Saturday, May 31, 2008

1988

With all of the things I want to get done around the house today, I decided I needed a musical theme (hold the music geek comments - I'm fully aware, thanks). So I did a quick rummage thru the LPs and pulled out all of those from 1988:

Cheap Trick - Lap of Luxury
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
Bangles - Everything
Duran Duran - Big Thing
The Mighty Lemon Drops - World Without End
Ramones - Mania
R.E.M. - Green
The Smithereens - Green Thoughts
Prince - Lovesexy
Brian Wilson
Jesse Johnson - Every Shade of Love
kd lang - Shadowland
Elton John - Reg Strikes Back
Traveling Wilburys - Volume One
House of Schock
Jane Wiedlin - Fur
Good Morning Vietnam (soundtrack)
Hairspray (soundtrack)
Dale - Riot In English
Talking Heads - Naked
Three O'Clock - Vermillion

As I was typing this list I realized that I only purchased two of these albums (House of Schock and 3 O'clock's Vermillion) on vinyl when they first came out. By '88 I was buying everything on CD. I would not have guessed back then that 20 years later I'd be listening to these albums on vinyl, while most of the CDs have since been sold back to the record store.

Friday, May 30, 2008

"That Lucky Old Sun" 9.2.2008

According to BrianWilson.com, Brian's new opus, That Lucky Old Sun, will be released on Sept. 2 in various formats, including Limited Edition Vinyl through Capitol Records. Here's the track list:

Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun
1. That Lucky Old Sun
2. Morning Beat
3. That Lucky Old Sun (narrative)
4. Good Kind Of Love
5. Forever My Surfer Girl
6. That Lucky Old Sun (narrative)
7. Live Let Live
8. Mexican Girl
9. That Lucky Old Sun (narrative)
10. California Role
11. That Lucky Old Sun (narrative)
12. Oxygen
13. Can’t Wait Too Long (vocal excerpt)
14. Midnight’s Another Day
15. Going Home
16. Southern California

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Auto Pilot *off*

My grades for Spring semester finally arrived. Sigh of relief and completion. On to the next round.

So my teaching contract officially ended on 5/25, and this week has been spent focusing on my mental health. Although I had the luxury of some necessary down time after Dad died in December, I still had incompletes from Fall term to finish over January, after which Spring semester promptly started. If feels as if I've been on auto-pilot for six months, but this week I think I've finally switched it off. With the peace & quiet comes the acknowledgment that I'm still grieving and healing, like I've just taken the band aid off, and now the wound can breathe a bit.

Oh sweet analogies, what would I do without ye.

Harvey Korman 1927-2008

Without a doubt, one of the funniest comic actors of all time.

CNN article

This loss makes me sad.

GOT GUTS

Received in today's mail from the
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA.org).

CCFA has started sending these as promotional items, and I seem to get one every six months or so. Whenever a new one shows up in the mail I'm all "What's this? A new bracelet? Sweet!".

Perkins on Colbert

From the 5/27 Colbert Report:


Super cool website of the week: VeganFuture

This spring marks 18 years of my fancy vegetarian lifestyle. Everyone's veggie journey is different, but I can say that mine stemmed initially out of environmental concerns, and soon branched into animal rights and spiritual arenas.

With the all of the hate and hostility that seems to be everywhere lately (is it just me?), I am more and more interested with the concept of non-violence, and once again I'm brought to the power of our dietary choices. It's tough to argue that eating animals is not a violent act. While I don't doubt that there are smaller farms out there that care for and provide a happy life their animals prior to slaughter, the sad reality is that the majority of meat comes from factory farms, which are driven by money and greed, not compassion. Sorta sounds like America, doesn't it?

VeganFuture.org has a wealth of information on what we can do as consumers and citizens interested in creating positive change. The site avoids being preachy, focusing instead on facts and concrete ideas, from a non-violent perspective. Very informative.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

6:34 pm

Today's super groovy thrift store acquisitions:
Far-out vintage daisy mug: 60 cents.
Outasite book cover: 80 cents.

On my turntable: Stars (K-tel)

I've been digging into my K-tel records the past few days. I've mentioned how the K-tel LPs from the 70's were crammed with so much music that they were a bit lo-fi sounding, but I've learned that I can dramatically improve the sound if a) the record is very clean, to reduce surface noise, and b) a sub-woofer is used to boost the lower frequencies.

Here's the original tv ad for the Stars album, from 1977. These commercials were aired heavily during after school programming, so as to lure us out of our paper route and babysitting money:

bored again

1. What time is it? 11:30 am
2. Place of birth: Minneapolis
3. Favorite food: Thai
4. What’s your natural hair color? Red
5. Ever been to Alaska? nope
9. Ever been toilet paper rolling? Oh yes. I lettered in TPing in high school.
10. Love someone so much it made you cry? Yup.
11. Been in a car accident? Yup.
12. Croutons or bacon bits: Bacos (but not real bacon 'cause pigs are too cute)
18. Favorite ice cream: Temptation Fair Trade Coffee (soy)
19. Disney or Warner Brothers: Warner brothers
20. Ever been on a ship? You mean like the Love Boat? No.
21. What color is your bedroom carpet? Blue
22. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Twice. Damn parallel parking!
23. From whom did you get your last e-mail: MN Companion Rabbit Society.
24. What do you do when you are bored? You're reading it.
25. Bedtime: Since school ended, bedtime is whenever I'm tired.
26. Favorite TV show: This week it's Top Chef.
27. Last person you went to dinner with: Leo
28. Who do you think will be president? I try not to think about it anymore.
29. What are your favorite colors? Orange, Yellow.
30. How many tattoos do you have? 2
31. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Chicken.
32. What do you want to do before you die? Achieve self-actualization.
33. Have you ever been to Hawaii? No but I've seen the Brady Bunch Hawaii twofer a couple dozen times.
34. Have you been to countries outside the U.S.: Japan
35. Time this survey ended: 11:50

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

breaking news

Posted just 27 minutes ago at myspace from Jesse Johnson (original guitarist for The Time):

"Quick fact:
Jesse will be touring
with the time this summer!"

Dez and me

Alright, I'm going to be a geeky fan for a minute here.

I just learned from my cousin's informative blog that her niece (the daughter of her sister, who is also my cousin, thus making her daughter my 2nd cousin) is married to the nephew of Dez Dickerson's wife. In simpler terms: Dez is my second cousin's uncle-in-law. In much simpler terms: I'm related to Dez. That's right, you heard me. Re-la-ted.

If you think you don't know who Dez is, he sings the second line in the verses of this little number:


Of course, I don't want to give the impression that I know Dez personally or that I've even met him. Still, it's fun to learn that you're somehow connected by family to a guy whose work sits in your record collection.

On my turntable: Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack)

If The Beatles were the biggest musical phenomenon of the 60's (and most would agree that they were), then the Bee Gees similarly owned the 70's. It's hard to describe, for folks who didn't experience it first hand, just how crazed the public was with Saturday Night Fever when it hit movie theaters and record stores in 1977. It was insane.

The unfortunate consequence of something as big as Fever is the eventual backlash. For the Bee Gees, being such an integral and identifiable part of the phenomenon meant that they would also be at the center of the "disco sucks" movement, which got pretty ugly. The upside is that good music stands the test of time, and this album (at least the Gibb productions) sounds almost as fresh today as it did 30 years ago. What strikes me as I'm listening to it is how "organic" it all sounds -- bass, drums, guitar, and real strings and brass (by 1979's Spirits Having Flown the Gibbs employed synthesized sounds instead), which I think lends to the timeless quality of the music. The film, on the other hand, is less timeless; It's as much a period piece as Easy Rider, Flashdance, or any other film that identifies a generation.

Video:
"Stayin' Alive"
"How Deep Is Your Love"
"Night Fever" (The Bee Gees look like disco super-heroes in this one)
"More Than a Woman"
"You Should Be Dancing" (Travolta's big dance scene from the film)

Monday, May 26, 2008

On my turntable: Journey - Evolution

Evolution (1979) was my first Journey album. If my memory is correct, I bought it at Apache Plaza's Musicland in early 1980, just prior to the March release of the next Journey LP, Departure. I also purchased Infinity (1978) that year, on glorious 8-track (actually it sounded like crap, as did a lot of CBS tapes).

Some assorted thoughts about Evolution:
  • It was this album that really put Journey on the Top 40 map, mostly on the strength of "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin", which I don't ever need to hear again. I will listen to it though, because I love how it segues vocally into "City of the Angels". Very tight.
  • Speaking of tight, the back cover of both this album and Infinity featured Gregg Rolie in trousers that could use a little extra breathing room, if you know what I mean. I know we all wore tight pants pack then, but a wee bit of modesty goes a long way sometimes. Seriously, these pants leave nothing to the imagination.
  • "Evolution" was the first Journey LP to feature drummer Steve Smith. Previous drummer Aynsley Dunbar left to join Jefferson Starship.
  • Steve Perry sings "my, my, my" in a lot of songs.
  • Listening to this album reminds me of the significant contributions of Gregg Rolie, who left prior to the recording of the mammoth Escape LP in '81. Rolie, who typically handled the lead vocals on a couple of tracks per album (also adding a lot of texture to the band's harmonies), was replaced by ex-Babys keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who was not a lead singer, but his songwriting contributions had a significant impact on the band's commercial appeal.
Videos:
"Just the Same Way"
"Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'"
"Lovin' You Is Easy" (10/80 in Osaka, Japan)
"Too Late" (8/80 in Largo, MD)

On my turntable: The Sound of Bread (K-tel)

Children of the seventies, help me out with this one. There's something about some of these Bread songs that just makes me all soft and mushy inside. I'm not sure what it is, but songs like "If", "Make It With You", and the grammatically incorrect "Baby I'm A Want You" cause me to pause, sigh, and say "Oh yeah, that's nice stuff right there." What is it? Why is Bread so awesome?

Whatever it is, it's perfect music for a lay-low, do-nothing holiday like today. Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

Yap Yap Yap

According to an article over at ThinkProgress.org, Rick Santorum can't seem to shut his yapper when it comes to marriage equality. He recently mocked the California ruling on marriage by saying:

"But what about love? That’s the question a student asked this winter when I spoke at Georgetown University.

Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too? Marriage is and always has been more than the acknowledgment of the love between two people."

Uh, yeah Ricky - that's the point. Gay couples have commitment ceremonies all the time, so there's nothing preventing us from acknowledging our love. What we want are the same legal rights as you.

But, as my partner says, "keep talkin', bitch." The louder these crazies blab, the more transparent their hatred and ignorance becomes.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Look Through My Window

Looking out from our front porch, facing downtown Minneapolis.

On my turntable: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In '69

In tribute to to Dick Martin.
My family used to watch Laugh-In together when I was very young. Of course I had no idea how 'adult' most of the humor was, since most of it just sneaky enough to allow for kids to watch. Laugh-In was a colorfully funny and entertaining show, and very groundbreaking for its time.

One of the regular segments on Laugh-In was the cocktail party, which always featured plenty of far-out dancing and groovy mini-skirts:



This just in....

Very funny joke I just heard on the LP:

Distressed young woman: "I don't want to wind up an old maid."
Alan Sues: "OK bring her in - I'll wind her up!"

9:21 am

Come On Feel The Lemonheads

Saturday, May 24, 2008

On my turntable: K-tel's 20 Power Hits vol.1

Anyone who grew up in the 70's is likely to have owned at least one K-tel record. In theory, K-tel albums were very appealing -- who wouldn't want 20 awesome "Power Hits" on one record? One limitation of vinyl, however, is that there is only so much space available on each side of a record. In order to cram so many songs on their LPs, K-tel (at least in the 70's) would trim chunks off of songs by using super quick fades or by chopping parts off of intros. It was a nuisance at the time, but now I find some K-tel versions of songs to be hilarious. A perfect example is this album's version of The Byrd's "Turn, Turn, Turn", which clocks in at a whopping 58 seconds. The song starts at the final chorus, plays through the last verse, and then fades out. Done. Awesome. I pity the poor sucker who bought this album thinking "Hey - "Turn, Turn, Turn" - I love that song!".

There's no year listed on 20 Power Hits, but I'm guessing that it's around 1971. I snagged this copy today at the thrift store for 80 cents, and I doubt that it's been played more than twice. I picture the previous owner getting one listen of these butchered versions of her fave songs and being too pissed off to listen to it a second time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

On my turntable: George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice, vol. 1

I do not watch American Idol, and I don't plan to start any time soon. This morning, however, I did watch the YouTube clip of George singing "Praying For Time" on this week's Idol finale. What a haunting song, and lyrically as poignant as ever. It's good to see George back on the big stage again.

Upon its release, Listen Without Prejudice (1990) was a more mature record than the public wanted from him at the time. It's a great album, but artistically (and probably commercially) quite a departure from 1987's multi-platinum powerhouse, Faith. Some of LWP's tracks provide a hint where George would go musically on the equally impressive Older (1996), tracks like "Heal the Pain", the terrific "Cowboys and Angels", and the amazing "Mother's Pride". This album showcases, more than his previous work, George's knack for creating a moody intensity with his melodies. His strengths as an arranger and producer, evident as early as his days with Wham!, continue to be underrated to this day.

Video:
"Praying for Time"
"Freedom '90"
"Cowboys & Angels"
"Waiting for that Day"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

4:13 pm

Relaxin' on the front porch.

Taking crazy to a whole 'nother level

I've said it before and I'll say it again: hate makes people do some crazy stuff.

I learned about this from another blog, and decided it needs to be plastered across the internet (so feel free, bloggers).

The Campaign for Children and Families, in all their boundless wisdom, has equated same-sex marriage in California to the gassing of Jews. Here's the quote from their website, where they are urging citizens to take a stand and stop the gays from gaining equality:

"Ask your county clerk if they were a Nazi officer during WWII and had been ordered to gas the Jews, would they? At the Nuremberg trials, they would have been convicted of murder for following this immoral order."

I think it's a bit humorous that on their "website" they put "quotation marks" around the word "marriage" whenever it follows the word "homosexual". I also enjoy when they say that "People are outraged that the California State Supreme Court has ruled to destroy the institution of marriage." Well, obviously not all people agree with you, CCF, since thousands of un-outraged folks are going to get married in CA in the coming months, and I'd be willing to wager that a majority of residents think it's about damn time.

Sorry bigots. Read your constitution again - equal means equal, not equal for some.

Top 10 Spring LPs

Well, I let it simmer for a while, and here's what rose to the top.

My all-time top 10 fave Spring LPs:
1. The Zombies
- Odessey & Oracle (1968)
2. The Rascals
- Once Upon a Dream (1968)
3. Summer of Love
(Rhino compilation) (1986)
4. Ramones - End of the Century (1980)
5. R.E.M. - Out of Time (1990)
6. Prince & The Revolution - Around the World in a Day (1985)
7. Stone Temple Pilots - Tiny Music... (1996)
8. The Who - Sell Out (1967)
9. T.Rex - Electric Warrior (1971)
10. Beach Boys - Ten Years of Harmony (1981)

Revision/addition: I totally forgot one, which I would probably put at 6.5 on the list (so I guess that makes this a "Top 11" list):

6.5. Go-Go's - Talk Show (1984)

On my turntable: Ramones - End of the Century

I bought my first copy of this album five years after its release, in the spring of '85, at my college bookstore. It remains one of my top 10 favorite spring albums of all time (is that another top 10 list I smell cooking??).

End of the Century (1980) is both loved and hated by Ramones fans. I agree that this Phil Spector-produced album was a great departure for the band, but that's one of the things I love about it. The songs are well written, and yes, over-produced, but they glisten with a sheen not found on previous Ramones records (which is one reason some fans hate it). Many of the songs are now considered Ramones classics: "Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio?", "Chinese Rock", "The Return of Jackie & Judy","Rock & Roll High School", and "Danny Says".

Video:
"Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio?"

"Rock & Roll High School" ("live" tv performance, 1980)
"Baby I Love You" (Top of the Pops, 1980)
"This Ain't Havana" (live, 1980)
"Let's Go" (live, 1980)
"Chinese Rock" (live, 1981)
"I'm Affected" (live, 1981)

LIAR

I'm not a big fan of using shame on people, but I gotta say, to those of you who voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004: Shame on you. There was already enough evidence that they were filthy liars prior to the '04 elections, yet some of you still chose 4 more years of lies.

You had your reasons. Some of you held on to the dream that Bush would successfully reverse women's reproductive rights. Others believed that he would enshrine discrimination against gay folks into the constitution with a hateful (and ironically unconstitutional) national marriage amendment. Then there were those of you who believed Bush when he said that he was capable of finishing what he started in Iraq, and that somehow Iraq is better off now than they were before we illegally invaded their country and killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

Discrimination, prejudice, and killing. Ah yes. Family values.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Look Through My Window

Beautiful afternoon in Minneapolis. I like the washed-out, lo-fi quality of this pic.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Real McCain

I've seen this on three different blogs already tonight. I guess if all the other kids are doing it I should do it too. Seriously, though - videos like this one help to expose some of McCain's wishy-washiness. I encourage everyone to watch the video and pass it on. That's right, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, you heard me.

9:24 pm

On my turntable: Billy Preston - That's The Way God Planned It

Billy Preston is considered by many to be the "Fifth Beatle" (a title that probably belongs to Sir George Martin, but Billy is definitely the sixth, IMO). He was tight with the band, and when they established Apple Records, Billy was one of the artists they signed.

That's the Way God Planned It
(1969), produced by George Harrison, was Billy's first record on Apple. What is unique about this album (and it's follow-up, Encouraging Words (1970)) is its mix of gospel, blues, and rock. While Preston was hardly the only artist to marry these genres, he was one of the pioneers.

Video:
"That's the Way God Planned It" - from the Concert for Bangladesh

Ellen

In case you missed it, Ellen announced her wedding plans on Friday's show, and got a standing ovation. Pretty sweet.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Adam & Steve

I was reading a post at Andrew Sullivan's blog that got me thinking. Many conservatives cite the book of Genesis as "proof" that marriage is intended for one man and one woman. Let's take a look at this: If we forget everything that science has taught us, and we believe in creationism, then we believe that God created Adam one day, and then created Eve from one of Adam's ribs so that Adam could have a companion. OK that's all nice and everything, but nowhere in the story is there anything saying "And God held a legal, civil marriage ceremony for Adam & Eve, and it was good ." Marriage was not mentioned, as far as I know, so it doesn't make sense to tie Genesis to how we define marriage today. Also, just because God did not create Adam and Steve that same week in the Garden of Eden does not mean that God did not create them. God is capable of lots of big things. If God can create the world in seven days, he can create people of the same sex who are attracted to one another.

My point to all of this is that using the Bible as the absolute TRUTH makes no sense. We no longer have a reality that mirrors anything in the book of Genesis. It frightens me that there are people that still take every friggin' syllable and letter of the Bible literally. Oh wait - except for the parts where Jesus talked about how hate was a bad thing, and how we should love one another. I forget that some people's Bibles say that we're supposed to hate gay people, Muslims, and Mexican illegal immigrants.

Thanks for reading yet another of my rants.

On my turntable: Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed

There's a definite dark quality to this album. Part of it is undoubtedly from the track "Gimme Shelter", which evokes the tragedy at Altamont. Another is the fact that Let It Bleed (1969) was the last original Stones record to include Brian Jones, who died the summer before the album was released. It was also the first album to feature Brian's replacement, Mick Taylor.

Dark qualities aside, Bleed is a great, and very consistent, album. After abandoning the psychedelic greatness of albums like Flowers (1967) and Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967), and the bare-bones basics of Beggar's Banquet (1968), this album marked a bold return to their blues-influenced roots, with a bit more sex, booze, & rock swagger in the mix.

Video:
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
-(on David Frost w/Mick Taylor, 1969)
"Midnight Rambler"
-(Hyde Park concert, soon after Brian's death, July '69)
"Love In Vain"
-(also from the Hyde Park concert)
"You Can't Always Get..."
-(1968 w/Brian, from The Stones' R&R Circus)

"Gimme Shelter" trailer - for the Altamont concert film

Turntablism

Today's thrift store acquisition.
Turntablism t-shirt: 3 bucks.

Bring it on.

Great discussion between conservative Tony Perkins and columnist Dan Savage with Anderson Cooper on CNN yesterday.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Rocks

Thanks again to Jan for giving me the heads up on this one. Fantastic news.

From HRC.org:

"This is a historic day for the state of California, and a long-awaited day for the plaintiffs in this case and their families," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The California Supreme Court has made clear that same-sex couples in committed relationships and their families deserve the same level of respect afforded to opposite-sex couples. The court did its job by ensuring that the state constitution provides the same rights and protections for everyone. This is a decision that strengthens California families."

Razzle Dazzle

Another one of my vintage TV-on-DVD prayers has been answered.

The complete Hudson Brothers' Razzle Dazzle Show is getting released June 3rd on a 3-disc set. The Hudson Brothers were not only a hilarious comic trio -- they were also one of the most sorely overlooked power-pop acts of the 1970's (on par with The Raspberries, The Rollers, and Big Star, IMO).


(more info at tvshowsonDVD.net)

More meme

Here's another meme I found on a stranger's blog. I've confessed to having a distaste for these things, and yet this is probably the fifth one I've posted here. Oh well, C'est la vie. As always, feel free to post your own answers, or post a link to the answers on your blog...

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:16 a.m.
2. Diamonds or pearls? Is this a Prince reference?
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Probably "Ratatouille".
4. What is your favorite TV show(s)? 30 Rock, Top Chef, SNL
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Sadly, I usually skip breakfast. When I do eat breakfast it's usually a bowl of Smart Start with soymilk, and half a pot of coffee.
6. What is your middle name? Alan
7. What food do you dislike? Eggplant.
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? The only CDs I listen to are the mix CDs we make for the car. My favorite LP at the moment is probably The Hives' B&W album.
9. What time is it right now? Hammer time.
10. Favorite Sandwich? Grilled tofurky & soy swiss.
11. What characteristic do you despise? Bigotry.
12. Favorite item of clothing? Grey Izod cardigan.
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Switzerland. I have ancestral roots there, plus Leo & I could get legally married there. I envision a lovely wedding on the Swiss Alps, followed by a cozy cup of Swiss Miss. And yodeling.
14. Where would you retire to? Saranac Lake, NY. Gorgeous.
15. What was your most memorable birthday? I don't remember. Let's go with 30.
16. Furthest place you are sending this? I don't get this question.
17. Person you expect to send it back? OH - now I get it. Dunno.
18. Morning person or a night person? I used to be a morning person, but since starting grad school again full time, I've adapted. So I'll say both.
19. What is your shoe size? 8.5
20. Pets? Simon & Austin.
21. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share with us? I just finished a full academic year of 8xxx level Statistics.
22. What did you want to be when you were little? The fifth Monkee.
23. How are you today? Just dandy, thanks. Very thoughtful of you to ask.
24. What is your favorite flower? Gerber daisy.
25. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? dunno.
26. What are you listening to right now? Ellen Degeneres
27. What was the last thing that you ate? Last night's Jack's cheese pizza.
28. Do you wish on stars? No - don't be dumb.
29. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Good God. Who would want to be a crayon?
30. How is the weather right now? Perfect.
31. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My brother.
32. Favorite soft drink? Vault Zero.
33. Favorite restaurant? Khin Do
34. What was your favorite toy as a child? Close N' Play phonograph.
35. Summer or Winter? I'm an autumn person. I like/dislike Summer & Winter equally. No wait - Summer.
36. Chocolate or vanilla? dark chocolate.
37. Coffee or Tea? Coffee please.
38. Do you want your friends to email you back? ok.
39. When was the last time you cried? Why do these memes always ask this question?
40. What is under your bed? Sheets, misc storage, lots of dust.
41. What did you do last night? Half-price Books w/Leo, bunny time, couch, TV.
42. What are you afraid of? Nuclear war. And carnies.
43. Salty or Sweet? Salty. Way too much salty, on practically everything.
44. How many keys on your key ring? I don't know and I'm not going to get up off of the couch to find out. You heard me.
45. How many years at your current job? 9 months in current position, although 7th year working at the U of MN.
46. Favorite day of the Week? Saturday.
47. Do you make friends easily? Superficial friendships, sure. Tight close-knit friendships are not as easy because they take time and effort. I have a short attention span.
48. How many people will you send this to? Zer0.
49. How many will respond? I'll guess one or two.
50. Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends? Yes.

12:14 am

The Look of Love - Claudine Longet

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happiness is...


...a fancy new bottle of discwasher record cleaning fluid.

Nothin' says lovin'
like a freshly cleaned LP.

day 1

So today is the first full day of me being done with Spring semester. Sounds dramatic, I know, but this was a rigorous semester. Today I submitted final grades for my smarty pants students, and this afternoon some of my fellow instructors and I are headed out for a little happy hour. I'm hoping that a petit fin de la limite celebration will help me put the cap on Spring, since at this point I still don't feel finished. Seems like I should still have a paper to write or something.

Monday, May 12, 2008

finals week

I received an email today from one of my students who is stressing out about a couple of finals he has later this week. I finished my finals today (see previous entry), but for most students at the U of M, finals week is just getting started. So this goes out to all my students, who have kicked some serious butt this semester. (click on comic for larger version).
BTW - if anyone knows where I can get me one of these coffee IVs, let me know. Thanks.
Comic from PhDcomics.com

3:35 pm

done.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Final Countdown

My spring semester ends in 23 hours and 43 minutes.
Ze deadline she approachez...

Friday, May 09, 2008

"Straight A Burrito"

This commercial makes me laugh every time I see it. The funniest part is 16 seconds in, when Whiplash plays to the camera. Pure genius.

I just got angry for a second

Sometimes I forget that not everyone is surrounded by people who accept them for who they are. I'm talking about folks who work in places that will fire you for being gay or lesbian, or who live in states or cities that are crazy obsessed with the gays (and not in a good way). And WTF is with these "pro-family" groups that are so anti-gay? How does this make sense? Do they think that gay people don't have families? How does condemning gay people help families? I keep coming back to Lawrence King, who was shot dead by a classmate earlier this year because he was gay. There are self-proclaimed God-fearing "pro-family" people that actually think Lawrence deserved what he got, because he shouldn't have been who he was. I see. So God should not have made Lawrence gay. So God screwed up, is that it?

Yup, still angry. And my stomach hurts.

Look Through My Window

Coffman Union, 7:15 am.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

8:52 pm

Latest thrift store acquisition.
Smile mug: 60 cents.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Chuck

My uncle Chuck passed away last week. My cousin has a nice tribute on her blog, in which she mentions Chuck's terrific laugh. I don't think I can describe his laugh in a way that does it justice; it was spirited and boisterous, and would frequently burst out of him mid-sentence, framing the second half of the sentence in this loud chortle. It was awesome.

We'll miss ya, Chuck.

Monday, May 05, 2008

On my turntable: Fleetwood Mac - Tusk

Tusk (1979) is not an instantly accessible album. It took me close to 25 years to fully warm up to it, but I admit that I quite like it now. One thing that still annoys me at times is that many of Lindsey's songs were recorded largely by Lindsey himself, with little instrumental input from the band. The result is some songs that feature the signature rhythm section of Fleetwood and McVie, and others that obviously do not have that foundation (Lindsey's drumming in particular is very simple and un-Fleetwood-like). I like Lindsey's songs, but they sound out of step with the rest of the album. Still, Tusk holds an interesting place in Fleetwood Mac's history, and it is what it should be.

7:23 am

I love the architecture on this campus. Friggin love it.

I've got a busy day today, with teaching, grading papers, and preparing for a presentation. The next seven days are hectic, but I'll get through. At this time next week I'll be mostly finished with Spring 08 semester.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Still???

I'm on the couch procrastinating schoolwork, and I've got CNN on mute. The headlines? "Rev. Wright Controversy" and "The Wright Effect". Why are we still talking about this? Do Americans really give a shit? If so, they need to look around for a minute to see the real problems in this country. The media keep using words like "scandal" with this story, and it is so not even scandalous, for godsakes. After the commercial break they'll probably continue the panel discussion about the Hannah Montanta naked shoulder scandal.

"Help me Lord"

Soooo last night on my way to bed I took a bit of a tumble down the steps. I had my laptop tucked under my arm, so when I fell I made sure to protect the computer, but my body took a bit of a bruising in the process. It was two in the morning, and the noise from my elbows and ankles banging on half a flight of wooden stairs was pretty loud. It woke Leo and probably scared the poop out of the rabbits. The whole scene reminded me of this bit from Eddie Murphy:

On my turntable: The Hives - Black & White Album

R A W K !

If there is a Hives album that's better than this one, I'd like to hear it. I saw The Hives in February at First Avenue, and they were great, although a bit exhausting. In the weeks following the show I would hear songs from the new LP that I recognized from the show, which is always a sign of a memorable song. Tonight I gave in and bought the full-length LP (shown here).

Best song on the album (IMO): "Try It Again".

Video:
"Tick Tick Boom"
Hives at First Ave 2/28/08

Saturday, May 03, 2008

ABC

A to Z survey, stolen from someone else's blog (with my answers, obviously):

A is for age: 42
B is for beer of choice: Grain Belt, which originated in my homeland of NE Minneapolis.
C is for career: Higher Education/Student Affairs/Administration
D is for your dog's name? I don't have a dog, but I often refer to our rabbits as my puppy dawgs. Their names are Austin and Simon.
E is for essential item you use everyday: Turntable
F is for favorite TV: 30 Rock
G is for favorite game: Phoenix, my all-time favorite arcade game.
H is for home town: Nordeast Minneapolis.
I is for instruments you play: Guitar, bass, drums, keys, percussion.
J is for favorite juice: Orange
K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: Well, I'm always trying to adopt a more peaceful lifestyle, so I don't really want to kick anyone's butt. Having said that, I'd love to see Bush & Cheney get a taste of what torture is like, since they seem to have such a love affair with it.
L is for last place you ate: tonight's wedding reception in Brooklyn Park.
M is for marriage: Seriously, at tonight's wedding both Leo and I were boldly reminded of how gay folks are second class citizens in our own country. Equal rights for ALL AMERICANS. Now.
N is for your full name: Jeffrey Alan Anderson
O is for overnight hospital stays: Now here's a survey question you don't see every day. Tonsillectomy (4th grade), plus a half dozen hospital stays for surgery or observation as a result of the crohn's disease.
P is for people you were with today: Leo, plus the folks at tonight's wedding and reception.
Q is for quote: "You can have everything if you let yourself be." -- Donovan ("Happiness Runs")
R is for biggest regret: Yikes. I have regrets over the amount of time I've wasted regretting things. Regret serves no useful purpose, in my opinion. Live & learn, make amends if necessary, then move on.
S is for status: Slightly stuffed up from seasonal allergies at the moment.
T is for time you woke up today: 6-something AM.
U is for underwear you have on now: This is totally something that nobody needs to know (briefs).
V is for vegetable you love: Potatoes.
W is for worst habit: Sometimes I burp in public because I forget I'm not at home.
X is for x-rays you've had: Good lord. I couldn't even name them all. I've had lots.
Y is for yummy food you ate today: I don't care for the word "yummy", but I did have a pleasant spinach salad at the wedding reception.
Z is for the zodiac sign: All the way Pisces, baby.

Friday, May 02, 2008

On my turntable: Splinter - The Place I Love

The only two things preventing The Place I Love (1974) from being a George Harrison album are a) George didn't write the songs, and b) the vocals are by Splinter. All other elements basically make this the same as any of George's records from the mid-to-latter part of the 70's. The LP was produced by George, recorded in his studio, released on his personal record label (Dark Horse), and the songs published through his publishing company (Ganga Publishing). The majority of the musicians are the same guys George used on his own records: Klaus Voorman, Jim Keltner, Billy Preston, Willie Weeks, Gary Wright. George himself plays multiple instruments, credited on the LP under the fake names of Hari Georgeson, Jai Raj Harisein, and P. Roducer. With all of these great ingredients you'd think you'd have a really swell album, but the songs, for the most part, are bland and uninteresting.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

5:57 pm

With the end of the semester quickly approaching, this is what our coffee table looks like: empty soda cans, coffee, drafts of homework, unopened mail, and Vegemite packets.

Mmmm Vegemite.