Tuesday, July 29, 2003

...a brief interlude...

So there I was, hanging from a tiny branch over a mountain gorge with my pants around my ankles and one boot sailing to the ground thousands of feet below. The wind whipped wildly at my arms trying to tug me down and away from the ledge that hovered a tantalizing two feet above me. On that ledge stood my tormentor, the person that put me in this position, my latest archenemy.

It was a six-inch tall Beanie Baby named George.

I’m sure most of you remember Beanie Babies themselves from the furious uproar they caused nearly two decades ago in the late ‘90s as little old ladies warred over bargain bins with suburban moms in a carnage unmatched since the great Cabbage Patch Kid crush of ‘84. Well unlike the Cabbage Patch Kids this mania grew and grew as more special editions came out and supplies -- or manufacturing runs, whichever phrasing you prefer -- ran low causing nerves to fray and psyches to unravel.

It became father versus daughter, grandma against priest, rocker versus mod all over again as nations fought over these supplies. Little did we know that this was intended as a grand smoke-screen and nations barely noticed when President George W Bush tossed out the Constitution and took his seat as Emperor For Life along with his Court Jester Rummy and Princess Cheney. How were we supposed to know that hidden in some dummy corporation behind Mattel was actually the shadowy cabal known as The Masons and that they really were pulling all the strings? Maybe if the prophets of doom hadn’t been stinky hippies or nut cases with sandwich boards constantly reminding us "The End Is Nigh" we would have taken things more seriously!

At least we didn’t have to worry about Bush and company for long since it appeared the Beanie Babies were done being crushed against well-padded chests, shoved under a nine-year-old’s sheets or displayed in little plastic domes on top of curio cabinets. The opening salvo was fired the night of June 30, 2012 when a Beanie Baby whose identity has been shrouded by the passing years finally got sick of this whole hullabaloo and willed itself into life. It wasn’t long before other inanimate objects in semi-humanoid form realized they could do the same. It was only folks like me that didn’t totally freak out and took to torching vast seas of fake fur and jellybean eyes in an attempt to stop the further propagation of what had become mankind’s greatest foe.

We had the upper hand for a while until few weeks ago when the dirty furry little bastards came out with a new video game (Grand Theft Auto: Super Mario Brothers Twelve - damn our human weakness!) and most of the resistance died down until there was only one clear thinking human left…me. The Beanies hadn’t counted on someone actually being so burned out by video games and mass consumer culture -- hell even PETA had fallen in line after the "Pin The Tail On The Rancher" arcade game came out -- until I surfaced and caught them by surprise. I had ‘em on the run for a spell.

Well obviously things aren’t going so well for me know. You see the little bastards somehow divined my own weakness and blind-sided me. I mean the last Starbucks closed down in late 2005 so I thought I was clear and clean of that particular addiction but those fuzzy little demons resurrected the Venti Skim Latte and held me in their thrall long enough to wheel me over this cliff’s edge. And above me there was George, mocking me.

"Who would’ve thought humanity’s last chance would fall due to a cup of coffee, eh?" taunted George.

Damn you Starbucks! Damn you dirty Beanie Babies! Damn you all to hell!

Monday, July 28, 2003

Time is on my side, yes it is…right?

As you may have noticed my updates seem to be growing sparser and for that I apologize…but not too fervently. While I miss flexing my mental muscles in front of all of you since I now get paid to flex those same muscles for hours and hours a day that – obviously – leaves me less time to flex ‘em in public.

Another funny thing I’ve noticed is how I now have to cram my news reading in whenever I can. Whilst unemployed I had hours a day to scan multiple news sources, digest and process what I came across. Now I have to rely mainly on my local paper, NPR and Reuters to get the majority of my information so I feel less entitled to spin out grand commentary when I know full well I may be responding to a news fragment rather than a news story.

It was this realization that brought me to my current point and that is; Just how the heck are we supposed to stay well-informed and involved with the world around us if there’s so little time to really learn about what’s going on out there?

Now I’m not going to follow the paranoid’s train of thought and say, “A-ha! That’s why the man keeps you working…so you can’t get a handle on things!” but I can see where that same paranoid’s coming from. I like the work I do and I know that’s pretty rare but even so I can feel its slightly narcotizing effect on me as a I rush headlong through a 40+ hour work week and then try to chill out and relax (which is nearly impossible given the number of music-related events I’m involved with) each weekend.

Is there a solution? Well, yeah, there is but it sort of assumes you’re ready to drop out of “polite” society in order to get your bearings well enough so you can…speak intelligently about the crises facing “polite” society? Yeah, it is a bit of a brain-bender ain’t it? If you want to improve the system you more or less have to drop out of it and that just doesn’t make much sense to me. How can anyone be expected to have a meaningful discourse when they are attacking the same problem from two completely different philosophical grounds with very little in the way of a common vocabulary? They can’t or at least they can’t be expected to ever actually understand each other long enough to be able to decide which parts of each person’s point of view to incorporate into any possible solutions.

Anyway this is just another one of those conundrums that I seem to be able to identify but lack the time to actually solve. I guess thousands of people try to solve this problem every day by creating labor saving devices that might allow us a little more free time and in that free time we could try to expand our knowledge of the world and our place in it and all that…but then since we have this extra free time provided by countless labor saving devices we seem pretty adept at filling said free time without even thinking about it.

Hmm…well that a twister, eh?

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Giggling with Google.

Go to Google, type in WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION and hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky Button.” Really, try it. It’s a hoot.

In other news, over 200 people attended the Tankboy showcase at Double Door last night with Sour Deluxe, American Cosmonaut, Exo and The Assembly. Where were you? It was a pretty awesome night of music for a Wednesday. I also got very drunk. Luckily I chose to go home, get naked and climb in bed with my girlfriend rather than drinking and celebration the show’s success until 4am. Apparently I do still have a few functioning brain cells that prod me to occasionally make the right decision.

Next Thursday I have another show at Double Door and I’ll be DJing between sets. I think I’m going to break in the new iPod as well. Come on by and don’t miss Light FM, Woolworthy, The Cells and Dig For Fire July 31…don't be a schmo and miss this one too!

Friday, July 18, 2003

The Agony and The Ecstacy.

So my family is super cool and gets me the new super-duper 30GB Apple iPod for my birthday this year. I get it home, boot it up, get ready to load the software into my Windows 98 driven computer system...when I realize that iPods only work with Windows 2000 and later!

Oh well, guess I'll have to load songs in at work or at friends' houses...

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Blur and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club bring down two houses.

At least I thought so. My review of both shows is right here. So you go look now!

Friday, July 11, 2003

It just struck me.

You know the primary problem with electronic written communication is that often the speaker's tone is lost. Back in the olden days when folks actually composed letters to each other more time and care was taken to insure that the end result, when read, would convey the message originally intended.

I think this could also be said to carry into phone conversations as well since we’ve grown accustomed to being able to contact almost anyone almost anywhere at almost anytime. The lack of tone in this method of communication is even more distressing since the speakers are actually speaking. The mode of speech is often clipped and words are ejected in a verbal thrust and parry as a bastardized short-hand of english emerges:

“Uh huh.”
“Oh yeah.”
“Be there.”

The sad fact is we can totally reconstruct the other side of that conversation because we’ve all grown accustomed to truncated usage. I do bemoan the loss of the days when discussions were flavorful and full of wit as folks tried to actually deliver messages and dazzle their fellow conversationalists.

Now it’s time to deflate the pomposity and take a bit of wind out of this particular blowhard.

As I was driving to work today I was sipping my venti skim latte from Starbucks when the “Letters From Our Listeners” segment came on NPR’s Morning Edition and I caught myself whistling along to the theme song.

I so wanted to kick my own ass at that moment.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Here a mix, there a mix, everywhere a mix mix...

I’m a big fan of trading mix CDs although no one ever seems to really follow up with me on that sort of thing. It’s a pity really since I have so much music and can usually put together something both cool and illuminating.

Done Waiting tipped me off to a pretty cool project coordinated over in England but including anyone in the world…The Summer Burn basically asks you to come up with a cool summer compilation and then send it to a random address from a list of applicants while you sit back and wait for your own mystery mix to show up in the mail.

Go sign up here and hope you draw someone far, far away.

Also, the offer still stands firm from the Chicago Base Camp: if anyone wants to e-mail and set up a random compilation trade I’m always open for it. Just clicky-click on my name at the end of this post and we’ll set something up. Cool?


Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Exiled From Girlville

Sorry about the lack o’ blabbin’ on my part in this space but between all the bike riding, sweating and barbequing – not even mentioning my day-time jobby-job – I just haven’t really had the time.

And today is no different.

But I did think I would share one little observation with you kind folks. Last night I let Rudy drag me to the Evil E for a post-DJ set cocktail. I haven’t really been out late on a weeknight in a while so I figured just this once wouldn’t hurt. I figured I could party it back up a bit since I’ve been so well behaved and it really has been quite a while since I put in some serious time at Estelle’s.

I lasted ten minutes and was asleep by 2:30.

First I thought I was getting too old and then I realized that since I’m now living with my girlfriend and am still getting adjusted to no longer being the swingin’ single I had never really stopped to understand that the main allure of the post two AM bars is the hope of the hook-up. Sure enough there were scads of lovely ladies out and about last night and three months ago I would have been in heaven but now all they represent is one more person between me and the door as I hot-foot it out of the place.

Don’t get me wrong…I still love the lovely ladies and my desire for a pretty girl is probably never going to abate but I realized that a) my girlfriend is about the raddest thing on Earth and b) I better not get drunk and tempt fate by rubbing up against too many other girls and risk a black eye from the aforementioned rad girlfriend!

Thursday, July 03, 2003


Yes, I have been lax. Busy busy busy at work, busy busy busy after work, busy busy busy. Hopefully sometime this weekend I can sit down and get some cool stuff on here and finally get some reviews up over at Done Waiting.

It doesn't mean I love you any less though...