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Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: The Year in Review

First off, this was a top contender for Best Christmas Ever. Not that it wasn't stressful and busy, but seriously, what could make a better Christmas than Simon riding a li'l firetruck, with his favorite monkey riding shotgun? Not much, that's what. Thanks again to Teresa and Jacquie.

As far as the rest of the year, lessee... Pregnancy. Showers. Birth. Photos. Album. Baby. School. Shows. Graduation. Family. Parties. Work. Church. Office. Family. Work. Holidays. Turned 30. Family.

That pretty much sums up what happened. As far as the goodness and badness of these things: well, family is good.

Pregnancy and birth are ok, but living with Simon and watching him grow up is a lot of fun. I never imagined that a baby would make me so happy.

Graduation is good to have under my belt, now if only I could do something with that degree.

Shows have actually started paying a little bit, so that's nice.

Parties are fun, but I'm certainly ready for some down time.

Work is a necessary evil; there's no other way to put it. I've been at my job for (the majority of) 7 and 1/2 years. That sucks. It pays the bills, but it's a real drag.

Being at a new church is a refreshing change. I'm glad to be playing with some different musicians at a church with take a different approach to music in the church.

I turned 30 a few weeks ago and have to admit that I look forward to what the future holds. Not that my life has been bad or anything, but I'm pretty sure this is my only time around, so I'm ready to do something different and try some new things. Exactly what that entails, I'm not sure. I've been reading some of those "100 things to do before you die" lists, and really want to try some of them. So here's to doing some new things in 2008.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pre-Christmas Reflections

First, the headline of the day: "Roofing magnate dies in fall from roof". Seriously. It is sad, but raise your hand if you're surprised. Read the full story here.

Moving on, now that there's 3 shopping days until Christmas, I need to get out there and start supporting the Chinese economy, through the purchase of trinkety crap. Like this ugly men's necklace for $150, or these $50 LCD camera/binoculars. Not to be a Grumple or anything, but there's so much stuff that gets given and received at Christmas that everybody could probably do without. Not that I'm going to boycott; it just seems that there's a good portion of stuff around that you see and say, "Huh. I never would have thought of owning such a thing. But now that I have it, and it was given with love from a dear friend, I don't want to part with it." And hence, garbage accumulates, and the Christmas Spirit lives on.

But even more seriously, I can't wait for Simon to get a couple years older, so he can get excited about Christmas, and I can give him stuff. Is that so wrong?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On aging

"We all wake up and we go 'Oh, I ache, I'm not 18 any more, you know, I'm thirty ni- you know, I'm in my thirties, I'm not-', but so what, at least I've got my health. And if you haven't got your health-if you've got one leg, at least I haven't got two legs missing. And if you have lost both legs and both arms, just go 'at least I'm not dead!' I'd rather be dead in that situation, to be honest. I'm not saying people like that should know, put down. I'm saying that, in my life, I'd rather not live without arms and legs because...I'm just getting into yoga, for one thing. So..."
- David Brent

Today is the last day I can honestly say that I'm in my twenties. Sigh. Does it need to be a miserable day? No; I look at kids (I can call them that now) who are 20, and I think "Man, they're young & dumb. I'm glad to be past that stage in life." So, there you go. I'm really trying hard to enjoy and embrace my onsetting fourth decade. Did you know Canada and France have a lifespan that's 5 years longer than the US lifespan? I need to move.

Friday, December 07, 2007

December again.

So, I've got 5 days left of being able to say "I'm in my 20s." The prospect of turning 30 hasn't bothered me until the past week or so. And I'm not really bothered by it, just more deliberately looking back at my years and seeing how I've spent my time and considering what to do with my future.

I don't know how anybody is able to work full-time and find time to:

a) eat healthily
b) exercise
c) play music (at home or at clubs)
d) read books
e) be a good parent
f) have a social life
g) maintain a clean house
h) watch a good movie or tv show
i) not go crazy

I can usually do 1 or 2 of these things in a day, after work, but pretty much never more than that. It seems that the older I get, the more things I have to do, and the less time I have to do them. Doing these things seemed pretty feasible back when I was a full-time student and part-time employee, but now I think I need to get used to only sleeping 5-6 hours a night, because I don't know how else I can do the things I need to do. Either that, or find a job that pays twice as much, so I can just work 20 hours a week. Other possible solutions for time management include working 4 10-hour days, working a graveyard shift, neither of which I'm really psyched out of my mind about doing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Idealism. I'm all for it, although usually too realistic (or too cynical?) to fully embrace my idealistic side. This is kind of neat. And it reminds me of that Baz Luhrmann song "Everybody's Free (To wear sunscreen)". And that's ok. It makes me think ahead to New Year's resolutions and planning the next three decades of my life.

Some answers, finally

01. What is your ultimate pet hate?
Ultimate? Well, probably, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Or guns. I know some might say "Guns don't kill people," to which I say, "Well, they sure don't heal people, mister."

02. What is the most beautiful accent in the world? French, definitely. Although, British, Irish, and Australian are quite charming. Coming in at a distant 5th: Fargo.

03. If you could choose one city to live in for the rest of your life, which city would it be? I'd like to say somewhere like Sarehole, which supposedly inspired Hobbiton, but I've never been.

04. Who is your favourite film director and why? Woody Allen, because he's hilarious, smart, and made more brilliant (and merely good) movies than most directors could hope for in their entire career.

05. How much do you swear? Too much. Trying to tone it down for the boy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Cheer

In this frantic time of year, it's easy to lose focus on the real reason for the season. So please, after you read this, take the time today to kick someone in the butt.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Week Wrap Up

Well, I've had a cold for the past week, a resurgent effort which had been squelched a week before that. Basically, I've had a cold for almost half of the month, which is totally awesome. It really puts me in the Xmas spirit. Also, Simon has sprouted a second tooth on the bottom half of his mouth. I've been calling him Chomper. His 2 main front teeth are poised to pop out any day now. That'll be good.

In other news, Thanksgiving dinner was a success. My parents and brother all went over to Moz's parents house, with all her sisters and their husbands and grandpa. We watched "White Christmas", as we do most Thanksgivings. This year's viewing was the best, though, since we had some festive drinks while watching it, and the girls did their best to sing along with the movie. My sister-in-law's husband (who had never seen it before) said that he could imagine someone liking it "if they were 6." That earned him some growls and scowls from around the room.

Friday night, I went with Kazugoogoo and his brother to see Menomena at the Crystal Ballroom. We got there in time to watch Shaky Hands, from the bar area. They were terrible. Bad singing, out of tune guitars, totally sloppy musicians. It wasn't good.

We went to the all-age area and got a lot closer to the stage when Menomena played. They were pretty good, but seemed tired and a little loose. I've seen them 3 times this year; this was the first time I've seen them without their choir since about a year ago at the Doug Fir. I figured out that I've probably seen Menomena more times in concert than any other band, ever. So, I think I'm a fairly good judge of when they are having an off night. Friday was an off night. Not terrible, just not up to par. And that's ok. They have great songs, great arrangements, and play with a lot of enthusiasm and warmth on stage. I was pleasantly shocked at how full the venue was, too, especially for being $12 advance or $15 at the door. According to McMenamin's, "The venue's capacity is 1500". So there was easily 1000 people there. Maybe more like 1300. I was proud of those guys for making it to such a level of success and slightly jealous of both their success and their creative freedom. Anyway, in the above photo, I'm somewhere on the leftish side, with a stoned hipster standing in front of me, blowing pot in the faces of the poor people all around.

Update: This week also marks the official end of infatuation with Heroes. I watched the whole first season in about 10 days, so that was nice and cheezy, but still fun. This season seems really inferior to the first, and I fell asleep during Mondays episode. On Tuesday, I found I really didn't care if I watched it or not. You can only use the phrase "save the world" so many times before it loses its power and drama. Here's hoping they do better whenever season 2.5 or 3 starts up.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Wednesday Survey.

Tell me about yourself, please.

01. What is your ultimate pet hate?
02. What is the most beautiful accent in the world?
03. If you could choose one city to live in for the rest of your life, which city would it be?
04. Who is your favourite film director and why?
05. How much do you swear?

My answers will be posted later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Indiana "Han Solo" Jones is Deckard! or "Get off my plane, replicant!"

A few weeks ago KZGG, his brother Stephen and I went to Cinema 21 to see the new, suped-up version of Blade Runner. The movie was cool; the brothers took turns sleeping through it. I shared my coconut vodka; a good time was had. The movie was enjoying a brief theatrical run before its imminent release (in many different packaging and bundling options)on dvd.

What I found quite interesting about the experience was the marketing people there, handing out surveys to everyone. Here are the most interesting items that they wanted to know:

2. Age [with 4 year ranges]
4. Level of Education
6. Which of the following were important to you in deciding to see [this film]
[Here were 29 different options, ranging from "I'm a fan of Joanna Cassidy" to "It is action-packed". "I brought a flask of cheap vodka" was, sadly, not an option.]
11. Would you recommend this movie to your friends? [5 options here - the division between "Yes" and "No" is vast and murky]
12. To whom would you recommend this movie? [M/F & Age are the only options. This presupposes that if you know one 45 year old female who would like it, then all 45 year old females you know would like it.]
15. Below is a list of words and phrases that might be used to describe various films. Please "X" as many words and phrases as you feel apply to Blade Runner: The Final Cut. [40 different words and phrases, ranging from "Too weird/strange" to "Has interesting settings" to "A must see version of Blade Runner". "Han Solo," "Mr. President," and "It's Indiana Jones in the future!" were not options.]
16. Please tell us the scenes you liked most. Please be as specific as possible. [Why do they want to know which scenes? Is this for creating the tv commercials, they'll know which parts to include?]
21. What are you most likely to do when Blade Runner: The Final Cut is released on DVD? [8 options here, but none of them were "Make an eggnog latte in celebration."]

For those of you including me on your Christmas lists this year, I would love this Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tips to spice up your love life

1. Fart into a tupperware
2. Put the lid on it
3. Chase your beloved around the house with that tupperware.
4. Those are all the tips I can think of.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quote of the Day

"He uses the booger vacuum like it's a maraca."

Feel free to use this quote to spice up your own conversations.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween, or Weird, Wild World(s?)

Well, let me put it this way: lately I've been increasingly interested in paranormal activities. Just your basic real life X-files type of stuff, like UFOS, Area 51, bigfoot, conspiracy theories, ghosts, and the like. My interest in this stuff comes from probably a few sources: A) My dad had several books (like "The Book of the Damned" about unexplained mysteries that I read a lot when I was a kid. I remember being fascinated by "The Devil's Footprints." B) My interest in sci-fi movies. Wouldn't it be cool/weird if real life was more like a sci-fi movie? C) My personal weird experiences (with various things) that can't be easily explained.

So, I've been bored at work and stumbled upon lots of weird websites, like Cryptomundo, Forgetomori, and Mysterious Universe. Mysterious Universe also produces a really terrific podcast, hosted by an Australian gent who seems to be pretty smart and grounded, and more skeptical than you might expect from this type of show.

One of my weird experiences: shortly my wife & I bought our house, we'd been living there for about a few weeks. There was an empty lot on the south side of our house. Mo & I were sitting in the living room, just hanging out, and we heard something banging loudly against the side of our house, like going from the west end to the east end, pounding hard against the house. My first thought was "great, bad neighborhood kids harassing the new people." But this noise was so loud and shook the house, it was more like a car drove into the side of the house. It was pretty terrifying. I looked out the window and didn't see anyone, so I ran outside to try to see what was around. As you might have guessed, there was no one around. I checked all around the house and found no one and nothing that could have made such a huge noise. In the following months, the same thing happened a few more times. Loud banging, like our house was being pounded by a bunch of angry fists, and always, I could find no-one around to blame.

My first assumption, of course, is that our house was being harassed by the ghost of Bigfoot, who was placed there by aliens, with the cooperation of the men in black. Wait, that's not true. But the experience was real, and unexplainable by Mo & I.

I know it's terribly boring to hear about someone else's dreams, so if you don't want to be bored, don't read the next paragraph.

Another weird thing: last week, after spending several days of looking at "evidence" of UFOs and aliens on earth, I had something of a lucid dream/sleep paralysis. I dreamt that men in black came to my bedroom, as I slept, to try to get me to quit uncovering the truth about them. One of them then placed his hand over my mouth, so I couldn't breath. Here's where it got lucid. I knew that I was in my bed, next to Mo, and either A)if this was real, then she should wake up to get this hand off my mouth or B) if this was a dream, then it was terrifying and i needed her to wake me up. So I started saying her name, but it was hard to, since this man in black had his hand over my mouth (or so I thought). Eventually, my calling her name woke her up, so then she woke me up by shaking me, and I was freaked out. I had to go check on the baby, to make sure the men in black hadn't gotten him, then I went back to bed, but couldn't sleep, since I had so much adrenaline from the night terror.

Have you had a weird encounter you'd like to share in the comments? Please do.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday's Child

Real quickly: we gutted some pumpkins and carved grotesque images into the disemboweled shells last night. Pics to come in the next week or 2. Teresa has some pre-carved pics. Also, I posted a couple new comics today on my comic blog, which I'm thinking of finally re-incorporating into this 'ere blog, just to keep it simple.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well, sweetie, don't get mad at me. That's just one man's opinion.

I recently had an email exchange with a friend, regarding "The Royal Tenenbaums". Here is (basically) what I wrote:

I love The Royal Tenenbaums and watch it pretty regularly. I don't find the soundtrack to be "wall to wall hipster favorites" (as one reviewer claims). John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Nico aren't quite "hipster" musicians. Yes, the music is pretty omnipresent, but that's part of Anderson's style.

As far as the "lack of genuine emotion" in the movie, I guess that's a matter of perception. I cry pretty much every time I watch this movie, and not at the same point every time. Maybe that makes me a sentimental wuss, I don't know. I thought the movie packed a genuine emotional punch regarding themes of distant fathers, reconciliation, sibling relationships, and the confusing nature of romantic love.

The enjoyable quirkiness, memorable lines, fully developed characters, brilliant cinematography and scrupulous set design are intriguing, and I find new bits to enjoy with each viewing. As with all of Anderson's films, I find that I enjoy and appreciate them more after 2 or more viewings. Yes, the movie is slightly off-kilter and not quite reality, but that's kind of the point. It's a bit like a fairy tail, hence the narration and chapters into which the film is divided. It's Wes Anderson's version of life, wherein nearly everything is symmetrical, most conversations are filled with verbal idiosyncrasies, and people say hilarious stuff without laughing.

Anderson's latest film (The Darjeeling Limited) is also great, but is very much like all of his films: lots of little details, emotionally wounded characters, funny/awkward conversations, etc. It's gotten mostly good reviews, but the bad reviews of it that I've read have said basically either "has too much emotion and not enough plot" OR "has too much stuff but not enough emotion." So, I guess it depends on one's point of view.

I'm sure you know the site, but for a round-up of professional criticism, I peruse Rotten Tomatoes: This links to the review of The Royal Tenenbaums, which has an 80% rating on the site, which is a pretty solid recommendation from the 160+ reviewers.

I mean, I guess you don't have to like it, after all, Wildcat was written in a kind of obsolete vernacular.

editor's note: Updated with photo below!

Friday, October 12, 2007

To be or to has-been, that is the question.

The headline was intriguing enough: "Music stars: We must still fight nukes." But when I followed the link, I was still waiting to read about the stars which the headline referred to. Then I figured out I was already reading about them: Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and Harvey Wasserman. Her? Who? I think I know him? and Who? can be read about here.

Still I think Shakespeare said it best when he sort of said, "To be or to has-been, that is the question."

New Comic! Again!

Since I've got time, I made another one. Here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Typical Day

Here is a chart from the US Department of Labor depicting how most people spend their leisure time:

Here's a brief rundown of what my days have been like lately:
5:45 Alarm goes off. Snooze for 18 minutes.
6:03 Grab random clothes in the dark so I don't disturb the sleeping wife and baby.
6:05 Shower, Dress, etc.
6:25 Grab something edible to take in the truck.
6:27 Hit the road.
6:42-7:05 arrive at work. Time varies wildly due to traffic on the 2 freeways I take.
7:00-4:00 work at the office. It's not hard work, but Lord, it ain't fun.
4:20-4:45 arrive at home.
4:45-8:30 watch the baby, feed him dinner, change his diapers, crawl around with him. Try to grab some food for myself in this time as well.
8:30-9:30 try to get the baby to sleep.
9:30-10:15 have a drink and try to watch 1/2 an episode of the Sopranos before falling asleep on the couch.

Granted, not every day is like this, with virtually no free time. But there are some when the days are this packed, which makes me think about things. Will it always be like this? Why do I have all this stuff? Etc.

In other news, the new Radiohead album doesn't disappoint.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New Comic!

It's a Halloween miracle! I posted a new comic on The Art Teacher, my long-forsaken comic blog. Check it out here.

DJ Culture

Just a funny photo I stumbled upon. I wish I'd done it first. Better yet, I wish I'd made it a comic first.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fall is here, bees.

Well, since the race is officially on, between Moz and I, to see who can blog about our annual fish hatchery visit first and best, I'd like to take this moment to throw this blog post in the running. But first, take a moment to appreciate the striking beauty of Mo and her new hair:

Over the weekend: the band played in Salem & ate burritos on Luke's front steps, since his wife had his apartment keys and he was locked out. Sunday: the band played at the Towne Lounge, which at first smelled like an arena's bathroom (i.e. used by thousands and foul) but then got pretty decent.

My old friend Lonny was in town, so he came to Sunday's show and we went to the Kennedy on Monday for dinner and drinks. Tuesday we took our kids (with Mo of course) up to Multnomah Falls, then the fish 'atchery and then to Charburger, whose logo I thought was sure to offend Lonny, since he has some Native American ancestry. However, the logo wouldn't keep him away, so we went in and got our grub on. The food was totally edible and unremarkable, save the world's biggest maple bar, which we took home and cut in two.

Simon spent most of the time staring at Lonny's daughter, and she was mutually fascinated by him, I think. See photo below for evidence.

Anyway, Lonny is a good friend who I met when I was 5(!). He now has a daughter that age(!). Nothing makes you feel old like that sort of knowledge. We went to school together, then worked at summer camp together, and spent many a Sunday skipping church and either a) going to Winchell's or b) videotaping random people we thought were funny. Feaver partook in much of this hi-jinkery. Anyway, Lonny and I reclaimed our glorious, reckless youth by playing some Halo 3 before he and his 3 year old daughter had to head on out.

All told, it was a fun weekend being dads together and reminiscing a little bit about days of yore. And talking about the biggest mysteries in life, like brothers, mothers, and the church. All of which can be summarized with: WTF?

Editor's Note to Author's Mother: Just kidding, mom.
Editor's Note to everyone else: Not really.
P.S. Or am I?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mime is money, or, The Fears of a Clown

Marcel Marceau, the world's most famous mime died, and that's too bad. But is there any among you who doesn't find this picture horrifying?

There's no way this face doesn't scare people.

Friday, September 21, 2007

10 not crappy, mostly random songs

As I did about a year and a half ago, I now present the first 10 songs that show up when I put my iPod on shuffle. Before the list, though, you should know a)I have a 30gb iPod, b) I have a 105gb music library, c) therefore, my iPod gets a very limited selection of my full library, but always has everything by my favorite artists ever, and favored artists at the moment. Without further ado, the list:

1. "Que Onde Guero" by Beck - Oh Beck. So good, usually, but this album (Guero) seemed like a step backward. He's been treading water on this album and The Information. It's not terrible, not offensive, just not as good as any of his previous 4 albums.

2. "Silver Lining" by U2 - This is an early, live version of "11 o'clock tick tock," only with different lyrics. This is pretty rough and even has some slightly out-of-tune backing vocals from Mr. Edge. It's funny to hear how rough they were and know that they would one day be one of the biggest bands in the world.

3. "That's the Way" by Led Zeppelin - What a gentle song from a gentle album. It's weird to hear this album and think how underused Bonham is on it. Anyhow, I especially love the way Robert Plant's voice was recorded, like in a bathroom, but also running through a phaser or something. It's unique and beautiful. This song really is melancholic; I love it. This is the first 5 star song from this 10 song shuffle.

4. "If you've got troubles (1982 stereo mix)" by The Beatles - I've got a bunch of Beatles studio outtakes and alternate mixes. There are alternate versions of most of their albums, comprised of entirely different takes and mixes of songs, plus tons of demos that were never turned into album tracks. This song is a standard forgettable/cute Ringo-sung number, made interesting only on the merit of its stereo mixing. This song is from a collection called "Another Session Plus". That link tells you about the origins of this mix.

5. "Boogaloo Boogie" by Stanton Moore - Stanton is my favorite living drummer. He plays on a simple kit and plays with a deeper pocket than Donald Trump, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor. His main gig is the hip-hop/New Orleans/instrumental/jam band Galactic, but he's also a solo artist, and has played with a ton of people including Corrosion of Conformity, Irma Thomas, and the New Orleans Klezmer All Stars. Go here for videos and mp3s. Like many of his songs, this one is instrumental and features guitar, sax and organ. Listen to how he rides the line between swung (jazzy) and straight notes. Fun stuff.

6. "8-21-07 Elvis' Stolen Gun" by The Don and Mike Show - Ok, this isn't a song at all, but a part of my favorite radio show, which I have to listen to as a podcast, since it's on at an inconvenient hour, syndicated from their home in DC. I don't know where to begin to explain this show, but part of its appeal is their love of Elvis Presley, Larry King, and Jerry Lewis. And Regis. They frequently conduct interviews in character, either as Elvis or Larry King. This reminds me of an English project in high school, when Connor Doe and I handed in a little show called "Oscar Wilde's Story Hour" or something, wherein we took turns reading, in terrible British/Irish accents, paragraphs of Oscar Wilde's short stories, while some Renaissance music played in the background. It was hilarious and I think we got an A. Anyway, Don and Mike are funny, frequently berate their callers, talk a lot about the funniest parts of their personal lives (much like a good blog does), and they provide me with a lot of what I need to know about pop culture. Wikipedia, of course, has more in depth details about their show.

7. "Same Old Thing" by The Meters - I got into The Meters because of Stanton Moore. That's a funny thing with music, finding out about a much earlier existing band and their influence on a more current band that you like, but you still like the current band more. Regardless, The Meters were a great band, and Ziggy Modeliste had great skills on the drums. The Meters were a terrificly funky band, from NO,LA, like Stanton Moore and Harry Connick Jr. A classic band who were much more influential than I ever realized, until the past year or so. This song has a great tight riff, some occasional vocals, and a pure funky groove.

8. "Mr. Sellack" by The Roches - I recently got all the albums by The Roches, thanks to Elvis Costello including them on some kind of celebrity playlist or something. They're a female folk trio of sisters from the east coast. Maybe NY? They have great 3-part harmonies and seem like good music for Simon to listen to. They are somehow connected to Rufus Wainwright's musical mother & aunt. My favorite song of theirs is "Quitting Time."

9. "I'm not Angry" by Elvis Costello - There are some bands like Galactic, The Meters, or Led Zeppelin that make we want to immediately pick up drum sticks and practice. Other groups, like The Roches, make me wish I could sing like them. Elvis Costello is an artist that makes me wish I knew more guitar chords, could write clever lyrics, and could write intriguing, brilliant melodies. He's an amazing musician and I wish I'd listened to him for the past 20 years instead of just the past 2.

10. "Black Town" by Rotary Downs - This is a good little indie band I heard on NPR. Their vocalist reminds me a bit of Ken Andrews of Failure. Musically, they've been compared frequently to Pavement. I'm still digesting this album, so no judgments yet. Coincidentally, this band is also from New Orleans.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Breaking News!

According to this blog, Portland has the greatest concentration of educated people, of all cities in the US. Also, the greatest concentration of morons. Now you can tell your friends, "I read online somewhere that Portland has the greatest concentration of educated people." And they'll be like, "That makes sense. People in Portland seem pretty smart. Where did you read that?" And you can say, "Somewhere online, I can't remember exactly." But it'll seem totally believable.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oden and Simon

Having recently finished lunching with Marisa and Simon, let me say that Simon pretty much makes me happier than anything in the world. His mere presence makes me gleeful. Then when he starts looking around and smiling and laughing at things, oh man, I like to fall out.

Secondly, I can't help but think it's hilarious that the Blazers' Greg Oden won't be playing with them this season, due to his recuperation. Freaking hilarious. So many people around here flipped the eff out when the Blazers got Oden in the draft, it was like Beatlemania for a while. He was on the cover of pretty much all the newspapers for a while, and it got to be rather annoying to hear all about people's hopes for Portland to be the center of the sports world for a little while.

This is yet another reason why I have virtually no interest in professional sports. There's so much hype so often and then something like Oden's surgery happens and deflates everyone. Fantasy football. Super Bowl hype. World Series hype. Player's salaries. Ratings. Commercials. Endorsements. It all strikes me as utterly trivial and an useless way for the public to spend time and dollars. I'm not ashamed to say it - since about age 13, I've had no interest in watching sports. Playing sports, maybe, but watching pro athletes and thinking about their stats has always seemed like a tremendous waste of energy, both in time and money. In high school, there were posters around the campus which read "Get high on sports, not drugs!" These never made any sense to me, whatsoever. At least when I play video games, I can think that I'm working on hand-eye coordination.

With pro sports, it's hard to watch and not think about how filthy rich these bastards are and how, chances are, I'll never have that kind of money, regardless of my talent and education and regardless of how I might benefit society. It's that whole thing about how teachers are one of the most valuable people in society, yet they make a terribly disproportionate salary.

To those of you who feel crestfallen by Oden's withdrawal, think about this: there's always going to be another season and another batch of athletes to get excited about. Always. So when you put all this emotional and mental investment into something as trivial as pro sports, I would like to just say "Go read a book." Great authors like Richard Ford continue to write and be read, regardless of the author's injury or recuperation time.

Finally, in a totally unrelated Google search, the phrase "pro sports are a waste of time" only yielded 3 results. For shame, internet, for shame. Not that I won't watch at least part of the World Series this year; I'll just do it with the knowledge that I could be doing something much more productive. Like playing Bioshock.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Summer `07 Survey

DEFINING MOMENT OF SUMMER `07: Finishing college. The "moment," I suppose, was giving a speech to my Oregon writers class, which was the last bit of schoolwork.

BEST PURCHASE OF SUMMER `07: Xbox 360 or maybe my 24" Istanbul ride cymbal. I don't know. This was a rather lean summer.

BEST BOOK YOU READ DURING SUMMER `07: The Sky Fisherman by Craig Lesley. I first read it 9 years ago, during the first term of my college career, so it seems rather fitting that I'd read it again for a class during my final term of school. A great book, too, about a teenage boy in a small town whose uncle is a local celebrity, and then there are some mysterious deaths and some bildungsroman.

BEST MOVIE YOU SAW DURING SUMMER `07: Zodiac. Or maybe The Departed. I cannot get over how effing good The Departed is. Theatrically? Maybe Knocked Up, which I saw twice. Definitely not any of the trilogy-ending flicks, like Spiderman, Pirates, or Oceans. And big-time not Transformers. How come I'm such a sucker for big-budget crap-fests?

BEST GIFT YOU RECEIVED IN SUMMER `07: Graduation $$ from my favorite parents.

BIGGEST LOSS OF SUMMER `07: I lost out on getting a vacation since this was definitely the poorest summer Moz and I have had yet, cash-wise.

SONG THAT SUMS UP SUMMER `07: Based on repeated listens alone, I'd say "45" by Elvis Costello. Plus it's a song about growing older, I think, which I relate to graduation and fatherhood. According to this site 45 is: "a song he wrote for his 45th birthday. It begins with Armistice day in 1945, the beginning of his generation and goes through the 45rpm records he bought as a child, to splitting up those same records in a divorce and finally his own 45th birthday. He addresses rock and roll of course, as part of the definition of his generation (and manages to poke fun both his youthful and current self)." Or maybe the Sm'umpkins "Doomsday Clock" which totally rocks and could equally be about getting older. I listened to that one a lot to, but for the sheer quality of its intensity rather than its attributes as a great song. "45" is a great song, with a fantastic melody, good dynamics, et al.

HAPPIEST MEMORY OF SUMMER `07: Probably all the nighttime fires in the backyard, sipping on White Russians or Rum & Cokes.

SADDEST MEMORY OF SUMMER `07: Nothing really tragic happened, so perhaps I'll say that as Moz and I watched Simon go from newborn to infant to learning to crawl and outgrow a bunch of clothes, I was reminded on a regular basis that a) we're in this for the long haul, and b) in probably 20 years or so Simon will have to move out and won't be under our constant loving supervision. I realize this is nothing new, but it still breaks my heart just a little.

SCARIEST MEMORY OF SUMMER `07: The realization that we were effing broke.

WORD THAT BEST DESCRIBES SUMMER `07: Flux. That is, a change in jobs, education, and responsibilities for Moz and I.

Big boy!

Well, Simon started crawling two days ago. And it's more of an army crawl, like he's pulling himself along with his amazingly strong arms because his legs were blown off by enemy fire. Or something. Also, he's able to pull himself into an upright sitting position. And he's gotten pretty good at stealing his friends' toys. Much like his father, I'd say. We have photographic evidence of destruction of one such stolen toy. I love how his expression is like, "Oh crap! I'm caught!"

My Stress Level

Now that I'm done with educating up myself, I have time for stupid internet games and such. One of the funniest thing I've come across is a Hello Kitty Stress Test. I think it's for reals, but I'm not entirely sure. Here is the result of my stress test, verbatim:

You have a fair stress level.

One of the reasons for this is your conscious awareness to release your stress before letting it get worst.

However when you come across many troubles at the same time, you might unable to handle it. There comes the problem. For this type you better enjoy the green and wood.

As long as you are in the natural environment, you will be peaceful to resolve any problems.

And I tend to agree with this analysis. I will be peaceful to resolve any problems as long as I'm in the natural environment. That's probably why I enjoyed working at summer camp so much as a teen: I was in the natural environment. I was totally peaceful to resolve any problems.

Now, I better go enjoy the green and the wood, like Hello Kitty told me to. However, I seem to be stuck in this cubicle-ridden wasteland of fluorescent lights and BO.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Everyone wants to know what the next caper will be

I'm just saying let's enjoy this moment.

Unless the kindly British teacher decided to flunk me based on yesterday's thoroughly adquate presentation, I have finished my Bachelor's degree in English. So I'm ready for my job as a barista or driver or courier or something. Actually, I may have a few, um, things in the oven... no, wait, what's that metaphor? I have a few sticks in the fire? A few black pots on the kettle? A few horses being led? I can't remember. Anyhow, I'm hoping for a work opportunity that's actually tangentially related to my field of study.

I am regretfully unable to attend the graduation ceremony, due to a rock and roll gig in beautiful Bellingham, Washington. It's about 264 miles from my house. Roughly. But there will be a big graduation party in the future, coordinated with Lavalier and Widmer beer.

Finally, Simon is about this close to crawling. This close, I swear! He's quite strong and proud of himself. He's a good boy. We recently bought him a banana wheel, which, for you non-parents of babies out there, is something like the water wheel, only it's made out of bananas, for quick banana dispensing. Ok, we didn't really buy it for him, it's just an idea I'm working on. The details are a little fuzzy, and I can't decide whether it should distribute bananas, be made out of bananas, or both. I'm hoping I can patent it and turn it into one of those essential baby items, like a $500 car seat, the endangered alligator skin diaper bag, and electric/hybrid stroller with shocks.

Friday, August 03, 2007

August, die she must

August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold

And so ends my obligatory Simon & Garfunkel reference. Those guys are the best. Anyway, here I am, 8 days left of classroom attendance, one final nearly written, two being assembled in my head.

Speaking of my head,
Q: "How many surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb?"
A: "One to hold the iguana and three to wrestle the wolverine into the bathtub."

That's a joke I chose to write about for my grammar class. Isn't that brilliant?! Writing about jokes and getting college credit for it. For further online English classes, see also: my James Bond class.

In other news, Simon is learning to eat from a spoon:

I love how Simon's hands are saying, "Sha-Zam!"

In other news, the cover band played our first gig, for Moz's sisters wedding reception. We looked awesome and didn't play horribly:

So, lately I've been reading for anywhere from 2 to 6 hours a day, trying to keep up with my "Contemporary Oregon Writers" class at PSU. It's a good class; the teacher is a brilliant Brit who knows more about the history of the Pacific Northwest than anyone I know. And he lives thousands of miles away! Anyway, that class covers a new novel every 2 days, so a lot of reading is required. But I make up for it by watching 3 James Bond movies a week, so don't worry, I'm not getting too book-smart.

And finally, a quick and sincere RIP to the churchy community formerly known as the Helix. Ye shall be missed, but all things must pass.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July update

Jeepers, I can't believe it's been so long since my last update. Let's see what's new...

I've recently rekindled my fondness for the comic art of Berkeley Breathed, the genius behind Bloom County, Outland, and Opus comics. He also does some pretty great kid's books. And his latest weekly comic, Opus, can be found in giant, glorious color here.

What else is new? Lavalier and I have been watching the James Bond films, in chronological order, averaging about 3 movies a week. Last night's film was "The Spy Who Loved Me," which featured not only "the sexiest song ever written" but also had some wonderful production design from Ken Adam. Next up is "Moonraker" and boy am I psyched! It's the only Bond film I've never seen! It's supposed to be craptacular!

Also in the news, I'm supposed to be getting a new vehicle tonight. Specifically, my dad's dad's truck. Hopefully that'll work out, and the Sloop/Emtotheizo vehicular drought of '07 (which coincided with Simon's birth - coincidence? - I think not!) will hopefully be over. I've never been a huge fan of trucks, as an auto type, but I ain't picky. I have to start using words like "ain't" and "yee-haw" now that I'll be driving a truck, right?

Furthermore, my band has been getting metric tonnes of press lately. Like the Portland Mercury, Gen Art Pulse, KPSU (live on-air performance & interview)- get the mp3), and the Willamette Week. Woot and phew, that's a lot.

So, please come to the cd release show at the Doug Fir tomorrow; sorry, but the guest list is full. But I will be looking out... for YOU!

Friday, June 29, 2007

An actual conversation

Last night, the power in my neighborhood went out. I called the power company on my cell phone. This is exactly what transpired:

Southern Fried Redneck Customer Service Hillbilly: (mumbles) Paahr.
Me: What? Hello?
SFRCSH: Puh(mumbles) Paahr!
Me: Um. Ok, my power is out.
SFRCSH: Wut's yer address?
Me: (address withheld from blog. Just say "No" to online stalkers!)
SFRCSH: Wut? Wut state yew ee-in?
Me: Oregon.
SFRCSH: Orygun!!?? You got the wrong state, buddy!
Me: Ok...
SFRCSH: You need to call the Orygun nummer!
Me: Well, this is the number that my power company told me to call.
SFRCSH: Yore callin' Flarida! You need to call Orygun!
Me: Ok, well can you tell me what number that is? My power is out...
SFRCSH: No; you need to call the Orygun nummer! Yore callin' Flarida! What you need to do is call Orygun! (ad infinitum)
Me: (click)

In other news, my church is breaking up, but it's the right time for that. Imagine God saying, "It's not you, it's me." Or something like that.

In other other news, I need to work more. And get paid for it. It seems that having a baby costs money, and certain roommates moving out and certain selves working less means there is less money around for my champagne and caviar parties. So there's that. I'd prefer not to answer phones, operate a cash register, or work evenings or weekends, but beyond that I'm flexible. Really! Any ideas? I'd consider male modeling, hand modeling, or even model aeroplaning, if that's a job.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sloop's Back!

At Benjy's 6th grade graduation party:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Let's get Lost

Well, I don't think that I've ever blogged about Lost before. It's the only show that I watch on TV. Literally, the only show. I do watch other shows, like Deadwood and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but since I don't have HBO, I usually have to wait until they're on DVD or somehow on my hard drive before I can watch them.

So, the finale of Lost Season 3 was last night, and boy was it a doozy. Right off the bat, I want to say how proud I am that I called the "flash-forward" regarding Jack's storyline, which was posed as a traditional flashback throughout the episode. The clues were all there: we don't get to see whose body is at the funeral parlor; we don't know why people are calling Jack a "hero, twice over", plus there's that conspicuously 90's Nirvana song and the era-ambiguous wardrobe. And finally, Jack looking at the various Oceanic flight maps and such. So, I called it and there are witnesses: Flying Waitress, Kazu Googoo, Emtotheizo, I'm looking at you.

One great thing about watching Lost with a group (at least with this episode), is that afterwards, and even during commercials, there are so many mysteries and cliff-hangers to talk about that the theories just abound ceaselessly. My questions (and I know that few, if any, will be answered next season, if ever) are these:

1. Will Season 4 be filled with flash-forwards, instead of flashbacks? Probably not, since on the official Lost podcast, they said there would be a Rousseau flashback next season.
2. Who is on the boat? Just because it's not Penny's boat doesn't mean they're evil.
3. Who was in the casket? I'm guessing Sawyer, Locke, or Ben.
4. At the end of the episode, who is waiting for Kate? I'm guessing Sawyer or just some random husband.
5. What did Jack read that made him suicidal? I'm guessing it was about an island being nuked.
6. How did Walt age like 4 years in just a few island-weeks? I'm guessing we weren't supposed to notice his growth spurt or his deepened voice.
7. Why hasn't Richard aged at all, after 30 years on the island?
8. WTF is Jacob? A man? A ghost? An demon?
9. Who is the parachutist and why did she lie about where she came from?
10. Why is Locke such an a-hole? He didn't have to kill her to stop her from calling. Is he really so desperate to stay on the island? Sure, he can walk there, but he's totally missing American Idol.
11. WTF is up with the smoke monster? I bet this one never gets explained.

I've got about a zillion other questions, but those are the ones that spring to mind.
Any other good questions?

Finally, a few Lost links:
Oceanic Flight 815 (official site with message board)
TV without Pity - episodes synopsis & analysis
Lost Spoilers - of course, I'm guessing this won't be of much use until next January or so

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mother's Day Mix

Ok, I know that it's like a week late, but here is a mix of songs for Mother's Day.

1. Motherless Child - Portishead w/Tom Jones
2. Honour your Mother & Father - Desmond Dekker
3. All Because of You - U2
4. Mother & Child Reunion - Paul Simon
5. That's All Right, Mama - Elvis Presley
6. Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow? - The Rolling Stones
7. Wave/Mother Nature's Son - Brad Mehldau
8. Your Mother Should Know - The Beatles
9. Mother's Love - Alela Diane
10. Mother Heroic - Bjork
11. Thanksgiving to the Mother of God (Greek Chant) - Rachmaninov
12. Mother of Pearl - Roxy Music
13. Does your mother know? - ABBA
14. Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother - Sufjan Stevens
15. This is to mother you - Sinead O'Connor
16. Goodbye to the Mother & the Cover - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
17. Mother Stands for Comfort - Kate Bush
18. We Share our Mother's Health - The Knife
19. Send a picture of mother - Johnny Cash
20. Mother - John Lennon

I listened to this mix this morning, and I like it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Father of the Year / Jerk of the Week

I normally reserve my unrepentant cruelty for people I know, but this jackassery cannot stand. The culprit? An idiotic father who got his 10 month old baby a gun permit. He just made my jerk list. Jerk!

Some would say that having a gun in the house is a good way to keep your family safe. I would say that having a gun in the house is a good way to put your family at risk for accidents.

Fun facts:

1. As of 1997 handguns have been almost completely banned for private ownership in England.

2. In 2005/06 in England, only 6.6% of reported homicides were committed with firearms, one being with an air weapon.

3. By comparison, in the United States in 2000, 70% of the homicides involved the use of firearms.

4. People can come up with statistics to prove anything. 40% of all people know that.

5. Think about it.

More reading, with tons of links.

May Day! May Day!

This is my band. We spent most of Mother's Day having our pictures taken.

The boy is amazing and continues to surpise me every day.

School is still going, keeping me quite busy, and the kindergartners are very fun to teach music. My Brit Lit prof assigned us an extra essay yesterday. Whoopee.

I can't wait to be done with school and homework forever. Just a few more months. Sigh.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Here it is, the end of April 2007. The eaglet grows bigger every day. Beyond that, there's nothing new to report. Not that "Baby Gets Bigger!" is like a stop-the-presses type of headline, but isn't solipsism sort of the point of having a blog? He's got a great head of hair which alternates between "Christopher Walken" and "New School Mohawk" and "Portland Hipster Tousled", all of which are totally awesome to me.

I met with an advisor in the English department at PSU yesterday, and guess what? I'm on track to graduate after summer term. Just like the computer's been telling me for over a year. But having a person from the department say it makes it more official and real, just like blogging something makes an experience more important or even note-worthy, especially since you've just made notes about it.

I can't remember the last time I went to a show, to a restaurant, or to the theater. Life has mostly revolved around a few rooms in my house, which is weird, but I'm sure even worse for my sweet wife, who somehow is able to produce more milk for the eaglet and is therefore stuck at home almost all the time.

I work some, I do homework, I play drums with people, I tend to the eaglet. Repeat. I'm glad that things will change before long, with school being done. Thank gods for music.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What's Going On

Well, blog o' mine, I notice you've been getting neglected and I'm here to say I'm sorry. Sort of. You see, the time that I used to spend updating you is now being spent doing homework, working, or most importantly, trying to get my baby to stick his tongue out at me.

I've also been reading about the 100 worst-reviewed movies ever, and I'm shocked that I've seen so many of them.

My "free" time has been split between playing at MSCC with J-Tho, J-Mer and the 'Cane, rehearsing the new band material with Jonny and Benjy, and working on some cover band songs to play at Jessica's wedding, with JJ, Benj, and SLR.

Then there's the whole baby thing. Trying to get through each day with minimal crying and minimal poop on my hands is tough. And then there's Simon to deal with! Zoinks!

But seriously, the weight of responsibility can be freaking overwhelming. There's a person whose entire LIFE is dependent on M & I. Now, I don't know about you, but I feel fairly unequipped to deal with my own life, but I think that's part of being human. You do the best you can and try not to hurt people or screw up too badly, then you die.

So, as I prepare to finally graduate college, I need to find some sort of career that can help sustain life for the baby, M, and I, all without somehow killing my soul. And in my experience, 8-5 M-F jobs are designed to drain you of energy, hope, optimism, and faith in humanity. Like I said to God the other day, "Why do you lay these troubles on an already troubled mind?"

Meanwhile, we're talking about getting a new house, since we're getting a little tired of the constant gangs of homeless people, drunks, stray dogs, and whores who frequent the sidewalks of our block. But buying a new house is rather impossible when a) one party only works part time, and sporadically at that and b)one party is presently on Mo-ternity leave.

Latest listens:
Jonah - Trust everyone before they break your heart
Rufus Wainwright - Release the Stars
Various - Unbelievable (mostly Madchester Mix CD)
Various - Weekender (a slightly different Madchester Mix CD)

Friday, March 23, 2007


So, after 13 days of fatherhood, I can definitely say that I'm an expert on the subject. In a lot of ways, it's just how I expected. But in many ways, I hadn't anticipated how this new addition to our casa would change things.

For example, I knew it was possible that Simon would pee while I was changing his diaper. I didn't expect the pee to get on me, nor did I expect him to pee on me every day, for 3 days in a row. C'est la vie.

I'm constantly amazed at how much that boy can eat. Pretty much every time he's crying, it's because he's hungry. Or at least, that's how it has been for the past 5 days or so. I know that babies' "habits" change almost daily during this time in their life, but still.

We've been calling him The Eaglet, because whenever he's hungry, he purses his lips and pokes his head around, like he's looking for a worm.

Every day, he cracks me up for different reasons. Like extremely loud flatulence, or like yesterday when he had a look of surprise on his face for at least 5 minutes.

Finally, despite all the setbacks of being in the hospital for basically 6 days, I finished my finals and got them all in on time. Now I'm waiting for my grades, and waiting for spring term, which will be my last term of full-time school. Unless, of course, I do something silly like try to get a master's degree. But that wouldn't be for a few years, probably. Anyway, the end of schooling is really appealing.

And now, onward with spring break!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My Boy

He looks nothing like Winston Churchill, plus he's got ten fingers and ten toes. We're so proud.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I just want to see the boy happy

Well, the world can finish waiting. The boy is here. Simon Oliver was born on Sunday, March 11th at 1:27pm. He's got a healthy scream & lots of long blond hair. Pics to come, once I find that cable. M and Simon are sleeping now. There's a fairly long story leading up to his birth, which I will post later. Things are good. Lola the dog is handling his arrival well, too.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Six Weird Things

Ok, so it took me like a week to notice that I'd been tagged for the latest meme. This one is where you write 6 "weird" things about yourself. What qualifies as "weird" isn't stated, so if you have a beef with what I count as weird, then you can pound sand.

1. I own a Mac and an iPod but am not a Mac snob. My computer runs slower than Heather Mills going uphill, so I've got nothing to be too proud of. The iPod is nice, but they work with PCs now. I've had 2 conversations in the past 2 days with PC users who seem overly defensive of their non-Mac use, but to them I say, "More power to you" and "Fight the Power" and "Semper Fi, brother. Semper Fi".

2. Not that I'm horribly overweight, but I try a different diet every few months, just to lose those few extra pounds. Atkins worked nicely, but was pretty dependent on dead animals. And then during the holidays, blah blah blah.

3. The latest in a string of useless vehicles I've acquired currently uglifies my driveway. The problems with the vehicle are: a) it has a leak in the back hatch thingy, so it's totally mildewy and gross inside, b) the vehicle works perfectly until it randomly shuts down completely and won't restart for several minutes, regardless of the speed it's going when it decides to shut off, and c) the vehicle was a "gift", I spend some money to get it running, and although it's now "mine", I don't have the title to the vehicle and after 4 months of trying to get the title from it's owner, I'm wondering if I ever will. I'm considering my options with this one.

4. Approximately 5 years after the rest of the country already knew about him, I recently "discovered" Chuck Klosterman. He's hilarious, intelligent, self-aware, and seems to have my dream job, i.e. writing in the first person about pop culture. Here's a recent article by him in Esquire.

5. The first step to making a list of weird things is realizing that nothing is weird and nothing is normal. Things just are. If half the population of my city or country does the same thing as me, it's equally likely that half of the population doesn't do things the way I do. Accept it.

6. In the anticipation of waiting for my baby to arrive, almost everything else has become futile. Or at least less meaningful. That is, I could spend an evening watching 10 episodes of The Larry Sanders show (which was brilliant and had a perfect cast), or I could spend my evening mopping the stairs. Either way, I'll just be killing time until my lovely wife goes into labor.

Finally, in a bold move sure to shock the blogging community, I'm not tagging anyone with this meme.

That's it. No baby yet.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Final Countdown

Well, here we are. 17 days till Simon peeks his head out and tries to find his shadow. If he doesn't see it, of course it means 6 more weeks of pregnancy. We've got the Sloop house all decked out and ready for impact. Beds, cribs, cradles, carriages, and a seemingly bottomless supply of diapers. Plus lots of books, toys, and onesies, plus many, many items I didn't know I needed (much less even knew existed) until Emtotheizo got preggers. Items such as a drum that teaches Spanish. Or a wipes warmer. Or a specially designed seat for a car, that goes on top of your car's normal seat. It's a weird world.

We've had a few dreams tell us that he'll be born as a red-head on March 8th, but we've also had a few dreams tell us he'd be born a girl, so we all know how much stock to put in the power of dreams.

In other news, I recently completed a 3 day stint as a "featured extra" in my good friend Lavalier's student film, which was written by my former housemate the Flying Waitress. My role in the film: sit and talk casually. I think I did a pretty convincing job. It was filmed at Clyde's Prime Rib restaurant, here in Portland, which looks like something straight out of Goodfellas. Except for a plasma TV and some tacky art in the back room, the place looks untouched since 1965. It's great. I can't imagine what it must be like when there's actual customers there.

In even other other news, I recently got together with Kazugoogoo to play on his new Wii. It's totally rad (yes, rad) and it only took about 14 hours of pleading with Mrs. Sloop to convince her that I needed one and that I could get one and still rear a perfect child at the same time.

And finally, the band is set to basically finish recording this weekend. I'm going to be playing some drums in a room that seats about 1000, so it should have some naturally blessed reverb. Look for "Two Ghosts" in a store near you in late spring/early summer.

That's about it. The next time I post will likely be as the father of a newborn. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I'd type the previous sentence.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Semi-Annual January 24th Update

Well folks, at this writing, my little bundle of joy and testosterone should arrive in about 44 days. For those of you who aren't math majors, that's just about 6 weeks. And that scares the living crap out of me. But it's also something I look forward to with great anticipation. Also, I'm not sure how much "living crap" I actually have in me. So, my boy, at age -6 weeks, already has more furniture than I do, including a crib that's probably worth more than everything in my bedroom combined. He's a lucky kid.

In other news, my latest listening has involved 3 distinct things:
1. Chuck Palahniuk - Haunted
This audiobook is great listening, although not for the easily queasy. (Try saying "easily queasy" 100 times real fast!) It's basically a collection of short stories (all by Palahniuk), but each story has a different narrator. And all the narrator's are together at a mysteriously dangerous writer's retreat. I love the way Palahniuk writes and I have to admit it's influenced the latest short story I wrote for school, a little bit. At least the conversational, informal tone of his writing.

2. Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Grammar Tips Podcast.
This is a pretty great podcast for grammar nerds like me. I probably don't know enough to be a true grammar nerd, but I certainly have a penchant for correcting my roommates errors. Like when they use "less" instead of "fewer" and vice versa. The Grammar Girl addresses problems like the multiple past-tense versions of the word "hang", the differences between "effect" and "affect", and when to use "i.e." or "e.g.". They're great 3-5 minute lessons, and today I'v listened to probably 25 of them. They really smartify your brains.

3. Menomena - Friend and Foe
This is the first mind-blowing album of the year. Never mind that I've had an early version of it since September (is this my nameless form of name-dropping? Yes!), this album hit stores yesterday. This is a really, truly, incredible album. And the artwork is wonderful. Like many great albums, you can listen to this one over and over again and hear new things each time. The production of the album is idiosyncratic enough to keep it fresh and enjoyable after a dozen listens. Plus, I got to interview the band last weekend, and go to a "secret" dress rehearsal/show of theirs, with a 25 member choir last Monday. Here's a review of it that I wrote for my school paper.