Thursday, December 29, 2005

Final Piece of the Year

Unfortunately, I don't have much time to type, despite this being incredibly important-- I've got a lot of work/personal stuff to get accomplished today before I hit the road tomorrow morning.

But as this is my last post of the year... maybe I should give you a few winners down the line... so that you'll remember me fondly?

***

Let me start with one of the greatest websites in history. And if you don't agree with me, well, cut me some slack, Jack!

***

There are a few people who find Chris Martin of Coldplay to be a bit annoying, apparently. I don't know that I even have an opinion on the matter-- but you might get a laugh or two by peeking here.

***

Remember these guys? Of course you do! Everyone in your office sent you the link in 2004... you remember now.

Well, they've put out a few new clips since you saw them last (election), and their year in review is worth watching. It's less than two minutes... and hey! You can be the first to send it around your office!

Maybe.

***

More Bush-bashing, here, I know... and I sincerely doubt the authenticity of this, but a few of you have sent this my way, so... it goes up. Curious, if nothing else.

***

I'm still a sucker for the occasional well-done music video... and apparently, this guy is, too. He's ranked the best 50 videos of the indie-music year, with links to watch all of 'em.

If you only have time for a few, allow me to humbly suggest Supergrass, the Decemberists, Sigur Ros and the White Stripes.

***

And finally, if you scroll down, you'll see a review, pics, and links to other reviews of the hands-down show of the year, the Arcade Fire at the 9:30 Club.

Very funny (to me) that they say it's the best concert they've seen since Radiohead in 1997... as that's the only concert I've been to that would beat it.

Anyway, if you weren't hipster/nerd enough to see them this time around... be sure to catch them next year. Their show might not change your life, but it will likely put every other show you've ever seen to shame.

And yes, Andy, that even includes Mannheim Steamroller.

*cough*

***

Thanks for being with me this year.

Even
you,
Teso.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"Lazy Sunday" Backlash?

No, not yet. It's still pretty damned funny (and available for free at iTunes, if you still haven't seen it).

But you can stop sending it to me. I've got it. I've seen it.

Enough.

***

Perhaps it's that attitude that cost me my relationship with Michelle last night?

No, not really. We'd only gone out a few times, anyway... so calling it a "relationship" is ridiculous.

Though it was clear that we got along well enough... I don't know that there was any spark there. And we both knew it.

She said it first, so I guess she gets the "credit" for the break-up. Though in my defense, as I'd told several of you... I didn't have high hopes from the beginning. Nice girl, but she was constantly busy, or on the road, or doing something or other... It wouldn't have worked, even if I lived next door to her.

Though that would have made the whole stalking thing much easier. ;)

Oh, well. Onwards and upwards. At least we got a nice meal or two out of it.

***

Abby gets back today, so I suppose as one woman leaves my life, another enters.

Ha.

***

The only other thing I've been doing over the past few days has been filling up my iPod, as the Ithaca trip gets closer and closer.

And let's just say that I'm very glad I got the 60GB. After having put my entire iTunes library on the iPod, I'm going back through my shelf to make sure everything I want to be on there is.

It's not. Not yet.

I'm only up to Depeche Mode, and I've got about 15MB on there already.

Yikes.

***

Cannot WAIT to get to Ithaca, by the way. I wish that I could bring you all with me... but then you guys probably all like... warmth. And sun. And clear skies.

Wussies.

***

Finally, for those of you glutton for punishment (and hell, you've made it down this far), my year-end mini-review of Picaresque is up. Enjoy.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Please Stop.

Dear Michael Irvin,

For the love of God, please stop.

Please stop waving your arms, talking incessantly about "the U," kissing T.O.'s ass, ranting and raving incoherently, doing drugs (allegedly)...

You are ruining EVERYTHING.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I Love You

... but I've chosen darkness.

Kidding.

What I meant to say is "I love you, but what are you doing inside, sitting in front of a computer"? Go spend some time with your family and your friends. That's (part of) what today's all about, isn't it?

Not the stinkin' Internet.

Go on. Get outta here!

***

Well, if you must stay... let me start by wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.

And be sure to download (or at least listen to) Harry's theme song. It'll bring back memories.

***

Staying on the religious theme, check out one of the better Daily Show segments I've seen in some time. God Machine!!!

***

Moving away from the religious theme to Scientology (ahem), please enjoy this in-depth look at Scientology and Tom Cruise's involvement in it, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

Now... I know you don't care. But click on the photo gallery, on the right-hand side of the page... scroll through all the pictures, and watch as Scientology Comes Alive!

You want to learn, don't you?

Isn't "knowing half the battle"?

***

Finally, in the spirit of the season... may I suggest you give thanks for not having swallowed your cellphone?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Of Monkeys and Menorahs

So, the dog is gone.

And truth be told... it's easier now, that it's over and done with. As I had asked her to do, Abby took all remaining vestiges-- dog bed, toys, that sort of thing. So I won't be reminded.

What's past is past. I'm better now than I was 24 hours ago-- believe you me.

***

To help with the... erm... "finality," I went out with Darren last night. After he'd nominated Memoirs of a Geisha, Transamerica and "the Sarah Jessica Parker movie," and after I'd promptly gone into convulsions as a result, I suggested we see King Kong.

Thankfully, his friend Dan voted for King Kong as well. Thank goodness.

Now, I wasn't really all that into seeing King Kong before last night... but compared with the other movies Darren had put forward, it began to resemble a Bill Murray film festival. Tasty, stupid and fun.

So. I went into the city (yes, after saying my goodbyes) and met up with the guys at 6pm or so... but only after a stop through Kramer's and a white chocolate mochawhatsit at Starbucks.

I'd already moved on by now, and was pretty content. Bookstores and chocolatey beverages have that effect on me.

We took a cab to the Uptown, where I'd never been before. It was a gorgeous, cavernous old-time theatre... just like you see in the movies! We sat upstairs, in the balcony (good thing we were able to get seats ahead of time... the place was pretty packed). The theater's curved screen was a neat touch, as were the curtains than opened and closed before the movie.

I don't know that I was necessarily around for them... but I miss the old days.

***

King Kong. A review, in three acts.

Act I: Jack Black is a God. Just... not in this particular movie. Horribly miscast to the point of being distracting. Thankfully, we had an hour's worth of people getting on a ship to keep our attention. And Adrien Brody's enormous schnozz. C+

Act II: Peter Jackson is a God. He saw Jurassic Park, and he made the Lord of the Rings movies, and he said to himself, "how can I top both of those, but good?" Some of the best mindless popcorn sequences ever. The fight with the three T-Rexes was borderline astonishing. A

Act III: Naomi Watts sure is purty. But at this point, my knees had fallen asleep, and my bladder was a-talkin' to me. Three hours is a long time for a football game, let alone a cramped movie theater. At this point I was starting to drift a bit... but that ape... tons o' fun, whenever he's onscreen. B+

***

So. We get out of the theater, and Darren (who'd simply been grumbling throughout the movie) immediately complains of it being the worst acted movie he's ever seen, so unrealistic, that dialogue about "'twas beauty that killed the beast" being so stupid, possibly the worst movie ever, how do people enjoy this sort of thing...

Oy.

Thankfully, Dan and I agreed on it being a great dumb movie, if a half-hour too long.

After the movie, we grabbed a bit of Thai (food, you pervs). At which point Dan and I started talking about music. Turns out he's got some great taste, especially towards the Y'allternative end of the spectrum-- Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, Wilco, etc.

Meanwhile, poor Darren tried to defend Barbara Streisand as being this, that and the other. I said nothing, but Dan absolutely lambasted Darren's taste, across the board.

Let me say something, here. I love Darren. And I would love Darren even if we weren't family. But as last night showed... we have very different tastes.

And I'm glad he has Dan to tell him that his is a bit... off. So that I don't have to.

God, what an elitist shit I am.

***

Anyway, I crashed at his place after taking Sasha for a walk around the block. Darren seemed pretty disappointed that I didn't want to go out afterwards (to the same bars as last time)... but I was pretty tired, at this point... I think it was past midnight.

I told him I'd take a raincheck, and wound up crashing at his place, instead.

***

Off to watch some football today (and share some of the gifts that Santa gave me personally) with the Hunts. Should be a lot of fun, especially since it seems like ages since I've seen them!

***

Tomorrow night: Menorah Watch 2005. Oh, you better believe it: it's on, this year.

Bitches.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Airing of Grievances



In case you need a reminder as to what Festivus actually is... read all about it here.

Movies, Movies, Movies

Rather than tell you how I'm doing today... I'll just deftly change the subject.

Because who doesn't love movie trailers? Here are three new ones, from best to worst.

1. An adaptation of the great Christopher Buckley book, Thank You For Smoking;

2. Johnny Depp mugging his way through the horrendously-titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; and

3. Tom Cruise (whose other half cameos in Thank You for Smoking, funny enough) in the sequel no one was asking for, Mission Impossible 3.

***

Were you wondering how Red Sox fans were taking the whole Johnny Damon thing? Well, wonder no more.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Say Hello to My Little Frien'

Now I feel better. About 60GB better.

(note: the iPod itself is smaller-- and lighter-- than this picture)


I'm Missing the Bitch Already

I did not think I'd be getting sentimental.

I thought I was hardened... or, at least, practical enough not to care about this all that much, as it really doesn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things, especially given everything else that is going on.

But I'll be damned if I'm not misting up every time I look at Venus this week. She'll be leaving the happy home on Saturday morning-- most likely, very early. And there's a chance I'll be staying in the city on Friday night with my cousin, anyway.

So (I'll do the math for you)... I have less than 48 hours left to spend with the pooch.

***

As you may know, she's leaving for good because... well, that's the way we settled things. But mostly, she's leaving this early because we're having the house recarpeted before we sell it.

And Venus sheds like it's going out of style.

So, as Abby goes up North for Christmas with her parents... she'll be bringing Venus and leaving her there, until she gets her own situation sussed. So that the house is in pristine condition (or close to it) when we put it on the market.

*sigh*

***

She keeps looking at me, like she knows.

And every night, or just about, over the past several weeks in particular, she's been sleeping upstairs, at the foot of my bed... or greeting me at the door when I get home from a night out, as though she's missed me.

That's when she's not coming up from behind me, burrowing her nose under my right elbow, and lifting my arm as I'm trying to work...

Shit.

I don't know. I really, really didn't think I'd care this much. And I know I'll get over it, sooner rather than later.

But truth be told... it's going to be a difficult couple of days... both before and after she leaves.

I'm really gonna miss this bitch.

***

Maybe I should buy something, to keep my mind off of all this?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More Links to Start Your Day



If you haven't seen Bad Santa before, and you've got a high (make that very high) tolerance for offensive content... could you get on that, please? Last night I saw it for the second time, and watched as Chris and Jeff (especially Jeff) lost their shit repeatedly.

If I could have found a shot of Marcus going down like a penguin after getting punched, guys... you know I would have.

***

I think the both of you are the amongst the first to leave for the holidays... so, once again, have a very safe trip, and a very Merry Christmas.

***

On Sunday night, I crashed pretty early in the evening. Embarrassingly early, as a matter of fact. And so I missed Family Guy.

Therefore, I missed this.

***

Finally, Mel Gibson. He continues his war on English-language movies with Apocalypto, which about 7 people will pay money to see.

It looks pretty, though, and so... here's the trailer.

And here's what you can supposedly see if you freeze-frame the trailer... though I couldn't find it for the life of me.

That wacky Mel.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Milhouse / Trivia / 800+



Today is one of my glasses days. I am NOT happy about this.

I wonder if my optometrist isn't just playing a cruel joke on me, making me wear these horrible Coke-bottled things, and simply saying that my eyes need the rest?

God. I look like Milhouse.

Anyway. The glasses give me a headache, and worse, they don't even come close to fitting... I'd be better off going blind for the day.

If I weren't so busy.

As you can tell.

***

My last conference call yesterday afternoon was with my Director, Liz... and while she was very, very encouraging concerning LexSpeak's development (this is the product I gave the presentation on, a week or two ago)... she let me know that there's still a lot of things that need to be done before this bird can fly.

None of them anyone's fault... just a lot of administrative/sales/marketing-type stuff, that many of us will have to do together over the next several weeks or so.

Thank God for her... she's just a tremendous help/leader/boss, in every sense of the word.

***

Last night was trivia night. Jay hooked me up, and we met up with Benton's old friend Dan and his co-worker Dave.

Good times.

Our team's name was "Jo Jo Dancer, Your Grave Is Calling," which I evidently found a lot funnier than the crowd at large-- who either didn't get it or didn't want to. Whatever. Other team names I think we were considering included "The Smits Stands Alone" and "Nipsey Russell's Dream Team," but no names really lit our ass on fire.

The only other name I heard that really got laughs last night was "Brokeback Bledsoe."

So Dan is our clean-up hitter. In addition to being a pretty funny guy, dude knows his trivia like no other. He's always suggesting that we make it more of a regular occurrence, and now that Monday Night Football is all but gone for the year, it's a possibility. His suggestion of mixing some poker nights in... well, you had me at hello.

Slightly traumatizing was the realization that last night's questions were largely going to be Christmas-related, so I ended up being less than useful.

Meh.

The team more than covered for my ignorance. Of the three times we've gone-- last night was to Fado in Chinatown, by the way-- we've been in the money each time. And evidently we only placed third last night via tiebreak-- we could have just as easily placed first.

Oh, well... we got a $10 gift certificate, some baby t-shirts, and a plastic Fado cup that says "Who's Your Paddy," dating from last St. Patrick's Day. That's the prize I took home... I left the shirts to the others.

***

Nothing else to say right now, except a quick mention for those of you who laugh when I do this... you'll all be happy to know that, with the help of two links from major music sites, Harmonium topped 800 hits, just yesterday.

It's our top-20-albums-of-the-year spectacular, people! Get excited!

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Lonely Jew

Hey... could you let me know whether you're going to be around (DC / NOVA) this weekend?

I'm thinking that it might be a bit lonely around here...

***

Speaking of nothing, this isn't too bad.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Warning! Warning! Warning!

If extreme violence or extreme blasphemy upsets you;

If wacky sound effects make you cringe rather than giggle;

If you happen to be at work;

...then under no circumstances whatsoever should you watch The Passion of the Benny Hill.

Good Lord.

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

...is the name of a song by Stars that is incomprehensibly good. I've been listening to it over and over again this week, and I can't shake it.

I don't want to shake it. I want to keep on listening to it.

I even tracked down its Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-inspired video for you.

Clicky (if you have a choice, watch it in Real... it seems to load much faster that way).

***

So, where the hell have I been? Why have my posts been of the "link" variety and not of the soul-baring variety?

What's going on???

***

I don't know.

This past week just kinda went by, and between the weather and the lack of anything really going on (at work, personally)... it was just a bit of a bummer.

And I didn't want to drag you down into some Morrissey-like hole of despair, just because the sun wasn't shining in my little world.

So that's been what's up.

That, and the realization that I'll be saying goodbye to Venus at week's end.

And that's not fun at all.

***

I had a good time last night, though. It started when I went to a neighborhood Christmas party, where I didn't really know that many people (but they all likely knew about me)... and so I promptly bailed after an hour.

So the good time started when I went over to Jeff's, where he had tons to do (darning socks, knitting, that kind of thing), but didn't mind sharing some wine and watching (OK, half-watching) the Bills game.

It had been awhile since we'd seen each other (or, at least, it seemed that way to me), and apparently Jeff was coming off of a variation of my week... so I think we each appreciated the company. Even if he did force me to take an 8-hour long eHarmony questionnaire.

I will never visit that site again. I must have answered (literally) over 400 questions (of the fill-in-the-bubble variety). Only to be told that I'd need to pay (more than the typical Match/JDate nonsense) to communicate with anyone.

Yeeeecch.

***

On a happier note... Time magazine hit it out of the park with their selection of Persons of the Year. Just go to CNN to read up.

It's always nice to commend people who simply do great (and relatively selfless) things, rather than lauding people who are divisive. I'm sure that legions of people will see Bono on the front cover and be appalled, but once they read... I think it will be hard to argue with the selection.

The man has done some great things-- to say nothing of what the Gates have done-- and the group of them are far from finished.

Hooray for recognizing charitable activities, as opposed to something Katrina- or Administration-related.

***

top 5 bands you should watch out for in 2006:

birdmonster
tapes 'n tapes
the national
the light footwork
bishop allen

***

gogol bordello - undestructable
sufjan stevens - casimir pulaski day
giant drag - god only knows
the rosebuds - hold hands and fight
the mountain goats - love love love

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Why You Do Not Fuck with the Cos



This is the greatest nutso read, like, ever.

You'll get the point a few pages in, but whoever wrote this up... WOW.

Tremendous work, my friend.

***

On a completely different note... have you visited the Jaker, lately? Several strong posts in a row.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Secret Word is "2005"

Pee Wee still rules, even if this card is over 365 days old.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hey, Indie Dorks



Whispers are that Belle and Sebastian has asked the New Pornographers to open up for them on the Spring US tour.



That would make us very, very happy, no?

I'm a Massive Tool

Click on "Deal Announcement" here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Spies Like Us

If this is news to you-- really news to you-- then you just haven't been paying attention.

***

Same here. Not a bad trailer, but the casting... I still don't see Tom in this role at all.

Oh, well.

***

Final link is to a quick piece I wrote for Harmonium. It wasn't meant to be a stand-alone, but there you go... I'm not the editor. I'm just a self-centered wannabe writer, desperately in need of validation.

Insecurity is a horrible thing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I'm Not Asking for Gifts, Here, But...

Could someone get me a ticket to this?

Tyrannosaurus Rex Egg

If you didn't catch Comedy Central's Last Laugh 2005, then you might have missed the trailer for Chapelle's Show, Season Three.

It'll make your dookie twinkle!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sundae

So many new readers today... you sure do know how to give a nerd some love.

In return, may I give you this?

Sorry to those of you who've already seen it. Just figured I'd share.

***

So, where was I? Oh, yes... waking up at 6am on Sunday morning... if you can call it that. I don't remember ever really being asleep, though I suppose I must have drifted off a few times, somehow.

I woke up cold... and listening to Jill's nasal passages flapping, keeping time like some sort of Satanic metronome. And oh, yes... there was the small matter of Megan's cats (who I otherwise thought were pretty cool) stepping on my eyeballs.

Not literally. Not really.

So anyway, at this point, I knew I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep... and so, as I'd warned Jill I might do... I just took off. I was somewhat amazed that I was able to find all my shit and get out... there wasn't much room to move in Megan's room (being unfamiliar with it, and there being an air mattress taking up half the room, and... you get the picture).

Hopping down the ladder was a bit of a chore before the morning coffee had even been made.

All that being said, allow me to repeat: you should have seen this place. I wish I could have a place that was even 1/8 that cool.

***

I'd probably fuck it up somehow.

***

I only made 3 miles' worth of wrong turns in Brooklyn at 6am (thanks to the jackass gas station attendant who sent me 180 degrees away from where I needed to be going)... which, all things considered, was pretty damned good. I quickly found Sporting News Radio (though strangely, not WFAN, which was in infomercial mode), got myself to the Belt Parkway, and drove home to Philly in light to non-existent traffic. As I got close, I called the 'rents to see if they minded the unexpected drop-in... happilly, they did not.

The worst thing about the drive-- the only real bad thing-- was that, out of nowhere, I had to drive through more than ten miles' worth of fog. Heavy fog. Like what you might have seen in Fargo.

Not pleasant on the Jersey Turnpike, when you're not awake yet. Thankfully, it was almost 8am... late in my day, you know?

***

Anyway, I got home in one piece, rested up, hung out a bit... and got myself a cheesesteak.

What more could a mama's boy like me want?

Mom and Dad were doing great, and we had a great time-- a good four hours or more-- before I headed out for phase #8432 of my weekend... the dreaded Eagles game.

***

As I've said in these pages (oh, God, shut the hell up) before, I was not looking forward to the game itself all that much, as the Eagles have been in the shitter for weeks now. I was really going to hang with an old friend, and to play catch up. The game was almost (almost) irrelevant... again, solely because they'd all but been eliminated from playoff contention.

It's hard to describe the mindset of the Eagles fan right now... "Funereal"?

That said, I was incredibly happy to watch the team play hard, especially after they quit last Monday night in the 42-0 loss to the Seahawks. It was a great game to be at, and though it got pretty cold as the night went on... it really wasn't that bad. The winds were barely present, and thankfully, I'd/we'd dressed appropriately enough.

Dave was doing really well, but we didn't end up talking all that much. I think by this point in the weekend, we were both a bit worn out. Me, from driving to Brooklyn and back, and not getting much sleep, and Dave from going to a toy train convention with his father earlier that morning. ;)

He picked up a caboose, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, we had a great time, and enough stories were told to more than make the time go by during the game's few slow parts. I had a much better time than I feared I was going to (again, having nothing to do with Dave, and everything to do with the fact that I was expecting sub-zero temperatures and sub-zero performance by the Birds).

There was one letdown, though... there were very, very few fights. There were more than enough blue jerseys in the stands to warrant punches being thrown... but all it really was was Philly drunks talking shit. Half-heartedly. I guess that's what happens when your team sucks.

I'd pretty much forgotten.

There were two women who got thrown out of the stadium, however, for giving a performance to everyone in the stadium... or at least our section.

Since when did flashing thousands of men at a time (repeatedly) earn you a ticket to the gulag? Isn't this America???

Who's with me?!?

***

Thankfully, the drive home was uneventful... I got out of the parking lot in near record time, and with precious few heart palpitations/near accidents.

Once I got to Wilmington, most of the game traffic had subsided, and I was on my way. A quick call to Jill to let her know where I was, and that was that.

Hell, I even slept like a baby when I got home.

***

Congratulations to my baby sister. Let me introduce you to my nephew-to-be, Seamus Aidan Sean Patrick Flannigan O'Leary...

***

the national - mr. november
the new pornographers - the bleeding heart show
explosions in the sky - the only moment we were alone
belle & sebastian - the blues are still blue
super furry animals - something 4 the weekend

Blue or Pink?

I know the answer... and I have permission to say... but you'll just have to call me.

Yiddish Policemen

I was very upset to see this just now, however much I trust the author's judgment.

Shit.

Jersey / Brooklyn / Bushwick

What a weekend. I am very, very lucky to have gotten any sleep last night. as if I'd had just one more sleepless (or borderline sleepless) night in a row... I'd have had to take today off.

***

Friday evening, for example, the night before I headed up to see Jill on Saturday morning... I got zero sleep. Not a wink. Don't know why. To cope, I ended up watching The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (thank you, Netflix) at 3am.

Which felt awful... nights like that are the worst.

***

So... when I "woke up," I got ready and hit the road at 7:30 or so (earlier than I'd planned to). I got in to Jill's parents' house in North Jersey at about noon, as I made a stop or two more than usual to ensure that I didn't doze off or anything.

It was great to see them again, though unfortunately Jill's mom had prepped some food for me/us, and (more unfortunately) I hadn't called from the road to tell her I'd already eaten. Oh, well. I am many things, but a good houseguest... I never claimed to be THAT.

I'm sure I inadvertently stained some of their furniture, too.

Anyway, that was great, and of course, seeing Jill is always a blast. So much so that it almost (almost) goes without saying.

***

After Jill was finished getting ready, the two of us drove into the city to see her sister Holly's co-op. It's just a ridiculous place, and she and her vicious cats don't deserve it at all.

Kidding. But the place is tremendous, and very reflective of the unique flower that Holly happens to be.

The fact that she refused to come out with us, though... who does she think she is, making excuses like that? Me?

***

From there, we had a 45-minute-or-so drive, passing Jill's apartment-to-be on out way to the party. We got there at 6pm or thereabouts... so pacing ourselves was a definite factor.

This party was held at the Bushwick loft of four women (all of whom Jill knows and loves) and one horrible guy who they all hate, but who pays the rent. He was nowhere to be found, thankfully.

Once Jill and I got there... Jesus. I'm sure that, to Jill and to the five (four) of them, Brooklyn lofts are nothing new. But to me... it felt really, really cool. They'd done the place up incredibly well (I wonder if anyone took pictures?), just an incredibly funky/trashy place, in the best possible way.

The party itself? It was great. But describing why parties were/are great... it never really works, does it? Suffice it to say that this was one of the better ones I'd been to in some time. It had much food, drink and music; many beautiful women; a guy in a kilt; tons of Christmas lights (and a neon Guadalupe/Virgin Mary/whathaveyou-- we're talking John Waters-level tacky, here); a great rooftop view of NYC which would have been better had the roof not nearly killed us (ice); some Croatians; some slightly burnt but still tasty prosciutto rolls; the requisite unbelievably striking Asian engineer(s); French 75s (a gasoline/fruity mixed drink made with about five ingredients/alcohols, allegedly following Tallulah Bankhead's own recipe... er... yeah); Christmas trees hanging from the ceiling; Madonna duelling with Gogol Bordello on a pretty great mix; some guy who works at an art gallery specializing in photorealists; random, moderately-well-behaved cats; stenciled walls where the walls weren't already covered by romance novel covers; suspicious-smelling smoke; lasagne made by an honest-to-God Bolognese model (to hear her roommates tell it); dancing, but not too much; air mattresses; drunk Jilly (please never eat a chicken wing in front of me again, k, thx); and a guy who finished the night passed out on a stained couch wearing a bucket on his head, for a very unfortunate reason, indeed.

There was much, much more than this, but these are the things that I remember at this moment.

About 50-75 people showed up over the course of the night, and Jill was fucking great about introducing me to everyone, as for the most part-- she was the only one I knew going in. That all changed, as over the night, random people were coming up to me... which is always nice. Speaking of.

The night went so well that I have three new children... and a fourth on the way in... what's nine months from this weekend?

That was my Saturday night into Sunday morning. I think I crashed at about 1am, 3:30am, and 5:30am, eventually leaving soon thereafter (lack of sleep, cold apartment, Jill's snoring). More on yesterday's travels in a little while.

But thanks, Jill. I really did have a great time.

But you should get yourself checked for sleep apnea. ;)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Peanut Gallery

You are all too damned funny (especially you, Holly).

***

Just got a cancellation on tonight... the girl I was supposed to see (Dena) called me to say she was sick. She was very apologetic, and very hopeful that we could do it next week, so...

Yeah. They're dropping like flies. It's got to be me, right? ;)

***

This is actually not such a bad thing at all. Beyond it being colder than a witch's tit outside, there's this: Abby was painting the ceiling the other night when this girl happened to call me up... and Abby overheard (unintentionally or not, it's irrelevant) that I was going to be meeting this girl at Jaleo. She didn't confront me about it, per se, but she did want to be sure she knew where I was going to be so that she didn't show up there herself.

This, because Jaleo is very close to where she works, and the places she hangs out at with her co-workers downtown, several times a week.

So... my fear was that, although Abby had said she'd be going to Austin Grill with her co-workers tonight, they would talk her into stalking me. And now, that's not going to happen.

Or at least, if it does happen... I won't be there. Which is pretty damned funny... even if it's all in my mind.

***

Anyone looking for something to do this evening? That doesn't involve alcohol or cigarettes?

Honesty, in Different Guises

A few quick hits.

Kanye West is officially, certifiably insane. The man is incredibly talented-- love the songs I've heard, sure, yeah, whatever. And the whole giving-himself-props thing? That used to be fresh. I used to like it... it let us know he cared, that he was a hard worker, all that. He stood out for that and other (mostly stylistic) reasons... and standing out is always a good thing.

But now... the man is simply annoying. And you can smell the backlash, just around the corner. If you haveen't already seen five hundred iterations of this same speech, watch Kanye's latest, as he angrily demands the Grammys that are rightfully his, and discusses the "classics" he has already offered us.

***

Poor transition here, I know... but forgive me. Kanye talks about race, and so does John Smallwood. Read an unusually strong column in defense of Donovan McNabb (sorta) here.

***

Woke up to another quasi-ding email this morning, this time from Amy (the Jewish Film Festival chick).

She told me that she's just too busy to date right now, though she did suggest that we stay in touch so that when things get easier for her, we can go out again.

I don't know what to make of that. I don't know whether I should care, one way or the other. Thanks for letting me know... I guess? Thoughts?

***

In my "one woman out the door, one woman in the door" kind of life... I heard from an old friend yesterday. Now, she's married and has a 2-year-old son, so it's not quite the same thing... but it was great to finally talk with Karyn Price (Suffredini) yesterday.

She sounds like she's in a great place right now, professionally and personally, and... it was just really good to catch up with her, as it always is.

***

After speaking with Karyn, the night quickly went downhill. Allow me to explain.

At about 7pm or so, I drove over to Chris' place for a night with the guys. Chris' friend Ben was there, and Jeff made an appearance.

As did Captain Morgan.

Now, it's been a long time since I've had anything other than beer or wine... I just don't do the hard stuff anymore. No particular reason why... it's just not my thing, I guess.

Last night may have been a reminder why that is.

I don't know if Chris was kidding when he said this, but it may as well have been the case, that I apparently drank 3 (fairly strong, I'd say) rum and cokes in about 45 minutes. Now, I've always been a fast, not particularly smart drinker, and last night... last night was a wonderful example of this.

We sat down to watch Anchorman for the hundredth time... always funny, right?

Wrong.

Anchorman is nowhere near as funny when you are (literally) seeing two Ron Burgundys on screen at all times. I don't know that I've ever actually seen double before. But last night I drank too much, too fast, and on an empty stomach. And in order to watch a single Will Ferrell... I had to look out of only one eye at a time. I wonder if any of the guys may have looked over at me at some point during the night, only to see me squinting like some kind of pirate.

Well, if they did, that's the reason.

By the time our food came, it was too late. I was a goner. And though it may have been the single greatest food item (stromboli) I've ever had... well, let's just say we (I) had a bit of an accident with the sauce that accompanied said stromboli. Thank God for Chris (and his infinite patience with me), and thank God for OxyClean. The stuff really does work wonders on carpets.

At some point last night, I had a cigarette for the first time in what may have been... what, 10 years, maybe? Perhaps that tells you where I was at (as if you need more of a picture painted for you).

Noel came home as we were watching the Tenacious D DVD for the umpteenth time, and thankfully was not judgmental. Nor did she notice the stain, which by that time had gone away (again, thank you Chris, OxyClean).

She did tell me I was more than welcome to spend the night... and I should have taken her up on it. But I honestly thought that, at that point, I was completely fine.

Luckily, I got home without incident... or even close to an incident. But by the time I got into bed, and when I woke up this morning... I knew I shouldn't have driven last night. It's not a decision I'll make again, hopefully. So next time, I crash at Adams' place.

No sickness, just stupidity.

***

And some pretty damned horrific dreams. I don't know whether one had anything to do with the other, but when I woke up this morning to realize that (a) I hadn't cost my friends their house, and that (b) my family wasn't angry at me (let's just leave it there, shall we?)...

I was quite relieved.

***

Thank goodness for the snowstorm. Being outside at 7am, shoveling after having walked the dog... I think the fresh air did more for my hangover than the coffee and the pills alone would have done.

I'm feeling better now... but I was thinking when I got up that the whole day could have easily been a wash.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Since You Asked...

Here's what I've been listening to over the last week. Hope I'm not repeating myself.

steve burns - mighty little man (from the ex-host of Blue's Clues)
oh no! oh my! - walk in the park (sing-a-long kinda happiness)
danger doom feat. cee-lo - benzie box (phat, dope, what-have-you)
colin meloy - valencia (had best be on the next decemberists' album)
the lovemakers - shake that ass (prince-style sexmusic)

Good Mood, Y'all

1. My presentation is over, history, kaput... and thankfully, it went well. Lots of kudos, including some from the Big Boss Man himself.



2. New Year's in Ithaca? Will be most excellent.

3. I've replaced "Teaching the Indie Kids to Dance Again" with "So Much Silence." It's a slight trade-down as far as the title of the blog goes... but when TTIKTDA doesn't post in more than a month-and-a-half... well, it's a moot point. Sadly. But give Kevin a chance... he's posted some ridiculous stuff as of late.

Check out Iron & Wine/Calexico's cover of "Wild Horses," for instance.

Or Arcade Fire's Bowie cover.

Or Rogue Wave's Nirvana cover.

Or...

Sour and Sour-er

Only two quick hits this morning, but both will fill your liberal hearts with love.

Or maybe one of them will.

Perhaps neither of them.

***

First off is an article that seems to be picking up steam online, so to speak... I first saw it a few days ago, and now it's popping up everywhere (not that Yahoo! News is CNN, but it is a fairly mainstream outlet, no?).

Seems that historians have already made their mind up on Dubya.

And the results? Not so great.

***

Yeah, I know. You've had it up to here with Dubya-bashing, too. I should stop.

Let's go after Santa!

"Give the Jew Girl Toys,"
by Sarah Silverman (w/ special cameo by Zach G. as the big man himself!)-- your new holiday classic.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Update

Tonight's date with Dena has been rescheduled for Friday night.

Just letting you know.

I'll likely try to get to sleep early, to make up for last night's debacle.

Of course, who knows whether I'll be able to, as the place absolutely REEKS of paint. Abby is trying (in vain) to fix the ceiling she fucked up years ago, when she did a piss-poor job of edging.

***

My presentation is tomorrow from 11am - 12:30. It's been cut back a bit, so it's not as daunting as it once was... but I'll still be glad to have it behind me.

Unable to Sleep

How sad is it when you toss and turn for hours (and not for any good reason)?

Well, that's me.

I've been up since God knows when. And I have no idea why... I didn't have all that much caffeine yesterday (if any), and in fact, I had some wine during the evening.

That in addition to being fairly tired (as usual). I was expecting a sound sleep.

Oh, who knows?

***

Mike Benton, a question for you. "If you were a hot dog, and you were starving, would you eat yourself?"

I know I would.

***

Anyway, last night's date (!) with Michelle went well... she was very, very attractive (always a good thing), moreso than I'd remembered, and I think we hit it off in a good way. We were very comfortable with one another from the start-- none of the stilted "what is the greatest thing you've ever done..."-style questions.

So that was cool, as was the fact that she hails from Toronto, and kept saying "aboot." I didn't say anything to her about it-- I didn't want to be annoying, or condescending, or make her self-conscious-- but it was pretty great (funny, amusing, whatever) to hear.

Unfortunately, I'd been getting a lukewarm response from Michelle's emails, and from some of her calls... and even at the end of the night, at one point. She'd sound clipped, a bit disinterested... but as the night went on, I grew to realize that she's just stressed, overwhelmed. She works as a Director at Hillel... and she travels a ton (both professionally and personally). Several trips a month. So much so that it's been hard to track her down to get together at all.

All of which makes me wonder if she has the time for a relationship right now.

All that said, her body language suggested that she was having a great time (and really, who wouldn't have a great time with me in the middle of a Middle Eastern restaurant-- Meze? What could be more comfortable?).

***

The only *legit* bad thing about last night?

Get ready. This will make you laugh.

Before I met her, I Googled her... it's not been uncommon for my dates to do the same to me, so I figured I'd get some intel (oh, God, that sounds creepy). Hopefully, I could learn more about where she works, what she does, that sort of thing.

Well, wouldn't you know, I have the opportunity to bring it up to her, though not in a creepy way-- in context. And thankfully, she was flattered, not scared... actually impressed that I seemed to know what she and her organization stood for.

So that's a good thing, right?

Well, we decide to leave at about 10:30 or so, and it turns out we're walking in the same direction. And we're still walking in the same direction. And further, still.

Wouldn't you know that in the f'g parking nightmare that is Adams Morgan, I get the one available parking spot (after searching for close to :30) that happens to sit RIGHT outside her apartment?

She looked at me funny. I promised her I wasn't a stalker. That I hadn't Googled her address. But then I knew that by saying that... I'd just reminded her of the fact that I'd been looking her up, earlier in the day.

I don't know whether she bought my (honest) excuse or not. I'll have to ask her the next time we talk.

***

It just goes to show you-- Adams Morgan is evil, and I am a big fat (unlucky) dope.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"You're Out of Order! The Whole Trial is Out of Order!"



Not to make light of a serious situation... but someone needs to give Saddam his own reality TV show.

Now.



The guy's got that "George Clooney in Syriana" thing going on, and this quote? Well this proves he's got the requisite acting chops, doesn't it?

From CNN:

As court was adjourning for the day in his trial, Saddam Hussein suddenly shouted that he would not attend Wednesday's session. "I will not return. I will not come to an unjust court! Go to hell!" Saddam yelled, according to The Associated Press.

Seahawks 42, Eagles 0

And it wasn't even that close.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Narcissist

By the time I am through, everyone will know who I am, and they will fear me: the Washington Business Journal article, on newsstands TODAY. My quotes, my history, my story, littered (literally and liberally!) throughout.

Certainly a fun read for all, no? I know I learned something about myself.

***

That long-rumored Guns 'n Roses album, Chinese Democracy? Somehow, the folks at Amazon found out the release date.

***

End-of-year list junkies: get your fix here.

***

OK, OK. What about last night?

Well. Some stuff happened beforehand. But before I get to that, yet another recommendation.

If you haven't seen Murderball, get on that, pronto. Great film. And great extras on the DVD, which I haven't seen in a long time.

Remember when DVDs first came out, and all the bonus features were exciting? A real selling point? Does anyone even care about the bonus features, anymore (assuming you might have in the first place)?

***

Much of my weekend was spent apartment hunting. It's still a little bit early to be doing that, but I figured I'd give it a go.

Of the three places I went to, the two in and around the Pentagon City area were the best, and the one in Crystal City (supposedly one of the nicer places in Crystal City) was both disappointing and overpriced.

My rankings so far, then:

1) The Park at Arlington Ridge (stainless steel appliances-- whoa!)
2) River House Apartments
3) Crystal Place

I'm open to suggestions, though. Let me know if you know of any places that might be a good fit.

***

So, as some of you may already know, I was supposed to meet Amy on Friday night at Karma. Because of traffic, and a bad accident in Virginia... it ended up not happening. So we re-scheduled for last night.

She proposed that we meet at the Avalon Theatre in Chevy Chase, to see a movie called Go For Zucker.

What the hell is Go For Zucker, you ask?

Well, it's a movie that played as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

You heard me.

And rather than me trying to explain it to you... well, read the short synopsis, here.

Sounds pretty damned great, huh?

Well, strangely enough... it actually was pretty enjoyable. Strangely, the theater was absolutely packed. And the Avalon, if you've never been, holds around 400 people, if I'm not mistaken. We were told this movie had won tons of awards-- the German equivalent of the Oscars, I forget what they are called-- overseas. Maybe that explains the almost-SRO crowd.

Or maybe Jews don't care about the NFL as much as I thought they did.

Either way, the theater was gorgeous, the movie was a nice surprise, and Amy... we had a pretty good time, I think. We went out for dinner afterwards (for some Chinese, shocking), and had a good chat.

Would I see her again? Sure. Have I made up my mind on her already? It's one date, fool. Absolutely not.

Well, technically, we've been on two dates, I guess... but you know what I mean.

I'm intrigued-- we'll put it that way.

***

Monday Night Football tonight with Jay (and, maybe, Jenna). Very much looking forward to hanging out and seeing Jay's new pad.

Yes, I said "pad." D'ya wanna fight about it?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Life is Pretty Good

I have three dates in the next four days.

Possibly four in the next five.

It's a sickness, I tells ye.

***

"Mercy" is the best song U2 has recorded in years, and it appears nowhere. Seek it out and find it, post haste.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Important News Flash

Qualifying has begun for Wing Bowl 14.

Though I can't guarantee that anyone will be downing a Yankee Candle this year, I can guarantee that you'll be able to find some pretty twisted/humorous videos here.

Be sure to check in every so often, so that you don't miss a single grunt (or belch, as the case may be).

That's It, That's All, That's All There Is

Which is to say that I have exhausted the ladies from the first speed dating session I went on-- the 8MinuteDating thing.

I have not exhausted them literally, you pervs.

To recap:

*Sushi Panda chick w/ crazy eyeliner (no)
*Mildly crazy Sarajevo chick w/ 3-year old (NO)
*Very friendly meditation chick w/ Kenny Bania (shame, but no)

... and Ellen. Whom I just "broke up with" a few minutes ago, if you can call it that.

She couldn't have been more understanding, actually... I think she understood that, due to a combination of my situation at home and some areas where we just didn't mesh (she told me she's never been in a long-term relationship, for instance), it probably wouldn't have worked.

Not that every woman I date from here on out has to be a long-term prospect, per se... but if not, there has to be something else there, you know?

It's a shame... she was very sweet, and we got on very well. But perhaps "sweet" isn't what I'm in the mood for right now.

Maybe it is. What do I know?

***

Last night's date, my first in some time with a Jewess (that's for you, Steph)... it never happened, actually.

I took the Metro into the city, to meet Amy at this bar called Karma. I got there on time (shock), looked around, waited... but no sign of Amy (which was a concern, as the last time I saw her was a month ago, so who knows WHAT she looks like?). So I give her a call... and it turns out she's stuck in horrible traffic, coming from Fairfax into DC. She's barely into Falls Church at this point.

So we decided to reschedule, and scrap the night entirely... I think we'll be catching a movie and a bite to eat, one of these days.

The ride home would have been a let-down, but Amy was really sweet (damn, there's that word again) and very apologetic... I knew it was absolutely nothing personal.

Last night-- once I got home-- was fully and completely redeemed by some great sushi, some great wine, and some great conversation (per usual) with Steph.

What else could a guy want (don't answer that)?

***

Even though much of the above sounds vaguely negative... it's all good. I'm in good spirits, and though I have no idea what I'm doing for the rest of this weekend... well, that's OK.

Know why?

The f'g bathroom is finally finished! And the guy really redeemed himself in the last few days, with much retouching, much correction and fixing of things he did half-assedly in previous days and weeks, and even a fix of our front door and storm door-- which we had not asked for, and for which he charged us nothing.

All's well that ends well. Or something like that.

***

Abbreviated Mailbag is better than no Mailbag at all, I guess. Still some killer stuff to be found. Feel free to post your favorites.

***

Coolest cab ride, ever. This is not up for debate.

More later, kids.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I Sense a Great Disturbance in the Force

Want Music?

Short post this morning.

But for those of you who are always looking for new stuff to listen to... a very special heads-up for you. Hit the link on the right side, where it says "The Big Ticket."

Yesterday marked the first posts of The Big Ticket's Mix '05.

I've been reading The Big Ticket for months, if not years... and he gets it more right than most. I promise that if you check in on a daily (or quasi-daily) basis this month, you'll hear a lot of songs you've never heard before, all of them good, and all with descriptions to MAKE them good if you somehow miss it the first time around.

If you're interested in seeing last year's list... take a look and see how dead-on he was, about a year ahead of the rest of us (scroll down for the full tracklist).

Highly recommended.

***

Also, be sure to head over to Stereogum to grab that Self track I mentioned yesterday (scroll down to the "what are you gonna do Sara... smile?" post)... I'd never heard it before, and now I'm all about the Yacht Rock.

Great, and shockingly irony-free.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Last Night's Lost

"... Dad?"

Last night's episode of Lost was absolutely ridiculous, wasn't it? In the best possible way?

Great, great, great... and I didn't even catch Sayid making a sneaky little cameo on the TV during the scene in Kate's non-father's (!) recruitment office.

(that sentence just gave you the spins, didn't it?)

Anyway, catch up on Lost (kinda) with the help of VH1's gap-toofeted (NOT saber-toofeted) Paul Scheer here.

It's not like you've got anything better to do... ABC won't be showing any new episodes until 2006, apparently.

Which sucks. Badly.

***

If you're anything like me, you keep up on the latest comings and goings in the world of Bar Mitzvahs.

Right.

Well, then, maybe you heard about the executive who threw his daughter a $10 million (that's right, I said $10 meeeeeee-llion) Bat Mitzvah last weekend?

You know-- the Bat Mitzvah that had Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Don Henley and Joe Walsh, Stevie Nicks, Kenny G., Ciara, 50 Cent and other celebs perform and/or show up?

The pictures have finally started to surface, and... oof. I mean, good for you if there's money sitting there on the table for you to grab, but... you're the one who has to suffer the blow to your credibility.

People in attendance (I really wish I were kidding, here) have said that Fitty apparently changed the lyrics of "In Da Club" to "Go shawty, it's yo Bat Mitzvah... we gon' party like it's yo Bat Mitzvah."

Again, I wish I were kidding.

***

How to cleanse the palate after that?

How's about some Yacht Rock? Be sure to scroll down and start from the very beginning of the saga.

Wow. Whoever thought of this... wow.

***

And finally, Deion Sanders has chimed in on the whole Terrell Owens non-story. As you might expect, he's squarely on the side of the Eagles' organization (kidding):

Former NFL star Deion Sanders is the latest person to weigh in on the Terrell Owens circus.

"I feel bad for T.O. It's not right," said Sanders. "Just because a guy won't say he's sorry, he's out of the game of football for the season."

Sanders said Owens' criticism of Donovan McNabb, and his failure to offer an apology were not the biggest reasons for the receivers' problems with the Eagles - it was asking for a new contract.

"T.O. wasn't a problem until he asked for his money," Sanders said.

***

richard ashcroft - break the night with colour
self - what a fool believes (doobie brothers cover)
belle and sebastian - for the price of a cup of tea
super furry animals - slow life
the weird sisters - do the hippogriff