Friday, March 29, 2013

She Stays Up Too Late.


Beer's king hell post this morning got me to thinking about Hunter Thompson all over again.

And, because Beer is promising a series of provincial election campaign posts,  I figured he might need a soundtrack.

And that would mean he would need to acquire the rights of at least one tune, if not more, from Rosalie Sorrels.

Because Ms. Sorrels was, according to Thompson and a whole lot of other folks, including one named Utah Phillips, a king-hell songwriter.

And her story is an amazing one.

Born in the depression, in the early '60's she decided to become a folk singer, dragging her five kids with her all over North America for the next decade or so to become all of that and more.

And one of my favourites from Ms. Sorrels is the following in which, according to Beer at least, she sounds a little like my oldest kid...



Changing gears for a moment (but not really)...

We bought a new microscope in the lab a couple of weeks ago.

It's not the fanciest one we've got, but it does something that is important for that new project I told you all about awhile back that got funded recently.

Essentially, the scope will allow us to make long-term time lapse movies on clusters of cells that we suspend in a goopy matrix after we add and/or take away genes that we think will make the cells move.

Because that's what I really do for a living.

Try to figure out the genes, or, more precisely, the molecules coded by those genes, that make cells move.

Then we try to figure out how to make them stop.

Stop moving, I mean.


The microscope sits on a fancy air table that dampens all vibration so that we can keep track of the cells as they move in and out of the clusters over, say, 96 hours or so.

And, as you can imagine, there's a bunch of computer stuff that is used to capture and process all the images (it's got a super fast CCD camera attached to it that allows us to capture the fluorescent signals that we use to optically tag the various and assorted sundry molecules produced by the manipulated genes).

All of which just is a long-winded way of explaining that I needed to get a relatively small and compact little desk/table so that the computer and the peripherals and junk can sit beside the microscope itself.

And so, early this afternoon I headed south over the Knight's St. bridge into that Bermuda triangle that straddles Bridgeport and is home to a Home Depot, a Staples and, yes, the massive IKEA.


This is the part where I have to interject with a short quote from Hunter Thompson's biggest lark of a book (i.e. the one that made him first famous and then, later, a little stupid):

'The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the Six Reich. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos...but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, and all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish Carnival madness is going on up in this space. Right above the gambling tables the Forty Flying Carazito Brothers are doing a high-wire trazeze act, along with four muzzled Wolverines and the Six Nymphet Sisters from San Diego.....

This madness goes on and on, but nobody seems to notice. The gambling action runs twenty-four hours a day on the main floor, and the circus never ends......Stand in front of this fantastic machine, my friend, and for just 99 cents your likeness will appear, two hundred feet tall, on a screen above downtown Las Vegas. Ninety-nine cents more for a voice message......

I could see myself lying in bed at the Mint Hotel, half-asleep and staring idly out the window, when suddenly a vicious nazi drunkard appears two hundred feet tall in the midnight sky, screaming gibberish at the world: "Woodstock Uber Alles!"

Hunter S. Thompson.
Rolling Stone #95, Nov. 1971
Reprinted in: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Warner Books, pp 46-47.

Why the somewhat bizarre Good Friday interjection, you may be asking?

Well, while I would never want to argue to the good Docktor, I feel it is incumbent on me to let you know, after my afternoon sojourn, that it would appear that the Scandinavians who won the war that never was, and may never, ever end.

Because, that Big Blue Box is the gulag where any and all reasonable and rational sentient beings are sent to extinguish the last remnants of the renegade soul that gave rise to people like Sorrels, Phillips and Thompson forever.


Once I got into the bloody Box that Borje and Inge may or may not have built,  it took me almost half-an-hour to get out again.

And, for the record, it took that long despite the fact that I did not slow down for one second to even remotely consider how one actually plunks down ones money to actually buy a hunk of furniture in that damnable torture chamber.


Now, before anybody starts screaming at me....I really do think the world of Thompson and his stuff...Hell, I even think he was the first true blogger...However, I also really and truly do believe that the caricatureization that fame wrought ruined him...
Don't get the header?....Hit that RSorrels tune, above!



Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Ikea. In how many different European countries can we shop in Ikea before we move continents? So far we have France and Italy; The Netherlands is next on the satnav.

Loved the Italian one - duvet cover sets come with 4 pillow cases :D


RossK said...

Dutch Ikea?

Do they move the dykes out further so they can fit the parking lots in?

(and the Netherlands?)


Anonymous said...

I'll let you know about the dykes and Ikea parking lots ;)

As for The Netherlands, new position for Feller for a year. We're moving around mid-June.

I'll be learning Dutch and maybe get a chance to skate on the canals.

Our European Adventure continues.


RossK said...


Have fun.


Hugh said...

I went into Ikea once. I'm still there! Help!

Did you buy the Bjorn table, or the Sven? I'm getting the Benj side tables.

RossK said...


I bought nothing!

Left as fast as possible. Went to the place Dwight Schrute worked after he was fired from paper company...Drove right up to the front door...Got the kid in furniture in the back to match the price on the Bjorn and he stuck it on a hand cart and took it right out the car. Whole thing took less than 5 minutes. Took me longer than that to get up the escalators at Inge Hammerstrom's place.


karen said...

Holy! The first line of that song was just like your daughter's voice on the original that you posted!

(But I like E's original better. Rosalie turns twangier than I like. )

BTW, I listen to E's original quite a bit. Even sing along. Its a good song.

RossK said...

Thanks Karen--

I've been badgering her for more.

But, apparently, there's this thing called 'school' that keeps getting in the way.


RossK said...


Just realized the spelling mistake in my sloppy comment to GAB above.

It really was unintentional.

Sorry about that.


Anonymous said...

If you are referring to a type of embankment both spellings are correct, although, according to Webster, use of the y is mainly British usage.


RossK said...