Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Recap - Motion Pictures

[Very good movies in BOLD, except for those very good movies that everyone already knows are very good movies.]

Movies seen on the big screen:
Children of Men
Spider-Man 3
The Simpsons Movie
Hot Fuzz
Live Free or Die Hard
The Bourne Ultimatum
Superbad
Knocked Up
Blades of Glory
Reno 911!: Miami
No Country for Old Men
Movies borrowed from the Floyd Masterson collection:
Casablanca
Movies borrowed from Kim:
Bend It Like Beckham
Movies Netflixed in 2007, from most recently viewed to least:
Strangers on a Train: Special Edition
Cannibal Holocaust
Rope
His Girl Friday
Where the Truth Lies
Eulogy
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
The Hudsucker Proxy
Rosemary's Baby
Live Free or Die
Anatomy of a Murder
A Streetcar Named Desire
Less Than Zero
Melvin Goes to Dinner
The Lives of Others
To Have and Have Not
The Maltese Falcon
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life: Special Edition
The French Connection
A Hard Day's Night: Collector's Series
Capote
The Big Sleep
Shallow Grave
Little Children
A Fish Called Wanda
Borat
Wings of Desire [attempted and abandoned]
Goodbye, Columbus
Raising Arizona
Show Me Love
The Last Picture Show
Harold and Maude
The Science of Sleep
Splendor in the Grass
No Man's Land
In the Name of the Father
Half Nelson
Zach Galifianakis: Live
Hard Candy
Idiocracy
Mysterious Skin
Cache
David Cross: Let America Laugh
A Clockwork Orange
The Puffy Chair
Strangers with Candy
Winter Passing
Slacker [attempted and abandoned]

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Nick Has A Blog

And finally, someone had the BALLS to blog about oral hygiene.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 Recap - Printed Words

Modern Fiction Novels Read

The Road - Cormac McCarthy
He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the word and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.
The Emperor's Children - Claire Messud
Herded out of the subway and into the harried steam of suited men and women that flowed along the early morning canyons of the business district, Julius held himself upright and strove to maneuver with his usual grace.

Classic Fiction Novels Read

All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque

Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut

Sirens of Titan
- Kurt Vonnegut
[NOTE: How cool am I? I bought a used copy of Sirens of Titan BEFORE Vonnegut died.]

Sort-of Fiction Novels Read

What is the What - Dave Eggers

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
He had merely fallen face down across the bed, as though sleep were a weapon that had struck him from behind.

Reread


Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote

How to be Good - Nick Hornby

Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
- Barry Miles
John later complained that Paul took over and led the Beatles after Brian [Epstein, their manager] died, but no doubt if John had come up with some suggestions of his own instead of drifting in a haze of heroin and LSD, then the others would have been equally responsive.

Attempted and Abandoned


Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth

[NOTE: I am not an anti-Semite.]


Non-novels Read


Loser Goes First - Dan Kennedy

Love is a Mixtape (Audiobook) - Rob Sheffield

Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006 - Dave Eggers (editor)

Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon - Chuck Palahniuk

The Areas of My Expertise - John Hodgman
FOUR DUBIOUS FABLES OF CHICAGO

I live in New York City, yet I am surprised almost every day by the number of people here who want to talk about Chicago all the time.

These people tell me that they once passed near or through Chicago, and some claim to be living there, even as we speak. This is strange enough. But what really surprises me is how many of these self-appointed Chicago experts seem to believe that Chicago actually exists. Not as an idea or as an allegory. They really believe that the city stands there, in all its legendary green-rivered, fire-prone glory, and that once every 100 years, when it rises out of Lake Michigan, you can visit it.

Now, I understand why the concept of Chicago is so alluring. It has been sung to us, like a lullaby, by our culture in story and song for nearly as long as there has been an Illinois.

Most of the novels of Charles Dickens were set in a fictional Chicago so vividly realized that it truly did seem real. Who can forget Fagin's immortal line from Oliver Twist when instructing that eponymous orphan on the pickpocket's code: "They pull a knife," said Fagin, "you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital. You send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago Way."

For many years, Hugh Hefner presented Chicago as his snowy, rainy pleasure dome, before revealing his true location in Los Angeles, living in a hyperbaric tube. And most recently the musical Chicago was adapted to great acclaim for the screen under the title Uncle Buck.

Undoubtedly there is something in us that needs Chicago as an idea: a dream as fanciful as the notion of an elevated train. But when you attempt to bring the train to ground, to put it on a map and say this exists, it is not merely insane, it threatens to make what is magical merely banal.

So perhaps it would be wise at this point to review what we know about Chicago. The fables, of course, are numerous and varied...

1. Depending on whom you believe, Chicago first appeared to either American soldiers stationed at Fort Dearborn, or a Haitian fur trapper named Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable. It was 1772 when Du Sable supposedly saw the city rise out of the lake, named it Eschikagou, and founded a fur-trading settlement there, right in the shadow of the Sears Tower.

2. In 1892, word spread of a fantastic "Columbian Exposition," to be held in Chicago, a glowing white city-within-a-city built in anticipation of the glorious twentieth century to come: a carefree future of civic corruption, gang rule, and innovative public housing. Twenty-seven million people, a quarter of the population of America, left their homes to visit the exposition. They were never heard from again.

Still, the exposition provoked so much heated discussion that New York Sun editor Charles Dana legendarily dubbed Chicago "The Windy City." This is, of course, a misremembering of Dana's original wording, which was "Blow Town." But in fact the New York Sun did not even start publishing until 2002, and one now wonders if Mr. Dana even existed.

3. Then, in 1900, it is said that the Chicago River actually reversed direction. Some accounts say that this was followed by a hailstorm of snakes and that the river turned bloodred in honor of St. Patrick. In any case, I say: creepy and improbable.

(Which, by the way, will be the title of my new reality television program about human oddities and unusual stunts, each week featuring clips of me having dinner with a man sporting a beard of bees: Creepy and Improbable.)

4. The poet and explorer Carl Sandburg asserted in his poem "Chicago" that the city was populated by half-naked, white-toothed, magnetic dog-men who had enormous shoulders. At first it was believed that Sandburg was merely a dope fiend. Later, it would be learned that he was in fact speaking of Omaha. Also, he didn't exist either.

Time and again, the Chicago-is-real theory simply does not stand up to scrutiny. There are no man-eating vines on the wall of Wrigley Field. No Al Capone. No John Wayne Gacy. These are stories invented to frighten children.

This is not to say there are not Chicagoans. But I would suggest that they are a nomadic people, whose lost home exists only in their minds, and in the glowing crystal memory cells they all carry in the palms of their hands: a great idea of a second city, lit with life and love, reasonable drink prices at cool bars, and, of course, blocks and blocks of bright and devastating fire.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Still Wish I Was Taller

I mentioned this in 2005, but with everyone looking to waste time on the internet over Christmas, I will bring it up again.

Radosh.net hosts a weekly contest: readers submit the worst possible entries for the New Yorker caption contest. The anti-caption:

• so completely misses the point that it changes your entire perception of the cartoon.

• is not just not funny but agressively unfunny.

• fits the picture, but does not actually work as a punchline.

• pays attention to details that the artist probably hoped you would overlook.

• reads like a caption that would actually appear in The New Yorker only without the being-funny part.


So, given this cartoon...


...the real, New Yorker winning caption was "I always figured Hell would be less ironic."

...and the Radosh.net winning anti-caption was "Man, fuck Ostrich-Heaven! That's all I'm gonna say."

...and a runner-up for anti-caption was "You know, I'm beginning to think, the halos and clouds and so forth notwithstanding, that this isn't actually Heaven, but is in fact Hell. For one thing, the boredom here is so oppressive that it feels like we're being punished, not rewarded. For another, I was a rapist."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2007 Recap - Music

[Note to the general public: While I do have a blog, and while many posts discuss music, I am not a Music Blogger, nor do I consider myself an expert, critic, or an expert critic. These are my opinions on the music I was exposed to exposed myself to.]


I bought fewer albums this year than in previous years, trying to save money for other irresponsible purchases. Still, thanks to mp3 blogs, podcasts, and streaming audio, I heard a lot of new music and kept myself reasonably well-informed. With that said...

2007 Albums Purchased

The Shins - "Wincing the Night Away"
Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible"
Modest Mouse - "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank"
Elliott Smith - "New Moon"
Feist - "The Reminder"
The White Stripes - "Icky Thump"
The Polyphonic Spree - "The Fragile Army"
Spoon - "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga"
The New Pornographers - "Challengers"
The Fiery Furnaces - "Widow City"


Favorite Album Released (and heard) in 2007

The Shins - "Wincing the Night Away"
This was released in January, and it's still in rotation in the Camry stereo. It's simply wonderful ...but this album did prompt me to develop a "Life is too short to listen to 'Red Rabbits'" philosophy.
Runners Up

Spoon - "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga"
Every song is a winner. Although there is no "Red Rabbits" on this album, the highs of "Wincing" are just a bit higher than Spoon's.
The Polyphonic Spree - "The Fragile Army"
I was disappointed with the album at first. As Dave put it, "There aren't as many Meatloaf moments" compared to their previous effort, "Together We're Heavy". Almost every song grew on me. Seeing them live twice didn't hurt, either.
The New Pornographers - "Challengers"
Critics call this their most "mature" album, which really means "there are slow songs on it". And those songs are really something: "My Rights Versus Yours" is the best track #1 this year, and "Adventures in Solitude" would make me weep if I could make any sense of the lyrics.

"Songs for Silverman" Memorial Award: Worst Album by a Previously Solid Artist

The White Stripes - "Icky Thump"

I can't believe how much I hate this album. It's been months, and I'm still in shock.


Most Refreshing Album
Elliott Smith - "New Moon"

How nice is it to have "new" Elliott Smith songs? Songs that aren't yet connected to a depressing time in your life? Let me tell you how nice it is: very nice.


Best Overall Lyric
Feist - "Intuition"
And it's impossible to tell
How important someone was
And what he might have missed out on
And how he might have changed it all
and how you might have changed it all for him
and how you might have changed it all
and how he might have changed it all for you
Did i miss out on you?

Worst Couplet

Wilco - "You Are My Face"
I trust no emotion
I believe in locomotion

Soul Asylum Funeral/Urinal Memorial Award: Best Half-Rhyming Couplets

Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"
Well, we scheme and we scheme but we always blow it
We've yet to crash, but we still might as well tow it
Standing at a light switch to each east and west horizon
Every dawn you're surprising
And the evening was consoling
Saying, "See, it wasn't quite as bad as"
Well, it would've been, could've been
Worse than you would ever know
The Shins - "Australia"
Watching the latern dim
Starved of oxygen

Best Alliteration

Bright Eyes - "Four Winds"
Your class, your caste, your country, sect, your name or your tribe
There's people always dying trying to keep them alive
There are bodies decomposing in containers tonight
In an abandoned building where
A squatter's made a mural of a Mexican girl
With fifteen cans of spray paint in a chemical swirl
She's standing in the ashes at the end of the world
Four winds blowing through her hair
Okkervil River - "Unless It's Kicks
What gives this mess some grace unless it’s kicks?

Most Obscure Rhymes

Spoon - "Black Like Me"
I spent the night in the map room
I humanize the vaccuum
The New Pornographers - "Go Places"
Deus ex machina
Good morning, Christina

Best Simile (tie)

Spoon - "Don't Make Me a Target"
He smells like the inside of closets upstairs
The kind where nobody goes
The New Pornographers - "My Rights Versus Yours"
You left your sorrow dangling
It hangs in air like a school cheer

Worst Simile

Modest Mouse - "Parting of the Sensory"
This fit like clothes made out of wasps

Most Awkward Grammar

Feist - "The Park"
It's not him who comes across the sea to surprise you
Not him who would know where in London to find you
Arcade Fire - "The Well and the Lighthouse"
So down I fell, down into the water black

Worst Song-Ruining Couplet (tie)

Modest Mouse - "Missed the Boat"
While we're on the subject
Can we change the subject now
Arcade Fire - "Black Wave / Good Vibrations"
Stop now before it's too late
I'm eating in the ghetto on a hundred-dollar plate

Lyrics That Sound Profound But Probably Aren't

The New Pornographers - "Myraid Harbour"
All I ever wanted help with was you
Dntel featuring Jenny Lewis - "Roll On"
There's muscle memory for love

Lyric That Sounds Profound And Just Might Be

The Shins - "Girl Sailor"
You made it through the direst of straits all right
Can you help it if plain love now seems less interesting?

Lyrical Mindfuck

The Polyphonic Spree - "Get Up and Go"
You would like to think you're in denial
Ok. Ok. Ok. So. If I would like to THINK I'm in denial, then that means I am NOT in denial, but I want to be. Put another way, this lyric would be, "You have accepted it, but you wish you have not yet accepted it." Huh? I had a dream that I asked Tim Delaughter about the meaning of that sentence. Honestly - it bothers me that much.


Lyric That Makes Me Hungriest For Sandwiches

Arcade Fire - "No Cars Go"
We know a place where no subs go

Least Accurate Lyric

The White Stripes - "Effect and Cause"
well you can't take the effect
and make it the cause
i didn't rob a bank
cos you made up the law
It's likely true that Jack White didn't rob a bank because there was a law prohibiting bank robbery; however, neither lawmaking or bankrobbing caused the other. Laws against bankrobbing were simply an extension of standard laws against theft. The crime is usually accomplished by desperate men, driven to the crime by the promise of a large payoff, or "score". Anyway, while it's technically true that he didn't rob a bank because of the law that was in place, he should have used an example of two things that actually have a cause/effect relationship. It should read something like:
well you can't take the effect
and make it the cause
it didn't start to rain
cos you grabbed an umbrella
Take note, Mr. White!


Most Overplayed

Plain White T's - "Hey There Delilah"

1996 : The Verve Pipe :: 2007 : Plain White T's


Least Overplayed: Songs I Will Never, Ever Get Sick Of

Spoon - "Don't You Evah"
The Shins - "Sealegs"



"Steady As She Goes" Memorial Award: Song I Made Myself Sick Of

Against Me! - Trash Unreal

I heard the Ben Lee cover of this song first, was startled to find out that Against Me! ROCKS THE SHIT, and put it into heavy rotation. (Quote from Shawn after seeing the video: "That makes me want to break something.") One long night, I woke every few hours to hear the chorus repeating in my head, and that was the end of that. I plan on reintroducing myself after another few weeks.


Best Studio Cover

Queens of the Stone Age - "Christian Brothers"

"Christian Brothers" is track #2 on Elliott Smith's lo-fi, self-titled debut. There, it's plaintive, lonely, and soft. Queens of the Stone Age turned the song into something more urgent and dangerous.


Best Live Cover

Of Montreal - "Tropical Ice-land / And She Was"

I'm sure I listened to this song more than any other during 2007. It's my favorite Fiery Furnaces song merged with my favorite Talking Heads song. It's Exhibit A for why I bookmark mp3 blogs.


Best Video

Bright Eyes - "Four Winds"

Granted, I only watched about a dozen videos this year, but this was a simple, memorable concept, well-executed.


Worst Video

Rihanna - "Shut Up and Drive"

Also a contender for the "Why is this Shit Popular?" award, but I know why this video was in heavy rotation: men want to have sex with Rihanna. (I can't embed the video on my site, but if you hate yourself, you can watch it here.)


Best Live Act

The Polyphonic Spree - Gothic Theatre, Englewood, Colorado

Duh.


Most Disappointing Live Act

LCD Soundsystem

From what I read, everyone loved this band. Even Kelly from "The Office" raved about them. By the time Gavin and I found some seats for the Kansas City show, I expected a life-changing set. Instead, I got really bored and decided to walk around the amphitheatre by myself, checking out the desperate teen couples, wondering why the only elderly attendees were seated way up at the top of the bowl. The only thing I gained from seeing LCD Soundsystem live was puzzlement: why have some poor sap press the same two keyboard chords for 7.5 minutes of "All My Friends" instead of using a loop? Strive for authenticity, but not at the sake of wrist health.


Best Shuffled Pairs of Songs Delivered by Windows Media Player

No Doubt's "Hey Baby" followed by Radiohead's "The Tourist"

The Fiery Furnaces' "Straight Street" followed by The Shins' "Pam Berry"

Elliott Smith's "No Name #1" followed by Spoon's "The Underdog"

Smashing Pumpkins' VH1 Storytellers performance of "33" followed by The Beta Band's "Broken Up a Ding Dong"

Alison Krauss' "Down to the River to Pray" followed by U2's "Do You Feel Loved"

Saturday, December 08, 2007

2007 Soundtrack

A Tornado Slide tradition continues for another year. Songs included on the disc meet relatively strict criteria. In order of importance, those criteria are:

1. Each song must evoke a snapshot of my year. For example, if I were compiling the soundtrack of my 1996 (?), I would include "Naked" by the Goo Goo Dolls, because that's the year (I think) I saw them play with Bush and No Doubt. (Of course, that song also reminds me of this year: I placed it on my 10-year reunion mix CD, and I wore a vintage Goo T-shirt to a 90's-themed party. This kind of confusion led to its disqualification from the 2007 soundtrack.) If I were compiling the soundtrack from my 1993, I would include a song from the David Coverdale/Jimmy Page album, because I insisted my country-music-loving classmate Andy listen to "Shake My Tree" during recess.

2. I must enjoy each song. (This year’s disqualifications include: Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend", The Spin Doctor's "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong", and Scandal's "The Warrior".)

3. Songs shall not be placed in chronological order or in order of importance. They should simply fit together well – one song should merge into the next in a way that is pleasing, if not smooth. Audio files should be manipulated with Audacity software to this end. If you get a physical copy of the soundtrack, there might hear a slight gap between tracks that seem like they should run together. Please trust that this is a function of software, CDs, and CD players. The mp3s fit together flawlessly.

4. Songs that hold no greater significance than “I performed that at a karaoke bar this year!” or "I saw them in concert this year!" shall not be included.

5. Including two songs by the same artist is discouraged.

6. Significant songs with poor audio quality (such as live recordings or terrible bitrates) shall be pushed toward the end of the disc, if not excluded altogether.

7. One song per occassion. If several songs are reminiscent of the same occasion, the most important will be chosen for the soundtrack. (This year's disqualifications include the chaff of the Portland trip: Talking Head's "Take Me to the River" (on the radio as we drove along the Columbia River Highway -- eerie!) and The Decemberists' "Oceanside".)

8. The CD shall be as close to 80 minutes as possible. Songs can be added to up the runtime even if they don't evoke a specific memory, given that the song was a 2007 staple.

Some readers should expect delivery via USPS very soon. Now then. The tracklisting...


1. David Cross - (Edited portion of "Women, Please Rinse Off Your Vagina And Anus!", wherein he discusses electric scissors and Evanescence)

I viewed the entire catalog of "Mr. Show" in 2007, thanks to the glory of my continued Netflix subscription. This David Cross standup comes from a comedy album, but I'm counting it anyway, because it's my CD and I can choose to include whatever I want, regardless of the rules I just outlined above.

2. The Polyphonic Spree - Light to Follow

When this song began at the Denver concert, I realized that the Spree had a Macbook connected to the PA, which meant that it was highly likely that the typewriter sound effects would be added to their performance of "The Fragile Army". And they were. I played this song for Corinne on the way to Einstein Brothers bagel shop, and to anyone who would allow me to tout its great opening lines.

3. Belle & Sebastian - Women's Realm

Heavy rotation at work.

4. Elliott Smith - Rose Parade

I listened to a lot of Elliott before heading to his adopted home of Portland, and assume that "Alphabet Town" would be in my head for most of the vacation, as we were staying in its namesake, the Northwest neighborhood of the city. Instead, "Rose Parade" played in my head most often. It's not a terribly uplifting song -- "When they clean the street I'll be the only shit that's left behind" is not what most folks would like to consider while they're vacationing -- but I found it to be a relaxing soundtrack for my walks around the city. Superb, superb imagery in this song.

5. Arcade Fire - (Antichrist Television Blues)

I was in KC for a conference the day this album came out, but I drove back to Lawrence that evening and bought the CD just before our basketball game. I listened to it for the first time driving back to the hotel in KC, and this song began to play when I was near the bridge over the Missouri river. I literally heard "I don't wanna work in a building downtown" as I looked at the Kansas City skyline. (Of note: this song is about Joe Simpson, father of Jessica and Ashlee.)

6. Jay-Z - What More Can I Say?

We were waiting for our showing of "The Bourne Ultimatum", and "Gladiator" was playing on TNT. Again. "Gladiator" is really a silly movie, especially for a Best Picture winner, and it's much easier to notice this after you've heard the dialogue placed within a rap song. I provided this service immediately. Then we headed to the theater, and saw Jason Bourne almost kill a man with a book (hardcover).

7. The Shins - Australia

This might have been everyone's favorite first impression from the 2007 Shins album (although in the end, I probably listened to "Sealegs" most frequently). Barbara said she couldn't get enough of it, particularly "your shape on the dance floor will have me thinking such filth I'll gouge my eyes". Matt kept it on repeat on our trip to and from our worst, last-ever meal at Stone Creek, and requested it be replayed during the coldest Catholic School Party on record.

8. Spoon - Black Like Me

Heavy rotation in the Camry.

9. Feist - One Two Three Four

Heavy rotation in the Camry, most notably after a night with Anastasia and Erin in KC. I gave a copy of the Feist CD to Corinne. On the way to Einstein Bros, and she said it was her favorite track. Then Apple used it during their campaign for the new generation of iPods, and engulfed everyone for a month or more. When she played on SNL in November, there were 3 banjo players on stage. I fell asleep on the couch afterward.

10. Bright Eyes - Four Winds

Heavy rotation at work. It got a little airtime in the Camry as well. It was playing when I drove Molly and Casey home from the "Jesus Christ Superstar" tribute. The opening fiddle prompted Casey to ask if it was a John "Cougar" Mellancamp song.

11. Cat Stevens - Trouble

I caught up on HBO's "Extras" through Netflix, and hearing "Tea for the Timmerman" close out every episode made me look for more Cat Stevens tracks to download. I also moved "Harold & Maude" up in my Netflix queue, since Cat provided the soundtrack. I was always interested to see that movie. It's referenced a lot -- Matt Dillon uses it to seduce Cameron Diaz in "There's Something About Mary", for example. I had high hopes, but the movie pretty much sucks. Cat Stevens doesn't, though.

12. Travis - City in the Rain

This song popped up twice within a few days, an improbable result of a shuffled 18 GB mp3 library. It's an old Travis b-side, the kind of rock song that they don't make anymore. At least, I think they don't make them anymore -- I haven't bought their latest album. In a dream, I asked music critic Chuck Klosterman when it's okay to stop buying albums released by a band you had been previously devoted to. I didn't get an answer in my dream, but my conscious mind tells me, "Whenever you fucking feel like it." I love the way Fran turns "Came to see the university" into "Chme ne see the yoownivisitee".

13. The Beatles - Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Someone was playing this on the piano and Hobo's bar before we took our tour of the Portland Underground. (At least, I assume there was a real piano somewhere out of view. It seems unlikely that the unaccompanied piano was coming from the stereo.) There were several McCartney vs Lennon discussions this year, mostly versus Molly. Dave had the "Sgt Pepper's" album art on his living room wall, and he thought the idea came from John, and I remembered it was Paul's. My memory was hazy, though, so I decided I'd reread "Many Years From Now", the McCartney biography I first read in my latter college years. Turns out my memory was correct. Dave, Floyd, Bobby, Molly, Kim and I watched not one but two of Dave's McCartney concert DVDs one night after bar close.

14. Hot Chip - Over and Over

The beginning half of this video played before the Lawrence Polyphonic Spree concert, reminding me to download the song. Mike and I bobbed to the rhythm one Tuesday in November as we mindlessly entered forms into a database.

15. The New Pornographers - All the Old Showstoppers

Late September, driving back to Topeka after a conference in Wichita: I'm driving the huge rental SUV, carrying 3 additional coworkers. One of them decides to begin a discussion.

"So what happened? September 11 came and went without anything happening. I thought Al Queda was planning something? What does it say in the Bible? 'They will always fight against the Sons of Abraham'?"

"Jesus Fucking Christ," I thought, and turned up the CD.

16. R.E.M. - Strange Currencies

Prior to a night on the town, Floyd and I sang along while Dave played guitar. Dave might have learned this song after I said it was my favorite, but maybe not.

17. The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations

New Year's Eve. After midnight. (Well, ok -- January 1st, then.) I asked Alison if she knew anything about The Hold Steady, as I had heard this track, and was considering buying the album. She didn't know much about them, but did use the term "buzzworthy" in her response. "So it's the kind of song that MTV would play inbetween programs five years ago?" I asked. She scowled.

18. Tegan & Sara - Back in your Head

Heavy rotation at work. I discussed the video (I'd seen it online) to this song with Jeff one night at Henry's, because he knows someone named Tegan. I made Kim watch this video, while trying to find a different video to watch (the aformentioned "Four Winds"), because it was there, free, On Demand, via my recently acquired digital cable.

19. Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks

This song was kind of everywhere in the first quarter of 2007. I was already getting tired of it, but Nick and Corinne were just getting into it, so the song was played on our drive to Minneapolis.

20. Of Montreal - Tropical Ice-Land (live Fiery Furnaces cover)

Heavy, heavy, heavy rotation at work. I like to daydream about how much money I would pay to have been at this concert, considering they covered my favorite Fiery Furnaces song, and included a snippet of my favorite Talking Heads song, "And She Was", within that cover. Maybe $100. The price is low because I don't really like much Of Montreal. But this is The Shit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Headline News

Can you find the headline that isn't really "weird"? The headline that would be better described as "tragic" or "disturbing"?

Well done, Wichita Eagle. Well done.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Read What I Read

Michael Ian Black attempts to determine if, given an infinite amount of time, monkeys could type Shakespeare:
I tiptoed into the lab and looked at what they writing. It certainly looked like “Hamlet.” Upon closer examination, however, I realized that what I was reading was not “Hamlet,” at all, but the second act of “Your Five Gallants,” by the lesser Elizabethan playwright, Thomas Middleton. So frustrating!!! I yell at the chimps to get back to work.
The Onion continues to impress:
Onlookers stated that, upon being woken up from his drunken stupor, the still-inebriated Kilborn asked to be shown to his "regular dressing room." The gangly, 6'5" former anchor then eluded security for long enough to stumble down the studio halls and blurt out random catchphrases from his broadcasting days at SportsCenter, including but not limited to "Gettin' giddy in the zone," "If it feels good, do it," and "The low angle spank!"

"Craiggers is back, people," said Kilborn, whose signature gelled blond hair was described in a later police report as dank and lice-ridden. "Nothing to be afraid of, folks. This is just Kilby simply being Kilby. Release. Rotation. Splash."
The book Matt claims "doesn't entirely suck ass":
Herded out of the subway and into the harried steam of suited men and women that flowed along the early morning canyons of the business district, Julius held himself upright and strove to maneuver with his usual grace.
Shawn sends an important text message:
The TV Guide description of "Big & Hairy", a Hallmark Channel original: "A sasquatch joins a youth basketball team. Awesome.