Thursday, March 30, 2006

I never used to get emails like this in Michigan...

The following warning was in my inbox:

An employee found a small rattlesnake by Building 8 this
morning. Please be careful when hiking or walking around the site. Thank you

Dating Eval Form

My friend over at ReallyTopDrawer came up with a Date Evaluation Form. I wish I was that clever and funny and generally all around witty.

Real life is better than sitcoms.

An actual exchange that took place tuesday night:

Me: You climb? Do you have your own stuff?

Female Friend #1: I have shoes.

Me: And a harness?

FF#1: No harness, just shoes.

Female Friend #2: I have harness, but no shoes.

FF#1: Well, together we're still a naked person with a harness and shoes.

Female Friend #3: I'm uncomfortable.

Me: I'm excited.

FF#3: I'm more uncomfortable.

Old News

This is pretty old news by now, but I think worth posting anyway. This is a blog entry by one the law students at Georgetown who protested Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' speech defending the president's illegal wiretapping directive. The blog entry is obviously from the point of view of someone who disagrees with the current administration, but he does a good job of linking to media coverage of the event by the likes of CNN and Fox News. I recommend reading the blog entry yourselves, but the upshot is that members of the audience, during Mr. Gonzales' speech, stood up and silently turned their backs to him, while some were holding a banner paraphrasing a Benjamin Franklin quote as "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." This is protest at its finest. No shouting. No violence. Just a simple and very effective way to get across a message.

By the way, the blog does have the full Benjamin Franklin qoute; "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Friday, March 24, 2006

McSweeney's Exhibit D

Fine, check this out, you philistines.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

In case you're wondering

the reason I haven't kept up with my updates is because I've been sick. Last week it was the flu, now it's strep throat. Hopefully I'll be better soon.

Monday, March 20, 2006

There is justice in this world...

From an article in slate:

Embattled Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., badly trailing in his re-election race, has decided to call in Bush to campaign for him in Pennsylvania. Problem is, Bush is one of the few politicians more unpopular in the state than Santorum. The senator, according to a recent Pennsylvania poll, has the approval of just 42 percent of Pennsylvanians and trails Democratic challenger Bob Casey by 14 points. The president, by contrast, enjoys the approval of 35 percent of Pennsylvanians.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pants Are Vetoed

I was invited to be a contributor to Pants Are Vetoed, a community blog started up by some cool and creative friends of mine. Check it out.

Motown Remixed

MOTOWN remixed
MOTOWN remixed

The first of my scheduled weekly posts about music.

I just received another indulgent batch of music from amazon. I'm trying to cut back. You see, I used to throw down some serious cash on music every month or two. Now I get most of my fix supplied by rhapsody, a wonderful subscription based service that interfaces nicely with my Sonos and allows me to put subscription-based tracks on my portable mp3 player (not an ipod; apples' draconian DRM doesn't allow playback of subscription-based music). But I can't help it. I still have to own cd's. So every once in a while I'll still order a few cd's here and there, usually stuff that I either like so much I want to own the cd, or stuff that's a little more obscure and not carried by the music services like Yahoo Music Unlimited, Rhapsody, or even itunes. Sometimes I end up with something lame, and sometimes I stumble upon a true gem. The latest gem is Motown Remixed.

Before I go on I should clue the reader in to my general preferences when it comes to music. These are not absolute by any means, just general things that typically draw me toward a certain song or band. Keep these in mind as I write more reviews down the line. Good things: horn section; good rhythm; unique instrumentation; international sound; funky, bouncy feeling. Bad things: guitars; wankery; twang; traditional instrumentation (meaning your typical rock band consisting of singer, bassist, drummer, and one or more guitars). Indifferent: lyrics (meaning I will almost never like or dislike a song based entirely on it's lyrics). I could write a whole essay on what I mean by wankery in the dislikes section, but for now let's just say that in general almost any solo, whether it be guitar, drum, or, I dunno, tuba, almost always counts as wankery. The classic example in my mind is the hair band guitar solo. I don't want to listen to it. I don't care how good you are at playing the guitar/trumpet/drums/accordian/triangle. I don't want to listen to your wankery.

Anyway, this post is about Motown Remixed. I generally like classic motown songs. I would even go so far as to say that Michael Jackson made some really good music, until he went through puberty. Most of the songs on this album were just fine in their original version. I was a little wary to see what the remix artists, such as king britt and z-trip, would do to these fine motown classics, like Marvin Gaye's "Let's get it on" and The Temptations' "Papa was a rollin' stone". I was worried they were going to simply rip out the vocals and lay them down over an overbearing beat. They didn't. Most of the remixes are delightfully understated. They maintain their power and soul while being subtly and sometime appropriately not-so-subtly updated and modernized. The remixes are, if anything, true to their sources. Standouts include "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson &
the Miracles (remixed by Double D & Disco)and "abc" by Jackson 5 (remixed by Salaam Remi). Highly recomended for any fan of motown or imaginative remixing in general.

Actual content

So I've been thinking lately that I need to make a better effort to put actual content on my blog. I was close to deleting my last two posts because they don't say anything worth saying and amount to blog wankery. But, I posted them, and posted they shall remain. In an effort to bring some structure to this blog I am going to impose on myself a schedule. We shall see how well it works. You may be wondering why I'm imposing a schedule on something like a blog, which should be rather free form and a labor of love. Well, I like the effect that writing about events has on me. I like having to think about a situation and finding meaning in it enough that I have something to say. When I don't write about the significance of events it's almost as if there is no significance. I've also been on this kick lately where I've been thinking about transfering traditionally oral histories into text. More about this later. Without further ado, here is the rough schedule I'm imposing on myself.

Every Tuesday: A post about music. Maybe a new cd, maybe a show I went to, maybe random musings on music in general. Basically, I like music and it is a great source of joy in my life. I would like to share that joy.

Every Wednesday: A movie review. I am not a professional movie reviewer. I don't go to early screenings so that I can have the review out by opening weekend. But I do like movies, and also would like to share my experiences with them.

Every Thursday: Book talk. Not necessarily a full-fledged book review, just musings about whatever I happen to be reading at the time.

Every weekend, at some time during the weekend: A story, a chronicle, some event from my past that I'd like to put in writing. Hopefully you will find them interesting or entertaining in some way.

This is my self-imposed schedule. You are all allowed to hold me to it and give me grief if I'm late. Email me at or preferably my yahoo account that you already have if you know me to give me a swift, spiritual kick to the head that makes me get back on my schedule.