The fact that I am getting a cold, and cannot hear anything out of my left ear is only partially outweighed by the following curiosities:
The depths of my left inner ear hurt when I belch. WTF?
My car, already melifluous and burbly, sounds even deeper and more menacing. And with the top up, my aural congestion deadens some of the annoying booming resonance at various speeds the XR can create.
The heft, or degree, or severity of the "cotton in the ears" (or should I just be direct and say "phlegm in the ears"?) feeling changes based on how I tilt my head. That's probably the weirdest part, though not as weird as the time I had an ear infection and it lowered all sounds by a semi-tone. Maybe that's next; I'll be sure to keep you posted.
Of course, I'm so spaced out today that I drove all the way home and got to my front door before I discovered I'd left my house keys at work. So I was pretty happy about that.
If I had soup, I'd have soup and a sandwich if I had bread....
white shirt coffeestain no sleep head cold coughing fit no hot water server crash broken code evangelical politics empty bed sour milk.
I'm going to write a little about today. I'm not going to write about the amusingly rude gestures the crazy (young, soccer-mom-ish) broad in the white Taurus wagon made at me after I gently beeped at her as she made an illegal right-on-red into my lane. I'm not going to talk about the great exchange I had with a cab driver at a stop light, after we'd both watched a souped-up Mustang zoom away in a cloud of oil smoke and tinny dime-store custom exhaust noise....
Well, maybe I will talk about that a little, because after the soccer-mom screamed at me and mimed fellatio (and not in a good way--trust me on this) while giving me the finger, the taxi driver (of all people) somewhat restored my sense that not everyone is crazy...
So, he yells over at me and says, "I hope your car doesn't sound like that [meaning the 'Stang] because even though it was a nice car it sounded like shit, and was burning oil like crazy, because he ain't changing it often enough."
"No," I replied, "this sounds a whole lot better than that, and it doesn't burn a drop." When the light went green, he hung back so he could listen to me pull away. I heard him yell "Oh YEAH! Sweet!" Then he caught me in the tunnel under the Science Center and stuck his head out to hear more. So I hit the gas again and zoomed (rather faster than I'd planned) to the light at the top of the hill. The taxi caught me and flew by (through a yellow) while giving me a thumbs-up out the window. (His hand was in some kind of splint, so I guess he couldn't use it to hold the steering wheel.)
So that was cool.
Anyway, I'm not really going to talk about all that. I'm going to talk about Bob Log III, a brilliant one-man-band psycho (video links thereupon are very likely NSFW...) who wears a leisure suit and an open-faced motorcycle helmet with a telephone receiver stuck in the eyeshield. He plays slide guitar, bass drum, hi-hat and drum machine, and is quite unlike anything you've seen before.
More after the jump.
And it's really true: we saw not one, but two Lamborghini Gallardos stopped at a light. It felt kind of surreal. And it was really amazing to hear them revving up off in the distance a few minutes later as I walked home. Even more surreal.
I rescued this as they were removing it from the HMV store in Harvard Square a couple years ago. It's sat propped in the corner of my apartment since. The idea was to hang it on my wall, like some sort of trophy. Or I thought maybe it'd look cool over all my CD shelves. It has a sharp, perforated metal backing, so the floor was variously protected by a Boston Globe from 2003, and an extra copy of the SARS disclosure form I had to sign when I flew through Toronto.
(The form was in English, Chinese, and French, naturelment: "Avez-vous de la fièvre? [Oui|Non] Avez-vous un ou plusieurs des symptômes suivants: tous, essouflement OU difficulté à respirer? [Oui|Non]" Do we even care about SARS anymore, or has everyone moved on to avian flu?)
A year or so ago I made one attempt to remove the concrete moly bolts, so I could mount the damn thing on the wall. But at the time I couldn't find the pair of vice grips I thought I had, and was stymied by the final, most-corroded bolt. So back in the corner the sign went for another year or so.
I just threw it out tonight. (The sign, I mean, though the extra SARS form has gotten the heave-ho too.) One of those things that needs to go, and not stay. I mean, it's sort of a cool objet d'art, and it's retro, or something. But that was then (if ever). Now it's just "junk."
Besides, I think I need a new chair.
Cynthia and I headed over to see Fiery Furnaces and Man Man at the MFA tonight. We had what were termed "front of house" tix, which meant that the first 3 rows were reserved for us (and everyone else who ponyed ("ponied?") up an extra $5. Ordinarily, this would have been great, but we were a little off-center, and getting a little bit too much of the left main.
One tends to forget one's earplugs when one goes to a show at the MFA. But one should try harder to remember them.
The show was actually pretty great. Man Man was quite astounding. The drummer was ferocious, and rocked HARD, and though much of his drumset seemed to be a toy, he had tremendous chops. The set sounded great and he was incredibly funky, in a math-rock, noise-metal kind of way.
They were all dressed in white (drummer had white paint or makeup on his face), and everyone had ancillary percussion they could bang on. Bass, guitar, trumpet, various xylophones, chunks missing from cymbals.....ah...the things you can do with ecclecticism these days. Good stuff.
Fiery Furnaces was pretty super. One of the better times I've seen them, and though Eleanor was fighting a cold, they sounded great. Musically, they rocked a little harder than the last time (at the Paradise, maybe?)--but that was partially because we were 3 feet from the bass crates. On guitar, it seemed Matt was a little more....wide-ranging than sometimes. Rhythm section was extra-tight, and (naturally) rather more intense than on most of the records.
But again, having your face up against the PA helps with that.
Got home just in time to see the umpire hand game 2 of the ALCS to Chicago. The Angels were ripped off.
(One-time only explanation of the category: from time to time I come across, or have sent my way, links that defy explanation or comment. I will post them here, in this category, and except in extreme circumstances will say nothing further.)
So, Tim sent me some mail this morning (in the guise of a Nigerian swindler) saying that all the permalinks off of life.neophi.com/ctw were broken, and throwing database connection errors. Likewise, I couldn't get to the MT admin page to see what was going on. Everything else was fine (including DanielR's blog on this very server.
Daniel did some poking around and it seems the problem was twofold:
A: there were some power problems at the hosting location early this morning, and it seems that not everything came back up cleanly, in particular mysql or something related.
B: Even so, I had Rotorblog misconfigured to use dynamically linked category, monthly and individual archive templates. If I'd been using static archive templates, as I should have been, all the pages would have been there for your enjoyment (or at least RASHIDI MANSUELA's enjoyment), with or without the DB being available.
So there you go. The moral? RTFM. And Cascading failures are bad.
And thanks to Tim for the tip, and Daniel for kicking mysql...
Correct! I'm at work.
Whatever else Celexa does or doesn't do to one's neural chemistry and outlook, it sure makes for great (=vivid) dreams.
Now, sleeping till 1530, as I did on Saturday, helps with that too. (The dream thing, I mean.) But I was again reminded of how creative I can be when I'm not actually awake. I increasingly find that the dreams are informed by real-life events or stresses; I know that happens to other people a lot, but not me, unless I'm popping pills. For instance, this past week the lease on my parking space ran out.* So I spent the 2nd half of the week scouring Craig's List looking for parking. I found a space close by, and went through more than a few hoops to see the space, decide to take it, find out it was already taken but be told there was another one available close by, go see that, decide to take it, get certified checks to pay for it, try to arrange to drop off the checks, then be forgotten about, etc. etc.
So what do I dream about last night? Parking. And groceries. And neighbors. And carrying groceries from my parking space to my apartment, and shaking my head in disgust at how everyone was crowding my space with their (lack of) parking skill. And a big Infiniti sedan which was apparently a present to myself to give me something to drive during the winter. And drive I did, around the old neighborhood in Media, PA, (in which, btw, I haven't lived since I was 13) where I hit 90 mph on a two block stretch, and reveled in all the trunk space compared to Veloce, and then the Infiniti sedan turned into a van with room for at least 12, and I was describing how much of a change it was from my Mazda, and saying why I loved all the torque of the big V6 (shared with any number of Nissan/Infiniti cars, like the 350Z and Altima). But then I was visiting my neighbor back in Cambridge to handover my keys (or something) for some reason, and we started making out. And after that there was a four-wheel "bicycle" that I was riding recklessly in Somerville, controlling with handlebar buttons for speed and braking (both of which functions, by the way, were spectacularly thrilling--these thumb-activiated triggers were super-sensitive), but not getting the steering part right, so I basically kept running into walls. I'd go for a test ride on a "bike" I was thinking about buying, and careen down a ramp onto the bottom level of a mall in Somerville, then try to steer but hit the wall. People I (barely) knew were there, having some kind of reunion. And some athletic person who was visiting from another coast was apologizing for not being able to score more cans of Coke for all of us, but she felt like she'd worn out her welcome with the hosts, so those of us who came late (presumably because our four-wheeled "bikes" couldn't be steered) were out of luck (at least as far as Coke was concerned). So we were left to escape the shopping mall by wading across a decorative reflecting pond which had a very narrow path of stones about 4 feet below the surface of the pond. If we couldn't stay on the path, we'd have to swim. Getting to the other side of the ornamental pond meant keeping quiet and not turning on a flashlight (wtf?) because all the people on the other side of the pond were trying to attract "sprites," which were these weirdly shy creatures of the night, and flashlights would scare them away. And then I was waiting in Somerville (yes, again) to meet up with my friends John and Katie because they needed some pictures taken of them after their wedding, but they'd carried all the equipment on the Green Line, and it involved a lot of film projection equipment, like the movies substitute teachers in 9th grade would show, but with the equipment running amok. So there were film reels spinning, and hundreds of feet of film ending up on the floor of my apartment--all critical to the photo shoot, but all equally uncontrollable.
So, parking was on the brains. Along with, apparently, a few other things.
I didn't use to have those sorts of dreams, but. Now I do.
Have you heard Federation X? I've been listening to them a lot lately. They're responsible for the quote at the top of this screen (at least as I type this--I might be changing it soon--mousing over it will tell you whether I have or haven't), and have exactly the right kind of rocking misanthropy, and kind of sound that only a trio with two four-string guitars and a fucking INTENSELY SAVAGE drummer can produce. Metal for the soul. Like the Dirty Three but with less (=zero) violin and still all those intangibles that make music so great.
It either fits or it doesn't.
*Which is more or less ok. I was starting to become frustrated with the lack of skill of my parking neighbors, and though the space was super-close to my apartment (and relatively inexpensive as these things go), I was getting close to needing to write a "Dear Neighbor" letter to people so that I actually had room to fit into my space. So maybe it was just time to move on.
Self-serve pump #2 at a Sunoco station in a medium-sized city outside of a slightly larger city. Day.
[Mr. White is refueling a red car. Mr. Pink approaches slowly. He places his hands on the rear fender of of Mr. White's car, opposite from where Mr. White is holding the pump nozzle in his car's fuel filler.]
Mr. Pink: I...
Mr. White: Please don't touch.
[Mr. Pink glances up at Mr. White, and moves closer, around the back of the car, still touching it.]
Mr. White: Please! Don't touch.
Mr. Pink: Uh?
Mr. White [annoyed]: Don't. Touch.
[A light bulb appears above Mr. Pink's head. He acts surprised, but removes his hands from the car.]
Mr. Pink: Ah! I have been touching MILLIONS of cars. [He waves his hand subcontinentally.]
Mr. White: I have no doubt.
Mr. Pink [motioning toward inspection sticker on windshield. The sticker expires in October.]: I can give you a new sticker.
[Mr. White stifles a snort.]
Mr. White: No thanks.
[Exit Mr. Pink]
[Mr. White finishes refueling.]
[Exit Mr. White]
Upshot? Smith & Wesson can't be sued if I go on a murderous rampage, but Grokster can be sued if I download Poison Ivy.
Note the McNabb jersey in the pic.
My favorite part? "I feel if they want us to dress a certain way, they should pay for our clothes. It's just tough, man, just knowing that all of a sudden, you have to have a dress code out of nowhere."
Yeah, that must be tough. How much money do you make? I bet it buys a lot of suits.
Sometime last weekend, I got an anonymous note in my mailbox from my neighbors (no, not that one) asking me to "be a bit more aware" and turn down the music. The note wasn't dated, and it didn't specify the date of time of the offense.
Rightly or not, I've passed from "regretful" to "annoyed." In, like, a heartbeat. So I feel the need to respond. To both light a candle and curse the darkness.
Dear Faceless, Nameless Cowards,
So sorry I disturbed you, whenever it might have been. I'll certainly try to be more considerate.But you should know, at this stage, it doesn't always come easily under certain circumstances.
See, I'd love to keep the music quieter, but I find a little Spoon or Girls Against Boys helps me ignore the tobacco and weed smoke pouring under my door or (in happier, warmer times) through the window. But I'm sure you don't smoke, do you? That dope-ass Tiefschwarz remix of Kinda New and the first Federation X record are really great for blunting the impact of Clydesdale hooves high heels in the hallways. (I mean, shit...name a song that's in 7/8 that rocks harder than Song About The Sweet Lovin' Woman. You can't. There isn't one.) Do you still wear Docksiders without socks? (Hey, I'm just asking. I'm sure someone still does. I bet they're quiet, too.)
Additionally, I've been known to play music while people in the building are extravagantly sobbing or cackling (not at the same time--I don't think). I don't want to begrudge you your emotional turmoil, but I'm sure I don't have to worry about that, since you're not bi-polar, are you?
That you addressed me by my first name means this must really have been eating at you (enough to do some phonebook sleuthing). That you signed your note "Your Neighbors" means I can't figure out whether you're above me or next door or across the hall. Or whether you have a peg-leg, a deaf roommate (or 8) or a drug problem. Clearly you knew that.
But never the matter. For all that, and despite the fact that music is playing in my apartment 95% of the time I'm in it (which means there're a lot of times you don't hear it) I rather like it here, and I'll try even harder not to pierce whatever it is that insulates you from your surroundings. And anyway, you might be pleased to know that my 20-year-old amp has started taking days off now and then, so till I get that replaced I've got these big ol' canister headphones on. If you can hear the music now, there's something wrong with both of us.
Just don't confuse being "more aware" with "giving a shit."
Christopher T. Welbon
In the course of clearing out some old files, I found some...weird movies that I shot. This is one of them.
My friend Brian had a birthday this past Sunday, and we've known each other long enough that I feel comfortable (not to say "eager") posting this picture of him from our "college days," ready to "hit the town." I have no idea what the occasion was, but I'm sure that whatever ensued was ragin'.
Hapy Birthday, B.
(This pic barely scratches the surface, so if you need more proof of his greatness check out my Flickr set that attempts to document a particular weekend this April when he played a rock show and married Carolyn the most fair.
I'm off to Phila for the weekend tomorrow. Since the weather's going to be good, I decided I'd drive instead of fly. I imagine my dad and I will take part in the quintessential suburban father/son bonding activity: car detailing, maybe a little test driving.
Mostly, though, I'm looking forward to nobody being able to hear any music during the trip but me.
I'm back from a fun weekend with my parents. Their neighbors threw a retirement dinner for my father, which was good fun. The weather was fantastic, and there was much car-washing. Trip back was some kind of record; not much traffic, and the music kept the speeds tempo clicking along nicely.
Though I must say Connecticut continues, and probably ever shall be, a big pain in the ass.
During the pre-dinner cocktails on Saturday night, one of the daughters of the hosts, a firecracker of 11 or 12 (we'll call her G), was hanging around, bemused by the grownups and skewering their strange rituals. For instance:
People were taking photos (and by "people" I mean my parents), and after someone had taken a shot of me listening intently to a conversation, G burst out laughing and asked me "Why don't you smile??"
"I *was* smiling," I claimed, knowing that I probably wasn't.
"Noooo, you just looked, like, [makes long, frowning face]."
"Well, I was *kinda* smiling."
"[Giggles, more funny faces]"
"[Funny faces, vague protestations in response]"
This went on for a bit, until it was clear to both of us that I didn't have an answer.