28 February 2010

Since last we met

Yeah, it's been a couple of days, and I've got to run in about 10 minutes. A quick rundown, then:

- Friday, early evening: Randall McLeod lecture at the UW club. Very interesting stuff (bookbinding, textual studies), even if not my usual.

- Friday, evening: David Bazan concert. Wow. Heck of a show. He performed literally in somebody's living room... there were about 30 people there, watching him with his guitar and a friend of his with an electric. An incredibly intimate setting (fitting for the material he was performing). Doubt, fear, love, faith, all tackled incisively and honestly. Particular highlights of the show were his performances of "In Stitches" and "The Man in Me"

- Friday, later evening: bike back from the show (in North Queen Anne, a nice little trip, across the Ballard Bridge and then down the Burke-Gilman), then get a couple of drinks with NB.

- Friday night: after a couple of drinks, decide that the Merc sounds like a good time, and we could stand to blow off some steam. Shiny, skintight clothing is not my usual scene, but, hey, halfway decent industrial music and the chance to unwind... a lot... always a good thing. Meet up with folks there. Have fantastic conversations, dance, flirt - good times all round.

- Saturday morning: drag self out of bed, curse life, meet up with folks, bike all over the city, take wrong turns, tackle ridiculous hills, eat pasta, bike home, curse life a little bit more, take a hot bath, watch Star Trek: Generations, and collapse into sleep.

- Sunday morning/early afternoon: wake up, realize my legs are still tired from biking, take a long, hot shower, shave, begin to feel human, and, now, update the blog and head out for a day that will, with luck, be both fun and productive.

So that's what I've been doing. It's been good, if tiring. I'd like to send all prayers I can towards Chile at this point... sometimes it feels like the planet is getting ready to get rid of all of us. I don't know what all I can do, other than light some candles, wish the Red Cross well (with pocketbook as well as mind... something I'd recommend to anybody who has a couple of bucks to spare - yeah, things are tight, but every little bit helps, and things are a lot tighter for a lot of other people), and go about my life.

Have a good day, y'all.

26 February 2010

Sometimes falling feels like flying

Crazy Heart is, I'm gonna say, a pretty solid film. Not a great film, but good. Heck of a performance by Jeff Bridges, even if the script kind of takes the easy way out (you'll know what I'm talking about if and when you see the movie... and you should see the movie).

Anyways, today I've got an AASRC meeting (yay Asian American Studies Research Cluster!), a lecture by the Hon. Randall McLeod (promisingly titled "Fearful Asymmetry"), and a David Bazan concert to go to later down in Queen Anne. Should be a good Friday!

The ESPN Top Plays are out, and are at this link. Always worth a smile.

Cop Out looks dumb.

And, finally, because I've got work to do -

Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Kazimerz the Great, so called, told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. With nothing they came and with nothing they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. Think about it....By this evening those six centuries will be a rumour. They never happened. Today is history.

Sometimes evil is beautiful. Sometimes evil is seductive. Sometimes evil speaks to us, his voice like silk sheets across skin, and we smile as we listen, before we let out our breath and awaken.

Eat the rich.

Have a great day, y'all.

25 February 2010

The Truth



Thursday night in the big city, I'm watching Psych and re-reading Huntington (thanks, MAD... you have interesting initials and you got me reading awesome poly sci texts). Awesome sauce.

A classic webcomic. Read it. Know it. Will make you a better person.

Here's a column by Rick Reilly about Kelly Kulick, a lady who won a men's bowling tournament. Kulick is a pioneer, says Reilly. We should all be impressed, says Reilly. He's absolutely right... or, at least, he would be if Ms. Kulick, you know, competed in a sport about which anybody whatsoever gave a flying



and, to sing y'all gently to sleep in an aura of awesome -

May the dude abide with thee, and may He keep thee safe in His arms.

Have a good night, y'all.

24 February 2010

A Day in the Life

Yes it is. In that I'm alive and it is the daytime.

Heck of a song. Heck of a performance.

This webcomic is funny. I like xkcd a lot. I also have much respect for my sysadmin friends. You know who you are.


Then, faint and prolonged, across the levels of the ranch, he heard the engine whistling for Bonneville. Again and again, at rapid intervals in its flying course, it whistled for road crossings, for sharp curves, for trestles; ominous notes, hoarse, bellowing, ringing with the accents of menace and defiance; and abruptly Presley saw again, in his imagination, the galloping monster, the terror of steel and steam, with its single eye, cyclopean, red, shooting from horizon to horizon; but saw it now as the symbol of a vast power, huge, terrible, flinging the echo of its thunder over all the reaches of the valley, leaving blood and destruction in its path; the leviathan, with tentacles of steel clutching into the soil, the soulless Force, the iron-hearted Power, the monster, the Colossus, the Octopus.
- The Octopus, Penguin Classics Edition, p. 51

How the heck am I gonna top that? Other than, I don't know, not writing like a crazy person... hm. I'll have to give that a shot. Still, the prose is moving.

Anyways -

Eat the rich!

And have a great day, y'all.

23 February 2010

I could rule the world

Let's go with something a little cheery this morning, eh? And this is definitely cheery music... even makes me forgive the hippy-ness and the occasional pornstache.

Busy busy today... need to finish up an article summary for Dr. Harkins and do some other reading, nothing too oppressive, though. The sky outside is back to its usual gray, so maybe that'll push me to get some work done.

I'm looking for something clever or witty to say here, some way to put my own unique spin on the world. But I've got nothing in particular that's so brilliant this morning. Meh. I'll do my drudgework and dream of coming up with a Truly Original Idea (TOI) that can set me apart from the masses. Shoutout to Russell Crowe.

Internet's running better today, at least, so that's something.

What should the Bucs do with their draft pick? Draft one of Suh or McCoy (Gerald, not Colt), or trade down if neither is available. You've committed yourself to Josh Freeman, so you aren't going to draft a QB early; Suh and McCoy are clearly the top two prospects in the draft, and there's pretty clearly a gap after them. If you're the Bucs and you can get down into the 10-20 range and grab a couple of other decent picks in the process, you've got to do that. Right?

And regarding trading up... JoeBucsFan gathers sources and says there's no chance. Of course, Peter King, Rich Gannon, Adam Schefter, and the rest of the talking heads have been dead wrong on more than one occasion, but I don't see the Bucs going to #1 overall this time - there's just too much money in play.

Eat the rich!

And all y'all have a great day.

22 February 2010

Technology woes (part deux)

So I realized that I completely forgot to fill in details around the second half of my post title yesterday... sorry about that.

My internet right now, for lack of a better (or more profane) word, sucks. Like... forget about YouTube, because the video will take a half-hour to buffer, don't even think about loading MegaVideo, emails with attachments are as useless as a phantom limb. No offense to my amputee readers. Point is, I'm getting frustrated with ClearWire. I'll give them a call in the next day or two if things don't improve.

For right now, though, I'm in the library! Putting the last touches on this descriptive bibliography (hurrah creative collations) and reading Frank Norris. Wheat prevails! No, seriously... there's wheat everywhere in this book (The Octopus). I have the sudden urge to eat massive amounts of bread. And possibly to kill industrialists.

David Bazan - Making It, Faking It, Breaking It

I find this song really interesting.

Anyways - we're into what I believe is the fourth straight day of sunshine. It's 39 degrees out, but people are wearing t-shirts (or less) and sunning themselves in the Quad. What the heck kind of place have I gotten myself into? On another note, I'm not quite sure how to respond to sunshine anymore... do I hide myself from it? Should I flee? Will I turn to ash and blow away in the wind? I'm impossibly fast, and strong. My skin is pale white and ice cold. My eyes change color. And sometimes I speak like... like I'm from a different time. I never eat or drink anything. I don't go out in the sunlight. How old am I? Seventeen? How long have I been seventeen? A while. I know what I am. Say it. Out loud. Vampire.

Gag me.

Eat the rich!

Have a great day, y'all.

21 February 2010

Eulogies and technology woes

Just some background listening while you read... I'm gonna go kind of text heavy today.

The Duke and the King - One More American Song

To the links...

Bobby Cox, longtime Braves manager, is retiring after this season. He will be missed. Excerpt from the Jayson Stark article:

To refresh your memory, in case you'd somehow forgotten, Cox and the Braves agreed in September 2009 that this, finally, would be it: One more season doing what he's done better than just about any manager who ever made out a lineup card.

He is 68 years old now. He has won more games than all but three managers in the history of baseball. And once he manages his first regular-season game of 2010, he'll officially become just the fifth manager ever to manage 20 consecutive seasons with the same team. (The others: Connie Mack, John McGraw, Walter Alston and Tom Lasorda.)

I'd always kind of felt like Cox, Mazzone, and Schuerholz were kind of the perfect team to run Atlanta... things haven't been the same since Mazzone left for Baltimore and Schuerholz took the team president spot. Still, there's been a comfort, even in these last few years, in having Bobby Cox in the dugout. It's going to feel weird without him. Can we start the HOF push yet? There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Cooperstown would be enriched by his presence.

If you're going to read a piece of sports journalism this month, make it this one. Myron Rolle is a special kind of person. I say that as a Gators fan, even.

Can I note here that it's important not to let ourselves get so blinded by partisan rivalries that we lose track of more important issues? It may sound like I'm aiming at Congress here, and I am, but it happens in sports, in music, just about anywhere you have any kind of oppositional framework set up... people get so wrapped up in whose side is better that they lose perspective. If UF fans can like Myron Rolle, eh, it's probably apropos of nothing. But it'd show some class.

I don't usually make a habit of reading Esquire (not even for the stories), but this piece on Roger Ebert is really, really good, I'd even call it essential. Read it. And there's no need for me to make a speech on partisanship here... because whether you agree with Ebert's politics or not, whether you like his reviews or not (I disagree with them as often as I agree), it's impossible not to have respect for the quality of the man's writing and the depth and breadth of his contributions to American culture.

Have a great day, y'all.

20 February 2010

19 February 2010

The sea, the majestic sea...

Corinne Bailey Rae has come up with a heck of an album. I've been listening to it on and off for a while now, and I just keep liking it better and better.

Corinne Bailey Rae - Are You Here

That's not, of course, to say that this is easy music. It's easy to listen to, certainly, if you aren't listening very carefully. Even then, though, there are moments when you find the lyrics pulling you in -

I could see the lights from the restaurant
I couldn't quite perfect that nonchalance
Paris and champagne with one brown sugar cube

And we danced while the band played "She's not there"
Kissed me in the rain by the Rue Voltaire
It's a perfectly good way to ruin those silk shoes

There's a wistfulness and a desperation permeating every moment of this album. It's beautiful, entrancing... and heartbreaking. Rae's voice floats between guitars and pianos, always slightly out-of-kilter, never clinging to any one note before beginning its slide to the next.

I've been thinking about trauma lately, and about time. (my research in a nutshell...) Rae's voice floats in between moments, inhabiting the silences between the sparse accompaniment's notes, sliding gently above the occasional strings or quiet brass.

This album's pretty good, was I guess kind of what I was wanting to say. When the last note of the final (title) track, the brilliant "The Sea", the listener can't help but be drawn in, possibly for a replay. And then another...

This is music that's easy to get lost in.

Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea

Have a great day, y'all.

18 February 2010

Bless this Mess

God bless the man who stumbles
God bless the man who falls
God bless the man who yields to temptation

God bless the woman who suffers
God bless the woman who weeps
God bless the children trying her patience

Trouble getting over it
is what you're in for
so pour yourself another
'cause it'll take a steady pair of hands

Holy or unholy ghost
well now I can't tell but either way you cut it
you should get some distance if you plan
to make a stand

God bless the house divided
God bless the weeds in the wheat
God bless the lamp hid under a bushel

I discovered hell to be the poison in the well
so I tried to warn the others of the curse

but then my body turned on me
I dreamt it for eternity
my family would burn
then I awoke
with a wicked thirst

by my baby's yellow bed
I kissed her forehead and rubbed her little tummy
wondering if she'd soon despise the smell
of the booze on my breath like her mom

through a darkened mirror
I have seen my own reflection
and it makes me want to be a better man
after another drink

God bless the man at the crossroads
God bless the woman who still can't sleep
God bless the history that doesn't repeat

Woo Hoo

Woo hoo, you say?

Sure, why not.

Anyways - la musica! Just something to listen to while you enjoy my brilliance this morning...

This is just gonna be a quick post, since I've got quite a lot of work to get to over the course of the day.

Today's three mile time - 24:11. Not my best, but I'm still getting over this cough/sniffle thing, and my nose is still draining into my throat and making me gag. Ugh.

Here's what SI thinks you should watch at the Olympics today. Hockey is fun.

Is it bad that I'm more excited for (and paying more attention to) the World Cup this upcoming summer than I am for (or to) the Olympics right now?

Even if (especially if) you don't like UNC men's basketball, it's worth reading this article to see Roy Williams looking goofy with his arm in a sling.

I'm not sure how to feel about Brokeback Boy Puts On Leather (aka the Prince of Persia movie, starring Jake Gyllenhaal), but this IGN preview makes me at least somewhat hopeful.

What I've listened to so far this morning: Frank Turner, Glee! soundtrack, Corinne Bailey Rae, 3OH!3, The Felice Brothers, Jonathan Coulton, Grits, Flogging Molly. Kind of a mix in there.

Lastly - I know I teased some comments on Corinne Bailey Rae's new album a few posts ago, but I've been struggling somewhat to figure out a good way to write about it (i.e. one that focuses on the music rather than on the ties between the music and her personal life). Hopefully, I'll have that up for y'all soon.

Have a great day, y'all!

17 February 2010

The Tautology Society

I find this comic funny. No offense intended to the rest of PBK... you're wonderful, and I'm sure quite honorable, people.

No music today. Sometimes silence is the thing you want to listen to the most. You ever feel like you're drowning in the constant noise of contemporary life? Like no matter how much meaning you take in, there's always more, there's always another wave cresting just above your head? Not to overdramatize anything, of course.

Anyways... I'm reading Frankenstein today. Comparing passages from two different editions, actually. I know, I know - the life of a textual scholar is a thrilling one.

NBA trade deadline coming up. My best guess: Amar'e (current leader in the "best apostrophe jammed haphazardly into an otherwise conventional name" contest) winds up in Cleveland... he's just too big a name for them not to get him.

Dallas already made a trade... results so far are mixed, but I think it'll be a decent pick-me-up for the team, given a couple of weeks to acculturate.

Israeli hit squad... ah, we barely Jew ye. Is that racist of me to say? Possibly... so I'll just go with this: no matter whether I agree with your politics or not, it's not cool to go around assassinating folks, and it's even less cool to get identified in the process of doing so.

AOL News is asking whether upcoming congressional retirements will mean an increase in bipartisan cooperation. My guess: no. There's trenches out there. They're dug in, they've got machine guns, and neither side has the artillery or the tanks to break through the lines. Short of a popular uprising, I don't see the gridlock breaking anytime soon.

Happy happy, eh?

Have a great day, y'all.

16 February 2010

Where's the beef?

So I've been reading Another Country, the Baldwin novel, and finding it kind of creepy. That is all.

I find this song pretty. The girl, too, but that's more or less coincidental.

Arrest warrant for Floyd Landis? For hacking? Really? I don't even understand what's going on with the case... apparently, they're angry because he used files he wasn't supposed to have in order to show that the doping case against him was mishandled? Or something?

Michael Jordan apparently really wants to buy the Charlotte Bobcats. I really hope that purchase doesn't happen - because even though MJ is a legend, he hasn't shown much in the way of basketball personnel acumen, and we both (all?) know that he'd be running things if he took over the team.

Weather troubles at the Winter Olympics. Seems like not much has gone right thus far. Not having a TV, I haven't watched.

Future perfect continuous passive! Oh heck yeah!

Nooo Jair Jurrjens! You were good last year, and the Braves need all the help they can get!

Anyways - time for me to get to the reading. All y'all have a great day.

15 February 2010

Because the Bible is awesome

Sure, Moses was a great leader, an emancipator of his people and a prophet. Most people don't know that he also was the Biblical equivalent of Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher--a well-honed killing machine, able to slay from the shadows without pity or remorse. Martin Luther King may have had a dream, but Moses had a body count.

That's the first paragraph from the first entry on this list. Read it. Love it.

Anyways, sorry for missing a day, y'all, but I hope you had as much fun (or, hey, more, whatever) on Valentine's Day as I did... it was good to take a day off of, well, everything and just unwind. Shall we take a moment to remember The Reason For The Season?

Sorry for the pun, and much thanks to JH and MJH for the link.

Anyways - it's a beautiful Monday afternoon, I've got reading to do (hurrah Dreiser), and I'm, on that note, gonna be off to it.

Have a great day, y'all!

13 February 2010


you just feel like putting something awesome on in your headphones and rocking the heck out.

Dragonforce - Soldiers of the Wasteland

Anyways - it's a Saturday morning in February and I'm still (arrgh) getting over this cold thing (and biking for hours with your nose draining into your throat is an experience, I tell you what).

The slam dunk contest is tonight! Nate Robinson, Gerald Wallace, Shannon Brown, and DeMar DeRozan? Really? I have no quarrels with these guys competing - they're all great athletes - but, really? I mean, on the one hand, I can see the argument - heaven forbid that Kobe or Lebron hurt his hand working on a dunk for an exhibition - but it's still a little bit of a letdown.

So Shaq is upset about Dwight Howard getting the Superman nickname? I'd propose a compromise: Mr. O'Neal, you're Steve Rogers. Mr. Howard, you're James Barnes. Mr. Couture, please don't be offended.

According to Dan Graziano, the Rams are looking at Sam Bradford as the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Nothing would make me happier - especially since it would mean that one of Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy (hey! it's a second guy named Gerald in one blogpost!) would be available at the Bucs pick.

I'm going to get back to my reading and my raisin bran.

Have a great day, y'all!

12 February 2010

It's a Friday night in the big city

and I think I'm gonna stay in and chill out.

I've got a little James Baldwin, a little Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (don't click that link if you're not up-to-date!), and a delicious chicken dinner (I'm actually literally eating a chicken dinner, I just felt like throwing that link out there because they're good people). What more could I need?

Anyways - my legs are very tired, thank you kindly -

This is sad. I have nothing else to say on the issue.

Frank Thomas' retirement
, on the other hand, I feel qualified as a baseball fan to comment on. Congratulations, sir, on a tremendous career, and may you have every happiness that won't earn you significant jailtime in the years to come.

I find this webcomic to be filled with humour. And I'm not sorry for the pun.

Have a good night, y'all.

11 February 2010

Good morning Seattle!

Just a quick post this morning, because I've got to run out to campus in about 10 minutes (it only takes about 15 to get there, and I don't have to be there until 10:00, but one never likes to chance a delay).

Anyways - this video makes me happy.

Other things that make me happy today:
- raisin bran
- milk
- a septuagenarian homeless lady winking at me as I approached the gate to my apartment
- Glee

Anyways -
much love for all y'all, and here's hoping y'all have a great day!

10 February 2010

This is what it means

to breathe
air like a dull edge
tracing the inside of my chest
my body
the me that is breathing
eat, drink, remember
fingertips ache in the cold
skin blurs
sense blurs
not my body
the me that is bleeding
eat, drink, do not remember
breath like a dull edge
tracing air

...it's cold out, and I've got a little walk home. Yeah. And, apparently, I still haven't gotten away from sonnets.

Anyways - it's a Wednesday afternoon, I got out of class half an hour ago, and I've got an evening of reading ahead of me (hurrah for the life of a graduate student! I'm not being sarcastic - this is exactly what I signed up for.) I'm going to go throw some chicken in the oven and get down to it.

Here's some music, though! This is from Tiny Vipers, and it's pretty much awesome. Fits the weather doggone well, too - 41 and raining at the moment. Yay Seattle.

Tiny Vipers - Development

Have a great day, y'all!

09 February 2010

A critique of modern textual criticism

It's boring.

Okay, so that's a little harsh. Some of this stuff is absolutely fascinating, and I can see how, in( )action, it would be very useful. But it's a little dense to read through on occasion. Yes, David Greetham, I'm looking at you.

Anyways - just a quickish post tonight, because I've been doing reading for a few hours, and it's pretty much put me to sleep (or because it's getting late and I have to be up early tomorrow - your pick).

Long list of clever definitions masquerading as a ESPN column. You know, fellas, it's when you do things like that that we bloggers disrespect you. It's easy to be clever. And as a Braves fan, the Colts comparison kind of makes my stomach turn.

...and I was going to embed Unfinished Sympathy's YouTube video here, but the embedding has been "disabled by request". Poo on you, Massive Attack!


Have a great evening, y'all.

08 February 2010

Super Bowl musings and ad rankings

Heckuva game yesterday, wasn't it?

I felt kind of bad for Peyton Manning... even if he did go to Tennessee, he's always come off as a decent and upstanding sort of fellow, and he looks so miserable when things are going poorly. His face when he threw that interception was painful. All the same, though, he's still a great quarterback - there's nobody else in the league who combines vision and (laser rocket) arm the way he does, and the way he moved the Colts down the field (with, I should note, very little help from his receivers, who were dropping balls all night long) was almost magnificent. Almost, of course, because they couldn't quite pull it off.

I'd say it was hard not to cheer for New Orleans, being as how they're from the South and all that, plus there's the Katrina sympathy angle... but it really wasn't. Does that make me a horrible person?

There are just some teams - the Raiders, the Volunteers, the Trojans, the Saints, the Mets, Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox, the Red Wings, Man U, among others - that I just can't bring myself to like even a little bit. I'm not sure exactly what the deciding factor is - I mean, these teams aren't necessarily the biggest rivals of the teams I follow - but I just have a gut dislike for them; it makes me happy when they lose and sad when they win.

Anyways - on to the important bits, the reason we all watch the game: ads.

Before I begin, I'd like to throw out a creepy salute to Audi, whose "green police" ad was maybe the scariest one to air in a long time. Somehow, all the other folks at the party where I was watching the game absolutely loved the ad... but it made me think about just how bad some of this rhetoric gets.

Here are my picks for the top 5 ads from the game yesterday.

5. Kia Sorento. From the first moment of this ad, you know it's a good one. Just all-around fun. My favorite point: the snow angels.

4. Google. An absolutely charming little ad - shows that sometimes simplicity and sweetness can outweigh a big laugh or a big budget.

3. Doritos. This kid is awesome.

2. McDonalds. LeBron, Dwight, and Larry Bird. This ad made me feel good, what with the riffing on the "nothing but net" ad from... my goodness, how long ago was that now? Sort of an old school / new school vibe going on.

1. Snickers. Betty White playing football. Gotta love it. Also loving the cameo at the end. Truly a classic ad.

Have a great day, y'all!

07 February 2010

Optimum Pooper?

What the heck?

Sorry, I know it's not related, but... seriously?

Who the heck decided this was a good way to promote this product?

Granted, I can't think of a better way to promote a dog food for "optimum stool quality", but... why the heck would you want to own something that requires special food SO THAT IT CAN POOP BETTER?

I eat my bran flakes every morning, but, hey, I'm kind of important to my own enterprise. I do work. Not as much as I wish I did, perhaps, but I do reasonable amounts of work. Dogs - chihuahuas, at least - not so much.


Optimum pooper.

Y'all have a great afternoon.

06 February 2010

Since I've been loving you...

Corinne Bailey Rae - Since I've Been Loving You

There aren't a lot of artists who can do Zeppelin justice, much less take one of their most underappreciated tracks, hollow it out, and substitute piano for guitar. Corinne Bailey Rae here, I think, does a really fantastic job. Her debut album was most noted for "Put Your Records On", a beautiful little jazz-pop ditty that seemed custom-made for bicycling through summer afternoons. She's gone through some major personal turmoil since then, and her sophomore album, "The Sea", reflects that... or so I've been told. I just got the album this morning, and I'm about to start listening to it. If it taps into the serene desolation of her Zeppelin cover, it'll be something special.

Today's another down day; more DayQuil and more reading, trying to heal myself up so I'm not sneezing and hacking my way through class. On the plus side, I'm watching Angel again... Echo, I mean Faith, is pretty awesome. I do miss Fred, I mean Dr. Saunders, though. And it is always good to see David Boreanaz. Soo much black leather and angst in that show. Terrific fun, though.

Well - that's all for this afternoon. I'll hopefully be watching some of the UFC card this evening, so I should have thoughts on that and on Corinne Bailey Rae tomorrow.

Have a great day, y'all!

05 February 2010

A thrilling day

Okay, so not really. It's more or less been a mater of hanging out on the couch, drinking DayQuil, and reading. Not a horrible day, but nothing fantastic, either.

One thing that is good: it's the weekend! We've got a beautiful Saturday in front of us, and we've got the Super Bowl this Sunday. My pick: Colts 41, Saints 34.

Random thought one (and pardon my lack of segues... DayQuil isn't as non-drowsy as advertised) - Herschel Walker is still ridiculously ripped. Forget about looking as good as he does when I'm his age... I'd like to be in that good shape right now.

Random thought two - if the US doesn't make it out of their first-round group at the World Cup this summer, they should be embarrassed, all injuries aside.

Random thought three - the following video is cringe-worthily awesome. Tony Parker demonstrates just how tough a task Travolta had making that role cool. Eva Longoria demonstrates that she is an attractive human being.

Random thought four: why hasn't anyone made a cold medicine that's easier to drink than, say, a shot of some high-proof low-quality mud? I can barely get this stuff down.

Random thought five: it's a little past five o'clock, and it's still marginally light out! Spring must be on the way!

Have a great afternoon, y'all.

04 February 2010

Here comes the sun...

(do do do do)

It's sunny today! And not all that bloody cold, either! It's almost warm!

I've spent my morning watching The Damned United and reading Stephen Crane next to a large plate-glass window through which I can see the bright day. It's been fun. The film (about Brian Clough's troubles at Derby County and Leeds United) is a rather lovely portrait - in the sense of being well-done, not in the sense of being pretty) of arrogance and obsession, of a guy who couldn't let anything go. I don't know if I'd recommend it or not - it's a bit tough to watch - but it's certainly well made.

What would I recommend?

Well, for one thing, I'd recommend Arctic Monkeys labelmate Lightspeed Champion's new single, "Marlene". There's a mix of disco sensibilities and theatrical musicality in there that's rather appealing. The showmanship is perhaps a little ironic for my tastes (I'm a big fan of flat-out awesomeness, and this band seems a little afraid to embrace the potential of their sound), but it doesn't kill the experience. Three and a half of five stars. Music video!

For another, I'd recommend a cup of hot black coffee and an hour or so to go sit on the grass. That's where I'm headed!

Have a great morning, y'all!

03 February 2010

Good morning Seattle!

So it's raining out, and it's cold as heck, but at least it isn't hailing.

As it happens, I'm not a huge fan of hail. I've been caught in it a couple of times since I moved out here, and I think I've finally figured out why, exactly, I dislike it (aside from the obvious stinging, cringing, and fleeing).

I expect soft things to fall out of the sky and hit me in the head. Raindrops. Leaves. Maybe a frog every once in a while.


That's not what the sky is supposed to do! That's a bad surprise! I'm like, "ooh, I'm walking down the street listening to AC/DC OH MY GOD THE PAIN."

On a more general level, I'm not a big fan of things trying to kill me. That's probably why I'm not a cop, or the sort of biochemist who is typically targeted by assassins-for-hire (is there any other kind?).

My day so far... wake up, coffee, three mile run (with wet shoes by the end, sad panda), clean up and look spiffy for the day, raisin bran and vitamin-d-enhanced milk, then cuddling up with Stanley Fish and Stephen Colbert. And more coffee. And also pistachios.

Things I'm thankful for today?
- Waterproof boots
- Short hair that dries quickly
- The soundtrack to my life. Which, this morning, consists of Glee, Arctic Monkeys, BEP, and Bon Jovi.

Life is awesome.

Oh! And here's a Stephen Colbert clip. Because he, like life, is awesome.

Have a great day, y'all.

02 February 2010

More Ray Wylie and my Chuck ruminations

As promised - more Ray Wylie Hubbard! I add his music rather than that of Ben Frost because I've been listening to more of the honorable Mr. Hubbard's over the last couple of days.

Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Way of the Fallen

Gotta love that beautiful sound. Just cries out for a peanut-shell-covered floor, a good pair of boots, a decent bourbon, and a good woman on your arm.

Anyways - I caught the newest episode of Chuck today (link to Hulu) and I've gotta say that the episode epitomized both what I love and what I find infuriating about that show.

If you haven't seen the episode yet, don't read this!

ok then.

we good?

I'm just giving you plenty of chances to turn back...

let's go.

First off, it's absolutely lovely to see Chuck growing up as a spy. At its core, Chuck is a show about a regular guy who has to become a CIA agent. The show has highlighted the sort of dilemma that Bartowski keeps getting himself into (the sorts of dilemmas that are inevitable), but up until now, he's always taken the easier route rather than living up to his responsibilities. That didn't happen this time. Little Chucky made a tough choice, a choice that had to be made, rather than letting the situation paralyze him. Hitting Manoush (sp?) with the tranq gun, and then sending him off to a isolation facility where he'll be held by the CIA for the rest of his life? Not easy. But right. And it was good to see.

Also good to see? Casey showing a little humanity. I mean, he's a tough guy, that's his character, but there's been a tendency thus far to show him as a sort of inhuman, near-psychopathic killing machine. While there's value to that, it was really quite lovely to see him admit that making tough choices over and over can take a significant toll. It was good to see him empathize with Chuck, too.

At the same time, my major frustration with the series continued: BuyMore. I feel rather as though the BuyMore was originally supposed to be Chuck's 'normal life', to serve as the balance against his ever-increasing Intersect responsibilities and the super-spy wackiness thereof. With the continuing ascendance of Chuck's sister and Awesome into the spotlight, however (and do note that's not an ascendance to which I'm at all opposed, given that Awesome's response to the CIA revelations and escapades has been maybe the most genuine emotional stuff I've seen on the show - and, yes, "emotional stuff" is the term I choose to use there), the BuyMore has become increasingly irrelevant and distracting. It just didn't serve a real purpose in this episode, other than setting up the Morgan/Ellie alliance and the impending Crashing Down of Cover. Kristin Kreuk is kind of awesome, though.

Anyways - I'm off to coffee and then The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Have a lovely evening, y'all!

01 February 2010

Monday evening

First, a video! Courtesy of the good Mr. C.P., who posted it to Facebook earlier today:

Second: it's a beautiful Monday night in Seattle. By which, I mean, of course, that it's in the 40s and raining, but, hey, there's beauty in that. I'm in the middle of reading Marrow of Tradition, a novel by Charles W. Chesnutt. I'm also drinking milk. Vitamin D and calcium are delicious.

Third: I'm still listening to Ray Wylie Hubbard and Ben Frost. They're really good. I'll probably throw up another one of their tracks in my next post. Hubbard, I wind up stomping my foot with the music when I'm waiting at 45th and 15th (Better than when I listen to Glee, but people still look at me funny)... Frost, I just look kind of paranoid.

Have a good night, y'all! Enjoy that Lebowski, ya hear?