a dead dog with sticks in its eyes

i think these things are bruising my ears
Yesterday my headphones at work broke. That sucks, I knew $20 Target headphones wouldn’t be the pinnacle of quality, but c’mon… I’ve only had ’em for like a month and half now. It sucked, because I was totally groovin’ to some old Beulah at the time – and then I realized I couldn’t hear the left channel. Turns out I’d been listening to one channel for like two days and handn’t even noticed it. I thought the chorus on those Vanderslice songs sounded kinda weak.. sounds much better with the left channel. Sheesh.

Anyway, Anthony had an old pair of Kenwood noise-reducing headphones that were broke. He gave ’em to me and showed me where to order the replacement part, $25 for $150 headphones ain’t bad… sucka. Since I need music to survive at work, I’ve got these things taped up and lookin’ way ghetto on my head – but I’ve got tunes.

Tonight’s the show in SF, we’re leaving here at 5pm and heading over. Should be a good show – I’ll put a some impressions up tomorrow. Steve asked me this morning what my annual concert budget was like… that’s a good question. I’d say it’s the majority of my “entertainment” costs, and since the little indie bands we go see usually only charge ~$15 per ticket… I think it’s not a bad deal.

I have been getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger on a 4-track lately. My camera sold for $375 on Ebay, and I could get a nice used Tascam for that. I was thinking the other day how I used to just lock myself in the room and try to make songs. I’d like to do that again, only this time I actually think I might be able to put something together. Who knows. I’d probably buy it and use it for a week before it went on a shelf.

Looks like they are finally going forward with the plans to put a mall by our house. Hopefully that will make my property value go up and I can be rich. I keep waiting for that day when I suddenly, and without any effort on my part, become stinking rich. I mean, I know it’s gonna happen… I just have to be patient and wait for the waves of money to overcome me.

Oh yeah, I found a new band to love. Stumbled across a group called The Decemberists on absmi the other night, I did a quick lookup on Pitchfork and saw both albums rated in the 8’s – so it was on. The singer reminds me of the dude from Neutral Milk Hotel, but the music is pure awesome. Beatlesey, old-timey, and very E6ish in general. Dave say: “good!”

That’s about it today, nothing too entertaining. Anthony said I shouldn’t drop this link, that I should rewrite it in first-person. I kinda agree, but I just wanna be done with it, since my writing inspiration sometimes comes in spurts – and that subject has been all spurted out. Anyway, some light afternoon reading.

Dave out.

first times

i don't know why i write these
Still sick it would seem. I feel now like it’s not as debilitating, but tiring; and I’m tired of it. I really don’t want to feel sub-par for the shindig tomorrow night, but it looks like I just can’t shake this bug. Bummer.

Sometime mid-week, Ben reminded me that we have the Modest Mouse / Shins show this Sunday night. Shortly after, he found out that all three shows are completely sold out. I dunno, but finding out that three consecutive nights at the Fillmore were sold out immediately increases the value of that concert’s stock to me. Where before I was excited to go, now I’m really geared up. I’m hoping for a great show – I’m always impressed with the sound in the Fillmore, it’s a great place to hear live music.

The temperature is dropping and that makes my brain go all “Fall.” The grey-skied, cold and windy days that I love so much. I guess they remind me of being a kid in Lompoc, learning songs about pilgrims and stuff. The end of the year was always my favorite. The holiday trifecta, my birthday, the weather, everything.

Mom, close your eyes.

In 1992 I was dating this girl who lived about 40min from me. I was a brand new driver, so I would go visit her a lot. I had worked for a summer at Sea World, making turkey sandwiches for tourists – and was rewarded with two free passes to Disney World. One Saturday we used the free passes, went to Disney, and then came home to her place. Her parents weren’t home. I remember we started watching Radio Flyer on HBO. Making out in the living room, we decided to retire to her bedroom to seal the deal. The first time for each of us, it of course sucked. The year-old condom I had kept in my wallet broke after about 5min, I woulda been safer sheathing Excalibur in cling-wrap. I remember she was wearing black underwear. We “did it” a couple more times over the next month, and then broke up. Ahhh… young love… so meaningful.

I’m Dave. I played the best rat of ’em all in the Clarence Ruth Elementary School stage production of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.” I’m out.

a thing for folding

It's a $20, I swear...
I’m pretty sure I have what Freud referred to as an “oral fixation.” Wait, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Despite what a Google search turns up on the term (porn rules the internet, it would seem), a latent (or adulthood) oral fixation manifests mostly in things like nailbiting, smoking, chewing on junk, etc. Man do I have that. I gnaw on everything. Straws, plastic bottle caps, my own cheek, etc. I don’t typically chew on pen caps, and I don’t bite my nails. I’m more like a goat, just munching on whatever happens to be around. Yesterday Wes came in my cube and asked what I was chewing on… and I wasn’t really shocked when I said “I dunno… I found it on my desk.”

I also have a thing with folding and/or crumpling. If there’s a piece of paper, or any foldable material for that matter, in my hand – I’ll subconsciously fold and crumple it. I do it with stuff that I shouldn’t too, like balling up a receipt while I’m standing in line to return the item that I got it for. I usually only realize what I’m doing when I look down at it. As a kid, I remember being fascinated by repeatedly crumpling and smoothing paper until it had the consistency of cotton. Jeez, maybe my dad was right… maybe I am crazy.

Frank wrote me again, and said he would be doing the gas chamber on what was this past Monday. Man, that must suck. Glad I’m not brave enough, or called by some crazy sense of duty, to go into the Army. No, really, I’m quite proud of him. He and Angela are planning to get married sometime around Christmas, so strange to think of my bro being married. What are those kids gonna be like?

This is the 58th blog entry I’ve done. I don’t think I’ve missed a day yet (not counting weekends). That’s insane.

Dave out.

what doesn’t make the cut

it's like my water...
Still sick, altho possibly on the mend today. TheraFlu comes correct with mediciny goodness, making me feel much better. Fixed the sprinkler yesterday… dug it up and re-piped the whole thing. I couldn’t have broke it better had I been aiming with the assistance of ground-penetrating sonar. I ended up smashing right through a 3/4″-1/2″-1/2″ T joint which connected two different pipe sizes and a sprinkler head. I had to replace the whole junction… ugh. Glad that’s done.

It’s crazy what kinda stuff your brain commits to memory, and what stuff doesn’t make the cut. For instance, I can recall the lyrics to what must be hundreds of random songs… … I brought you a crate of papaya, They waited all night by your door… – but I have trouble remembering stuff I went in debt to learn. I can remember where the 5th Tri-Force was in the Kingdom of Hyrule, as well as how to knock out Don Flamenco and King Hippo in under 30sec – but I can’t for the life of me remember how to balance a chemical equation… and I took exams on that shit. Wanna know how to make Mario get crown-triangle lives by hopping on a turtle shell?, I got ya. What’s that? You say you’re interested in a word-for-word retelling of the “foot massage” scene from Pulp Fiction? I’m your man. You want to know what? No, I’m sorry – I forget exactly where Kentucky is on the map… I’d need a book for that.

It’s like Laplace Transform goes into my brain, attempts to take up residence, and Don Flamenco says “Sorry, me and King Hippo got this space reserved; you might wanna try moving in next door to ‘up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-select-start’ or that 6th grade gym locker combination over there.” Poor Laplace, seems like all my available brain space is taken up by completely useless knowledge.

Friday’s party is creepin’ up slow. Ended up reserving a keg o’ Honey Beer from Beermann’s for the soiree. Should be a good time. Expect pictures from the goings-on sometime early next week.

Dave out.

eating & prioritization

corn at the ready!
When I sit down to eat a meal, I subconsciously prioritize the food items before digging in. I mean, if there are several types of food on the plate, my goal is to have my last bite be of my favorite one – therefore I finish the meal with the best taste in my mouth. This practice involves a certain amount of “pacing” and forethought. Say for example there are three items: corn, mashed taters, and steak. Now, Dave loves steak, and taters, and even corn… but within seconds my brain is taking stock of the grub and spitting out my strategy. One bite of steak, maybe dipped in taters, then two or three bites of corn. The corn should shrink at approximately a 2:1 ratio compared to the steak and taters. It’s hard to decide between the steak and taters for who gets to finish last, but usually the steak will be smaller, so you have to gear ratio them correctly to each other in order to make them finish simultaneously.

Sometimes, however, certain “sleeper” foods require on-the-fly, in-meal, re-prioritization. For instance, let’s pretend I start my three-part meal mentioned above, and dig into the corn. What’s this? There’s some kind of spicy thing in this corn? And it also has little baby potato pieces in it? Man… this corn is awesome! Now the brain takes over and immediately begins running a secondary meal endgame simulation. Is this corn good enough to shake up the current food standings? Now we shift gears, suddenly I begin eating potatoes over corn at a 3:1 ratio. Mind you, this kind of re-prioritization can occur several times during a meal. I mean, it would have to, wouldn’t it? There’s nothing worse than ending a fine meal on a sour note of refried beans or something… you always want that last hunk of chimchanga to be the last thing delights your palette before pushing away from the table, fully satiated. At mealtimes, my brain is just a statistician for my gut, and a pretty accurate one at that.

Last night Ben and I worked on the Halloween display. I “aged” some tombstones using spraypaint, water, and other means. We spread Woolite on the fabric for the flying crank ghost, and we made more progress on the cemetery fencing. I also carved another tombstone epitaph with the Dremel: “Sharaun. She’s gone.” short and sweet. The projects are progressing nicely, and I am on track to have them all set up by next weekend.

OK, that’s enough for me for today. I gotta stop writing so much, blogs are getting long!

what’d you say about…

was it something I drank?
Ahh… damn you barleywine. Damn you Anthony’s kegerator; your ease-of-use factor is seriously harmful. You sit there and tempt me with your sleek blackness and your silent offerings of cool delicious quaff. You make no audible sounds as I drop your hammer and top off yet another frosty mug, yet you thank me telepathically with each swallow. So what if I drank too much for a Thursday… or Mardi Gras, for that matter. You guys were cheering me on, chanting “drink! drink! drink!” Wait, that was in my head? You guy’s weren’t cheering me on? Dang.

Yeah well, we went to Anthony’s last night to watch Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. I know, it’s totally B-list at this point, but I’d never seen it, and Ben talks about it like it’s right up my “thinkin’ man’s” alley. A lot of people have said a lot of stuff about this movie, and without getting too much into it – I’ll simply say that I liked it. I liked it a lot. Sure, Moore is an expert at making his point – and he’s cunning and crafty in baiting people into reinforcing that point, even when they are in total disagreement with it. Contrary to what a lot of people get from it, I didn’t really see Moore assigning blame to any one group or factor – I considered it a really open-ended piece. But that’s the beauty of it. Anyway, I said I wouldn’t really get into it, so I won’t.

On the music tip, I was extremely glad when Ben rang me up yesterday evening to tell me that the new Beulah album had been leaked to the ‘net. I grabbed it as soon as I got home. Beulah has a special place in my musical canon, their sophomore album, When Your Heartstrings Break, was the first album I got when I moved to California. I played that thing to death, and that sound kind of embodied the whole “I’m a Californian” thing to me. Anyway, the new album is called Yoko – and from the few times I’ve been able to hear it, it sounds much better than their last effort. Anyway, the leaking of the album bumped me over what I like to call the “comp line.” This is the point where I have enough good new music to compile an mp3 cd of “new shit.” For your enjoyment, here’s a filetree from the latest comp (albums not linked to reviews are early leaks for which I couldn’t find a proper writeup):

Folder PATH listing for volume new_shit
Volume serial number is 71FAE346 9031:0187
+---appleseed cast - two conversations
+---beulah - yoko
+---death cab for cutie - transatlanticism
+---earlimart - everything down here
+---long winters - the worst you can do is harm
+---long winters - when i pretend to fall
+---snow patrol - final straw
+---stars - heart
+---stars - nightsongs
+---strokes - room on fire
+---the shins - chutes too narrow

On the “your mom” joke tip, Anthony broke the mold yesterday and created what I believe to be a whole new breed of YMJ. For the uninitiated, a “your mom” joke is a quick way to make the guys laugh. If the crew you run with is OK with rude and, more often than not, lewd jokes being told at their mothers’ expense – then you have the right ingredients. We make YMJs more often than any other joke, mainly because they are fast and easy, and generally get a hearty laugh. They can take almost any form, and don’t even really have to make sense. Nearly any statement can be turned into a YMJ. “Dang, this rock is heavy.” “Your mom is heavy.” “Man, that bike ride wore me out.” “I wore your mom out.” As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Anyway, Anthony came up with an unconventional, outside-the-box YMJ – and you, faithful reader, can read the IM transcript of it’s inception right here:

Anthony says:
you really suck as a friend
Dave says:
yeah… i know.
Dave says:
Anthony says:
on a call
Dave says:
Dave says:
i need some peanuts
Anthony says:
my mom said you are packing a peanut…so why not just play with them
Dave says:
hey! you turned a your mom joke around on me!
Anthony says:
I just bagged on you through my mom…that is the best ever
Dave says:
that’s an innovation i think. a first.
Dave says:
that was awesome
Dave says:
a whole new breed of joke
Anthony says:
need to show that one to ben
Dave says:
i think i might copy this whole chat into the blog it’s so good
Anthony says:

To explain a bit: sometimes after lunch, I get a hankerin’ for these toffee-coated peanuts that the store in the lobby sells. Hence the “peanuts?” line above. Oh, and Anthony is always telling me I’m a sucky friend. The “new hotness” about this joke is that Anthony actually sacrifices his own mom for the sake of insulting me. Now, those are some high stakes – but I think the rewards can sometimes justify the price. Kudos.

On the random tip, I really thought this was a cool story. Who knew that diesel engines could run on vegetable oil? Well, not me, OK?