Thursday, January 28, 2010
Vampire Weekend - Contra
The band deals with a lot of hatred. Like any band, they have the rabid Pitchforkers who won't hear anything said against them, and because of this there are a lot of people who dismiss them out of hand.. But they're simple, fun, happy tunes. I find myself stuck with Horchata or the falsetto warble of White Sky stuck in my head for hours at a time.
Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring
Toning down from 2008's We are Beautiful, We Are Doomed the band takes a more thoughtful route on this album. From the sort-of-gross album art to the lyrics to the visuals of the video for the first single, everything evokes a skewed, sad childhood. And it's better for the fact that you're not being forced to live through it. But it's not all sad. The band takes their brand of electric pop to some good places. Check it.
Zeus - Say Us
Had never heard of the band until Arts & Crafts popped me a promo the other day. They're a lot of fun. Think indie rock meets country, but not in the way you're used to. Might be comparable to the Old 97s.
Owen Pallett - Heartland
This album is probably getting the most play at the moment, and while I'd love to share it with the world, the lyrics aren't work appropriate. Pallett (formerly Final Fantasy) blends beautifully arranged strings with his relatively simple voice for a sound that's...well I suck at comparing musicians to other musicians anyway. Haven't ever gotten that one down. Just check it out.
Weezer - Raditude
There is almost some part of me that's ashamed how much I'm enjoying this album, but there's a part that doesn't give a damn. This is the stuff high-school was made of. This is the kind of album for playing on a summer break while you drive around your dinky-ass home town with nothing to do. The band is by no means making serious, thoughtful music, but if you can take it for what it is (and you're not on a high horse) you'll have a good time.
One other quick thing, non-music related. Bayou. We got the first volume of the graphic novel in at the store, but it started as webcomic, and you can read it all online. It's brilliant stuff, taking on the mythology of the South as well as the trauma of the Jim Crow-era.
I have turned comments back on, unmoderated, so let the vitriol spewing begin!
Apparently, most of my writing is designed to get me into the pants of "indie" girls. I disagree with this assumption, but if it's true, then why the hell isn't it working? If linking to the Huffington Post and writing about why opposition to gay marriage is wrong are the ways to attract women, why am I not having sex constantly?
Of course, I suppose it could be because, you know, I'm actually not using writing as a tool to get laid, or that I don't have a low regard for women, but some of you out there, clearly know me better than I know myself.
In any case, it's lovely here in Michigan today. The sun is shining and I took a walk down to the zoo this morning. I didn't actually go in, as I'm a bit short on funds at the moment, but it was nice to get outside and do some exercise for once as opposed to constant gym trips.
The trip to Colorado to see my sister was nice. We got in two days of skiing, one at Keystone and one at Breckenridge. It was probably a bad decision to go to Keystone first, as the hills seemed harder and I wasn't as used to mountain skiing as hills. But Breck was a lot of fun, and we tried quite a lot of moguls. Stressful, and I feel a couple of times, but fun.
Kathleen's roommate works at the Denver Zoo, so I got to go behind the scenes a little. I was allowed to feed mealworms to a Tamandua, which may be one of the cutest animals on the planet. A tree anteater, she just stuck her snout in my hand and slurped the worms out with her tongue. Messy though.
In any case, I'm going to call it a day. I'm going to write an article for the site, and then spend my non-existent money by going to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.
So kind regards, and have a good day.
Monday, January 18, 2010
This meant surgery.
Obviously, I love my cat dearly, so there was no question. The problem is that I was planning on leaving for vacation on Tuesday the 19th. And thanks to awesome vets, the help of some friends and my beloved parents, I still am. Alice pulled through her surgery just fine, and is apparently asking the vets and techs to pet her stomach, something they obviously can't do. But she's ok. And I'm still leaving for Colorado tomorrow morning.
Insert one week break here.
So I started writing this blog last monday, and I was going to talk about what Dr. King's birthday meant to me. I'm still going to do that, and save holding forth on my vacation for a different entry. First however, Alice is home, and she is fine.
So Dr. King had a dream, and there are some of you out there who say we've achieved that dream. I call bullshit on you for saying that. We still live in a country, in a world where some of us are treated as lower than others. The trial going on in California is evidence of that. People find something inherently terrifying about allowing Homosexual people to marry, and I honestly can't see why. Just because someone loves a different person than you do, you're going to take away one of their rights? Bizarre.
The world over, poor folks can't get the medical care to take care of simple diseases. They die from them. We won't allow certain people medical care unless they convert to our religion, or because of our religion, depending on who we are. Wars are fought for the most dangerous and stupid reasons.
Even in Haiti, where massive amounts of people are going to help, there are issues with the bizarre and the downright evil. Pat Robertson says they made a deal with the devil. Scientologists go and take up space, not really helping in any discernible way. And religious organizations send bibles when medicine and doctors are what are needed.
So yes, Dr. King. We acknowledge you and your dream, for at least the day that we celebrate it. But after that, we go back to our petty, asinine, manipulative selves. I hope you're not surprised.
I wish I was.
'This too shall pass'
It's fun for me too, as a former marching band geek.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
'Gays and Lesbians have been a despised category' historian says at Prop. 8 Trial
Live-blogged coverage here
Let's hope things work out the way they should in a just world.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
These images are courtesy of the HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Phil over at Discover Magazine explains what the hell we're looking at.
"But what are those weird tendril thingies?
In the Martian winter, carbon dioxide freezes out of the air (and you thought it was cold where you are). In the summer, that CO2 sublimates; that is, turns directly from a solid to a gas. When that happens the sand gets disturbed, and falls down the slopes in little channels, which spreads out when it hits the bottom. But this disturbs the red dust, too, which flows with the sand. When it’s all done, you get those feathery tendrils. Note that at the tendril tips, you see blotches of red; that’s probably from the lighter dust billowing a bit before settling down.
Now, you might think I’m making this all up. How do we know this stuff is flowing downhill like that? Ah, because in this picture we’ve caught it in the act! In this image, a closeup of a region just to the left of center of the big image, you can actually see the cloud of dust from an avalanche as it occurs.
Oh, baby. The cloud is only a few dozen meters across, and can’t be more than a few seconds old.
I love stuff like this. I tend to think of Mars as a stiff, still, unchanging place, but then HiRISE goes and slaps me in the face with something like this. Mind you, this is an avalanche. On another planet. Caught as it happened.
Awe. Some."I'm inclined to agree.
On some level, I'm a fuggen grump. Customers have become an inconvenience, and I feel a bit bad about that. I get jumpy and irritated when I see someone heading my direction. That's not what my New Year's resolution, for lack of a better term, was all about. (Confused? See the January 5th, 2010 entry, True-Believers!)
I'm also worried about money. Big surprise. Moving along.
On a tertiary level, I'm just in a strange mood lately. Every entry in my physical journal (yep, I keep one. I feel like I should be shopping at Hot Topic) has been accompanied by some sort of art. I think maybe reading about Leonardo Da Vinci is rubbing off on me. A lot of the artistic endeavors are sketches of people who are important to me (I don't think they'd be flattered, they're mostly terrible) or short poems I write on the spot.
I think I just miss art and free time.
For now though, I'm going to get through the rest of the day, and the sounds of Holst's Planets are kicking it off fairly well.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I'm a huge fan of Jim Henson and the Muppets, and ever since their inception, the music has been brilliant. Well on February 16th of this year, we're getting a full album of classic muppet tunes covered by current artists.
Artists and songs will include:
Rainbow Connection by Weezer
Mahna Mahna by The Fray
It's Not Easy Being Green by Andrew Bird
Our World by My Morning Jacket
Halfway Down the Stairs by Amy Lee
The Muppet Show Theme by Ok Go
I think I'll go home tonight and watch some green horse things do ballet while Gonzo eats a tire.
Am I surprised? Not really. Most networks like to stroke the egos of the people who agree with them, and Sarah has one bigger than most. I just can't wait to see her sign off with a wink, a 'you betcha' and a make-out session with the first dude.
Fair and balanced, my ass.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
But ever try to argue with an extremely staunch creationist? Bet it went something like this.
We know this. The 'world's oldest profession' is still going strong, despite stigmas (including legality) attached to both those who practice, and pay for, it. And now, it's moved into the virtual world.
Electronic Porn has been around for a long time. I recall ads in gaming magazines from the 80's for some rather risque games, things I didn't understand until years later. And now, I'm shocked by what was ok to run in everyday magazines. Life before the ESRB, eh?
With the advent of affordable internet, it's moved into the mainstream. Adult magazines, oftentimes, glorify the perfect and unattainable. With internet pornography, the popular is the person you might see on the street every day.
I realized this a few years ago when I found out an ex of mine was doing hardcore porn. She's moved on to other things now, so no, I'm not going to give her porn name, but at the time it surprised the hell out of me. May have been a little naive, thinking that "real ladies" don't do this sort of thing.
Now however, with friends who work night jobs as cam-girls and friends who regularly pose nude (no pornstars, currently) I'm realizing that sex is more mainstream than ever. People in their sixties browse the sex books with no embarrassment. The girls I know on cam-sites revel in their sexual power.
And you know what? All of this is a good thing.
Denying our biology leads to problems. Religion in particular tends to stifle our impulses, both through its persecution of theories like evolution, and by attaching stigmas to sexual activity. We've become incredibly prudish, and honestly, we have no reason to be.
Sex is beautiful.
But please, wash your hands.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Read the whole article. It's frightening.
I'm really going to bed now. Gonna read 'The Science of Leonardo'. Good stuff.
Or at least that's what the gym commercials and magazine covers are telling me. Really, we just made another trip around the sun, and I'm a bit older. Not to mention, significantly more bearded.
The holiday season is barely over and people are already being rude again. We had a woman yell at us for about five minutes over something that was an easy fix. Which partially explains my resolution for the coming year, and hopefully, forever.
I'm a fairly godless dude, but I do think that religions got that whole golden rule thing right. And when I was home over break, watching 'A Christmas Carol' with my family, I took some of Ebenezer Scrooge's words to heart. I need to live the whole year round like Christians supposedly do during the holiday season. So this coming year will be a more positive, friendly, helpful Lincoln (but not a doormat). I'm going to go out of my way to donate my time and volunteer to help those that need it.
And I'm seriously considering the Peace Corps.
That's really all for the night, but here's a brief story, written here at my desk in the last five minutes.
There were three of them, hunting it. His first shot had taken it in the shoulder, and the trail of blood was starting to get stronger, the exertions of the last hour speeding its heart, weakening it. His brothers, they fell behind, deferring to him as the killer this time and spreading out into the dark in case it bolted.
A rustling ahead. It had fallen. He sped up, his steps losing stealth in the detritus the ground bathed in.
The bang of tin as the garbage can lid fell to the ground, prey leaned against it. As he raised his weapon, its frightened face loomed, pale with blood loss and the thoughts of failed escape. He crouched over it.