Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Paul Week Part 2 - Now That's What I Call Phil Collins

Paul wrote on 01/20/2006 08:15:09 AM:

hey dan,

i know my last few e-mails have been about phil collins, but i just heard "invisible touch" this morning, and now i can't get it out of my head. this has given me an idea.

as we have previously discussed, the number of phil covers has grown large over the past few years. so, i was thinking why don't we turn the tables and have phil release an all-covers album of current/recent music. lets let phil cash in on other people for once. just think about it, you could have phil covering gwen stefani's "holla back girl", outkast, weezer's "beverly hills", etc. i challenge you to find a person that wouldn't buy this album. by the way, if you could pick 3 songs to have phil cover, what would they be?


For my answer to Paul's difficult question, I limited myself to recently released, Top 40ish songs that sincerely think Phil Collins could handle.

The White Stripes - My Doorbell
I'm thinking Phil could handle this one OK, channelling his "I Can't Dance" days.

Nickelback - Whatever Nickelback song is on the radio now
I'm proud to announce that I haven't heard their latest single, but I do remember that blasted "like a paperback novel" song. Phil would be all over that.

Kanye West - Golddigger
Phil Collins can't rap (or dance, per his own admission), but I'd like to hear him sing Jamie Foxx's lines on "Golddigger".

Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends
Phil would retool the arrangement to fit his unique voice, and the result would be powerful. He would also retool the video, switching out hot young actress Evan Rachel Wood with a claymation female.

Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body
If you've heard the Postal Service cover of "Against All Odds", you know that Ben Gibbard and Phil Collins are interchangeable.

Coldplay - Any Coldplay song ever
Think about it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Aimee Mann, Liberty Hall, January 29, 2006

I saw Aimee Mann live last night, so you know what that means - blurry photos!

It was more or less exactly how I envisioned an Aimee Mann concert. She was great.

If I were Phil, I'd convert the movies I shot on my camera into mp3s and let you experience Aimee live. But I'm not Phil, and I don't have his software, nor his hardware. If I were certain of Ms. Mann's views on file sharing, I would post said movies to YouTube. But I'm not certain of Ms. Mann's copyright veracity. Personal use it is.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Paul Week Part 1 - You're Dangerous

Paul and I exchanged emails on Friday about Top Gun (I guess everyone's got shitty movies on their mind). We manage to waste most of the day without broaching the subject of Tom Cruise's awkward licking of Kelly McGillis.

> a couple of things for your friday......
> 1)this is the 3rd day in a row i've woken up with
> toto's "hold the line" in my head. this could be the
> first sign of insanity.
> 2)here are the three songs i heard while in the shower
> this morning:
> a)"danger zone" by the immortal kenny loggins
> b) kiss "lick it up"
> c) eddie money "i wanna go back"
> after hearing this string of songs i figured that i
> must have time-warped back to 1985 without knowing it
> or this is the start to one amazing weekend. by the
> way, after hearing "danger zone", i began to think
> about the beach volleyball scene in the movie. is
> this the most uncomfortable scene for a heterosexual
> male to watch in cinema history? now i know i haven't
> seen brokeback mountain, but at least you know what
> you're getting when you go in there. the top gun
> scene just comes out of nowhere with four shirtless
> men playing beach volleyball with a cheap 80s song as
> the soundtrack. your thoughts?

I haven't seen the beach volleyball scene in a long time, but I chuckled just now thinking about the tiny Tom Cruise trying to play beach volleyball. Poor Goose got stuck with a lemon for a partner. And I can't remember what song was used in the background - was it "Playing With The Boys" by Kenny Loggins? (I cheated and looked up my choices on the amazon soundtrack page.) I think it was, which makes it even more uncomfortable.

PLUS, if you were our age back when Top Gun reigned supreme, you OWNED that soundtrack, and you listened to it pretty much non-stop. You know that had to make our fathers uncomfortable - two Kenny Loggins tracks?
Loverboy? Miami Sound Machine? Poor Dad.

[NOTE: I have a lot of TG soundtrack memories that I didn't share here with Paul, most notably that I would play the TG anthem on my cassette player as I pretended to be a pro wrestler. I would stand on my bed, jump, and drop the elbow onto my opponent - my pillow - while listening to the TG anthem's tasty electric guitar.]

And what about the locker room scenes? Did these guys really need a locker room? Aren't they pilots? Couldn't they just suit up in their bunks?

I saw a quote from Val Kilmer recently - I guess he plays a gay character in the movie "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", and he was asked if it was the first time he had a gay role. The quote was, "Only if you don't count Top Gun."

Toto might be in your head because they were featured in a Scrubs episode this week.

> i couldnt' remember the name of the song that was
> playing during the beach volleyball scene, but it is
> "Playing With The Boys" by Kenny Loggins. And yes,
> that definitely makes the scene 20 times more uncomfortable
> to watch. To give a quick recap of the series of events
> that occur during that part of the movie:
> 1. beach volleyball scene where appropriate attire is
> a pair of tight jeans and aviator sun glasses. i
> mean, really, who wears jeans to play volleyball?
> 2. an awkward moment consisting of a pose/flex and
> rebel yell by rick rossovich ("slider")(and don't ask
> me how or why i know his real name)
> 3. the game ends and cruise immediately hops on his
> motorcycle and speeds off to his lady's beachfront
> property
> 4. upon arriving, they listen to a little otis
> redding, which made me almost like this scene except
> for the fact that cruise is sporting his flight jacket
> while still inside the house
> 5. cruise then states that he's going to take a
> shower, and this is where i get creeped out if i'm
> kelly mcgillis (sp?). a student comes over to your
> house for the first time ever fresh off a scene out of
> "the birdcage" and now he wants to take a shower at
> your place. who is this guy? i mean, get real.
> all in all, it makes for a ludicrous 20 minutes of
> theatre. for some reason, it almost brings me to
> anger thinking about it. does this mean i spend way
> too much time thinking about meaningless things?

So, to recap, the soundtrack moves briskly from "Playing With The Boys" to "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" to "Take My Breath Away". Makes sense. Makes perfect sense. Jerry Bruckheimer, you've done it again.

Forget who wears JEANS to play volleyball - who plays volleyball at all? When was the last time four men decided to play beach volleyball without the company of women?

This chat may have upset us more than we know. Let's resolve to make it a Top Gun free weekend. In fact, the only movie I'll allow myself to watch this weekend is Underworld 2. No surprises there - just vampires fighting werewolves.

> good point about the sequence of songs. i've been so
> disoriented about the visual sequence of events that i
> totally blocked out the audio component. but, i guess
> all this passed for a blockbuster back in 1986.
> yeah, i'm definitely not letting top gun steal this
> weekend from me. six coronas into the mix tonight and
> i'll be telling myself that men really do get together
> and play beach volleyball in places other than the
> ymca.
> one last gripe about this movie, and then i swear i'm
> done with it. okay, their "top gun" school is in
> miramar, ca, which i think is around the san diego
> area. obviously, it's warm there year round. so why
> is cruise wearing a bomber jacket in 75% of the
> non-flying scenes? those things are designed to be
> like the warmest coat around, yet he's in southern cal
> and it's pretty much sewed onto him. there, i'm done
> thinking about it. or as phil hartman (playing frank
> sinatra) said "i'm done with you, baby, your money's
> on the dresser." farewell, top gun, i barely knew
> you.

I just looked up miramar, and yes, it's the northern part of San Diego, where it's always sunny, non-bomber-jacket weather. Hilarious observation.

I just remembered my first opportunity to see Top Gun - I was at my friend Justin's place, and his family gave me the choice of watching the VHS Top Gun or Back to the Future. I had to pick BTTF, because I promised my dad I would "save" Top Gun for him. Had he known its unsettling, beach volleyball-featuring contents, I'm not so sure we would have watched it together, or at all.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Loebly And Amazing

In the movie adaptation of High Fidelity, Rob (John Cusack) is amazed to find that his ex-girlfriend Charlie (Catherine Zeta Jones) has a listed phone number. I believe Rob's exact line is, "She's in the fucking phone book!" The book is less vulgar:
She's still living in London. I get her phone number and address from Directory Enquiries... It's incredible, really, to think that at any time over the last decade I could have done this: she has come to assume such an importance I feel she should be living on Mars, so that attempts to communicate with her would cost millions of pounds and take light-years to reach her. She's an extraterrestrial, a ghost, a myth, not a person with an answering machine and a rusting wok and a two-zone travel pass.

--Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
Tenant Gavin was more Cusack than Hornby last night when, during our viewing of "#1 Single", the reality show featuring Lisa Loeb, it was revealed that Lisa utilizes online dating services.

I'm not the best person to ask for an objective take on E!'s new show - if they televised Lisa shoveling horseshit, I'd probably watch religiously and buy the season one DVD. Still, you should be watching this program. We saw her in a bra Sunday night, and we're promised to see her in a thong next week. People - it just makes sense to watch Lisa Loeb, whether she's fully clothed on the Colbert Report or adjusting her cleavage on #1 Single.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

California-Style Dreamin'

I often have dreams I think are very, very funny. They're very funny when I am dreaming them, and when I wake up for a few moments during the night, and when my alarm goes off.

Then, after I become fully conscious, I realize my dream is anything but funny.

Case in point, about two weeks ago I had a "funny" dream about George Washington. I can't recall the "funny" plot exactly, but it involved George and Betsy Ross, and how President Washington could bag any woman he wanted post-Revolutionary War.

That was an especially active night for dreaming. Dream #2 featured by cousin Mark, an sports medicine guy living in Texas that I haven't seen for at least 4 years. Mark was staying in the same hotel/casino as me; everything was fine until he stabbed the my softball team's shortstop to death and cut off the fingers of a piano-playing friend. I woke up before I could alert the hotel police.

In dream #3, I was offered a handjob by a woman who specified that she would only perform the act via "reach-around or California-style". Before I could discover what the Golden State had to offer, an ex-girlfriend (and ex-blog reader) entered our hotel room. The three of us watched TV.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Text Messages Received

homeless people suck

i am going to vomit on your porch again

i want to taste your fuck maker

moo moo moo

what is the name of that place where you get those pork chops

the friends who met here and embraced are gone. each to his own mistake.

2 early beer still hurt

*The longest text message I've ever received*
hold on 2 them we can still eat later havent listend 2 the vm so maybe im missing something but i need a bit more sleep

does this mean no power fuck?

if the terrorists had flown planes into a wal-mart i doubt that we would be at war right now

also someone should tell madonna to quit making music. She sucks.

i took a dump at wal mart

I think dennis quaid is a really good actor.

Royals signed reggie fucking sanders

i got milk

out of the way 05. Cunt

2005 is like a dick in my mouth...it came and went

Wish you were here. Could use a reacharound

Im screwed! Got a B in physics for semester.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

More Minnesota

I forgot to mention a seminal moment from my MLK weekend. Saturday afternoon, as we dined at D'Amico's on Hennepin, two female students sat down at the opposite end of our table. They sucked. However, one of the women did give me a case of the silent chuckles. She told her pal about a former friend's excuses for neglecting her, "It's been a really stressful semester, with Hurricane Katrina, and two guys both like me."

Best excuse ever, man.

And yes, as the previous post's comments mention, I did watch some David Blaine Street Magic with Heather. Here's how it would go:

1. David Blaine performs mind-blowing "trick".
2. Heather says, "How did he do that?!"
3. I say, "Magic."
4. Heather says, "No, really - this bothers me. How did he do that?"
5. I say, "It's fucking MAGIC!"
6. Heather frowns.
7. I spout various expletives and threats to Heather, insisting she believes in David Blaine, lest she face the consequences.

Last, I noticed that Heather's bottle of Heinz ketchup was advertising it's latest "Say Something Ketchuppy" contest (which appears to be over...was that bottle expired?) Corinne's idea was "The punchline to bad jokes kids tell." Mine was "Better tasting than blood, which is also red."

* * *

Read about the vampire running for governor in the great state of Minnesota:
I've had people from the Church of Satan contact me to deal with a pagan high priest who was molesting teenage girls. I'm into witchcraft and the black arts, so I cast a spell on this S.O.B. and he suffered a massive heart attack. He's not molesting children anymore.
* * *

If you like Fiona Apple and/or bearded comedians, watch the video for "Not About Love".

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

IKEAn't Describe It Part 2

What a long wait for so little payoff. Oh well - here is what I did on my vacation. (Remember that SNL sketch where David Spade taught people how to talk more efficiently, and he abbreviated the word "vacation" as "vaca", pronounced VAY-cay? Me neither. And I just spent 10 minutes trying to Google it - no dice. Damn.)

Saturday night, we got a good group together to play Chug It. Chug It is a board game that I have seen in exactly two places. The first was through Heather - I believe she received it as a gift. The second was at a 24 hour porn shop in Oklahoma City. The shop deemed it so important, it was located behind the counter. And did you know that the porno in OKC is edited? Soft core only, folks. But I digress.

Chug It is kind of like the board game Life, except that instead of landing on a space that says "It's a boy!", it says, "Eat a banana Debbie Does Dallas style, or else Chug It!"

(Pretty good for never seeing the film, no?)

For our purposes, a "chug" was defined as drinking your beer for about 5 seconds. This was a much more successful definition than the first time I ever played, when a shot of Ketel One was used. Although I didn't pull out a victory Saturday, I am proud because:

A.> I remember every moment of this game, unlike game 1, and
B.> I didn't spend an hour throwing up into my bathtub, unlike game 1, and
C.> Heather was forced to lay one on my unshaven self after landing on the ol' "passionately kiss the person to your right" square. No kiss is as sexy as a Pig's-Eye-Lean-and-Chug-It-fueled kiss.

Outside of the world's weirdest board game, I successfully taught Heather how to enjoy MTV's Next, and unsuccessfully explained the blood feud between vampires and werewolves to Heather and Corinne. I spent 4 hours or so in IKEA, ate the meatballs, and bought my first cutting board. I ate a Jucy Lucy, D'Amico's turkey with dried cherries salad, tapas with free wine, a french toast flavored muffin, a mocha, royal tea, Kowalski's rotisserie chicken, and many a biscuit.

I also learned where the Flemish come from. Thanks, Serpentine!

Monday, January 16, 2006

IKEAn't Describe It

I'm back from Minneapolis. Unimpressive pictures and full recap to be posted tomorrow night.

For now, I will say that I did play Chug-It (see image), and unlike the last time I played, I can remember the whole game.

Tune in late tomorrow for the whole story (featuring tapas!) and junk.

And again, Heather, thanks a latte for your hospitality.

UPDATE 1/17: I've posted photos to my Flickr account - descriptions accompany the photos. That's all the typing I'm doing tonight, because I'm watching Fashion Police on E! They are telling me that Adrian Brody was being very "fashion forward" at last night's Golden Globes, because he wore a tie underneath his tuxedo shirt. "Fashion forward" is, of course, code for "clinically retarded".

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Other Archives - New In Town

[NOTE: I've got a case of eye strain I'm hoping to cure by avoiding personal internet usage until next week, when I return from my trip to the Twin Cities. I thought it appropriate to leave you with something to read. Below are several pieces I wrote immediately after moving to Minneapolis for graduate school - most of it ended up in emails home to friends. I've reread it this evening, and I come across as a homophobic bumpkin, which is half-accurate. Anywho, this will be a nice refresher for those that have already read this years ago, and a possibly interesting window into my mindset for the friends I've since, uh, befriended. There may be some curly-quote-type issues, since this is pasted from MS Word. Deal with it. I'm going to shut my eyes now.]

August 18th
2:51 pm

There are bells ringing. Not the gonging of the hours ringing, or perhaps that is called tolling – but in any case what I am hearing now is many differently pitched bells chiming in no particular order, constructing no particular tune. I know not where these bells are, as there are three churches in the neighborhood, each assumedly with bells – God’s bells.

I heard a similar excited ringing yesterday around 4:45 in the evening, and I wondered then as I wondered now, “Why are these bells – God’s bells – ringing at this time of day?” I fully comprehend the hourly bells, as well as the one ring heard on the half hour. But these bells – what is with these bells? Are people getting married on Friday afternoons?

There are three churches in the neighborhood, my neighborhood, into which I have slowly begun to settle. It has been an interesting progression, and you should hear about it from the beginning:

Thursday evening:

“How could this place be so small? This didn’t seem so small before. Is this the same apartment I saw last time? The same one I signed up for? This seems really small.

“What is the deal with this place? How could this place be so damn small? What is up with this bathroom sink? Oh. Oh. Okay, the sink is fine. But why is this place so small? This place sucks.

“Why did I move into this place? This is the worst apartment I have ever seen in my life. How can they charge this much for this place? What the hell am I doing in here?

“God, oh God this place is a hellhole. Why did I move here? What am I doing in this city? What the hell am I thinking? I should have taken a job. I should be working. I should be working, at home, in Kansas, working somewhere and making money. Why the hell am I up here? What the hell was I thinking? I don’t belong here. Minneapolis? Who the hell picks Minneapolis? Of all the places in the goddamn country, why am I here? Downtown? What on God’s green earth would possess me to live in the heart of a thriving metropolis like this? Oh, this is such a bad move. Bad, bad idea.

“I shouldn’t have come here. Why did I come here? Why is that guy down the hall playing that rap music so loud? Why is it that the loud rap music is never any rap that I have heard before? Am I out of touch with the black community? Maybe it will be okay. Yeah, it will be okay. It’s always okay. Things will work out. Things will be okay.

“I had to leave. I had to, didn’t I? If I didn’t leave, they would have left, and I would be alone anyway. I’d be in Kansas, alone. Now I’m in Minnesota, alone. No difference. This was the right thing to do. It will be okay. How many stupid people live in this city? Millions. I’m not that dumb. It will be okay. Bigger idiots than I have done this. I can do this. I will live in downtown Minneapolis while attending graduate school.

“This place is kind of nice, really. Oh, look! It’s not so small. I can put the coffee table over there. Yes! And the desk can go there! Yes! This is the greatest apartment ever built! Feel that breeze coming in through the window – can you believe the breeze coming through that window? Truly this must be the wind felt by angels in heaven! Is this not exciting?! This will be fantastic! This will be the greatest adventure since trying to steal that hubcap! The black community embraces me and empathizes with my limited knowledge of rap artists out of the mainstream! Everything will be okay!”

Thursday night:

I decided to walk down the block to the Oak Grove grocery, a smallish shop a bit below street level; it’s a fine place to pick up a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, Michelob by the bottle, gum – you know the kind of place.

As I stared at the selection of breakfast pastries (which was slim, I might add) the clerk confronted a customer about shoplifting. The “customer” was upset at the accusation, and proceeded to throw his capped bottle of Mountain Dew on the floor, shouting, “I’ll fuck you up!” or something like that. I listened as I continued to stare at the knock-off Pop Tarts. The angry young man left. “I have just been assaulted,” the angry clerk calmly spoke into the telephone. Jesus. I bypassed the pastries and paid for my cereal, milk, and $.50 chocolate/vanilla sandwich cookies. As I walked back toward my apartment building, I passed a police cruiser heading the opposite direction.

It should be noted that I would have been a worthless witness anyway, as I simply stared ahead as I heard yelling. Was the clerk hit? I doubt it. He seemed pretty strange, and, as we all know, justice belongs to everyone but the strange.

Friday morning:

By now I was assured that living in this apartment would not be without its quirks. Here are the most notable oddities:

1. In most kitchens, there are drawers used for storage. In my studio, there is not. This raises an interesting problem involving the placement of my silverware tray, not to mention the eating tools therein. Currently, my silverware tray is on top of my microwave, which is on top of my microwave box.

2. Why is your microwave sitting on its box? How can the box support such a heavy object? As for the latter, it is cleverly and efficiently stuffed with other boxes, aiding its structural integrity. The boxes within a box can now safely hold three strong men, or, in my case, a microwave oven, a toaster, and a full silverware tray. Now then, it resides on said Superbox because there is precious little countertop space in the apartment. Next to the wall is the oven (gas! I’ve never used a gas oven! This is exciting!), next to the oven is the sink, next to the sink is the refrigerator, next to that is the wall. The only space is found on the breakfast bar, a peninsular protrusion found four or five feet opposite the oven, etc. In fact, I could attempt a crude line drawing here for illustration:

[NOTE: line drawing deleted - web formatting issues]

3. The lack of countertop creates an additional dilemma – dishwashing. There is no place to put my dish draining thingy, and the thingy that goes beneath it that drains the dripping water toward the sink. At first, I thought it would be simple to place it on the oven; this was before I found that the stovetop is constantly hot. The iron thingys you put the pots on is not hot, the stovetop itself – the part that you constantly scrub with cleaning agents to remove spaghetti sauce bubble-over, etc., is very warm to the touch. I do not know why. It is an old appliance, however, and it simply must be how old gas ovens are. Now then. It would be unwise to put the plastic dish tray on a hot surface, and it is a bit cumbersome to put a cookie sheet, etc. beneath the dish tray. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to put the tray on top of the refrigerator so that water drips into the sink, although it is quite possible to allow the water to drip near the sink, make a big splash, and get the frig, floor, and whatnot all wet.

4. Preparing to shave with my electric razor rather than the Mach 3 shaving system, I couldn’t help but notice another quirk, this time electrical. There is no electrical outlet in the bathroom. Anywhere. Two perfectly functioning light bulbs, no outlet. I have purchased a handheld mirror to aid in electric shaving in the future, although in all probability I will likely grow a Unabomberesque beard to avoid the whole conundrum altogether.

[NOTE: I found the bathroom's outlet, cleverly hidden underneath a light fixture. I did grow a beard, but that was about a year after writing this, and not because of any power problem.]

5. Unlike the rest of the doors on my floor, assumedly in the entire building, my door lacks a peephole. This is not a big deal, considering my lack of friends at the time being, but it is annoying not being able to spy on the neighbors as they walk by, unlock their doors, etc.

Friday night:

It was the end of a long day of work getting things together in this new home, and it was time to get something to eat, as my refrigerator contained only water. I had ventured to McDonalds the previous night, and even though I was impressed with their improved quarter pounder (seriously, I don’t know what they did, but they taste better now) I hated the idea of eating there again. What I needed was a sandwich. A sandwich with bacon, served to me by a beautiful lady. Or, a couple of cold cuts with some cheese on it. Whatever. I really needed a sandwich – a Subway sandwich.

This seemed like a good idea to me - with Subway being the second largest fast food chain in the world, it should be relatively easy to find one in a city this size. In chronological order, here is what I found on my search for Subway:

-An Asian shopping district. I’d say Vietnamese. Lots of Vietnamese grocery stores. Conspicuously absent, at least from my 30 mph passing view, were Asians.

-What looked to be a very happening Thai restaurant next to the Metrodome. Inside the Metrodome, of course, the Twins were getting spanked by the worst team in baseball.

-A charming, possibly seedy place advertising itself on its marquee as “Sex World”.

-Saint Mary’s University. It looked to be Lutheran. I did not know Lutherans had universities.

-Two tall, attractive, blond females. In different places, but both wearing black pants.

-Slums. Really, the plural of slum should just be “slum”. Used in context: “I drove through some slum.” Nice, eh? Oh, and you know how when you see a bad area and you think, “Man, I’ll bet this used to be a really nice neighborhood.” I saw one slum like that, but the other one looked like it was built for the express purpose of being a decrepit, poverty-ridden slum.

-A shop on Hennepin Avenue called “A Brother’s Touch”. Does anyone else think that would be the perfect name for a homosexually themed store? I thought so. Accordingly, the rainbow colored sign of A Brother’s Touch proclaiming it “Your One Stop Gay Shop” supported my inkling 110%. In case you are wondering, the only items inside I was able to get a good look at were a fan and a plant -- hardly the flaming gay objects I was hoping for.

-Burger King. This was exciting for exactly one second, until I remembered that it was virtually the same as McDonalds.

After nearly an hour in the car, I surrendered. Dinner that night was two cheeseburgers, newly featured on the McDonalds value menu.

Saturday morning:

I needed food. Badly. So there’s no Subway around – big deal, right? This neighborhood is packed with thousands of people, the majority of which almost certainly require nutrition to sustain life. There should be no problem finding a supermarket.

There was little problem finding a supermarket. SuperValu foods was located next to a Walgreens (surprise, sarcastically), and cattycorner from A Brother’s Touch (surprise, genuinely). Always Save and Best Choice were nowhere to be found, but there was a cheap brand called Flavorite (pun intended!) that sufficed rather well.

Some folks casually consider themselves to possess what is known colloquially as Gay-dar, the ability to spot a homosexual person who may go unrecognized by a less intuitive person. Assuredly, I do not have Gay-dar. Assuredly, I spotted two homosexual men near the market.

I do not wish to give the impression that gay men surrounded the place, because it was not. However, one was in the checkout line behind me – blatantly gay because of earring, hair, and blue jeans, buying a quart of milk and a carton of Marlboros. The other happened to be walking toward my car as I waited to turn left on Hennepin Ave. He walked down the sidewalk in his extremely tight, flesh-colored shirt in exactly the manner you would expect a flaming homosexual to strut. Wow. I mean, I thought that was just a stereotype. Wow. In fact, they very likely built the stereotype around this guy. I mean, he had ATTITUDE.

Saturday evening:

I attended Mass at The Basilica of St. Mary, America’s first basilica. According to the little pamphlet thing I picked up, it was designed by French architect Masqueray, chief architect of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. It is very big and exactly how you would expect a huge basilica to look on both the inside and outside. It is an impressive place to attend a Mass, and is in fact so impressive that it is very difficult to write about in a humorous manner, so I didn’t.

August 19th, 2001
8:25 pm


Sunday morning:

I am chosen. Perhaps I am not The Chosen One, but I should be under consideration for one of the chosen. I have proof.

Sunday it was decided that Lance and myself would attend the Twins game. We hiked to the Metrodome and bought tickets there around 11 or so, observing the huge lines of fans waiting to enter and receive a Kirby Puckett Mountain Dew Hall of Fame Bobblehead Doll, available to the first 15,000 fans through the gates. Some had been camping out since the end of the previous night’s game, some had not – all were mad with desire for a bobblehead doll.

As Lance and I stepped away from the booth with our $5 GA tickets, we surveyed the situation, attempting to see the end of one of the long lines, wondering which we should get in the back of.

Suddenly (of course suddenly! I am chosen!) some sort of uniformed officer began to order people out of one line and to begin a new one. A new line, at a new gate. In front of us. We strolled forward with the mass of unchosen commoners, and after a few short minutes of bottlenecked friction, we each held dolls.

If you’re so “chosen”, why did the Twins manage only 4 hits against the worst team in Major League Baseball? Does this not prove that you are, in fact, little better than the rest of us? Does this not support an unimpressive conclusion, one in which you are not a miracle child that benefits from divine actions?


Near the 7th inning, shortly after “Wooly Bully” was played over blooper clips on the Jumbotron, I happened to take a look at the boy sitting two rows down, next to the older woman whose headphones covered an incidental portion of her hair – hair that was at once platinum blonde and older woman white. The boy wore a denim hat (yes, denim, likely bought by a foolish mother). Beneath the denim hat were short, curly locks of white hair.

My education in biology has suffered marginally due to K-State’s lack of a true population biologist. Nevertheless, I have come to understand that the likelihood of an albino being born is slim. More than slim. Again, I am a little hazy on the actual statistics, but they are probably around one in one hundred billion. If we take this empirical figure, and work in the other intangibles – that this albino was in Minneapolis, in a place I only recently arrived, at a baseball game, with an upper deck GA seat, deciding to sit exactly in front of me, two rows down, in right field – the figure is astounding. One in one hundred thousand billion. I am chosen.

I am fine. Soon, I hope to make friends.
Best wishes,

August 21, 2001
8:19 pm


This was the first day of orientation. It did little to orient me, but it did have its moments. By lunchtime, I had actually met people who could possibly be friends.

One thing that became a topic of conversation was living arrangements. When I told people that knew the area that I lived by Loring Park, I received some positive feedback, necessary feedback, because any information on my new neighborhood was needed. Here's a sampling:

"That’s a nice area."
"Have you been to the Loring Cafe? That’s one of my favorite places!"
"It’s nice. You’re kind of in an artsy part of town."
"My friend used to live there! It’s really reasonable rent."
"Don’t go to the park at night. Male prostitutes hang out there."

Now, I have painted a bit of a picture to you back home, and I'm sure I will be hearing few disparaging remarks about where I live. Please keep these to a minimum, realizing that the buildings here are not rainbow-colored, there are no nightly circle jerks (to my knowledge), and that there is a large area in the park for horseshoes – the most heterosexual of all leisure activities.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Get it? Like that Seinfeld episode! Dude, remember Seinfeld!?

After being oriented, the less prudish students met at a bar on the banks of the Mighty Mississip', Tuggs. A smaller group then carried the torch to another bar, a little ways in some direction from Tuggs, quaintly named Whitey's. Whitey's advertises itself as a World Famous Saloon because they serve booze and food – it’s a business modus operandi that is sure to catch on all across this great nation of ours.

As everyone got to know one another a bit better, the labeling began. For instance, Jarod, a Missouri native, gave a spastic anesthesiologist from the Fargo/Morehead area the nickname “Fargo”. Nadia, a second year student, perhaps upset about her lackluster nickname (Nadi – rhymes with potty, body, etc.), boldly bucked the geographic trend, christening me “Bitch”. On the bright side, she didn’t laugh at any of my jokes. Looking back, with hindsight being 20/20 as always, I should have fired back the nickname “Ms. Haversham” for the Dickens-loving Nadia, rather than the uncouth, less catchy attempt of “Racist”, which didn’t go over all that well with the group.

Tuesday night:

Is right now, when I am typing away, busily preparing a document to be read by the masses. Uninterestingly, I have solved my dishwashing problem by utilizing a large roasting pan as a base for the dish-drainer thingy. There is still no phone service, and if there is nothing tomorrow, I will be angry, and you all will not be reading this as promptly as you could have been. The bells still ring – 10 minutes at a time, at odd times like 9:31 a.m., 4:21 p.m. – and the Episcopalians are likely to blame/thank. Finally, I have discovered one more gay shop, located northeast of the apartment, the opposite direction of my first discovery. This brings a bit more to the table – now I’m quite fascinated, really. Two stores catering to the same gay community…are there price wars? Is there customer loyalty? Is one for gay women and one for gay men? Is one for the really, really gay while the other has a less overt clientele? My head is racing now, my feet are tired. But I am glad, content – and maybe that’s all I should have said in the first place.


Thursday, August 30, 2001
3:13 pm

Last night I dreamt I was flying – or more like I was being pulled, like a parasailor – over the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. I was on a collision course with either the Spoonbridge with Cherry itself or the water that sprays from it when my memory of the dream stops, just as the dream itself may have.

I remembered this as I crossed the artsy/fancy bridge that takes you over the highway to the Sculpture Garden and the Walker Arts Center (and the Guthrie Theater). Thursdays offer free admission to Walker, which is good, as I have no intention of paying to see art by myself.

The first stop was the gift shop. Pricey. There were a few things worth mentioning:
-a pillow/pillowcase ensemble that came in either "yes" or "no". The yeses and nos were printed in a simple but large, lowercase black font, and were presented on a solid white background. I wonder if it is better to sleep on the yes or the no.

-an adorable set of salt and pepper shakers which I really, really, really must own. If I was female (and if the pricetag was anywhere to be found), I would have purchased them immediately. They're reminiscent of polar bears – like the ones Coke advertises with in wintertime. They are cute. I want to buy cute salt and pepper shakers. Maybe I will give them as gifts. I must know the price.

-a solar powered mixing device. The product description listed such uses as whipping air into milk, mixing drinks, and the like. $40-$50 bucks. But remember, it's solar powered.

-conversation between gift shop cashier and another employee of the gallery, which was very one sided, dominated by the male employee, not the female register. It was not unlike I anticipated the conversation of an art gallery employee:

HIM: I can see after I would win the lottery, buying a bunch of luxury cars and things and then being pretentious, but they're already pretentious. I don't think that makes any sense, you know? They just won and they don't even have anything yet…"

Or something. I found his argument unappealing and went to the SuperFlat exhibit first. Japanese. Lots of vaginas – lots of those all over the gallery, really. Does great art need to be shocking now? Brutally honest? Nude? I overheard another gallery man talking to some friends – there had been complaints about SuperFlat. I was not shocked that the images of very young Japanese girls being sexually violated by Octopi, Frogs (this particular frog had a VERY large penis), and teddy bears proved upsetting to some Midwestern viewers.

Portraits (mostly) by Alice Neel was the main attraction. I found myself viewing the multilevel exhibit in close proximity to a gothic girl, age unknown. Eighteen? I have lost any ability to distinguish age – MTV's representation of young women and my own belief that I am still 16 or 17 are equally responsible.

She was pretty. She wore a blue T-shirt with the sleeves either rolled out of view or cut off neatly, and there was some sort of wording on it, but I am polite and cannot claim to have looked all that closely. Below the blue was a long – too long, she continually held a bit of the cloth in her hand while she navigated steps, etc. – black skirt, held up by a studded silver and black belt. She had short blonde hair that was short enough to be a little spiky but long enough to make the look feminine; she wore eye makeup that was marginally heavy. In short, she had just the level of gothic look that distinguished her as such, but not so much that you could dismiss her as such. She was very pretty, very feminine, and bright-looking – not bright/smart; bright/light.

The more I followed her ("followed" is an accurate word if it is not connotated, but accepted as an appropriate description; she was simply ahead of me and walked to places I needed to go) the more I appreciated this beauty, the more I wanted to know her age, the more I wanted to ask, the more I wanted to follow up that question with a proposition for dinner tonight.

How are you perceived in an art gallery? Am I the only one who thinks this is a place where you are anything but anonymous? I am a lone white male, age 20-25, whose XL Youngstown State T-shirt and tan shorts may or may not indicate that he is similar to the man to his left, age nearly 4 years older, wearing a tight camouflage shirt over his obviously gay torso. I am pretentious? I judge these paintings? I am here to look cultured? I care what people think? She is gothic?

The longer we move in the same path, the less and less likely it becomes that I can ask her…anything. Following someone for an hour or so qualifies as stalking. Stalkers do not get to speak or interact with their object of obsession.

I wondered, "Is this what hopelessness is?" I understood the gravity of my monologue.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Bite Me

You might not want to look at this at work.
[via gizmodo, obviously - best product they've mentioned since the iBuzz]

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Strangers In My Carhole

Shit stolen from my car Friday, while it was in my garage, while I was home:

Cheap watch (with compass!).
You Could Have it So Much Better.
Whatever extra CD single that came with You Could Have it So Much Better.
This Desert Life.
Twin Cinema.
Live from the Women's Club, Vol 2 CD case.
4 burned CDs.

Shit left behind:
Live from the Women's Club, Vol 2 CD, still in the CD player.
Cell phone charger and hands-free device.
Ice scraper.
Spare change.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Shower Blood

A couple months back, I was in the shower, toweling off. I looked down and saw a few faint red spots on the shower floor.

"I hope that's not my blood," I thought, followed by the exact opposite thought.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Even Debate Kids Are Sluts Now

Heather e-mails about a fascinating youngster that really grinds her gears:
It's a high school debater on the MN circuit. A couple of friends who still coach says she's been out of control. At debate camp, her "nugget" of information (e.g. my name is Heather and I own black cat named Olive), was that her boyfriend shot semen all over her face and it went in her eye. Yeah, she shared that with a complete group of STRANGERS! Anyway, here is her last entry on her blog

some people are being a little hostle towards me i think. WE QUALED FOR STATE!! i'm excited about it. Also i have to write a 15 min speech tonight on the economic cost of gender inequality, but after that i get to go to bed and i am going to pwn this speech. Lastly, i love the word cunt now. I use to hate the word, but then i decided it is really cool cause it is such a passionate way to say vagina. that is all

Cunt as a passionate way to say vagina?! I think you know my opinion...
Indeed I do, Heather. Indeed I do. And you know my opinion on blogs written by coming-of-age, sexually charged teens -- search them diligently and post the best parts. In this case, I only found a couple of her posts funny/tragic. Maybe her friends in the "Minnesota High School Debaters" blogring have better material:

i took a quiz online to see what type of girl i was and came back that i was a slut....aparently i am 88% slut....but on the plus side i am only 13% loser which is good...also my sexual style is 75% exciting, 69% violent, and only 19% shy...

So aneesh and i were talking, and we decided that if ian was going to be really mean to me and ignore me then i would have no other choice but to give another kid head.....although i'm not sure that i want to add another list to the number of guys that i have given head to...

Thanks, Heather!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2005 Recap - Music

[NOTE: While grammatically necessary, italics are not used in this post because I have a fucking life to live.]

2005 albums I purchased this year:
Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
The Go! Team - Thunder Lightning Strike
The Jayhawks - Live from the Women's Club, Vol. 2
New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
Coldplay - X&Y
KCRW: Sounds Eclectic 3
Beck - Guero
Fiery Furnaces - EP
The Golden Republic - s/t
Jem - Finally Woken
Iron and Wine - Woman King EP
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
2005 albums I received burned copies of:
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
Ben Folds - Songs for Silverman
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Favorite album released in 2005: Coldplay - X&Y. Solid from start to finish, Coldplay gets the nod over Death Cab for Cutie's Plans. Plans has just a few problems, the major one being "Someday You Will Be Loved" stuck in the middle of it, like a steel ladder lying across a lane of the interstate.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Memorial "I like these guys but can't be bothered to buy their album" Award: 3-way tie among Oasis, Weezer, and Foo Fighters.

Soul Asylum Funeral/Urinal Memorial Award for best half-rhyming couplet: Death Cab - "Summer Skin".
And I knew your heart I couldn't win / Because the season's change was a conduit
Stinker of the Year Award: Ben Folds - Songs for Silverman. Just plain boring.

Best Lyrics/Imagery: Death Cab - Plans. Lots to choose from here, but I think a part of "Crooked Teeth" is most impressive: at night, the sun in the trees / made the skyline look like crooked teeth / in the mouth of a man who was devouring us both

Records of the Year: They don't rock, but man do they bounce...
Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
Gorillaz - Feel Good, Inc.
Spoon - I Turn My Camera On
The White Stripes - Denial Twist
Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To
Song of the Year: Stars - "Your Ex-Lover is Dead". Pretty + Means Something = Songwriting Award. Runnerup: Josh Rouse - "My Love Has Gone". He loses because he left his wife and moved to France.

Worst Lyric That is Mercilessly Repeated Several Times within a Song Award: Fiona Apple - "Please Please Please". Steady, steady / steady steady / steady goin' NOwhere

I'm Sorry I Yelled at You - I'd Still Buy Your Albums, Even If They Were Made of Your Poop, But You've Gotta Admit That "When The Pawn..." is a Lot More Impressive, I'm Just Slightly Disappointed Award: Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

Sunday, January 01, 2006

So This Is The New Year

Gavin and I decided that this year is going to be three times better than 2005, so we grabbed some triple Whoppers today at Burger King. We always wondered what kind of a person gets the triple at Wendy's, and now we know - people that like indigestion.

Actually, Gavin was the one that felt ill afterward - I felt like a million damn dollars. I even had some double-dipped chocolate peanuts from the Nifty Nut House for dessert.

Now I'm on the couch. (I've been here all day, watching the Twilight Zone marathon, meaningless NFL games, and one excellent episode of MTV's Next.) Bobby, looking good for a guy who passed out in a closet last night, is playing Super Mario Brothers on my NES. Here's a fun fact: I've never beaten Super Mario Brothers. Not that I can remember, anyway. I don't think it's due to lack of skill - I don't recall ever struggling to beat it, I just don't think I had the desire to do so. Not when there was Tecmo Bowl to be played.

It was 60 degrees today, and I was outside for a total of 30 seconds. Sweet.

2005 Recap - The Blog