Friday, December 4, 2009

New month, new band pt. VII

Freelance Whales

I thought I would get this in a little earlier in the month than my previous attempt. Like I said before, I have a few that Im sitting on so Im covered for at least a few more months as far as these recurring posts are concerned.

This month we look at my new buddies Freelance Whales. I discovered these guys in a way I havent discovered any other band before. Word of mouth is a big piece of my music-finding puzzle, followed by searching on my own for things I havent heard yet, followed further still by seeing a post of a youtube video of a band I havent yet heard of on a friend's Facebook page by the brother of said friend's wife. At least those are the top three ways, Im sure there are others... Regardless, I listened to the song that was posted and immediately fell in love with these guys. Theyre from New York which bumps them up several spaces in my book already. They tend to mix it up, which I like, from song to song. 'Starring' sounds to me like Owl City should. Electronic beats beating and happy sounding lyrics make me dream of The Postal Service (without stealing their sound directly *glare at Owl City*). Then, you find yourself listening to something like 'Broken Horse' which is more on the folky side. As with all the bands I throw up here, I think its better if you just listen so here you go:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New month, new band pt. VI

Bon Iver

I had to get this in before the end of the month. I have a lot to choose from when it comes to new bands that came my way this time, so much so I had a hard time choosing which one would grace this spot. The good news is, December isn't too far around the corner which means someone else will get some love relatively soon.

This month its Bon Iver. He came to me late in the month from a friend (yeah, you). I had heard of him before but never really bothered to take the time to listen to him for more than a few seconds at a time. I realize now what a mistake I had been making all along. His voice, at least to me, has that 'haunting' quality that I never really used to think existed. Its good music to relax (or fall asleep ;) ) to, without a doubt. I wouldn't recommend it for your hardcore work-out sessions or anything. Ill leave you with a few of my favorites so far as I plan on listening to a lot more of him in the near future...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to the ground!

I saw this and laughed like I havent laughed in a long time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New month, new band pt. V

Panda Bear

I do apologize for the length of time I have allowed to pass since last I updated my blog. I dont know why I havent posted anything, Ive had plenty of things to talk about (Decemberists round 2 anyone?) Well Im here now and ready to bring you a new band Ive been listening to.

This month it isnt so much a band as it is a person. Panda Bear isnt his real name, but its the name everyone knows him by. Yes, its the same Panda Bear from Animal Collective (a band that I like more and more every day). If you know Animal Collective, youll know Panda Bear since they have the same sound. Crazy noises / lyrics on top of catchy beats. Youll find a few examples below, the best of which I cannot bring you as they are too long and mind blowing for YouTube to contain.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A good cover is a terrible thing to waste, pt. IV

In my recent musical adventures, Ive had my face grabbed and thrust directly into a song. I dont know why it was this song, or what brought it on exactly, but its "Major Tom (Coming Home)". Originally by a one, Peter Schilling, it has since been redone for a Lincoln commercial by Shiny Toy Guns.

The original is classic 80s synth pop. The remake is nothing short of a copy of the exact same style, except for the "80s" part of course.

Enjoy, little ones.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Operation Blind Fury 6: Phase 2

I apologize to those of you who have been patiently (or not so) waiting for the rest of this tale. Im sure youve given up waiting and have moved on to some much more fruitful endeavor such as not waiting. So, Ill get right into it.

The Refinery

When I let off we were headed back to the airfield, heads hung in defeat. Not complete defeat mind you, it feels surprisingly good knowing that you and a few of your buddies held an entire town against an onslaught of people in tan uniforms. When we got back to the airfield we had a little time to rearm, eat, and regroup. We got intelligence that there was a downed pilot being held captive in an area known as 'the refinery'. A few squads volunteered (ours being one of course) and a few others were recruited. The refinery was further in the woods than Browntown but, arguably, easier to approach. The 4 or so squads gathered everything they would need and we headed out. We were up front (obviously) and met a little resistance the closer we got to the woods. As we were headed toward the path that would lead us directly to the refinery we made a new friend. A tan was laying in the tall grass on the other side of the path about 15 yards away and proceeded to completely mow over about 10 of our guys. I dove into the nearest patch of tall grass I could find because I was completely exposed. A few seconds later our killer had been taken care of. I got up out of my patch of grass, walked over to him, patted him on the shoulder and said something about how good a shot he was. He was a nice guy and thanked me. (I would see this guy several more times throughout the day.) After we had regained our senses and slowed our heart rates after the near heart attacks we had collectively experienced, we headed into the woods. The refinery turned out to be a little more heavily guarded than we had first thought. I found a cluster of trees directly across the creek from the buildings and dug in. I couldnt see much in the way of people. Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of someone running from one building to another, and they always seemed to take the same route. I trained my gun on that spot and waited. I got the next two people that tried to run and was beginning to think I could make myself a nice little pile of dead tans when we got the word that the airfield was under attack and we would have to pull back to help reinforce our guys there.

The Recon

There are train tracks that ran all the way across the far northern border of the playing field and they were our route back to the airfield. It was easy to make good time following them because we didnt have much in the way of brush or woods to contend with. The tracks were bordered by tall grass on the inbound side of the field which made for an interesting walk. You never knew when a pesky tan would jump up and start shooting. We didnt get into much trouble until we started getting closer to the airfield. There were a few box car type containers (?) that the tans liked to hide behind. They were dealt with, rather severely, and we headed down into the brush toward our objective. The next few minutes were filled with Vietnam-type "go in here and see if there are bad guys" missions. A teammate would walk toward a tree only to get blasted in the face by a quick burst of fire, then someone else would be right behind him killing whoever had just shot him. And so it went until we had killed everyone threatening our fair base. With all the enemy busy walking back to wherever it is they came from, we had plenty of time to sit and rest, and rest we did. We had plenty of time to reload and eat. Jeff decided to take this opportunity to shove as much food down my throat as possible. Clif bar this and Clif goop that. Im not sure what all it was, but whatever it was worked in the end. Mags and stomachs full we went out into the field and made a perimeter. Richard and myself headed up to the railroad tracks to do a little recon while we sent Prevett to the top of the tower in the airfield with this rifle and a radio so he could do a little recon of his own. Before heading to the tracks, me and Ben thought it would be a good idea to relieve ourselves. We walked over to a small 'helicopter' at the airfield and did our business behind it (number one, dont worry, this is important for later). Fast forward back to me on the railroad tracks. I had set my rifle down and armed myself with a pair of binoculars as they seemed more appropriate given the fact that there werent any enemies for hundreds of yards around. There really wasnt much to talk about. I watched a few civilians talking to some tans for about 20 minutes. This situation quickly turned into the civilians leading the tans away and killing them which was the most entertaining part of the whole thing.

The Airfield Attacked

The next bit is a little foggy. For some reason we ended up back at the airfield, regrouping I believe, when we saw almost the entire tan team making their way across the field toward us. Everyone split off and took up positions. Jeff, Ryan, and myself headed toward the tracks (yet again) and hunkered down in a big patch of tall grass. Im not sure how many there were headed our way. It had to be at least 75. We didnt move. We could hear them getting closer and closer. A few of them had walked past us by the time the first shot was fired. Jeff shot a quick burst and killed one. None of the tans around had any idea where it came from and just started shooting wildly into the brush. We werent hit, not yet anyway...I saw a medic running up to the gut Jeff had just killed. It was a bad move on his part, but an entertaining one. Just as he got to his fallen comrade Jeff let loose with another burst killing the medic with a hail of BBs and yelps. This time, they found Jeff. He was killed in a matter of seconds. Me and Ryan were still in our positions, only feet away from where Jeff was killed. More of the tans had started getting closer and surrounding us. It was almost an unspoken plan between the two of us. As soon as Ryan had a shot he stood up and took it, and I did the same in the opposite direction. I stood up and fired a burst, killing two people. As I was going to kneel back down I realized that no one was shooting back which meant they hadnt figured out where I was yet. So there I stood, popping off round after round into the unsuspecting hoards of tan uniforms. I got 5 when all was said and done. Thats when they found me. I dont think Ive ever been hit with as many BBs as I was then, but it was worth it. We threw our red death rags on our heads and stepped out of the brush and slowly made our way toward the airfield, which was all but overrun, we were just watching the spectacle unfold. It was at this point that I noticed a few members of the tan team making a break for the 'helicopter'. Why yes, it IS the same one I mentioned Ben and myself peeing behind! And wouldnt you know it they dove right behind it, Im 99% sure, directly into our urine puddle. Even though the airfield ended up being taken, me and Ben won ourselves a small victory.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New month, new band pt. IV

St. Vincent

I rather enjoy doing this. It makes me go out of my way to find new music every month.

This month we look at St. Vincent. Simply going by the name I wouldnt have expected what I got when I started listening. I was greeted by the voice of the lovely Annie Clark with her bushy black hair and big beautiful eyes. While the latter two add little or nothing to the sound of the music, Im glad I know they exist. A fact that Im reminded of often as her face is plastered prominently on the front of her latest album 'Actor'. She has a unique sound, Ms. Clark. Her voice would lead you to believe that her lyrics are harmless and innocent when, in fact, the opposite is sometimes true. 'The Bed' is a perfect example:

"We're sleeping underneath the bed
To scare the monsters out
With our dear daddy's Smith and Wesson
We've got to teach them all a lesson

Don't move
Don't scream
Or we will have to shoot"

I didnt know what I thought about her at first, but having listened to 'Actor' several times through Ive become quite the fan. I may also have a bit of a crush... :)

Here are just a few songs of hers:

A good cover is a terrible thing to waste, pt. III

Whilst stumbling around Stereogum today (which is the only way to peruse that site) I came across an interesting link: "Taken By Trees covers Animal Collective's 'My Girls'". Now, I had never heard of Taken By Trees, and still havent if we're being honest, but this might be one of the better covers of a song Ive ever heard. Not only does this give me an excuse to post a cover of a great song, but it gives me an excuse to post an Animal Collective video. So, with nothing else to impede your curiosity, I shall give you two videos to enjoy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Operation Blind Fury 6: Phase 1

After Action Report for the events of 29 August 2009.

Exercise Name: Operation Blind Fury 6
Duration: 1000 - 1800
Exercise Date: 29 August 2009
Type of Exercise: Military Simulation (MilSim)
Location: Springfield, OH

Ive attached this map so that the uninitiated wont be completely lost.

Important notes:
A - Airfield
1-5 - Artillery pieces
B - Browntown
R - Refinery
E - Emerald City
C - Comm Dish

Exercise Overview:

The Staging Area

Ill start our story not at the beginning, but a little ways in to spare you (the reader) any of the droll details surrounding the preparation and drive up. We got to the hotel in Springfield at around 10 (thats pm). We checked in and decided we would like some sort of sustenance in our stomachs so we made for the nearby Arby's. Upon our entrance into the establishment we found it was staffed by a paltry three people who had just mopped the entirety of the entrance way. The manager let us know this fact several times. She was a very outspoken black woman with the fruit of her amorous entwine inside her (I tried hard to get that one on there Richard). By the time we left, though, I think we had made ourselves a new friend in Springfield. We made our way back to the hotel and commenced the chore of getting our gear together. This is the part of the story where everything will be, regrettably, about me and my experience rather than the group simply because the group is much to large to tell everyones story. Too large for me to even know everyones story.

My gear was (mostly) the way I wanted it. I had to lose a mic for a radio to Brad who would be our Communications guy, but other than that I got to hold on to everything. I had 8 magazines on my person with no room for anymore. Loading those was my last priority, as it always is. I started loading pouches, utility and otherwise, with as much food as possible. The menu for the day would be peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter crackers, and whatever else Jeff made me eat (more on that later). I loaded my mags and put them in the proper place. I was to be Prevett's go-to guy out in the field and he mine so I carried extra ammo for the both of us. At that point my gear was ready, loaded with food and ammunition, what more could I need? When everyone else had everything loaded and ready to go we headed to bed. It was around 1 at this point and we had to be up and out the door by 6:15. Yes you read that right 'we had to be up and out the door by 6:15'.

I awoke the following morning having gotten a far-from-adequate 4 hours of sleep. I stumbled around for a few minutes before getting dressed. We took all our gear down to the cars, loaded it in, and left for the field. Its about a 15 minute drive from where we stayed and we were there in no time. We werent the first ones this time like we have been in previous years. From what I had read, recon teams (for both sides) were supposed to be deployed at 7 am. They opened the gate at around 6:30 and we pulled in only to have to stop and wait for another 15 minutes. They then opened a second gate which we moved inches toward only to have to stop and wait for another 20 minutes. The people in charge of the even started coming down the line making sure we had everything we needed: death ropes, waivers, etc. Then we waited for another 30 minutes. Finally, after almost an hour of sitting in the car on a gravel drive, we were admitted to the field and found ourselves a place to park. I always like the hour or so before the event starts. Its a wonderful opportunity to people watch. I would be writing for days if I described some of the people / things I saw. Regardless, I had to get my gear on, get my gun ready and head over to the chrono station. They have to chrono our guns every year to see how fast theyre shooting. Automatic weapons (like most of ours) can only shoot at a maximum velocity of 450 fps. The debate on the max fps for single shot rifles still rages to this day, while bolt action rifles are allowed to shoot well over 500. Mine chrono'd at a reasonable 290 - 300 so I wasnt completely ashamed. Safety goggles on, we made our way down the hill to the 'airfield'. A quick aside about the safety goggles. Youre supposed to wear goggles that 'fully seal' to protect you from stray BBs flying willy-nilly around your head. The only problem with the fully-sealing goggles is they have this terrible tendency to fog up at the most inopportune times (i.e. every second of the day) so, I carried a pair of shooting glasses down to the field with me in my pocket. As soon as I got to the airfield I took those monstrosities off my face and threw on my shooting glasses and, wouldnt you know it, they didnt fog a single time that day.

The Battle of Browntown

With our team (all 170 of us) assembled at the airfield we were given our initial orders. Our first objective would be to defend Browntown. Browntown is a small clump of buildings just inside the woods east of the airfield. One platoon (or maybe squad, I cant remember) would stay and defend the airfield while the rest of us would make our way to the town and, hopefully, get there before the enemy did. So we ran. Our Lieutenant (LT) was a rather short little man that liked to curse a lot so, the whole run, I heard him about 100 yards behind me cursing about one thing or another. We finally made it to the treeline and met a little resistance which was quickly dispatched. We forded a creek and pushed into the town. There was fire coming from the woods all around so we dug in. I took up a position at a tree watching the road heading north out of town. There were a few enemies making their way down the road but nothing to get excited about. The bulk if their numbers were still on their way. As more and more of them started to show up they started to hit our flanks. We had people coming from the east and some moving out into the field and were coming around on our west. I moved from my tree and headed into the woods overlooking the field. There were a few of us in the trees and they, apparently, knew we were there because there we shots hitting all around me. The chaos had started to show itself a little bit at this point. Our squad had been separated when we took up positions in the town so hardly any of us knew where the others were. I moved through the trees, under vines and over weeds and came to one of the roads leading in from the field. There I found Prevett, behind a tree, picking people off as they tried to make their way in. It was about that point that I got a call over the radio telling the entire squad to come back to the center of Browntown and hold there.

I ran through the woods, hopped the creek, and made my way to the middle of the town. When I got there I wasnt too excited about what I found. Approximately 80 - 100 of us had made the initial push on the town and, when I got back to the center, there were only about 20 of us left. I saw Richard laying in a makeshift sandbag bunker and he yelled at me and asked me if I needed to load. I, of course, said yes. Over the past several minutes I had shot out almost every one of the mags I was carrying. I ran over to the bunker and hopped in. It was my job to load whatever mags were empty between the two of us while he covered. So load I did. At first it was easy. I only had a few to load and was getting them finished fairly quickly. Then the enemy (we'll call them 'tans' from now on) started to really push on the town. With tans everywhere, Richard had no choice but to shoot anything and everything he could see which meant more empty mags for me to load, all the while I was yelling out enemy positions. Between the incoming fire bouncing off the various wood and metal buildings, Richards gun shooting inches from my head and all the yelling going on Im not exactly sure how we heard it. It didnt sound very close at first, it must have made its way around the field. Then it got louder and we knew it was headed right for us. The enemy (and us since we're being fair) had a 'gunship'. Gunship loosely translated to dude driving a 4 wheeler and a fat guy with a SAW on the back. The thing about the gunships was you couldnt just simply shoot the people driving or riding, you had to use either a 'rocket launcher' or 'grenade launcher' that shot little nerf footballs and hit the 4 wheeler to stop them. Luckily for us we were prepared for just such an occasion as Richard had fixed my (yes my) M203 on the front of his rifle. He sat down next to me, our backs to the north, and we waited. The gunship came down the north road that I was watching earlier. We didnt dare stick our heads up because we didnt feel like getting shot in the face by a fat guy with a SAW so we only had the sound to go on. We heard him getting closer and closer until finally it was time. Richard spun up stuck his gun around the tree (and my face) and pulled the trigger on the M203. It was a direct hit. The look on the driver's face was priceless. He couldnt believe what had just happened. I was still trying to regain my sight and hearing since the shot went off right in front of my face, but I could see and hear enough. The gunship decided he should probably get out of the line of fire so he retreated back to his base. Thats when I realized that, while I had been doing all my loading and battling gunships, we had been completely surrounded.

I didnt know where most of our squad was and I could only see about 15 people from our team still in the town. At some point in the chaos, Richard had been shot and so took over loading duties. The north and south roads seemed to be the most popular means of entry for the tans into Browntown. Richard had just been healed by a medic ('thats what she said' guy) so we took turns covering both directions. I was watching the north and could see a lot in the way of movement headed down the road. Prevett had shown up and needed his magazines loaded (no ammo seemed to be a common theme in Browntown). He used what remaining ammo he had and his scope and watched the north road. Richard loaded like a champ and divided up the full mags to their happy owners. "If you guys pop up now you can kill like 10 people" I heard Prevett say. "Theres no way" I thought, and apparently Richard thought the same thing. We thought we would humor our sharpshooter by swinging our guns up and, sure enough, there were about 10 people not too far down the path headed right toward us. I pulled the trigger and didnt let go. I went through about 4 magazines at this point, putting one in, holding the trigger until it was empty, dropping it and jamming in another one. Im not sure how many we killed, but it was a fair few. When I was on my last mag one of the tans decided it would be a good idea to slowly step out into the middle of the road and stand there. He must not have seen or heard the mass of fire coming from where we were. I pulled up my gun and shot a burst. I followed the BBs as they flew through the air and slowly dropped and hit him directly in the face. I could hear the "GAHH!!" from my position and immediately burst into raucous laughter. I shot out the remainder of the ammo in my gun and went for another mag only to find I didnt have any full ones left. I checked on the guy Id just killed on the path and saw that he was being dragged away by a medic. There was nothing I could do but look at Richard and scream "SHOOT HIM!!" several times, directly at his face. There wasnt a full mag between us and the guy was dragged away and healed. Now is when things started to go bad. We had been surrounded for a long time now and that tends to thin your numbers. I dont know how many of us were left at this point, 10 maybe? We had been moving sandbags around to give us cover where we needed it but at a certain point its inevitable. I cant remember who went first, me or Richard, but we were both eventually shot and Browntown was lost. We threw our red death rags on our heads and made the walk back to the airfield which was still in our control. All in all the 15 or 20 of us held Browntown for an hour and a half with the tans throwing most of their team at us, so it wasnt too sad a walk.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Dakotas, mostly of the 'south' variety: The rest of the story

As I sit here, under the weather and under the influence of A Mourning Rain, Im reminded of the story Im supposed to finish. My deepest apologies for not producing the second part of our two part tale earlier. Were I to say I forgot I would be doing the lot of you a gross injustice. I, in point of fact, did not forget. I have merely been taken by one of the deadly sins: sloth. Having conquered the lure of sloth, if only for the time being, I shall now finish my tale so that you may have that slight wisp of satisfaction that can only come from the conclusion, and resolution, of a good story.

Part Two

When last we left our heroes, they were headed the wrong way in the middle of that God forsaken state known as Iowa. Will they reach their destination in time? What fate awaits the one that got them lost? Only time will tell...

The Sunrise

Brian having taken over the captains chair, we continued our jaunt through Iowa toward our final destination of Sioux Falls. It was at this point that I realized I was looking at one of the few sunrises I had ever seen in my life. Phone in hand, complete with camera (I do love technology) I snapped a few photographs. They certainly arent anything to write home about, but I couldnt let this occasion pass by undocumented. The rest of the drive was uneventful, full of sleep and other equally-as-boring affairs.

At long has we had arrived. A phone call, a wrong turn, and a hilarious parking job later, we were greeting Joel with hugs all around. We entered the homestead of his fiance, Andi, and were glad to meet her and her family. Two of the four of us adventurers had already met the bride to be, I being one that had not (at least in person). She is an adorable little thing, our Andi, and I was reminded of her daintiness at most every turn seeing little pairs of flip-flops strewn about. There was pasta cooking when we arrived, and Im a sucker for pasta. Unfortunately it wasnt to be our dinner that evening but instead was slated for the menu at the reception. It was about this point we realized that we had driven for fourteen hours, through the night, having taken nothing even close to resembling a shower. Bathed and smelling good, at least as good as a man is capable of smelling, we set out on our first errand: tea lights. In the previous sentence I inferred that I was a male and therefore, with that being a true statement, I had no idea what tea lights were. "The little candles in the metal thing" was the explanation I was given and was immediately made aware of my thickness as I knew exactly what tea lights were. "Where shall we go to get tea lights?" seemed to be the most popular question over the next few minutes. Even though our minds were still not made up (and by "our" I mean "Joel's" as we are all from Kentucky, have lived there our entire lives, and because of that, have little to no idea where to look for tea lights in Sioux Falls, SD), we set out about the town.

The Tea Lights

Sioux Falls is by no means a huge place but, Im fairly certain, has the largest number of casinos per capita than anywhere else on God's green earth. I come to this conclusion only because I saw a small shopping center not more than a single block wide containing a gas station, Little Ceaser's, TCBY, and shady casino. At first I thought it was rather strange but, after about 15 more seconds on the road, realized that it was an all to common occurrence. Even with the fascinating surroundings our mind did not stray from our mission. The local HyVee was to be the first stop on our quest. Until pulling into the parking lot I had never seen, much less heard of HyVee. After being in and out several times I can only describe it thusly: if you want groceries and designer jeans at discount prices, go to HyVee. What HyVee doesnt have, apparently, are tea lights. Somewhat distressed by this, we left the store, but not before using Richards alcohol allowance to purchase a bottle of Woodford Reserve. Our next stop would be Lewis. Not Lewis's as I would have originally thought but just Lewis, singular. Until pulling into the parking lot I had never seen, much less heard of Lewis. After being in and out once I can only describe it thusly: if you want yard ornaments, craft supplies, or designer jeans at discount prices, go to Lewis. We were let down yet again by the lack of tea lights, but we had one more establishment to forage. Our final stop (which, looking back, probably should have been our first stop) was the friendly neighborhood WalMart. Now we were in our element. No more than 20 seconds in the door and we had tea lights in hand. We returned, victoriously, to an empty house as the women had made for the church to do reception preparations. So we did what anyone would do after driving fourteen hours through the night: we passed out on the couch.

The Pub

Later that evening we were invited to the rehearsal dinner. We werent in the wedding mind you, but it was either that or leave us sitting in a strange house for a few more hours. We were treated with BBQ, watermelon, and various other delectable summertime foods. The only thing missing from this summer evening was summer. After dinner we were standing around the deck prattling on. The wind had begun to pick up and it must have come straight from the frigid arms of Canada. It got downright cold. Some mention was made of certain body parts being able to cut glass. Someone suggested all the men should go patronize the local Irish pub. We, of course, agreed and set off. McNalleys (how fantastically Irish) was our destination. We were accompanied by the Father that would be performing the wedding the following day. His name, unfortunately, escapes me, but he was a jolly fellow indeed. Being at an Irish pub, one can only assume they have but one choice as for their drink order: Guiness. I had never partaken in the thick creaminess that is a good Guiness. The fact that it almost needs to be chewed before it can be swallowed is a wonderful one in my opinion. We drank and laughed for a few hours before heading to our hotel for the night.

The Movie

The following morning came with surprising haste. Before I knew it I was up, in the shower, and out the door. The night before, whilst at the pub, we had tossed around the idea of going to see District 9. That idea, after being tossed, had apparently landed somewhere because its exactly what we did. I dont intend this post to be a movie review so Ill simply say that I recommend the movie. It isnt at all what you expect it to be and, in this case, I think thats a good thing.

The Wedding (and reception I suppose)

Before we knew it we were seated in a church with the wedding underway. With it being a catholic wedding it was long. I dont mind the length, really. If youre going to get married you might as well make a day of it. The reception was after and I got to indulge in that pasta salad that had been occupying my thoughts since the previous day and it didnt disappoint. I should mention the music selection at this reception. I think it better to give you a short example rather than tell you about it. I went outside the church for a few minutes at one point during the evening. When I walked back in to make my way to the reception hall I heard Animal Collective reverberating off the walls. Thats the kind of play list I want at my wedding.

The Hazards of Love

We couldnt stay at the reception for too long due to the ever-present constraints of time. We changed out of our proper clothes and back into our shorts and, at least in my case, band tshirts. After saying our goodbyes to the newlyweds we headed out. It was on our return trip that we engaged in what we had been wanting to for some time now. Prior to the trip, Richard had printed out scripts for us. "Scripts? Scripts for what?" you may be asking. Ill tell you what. It was his idea that we should perform the entire Hazards of Love album, from beginning to end, each playing a different character and singing their parts. Richard would play the role of Margaret (you have my permission to laugh at this point), Brian would take the role of The Rake, Rob would play the Queen, and I would be playing the roll of William / The Narrator. To onlookers (of which there were, thankfully, none) it may have looked and sounded terrible, but it didnt matter. Singing a duet with Richard who is playing the role of my character's lover will always be hilarious. After our performance had come to an end I found myself looking out the window at the vast number of stars. If Iowa is good for anything, its stars. I fell asleep at some point, Im not exactly sure when, but was awoken when we were pulling off to make a pit stop. Brian had to relieve himself, so we pulled into a gas station only to find that it was closed. On our way in we saw a car parked in the corner of the lot and, for whatever reason, pulled up next to it. Luckily for Brian there was a cornfield nearby (Iowa...) so he used that as his lavatory. It was then that we noticed the car we saw as we pulled in wasnt empty. A man got out of the car and was eyeing us and Brian. We got worried at first, but he got back into his vehicle with no incident. Needless to say we got out of that gas station fairly quickly and continued on our way.

The Kum & Go

The next time we stopped was early in the morning at a Kum & Go (I wish I were making this up). I dont know what brought it on, but I had my phone out taking pictures of the station. It was probably the fact that the gas prices made no sense.

The rest of our journey was, again, uneventful. We arrived back in Louisville in plenty of time to return the rental car and went our separate ways. If you take nothing else away from this (long and drawn out) tale, take this: if you want everyday items as well as designer jeans at discount prices, South Dakota is the place for you.

~*The End*~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Mourning Rain


For any of you stumbling upon this blog, I have a link for you. Our friends from "A Mourning Rain" have made their way on to iTunes.

The link to your extreme satisfaction shall be posted below. Enjoy.

Neither He Who Plants Nor He Who Waters Is Anything

"...take us home my Lord..."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Dakotas, mostly of the 'south' variety.

I plan on writing something here about our trip to South Dakota, but as I am still in South Dakota and dont have a lot of time it will have to wait until later. I guess Ill just use this as a place holder.

See everyone in a few days!

p.s. there are over 11,000 songs on this computer, I might see if I cant unplug it and take it with me...good work Andi Tony.

Part One

The Trip

It has recently been brought to my attention that some have been waiting patiently for a recounting of the events from my journey to the great state of South Dakota. I say recently only because I have just as recently returned. So, without further delay, I shall tell you the tale of our peregrination.

It started out like any road trip, really. I didnt have anything packed on the day we were supposed to be leaving, which had to be remedied after I got off work. We set out that night at around 10. We were to take turns driving along the way so as no one of us would have to do more or less. Richard started us off and we headed north toward Indianapolis. It was around there that the rain started. It was light at first, nothing more than a sprinkle, then it started to get heavier. Before we knew it we were caught in the middle of a torrential downpour. Of course there was also construction, and the traffic that is almost always associated with it, to deal with. While driving through one particularly precarious area of highway with concrete walls on both sides, being constantly blinded by sheets of rain, a semi coming the other way hit a puddle just on the other side of the wall from us. We could see it coming. An enormous amount of water shot over the wall and hit us directly. It would do me little good to tell you that we were instantly blinded (even more so than normal) and petrified. There were several seconds, seated in the passenger seat, when I just accepted the fact that I wouldnt be making it out of this situation alive. Due to divine providence, however, we did survive and continued west.

The Rabbit

It was at this point that people had started to fall asleep. Richard and I were in the front, listening to various songs, I trying to keep him awake and vice versa. The stretch of freeway we were riding down was a dark one (it was well into the night at this point), so our headlights were our only guide. From the median, I saw a flash. It was a white flash, with black spots, unless mine eyes deceived me. A rabbit! It all happened in a split second. I saw the rabbit, mid leap, disappear into the front of our car. Yes, there was a thump. It wasnt a loud one, mind you, but it was distinct and unmistakable. It took us (Richard and myself) several seconds to take the situation in. We both sat, straight-faced, staring off into the black that was the freeway ahead of us. After those seconds had passed I had to ask the question. "...what was that?" It was like someone flipped a switch and we both started laughing uncontrollably. Im still not sure what exactly made the situation as hilarious as it was, but I havent laughed that hard in a long time.

The Iowa 80

Our driving schedule being the way it was, it was my turn to drive between the hours of 1:45 and 5:15. We stopped at a gas station and made the switch. We were somewhere in Illinois at this point and, in my time in the captain's chair, we would finish the remaining distance of it and start on Iowa. Peoria was the first (and only) "major" city I hit. The parenthetical and quotation in the previous sentence should give you some idea as to the size of it. I was in and out in a matter of minutes (no, Tabitha). It was a pretty place lit up at night, which is about all it had going for it. The highway system running through it was surely nothing to write home about. It was like an indecisive snake. It didnt know where it wanted to go and eventually just spit me out somewhere. The rest of Illinois was dark and flat. I really dont have any other adjectives to describe it. Boring springs to mind, but if I used the word boring in this post to describe every state that truly was boring on this trip, it would populate the majority of the text. Entering Iowa was uneventful, I didnt even see the sign. Most of the time spent in Iowa I could see a bright white light on the horizon. There were many like it that we would see from time to time, but this one was almost constant. Finally, after what felt like hours, I saw what it was. It was the 'Iowa 80'. Apparently, the Iowa 80 is the worlds largest truck stop. At least thats what the sign said. I was honestly astounded at the sheer number of trucks. It seemed like an endless sea of trailers, all lined in neat rows like the corn I had been passing this whole time.

The Miscalculation

5:15 came quicker than I expected. We pulled off at another station (the first of the Kum & Gos I believe) and switched off. It was Robs turn. Anyone else hear those warning sirens in the distance? In spite of my reservations, I went to sleep. I awoke a few hours later, sunrise to my left. If anyone has been keeping track, when youre headed to South Dakota you usually want to be headed either west or north. Neither of which would allow a sunrise to be on my left. I didnt realize this, of course, because I was still in a somewhat comatose state. There were rumblings, map readings, and a whole lot of pointing. It wasnt until we pulled off at an exit that I found that we were going the wrong way. We hadnt been heading that way for too long so, in the end, it turned out to be something we just laughed about the rest of the way. Of course when I say 'we' I mean everyone but Rob.

Having just gotten some fantastic advice ("You could always just do part 1 and part 2") I shall leave you here. A bit of a cliff-hanger, as it were.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A week?!

Has it truly been a week since last I sent forth my thoughts to run a-muck on these pages? So it would seem.

It was a weekend filled with frivolity of many sorts, not the least of which were two performances of some note.

Saturday was a typical 'wake up and go play airsoft' day. When we were done frolicking on the woods, however, we headed downtown to see a friend of mine's band (A Mourning Rain) play.

Honestly, and to my everlasting shame, I had never seen them play before. Holy crap. I guess Ill start at the beginning so as to not leave anything unsaid. We made our way downtown to the little coffee shop in the late afternoon. It was a muggy day, to be sure. Upon our arrival at said coffee shop the bands front (and rather handsome) man greeted us with some disheartening news. They would not be playing when they had originally planned. One of the people that was to be playing at this particular show had backed out then, at the last minute, decided that he would like to play after all. After much grumbling on all our parts we decided to walk around looking for a gas station until the time came for the show to start. Approximately two bands later, we arrived back at the coffee shop with time to spare. We made our way inside the shop (sans air conditioning) and found a place to stand. Sounds checked and mics in place, they started to play. I had heard their album and thoroughly enjoyed it, but seeing it live was a completely different affair. Any band that can have me take my belt off in the middle of their set so that I may play along with one of their songs gets a hearty thumbs up in my book. If your travels ever bring you to Louisville, I cannot recommend these kids highly enough. Go see them.

The following day was a typical wake up, head to church, out to eat, kind of day. Somewhere in the mix we decided that it may be a good idea to go see a movie. GI Joe was the original choice (I wasnt the biggest fan of this idea). Eventually it became clear that everyone would rather see "(500) Days of Summer". Let me just state here and now that this is, without a doubt, one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life. I tend to say that about a lot of things. "This is the best _______ Ive ever had in my life", "That is the greatest _________ I have ever heard in my life", etc. This movie, though, really does fall into that category. Obvious things first, the acting was great, the humor was perfect for us indie nerds, and the soundtrack was incredible. The story is happy and sad all at one time. Its hard to explain, really. Its definitely worth whatever a movie ticket costs these days. Go see it.

Monday was the day I had been waiting for for a long, long time. The Decemberists came to town and my excitement could only be matched by that of a young child come Christmas morn. I worked early that day so I would have time to make it to the venue. I arrived at the theater with plenty of time to wander around. I found the tour buses but wasnt near man enough to stand, tip-toed, to see in the window hoping to spot a passing Colin Meloy or Shara Worden. I went inside and spotted the 'merch table'. It was the perfect opportunity, as I had arrived more than an hour early, and there were hardly any patrons there purchasing wares. I bought a t-shirt (a rather awesome t-shirt if I do say so myself) only to find out later that the only other people that purchased this same shirt were females. Not letting this realization get me down, time passed quickly and it was soon time to head in for the show. The theater was smaller than I thought, which was advantageous as we were seated in the balcony yet still had great seats. The opening act was a band called Blind Pilot. If youre reading this and havent yet heard Blind Pilot I cant recommend them highly enough. As they only have one album I knew every song they played but one which, as it turns out, was a new song. Imagine that.

Then the time had finally arrived. The roadies were testing equipment and setting out instruments. A lot of instruments. I mean...a LOT of instruments. The set began with Jenny coming out to her organ to play the introduction. Other dark silhouettes made there way out, each to a roar of applause. The bespectacled Mr. Meloy came into view and I thought, if only for a moment, that I might faint. And so it began. They played the entire Hazards of Love album from beginning to end. No stopping, no breaks, just one song right into the other. It was truly a sight to behold. After the album was finished and the cheers erupted, we were instructed to stay where we were because they would be returning for yet another set. In my seat I sat, or rather I stood because I was on too much of a high to sit down. Thirty minutes passed in the blink of an eye and they were back for more. This time it was more like a concert you would expect. In between playing songs, Colin would be telling us stories or any number of other hilarious things. We heard many of our old favorites, a Yankee Bayonet duet with Shara (definitely one of the highlights of my life), and a new song which was fantastic (no surprise there). They even did a Heart cover. The night was topped off by The Decemberist Family Players telling us the tragic tale of Seabiscuit. Basically it was a story made up entirely off Colins head that ended with a giant meteor striking the Kentucky Derby and destroying the entire state as well as most of the continental United States.

Honestly, I have never been to a better concert in my life, and Ive been to some good concerts. The only show that may be better is when I go see them again in October (or should I say "ROCKTOBER!!"). Go see them!

All in all it was a pretty great weekend. I got to see some friends that I dont get to see all the time, even make new ones, and I got to go to some great concerts.

And now theres news of Sufjan Stevens in September?! YES PLEASE! Its my month for goodness sake!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

...Bang Bang...

Im not exactly sure if Ive posted this somewhere before. If I have then you get to enjoy it again. If I havent then you get to enjoy it for the first time, unless of course youve seen it previously in which case youre in the "enjoy it again" category.

The Commute: Round II

While writing my previous post about rampaging elephants and slaying dragons I had little idea what adventures lay in store for me the following day. What follows is my account of the events that transpired on that day. (This story is actually true. :D)

I awoke earlier than normal. It was raining outside, which was no surprise, and that meant it was nice and cloudy. The perfect day to sleep in right? Wrong. I was scheduled to work at 11 so, rather begrudgingly, I got up and bathed myself so as to look (and smell) presentable. After my cleanliness was insured I shuffled my way into the kitchen, eyelids still heavy, to make myself some breakfast. By "make myself some breakfast" I, of course, mean "grabbed whatever took the least amount of time / effort to enter my stomach". The radio was on in the adjacent room, but I was paying little attention. I heard a sports update followed by a weather forecast. I didnt hear it because my phone rang and I was too busy trying to think about who could be calling me this early in the morning. I received two phone calls that morning, from both my Mom and Dad, each sounding concerned in their own way, telling me to drive carefully while on my daily commute to work. They mentioned something about not driving through high water and watching out for pooling water on the freeways. I was too engrossed in my cereal to really comprehend any of this.

As it always does, the time came for me to leave for work. I thought I would leave a little early so as to avoid being late due to the inevitable traffic. Everything seemed in order as I made the first leg of my journey. The roads were wet, which made perfect sense because when it rains things (roads) tend to get wet. I saw no evidence of high water or pools in the road. This continued for the next twenty minutes or so, thats when things started to change for the worse. I merged onto interstate 65 (which is, for future reference, a five, sometimes, six lane freeway) and continued toward my destination. As I got closer to my exit I noticed one of our fancy digital signs (which never get used other than to greet people entering our fair city or reminding me to buckle up) telling me that Arthur St was closed because the road was impassable due to flood water. "Flood water?" I thought "did it really rain that much?" My answer was just around the corner. Its a good thing the sign warned me about the exit being closed because I was ready for what came next. Brake lights, as far as I could see. Needless to say I got out of there as fast as I could.

After taking several side roads to various places Ive never been I ended up down by UofL. Thats when I started to realize what was really going on. There is a bridge, of sorts, on Eastern Parkway that takes you up and over part of the facilities at the university, the other side of the bridge being tantalizingly close to where I work. The traffic was moving slowly up the bridge which gave me an opportunity to look around. I couldnt see over the side of the bridge completely, but I could see enough. Below me I saw nothing but water where there would have normally been grass and several walkways leading to different buildings on campus. I could see the tops of lamp posts and trees but other than that there was just water. Brown, murky, presumably smelly water. It was at that point I realized I couldnt continue on my current course since the road ahead was covered with water as well. This became a far-too-frequent occurrence over the next hour as I tried to find a route around the water to my place of employ. I took more roads and streets than I ever thought possible, but at every turn the roads would be impassable. Ive never seen anything like it. There were cars stalled and left everywhere you looked. Fire rescue vehicles, towing boats, screaming by. Police cars blocking intersections and redirecting traffic. It was (somewhat) controlled chaos.

I finally found a path through several tiny back roads and shady neighborhoods (Im not sure how I always end up in those). "Southern Parkway" was what I kept hearing from my co-workers as the best route to take to get in. I dont know how it happened, but I ended up there. Excited, and somewhat angry at this point, I headed north toward the city. I began to recognize my surroundings and knew I was getting close. Thats when things started to go even more wrong. I looked down at the speedometer while sitting at a stoplight only to notice that the "Volts" gauge for the battery was sitting on a rather discouraging "0". Only then did I notice the radio starting to fade and the engine lurching. "Youve got to be kidding me" I thought aloud (very aloud). The light turned green and I prayed that giving it some gas would at least get me to work, which was mere blocks away. This time my prayers went unanswered, or rather were answered with a resounding "No". I was now sitting in a stalled car in the middle of one of the busiest streets in the area. Luckily I saw a man walking toward me. Normally I would have been a little concerned at the sight of him. We'll call him "Johnny Camo-pants" as I never caught his name. Camo-pants helped me push the truck across the road to a nearby used car dealership. Camo-pants happened to know the owner of said dealership, so he went inside to see if he could give me a jump. Camo-pants and my new friend Eastern-European-used-car-dealership-owner (hereafter known simply as "EU") made their way out with magic jumper box in hand. EU hooked it up, I turned the key, and she started. Just as EU took the cables off and began to close the hood, however, the truck died again. "Its probably your alternator" EU said. Knowing little to nothing about cars I simply agreed, all the while Camo-pants was throwing in his two cents. EU told me I could leave the car there, and I thanked them both for their help.

Since my building was only a few blocks away, I decided I would walk. I cant say whether this was a good or bad decision, so youll just have to decide for yourselves. I would be walking up south 4th Street which really isnt the best neighborhood in the city. It didnt help matters, at least as far as I was concerned, that I was wearing my khakis and a polo and talking on my cell phone. The latter-most quickly stopped worrying me as everyone I saw was talking on cell phones. My journey up 4th Street quickly became a lesson in avoiding eye contact and looking like I didnt have a hundred dollar bill in my wallet. As I got closer to work there were more and more people out and about. Firetrucks were flying down the streets, their sirens blaring. The entirety of 4th was populated with parked cars, their impatient owners out of them and walking around trying to figure out what the hold up was. I was honestly waiting for the zombies to come tearing around the next corner, thats how unreal the scene was that I was witnessing.

I finally made it to my block and I saw what the trouble was. There is a viaduct just around the corner from my building the top of which, I would wager, is about twelve feet. Approximately six of those twelve feet were under water. The police had it blocked off and the traffic had nowhere to go because the road my building is on was also flooded. There were people yelling various obscenities both at people and the air. I walked down closer to the viaduct to snap a picture. My mission accomplished I walked down the sidewalk and into work a mere two hours late.

All in all I would label the day as an adventure. A stressful and frustrating adventure to be sure, but an adventure nonetheless. If I learned anything it would be this: no more listening to Tabitha when she chooses which way youll go home. Youll run into stampeding elephants, raging dragons, and be greeted by a flood the following day.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Commute

(There is a story behind this and I was going to tell it before I started writing, but I think Ill leave it out because the person that this post is for already knows it.)

I was driving home from work on my pre-determined course thanks to my official route chooser. Tonight it was to be 65 north through downtown. In order for me to get to the ramp to get on 65 I have to go down a few back streets and through a few neighborhoods which tend to get a little shady after dark (no pun intended). I drive through said neighborhood and am sitting at a stop light at a T intersection, I have the option to either go left or right, left being the best choice as its the choice that gets me where I want to go. Regardless, Im sitting at the stoplight and all of a sudden I notice everything start to shake. At first I didnt think anything of it. "Oh, its just the truck" I thought, because the engine tends to get a little shaky from time to time. That idea quickly left my mind as the shaking started to get more and more intense. I didnt know if it was an earthquake or a tidal wave or what it could be. It was about that time, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something I wasnt expecting. Running down the street at full speed was a herd of stampeding elephants. Needless to say I was a little surprised. They got to me and continued through the intersection in front of me, destroying everything as they went. Ripping off the stop lights, toppling telephone poles, taking out peoples front porches and lawn ornaments. Ive never seen anything like it. This lasted for about 30 seconds, during which time I seriously thought about putting it in reverse and getting out of there, but I was to enthralled by what I was seeing. I couldnt believe it.

After the stampede had run its course (again...not intended) I was sitting there, still at the stoplight, in shock. After a minute or two I began to regain both consciousness and a clear thought process. "If there were stampeding elephants running through shady neighborhoods downtown, then something had to cause it" I thought "but what could it be?" Then I saw it. Well, not it per say, but the fire it produced. A faint glow was getting brighter and brighter behind the houses down the street. The glow was orange and seemed to flicker. "Fire?" No it couldnt be, there would be firetrucks everywhere. The glow grew brighter and brighter by the second, then I heard the roar. It was unlike anything I have ever heard in my life, which is fitting, because moments later I saw the beast that produced it which was, also, unlike anything I have ever seen in my life.

A dragon. Yes, a dragon. A large winged lizard-like creature which breathes fire and sleeps on a pile of gold! THAT kind of dragon! I wasnt exactly sure what I should do at that particular moment, so I opted for the Jurassic Park T-Rex approach: if you stay perfectly still, it cant see you. The plan worked, if only for a moment. As the dragon flew closer it spotted me. It was only then I decided it would be a good idea to get out of there. I threw the transmission into reverse and stomped on the pedal. Im not sure how fast I managed to get going backward, but it didnt matter. The dragon kept pace. I could see the glow in his open mouth. I could almost feel the heat of what was about to come. I yanked the steering wheel, slid into a j-turn, popped it in drive and peeled out. I looked in my rear-view mirror only to see the dragon gaining on me. I started to get a bit worried at this point, I had nowhere to go, nothing I could use to get me out of harms way. I made a hard right onto one of the main roads and saw a train bridge mere yards ahead of me. I had a plan. In order for my plan to work, however, I had to lure the dragon closer. ("Youre gonna do what?!") I let off the gas only for a moment, the dragon was right behind me now, taking a deep breath, his attention fully on me. I passed under the bridge and hit the gas. The dragon didnt see the bridge coming and ran into it headlong. He fell to the ground in a heap. I hit the breaks and slid to a stop, uncertain of the dragons fate.

I got out of the truck and walked toward the creature. His red scales were shimmering in the street lights, smoke rising from his nostrils. I could hear him breathing as I got closer, I could feel his breath heating the surrounding air. He wasnt dead. Closer and closer I crept, for what reason I do not know. I should have left him there while I could, but I didnt. I was almost within arms reach when it happened.

He must have heard me coming or smelled my fear (dragons can do that right?). Like a flash he leapt into the air and began to take another deep breath. I had only seconds to react. I found the nearest car an dove behind it. The dragon let out a blast of flame, engulfing the entire area (except for the car I was behind of course, that would just be ridiculous). The heat was incredible, it was unlike anything Ive ever experienced, but I had to stay calm, I had to think. As soon as the inferno stopped I made a break for the truck. He spotted me but not soon enough. I reached into the bed and pulled out a spear (it was there the whole time, just go with me here). The dragon landed and began to charge. I was unsure of what to do next since I have, in fact, never fought a dragon before. He got closer and I dove out of the way, grabbing his tail as he passed. Using the spear and my own brute strength (again...just go with me here) I began to climb up his body. When I reached his shoulders he had had enough. He pushed off from the ground and took flight. I didnt have time to enjoy the fact that I was flying because I was busy battling a freaking dragon. I thought I was safe. I was between his shoulders where he couldnt reach me. I raised my spear to plunge it into his back when he whipped his head around and grabbed me by the leg. I was dangling from his mouth hundreds of feet in the air. I had only seconds before I would be devoured. I again raised my spear and stabbed him in the neck. His mouth opened and my leg came free. The spear was in deep and held my weight. The dragon began to spin and turn, desperately trying to throw me off, but I held on. He turned upside down and I saw my opportunity. I gained my footing on his neck and pulled the spear free, my next strike would be the final one. We were falling toward the earth but I had to make it count. I raised my spear a third and final time and plunged it into a crack between the beasts scales.

The red dragon let out a mighty howl and I held on for dear life. We met the earth at tremendous speed and I was thrown from him as a cowboy is thrown from a bucking bull. I came to and found the dragon lying several yards away, people had begun to gather around. "Are you ok?" they asked "What happened?!" "Is that a dragon?" I didnt have anything to say. I walked to my truck (we landed really close to it, it was convenient) and wiped the blood from my face. As I drove away I could see the people moving toward my deceased foe, then they slowly faded into the darkness. I found my ramp after again passing through the shady neighborhood. I thought about what happened as I drove and I came to this conclusion: no more listening to Tabitha when she chooses which way youll go home. Youll either run into traffic or stampedes of elephants and raging dragons.


Monday, August 3, 2009

It might get loud...

I had heard about this from a guy at work, but hadnt actually seen the trailer.

Well now Ive seen the trailer.

Jimmy Paige, The Edge, and Jack White sitting around talking about the guitar. I think I may have soiled myself at some point. Im a bit sad because its going to be one of those 'limited release' type deals, so Im not sure when Ill get to see it (cmon Baxter Ave, dont let me down). Regardless Im really excited about it, and now give you the trailer.


"Who says you need to buy a guitar?"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Same blog, different look

Greetings and salutations all wanderers and wayfarers who have recently (or not so) stumbled upon this blog. You may notice that it looks different in some way.

That is because it is different, if only in appearance. I pray everyone finds it to their satisfaction.

Goodnight to you all.

~*The Septemberist*~

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New month, new band pt. III


Its August boys and girls, and that can only mean one thing: our next installment of the "New month, new band" series. (Im not really sure if this is popular or not...then again I guess I dont really care. Its my freaking blog dangit!)

This month we have a merry band of frenchies called Phoenix. I have to admit, if the French can do anything right its produce good bands, so thats another notch to add on the belt, right after "Avoid and/or retreat from all conflict" and "Make good toast". Im not really sure how to describe the bands sound as I dont know if there is a word for it (Im kind of lost as far as all the genres (pronounced: jon-ruhs, you know who this is for) go anymore). Theyre a bit Franz Ferdinand-esque. Thats the best Ive got. Honestly though, I think they speak better for themselves, so without further adieu...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Dead Weather

My brother (of all people) recommended I watch the music video for "Treat Me Like Your Mother" by The Dead Weather. Naturally I did, as any video featuring Jack White is incredible. Turns out, its one of the best music videos I have ever seen in my entire life.

(I think they made this just for me...)

Enough talk, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Mariner's Revenge Song

Ive been on a bit of a Decemberists kick (again) lately. I tend to go on these 'kicks' several times a week...Im becoming more and more certain that they are, indeed, my favorite band.

Moving along, I was listening to "The Mariner's Revenge Song" (one of my favorites) today and then stumbled across something that I just had to share. The video is just plain good, but Ive seen it before so its nothing new to me. The comic, however, was an unexpected yet welcomed surprise.

So sit back, hit play, and follow along children.

(art by: *Pocketowl)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Remember when...

Remember when the Star Wars movies were good (and quite quotable)?
Those were the days...

Monday, July 13, 2009

A tale of love and cars lost

(Heres the "I dont want to read all of this" version) Last weekend was crazy as well as last week. I was in a wedding this weekend and had a car wreck. The End. You lazy bum.

What a weekend its been. Well, its been quite a week as well. Last weekend was pretty crazy too...I think you get the picture. I dont even know where to start really.

Last weekend was something that I dont really remember at this point. There were some fireworks involved, a lot of Rock Band, and more friends than I knew what to do with. The next three days were a blur of a lot of things: work, bon fires, and other...stuff. At that point I was ready to be done for about a week. I got Wednesday and Thursday "off" then it was back to it. I guess that brings us to this weekend.


It was yet another blur: picking up tuxes, driving to different cities, rehearsing dinners and eating weddings...I picked up the ol tux and headed off to Richmond (aka 'nothing to do but bowl'sville). We got to the hotel almost when we were supposed to (I was only 15 minutes behind thank you very much!). We unloaded all our crap and headed down to the chapel in Berea, a town in which Ive never spent more than 45 minutes. Its a little unfortunate that thats the case as its quite a beautiful place when you step back a little bit and look around. The chapel was on the campus of Berea College. Im not sure exactly how old it is, but its old enough to look amazing what with the stained glass everywhere. What would have otherwise been a long few hours going over everything that was going to happen in the wedding turned into a very quick and rather hilarious few hours due to the company I was in. Lets just say there was a lot of butt grabbing, sex jokes, and talk of scotch and smoking pipes in the 'lounge'. When it was all said and done it was time to party, as the children say. The place we had the dinner was rather fashionably, though rather torturously, decorated. No offense, but when you have Tootsie Rolls in glass containers topped with a flaming candle, someone is going to get burned, its just a fact of life. Mr. Prevett giving a speech served as comedy for us and embarrassment for the Prevett children, which is just the way we like it. At this point I noticed the guy who was in charge of the restaurant we were at, who was apparently "dying to DJ", dim the lights and turn up the music a little bit. Now, for the record, I cant dance. I dont care what Richard says. Who died and made you freaking David Hasselhoff anyway? This aint America's Got Talent over here! But dance I did. The girls taught me how to stand there and look like Im dancing. What they called it eludes me at the moment, but Im sure Ill be told soon enough. All the favorites were there. You had your Cupid Shuffles, your Electric Slides and your Soulja Boys. The latter two Tabitha desperately attempted to teach me with modest success I must say (thanks coach!), though some of it is still beyond me. Nothing a little practice cant fix right?...yeah. The night was rounded out with a few rounds of bowling with my slightly intoxicated brethren and a TV-side chat with some of the family and friends(which is always good).

SATURDAY! (Morning)

Saturday crept up on us. It did me at least. All of a sudden Im sitting at Bob Evans, eating breakfast, listening to stories that should not be told at Bob Evans, or any restaurant for that matter. After the rather loud breakfast, it was back to the hotel to get ready. I was informed by my source inside the bridesmaids that they were running late (no surprise there, AMIRITE?!) which made me feel a lot better about the fact that we too were running late. We ended up getting to the chapel (somewhat) when we were supposed to, and it was picture time. Im fairly certain the humidity was somewhere around 246% because we were "sweatin like chuch ova hee".

Then it was wedding time. We got our pep talk in our sweet fireside room (sorry girls), and next thing I know Im out the door, standing up front, watching my buddy go and get himself married. I must say this wedding went exceptionally well. Ive been to a few in my day, some of which Ill never forget, and not for good reasons. This one went off without a hitch. One marriage license and a few pictures later we were at the reception. Toasts were toasted, dances were danced, cars were...defaced, and good times were had by all. Also, Richard tore a hole in his pants chasing a runaway balloon across the parking lot. It was fantastic. The newlyweds got in their car laden with Hannah Montana and Highschool Musical paraphernalia and headed off know.

SATURDAY! (Evening) Yes this is the part youve been waiting to read.))

This is where my story actually gets interesting to people that werent there. We decided after the reception that we would go out to eat in Lexington on the way home (on the way for most of us that is). I was trying a lot of Tabitha-convincing. "Its not THAT far out of the way!" "I will freaking drive you there and back!" The latter proposal she refused (thank God) because it was 'stupid' (spoiler alert?). The two of us (Tabitha and myself) left a good 15 minutes after everyone else, and headed off to Lexington. Funny how much further it was than I initially thought. :) We got off at our exit and headed up Broadway.

The traffic, as usual, was terrible. I got to my turn and decided that getting out of the way of the firetruck coming up the street would probably be a good idea, so turn I did. It was funny how I didnt notice the Suburban coming directly at me at about 40 mph until it was far too late. Thats when everything went into slow motion. I hear people say it happens all the time, but Id never actually experienced it. I could see the truck headed toward my back door. I could see the two guys standing on the corner on the opposite side of the street. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw Tabitha behind me about to watch me be killed by this truck. Then I felt the impact. I dont remember hearing the sound, but I remember there was something really loud. I got thrown to the right as both of my passenger side windows exploded into the car. I remember thinking "Wow, thats kinda cool" as I was getting showered with broken glass. Then came my friend the telephone pole. All of a sudden I got thrown the opposite direction and everything stopped.

Im trying to remember if I heard anything else at this point. I saw Tabitha pull over and frantically try to do something. I later found out that 'something' was find her shoes. I opened the door (the only door that still worked) and sat there for a second trying to figure out if I was in fact hurt and just didnt realize it, or if I really was OK. My arm was bleeding where I got pelted with glass but other than that I seemed fine. I got out of the car and gave Tabitha probably one of the most sincere hugs Ive ever given anyone, thats when whoever was operating the slow mo machine decided to turn it off. I remember some people, some hugs, some police, some phone calls, some mom hugs, a tow truck, some more hugs, some more police, some pepperoni pizza, and a ride home. One of the first thoughts I had after it happened, and one Im still thinking, is how glad I am that Tabitha didnt ride with me. As we were walking down to the restaurant my Mom mentioned something to that effect and I said something along the lines of "I dont even want to begin to think about that". And even though my car was all but destroyed, I still cant help feeling bad that poor Tab had to sit there helplessly and watch me get slammed by a Suburban. Sorry. Should I be sorry? Probably not. Im the one who got hit, but Ill apologize anyway. Needless to say it was one of the most surreal experiences Ive ever had. Not one Id like to repeat obviously.

Wow, I dont think Ive ever written anything this long. I guess I had more to say than I thought.

Im sure its taken you about 45 minutes to get to this point, so if youd like to take a nap I would completely understand.