Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the challengers of the unknown


It was a tumor. A four-inch long tumor against her stomach, only a small, round blip of which had poked through the fat along her tummy to the skin. It wasn't on her x-rays 10 weeks ago. She's recovering right now, but is taking a lot longer to shake off the anesthesia than she did last year. The vet thinks we're talking a matter of months at this point, but they thought that last year and she managed to prove them wrong, so maybe we'll still have a little Foxy kitty a year from now--but it's all just wait and see for the moment.

Poor little girl. She'll be getting a lot of love from me when I go home for Christmas, no question.

sometimes you should let it slide

To lighten the mood a little, courtesy of Skatterbrain, the video for Lacrosse's "You Can't Say No Forever":

I keep watching it and watching it, then clapping my hands, giggling and exclaiming, "Again! Again!!!"

Seriously. If you're feeling the least bit sad at the moment, you've gotta watch this. The moment towards the end, with the Golden Gate Bridge...? KILLS me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

kitten break

We thought she beat the cancer... then I found a lump last Wednesday, rubbing her tummy to greet her. A hard, round little thing where her lower left nipple used to be. She's going under the knife again Thursday and we'll know more. Hopefully it's nothing. Or something, but then it will be gone again. A year ago we weren't sure if she'd still be here now, so I know it's a blessing she's lived this long.

But she really is the sweetest kitty. And she's more playful now than ever. My mom tells me that she delighted in mauling a new drinking straw last night, and was attacking her crinkle toys this evening. She's so full of life. She's not that old, for a cat.

It's also not the only cancer in my family right now. Cancer sucks, period.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

with a bottle of wine

Leaving in... less than 7 hours? Sigh. Still have to a) reread my paper and fix what I can manage after a couple of drinks and a long day, b) correct/create some footnotes, and c) pack. But it was worth it to see OFFICE tonight at Schuba's. Seriously, $5 = Free Knob Creek-sponsored pre-party/electric set + acoustic set later on. Such a deal! The Boy and I met band member Jessica at the bar while we were chowing down on some appetizers between sets--she is SO freaking nice. I guess I'm not used to rockstars (well, maybe that's stretching it, but they're gonna be big) who aren't full of themselves in the least. She also plays a mean xylophone.

So, anyway. Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I leave you with a whimsical Office video:

Monday, November 19, 2007

we've got your number

Thanks for the concern re: that last post--I'm feeling better now, though no less stressed (and still staring down the barrel of a net neutrality paper--thank god for first drafts). A fun weekend away really helped things, too. I consumed more fettuccine Alfredo and drank less water more food of every conceivable variety AND more Mory's cup than I anticipated, froze my ass off at the H-Y Game only to have us LOSE in a highly embarrassing fashion, played Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time (talk about partying like it's 1991), blew out my voice at the YGC concert afterparty singalong, caught up with a LOT of people (some of whom I haven't seen in a very long time), perused the bounty of the New Haven IKEA, and got rear-ended en route from Whole Foods to California Pizza Kitchen Thursday night.

Well, ok, so that last one wasn't so great, but neither I nor the driver got more than a minor case of whiplash, and our mild shock post-accident had us ending the evening watching the Shot and Hogan Knows Best on VH1, both of which are way more entertaining than I would have expected. Now that the writer's strike is in full effect, I suppose I'd better start seeking solace in reality TV. sigh.

...or, perhaps, solace in the comfort of having a FINISHED DRAFT OMG. Pardon me whilst I go beat my head against the wall get cracking on that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

enough of the sea

I have had a few bright spots, but mostly, this day has been total crap.

I am sick of thinking the best in others only to be proven wrong. I am tired of being an afterthought.

And I sure as hell want this paper off my back. I can't even look forward to this weekend, which is supposed to be wonderful and fun but now promises to be fraught with latent stress.

It's not all sunshine, light, and concerts at the Vic, kids. It's exhausting. And this is supposed to be the fun year.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

leave it there for safe keeping

This makes me sad.

I'd heard about it from Mom while home last week. Z-93 was an institution when I was growing up. It was the radio station I first secretly turned to when I wanted to explore what the big kids were listening to (we're talking 1991--I had a list of favorites, like Amy Grant's "Baby Baby," Another Bad Creation's "Iesha" and Londonbeat's "I've Been Thinking About You"). It wasn't my high school station (that was 103.9, the Edge/X, before it started to suck after I graduated), nor my musical home away from home, online in college and on the radio (briefly) afterward (97X/WOXY). But I distinctly remember taping Collective Soul ("Shine") and Madonna ("I Will Remember") off of Z-93 in middle school, and when I've been going home on law school breaks, I would pop it on from time to time to hear current guilty pleasures (coughPanicattheDiscocough).

But it's a Jack station now. And as novel as I initially found that format, as a former radio DJ, it's kind of soulkilling. There are no DJs--it's all computerized. More music, less talk. It's basically admitting that radio is no better than your iPod at setting the tone for a musical listening experience--in fact, it's probably worse, because you'll have to sit through the Steve Miller Band for the umpteenth time rather than something new. Not like we're listening to our iPods for anything new anyway--I might not know what's coming up next on my Shuffle, but I put it all in there, so there really isn't any genuine surprise.

So, yeah. I didn't intend for this to turn into a diatribe on the state of radio today. Maybe radio really is an anachronism after all. I mean, all the songs I cited above--those were big hits. And I haven't thought about them in years. In fact, if I never hear "Baby, Baby" again, it will probably be too soon. But there's something to be said about a collective musical consciousness, (inter)national songs and artists that shape an era, and we just don't have that anymore. And damn it, there's also something to be said about hearing your song on the radio. I'm working my way through the back episodes of Lost from last season as adds them online and just got to the episode where Charlie (former member of fictional band Driveshaft, for the uninitiated) is listing the things he considers his 5 finest moments in life--and what do you think #5 was? Hearing your ad on an iPod commercial just isn't the same thing, Feist. (Though the Boy tells me that Dylan's intrusion into an iPod ad did help sales of his most recent album.)

Anyway, this is just a long way of saying that nothing ever stays the same, especially not in radio. And it's worth noting that the music that has endured, the stuff I really love, came via word of mouth, not via radio play. Exhibit A, They Might Be Giants--I realized last night (at a grrreat show) that it was just over ten years ago that I saw my first TMBG concert, which also was my first ever concert, and I've been a fan for more than fifteen years. That's well over half my life. That's something worth holding on to. That's what matters.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

i don't mind, if you don't mind

Blogging from the bunker in Centerville, Ohio. Full of home-cooked food, new driver's license in hand. Covered in cat hair. Back to reality in less than eighteen hours.

More soon.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

you're changing your heart

Be gone with thee, MPRE. Hopefully I passed. At the very least, I feel as though I could be a sole practitioner living on the border between two states, sending out "advertising material" and investing client money in local trust accounts, without violating any ethical rules.

How often any of this will actually come up in my legal career? Who knows.

Anyway, I found this music survey in my blog wanderings this week, and since it looks like more fun than the effiks reading I've been doing all week, I figured I'd fill it out instead:

Which bands/artist do you own the most albums by?
R.E.M. They also just plain HAVE more albums than most other artists. TMBG is probably second.

What was the last song you listened to?
New Pornographers, "Challengers"

What's in your CD player right now?
Huh? What is this "cd" you speak of? The Decemberists are the last artist on my Last.FM feed, I guess.

What’s your favorite local band/group?
Oooh, is it cheating to say Wilco, since they're pretty much a "national" band? How about Office?

What was the last show you attended?
The late, lamented Long and Short of It Tour.

What was the greatest show you’ve ever been to?
Oh, come on--that's not a fair question. The Amos Lee/Elvis Costello/Bob Dylan show I attended last Saturday is probably the biggest star power show I've ever been to.

What's the crappiest show you've ever been to?
Hmm. I was underwhelmed by Fastball/Sugar Ray/Goo Goo Dolls back in high school. I don't make a point of going to bad concerts.

What’s the most musically involved you have ever been?
I'm always musically involved. Right now I'm prepping for Habeas Chorus and Wigmore Follies performances at next week's public interest auction. The busiest I've been musically was senior year of college, balancing Whim, the Glee Club, and my radio show on WYBC.

What show are you looking forward to?
I juuuust bought tickets to Aimee Mann's holiday show on Dec. 11. But I'll be seeing TMBG next Saturday. And Modest Mouse on Dec. 4, I think.

What is your favorite band shirt?
THIS is a great question! I love my super-soft green Decemberists ringer tee, and my pink panda New Pornographers tee. I'm wearing my R.E.M. horsey tee right now, but I probably love the one I bought at their last tour more (with the line from "I'm Gonna DJ" on the back: "Music will provide the light you cannot resist"). Or what about my Dar Williams "Peace Branch Horse & Bible Camp" shirt? My "I *heart* Canadian Boys" shirt of ten years ago? The $40 Bob Dylan shirt I bought last weekend because it's got fuzzy stuff on it? I'm a sucker for merch, apparently.

What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
I've long maintained that John Vanderslice would be just so cool to talk to. He'd probably bring cupcakes and a deck of cards. I'd say Colin Meloy or Michael Stipe, but I'd probably just sit and stare at them while at a loss for words. Besides, Michael seems like he'd be pretty difficult to carry on a conversation with.

Who is one musician or group you wish would make a comeback?
I do get pangs about a certain Canadian band from time to time. More realistically, when the hell is Dogs Die in Hot Cars going to release another album? (Well, shoot. Never, apparently.)

Who is one band/artist you've never seen live but always wanted to?
Right now? Radiohead, for sure. After that, probably the White Stripes. Or U2. Or maybe the Police, not counting the fact I've seen Sting before. It's interesting: I'm scrolling through iTunes for inspiration, and almost every artist I really love I've seen already (unless it's unrealistic/impossible for me to do so). Huh.

Name 5 of your favorite songs of all time?

1. Moxy Fruvous, "River Valley"
2. Belle & Sebastian, "Seeing Other People"
3. They Might Be Giants, "Ana Ng"
4. The Decemberists, "The Engine Driver"
5. R.E.M., "Fall on Me"

Name 5 flawless albums:

1. The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
2. The Twilight Singers, Blackberry Belle
3. Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes (honorable mention: Scarlet's Walk)
4. Radiohead, OK Computer
5. R.E.M., Automatic for the People

...and yes, this really was just me scrolling up through iTunes till I found 5 albums that don't have a single song I dislike. I'm sure I could think of more. Like Lincoln's self-titled album. Or Jude's No One Is Really Beautiful. (Yep, still scrolling upwards in iTunes. I'll stop.)

How many music-related videos/DVDs do you own?
Geez. I have a lot of these, too (sucker for merch, remember?). I think I have a bunch of R.E.M. and BNL tapes still in my parents' basement. Here in my apartment, I have 20 DVDs, and I will list them, because I don't want to do real work: Barenaked Ladies, Barelaked Nadies; Belle & Sebastian, Fans Only; Ben Folds Five, The Complete Sessions at West 54th; Ben Folds and WASO, Live in Perth (huh? I don't think I've ever even watched this one); Blur, Best Of; Dave Matthews Band, The Videos 1994-2001; The Decemberists, A Practical Handbook; DIG! (Dandy Warhols/Brian Jonestown Massacre documentary); Great Big Sea, Great Big DVD; Ellis Paul, 3000 Miles; Radiohead, 7 Television Commercials; R.E.M., The Best of R.E.M., Perfect Square Live, Road Movie, and When the Light Is Mine: The Best of the IRS Years 1982-1987; 2 Skinnee Js, Enter the Gold Hat and Next Big Thing; They Might Be Giants, Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns (not technically BY them, but ABOUT them), and Venue Songs; U2, Elevation 2001: Live from Boston.

Whew. I also have the Decemberists' Austin City Limits performance still on tape to watch sometime when I get a free moment (and am not feeling compelled to fill out a highly detailed music survey).

How many concerts/shows have you been to, total?
God, I've been to too many this year alone to have any idea, let alone cumulatively.

Who have you seen the most live?
Why, that would be Moxy Fruvous, 36 times in less than 3 years. I'll have a hard time topping that. I have seen the Decemberists 5 times this year, though.

What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
I have several: The Forrest Gump soundtrack was actually one of my first CD purchases ever; it's probably not my favorite anymore, but it was a good musical education for a burgeoning music aficionado. And, of course, there's my beloved Dumb & Dumber soundtrack. More recently, I'd say Me, Myself & Irene; Magnolia; Vanilla Sky; O Brother, Where Art Thou?

...come to think of it, none of those are particularly recent. I don't actually remember when I last purchased a movie soundtrack.

What was your last musical "phase" before you wised up?
Heh... having just mentioned Magnolia, now I have "Wise Up" in my head. But that's not what the question is asking. I was really, really into Oldies for awhile--I don't feel particularly guilty about that anymore, though. What's not to like about the Mamas and the Papas or the Beach Boys?

What's your "guilty pleasure" that you hate to admit to liking?
Nerd rap?

What album have you purchased the most copies of?
Probably Factory Showroom, of which I own three copies (one regular, one promo, one signed). SOMEone was a little TMBG-obsessed around 1996. Ahem.

Who is your favorite musician?
Musician? As in, not band? Because that's really hard. I tend to like bands more than solo artists. I guess I'll say Elvis Costello, or maybe Jack White, because I'm so impressed by his musicianship/musicality. Band would be R.E.M. or the Decemberists, neither of which should come as any sort of surprise to regular readers of this blog. Songwriter might be Dave Carter or Richard Shindell. Or Sufjan.

Also, this question reminds me of an anecdote from Mediation class a couple weeks ago. We were supposed to go around the room and say some getting-to-know-you-type stuff about ourselves, like favorite movie, favorite food, favorite kind of music, or "favorite artist." And I was really, really confused when the second person to talk ended her spiel with, "...and my favorite artist is probably Van Gogh." Because it never would have OCCURRED to me to talk, like, ART art. I figured the professor wanted my favorite musical artist. And, honestly, I think she probably did. But a few more people chimed in with art artists after that. My favorite art artist would probably be Degas.

And now I have some TV to watch Net Neutrality research to do. Pardon me.

Friday, November 02, 2007

whatever the mess you are

I just got a $20 check from my campus medical services provider because I overpaid.


I'm not turning down money... I just have no idea what it's from. I haven't been to a doctor there since January. Way to be on the ball with this stuff, "speedy" Student Health Services.

In other news, I think I might not actually fail the MPRE tomorrow. Here's to hoping.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

the mortars may fall


This just in:

"Adored Mailing List Recipients,

With much regret The Decemberists have cancelled the remainder of "The Long and Short of It" tour.

One of our band members has been ill for a while but we thought all would be well in time for these tour dates. After a couple shows, though, it has become clear that the illness is much worse than we had initially realized. We need to return home so our friend can mend.

It saddens us to disappoint our fans. We hope everybody understands it is only because of an extreme situation that we had to cancel a tour we've all been excited about doing since the idea was originally hatched.

Our deepest apologies but at this time no plans are being made to reschedule the dates. Ticket holders should seek refunds at point of purchase.


The Decemberists", I guess I saw the ONLY two shows of this tour? Yikes! Maybe I should've bought a t-shirt.

I'm not sure who's ill, but whoever it is, I hope they get well soon.