April 2006 Archives

Further Proof

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So, when Ashley got home tonight I ranted at her about all of the cool bands today being imitations of bands I was listening to 15-25 years ago. Her response? "Oh my god, have I made you listen to "The Bravery" yet?!".

It turns out that The Bravery is a band with makeup/hair/clothes just like Flock of Seagulls and a sound that combines old (when they were good) U2 and Flock of Seagulls.

Gah...I was/am so far ahead of my time. Too bad I'll be dead by the time my time does finally come. (Unless Connor Oberst is right (yes..a totally "With it" reference)).

God, I'm so "With it"

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Why is it that all the bands the kids are listening to today, like Interpol and The Libertines, sound just like bands that I used to listen to 15 years ago? I mean really, Kitchens of Distinction were doing everything that Interpol does better back in 1990. While Interpol is certainly listenable, they don't have a single song as good at Kitchens of Distinction's "1000th Fault", and that's not even a terrific Kitchens of Distinction song.

At least this move towards commercialized versions of bands that I like means that there is the possibility that music is moving in a direction that's more interesting than what's been going on overall for the last 10 years. It's even possible that some of these new bands might grow up into something original and worth the praise that they are getting. I have to admit that even with the car wreck-like Pete Doherty at the helm the new Babyshambles album is a more interesting than most of the stuff from The Libertines. Though, what an unattractive group of people - like a spotty page out of the "Big Book of British Teeth".

Working The Land

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This weekend was devoted to working the land here at the plantation. Having become very tired of the dogs always being filthy from rolling around in the dirt, I decided it was time to do something about it. Being too lazy to actually, you know, maintain a yard, I decided that the optimal solution was to begin planting Scottish Moss in the backyard. It's hardy, ground-clinging (no mowing), able to stand up to foot traffic, and a pretty green color. It also hold water in pretty well so there is some chance that it might survive once it gets going. My hope is that it will spread quickly throughout the yard, choking out the native vegetation (weeds). Planting was fun - Kieran helped out, and the dogs assisted by digging up a couple of the little moss-pods so that they could be planted again, correctly.

I also planted an herb garden in one section of the backyard, with the hope that it will save me the trouble of buying them fromt he store, not using them in time, and then having to throw them out. We'll see how that goes...

All of this also led to a spurt of general yard maintenance - trimming back existing plants that were overgrown, planting some honeysucklye to climb around the porch and so on - nothing major, but I don't think anyone has done anything to the yard for about 70 years, so everything helps.

Next project is to make the landlord buy paint so I can start painting. I know they will cover interior paint, but I am hoping I can talk them into some exterior stuff too, since the exterior really needs it.

Nothing in Particular

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No real reason for posting. I still haven't finished editing together the little video snippets from the Dresden Dolls show, and I really don't have anythying else wort posting about. I just didn't want to let too much time go by without posting anything, because then people will assume that I am dead, search parties will be formed, and there is the possibility that would lead to the numerous shallow graves in my backyard being discovered.

This is just a rambling post about absolutely nothing. I have been super busy with work during the week, super busy over the weekends spending time with Kieran before he leave for Seattle in May, and because of this I really have not had time to do anything else.

I have also been spending time with my MP3 collection; not listening to it, just making sure that everything is tagged and correctly filed away. I guess that with the house in order I need something else to obsessively clean, and the music collection is always there as a potential time-sink. This leads me to the only useful portion of this post - check out the new Musicbrainz client - Picard. It's one of the best things I have seen for quickly organizing large collections and filling in missing metadata. The user interface takes a little getting used to, because it's album oriented, rather than song oriented, but once you get it, it works,.Combined with the the technology from MusicIP (which still doesn't work right) it may eventually provide a solution to quickly identifying those songs that you ripped from your friends mix CD that have no tags at all...

The Break Up Song

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First off, I am not a fan of Greg Kihn's music. The Break Up Song, Jeopardy, etc. are basic "We are a band that plays in bars and got lucky" music. They are worse than lots of bands, and infinitely better than the to-be-chewed-eternally-in-the-jaws-of-satan nightmare that is Huey Lewis and the News (bonus points if you get the reference and can tell me who they displace). I do however LOVE Greg Kihn's horror fiction, which has great characterization and manages to capture in prose the whole "cheap horror movie" vibe. Pick up "Horror Show" if you can find a used copy, or even better "Mojo Hand".

This post, however, has absolutely nothing to do with Greg Kihn. No, I just wanted to mention that "Truce" by Dresden Dolls is probably my favorite breakup song. It perfectly captures how I have felt about every breakup I have ever had (that I didn't initiate) - "Can't we just be honest about what happened before and how we felt then. This doesn't mean there is anything there now. Just that there once was. Now, can we please get on with breaking up? As long as you are acting like an idiot, and rewriting history to remove the good times, I am not really sure you are done yet, and well, I am. Can we end this and move on now? Also, you are the devil." It's like gangrene - I would really like to cut off the leg, because if it's not done soon I am going to die from sepsis.

The best song to represent the breakups that I did initiate is probably, I dunno, Tom Waits' "Pasties and a G-String".

I Hope It Doesn't Show...It'll Go Away

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Reason #4845 that I love "Gilmore Girls" - I am pretty sure that no television show has ever had a pivotal moment sound tracked with Sparks. Pretty certain.

I promise that Dresden Dolls stuff is coming - they were awesome and all - I have a few seconds of video that features Amanda playing synth while her far larger and more interesting shadow moves wildly in the background.

Honestly, she the the most attractive woman ever - present company excluded, of course.

Mystery Hotel

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Shane Nickerson at Nickerblog has put up an interesting looking old photograph of a hotel lobby from the early twenties. Wil Wheaton then proposed that people should write short, 300 word stories inspired by the picture.

Here is mine. Originally it was posted when it was about 400 words, so I cheated. I've since gone back and edited it down to 299 words (in your FACE!). The original version is preserved below the edited version. I'd be interested on any comments about which one is better.

The Finest Specimen

The 10:15 train was early.

The station air was thick with dust, making the dull town even duller. Across the street my gaze settled on the dingiest hotel, the most likely to be within my means. While my profession provides personal satisfaction, and ultimately benefits mankind, it’s no means to riches.

Bags in hand, I crossed, and creaked open the door. Hesitating, I saw the lobby of a faded flophouse catering to traveling salesmen who make few sales; even by my standards it was difficult to imagine staying.

Then I saw him, standing beside the desk. Six feet tall, with long arms and legs, like an ape’s. Dark hair brushed back from a low, sloping forehead, bushy brows behind thick, round glasses. Entranced, I approached the counter, where an older man took three dollars and handed me a key. As I scribbled a name in the register, I couldn’t help sneaking glances at the tall man gazing at me with the barest spark of intelligence in his eyes. I was certain that I’d stumbled upon my next subject. I finished with the register, the tall man grunting and bending to take my bags. I snatched up my black bag, leaving him the others.

Following him upstairs, I noted his shambling gait and hunched shoulders. Left to his own devices, I theorized, his knuckles would drag the ground. Opening my bag, I withdrew a brown bottle, and as he entered my room, held my breath and soaked my handkerchief.

I came from behind, the cloth firm upon his face. A grunt, a slight struggle, and he slid to the ground.

As I arranged my instruments on the nightstand, I saw before me another piece in Darwin’s puzzle, ready to dissect and piece into my map of evolution, my life’s work


And now the unedited superlong version:

The Finest Specimen - Director's Cut
The 10:15 train was early.

The station air was thick with dust, making the dull town even duller. Across the street my gaze settled on the dingiest hotel, the most likely to be within my means. While my profession provides personal satisfaction, and ultimately benefits mankind, it’s no means to riches.

Bags in hand, I crossed, and creaked open the door. Hesitating, I saw the lobby of a faded flophouse catering to traveling salesmen who make few sales; even by my standards it was difficult to imagine staying.

Then I saw him, standing beside the desk. Six feet tall, with long arms and legs, like an ape’s. Dark hair brushed back from a low, sloping forehead, bushy brows behind thick, round glasses. Entranced, I approached the counter, where an older man took three dollars and handed me a key. As I scribbled a name in the register, I couldn’t help sneaking glances at the tall man gazing at me with the barest spark of intelligence in his eyes. I was certain that I’d stumbled upon my next subject. I finished with the register, the tall man grunting and bending to take my bags. I snatched up my black bag, leaving him the others.

Following him upstairs, I noted his shambling gait and hunched shoulders. Left to his own devices, I theorized, his knuckles would drag the ground. Opening my bag, I withdrew a brown bottle, and as he entered my room, held my breath and soaked my handkerchief.

I came from behind, placing the cloth firmly upon face. A grunt, a slight struggle, and he slid to the ground.

As I arranged my instruments on the nightstand, I saw before me another piece in Darwin’s puzzle to ready to dissect and piece into my map of evolution, my life’s work.

An Accidental Update

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So, all afternoon I have been feeling this wierd, non-specific, malaise. Sadness that is not associated with anything in particular. At first I thought it was a combination of the mind-numbingly boring document creation that I am doing today, and general tiredness from the time change. Moments ago though I realized that I forgot to med up this morning. So I am sitting here at the end of the day worrying about all sorts of things, and not getting the usual dopamine hit that comes from taking a break and checking boingboing.

This is interesting in that it's really not that bad - I mean, it's tolerable, and considering all the other things going on (adjusting to change in diet, not smoking, time change, divorce, and what have you) it's really not that bad. This gives me hope that when I taper off of these things in a month or so the come down is not going to be that bad.

Spring Crashes Down Like A Grand Piano

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Dear god, I hate the spring time change. I get to bargain away an hour of sleep in order to have the sun appear to go down an hour later every day. It's not a bargain I am too happy with. I like sleep. I like the fact that during the winter I don't have any problem getting up early in the morning and getting stuff done. Now that the clocks have been changed I feel tired and dragged out - I've been at work for 4 1/2 hours and all I want to do is take a nap. If the clocks had not been changed, I would be rested and energized and wishing I didn't have to be at work. I suppose it's really a no-win situation.

Another thing that drives me crazy about spring is Easter,which, as you probably don't know, falls on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or following the spring equinox, March 2Ist. If you ever get confused about it, I suggest contacting your local Druid for guidance.

Thank You Google

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Well, all of my relationship problems are solved. Google has announced their dating service, Google Romance which will allow me to power through thousands of advertiser sponsored pairings in mere seconds. No doubt, by April 2nd, I will have found the love of my life!

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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