31 January 2010

Listen to this song on a system with good bass

...and it'll blow your mind.

Ben Frost - Stomp

That's some good, good stuff right there. It's the kind of music that sneaks into your head and coils between the lobes of your brain and just kind of shivers, just kind of makes you shiver.

Anyways, it's (what a surprise) a gray, cold Sunday afternoon on the last day of January. I was watching a tree this morning, the leafless branches silhouetted against the red brick of a bank building and the trackless gray of the January sky, swaying in waltz time in the wind - it was kind of a cool moment.

Last night, I saw two spiders fighting at the intersection of two walls, under a streetlight. The yellowed halogen danced across the chitin of their backs. One of them fell off the web and scurried between the cracks in the wall. The other one sat in the middle of the web for a moment, then stepped back to the edge.

Have a good afternoon, y'all.

30 January 2010

Ray Wylie Hubbard and the Senior Bowl

Ray Wylie Hubbard - Mother Hubbard's Blues

When you're listening to Ray Wylie Hubbard, you know you're gonna get some awesome blues. This particular track, off his album "Snake Farm", is some awesome blues. Sample lyrics:

Soul Gravy and literature is some of what she prefers
Her old Lucky jeans and analog
She comes to bed in a negligee
Just to discuss Cinema Verite`

She's the only woman I know that likes Reservoir Dogs
I mean I liked it but there was some scenes in there that kind of skived me out
Well I got two nickels and a paradigm
It ain't spelled right but it rhymes

I'm getting desperate I'm about to derail
One more thing one last confession
The mother asks some tough questions
Like when Jesus went to heaven did he leave a vapor trail?

Yeah. That's awesome.

I'd like to note: I'm not listening to this music ironically. Why the heck would anybody want to do that? There's enough music out there that there's no need to listen to material that you find anything less than straight-up awesome. This is music that works for me, that makes me feel good. I'm not detached from this - I'm drowning myself in it, drinking it in, letting it fill me up. I do recognize that there might not be a lot of people in Seattle that listen to this in the way that I do, but... I just flat-out like it. Makes me feel warm.

Anyways, it's a Saturday afternoon, I've been reading Chesnutt and looking forward to the Senior Bowl. Of course (being a Gators fan) I want to see how Tebow and Riley Cooper do, but I'm also interested in seeing how smoothly Taylor Mays and Myron Rolle run in coverage and how well LeGarrette Blount displays himself after a less-than-stellar showing this last year.

Do we need a score prediction for a glorified exhibition like this one? Probably not, but I'll give one anyway: South 22, North 10. Look for Dexter McClusker to make at least one big play.

Have a great afternoon, y'all.

29 January 2010

It's a funny thing

So that's Suzanna Choffel's song "Hey Mister", one of the tracks off her album "Shudders and Rings". I'm a fan.

Anyways - it's a funny thing, isn't it, how so much of what we see is constantly figured, configured, reconfigured, and preconfigured by what we "know"? I was reading Bill Simmons' latest ESPN column, which was an update of his classic "Levels of Losing" article from a few years ago.

I'm an Atlanta Braves fan. Have been for a good while now - grew up watching them on TBS (except on Wednesday nights, when the games were blacked out), went to more than a couple of games at the old Launching Pad (AKA Fulton County Stadium)... and while I was reading Simmons' column, I couldn't help but think of the Braves. I would refer especially to Simmons' fifth point:

5. You need to be just pessimistic enough to keep your guard up for a sucker punch but just optimistic enough to keep lowering your guard at the worst possible time.

Two days before Vikes-Saints, I wrote the following: "Jets/Bills/Vikes/Browns fans expect to get punched, contort their faces into a giant wince, wait for a punch that never comes, say to themselves, 'Cool, I'm not gonna get punched, it's gonna be OK!' ... and then they get clocked." That sequence usually leads to a Level 1 loss. What's amazing is how many fans know this and lower their guard anyway. On Wednesday's podcast, I asked my buddy Geoff (die-hard Vikes fan) whether he actually thought Minnesota was going to win on the final drive of regulation. This is someone who started rooting for the Vikes at age 6, the year of the Hail Mary play, and spent the next 35 years getting kicked in the teeth. What was his answer?


First down, New Orleans 33, less than a minute to play ... Geoff thought they had it. He dropped his guard. The rest was history. He spent the rest of the night kicking himself for dropping his guard. That's an essential emotional sequence for Level 1: self-loathing.

1991 World Series. Game seven. Bottom of the eighth inning. Guard down. Tenth inning. Kick in the nuts.

1992 World Series. Game six. Bottom of the ninth inning. We tied it up! We've got momentum! Hurrah! Noooo Charlie Liebrandt! Not again! Wait! We're coming back! Why is John Smoltz pinch-running? Don't bunt with two outs!

and so on... I'd further extrapolate somewhat of a fractal pattern from this.

19... before I was born -> 1994. Don't get your hopes up. You might be horrible, or you might be good, but you're never going to win.

1995: it's possible! You can win! (never mind that sick feeling you get in your gut whenever a relief pitcher enters the game. Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz! Complete games 162 times per regular season!

1996: We still have our pitchers! And Chipper! Who the heck is Jim Leyritz?

1999: It's okay, we're still good! Except, ooh, look, it's Leyritz again. Crap.


So how's it with all y'all?

Have a great day, folks.

28 January 2010

Because of Publix.

Forget about Winn Dixie. If y'all're from the Southeast, you know what I'm at.


First: music. Warning, there is profanity in this song. But it is also awesome. And also appropriate for the situation.

My thoughts on the SOTU:

1. Increasing exports? Awesome. But how, exactly? Doesn't that assume that we have something that other countries want to buy? And/or that if we did, we could produce it at prices that other countries would be willing to pay?

2. Ending DADT? Also awesome. I'm a firm supporter (no pun intended) of letting anyone who wants to serve do so. But when, exactly, is this going to happen?

3. High speed rail? Not a huge fan. I'm sure Disney's a huge fan - it's like the monorail runs all the way across the state! Hurrah! - but it seems overly expensive and not all that practical for the state of Florida.

4. Getting out of Iraq? I'm not at all sure about this. I tend to think that we have kind of a responsibility to rebuild the country, given that we Blew It All Up. But, at the same time, I don't think that our continued presence in the region is doing us any favors international-relations-wise.

Have a lovely evening, folks.

27 January 2010

Christopher Lee is awesome.

Most ridiculously awesome octogenarian ever!

Favorite TV quote of the day:
"It's time for this fawn to strap on a machine gun, spread its wings, and fly." - Portia de Rossi, on Better Off Ted. This last episode wasn't one of the series' best, but you can always count on de Rossi's character to deliver some great lines.

Sports Thought of the Morning
I miss Rocco Baldelli! I still remember him coming up with the (then-Devil) Rays a few years ago. Guy hit for average, power, had speed, and played great defense, too. Classy fellow, from all accounts. Never got into trouble, well liked in the community. So now he's (according to ESPN) in Rhode Island hoping to get a spring training invite from some team. Might I suggest the Rays? No, he's not going to be a starter anymore, but he could be a halfway decent pinch-hitter, and he's always been good in the clubhouse.

26 January 2010

Guess who's back...

So I figured I'd start blogging again.

Life is kind of crazy, isn't it? The last time I posted here, I was in the middle of my last semester of undergraduate. Now, less than a year later, I'm living (quite literally) on the other side of the country, I'm in the middle of my second quarter of graduate school, I've lost (by which I mean cut off) all my hair, I'm so steeped in jargon that many people don't hear actual words when I talk...

Basically, I started to miss writing. When I was in undergrad, I was writing for the paper every week, there were always essays due, there were poems and short stories that I just had to write and edit for classes.

I'm still writing stories and poems (though I will admit that I miss the feedback from workshops), but I felt like I needed another outlet. Thus, 90% Mental! Again.

The music that I've embedded on the page for this post is from a band called My Brightest Diamond. I posted on them (and embedded the same song) at Attempts at Hip, but, something like two months later, I'm still listening. It's good, good stuff.

Lastly (for today), I started 90% Mental as a sports blog. As I'm imagining it at the moment, it's not so much a sports blog as an anything-that's-on-my-mind blog, hopefully expressed with some modicum of wit and glitz. Not that I won't write about sports - it's just that I'll be writing about a lot of other stuff, too.

-Brandon Routh and Kristen Kreuk appearing on Chuck
-Colts/Saints in the Super Bowl. Early line is at 56.
-The over on the Super Bowl

-The giant billboard outside my apartment that advises all who live under its shadow to be wary of SAD. In large letters written over a black background.
-Wet feet
-The main character from Avatar hair-raping a dragon.

Have a great day, y'all! I'll be aboot.