Thursday, July 31, 2008

what's wrong with this picture?

i can't sleep and suddenly it occurs to me that i have the chance to find out once and for all if the clock on this one web app from work is based on eastern time or not. apparently it is, and apparently it isn't designed to work on open-source browsers running on the platform none of our office machines run. thus, a bunch of wasted post-midnight time yeah, that's

i'm not hiding

i tried to listen to one of the new css just made me angry. then i had to go dig up somewhere i could actually listen to something from the first album.

august tomorrow. august is the month the new jennifer o'connor is out. i will continue to mention this.

Monday, July 28, 2008

taking a break

someone at work suggested i take a vacation. the problem is, i was afraid to leave for fear that i'd enjoy myself and then be reluctant to return. that was maybe a month or so ago. i'm still planning and thinking about future travels, but i wonder whether it's a good idea to do so. in the past, i have had relative success taking short vacations; 3 days plus a weekend seems like a good break. it has seemed like going away longer than that (which i've done maybe twice in the past four years) can be counterproductive. if i'm away from work long enough, i get too comfortable not being at work. in the past, i have had stretches where work was my favorite part of my life, which is a good thing to keep in mind.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

measuring stick

i figured out a rough way of gauging the relative popularity of musical acts, and i'm not sure why it didn't occur to me before. this past week, i logged in to one of those streaming music sites. it had been a long time since my last visit, and they had recently redone their site. handily, each artist that plays now shows up alongside several other similar artists, with the number of listeners and total streams for each. using this metric, i first discovered that norfolk & western are way too obscure. i'm not sure what the deal is; little wings has a lot more listeners and they're both obscure and a little grating at times. so now norfolk & western will have to square off against loch lomond for the title of least known portland act that i like. what disturbed me even more is the absolute paucity of jennifer o'connor listeners. something needs to change about that. new album's out in august...ok?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

not any more

-michael lewis

there's one reason i read this book: i like lewis' writing. someone on the subway asked me if it was any good, and i had a laugh with him about the fact that it's not really 'next' any more since the book was published 7 years ago. this was a good book to read in my spare time, although it was only worth it really for the writing. he didn't show off too much, so that element wasn't as good as it could have been either. there are some good stories here, but let me go ahead and recommend an article by lewis that you should read first. it's about his return to new orleans following hurricane katrina. it is well worth your time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

maybe it was a waste

i saw three movies today. it's possible that i could have wasted my time, and then again it's possible that there are worse ways to waste time. i saw a huge action movie with my roommate, a quirky independent comedy by myself, and a classic with several friends. i wore a different hat to each one, which was somewhat inevitable but actually a natural choice. given the fact that i didn't like the way the first hat went with my t-shirt, and that the second is old and needs to be protected, it made sense that i kept switching. i wore the same shoes all day, which was unfortunate considering they're not good for walking. i finished the novel i'd been reading, and found the opening pages of the next one to be much more interesting than i'd expected. it's been a little while (four books ago) since i began a new novel that was engrossing from the beginning.

Friday, July 18, 2008

snapshots are the new thing?

'the rain after it falls'
-jonathan coe

i finished reading the jacket copy after finishing the book. perhaps this is book, so overtly pitched to women, went over my head. this is my second book in recent months, following emily mitchell's 'the last summer of the world,' which i'm still reading, that uses photographs to frame the narrative. the device is more overt here. i found it annoying. when i realized the book was going to be a series of descriptions of photographs, it was dread that overtook me, nothing else. basically, a family learns the secret life of a deceased aunt and the identity of her lost heir through a series of recordings she has left behind. i thought the "listening" characters were weak, and that much of the material they heard was boring. it could all be a matter of preference. there are some nice touches, but i was really just trying to get through this most of the time i spent reading it. that being said, it was not a true chore to read.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

a bit of an in joke

maybe it doesn't have to be an in joke. bigbadabangband is a pretty funny name. they're not as good as xploding plastix, but those guys are very good at what they do. it's been a few years, but it's still worth sending a thank you to my friends for finding the club where they were playing in rotterdam after i'd given up. if it was up to me, we would have flown across the atlantic and not even attended the show that was the original excuse for making the trip.

Monday, July 14, 2008

the power of procrastination

i'd been puzzling over how i was ever going to decide whether to see aimee mann or old 97s this summer, and basically my choice has been made due to an imbalance in demand for the two concerts i was considering. it's sad in a way, but i have no choice at this point. i'm also glad that i haven't been literally counting the days until the new jennifer o'connor record. more than a month still, ok people? sorry if i gave it away.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

i didn't mean to make fun of anybody

all i did was ask if it was really a decision whether or not bon jovi would wear a black leather vest when he came out on stage. i thought it was funny to ask if he might have considered brown or red, but i had no desire to poke fun at him. he has pretty nice teeth. later on, he wore a red and then a blue shirt.

Friday, July 11, 2008

bridges, hats, diners

what is it about my brain that allows me to walk over a bridge, eat at a diner i've never seen in a town i've never visited and think "this is perfect, this is so what this place should be?" i don't think i've eaten at a diner with golden sparkles embedded in the ceiling, nor have i had a rootbeer float with whipped cream on top. it's been a long time since i've had french toast, and i certainly have never gotten yelled at by a cyclist while crossing a bridge. there were 11 of us (i think) and of course we tried to get out of the way of the two cyclists, but some went to one side of the footpath and some went to the other side. that's not ideal, it might not be the smartest, but there was room for him to go through. there's certainly no need to whine "come on guys, share the bridge." what part of getting out of his way does not indicate a willingness to share the bridge? since i don't care much about many things lately, it's surprising how long i spent wondering what would have happened if i'd punched that guy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

launch date

in the spirit of interconnectedness and the theory that most music is worth at least a brief listen, i'm exploring bands through their online friendships with other bands. let's start with {{{ sunset }}}, an austin, tx band. technically, they have what could be described as a melodic pop sound, with vintage keyboard tones an important element of their music. i think it's safe to say that i could have written their bio, but i did not. in fact, i'm not sure i'm capable of writing such things any longer:

"{{{ SUNSET }}} is ow tin, TX based headstock music group of which dabbles in psychedelic volks-rots. They have this way now played for a year or, and constantly evolved. The group started initially as sale for the songwriting of Baird of the account outside group sound Team. After sound dissolved Team, concentrated he is only ideas on this new project.

They register an album of new songs, segues, and other fantastic ideas. After they finish registering, they probably the way and travel will affect the U.S. entirely concerning these large states. "

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


last summer, i slept with no air conditioning and it wasn't that bad. we had a window fan unit that provided good circulation. this summer, i have a second hand a/c unit that makes more noise than is reasonable or bearable. i am a heavy sleeper, and this thing wakes me up several times a night. the real problem is that the incredibly loud spurts are periodic. they sneak up on you and ruin a perfectly good stretch of sleep. the bonus is cooler air, but i'm willing to sacrifice that, especially considering the environmental benefits of using less energy.

Monday, July 07, 2008

rain, relative height, policing

watched fireworks from a crowded public park, police doing a nice job of keeping order while remaining more of a presence than a force. i wasn't looking forward to standing up to watch fireworks, as fun day's rock climbing event had still not worked its way out of my system. i wasn't excited about the rain either, but it wasn't all that bad. mostly, i kept thinking of aimee mann's song 4th of july.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

fun day 2008

we won again. it's a bit weird being the team that everyone hates, watching them literally turn their backs on us when we introduced ourselves, and going in an taking first place a second year. of course, second prize was a free day off, like last year, and thus still a better prize than first. i knew that all along and still was desperate to win.