13/365 the paternal grandfather

You died too early for me to get to know you. But you gave me an extraordinary father of my own. For that I will be eternally grateful. All I can say is a simple thank you.

I'm a participant of x365.


music your ears want you to listen to

These guys are my new favorite band of the week. I first read about them on Hear Ya, and since I generally do whatever those guys tell me to do, I downloaded them without even sampling anything online. I'm, obviously, immensely glad that I did.

The trio hails from Seattle, but sing songs like they grew up somewhere in the woods of Appalachia listening to Fleetwood Mac for most of their childhoods.

Invitation Songs is their debut album, but they all got their chops playing for other, well-known punk bands. Bands like Pretty Girls Make Graves, Hint Hint, Cobra High and Murder City Devils. They recently came together as The Cave Singers without intending to be in a folk band, but somehow that's what they ended up with. And somehow, they sound like they've been playing together for quite some time.

Give 'em a listen, you won't be sad you did.

Key tracks: Called, Free the Bee, Helen, Dancing on Our Graves and New Monuments

12/365 the bee keeper

No one would've guessed that you kept a few hives of bees somewhere on the outskirts of town. But your calmness was probably perfect for that. You have two of the most beautiful kids in the world.

I'm a participant of x365.


i did actually go climbing

But I didn't really enjoy myself.

Yesterday a bunch of us headed up to The Palace to get some climbing in on a really gorgeous day. Ann and I were the stragglers so we got on a climb that I can't remember the name of, but we picked it because we thought it was a 5.7 and it was in the sunshine. We found out after we'd started climbing that it was actually a 5.9+.

I told Ann she could go first, so she hopped on and struggled her way up to the third bolt and gave up after trying very valiantly for the fourth bolt. So, then, with Dylan's encouragement, I got on and tried and couldn't make the fourth bolt either. That shit was scary. After my failed attempt, Dylan took pity on us and led it so we could try it on top rope. Well, I should say so Ann could try it on top rope, because I could barely even get on the damn thing on my second try.

Then we moved over to the climb that I wanted to try and lead that day. This one went a little better, but I ran out of juice after the last bolt right before I could get to the anchors. I'm not sure what my deal was, I just couldn't make myself keep going. I'd struggled pretty mightily on the rest of the climb and I guess my brain, and my arms, were just plain tuckered out. Then Ann led it very successfully without having to stop even once.

I don't know if it was the combination of the yoga and the hiking the day before that just wore me out too much to be able to climb successfully, or if I just wasn't in the right head space. I've led 5.9's before at other places without too much difficulty. Maybe The Palace just doesn't like me. Whatever the case, it made me kinda mad and frustrated. Which I may have vented a little too muchly and a little too longly. But Ann and Dylan were good sports about it. Thankfully.

Next time, that climb is mine.

More photos of Dylan on the crappy first climb here.

11/365 the test giver

I think I was seven years old. I figured out later what actually happened in that room and I've always wondered what you discovered. Was I smart or brilliantly stupid? My parents never told me the results.

I'm a participant of x365.


10/365 the coworker #1

When I met you I envied your recent 6-month long trip to South America. Then you were discovered snorting cocaine and fucking the skank from accounting. In your office. During lunch. It knocked you down a peg.

I'm a participant of x365.

a walk in the woods

I've been wanting to go hiking for about a week now, but I've had too much work to do, so even though it was a little cloudy, ok really cloudy, yesterday, Ann and I decided that it was still worth a try as long as we stayed close to home. So, we headed up to, you guessed it, Grey Rock!

It actually ended up being the perfect weather for a walk in the woods. Kind of chilly, but just fine once you put on your stocking cap and donned a light jacket. Plus, I love the colors of fall. Man, does it get any better?

I know I keep saying this, but I really do think it's time for me to stop taking the R-dog along. She had a pretty difficult time on the ups yesterday and this morning she can barely move.

We're supposed to go climbing today, but between the hike yesterday and the yoga class I went to on Friday, I'm pretty wiped out myself. Maybe if I have enough coffee...

There're more pics up on my Flickr® page.


black snake moan

Is your life feeling a little out of control lately? Are you kinda down in the dumps? Well, I've got the perfect movie for you then. Seriously kids, I know there are a lot of movies out there with this same plot line and a ton of movies out there about really f'ed up people (Requiem for a Dream comes to mind), and quite a few of those are about f'ed up people who live in The South,

Tangent: what is it with The South anyway? It breeds myriad f'ed up folks.

but this is one that you should consider watching. If you haven't already, 'cause lord knows I'm way behind the curve ball when it comes to being up on the latest in cinema. Anyway, on the surface, this is a movie about saving. Saving people, saving food, saving pennies, but most of all, saving love. What am I talking about? At the heart of it though, this is a movie that tells you, when the world has you all messed up and ass over tea kettle, there will always be someone to pick you up and set things right again. When the family you had no choice in, kicks you repeatedly until you just feel like you're gonna drown, the family you choose will be there to save you.

This was a far better effort from the director of Hustle and Flow (which I hated) and Samuel Jackson proved that he can actually act (and sing, surprisingly) as did Cristina Ricci and Justin Timberlake. If for no other reason, you should rent this movie just for the soundtrack. Holy crap it was good.

Oh and Rockies? If you're out there and listening to me? Please forgive my rant earlier in the week. I shouldn't have given up on you so quickly. You're doing much better now and you need to keep it up. You're only down four. C'mon. You can do it. I know you can. I can't stay up and watch the rest of the game because after yoga class last night and hiking today, I'm so tired that I can barely type this, but I'll expect to wake up in the morning and see that you've won. Okay? K.

HOLY CRAP. The Rockies just scored three runs off of one hit. This my friends. This is why they made it the World Series this year.

9/365 the life of the party

You love being the center of attention and when you're around everyone is aware of your presence. Do you ever grow weary of being such a blatant stereotype? I'm often exhausted and exasperated just being around you.

I'm a participant of x365.


jason schwartzman

Apparently this kid has a new band, Cotton Records, that has a new album coming out soon. I'm always wary of the actors turned singers, or singers turned actors, but I listened to some of it on Myspace and... it didn't suck.

CORRECTION: It's Coconut Records, not Cotton Records. I'm a lazy, lazy idiot. Thanks Blythe.

8/365 the roommate (#2)

You taught me how to smoke pot out of a dented Pepsi can. You always had beer in our dorm room ‘fridge. You froze your urine in petrie dishes and slid the discs under other people’s doors.

I'm a participant of x365.


it wasn't meant to be

I was actually excited to watch the World Series this year for the first time in oh, about 20 years and then this happened. Seriously, folks? 13-1? My grandma could've played better than that.

You haven't been to The Big Show in the fifteen years you've been a franchise and not only do you not make what can even be called a decent showing, but you barely even show up to the game. You won 21 of the last 22 games, but you get spanked by the Red Sox? WTF?

I should've known not to get excited about baseball.

7/365 the mistake

It didn’t last long enough to be called a relationship. Mainly because you were nuts. Seriously. You e-mailed me today to thank me for helping you change. The content of your message proved that you really haven’t.

I'm a participant of x365.



Some people have been asking me what the hell this 365 thing is that I'm doing, and I realized that I never really explained it, so here's an explanation. It was started by this guy named Dan who wanted to celebrate turning 40 in a unique way, so he started a blog where he wrote 40 words about one person every day for a year. Then he invited other people to follow suit. I found out about it from Schmutzie. Most people use their age and write that number of words about every person, but others pick an arbitrary number and others write haikus or whatever.

I don't know if I'll have the stamina to do one every day for an entire year, but we'll see how it goes.

6/365 the photographer

You wore your nose ring without any trace of irony whatsoever. You were my lab partner in photography class and I thought you were the coolest person I'd ever met. I discovered later that you were crazy.

I'm a participant of x365.


5/365 the math teacher

We called you Sweaty Bob behind your back. You were the largest person any of us had ever seen. Your wife was even larger. It was hilarious to see you cram yourselves into that tiny VW Beetle.

I'm a participant of x365.


4/365 the beauty queen

God you were so obnoxious back then. You were so full of yourself. I disliked you intensely. Fifteen years later and you're the only person I still talk to from school. You're one of my best friends.

I'm a participant of x365.


3/365 the music lover

You are one of the smartest, funniest people I know. Your love of all things music inspired in me a love of the non-mainstream. Now people think I'm all indie cool and have some street cred. Thanks.

I'm a participant of x365.


when you can't think of anything else

I'm still feeling a little under the weather (it's been TWO FRICKIN' WEEKS already - seriously, it's gotta stop) and woke up today with a light fever and some lung cookies, so I called M and told her that I wouldn't be climbing. Then 3 o'clock rolled around and I decided I felt well enough to go to the gym and boulder a little. I made it through this roof problem that has been plagueing me for the past two weeks or so (yay me!) and was feeling pretty good so I kept on with the Intermediate problems. About halfway through my workout, I got on this problem that has an impossible stem-y start that I've never been able to even get on before and, lo and behold, I got on! But I couldn't figure out this other move that's about halfway up the route, so after three tries, I gave up and moved on to other, easier problems.

When I got back home I realized that I seriously pulled something in my left buttal region. It hurts. Which is a weird place to have a pulled muscle. Do you ice it? Put some heat on it? You certainly can't elevate it. Well, comfortably anyway. Guess it'll just have to be sore.

2/365 the bully

I had finally gotten tired of your relentless hassle and punched you in the nose. I was in fourth, you in sixth. All of the other kids treated me like a hero that day. It was awesome.

I'm a participant of x365.


1/365 the roommate

As sophomores we were off-campus roommates. You spent as much time as possible in just your tighty-whities. For some reason, you hid the fact that you were dating a fat woman. Eventually though, you married her.

I'm a participant of x365.


yay! basketball! late night!

If this doesn't put a smile on your face, then you have a cold, dead robot heart. Or you're a Missou fan. Which is the same thing, I guess.

It still makes me mad to see the face of He Who Shall Not Be Named. Don't you just want to punch him?

Thanks to Church for the link.


and another one

Apparently this weekend is drawing time in the D household 'cause Daytrotter gave me another assignment yesterday—to do an illustration for an upcoming addition to The Bookery. This time it's Matt from The Fiery Furnaces reading Satan's speech from Paradise Lost. It's been a really long time since I've read any Milton (high school was so long ago that it's frankly pretty scary), so I just went for the obvious route. I didn't really feel like reading it again to try and figure out what he was babbling about either. Yes. Laziness rules my life much of the time. They didn't call my generation slackers for nothing.

I was going to go climbing today, but my lungs are still full of phlegm and it's raining outside, so I think instead I will spend yet another weekend on the couch, wallowing.



I have no idea who this band is and so when Daytrotter asked me to do an illustration for an upcoming review, I had to do a little digging. After sampling some of their tunes on MySpace, I decided that I liked them so much that I needed to download their album. They classify themselves as 'Experimental/2-Step' whatever that means. I think they sound a little like Neutral Milk Hotel, one of my favorite bands of all time.

So, not only do I draw the illustrations for free, now it's even costing me money. Damnit.

Anyone who would put this out as one of their publicity photos, though, needs to be listened to. 'Cause that's just hilarious.

it's the most beautiful time of the year

KU's Late Night premieres tonight at 6.45 CT. Whooo Hooooo! My personal Christmas is finally here. And, we're ranked Number 1 in the Big 12. Which is no surprise and exactly where we should be. 'Cause we're cool like that. Get ready y'all, 'cause it's asskicking time.


i'm not the only one

Thanks to Doug and the folks over at Deadspin.com for this little gem. Apparently Coach thinks that his largely fat filled diet is the source of his power. Who knows? He might be right.


one win, one loss

They have been struggling mightily for the past couple of weeks, but my soldiers finally lost the battle. Despite the many, many infusions of Emergen-C® mercenaries, the warriors succumbed and lost a bloody, violent war. They waved the white flag and surrendered yesterday and the virus swarmed in killed the children, raped the women and pillaged the town. Yes. It's true. I have a cold.

But, because of this, yesterday I was lying miserably on the couch, flipping the channels and stumbled upon the last half of the KU/KSU game. And, even though looking at Mark Mangione makes my heart hurt imagining all of the cholesterol that must be coursing through the veins of that very, very large man, I was able to watch the rest of the game. KU won! Not by a landslide or anything, but six points. Not a bad showing. Especially since they were playing at KSU. This puts their record at 5-0. I can't remember them having such a good win/loss percentage in my lifetime. If they keep this up, it may cause me to be interested in some other KU sport besides bball.



Another advantage to not having to go into the office at 8.5a is that you can go out on a school night without any fear of being tired and hungover while people are asking you to do productive things like think.

Last night I went down to The Bluebird to see Midlake play one of the last two shows of their 'Trials of Van Occupanther' tour. They put on a good, if somewhat mellow live act. Maria Taylor opened for them. I'd only ever heard one song of hers so most of her show was new to me. It was pretty good also, she has a great voice, but her content is a little unextraordinary—mostly about lost love and broken hearts and how much men suck. She has a nice voice and I believe she is what the kids call, pretty easy on the eyes, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

After she was done moping it up, Midlake came quietly onstage and opened with 'We Gathered in Spring.' I wasn't paying real close attention, I was too distracted by the drunken teenagers that were gyrating around in front of us. Seriously, they dirty-danced to Midlake. I would've never thought that was possible before last night. Midlake's music does not inspire any sexual thoughts in me, but apparently when you're young and drunk just about anything turns you on.

Midlake played pretty much everything from Trials and a couple from Banman & Slivercork and even a couple of brand-spankin' new tunes from the upcoming album, so it was a pretty good set. I just think their music is better enjoyed when it's bitter cold outside with about a foot of snow on the ground, rather than standing around with a bunch of slightly hipster, slightly sweaty teenagers.

Now they're off to my old homestead, Lawrence, Kan. Hope you have fun there Midlake. Pour a little out for me.


i'm so old

You know what makes you feel like a grown up?

• Buying cantaloupe at the grocery store that's not been pre-cut

• Owning a 16' aluminum ladder

• Having a CPA

• Needing a lawyer

• Realizing you need a leaf blower