You've Been Asleep for a Hundred Seconds

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Dwight Remembered

On Thursday, my step-father Mike's father Dwight passed away. I didn't know Dwight well but he was always kind and sweet to me. He always had a goofy joke to share or a silly nickname to bestow on someone. He was always wearing acowboy boots and western shirts. He always seemed to be a quintessential Norman Rockwell style grandfather. I know he was good man because his son is one onef my favorite people in the world. I really regret I never got to know him better.

Dwight's health had been in long decline from Parkinson's, but the suddenness of his death really took me aback. It struck me harder than my own grandfather's death or my great grandfather's deaths. Maybe that's because BoBo's death something i was long prepared for. I am glad that Dwight is no longer suffering but I feel really sad for Mike and his brothers. I can't fathom what it would feel like to lose your father. And my heart goes out to Bette, Dwight's wife, as well.

I won't be able to go to his funeral next week and I didn't really know what to do with my grief or how to honor Dwight, so I went to a Blessed Sacrament in the U-District and lit a candle in Dwight's honor and said a prayer for him. I'm not Catholic or even particularly religious, but Dwight was so it felt like a fitting tribute. This has reminded me how precious family and friends are and how important our time with them is.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Hail Satan! \m/

This picture is just to good to be true. He's obviously just doing the doing the Hook'em Horns sign but it makes him look like he is a big Slayer or Ronnie James Dio fan. Not to mention the whole Bush is Satan angle. I guess a Norwegian newspaper was so disturbed by the picture that it ran on their front page today.

I am surprised by my lack of dread and apathy towards Bush's re-inauguration. Maybe I'm just avoid thinking about so as to not depress myself. You know if I don't recognize the problem maybe it will go away, right?

I initially just read his inauguration speech and thought wow what a hopeful positive speech! If John Kerry had given that speech I would have been really excited. But then I listened Bush delivering the speech. Holy god! He just murdered the speech and sucked the life out of it; even mangling the home run lines. Additionally, while I do believe bush really means what he says about spread democracy I don't trust him do it without making things worse.

Have we ever had a more fucked up less accountable administration? At least Nixon got nailed for his crimes. But Nixon didnt get in trouble till his second term so there's still time.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Colin Sings

I just got back from an excellent Colin Meloy solo show. I have loved the Decemberists dearly since I first discovered them a year and half ago and their live shows are always excellent but seeing the band's frontman/songwriter Colin Meloy (AKA the future Mr. Headstart For Happiness) on his own was a special treat. Meloy is a first rate songwriter with a strange tenor voice and and a first rate guitarist. His songs are unique to say the least. Dickensian is probably the best word to describe his songs but they aren't all about Chimney sweeps and prostitutes., like his best song "Angel, Wont You Call Me?", which is the most straight forward of love songs. He is very reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock in that he can be ever so strange but always manages to connect emotionally with me in the end. However, Colin dresses better and blinks less than Robyn.

Meloy's set was nice mix of old and new Decemberists' tracks, unreleased songs, and well chosen covers. Early on he played "Apology Song", which is literal and apology in song for losing a friends bicycle. Another highlight was a new song called "On the Bus mall" which was about contemporary prostitutes instead of Victorian ones. He also played two Morrissey covers "Sister I'm a Poet" and "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" which were just awesome and he was even selling an tour only EP called "Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey", which has to the coolest tour only item I've ever bought. Meloy closed the main set with "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade" which was the song that got me hooked on the Decemberists and still to my knowledge the only song to mention the Multnomah County Library. In the encore, Meloy ended the show with an awesome cover of Cheap Trick's "Southern Girls" that was superior to the original. He managed to strip the song down its pop essence and eschew the sometimes unnecessary Rick Nielsen bombast. What a great way to end a great show.

The show was at The Triple Door which is easily the poshest venue I have been to in Seattle. It's a cabaret style theater with tiers of booths and tables. It was like being at the Copacabana minus Ray Liotta and a 7 minute Scorcese tracking shot. I did like that we were able to eat and sit while watching the show. It wasn't a very rock n' roll venue but this wasn't a very rock 'n roll show. It works for solo acoustic but it would be a crime to see a real rock band there. But the service was weird. First our server kept trying to get us to sign up for their email list by talking it up and leaving forms for us to fill out. Then it seemed like every ten minutes a server would open the bottle of water on our table and fill our glasses even if they were almost full. It got really annoying and even if you waved them off they wouldn't stop. It was like they were water pouring robots. The PourBot waitstaff didn't impede my enjoyment of the show.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Fountains of Wrong

While watching the great but ultimately disappointing Seahawks-Rams playoff game on Saturday, I caught two commercials featuring Fountains of Wayne songs. The first was an NFL commercial featuring slow motion footage of quarterbacks going back to pass while FoW's "All Kinds of Time" plays. Pretty cool use of the song, which actually is about a quarterback going back to pass. The song works much better in the commercial than it does on its own.

The other commercial was borderline creepy. It starts with soccer mom-ish woman standing outside a minivan while the chorus to FoW's "Stacy's Mom" plays ("Stacy's Mom has got it going on"). Then we see a large group of children running to the minivan and then she opens up the door to reveal a bunch of Dr. Pepper. Nothing wrong obstensably wrong with the commercial unless you are familiar with the rest of the song and its content which makes more than a little wrong. Shades of that recent Nicole Kidman Movie Birth? Maybe Dr. Pepper will take this one out of circulation and play their commecial featuring Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" instead.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I Heart My DVR

For the past ten days, I have had a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and has been awesome. It's not a Tivo but its essentially the same thing. And unlike a Tivo, I didn't have to spend any money on the hardware. I just have to pay Comcast an extra ten bucks a month. The DVR runs Microsoft TV software. Its pretty sleek and far better than the Scientific Atlanta stuff my Dad's DVR runs. Before FCW got her Tivo I thought it was a fussy extravagance for people to lazy to set their VCRs. But after hearing her extol its virtues on a near daily basis I knew in needed one

Yet I still resisted the lure of Tivo, thinking it would make me what too much TV or at least even more than the ridiculous amount I already watch. But to my surprise I am actually watching less TV. I no longer am just endlessly surfing for something to watch. Instead, I just set it to record the shows I want. And then I can watch those shows when its convenient for me which leaves me free to read more, watch more DVDs, play more video games, and even get more exercise.

The best part is recording things you always mean to watch but tend to forget about like The Venture Brothers on the Cartoon Network or Ebert and Roeper. The time shifting quality is great. Even if you intend to watch a show the night airs why should you have to watch at 8 when it would be more convenient to watch it 9:35.

It is so much easier to record shows with the DVR than with the VCR. It also allows you never have to hesitate on making spur of the moment plans with friends just because you'd have to go home and set up the VCR first
Another added bonus is when you are flipping around and run across a show you like that's half way over you can set the DVR to record the whole thing. I did this last night with Do You Speak American?, Robert MacNeil's PBS documentary about regional dialects in America.

I know this sounds like an informercial but having DVR rules. It's a steal for ten bucks a month. Comcast isn't advertising their availability yet but if you call them they can get you all set up.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Return of Me

Worry not readers, I'm back.

Where did I go? Nowhere really.

I took last week off of work and coupled with some weird work holidays I ended up with 12 straight days off. It also turned into a unexpected vacation from blogging as well.

The time off was splendid as were the holidays (I'll post some holiday pictures later). I spent some time with family in Port Orchard, Olympia, and Lake Stevens. Although most of the time was spent in Seattle

It was particularly nice seeing my Nana at Christmas. It has been a few years since I've spent Christmas with her and she full of joy throughout. I even got her to make me a patented Nana-style Canadian and tap water cocktail which turned out to be not bad at all which is saying a lot from a vodka drinker. I also got to have Christmas dinner with Uncle John and Aunt Gail and my cousins. I really don't see them enough, especially now that they no longer east of the mountains.

My mom and Mike surprised me with a really cool xmas gift. A print of Public Enemy's Chuck D by guerilla graphic artist Shepard Fairey. At first I thought it was some baseball player like Curt Flood or Eric Davis but brother set me straight. At first I thought it was a little extravagant for me but now I really really like. You can see the print here. The print I have is of the right side. Maybe I'll get Flava Flav to complete the set next year.

Oddly I only caught two movies on my vacation The Aviator and The Life Aquatic I really liked both a lot. I expected to like The Aviator because even bad Scorcese is usually quality stuff. The Aviator is probably Scorcese's best film since Goodfellas, a really excellent film. With The Life Aquatic, I didn't know what to expect. I loved Rushmore but I was left cold by The Royal Tennenbaums, but I really enjoyed this new one. You just can't go wrong with David Bowie songs done in Portuguese and including the original versions of my two favorite Bowie songs "Life on Mars?" and "Queen Bitch" means I have to love it.

I also spent a lot of time playing geeky board games with Headstart and my old friend Nick. Headstart, newly employed in politics, had the week off and Nick was back from Africa for the holidays. We played lots and lots of Settlers of Catan and Illuminati. And this last Sunday we played more at our old high school friend Bill's place with my brother. We played History of the World which even though I won is only really fun for the first half then it tends to get a little stale but it was still a lot of fun.

I also had a wonderful time on New Year's with Headstart, Sprizee, AA, and Xan. We were at Frumhouse where Headstart was house sitting and good time was had by all. There was booze, Chinese food, and poker. My poker game was initially horrid but after I had couple of great hands at the end that took me from big loser status to big winner status.

By the last day of my vacation (Monday) I was ready to return to the working world. Rested, happy, and motivated to have a great 2005.