I'm a fighter, not a lover.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Today’s wisdom comes courtesy of a high school friend, Pat C., who I haven’t seen in a number of years. Pat went to the other high school (the vocational one), played bass, constantly worked on his car, wore flannel year-round, and pulled a hat so low on his head that it was often difficult to see his eyes. Our last year of high school, he may have been high more often than not.

Nonetheless, Pat occasionally passed along an outlook on life so unique that it was tough to avoid.

One such sage offering I think about often, particularly every time someone shakes my hand while I am on my way to the restroom, as just happened. Pat once questioned, “If we shower in the morning, why are we always expected to wash our hands after going to the bathroom. If anything, our hands are dirty, not it. Maybe we should be required to take a full shower after every time we pee.”

True that, man. True that.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm outta here.

So that’s that.

It was a nice run, Salt Lake City, but as they say, all good things come to an end. And so, I’m outta here.

Like the Black Keys’ song, I’m Brooklyn Bound.

More to come.

Yap yap yap

So, last week, Google introduced Talk. I downloaded it that day and bought an internet headset that night.

Many blogs far more technical than this one have discussed it at length, so I don't plan to do that. As my co-worker Mark has pointed out, what Google has produced this time around is by no means revolutionary; there are several programs available that do everything that Talk does, and some of which, like Mark's fav, Skype, that do far more. But here's the thing: People know Google. People like Google. I have a chance -- albeit a small one -- of convincing my family to join in on Talk. I have no chance of convincing them of the benefits of a program like Skype.

In case you've been living in a hole, here's why I heart Talk:

Essentially, it's an instant messaging program, but unlike AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, etc., its interface is clean and simple. No ads. Nothing fighting for my attention and taking it away from the conversation I'm having. I also like the way it stacks the conversations. Talk is also interchangeable (allegedly) with a handful of the cooler, lesser-used IM programs, including Apple's iChat. And of course, Talk offers very basic, but great-sounding, VoIP. What's that mean to someone like me who is not incredibly techie? You can use Talk in place of your telephone as the program sends your voice and conversation to another Talk user as data. In other words, free-mother-effin-long-distance.

Talk allows you to open an IM conversation with a friend and choose between sending her an IM, email or a call. All you need is an internet headset (mine cost $14.99) or a mic and speakers.
The only catch: you need a gmail login, which you can get here if you don't have one already. Then, download Talk here. Spread the love. Let me know your gmail name. I'll call you. We'll do lunch.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"It's wet, aien't it?"

For the better part of a week, I've been very afraid of the nearest men's bathroom at work.

It's a single unit and about a third of the walk to the other restroom, so it's a nice excuse to vacate the cube. The privacy of it allows me to make strange faces in the mirror, wave a hand before the automated paper towel dispenser in a Queen Elizabeth II sort of way, or just casually waste a few minutes while pondering the absurdities of the work day.

Not this week.

Instead, there is a large wrench sitting like a smug bully atop of the toilet. I'm not sure why it's been placed there, other than to threaten me, but no matter why, it can't be good. I envision the room filling up with toilet water like the sleeping quarters of a sinking ship, or, like in some cartoon kitchen when the sink is left running.

If I go about a week or more without posting, I may have drowned. Send help.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hill St.: not smart

In an effort to be a bit more frugal and make my bank statements slightly less comical, I’ve become a bit of a recluse (though not nearly as bad as my friend Emily; she works in a barn!). I’m going to shows far less and really, just going out less in general, at least mid-week.

So, I take walks. It just seems like the logical way to spend an evening as a poor man. It’s true; I’ve conducted studies and I have noticed a lot of the homeless population here is perpetually walking. I’ve modeled my form of thrifty entertainment after them. Although, I generally avoid pushing a shopping cart full ‘o detritus or lashing the remains of a pillow to a backpack.

While walking last night, passing the people playing with fire in the park and the dude carrying his infant daughter while long-boarding, I got hit with some of that déjà vu. Right upside the head.

About ten years back, prior to the driving privileges and when the $4.75 an hour courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts just didn’t seem to stretch all that far, my friend Phil and I would spend our summer nights by taking to the streets — inline style!

Airborne, maybe the best movie ever.

We’d skate about two or three miles (note the absolute stubbornness in avoiding using the brand-name “Rollerblade” as a catch-all phrase and especially as a verb), returning home with war stories, bloody knees and the odd piece of gravel embedded into our skin. The highlight of the route was Hill St. to Main St., pictured below.

Hill St., as its name suggests, is not a flat piece of land. Approaching it from the southeast places one right atop a steep hill, fairly evenly paved, perfect for adolescent boys and anything that involved wheels (I later found out that if driving up the hill at top-speed, one’s car could briefly take flight).

The real beauty of Hill St. was the hard left turn one needed to make immediately on to Main St. to head back to our neighborhood, ideally at high speed and in a cross-over, right-foot-over-left fashion for style points. The challenge was that we were turning on to Main St. and, as with Hill St., the creative forefathers of Tewksbury were pretty straight-forward in their naming duties.

The infamous turn.

Cars sped down Main St., the most heavily traveled road in the town, while fostering all of the stereotypes that exist for Massachusetts' drivers. To make things more interesting, on the very corner of the intersection sat a stone building, blocking the view of north-bound traffic. After being propelled down a steep hill, this leaves the bad-ass inline skater with a little less than a half-second to decide whether to take a hard left turn literally into the middle of Main St., or to bail out, turn right 90 degrees and prepare to get all too familiar with a parking lot and a Good Will receptacle.

Most embarrassing for Phil or I was when one of us made it and the other didn’t — especially if one squeaked by a moving vehicle, ass-across-the-paint a la Dukes, forcing the other to decide between pride or his limbs. The successful one would effortlessly glide up Main Street’s smaller hill and wait atop of it, while the other would collect himself, shamefully make his way to the victor, out of breath, bloodied, battered, and – dare I say it! – less of a man.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

hot and cold

It's not that I was a great test-taker growing up (Damn that 1580! so close to genius, yet so far away), but I wasn't particularly bad either. However, unlike teachers, parents and superintendents, at a very early age, I realized the true goal within testing was not to score well, but to finish quickly.

"It's not a race, David," various teachers would remind me, but they were wrong. So wrong. It was a race!

Who cares about grades when you can triumphantly walk to the front of the class to place a photocopied sheet down on the teacher's crowded desk, looking round to realize that you are the first to finish. Savoring that feeling of sweet victory when you catch a fleeting look of jealousy and spite from the other S-L-O-O-O-O-W students' eyes, witnessing them reach the epiphany that if they were as gifted as me (read: entirely average student, but fast test-taker), they too could be finished by now instead of re-wording their answer to the open-ended question about the Pullman Strike. Suckers.

The reward for finishing first was always the same, particularly in Junior High and below. "Go put your head down on your desk."

These days, my job is very hot and cold. I still work fast, but there are days where I can't catch up, like yesterday, and others, like today, where I am wishing that someone would stroll toward my cube and instruct me to put my head down on my desk.

Friday, August 19, 2005

FBJ 8.19

New Friday Breakfast Jam MP3s from this morning.

Track 01 7MB
Track 02 23.6MB
Track 03 60.6MB
Track 04 91.5MB
(Right click and select "Save Target As")

Mike Doughty, Haughty Melodic, ATO Records

Today's playlist available here.

These mp3s have been taken down to make room for more recent additions. If you absolutely need a copy of this show, contact DMo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Proof that nerds are hurtin' for action:

"I'm not all that concerned with looks/body type either."


Of course you're not, Screech.

See for yourself here.


I took yesterday off because of the whirlwind weekend and special guest in town.

Upon returning to my far cube, my boss asked me first thing if I was "rested and ready" for a heavy work day/week. I told him, "Definitely not the former, but maybe the latter."

I might have lied.

Should have some photos and a proper account of this weekend's festivities posted sometime over the next couple of days. In the meantime, I sit here, unrested and unready, but quite content with how well The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid, the new album from The Real Tuesday Weld, segues me back to the world of grammatical errors and internet banner advertising.

Friday, August 12, 2005


New Friday Breakfast Jam MP3 below.

Orange Juice, The Glasgow School, Domino Records

FBJ 8.12.2005 Track 1 93 MB(right click, Save target as)
FBJ 8.12.2005 Track 2 44MB
FBJ 8.12.2005 Track 3 49MB

Today's playlist available at here.

These mp3s have been taken down to make room for more recent additions. If you absolutely need a copy of this show, contact DMo.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Blogging rule #37: When you’re at a loss of what to post, steal someone else’s topic!

Except in this case, I think it’s warranted.

My co-worker maintains a pretty lovely and educational MP3 blog. I’d been behind in my reading it and yesterday came across a post from the previous week regarding one of my favorite records from the 1990s, For Squirrels’ Example. He was surprised that I knew of them and we shared a music moment.

It was strong enough for me to pull the CD and listen to the album about three and a half times through last night. It’s become one of those records that I only hear in broken pieces on my iPod otherwise -- “Under Smithville” here, “Disenchanted” there – instead of a collected whole.

The story of For Squirrels is intriguing and entirely saddening. Example will be ten years old this fall. The major label debut for the Floridian-foursome was released on Sony on October 3, 1995. Three weeks prior to the release, on September 8, the band was returning to Florida from a New York show when a tire blew out on the tour van. It rolled and two of the members were killed, along with the band’s manager; the other two members were pretty badly injured.

Some, including Rolling Stone’s Rob O’Connor, argued that the record wouldn’t have received any buzz at all if it had not been for the accident. Either way, it hardly received any at all.

Example is not a perfect record. It is occasionally uneven and I can remember, even ten years back, hearing it for the first time and being unsure of what was coming from my speakers, but sometimes that’s the best compliment one could pay to an album. It remains a special record to me though, for selfish reasons. I was 15 at the time, really just beginning to develop any specific tastes in music (good or bad) and I can distinctly recall buying it and thinking that I was cool; that this was good music; that something was there.

In other music related news, Doveman is sending me a copy of their latest record, Acrobat and I can’t wait to get it. What I’ve heard is sweet and quiet and sad, and just what I want to hear.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Spent the weekend at Henry's Lake, Idaho, near the West Yellowstone border celebrating Matty's bachelor-hood. The wedding is mere days away.

I hadn't been in that area of the country since taking a NOLS course in Wyoming's Absaroka Range four years back. It was exactly as I remembered it.

Endless blue sky, stands of lodge poles, green foothills, dark water and large birds. Between various members of our party, a couple of Bald eagles were seen, along with some herons and osprey.

Also had the opportunity to play some serious whiffle ball (my reign as a whiffle ball pitching ace continues), enjoy some terribly unhealthy food and do some fishing, or at least casting, as I didn't have a single bite over two days, unless you count a run-in with a giant leech named Larry. That's probably for the best though; it's been years since I've fished and I was secretly happy I didn't catch one.

Note the lack of tension on the rod.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tonight, in the park, a little boy who looked just like my cousin Colin ran into me as he was falling off his scooter. His helmet hit me square on the forearm.

Happy 100th post all.

Monday, August 01, 2005

a real (de)feat

Tonight, Salt Lake's finest B-League men's recreational softball team, the Dirty Sox, attempt to complete a perfect season.

Dreadfully perfect.

This evening marks the last game of the summer season and so far, we remain defeated. That's not a typo. We have yet to win one game. Seriously.

Here's the real slap in the face: all of us are between 24 and 30-ish; for the most part, we're healthy, reasonably fit, quasi-coordinated, lean, fast, dashing, handsome, brilliant and gainfully employed. We play teams filled with men deep into their 40s, who wear braces on sundry joints, swing $300 aluminum bats (mine cost $17; I know nothing about it other than it's green) and slowly move their heavy sand-bag torsos like barges across the basepath, their man-boobs and preggers-style guts doing the Truffle Shuffle as they beat us into submission. Homerun after fucking homerun.

Homeruns. That's how they do it, well that and the fact that on a good night, we may average five defensive errors while hitting directly to all of their fielders three times each. To prevent slaughters, the league created a rule to assist weaklings like us: a team is only allowed one homerun per inning. Anything else over the fence is an automatic out. While it's touching that the league officials care and all, simple math dictates that one homerun per inning (opponents) rules out over one homerun every third game (Dirty Sox).

Tonight we have the opportunity to do something special. We can win and salvage that last string of self dignity, or rip it in half, drink ourselves into a bloody heap and pretend the whole thing never happened.

Well, until Fall league starts in a few weeks.