Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Random Rules

I read Random Rules one too many times, and got "inspired."

To steal the idea in its entirety.

The instructions: "In Random Rules, The A.V. Club asks some of its favorite people [I doubt very seriously that this means me, by the way] to set their MP3 players to shuffle and comment on the first few tracks that come up— no cheating or skipping embarrassing tracks allowed."

***

1. "You, Who Do You Hate?" from Attack of the Grey Lantern (Mansun)

Probably the weakest song on an otherwise underrated album.

I know that (at the risk of being condescending) most Anglo/audiophiles don't have this one, as Mansun didn't cross over in the way that Blur, Oasis and to a lesser extent, Pulp did. But they/you should seek it out and get it... both because this is some of the best pop-rock to come out of the UK in the mid 90s, and because, well, the group went a bit nutty after this album.

I mean, really nutty.

Prog-flecked tunes, weird-ass time signatures, meandering 8-minute songs about nothing in particular… they became borderline unlistenable, and this coming from a Mansun apologist.

This album, though...seek it out. Trust me.


2. "There is a Place" from Tanglewood Numbers (Silver Jews)

I love a lot of what the Silver Jews do, but in truth, a good bit of it sounds like the same song on repeat to me—country-flecked misery songs.

I'm a bit of a poseur fan, I guess, because I only know about the Jews through Pavement, and Stephen Malkmus' involvement in both groups. And Berman's reputation as one of the best suicidal lyricists, like, anywhere.

So… eh. I don't listen to Tanglewood Numbers that much, even though it's often really satisfying… if I'm up for remaining immensely sad, elbow-propped-on-the-bar, drinking-shots-of-whiskey-style.


3. "Packing Blankets" from Daisies of the Galaxy (eels)

I seem to be getting album-oriented tracks, as opposed to the singles. This one isn't my favorite track on Daisies, not by a long shot, but hell, an upbeat eels track should be savored. Mostly because, much like the Silver Jews, perhaps, E doesn't crank that many of them out.


4. "Lozenge of Love" from the My Iron Lung EP (Radiohead)

Okay, I definitely had to check to see where this track came from. Which might mean that I kinda cheated, I guess. Oh, well. This one is… not one of my favorite b-sides, but then I've got at least two and possibly three CDs devoted to nothing but Radiohead b-sides and rarities.

Which makes me a massive tool.

This isn't the best song on the EP (that would be "Lewis (mistreated)"), but since My Iron Lung is, quite possibly, one of the best EPs ever... does it really matter?


5. "Carparts" from The Worst You Can Do Is Harm (The Long Winters)

I don't know this one, either, really… Jesus.

Probably because I only just got this album, and haven't had the chance to let it soak in yet. Anyway, when I got the Long Winters' most recent album, I knew I needed to get everything John Roderick had ever written or otherwise laid his hands on. And everything even remotely related— Barsuk stuff, Harvey Danger, that kind of thing.

He can do no wrong for me, right now. So, so great.

I'm going to have to listen to this song now.


6. "Glosoli" from Takk (Sigur Ros)

Like Radiohead, Sigur Ros is just a given. If you don't own any or all of their albums, please let me know so that I may provide.


7. "Hey Now What You Doing" from Waiting for the Siren's Call (New Order)

Of all the New Order songs, of all the albums, this one is the one that comes up? Aw, screw it… I'm listening to "Temptation" instead.


8. "After the Curtain" from Gulag Orkestar (Beirut)

Jill will disagree with me, but this album faded from my radar and most everyone's collective memory pretty fast. Sure, I talked it up earlier this year, I bought into the hype, I compared it to gypsies covering Neutral Milk Hotel tunes like everyone else did, or something along those lines, almost certainly, and then… I just stopped listening to it.

I think this is the final track on the album.

I'm sure that some out-of-tune horns figure into it prominently.


9. "Feel Good Inc." from Demon Days (Gorillaz)

This isn't bad, of course… just strangely unfulfilling.

Then again, you're reading the ramblings of a guy who doesn't want Damon circa The Good, The Bad and the Queen, doesn't want Damon circa Mali Music or whatever the hell that project was, doesn't want Damon circa Gorillaz… I simply want the Damon of 1994 to come back (shocking, no?).

Something about this track has always seemed not-quite finished to me, unlike most every song in the Blur catalog, which if anything tended to be overstuffed with tasty goodness.


10. "The Headmaster Ritual" from Meat is Murder (The Smiths)

What— I'm going to say anything about the Smiths that hasn't been said already? Okay, here's something.

I first got into the music I'm into through an odd combination of Camp Harlam (my counselors listened to XTC, God bless 'em), Rob Beideman (who introduced me to the Smiths) and Owen Gaskill (who played Fugazi to me over and over again, and insisted that they were the best thing ever).

Sure, Vern gave me Erasure, and Shane gave me the Indigo Girls, and we all shared Depeche Mode, I think, but it was those first three who cursed me and left me as you know me today.

Broken and lonely, writing lists for no one in particular.

This Year Was a Magnificent Harvest

In case you missed it... Lorne Michaels sold five minutes of Saturday Night Live to the Kazakh government this past weekend.

Budget cuts, you know.

As luck would have it, the decision made for the best five minutes the show has had in years.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Welcome to the Working Week

Elvis, I don't love you anymore.

Just reminding myself of something.

Never you mind.

***

Links!!! Links!!! Links!!!

1) If you still care about Chris Cornell, why not take a gander at this setlist. Yeah, he's kinda gone adult contemporary (or dangerously close) with Audioslave, but he can still bring the rock from time to time.

Even if you don't care for him anymore, admit it. Right around Badmotorfinger, he was your American Idol.

Nope. I don't know what I meant by that, either.


2) Please. Don't enter the house of Mutombo with your shoes on.

Wait...

That wasn't what actually happened? I thought someone disrespected...

Oh. Yikes.


3) The Phillies should have only one true offseason priority.


4) Glory days... they'll pass you by.

Speaking about the guys in the corner, by the way.

Not Thom & co.


5) This was completely and totally unexpected, but a happy development nonetheless.

Despite the fact that Emory is all but completely out of my rearview, good news is good news.


6) Thanks to Steph (and to a lesser extent, the Beasties) for reminding me of this over the weekend:



7) I got a bit of Lebowski on the brain. Maybe it was because I thought of a costume idea too late. Or maybe because it was because I found this site.

And this one.


8) Speaking of Halloween, a list of the 100 scariest movie scenes of all time. Not for the faint of heart/bladder.


9) As it's Mischief Night/Day... find a way to work this in to whatever you do.

Remember-- it's no crime to say "yeeeeah" and "whaaaaaaaaat's happening???" all day.

It's just annoying after, say, the first two hours.


10) Whatever happened to Jamiroquai?

Oh-- he's working the bathroom circuit.

Should've known.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Now It’s Flavor of the Month"

First things first, though.

The Eagles flat-out stink.

***

Thankfully, even with the Eagles serving up a stone-cold suck fest, I had a great weekend. Steph came in on Friday night, and instantly made everything better, as she tends to do. She had a bit of difficulty getting to my place, though, and so by the time she showed up (9pm or thereabouts, following six-plus hours on the road in from Ithaca), there was little to do but settle in on the couch, eat take-out Thai food and drink wine.

Which, come to think of it, was pretty damned fantastic.

Saturday revolved mostly around giving away my old desk, and getting new stuff delivered from Crate and Barrel. The pieces were delivered ahead of schedule, and look really good (in my humble opinion). Now, if I can get some artwork, some plants, some color in my apartment... I'll be done with things.

If I only had the eye for home design. Ah, well.


***

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with Steph, walking around Clarendon together, and... basically eating and drinking every two hours or so.

Which, again, was absolutely perfect.

Unfortunately, Steph had a wedding reception to attend-- arguably the main reason she'd come down here this time out-- and so I dropped her off in Georgetown at about 5pm or so.

***

At which point I began to prep for my big night out at the Black Cat.

I was a bit worried, as the doors weren't even opening until 9:30pm or thereabouts, and I was thinking to myself (old man that I am) whether I'd be able to make it through the night.

A few Netflix discs later (as opposed to the nap I'd promised myself to take), I drove downtown, and got to the club at about 10pm or so. For those of you who know me... that will probably shock you. I know I was surprised (not to be there at 5pm, waiting for the doors to open, in other words).

Anyway, so I get in, pick up my tickets... and immediately notice a sign that says that, in addition to the Wrens/+/- show that I was there to see, Girl Talk is playing the Backstage (the club's downstairs room) at 1am.

I've mentioned my love of Girl Talk on here before (in spite of the horrendous name, yes, I know), but for those who have no idea who or what Girl Talk is... it's one small guy, who made one very big party-sized mix CD, entitled Night Ripper, that basically cuts and pastes together tons and tons of disparate tunes, from Ludacris to James Taylor, from ODB to Neutral Milk Hotel, from Manfred Mann to Three Six Mafia and so on... and it's basically a music lover's wet dream.

If you'll pardon the expression.


Anyway, I decided to shell out the extra $8 and play things by year. Needless to say, the chance to see three of my current favorites in the same building (if not on the same bill) had me very, very excited.

***

After rock chick openers Palomar came on and did a nice job of warming the crowd up, and after some long-forgotten but very welcome tracks by Suede played overhead in-between, the guys of +/- came onstage. I was thrilled to see them for the first time, and by and large, they played an exceptionally tight set (scaring the shit out of people with the enormous volume 3/4 of the way into otherwise-soft opener "Let's Build a Fire"... which was hysterical, in a sadistic way).

I heard all but one of the songs I was hoping that they'd play, and their energy and tunes won over most of the audience. Bad mix-- the soundman must have been drunk off his ass-- but by and large, I was happy with what I saw and heard.

By the time the Wrens came on, though, it was already 12:15, and I was looking at my watch, nervously, to see if I'd have to duck out early in order to catch Girl Talk.

Now, to some people (click on "more" to read the description and learn why), the Wrens are the end-all, be-all... both live and on record. And though I really do like them quite a bit... by this point, I was hankerin' for a DJ set. And the main reason why was that, well, I like Girl Talk more.

That, and I can never understand the Wrens without a lyric sheet in front of me.

And the fact that, looking around, the room seemed to be filled with tons of fraternity guys pumping their fists and dropping their elbows (really) to what a guy in the line behind me had, earlier in the evening, referred to as "sad bastard music."

Name that movie reference, win a prize.

That, and tons of chatty people, who deemed it necessary to talk through an otherwise awesome performance... most notably during "Happy."

Bastards.

***

So, the Wrens were fantastic... really very, very impressive to see live... but they front-loaded their set with some of the best stuff from The Meadowlands, and so I left the room at 12:55am or so with head held high. This despite the Wrens' obviously superior showmanship, and despite not hearing "I've Made Enough Friends" or "Hopeless."

Oh, well. Down the stairs I went.

***

Good thing, too, as for the first time in quite possibly the history of mankind, a DJ showed up exactly when he was supposed to.

The 150 people or so in the small (sold-out) room were already packed tight, many of them in their finest Halloween costumes, and so when Greg walked in and the crowd went nuts and the laptop whirred and the BPM started to rise... it was pretty damned close to madness. In the best sense of the word.

Loud, raucous, and energetic, it seemed as though the room itself was in motion for the next hour or so, with everyone in attendance grinning from ear to ear the entire time.


Now, I haven't gone out dancing in years... but everything about the room, the set, the nearly overwhelming heat, the energy... was just tremendous. So much fun, so much everything. And, somewhat impressively (somewhat not), I was completely sober.

In case you were wondering.


Along with 30 of my closest friends, I even got up on stage, and found myself dancing between a girl in a bunny rabbit outfit and Greg (d/b/a Girl Talk) himself. By the time he ended things with a live cover of Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice" (really), complete with crowd surfing and stage diving (and how many DJs can say any of that?), everyone was a sweaty-ass mess. And everyone was completely, totally exhausted... in, again, just about the best way possible.

Girl Talk fucking rules.

I worked my way over to Greg again, after his set, and thanked him both for his set (of course) and for Harmonium interview he gave Jed a few weeks back. Dude seemed genuinely appreciative, tagged Jed a cool guy (wonder why), and gave me a hug.

Aw.


***

By the way, if you haven't visited Harmonium recently, Jed has been going absolutely bonkers. I haven't had the time to contribute, myself, but good Lord, look at what our little site has turned into.

***

Getting in at 3am or so last night would have been very rough, if not for the welcome appearance (?) of Daylight Savings Time.

Thank goodness for that extra hour. It couldn't have come at a better time.

After a surprisingly good night of sleep, and a surprisingly enjoyable cup of coffee, I said goodbye to Steph, and went here.

Yeah, I said it.

***

Mock me all you want, but at least I didn't waste three hours watching the Eagles.

***

You're... still mocking me, aren't you?

Well, don't knock it until you've tried it. That's all I'll say.

***

Some fun links tomorrow.

I need to eat now.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Story of the Week/Month/Year

Do yourself a favor and click on this link.

Now.


It is a blog entry (stay with me) written by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert (come on, now, stay with me), concerning a condition that he has been dealing with for some time now.

I'd had no idea.

Anyway, the column is one of the more fascinating things you'll read on this or any other day.

Give yourself 5 minutes today, read it, and read the comments that follow. As there are more than 300 of them, I don't expect you to get through them all, but it should offer a hint as to how much of an impact the column had on Adams' readers.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Whirlwind

In the never ending series of rehearsals and tryouts that make up my dating life... I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't abandon the whole search-for-the-perfect-actress thing, and instead go CGI.

Tonight's date didn't end up the way it could have, which was unfortunate.

But it did end up the way it should have, which in the long run, I suppose, is fortunate.

I've had worse, I've had better.

She'd probably say the same thing.

But you don't get anywhere if you don't try, right?

***

Ask me why I chose the rehearsal motif.

Go ahead.

***

Anyway, Steph's coming tomorrow night, which is all I really care about right now. Should be, as I said below, a complete blast.

No stress.

No arguments.

No unnecessary combat.

And with any luck, no seeing familiar faces in the middle of the whole shebang.

***

We'll have conversations.

There'll be actual listening involved.

***

God forbid.

***

I'm going to bed.

***

Hell, she was a Cowboys fan, anyway. ;)

Help Me Help You

My company, as I may or may not have told you, is expanding.

LEGALSOURCE has recently been joined by two sister companies-- Adams Grayson Consulting and Adams Grayson Financial Recruiting and Staffing.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about either company-- or if you know someone who might be interested in joining any of the three-- give me a holler, please. I'd be happy to point you in the right direction.

Now, if you'd like to learn more about companies, please visit your local library.

***

Did anyone else think that last night's episode of Lost was somewhat... "meh"?

***

Busy couple of days ahead of me... going out tonight, Steph's in through the weekend (AWESOME), I'm getting my new furniture delivered on Saturday afternoon, Wrens show on Saturday night, Eagles loss on Sunday afternoon... things are just biz-zay.

So if you don't happen to hear from me... please don't take it personally.

I'm not trying to ignore you.

***

Well, maybe you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Morning, Y'all

Rough day at work yesterday. Let's hope today is better.

***

Today and tomorrow are Howard Stern days at Sirius... listen in for free if you've been missing him.

Sadly, I have.

It doesn't make me a bad person, does it?

***

Speaking of... something else, I predict a $5 billion opening weekend. Hope you bought your tickets already, as theaters may be packed through 2008.

***

Should I turn this site into a book?

***

Thom's favorite.

***

Er, no.

***

Fascinating.

***

dj shadow - building steam with a grain of salt
the long winters - cinnamon
pavement - heckler spray / in the mouth a desert
the new pornographers - stacked crooked
nusrat fateh ali khan - haq ali ali

Monday, October 23, 2006

Feeling Better Already


From rickygervais.com:

"As a 'thank you' to everyone who's supported the first three series of podcasts, Ricky, Steve and Karl are doing three specials between now and Christmas - one at Halloween; one at Thanksgiving and one at, er, Christmas.

The first show will go out next week at The Guardian website - link coming soon. All three shows will be free to download."

Don't Be Fooled

Some in the media are trying to play the "Eagles could be 7-0 card," as all three of their losses came in the last play of the game.

They don't know what they're talking about.

This team is 4-3 as 4-3 can be.

And it stinks.

***

My quads and hammies are even worse this morning.

***

I'm not in as much pain as this guy, but still...

***

Stupid free will, always getting in the way.

Sorry 'bout that!

***

Postcards from "the Edge."

***

From DCRTV:

ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said he has "no plans at the moment" to return to ESPN's Monday Night Football next season. "At the moment, in my mind, I always thought I signed up for one year," the Washington Post sports columnist, in his rookie year on MNF, told the NY Post.

***

The week can only get better from here, right? ;)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Bad Day for Philly Sports Fans

The Eagles lose a horrendous, horrendous game in an equally horrendous way.

The Flyers finally make changes, but they're the wrong ones... replacing Bob Clarke with Bob Clarke, Jr. (Paul Holmgren), and firing one of the best coaches in the league, replacing him with some JV scrub.

Awful.

Another New Look

No reason for this latest change; it's just that there are tons of templates that I can change to at the touch of a button, and I was fooling around with a few.

Let me know if you like this look, or prefer the other one.

Me? I think this one is a bit cleaner, and therefore slightly easier to read.

I've also added some labels (check the right-hand column), so that you can find old columns of interest that you may have missed (Wing Bowl, for instance).

***

After yesterday's longish post, maybe it's time for a good old fashioned link dump?


1) When you start to watch this video (thanks, Jeff), you might laugh a little bit, and then quickly wonder why in the hell you're watching it. Stick with it.

For one, it's strangely hypnotic.

And for two (?), the moves get better as the party continues.


2) Silent Bob (yes, that one) has posted a video of a roller coaster ride that, if you haven't already seen, you're probably going to want to see.

And it's cruel.

It's not funny.

Keep telling yourself that, chuckles.


3) I'll try to keep pictures of my nephew to a minimum on here, simply because of cute overload and whatnot, but... doesn't this photo of Ryan look like the poster of Einstein that's hanging in every other freshman dorm?



4) Some people like Wil Wheaton. Me? I like Sean Nelson.


5) I'm pretty sure that Letterman has heard something like this before.


6) Random fun.


7) Don't even pretend that you don't want to click the link, toolbox.


8) The one music-related post of the day, thanks to Jed: not everyone likes Joanna Newsom, apparently.


9) Any interest in Sudoku wallpaper?


10) Finally, more Leeroy Jenkins, following my post the other day. Witness: Leeroy Jenkins: The Soundboard, and an interview with the man himself.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Howard, the Strangest Thing Has Happened Lately

I boxed this morning.

Kinda.


As some of you know, Jeff and I signed ourselves up for an "Introduction to Boxing" class some time ago, just as a random thing to do. So, we got together early, and promptly ordered ourselves the breakfast of champions at a small place in Del Ray-- a bacon, egg and cheese for Teso and a sausage, egg and cheese for me. This nutritious start... it would surely bode well for an afternoon at the gym, right?

An afternoon, by the way, which was and is so beautiful that the concept of spending it in a dingy gym... was less than appealing. Jeff let me know this on the way there. I felt bad for having the idea to take a boxing course in the first place.

When we got downtown, we found a church, and no signs of any boxing ring, gym, or any such thing. Which is to say, we were confused, save for the other two people we ran into who were having the same reaction. One, mind, who was the coordinator for the event.

A woman came out of an alleyway (there's a nice sign, right?) and led us down, down, down (not really, but it's how I choose to remember it), under the church and into the bowels of Keely's Gym, in beautiful Columbia Heights. We'd only spend an hour-and-a-half in there, or thereabouts, but the scars... they'd be with us for the rest of our lives.

***

I keed, I keed.


***

Once things got started, it became clear that no one cared whether this was an introductory course or not, despite that being the main selling point of the whole shebang. Instead, several of the instructors (one of whom, a woman, bore a serious resemblance to Professor Griff, by the way) led us through a fairly intensive session of calisthenics.


Never mind that some in the class were more fit than others, that there was a certain age range at play... the instructors didn't care. "50 of this," "200 of that"... it was painful. No water breaks, no respites between sets, just... uh, pain and sweat, as Debbie Allen used to say.

*groan*

Anyway, we were divided into two groups after awhile, with Jeff and I already giving one another the "this is not what we really signed up for" look.

Thankfully, though, group one got in the ring, and learned how to throw punches and combinations.

Unfortunately, Jeff and I were in group two. And what we got was a whole bunch of jump ropes and medicine balls.

***

After ten minutes or so of that nonsense (10 squats with medicine ball, followed by jump rope, followed by 10 squats with medicine ball, repeat), we finally got to put the (unbelievably rancid) gloves on. Whether we were really ever told how to throw a punch is... well, we may have been told, but said instructions were hard to decipher, if you know what I mean.

Be that as it may, everyone took turns throwing punches at our instructor... just basic combinations, for a minute or so apiece.

Ever thrown more than a few punches at once?

I hadn't. And as I discovered, it's more exhausting than I'd have guessed.

Which was tremendous, in and of itself. But then things took a turn, when after my second go-round or so, my long-lost friend, Mr. Hernia, decided to say hello to me.

At that point, with apologies to the parents, my first thought was something along the lines of: "fuck."

***

As it turns out, I was in a lot of pain... but the pain would soon go away. It wasn't like I'd torn myself a new what-have-you, or anything. But when I've had these recurrences in the past... I've always erred on the side of caution, just to be safe.

Which may explain why I resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy these days, but that's besides the point.


This, when combined with the exhaustion of the workout to that point, was more than enough for me to hang 'em up. I told Jeff what went down, and headed outside with no shame. From the look on Teso's face, I was guessing that he probably wouldn't be too far behind me... this despite the fact that I didn't want him to leave early on my account. But I'd absolutely had enough (I'm not doing the fatigue justice at this point), either way, and so again, I felt no shame in leaving, especially so that I might salvage the day.

Teso came out about 10 minutes later, struggling to breathe. Seems that, whether by virtue of my leaving early or not, the instructor gave Teso about four minutes straight, demanding crosses and uppercuts, again and again and again. Teso could barely lift his arms at the end.

Still, it was impressive, to hear Jeff tell it. While Jeff found his legit second wind, and got some kudos from the guy (who knew he was asking Teso to take it to the next level)... he promptly lost his second wind upon getting into my car.

Basically, we couldn't take no more. Jeff and I both needed a good number of minutes to even remember how to breathe properly. The drive home was, at least at first, not much fun at all.

But once we broke for the day, and after several Gatorades, a shower, and some more Gatorade, I was feeling better. That said, my body is screaming at me, right now.

I'm guessing that tomorrow will be even worse.

***

To treat myself, following the super-spectacular workout I'd had, I walked down the street to the party that was Clarendon Day. And while it was a good bit what I expected it to be, it was still a lot of fun (even though I was by myself). Lots of booths, lots of shopping, lots of food and drink (though I had none)... it was gorgeous out, so everyone was having a really good time.

Lots of stuff for the kids-- climbing walls, trampolines, a little pool full of boats-- almost too cute for words, at times.




Apart from all the arts and crafts, and wacky Colbert Report-themed t-shirt stands, I saw this on a wall, and it struck me as interesting, I guess:


I got myself a necklace, for no good reason, and then hit a few stores on the way home for good measure, just to treat myself to things I didn't need.

One of them was the Bose SoundDock for my iPod.



***

Like I said before... I'm going to be feeling it in the morning.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

(Re) Discoveries We Should Be Sharing





Sleeplinking

This week has been a bit of a blur. Do you ever have the sense, when there's not as much going on in your life, that things are just passing you by?

That's been the past few days for me. I feel like I've been sleepwalking a bit.

Sure, there was a nice happy hour with Summer, Heather and Bridget last night, to make up for the aborted "shappy hour" (don't ask) of the night before.

And yes, Clarendon Day (whatever that is) takes place on Saturday, after which Jeff and I are going to go boxing.


But apart from that, I've been spacing.

I've been sleeping through my alarm, haven't been working out as I'd been... something seems a bit off.

***

If you have guesses, my suggestion box is open.

So to speak.

***

Let's wrangle some links, then, shall we?

1) A column from a week or so ago, from old friend Keith Olbermann. I'd say that I stand by him 100%... but then I wouldn't want to be accused of treason, or worse, hyperbole.

Either way, an interesting read from someone who used to make his living grunting "Houston! Hello!"


2) Many thanks to Pete (and to his friend, Bill) for pointing me towards the best resume in the history of the world.

Kind of.

Be sure to watch the video after you read the article. It's a beaut.


3) The lamest thing you've ever seen, until about 1:20 into things (and you can thank South Park for this)... Mister Leeroy Jenkins.


4) A quick, handheld video that proves God's existence (from another angle).


5) Staying on the sports front, a great page of the most ridiculous coaching meltdowns of all time. Includes Koharski's "have another donut!" blast, and Woody Hayes being, um, Woody Hayes.


6) Surprisingly, I think I only have about 14 of these.


7) Finally, I don't know if this is fantastic or merely creepy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Last Few Days

You’d think that I’d be suffering. With no Internet connection, you’d imagine, I’d be lost at sea. A complete and utter mess. Missing my blog, and missing you.

But you’d be wrong. Except for the “missing you” part, I mean.

My life has been much better since kicking Comcast to the curb. I’d rather have no connection at all than to have to deal with them any further. And even though it’s meant a few days “off,” I’ve had a nice couple of days. Relaxed. Happy.

Even with the Eagles loss.

***

Anyway, I registered online (at work, if memory serves) for Verizon DSL, and was told that my service would be good to go by Wednesday (tomorrow).

Wouldn’t you know I got the materials in the mail last night? I was very excited.

Yes, more excited than I should have been.

Unfortunately, the instructions expressly suggested that I wait until Wednesday night to put everything together. So, I guess that Verizon wound up being a bit of a tease. But with any luck, the worst of Verizon will still be better than the best Comcast had to offer.

Not that I’m still bitter or anything.

***

The biggest deal of the past several days was the unexpected visit I had with Jen Bowles (no relation, in case you’re wondering) yesterday afternoon. For those of you who don’t know, Jen was one of my closest friends at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, back in the day, and along with Steph... she made life liveable. The two of them were and are terrific, even if both decided to strand me in the D.C. area (kidding, kidding).

So imagine my surprise when Jen (who has spent years in Argentina and Ann Arbor since moving away) gives me a call and says that, instead of Michigan, she’s in D.C.—in town because her husband is in Baltimore for the weekend. And that she wants to get together.

Anyway, I caught up with her for lunch, and had a great time. She’s just fantastic, as always, and… what a wonderful surprise, to see her, seemingly out of nowhere. And did I happen to mention that she’s five months pregnant, with little baby Iris?

Thanks for coming, Jen. You made my week.

***

What else is happening?

Uh, the Eagles lost. But… I guess it was a loss to a legitimately good team. And though we came out flat, at least we came back a good bit in the third quarter, and at least showed a bit of a pulse.

It wasn’t a horrible game, even if it was one we should have won.

That said… does anyone want a past-his-prime Michael Lewis? At these prices, we’re practically giving him away!

***

After a weekend or two away, and a busy couple of weeks at work, I did next to nothing over the weekend. And I loved it. I didn’t go anywhere, with the possible exception of my couch.

Apart from catching up on old episodes of Stella and Mr. Show, and watching Rashomon for the first time, I spent the weekend reading The Fountainhead.

And my 48 hours were fantastic, thank you very much.

***

Does anyone else like the Tiger Woods PGA Golf 2007 commercial, where he instructs the player to hit his iron off the tree?

Is it just me?

Hello?

***

Charles Barkley on Terrell Owens last night, on Monday Night Football:

“If he was my teammate, I’d have hit him in the head a long time ago.”

Love that guy.

***

More in the next few days, including more wacky links.

And, given recent complaints, fewer curse words.

I swear.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Taking My Leave

It is done.

I am no longer a Comcast subscriber-- at least not with respect to their awful, AWFUL high-speed internet.

Fuckers.



Instead, I will be using Verizon DSL. My connection will be a bit slower, perhaps, but then I'd guess my internet will be up and running more than 55% of the time.

Which will be nice.

***

Anyway, just wanted to drop in and say that, until Verizon is set up, on or about Wednesday... posts here might be infrequent at best.

But fear not, fellow nerds... I'll make up for any lost time with lots of links to stupid twaddle. Time-wasters galore.

And of course, I'll fill you in on all the big doings of my life: trips to TJ Maxx, showers where I get particularly clean, the odd concert report on a band you've never heard of...

It will be AWESOME.

So long as the Verizon thingy works, that is. Fingers crossed, right?

***

the hold steady - chips ahoy!
ben folds - gone
r.e.m. - feeling gravity's pull
pavement - summer babe (winter version)
camper van beethoven - take the skinheads bowling

Knowing Me, David Berger; Sacking You, Comcast-- A-HA!

Short post, just to let you know I'm okay.

Except that Comcast has botched it again. My home connection is down, just as it was a few weeks ago, and the weeks before that, etcetera. So I'll be ending my relationship with Comcast as soon as humanly possible.

Worst company in the world.

***

The above title, by the way, is a reference to Knowing Me, Knowing You, and... well... you need to see it, if for some reason you have not.

***

Did you know?

My Morning Jacket tickets are already on sale?
Tenacious D tickets are on sale tomorrow morning?
Joanna Newsom tickets will probably never go on sale?

Bastards!

***

Everybody wish Teso good luck tonight, please.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

POP C(andy)


I really should have linked to Pop Candy a long time ago.

A LONG time ago.

I read Whitney's column often, and swipe so many of her links that I owe her at least one (1) latte. Or one (1) frappucino. Her choice.

Anyway, by way of apology, I'm listing Pop Candy over to the right. And swiping two more links.

*cough*

Check out George Michael (no, not the old, boring one) doing comedy, and a tremendous article on the real Poppa Bear, Stephen Colbert, here.

***

I can't go a day without prattling on and on about Ricky Gervais, can I?

Check out a Stereogum-endorsed clip from Extras, featuring Chris Martin, here.

Speaking of which, you should probably visit and/or support Make Trade Fair... otherwise Chris will come to your house and, er, sing, or something.

***

I wish I still lived in Atlanta. Not just because I miss Criminal Records (though I do), but because of this l'il show:



***

Oh, well. At least I don't live in Croatia.

***

the hold steady - chillout tent
wilco - outtasite (outtamind)
outkast - so fresh, so clean
my morning jacket - mahgeeta
of montreal - the past is a grotesque animal (HOLY SHIT)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And the D Said,

Let there be movie. Oh, yeah-- and let there be TOUR.

Yes, tour.

Jables and Rage Kage will be rocking DC on December 3.

Needless to say, I'll see you there.

Enlarge this... much funnier that way:

The One Where I Go On and On About a Six-Month Old

In the wake of the life-affirming Eagles' win, I feel that there's a lot I haven't gone over yet regarding my weekend.

Like this, for starters:


Ryan, please don't eat your thank you note.

***

My weekend in Columbus was, as you might imagine, fantastic. It was great to see Mike and Michelle again, to see Mom and Dad, of course... but Ryan was kinda the star of the whole shebang. Moreso, even, that the assorted animals and Babs that popped up here and there throughout the weekend.

See, Michelle tried to surprise Mom with tickets to see La Streisand on Friday night. Didn't work (the surprise part), but... they both enjoyed themselves a ton.

Who knew that Barbara Streisand would ever set foot in Columbus? Let alone bring the President with her? The city is moving up in the world, I guess.

The men also enjoyed themselves a ton, gathering back at Chez Roche to watch football, hockey and baseball. Ryan seemed the most into it; Dad and I were a bit spent from a long travel day.

This is what happens when you get old: the Vulcan mind-meld becomes endlessly entertaining.


***

The rest of the weekend was spent eating the best ice cream in the country at Graeter's (sorry, Creamery), eating BBQ at a pig-themed restaurant (you heard me-- I ordered the water and was NOT disappointed), and yes, watching more football, hockey and baseball back at the house.

And watching Ryan experience his first pumpkin patch and his first go-round at the Columbus Zoo.



I'll be asked to take these pictures down, I'm sure.


So enjoy them now, while you still can.


***

Anyway, the entire weekend was great. I especially enjoyed the manatees at the zoo.

What?

***

Yesterday was an exceptionally slow day at work, between the holiday and... well, I don't know what else... and so what did I do?

I sifted through the emails and the links you've been sending me.

Bunch of crazies.

***

Let's start with a bang, shall we?

Remember a few weeks ago, I posted to the top 10 Will Ferrell skits of all time? Well now, just in time for the movie (which I think comes out next month)... the Top 10 Borat skits of all-time.

Enjoy?!?

***

You don't know it yet, but this is going to be your favorite show next year.

***

Ever wonder (Whaddya mean "no"? I haven't asked the question yet!) how much it costs to bring your favorite band to town? Well, check out this list, and see what I was swimming in back in my days on the Cornell Concert Comission.

Wait, wait, WAIT. We're paying how much for Hootie, again???

Speaking of the good 'ol days... rest in peace, Tower Records.

***

Best Ren & Stimpy episode, ever.

At least, best that I can remember.

***

Now, I know I tell you that "this is the greatest clip you'll ever see" a bit more frequently than I should... but then the Internet is a wonderful thing.

Along those lines, just note that this warrants your immediate attention.

***

If you can get this to work, it'd be pretty cool, I suppose.

***

Fascinating and vaguely horrifying blog entry on the antichrist (guy doesn't even merit a capital "A" in my book), Rick Santorum.

Read it and weep.

***

Thanks to Ilise, you can get your daily bunny fix anytime you want.

I'd forgotten about those little things.

***

I need to sleep... why won't you let me/
I need to sleep... why won't you?

***

frank black - headache
decemberists - after the bombs
catherine wheel - black metallic
the fall - the classical
the polyphonic spree - hangin' around the day

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Win for the Ages

I had a great weekend in Columbus, absolutely... and it would be the lead story any other time. In fact, I'll tell you all about it in time. Everybody's doing great, Ryan is still the best kid in the world, yadda yadda yadda.

But...

Words cannot express how happy the entire Eagles-Cowboys game, and especially the play pictured below, made me last night.

Screaming like an idiot on the car ride home, yelling "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES," and "How 'Bout Dem Cowboys?!?" to whomever might have been close enough to hear, getting calls from my Dad damned near every other play over the final few minutes, just so I could get a play-by-play, watching everything on tape throughout the night once I got home, giving thanks to God that the Cowboys are quarterbacked by Drew Bledsoe (dig that 33.1 passer rating!)...

Just too great. Every single player (wearing green, that is) gave a 110% effort, and the whole thing... it was simply astounding to take in.

If you're not from Philly... if you haven't spent time in Philly... if you don't know anyone from Philly... you might not realize that this game may have been the biggest regular season win this franchise has ever had. For the team, and especially for the city.



So much to say about it, but one of the most important things to note is how well-behaved the crowd apparently was. For all the media predictions that there would be rioting, violence, incarcerations... apparently there was none of it (or, I'm predicting, very little of it). The crowd shouted, chanted, was nuts as predicted... but that was it.

The national media owes the city of Philadelphia a bit of an apology.

***

Links:

1) Best movie of the weekend.

2) Brutal.

3) Interesting.

***

I'm spent.

Happily spent, but spent.

God bless the Eagles.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Goodbye for Now

I'll be taking my leave, later this morning... heading up (over?) to Columbus, OH to see Michelle, Mike, Ryan and the 'rents. Should be a lot of fun.

I'll be back Sunday night, at which point I'll either be rejoicing or in mourning.

If things didn't go well (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, then I guess you don't know me well enough)... don't even bother calling me. I won't pick up the phone.

That said... I'm feeling pretty good. Getting good vibes.

Feeling optimistic.

Really.

Eagles, 27-16.

***

If you don't do it for yourselves... then win it for this guy, gang.

***

On another note.

I'm not saying you need to get this for me, per se... but maybe you need to get it for the nerd in your life.

***

You probably saw this already.

Careful... some bad language (horrors!) therein.

***

I'm still missing this guy. Does that make me weird?

***

I hate to scare you.

But I feel compelled to warn you...

Beware of Frankenbunny.

***

Let's make you feel a little better.

Best site ever.

***

Nothing much to report. A fairly slow week at work (where I'll be for a few hours this morning), and a fairly slow week otherwise.

Hell of a write-up, huh?

Anyway. Have a great weekend, friends. Be sure and give me the report Sunday evening or Monday, as appropriate.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Last Night

First...











Then...









And then, finally:













Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gideon

Why am I writing this now, instead of tomorrow morning?

Because we have a 7:45am meeting.

Too early. Too darned early.

Throws the whole blogging schedule off, you know? ;)

***

Starting that early almost assuredly means that I'll be like this at about 4:30pm or so...


***

Quick links, then:

1) Check out Biff's song... not half-bad.

2) Check out the movie we're seeing tonight.

3) Check out the coolest guy in rock. He can do no wrong.

***

"RELIGION - SHOULD APPEAL TO THE HEARTS OF THE YOUNG.
WHO ARE YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU BECOME?

YOU ANIMAL. COME ON. WHAT DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF?

TRULY. TRULY WE HAVE BECOME. HATED AND FEARED FOR SOMETHING WE DON'T WANT.
LISTEN. LISTEN. MOST OF US BELIEVE THAT THIS IS WRONG.

YOU ANIMAL. COME ON. WHAT DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF?"

Harmonium Turns One!

Do me a favor-- go to Harmonium and read this.

It's our first birthday, and coming off of an interview with the friggin' Scissor Sisters (we are now officially BIG TIME), we've got another contest!

Let me politely say that if you know me... if you've read any of my pieces... you'll have a startlingly easy time at winning some free music from us.

Anyway. Thanks for your support, and thanks (in retrospect) for all your kind words about my Decemberists review from last week. It means a lot.

All's Well That Ends Well

Well, that was ugly.

The first half of last night's game was, at least. A game that should have been 21-9 Eagles at the half, and instead we're down 9-7 because of two Buckhalter fumbles inside the 5? Yikes.


Thank goodness for McNabb, and specifically, his two hookups with Mr. Softee (Greg Lewis). Thank goodness for a third quarter that played out the way the entire game should have. And thank goodness we were playing a crap team like the Packers, in the first place, rather than...

I'm not gonna say it.

I'm not gonna talk about them, yet.

Anyway. The Daily News has some grades. I think they're being a good bit generous, whether Westbrook suited up or not.

***

Best sign of the night:

"Get Well Soon, T.O., So We Can HURT You."

***

By the way, the sheer volume and array of curse words hurled at Michael Irvin last night during the pre-game and at halftime... astonishing.


God bless the Philadelphia Eagles' fans, and their unending hatred of all things Cowboy-related. It's always good to have your priorities straight.

My favorite part of the night may have been the wonderful 10-minute long piece in the pregame on a young Eagles fan suffering from sickle cell anemia, a typical Chris Connolly tug-at-the-heartstrings piece, and how the entire Eagles organization gave him the best day(s) of his life. It was, honestly, as well done and as heartwarming a fluff piece as you'll ever see.

When they came back to the ESPN team, though-- before the last shot of the story had completely faded, in fact-- all you heard were the yells at Irvin, the chants of "asshole... asshole... asshole..."


Never forget, my friends. Never forget.

***

One more thing.

Tirico? The guy on top of this building? This Philadelphia landmark, the one that appears in every Philadelphia clip montage you've ever run?

The gentleman's name is William Penn, NOT Ben Franklin. Get it right next time.


***

On another note.

I'm not gonna tell you who sent this to me. But if there are ulterior motives at play, I have reason to be alarmed. ;)

***

The fixation on My Morning Jacket continues. If you're still not sold, check out this unbelievably terrific performance of "Gideon" that they did on Letterman, a few months back, alongside the f'g Boston Pops.

One of the best sets of lyrics in years.

Love it.

***

I'm generally a David Cross apologist, but when it comes to this video that's making the rounds... I agree with the comment by, uh, "KGagliardi."

Scroll down after you've watched the "fun."

***

File Under: "I'll Believe It When I See It."

***

Cool.