Numbers run our lives, whether we are at the club throwing out our digits (cell phone numbers) to prospective sleeping companions, or in the alley behind the club giving up our PIN numbers at knife point, we can't live without numbers.
Coming in first (which really means last) on our “Top Ten List of the Top Numbers of All Time” is Number Ten. Don't take it too hard, old buddy, this doesn't mean we don't love you. We appreciate your work ethic, but somebody has to come in at Number Ten and unfortunately that's you.
The Number Nine is divine, and by divine we mean one better than Number Ten. Nine times out of ten we'll take the Number Nine over the Number Ten (with a margin of error of plus or minus one). Not too shabby.
Eight is great if you're a spider or an octopus, but not so great if you're John and Kate. But we're not them. We're not even Octomom, so we really do think eight is great. We wish there could be eight days a week, because that would mean one more day per week (which is currently seven days long) that we could love this number!
Seven is heaven and a little bit lucky to boot. We'd sail the Seven Seas to please this magical numeral. Not as needy as Six or as snooty as Eight, we think the Number Seven has it going on.
Three of these in a row and you've got trouble, my Christian friend, but the Number Six by itself? A-dor-a-ble! (Just keep Six away from Nine, please, this is a family-friendly Top Ten List.)
Number Five is alive at Number Five. The Number Five doesn't take any jive and that's why we love it! So give us Five. Up high. Down low. You're never going to be too slow to hang out with this affable, middle-of-the-road, go-along-to-get-along, probably an undecided voter of a number.
Four is good luck if you're a clover, but not if you are in China as the number four sounds like the Chinese word for death. Yikes! That is not so lucky, unless you are praying for death like we pray for the Number Four to someday move on up in the ranks. Watch those weird back humps, Number Three, Number Four is going to murder you someday!
Three's a crowd, or so they say, but we disagree. That's why this numeral is near the top of our list. Coaches, and other overly competitive jerk wads, like to say things like: "If you're not first, you're last." (Which basically means, if you didn't win the game, you can not technically call yourself the winner). We say, not true! You can be a third place champion like our (third) favorite number, Number Three!
Playing second fiddle to no one (except the digit at the number one spot on this list) is good old Number Two. Why do kids laugh when someone says your name, Number Two? So cruel. You don't care, because it sure feels good when you slide out ready to make a splash in the world!
Number one on our list of the Top Ten Numbers of All Time is the undisputed champ, the greatest number that has existed or ever will exist, the perennial top dog—our Spanish speaking friends call this guy "Numero Uno" for good reason—yes, it's Number One! One is the loneliest number only if you believe Three Dog Night, but we don't. We've never trusted Three Dog Night about anything before and we're certainly not going to start listening to them dis our favorite number. Hey Number Ten, lose that Zero and get with a hero!
A shamelessly self-promoting column by Chris Auman, Wannabe Herpetologist...
Shellter In Place
Pretty crazy, eh? This whole COVID-19 business. I'm kinda
tired of thinking about it. Who knows what’s going to happen next week, next month, or even tomorrow. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker has extended the stay-at-home orders through the end of May. ¡Ay caramba!
Grip presents another chapter in their legacy of brutality with the Early Iteration. The nine-song album is a bleak, no frills, joy-killing ride through a hellish landscape—and in the post hardcore genre, that's a good thing!
Al Burian lived in Chicago for the better part of the decade. During his Windy City residency, he made zines, drew comics, played in bands and wrote the columns collected in this new publication from Microcosm, No Apocalypse: Punk, Politics, and the Great American Weirdness.
Michael Witwer's Empire of Imagination tells Gygax’s story from cradle to grave. Gygax (it's a Swiss surname, in case you're curious) grew up on Chicago's north side before his family moved to his mother's home town of Lake Geneva. This Wisconsin town had provided an escape for Chicagoans since the Prohibition days. It was here in this placid small town that young Gary was free to explore the underground tunnels and buildings of an abandoned sanitarium with his friends. As a young man he become an avid war gammer, which used the small figurines now synonymous with the game he would some day help create. Gygax was a stickler for gaming rules, and not the greatest business man which created no small bit of tension with his partners and employees of TSR the game publishing company he started with Dave Arneson and his childhood friend Don Kaye.
Abstractithica is a 45 minute collage of field recordings meticulously culled from anywhere and everywhere, around the world, and in the UK in particular. Hall used a stereo field recorder to grab bits of conversations, street noises and anything else of aural interest to him. It took him a year to put the pieces together and the result is an interesting and mildly hypnotic recording. I found it quite pleasant to listen to whilst concentrating on other things, like writing reviews for example. Smatterings of applause pop up as does traffic noise, even snatches of a Manu Chao song reveal themselves at unexpected times. It’s like taking a walk down the street while blindfolded. A sensory stimulation and a out of body simulation. Public transportation and some circus or carnival music jars you out of the trances. This is a very limited edition run of 250 vinyl LPs that is worth investigating if you are into experimental music, sound collages and the like. Always read Reglar Wiglar!
Lou Reed had a complicated career. He lead a complicated life—complicated by design, perhaps. His music—his entire persona, seemed intended to antagonize. The Velvet Underground, a band Reed co-founded in 1964, was itself a big FU to the peace and love of the Flower Power movement and his solo work could alternate between abrasive and oppressively dreary.
Anyone can write and publish an eBook and sell it on Amazon for 99 cents. The evidence for that is that everyone has. All you need is a clever, incredibly long title to hit every possible Google search keyword, then just sit back and reel in the schmucks. Do that a million times and you will have made yourself rich and Amazon even richer. Just remember to keep the book's content short and the titles really, really long.
1) How I Turned a Hardcore Gambling Addiction into A Million Dollar Enterprise That Allowed Me to Buy My Dream Home and Marry a Gorgeous Super Model
2) How Quitting My Job to Play Fan Duel Full-Time Helped Me Lose Weight and Keep it Off by Eating Whatever I Wanted While Dating Women Much, Much Hotter than Me
3) Even a High School Dropout with No Social Skills Can Trick Women into Bed While Beating the Stock Market Playing World of Warcraft
4) How to Turn a One Night Stand on Tinder into A Serious Committed Relationship Built on Trust and Mutual Respect While Making Millions and Living the Dream Without Dieting
5) A Hassle-free Guide to Building Muscle and Your Bank Account While Losing Weight, Gaining Wealth and Getting Laid Guaranteed in 5 Easy Steps or Your Money Back
Nathan Xander returns. Not that he went away, but he is back, nevertheless, with an album full of homesickness and being homeward bound. The Pennsylvania native is based in New York City these days, but he has enjoyed a period of wandering that has seen him living the nomadic life of a troubadour. This is evident on the 12-tracks of Blue House, which was recorded in Upstate New York, in a barn, painted blue, providing at least one meaning behind the album's title. [Read more]