Saturday, January 31, 2009
The other day Rolling Stone sent me a free issue, trying to entice me back to their little mag. It's been something like a year since I let my subscription run out, and I just never bother re-upping. For the most part, they just weren't writing about music that I cared about. They've stripped down the size of the magazine, going with a more traditional size, but everything inside seemed to be about the same.
Case and point is the face that the issue they sent me that included their five star review of the new Springsteen record. Five Stars? Now there's a man I just won't ever get. Sure, there's something appealing about The E Street Band, and their big blustery productions, but it all sounds so immediately dated and (gasp) cheesy. Now, I don't know what the new album sounds like, so I can't comment on it, but with a little luck I'll make it through '09 without the experience. If they have to say that this is the best thing he's done since the 70's, my only question is "What the fuck has the guy been doing for 35 years?"
Prompted by the magazine's arrival to go check out their website, I had to see what their list said the top albums of the year were. They had my favorite album of the year (TV On the Radio's "Dear Science") listed as number one, but quickly rounded out the top ten with an outtakes album released by Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Metallica, and a Coldplay album that I'm not a fan of, but need to give another chance.
I realize that lists are created in order to get people talking and arguing about what should be on it and what should be off, and so I try not to get sucked in. What it does do is point out to me how disconnected I've become from so much of what is going on in music, which is a bit paradoxical since I feel more connected to what I'm listening to than I have in years. I feel like I'm getting old and crotchety, sitting around complaining about all the pseudo-punk bands, and sensitive skinny jean clad emo boys making music these days. I don't want to be that guy, but I just can't pretend I'm into Be Your Own Pet.
Screw 'em. Where did I put my Whitesnake Greatest Hits disc? It's time to rock.
I've been reading the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris like they're going out of style. They're the books that the HBO series True Blood is based on, and my love of the show sent me to the books. The first book was a bit hard to get through, because it was essentially the first season. It was kind of tough reading what I had just seen because i have the tendency to get hung up on the differences. The second and third books have been a lot more fun.
Oh, they're complete trash. They're simple, silly, over the top, a bit girly, and a pretty good time. And, like all good junk food, they go fast.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
As much as I hate the winter when it starts to drag, they seem to hate it ten times worse. The joy of the first snows have given way to sore paws and heads held down against the wind. Sometimes they decide it's not worth it, and turn immediately to stare into the house through the glass, refusing to step out into the yard.
On the plus side, I noticed it was almost six o'clock and there was still light in the sky. Bring it. I'm way done with winter, even if this is the first decent snow of the year.
It's amazing that the entire city seems to shut down when the Great White Death falls from the sky. I had to drive to two different Subways today to get lunch because one of them hadn't opened. Really? We're talking four inches of snow here people. I mean sure, there was ice too, but I'm no Ice Highway Trucker and I pulled it off. Not showing up ran rampant today though. My normal staff of five was a staff of two meaning I had my work cut out for me.
Bring on Spring. I'm so ready to see some leaves and breathe air that doesn't sting my lungs.
Friday, January 23, 2009
This week sucked. I screwed up at work early in the week leaving me with the rest of the week to work 12 hour days in my little box to atone for my sins. Oh well. One more week of 12 hour days should be enough to show that I'm really sorry and I'll never do anything like it ever again. Office life is not a fun life for me. I'm tired of Excel. I'm tired of statistics and projections. It's Friday and I'm tired of thinking about it.
In other news, I'm writing again, and for once it's going well over a longer period of time. It's fuckugly right now, but maybe over the course of the next few months it'll grow into a little something. I'm trying to keep my expectations small because I usually get all carried away talking about what I'm going to do instead of actually doing it. With that thought in mind, I'm going to stop talking about it.
Tomorrow is a morning spent reading while the good children of Central Ohio take their ACT, and then we're heading out to an engagement party. The good news is the party is at a bar, and I am way overdue for a drink or three. I haven't had a drop since New Year's Eve, and just typing these words makes me thirsty.
Sunday I have big plans to head out to an antique market that is supposed to have a ton of LP's. I expect it to mostly be Classic Rock stuff, but it would be nice to score some other Floyd albums or some Dylan. Expect and exhaustive boring list if I score some purchases. I know you can't wait...stop pretending otherwise.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
1 - Troll the Internet looking for good deals on LP's.
2 - Play games.
3 - Facebook.
4 - Attempt to fix our desktop PC (which I finally succeeded at).
5 - Reading.
So, it's not like I'm robbing myself of sleep in order to change the world or do something that is so amazing that I just can't stop to go to bed. No, I'll sit there doing one of the above mentioned five things, and fight sleep. I'll nod off, and then force myself to refocus so I can turn another page or read another paragraph. Not sure what my deal is.
I do know I need to knock it off next week though. I've got tons of shit to do at work and being a zombie doesn't help matters.
Jen and I caught the first showing of "Revolutionary Road" this morning. I'm not normally drawn to a movie with Leonardo, but I'm a big Kate Winslet fan (Little Children. Jesus, that's just good) and I will always watch what Sam Mendes does. It was a tough watch (especially for 11:00 in the morning) but it really was beautiful.
After our traditional post movie lunch of a cup of soup and half a sandwich we went our separate ways for a bit. Jen went for a haircut and I went record shopping. I went back to Magnolia Thunderpussy and picked up a few new LP's and then decided I'd check out another store called Ace in the Hole about ten minutes from there.
"Ace in the Hole" blew. I know what you're thinking: With a name like that, how is it possible it wasn't the coolest record store ever. Shockingly, it sucked.
While they did have a couple of cool first pressings of some more obscure Bob Dylan albums, the rest of the store was filled with enough 70's rock and Jam Band crap to fill three average stores. Since I wasn't in need of either of Asia's hit albums, I said fuck it and headed to Best Buy. I'm trying to shop local, so I'll keep trying some other stores around the area. Still, I was glad I stopped by there since they had a couple of discs I've been wanting.
And here I am, tearing it up on a crazy Friday night. I am really going to have to start doing more interesting shit to keep all three of you still reading. I'll come up with something soon.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've started reading "Dead After Dark" by Charlaine Harris. Actually, I ordered the box set of her books because they were used as the basis of "True Blood" on HBO which was one of my favorite shows of last year. I'm two-thirds of my way through the first book in the series, and I still don't know what I think about it. I do get the feeling that if I hadn't loved the show so much I would have given up on the book awhile ago. I'm just so ready to be blown away by something, and it's not happening yet.
I think it's something I've been hinting at, but I'm getting cubicle fever. It's a restlessness and it's growing right now. I've been in office environments long enough to know that the feeling comes and goes. Some times are just harder than others.
I think it goes back to my statement above about being ready to be blown away by something. I'm ready to plug into some new experiences, or new art, or something. I'm wondering if Jen's feeling the same way. I'm getting some hints that she's ready to get out there into the big bad world a bit more. I haven't really talked to her about it, so when she reads this I guess she'll let me know if I'm talking out of my ass or not.
I think the winter has a lot to do with it, now that I think of it. This last year was really our first active year being outside through the seasons and doing stuff. It seemed we were always hiking or biking or off to see something or another. Now that winter has settled in with its cigarette smoke colored skies and damp cold, we're holing up in Merryman Manor a lot more. I think we'd feel better if we just got out and did something.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
So, I jumped up and stood at the top of the stairs, waiting for what I was sure was the nosiest ski-masked cat burglar to go walking from the kitchen to the living room. Instead, I heard the more familiar sounds of Jen tossing her bag on the table and kicking off her shoes.
Since she was home early, and we don't care much for people, we thought we'd head out to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button before the crowds hit. Sure enough, there were a total of six people in the theater, and I got all lost in the movie. David Fincher is doing OK these days.
After the movie we grabbed some soup for lunch and then I used the last of my Christmas gift cards at Barnes and Noble on Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on vinyl (thanks for all the records, mom). I haven't listened to it yet (on vinyl, that is), but tomorrow I'll be locking myself up in the den to go through it cover to cover.
I tried to talk Jen in to hitting some record stores "just to look around", but shockingly, she wasn't into it. I don't understand how anyone couldn't be interested in going through every rack from A to Z looking for all the cool shit that gets put away in the wrong places. Seriously, what's wrong with her?
Tomorrow will be more of the same, I'm sure. We're kind of in this housebound stretch, and while I don't mind it for now, I find myself wishing for Spring already. I'll fend off some of the restlessness by cleaning some, and trying to run for at least two straight miles on the treadmill. I know that might not sound like a lot for some of you, but for the big boy that will be a pretty stout accomplishment.
Wish me luck.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I could feel the hair on his head reverberate like a guitar string, sizzling as though electrified, not limp and dying like the graying strands of my own. I ran my fingers through it while he slept. It was an intimate gesture I was uncomfortable with, but something I couldn't stop myself from doing. He opened his eyes, startled. My hands, buried in mounds of clean black hair, moved in their shame to his throat. I stopped them, turned, and ran from the room.
White rabbits shoot out from under his fingernails when no one is looking, but the moment an audience gathers he goes numb and can't lift his arms from his sides.
He took a small crumble of brick from Ground Zero and now it sits in his office, staring at him from the corner. Nearly 3000 souls were absorbed by the dusty composition of the stone that day. He wasn't sure why he took it from the site, but now that he has he knows he can't get rid of it. He can't put all those souls out in the alley with the eggshells and coffee grounds of his daily waste.
He bought a gun to shoot at the geese that shit all over his back yard, clumping the grass and fouling the wet Spring air, but the weight of the weapon scared him. Instead, he sits out on the porch with the rifle in his lap pretending he is the kind of man that could raise it to his shoulder and fire.
He once saved a child's life. The girl started to step out into traffic without looking and he had gotten a handful of her coat, pulling her back onto the littered curb. The girl didn't realize the magnitude of the moment, and crossed without a word when the flashing "Walk" sign threw its green neon into the air. He could only stand there and watch her disappear, wishing there was someone he could share this moment with.
Monday, January 5, 2009
So, in this spirit of self improvement, I put together this list of things I hope I get around to in the next year.
1) Buy an Indiana Jones hat and wear it to work, like the guy that Kate pointed out to me today. (Good eye, Miss Kate.)
2) Drink more, pee less.
3) Finish a painting.
4) Finish a short story collection.
5) Escape the cubicle. (Not just walking out, but actually tunneling out while search lights roam and dogs bark frantically in their bloodlust.)
6) See Heiruspecs live (and see more live music in general).
7) Keep in better touch with people and not view my past as disposable.
8) Keep my mouth shut.
9) Revisit polyester.
10) Avoid using the words "proactive", "systematic", and "counter-intuitive" in any situation or any setting.
11) Read more.
12) Buy a thinner wallet so it doesn't look like I have two New Testaments stuffed into my back pocket.
13) Eat more candy.
14) Find a situation to use the word "blissful" and actually mean it.
15) Invite the next minister who's going door to door visiting with people into my house and force them to listen to my new turntable. The minister can chose the disc, of course.
16) Eat with a spork, but not at KFC.
17) Support more local businesses.
18) Remember to take my reusable cloth bags into the grocery store instead of using their plastic.
19) Start my website with my "exciting" new business idea. (Actually, less of a business and more something that just makes me laugh.)
20) Avoid writing boring blog entries like the one right before this one. Sometimes less is more.
21) Buy a bunch of 80's East Coast hardcore vinyl.
22) Try not to get so angry at my family's politics.
23) Try not to be critical of other people's shitty taste in music. (I'll work on it.)
25) Say "Snitches get stitches" without letting a lisp or mispronunciation rob the phrase of its menace.
26) Single-handedly bring back the kazoo.
27) Don't wrap up one of my staff meetings by saying "Well, it's been a meeting", and if I do, I must recognize that my soul died just a little.
28) Double my bike mileage from last year (1200 miles baby...I can do this.)
29) Complete a 5k run. (Organized or otherwise...I just wanna run one.)
30) Get to MN to see some folks.
31) Be healthier in mind, body, and spirit.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Yesterday was nice enough for us to get out for a walk, so we tooled around the park. Jen, her head down, focusing on not letting her nose run in the chill, me craning my neck at every turn looking for deer. I don't know what it is with me and deer. It's not like I haven't seen hundreds of them in my life, but everywere I go I find myself scanning tree lines and the edges of our surburban patches of woods for them. When I walk in the woods, I'm always on the lookout for them to the point where I'm not watching where I'm going, or I begin to veer off in the direction I'm looking. It's a bit obsessive, and I'm not sure I understand it.
So, I looked for deer. Saw none.
The rest of the weekend was just the standard issue stuff. Watched some movies (Stepbrothers, Gone Baby Gone, Wanted), some DVR'd Animal Cops (I have no faith left in human beings. Fuck all ya'll), listened to some music (I highly recommend the Fleet Foxes) and did our shopping for the week.
Well, I gotta be up at four in the morning (mourning?) to try to get in a workout before I get to the office. I just wanted to be here in case you showed up looking for something to read. Sorry, it's not more exciting. I'll make up some shit later this week. It won't be true, but it'll be better reading. And what do you care anyway? It's all about passing the time.
Hugs and Kisses,