Thursday, May 31, 2007

smiles aren't for everyone

i've had trouble with my reading list lately, primarily because i have been misplacing or losing books at a rapid clip. i re-read the first harry potter novel while visiting relatives, and that was of course a great experience. it was also 6 weeks ago. since then, i've been reading this and that, re-reading some things, etc. i checked several promising new non-fiction works out of the library today, and began reading one. it's quite thick. part of the reason i got on this non-fiction thing is i have a friend who refuses to read all fiction. while admirable and inspiring, her stance isn't one i can duplicate. i love novels and short stories. however, it has lent nonfiction reading a rebellious cool it never had before.

Monday, May 28, 2007

egg update

i still have over 70 of those things. i haven't eaten a single one, don't plan too, and no one seems particularly fond of them. maybe the new guy will eat some. he starts tuesday the 29th, and somehow avoided starting on a holiday.

enough of the mess

i watched reruns online in reverse order again. it was a bit worse than last time, only because the show was at the same time more watchable, more successful, and probably much worse. well, i thought, there can't really be that many shows that are actually worth watching.

i am so sorry

i moved desks today at work. there were hard feelings about this move. not on my part; i'm closer to my friends again and i have a pretty sweet new locale. mind you, i moved 10 feet and i wasn't divided from those guys by any actual barriers...but i am much closer to whisper range again, which i love.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


it's hard to say where habits and preferences come from, but i can tell you there are times there is no good reason that i start some new initiative. for over a year, i have only worn solid colored ties to church. oddly enough, the trend seems to be that you see a lot more solid ties than before, but i will absolutely do anything i can to find a solid tie before i'll go out the door to church. it's not important, except for the fact that it's what i do. i assume most people haven't noticed, so here i go spoiling the relative obscurity of this practice of mine.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

save it for later

better than just watching tv on the internet, which is refreshingly odd. watching tv on the internet in reverse sequence. i'm not sure i'd have the guts to do it to my favorite show, but something kinda's just the ticket. kinda refreshing when you can figure out the plot in advance and not feel bad about it.

the problem with the world today

sure, i listened to the new voxtrot album. at work. i paused it several times due to distractions of one type or another. it was good, there were some tracks that deserve more attention. i think the lyrics are overly wordy in places; there's a sense of reaching for something that isn't quite achieved. i found myself wondering how much i'd care about this album if i hadn't already been drawn in to the voxtrot fanbase.

the album itself was overshadowed by whiting tennis' three leaf clover, an odd gem with folk and americana inflected throughout. i particularly enjoyed the tottering synthetic parts on certain tracks, which add a charming playfulness. overall strong lyrically, the album should offer much through repeated listens. we will see.

Monday, May 21, 2007


when is it bad to get a promising phone call? when it throws all of your other calculations completely off. i think it's useful to know that if you had the option of going somewhere, you'd choose that over anything else. it's almost as good if you simply know that this new option would make all of the other decisions much more difficult. i wonder how long it will be until i have made a final choice.

biggest disappointment of the year?

voxtrot debut out tomorrow. this could be the biggest disappointment in some time. it's been a long time in the making; i can't think of many other bands that have had this much hype without ever releasing an album. i've stubbornly refused to listen to advance cuts, so as to be able to approach the whole thing at once. if there's a single track on it that matches 'the start of something,' then the wait is totally worth it. without that song, i'm not sure i would care much about voxtrot. i think i heard 'missing pieces' first, and it just doesn't have the magic. i'm not even sure i think 'biggest fan' is all that magical. is this a band that waited too long to put out an album, or are they going to continue to develop as songwriters? doesn't take the pervasive songwriting references in that latest ep to clue us in on the pressure this band has to feel.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

you're just an animal

went to the zoo yesterday, and i was a bit surprised by the fact that they seem to sell a lot of meat in the concession stands, with no real vegetarian options. doesn't that seem a bit wrong? sure, they probably have to sell meat because most people eat meat, and because an institution like a zoo needs to attract the general public's support in order to survive. i suppose if they sold furs it would be a bit worse. still, wouldn't it be nice if they gave a little more thought to selling tasty vegetarian food?

Thursday, May 17, 2007


why would you do anything? when it comes down to big decisions, what makes you go through with it? getting out of bed in the morning is the sort of motivation i can handle. it's easy enough; there always seems to be something to look forward to. i also have the goal of still being able to say i haven't been late to work a single time in the past year. plus, there's always something good about going in to the office these days; the folks there are my tightest bunch of friends here. i think i like what i do enough to make it worthwhile in that sense also. i don't enjoy every last thing that i do during the day, but in any given 2-week period there's a project or two that i find interesting enough.

pushed to the limit

i've always thought the extreme consumerism of my current locale is somewhat distasteful. it's like the land of being able to buy anything for a high price. sure, that could describe america in general, but it's the fullest expression of money culture that disgusts me. there are some things i could afford and that might help me out a bit - sending out my wash is the biggest - that i just can't fathom doing. i'm stubborn in trying to cling to a lifestyle best suited for somewhere else, but sometimes we're true to our principles in ways that are generally pretty insignificant.

one thing i appreciate is the focus that all this grandeur has given me; i realize that it isn't what i want, and for that i am grateful. it's easy to let life sneak up on you, take you places you don't want to go. sometimes extreme distasteful experiences should be thanked for showing us what we really value.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

shifting tides

does it seem like every time you go out of town fun stuff happens? there are a number of stories i can recall where i was out of town for whatever reason and something memorable happened. in a way, i was a part of it, at least because i heard about it from people. no one perhaps would see it as i do, but there was a point where i started sticking around more, because i didn't want to miss out. maybe before i move this time, that could actually happen again.

Monday, May 14, 2007

thank yus

thank yu rhett miller, for not thinking you're too good for the old 97s. your solo work plays out better live than on the records, and the believers are great to see with you live...but as you said saturday, "the old 97s have a secret weapon...and it's philip peeples." the believers don't have murry or ken either. that was one mighty good time saturday, and thank yu for doing a second encore as well. seriously, though, i suppose it's too annoying to play all the old favorites, but victoria lee? come on, in the past 14 months, i've seen you 4 times solo or with the believers plus this most recent old 97s show...and you can't play victoria lee one time?! are you sick of it, because you're allowed to be...i just wondered.

thank yu to my office crush for smiling back at me in an elevator, even if you got on your phone immediately after getting out of the elevator. i don't even know how i brought myself to smile at you in the first place. just know that i'm basically enough of a fool that i won't ever speak to you for real.

thank yu to the couple on the subway platform who sang happy birthday on the spur of the moment when they overheard my roommate saying it was my birthday.

thank yu to my vegetarian friends for respecting my effort to try eating vegan for a week.

thank yu to the fried who explained to me that someone with a phd in goverment has a realistic chance of finding gainful employment as a full-time professor.

thank yu to any company whose application does not require you to re-enter all previous employers. resumes summarize relevant job experience.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


i was watching tv tonight, something that has become more of a routine for me these past couple of weeks. as with all perfectly normal and perfectly useless behavior, television consumption pulls you in quickly even when you've been away from it for a while. i've heard that if you're diligent enough, you can get to a point where you are simply disgusted by it. i am probably not going to watch a good portion of what's out there, but i consistently take in too many feature-length films in theater or on disc to really become immune to the tv bug.

the thing that was surprising or sad was how hard it was to watch a couple shows without my computer as a handy distraction. the commercial breaks, which i mostly watched on mute, were a real drag without email and web sites to tide me over. it was almost like a test of willpower. it was easy to stick to what i planned once i'd made up my mind to leave the computer alone, but maybe harder than being vegan for 8 days. that's another issue, but i'm not really sure when to back off the vegan thing. probably next time i leave town; eating out and being 100% vegan is tough. i had a couple english muffins at a diner on day one or two, having read one package and determined that they contained no milk products. later on, i checked another brand just to see how safe i was...and they had some milk ingredients. oh well.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

back into the wind

cities of the plain
-cormac mccarthy

i have no way of properly addressing this book's significance and compositional style. everything i write reminds me of how little pertinent knowledge of american literature i have attained. i can't possibly see why people would prefer all the pretty horses, unless it is simply because they read it first.

there is a passage in this book, perhaps around page 207 or 209, that was the most incredible i have encountered in some time. perhaps it was the right mood for that day, that evening, that moment. i could re-read it, and i doubt i would feel at all the same. reading many other passages, i could only think how much i must be missing and how i would have a lot to gain from re-reading cities of the plain. overall, the novel was a relief after the heartbreaking depravity of blood meridian. i had to give up on mccarthy for a while after that one. my leap of faith in re-dedicating myself to exploration of his oeuvre was richly rewarded.

cities of the plain is a sequel to both all the pretty horses and the crossing. those familiar with mccarthy's style and anyone who champions authorial freedom will be glad to hear he wastes not a word preparing us for the union between these two worlds. as we find the protagonists from the previous two works of this trilogy united, we hear next to nothing of the time since those works concluded. mccarthy's narrator describes the action. characters are not introduced; they simply appear. you have to make inferences about who they are based on the dialogue. the narrator has no greater inclination to describe individuals withing the story than the laconic cowboy heroes of these tales. mccarthy manages to transcend these self-imposed limitations through the use of alternate narrators, ancient hermits encountered by his characters. their stories are vivid, philosophical, and grandiose. these are the passages that most often defy my attempts at full comprehension of mccarthy's message.