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26 February 2006

there are power lines in our blood lines

i'm sitting down and making myself write. because it's been a few days. i've missed you. this bond we share. where i tell you things and i never know whether or not you skim or you pore or whether you think i'm a waste of time or whether you know it. but i like our arrangement.

my friend cate gave my music one of the greatest compliments i think it's ever gotten the other day when she said that every time "a save situation" by the format comes on her ipod she thinks it's one of my songs at first. i don't know if you listen to the format but they're one of my favorites and that song especially (last song on the record interventions and lullabyes) is just so damn pretty. for the record, i'm at least 3 ballparks away from those guys, but i swelled up like a big bearded balloon when she said that anyway.

i did a little work on some songs this week. "a viking's funeral" (which is starting to feel like the song that refuses to be finished) has been transposed up a few steps so i can sing it bettter, and what used to be a simple piano part has been cannibalized by technology but for now i think it's sounding pretty cool. i guess eventually you'll be the judge. i think i'll set aside a day next weekend to sing the shit out of it. hopefully i'll find time during the week to lay down the new guitar part (same as the old one, only hopefully played tighter and capoed).

so what else is going on? well...a lot and not a lot, i guess. seems i've been so busy i don't have time to think lately, but not very many stories to show for it.

i'm kicking around the idea with a friend of writing a movie. a comdey, even. because we're hilarious. it'll probably never happen.

trouble finds you when you aren't looking for it. and also when you are.

i bought some new shoes. they're a little too big but i'm making them work.

pierogies and applesauce at 3am is probably one of the greatest ideas in recorded history.

i can't stop listening to the decemberists this past week or so. especially "the engine driver." which you can listen to, conveniently. right here.

ok i think that's just about enough out of me.

22 February 2006

"but he's my favorite dude in the world"

i woke up today with dried blood on my lip. i must've bit it while i was sleeping. i hope i was dreaming of something lip-bitingly awesome and not something horrible, but i guess it doesn't really matter since i can't remember either way. well, some people would argue that it does because dreams are an expression of your subconscious etc. but if four years earning a degree in psychology have convinced me of anything, it's that i don't really buy most of that stuff.

my friend rich had a pretty awesome day today. he went to the restroom at work and when he was at the sink guess who came out of a stall and said "what's up?" (!!!!!!!!!!) ready for it? ok. bruce springsteen! rich went to the bathroom next to bruce mf-ing springsteen. i would reprint some of our resulting instant message conversation here for you, but it was pretty scatalogical. save for the sentence i made into the post title. holy goddamn though.

being the endless fountain of cool that he is, rich responded with "how's it goin'?" and then i imagine bee-lined to his computer to tell everyone he knew. that's what i would do anyway.

i guess about 2 hours later he got up to head to the bathroom again but turned back because he saw bruce heading in again, too. and that would've been weird.

when i heard about that i probably could've done a backflip.

tonight i made mango chicken and fried rice and it came out awesome. i guess i consider it practice for when someday i might be called upon to cook for people besides myself. because as you know, i'm happy just to eat beefaroni.

this always happens. i wrote a lot already and haven't even really gotten to any kind of point. i've had some really interesting conversations lately about life and art and why and how and all day today i've been trying to make some sense of it to myself but i'm not there yet. but maybe getting there isn't the point. probably. in the meantime there are songs to sing.

oh. i've been meaning to show this to you and never getting around to it. might as well do it now since this post is about as scatterbrained as can be anyway. there's this crazy guy who muted the first harry potter movie and talked over the whole thing. you can read up on it at wikipedia if you're interested. and here's an excerpt. some people think this is hilarious and some people think it's annoying but i think it's funny and maybe you will too.

(you might need to pause it and give it a minute to load.)

18 February 2006

thank goodness for chef boyardee

it's been an eventful few days but it's the kind of eventful that won't seem like much of a big deal to you so i'll spare you the minutiae. here are a few things i've had on my mind though.

how come i'm so terrified of answering when people ask me who my favorite band is, or what my favorite movie is? i have no problem with the favorite beer question (brooklyn lager, dude). i think it's because i'm afraid to be judged on my personal preferences. which really, when you think about it, is a much better thing to be judged on if you're resigning yourself to snap judgments and first impressions than hairstyle or yellowness of teeth or something. i should probably just learn to pull the trigger.

that could've been its own paragraph. i should probably just learn to pull the trigger. there, that's better.

walking between the subway and my apartment today around 3pm i stopped in the grocery store. wanna know what i got? ok. i'll tell you: you couldn't have punched the grin off my face when i waltzed up to the counter with a large can of beefaroni in my hands and nothing else. $2.49 later, i was the happiest boy in queens.

i'll be recording again this week. i'm sure i'll have plenty to say about that as it goes down.

i started laughing out loud on the subway today and drew attention to myself because i remembered a story about a physics ta i had in college one time. maybe i'll tell you that soon.

15 February 2006

if i shave tonight i'll look perfectly unshaven-because-i-don't-care for the weekend.

when i was maybe 7 or 8 years old a kid on the schoolbus who i must've been looking at said to me "what are you looking at, butthead?" i dunno, maybe i was even younger. and i was probably looking at him because he said something funny, or did something cool. it's the first time i can vividly remember that another kid was just outright mean to me for no good reason. and i went right home and asked my mom what to do. and i was crying.

i'll never forget what she said to me. she said that the next time, i should answer "a butthead, butthead." since that day a lot of kids said a lot of mean things to me (still do, once in a while) but never again did anyone do it in that exact way. so i am still waiting to use that line on someone. i'll be ready when the time comes.

yesterday was valentine's day. i did not celebrate. but if you've got someone who keeps you warm at night i hope you did something nice for them and i hope they did something nice for you. it's a hallmark holiday and through that lens it's total bullshit but sometimes maybe you need to be reminded to do something nice for your someone even though maybe you should just try to do that every day.

dick cheney shot his friend in the face this weekend. and although they kept it under wraps for a while which was a bit shady, he owned up to it today and took responsibility. i'm almost convulsing as i write this, but i think that was a classy move. you have to give credit where credit is due. otherwise you're just a jackass.

i only have one pair of scissors in my apartment so that means i use the same tool to open ice pops and to trim my ... hair.

let's talk about something else, shall we? i've been taking a sanity break from recording since early january. but i'm feeling much better now and will be getting back on the horse next week if all continues to go well. i've been warming up to it by screaming along to songs in my car. i've got "you" by radiohead down pat. and that means i'm ready.

also i will never write a song as good as that one. and this is more so that i don't forget than for your information since i doubt you care but i've been working on a new song that still won't be ready for a long while but it's going to be called "the better half of january."

my apartment is full of paper with scribbles that i want to remember.

13 February 2006

bimmy and jimmy get crunked

bonus points if you know what that post title refers to.

so i was going to write about my weekend. but then i sat down and realized that as many hours as i spent awake when i shouldn't have been during it and as stupid as it was to drive to providence on the eve of the nor'easter to end all nor'easters just to spend about 18 hours there hanging out and then drive back to new york in a whiteout, there's really not that much interesting stuff to talk about. but i'll give it a shot anyway because i'm bored and we'll see how it goes.

friday night i went out with a few people and we ended up at niagra on the lower east side dancing to 80's rock with girls who we would later come to learn were 19 years old (sneaky) until around 4:30 when one of them made quite a mess of the men's room (ladies room was ocupado). don't you raise your eyebrows at me. i was a perfect gentleman. and that's the truth. i ended up that night on the extra bed at my friend john's place. that bed has recently been named the mikey memorial suite because i sleep there so often. thank god for friends who don't love privacy as much as i do. estimated bedtime: 5:30.

wake up the next day at 10am and begin preparations for the trek to providence. here's the plan: i drive to westport, ct, where john's car is. i don't want to drive li'l rhody with the forecast being what it is, but he doesn't mind doing it. that is, until we get there and he has about 5,000 panic attacks about what to do with his car during a city-wide emergency parking ban. arrive in providence around 4pm. make some phone calls, have some drinks, do some dinner. have very very many more drinks.

(2 new discoveries. double dragon ale is one of them. i think i took a picture but i can't find it. it's welsh, and has nothing to do with the video game, but it's still called double dragon and we still had a hearty chuckle about it. invented a hypothetical 'bad dudes' ale. the president has been kidnapped by ninjas. are you a bad enough dude to drink this beer? the other discovery was something i already forget the name of but it was branded "the premier chai liqueur" and you can google it if you want. it was pretty delish. have i mentioned i've started drinking instant chai lattes at work instead of instant coffee? it's all a part of my plan to be mistaken for gay even more often than i already am.)

where were we? oh yeah. john got a bartender's number. she said she's a lesbian though. but he still got it. does that count? i'm gonna give it to him. even though she rocked cornrows. estimated bedtime: 3:30am. remember, providence closes at 2am.

wake up at 9am. absolute shitstorm outside. well, snowstorm really. but a mess. radio says it's not supposed to stop until 8pm. our plan originally had been to wait it out and then brave the roads once it stopped snowing, but that wasn't going to work at all considering we still had about 10 hours of snowfall and there were already more than 6 inches on the ground. we decided to go for it. you're shaking your head. me too. but what's done is done and there's no use second guessing now.

here's my biggest heartbreak of the weekend: all i really wanted to do in providence, more than anything else in the whole world, was to get some new york system hot weiners. you may be scratching your head now, since i live in new york. but they don't have them in new york. it's really just a misnomer. but they're called new york system hot weiners and you can only get them in providence. read up on them if you like. they're my favorite thing ever and we tried to get them on sunday but all the places were closed due to the blizzard. god damn.

the drive itself was pretty white-knuckled but nothing actually happened so there's not much to tell. it took us about 3.5 hours to get to westport from providence. my car was majorly snowed in but i managed to bust it out. i drive a '97 cherokee that has no air conditioning and doors that whistle when you go fast so you have to turn up the music really loud (and the stereo sucks) but when a blizzard hits, there's no car i'd rather have. i'll probably give it a nickname. (hah).

this morning i woke up to my car being plowed in so badly that i couldn't even open the doors. after i managed to get it cleared out the night before. that really sucked. especially since i broke my snow shovel last year when we had a blizzard. and i was on a hill. so i dug out for 45 minutes today with nothing but my shit-kicker boots and 4wd. a lot of people in my neighborhood don't speak english but when they walked by this morning i could read the international "what a peon" look on their disapproving faces. whatever. i got out.

i think i may already have written a thousand words here so i probably don't need a picture but here's one anyway of some crazy guy on wickenden street in providence wearing shorts in a blizzard.

12 February 2006

that's me in the corner

so last thursday i went to a gallery deal in chelsea and saw some sweet art because my friend laura salierno (very talented) had some photographs on display. they had some free wine in dixie cups, too. i would've written about it sooner but i've been pretty busy. more on that later. one of the photos laura took was of me, and she made my ugly mug look pretty respectable. so she's real good.

the part about being busy. maybe when i get some time tonight i'll maybe write all about my weekend, which involved a few very late nights, more than a few very drunk people, an extremely ill-informed decision to drive to providence the day before the worst blizzard ever known to man, and consecutive nights without the comfort of my warm bed.

08 February 2006

i used to read a lot of hardy boys books

when i was a kid i did a lot of dumb stuff. i mean, everyone did, right? me and my friend (the same one i rapped with) even had a detective agency for a while. we called ourselves the "slick sleuths" and we were so fucking rad.

we only had one case that i can remember. but i remember it pretty well, all things considered. it concerned a threatening note left on a kid named jon's desk. it said "i hat you." that's hate, spelled wrong. big guns.

i'm afraid there's no way i'm going to be able to tell this story with any satisfactory continuity, so i'll pause here to give you the chance to bail if you don't think you can handle it. also this story showcases what an amazing dork i was (am), and if you squirm easily out of sympathetic embarrassment (like when you see someone really bombing at karaoke) then you might want to go read someone awesome's weblog instead.

right. so slick sleuths, we were. we managed to convince our teacher* to commission us to solve the crime. a whodunit for the ages. we got every single kid in the class to write a cleverly selected word containing many of the letters from "i hat you" on a piece of paper to compare handwriting without raising suspicions about our motives. it was the 'a' that gave it away.

the culprit: a girl named sarah. i can remember about 2 years earlier sitting behind sarah and humming a song that went like "sarah, sarah, no time is a good time for goodbyes" that i had heard on the radio thinking that she surely would've also heard it, would recognize it from my humming, and would fall madly in love with me. how old are you in first grade? because i was sure it would work. what actually happened, though, is that she turned around more than once and told me to stop because i was "annoying" her. so i tried to hum it more clearly (read: loudly) so she would recognize it. eventually she tattled on me and i got in trouble.

i really do remember all this clearly. almost twenty years removed from it now, it sure seems to hint at much that was to come. when you're in first grade that's about as close to making a mixtape full of thinly veiled propositions as you can get. i haven't really had an original idea since then, i guess.

anyway. turns out this erstwhile object of my affection was nothing more than a hardened criminal, the crookedness of her moral compass matched only by the deficiency** of her spelling skills. confronted, she crumbled with little resistance. score one for the slick sleuths.

we demanded payment. i didn't mention this before but that kid jon was a dick. his parents were probably mean or something though, so i don't hold it against him anymore. but he refused. not that we even had a price or anything. and our teacher sure as hell wasn't going to make him pay (though i still to this day think she must've been impressed). eventually we coaxed a single penny from his miserly pockets.

i don't remember how it came about so i'll fabricate this part.

i wanted to reinvest our first take in the business. perhaps put it towards business cards, or some totally awesome long range surveillance microphones like you used to be able to order from the back of boys life magazine. did i mention i was a cub scout back then? i was a shitty scout and i probably wouldn't have ever earned my arrow of light if it weren't for my parents. i did almost win the cub scout regatta one time, but i got overexcited in the end and blew too hard (which just knocks your boat into the side of the rain gutter propped up on cinder blocks) and lost in the finals and i think i cried about it for like 4 hours.

my partner wanted to put it towards a celebration. wine, cheese, everyone who was anyone. the upper crust. a real to-do. we were at an impasse.

back to reality. although the cub scouts stuff was true.

we sat on the bus that day arguing about what to do with the penny. one thing was for sure. you can't split a penny. and if neither of us could have it, then neither of us could have it. i think we counted to three, and yelled in unison "who wants this?" and threw the penny back over our shoulder, convinced we'd be making some lucky kid's day, altruistic pride swelling deep in our bowels.

not the case, dear reader. in elementary school i don't know if you had "bus patrols" but i sure did. these were basically the worst people alive (i would become one at a later date). they were fifth graders, sworn to be horribly bitchy and tattle on anyone who didn't face forward and keep their mouth shut for the 30 minute bus ride home from school. i can remember one girl in particular who would chant all sing-song-ily "sit down turn around and shuuut up!" over and over again. god i hated them. then i wanted so badly to be one when it came to be my time. "repression serves only to strengthen and knit the repressed." that's from the grapes of wrath and i've always loved that quote. it doesn't really apply here.

the bus patrol told us we were both "reported" for endangering the lives and limbs of every tender soul on the bus. that meant we had to answer to the captain of the bus patrol / physical education teacher in the morning and let me tell you: that was bad news. we were so fucked.

the story basically ends here. i think we had some sunglasses with mirrors inside so we could see behind us and maybe a little periscope but i don't remember any other cases we took on so maybe that was it.

i almost just said there was no moral to the story but then i thought of one: if you insist on being a detective instead of just letting be what will be, you'll end up regretting it. at least in two specific cases i can think of. one i just told you about. the other one involves googling the names of girls you once knew to see what they're up to these days.

* for the life of me i can't remember who it was so i forget what grade we were in but i'm leaning towards third and i think it was a she whose surname began with 'e'. epstein? i bet my mom remembers...

** fun fact: i had a really hard time spelling "deficiency". oh sweet irony.

05 February 2006

tonight, tonight

i'm going to keep this short because i'm not really in the kind of shape to be communicating, but i figured i should mention that i bumped into james iha tonight, which was totally bizarre since i just was telling you how i never have when apparently everyone else always does. karen o was there too, from yeah yeah yeahs, but who cares?

the rule, i guess, is the shadier the place you go, the more people you will see that you recognize from the television. if you go to a place that smells like piss and has wood paneling and the guy who takes your empties off the table is at least 85 years old, you're pretty much guaranteed to see someone famous.

for the record, even though i joked about asking james iha some potty question the other day, i played it cool like a true new yorker and acted like i could give a shit.

oh what a glorious city. i'm kinda sleepy.

04 February 2006

three cheers for blah blah blah

  1. am i gunshy or am i too proud?
  2. what's the difference and does it matter?
  3. i overanalyze everything. i assume everyone else does, too. which is probably a mistake.
  4. i suck at a lot of things but one of the things i suck most at is keeping milk in my apartment.
  5. cut your losses.
  6. one of the screws that holds the seat onto my toilet is broken, so it's a fucking deathtrap. if i ever don't surface on here for more than a couple days, you'll know what happened. call the authorities.
  7. what a way to go.
  8. if god really loves all his creatures equally, i'm probably in big trouble for the way i treat cockroaches. that is, of course, unless my theory that cockroaches are the spawn of satan holds any water.
  9. throw in the towel.
  10. if i ever get punched in the face again in my life, i hope it's because i told some beefy benchpresser who's bothering a hot girl in a bar that i was sick of his "fuckshittery." ("shitfuckery" would also work. tomayto tomahto.)
  11. i am reservedly excited to see v for vendetta after i just watched the trailer. did you know one of the wachowski brothers is a chick now? seriously.
  12. i used to work with a guy who said coffee is always better if you use two filters when you make it. he also was a big fan of bill o'reilly. but he was right about the coffee.
  13. playing right now: springsteen - point blank. shocker.
  14. there's this guy bob lefsetz who writes these rants and emails them out to people. i guess he's a lawyer and as such associated with the music industry. sometimes it gets a little name-droppy and he is all over apple's jock with ipods and shit, but it's a helluva good read sometimes too. you know, if you need any more things to read during your day. he says things like "If machines could tell us what feels good then dildos would be as good as dicks." real role model material. i've been waiting for a gem like that to recommend him to you.
  15. if you think i'm emo you should meet my little brother. sometime soon you might.
  16. timing is everything.
  17. this is probably old news but it was new to me and it made my soul hurt. did you know about this book? if you've read it please don't ever seduce me and make me marry you. i am absolutely terrified.
  18. good harmonica players mesmerize me.
  19. new york city for too many years.

03 February 2006

maybe i'll see you at a movie sneak preview

i sent out a couple half-hearted feeler text messages tonight from my mobile phone, but i don't think i really wanted to go out, because i didn't really send them until i had already opened a bottle of wine and changed into pajamas. tonight is guitar, chinese food and wine night. which, really, every night should be. it's about 9:45 right now. i'm going to leave this open for the next few hours while i play and write and think and if anything comes to me, i'll be sure to log it here.

10:10 - i just remembered that i got an email from a friend who just finished up some training in kuwait and now he's in iraq. talking about his tent and stuff. it was amazingly upbeat. also, it came marked "unclassified" with a really scary disclaimer. i don't know if he has to let someone else read it before he sends it or what. i've slept in lots of tents before, but my greatest fears have been woodland creatures. woodland creatures don't usually pack much heat. only claws. but he's got 6 months starting now. i hope it goes as smoothly as it possibly can.

10:20 - clearly i'm not being super productive if i keep coming over here. but i was just playing "ladies and gentlemen of the jury..." the way i used to play it when i first wrote it which is by putting a chorus and verse of "dammit" by blink-182 at the end. fucking emo. that song rules and i don't care if you disagree.

10:45 - i just retaught myself a chord progression i wrote a very long time ago and had completely forgotten. thanks, yellowtail. fyi - this is the only music i've ever written that contains jazz chords. totally freak accident, probably. but it sounds kinda cool.

11:07 - tonight is important because i'm getting to know my guitar again. a funny thing happens when you spend all your time behind a console mixing sounds together. you forget how to actually play your own songs on an acoustic guitar. i didn't write a damn thing tonight. i just taught myself how to play again. but they're stomping on the ceiling now for me to hush. those fuckers. they keep me up at least one night a week. but i don't have the heart to make it an issue.

11:11 - this night is ending earlier than friday nights usually do but there's strange comfort in that. i have the warm sheets on my bed...the ones that are like t-shirt material. they used to make me way too hot when i didn't sleep alone.

oh and one last thing. my fortune cookie tonight, it said "there's more to balance than not falling over." i swear to god you must need a graduate degree in philosophy to write for those guys.

02 February 2006

i promise i'm not crazy

there you stand, stick in hand. face to sleeping face with a dragon, who in retrospect will probably consider making the decision about which way to dispatch you the best part of his day. or her day. let's make it a she-dragon.

oh, she's going to enjoy it. almost definitely. almost. but wait. what if she won't rend you limb from limb? what if she decides not to char-broil you? what if she befriends you? you, the unlikely knight in dimly shining armor. are you unthreatening enough, charming enough, endearingly dimwitted enough to escape her wrath?

why don't you walk away? you stare at the sleeping dragon. you stare at the stick in your trembling hand. back at the beast. there is something kind about her, as she sleeps. maybe this will work out for you both. maybe she isn't even sleeping, just being coy and waiting for you to make your move? (are we still talking about a dragon?)

in the relatively fabled history of men waking dragons, there are many more failures than success stories. but most of them were in the slaying business. all you've got is a twig. (where am i going with this???)

take a step closer. gulp. poke. cringe.

(sorry for that one.)


  • my friend rich plays in a band and he says he sees james iha out around town almost every week. then when i was incredulous he backed off of every week but still said he'd seen him at least 10 times in the past year. which is still a lot. where am i all these times? i would love to say something awkward to james iha. like "hey. did you play on siamese dream?" wtf.
  • a very nice lady named marilyn who i have lived across the hall from for probably a year and a half but never met until tonight asked me if i have a wife. because she never sees anyone come in or out of my place. uh...not really so much. nice to meet you though.
  • i was supposed to play poker tonight but then only three of us showed up so instead of playing poker we just drank a lot of beer and listened to tragedy rocks by the crimea about 4 times in a row while we talked about guy things that i dare not repeat here under penalty of death or worse.
  • fucking gross: a cockroach just crawled across my desk but i missed him. he was pretty big. i hate new york so much.
  • no i love it.
  • but cockroaches. god damn.
  • i rode the subway home and listened to stay what you are by saves the day so loud that now that i am in my silent apartment my ears are ringing but it was worth it. that record is such a winner. and now i'm going to sleep.