Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swallowing fireflies (a greatmazing day, and resolutions for more)

At this point, I have no idea what kind of blog this will be.  Or if it will even survive.  But since I'm pushing the double-digits in followers, I feel like I need to make it at least mildly interesting.

It's in that spirit that I bring you this, perhaps the most magical thing I've learned in the past few months:


You really should read the article.  Really.  It's magical.  And it's one of those things that makes me love learning and discovery and being a nerd all over again.  I think it's important for me to remember that explaining things doesn't take away their magic.  Sometimes I feel like I just sit in a room and analyze stuff to death allllll day, and that sucks - but I need to look at it differently.  Magically, even.

Okay, now that I've gotten the interesting stuff out of the was greatmazing.  I played kickball (and lost, horribly), discovered that I can totally take Henry into both 7-11 AND The Wine and Cheese Cask, met some people from SomDog and City Dog (and got Henry a new/free/ridiculously hip collar, pictured below), went to a Greek Festival and semi-creepily watched little kids roll down a huuuuuuge hill, stumbled across a Haitian festival (straight bangin, yo), and listened in on the Precinct Music Festival going on in my backyard (Jenny Dee is amazing, honestly).  Greatmazing, right?

(new/free/hip Pabst collar, modeled by the best dog in the world)

I love where I live.  Because of days like today, and because Reliable Market is Asia is in my back yard (discovering I live next-door to Korea was definitely the highlight of my yesterday).

Pretend that there's a transition here from talking about the now to talking about the future.  Because I'm about to start talking about the future.  Realizing I've been here for a year has made me think about a lot.  And it feels like a new year is starting (in lots of ways)...and for some reason I feel like I should make some resolutions.  So, here are the resolutions I can think of right now at this very minute, written while making no promises that I'll keep them - because what if I change my mind?

(I know that makes them pointless, whatevs)

1. write a six-song ep
2. attempt to take henry into every place i love, see how it works out
3. bike more for fun, and not just transportation
4. run more, maybe
5. cook more, definitely
6. sleep outside more
7. remember magic

The bookends (one and seven) are the most important to me, I think.  Seven because I've definitely lost the magic in what I've been doing - and that sucks, because I'm lucky to get to explore and discover amazing things.  But sometimes I feel like I'm always thinking, never doing - like I'm not creating anything.  And that's why number one is important - because I love music, but I never fucking finish anything I start.  Because I get self-conscious and bored and a million other excuses.  But I think if I set myself this goal of just six songs over the course of the year, I'll make myself do it.  And it's important that I do, because the alternative is dropping out of grad school and working construction (like dear old dad, who helped build this at South of the Border after high-school, and neglected to tell me about it until a few years'd think you'd want to tell your son that you're the coolest person in the world, but I guess not).

I think I'll try to document my progress (on the music front) here.  So, to start, here's the first (and only) song I've ever finished.  I wrote it almost a year ago - for a girl, of course.  And feel free to notice how I'm not talented enough to sing and play guitar at the same time.  Or to sing, really.  Or play guitar.  I wanted to do something that wasn't traditional song structure, so I at least thing I got that part right.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Urban Outfitters makes me want to shoot myself in the face

Maybe this is old news, but I just found out that Urban Outfitters, in collaboration with Republic Bikes, has started selling fixed gears:

This makes me want to shoot myself in the face.  And I'm not completely sure why.

Maybe because Republic Bikes has been one of those ads that shows up next to my gmail for the past six months or so - "You can be cool for $349!!!"

Or maybe it's because Urban Outfitters is suuuuuch big business - more than 140 locations, and more than 1.5 billion dollars in revenue in 2007.  And I'm snooty and convince myself that I love the small and local...even though I totally bought some pens and a kick-ass dinosaur at Target last week.

Or maybe it's because the owner, Richard Hayne, is an active Republican who contributes to conservative causes (including gay-bashing politician Rick Santorum).  Ironic, huh?

Or maybe it's just because I ride fixed, and I hate that I love hip stuff.  And I tell myself that I like it because of the feel and the history and all of these things unrelated to hipster-douchebaggery...but what if, deep down, I just want to be cool?  Or even worse...mall-cool?

Or maybe it's the opposite - maybe it's not that I don't want to be cool, but that I do.  Maybe it's that I hate that some kid can click three buttons, wait a week, and have a (pretty rad-looking, though I hate to admit it) bike.  I spent almost a year gathering parts and dollars, and I feel like that's how it should be.  And part of me wants to attach neon lights to my bike, reading "I MADE THIS MYSELF."  I worry that my experience will be cheapened by the entrance of fixies into the world of mass-production.  But my experience was still mine, right?  And what was right for me isn't right for everyone...right?  Let's not judge, y'all...

(my baby, by the way)

I feel like Urban Outfitters takes good ideas, Wal-Martifies them, and uses the profits to support political agendas which would make many (most?) of its customers sick.  It's big business, you know?  Fat dudes and cigars.  But bad intentions can lead to good ends...and maybe this will lead to more people biking, enjoying the lifestyle, and making the world a healthier, greener, funner place.

And I can't ignore the fact that I wouldn't have found out about all this if I wasn't on the Urban Outfitters website in the first place.  Fuck me, but they sell cool-looking headphones.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

more more more

Boston just keeps on giving.  She really is the best, y'all.  I mean, we had that one fight when she kept getting dark at like 4:30 in the afternoon...but we worked through it and I really feel it's made us stronger.  We got a bottle of wine, talked about each other's feelings, and - I swear - will never take each other for granted again.

I thought she was done with all the anniversary gifts.  And I told her "no no no, don't get me anything" (even though I didn't mean it, and kinda had my eye on this amazing brontosaurus lamp).  But she showed up at my door with fun and love.  And I said "thanks, baby, it's just what I wanted," leaving out the rest of the sentence ("except for that lamp, don't you know me at all?!?!").  And I was grateful, I swear.  And that was enough.

But then she brought more.  Anniversary gift pt. II, I guess:

Oct. 21, Somerville Theatre

They're playing at the Somerville Theatre, which I'm pretty sure makes the show twice as awesome.  Hold on, let me check my math...yep, twice.  Twice as awesome.  The theatre was built in 1914 (13 years before the first talkie, damn) and hosted plays, musicals, and - on crazy nights - motion pictures.  Fucking cool.  Oh, and Mum are (is?) great.

Polyphonic Spree
Sept. 17, The Paradise

I legitimately like that song, judge me.  Maybe because it sounds so much like Plankeye plus horns (go to that link, forreal...that song used to make me cry. every. time.).  Anyway, this show is awesome because it's free.  Yeah, I had to sign up for text alerts from Southern Comfort.  But I'm cool with that because, really, what kind of an alert can you get from SoCo?  "ALERT: You could totally be getting drunk right...NOW!!!"  Good point, SoCo.  Good point.

Sondre Lerche
Sept. 13, The Paradise

I don't have a ticket for this one yet, and it's next Sunday...but damn.  I need it.

Maybe I'll update this with things other than shows at some point...but not now.  Because right now my eyes are on fire, and that can't be good for me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

happy anniversary, y'alllll

Boston and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary this week. Maybe today. Or possibly yesterday. But probably tomorrow.

(neither of us are very good with dates)

But we show our love in other ways. My love languages are quality time and physical touch, I think. But it's usually pretty hard for Boston and I to work out the whole physical touch thing, what with her being a big city and me being a small boy - so we decided we'd celebrate the big one-year with quality time together. Her gift to me is putting on some ridiculously amazing shows, and my gift to her is buying myself some daaaaamn tickets. Which I did today.

Henry's gonna miss me for a few nights. But we'll snuggle to make up for it.

The tickets Henry's holding, in order of how-mother-fucking-incredibly-excited-about-them i am, from first-to-last-but-last-isn't-really-last-because-i'd-still-sell-a-close-friend's-kidney-to-go-but-only-if-they-still-had-two-and-didn't-have-a-family-history-of-kidney-problems are:

Dead Man's Bones

Man, doesn't that guy look like Ryan Gosling? Well, that's because it is. It motherfucking is. Their first show ever is going to be at the Middle East Downstairs, complete with a choir and a talent show and general awesomeness. I'm going to meet Ryan Gosling, and our conversation is probably going to go something like this:

"Hey man, I'm not gay or anything, but...I think I love you." "I...I know exactly what you mean. I feel like I want to live in your arms forever." "You know what...I just had this crazy thought. Why don't we get married???" "Oh shit, that's totally legal here - let's do it."

It doesn't matter who's who in that conversation. All that matters is that we get married and shout our love from the rooftops.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down with the Portland Cello Project

We're going to fall in love and get married. That's all. Forget what I said about Ryan Gosling.

Amy Millan

She's playing at the Middle East Upstairs, capacity 194. Amazing.


awwwwww, shit y'allll

Rain Machine

Rain Machine is Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio. And he's going to be at the Middle East Upstairs, and it's going to be great.

David Bazan

Honestly, David Bazan (you know, Pedro the Lion) is actually number two on my list. It's just that (honestly) I don't have a ticket yet. And I feel like I'm not allowed to put him where he belongs until I have some paper in my hand. I saw him back in high school sortof by accident when he was opening for Starflyer 59 under the name "Paperback," with just himself and a borrowed guitar. And it was amazing how the whole bar was silent while he just closed his eyes and sang the saddest songs in the world. Anyway, that was my #2 favorite show of all time (or maybe #1, but I'm hesitant to put anything at #1 ever - because what if there was some other amazingly amazing something that I'm forgetting for some reason?)

If you live here, go with me. If you don't live here, move here. Because I love you, probably definitely.