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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gabba Gabba Hey

Dear Tommy and Marky,

Seeing as you are the last two remaining Ramones (I don't count CJ or Richie as being real Ramones), I am hoping you will be able to shed some light on something for me, despite the fact that you were drummers and not principal songwriters for the group (though perhaps your time behind the mixer as producer will be of some help, Tommy?)

Anyways, my questions surround these two girls the Ramones sing about: Judy and Sheena. First of all, what made Judy a punk and Sheena a punk rocker? And what is the difference between a punk and a punk rocker? Is a punk rocker a specific kind of punk - like is it a species in the order punk? Or is there more to it than that? I wonder if Judy dresses the part of a punk (leather jackets, torn jeans, an army jacket and black high-top Chuck Taylor's) but has no musical ability, while Sheena plays bass in a punk rock band?

Also, in "Judy is a Punk" Joey sings, "Jackie is a punk / Judy is a runt." Who is this Jackie character? I thought Judy was the punk? Is she a very tiny punk? How tiny? I saw a 4'11" girl at Oktoberfest this year (she smashed a stein and made her boyfriend's hand bleed) - is Judy as small as that? And then why isn't the song called, "Jackie is a Punk"? Or "Judy is a Runt"? Or even "Judy is a Punk, Too" so that when I hear the lyrics and Joey tells me that "Jackie is a punk / Judy is a runt" I am able to understand that, aside from being very small, Judy is also a punk? Especially since most of your songs are pretty straightforward. "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is about a guy who wants to be some girl's boyfriend. (Side note: Does Joey want to be Judy's or Sheena's boyfriend?) "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" is about a guy who, at this moment, wants to sniff some glue. In "53rd & 3rd" you guys sang about the corner of 53rd and 3rd, not 86th & East End. So why the confusion with "Judy is a Punk" if Judy isn't a punk, but a runt?

Either way, it seems pretty clear that Jackie and Judy are friends, since they were living in northern Germany and northern California together at different times, and moved "down to Berlin" and "down to Frisco" to join the ice capades and SLA on two occasions. They sure travel a lot together. But what are two punks (again: is Judy even a punk?) doing joining Disney on ice? Though I suppose the German version of that could be pretty wacked. I imagine a lot of leather and eye make-up with some pretty amazing choreography set to some Wagner pieces. I guess my confusion isn't anything to be ashamed of, as even Joey has questions about this when he sings, "oh I don't know why." But he must know something because he then sings, "perhaps they'll die." From what? Is he concerned about them? Poor, poor, tiny little Judy, dying on some frozen pond in Berlin. Perhaps Joey's worried she'll fall through the ice? I don't know, but then again, neither does he.

But there's absolutely no uncertainty about Sheena. No siree. Sheena is a punk rocker, no doubt about that one. No ambiguity in that title. It's not like after you read The Catcher in the Rye and you're like, "what the hell does that title mean?" so you go look it up. Nope. As Joey sings at the end of "Sheena is a Punk Rocker", "Sheena is a punk rocker / Sheena is a punk rocker / Sheena is a punk rocker / Well she's a punk punk, a punk rocker / punk punk, a punk rocker / punk punk, a punk rocker / punk punk, a punk rocker." Yup, he's pretty confident about that.

But is she? She seems more like a surfer chick to me. She's "hopped up" and "ready to go now," presumably to the beach since she's "got her surfboard." But that's not very punk. Or rocker-ish. And this brings me back to my original question about what the difference between a punk and a punk rocker is. I surmised that maybe a punk rocker is a punk who plays in a band, but you don't mention any musical prowess on Sheena's part at all. She surfs, I know that. But that's it.

In closing, what, exactly, is the difference between a punk and a punk rocker?

Thank you,


Friday, October 21, 2005

So Cal Ripken Doesn't Play Anymore?

Remember when Pope John Paul II died, and there was seemingly 24-hour coverage about it and commentators were, well, commenting on how all this coverage shows that the Catholic Church is still relevent in America, and how this new pope was going to go a long way in bringing it back to prominence and the 21st century?

Well, what happened? I was raised Catholic, baptised and confirmed and all that, and while I no longer associate with that religion, it's pretty hard to get rid of your "Catholicness." And yet, I have absolutely no idea what the new pope's name is. I remember his real name is Ratzenberger or something like that. But Pope _________ ?

It's kind of like how you're really, really into sports as a kid, but don't have the time to watch every game or follow every trade today, and you've certainly stopped collecting baseball cards. At one point you knew the name and career batting average of the back-up catcher for the Royals, and now you don't even know who the starting catcher is. But you know who Albert Pujols is and you're vaguely aware of Barry Zito.

In this case, I have absolutely no clue of the name of the Yankees' third baseman.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


There's a line. A line? There's never a line. Groggy, because it's early, and you think maybe it's not really a line. Mine eyes do deceive... but today there's a line. Right there. Closer. Closer. Careful. A line. The urn is empty. All the liquid is gone. But you need it. Everyone in line needs it. The people in front and the ever-increasing number behind you, all need that fix. Come on, man, brew! Brew faster, dammit. A few people walk away and pace. Some pretend to be interested in the fruit salad cups. Bah! Is it ready yet?

I'm waiting for my man
Here he comes, he's all dressed in black
Pr shoes and a big straw hat
He's never early, he's always late
First thing you learn is you always gotta wait

And there it is, ready, ready, ready, closer now, next in line and you jam the syringe deep into your arm and ready to start the day.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The World if Tom Brady Was In Charge

Marty Schottenheimer, coach of the San Diego Chargers, steps up to the podium for his post-game press conference:

Q: Marty, how did you think your team played?
Marty: Obviously we played well. On offense we did most of the things we set out to do, and our defense reacted well to their gameplan.
Q: Did you notice anything on film that allowed you to do so well against the Patriots when no one else could?
Marty: The who?
Q: The Patriots.
Marty: I don't know what that is. Next question.
Q: You seemed to get a lot of pressure on Brady and at the same time take Dillon out of the game.
Marty: I can't comment on it. I know our defenders played well.
Q: Um, How did you think Drew Brees played?
Marty: Drew played a great game for us. He kept the mistakes to a minimum and made some strong throws. He made a few audible calls that worked out well. I thought it was an efficient day, a strong day.
Q: What about the interception he threw. It looked like Eugene Wilson just read his eyes.
Marty: I don't know who that is, but the interception was a bad throw.
Q: Eugene Wilson. The defensive back for the Patriots?
Marty: Yeah, I don't know.
Q: What did Coach Belichek say to you after the game?
Marty: I don't know who that is.
Q: The Patriot's coach? The guys who won all those Super Bowls?
Marty: All I know is Tampa Bay won it in 2003. I don't know anything about 2002, 2004, or 2005.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

With Friends Like These, I Need More Friends

In the past three days I've received these three noteworthy pieces of communication:

1) An e-mail from a friend telling me she's engaged.
2) An invitation to my friends' son's first birthday party.
3) An invitation to another friend's co-ed baby shower.

This on the heels of an 8-wedding summer. A message to all my friends:

Fucking cut it out.