Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I didn't pick up the homophone. Please leave a message.

It's a sad legacy of the Bush presidency that, upon hearing a southern-twanged candidate for local office say, "I will promote turrism [sic]," I immediately think of this instead of this.

{first image via}

Monday, October 29, 2007

Overheard Edition

Guy: But...but...

Girl: I was just mad at you for calling me a Dodge Caravan.

Noted, without comment.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Role Model

I strive to influence my friends and consorts, most notably in the area of wit and humor, deeming myself a superior judge in these areas, even if said friends and consorts inform me that I am amusing precisely ten percent of the time. Fools, the lot of them.

So it is with pride that I report Boobers' progress—he's wearing his punderwear with estimable panache:

Me: Does that person's forehead seem unusually large?
Boobers: Looks more like a five-head.

I applaud you, good sir.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hot-Air Emissions

Jacob Slichter's So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star is a great read. I particularly enjoyed his takedown of A&R types, the folks whose job it is to emit a steady stream of smoke; destination: your ass.

For instance! I was recently informed that, with just a bit of gumption, I could soon be opening for Maroon 5—well, not their US tour, but probably their European tour. Hey! Great!'Twill dovetail nicely with my plans to summer in Monaco. Thanks A&R guy!

But wait. With all this sure-to-come fame and fortune, there must exist some zen-like approach, a way to maintain one's focus and clarity.

Aha! Quoth other A&R guy:

"If you can sees it, you can seize it.
Duly noted. Will commence "seesing" it forthwith.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


My roommates' cat is named as if he has a military rank. Let us call him Leftenant.

Leftenant is not a very nice cat. He doesn't, for instance, like to cuddle lovingly on your lap, purring away the evening while you sip down a bottle of Shiraz. He's likelier to wile away the night, scowling beneath a table, emerging only to eat or to cackle at you, "MWAH!" (which means, "Let me the fuck out already, you bastard").

I think he suffers from Asperger syndrome, even if diagnosing the disorder on the basis of a quick wikipedia read is more than a bit oversimplified. Oh, and he's a cat. Let us simply say he's got Catsperger syndrome and call it even.

Leftenant likes to hang out in my room. Maybe because it's dark, and I'm never really in there except to sleep. The comfortable array of clothes strewn about the floor must be inviting, too. Like that red T-shirt that's in front of my dresser right now. He'd love to sleep there. In a very dark room. So that when I go in to get something from my dresser I step on him awkwardly and hard.

"MWAAAAAAAAAA!" he said (which means, "You FUCK! FUCK! OW! FUCK! OWWWWWWWWW! FUCK!").

And now he's looking at me with distrust and boiling rage.

The data suggests that people with Asperger syndrome are not disposed to violent behavior. But cats? I guess we'll find out tonight.

If I make it through the night alive.

(Sorry, Leftenant!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Very Old Spice

I have decided to grow (something that sort of kind of resembles) a beard, and it is not as hard to do as I had expected. One just kind of does nothing and waits for the results. But it itches a bit.

Stanley had (almost) nothing to do with this desicion, which is not to say that I don't respect his openness to new types of facial hair, but mostly it is because I am lazy. Stanley has wonderful facial hair. Stanley is nearly fearless when it comes to attempting to popularize new and unique ways of complimenting one's face. Which I hope he takes as a compliment. Which is what it is.

Anyways I am working so much that I never have time to shave and I have turned that lack of time into an attempt to grow a beard. Also I rarely have time to shower, which I can't really turn into any kind of fashion statement but if there is one that involves lots of deodorant and cologne and never cleaning oneself, let me know.

When you're drinking your $100 Pinot Noir, think of me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On top

I posit that jalapeños and pineapple are the greatest possible pizza topping combination.

[cross-posted at cVillain]

Sorry, everyone

Admission: I keep track of birthdays, to the extent that I keep track of birthdays at all, almost exclusively through myspace and facebook, thus excluding a significant number of friends who do not partake in the social-networking services of these fine websites.

But then, prior to myspace and facebook, I forgot pretty much everyone's birthday. So: net gain!

I now know what a "onesie" is

A high school friend recently had a baby, and she has wasted no time engaging in the (new-ish?) ritual of posting her baby's photos on her myspace site. I noticed one of the kid wearing this onesie, and which led me to look at the other available baby garb on cafepress.

By far the weirdest I found was this one:

What the hell is that even supposed to mean? I took it to be some general swipe at the UN, which might make sense, especially if the parents who buy it also buy this one. But now I'm thinking it's some specific UNICEF policy critique popular with the mommy bloggers that I've just missed entirely.

Regardless, I should mention: Potential Future Children of Stanley: I will never make you wear this outfit. Promise.

Friday, October 12, 2007


A friend boasts an almost shamanistic abillity to classify humans by the animal they most resemble. It's not the first time I've encountered this game. (Indeed, I inevitably get filed under "rat" or "squirrel" in the taxonomy; lamentable, but explicative, perhaps, of the strong emotional reaction I had to Disney's Ratatouille.) Does this classification work for everyone? The friend's abililties seem boundless.

Related: in searching for a title for this post, I (with some much appreciated eekbeat assistance) came upon this fascinating site listing words with a "therio-" root.

(Yeesh: typos galore. Fixed.)

A Lament

When in the course of googling the tubes, one encounters a result such as this one, one must chasten the heart. For, certain career paths seem irrevocably dispreferred.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pretty please, can you measure out 440 grams of Opti-Red?

So::: at work, every day, inevitably, I am telling certain people what to do. Not everybody. Certain people. Things need to get done and I tell these certain people to do those things, and they do, and those things get done.

So my question::: when these certain people tell me that I would make "a really really awesome border guard," does that mean that I am an asshole?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On the Subject of Burritos, Locally

It is a matter of incontrovertible truth that the finest burrito in town can be had at El Paso Grocery Store on the corner of Meade and Market. In the back of the store, one finds Charlottesville's closest equivalent to a taquería. (N.B., Excluded from the current taxonomy is the infamous taco truck, for as a mobile food-service unit, said taco truck can at any moment exist outside the boundaries of Charlottesville. It's still, rumor has it, delicious.)

Certainly, other burritos merit mention: Atomic's is good; Blue Moon's breakfast burrito is quite comestible (though, truth be told, "breakfast burrito" in general probably ought to be a category unto itself); Qdoba's is good but gets automatically disqualified because it's owned by Jack in the Box. So, El Paso rests atop of a delectable pile of burrito makers.

And yet, despite the preponderance of delicious burritos in-town, one encounters a veritable burrito black hole in the 29 North/Hollymead area (where many a fine Cvillian—your current author included—punches his or her timecard, despite living in-town). This burrito shortfall is at once lamentable and reparable.

With the opening of Martin's Grill Riverside (whoops!) and Christian's Pizza, we have witnessed the successful transition of downtown operations to an outskirt location. Certainly, a burrito entrepeneur—an El Paso II, even?! let us not overexcite ourselves—will eventually follow suit. It can't possibly happen too soon.

Cross-posted at Cvillain

Trickle Up

As indicated in comments, I showed that Petra Haden song to my friend (and sometime bandmate) James, who records and produces a cappella groups for a living. A sampling of some of his work (done with another producer from NC) is available here.

His take on the Petra Haden track:

I listened to it again and it's pretty amateurish by current collegiate a cappella standards. To make the guitar sound at the beginning she's singing "neer neer neer" into a computer program that emulates a guitar amp (the same one I use on our demos, most likely), which has been around since probably 2000 or so. The arrangement is pretty boring and the talking verse is annoying. To be honest, I don't really like her singing voice all that much either, but I'm willing to believe that other people think it's good. I will say one thing to her credit, though - I did a little reading on her and from what I understand she recorded this to an 8-track tape recorder, which presumably means that she has not used computers to correct the intonation, and most college groups couldn't sound this good without fixing their intonation or taking a really long time to get it right naturally. But again, those intonation programs have gotten to the point that you can't tell they were used, and the end result still "sounds" better to my ears than her track, even though she achieved hers without help.
A pretty diplomtatic critique, I thought. But he was the first person I knew whose reaction to the song was basically a write-off. He also pointed me to a college a cappella forum where similar criticisms were tossed around:

I think alt rock critics are getting a bit hung up on the fact that she actually did it - sang every part, all herself. Todd Rundgren, anyone? Bobby McFerrin? I find her voice a but thin, her arrangements (what I've heard of 'em) uninspiring, the whole thing (excuse the expression) more than a little collegiate.


I think if most rock critics would hear some of the better collegiate a cappella out there they would be blown away as well, maybe even more so than with the few things that are making it into the mainstream by higher profile artists who think they are doing something never done before.
Which all, upon reflection, does make sense, even though this reaction initially surprised me. You've got this niche of specialty music, living and breathing the creation of a cappella music. So of course they get uppity when some semi-famous singer comes along and, in their view, does their schtick from five years ago—except now it's met with critical acclaim.

But I also think that any niche music that trickles up toward the mainstream is likely to get diluted [ed. spelling corrected], so it's kind of an intractable problem. I offer an analogue, for everyone knows analogies are always helpful and illuminating:

Imagine Radiohead released a klezmer album. Assuming they'd write songs that sounded really good to the average listener, this album would be a big hit. Radiohead would be toasted once again for crossing new musical boundaries, yadda-yadda.

Meanwhile, the klezmernets kvetch about Thom Yorke having the chutzpah to ape their style (and badly, in their view)—and this kvetching goes largely unnoticed, because, there musical style is and remains a niche genre, notwithstanding Radiohead's success with the style.

And with that to ponder, here's a klezmer band.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I don't think "more cowbell" is going to cut it

I'm convinced that my body temperature runs consistently lower than the 98.6° average. I've noticed that, when I visit the doctor for some non-illness-related reason (a physical, say) and the nurse takes my temp, it tends to run a bit low. 98.3°—around there. I don't know the exact figure.

Which makes it very frustrating to feel like I have a fever, only to have my electronic thermometer tell me I'm cruising along at a healthy 98.6°. Do you even know me, electronic thermometer? Do you know what this means?!

Hmph: This morning it was back down to 97.9° (which sounds like a classic rock radio station).

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I get paid double, too

Sometimes, I blog over here, too.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Random Music Blogging

Los Caballeros - a Croatian mariachi band!

Jud Jud - my roommate Bayleaf says she heard a 7" with even better songs; this video gives you at some idea of their schtick.

Petra Haden - this song has been linked all over the place (cf. here, here, and here), so you're probably the last one to the party if you still haven't heard it. And no, I have no idea what's going on with the video.

and finally:

Darth Vader Plays the Blues - making me chuckle more than probably it should, but I'm giddy; and it's Friday; so I'll deal.


Bonus! Boobers sent me this crazy Imogen Heap video clip.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

No "talking"! (But you can "talk")

No more gerunds for Brazilian bureaucrats:

Brazil's Federal District Governor Jose Roberto Arruda "fired" the present participle from his administration, citing inefficiency.

The present participle is hereby fired from all federal district entities," the governor wrote in a decree posted on the government's Web site last night. "As of today, it is forbidden as an excuse for INEFFICIENCY."

Banning the verb form, which ends in "ndo" in Portuguese ("ing" in English), was done to prevent government officials from using continuous tenses to obscure progress -- or the lack of it.
Not banned: using ALL CAPS, which appear to be in the original, too.


Ever-honest, I must share with you my personal victories along with my defeats.

The scene: an early morning business exchange at work. We observed some birds in the distance. "Must have crows' feet," said a member of the observing gathered.


"Must be eatin' crow," I quite dimly pointed out. (What?! Really?!)

Chuckles from the group—why, I have no idea.

I was tired, people, okay?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Errant Spelling is not a dead (PBUH) producer's name

I can't spell anymore. In eighth grade, I went to regionals—I was the best speller in my entire middle school. Fact. (I lost regionals on the word "haggard", thanks for asking.)

I blame my acquisition of Spanish. The most recent culprit: "occasion" vs. "ocasión".