Twitter Updates

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Almost Christmas



Well folks, it's almost time. Christmas in 5 days. New baby could arrive as soon as 5 weeks from now. It's all just flying by. I started tracking drums for the next Boy album last Sunday. Jonny's spending a good long time with mic positions and types, to get them to sound as kick ass on the recording as they do in person, to the human ear. It's good clean fun. We've tracked (I think) 6 songs worth of drum parts thus far. About halfway done with my work on the album. Although we are going to do some location recording at a local church, hopefully. (Jon Junior - you can expect a call or email from me, again, re: that). Things are pretty good in general, although I'm not working nearly enough; working on changing that situation though.

A final shout out to my sister in law who gave me Kahlua and Half&Half for ye old 29th birthday, and to Lavalier & Bonika who sold Mo and I their fridge over a year ago, and to my dear departed Aunt Clara, from whom I inherited multiple bottles of vodka. Through the combination of these things, I've nearly completed my total tranformation into The Dude, since I've taken up drinking a White Russian nearly every night. It's a wonderful life. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Birthday Post


So, it's official: I am now 29 years old. And my son, first name Simon, middle name Oliver(?) is about 6 months old, in the womb. Is it weird that I'm way more excited about his age than my own?

I spent the last 1.5 days in Seattle with Mo, staying at the Sheraton in downtown. It's a hotel that's definitely out of my league. I'm totally uncomfortable with valets and tipping and bellhops and all that stuff. Give me a Super 8, a Motel 6, a Unicorn Inn (oh, wait, don't give me that).

Anyway, I don't see the logic of slyly giving a guy several dollars for simply driving my car (technically, my parents' borrowed Element) 100 feet. Or giving several dollars for retrieving my 2 small bags from a large walk-in closet, when I could have easily done these things myself. Whatever. I have been told by people more cultured than I that a tip was in order for these things, so tip I did.

I spent most of the day in Seattle in a couple different cafes, lunch with Mo, and a few hours spent in the theater watching Blood Diamond.

The drive home from 8-11pm was probably the most terrifying three hours of my life, due to the torrential downpour which was in full effect for the entire drive home. My grip on the steering wheel was tight; you could have stuck some coal in there & gotten a blood diamond of your own, I swear. Every moment of hydroplaning was like shaking hands with Death himself, but every time, he released us from his grip. It was really, truly adrenaline city for most of the drive. I just had to make a quick Kahlua & Creme when I got home, with crushed ice courtesy of my newly functional (I fixed it myself!) ice maker/water dispenser in my fridge.

And finally, here is my article detailing my ten favorite albums of 2006.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Words to live by


Since I've spent the better part of the past 6 days in a room, at a desk, trying to write intelligently about things that I probably have no business writing about (Dog Day Afternoon, Bottle Rocket, truth vs. fiction, reality vs. imagination, etc.) I've been doing a lot of thinking about the way life is. I know that's about as broad a statement as could ever possibly be made, but tough; this is my blog. I'll blog as vague as I want. So, in an effort to maintain my status as a government-funded "edutainment" blog, I'll now impart some of the pearls of wisdom I've stumbled upon or perhaps invented in the past week:

- It's old idea, but true: Shopping has replaced Christ as the new meaning of Christmas. Think about it; people line up for hours outside of Walmart, not for a religious ritual, but to find bargains.

- Mid-80's Bob Dylan isn't very timeless. Empire Burlesque makes this point emphatically.

- Never look a gift horse in the mouth, but always, always look under the hood of a gift car. And then have it thoroughly inspected by a trusted mechanic. Not just the water pump, which might need to be replaced; look at the whole shebang. Otherwise you might find yourself in the middle of rush hour traffic, in the fast lane, and your musty-smelling MPV just craps out, and nothing works, not even the hazard lights. Trust me on this one, folks.

- No matter how many times I confirm something with a person, a third party is able to confuse things, and negate our past positive communications, rendering them null and void.

- I believe a certain class I'm taking is a huge waste of time, and apparently the tone of my essays has reflected this belief. The prof commented on the "arch condescension" of my weekly essays. Ha. What a fool, a buffoon, a simpleton! I could outsmarten him any day of the week. But seriously I had to look up "arch" and "condescension" just to figure out what exactly he was saying.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Another Silly iPod Game


This is my first post in the month of November, and it gives me a chance to show off (or cringe at) my ipod's songs. Thanks to Lindsey Woo Hoo for the game idea on myspace.
Here's the game: Soundtrack To My Life


IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE? So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
etc.

Opening Credits:
Meet me in the morning - Bob Dylan

Waking Up:
I live for you - George Harrison

First Day At School:
Sometimes Always - The Jesus & Mary Chain

Falling In Love:
My Funny Valentine - Frank Sinatra

Breaking Up:
Yahweh - U2

Prom:
Leave Her Johnny - Lou Reed

Life's OK:
No Name #6 - Elliott Smith

Mental Breakdown:
The Book! - Danny Elfman

Driving:
Love Knows (No Borders) - Howie Gelb

Flashback:
Wire (NME Dub) - U2

Getting Back Together:
Sprung Monkey - Stanton Moore

Birth of Child:
I'll never be anybody's hero now - Morrissey

Wedding song:
Tower of Song - Martha Wainwright

Final Battle:
Midas Gutz - Subtle

Death Scene:
In Ohio - Joseph Arthur

Funeral:
Pagan Poetry (live) - Bjork

End Credits:
Black Moon - Deftones

So that's it, game over man, game over!
In related news, I'm doing a top 10 albums of 06 list for the paper, which should come out the week after next, I think. There are some choices that even surprised me, but when I'm really honest with myself, they deserve to be on there. Ys, they do. And ys, that's a clue to one of my top 10. Happy sleuthing!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Artist vs. The Art


Ok, internets, I've got just two things to discuss with ye.

First, please rate the [former band name}] video a "10" at this contest on Paste magazine's website. And yes, that's a still of yours truly from the video.
Watch it, then rate it here.

Second, and more disturbing: There is a disturbing story on cnn.com today which tells of the Republican senator in Virginia, George Allen, who is attempting to besmirch the reputation of his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb. His accusation? Not any crime, not sexual misconduct, not funny money business. No, none of these things. George Allen is calling into question the moral content of several novels that Jim Webb wrote. Jim Webb is accused of "demeaning women" and "dehumanizing women, men and even children". What the kind of world is this? If we are to judge people in real life based on the world they portray in their art, then all hope for artistic integrity is lost.

Certain people I know have said they can't watch Woody Allen movies because of his questionable relationship with Soon Yi. This argument makes no sense to me, because he made a lot of brilliant movies; his personal life doesn't interfere with that whatsoever. Does a person need to read a biography of Michelangelo before they can decide that the statue of David is brilliant? Do I enjoy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" any less since learning that Matthew Broderick is guilty of manslaughter?

There's a distinction we have to make between an artist and their art. There's an entire field of study devoted to the interpreting works of literature, and I can only assume that George Allen is unaware of literary theory. The meaning that he extracts from Jim Webb's writings isn't necessarily the meaning that you or I or anyone else would extract from it. This points to the sad state of politics and profound, arrogant ignorance when it comes to thinking about works of art.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's been a while

Ok, so, holy crap it's been a very long time since my last post up in here.
Here's what's been going on:
a) Enduring one of the most labor intensive terms of school ever. Seriously. So much reading & writing. It's a tad overwhelming. And that's not even counting the reading that I'm forgetting to do. And writing. I was made aware of 2 short stories that I was supposed to have read, plus 1 that I was supposed to have written, both by today. I had no idea.
b) Waiting with great anticipation for tommorrow, when M and I find out the sex of our little baby Ringo, as we've been calling the fetus in her ever-expanding belly. 2 things: 1 - the baby likes rock music, and 2 - the baby likes yoga. Or rather, the baby likes it when her host does yoga.
c) I've been writing for the school newspaper, The PSU Vanguard. Yes, believe it or not, I finally convinced people to pay me for my ramblings. Thus far, I have written only about local music, which gives me a chance to find & help promote deserving bands. This also involves going to see more shows. Also, I'm doing cd reviews.
d) Gearing up for recording the next album. J, B, and I are all excited about the new material and look forward to rocking your asses soon with it.
e) Getting mentally & physically prepared for being a father and having a baby in the house. This includes considering any potential threat our dogs pose, fixing up the backyard to make it baby safe, kicking out some-to-all of our roommates, and seriously considering what to do for $$ after I graduate next spring.
f) Getting ready for my sister-in-law's wedding this Saturday. This is more of M's job, but we both have roles in the day's proceedings, so it's one more thing on the list.
g) Looking forward to a big family dinner tomorrow night for my grandpa's 90th birthday. My rock star uncle is flying up from Hollywood to attend. And my brother is even bringing his newish girlfriend. I can't believe I actually just wrote that sentence. Jame-O! With a girlfriend?! Whaaaa???
h) Ignoring my blog. Sorry, internet. Ever thus to time-wasters.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The true meaning of Christmas

A true, unedited conversation between a friend of mine (F) and myself, regarding his thoroughly biased, uninformed view of the people at my church, Robert DeNiro, and the true meaning of Christmas:

me: your ideas of my church change on a weekly basis. one week we're drunken pot smokers, the next we're the Bush administration. which is it?
F:: A little from column A, a little from column B. This week you're gay-hating flag-burners.
me: ha. hilarious.
F:: Funny because it's true.
me: but of course.
F:: Mostly I see you as a cross (ha!) between Ned Flanders and Stryper. You guys are also like Robert DeNiro's hip priest from that movie … uh … what's it called? With Brad Pitt and Jason Patric?
me: wtf? i have no idea.
F:: Well just imagine a hip priest played by Bobby DeNiro.
me: Robert deNiro has a priest for his hip?
F:: That's what you guys are like.
me: and my entire church is like said priest?
F:: Yeah. He smokes, he cusses, etc. But he's a priest!
me: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000134/
which one is it?
F:: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117665/
me: Frankenstein?
Bastard!
i have only the faintest memory of that movie
F:: Yah. DeNiro plays a hip priest.
me: hmm. cool.
yes, my church is a lot like DeNiro, but more of a Jake La Motta/Vito Corleone/Rupert Pupkin.
F:: I also imagine Juliette Binoche in Chocolat. Alfred Molina may be the priest, but Juliette Binoche knows the true meaning of Christmas.
me: yeah, hot sex with Johnny Depp is the true meaning of Xmas.
F:: Well it is in France.
me: i'm totally gonna blog that.
F:: ha
me: i won't use your name tho.
F:: right
me: it'd probably burn up the moment i typed it in the same sentence as "church".
F:: hahahaha
-------------
And scene.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

One day I was full of life but now my branches suffer

So, on the drive to work this morning, I was listening to a mix cd that I put together for my wife's work party this weekend. And I was enjoying the songs, all of them mellow, when on comes "A Day in the Life of a Tree" by The Beach Boys. For those of you unfamiliar with this song, it's from the mostly brilliant 1971 Beach Boys album "Surf's Up".. For some reason (a.k.a. my impending fatherhood making me face my own mortality & aging), this song made me cry for its entire duration. On the surface, the song can be read as an "save the trees" anti-pollution song, but it's really an analogy for becoming old, useless, and dying a slow death. It's really moving stuff & as allmusic says, "the somber tones of a pipe organ build atmosphere."
Here is an mp3 of Matthew Sweet's cover of it. His version isn't quite as powerful as the original, but you get the idea.

"A Day in the Life of a Tree"
by Jack Rieley & Brian Wilson


Feel the wind burn through my skin
The pain, the air is killing me
For years my limbs stretched to the sky
A nest for birds to sit and sing

But now my branches suffer
And my leaves don't bear the glow
They did so long ago

One day I was full of life
My sap was rich and I was strong
From seed to tree I grew so tall
Through wind and rain I could not fall

But now my branches suffer
and my leaves don't offer
Poetry to men of song

Trees like me weren't meant to live
If all this world can give
Pollution and slow death

Oh Lord I lay me down
No life's left to be found
There's nothing left for me

Trees like me weren't meant to live
If all this earth can give
Is pollution

Trees like me weren't meant to live
(Oh Lord I lay me down)
If all this earth can give
(My branches to the ground)
Is pollution and slow death
(There's nothing left for me)

Oh Lord I lay me down
My branches to the ground
There's nothing left for me

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

One plus one = one?


So here's the big announcement: Mrs. Sloop is totally preggos. That's right. In a time of less than or equal to 6 months, a little Sloop Junior is going to pop from her belly, Aliens style. Seriously; the day after I found out she was "in the family way", I went and bought the special edition of Aliens, just so I could know what to expect. Apparently, babies are gross little creatures that, seconds after being born, try to kill everyone around. And frankly, with this in mind, it's amazing that so many people have kids at all. So now there's all sorts of stuff to consider. I mean, having a baby is a major life change. For example, did you know there's a store called "Babies R Us"? I mean, who knew? I sure didn't.

So that's it. I may have some more thoughts or observations about this in the next 6 months. Maybe.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Awright, awright awright. 'Ere's da fing


There are some really, really, really, quite blog-worthy things afoot at la casa de Sloop but I'm not super "at liberty" to talk about them in such a public forum. That is to say, maybe I am at liberty, and I'm just feeling secretive. Anyway, after the figurative smoke clears, I'll have about a billion tons of blog fodder, but just not quite yet.

In other news, my little brother just turned 31. He's actually two and a half years older than me, but since I was about 13 or 14 I started to outgrow him. So he's my older brother, but my little brother. Seriously. I could drive him straight into the ground like a hammer drives a nail, if I just walloped his head with my fist. Me strong.

For my brother's birthday, I wrote and recorded an epic metal song that was about some vikings and dragons and some lusty elf-maidens who needed rescuing. It was very emotional, but also functioned as a metaphor for the full arc of our brotherly relationship from childhood until now. Especially that part in the song where the lyrics are like:
"And ye smote yon evil-doers with the hammer of...(guitars: DUN DUN NU DUN NU NU DUN) with the hammer of... (DUN DUN NU DUN NU NU DUN) with the hammer of JUUUUUUUUUUSTIIIIIIIIICE-AH!!!!!"

And when I played this song for J-Man, I'm pretty sure he got a tear in his eye, but it could be that the tear was from me landing on his foot, following my guitar weilding aerial acrobatics. In any case, it rocked thoroughly and re-established the fact that no-one, Visigoth or no, shall commit injustice against the Swenson brothers. NO ONE.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Devil's Day! One month later


So today is 7/6/06, one month after the day when Satan was rumoured to return to earth. I heard a psychic on the radio who was sure that Satan would come to earth in a flying saucer, and he would be a snake wearing a white 3 piece suit. And, in retrospect, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what happened, right?

The band's tour is over and life is sort of returning to normal. The Sopranos second season provided much distraction on the 15 hour drive from Des Moines to SLC. The night we got back, I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up, I couldn't remember where I was: either Delaware or Nebraska. Obviously I was wrong, because I was in beautiful Kent, Ohio, home of mediocre burritos and the worst bathroom I've ever smelled in my life. No wait that's not true either; I was in my own living room, after 18 nights of sleeping a different city every night.

My dogs were funny when I returned - Yoshi was over the top with enthusiasm and wouldn't stop licking my arms; Lola pretended to ignore me for about an hour or two while she chewed on a bone, then she wouldn't leave me alone. For the next day or so, he would bark with jealousy whenever I would scratch Yoshi too much, or hug Marisa too much. It was really hilarious.

Portland treated me well, as usual. Superman greeted me with open arms at the multiplex and his brooding good looks and good nature won me over. I like that guy.

That's it for now.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

tour update

It's Saturday, June 24th and I'm writing from an apartment in Brooklyn. We played a show in the lower east side of Manhattan last night, at a club called Sin-e. We played with a cool band called Boy/Girl and a couple metal bands from Jersey and the final band I didn't hear a note of so I can't tell you what they were like. The night before, we played in Chestertown, Maryland, which is a college town currently on summer break. We slept in an old rustic farmhouse owned by a chap named Ben, in the middle of nowhere on the Chester River. Gotta go sightseeing. More later.

tour update

It's Saturday, June 24th and I'm writing from an apartment in Brooklyn. We played a show in the lower east side of Manhattan last night, at a club called Sin-e. We played with a cool band called Boy/Girl and a couple metal bands from Jersey and the final band I didn't hear a note of so I can't tell you what they were like. The night before, we played in Chestertown, Maryland, which is a college town currently on summer break. We slept in an old rustic farmhouse owned by a chap named Ben, in the middle of nowhere on the Chester River. Gotta go sightseeing. More later.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Blogging the tour


It's 7:11 here in St. Paul, Minnesota. Minneapolis is just across the river which divides the twin cities. The river in the middle of the city is the Mississippi. Prince is the chief export of Minneapolis, Husker Du and Sugar are a distant 2nd and third. Everything is going well, and we play at a club called Big V's tonight. I'm at a Days Inn just down the road from the aforementioned establishment. Bozeman and Billings were fun towns, but it's also kind of nice to be in a city as big as the one that I'm from. So far, interpersonal relationships are good; sarcasm is flowing as freely as the bottles of Costco water. Ben & I watched "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" in the van, and when it's been my turn to drive, Jonny & Ben played a lot of Halo 2 and Tony Hawk Pro Skater. We woke up at 4:30am and drove all day, crossed into Central Time and arrived here in St. Paul. Total miles driven today: 848. We've got about an hour and a half to rest and eat and blog before going to the venue. TTYL.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Baby step across the U.S.


This may be my last blog for a short while as I'm leaving town on Friday, for almost 3 weeks. And where I'm going, I'm not sure if they have internet. It's a land called "Imagination" and I'm pretty sure Willy Wonka sings about it. No wait, it's not. It's called "America" and Simon & Garfunkel sing about it.

My band is going on tour; we're going to drive across the country and stop at every bar on the way, and see if they'll let us play there. Actually, Jonny has spent a splendid amount of time over the past few months planning all the tour dates.

I'm looking forward to going; I haven't been out of the west coast since I was 5. I don't know what I'm most looking forward to; it's all so appealling. Historic cities, a road trip with friends, time off work, rocking and rolling every night - all this should be good. I've got a "to do" list like a mile long, that I have to get to before Friday morning at 6:45, but I'm stuck here at work for 80 more minutes.

I hope to blog from the road, so if I do, then you'll get exclusive updates right here! Or maybe on the bands .com site, or maybe the bands blogger page. Or maybe on myspace, but probably not on myspace.

I had a dream that I was water-skiing with my band and the boat did a sharp turn and I flew forward and cracked my skull against the boat and down down down I sank like a sack of bricks and kept gasping for air but kept getting water in the ol' lungs and then I was dead so I woke up, and was all "Hey, jeez, this whole rock band tour thing isn't at all what I expected". True story. The lesson, I suppose, is that I hope I don't drown on tour. Any Freudians in the house who want to analyze my dream?

Friday, June 02, 2006

I like a million things. I like sitting here with you. No kidding, Phoeb. I like just sitting here with you.


Salinger fans, take note. A whole buncha stories, including some starring good ol' Holden, that were never published in books, can be found here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

This is the business we chose.




my office smells like pee, again
as usual
and cigarettes

Also, on Monday night, it was hot and sticky and I couldn't sleep but when I did, I dreamt of Beethoven working on Pet Sounds with Brian Wilson, and editing the reels of tape down to the classic sound that we're all now so familiar with. It was great and I was able to listen to the album in my sleep, as it's ingrained in my subconscious. So when I was online on Tuesday, you'll never guess what I read on a music site that I visited. So I'll tell you: "40 years ago today, The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds". Isn't that incredible? Did I already know that, in the depths of my mind, or what? It's a great album and if you haven't heard it, you are missing out on one of the best things since the invention of sound.

If you have heard it and don't love it, then all I can say is, "Now you listen to me, you smooth talking son-of-a-bitch. Let me lay it on the line for you and your boss, whoever he is. What do you think is going on here? You think you can come to my hotel and take over? Sonofabitch! Do you know who I am? What's the matter with you? Is this how you turned out? Hah? What do you think this is the Army, where you shoot 'em a mile away? I don't apologize - to take care of my family, and I refused to be a fool. I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart! There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."

Friday, May 12, 2006

If you have any love in your heart for Portland music...


There's an annual music festival here in Portland, called PDX Pop Now! Festival, to be held this year July 28-30 at The Loveland. The bands who play are voted upon by the little people, like you and me. There's also a compilation cd that goes along with the festival, and the cd and fest have gotten respect from Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes, and other respected press types. So, please, vote now for your favorite Portland artists, whom you want to play at the PDX Pop Now festival, including but not limited to [former band name] here: click me.

You can vote for as many different bands as you want, as long as they're from Portland, or the nearby hamlets. Spread the word.

Monday, May 08, 2006

10 Random Songs


For lack of time & effort needed to make a real blog post, here are the first 10 songs that showed up in a shuffle:
1. "Seven" by James, from "Seven". Ok, good, not embarrassing, just kind of an oldie.
2. "Car Radio" by Spoon, from "A Series of Sneaks". Nice! I like it. 5 stars. Did you this guy lives in Portland now? I saw him at a bar. This is going well.
3. "Mute Witness" by Morrissey from "Kill Uncle". Oh crap. The worst song from the worst album. Next!
4. Ok, there's no way that I'm the only guy in a band that wants to hear what he sounds like live, am I? These live recordings that we sometimes get, I usually just listen through once to make sure it sounds alright.
5. "It's in our hands (live)" by Bjork from "Vespertine Live" Back on track with Bjork. You know, I got several live albums from her on emusic.com, and after listening to it, I really prefer the studio recordings. She's great, either way.
6. "Better than Most" by AC Newman from "The Slow Wonder" I don't even know what to say about this; I haven't listened to it much. He's good, but I prefer him with The New Pornographers.
7. "Suite Bergamasque I Prelude" by Claude Debussy from "Claude Debussy". Debussy is great and puts me in a great, peaceful, reflective mood. I used to listen to this cd a lot in high school, while doing homework.
8. "Skit #1" by Kanye West from "Late Registration". I don't think I've listened to this track all the way through, ever. And I won't start today.
9. "Drug Ballad" by Eminem from "The Marshall Mathers LP". Holy crap, how did this get on my ipod? I think this was on a mix for a party once. ...Eh with a capital "..."
10. "How Great is our God" by Chris Tomlin from "Arriving" Ah, christian rock. I don't really listen to much of this genre. I learned this to play with my longtime friend Jeremy Thom. If you are a theist, then you'd agree that God is great, yes? I mean if He's got the whole world in his hands, then he must be pretty big. And have gigantic fingernails. And have hangnails the size of Rhode Island.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Numberless are the world's wonders


There's a play called "Oedipus at Colonus" which was written by Sophocles; the play describes the end of Oedipus' tragic life. In 1985, it was put into a modern setting and accompanied by (mostly) gospel music, and went by the name "The Gospel at Colonus". I had to watch a video of it, starring Morgan Freeman, last term at school. It was fine, but there was one particular song which I found quite moving, so much so that I started writing down the lyrics as the video played. I tracked down that song last night and downloaded it. The sound you hear is just keyboard and 3 or 4 human voices, and the lyrics speak to the seemingly unstoppable greatness of mankind, but the one thing man can't tame is death. It seems that the lyrics to the song are taken from "Antigone", Sophocles' play which followed "Oedipus at Colonus". Check it out:

Numberless are the world's wonders, but none
More wonderful than man; the stormgray sea
Yields to his prows, the huge crests bear him high;
Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is graven
With shining furrows where his plows have gone
Year after year, the timeless labor of stallions.

The lightboned birds and beasts that cling to cover,
The lithe fish lighting their reaches of dim water,
All are taken, tamed in the net of his mind;
The lion on the hill, the wild horse windy-maned,
Resign to him; and his blunt yoke has broken
The sultry shoulders of the mountain bull.

Words also, and thought as rapid as air,
He fashions to his good use; statecraft is his,
And his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow,
the spears of winter rain: from every wind
He has made himself secure--from all but one:
In the late wind of death he cannot stand.

You can read the full text here.

This song haunted my dreams last night, and I can't get it out of my head. I wish I could post an mp3, but alas... However, I believe you can listen to a sample of it here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Progress = Regress


I got a new ipod on Saturday. This was to replace my old iPod which went crappy about 2 months ago, and I've been in denial about how useless an iPod is if it only plays 2 minutes of a song, then skips to the next song, then freezes up, then denies that there's any content on the ipod at all. So, I got a new one and it's nice and I'm glad I got it, but it made me realize that I can't really live without an ipod. Five years ago, ipods didn't exist, and the idea, to me, would have been odd: spend hundreds of dollars on a luxury, then spend hundreds more to replace it, because now it's a necessity. 5 years ago, it was a big deal to decide to get dial-up internet access at our apartment. Was it really worth spending $23 a month? Do people even need email? Of course, today, that idea is absurd, and I spend plenty of time each day online, and dealing with emails.

In 5 years, i'll need a new computer, and printer, and I won't ever stop needing a new computer every 5 years, until I die. 7 years ago, I didn't even need a computer. 100 years ago, one wouldn't need a car. As technology "progresses", there will be more and more stuff that we can't live without. Food, shelter, and love are the only things man needs to survive, essentially.

Technology imposes all this stuff on us, and it sucks. But they're impositions that I like. The thing is, is that all of these inventions and contraptions and technologies are just going to keep piling up on top of each other, and life will get more and more complicated and pretty soon, no one will be able to live without all these things, right?

Q: Not really. I mean, think of all the things your computer or phone does now that would have required several inventions in the past. With a digital camera and a printer you can do the same thing that would have required tons of equipment 20 years ago. Print photos, I mean.

me: Yeah, but 150 years ago, nobody had photos at all. They're luxuries that somehow have become necessities.

I'm not saying that phones and computers and cars are bad things, just that they WERE luxuries and are now necessities. In theory, these things make life better, but in reality, they add to the general clutter of every day life. Before the invention of automobiles, people wouldn't have considered travelling for 45 miles or more to get to work each day, now, it's common to commute like that, and the convenience of cars has given us the head ache of rush hour traffic, and hundreds of hours spent sitting in our cars. That's just one of thousands of things that were designed to make life more convenient, but instead enable us to make our lives much much more busy and stressful. My schedule, at this point has been designed in such a way that I don't really have the time to ride the bike to school. It's at least an hour ride to get home from PSU on bike, and when I've got an huge load of homework, chores, practice, and errands to do, it's hard for me to justify spending that much time on a bike, when I can drive home in 10 minutes.

Q: You know, someone once asked a famous preacher how much he prays, and he said "I pray one hour a day." And the interviewer said "But what if your day's so busy and stressful you just can't find the time?" To which the preacher answered "Then I pray for two hours."

me: Is that from "chicken soup for the soul"? It's trite garbage.

Q: Quite.

me: I was walking on the beach and saw 2 pairs of footprints in the sand. See where there's only 1 set of footprints? that's when I killed the man next to me and ate him.

Now, everybody join with me in burning up your cars and computers! In fact, just burn everything that runs on electricity! Even electric cars? Especially electric cars!

Friday, April 14, 2006

2 weeks down, 8 to go



So, I've been in spring term of school for 2 weeks, but only gone to class on 4 days. This is awesome. I only have 16 more days of class this term. I've never had a class schedule that allows me to only have classes 2 days a week. There are good things and bad things about such a schedule.

The good things: every "weekend" is a 4 day weekend, plus, if I'm driving, I can buy a T/TH parking permit instead of a MTWTHF parking permit. That is all.

The bad things: having to sit in classes for 6 hours straight tends to be rather mind-nnumbing. And butt-numbing. Also, with classes that only meet 2 days a week, the odds of having an assignment due on a given day are greatly increased, and therefore takes increased organizational skills on my part.

My plan was to ride a bike to class this term, but so far it's either been rainy or I've woken up too late to bike. Also, when I get done with my last class, I'm so dazed, exhausted, and drunk with knowledge, I don't know if I could maintain my balance on a bike. I think I might just get pitched forward, due to my enormous, information-laden head.

What I've learned this term includes, but isn't necessarily limited to: Daniel Webster supported pro-slavery laws; Mark Twain got increasingly cynical with age; I really don't like Jonathan Edwards - I can't believe people take him seriously; Busby Berkeley made some really funny, spectacular movies and The Big Lebowski pays tribute to his lavish production numbers; also, I've got a new found respect for James Cagney. The way he smashes a grapefruit into Mae Clark's face is so hateful and cruel, it cracks me up.

Monday, April 03, 2006

We are family. Oh crap.


You know, I love my extended family: my wife's grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousin's husbands and kids, all that crap. It's great seeing them once or twice a year, and in that time I feel pretty comfortable with our relationships. I remember their names, they remember mine; we smile at each other and comment on whether or not this is our favorite ice cream, or "My, what a large piece of cake!". That stuff is great, classic family get-together tradition, right? Of course. So, after being at family functions like this, we've seen people change: haircuts, weight gained and lost, new cars, pets gained and lost, a few grey hairs popping up on some folks; heck, we've even had 2 presidential elections in the time that I've been married, 2 U2 albums, 3 Radiohead albums, I've been in 6 or 7 different bands since I've been married. There's been 3 or 4 Olympics since I started dating my wife. A good amount of time has passed: married for almost 6 years, started dating in 1998.

So what should have been the appropriate response, when, as we were talking about our upcoming anniversary a certain relative (who was at our wedding), asked if this was going to be our first anniversary? And I'm not talking about dear old gramps with Alzheimer's. This is a fully functioning (or so they claim) adult. I mean, holy crap, we've spent Christmas together for the past 7 years, and family reunions every summer, several funerals and weddings, and after all that you think that this will be our first year together?

How in the world does someone like this survive? I mean the challenge of remembering to eat food every day seems like it would be an epic quest. Then there's that whole "breathing" thing: "breathe in, breathe out; breathe in, breathe in; breathe in - oh, crap, how does it go again?"

And this relative learned that I play music, and told me they didn't know that I played in bands. I told them the website address of the band, but I'm pretty certain that even if it was tattooed on their body (a la Memento), they still couldn't get it right. I mean with all the typing involved in finding a website, how does anyone manage getting to anywhere online that's got more than 1 syllable in its name?

The upside is that now I know what to get this relative for our 8th Christmas spent together. An entire collection of books from here and here.

But seriously, dearest family member, if you are reading this, I'm amazed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The thing about chats is

Since I'm lazy and don't want to work to get a new post up, I'll just post some samplings from a recent chat:

F: If I'm extra good and don't snack at all I get a teaspoon of yogurt before riding home.
me: ha.
F: You laugh, but it's true.
me: a teaspoon of yogurt? gross.
F: It fuels my ride.
me: with what? phlegm?
F: Did you know in Canada bike messengers are reimbursed for their lunch as a "fuel" expense? Just like a driver would get reimbursed for mileage.
me: cool. in the US they're reimbursed by not getting run over. zing! well, not really zing, but "ha" my jokes are funny.
F: Yes. Yes they are.
me: yes.
F: yes
me: humour.

me: "from water closets, bidets, lavatories, to faucets and other accessories..."

F: Whoa. My site's had 47 visitors already today, and it's not even noon!

me: yeah, I usually get a cut from the cd sales. like, the other night, after the show, I took home a sweet $5!

me: maybe you should take it up to that copy place by Hot Lips Pizza? they're really competent.
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111
LOLLLERS!@
Pawned!

me: AH!!! hA! have you noticed that the singer for Band of Whores' is also the singer for My Mourning Jacket?
F: Never heard of 'em.
me: wha? I got the albums from you... remember... dropsend... it was Band of Whores and Tapes and tapes and tapes tandpespaendpanteapes
F: Oh, Band of Horses. Yeah, it's not the same singer.
me: yes it is!
F: I don't know where you get your information, but it is definitely not. BofH is from Seattle. MMJ is from like the south.
me: Where I "get" information? I make it up, like any good blogger.

And... scene.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I know it's gonna happen someday

Well, it seems spring break (my favorite holiday) is upon us. For quite possibly the first time ever, though, I'm confronted with a strange feeling that I can only attribute to not having classes to attend and books to read. I'm not working any more than usual, and my awesome band is in the middle of a very busy week of shows, but my lassitude doesn't seem to be alleviated by nor stem from any of that. I think I may actually be learning something about myself; without school to take up my time and occupy my mind, I get all listless. I think this might be brought on by my yesterday which was comprised mostly of sleep. I literally (and by that I mean figuratively) lived out the song "Dream All Day". It's The Posies look it up. Also, pretty soon it'll be 6 years (!) since I was hired at my current job. This job stopped being interesting or challenging about 5.9 years ago. Add that to the list of strands in Duder's head.

Anyway, my theory is that after an exhausting term/week/couple of days, it might take a day of sleep to recuperate from that, so thus far, today has been a time of waking up from my day of sleep. Luckily, I get off work in an hour, and then I can shower and go for a bike ride and practice my drums and read some good writing and then go rock somebody's face off at Acme tonight. I've already got 2/3 of my books for next term, so I'm hoping to never stop learning this week. Also good news, M and I are taking a vacation day on Thursday to go to the beach or the zoo or at least somewhere that's not our house.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Whose life is more meaningless?


So, a certain cynical friend of mine and I were talking this morning about what we did last night. I was all "Arrested D, season 1" and he was like, "Bah! I watched the E! True Hollywood Story of Janice Dickinson" and I was all, "Dang, dude! Your life sucks!" and he goes "Yeah, I know" and I go, "No offense, but you are one pathetic loser!" and he goes "Yeah, it's true" and I'm all, "I can think of literally one million things I'd rather do than watch a piece of garbage show about meaningless pop culture trash". Here, ladies and gentilemen, is that list:

1. eaten alive by fire ants
2. watch paint dry
3. paint a model aeroplane
4. stare at a blank computer screen
5. put 9 volt batteries in my mouth
6. feed the dogs
7. bathe the dogs
8. walk the dogs
9. come up with more reas­on­s...
10. google chat
11. bitch
12. moan
13. listen to music - ANY music
14. write music
15. record music
16. play music
17. listen to music on hold
18. vacuum
19. mow the lawn
20. secretly look through the curtains at the neighbors
21. think of what I might say in Spanish to the mexicans who are working on the house next door without proper building permits.
22. comer
23. beber
24. dormir
25. consider raising the rent on my renters
26. decide not to raise the rent
27. waste Feaverish's time with mean­ing­less lists
28. etc...
1000000. watch Arrested De­vel­op­ment for the 9999999th time.
done!

Friday, March 17, 2006

God?


Current mood: annoyed

I got this myspace bulletin:

Body: I would like to know who really believes in God on myspace. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in God, then repost this and title the bulletin as "God". If you don't believe in God, then just ignore this...thanks. In the book of Matthew, Jesus says..."If you deny me before man, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven."

Obviously, it's crap:

A) Anybody can quote the Bible out of context to back up any kind of ridiculous claims they want to. Just look at televangelists & snake handlers.

B) If God has any sense of modesty, he'll know better than to look at myspace.

C) And really, who cares who believes in God? What's the difference? Everybody believes in different crap, so who cares who believes in what? To quote The Stranger: "But all the long speeches, all the interminable days and hours that people had spent talking about my soul, had left me with the impression of a colorless swirling river that was making me dizzy." and "people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn't dissatisfied with mine here at all."

So take that, obnoxious, idiotic myspace bulletin.

Although, it does say in the Bible, "Behold, I have given unto thee the internet that ye shouldst proselytize and make yon holy words therein for the purpose of bestowing unneeded guilt upon mine sheep. Go now and babble like idiots and besmirch mine sacred holiness." And that's a fact!

Saint Patrick's Day!

Will the real St. Patrick please stand up?






Monday, March 06, 2006

Portland Radio!

In even more tangible, confirmable, sooner to be realized good news today, check out this!

If you don't feel like watching the video, then I'll just give you the basic details:

Monday, March 13th
Noon
Rick Emerson
Tim Riley
Sarah Dylan
970 AM
THE RICK EMERSON SHOW

Thanks to Sarah X Dylan's blog.

Double woot.

If you don't know about Rick Emerson, then check out the wikipedia entry on him here.

Arrest This!


In the best news so far today, "The New York Post hears brand-new buzz that Showtime has not only picked up Fox's canceled Arrested Development but has ordered a full 26 episodes." Read more here or here or not here.

Woot!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Fun Fact!

The office, today, smells like stale urine.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Beer Makes Bad Movies Better



Well, gents and droids from the Montavilla hood, prepare for awesomeness. Next Saturday, the 11th of March, is the grand re-opening of the historic Academy Theater on SE 79th and Stark. This is a 3 screen theater which will serve Flying Pie Pizza (the best pizza I've ever had) along with beer and wine. Based on the cheap admission ($3 for adults, $2 for seniors, $1 for children), I'm guessing this will be a theater which specializes in 2nd run films, along the lines of the Laurelhurst Theater or the McMenamin's Theaters. The best part is that since this is within stumbling distance of my house, I look forward to many nights filled with the drunken enjoyment of otherwise terrible movies. Read all about it on the Academy Theater official website here.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Headline of the day


Freed American bears dirt poor
captors no ill will


What the heck is going in the world today? Who knew there were captive American bears? And who knew they were dirt poor? And why don't their captors feel ill will? And isn't there anything more important in the world going on today? Is this the beginning of the apocalypse?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tombs



Imagine the blackest of pitch black darkness. Then take away anything that shines or reflects in that blackness; there are no stars, no shadows, just the absolute absence of any light or color. Now, cover your eyes in duct tape, put on a blind fold, then put on sunglasses. Now put on a ski mask, backwards. Now try to perform some skilled labor on faulty equipment, in front of an audience with their arms crossed who aren't aware of the darkness you're in.

When you've done all this, then you'll have a good feeling for what it was like for me last night performing at Dunes. I can't speak for the rest of the band, but it was definitely the darkest venue I've ever played in.

But the crowd was nice and appreciative, and we made our way through the darkness, and even played 2(!) new songs. Well, 1 new song - untitled instrumental - and 1 cover - The Cure's Lovesong, which was what we in the music biz call "completely unrehearsed".

When we were done, Neighborhood DJ played MIA near the beginning of his set that closed the night. We talked with our friends, our friends talked with each other, and I spent a few hours trying to recover from night blindness.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thought for the day

I like to think it's just a matter of time until there is a celebrity named Jamin. And that way, when people ask what my brother's name is, he won't have to correct them:
"What is it? James? Jamie? Benjamin?"
"No, not Jamie, not Jammin'. It's Jamin. Like Jaymen."
"Oh, like the famous tennis player turned astronaut?"
"Exactly like that."
"Oh."

See what I mean? So, all you talented and lucky people named Jamin, start doing something that'll make you famous, and save my brother some time.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Searching for Sublime Music (and not the crappy band)


In one of my classes at University, we're talking about "The Sublime" and what that means. For the longest time, I've always associated "sublime" with that terrible, terrible jock band from Cali. But it turns out that there's actually something more to it. I actually learned something at college, imagine that.

Here's some of what wikipedia says:

Sublime - Pleasure from perceiving objects that threaten to hurt or destroy observer. Pleasure from beholding very violent, destructive objects. Pleasure from knowledge of observer's nothingness and oneness with Nature.

The imagination is awed and instilled with a degree of horror by what is "dark, uncertain, and confused." While the relationship of the sublime and the beautiful is one of mutual exclusiveness, either one can produce pleasure.

So something beautiful isn't sublime and vice versa. The prof gave a few examples of sublime works of art:
Hamlet
Oedipus Rex
Beethoven's 5th Symphony
A Day in the Life - The Beatles
100 Years of Solitude - by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

These are overwhelming works about dark subjects; they are a pleasure to experience, but calling them "beautiful" doesn't convey their essence properly. I've been taught that a sublime thing also overwhelms our sense of reason, and we can't quite get our heads around it, so we keep going back to it.

So, all this is to say that I want to make a mix cd of sublime music, and I'm looking for suggestions. The qualities I'm looking for in these sublime songs are:
1. Dark/tragic subject matter (if there are lyrics)
2. Interesting/Overwhelming/Threatening/Enigmatic, musically
3. Preferably not a song that gets commercial radio play

My list so far:
1. A Day in the Life - Beatles
2. Paranoid Android or Kid A - Radiohead

That is all for now. I hope this makes sense to you and to me.
Now, let's get sublime!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Q

This just in:
I invented something. At least I'm taking credit for it. It's the use of pig butts on the internet. Most net savvy folk will recognize this :) as a smiley face, or this ;) as a wink or even :P as a tongue sticking out. I wanted something quick like that to express my feelings even better; so I did.
Presenting....
Q
The pig's butt!
Here's an example of usage in conversation:
F: I just distrust artists who think the world stopped with some Old Master. Those guys are like Thomas Kincaid.
me: Kincaid is a genius! Without him we wouldn't have Family Circus!
:)
;)
Q
F: Whatever he is he paints like the art world just stood still at naturalism or realism or whatever.
me: I fully agree. He is a pig's butt. Q

Or like this:
me:QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

PIG BUTTS!!
F: You're the only person I've ever know to use Q to mean a pig's butt.
me: I'm a trend setter! I invented it.
F: Yeah, you're definately a trend setter.
me: You're definitely a terrible speller. ZING!

So there you go, folks. A new entry in the world of internet short-hand.
With that, I bid you farewell.
Q

I've got IBS!


I'm going to name a condition. I'll call it: irritable buddy syndrome.

So when you have drunk friends at a party, or loud roommates, it'll give you an excuse to be rude to them.

Like, "Hey get the fudge out of here, you raving jerkwads! I'm doing homework!... Sorry for lashing out, it must be my IBS".

Monday, February 06, 2006

10,715 Hits!

A few questions:
1. Whatever happened to the angel of death from the Old Testament? Did he find a new job to fill after God got tired of genocide?
2. Do people still create new musical instruments? If so, who? And do they think that these instruments will be used 100 years from now?


Moving on, I just wanted to give a shout-out to all the blokes and birds that helped me get to this amazingly high number of hits. Those are the people that found me by searching for:

show do u2
انظر الصورة بحجمها الكامل.
lyrics "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore."
really bad gas
how can i speak good english
Bekijk de afbeelding op ware grootte.
Teljes méretű kép megtekintése.
midnight ice cream yoshi
sorce of life energy shake
Bild in Originalgrösse anzeigen.
"ha ha funny" or "queer funny"
mosh pit + shakespeare

And that's a pretty accurate summary of my blog up to this point.

This and that and meme

Another Monday. We had a new co-worker here at the office; he started this morning at 8:00 and quit by 8:20. That's a new record, as far as I know. The last new employee lasted 1 week. It's not a tough job; just terrible.

Willis is working on the [former band name] music video; I'm hoping it turns out something like this.

Headline of the day: King remembered as 'the queen'

In other news, I've been tagged for a meme from good ol' Feav. Here goes:

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. Christian Merchandise Monger
2. Camera Repair Shop Office Monkey
3. Camp Counselor
4. Message On Hold Script Writer

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
1. The Big Lebowski
2. Annie Hall
3. Manhattan
4. The Empire Strikes Back

Four Places I Have Lived
1. Hawthorne District (Portland)
2. Renton, Washington
3. Multnomah Village (Portland)
4. Montavilla (Portland)

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
1. Arrested Development
2. The Office (both BBC & US versions)
3. Family Guy
4. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Four Places I’ve Been on Vacation
1. Disneyland (4 times)
2. Chicago
3. The Oregon Coast
4. that's all. I've never really taken vacations. kind of sad, really.

Four of my Favorite Dishes
1. Pad Kee Mao - vegetarian, medium spicy
2. Flying Pie Pizza
3. Ham & Eggs with toast and coffee
4. Waffles

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1. Pitchfork
2. Stereogum
3. The Hype Machine
4. Chud

Four Places I Would Rather Be
1. Home
2. Paris
3. Toronto
4. Berlin

Four People I’m Tagging
1. Emtotheizo
2. Lavalier
3. Kazugoogoo
4. BethinPortland

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Best Email of All Time. EVER!

I received this email at work today:

PLEASE SEND ME YOUR FAX NUMBER AND YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS.


Thank You,

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

Needless to say, not only do I think our clients aren't MENSA members; they'd probably dispute the existence of such an organization.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sick Blogging

So we did that video shoot for the band all day on Saturday. It was good to help out Erik but I'm sure I could have done more. Anyway, it was fun to be with friends and I got home about midnightish and was exhausted and had a good beer. And I woke up on Sunday with a horrible sore throat. It got worse throughout the day and progressed into a full-blown congested-achy-can't-think-straight-hurts-to-talk-everybody-leave-me-alone cold. Sunday I could only sleep in 2 or 3 hour spurts, then wake up for a few more hours, then sleep again. Mo got mad at me when we were sleeping because of my horrible sick breath. I called in sick to work on Monday and emailed my homework to my theater teacher.

So I dosed up on Dayquil and Ricola and I'm back at work then school today. I don't really feel much better, but there's work to do (and I need the money) and I've got to hand in my summaries of The Stranger by Albert Camus. I had to write a 1 page summary, a 1 paragraph summary, and a 1 sentence summary of this book which is very hard to do. It's a really terrific book that I suggest you read. It's very specific in what it says and doesn't say; that is to say, it's all about subtext. Maybe not all about subtext, but you know what I'm saying.

My one sentence summary is: The Stranger is the existential story of a man who finds himself in the strange circumstance of having killed an Arab on the beach.

Got a better idea?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

English! Do you speak it?!

Good afternoon, internet. I'm sorry if my mild b.o. bothers you; I bought a new deodorant in the hopes that it won't stain my shirts like so many do. I'm learning a lot about words and understanding the world at school this term.

Like the word "host" can be a noun or a verb with at least 9 different meanings. And so if I were to say, "I'm going to be a host this weekend", you'd say "Oh, are you having a party and I'm not invited?" and I'd say, "No, I'm having a bunch of ticks, leeches, and tapeworms get inside me and I'll be their host. It's for complicated medical purposes". Or I could say, "There was a host of idiots filling the aisles in Costco today. Then out in the parking lot, a host of idiots in their cars, trying to figure out the directional arrows on the ground."

And this all goes back (some say) to the tower of Babel, when everybody had one common language, then God got angry that people were getting too smart, and soon "nothing would be impossible" for them. So, God basically put them in the Boggle cup, shook them up, and spilled them all over the globe, and simultaneously confused their languages.

Another funny thing: if God can create man with his spoken word, why did he have to flood the earth to destroy man? I mean, drowning has got to be a miserable way to go, especially if it's something you see coming for days and days. Slow, horrible genocide. That's what the flood was. Although "horrible genocide" is a bit redundant.

Like:
March 4th: Who builds a boat in the middle of the field? That idiot Noah does.
March 5th: Started raining today.
March 16th: Still raining. Must wear rubber boots if it keeps up.
March 27th: WTF? What's up with all this rain?
April 8th: Made more sacrifices to the sun god. He must be angry; its still raining.
April 19th: Water up to my knees.
April 30th: That goddammed Noah is so smug.
June 5th: I've been treading water for 9 hours.
June 5th (later): Adios, cruel watery world!
And so on.

Here we are in 2006, trapped in the prison of language. Every idea we have is abstract and its through our grasp of language that we try to express our vast array of emotions and convoluted thoughts. Like, I don't think in the English language. I think, and then when I'm conscious of something, my brain translates it into English so that I can speak it or write it down.

So, how do I put this... I'm hungry.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Arrested Development: RIP, or: Why does FOX hate their viewers?


Why would a critically acclaimed show that gets watched by millions of people whenever it's on, why would FOX discontinue that show? Because that show is so good that it doesn't follow the rules of a typical sitcom. There's no laugh track, no studio audience, and no painfully bad jokes. There's not a feel-good moral at the end of every episode. The real problem is that it's too creative and probably too quirky to be appreciated by more people. I've often thought of it as a variation of the "Royal Tenenbaums" style of family comedy. Most of the characters are dysfunctional or at least intensely quirky in their own ways. The show is formatted kind of like a documentary, with strictly hand-held cameras that follow the actors around, and there's always jokes in the background, while the dialogue is going on. It plays with diagetic and non-diagetic music; there's a running gag of "Next week on Arrested Development..." and showing clips that aren't in the next week's show. It mixes low and high brow humor. The always hysterical David Cross couldn't be funnier, and the rest of the ensemble cast is pitch-perfect. It's no surprise that something this good wouldn't last long.

According to my trusted internet sources (see here):
"Arrested Development" will wrap its third -- and likely last -- season on Fox next month with a two-hour swan song slated to air opposite the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Fox has decided to package four episodes of "Arrested" and air them as a two-hour season finale from 8-10 p.m. on Friday, February 10th. Scheduling the broadcast opposite the first night of the Olympics sends another strong signal that the net has given up any hope of reviving the show.

Sigh. This is really too bad, because it's the best show on TV right now. I just bought the first two seasons on dvd and it gets funnier with repeated viewings. So, if it is cancelled, I'll just have to savor what we have: 3 seasons of gut-busting laffs!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Lazy Monday

Today, in an effort to update my blog while doing little or no creative thinking, I offer you my half of an email exchange I had about 2 weeks ago. Read on:

Me: Ty DuPuis, who four years ago bought the building where the Academy was and where DuPuis' Flying Pie Pizzeria has space, is part of a partnership that is gutting the old Academy theater space to transform it into the new Academy theater. The new venue will actually be three small theaters that will feature second-run movies and offer beer, pizza and other food. Here's the full story.
X: asinine response which refers to some movie
Me: ?? I have no idea. I'd give it at least 3 stars.. I'll check it out.
X: ridiculous comment about my taste in movies
Me: That's right, Much Ado has a lot of sentimental value to me. Apocalypse Now is brilliant on many levels and you should really look into it.
X: outraged response about Apocalypse Now Redux being the worst thing ever in the history of the world
Me: Dude, it's not that different and you need a bigger cause to get worked up about. Have you considered the AIDS crisis? Or the inequality between social classes at home and abroad? Or the ridiculousness of Christmas in America? Why haven't you done a Christmas blog by the way?
X: insensitive, totally un-PC comment about AIDS and Apocalypse Now Redux
Me: Ay! Dios Mio!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Puts it all in perspective...

I wept because I had no shoes, until a "friend" punched me in the face repeatedly. Now, my face is too swollen to weep.

The Return of the Education


Oh frabulous day! The winter term of school has finally begun, and is already one week closer to finished! You know, I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of missed school. A month break is almost too much.

The nice thing this time around, though, is that all 3 of my classes are arts & literature based, so not only do these classes teach me new ways to view the world around me, but they're also making me much, much smarter than almost everyone I know. So if I'm at a wine tasting someday, I can easily spout off things like, "You can deride Derrida all day long; even I think Plato plateaued after "The Republic". I'm not so crazy about Socrates, and I'm quoting myself here: corruption is one thing, but sometimes censorship is used for ironic purposes, not "purely" moralistic ones! No pun intended. Or is it?", or "The visible world! HA! Like we really need more idiot tv-watching sleep-walking sheep. We're talking about high art, people! Not drawings or mere fictions." Only hopefully I can say that more smarter, and about things that I actually know or make sense.

But seriously, I'm enjoying learning about these subjects, which is more than I could say after the first week of some of my art classes last term. I suppose it helps that my teachers aren't complete d*cks, and actually want to teach the students rather than publicly shame them because the students don't already know the subject.

Fun fact: Today is Friday the 13th! The next Friday the 13th isn't until the last week of October!

And, if I were to host a wine-tasting, these are songs that I would want the DJ to play:
Jeff Buckley - Lilac Wine
U2 - Xanax and Wine
The National - All the Wine
Neil Diamond - Red, Red Wine
Billie Holiday - You go to my head
Joni Mitchell - Carey
Maria Mckee - My lonely sad eyes
Van Morrison - My lonely sad eyes
Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Summer Wine
Radiohead - Paranoid Android (just because I haven't heard this one in a while)

Also, the latest full length album I've really been digging lately (thanks to Willis) is "Some Cities" by Doves. It's good. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rock and Roll Tonight! And every day!

Ok, I don't want any excuses about "Oh, I'm too poor to enjoy music!" or "My dog ate dollar, but when I shook him, 4 quarters fell out!" because tonights show is free. My band(with whom I play drums & un poco de la guiatarra)is playing a free show tonight at Berbati's Pan in beautiful, sunny, downtown Portland. The other acts on the bill are: Paint & Copter, and Simpl, whom I believe features the former drummer of Pinback. Should be awesome. And it's free. So drive down from Seattle, or Vancouver, or up from Wilsonville or McMinnville, or sideways from Chicago or Gresham and get over to this show. It's worth the trip!

Monday, January 09, 2006

"I've got really bad gas!" or "Screwed at the pump!"

On the way to assemble some packages for a drum machine eating task-master, I had to buy some gas, because the little orange light on next to the gauge told me to. There was a huge line at the place by my house (only $1.99/gallon!), so I drove on. The next gas station was deserted ($2.01/gallon) so I pulled up. I spied 2 guys who may have been employees, or maybe just 1 was the employee and the other was the friend visiting on the job, talking his ear off.

Now, I'm not interested in stereotypes, but let's just say that, for what it's worth, these 2 gentlemen wouldn't have looked completely out of place in a documentary about New York cab drivers, or in some stock footage about terrorist training camps. After about 2 minutes (no exaggeration), one of them finally wandered over to my car. I kindly asked the man for $20 dollars of regular, while I handed him my debit card:

Me: Hi, can I get $20 of regular?
Him: 20 regular?
Me: Yeah.
Him: Ok.

There was no room for miscommunication here.
While the gas was pumping, I glanced over at the pump to see if it was almost done or what. And then I noticed that the pump was charging me $2.13 per gallon. At first I thought that maybe he thought I had asked for plus, or super, but the prices on the gigantic sign clearly read:

Regular: 2.01
Plus: 2.18
Super: 2.31

And upon further inspection, I noticed that all the prices on the pump were significantly higher than those on the humongous, brightly lit sign that attracted me to this ridiculous place in the first place.

Well, I thought, I'll just wait for nice man to come back and I'll show him the error of his ways. But, as I waited, I continued waiting. Finally, I came to terms with the fact that this guy was not coming back for chit chat. Once the pump clicked off, he waited a good minute until wandering over again and pulled out the handle and printed out my receipt. He handed it to me and said, "Ok, here you go", and walked off.

My total charge: $21.83.

This is distinctly more than I had asked for, when I said "20 dollars of regular".
So, I was pretty outraged at being:
a) charged a higher rate than advertised
and
b) charged a higher total than I had agreed to

Needless to say, I let loose a stream of expletives that even I was immediately ashamed of, but the good news is, I've found a new gas station to hate. I won't name it specifically here, but let's just say that it's in the Mall 205 area of Portland, and it's the one that everyone else in Portland knew to avoid yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Zoo, the Mercury and the Bon


So, after watching King Kong twice (although once is enough) and beating the Xbox game of the movie, I realized that I haven't been to the zoo in ages. I used to love the zoo; when I was 10, my family had a year long pass, we went there at least once a month for that year. We'd go over to the elephant cages, and I was able to make a trumpety sound that would summon the great creatures to me and they would respond in kind. I felt a true bond with them, and liked their patented "Zoo Doo" so much, that I started marketing my own version of it. I wanted to google the zoo here in Portland to find out the hours and pricing, but I have no idea what it's name is. I know it's something like "Rose City Animal Cages" or "Multnomah County Sedated Wildlife" or something like that. I'd really like to go and be face to face with nature: just me, the beasts, and my slingshot.

Speaking of zoos:
Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?
A: You get a safari-loving 3 ton grey beast that can strangle you to death with his trunk and then skewer you through the thorax with his massive death horn.

Speaking of awesome, did you see the Portland Mercury finally gave big ups to [former band name]? Read it here.

On a festive note, Happy Birthday to Bonika St. James! You are awesome and rock-tacular!