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.