Monday, July 01, 2013


Monday, December 15, 2008

Feelin' Mopey-A Rob Gordon/Hi Fidelity inspired top 10 disappointments, 2008

Yes, I'm grateful to be alive. I'm grateful for a lot of positive things that have happened in my life this year. However, today, two entities have conspired to destroy my confidence in customer service, brand loyalty (what was I thinking) and to basically, ruin any positive attitude I had toward the holiday season. I'm silly, superficial, and goofy, but here are my other disappointments for the year.

10. Sports
All the teams I support sucked. I know most people I know don't care about sports, but I do, and I'm tired of suffering. No. 1 Georgia has become No. 16 Georgia, and lost to Tech as they tumbled. The Braves staff of geezer pitchers started falling off the mound before April had even closed. Georgia baseball blew a golden chance to win the CWS, up one game in a best of three series. It was a really, really crappy year, sports wise, and I'm tired of sucking it up and waiting 'til next year. Even the Cubs, who I support secondarily, remained cursed in spite of a great regular season.

9. Technology
All I wanted was an iphone. We scrape, we save, and at the end of the year, here we are--with a little bit left over to get something nice--an ipod to replace Dawn's brick phone of ipods, and I felt as if I had enough need/want factor to get the iphone. AT&T sucks. Apple, a company I had previously enjoyed- and supported, sucks. The whole system of iphone-ery is designed to price gouge existing customers, and I just think that blows.

At least we got the much needed Imac desktop.

8. Travel
I went lots of places this year, and was tired, sick or got there too late to enjoy most of them. I went to New Orleans again. Got there at 10 PM, the restaurant where I had planned to eat was already closed, and I pretty much taught all day then left without seeing much of the city.

Our long anticipated trip to SF and the Napa Valley was good, but not as good as it could have been. I was sick for the whole trip, and really, really sick for the last 1/3 of it in San Francisco.

We didn't get a chance to go to Dollywood or Six Flags all year. Sucked.

I have to go to work now. I'll be back later with more of '08's disappointments after this word from our sponsor...AT&T???? Arrggghh!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Strange Dream

I woke from the strangest dream this morning. Well, maybe not the strangest, but pretty strange...

I was in a hotel with Dawn, getting ready. I was to take an 8:30 AM flight to the ALA conference.

Suddenly, stranger appears at the door and asks, "can you take my daughter to the airport? She's on the same flight as you?"

Randomly, I agreed.

Then, I continued getting ready, when suddenly (and very uncharacteristically for me) I looked up and it was already 8:11 AM.

Panic stricken, I decided "oh, I'm late, I'd better check in online."

Dawn said "tell me your skymiles number and pin and I'll do it for you, while you finish getting dressed." (as if she'd have time/be finished dressing first)

I said, grumpily, "No, give me the computer" and I forgot my password...

HOWEVER, my password wasn't anything realistic. I had to remember this great, long phrase that involved pigs or hog fat or something, and I had that "its right on the tip of my tongue" frustration.

So, I'm checked in, I'm ready, and we leave the hotel (me, Dawn, stranger's daughter)...but then I forget something in the room. I go back into the hotel to discover that, yes, you guessed it, there's a lion stalking the 2nd floor hallway where the room is. So I wait for the lion to wander down the hallway (though some hotel patrons are simply ignoring or shooing the lion, I don't want to push my luck) and then bolt for the room.

Fortunately, this highly frustrating dream ends here.

I see the factors that contributed to the dream--a lunch time conference conversation yesterday with OCLC staff about the perils of business travel, attending a conference that's local (Atlanta) when normally, I'd be traveling to something like this, the end of my travel based job (which in some ways I'll miss), seeing several people join the "I'm Attending ALA in Denver" Facebook group, etc. etc...

...But I have to ask. Where did the lion come from? And the stranger with a daughter?

All interpretations welcome.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feral Soccer Moms: Danger in the SubSuburbs

I appreciate greatly the need to love and protect your children; to raise them and rear them, to protect them from any and all germs so that their immune systems are underdeveloped, rendering them allergic to qtips and make sure they get a trophy, and too call their bosses and yell when something is wrong at their first job.

I have a new and very primal fear of this new subcategory of the soccer mom...the feral soccer mom. Yes...they are wild. They are prone to moments of sudden psychosis, like a tired hungry grizzly protecting her cubs this breed will strike at you--not with teeth and claws (though certainly that's not out of the question) but with their over sized mini van and/or suv, the shrill yell, and a keen sense of righteousness of cause (making the bus stop on time), and of self (I'm only doing what's right for my kids...get out of my way!)

Anyway, I've encountered her in the wild a few times now. Most recently, walking peacefully down a one way driveway of a local park with Lola the dog at 6:55 AM. Suddenly...very suddenly...she appeared--cloaked in a white Ford Explorer, turning the corner and into the drive way (going the wrong way) almost up on two wheels--her anxiety the only thing out pacing her vehicle...

I was frozen, headlights bore into my coffeeless brain, panic struck, and then my own feral senses kicked in--(protect the dog, protect the dog, protect the dog) and "WHOA! WHOA WHOA WHOA Whoooaaa WTF?" came pouring out of me at the top of my lungs.


YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG DAMN WAY..and Waaaay TOO Fast! You damn near hit me.

Well *I'm* JUST trying to get HER (child) to the SCHOOL bus on time! There was no need for that!

LIKE HELL! You damn near hit me (picks up panicky dog, walks away)

I'm not trying to hit ANYBODY!

Feral soccer moms, back the hell off. I don't have to put up with you or your precious brood of bratty overworked allergic runts.

And a tip--when it comes to me and mine, I can get pretty feral, too.

I have a pact with my dog, who has had a very, very tough life up until the time she joined our family--that I will NEVER let anything happen to her...

Feral soccer mom above, you were making far more of a direct threat to me and those that I love than I ever posed to your crazy ass. Your front wheels were three feet away from causing me to break my pact, and if I break it, I'm going to be angry at myself, and that anger will be turned on you.

I'm sure many of you have that same kind of pact with your kids--well, just know, I take my pact just as seriously.

Slow down...take a deep breath....relax.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shaon Jones and the Dap Kings, Variety Playhouse

There's a lot of talk of the so-called "throwback" sound and the Dap Kings, Sharon Jones, the Daptone sound are a big part of it.

Make no mistake, this is not emulation, this is soulful execution--playful, tight, fresh, and creative. What are "oldies"anyway? I always go back to my Dawnie's line "Everyone just stole it from the Beatles"--who stole it from well, a lot of the stuff that sounds like Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

The crowd at Variety on the rare snowbound Atlanta night was an odd one for a sold out show; I expected more of the swing dancin' kids, and there were a few, but mostly the crowd was even older than me, populated with the usual cliques and subgroups, surprising amounts of Buckheady yick and soul-less white boys, who've apparently discovered both dancing directions--left...and right...and the usual "watchers," where I suppose I classify myself, those of us more used to the analytical appreciation of crossed arms, maybe a tapping foot, and the head--always nodding to the beat with approval.

The opener was an odd, if not highly contrasty starter...not something I'd buy or actively listen to outside the state fair--Ivan Milev Band, a folk fiddle and squeeze box band from Bulgaria--was to me, listenable and hypnotic, though maybe a bit of an energy sucker for the majority of the crowd. Still, it was sort of fun to see Ivan take to his axe (a gigantic accordion) with, at times, the vigor and finger quick attack of Eddie Van Halen in the cocaine years.

The Dap Kings come on stage in old soul fashion, advertising the night as a Super Sonic Soul Revue. The band, complete with the coordinated movements and tidy suits from the past, blaze into the set with a tight funk intro until Sharon Jones is introduced.

Then, this tiny, rotund woman comes onto the stage and takes over. She's amazing, voice spot on, never pitchy, and with a glorious power and energy forged on Sunday past. She's instantly likeable, down to earth--you want to know her, and by the end of the night, you do know her quite well through her songs.

I'd argue that if anything, the approach of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are capable of re-tooling anything and making it sound new and fresh--Janet Jackson's "What Have you Done for Me Lately" becomes a likeable funk groove, and the highlight of the night's covers was James Brown's "It's a Man's World" sung by a woman with fire, femininity, and a purposeful commentary.

Sharon dances, grooves, interestingly and unpretentiously talks of the dances of her ancestors-African and Native American- and turns it all into a life history lesson of music, dance, life, god and soul. She brings a young man on stage to play the role of the jilted lover, and later, brings a bevy of young Atlanta women up to dance--her prison guard past coming out as she went into enforcement mode when young ladies that didn't belong encroached. Finally, a shy young man takes in a soulful kiss from Sharon.

Boundless energy, complete and tuneful, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are not to be missed. woo.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Devastatingly Good Lyric

In the song "Silver Lining" the Rilo Kiley, they say...

"I never felt so wicked
as when I willed our love to die"

Sweetly bitter.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Top 5's Ought Seven

I didn’t buy much music. Of the things I bought and listened to:

Top Five Records of 2007

5. Spoon, GA GA GA GA GA

4. Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, It’s not Big, It’s Large

3. Magic, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

2. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky, Damnit

1. meh. Nothing excited me that much.

Top Five Shows I Saw in 2007

5. Wayne Hancock, Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA

4. The New Pornographers, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA

3. Fountains of Wayne, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA

2. Jeff Tweedy, the Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA

1. Warm in the Wake, Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA


5. Radio Nowhere, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

4. Sunday Morning, Elizabeth Cook

3. Are you alright? Lucinda Williams

2. I-95, Fountains of Wayne

1. Hate it Here, Wilco

Biggest Disappointments

5. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky

4. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away

3. Steve Earle, Washington Square Serenade

2. Challengers, the New Pornographers (though translates better live)

1. The Cowboy Junkies show

Top Discoveries

Teddy Thompson, Thanks to the Cowboy Junkies for sucking

The Apples in Stereo, thanks to Sam

Bonnie Prince Billy/Will Oldham-Everything I learn, I learn from Troy

Wayne Hancock, thanks to Troy and Jessica

Explosions in the Sky, thanks to late night neighbor noise and Austin City Limits

Things I liked a lot worth including, but I've not yet completely absorbed:

What I heard of the Rilo Kiley record, the "I'm Not There" soundtrack (makes me ache for a new Calexico record), Iron and Wine's thing, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (far superior to the Amy Winehouse stuff), Rehab, good song though.

Stuff I liked that everyone else liked--Blur guy stuff, Rehab, Radiohead, Prince, Foo Fighters

Good shows not on the list--Blue Mountain, Crowded House/Peter Yorn Bjorn

Best show joke--Peter Yorn singing the whistl-y Peter, Bjorn, and John song in his show straight up, no chaser

Things I'm hoping for in the new year--Steve Earle show, Wilco show, new Calexico album, winning something from a radio call in, a new mac with more itunes room, money for records, Neil Young boxed set