Friday, September 28, 2007

when assuming makes an ass out of you, not me

Alex and the t-dog came over for dinner the other day, just a few days after learning she had breast cancer (this fact alone is part of why I like Alex) but while she was over she told a great story about her hair stylist:

A: "I have some big news I need to tell you that's going to affect our relationship"

S: "I know already"

A: "WHAT? did someone tell you?" (they know several people in common)

S: "No, I can just tell, there's an air about you"

A: "I had no idea!"

S: "I have like 9 clients this way right now"

A: "9!!!!???? - My god that's a lot - I had no idea"

S: "It happens"

A: "Are you sure no one told you, I just can't imagine you can tell"

S: "Oh I can tell - I can just tell"

A: "That's amazing, I have only just been diagnosed with my cancer - I haven't had any treatment yet or anything!"

S: "C-c-cancer? - I thought you were pregnant"

Wow. Good job. I wonder how her shoe polish tastes?

So it goes without saying that Alex is getting the best treatment she can and her head is clearly on her shoulders (it's Alex after all) and she's being positive and has all sorts of support (as does Ted) from her posse, but as much as luck has anything to do with it, I'm hoping for the very best of it. That's hardly all I can or will do, but I want to be sure that base is covered too. Besides, I think mary's taking credit for the cancer sucks buttons.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

rube kubali

my mom passed on info on rube kubali's passing this week. he remains one of my favorite people ever. very cool. i still very strongly remember conversations with him about the dairy industry, tobacco farming (my first tour of a working tobacco barn! in kentucky nonetheless!) and was quite amazed to learn when he was young they farmed hemp! At the time I had no idea that hemp was ever even legal, let alone a major crop.

but really, my favorite thing about rube is my hat. he gave me a doby gillis like hat, which i wore and still do on occasion. it is the only gift i've ever received from a witch.

i thought then and think now:
rube and kris are cool.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

options like this are hard to come by

this is a great, sad story.

slim dawg posted one of his semi-frequent journalistic slip up pieces this week, which I've just got around to.

the story is of a retracted obit (okay, the guy is still dead, but it turns out he was a bit of liar). the family wants desperately for the father to not be viewed as a liar in the weeks after his death (and for all of history for that matter), and probably to not have discovered he lied to them as well. the son maintains his father was senile, not a career liar, and who are we to judge how long his senility lasted.*

all in all it's a sad story. one that would be well told on film, but one that's unlikely to get told on film because it actually hurts the people whose story it is.

some odd bits: the son is 38 (the father was 87 when he died) his fifth and last wife was 48 and from japan. married him when he was very sick and old. very weird.

some of this works in a narrative, some of it does not.

* i should point out that senile people aren't very likable generally, and it's not clear to me how someone that senile could have pulled off the interpersonal skills necessary to get on TV, have gallery shows (well, I know plenty of people with no skills in this regards that get gallery shows, but I digress) or get books published. none of this means it's not true of course. the flip side to all of this is that no one puts an old man on TV to talk about photography, publishes a book or has a gallery show out of the kindness of their heart, it's in their self interest to do so. were they dupes or was their greed and self interest blinding in their hope of finding a good story or selling point for something? these are the reasons I like this story - the line between good and bad and honest victim and self protecting pitiable character is very hard to figure out for all parties except those on the furthest edges (the photographers whose works were "stolen" without their knowledge - and even they may not be free from sin)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

finland for president!

my new favorite country: finland.

why? you ask. simple. because we have created a monster.

StSanders, whoever you are, even if it is pretending to be from finland instead of the nederlands, well, you are awesome.

ladies and gentlemen, mr. eddie van halen:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

having your cake and eating it too

ugh. the new low video is pretty hard to watch. i feel extra full all of a sudden.

up on the sun

today, because i couldn't find my copy of double nickels, i rocked up on the sun bright and early.


how goddamned indie and old am i? well, i took corky's debt to his father off turntable no. 2 because i figured i'd listen to yoko ono's fly before mayo's epic dylan faux-comic-homage.

whatever, today it was naive drugged out bliss that beat the pants off of all of them.

and for good measure, I tusk you this:

"I'm the son Mathew H P Neo"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

canada must be smoking something

frankly, I think we do a pretty shabby job protecting privacy in the United States of America, but the idea that a random picture of someone walking down the street constitutes "personal information" is retarded. Canada, well at least the Canadian privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddardt seems to think that street view, Google's web accessible views of, well, streets, violates Canadian privacy laws.

No word on the reaction of the Globe and Mail to the news that they have to get permission before putting pictures in the paper now. Oh, they don't have to? I don't is it different? Oh I get it, Google seems like an easy target given they have global brand recognition and aren't actually providing the service in question in Canada.

No comment yet from her office on the US government's monitoring of all of Canada's interweb traffic.

sure, there's bobby, but then there's sweeden

my lord, bobby conn is amazing. but so what: I have found the sweptaways:

an amazing kate bush cover somewhat anachronistically based in the 80s and decidedly worthy of my first embedded youtube video.

but why stop there when I can also post about blood music. totally awesome.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bobby's back in town

Bolsinga sent me a link to mr. bobby conn's amazing PG (almost) rated version of never going to get ahead. it's so awesome. he does pre-recorded slip ups three times, but hey, method acting is pretty hard. even staged method acting

the slip up is at 3:10, another great one at 4:00.

"the original version is more of an adult version"

woxy - the music of the future

so, i learned from pitchfork (trying to find dates for the ruins shows) that woxy is shutting down it's online only operations and maybe (possibly) returning to broadcast somehow.

i personally have never listened to, but I credit the station with a lot of influence in my life. i went to grade school right across the street from the studio and they were chill enough to let me walk on over in 6th grade and make requests directly in the on air studio. the station was pretty good during the day, but it was great during the evening/late night hours. i remember the more underground stuff being played then, it was hard to get them to play the minutemen during the day for example (husker du was another story in light of the candy apple grey/warehouse success of the mpls rockers). I definitely owe a lot to robin (plant?) and planet x, probably not as much as anne fluekeiger and jim antonio, but hey.

i also fondly remember doctor demento's show which they syndicated.

we all had great laughs when dustin hoffman got excited about woxy in rainman, but for me the coolest part about the station was hangin' out with jeff dreeves (who worked at loony t. bird's with the totally awesome amy altenberger) and phil manning (woxy's program director and probably the person most responsible for making "alternative" music a separate category from "college radio" - even more so than jeff mccluskey I'd guess, though with much less recognition). Phil will remain forever cool in my mind for giving me a promo copy of ciccone youth's LP (I had the EP already of course ;)) because he'd never be able to play it on air (which seemed strange to me, but hey, he was the program director, not me).

other highlights from my woxy memories - when jodie foster was directing little man tate in oxford the PAs I had regular contact with (trying to sell them my shoes among other things) swore she loved the station and listened to it all the time.

that and nick spahr got an internship there when he was at miami. this also was very funny to me.

Also noteworthy is Jeff Dreeve's chicago based record label which first released the flying lutenbachers. oh and jeff, if you're still out there - you have my minutemen official bootleg of that radio show in arizona - the one that was limited to 500 copies. i still want it back ;)

and so, woxy, I close with husker du (sort of): All this i owe to you.


so, i was a bike messenger. in the 90s. in chicago. you could actually make some money at it back then, not so sure now. in that era (i swear) giant corporations weren't so sure about electronic formats and things like blueprints for plans etc all had to be delivered in hard copy.

none of that is really the point. the point is that I ran into a dude (duey by name) who had a velocity messenger bag yesterday. velo was the "the" cool messenger company when I was a messenger. the dudes were all fast as shit, and fancied themselves as way, way cooler than you, whoever you were. some of them actually were.

anyway, homeboy mentions to me that bobcat got fucked up last year, I figured it was messengering (we also talked about tommy mcbride getting killed on his way to work - I was working inside that day and the police came to cannonball because he still had his cannonball messenger ID on him even though he'd switched shops a few weeks earlier) but apparently he fell from his 4th floor apartment trying to get in after locking himself out. wheelchair bound. almost dead. messed up.

well, bobcat was one of those velo dudes that fancied himself as cooler than thou. maybe he was, maybe he wasn't - but certainly he was important to the community and cared about it, but was too elitist in my mind (I was always more of a john greenfield sort of messenger).

anyway, the conversation with this dude reminded me of what is one of many decidedly different components or phases of my life. Bobcat, though I'm sorry to hear about his accident, wasn't really important to me as a messenger. but there are some people there that had a bigger impact on me, people that I look back on and thank for my interactions, or simply enjoy the memories or even just wonder about.

here are some of them:

Chris, James, Scotty, Kyra, Patric, Jason, John, Ken, Elvis. These were people to me. people that mattered in ways that're hard to quantify, even to qualify, but people. real people. Some of them I never even felt like I got to know that well, but somehow you just knew them as good peeps.

Cannonball was rad because they had open channels so you heard people all day if they rode for cannonball; I gather those days are gone now, but really, some of those dudes weren't c-ball riders, just guys you'd stop and chat with when things were slow, or when you needed a break.

I wonder what it feels like to be a messenger now.

I do know one thing - it's a lot fitter feeling - I really actually miss being on a bike for ten hours a day ;)

Monday, September 10, 2007

famous for being a drunk

move over dylan thomas! I've been not so immortalized in the nytimes for being in a wine bar. hotel biron, of course. the only thing that makes this okay is that the last time I was featured in a picture in a newspaper it was next to a headline about pushing a 4 year old down the stairs. I should point out that the picture of me and the article about the 4 year old were unrelated.

I should also point out that I'm rather happy that the article about drinking wine at hotel biron and the picture of me this time around were decidedly related. I sure do like that place.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Goodbye Meg, and thank you so much

Madeleine L'Engle died yesterday at 88 years old. I think I would be hard pressed to find someone more influential on my sense of self in the context of society, morality, family, love, and a concept of god or an absolute.

I am incredibly indebted to Mary Melvin for introducing me to L'Engle's work and the woman herself (even getting her to buy some lemonade from my street corner stand at the corner of Withrow and Talawanda after Miami's convocation in what must have been 1983 or so).

It seems silly to emphasize how hugely important L'Engle is on the much larger sense of self then talk about her influence on my appreciation of literature, but frankly I cannot overemphasize how without her fantastic I undoubtedly would never have felt so immediately familiar with Calvino or as interested in the quasi science fiction of Bradbury. At the same time Vonnegut probably abstracted the same balance of from a cockier, more cynical posture. At the same time L'Engle provides the frame for understanding Hannah Arendt's post holocaust philosophy.

Fiction for her is meant to be enjoyed, but ultimately it is meant to inform.

The NYTimes has her quoted as saying juvenile literature is too complicated for adults - this may well be true, but what a phenomenal job she did enabling us to become well rounded ones.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

hey asshole, whoever you are

yes you, the jerk that ruined mix tapes. you suck.

let me tell you a story - I wanted to share some cool music with a friend, a band they'd never listened to but I thought they'd like. they weren't willing to. "sharing" is dangerous these days.

well, fuck you. it serves you right your business model is crapping out. you ruined music for fans so deal with it.

let's just take a hypothetical:

some music that exists already hasn't been heard yet by someone. it never is. hooray!!! that's a great business model. congrats on being stupid. oh and thanks for taking the social element out of music. i never liked any of my friends liking what i liked anyway. that was stupid.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

pendulous movement

I grew up in a college town. I still identify as a townie even, but that's not the point on this post, this post is about pendulous movement (not bipedal pendulous movement, which is pretty excellent all by itself, but should be saved for another post).

There was a building on campus that had a ginormous foucault pendulum in it. I could not remember the name of the building - save for that it was next to the door I used to break into the chemistry building via, and had a telescope on the roof which I once used quite late at night to view mars or some such. The interweb taught me (relearned?) that it is in fact Culler hall.

The pendulum though, it was amazing. a bowling ball sized orb (marble maybe?) with a downward pointing metal spike. It was attached to a 10 meter or so long cable. Centered below this fine mechanism was an array of pegs resting evenly placed about a circle.

I discovered this right around the same time I first read the pit and the pendulum which made the whole thing even cooler (probably 4th or 5th grade), but it was pretty damned cool all on its own.

The whole point of this thing was that the rotation of the earth caused the pendulum to pivot slightly and predictably. you could even tell the time by how many pins had been knocked over. it was cool as shit. it was so cool that you didn't want to mess with it even though there would (at least for me) have been a huge temptation to do so normally.

a rather handy explaination can be found in the wikiverse.

why does all of this matter? well because pendulous movement is the answer to a lot of questions people ask: from the snarky what goes around comes around to the not so subtleties of what happens when you used to be the ranking member doesn't really matter so much when you're the chair to the cynicism asuaging of course there is no thing progress, but there is no thing but progress as well. even if you have to position youself as a peg in the path of giant metal spike to understand how even the inevitable carries a hell of a lot of weight at some, if not all, moments in time.

mix tapes are better with the ex

really. I can't think of many songs by the ex that don't make mix tapes better. today, this very moment, the song that is making things better is "i'm a human car".

"people drive me, people drive me, people drive me, drive me drive me drive me drive me crazy"

i want my records back

ugh, punched in the belly by memory. spirit ditch is an awesome song, but even more awesome is the memory of jelle's repeated use of the song when checking sound systems on tour with lambchop. (probably on everyone's tours, but the chop is what I remember).

thanks for punching me in the belly, brent.

Monday, September 03, 2007

new york city - just like i pictured it

i really like this city despite the fact that i swear it is exactly the kind of living that will mark the end of us as a species.