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31 December 2007


  • The Endless Mike and The Beagle Club interview that I referred to way back when has been posted and is what I consider, in my humble opnion, to be a must-read.
  • I did another interview with an old radio friend of mine about the whole OiNK fiasco, which is also pretty good. That's posted at
  • I think 3 is a good round number of items for a short bulleted list. Happy New Year.

20 December 2007


What if, in the near future, it became technologically possible to take a snapshot of your mind: the near-infinite spiderweb of nerves in your brain, the chemicals and the ratios thereof that influence your temperament, all your memories and opinions and tastes and attitudes? What if someone found a way to replicate all of that, and install you onto some sort of computer, that could imitate your voice, your conversational mannerisms, the rhythm and meter of your instant message communications?
  • What if, just like you, it could change, learn, mature?
    • Of course, the minute the copy was made, you and it would begin to diverge. It couldn't be updated in real time with your post-replication experiences. As you and it had different conversations with different people your opinions and its would become less and less alike.
    • Would you want a computer version of you to exist? Do you think you'd enjoy conversations with yourself? What's the first thing you'd ask?
    • Do you think, assuming this computer would outlast you, that death would be easier or harder to accept with the knowledge that a decent approximation of you (depending on how recently it was made) can feasibly continue to interact with your friends and loved ones? Your unborn great grandchildren?
    • Would you like the chance to speak with computer replications of your ancestry?
  • What if it couldn't learn? What if it remained a snapshot of exactly who you were at a certain point in time?
    • Do you think you'd enjoy conversing with your former self?
    • Who do you think you'd like better: it or your current self?
    • Whose brains (living or dead) would you most like to pick in this way?
      • Your parents, as children?
      • Springsteen, circa 1975?

13 December 2007

Amie Street

hay sup lolhorse
'Tis the season for marketing cleverly disguised as generosity, but the kid above I'm sure would tell you never to look a gift horse (or any horse) too closely in the mouth. If you're a regular here you know I give away my music for free, but I also have it available for a pittance at Amie Street for the rare visitor that'd prefer paying for something rather than getting it for free.

Anyway, Amie Street is running a cool holiday promotion that I've decided to participate in. Basically, you sign up with this link (particular to yours truly) and you get a free $5 and 4 RECs (ask me more if you're curious what to do with these) with which you can buy music. Lots of good stuff is cheap there, so that $5 can go a long way if you're smart about it.

And look, I'm in no way suggesting you spend it on my music. In fact, I think it'd be better spent on folks like Drew & The Medicinal Pen, Brett Dennen, John Bustine, or The Seedy Seeds. Hell, The Format's on there too, though $5 won't get you as far with them. Go nuts. It's a great site. You might like it.

*Update* The Beagle Club has just dipped a toe in the Amie Street pool as well. Reward their pioneering spirit by buying and REC'ing their stuff here.

22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.

Because my brother had to work tonight, my family's doing Thanksgiving tomorrow night. But my landlord, seeing my light on, brought up a meal and a beer for me. Just one of those the-world-ain't-so-bad moments.

Actually, today's been pretty great all-around. Even though the turkey goes down tomorrow night in Connecticut, my parents trekked down into the city today, and I dragged my ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to meet them at the parade. Of course I got stuck on the opposite side of the street from them with no way to cross, but it was no big deal. I just watched the parade surrounded by little kids on their fathers' shoulders, bubbling excitement in 90 second installments as floats drifted by our viewing window, framed by the buildings on the corner of 74th Street and Central Park West. A quote I hope I never forget: "Daddy it's SNOOPY!!! Why doesn't it say MetLife on him?" A cautionary tale to any artist considering advertising as a source of revenue if there ever was one.

Went to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City today, too. It was, in every sense of the word I can think of, spectacular. And they don't waste any time in giving the audience exactly what it came for. The first full-on kickline came not more than 10 minutes into the show. So many legs.

And then I came home to a really nice compliment in a MySpace comment. Turns out "Triple Deke" is the #1 song on a girl named Grace's iPod. I can honestly say that I never in my life expected to to be told something like that. Funnily, my first instinct in replying was to suggest some other artists that are way better. But then I decided to just say thanks. Seriously though, it felt so good that I might even pick up the guitar again sometime very soon as a result.

02 November 2007


I guess it's bound to happen working with high school kids, but I was woefully unprepared the first time. And the second time. What do you say when someone asks you for advice and stuff? How do you avoid sermonizing or just plain condescending?

It's not like I don't like giving advice. Especially unsolicited advice. Those who know me can attest to the fact that I'm like a fucking battering ram with that sometimes. It's the solicitation, I guess, that throws me. I don't think it's intended as one at all, but I feel like I'm walking into a trap every time. I approach such situations with extreme trepidation.

My reluctance can be attributed to a couple things:
  1. My utter uncertainty that I'm really any kind of role model in a broader sense than my standardized test skills.
  2. The unshakable notion that I'm going to end up sounding like that sunscreen song. Seriously, what can you say to young people that hasn't already been set to inspirational electro-pop?
Still, after it happened twice, I started to really think about it. What do I wish someone had told me?

It probably would have been nice to hear that although you're going to meet a lot of the same kind of people in college that you knew in high school, they aren't going to be the same people, so they don't know you. You finally get to become the person you've been changing into slowly in the last years of high school while everyone you've known your whole life continued to see you the way they always had. I mean, I figured it out pretty quick, but I bet the last few weeks of the summer leading up to college would have been a lot less nerve-wracking if someone had just sat me down and told me for sure that nobody would know I puked in the cafeteria twice in elementary school.

Other things I've been saying are the kinda dumb things that I really feel like college should be all about. Take as many classes as possible and actually attend them. Go to protests. Join clubs. That kind of thing.

I guess the last thing I should remember to say going forward is not to be intimidated by the kind of people you end up with as classmates and roommates. Invariably they'll be smarter or richer or better looking than you. But you're funnier and a better guitar player than they are. And none of them hold their elementary school's cafeteria barfing record.

(I really wish there was a way to set a song on MySpace to repeat, because I've been clicking every 3 minutes for about an hour to hear Jaymay's "Sycamore Down" again. Listen here.)

27 October 2007

Confessions of a New York City virgin

I'm really psyched to see that the good folks at have used an excerpt from "New York City" in a pretty cool narrated photo montage that can be viewed here (quicktime) or here (flash). The song plays for the last minute or so. Sweet.

26 October 2007

I don't want you to wonder why

It was about 3 AM last night, in the midst of what seemed like my 50th consecutive demoralizing Halo 3 defeat (at the hands of someone named dic gozenya, natch) that my mind started desperately searching for something nice to think about -- some ointment or salve to dull the sting of the drubbing. My usual late-night go-to's (global warming, peak oil, perpetual war, the inevitable end of the world as we know it)* weren't helping much.

But on a microcosmic level, if you can look past my Halo deficiencies, my life is actually pretty awesome lately.

I have a new job that I not only like, but flirt with loving. I got my ass kicked almost every day in the halls when I was in middle school. In high school, all I wanted in the world was to play soccer (even junior varsity...please?), but I got cut 4 years in a row. Growing up, there weren't many things that I could turn to for a confidence boost, but one thing I always knew I could own was a standardized test. And now, almost by complete dumb luck, I'm fortunate enough to be making a living exploiting that very aptitude. I don't expect many people to be smiling and nodding along at this point, but if professional sports were never meant to be for me, I'm still lucky enough to be doing something I enjoy and getting paid for it.

And then there's the girl. Things are good. I shudder to think of the sheer volume of words I've wasted in this space on spite, vitriol, malice, and shame with respect to girls I've known more than casually. I lack similar drive to expatiate upon the good times publicly. But things are good.

Which I guess brings me to why I sat down to write this post in the first place. A commenter on this post asked me about my inspiration for the songs on this site. The answer is that most of this stuff is entirely autobiographical. And I guess I'm glad that I wrote these songs when I did, because I'm fairly sure I couldn't write them now. I'm just not sad that way anymore. In fact, the only song I've really written in the past year (shit, it's been that long) has been a cutesy sort of "I've got a crush on you" song (for private use).

I think what's been keeping the guitar out of my hands of late (aside from purely docket-related contraints) is that the things I think about these days that I think are worth writing songs about are beyond my reach as a songwriter. It's one thing to write a song that ends up being a bit trite when it's about a failed relationship, but it's a much more shameful enterprise to write songs about politics and impending doom if you're not up to snuff. Some of the worst songs I've ever heard have been well-intentioned examples of this, and I'm reluctant (nay, loath) to add to that din.

This is in no way a promise never to write another song, or even a promise never to attempt some social/political/moral commentary in a lyric. Just a statement of reluctance to actively suck, and an attempt to justify the regrettable dearth of fresh content on the site of late.

* I lose a lot of sleep.

19 October 2007

lots to do

I woke up today and this site was down. Not even fully down though, just...not up. Just a plain white page, and Firefox dutifully notifying me that it's quite "Done." What a pain.

Saw Unkle (formerly U.N.K.L.E.) last night at Webster Hall. I hadn't expected to be able to go, because I was working on Staten Island until about 10:30, but one breakneck drive and one serendipitous parking spot later, I was walking in just as the band was starting. Breathless and overly hyphenated review (and mp3) here. Cool show.

I only have one day off a week these days, and I keep finding myself paralyzed by all the things I've thought about needing to get done all week. Today is my day off. I slept until 11:30, then I moped around the house until...well...until now. I guess this is more of that. Shit.

I'm gonna go do something.

16 October 2007

oh hi.

File under: The Kindness of Strangers. Someone at Blogger thinks this blog is "of note," it would appear. If you're here as a result, welcome! I hope that you enjoy your stay, and that your life is irrevocably altered for the better as a direct result of the roughly 35 seconds you spend here (on average...thanks, FeedBurner!).

In all seriousness though, welcome. Since you're here, I figure it's my duty to point you towards what I have reason to believe is the reason this site was singled out. A quick survey of my recent posts reveals neither notable frequency nor notable quality. I don't fancy myself a terrible writer, but I'm not convinced I'm an especially good one, either. The entire reason I ever got my shit together and made this site was to have a place to put some music that I made, and since you're here anyway, it's only fitting that I invite you to download it. It's free. I'd love to know what you think.

One other thing I should mention during these fifteen minutes of Internet relevance. When something that gets a lot of traffic links to one's blog, one is forced to make difficult decisions concerning comment spam. I've never had a problem with it in the past, but today that's begun to change. I am not going to outright block comments until they've been approved because I don't have much time these days and relevant comments shouldn't have to wait to be posted. So I ask you, valued reader, to be selective about the links you click on in the comment section (duh). If the site starts to get overrun by porn links and traffic piggybackers, I might have to just do some draconian moderation, but I really don't want to.

In actual news that I would have written about here anyway, I've been conducting a slow MySpace-message interview with Mike Miller (from Endless Mike and the Beagle Club). Let it be sufficient for now to say that his way with words extends beyond his songwriting. Eventually I'll post it at and (in part) at, both of which I've been regrettably negligent in posting to since the new job. Keep an eye out for it. It's going to be good.

26 September 2007

I'm 26 now.

Monday was my 26th birthday. I can't really remember if I complained about feeling old last year when I turned 25, but it's definitely a feeling that's caught me off guard a few times over the last week or so.

I had a pretty great night on the big day, though. Got into a Jaymay show I didn't think I'd get into in Williamsburg. Really cool place. More on that here. Wandered into a bar called Duff's about a block away to try to kill some time before the show, and was greeted by Sabbath pounding out of the stereo and superduperhardcore porn on the tv behind the bar. PBR's were only $1 though, so I haven't ruled out going back someday. Here's a picture I found on Duff's MySpace page of Elijah Wood with a bartender there. Because why not.

Here's a list of some things I'd like to accomplish by this time next year:
  • Tell someone very clearly and sincerely to "piss up a rope." This is not the first time I've made this resolution, but as yet I've always been a few beats too late and I really don't want to waste it. This will be a resounding victory over my hapless foe and everyone who witnesses it will think about how awesome it was later.
  • Score a 2400 on the SAT. Yes, really. It's part of the new job.
  • Become good ( domination good) at some shooter video game. I think my best chance is going to be Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow. I am already getting my ass kicked up, down, left, and right in Halo 3.
  • Become a vegetarian 3-4 days a week.
  • Go to the dentist for crissakes.
  • Start playing guitar again.

06 September 2007


Over the past few days I've endeavored to make available to you a .flac version of They're More Afraid of You Than You Are of Them. I've only been partially successful, which I have come to accept as my lot in life. The impasse occurs precisely here: ".flac" is, in the luddite eyes of GoDaddy's server's IIS, an unrecognized filetype. So although the file sits happily on the server and is accessible by ftp, attempts to access it via http are summarily rejected. I've contacted customer service regarding this issue and was told rather matter-of-factly that there were no plans to add .flac to IIS anytime soon. In other words, I might as well go scratch.

IIS does indeed recognize .zip files, though. So if .flac is your favorite sauce and you'd like to see how you like it on TMAoYTYAoT, please be my guest. But you're going to have to download it all at once in a gigantic .zip file. At this point if you have any complaints I'll kindly remind you that the shit is free.

Why bother with all this so long after originally making it available in .mp3? I was going through the master recordings (done at my old office after hours, if you'll recall, so I needed to clear them out before I left the office for good) and I started to be bothered by how much worse the .mp3's sounded to me than the original uncompressed .wav's. So I figured better late than never.

Other things I've had on my mind lately:
  • I'm really pumped for the new Springsteen.

  • I also think the new Counting Crows song "Cowboys" is really good. It reminds me of the heights they reached whilst recovering satellites, which was their high water mark (imho).

  • The day I get my hands on batteries I can power with pee is going to be a triumphant day indeed.

Okay, cool. That is all. Carry on.

01 September 2007

every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

Well, I haven't finished BioShock. In fact, it's probably going to take me forever to finish it. I've been busy.

This Monday I gave my 2 weeks notice at my current job (where I've been for 3 years) to take another job in a completely different field.

I'm going to try teaching. Sort of. I'll be working for a small SAT prep company, teaching kids how to totally pwn the test ("pwn" is not an SAT word).

I probably haven't mentioned it on these pages before, but I've always really liked standardized tests. I'm good at them. I've also for years kicked around the idea of teaching, but have never been able to pull the trigger because...I'm a wimp. Or, I was a wimp.

Today for breakfast, I had victory.

22 August 2007


It's not as if I've been doing too much writing on here anyway, but you probably won't be hearing from me again until I'm done with BioShock.

01 August 2007

Some things happened

  1. I did an interview on we also ran with Jaymay, who is marvelous, fantastic, wonderful, and extremely gifted. It's the interview I was teasing in this just took a little longer for us to get on the same page what with her playing shows all over the UK and me having way too many questions.
  2. I bought a new car. It's a Toyota Yaris. It weighs about the same as a lawn mower. I just filled it up for the first time since I drove it off the lot. Initial calculations indicate that I'm getting 37.7 miles per gallon. Nice. Buying a new car is totally weird.
  3. I've been doing some writing for Amie Street, which is cool. I'm finding a ton of great music because of it (The Seedy Seeds, The Absent Arch, False Heroics) and it's really forcing me to sit down and write every single night -- even moreso than I already have been with we also ran. It's good for me. Of course, They're More Afraid of You Than You Are of Them is available on Amie Street for a pittance, if you feel guilty just getting it for free here (which you shouldn't).
I really thought when I set out writing this I'd have more than 3 things. 3 hardly warrants a numbered list. Profuse apologies.

23 July 2007

New York System

my wieners let me show you them
A hamster's lifetime of dreams were realized for me last week when I made, in my own kitchen, real live New York System Wieners. It all started earlier in the summer when I stumbled upon the only place in the known universe that actually makes the sausages, but now it's done. Birds sing a little sweeter in the morning these days.

05 July 2007

God Bless America

From the New York Times:
To the Editor:

When George W. Bush was governor of Texas, he presided over more than 150 executions. In more than one-third of the cases -- 57 in all -- lawyers representing condemned inmates asked then-Governor Bush for a commutation of sentence, so that the inmates would serve life in prison rather than face execution.

Some of these inmates had been represented by lawyers who slept during trials. Some were mentally retarded. Some were juveniles at the time they committed the crime for which they were sentenced to death.

In all these cases, Governor Bush refused to commute their sentences, saying that the inmates had had full access to the judicial system.

I. Lewis Libby Jr. had the best lawyers money can buy. His crime cannot be attributed to youth or retardation. He has expressed no remorse whatsoever for lying to a grand jury or participating in the administration's effort to mislead the American people about the war in Iraq. President Bush's commutation of Mr. Libby's sentence is certainly legal, but it just as surely offends the fundamental constitutional value of equality.

Because President Bush signed a commutation, a rich and powerful man will spend not a day in prison, while 57 poor and poorly connected human beings died because Governor Bush refused to lift a pen for them.

David R. Dow

Houston, July 3, 2007

The writer is a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who represents death row inmates, including several who sought commutation from then-Governor Bush.

From Keith Olbermann:

02 July 2007

the cliff walk

Was in Rhode Island this weekend for a wedding (congrats Maribeth and Tom!) and finally checked something off my to-do list that's been lingering for a pretty long time. I walked The Cliff Walk in Newport all the way. I'd done parts of it before, but yesterday I did the whole thing.

So the whole thing is like 3.5 miles, but then you have to walk back. That's right this lazy sack of bones made it 7 miles yesterday, which is probably more than I walked in the entire month of May (maybe kidding). Here are some pictures I took that are not artistic at all:
light at the end of the tunnelthis bird stretches his neckOther people have taken nicer pictures and posted them on flickr.

Here's something else that just occurred to me today: the New York Post, that bastion of journalistic integrity and pithy headline commentary, has been making awesome puns and wordplay in giant white block-type forever. Lolcats are awesome and all, I'm just saying that if one is to give credit where credit is due, some credit might be due to the NY Post.

21 June 2007

more like INcontinental, amirite!?

I've been blogging 2 or 3 times a day lately, just never here. Mostly because there haven't been that many good stories on the web lately about excrement. Thankfully, this story got my creative juices...flowing. Poops on a plane. So awesome. Call Sam Jackson.

Today a nasty thunderstorm was rolling over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as I was coming home on the Belt Parkway. It was really awesome. Here's something else awesome I just found while googling to make sure I spelled "Verrazano" correctly:
Its monumental 693 foot high towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260 foot distance between them made it necessary to compensate for the earth's curvature. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter. (
I've been playing some guitar again. The other night I scribbled what may become the first verse of the first song I've written in a long time.

It's funny because writing songs has never been easy for me, but it's also never seemed so daunting. The first time around I guess I didn't expect much of myself, and the end result was something I consider to be a solid okay. If I end up writing more songs and releasing another record, I want it to be at least kinda good. And with that at the front of my mind, I've been some degree of paralyzed.

But seriously about that plane with the poop on it? So awesome!!!

08 June 2007

we also ran

In case you didn't click the link in the last post: My reign as the Program Director of PulverRadio officially came to a close last month when the station was shut down. About 50 million different factors played into its downfall, and I like to think most of them weren't directly my fault. So, I'm still working in the same office, but no longer programming a radio station.

I had a bit of a groove going with the blog at PulverRadio, though, and I've decided not to let that die with the rest of the site. So I'm slowly (very...slowly...) moving the archives over to a new place, and I've started writing again after a short exile. If you care what I think about music, you are cordially invited to visit we also ran. In the next few days, I'll hopefully be posting an interview that I'm really excited about...

Ian Bell on faux-hawks

Ian Bell, a friend of mine and the guy who hired me to run PulverRadio almost 3 years ago, has recently returned to the blahgosphere with a vengeance. A lot his content is pretty techy, and maybe not of interest to you, seeing as you're reading my blog, on which a lot of the content is total bullshit. That said, His most recent post really resonated with me.

Every day I drive from Brooklyn to Melville, NY for work. It's right near the Nassau/Suffolk county line, which is to say: my commute is not short. And since there is often traffic, I have a lot of time to get close to cars in front of me and read their vanity plates and bumper stickers. On Long Island, if bumper stickers and fake ribbon magnets paint an accurate picture of the driver, there's a LOT of "Never Forgive, Never Forget" sentiment, which I think begets the political environment we currently find ourselves in: one in which we're encouraged to "Never Ask."

Ian's post takes issue with the "faux-hawks" (I see what you did there) that didn't bother to ask any questions after 9/11, and now shrug off responsibility simply by saying "we were lied to." I agree with him when he says:
A hockey coach of mine once said that the hardest-working player on the ice should always the guy who just screwed up. That rule also applies here. If you succumbed to the rhetoric of the Bush sycophants and joined the march (to send other people) to war only to realize your mistake later, you owe more to your fellow man than to simply claim you were lied to. You need to, at last, take action to stop the injustice in which you were complicit.
But based on the extremely scientific data I've been collecting on my daily commute, I'm more concerned about the seemingly large number of people who still aren't asking any questions.

I've been losing a lot of sleep lately (really) thinking about stuff like this.


Oh, and while I'm getting all politicky, I wanted to point you towards MoveOn's just-launched virtual town-hall on climate change. They're inviting whoever you want them to, and asking questions you tell them to ask. At the very least (and I suspect this is the real point) it will send a clear message to presidential hopefuls that there are a lot of people who will be thinking about the climate when they cast their ballots next year.

30 May 2007

Little Rhody Brand Frankfurts

Far and wide have I traveled, long have I searched for my white whale. This weekend, I am happy to report, one of the final (and almost certainly the most elusive) obstacles crumbled at my victorious feet.

Ed Robalasky (pictured center) is the proprietor of Little Rhody Brand Frankfurts, and represents "probably the 4th or 5th" Robalasky generation to run the family business from an unassuming corner lot in Johnston, RI. While their culinary accomplishments are many, none are so triumphant, so famous and so infamous as their distinction as the sole hot dog provider to The Ocean State's very own NY System weiner restaurants. My devotion to these comestibles is boundless and well-documented, but it was only on this fateful Memorial Day weekend that my quest to prepare my own NY Systems in the state whose name they carry was rejuvenated with the discovery that the unique hot dogs that are so integral to their taste are indeed available for purchase.

We got a 10 lbs. box (also pictured). Which I can all but guarantee you amounts to more hot dogs than you think it does. It should go without saying that I have already for some time been in possession of the requisite spice mix. Soon, so very soon, I will stack wieners up my very own arm. I've been tittering with excitement, unable to sleep, for days.

One last note about Ed: It is with no small sum of reverence that I tell you that I witnessed with my own eyes Ed persuade a vegetarian of 15 years to eat a hot dog.

22 May 2007

hello my treacherous friend

I finally spent the money and developed the last 4 rolls of film that have been following me around since college*. A sizable chunk of them ended up being pictures from the cross-country road trip my friend Sarah and I did the summer before our senior year, from Portland (the farther one) all the way to Providence. Lots of pictures of animals, rock formations, and geysers. Some of them came out pretty okay.

But as you can see above, I also spent considerable time my senior year developing my healthy obsession with centipedes; running for my camera every time a centipede scampered across my floor (which was basically every day). Some shots came out okay, although just like the last time I did this, it's easy to tell these shots have been sitting around undeveloped for around 5 years.

*I can't believe how shitty it felt to pay money to see my pictures. What a long way we've come.

The Assault on Reason

Al Gore's got a book coming out that might well end up being the first book I purchase for myself since college*. There's an excerpt from The Assault on Reason that's been making its way around the web. It really speaks to society's dangerous deference to junk culture, and the helpless frustration with it that permeates those who prefer meaningful dialogue and logical argument to one-way, man-behind-the-curtain massaging of public opinion.

The excerpt isn't entirely apolitical (you can take a man out of politics, but you can't take the politics out of the man) but this isn't a condemnation of one particular individual or party, either. In the end, it reveals itself to be an impassioned argument for Net Neutrality. The Internet is well positioned to provide a nurturing home for a political discourse that has outlived its usefulness to the traditional media outlets who have decided that Paris Hilton and her ilk sell more car commercials than crusty politicians and boring policy discussions. But I probably don't need to convince you of that.

It's a good read.

* EDIT: I have of course been reading books. Just not buying them.

17 May 2007

My new alarm clock

I spent about 20 minutes this morning trying to get a still picture of this little guy, but my digital camera takes about half a second to snap after the button is pressed, and as you can see at around 9 seconds, that's not fast enough.

So yeah, there are birds living in the exhaust tubing that goes from our clothes dryer to the outside world. For the longest time we thought it was just one, but the other day I saw two of them in there at once. It might be kinda neat if the nest they're building wasn't rendering the dryer completely useless. Think about how shitty a dryer works when the lint trap hasn't been cleaned in a long time. Turns out a bird's nest has a very similar effect.

Anyway, in retrospect I'm glad I wasn't able to get a still photo, because the video provides a pretty accurate aural reproduction of what wakes me up every morning.

15 May 2007

Exporting Insecurity

The Format's live record, Exporting Insecurity, is up now on The thing about is that it's a great idea that's not getting the kind of traction it should because major labels (and indies, apparently) want to charge more for music, not less. So any site that lets demand set the price of music (songs range from free to a maximum of $.99, and always start free) has a steep hill to climb. Luckily, some big free-agent names like The Format and The Barenaked Ladies are warming up to the idea.

Anyway, The Format's live show was my favorite in a long list of awesome shows I saw last year, and these recordings capture that energy pretty well. If you hurry, you can go and use the credit you get for signing up with them to get Exporting Insecurity for cheap. Even free, like I did, if you haul ass. "If Work Permits" and "Sore Thumb" are absolute must-haves.

(While you're at it, if you feel like it, you can pick up my music there for about $.50 total. Sure, it's available for free right here on this site, but if you wanted to pay $.50 for it, that'd be cool too.)

14 May 2007

you clean up nice

For as long as I can remember having this site, I can remember hating the way it looked in Internet Explorer. Hating the fact that occasionally, a seemingly innocent post would break some invisible barrier and push the sidebar down underneath the blog entries. Because I'm a bungling amateur, I haven't taken the time in the past to try to deal with it.

But all that changed over the weekend, baby. In between the meat packing district velvet rope parties with models, the triathlon running just for fun, and the crime fighting, I found some time to do some serious coding.

Make no mistake. It still looks better in Firefox and it always will. But I am cautiously optimistic that I solved the problem of the mysterious floating sidebar. And I got rid of the stupid entry page. That was so 2002. Oh yeah, and that background image down there in the corner. I did that too.

11 May 2007

all the fuss

I'm happy to report that today I finally accomplished what I originally set out to do with this website: to attract people who do google searches for "foot suck." Welcome, weirdos! I do hope that you enjoy your stay. You will not be judged within these confines.
I saw The Arcade Fire on Wednesday at Radio City Music Hall. Landing tickets to see those guys in this city has proven to be difficult in the past. Imagine trying to snatch a pork chop from the murky, piranha-ridden depths of the amazon river with your bare hands. It's like that, only internet fan-boys and reseller bots have sharper teeth. Their pings will blot out the sun. This time I faired no better, but in the zero hour, a guy that I know who had managed to get a pair, became unable to attend. Score.

The usual suspects have setlists and pictures and David Bowie sightings, and I have little to add to their songs of praise. It's sufficient for this space simply to say that I can now smile knowingly and nod when people say things like "The Arcade Fire is amazing in concert." With my own eyes and ears I have seen and heard, with my own hands I have clapped and with my own voice I have shouted myself hoarse. Do see them if you have a chance. It's well worth all the fuss.

One thing though that I'm going to say even though I can already hear you groaning: The whole time I was watching them I was reminded of another band with a lot of touring members that play multiple instruments: The Beagle Club. It's not that they have a similar sound, it's just a similar chaotic energy. So go see The Beagle Club, too. They're on tour again.

08 May 2007


Thanks to a sweet patch from blogger, delivered in Santa Claus fashion with a wink and a finger to the side of the nose, the metamorphosis of this site is now complete. The html caterpillar has become the php butterfly. What, oh what happened behind the opaque walls of that cocoon? Oh Mother Nature, what a wonder are you to behold!

Seriously though, there had been a problem for a long time with blogger that prevented users from republishing old entries with new file extensions. So although I had been able to create all my new posts in php, it was pretty useless because I couldn't apply any in the templates lest it be applied also to my older, less malleable posts.

And then magically one day, the problem was solved. I went to post an entry, and every single post in the blog republished itself with the proper extension. And so, as of today, any changes I decide to make to this site will only need to be made once to appear everywhere. Simplicity and elegance.

Ok fine. I was excited.

07 May 2007

eMusic is cool

David Pakman, CEO of eMusic, just posted a manifesto of sorts on and it's really got me fired up. He's a businessman and it reads that way, but try to get past the blah blah of it and see someone in a position of relative power in the music industry talking sense for once.

I don't think music should be free (well, mine is free, but that's because I care more that you hear it than that you pay for it). I like to pay for music when I feel the price is fair. David has rightly been banking on there being a lot of people like me out there, and eMusic's success to date is a testament to the growing numbers of people willing to pay for a service that treats its customers with dignity and respect, and doesn't punish people who acquire music legally.

A few months back I went to an eMusic customer focus group and met this guy. He's about as down-to-earth as you can imagine a CEO to be. Essentially, he and some of the other eMusic brass stood in front of 30 or so customers that responded to the email invitation and talked to us about how we consume media for 90 minutes or so. If more people in the music business took the time to understand their customers...well, let's not get carried away. Pigs might fly sooner.

Anyway, here are some highlights:
"According to data we analyzed from the RIAA and Ipsos, last year, more than 30% fewer people bought music than did in 2000. This is an enormous decrease. Many have offered theories to explain it -- piracy, music quality, you name it -- but informed people will tell you that a very big reason is that consumers, inundated with well-priced entertainment choices, think most music is too expensive."

"Most of you know about price elasticity. It's the basic economic concept that says, for certain goods, when you raise the price, sales will fall disproportionately, and so the increased revenue doesn't make up for the lack of sales. And if you lower the price, sales will rise disproportionately. Music is an elastic good, and we have now seen that by raising prices, the industry in fact did not make up the revenue, and, in the end, only slowed sales."

"So, eMusic is all about trying to satisfy two concerns that most former music buyers have: a) they aren't sure what to buy anymore because they don't hear anything good on the radio, and b) they think music is relatively expensive compared to DVDs, etc. eMusic makes a splendid bargain with our customers: get a better deal on music from us than what you get at iTunes, and we'll work really hard at helping you discover great music. But in return, you spend more money on music than you normally would. And that's good for everyone: artists, labels and customers. And here's the bottom line: the average customer only spends about $12 per year on iTunes; by contrast, the average eMusic customer spends about $168 per year with us. Imagine how different our industry would look if more retailers could serve their customers so fully."
I'm one of the customers he talks about that spends a bunch of money every year with eMusic. If you haven't ever tried it and think you want to, leave a comment here and I'll send you a referral email. You could just sign up for it on your own and do the free trial, but if you let me refer you, you'd be helping me dig through the incredible backlog of songs I want from there that I haven't been able to get to yet. Just sayin'.

Again, read his whole post here.

What You Crave.

White Castle, 8th Ave between 36th and 37th. Around 10 PM.

When you have a friend in from out of town, you find yourself doing things you might not otherwise do. And so, after a 6:30 showing of Spiderman 3 at 54th and 6th (which I mention only because if you've seen it, that's the intersection the police scanner squawks as the location of the crane scene) I find myself hoofing it some 20 blocks to White Castle. No trip to NYC is complete without it.

It's on a completely unremarkable block (for Manhattan): a few blocks north of Madison Square Garden and a few more southwest of Times Square. Nestled between an unremarkable sushi place and a Subway restaurant. There is a McDonald's across the street. If you want to use the bathroom, you need the person at the counter to buzz you in. A sign above the counter informs you that 20 minutes after you've ordered your food, you will be asked to leave.

"You got exactly 80 cents?" a guy decked out in a Superbowl-sized ring and flashy jacket asks me. "No, sorry," I say as I make my way to the counter, avoiding eye contact, past a girl asking to borrow her friend's phone: "Mine's dead and I need to call my bank and see if I can buy something."

I order my food. Andy orders his. And then the little man behind Andy orders, his voice tiny and thick with accent. The girl who borrowed the phone takes a seat and waits for her friends to order, apparently lacking the funds to partake. She starts singing to herself in honest-to-God the most amazing voice I have ever heard in person.

As we take our seat and begin to make our way through a sack of fries, dipping into a large-sized drink lid full of ketchup since dipping cups are nowhere to be found, a homeless guy approaches the counter. "I'm going to make a deal with you. Either you do me a favor and give me a few burgers, or I'm going to beg every person who comes in here for change until I can afford them." It works.

The little man who ordered after Andy sits down a few tables behind me with his chicken breasts. And the girl with the voice continues to sing. Andy and I chew.

The door to the street opens and a small group of high school aged kids walk in. The man with the accent and the small voice looks up from his food to greet them.

"Welcome to Hell," he says.

03 May 2007


In 1999, a month or so after I graduated high school (what's with the flashback posts today?) I went to Woodstock '99 with a few friends. The sanitary atrocities and "Apocalypse Now"-ishness of the whole thing is well documented and maybe someday my own personal "oh shit" moments will make a good post here. But perhaps the festival's most lasting impression on me was formed when I wandered into the Students for a Free Tibet booth with my friend Dave, situated amongst the bong and pipe retailers. A few months later, as a college freshman, I started going to meetings.

We did some film screenings, had some letter-writing parties, held cultural nights, and ate a lot of food from Kabob and Curry. In the end, it never left me with a sense of real accomplishment, so as I got more and more involved in singing and intramurals and radio I just stopped going. It wasn't that I stopped believing in a Free Tibet. I guess I just stopped believing in my own ability to do anything about it.

One guy who left a mark on me, though, was Tenzin Dorjee. We knew him as Tendor, and he was an exiled Tibetan-American, never having been to his own homeland. Speaking with Tendor, you'd find yourself leaning further and further in, so as not to miss a single softly spoken word. For many of us, SFT was one of many activities we would dabble in at Brown. For Tendor, it was, and is, very personal. His passion was contagious.

I got an email today that he was recently detained by the Chinese government after staging a high altitude protest in Tibet's Mt. Everest base camp, but has since been released. China is hosting the 2008 Olympics and planning to march the torch through occupied Tibet to Mt. Everest.

It's awesome (and a bit guilt-inducing) to see that Tendor continues to fight for what he believes in, long after my own energies have shifted elsewhere. That's him speaking in this video.

Fort Bend, TX is full of n00bz.

There was a span of a few months during my junior year in high school in which my friend Chris and I taught ourselves how to create maps for Doom II. I don't remember the name of the program we found on the internet that enabled us, but it was a buggy, awful application that would always hang at inopportune times, driving me to distraction and causing one out of every three or four of my clicks to be on "save."

Basically, we were able to draw lines to create a bunch of different sectors, and then set properties for each sector to determine textures for the surfaces, lighting, height. If you ever played those games, you might remember that the mechanics didn't permit overlapping rooms, so although you could create elevators and stairs and the like, you couldn't make one room actually exist above another. All floor surfaces had to be completely level, too. Still, with these basic tools we set about creating these maps, and then splattering each other all over them for hours and hours over our 14.4k modems, ensuring busy signals for all who would foolishly attempt to dial our parents.

Nothing I made was ever pretty, but I liked the idea of taking ownership of my gaming experience. Chris on the other hand, accomplished some truly remarkable things given our limited tools. He's an architect now and makes his living doing a much more complicated version of the same thing.

One of the things I tried to make, after a moderately good model of my own home (with teleports instead of staircases to simulate multiple floors that were actually on top of one another), was a map based on our high school. It seemed a completely natural and fun thing to do to try and recreate a real-life place in a virtual world. I never was able to finish it, because it got too big and the buggy program couldn't handle it. But I did try. It was unanimously agreed upon by my friends that if I had succeeded, it would have been totally rad.

A story that's all over the Internet today is that of a sociable, popular honors student in Fort Bend, TX whose life is being turned upside-down because he succeeded in creating what looks to be a pretty amazing Counter-Strike map of his own Clement High School:
Although the police confiscated a hammer they found in his bedroom as a possible terroristic weapon and not a tool to fix his wobbly bed, no charges are being pressed. Still, the kid has been relegated to the district's alternative school and will not be permitted to attend his graduation.

I'm certainly not the only one who thinks this is fucked up, and a very large number of folks are making their concerns be known in a number of comment sections. I just wanted to go on record here as an example of someone who, as a high school student, found great satisfaction in digitally simulating familiar surroundings, and then littering them with the pixelated blood and guts.

You could make a fairly convincing argument that I turned out ok. Chris too.

27 April 2007


Judd Apatow, who it would appear is known simply as "The Guy Who Brought You The 40 Year Old Virgin" now, will always have a place in my heart as "The Guy Who Brought Me Freaks And Geeks." He just gave me a reason to look forward to August, a month I usually devote to prematurely mourning the death of summer.

25 April 2007


It was just time. Too long had I avoided the issue, living in the past, refusing to admit that a formerly beautiful arrangement had run its course. I had to rip the band-aid off, hair or no hair. I had to make a move. I needed to spread my wings. I needed something new.

And so, Rhode Island area code (401), it's over. I'll always remember you fondly. I'll even still call once in a while. But it just hasn't worked between us in a long time. Things have been strained for almost three years now, since I moved to New York. And we tried to make it work. I know we did. But it just didn't and I think when the hurt fades, you'll realize this is for the best.

And the same goes for you, Verizon Wireless. We had a good thing going, for a long, long time. God, remember when I worked for you? AWKWARD! I'll admit that right up until I pulled the trigger I didn't believe that I could. And even still the talking points we used to share with customers ring in my ears, spectral transmissions from a different time and place. A piece of me will be with you always.

So Brooklyn, I'm yours, finally, officially. For as long as you'll have me. Sure took me long enough.

23 April 2007

Responsibility, free speech, and Bill & Ted

I'm tired of hearing Imus sympathizers invoke the First Ammendment in his defense. It's not an issue of whether or not Mr. Imus had the right to say what he did. Nobody hauled him off to jail. He's been pilloried metaphorically, but physically nobody's laid a hand on him and he'll be licking his wounds (back to metaphors again) very comfortably in the privacy of one of his own lavishly furnished dwellings until such time as he sees fit to announce his triumphant comeback. He had and he has and he will have the right to say what he did.

I think the debate should be about whether he should have said it and I think the reason that's not what most people are talking about is that for the most part, reasonable human beings can agree that he shouldn't have.

I think what we should be focusing on is RESPONSIBILITY. As this media storm continues to gain strength and the frying pans cast eyes on larger and larger fish, I sincerely hope the organizations that truly profit from those who would do hurtful things in the name of ratings continue to feel the heat. And I hope Imus isn't the only casualty.

Imus, Limbaugh, Coulter, the KKK, etc. all have the right to say what they want to say. But none of them have the right to a nationally syndicated radio program. None of them have the right to step on whomever else they please (verbally) as they claw their way ever upwards to the top of the dung pile. They have every right to stand on the street corner and rant and rave. They are not entitled to a paycheck in return, and they are not entitled to a nation-wide public address system. Always remember that the airwaves are licensed to the employers of these blustery windbags by the federal government and by extension, the American people.

"But that's censorship!" you cry. Well, no. But even if it were the FCC already applies archaic censorship rules to the public airwaves. Hefty fines await those who would dare utter a fuckword or two during afternoon drive (children might be listening!) but Jerry Del Colliano compiled today a pretty stomach-turning sampler of what passes for decent broadcasting these days.

No, I advocate not censorship but responsibility. I ask why advertisers have to pull spots before companies hurry out press releases about doing the right thing and excising a tumor. I wonder when decency will be more than a euphemism for PR expediency. I wonder when the major purveyors of this bile will heed the advice of Bill & Ted, who told us to "Be excellent to each other." And really, I don't think it's ever going to happen on the airwaves at all.

Which is why, as I commented on Mr. Del Colliano's blog and as you might have already guessed if you read this blog often, I've turned my back on broadcast radio almost entirely. With a few notable exceptions, radio has become a vile, wretched tar pit, and I could care less that these dinosaurs are sinking into it. Let them shriek and howl all they want on their way down.

I'll be on the Web, where the voices that resonate with me can be heard (and read) loud and clear.

18 April 2007

php stands for "popular hunks partake (in web programming)" it should come to you as no surprise that i spent last night dropping some major skillz on this here website. specifically the music page. it's in php now instead of straight html, which means a few things:
  1. no more frames. frames are potty.
  2. i can link you to whatever song i want, using variables in the url. check it out: i couldn't do this before.
  3. making changes to the site (which i guess i might eventually want to do) will be much simpler.
sorry ladies, i'm taken (amazingly enough).

16 April 2007

of balls and weiners

made it up to providence this weekend for just under 24 hours to attend the wbru rock hunt. and to play golf at my old favorite rhode island course. and, most importantly, to eat my weight in new york system wieners. the golf was fun and even though i was terrible, i didn't lose a single ball. the wieners were heavenly, of course. as is always the case, i didn't have nearly enough time to see everyone i wanted to and it was all over too fast. and as for the rock hunt...

all 4 bands were good. the blizzard of 78 (formerly delta clutch), arcadia landing (formerly slik willy), triangle forest, and hello mahalo. but it was triangle forest that ran away with the show. i wrote more about them on mog. they're good. check them out.

09 April 2007

same as it ever was

got back late last night from the hinterlands in which i spent my formative years. every time i go back there's a new strip mall and there's an infant-wielding face that i recognize from high school but can't put a name to. time marches on and on i suppose and maybe someday i'll get used to it.
another podcast originating in the uk called the weekly showcase played "if these walls could talk" last week. i emailed the proprietor (a personable guy, from the sound of it) to thank him for playing the song and he hinted that there may be more to come this week, so do keep your eye on his myspace for the newest episode sometime wednesday or thursday.

of course, if there are any podcasts that you listen to regularly, i wouldn't mind if you sent them an email letting them know that all this stuff is podsafe.

i got into a little flame war today in the comment section over at stereogum (of all places) about global warming. it's not usually my style to get into it with morons because really, there's no winning and they always have more energy than i do to fight for the last word, regardless of the merit of their argument. some days though, you just wake up with less of a tolerance for ignorance than usual. i guess today was one of those days.

if you still haven't seen an inconvenient truth (while we're on the subject) please do. i'll even give you my copy. get in touch with me if you want it.

30 March 2007

i know where my taxes go while my taxes know nothing about me

last night was the beagle club show. i swear to god those guys get better every single time i see them. they opened with "mr. miller's opus" (listen to it over at my mog page), which i think is the best song to come out last year (period), and a great opening track. and they never looked back. i'll write more about how wonderful they were soon in a more visible place than this remote portopotty on the fringe of the internet fairgrounds. i might even post a picture or two.

drew and the medicinal pen (or you can just call him drew) opened. he opened their last show at goodbye blue monday (which i wish i lived closer to) as well, and he's a really nice guy that's really coming into his own on stage; last time i liked him, this time i really liked him. i picked up his cd and i'll spend some time listening to it tonight. the beagle club guys tell me it's really good. he's having a cd release party this weekend that i wish i could go to.

and now, if you'll allow it, i'll plug myself a tad. green dragon podcasted another one of my songs york city this time. i really can't thank him enough for that. you can check out the podcast here (.mp3 link). if you feel like it, leave him a comment mentioning that you liked hearing it. that'd be rad.

28 March 2007

bite size bonus

a cool thing happened this morning. if these walls could talk got played on today's edition of green dragon's bite size bonus podcast. it might not be the first time this stuff's been podcasted, but it's definitely the first time anybody's let me know about it and i'm quite thankful for the exposure. other bands featured on today's podcast include...bloc party. no big deal.

go here to check it out.

here's a link straight to the mp3 file.

27 March 2007

my fingers smell like metal

for the first time in i-don't-know-how-long, i just spent two straight hours playing the guitar. it had been so long, in fact, that i spent the two hours in question trying to relearn how to play all the songs on they're more afriad of you than you are of them. so now i can play them again, slightly less well than i could a year ago. i'm a schmuck.

i'm removed enough from it now to admit to you that i've never been happy with the way a lot of things on that record came out. bits and pieces of songs, mostly. but basically all of a viking's funeral drives me crazy. i got overzealous and i got carried away trying to make a song rock hard with a programmed rhythm section and a lot of compression and reverb. but truthfully (and you're just going to have to take my word for it for now) it sounds much much nicer on an acoustic guitar. maybe with a real piano, too.

which brings me to some exciting, albeit slightly speculative, news. rob, the ivory tickling of whom you can hear in i spin forever and scutigera coleoptrata is moving to new york city from san francisco in june. i can't promise much since we've only talked a little bit about it, but i'd be lying if i said i wasn't excited at the chance to play again alongside one of the most talented, intuitive musicians i've ever had the pleasure of knowing. allow me to elaborate: both the keyboard parts mentioned above were recorded in about three takes. i brought a portable recorder out to the piano rehearsal rooms back at brown university, told him what chords to play and slapped some headphones on him, and the rest is history.

so, if he can find any time for me when he's not engrossed in his theoretical physics phd program (show off), well, it'll be pretty cool. i'd love to record some songs with him in which the piano is more than a pretty afterthought. stay tuned.

also. it's the time of year now on new york where the sun is right in my eyes as i make my way home from work on long island back to brooklyn. it's probably for the best that everybody slows way down since nobody can see, but it also means it takes me forever to get home and i have a lot of time to think about things. this evening a lyric from a song sean was working on a while back kept popping into my head: "the sun's in my eyes, interstate 95..." i should make him play that for me again. we can make something of that.

if you can't tell, i'm really thinking seriously again about playing music. it's about time.

oh shit! i almost forgot the whole reason i started writing this post, which was to tell you that if you're around new york, endless mike and the beagle club are playing on thursday (that's the 29th) at a really cool bar in bushwick called goodbye blue monday. sean and i will be there.

26 March 2007

they just stop working

there's a recurring theme i've had in my dreams for some time that's been increasingly prevalent lately. anyone who makes a habit of interpreting dreams is welcome to chime in here.

my legs just stop working.

i'm usually doing something completely unexceptional like walking down the street, when something on the ground will catch my eye and i'll squat down to get a closer look. and then i'll realize that my legs won't unsquat. i can only stand again and keep walking when i've dragged myself to a staircase or something, when i can swing myself out over a ledge with my arms and let gravity stretch my legs out again.

the other night i went to kick a soccer ball and my foot bounced right off it.

weird, huh?

19 March 2007

let's get on the same page

  • i got my hair cut. short.
  • that grey hair really is sneaking up on me.
  • i'm in san jose now for work. but as i think i've probably said before, the inside of a conference center looks mostly the same no matter where you go. same with airports and hotel rooms.
  • i do, however, have a king-sized bed in this particular room. last night i slept sideways.
  • i am sick as a dog and i can't seem to shake it.
  • there are forklifts whizzing by me every few seconds, which is pretty cool. did you ever see that german forklift safety video? it's awesomely bloody and campy and i never did find out if it was for real or not but it sure is awesome.
  • i'm in computer transition. it's not really an excuse for not writing on here since transition or not i am very rarely more than 30 feet from a keyboard. it should, however, make the music recording process a bit easier this time around.
  • i do, eventually, plan on recording some more songs.

28 February 2007

dublin: everything else

here's the rest of everything i scribbled in dublin. i feel like a butthead for being to lazy to type this out for so long.

last night we ate at eddie rockets (like johnny rockets, only eddie's). surely a very expensive market research study is behind this. [turns out they're not connected. who knew?] Similarly so for tk maxx. [who are connected to tj maxx.] i ordered the atomic burger in desperate search for some spice (they don't seem to like spice very much here) and even though it had jalapeños and chili on it, it was still...middlingly spicy. but delicious.

we've done a ton of tour bus rides. some of the drivers tell the same jokes as each other ("if you look closely at the ground level of the department of defense, you can see de-fence!") but they're all quite funny and it's a surprisingly effective way to see some things you don't have time to see up close. i'd recommend it to anyone.

you can walk pretty much everywhere here in about 10 minutes. the crosswalk system is mind-boggling, so everyone jaywalks. which is dangerous if you're always looking the wrong way for oncoming traffic. on more than one occasion we could have known first hand what it would be like for a double-decker bus to crash into us (to die by your side...). the walk signals here make laser gun noises to alert you that it's ok to cross the street.

i've taken a lot of photographs of buildings. and statues. i've already forgotten the stories behind most...but they sure are nice to look at. it's a beautiful city. you can see basically all of it from the guinness storehouse's "gravity bar," which is only 7 stories up.

guinness is like budweiser here, which is funny. they have branding in the windows of almost every pub. it has the same effect on the locals, it seems, as budweiser's stateside omnipresence has: people who order guinness seem to me to be people who only drink guinness. everyone else drinks cooler beers, like bud and heineken. crazy world.

we toured the dublin castle today, which remains a functional government building. strange to think that ireland has only been a completely sovereign nation for 85 years. they've had a woman president since 1995 and will until at leat 2014. cool.

saw a fish & chips place that apparently springsteen himself has visited (lots of other famous folks, too) but we'd already eaten chips at a different place across the liffey, about a 10 minute's walk away. [too bad really, apparently burdock's has the best fish & chips in all of ireland, if those reviews are to be believed.]
it was supposed to rain the whole time we were here. we fly out tomorrow morning, and no rain yet. [it did rain the morning we left.] it's been about 40º - 50º F, too. which is outright balmy compared to nyc lately. i'd really like to stay here a while longer.

26 February 2007

dublin: first impressions

god damn, i am miserably bad at following through with my promises these days. blame crackdown. here's the first bit of pictures and some scribblings from my recent trip to dublin. i've tried to remain faithful to whatever it is that i seemed to mean at the time.
(most of my pictures look like this. i have no idea what it is.)

i find myself eavesdropping a lot. on every conversation i can, actually. i like the accent, i guess. and how they call people "lads" instead of "guys."
(molly malone statue at grafton street)

our hotel room is nice. the bathroom sink has a shallow basin and a faucet with comically aggressive water pressure, which makes for a pretty cool booby-trap.
(looking out over dublin from the top of the guinness storehouse. i'm getting my hair cut really soon, mom.)

the city's centre (see what i did there?) doesn't have many (any) tall buildings.

there don't seem to be any investment bankers lurking about here.
(the black stuff.)

the street signs (when there are any) are right on the corners of buildings and they're really easy to miss. it's easy to get lost but the city seems small so thusfar it's also been easy enough to get found again.
(awesome neon sign in temple bar. why indeed.)

19 February 2007


i sure have missed you. i thought about you a few times while i was gone, even. "gone where," you say? well, for the first half of last week i was bumming around in the waldorf=astoria*. long story short, a free room came by way of my girlfriend (work related), and there aren't many things that i like more than sitting around and doing nothing, which is exactly what i did there while she worked. then at night we had some nice dinners. i didn't take a single picture of the place. so...imagine a hotel room. that's what it looked like. the rest of the events that transpired there need not be repeated.

and then we took off for a weekend in dublin. regular jetsetters, we are. and i did take a lot of pictures in dublin. i'll be posting a bunch later. i scribbled a bunch of notes to you while i was there, too. i'll spend some time later in the week decoding from those pages what it is exactly that i meant to tell you. i figure wherever i can, i'll include pictures to break up the babble. that'll be keen.

so i'll catch up with you soon with some irish shit. right now, it's bedtime. work tomorrow, you know.

* did you know it's a hilton hotel? gross.

07 February 2007


tragedy and danger have befallen the house of lords (which i've recently decided is what i'm calling roddy's 6 gallon tank) in the form of the dread pirate ick*. our brave little hero is currently undergoing treatment that turns his water blue. his only public reaction to the matter thus far, predictably, has been "this is bullshit." he has no further statement at this time and i ask that you respect his privacy as he deals with this matter in the only way he knows how: the manly way.
"this is bullshit."

* ick is really a parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, not a pirate.

30 January 2007


in the (far too) well recorded history of blogs, there have certainly been many updates the are...unneccessary. this is one such entry.

i've been casually playing around with php, mostly out of boredom. soon most of the pages on this site (not the blog, though) will be in php instead of html. i'll probably start making the easiest stuff live tonight. i'm more than a little excited, honestly. because i'm more than a little nerdy.

continuing right along this gnarly path, i got rid of the unsightly counter at the bottom of this page for something less...asenine. google analytics. i can't say enough nice things about it. or about you, strangers and friends, who come here. thanks to google analytics i now know that by a very narrow margin, more of you use firefox than use internet explorer. i am so proud of you. i'm beaming.

my friend adam, who is doing a lot more with his life than i am with mine, started a blog this month. he's a good writer and he's in peru doing interesting things so he's got plenty to write about. if you're looking for one more thing to read during the day, consider stopping by.

24 January 2007

ybor city is tres speedy but they throw such killer parties

statistically speaking, today was the most depressing day of the year. because it was the monday of the most depressing week of the year. there are people who sit at desks and get paid to come up with this kind of thing. depressing, depressing people.

me, i was doing pretty good until i watched 24. and then i played gears of war and got my ass handed to me by foul-mouthed, wretched little children. now i hate myself for liking that godforsaken show, and for sucking at that godforsaken game. but i guess i'm still not depressed.

i saw the hold steady play at northsix last week. i wrote about it today at work, but i figured i'd mention it here too, since they were so god damn fucking amazing and i'm reluctant to use such strong language when my paycheck depends on it. here's a video of them on letterman the week prior. watch it and then believe me when i tell you that they were roughly ten million times better in person.

this weekend i had some pretty good food. there's a malaysian place on grand street (the little italy part, not the chinatown part) called nyonya and they have this dessert called peanut pancake which may or may not be laced with narcotics, because it took me to new and higher places, in a spiritual sense. make sure you get the coconut ice cream on it. i had some goat meat on west 160th street also. and a burrito. a really good burrito.

in february i'm going to dublin for a few days to see if it's really true what they say about the irish and drinking. my motives are purely scholastic, and i'll have a full report to you upon my return.

i tried to quit coffee for a while but today i remembered how much i like coffee. same goes for white castle, actually. damn.

17 January 2007

new york is cold but i like where i'm living

it feels like it's been forever since my last bizarre subway experience, so i guess i've been due for one. today at pacific street a guy got on with a crumpled yellow piece of paper in his hand, all smiles and handshakes, and introduced himself in the brokenest of englishes to me, despite my headphones.

i was understanding maybe one word out of every twenty, and a lot of those were the same few words over and over. he wanted my help translating a ticket he had just been written by transit cops (did you even know they really do that?!) for "reclining" on a crowded n-train. according to him, he just had his feet up, and the cops came over and asked his name and address and handed him a ticket. for fifty dollars.

he laughed it off though. told me how many hours of work at the restaurant it would be to erase it, and proceeded then to talk my ear off for the duration of my ride.

he said i had a nice face, that i would be popular in shanghai, where he was from. but that shanghai would make me miss new york. at this point in my smiling and nodding i think i might have agreed to visit him there.

he also went into a very detailed explanation of why it's important not to get married and at what age it becomes okay and mostly (i think) it came down to money but he kept saying "downstairs" and i don't know what he meant by that but i kinda doubt it's what you're thinking he meant. i really wish i could've understood more.

anyway, it was kinda cool. when i got up to leave he said "see you in shanghai" and i said "see you there" and then that was it.

oh yeah and he was wearing a bike helmet the whole time. no bike though.

my friend laura salierno has some photos up for the next month or so at a bar called punch and judy. i went to a reception there tonight and caught up with some people that i really should call more often. if you're around clinton street (there's music there all through the evening) you should stop by. one of the photos has me in it, which is kinda neat, if you're me. but all of them are really very wonderful.