Thursday, April 26, 2007

Note to self...

Next time you're going to accelerate from zero to 100, do it with the windows up.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Lyrics

Lately, I've been keeping a notebook of thoughts.  This is part of a larger effort to start writing songs.  There's been some trouble...
 
Most great songs, which aren't pure sunshine, are grown from a burning passion, which is usually the product of profound distress, pain, angst, or longing in the heart of the artist.
 
This weekend, one of those latent passions reared its head, so I started writing.  But the next day, I put the issue to rest with a reasonable and amicable resolution.  Who the hell wants to hear a song about that?
 

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Memo Shmemo

As a matter of practice, I try to avoid blog filler the likes of quizzes and gratuitous re-posts. I cave occasionally, though. I started this more out of personal curiosity then a desire to share. It turned out to be a nostalgic and reflective research project.

Originally from Holley via Facebook:

So, here's how it works:

1. Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)

2. Put it on shuffle

3. Press play

4. For every question (phase of life), type the song that's playing

5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool . . .


Opening Credits: Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann

I've been really in to this song lately. My favorite puzzle in PHA (the most recent Microsoft Puzzle Hunt) came in the form of a CD, loaded with songs, and no instructions. The key to the puzzle was to figure out that it contained a pattern of original songs and covers of that song which were more successful than the originals.

Coincidentally, the week before Puzzle Hunt was the first time I had ever heard the awesome, original Bruce Springsteen version of Blinded by the Light. The only reason I heard it is because my new car has XM, and XM has a station that plays deep album cuts, including songs that are good but weren't popular. I remember exactly when this happened, too, since it is pinned to a happy memory: this song came on just as I was picking up Jackie from her hotel to go to Trivia.

Waking Up: Extended IITB - The Price is Right

This is from a set of songs and sound clips from TPiR which I downloaded a while ago. I didn't even care to figure out what IITB was until today. Apparently, it is Price is Right shorthand for the pricing game "It's in the Bag." This 12-second track is the extra part of the audio cue for that game.

While looking up this info, I also discovered The Price is Right Font Library. This page is perplexing… it is the collision of banality and esoterica. And somehow, it has amassed 48,000 hits. (However, the fact that the site has an odometer-style hit counter is evidence that it has been online since 1993.)

First Day of School: Feeling No Pain – Josh Rouse

I got this on a Free "Virgin Recommends" CD when I bought a Virgin Mobile phone five years ago. I've never played it on purpose.

Falling in Love: Taxman – The Beatles

This could interpreted to mean that falling for someone is a tax on my emotional resources. Or it could just be about taxes.

Fight Song: Blowout –The Crystal Method

OK, whatever. I got a bunch of techno music from a friend at a LAN party. Since I never delete anything, it persists. At the LAN party, we were playing WWII Online, which is a fighting game. That game contained a really good 2-team multiplayer asymmetric strategy map – storming the beach and fighting up the rocky coast of Normandy.

Breaking Up: She Has a Girlfriend Now – Reel Big Fish

I swear I didn't cheat. This is really the song that came up.

Prom: Now's The TimeCharlie Parker

Fun Fact: My personal nickname for my date to senior prom was "Hot Cello Girl". She'll recognize herself if she reads this. J. Whether she cringes or laughs, I'm curious.

Not as fun fact: My strongest memory of that evening is the fact that I was really distracted by my feelings for a different girl. I regret that I wasn't purely focused on having a good time with my lovely date.

Life: Prologue, August 29, 1968 – Chicago

This song is about the turmoil and protests surrounding the Democratic National Convention in that year. I hope my life is nothing like that.

Mental Breakdown: Things Are What You Make of Them – Bishop Allen

Back when thespark.com was cool, they had an intrepid young writer by the name of Christian Rudder. He was the mind behind projects such as "Stinkyfeet", "The Date My Sister Project" and "The Fat Project". Unfortunately, those are long gone. If you can find these somewhere online, please let me know.

It was a bittersweet pill when Christian posted on thespark that he would be leaving to spend time on his band Bishop Allen. He left us with a url to a site which contained a few mp3s. I've loved the band ever since.

Driving: Penguin in Bondage – Frank Zappa

Ahh, Zappa. This is from one of the best albums he ever put out. The 12+minute sequence of Echidna's Arf (Of You) and Don't You Ever Was That Thing? is a breathtaking live performance, including the hands-down best trombone solo in a rock song, performed by Bruce Fowler.

Flashback: California – Phantom Planet

This might bring back memories for people who watch The OC… Kayla?

Wedding: Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin

Woah there. I sincerely hope this does not describe my wedding:

You're out on the streets looking good,
And baby deep down in your heart I guess you know that it ain't right,
Never, never, never, never, never, never hear me when I cry at night,
Babe, I cry all the time!

And each time I tell myself that I, well I can't stand the pain,
But when you hold me in your arms, I'll sing it once again.

I'll say come on, come on, come on, come on and take it!
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby.
Oh, oh, break it!

Birth of a Child: The Peanut Vendor – Latin Traditional

This is the song is playing after Milton sets fire to Initech in Office Space.

Final Battle: I Just Wasn't Made For These Times – The Beach Boys

This song is horribly depressing. I will not go down like this. My final battle better be much more exciting than this song. I imagine it would involve speed, intrigue, flames, and possibly robots.

Death Scene: Television – Japan

I first discovered this band while shopping at Toy Joy in Austin. It was after a band rehearsal; Brendan and I were looking for bus toys for an upcoming away game. I had invited Brette to come along on the shopping trip, which was just one opportunity for me to steal her away and spend some one-on-one time with her. This was several weeks before we began dating.

Funeral Song: Get High – Sons of Champlin

Not inappropriate for a post being written on April 20. This song has a nice section where the audience gets to sing along … kind of like a hymn, except they're singing "Get high". That would beat your average funeral.

End Credits: (Everbody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away – Dr. John

Funk would be perfect for the closing credits of life. My personal request would be for Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker) by Parliament.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nymphs and Sirens

Nymphs and Satyr by Bouguereau: click for full painting For the most part, the walls in my apartment are pretty well decked. The dining room is full of Texas stuff. My living room has the Gerardo Arellano paintings, and downstairs I've got some Kandinsky prints.

My bedroom walls are the last ones to be decorated. Today, I found a photo I took at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. which may be the inspiration for a bedroom motif. I think if done right, this could be pretty tasteful.

The Sirens by Auguste RodinThe photo is of The Sirens, a sculpture by Auguste Rodin.

Another piece which would fit this theme is Nymphs and Satyr, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Many years ago, my mom gave me a card with this painting on it. Lucky Satyr.

It also strikes me that if I had a girlfriend, decorating my room with mythological sirens would probably not be on my mind.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Undiscoverable dictionary feature in NYTimes.com

I just discovered a feature on NYTimes.com which I didn't even realize was available. 
 
1. Go to an article page, like this one
2. Find a word you don't know (or any word in the body of the article).  My word was Pablum
3. Double click on the word
 
Woah!  Definition popup!  That's actually what I was looking for! 
 
I was actually trying to right-click, but my finger twitched.  I knew that IE doesn't have a lookup feature by default, but I remember that there was a Firefox extension which would open dictionary.com in a new tab if you right clicked on a word.  I was secretly hoping that I had found and installed such a feature in IE 
 
Oh, well.  Pleasant surprise.  By the way, Pablum is  "A trademark used for a bland soft cereal for infants." 
 
And this week, no matter what happens, you're still in better shape than Antonio Gonzales. 
 

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Unfortunate Cookie

Unfortunate Cookie
Unfortunate Cookie, originally uploaded by Sage Kitamorn.

Wow. I thought I was doing OK. I thought I was on the right track. This cookie really put me in my place. I am humbled.

You've got to give the cookie credit for successfully constructing a complete sentence, including the proper use of an adverb.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hard Boiled Excitement

Easter Eggs Pose Together Saturday night, we had a bunch of friends over for feasting and excitement. As Erin Dean foretold, the theme of the dinner was “While You Were Out.” The main event was not the meal, but the egg decorating contest and egg drop competition. Check out the flickr for complete coverage.

There was much feasting
Our menu…

Appetizers:
Bread and Cheeses, provided by Erin! Thanks, Erin!
Kumquats and Muscats

The Meal
Maple Orange Glazed Ham, Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto, and Balsamic Roasted Yams
Spicy Meat Balls, provided by Eliot and Julie. Thanks guys!

The Aftermath
Mint chocolate Ore ice cream cake, provided by Shawn and Brook. Yum!

Hard Boiled Excitement
The competition consisted of two aspects: Egg Dyeing and Eggs Dying. We spent a few hours creating the best dressed eggs and the safest egg-drop devices.

Erin poses with Resurrected Jesus the EggHugo with his unaltered eggg

Category Winners
Best Dressed
Claire and Guzman Overboard, by Shawn and Brooke

Most Ironic
Flying Spaghetti Monster, by Hugo

Best Tie-in to the story of the Resurrection
He is Risen!, by Erin and Jett

The Safety Award
Egg-streme Sports, by Eliot and Julie

Most Dangerous
Bond and Bond Girl, by Erin and Andrew Shawn and Brooke pose with Guzman and Claire in the Water Julie and Eliot pose with their entry, Egg-streme Sports

Friday, April 06, 2007

It’s Gorgeous


Can I find any more excuses to get outside today?

  • I took the bus to work, and got to walk to and from bus stops.
  • I walked to lunch at a remote cafeteria on campus, met with some friends and ate outside.
  • Some coworkers and I just came in from a football break on the sports fields J
Horray for spring in Seattle!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Danny Elfman

Did you know that Danny Elfman was also the frontman for Oingo Boingo?  I had no idea.
 
Until now, I knew Danny Elfman as the composer of many great TV and movie themes, incluging one of the best songs ever, the theme from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.  He also wrote the theme to The Simpsons.
 
It came as a surprise to me to learn that he was also a singer and band leader, and was famous for Oingo Boingo before all the film stuff.  With Oingo Boingo, he recorded Weird Science, theme to the movie of the same name.  It's alive... alive!
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tainted Vessels

I keep an eye on the Seattle P-I's top stories news feed just in case a story like this comes across the wire. It's a coincidence that this happened just after I visited Bainbridge Island for the first time.

Two 12-year-old girls from Bainbridge Island are accused of attempting to elude punishment for a tardy assignment Thursday by poisoning their teacher, Kasey Jeffers, with a flavored lip balm they knew would make her ill.

Jeffers, 58, is violently allergic to strawberries -- common knowledge at Sakai Intermediate School, according to police, who arrested the youths on suspicion of assault after they were accused of coating the rim of their teacher's coffee cup and water bottle with strawberry lip gloss.

"They had discussed using real strawberries but decided that would be fatal and this would just make her sick enough to leave school, which was what they wanted," said Mark Duncan, the island's deputy police chief.
[link]

The teacher is fine, and the girls have been charged with third-degree assault.

For me the best part of the story was not the subject, but the writing. In fact, I emailed the author to thank her for delivering one of the best sentences I had ever read in print,

Though other students raced to warn Jeffers, she had already sipped from one of the tainted vessels.


 

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Water; Brownies

I drank eight 12-ounce glasses of water today. I'm sure there have been other days when I drank this ammount, but today was the first time I counted the cups.

Also... last night, I made the first batch of Edge Brownies. Forsaking mixes, I used the brownie recipe which came with the pan. This recipe called for everything from scratch - including a big block of 99% cacao baking chocolate. Hugo and Erin report an increase in happiness after consuming the brownies.

Personally, I think I need to keep searching for the perfect brownie recipe. Anybody think they've got one?


Frozen Margarine Animals

Frozen Margarine Animals ... viewer discretion advised

Old School Memories

[I had some conversations with college friends over the last couple of days which prompted me to upload some old school pictures to my flickr. This is the story behind one of them.

One day back in 2003, Brendan and I were grocery shopping at H.E.B. In the cheese isle, we found some toys displayed on top of the food. We picked out one of those rebounding punching bag things, a Batman one. It had a reservoir in the bottom which you fill with water ... this makes the whole bounce-back action work.

We kept it in our apartment for most of the fall. After months of abuse and neglect, it sprung a leak. But not the kind of leak that would make the carpet wet. An internal leak ... the inner reservoir was leaking into the rest of the bag.


For a while, this was comically irritating. You would punch the bag, and it would fall backward then return very slowly as the water rolled to the top and then back down again. We kept filling the bottom with more water whenever it got too low. After a while, it stopped springing back up, and we lost interest in the toy.

In order to keep it from eventually leaking all over the living room, we stuck it out on the deck. Batman lived out there for most of the winter, until Christmas break, when we got really bored.
One this day, we decided it would be awesome to fill the entire punching bag with water, haul it over to Chris’s (or old 3rd roommate) and leave it on his doorstep.


Oh noes!We had enough sense left to veto the plan of leaning it up against his door. So we decided to lean it up against the wall next to his door. The only problem was that this wall was made of textured stucco, and it immediately popped our taut bag-filled-with-water.

Our prank in jeopardy, I applied pressure to the wound while Brendan went looking for a bandage. Once we gave up, we called Chris to wake him up and at least show him what we were trying to do. He was not impressed.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Art of Peter Callesen

Impenetrable Castle - papercut by Peter Callesen Castles, skeletons, vines, birds, water … If you have not seen his work, I encourage you to check this out.