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Monday, January 31, 2005

What came first, the music or the misery?

I became world-weary at such a young age. Way too early. I didn’t ever want to live life as an adult, i.e. have responsibilities. My freshman year of high school, especially, all I remember doing when I wasn’t at school, was walking around the house in sweatpants, sweatshirt, and slippers, hoping my homework would finish itself, then go back to school and hand itself in. For the first time, really, I felt the weight of having a schedule and tasks to do, and that there was TERRIBLE consequences if I didn’t do it all in an acceptable fashion. Looking back now, I can clearly see that that paradigm is bullsh-t. I envy my friends who cut the crap and got their GEDs.

In relating to people with words during my first few years of high school, I hated, really was uncomfortable with the use of abbreviations or contractions. I’ve never understood that. Words like “can’t” or “Mr.” reminded me of white countertops with coffee grounds, or spilled syrup on them. Using non-abbreviated words like “cannot” and “Mister” was like wiping the counter clean. Using those contracted words made me feel somewhat vulgar or out-of-control or something. I still can’t quite get my head around that.

By my sophomore year (93-94), I had a better sense of myself and was able to take care of myself a little better. That’s when I grew my hair longish, and started dying it strange colors. By my senior year, I had no faith in the adult world and tried to avoid involvement by not even thinking about college. Fairly shortsighted, I guess. Here I am, a 27 year old, barely beginning my junior year at the U.

What really helped me survive the misery of high school, though, was the music. The music that I listened to was really an escape. When I got a new cd or tape, I would put on headphones, light some incense, candles, and Christmas lights in my room, then lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling. Then again, the music might have encouraged/prolonged the misery. My top albums from my high school years:

1. Morrissey – Vauxhall and I
2. Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
3. Pixies – Doolittle/Come On Pilgrim/Bossanova
4. U2 – Achtung Baby
5. The Smiths – Louder than Bombs
6. The House of Love - The House of Love [1990]
7. The Stone Roses – Turns into Stone
8. Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking
9. Nirvana – Nevermind
10. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

Some of these, obviously, are comfort music, whilst others are angry, others are dirges. Maybe I’d listen to Gish to get riled up, and pissed at my family and God and the cruelness of fate, then Morrissey would tell me I’m not alone, then Brian Wilson would tell me that things could get better. (Of course, not in the case of Caroline, No.) Yeah, it’s not really the most enthusiastically upbeat group of songs, but what is?

And, for what it’s worth, the first day of my freshman year, the music I listened to while getting ready for school, was The House of Love “The House of Love”, specifically tracks 1 and 2 – “Hannah” and “Shine On”.

So that’s what’s in ol’ Duder’s head right now. Not too funny, I know. Lo siento. Do I plan to blog more funnier words later in the week? Yes. Does it bother me that I answer my own questions? No. Will I stop doing it now? Yes.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Sunday! Sunday! Someday!

So I'm here at the kitchen table, totally wirelessing my internets, and my wife is over here at the end of the table, trying to outblog me. So anyway, yesterday was perhaps one of the geekiest, aside from going to the midnight opening of "Attack of the Clones", and waiting in line 2 hours to see the 1997 Special Edition re-release of "Star Wars Episode 1: A New Way to Make Money on an Old Idea".

So I'm sure you're all like just pissing yourselves in anticipation waiting to know what it was I did, so let me put it this way: (in a girlish voice) "I've got the rocket launcher! Tee hee hee!" BLAM!!! "Oh crap, some blue bastard just melee'd the shite out of my head!". That's right, Halo 2 online, with the special microphone attaché on my head, so I could be like, "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE!! IF ANYONE EVEN LOOKS AT ME, I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND PULL YOUR SPINAL CORD OUT THROUGH YOUR THROAT!!!" Then, of course, some pre-pubescent boy would be like, "You're just saying that cuz you're gay!", and like "The white button is so you can communicate with just your teammates", and "I need some sniper ammo up here, stat!", and I'd be like, "That's great, kid, thanks for sharing your needs, but have you considered not being such a needy little brat, and acting like a man? Huh? Have you?! YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN!!", in my best Godfather voice.

The other day in my Clase de Español, this chick at my table goes to me, "Are you from Oregon?", and I'm like, "Hell, yeah! Born and raised on G-street Northeast, yo! When I was a kid you'd get bitch-slapped for even implying that I wasn't a native, but lucky for you I've calmed my inner sh-t since then. Why do you ask?" And, get this, she says to me, "You sound like you're from California. I'm from California, and you talk like we talk." So, I go, "Righteous, dude. That's hott!! What a killer thing to say! I 'preciate your sent's, but hey, check it, bra, I totally gotta jet, but I'll catch you on the flipside! I'm Audi 5000!! Ow!!". Then I hopped on my Segway Human Transporter (SHT) and got the hell outta Dodge.

Currently listening to: Failure - Fantastic Planet (album): This is actually a really great post-grunge, pre-emo album that came out in about 1996 and has about 5 REALLY good songs, and about 10 pretty decent songs. It has the loud/soft dynamics, but also some really great songwriting (Stuck on You; The Nurse who loved Me), and some really great drum sounds, like from a recording quality POV. They were from the San Fran Bay area, and the main dude went on to be in a band called "Year of the Rabbit" whom I have only heard 1 song from, but are supposed to be really great.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Billy is A-O-Gay

So when M & I lived in Seattle, and I worked at the coffee shop, there
was one cafe that I subbed at regularly. The thing is, the cafe was
solely staffed by females, save for this one guy who happened to be a
gay man. FYI, he would listen to the techno music station up
there. That's right, a radio station that broadcast TECHNO music 24/7.
**shudder**. Like, for those mornings when a doppio con panna just
isn't quite enough to wake you up, you just turn on the all-techno
station and you need to hear someone saying: "Oh I don't know why
you're not fair / I give you my love but you don't care / So what is right and what is wrong / Gimme a sign /Uh oh oh" etc.
Anyway, one night I was working there, just filling in, the techno
music was playing, and this chick, who was a regular, came in to order
her half-caf skinny ristretto 3-pump half-1% half-soy hazelnut mocha,
or whatever, she looked at the two of us strapping, tall, blondish
dudes behind the counter, and she says "Wow, there's so much
testosterone in the room, it's just way too macho in here for me!"
And me and my co-worker guy were like "Ha! What an ignoramus! She
doesn't know that Billy's gay!" We laughed and laughed, and then Billy
sort of tried to hold my hand, but platonically, I think, so it was
ok.

Another funny thing about Billy is that he would say "Yet" like it was
a normal word to put into random places in a sentence. Like instead of saying, "Did you rinse out that can of rusty nails?", he would say, "That can of rusty nails is going to be rinsed, yet, right?". Or instead of like, "I'm going to watch 'Herbie Goes Bananas' in the future", he'd say "I'm going to watch 'Herbie Goes Bananas' yet."
I don't get that. Billy wasn't from Seattle, or anywhere in the lovely Pacific Northwest, but I don't recall where he's from, yet. Is that a Canadian thing? Is it an east coast thing? Yet?

Oh, and in case you've been living under a giant can of rusty nails, it was really cold back east last weekend.
Q: How cold was it?
A: It was so cold, Jonny Carson died.
**tumbleweeds roll breezily by** **crickets chirp** **someone coughs**
RIP

Currently listening to: the steady hum of a) several computers, and b) those freakin' office lights that always hum, and make people look like zombies. My job is a lame, but easy job, and I do it strictly for the money. I am a white collar whore. I have to go back to my home in Whoreville now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Best class ever!

So yesterday in my Pop Culture "Mentor" class, my "mentor" (who I'm pretty sure is a couple years younger than me) had us do a writing exercise. The exercise was this: write down the 5 worst words you've ever said; then use each of them in a sentence. Here are my sentences:
1. The dirty c--- cheated on her husband.
2. War turns men into mean f-----------.
3. Due to consuming too much Olestra, Bill's a--- leaked a sticky fluid.
4. Jim is a d-----.
5. S--- tastes bad.

The funniest thing of all, was that just that morning over breakfast, I had used all of these examples in a conversation whose topic was "Why my job could be better". Zing!

This afternoon at said job, I spent a deal of time taking a quiz regarding the show "Curb your Enthusiasm". I've seen 3 of the 4 seasons, and happen to own seasons 2 & 3 on dvd. So, with that in mind, I answered 380 multiple choice questions, and got 61% correct. Considering that at probably 25% of the questions were total guesses, I think that's pretty good. And good for my morale. Here is the link, that's not really a click-and-go, but more of a copy-and-paste type link: http://www.hbo.com/larrydavid/games

Currently listening to: The Office (BBC series) in the background, at home. Terrificly funny show. Seriously the best thing since Wonderbread. Iif you have any respect for yourself at all, go watch it now, all 4 discs.

Friday, January 21, 2005

"Who am I?" said I... to me, regarding myself.

According to at least one online personalilty analysis:
You Have A Type A- Personality
A-

You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's hilarious because I think a lot of this is untrue, regardless of the questionable punctuation and the made-up word (encorporating?).

Here's what else I found:
Type 1   
Anti-disestablishmentariansism
||||||||||||
43%

Type 2
Unhelpfulness
||||||||||
40%

Type 3
Total Image Focus
||||||||||||||||
96%

Type 4
Hyperspirituality
lllllllll
24%

Type 5
Detachment
||||||||||||||
55%

Type 6
Jive Turkey
||||||||||||||||
69%

Type 7
Adventurocity
||||||||||||
43%

Type 8
Matressness
llllllllllllllll
60%

Type 9
Calmness
||||||||||||||
54%

Type 10
Mendacity
llllllllllllllllllllllll
89%

Type 11
Tenderness
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
76%

Type 12
Locution
lllllllllllllllllllllllllll
98%

Type 13
DuBois
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
OFF THE CHARTS!

Type 14
Man
llllllllllllllllllll
78%

Type 15
The Trifecta
ll
YOU'VE BEEN SWINDLED.

Check out my score for mendacity! and Dubois! That's so unbelievable! I only wish I could have scored higher in adventurocity and calmness. I'm sure everyone can tell that I'm totally image-focused and there's nothing I luv more than hyperspirituality. As for my score in The Trifecta, well, only I'm to blame for that.
Wow, I kind of rock, huh?
How do you score in these categories? Put it in the "Comments" section below. You don't even have to use your real name, just do it as "anonymous", k?
Go to: http://similarminds.com/advtest.html
Happy Self-Examination, Everyone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Bling and a Benzo!

More live jazz tomorrow night! That's Thursday, January 20th, yo, at Costello's on NE 23rd and Broadway. Afterwords, I'm going to see The French Kicks at the Doug Fir. I've heard that place kicks ass, so I'll go let you know if it actually does, or if it's just "The Hype".
Did I mention I'm taking a Pop Culture class at PSU? Well, I am. It's funny; there's very serious discussions about "the mass" and "what is reality" and "The Matrix" and funniest of all "hip-hop 'culture'"! Can you believe it?
"So class, if I have like, bling and a benzo, what could you infer about my social status? If I had to holla at a ho, but then finds she be hella fugly, I finna bounce, right? True or false? Class, you're at the university now, you're supposed to do the homework! Did anyone even listen to The Doggfather? The Chronic? All right, let's move on to the importance of Pac-Man in Marxist simulations and simulacra."
I have to read like 3 essays on Lara Croft! The Tomb Raider! It's rumoured that Ms. Angelina "the Whore" Jolie is going to come in and give a lecture on how to break up marriages.
That it, I'm finna murk, PEACE.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

3 Things

FACT: The Fiery Furnaces are untalented.
and
OPINION: I dislike them.

FACT: I will never talk about them again on this blog starting... NOW!

After the church in Beaverton gig with J Thom, M and I went to a good 70's prom party last night, featuring much dancing and a good time with friends.

How about this ice storm, eh? Cold as a witches tit, it is. Luckily though, my house, in the 4 hours the heat has been on, has made it from 58 all the way up to 61 degrees. Seriously. It's a draughty old bugger. I'm writing this with a scarf and stocking cap on. And we obviously can't drive anywheres, so we're stuck. I'm going to play Halo 2 now, I guess.

Currently listening to: The Arcade Fire: Wake Up. This is still really good. Check them out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

F the Fiery Furnaces

Normally I would not want to dedicate many words to something that I dislike, so I'll just say this, "Hey Pitchforkmedia.com! The Fiery Furnaces couldn't write a decent song to save their whining, self-indulgent, self-loving, sibling-loving, unmelodic, meandering, 12 minute-song-writing asses. Goddam I hate this band. And I wish they wouldn't put out a 10 song, 40 minute album and call it "ep", like it's not a full album. You're not fooling anyone, bitches! And for that Blueberry Boat album? Did you ever consider writing 12 fully formed, sensical, coherent, tuneful songs? I mean, like, cut-an-pasting together, like, four dozen unfinished ideas and calling it an epic "concept" album, is really just a cop-out, right? You really don't fool me. Putting out one crappy album every 9 months doesn't indicate talent. Too much time on your hands, maybe. Perhaps it demonstrates the dangers of what happens when "professional" recording products are easily available to the home user. And for your lyrics: just because you're reading out of some obscure book, doesn't mean that it's good, or that anyone wants to hear it. And your tunes? Might I make a suggestion? A little thing called "melody". I think you have what I call "melodic tunnel-vision". You can't see beyond the 4 or 5 notes per song that the vocalist can make. Believe me when I say, there's 88 keys on a standard piano! That's 88 different notes that you could incorporate into a song! Think of it!! More than 4? You bet. I'm no mathematician, but I guarantee, that if you look hard, you'll even find a variety of notes to be found on a guitar's neck as well. Blueberry Boat is a bunch of little ditties strung together to make one giant, solipsistic mess of a 78 minute album. Ugh. It's really terrible. Now, I know that some indie rock critics have called this a great album, but 500 years ago, they all would have agreed that the world was flat, too, so that shows what they know.

"So", you're asking, "What's good, then?". I'll tell you. Right now, I'm listening the The Arcade Fire album, "Funeral". It's really, really good. It's received high praise, and I think it's well-deserved. Good, emotional, some chamber strings, and it's made by a husband/wife combo, and some others. Kind of 80's-ish, I suppose, but very original. Check it out wherever you can, yo.

California was very floody, as you can see at any reputable news web-site.

Disneyland was very wet and drippy, but kind of like a magical, rainy ghost-town. IT'S A SMALL WORLD was all decorated-up for Christmas, but it's such a janky ride to begin with, it's like dressing up a dog in a dress with a wig and make-up. Shure, it's pretty, but it's still a stinky dog, who eats his own shite. Pirates, Splash Mtn, Indy Jones, etc. were all very good. No lines for nothing, so that's nice. We got to go to Buca di Beppo with Lonny, Cris, and Kyla, which was totally great. I miss my old chum Lonny. He's going to be a cop pretty soon.

School is fun and funny. Spanish 102, is like, the worst class I've ever taken. How useless is Spanish? If I ever even get a gardener, I'm going to make sure he speaks English. Oh crap, my stereotype detector is going bananas. Gotta go!

Friday, January 07, 2005

What's worse than one new Foo Fighter's album?

Well, what could possibly be worse than a new Foo Fighter's album? 2 new Foo Fighter's albums. Ugh.
According to NME dot com, the album is 2 discs - one rock and one acoustic. That means we'll be hearing more of that terrible, yearning "what I feel is real, I like lemon peel, it's a steal, feelings that I feel, you're my hero, turn it up to zero" type lyricizing on all the pop radio stations. Ugh. Like that acoustic version of whatever that terrible "Never-ever-ending Song" was, a few years back. That song certainly felt like it never ended. That hippy Dave Grohl says, "The acoustic stuff will be the trippiest, most beautiful, sleepy music we've ever made". Oh, that's a relief. I was afraid he was going to say, "The acoustic stuff will be the hackiest, boringest, stupidest, most overrated, overhyped, overplayed, dated grunge music we've ever made". Wake up America! This is 2005! Do we really need music that even Dave Grohl considers sleepy, coming from Dave Grohl? I think not. Could be worse, of course. It could be a double album from Blink 182, or some awful over-hyped LA metal band. Oh, wait, that already happened. Anyone Used their Illusions lately?

Speaking of LA, we're going there this weekend, for my beautiful cousin's wedding. This is my LA cousin, who had her 12th birthday party on the set of "Big Trouble in Little China". So now, she's 18 and getting married to some Cuban dude. Anyway, she was more recently in a movie with a little-known Spanish actor called Antonio Banderas. Ever heard of him? That's right, the sexxy, sexxy Antonio uhBanderas. So she knows him, get over it. How long has she been famous? Too long, baby. Just kidding, about that age and stuff. She's like 29 or something and the guy isn't even Cuban! He's from Chicago, so the joke's on you!

Anyway, we hope to visit Disneyland, if it's not totally flooded, as is predicted. Happy New Year and all that.