June 30, 2009

I moved!

I live in Chicago now.
You know what that means.
Listen to Fossil Arm.

June 26, 2009

And I Ran, I Ran So Far Away

President Obama smokes still, right? A man after my own heart.
Here's the sad truth about Obama and I: I think we're a lot alike.
When I first heard about him, what appealed to me was that we seemed so different. On issues where I was ideologically unable to reconcile my opinions with reality, he always seemed pragmatic to me in a way that made sense. When he wanted to end the war in Iraq, but wanted to still get anyone who attacked us, I saw my own moral and pragmatic agendas aligning in a way I hadn't previously considered. When he struck a moderate tone on Israel, I wanted to be enraged at him for disregarding the treatment of civilians (those in Palestine and Lebanon in particular) in the way of their continued effort to combat terrorism. The Israeli state, for all the sanctimony connected to the history of it's foundation, is a sovereign nation carrying out the political will of the Zionist movement.

Just to be clear on something, if you're unfamiliar with Zionism, please read about it before you think I am attacking Jews. Zionism is a political movement that is less than 200 years old, Judaism is a faith whose history spans millenia.

Obama recognizes there is a need to strike a moderate tone on Israel. Between our country's tradition of supporting Israel he is, I think, realizing there has to be some trepidation from the international community when a country with as much international support as Israel is needlessly killing civilians. The bombings of Lebanon after Hezbollah kidnapped or killed less than a dozen Israeli troops should be regarded as a criminal act. Sustained fire on areas where civilians have no means of escape is not just a lazy military policy: it's gotten to the point where in some minds there is a question of whether Israel thinks by punishing the civilian populations they can effectively scare and anger these civilians into fighting these terrorist militias.

So Obama declared support for Israel, a country strangely quiet in the wake of the Iranian election, but also struck a tone that indicated he would not support needlessly bloody military policies. In doing this, Obama appealed to me because it seemed he understood the immense complexity of these issues but was willing to take a stand to a country that had in recent years been enjoying the Bush administration's criminally lackadaisical approach to foreign policy.

Recently there seems to be a lack of a connection between the Obama of the election and the Obama of the present. As politicians, they are surely aware of election cycles. Surely they're not so cynical as to wait until mid-term elections to start passing legislation on gay rights or raising taxes on the wealthy? They have not delivered on their promises to make the government more transparent. They have not gone after the people who wrecked our financial system on Wall Street, they have not gone after the crooks in Washington who wasted dollars and lives in a disgusting display of public corruption.

I fear that Obama has a plan in place that only a cynical mind could devise. We all know politics is a study of measuring the perfect moment. Revealing information at a critical time. Ask Mark Sanford how happy he is Michael Jackson is dead, and I'm sure he'd say he's as distraught as anyone else. The fact of the matter is, he's loving life today because the news cycle has been taken over.

I'm not sure what happened to President Obama, but at least he hasn't stooped as low as the pathetic ranks of the GOP. Now if he'd just find a way to get on the ball and throw those guys in jail...

June 24, 2009

Wednesday Morning Fast Facts

1. I am fucking sick of talking, reading, and thinking about Brett Favre. He has never been as good as people made him out to be. He had a decent last season with Green Bay considering how shitty he'd been playing before 07-08, but he still ended the season with a vintage Favre interception. His inability to just walk away shows a total lack of respect for the game.
I wish someone would just cut the bullshit and give me some real sports stories. I want to read about the 4-3 vs. the 3-4. How on earth were there no stories on that, especially after the 4-3-utilizing Giants dismantled the offensive line of the Patriots, whose 3-4 scheme was (and still is) becoming the most popular defensive switch for new coaches since the Cover-2?
I know, it's probably too much to ask (sports) journalists to practice journalism.

2. Michael Ian Black tweet of the day: "Soup is future food because it's two states of matter at the same time. Probably causes cancer."

3. Converge has a new album coming out. Gaza has a new album coming out. I have a new album coming out(maybe). Obama really did bring change. '09 could be the best send-off this decade could have asked for, musically.

4. Funniest post of the day so far goes to The Onion.

5. Not sure if you heard about the script that would have turned Moneyball into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Demetri Martin, but Deadspin got a copy of it and Bentern read over it. It's classy, and Joe Morgan haters will catch a serious boner for it. And it's here.

Should be a good Wednesday. I've got to clean my apartment and practice for the show tonight, see you later...

Six Days, Doldrums Likely (On Tweets and Such)

So I was laid off today. I knew it was coming, but I as expecting it to be Thursday. I'm not upset or anything (I still got paid as if I worked the next two days) but now I'm realizing I have six days to kill before Chicago. Yeesh.

I've been watching a lot of Wired Science lately, and the most recent episode I watched featured Rainn Wilson being very awkward, which brings me to tonight's topic: Twitter.

Will Leitch (look him up, he may be my favorite writer at the moment) wrote an excellent column for Deadspin about Twitter and it turns out not only is he awesome at writing he also uses Twitter for the same reason I do: it's like an RSS feed with more to offer. I get updates from my favorite sport blogs (Sportress of Blogitude, ProFootballTalk, Deadspin) webcomics (Explosm, SMBC, ALP) and then I still get links and quotes from Rainn Wilson (who is awesome and talks about SoulPancake a LOT), John Cusack (who alternates between asking about bars and quoting Keats, no kidding), and Michael Ian Black (who may be the funniest man in 140 characters or less, all time, hyuk). And a lot of other people I don't have time to mention, including Shaq, who is a modern Plato.

Anyway, I know hating on Twitter is in vogue, but the fact of the matter is any time a lot of people use something there will be something cool.

And check out Will Leitch on Twitter and at his blog. He is the man.
Sorry for the excessive links today, but you'll get over it or find a cool site or two in the, I promise. Or else. Please?

June 22, 2009

Blog Reblogginated

What better day than today to try and start blogging regularly again?
I suppose, technically, I would have had to have blogged regularly before to do so again...
But wasn't LL Cool J's first single about how he was back, and on top?

In any event, it's a beautiful day in Tucson, I have the store to myself and I am listening to Jawbreaker. This is the second time today I've listened to 24 Hour Revenge Therapy. I am predictable.
So this is my last week at the good ole Chicago Music Store. Tuesday I move to Chicago, a metropolis known for it's wind. Anyone who knows me well knows I hate wind slowing me down when I'm biking and temperatures below 75 degrees. This is probably a terrible idea, but maybe it will inspire me for the first time in my life to purchase and wear warm clothing. That would be something.

I have a show coming up on Wednesday I'm pretty stoked about. Should be the last show in Tucson, and I'm going to be recording it AND trying new shit out! At this point, I can't wait to play two sets, in the same week, that have the same lyrics and song structures. That's probably not a good aspiration to have as a musician (should be a solved problem by now, right?) but shit's tough out here on the street. Drunk stoner kids having trouble remembering shit.

Something that really pissed me off recently was the discovery of a single here at work (I sell sheet music) of a single by Britney Spears named "If You Seek Amy". I pointed it out to my co-worker, saying "What the fuck does this ridiculous title even mean? Has she gone country or something." My co-worker, laughing at me, says "Sound it out dude. If. You. SeekAmy. F-U-C-K-ME."

Horrified, I thumbed through the lyrics, hoping it couldn't be true.
"Love me, hate me, say what you want about me. But all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if u seek Amy."

Wow. I can't believe that shit, to the point that I can't muster the rant it deserves. But wrap your head around that today.

January 17, 2009

Everyone around here...

Listening to Radiohead and decided to maintain my blogging street cred...

I wish there was an ex-girlfriend tracker service, like, a bunch of nice girls who would find out your ex-girlfriend's schedule so when you go out on the town you can avoid her like the plague.
I went to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch the other night. My boss played bass, and it was quite entertaining. If you haven't seen it/heard about it, there's not much to say other than it's a tranny rock opera. The entire experience would have been much more enjoyable if my ex wasn't there radiating awkwardness.

I wish I had pictures from the chinese buffet we went to today, but to recap:
Me and my good buds Tim, Mitch, and Gene all went to China A Super Buffet.
Gene ate sushi for the first time, and salmon for the second time in his life. This led to several hearty conversations about bears.
The waiter hung around like we were going to bail for basically our entire meal.
I ate some squid, but only a tiny bite. Tim ate a whole one, and Mitch and Gene were far too American for that shit.
They had that fake ice cream. What a tease. It looks like chocolate ice cream, but it's more like crappy frozen chocolate milk.

So in the spirit of the conversations I had about bears today, I would like to encourage anyone reading to try and find me videos of sharks fighting crocodiles in the Ganges river. I would be eternally grateful.

January 11, 2009

Postmodern Reflection

How can I escape the paradox?
Not thinking versus reflection?

January 08, 2009

Post-Foosball Madness

So last night the gang got together and had an epic Foosball tournament, which Gene dominated in a very Canadian fashion. I was playing pretty well at first, but then I got a few drinks in me and that was the end of any foosball talent I might have been accumulating.

I went and talked to a therapist for about 4 hours yesterday, which was not very much fun. We seriously didn't even finish my intake paperwork. So what I thought was going to be a relatively quick and painless route towards finding out if I'm nuts is turning about to be a one month process just to get started. He says I have severe depression mixed with ADHD. If anyone reading this knows me and is surprised by that, let me know.

I feel like I'm listening to less music when I'm by myself these days and I have no idea why. I have more music on my external hard drive than I've had at any time in my life in CD/tape/vinyl form, but for some reason I rarely actually listen to anything. Hopefully my new problem will eliminate this problem, since I won't be blogging/watching colbert/listening to music/setting my alarm in my living room anymore.
Seriously, why on earth would you only put one phone jack in the house? And in the kitchen? Ugh. My current house sucks, but it's satisfying knowing I've made it so much shittier this year.

So the last few years not being weird enough, and the last 8 months not being painful enough, it feels like all the people I screwed up relationships with in the past are coming back around, and I still feel ill-prepared to deal with people personally. Aside from Gene and Dr. Bedard, I don't really feel all that cheerful around other people.

I want a pet, but my roommate is allergic to cats. Is a dog in an apartment doable? It seems cruel to me, but it will just encourage me to take the dog on walks all the time right?
I probably should just stick with a goldfish or something.
I wish I could get a hedgehog. Or an ocelot.

Now that people are done writing, I have to admit: I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks the best things of 2008 were.
The Fest was rad.
Other than that, I'm pretty sure nothing happened that made 2008 "special". We're still fighting a bloody, pointless war. We still have a government that treats us with no respect. We still have people going hungry. And just about everyone, including myself, is still paralyzed in the dream of the pursuit of happiness, trapped in the amber of contentment. I heard recently that some people have a theory we're all trapped in the year 50 A.D. and there's an evil demon who's making us forget Christ is coming back, and all of human history is the sum of the people under the influence of the evil spell. Supposedly, enlightenment will come and we'll all be freed from the spell. I don't know how much of that I agree with, but there's some metaphor available for the cynical of heart in there.

People are waking here. I think I'm going to try and write more later, but eh. Maybe not.

January 02, 2009

Fucking people make me stressed.

I think today has been the kind of day that I can write a good post about the kinds of things people do to piss me off:

DIY/Vegan Guilt Trip-
I have some friends that are vegans, are into DIY, or are Straight Edge; I respect all the decisions they've made as that's their right as people.
That being said, if you work in the service industry (as I have most of my life), don't get a fucking attitude about my choices. Today a young lady was completely rude to me about ordering a breakfast burrito. Now, I'm no health/caring about other living things nut, but I don't like the taste of bacon or ham. But they don't let you do substitutions at this place, Shot in the Dark Cafe. So I don't bother customizing my burrito.
If you are a Tucson food service worker and reading this, please don't be like this girl and have me make a scene in your restaurant, call you a mannerless bitch, and throw the food you just made across the place before storming out.
Actually, I didn't do that. But I've visualized it so much the past four hours it feels like I have.

Indecisive Driver at a Four-Way Stop-
You are the dumbest person on Earth. I saw you were waiting at a four-way stop, and I know the rules of traffic, even if I am on a bike. So why the fuck did you sit there and stare at me? You just wasted your time and made me very angry. Yes, that is why I am screaming at you and gesturing violently in the direction you seem to be headed. Idiots.

"can you help me do something impossible?"-
This person might be a friend, a total stranger, an acquaintance, or possibly a frenemy. But at some point in the conversation, usually about something they want to accomplish, they hit a brick wall and KEEP GOING. Examples of this kind of idiot behavior:

"Sir, if you keep drinking, you are going to die?"
"Well, how am I supposed to drink then?"

"Sir, the music piece that you're looking for isn't in print" (all day long I tell people this)
"Well, where can I find it then" (All day long, assholes respond with this)

"Charlie, if you don't move out, I don't think we can be friends anymore."
"Oh...is it cool to stay until Wednesday then? I should have found a place to stay by then."
(If you haven't been Charlie before, you're either freakishly responsible or it's in your future.)

The Non-Foreign Foreigner-
I fucking hate when I can't understand what people are saying, which happens a lot thanks to my shitty hearing. And half the time I think people are speaking Spanish out here and it's just really bad English. I swear to Christ, today an actual English dude came in today to ask in we had any Black Flag tablature and I couldn't even tell at first he had an English accent, or that the band he wanted was in fact Black Flag. And it's not this dude's fault, I'm just not around a lot of people who speak English properly.

Michael Buble Fan-
I kind of want to save this for a different post about music I hate, but letme just clear the air real quick.
If you like Michael Buble, you need to be checked out for developmental disorders.
If you think that Michael Buble sings original songs, much less ones he wrote, you are in Terry Schiavo (thought about her lately?) country. "Save the Last Dance For Me" is most certainly not by Mr. Buble, who is a glorified karaoke singer. Gross.

I'm all ranted out. I feel very sleepy. Updates later...

The Weather Outside is Frightful

I watched the Rose Bowl today at Rusty's, where the wings were as hot as I'd hoped but not as good as Tim Corkill (good friend and pizza wizard) claimed they would be. Our waitress thought we skipped out on our bill when we went outside for a cigarette, which Tim found extremely amusing for some reason. My other friend Alaska showed up stoned at the end of the first quarter, changing things up quite a bit. When he gets stoned he behaves the way normal people act on mushrooms, despite smoking "since 1996". He frequently non sequiters "Mike, I'm losing my shit over here" and comments on the state of the tracers he can see.

Anyway, this guy was busy talking about his balls and making random commentary on the game while I was enjoying the nachos he'd purchased. I wish I could remember what we were talking about, but basically it's all a wash and wasn't all that amusing anyway. It was a decent game for a quarter, then USC went on a 24 point run and we decided to leave by halftime. So we went to Alaska's house and smoked out, after which Alaska beat the shit out of an old mattress with his nunchucks. At some point we realized one of Alaska's trees was actually of the color-changing variety. Out in Tucson, very few plants change their color during autumn; the only real noticeable difference between the seasons out here is whether people are bitching because swamp coolers don't work or because gas furnaces don't work.

So the tree. Yeah, it had yellow leaves that were formerly green. So we all talked about the times when we were each children (living in New Jersey, South Carolina, and Alaska) and somehow the topic of tree climbing came up, which is when I climbed the tree. I did it quickly and without hurting myself in any way, and then managed to get down without making too much of a mess. Alaska then mauled his arms trying to get up the tree, we made some bear comparisons, and then both Alaska and Tim proceeded to give me stern ass-whoopings in Foosball.

"Mike, we just double-teamed you." - Alaska


The day culminated in generous amounts of Metalocalypse and guitar playing.

I wrote some things last night, as sleep was difficult to obtain:

checked into a hurricane
left the incision wide open
the decision has been vetoed
by a vegetable person
play with the health in mind
medicine man
has more tan than eyelid
and a knife in his hand
cracked tooth and Karzai
like uranium sand
or a french toast powdering
in a third world country
with limbs struck off
on the floor of the Taco Bell

The sun's coming up. I'll write more later.