Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 New Years Resolutions

  1. Since I didn't accomplish this last year, I would like to put doing dishes nightly back up there.
  2. Only eating local food.
  3. Committing to our garden.
  4. Finish my timeline - I'm working on a timeline that plots my life from high school to present.  I'm at 1997 currently.
  5. Be in a position to buy a new house by year's end.  
  6. Build something out of wood.
  1. Write some form of a remembrance of Angelique.
  2. Increase bike riding from last year.
  3. Work out at work.
  4. Visit Greg McDonald.
  1. Be more "pro-Nebraska."
  2. Live like society could collapse at any moment
  3. Use my creativity/be more creative.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lyric Analysis with Floyd

I like to talk about lyrics, and since no one wants to talk to me about them, I feel like I should be able to get this out on on my blog.

So I have been singing Tom Waits songs to Edith when I feed her, and I noticed a theme to his songs that I wanted to share.  In the world of Tom Waits, the things will never be as good as they used to be, and there is no way to recapture the past. 

Exhibit A:

Yesterday Is Here

The whole point of this song is that things are only going to get worse. You have to wait for "yesterday" for things to be the way you want them to be.  This song is great because there's a whip sound in it. 

Exhibit B:

All the World is Green

This puts a finer point on things. It's specific. Referencing a marriage where things will only be set right when the world is new again. All the damage that a couple does to each other is never going to be undone. So as the years go by your world of green that you start with when you meet and fall in love slowly becomes damaged. And it's not coming back. He says it might come back after you die, but in the meantime, forget about it. Which is kind of sad I guess. But the converse message is to make the best of what you have. Which I am a big believer in, so that works for me.

Lastly Exhibit C

Walk Away

I really shouldn't be singing these songs to my kid. This one is about doing something horribly wrong and wanting the opportunity to go back "and do it over again" - but this time do the right thing.

So there are two things going on here. Either this is a strong enough theme that may little sampling of songs I can remember lyrics to reflects a larger trend. Or subconsciously I'm dealing with a lot of regret issues.

Also, for the record I wish there was a rule that you could only include album art on youtube videos, so that the vast array of douchey Tom Waits photos could die their well-deserved death.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 31

Loose Ends

First off thanks everyone for your participation. I appreciate it.

Second, if there was a topic that I missed that you wanted to weigh-in on, feel free to add it now as a comment.

Third I actually have a word document that collects everyone's answers and I'll send it out once I am absolutely sure no one wants to add a comment that they haven't gotten around to yet (Leslie's favorite movie, Chelsey's most dreamboaty movie stars, etc.).

Until then . . .


30 Day Movie C


I got this email from my mom today.  I feel like this is an accurate representation of a typical conversation with her. Just intersperse some "oh"s and "ok"s along the way.  And take out the "Love, Mom."   

Also, Chelsey, it looks like mom might not be able to babysit tomorrow after all.  That's in there somewhere. 

DEATH NOTICE (actual email subject - all caps)

Rats, Brent, I just checked the obits and XXX XXX's stuff (the cousin who died) is going to be thursday evening with funeral on Friday!  the visitation starts at 4, so if Gram would be okay with just going then and staying only an hour, it would be fine with me.  Less congestion etc.  plus, it is at St. Thomas More Chucrch and I don't know the setup there at all for walkers etd.  Still, this gal has a grandaughter with Spina bifida so I bet they would have thought of that.  It's just bad timing all around!  She died on Monday so i wish they would have bumped everything up one day, given how hectic this season is for everyone.  Just wanted to give you the heads up about possible cancellation of thurs. babysitting  and Friday shopping.  I would hope gram would bow out of participating but she may expect me to go to one or the other of the major stuff.  Sorry.  Like I said, just bad timing, but I will keep you posted.  Love, Mom  PS  I don't even have anything to wear to a galdarn funeral so I am going to have to go out and buy something!!!!!           

Monday, December 19, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 30

Favorite/Best movie

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf





Friday, December 16, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 29

Funniest movie

I know Raising Arizona will be voted in by someone so I'll pick my number two: Young Frankenstein.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 28

Favorite musical

For a long time this would have been West Side Story, but it has been usurped by Jesus Christ Superstar.

Brent's pick

Kent's pick; I can't believe this is not available on Netflix

Wendy's pick

Chelsey's excellent pick

Leslie's pick

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 14

This date is special.  The following things happened on December 14.

1) Chelsey and I met (2004)
2) I proposed to Chelsey (2005)
3) We got Deuce (2008)
4) Chelsey got her scooter (2009)
5) Edith was conceived (2010)

Which means something really badass will most likely happen today.  Maybe we will get rid of Deuce.

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 27

Dreamiest movies stars ever.

Mine are Grace Kelly and James Dean.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 26

Favorite/best tv movie or mini-series.

I don't watch a lot of tv movies or mini-series. I've never seen Roots or the Thornbirds. I remember our dad being strangely riveted to Shogun when I was a kid. I'll pick Angels in America because there are performances in it that I found amazing, including Al Pacino's and Mary Louis Parker's.

Leslie's pick.

Brent's pick.

Wendy's pick -

Kent's pick!

Monday, December 12, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 25

If you could make one person no longer a movie star i.e. they would appear in no more movies and their cannon of movies would disappear, who would you pick.

I have never like Michael Douglas in anything, excepting perhaps The Game. My female candidate would be Melanie Griffith, which I think would eliminate the movie Harper, which would be sad, but it would ultimately be worth it.

Three Bike Accidents

This past week, my nephew (Wendy's son Jude) had a pretty crappy bike accident.  I wanted to pass along my own bike disaster memories so that he could see he wasn't alone in his struggle to stay on two wheels.  Here is the email I sent to Wendy.  After re-reading it, I decided that I wanted it to share it for posterity.  It's cleaned up a bit.  In the first story, I actually racked myself severely, but figured there was not delicate way of saying that.  And in the last one I was at least a little drunk.  No need to share that. 

First, when I was his age, Chuck and I were jumping our bikes at the churchyards in Logansport.   We had a ramp set up, but I guess it was too close to a shed that was on the parking lot.  I had made the jump several times, but on my last jump, I struggled to land, and ran straight into the shed.  It threw me off my seat and into my handlebars.  I hopped up from the wreck, and ran straight home, I was so mad and embarrassed and hurt..  Bad day. 
But not the worst bike accident I ever had.  The one that hurt the most happened in New Orleans.  I was biking home from the grocery store in the street, when some lady opened her car door in front of me without looking.  The door took out my bike and I flew straight into the side of her door.  The main impact was on my shin.  It split the skin wide open, and my leg swelled up so it looked like a tennis ball was underneath.  So much swelling I could barely walk for the next week.  I had to have the welt lanced to relieve the pain and pressure.  When the sore finally healed (it took the whole summer) the scab that fell off was big and thick as a thin mint cookie.  It was incredible.  I still have a lump there on that shin.
Still not the worst.  The worst was actually pretty similar to Jude's.  I was biking home from my job on St. Charles Avenue late one night, and I must have hit something or something hit me.  It was very dark.  I don't really know what happened, because I lost consciousness.  When I came to, I woke to the feeling of my chin dragging along the road.  I had been knocked off my bike and basically landed on my face.  I got to my feet, and tried to ride home.  It felt like my face was on fire, and little drops of blood were accumulating on my shirt and bike on the way home.  By the time I got home, my whole front side was bloody.  I took a look at myself in the mirror that night, and I couldn't see any skin on my chin at all.  Just blood and scab.  I had a concussion from the accident, so I threw up after that.  Then I went to bed.  NEVER DO THIS.  I WAS LUCKY.  You aren't supposed to fall asleep after a concussion, but I was super-loopy from the crash.  The next day, I tried to go to school, but I was in a fog.  I got to class late, and everyone gasped when I opened the door.  But my fellow students were very kind.  They helped me get to the Medical Clinic on campus, where the staff diagnosed my concussion, and told me it was too late for stitches.  When I got home from school I discovered that I had gravel embedded in my chin.  I spent several excruciating minutes digging it out, but I did a lousy job.  I would find little pieces of concrete in my chin over the course of the next few months.  I had a very deep cut on my chin which took a log time to heal.  But I also had a great story.  Sometimes I would make things up when people would ask me about it.  And then, when I met Chelsey, we discovered that both of us had a scar in that same spot on our chins.  So maybe it was meant to be. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Best Albums of 2011

Brent's and Kents!  Please submit yours to me, and I'll add them accordingly...

Brent's Top 10!

10) Slow Club:Paradise - I had a bunch of albums tied for 10th, at the end, it was either this, or Those Darlin’s. Slow Club won because the first song, Two Cousins, is so good. It gets me excited for the whole album. It never tops the opener. But especially as a sophomore effort, I really think they did a bang-up job

9) Allo Darlin’: Allo Darlin’ - This came out in 2010, and has the worst name I can think of for a band. So that was two strikes right there. But it’s sweet and clever in the way that Belle and Sebastian or Camera Obscura can be. Horrible name. It bears repeating.

8) Adele:21 - There are some lousy songs on this thing, but it also includes two songs that could be the song of the year for me. And several others that might be in that category if they were in the shadow of the Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You. And I love the concept of Adele being a popstar who outsold like everyone else this year.

7) The Weeknd:House of Balloons - I am the last person that should be liking this album, and I’m sure I don’t get all its references, but it won me over. It sounds like 1990’s R&B to me, but I’m sure I have that wrong. Much more than the sum of its parts.

6) Hunx & His Punx:Too Young to Be in Love - Phil Spector girl-group songs sung by a gay! Where do I sign up? I loved this album. Pure joy. And then they whip out this raspy-voiced lady singer! Even better.

5) The Anlers:Burst Apart - Their last album, Hospice, was great, but sounded lousy. This album is good but it sounds great. The Antlers make great songs. Every Nigh My Teeth Are Falling Out. Come on.

4) Lykki Li:Wounded Rhymes - Any of these next three could be my number one album. Lykki Li is like 20 or something. It’s crazy how good these songs are when you consider how young she is. There seems to be a real trend of retreading Phil Spector. But her Sadness is a Blessing is the only take on it that expanded on it in any way. Love Out of Lust is going to be one of my favorite songs as long as I am in love. Rich Kid Blues and Get Some should be on the radio.

3) Cults:Cults - Okay, I take that back. I think the Cults reference the Spector sound and they do some good stuff with it indirectly. Go Outside is one of my favorite songs of the year, which is unfortunate because it was released last year. The album is 2011 however, and songs like You Know What I Mean and Bumper grew on me all year. Kent hit the head on the nail. This is next what seems to be a constant line of noise guy/girl singer bands (Sleigh Bells, Crystal Castles).

2) Generationals:Actor-Castor/Trust - I’m lopping together the EP and the album because both were excellent. I wanted like the dickens to put as my number one entry. But the only problem with this band - it’s fundamental to them and I don’t think they should change it - their lyrics don’t mean anything to me. So you have these unbelievably songs and pretty good production, but the words don’t take me anywhere. Which is a shame. It was by far the best tunes of the year in my opinion. Yes, I just said tunes.

1) Okkervil River:I Am Very Far/Mermaid - I love this band, and this is their best work since Black Sheep Boy. Also, as Kent pointed out to me last month, the Mermaid Single is a real piece of work too. Will Scheff is kind of a jerk, as I learned this year. But I will take his lyrics over almost anyone at this point. And they take enough left turns musically to make it an interesting album in that regard as well. 

Kent's Picks!

Legitimately Good Albums
  • Okkervil River - I Am Very Far - After two less-than-memorable releases, Okkervil River pulls it together. They've finally got the "rock n roll" sound they were trying for on The Stage Names down, yet there is plenty of rambling woe is me Okkervil River songs as well. Pity that the best song, Mermaid, was only released as a single.
  • Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo - Brent thought it was odd that I would like this album so much, due to its lyrics of woe, and I thought it was odd that he would like it so much, due to its guitar virtuosity. Kurt Vile does both things really well. I like that the guy has such a terrible voice (All my favorite singers couldn't sing). I like the too lazy to be punk aesthetic. I like that just about every episode of my new favorite terrible TV show, Revenge, has a song off this album in it.
  • Tom Waits - Bad as Me - Like Okkervil River, Tom Waits has been putting out some crummy albums of late. I suppose I shouldn't say crummy, because Tom Waits and Okkervil River's crap is way better than most other bands best efforts. Anyway, this is Tom Waits' best work since Mule Variations. I like the way each song goes in it's own direction, rather than the unified sound of Real Gone.

Good Albums That Aren't As Good As The Legitimately Good Albums, But Are Still Pretty Good.
  • Generationals - Actor-Caster - Generationals make a strange kind of music. It's nostalgic pop, but with a synthesizer twinge. It's like they have taken samples of old music and stitched them together. The guitar sounds like it is straight out of the 60s. The production is great, and they have a great ear for adding odd instruments to the mix without overdoing it. I had 3 chances to go see them this year, and did not make a single one, and I regret that. I think their biggest accomplishment is being a New Orleans band that doesn't sound like a New Orleans band.
  • The Antlers - Burst Apart - Once you make a great concept album, I feel like you have to keep on making concept albums. It just seems weird to not over-analyze an Antlers album as a whole.
  • Other Lives - Tamer Animals - Apparently they have another album that sounds just like this one. I must have had it at some point, because Brent has it. Apparently it didn't survive the yearly purge of crappy music. The three song stretch of Tamer Animals, Bust Bowl III, and Weather is just fantastic reverb-y goodness.
  • Yellow Ostrich - The Mistress - I love a lo-fi sound. I love recorded loops. I love harmonies. Naturally, I really enjoy Yellow Ostrich's weirdo album. All the songs are pretty much the same, but the sound is fantastic.

Albums that have one or two really good songs on them, and a bunch of filler.
  • Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
  • Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
  • EMA - Past Life of Martyred Saints
  • The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

Albums with a great sound that don't have any great songs on them
  • Wu Lyf - Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
  • The Dodos - No Color

Album that would have been on this list had Kurt Vile not come around
and said "This is how you do it"
  • Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 24

    Best/most memorable experience watching a movie in a theater . . .

    I was going to say seeing Pulp Fiction the night it debuted in San Francisco, but then I remembered that I got to tux it up and attend the premiere of Vincere when I went to Cannes. The movie was meh, but the experience was pretty cool.

    Brent's finest hour

    Kent's Lucky Apple experience:


    Chelsey's pick

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    In the Event of my Untimely Death

    I would like to be buried in my seer sucker suit.  With a white button-down shirt, and and my brown tie that a has narrow white designs on it.  I would like to be wearing my Andrew Jackson lapel pin, and have my New Orleans Sains zippo in my inside jacket pocket.  I would also like my Lombardi Tropy included somehow, and if possible I would like "Chelsey" tattooed over my heart.  I don't know if they tattoo dead people, so someone will need to find that out.   

    30 day movie challenge day 23

    Scariest movie you have ever seen . . .

    The Grudge, The Exorcist, Ju-on, and most recently Insidious make the list but I'll say The Shining is still the scariest.

    I think part of the reason this stuck with us so much is that we had a brief membership to HBO or The Movie Channel when this was making it's way onto cable. I remember I had to leave the room with this would play.

    Kent's choice

    Here's a song I had forgotten about.

    Chuck remember how you loved these guys? I put my favorite one below. The Jeweler.  So serious.  So important.  In retrospect, I'm not sure why I liked that song so much...

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 22

    Sorry, for the delay. I have been swimming in it at work. I think maybe I listed my favorite foreign movies on facebook and so did Kent, but hey . . . let's all do it!

    My favorite foreign movie is still Pan's Labryinth, but I really like rules of the game, 2046, Chungking Express, Nights of Cabria etc.

    Wendy's choice

    Brent's pick

    Leslie's pick

    Kent's pick

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Music Reviews

    Every so often I read a music review like this one, and I never know what to think. 

    Part of me wants to roll my eyes at how they have used the release of a fairly popular record to show everyone how creative they can be in the context of a review.  That part of me doesn't really care to read their assessment of the band up to this date, or where they fit with a Chrysler commercial.  Just tell me what you think of the album.  I don't relate to you metaphors.  They may be well-conceived, but they don't seem very universal.  And I don't care. 

    The other part of me thinks that this is exactly how I might write this type of review.  Take an interesting angle.  Make it not so conventional.  Start paragraphs with "The Lyrics!"  All that sort of stuff.

    My conclusion from all this is that I kind of hate myself.  Which I guess I knew already, but here is further proof.

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 21

    Movie that you have seen most often:

    When we were kids we had the tv version of The Blues Brothers on tape and we watched the hell out of it. I'm not even going to put a trailer for the theatrical version on this post because it would minimize the specialness of the tv version experience. Anyway, Blues Brothers is the movie I have watched the most and I haven't seen since I was 17.

    Chelsey's choice

    Brent's choice, I remember when this came out and played at the Dundee during my senior year at Creighton. None of us had any idea how huge it was going to be.

    Here's Leslie's. I went with Star Wars.

    Kent's pick

    Wendy's pick:

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 20

    Movie that you had high hopes for and were disappointed by.

    For some reason I had very steep expectations for Ang Lee's The Hulk. I think I expected him to tap into the sadness within rage. He did not really go there. I tapped into the sadness within disappointment.

    I am right there with you on your pick Wendy. Man did i want it to be funny. In fact just watching the trailer make me think, maybe I should watch it again.

    Agree with Brent's pick too:

    Kent's pick:


    So Chelsey and I still watch this television show.  Last night Finn sang Girls Just Want to Have Fun.  And it was awesome.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 19

    Best/favorite line in a movie . . .

    It's hard to pick just one I'll go with, "And that's how you play get the guest" from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

    Brent's  (embedding isn't allowed.  You should really watch the whole clip, but 2:13 is where it gets good).

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011


    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 18

    Movie that you used to like, that you no longer care for and are kind of embarrassed by:

    I used to really like the movie The Crow. I remember making Wendy watch it with me when I lived in San Francisco. I still like some parts, but it's really, really cheesy.


    Leslie's pick, which I have never seen

    Wendy's pick which I have also never seen:

    Kent's pick

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challege Day 17

    Best/favorite acting performance in a movie. I'm going to think about this one a little bit before answering.

    Kent's pick

    my pick

    Wendy's choice

    Brent's pick

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011


    Killing time at work!

    Top 20 things I'm thankful for:

    1. King Edith - my compass spun when she came on the scene.  I have no idea what was important to me before she showed up.  Now every single decision I make starts with her. She is beautiful and I love her so.
    2. Chelsey Erpelding - My beautiful wife who kept King Edith safe for nine months, and delivered a beautiful baby without any complications.  I can't believe how someone who needs sleep so badly suddenly operated on like four hours a night without showing any ill effects.  She made the most graceful transition to motherhood, and she will always be the love of my life. 
    3. Side Door - Chelsey's dad put a new door on the side of our house this year.  It's so great.  Not as great as the baby, but pretty darn great.
    4. Weekend football - Every weekend I get to watch football with my brother while he holds Edith.  It's a scene I never ever imagined we would participate in, but it's become a weekly ritual that makes me happy to have such a great brother. 
    5. Presents - So many people did such great things for us in advance of King Edith's arrival.  Hand-made blankets, cute outfits, lots of Target gift cards.  And then after we arrived, having in-laws help take care of her, or bring us sustenance when we were too tired to eat.  Nice families.  Nice friends. Amen.
    6. New Tom Waits and Okkervil River albums - two of my favorite artists made two great albums this year.  Hallelujah.  Now I just need the Silver Jews to get back together.
    7. Trip to Logansport with siblings - this should be way higher, but this trip to our old hometown was really special.  Seeing stuff I barely remembered.  Seeing stuff I remembered very well.  Getting to spend time with my siblings again.  Eating Noble Romans pizza.  A wonderful trip that couldn't have come at a better time. 
    8.  The two weeks of FMLA I got to spend with my mom and Edith - I don't normally get to hang  out with my mom for that length of time.  We were able to visit museums and malls and eat breakfast together.  Obviously it would have been nicer if she wasn't going insane over grandma at the time, but realistically what would the likelihood of something like be?
    9. My new computer at work - My old computer hated me, and then I hated it.  And then we hated each other at the same time for a while.  And then it would lock up.  My new computer has two screens and hurts my neck, but it's still way better.
    10. My dumb dog - Deuce has tested the limits of what is lovable this year.  Acting like a dick, needing expensive surgery, getting up in the middle of the night.  Sometimes that dog can be a real pile of garbage.  Yet there is something unsinkable about him.  He serves as a constant reminder that chaos rules in our house.  He hates everything but us.  And he loves us so much it's annoying.  I don't know what we'd do without him.
    11. All the people who reached out when Angelique died - I was blown away by how many people who did and said kind things when we lost Angelique.  Amazing.  Humbling. 
    12. The Superfriends Movie Club - I like watching and writing about movies.  Finally there is a group for me. 
    13. The Cake Gallery - this year we found a bakery that makes the most delicious cakes.  Giant, five-layer, knock you over, super-moist cakes.  They are super expensive.  I love them.
    14. H&M opening in Kansas City.  What great news this is.  Now I can buy my dress shirts (the only ones I've found that fit me right) without having to go to Chicago. 
    15. Adele - I'm so happy that everyone likes Adele.  I hope she gets her voice fixed.  I hope she keeps making albums that everyone likes. I hope she keeps naming them by her age at the time she makes them.  Conversely, I wish Katy Perry would stop doing whatever she's doing immediately.  Are you aware that her album is now tied with Thriller for having the most #1 records.  What god would allow this?
    16. I Love Toy Trains - When we got Direct TV I was excited to watch two shows - I Love Toy Trains, and The In Crowd.  One is about Toy Trains.  The other is about high-society homosexuals.  Predictably the trains proved to be more entertaining.  This is the format of ILTT - in the 1990's this hobby store decided to shoot video of all these sweet toy train set-ups.  That's it.  They even have a camera that fits in the engine, so you can see these set-ups from the train's point of view.  I watch it every week. 
    17. My sister's recent visit to Omaha - few and far between that I can hang out with my sister in Omaha without a 92-year-old grandma in-tow.  This should also be ranked higher.  This year I got to eat at the Radial Cafe with both my mom and sister.  Talk about great!
    18. Kent Woynowski and his ever-expanding music library - This should definitely be higher.  Thank god for Kent, and his willingness to join me in wading through lots of crappy music each year, in the hopes of finding the good stuff.  And then we talk about it.  And get mad.  It's the best.
    19. Omaha - while I dream of leaving someday, it's pretty great living in a town that has the following:  a) great farmers market  b) cheap everything  c) no traffic ever  d) pretty old buildings e) nice people  f) good bands coming through and g) lots of trees.  If it had less hills and white trash, it would be perfect. 
    20. Tragedy and Elation - I walk around this world largely unconnected to the emotional overtures going on around me.  Emotions embarrass me.  They make me go in the other direction.  I don't understand how to interact with them.  Which is why the extremes appeal to me so much.  I get them.  It's obvious.  So I'm thankful for the humanity I feel during both.  They remind me that I can be a human, just like the rest of you.          

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 16

    Favorite/best (your choice) scene in a movie.

    I was thinking about this while I was walking Birdy last night. I considered the Get the Guest scene in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, or the Christopher Walken/Dennis Hopper scene in True Romance but I'm going to go with the scene between Frank and Donnie Darko in the movie theater in Donnie Darko. It breaks my heart every time.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 15

    Half way home on this deal.

    Favorite documentary:

    I like Hoop Dreams, Stevie, Lake of Fire, Inside Job and many others, but I'm going with When We Were Kings.

    Brent's choice

    Trailer provided by Video Detective

    Kent's pick

    Wendy's pick

    Brent's List of 2011 Music that isn't any good

    Hey All -

    I am starting to pare down my music so I can start making my best of lists.  The first step is to eliminate the stuff I could never get into or appreciate. Here is that list.  Please let me know of any songs or albums that deserve a further listen for any reason:

    1. Cass McCombs
    2. Death Cab for Cutie
    3. The Decemberists
    4. Fergus & Geronimo
    5. The Flaming Lips with Neon Indian
    6. Guillermo Sexo
    7. I'm From Barcelona
    8. Iceage
    9. The Low Anthem
    10. Man Man
    11. Micachu & The Shapes
    12. Noah & The Whale
    13. Quitron
    14. Smith Westerns
    15. Toro Y Moi
    16. tUnE-yArDs
    17. TV On The Radio
    18. Wilco
    19. Youth Lagoon

    DVD Commentary done right.

    Maybe some of you have already seen this. My friend Jon posted it on FB this morning. There's some unfortunate editing here, and it goes on quite a while. But still funny.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge 14

    Favorite animated movie

    I like the Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Spirited Away and a many others, but I am voting for WAll-E

    Brent, your American Pop is my Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Kent's pick

    Wendy doesn't care for Asian cats

    Leslie's pick

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge 13

    Movie that lots of other like minded people like that you just don't get.

    Brent, Kent and I have talked about this already, but I get almost nothing out of Oh Brother Where Art Thou. It seems so mannered, as to be emotionally empty.

    Kent's pick

    Brent's pick

    Wendy's pick

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    In your face.


    Last night Chelsey and I watched the most recent Workaholics.  This scene has been making me laugh ever since.  My guess is that you have to be a fan of the show for this to be as funny as it is to me, but just in case I'm posting it.  You have to watch to the end to get the full effect.

    WorkaholicsTuesdays at 10:30/9:30c
    Preview - Karaoke Song Selection
    Comedy CentralFunny VideosFunny TV Shows

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 12

    Movie that you have watched and really disliked.

    This is an easy one for me: Crash.

    Chelsey's choice

    Brent's choice

    Wendy's controversial pick

    Kent's pick. Insanity.

    Leslie's pick along with Kill Bill Vol I.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    I know this is kind of unsufferable...

    But it also kind of makes me happy.

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Eleven

    Favorite classic movie.

    I'm going to arbitrarily pick a cutoff date of 1960. So anything from the 1950's and back. Feel free to chose your own cutoff mark.

    Here are some I like - Rope, Rules of the Game, M, Harvey, The Last Dictator

    I'll ultimately go with 12 Angry Men

    Brent's pick

    Here's Wendy's

    Kent's pick

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day 10

    Movie that has the best soundtrack:

    I'm not sure if it's the best, but the soundtrack that I most fully embraced was Until the End of the World. I think I've owned like three copies, but I kept buying it because I liked it that well.

    Brent's selection:


    Kent's pick. You forget how good this movie is.

    Leslie's pick

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Nine

    What movie comes the closest to being a perfect movie. Maybe it isn't your favorite, but it seems the best done.

    My vote is for The Exorcist. That movie just seems to have no bad or extraneous movies in it.

    Brent's pick. I'm not putting in the Shawshank Redemption due to the whole helping the whole young hood get his GED section.

    Leslie's pick

    Kent's pick.

    Wendy's pick:

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Achtung Baby In Review

    Kent was nice enough to get me the newest reissue of Achtung Baby.  This used to be my favorite album.  For years and years.  I like U2's entire body of work, but Achtung Baby came out when I was like 17 years old and I thought it sounded like the future of music.  Embarrassing, I know, but that's what I thought.

    So in the years that followed, I gained some perspective on all this.  U2 got worse as a band, and I began to seek out a rougher aesthetic to my music.  I favored more do-it-yourself production. And music made from weird instruments. And lyrics about things less grandiose than who was going to ride my wild horses. 

    Achtung Baby became something that represented a more naive time in my musical appreciation.  It was so sincere, and in some ways, a one-note album.  The same guitar is seemingly used throughout the album.  The Fly and Ultraviolet light are essentially the same song with different lyrics.  All those things seemed like sins to me.

    I always knew I would love the album, but in the same way I love Star Wars.  I know it's flawed.  I like it anyways.  But the re-release on its 20th anniversary brought me a little deeper perspective on the album.

    First, it made me feel old.  Everything seems to make me feel old.  Players I cheered for in college back then are all retired from the pro careers now.  They all look like old men.  Bobby Hurley looks like a gramps.  But I'm okay with this.  I'm old.  Whatever.

    Second, I think I had a bigger appreciation for where this hit in U2's progression as a band.  I don't think I had any idea how much people thought they were dopes for putting out Rattle and Hum.  I loved that album, but failed appreciate how over-the-top it was in terms of U2 taking themselves seriously.  Whatever punk credibility they had going into that tour was gone by the end. They were dopes.  I had no sense of this.  I though Rattle and Hum was the best thing since sliced bread.  All that earnestness, all that Americana, all those duets with choirs.  I ate it up.

    Thirdly, given the new-found appreciation for where the band was at when they made Achtung Baby, I am really impressed that this is what they came up with.  So many bands struggle to get back their magic after it's gone.  Few do so successfully.  I always hear that U2 decided to poke fun at their former image on this record, but more than that, they did so while making a really good album.  I would say their masterpiece "One" is on there, and some of Bono's best lyrics - which admittedly is not saying much.
    Lastly, I think I have a greater appreciation for the overarching themes of the album, and I think it's solid.  It starts with all this appeals for the band to stop being so U2-y.  And then goes on this journey to find out what's there in the absence of being socially conscious nerd bottoms.  So the trajectory of the album goes from the sort of high-energy songs that explore love and religion and generally lofty pursuits. But it slowly bogs down again under its own weight.  Heaviness returns, but it's not the social injustice variety.  It's the heaviness of the aftermath of self-discovery.  The weight that follows those bursts of freedom.  Coming down.  I feel like Love is Blindness captures that aptly.  So it's journey into what happens when you set yourself loose, and find that you can't outrun your own demons.  That's pretty cool. 

    So I just want to publicly apologize to U2 for turning my back on this album for so long.  They made a really nice album.  It was good when I was 17.  It's good at 37.  You made some real crap after Zooropa, but this here is a solid record. 

    So far this month I have apologized to gutter punks and U2.  Who is next?

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Eight

    What is the movie that you are most inclined to watch to its completion when you see its playing on t.v.?

    I have a few of these - The Matrix, Remember the Titans, but I'll go with Constantine.

    Brent, I applaud your actually choosing good movies.

    Here is Chelsey's pick.

    Here's Kent's pick. I picked the trailer for third movie because it's my favorite and super gay.

    Here's Leslie's pick. Leslie, we are only as sick as our secrets. I applaud your openness.

    Wendy's choice

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Seven

    Favorite movie with your favorite actress in it.

    Right now I'd say my favorite actress is maybe Parker Posey?? And my favorite movie with her is probably Dazed and Confused. But my favorite movie that she is the star of is probably The House of Yes, which I haven't watched since it came out but I remember really liking.

    Here's Chelsey's choice

    And Brent's

    Kent's choice, which evidently has the great Charles Napier in it.

    Wendy's pick

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Six

    What is your favorite movie with your favorite actor in it? Tomorrow we will do actress.

    My favorite actor is probably Paul Newman and my favorite movie with him is probably Cool Hand Luke.

    Brent's pick

    Here's Kent's pick

    Leslie's pick

    Wendy's pick

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Five

    Favorite love story in a movie. . .

    I'll go with In the Mood for Love, although I considered Moulin Rouge and Remains of the Day.

    Chelsey's pick

    Wendy's pick

    Brent's pick

    Kent's pick

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    30 day Movie Challenge Day Four

    Name a movie that makes you sad.

    A movie that I really, really like that also make me sad is Dancer in the Dark.

    Kent, it is terrific that you have seen this movie at all, let alone have clearly seen it multiple times. I also love the movie Mrs. Miniver.

    Brent's pick

    Wendy's pick

    Leslie's pick

    Chelsey's pick

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Three

    What is a movie that make you really happy when you watch it?

    Okay, this is an odd choice, but I'll pick Jesus Christ Superstar. I could write a lot about this movie but I'll control myself. I am a non-believer, but I love this movie until hell won't have it. I wish I was watching it right now.

    Chelsey's pick

    Brent's pick

    Kent's pick. I have also never seen The Goonies. I thought if you watched the movie Gremlins you didn't have to watch The Goonies. Turns out I picked the wrong one to watch.

    Wendy's pick

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    30 Day Movie Challenge Day Two

    What is the most underrated movie in your option?

    A while back I checked the rotten tomato scores for the movies on my best of the last decade list. The Way of the Gun may have been under 50% at that point, so I'll go with The Way of the Gun. I don't understand why it is so lightly regarded.

    Brent's pick

    Kent's pick

    One day before I die, I will watch Bamboozled.

    Leslie's pick

    Wendy's pick


    Last night I figured out that Edith fits just about anywhere in a song where Jesus used to fit.  I figured this out singing "Edith Gonna Be Here" in lieu of Tom Waits's "Jesus Gonna Be Here."  That led to "Chocolate Jesus" being reinterpreted as "Chocolate Edith."  I liked that one because I was able to change

    "When the weather gets rough and it's whiskey in the shade, it's best to wrap your savior up in cellophane."

    "When the weather gets rough and it's whiskey in the shade, it's best to wrap your daughter up in cellophane."

    I am now taking suggestions for other Jesus songs.

    Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
    One Day at a Time (Sweet Jesus) - Kris Kristofferson
    Jesus Fever - Kurt Vile

    Just for Leslie:

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    30 day movie challenge?? Now wait a minute.

    I found a movie challenge on Stumbleupon. We all liked the music one right? Well, maybe we'll like this one. Wait shouldn't this be on our movie facebook page? I don't know. And I don't want to think about that.

    First Question: What is the best movie you have seen in 2011?

    For my purposes I'll answer it as my favorite movie that was released in 2011. I have not watched many of the best reviewed movies of 2011 yet, but of the movies I have seen, I'll go with The Tree of Life. It's super indulgent in places and very long, but also moving and very prettily shot.

    Brent's pick.

    Kent's pick.

    Leslie's pick.

    Wendy's pick.

    Because it's important

    Kent and I got into an argument about our favorite Tom Waits songs the other day.  Neither of us is pleased with the other's choice.  But it's stronger than that.  Upon relating our favorite song to the eachother we both set about suggesting other songs for the other to pick instead.  That led to a debate about whose song was more of a "classic" in the Tom Waits cannon.  (I'm not sure if I'm using the word cannon correctly there). 

    Anyways, here are the two songs.  I know none of you are huge Tom Waits fans, but from an outsiders perspective, which one sounds more like a Tom Waits classic?



    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    A Story

    Since this blog is dedicated to fixing my memory problems, I just had a memory that I need to write down. 

    It was Lundi Gras in New Orleans.  As per usual my friends and I were going to take drugs and go down to Frenchmen street.  We did this every year.  I don't know why.  We just did it one year and kept doing it every year for like 5-6 years.  Which is why I don't know which year it occurred. 

    But this is what would happen on those evenings.  We would get dressed up in some Uptown apartment.  Lots of glitter.  Lots of eyeliner.  Painful stuff.  Then we would take in a healthy amount of alcohol and marijuana and pile into the back of a truck or something.  The truck would stop at a spot on the St. Charles parade route where the interstate goes over the street.  This creates just the right reverberation to be awesome.  Especially if you are on drugs.  Which we were.  

    Once the parade was over we would walk the rest of the way to Frenchmen.  The walk was my favorite part.  Going down through downtown, through the French Quarter, down Decatur street was something to do.   And I always like to have things to do. 

    When we got to the Frenchmen area there were a lot of street drums and hippies.  I hated it.  And we would literally hang out there until like five in the morning, so it was always a long night.  Which brings me to my story. (So far this hasn't been the story).

    What would happen on Lundi Gras nights on Frenchmen is this:  Dancing, Drum Circles, Rowdy Hippies, Rowdier Hippies, Stuff Gets Set on Fire, Fire Department Shows Up, We All Go Home.

    This happened every year. 

    So on the night in question, knowing that it was going to be a long night, I found a place to sit.  It was a couch in the middle of the street.  There were always couches in the street on Lundi Gras.  I don't know why, but they were always up in flames by the end of the night. 

    So being on acid, I made it my mission to protect this couch this year.  I sat on the couch and drank my beer, and made sure that anyone who wanted to sit on the couch would not be setting it on fire anytime soon.  This was my night.  And as I mentioned before, I like to have something to do, so it brought be great joy.  No dancing.  No hippies.  Just Brent and a beer and a couch that was not on fire.

    Over the course of the night, I began to identify my enemies:  people who would try to light my couch on fire.  There were a few hippies or gutter punks or whatever that were eyeballing my couch, and had already set some other shit on fire that night. 

    Finally they approached.  They tried to be nice, but I just told, flat our "Look I know why you are here, but you can't set the couch on fire."

    They agreed, and in less than five minutes half the couch was ablaze.  I ran over and dumped my beer all over it, and said "Look!  I thought you said you weren't going to set it on fire!"

    Too late.  The rest of the couch was on fire.  I sat there.  Disgusted.  Smoking a cigarette. 

    I went to tell my friends about it.  I was still worked up.  They didn't care.  It was a hard thing to explain, and all my friends were more the sort to set things on fire.

    Soon after, the fire was out of control, and we all got sent home.

    I have always thought of this story as a indictment of the hippies that night.  These tender fucking hippies who had no integrity whatsoever.  But while I was showering today, I realized that probably those fucking hippies hauled that couch out of some hippie apartment so that they could set it on fire.  And here some guy plops down on it, and tells them they can't light it on fire. 

    I guess I'm trying to say that I was out of line.  And I'm sorry.

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Welcome Back to Work!

    Today is Edith's first day of childcare.  Likewise, I return to work from a 2 week sabatical, and Chelsey returns to full time employment for the first time since Edith showed up.  This is a sad day in the Kosterpelding house.  The kind of day that makes you reevaluate your life.

    For instance, what sort of cost-cutting measures would allow one or both of us to stay at home?  We don't need our badass cable or our badass cell phones. There's $200 in savings right there.  And who says you need utilities?  That's another $100.  Anyway I add this up, it's not enough.

    I have tried to talk Chelsey into going off the grid.  This seems easy enough.  Sell both our cars.  Take the money.  Go to Bolivia.  Disappear.  She points out that this plan is no good, as we don't have the title for either of our cars.  She is right.  The only option is to cash out our 401k's.  There's a good-sized chunk of money in there.  We don't have to worry about the taxes because of our new "off the grid" lifestyle.  This could work. 

    In the meantime, I'm reading about how when Tom Waits had his first kid, he was in the process of taking over his management, and finding out he was broke.  He was also moving to New York, and completely changing his musical style to something that his label told him would not sell.  They ended up dropping him over it.  That album turned out to be Swordfishtrombones, which restarted his career, and turned him from lounge act to what he is today.  Of course he did all of this at the prodding of his wife, Kathleen Brennan.  Thank you Chuck, for the fine book.

    The answer is clear.  I need to develop some sort of artistic and start to get paid handsomely for it.  Then Chelsey is going to have to come in and make it like twice as good.  Then we move to New York.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    You Fool!

    So today I was over at the Goodwill store that's connected to our offices.  I was taking a picture of some poorly installed graphics when a woman drove up in a SUV.  Being the enterprising employee that I am, I didn't stand on ceremony.  I greeted the woman, and started unloading her car.  This of course is not my job, but I didn't want to explain that fact.  Instead I grabbed the first thing she handed to me and went inside to find a donation attendant. 

    I spotted one immediately and told him that there's a woman in the donation lane "with a lot of crap."  He grabbed a cart and ran out to help.  I followed him and finished taking pictures.  I even exchanged a friendly look with the lady on my way back out. 

    So I go back to my desk, and email the pictures of the crappy graphic to our installer.  A moment later the store manager shows up and tells me the woman heard me call her donations "crap."  Which I totally did, but I meant "crap" as in "stuff".  And when I said it I was inside the store.  Like inside the doors, and around a little barrier behind the doors.  I have no idea how she even heard me. 

    But I apologize to the manager, and offer to come apologize to the woman in person.  The manager laughs it off and says that the woman has already left, and that the donation attendant (whom the woman told of hearing me) had already smoothed it over.  (Apparently the woman said, "Well, maybe it is all crap" and left.)

    I'm so dumb.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Sing me a song

    I want to learn a song to sing to Edith. I need suggestions.
    It needs to be somewhat easy to learn as I am terrible with remembering lyrics and it needs to be easy to sing as well as I am not gifted with a lovely singing voice.


    Friday, September 30, 2011

    What do you do with a cute baby like this?

    I am at a loss.

    I get to go home and hold this baby.

    Which is good and bad.

    Good because holding this baby is all I want to do.

    Bad because I don't give a shit about anything else. 

    Especially the last two hours of this fucking work week.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Congratulations, its a confusing novel about WWII era rockets and se-ual deviation

    Last night I finished Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. I have no idea what it was about, but I read every word. And what I mean by that is not that I didn't understand the greater themes, but the actual what's happening plot wise within the book was completely lost on me for large sections at a time.

    Also I took me longer than Chelsey's pregnancy to read Gravity's Rainbow. I did also read a number of books over the course that I was reading it, but there is not a chance I could have read it straight through. It would have probably ruined me for reading forever. Anyway, if there is an extra fancy heaven for people who have struggled through difficult works of art, I believe I may have secured a place in it.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Happy Birthday Wendy!

    Can you tell all the days are running together for me?  I didn't realize it was your birthday until I went on facebook.  I'm sorry you have such a dick for a brother.  

    Also - we got your package yesterday.  So damn cute.  Thanks!

    Self Discovery

    So I have been doing this informal study of people who laugh at their own jokes.  MY hypothesis going in was that I did not like people who laughed their own jokes.  It makes me uncomfortable.  I immediately look at the ground and wait for it to end.

    I did this study so that I could have a quick litmus test as to whether I would like someone or not upon meeting them.  But the results were surprising.  

    Once I started paying attention, I realized that many people I truly like laugh at their own jokes.  Kent Woynowski laughs at his own jokes.  This led me to my first conclusion:

    I only dislike people who laugh at their own unfunny jokes.

    Very interesting.  I had no idea.  But I dug a bit further, and discovered the following nuance.

    The amount I don't like people who laugh at their own joke depends on how loudly they laugh at their own jokes and how much eye contact.

    Eye contact is the worst part of this.  I am incapable dealing with someone who is laughing at their own joke and looking at me while they do it.  Unacceptable.

    I also discovered:

    Laughing as you tell a joke or funny story is no problem at all - it's just the post joke laughing I don't like.
    Smiling while you tell a joke is fine
    Laughing after a pun is fine.  As long as you don't look at me.

    I'm learning so much about myself.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    5 years of marriage by the numbers

    1 baby
    1 dog
    1 scooter
    1 house
    1 apartment
    1 graduates degree (Chelsey)
    1 trip to Holland
    1 Chuck Koster smoking cessation
    1 Lombardi Tropy
    1 stress fracture
    1 retaining wall
    1 Tom Waits show
    2 digital cameras
    2 Mardi Gras
    2 TV's
    2 blogs
    2 sets of stitches (one set each)
    2 half marathons (Brent)
    2 trips to the beach
    2 birds (dead)
    3 Neko Case shows
    3 lawnmowers (and 1 snow blower)
    3 computers
    3 cars (Hyundai, Versa, CR-V)
    4 couches
    4  jobs
    4 Okkervil River shows
    5 bikes
    6 trips to New Orleans (3 including Chelsey)
    7 cell phones
    7 ipods (4 Brent 3 Chelsey)
    7 email accounts
    7 credit cards (currently 3)
    8 pairs of Chuck Taylors
    9 glorious days with Edith

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Birth By Music

    We were about a third of the way through the pushing, Chelsey made a request.

    "Can we turn the music up?"

    I had prepared a delivery mix, full of songs that I thought might help Chelsey relax during delivery.  They had been playing most of the afternoon, but I think she just needed them louder for delivery-distraction purposes.  What she couldn't have known is that it ended up providing the perfect soundtrack to our meeting Edith.  I was able to skip backwards through the playlist afterwards, and here are some highlights of what came on in the moments leading up to King Edith.

    Right after we turned up the music this song came on. In between pushes we the nurse said to Chelsey "This is kind of your song", which was funny because Wendy had said the same thing about herself on this blog during the music challenge. It was also funny because I had never thought that before, but it completely made sense when she said it.

    Jason Anderson - Thanksgiving

    I don't have a youtube video for this song, but it's linked, you can click on it if you want to hear it. Jason Anderson is a singer Chelsey introduced me to during a trip to Chicago. She kind of new him through someone from Omaha, and we saw him at Schuba's, where we had seen Wolf Parade the night before. Wolf Parade was crazy good. I had low expectations for Jason Anderson. Which turned out to be dumb. He is one of those people - similar to Monotonix (for those of you who saw them with The Silver Jews) - who just has so much positive energy when he performs it overcomes all the jadedness in the crowd. And there is always plenty of jadedness at an indie show. It was a great show. And it felt so right that one of the few optimistic voices in my music catalog was singing my daughter into the world - albeit with a sad song.

    I happen to know that Chelsey loves this song. Partially because of its tie-in with Twilight. Partially because it's a real beauty of a song. My ipod could not have picked a better song for her.

    We never listen to this song. I have no idea why I put it on the mix. But it has such a good feeling. And it came up as we were getting really close to the end. And I remember thinking "What is this? It's perfect."

    Speaking of perfect. Well, maybe not so perfect, but whatever. At one point Chelsey had to stop pushing, because our doctor wasn't there yet, and Edith's head was going to come out if she kept going. So imagine, if you will, being forced to wait with a baby's head wedged between your legs. Not comfortable. Actually really shitty. It was also bizarre, in that we were like five pushes away from having a baby, but we had this weird opportunity to stop and consider the fact we were like ten minutes away from being parents. There's nothing about New Slang that really speaks to that situation, but it's just good background music for contemplation. I'm sure Chelsey was just like "get this fucking baby out of me" the whole time, but for me this was the most emotional part of the delivery. Sitting there, listening to New Slang, and thinking how close we were to having a daughter.

    So the doc finally shows, and we start pushing, and to the best of my knowledge this is what was playing when Edith made her grand entry to the world. It was either this, or a cover of "Papa was a rodeo" by Bright Eyes. Let's go with this, since it's much more inspiring for the moment of birth.

    There are a few songs I remember from the aftermath, "Godspeed" by Jenny Lewis, The Good Times Are Killing Me" by Modest Mouse, and "Random Rules" by the Silver Jews. But this is the one that got the doctor's attention. The album version of it just has that piano line for a very long time, which confused her. She finally asked what that sound was. I told her it was a song, and she said "Oh, this music has been great. What are we listening to?" To which I tried to explain it was a mix, though not very successfully.

    This is the second to last song I remember. This is a song Chelsey and I spoke about in detail a month or so ago. I finally took the time to look up the words to it, and I forwarded them to Chelsey saying I was surprised how such an avant garde artist wrote such a straight forward song about love. I think it's such a beautiful song about how bringing someone into your life makes you stronger - makes your life better. I completely agree with that point of view, but until Wednesday, it hadn't even occurred to me how much it applied to Edith. This is the song that I will take from the day she was born.

    This is the last song I remember hearing in the delivery room. After that it was all cord blood donations and pictures. I'm so glad that I was able to recreate the sequence of these songs, so I can revisit that moment as the years go by.