Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm pretty sure federal law would not approve though.



My buddy Scott sent this to me because it reminded him of Fleet Floxes and he figured that I, being such a huge FF fan, would maybe like it. Well, I don't like it. I love it. I want to marry it. I want to take long walks on the beach with it. I want to have pillow fights and tickling wars with it and then in the  morning I want to eat some motherfucking pancakes with it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"I never win anything!"

Yesterday was "Dress Like a Tacky Tourist Day" at our client site. My team made some rather half-hearted attempts at outfit coordination before realizing none of us actually owned loud Hawaiian shirts or gigantic cargo shorts or god-awful Crocs. (Which I think speaks to the classiness of our team. Go team!) We decided to go with just bright colors and summer accessories.

Not pictured: tackiness

Turns out the program-wide response to DLATTD was less lukewarm than we'd originally thought - there was only a handful of tech people who braved the minus 20 degree weather outside and dressed er, down - so by process of elimination we rather puzzledly accepted a prize that we didn't know existed in the first place for a free dinner + drinks at some restaurant that we also didn't know existed in the first place. But hey, no complaints here. I rocked out in Ray Bans and flippie floppies and am getting free food out of it. All in a day's work, eh?

On a tangentially related subject: one thing that bothers me to no end is when winners of anything, no matter how trivial the prize, scream and cry and then inevitably gush, "But like, I never win anything!!!!!!!!" Well...yeah. It is not at all unlikely or remarkable that you've never won anything, because almost nobody ever wins anything (or almost everyone never wins anything). That's the point. If we all won things all the time, all joy of winning would go away. "I never win anything!" is just about as insightful a remark as saying "Wow guys, I never get married!" at your wedding speech or yelling "Can you believe it?? I'm eating a sandwich!!" every time you're eating a sandwich.

In fact, I'd much prefer it if instead of the winner getting up and wasting everyone's time with insipid proclamations of undeserved surprise, everyone who didn't win would stomp their feet and pound their fists and stand up and yell, "God damn it, I never lose anything!" Which I realize makes equally little sense, but would at the very least make for a far more interesting event every time a winner is chosen (or a lot of non-winners aren't).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I was productive this weekend!

Repost - for those who asked why I deleted the original entry, it's cause the first video got very out of sync about twenty seconds in. Apologies for the confusion, I know it stayed on my Google Buzz even after I'd deleted it - fail. But hopefully it should never happen again, as I learned the very valuable lesson that whenever possible, iMovie should be used for YouTube uploads instead of evil, evil QuickTime.

I spent an unplanned extended weekend in Chicago and found the luxury of some spare time.

So I drew a drawing:


I call this "7/8ths of an Elephant's Face"

And I learned a new Rural Alberta Advantage song:


I call this "Disregard the Goof-up in the Fourth Verse"


I hadn't done anything artistic or tried fiddling around with anything new on the guitar in a long time. It felt good to make something with my hands for once.

Also, this is totally unrelated but at one point yesterday I found myself smack in the middle of the UChicago campus to grab lunch with some friends. It was my first time on campus in a while and long story short, I nearly had an existential crisis in the middle of Hutch courtyard. It just felt so unbelievably weird to be walking around on the bustling quads with my friends - just like the good old days, except this time mumbling to myself, "I should be here. But I'm not. I'm flying to Calgary in two hours. A year ago I didn't even know Calgary existed. What the fuck."

I also kept mistaking strangers for people I knew. I'd see somebody familiar and excitedly ask, "OMG, is that so-and-so?" And get responses like "No, that's just an impostor", "no, that's a first year", and "no, that's a tree."

Then I ran into my friend who was celebrating his birthday by running around campus with liquor. We did a shot together in the middle of our student center and that made everything better again.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tunes

It's difficult for me to write entries about music because I always try too hard to sound like I know what I am talking about and inevitably reread the post and punch myself in the face. So in the interest of avoiding a black eye I will write about a few of my favorite songs at the moment and explain why I like them and when I listen to them. Simple as that.

5. Creeper by Islands



Why I like it:

It's called "Creeper."
The guitar riff manages to be lazy and sexy at the same time.
The band is Canadian and my six month anniversary with Canada is coming up in a few weeks.

When I listen to it:

When I'm creeping on Facebook
When I'm creeping at a club
When I'm in Canada

4. The Bleeding Heart Show by The New Pornographers



Why I like it:

Boy + girl vocals are soothing and wonderful. Sounds like my friends are singing to me.
When the chorus kicks into "we quit the room", the whole song changes.
When the vocals change into guitar and "helas, helas!", the whole song changes.
It keeps me guessing as to what the bleeding heart show really is and why they've arrived too late for it.

When I listen to it:

Anytime, all the time, everytime

3. Fuck You by Cee Lo Green



Why I like it:

It's satisfying and raw and naughty to sing, "Fuck you, fuck fuck you!"
It's a different cut from the kind of indie music I usually enjoy.
It makes people happy when it comes on.
Everyone can relate to it.

When I listen to it:

When I'm in the shower
When my cat jumps off my lap, abandoning me forever

2. Crave You by Flight Facilities



Why I like it:

A boy I once liked showed it to me.

When I listen to it:

When I think about that boy.

1.) John Wayne Gacy, Jr. by Sufjan Stevens



Why I like it:

It's about somebody who was really messed up. The lyrics capture some of the significant events in that person's life, like when he suffered a head injury as a child and when he dressed up as a clown and made kids laugh. But they don't glorify him or make him seem more complex or anything.
Sufjan's guitar, piano, and vocals are beautiful.
It is tangentially related to Chicago.
The narrator compares himself to John Wayne Gacy, Jr. That sort of parallel is shocking and reassuring at the same time because you want to view someone like JWGJ as a monster - how could he have done the things he did? - and put yourself as far away from as possible from someone from him. But Sufjan points out that everyone has floorboards - everyone has things they suppress from the world in an effort to appear normal and happy and well-adjusted, and even someone as fucked up as John Wayne Gacy, Jr could get away with what he did for as long as he did because he could put on a damn good show otherwise, the way we all do. I love the line, "and on my best behavior/I am really just like him/look beneath the floorboards/for the secrets I have hid."

When I listen to it:

Before I fall asleep every night, as it has earned a slot in my sleep playlist. Is that a bad thing, that I listen to a song about a serial killer at the end of each day? Then again, I like to think JWGJ would've listened to something totally bizarre-o and/or ridiculous before bed, like something by The Flaming Lips or Ke$ha. So I don't think that makes me exhibit serial killer tendencies, which is always a reassuring and positive note on which to end a blog entry.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

:s

I've been neglecting this guy a little bit in wake of a pretty hectic all-work-and-all-play schedule. I'm eons behind on everything from responding to e-mails to booking flights to figuring out what I'm supposed to do about my damn taxes.

Also, my bank account was shut down because some moron apparently tried to buy $30,000 worth of jewelry on it over the weekend. Sorting that out has been a hassle, to say the least.

I've made a promise myself to blind sight all social invitations, pick up some butter chicken, and get started on the chain of miscellany "to-dos" that I've put off for the past few weeks. And one of those will hopefully to write a nice, juicy, tender, grade AAA blog post. So watch this space cause in twenty four hours it should be replaced with something glorious! :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Romance is Boring

I'm pretty sure every girl fantasizes about living in Pride and Prejudice (or in my case, Lord of the Rings) times when men would gallivant about on noble steeds and woo their ladies with sweet poems and proclamations of undying devotion. And while Elizabethan tongues and corseted dresses are fun, I think the real romance lies within the mysterious and complex nature of 17th century courting.

Take, for example, a statement like "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." This is a quote from the epitome of Elizabethan gentleman himself, Mr. Darcy. In today's world, it would roughly translate into something along the lines of "But man I ain't ever seen an ass like hers/that in my mouth had me at a loss for words/I told her to back it up like burp, burn/And make that ass jump like szherp, szherp."

 Pictured above: Aragorn secretly wondering if he can make Eowyn's ass jump like szherp, szherp.

Oh, the mystery! It's lost! In olden times your man would blaze off into the sunset and you'd have nothing left of him except perhaps a lingering whiff of unwashed hair. You'd wonder where he was until he showed up maybe three weeks later with another poem and even greasier hair. 

Today, you just type his name into Facebook and his life unfolds before your eyes. You see pictures from prom, childhoods, drunken nights in college, etc. You see what he did last weekend. You see ex-girlfriends to whom you inevitably compare yourself. You see scarring school pictures that make you X out of Facebook immediately and order a restraining order against that person.

No mysteries to be had here, folks. Just a sad, sad fourth-grader.

It's an unfortunate fact that men who act overtly romantic or who talk about their feelings are labeled as "sissies" or just plain old "gay" in our culture. Technology may be great at speeding things up and fulfilling our seemingly incessant craving for instant gratification, but I don't think dating or courtship necessarily needed that speed-boost. Sometimes, it's nicer to be left in the dark for just a bit longer. And to be hailed as something just a little more flattering than "a lady in the street but a freak in the bed."