Wednesday, December 22, 2004
I'm reading the new/old Yann Martel collection, and it makes me wish that everyone wrote so clearly, so lucidly. Especially those people whom I work with... clients, not co-workers, mind you.
Joan just gave us an elliptical. Very, very nice of her. We'd been in the market to buy until we saw in the most recent Consumer Reports that they (a) cost between $1-2,000, and (b) are slightly more trustworthy than the garden-variety Yugo.
So it comes to pass that she was getting rid of her old one, for no real reason. And so for no real reason, we took it off her hands. Who knows if we'll use it, but it's a freebie.
And it's one of those "as seen on TV" models... so I am a bit wary, lest a leg fall off. Mine, the machine's, whatever. Note to self: be very, very careful.
Pitchfork just gave "Funeral" its #1 ranking for the year. No surprise; richly deserved.
Why do I refuse to do my expenses, for tax time? Maybe b/c it's 4 months away?
Looking forward to seeing Abby and the family up in CT this weekend... usually, it's a bit of a chore-- the drive more than anything else-- but I really miss her right now, and things have been great with her parents as of late.
Not that they've ever been bad, for the record.
Yeah, I really miss her. Were I to tell her that, mind, she'd stick her tongue out at me, make a weird noise, walk with knees akimbo, who knows... but she'd hardly accept it.
I wish that she would.
ben folds - bizarre christmas incident
belle & sebastian - santa claus, go straight to the ghetto
sufjan stevens - o holy night
coldplay - 2000 miles (pretenders cover)
beck - the little drum machine boy
Monday, December 06, 2004
Hi there. Title of this thread is just the sauciest of songs. It gets in your head, it does a little jig, it makes you feel happy... and then it makes you sad... sad that Andy Partridge has never had more success than what limited, phobia-induced success he's had. Because this song is entirely indebted to XTC, just as the Futureheads' "Robot" is a complete Jam-a-thon.
Sometimes, you can have more music than you know what to do with, and be dismayed at having 10s of gigs of stuff... knowing that 90% of it is shite. Then a song like this comes along, to make it all better.
The weekend was here, I had a cup of beer... or several. Adams, Teso and Hunt at Ramparts for a full session of football. May have been too much. Even though the Patsies, Bills and Eagles just throttled everyone in sight... smoking'll KILL YA!!! We came home smelling the wrong side of the ashtray, and pretty much the worse for wear, even apart from the odor. I had Andy and Abby drive me home. No shame in that... but a decent indication of a day well done.
Andy had Coke all day.
Job continues to go well, but I might need to re-up with NetZero, just in case I have another day like this. Working from home, when something goes wrong? It's like being stranded on a desert isle.
Abby is still watching CSI from front-to-back, but I'm detecting signs of fatigue. Perhaps her next trend/obsession is just around the corner... the smart money is on TLC or the Discovery Channel, though the Food Channel offers some wonderful dark horses.
negativeland - the letter U and the number 2
fiery furnaces - straight street
dogs die in hot cars - pastimes and lifestyles (look at me, with the bait-n-switch!)
martin gore - in a manner of speaking
queen - the show must go on (find a more depressing song... i dare ya)
Monday, November 29, 2004
That may or may not be the last link for awhile... but I thought it was worth a larf or two.
Why does New Order get the shaft? Really, more good there than not. Even if they're NOT Joy Division.
Add Sears to the Circuit City list. It took me 45 minutes to get out of there, and I found what I was looking for (a humidifier) as soon as I walked in the store.
I found one of two things-- I'd been looking for these humidifier accessories that I thought I needed, as well. I had the foresight (!) to phone the store first. And they said they had 15-20 of them in stock.
Nuh-uh. Thus began a tragi-comic series of searches at a snail's pace-- first, by the attendant (!), then the woman at the register, all while lines grew and grew. By the time the register gal had asked me if I wanted to order the parts with her, I did the "oh, no! Nonononono... let's just get a-movin'" thing that was embarassing for all involved. But at that point... I had to get out. And the tens of people standing behind me wanted me to get going too, I'm sure.
So... never again.
rufus wainwright - cigarettes and chocolate milk
beulah - emma blowgun's last stand
chris martin - have yourself a very merry christmas
new order - regret (live)
billy and the boingers - u stink but i love u
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
This one, too:
And while I'm being original:
Finally, and because this never gets old. To posterity, then:
I waited in no less than three separate LINES before somehow hitting the jackpot and getting the hell out of Dodge. Not a single employee knew what they were doing, the registers seemed to be malfunctioning, the employees showed no desire to remedy any of said problems, and then there's the little matter of their receipt, which when stretched out and laid on the floor takes up a square acre.
Or maybe I'm just mad that no fewer than two losers had Creed's Greatest Hits album in hand. Cripes. No wonder this country's gone to hell. We should have seen it coming. Especially given the fact that Creed is/was from Florida.
Abby's doing a little bit better. News of a new job-- a life raft, if you will-- would make most anyone feel better. Hopefully tommorrow's 3+ hour drive (Stop Making Sense, Franz Ferdinand, A Grand Don't Come for Free, Give Up, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, others) will help her along. Good music is therapeutic, y'know.
But back to the job thing-- it's a few weeks before she leaves the current concentric circle of hell, so we'll see how many anecdotes come about over the next 20-some days.
My job continues to ROCK.
Jill paid through the nose to see Bright Eyes, who she claims to have seen two or three times before.
Every time I think my musicknerd track marks are visible, Jill steps forward with an Oberst-sized hole in her arm. Jesus, woman, mix in some quality control! See another band... or pray for Ride to re-form. Something. Anything.
Off to Philly. I'll bring you back a cheesesteak, if you promise to share.
Monday, November 22, 2004
That brawl was (those brawls were) ri-goddamned-diculous. Everyone's to blame.
beck - satan gave me a taco
decemberists - bandit queen
big star - nightime
eddie murphy - boogie in your butt
scissor sisters - take your mama out
Saturday, November 20, 2004
*wife still sick.
*penn state upset michigan state;
*joepa still insisting on staying.
*ohio state upset michigan;
... well, there's absolutely nothing bad about THAT.
but it IS raining.
aw, hell. it's just hard for me to admit that things are going well, i guess... just a natural tendency. maybe i should just be thankful, instead.
eels - christmas is going to the dogs
polyphonic spree - merry xmas (war is over)
death cab for cutie - christmas (baby please come home)
it's impossible for me to select just one.
did you SEE those two brawls? Jesus.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Anyway. This may be the last post. The GOPlanche was bad enough, but this?
Watch, as I set myself on fire.
Sucks that I went 10 for 10 on the Ten Commandments quizzola (in the worst way possible, mind you).
Although something (Someone, perhaps... and I ain't talkin' Mike Seaver) tells me that the way it was set up, everyone who takes the test is supposed to bat a thousand.
That's crafty, Kirk... and isn't craftiness dangerously close to lying?
Or stealing our innocence?
Or angering... well, me? Which is supposedly commensurate with murder???
Ah, well. Perhaps I'll just turn the other cheek on this one.
Dave's most recently played iTunes:
stephen malkmus - malediction (live)
fountains of wayne - hat and feet
r.e.m. w/ andy kaufman (sorta) - this friendly world
smashing pumpkins - luna
paul westerberg - baby learns to crawl
and, as a bonus for you, Constant Reader:
the 220.127.116.11.'s - woo hoo
Thursday, November 18, 2004
From whence the title cometh? I had Starbucks this morning (networking event in the District-- suit and everything), and their Tall/Grande/Venti was better than their usual. I was pleasantly surprised, given my general rule of thumb concerning coffee: the pissier the place of origin, the better the coffee. Wawa? AM/PM? Dunkin' Donuts? Gas station on the side of I-95 at 4:00 a.m.? Bring. It. On. But gourmet coffee, or allegedly gourmet coffee? I'll pass, thanks.
But the thrust of this here thread title comes from my desire to speak about the T.O. thing. Enough, already. Blacks claim whites don't get it, whites claim blacks are making this into a Mandingo Cliche (!) unnecessarily... ENOUGH. It was needless, but it's behind us. If we're a strong enough nation to elect the right Presidential candidate, then surely we can get over this.
Uh... yeah. What's the deal with Affleck and Garner, again?
Watched my Eagles the other night lay the smack down on the Cowboys. And though Aikman, Smith and Irvin are gone (for the most part)... well, I still fancy me an old-fashioned Dallas ass-whippin'. How 'bout them Cowboys?!?
(And can someone tie Irvin' hands to the table? Enough already! Surprised with the level of insight he brings, frankly, but I can't hear half of it because his arms, hands and fingers are such a distraction. At least he wasn't wearing TJ's Rasberry Beretsuit from a few weeks back... even the Playmaker has his limits.)
Andy and I watched MNF together for the first time in over a decade-- and by the way, won't you please welcome this gentleman back into the States, after a 3-year stint in Turkey (and Afghanistan for three months)? Anyway, as T.O. transformed himself into Eric Heiden, Jesus Christ and then Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, respectively, we just laughed.
Sure, he's a prick. But he's our prick... and we Philadelphians are starving for a winner. We're willing to overlook the fact that he's got a higher on-field pulse than our beloved walrus-like coach. Who is starting to evolve, I think, but that's another character assassination for another time.
Haven't had Pringles in years. Maybe that should change.
Hoping my wife is well enough to go back to work tomorrow. She doesn't know I'm doing this, yet, and I keep thinking she's going to walk in and ask "WHY aren't you looking at porn like men left to themselves tend to do??? What is thi-- are you writing???"
I'll tell her at some point. For now, it's just an outlet, and a way to (possibly, theoretically) improve my writing. And tell you that Band Aid 20 is an abortion, put kindly.
Well, tonight, thank God it's them, instead of YOU.
I half-heartedly quote this song as a lead-in to a comment about the first comment I received about this blog. For which I am unexpectedly thankful, slightly bemused and fully appreciative... that someone out there (a) clearly has good (accidental) taste in bloggery, and (b) knows who Otm Shank is. And (c) is not a member of my immediate circle of friends.
Was going to make a Salo reference, held back. Anyway.
All of this prattling and non-observation brings me to The West Wing, oddly enough. Past its prime by the standards of most, I declare that it remains enjoyable, for the most part. Not grade-A Sorkin, but what else even comes close on (network) TV these days?
But why do I still watch it... hmmm... Perhaps as a last bastion of Democrat rule? A supplement for an otherwise-network-dramaless life? The comfort of the familiar? Who knows. But I mention all of this because last night's episode had a not-quite-the-level-of-Mikey-and-the-answering-machine-but-still-cringeworthy scene in which Josh attempts to do battle with a blogger, and loses.
In other words... never underestimate the battle of the teeming hordes.
Listened to the new U2 on VH-1.com yesterday. Thanks to Stereogum and a number of other blogs for pointing me in that direction. To tell the truth, it wasn't half-bad... but the album smelled strongly of adult contemporary rock, if there's such a thing. The Target ad/video was bad enough, but several of the tracks (towards the middle and back-end) were simply unmemorable. And though I enjoy Coldplay as much as the next 30-year old... I dunno. Standing "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" or "A Rush of Blood to the Head" next to "Funeral"... well... you know what I mean. Neither of the former albums are anything more than solid and efficient AOR albums.
I'm rooting for U2-- it's clear that they're still trying hard. But they're getting uncomfortably close to their 50s, aren't they? Maybe they should pull a Jim Brown.
I love Tom Wolfe and all, and I'm excited to read his new book, I Am Charlotte Simmons, but as many critics have noted, the pleasure will almost certainly be in the always-giddy wordplay, and not in the drawwwwlin' seventy-something's horror-- horror!-- at the fact that collegians have (gasp!) intercourse. I really enjoyed A Man in Full, but by light years, the weakest episodes were those in which Wolfe adopted the stereotypical ebonics tone usually reserved for (some of) our parents' more disgraceful moments... or at least Amos 'n Andy's old routines.
Back to the mines. I'd love to write more, but I am at work, after all. Mass mailings being the specialty of the day. As Billy Crystal says, "it's not fun... not fun."
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
By miles and miles. That said, Otm Shank still made me chortle when he said:
"Madam, we must have waffles! We must all have waffles forthwith! We must all think, and we must all have waffles, and think each and every one of us to the very best of his ability..."
(the boldface would be the tip off, yo)
Except in the instance where you have the ability to work from home, which I do. In which case, working past 5 gives me something to do while the wife watches an endless parade of CSI repeats. So everybody wins!!!
But seriously, folks, working from home is a great thing. I thought I might get lonely, sitting up here in my loft all day, with nothing but my sweatpants, my dog, and my heroin to keep me company. But e-mail, IM and a constant parade (that's two mentions of "parade," for those of you counting) of work keep(s) me far too pre-occupied to even think of getting lonely. Well, that and the fact that my team consists of several great people.
Not just saying that, neither... nope. No, sir. For the first time in, oh, I dunno, EVER?, I work with a group that I respect and that seems, for some strange reason, to respect me back. I care about what I do, I like the company I work for... what's wrong with this picture?
So I guess the title of this post is somewhat misleading, then... this is not, in fact, what jail is like. Although that's a damned fine song, if I do say so. By the sadly deceased Afghan Whigs, if you're playing at home.
Which brings me around to answering the question that's been plaguing all of you, for certain: "why 'Testament to Youth in Verse'"?
Because (1) it's yet another damned fine song-- this time, by the fanshmabulous New Pornographers; (2) it's a fairly apt description of this here nonsense; and (3) it's got the following lyric, which is not even the song's strongest moment (that comes at the end, fella):
"Should you go lookin'...
for a testament to youth in verse,
variations on the age old curse,
you blame the stations
when they play you like a fool and like a fool you get played with."
Damn. That is some fantastic shit right there. Hits me every time. Pretty much sums it up, really.
Great guy, in any year would be a substantial and/or viable candidate... don't get me wrong (though don't get me started on Terrrrrrezzza)...
But I don't want any Presidential nominee who couldn't win the first time out, be it against President Rove or otherwise. Is it a shame? Sure. Is there a Democrat waiting in the wings of such substance? Not yet.
But if it were up to me, and I were the Ent Himself, I'd continue working my day job, and never again attempt to wrest the Midwest out of the GOP's hands.
I'm sure J.K. is listening. That is, if he's not still reading and/or fuming over that Newsweek piece on what a horrible campaign his team ran.
top songs (in lowercase, in honor of nate)
tullycraft - pop songs your new boyfriend's too stupid to know about
pavement - ... and carrot rope
arcade fire - this must be the place (naive melody) (live)
replacements - portland
r.e.m. - life and how to live it
And so there was Blog, and it was Good, except for the fact that everyone and their grandmother has a blog nowadays. So what makes mine different?
No MP3s, no porn.
I don't know how to put those things on here, and even if I did... tsk, tsk. None of us should be looking for those things, anyway. So there it is. My blog persona is four words: I am now a Puritan. In name only, of course.
Perhaps at some point I'll get into my career, personality, politics and general musings... but for now I will simply say that the wife and I watched The Office Special(s) last night, and were incredibly happy doing so. Anyone who hasn't seen the show by now... well, you can still gain admittance to Heaven, if you'll only accept that Ricky Gervais is funnier than Jay Leno.
And that's something that EVERYONE can agree on, no?
Current top 5 bands (starting simple, and listing as of this very moment):
Bye, lads and lasses. Let's see if this ever gets updated.