Only a Penitent Man Will Pass

It’s time to get thankful.

I’m thankful for I’m still digging through this man’s photolog and enjoying every minute. It’s addicting. It’s feeding a hunger I didn’t know I had. Plus it gives me great links like Ghost Town Gallery and Defunct Amusement Parks and a geographically accurate map of the London Underground and Jeff Bridges‘ entirely hand-written website.

I’m thankful for Blue Man Group who are expanding the boundaries of art and contradicting Sammy Hagar‘s theory that there is only one way to rock. They are also responsible for the amazing Exhibit 13.

I’m thankful for the music section of the Laman Library because I never would have heard Stereolab’s Dots and Loops without it.

I’m thankful for my job, despite the lack of windows in our office now.

I’m especially thankful that Natalie lets me kiss her on a regular basis. I think that means I’m her boyfriend. She’s amazing.

Of course I’m thankful for all the typical stuff: remarkably not-lame parents, family, friends, apartment, health, wealth, etc.

An Unfortunate Confluence

Why does the universe hate me?!!

I’ve waited almost two months for this day. Already irksome is the fact that Fate has conspired to bring two great shows to my town on the same night: the Incredible Moses Leroy and John Mayer. I should mention that these two acts are responsible for recording two of my favorite albums of the 21st century. Playing it safe, I chose the Incredible Moses Leroy.

Chris, Heather and I get to the venue, Sticky Fingerz, at 7:15 or so, to grab some food and get good seats. Most shows at Stickies start between 9:00 and 9:30, so that’s a good plan, right? Wrong. Nothing was even set up onstage until 10:00pm or so, and the opening act, Lucious Spiller, didn’t start until around then. So between 7:30 and 10:00 I’m sitting with my people watching ESPN college football highlights. Twice, because they loop evidently. I kept seeing the same plays.

Eventually, the John Mayer crowd starts streaming in a little after 11:00. D’oh!! My friend Randall went to the show with 6th row seats he bought from a guy outside the arena. He made it to Stickies just in time. Fucker!

The band comes in and sets up around 11:00, and plays from about 11:30 to 12:15 or so. That’s it. I had plenty of time to talk to them, and their reasoning was that the crowd wanted dance music, not their stuff. No real Moses Leroy fans there (except me, Chris and Heather and the table of people I helped bring in). I did get an autographed CD, and Ron, the lead singer and songwriter, gave me his email address. So that’s cool.

My friends go off elsewhere to continue drinking. I go home, but as soon as my shoes are off, I realize I forgot to pay my tab! So I go back to Stickies and get that done. I should’ve tried to convince Ron to go hang out somewhere, but he had some chick begging him to go to Discovery…I think he just wanted to chill out on the bus. Oh well.

Epilogue to this debacle: PBS aired John Mayer with Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section – a show I actually thought would be really cool before I even knew it was happening) this same evening. I had set my VCR to record it, but evidently I failed to properly program the show, so it didn’t catch it.

AAAAAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!! Colonel Klink why have you forsaken me!???

Rod Serling is Standing Behind Me

This has to be one of the freakiest coincidences ever to occur in my life. My brother Trey was brainstorming for fundraising ideas for the Arkansas AIDS Foundation that he helms, and he came up with a charity debate between Ben Stein and Al Franken.

That was two months ago.

Today I received this from Arkansas Business.

There has to be a connection. It’s too astronomical to comprehend otherwise. Not that they’re debating, but that they’re doing it in Arkansas.

On a similar track, a few months ago I thought it would be cool if John Mayer were to do something with Double Trouble, since he’s such an SRV fan. Then I found out about this.

So it would seem that the McCorkindale brothers are somewhat clairvoyant.


Some random comments:

I find it ironic that the word “monosyllabic” has 5 syllables.

If you find yourself wondering, “what the hell is the Fibonacci series?” Well, now you can find out:

Taco Bell has done something I never thought I’d see a major fast food chain do: they improved their product without increasing the price, and actually improved the healthiness of it by a smidgen. They’ve introduced the “Fresco” style of their products – which entails replacing cheese with a light salsa. So instead of cheese, you essentially get diced tomatoes. Hoo-Ra! They’re marketing it as a lower-fat, healthier option, which, as a statement from Taco Bell, is almost too ironic to exist.

Their website even has a nutritional chart. Somehow I think this might someday become admissible court evidence in another “Your company made me fat” case, but I’m glad to have it.

Also, never buy squeezable jelly. Squeezing the jelly from its container is an unnecessarily laborious process. The visual and auditory similarities to certain rectal expulsion processes is too great to be ignored, thus thoroughly ruining any appetite one may have previously had.

The Joys of a Small Company

At work, I had previously depended upon the neighboring office’s coffee service (utter swill, but not so malevolent as to be undrinkable), so moving to a new place necessitated the purchase of our own coffee maker. I lobbied for better coffee, so they sent me to Sam’s and said get what you want within x budget. So I got an OK coffee maker but I also invested in some Starbucks beans (far be it from me to further extend the global domination of Starbucks, but it was either that or Folgers) and a grinder. It’s amazing the difference good coffee can make in life. Well, better coffee anyways. And I’m not just saying that because I’m amped up on unnecessarily strong coffee (in absence of any measuring devices at the office, I judged by sight, a skill that still requires refinement).

In addition, we have the added bonus of being able to play music in the office without bothering the neighbors. So this morning it’s Starbucks house blend and Victor Wooten’s Alive in America. Life is improving.

Brackish Girth Bramble

Often I get spam emails full of totally random words. I received this today:

“hoff acanthus spouse curvature dishwater shimmy prevention proficient echinoderm seek aruba karate carrara eyebrow deluge ancestry afterimage cameraman scaffold hartman dorchester curl leery forbearance brackish girth bramble

exonerate kick node pig amherst wonder bahama anise despite glove valentine budge bini letterman coastline exculpate codpiece barcelona decrypt segregate”

I should mention that this arrived in the form of an HTML email that my spam detector deactivated into source code. These random words were set to a white font (spam within spam!) so that they weren’t legible. The main text of the email was some “click here” nonsense to some crappy website. I got much more enjoyment out of the utter randomosity of these terms. I have a theory that the future of humor is randomness. Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis has a couple of scenes where two characters speak in random words:

Woman: Arsenal. Nose army.
Elmo Oxygen: Nose army. Beef diaper?
Woman: Nomenclature.
Elmo Oxygen: Throbbing dust generation!
Woman: Drum tissue outburst.
Elmo Oxygen: Jigsaw. Uh, fragment chief butter. King surgery mind?
Woman: Bunny bucket.
Elmo Oxygen: Precision galley sponge.
Woman: Smell sign.

It’s really hard to come up with truly random words. The human brain is hardwired to associate. Try coming up with random phrases sometime. Bucket flange.

Paradigm Shift

Everything has changed. Strange roads, stops, starts, unfamiliar landmarks…even my destination has been profoundly altered. I work in a different place. My office is now located in an entirely different area, requiring me to find a new route to work, and to deal with the limitations of my new workspace. Change is inevitable, and with everything that is gained, something is lost. Previously we were cramped for space and the neighboring office’s ambient noise was often distracting. Now we have far more space than we need, and the silence is deafening. Worst of all, I no longer work in a room with windows. I do, however, have an enormous amount of dining and errand-running options nearby compared to the old place, which was in close proximity to nothing of civilized consequence.

So I now find myself doing the same job, the same activities, in a new space. It’s a lot like having a new job. I’m still trying to find the best path from home to work and back. I think I’ve got it figured out – the most direct route is least often the quickest; and it looks like driving home will need to be a different route from driving to work. North Little Rock is a maze of senseless design and bumpy terrain. It may take a couple of days to refine, but for the most part I will still enjoy the simple pleasures of driving in the opposite direction of everyone else.

Perhaps tomorrow the plumbing will be turned on and we can stop walking to the Laman Public Library to use the bathroom. Only then will some semblance of normalcy return to my life. That, and the purchase of a microwave and a coffee maker.

Dressed Up Fancy

Here’s a picture of Tara and I from the Dallas trip. And I wrote a small press release with a group picture on it. I really should get my own digital camera. The one we had was kind of crusty.

Dressed up fancy

Last weekend Heather Smith and Ben Matthews got married. Two days before they asked me to play bass on a song they wanted to sing together at the ceremony. I said sure. It was “The Promise” by Tracy Chapman and it was a tricky little tune. The parts were recorded on a fretless, and probably a 5-string, but I did what I could and it didn’t seem to overly suck. So that’s always good. After that I went home to Harrison for the first time since spring. Yes, I’m a terrible son.