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Tuesday, October 31
oh and as a total non-sequiter, don't pick a fight with me now because i just watched this amazing youtube video and now i could easily break your arm, smash your face on a table, or kick you in the groin.

being a grown-up now the actual day of halloween is fairly meaningless, especially since i live in an apartment building not children can infiltrate for trick-or-treating purposes -- more candy for me! -- so once the obligatory weekend costume party is out of the way, i'm pretty much off the hook. this year i was 'a guy who just got out of the shower' in a bathrobe, flip flops and a towel around my waist. the only money i spent was 5 bucks on a shower brush thing to use as a prop to really underline the fact that i was bathing, and not just in a robe. it was suggested i could lose that prop in favor of another and magically become 'a fluffer', but i declined that genius idea, for this year anyway. jessica's carmen san diego outfit was extremely accurate and cool yet totally modest, showing she is both classier and less shameless than i was in my bare chested glory.

so now that satan's holiday is out of the way, what better activity for halloween morning than to revise your holiday wishlist?

actually i'm one of the people who cringe when santa commercials start coming on the first week of november, which is way too soon to be talking christmas. but goddammit, when your mother asks you to give her gift ideas, you damn well do it, and do it fast. actually i know there are way more books that need to be added, i just left my little notebook with my 'books to read' list at home today. early bird shoppers take note!


Friday, October 27
two concerts in a week's time, and both were definitely worth the money if you get the chance to catch them in the future.

the first was the decemberists at the wiltern last saturday, who proved once again to be able to play their beautiful and grand songs equally well live. i'm still smitten with colin's voice and lyrics, and the sound was great, so much that during some of the string sections of 'the crane wife 1 & 2' or 'the island...', they were so clear and sharp they sounded almost too good to be live. a spectacular show with people switching instruments between songs and a great set list. shaun made a great point after the show, and i'm paraphrasing: 'it's like this one band ignored the last 100 years of music to do celtic ballads and sea chanteys, but the guy's got a perfect voice for it so it comes out amazing'.

last night was cursive at the avalon, which i had slightly more mixed feelings about, mostly because of the set list. it seemed like the first half was comprised mostly of songs i'd specifically skip over if listening to the albums on my ipod, the less powerful, or in the case of some of the songs off happy hollow, the songs that are annoyingly over-powerful and tough to sit through. once they worked through those though and played some of my favorites off the new album and ugly organ, they blew me away as usual with cellos, three horn players, crazy-loud guitars and tim's borderline psychotic bellowing. ooo, when they played 'dorothy at forty' and 'gentleman caller' it was right back to being all good with me in an instant.


Wednesday, October 25
i mostly wrote that last post because i didn't have much else to say that day and having just read the article i linked, it seemed ripe for discussion. my general feeling is more along the lines of 'this seems like a big deal being made out of nothing.'

how surprised i was then today that an email i opened this morning with the subject line 'linked to your blog', from a name i didn't recognize -- you know, the kind that 7 out of 10 times you would quickly open and delete upon finding out it was in fact spam from some sort of web hosting or stat tracking service you have no need for -- turned out to be a legitimate notice from a reputable online news writer.

Apparently it pays to be topical, as i was included in her CBSNews column measuring bloggers' reactions to the debate. perhaps the quote she pulled from collapsing didn't really convey the tongue-in-cheek nature of my post on the matter, but even if i was only used for my flippant closing line, it's still kind of cool that i've been quoted 'by the press', sort of. now the real question is, how can i leverage this to make millions of dollars?


Friday, October 20
yesterday i was reading this fun ny times article on the prevalence of risque girls' costumes when it comes to be halloween time. although it seems one part 'isn't this all a little bit obvious?' and one part 'you've got to be kidding yourselves', i love it overall just because it's a topic so ripe for debate. are girls playing into subservient gender stereotypes or taking control of their femininity? or is all that an over-dramatization of a subtext that isn't really there, because it's just fun to let loose and be scandalous for a day when normally you couldn't get away with it? ooo, i can't wait to feed this up to a group of girls and get them all up in arms about it. maybe the ones who are angry are really just the ones who can't pull off a proper french maid or daisy duke ensemble? not that i believe that; it's just funny to think how upset some people might be at the assertion.

i think the question that doesn't get nearly enough attention is the male counterpart to this issue: whether the available choices are socially and morally responsible or not, it's SO EASY for girls to pick a halloween costume. they can go as any profession, fictional character, etc., sex it up a little bit, and then when they arrive at the halloween party of their choice, people will go 'oooooo, nice costume'.

i, on the other hand, could never unbutton a dress shirt a little lower than normal, or wear short shorts, and have people flirting with me as a result. dammit, why can't girls be as horny and easily pleased as guys, so i can just be lazy and bare more skin and consider the holiday a success? the holiday is so unfair to men. instead i have to try to be clever and creative and a bunch of bullshit like that when i'd much rather just objectify myself to gain the approval of the opposite sex. god, being a guy is such a ripoff.

and if i wasn't pressured enough, not only has my date subverted the easy way out of being a "naughty-fill-in-the-blank" for halloween, but she's had a clever and creative costume picked out for months already! how could i possibly live up to that, without having put any thought or effort into the matter with only a week remaining?

grown-up halloween is so lame. i just want to get a k-mart plastic monster mask and sprint door-to-door in an effort to fill a pillowcase with candy. like the holiday was intended to be celebrated.


Wednesday, October 18

the departed - 5 stars

i'm sure most of you have seen a 2+ hour long movie by a really talented director, and afterward you're moved and impressed, sure. but you realize you mostly only went to see it because you felt obligated to do so, or because it's important you ground yourself in the canon, and although you have to admit the film as a whole was very good, you didn't necessarily have a very good time watching it.

this movie is the opposite of all that garbage. although i do have a tendency, bordering on a compulsion, to see those other movies at some point (isn't that part of what keeps netflix running?), i never ever want to watch them again in my lifetime. i put in my time and i move on. this one, i could probably go back and watch right now.

the departed is the movie where scorcese finally seems to indulge in some FUN for a change. not silliness, but pleasure -- in a really strong story full of enormous characters who are extremely enjoyable to watch play off one another on screen. the time flies by in a way even goodfellas couldn't keep up until the very end, when things started to unravel and you just wanted to see it get over with. sure, this one could be shorter if they cut a bit out, but as is, it's full end to end of so many cool guys doing badass stuff, it's transfixing.

and almost every guy that gets any amount of lines has multiple prizewinning quotables. as dom pointed out to me, this could be because the screenplay was adapted by light house author william monahan, whose book was full of cutting dialogue, and who seems to have been set loose to play on this one. particularly with the scenes involving alec baldwin's character that were always a treat.

but lest you think it was all fun and games, this is also a tense and very violent movie at the same time, which is why it's so rich and rewatchable. it's disturbing and nerve-wracking at the same time it's making you grin. but you've gotta imagine that these tough-as-nails guys, involved with deception and murder on a daily basis, are kind of having fun doing it. otherwise they wouldn't be who they are. ultimately that's what makes it so great, is that it's an up close and personal look at the kind of characters you expect to populate the underworld, and the tricky interwoven web of egos and lies they're doomed to navigate. of course its bound to end in blood for almost everyone involved, but goddamn if it isn't exciting along the way.

okay i'm going to go ahead and admit it: i'm becoming a big fan of the new nbc show heroes. i really love it, and that's despite some very glaring flaws. i know the actors are generally not very good, and the dialogue is a bit melodramatic and cheesy most of the time. but either i'm getting used to it being that way, or they're getting better, or the show itself is just taking the focus off characterization now that we're introduced to everybody.

the focus now seems to be on parceling out a cool, complex story in tantalizing little comic book sized bits, and it's making me really happy to watch it unfold. and i'm willing to forgive a few lame conversations or plot holes, because you know what, i've read some totally enjoyable comics that fall prey to these same faults. honestly, i'm proud of how well they're translating a very comic-styled story to a live action show that has to fill an hour a week. and as more of the strands start to come together each week, it's getting more and more engrossing. heck, if even my girlfriend, who i don't think has read a comic in her life, is almost as into it as i am, they must be doing something at least a little bit right.

i mostly offer up this recommendation because i noticed they're playing the first three episodes all together on sunday night, so if you haven't been watching you should tivo that shit and catch up. it's a lot of fun, especially if you like having your geek bone tickled.


Tuesday, October 17
been a good week since last i posted. last week at work i felt like i really nailed a few meetings and the like, almost as if i really know what i'm doing here, and it felt good. it's kind of interesting when i step back and see myself growing up in different but complementary ways; like having to manage my finances and not being as skinny on one hand (not fun), but on the other being wiser and more professional when the situation demands it, which is pretty satisfying.

then, of course, the thing i'm most looking forward to right now is guitar hero 2 coming out three weeks from today. so i know i don't have to worry about growing up too much too fast and being a boring old guy for a while yet -- although i do look forward to earning the right some day to be 'ornery'.

for now though, seriously, guitar hero 2 is ruling my thoughts. going against traditional logic that might say i need to polish up on my skills with the original, i've instead declared a moratorium on all guitar hero playing until the new one arrives in my hands. it's gonna be as sweet as the first beer after a full day of road-tripping, and if my fingers could salivate, they would.

jessica pointed out to me last night, as we were going to play some raquetball, that yesterday was our sixth night in a row hanging out, including spending almost the entire weekend together save a few hours of errand running. i thought about that and realized she was right, but also that my mind hadn't found it worth noticing, because it all happened so naturally and without any 'god, i need time alone' even entering my mind. so i think i concluded it must be because she's the best girlfriend ever, and somehow i ended up getting her. don't know how i pulled that one off, but hey, good deal.

oh and in the way of a pay day song, i'm really liking this new silversun pickups track well above the rest of the album it comes from, carnavas. probably because it does more of what i wish every other song would do, which is spread out the rock over the whole song. it seems like a lot of their tracks they spend the whole time building up to on very brief, excellent crescendo moment, but it only lasts 20 seconds out of a four minute song. anyway, well thought out twinkles is the worst-named best song i'm listening to repeatedly this week, so have at it friends.

review of departed tomorrow i hope. sneak peak: go see it.


Monday, October 9
some of the people in our building have the day off for columbus day, which sucks because i'm not one of them. they're probably home having nautical barbeques, with pinta-shaped cakes and sailing on a nice beer buzz, while i, in turn, am not.

just now i thought it would be fun to look up an obscure columbus fun-fact to mark the occasion at least, but in my two minutes of searching only found things that sounded like generic text copied from grade-school readers. one helpful site obviously lacking a serious editor also noted, 'stores often have great columbus day sales'. i love the internet.

completely unrelated to tepidly celebrated holidays, yesterday i had my first ever professional massage, thanks to a gift certificate i received from my loving lady friend a few months ago. i was expecting it to be amazing, but it was just solidly good. i couldn't tell if it's because the lady wasn't that good, i wasn't 'relaxing into it' properly, or if maybe i'm just so relaxed a guy there wasn't that much tension to work out -- although that last one seems improbable.

i also found that afterward i had a strong urge to cuddle, but had to remember that unlike every other massage i've ever been given, this one was not being administered by my current girlfriend. so instead i walked back to my car strangely lightheaded, then went home and watched sin city. not quite the same, but still satisfying in its own way.


Friday, October 6
sorry, friends and net-neighbors, if you've been trying to leave a comment the past couple days and couldn't. backblog, my ever-so-excellent commenting service, was down for a bit but seems to have recovered. please resume responding to my thought-provoking writings or just posting how awesome you think i am.

speaking of awesome, i've been listening to the new decemberists album all week, and it is almost as amazing as i hoped. i'm still digesting it in order to deliver a full and fair opinion of the whole thing, which will definitely require at least one listening with liner notes in hand so i can catch the full weight and meaning of all those verbose lyrics. until then, please enjoy the only one week late pay day song, one of the several title tracks, the crane wife 1 & 2. it's not just an 11-minute-long glory of a song, it's more like a 6 minute a 5 minute song pasted together for a beautiful and satisfying musical arc. also one of the more classically 'decemberisty' tracks on the album, which is full of fun deviations from what i was expecting. listen to it over and over while i go off to enjoy a weekend of college football and poker and relaxing.


Thursday, October 5
oh my bloody hell, this entire mark foley fiasco has to stand as the clearest reason in recent memory to shake your fist and loudly shout at the sky, "WHAT THE HELL KIND OF PEOPLE RUN THIS COUNTRY!?!"

endless mistakes, poor planning, skewed agendas, those are all part of politics and i'm sure at some point along the line, most bad government moves start out as well-intentioned, or so i'd like to think. but how baldly irresponsible is it to not just do these types of things if you're the culprit, but to cover for it if you're the whole rest of congress!? jesus christ.

the daily show's severe smackdown of the whole thing was pretty merciless, and if you missed it i would watch both parts on youtube if i were you (here are part one and part two) for your pleasure.

and not that it isn't easy for everyone to get in on the foley-bashing, but some friends of mine who do net video shorts also took up the topic in their own parodies, which are damn funny as well -- featuring a very convincing congressman costume i might add. extra props for the reference in the second video. apparently they were even featured on CNN, so good on ya', guys!

if you like these, check out their other stuff at their site, invisible engine, or subscribe to them in itunes.


Tuesday, October 3
thoroughly entertained this week across the board. had more drinks than i could count on one hand and went to see jackass number two friday night with a nice little crowd, and laughed my head off.

caught we are scientists and art brut saturday night and rocked my head off.

picked up a copy of okami sunday morning, which is an entirely excellent and fun game, so i spent an uncanny amount of hours playing my thumbs off, then swearing my mouth off along with some deadwood.

now tonight i'm off to amoeba to pick up the HIGHLY anticipated new decemberists album, so i can.... listen my ears off?... reference my dictionary off?...

eh, who cares. good times all around though. get in on any of the above for some good times of your own!


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