Archive for September, 2006

2 full hours

Guess how long it took me to get to work today? I bet you’ll never be able to guess…never ever! Ok, guess.

DAMNIT! You’re right! First try too. You’re good. Have you ever thought about going on the bestest game show on tv, “Deal or No Deal”? I mean, you could make a killing with that kind of guessing power, and you could lick the bald host’s head. I don’t know his name, but I like to call him “ol’ quey”.

In case you’re unsure the answer was 2 hours. They (the powers that be) completely shut down 99, the main artery for me and thousands of others into the heart of the city. It was truly an awe inspiring sight to see waves of vehicles be diverted onto tiny side streets, clogging any and every direction for miles, it was worse than a fat man’s colon after Super Bowl Sunday! After it took me 30 minutes to move a half a mile, I decided to quit trying to phone work and instead popped in my ‘brotha’ Scott Joplin. We ragtimed it up for the better part of an hour all the while I gave menacing and goofy looks to the people going the opposite direction on the side streets.

Joplin was great but if I was smarter I would’ve put in Blood, Sweat and Tears much sooner. The minute the guitar opened with a raspy riff, traffic immediately began to move as if “Go Down Gambling” was a siren that sang, “Get the heck outta my way!”. Things only got smoother as I entered the freeway and Electric Flag’s rendition of Killing Floor came on and grooved me towards the front door of purgatory work. I mean just listen to that bassline……how can you not boogie on down the road?! Culture people! I’m trying to spread the music love! Everyone’s day would be better with boogie.

I was thinking about using some of my vacation time in the coming weeks, I just never thought I’d be spending half of it in my car.

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Sake it to me

I pick up the tiny cup and attentively hold it between my fingers examining the handmade craftsmanship. Dirty brown clay pulled with the utmost precision creates a razor thin edge around the cup. The clear liquid inside beckons my tongue to have another sip. I throw back the contents of the cup and sit back. As the hot fluid slowly drains down my throat a warm sensation fills my belly while I listen to the voices clamoring all around me. Talk of firefighting, guitar playing, karaoke, and drinking echo in the air. Some people talk with genuine intensity and interest while others merely talk to fill the awkwardness that is created by such a wide melange of persons brought together for a common interest.

It’s Karin’s 21st birthday and as always, her big, wide-open heart brings in an eclectic mix of friends. As raw fish and rice rolled in seaweed are placed before us my mind drifts. How did I get here? Why do we make some of the decisions that we do? I think back to the night before where I was supporting my friend TJ at Guitar Center’s drumming competition….the same scene where the injustice took place a year and a half ago. Anyways, after TJ competed I went into the classical guitar room and began to play. As I played the salesman pulled up a chair and just sat there with his head back, listening to me! When I was finished he told me I played ‘beautifully’ which is quite a compliment coming from a guy that hears hundreds of guitar players every week. We launched into a discussion about guitar. He told me he can’t play as well since he broke his back. I told him I was sorry to hear that and for some reason started to tell him about how I rode a motorcycle for 7 years in every type of weather, and one of my main concerns was falling down and messing up my hands so that I wouldn’t be able to play anymore. His eyes got big and he said, “that’s how I broke my back, I got in a motorcycle accident!”

Crazy. Crazy because for some unascertained reason I decided to tell him about my long standing fear but even crazier for the power of our decisions. He and I had such similar interests, what if we had switched roles? I suddenly felt very fortunate for selling the motorcycle when I did. Our talk haunted me the rest of the night.

My mind comes back to the party. The raw fish have stopped squirming, the wasabi is still green and the sake has long been sucked dry. I look at Karin and I am amazed how much she has grown in three years. I cannot fathom the degree her life has changed, it isn’t even a shadow of what it once was, and not to be magniloquent but it’s seriously because of me, and one little decision I made nearly four years ago with a mouse and a single click of a “yes” button. Again crazy.

As I get older and I look back at the road(s) I have taken in my life I am becoming more and more convinced of the butterfly effect and how massive things can change with the smallest and most innocent of decisions. Too much for me to think about in this late hour when I should be dreaming about go karts, but still very much real and there. I believe we all have more power than we realize. Does anyone else?

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Maybe there’s hope for me?

This is an article about a Guitar Hero 2 competition that took place in Texas. According to the article my ex-coworker Hector ripped it up. He works for a video game design company or something like that, and they flew him and a few others down there to ‘represent’. And he did. Pretty crazy. Anyways, after he left the company I work at he got his dream job working on video games, getting paid many large bills to do so. Good for him. My other coworker Kelly also recently left the company with a grant that allowed her to move to Manchester and pursue her dream job of being a documentary filmmaker. Good for her. I am currently still employed at the same company, but I can only dream of what bigger and better things await me after this job, since it seems to be one gigantic springboard to dream jobs. Here’s for hoping…..

Professional bumming here I come!

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Oregon Coast? In Fall?

I went to the beach this weekend with my family and a few others. My cousin’s 2nd uncle, brother’s wife twice removed built a large house practically right on the sandy beaches of Pacific City, so I guess you could say we had an ‘in’. The house was nice, and able to hold lotsa people without feeling too crowded but the main draw to this weekend was the weather! Seriously, I thought we had entered a warp and landed on the California coast, sans the people and pollution. It was perfect, with no wind, no clouds and 80 degrees. Go ahead be jealous that you weren’t there.

Getting out on the beach with that type of weather made me want to jump, and run and wrestle about. Unfortunately there was no one there that wanted to wrestle! :( My dad would’ve punched me in the nose had I tried to wreslte him, Phil fell down and lay in the fetal position before I could even begin to wrestle and my sis, well my sis is no match for me. So to burn off some steam I bet my sister that I could run backwards faster than she could run forwards. I’ll admit this wasn’t the greatest idea in the history of ideas but it seemed fun at the time. I took off backwards while she ran after me. It was pretty funny seeing her head bob up and down while she was trying to catch me. My theory was right, I was a tiny bit faster and she couldn’t catch me. Once I had determined that I was the fastest, I tried to slow down, but I did so much too fast and ended up crashing down to the ground on my elbow and hip and skidding on the wet, hard sand. As I got up admist the surrounding laughter, I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I fell down. It must’ve been years. Think about it, can you think of the last time you fell down? Especially with some of you middle age people I bet its been awhile.

I think the last time I fell down was in college coming out of one the buildings. I was walking down the steps and I saw a super cute girl walking with one of my friends. I knew this would be the perfect time to meet up with them and talk with the super cute girl, so I hurried my steps a little bit. A word of advice, ‘hurrying your steps’ as your eyes are locked onto a super cute girl are not two things that should be done at once. I missed the last step and my legs gave out as I stumbled forward with my arms and legs flailing as I fell face first on the grass (luckily) right in front of my friend and the super cute girl. Classic. All my friend said was, “nice one.” “oh, uhh….I tripped!” It was stupid and embarrassing. Ever since then I think I’ve been fall free until this weekend. I don’t fall as much now that I’m not in sports or karate trying to kick people’s heads.

How ’bout you? When was the last time you totally fell and biffed it? None of this trip and catch yourself on the wall or a bike rack stuff, I’m talking about laid out, body hitting the ground with a fury falling. I need to know. I figure most of us are in the prime time non-tripping days, but we still manage to have some doosies now and again, just wait until we get old, we’ll be falling down breaking hips all the time! :(

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no time for posting

woah, got busy, BUSY this week so I’m sorry. I’ll be gone until sunday so I’m giving you these videos to entice you.

Cat barking

This one is the best:

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Hook eye.

Avast me Scallywags ’tis Shoutin’ Clive Morgan speakin’ at ye! Grab yer grog and gather ’round ’tis the day ye can be talkin’ like a salty seadog pirate and not have to swab the deck fer it. I’ve been a doing it all day but just now I realized I fergot to tell me heartis! So fly yer Jolly Roger ye only got but a short time before the moon rises and this day is laid to rest. So take hold of yer cutlass and pillage and plunder some booty while ye sing a shanty to me the greatest web pirate of them all! Otherwise ye be dancin’ the hempen jig from the starboard of me ship!

Fair winds me buckos!

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T for Tugboat

Last night Phil and I went and saw our friend Ben play in his trio called The Ben Macy Trio. They play in a little place called The Tugboat Brewery in downtown Portland. The Tugboat is very dimly lit, but really it was perfect for some soothing jazz, and really I was surprised how good the mix sounded as they played. Ben is an excellent jazz piano player so it’s always a treat to hear him play. He doesn’t play any sleepy elevator jazz, so we had no problem staying awake during his set. The trio is made up of Ben on the piano, some dude in a white shirt on the drums, and another dude in a black shirt on the upright bass. Phil was good company but it would’ve been a great night to be sitting across from a lovely lady enthralled deep in conversation while a mellow jazz shuffle played in the background.

As we parked to go to the Tugboat I realized I had to pee like a race horse before a race. I saw that Powell’s Technical Books was still open and not knowing what the facilities were like in the little bar I suggested we make a pit stop. I was hoping to get in and out but I quickly realized that we needed a key for the bathrooms. I have a weird thing where I don’t like to go into a store or restaurant just to use the bathroom (even that’s what I was purposefuly doing). I feel like the people will be mad, so I wander around for a bit pretending I’m actually there to look at books or food. As I was walking around doing my pretend perusing I came across this awesome book. 1416 pages full of reviews and guides for classical music. It’s mammoth and AWESOME. It has a short biography if each composer as well as synopsis of their works and short clips of info on the ‘best recordings’ for a certain work. It’s very interesting and a great way to open my classical collection even further. I guess it pays to pee in a bookstore.

After the peeing and the jazzin’ we headed back to Phil’s place to watch V for Vendetta. Now I know this movie got mixed reviews and I’ll admit I went into it not knowing what it was about, but in the end I loved it. It was a nice surprise to what I thought it was going to be. I liked it so much that I really want to read the actual book and check out more work by Alan Moore, the man who wrote the book. It’s just good gooood stuff. During two different scenes Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is played, but what is funny to me about the Overture is the most famous part, duh duh da duh da duh da duh duh….(you know what I’m talking about) is only a very small part of the 16 minute song! Usually when we hum a song it’s from the main theme, but this really isn’t. After the movie I realized I didn’t have this wonderful song so I downloaded it, and it is really something, especially the beginning, so smooth and relaxed, check out a sample. On the way home 89.9 put the musical cherry on top of my night with a moving performance from Joshua Bell on the violin playing Casta Diva from Norma. I was able to find the exact recording I heard and immediately purchased it for my collection. Superstar!

Today I came across some incredible new music as well that I will share in another entry. But, man! I love weekends like this, so much new music just dropped in my lap. It’s funny b/c at times I’ll really be jonesin’ for some new tunes but I can’t seem to find anything to fill the void, and other times when I’m not looking I’m overwhelmed with good stuff. It makes me think there is so much more out there that I’m missing. Just when I think I’ve heard all the good composers or classical tunes, new (old) ones come out of the woodwork and knock me over. I love it.

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Beginning of the end for Youtube?

I’m actually surprised this has not come sooner. But it appears YouTube is about to get the pants sued off of them. I realized they were going to be in deep doodoo a few months back when Jake was over talking to me about Robocop 2. Not sure why that was the topic of conversation that day, but it was. I had never seen the film so I didn’t understand what he was describing, so he jumped on YouTube and found the exact clip he was thinking of. Pretty crazy, but the problem is that ‘clip’ is from a copyrighted movie along with millions of other clips on the site. So as you can imagine, music and movie studios want the money that is owed to them. It’s sad really, b/c I dig YouTube, I usually use it to watch stupid things that stupid people do, but sometimes it is nice to see an episode of robot chicken or the Daily Show…etc. I suppose the demise of YouTube is not even that big of deal since as always, there’s about 20 other copycats that have the same material. I just wonder if there will be a time 30 years from now when we’ll look back and remember the days of the ‘free Internet’ where there was net neutrality with lots of bandwidth and you could call up a clip of your favorite movie, song, tv show without facing jail time. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic I just wish there was a happy medium for movie/music companies, the Internet and us.

Enough of all that depressing thought! Check out this clip from a crazy Japanese game show. They have to quickly recite a tongue-twister and if they fail, there are consequences. Getting kicked is one thing, but every man knows getting flicked is the worst thing.

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Bad host

I’m still undecided as to whether or not this is 100% real. It looks like it but it’s hard to tell since it’s in another language. This host absolutely loses it after hearing the man’s voice. What makes it worse is that they seem to be talking about some serious subject….i.e. the woman is crying and the girly man doesn’t look to happy. What a bad time to lose it. Regardless, everytime I watch it I laugh. I don’t think this guy will ever knock Oprah out of her position.

UPDATE: I happened to catch some Leno last night and this clip was on there! It turns out they were talking about surgeries gone wrong and the guy with the girly voice had his vocal chords operated on and they screwed it up!

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I have never been able to do these no matter how many times I’ve tried. After awhile I started to think it was one big joke and everyone just “says” they can see some image like a pyramid or flying saucer. I was never clued in on the joke. So you can imagine my glee when I discovered this website that allows you to make your own stereograms. I thought what better way to see the image by already knowing what it is?!?!? So I made myself a little image and tried it. Nothing. Nada. So here I share the image with you, can any of you see what is behind all these crazy shapes and colors? If you can then I’ll know that these stereograms aren’t part of some sort of worldwide joke on me. Also, if you know what it is post in the comments.

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