Monday, December 31, 2007

deal with it

i was very fortunate to remember i had a couple songs to download. if you could choose anything, and you wanted to pick something that you liked, from an artist you are only just learning about, and avoid getting stuff you can easily get elsewhere, what would you get? yeah, it's a difficult question. yes, it was me who made it hard for myself. i rose to the occasion, even though i got something i'd already heard. i picked a couple tracks from the latest john vanderslice.

'the minaret'

'numbered lithograph'

Thursday, December 27, 2007

the proper use of holiday free time

it seems that spending a large amount of time off with relatives over the holidays can be hazardous for more than a few reasons. there is always the opportunity to get into silly arguments about things that don't matter. there's the risk of getting really really lazy and sleeping endlessly, a habit that will bring only sadness when work or school demands return in january. however, the big surprise is the pure boredom that comes from living in a house where many types of entertainment are severely frowned upon, and simultaneously being excluded from the big projects that are happening. fortunately, a large amount of edible christmas presents provide me with some entertaining challenges as i try to eat my way to a manageable load of luggage for my return trip.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the wearable atlas of clothing: shoes for males

shoes are one of the most important elements of any outfit. for one thing, you need two of them. generally speaking, you don't need two pair of pants, two t-shirts, two hats, or two watches. now, certain people make clever use of this fact by bucking the general trend. shoes, however, are the only thing you absolutely need two of, other than socks. you wouldn't need two socks if you didn't need two shoes.

today, i will go through the general categories of shoes necessary to be an excellent human being, if you are male.

first: sneakers
don't let anyone deceive you. sneakers are more important than anything. they can be worn with anything, and often can be worn in the modern workplace. please make sure you have the following:

-1 pr slip-on, preferably with an attractive design.
if you need to ask why, please don't. just get the shoes.

-1 pr running shoes designed in the 1980s, date of manufacture unimportant

-1-2 pr oddly colored or designed shoes.
these are impractical, and need not fit particularly well. ideal for parties.

-1 pr that looks as non-sneaker-like as possible.
for wear in snooty workplaces

-high performance athletic shoes as necessary given your sporting life.

-optional: one pair skate shoes, preferably somewhat non-huge-looking, preferably slip-on or velcro

second: casual shoes
if you do well here, you may not ever need dress shoes. you need these for the workplace, to keep them honest. maybe they think you wear sneakers every single day, but try to prove them wrong.

-1 pr slip-on.
if you ever travel, you will thank me for insisting on this.

-1 pr brown.
essential when masquerading as a preppy, or if you want to look good for a date. my old roommate insists you can wear jeans on a date and look like you dressed up if your shoes are nice

-1 pr black, possibly shiny.
this is where you can eliminate the need for dressier shoes. note that more than 2 pr casual shoes is absolutely unnecessary. do what you wish.

-optional: one pr oddly colored or patterned casuals.
maybe you can't wear sneakers to the workplace, but can they stop you from wearing pinstriped loafers? much less likely

third: boots etc
those who live in snowy climes or have an affinity for the outdoors will appreciate this one.

-1 pr sturdy hikers.
good for snow or the mountain trail. not absolutely necessary if you are clever/cheap/don't mind wet feet.

-1 pr flip flops.
you can't imagine how many places you might use these

-1 pr serious athletic-type sandals.
hey, some people really like them. why not?

fourth: dress shoes
i used to own a pair of these.
i think i lost them.

-1 pr shiny black.
likely uncomfortable and only useful for formal occasions. some of us got tuxes for christmas, you know.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

songs of the week, wk 10

-'william harry holmes'

-'i could be dreaming'

new years is supposed to be about changes. i'm bringing change, big time, whether i like it or not. if things go the way i plan, that is.

Friday, December 21, 2007


i am visiting relatives for the holidays, which leads me to the following thoughts:

how can i survive a week and a half with no cool shoes?

why is it that they have the worst showerhead in the world, and how can i put up with it?

why can people make such a big deal out of you accepting their suggestions and then blow yours off in seconds? am i too nice? do i need better excuses?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the christmas trader

would you rather have...

216 sticks of sugarless minty gum


a 2008 paper airplane a day calendar

Monday, December 17, 2007


not only was our holiday part at a bowling alley, we had a running competition and my team won 2 out of 3 times...ok, the last game wasn't finished but we were dominating and they had 3 bowlers left on the last frame. one had just rolled a spare or a strike, but they weren't going to beat us. i had 121, and i was 3rd on my team of 5...and that's a good score for this group.

my rounds:


i have apparently somewhat overcome my inability to bowl anything respectable. i had a strike on my 9th frame in that last game and then bowled a 3, so i was just doing way better than i had all night. actually, the first game i started strike-strike and had 42 points in the first 3 frames.

i also came away from this with 216 sticks of gum, all the same flavor. they smell good.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

songs of the week, wk 9

-'twenty days'

-'the men who live upstairs'

-'it's not'

i could try to make a point about all of this, but suffice it to say that i listened to some new music this week, some of which was good and some of which was nothing special. here's to the fact that many of us can also make music that is at least somewhat interesting.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


i came home late from a long and extremely fun day of painting. not only did i learn what chartreuse looks like, i got to do something useful for my friends. on the way out the door, with my hooded sweatshirt and jeans, i found that it was snowing/sleeting all over. unfortunately, i was stuck with more walking than usual, but despite the slipperiness of my shoes and the surprising number of slopes in my path, i made it fine. since i'd already smacked my knee hard on some sharp furniture, i wss hoping i could get home without falling and making more parts of my leg hurt.

no, i really wasn't

i was browsing around a major retailer's website today, looking for some music that c might like for christmas, and this hilarious/intriguing link popped up at the side - 'the independent sound you've been searching for...' now, i wsa listening to whiting tennis on half-broken headphones, so if i was searching for something, it definitely wasn't an independent sound. i didn't just click on the link to laugh at anyone or be snotty, i was somewhat hoping to see a well-written description of what 'the independent sound' was according to that particular retailer. what i got was simply a link to their partner site specializing in independent music.

Friday, December 14, 2007

there's nothing else

christmas update:

r - done
j - done
c - done
g - done

hooray for word of mouth and online shopping. now, of course, i can swap these around a bit if necessary, because some of the gifts are versatile...but the key is that i've got almost everyone covered now, and it's time to get creative and see what else i can manage to find.

i went to (i think) my first christmas party of the year last night. it was a good time. i stayed way too long and said ridiculous stuff, but probably i wasn't enough over the top to make it worthwhile. will have to work on time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

christmas update

it has been my goal, for quite some time, to get the christmas shopping done early. well, after a long time browsing one particular chain this evening, the score stands:

j - done
g - done (very possibly, i'll get him more stuff too)

might end up wanting/needing to find stuff for others as well, but those are the main characters. h is usually the toughest, by reckoning of most involved, but i'm just glad i got something for j already that's exciting. c can be tough also, if you want to be frugal. r is easy to please. g is the simplest to shop for. i bought his present months ago.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

another day in the sun

i woke up feeling completely awful today, and didn't go to work. it's been a long time since i've been sick this frequently; i can't really remember a time when i got sick every week or two. i did make the most of my time, in the sense of doing nothing at all and trying to relax and get myself rested up for tomorrow. i ate lots of healthy food, or i hope i did, and maybe in the morning i'm going to feel fantastic again.

i keep wondering, actually, if i have just worn myself down to the point that i can't function or something. hopefully the forced rest, for the third time now, will get me back on my feet for longer than a couple weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

this will take some working through

my challenge: write a song with the lyric 'i'm tired of investing in twin size comforters'

it's actually going to be part of the chorus:

i'm tired of investing in twin size comforters
but you're tired of changing wet sheets

i was thinking of staring something like:

paul drives a minivan with empty back seats
there's no way he'll sell it for now
wasting some gas is a small price to pay
to be ready for settling down
seven cupholders, an armrest or two
no dvd player or sliding sunroof
perfect upholstery tell me the truth,
was he joking when he bought that thing?

john's got four records, a beat-up guitar
and photos of him in tehran
three of the records are spencer krug bands
the other's his girl from the choir
i took her once to a game or a show
the difference is lost on us all
she had the band but john wrote the songs
recording was never so hard

i'm tired of investing in twin size comforters
but you're tired of changing wet sheets
we need to ask is there something we've done
or just life meant we'd end up such freaks

stacy and lucy aren't talking that much
to me or to either of them
one of those nights it all came out wrong
no one forgot anything
we lost our youth to a four hour fight
what became of a friendship that started so great
i think it was honesty, if we'd had more
time would have healed those wounds

clearly this is going to be hard, and i don't have a decent tune in my head for this, which is going to make it harder than usual.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

songs of the week, wk 8


-the cowshed

-ready to go

-piazza, new york catcher

-song of our so-called friends

this past week brought a bit of a renaissance. it might not have felt like this was coming, especially wednesday when i was starting to think no one cared about this stuff. by the end of the week, not only was i listening to more music, i got my music system to behave better than it usually does. last night i fell asleep to a playlist including many of the above songs; there was something of a cohesive spirit in the selections.

Friday, December 07, 2007

i was trying to point out that everyone has their quirks

so i said something funny and it was noted. this happened a long time ago, and i'm sure i'd heard about it before last night. i wonder why i'm enjoying this so much.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

it would be bold

there aren't a lot of things i could say that would be significant enough to warrant caution. the ones that are don't necessarily ever make it out of my head.

Monday, December 03, 2007

how many times do i need to say it?

jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor. jennifer o'connor.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

songs of the week, wk 7

-'a voice through the wall'

-'slipping through the sensors'

snow today. i looked out the window and was surprised how the diagonal drifting streaks of snow made me happy just for a moment. rain followed; rain has its own magic, but on a day when fallen snow is fading into dirty slush, drops of rain are a disappointment.