Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Holy Flowers Floating in the Air

"Holy flowers floating in the air, were all these tired faces in the dawn of Jazz America."

Last weekend I drove from MD to NJ. Not a long journey but long enough to make me remember to post a couple thoughts I had while driving:
  1. One of the differences between this part of the country and Louisiana is the bumper stickers. Two that I saw that highlight the political swing as you head north are: "You're either with Bush or you have a brain" and "Regime change starts at home."
  2. It's cliche to say it but I really miss the fall season. People who have negative perceptions of the NJ Turnpike have never driven up this road during the fall with yellow leaves swirling around their car like snowflakes. It was awesome.
  3. I don't listen to NPR nearly enough.
  4. I picked up the new Neko Case album (Fox Confessor Brings the Flood) when I was in MD because I was lacking some music to listen to. It is pretty good. Different than most music I would listen to...but it may just remind me of that drive up the turnpike every time I listen to it. Classified on one amazon review as "country noir."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Out Sick

I'll be back soon. If not later today when I can't get back to sleep.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Line

I have lived south of the Mason-Dixon line for 8 consecutive years. I love bread pudding. I can decipher a cajun accent (sometimes) and imitate one really poorly if I have had a little too much to drink. I (occasionally) listen to country. I cheer on the New Orleans Saints. I enjoy cajun and zydeco music. The first house I have ever owned is in Louisiana.

I know. I may not be a southerner just yet. But my credentials are building.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back of the closet...

Pulled the old winter coat out of the closet today...headed north to VA and NJ and it looks cold to this old southern boy's eyes.

The lines are being blurred...

I am a big fan of Monday Night football. Not because I am the biggest football fan in the world and definitely not because I like the announcing crews. I think that I enjoy MNF mainly because it gives me a sense of a prolonging the weekend. When you combine MNF with the 45 degree weather we are having tonight...it is just the perfect way to spend a fall evening curled up with a blanket.

Except for one thing.

There is something about the way they open MNF that is starting to get on my nerves a little bit. In fact, the screaming "Are you ready for some football?" intro is starting to remind me of the WWF (which is now evidently the WWE...who knew). MNF has its Jacked Up. Wrestling has its SmackDown. The start of wrestling is accompanied by screaming maniacal characters trying to rile up the crowd. The same thing now greets the start of a MNF game. The lines between the two may be starting to blur a little more than I am comfortable with.

But then the game starts and I feel better.

Viscoelastic Sensitive Material

Ever since we bought our new 42" flat screen TV, I have had to sleep on an air mattress. Basically, in an effort to be financially responsible, we didn't want to spend huge sums of money all at once. Of course, we prioritized the TV over a new mattress. What red blooded American would choose otherwise? Besides my wife that is...

Anyway, this past weekend though, we moved past the air mattress and have graduated to a Tempur-pedic. It will be delivered this Saturday and I expect that sleep will never be the same.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Strangers and brother craftsmen...

Here is an article about a good friend of ours in Louisiana who builds and repairs stringed instruments. We went to her wedding last March and it was a beautiful celebration with an all star cast of cajun musicians performing in her backyard. It really was an amazing party.

Also in our local paper today is an article about a piece of history that she found inside a violin. The message in the violin ends with the following: "Strangers and brother craftsmen, please keep this record." Here is the full article - it is a really neat story.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Creative Act

I read an article last weekend that I found particularly interesting. I found the article on Design Observer, a website that has regular postings about design concepts, graphic design, and other miscellaneous topics.

The article discusses art that occurs within a given template. When this art occurs within the template, the question is: Where is the creative act situated? Is it in making the work? Or is it in making the rules? Here is the link to the article.

One of the examples that is discussed by the article is the album artwork on Beck's newest release, The Information. I don't have the CD but my understanding is that the cover is blank and that the CD comes with a set of stickers so that you can design your own album cover. You can go to the this website to see the album artwork that has been created by people and uploaded to the web.

Not sure if my answer to the question would be considered a cop out, but I would say that the creative act is situated in both places and that it is simply the nature of the creative act that changes depending on what actor you are discussing. One actor has less constraints than the other and defines the template in such a way to inspire creativity. The other actor is more tightly bound by constraints and responds to the template. Just because you are bound by a template and rules when you create something, it does not mean you are not being creative.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Am Looking For...

Search terms that have brought people to this blog over the last 3 weeks include the following list.

henderson buff
billboard germany flickr
"adidas" castro
benjamin moore dry sage
the lattes stickman fights
midnight garden good evil jersey gate combination
drink ring jesus stephen simmons
wayne rooney video clip breaks metatarsal
patent #5425497
steck's deli nj
mornings eleven-the magic numbers free mp3
poor don't get shit

You Were Once Attractive, but I Have Grown Weary of Your Company...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)

On January 28, 1948, an airplane crashed in Los Gatos Canyon in Fresno County, killing 32 people on board, including 28 Mexican agricultural workers being deported by the U.S. Immigration Service. Witnesses to the accident saw at least nine people leap to their deaths. Twelve of the farm workers were never identified.

Inspired by this incident, and more so by the radio and newspaper coverage following the accident, Woody Guthrie wrote the poem/song “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos).” Guthrie was disturbed by the fact that the coverage of the event on the news did not mention the victims’ names (except for the flight crew) and instead referred to them merely as deportees.

10 years after Guthrie wrote this poem, a school teacher named Martin Hoffman put it to music. Subsequently, it has been played by many artists including the country group The Highwaymen, which includes Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson.

I never heard this song until tonight and it was sung by a Canadian band named Ox - and they do a really great job with this song. In fact, it struck me so much that I bothered researching this history for you. I then uploaded the song to YouSendIt for you, get it here. Finally, the original Woody Guthrie lyrics:

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except "deportees"?

You can buy Ox's album Dust Bowl Revival at Amazon.

Delta Cole Slaw

That's the side dish I made for dinner. I enjoy cooking new recipes. Sometimes I have catastrophic accidents when I cook new dishes, like setting a flame proof pan on fire when searing tuna. Then there was that time the cole slaw dressing boiled over and made a mess of the stove...although this time it was just messy and not a fire hazard.

It's pretty good. Go here for the recipe. Ingredients listed below.

1 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked white pepper
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion tops
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Monday, October 16, 2006

Finish What You Started...

If you watched that Monday Night Football game you know what I am talking about. That ending was crazy! The Cardinals were up by 20 points in the second half. The Bears had 6 turnovers. The Bears had 0 offensive points (yes, zero). Yet, somehow the Bears win 24-23. Crazy. I felt really bad for Matt Leinart - the rookie quarterback for the Cardinals. He really did what he had to do and the kicker missed with 53 seconds left.

I have always believed that the sign of a great team is the ability to win when you play your worst. After what I saw tonight, the Bears may be really good.

Other notes:
  • How bad is that announcing crew? Tony Kornheiser is painful to listen to. Especially when he repeats himself over and over and over. Last week he railed on Plummer and kept comparing him to Elway. It was annoying the first time he said it. I wanted to hit him with my slingshot the 10th time I heard it.
  • Grossman is going to have a long week (or 2) of practices.
  • I can't think of a lonelier position in team sports than the kicker on a football team who misses with seconds left.
  • Dennis Green (coach of the Cardinals) punched his microphone in the post game interview. I would love to hear what he had to say to his team.
  • The "Jacked Up!" feature needs to be taken off the air.

Danny Malone

I came across Danny Malone via songs:illinois, part of the daily music blog list that I check out. The song that made me go to his actual website and do a little more reading was I Am Not Alive, which you can get at this post at songs:illinois. The music has a southern indie rock vibe with a little bit of piano and a little bit of angst. Danny's website has a few tracks available for download as well so check it out.

He seems to be playing a lot in Austin and has a show in San Antonio and Little Rock coming up. I wonder if he will ever come to Lafayette...

The road is dark and dirt and windy
the moon and stars are all that I have
because out here no one can find me
and I am never going back
i wish to god that i could write home
to ease my momma's worried mind
but i promised myself long ago
that i'd leave everyone behind

I think I got these lyrics right.

Maps of War

Maps of War: Random website that has an animated map which provides a very interesting perspective of the Middle East - a region that confuses me, causes me angst, and in general, is a topic that I wish I was better educated about.

You can play this small movie below by clicking the word Play in the viewer. The movie shows the last 5000 years of the Middle East, in 90 seconds.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bad Drivers

We drove into Baton Rouge today - Carlee is studying and I am hanging out - after what has become our Saturday morning ritual of coffee, bagels and reading. LSU has a game today and we bumped into some of that traffic. I noticed that the drivers on the interstate were particularly bad. Evidently, football fans and bad drivers are overlapping demographics.

To continue on this very thin thread of thought, I stumbled on this photo at NASA's web site that I thought was pretty cool. It is a photo of FedEx field superimposed on the Victoria crater on Mars (which is where the rover Opportunity is perched).

Maybe we can send all the bad drivers there.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tim Fite - Away From the Snakes

Yea. I like some odd music and this falls into that category. Tim Fite is described by 3hive as "a little bit rock 'n' roll; he's a little bit hip-hop. He's straight outta Brooklyn." This description works as good as any I could come up with. I have repeated this song 5 times in the last hour (keep reading if cursing does not offend).

heaven's to betsy
the man's out to get me
he's raising my rent and
he's taking my money

while the rich get rich
well us poor don't get shit
except shit on by rich men
shit on by women
and shit on by everyone
is there a place where
i can go where the rich don't get
rich and the poor don't get shit on

Yea. I know. This may not inspire you to watch the video below. But maybe you will anyway. After all, the song was good enough for me to listen to 5 times in a row.

A Win-Win Proposition

So the big game between my adult team and my U-16 team was last night. The kids won the game 4-3. It was a great match. We (the adults), went down 2-0, came back and tied it 2-2 about 10 minutes into the 2nd half. We then went down 4-2. Then we came back to 4-3. Unfortunately, time ran out before we could stage a second come back.

The most interesting thing about this game was the chance to compete against the team I coach. I have never had a chance to really do this and I really appreciated the opportunity to see them from this new perspective. Overall, I felt really proud of their style of play - their speed of play was great, one/two touch ball most of the game, and they were communicating really well. It was awesome to see. They also handled the environment of playing against women and older men with a lot of maturity...which made me really happy.

I don't know how many games I have played in my career that I can honestly say this about: No matter which team won, I was going to feel like I won. Granted, I wish the result was different because I never like to personally end up on the losing side of the scoreline..but to see my kids compete with that level of talent, skill, and maturity was a great reward as a coach.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Armadillo Fag Convention

I normally wouldn't use such a politically incorrect term in a post, let alone a post title, but I am doing so here because it is a quote that sums up a certain sentiment held by my U-16 boys soccer team. You see, this afternoon (weather permitting), I have scheduled a scrimmage between my U-16 team and my adult co-ed soccer team. The adult team is called AFC and I have had to tell countless people that the 3 letters stand for nothing. I just made up the name because I have always wanted to be part of a soccer club with FC (football club) in the name.

My U-16 team is extremely confident that they are going to kill my adult team today. I really have no idea what to expect other than having a blast. I can't wait to play. The kids were not satisfied with my lack of detail when explaining the name of the team and thus they picked the "Armadillo Fag Convention." In the spirit of a teenage kid who knows it all, they think this is very funny. Oh well. We'll see who is laughing when the final whistle blows.

One last note. I am not so sure my adult team is as confident as the kids. Here is a snippet of one email from a player on AFC:

"I can make it, and I've been thinking about this game for some time...16 year old boys can definitely kick our ass."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Inventory Management

"You may not be taken in the order which you arrived."

This was the sign on a door to my doctor's office yesterday. I found the statement to almost have a religious quality, with a small touch of morbidity.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Red Tape

Red Tape is everywhere. I was watching Sunday night football this past weekend and a coach had challenged a call made by the official. The official proceeded to stand by the replay booth, look in the screen, and come back after two minutes. I won't get the quote right but it went something like this:

"There was a malfunction with the replay equipment. However, we had to officially wait 2 minutes before making a decision. The call on the field stands."

Monday, October 09, 2006

366 Days

One year ago yesterday, I was married to my wonderful wife. The 366 days since that moment have been incredible (hectic...but incredible). In honor of that day, I thought I would share a picture as well as post the description I wrote about Carlee prior to the wedding (on our Knot wedding website).A description of Carlee:
It's a pretty daunting task to sit down and attempt to describe Carlee. Not sure who the audience is: those who know her (and are interested in hearing how I describe her) or those who have never met her before, and of course, Carlee will read this so I need to be careful.

For those who know her and are reading this because you are curious as to how I would describe her, the simple introduction is that Carlee has literally changed my life. Who knew that one day I would pack a U-Haul and move to Louisiana out of the blue because of a chance encounter at a Journey/Foreigner concert? I don't even want to leave the house during the week. Carlee, like no one else, has the ability to draw me into a whirlwind of activity and experience emotions, places, things, and people that I would never encounter if it were not for her. Her passion for exploration clashes perfectly with my passion for inertia.

For those of you who don't know her, Carlee is the consummate friend. If you need someone to pause whatever they are doing, listen, and lend a helping hand, if it is in her power, she's right there for you. Compassionate, unselfish, caring, perceptive, intelligent, insatiably curious about life, people, and current events - all adjectives that fit. Carlee is modest enough to know that there is something to learn from every person and situation, yet confident enough to apply her perspective to that same moment. For me, she is without a doubt, a partner in all that I do. Carlee continues to inspire me and there is no better relationship than those that challenge and push the other to grow as a person.

If this is Carlee reading this, then just remember to read this next time I forget to take out the recycling. ;-)

Friday, October 06, 2006


"Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better."

Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

...in a drink ring on some magazine

(Click on the picture for a larger image of the CD cover. Track listing is also in text below.)

This one is for SINEDDIE. It's in the mail tomorrow morning. Stay strong.

…in a drink ring on some magazine

1. Whip Ass † Ray
2. Punkrocker (Featuring Iggy Pop) † Teddybears
3. Click Click Click Click † Bishop Allen
4. Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking † Snow Patrol
5. Wolf Like Me † TV on the Radio
6. Busted † The Black Keys
7. Fortress † Pinback
8. Enough to Get Away † Joseph Arthur
9. Penny On The Train Track † Ben Kweller
10. Junkyard † Page France
11. Breathe † Dan Bern
12. Drink Ring Jesus † Stephen Simmons
13. Fixing Everything † Day Action Band
14. O Valencia! † The Decemberists
15. Peace & Hate † The Submarines
16. She's Just That Kind Of Girl † Lucero
17. Staring at the Sun † TV On the Radio
18. All Cried Out † Fink
19. Genie, Genie † Eric Bachmann
20. Holy Cow † Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s
21. All I Need † Mat Kearney

American History X

Watched American History X last night. Disturbing movie but at the same time, excellent. Highly recommended.