Posted October 31, 2003
Tonight is Halloween. We were going to go to the Halloween Parade, but we're running late. Now, we're going to go see Bling Kong for free at the Knitting Factory. Afterwards we'll probably head over to the Roxy for the Motherfucker Halloween Ball. Should be entertaining.
Jori and I are going as Jackson Pollack and one of his paintings. Jori thought of it. She's smart.
This is the first time I've really gone out for Halloween since I've been in Madison. Nothing seems to compare to Madison when it comes to Halloween. Tonight will certainly be different but I'm still looking forward to it.
Posted October 30, 2003
Last night I installed Panther on my Powerbook. I had been itching for its release as I wanted to wipe my hard drive and start from scratch. Well, I did that. My computer feels brand new. This was definitely the smartest thing I've done in a while because a number of the nagging bugs and slow performance has been obliterated. There were definitely some hiccups during the process, but it ended up just fine.
The only question I have for you, my intelligent readership, is how I can go about reinstalling OS 9. My computer was originally installed with 10.1, before they canned OS 9 booting. I have all my original install discs from the machine and tried popping in the OS 9 one while in Panther, but no dice. So, smarty pants, how do I get Classic back on my computer?
Posted October 29, 2003
Four months ago I appealed to bands everywhere, reconsider the modern encore. It seems none of the bands have heard my cry. So, I will be a bit more civil and make a smaller request.
I accept that an encore will be played, but I ask that you limit it to three songs. Last week I saw Brendan Benson and he had a six song encore after a mediocre set. This is unacceptable. Here is the formula for a perfect encore.
First Song: There are two ways to play this. If you are a singer/songwriter then you can come out by yourself with the acoustic guitar and sing a heartfelt, solo version of a song people know and love. The other way is to just come out and rock the fuck out of a song your fans love. They will think, "Oh man, I totally forgot about that song! Thank God I stayed for the encore!"
Second Song: Here's your chance to be a little experimental. You can either play a new song, a new version of an old song, or bring out a special guest of some kind. You figure people who are sticking around this long will want to hear something new or different.
Third Song: Bring it home. If you brought out a guest musician on the last one then let him/her stay on and clap if that's all they can do. It doesn't have to be your most popular song but it should be fun and engaging. If the crowd is still going crazy after this song and people start chanting, "One more song! One more song!" then you can bring out a fourth song. And if you let the audience choose it, be selective. We don't need to hear that b-side from the third single on your first album just because the guy in the front row wants to show everyone he's your biggest fan.
I think this is a fair guide and I encourage you to print this out and give it to your favorite band. If I know this band, I would even be willing to custom tailor a list for them. I'm that committed to improving encores worldwide.
Posted October 29, 2003
I just returned from a Heeb party. They were celebrating the release of their fourth issue, which I may discuss later. Now, I will tell you about the party. I got to do a lot of observing since the lady was busy taking pictures of all the pretty people.
Things started off on the wrong foot when I was forced to pay six dollars to check a bag and a coat. Totally bogus. I would have rather spent that money on something liquid, but my shoulder is less cramped this way.
Once the party started going I went into hermit mode. That's when the erotic balloon animal man came out. The one sitting on my table was of two dogs doing it. Doggystyle. Hilarious. Or not.
Next came the Spinning Dreydels. This was a Jewish breakdancing crew from Princeton, NJ. They were good but it is tough to live up to a name like that. Thankfully they were accompanied by DJ Static, who was excellent. Take note of that for some reason.
There was only one depressing moment this evening. I was sitting down, enjoy the "phat beats", when two guys in suits start to "feel the rhythm." Their dancing was pretty horrible. It was the kind of dance your dad does at your uncle andy's wedding when he wants you to come out and shake your tuchas. This is fine if they are doing it in jest and know how ridiculous they look, but I don't think they do. I genuinely wonder if they think that all the ladies are falling over each other to hump them. I really hope not.
The party didn't quite live up to my vision of a rockin'-indie-mag-release party, but it was still entertaining. At least I got some time to write a letter to my Peace Corp friend, Justin, and a free copy of the new issue. I wish all my nights were that fruitful.
Posted October 27, 2003
This past weekend I had one of my best friends, Janooly, in town. On Friday we spent the day with her friend from high school, Paul. At some point during that day I brought up a postulate I have made before: why do women tend to buy more compilations -- soundtracks specifically -- than men? Last time I asked this I got one response, but no answer. So I will explain a bit more and hope that you can help me out.
It seems undisputable that women do indeed buy more compilations, in general, so let's move past that. The easy response would be to say that women care less about music as an art and think of it more as a social bond. In other words, they have a desire to seek out music that everyone knows because it will allow them to sing it with friends no matter what the song.* They may not actually sing it, but they will at least be able to recognize it and possibly bond with whomever is nearby.
If you look at soundtracks exclusively, then you could use the emotional argument. Being more emotional, girls want to be able to relive what they felt when they first experienced a movie. A soundtrack will bring them back to that moment.
Yes, these are gross generalizations about women, but I am thinking this necessary since the question I pose is a gross generalization itself. So, if you don't agree with either of these ascertations then why do girls buy more compilations/soundtracks? I am dying to know.
*This would explain why every girl at every Bar Mitzvah I attended in seventh grade knew every word to every song.
Posted October 26, 2003
I think this is becoming a tradition. About once a month I buy a bunch of CDs and then I tell you about them. Here is the most recent crop I bought over the last couple weeks.
Purchased at Kim's Underground:
- Outkast - Speakerboxx/The Love Below This record is so hot. I haven't listened to it enough though.
- The Decemberists - Castaways and Cutouts It's definitely not as strong as Her Majesty, but that doesn't mean this isn't a beautiful record. "July! July!" has been stuck in my head a lot.
Purchased at Best Buy (with "free money"):
- Beulah - Yoko Much more refined than their last record. A whole lot of growing up here. Very good. Fragmented sentences.
- Paloalto - Heroes and Villians It's about as good as their first record. Unfortunately, that means it is somewhat forgettable. Talented guys.
- The Dandy Warhols - Welcome to the Monkeyhouse I forgot that I enjoy these guys but don't love them. I got all excited about this release, listened to it, and then realized they're good but I'm not in love.
- Queeens of the Stone Age - Rated R Wow, production makes a big difference. I like what I've heard so far, but Songs for the Deaf is much more interesting.
- Hot Hot Heat - Scenes One Through Thirteen Haven't listened to it yet, but I didn't realize they changed singers. Hmm.
Bought via iTunes Music Store:
- Ben Folds - Sunny 16 Well, these EPs are good, but they are not as good as his solo album. I hope he's saving the really good stuff.
Bought from Amazon.co.uk:
- Muse - Absolution Oh Muse, I love you. Really an excellent album that probably won't make it to the States.
- The Cooper Temple Clause - Kick Up the Fire, And Let the Flames Break Loose This is a much better record than their last one. It is really a step forward. I can't wait to listen to this again.
Bought at Sounds in the village:
- The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow I only listened through once, but it is very good. I need to listen more carefully.
- Travis - 12 Memories Haven't really listened to it yet. I bet it's good.
What have you been listening to?
American Stars, Japanese Ads. With video. (via k10k)
Posted October 22, 2003
Wow. It is really a shock and incredibly sad. What's even rougher is that when I listen to his music tonight in tribute I am most likely going to cry. His music makes you want to cry without death being involved so I think I'll be out of luck.
R.I.P. Elliott Smith.
More information at: MTV, Pitchfork, NME, NME Tribute Board, AP (via Miami Herald), Rolling Stone
Amazing commentary from Margaret Cho.
Update: bah, I spelled his name wrong. I knew there were two t's, honest.
Indie Pop Rocks!
My favorite station in the iTunes radio section.
Posted October 21, 2003
Recently, my neighboorhood has been getting a lot of press. It started when Jonathan Lethem's new book, The Fortress of Solitude, hit shelves a month ago. The book is set in Lethem's childhood neighborhood, Boerum Hill, and the heart of the story takes place only three blocks from my apartment. This inspired a feature story* in the Sunday Times about the neighborhood. The story, as told by the author and Lethem in tandem, looked at how Boerum Hill changed from a neighborhood where you locked your car doors to the gentrified yuppietown it is now. Then, Grocery is named to one of the top Zagat's lists and people start taking notice (sure, it might not be in Boerum Hill proper, but it is damn close).
I'm enjoying all the attention my area is getting. I really think it is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. It's easy to find a quiet spot, but you still have a decent selection of restaurants and stores. Also, it is wedged between Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, so there are plenty of enticing options around the corner. Last night I was able to walk to BAM to check out Kill Bill in a great theater. Oh, and Junior's is three blocks the other way, for when you must have the best piece of cheesecake ever.
This is normally the point where I lament the attention as it will likely drive more people to live here, raising my rent and cutting down on diversity, but I don't even care. The neighborhood is already undervalued and I wouldn't mind paying a little more. I'm just happy to have a nice apartment for a reasonable price in a great neighborhood.
Also, I would like to note that my street (State St.) is often left out of the Boerum Hill area. The usually cut it off at Atlantic. This is silly because if you go one street North of State, to Schermerhorn, there is a marked difference. So, don't dis on the State St. neighborhood-boundry-drawing people.
For more on Boerum Hill, go here or here.
*Only an abstract for some reason. Sorry.
Posted October 20, 2003
Right now, you are likely asking, "who are the rightful owners of these names? Are they bad guys in an upcoming Dick Tracy film?" No, these are the nicknames of myself and my coworker Zach. We are also referred to as "the Dipshit Twins." Clearly, we command respect around the office.
This alone is reason enough for me to enjoy my job. I love that I work with fun and funny people. It is so much more relaxed than the last job and it makes me comfortable at work. I hope I stay here a while.
Oh, and on the way back from lunch Zach made the following comment. "How can you trust Crazyface [me]? He's crazy, just look at his face." I laughed. A lot.
Posted October 16, 2003
One of my favorite things about new routines is when someone else starts to remember you. It is nice to know you are not just another blank face in the crowd and that other people are paying attention.
The last time I had that was in Staten Island when I was going to Sharkey's all the time to watch the Bears games. The waitress there would let me sit down and get settled, then come by and say "Chicken Parm and a Coke?" I would nod and smile. We had an understanding. This morning, as I walked to work, I stopped for my usual bagel from my local street vendor. When I walked up to him he said to me, "Good morning boss. Sesame bagel cream cheese?" Yep. It just feels good to be remembered.
Posted October 15, 2003
It seems that everyone I talk to likes to bring up the left-field fan. They either blame him or mock me and my kind. Honestly, I can't blame the guy in left field. Sure, if he hadn't touched it then I'd be poppin' champagne bottles and smokin' cigars, but he was in the right. It was in the stands and that's legal. I'm definitely annoyed that it happened, but that's about it.
The man who I am quite angry with is Alex Gonzalez. The very next play he proceeded to drop a slow hopper to shortstop that could have been turned for a doubleplay, or at least a force out at second. Instead, he drops it. This is a professional baseball player who missed a grounder that I could have picked up. Now that makes me upset.
In the end, when it's all said and done, the Cubs have been doing this to themselves all year. They led the division for 2/3 of the season and only barely won it in their second to last regular season game. They lost two of their key players (Prior, Patterson) to injury at various points in the year. They made trades that seemed like they were the not the brightest decisions, but they worked out beautifully. For these reasons, and because Kerry Fucking Wood is picthing tonight, I think the Cubs are going to go on to the World Series. I really do.
Now, the question is whether I go to my last improv class or watch the game. A very hard decision.
Update: Mom says I should leave improv early, around 9pm. I agree. Go Cubbies.
Posted October 15, 2003
I'm hoping all of this bittersweetness goes away in the future, but until it does I wll report it to you.
After work I hustled home. I needed to eat and change before I headed over to BAM for Split Sides, a dance performance by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The piece was scored and accompanied live by Radiohead and Sigur Rós. I have to say, it was amazing. The piece by Sigur Rós was especially poignant. For the uninformed, the performance is called Split Sides because a roll of the die beforehand determines which band, backdrop, costume and lighting set goes first. Thanks so much to Jen for scoring the tickets. It helps to have friends on the inside. To top off the beautiful performance, I called my sister on the way out and found out the Cubs were leading 2-0 in the bottom of the 7th. Perfect.
Or not. As soon as I arrive home I watch the Cubs go from 3-0 to 3-8 in a matter of minutes. I was angry and violent (towards my walls and pillows). The rug had been pulled out from underneath me. My breath was gone and I just wanted to curl up in my bed.
As soon as the game was finished, my hamburger arrived and I turned on My Favorite Year. I only watched the first twenty minutes tonight but it was hilarious. I kept laughing out loud and it felt good. Then, I talked to Jori for over an hour and that was nice.
So, now I'm back to my normal state. I'm not overjoyed but I'm not at my lowest low either. Tomorrow is a new day and all that is wrong can be righted.
In other news, I apologize for the lack of content on the blog. I've been busy and my mind has been on other things lately. Regular posting my come back soon, or maybe not. You'll know when I do.
Posted October 9, 2003
If you've ever talked to me in real life, you know that I have a tendancy to mumble. I don't know much about the usual cause of mumbling, but I know that my mind tends to think faster than my mouth can create words. Also, I am often very excited to speak and tend to try and get everything out at once. Generally, it isn't a problem. I just repeat myself more than the average person.
Recently, I have been loving my mumble as I get to hear the different interpretations of what they thought I said. An hour ago I told a co-worker "I better get lunch quickly," which she heard as, "I'm starting to feel twinkly." Her sentence is much more interesting. It's a fun way to unintentionally tap into people's subconscious.
My favorite misstep of all time was from my best friend Will. One day we were sitting around his house, playing video games when I said something about what was going on in the game. I don't remember exactly what I said, but after I finished talking he turns around and says to me, "Pirate muffins?!?" It's worth noting that whatever I did say had absolutely nothing to do with or sound anything like "pirate muffins." To this day, I wonder what a pirate muffin might taste like.
Posted October 9, 2003
1. I received my digital camera from the factory repair center. It is working swimmingly.
2. I received a brand new drive from LaCie that seems to work without problem. I'm upset it took three tries to fix the problem, but all should be well now.
3. The Cubs rocked the Marlins 12-3 last night.
4. My weekend begins tonight.
1. I received two $100 parking tickets. One was deserved and I shall pay it. The other was for double parking when I was not even almost double parked. This one will be fought.
For some reason, I thought there was more than that. Truth be told, the parking tickets only really upset me for about an hour, during which time I was groggy and would likely have been grumpy anyway. Now, despite a lack of sleep, I am feeling chipper.
In other news, Jori has taught me the wonders of looking at people's shoes on the subway. It is an excellent distraction when you don't have anything else to do. I highly recommend it.
The Guardian on Video Game Journalism
They are more than just commercial products.
Posted October 8, 2003
Well, Panther is coming October 24th. It should be a good upgrade, but I think I'm going to wait a while before I nab it. It's not cheap ($129) and I don't really need it right now.
My only concern is that my Powerbook, now one and a half years old, is starting to show its age. It runs fast enough, but the usual quirky things that happen to computers are starting to appear more frequently. So, I think I'm going to do a clean install when I do finally get Panther.
This is the part where I ask for your input. Will I have to reinstall all of the programs that came with my Powerbook (GraphicConverter, OmniOutliner, etc.)? That is something that is keeping me from doing a clean install, even though I think my computer could use a fresh start. Then my general question is whether or not any of you have tips or advice on doing a clean install of a Mac operating system. So, give me all your knowledge.
Posted October 8, 2003
I am so sorry for what has happened to you. In the beginning I was totally shocked to hear of the potential solutions to your genuine problem. The concept of the Terminator as governor was frightening, but it was softened by the humor of Webster and Larry Flynt running alongside him. Now, the day that Jack Slater has won the governorship, I am embarrased to have ever laughed at this election.
It's bad enough when "real" politicians quietly mock the system, but when a man who isn't even a good actor, let alone a politician, wins a gubernatorial race I think it's time we seriously question politics in the United States.
And so, I apologize that you and your inhabitants are going to be governed by Schwarzenegger, but I think we need this. I'm praying that he fails miserably so we do learn something from this mistake. I also fear that he will do well as it is proof that a dim-witted womanizer (at best) can run the largest state in the country.
I will end this letter by wishing you luck in these trying times and praying that Schwarzenegger does not take a few months off to shoot Twins 2.
TDK Headphone MP3 Player
I had this idea recently. The entire MP3 player is in your headphones. Smart.
Posted October 6, 2003
Hello Blog. I am back in the NYC area. I arrived yesterday afternoon but I quickly hopped on a train to make my way out to Long Island to attend Yom Kippur services. Currently, I am on 23 hours without food and I am a little light-headed. Amazingly though, I'm not really "hungry." I mean, I am starving in the literal definition but I don't really feel a normal sense of hunger. I've gone past that. Enough dwelling though, for in one hour I will be both sated and absolved of my sins. Not a bad deal.
Obviously, this weekend was amazing. I got to see two Cubs games and I got to see friends I missed last weekend due to illness. As a surprise bonus my friend Jena was in town for a wedding and I was able to see her. Yay for surprises. Now, I am eagerly anticipating the beginning of the NLCS tomorrow night. I have faith in my Cubbies. (See sister's blog for celebration photos.)
As of now, I should be a little more stationary. Unless I miraculously procure tickets for other Cubs games, I wll remain in New York until December. I'm looking forward to a long stretch here as I haven't been taking advantage of the city much in the last month. And as long as I'm thinking about food, I think I'll start looking for some good restaurants to attend.
Posted October 2, 2003
I just spoke to my father and he was able to get tickets to the next two Cubs games. He then proceeded to tell me he would be willing to fly me home for the game with mileage points. I then proceeded to crap my pants.
Tomorrow morning I will be flying to Chicago to see two Cubs games. My first two of the year. There are no words to describe my excitement.* My only concern is that my last Chicago sports playoff game was the Bears in 2001 and that went poorly. Of course, the 2001 Bears didn't have Mark Prior. Before that game was the Bulls in 1995, which went very well so it's kind of a toss up.
Either way, I am super excited and I'll be taking a bunch of photos with Dad's digital camera, since mine's still in the shop.
*I tried though, with the title.
Posted October 1, 2003
These are the numbers posted on one of the buildings behind Wrigley Field. Friday of last week they said, "145895." This means fourteen years since a division title, fifty-eight years since a pennant, and ninety-five years since a World Series title. Now, the Cubs have a division title and are shooting for "000000."
When the Cubs made the playoffs in '98 it was a great thing. I was a freshman in college and I loved watching the games. I was glued to the television during the tie-break game to win the wild card. Still, I was almost surprised the Cubs made it. This year, I am not surprised. We have a very solid team and an amazing starting rotation. I am a fan, but I can objectively say we have a reasonable shot at winning it all.
Right now the Cubs lead the Braves 1-0 and they have a definite edge with Prior pitching at home in game three. If Zambrano can hold their formidable offense tonight then we should be able to sweep through this series. I must say, I am pumped. Jazzed. Tickled pink.
This is going to be a good October. I can feel it.