Monday, March 31, 2008
Photogal and I had a fabulous break-up. There were some bumpy bits here and there, but overall it went really well. That's the nice thing about two parties coming to the same conclusion about a situation at the same time. And we've stayed really close since then, while at the same time trying to be careful and not get too close, since that's what probably derailed our past attempts to break up. Because of that we've both had pretty successful dating lives separate from each other with a minimum of jealousy. I mean, there's always going to be some jealousy, because those old feelings never completely die, but for the first time it's more a sentimental pang than any sort of upset reaction. I gotta admit though, I just noticed her status on one of the online social networking sites is no longer "single," and my initial reaction was like, "huh?" Funny how a knee-jerk response just pops right up. And the thing is it was just a split-second thing, because ultimately I want Photogal to end up super happy with a guy that can give her all the things I couldn't, and I'm sure she feels the exact same. And it seems as if we're both well on our way towards that goal, on our own separate paths. And while that still makes me a little sad at times, overall I think it makes me very happy.
Something else that's making me a little sad right now? This non-stop winter!
I just got paid and, after doing the math, I realized that after I pay for doggie daycare and my rent I literally have $20 to last me for the next 2 weeks. Hm. Wow. It's going to be an interesting 15 days, I guess. I'm supposed to get a check for some other work I do, but that's been delayed for almost a month so I'm not counting on that. With my luck it'll show up on the 15th.
Luckily I've been going out much less, so at least I haven't been spending money on frivolous stuff. And y'know, I really do make decent money, I just think this daycare thing is pushing me beyond my means, so maybe it's time to start transitioning her between some days at daycare and some days at home. She still barks, but I've been told it's not as frenzied, so maybe we're making some progress?
Sunday, March 30, 2008
A sincere thank-you to everyone who made it out to Liar's Club last night. We killed. The dance floor was packed. I got a gajillion compliments on my set from both folks I've never met and friends I've known forever. I had so much fun DJing and seeing so many people having a good thank. Thanks!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
I was strolling through some old posts and found this in an entry about a trip I made to visit Photogal FIVE years ago.
ONE: In order to be a dude in Williamsburg it is a necessity to get a short choppy haircut and attempt to grow out as much of a beard as is physically possible while lounging in your vintage T-shirt.How funny, huh?
TWO: A Chicago point of reference? Williamsburg is what the world would look like if Rainbo Club exploded over a couple square blocks...only folks are a hell of a lot more friendly.
I'm making a rare Saturday appearance at Liar's Club tomorrow, and I have my bag packed with dance songs guaranteed to pack the floor. My weekend DJ sets at Liar's are always memorable, especially since it gives me license to just go for the rhythmic jugular and break out all the hits in one gargantuan set.
You might even see a sonic appearance by my own beloved Kelly Clarkson, since I think "Since U Been Gone" might have rested long enough to make its revival fresh and fun. And did you hear George Michael is going on tour? In honor of that I'll have to break out some Wham! or one of his solo jams. If you're really lucky I'll spring the new Madonna / Trousersnake / Timbaland tune, since it is surprisingly, shockingly hot.
And of course there'll be plenty of '80s / '90s pop, everything from Depeche Mode to Def Leppard ... and if Keep makes it there maybe (maybe!) some Billy Ocean.
So in spite of those stupid basketball games and this lousy weather I expect to see you there tomorrow night!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I don't know exactly what it is, but my drumming suddenly got different, and I think better. I'm guessing that since the band basically had the last month off, I'm returning to the songs with a slightly different perspective. I'm throwing in new little fills here and there, urging the tempo ahead in places and slowing it down in others, and overall I've noticed a certain finesse creeping into my Neanderthal style. While the brief hiatus was a bummer, doubly so since it seemed everyone in the band got so miserably sick one right after the other, I think it might ultimately have been an unexpectedly positive thing. When you hammer away at the same songs every couple of days you do get super tight, but you also run the risk of those songs' evolution slowing down and freezing in one place or another.
We have a brand new song that came together pretty quickly and now we're just sort of playing with the dynamics. I was worried at first because it has a slower tempo, and I do tend to rush things from time to time, but I've really fallen into this heavy, smashing groove in the song that I really like playing. And of course the melody is catchy as hell, and I have a good time accentuating that and playing up to it.
Here's the original demo of the song in question, featuring just Keep, his drum machine, and his guitars. It sounds way different now, but you can at least get the taste of the catchiness.
MP3: America's #1 Sweetheart "Holy Guacamole (I Like Billy Ocean)"
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I admit it, Obama's speech on racism in America was damn good, and took the unexpected step of engaging citizens as if they were thinking adults, even if I couldn't figure out why he had to give it in the first place. Then I saw today's Tribune, realized how many mountains are truly being built out of molehills, and I realized how embarrassed I really need to be f0r mainstream society.
Things I learned last night:
- As a band, we're still pretty tight, even when it comes to the oldies.
- Friends lie, and you just have to let 'em.
- The single life is a blast!
- The single life is a hassle.
- Considering my tasks for this week, I'd probably get more done working from home, but I'm too shy to ask to do so.
- You're cute. Yes. You.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
I got the new B-52s album in the mail a few days ago and, with great trepidation, put it on the stereo. And it didn't suck! In fact, it doesn't sound like any time has passed between this album and Cosmic Thing. It's eerie. They don't fuck it up by trying to "update" their sound. Instead they just do what they're good at, and craft a bunchy of party rock songs that sound like a '50s sock-hop put through a punk blender.*
And I was listening to the new R.E.M.** last weekend and was extremely pleased to see they've rediscovered their guitars, and not the ones they broke out for Monster. No, these guitars sound like they were tuned around the time Green came out. Obviously they are moving back in the right direction.
Don't misunderstand my appreciation though, it's not built upon the premise that bands should stick with the sound that made them popular. I certainly think any band should feel entitled to deviate from formulas and explore alternate avenues. In this particular case though I think this is a fine example of two bands making surprisingly consistent and enjoyable albums late in their careers that sound simultaneously familiar and brand new.
*Also, Kate Pierson is still smokin' hot. Just had to mention that.
**You should know that the news of Michael Stipe telling Spin this month that he was gay elicited the following response from me: Wait, Stipe was still in the closet? I thought he came out a decade or two ago?
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Let's hear it for corporate co-option!
AN ASIDE: While at my mom's in the 'burbs I read a bunch of music magazines my brother subscribes to. It was weird reading stuff as "news" that was months old.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I thought The Raconteurs' announcement that their latest disc, available both digitally AND physically this Tuesday, one week ago was pretty fucking right on as far as dealing with the whole album leak thing. The notion of just getting it out there and then promoting after it was available seems pretty in step with where the industry is headed, and I still don't know how they wrangled all the physical distribution channels so quickly and so quietly.
I guess they didn't count on someone over at Apple posting the disc as being available on iTunes yesterday, leading to a bunch of folks buying the disc 5 days before it was supposed to be released. In a digital file-sharing culture this is the same as leaking the album 3 months ago, since the internet critics will be falling all over each other to give their definitive views of the album.
Personally I'm going to hold off until Tuesday. Waiting week for an album is nothing tome ... heck I used to have to wait months before I could hear something, and that was even backing the days when we always got mailed physical promos due to long lead times (a practice that is quickly growing extinct). I understand folks are excited about new music, and especially excited about anything with Jack White and Brendan Benson's name on it, but just this once, when the band went through great lengths to a) NOT keep everyone waiting and b) expose everyone to their new album at the same time, would it have killed folks to wait it out the extra few days?
Additionally, his isn't the first time a greatly anticipated album has "accidentally" been offered for sale through iTunes prematurely, so shouldn't someone be asking some serious questions about just what the heck is up over there?
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
So last night I stayed in, made some popcorn, and watched some movies. Well, watched one movie and re-watched most of another since I slept through portion of it the first time I tried to get through it. This is one reason one should not attempt to start a movie at 10 p.m. after having a few drinks at a friend's friend's birthday party.* It was a much needed reprieve, lemme tell you.
I've mentioned I'm a bit of a social animal, but I don't think it's ever really occurred to me what an aberration I really am. I was grousing about folks missing my DJ sets a few weeks ago when one wise friend said to me, "Dude, I consider myself to have a busy social life, but I don't know ANYONE who is as busy as you are." Then a few days later I saw an old friend who was stupefied that I look, well, almost the exact same as I did when he met me over 15 years ago. And so on.
Folks go out more than me, sure, so I suppose this is all only stunning in light of the fact the folks that go out more than me work in bars or clubs and I don't. And I have no interest in doing so. It's just that I'm restless, and like to be occupied, and the things that make me happiest are music and DJing, so doesn't it make sense I'd do a lot of that when not attending to the responsibilities of the 9-to5?
Then there's the fact that I just like being social. Which, if you think about it is sort of weird, since I tend to always feel like an outsider, no matter what group I'm hanging out with. I'm going to guess that's a holdover from my youth, when I knew a lot of different types of crowds but didn't really fit into any one of them too comfortably. And then, of course, in high school I just took the full-on eccentric kid route.** So this has led to me surfing a number of social circles without actually taking the full plunge into any particular one. I think this is also an unintended consequence of my music criticism -- and, by subliminal extension, my life philosophy -- but that's just the way it is.***
A byproduct of all of this is that I spend so much time feeling driven**** that I forget to reconnect with the one person that should matter most to me ... me! So last night I took matters into my own hands, forbade myself from going out (and believe me when I say I was sorely tempted by the fact Young Josh was DJing The Burlington), and settled in to recharge my battery. And then, of course, I started thinking about all of the above, nearly derailing the whole idea of staying in with myself in the first place, until finally blissfully sinking back into the back of my brain, allowing the sun scarred film stock surrounding No Country For Old Men to lead me to a happier place. Because sometimes spending meaningful time with yourself means spending time outside of yourself.
So now I'm all ready for tonight, Herb's big birthday party! Nothing like taking a brief reprieve only to jump back into the deep end of the boiling, roiling pool all over again.
Anyway, in honor of Herb's big day, and as a sign of my gratitude to you for slogging through the preceding paragraphs' 555 words, I offer this M4A from the world famous Beer Nuts.
M4A: Beer Nuts "Thirteen"
*And by "a few" I literally mean two a.k.a. just the right amount to make you a little sleepy.
**And unlike most folks, I have plenty of witnesses to prove that I was indeed the outcast. At one point I actually had the majority of the school (faculty included) thirsty for my blood. And all because I made some jokes in a column about football players.
***This is not to say I don't feel close with people, I have quite a few folks who are very dear to me. I'm just not bound down by one social group over another.
****I just remembered this. I was talking to a fellow writer and they asked how I was able to just keep chugging along -- keep in mind I post on Chicagoist AND here daily, and contribute to donewaiting as well as various other freelance gigs -- and my only response was that I just do. It's not like I don't get mildly fried from time to time, but I've found the discipline of just committing to writing every day helps me get through those points. At the same time it also creates a closed loop I find it difficult to escape. If I missed posting here on a weekday, for instance, it would feel really uncomfortable for me mentally.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Lessee, Debonair is hosting the "official" after-party with Diplo. But Sonotheque is hosting it's own after-party with ... Justice! And now I just got an email from Neo claiming they too are hosting an after-party. Um, what?
I think far too many places are trying to hop on the Justice bandwagon this time around...
For some reason the Barking Lot cam is working so I can finally see Betty the Beagle ... conked out in the corner, see?
Oh wait! Someone just opened the door and she's up! And sniffing other puppy butts! Excellent!
Oh, and now she's back down again. Oh well.
So, an update is due, huh? While daycare has certainly solved the problem of Betty driving my neighbors batty during the day, she still barks at night unless she's on her heavy sedatives. The good news is that she seems to be responding to a lower dose than I was giving her to settle her down a few weeks ago, but the downside is that, well, she just seems so confused and dopey when I come home. And she has some, um, bladder control issues that I'm guessing are brought on by her feeling oh-so relaxed. So I really don't want to keep sedating her, but when I tried a dry run of not tranquilizing her so I could go over to a friend's for dinner, Betty started barking her head off an hour after I left.
So where do we stand now? While I love daycare I can't realistically keep paying for her to go there daily. It's more than half of what I pay for rent for my whole apartment! And it's just not in my budget ... so I'm starting to have some anxiety about what I'm going to do when I just can't afford it. (Well, I actually just can't afford it now, but I feel it was/is something I HAVE to do.) The mood stabilizer she's on has had over three weeks to kick in, but doesn't seem to be having any effect as far as reducing her anxiety. And, like I said, I'm not a fan of tranquilizing the beagle. So, in some respects, I feel like I'm back at square one. But I'm not giving up and neither is Betty!
Also, Betty appreciates all the well wishes that have been sent her way, and is truly flattered by the number of folks who also keep tabs on her through the webcam throughout the day. In fact I'm beginning to wonder if her ratings will eclipse Oprah's in the near future!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
- I went out last nightgot neither drunk nor stupid, and actually got home at a decent time.
- I got up on time -- nay, even early! -- this A.M.
- I made it in to the gym, and had a really good workout.
- I finished up a website on deadline.
- I actually feel like I've caught up with everything and am, for once, on top of "it."
Monday, March 17, 2008
We had a lot of fun Saturday night at The Burlington. Balthazar and I had a blast going head-to-head, even if we did have to call a true after hitting the lowest common musical denominator for fear that if we sunk any lower the bar might just implode. Lots of my friends showed up. There was some dancing. And there was lots of drinking. A people were buying me drinks, which made Greg happy since he always likes to pimp out my DJ skills in exchange for a higher register ring.
Also, this is not the shirt I started off wearing. (Thanks to Keep.)
Apparently when you squeeze my bicep, I turn into a zombie.
And I have no idea -- or memory -- of what the hell is going on here.
I'll put up more photos as they roll in, since I'm pretty sure Bergen or Melissa had a camera too.
See you at The Burlington next month!
Friday, March 14, 2008
So I put together this nice press release last week for my iTuesday thing, and The Burlington tomorrow, and The Bomb Squad residency in general ... and I was feeling a bit despondent when I saw NO ONE listed it or threw any press my way.
And then I realized I NEVER SENT IT OUT! It's been sitting in my "drafts" folder for over a week.
I'm an idiot.
Last night I felt a little weird but put it off to the fact that I've been doing an unusually mentally strenuous task at work over the last few days. I made some dinner, sat down on the couch ... and proceeded to totally konk out. My phone woke me up a few hours later, and I realized I might be coming down with something, so I regrettably canceled the evening's plans I had made with a friend, sliced up and ate a few oranges, and then drifted back to sleep.
Y'see, I just can't afford to get sick! I really don't want to have to use any more sick days at work, since Lord knows what the next winter season will bring. I don't really have the time to go see my doctor if I do become sick. And since everyone else has been sick the band has basically been on hiatus for the last month, but we're on the cusp of everyone being back at 100% functionality so I certainly don't want to throw a wrench in that.
Most importantly, I have to be in tip-top shape for my DJ set at The Burlington tomorrow night! Since I go out and support everyone else's bands / DJ sets all the time, tomorrow is your chance to repay the favor, and I want to see YOU there! As an additional incentive, I have asked Blathazar de Ley (La Scala / ex-Menthol) to do an hour set, head-to-head with me, at some point tomorrow evening. It should be a blast. Be there!
(Y'like how I repurposed that image from yesterday?)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Seriously, too much genius. "Common People" as told by the Archie Comics' gang.
Credz Leafblower for finding this gem.
I'm not going to say which Chicago bar this is, but the fact they've put out an open call for DJs can't be a good thing:
DO YOU HAVE SKILLZ ON THA 1'S AND 2'S? DO YOU SPIN ROCK(RAWK), METAL, PUNK, DANCE ROCK ETC? WELL MAKE ME A C.D. AND DROP IT OFF AT [redacted] W/ YR. CONTACT INFO TO [redacted]. DJ SETS ARE GENERALY 4 HOURS AND NO IPOD PLAYLISTS ARE TOLERATED. THAT MEANS YOU DONT MAKE A PLAYLIST AND WALK AWAY. ONLY DJ'S NEED APPLY. JUST CUZ YOU HAVE AN IPOD DONT MAKE YOU A DJ. THANKS!However, because I am a good guy, plus I know for a fact the club does pay decently, if you fit the description above, get a hold of me and I'll forward the contact info to you.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Consider this a PSA, and a danger to your job. Hulu.com, the online video site from NBC and FOX, goes public today. I've been trying it out for the last few months and it is awesome. Hi-res, seamlessly streaming video, lots of my favorite shows for free, and -- I just learned -- they're making loads of movies available too.
This sure beats the pants off paying $1.99 for an episode of The Office via iTunes!
My only worry, and we'll see how it goes, is that the reason everything ran so well is because demands on the service's servers was low during the beta phase. Hopefully everything won't get all wonkified now that they've thrown the gates open to the teeming hordes.
O.K., now go get yourself caught up on all the back episodes of Arrested Development.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Not much to say now, but I'm listening to the new Mystery Jets album Twenty One right now and -- so far -- it's delivering the goods I had hoped for! I've had the luxury of hearing them progress from close to the very beginning since Karen was kind enough to send me an early version of their debut (which, by the way, changed substantially before its UK, and then belated American, release).
I've loved the band's output, but always felt it was missing that one extra little magical ingredient to launch them from being great to truly terrific. When I saw them play live a few months ago that extra spark manifested itself in spades and I realized that not only were they gonna catch up to their hype, they were bound to surpass it.
They've lost a bit of the '67 Pink Floyd freneticism that drew me to them in the first place, but they've replaced it with an alarmingly mature grasp of rhythm and dynamics. They've launched past my sonic expectations and delivered a (proper) sophomore album that sounds like it was crafted with a band with decades of experience instead of the handful of years the Mystery jets have actually been active.
I am the featured guest on the UR Chicago-sponsored iTuesday series at Cleo's on Armitage (2048 W Armitage). It's a night where YOU get to be a DJ as well. All you've got to do is bring in your iPod with a playlist of a couple songs and we'll work folks' selection in as the evening progresses.
I start at 9:30, and will spin for a while, but hopefully some folks bring in their own selections to keep me on my toes. I know a lot of folks are heading to SXSW, but if you're flight isn't until later Wednesday morning, you have no excuse to miss it. And to everyone else, come on out, enjoy some cold libations ($2.50 PBR Tallboys and $3 Sapporo!), and if you're feeling peckish, Cleo's has some tasty food to chow down on until 1 a.m.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I mean, jeez, my actual life's history would actually pass a fact checker's scrutiny. And unlike most other folks my age, I can actually produce witnesses to attest to the fact that I actually was the high school outcast.
Friday, March 07, 2008
So last night Lisa had to cancel her DJ shift with me at the last minute due to illness, so that was totally understandable. Unfortunately I had a friend on their way to hang out with me between shifts so I had to find someone to help cover for her!
JB was sick with the Mexican Death Flu.
Josh de La Scala was unreachable.
I didn't have Arturo or Sweet Lou's numbers.
Rudy was on a date.
Lizz was on a date.
EVERYBODY was on a friggin' date!
Luckily Keep said he'd help out even though he wouldn't make it to Liar's until midnight and I said that was fine. As it turned out almost NO ONE came out to Liar's until midnight.* And then keep showed up and kicked out a fun set. And then Josh de La Scala showed up offering to DJ, but Keep beat him to the punch. I was glad he stopped by because I finally got to meet his Scottish girlfriend. Balthie was there too, and I invited him to go head-to-head with me for an hour next week at The Burlington, so that should be a blast.
Anyway, thanks to Keep and all the other hardy souls who made it out last night! Now I need to go cue up some Toto ...
*I could go off on a rant about this, but I'm saving it up for next week when I start guilting people to see me at Cleo's and the Burlington.
I didn't want to recommend this until after I gave it a good listen, but The Charlatans are giving away their new album online for free.
192 kbps. No strings attached, no donations requested. Plus, it's their best album in years.
Thank you new sales model.
Download: The Charlatans' You Cross My Path
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Yup, I broke the news that Metro was ditching Ticketmaster, and apparently it's now making it's way across the interweb. Hell, even Brooklyn Vegan quoted my piece!* And Urb.
*Thanks to Lizz for pointing that out to me, since I stopped reading BV a year or two ago.
Fucking A! I worked in a comic book store when the original series came out, and one of my co-workers wrote down who he thought was the "evil matermind" after the second issue, put it in an envelope, and sealed it. When we opened it at series end, it turned out he was right. The same guy went on to write speeches for Ronald Reagan. Go figure.
And also, because I can actually slot this in somewhat seamlessly, at the time I worked at that comic book store, I lived in Annapolis, MD ... the same place Christian Siriano is from.*
*Long time readers should note that this season of Project Runway is the first time since my love affair with the first season of American Idol that I have actually gotten into, and followed faithfully, any sort of reality TV programming. So it's doubly ironic I missed the finale due to last night's last-minute DJ gig. Luckily I had a friend texting me updates throughout the show. My favorite text? "Christian is fierce even when he cries!"
Um, now Obama is blaming the media -- the media that LOVES him -- for his losses Tuesday? He's also promising to go more negative, so I'm now trying to figure out just how his campaign is different than "politics as usual?"
Sorry, I hate being such a cynic, but -- in my mind at least -- it's becoming ever more clear that both candidates are similar in messaging and tactics, Hillary just has more history (and thus, more negative press) going against her.
At the same time Hillary is now hinting at a "unity ticket" and THAT would be awesome. But how are they going to choose who heads it? Flip a coin? Flip a Super delegate?
And the image above? Both a tribute to Hixx and proof that I DO indeed have a sense of humor about the whole thing. (Click the pic to get the full effect of the joke.)
D'you miss Alice Donut, prime-era Butthole Surfers (before they turned into a bunch off dicks), and Tripping Daisy? If so Triclops! should be right up your fucking alley.
You know how rarely I just post publicist-sent MP3s (ESPECIALLY when they are sonically sucky 128 kbps version), so this must either be really fucking good, or it's unlocked some sentimental acid-damaged vault I forgot even lived within me.
Wait, aren't those two basically the same thing?
MP3: Triclops! "Freedom Tickler"
My cell phone is missing. I'm reasonably sure I will recover it since it can be only one of three places but in case I don't (or even if I do) it's loss reminded me what a tenuous hold I have on my means of contacting folks.
SO, if you know me, please send me your cell / phone and email address so I can add it to some sort of permanent database, so that even if I lose it forever, I can still get a hold of you.
Click on my name below next to "Posted by" if you don't already have my email in your address book.
UPDATE: It's been located, but send me your contact info anyway.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the Pisces birthday party last night! We had soooo much fun. And both Becci and Lisa (especially Lisa) turned in stellar DJ sets. I too had fun, and spun some tunes that seemed reasonably well received ... even prompting Herb to break out the Budweiser and Cowbell combo.
But the party is not over folks, not by a long shot.
BOMB SQUAD THURSDAY
1665 W Fullerton
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Hillary's actually won Ohio and Texas? Looks like we have a fight through to the convention now.
This is gonna get really interesting ... I can't tell if I'm shaking because I'm super excited to see a thrilling race or if it's because I'm terrified my earlier predictions will come true. Either way, looking at the delegate counts, you can't really fault her for staying in now.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Today was supposed to be Uno the Beagle Day (UtBD) in Illinois -- yes, I'm a dork for that dog -- but Uno is presently stuck in St. Louis and can't make his own ceremony! So does that mean today is still UtBD, or do we all have to wait until he can wend his way up north tomorrow?
Uno was the first beagle ever to win the Westminster Kennel Club dog show last month and, in my experience, the first dog to ever really cause the usually composed crowd to go totally apeshit when his victory was announced. But take a look at the little guy, can you blame them?
Beagles are indeed adorable little dogs. And smart. Some might say too smart. (As reported, Betty the Beagle can open our refrigerator in under a second!) And stubborn. And a whole bunch of other things. What is unknown is just how many yuppies rushed out to adopt their own beagles last month only to discover what holy, lovable, destructive little terrors they can be.*
Hats off to Uno!
AN ASIDE: Betty is still in doggie daycare, but seems to be keeping to herself while there. However, if you want to spy on her, you can do so by checking out the Barking Lot's webcam page. She can usually be found in the West Bucktown "Small Playroom."
*Beagle owners are the ones that can always be found comparing the monetary value of the property damage done to their books / shoes / clothes / CDs / records / walls / furniture / etc. by their beagles. And you know what? We wouldn't give the headache up for anything in the world.
The press has pretty much been giving Obama a free pass for this entire campaign, and that's really unusual. I heard it opined this weekend that the reason is because a) Obama is on the generational shift that appeals to the press corps and b) his story is still unfolding so they're not digging as deeply or looking for as much unflattering info as they would with a more familiar candidate. However the love affair will not last, and there's a good chance that the press will turn on him once he snags the nomination.
This worries me primarily because Obama isn't really chummy with the press, and his free pass right now really does have everything to do with his charisma. And when someone really starts poking at him, and this Rezko thing certainly looks like it might be one of his first weak spots, he doesn't really do a good job of giving good answers.
I keep saying this, and I really mean it. I want an agent for change. I want the rules to be broken in Washington. We need fresh answers and candidates who will actually make a difference once in office. I want all of this stuff so I can understand why so many folks have gone gonzo for Obama. Four years ago I probably would have done the same. But, the more I read about the man, the less convinced I am that he's the real deal.
Let me out it this way: with Hillary Clinton everyone knows what we're getting into and what to expect (and personally, policy-wise, she is in line with many of my own views so I'm fine with those expectations), and with Obama we get lots of inspiration and similar policy stances, but I remain unconvinced of how the man will react when under real pressure. I suspect the press will help me make some measured conclusions based on how he deals with them in the next few months, but at this moment in time he seems unable to skillfully talk his way out of direct inquiries about his past and other business dealings.
Through all of this, dear reader, I hope you realize I'm just kind of thinking out loud. I'm not trying to sway anyone's vote at this point, I'm merely voicing my own concerns.
Much like most other people, I too really like Obama. But unlike most other people I know, I just don't really trust him yet.
I'm having one of those stretches of time where thing keeps piling up after thing, and Murphy's Law seems to be stronger than the rules of physics. I know lots of people have it worse than I do, and my problems are mere hiccups in the vast scheme of things, but that doesn't make it any less annoying in the here and now.
Monday, March 03, 2008
I can't believe it but I agree 100% with Zorn on this one. From his blog:
Listen, I bike. And often car drivers ARE assholes, but sometimes bikers need to take responsibility for their actions. Entering a race that encourages you to flaunt the law and race through red lights? That is not cool, and does not cement your status as a "cool dude" or as a card-carrying member of the counterculture. It puts you in danger, and that danger is a risk you willingly take on. It's a s simple as that. The man's death was a tragedy ... but it was an avoidable tragedy.
The arrogant fatuity of hard-core bicyclists was on display last night on ABC-7 news when Chuck Goudie interviewed "longtime cycling organizer Alex Wilson " about the death of a Chicago man Sunday who ran a red light while engaged in an illegal cycle race through city streets and was struck by an SUV:
To blame the victim for dying such a tragic death I think is an injustice. It's an injustice that our culture is so embedded in auto use and the convenience of autos that we're willing to let our friends and loved ones be killed.
No, we are not "willing" to let them be killed. We think it's contemptible and odious that organizers and participants in such races are "willing" to risk not only their lives but the lives of all innocent people in their paths to participate in this "sport."
I'm sorry to report that Chicago Police and Cook County prosecutors are not planning to pursue charges charges against those who organized Sunday's race.
I'm reminded of the girl on a bike who, was it last year, got crushed by a truck that changed lanes without checking it's rear view mirror. THAT'S is an example of tragedy befalling the innocent, since she was following all the rules ... and it's an example of how motor vehicle driver really need to pay better attention and stop juggling the fucking cell phones and lattes. However, no amount of focus could help any reasonable driver to expect and avoid a collision with another person willfully entering an intersection against the light and unexpectedly.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
The usual Sunday night resident at The Burlington has been hit by that damn flu that's been making everyone miserable, so I've been called into play. I'll be spinning from 10 until 2, and have lots of new tunes I'm dying to take for a test-drive. It's super warm out tonight -- for Chicago -- so I'll see you there!