There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Postum, the Marmite of beverages, is apparently off the market as of this past Winter. I only mention this as I post from my parents' kitchen where an empty jar looks lonely on the counter. I never actually tasted the stuff, but my mom would drink it as a caffeine-free warm beverage alternative to tea. It always looked like murky dishwater to me. So pour some out for Postum.

Since, as I was mentioning not long ago, I am out of the loop on current music, I lucked out when my girlfriend told me about a couple of new artists to take note of. The first was Yael Naim who sounds almost exactly like Leslie Feist, both of whom shot to much greater fame after their appearances in Mac product commercials. Thing is, because I watch so little TV, I actually hadn't, and haven't, seen the Macbook Air ad that features Naim's hit. If you go back a few posts, you'll see that I did in fact know about the Macbook Air at least.

The other artist brought to my attention was Vampire Weekend. I immediately thought of this, or any OK Go song for that matter. But I like OK Go, so I went ahead and listened to some more of the Undead Weekenders as I think they should have named themselves, even though the context would then be altered. So I gave "Mansard Roof" a listen and this time it seemed to channel the Arctic Monkeys. Incidentally, "arctic" is a pretty funky word when you think about it, at least to me. Finally, when I made it to "M79" it really sounded so much like The Magic Numbers. On an eleven track album these dudes managed to sound like at least three bands I already sort of liked and so, while they might not win originality points, I'm going to go ahead and give the album a B- thumbs up. And that, folks, is why I don't write musical reviews.

Tomorrow° I will deconstruct the overuse of the word "sexy."

Postum, in memoriam.

°yes, that's a degree symbol.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mile End

Right then, the "b" in "blog" is not supposed to be for boring. In my jobquest I often find myself stumbling upon blogs when I research companies or just google something inane; some quite poor, some quite wonderful. It made me take a step back and read some of my own entries and that's quite enough self-consciousness, back to the entry. Also no more talking shit about other blogs, just promotion and complaining about my day-to-day life. I'm glad we had this little pep talk.

Very late last night, which would be this morning, I stumbled (I seem to do a lot of stumbling) upon "The Midwest Teen Sex Show" (MTSS). Quotes, or italics? I've only watched the first couple of videos, but I really loved this one on abstinence. It's a forum or more of a jump-off point for dialogue about sex. Sex talk is not nearly as taboo as it was even fifteen years ago it seems like. Or maybe I just didn't get some of the jokes then. No, the ability to hold open discussion of sex has definitely increased greatly in my lifetime. Same goes for poop to an extent - as far as the taboo business - but not everyone wants to engage in an open discussion of it with me at all times. But they'll still watch two girls, one cup. So yes, a virtual high-five to this Nikol chick for promoting greater sexual discussion and keeping a sense of humor on the matter.

Somewhere on the MTSS site I am sure they discuss that sex is perfectly healthy and normal. As I read in Wired recently, the same cannot be said for your powerbar. Personally I had a brief addiction to Zone bars, but my love affair dwindled after I noticed I seem to be mildly allergic to the processed soy contained in all of our beloved supplement bars. Soy milk totally fucks me up, and I love the cow stuff, even if it is probably killing me and has yet to be confirmed. This is just another in a long line of stupid things I am allergic too that includes: kiwi, peaches, plums (together, stone fruits), carrots, and raw almonds. I can eat all of these foods when cooked, including soy, and I've yet to discover the common link.

Last night I also went Rancid crazy, putting that video for Time Bomb down as nostalgia central. I think you can see an Op Ivy logo/album cover in one of the video's panning shots, as well as what looks like The Specials ska man. Greatest for me, however, is a shot or two that shows a building that says Streitz Matzos (couldn't find a good link, but just check out Passover some time). I also didn't mind a quick shot of girls in plaid skirts.

I'll also take this opportunity to reference Anvil!, a documentary recently premiered at Sundance that has been very well received (even by Robert Redford if you watch that video). Since I did fall asleep to Metallica's And Justice for All… every night for the better part of a year in middle school, I might just have to see a documentary devoted to the alleged fathers of speed metal. Oh Metallica, there' really is nothing quite like Blackened to put a twelve year-old to sleep.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Moment of Silence

I just got a text message from a friend to tell me that Heath Ledger had passed. Up to the minute sources have it covered here and here. I feel no need to give the rundown of the specifics as it is covered there and I am sure many other places, and will be covered much more to follow.

When things like this happen, even in my generally less-than-serious blog I have to take a step back. I think almost any loss of life is tragic, especially at such a young age, and it is unfortunate that so many talented celebrities seem to have gone this route. Just the other day I was watching the The Explorers and I was reminded of the passing of River Phoenix. Countless others have been lost, be it suicide or accidental death. Each time I hope that others (not just celebrities) will learn from these incidents, but so many times it is difficult to know the destructive behaviors going on in even the lives of those we care most deeply about. Heath will be missed by many fans, but it is his child and other remaining family that I feel for most. Best to all of them, and an attached photo in tribute to the departed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Logs of Blote

Whenever I sign into blogger I am met with the familiar frame in the lower right section of the page that contains the current "blogs of note." Because you never know what might end up being a wonderful spot of writing, I will occasionally look at the list and, should a name seem appealing, give it a read. Unfortunately, the powers that be at blogger and myself do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to what we judge to be noteworthy blogs. I hesitate to anonymously trash one such blog, and that's why I will trash two. Besides, the internet was practically designed for anonymously trashing other people. I'm also not that anonymous.

At the top of the list was a blog called decadent tranquility. Each post contains an originally created fractal or some other form of artwork, each of which is accompanied by prose that the author states is inspired by the attached work. Everything falls into a greater framework, but in general adheres to a non-linear progression. There is also a link at the top to a fansite. The excerpts contained there showed me more than enough. The blogger's profile paints him as a cheery fellow, if not overly so, and, regrettably, a Norah Jones fan. I suppose the presence of The Shadow of the Torturer under his favorite books should have been another strong warning sign. I often consider myself a rather nerdly individual, but then I remember there are award-winning books like that and I am reminded of my sometimes old-fashioned linguistic tastes, which include an aversion to gibberish-like science-fiction names and terminologies when my man Jean Luc is not involved. Then again, I'm reading Updike right now and I can't be sure it's really any better.

Another noted blog on the list was the "Juiced Sports Blog." I found the layout alone quite nauseous, but some grammatical miscues succeeded in dropping its stock further. I am fully aware how needlessly I can be a prick about these things, especially when I am not immune to errors myself, but you've gotta have your standards. Yeah, gotta, I know that is a bastardization and I did it on purpose. Most of my beef is clearly with Blogger, not the bloggers. I just don't deal well with hype. If something comes recommended, I feel like I'm supposed to like it. That's why you have to know who you're taking those recommendations from.

What did get me juiced about that sports blog though, was a list of the ten worst hairstyles in sports. Anytime you make a list like this it is almost certainly doomed. That's why I am not bothering to come up with a competing list of my own. One, of many, potential problems is what I like to call the Beckham Factor™: any hairstyle adopted by David Beckham will potentially be deemed cool and/or adopted by one-third of the adult British male population.

In the course of this entry I've decided to focus a little more on things I enjoy rather than griping about things like being overcharged $1.50 on an improperly-filled bagel order; suck it Zaro's. In that spirit, I present this wonderful commercial for Frankie and Johnnie's. Makes me want to move to New Orleans…

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


In my recent Mac chronicles, I stumbled upon the Microsoft offering to compete with the iPod, the Zune. Perhaps I am in a black hole, but I'd honestly never heard of this thing until yesterday. In typical Mac user fashion, a fairly choice spoof has been created of the Zune and the iPod touch. The thing is, for all my love of music and, at present, 7380 songs on my iTunes playlist, I have never felt the need to invest in an iPod. In general I dislike the use of headphones. I think it separates you too much from whatever environment you're in. Sometimes this can be a good thing. I realize that iPods don't have to be used with headphones, but I'm still not buying it (pun unintentional, editing unimaginable). I really still love the idea of mix cds - I've managed to move beyond mix tape - and a podmix just isn't going to cut it for me right now. I am now down to 7367 songs after deleting an entire Borah Jones album. I listen to a pretty wide variety of music but I have to say I don't know why anyone would subject themselves to Norah. Were italics really necessary? To each his own.

On the topic of music, I really haven't been exposing myself to new artists for a while it seems. In light of this, I did a little googling of a handful of my favorite bands to see what bands were suggested that I hadn't already heard of. From there I thought I might read some reviews, opting against customer reviews because, while some of these folks aim to be helpful, a whole hell of a lot of them just like the sound of their own voice (see also: people who write blogs). That left me with reviews written by industry professionals. If I ever want to feel like I know nothing about music (and I probably don't) and that I am from an entirely different planet - say Klaxon, which may actually be a band I'm not familiar with - I know where to go. These folks speak another language. Many of them are witty, many of them are self-indulgent, and many of them are simply hiding behind what is sometimes called "flowery bullshit language." How do I know this you say? "Well," I'd tell you, "I use it myself sometimes." Painstaking effort is taken to reference as many bands as possible, intermingled with as much technical and highfalutin (a seemingly contradictory and highfalutin word in its own right) language as absolutely possible. Congratulations, you've successfully proven that either a) you are smarter than me, b) you think are, or c) both. The only problem is I'm not any closer to knowing if I'd actually enjoy the album or not. Good thing there are sample clips online these days.

Any music reviewer reading this will undoubtedly label my denunciations a weak and sophomoric effort. If we met in real life, though, I'd just kick them in the nuts. Maybe you're thinking they could always kick me first? This is true but, more importantly, in this era of equal opportunity employment, some of them could be women. In that case I take the tube sock from my kerchief pocket and it's a hot carl upside the domepiece.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shameless Plugs

I'm sure you've all probably heard of the Macbook Air already, but that's a link back there in case you haven't. Pretty neat. As the proprietor of a 2004 Powerbook, I've gotta say the backlit keyboard alone is worth it. Also, Steve Jobs's famous "one more thing…" makes it onto the list of most memorable quotes of the last 25 years. How do they decide on these things? The Macbook Air was Jobs's "one more thing" introduction this year, joining the iPhone, iPod, and iMac from way back in the day. Too bad Woz is way cooler.

Finally, shout out to my former college teammate Alex Battaglino, aka Agbat, aka Sacfat, on his tremendous effort at the Houston Half Marathon. Agbat hails from Westport, CT, also home to Martha Stewart. Here's a choice pic of the sprightly fellow from our college days.

From(e) Me to You

So my interweb crapped out since about past Friday and aside from some brief stints at the library to check things, I really lacked the time for blogging. It's back now after Verizon sent me a new modem and in the meantime I did things like read Ethan Frome.

I'm going to give it a generous D+, and that's because, as I've been mentioning a lot this evening, I am in a shitty mood. I think I referenced in here earlier Marcel Proust's discussion of madeleines (probably not even referenced in that link) and the strong association of taste with memory. Basically he eats some madeleines and it reminds him of having tea with his grandmother or something, with "or something" being a blanket statement to cover my ass because I could be remembering this entirely incorrectly. The point is, that today I saw something, that looked like something else, that reminded me of something unpleasant, that set in motion a whole string of thoughts in my head that made me furious.

Aside from that, Edith Wharton just doesn't do enough to convince me of the bond between Ethan and Mattie to make the story as tragic as I think people want it to be. Or it could just be because I'm in a shitty mood. At least it's short. I wonder if my switch to reading Updike will be an improvement.

Friday, January 11, 2008

This Is Such a Pity

For the longest time, all I'd been hearing from Weezer was that Beverly Hills is where I want to be. Just now, however I finally sat - actually lay - down to listen to the rest of the album, titled Make Believe , and I have to say I'm diggin' it. It's no Blue Album or Pinkerton, but it certainly trumps Maladroit, which has grown on me anyway.

After some quick Weezer research it also appears that subsequent singles were released from the same album as Beverly Hills, so I guess it just goes to show how little I listen to the radio these days. I would have linked to every single Weezer video posted online, but I figure you folks can always do that at your leisure.

Since it's freezing in my room and my mouth tastes like a crypt, I'm going to take this opportunity to brush my teeth and fall asleep to some Italian language learning cds. Buona notte.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

All Is Quiet

Second things first: Happy New Year to all those reading and to those who don't as well. First things second then, a New Year's joke related to the fact that this is being read and written on a computer screen. I present my New Year's resolution: 1280x1024. Actually I think mine is actually 1280x864, but you get the joke right? Oh man, it's nice to know that in 2008 I am just as funny as 2007. Apologies to the two people already subjected to this joke should they be reading.

I know between my last post and now there are plenty of things to cover but I'll stick to today's events while they are fresh in my mind. Today I had some compartment testing. I'd had this done in the past to test for an affliction known as chronic exertional compartment syndrome. If it interests you, well, mayoclinic sums it all up pretty damn well there. So it had been about four years since I'd had this testing done, so I had forgotten what it really felt like. I did recall that last time they shaved patches out of my lower legs before testing the pressures with a needle and so I was all prepped to look like a strategically shaved monkey again, but alas not this time. Turns out the guy who did it last time did it for no good reason.

Anyway, they inject some fluid into each of three compartments: anterior, lateral, and posterior (technically there are two posterior compartments, but are you really that interested?) and then test the baseline pressure. The pressure is checked again after exercise and then, once more, after about five minutes of rest. I fully admit to being a wussy around needles, but this is different. Because the needle is actually plunged into the muscles in each compartment, well, you feel the needle poking around. I honestly don't remember it being that bad last time, but this time I was limping about afterwards because it made all the muscles feel stiff and overworked. Only the left leg was tested, but I think I should have opted to have both legs done just so that I might have fallen over when I got up. Really though, when they do that deep posterior compartment you feel like they are yanking at the fibers all along your calf muscles. I don't know how the junkies can do it. Delicious.

I hope everyone's settling into 2008 nicely and I'd like to remind you all that I am still taking donations for legs, but only below the knee. High five.
Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.