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24 December 2006

happy christmas, everybody. see you in the new year (or maybe before, who knows?).

19 December 2006

susanne, you're all that i wanted of a girl

it's been a while, no? i'll bet you were worried. visions of my beaten, dusty fingers poking through a tiny hole in the ground above my cell in some top secret prison would wake you from your sleep, drenched in sweat, heart heavy with dread.

well, fear not. i'm fine. in fact, i'm great. god, nothing saps the blogging momentum right out of me like a good mood. i've been working when i should be working, playing video games when i get a chance, and spending a lot of time out on the town doing the kind of things that i think anyone who lives in this town should try to make time to do regularly. eating in questionably sanitary places, drinking in dismally unsanitary places, catching a show here and there. lather, rinse, repeat.

i'm really insecure about my holiday gift-giving prowess. that's something i can talk about for a minute. a lot of people i know are really great at picking the perfect gift. i become paralyzed by the fear that whatever gift i may have picked is less than perfect, which causes me to keep looking, which makes me leave everything until the last minute, which creates more panic. i'm just a bundle of nerves. and huge muscles.

i had been cautiously optimistic that they're more afraid of you than you are of them would make pitchfork's annual top albums list, but those assholes must have been under a rock all year. i guess there's always next time. i'm kidding, btw. christ. don't look at me like that.

03 December 2006

a tourist in my own town

this weekend i went on a walking "tour" of queens and brooklyn. i put "tour" in quotation marks (twice now) because i expected it to involve some knowledgable person telling me what i was looking at. not the case. there were a few highlights, though.

we started in long island city at this gigantic art space complex that is covered in sanctioned graffiti (there's a guy you're supposed to email for permission before you go to work). inside are studios, and it happened to be "open studios" this weekend so we strolled on through and peeked in at people doing all kinds of weird shit dressed in all kinds of weird clothes. oh, how badly do i wish i understood art. really though, it was cool. above is a pretty good picture of my eyelids. my dad closes his eyes in basically every picture we ever take of him. maybe i'm turning into my dad. which really isn't such a bad thing at all. he walks around the yard in his underpants all the time.

then we went to the pier. it's right across the water from midtown manhattan, so as you can imagine, there's quite a view. this is one of the many times an actual guide to the "tour" would have come in handy, since i have lived in this city for two years now and i still don't know the names of any of those buildings. honestly.

probably the biggest thrill for me (please don't ask me why, i have no good answer) was walking across the bridge whose name i already forget that goes right over the midtown tunnel and connects long island city (queens) to green point (brooklyn). this is also where my camera's battery died.

in green point we ate pierogies and "pyzy" which is a sort of potato dumpling filled with meat. i wish i had a picture of it because it's quite imposing (and quite good). then we took a break at this bar where a bunch of people in the group i was in ordered coffee based drinks because it was chilly and there was a big sign encouraging people to do so to fight the cold. not me, though. i got a beer. later the bartender not-so-subtly flipped out to a coworker saying he was a bartender not a fucking barrista and he was going to kill whoever made that sign. saw that one coming.

the purpose of the break at the bar was for everyone to regain their strength before the final push to dumbo, but for me, it served only to sap me of any desire to continue. so soon after we left the bar, i left the group in the middle of williamsburg and wandered around until i found a subway. then i didn't get on it because i had to pee really bad so i found a mcdonalds.

if you're into it, there are a few more pics up at flickr.

21 November 2006

nothing to see here

my hair is really long. i'm probably going to cut it soon and i haven't been taking many pictures lately so i figured i would take this to document the longest my hair will probably ever be in my entire life.

monday was sean's birthday. so monday morning before work i trimmed my you-know-where hairs in the shower and i forgot to clean out the drain trap. happy birthday.

i fully expected to be writing you an obituary for roddy by now given the dodgy recent history of my aquarium's inhabitants, but i am happy to report that the little guy is as healthy as can be. but still probably retarded.

which one of you crazy people told bob lefsetz about my sweatshirt?

this weekend i went to the brooklyn museum to see some art. this one guy makes life-like sculptures of people only they're a lot bigger or smaller than in real life. all of them peer suspiciously out of the corners of their eyes which is majorly creepy. this one naked bald guy was huge. his balls were as big as my head! so cool.

but at the brooklyn museum admission is contingent on a "suggested donation" which is total bullshit because when you hand them a $20 bill they don't ask you how much you want back they just give you change for the suggested donation. i'm happy to pay a standard admission price. just call it "admission." god damn.

the new brand new record is pretty good.

driving to work today i was thinking about death. forgive me if this gets heavy. i was wondering what the last thought that passes through my brain will be. i hope it's not "who farted?"

13 November 2006

meet roddy

i thought you might like to meet roddy (pictured here becoming sentient of himself, imagine that little brain firing on all cylinders at the wonder of it all). roddy joined the family on an uncharacteristically warm and rainy november day. i named him after roddy woomble from idlewild. he cost $4. you can find a few more pictures of roddy on flickr if you care to. they're blurry because it's really hard to get the little guy to stand still. i think he might be retarded (but i don't love him any less).

here's some geekspeek: as of today i'm publishing this blog with blogger beta (instead of blogger) which basically means i get to tag posts for even greater searchability and category functionality. i'm kinda excited about it, provided that it works. i guess if you're reading this then it does. i'll go back and tag old posts as i find the time. that is to say, i won't. because i got gears of war today and actually i might as well tell you now that you surely won't hear from me again for months because i'll be busy with that. so uh...later.

07 November 2006


please please get out and vote sometime today. it'll make you feel good. if you don't know where your polling place is, go to and they'll help you out.

05 November 2006

endless mike and the beagle club at goodbye blue monday

"do you know what this is?"

mike was holding a plastic dinosaur that he had found lying around somewhere inside goodbye blue monday. the whole place is littered with old stuff. all of it is for sale, reportedly. none of it has price tags though. i smiled and shook his hand.

"it's a dinosaur," i said.

"yeah, but what kind?"

avoiding the question because i couldn't remember, i launched into a story about my childhood. "you know, when i was a kid i was convinced i wanted to be a paleontologist and when i told my first grade teacher that she had to ask me what it was."

"the exact same thing happened to me," he said. "at first i felt smart but then we did a dinosaur unit and the teacher kept singling me out, asking 'is that right, mike?' after everything she said. it made me feel like a freak so finally i just said 'i don't like dinosaurs anymore.' but do you want me to tell you what it is? or will it drive you crazy that you couldn't remember?"

"it's on the tip of my tongue. but yeah, go ahead."

"pachycephalosaurus." that's not what was on the tip of my tongue. "when me and matt were kids we were in the drug store with our grandma and we wanted to buy a book because we thought it was godzilla but really it was about dinosaurs and that ended up being the book we used to learn to read. and i guess we just kinda kept going and going and soon enough it was paleontology text books from the library."

mike is this easy to talk to. like an old friend the minute he's a friend at all. and it's partly this willingness to reveal what's underneath in such detail (even when it's just dinosaur enthusiasm) that makes him the gifted songwriter that he is. i'm talking, of course, about mike miller, from endless mike and the beagle club (matt, his brother, is also in the band).

we spent most of the time before the show started reading books we found on the shelf near our table (male sexuality, 101 questions and answers about welding, etc.) and stacking cans of $2 pbr.

a guy named drew opened the show with an acoustic guitar. he was pretty good, but he didn't have any cds with him or anything.

endless mike and the beagle club

and then, spilling off the stage like they often do, the beagle club took over. i've tried before to put the energy this band has into words and i've always failed. maybe energy isn't even the right word. it's more of a feeling. some members never stop dancing. and some hardly ever leave their position, sitting on the corner of the stage and playing whatever handheld percussion the song calls for. but there's a unity in the group, such that every role, from biggest to smallest, is equally dedicated to creating this experience. endless mike and the beagle club delight in blurring the line between rock concert and performance art. anyone who has ever sat around and dreamed of being in a band has dreamed of being in a band like this one. i can't think of any band i've ever seen that's more authentic.

and the songs are just so good. god damn are they good.

the husky tenor, a record i've been waiting for with baited breath, is finally done and i got my hands on it friday night. in lieu of liner notes, the package contains a six page hand-written letter from mike. a sort of stream of consciousness about what the band means to him and about free will and decision making and it closes with an invitation to discuss it all further with mike's email address and, if you're a fan of pen and paper, his mailing address.

the husky tenor

i, for one, intend on writing him. and you, well you should find a way to see this band in concert. and you should order this record, which i believe will eventually be available here. and you should never ever tell me that rock and roll is dead because i will tell you exactly where it is alive and well.

here's a picture of sean holding a cat. a cat that apparently lives at goodbye blue monday. there are lots more pictures of the show up at flickr.

03 November 2006

not sure what the 'm' stands for

what would lefsetz do?

if you've been then you know and if you haven't then you're just going to have to believe me when i tell you that the cmj festival in new york is the most concentrated hipster circle jerkery you will ever witness in your entire life. the bands are cool, (not that you can ever actually get in to see any of them). even some of the people are cool. but for some reason when you put it all together it becomes a room way too full of people you don't want to talk to blahblahblah'ing about bands you probably wouldn't think are all that great if you had even ever heard of them and it's not like i think i'm free from guilt when it comes to that because i know i'm not but come the fuck on.

30 October 2006

all i wanted was a strawberry shake.

he is furious. absolutely fuming. it's been at least five minutes without so much as apologetic eye contact from the brown-toothed girl behind the counter and she seems shockingly unconcerned with his growing urgency. to consume his hamburger sometime this month. he turns to look behind him, grasping for any human contact to validate his rage. i avoid eye contact.

i can stare at anyone, see every little thing they do, catch every facial expression, and never make eye contact. i learned it on the subway.

"do you know how to work this thing?" he asks her. he is going to ask for a refund. to make a statement. he certainly hasn't stopped wanting that hamburger. she only smiles and cocks her head. i begin to wonder if i can tackle him if he tries to leap the counter and strangle her. also i wonder if she is retarded.

finally his food comes and he stomps out of the burger king. i bet he'll be back.

my turn. "i'll have a whopper with cheese, a small fr..." i trail off. because she has walked away. to stare at the hamburgers behind her. a minute goes by. maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

"one second," she says, half over her shoulder. the man behind us in line with his two fat kids ("i'm going to get a quad-stacker," the little one keeps repeating) starts to look like he's losing his nerve. "are you guys sure you don't want to go to mcdonalds?" he asks them. mcdonalds is, of course, less than a block away. boy are these kids fat. i bet they're nice though. as long as you aren't between them and their quad-stackers.

she's back. i wonder if i should start over or just keep going. " small strawberry shake and one small chocolate shake..."

"no chocolate. no strawberry. only vanilla."

the only reason i even came in here (besides to pee in the toilet that didn't flush automatically like it's supposed to and didn't even have a handle for manual override) was for a strawberry shake. "ok. two small vanilla shakes. and a small chicken nuggets."

a man with a thick mustache fading into a few days of growth everywhere else stumbles into the restaurant. he is about six feet, about two hundred pounds, wearing a flannel shirt and a vest and dirty work pants and the kind of trucker's hat that only real truckers wear. he is bawling his eyes out. "i'm sorry..." he blubbers to his companion (who can be described in exactly the same way, only with lighter hair and no mustache). they don't get in line. they just set up opposite each other in a booth and they hold hands over the table and they weep. i put my hands in my pockets and wait for her to ask me for my money. it takes a while.

"you were always there for me..." i hear from the increasingly tear-dampened booth behind me. i can't shake the urge to guess their story. one is drunk. he is crying more than the other and he can barely walk.

i take our tray to the ketchup station. i can act normal no matter what is going on around me. i learned how on the subway.

this isn't a vanilla shake. this is vanilla soft serve in a cup. it is really fucking hard to suck soft serve ice cream through a straw when there are grown men sobbing like children behind you and ketchup and mayonnaise all over your hands from the sloppiest whopper ever made.

the first crying man stumbles towards the men's room, and after fumbling with the handle, he disappears behind the door. i remember how slippery the floor was in there and i remember why and i hope he doesn't fall down because that would make his night even worse. this whopper has a lot of onions on it. i need a napkin.

we manage to talk about it without looking. we can hear them but they can't hear us. we know how to do this from riding the subway.

and then he comes out and they leave. and then we do. and my hands continue to smell like ketchup for hours.

21 October 2006

yes, please.

i am a godawful photographer. seriously. but today was taste of chinatown and i sit here in my room satisfied, victorious, and not much poorer than i was when i woke up. 

the basic idea is you give these people on the street one or two dollars and they give you a bit of whatever they serve in their restaurant and you keep moving. it's a zoo. a delicious, albeit slightly suspicious, zoo.

we found a little store down there that sold all kinds of weapons and ninja suits (yes, really) and it's really a certifiable miracle that i kept my wallet in my pants and didn't leave that place with a set of swords to display in my living room or something. that would've been soooo sweet.

18 October 2006

today would be a good day to write a manifesto

i stayed home from work today because when i woke up i felt like total bullcrap. but then i went back to bed after making the phone call and slept until 2:30pm and now i feel much better. thing about my job is, even though it's only an 8 hour work day just like everybody else, once you've factored in the commute my whole day is basically gone. right now i would just be getting out of work had i gone, but i still wouldn't be home to get anything done for probably an hour and a half to two hours. i can't really believe i wasted that many words explaining the plight of the modern working man like i'm the only one in the world with a crappy commute.

the point is that with this extra time in my day today like a little gift from the fates, i should do something productive. like write a manifesto.

but then after staring at a blinking cursor* for about forty-five minutes i realized that very few of my opinions, intentions, objectives, or motives are complex enough to warrant much more than a collection of bullet points, which isn't so much a "manifesto." more like a "mission statement," which just doesn't sit right with me as a term. too corporate sounding. side note: when i hear the words "action items" i get a little pain in my abdomen.

so, no manifesto then. instead a long rambling post about nothing. which is what this blog used to be all about before i started being too busy to write sweet longwinded nothings in it every day. i hope you're not too disappointed.

* don't you think "the blinking cursors" would be a sweet band name? or maybe "the blinking cursers." i've got about 20 more great ideas for band names that i'll never use. damn.

15 October 2006

a day of extremes

yesterday, on a tip from one of the few friends i have who is actually doing something with his life that his parents are probably really proud of (he's an architect), i went to see the zaha hadid (she's an architect) exhibit at the guggenheim museum. if you've never been there, you progress through exhibits at that museum by slowly ascending a gigantic spiral rotunda. i've only been there twice and my knees have hurt me when i've left each time. which is not the point. the point is that the exhibit begins with all these crazy drawings that you smugly think to yourself could never be real buildings and then you see in the caption on the wall that the project was never built and you pat yourself on the back for being so practical and wise. but when you get up to the top you see all the shit that has been built or is in the process of being built and it's much crazier. cool exhibit.

then, lest i close the book on a day with too much good culture karma, i watched jackass: number two. which has a scene (i'm sure if you've seen it you know which one i'm talking about) that made me run to the rest room and dry heave. awesome.

lastly: if you haven't listened to the new record from the hold steady yet, please do. it's really good. even pitchfork says so. you can stream the whole record free here.

12 October 2006

set s#$t on fire

i'm posting mostly because i'm sick of the top post being a shrine to my dorkdom and because i just got my ass thoroughly kicked by some nasty shit-talking little kids who have way more time than i do. and i'm basically beside myself with frustration and i've no right to be bragging about my video game skills(z) after a performance like that. son of a bitch. f.

also i'm posting because i put a bunch of music up at and i certainly don't expect you to "buy" it there since i give it away for free here but if you've got some time to kill it's a pretty neat site and you might find some other stuff you like. be in on the ground floor and all that. and while you're at it you might say something nice about my songs so that more strangers might check them out. you know, if you want. no pressure and no hard feelings either way.

to get your creative juices flowing here are some things other people have said:

"Great gunge/emo/viking track that makes you want to cry and set s#$t on fire at the same time"

"An interesting attempt to satirize the Frat scene. Guitar is strong. Voice is too much of a whisper. Needs more conviction to emphasize the satire. This is a very white song and will only have limited play as a Weird Al type of niche..."

really? seriously?

oh, and have you heard the new copeland record? it's not really out yet so i won't be shocked if you say you haven't but there's a song on there called "control freak" that i think is pretty darn good and i keep listening to it over and over.

09 October 2006


this guy was awesome.
  • the first time i ever played soul caliber in the arcade i beat it on one credit. i have never repeated this, but it was pretty awesome. my friend kevin was there i think.
  • it takes me a while, but i can trudge through super street fighter 2 on the hardest setting. if you have never tried this, it's really really hard.
  • i didn't kiss a girl until i was like a senior in high school. wait. how did that get in there?
  • i can beat contra without the 30 lives code. most of the time without continuing. this is trivial and you should also be able to.
  • i may or may not still hold some high scores on q*bert at barcade.
  • i never beat double dragon 3. not even with game genie. that game is fucking impossible.
  • one time at this laser tag place with my family i got first place against a bunch of little kids three times in a row.

04 October 2006

things i think about in the car

part of my daily commute is on the belt parkway in brooklyn. for the most part it sucks because there's always traffic and it's kinda bumpy and people drive like maniacs but there's this one part on the way home where you come over this little crest and the verrazano-narrows bridge (not just part of it, the whole thing) comes into view all at once and it's a little bit majestic. i don't think i'll ever get sick of it.

i think one of the most important skills a guy can learn is how to compliment a woman on her appearance without coming off like the grossest slimeball on the planet.

idlewild might be the best band in the known universe but they are only the third best band in scotland. wrap your head around that.

i wrote a song last night.

01 October 2006

imagine all the people

please take some time out of your busy schedule and go see the u.s. vs john lennon at a theater near you sometime soon. it's a documentary about the nixon's administration's failed attempt to silence one of their most vocal critics. 

the most interesting part, for me, was the way john and yoko used the tabloid's obsession with them as a weapon. i would say that none of the tabloid darlings of today have the balls to pull something like that off but i think sadly it's that the tabloids lose interest pretty quickly if you start giving a shit. that doesn't sell magazines like scientology and bad parenting does. try finding george clooney in the rags these days. not as easy as it used to be, is it?

i originally included the trailer in this post but internet explorer is stupid (get firefox) and won't allow me to resize so if you want to see the trailer (which you should) click here.

25 September 2006

oh suck

so it looks like the version of the record that i uploaded to rapidshare doesn't work anymore. that was "mirror 1." at this point i kinda think most people who really wanted the record have downloaded it so i'm not going to bother replacing that mirror.

if you haven't downloaded it yet and you want it, it's available and it always will be right from this very site if you use "mirror 2" on the music page. I didn't advertise it before because i didn't want to get f'd on bandwidth usage since i pay for very little pipe but i think going forward unless one of these songs ends up on laguna beach or something i'll be able to handle the traffic.

i'm going to spend a bunch of time tonight changing around some of the lesser-used parts of because i'm bored, basically. yep.

21 September 2006

it's like you said. all i am is what i'm going after.

i suppose it was only a matter of time before this fairy tale ended and cold, hard reality reared its antennaed head. today on the front porch of my new apartment, i saw the biggest goddamn centipede i have ever seen in my entire life. granted i'd never seen one at all until 2003, but this one was still by far the biggest. not so much longer, but definitely fatter. and faster. and greyish, instead of the usual brownish yellow. 

we're talking about as thick as a cigarette. at least a virginia slim. i thought about running upstairs to get my camera and running back down to get a shot to show you, but then i figured he and i would probably meet again soon enough in probably a much more uncomfortable situation (maybe he'll dart out from underneath my comforter in the morning when it ended up on the floor the night before) because that's just how my experiences with these guys seem to go.

why didn't i just kill it, you ask? because i fear and respect and honor him as my enemy. and because he was not technically inside a combat zone (the house) and because he didn't make any sudden movements in my direction, we just shared a moment and went our separate ways, both knowing that one day, it might not end so peacefully. you know the scene in heat where pacino pulls deniro over on the highway and then they have coffee in some diner and then at the end they tell each other that now that they've met face to face if they have to kill each other they won't hesitate because that's who they are and that's what they do but they won't enjoy it? it was kinda like that. 

i'm pacino. or i guess "vincent hanna."

Vincent Hanna: You know, we are sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellas. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we've been face to face, if I'm there and I gotta put you away, I won't like it. But I tell you, if it's between you and some poor bastard whose wife you're gonna turn into a widow, brother, you are going down.
Neil McCauley: There is a flip side to that coin. What if you do got me boxed in and I gotta put you down? Cause no matter what, you will not get in my way. We've been face to face, yeah. But I will not hesitate. Not for a second.

18 September 2006

if i drew this by hand it wouldn't look much better

i always carry my camera around with me but i never think to take pictures with it so i can't really show you what i'm talking about. but i went to a pizza place today on the upper west side near columbia university that had the hugest pizza slices of all time. and i was really in the mood for pizza.

since i didn't take a picture while i was there i drew you one tonight when i got home:

here comes the aeroplane open up the hangar

i've been listening to a lot of placebo this weekend.

14 September 2006

still in boston. maybe forever.

hey again. another expensive wifi dispatch, this time from logan airport, this time even more pointless than the last. my flight's been severely delayed because it's raining in new york.

conferences like the one i was just at basically consist of smiling and shaking hands and playing nice all day long and then drinking too much at night and waking up too early in the morning to do it all again. and after three days in a row of it the absolute last thing you want to find out is that your flight has been delayed and you're going to have to sit in an airport.

well, maybe the absolute last thing you'd want to find out is that there's a kitchen grease fire in your hair and water will do nothing to kill the flames. or that you have an aggressive intestinal parasite. but flight delays are up there.

13 September 2006

know thyself


the reason i am poor and always will be is that i strongly and seriously considered plunking down ten dollars for this.

11 September 2006

business trip

i'm in boston for work. it costs $10 to get on the internet from my hotel room but i paid it because i wanted to tell you how i was in the bathroom today at the convention center and i heard a guy on the phone with his bookie while he was doing #2 and he put $50 on washington for the game tonight.

i just checked and they lost. haha potty guy.

omg and i just heard someone watching a dirty movie through my wall. this hotel is too fancy for shenanigans like that.

my laptop battery is dying. later.

10 September 2006

a picture is worth a thousand words

so i'll let this one do most of the talking. it's probably my favorite picture that i've ever taken. and i'm not in it, but i think it serves pretty well as a summary of my life the past few weeks.

this is sean in the bar that's basically next-door to our new place. when we walked in, it was right behind two girls about our age who immediately turned around and walked right out. which is how i knew it was my kinda place.

i don't know what was on his finger and i don't think i want to. you can ask him if you want. we also never found out whose birthday party it was.

03 September 2006

why it takes me three weeks to move

the reason it takes so long for me to pack up all my shit and move it is that i keep everything. here's some scrap paper i scribbled lyrics on.

ladies and gentlemen...

if these walls could talk

based on some other things written on the page (appointments, names) i'm 99% sure this dates back to the fall of 2001.

which is significant because it illustrates just how long it takes me to go from an idea to fruition. "if these walls could talk" appears to have taken me close to 5 years. file me under people probably not destined to be prolific songsmiths.

01 September 2006

thirst for knowledge and one percent milk

today i began an epic undertaking in the name of science and knowledge. i'll almost definitely go down in history for this comprehensive set of trials to determine the perfect amount of rolos to eat in one sitting.

rome wasn't built in a day, and thusly, it may take weeks, months, years before i come to my conclusion. so far i know only this: the amount i had today is a few too many. stay tuned for more details and maybe a few spreadsheets and graphs. you know, real professional looking shit. maybe a powerpoint. i don't know how you expect me to secure grant funding without that stuff. it's a competitive world out there. you need to bring your a-game. go animal or go home.

31 August 2006

it's done

i'm sitting here in the dark in our new apartment in brooklyn, drinking a beer that promises a higher than usual percentage of alcohol and delivers duly on said promise. i'm waiting for sean to get home from work and then he'll grab one too and we'll sit on the balcony and watch the subway go by.

i don't live in queens anymore. at all. i live in brooklyn now. there are boxes everywhere.

i just realized i left something in the fridge in the old place.

i left a lot of things in the garbage. a lot of things i'll live without just fine.

it's amazing how much shit i accumulated at that place. i never really thought i was a pack rat. well, maybe i always knew i was. but i've never been so squarely faced with the fact. the place in queens was the first place i stayed in for more than a year since i moved out of my parents house.

i feel like there should be something more to say. but all i can think of is some pseudo-psych about new beginnings and starting over and boy oh boy is that a steaming pile.

27 August 2006


moving sucks. for months i promised myself that when the time came, i would hire movers. it had been too torturous the last time. i had learned my lesson. so why lord, why oh why, do i find myself packing up my car every single day with whatever i can cram into it and moving by myself? machismo? stinginess? idiocy? yes. and yes and yes.

today i pulled down some shoeboxes from the very top of my closet. the kind of things you keep for years and never open. but i was so tired of lifting things and traipsing up and down the stairs that i opened one up.

cards. hallmarks, shoebox greetings (get it!?). reaching as far back as college graduation. one from the girl i was dating then. haven't spoken to her since we broke up on the phone. i was the bad guy that time around. sorta. it's a long story and i've tried to write about it before on here and given up so maybe you'll never know and i rather doubt you'd be interested anyway. i guess i don't lose much sleep over it anymore. too many other things to toss and turn about.

old birthday cards, old letters. some i remember, some i've forgotten. some pretty emotional shit. god, i don't even talk to a lot of these people anymore. i wonder what they're all up to. it's funny the way i let people come and go and hardly ever hold on tight. i am bad at keeping in touch. notoriously. i hope nobody takes it too personally.

this is going nowhere, clearly. i'm borderline delirious from lugging all my worldly posessions from queens to brooklyn and i've got plenty more to go. you'll have to excuse me. moving sucks.

i found ten dollars that someone gave me for my birthday 3 years ago. so that was nice.

25 August 2006

another mirror

this'll be it for a while.  you can now also get the album here.  i know these download sites are a pain in the rear but they're free for me, which is how i can make the music free for you.  you just have to use your spidey sense and not click on all the ads. 

have a good weekend.  i'll do the same.

some words

  • why do rooftops and balconies feel so much more outside than just being outside at street level?
  • i've started really working on the songs that've been patiently waiting in my head for me to finish the last batch. well, that's a lie. i've started really considering starting working.
  • thanks.
  • now playing: r.e.m. - country feedback.
  • over and over and over and over.
  • do this, get that.
  • you pretty much can't count on me for anything.
  • i hope i never write a song with a parenthetical title after the real title.
  • i'm happy these days. whether or not i should be.
  • i understand things now that i didn't before.
  • i'm not being vague. i'm being artistic. ok i'm just being vague.
  • listen to the record.
  • i have a bunch of bruises and i only know where about half of them came from.
  • bullet points are for lazy people.

22 August 2006

the internet is a pain.

i'm feeling pretty under the weather today. which is a drag because the weather is absolutely lovely. i set up another mirror for the album at yousendit. you can download the record here. it's nice because it's way easier and you don't have to wait like with the other one, but it's a pain because it expires after 7 days. and if you think i'm re-uploading this thing every week, you've probably never met me. so hurry hurry if you want to get the record off yousendit.

of course all the download options are still available on the music page.

ps: did you notice all those neat little icons i added in the sidebar? if i spent all the time i spend doing idiot things like that to this website in a constructive way like reading physics textbooks, i'd probably already have that time machine.

(this is mikey from the future. now you do have the time machine. it was worth the wait.)

19 August 2006

i have many talents

one time in college i was watching late night television and saw this guy drink some milk and then squirt it out of his fucking eyes.  and i figured i could do it too, so i opened my eyes really wide and i held my nose shut with my fingers and i blew really hard and lo and behold a little bit of air actually did come out of the corner of my right eye.  but then i got a headache and didn't so much like the idea of trying it with milk so that was the end of that.  but that's a true story.  scout's honor.

also, the record is done and you can download it here (.zip file*).  i'll get it all up on the music page sometime sunday, probably.  and i'll sort out some more mirrors for faster downloads, too. 

i really hope you like it.

*if you can't work with a .zip file, or can't figure out, all the songs are available for individual download on the music page.

17 August 2006

if you want something done right find someone who knows what they're doing

it came to my attention this evening that downloads for two (2) of the songs on the music page were malfunctioning.  fear not, all ye faithful, it has been fixed and the responsible parties have been disciplined accordingly.  as the post below suggests, the record is done.  pending me burning a final version tomorrow and converting all the .wav's to high quality .mp3's, of course.  i aim to remain true to my earlier promise to have it all up for download by friday evening.

in other news, i had a beer with davis and cody from endless mike and the beagle club tonight at the beer garden in astoria.  they're well.  and we can expect their record soon, which is good news for anyone who likes joy and happiness and maybe marshmallow peeps (in moderation).  it will be so much better than mine (and every other record you'll hear this year) that you will cry.  tears of awe.

16 August 2006


thirty minutes and thirty-six seconds.

14 August 2006

one reason i won't miss this old apartment

centipede on my wall

no sir i won't be missing this fella or any of his brethren one bit. i took my eye off him for a second to put my camera down and he was gone, too. god damn.

in other, slightly less disgusting news, i've decided to go with a new mailing list provider (read: actual mailing list provider) going forward with this site. so long, yahoo group. i'll miss ye.

i'm really shitty at using the mailing list anyway, so if you sign up you might not get anything for months, but i'd appreciate (especially if you signed up with the old one) it if you'd put your email here:

is this thing on?

i'm testing out some new blogging software. wysiwyg-type shit. know what that means? congratulations, you're at least as dorky as me.

it may or may not be cooler than just using the blogger interface. basically from what i can tell it downloads the stylesheet from your site, so you can see what your shit will look like before you post it. ideally, you should know anyway, but as anyone who reads this site with internet explorer can attest, i'm often vanquishing that sweet menu there on the right to the very bottom of the page by posting pictures that are slightly too big. firefox is better and smarter and doesn't have that problem. but i'm not here to judge you.

this program does some kinda neat stuff with pictures, too. so if it turns out i like this, you might start to see a whole bunch more pictures. i took this one today.

i am blurry.

13 August 2006

so much for that.

there is not a single new idea left in the world. every time i come up with something i think i could make a million dollars with, somebody smarter has already done it. today me and james came up with a fucking sweet idea, but clearly we've been beaten to the punch.

ah well. back to the drawing board.

11 August 2006

brooklyn bound

so we found a place. it's got a washer and dryer. and a balcony. and a huge kitchen with a ton of cabinets that we will never be able to fill with actual foodstuffs. we'll be signing the lease tomorrow morning, and moving in the first wave of what will be many many waves of carloads of our shit.

i haven't been myself lately being so worried about not finding a place. now that we've found one and locked it down, i'm hoping i'll snap back to normal. i just took a nap on friday afternoon, and i'm sitting here writing in my boxer shorts before i get dressed to go drink beer in the east village, so i guess i'm off to a good start.

it's been about a year since i cut my hair.

i am amazed aviator shades ever went out of style. i want mine permanently attached to my face with surgery.

james, who played bass and electric guitar on the recording of "i spin forever," is coming to new york tomorrow night. which is a big deal since he lives in switzerland. we're going to see the format. i'm tittering.

by this time next week you'll have "they're more afraid of you than you are of them" in high quality mp3 on your hard drive and perhaps your ipod or competing portable media device. maybe if you can ever pry yourself away from the new hellogoodbye record (i never thought i could love something that reminded me of cher so much, god damn) you can listen to it once in a while.

06 August 2006

prototypical potty guy -or- why i mostly avoid -or- this guy really sucks

in which this blog becomes my cathartic punching pillow:

i've been stewing over this for a few days now. i had a really shitty exchange with a guy i sold some tickets to on ebay. and it kept me angry for days. so i figured i'd just spew it all up here.

some background: a while back i bought some tickets to see brand new play in hartford because i was so beside myself that their new york show had sold out in minutes and i hadn't gotten tickets. it was on a weeknight but the plan had been that i was going to skip work that day and drive up. then a second nyc show was announced and i was able to get tickets. and then my brother (who was going to come to hartford with me) started a job and wouldn't have been able to come.

so, wanting to recoup my money and not wanting tickets to see one of the greatest bands in the history of the world go to waste. i put them up for face value (about $40) with the option to buy immediately for $70. the show was only 2 days after, so i was going to have to fedex overnight the tickets upon payment ($18.50, roughly). all of this was fully disclosed, obviously.

what follows is the series of emails i traded with the guy who buy-it-now'd me for $88.50. it's all over and done with now and i finally got my money, but seriously. what a butthead. i am so incensed that i'm even one-time-only allowing capital letters on here.

warning: this might be totally boring for you. and it gets a little colorful and controversial at the end.

included is all pertinent correspondence (except for personal info).

i'll be blue. he can be brown. like doodoo.

first, i sent the paypal invoice:
PAYPAL ONLY. I'll ship the tickets out to you FedEx overnight, with signature confirmation. They should arrive sometime Tuesday, please make sure your shipping address is correct and someone will be there to recieve the package, or that you will be able to retrieve it from your FedEx location prior to the event.

Please email me at [xxx] if you have any questions.

Thank you again for your purchase.


I am going to pay tomorrow but around 5 pm in the afternoon. I know thats late, but can you still overnight it?

Let me know

[name and address]

Take it easy...


It's all set to go and I'll drop it in the fedex box at work as soon as I see notification of payment. Even if that means they don't pick it up until Tuesday morning, you'll get it before the show Wednesday.

Do you want me to make it so that someone needs to sign for it, or is it ok for fedex to just leave it on your door?

They can leave it at the door, that's fine.

The payment might be sent around 3 or 4 pm so lookout for it.

Many thanks!


ok so then 5pm came and went and i still didn't have any money. but i dropped the tickets in the fedex box anyway because if i didn't, he would never get them in the time for the show. and i said:
Still haven't recieved payment...

Hey bud,

Is tomorrow morning too late or do you need it asap? I could send you $75 (my paypal is messed up) right now and the rest tomorrow morning.....sorry bout that let me know ASAP.

75 now and the rest tomorrow is better than none now… I’d like the money asap.

then he sends me $70, not $75. i was starting to get annoyed. and i tracked the package through fedex and saw that it arrived. so:

You now have your tickets, which I sent in good faith. Please send the remaining money you owe me by the end of tonight. You still owe me $18.50.

Yeah thanks so much...just got home and received them. Listen, my Paypal is still messed up.....if you can wait one more day that would be great. If not I can send you a M.O. through the mail. Sorry for the inconvenience....


What is wrong with your paypal account?

They closed my another one and refuse to let me do any transactions, I had almost 2,000 in it. I'm using a back up.

Listen, I'm not going to scam you just because you sent the tix. I owe you the shipping and I will either send CASH, a MO or wait a little for Paypal. Don't think your not going to get your money...



Ok then…MO for $18.50 would be best then.
Send it to me at my work address:

[my work address]

Enjoy the show tomorrow night…

and then i never heard back. that was on a tuesday. when i had still not seen a money order or even an email reply by the following tuesday, i sent this:
I'm disappointed that I still have not received the rest of the money you owe me for the Brand New tickets. I had thought you were sending a Money Order.

I'm giving you until the end of tomorrow for the $18.50 you owe me to arrive, one way or the other.

admittedly, that came off harsher than i meant. i guess i was thinking i was going to leave him negative feedback. but here's where the shit hit the fan:
Are you threatening me? Jesus christ. I've been away in Washington, DC with no internet access. I was just thinking about that recently.

Anyways I'll Paypal you tonight, its fixed. For now, chill out bud. Life's short.

fght of yr dmons


and then another night went by and he still didn't pay.
It wasn't a threat. I just want my money. Which, by the way, you AGAIN failed to send when you said you would. I'm just really tired of having to hound you for $18.50. It's just the principle of the thing. We're not talking used cars here. We're talking concert tickets. We didn't set up an installment plan in advance. So please paypal me the money you owe me. Like now, Scoob.

Hey man..I'm paying you tomorrow. But I would love to punch you in the mouth till you fucking bled like the fucker you are...



Payment Details

Amount:$18.51 USD
Transaction ID:[xxx]
Subject: Hey
Note:Are you a jew? Fuck em'.

and then in case i missed his lovenote in the paypal email, he cracked this last one off as well.
Are you jewish? Fuck em'. Enjoy the extra cent... YAHWEH!
my (admittedly lame) final retort was:

ZOMG TAHNKS!!! A+++++!!!

and that's basically where it ends. it's been a few days now with no further volleys.

01 August 2006

done but not finished

well, i did it. the kazoo thing. it came out okay. you'll have the "final" version of "a viking's funeral" in a week or two, once i've played it back to myself about 1000 times.

i feel like i'm admitting defeat on this one, though. when i wrote it, with this collection of songs in mind, it was going to be my favorite out of all of them. and now, well, it's on there.

i don't mean to undersell it. for all i know it still might be your favorite. it's certainly the biggest and loudest. and i'm quite partial to certian sections of it. but you never heard the way it sounded in my head. fucking symphonic. and now, now there's a kazoo part.

i'd be lying though if i said i wasn't excited to be finally putting it to rest. bigger and better things and all that. i might even have written a new song today. it's been too long since that's happened.

27 July 2006

kazoo solo ftw

dude i think i figured it out. i think i figured out how to finish "a viking's funeral." and it will involve kazoo. i have a pretty nice kazoo that i bought at shades plus in providence* when we were goofing around so many moons ago recording "scutigera coleoptrata." but i really liked the way it ended up sounding. and now that i know what i'm doing recording things, well, i just think it's going to work. i am going to play the shit out of that kazoo. i'll keep you posted.

* i cannot believe that place has a website.

26 July 2006


"oh man. well you need four of 'em, and they're seventy bucks each. and a couple hours of labor. oh yeah man, fuggeddaboudit...lemme grab a calculator."

file that under things you never ever want to hear from your mechanic ever. but too-many hundred dollars later, i'm back in business driving back and forth from queens to long island every day. god damn do i do a lot of driving.

not much else to report. songs are coming along. i'm mentally preparing myself for sleeping in the back of my car at the end of august if we can't find a place soon. which is why it was important to get the shocks fixed, i guess.

this is the lamest post ever. i just wanted to say fuggeddaboudit.

23 July 2006

cool ethan's song

i was just poking around the ol' antisocial-box and found an mp3 of the recording i did of "cool ethan's song" from slackers when i was trying to figure out how to work my then-brand-new 4-track. the quality sucks because i didn't know what i was doing. but if i do say so, it's one of the greatest songs ever written. by jason schwartzman himself.

as far as i can remember, i haven't really had this up online since it was on purevolume for a while a few years ago. i'm probably not allowed to just give this away since i didn't write it, but something tells me that this site is safely below the radar of anyone who gives a shit. you go.

cool ethan's song (mp3)

not emo.

here are some things that are not emo:
  1. tanning salons
  2. champagne
  3. muscles
  4. rob the jew'ry store, tell 'em make me a grill
  5. europe

anything to add?

22 July 2006

it's like riding a bike

at the behest my little bro, we've been doing some light demo recording of the song we've been working on that he mostly wrote but that we've been rewriting together. it's still a long, long way from done. but it's sounding pretty ok.

it's nice to have someone to make you do shit when it seems that lately if you had to rely on your own motivation you wouldn't get very far. and it's nice to be getting back into a routine of playing and singing at least a little bit every night.

the last song to be completed for they're more afraid of you... is "a viking's funeral," which if you've been following along for a very long time you've probably heard a version or two of already. i kept thinking it was done and posting it and then listening and thinking otherwise and taking it back down.

the last thing it needs is a synth part that i just don't know how to do. it's a tiny thing, too. but now that i've decided i need it i won't be happy without it. so umm...i'm working on it. but it might be a while.

change gears. i wrote before about it has totally turned me on my ear. i check it obsessively to see what other people are listening to. i spend a bunch of time listening to awesome shit like springsteen and the smiths and endless mike and the beagle club so that people who see my profile will know that i love good things. it's a pretty awesome way to flex your e-nuts. so yeah. one more reminder from me to sign up for it lets you do rad shit like this:


17 July 2006

i'm melting. meeeeeltiiiiiiinnnnggggg.

things have been slow lately. i started up a blog for myself at work too, which i really force myself to write something on at least once a day. one where i capitalize things, even. see, on here i actually have safeguards in place so that if i do capitalize something accidentally, it'll still show up lowercase. which is kinda like spending an hour on your hair to make it look like you just rolled out of bed. which i don't do, by the way.

i tell you this to explain why i've been less prolific around here lately. or it could be the heat. it is so goddamn hot in new york right now.

or it could just be the recent departure of my get-up-and-go. today i did very little other than read the first three-hundred or so episodes of questionable content, a reasonably entertaining and painfully emo web-comic.

but i suppose by necessity things'll speed back up soon. sean and i have been writing (well, sean's been doing most of the writing) some new songs, which is really lighting a fire under my ass to finish the last of the last batch. and i just officially surrendered my apartment for the end of august so we need to get our asses in gear finding a new place with new cockroaches and maybe centipedes if we're lucky and two bedrooms.

14 July 2006

all dressed up no place to go

there are statistics about how many hours of your lifetime you'll spend sleeping but i can't tell you the numbers because i do my very best to forget things like that. i think probably when all is said and done i'll have slept less than the average joe. maybe they can put that on my tombstone.

what i'd like to know is how many hours of my lifetime i'll have spent waiting. it seems all i ever do is wait these days. wait for a phone call. wait on the subway. wait for another phone call. wait at the bar. wait for something to happen. wait for something to happen. does anything ever happen?

the other day a guy on the subway asked my brother if he and i were in a band together. sean said "yeah" so i guess it's official. we're gonna make this back into a band soon. funny thing is that we were on the way to poker night which, for some ungodly reason, was theme poker night. everyone dressed up like a video game character. we went as billy and jimmy lee, from double dragon. sean won like $90. don't tell the irs.

anyhow, i'll try and find a picture for you. it was mortifying.

10 July 2006

i am late to this party

have you tried sure, you've heard of it. sure, you've seen it come up on google searches when you're looking for lyrics once in a while. but have you tried it? i never had until today. and i'm hooked instantly. basically you install a tiny plugin into your media player and it keeps a running tally of everything you listen to for all the world to see. combine that with a social networking infrastructure ala myspace and you've got yourself a recipe for e-crack unlike any other.

i have been checking out the recommendations of people who like the same songs as me and monitoring the playlists of my two friends all evening. it may sound stupid. it is stupid. but it's also awesome. and i haven't even tried out most of the cool features on there yet. but the neat thing is that the more you use it the more data it has so not only do you percieve it to be cooler as you come to understand it more, it actually evolves into a cooler service the more you feed it. like little shop of horrors.

anyway. if you already use it or if i've convinced you to give it a shot, why not add me as your little friend? here's my profile (which is pretty empty still).

the only downside is now i find myself thinking twice before i put on my hulk hogan record for the millionth time. you never know who's silently judging you.

but i'm going to find ways to integrate this into the watchedpots site, i think. mostly because i'm a huge dork. and as soon as i finish "a viking's funeral" the entire album will be posted up there for all to tear apart and maybe for one or two to like.

she watches the cats

there is a lady in this neighborhood. no, let's start elsewhere. there is a bodega in this neighborhood run by some really nice southeast asian guys who always make a point of telling every girl that comes into the store how pretty they look. and next to that is a pharmacy that i rarely visit and a cell phone store that i've never set foot in and then there's a chinese place and a hardware store that sold me the wrong lightbulb once and then the photo store where i got my passport picture taken and a dunkin donuts.

well, behind those stores is a fenced-in vacant lot full of grass and whatever litter the wind carried over the fence but then abandoned. and cats. there are a lot of cats in this lot. which is why when you get towards the back of the bodega where they have the beer it always smells like cat pee. i think they feed the cats sometimes. or the cats just root through the garbage. and pee.

so there is a lady in this neighborhood. i think she's new. either new or newly obsessed with the cats. because she just stands there on the sidewalk, blankly staring at them through the fence. i've seen her a few days in a row. she doesn't seem to be doing anything with them. she doesn't have anything with her. she just watches the cats. and she looks so sad standing there but i wonder if she is or if maybe she's the happiest lady in queens with those cats and i'm the one who needs to pep up.

i am frozen. and there are big things afoot. someone turn a hairdryer on me.

08 July 2006

oh, hello again.

lately i keep sitting down to write and nothing comes out right away so i go play video games instead. or stuff comes out but it comes out wrong. on the fourth of july i tried to write something about fireworks and watching a girl watching fireworks but it was the sappiest bullshit of all time so i junked it.

i'm always proud of myself when i actually can something that i've spent time on. it's important to be a tough critic on yourself. i wasn't always able to do that.

last night i went to a party on a rooftop with a charcoal grill and a giant film projector showing walk the line on the side of the adjoining building and tons of people who had things in common with each other and for once in my life it was easy to talk to people. (but only after the movie. i hadn't seen it before. loved it.) really though, can you imagine anything better than the right mix of people on the right summertime night on a rooftop in new york city with cheap beer and overcooked steaks? because i am trying and i can't.

they're more afraid of you than you are of them will be done soon. i swear to god.

03 July 2006

the husky tenor

my friends in endless mike and the beagle club just posted a bunch of new songs from their record the husky tenor which is slated for release in the fall. you can listen to two of them at their myspace and two more over at purevolume. please please do. please. thank me later. the new ones are the two on the top at each page.

i was trying to think of a way to tell you how much i believe in this band, and these new songs. but it turns out the only way i know how is with bad words. and my mom reads this sometimes (hi mom!) so i'll take it easy. this band is so gol'darned good. my favorite band, period, end of friggin' story. willickers. ass-hair.


01 July 2006

and one more for good measure

so since i decided to kill a song that would've come early in the record, i went back and updated all the id3 tags to have correct track numbers again. these are the heights of dorkdom to which i sail. but while i was at it i figured i'd upload the "if these walls could talk" premix which is a fancy-pants way of saying demo. only it really is kinda a premix since i ended up using all that original audio in the final recording.

whatever. you can download 2 versions of that song now and i guess you can decide which one you like better. the premix is available under the "other stuff" section of the music page.

30 June 2006

the shower scene

a few days ago my friend chris sent me a link to another youtube video of a giant centipede in action. write one song about centipedes and you're branded for life as the centipede guy. too bad i didn't write a song about hot fudge sundaes. anyway. this one wasn't as awful as the last one because it spared the gore, but it still was enough to give me nightmares. in this one, the thing just pulls a son-of-a-bitch fruit bat out of the goddamn sky. a flying creature! is there nothing grosser in the world.

this morning i pulled back the shower curtain after a nice shower. and i grabbed my towel and i started working on my flowing locks. and i felt something on my leg. could just be a water drip. but it was moving up. water drops don't move up. so instinctively, before i even looked down, i jerked my leg to jaunce whatever evil-incarnate was traversing my limb. and then i saw him, flying from my leg, out of the tub, and onto the bathroom floor. he hit the ground running and was gone in a flash. but it was unmistakable. that was a centipede. boy howdy. straight out of the nightmares i've been having since i watched the video. only smaller.

we meet again, old friend. not if i see you first.

in other news, i'm dropping the axe on "doctor, these headaches." it will not be on the record. because i haven't even started it yet and i'm still not sure how it's going to go and because thematically it'll fit better with the newer stuff i've been writing anyway. so it's not disappearing, it's just going back into the incubator. that leaves one song to finish before i can say this record is done and just wash my hands of it. and it's close, friends. oh so very close. and it's about time, since i just realized i started talking about it over a year ago.

21 June 2006

music music everywhere

tonight i encoded and tonight i coded and now you can download almost all the songs from the record and a couple old demos right from the music section on this here site. just click the song titles as if you wanted to read the lyrics (i know you do) and if it says "download mp3" there then guess what, you can download it. right click and save as... you know the drill.

please feel free to give these to anyone and everyone. share them on your illegal filesharing software (you criminal). seriously though. do whatever you want with them.

17 June 2006

oh what a site

as promised, i dropped some fat stacks of paper today and purchased some hosting services from (sex sells, man) and spent a bunch of time updating some page names and moving this whole site over to its new home. it's my hope that you won't notice anything different on your end, but in the event you notice a link that's broken or something, please let me know.

what i'm able to do now is put up files for you to download right off this site instead of sending you all over god's green intarweb to get songs. so keep your eye on the music section over the next couple days as i update that.

and now that there's no domain forwarding and masking, in the unlikely event that you're compelled to link your friends here, you can send them exactly where you think they should go without needing a computer science degree.

oh and holy crap. custom 404 page ftw. totally worth every penny.

**update: that search bar won't work for a while until google re-indexes my ass.**

15 June 2006

i custom made your suit

so my little brother sean moved in with me this weekend. it's a tradeoff of privacy for company, but so far it's going really well. of course, i'm the one who sleeps on a bed every night and he gets something only slightly better than a dungeon floor. so maybe he'll tell you sometime how it's going from his perspective.

we played a lot of guitar together the other night. and he dropped my deodorant in the toilet and then cleaned it off and didn't tell me so this morning when i took the cap off it i spilled deodorant scented blue potty water all over my just-showered self. which i think we all can agree is pretty funny.

also, my first ever monetary compensation for this music should be en route to my apartment as i type to ye. details to follow if you're interested, but i've already earmarked the modest sum to improve this site. so hopefully soon i'll be able to host all the mp3's right here instead of having to rotate them on murdochspace and purevolume.

09 June 2006

rob the jewelry store and tell them to make me a grill

strange how out of place it feels to me now to talk about my music on here. i hope you'll indulge.

i've been doing a lot of thinking and not a lot of doing on the record lately, but i've decided that "the loudest man on the laugh track" is fine how it is for what it was, and instead of redoing it all and putting it on the record, i'm just going to make it available permanently in its demo form and if you like that song you can download it from purevolume shortly. along with the "ladies and gentlemen of the jury..." demo, which has been available forever.

and then there were seven. sometimes i think i'll never finish this thing. other times i know it. but i am determined.

a lot in my life, musically and otherwise, is changing soon.

07 June 2006

is not chicago

a funny thing that i still haven't gotten used to about business trips is the way that even though you're staying in the same hotel as everyone you work with and you're spending all day with them at the convention center when the bell rings and yabbadabbadoo and all that you're on your own, buddy. you find your own way back to the hotel and you find someone to go have dinner with because we're with clients. there's absolutely no malice in it. it's just what we do. we, for the most part, are not friends. we are colleagues and we work well together and then we go our separate ways until when early in the morning the factory whistle blows.

so you sit on the shuttle bus and you see things out the window that look nice and you wish you were in this town for enough time to see anything besides your sweet hotel and the totally unsweetened conference center. like restaurants and theaters and bars and parks and commuter trains. i like life. i want to see what life is like here. but i bet i never will. and i definitely won't on this trip. because tomorrow i get on a plane all alone. everyone else left today. for some reason they left me here tonight to fend for myself so i went to dinner with someone from another company who also was leftover. friend for a night. this was lovely. my pork chop was amazing. thanks for letting me taste your chicken. we'll be in touch. right?

business trips are funny things.

04 June 2006

is chicago

so i'm in chicago now. it seems like i'm never home anymore. although i guess after this trip i have no more scheduled for a decently long time. i can't remember the last weekend i've had to just spend in new york. i'm really looking forward to doing that soon. holiday cocktail lounge here i come.

i wanted to write about airplanes and airports and the people that you hear talking to other people and the ridiculous kinda shit they say like bragging about being a republican to a total stranger and saying that global warming is hogwash and you're lucky i didn't pour my cranberry juice on you you loudmouthed ignoramus i don't care what you read in your book club. but i won't because i just did, i suppose.

chicago is a really nice city. even when it's hot as hell out, it's cold by the lake. i don't know if i could ever see myself living here, but i can't think of a good reason why not. the people seem nice. the airport, however, is not my favorite.

you know what's funny (to move in a totally different direction)? it's funny how predictable i've become to myself. and to everyone else. it seems like almost every day someone gets to say they told me so. everyone is a nostradamus. everyone sees everything coming. mikey is going to do this and then that will happen and then he'll react thusly. and even though i see it too i can't seem to make it any different. like watching a movie and hoping that this time the good guy won't die even though you've seen it before and you know he's going to and you know how.

i watch movies i've already seen all the time.

29 May 2006

and try one, and try two

i guess you could say i did it because i had to and not because i wanted to, which may or may not be true. the bottom line is that i did it i guess. and i saw what i needed to see, and i turned around and i drove to a street where i could find a parking spot and i slept behind the back seat of my car. covered in laundry so no one could see me.

there are things that need to be done when you return to places you used to have been. things you need to see, places you need to drive, food you need to eat and things you need to remember that sometimes you wish you could forget. i wrote some days ago about providence. but i don't think that at the time i wanted to come out and say it felt like home.

this weekend i did a lot of things in providence. i ate my favorite foods and i walked the old paths and i saw the old friends and some things never change even though most things eventually do. and when a city can make you feel like you just lost a fight and like you just won the lotto in the same weekend, then i guess you can say it feels like home.

there's a lot more to say that i'll leave unsaid. and there was more to do that i left undid. but it was a great weekend. and here are my congratulations to all who deserve them. and here's a handshake and here's a nod and here's a raised glass and here's one more look back over my shoulder. and here's one foot after the other. day by day by day.

25 May 2006

heinz 57

i've been busy. let's catch up, shall we?
  • congratulations to michelle and gil, who were married last weekend. gil is the kind of man legends are made of. he played softball the morning of his wedding and yanked his hamstring and then had it wrapped so tight so that he could dance that he claimed not to be able to feel his toes. bad ass. and michelle is one of the greatest people i know. so...cheers.
  • i still haven't caught up on my sleep and i still walk around every day like a zombie. and i still really want to go back to stockholm.
  • i've been playing a fair amount of video games and i'm not proud of it.
  • people in providence (the wedding was there) always ask me why i don't come "home" more often. i won't say providence never felt like home, and i won't say i don't miss it often, but it's always strange to hear other people refer to it as my home. it's something about the people that live there. or the city itself. if you live in providence, it owns you. where i grew up in connecticut, it seemed like everybody couldn't wait to leave. and in new york everybody seems to be sticking it out for a while but nobody thinks they'll be here forever, even though they might want to. providence is the kind of place people go to be home.
  • i'm going there again tomorrow.
  • tonight i have tickets for a midnight showing of x3. things like this are the reason i'm always tired.
  • i'm mostly pretty happy these days.
  • which means i'm not writing much music. but we've been over this. it's still nice to wake up in a good mood sometimes.
  • i don't really know when this blog evolved into a this-is-what-i-ate-for-breakfast diary. i didn't ever mean for that to happen.
  • i haven't had a haircut in a really long time. i'm starting to look like frodo. when it gets this long it's hard to decide to get it cut simply because it took so long to get this way. you know? like how when your favorite pair of jeans is finally worn out and it's time to buy a new one. i can put off things like that for weeks.
  • here's a joke i just heard: mailman walks up to a door to deliver a package and rings the doorbell. a little kid answers in a diaper, holding a lit cigarrette and a martini. mailman goes "whoa kid. are your parents home?" the kids says "what the fuck do you think?"
  • shut up. it made me laugh.

20 May 2006

as you were

ruby left a pretty insightful comment the other day about how life just picks up right where you left off when you get back from a long trip, and how discomforting that can sometimes be. i guess because so many things can happen to you when you're far away (and how...) and then you get back and your friends are the same and you do the same sort of dumb things with them.

today it was really nice out in new york. we wanted to have a beer on a porch. but neither of us have a porch.

my friend, however, does live in a building that has a roof. a roof that's strictly off-limits to tenants, but a roof nonetheless. so, ignoring the sign that said the roof was off-limits except in emergency situations, he began to climb the rickety ladder with a plastic bag full of 2 large asahi cans. i mean these cans are big.

so he's about 15 feet off the ground on this ladder when the bag somehow breaks just enough to drop one but not both of them. i'm lucky it didn't break my head, i guess. i pick up the severely dented can, and carry it up with me as i follow him to the rooftop.

it's some serious shit up there. i guess the reason it's restricted is because the tenants of the top floor have staircases that go up to it and it's basically divided into two private porches for those two apartments. so there's one that's all fenced in with a hot tub and a garden and signs warning about trespassing and security cameras and lasers and guard werewolves.

the other one appears to be under construction. there's some 2x4's nailed together in what will eventually be a really nice deck, and some bricks in patio formation as well. and a bunch of ladders and supplies everywhere. so we're standing on this unfinished deck and just as my friend opens the beer he just dropped 15 feet (he was decent enough to volunteer to take that one) and tries to catch the firehose-volume spray in his mouth only to soak his entire face and head, the owner of the apartment comes up the stairs with this crazy-man look on his face like "what the fuck are you doing on my roof."

so he says "what the fuck are you doing on my roof," and my friend apologizes profusely and begins to clean up the huge amount of spilled beer from the outdoor wooden porch with his shirt (i think that was an unneccesary gesture, but to each his own). then the guy goes back downstairs and we decide to cut our losses and leave before he calls the cops or something. so back down we went, and instead of enjoying a beer in the sun on a new york city rooftop, we enjoyed a beer in his apartment and played video games.

usually i don't bother with stories like this because there's no way they could be as funny to you as they were at the time, but this time it just seemed indicative of the way life so quickly goes back to "normal" (hah!) when you return from a long trip.

everything is different, but still a lot is the same.

19 May 2006

stockholm four

i'm home now. already a part of me feels like i never left new york and another part of me wishes i never left stockholm. i think i slept for about 10 hours total the entire time i was there, and i'm about to start trying to catch up, but i wanted to jot down a few last things i thought of that i'd like not to forget.
  • almost all the swedish folks i flew close enough to notice ordered two drinks every time the stewardess came by. i didn't even know you could do that. and always black coffee. the coffee there is almost an entirely different experience from the coffee we drink here. very strong and thick.
  • my last night out there i got to see some non-touristy spots and they reminded me of some of the bars i like in new york city. i guess cool places aren't that different anywhere you go. i still chickened out when it was my turn to order drinks though and even though i was told how to do it in swedish i still did it in english. i'm ashamed to admit that.
  • it is impossible to know how old people are there unless you ask.
  • i guess they have a fashion thing right now that sorta imitates the roaring 20's. which is kinda cool.
  • i mentioned before about the baffling lightswitch in the hotel. i eventually figured out that when you first enter the room you're supposed to put your keycard in this slot near the door as the master switch. but now that i'm home i can show you this video i took.
  • i also mentioned the music before, too. well, they have a show there (i think it's called eurovision) which is kinda like american idol in that it's mediocre pop talent that you vote for with your cell phone, but it's also kinda like the olympics in that each country is represented by a band. it's mostly pop music, and mostly in english. i watched it for a pretty long time while i was getting ready to go out one night. the finnish entry was not only not pop, but it was something i had heard before. i think i even may have linked to it from here before. watch this video for lordi - hard rock hallelujah, and then imagine the shitkicking elation i felt when i got to see these guys do it live with roman candles and sparklers shooting out of their guitars and them in full demon costumes, before and after eastern european kelly clarkson wannabes. oh man.
so that's all i can think of. it's long past time i hit the hay.

update: i found a vid of the lordi performance i saw. well, the bbc broadcast of it, anyway.

18 May 2006

stockholm three

the back of the keycard to my hotel room says the following (only in english, which is just about the only thing that's not printed in both english and swedish. i thought this was worth sharing:

"if you find this key card, please read below. until 12 o'clock tomorrow, this card is valid in one of 532 rooms or in one of 17 conference rooms at the clarion hotel stockholm. however, if you are a thief do not even consider visiting us, as we have very good security both inside and outside the hotel and our front desk peronnel (sic) have eyes like hawks. if you are a guest or potential guest and would like more information about some of the different benefits we can offer you whilst staying at clarion hotel stockholm, please contact the front desk at telephone number (blahblah), and they will be happy to share with you all the great arrangements we have with our partners

then it goes on to list some partners. but how weird is that?

in other news, i hate to keep saying the same thing over and over, but it's basically the only thing i can think about. i am absolutely the most exhausted i have ever been in my life. between the jetlag and the 3am party nights and the fact that the sun rises at around 4am, it's been a long week.

16 May 2006

stockholm two

  • apparently tipping a cab driver is the most confusing thing you can ever do in sweden.
  • there's been something i wasn't able to put my finger on about this place, until a nice british fellow named nigel that we've been spending time with pointed it out. people stare you in the eyes here. according to nigel, that's true about all "scandies." but coming from new york (or london) where people would rather poke their eyes with a fork than look into yours with them, it's rather unnerving.
  • the toilets here have two flush options. from what i can gather (based on the size of the buttons) one is your standard flush, and one is for when you really mean business.
  • the money here is strangely sized. like coins in the us, all the different denominations for the paper money are different sizes. and the exchange rate is roughly 7.5 kronos to a dollar, which is tough math to do on the fly in your head. so i have basically no idea how much money i've been spending.
  • last night i went to a bar made totally of ice. you drink out of glasses made of ice. they give you a parka and mittens. it was awesome, but also basically a commercial for absolut vodka, which was the only liquor they served. also it was etched into the ice walls in a bunch of places.
  • i am so tired that i am having trouble remembering things. this happened to me the summer that i worked at a golf course and had to wake up every day at 4am, too. when you don't sleep you don't remember.
  • i haven't been taking as many pictures as i should.

15 May 2006

stockholm one

I’m writing this at around 11am Stockholm time (which is somewhere in the middle of the night in dear old new york. I haven’t figured out the wifi in this hotel yet, so i won’t be posting immediately, which is why I mention it. In fact, I haven’t figured out the lightswitches in this hotel yet. They are baffling. Here are some initial impressions of Stockholm.
  • Even from the airplane, this place looks a lot different than anywhere I’ve ever been before.
  • People here are attractive and well dressed to the extent that it’s intimidating. i expected that, but I didn’t expect that.
  • The fonts on the highway signs are blockier. Everything is cleaner.
  • I am really tired.
  • So far everyone’s been really friendly. For my part, I haven’t been very talkative.
  • I realized on the plane when the guy who I sat down next to greeted me in Swedish that I know less than nothing about this place. Not even how to say hello. or whether they’d drive on the left or the right side of the street here. (it’s the right.) who just gets on a plane to fly across an ocean with absolutely no idea what he’s getting into? This guy.
  • There is no bureau in this hotel room. And not enough hangers. But the bathroom is majestic.
  • The pop music isn’t bad when it’s not in English. Or at least, I can’t tell it’s bad. The pop songs in English are pretty awful, although i guess american pop songs are just as awful. The tv in the room was on when I got in with a message welcoming me by name, and a pop radio station on. I’ve left it on while I unpack because I like listening to the dj’s. I don’t understand a word of it but I’m pretty sure they spent 3 minutes talking about transsexuals.
  • the cab took me past a bunch of american football fields, so i guess they play that here.
  • I am in over my head.
Ok. I should change my clothes and get over to the convention center and meet up with everyone. No idea how I’m going to do that. I always thought it would be cool if you could commission a catapult to just launch you wherever you wanted and there would be big foamy landing cushions everywhere that the catapults were programmed to hit. I know they don’t do that in new york, but maybe I should inquire with the concierge. You never know, right? Or I guess I could just take a cab.