Thursday, October 28, 2010

Of Mice and Sleepy Men

Picture from The Commons on Flickr

Thursday mornings are usually like any other work morning for me. I stumble downstairs, plop down in front of the computer, and spend at least a half an hour convincing myself that I am actually conscious. This morning started as usual, with the only major difference being an elevated level of grogginess from actually sleeping past 7:00 am for the first time in months. Then, the tortilla chip bag that had somehow fallen to the floor began to move. At this point there were two possibilities: either the chips were possessed by the spirit of the Frito Bandito, or I had a mouse in the bag.

Since Nicole and I live near a lake, in the country, surrounded by forest and fields, mice have become a daily reality in our lives. Unfortunately, neither of us have the killer instinct to take care of the problem. I have a weird guilt complex that makes me utterly unable to kill even the smallest living creature, and Nicole isn't exactly a fan of inflicting brutal death either. Thus, our daily routine includes cleaning up after a few furry creatures that apparently can't be litter trained, and continuing to find ways to thwart them in a non-violent fashion. So far, the score in this war has been approximately: Mice 3830, People 0.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random Listening, Volume 2

Photo from The Commons on Flickr

The month of October is nearly finished, and thus the holiday season has officially begun for the family business. Since I’m in charge of graphic design, the webstore, and anything utilizing technology more recent than the 1950s, I find myself a little overwhelmed by the onrush of tasks to be completed. Once again, I find that my brain is some form of congealed jelly whenever I try to sit down and write anything resembling coherent thought. Randomness is always a good cure for these situations, so another Random Listening seems to be in order. Here’s what’s currently playing in that dusty jukebox in the back of my mind.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

NSP Review: Chiodos- Illuminaudio

Album cover from Equal Vision Records' Website

Album: Illuminaudio
Artist: Chiodos

Chiodos is a band I first discovered during my brief phase of emo obsession during college. Well, rather faux obsession, as I will never be mistaken for an emo boy, as even when I lost a bunch of weight and grew my hair long, I still resembled either a 70s rocker or a mopey indie musician trying to look like a 70s rocker. I will never, ever be one to pull off skinny jeans or hair cuts that would make A Flock of Seagulls proud.

Anyway, during my senior year of college, I found that the only common point musically for all my friends and acquaintances were various bands that fell under the general term "emo." If I was going to discuss or write about music without receiving blank stares, I had to adapt to others' tastes. During that year I purchased and listened to lots of music I wouldn't get near anymore, but I also found some groups that had some redeeming qualities, at least to my ears. Chiodos was one of those.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Give the Kids a Chance

Photo from The Commons on Flickr

I tend to focus my writing on things personally important to me, but not traditionally considered important topics. This is partially because I over-think everything and need to distract myself constantly to stay sane, but also because I don't believe there needs to be yet another place on the internet where people bicker about politics or religion. However, some people have to live with these hot topics as part of their daily lives, and a teacher named Kathleen Hicks is one of them.

When I interned in London for a summer, Kathleen, or Kate as I knew her, was one of the dozen or so fellow students interning through the same program. Although I never became especially close to anyone in the program, I do remember Kate being an especially sweet girl that seemed to have grown her own garden of four leaf clovers. She was given a video game system for free by someone she had never met before, once appeared on Price is Right and was a major winner, and just gave the impression of having good luck in general.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NSP Review: Belle & Sebastian- Write About Love

Album artwork from Belle & Sebastian's Webstore

Album: Write About Love
Artist: Belle & Sebastian
Label: Matador Records

Even though they've been around for over a decade, most people's only exposure to Belle & Sebastian is a brief scene from the movie High Fidelity, where Jack Black's obnoxious character dismisses them as "sad bastard music." At least with their early albums, this would be an easy mistake to make. B&E have always functioned in an odd world where music never grew much after the late 60s and the volume only goes to 6 or 7, 11 being completely unnecessary. However, thanks to their story driven lyrics and literary bent, they've also managed to create many subversive, sarcastic, and even dark songs hidden behind beautiful melodies. This is the band that can make a song titled "Calculating Bimbo" classy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

KO'd by Florida

The view from our first hotel, two stories from the very top.

I’m finally back from a week away in Florida, and I have to say I’m ready for a vacation. I over planned things a little too much, and ended up with a very fun week that also managed to drain every bit of the energy from my body. By the 4th day in Florida I was lying in bed, moaning in horrible pain as something like a stampede of elephants happily pranced through my forehead. I recovered in time not to ruin the day, but it’s telling that I was essentially having a hangover when I wasn’t drinking alcohol.

The trip had two main purposes, finding an apartment and recovering from the chaos that is Nicole and I’s life. On count one, we didn’t find any actual dwelling places, but we did manage to explore a lot of places and find where we might want to inhabit. On count two, we definitely didn’t recover or relax, as I’m still nursing a constant headache and a distinct inability to wake up in the morning, and Nicole is suffering from some monstrous cold. Still, we enjoyed ourselves, and in the end that’s all that matters.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Distracted by Life... and Puppies

Look at the adorable puppies. See them frolic and play. Let them distract you from the fact I haven't posted anything in nearly a week, and this post contains barely anything you can call "content." Just stare at the puppies, and smile.

Alright, for those of you not hypnotized by such a simple trick, it is completely obvious that my old ambition of posting 5 times a week has slowed a bit, and in the last week, come to a complete halt. The reason for this stalling is simple: I'm going to Florida for a week starting Saturday and I'm currently doing about 3 weeks of work in 3 or 4 days to make sure I'm ready.

Friday, October 1, 2010

OK Go Makes My Dog Day Bright

Photo from The Commons on Flickr

Today is the fiftieth post for the blog. I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to post for the 50th entry, or whether I should acknowledge it at all. Then I managed to not sleep well for 4 days in a row, steadily growing loopier and less coherent. Although I’m feeling moderately together today, I’m also catching up on work that fell behind in my somewhat delirious state. As such, any grand plans for some magnificent blog entry went right out the window.

Instead, I’m going to present something that amazes me and warms my heart every time I see it. It’s OK Go’s latest music video, for the song “White Knuckles.” The song is a nice, Prince’sh trick, but the video is another one-shot masterpiece featuring a bunch of the best trained dogs you’ll ever see. All the dogs were rescue dogs as well, which is even more amazing (you can donate to animal rescue through the band's website). If this doesn’t brighten your day a little, I don’t know what will.