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Friday, September 30, 2005

50 free songs

Go to and sign up for a free trial. It's similar to the iTunes music store, but you get 50 free songs, and you can cancel for no fee or anything. The songs are all in MP3 format, 192kbps, which is better than at iTunes. You do have to download this little tiny downloader program, though. They have a pretty good music selection, too. I got albums from The Hold Steady, Calla, and The National, and PJ Harvey, as well as individdle songs from Elliott Smith, Frank Black and Peter Murphy. And if a friend signs up because you told them about, you get 50 more free downloads. After you've signed up and registered, just go to "tell a friend" and start sending them out. Enjoy your free music!

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Thanks to everyone for helping me hit 5,730 visitors. Special thanks to people who found me in the past 4 days by searching for:
"Planet Of The Apes Festival"
"Frida Sorce"
"dylan likeness"
"How to be emo checklist"
"someday- flipside"

and most importantly:

"ass parade ice"

So basically, I'm having an ass parade on ice at the Lloyd Center skating rink this weekend. Also, I'll be making some ass parade margaritas, using ass parade ice cubes. Later, some decorative ass parade ice sculpting; you provide the chain saws. Finally, some ass parade ice cream. What's that? You want some chocolate ass cream? Maybe later.

Why is this called My Space?

Why is it that whenever I log onto my "myspace" account, I feel kind of sad and frustrated? There are several possible answers:
a) it can feel like a popularity contest
b) I've rediscovered some friends from 10+ years ago and see that they (and I) haven't really changed or succeeded like I imagined we would
c) reading about most strangers personal lives isn't nearly as interesting as it ought to be, because most myspace users are so young
d) it can be a reminder of just how illiterate so many people are
e) my dog seems to get better comments than me
f) I think that I know that comments shouldn't matter
g) I don't know proper myspace etiquette
h) who are these people I call "friends"?
i) why have we decided to call each other "friends"?
j) too much pressure to read & respond to bulletins, add crappy bands as my friend, etc.
k) I've realized that I'm not just being cynical, there really are a lot of jerks.

That's about it. Despite all this, I'll continue to visit myspace regularly; exactly why, I don't even know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back to school

Well, here I am again, one year later, scarred but smarter. Another year of school begins at PSU. Sigh. It recently occured to me that I've been going to college since 1996. With a couple short breaks. Most people, after 9 years of higher learning are called "doctors" or "lawyers" or "professors". Not me; I'm called a "junior". That's right. After all the classes I've taken (usually 3 courses per term), since 1996, all my transferable credits add up to about 120, which makes me a junior, or 3rd year, student. Sigh, again.

One nice thing today: the room my film class was supposed to be in had a sign on the door that said: Room changed to CIN 90. I walked all over that campus about 3 times, for a total of probably 2 miles, by the end of the day. After 15 minutes of wandering the campus, I realized, there is no CIN 90. Then I overheard somebody talking about the 5th Ave Cinema, which they use for some classes, so I went there, and all was made clear. There is a CIN 90, just no CIN building, which couldn't be more confusing for people like me who have only been going there for a year. It's like those exclusive clubs that if you don't know how to find them, they don't want you as a member.

This year should be fun though, because I'm done with all my prerequisites, electives and otherwise unneccessary classes (2 years of Spanish? Gimme a break!), so pretty much every class from here on out is directly related to my major, Graphic Design. So, except for my film classes and my senior "capstone", it's all art, all the time. Hurray! Now I just need to hurry up and master Photoshop and Illustrator, and I'll be on the fast-track to freedom. Rather, I'll be on the high road to high grades. That is to say, I'll be unimpeded by unintelligence. To put it otherwise, I'll be laughing my way to the bank! Yes!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Milk & cookies & vitamins

Me & my coworker (who goes by the nom de internet Sumo Haiku) were eating cookies at work today.

SH: Dude, I need some milk. Cookies without milk is weird.
Me: I don't drink milk. It's gross. Not even soy milk.
SH: What? How do you get Vitamin D?
Me: Get what?
SH: Vitamin D, it's the main vitamin in milk.
Me: Jake, there is no "Vitamin D".
SH: Whatever dude. When you die, I'm gonna be like, "Vitamin D".
Me: Whatever. When I die, I'm gonna be like, "Vitamin C-you later".


I totally crack myself up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Arcade Fire - review

Did you see The Arcade Fire at the Crystal Ballroom last night? Holy crap! It was the best show I've ever seen in my life. We bought tickets months ago, but got their early and stood in line, so that we could get a place right up by the stage. The sound in that room is terrible, unless you're within 15 feet of the stage.

8, 9 and then 10 people on stage, all playing their hearts out. It was absolutely brilliant. Winn Butler jumped out into the crowd a few times and cut up his hand, he held it up and it was all bloody, so he asked the mulletted guitarist from Wolf Parade to play guitar on the next song, Wake Up.

He also told a little story about how David Bowie "is still insane enough to like us, so he asked us to play with him for a recent TV benefit concert, but we got cut so that Rob Thomas could play." People started booing at that.

"What?" he said, "Rob Thomas is a gifted songwriter. (pause) Just kidding. No, I was glad to be there, because I saw a duet between Billy Idol and Lisa Marie Presley that I'll take to the grave, because I heard their singing before it was auto-tuned!" The crowd laughed. Then the band broke into "5 years", the lead-off track from "Ziggy Stardust".

At the end of the night, the band walked through the crowd, still playing, and went out onto Burnside and played in the middle of the street, surrounded by hundreds of fans. It was probably the closest I'll get to a rock & roll riot, and for that I'm grateful.

They played (mostly in this order):
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
Une Annee Sans Lumiere
Headlights Look Like Diamonds
Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
Crown Of Love
Brazil (cover)
Five Years (Bowie cover)
No Cars Go
Rebellion (Lies)
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Wake Up
The Backseat

The first opener, Bell Orchestre was a good, 5 piece instrumental orch-pop band, consisting of 3 members of Arcade Fire (on violin, upright bass, and french horn), plus a trumpet/melodica/percussion player and adrummer. The drummer was very young-looking, but was a really good player, very precise and well-thought-out parts. The dude from Arcade Fired who looks kind of like Woody Allen or Buddy Holly was playing upright bass, and sometimes would just
pound on it, like a drum.

The second opener was Wolf Parade, or as I like to call them "Ass Parade". They were absolutely terrible and un-listenable, except for the very last song, when they finally discovered what I like to call "melody & harmonic structure". Jonny and I exchanged text messages that went like this:
Me: This sucks
Him: You don't like Seinfeld's band (a reference to the bass player's resemblance to Jerry Seinfeld)
Me: They sucked ass
Him: Yep
Me (after spotting a mutual friend): Brents over here by the gtrs
Him: They need a Ridlin

I had to have a few drinks to get through their set.

All in all, a good night.
update: Beth Bagel had a similar experience at the show.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Starbucks - Crap-ass Central or Oh, Libby, you broke my heart

Dear Libby at Starbucks,

When I came into your cafe, you greeted me like we were old friends. I played along and asked how you were. I was feeling good. I even paid for my americano in cash, so that I could give you the change, Libby. I noticed the manager was being harassed by a scary woman trying to return an espresso machine. I watched you prepare the espresso for the drink and so I perused the cd selections while waiting for the drink to finish. After I had memorized the entire tracklistings of both the new Rolling Stones cd and the Jagged Little Pill acoustic album, I realized that you had forgotten about me & my drink. I went and stood at the little pick up counter and made eye contact with you a time or two, while you cleaned out the scone tray and check on paper towel supplies.

Finally, after 2 other customers came in and ordered, you gave me a puzzled look of recognition, like a ghost from the distant past fluttered by. Libby, you saw the 6 minute old espresso shots on the machine and proceeded to add hot water then hand me the cup of old, stagnant, bad espresso. You asked me if I wanted room for cream. "No," I said, "but that shot is very old. Would you mind pulling a new one?" Without saying a word, you turned around and made me a fresh americano. Aren't you normally supposed to apologize for making me wait for so long, and offer me a free drink coupon, Libby? Aren't you?

The point, Libby, is that I'm not an idiot. I've worked at cafes before. I know that Starbucks has (or used to have) a policy of dumping an espresso shot that doesn't get used within a minute (or was it 30 seconds?). Libby, you could have made at least a dozen shots of espresso and dumped them all out because they were bad in the time it took you to make me that old-as-hell americano. In the city of Portland, there are a plethora of coffee shops, and a lot of people here know what a good cup of coffee should taste like. Treating the customer like an ignoramus doesn't behoove you, Libby. If anything, giving me that crap-ass drink just reveals that you care even less about coffee than you do about your customer. For shame! For shame!

I won't ever come back to your cafe on Barbur & Capitol Hwy.

Should I feel bad?

Am I the only Netflix subscriber who sent myself an invitation for a free month of Netflix dvds, then created a new email address, then used a different name and different credit card number to sign up for a free month of 3 dvds at a time as "Jon" in addition to my regular 4 dvds at a time? Am I? Who's going to turn down a free month of dvds? Who? Of course I'll cancel when the free month is up, but I think there's no reason not to sign up again with Mo's name, then my brother, then my dog Lola, then my dog Yoshi, then your momma, then who knows? Why, there's virtually no end in sight, as long as I've got a handful of credit card numbers to choose from, right?

Although, who really has time to watch 7 dvds at a time, right? Me. I do. Until next week, when school starts, time is on my side.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Naked honesty

So Marisa was out of town this weekend, gallivanting around Seattle. At first I was like, great, I can eat whatever I want and watch all 6 Netflix dvds. Which is exactly what I did, but then I discovered that 2 days of doing (almost) nothing but watching dvds, eating frozen burritos for breakfast, drinking root beer with Ouzo, and eating ice cream isn’t quite as satisfying as you might think. Here’s how the weekend went: after watching dvds all day, I was driving out to play at a church on Saturday night, and I was listening to the song “Wake Up” from the Arcade Fire, and I was singing along, and all of the sudden I couldn’t sing along anymore because I was crying, pretty much out of nowhere, the words just resonated with me like never before. I played at the church and then went out to eat with the bandmates and it was good. On Sunday morning, cruel things people said about me in the past came back and got stuck in my head; I started having doubts about anyone’s genuine interest in me, my band, or anything important in life; I started questioning my own talent/determination as a musician, I started questioning my choice of majors at school. To top it off, my cell phone crapped out so I couldn’t call my wife. So I tried to draw a comic to cheer myself up, but it was so horribly depressingly true (or false, it’s hard to tell when you’re depressed) that I could barely even look at it when I was done. My life right then seemed absolutely pointless and unneccessary and I couldn't do anything about it.

Then last night, Mo came back and I spent some time with her and with our friends and things seemed better. So here I am at work and I think I’m back to normal. Thank God Marisa is back; I love you babe.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Who's worse looking?

Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim

Or Anne Rice?

And 2 hard boiled eggs. Honk! Make that 3 hard boiled eggs.

So, I just back from a certain unnamed incompetent fast food burger place. I went with my co-worker, the Sumo Haiku Warrior. Here’s an exact transcript of what happened:

Me: Yeah, I’d like 2 cheeseburgers, a regular fry an-
Voice: Oh, hold on. If I make that a combo basket, you can save a little money.
Me: Ok, thanks. (long pause) (to the Sumo Haiku Warrior) Hey dude, do you know what you want?
SHW: No. (long pause). What’s on a Classic Burger? How is it different from a regular burger?
Me: I dunno. Do you want me to ask?
SHW: (long pause) No. (long pause)
Voice: Ok, so I’ve got a cheeseburger combo basket and what do want to drink?
Me: I want a regular Vanilla shake.
Voice: Ok, so I’ve got a cheeseburger combo basket and a vanilla shake. Will that be all?
Me: No. I also want (to the SHW) what do you want?
SHW: A large fry.
Me: A large fry.
Voice: A large fry? Ok. Hold on. I’m gonna make that a combo basket with that one cheeseburger.
Me: Ok, great. (extremely long pause)
Voice: Ok, so another cheeseburger combo basket. Anything else?
SHW: A classic burger.
Me: A classic burger.
Voice: A classic burger. Anything else?
SHW: And a vanilla shake.
Me: And a vanilla shake.
Voice: And a vanilla shake. Anything else?
Me: (to SHW) Anything else?
SHW: No.
Me. No.
Voice: Ok, so we’ve got 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, and 2 vanilla shakes and a classic burger. Anything else?
Me: No.
Voice: Ok, that’s $13.78 at the first window.
(we pull forward)
SHW: Goddammit! We should’ve just gone to Taco Bell! $14 for hamburgers? That’s crazy!
Me: Yeah, what the eff dude?
Guy at first window: Ok, so we’ve got 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, 2 vanilla shakes, a classic burger and a large chocolate shake.
Me: What? No. Both shakes should be vanilla.
Guy at first window: Yeah, 2 vanilla shakes and 1 large chocolate shake.
Me: No, there’s no chocolate shake.
Guy at first window: What? Ok, hold on. Do you still want 2 vanilla shakes?
Me: Yeah.
Guy at first window: Ok, just a minute. (walks away for at least 50 seconds).
Guy at first window: Ok so 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, and 2 vanilla shakes.
Me: And a classic burger.
Guy at first window: Oh, you still want that?
Me: Yeah, just no chocolate shake.
Guy at first window: No chocolate shake and add a classic burger. Ok hold on. (walks away for another 50 seconds).
Guy at first window: Ok, so its 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, 2 vanilla shakes, and a classic burger?
Me: Yeah.
Guy at first window: Ok, then it’s $10.26.
(we exchange money and I pull forward)
First lady at second window: Ya’ll want a holder for all yer shakes?
Second lady at second window: No, they only get 2 shakes. They didn’t order a chocolate one.
First lady at second window: Really?
Me: Yeah, just 2 vanilla shakes.
First lady at second window: No chocolate shake?
Me: Right.
First lady at second window: Ok, so I’ve got 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, 2 vanilla shakes, and a classic burger?
Me: Right.
First lady at second window: So do you want a holder for your 2 shakes?
Me: Sure.
(they hand us our crap and we drive away)

To sum up, never in my life have I had more difficulty making a simple order and then confirming it a dozen times. So I'm going back tomorrow, definitely.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

First day of school

I had a dream last night that it was the first day of fall classes at PSU and I rode my bike there and there was nowhere to put it and I didn't know what any of my classes were, nor where and when they met. And I was naked and couldn't remember any of my lines. Ok, that last part I made up, but seriously, I've been rather concerned about my transportation to school this fall. It's about 6.5 miles and mostly downhill from my house. Parking every day (4 days a week) would cost about $240. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Friday, September 09, 2005