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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Pledge

No, not that shitty Jack Nicholson movie, my pledge to post here 4 times a month. Here I am, adhering, with the end of April nearing, myself towards several beers veering. I'd rather be heading to Bohemian Napcity because I am a tired MF.

With some curiosity about tall buildings the other day or, to be more accurate, tall structures, I ended up searching for an image of the CN Tower in Toronto, which yielded this delightful result as the third image:

The objects to which the eyes are likely to be immediately directed are a bit large and absurd for my liking, but to each his own. I enjoy that the url for that photo has in it "fake illusion." Isn't being fake part of the nature of being an illusion? Now what isn't an illusion is how good a couple of the articles I read in The Awl this week were. Not that they are from this week, but this week was when I read the. Right. Now any time you discuss how egotistical and nutter Ayn Rand was, I am going to want to read, but the piece is very well put together, connecting her with her old pal Alan Greenspan and the way each informed the work of the other.

The other surrounds a man I've not read much beyond his non-fiction, the late David Foster Wallace. This is a great piece put together by Maria Bustillos after touring UT-Austin's DFW collection. I, like many, am fascinated by this man I did not know, and while I look forward to reading his fiction, I wonder that I might find the efforts to unearth what he was truly like more fascinating. The theory that genius and mental illness are so closely linked and what it even means to be a genius are quite prominent and recurring thoughts in my brain. At any rate, a really really great piece.

Ke$ha just popped on my iTunes, a song called "Dinosaur," that I will not link. I find it difficult to consider these songs are real, by which I mean meant to be taken remotely seriously, but I am always comforted when her tunes pop up because, sometime past, I inadvetently changed the artwork for her album to that of a Norah Jones one. Maybe Norah and Ke$ha can collab to make an album alternatingly (why is that not recognized as a word?) soporofic and sophomoric.

Well, it's time to blow this taco stand. Thanks Chi for the mostly lovely weather today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter's Kiester

Not trying to make Easter the butt of any jokes here, simply adopting this title because Easter is already over and has shown us our backside. What needs to be done is the classic day-after-candy-themed-holiday-discount purchasing. One of my Easter favorites was the Cadbury Egg which, I contend, was larger in my youth, and not just because I was smaller. I recall this being addressed in the not-too-distant past and the gods of google obliged me quickly, yielding this confirmation in a flash. How fitting to use google for a product with a creme-filled center, no? How about those words with alternate spellings, like creme/cream? Love that stuff.

The other day the headphone jack on my laptop crapped out for good and while I can still pretend to be immersed in my own music and world, I'm now less plugged in to my own world, and extra eavesdroppy. Take the dingles sharing a table with me. My favorite commentary is on the commentary of others. I mean, this creature opened with discussion of "Return of the Jedi," not having seen it for a while, and its quality, and quickly (I always like adverbs, but seem to love saying "quickly" today) launched into discussion of music. This is inevitable in the neighborhood I live in and hey, to each his own, but I still find myself intrigued by how frequently people slide neatly into these little stereotype boxes. After all, why be here otherwise?

The best part of it is, their age, or lack thereof. I assume these guys are about 20-22 years older. Whatever proclivity they have for precocious musical judgment, which is an ordering of words mostly nonsensical and what I mean is, no matter how valid a couple of their assessments might seem, without a hint of even mock humbleness or acknowledgement of their own immaturity and lack of perspective, I'm left as not a fan. Hey, I'm not anti opinion, I'm just anti opinion for the sake of fear of adherence to some perceived existing monoculture. There's a monocultural mean for every cultural group and subgroup. I'M JUST SAYING IDENTIFY WITH WHAT YOU ARE, NOT BY WHAT YOU ARE NOT. Why is this important to me again?

Those last two paragraphs were chock full of judgment, so I must say I make it a point to be able to face the music myself. Why just yesterday, standing in wait for the burrito I had ordered, two young black girls stared at me and, rather than a mostly open commentary on my appearance and certain extrapolations made from said appearance, they proceeded to text message while seated next to one another. We no longer need different languages to communicate things about people right in front of them while keeping them in the dark it seems, we just need different mediums of communication. As always, I am afraid of where we may be headed, a future of disengaged, disassociated, distracted individuals on the near horizon. Something will surely save us from it right?

Well as I've put down some words, and gotten back to griping, as I originally set this blog to be a forum for (I shall not mention my bowel woes of the last 24 hours), and yet not really reached any solid conclusions, I feel concluding right here is a most excellent decision. I need to put more pictures and shiny things in here, to make it more attractive and dupe newcomers into visiting. For the moment, that's a wrap.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Birthday Blogging

I intended to post in here a couple of days ago and call this "Spring Break," but it appears spring has gone on break, with a sprinkling of snow on the roof of the abandoned Pizza Hut building when I awoke yesterday morning, and today a delightful 37° and rainy. But hey, that's how it goes sometimes with the weather. In fact, when I visited Chicago for the first time almost exactly two years ago, the weather was cold, wet, and dreary. I still chose to move here and I'm still very happy with the decision. Of course, nor would I mind if things spontaneously got warm again, just not too warm, since I sweat easily.

With regard to my rising age but stagnant maturity level, I suggest a listen of Devendra Banhart's "I Feel Just Like a Child." The video, I must say, is not my favorite, but the sentiment of dancing about in only boxer briefs is the right idea for how my mind/lifestyle goes. For whatever reason I have spent a couple of minutes each day in April looking at the celebrity birthdays of the day and a recent one was that of Olivia Hussey, who may have represented the first and last boobs I saw in a classroom (excepting perhaps Health class), when she starred in Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet."

Though that story line follows teenage love (hey, life expectancy was lesser in Shakespeare's Day, and anyway Conor Oberst was crooning about heartbreak at 13), I still find it strange whenever young actors are, well mature. I found this interview with Hussey and co-star Leonard Whiting quite intriguing. For one, Hussey smokes on camera, and the reporter chides her for it. For another, young Leonard Whiting looks a Hell of a lot like Zach Efron or, I should say, vice versa. And then I think what I might have acted like in an interview at that age. At 17 I did tell the now defunct UPN morning news my views on grinding at high school dances. And yes, I wish I had the footage to laugh at in private.

And since my body is rather mashed up, I'll use that as a weak segue to the popular mash-up genre of music. Thanks, as always, to the human internet, I was apprized of this Don McLean meets Florence + the Machine effort. I'm a fan. Also, this video has been making the rounds. It wasn't long ago that I was remembering how dope Yo-Yo Ma was, but I'd never realized the skill of "Lil Buck" until seeing that. Subsequently I viewed many of his videos and they do not disappoint. It just might make me feel a shade inadequate in my ability to use my body (Hell, I struggle enough running in straight lines), but mostly I can just marvel at what the man can do.

I judge that is probably enough words for the moment. In the interest of a much talked about celebrity also born on this day if, in five years, I've managed to get 1/37 as much recognition (or even derision) for one of my pursuits, as old James Franco, I can think of worse things. Stay fresh.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

[Un]Sound Decisions

One of these might be that I recently ventured back to running. I was getting antsy with the lay-off and lack of improvement in my leg/foot health and since I was feeling all not physically fit I hobbled out the door for a few miles a few times now. But what I'm really getting at is a little sonic analysis akin to what I have done some times here in the past. Namely, some songs end up sounding like other songs. It can be that there is the same producer, it can be coincidence of a finite number of chords, and it can even be subconscious borrowing. The same is a fear of mine in joke-telling and why I don't listen to or watch as much comedy as I might. Nobody — well, I shouldn't say nobody, but most people, don't want to be joke thieves. That's the performance-enhancing drug (PED) of the comedy world. This goes on in countless realms and I try to steer clear if at all possible.

So when on my iTunes a certain song came on, that certain song being Ryan Adams' "Burning Photographs," I noticed that the prevailing chord sounds an awful lot like the famous riff to that mid-90's King Missile classic "Detachable Penis". I don't mind much because I love to be reminded of that song.

Soon after, a certain Gaslight Anthem song was playing, and I thought it was a Brand New track. Admittedly this one may not be as close as I originally thought but when "We Came to Dance" started playing, the opening and persistent riff, struck me as suspiciously similar to that of Brand New's "Logan to Government Center. Actually, it's as if the ordering of notes if slightly different, although I think it comes out better at about that moment. Admittedly (how many times can I say admittedly?), the arrangement sounds fairly similar to "Jude Law and the Semester Abroad," and maybe another song too that I am too lazy to link.

I shared a moment with an old man on the train, a few weeks back now, that I am recollecting as my foot throbs. He was on crutches and just began to speak to me about his surgeries and how he nearly lost his foot. There seemed to be a relief in his telling the story, and I was happy to listen, at which point I shared that I had undergone four surgeries and my body is still not operating on premium. But thank modern medicine that I can go at all.

In pretty chill news, the podcast I've been doing for a good eight months or so (I mean good as an estimator, but I promise some of the material is good too) got mention in TimeOut Chicago. The photo-featured fellows of WoodSugars are recent friends (and did a crossover on RyeBread) and excellent gents that I hope to collaborate with a good deal in the future. I actually aim to not make this blog too personal or boring, but every now and then I will drop things from my regular old life in here. Soon I will complain about complainers complaining about being complained about. Or something like that...

Oh thank heaven, it's 4/7/11...
Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.