Friday, October 31, 2008


One of the things I don't like about Facebook is when people I went to high school with "friend" me. Nothing against them, but it has been so long and some of these folks are quite wacked.

Today, for example, this guy who I ran high school track with requests my friendship. I accept, and check out the profile to see what he's been doing all these years. He's ultra conservative, ultra religious. A total RNC nutter.

And his status says "John is looking for his passport so he can make a quick getaway if Obama wins. He's going to Canada if that happens."

Really, John? If we elect a relatively liberal Democrat, you are going to move to Canada? Land of universal health care Canada? Land of gun control Canada? Did you forget that part, John?

John, you are a doofus. Just like when we were in high school.

Rocktober 31 - Fin

It is finished.

Rocktober, that is.

As I mentioned previously, it was an interesting experiment, though ultimately I don't think it engineered the level of awesomeness I had hoped. Still, there are worse ways to spend a month.

Today's awesomeness is minimal, especially after last night. I feel a little weak, not quite hungover, but tired. Fortunately, I managed to structure most of my day in such a way as to put primary responsibility on everyone else ... and come out ahead in doing so!

I just got off the phone with a local TV producer after haggling over details on election night coverage, which I will be minimally involved in, so I guess that's the best and most awesome part of the day.

In a minute, I'm heading home, and later will be meeting up with an old college friend who is crashing with me for the weekend. It will be nice to see her, though her visit comes under the most tragic and sad circumstances I can imagine, so it isn't exactly gonna be a party. I don't think we are going to do much. Maybe grab lunch at Melt tomorrow, maybe bum around my neighborhood. Maybe we'll check out a flick at the Cedar-Lee (I wouldn't mind seeing Burn After Reading or Rachel Getting Married) or grab beers at one of the local watering holes. That'll be fine by me.

In any respect, I wish each of you a happy weekend, a happy Halloween, and a Happy November. I'm optimistic that it will be a better month, with a (hopefully) wonderful electoral outcome and a dramatically lightened workload once the big day passes, a fun work trip to Boston (including a Kings of Leon show at the Orpheum), some great events at the Beachland and CIA, my first ever Browns game, Electric 6 at the Grog, and my third favorite holiday (Thanksgiving, duh, after Labor Day and a perpetual tie between St Patty's and Casimir Pulaski Day). Keep your fingers crossed for me. I mean, for us - you don't want to keep reading all this whiny shit, do you?

Next week you must (or at least really really ought to) do two things

1) VOTE!!!

2) The night before voting, attend this party:

Rocktober 30

Finally, a bit of serious awesomeness, just as Rocktober is ending (thank god).

I appreciate the spirit of this Rocktober experiment, as September (and parts of August) were tough for me this year, and certainly the self-conscious component of this effort has likely made the month better than it would have been otherwise, but still ... I find myself on the cusp of November having survived in October, not really having thrived in Rocktober.

Nevertheless, yesterday was a good day.

I woke up early, but felt good about it. Strolled into my office to catch up on things, not really sure if I had anything booked, and was greeted by a voicemail and a couple emails asking me questions about a public panel I was supposed to appear on and, it turns out, moderate, that had kinda sorta slipped my mind. Despite being written in big black letters on my calendar for the day.

I was hardly distressed, though, and instead swung into action, managing to reply to the emails with measured confidence and show up to the even on time (early, in fact!), at which I performed reasonably well, if I might say so myself.

At the end, I received my renumeration: a bag of chicken wings.

I'll only comment on this to say that there are peaks and valleys in my rate of pay for public lectures and the like. I'll say also that, believe it or not, this wasn't the worst deal I have ever accepted.

Later, I sent off a flurry of formal, letter-headish letters I'd been putting off, and then went home for the afternoon to watch episodes of Charmed (feat. Alyssa Milano in a series of belly-baring sweaters) and get ready for my one and only Halloween event of the season: the much anticipated Beachland Ballroom Hello Cleveland cover band spectacular.

I met up my new buddy Mel at Music Saves, where we enjoyed some cider and I tried to sell the staff on early voting. Then it was off to the Ballroom where my lazy attempt at a costume still managed to qualify for the reduced cover charge. We met up with Matt from Addicted to Vinyl and had a good time rocking out to the cover bands, giving props to the "real" J Geils fans in the house (including the dancing mulletress at the next table), and drinking a few beers.

There were many choice moments in the night, but here is an incomplete list of my favorites:

-- The hecklers telling the chatty singer in Good Touch Bad Touch/The Kinks that he was breaking the third wall by talking so much. Most sophisticated way I've ever heard a rock crowd demand more rock/less talk.

-- The drummer from the Muttering Retreats. That dude brought it, and the fact that it seemed like he was a high schooler that probably had to leave immediately after the set to make curfew made it all the more awesome.

-- Last but not least, falling in love with one of the performers, primarily because of her haircut and, even more, the seething rage that was barely kept in check. Actually, upon further review, it was absolutely not kept in check. I want to be her boyfriend. And, yes, I have problems. Angry hipster chicks turn me on, what can I say?

-- The excessive amount of stage smoke during the Hot Rails/J. Geils Band set. The way the band closed out their portion was absolutely priceless. Ken Janssen is a master showman.

-- Our conversation about who the craziest person in Hollywood is. None of us could top Anne Heche.

There were other ones in there, but my memory isn't what it used to be. Mel, Matt: feel free to add any I've forgotten.

Tis the Season

Happy Halloween, fuckers.

(Yes, in case you were wondering, I'm classy.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Halloween Costume

The love child of these two icons:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

today was not awesome

As you get older, it is harder to make new friends when you relocate. At least, that has been the case for me. I've navigated two cold relocations in the last 6 years - moved first from Illinois to Texas and then from Texas to Clevo without knowing a soul. Each time, it takes quite a while to make new friends, especially good ones.

When I made the first relocation to Texas I immediately got into a romantic relationship. That really made it difficult to meet new folks, as much of my free time was spent with her. No one to blame, and I'm not saying it was even a mistake, but when I moved up here I was determined to meet friends first, girlfriends later.

So, I was pretty darn happy when, a couple months after moving here, I bumped into a guy at a neighborhood bar and struck up a friendly conversation. A few days later, I bumped into him again, while I was walking my dog before going to work and he was walking his girlfriend at the time home. He invited me to stop in his place of work some time (it is a pretty social place, not like an office or something), and a day or so later I took him up on the invitation. We quickly became fast friends, in fact he soon became my very best Cleveland friend and one of my better friends anywhere.

A few months later, I met my ex at the Beachland. As we started dating, she mentioned that she had a keen interest in learning a new skill, one which my new friend did professionally. He gives lessons for a hundred bucks or so, so I bought her one for her birthday - a nice way of encouraging her efforts and putting cash in a buddy's pocket.

She loved it, and over time she kept going back for more lessons and then a kind of unpaid job. And then a paid job.

And after a while we broke up. You know that story, I won't retell it here. If you don't, read back over August and some of September and you'll see my extensive whining and public self-guided therapy about it.

Anyway, we broke up and it didn't have anything to do with the friend or the job. At least I don't think so. Or didn't think so.

It just so happens that I haven't talked to the ex since we broke up, 2+ months ago now, and haven't hung out with the friend for probably 3-4 months. I assume she kept working there, and since I moved to the Heights I haven't even been back to the old neighborhood.

Anyway, today I'm getting a haircut on Coventry at Fast Eddy's, in a chair by the window, looking outside when I see a familiar person walk across the street to the parking lot. I see that person is all cuddled up with another person (inasmuch as one can be cuddled up when walking). I think the chick has a cool hat (and I like girls with cool hats) and then suddenly, stomach lurching, realize ... oh wait ... that's my ex ... and my former friend.

As I'm processing this development, I'm also in mid-sentence to my stylist, but my mouth goes dry and I forget what I was saying. My head clears a few moments later and though I feel a bit nauseous, I manage to barely hold up my end of the conversation. Once the cut is done, I pay, leave, go grab a coffee at the Coventry Phoenix, and then wander the street, stopping in shops as I kill the remaining 40 minutes on my meter, not really looking at anything, not really thinking about anything.

I don't really have a point to all this. Just a weird story that makes me feel sad. I don't feel wronged or betrayed, and at this point I haven't started trying to remember clues or hints that would've indicated there was something fishy going on while we were still dating. There probably wasn't. Maybe there was, but it doesn't really matter. I mean, you gotta go where life takes you, right? And if you meet someone you want to be with, but there is a third party in the fading past, should you really give up an opportunity to be happy? No, I don't think so, and honestly, the two of them make a lot more sense than she and I did. She and I were two different types of fish swimming in different directions, maybe in different ponds. The two of them, though, are on the same wavelength. That isn't me being shitty - really. Just me saying they have very similar expectations in life, very similar interests, very similar desires and goals and so on. That is probably what drew me to them in the first place - how different and even exotic in a professional/cultural way they were from me, that they invest their lives in things I admire but only engage in as a tourist. I wouldn't trade my life for either of theirs, of course, but, well, anyway, my point is I don't begrudge them for getting together. And I don't begrudge them for not calling me and giving me a heads up. I mean, that conversation never goes good and we are all a little too old to have an ex-friend/ex-lovers objection really matter.

So, I'm not mad or jealous or even feeling jilted or cuckolded. Maybe I should feel one of those ways, or all of them. But I don't and I doubt I should.

I just feel a little bit sad about it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Future of Democracy

This is wonderful.

Best line from the song:

Democratic kids: I Want Obama
Republican kids: Forget Obama
Democrat kids: Get with McCain, you gonna have some drama

Priceless. Not least because these kids can dance!

(The lyrics to this inspired T.I. remake are here.)

Rocktober 17-28

OK, so I totally screwed the pooch on my whole "make Rocktober awesome" pledge. I got busy and bored with it. Sorry.

Still, to attempt to be a man of my word, here's a super quick rundown of the days I missed:

October 28th - Today was the coolest interview I've ever done: Al Jazeera. Most of the time, when I tell my friends about strange interviews I give to the mostly international press, they think I'm either boring, lying, or a jerk. This time, they actually find me intereting. Plus, the interviewer got pissed at the camera guy for filming in the wrong something or other, thus forcing us to do the interview all over again. They also made me film b-roll at my desk, pretending to type, and another shot of me walking down the hallway. That was something I've not had to do before. I do a lot of this type of media stuff, but never had to be filmed walking down the hall.

October 27th - Today was an insane day, minute to minute jammed full of crap. My phone never really rings at work, and today it wouldn't stop. I did manage to squeeze in an interview with Czech national television about the election and book a few more for the coming week.

October 26th - Today was awesome because I put away about 60% of my books (no mean feat) and built the last remaining Ikea piece of furniture while watching the Browns win. Bonus: The Jaguars are the favorite team of my craziest brother. Ahh ... Brotherly Love. (Ironically, that's is what we would scream in laughter when one of us would have controller 1 and the person with controller 2 would be playing their turn in Super Mario Brothers and we'd hit pause as they were jumping over a gap, thus forcing them to plummet straight down to their death when the game was unfrozen.)

October 25th - Today was awesome because I rocked Akron. I made it down there in precisely the amount of time I expected, had a ridiculous yet entertaining encounter with a parking garage operative who became immediately furious that I referred to the hotel as the Radisson (since apparently it is no longer a Radisson), had a crappy lunch but managed to have an enjoyable conversation about the virtues of ranch dressing, skillfully demonstrated my knowledge about Ohio in presidential elections despite knowing virtually nothing about Ohio politics, and hit up my second favorite record store in NEO (Square Records), bringing home with me the new Electric 6 album (which sorta sucks), the Fleet Foxes record (which I have not yet digested), a $1 copy of Lotion's Full Isaac (which I haven't listened to since I had the tape my junior year in high school, but got me laid once because the album's title started a dirty-themed conversation with a girl with a nearby locker than ended up with us dating for a few weeks - how's that for founding myths?!?), and a used Mystic Chords of Memory album that immediately fell in that netherworld between car door and seat and still remains there. And then I got lost - twice - in Akron trying to find my way back. Nevertheless, I dig Akron. Anyone ever wants to hit it up, let me know.

October 24th - Today I used a $300 credit at Value City Furniture (cause I am classy) to purchase a new futon, so my friend has somewhere to sleep when she visits next week. This was not awesome for today, but it will prove awesome in a few days when I am neither being yelled at for snoring while sharing a bed with a platonic friend NOR having to fuck up my neck by sleeping on my too short crappy loveseat (which belongs to my dogder anyway).

October 23rd - Today was awesome because I totally worked from home. And when I say "worked" I mean warmed my legs with my laptop as I watched Law and Order reruns in a sweat-shirt and athletic shorts that have never seen a moment of exercise. Also, a friend came over and helped me put together my furniture from Ikea. And when I say "helped" I mean did 85% of the work for me. And as a token of our familial appreciation, my dog crazily peed on her sweatshirt. Thanks again!

October 22nd - Today was awesome because I lunched with a friend and one of the very finest political leaders in the area. It was very interesting to hear his thoughts and get to know him on a human level. Hopefully this encounter produces a positive professional relationship in the coming months and years.

October 21st - Today was awesome because it marked the FINAL lecture in a 6-week, 14 lecture marathon I did for this company out of Boston for what initially seemed like a sweetheart deal and became a shockingly and inexcusable underpaid slog through public speaking mud.

October 20th - Today was a nice day - lunch with a colleague, then a meeting with a local producer about a post-election program we are organizing. Slow and easy.

October 19th - Today was much more awesome than yesterday. I went to Ikea with a friend and not only loaded up on new furniture, but also solved a lingering emotional problem. What does that mean, you (probably don't) ask? That means I bought a new kitchen table, thus removing from the back of my mind that I need to contact my ex eventually and get my old, awesome authentic 50's diner table back from her. (Note to ex: If you creepily and inexplicably are still reading this blog, I do eventually want this diner table back. My purchase is not to be construed as evidence to the contrary. I just don't want to deal with arranging/meeting up to get it from you any time very soon.)

October 18th - Today's awesomeness failed to materialize. In fact, it was a decidedly not awesome day. I cleared my calendar for a work party in Brecksville and spent literally 1 3/4 hours driving around in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find it. Boo for mapquest.

October 17th - Today's awesomeness came in the form of attending the Trakas-Kucinich debate at the City Club. It is a virtually impossible task to make me a Kucinich supporter, but Jim Trakas miraculously managed to accomplish the feat when he referred to Obama supporters as "sinners that need to be prayed for." He cemented my (temporary) endorsement of Dennis at the debate, when he sarcastically apologized to a question from an audience member who wondered out loud about Trakas's views on plurality and tolerance. I also met up for coffee in the afternoon with two of my favorite colleagues, which was nice, if not exactly awesome. What was VERY awesome, though, was meeting up with three super-cool folks and catching the Frightened Rabbit in-store at Music Saves and following it up with cheap beers at the dive bar down the block. Broadway? Boardwalk? I always forget what the name is. Also, can anyone tell me why more folks don't hang out here?

c-listers against Franken

I'm a liberal Democrat, but even still, I'm not keen on this Al Franken candidacy. To me the guy is an unserious douchebag, a continuation of public cynicism rather than a positive change in any direction. Don't get me wrong - I'm no Norm Coleman guy. I just think we should have grown-ups in the Senate, and Franken doesn't seem to be one.

The clip above is a delightful little reel of RNC-leaning C-list actors begging the Gopher state not to judge all Hollywood folks on the basis of Franken. Clever, cute, but probably not terribly effective.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rocktober 16

Today has been kinda awesome. Slept in, got a couple cool things in the mail, put the new slipcover on my dog's loveseat and had a talk with her, letting her know it would not be ok for her to turn this one into her own personal nature reserve like last time.

Now I'm sitting around waiting for some furniture to be delivered, watching Law and Order. After it comes, I'm gonna try to catch the afternoon showing of the new Lee Atwater documentary at the Cedar-Lee, snag a bite to eat somewhere on Lee Road, and then head over to the Beachland to catch either the Notwist or Bearsuit/JJ Magazine/Afternoon Naps show. I'm turn about which one to see, but as Notwist costs $10 more, I'll probably cheap out and see the show in the Tavern.

My car is starting to memorize the path between my new place and Waterloo Road, with the frequency of my recent trips over there (highlighted by the great last two in-stores at Music Saves), and it doesn't look like that's gonna change any time soon. Several local bloggers have already pointed this out, but the next few weeks are great for live music in NEO. I personally am looking forward to shows at the Grog featuring bands like Annuals, The Life and Times, and Asobi Seksu (the latter thanks to the persuasive effort of the fine folks over at Sensory Overload) and events at the Beachland like the 10/30 Halloween cover band extravaganza, the pre-election party, and the Whiskey Daredevils and The Hot Rails opening up for The Dirtbombs tomorrow.

This guy is awesome

Owner saves dog from shark attack

Oct 1, 2008

A dog owner dived into a Florida marina to fight off a shark attacking his pet.

Greg LeNoir said he took his rat terrier Jake for a daily swim when the 5ft shark suddenly surfaced and grabbed nearly the entire dog in its mouth.

LeNoir said he hit the shark in the back and the creature finally let go of the dog. Man and dog made it safely back to shore. The dog had been bitten but was not critically injured.


Anyone have an iphone? I'm planning on getting one in the next week or so and am wondering if it is worth the extra $100 to upgrade from the 8 gig model to the 16 gig model. Any thoughts?


Cleveland folks are funny

Apparently the billboard pictured below can be found on I-77 North (immediately before the I-490/I-71 split).

That is awesome.

Kudos to this guy for snapping the photo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Andrew Sullivan is Awesome

Andrew Sullivan has been liveblogging tonight's debate. He's almost always on point AND funny.

But his comment at 9:57 was perfect.

9.57 pm. Some readers seem to think my description of Obama as boring is meant as a criticism. Subjectively, maybe it doesn't give me a Lowry. But objectively, it's brilliant. The first black president will only get there by boring a lot of white people. And haven't we had enough drama in the last eight years? Boring is fucking awesome after Bush.

Joe Biden's memories about OU

(CBS)From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(ATHENS, OHIO) - Remember when Joe Biden was arrested? We didn’t, but he told the story as he warmed up to a crowd in Ohio today.

“It’s good to be back in Athens. Now you say ‘Back in Athens, Biden, when were you here?’ Well I went to the University of Delaware and we came out here to play Ohio University. Now that was 228 years ago and we did just fine, but the thing I loved about the university was that it was such a beautiful town and we all hung around out afterwards.”

“Now I made a little mistake here that day, I made a little mistake.”

“I wandered in, I met this lovely group of Ohio University…students,” Biden said winkingly to laughs from the crowd.

“And uh, without knowing it, I shouldn’t admit this on national television because it’ll reveal that I’m over 60, but I thought that we were gonna go get something to eat. What’s that street you have down there, all you guys? See, I…and so I just said to young, two young women I had met, said well why don’t you…we’ll be right back, I said well I’ll come with you, and they said okay, and I walked into their dormitory and was immediately accosted by a cop who arrested me because back in those days men were not allowed in women’s dormitories.”

“But I promise you I never breached the first floor and it was only a temporary detention. But that’s what I most remember about Athens. So folks look, it’s good to be back here.”

Rocktober 15

Finally, a bit of awesomeness to report!

As I write this post, I have made it past the "work" part of my day and started to segue into the fun part. I just got done having coffee with a friendly colleague, and am now eagerly awaiting today's in-store at Music Saves and then beers with cool folks, followed by a quick trip home to watch the debate.

Today has been a busy day, but I have been remarkably efficient, getting all sorts of nagging little things crossed off the list. Not exactly awesome, but mildly pleasant, which is a distant cousin of awesomeness. Distant, but still a cousin. And that matters.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rocktober 14

Level of awesomeness to report for the day: Minimal.

I had to work ALL FREAKING DAY on what usually is a work-from-home-if-I-feel-like-it day.

This afternoon, I was "shadowed" by an international visitor, something arranged by one of the area's finer non-profit groups, one that I have a lot of time for. It was fun, as the individual was pretty cool and interesting, though both of us probably ingested far more caffeine than usual and spent a lot of time showing off pictures of our respective doggies. Some things are universal, I suppose.

So, there was some awesomeness, which is what Rocktober is all about. Now I'm gonna go home (I'm still in my office!), change clothes, catch a three-peat of Law & Order, and hit the sack. Another early (for me) morning tomorrow. Boo.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rocktober 13

Today has been another delightful warm fall day. The only downside of such weather (and yes, I'm the type of prick that is gonna dwell on the downside of a beautiful day) is that we will most assuredly pay for this loveliness with increased weather shittiness some time in April. Or May.

That being said, some awesomeness to report.

1) Today was the second no-need-for-an-alarm-clock day in a row. Nice. I won't have another one of those for at least 10 more days, so it was particularly nice.

2) I got a big project off my list of things-to-do today. It didn't take that long, especially considering how long I've been either putting it off or fiddling at the margins of it, but it was definitely one of those things where the time had to be right and the stars had to align for me to make the last gasp effort. Today was it. Thank god.

3) The cable guy came today to figure out why certain channels just aren't working on my TV and was thwarted in his effort to figure it out. Why is this awesome? Because I don't really watch those channels anyway, but it'll still motivate Time Warner to credit my account a few bucks.

4) Last but not least, I'm off to Lakewood soon to watch the Browns game with a couple of friends and hopefully see the bartendress I've been crafting this fake yet complicated and humorous crush narrative on. I don't know if she'll be working, but it really doesn't matter at this point, as there'll still be plenty of time to make up more facts and whatnot.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rocktober 12

Today's awesomeness was three-fold:

1) No alarm clock, meaning I woke up when I was good and ready and lounged in bed till my dog-der's begging forced me out.

2) Took an inspired and inspring mid-afternoon nap.

3) Headed out to catch a flick at the CIA and a post-film outdoor beer at the Barking Spider, one of my very favorite bars in town.

A trifecta of Awesomeness, I say, and a testament to the glory that underlies Rocktober.

Bonus awesome moment: As I walked in to my apartment post-movie/Barking Spider, I suddenly got a little bummed out because the morning was going to bring another week of work. I sat down, flipped over the page on my daily calendar and saw ... tomorrow was Columbus Day and another day off! Awesome.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rocktober 11

Only a small amount of awesomeness to report for today, and most of it has to do with me starting a near riot among the elderly this morning before a lecture I gave to a private group. Let's just say that next time you are hanging out with the grandparents, think twice before making any comparisons between Teddy Roosevelt and the two leading presidential candidates. Fortunately, I wasn't hurt. I was impressed by the awesomeness of it. Such a thing could have only happened in Rocktober.

The rest of today will not feature much, if any, awesomeness. In fact, I plan to spend the day working from home, enjoying the beautiful fall day from behind the safety of mostly clean windows. I did prop open the door to my porch with one of my chairs, but the door shut anyway and I'm not re-opening it on principle. I hope it doesn't rain again before this battle of wills is resolved.

Last night, however, more than makes up for today's relative lack of awesomeness. I had drinks in Tremont (including a beer at Hipster HQ, I mean Prosperity Social Club), popped into my second favorite NEO bookstore (Sorry Visible Voice, but Mac's is number one by a mile), and attended a terrific show at Asterisk. I've mentioned Asterisk Gallery in this blog many times, but I have to say, Dana Depew outperforms himself month after month after month. This show was exceptionally well-curated and incredibly timely. If you have a chance to hit it up, I highly recommend doing so.

Cinematic Wish List

I can't wait till this film comes to the CIA.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Are you surprised about the McPalin nastiness?

Obama isn't. He called it back in JULY. And if you recall, he was criticized by the McPalin hacks back then for even suggesting they would do such of thing. Which, you know, they then did. The Republicans in this election are absolutely shameless. I really cannot understand how they can act and think as they do. It is beyond comprehension.

(Credit goes to Andrew Sullivan for first posting this video.)

"Licking the Zeitgeist"

I've not read this guy before, but he gets it.

So does this guy, on a different score.

Rocktober 10

Not so much awesomeness so far today, but a little in store for later. Meeting up with a new friend for drinks in Tremont, then doing a little art-walking.

That's pretty awesome, I think. Especially when it involves a stop at Asterisk, the best art gallery between Chicago and New York.


From the mouth of dear sweet Golden Girl Betty White.

I don't know which is more striking, that she calls Sarah Palin a "crazy bitch" on national television or that she suggestively offers to give Obama more experience.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rocktober 9

In today's bid to keep October awesome, I worked from home.

Yes, quite exciting.

I did get to discourage a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses, though. That's sorta a positive, I suppose.

Tonight, things should get a little more awesome. I'm meeting a friend at the CIA for a screening of yet another Godard film. That's pretty awesome.


Disgusting. And worse yet, it happens here.

This video wasn't taken in some backwoods town in rural Alabama or West Virginia. These fine folks are from Strongsville.

Probably the same fine folks that listened to WTAM this morning as they gave a platform to disgraced scandal-monger Jerome Corsi.

To watch this video, you wonder whether we really are in the 21st Century.

I went on a date a little while ago during which the woman said she wasn't sure if she was a Republican or a Democrat. I jokingly said, well, if you care about poor people and equality, you should be a Democrat. She, with a straight face, said she'd probably be a Republican then.

I thought THAT was disgusting. The blonde in this video is more than that, she's actually frightening. See if you can watch this, with the flag-waving and the quotes about "bloodlines" and "one-man terrorist cells" and not get both scared and sick. Both Leni Riefenstahl and David Duke would be proud.

(Credit for braving the madness and getting this footage goes to this guy here.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


So Mel's recent post (and the one she linked to) gave me the idea about how to rescue another fall month from the grip of shittiness.

As my celebration of Rocktober, I plan to do one awesome thing every day. Awesome to me, that is.

To catch up, here's a list of all the awesome things I've done so far this month. Well, right now it is blank, but when I get a chance to look at my calendar and remind myself what I did last week, I'll update below.

October 8th - bought a cool new chair for my home office (as well as a cheap new couch, dresser, and pair of bookcases). Better yet, as I drove around town today, to work, to Lakewood for a doctor's appointment, to the beautiful Lakewood post office to mail a friend her birthday present, to the furniture store, and finally back home, I got the chance to listen carefully and repeatedly to the (not so) new Taken by Trees album. I sooo love her voice, and there is a moment on Track 5, about the 2 minute mark, where I had a emotional reaction I still can't quite describe.

October 7th - gave a lecture in a theater, just like famous folks do. Also watched the debate.

October 6th - Not any awesomeness here, but see the details on 10/5 for why that isn't necessarily my fault.

October 5th - There wasn't really any awesomeness today. However, as this day came before my re-dedication to October Awesomeness, I don't think it is fair to hold it against me.

October 4th - Today's awesomeness included meeting up with a new colleague for lunch at Melt.

October 3rd - Today's awesomeness included catching The Veils in-store at Music Saves and then a double feature at the CIA featuring The Go-Getter and Poultrygeist. Meeting and chatting with Lloyd Kaufman put the cherry on top.

October 2nd - Today's awesomeness included meeting and listening to one of my favorite authors (Jonathan Lethem) give a talk at the CIA and then lighting out for home to catch the VP debate.

October 1st - I Voted!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Packer on Ohio

One of the very best working journalists today on Ohio elections and the disaffected working class.


Great soundtrack. And I have a crush on the leader girl.

Yeah, I'm creepy enough to admit that.


Like just about everyone else, I think the phrase "case of the Mondays" is awful. It should be banned from the lexicon, along with the word "brunch" (a position which started a brief yet passionate conversation among otherwise strangers recently at the Music Saves cash register).

However, I am, today, enduring such a case. It sucks. I'm giving up on the day and going home.

Last Chance

Hey slacker, go register to vote. Today's the last day you can.

It is the most important election in your lifetime, your civic duty, blah blah blah.

Just don't be a douche. Go vote!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mental Health Break

Life has been insanely busy for me lately. In my professional life, never have I had a month as jam packed as this September. As the month came to a close, I looked forward to October, figuring it would be a breeze, but with every day that has proved to be decreasingly the case.

Yesterday, for the first time in what seemed like ages, I took a break and went to an in-store performance of The Veils at Music Saves, then high-tailed it over to the CIA to catch a double feature of the utterly outstanding indie-slacker-road drama The Go-Getter (featuring Zooey Deschanel, music by M. Ward, and a late-in-film allusion to a video of She and Him's most popular track, "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?") and Poultrygeist, the latest offering from schlock master Lloyd Kaufman and the folks at Troma Entertainment.

Between films, I had the fine fortune of chatting with Mr. Kaufman in the hall, and he is a surprisingly earnest, grounded guy with bold and bright ideas for reversing the terrible policies that have made truly independent cinema all but extinct these days in the USA. I wish him the best. And laughed my ass off during his film.

Today I had to go give a public lecture, which meant setting an alarm clock on the weekend, something that is never nice. Afterwards, though, I had a good lunch with one of my new colleagues at Melt, the best darn-tootin' restaurant on the west side. (Oops, looks like I caught a little Sarah Palin from the VP debate.) Then decided to scratch everything else on my list and veg out in front of the tube for the afternoon. I've been sitting here on my horrendous little Ikea loveseat (rather, the loveseat my beloved dog-der lets me borrow from time to time), catching up on personal emails and light online reading while watching American Gangster and Once, which just ended. Once, for those who haven't seen it, is a lovely little film and I think you should watch it if you have the chance. Next up is The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford.

After all that sitting and watching, I'll probably head to bed. Tomorrow is an awesome day in two respects. 1) No need to set an alarm. 2) No need to wear dress clothes. I will need to spend it working in front of a computer, in a cold windowed room, but that's what I prefer to do with my days anyway, so no need to complain there. I may actually leave the house, though, either to do some laundry or check out Godard's Masculine Feminine at the CIA. We'll have to wait and see how the day goes.

Monday, though, it'll be back to it. Jacket and dress shirt. Alarm clock. Probably even a tie. But I'll survive.


If you are one of those voters out there that say character trumps policy positions, that's fine - the choice should still be clear.

I can't say it any better than the author of The New Yorker's recent editorial endorsement in the 2008 presidential election does.

From that article:

"The longer this campaign goes on, the more the issues of personality and character have reflected badly on McCain. Unless appearances are very deceiving, he is impulsive, impatient, self-dramatizing, erratic, and a compulsive risk-taker. These qualities may have contributed to his usefulness as a "maverick" senator. But in a President they would be a menace.

By contrast, Obama's transformative message is accompanied by a sense of pragmatic calm. A tropism for unity is an essential part of his character and of his campaign. It is part of what allowed him to overcome a Democratic opponent who entered the race with tremendous advantage. It is what helped him forge a political career relying both on the liberals of Hyde Park and on the political regulars of downtown Chicago. His policy preferences are distinctly liberal, but he is determined to speak to a broad range of Americans who do not necessarily share his every value or opinion. For some who oppose him, his equanimity even under the ugliest attack seems like hauteur; for some who support him, his reluctance to counterattack in the same vein seems like self-defeating detachment. Yet it is Obama's temperament - and not McCain's - that seems appropriate for the office both men seek and for the volatile and dangerous era in which we live. Those who dismiss his centeredness as self-centeredness or his composure as indifference are as wrong as those who mistook Eisenhower's stolidity for denseness or Lincoln's humor for lack of seriousness."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You have until Monday to register

PS - Giovanni Ribisi's beard has pushed me over the fence in my latest beard or no beard debate. I'm going for it. Again.