Friday, July 29, 2005

anyone wanna roadtrip?

i don't know what a minnow shot is, but it sounds hott.


article about the world's ugliest dog contest winner here.

safe for work . . . technically

my friend jms had a strindberg and helium shirt on this weekend, which i had never heard of, so we watched it on the cyberweb and it was charming and weird.

watch it here.

so then my friend hbs realizes that we have never seen salad fingers before, and we all sat and uncomfortably watched. it made my skin crawl.

here is a disclaimer from the website that hosts it:
WARNING! These will upset children and the elderly, and please watch these at your own risk if you are doing acid or mushrooms. No complaints, I've warned you.


a 4th-grade dream realized

when i was 11 i rollerskated to debbie gibson in my basesment. i bought a black felt hat just like hers and had a poster of her flipping up her collar and smiling like it was taken at the sears portrait studio and i got a bottle of her pink perfume called "electric youth" that smelled like a really rank combo of fruit and baby powder. i never got to see her in concert (unlike her white trash rival, tiffany, who played the rock county 4H fair in janesville, wisconsin) and then, well, i grew up. apparently the debster has taken a few stabs at reviving her career - she did les mis on broadway and i think she did an ill-advised playboy spread - but no one gives a shit. i sort of gave a shit when my friends ecf and fb were still in town following lollapalooza weekend and we decided to go to the cubbies night game this past monday. chicago loves its sports, and cubs tickets, especially night games, can be hard to come by, so when we went to wrigley that afternoon we were stuck having to pay $60 for the only section that still had three seats in a row. i am not a frugal person by any means (though i daydream about someday being one) but i wasn't all that thrilled with the idea, until i saw that it was 80s night featuring deborah "debbie" gibson, and thus my decision was made.

we sat in the sixth row above the dugout at the first-base line and i was terrified of being killed by a wayward ball, but i quite enjoyed myself. it was a good game - cubs beat san francisco at the bottom of the ninth - and debbie sang "take me out to the ball game" from the media box (enshrined with a creepy cariacture of harry carey). she doesn't have a horrible voice, but that doesn't mean that she's any good. if it had been 17 years ago i bet i would have been really excited.

(SEVENTEEN YEARS? christ i feel old).

palooza day two

we had been warned, and i think that we thought that we were prepared, for the record-breaking heat of the weekend and of sunday, which was to reach a heat index of 115 degrees around 4:00 pm or so. we had to weigh in on the morning lineup and the inevitable heat exhaustion/dehydration/brain melting, so we decided to just show up for late afternoon and evening.

TEGAN AND SARA: sure, being lesbian twins is a great way to get people interested, and being fairly talented is important, but when it is 5938405 degrees outside, my patience for lilith fair acoustic guitar rock is at a bare minimum. we all quickly wandered away from this.

SATELLITE PARTY: when we were at tegan and sara, my friend hbs could hear strains from the southeast stage and said "this is the song that perry ferrell recorded with thievery corporation" so we wandered over and, sure enough, there he was, dressed like a gay matador, slinking around stage and dancing in some sort of mystical/snaky/freak-out shake, punctuating everything with the same "yeah!" that he yells in probably half of jane's songs. satellite party's debut performance featured tony kanal from no doubt (hot as all fuck but looked shorter than i would have thought) on bass, that guy nuno bettencourt from extreme, i have no idea who the drummer was, and some "lolla girls" in metallic skirts and go-go boots. perry had a lot of nice things to say about chicago and the rebirth of the festival, and kept lifting his hand to the crowd and exclaiming "you're dazzling!" it was both really earnest and sweet and totally bizarre. i really enjoyed seeing them play live but perhaps their material could use some more work - or the lyrics at least (apparently there is a song called "we are satellite party" and a song called "awesome" because those were the only words throughout).

BEN KWELLER: it was way too fucking hot to think about anything other than scoring some more water and getting a good spot for arcade fire. we could hear kweller play the northwest stage while we sat on a somewhat shady patch of fried grass, again eating the magical combination of black bean burger, bud light and frozen snickers, but punctuated with gallons and gallons of water that i immediately sweat out of my body. frightening fun fact: i didn't have to use the port-a-potties even once all weekend - i just sweat out every ounce of liquid that i ingensted. i got to hear "i need you back" from where we were sitting. he was wearing a red and black flannel shirt. it was about 113 degrees out. tard.

THE ARCADE FIRE: if the pixies were the reason i showed up for day one, the arcade fire was reason one (spoon reason two) for sunday. we managed to snag the exact same spot on the hill next to the southeast stage that we had for the pixies show. they were fucking awesome. perry came out to introduce them and said that the arcade fire proves that you can be innovative, critically acclaimed AND beloved by a large number of fans. i was a little confused to see the group of bikini-clad 19-year-olds in front of us at the show (clearly they were just waiting for death cab, who they heard about on the OC, right?) and even more confused to see that they were doing little hippie dances and knew all of the words. huh. either the arcade fire is really popular and i didn't know it, or the kool kids aren't very kool anymore. so the show was energetic, and they wore their victorian weirdo clothes despite the fact that everyone felt on the verge of spontaneous combustion, and they traded instruments, and performed a bunch of great songs, and i was very happy to have witnessed them. next time i hope it's in a dark and chilly club.

SPOON: i always miss them when they are in town, so it was necessary to see them. it was a strange context to see spoon, with increadible heat and a hovering sun that was directly in my eyes, but i had caught a second wind (thanks to more beers and the free water that was being passed out) and danced and sang along. i had purchased a little mister bottle at walgreen's that i filled with cold water that i was repeatedly spraying my face and neck with, and the boys i was with got some, and then strangers were approaching. now is a good time to complain that, despite what i seriously had imagined the fest to be like, there were NO HOT INDIE BOYS. none. i see more attractive men at borders, for chrissakes. i guess because i am not attracted to teenage boys or men that are married, there was not a lot for me to look at this weekend. the first time i saw a photo of britt daniels i was kinda taken aback and disappointed - that guy wrote and sang "stay don't go"? so my reaction to the crowd - um, i thought that you'd be a lot hotter - is similar to how i feel about spoon's singer. they played some good songs (i love "jonathan fisk") and i got to hear my current favorite song, "they never got you," but minus the hand claps, so it just sort of faded at the end. that song needs the hand claps. my brother annoyed me by saying that they sounded like counting crows with some supertramp thrown in, which i do not agree with.

THE DANDY WARHOLS: okay, so courtney taylor is fucking hot, but he doesn't count on the no-attractive-indie-boys-that-i-don't-already-know rant. we staked out a spot for death cab and got to watch them on the screen, playing the northeast stage. they're better recorded. they came across as entirely pretentious, because it's pretty hard to take a band seriously as it postures and poses through 45 minutes of boring mod-revival-guitar-irony in front of thousands of people that are dying of heatstroke. they didn't even play "not if you were the last junkie on earth," and, if you are not a mainstage attraction at a music festival, you're supposed to play your hit.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: zzzzzzzzzz. i was tired. i was cranky. i was done. i am mildly entertained by death cab on a good day, and i quite like the postal service, but not right then. there were a lot of kids there with their parents, and death cab is the perfect vaguely-intelligent-and-indie-yet-still-entirely-family-friendly-and-non-threatening band for the oc kids who have never been to a concert and for their parents are worried about gang violence, so they tag along. i tried to care for a while, and liked hearing "the new year," but then just sat on the nasty tablecloth i had brought as a ground covering, listlessly smoked some cigarettes, and waited for my friends to decide that it was indeed time to leave. and then we did, to the strains of "the sound of settling." i actually like that song, but i had had enough.

so, a recap: thank you, perry. thank you, friends who visited. thank you, chicago. fuck you, mother nature.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

lolla day one

due to my jet-setter always-on-the-go day-to-night-barbie career lady lifestyle, i haven't had time to post about lolla yet. so now i will.

when i heard that lollapalooza was cancelled last year after its years-long hiatus, i was sad. i mean, i KNEW that the masses weren't clammoring for a two-day traveling festival featuring indie rock, especially when it hits your town on a tuesday and wednesday, but i really wanted it to work. the lineup was solid - morrissey, sonic youth, flaming lips, modest mouse, polyphonic spree, gomez, black rebel motorcycle club, and, err, the string cheese incident (ew) - and perry was all earnest about it, but it wasn't a huge surprise when it was cancelled. having one city adopt the festival as its home was a great move, and i was quite happy that chicago became its new home, and in grant park, which is a long gorgeous green space with lake michigan to the east and the city skyline to the west. it's not every day that you get to rock out with one of your favorite bands while the sears tower glowers over you and the lake breeze picks up. i just hope the tradition continues, because i would happily attend every year, even if i lost complete touch with all of the kool kids were listening to and was unsure of the lineup. perry ferrel will never die, and i hope his festival never does either.

i bought two weekend passes for $35 each on faith alone, knowing only the dates and the city, and it paid off. i was even more happy that out-of-town friends were coming to visit for the weekend, and while chicago still doesn't feel like home yet, lolla made me happy to be here.

so, here are some musings about the bands, the park, the weather, and the utter lack of hott indie boys. the syracusan has posted his version of events, which i pretty much agree with, other than the totally inappropriate shout-out to the lord of the rings at the end of day one's post.

...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD: sound good bouncing off of skyskrapers as you approach. saw a total of maybe five minutes, but i liked having a strong soundtrack to the entrance of the weekend.

KAISER CHIEFS: hyper brit pop is always appreciated. "i predict a riot" is damn catchy. it was a toss-up between the chiefs and liz phair, and, judging from the off-key mediocrity that was blasting from the southwest stage, i made the right choice. sorry liz. you used to be cool.

BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: anton is a total retard (saying incomprehensible things like "i shit on urban culture" and "i am drunk with power!"). dreamy soundscapes of psychadelic guitar, blah blah blah. i was bored, so i talked to my friends. i only know about the bjm through Dig! and was wondering about the dual lineup of bjm on saturday and the dandy warhols on sunday - band feuds are so lame, especially if you're the bravery (playing saturday) and the killers (sunday) - and since the dandies appeared, disappeared and reappeared on the lolla website as a featured band.

CAKE: i needed a black bean burger ($5), frozen snickers ($1) and bud light ($5) so i just caught the tail end, which was some sort of boring rant about people who use their cell phones. joke bands don't age well.

BILLY IDOL: dude looks like an albino alligator, all strangely prehistoric and leathery. the old stuff rocked, the new stuff was lame, and not a boob was to be seen, despite the utter obviousness that if you're going to raise your shirt at lollapalooza, the billy idol show would be your opportunity. indie girls (minus the suicide girls) don't really do that. ps when is it time to start calling yourself "bill"?

PRIMUS: there was a hill next to the stage in the southeast corner of grant park that we staked out for prime pixies viewing, and one of the perks was to watch primus play on the southwest stage (large screen helped immensely). i never thought that i would care, but i was a little bit thrilled when "my name is mud" came up.

PIXIES: highlight of the day and one of the reasons i wanted to go to lolla anyway. my friends wouldn't let me carry my pixies messenger bag ("don't BE that guy" - or girl, as it was) despite needing to lug around a bunch of bullshit - i got it at the show they played in chicago at the aragon ballroom in november. that show was fucking awesome and so was this one. i took photos of how large the crowd was. they whipped through a bunch of kick-ass songs, one after another, relentless, no hellos or thank yous, just psychotic surf punk weirdo rock. they played a bunch of songs i wanted to hear (no "mr grieves," but they did play "number 13 baby" which gives a shout-out to six-foot girls). they do not look like the coolest band on the planet - fat old frank, 40-something recovering junkie kim, david is like a fucking magician in his spare time, and joey makes records with his wife that no one buys - but fuck you, they ARE.

WEEZER: i mostly don't give a shit about weezer. the pixies were what i was there for. after they played i sat back on the hill, sort of watched weezer play on the screen from the southwest stage, and peeled myself off the ground to go home, drink some beer, take a much-needed shower, and dread the coming weather. saturday was hot, no doubt, but sunday, i knew, would be an entirely different story altogether.

Friday, July 22, 2005

lap of luxury

today's first shuffle song: "She Lives In My Lap" - OutKast, from The Love Below.

rosario dawson is featured on this track, but really she just laughs at the beginning. i got this album when it first came out because i looooved "hey ya!" (just like 3.7 billion other people) and i have fond memories of walking to the metro in dc to go to work, listening to Speakerboxx/The Love Below. i also listened to this album during one long drunken night in denver, after seeing REM with my brother and sister the day after thanksgiving, eating bad fast food and drinking and laughing. it's funny how what you were doing when you first heard a song, or an album played a large role in whatever you were doing, completely overrides the music itself. i firmly believe that music is more tied to memory than it is to mere enjoyment.

lollapalooza this weekend. happy.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

catharsis through the mail

i am so madly in love with the PostSecret blog. even the really terrible, painful, scary postcards. i do appreciate the ones that are funny; otherwise, i don't think i could get through them without being completely suicidal at how fucked up people are.

hungry like the wolf

"All You Get From Love Is A Love Song" - The Carpenters, from Singles (1969-1981)

so now you know that i am not making up the day's first shuffle song. i can admit to liking the carpenters.

it seems that a lot of my first shuffle songs start with an A. i wouldn't really notice this if i wasn't currently listening to every song from A-Z in order (i figure that this is the only way that i could possibly listen to each and every song. it is also a great filter - sometimes a total piece of shit song pops up - it's usually some filler no-name crap from a soundtrack - so i make sure to delete it as soon as possible). i realize how anal this exercise is, but i need projects to keep me occupied.

btw, i started this on july 2, listening to all songs in order, and i am only on song 649 of 10,020. at the rate i'm going, only listening to 34 songs a day, this will take me 295 days. i'll be done sometime next may. ummmm. god, i'm really an obsessive, aren't i?

anyway, i'm only in the B's - at songs that start with the word "baby." there's an album's worth.

so back to the carpenters. i don't care what anyone says - there is something so inherently dark about the carpenters that their sickly sweet songs are really just disturbed meloncholy masked with a bony hand and a big toothy grin. karen carpenter had a really cool voice AND she drummed, so mad props to karen. sorry you had intense body issues.

i can't think of any other famous person that died of an eating disorder. i mean, other than the impending deaths of the skanks that us weekly are always covering.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

almost garden famous state

today’s first shuffle song on ipod: “New Slang” – The Shins, from the Garden State soundtrack.

natalie portman tells zach braff to listen to the shins in the movie because, she says, “it will change your life.” i like the shins just fine – they are merely pleasant, not life-altering. i didn’t like her character much anyway – i thought that she was annoying.

this will be a very unpopular thing to say because for whatever reason people ADORE this movie, but her character reminds me of kate hudson in Almost Famous, and I thought that she was thoroughly irritating in that (and, er, not worthy of being nominated for an oscar). i didn’t like Almost Famous very much – i didn’t like the kid, the band, the script, or the cheap-looking retro mustaches that all of the actors glued on.

I think I liked Garden State perhaps more than I would have otherwise because I was so surprised that zach braff was able to write, direct and star in a movie that didn’t blow.

david brent couldn't have said it better

god i hope this is true (i subscribe to a british gossip mailing list called popbitch. sometimes i have no idea who they're talking about - apparently big brother is actually popular in the uk - but i love the slang and general snarkiness). i love ricky gervais.

>> When Ricky met Paris <<

Miss Hilton gets a mouthful

Backstage at Live8 Ricky Gervais was at the side of the stage. Paris Hilton walked up to him and said how much she liked his stuff.

Ricky: "Have we met before?"
Paris: "Yes. I'm Paris Hilton"
Ricky: "Oh, sorry Paris, I didn't recognise you without a cock in your mouth."

Exit Paris in a huff.

some mistakes are bigger than others

two men have adapted songs from the smiths for some sort of tribute/ musical/ stage production that sounds like it has very little plot but a lot of melodrama. read about it here.

"some girls are bigger than others" has received mixed reviews and wants to come to the states. the article doesn't do a great job of describing what the show is like, but it sounds pretty crappy. perhaps not as crappy as most pop-star adaptations that broadway has been hosting. a story that is narrated through the music of billy joel sounds like absolute vomit to me.

regardless, it sounds like the perfect project for this guy: They sifted through the Smiths' songs and planned their format; at first, they considered using an all-woman cast. Among the reasons they decided to arrange the music for a string quartet, Mr. Allen said, was that those "were the instruments that frightened me the most."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

reconstructing fables, fabling reconstruction, whichever

today's first song on shuffle: "Auctioneer (Another Engine)" - REM, from Fables of the Reconstruction

i told you that my ipod plays a lot of rem when on shuffle.

this is from one of their older, denser records - back before they were really famous and when they were basically just fucking awesome. around this time you could start to understand what stipe was mumbling, and a lot of songs seemed to be about trains and the south. all of their videos from this time period are slow and weird, but it was 1985, so they have a good excuse. the video for "Can't Get There From Here" is kinda goofy - i still really like that song - but all of the others were just footage of georgia swamp trees or some old man's metal whirlygig collection planted into a grassy hill. arty? possibly. boring? definitely.

when i bought it, at the impressionable little age of 14, the fact that "fables of the reconstruction" and "reconstruction of the fables" could be used interchangeably for the name of this album made my feeble little mind just totally trip out with how brilliant this band was.

how to waste your time completely, part deux

36. you arrive at the illinois dmv full of hope and promise.
37. but no. the dc dmv never did fax your license info.
38. your cell doesn't work in the dmv, so go outside and call the dc dmv. you are on hold.
39. for 40 minutes. hang up out of anger.
40. order a salad at something called something like "salad jazz" in the food court. it is repulsive.
41. decide to try dc dmv again. on hold for 15 minutes.
42. someone answers! she says to call back after 2:00.
43. go back to your office. tell your boss what is going on. you NEED your license for your job. who else will drive the association president through rural america? she says that she will happily call, "manager-to-manager," as she says, if you want her to. you don't.
45. call the dc dmv back at 2:04. you are transfered.
43. this woman actually seems pretty nice - soft-spoken, listens to what you need. apologizes that this wasn't done yesterday. says that she will fax your license info RIGHT NOW to the il dmv. you happily go fetch a cab outside. so far you have spent around $25 on cabs between your office and the dmv in the past two days.
44. the kid that looks like an alarmed chipmunk at the front counter goes back to find your fax when you tell him that the dc dmv has finally complied. he returns five minutes later. he looks concerned.
45. see, the dc dmv five-year driving record that they faxed has all sorts of info on it - name, ss#, DOB, DL#. it says "permit: regular." this is a problem.
46. to the state of illinois' randolph street chicago department of motor vehicles, the very presence of the word "permit" means that you have a learner's permit. you believe that they are joking when they say this.
47. you realize that they are not joking. you explain that really it is a matter of semantics, that "permit: regular" - paired with the fact that the sheet also lists that you have a "ncdl regular" and an actual dl number - means that you have a REGULAR permit, as in a drivers license. ncdl regular, like a NON-COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE with REGULAR status. you don't even work at the dmv and these acronyms are completely obvious to you.
48. the word "semantics" does not go over very well. they will not accept this piece of paper.
49. you request that the il dmv calls the dc dmv for clarification. some button-downed loser speaks to you as if you are screaming and belligerent (you are, at this point, shaking your head with a crooked smile on your face and babbling "i can't believe that you don't understand this" - state employees do not like being told that they are incompetent, despite how obvious this is).
50. "WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU," the middle-management guy says too loudly. you ask him to call the dc dmv and give him the number. after all, you are the one that tracked down the dc dmv clearance department phone and fax numbers, as well as spoken to them numerous times.
51. three people troop back to his office. you go and sit down again. for 20 minutes.
52. his little friend, the lady with the ugly leopard-print shirt, sulks around behind the counter. you approach.
53. you: did you call the dc dmv?
her: no.
you: ummmm. do you want to tell me what i'm supposed to do?
her: we called springfield. they said that we cannot accept the information that dc faxed us.
you: could you please explain to me why i would have a driver's license number if in actuality i only had a learner's permit?
her: i can't speak for any dmv but illinois. we will not accept this.
you: what am i supposed to do?
her: i don't know.
54. you request the manager's name and phone number. she looks like you just asked her if she takes it up the ass.
55. you go outside to smoke more cigarettes. you call dc dmv again. you say "hi, i'm still at the illinois dmv," and they know who you are. you explain the problem. hell hath no fury like a middle-aged african-american woman who is being second-guessed. "aw, HELL no," your new dc dmv friend says. she takes down manager alicia williams' number as well as your number and says she will call immediately.
56. you go back downstairs and sit in the waiting chairs, which face the counters. you try not to stare at alicia williams but you keep track of what she is doing. she does talk on the phone and disappears to the back offices, but she ignores you.
57. after a half hour, you ask ms williams if dc has called yet. she says no rather smugly, as if she is beating you at the game you weren't aware you were playing. you say "even if they do call, are you going to care? will it make any difference?" she seems to respect that you would ask her that and says, "look, all they have to do is fax something that says that you actually do have a license and we'll give you a new one."
you: and if they don't?
her: go to the counter. they can tell you where you can take a driving test.
58. the woman at the counter says "are you still here?" but not unkindly, just sort of like "what the fuck happened to you?" you say very sadly, as you have basically reached the sad-sack self-pitying level, "they don't believe me." she tells you that you can take a driving test in niles, illinois.
59. with god as your witness, you will never take a driving test in niles. you refuse to let this happen to you. you refuse the stubborn incompetence of others to inconvenience you any more than they already have.
58. at this point, frank, a dmv worker so old you doubt that he should be allowed to drive, calls you over to his counter. he wants to help. he says something about "new employees who don't know nuthin," which you think is directed at the middle-management illiterate assholes. frank looks in his computer for the dc dmv number and dials. it is the wrong one. he looks it up on a sheet of paper in a binder and dials. it is, while a different number, still wrong. he looks at you and nods, like yeah, i know. "we'll get this worked out, kiddo, just relax," he says.
58. you go upstairs and call the dc dmv again. your dc dmv friend - she reveals that her name is amber - says "that nasty woman gave you a FAX number, not a phone number." says that she will write a letter that explains that you have an actual drivers license and basically tell the illinois dmv that they need to issue you a fucking license already because they're wasting everyone's time and that she will then find their number, call them, and bitch out alicia williams. you thank her profusely.
59. the fax arrives within three minutes. frank smiles at you and leads you to his elderly friend mary to process your forms. while you are filling out your application, a cute guy in a suit that you hadn't seen before comes from one of the back offices and says your name. you look up. he smiles and says, "amber from the dc dmv says hello." you believe that amber is currently screaming at the managers over the phone.
60. you almost fail the vision test.
61. at 4:00 pm, 30 hours after you first entered the illinois dmv, you receive your license.
62. if it is any consolation, the photo isn't half bad.
63. you call the dc dmv. their office is closed. you thank them, especially amber, for all of their help. "i love dc and i should never have moved" you say in your message.
64. you still haven't decided if that is true or not.

Monday, July 18, 2005

just posting this because i love it.

no, not pj from family circus

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Angelene" - PJ Harvey, from Is This Desire?

i like polly jean harvey a lot. she's a badass, she stays out of the spotlight and produces consistently cutting and awesome records. her duet with thom yorke on Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea ("The Mess We're In") is one of my all-time favorites. when i first heard her in high school i knew that i had found someone that i would always like. i even tried to listen to captain beefheart because i had read that he was a big influence on her, but i didn't really take to it. i remember him making me feel vaguely uncomfortable. maybe i'll try some other time.

how to waste your time completely

1. carry a very small handbag to a wedding reception in dc, where you used to live. the handbag must be so small that you have to tuck your dc-issued driver's license into the plastic of a pack of cigarettes and hand all of your cash to your date.
2. get drunk.
3. smoke your last cigarette at the bar in the hotel.
4. discard empty (except for your license) pack at the bar.
5. keep drinking.
6. leave with your friends to go to the after-reception bar. your date has already gone home, but he didn't go to college with all of you and you still feel that burning need to hang out.
7. halfway down the block, realize what you have done.
8. have unfriendly hotel worker help you look in the bar for the discarded pack of cigarettes. apparently the trash has already been taken out for the night. tell him that you don't care if you have to dumpster dive, you need your license.
9. he shows you where the dumpster is and helpfully hands you some crates to stand on.
10. your dress is made out of silk and is the most expensive dress you have ever purchased. this is the first time you have worn it.
11. it rained earlier. you are elbow-deep in rotting food, wet paper and stink. it is not a well-lit alley, and you are wearing heels while balancing drunkenly on crates. you realize that this is totally fruitless.
12. you flew to dc for this wedding. your dc license is the only form of photo id you brought with you.
13. no one other than your nosy bossy elderly landlady has keys to your apartment but your roommate who is visiting iowa and your brother who is visiting denver. your passport is sitting in your room.
14. talk to united airlines twice the next day. they scare you with news that you had better get to the airport as quickly as possible and that you may not be able to fly home, depending on what secuirty decides to do with you. cancel dinner plans with friends that you haven't seen in months so you can attempt to board your flight home. think up as many worst-case scenarios as possible, including but not limited to having to go to the dc dmv when it opens monday, purchasing an amtrak ticket (they never give a fuck who you are), having someone overnight your passport to you . . .
15. check in at the united counter three hours before your flight.
16. approach security. they write "passenger lost id - no photo id" in red magic marker on boarding pass.
17. get patted down and your bag half-heartedly rifled through. this takes three minutes. you are free to get on your plane. in two hours and forty-five minutes. wish you were eating dinner with your friends. good thing you're a white girl; you care more than they do that you have no form of photo id.
18. arrive at the illinois dmv on washington at 11:oo am the next morning. they send you to the dmv on randolph.
19. stand in line for 20 minutes.
20. you are given a phone number for the dc dmv. you are to call them and request that your driving record be faxed to the illinois dmv. your cell does not work in the dmv dungeon so you go sit outside.
21. the number they gave you is wrong. you dial 411 and are connected to a recording that asks you to stay on the line due to heavy call volume.
22. stay on the line for 47 minutes. read a magazine while listening to the same voice recording loop. decide that this is retarded and hang up.
23. return to the dmv line. tell the guy that the number he gave you is wrong and ask if he has an alternate number.
24. dial the number he gave you, despite its suspicious area code. sit on hold for five minutes. decide to do some nancy drew investigative work and start punching in menu codes for other departments. realize that this is for washington state and not washington, dc.
25. say "fucking dumbass" aloud as you hang up and wonder whether it is directed at the illinois dmv man or at yourself.
26. eat some panda express.
27. 411 the number again, but this time write it down. stay on hold for a mere 15 minutes.
28. speak to an actual person. she transfers you.
29. this woman will not take dmv instructions from a civilian. the illinois dmv needs to make the request via fax. take down her direct number and fax.
30. get back in line.
31. explain the situation to the dmv counter man. he seems really put out that he has to fax someone for you. you ask if he has a form for you to fill out, but he just has you write down your name, social security number, date of birth, former address, etc on a piece of scrap paper.
32. he disappears for 8 minutes. everyone in line behind you hates you.
33. dmv man said that he spoke to his manager and that the dc dmv will need to fax your driving record before they can do anything else. he recommends you come back at 8 am tomorrow.
34. it is now 2:15 pm.
35. you are thankful that the dmv is not in charge of anything even remotely important, like food stamps or airport security, because otherwise a lot of people would be dead.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

i want a golden goose!

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "One More Night" - Nina Gordon, from her website.

i loooooved veruca salt when i was in high school and college. a chicago-based post-grunge post-liz-phair power pop guitar girl band, nina gordon and louise post were the shit. nina wrote the more poppy songs ("with david bowie" and "benjamin" were always favorites)while louise was the rock girl (she was, after all, the self-described "seether"). my friend p.s. - who is a former chicago scenester and is now in the peace corps in togo - knows some guy that toured with them and said that veruca sluts would have been a more appropriate name.

so nina left the band to have a pretty lackluster solo career and louise wrote Resolver, a total mess of an album (which i happen to love) about how much she hates nina for abandoning her and dave grohl for breaking up with her. nina's solo album, Tonight and the Rest of My Life, is a bit too adult-contemporary for my tastes (with some pretty vapid lyrics, and she totally dated herself with a song called "2003" where she wonders where the future, as in two years ago now, will take her. the song "fade to black" is really great, though).

yes, this IS a phil collins cover, a phrase that you should never hear, but it works. she has a cover of "straight outta compton" on her website that's a little too precious.

"i want the world. i want the whole world!"

probably photo-shopped (god i hope so)

i used to go tanning. but not like this.

ps: why are her boobs growing out of her abdomen?

the subject line of the email forward this came from was "e.t. spotted at montrose beach," which i thought was pretty funny.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

is it weird to be jewish and have the last name "cross"?

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Although Indigent, Rural Families Have Little to Say in the Matter, Third Rate Public Education Has Kept Them Ignorant and Thus, Great Sources of Ridicule!" - David Cross, from It's Not Funny

oh, but it IS funny. recorded at a stand-up show in dc sometime after it was suggested the american public duct-tape and plastic their windows shut to form some sort of ghetto shield from inevitable terrorist nerve gas/radiation/that i-come-from-the-caves-of-afghanistan-where-there-are-no-showers stench, david cross has lots of excellent liberal commentary, as well as some great dark humor about being a middle-aged american male (classic: he describes how his friends talk about how hard it is to raise kids, and he says "i'll tell you what hard is. try talking your girlfriend into her third consecutive abortion"). this particular selection from his show is about how, in the face of poverty and a health care crisis, gwb is just like "we're gonna build a space station on the moon" (as dc said, "oh, i didn't know there was any oil up there.")

remember "we're going to mars"? when and why did he stop talking about that? i mean, we're only in the middle of a fucking war and all.

i love dc as the never-nude tobias on arrested development.

Monday, July 11, 2005

more britpop: it's tops!

today's first shuffle song on ipod: "Gene By Gene" - Blur, off of Think Tank

i like blur. i like damon albarn. i like the gorillaz. i like his world music with the people of mali. i like his ex-girlfriend, justine from elastica. i liked seeing blur at the 9:30 club in dc when they toured for think tank. he must have liked it, too, because he seemed really happy and jumped around a lot. i like this song. i like that i am now five for five with having great first shuffle selections.

nyc bike race

riding your bike as fast as you can. through nyc rush hour. with a camera mounted to your helmet. dodging traffic, pedestrians, horse carriages, and potholes. this is intense. this is scary. this is, suffice to say, how i do not ride my bike.

edited to "welcome to the jungle." the theme music that honestly runs through my head as i cautiously traverse chicago streets on my trek calypso cruiser, red crash helmet that makes me look more like the human cannonball than aerodynamic firmly strapped to my head and wire basket with my handbag jauntily leading the way, is the music that plays when the wicked witch of the west rides her broom (and when miss gulch rides her bike in kansas like the bitch that she is).

Live 8 news and downloads: rad.

tony blair said that Live 8 actually did contribute to the G8 summit’s decisions; 18 of the poorest african countries’ debt will be forgiven and there is $25 billion pledged in aid. Read more here.

AND, here is a link to select performances from the Live 8 concerts. these were only available to aol subscribers but someone was all clever and posted them for us. i haven’t had time to watch any yet (and i bet downloading time might be a while, since everyone is hitting this at once) but the list looks quite promising.

holy shit! coldplay doing “bittersweet symphony” – WITH richard ashcroft. oh my god that makes me happy. that is my favorite song of all time, for reals.

why were good charlotte invited to be a part of anything even remotely cool and/or important? UB40 still exists (and they STILL perform “red red wine”)? jars of clay? toby keith?!?!!?!?!?!? I like how one of tim mcgraw’s songs is called “drugs or jesus” – i bet it’s really touching and will help lots of addicts overcome their life-threatening problems through his intelligent hybrid of cowboy hats and rockin keyboards.

i’m excited to see a lot of this. i don’t want to work any more, just sit at home and participate vicariously with the world through television and the internet, with the occasional foray into public to the movie theater and to get more cigarettes.

plant camp blog

plant camp is a better blog than scissors happy, and it's better than yours, too. my brother and some of his friends post some pretty unusual observations, fake news stories, and general plant care tips.

my brother writes under the name "f_b" - click here for his recent (and excellent) "Widespread Commentary on Dorito’s New Spokesman Saddam Hussein."



karl rove is an asshole.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove spoke with at least one reporter about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA before she was identified as a covert agent in a newspaper column two years ago, but Rove's lawyer said yesterday that his client did not identify her by name.

Rove had a short conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper on July 11, 2003, three days before Robert D. Novak publicly exposed Plame in a column about her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV. Wilson had come under attack from the White House for his assertions that he found no evidence Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger and that he reported those findings to top administration officials. Wilson publicly accused the administration of leaking his wife's identity as a means of retaliation.

here is the story in the post

if it had been a democrat that exposed a cia covert operative’s true identity, all of the neo-cons would be up in arms and screaming about how UNPATRIOTIC and FREEDOM-HATING it is to put an american spy in danger.

i think that one of the only reasons this story has been more interesting to me than most of the filthy bullshit that goes on in dc is because it is about a spy. a LADY spy.

Friday, July 08, 2005

having an accent makes being a dick so much more appealing

today's first ipod shuffle song: “Morning Glory” – Oasis, from (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

i love brit pop, and while they’re really just blathering idiots, i am vastly entertained by the gallagher brothers, and their 90s albums were downright awesome. i love that they’re swaggering rip-off artists and don't care, and nobody does a better beatles impression, even sir paul (btw, his super bowl halftime show this year was excruciating). incidentally, i bought a copy of the latest Q magazine when i was in ireland last week (usually $12 in the states) that had oasis on the cover. it was a great interview, full of drunken confessions and prickdom from liam and noel, but i laughed a lot. best line: liam said that bono “could talk a glass eye to sleep.”

this is gonna sound dumb, but . . .

i think billy bob thornton was riding my bus this morning. either him, or a guy in serious need of a new look. if that was billy bob, then he is in his skinny, sunglasses-wearing, all-dark-clothing vaguely eurotrash (not good ole american white trash that he also does so well) phase. it might sound preposeterous for him to be on a city bus, but it was the 151, which drives down michigan avenue, and the guy got off near the drake hotel. this does defy logic. fuck it, it wasn't him.

i hate riding the 151 (which serves some of the wealthiest northside neighborhoods - lake shore drive, lincoln park, gold coast) because it's like a goddamn sorority girl fashion show. don't get me wrong, i like nice clothes, but these women are patently ridiculous: louis vuitton bags, chanel sunglasses, teetering on $300 heels, burberry plaid scarves and coach gloves in the winter. it's like a uniform that they all wear, and none of these items are memorable or even attractive. why pay so much to look like a middle-aged upper-middle-class bitter divorcee? what i also find contemptible is that they carry their lunches in paper bags from high-end stores. like, using the plastic bag from 7-11 isn't good enough to carry their one apple and three carrots, so they reuse the same burberry/saks/coach/bloomingdales/cartier bag every day. my question is, if you're so fucking fancy, why are you on the bus?

that goes for you, too, billy bob.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

i like how brits add extra vowels to everything

today's first ipod shuffle song: "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" - Neutral Milk Hotel, from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

some guy i knew in dc burned this album for me when he found out that i'm a big flaming lips fan. i still prefer the lips, but this is pretty solid in its incomprehensible lyrics and musical weirdness. apparently the guy from the band was also in the olivia tremor control, which someone else burned for me, but i find that band pretty dense and have yet to really sit down and listen to the entire album straight through. i do really like otc's "Courtyard" off of Music For The Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle. if i was a good blogger like stereogum i would post it but i am a luddite and also scared of the riaa suing me.

"And one day we will die/And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea/But for now we are young/Let us lay in the sun And count every beautiful thing we can see/Love to be In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me."


i ate black and white pudding a lot when i was in ireland last week. i didn't know (want to know) what was in it, i just thought it was pretty good. my family happily passed me their patties at breakfast. i didn't eat tons of it, but the pieces i ate were in fact quite delicious.

leave it to smart ass friends to pass on the recipe. i think i prefered not knowing. but whatevs. i liked it. maybe i was craving iron. besides, any recipe that instructs "Have the blood ready in a large bowl" is pretty kick-ass.

in case you're just dying to whip some up yourself . . .

ummm . . .

i have nothing intelligent to say about terrorists in general or the "Secret Organization group of al-Qaeda Organization in Europe" in particular, but i hate all of those stupid motherfuckers.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

trying to find patterns in what is supposed to be random

first shuffle song today on ipod: "Nightswimming" - REM, off of Automatic For the People. i had my dad go to musicland and buy it for me the day it came out (october 1992) because i was babysitting and it was VERY important that i got it that day. it came in a longbox, which my brother and i always saved and added the fronts of the boxes to his bedroom wall.

i think my ipod plays its own favorites when it is in shuffle mode. it plays a lot of REM. which i guess is understandable, as i have about 200 of their songs on my ipod. i own every album (including the sucky Man on the Moon soundtrack) and a few singles/rarities and i have a few michael stipe guest-appearance songs. i used to want to marry him and i suppose i still would, despite the whole being gay thing. that photo is of stipe and the new mrs. jack white.

question: why does jack white sound like a screechy retard when he speaks on stage, when he speaks at all? he doesn't really sound like that - i've seen interviews and he said hello to me on the street outside of the black cat in dc back on the De Stijl tour after i said "hey, jack" and his voice is not that of nell. the whole "mystique"/olde-tyme-music-backwoods-darkness folklore that he likes to surround himself in is getting a bit old. especially since he's from detroit, and last time i checked that city wasn't famous for squirrel hunting and sharecropping.

i think i will record this - the first shuffle song - every day, or at least the days i post. even the embarrassing ones, i promise (and my ipod has plenty of those). my ipod currently has 9995 songs. i can gaurantee that i am not intimately familiar with a few thousand of them. but i like having them. i find new gems every single day (for example, today i heard M83's "A Guitar and A Heart" and thought that it was really great). i'm sort of an obsessive, and itunes and my ipod are literal hobbies for me. sad. tears.

dipping my toe in

okay, sorry to bore you with this completely self-obsessive self-congratulatory masturbatory exercise in narcissism. i never did go to journalism school, i never did publish a book, i haven't written a good short story in a year and a half, and no one other than my friends (who will inevitably only read to see if they are mentioned) will ever even bother to look through this. but it's free, and i need projects and diversions. it's either this or meth, and i like my teeth.

i don't know, i kinda prefer her hair as a tweeker.