Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hello, Neighbor

The constellation Orion is currently positioned at around 75° above the horizon from my vantage point on the front stoop of my house. It seemed particularly bright tonight, and I was trying to estimate its position while talking on the phone out front. I extended my arm to 90°, then 45°, then in between the two points, repeating this manœuver several times in rapid succession.

At this point, I realize my neighbor was watching me with a puzzled expression. I can't help but assume he thought I was practicing my best Heil Heetler salute.

Sorry, neighbor. I promise I'm a loyal Amurickan with no hard feelings about the outcome of the Second World War. For real. I was just looking at stars, man.

(Oh, and I'll cut the grass soon. I swear.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I've kept a list of all the music I listened to during the second half of this past week, and within said list I occasionally wrote notes about what I was hearing, and this is what it looks like:
Belle & Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Shostakovich, String Quartets 4, 5, 6
Beck, Guero
- I like the line "Your popsicle is melting."
Andres Segovia, The Segovia Collection (vol. 1)(Bach)
-This is remarkably boring.
Bosnian Muslims, Bosnia: echoes from an endangered world
-I would pay to see these dudes were they to do a world tour, which they won't, because they're probably dead, and also because probably nobody else would pay to see them.
Beck, Guero
Various Artists (most of which are indie rock), Christmas Mix Tape #4 (Stanley)
-I like to imagine Stanley air-drumming to these songs in his car on the way to Applebees, where, in my imagination, he is a stoned line cook, mostly mixing up bagged salads.
Shotastkovich, String Quartets 7, 8, 9
Various Artists (most of which are pop rock), Christmas Mix Tape #? (Beth)
-This one makes me happy.
Beck, Guero
-I still like the line about the popsicle.
Bulgarian Female Vocal Choir, Les Mysteres . . .
Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
Biserou Sisters, ?
Truman Sparks, Live at Bennington College
-If Truman Sparks gets famous I will sell this bootleg to a Japanese record label so I can afford the payments on a backyard pool.
Beck, Guero
-Your popsicle is melting.
Radiohead, OK Computer
-This CD reminds me of when I was younger and really liked this CD.
Blackalicious, Blazing Arrow
Talib Kweli & Hi-Tec, Reflection Eternal
Shostakovich, String Quartets 1, 2, 3
Beck, Guero
-It sucks that you let your popsicle melt.

Things You Should Know

  1. We've had a visitor searching google for "getting high off of viscous lidocaine." No, really.

  2. We played home-made Apples to Apples tonight. Rather than buying the cards, you can just have the present company (4-8 people, no more certainly) each write down several nouns and adjectives (in a ratio of [total number of people]nouns : adjective). Trust me; it works.

    From tonight's game the word "doubleturtle" emerged as a new gem to be appreciated ages on.

  3. Hambone told me all about his generator. He has abandoned the blender plan and has moved on to a wind-powered design. We talked a lot about magnets and copper wire and capacitors and resistors and battery cells. Also something about a voltage regulator, which I didn't really understand.

  4. Hammy confirms we're going to war with Iran. When pressed precisely why, Hammy explains that Tony Blair is up for re-election in April. I can't confirm this, but there are local elections in the England in early May, which could undermine Blair and lead to a vote of No Confidence. So, maybe. Plausible as anything else I've heard, I guess.

  5. Ryan's 18-year-old wine, mold-covered cork and all, smells of crotch. But it tastes pretty good.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I Open Doors

First, fie on you, google. I was quite enjoying the old blogger, and now you forced me to "upgrade." You nefarious knave. That said, I logged in to tell a story.


When I was a wee lad, I would get excited about telling something to my mom. Sometimes, as happens to many, I would forget what I was going to say.

"Must've been a lie," my mom would say with a wry smile.

"NOooo!" six-year-old me would protest. "It was true!!!"

In very short order, this exchange came to be a running joke, and mom and I still break it out now and again for nostalgic amusement. Ha! we laugh. So silly, we.

Nowadays, I sometimes use my mom's line with people unfamiliar with the backstory.

"Dang! I forgot what I was going to say," a person might say.

"Must've been a lie!" I retort, shit-eating grin on my face.

Unfortunately, this line tends not to go over well, and most people are surprised to learn that my dear and loving mother would say such a thing to an impressionable young six-year-old. What can I say? We're a sarcastic bunch, we Stanley-family types.

Which reminded me: my mom used to have a nickname for me, based on my middle name, which is also my monicker on this here weblog.

Her nickname for me?

"Stanley Garage-Door Opener."

Thursday, January 25, 2007



Bit of a lull here. Sorry to disappoint. Surely Ryan will tell us a story soon.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Putting CDs in the microwave rules

My brother makes bombs. And I'm not saying this out of familial pride, but my brother, who makes bombs that get put on the wings of fighter jets that kill baddies, makes THE BEST BOMBS (YOUR) MONEY CAN BUY. He's a good bombmaker. He is paid well.

For Christmas, he got me a $40 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Usually, people get you gift cards when they have no idea what kind of things you like, or when they're too lazy. In my brother's case, however, he got me the gift card because he was too busy perfecting weapons that will protect you and your children's children's puppy's puppies.

With that gift card, I got Sirens of Titan (our new book club book), Don Quixote, and Starbucks coffee.

I don't know what wOOT means, but I thought I'd end this post with


I'm generally hateful on the new facebook format, but occasionally, I read things like:

[Person X] removed "anal sex and giving blow jobs" from his favorite interests.

And I am amused.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Reading A White Bear's post on dicking around, I thought of my own dicking-around-ish tendencies.

I graduated with great marks, solid recommendations, a splendid internship in a foreign country with a noted Human Rights organization, and . . . I decided to stay in town and play music. After all, I hadn't really played since high school, at least not with any level of dedication.

I tooled around with a few groups, and I now play regularly with two groups, quite different from each other.

With both groups, I've gotten to the point of feeling relatively competent. The Sparks folks are planning a three-week tour from mid-March through early-April. The other folks (who, yeah, haven't yet taken up a suggestion from this heroic thread) have been booking gigs at a speed of about 1.5/week through the month of February.

Despite acheiving this level of competence—or perhaps because of it—I feel ready for The Next Step.

Only, I don't know what that is. There's grad school, there's moving to another city and getting another (related-ish?) job, there's law school (way, way in the back), and there's even sticking around and really trying to focus on music.

This tendency towards something else is one of the things I simultaneously like and dislike about myself. I seem determined never to finish, and that's okay. But that bothers me.

Your thoughts in comments here, or you can join a discussion already in progress.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snack or appetizer idea

Do you like burnt cheese? Of course you do—it's delicious. So here's what you do:

Get some shredded parmesan cheese. Not that Kraft™ bullshit, this kind:

Heat up a frying pan to a medium temperature. Sprinkle the cheese evenly in a sort of circular pattern in the middle of the pan.


After awhile, the cheese will fuse, and the bottom will brown. With a fork, pry up the cheese circle from one side, rolling as you go. Put it on a plate like this:

Or just eat it right out of the pan. It's that good.

(courtesy of a co-worker who gave me this recipe)

UPDATE: LC, in comments, and my roommate, via e-mail, hated on my cheese-cooking adventure. I sent a picture to the co-worker, and he confirmed that I probably should have cooked it a bit longer before rolling it up.

Pictures of the do-over here and here. Oh, and who's that enjoying the new results? My hateful roommate. (LC is beyond salvation, of course.)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Wide Asleep

An old friend used to always be on about lucid dreaming, or "dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming." This friend had a recurring dream and had gotten to the point of being able to control many factors and move about in the dream world with some level of confidence. It sounded fun and interesting; I was always jealous, because I rarely remember my dreams, and I've never gotten dream-awareness—until this weekend.

Well, not quite, but I did have something close to a lucid dream:

I was on a road trip with many friends. We were staying at a massive hotel/casino/apartment-complex thing, which abutted a small regional airport (simple prop jobs and the like).

At some point, wandering around the massive complex and the adjoining airfields, I became separated from the group. I later met up with some others, who were also separated. As we walked back towards the hotel, we passed a giant buffalo, standing out-of-place in the middle of a parking lot. The buffalo gave chase, and we took off running, with me freaking out quite loudly.

As we ran, someone in the group assured me with a firm tone: "Stanley, do not let yourself get chased by the buffalo. Do not let yourself get chased by the buffalo."

I thought about it and then just sort of willed it. Whizbang! The buffalo disappeared, and I slowed to a calm walk. The group didn't really talk about what had just happened.

Okay, so yeah, not exactly a lucid dream, but close. There was certainly some level of control, and it gives me hope for further lucid dreaming. That said, I'm told it leaves you very, very tired. And boy howdy, if I haven't been dragging ass all day long.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Book Review with Ryan Pettibone

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- This book is awesome. In one scene, little kids throw rocks at each other. Then one of them bites another one. Then they talk about Jesus. Seriously, though, this is a badass book, on a level with The Grapes of Wrath.

Chocolate, Mort Something
- This book is not awesome. For roughly two months I was obsessed with chocolate, and so I got this book. I read it. And then I was not obsessed with chocolate anymore. But I did learn about a professional chocolate taster named Chloe who eats seventeen pounds per day. And she's skinny. And everyone who makes chocolate thinks it's probably the most important thing that's ever happened to anything, anywhere.

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- While this book is certainly awesome, it is not as awesome as The Brothers K. Foo! They use Foo! a lot, and I wonder what kind of a translation that is. And Ach! Would you know how to say Ach! in Spanish?

The Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, by EAP
- Some of the chase scenes in Poe's early hack-journalistic works are so jam-packed that he couldn't have possibly fit more sex and violence between each verb. Narrative of ... Pym is an excellent story with interesting racial tones.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I resisted. With all my might. It just seemed superfluous. Did this silly little blog really need a sitemeter? Of course not.

But then I read m. leblanc's post about getting a visitor from Eqypt, and it was just too much. I had to know.


We got a visitor from the famously censor-proned google.cn!

At first, I was excited about our international fame. Then, I was disappointed that we hadn't included sufficient cock humor and satirical poetry to get banned on Google China™.

Then, I found out it was someone looking up "the meaning of wuss out" . I blame Ryan. Wuss.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Twelve Steps Away

Me: I think I'm addicted to the internet.

Beth: I think so, too—but not in a cool, porn sort of way.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I just heard this story on Morning Edition. It seems after all the inhumane things he's been exposed to, José Padilla is suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. Moreover:

There is no indication that Padilla is faking it, Hegarty says. To the contrary, Padilla denies that he has any problems and tends to identify with the government's interests more than his own.

For example, Padilla thought his lawyers were unfair in their rigorous questioning of the FBI agents who arrested him at O'Hare airport. This is a "typical response," writes Hegarty, a modified version of the Stockholm syndrome in which hostages identify with their captors. Because the captors "hold all the power," the more the captive identifies with that power, "the safer he feels."

As Padilla's been held largely incommunicado since 2002, I can't say I'm really surprised. I am, however, ashamed that we've done this to someone—even someone who may not have been a saint; "if men were angels" and all that.

As an aside, the lead-in to the story (no audio available yet audio now available at the link above) explained that NPR had long ago made a conscious decision to pronounce his name "pah-DILL-ah" (that's "dill" as in the pickle) rather than the typical Spanish-language "pah-DEE-yah." Turns out that was just a mistake, based on an incorrect filing in court.

Coming up on the five-year mark, and we just now got the guy's name right. Great.