i got bombed

In all of the many years that I have used my bike as my primary form of transportation, I have never, ever had what happened to me today, happen. I was riding happily along, returning home from the gym, closing in on the convenience store where I planned to make a pit stop and felt something hit my book bag. It kind of startled me so I looked back but didn't see anything so I figured it was maybe just a leaf or something since it is autumn and all. So, I pull into the c.s. and go to get my Nalgene bottle out of my bag and my hand runs across something wet. I look down in surprise and disgust and notice that there is a HUGE splat of bird crap all over the flap of my bag. And it stinks. I clean it off the best I can with c.s. napkins, but it's still pretty soiled and smeary and stinky.

I guess I should just feel grateful that none of it landed on my person. Which would've been the case had I been a second slower.

See? This is why I don't like winged things with beaks and claws and buttholes.


music your ears want you to listen to

I know. Two in one week. I can hardly stand the excitement and I'm sure you feel the same. But I just had to talk about this album. Iron & Wine's The Shepherd's Dog. Fans, myself oh so much included, have been waiting two long years since Iron & Wine last put out an album, three if you're just counting Iron & Wine solo (because the last one he put out was a collaboration with Calexico titled, In the Reins). And I, for one, hit the download button with much anticipation and hopefulness in my heart on Tuesday.

A lot of detractors are saying that this album blows it big time, but I must vehemently disagree. As I so often do with stupid, stupid music critics. It only takes one listen to tell that Sam has decided that he liked what he started with Woman King and In the Reins, and decided to roll with it. And to much success to my happy little ears.

He's still exploring the same themes: religion, mythology, fables and tales of everyday Americana, he's just doing it with a bigger backing band and a instrumentation that has a world influence. No, it's not Creek Drank the Cradle, redux, but if that's all you wanted, go back and listen to that album. Because I think this one is better. I've been listening to it for two days straight (as anyone who is witness to my I.M. status message can attest) and I'm in love with him all over again. Sam's world-weary voice will always sound the same on any song he sings, but this time he backs it up with sounds from the swamp, the blues of Mississippi and the beats of Africa. A combination that works extremely well in my opinion.

Key tracks: Resurrection Fern, Innocent Bones, White Tooth Man, Carousel, Boy With a Coin

blog of love

In case you've been sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting anxiously for this week's results, you can now breathe easier for the points have been tallied and the judges have made their rulings. Losers have been kicked off of the island and winners have... survived to battle it out next week? This is a game with pretty loose and arbitrary rules.

I would like to give a shout out to Jeannette for possibly pushing me into the win column with her comment about my prowess in certain delicate matters. Even though it was a complete and utter fabrication, the judges bought it! So, thanks. (I think)


taking a day off in the middle of the week

One of the advantages of working from home is that you can take a day off whenever you want. You can do whatever the hell you want with your day off—I decided to go climbing. With my friend Melissa.

Because she isn't all that experienced when it comes to scaling large rock walls, I got to be in charge. This was the very first time that I have chosen the destination, picked the climbs, led the climbs and basically be the climbing know-it-all. Needless to say, I was more than a little nervous about it. Usually, I just go where people tell me, climb what they tell me to and follow as directed. I was scared that we would a) get lost, b) get stranded at the top of a climb, c) injure ourselves, d) die.

But none of that happened! Largely, because I chose to go to The Ironclads—an area that I've climbed at a few times before, so I knew generally what we were getting ourselves into. We chose Dirty No-Gooders, 5.6 to start off on. Mostly, because it was easy enough for Melissa to follow on, but also, because it'd been about a month since I'd led anything, I figured I should start slow. It went great. It is a really nice climb with solid feet and nice, juggy handholds every time you need one. Melissa didn't feel comfortable rappelling on her own, so after she climbed it on top rope, I went up a second time to clean and rap down.

Then, Melissa decided that she wanted to learn how to rappel, so we went over to Poacher's Rock, scrambled up the back of it and set up a top rope on Five Finger Discount, 5.9. Melissa was a little shaky on her first rappelling attempt, but ended up going down like a pro. Then we climbed back up it on top rope and both rappelled back down again. She did it with flying colors on her second try. She most definitely wasn't as big a baby as I was, my first time. Remember that, Dylan? I don't know how you put up with me.

After that, we called it a day and came back home. Where we made fish tacos for dinner! This is why people get/stay married isn't it? The gourmet meals. I give her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and she gives me fish tacos. Who's the winner in this scenario?


i need some opinions

Ok. Wanna be part of my unpaid, most likely ignored, focus group? I knew you would. All you have to do is answer one simple question. If you saw the logo below, what kind of company do you think it would be for?


so that's what it looks like

My friend Melissa is in town from Montana on her way to wherever the wind will take her and even though all I have to offer her is an air mattress on the floor of my studio and some cold cereal, she still thought it'd be ok to stay with me. Not only that, but she decided to cook dinner this evening. Yay! Home cooked meal! And she's actually not even going anywhere near the microwave. I didn't know that could be done. I'm speechless.

Ostensibly, I'm helping her, but really I'm posting stuff on my blog. Don't tell her.

I'm making out like a bandit.

Here's what it looks like pre-the-cooking:

See how healthy we are? She even bought all of the ingredients at Whole Paycheck.

If the smells emanating from the kitchen area are any indication about what it will taste like, y'all should be really, really sad you're not at my house right now.

music your ears want you to listen to

If you have been paying attention at all, you know how much I want to have this guy's babies. So, it's no surprise that I LOVE his latest effort. It's a little bit Animal Years 2.0, but also, not really. Ok. It is. But that doesn't stop me from listening to it over and over and over.

Although it does sound like a continuation of his last album, there are some other, older influences (thus the title) of blues, jazz and I think I can hear the Appalachians in there somewhere.

It's music that pretty much complements just about any activity you can think of: working, running, making dinner, having sex, you name it, this is a good soundtrack for it. And the lyrics are, as usual, outstanding. Some that I can remember off the top of my head:

Two open windows keep the rain away,
Two open eyes keep the ghosts at bay,
I thought an open door would bring you in,
Now, I guess I'm gonna have to guess again.


Don't let me into this year with an empty heart.


Outside in the frost are the wolves and the lost


'Cause ghosts don't want to give up their sheets.
Tell me is it the same for the rattling chains,
or whatever you wear when you sleep.

If, no when, you buy it, make sure you get the version with the bonus tracks.

Key tracks: Right Moves, Open Doors, Rumors, Wait for Love, Empty Hearts (ok really the whole album is great from start to finish - just buy it already)


creature mag

A new assignment from someone other than daytrotter. This one is for the next issue of creaturemag - an online poetry and fiction magazine. This is for a story titled, 'Pisshead You're in Creature Mag'.


the national

Last night I went down to Denver to see The National play at The Ogden. For some reason, as much as I love this band, I'd never seen any pictures of them or seen them play live before. They so don't look anything like I expected them to, especially the lead singer. My very first thought was, 'These guys look like they met in Advanced Robotics 602 at MIT.'

St. Vincent opened for them and although it seemed like a pretty weird pairing, it's another band that I like pretty well, so I was pretty stoked for the show. Neither one of them disappointed. St. Vincent is just one woman who plays the electric guitar and uses recordings for her back-up band. She said she was from Dallas, but either she hasn't been there very long, or she's extremely anti-establishment, because she was the antithesis of everything you think you know about Dallas. She didn't even have mall-bangs.

The National put on a great show as well, tearing down the roof in spite of their pocket protectors and the two hobbits playing lead guitar. They played all of my favorite songs from Boxer and some of the good ones from Alligator as well. It's been a long, long time since I've seen a live show, and this one will go down as one of the best ones I've ever seen.


blog of love

For some reason that I can't fathom, the Bee-Spot has named me as a contestant (I think it's because she needed some people she could automatically kill) on some blog reality show that she and I'm Quietly Judging You invented called the Blog of Love. None of us are really quite sure what the rules are or how we survive from round to round. But judging by the winners this week, I think it involves a supreme amount of ass-kissing. Something I've never been good at, so I don't expect to last very long.

So far, also for some reason that I can't fathom, I made it through Round 1 (most likely because of my invisibility skills which made them completely forget I was a contestant) and am now a contender for Round 2.

I'm not sure how you, my two faithful readers, can help me either. As far as I can tell, there's no viewer judging allowed. Although I guess you could post comments here or on their blogs, telling them what a wonderful person I am. Maybe that will sway their opinions of me. 'Cause so far, I haven't done a whole lot to let them know that I'm playing along. Except tell them that their boobs are nice. Which probably won't get me very far.

Wish me luck? I guess?


music your ears want you to listen to

Do you miss your love affair with The Cure? Did you always kind of secretly wish that Robert Smith had sung with a Swedish accent?

Well, you're in luck! Check out Shout Out Louds', Our Ill Wills, and you'll get everything your little heart desires. As I've said before, pretty much all you have to say to me is that the band is from Sweden and I'm gonna start drooling like one of Pavlov's unlucky subjects. Sometimes my addiction yields some seriously amazing results, Loney, Dear. Other times, not quite so much, Peter, Bjorn & John, but it's almost always worth the effort of hitting that 'download all' button.

This one definitely falls in the former camp. I heart it very much.

The frontman plays the tambourine for Christ's sake. You can't beat that with a stick.

Tonight, I Have to Leave it


i guess it was time

The Bush Head is finally dead. Well, half way anyway. I'm wondering if this means that W is finally gonna get impeached. Maybe? Ok. Probably not, but I can dream, can't I?


look what santa brought me

It's so awesome. I don't even care that I have to sit five feet back from it or I can't really see it all. It's got a 24" screen. In case you think you didn't read that correctly, let me say it again. It's got a 24" screen. And 350 G of hard drive space. Think about how much music that will hold. And it's so fast it knows what I want to do before I do.

Did I say it was awesome? 'Cause it is. Awesome.

i got to go climbing today!

Finally. I got the chance to do some routes outside for the first time in almost a month. It's simply unbelievable that it's been that long. I met Ann, Dylan, Kate, Mark, Liz and Doug up at the Blair area of Vedauwoo this morning and we hit some stuff on Little John's Tower.

While the rest of the gang did Baobob Tree again, Ann and I went around the crag to work on Lady's Route 5.6. Ann did what was really a pretty amazing lead on it. She never fell and she only backed off once to reassess and then she just went for it, up this slope-y, lean-y, layback-y crack. From the ground it didn't really look all that hard, but once I got up to it, I decided that there was no way in hell that you could pay me to lead it.

Then, after lunch, Liz and Doug introduced me to this pretty amazing wall of sport climbs that I didn't know existed at Vedauwoo. We only had time to do one route, and I have no idea what it was called or what the rating was, but it was really nice to do sport again. And this one had some really nice moves on it.

Now, I'm home, kind of tired and ready to eat my arm. Instead of doing that though, I'm gonna have a cheeseburger.


100 things

As a way to get jonesed about blogging again, Long Story Longer suggested that I write a '100 Things' list. Now, if I remember my Blogging History 101, ostensibly this is supposed to be a '100 Things You Don't Know About Me' list. But there is no way on this green Earth that I will be able to think of 5 things that everyone doesn't know about me, let alone 100, so I've taken it upon myself to make an executive decision to modify it to a '100 Things You May or May Not Know About Me' list. Don't blame me if there aren't any surprises in it for you.

100. As a kid I desperately wanted to be an astronaut.
99. So I joined the Air Force when I was in college hoping to become a pilot and then be able to eventually become a spacewalker.
98. I'm afraid of birds. It's true. They freak me out.
97. I sometimes hate my dog.
96. In high school I worked as a janitor on the weekends, cleaning the office where my parents worked.
95. I also worked at K-mart in the electronics department.
94. My very first car was a 1970-something or other (I can't remember the year) Mustang. It's not as cool as it sounds. It was a big piece of crap.
93. I spent 7.5 years getting two undergraduate degrees.
92. I keep saying I'm going to go back and get my Masters, but so far I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it.
91. I used to pretend that my favorite color was red because I liked what it said about my personality, but really it's blue.

90. I love television.
89. But I hate reality shows.
88. I don't like to cook.
87. I eat a bowl of sugary-kiddie cereal every night before I go to bed.
86. I'm expecting fully to spend my entire life single. And, most of the time, that's the way I prefer it. Although sometimes it scares the living crap out of me.
85. I love chap stick. Or lip balm really since I buy the organic kind.
84. I don't like sushi.
83. In high school, I kind of liked all of the metal hair bands.
82. The very first album I ever bought myself was Air Supply.
81. I'm probably going to be bald eventually and it really drives me crazy.

80. Because I'm more vain than I want to be.
79. I care not one bit about getting older. Really.
78. I pick my nose. A lot.
77. I'm also not afraid to fart in public.
76. I love to talk about bodily functions. 'Cause we're really weird, us humans.
75. I believe in reincarnation.
74. I don't believe in one, all-powerful, omnipotent God.
73. I believe that there has to be life on other planets.
72. I hate cottage cheese.
71. I love tomatoes. Sometimes I eat them like apples.

70. I don't really have a favorite food.
69. But I love ice cream sandwiches.
68. And Doritos.
67. I came very, very close to being engaged when I was 29. And it would've been the worst thing that ever happened to me.
66. I read. A lot.
65. My favorite punctuation mark is the semicolon.
64. I have a younger brother whom I haven't spoken to in 15 years.
63. He's dying of cancer and I still can't bring myself to talk to him.
62. I really want dragons to be real.
61. And magic.

60. I have a black thumb.
59. I like beer.
58. Flip flops are the reason I look forward to summer.
57. Stocking caps are the reason I look forward to winter.
56. I can't do any math in which I can't utilize my fingers. And sometimes my toes.
55. I'm not as laid back as I pretend to be. Internally, I'm a worrier.
54. I'm afraid to tell people how I really feel about them.
53. I like the smell of gasoline.
52. I can't curl my tounge.
51. I'm extremely introverted.

50. I'm a liberal.
49. I wear contacts.
48. I like cheese.
47. I love to shower.
46. I have a lot of acquaintances, but not many friends.
45. My favorite album of all time (the one I can listen to over and over and never get sick of it) is Counting Crows' August and Everything After. And, no, I'm not embarrassed by that.
44. I often think about suicide.
43. I don't like wearing shoes.
42. The thing I miss the most about the Midwest are the thunderstorms. And the sunsets.
41. I'm extremely claustrophobic.

40. And, therefore, hate being in large crowds.
39. I really dislike most people.
38. I was born in Utah.
37. I've lived in six states in my entire life.
36. I've never been to California.
35. Or Mexico.
34. I've only been overseas once. To Ireland.
33. It was the best trip I've ever taken.
32. It was just me and my dad.
31. I like visiting large cities, but could never live in one. They stress me out.

30. I'm surprised I've made it this far in this list.
29. My favorite author is Tom Robbins. And JRR Tolkein. And Stephen King.
28. The two places I most want to see are New Zealand and Novia Scotia.
27. I've been to Las Vegas once and didn't really care for it.
26. But I loved playing craps.
25. I 'm not musically talented. At all.
24. It takes a very special occasion for me to put on a tie.
23. I've never wanted children.
22. I don't have any birthmarks.
21. I don't really care for the beach.

20. But the mountains fill me with a spirituality that I've never experienced anywhere else.
19. My favorite adult beverage is whiskey, neat.
18. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
17. But I don't understand Halloween.
16. I've never played a team sport.
15. I ride my bike more than I drive my car.
14. I couldn't name a favorite movie if you paid me.
13. My favorite movie director is Wes Anderson.
12. I don't own a landline.
11. I have two iPods.

10. My favorite invention of all time is automatic towel dispensers.
9. I don't take vacations because I hate to travel alone.
8. The only sport I really like to watch is college bball. Go Jayhawks!
7. I'm a music snob.
6. I only had three wisdom teeth.
5. I don't like hot beverages.
4. So, I'm addicted to Coke Zero.
3. I was born a month premature.
2. My least favorite word is moist.
1. I don't like to dance.


the dodos probably like 'em too

I know. I know. Daytrotter again. It's the only thing I have time to draw for lately. Hoping that will change soon. This probably isn't all that original of an idea for this band, but I still think it's funny.

Oh. And I should mention this: you know how grocery store brands (i.e. generic) always have the best names for their products? Well, Safeway has a brand of supposedly organic food, called 'O' and I just the other day discovered their brand of Cocoa Puffs. It's outrageously delicious and the name is pretty darn hilarious: Cocoa Orbits. Although the best one yet will always be the Kroger name for Triscuits: Baked Weavers. Hi-larious. (If you don't get it, get in the 420 mindset).

See? My life is boring.


one out of five isn't... bad?

One of the five illustrations I've done for daytrotter.com finally appeared. I was starting to think that it was all just some sort of weird, unnecessary cosmic fart joke. Maybe the editor was just pulling my leg when he told me that he thought the others were 'rad'. Or maybe that's just what I get for trying to work with music geeks.


the end is (possibly) nigh

Lately I've begun thinking that I should just shut this thing down. Stop doing this whole blogging thing, already. For I find myself bored, and more importantly, boring. I feel as though I have virtually nothing left to say. Oh, I'm sure I could find something to talk about, but wouldn't it just be oh so much blather? I'm not looking for accolades, or pats on the back, or encouragement… I'm just ruminating. It's difficult to wake up, look at yourself in the mirror and discover that you wouldn't even want to hang out with you.

Most likely I will change my mind someday and rediscover that thing that made me want to do this in the first place, but it's been a couple of months that I've felt this way and so far it hasn't gone away. Hopefully, Bush will do something soon that will really piss me off, or maybe, just maybe I'll start having a life again. Did I have one before? I don't know, but at least I felt like sharing the one I did have.


the worst has come to pass

The R-dog has yet to destroy the squeaky Bush-head. She's had it for almost five days. I'm very, very afraid that this means she's a Republican. All her life I've said that she is a Jewish lesbian (she's got curly hair and she really only likes the ladies), but now I'm afeared that I have to add conservative a-hole to the list.

I'll hold out hope that she's a moderate one at least. Otherwise, there's gonna be a lot of fighting in the d household.

We'll see how she votes in the upcoming election.