Friday, April 27, 2007

Thing #412(c) that you could say to make me realize that things just aren't going to work out between us:

You remember that time in "Norbit" when...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Virtual Attic

I cleared all of the photos out of my phone this evening, just in case I want to take any pictures in Charlotte (riiiiiiiiight).


Drummers from the random meeting at the indoor show in Franklin. I will introduce them as though they are Monkees, and as if you don't know them. You probably do.

Eric M.(who incidentally never seems to remember me when he sees me someplace where we're not both drinking).



Giant Happy Keith

Rob, of "My uncle is a dick. What is this box for?" fame. He also used to play at the Tate Show.

Leigh. Not technically a drummer.

More New York (As though you really needed to see more)

The silver dude doing his thing. Moments after this, he flicked off a pre-teen-aged girl. It was awesome.

The Brooklyn Bridge.

Scient0logy from a different perspective.

A random picture from my parents' new land near Nashville.

DC: The basics

The National Mall, much like your local mall, is a little worn and unkempt in places.

Enough said.


I will tell you what this building is when I get back from recess.

A really rushed pic of the White House from the south (by the Washington Monument).

The White House from the north (Lafayette Park). Someone was at the door the whole time, as though they were expecting company.

My maternal grandfather's entry in the World War II veteran's registry.

DC: The Trivial

Read closely. Even our nation's most respected treasures aren't immune to blatant commercialism. Every time I saw something like this, I thought back to "Freedom Fries," and wondered if there weren't more opportunities for endorsement of food products by American institutions and principles. Perhaps Habeas Corndogs or High Crimes and MisdeMeatloaf. Bill of RiceCake, anyone?

Found this, and the next three items, in the Nati0nal Museum of Natural Hist0ry. Upon seeing this I thought, "Well then who in the hell invented the internet?"

I realize that this is the cyber-peer of farting or talking about boobies... but the barely readable caption on the label is "Günther's Dik-dik," which I had never heard of.

This one you have to look at just right. I did, and I saw an iceman in Vict0ria's Secret.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Just plain bullets

• Yay for GeorgiaGirl, and her impending recovery. Also yay for Galarza surviving to her birthday this year. Also yay for Dave and Bean for coming back south, Trina for removing a portion of the thorn from her side, Big Oob for the beer he bought me last week, Probst for his hoop-jumping being nearly finished, and to Warren T for having reasons not to blog. Also yay for spring... and peanut butter.

• Because Gunner's blog is down, I will have to post my latest haiku for him on my own blog. (*Insert sound of clearing throat*)

Boo ooo ooo ooo ooo
Boooooooo ooo ooo ooo boo ooo oooooo
Booooooooooooooooo ooooooo oooo damnit

• It has begun to occur to me recently that the dumbing down necessary when writing a song for popular consumption involves more than just avoiding big words. That is getting more and more difficult.

• I recently grew a beard, much to the delight of Big Oob. Then he called me Chris Elliot in the parking lot of his school, which I thought was funny. I called him the OxiClean Guy.

Then, I was at a bar the other night, and the only thing anyone bothered to say to me was to ask me if I was told that I looked like Chris Elliot a lot. I was a good sport as usual, but then I remembered why I shaved my beard the last time...

and out comes the razor again.

I mean come the hell on!!!! Wouldn't you have a complex? At least Gunner's doppelgänger's character is a marine who gets to yell at people a lot and has the cute wife (I do not mean Delta Burke).

• I have two brief Charlotte trips remaining on my schedule, then I finally get almost a whole straight month in which to finish the bulk of the rest of my work for the year.

• AMC seems to have become a much cooler channel over the last several months. I'm not sure if it's because they have changed what they broadcast (er, transmit) or if it's because I'm getting older.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Oh shit. I am 33.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Damn the torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead!

I can obviously say nothing that will come close to making sense out of what happened in Blacksburg yesterday. Some others to your right have already written rather eloquently, so I won't.

I would like to comment on the approach that these particular victims have taken in contrast with the way many seem to meet negative events these days. On an almost daily basis, I worry about my colleagues in whatever generation it is we find ourselves classified. And when I do, I worry most that I am one of a generation of quitters. I worry that we all too frequently walk away when things get rough, that we choose termination of a person or experiment over forgiveness and the opportunity for redemption, and that we would prefer a sterile, safe, and fearless existence to one of engagement, intense pleasure and pain, and the opportunity for progress. (For the record, as this principle concerns one's dating life, I could probably stand a dose of my own medicine).

I think the surest route to that sterile existence is the removal of every offensive, dangerous, and risky element from our lives. When no one speaks, none can be offended. When there is no sun-bathing, there will be no skin cancer. When no one drives fast, there will be no speed-induced accidents. When there are no guns, there will be no shootings... or so the extension of this thinking goes.

For that reason, I couldn't have been more pleased to see the Virginia Tech community respond the way it did. While there are a few (mostly press) people pointing fingers, most are trying to find a way to recover - to be honorable of the memory of the dead, to grieve appropriately and without self-serving public demonstrations of emotion, and then to move on with life with a greater appreciation for its brevity and value. Few are placing the blame on guns, the administration, the police, or anything else. They know that no sense can be made of this tragedy, and that any attempt to place blame is rooted in falsehood and empty symbolism.

But they also seem to know that the freedom that makes things like this possible is the same freedom that makes an American life so full. The freedom of speech that facilitates a person's being offended is the same freedom of speech that brought us Vonnegut, Woodward and Bernstein, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," and "South Park." The freedom from unreasonable search and seizure that makes the safety of our skies tenuous at best is the same freedom that keeps Rosco P. Coltrane from "finding" some blow in your glove compartment. And yes, the right to bear arms that allows a loner to take 32 innocents with him is the same one that keeps individual agents of the government in check and makes the prospect of foreign invasion ridiculous.

Like it or not, the leading cause of death is life itself.

I had a bit of my confidence in my generation restored when I heard the determination in Professor Giovanni's words:

We are alive to the imagination and the possibility
We will continue to invent the future
Through our blood and tears
Through all this sadness
We are the Hokies
We will prevail
We will prevail
We will prevail

We are Virginia Tech.

I admit that I lost it when the crowd began to cheer, and then to chant, "Let's Go Hokies."

Someone got hurt and decided not to quit. Someone suffered a horrible wound, and decided it wasn't worth laying down over. Someone decided to live, in spite of the fact that living guarantees more pain.

These days, that's news.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

You've Got To Be There

I'll be there. In fact I'll be there the last time Will wrote a meaningful entry in his blog.

The 25th anniversary of the opening is May 1. Was that President Reagan in mission control?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pots, Stones, Kettles, and Glass Houses

I have really tried to avoid writing on this topic, but the stupidity on the American air (or cables) right now is stunning. I could write for hours about this, as I'm sure others could, but I'm going to try to get this down to a few points. (Ed.: I just finished writing, and I made a IV in the brevity caption.) I write in fear of your judgment, but I can't quit thinking about this without expressing it... and I live and work alone.

- What Imus said was stupid, ignorant, and wrong... like very stupid, very ignorant, and very wrong. Was it "unbelievable" or "shocking," as I have heard it described by television personalities and one presidential candidate? I don't think so. I can think of a few things that I have heard that I couldn't believe I had heard. I can think of a few things that I have heard that literally jolted me. This wasn't among them. Hyperbole doesn't make anyone's supposed outrage any more believable or influential as far as I'm concerned. (I could frankly never stand the mumbling of that guy anyway, and I never understood why anyone ever listened to him.)

- What he said really was a true shame. At a time when the citizens of our country can't help but get fatter and give our jobs away, it's more than a little unfortunate that student-athletes are belittled by (once-)respected personalities. If you have any idea how hard those people work, you know they deserve better.

- If something equally derogatory were said about me and my university paraded me in front of the press to try to evoke some sympathy and attention, I would walk away immediately. I do enough to embarass myself. I don't need anyone's help in finding pity from others.

- One of the players said she thought she had been "scarred for life." Scarred for life? By words? That a person said? Really? It sounds as though the "Sticks and Stones" verse should be reviewed in the literature department at Rutgers. These athletes may actually be scarred for life... they can never look at a naked woman again without being suspect. This woman is scarred a little bit (and I kinda like it). This guy's scarred a lot. You're not scarred. Someone said something insulting about you and it hurt your feelings. And if the mentors and administrators around you were concerned about your dignity, they might have helped you realize that before throwing you in front of the press.

- You can attempt to silence the words of those who disagree with you all you want. If you succeed, the only thing you have done is make sure that those who believe something incompatible with the mandated belief will not speak about it. It doesn't mean that they won't act on it. Better the devil you know...

- I am tired of our need to have perfect public personalities. (eh... truly a weak but thought-provoking link) I don't believe a good drummer who who says he didn't smoke pot at some point. I don't believe a good songwriter who says he hasn't gotten drunk and done something stupid. I don't want a girlfriend who hasn't done something that she wouldn't talk about in public. I don't want an offensive lineman who never commits holding. I don't believe a professor of divinity who says he has never questioned the existence of a deity. And I sure as hell don't trust anyone who says they have never felt ever-so-slightly fearful of or threatened by someone who looks differently than they do.

It shouldn't be about being perfect. It should be about management of our prejudices, temperance of our worst instincts with our intellects and experiences, and the growth and improvement that result when the revelation of our destructive beliefs is challenged in an open forum of free and uncensored speech. If we turn off the mic every time we hear something we don't like, nothing will change.
Apparently I'm not the only one who enjoys making lists. Here are a few good ones to get you started.

Dr. Knight will really like this one.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Other Than Myself

Below is another result of my incredibly annoying habit of making lists of random things. Today's installment is a list of people who - at this very instant - I would choose to be if I could choose to be someone other than myself.

12. Kevin Spacey
11. Abe Lincoln
10. John Wayne
9. Joe Montana (sans butt cut)
8. Tom Brokaw
7. Cal Ripken, Jr.
6. The male nearest Teri Hatcher when she decides she's lonely
5. Colin Farrell
4. Jack Nicholson
3. David Letterman
2. Leonard Bernstein
1. Frank Sinatra

Comment with your own if you feel like it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Last NY Entry for this year

So I promised a recap a couple of days ago and didn't deliver. I have been completely exhausted and completely busy. Life truly is a bitch.

I don't feel like giving you a blow-by-blow account of the last trip, if for no other reason because such an account would be inaccurate (see JNC, c. 1996). But I have a few more pictures and ocassional comments that I thought I would pass your way. Enjoy.

On my first full day in DC, I had to meet the group that was coming into town at a restaurant in a place inside the beltway in Virginia. They were running behind, so I sat in my rental car and read the paper. They arrived a bit earlier than I expected, and in my Sauvannah-like excitement I jumped out of my car in a bit of a hurry. Unfortunately, I returned to find this.

That is the inside of my rental car with the keys firmly in the ignition in the forward and "on" position. What could have been a nightmare actually worked itself out nicely, in spite of the fact that I left the car running with the keys in it for two hours while I escorted the group to the Smithsonian via bus. Please don't tell Hertz.

The only other notable thing about DC this time that would interest you is that one of our chaperones was an SEC coach.

Fill Phulmer himself was on the trip. And it turns out that he is quite well versed in the differences between the Magna Carta and our own Constitution. I was more than a little impressed.

In New York, I had the chance to kill about an hour and a half with Lauressandro M0ates and Rudy Wils0n. Laura developed some kind of obsession with those machines that make an imprint on your otherwise perfect penny. This is an action shot of her second attempt at a succesful imprint at the M&M's Store in Times Square.

You should congratulate her on her worthy use of her spare cash the next time you see her.

This is a passing shot of Carnegie Hall. I didn't even need directions, though I did need directions to the band room the first day I was in Athens. They are the same.

I finally got my chance to take the sterotypical Grand Central Station Terminal shot.

Here is the last of the "fun" shots. A look at the Brooklyn Bridge from the south.

These are a little more sober. The next three are of Ground Zero through the fence. The new construction continues.

And nearby, a cross made of support beams is draped with a scrap of thin metal. According to our guide, that metal is a part of the fuselage of one of the aircraft. It's more than a little out there to spend time in that place.

Gunner, I will never forget that Tuesday afternoon: writing script, drill and music; drinking to numb the shock; worrying that you would be called back; and just watching. Being there brings it back like it was 6:30 that night.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The bullets are up and the battery's down

First person who can identify the reference in the title will receive a gift certificate to Webvan in an amount equivalent to my 2006 contribution to my 401(k). Brief bullets tonight while I recoup. More details tomorrow.

• I was actually briefly scared for my life (or something like that) for a few seconds tonight. Film at 11.
• Here are some things that I routinely forget:
- The name of Gunner's new place of employment.
- Laura M0ates birthday.
- The words to the chorus of "Rocket Man."
- What "FBO" stands for. (Fixed Base Operator... I looked it up.)
- To shave.
• I predict that, by the end of the week, several of us will refer to this week as having been "eventful."
• Purchase and consume hot dog on a Manhattan street: Check.
• Win BracketThis in a fluke: Check.
• To Iran I would like to present the following souvenir of my trip:

The ass of the Statue of Liberty.