Friday, January 28, 2005



forgot to include the Go! Team in my year end best of list. i think i'd put them somewhere in the teens.

look at how much joy the seem to be, um, enjoying. can't wait to see them live someday.

download Ladyflash - The Go! Team four words ago.

my title on the disorient website is now officially 'joyfiend'. do with that what you will.

exploding dog - waiting for now

exploding dog - waiting for now

New explodingdog drawings available.

Thursday, January 27, 2005 Page 2 - Yup ... these are my readers

I have an ad in my book for the Portland Tribune that is titled, "Drugs. Politics. Crime. In other words, complete Blazers coverage."

I wrote it in June 2001. I need to add a timeline to show how this is the ad that keeps on giving. Page 2 - Yup ... these are my readers: "Q: I think EA Sports should add a feature to NBA Live: 2006 that would allow players to attack the fans. Imagine being the Heat and taking Shaq into the crowd to kill 15 people?
--Dan, New Brunswick
SG: Couldn't they just merge NBA Live and Grand Theft Auto and set it in Portland? Not only could you try to win the NBA title with the Blazers, but you could have missions between games: Raise pit bulls to fight against Qyntel Woods and his dogs; steal pot from Damon Stoudamire; fight the Portland police when they catch you asleep in your car at 4 a.m.; frame Ruben Patterson for a felony assault; switch your urine with the ballboy's urine before an unexpected drug test; assassinate Dick Bavetta before he referees your game against the Knicks; and so on. And during games, you could inexplicably charge into the stands and start punching spectators -- it would be just like randomly attacking people in Grand Theft Auto. Of course, the ultimate goal would be to overthrow David Stern and take over the league.
(By the way, I think I would pay like $3,000 to play this game.)"

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Read My Ears

If it's Thursday, it must be time to send a link to either Friedman or Dowd. Today, it's Friedman.

Possible new tagline for again!again!, "Exporting Hope and not Fear."
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Read My Ears: "What would Mr. Bush hear? Some of it is classic Eurowhining, easily dismissible. But some of it is very heartfelt, even touching. I heard it while doing interviews at the Pony Club, a trendy bar/beauty parlor in East Berlin. And more and more I think it explains why many Europeans dislike Mr. Bush so intensely. It's this: Europeans love to make fun of na?ve American optimism, but deep down, they envy it and they want America to be that open, foreigner-embracing, carefree, goofily enthusiastic place that cynical old Europe can never be. Many young Europeans blame Mr. Bush for making America, since 9/11, into a strange new land that exports fear more than hope, and has become dark and brooding - a place whose greeting to visitors has gone from 'Give me your tired, your poor' to 'Give me your fingerprints.' They look at Mr. Bush as someone who stole something precious from them."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Cheshire Cat

In an otherwise crappy column from the Sentinel's crappy sports columnist, this exchange from Through the Looking Glass:

"If you want to be the best, you must have a purpose and a plan when making decisions. Otherwise, you might as well be Alice wandering through Wonderland, coming to a fork in the road and seeing the Cheshire cat sitting in a tree.

'Which road do I take?' Alice asked.

'Where do you want to go?' the cat replied.

'I don't know,' answered Alice.

'Then,' said the cat, 'it doesn't matter.'"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

# 7 - Neko Case - Deep Red Bells & Stinging Velvet

I've posted a lot about Neko Case. I get obsessed about music, y'know.

No emotion in particular attached itself to these songs this year, they just rocked the house and tweaked the serotonin levels and aurally fixed themselves on synapses. OK, there is a snapshot of my WongDoody stint: Driving in the LA dusk, the top of my Sebring Convertible down, blasting Neko and singing my heart out to the cholos as I drive through East LA.

Oh, and there's the moment at around 2:45 where Neko takes the soft/loud approach and comes blasting out like the spring winds in the gorge.

"Where does this mean world cast its cold eyes?
Who's left to suffer long about you?
Does your soul cast about like an old paper bag past empty lots and early graves?
For those like you who lost their way/murdered on the interstate
And the red bells rang like THUNDER..."

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

Man, I love talking about and sharing these amazing songs and moments in music. Or, it could just be the Zoloft. Who knows.

Download the mp3s by right-clicking here. And here.

I'll be permalinking to the top 10 againagain songs of the year link, and updating the posts to the mp3s you can download from here.

The link below comes from some odd web-based version of maxim or something. - Neko Case pictures: "Neko's personality is far from predictable. She's just as much a fan of Cajun and Creole food as of borshcht (her family's Ukrainian), and, while not a fan of computers, she's into low-tech art like pinhole photography. Neko admits that she likes 'collage-y, hybrid things.' She's also outspoken, independent and indifferent to what others may think of her.
Just as multifaceted and unapologetic is Neko's talent. Starting out as a drummer, Neko taught herself to sing by 'paying close attention to what other people do, ' and more recently taught herself how to play the guitar and other instruments. An accomplished visual artist as well, she earned her BFA in 1998. "

Mates of State

Update: Ok, the reason i'd never heard of the Space Gallery is that their first show listed here will be in Portland, Maine.

And I might just go see them in San Francisco when I'm down there to see the Spree.

Anyways, they're playing on the 23rd in SF, the 25th (of february) in Portland, OREGON. And they're still The Cutest Band Ever. Imaginary Dana took me to see them in Seattle a long time ago.

Come see them with me on Saturday here in Portland.

(btw, Where the hell is the Space Gallery?)

Tiny Mix Tapes: "Mates Of State Remain Too Cute For Their Own Goddamn Good, Tour Excessively

Star-crossed husband 'n' wife duo Mates of State recently released both an EP and live/documentary DVD, both of which provide ample evidence that Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel aren't just a cute couple who sing together, but rather the cutest fucking couple since Brad & Jen (prior to their recent spat, which you may be hearing about for the first time here, if so you also live under a rock). Their band is also very good (a tad repetitive for my tastes), blending the best parts of the Captain & Tennille with equal amounts of Karen Carpenter, Joni Mitchell, and keyboard-fueled sturm and drang tossed in for flavor. Mates of State are set to kick off a rather excessive tour this weekend with stops both out West, as well as way up north beginning Saturday at the Space Gallery in Portland. A majority of the shows will be with recent Barsuk signees Aqueduct (who will be touring as a ten-piece band, holy fucking hell), whose debut LP, I Sold Gold, is due out... today!

I Can't Tell What Kind Of Life I've Lived Today:"

Monday, January 24, 2005

: Flip The Switch - Chemical Brothers Remixed :

Interesting. Especially since the new album has yet to be released at all.

: Flip The Switch - Chemical Brothers Remixed :: "Doing what Ed and Tom said...

Not content with the unprecedented international success of their last remix project, the team behind 'Always Outsiders, Never Outdone', the unofficial Prodigy Remixed album, have only gone and done it again. This time the Chemical Brothers latest album 'Push the Button' gets the remix treatment.
The DJs behind 'Flip the Switch' see the remix album as a natural part of the evolution of UK dance music. In a recent interview, Ed was quoted as saying 'We used to make cut-ups or DJ mixes for ourselves to play. Bootleg culture isn't a new thing. It's something people do - take snatches from other people's records and make a DJ mix.'
The album is free to download, but we'd request that you donate to our nominated charities if you like what we've done...
The album is also available to download as a single Bit Torrent file, which greatly reduces the amount of bandwidth used by this site. If you've used Bit Torrent before click here for the torrent file."

Friday, January 21, 2005

Technical Virgin

Once, we were working with a local public health board which had a toll free hotline where teens could get their questions answered about sex.

My suggestion to reduce teen pregnancy was to encourage oral sex. "Just Lick It."

Here's a teen abstinence parody site.

: "Teenagers today need new choices that reflect the reality of their complex lives. Abstinence is often preached by the self-righteous right-wing pundits, but that's simply not a realistic approach to teen sexuality. To hear the fundamentalist right, you'd think even masturbation would lead to the end of civilization.
But there is a way for youths to enjoy rich and satisfying sexual intimacy without risking unwanted pregnancy ? ANAL SEX! The anus, tighter than any vagina and tinged with the thrill of the taboo, is the perfect venue for modern teen lust."

DJ DREAMTEAM 2005 | SF's Top10 DJ Showcase --------

My friends Kevin Raich and Chris Capparo have been heavily involved in this. Note disorient friend DJ Lorin in the top 10.

February 3rd, SF.

DJ DREAMTEAM 2005 | SF's Top10 DJ Showcase --------

Thursday, January 20, 2005


This short story, actually a dialogue, occurs between two aliens that have been scouting out Earth. Funny, a 2 minute read and worth your time, especially if you like Science Fiction.

Cheers to Ben Fong-Torres for the link.

by Terry Bisson"

Water on airliners worse than thought

I usually buy a large bottled water before hopping on the plane. Now, I may not ask for ice.

Water on airliners worse than thought: "Water on airliners worse than thought
Federal testing of bathrooms and kitchens finds contamination on 17.2 percent of the planes
Thursday, January 20, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The water aboard airlines is more contaminated by traces of human or animal waste than first thought, federal environmental officials said Wednesday.

A second round of federal testing in the bathrooms and kitchens of 169 passenger airplanes, conducted in November and December 2004, found coliform in nearly one in five of the aircraft. Coliform is the key indicator for fecal contamination and germs that cause disease. "

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

10 things that make you forward e-mails

Interesting read, if a little bit behind the curve.

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | 10 things that make you forward e-mails: "10 things that make you forward e-mails
The world's inboxes are crammed with e-mails containing jokes, pictures, movies, tests or games and which are sent to millions of people within a few hours. They're not just the preserve of skilled hobbyists, they are increasingly part of advertisers' strategies to create so-called 'viral' campaigns. What is it about the best e-mails which makes them so compelling? "

Prepare to Lose your Mind

Buncha damn geriatric punks ...: "Prepare to Lose Your Mind
posted by McFrozen at January 17, 2005 12:10 AM
I couldn't post this image on the front page because everyone would go insane from trying to figure out the physics of ..."

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Reading: Nick Hornby's High Fidelity

Good read.

Tiny Mix Tapes: "In the Shadow of High Fidelity
The blessing and curse of Nick Hornby's modern classic

by ken napzok

The male mind is a dangerous landscape- dangerous in the sense of how straight ahead and simple it is. It is filled with longing, bravado, and confusion that seem to have not taken too many steps forward since the days of adolescence. It is a straight ahead world, this male mind, and most of the time it has a cool soundtrack. We want love, a sense of purpose, and a good record collection. No one seemed to really capture this for the all the world to read until Nick Hornby released his book High Fidelity in 1995. Five years later, John Cusack and his team released the much heralded movie version. The shadow was cast and we are still under its spell...

(And from the end of the article, a section that hits home.)

At its core, the story of High Fidelity is about a man locked in an immature state of mind. It proves that even in your mid-thirties, you can still have the need to grow up. Hornby's main character does grow up. He realizes his faults. He faces his fear of commitment. He starts to understand that there is a world beyond music, movies, and girls… and the male fantasies revolving around all of them. And he takes a giant step forward in his growth in getting back with his girlfriend. Hornby's masterstroke might be that the reconciliation is not dramatic and remains open-ended. It is based in a reality far from the Hollywood ending. There are no fireworks or passionate kisses. No tearful wedding. It's not clean or perfect. Laura even explains that they are partially back together because she is too tired not to be in the wake of her father's death. Rob proposes marriage and it's denied… for now. But when Rob explains that the important growth point was that he asked, it all makes sense. The story has its ending. The character grew enough to take the important first step. Good point, good moment, great story. The ultimate problem is that, like many things in life, the journey is much better than the destination.

I am in love with the life Rob leads because it is so similar to my life and the lives of countless others, including my friends. I am in love with this romantic notion of the freewheeling, confused, emotional roller coaster ride of the single man. I live it almost by choice, seemingly trapped forever in an immature state of adolescent angst. When I finished reading the book, one of the first thoughts I had was that I wanted to go out and get a girlfriend right away just so I could break up with her. Just so I could have a new story to tell and scar to explain. I wanted the emotional sucker punch of another failed romantic situation just so I could make a good mix CD about it. That's just not healthy. We should always be looking to better ourselves or make risk choices that will lead to personal growth.


I think so. I believe in my heart that that is part of the point of growing up and getting older. Maturity is a good thing… I think. It leads to more compassion, selflessness, and fulfillment. Nick Hornby tells us that the journey is supposed to take us to the destination. I just can't escape the shadow. I don't want to wake up one day and find my music collection in my "office." Not yet."

Monday, January 17, 2005

Standing Here - Stone Roses On Top Of The World

Standing Here - Stone Roses On Top Of The World

So, Jen Leo is doing me the kind favor of editing The Story of The Crush. I think writing the story of The Crush has lasted a lot, lot longer than the actual events described therein. (btw, to be clear, The Crush is NOT Jen Leo.)

But I'm not bitter about the whole thing. Really. Just disappointed and sad and yet vaguely hopeful. Like a good Cubs fan has been trained to be.

As Kate has said though, at least a couple of really good mixCDs did come out of it. (Crush & Crushed, respectively).

One song on the Crush mix, that's always represented a certain moment in any crush to me is Standing Here by The Stone Roses. The song goes from a Hendrix/Beatles stew of guitar and harmony and sunshine, matching the giddyness of a crush, to the coda, (which their record label has egregiously left off the compilation discs) which takes all of the giddyness and wraps its arms into slow and tender.

The lyrics tend towards typical Roses nonsense, but the words, in their, erm, Manchesterness, still capture the glorious moment in a relationship when you realize that the crush likes you just as much in return.

"And I could feel a hurricane when you shout, 'I should be safe forever, in your arms. I could be safe forever in your arms.'"

(Additionally, this should of been somewhere in the top 10 old songs of the year post. But, it's been one of my favorite songs for about 15 years now. And should make an appearance anytime I have a crush who likes me back, even if just for a short period of time.)

American Rhetoric: Martin Luther King, Jr. - "I Have a Dream"

Listen to an mp3 here. American Rhetoric: Martin Luther King, Jr. - "I Have a Dream"


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

"I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Scrapple - Culinary Sleuth

My, um, friend Wendy is having a party for tomorrow's Eagle's game. She'll be making Scrapple.

I'll try anything once.

(See, here's where we encourage comments.)

Culinary Sleuth: "It's dictionary defined as 'cornmeal mush made with the meat and broth of pork, seasoned with onions, spices and herbs and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying.' The word, scrapple originates from 'scrap' or 'scrappy' meaning made up of odds and ends for that's exactly what it is - boiled, ground leftover pig scraps with cornmeal and spices thrown in. Scrapple lovers think of it as food for the gods. Anti-scrapplers consider it a culinary abomination.
Scrapple is the unique creation of the Pennsylvania Dutch, and therefore only quasi-American as the immigrants combined their German heritage with New World ingredients. The term 'Pennsylvania Dutch' is a corrupted form of Pennsylvania Deutsche, mostly transplanted Rhineland farmers who worked hard and ate heartily. They are frugal people and many of their dishes make imaginative use of every part of the butchered hog's anatomy. Scrapple is one of them."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

#1 'Float On' by Modest Mouse

(Download 'Float On' (live) by right clicking).

How could #1 be anything else?

Went to Coachella at the end of April, my first big post-Crushed journey, and a huge needed dose of sunshine. Met Orange and Glen and Tess and Michelle and Singletrack and Alex and new 'Big Sis' Roxanne. Got a little out of control there (really? naw. not you.) and Rox helped me through and through. The anecdote of the time was that she both 'helped me through shit while giving me shit.'

She, ahem, rocks. 1

Post-Coachella, rented a car. And thanks to the post-Coachella hungover/heatstroke legions neglecting to turn their econocars in on time, the vehicle turned out to be a fancy Volvo with an amazing sound system. Drove back to LA and hung with John Davis and Chris at there fantastic downtown LA loft. Great space. Great neighborhood. Explored LA and found out I really dug it. Interviewed at Chiat with Eric Grunbaum and talked for an hour with Rob Siltaanen at his shop.

Good times, built the confidence, tonic for the soul, just a little.

On the way out to my friend Randy and Meredith's desert party, I had to buy a bunch of CDs to play in the Volvo, because I never learn that whatever car I rent won't come with any of my cds unless I bring them.

It was about a two hour ride, across the Mojave desert, and then XXX mexicans XXX across an arroyo censored censored censored into a beautiful valley.

On the way out, I popped in the newly bought, just out Modest Mouse cd. I wasn't too into them in the past, but Proctor loved them and the cd got good reviews, so I bought it. What the hell.

Press Play. Track 1: Horn intro. 27 seconds. Right.Track 2: Isaac: "Ice age, heat wave, can't complain..." Cool. Track 3: HOLY FUCKING SHIT! HOT! YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Track 3: WHOOOOOOOOOOH! ROCK ON! FLOAT ON! FLOAT ON! ALRIGHT! Track 3: (getting some of they lyrics) BACKED MY CAR INTO COP CAR - HE JUST DROVE OFF SOMETIMES LIFE'S OK! YEAH! HOLY SHIT YEAH! YEAH! FUCK YEAH! ALRIGHT! OK! FLOAT ON!

Repeat Ad Serotonin.

It was just the right song at just the right moment. A slacker anthem. A song for the ne'er-do-wells, the hapless, the hopeless, the good souls in need of a little bit of redemption. 2

In other words, at that point, me.

In my post-Crushed state, unsure if I could ever find any meaningful, or meaningless happiness, unsure if I would deserve it even if I found it, it gave me comfort in the night, some time in the sunshine.

"Even if things end up a bit too heavy we'll all float on, we'll all float on, alright."

Amen, brother.

I think I played the track about 80 times on the way out to the desert. About 40 times on the way back. 30 times at Dave's birthday beach bash. (Side note: apologized to Anne at Bink's over Thanksgiving. She just laughed.) Conservatively, I'd guess over 600 time this year.

I mean could the song of the year *be* anything else?

There's a link below where you could download this track, but really go to iTunes and spend the 99c, for fuck's sake. It's worth it, and Modest Mouse is a NW band, and they had Dave Emmitte do some of the cover photography. So, do the right thing. Buy now. Operators are standing by.

Additional thought, 12 hours after the original post: the great thing about this song is that it won't be tied to anything but a glorious ride out to a party, soaking up the sunshine, driving off-road to good friends. No emotional highjacking. No cries in the night, just joy at being who I am and the faith that everything will be alright. 3

The Big Ticket: bad news comes don't you worry: "On January 29 of this past year, Sean Michaels (ed: not the wrestler) first posted this track on said the gramophone, and he had this to say about it at the time:

Forget the day-by-day schedule, I just heard this track and can't keep it to myself - Modest Mouse's 'Float On.' The new single from their upcoming album, and the best thing they've ever done, it seems to me. The guitars and drums jangle and flip in the background, happy to float on, with Isaac Brock squawking and rhyming in the front. It's like an amazing bird party that humans are never invited to, where there are strange bird drinks and strange bird rock'n'roll dances. And a river. And love. But you MUST TURN IT UP LOUD SO THE DRUMS AND BASS MAKE YOU CRAZY. holymoly! dan!!"

againagain footnote - 1 - in the WongDoody LA trip, she and I were with another friend who had recently stopped drinking. Roxanne, who happens to not hold anything back, asked her why. Then paused, pointed at me and asked, "Is it because when you drink you hook up with him?"

againagain footnote - 2 - (But then, also buried in the background, like the voices of self-doubt and self-destruction I hear anytime I do something good or worthy, you can hear Isaac's screaming lyrics that can't be discerned but can be felt.)

againagain footnote - 3 - potentially the title of my first short story collection.

MP3Blogs Aggregator

Holy crap! Here's the motherload (mother of all loads? just curious) of mp3 blog collectors. Save me from adding all the feeds by myself. Wheehee! I'm going to need a new hard drive.

MP3Blogs Aggregator: "An aggregated feed of mp3 weblogs: updated every hour on the hour. Read online or via our RSS feed. Never miss a link to your new favourite tune again."

Womenfolk - an mp3 blog

It's come to my attention that women tend to be a little underrepresented in rock and pop (unless your name is Beyonce). And, I've also read here on the Internet, that, get this: 50% of the world's population are women. AT LEAST.

so, here's an mp3 blog I discovered today devoted entirely to mp3s from women. go there, download a song or two, here a woman's voice and be amazed.

current post has downloads from Shivaree. you might have heard their 'Good Night Moon' over the credits of Kill Bill v.1.

Womenfolk: "About Womenfolk
Womenfolk focuses on women in music. There are many talented ones out there and they need to be heard."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Dave Barry - Elegy for the humorist. By Bryan?Curtis

When I was in high school and turning away from the math/science whiz track, I began writing for the high school newspaper.

At the time, my hero was a local humor columnist named Bob Morris, who was very obviously indebted to
Dave Barry, but with a little bit of Mitch Albom treacly humanism thrown in to boot.

I wrote a column for my HS paper, The Patriot (ugh, yes, i know - it is gross) called Yo! Miguel raps! It was about, well, anything I wanted it to be about, as long as it was funny. I once wrote about Nintendo thumb. (now known as Halo2 syndrome). For my ultimate piece before graduation, I threatened the 109 kids in front of me. Let's see that fly post-Columbine.

Anyhow, if I can ever dig those up, I'll post them here.

In the meantime, Dave Barry has retired from the columnbiz. Sad, but it yielded this piece from Slate, which has some great points about Barry's style.

2 pieces of extra tidbit: 1. Bob Morris was found to have plagiarized a whole bunch of work in 1993 and was fired from the Sentinel. 2. My idea about having 2 dogs - a main dog (Lab, Collie, et. al) and a 'special reserve dog' (shih-tzu) comes from a column i read from Dave Barry in 1985.

Dave Barry - Elegy for the humorist. By Bryan Curtis: "Dave Barry, who quit his syndicated humor column last week, has been playing dumb for 22 years. Whenever someone suggests that Barry is our noblest social commentator, that he regularly makes the lions of the New York Times editorial page look like bozos, Barry points out that this is impossible, because, unlike most Timesmen, he takes great pride in making booger jokes. Let us ignore that objection and repeat the suggestion. Dave Barry is was the most heroic newspaper columnist in America. He hides his considerable candlepower behind a jokester's guise of 'Don't trust me, I'm just the comedian!' Or, as Barry once put it, 'Readers are sometimes critical of me because just about everything I write about is an irresponsible lie...'

"Dave had astonishingly high SAT scores," says Weingarten. "His humor is informed by an astounding intellect." One week, when Tropic converted itself into a kind of Devil's Dictionary, Weingarten instructed Barry to come up with a definition for "sense of humor." Barry disappeared from the office for a few days. He came back with this: "A sense of humor is a measurement of the extent to which we realize that we are trapped in a world almost totally devoid of reason. Laughter is how we express the anxiety we feel at this knowledge." Then he promptly went back to writing about exploding livestock...

Weingarten says Barry codified one rule of comedy: "Put the funniest word at the end of sentence." A second rule might be: "Put the funniest sentence at the beginning of the story." Without my eyeglasses, I have a great deal of trouble distinguishing between house fires and beer signs.

I have received a disturbing letter from Mr. Frank J. Phillips, who describes himself as both a patriot and a Latin teacher.

Obviously, we—and when I say "we," I mean people who no longer laugh at the concept of hemorrhoids—need to come up with some kind of plan for dealing with the yuppies.

Like most Americans, I was thrilled to death last February when our wealthy yachting snots won the coveted America's Cup back from Australia's wealthy yachting snots.

At the Miami Herald we ordinarily don't provide extensive coverage of New York City unless a major news development occurs up there, such as Sean Penn coming out of a restaurant...

In 1987, after the New York Times published a bleak article about South Florida ("Can Miami Save Itself?"), Barry's editors dispatched their man to New York to give the Times its comeuppance. Barry returned with a wicked 4,000-word story in which he gently pointed out that Ed Koch's Manhattan was a carnival of urban decay and drug paraphernalia, too. Where the Times' story had been heavy-handed and sober, Barry was impish and hilarious, reporting, "[W]e immediately detect signs of a healthy economy in the form of people squatting on the sidewalk selling realistic jewelry." The denizens of Times Square, he observed, were "very friendly, often coming right up and offering to engage in acts of leisure with you."

Link to his New York piece.
His retirement piece.

The New York Times >Letter From Europe: Spaniards Dare to Question the Way the Day Is Ordered

Found out recently that I should be eligible for Spanish citizenship. Vaguely considering moving there.

When I was considering moving to Barcelona a few years ago, the Catalans, always seeking to distinguish themselves from the Castilians as more cosmopolitan, more European, were already making noise about altering the work day.

The New York Times > International > Europe > Letter From Europe: Spaniards Dare to Question the Way the Day Is Ordered: "For much of Spain's recent history, the siesta made the long days bearable. A routine workday that begins at 9 a.m. and finishes at 8 p.m. can seem somewhat rational if it is broken up by a good nap in the afternoon.
Today, long commutes make a trip home for a nap impractical, at least in the major cities. But if the siesta is becoming a thing of the past, it has left a legacy of idle afternoons that is still very much a part of Spanish life. In a way, the siesta has not so much disappeared as it has morphed into an epic lunch, often a two- or three-hour extravaganza that can last until 5.
Now some Spaniards are beginning to ask if a divided workday, with morning and evening sessions straddling an afternoon of scarce productivity, is compatible with the modern world and Spain's growing integration into Europe."

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Men Just Want Mommy

Interesting. Ms. Dowd takes time off from calling Bush a dolt to calling all men dolts.

Has a certain ring of truth to it though, doesn't it?

I know for sure that the female portion of the again! again! readership are all smart, driven women. What sayest thou?

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Men Just Want Mommy: "A few years ago at a White House Correspondents' dinner, I met a very beautiful actress. Within moments, she blurted out: 'I can't believe I'm 46 and not married. Men only want to marry their personal assistants or P.R. women.'
I'd been noticing a trend along these lines, as famous and powerful men took up with the young women whose job it was to tend to them and care for them in some way: their secretaries, assistants, nannies, caterers, flight attendants, researchers and fact-checkers.
Women in staff support are the new sirens because, as a guy I know put it, they look upon the men they work for as 'the moon, the sun and the stars.' It's all about orbiting, serving and salaaming their Sun Gods.
In all those great Tracy/Hepburn movies more than a half-century ago, it was the snap and crackle of a romance between equals that was so exciting. Moviemakers these days seem far more interested in the soothing aura of romances between unequals."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 | Have Gun, Will Travel | Halo2 article

Ah, yes, Halo2 Online. This is what it must have been like when when they introduced crack cocaine to America. | Have Gun, Will Travel | 2005-01-06: "Zyos plays the video game Halo, plays it better than anyone in the world. His mother, Rhonda, watched him dominate the military combat game in San Francisco last year at the World Cyber Games--the gaming Olympics--and because of her status, because she is the mother of Zyos, Rhonda became a de facto celebrity herself. She didn't expect that. She doesn't understand the game, in which you kill enemy combatants on your own or on a team. Yet gamers from across the world approached her. Zyos is a great champion, they said. One of them, an earnest kid from New Zealand, sought her out to tell her he'd flown to San Francisco to study Zyos' playing tendencies. "

Fold - ESPN's new poker series: Too much shouting, not enough dumpy Asians. By Seth?Stevenson

I'd cut and paste most of this review of the new ESPN show about Poker, called Tilt, except I'm sick and have purposefully taken Nyquil instead of Dayquil.

Also, I lined up some work for local agency Sockeye, and need to focus my creative/writing energies that way, if there are any energies available in my mad sea cow ravaged body.

Fold - ESPN's new poker series: Too much shouting, not enough dumpy Asians. By Seth Stevenson: "Tilt a new dramatic series on ESPN (debuting Thursday, 9 p.m. ET) gets poker right, too. Tilt was created by the guys who wrote Rounders, and just like Rounders it features lots of realistic poker play. Sadly, it does not feature Matt Damon, Edward Norton, sharp dialogue, or compelling plots. "

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Porn, Again - Another lewd, suggestive ad for meat. By Seth?Stevenson

My friend Kate can stick her whole fist in her mouth. Yeah, the men all regard this as a turn-on. But for 99% of us, if you think about it, that kind of capacity is really irrelevant.

Still, I guess it goes to willingness or suggestiveness.

Here's a Hardee's ad that does the same.

Porn, Again - Another lewd, suggestive ad for meat. By Seth Stevenson: "Porn, Again
Another lewd, suggestive ad for meat.
By Seth Stevenson
Posted Monday, Jan. 10, 2005, at 11:23 AM PT

The Spot: A blond woman wearing a strapless dress and high heels sticks her entire fist in her mouth, then pulls it back out and smiles. 'How do you know if you can eat the largest double burger in the country?' asks the announcer. 'There's one way to find out.' In a second spot, a different blond woman this one's wearing a spaghetti-strap top crams her mouth full of plastic straws, raising her eyebrows and nodding at the camera along the way. " Page 2 - Playoff theories: Mythbusters Page 2 - Playoff theories: Mythbusters: "By David Schoenfield
Page 2

I've been keeping track. I've heard or read about 127 different theories on how to win in the NFL playoffs over the past two weeks on various pregrame shows, halftime shows, postgame shows and radio shows, on Web sites and at the water cooler.
But are these theories true? I looked at 10 of the most prevalent theories, to see if what is said is actually true -- or just popular myth."

Monday, January 10, 2005

#2 For Lovers - Wolfman featuring Peter Doherty

"For Lovers" by Wolfman featuring Peter Doherty.

From complete madness comes utter beauty.

Despite a litany of drug and legal problems, Pete Doherty of the Libertines recorded this song with his mate Wolfman, who I know nothing about.

"I'm running away with you. That's all I ever do."

For me, this was on a mix CD I titled 'Crushed'. The girl I had a ginormous crush on pretty much freaked out and abandoned me. She lives in a different city, and I just kept Hope against Hope that we'd find a time and a place to get together again. Kinda like Chasing Amy. In my imagination, we kept things together and found a way.

And instead, she was running away.

I can't remember, am I a romantic drunk or a drunken romantic?

(Note the line about 'Hear the Jailor, rattling his key'. Nice metaphorical reference to your time in prison, Pete).

Guardian Unlimited | Arts features | The Guardian profile: Pete Doherty

Guardian Unlimited | Arts features | The Guardian profile: Pete Doherty: "Doherty, who has admitted an addiction to heroin and crack cocaine, has already taken life at twice the speed of most rock stars who lived fast and died young. In 2003, he was dumped from touring with the Libertines - the band he formed with Carl Barat - robbed Barat's flat while the rest of the Libertines were on tour; was jailed for the burglary; and was emotionally reunited with his band, whose debut album was a critical and commercial hit.
This year, he recorded the band's equally celebrated second album while bodyguards kept him and Barat apart.
After failing two attempts at rehab, his then manager, Alan McGee, paid to send him on a harsher rehab programme at a Thai monastery. Doherty fled but was told he couldn't rejoin his band until he addressed his addictions."

Sunday, January 09, 2005

again! again!: again! again!

again! again!: again! again!:
Location: Portland, with tentative plans to visit NYC and SF and LA for the Polyphonic Spree shows.
Work prospects: Low to Medium
Drinks: 2 glasses, Smoking Loon Chardonnay
Drugs: none since New Years. 1

Back: So-so.
Effort: Minimal, unless you count playing a shitload of Halo2 and posting one blog entry.
Engagement: 4.
Loneliness: Strangely, not lonely.
Newness: 2. 2

Percentage of self that believes that next year at this time I will be happy: 43%. I've no idea why. Maybe because it's a new year and the Zoloft might be working.
Brutally truthful answer to 'How you doin?': Little hungover.
The only even prime number of mp3s that I've posted on the blog. 2.

Today's extras (randomly chosen).
NTIDFSE - Not really anything.
Items knocked off to-do list - 1.

1 - off blow for an as of yet unspecified period of time.
2 - had a burger at the Vegan place.

Two Thousand Places (Section 14)

Number 3: Two Thousand Places by The Polyphonic Spree.

I can't emphasize enough how joyous The Polyphonic Spree is. Ask Karen or Trika or Ben or Howell or Kate, all of whom went with me, courtesy of CP at The Spree's record label Good Records.

Or how you can hear a gigantic 'Whoooooooooooooooooooh' from Tim at 4:45 of the song.

Or how in concert all 24 members are jumping around in as much rapture as those of us in the crowd. Watching them hold up 2 fingers and bounce around.

All of it sans irony.

'You know it's right!"

Side note: The Spree are playing the following shows in your area. (I think Kate and I will be in NYC for those two shows):

2/15 Warsaw, Brooklyn, NY
on sale 1/12 at noon EST via Ticketmaster
with: Mike Doughty

2/16 Irving Plaza. New York, NY
on sale 1/12 at noon EST via Ticketmaster
with: Mike Doughty

2/24 Bimbo's San Francisco, CA Noise Pop Festival

2/25 TBA Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The again! again! top 10 songs of the year.

24. 'Your Smile's a Drug' - Patrick Park
23. 'Saint Simon'/'Gone for Good' - The Shins
22. 'Take Off Your Cool' - Outkast f. Norah Jones
21. 'Into U' - Richard X
20. 'Hey Ya!' - Outkast
19. 'December 4th' - Jay-Z/The Beatles/DJ Danger Mouse
18. 'Suitcase Calling', 'When the Fool Becomes a King', 'Hold Me Now' - The Polyphonic Spree
17. 'The Good Times Are Killing Me' - Modest Mouse
16. 'Summer in the City' - Sharkey (f. Jean Grae) & 'Something We Got' - The Minx
15. 'Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime' - Beck (from the Eternal Sunshine soundtrack)
14. 'Long Time Coming' - The Delays
13. 'Can't Stand Me Now' - The Libertines
12. 'Your Adorable Beast' - Bobby Bare Jr.
11. 'Into the Night' - The Music
10. 'Year of the Rat' - Badly Drawn Boy
9. 'Extraordinary Machine' - Fiona Apple
8. 'Empty Cans' - The Streets
7. 'Stinging Velvet' & 'Deep Red Bells' - Neko Case
6. 'Ocean Breathes Salty' - Modest Mouse
5. 'C'mon C'mon' - The Von Bondies
4. 'Take Me Out' - Franz Ferdinand
3. 'Two Thousand Places' - The Polyphonic Spree
2. 'For Lovers' Wolfman f. Pete Doherty
1. 'Float On' by Modest Mouse

Top 10 (old) songs of 2004 aka Songs to Download & Sing

For better or worse, these are the old songs that i either recently discovered (Teenage Fanclub) or unearthed to match my mood (The Stone Roses, Rufus Wainwright).

10. 'There She Goes' - The La's
9. 'Ain't that enough' - Teenage Fanclub
8. 'California' - Rufus Wainwright
7. 'Stinging Velvet' - Neko Case
6. 'Imagine' - John Lennon
5. 'Turn Your Lights Down Low' - Bob Marley & Lauryn Hill
4. 'There There' - Radiohead (and Thom Yorke's acoustic version)
3. 'Jump' - Van Halen
2. 'Alex Chilton' - The Replacements
1. 'Closer' - The Black Crowes

Pitchfork: Top 50 Singles of 2004

My Top 10 coming soon...

Amen to just loving great music, and not being a genre jihadist.

Pitchfork: Top 50 Singles of 2004: "The advent of new technology is notorious for altering listening habits. In 2003, widespread file-sharing, per-song downloads, and open-minded discourse between online music fans began breaking down the long-held biases we sometimes stubborn indie music fans once harbored for non-indie music. Easy and immediate access to any track we wanted-- and the ability to look into friends' MP3 folders and see that we weren't the only ones who dug that Kelis song-- allowed us to realize that, hey, maybe what we all really love is just good songs.
As music in both the mainstream and the underground continues to push the envelope, tying ourselves to outmoded rules and regulations that dictate which music is or isn't acceptable to enjoy seems needlessly limiting. It now seems clear that, despite their differences in politics, these two sworn enemies can peacefully co-exist on our hard drives without one corrupting or destroying the ideals of the other.
Now, as iPods continue to gain prominence, our self-determined playlists-- increasingly consisting of recommendations by friends, websites, message boards, and MP3 blogs-- offer what commercial radio never could: No commercials, no song overplayed, and no fucking Nickelback slow jams, ever. If ever there was a year to celebrate the single, this is it."

What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it? (

I believe that Delaware does not exist, but cannot prove it.

What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it? ( "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?

posted January 05, 2005 at 07:28 pm

To start off each year, a question is asked of the Edge membership. This year's question is: 'What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?' Here are some favorite responses of mine followed by a couple of my own beliefs."

Me again: That led me to this 'speech' from American Gods by Neil Gaiman:

“I can believe that things are true and I can believe things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of casual chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

My 15 Favorite Songs of the Year That I Could Draw (tiny mix tapes)

My 15 Favorite Songs of the Year That I Could Draw (tiny mix tapes)

Even though we're now 1/52 of the way through 2005 (the year we leave the hive!), it's not too late to look back at the great music of 2004. I'll be putting up a bunch of links to music sites' top of the year, and listing my top 10, with the songs you haven't heard to death (Float On, anyone) posted here for your enjoyment.

Tiny Mix Tapes: "I like to draw songs I like. It's that simple. So this is not a definitive list of the best songs of the year. Some of my favorite tracks -- including 'Seventeen Years' by Ratatat and 'Drop It Likes It's Hot' by Snoop Dogg -- I just couldn't visualize and thus never drew. Also, a song has to really hit you in the gut to make your colored pencil move, and these songs all led to pretty cool images (in my mind. they may not have translated onto paper as well as I hoped).

But I did rank the songs I did draw in order of greatness; hopefully that gives this list some listness. So enjoy the drawings, and I hope it allows you to see these songs in a new light and enjoy them in a new way. I know these songs all meant a lot to me. Oh, and I'm not 13 years old. For the record."

Friday, January 07, 2005

Beauty and the Beast - Why are fat sitcom husbands paired with great-looking wives? By Matt?Feeney

Have you ever noticed how all of the wives in SitComs are hot, and all the husbands dumpy?

Ever wonder why the fatass red states love Everybody Loves Raymond? (which, admittedly, has the least male weight to femail beauty ratio.)

Slate has. Or at least one of their freelancers.

Beauty and the Beast - Why are fat sitcom husbands paired with great-looking wives? By Matt?Feeney: "If family sitcoms really are a Rorschach blot for their male and female viewers, then we're either in really bad shape or coping surprisingly well?in the same scenarios in which women perhaps identify their own desperation and martyrdom, men seem to find sweet, elemental fulfillment."

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ashlee Simpson booed

Ashlee sucks.

At the end of a half-time live performance during last night's National Championship college football game, Ashlee Simpson was loudly booed.

If anyone can find a picture of her reaction, send it on.

2005 Art Theme, Psyche

2005 Art Theme, Psyche

This year's Burning Man theme is in. It's 'Psyche'.

And The Man will be on top of a funhouse, and rotating. If only they'd add an ass or a cock so we could tell which direction he was facing.

"The figure will be raised upon a pedestal with four stout spokes protruding from its base. By pushing on these poles participants may turn the Burning Man, slowly rotating the 4-storey figure that looms over them. Those who labor at this turnstile will be physically connected to its sovereign axis, the irreducible core of the "I". But for many other citizens throughout our city, this fitful movement of the Man will feel erratic and profoundly disconcerting. Is "I" a king of consciousness or motley fool? The answer will depend entirely on one's point of view."

The Conscious, the Subconscious and the Unconscious

Imagine the brain, that shiny mound of being, that petit tyrant inside a ball of bone, that mouse grey parliament of cells, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredrome, that wrinkled wardrobe of selves...
Diane Ackerman
-- An Alchemy of Mind

This year's theme explores psychology: self-expression, self-reflection and the unconscious power of dreams. For this purpose, we'll divide a portion of the playa into zones, each relating to a different region of the mind."

And kudos to finally giving those of us who become unconscious to have a place of our own.

Yahoo! News - Condom Testing Reveals Best Brands

This one's a gem.

I added in some comments in ()

I recommend you download 'Yeah Me Out' from the previous post first and then read this story.

Yahoo! News - Condom Testing Reveals Best Brands: "Condom Testing Reveals Best Brands

Tue Jan 4, 6:02 PM ET Health - Reuters

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The consumers group best known for rating cars and washing machines has turned its testing prowess to condoms to find out which ones measure up best and how other birth control methods compare.

The nonprofit Consumers Union says in a new guide to contraception that the seven top U.S. types of condom they studied did not burst despite vigorous testing, and all models met international standards.
But results showed that the top brand, able to take the most punishment, was the Durex Extra Sensitive Lubricated Latex, according to the report.
Other top-performers include the Durex Performax Lubricated, Lifestyles Classic Collection Ultra Sensitive Lubricated and TheyFit Lubricated.
A melon-colored model distributed by Planned Parenthood (news - web sites) performed the worst, bursting during a test in which the latex condoms were filled with air.
The group says its review of contraceptives was not politically motivated, although there is an intense debate among health professionals and advocacy groups about the focus on abstinence-only education by the Bush administration.
'We plan our testing programs quite a while in advance. This is purely accidental,' said senior editor Nancy Metcalf.
Consumers Union uses standardized tests to rate the products it examines, which for latex condoms involves filling them with air. There is no accepted method to test silicon or non-latex condoms.

'You end up with a balloon 3 feet tall and a foot wide. They can really stretch an amazing amount," Metcalf said (ed: with a wry smile and a sigh) in a telephone interview. (A male lab tester claimed that the balloon was in fact 3 feet 5 inches).

The New York-based organization, which publishes the Consumer Reports magazine, also tested 16 other contraceptive choices.

"Condoms remain the only family planning and pregnancy prevention method that can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV (news - web sites), which causes AIDS (news - web sites)," the group, which has issued similar reports on condoms periodically since 1979, said in a statement.

"Condoms have improved since the mid-nineties because industry manufacturing standards have become more universally used and more effective," added Edward Kippel, who led the condom test project.

Intrauterine devices or IUDs have also become safer than in previous years, as have birth control pills, including so-called emergency contraception, the group said.

While abstinence has a 0 percent failure rate, doing nothing to prevent pregnancy has an 85 percent failure rate, the group found. (But abstinence has a 0 percent fun rate, the group did not add, and besides what else can teens do that's that much fun and costs so little?)

A U.S. government report published last month shows 98 percent of all U.S. women who have had sex have used birth control. (The other 2% abstained from using birth control.)

Monday, January 03, 2005

yeah me out mp3

As part of our pledge to provide better service to the loyal readers of 'again!again!', we will now be providing a steady diet of mp3s for your listening enjoyment.

here's the scoop: about once an every few days, i'll be posting an mp3 on the blog, telling you why i like it, what's cool about it, and why you should listen to it and then buy the album.

the track will be up for a few days before we retire it from the blog.

in order to save bandwidth though, i'm going to ask that if you really love a track and want everyone in your office to hear it, please don't send everybody the link to again!again!, as this will exceed the bandwidth that my good friend Sean Keener has so graciously provided me with.

if you're running on mac, i think you hit option or command + while clicking with the mouse button on the link. choose to save target or something like that.

on pc, right click and then 'save target as'.

YeahMeOut! is a mash-up of the year's two most critically acclaimed singles, 'Yeah' by Usher (f. Lil Jon) and 'Take Me Out' by Franz Ferdinand.