Thursday, August 4

Six Smaller Bold Headlines.

Don't Ask Me To Explain.

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(Pictured: Grand Buffet. There are several things in this photo that make me laugh.)

I had yet another album review published this week. The group is Grand Buffet, the album is Five Years of Fireworks, and the review can be read over in the writings section. Enjoy.

My interview with Of Montreal is beginning to snowball, and I'm currently working with Of Montreal's publicist on setting something up in time. The show is less than a month away, but the sooner we can get this article in the bag, the faster I can stop worrying about it. After the Communique show, I more or less apologized to Rory (Communique's frontman) about the write-up, even though I shouldn't have had to (he said he enjoyed it, by the way). I don't want that to happen again, so I want to get a few drafts looked over before we go live.

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(Pictured: Of Montreal. Kevin looks slow.)

Quick Reviews Of The Last 16 Albums I've Listened To.

Communique – Poison Arrows – (A)
Moving Units – Dangerous Dreams – (C+)
Hum – You’d Prefer An Astronaut – (C+)
Slow Reader – Slow Reader – (B-)
Ben Folds – Songs For Silverman – (C+)
Q And Not U – Different Damage – (B-)
The Promise Ring – Wood/Water – (C+)
The Decemberists – Picaresque – (B)
The Pixies – Death To The Pixies – (B+)
Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People – (B)
Algebra One – The Keep Tryst EP – (A-)
Algebra One – Conscious Pilot EP – (B+)
Nada Surf – The Proximity Effect – (B)
Of Montreal – Satanic Panic In The Attic – (A-)
The Impossibles – Anthology – (A+)
The Arcade Fire – Funeral – (A+)

I've listened to at least 45 albums from start to finish in the last ten days. I'm going on a frantic grading spree in preparation for my "best albums ever" post. I can already hear people arguing with me, but that's the point. Do your own list, and then I'll show up and explain to you in detail why your tastes in music are revolting.

Lost In The Summer.

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(Pictured: Cast of television show "Lost". I'm more confused each week.)

As I’ve mentioned in the past, me and the Missus are catching up on Lost over the summer. We missed out on the original first season run due to American Idol, but thanks to TiVo, we’ll be completely in the know and ready to go come September 21 (Season Two premiere). Unfortunately, ABC is starting to skip over important episodes in an attempt to show the last few episodes of the first season before the start of the second season. This is okay to those who have already seen all of these episodes, but it’s starting to become a pain in the ass when I have to figure out what happened over the last two episodes on my own. Fortunately for me, the Season One DVD is coming out on September 6, giving me a couple of weeks to watch every second all over again in preparation for Season Two. That being said, it’s driving me nuts. I think I may actually stop watching until I get the DVD, so I can watch them in order and stop this back and forth crap. I could just talk to Ben about P2P'ing the entire First Season for me, but I like to keep my nose clean by not affiliating myself with known pirates. Obviously, these are the sorts of problems that you want to have. I’ve just typed well over 200 words on the way a summer re-run is altering my mood.

You'd Prefer An Astronaut.

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(Pictured: Future's past.)

I’ve been paying close attention to the Space Shuttle Discovery mission over the last several days. What these astronauts are doing is absolutely unreal and terrifying when you sit quietly and think about it for a good minute. Can you imagine, I mean, can you really imagine what it must be like out there? These people should be signing autographs and posing for pictures for the rest of their lives, because astronauts are bigger rock stars than actual rock stars. Thanks to 2001: A Space Odyssey, I was living under the assumption for a while that space was infinately boring. Thanks to Stanley Kubrick, I’ve grown up with mixed views on old hotels, futuristic methods of crime prevention, the marines and the pre-destruction of Tom Cruise’s career. Listen Stanley; didn’t you go to film school? Be a man, make the cut!

But you know, the more I look into space exploration, the more I honestly question that we ever went to the moon. I don’t know if this drastically changes your perception of me, or makes you think I’m insane, but think about it. NASA is 30 years behind where they said we were in 1969! They are nowhere near capable of some of the stuff we believe NASA can accomplish, and there’s scientific proof to back that up. All of a sudden, in 2005, we don’t know how to make a space shuttle. Things keep blowing up, crewmen are losing their lives, and mission after mission is scrapped for adjustments and repairs. Now, rewind back to July 20, 1969. A flawless mission straight to the moon. Color TV’s were still a novelty, and there’s Neil Armstrong driving a goddamn go-kart on the lunar surface.

I won’t get into the facts, the conspiracy theories or any of that. I just want you to think about why we needed to be on the moon so badly in the 60’s, or why we would want to fake it. The Cold War was bubbling, the Russians were launching sattellites and humans into space, and we Americans were terrified of being knocked off of our perch. We needed something drastic to show the rest of the planet. A little while later and we’re playing golf on the moon. Sounds right to me. Nowadays, every mission is met with problem after problem, which is why we haven’t sent a shuttle up in over two years.

I remember watching a piece of declassified footage from NASA in the early 60's. An astronaut was working a mission in a NASA flight simulator, and things weren't going right at all. Communications were down, knobs and switches were snapping off, and people were starting to get snippy. The astronaut in question (I forget his name) was disgusted with the lack of working components, screaming "How are we ever going to get to the moon when this won't work three feet off the damn ground?" At that exact moment, the simulator (yes, the simulator) burst into flames with the astronaut still inside. The "ship" was all sealed up, and they couldn't get him out in time. The poor guy burned to death in the freaking simulator. I can't help but think about that every now and then when we start to assume that NASA is a brilliant and trustworthy operation.

I’ll go back to wearing my tin foil hat in the corner now, but just know that there are a lot of questions that still need answers concerning this piece of history. I need to watch out when I'm on the streets now, because Buzz Aldrin's gunna punch me in the snoot if he ever finds out what I just said.

At this point in time, I want to apologize for my abrupt and downright crappy writing style today. My mind is drifting in and out of focus, causing my attention span to crash and burn at unexpected intervals. Besides, I’m at work, so that can’t help too much. Let’s move on.

You're Never Invited.

On Saturday, me and the Missus are headed over to the Veridian Homes Design Studio to see if we won a house. We entered a raffle sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, and the winner gets a $210,000 Veridian home or $100,000 cash. I'll tell you more about it should we win.

Yukon Ho!

Finally today, I want to bring to your attention something you could purchase for me if you're feeling especially giving. After the tremendous success of The Complete Far Side (which I purchased and absolutely loved), the fine people at Andrews and McMeel Publishing have compiled every last scrap of the single greatest comic strip of all time. I can't wait. Later.

Tuesday, August 2

Anesthetic For The Amputee.

I haven't posted anything in over four days. I must be busy or something.

Well, yes and no. Sure, my new job is giving me no free time at work, which is a luxury I quickly realized that not everyone has. I'm also coming home a lot more tired and the upstairs rumpus room is about 85 degrees, making it difficult for me to climb up there and sit alone in the heat for two hours. When I come home nowadays, I wait for the Missus to show up, we eat, watch TV, chat and sleep. It's a good routine and it works for me.

But just because I'm not typing doesn't mean that I'm not doing anything. Slow down, tender chap; because you just don't know me.

I've got plenty on my vegetarian plate. Besides my aforementioned new job (not really a new job, just more work, with the promise of even more work in the future), I've got an Of Montreal interview in pre-production. I've also been digging through my album collection like crazy, listening to almost everything we have in an effort to determine what my favorite albums and songs "ever" are. This is much harder to do than I thought it would. The music that I listen to now might be more mature, respected and acclaimed, but how does that fare to your favorite album when you were 10? I don't know, so it's getting murky. Expect that post in the near future.

Oh, I cleaned my closet last weekend. I took out everything that I no longer wear (probably 50 shirts), and then organized and color-coordinated the remaining 8 garments. I've got my tees separate from my polos and dress shirts, and my sweaters are nestled away from the blazers. It's a beautiful thing to make your closet more efficient. It took me no time to organize my shoe collection, because the only pair that I have is on my feet.

Me and the Missus ate sweet corn last night, which takes me back to my redneck past, growing up on a farm in Larsen. She politely asked me to husk the corn before she got home, so it wouldn't take forever to get it on the table. So there I sat, on the deck in the 92 degree heat, husking corn by myself. During that process, my cats sat by the patio door, almost mocking me because they were in the freezing cold house. They kept looking at me and cocking their heads, attempting to understand why the guy who feeds them is sitting alone in the blistering sun, skinning corn.

Wiping my brow every two seconds, I kept wondering about the life choices I made to get to this point. Then I saw the Missus drive up, and it all made sense again.

Another thank you is in order, especially to the 2-4 people who keep popping in every day to check out the page. We had another record-breaking month, topping over 4000 hits in July. Considering that we had about 1200 in January of this year, I'd say that our pace is feverish. That being said, I'm certain that the CDP will suffer a record low for August. I blame the heat, because I won't blame myself.

You just happened to catch me on a week where there's a lot going on, but most of it is uninteresting. So, what have you been doing?