18 December 2006

High: 28, Low: 14

I have shoveled snow from my driveway 3 times in 24 hours and this morning's shoveling was, perhaps, the best of all. Snow so light it nearly refused to be shoveled. The kind of powder Utah brags about so ridiculously that I want to punch Utah in the face.

(Controlling anger. Gathering composure.)

Back on track... No song/video captures snowfall quite like this one. Makes me want to fill my backyard with water, pray that it freezes over and then go find an old pair of skates at the local D.I.*

14 December 2006

Song of the Season

It's no contest, really. Sufjan Steven's Songs for Christmas — a five-disc masterpiece of traditional, original and otherwise fantastic holiday tracks runs away with the Christmas Album of the Year title. Amy enjoys the Sarah McLachlan offering and D says that the Aimee Mann disc isn't half bad. But just listen to this stunner from Vol. V: Peace and you'll have no doubt that Sister Winter is THE song of the season. Keep hitting "repeat," it's OK...I'll be doing it right along with you. (You can listen right here by "mousing" over the image below and using the controls that pop up near the bottom.)

Download the track at the Asthmatic Kitty site (scroll down and find it on the bottom left under "stuff").

07 December 2006

I Already Know How It Ends

Last night's My Brightest Diamond/DeVotchKa show practically demanded that I brave the sub-freezing temps and make the drive up Parley's Canyon to Suede in Park City. Well, it didn't hurt that Dainon offered his "plus one" ticket guaranteed by some (unforeseeably untrustworthy) publicist. Turns out we didn't make the list and had to pay $10/each to enter — a discounted admission, but still...

You can read all about Shara Worden and My Brightest Diamond all over bloglandia on sites far more interesting and insightful than this one, so I'll only add a few thoughts:

1) Her voice is virtually unmatched in pop/rock music. She handles vocal acrobatics as if they were warm-up drills. Runs and reaches that would have lesser singers doubled over barely even seem to raise her eyebrows. As D remarked after her stunning cover of Tainted Love: I think I could listen to her sing anything, anything at all, and I would love it.

2) While she has been compared to every dramatic female vocalist under the sun (PJ Harvey, Bjork, Beth Gibbons, Kate Bush, etc.), there is one (dead-on) comparison I've yet to hear: Andrea Echeverri from the outstanding Colombian two-piece, Aterciopelados.

3) I have developed a minimally-physical, full-blown artistic crush on Shara Worden. I'll save the full breakdown of crush varieties for another day, but every time I have seen Shara (twice backing Sufjan Stevens and now once on her own) she has increasingly caught my eye. All I can say is that I'm attracted to her art. I know there's something weird (and awfully emo-pathetic) about that statement and each time I read it, it only gets worse. I'm sorry.

The crowd at Suede was certainly diverse (D says it's always that way) but at least they were united in ignorant impoliteness. I will never understand how a crowd can consistently yap through a set as haunting and beautiful as that played by Worden and her bandmates. I suppose that's their choice, right? But if you paid money to see a painter paint, would you walk up and scribble on the corners of her canvas? I see no difference in talking throughout a musical performance. I've exposed my "shut-up-at-concerts" bias. I understand if you will now discredit me. I am prepared for the fall in the polls.

The voice:
Golden Star - My Brightest Diamond - m4a

After My Brightest Diamond left the stage, D and I listened to a few tipsy hippies try to describe the music of DeVotchKa – always an entertaining endeavor. "Ummm... it's like... Eastern European polka... with Tex-Mex horns... and a tuba or something... and sometimes the guy sings in Spanish." And there's nothing better than hearing a pseudo-hipster impress his mindless companions with the knowledge that DeVotchKa (hailing from the greater Denver area, mostly) are from the former Yugoslavia. Good stuff. And, while D tried to convince me that the man playing violin was actually Yo-Yo Ma, I settled in for a healthy dose of European Tex-Mex Polka.

DeVotchKa does not disappoint. If you've listened to even a handful of tracks, you know to expect grieving vocals and throbbing accordions, maracas and flamenco guitars. Theirs is a blend of sounds quite unlike anything I've heard. They walk the same path as Calexico... but in a completely alternate landscape. The songs are sad, beyond sad, and you can't help but wonder where all this pain is coming from. I hesitate to say it, but the vocals even verge on Mexican ranchera music, the strained music full of howls and yips heard blaring from corner cantinas.

(picture stolen from Pitchfork)

What elevates DeVotchKa, however, are the moments of lightness, the spots of sunlight that filter through the pained melodies. And when DeVotchKa played their most recognizable song to date, How It Ends (featured in the movie trailer for Everything Is Illuminated), it was the hint of optimism – however small and however disguised – that lifted the audience from their drinks and even managed to silence the talkers. How It Ends is a rare song. It seems that even devoted, long-time fans of DeVotchKa (who would normally disregard this song because of its mainstream appeal and popularity) seem to know that it is a great song, the kind of song that truly transcends (what a word...) genres and classifications.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Since last night's show, my iTunes shows that I've listened to How It Ends five times and I could go for another five right now.

Because of the late start – DeVotchKa didn't take the stage until 11:15 or so – we left just before the end of the set. But it was a satisfied early exit. Very satisfied.

How It Ends - DeVotchKa - mp3

06 December 2006

I'm a Driver. I'm a Winner. Things Are Gonna Change, I Can Feel It.

Much thanks to Heather at I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS and Kevin at SO MUCH SILENCE. Both have provided me with some serious contest winnings.

SO MUCH SILENCE delivered an autographed copy of Calexico's latest, Garden Ruin. My winning accomplishment? Typing a city and date in the subject line of an email.

The FUEL/FRIENDS contest was a touch more demanding. Readers were challenged to come up with a title for their own autobiographies. CLICK HERE and scroll down a post or two to read my winning submission. The loot - a Stranger than Fiction soundtrack and matching mug.


28 November 2006

For Your FYI

Since it appears best to wipe the slate clean with my EZ Archive account, all the links to downloads (songs and videos) will be going dead. If there was anything you wanted to grab, try and do so by Thursday. After that, the odds of my posting something new will increase dramatically. How's that for an uncommitted, hedged-bet promise?

Have You Given Up On Me?

Because I might be trying to decide if I have...

10 November 2006

Don't Blame Me.

I've been mocked endlessly for my Sufjan Stevens man-crush. But watch this. He's a genius. I remarked to Kate the other day that if I had any actual talent, this is what I'd be doing... wearing bird outfits, crafting an album for each of the 50 states, dressing up as an Illinoisemaker, playing the banjo, tossing inflatable Santas and Supermen to the masses at the Gorge.

Watch more clips from the Austin City Limits performance here.

You Have to Watch This.

Seriously. CLICK HERE.

The fact that Babcock found and posted this proves his awesomeness. You hear that? His awesomeness is beyond debate.

07 November 2006

Someday I'll Grow a Drastic A-Line of My Own

Not long ago, d wrote about Seattle. Though he's never lived there, he called it home. And those of you subjected to my presence know that I've got the same sort of feeling about Portland. Lived there for three blessed years. Hope to be headed permanently back at some point. For now, a weekend jaunt on the first weekend in December will have to do the trick.

I've done something crazy. For an unknown reason, I've ended up with tix to see Bloc Party open for Panic! At The Disco! (what gives with the exclamation points? just one of the many reasons I hate them...). Yeah, that's right, I'm traveling all the way to Portland to see Bloc Party play a 45-minute set and then likely walk out the door before the headliner takes the stage. I understand the idiocy. But something about witnessing the powerfully drastic a-line haircuts of the Bloc Party-ers in a northwestern setting was more than I could pass up.

I'm sure it's just that more than two years have passed since I've walked downtown Portland. Two years since my last Moonstruck chocolate milkshake. Two years since my last visit to Powell's. Two years since my last rock-shrimp-and-brie-stuffed salmon dinner at Jake's (I'd better start saving up for that one now...). Two years is too long.

Anyway to celebrate the return to the northwest, watch this: Bloc Party. Piles of leaves. Crazy camera angles. Lots of wonderfully drastic a-lines.

(Sorry for the YouTube only. I'm just finally getting settled with the new version of EZ Archive. Real downloads as soon as I get it all figured out.)

01 November 2006

I said it. I meant it.

While discussing the fact that a young fringe-hipster (roommate of my sister) had linked to this here blog, I commented, "It's no big deal. Hipsters don't read old people blogs." I really don't think they do. Hipsters only read hipster blogs. Otherwise, they wouldn't be hipsters.

(Basically I had to post something to break the eerie Post-Halloween silence. Something real is coming soon. Surely.)

25 October 2006

A Year Old, But No Less Amazing

Last year around this time, VICE records released what may be the craziest, creepiest, coolest song and video that Halloween has ever witnessed. This sprawling, collaborative, nearly-six-minute beauty features a laundry list of indie superstars including Win and Regine (Arcade Fire), David Cross (aka Tobias Funke), Beck, Feist, Jimmy Tamborello (DNTEL, Postal Service) and members of Rilo Kiley and Wolf Parade.

The whole group mascarades as the North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative (NAHPI) and proceeds from the sale of the single (also available with three remixes as an EP via iTunes) benefit UNICEF. Anyway, it's about time to rustle up a costume and get all kinds of spooky, so enjoy. Watch the (mediocre) YouTube version here or download the (much nicer) iPod-formatted version below.

Do They Know It's Halloween - NAHPI - m4v

23 October 2006

Short Question. Long Answer.

Nine days ago, after seeing the Killers at the Great Saltair (otherwise known as the dump of a venue on the shores of the stinking Great Salt Lake), Kyle asked me a question. I told him I'd have to think about it. I'm sure he thought I was either avoiding an argument or avoiding the question completely. He should know me better than that. I have considered the question. And I am prepared to answer. I'll do my best to keep the response concise... but there are no guarantees. My head's a bit scrambled tonight and the monster pork chop (plus calamari plus banana cream pie in a coconut pastry shell) I consumed at dinner with some fine Londoners isn't doing anything to straighten me out. Anyway, on to the question:

"Would you call the Killers a postmodern band?"

At first I wasn't sure. I was skeptical. Postmodern seems so important. So intellectual. So intentional. It sounds like Warhol and the Velvet Underground. And I'm pretty certain that the Killers are nowhere near that level. But I let the thought sink in. I hit the wikipedia entry on postmodernism for a refresher (it's been more than a couple years since my pre-requisite Literary Theory course). And then I heard the words of one fine Modern American Lit professor ringing in my ears—and, yes, the words were ringing just a bit louder (and probably at a much different frequency) than the common, everyday, nonsensical ringing in my ears. You know, the same ringing that makes it impossible for me to hear and understand conversations in a crowded restaurant. Where was I? Modern American Lit. Ed Cutler. His remark: "Las Vegas is the ultimate postmodern city."

"The answer. To the question. In my mind."

In case you've been living under a rock (or by the strange chance that you have a life that extends beyond the shallow reaches of pop music), the Killers hail from Las Vegas, NV. And the new album is all the proof you need of their Las Vegas-ness. Each song travels from decade to decade, swirling between 80s electronica and 70s bombast, 90s irony and 00s dance-rock. So many things have been written about Sam's Town. It's been ripped as a Springsteen rip-off. It's been derided as a lackluster follow-up. But the only thought I have as I spin through the album again and again is this... this is a Las Vegas album. Not a hanging-out-in-Las-Vegas album, not a bachelor-party-in-Vegas album, and certainly not a honeymoon-in-Vegas album. This is a living-in-Vegas-for-an-extended-period-of-time album. A surrounded-by-facades-of-greatness album. I want to believe that Sam's Town is intentionally shallow. That its lack of concrete lyricism and fascinating musicianship is consistent with the postmodern (there it is!) wonderland of false New York skylines and Eiffel Towers.

I'm probably too lazy to dig into a real piece of musical criticism and comparative theory here. In fact, I know I am. But, yes, Kyle. The Killers are a postmodern band. For good and for bad. But they put on a devil of a show nine days ago. And Brandon Flowers' mustache should serve as a year-round reminder of the beauty of Cinco de Mustache (it's only six months away...).

A three-minute, thirty-three-second sample of postmodernism:

For Reasons Unknown - The Killers - Sam's Town - m4a

My mustache is more postmodern than your mustache...

21 October 2006


Hopefully I'll be able to follow through... but the new header should be the first of a few changes around these parts. Stay tuned for more. Or leave a suggestion. Or tell me to actually post something worth reading (tomorrow, hopefully...).

17 October 2006

Missing: Milk Carton

The free world is experiencing EZ Archive technical difficulties as the file hosting service transitions to version 3.0 — but, after some finger crossing, I uploaded my first video and it's here for your downloading enjoyment.

To celebrate my first official video post, I picked one of the all-time greats. Seriously. You can watch the (suprising high-quality) YouTube version here. Or click the link below to download the video in all of its iPod-format glory.

Coffee & TV - Blur - mp4

To satisfy all your music video cravings, be sure to visit the fantastic SHOTS RING OUT.

16 October 2006

Re-Thinking the Sing-Along

A long, long time ago, I attended a Shins concert and wrote a review of sorts that was wandering and harsh (and probably a few hundred words too long). The main point of contention: the sing-along trend that seems to have taken flight somewhere in the early 00s. I can get behind singing along to a favorite song or something... but singing along to every single song (and at top volume, no less) just seems to get under my skin.

After seeing the Envy Corps open for the Killers on Saturday night (at the Great Saltair just outside SLC), I think I've found my happy medium. I think I've found the solution to the sing/don't sing dilemma. I'm about to make a sweeping judgment. Brace yourselves (all three of you).

If the band invites you to sing along... sing like you've never sung before. Otherwise, keep it to a minimum.

The Envy Corps are nothing if not ambitious. During their final song, they split the capacity crowd down the middle and encouraged a somewhat complicated two-part "da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da" / "oooow-oow-ooow-oow-ooww-oooow-ooow-oow-ooow" (I'm even butchering it now as I try and figure out how to type it) harmony. I was stunned. What high expectations. I mean, really? All these kids are supposed to stop text-messaging long enough to sing along to an opening act? I was impressed. So much so that I bought the Envy Corps' limited edition EP, "I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To" (currently unavailable for purchase — unless you can scoop up a copy at a show).The EP is solid. Great at times. Pretty decent at others. The Envy Corps deliver catchy, dance-able rock. The band should have hipsters shaking their limbs at venues across the country over the next couple weeks. And while the influences (Radiohead among other Brit rockers) are still a bit close to the surface, there's nothing wrong with the groove the boys from Des Moines, Iowa are laying down.

Here's the standout sing-along track (get that!):

Story Problem - The Envy Corps - m4a

11 October 2006

Whitney. Meet Barry.

Aside from being the two creepiest looking people I could find on Google Images tonight, Whitney Houston and Barry Manilow had a strange collision in my psyche this afternoon.

I had to buy a Barry Manilow song on iTunes. Had to. No free will involved. It was required. Without spilling too many incriminating details I'll just say that I had to rough out a slideshow. And the song was already chosen. Without my input. I swear it. Barry Manilow. Seriously. Barry. Manilow.

This is where Whitney comes into the picture. She sang it so long ago I had nearly forgotten the line: "They can't take away my dignity." Well, she was wrong. Dead wrong. They can take it away. They can reimburse me the 99¢ subtracted from my iTunes account. But they can never give back my dignity. They just can't.

09 October 2006

One of the Best Ideas I've Ever Had

I'm proud to say that getting Creent to swim through a construction puddle was my idea. Dainon says it's the best idea I've probably ever had. Considering my recent state of idea-less-ness, I might have to agree.
At any rate, he had to be bribed (final tally included $50, a lunch IOU, a big bag of Peanut M&Ms and the promise of a personal check to be delivered "later"), but Creent came through in the clutch. See for yourself.

Farr made the edits and chose the music. Brilliant work, Fahh.

I Can Do This

I can fight through the blog-apathy.
I can stop thinking.
I can focus for longer than three minutes.
I can pull the rabbit out of the hat.
I can be "cool" with short hair even if Amy says long hair is cooler.
I can learn the difference between Hodgkins lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
I can remember that my mom is tougher than either.
I can promise to not post about this again.
I can break that promise.
I can write.
I can get back to caring about things that don't matter.
I can handle this.
I can handle this.
I can not handle this.
I can handle this.

26 September 2006

When They Finally Start Putting Microchips In Our Brains

I want this permanently installed on mine:

SMALL UPDATE: I forgot to point out the strange sports coincidence that this 2002 Super Bowl performance took place at the Superdome in New Orleans, the very site of last night's U2 mini-gig.

25 September 2006

You Are Beautiful

So U2 just absolutely embarrassed Green Day in the Monday Night Football pre-game show. I know plenty of folks who adore Billy Joe Armstrong, but I just don't get it. Green Day fans can keep their self-destructive, gloom-ridden top-40 punk. As this New Orleans performance proved – along with the (less than 5 months post 9/11) Super Bowl XXXVI half-time show – sometimes exuberant, world-saving rock 'n' roll is the most beautifully healing sound in the world.

May God bless New Orleans.

22 September 2006

Thunder, Lightning, Television

I think it snowed (or maybe just slushed) at my house last night. There's plenty of the white stuff on the mountains. And the mother of all thunderstorms plowed through the Salt Lake valley at about 4am. Serious stuff. Lightning that lit up our bedroom (with the blinds closed) and immediate thunder that shook the foundation. Good times all around. Did I mention that it's September 22 and we've had the heat on in our house for 6 days now?

Anyway. Aside from Monday night's premiere of Studio 60 (which was pretty fantastic in a West-Wing-vs.-Hollywood sort of way), last night finally delivered some television worth getting excited about.

The Office
Probably one of the more uncomfortable episodes of the American version. Those of you who haven't seen the BBC original should be advised that it is far more brutal than the NBC take. Far more brutal. And last night's premiere was just about as close as Steve Carell has come to David Brent. And that's OK. I've come to enjoy the funnier, more lighthearted direction of The Office. And that's what made (for me, anyway) the episode even better. I'm not sold on the Jim/Pam melodrama. And it's an obvious mistake for anyone involved with the show to let that relationship overwhelm everything else that's going on. Immediate spinning the show into a painful and bruising episode-long tailspin was the right move. The Pam/Jim longing was reasonable and Steve Carell was just about as obliviously ruthless as can be. Not the greatest 22 minutes of The Office. But solid. And promising. Seriously... the "gaydar" clip at the end paired with Michael Scott's "Do you think his roommate knows?" comment were pure brilliance. Looks like a good year.

My Name is Earl
In October of 2003, the New Yorker ran a piece on Jaime Pressley (by Rebeccas Mead... I had no luck tracking down the article online) titled "The Almost It Girl". I read it. Of course I did. Contrary to the opinion my current slacking would seem to give, I was once a faithful cover-to-cover reader of the New Yorker. At any rate, the story detailed the struggle of a fringe "IT" actress like Pressley. She always seemed on the edge of a big break but rarely landed any substantial roles and was often relegated to sleazy side parts in epic films like "Joe Dirt".

As I watched last night's season premiere, I couldn't help but think about the article. Whether or not Pressley has finally "made" it is certainly debatable. But there seemed to be a larger lesson at work here. Jaime Pressley steals the show in nearly every episode. Last night she was simply fantastic. Even alongside the tremendously hilarious Jason Lee, Pressley knocks every white-trash line out of the park. She's absolutely beautiful — in that Pabst-Blue-Ribbon sort of way. The truth is, she probably looks exactly like I dream that some of the hottest girls from my high school look now (although they've all probably put on 75 pounds and now walk through the supermarket barefoot). In some weird way, Jaime Pressley is the perfect, unrealistic, Hollywood take on trailer-park beauty. And I applaud it.

But back to the New Yorker article... I started to think that maybe Jaime Pressley simply figured out what casting directors and audiences had known all along: The only way for her to become an "IT" girl was to embrace the very thing she'd been fighting. The New Yorker profiles her struggle to eliminate her Southern accent and land some serious roles. The truth is, that would have been a mistake. By exaggerating the accent and essentially playing a caricature of herself, Pressley has achieved the "IT" status that surely would have eluded her had she continued to swim upstream.

The real lesson: Stop fighting who you are. Now you know. And well... you know the rest.

"Jason Lee" - All Girl Summer Fun Band - mp3

19 September 2006

An extra hour on the cyberweb, just for you...

A little digging yielded a complete live Jeff Tweedy show from 2000. It features a handful of YHF gems that had not been released at the time. Great stuff.

Check out the whole show here.

Jeff Tweedy - Sunken Treasure - Live in Chicago (January 4, 2000)

When Jeff Tweedy tours the Northwest, the world listens. And watches. And adores.

The trailer.


Download this track:
Wilco - Sunken Treasure - mp3

18 September 2006

What I Learned

Since I know nothing, "What I Learned" will surely be a recurring feature on upto12. Some days the list will be long. Some days it will be short (but only because I'm too lazy or too ashamed to continue the list). Anyway, let's get on with it...

What I Learned on September 16, 17 & 18 (let's call it a two-by-two edition):
- A 16-staple head wound is every bit as frightening as you think it is.
- A 16-staple head wound has no business on my little sister's head.
- I do not handle confrontation well.
- I do not handle confrontation at all.
- "Scrubs" reruns air at 10:00pm on KJZZ.
- "Scrubs" reruns air at 10:30pm on KJZZ.
- Monday is a good day for sunshine and an outdoor photo shoot.
- Every day is a good day for sunshine and an outdoor photo shoot.
- Brothers and boyfriends rarely mix.
- Brothers and bad boyfriends never mix.
- A "locked out" email password is no reason to fear you've been fired.
- Not being fired is no reason to stop fearing you'll be fired.

14 September 2006

So Here We Are

Aside from being a dreadful day at work and a partially frightening commute home (thanks to a rare Utah monsoon), today is a momentous occasion. I finally hooked up a connection to EZ Archive. More details on that later.

For now, humor my fawning over an album I probably should have been blogging about 18 months ago. I'm slow on the uptake. You know this. I know this. Let's proceed accordingly.

I'll cut to the chase. Bloc Party's Silent Alarm (VICE Records) has me floored. I can't get enough. I listen three or four times a week. I listen quietly. Through headphones. I listen loudly. Through headphones. I ignore co-workers even when they're standing directly behind me waving pens and tapping on my cubicle wall (although I'm not sure how much that actually has to do with the music...). The truth is this: If I had to go back and re-rank my Best Albums of 2005, I'd have a hard time keeping Silent Alarm out of the top three.

So what happened? A year ago, had you asked me what I thought about Bloc Party, I probably would have simply said, "Great name. 'This Modern Love' is a fantastic song." And that would've been that. Today, I'd rant for 20 minutes on the brilliance of Kele Okereke's vocal inflections and then proceed to discuss whether or not London Calling is the closest album-ancestor to Silent Alarm.

I've asked around and there's no consensus. In fact, most people just think I was asleep at the wheel when the album originally dropped. But that's not altogether true. I was aware. I listened. I read the buzz on the blogs. I noticed the pie-in-the-sky review from the snottiest of critic-sites. But it just didn't click. I didn't get it. And now... well, I'm skeptical that picking up a mortgage, welcoming kid #2, moving into corporate middle management and becoming the reluctant owner of a Honda Odyssey have all somehow combined to give me sharper musical chops.

I fear this post is more of a waste of time than usual. I have no conclusion, no explanation, no resolution. I suppose I just needed to write it down. All of this shouldn't trouble me. I should simply embrace the album and move on. Why the search for reason?

At any rate, here's a stunning cover of "Pioneers" along with my current standout from the album that was kind enough to wait for me to catch up.

Pioneers - Tunng - mp3
So Here We Are - m4a

NOTE: Let me know how the downloads work out. I'll try and keep things up for as long as I can (until my archive space is maxed), but—if you're tempted—it'd probably be wise to grab 'em while they're warm.

13 September 2006

I Stand Corrected

Of course I do. Let's just get used to it. I'm sloppy. I'm a borderline liar. I'm irresponsible with the facts.

Turns out I finished 2 points behind Creent in last week's fantasy football standings. I finished one point above a certainly fellow known as Rowdy Roddy. But that's another story. I apologize for the error. I meant no defamation to the young Creent. I am very sorry if anyone has felt offended by my actions.

I'm glad that's over with. Stay tuned for more mistakes.

12 September 2006

While I try to figure out the wild world that is EZ Archive...

Let me just say that I could be the worst fantasy football owner/player/manager/whatever ever. Wow, that sentence ended awkwardly.

Anyway, my powerhouse team finished with 41 points. I lost (duh) my head-to-head matchup. And finished just one point above Creent, who I'm fairly certainly has never watched a football game in his life. Or maybe he has. It's hard to tell with a boy like Creent. So very hard to tell...

My team:
And yes, I knew that Vanderjagt wouldn't be playing. But I couldn't figure out who to drop from my (apparently) superstar squad. There's no way I was going to part with Chris Simms, who turned in a stellar -2 point performance. And the fact that Kevin Curtis didn't play an offensive down? Well, like I said... I'm a moron.

Someday I will figure out how to post songs for your listening pleasure.

But until then... another picture and more words.

It's been something like 15 months since the release of Sufjan Stevens' Come on Feel the Illinoise! and I still find the need to start up an occasional workday with the opening strains of "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois". I'm not entirely sure what it is, but the word "revenants" always seems to drop my jaw and hit me while I'm not looking. The crazy thing is, I've never had a clue what the word means. So I looked it up:

rev·e·nant n.
1. One that returns after a lengthy absence.
2. One who returns after death.

Just thought I would share. And let you know that "revenant" might just be my favorite word of all time. The layering. The depth. The verbal allusion to "revelation." Maybe it's just that there's nothing like a return, a reunion, a rebirth. There's nothing like the thought of going back. Or waiting for someone else to return. Maybe I'm verging on a spiritual territory previously uncharted in this plot of the cyberweb... but "revenant" seems to sum it all up.

circa 1894

07 September 2006

If You Don't Know By Now

Then I'm not going to tell you.

Beat This... Please

AC Green walked past my cube today. Why? Well, why not? Seriously. AC Green. Former NBA star. Noted advocate of abstinence. See the visual proof. He's sitting right in front of my big boss. The one with the flowing Italian locks.

Anyway. That's all. We did our best to hold back the 40-year-old virgin jokes. We acted busy. I said I wouldn't beg a co-worker to fork over the pictures we were required to capture. I promised (myself, anyway) not to blog about work. This (along with string of stinging and inflammatory emails I seem to send on a daily basis) could get me fired.

All that said... who came to your work today, hunh? Who?

That's what I thought.

05 September 2006

I'm Not Here. This Isn't Happening.

You know the ones. The dreams that aren't dreams. The ones that leave you scared for days. It goes down quick — I wake with a start and wonder if I'm really as much of a mess as I just was. Does BeyoncĂ© really have a crush on me? Would she really reunite Destiny's Child to serenade a terribly unhip minivan-driver who owns a grand total of two hip-hop records (both composed by the same pale-white Brit). Or, on another night, am I really the type of fella who would enrage a co-worker to the point where she would yell, "YOU ARE A MORON! YOU WILL NEVER BE AS IMPORTANT AS I AM!" Wait, don't answer that.

So what does it matter? Enh. Nothing. Right? Right? So why am I dodging the coworker? Why am I working on my best Jay-Z impersonation? Why do I think this is worthy of a blog post? Why am I following the same bedtime ritual every night, hoping to recreate the best of the too-real non-realities — the one that ends in smiles and giggles, the one that keeps me grinning for days?

03 September 2006

What I Learned UPDATE

It appears that (aside from not making everything better) picking up the breakfast tab will also NOT result in any residual feelings of goodwill and/or gratitude and probably WILL result in a minor argument with the household bookkeeper.

Just thought you'd like to know in case you're currently reaching for your VISA Platinum as you finish off the last bite of French toast.

ALSO... D found it his duty to correct my appraisal of the "best breakfast joint in town." Apparently this place is the rightful title holder.

02 September 2006

What I Learned Today

Picking up the breakfast tab (even if it is at the best breakfast joint in town and even if it does involve my plowing through a chicken-fried-steak-and-three-egg monster platter) won't make everything better.

31 August 2006

The Candy Man Can

Suddenly, Willy Wonka doesn't seem like such a nut. Seriously. Toured the Sweet's Candy factory (located in the industrial netherlands on the west side of SLC) tonight with some friends and comrades, along with my own personal entourage—Amy, the Wilson bros., Nate the Great, his newly impregnated wife and their li'l punk rock riot grrl, etc...

So here's the scoop. Candy makes people giddy. Did it to me. Did it to everyone in the group. I'm telling you, fresh chocolate-coated almonds, still-warm egg nog taffy, cinnamon bars, orange sticks... I couldn't stop sampling. And giggling. Who cares about diabetes? Obesity? Bring it on.

Rick Sweet (a fourth-generation candy genius) was a gracious host and a cooler-than-cool tour guide. I salute this family-run business. I applaud the 5.5 million pounds of sugar they have contracted for next year's candy production. And I certainly embrace the fact that they considered my scraggly soul patch worthy of a beard guard.

30 August 2006

Things Fall Apart

It's depressing. It's maddening. It's frightening. It's discouraging. It happens too frequently. All the time, really. I ought to fight it. I ought to be better than this. Really. I'm 30. I have a mortgage (two, actually). I commute. I'm making my way up a corporate ladder of sorts. I purchased a minivan. This is the problem. This is the center that will not hold.

It's been nearly 350 days since my last post.

This will not reoccur. This cannot continue. I will write. I will take a deep breath. I will push on. I will say no to the second half of my Philly cheesesteak. I will choose water. I will rise early. I will be someone different. Less judgmental. More friendly. Fitter. Happier. More productive.

I will try.