Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My Conversation With Drew:
Fender Amp Schematics,
Siberian Throat Singers,
Porn Music, Absinthe,
...And How To Improve Your Blog

I was talking in instant message to my friend Drew* the other day, and I realized later what an odd turn our conversations usually took. I've been told I'm "eclectic," (I call it "polymathic"), and I am starting to see how this reflects back in my writing and conversations. I had asked for his help a few days earlier when I was trying to print out a schematic for a Fender Vibro-Champ amp:


This was an end of the workday thing, and Drew came through in record time with producing what I needed. In gratitude, I wanted to send him a small thank you gift for his troubles, and I remembered an earlier conversation we had when I told him about the Siberian throat singers, in particular a punk band called Yat Kha from the Siberian province of Tuva.

Yat-kha, Albert Kuvezin Tuvan throat singing punk band. New 2005 Album "Re-Covers" released June 13th

Drew immediatedly grokked their music, and he was particularly taken with the song "Chorumal Bodum" on the cd Aldyn Dashka. There are mp3 soundbites on the link above if your ears are up to it. I spent the next day at Tower Records looking for this cd, but none were to be had. When I got home and started a Amazon search for it, I learned it's not available and probably out of print, so I sent him my copy, then I turned around and ordered a used copy for myself.** They've got a new cd out now with covers by groups like Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" (timely), and "Orgasmatron," by Motorhead.

When I asked Drew today if he had received the cd, he said "Indeed! I'm ripping it now, so I can put it in my cell phone. Can you imagine the ringer?" He told me he had one friend that he couldn't wait to p
lay it for: an acoustic engineer and audio savant...which lead to how this guy could find anything...which lead to absinthe. Drew has been fixated on the whole culture and history behind absinthe for about a year now. Last year at Christmas I gave him an absinthe spoon in preparation for his indulging in the liquor. For those few who don't know, the drinking of absinthe is almost as ritualistic as a Japanese tea ceremony. There are special implements which are used in the melting of the sugar cube over the glass with a slotted spoon to allow the sugar to drip into the drink, altering it's appearance. absinthe history: Absinthe Buyers Guide

People actively seek out as collectibles the different styles of glasses and spoons that were popular in France during the height of the absinthe drinking craze. Absinthe is green in color, it's nickname is L'Heure Verte, or The Green Hour, and it's been illegal in this country for some time. When water is added over the sugar cube, the mixture becomes an opalescent white with a tint of green, and this effect is called "louche." As I said, the spoons have become collector's items, and they have their own names and styles. I gave Drew the more traditional Feuille spoon. He had been trying to acquire a bottle of absinthe via a friend in the Czech Republic, but his friend received a notice back via the postal authorities that basically said "tsk, tsk...that's illegal." *** Drew's efforts continue. The "Feuille" spoon:

I told him if he ever did go to Europe and acquire a bottle, to bring me a bottle of Creme de Violette which is equally hard to obtain. This is bas
ically a liqueur made of violets, colored purple, and for some reason extremely popular during the height of the cocktail age in the 1920's and '30's. I only learned of it when I was talking to another friend (thank you, Kathy) about a cocktail book she had inherited that dated from 1937 where Creme de Violette recipes abounded. One of the better known cocktails using this ingredient is the Blue Moon which consists of 2 ounces of gin, 1/2 ounce of creme de violette and 1/4 ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Another popular cocktail is the Jupiter which is 1 teaspoon of orange juice, 1 teaspoon of Creme de Violette, 3/4 ounces of vermouth and 1 1/2 ounces of gin. I've been meaning to check with Pearson's to see if they can import a bottle, as they once tracked down a bottle of honey liqueur from Germany for me. Benoit Serres

Drew told me he was multi-tasking: listening to Yat Kha, chatting with me, reading my blog comments, watching soft porn strippers and loading the cd into his phone...then he added "Oh yeah--and defragmenting my hard drive." (I let the obvious go when I didn't add a comeback for his hard drive and the soft porn.) Then he told me a joke: "How many ADD children does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer: "Wanna go ride bikes?" I later told this joke to a friend of mine in San Francisco, and he said "How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer: "That's not funny."

Drew then added, "You GOTTA love a website that streams porn score audio. Just the music. None of the grunts. Bow chica wow wow."
fluffertraX premium adult sound

Which lead me to speculate if there is such a career as a "text fluffer." Drew told me once he was in a crowded airport lobby when he heard "Shut Your Fucking Face, Uncle Fuckah," from the South Park movie, as an instrumental-only ringer coming from someone's phone. "I glanced up quickly when I realized what the song was and caught the same hysterical expression that I must have made on the faces of about 12 other people who also recognized it and were both shocked and amused. Imagine hearing that in an airport." I told him about the time I heard "Electric Aunt Jemima", a Frank Zappa composition, in a grocery store musak system.

Drew started critiquing the porn he was viewing. "Some of these hotties are da bomb, but others? Ummm...can't you like...I dunno...eat a salad or two first?" He wondered what quirk would attract men to view women who tan on bottom, but have tan lines up top. He thought it was too random and weird. I told him of my contention that there was a fetish for everything and immediately found him a website devoted to just that type of tanning. He said "Now THAT makes me giggle."

All of the music talk had lead me to ask him how you would drop music into a blog site, and he found this very interesting tutorial which I'm passing on to you:

Embedding Sound in Web Pages, Part I: The EMBED Tag - Doc JavaScript

Today I received a nice email from Drew showing me another link that discusses additional elements to consider such as radio, RSS feeds, etc., and here is the link on "Building a Better Blog," courtesy of Drew: eLink-In Focus-Issue 80

He finished off by telling me about a powdered drink called "Ginger Drink" at the World Market out in Bethesda. It's from Indonesia, and Drew thought it would aid my cold and sore throat. So you see...we went full circle...from Siberian throat singers to sore throats.****


* Drew, Hooters Lunch, 8/17/05

** Drew has since told me the cd is available at Yat Kha's website, and he has ordered other copies.

*** Addendum on the absinthe shipment from his friend: His friend says, "The package is now sitting on my desk in Prague. It made it all the way to Phoenix, where some imbecile decided that since it's against (company's name omitted) policy to deliver alcohol, that instead they would send it to me, internationally." His friend says he now has to come to Prague to get it, and Drew said, "I promised when I flew over, that we would drink so much, that we'd both be able to fly home first class, for only a little more than the price of a legendary hangover."

**** Drew told me to add: "This is the way our conversations usually run: chasing our tails and occasionally catching one, despite ourselves."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And somewhere in your elaborate stream of consciousness, there must be a link to Kevin Bacon.

downloading music: footloose?


4:11 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

We didn't directly discuss "Footloose", but we did talk about having friends with certain foot fetishes. That was what led to the conversation about fetishes for beautiful women with tan lines on the "tops" and NO TAN LINES on the "bottoms". I *really* want to find THAT beach! Perhaps Kevin Bacon is on that beach? Oh my... I'm doing it again....

5:11 PM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

You can purchase absinthe online and have it shipped into the states. I have a friend out in Indiana who has done it twice.

The first time, she ordered it in Alaska and it arrived via USPS without incident. The second time, she was in Indiana and the company shipped via USPS. The fuckers (if you'll excuse my french) at the post office realized it was a bottle of booze, which is verboten. They opened the package, smashed the bottle, and took a polaroid for her.

She contacted the company (whose name I can't recall at the moment) and they were kind enough to airmail her another bottle at no additional charge.

I'll contact her and try to find the name of the company for your friend.

5:54 PM  

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