Boom, Thwack, Boom

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." - H.D. Thoreau

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Update your browsers.

Anything else would be uncivilized.

I'll be posting here occasionally, but Tumblr posting is easier. Flat out. Is this about me being lazy? You bet it is.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Brother's Meme Challenge

Hey there! I hope you've been following my web misadventures at my Tumblr site (it's the awesomeness).

My older brother tagged me with a meme, so I thought I'd say to myself, "have at it, hoss" and so I'm giving this a whirl.

This particular meme involves historical figures. The rules are simple:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) List 7 random/weird things about your favorite historical figure.
3) Tag seven more people at the end of your blog and link to theirs.
4) Let the person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

1) My brother Mike tagged me. He assumed that I would pick someone not from the realm of science. He thought right.

I have chosen silent film actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle (1887-1933). Not my favorite historical figure ever, but someone fascinating, definitely.

7 facts about Fatty Arbuckle:

1. Fatty Arbuckle received the first million-dollar contract from a movie studio. In 1918!
2. Charlie Chaplin created the famous "tramp" character after borrowing some of Arbuckle's clothes, which were baggy on him.
3. Fatty Arbuckle gave Buster Keaton his start in films, as well, launching another legendary career.
4. Despite the hoopla around his trial for allegedly killing a woman via a rape, Arbuckle was never found guilty.
5. In fact, history has shown that newspaperman William Randolph Hearst intentionally set out to convict Arbuckle in the press.
6. Another comedian who received his start through Arbuckle? Bob Hope.
7. Arbuckle died of a heart attack the day he signed a contract to return to making feature films under his own name.

Okay. Tagging whoever reads this to give it a shot.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Boston Vs. New York, again.

Adolph Hitler (red was chosen for Nazi armbands in tribute to Ted Williams)
Osama Bin Laden (9/11 attacks provoked by 1991 autograph snub by Larry Bird, fuck you Larry Bird)
Dane Cook (likes Boston teams because they're trendy)
Rev. Jim Jones (had a tryout with the Bruins)
Dick Cheney (admires Bill Belichick's tactics, sportsmanship)
Pol Pot (favorite article of clothing: Bobby Orr jersey)
Idi Amin (huge BC fan, apparently - who knew?)
Joseph Stalin (again with the color red - coincidence?)
Heinrich Himmler (nicknamed penis "The Green Monster")

Pope John Paul II (cried when Rangers won Stanley Cup in 94)
Mother Teresa (secret crush on ex-Yankee outfielder Mel Hall in 80s)
Dalai Lama (loves Knicks despite Isaiah Thomas, prays for firing daily)
Princess Diana (Prince Harry conceived after Game 6 of 86 World Series)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (Elston Howard was a close confidante)
John Lennon (season ticket holder, NY Cosmos soccer)
Mahatma Gandhi (family friend of the Mara family)
Jonas Salk (schoolmate of Lou Gehrig's at Columbia)

Choose a side, America.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January Playlist - and a quick update.

So, January's been a busy-busy month! My new job's been keeping me busy - quite busy, really. I've been grading papers for the last two hours, after a day of administering state tests...craziness. But this is not a sob story. I love it. I really do.

Here are some songs that I've been digging lately.

1. "When I Dream Of Michaelangelo," Counting Crows. One of Adam Duritz's greatest traits as a songwriter is his seemingly innate ability to be self-referential. "When I Dream Of Michaelangelo," from the upcoming album Saturday Nights and Sunday mornings, swipes a phrase - and a bit of arrangement - from the Crows' earlier "Angels Of The Silences." A quiet, meditative tune with strummed acoustic guitar, piano, and banjo. I like it a great deal.

2. "See The World," Gomez. I was an early adopter of Gomez - in the mid-1990s, when I was reviewing music for my school paper, Virgin Records sent me their first album, and I adored it. This is a more recent tune, catchy and jangly and all kinds of wonderful.

3. "Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife," Drive-By Truckers. From the upcoming Brighter Than Creation's Dark, this is another catchy, jangly, banjo-driven tune with phenomenal harmonies. Huh. Leave it to me to, once I move back to the rap-music capital of the world, lean heavily on acoustic, quasi-country music.

4. "Happy," Martin Sexton. Martin Sexton always makes me think of my favorite time, the mid-winter at LeMoyne College in the mid-90s. Then, Sexton used to come by yearly and play a small venue there. The man has a remarkable voice. Check out this tune after a couple of beers and some conversation with good friends. It is worthwhile.

5. "Love Letter," Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I'm in an optimistic mood about love again. It comes and goes, I suppose, so I'm going to savor this optimism while it's here. Cave's achingly beautiful voice says it all: "love letter, love letter, go get her, go get her." It doesn't look like much in print, but dig it in stereo.

In other news, I've started a lazier, link-heavy blog at - check that out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Election Time Is Upon Us Once Again.

Tomorrow, the election season officially kicks off with the Iowa caucus. While we're not going to endorse voting for one candidate or another - that's really not our thing - we would like to remind you, dear readers, of one thing.

The people have the power to redeem the work of fools.

Get out there and vote, please.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Meandering Thoughts: 5 Song Lyrics That Shall Double As My New Years Resolutions

"If I could tell your future, I say 'love the world you find'
in the dark times and the hard questions
let some sunshine in your mind."
- The Flaming Lips, "Love The World You Find"

"Don't let hurricanes hold you back
Raging rivers or shark attacks
Find love, then give it all away."
- Clem Snide, "Find Love"

"The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time."
- James Taylor, "The Secret O'Life"

"Don't let me into this year with an empty heart."
- Josh Ritter, "Empty Hearts"

"I will try to understand
Everything has its plan
Either way, I'm gonna stay."
- Wilco, "Either Way"

In summation: I would like to enjoy the world (as it is, right now) more, to find enough love that I can reciprocate and then some, enjoy the passage of time, allow myself to keep an open heart right now, and not be consumed by the things that I cannot control. Not too shabby, song lyrics! (I would also like to lose some weight.)

Happy new year, dear readers!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Year In Retrospective Part Two: Ten Other Awesome Things

For someone like myself, who prides himself on his voracious consumption of pop culture, I had a bit of an off-year. I didn't see too many movies, I'm not really big into the whole "buying CDs thing," and I didn't watch a whole lot of television, really. So, what I'm going to do for my second Year In Retrospective post is to talk about 10 random pop-culture things that fascinated me this calendar year. Some TV, some movies, some odds and ends. It's kind of a potpourri post.

1. Season Three of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." This was the year I discovered the funniest show on television. The cast of Charlie Day, Rob McElhenny, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson, and Danny DeVito may be the best comedic ensemble right now. Most of my highlights from this season involve the aforementioned Mr. Day as "Charlie," whose antics included (but were not limited to) dressing up as Serpico while taping a huge recording device to his chest, huffing spray paint while writing homoerotic glam-rock songs, and becoming a fake-lawyer utilizing a clip-on tie and jargon lifted directly from marathons of "Law and Order." Trust me, it's awesome. My favorite television of the year.

2. Judd Apatow. "Knocked Up" and "Superbad" were both hilariously funny movies. It's hard to believe that, just a few years ago, Apatow was known largely for writing and producing wonderful television that nobody watched ("Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared"). Now, he's the acknowledged god of comedy as both director and producer - and, more importantly, his movies are pretty awesome.

3. The Perez Hilton backlash. Last year's guilty pleasure - - has become this year's whipping boy, thanks largely to the aforementioned Mr. Hilton, who went from being a snarky underground blogger to an overexposed multimedia annoyance. This time next year, he'll be lucky to be on Celebrity Fit Club. This year, he's the answer to the question "What if Bruce Vilanch was a worse dresser and actually less funnier?"

4. The Onion AV Club - the best regularly-updated pop-culture site out there right now ( Unlike most media outlets, the Onion serves up large, intellectual interviews and features in this section of their site, and maintains a certain wit and flair while doing so.

5. The "I'm Not There" Soundtrack, which is the perfect tribute album to Bob Dylan, authored in the name of soundtracking a movie about Bob Dylan which never once mentions the name Bob Dylan.

6. Independent radio. 90.7 FM in New York City. 97.7 in Amsterdam. 102.7 in Vermont. It's a beautiful world when you have the ability to listen to Belle and Sebastian and the Clash on your way into work. In an era of increasing media consolidation, these bastions of independent thought are absolutely to be cherished and patronized.

7. The cast of "Arrested Development" are, in lieu of continuing to create the most excellent show on television, making magic at the movies. Jason Bateman and Michael Cera reteam in the critically-acclaimed "Juno," Will Arnett made the funny in "Blades of Glory," and Cera struck comedy gold in "Superbad." Even the atrocious "Alvin and the Chipmunks" movie was redeemed (somewhat) by David Cross, who chose to chew up scenery as a hilariously slimy music mogul. (and yes, I saw it. God have mercy on my soul.)

8. "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah," by the "30 Rock" character Tracy Jordan. "Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves." Actually, pretty much anything on "30 Rock" this year was awesome. Except for the shameless "Bee Movie" pandering of Jerry Seinfeld.

9. The continued emergence of Steve Carell, who, if he continues to make the right choices, will be the next Tom Hanks. Mark ye my words.

10. Finally, as someone who abhors pre-packaged pop music, watching the freefall into chemical oblivion of stars like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and others has been nothing short of schadenfreude for me. On one hand, I know that they're just people with problems, which is sad. On the other hand, it's very, very awesome.