Thursday, June 30, 2011

I ran into a former co-worker today (while I was out and about with another former co-worker).

I'm not really sure how to say this... I mean, it's not about this person, as she's nice and cool and everything. But I kind of hate running into acquaintances I once knew.

I was also at the supermarket today, sort of milling around when I saw someone I recognized. Not someone whose name I can remember, mind you (although now that I think of it... maybe I do), but I somehow placed I took a semester of Norwegian with him 4+ years ago. I also dislike this. But this is more of a fear that they will then somehow recognize me and then acknowledge me, forcing me into a conversation that I'd rather not be a part of. But I'm not going to talk about that, because it's not as interesting to me. Just random encounters with people I've actually known.

I dislike this probably because I'm sort of anti-social.

But I've got my reasons! And I'm going to list them. It might only be two items.

1) If you haven't seen the person in years or so, and you just randomly encounter them on the street... I never really know what to say. I mean, I haven't seen that person in a while, and then all of a sudden we're small-talking out of obligation of recognizing each other... and I guess I find it weird that all of a sudden this person, who may have been somewhat close at some point, is now just someone you casually know.

And it usually means the conversation repeats the same type of questions. My least favorite is "what are you doing?" Usually because everyone else usually replies "making s*** tons more cash than you." (That's a lie. They only think that...) My usual response is that I'm either living, breathing, doing things, or nothing. I don't know why, but it's better than talking about work. Especially when their bank account crushes mine.

2) Sometimes I just ignore people. Even people I've been really close to at one point, just because it's been years since I've last seen them and I feel guilty for not keeping in touch with them. Not that this alleviates the guilt... and it probably only adds to it, but in the moment, it seems easier to try to ignore the situation and hope the person doesn't see me. This might make me a terrible person.

3) This hasn't happened yet, but I'm terrified of the moment that it actually does. I've written out a fake conversation that would never happen because I would never draw attention to it, but it'd nonetheless be on my mind the entire time.

Person: Hello Alex.
Me: Hey, you.
Person: How's it going?
Me: Alright... you?
Person: Doing good, working a lot, you know...
Me: Yep...
Person: So yeah...
Me: ....
Person: ....
Me: Why'd you un-friend me on Facebook?

I don't really keep a running track of people who has un-friended (or de-friend... not sure what the preferred nomenclature is here) me or anything. But Facebook makes it really easy to find out. Right now, I could type in one of my sibling's names trying to get into their profile... and under their name might be someone I was once "friends" with, except it'll have the "32 mutual friends" part below it. Meaning we are no longer friends.

I don't know why people do it--I wouldn't do it, just because I'd feel bad if they ever found out (although, again... I haven't seen a lot of people recently, so... doubt they'd really care, but still.) I would assume most reasons are to clean their friends list a little bit, or because for some reason the person clogs up their news feed. Which I would assume isn't a problem for me anymore, since I rarely post anything on it nowadays... so the next logical explanation would be that they never liked me in the first place. Or I did something terrible to them, and that's been their lasting impression of me. (Maybe I tried ignoring them when I randomly saw them, only they caught me trying to ignore them... could happen.)

But anyway... this is a fear not because I'm bitter at anyone for doing it. But rather that it'll be rather awkward when they try to be chummy with me when I have proof that they have arbitrarily decided I was no longer a "friend."

Not that it's a big deal, I suppose, but I imagine it'd be super uncomfortable.

---

Another thing I've noticed is that when hanging out with someone I haven't seen in a long while, someone upon departure will inevitably say "we should hang out more often." And it never happens.

One time I didn't do this. I said something to the effect of "I'd say that we should hang out more often, but we probably won't." I like this because it's usually true. I'm thinking about using it to replace the "let's hang out again soon" thing... maybe make it sound a little more clever or something. But I'm curious if it might have the effect of actually hanging out with the person more...

Sunday, June 26, 2011



I hadn't heard this song before yesterday. I mean, I have... because I've definitely seen the awesome video for it before (it was probably on Pop-Up Videos back in the 90's), but I guess yesterday is the first time I heard it since. Even though apparently it's one of their most popular songs. (Give me a break... I stuck with Talking Heads' more classic albums... and the album this comes from is not considered an unanimous classic... not that anyone really cares anyway. I'll just get on with it.)

I heard this on the radio while driving yesterday, recognized it as a Talking Heads song, liked it, made a mental note to check out the song later on in the day when I had internet. Then I blanked and forgot, and realized I had forgotten while back on the road. Then literally seconds later (it was really minutes later) the song came back on the radio! And it was pretty glorious.

(This also marks the first time that I've been happy The Current seems to have a playlist of about 12 songs.)

Speaking of The Current, I've been listening to it a lot more recently, and... well, I guess I find it pretty sad that the only song that I have made an effort to try to seek out after hearing it is by a band that's already a couple albums deep in my collection... and it's a song I probably should have heard before anyway. See, it's sort of sad because The Current usually plays... current music, but there has been just about absolutely nothing released in the past few years that has really done anything for me.

That might just be because my tastes have evolved/regressed to the point where most of the stuff I'm enjoying has been released 30+ years ago. Or maybe musicians just aren't very good nowadays. They should probably try to improve, if that is indeed the case.

I'm assuming that the lyrical matter is pretty dark, but I try to pay as little attention to lyrical contents, so it sounds just about as life-affirming to me as possible.

(Also... do you know how bad I want a GIF of David Byrne running in place (in the most David Byrne way possible)? Really, really bad.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's now deleted and replaced with a song that I like, but I tried writing here about my dying aunt and her tentative plans to move up in order to be with family while dying has led to increased stress and anxiety on my part.

A couple minutes after it went up, I learned that she was rushed to the hospital and was in pretty bad shape. She passed away later that night.

She had cancer for about 7-8 months, and her health seemed to fluctuate wildly to the point where it seemed as if one moment you would hope she'd make a full recovery--and the next you're preparing yourself for the worst. So I suppose the news didn't really hit me as hard as it could have had I not mentally prepared for that inevitable phone call.

(Actually, I found out through Facebook... not through a lack of tact or anything, but what happened was she passed away sometime overnight. My mother chose to wait until the morning to call us, but I woke up early to instinctively check Facebook essentially to quell any fears that anything bad had happened (which didn't work, obviously.) This is weird, though... right? I've been constantly opening up my aunt's Facebook profile, and I really can't explain why. And I really can't put into words any of this... but it's weird, right?)

I guess since I've known this was coming for a while it didn't really hit me that hard. And I don't know if this is common or not, but I felt a more immediate sense of loss for my cat earlier this year, which is really because a) I didn't know the cat was in that bad of shape, and b) I lived with the cat and really haven't had contact with my aunt for a while. I feel as if I find this to be strange, but I really don't.

I also feel as if I should be filled with regret, that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye, that I put her through years of s*** as a bratty kid, all that stuff that the movies tell me you'll be immediately be racked with guilt over... but I'm not. At least not as much as I would have imagined... especially since I regret pretty much everything. I guess I feel bad that I always disliked her Christmas presents and never expressed much appreciation... but I was a brat, I suppose. And, I mean... it would've been nice to have a chance to say goodbye, but it didn't happen and that's just unfortunately how it worked out.

I guess really the main feeling right now is confusion. Not in the sense that everything's a blur and you're not really sure what happened, but... I guess, you're expecting life to take a pause so you can take time to digest everything that's occurred, but it doesn't, and life keeps moving on and events keep happening... and it's *weird*.

Anyway, I've had an idea on what I would say if I had to eulogize her, so I'm going to go ahead and write it. It'd look something like this:


She was probably the closest non-immediate family member. She moved out to North Carolina years back, so most of our recent interactions happened during the holidays, but during my childhood she was usually within arm's reach and we often spent a lot of time sleeping over at her place. (She had no children of her own, so I suppose that made her much more willing to have us over.)

I'm trying to remember fond memories of my time spent with her, but honestly... most of my memories I can really recall are of watching sports with her... and having our team inevitably lose in heartbreaking fashion. (Which I suppose can be considered fond, and better be if you grew up in this state...) There are a few specific moments I can remember pretty well, and I'm going to write them down here:

-I probably attended at least 10 Twins games with her, if not more--or less, really... my memory's bad and I'm assuming it embellishes quite a bit. Anyway, what I do remember is that out of all those games, the Twins won exactly one game. It was a game against the Tigers, and we won 6-1 (Torii Hunter screwed up and let a fly ball go straight over his head for a triple, which resulted in the one run for the Tigers). I was completely amazed that the Twins actually won a game I attended... I probably thought I'd save the ticket for as long as I lived (I haven't...) I attended other sporting events with her... our team always lost.

-I watched the Rams/Vikings playoff game at her apartment, and we were both completely excited at halftime as the Vikings were up 17-14 over the favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Rams then subsequently took a 49-17 lead 15 minutes later. I probably blamed the loss on my eating lunch at halftime or something.

-The 2001 NFC Championship Game, Vikings/Giants. She had come over to our place to watch it on our 46-inch TV (which was pretty luxurious back then). The Giants took the lead almost immediately, and we never had a chance. I remember her giving up on the game somewhere like halfway through the 2nd quarter, and that I thought she was quitting on the team. I gave up somewhere around the 4th.

-2003 (I believe was the year) she got me this really nice Vikings jacket for Christmas... one of those that the coaches and players on the team wore on the sidelines that year. It was really nice. And I was really impressed that she actually got me something that I had really liked as a gift. So I wore it the next time the Vikings played, which was against the 3-12 Arizona Cardinals in the last game of the season, and a game in which if the Vikings won, they would then go to the playoffs. It was locked in, and we were up 17-6 with about 2 minutes to go. Then the Cardinals scored, making it 17-12. Somehow, they got the onside kick, and were driving down the field to score. But with about 15 seconds left, Kevin Williams (then a rookie) sacked the Cards' QB, which meant that Arizona had to scramble to get one last play off. Which they did, and the QB chucked it up hoping someone would come down with it... and Nate Poole caught it. Touchdown Cardinals. Vikings out of the playoffs. I blamed the jacket, and vow never to wear it again.

I guess these sound sort of negative now that I'm writing it, and I guess they weren't particularly pleasant at the time, but she was a big Twins and Vikings fan. The Twins were terrible at the time, and the Vikings were (and still are) historically terrible, and she relayed what living through 4 Super Bowl losses was like to me. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that she had a large part in showing me what it was like being a miserable sports fan. Which--for better or worse (most likely worse)--is a big part of who I am today.

I guess it's not as great as say--having her teach me how to live life to the fullest or any cliched thing like that--but I suppose that's OK.

I was going to say something like "it's too bad the Vikings never won a Super Bowl during her lifetime" because that's what I'd imagine a lot of sports-related eulogies including. But I suppose it's better in the context I'm presenting that they always remained losers. Lovable to us (and loathsome, too), I suppose.

...

That's all I have to say, really. The funeral is next Saturday. I hope my mother's doing OK.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm reading this book on Tom Waits right now. It's not all that great, and there are multiple inaccuracies littered throughout, but I'm reading it... well, because. Anyway, there was a passage about his earlier years about how he used to just write down whole dialogues of conversation he would overhear. (I mean, I'm sure millions of other people have done it before, so it's not like it's this novel concept he created that I thought everyone should hear about... but I'm giving you a little backstory in order to stretch this out a little longer. I've got yours and maybe two other people's attention... I'd like to keep it for as long as possible.)

That got me thinking about the idea that maybe I should do it. Whenever I attempt to write any piece of fiction, I usually tend to include lots of dialogue (or sometimes only dialogue), since it's the thing I find most enjoyable to write and it allows me to gloss over exposition, which I'm not very good at. Unfortunately I'm not as great at writing dialogue as I'd like to be (so according to me, I suck at exposition, I suck at writing dialogue... so really why do I even try), because I find myself writing stuff that's both too-realistic and not-realistic enough. (And by that, I mean... I tend to have people say things they'd never say in real life, but I also include a lot of filler words.) So I figured that eavesdropping might be fun, might allow me to grow somewhat, might give me some good ideas for things to write. All that good crap.

The only problem is that I type slowly and write slower. Which means that I could possibly document every fourth sentence in a conversation. So essentially this whole idea had a pretty quick death. I could try hanging out with Mavis Beacon, but... no.

Anyway, if I could... I would have written a couple conversations overheard.

The first one I heard at Hard Times, and it was pretty simple. Two college guys were having a pretty in-depth conversation about anarchism. And the guy who dominated most of the conversation (or... the guy who was louder and thus made it easier for me to overhear) was discussing at length about his amazement that there were no anarchist groups in the Twin Cities area, and then subsequently about the various challenges he would encounter if he were to try to form his own group.

What stood out to me was that this was the most straight faced conversation about congregating anarchists possible.

I mean, the guy was pretty articulate about his thoughts and ideas about the whole topic, so obviously it was something he's talked about before. And thus, he probably is aware of the apparent oxymoron, and most likely tired of hearing about it. (And would probably condescendingly explain your errors if you dared to mention it.) So I guess that it's not at all remarkable that it was a pretty normal conversation...

But STILL. THERE'S SUCH AN OBVIOUS JOKE THERE.

And in my haven't-really-given-anarchism-much-thought mind, I cannot comprehend how a discussion about forming an organization of anarchists does not include at least one small mention of that obvious joke. Even an annoyed mention of how stupid that ostensibly oxymoron is would have sufficed. BUT THERE HAD TO BE SOMETHING. I just couldn't imagine it not popping up in the conversation anywhere.

Except that it didn't. And it happened.

I would say that it blew my mind, but that's kind of a stupid thing to say. So instead I'll say that it made me re-examine everything I thought I knew to be true about the entire universe.

(Or, it was interesting to me. And that's about all.)

Another conversation happened earlier today, when Sara and I went to Panera Bread (we were trying to go to Chipotle, but... disaster struck somewhere and they had to close. It was sad). We sat by a table which had two ladies discussing business. Actually, it was really only one lady talking, attempting to show the ropes to this other lady. I didn't really catch what type of business they were actually talking about, but all the pamphlets and training books on the table included the words "incredible business opportunity", so it was obviously of great import.

I actually would have really liked to document this conversation, because the one lady obviously had a knack for salesmanship (which I am particularly poor at emulating) as she detailed this strategy that essentially involved convincing others to pursue this incredible business opportunity. But I also felt kind of bad for the gal being trained in the ways of this incredible business opportunity, because it was obvious she did not possess the gift of gab like her counterpart did.

I imagine that she's going to give it her best shot, have her plan on how to get people involved in this amazingly legit business deal all laid out, then have it all completely backfire on her--resulting in immediate regret over the time and effort devoted to this thing. I thought about maybe popping into the conversation and telling her that the whole venture wasn't worth it. I mean, I didn't hear every single detail to this conversation, of course, so this might all be fine and reputable (it seems to have worked out pretty well for the lady who dominated the conversation--including an all-expenses paid trip to London), so obviously I didn't pop in. And even if it was kind of an elaborate rip-off/waste of time and money, she would probably have to find out the hard way instead of having some skeptical stranger butt in.

If I wrote a story involving this episode, though... I totally would have butted in. I would have yelled to the entire restaurant about the scam. And then thrown all the training materials up into the air. And then the almost-conned lady and I would have stormed out of the restaurant and ran off to a park or something. And then we would start a pick-up game of hoops with inner-city youth, and in the process discover what life is really all about.

Basically, I should never write. Ever.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just a thought...

If the Twins--who are now 28-39 and are still in possession of the worst record in the AL, but have won something like 9 of their last 11--somehow are able to find a way to sneak into the postseason... I kind of like their chances to go farther in the playoffs than in years' past.

(Note: for the record, I'm about 99% sure this isn't going to happen... and really, I'm expecting that our current winning streak will peter out once all of our starters return back to the lineup. But still.)

I mean, if you go from having the absolute worst record in baseball in June, pretty much having the worst two months of baseball in the franchise's history, and the absolute lowest of lows-- to somehow defying the odds and making the playoffs, doesn't that have to increase your mental toughness? Which is the one thing that we need in the postseason.

Plus, if current trends play out, we'd be facing Boston in the 1st round, and completely avoid the Yankees altogether!

Maybe I'm on to something...

(They're going to lose 5 of their next 7 now that I've had this thought enter my mind.... just watch.)

(Also... I know their current home unis are being used to honor Killebrew, but they should just stick with them for the foreseeable future. They just look a lot better.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Couple things

-One of my worst qualities is that I'm absolutely terrible with titling things, which provides a problem here because my posts usually end up with a title like the one above, just because I can't think of anything else. What I usually do then is not write in a title, and then you skip straight to the post, and then we don't have a terrible title ruining what is otherwise a coherent, concisely written blog entry! (Well... I mean...)

Turns out that doesn't work out either. I was searching for something I had written here earlier, although I couldn't remember if it had been months or years. I tried giving a quick look through the archive on the right, but that didn't really work. Why? Because since I don't title things, the posts are represented by the first few words of the post. And first sentence representations are variations of "so I was doing something related to what I'm going to*cut off*". Essentially, they're just not very helpful. And I had to trudge through months of dreck to get to what I wanted to see. It was horrible.

I think I should just pay someone to title things for me.

-Also, remember that one time I posted a video, only it was the wrong one?

Yeah, I apologize for that. Just discovered it now... umm, yeah.

-I just finished tinkering with a new playlist for Sara, and doing a whole write-up thing for my thoughts on the songs I've included. Because I always do that. Anyway, I have 24 songs on this little playlist. My write-up just reached 13 pages. That's about half a page per song. That's about 13 pages that only one person will read (as opposed to all these blog posts, which are read by maybe 8 people. That's better, at least.).

I devoted an entire page to The Band's Tears Of Rage for NO particular reason.

Do I have too much time on my hands?
Lemme see if this works...

Brian Eno - pour it out (taken from Drums Between The Bells) by Warp Records

Hmm. Does if you give it a little time.

This is from a new album he's putting out, and... I've always sort of just stuck with his 4 70's pop albums and just dismissed his ambient stuff and his more recent pop stuff. (Which is because those 4 albums cast a VERY LARGE shadow. Anytime I listen to another record I feel the need to turn on Here Comes The Warm Jets or something.) But listening to this... it's a beauty. And it's making me wonder if I've been wrong to toss aside all his other stuff.

It'd make me feel stupid, that's for sure. I mean, here I am, sitting on a veritable treasure cove and I've just been sticking with what I know. I mean, I probably still won't come around to his ambient music, but still.

I found this on another website, where it had another song listed. It's not as good... you can look for it yourself if you must.

Monday, June 13, 2011

DO YOU WANNA DANCE

So I'm putting together a playlist for my girlfriend at the moment... I originally was setting out to make a 70+ song playlist, until the good idea was stumbled upon that I take the music I was going to put on that playlist and create several smaller ones. Right now I am working on a playlist of the Beach Boys, the Byrds, and the Band. Mostly it's just the Beach Boys, though... because they have more stuff I've heard and liked (not to diss the other two bands... with The Band, they have two solid albums that would rival any Beach Boys album (i.e. Pet Sounds), but I'm not keen on the rest of their output... and actually I've got 7 songs from those two albums as opposed to 12 from the Beach Boys' entire 60's output. So maybe I'm overstating this a bit. I'm rambling.)

But I have been tinkering with the Beach Boys section a lot, and been reading up on their various songs/downloading bootleg copies of Smile (which I might write about when I finish listening to it.) And at some point, I got to perusing the various cover versions of songs the Beach Boys did (or, original versions of songs the band covered) And I'm going to post versions of the song Do You Wanna Dance and figure out which one is best (not that really any single one could be considered the best... I should just say I'll figure out which one is my favorite). It might be interesting. I don't know.



Bobby Freeman (released in 1958)--this is the original version of the song, and obviously has the coolest video attached to it, which I think helps its case. And considering that I grew up listening to the Ramones and Beach Boys versions of this song, I was actually surprised how great the original was. Which I think is because it's more R&B in this incarnation and has this laid-back groove that might actually inspire you to dance (which, at least, the Ramones version seems to lack). Also, Wikipedia states that Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead might have contributed the guitar to this song... which would be weird if true.



Beach Boys (released in 1965)--As far as Wikipedia tells me, Del Shannon released a version a year prior, and this version's arrangement has more in common with that version than the Freeman original. But really, this one (to me) is memorable because it's Brian Wilson trying to emulate the Phil Spector Wall of Sound with pretty good success. I mean, it still sounds like the Beach Boys--but I guess the Wall of Sound gives it a richness unlike anything the band had put out before. Of course, Brian Wilson eventually figures it out (goes crazy) and produces music that dwarfs anything Spector's done, but at this point--it's very effectively lifting wholesale from Spector's repertoire. The chorus' harmonies, too...



Ramones (released in 1977)--I think I love the Ramones... even though I only really like a couple of their songs and their albums make only small impressions on me. I think it's just the idea that a seminal punk group essentially is just the Beach Boys but played loud and fast. And this version has the most similarities to the Beach Boys version, except substituting the Wall of Sound for the usual buzzsaw guitars. But really, I think I love this version of the song more than I actually do. In my mind, I think I always somehow combine the vocals on the verses on this cover with the type of harmonies on the Beach Boys' chorus, and whenever I'm about to listen to this version, I believe I'm about the hear the definitive vocal version of the song. And I love Joey's vocals for the verses, but chorus always leaves something a little lacking compared to the other versions. But this is comparing it to the original and the Beach Boys--if I was just listening to this on the Ramones' album, I'd love it. Completely.



Bette Midler--OK, I'm not ACTUALLY going to try to compare this to the other ones.

-----



THE VERDICT:

So, if I had to rank them, they'd go like this:

1) Beach Boys
2) Bobby Freeman
3) Ramones

Maybe if I knew the Freeman original as well as I know the Beach Boys' version, my fondness for it would be stronger. As it is, though... you can't really beat those harmonies...

I might do this again for other songs. We'll see.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Watching the NBA Playoffs, I think the one item I've most debated ham nothing to do with LeBron James, the Dallas Mavericks, or anything basketball related, really. The actual question is this: who do I hate more, the Arby's Good Mood Food guy, or the T-Mobile 4G girl?





Now, if you haven't seen any of these commercials, you're probably going to go with the Arby's guy, because he's the most immediately annoying. The reasons are this: 1) He comes off (don't know if it's just him or because it's what Arby's wanted) as an insufferable hipster douchebag. 2) He poorly leads a completely annoying singalong. 3) We have to see his face in more commercials. (Pretty sure that spokesmen were supposed to be likable or at least have some sort of charm...) So really, this should be a no-brainer.

But the T-Mobile girl really annoys me, although it's taken months of constant exposure to her commercials and I'm not even really sure it's her fault. The one I posted above isn't really a good example of it, but a lot of the commercials are pretty much lifted straight from the Mac vs. PC series that ran a while ago (you know, the Apple ads where you always liked the PC guy better...), which is sort of a bad start. Again, they didn't really register with me for a while, because they were really unworthy of any attention.

But... something happened. I started seeing the girl pretty much everywhere, and she became the face of the brand. And people actually reacted positively to the commercials. Not that they thought she was a good spokeswoman, but rather... you know, they were attracted to her. But that's her only quality: she's good looking. To me, she seems to have a vacuum of a personality, and it's befuddling to me why she would be deemed the face of the brand when there's thousands of other attractive people with more charisma willing to whore their careers for an ad.

Actually, it pisses me off now. Why is she everywhere? Why do people like her and not see that she's rather boring? Why are all her commercials just her standing there not doing anything interesting? Why does this enrage me so?

Another thing working against her: she has this guy as a friend.



Although if Arby's doesn't sack this indie guy soon, he might become just as hated for me. (They should, though... because I think everyone hates him.)

4th quarter starting now...

Friday, June 10, 2011

I don't know if anyone else has been watching the NBA Finals, but they've been remarkable so far. I haven't caught every game... Game 3 was supposed to be pretty good, and I turned off Game 2 once Miami went up 15. But every other game has been pretty excellent, and overall the series is playing out in just about the most perfect way.

Here's the thing... you might know that LeBron is just struggling terribly, and has come up short in just about every 4th quarter so far this series. (If you don't know... then you have successfully evaded any sort of sports coverage over the past few days.) I'm not even going to try to analyze what's exactly wrong with him, since that's what everyone is doing. But I will mention a few things:

1) Miami's got the next two at home, which should mean they have the advantage, but... the way the series has played out has seemed to be completely gut-wrenching for the Heat, I think Dallas is smelling blood and will close it out Sunday. Of course I will be wrong, though. So really... Heat in 7.

2) Even if Miami does go ahead and win this series, I'm thinking that LeBron needs to put up a monster game in at least one or both games in order to avoid intense scrutiny. Because they will give him crap about how he didn't "win it" (much like how Kobe was somewhat haunted by the fact that his first three titles were won with Shaq)... and with good reason. LeBron is easily the most important NBA player in the league in terms of talent and popularity/notoriety, and yet he isn't even the most important player on his team. It's a weird situation, and LeBron needs to justify his status as the most important player, the most sought after free agent in history, etc--not by just winning a title, but being the man. And if he doesn't, then it comes to the point that you have to devalue him as perhaps just the best 2nd fiddle player in the league.

Not that that'll mean anything, because everyone will still talk about him since he's been hyped up so much. And really, he's been the most compelling story in the NBA for the past few years. But at some point... if he doesn't deliver in these next few games, people need to get off his back for not coming through when needed and just accept that he most likely can't come through.

(If I had to guess why he's not clutch, I'd guess it's because of the intense pressure he's put on himself. I mean, I can still clearly remember the game against the Pistons 4 years back when he scored Cleveland's last 25 points in an overtime win, and that did not seem like any sort of aberration but rather a f***ing great basketball player fully realizing that greatness. But then he decided to put his efforts into being a "brand", and has hyped his importance enough to put his decision on his free agency on television, etc etc etc. If he didn't have all this added pressure upon him, I'd have no doubt he'd have had a much more impressive game last night (and he had a triple double too), but I don't know if he has the mindset to deal with all this.)

3) The way this series has been unfolding has been great, though. I can't think of a better way to set up Games 6 & (possibly) 7. Cause not only does that Mavs have the Heat on the ropes, but LeBron is sort of morphing into the Dan Marino mold of being absolutely great but never quite coming through at the most crucial times. And if you're not particularly fond of the man, this is pretty great.

4) I feel bad because no one's talking about Dallas in those whole series, but it's much more fun to revel in the Heat's failures. No apologies.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011



Question:

Do I think this is a good song because I would hear this during my formative years on the kids channel that was always playing in the background, and it always stuck out to me simply because it wasn't rubbish? Or do I think it's a good song because... well, it *is* one?

In any case, if I had to create a list of songs that have gotten stuck in my head the most over the course of my life, this would probably be in the top 5. No lie.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Zombie fish is dead

I think I mentioned this story while I was writing about this year's Oscars, but let me recount it to the best of my memory...

I was away for a bit, and when I was away I was informed that the fishes that just happened to be in my room had all died. Apparently they hadn't quite removed the last of the fish from the tank, but they seemed to know what was going on, so I pretty much ignored everything.

Flash forward a few weeks later, when I am indeed watching the Oscar telecast, my mom asks me if I've fed the fish recently. Which I hadn't. Because the fish was dead.

Except that it wasn't, and so I had to keep feeding it. I fed it the same pellets that I fed it when it wasn't a zombie, which seemed to satisfy it. But still. It was dead. My brother told me it was. AND it survived weeks without me feeding it.

Anyway... I went away for a while, and I got back to a room that stunk up the entire house. A little bit of investigation revealed that the fish tank had become extremely dirty. This was yesterday. We didn't know what to do, and I think we all wanted someone else to deal with it... so I slept in a room with a massively odorous fish tank last night. It was great.

It got to the point where it was decided that everyone would pitch in... although I ended up doing all the gross parts. Anyway, I found the fish. It was dead and not moving. I didn't want to give it the proper burial of a flush down the toilet since it was a pretty big fish and didn't want to clog up anything (plus, if it was a zombie fish... I don't think there'd be a worse place for it to wreak havoc and go for human flesh). So I threw it away in the garbage outside. It got up to 103 degrees today. Yep...

So I guess it wasn't particularly the greatest zombie fish in the world, since I would imagine that a strong one could survive extremely dirty water (which might have been dirty for days... and no one noticed while I was gone). But then again... it died before and came back alive somehow.

So it could be wriggling its way out of the garbage can right now.

Crap.

Monday, June 6, 2011



So this is pretty much the only movie I am excited for this summer, and it comes out this Friday.

Not that I'm huge into Steven Spielberg and direct homages to his craft...

And not that I'm huge into JJ Abrams either (although Star Trek was pretty great)...

And honestly, about 90% of the trailer doesn't necessarily blow me away either.

But the music, that starts at about 1:37 and plays for about 30 seconds? That sells me enough right there.

Of course, it's apparently lifted from a 70's flick called Cocoon, directed by some guy I can't remember, so it's essentially another movie getting me excited. But good taste has to be somewhat of a harbinger for things to come, right? So this flick can't possibly disappoint.

Honestly, though... I'm just getting myself pumped for this simply because it isn't a f***ing sequel/comic book franchise.

Actually, I've sort of arrived at the decision that I'm going to try to go out of my way to see these types of films. The "summer blockbuster that isn't derived from an already profitable franchise," I mean. (Not that this is crazy original, since... again, it's straight from the Spielberg playbook, but still.) I guess I get why the studios rely so heavily on the franchises, since it's all a business and it's what will make them the most money (here and overseas). And I don't want to be the 30 millionth person to complain about the lack of ideas in Hollywood (even though... I'm sort of already doing that), because I'm sure my money has gone towards a lot of the franchises that rake in all the cash. (It might go towards the new Transformers movie later this month too... and I know this makes me a bad person.)

But I guess my theory is that instead of complaining about everything that's released this time of year, it'd be just better to embrace something that's new and go out of your way to devote your money to unproven commodities. Not that it's probably going to change much, since it's just me deciding to do this... and I probably won't stick to it all that well either. And even if a lot of people started to do it, I doubt much would change (cause if Super 8 does really well, the thought probably won't be "gee, we should greenlight those other non comic-book blockbusters?" but rather "gee, so when can we start working on Super 9?"). So really, this doesn't mean a whole lot.

But it makes me feel more responsible, you know? I mean... I'm not going to go out of my way to see your crappy Hangover sequel, nor am I going to go out of my way to see Captain America, Green Lantern, or any other superhero movie that'll have sequel after sequel. Instead, I'm going to do the "right" thing and donate my money to movies that'll still make the studios millions and millions of dollars, which they will then use to finance their next sequel. But still! It might mean I see less of the same thing...

Friday, June 3, 2011

It is extremely warm.

I am reminded why summers aren't particularly fun when you are in a place that lacks a decent air conditioning system. And just because I'm not a summer person anyway. Count me more as a fall/winter/spring kind of guy. Or just a not-summer guy. Whichever's easier.

HEY YOU.

Help me out.

I was listening to my music on my iTunes player when I hit that one button that is near the song you want to play but actually just brings you to the iTunes store and generally annoys. Upon hitting that and not immediately hitting back on my player, I discovered I have $1.35 left on my iTunes account.

Now, I don't usually buy anything from iTunes. I think the only reason why I have money on my account in the first place is because I used to get gift cards for holidays... and then I'd spend them on the obscure b-side or stuff I never listen to. Somewhere along the way I stopped receiving iTunes gift cards as gifts. I don't think I'll be receiving any more.

So I have enough to buy one song. But I don't know which one I should buy.

There are several routes I could take with this.

A) Since it will be the last song I'll probably ever buy from iTunes, I could go for something that symbolizes my iTunes buying experiences. Which means that I'd buy some B-side that probably isn't that good from a band I like just so I can feel better about having a more complete collection...

B) ...or the other symbolic route, by wasting it on something that I'll never listen to and will just generally clog up hard drive space until I get around to deleting it in... well, to be honest, I probably won't ever get around to deleting it.

C) I COULD SPEND IT ON A SMALLER BAND THAT I LIKE THUS FINANCIALLY SUPPORTING THEM AND MAKING MYSELF FEEL BETTER ABOUT STRUGGLING ARTISTS OF TODAY EVEN THOUGH I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH OF ONE DOLLAR SONG WOULD ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR POCKETS.

D) Get the most out of that dollar, and thus buying the longest song possible. I doubt that I'm going to buy anything *too* long (as far as I remember, the album long songs usually go for the standard album price anyway), but I could try to find something relatively long.

E) Can you gift iTunes cash to people? Cause if I could decide to sent some amount like 32 cents to one person, 29 cents to another, and the remaining balance to someone else... I'd totally do it.

F) Not buy anything... since I haven't done anything with it for about 2 years, most likely.