2.29.2008

there ain't no whores in colorado. unless you count ted haggard.

It was pretty difficult for me to find anything in Fort Collins that I considered dissolute, so, since there's a plethora of churches here, I went for the exact opposite. It helps that this is one of my favorite buildings in town.

It's kind of odd how drawn I am to the Houses of God considering how much of an a-hole I generally think he is.

The gloomy sky gives it an air of appropriateness.

bon iver


A couple of days ago, I decided that I was finally ready to purchase the full-length debut by Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago. I think I waited so long because I wasn't sure I was prepared for the crushing disappointment that would come if it sucked. After falling literally head over heels for 'Skinny Love' (It now has been played over 150 times. And that's just in the iTunes on my computer, not counting both of my iPods.), I knew life as we know it might come to a gut-wrenching halt if the rest of the album didn't measure up.

Well, everyone can let out that pent up breath I know you've got held there, 'cause it is fantastic and everything that I could've possibly hoped for it to be. The only disappointment really is that at nine songs, there's just not enough of it, and I'm left wanting more.

If you like jangly, clangy, unexpected gospel-folk, sung strained at the very top octave of the vocal chords all about love, loss and the pain the world can bring, then I can't recommend this album enough. There's even one song, 'Wolves (Part I and II)' where I swear he's channeling Prince.

I know it's still February, but I honestly think that this will be my number one album this year, because it's gonna take something pretty damn special to knock it off the pedestal I've placed it on.

2.28.2008

it's wu tang y'all

I'm not positive that my illustration style fits the funky beats, and hip hoppy jams of the boys in the Wu Tang Clan, but the folks over at Daytrotter seemed ok with it. It was really hard to be as detailed as I normally like to be with that many people in one small illustration, so I opted for doing some contour lines and a monochromatic color palette to give it some interest. Don't know if it was entirely successful or not, but there you have it.

2.27.2008

a shout out


If you need a little quiet space in your hectic, stressful life, go here. Started by two friends who live a vast distance from each other as a way to keep in touch. Last year they did a year of mornings (which was turned into a book, which you can get here), and this year it's gonna be all evenings, all the time.

2.26.2008

talk about things that make you feel like maybe you've been wasting some time and you should maybe start being a little more fruitful

I'm not sure who really started it, or why, but this is pretty cool. It's incomplete, and, I imagine, probably will be for a very, very long time. If you're smarter than me, which is most likely all of you, maybe you can help them complete it. It might suffer from the same things that Wikipedia suffers from, in that it's populated and written by 'real people', but it looks like you at least have to be credible to contribute.

the straw

'It's a little overwhelming though, isn't it?' he asked. A look of extreme concern knotting up his brow.

'What?' she sighed, exasperated.

'All of the cream cheese. I mean, look at it. It's too much.' He shoved his bagel under her nose, begging for confirmation.

'So scrape some of it off.' The silent 'idiot' she added on to the end of her reply seemed obvious to her, but he seemed not to notice. She returned her gaze to the newspaper in front of her, even though she wasn't really reading it. She was growing too angry.

'But that is so…wasteful. Isn't it? Why would they put this much on in the first place? What kind of person needs this much cream cheese? Who could possibly feel ok about eating all of that?' He was getting really worked up now and everyone in the restaurant was starting to look over at them.

'Jesus, Greg,' she whispered through clenched teeth. 'Just. Fucking. Scrape. It. Off.'

2.24.2008

f*%$@!*^#king hell

Ralph Nader is running for president again. When will he f*%$@!*^#king stop this? The only thing it does is drain votes away from the Democratic Party's nominee and lets f*%$@!*^#king idiots like W be elected into office. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a third party, but… I don't know. This isn't… It just doesn't… Aaaaaaack.

And in other bad news, KU lost to f*%$@!*^#king Oklahoma State yesterday. Seriously? We only lost by one point, but the Cowboys owned that game from tip off. We didn't start playing like a team until there were only 5 minutes left in the second half. Our two recent losses on the road to really, pretty crappy teams is frankly making me extremely nervous about our chances in the tourney. I know what I said a couple weeks ago about being ok with our loss to Texas, but it was a blatant, robust, bald-faced lie. I'm nervous like…a thing that's really, really nervous.

And in personal news, I went to bed at 3a last night and, in spite of application of Sleepy Time®, woke up at 7a and my eyeballs feel like maybe they are drying up and sticking to the frontal lobe of my brain. Is there such a thing as too much caffeine? I'm way too old for this kind of f*%$@!*^#king shit.

2.22.2008

this too will never end

Did anyone else notice how at the end of the debate, Obama held Clinton's chair out for her? That was a subtle bit of chivalrous misogyny, no? Way to keep 'em 'barefoot and pregnant' Obama. Or maybe I'm reading way too much into what was probably an offhand, unthoughtout gesture on his part. But it does make me wonder what happens if she does become President. Do you hold the President's chair out for her when you're eating dinner with her? Does that take away some of her power and authority?

I had a hard time figuring out who won last night, and after watching and reading this morning, it seems no one else can figure it out either. They both had pretty good points to make, and I liked that they're still both pretty civil to each other despite her sniping about the plagiarism. Hillary, let it go. No one cares. Focus on the issues.

Part of me is growing weary of all of this and just wants it to be over already so that I can focus on college basketball or useless movie trivia or something.

2.21.2008

it is time to doubt

She felt, sometimes, most times, occasionally, as if she had perhaps wasted her life. What else could you call it really? Although, it wasn't like she was a hairdresser or something, but honestly, was a career (if you could even call it that) as a book editor really that much more noble? It wasn't as though she had accomplished anything substantial that moved the world, or even one person's life, in a more positive direction.

The kicker of it was that as a child she had felt, even believed, with everything she'd had that she was destined for something special. Maybe not something as great as being President, or a surgeon, or an Olympic athlete or anything like that, but maybe the CEO of a non-profit that helped urban kids get a leg up, or a well-known (if not world renowned) artist or a more than mildly successful author. Of course, she imagined that every child felt this way growing up. Maybe not. Perhaps those inner-city kids didn't feel that there was anything remarkable about them, but she felt that most people who were products of a suburban, white, middle-class upbringing grew up thinking that they would somehow make a difference. When in reality they became, like she had, a suburban, white, middle-class adult, with their dreams and fantasies squashed, shoved and crumpled into a dimly lit corner of their brains, where they could ignore them and pretend that they were living the lives that they'd always wanted. Mediocre lives filled with trips to the grocery store and endless hours spent in front of whatever ridiculous, idiotic, half-baked shows were currently draining anything of substance from the minds of people throughout every suburb in every city on the face of God's green Earth.

She couldn't even really pin it down. The exact moment when she had given up. She remembered college as a time of open-eyed wonder and hopefulness about a future filled with a life worth living. Instead, somewhere along the way, she had ended up here. Single—she couldn't even be one of those people who could brag about bringing a remarkable person into the world—and extremely dissatisfied. Somewhere along the way she had sold her dreams for a Volvo and a townhome and two cats and a weekend ski pass. She felt so mired down by it all that she couldn't even begin to imagine how to change any of it either. When you're almost 50 is it even worth trying to morph into something else? To suddenly change lanes and head to that mysterious, unknown place on the map the old explorers labeled, 'Here Be Dragons'? Or was it better to just simply meander on until she ended up decrepit and alone and drooling on her shirt in a retirement home?

2.20.2008

turnout

I find this little tidbit really interesting:

Total Democratic vote in Wisconsin: 1,110,702
Total Republican vote in Wisconsin: 409,078

And, it seems like that kind of turnout is pretty representative across the board since Super Tuesday at least. I don't remember what the numbers were like in early January when the Republican nomination was still very much up for grabs.

What I'm wondering: is it because the Republicans feel like they have a clear winner and therefore it doesn't really matter if they vote? Or is it because the Democrats just care more about this year's contest? It would be really interesting to see how many Republicans switched party allegiance this year so they could vote in the early Democratic contests.

i hate to be one of the naysayers, but...

I really, really wanted to like this album. A lot. I've professed my love for their earlier EPs until everyone grew weary of me babbling about how great they were, so you can imagine how eagerly I'd awaited the release of their first full-length late last month. It certainly didn't help that the blogosphere was drooling over it like everyone did when Sharon Stone flashed her jiggly bits in Basic Instinct. So, I downloaded with abandon and listened to it…three times. And, I'm not really sure that I want to listen to it any more than that. The first thing that irritated me is that they'd populated it with songs previously released on said EPs. I mean, I love 'Oxford Comma' as much as the next guy, but I already own it. Who gives a f*$k about an Oxford comma indeed. And. While the songs that are actually new are good, solid indie rock, there's really nothing special or unique there. So, overall it's certainly a pleasant enough listen, but it's not anything that I have to play over and over again. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe I'm just not attuned enough to see the genius that everyone else does, or maybe, just maybe this band isn't really all that great. Which is a complete and total bummer.

To make up for it though, I'm really loving the an EP that came out last December by Throw Me the Statue. The music blogs are all in love with 'About to Walk', but I really think that 'Lolita' is the stand out of the three songs provided. Catchy, pop electronica with thoughtful lyrics that make you kind of want to shake your ass a little.

And, I just learned, just this very second that he has a full-length that came out yesterday. My credit card is practically glowing with a desire to be used, but I think I'll wait a little bit to see if eMusic gets it soon before I spend any extra cash.

2.19.2008

i know you're probably all sick of me talking about politics, but seriously, i can't focus on anything else

So, remember how all ok I'd gotten with Hillary possibly winning the Democratic nomination after caucusing a few weeks ago? Well, my tune has changed. I can't believe how smarmy and underhanded and just plain dirty she is being with her campaign lately:

From Politico:

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.

This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday. And I am not talking about superdelegates, those 795 party big shots who are not pledged to anybody. I am talking about getting pledged delegates to switch sides.


This is politics from the old guard. This is what I'm tired of. This is why we need new blood in office. These sorts of stories combined with the stories of her campaign harping on Obama's plagiarism (something that it seems even she does) make me think she's become desperate and instead of being the underdog with a bit of grace and attempt to come back based on the merits of her platform, she's decided to revert to the typical D.C. tactic and sling the mud. Bah. I will feel very ashamed if I have to vote for her in the national election, because the only reason I would vote for her at this point is to vote against McCain and that's not the kind of vote I want to cast. I'm tired of voting against something. I want to be able to vote for something.

I wasn't that nervous about today, but after reading pretty obsessively yesterday, and talking to T about today's primaries in Washington and Wisconsin and what it could mean if Obama loses, I'm kind of freaking out a little. I don't think I can pay attention. I think I'll just act like it's not happening and then watch the news tomorrow morning and hope that my world doesn't come crashing down.

Oh. And holy shit! I know everyone knows this already, but Fidel Castro resigned! He's been in office since 1959. Maybe this means we'll all get to smoke Cubans legally now.

2.18.2008

2.17.2008

some sound (maybe) advice

I just read a really interesting op/ed piece at The Daily Kos. Here's a little excerpt that highlights what it's about, but you really should read the entire thing.

It's a pleasant fiction that your role during the primaries is simply to choose your candidate and cheerlead, to donate, at most to volunteer. What a limited vision of the nomination process. Primaries weren't created just to identify a standard bearer for the party. If that's the goal, a backroom deal would suffice. No, primaries exist in order to allow voters to choose a candidate to represent their interests. Now is the time to make your convictions known; to pin the candidates down on the issues you care about; and to make clear what you won't accept.

This is your chance to shape their thinking and influence their positions, because the eventual candidate is going to be less interested and less amenable to your pressure during the summer and fall than now. And after the election, when your former candidate enters The Bubble? Good luck with that. Now is the time to push the candidates, to ask them to enact specific policies, to make clear that you'll hold them accountable on your issues.

I know, I know TDK is a really liberal, left-leaning rag, but I think that same advice holds true even if you're not. Unfortunately, what the editorial doesn't talk about is how to influence the candidates. And, I think that's what highlights all of my concerns about our political machine. How does one little person like me make their voice loud enough to be heard by those on high?

2.15.2008

weekly photo challenge: lychnobite


Sometimes, not very often, I work late into the night and then kind of sorta sleep in. Which usually means about 8a. Not technically the definition, you say? Sue me. At least it's closer than this:


He just sleeps all day and all night, with nary a hint of work to be seen in between.

2.14.2008

i guess this time i was a joiner

About a month ago, I was cruising through my blogroll and saw that Citizen of the Month had initiated a grassroots effort to get people talking, take over the interbunny and change the world for good, with something called the Great Interview Experiment. I resisted adding my name to the list because you know, I don't join things, especially not movements for good. Then, he kept mentioning it and talking about how great it was, and how cool he was by association, so in a moment of weakness, and thinking I could use all the cool I could get, I decided to become one of the sheep and added my name to the list.

I had the honor of interviewing Rob of Digital Portastud fame,and while I didn't do a very good job of coming up with questions, he did a great job of answering.

I have specific reasons for blogging, mostly to let friends and family keep in touch with what I'm up to. Why do you blog? I started blogging in 2001, right around the time of the 9/11 attacks. I was working the night shift at a data center, and I had plenty of time on my hands and access to a T1 connection. Plus, blogging was pretty new at the time, so everyone and their mother didn't have a blog yet.

You recently moved from Los Angeles to North Carolina, is that right? What prompted the move? I worked at the data center for seven years, and hated the job for the last six of them. In 2002, I was pretty sure we would go out of business or that I would get laid off (neither of which happened), so I started taking the initial classes toward my elementary teaching certification. I had to take one class at a time after work, so it took almost five years 'til I was eligible for my license.

Finally, after the final ten weeks of student teaching during the day and working my crap job at night, I was more than ready for a career change. I was subbing in LA but not finding anything permanent when a teaching job came up in North Carolina. Los Angeles is overflowing with teachers, but North Carolina is always running short of them. Plus my rent is 1/3 of what we were paying last year for a smaller place in Burbank!

How big of a culture shock are you experiencing? I remember when I moved to North Carolina, I felt like I'd moved to Mars. Once you get used to the fact that we pray to Jesus before every PTA meeting and that kids still get the paddle here, it isn't so bad! I kind of enjoy how different things are from LA, but my wife hates it. We live in a real small town, so we'll probably move closer to a bigger city this summer.

Your profile also says that your location is 'Afghanistan'. What's up with that? Wishful thinking, I guess!

How long have you been writing your own songs? The first song I wrote was about going to the dentist. That was around 1979 or so! I got more serious about it when I got my first 4-track cassette recorder in college, and have had a love/hate relationship with songwriting ever since. I gave it up for a while, but have been feeling real creative since I moved to NC for some reason, and have been knocking out about a song a week for the last couple months. I am hoping to have enough stuff together for a CD release by the summer.

Do you play all of the instruments? I am fairly resourceful and have been using pretty much everything I can find around the house for my latest recordings. This includes, guitar, bass, mandolin, autoharp, and even a cardboard shoe box with a t-shirt draped over it for drums! I don't have a drum machine anymore, so I have been stealing stuff off the 'net and looping it for the rhythm patterns. But, yeah, everything else is me, which unfortunately includes the singing.

Who are your biggest musical influences? Anything from Buddy Holly to Bloc Party. Lots of '80s singer-songwriter guys like Lloyd Cole, Marshall Crenshaw and Tommy Keene for starters. Plus some more obscure '70s bands like Patto, Big Star and City Boy. I am also pretty fond of Paul Simon, Bob Marley, and Stevie Wonder.

I've got a huge music collection, and currently have over 13,000 songs on my iTunes playlist! However, I think this is a real detriment to my songwriting overall. Most good writers I am aware of have a few very specific influences as a jumping-off point. In my case, I think I listen to entirely too much of other peoples' music. I think it just ends up diluting the impact of my own writing...

Are you hoping to become a famous recording artist, or is it more just a personal creative outlet? At 41, I think that boat has already sailed (and sunk) . I just get a kick out of writing, and have been fooling around with tape recorders ever since I was a kid. I just love being able to record complete songs in my attic, and come up with different guitar sounds and bass parts etc. 'til I stumble upon something unexpected.

I have really been trying to work on my vocals this year, which has always been a sore spot for me. I can sing in tune more or less, but don't think I have a very appealing-sounding voice. I have been writing much better melodies lately, but the fact that I am the only singer in the house that I know is sort of a limiting factor on my demos.

So, you have four different blogs and seem to post to all of them but the music one sporadically, why not combine all of them into one? I usually blog for a specific purpose, and then get bored and move on to something else. I ran an Onion-type fake news blog for a while, then a more personal blog about teaching and job hunting, a blog related to a vintage guitar website I started, and then finally this year I am documenting my songwriting progress on another blog. I guess I just keep starting them up mainly 'cause it doesn't cost anything extra on blogger to do so!

Meanwhile, after trying to convince my wife for years that she should also blog, she started one last year on a whim. Of course, it has become wildly popular, and she has nearly 300 readers a day, which is about 10 times the traffic of all my blogs combined! I stopped suggesting things to her after that.

Which one of the four is the most popular with readers? They are all equally unknown. I'm lucky to even get comment spam these days! Any don't get me started of the 32 comments my wife got on her last post!

Have you made any 'friends' whom you've never met in person through your blog? Not so much through blogging, but I have reconnected with old classmates etc. by running a "vanity" site for the last seven years. I am pretty good at tracking people down, but instead of making them look at my four blogs, I just usually send out a mass e-mail to check in with people from time to time.

Is blogging essential to your daily life, or is it just sort of a fun hobby? After 10 years plus online, the romance has kind of worn off for me. I am good at starting things, but then get bored quickly. Once in a while I am inspired to write something, but it takes talent and discipline to sit in front of the computer and write every day. After spending six hours each day trying to save the youth of America, I am usually pretty spent.

Thanks go out to Rob for playing along and to Citizen of the Month for the fantastic experiment. It was a great introduction to an interesting blog and a great way of meeting someone new. Hopefully, this newfound experience will help me make small talk in other situations: parties, the gym, networking events, the men's room, what have you.

2.13.2008

february is quite possibly the worst month of the year, and not least because of the stupid holidays it contains

If you're like me and sort of dread what's going to happen tomorrow, or, what will happen tomorrow if you're not, unlike me, pathologically single, then take some advice from Fillupmonkee, who has an...alternative way to 'celebrate' the day o' death.

more political blathering

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:

"We didn’t put any resources in small states."

-- Clinton Finance Chair Hassan Nemazee, quoted by the New York Observer, on why Clinton might lose the Democratic nomination.


See, this is the kind of stuff that makes me angry about our political system. That the person with the best strategy wins. I don't know how we change any of it either, but something needs to happen.

technogasm

Does anyone else get inordinately excited when the CNN anchors use that really kickass television touch screen thingy to illustrate whatever story they're talking about? And, does anyone else really, really want one in their living room? And, does anyone else think that maybe that's not possible because it most likely costs more than their house?

2.12.2008

yeah. i don't want to talk about it.


Ok. Ok. No one needs to give me crap for KU's loss to Texas yesterday. Texas really wanted that win. It was like watching a Big 12 Championship game. Which made it very exciting. I, and apparently everyone else (even the KU players), didn't think too much of this game going into it with Texas' recent efforts—barely eking out wins to Iowa St and Missouri—so I almost didn't even bother watching it. Man. Am I glad I did. It truly was one of the best games I've ever seen. Both sides battling with everything they had from the minute their shoes hit the court.

I'm actually not that upset by the loss. I guess because it was such a well-fought game that it wasn't like either team didn't deserve the win. You know what I mean? It wasn't like we lost because of stupid mistakes or bad calls or something like that. Plus, we need some losses this close to the Big Dance. It will help us be a little more realistic about our chances of losing and maybe we won't be as cocky as we normally are going into it. Which always causes us to lose somewhere in the first couple rounds.

just tell me to shut up already

The Wall Street Journal has this to say about where we stand, right this very second:

For Republican strategists and leaders, facing divisions over presumptive nominee John McCain, the Arizona senator, and demoralized over President Bush's and the party's unpopularity, the potency of both Democrats' candidacies is both fearsome and impressive.

"The Obama wave is unlike anything I have seen during my career. It would have totally swamped any traditional candidate," said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducts The Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls with Democratic pollster Peter Hart. "The fact that Clinton is still standing and breaking even is actually a remarkable statement about how unique a candidate she is and what an exceptionally strong candidate."

If this is true it seems like the Republicans are facing the same challenges the Democrats faced in the '04 election—unable to unite together and put up the strongest possible candidate in order to win the election. Hopefully, that will not hold true for the Dems this time around and we can support whoever wins the nomination.

2.11.2008

i hope he's right

I know. I'm obsessed. Like a dog with a fresh pile of horse manure. Or a box of freshly used kitty litter. Lately, the political blogs I read have garnered a lot more of my attention than they did even a month ago. One of them is The Plank, a blog published by The New Republic which had this to say about Obama's chances of beating McCain:

Real Clear Politics has a handy page displaying all the Obama-McCain and Clinton-McCain polls. In the past two weeks, seven different organizations have polled the races and on average Obama beats McCain by 3.2%, while Clinton loses to the Arizona senator by 2%. Not a single polls has Clinton doing as well as Obama. Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal--after all, most people don't obsessively read polling data. But this year's race might be different. If, as seems increasingly likely, the Democratic nomination drags on all the way to the convention, it's imperative that Clinton close the gap with Obama. Think of it like this: you are a superdelegate or party boss. You have been undecided but now must choose between two candidates with roughly equal numbers of delegates. Most of all, you want to win in November, which is now only three months away. And while one of your two choices is consistently beating the Republican nominee in polls, the other is consistently losing. It's not hard to imagine that many of these people will be swayed by the data above.

--Isaac Chotiner

But while the media tend to put a lot of faith in polling data, it seems, to me at least, that it's quite often skewed by the pollsters. So there's no telling if this has any reliability or not.

The whole idea of 'super delegates' really pisses me off. These people were not chosen by us. They were chosen by the Party. To me, it epitomizes every single thing I hate about our political system. The two parties, and only two parties—because no one else can afford to run. The electoral college—where it's quite possible that the person who receives the most votes, doesn't win the nomination. Campaign financing—candidates are 'chosen' by large corporations and lobbyists because this is where the most money comes from. Our system is in desperate need of an overhaul. But, where to start? I say get rid of the f'ing super delegates and this spurious 'quota' of votes. How 'bout the person with the most actual votes, wins? No matter what the number is.

2.10.2008

just in case you missed it

My boy kicked Hillary's butt yesterday, beating her pretty handily in Washington, Louisiana and Nebraska. Which puts the delegate count at 1095 for Clinton and 1070 for Obama. I can't remember how many a candidate needs to win the nomination, but seriously, I'm not sure I can take this. The closeness is better than him just losing outright, but I kind of wish there was a clear choice. Then I could put it behind me and move on. Maybe by June we'll know?

KU squeaked it out last night against Baylorand ended up with a score of 100-90. Baylor!? This is a crazy universe we live in kids, when the Baylor Bears are actually able to put up a good fight. It is kinda nice though that the Big 12 conference is getting a little tougher—it gives us more cred. Thanks go out to Derek for having a Full Court pass and letting me bail on the party for a little and yell at the tv.

In other Big 12 news:
A&M beat Missouri pretty handily. I'm not sure what happened to the team that beat K-St last week, but Missouri's kind of falling apart.

Texas barely beat Iowa St. Seriously Texas? You kind of suck this year without that kid (I can never remember his name) you had last year, who bailed and went to the NBA.

Poor Oklahoma. You lost to Colorado. Dudes. What happened to you?

2.09.2008

the movie edition

I'll watch pretty much anything with Naomi Watts in it. So far I haven't been disappointed. Eastern Promises is the latest effort from David Cronenberg, he of A History of Violence fame(?) stars her and Viggo Mortensen. I almost didn't watch this because I disliked History so much, but after reading a bunch of great reviews I decided to see what all of the fuss was about.

Overall it was a pretty solid film, subtle undercurrents of tension and fear punctuated by sudden bursts of violent bloodletting, much like what I imagine life in the mob to be like. The plot wasn't all that original, nor did it hold too many surprises, but it was still an interesting story of a woman's brief foray into a tangential underworld that is much darker than her own in order to save a stranger's baby.

***

I'd sort of forgotten that I'd put this movie in my queue and hadn't done a proficient job lately of managing said queue, so it showed up in my mailbox and was something of a surprise. It's pretty light fare. And typical of the romantic comedy and the 'one step is all it takes to lead you into madness' plotline, with a story that was completely unbelievable and kind of sickeningly sweet, but it did have some funny moments. Seeing Jon Heder in wrestling tights wasn't necessarily something I wanted to sear my eyeballs with on a Friday night, but the dream sequences were fairly amusing.

If you want something completely mindless, pop it in.

**

2.08.2008

friday photo challenge

This week's theme: Hazards


Even climbing inside on the plastic rocks isn't always good for skin cohesion, but it can be great for skin lesions.*

*I know. This is a total cop out. I completely forgot about it until yesterday.

2.07.2008

i'm not sure how i feel about this

Mitt Romney dropped out? Holy...

I guess now we don't have to worry about one of the creepy Mormons being in charge and converting us all via the television waves, but this pretty much solidifies McCain being the Republican nominee. Unless Huckabee knows Dumbledore personally and get him to perform a miracle. I guess McCain's better than W, but I really think that the only person who can beat him is Obama. H.C. is just way too polarizing for the middle of the road Americans to feel comfortable voting for her. Unless people are just so sick and tired of the Republicans being in charge that they'll vote for whatever Democrat ends up being the nominee?

I'm gonna be a nervous wreck until Nov 4.

2.06.2008

crazy or CRAZY?


Why do all of the media outlets only show pictures of Hillary Clinton with her mouth wide open, her eyes all agoogle and looking like a complete mad woman? Is it that they feel that a woman has to be crazy in order to run for President? Or is it that they want us to think that she's crazy and therefore should not be President? I know it's not because she always looks like that, so therefore, those are the only pictures they are able to take of her. I've seen her with her mouth closed and looking fairly rational. I know I have.

They only do it to her. The other candidates are shown smiling and looking completely sane. Or serious. What's up media outlets? Why can't you be truly objective like you're supposed to be? This is yellow journalism at its most subliminal and it's making me right angry. Even though I don't really want her to win.

If you want to read a really good write-up of Colorado Caucus-y goodness, head over to my friend Liz's house. She did a better job of describing her experience than I did.

i'm obsessed

Ok. So you know how I casually mentioned this song a couple of days ago? Well, since then, I've quit listening to anything else and have just been playing this on a continuous loop. I can't stop. Somebody please wrest the repeat button from my grasp and make me listen to something else. Please.

2.05.2008

you bet your ass i caucused

I am so totally geeked out about democracy right now. Even though my precinct volunteers were completely unprepared and outmanned and they had no clue how many people were actually going to show up tonight, it was still an amazing experience. And no one was mad that we had to wait in line for an hour and a half before we even got to vote. Instead, it was like a big ol' block party. It was outstanding.

I arrived at about 6.5p to find a huge crowd already waiting inside. Finally at about 7p they started taking people's names and pointing them to the right precinct. Then at about 8p they read the rules of the caucus and set us free to get to it. I don't have many words. It was amazing. People stood up and spoke passionately about their candidate. There was yelling. There was arguing and then people voted. I was in one of the smaller precincts with only about 62 people total. 45 of us were for Obama and 17 for Clinton. I snuck a look around at the other precincts close to mine and it seemed, from what I could tell, that Obama was more favored, but that could just be me looking at things through Obama-colored glasses. Then we voted for delegates to the county convention in March. Guess what? I was so jazzed by the process that I volunteered to be a delegate. Wtf? I never do stuff like that.

So now, on March 8th I have to show up at the county convention and do something. I'm not sure what. But I'll be there. With bells on. Seriously, I feel sad for everyone who doesn't get to caucus. For it was awesome and makes you feel so completely excited that you live in a democracy and get to have a say in how things are done. Also, after hearing the Clinton supporters talk about why they are voting for her, I feel less angry and bitter about her possibly being the Democratic candidate. I still want Obama to win, but if I have to vote for her come national election time, I won't be mad about it.

It was simply unfathomable that that many people showed up to have their voice heard. And that they were so excited about it. And ran the gamut from early 20s to so old they had to be wheeled in. The kid next to me had a copy of 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' and the woman on the other side had a hearing aid and a cane. It was beautiful, exciting very heady stuff.

Yay America!

just go ahead and skip it already

T and I try to 'watch' the games 'together' over IM. Last night, because the game got really boring at the end, we ended up watching C-Span and commenting on it like we do the games. I'd show it to you, but it got kind of pornographic. Shocking, I know. Anyway, Tiger fans are going to say that they played so poorly because five of their players were suspended last week, for doing something which was no doubt thuggish, but I'm pretty sure we won because we're the better team. That puts us back up on top in the conference.

Oh! Did you guys see that Bobby Knight resigned? They keep saying that it's so his son can get used to coaching this team before the start of next season, which sounds entirely plausible, but I have to think that there's something else going on there.

oh. and then there's this.


I guess if famous people say it, it must be true, huh? Yeah, that part's kinda cheesy, but the video itself is kinda cool. Ok. I'll shut up about politics now.

in case you're still undecided

Here in 'rado we have to caucus. I would feel a lot more comfortable if I could just go and place my vote somewhere rather than going somewhere and standing in a group with other people *shudders* so that I can be counted. But I'm still gonna go. I must.

My friend T pointed me to a really great op-ed piece by Michael Chabon (he of Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay fame) about why people should vote for Obama. I pulled out my two favorite paragraphs, but you should really read the rest of the piece here. If nothing else, the writing is stunning.

Because ultimately, that is the point of Obama's candidacy -- of the hope, enthusiasm and sense of purpose it inspires, yes, but more crucially, of the very doubts and reservations expressed by those who pronounce, whether in tones of regret, certainty or skepticism, that America is not ready for Obama, or that Obama is not ready for the job, or that nobody of any worth or decency -- supposing there even to be such a person left on the American political scene -- can be expected to survive for a moment with his idealism and principle intact.

The point of Obama's candidacy is that the damaged state of American democracy is not the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil industry, lobbyists, terrorists, illegal immigrants or Satan. The point is that this mess is our fault. We let in the serpents and liars, we exchanged shining ideals for a handful of nails and some two-by-fours, and we did it by resorting to the simplest, deepest-seated and readiest method we possess as human beings for trying to make sense of the world: through our fear. America has become a phobocracy.

And then there's this paragraph which sums up, oh so aptly, how I feel about this election:
But the most pitiable fear of all is the fear of disappointment, of having our hearts broken and our hopes dashed by this radiant, humane politician who seems not just with his words but with every step he takes, simply by the fact of his running at all, to promise so much for our country, for our future and for the eventual state of our national soul. I say "pitiable" because this fear of disappointment, which I hear underlying so many of the doubts that people express to me, is ultimately a fear of finding out the truth about ourselves and the extent of the mess that we have gotten ourselves into. If we do fight for Obama, work for him, believe in him, vote for him, and the man goes down to defeat by the big-money machines and the merchants of fear, then what hope will we have left to hold on to?

I have been reluctant to get involved or get excited or even really pay too much attention because I'm afraid to pin my hopes on a candidate only to have them smashed to pieces on the rocks that are the heads of the American public. If this election goes badly, i.e. not the way I want it to, I will be so disillusioned that I don't know if I'll be able to take it.

At any rate, even if you don't want to vote for Obama, you should get out and vote today. If your state is part of Super Tuesday. Don't be one of those people that thinks it doesn't matter. This is actually one time when your vote will count and make a huge difference.

new music tuesday

A little mix of things I'm currently diggin'.

1. The Story of Benjamin Darling (Live) | State Radio | Year of the Crow - Indie rock with roots based in actual, historical events. It's nerdtastic! And rockin'.

2. Carousel | Sydney Wayser | Paste Magazine Sampler 39 - Part of the seemingly new popularity of waifish girls with feathery voices singing light, pop-y tunes full of sunlight and hope. If I didn't actually like this so much it would probably make me gag.

3. West Coast | Coconut Records | Nighttiming - Yeah. Sing it Jason Schwartzman. Didn't know you had it in you. Good choice getting Zooey Deschanel to do backing vocals. Speaking of which, who else is insanely excited about She, Him—her collaboration with M Ward? Ok. Maybe I'm the only one.

4. Chasing Ambulances | Octoberman | Run from Safety - If you've been paying attention at all, you've come to realize that I am a sucker for melancholy singer/songwriters who pour their hearts out in poems backed by picked guitars. Throw a violin in there and I'll pretty much do anything for you. I'd rather chase you down too.

5. Like Castanets | Bishop Allen | The Broken String - With a name like Bishop Allen, I was fully expecting this to be twangy alt country full of banjos and cellos. But. Nope. Pop. Jangly pop. You've probably heard 'Click, Click, Click, Click' from that one HP commercial. Or at least I had, but had no idea who sang the song. Unfortunately, that's the most annoying song ever. This one's pretty awesome though, so just listen to it.

6. Dona Got A Ramblin' Mind | Carolina Chocolate Drops | Dona Got a Ramblin' Mind - Speaking of alt country. THIS IS SO GOOD. The whole album is. Get it now.

7. We Coughed Up Honey | bodies of water | Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink - This quartet sounds a lot huger than they actually are. And by that I mean, there sounds like there's way more than just four people in this band. And when I say more people I mean Polyphonic Spree more.

8. Swimming Pools | Thao | We Brave Bee Stings and All - Kind of a happy Fiona Apple backed by The Avett Brothers. It's sort of freaking me out a little, but I like it. I like it a lot.

9. Skinny Love | Bon Iver | For Emma, Forever Ago - When you spend an entire winter in a cabin in Wisconsin all by yourself eating only the food you kill yourself, this is one of the brilliant songs you write. Also, see number 4 for why this is right up my alley.

2.04.2008

84/365 the agent

You said you had to be done with dating for awhile and therefore couldn't see me anymore. But I still see you online almost every day. The truth would've been far better than a sister with cancer.

I'm a participant of x365.

this is what i have to say about that


I know that everyone is posting about the Super Bowl, so I won't be too longwinded here, I just have to say two things:

1. Bill Bellachick's poor sportsmanship at the end of the game illustrated perfectly why the Giants definitely deserved to win the game. Besides just playing better that is.

2. The E-Trade commercial with the talking baby and the clown was the best out of a very lackluster bunch. Normally, I hate the talking babies/animals/other things that don't normally talk commercials, but that one. That one made me laugh out loud. I underestimated the creepiness factor indeed.

In other news, I've been actually watching a LOT of C-Span lately in order to really get in tune with the candidates in anticipation of voting in Colorado's caucus on Super Tuesday. I have this to say: I really don't want Billary to be president. Not only am I really tired of the Bill part of that equation basically running for president again, and being a complete dick about it, I really can't stand listening to Hillary talk. Almost as much as I hate hearing Dubya's voice. Her voice is just so...grating? annoying? condescending and smug?

So, all of my C-Span/CNN/NYTimes viewing/reading/watching has led me to finally declare support for one of the candidates: Go Kucinich! No. Really. I'm rooting hard for Obama. I've watched a lot of speeches on YouTube and read as much as I can cram into my brain and I think he's the real deal. Hopefully. I've thought that before and have been sorely disappointed, so I say that with bated breath and crossed fingers. I'm extremely nervous for Super Tuesday even though I know for the Democrats it really won't determine a winner, I want him to come out ahead. If he doesn't, it may mean I'll actually have to volunteer or something to help spread the word. The thought of which makes me feel all sweaty and lightheaded.

2.02.2008

oh thank all that is holy


I know you're all sitting on the edges of your seats waiting to hear whether or not KU won the game*. We did! We pulled it out of our asses right at the end there. Thank the bball gods for a deep bench. Because, really? We didn't deserve to win and the final score, 72-59, did in no way shape or form reflect how terrifyingly close that game really was.

Now we have to face MU who just beat K-St at home, who, if you remember, just beat us. F&%k me. I'm not entirely sure that I'm gonna survive this season. Oh! And did you see that Memphis almost lost? That would've been outstanding.

*Sorry g and Mrs Cyberhobo for all of the sports posts all in a row, but I was having a moment. A scary, headache inducing moment which somehow caused me to hurt my lower back. Don't ask how that happened, because I have no idea.

finally, dang

Now that there's only six minutes left in the 2nd half, we're finally playing like we're supposed to. Damn. And the CU coach looks pissed. We're up by 12! And everything's goin' our way. For now.

holy mary mother of god

Because none of my friends are online right now, and therefore, I have no one with whom to bitch about this game, I'm forced to blog about it. So not the same outlet for frustration. We are playing Colorado at Colorado and we are not doing well. I had predicted that this would be a snoozer and so I didn't bother to buy tickets and see it live and in person, even though I should've, you know, regardless it's a 'Hawks game, but jesus, now I wish I would've. The first half of the first half was terrible. We went five minutes without scoring and had so many turnovers we could've opened a pastry shop. We've since come back a bit, and are currently up by one point, but dear god, we should be killing them. I don't know if I can watch the second half.

sunshine

God. Visually, this movie is stunning. It's beautifully shot and directed. Very unique viewpoints full of (albeit expectedly, still done in a fairly distinct way) light and how it plays along the surfaces and burns itself into our retinas. Really. My words can't do justice to just how stimulating the photography is during this two hour experience.

Unfortunately, that's about the only good thing it has going for it. The first half is a pretty compelling sociological study on what happens when eight humans are crammed into a tiny space and forced to live under almost constant, insidious stress. It also has the interesting side notes of what technology will be like in the somewhat near future.

However, once it devolves into the cliche, typical 'ghost-in-space-causes-astronauts-to-go-crazy' storyline it gets pretty dull. Why must all non-action space movies try this storyline? Look, people. None of you are ever going to upstage 2001: A Space Odyssey so quit trying already. Also unfortunately, it has a happy ending. I was really hoping at least that wouldn't be trite.

83/365 the christian

Comic books, rock climbing, indie music, living green, college sports, some sort of engineer, Michigan State, and hi-def television. I was happy to discover that you don't judge based on your religious beliefs. That's rare and surprising.

I'm a participant of x365.

2.01.2008

weekly photo challenge

I missed last week's installment due to drunken technical problems, but I'm back this week with not just one, but two photos. That's because little piggy usually has two breakfasts:


Breakfast Uno: Nature's Path Organic Raisin Bran with Flax Seed.

Breakfast de Dos: Nature's Path Organic Toaster Pastries and a banana.

What can I say? I love me some b-fast. It is the most important meal of the day you know.