Thursday, March 30, 2006
I think the best part about my particular receiver, is the one feature it has that is almost like methadone to a channel surfin' fiend like myself. It' s called "S-Seek". Basically, you can save songs you like, and then be notified when it's about to be played on one of the channels.
My receiver only stores 10 at a time, unfortunately, so I have to be discerning about what makes the list. The major rules are pretty much that it A) has to be a song I don't have on a CD, and B) isn't played on conventional radio too often.
I know you are dying to see my current list, along with my comments on each selection. So, without further ado:
"Roll On", The Little Willies - Not since Wet Willie has a band with the word "Willie" in it captured the hearts and minds of America's youth. I've got 5 words for you - Norah Jones' Country Side Project. This is an original (they do a few covers on their album, including Willie Nelson's "I Gotta Get Drunk), and it only adds to my desire to whisk Ravi Shankar's adorable love-child away to some secluded cabin, with nothing but a piano, a case of Sam Adams, and several pounds of uncooked steak (for eating, sickos). Another one of my unconventional crushes. And now, a moment of appreciation for this Siren:
Sigh...well, that didn't help me at all. Oh, and it's a great song, too.
"Carolina Rain", Ryan Adams - The Jacksonville, NC native working his alt-country roots on his latest album (although some people freak out when you associate the word "country" with Mr. Adams' name). A pretty dark little ditty, but those are probably my favorite type of Americana music. It's chock full of pedal steel, and if that ain't country - I'll kiss your ass.
"Off The Record", My Morning Jacket - The proverbial needle in the haystack. After hearing it for the 2nd or 3rd time, I decided it was S-Seek worthy. I then proceeded to not hear it for over a week, constantly hoping to trap it for my collection. The beginning vocals are oddly reminiscent of "Up on the Roof". Supposedly, these guys are in the Wilco vein of Alternative music, but this song actually has a nice little old-school punk sensibility to it.
"Take Five", Dave Brubeck Quartet - This is one of those jazz songs that you would know if you heard...it just oozes cool. A great saxophone driven song, with an insistent little piano part underneath. I'm told this was typical of this group's sound. Getting to hear stuff like this on the radio is what makes Sirius worth it.
"Illegal Smile", John Prine - Prine's quirky breakthrough hit. It's usually on Outlaw Country, which I guess means it doesn't fit into the Nashville perameters. That's probably why I like it so much. It's timeless in that you could have imagined Jimmie Rodgers writing a similar song back in the 20's. This actually just acquired S-Seek status today.
"Bonita Applebum", Tribe Called Quest - An unexpected entry. Easily one of my favorite rap songs (and groups) ever, I stumbled across this Tribe piece while making one of my infrequent visits to the Hip-Hop section of Sirius. It's a clever little rap love song, which seems to be a lost art in that genre these days. Funny, self-depricating, great music underneath...and the fact that you can infer that the girl's name means "Beautiful Applebutt". Giggle.
"Beautiful Wreck", Shawn Mullins - Most people look at Mullins as a one-hit wonder, thanks to his overplayed "Rock-a-Bye" from the late 90's. Us in Atlanta know that he's been around since, just not getting much notice, including from me. This is a great song, and Mullins has a very unique vocal style for a singer/songwriter. One that I'm convinced I could pull off in karaoke.
"One Dime at a Time", Steep Canyon Rangers - These are my boys. I first saw them play at the Boone Saloon in 2004. Their bassist tipped me off to Midtown's Red Light Cafe, where I saw them for the second time. They're classified as bluegrass, but the lead singer lacks the high, lonesome sound of the old school purveyors. Really, they are more a mix of old-school country and bluegrass. A great live act, too.
"Don't Wait Too Long", Madeline Peyroux - Yes, I am heterosexual. I just love this chick's voice. The only knock on it is that it was used in that goofy Dockers' commercial where the chick and dude are eye humping each other from seperate trolleys, before trying to get on the other one's trolley - only to have it pull away. They think they missed their chance, but wait! The object of their affection has jumped off their trolley too, and they are both left on the street together! Blleeech - now that I realize that this is where I first heard this, it may not be staying on my list too much longer. If you haven't seen the commercial, enjoy this song - filth free.
"Do You Realize", The Flaming Lips - One of those bands that everyone who listens to them seems to love. This is a great song, and a testament to the diversity of this group. I figure I should get into them at some point, but then I'd have to take this off my S-Seek. Hard to believe they are only known in the mainstream for their novelty hit "She Don't Use Jelly".
A few other songs have served proudly - "The March" by Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Traveling Wilbury's "Handle with Care", Death Cab for Cutie's "Crooked Teeth, Beth Orton's "Conceived", and my pop guilty pleasure "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. Feist is currently bucking for S-Seek honors.
The thought of having a receiver with more storage space brings a solitary tear to my eye. Sometimes, I think it's the only thing that keeps me going...but then I just go see what's on the TV.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
This defintely explains why my people were not only prone to chilly places, but generally overcast areas like the British Isles and Scandanavia. As I've often said, we don't tan...we burst into flames! I actually do own a few bottles of sunblock, but since I am not a girl, nor carry a man-purse, I never have it when I actually need it! On the bright side (really, no pun intended when I wrote that), I got the burn doing a nice little service project for my church on Saturday.
It's kind of odd, the things you get roped into doing when lending a helping hand. We spent 3 hours shovelling a 7-foot high pile of gravel so a garbage truck could get to the dumpster of the Atlanta Youth Academy. I don't know that we necessarily made the world a better place, but maybe...just maybe...we made the students' learning environment slightly less smelly. That's something, right? On top of that, I got to flash my rippling biceps for all the ladies in attendance. They are all still fanning themselves, in a fit of Southern Belle swooning. At least, they are in my mind.
Of course, we also were able to amuse some of the neighborhood locals, as they observed a couple dozen yuppie crackers breaking our backs on a Saturday morning. I think they would have enjoyed it more knowing I had received only 4 hours of sleep the night before.
I was also reminded, upon seeing a stoplight in their cafeteria, about the dreaded prospect of silent lunch! Did everyone have this? For the fortunately unitiated...the light is somehow triggered by increases in sound. Once it reaches red, you have silent lunch for a period of time. Our school had a 3 strikes, and you're out rule. At the 3rd offense, it was silent lunch for the rest of the period. I don't know what company developed these sound activated lights, but I blame them. This appears to be the only logical use for such an invention.
We got done at the school in the early afternoon. After a long nap, I got the other spectrum of this weather, spending 3 hours spot-freezing my cheeks to the cold bleachers of scenic Russ Chandler Stadium, on the underratedly picturesque campus of Georgia Tech. My friend, Will, was in town from Charlotte, and wanted to go to a college baseball game for some reason. I find college baseball pretty boring. Not only is there generally less talent than a Single A clash, there's no beer. The pitchers generally suck, too (if they didn't they'd be in the minors somewhere). This results in teams scoring twice as many runs as they have hits. Not a good sign.
Fortunately, the Jackets were playing N. Carolina, and any chance to root against the S--t Heels is welcome on my calendar. Tech won 11-1, and the baseball gods smiled on me by getting the game over in under 3 hours. A sporting miracle!
Okay, random thought time. I am frequently subjected to Bowflex commercials on numerous cable TV stations. I don't know if anyone else suffers from this hounding. Apparently, the Bowflex suite of products has now grown to include Crispy, Original Recipe Bowflex, some sort of Bowflex with free-weight simulating discs ("It's really smooth, it almost glides." the faux random- guy- in- the- gym claims!), and adjustable barbells. I'll spare you the links. My question is this - are we honestly supposed to believe all the uber-toned, muscular men and women got their figures from these contraptions?
I've now realized the best part about my blog. My friends are no longer subject to my rambling e-mails. They can now just visit this virtual tribute to my lack of conciseness. You're welcome.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I was thinking about some of my not so useful abilities yesterday. The first, of course, is that I'm pretty strong at general trivia. Of course, my dedication to this type of competition, and the fact that I hold joint custody of no less than 4 geni of Trivial Pursuit, were what inspired then name of my blog. Generally, if I'm playing at a bar, my team has a better than fair chance of finishing in the top 3. I can't take all the credit, because I usually am teamed with some pretty sharp folks.
Of course, it becomes difficult to win when you are playing against a team that is clearly cheating. It's happened several times...you know...people on their cell phones during questions...the trivia poo-bah is too busy, or lazy, to do anything about it. It really annoys me. I know, it's all for fun, but it's not really trivia if you can just call a friend for the answer. Last night really pissed me off. These douchebags at my regular Wednesday night trivia spot have been regular winners. We suspected they had been cheating, so we watched. I have to give them credit, they've gone the next step to texting. Much easier to hide. Grr...
We drew the hosts attention to it afterwards. He's actually one of the better hosts out there, so hopefully he'll snap these punks out of it. The main guy is one of those people you can look at, and if someone told you they were so juvenile as to cheat at trivia, you'd believe them. Sadly, he's actually a college graduate.
On to more positive things. I think I've found a better way to channel my Road Rage. Satellite radio has definitely helped, but I have become Short-cut Man. Now, more than ever, I drive home on a serpentine route. It usually happens about twice a week. I wish I could draw a map, but I'll try and recap:
-Down Clairmont towards I-85...severely backed up...double back to Buford Hwy., down Briarwood to the NE Expressway, turn onto Druid Hills, avoid the jam at Druid and Briarcliff by going down Executive Pkwy. to Shepherd's Ln., and finally onto Briarcliff...which backs up at N. Decatur. Down Emory Dr. to N. Decatur and back onto Briarcliff before finally assuming my regular route home. I think the only job where this might come in handy on a regular basis is if I was a cab driver.
I don't think I'm crazy enough, though. I've noticed that even in Atlanta, a pretty unfriendly city to cabs, that the drivers would rather mow down a pedestrian than spend too much time between fares. I've had a few close shaves.
My final power seems to be predicting my own demise. Whether it be relationships, or jobs, I will either see it coming, or unknowingly make a prophetic statement regarding said fall from grace. I was reading an old e-mail I wrote the other day about my last job...the mortgatge job that I wished I had never taken. In it, I wrote "I'm convinced the key to all sales jobs is to get through the first 6 months without quitting, or getting fired. I'm halfway there!"
I was terminated the next day...
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Ever since I've started putting money on this thing, no matter how little an amount, it hasn't been as fun. To win any tournament pool, you have to pick a few upsets. They are going to happen, you just have to guess right. It's entirely dumb luck.
Well, I'm pretty much done in my pool. I'm in 2nd to last place, even though I've picked more right than wrong. Since everyone inevitably has very similar Final Four picks, these things are almost always won in the first few rounds. The bright side is that I can now pull for the remaining underdogs. The non-monetary downside, is having to listen to all the douchebags proclaiming that they "called" Wichita St., George Mason, or Bradley making the Sweet Sixteen. Like they are some sort of basketball guru, and not just lucky. Most of these guys couldn't tell you where any of these schools were...except maybe Wichita St.
In case you're curious, George Mason is in Fairfax, VA, and although it sounds like a private school, is actually the largest public university in Virginia. Virginia seems to do this with most of it's public schools (see James Madison and Old Dominion) Bradley is in Peoria, IL.
These are the things I endeavor to find out about when I'm bored at work. Wichita State's mascot, by the way, is the Shockers. I can't help but think that this mascot has recently caused many septegenarian WSU fans to unwittingly make an obscene gesture as they try and mimic the enthusiasm of the student fans. Georgia fans know what I'm talking about. For those that don't, I'll let you do your own research.
I just wish Appalachian State would make a run like this so people would be scrambling for Google to find out where we're located. For the record, in Boone, North Carolina. This also gives me an excuse to post my favorite picture of my Alma Mater:
Sometimes, I wonder why I ever left. Of course, then I'd just be the old guy that can't let go...as opposed to the one that pretends he has. Then, tailgating on Fall Saturdays reminds me how unhealthy it is reliving the college lifestyle!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Isaac Hayes Quits South Park
Ostensibly, because of the show's religious intolerance. I guess he hasn't been paying attention to the show for the last 10 years (has it been on that long?). Most find it as no coincidence that he quit after the show satirized Scientology, of which he is a follower. I know it's not always easy to laugh at yourself, but it is never hard to laugh at Tom Cruise...and you would have to think he was the inspiration for said lampooning. Of course, upon reading up on the "religion" on one of my favorite resources, Wikipedia, it's hard not to think that they aren't all a little crazy. To that end, it also doesn't surprise me that one of them would flip out and quit a show that has made a sport of ridiculing organized religion...even those that don't involve spaceships and galactic tyrant aliens.
Oddly, the only 2 links to this story I found when I Googled it were from British papers. It makes me worry that Scientologists are more powerful than once realized!
Milosevic Found Dead in His Cell
"The Butcher of The Balkans" died of natural causes at 64. In case you didn't know, he wasn't in there post-conviction - his trial was still ongoing. It was about to start Kindergarten, actually...at that magical age of 5! This dog and pony show was, of course, organized by the bureaucracy to end all bureaucracies - The UN - who took 2 years to present their case!
Where was ADA Jack McCoy when we needed him?! He would have nailed Sloby's ass to the wall after Det. Stabler beat a confession out of him, and left enough camera time for ADA Serena Southerlyn:
Ahh, Elisabeth Rohm. She's one of the less heralded Law & Order babes. Probably my favorite, though. I could never really get excited about Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessee, or Stephanie March...but Liz had me at hello. For the record, I did not find the fact that (in her final episode)her character was outed as a lesbian hot in the slightest.
Damn. I knew I couldn't make it through a whole blog.
Who names a girl Traylor, by the way? You might as well just start sticking your finger down their throat after they nurse, so they can get used to having an eating disorder.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
This is a hinderance to many men, save for the ones who are either complete dumbasses or homosexual. Jonas Salk, for example, probably would have discovered the polio vaccine 5 year earlier if his Inner Dumbass wasn't constantly imploring him to stare at his assistant's rack.
Nowhere has the struggle between these two forces been more clear to me than in my trip to the Beth Orton concert last night. While looking like an intelligent, feeling, modern man at a performance by one of the foremost Sad Bastardesses - my internal dialogue was going something like this:
Me: Man, this is a great show...Willy Mason was a great opening act.
Dumbass: Geez, there sure are alot of lesbians here.
Me: What? Of course there are, she's a female singer/songwriter. What do you expect?
Dumbass: Dude, check out these lesbos next to us, they are wasted!
Me: No...I won't, it will be too obvious. Crap! I looked.
Dumbass: They aren't bad looking, huh? I bet they are going to have some drunken woman-sex when they get home.
Me: Shut up! I don't care if they do or don't, I'm here for the show. Now be quiet, Beth Orton's coming on stage.
Dumbass: Holy crap. She's totally not wearing a bra.
Me: (Aloud, to Shelby) Hey, she's not wearing a bra!
I hope you can now appreciate the extreme amount of self-control it takes for us to strike this delicate balance.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Seriously. I went to my favorite sushi buffet for lunch today, and I'm still feeling it. It was all a blur. I had about 30 minutes, so it was definitely not a task to be undertaken with a companion. No talk...just eat.
I generally have one goal when visiting a buffet, and that's to cost the restaurant money. I definitely think I accomplished that today. Incidentally, I don't visit buffets much any more, because I would hate to return to the porker state of 18 months ago. I'm beginning to believe I work out just to counteract sporadic excursions such as my one to RuSan's.
The worst part (and when I say worst I mean best) about the place is that they love to find new and creative ways to use tempura batter. Whether it be sushi rolls, sweet potatoes, or zucchini.
So, the last half of my work day has been a batter coated, sushi-overdose, induced haze.
3 Things from the Low-Brow Unintentional Comedy Files:
-While reading the close-captioning of ESPN's pundits breakdown the NCAA brackets during lunch, the host directed this comment at Dick Vitale, in regards to a particular game: "Dick, I know you've been itching to hit this."
Someone please tell me he meant to say this.
-My friend pointed out to me that a box that once contained gallons of Laura Lynn homogenized milk was labelled as Lynn Homo Gal. I thought that would be the most unintentionally amusing string of 3 words I would see all weekend, until I was introduced to...
-Bum Ho Lee...he's an infielder for Korea in the World Baseball Classic. Even better, his jersey reads B. H. Lee. This means we can assume he goes by just Bum Ho.
Supposedly, this kind of stuff will stop being funny to me someday.
Please note, I've added a new link to The Daily Dickel. It's my buddy Jason's site (of Lynn Homo Gal fame). If you are just craving completely inappropriate humor...get your fix there. Enjoy!
Friday, March 10, 2006
And, no...that is not a song I would want on my monitor. I actually feel kind of dirty with it just being on my blog.
The receiver is kind of "resting" in my car right now because I can't get the "industrial strength" suction cup to affix to anything in my vehicle. Plus, there are wires everywhere...that might get old. I may have to get someone to "professionally install" it when I get paid next month. (Read: charge me $130 for something I could do myself, if I wanted to pull my hair out over the course of several hours.)
I went with Sirius, as you may already know. It appeals to the obscure sports geek in me...the one who wants to listen to low-level college football and basketball, and European soccer, on the radio.
My biggest concern is the remote control. Putting one of those in the hands of my father's son could be bad news. I'm referring to myself, if you're confused. I have the attention span of a coked-up gerbil when it comes to TV or Radio programming. Let's hope I can keep it in check but if you a see a viciously swerving green Chevy Blazer coming towards you...say hello.
I'm still fightin' sleep from last night. I went to the Wilco show in Athens, which rocked, of course. I even got the requisite Athens experience by ending up at the same bar as members of the band, and Mike Mills from R.E.M. I was tempted to start an "overrated" chant, but thought better of it. It is his turf, after all.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
We were annexed by Canada yesterday. It's true...their best (I use the term loosely) baseball players beat our best baseball players 8-6 in the World Baseball Classic. We were "blowed up real good". In usage of a little known rule, we are now known as the Lower Provnices, or Amerida. Who knew they were so pissed about losing the Expos?
It's all karmic retribution, I guess. Seeing as how Mexico is now our bitch in soccer, it only stands to reason a country who generally doesn't care about baseball would smack us around.
At least I am now compatriots with The Kids in the Hall. Someone pass the Moosehead...
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I do, however, have the requisite promiscuous neighbor. You know, the one who is heard, but never seen. I'll set the stage for you:
The place: My cozy little VaHi apartment. I'm lying in bed, listening to the relaxing tunes of B 98.5 (seriously, I've done this since I was 13) when I think I detect some sort of noise hitting on the off beat of the song. I turn the radio down and hear - creak...creak-creak-creakcreakcreak...
That's right, my neighbor is gettin' it on. I really think this will hinder my ability to sleep, so I pray that he is a quick draw. Luckily, I am right. 2 (maybe 3) minutes tops. I am sure his girl loved that.
This guy definitely makes an interesting neighbor for being relatively invisible. He just bought a late 80's Mercury Grand Marquis, which naturally has 20" rims on it. Pretty much like putting lipstick on a pig. To protect his ghetto fabulous investment, he has installed the most sensitive car alarm known to man. It blares out at least twice a night...and late. I really don't see the point - it's set off so much, I don't think anyone in our area gives any thought to it anymore.
I don't know if folks would be too upset if someone did steal his hoopdie. My thought is this - there are so many late model SUV's, sports cars, sedans, etc. in this part of town - who's going to want a Grand Marquis? The sad fact is that he probably bought the alarm to protect his wheels.
But back to The Secret of My Suce$$ (note the clever use of the $'s). What the hell happened to Helen Slater? I know she's done some TV work, but why has the movie career dried up? Does she just spend all day hanging out with Judge Reinhold, Steve Guttenberg, and Molly Ringwald?
She was definitely one of those chicks who was "80's hot", much like Ringwald. If they came around today, I don't think anyone would have given them a second look. Back then, though, they would have been in Maxim, if it existed...
By the way, in checking up on these fallen 80's icons, I discovered that they are in pre-production for a new Police Academy movie. Wow. Even worse, it appears to have much of the cast from the initial trilogy, including Tim Kazurinsky of SNL non-fame. Stay tuned, I'm sure we'll need to organize a camp out for tickets to this one.
Monday, March 06, 2006
It must have been a bad year for movies. Considering none of the nominees had much mass appeal - and this over-wrought, tired, racial melodrama won the top award - it's no wonder the ratings were down 10% from last year.
Crash had some decent moments, and some good drama, but the dialogue was so over the top and unrealistic that I pretty much had to tune out large portions of the movie. As someone who has had the displeasure of being in the presence of racist people (stereotypical and otherwise), I can honestly say none of them were recognizable in the characters of Crash.
Even the ironic twists at the end did little to make me change my mind about the film. At the time it seemed like a picture with alot of advance hype, and little to back it up. Considering the relative star power of the cast (Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Ryan Phillipe, and even Ludacris), it could have been much better.
I think I would have believed a movie combining a gripping father-son drama, big rigs, and arm-wrestling, would have had as much of a chance as Crash to take home the gold.
Meet me halfway...
Thursday, March 02, 2006
I don't mention him much - the problem with Mr. Gray is that I've always attached him to other people, to a relationship. I discovered him almost simultaneously with my ex-girlfriend, thanks to his song, Please Forgive Me, being played at my college radio station. After we broke up, I found it hard to listen to his music. It kind of lends itself to either being in love, or being melancholy about a failed relationship. As Jack Black puts it, "Sad Bastard Music." It was almost too painful to listen to. If you need an example, listen to this song.
Until, of course, I fell head-over-heels for someone in 2004. Someone who was very much a music fanatic. I, of course, wanted to share one of my favorite artists with her. As that relationship ebbed and flowed, I alternated between wanting to listen to him, and not wanting to...depending on where I thought it was going. After it failed miserably, I put him away again.
When I found out he was coming to town, I was very much torn about whether I should go. I didn't have anyone to go with (I love the guy, but not the kind of show you take another dude to), but I knew he would sell out quickly. His cancelled show at The Tabernacle, which turned into this one at The Fox, sold out in less than an hour. I finally decided to get 2 tickets, and hope I could find someone to come along...which I did.
The best part about the show was sharing it with 3500 other people, enjoying his music. Knowing that it was personal to so many people, and being amongst so many of his fans, felt like being emancipated from having to associate it with any one person ever again.
In case you are wondering, the show was unbelievable. I can't help put be amused watching thousands of Atlanta yuppies being mesmerized by a short, stocky, Welshman. The songs sounded like they came right off the albums, with the same intensity and passion. It's just a shame that he only comes to The States once every 3 or 4 years.
By the way, if you ever take someone to a concert where your seats aren't exactly A+, do what I did:
a) Make sure the show has great lighting
b) Bring someone who is in to theatrical lighting.
Easy enough, right?