Thursday, September 29, 2005 

Tales of Suburbia: Attack of The Joneses

Back to clear out the cobwebs and see if anything funky has grown since I've been out... But lookin' around seems like everything's status quo. I didn't mean to be away from blogging for so long. I guess I took a week and a half vacation. Sorry folks-- it's nothing personal.

So things have been busy recently. Between K's birthday, Thad's birthday, and barbeques, the weekends seem to disappear as soon as they get here.

Another cool thing is K's brother, Jorge (left), has come to stay with us in the ATL. It's honestly been a blast having him here. He and I get along really well. At the very least he's someone to drink beer, tell stupid jokes and watch the game with... at the very best, he's one heck of a chef.

But he and K are going to Sewanee for the weekend to spend time with their youngest brother and their mother, "Silver Fox". So that means I'm gonna be hanging out in the ATL by my lonesome. Hopefully it'll be a nice, relaxing weekend. I plan on working on music with Thad (good stuff forthcoming... brace yo'selves) and doing a bunch of yardwork, weather permitting.

Speaking of yardwork, I've got a killer case of "keeping up with the Joneses". My next door neighbor has the nicest fucking lawn. It's this Bermuda grass that he cuts with this ridiculously complicated lawn mower that is designed to trim the putting greens on golf courses. I could seriously go out there and practice my putting on his yard, it's so damned beautiful.

And then you've got my grass, which is a combination of the grass from the neighbor's that has grown into my yard, some weeds, and some red creeping fescue. It's a truly horrible blend of turf that when, cut just right, looks like the Jolly Green Giant had a case of the shits.

So I've decided that I'm gonna turn that front yard under and replant the entire front yard. I'm gonna redo the sidewalk and plant a bunch of flowers in the front over the next few months. And one day I will win the neighborhood "Best Yard" prize, mark my words. And you better believe there will be pictures when the deed is done.

Anyway, apologies for the absence again... Next week, I'm gonna do a full week of updates now that things have settled down. And some new features will be added to this mofo.

Just keeping up with the Joneses.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 

Editorial: How music today is isolating the twenty-something liberatarian...

The Dixie Chicks in 2002 said in a London Concert how they were ashamed of their President. Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, REM, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie have all spoken out in shows (aside from their tour) discussing the political scene. The list goes on and on... Countless other political movements within rock shows have happened within the last few years, and to be quite honest, it's pissing me off.

Here's the thing-- I don't go to church expecting to hear a rock song. I don't go to shout at the top of my lungs as the preacher goes knee-deep into (to borrow Jack Black's term) a face-melting guitar solo. I don't go to church expecting to crowd surf or have too many beers.

But I don't go to a rock show expecting to hear a sermon either.

I don't disagree with people's political beliefs for the most part. Quite the opposite-- as a liberatarian, I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions (as well as they believe them because they've done research, considered the options, and they feel that their's fits best). If you believe something that may differ from my beliefs and have thought about both sides of the argument and read up on the facts, I think that's great. I think that's one of the most beautiful things about the country, and as an idealist, believe that when everyone does their duty and votes, the greater good should prevail (in theory). It's a wonderful framework that the founders of our country believed in and has carried on strong for hundreds of years.

What I don't appreciate is going to a rock show and having someone on stage bitching about the US political situation. It straight-up sucks. If I want to hear about how people agree or disagree with the President, I'll watch C-Span or Meet the Press. But I don't want to go to a show and hear about how the band has a beef with Dubya or the Dubya-haters and endure crowd-popping banter about how we're right and the other group is wrong.

The sixties encapsulated some of the greatest music ever written. Dylan, Hendrix, the Dead, the Beatles, the Stones-- I mean these guys wrote some of the most politcally charged stuff that you'd ever hear. Maybe I'm just disassociating myself from the politics of the time and have grown up numb to the message behind some of the music. But man, politics played a big part in that music and I love the stuff that came out of that period. Did I agree with many of the policies the US had at the time? Probably not. Vietnam was an interesting time for this country. Thousands of people were in the Vietnam war against their will, drafted into a war they did not believe in. They didn't have a choice. And frankly, that scenario sucks.

But being a fan of music now is hard. I spent years when I was a kid listening to REM albums, thinking they were the best band on the planet. I spent countless hours trying to make my voice sound like Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and trying to figure out the guitar solo on "Alive". I spent months and threw away countless drafts of lyrics trying to emulate the same vivid storytelling of Bruce Springsteen. But I don't know if I could ever go see anyone of them again. Why? Because I feel isolated.

Do I think Bush is the best President we've ever had? No. Do I agree with the war in Iraq? Not entirely. Do I feel safer knowing Saddam's out of power? I dunno... that's a tough one. But I'd rather sing along with the songs of the band that I'm there to see than to have a political diatribe thrust upon me, whether or not I agree with it.

And it sucks. I don't disagree with people writing songs about how the situation sucks right now, and I don't disagree with people believing whatever they want to. And writing about it, sure. Write about whatever you want. I'll probably sing along if you write a damn catchy song.

But I do disagree with bands getting cheap pops from the crowd talking about politics when they should be working for applause and accolades by performing well and playing up to the crowd. I'm not saying that I'm against artists getting involved in the political arena or other social issues. I mean, hell, look at what Bono's done in the last ten years for people.

But do me a favor-- keep politics outside of the rock arena, please.

I'm there to enjoy the music.

Friday, September 09, 2005 

Photo Update 4: The WTF Update

Sorry, guys... this is going to be a quick one. Gotta get to work pretty early this morning.

WTF made me so hungover for the entire weekend? Oh yeah, Tuppers' Hop Pocket and a ton of Marlboro Lights. Uggghhhh.... Good beer though. I originally purchased Tuppers' Hop Pocket on a whim, in the chance that it would taste somewhat like frozen Hot Pockets. But alas, no. But it was my-tee tas-tee!

Unfortunately, it also caused me to pick a second string running back (Tatum Bell) for my third pick in the "big money" fantasy football league draft. WTF? Worst pick ever.

WTF are these equals stickers for? I've been seeing them EVERYWHERE in Atlanta. I keep thinking that if I rub the sticker, I'll find out whether the car is an autobot or a decepticon? Is it some secret society like the Masons? What does it take to join (not that I want to, per se... just want to know what the requirements are for putting a yellow equals sign on the back of your car)?

WTF is this?! This was the infamous "Tupper Hop Pocket Night" at the Thompson House, and I was playing music with my buddy Thad. I plugged in my camera tonight, and I found a bunch of photos that I didn't take. I guess K came in and took them while we were working on stuff. But anyway, these are the founding members of the group tentitavely called "Project Thompson".

WTF?! I'm clicking during the game last night and I come across this on MTV. You know, that show...

And I'm trying to figure out what DirecTV is calling it under the description...

"No, DirecTV... just... no. Step away from the channel guide and put your hands behind your head."

I may be an adult, but I still get weirded out when "grown-ups" try to be cool.

Have a good weekend guys.

Saturday, September 03, 2005 

This morning: ****

The most accurate hangover ranking system I've found:

  • One Star Hangover
    No pain. No real feeling of illness. Your sleep last night was a mere disco nap, which has given you a whole lot of misplaced energy. Be glad that you are able to function relatively well. However, you are still parched. You can drink 10 sodas and still feel this way. You are craving a steak bomb and a side of gravy fries.

  • Two Star Hangover
    No pain, but something is definitely amiss. You may look okay but you have the mental capacity of a staple gun. The coffee you are chugging is only exacerbating your rumbling gut, which is craving a rootie tootie fresh and fruity pancake breakfast from IHOP. There is some definite havoc being wreaked upon your bowels.

  • Three Star Hangover
    Slight headache. Stomach feels crappy. You are definitely not productive. Anytime a girl walks by you gag because her perfume reminds you of the random gin shots you did with your alcoholic friends after the bouncer 86'd you at 1:45 a.m. Life would be better right now if you were in your bed with a dozen donuts and a meatball hero watching the E! fashion awards. You've had 4 cups of coffee, a gallon of water, 3 Snapples and a liter of diet coke, yet you haven't peed once.

  • Four Star Hangover
    Life sucks. Your head is throbbing. You can't speak too quickly or else you might puke. Your boss has already lambasted you for being late and has given you a lecture for reeking of booze. You wore nice clothes, but that can't hide the fact that you missed an oh-so crucial spot shaving, (girls, it looks like you put your make-up on while riding the bumper cars.) Your eyes look like one big vein and your hair style makes you look like a reject from the class picture of Grover Cleveland HS, class of '84.

  • Five Star Hangover
    AKA "Dante's 4th Circle of Hell."
    You have a second heartbeat in your head, which is actually annoying the employee who sits in the next cube. Vodka vapor is seeping out of every pore and making you dizzy. You still have toothpaste crust in the corners of your mouth from brushing your teeth in an attempt to get the remnants of the shit fairy out. Your body has lost the ability to generate saliva, so your tongue is suffocating you. Death seems pretty good right now. You definitely don't remember who you were with, where you were, what you drank and why there is a stranger still sleeping in your bed at your otherwise empty house.

  • Six Star Hangover
    Otherwise known as the "Infinite Nut smacker"
    You wake up on your bathroom floor. For about 2 seconds you look at the ceiling, wondering if the cool refreshing feeling on your cheek is the bathroom tile or your vomit from 5 hours ago. It is amazing how your roommate was as drunk as you, but somehow managed to get up before you. You try to lift your head. Not an option. Then you inadvertently turn your head too quickly and smell the funk of 13 packs of cigarettes in your hair. Suddenly you realize you were smoking, but not ultra lights... some jackass handed you Marlboro reds, and you smoked them like it was your second full time job. You look in the mirror only to see remnants of the stamp "Ready to Rock" faintly atop your forehead... the stamp on the back of your hand that has magically appeared on your forehead by alcoholic osmosis. You have to be to work in t-minus 14 minutes and 32 seconds and the only thing you can think of wearing is your "hello kitty" pajamas and your slippers.