Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Books! Time to call dibs Mother for yas

I'm hopefully going to go through this in the next day or so and organize the list, but scroll through, and if you see anything you want, let me know and I'll try to get it to you.  And if you couldn't tell, the title is first, then the author.  

Silas Marner--George Eliot
Selected Writings--Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Good Soldier--Ford Maddox Ford
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland--Lewis Carroll
Dubliners--James Joyce
Herzog--Saul Bellow
The Grapes of Wrath--John Steinbeck
The Broom of the System--David Foster Wallace
Revolution: International Dimensions--Mark N. Katz
On The Wealth of Nations--P.J. O'Rourke
Dracula--Bram Stoker
The Tender Bar--J.R. Moehringer
Kissing the Virgin's Mouth--Donna M. Gershten
Never Let Me Go--Kazuo Ishiguro
The Remains of the Day--Kazuo Ishiguro
You Shall Know Our Velocity--Dave Eggers
The Sound and the Fury--William Faulkner
American Psycho--Bret Easton Ellis
Blindness--Jose Saragamo
Middlesex--Jeffrey Eugenides
Frankenstein--Mary Shelley
Christ the Lord--Anne Rice
The Hobbit--J.R.R. Tolkien
Nervous Conditions--Tsitsi Dangerembga
Cracking India--Bapsi Sidhwa
Rats--Robert Sullivan
Selected Short Stories--D.H. Lawrence
Crime and Punishment--Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Fury--Salman Rushdie
Nature Girl--Carl Hiaasen
Skin Tight--Carl Hiaasen
The Romanov Prophecy--Steve Berry
All Quiet on the Western Front--Erich Maria Remarque
Hard Times--Charles Dickens
The Awakening--Kate Chopin
The Great Gatsby--F. Scott Fitzgerald (2 copies)
Pride and Pejudice--Jane Austen
The Known World--Edward P. Jones
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay--Michael Chabon
Mary Barton--Elizabeth Gaskell
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them--Al Franken
Between a Rock and a Hard Place--Aron Ralson
The Great Influenza--John M. Barry
I Am America (And So Can You!)--Stephen Colbert
Dune--Frank Herbert
Dune Messiah--Frank Herbert
A Time to Kill--John Grisham
A Room With a View and Howards End--E.M. Forster
The Quiet American--Graham Greene
The Heart of the Matter--Graham Greene
The Power and the Glory--Graham Greene
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency--Alexander McCall Smith
Tears of the Giraffe--Alexander McCall Smith
Morality for Beautiful Girls--Alexander McCall Smith
American Dream--Jason DeParle
Holidays on Ice--David Sedaris (1 copy left)
Agnes Grey--Anne Bronte
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays--Henry David Thoreau
The Screwtape Letters--C.S. Lewis
Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars--Albert Marrin
The Metamorphosis and The Trial--Franz Kafka
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Strange Tales--Robert Louis Stevenson
Beowulf--Seamus Heaney (translator)
Facing Your Giants--Max Lucado
The Hunchback of Notre Dame--Victor Hugo
Interpreter of Maladies--Jhumpa Lahiri
The Namesake--Jhumpa Lahiri
Imperial Ambitions--Noam Chomsky
The Clumsiest People in Europe--Mrs. Mortimer and Todd Pruzan
Genghis Khan--Jack Weatherford
Chronicle of a Death Foretold--Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Long Way Gone--Ishmael Beah
Frankenstein; Dracula; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde--Shelley; Stoker; Stevenson
A Confederacy of Dunces--John Kennedy Toole
Invisible Man--Ralph ellison
Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture--Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
Ragman and Other Cries of Faith--Walter Wangerin, Jr.
The Unofficial Colts Trivia Book
Banana Republicans--Sheldon Rampton & John Stauber
Confessions--St. Augustine (Henry Chadwick, trans.)
Handbook of Youth Ministry--Donald Ratcliff and James A. Davies. eds.
The Lutherans in North America--Nelson
Building Faith...One Child at a Time--Peters
On the Divine Images--St. John of Damascus
The Merchant of Venice--Shakespeare
As You Like It; The Tempest; A Midsummer Night's Dream; Twelfth Night--Shakespeare
Democracy Matters--Cornel West
A Visit from the Goon Squad--Jennifer Egan
Slaughterhouse-Five--Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bike Riding

Ok, so I didn't start my bike riding plan like I should have yesterday.  I suck.  But I got on it today.
The problem is that my little brother has the bike that used to be mine.  So, I took the bike that used to be my older brother's.  Or maybe it was my older brother's brother's.  But now it's my mom's.  In a way it sounds cool.  It's a Gary Fisher, so it's pretty nice.  Definitely better than a Magna.  And could even be seen as an upgrade from my Schwinn that my little brother now rides.  BUT, it's a mountain bike.  It's got those super fat nobby tires and shocks.  Also, it's got pedals with clips.  So, when I'm out riding about my town, I look like I'm trying way too hard.  Even if it were a really nice road bike at least it would be a road bike.  I might look a little pretentious, but I'd look properly--if overly--equipped.  Instead I just look like I have no idea what I'm doing.  Oh, another important detail about this bike and the image that goes with it.  Being as it's my mother's bike it's got one of those big, wide bike seats.  You know the kind that, well--sorry mom--old people use.  Also, until I get a little piece fixed, I can't raise the seat, so it's set all the way down. 

Remember when it was cool to ride your little bmx low-rider bike around the hood with your knees nearly hitting you in the chin?  I don't either, but I'm pretty sure I saw that in some rap videos and also perhaps in Friday or maybe Boyz in the Hood. 
You know, like this:

So, imagine me like that, except without the wicked beat and fun lyrics.  Oh, and instead of pegs I've got an old lady seat and instead of mag wheels or hundred spokes I've got useless shocks and off-road tires.  But, I persevered.  I rode down to the park and did a few laps and pedaled around my neighborhood.

Riding gave me a bit of time to think.  After my initial trepidation, I thought, "I'm glad most of the people in the park are Indian."  Why?  Well, I realized I'm less worried about looking silly if I'm looking silly in front of people from another country.  If a local guy seems me riding my stupid looking bike he thinks, "That guy has a stupid bike."  And then he decides to shout sarcastically from his pick up "Hey, nice bike."  However, if an Indian guy seems me, he thinks, "Americans ride stupid bikes."  It's no longer my personal stupidity, it is the stupidity and strangeness of all my fellow countrymen.  I can't help it that my bike looks dumb to someone born in India, it's a cultural thing.  That's how I think about it at least.

I had other thoughts, too.  Like "Hey, look at that bunny," and "Is that my cat there in some other person's lawn?" and, "look, another bunny.  They're just so cute."  Then, riding down another street I thought, "Hey goth girl, why are you walking in the middle of the street?  And why is the strap on your purse-type-thing broken?"  Then, as I got closer and passed her by, "Why are you walking down this dirty street with your Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars in your hand instead of on your feet?"  At which point I got thinking about the awesomeness of Chuck Taylor, and cycle of popularity of his shoes--the first ever "signature" shoes--but I won't bother you with all the details.

When I got back home, I did something I do almost every time I ride for some reason.  When I was within a few yards, I swung my right leg off the bike and behind my left foot as i stood on the left pedal.  Then coasted in, standing on one pedal.  I don't know why I do this, and actually feel kind of dumb when I do.  Like I'm trying way to hard to be smooth.  It seems like something that Larry from Perfect Strangers would do.  Or maybe someone in a gum commercial.  Perhaps as he's approaching the Doublemint twins who are standing next to their tandem bike.  Roll up on one pedal, hope off the bike just before it stops, put down the kickstand.  Then, with a big, chewing gum-whitened smile flashing, pull off his bike helmet and run his fingers through his blonde hair.

 Hello girls.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


This video is not at all what my blog is about, but as soon as I sat down to write it, this moment came into my head.  So, watch and laugh.  In case you're wondering, I think my favorite part is right around 2:44.

Anyway, I hope now you've had a good laugh and a good reminiscence of the greatness of The Cosby Show.  Now, please read my blog which won't be nearly as funny, but hopefully will be interesting.

I don't know if it's because I'll be turning 30 in a few short months, or because my little brother and his girlfriend just had a little baby, or because I just got a rejection e-mail from the Abu Dahbi Education Council, but I feel as if I'm having a little life crisis.  I nearly said mid-life crisis, but I hope I'm not old enough for that yet, and I think that has different connotations than what I'm going through here.  I have no plans to buy a sports car and try to pick up girls half my age.  College ladies are still fair game, though.  "So, babe, should we go back to your dorm or my parents' house?"  It could work.

Or, maybe it's none of those things.  It may have stemmed mostly from this book I'm reading.  It's called Consumer Republic and it's by Bruce Philp.  I picked it up in a little bookstore in Oak Park when I was up in Chicago.  Now, this post isn't really about the book, but the book is important to what's going on here, so let me give you a quick synopsis from the 3/4ths I've read so far.  The basic premise is that there needs to be a consumer revolution in the U.S.  Like many other people, Philp dislikes "american-style consumerism."  However, like me, he doesn't think consumerism is totally a bad thing.  He doesn't want to destroy brands and huge corporations.  In fact, the center of his argument is that brands are central to we consumers taking control of the market, holding those big companies accountable and getting what we want.  Another big point in the book is buying/owning fewer higher quality things instead of more cheaper things.  There's a lot more detail and nuance in the book that I won't get into here, but I would highly recommend the book.  I would also recommend Cheap by Ellen Ruppel Shell, which Philp references when talking about the downsides of too much bargain hunting.

Like any person advocating a revolution of any kind--which he really is doing--Philp calls on the general public to make changes to their lives, to think more about what they do, and in this case, buy.  It fits very well with the Thoreauvian edict to "live deliberately," which is one I've been a fan of--and done a horrible job of following--since I read Walden the first time back in high school.  (Bye the way, I'm not sure if Thoreauvian is as proper as Dickensian or Kafkaesque, but I think it sounds damn good).  In one section of the book, Philp gives 3 little guiding principles to keep in mind when shopping.  Each is embodied by a philosopher/great thinker.  They are Buddha, Ruskin and Morris.  I really liked the quote attributed to William Morris: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."  Tied with Morris in this section is the less famous Dave of guynameddave.com.  In pursuit of a better, less cluttered life, Dave started his 100 Things Challenge.  You can read about it on his blog.  Or, at least try.  I found the blog to be totally useless for actually finding any details about his rules for the 100 things or his challenges with it.  Maybe it's because he did it a few years back and is now more focused on other things.  But, I'm getting off track.  This is not about whether I like Dave's blog or not.  The concept of the 100 things challenge is not hard to grasp.  Can you live with 100 things?  The end.  Dave did it for a year I believe.  Or that was what he challenged himself to from what I understand.

So, I want to do it, too.  Already, I've come up with a few stumbling blocks.  For example, I have more than 100 books, probably more than 200.  I also have more than 100 CDs.  And clothes?  I don't have a huge wardrobe, but when you talk shirts, pants, undershirts, ties, belts, socks, boxers...well, that adds up quickly.  I may have to exempt those things, or make some special rules for them somehow.  We'll see how it goes.  I already have ideas for some things to get rid of, but I'll save those details for later.

About this time you might be wondering why I want to do this, why I think it's important to me.  Well, I could tell you, but I think it would be more efficient wait until I explain the other challenge I'm taking part in.

Challenge 2:  Riding my bike for 30 days.

So, in the newspaper the other day I saw a little article about a 30 day bike ride challenge.  Again, very simple premise--and one that doesn't involve me name dropping any books or authors.  Oh, except for the author of the article, the lovely and talented Andrea Zeek.  Ok, that's out of the way.  As I was saying, simple premise: ride your bike every day for 30 days to help promote better health, a better environment and even, and to save a little gas money perhaps.

I've said many times in my adult life that I should start riding my bike more.  It usually lasts for about a week.  Or I'll go through a summer of riding my bike once a week or so.  LAME.

So, now I get to tell you why I'm doing these things.  I want to get into riding my bike more because I'm getting way out of shape.  I'm getting a beer belly and I figure pumping the pedals for a few miles might help with that.  Also, I've never really committed myself to anything for 30 days in a row.  I mean, I've had jobs of course, and I've played sports and I've done theater things, but none of those things happened every day for 30 whole days.  It's a good way to start some new habits and hopefully get rid of some bad ones.  You know, habits like sitting in my house on my computer being lazy and getting fatter.

Both of these challenges are ways for me to refocus my life, to move toward "living deliberately" instead of just letting the days go by.  It might help me figure out what I really want to do with my life, what I think is important and to really go after those things.  I know some things I like to do, but often get so mired down in clutter--mental clutter, emotional clutter, and the real physical clutter--that I don't pursue them.

So, the challenge really becomes this.  Can I hold down two part-time jobs and be good at them both--which really is a challenge in itself--and make some real life changes?  In some ways it seems like piling on too many changes and challenges at once.  But, on the other hand I think it's kind of an all or nothing.  In fact, in my mind the things I want to do and have talked about here get so connected that I'm having trouble explaining it without repeating myself a lot, and I don't have the time to do the editing work required to make my writing concise.  Look for more later, though.  I plan to update my progress on here, and hope for thoughts/encouragement/connection from anyone who takes the time to read this.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Missed Connections

I don't know if it's the new job or what, but I feel like a lot of ladies have been checking me out lately.  Also, because of my friend Sarah Powers' occasional facebook links to Craigslist's missed connections, I have in the past few months become aware of how weird and amazing they are as a communication medium.  So, I've written a few for you to see.  These are all based on real girls I've seen/talked to.  They are semi-serious, semi-humorous and fit well with my desire to reveal all on the Internet.  These are the girls I've fallen in love with in the last week. 

1. You were the girl at the new Lincoln Square restaurant.  I was the guy in a button down shirt reading a book.  You said you didn’t know about the fajitas and suggested the the gyros platter.   I wasn’t impressed by the gyros, but I was impressed by your smile.  If you remember me, send me a message.

2.  We chatted at the bar.  You remembered me from a middle school function we both volunteered at the day before.  I asked you for your name twice, but I’m still not sure I remember it correctly.  I had to leave because my friend was waiting for me outside.  Also, there were several of your friends standing around us, so I felt out of place.  If none of those guys are dating you, I’d like a chance.

3.  You were the girl in your grandma’s big white car.  I was the guy handing you your drinks at the Starbucks drive-through.  You apologized for being on the phone with your grandma when I took your money.  I was impressed by your manners and I had a dream that night about driving my own big white car.

4.  You were two ladies in Halloween costumes in the Starbucks drive-through.   I was the guy who gave you your drinks.  You told me you work for a children’s dentist and asked why I wasn’t wearing a costume.  Did I hear one of you call me cute?  I’d like to see either of you again, hopefully before Halloween.

5. You came through the Starbucks drive-through.  I gave you your drinks.  You smiled.  It seemed genuine.  Was it?

6.  You came through the Starbucks drive-through.  I gave you your drinks.  You smiled.  It seemed genuine.  Was it?

7.  You came through the Starbucks drive-through.  I gave you your drinks.  You smiled.  It seemed genuine.  Was it?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Did I tell you about the time I saw Electric Six?

I was in Detroit.  That's where they're from.  So, it was a big gig for them.  If you don't recognize the name, it's possible you've heard this song:
Or, maybe this one:

Amazing stuff huh?  I first got into these guys through a girl I knew up in Michigan.  They were her favorite band, and I can't blame her, actually.  It's ridiculous and over the top and perhaps offensive, but that's kind of what makes it so great.  And, if I may digress (and I may because this is my blog, not yours) "Gay Bar" was my song when doing noraebang (karaoke) in Korea.  In fact, there was at least one time when I performed the song in front of my boss, his wife and all the Korean staff from the school.  I was too drunk to feel weird or embarrassed about it then, but I'm not drunk now.

But back to seeing the band.  I forget when I saw them, I guess last fall/winter.  Seems like it was kind of cold.  Could have been early spring, too.  I hopped in my car and drove to motor city.  I got there pretty early, which was good because I hadn't had dinner.  I found the place and parked my car.  It seemed pretty shady.  I know what you're thinking: a shady part of Detroit?  I don't believe it!  But it's true.  But that did not deter me from parking my car and setting out on foot to find food.  Of course, like many big cities, Detroit has this way of changing from dark and scary to totally ok for white people within a block or two.  I walked past a dive bar with a beggar outside who rambled some story before I said, "sorry, all I have is plastic" and marked it in my mind.  If I didn't find a better place in a two block radius, I would come back.  There were people in there, what are the chances I'd never been seen again, right?  Lo and behold, though two more blocks down and I was suddenly in Greek Town.  I didn't even know Detroit had a Greek Town, but I found it.
Being in this little section of Greek Town I learned a few things about Greece and Greek people.  First, they love to gamble, so the anchor of the town was a casino.  Second, as I'm sure you all know, Greece is known for pizza, as was shown by the large number of pizza places, and finally, they REALLY love beer.  Gambling isn't my thing, especially when I'm hungry, kind of poor and about to go to a concert.  So, I bypassed the casino and focused my Greek cultural experience on pizza and beer.

Pizza alone can be tough.  Not every place has personal sized pizzas.  I was sitting at the bar, glancing at a menu and pondering this dilemma when fate intervened.  Who was sitting two spots down from me, but a pretty, young business lady.  These are some of my favorite types of people.  She was a little older than me I'd guess, or maybe it just seemed that way because of her professional job.  She had one of those jobs that necessitated a lot of travel and moving about for her.  It brought with it a decent salary and free stays at hotels.  Why do I like this so much?  No friends nearby, a decent amount of money and lots of boredom, means you're going to find a bar near your hotel, buy what you want, talk to who you want and have fun.  She didn't care that there was no way she could even eat a small pizza.  She wanted pizza, she had the money and when it came, it was time to share.  And who better to share with than the only other person sitting at the bar.  Now, if I were a different kind of guy, I probably would have shared some pizza, had a few beers and said, "to hell with my concert, let's check out your hotel room."  Or, "come with me to the show and if you don't like it, we can get some more beer and hang out in your room."  But, I didn't do that.  I guess I'd rather go see a concert than spend my evening not satisfying a woman I just met.

What did I do?  I scooted a little closer, ate some of her beer and talked to her.  Turned out she was just coming back from Dubai, where she worked with the department of education or some such thing.  At the time I was considering teaching in Dubai.  I wasn't getting laid, but I did have a business connection served up on a silver platter, gift wrapped and placed in my lap.  And what did I do?  Nothing.  I mean, I told her I was thinking about working in Dubai, but I didn't try to get an e-mail or anything from her. Nothing to even sort of keep in touch.  I also had an extra ticket to the concert.  This was my last chance.  I could have at least put the invite out there.  She was just going back to her hotel room.  Why not come with me for a little bit?  It was free for her, no obligation.  But, I didn't do that either.  Strike 3.  I look back now and think "what's the worst that could happen?"  Sure, she might have said no, but we were already chatting so she would have let me down easy.  Plus, I was a little tipsy and about to go to a concert.  Even if did get rejected and a little deflated, I would have bounced back no problem.  I should have gone for it, if for nothing more than the story.  I mean, it's still a story, but wouldn't it be better if the lady went to the concert with me?  You know it would have.  And once we made that step, who knows what might have been next.  Maybe next time.

Alone I went to the concert.  I gave my extra ticket to a couple of girls standing in line to buy tickets.  I could have latched on to them at that point maybe.  But I didn't.  The concert was pretty good.  There were two openers, both from Detroit I think, or at least from Michigan.  They weren't bad.  Not amazing, but they fit with the Electric Six vibe pretty well.  The highlight came between the second band and Electric Six.  A marching band came out, marching through the crowd, playing their drums and brass.  They snaked their way through the crowd for a couple minutes, then stopped not far from me and broke it down for awhile.  It was pretty fun.  Definitely more interesting than just normal filler music or watching the techs set up the gear for the next band.

Electric Six came out and Dick Valentine (the lead singer) was definitely high on something--I'm putting my bet on coke, but I don't know this stuff, really.  The show was pretty great.  Fun and crazy as I expected.  At some point these two girls squeezed up in front of me.  They were definitely party girls and probably drunk.  One of them, a blonde, starts backing up into me a little and shaking her stuff.  I wasn't going to stop her, or give up my spot because she was rubbing her ass on my hand.  I had my hand in my jacket pocket and she started rubbing her ass up against it.  I didn't know what this was about.  Was she trying to make me do something?  Was she thinking, "is that some dudes hand?  Let me feel with my butt a little more"?  Apparently the latter.  Because she turned and accused me of trying to grab her ass.  I wasn't.  I mean, I wasn't moving away from her ass, but I don't go to a concert to try to cop a feel on some chick.  It's kind of an odd situation to be in a crowd of people and have someone saying "were you trying to grab my ass?  You were totally touching me."  First, the music is still playing so communicating means shouting at each other.  So I wonder who else can maybe hear this exchange, her accusing, me denying.  Second, it's one of those things where the more you deny, the more guilty you seem.  I don't think she ever believed me, but I stopped listening to her and focused on what was happening on the stage.

Apparently she wasn't too put off by the ass grabbing incident, or she just has a short memory, because it wasn't too long before she turned around, grabbed me and started kissing me.  Not bad, though I couldn't enjoy it fully because I kept thinking, "what the fuck is going on?" and "exactly how trashy is it to make out with a stranger at a concert, and right up front no less?"  A little bit later she and her friend left.  Leaving the concert, I saw her hanging on some douche bag with a white ball cap and a polo shirt.  Fucking bros.  It's cool, though.  I think they deserved each other.

After that, it was just a long drive home.  I think I stopped and slept in my car somewhere, but that's not very exciting.  Though it is kind of fun.  Makes me feel like a real road warrior.  A real traveler.

Thanks for reading, friends.  Next time it will be seeing Art Brut in Chicago, or maybe doing illegal things with a stranger in Michigan.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

Last night I went to a concert in Indianapolis.  If you don't know Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, you should.  They're one of those bands I feel are hard to really dislike.  Maybe they aren't everyone's favorite, but what's to dislike? Here's a sweet little song.  And Malkmus is definitely a good guitarist.  Maybe not a Clapton or Prince, but he's no slouch.
Anyway, I don't want to spend too much time drooling over Mr. Malkmus and his band. What I'm really trying to talk about here is being at the concert.

The concert was at the Earth House in Indianapolis.  It's a cool little place downtown in an old church.  There are a couple doors on the outside that seem like they could be entrance doors, but are not.  Luckily, when I arrived, the group of hipsters standing around outside served as a great marker for the proper entrance door.  I don't know why I have this dislike of hipsters, but I do.  Maybe it's because I'm from Columbus and I've never really lived anywhere where hipsters are common.  Maybe I'm just an asshole.  Maybe I'm jealous because they're more committed to the hipster style than I am, and even when you're almost 30, being able to fit in is kind of nice.  And I have to be honest, I might as well be a hipster.  I mean, I listen to indie music that hardly anyone else likes and I resist even indie/hipster bands that I think are too popular.  Wilco?  Never even listened to them.  But, I also don't spend all my time digging up the most obscure, weird bands I can.  People who do that are dicks. People who do that were probably present at this concert.  Of course, a hipster can be spotted his/her clothes as well, and even there I'm not totally innocent.  I certainly don't think I look like a hipster most of the time, but let's have some more confession time.  I went to the concert right after work.  I could have just worn my work clothes, perhaps dressed down a little so I wouldn't be in slacks and a dress shirt, but other than that no real planning is needed.  And yet, I picked my t-shirt specifically in hopes that it would be noticed.  And, though it has nothing to do with any bands, it's still probably the most indie, hipster t-shirt I own.  I was just waiting for someone to say, "hey, cool shirt" and then I could be like, "oh thanks, it was actually designed and screen printed by hand by a guy who does this really cool webcomic."  Seriously I had the conversation in my head several times through the night.

By the way, Here is that comic.  He's got some guest comics going right now, so you'll have to go back a couple posts to see his real work.  And, here is he great shirt.

So, it seems that really I am a hipster and a self-absorbed asshat to boot.  Yet, despite this knowledge, I still get uncomfortable in the presence of hipsters and I dislike them.  Perhaps because I also know I'm just a poser and they're the real deal.

That means I just took several days between that last sentence and this one.  So, when I said the concert was yesterday, that was the truth when I started writing this entry on Thursday.  Now, it's Sunday and hopefully I'll get this done.

So, as I was saying.  I'm a hipster poser.  On with the concert.  After I got (mostly) over my shock at walking into ground zero for Indiana hipsterdom, the concert soon started.  the opening band was Holy Sons.  From the little sample there at the show, I think they're worthy of being checked out.  Which you can do right here.  They're definitely one of the best opening bands I've seen.  The only exceptions being when I first saw Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks open for Radiohead, and when Sonic Youth played before Pavement last year.  They may not have really been the opening act, but more co-headliners.    The real opening band at the concert was No Age, who just don't really do it for me. 

After Holy Sons there was of course some filler music playing.  This music, played before the show and between sets is my segue into a 3 different topics.  First, how much dancing is proper at this time?  Before the show started there were some really good songs on that I liked and I was kind of getting into the groove.  But, I wasn't sure if I should be enjoying the recorded music so much when I was at a live show.  I mean, I can listen to my iPod anywhere.
Second: Who picks this music?  Most of it was good, as I said, but between sets Depeche Mode came on.  I guess I shouldn't have qualified that last sentence with "Most of it was good," because that makes it sound like Depeche Mode is not good.  I kind of like Depeche Mode and it took me back to my freshman year of college when my roommate was a big Depeche Mode fan.  The problem is, Depeche Mode just make very different music from Stephen Malkmus.  It definitely stuck out.  And then I really had to wonder: "how much am I allowed to get into this right now?"
Finally, it was during this between set music that I saw this girl.  She was wearing a yellow top and these black pleated shorts with pockets and she had on a little backpack and some kind of flat soled black shoes.  And I forget about her hair, but I remember her lips.  Her top lip arched up really high.  I don't know if I can explain it well.  The middle part of her lip, that little curve under the nose, seemed higher than normal, with the sides falling more sharply to the corners of her mouth.  It gave her this really tender kind of look, sort of fragile or something.  She was cute.  I kept looking back at her and sort of hoped to get her attention.  I'm not sure if I ever really did.  I mean, I think she kind of saw me looking her direction once or twice, but we never really had eye contact.  Here's a good time to mention that there was no alcohol at the venue.  And, in the words of Kimya Dawson, of Moldy Peaches fame, "without 40 ounces of social skills I'm just an ass on the crack of humanity."  So, even later, when the girl moved from her spot near the middle of the crowd to a spot very near me closer to the front, I could never quite get up the courage to say anything.  Not even, "How do you like the show?" Or, "have you ever seen them before?" Which would have opened the door for me to be super impressive and say, "Me?  Yeah, actually I saw these guys open for Radiohead back in 2003, and I saw Pavement during their reunion tour last year at the Hollywood Bowl."  Instead, I just looked at her a couple times, but averted my eyes every time I thought she might notice my looks and just hoped she'd notice my cool shirt and say something to me.  It did not happen. 

In fact, the only person I talked with at all was some drunk lady who asked me to dance.  I said no a few times, but she insisted and really, I love dancing.  Sometimes "no" does mean, "yes."

As far as Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, they were pretty good. I think I could have used a beer to dull some of my self-consciousness, but otherwise a fun time was had by me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hello again

Not that anyone reads this anymore, but I'm thinking of getting this blog rolling again.  I've got a couple stories to share.  I'm not really traveling anymore, but I still get out sometimes and (mis)adventures seem unavoidable.  If you're reading this, be on the look out for another post soon.