Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On the Disorder List

Reading about MLB pitcher Dontrelle Willis and his brand-swillin' new "anxiety disorder" diagnosis initially made me feel great empathy in the face of much incredulity across the Innaweb. It's not hard at all for me to comprehend an athlete (even a baseball player) being rendered temporarily useless by such an illness because, as any faithful Trapper Jenn reader knows, I suffer from panic disorder. Last year, that brave man running in my family placed me on the 90-day DL (more or less), sapping me of energy, hope, and will, costing me thousands in missed work, packing pounds on my frame, and making even walking up and/or down a flight of stairs an untenable chore.

To read Willis' explanation, however, is to be struck.

“This is not something where I’m too amped up, I don’t know where I’m at, and I’m running sprints up and down the parking lot. This is not something like that. (The doctors) see something in my blood that they don’t like. I’m not crazy. My teammates might think I’m crazy. But this is not something like that.”

Well, yes...one who suffers from anxiety disorder is not crazy. Or at least not because of that.

Willis also says that the diagnosis was determined through the results of a blood test.

"They didn't like what they saw in the blood (tests)," Willis said of the unidentified doctors who are treating him. "They had a very concerned look on their faces."

I'd have a concerned look on my face too, if I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

Anxiety disorder cannot be found via blood work. Not possible. No psychological disorder can! Also, in my experience, the diagnosis identifies a specific type: generalized anxiety, panic, etc.

Any professional purporting to proclaim the existence of such an illness had better refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Per DSM-IV, here is the criteria to make such a call:

A. At least 6 months of "excessive anxiety and worry" about a variety of events and situations. Generally, "excessive" can be interpreted as more than would be expected for a particular situation or event. Most people become anxious over certain things, but the intensity of the anxiety typically corresponds to the situation.

B. There is significant difficulty in controlling the anxiety and worry. If someone has a very difficult struggle to regain control, relax, or cope with the anxiety and worry, then this requirement is met.

C. The presence for most days over the previous six months of 3 or more (only 1 for children) of the following symptoms:
1. Feeling wound-up, tense, or restless
2. Easily becoming fatigued or worn-out
3. Concentration problems
4. Irritability
5. Significant tension in muscles
6. Difficulty with sleep
D. The symptoms are not part of another mental disorder.

E. The symptoms cause "clinically significant distress" or problems functioning in daily life. "Clinically significant" is the part that relies on the perspective of the treatment provider. Some people can have many of the aforementioned symptoms and cope with them well enough to maintain a high level of functioning.

F. The condition is not due to a substance or medical issue

To read his words, Willis doesn't even seem that out of sorts.

"They asked me how I was feeling, and I told them I felt good but amped-up to go out there," he said. "It's a fine line between being too amped-up and anxiety. ... I don't know what (test) revealed it. They drew blood and told me a whole bunch of things."

They told me a whole bunch of things. In the case of a real anxiety diagnosis, Willis should be telling them a whole bunch of things.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Life On a Camping Trip

I know for a fact that some of my readers actually care about my quest for personal fitness, sooo...here's a suitably terse update.

I've cut back my cardio training from 85 minutes 3 days a week to 70 minutes 3 days a week. First day was this day, and my theory bore out: by cutting time spent on machines but increasing the intensity of exercise, I burned more calories and by the end, still had that "brutally invigorated" feeling all over my body.

My weight circuit will go up by 5 pounds each machine starting tomorrow.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Do My Biddin', Joe

It would be great if I could work a trip to the Schulz museum in this summer.

"Whipping Poooooooooost!"

My Snoopys are my kids.

MAD does Chris Brown in Peanuts world. The second one is the only funny one, and even then I feel like garbage for laughing at something that plays the whole sad situation for a joke.

This strip could be breaking auction records soon.

Real recognize real.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Known To Be The Master of the Frozen Field

This video is dedicated to the Tampa Bay Lightning and their rapidly-dwindling fanbase. It's also dedicated to Don Cherry and all the hockey fans who claim that Alexander Ovechkin's goal-scoring antics are a disgrace to the great game.

Two goals, two assists, three hits, a Caps win...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Big Mamas Little Helpers

Falling apart can wisen you up.

If you are really serious about the quest for self-betterment, you will seek knowledge. And you will be deluged with information about ways to mentally and physically improve that unique bundle of hopes, fears, dreams, proclivities and Chemical X that you call YOU.

I've already gone over my decision to treat panic disorder without the help of any medication. But I can't eschew pills so haphazardly when it comes to the body.

Behold, big mamas little helpers.

Vitamin B12--Promotes metabolism. As of right now, I have it in case I need an emergency energy boost. I do not take it daily because I already take....

CoEnzyme Q10--Recommended highly by Dr. Andrew Weill, this is marketed as a "dietary supplement", but is more importantly an antioxidant that assists with cellular metabolism. It's not some fat-burning wonder pill. Two to three of these a day does me fine.

Magnesium--This friend to the nervous system is most helpful when I feel panic attacks coming on. Some ER doctors even treat panic-ridden cases with a healthy dose of the stuff. The connection between anxiety disorder and magnesium deficiency assures this bottle a permanent place in my container.

Torsemide--AKA, a diuretic. Taken twice a week to eliminate excess water weight.

Daily Vitamin--Like the B12, on hold. Right now I'm getting a lot of Vitamin A and C through food and beverage, and the one-a-day will come into play when I'm not drinking so much vitamin juice or eating so many vegetables.

Vitamin D--Just joined the family this week. My most recent blood work showed a deficiency of this bone buddy, meaning I need more sun. Well, it has been the winter, people. To put me on the right path, I was prescribed a years worth of refills. Which sounds like a lot. But it's not. I take one pill a week.

Four pills in one of those bottles. How can the pharmacies be so economically-unsound in these times?


Oh hai, pills! I seeeeeeee you!

So does any of this crap help? Well, with a healthy diet and exercise routine that just keeps getting more intense, I'm now at 35 pounds lost with 25 to go to reach my goal.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Magic, Charlie Brown

AIRDATE: 4/28/81

STORY: Charlie Brown thinks that Snoopy's daily life (sleep, eat, nap, snack, fantasize) is counterproductive. In the name of canine empowerment, he hands over a library card and beseeches the beagle to check out some books not penned by Helen Sweetstory. The librarian doesn't bat an eye as Snoopy leaves with "How To Perform Magic".

Practicing with Woodstock on the doghouse, Snoop mouths spells soundlessly, wreaking all sorts of mini-havoc to great merriment. Inspired beyond even his owners wildest hopes, Snoopy puts on a magic show for the kids as "The Great Houndini", with Marcie and Sally as his dutiful assistants. Among the tricks that he performs with wildly varying proficiency are: rabbit-in-the-hat (rather, Woodstock with rabbit ears); the magic closet (featuring Pep Pat, natch); stick-in-the-hole (which Franklin volunteers for--mighty white of him, wouldn't you say?) and levitating Lucy.

Most spectacularly, Snoopy makes Charlie Brown disappear. A sudden rainstorm breaks up the show, leaving the boy who has felt transparent most of his days actually transparent, doomed to "roam the world as a lost soul". He should be rendered desolate by the great torture that is the certain knowledge that he will never see God, but somehow Chuck makes the best of it. By sneaking up on Lucy and kicking that goddamn football--three times!

This shocking triumph cannot stand in the land of Lucy, and she angrily demands that Snoopy turn Charlie Brown visible once more. The great dog and his avian chum make haste inside the doghouse, which seems bigger than most condos. It even has a laboratory, wherein the spell reversal is conjured. (Solving the mystery of the Chinese Water Torture Cell would have to wait.) Unfortunately for Chuck, his salvation comes just as he is about to boot the ball for a fourth time.

Lucy insists that the previous instances of flying pigskin are moot, as she and Charlie Brown did not actually go through the song-and-dance and oh yeah, she couldn't see his ass. Perturbed over the escalating debate, the Great Houndini performs one last trick: levitating (and leaving) Lucy into the air.

Snoopy as magician is a unique idea, and pulled off well. The ending just seems way too "kiddy", though. 7.5

ANIMATION: 10. Everything pops out pleasantly--the colors are bright, the lines are sharp. The waves that shoot out from Snoopy's hands as he seeks his unobservable master are hysterical. The outline of invisible Chuck in a downpour is great too.

MUSIC: Ed Bogas and Judy Munsen do the honors...it is the eighties, after all. It's Lockers-ish funk. I half-expected Toni Basil to come out as the magicians assistant. 7.5

VOICES: This group is all over the place. Brent Hauer does a great Pep Pat (9), while Sydney Penny falls flat as Lucy (7...ugh, the shrillocity!). Sally is a fantastic 9 coming from Cindi Reilly (that's how you do "kiddy" right--R. Kelly believes she can fly), but a barely-there Linus courtesy of Earl Reilly is a mere 7. Christopher Donahue's Franklin is a fine 7.5. Shannon Cohn's Marcie does best of all (9), if a little more high-pitched than I am used to with the character. Most tragically disheartening is the reality of Charlie Brown's voice. Michael Mandy is hereby "The Flatlander" for his dreary, bland showing in It's Magic. I don't care if you ever come back to plain view, asshole! 6.

THE RIGHT WAY TO DO WRONG

--Snoopy is to infinity. Leave that "beyond" shit to Pixar trifles.

--Snoopy's face after Pep Pat exits the closet says it all and a few extra words.

THE GRIM GAME

--As Snoopy flails as The Great Houndini, some anonymous kid straight outta summer camp berates him: "Fake fake fake! Yah yah yah, fake fake fake!" When he's set straight by the master of ceremonies, it still feels wildly inadequate. He should have left that show with one less arm than when he arrived.

--
Before returning to his tome for the solution, Snoopy tries to bring Chuck back the old-fashioned way: coat him with mud and blow-dry it. Charlie Brown likens the feeling to a "chocolate chip cookie"--so it's inevitable he would crumble. Oh noes!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

It's Magic, Charlie Brown is a cool little special, far below the classics both established and unsung, and a bit above the unfortunate likes of It's the Pied Piper and It Was My Best Birthday Ever. The script moves swiftly and contains a multitude of chuckles, and falters only with the predictably cutesy ending. There's a relative dearth of utterly unforgettable lines/images/moments, but you could kill a half-hour in worse ways. Now back away from that episode of Family Guy and pop this disc in.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Maryland My Maryland

The annual "20 Most Dangerous States" list has been unleashed, and if you've never encountered people bragging about how high their state is, well my friend, you've never frequented a hip hop message board. Or listened to hip hop music. Dan Deacon will not be coming out with a song called "Number Nine So Fine" anytime soon.

As a woman, I was especially interested in the rankings for rape, as they would suggest states with either high hostility towards their female populace, or more likely, a female populace more willing to report the crime in the first place. To that end, I'm not sure whether to be proud or not of Maryland's low ranking. One thing is certain...I ain't going to Alaska for nothin'.

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. There Is No Future The Future Is Snoopy

This has promise, if not unique premise.

Have I told y'all that "Linus and Lucy" is my primary ringtone?

Screw Detroit, indeed.

Secular humanism be damned (har), the religious overtones of Schulz' work resonate still.

A recent article unearthed this old-ass free paragraph. I can't wait to read that Clemens tell-all coming this week.

Dude needs to regulate his spawn.

So, Ace of Cakes featuring the Great Pumpkin was all right. The story was great: girl wants to surprise her boyfriend with a cake based on It's the Great Pumpkin, as that was what they watched on their first date. The cake itself was nice, but pretty much all the ones that come out of Charm City Cakes are. Here's a link to an article that got early shots of the confectionery canvas. You look real hard and tell me who's missing. Like Patrick said, "They dropped the pumpkin on this one."

Review of It's Magic, Charlie Brown coming tomorrow!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Wonder If He Demanded Restitution?

Proving that he actually has some gray matter amidst all the muscle mass, Jimmy Chamberlin has left the Smashing Pumpkins, leaving the man he has repeatedly referred to as his "best friend" to carry on that band's legacy all by his lonesome.

This is devastating to Billy Corgan on multiple levels. Now the Smashing Pumpkins is pretty much just a worthless brand name, a vanity project. It's like Sting touring as the Police without Stewart Copeland. Leading to the next level. Chamberlin was a beast behind the drums. As much as the "drums louder than God"* production style of the alterna-90s could make even lightweights like Matt Cameron of Soundgarden sound like 'roided-up Bonham Jrs, take it from someone who saw the Pumpkins live--Chamberlin really was that proficient and powerful. He was always Corgan's musical ace in the hole. Even the most ardent Billy-basher had to give his drummer some.

No more.

*copyright Lee Ranaldo, 1994.

Please Put Your Founding Member Back In Your Pants

To me Kim and Thurston are the true founding members, but hey...I guess all you have to do is be around when the band name is thought up.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Greatest Episode of Behind the Music of All-Time Ever

With the news that VH1 is resurrecting Behind the Music, it's only right that I share this link to the greatest episode ever. It's not the Motley Crue installment; legendarily debauched though that segment is, the publication of The Dirt pretty much made it inadequate in every aspect. It's the episode dedicated to Texas metallers Pantera.

In terms of drugged-out rock star-isms, they lagged behind--mainly a shitload of irresponsible imbibing and the lead singers unfortunate flirtation with Burroughs spinach--but their reputation for making music so heavy and groovy that their songs practically groaned and stank earned them a rabid following. Their BTM is ceaselessly involving: the mainstream success of an uncompromising metal band after their inauspicious, glammy origins is easy to root for, and the way it all ended is firmly without precedent in the annals of music history.

I fear Li'l Wayne sippin' on some sizzurp just can't compare.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Even Your Grandmother Fills Out a Bracket

Hey, did you know Barack Obama filled out an NCAA tournament bracket? Did you? Did you? Shit's taken up more time on the news than the unchanging interest rates.

I'm not leading the free world, but check my CBS Sports bracket here and here. That's right, I got Louisville bringing back Kentucky pride and Florida State as my "surprise" team. Got a good vibe about them in the ACC tournament. As far as the womens tourney, it's gonna be Connecticut vs. Maryland. In my land of fantastical happenings, Kristi Tolliver hits a game-winning 3 to pull off the upset, but in reality the Lady Huskies will probably smash their shells. Doesn't hurt to believe though.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Collapsing New Veins

This guy is doing "a little right-wing Snoopy dance." You don't have to put in a qualifier, if you're doing a Snoopy dance, you're doing a Snoopy dance. It's not any more or less joyous because of political beliefs. That being said, those words between the quotation marks just seem so wrong together. SIGH.

Lucy would love this.

It's (sadly) official: the Charlie Brown All-Stars video game has been cancelled. Good grief fa real.

See, not all Republicans are fascistic, spiteful dunderbrains.

Missed it last week, but tune in this Sunday at 5 PM for what promises to be an especially blockheaded episode of Ace of Cakes. Balto, stand up!

Schulz City
.

Some insight into the ball gag, first comment. Very interesting.

"Irrational anti-Bush hatred". Seriously, how could you ever look upon that man without affection and compassion? People like that must be impossible to talk to!

Pain does hurt. I had blood drawn today and the med student "practicing" on me had to stick both arms. Although, it was not her fault that the vein in the first arm collapsed.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Idiots On YouTube, Accessory To Attempted Murder Edition

There's no end to the ways people will degrade themselves on video. YouTube provides exponential proof. It can be as innocuous as a lone soul with their acoustic performing some shit cover of a ballad, or as hysterically insane as "Leave Britney alone!" Just today, however, a shaky, grainy cameraphone vid of the attempted murder of West Coast MC Crooked I popped up on the Tube.



This disturbing clip jibes with what little Crooked I himself would indulge about the incident:

"Say you're walking down the street. Some dude comes up to you with a camera phone and he's like, 'Can you give a shout-out?' " Crooked explained. "You're like, 'OK,' and you're shouting the dude out. Three seconds later, somebody is shooting at you. Was dude [with the camera phone] trying to get me to stand still? Was he in on it? Was it a coincidence? I don't know. Mentally I had to fall back for a couple of days. I've been in those situations where people take shots or whatever. I'm relaxed around the hip-hop fans. I'm a very accessible dude. When dude came up and was like, 'Can you give me a shout out?' I'm like, 'Cool, what do you want me to say?' Three seconds later, I hear a noise. I [was] so far removed from the fact it can be gunshots. Then I turn around and see sparks. That's strange." --MTV.com

I cannot fathom the gall and stupidity of these "men". To be so envious of someone using their talent to go places that you would premeditate their demise, then to put the video up on YouTube?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Stop Not Making Sense

So apparently Earth is in trouble.

Or not. Earth is in an extended cooling period.

One reputable study says one thing. Another says, well, another thing.

Personally? Someone should do a study to determine the need for studies. Particularly if the findings are going to give the most sane person logistical whiplash in their brain.

Tell Your Dreary Existential Poetry To Shut Up

I love T.S. Eliot, but a rewrite is now in order.

April is the funniest month
, breeding beagles by the half-dozen, mixing hope and disenchantment, stirring baseball fields with torrid downpours.

On April 7, Snoopy's Reunion, one of the most underrated of the Peanuts specials, will hit stores in DVD format for the first time ever. Also, that evening, ABC will air It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown and Charlie Brown's All-Stars. While the former is a perennial for this time of the year, the latter has not been aired in 27 years. Gotta give it up to ABC, they are really bringing back the old Chuck.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Billy Corgan: Strident and Bald

A LiveNation/Ticketmaster merger? Fantastic! Radio stations paying artists? That's what the music industry has become: flailing for money.

Corgan's letter is a masterpiece. He frequently references the importance of the fan, despite recent incidents that indicate his personal philosophy leans toward "let them eat cake". The most thrilling part is near the end, where he actually uses the phrase creating a dynamic synergy. How Jack Donaghy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Cleaning Makes Jenn a Crazed Girl

One could assume that Sonic Youth are my abiding obsession. I've seen them live 39 times; have a collection of printed ephemera large enough to swim laps in; have been a fan for almost 19 years now. Surely that qualifies for a top, A-1 fetish.

However.

My Peanuts love--and the byproduct known as my Snoopy fascination--beats all. My collection, which is in the inventory process for insurance purposes, is mammoth by any standard. Really, it would be far easier to obsessively hoard SY stuff. I don't care how many side projects the individual members release through sundry "bat labels", there is no way NY's finest fuck with Snoopy in terms of sheer tonnage. Also, Peanuts books taught me how to read. Sonic Youth did not. They did, admittedly, teach me how to rock. (Slaughterhouse, in tandem with Firehouse, taught me how to love.)

Sometimes, these dual fixations clash. Not like the Union vs. the Confederacy; rather like chocolate meeting milk. Youth bassist/guitarist/vocalist Kim Gordon is a longtime fan of Peanuts. Stickers featuring the characters appear on her instruments, she's heard shouting out a fan wearing a Snoopy tee on a bootleg of the band's first show in DC of 2006, and admitted in a questionnaire that I stumbled 'cross in 2002 but can no longer locate on this here Innanet that Snoopy was her fave fictional character (other revelations: favorite color blue, favorite holiday Valentines Day).

It's pretty gratifying, personally. It's like meeting someone super cool and you get to talking and they never say that one thing that turns you off them, like saying they don't like anything the Beatles ever did and you can tell they're just being contrarian little shits, and you're thinking, If you don't like them fine, but goddamn, at least be able to qualify your opinion, you smirking shitface. You probably have "Ob-La-Di" on your Ipod. Instead, they actually end up saying something mega, like McCartney solo was better than Lennon solo, and you're ready to orally satisfy them on the spot. That's what Kim Gordon's support of the great beagle is like for me.

I have an eagle eye for SY to be sure, but my Snoopvision is far more developed. How could it not be? Snoopy's everywhere. Asian people think he's the peak of American culture, and are they mistaken? I've spotted Snoopy shirts in my travels from NYC streets to London resort sites to DC venues to Los Angeles record stores. There are moments, though, when my ocular super skills reach a "Scoutmaster Paul Lynde" level of creepiness.

Going through my SY clippings this weekend, I came across this, from a Japanese mag, late '90s. Being a bibliophile, I peered at the spines of the many books lining Kim and Thurston's shelves to see what titles I could discern. I spotted Venice West, Kerouac & Friends, What Did I Do?...not a lot clear to even my finely tuned orbs.

But I kept on, and my persistence paid off.

This shot is the best my camera can do at giving you an impression of the long, slim white books that appear first in line on the second shelf. I became convinced that these were part of a set. Not just any set. The Charlie Brown Dictionary set.

I noted that there was: brief writing atop the spine; then much lengthier wording; brief empty space, then more imprints; another set of imprints, with distinct red in the middle; and small print at the very bottom. I searched for my collection of The Charlie Brown Dictionary, and grabbed the "F to H" volume.

Sure enough, damnit! Look at that shot. The spine as I saw in the clipping and have described it here, as well as the color and size, matches perfectly with the books shown on Kim and Thurston's shelves. Result! Beat lit, cult novels, music bios, Peanuts. That shit's a win.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Buttermilk Biscuits Deserve Their Own Facebook Page

Another Peanuts reference on tonight's new Simpsons. The "Gay Lisa" storyline is coming.

I'm in the process of indexing, pricing, and committing to film my entire Snoopy collection. Til then, enjoy this article.

You know why Schulz loved the zamboni? 'Cause it's hilarious to say.

Two years old, but hey...these are some subtle, tasteful renderings.

Good job, Chris Matthews. Kinda makes up for this.

Tell your senile politicians to shut up.

This football gag mention just makes me head spin. Huh?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Who Dies On Their Own Vomit These Days?

It's been news for a bit now, but I only recently came across the story that Kristen Johnson is set to star in a remake of one of the funniest shows ever to glow forth from a square--Absolutely Fabulous.

I remember in the late '90s when Roseanne was spearheading an American AbFab. It had promise, if only because of the name attached (never doubt the woman who takes a show about a middle-class Midwestern family with two obese parents and three wise-ass kids and makes it a smash). That idea, of course, never came to fruition. A fate that, in a world unmarred by injustice, should also visit Fox's latest attempt to break the NBC stranglehold on actually-amusing sitcoms.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Newsweek and Sonic Youth--Totally

So a Newsweek reporter's all like, "Y'all, June 9th is to long to wait for the new record, do like a mix or some ish for the people", and they fucking did!

As I told Patrick online: "i heard la la las and whoa whoas".

Patrick calls the opening guitar part "woobley". He may possibly have meant wobbly, but maybe not.

I also get the pleasant vibe that Corso got a better tribute track than Ginsberg. WIN.

Monday, March 2, 2009

God's Own People

Michael Steele leads them. And he is a goddamn spineless toss of chud.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two days after calling Rush Limbaugh a mere "entertainer" with an "incendiary" talk show, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele apologized and acknowledged the radio commentator as a "national conservative leader."

Backpedal any harder and you'll raise flame and go back in time, Steele. Limbaugh a "leader"? This is why the GOP is floundering, well, one of the many compelling reasons anyway. You had it right the first time, Steele. But good thing he apologized, lest his colleagues no longer think he be da man.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Peanuts Is Timeless, Pt. Lead Abstractor

No shit, kid.

I never hated the Vols like I do the Huskies. Either way, the Lady Terps just snuck into the Top 5, didn't they?

Thurston Moore now has a nice rejoinder when someone rags on his onstage senility.

Why does Obama need his name on his shirt?