4.30.2008

walk it off


The Loon was one of my favorite albums of Ought Six, so I was pretty excited back in January when I heard that Tapes n Tapes was coming out with a new album in the spring. The wait took something like forever, but finally the day arrived when Walk it Off was available for download. I was more than happy to listen. Unfortunately, I read a bunch of reviews of it first.

The critics hated it.

Fortunately, I was able to ignore their criticisms and listen to it with my own ears. I, for one, think it's pretty darn near fantastic. It's pure unadulterated rock. Which we really don't get very often these days. Nice drums, nice bass beats, nice guitar melodies. So, to everyone who decried the sophomore slump with this album, I say, 'Bah. You don't know what you're talking about.' I think it's a rollicking good time. And, it's great to run to.

4.29.2008

now taking requests


I've been listening to Colin Meloy Sings Live a lot over the past couple of weeks. If you hate The Decemberists it's not for you, but if you're a fan, and you happen to not have it yet, it's worth your eMusic downloads. It's interesting to hear the songs stripped down to their cores—it's just him and an acoustic guitar—and he provides some interesting banter to fill the in between times. One thing stuck out, he uses the word 'dude'. I was floored. As I'm sure you are if you know anything about him. I never thought someone who was, for all intents and purposes, still stuck in 19th century England would even know the proper context in which to say, 'Dude'. But he does and for some reason it validates every single time that word has come/will come out of my mouth.

I don't know if I'm feeling particularly melancholy or what, but lately I've been making a 'Songs that rip my soul up into little tiny pieces and stomp all over them' mix. These are songs that every time they come on my iPod, I have to, have to play them over again. At least once, if not three or four or twenty. And, I have to, have to close my eyes and sing along at the top of my lungs. Which makes driving somewhat difficult. And really seems to annoy people at the gym.

Damien Rice | The Professor and La Fille Danse
Bon Iver | Re:Stacks
Ryan Adams | Wonderwall
The Decemberists | Red Right Ankle
Iron & Wine | Waiting for a Superman
Coldplay | Fix You
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova | Alone Apart
The Decemberists | The Bachelor and the Bride
Band of Horses | The Funeral
The Everybodyfields | Lonely Anywhere
Beck | Guess I'm Doing Fine
M Ward |Poison Cup
Cowboy Junkies | Blue Moon
Gina Villalobos | Somewhere to Lay Down
Death Cab for Cutie | Death of an Interior Director
Will Johnson | Nothin' but Godzilla
Ryan Adams | The Bar is a Beautiful Place
The Frames | Finally
The Decemberists | Grace Cathedral Hill
Steve Earle | Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song)
Iron & Wine | Communion Cups and Someone's Coat
Michael Stipe and Joseph Arthur | In the Sun

eta: I completely forgot to add any Josh Ritter to this. Sorry, Josh! How I could've overlooked him is beyond me, since I'm going to marry him some day. I also completely overlooked the best Ryan Adams song ever. So:

Josh Ritter | Good Man
Ryan Adams | Come Pick Me Up

4.23.2008

a lesson i learned today

Never ever, under any circumstances go to Whole Foods at lunch time. It's a madhouse in there. I mean, I'm glad so many people are trying to be healthy and buying organic, but still. Jesus.

I saw some douchebag pull out of the parking lot in an H3. Who goes to Whole Foods in a Hummer? Is that hypocrisy at its finest? Or does one counterbalance the other. To make up for it, I saw a woman who was sitting outside the store eating her lunch, put away her knitting and strap on her bike helmet.

4.21.2008

look what came in the mail this weekend

reason #4212 why i hate being a grownup

*

You all know what I'm saying here, right? In college, I had no compunctions about that blanket imprinted with a tiger's face that lived through several years of being moved in garbage bags, covered in drunken puke and other unspeakable bodily fluids and burned by, well, you know**. Then I graduated from The Bubble and spent the next decade with a quilt that my great grandma had made covering the full-sized mattress that sat on the floor of whatever apartment I currently occupied. Then, a few years ago, I decided to buy a big boy bed and along with that, for some unholy reason, came big boy bed clothes. Which meant a down comforter and, yes, a duvet cover. Which is now the bane of my existence, for several reasons: 1) keeping it free of dog hair and lint is nearly impossible 2) putting it back on the comforter after washing it. Is there anything more torturous? And 3) the final insult? Buttons. Designed to be buttoned so that no one can actually see the buttons. Couldn't they've just put a strip of velcro on it and called it good?

* This is not my bedroom. If only! Then I could afford a maid whom I could pay to deal with the duvet cover for me.
** None of this is true, but it makes the story much much better than the reality of my boring college existence.

4.20.2008

you should see the other guy

I've been needing to spend some sun time for quite a while now, so when Kate suggested we all go climbing this weekend, I jumped on the bandwagon pretty quickly. With the promise of 77ยบ temps and not a cloud in the sky, Dylan and I hooked up with Kate and Mark and hit Button Rock in South St Vrain Canyon up by Lyons.

We stopped at the entrance slabs (the only name I remember is Hitler's Sex Life which we didn't even climb on) and spent most of the day there. Dylan started us out on the Green Slab, 5.9+, which I decided to rename It Ain't Easy Being on the Green, 'cause that thing sucked a whole bunch of ass. I hated it. Then we moved around the corner to a crack that I can't remember the name of, so I'm calling it Crack o' the Gruntfest, 5.10a. 'Cause that's what it was for me—a hard slog. But I juiced it out and after about 5 million hangs, made it to the top. I can't say I kicked its ass though, because I ended up a lot more bloody than the rock did.

I was pretty much done after that, but I did manage to make it up a couple of much easier climbs that I can't remember the names of. Those two without any hangs either and only one fall but that's because a hold came off, which almost landed on Kate's head.

Even though I didn't have an entirely successful climbing day, it was nice to be warm for eight whole hours and not because I had on five layers and I was wrapped up in a blanket.

More pics are up on my Flickr page.

ETA; I just re-read this and holy crap I sound like a moron. Apparently all of that sun affected my brain. Dylan has all of the names of the routes up. If you care.

4.18.2008

a shout out


I've recently gotten totally sucked into this site where people post photos taken of them in times of yore and try to recreate them in times of now. Some are more successful than others, but all are highly entertaining.

4.17.2008

grindhouse: death proof

Although I'm pretty sure that Quentin Tarantino is a colossal douchebag, I pretty much love everything he's ever done film-wise. Especially Kill Bill. So, I was pretty excited about his two Grindhouse movies. The first one, Planet Terror was pretty excellent as a nod to 70's horror films. The second one, Death Proof, I'm just not sure about.

It definitely had its moments. And there was something pretty compelling about the 'made in the guise of a 70's noir thriller' thing. And I found myself laughing quite a bit. And Rosario Dawson's lap dance was...breathtaking. But Kurt Russel's double chin kind of freaked me out. And the rest of the acting was pretty terrible. As was really the script. But it's one of those things where you're not sure if it's bad on purpose because of what it's spoofing. So, if it is bad on purpose then it's really good. Which usually annoys me.

All in all though, I feel like all I really did was spend two hours watching Quentin Tarantino masturbate.

4.10.2008

am i the only one who was unaware?

Did you guys know that there was universe before our universe? And that its implosion is most likely what caused ours? That's crazy talk, right? Right?


Before the Big Bang: A Twin Universe? from PhysOrg.com

Until very recently, asking what happened at or before the Big Bang was considered by physicists to be a religious question. General relativity theory just doesn’t go there – at T=0, it spews out zeros, infinities, and errors – and so the question didn’t make sense from a scientific view.

[...]

4.09.2008

why this is such a big deal

I've been thinking a lot about why KU's win of the National Championship title is such a huge deal to me. I mean, any Jayhawk fan reads that, rolls their eyes and says, 'Duh'. But quite a few of the people in my life aren't KU fans, hell, they're not even basketball fans. Some of them, gods forbid, aren't even sports fans. All that to say, that many of my friends get this glazed look in their eyes when I start going on and on about how awesome it is that we won the game that means everything in the world. And, honestly, it's really difficult for me to explain.

How do you talk about what it means to go to a school like KU that has such a rich basketball tradition? Shit. We basically started the sport. Except for this past year, our football team has pretty much always been on the bottom rung in whatever conference we currently reside, so all we really had was basketball. Luckily, our basketball team has pretty much always been at the top of the echelon. And not just in our conference, but in the nation. We had good reason to cheer for them. Are there people who attend KU who could give a shit about our basketball team? Yeah. Although I will never understand the world they inhabit. Our stellar basketball team gives us a reason to be proud of our school. Yes, we have outstanding academic programs also, but the guy in New York couldn't care less about our Number One ranked Journalism school, instead, he sees a KU hat and thinks, 'Oh yeah. I know them. They have a great basketball team.' Not that anyone should really care so much about what the guy in New York thinks, but it's a pretty good feeling when strangers walk up to you and say, 'Hey congrats on winning the Championship.' Just because you're wearing your KU sweatshirt. I guess it gives you a little less anonymity.

So, there's that, but there's also the fact that this year, we beat Roy Williams to get to the championship game. And then won there. We won there. A place that Roy Williams was never able to get to with KU even though he was the hope of the Jayhawk Nation for fifteen years. For a school that prides itself on its fantastic basketball program the NCAA tournament is a very important contest. And to not be able to win the crown for 20 years is a pretty big slap in the face. So, you can see why we care that much that Aw Shucks Roy was unable to perform. And then he betrayed us, went to North Carolina and won the very next year. Regardless of the fact that it was with a team he didn't recruit, it still stung. A lot. There are a lot of fans who think that Roy made the right decision, and, I guess, if you're able to stand in his shoes for a minute, you can see that yeah, it was what anyone in that same position would've done. Hell, the opportunity to coach for his alma mater and the team that started his career? A team that was offering him a shitton of money? Yeah. He did what any of us would've done. But the reason that I will always hate him for it, is that he lied to us about it. Two weeks before he announced his decision to leave, he told the faithful that he was at KU to stay for the rest of his career, and then left without any apology or looking back. And, then to see him sitting in the stands during the game on Monday night with a Jayhawk on his shirt? Yeah. He lost the right to wear the Jayhawk the second he decided to leave Lawrence.

For me at least, our win against him on Saturday was far more important than winning the championship. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastically awesome to win against Memphis and take it all, but man, oh man, kicking Roy's ass felt far more satisfying.

There are a ton of rumors going around about Bill Self getting offers from Oklahoma State, his alma mater, and whether he is going to leave or not. I don't think he will. He has the best team in the country returning next year. For the most part any way. Yeah, he's losing his seniors. And Brandon Rush is going to the NBA, but still. The majority of the players who won the championship are coming back. And it would be just plain silly to leave a program like KU's where recruiting is going to be mighty easy for the next few years to go to OKSt who hasn't really been good at basketball for a few thousand years. Plus, I bet KU offers him a lot more money now. But hey. If he wants to leave, I don't think I'll hold a grudge like I did with Roy. He did his job. He was successful. And, so far, he hasn't made any promises he can't keep.

4.08.2008

ok i lied. one more.




HOLY SHIT! WE'RE THE FREAKIN' NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!

ok. one more basketball post.


I woke up with a huge smile on my face this morning. This is Massachusetts St in downtown Lawrence. Last night after the game. It would've been great to have been there. It would've been unbelievably incredible to watch that game in a town full of the faithful.

I know, I know it's just a silly basketball game, but it's also so much vindication. For all of the true believers who knew we could do it again. Against all the doubters who said we may have won, once, 20 years ago but hadn't done anything since. Against Roy Williams who, in my mind, lost all rights to wear a Jayhawk on his shirt when he defected in 2003 after never winning us a championship, but getting one for North Carolina the very next year. With a team he didn't recruit by the way. And, now that he's been there for five years, enough time to have recruited every player on his team, he did what he always does and choked, choked, choked. I think, if nothing else, this season, culminating in last night's win, proves that Bill Self is a better coach than Roy Williams.

I'm honestly just floored. Excited. Amazed. And, so very, very happy. I doubt I'm going to get much done today.

So, here's to you, Jayhawk players, Coach and even us fans, nicely done. WE'RE NATIONAL CHAMPS!

4.07.2008

we now return to our regularly scheduled programming

Can you imagine being Danny Manning right now. He just got inducted into the Hall of Fame and then he got to watch his team win the championship game 20 years after he won it as a player in 1988? Amazing. I'm truly floored. I so did not expect that to happen. With about 30-sec left I was pretty resigned to the fact that we were gonna lose, but then Mario Chalmers. Man. And listening to them afterwards. They are one classy group of kids. And Bill Self is one classy coach. This proves that he's a much better coach than HWSNBN. At least for Kansas.

HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP!

And, of course, I wasn't anywhere close to Lawrence. We were talking tonight that if we had driven to Lawrence (like we talked about Sat night while drunk with glory), then that would've been the certain death knell. But I don't care because

HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP! HOLY CRAP! KU JUST WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP!

Now I'm gonna have to find something else to talk about besides basketball. I bet you're all happy about that if nothing else.

p.s. And OH YEAH. I WON IN DOUG'S POOL!

i can kind of, sort of, almost, maybe save your life

Back in January I signed up for a Wilderness First Aid class, thinking that I would maybe like to start leading some group hikes for the Sierra Club, or at the very least be able to handle any emergencies that arise when I'm out in the wild. So, I spent the last two days with 29 other people wrapped in gauze and covered in fake blood.

Here's what I learned:
1) I can keep your spine stable.
2) I can molest you under the guise of checking out whether you're bleeding somewhere.
3) I can pack your wound and I know what to do if you lose a finger.
4) I can turn a human into a burrito.
5) And I know two (conflicting) things to do if caught in a lightning storm.
6) I can also take your pulse (if I can find it) and tell you what PWD, CSM, MOI and LOR mean. Shit that class was full of acronyms.

I also learned that I need a much, much better first aid kit.

4.05.2008

h o l y f * & % #*$k

the universe is all twisty and weird. i don't know what to do. i don't think there are too many ku fans out there though, right this very minute, that care very much about Monday's game. because holy shit we just beat HWSNBN. by a lot. did you see that one point in time where we were up by 28? holy crap. and hwsnbn got to hear the rock chalk chant from the other side.

f*&k.

the 'hawks totally rocked.

ok

all i really want. all. is for us to not be humiliated.