9.30.2008

sometimes living green can be dangerous

I totally bit it on my bike today.

My left knee.

My left elbow.

My right hand.

Damn railroad tracks.

9.29.2008

for once, the american people won

I promise that I'll stop talking about politics one of these days, but for now, it's really all I'm thinking about.

Today's obsession was the bailout bill. I for one, am completely happy that it didn't pass. I'm not saying that we don't need to do something. We do. That is certain. But Congress didn't even look into getting opinions from, say, economists not on Bush's payroll who know what they're talking about before trying to vote on Paulson's bill. I'm glad that not all of the Congressmen and Congresswomen felt like it was ok to give the a-holes who got us into this mess carte blanche loans. They never answered sufficiently why $700 billion was the magic number. Why not give them, say, $100 billion and see where that gets us, then if they need more, give them more. Let people who know what they're doing regulate the money and decide who gets what. Instead, Bush wanted to make sure his rich, evil friends remained that way, and expected us to foot the bill.

From The Daily Kos:
The polling is clear -- the American people, me included, aren't pretending there isn't a finance crisis. But they want a solution that doesn't reward the "evildoers". This one did. Next time, let's put the burden of the bailout on those who deserve to bear it, not on those of us who were never invited to that party to begin with.
Hopefully, the next bill they write will be more clear and not let the bankers off the hook.

I can't wait until Bush is no longer in office.

9.27.2008

did you watch?

Overall I thought it was one of the most boring debates I've ever seen. It was nice to see Obama come across as strong and confident and aggressive. I thought it was really weird how McCain wouldn't look at him. Not once! It made him seem shifty and nervous and kind of weak. Like he had something to hide. It would've been nice for Obama to seem more bemused about McCain's attacks rather than so defensive, but overall I think Obama won. By a narrow margin, but still. McCain seemed deflated.

This from The Plank:
TPM has the internals of the CNN poll of debate-watchers, which had Obama winning overall by a margin of 51-38. The poll suggests that Obama is opening up a gap on connectedness, while closing a gap on readiness.

Specifically, by a 62-32 margin, voters thought that Obama was “more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you”. This is a gap that has no doubt grown because of the financial crisis of recent days. But it also grew because Obama was actually speaking to middle class voters. Per the transcript, McCain never once mentioned the phrase “middle class” (Obama did so three times). And Obama’s eye contact was directly with the camera, i.e. the voters at home. McCain seemed to be speaking literally to the people in the room in Mississippi, but figuratively to the punditry. It is no surprise that a small majority of pundits seemed to have thought that McCain won, even when the polls indicated otherwise; the pundits were his target audience.
And this. This leaves me feeling all glow-y inside:
Meanwhile, voters thought that Obama “seemed to be the stronger leader” by a 49-43 margin, reversing a traditional area of McCain strength.

I think the whole McCain campaign has gone off the rails. It makes me really uncomfortable and kind of embarrassed for him. But I certainly won't be sad if he loses.

CNN keeps saying that 10% of eligible voters are still undecided. Who are these people? Don't they have enough information by now?

9.26.2008

a good site to visit when you're feeling especially panicky


Friend T pointed me to this site last weekend, saying that it's what helps her sleep ok at night. All week I've been following her advice and it's true. It does help you fall asleep more easily.

Apparently the guy spends most of his time working with baseball statistics and gets paid by major league teams who want him to predict which players would be most beneficial to their teams when it comes time to trade and hire, etc. This year, he decided to put his considerable powers to use in the field of predicting who will win the Presidential election. Every day he outputs new data on who would win the election if a vote were held right now.

Go. Visit. Calm your fears.

9.25.2008

i'm all fired up

So, McCain didn't really want to suspend his campaign. He just wanted an excuse to not show up to the debate:

From the Daily Kos:

John McCain shocked everyone with his announcement yesterday that he was "suspending" his campaign to deal with the financial crisis and he suggested there was simply no time for a debate with Obama.

But, what - exactly - did he "suspend"? His surrogates are all over television, attacking Obama. His campaign ads are still running and his Internet fundraising is still operational. McCain's press crew is fully operational. He spent the day with Rick Davis, his lobbyist campaign manager. And all of his campaign offices are still open and fully operational.

And now comes word via Jonathan Martin at The Politico that McCain will spend the evening doing interviews on ABC, NBC, and CBS.

Sounds like the only thing John McCain wants to put on hold is the debate with Barack Obama. And who could blame him? He's got a lot of explaining to do to the American people about how the GOP and their cronies got us into this mess.

Grrr. If anyone who reads this blog is a McCain supporter, can you explain to me rationally why? Almost every single thing that comes out of his mouth these days is a lie. You know what's weird, is that eight years ago when he was running against George Bush, I actually thought that he would make a pretty good President. He had strong convictions, he was pretty moderate for a Republican, he believed in protecting the environment and was a champion for the working class. Now? He's George W Bush the Fourth.

here's some good news

My blog has been kind of cranky lately, sorry about that. I guess I've been pretty cranky lately myself. I'll try to make it stop.

But, something did happen today that put me in a pretty good mood. I got this in my inbox:

Hello Sean,
I was wondering I [sic] we could get together this weekend or maybe in the next few weeks. I am usually in Summit County during the week and Denver on the weekends. Could we meet to do all of the usual stuff like a contract, looking at the art, and also negotiating terms and such? I am very excited to see your art in person and am starting to gather artwork together so that I will be able to open when the building is finished in the middle of November. This may seem premature but it is better sooner than later. Let me know when and where is good for you.
Sincerely,

[I'm leaving the gallery owner's name off on purpose]

Which, if it's hard to tell means that eventually, some of my paintings are going to be hanging in a bona fide art gallery in Breckenridge, Colorado.

I'm pretty stoked.

Now all I have to do is finish some actual paintings.

things i like about being bald

1) It's way easier to shower
2) No need for shampoo
3) I use less water now
4) All around, it's more environmentally friendly than having hair
5) No hat head
6) No helmet head
7) I never have to pay for a haircut again

more politics

I like how in discussions of the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, no one is talking about how the taxpayers wouldn't have to foot this bill if we hadn't gone to war in Iraq. And, of course, Bush in his address last night, made it sound like it was the homeowners fault for the crisis rather than the lenders. So, it's the homeowners fault for accepting loans they couldn't afford even though lenders made it virtually impossible not to accept said loans and lied to people about their ability to afford said loans.

F^&king f*&^er motherf%$er %^$@#&*(&^#%^@$!&#*@!(!()#@^@&*$^#$*#^$*.

If we hadn't been talked into starting a war that was based on lies and misdirection then we wouldn't be spending $80 billion a month to fund said war and we would have the money in the bank necessary to bailout Wall Street and we, the taxpayers, wouldn't have to foot the bill.

So, if you think about it, we can blame the current crisis and looming depression on our need for oil.

Aaaaaarrrgh. I can't even talk about it.

Yesterday, friend Kate sent me this (originally found here):
It's nice to see where our money goes, huh?

Clinton left us with a balanced budget and an actual surplus of something like $8 trillion. Bush wasted that on personal vendettas and parties for his friends and is now asking us for even more money so that his lying, cheating friends can keep their million-dollar houses.

F^&king f*&^er motherf%$er %^$@#&*(&^#%^@$!&#*@!(!()#@^@&*$^#$*#^$*.

9.24.2008

some stuff

1) So, now the McPalin campaign wants to postpone Friday's debate so that McCain can actually go to DC and help the country survive the current financial crisis. He basically said that if Obama doesn't agree, then Obama doesn't care about the country.

Obama's response (paraphrased): The President of the United States should be able to do two things at once.

I like the take on it from the Daily Kos:

To be perfectly serious for a moment, I think it's obvious what they should do with the upcoming debate. McCain's notion of canceling it is silly (and a bit insulting to the public), but holding a debate about foreign policy and ignoring the trillion-dollar elephant in the room might be a bit much. The debate simply is going to have to address on the economy, at least in part.

So fine -- let's change the focus of the debate to the economy. It would be a fine opportunity to see what the candidates can do without weeks of advance preparation with surrogates, talking points, and the like -- what better test of candidates then to simply ask them about these issues, and let them talk. Such a debate would be exactly what many of us have been waiting for, including, purportedly, John McCain himself -- a chance for a true spontaneous debate between the two candidates.

I don't think it should require much to just switch the topic of the debate and be done with it. John McCain has been in the Senate for 26 years. If he's not ready to talk about the economy now, he isn't ever going to be.

If you read between the lines a little bit, you learn that really McCain wants to postpone because then the first Presidential debate would replace the VP debate next Thursday which means that the McCain campaign doesn't think that Palin can survive a debate against Biden after her disastrous interview with Katie Couric last night. Which is probably a good idea because if she had trouble with Katie Couric, who's no Wolf Blitzer, she definitely wouldn't survive Biden. Tell me why they thought she'd be a good pick again?

2) When you run and you don't have any hair on your head, there's nothing to funnel the sweat away from your face and for some reason the sweat from the entire circumference of your head runs down into your eyes.

3) I. Can't. Wait. for the election to be over. God, I'm so sick of it. I'm sick of thinking about it. I'm sick of getting angry about it every single day. I'm sick of wishing desperately that the American public isn't as blind as I think they are.

4) Has anyone seen the trailer for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist? Can anyone tell me who sings the song they use in the trailer (the one they end the clip with)? I know I know that song. I know I have that song. I know I've listened to it a million times. But I cannot place it and it is causing my eyes to bleed.

5) Bald heads are itchier than heads with hair.

6) There was something else, but I forgot what it was because this post took way too long to put together.

9.20.2008

thanks mom and dad, for the small(ish) ears


A couple of days ago I started thinking that I was sick of having hair. So, after waiting a bit to make sure that I really, really wanted it all gone, today, I bit the bullet and got rid of it.

It was more of an ordeal than I thought it would be, mostly because my clippers really suck. I need to get some new ones. So, it took almost an hour when I thought it was only gonna take about 15 minutes.

And, all vanity aside, I don't think it looks that bad. My head is kind of built to be bald and my ears don't stick out too far. My head actually looks smaller than it did when it had all that hair on it. The only kind of weird thing about it is the scar I have from a jungle gym accident where no hair grows, but I can ignore that pretty easily. I think once I get used to feeling every single breath of air on my bald pate, I'll actually really like it quite a bit. It's much easier to shower. And no bed head in the morning.

No more hats!

indeed, we may not survive


When W was reelected in 2004 I was extremely disappointed, but not overly fearful that any great harm would come from America's faulty decision to keep in place a President who used the power of his office to become little more than a petty tyrant. After all the first four years hadn't cost us too much if you didn't count the billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost in a war fabricated on lies, personal vendettas and a desire to control some of the world's diminishing oil supply for America's greedy needs. An incalculable price to be sure, but the country as a whole was still standing, if only slightly worse for the wear. Maybe the next four years wouldn't be so bad.

I'd even been holding out a small glimmer of hope that with the end of his reign growing ever closer, we might escape relatively unscathed. However, with the latest looming financial crisis, while perhaps being a boon for the Democrats in the coming election, I'm fearing that we are seeing the end of all we know. This might be my ability to see doom and gloom in almost any situation, but I can't stop obsessing over it. And, I'm not sure that the majority of Americans can see that anything is wrong. With Bush's approval rating at an all-time low, I'm constantly amazed that McCain's standing in the polls is as high as it is. Are the Republicans so desperate just to have a Republican in office that they don't care who it is? Do the people that voted W into office for a second term feel any regret for the choice they made? Or are they so blinded by partisan politics that they believe the current state of the country is the fault of anyone else but the idiots they put in charge? And, don't even get me started about the fact that Nadar has forced his way back on the ballot again. Can't he see that he's only hurting any chance we have to put things to rights? Now is not the time for him to force his agenda on this damaged nation, but apparently his egotism knows no bounds.

M5K has an excellent piece up about why Sara Palin was such a reckless and dangerous choice by the McCain campaign that shows a baffling disregard for the well-being of this country, and I can't word it any better, so I won't go into that. I will say, though, that I'm terrified of what will happen if Palin/McCain are voted into office. And, I'm not entirely sure that I will be able to bear the shame and disappointment that I will feel.

I know it's not socially acceptable to talk about politics and that most people would rather just bury their heads in the sand and ignore what is happening, being more concerned with the latest drama of which semi-talented glory hog is able to sing better than the other semi-talented glory hog, but we have to be concerned about this election this year. Now is the time where we as Americans decide our future. Will we recover from our mistakes of the last eight years, and come back stronger and better than ever? Or will we continue to compound them until we run this great nation into the ground?

Truly, these are the things of which nightmares are born.

9.17.2008

some days it's just great to be alive

Ok. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I did do really well picking new music this month, which can never fail to make me happy. And I want to share the objects of my affection with you, gentle reader.

First up: Right Away Great Captain! | Right Ahead, You Sailor! | The Bitter End
I love songs about how much love and life sucks it big time. Give me a whole album of it and I can sit and listen to it for days. Which is pretty much what I've done with this one. I downloaded it on a lark, without even reading anything about him. Well, I'd read something obviously, or I wouldn't have put it in my queue, but I certainly don't remember what it was. So, like many, many things, many times a day, I headed to Google to figure out why I'd bookmarked him.

This is the side project of Manchester Orchestra's lead singer, Andy Hull. Which is why I love it so much. But it's vastly different than M.O's upbeat, drum and electric guitar driven rock. In fact, it's the exact opposite—quiet, mellow, melancholy acoustic pop songs full of, well, bitterness. Hence the title of the album. This guy has serious issues with his pops and with all of the women who have wronged him. And sets his stories on whaling ships in the middle of a tumultuous sea for some odd reason, but it works. You'll just have to trust me.


Right Ahead, You Sailor! - Right Away, Great Captain!



Second: The Dutchess and The Duke | Back To Me | She's the Dutchess, He's the DukeI know I already talked about these guys yesterday, but I'm totally in love with them and so deal. These two kids could give the hillbillies of The Blue Ridge Mountains a run for their money. And they don't even have a banjo. Really dark lyrics suffused with upbeat rockin' melodies that don't need handclaps to get your toe tapping along. Beautiful, truly.


Back To Me - The Dutchess & The Duke



Last for now: Fleet Foxes | White Winter Hymnal | Fleet Foxes These guys are the indie music blog darlings of the summer, so I resisted for quite a while. However, the other day, after reading the 5 millionth post about how f*^king spectacular they are, I decided to go ahead and give 'em a try.

And, yeah. They're good, dammit. Think a happier Phosphorescent. Who was my main indie music crush last year, so you can imagine how excited I am that I may've found his little brother.


White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes

9.15.2008

i'm totally in love

This year's Presidential race just got dangerous. Professional photographer Jill Greenberg was commissioned by The Atlantic to do a photoshoot of John McCain for their cover story in next month's issue. Once she was done, she manipulated some of the outtakes for her own personal use. Greenberg is well-known in the industry for both her excellent photography skills as well as her talents with Photoshop, and she put them to good use in this instance. Quite a few years ago, I had the pleasure of working with her on some ads that I was doing in Winston-Salem. I remember her being extremely professional and exceptionally easy to work with. For some reason, though, The Atlantic is really pissed at her.

But I'm totally in love with her now. You know, for telling it like it is. There are others in the series up on her portfolio site.

You've probably seen this already, but I thought I'd post it again, just in case you don't spend all day on the interbunny like I do.

(not so) pop culture

1) Last night I was bored, didn't feel like reading so I started flipping channels and stumbled upon 'Breaking Bad', a new drama on AMC of all places. It's about a 50-year-old, mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher, who, after finding out he has two years to live decides to embark on a life of crime to secure his family's financial future. He joins up with one of his former students and starts cooking meth and apparently he cooks 'some of the finest shit anyone's ever seen.' Science is good kids!

I was actually really impressed with how well written and acted it is, which is very unusual for the boob tube.

2) I have found a new alt-country love:


Reservoir Park - The Dutchess & The Duke


Two kids from Seattle ripping it up Appalachia style. Their web presence.

3) 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona,' while not one of Woody's best by a long shot, definitely didn't suck as much as his last couple. I even laughed out loud in a couple of places.

*note to dutchess and duke—if you want me to remove this, just shout and i'll take it down immediately.

9.13.2008

how?

I think I broke my finger on Tuesday while bouldering. I thought I'd just jammed it, but I've tried multiple times to pull it out and pop it back into place and the pain has not abated. And it hurts like a sunnuvab#$tch. Even using the track pad on my 'puter makes me wince. And don't even get me started on typing.

It's just the tip. And it's the same finger that the R-dog broke a few years ago, so it must've snapped on the fault line or something. Maybe I'll try bouldering again tomorrow and see what happens. Probably not a great idea though.

Luckily it's my middle finger.

9.10.2008

sometimes you can get paid for doing something you love

My first ever paying illustration gig and rock concert poster. Sadly, I didn't have a lot of time to work on it, but for the most part I'm happy with how it turned out. I didn't know anything about Pepi before Daytrotter asked me to work on this, but after visiting her website, I'm a fan. Especially after finding out that she works with Dr. Dog.

9.08.2008

a weekend in the desert

I spent the weekend in S.F., N.M to visit the Kuhns, but failed to take my camera with me anywhere I went, so you'll just have to believe me despite the lack of photographic evidence.

We got in a lot of climbing at a place outside White Rock called Gallow's Edge on a crag chock full of nice, moderate sport routes. I even tried to lead one at the end of the day, but got too freaked out because it was really run out and a fall would've resulted in some hamburgered skin at best and maybe a broken bone or two at worst. And I didn't really feel like getting maimed this weekend.

I remember specifically doing 99 Red Balloons and Once Were Warriors, but have no idea of the other three or four we did. I lost count. I haven't climbed in so long that by the end of the day almost every muscle in my body was sore and I was that tired you get from a hard day's work. I'd forgotten how good that feels.

A also gave me a walking tour of downtown SF which was nice. There's adobe everywhere. That's all I really remember of it.

The weekend was filled with some good outside, good food and beer and quality time spent with good friends whom I miss greatly.

9.03.2008

when will the dictatorship end

If this is true, it is breathtaking and awful and simply untenable. This isn't even legal. And proves that McCain really is McSame. Unbelievable.