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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: May 3, 2003-May 9, 2003

Friday, May 9, 2003:

Tara Ariano's book Untitled: A Bad Teen Novel is among the funniest things I've ever read. It's a story she wrote when she was a 13-year-old Canadian in 1988, and it involves five teen girls, each of whom is given a simple, moralistic storyline that betrays a heavy Degrassi Jr. High influence on the part of the author. 15 years later, Tara decided that the whole project was so hilariously bad that it deserved to be published, and I'm happy beyond words that she did, because it's awesome. It's cute and charming in its own way, but on the ironic level on which it's intended, it really is hysterically funny in its ineptitude, and present-day Tara jumps in every now and again with MST3K-esque editorial comments and funny chapter headings ("Chapter Five: Basil Exposition's Cousin, Clumsy"). You can read the first 23 chapters over at hissyfit.com, and that's an activity I highly recommend, though I just went ahead and bought the book. Either way, you'll have fun.

In that same spirit, I thought it would be funny to present a few entries from the journal I started keeping in fifth grade (inspired by a similar exercise in Matt Groening's School is Hell) and continued, on and off, through ninth. So here you go, spelling/grammatical errors and all, along with my comments and explanations in brackets where necessary:

March 4, 1991: Stevie B, Joey, & J.J. got busted today. Halleluljah! My MAD's came, but I lent them to Mike so he could do the Fold-Ins. [I'd ordered a bunch of back issues of Mad. The word "MAD" here is a faithful representation of the Mad logo.] Cassidy thinks he's like, the most awesome kid in the fifth grade just because he got Reebok Pumps. I've got news for him: he's not, and Pumps stink compared to Nike Airs.

April 8, 1992: In Gym today I shredded my legs. I was swinging on the climbing rope and I swung into a glass display case.

April 16, 1992: In science there was a bag o' pretzels on a desk, so I grabbed a handful of pretzel salt, [gulped it down] and puked! What a smart person I am! [The bottom of the page features a drawing of me vomiting up several gallons' worth of material, including one whole pretzel.]

May 21, 1992: At lunch I shoved 2 pretzels up my nose as a joke. Then I fell & one got jammed up there. [This was a lie concocted to protect my friend Mike, in case my mom ever stumbled across this journal. The pretzels actually got jammed up my nose because I'd placed them up there, turned to Mike, and he quickly jammed them up with his palm as he said, "Bloop." It hurt.] So I went to the bathroom and tried to yank it out. I fin'ly got it out & it was covered with blood. I think some salt (I've had bad experiences before with pretzel salt. See 4-16's entry.) got into my sinuses, but so far it hasn't hurt me hurt me hurt me.

February 2, 1993: "Letter Asking Laura Richardson Out":

Dear Laura,

I've had J.J. ask you. I've had Nick ask you. Neither of those worked. So now I'm writing to you, as a last resort. I can't ask you in person, I'd never get up the nerve. Why? Because I'm the most pathetic creature ever to walk on the earth.

So, will you pleeeeeeeeeeease have pity on a no good, scum sucking, nose-picking, boot-licking, sniveling, groveling, low-down, beer-bellied, boneheaded, pigeon-toed, turkey-necked, weasel-faced worthless hunk of slime? [It evidently seemed like a good idea to me to quote liberally from "Weird Al" Yankovic in a letter asking a girl to see me romantically. Or as "romantically" as it gets in seventh grade.] I know there's no good reason why you should say yes. I realize my only talents are doing impressions & making fart sounds with my hands. I am aware that all I've ever learned, I've learned from Saturday Night Live and the Dead Milkmen They Might Be Giants. I know I've got a pretty damn low self-image. I should probably go and see a doctor about it. I know I belong in a cesspool, but please.

I'm emotionally unstable, so, if you say no, something could snap, and I'd be gulping down tranquilizers like salted peanuts, and running around, firing random shotgun blasts into walls. So, here are two choices: If you will, out of some fit of bad judgement, go out with me, tell me. If you won't, take this letter, wad it up real tight, and cram it down my throat.

Please, please, please!


P.S. I have three months to live, and if you say no, those three months will be easy enough to knock off.

[The bottom of this page features a picture of me standing on a stool with a noose around my neck, saying, "The choice is yours!" I'm fairly certain I never gave her this letter.]

September 13, 1993: Today was going great, right up to the time I got onto the bus. Then our new bus driver announced that she was gonna start "consolidating our stops." Which means, "Not do my job so I can get off this crate and drink earlier." So I gotta go way out of my way to get to the new stop.

Then my brother & his friend Arvind wanted me to play football with them, and I said no, so they went up to my room, got my "Devo: Greatest Misses" CD that has a Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics sticker on it that my mom doesn't know about. Or, didn't know about until my brother showed it to her. So she took that away, and, I mean, the CD doesn't even need an advisory! There's nothin' wrong with it that I can see, except for in "Shrivel Up" they say "pissed." And in "Penetration in the Centrefold" they say "ass." And in "Pink Pussycat," well, that's pretty much all about sex. And in "Speed Racer" they talk about sex some more. I can't understand what they're saying in "Be Stiff," but it's probably pretty bad, but I've heard worse stuff. Why not put a warning label on Danzig? They worship Satan! Oh, yeah, they did. Okay, why not put a warning label on Megadeth? They worship Satan, too! Tipper Gore SUCKS!

[I'm still baffled as to why the compilation had a "Parental Advisory" sticker. I guess the line "There's a girl in the middle with a finger in her gash" (from "Penetration in the Centrefold") was the one that did it, because everything else is relatively innocuous. Why Warner Bros. felt that I needed to be protected from that line, I don't know. Though I understood the activity to which it was referring, it didn't strike me as erotic or anything, nor was it intended to (it's preceded by the line "Every single month, it's the same old trash").

I may as well mention the ultimate fate of this CD: my mom made me get rid of it, so I sold it to JJ for like five dollars (but not before secretly taping a copy for myself). JJ enjoyed it a great deal- and really, who wouldn't? Three or four years later, in high school, JJ took his car to a mechanic, and the CD was in the glove compartment. He had to leave the car in the shop overnight, and that night, one of the workers at the garage got extremely drunk, stole JJ's car, and took off down the highway. He got into a head-on collision with another car, killing both drivers. JJ's car was so smashed that the only way JJ could identify it was by the copy of Greatest Misses which was snapped in half in the driver's seat. That's how JJ told it to me, anyway, and although JJ was prone to ridiculous exaggeration, I chose to believe him because it seemed like a fairly Devo fate for the CD.]

October 29, 1993: Today we got to dress up in our Halloween costumes at school all day. I was D.P. Gumby from Monty Python. Part of J.J.'s costume was a guitar, so at lunch me & him sat down on the cafeteria stage, and put down a Styrofoam cup on the ground, and sang the Juan Carlos Opera [A nonsensical song we made up about this kid, Juan Carlos, to torment him] to the tune of some Stone Temple Pilots song. ("Juan! Juan! Juan! Juan! Juan Carlos has x-ray vision! Juan Carlos likes Spam! Juan Carlos never sneezes or sacrifices lambs!") People started coming up to the stage & throwing money (Nick F. gave us $1.00) in the cup. We made $3.55! Then Klien [the principal] made us stop.

March 17, 1994: Well, I just went to my first after-school dance since sixth grade. Now I remember why I haven't gone in 2 years. First, they played a total of three good songs ("YMCA" by the Village People, "Three Little Pigs" by Green Jello, and something by Pearl Jam that I don't remember the name of), and the rest were oldies & rap. Second, Jenny H., the one girl Nick thought might dance with me got pissed off about something & didn't go. She seems to get pissed off pretty easy. One time I'm told she spent the entire dance crying. The only good part was that John G. was walking around with a beach towel on his head, jumping up & down screaming "YMCA! YMCA!" With the $1.75 I paid for tickets, I could've bought the Ramones' "End of the Century" CD. No, it doesn't just cost $1.75, but when I last went to the mall, I was gonna buy it but I was $1.50 short. Good money management, Willie! Oh, yeah. They also played "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base.

April 18, 1994: About three months ago I signed up to be an umpire for the tee ball kids. Not for enjoyment- for money- I hate little kids. Today in the hallway Andy M. tells me that there's a meeting tomorrow to tell you when you've got a job, and where, and I should've gotten a call. Well, I didn't. I asked some kids in my Shop class, and they got called, too. Me & Steve are the only ones who didn't get calls. I hate the Parks & Rec organization. Bastards. Come to think of it, I hate just about everyone in the whole Goddamn world. I wanted that money, too. Everyone should die.

April 19, 1994: We had a sub in [history], and he told Matt to write "I will not speak without raising my hand" 25 times. He wrote:

"I will not speak w/o raising my hand.
I will not speak w/o raising my hand.
I will not speak w/o I hate you.
I will not speak w/o I kill you.
I will not spork w/o raising my hand.
I will not speak w/o rinsing my hand.
I will not speak w/o raising my ham.
I will not speak w/o raisins in my hand."

The Red Wings lost the first game of the playoffs. They played like crap. Essensa sucks. Oh, me & Steve are DJ-ing the next school dance, but, instead of Tom Petty, Ramones, Dead Milkmen, and Talking Heads, we have to play Garth Brooks, Reba Macintyre, Whitney Houston, and Rod Stewart. And "Whoomp! There It Is!" which is the most annoying song ever, except for "Tears in Heaven."

CURRENT MUSIC: Human League- "Don't You Want Me," Gruppo Sportivo- "Beep Beep Love," Gary Jules- "Mad World," Mark Kozelek- "Ruth Marie" (SADDEST SONG EVER), Actual Tigers- "End of May," Belle & Sebastian- "The Boy Done Wrong Again," more that I've lost track of.
TIME: 1:16 AM

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Thursday, May 8, 2003:

Y'know, there really is a tremendous temptation to turn these journal entries into lengthy, self-pitying screeds of the sort I promised I wouldn't. Please call me on it if I start to. It's not that I particularly disapprove of self-pity; it's annoying to others, sure, but I think it's at least honest, unlike some of my friends who've read one too many Hemingway "novels" and are now of the mind that self-pity is a sign of weakness because each individual has some inexplicable duty to just suck up all the misery and be stoic and, indeed, to go on an alcohol-soaked safari at some point where you shoot a bunch of lions and perhaps your wife. (I loathe Hemingway.) Frankly, I'm more and more of the opinion that love and happiness, for any extended period of time, are impossible, because we live in a world where everyone is different and has his or her own desires and needs, and no two people will ever completely match up that way, thus causing conflict and, in the case of romantic situations, disillusion with one another. (Whether two people stay together is an entirely different story. Sometimes it's just more convenient and, in ways, satisfying to stick with someone you're comfortable with, but there's no way to hang onto all the passion forever, nor to see into the other person's head to experience that one, huge, cosmic connection everyone likes to fantasize about. You know, the one where you're understood fully and accepted entirely for who you are, and reciprocate for the other person, etc.) Thus, frustration. And when you're surrounded by people whom you perceive as having all those things- say, when you're at a concert and everyone else is paired off in attractive little boy-girl, boy-girl, salt-and-pepper-shaker sets around the room- it's hard not to feel a little sorry for yourself, innit?

So why repress that? I don't understand why our society is so adamant about not feeling your feelings if they happen to be depressing or unpleasant. I'll admit that it bugs me when someone goes on and on and on about how miserable he is- in fact, there's a certain LiveJournal that Adrienne forwarded me a few days ago which contains very little else and makes me want to banish the author to that Happy Hut from Addams Family Values- but just because I have no desire to read it doesn't mean I think his feelings are invalid. In fact, the reason I'm not linking to his journal (publicly, anyway; privately, I'll tell you) is that he's at least being honest about his feelings and attitudes. In a very self-important, trite, and uninteresting way, granted, but at least he's not sublimating them into animal cruelty or misogyny or thinking that Bret Easton Ellis is a worthwhile writer or something horrifying like that simply because he's been told self-pity is a social taboo. Moreover, when it's done well, feeling sorry for oneself can be a fruitful creative muse. Just in the music world, for example, we wouldn't have the work of Kurt Cobain, Bright Eyes, the Trembling Blue Stars, Disclaimer, Nick Drake, or countless other great bands(...) if they didn't have that churning mixture of self-loathing and a desire for something better eating away at them. George Costanza, one of the most enduring television characters of all time, would be unimaginable without Larry David's famously negative introspection. And where would this nation be if not for the mopey stand-up musings of Richard Lewis?

Really? Another Renaissance? Alright, bad example... Lousy unpredictable chaos theory...

But the point is, it's a bit stifling to have to avoid launching into the hopeless, bleak rants that I so very much want to just because it's been deemed wrong. I mean, I'm still not going to do so, just out of respect for my few friends that read this- I don't want anyone to feel obligated to slog through paragraph after paragraph of desperate "nobody loves me" nonsense when they could just listen to that Portishead song, which is shorter and arguably more entertaining (and also because, as some of you may remember, the Great Drunken Webpage Rant of December 2002 elicited more speculation about my mental health than I enjoy receiving). It just feels a little dishonest to avoid the practice entirely when disappointment with myself and my life consumes a good 3/4 of my thoughts. The other quarter? Puppies.

CURRENT MUSIC: Bright Eyes- "Haligh, Haligh, a Lie, Haligh" over and over. Trying to learn all the words.
CURRENT MOOD: I've left some subtle clues about it above, if you picked up on them.
CURRENT FAVORITE POEM: Emily Dickinson- "I'm nobody! Who are you?/Are you nobody, too?/Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!/They'd banish us, you know." (I'm really not trying to be a downer with this one; it was coincidentally just posted by Devin on Music Babble and I liked it a lot.)
TIME: 6:14 PM

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003:

It's the Bright Eyes/Arab Strap concert tonight. (Along with some mysterious band or figure known as "Head of Femur," about which I could find no information, but the name sounds promising.) My editor was kind enough to finagle me a spot onto Arab Strap's guest list, so hopefully I'll be able to enter with no problems. I don't fancy the idea of writing a concert review based on what I heard while standing behind St. Andrew's Hall, listening to the concert through the ventilation ducts, as my friend Jim and I briefly attempted to do at a sold-out Ween show in high school. So let's hope the Office of Homeland Security doesn't find it suspicious that I'm on the guest list for a band whose name has an inherently terror-related connotation, what with the word arab and all. I don't need The Man hasslin' me tonight.

My friend Guy, the Belgian guy (er...) whom I mentioned in my previous entry, just got a notice to appear before Brussels customs authorities for mailing some CD-Rs to my other friend Scott, in New York. I wonder how many weapons and kilos of cocaine got whisked across international lines while they were fiddling with CDs that one web critic sent to another web critic. Somewhere, Hilary Rosen is cackling in the S&M dungeon in which I assume she resides.

But thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat's my life!

CURRENT MUSIC: Of Montreal- "Jennifer Louise," Apples in Stereo- "Seems So," Idlewild- "You Held the World in Your Arms," Lambchop- "Your Fucking Sunny Day," Garbage- "Push It, "Of Montreal- "Joseph and Alexander" (It's nice having all my CDs ripped onto my hard drive!)
CURRENT MOOD: Not looking forward to work.
CURRENT STATUS OF LIPS: Chapped. And underused, if you get my drift, ladies...
TIME: 10:12 AM

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003:

I don't think anyone would argue that Saddam being removed from power wasn't a good thing, solely as a stand-alone event. He's no longer running Iraq, therefore he can no longer torture and abuse his own people: that's good. The question is whether it was worth it. Sure, it was worth it to George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and especially Dick Cheney (whose Halliburton weasels are chompin' at the bit to start Iraq's "reconstruction" as we speak), but apart from the couple dozen guys who stand to gain personally from the war, did anyone else actually come out ahead after Saddam got booted?

The Iraqi people? Well, aside from all the ones we killed, I guess that remains to be seen. However, so far, the US military has basically been dropping the ball where they actually could be of use (i.e., Baghdad, what with all the looting and the crime and those bothersome things), instead barging into communities that were self-sufficient enough to get themselves together after Hussein's fall, and then undoing all that progress by occupying cities/schools/etc. where they aren't wanted (which has resulted in shooting the occasional civilian, sure), arresting Muslim clerics who have been instrumental in keeping civil order, etc. Sanitary drinking water is hard to come by, and many basic services have yet to be restored to their towns... but thank goodness the oil is under control! We've got that covered! The former head of Shell is all over that one. I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that this discrepancy is fairly indicative of how the United States-imposed government is going to operate over there. I expect that it doesn't get much worse than living with the threat of being tortured or killed according to the whims of a hateful, megalomaniacal dictator, so it really is great that they're out from under that... but does it count as "liberation" if they're just ignored from here on out?

The American people? I've read public opinion polls that indicate that the "majority" of Americans now believe themselves to be safer now that Saddam is out of power. Obviously, public opinion polls are a crock, and the Sunday Herald reported that some of Bush's senior officials have admitted that Saddam probably didn't have any weapons of mass destruction that he was stockpiling (that's why we went to war, remember? Or at least that was the justification till Bush's puppeteers decided that a pretense of liberating the Iraqi people would play better on the international stage), but let's ignore that for now. Let's instead play devil's advocate- and we'll do so in such a wholehearted fashion that we won't even point out the appropriate nature of that term in regards to the Bush administration- and pretend that we believe Bush's line on what's been going on. Let's say we believe that Saddam did indeed have a huge cache of WMDs, and we as American citizens were in imminent danger. Given that, let's look at what we know at the moment:

1) Saddam and his family are missing (and, as it happens, very wealthy).
2) Presumably, they're not too happy with the United States as a whole.
3) The "Coalition"'s weapons inspectors have been unable to find anything that could be construed as a weapon of mass destruction in Iraq- even under the ridiculously broad definition of "weapons of mass destruction" by which they've been operating. Since Bush, Powell, and their buddies were so adamant that these WMDs did indeed exist, and they had the evidence to back up their claims (granted, they never presented any such evidence- that didn't turn out to be forged, anyway- but don't forget, we're taking them at their word for the moment), that can only mean one thing: the weapons were moved by the Iraqi government to some mystery location shortly before the war began.

So a pissed-off sociopath and his family have gone missing, along with a bunch of weapons of mass destruction. And these people claim to feel "safer" now. Makes sense to me!

The United States as a whole? Well, apart from the fact that pretty much the entire world was against us declaring war on Iraq and we did it anyway, we've been doing little recently besides bullying those remaining countries that are actually our allies in one way or another. Turkey? You helped us, but not as unconditionally as we might've liked. Better straighten up. France? You've made it very plain that your priorities are misplaced, valuing "evidence" and "diplomacy" above killing people because we say so. You're dead to us.

I actually went to the post office last week, to send a package to my friend in Belgium, and the bilious woman behind the counter gave me crap about how Belgium- Belgium!- is getting too big for their britches. What was her reasoning behind this? I quote: "Well, I heard they said something nasty about us too, now." I assume she was halfway paying attention to a story on the news about the Nato-less EU military summit last week that Tony Blair claimed (with a heaping all-you-can-eat buffet of hyperbole) was tantamount to starting a new cold war, basically because he felt unloved that they hadn't invited him. Americans have no qualms about guffawing over that now-famous Simpsons quote that Jonah Goldberg appropriated as an anti-France epithet, but if any other nation voices the slightest hint of dissatisfaction with the USA's actions and tactics, that's treated as grounds to permanently sever our ties.

Personally, I was under the impression that having positive relations with lots of different countries is not just a convenient network through which to get favors every once in awhile- like those kids in elementary school you weren't crazy about but invited to your birthday party anyway for the extra presents- but is, in fact, an essential part of operating in this age, which we are constantly being reminded is a "global" one. Regardless of whether we've effectively got a monopoly on firepower, it does the United States government no good whatsoever to be viewed universally as trigger-happy, cowboy bullies at best and dangerously self-centered racketeers at worst. Shouldn't that be obvious? That to be part of a global society you have to be civil to the other countries in that society? Then why are we doing everything from childishly pretending France doesn't exist to vindictively threatening to withhold important monetary aid from countries that don't see things our way? How does that help us the least little bit? And why the fuck are so many people in this country so eager to play along in this game of burning every bridge we've got left?

So yeah, it's good that Saddam's gone, but I can't shake the feeling that years from now, the history books are going to label this conflict The Great Pyrrhic Victory of 2003, where everybody lost. It's just stupid.

CURRENT MUSIC: Here Come the Warm Jets by Brian Eno and Every Day I Wear a Greasy Black Feather on My Hat by Moondog Jr.
CURRENT MOOD: Is schadenfreude really a mood? I'm just really, really happy that it's been made public that William Bennett lost $8 million in casinos over the past 10 years. "William, remember when you said that Burger King was eroding our country's virtues because their slogan 'Sometimes you've gotta break the rules' implies that morality is situational rather than absolute? Well, youuuuuu have a gambling problem!"
CURRENTLY EATING: A big bowl of Cool-Whip. I sort of wish I were joking...
TIME: 7:28 PM

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Okay, the new rule is: no caffeine after six PM unless I intend to be up till the wee hours. Alcohol? Sure- that's a panacea at any time of the day or night, but caffeine? No. I went to bed at 11 last night because I really was tremendously tired and had a stomachache, but I wound up lying awake till 3 because of all the Vanilla Coke I'd drank in the evening. The combination of loopy sleepiness and chemical-induced twitchiness led to some interesting periods of paranoia, too. At one point, I became convinced that it would be a good idea to put some sort of mesh over my ears with a rubber band while I slept, to keep centipedes from crawling in there. (Like many of my brilliant ideas, however, I didn't follow through with this one, so I'll have to file it in the "Dreams Deferred" category, along with my idea to invent a type of cranberry juice that's specially formulated to not taste appalling if you drink it right after you brush your teeth.)

I've become tremendously enamored of the word clusterfuck, but opportunities to use it in everyday conversation are dishearteningly rare. Maybe I'll have to orchestrate some clusterfucks just so I can talk about them.

You know, I've downloaded "Freebird" three times in the past couple of years, each time certain that it's going to be better than I remember, but nope! Still crap.

CURRENT MOOD: Sleepy, disoriented.
CURRENT REASON FOR LIVING: Neil Hamburger's scheduled appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight.
TIME: 9:28 AM

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Monday, May 5, 2003:

There's a neat quotation from Salvador Dali (that I've read in several different forms, suggesting that it's either apocryphal or at least mistranslated): "So little of what might happen does happen." If memory serves me, he was lamenting the fact that, after he'd placed an order in a restaurant, the waiter never seemed to return bearing a flaming phone book. I've always thought that was a fantastic observation, because life is never more interesting than when something completely unexpected- and occasionally inexplicable- happens. It could be something as simple as the message my grandma found on her answering machine that was apparently a wrong number dialed by a guy with one of those robotic voice boxes for folks with tracheotomies. Or it could be something as involved as that prank on The Tom Green Show where he had a pornographic scene airbrushed on his parents' car in the middle of the night. Anything that confuses your synapses enough to make a cartoon question mark appear above your head is a good thing, in my book. I realize it's not a deep observation or anything, but sometimes it takes an event that's completely surreal to make you think about exactly how stuck you are in a certain routine, and how that routine might need some shaking up.

And that's why I felt the need today to draw pictures of the Kool-Aid man kicking books across the room on nearly every customer order slip I received.

CURRENT MUSIC: Trainspotting soundtrack. ("Here comes Johnny, yeah, again/With Carnival Cruise Lines.")
CURRENT MOOD: Hedonistic yet tired. Guess which one will win?
CURRENT COMMERCIAL I'M MOST SICK OF: That Subway commercial where the minimum-wage monkey behind the counter recites a sonnet about some damn sub or another. Ooh- or any of those Welch's grape juice commercials with the precocious kids that are supposed to be "adorable" but you actually want to slam them in the face a bunch of times with a garbage can lid! Or any commercial for cell phones that are equipped with multimedia features (except the Little Richard one, which actually makes me giggle every time I see it, though I think it's out of the rotation by now).
6:43 PM

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Sunday, May 4, 2003:

I just went to three stores to find the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album for a reasonable price. It was $13 at Media Play, and I thought Best Buy was supposed to have it on sale for six dollars, but they didn't have it at all, and the sullen young man whose assistance I requested spelled their name "Yayayas" in his computer. So I gave up and went to Borders, where I found it for eight bucks. I also picked up the new Flaming Lips "Fight Test" EP, and their cover of Radiohead's "Knives Out" is totally worth the purchase price. Also, it's an enhanced CD, so it's got the "Fight Test" video on it, though when I inserted the disc into my computer, I got the message, "You do not have Quicktime 4 installed on your computer. After you've installed Quicktime, reinsert this disc and the Faith Hill enhanced CD will start automatically." That's some incentive to download Quicktime, there.

CURRENT MUSIC: The "Fight Test" EP
CURRENT CHEMICALS COURSING THROUGH MY SYSTEM: Benedryl Allergy/Sinus Headache, caffeine from my Vanilla Coke.
3:56 PM

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So the TV in my house, for most of the day, was airing coverage leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Whichever station was on (probably ESPN) seriously had about five hours of pre-race analysis, which means that the announcers' masturbatory yakking was about 300 times longer than the race itself. I've never been to the Derby, but when I was younger, my uncle used to take my dad, my brother, and me to Churchill Downs every year when we were in Louisville for Thanksgiving. If you can tolerate cigarette smoke as thick as several sweaters over your head, it's kind of a fun experience. I was too young to really appreciate the full range of human emotion that was on display at the track (depending on whether audience members were there for recreation or frantically attempting to win back this month's child support money), but it was fun to arbitrarily pick a horse as your favorite before the race and then see how he did. My uncle taught Tim and me how to read the betting sheets, and told us never to bet on a gray horse or one ridden by Pat Day, "because they will always break your heart." Sometimes he or my dad would put a couple of bucks down for us on whichever horses we chose, and let us keep whatever we won, if anything. Tim usually won, because he didn't follow my unique strategy of betting exclusively on the longshots or horses that had funny names like "Mister Mushroom."

I'm not sure if I should be morally opposed to horse racing now that I'm older or not. The horses are treated pretty well, aren't they? Wouldn't they have to be, if you wanted them to have any chance of being competitive? Maybe Seabiscuit will clear up some of these questions.

Now that the Derby's over, though, I guess I'll have to get my racing thrills from those slides of Coca-Cola products racing each other that they show before the trailers at my local AMC theater. Go Sprite! Wheeeee!

Last night, I was driving home from a party at about 2 AM, and my friend Erica caught up to me at a stoplight about eight miles from where we'd left, and signalled for me to roll down the window. She yelled for me to turn to some specific radio station, said goodnight, waved, and drove away. So I flipped on the radio, and they were playing "Clocks" by Coldplay. I've heard that song dozens of times by this point, but it still blows me away every time I hear it; such a powerful melody. Doubly so when I'm driving in the middle of the night by myself, which is quite possibly my favorite activity in the world. And when you add the fact that I knew one of my best friends was experiencing the same thing in her car, a few miles away by that point, I just got this really blissful, cozy feeling that all was right with the world.

Ben does this stuff better.

CURRENT MUSIC: Man Am I Brad by Everybody Uh-Oh
CURRENT MOOD: Sappy and nostalgic, apparently.
A Weezer T-shirt (from back when they were good), a green hooded sweatshirt, my last clean pair of jeans.
12:45 AM

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Saturday, May 3, 2003:

...because the world needs another one. And I need another excuse not to work on finishing my album, in addition to writing music reviews, reading recaps of ER and Trading Spaces on Television Without Pity, watching South Park reruns, compulsively reading The Guardian, and testing out new soup recipes. (Today, it was Annie Chun brand miso soup, which is excellent.) I know it's probably viewed as kind of ghetto within l33t hAx0r circles to just post a journal on your own site- no offense to Ben- in much the same way that it's viewed as ghetto to have an AOL e-mail address for some reason, but (a) I'm already paying for this domain, and (b) those are the same people who have long, involved arguments about the precise wording of Microsoft's Windows 98 end-user license agreement, so I can deal with their scorn. Plus, Blogspot doesn't have an option for people to add comments, and there's a hilariously desperate subculture that has sprung up, consisting solely of people who are in search of LiveJournal invite codes, so I figured this would be the most convenient way of doing things.

Why do I need a journal on my site at all? Because my friends Ben, Adrienne, Cole, and [Guy Who Doesn't Want His Journal to be Publicly Accessible] have 'em, and they seem like fun. Plus, my personal journal has been languishing for the past year or so, and I figure starting a public one might prevent the constant swan-diving into hopelessly bleak tales of woe and self-pity that was my reason for abandoning that journal in the first place. Basically, I want this journal to be a collection of those tiny, self-contained anecdotes and observations that I always love reading when other people write them, without getting all emo and whiny. We'll see about that. My models for this project are going to be my friends' aforementioned journals, as well as Scott Dikkers's comic strip Jim's Journal. (A book that I actually haven't read in awhile, since my copy resided for some time at the apartment of my ex's new boyfriend. I only recently got it back, and I'm rather wary of actually reading it because I half-expect him to have scrawled unpleasant notes to me in the margins. I've never met the guy, but I know that I'd be that immature, so I assume everyone else would, too.) So here goes.

Spent much of the afternoon messing around with this song, "I Couldn't End It There," that is going to be the hidden track at the end of my album. (Sorry for the spoiler, but like you care.) It's quickly becoming my favorite song I've written, though, because it actually makes me smile to listen to it. I managed to get my Casio to make these ridiculous, cartoony noises, and the drum track features a bunch of samples of me popping bubble-wrap into the microphone that I've programmed into a weird IDM beat. I'm very proud of it. I plan to ruin it with vocals this week.

CURRENT MUSIC (for the whole entry): Johnny Cash- "Rowboat," Rhett Miller- "World Inside the World," ABC- "Poison Arrow," and New Order- "Blue Monday."
CURRENT MOOD: Stoked for Trading Spaces, as the promos promise a new Kia disaster.
TIME: 7:54 PM
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