some crunch left in you, but your utter lack of gustatory appeal makes chewing an exercise in tedium.  You're not good plain, not good in salads, not good cooked...about the only hope you have is to be dipped into some obnoxious goo.  Onion dip.  Ranch dressing, god help us.  

Secondly, how do you manage to maintain such a blindingly bright orange?  Any carrot I've ever peeled starts to oxidize around the edges after a while, but YOU, baby carrot, you come peel-free and ready to eat.  What foul chemical do they spray once you've been under the knife?  You're like the Cher of carrots.  If Kenny Rogers was a carrot, he'd be a baby carrot.

Am I done?  Not by a long shot.  Because you're like a microcosm of everything that's wrong with this country.  It doesn't take much effort to peel and eat a carrot.  We're talking a minute of work, maximum.  Even chopping up a bunch of carrots doesn't tax our time enough to make a tasteless travesty like you worthwhile.  But you make it sooo easy to open the bag and munch away.  Oh, I'm sure you have some trace quantities of beta keratin, and I'm sure you think you're keeping our kids healthy as you shove that bag of Lays out of the lunch bag.  You know what I say to that, baby carrots?  I say fuck you. Yes, fuck you, baby carrot. You're carrot in name only, a carrot stripped of all inherent virtues.  You make a mockery of nutrition.  You enable legions of young people for whom separating a carrot from its skin has become--like spelling out an entire word--an insufferable chore.  Given the choice, I'll take the chips every time.

A real carrot, now that's a wonderful thing--loaded with vitamins and great for the eyes.  I love a big, fat hunk of carrot in a homemade stew.  I love what some shredded carrot does for a tossed salad.  Carrot cake?  Scrumptious.  Carrot juice?  Nutritious and delicious.  But you, baby fucking carrot, you make such a convenient substitute that you are ruining carrot-based delicacies throughout the land.  Though you pose as some sort of time-saving savior--just microwave some baby carrots for supper--you are in fact a false idol, no better than the worst TV dinner.

So, that's it, baby carrot.  I hate you.  I hate everything about you.  I know that when the Rapture does happen, the gates of heaven to you will be sealed.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

You Call THIS the Rapture?

Isn't it supposed to be locusts?
So today's supposed to be some sort of special day, huh?  Well, if this is what the final judgment is all about, I'll tell you where you can shove it.  Let's do a quick recap of events thus far:

7:45 AM - Wake up for half day of work on Saturday.

8:13 - Curdled milk plops into coffee.

9:01 - Arrive at work.  Learn I was not mistaken about having to work on Saturday.

9:02 - Denounced as 'sluggard' and 'layabout' by assistant manager for tardiness.

10:13 - Scoop handful of trail mix from bag in office.  Discover fingernail among assorted fruits and nuts.

1:00 PM - Leave work just as heavens open.  Four Horsemen arrive in the form of 14 inches of rain.

1:30 - 3:50 - Shopping.

3:50 - 4:27 - Caught behind old woman with coupons.

4:43 - Arrive home.  Bills waiting in mailbox: 6.

4:45 - Rain abates enough for sometimes-pregnant wife to insist on taking a walk through humid, mosquito-infested woods.

5:07 - Sustain 50th mosquito bite.

5:27 - Last patch of unbitten skin bitten.

5:29 - Contract West Nile virus.

6:14 - Conclude walk. Birds sighted: 0.

6:15 - Beers waiting in fridge: 0.

6:20 - 7:31 - Prepare and eat burrito dinner.  Discover Band-Aid among refried beans and salsa.

7:32 - present - Blog about rapturous day.


Ooooh Yeaaah!

This week we say goodbye to two of the greats: Harmon Killebrew, who was Mark McGwire before MLB started taking notes from the WWF:

573 home runs, 0 congressional hearings
and WWF legend Randy Macho Man Savage, who, like Mark McGwire, pumped his body full of any number of artificial, performance-enhancing substances:

Oh, Macho Man.  Your feud with Ricky the Dragon Steamboat is the stuff of legend.  When you smashed the Dragon's throat with the bell, I hated you.  When you gloated about it, I hated you more.  Luckily, Bruno Sanmartino was there to administer the lesson I so badly wanted to teach you, you piece of slime.

And now that you're gone, I miss you.  I miss recreating your bouts with my brother on Saturday mornings.  I miss your complicated relationship with Hogan.  I miss your dyed beard and leathery, orange skin.  Nothing about you was real, but you were in your way so genuine--somehow much more a Killebrew than a McGwire.

Peace, fellas.  May the Cosmos speed you to whatever place is reserved for the true Hall of Famers.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Draft Fantasy

By winning the rights to the first and fourth picks in the 2011 NBA draft, the Cavaliers had just about the best possible outcome in last night's lottery.  Special thanks to the LA Clippers for serving up on a silver platter what turned into the number one selection.  Trading the rights to the top pick for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon was foolish and unlucky even by Clippers standards, but we do appreciate the Clip's apparent dedication to a speedy basketball renaissance in Cleveland.

And, with point guard Kyrie Irving on the board, let's go ahead and call the first pick a foregone conclusion.  Irving, fresh off a short but dominant 14-minute career at Duke, is precisely the kind of explosive player the Cavs need in an increasingly point guard-dominated league.

The fourth pick?  Not so easy to forecast.  This draft has been called one of the weakest in recent memory by the people who get paid to know these kinds of things, but more optimistic types know that any draft will produce at least a handful of viable NBA players.  Sometimes finding a 'diamond in the rough' requires a little bit of thinking 'outside the box,' so to speak.  May we suggest an unlikely candidate?

The Sheffield Lake Girl, the sure-handed, hard-hitting first basewoman who has led the Cleveland Indians to a stunning 26-13 start, has understandably been flying under the draft radar.  Having never played a game of college, high school, middle school or rec. league basketball (or, to our knowledge, Nerfoop), most mock drafts project her going mid to late first round at best.  Since the end of a regular season that saw the Cavaliers finish with a lowly 19-63 record, our scouts have been staking out the fairgrounds of Northeast Ohio for a peek at the SLG's skill at the Pop-a-Shot.  Our report?  Not only will those long legs and short shorts mesmerize opposing players, The SLG has a positively filthy crossover dribble to complement what one top scout is calling the best two-handed set shot since Joe Lapchick was running with the Cleveland Rosenblums.  Furthermore, the SLG brings the kind of hometown appeal that has been missing ever since You-Know-Who did You-Know-What.

Should the SLG be unavailable at #4, we believe that the 6'10" center Enes Kanter is an intriguing alternative.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Michael Boltonnaise

A package was delivered to me at work this past week.  It contained a giant tub of 'extra heavy' mayonnaise decked out with pictures of Michael Bolton.  Also included was a box of bendy straws.  This was clearly a message from our mayonnist ememies, who are coming at us with a full arsenal of all the world's worst stuff.

Let this be my answer: I will not be intimidated and I will not back down.  I enjoy a bendy straw as much as the next guy, but I certainly will not drink from your jug--piping hot off the FedEx truck--of disgusting white sludge.

We categorically reject your preferred condiment and musician.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

About the Size of a Lemon

A couple of months ago, I posted this cryptic and mysterious photo:

About the size of one grain of rice
At least it was meant to be mysterious, but in fact about seven seconds passed before someone figured out its meaning and so I quickly and quietly deleted.

When we were married more than a decade ago, my sometimes-popular wife and I made the decision to put plans to start a family on hold while we pursued our academic goals.  I'm not going to lie; ten years of abstinence isn't easy. Those biological urges are pretty persuasive, even with a steady regimen of yoga, prayer and meditation keeping them at bay. When a friend suggested we try a prophylactic, I told him what he could do with his big words and fancy liberal education.  Others recommended some form of birth control, which seemed reasonable, but I don't do anything without the Vatican's approval so we shitcanned that idea as well.  All I can say is, thank heavens for the chastity belt!

Well, with my learnin' days far behind me and my SPW nearing the end of the coursework required for her doctorate, it seemed that time and our reproductive organs were ripe for the challenge.  All that stood between me and fatherhood was that goddam belt and an epic and perilous quest for the key!  But since I'd already used my vacation time at work, she waived that part of the deal and we called up Pop-A-Lock instead.

I'll spare you the gruesome details, but something must have clicked because about midway through February her body started going positively haywire.  Suddenly, things that once smelled good smelled bad.  Nausea could only be cured by eating.  When her urine stream splashed down on the little plastic stick and a second red line confirmed our suspicions, we knew our lives would be changing, utterly and forevermore.

We were told this was supposed the be the Year of Shaft & Son.  Then we heard about Scenic Byways and Kid Shay's sprawling mansion in the Pacific Northwest.  That's all well and good, but in the name of keeping up with my partner bloggers (I don't suppose we'll ever catch up to our prolific Poet Laureate), my sometimes-pregnant wife and I are pleased to introduce Arrocito, now much larger than a grain of rice and currently doing laps in a warm pool of amniotic fluid.

Foxy wife + child

Boy?  Girl?  Neither?  Both?  We don't care.  Arrocito, I can't believe how much I already love you.  I can't wait to meet you, kid, but no hurry.  Take it easy.  There's a crazy-ass world waiting for you and we're going to have a hell of a time together, but for now kick back with your transparent skin and a head that's 50 times too big for its body and enjoy the womb for another six months or so.

Oh, and don't forget to wish your mom a happy mother's day.  She's doing all she can to make sure you slide out of there healthy and happy.  I know she can't hear you and your language skills probably suck at this point, but you might give her a little kick when you get a sec.

To mothers everywhere!  Thanks for doing all the work and sparing us men the unspeakable weirdness that is pregnancy.

Mom!  You birthed and raised me.  An especial thanks to you, jlb.


Saturday, May 7, 2011


You can travel the other 49 states all you want; from the frozen wastes of Alaska to the untamed mountain roads of the American Rockies, you're not going to find any better truckin' than right here in Lafayette, Indiana.  I'm not talking about Teamster-style truck driving, mind you, or even the act of driving a truck.  Nope, I mean truckin', like the kind of truckin' that would make a Grammy-winning platinum artist proud.  Here's a highlight from the east side:

$4.28 a gallon?  Pffff! 

That's a big-ass truck hauling tires for an even bigger-ass truck.  You gotta admit--that's some serious motherfuckin' truckin'.

Not to be outdone, this badboy was spotted on the west side of the Wabash:

When you gotta ride, don't fight it

Cincinnati knows truckin' too, apparently

Nothing like a little Tea Party patriotism while you're truckin' F150 style. With the biggest payload in its class, there should be plenty of room by 2012 to chuck what's left of America in the back and drive it to safety.

Keep on truckin', Lafayette.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To Do List

Ok, he's dead, shot and dumped like a bucket of chum into the sea.  Now that the chest beating and chants of U-S-A! are out of the way, let's take a calm look back for a minute.  That ten-year manhunt sure took a toll, didn't it?  You wonder just how long we, and the world, can go on like this.  Doesn't it seem that, countless lives and a trillion dollars later, it might be time to reevaluate things going forward?

After a intense 48-hour session fueled by coffee, cigarettes and a mountain of cocaine, here's the twelve-point agenda drummed up by the think tank division of McBone, Inc:

-End wars

-Bring troops home

-Dismantle empire

-Cut military budget in half

-Repair infrastructure

-End Bush tax cuts

-Raise capital gains taxes

-Rebuild cities

-Shrink income gap

-Grow green energy sector

-Educate kids

-Care for sick and elderly

We know a lot of people won't go for any plan that attempts to remove violence from the equation, and we are very much aware how cool folks are with 1% of the population commanding a quarter of the wealth, but we're going ahead with the scheme we believe will transform us from big, fat, bullying deathmongers into a healthy, industrious, compassionate and, yes, civilized state.

Playtime is over, America.  Time to grow up.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

On a Personal Note

My sometimes-popular wife and I were in the subway under the World Financial Center when the first plane hit.  We were standing under the smoking, burning tower when the second plane impacted.  We were lucky to have made it uptown to safety before the whole goddam thing could come crashing down on our heads.

I've spent a lot of time in subsequent years thinking about the people I saw jumping in desperation. And about those buried in the rubble. And those vaporized upon impact.  Those thoughts will haunt me forever.

So, he's dead.  Will this bring closure?  No, I don't do neat and tidy like that, especially not with a cousin in Afghanistan.  Will this end our troubles in the Middle East?  Heavens no.  Will this change anything beyond the headlines in coming weeks?  We'll have to see about that.

I've always considered myself a person of peace, even more so after witnessing 9/11.  I continue to be confused by violence and war waging and all the things humans do to each other in the name of whatever.  More than anything, I want the fighting to stop.

But I do have to say: I am glad you're gone, motherfucker.


The McBone Birdwatching Journal; Birds Sighted

Yes I realize that this is in danger of devolving (perhaps evolving?) into a bird journal, but what can I say?  Today made for some exquisite birding:

Blue jay - woke me up



House finch

Chickadee - nesting in the wren house

Catbird - slamming the peanut butter suet

Red-bellied woodpecker

Downy woodpecker

Hairy woodpecker

Pileated woodpecker - heard not seen

Rose-breasted grosbeak

Crow - taking his own turn at the suet

Brown-headed cowbird - engaged in a violent menage a trois

Chipping sparrow

House sparrow


White-breasted nuthatch

Hermit thrush

Mourning dove

Some kind of warbler - hey, let's see YOU identify a warbler, wiseass