|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Too Bloody Obvious
[12:45] BG: is there a term that would apply when trying to state that a specific application of attempted post-modernism to a project has been so overdone that it can no longer qualify as post-modern, but as something altogether typically derivative of the style?
[12:45] BG: (90-day-Jane outed herself as an art project - duh)
[12:46] Iggy: who's 90 day jane?
[12:46] BG: the blog where the girl said she'd kill herself in 90 days - she got six days in and gave it up
[12:46] BG: it's a latter-day "she's a flight risk" (which you may remember from 2003)
[12:47] Iggy: hmmm, i'm not sure what the term for that would be
[12:47] Iggy: post-ironic?
[12:48] BG: maybe - although it's too typical to be ironic, in my opinion
[12:48] BG: maybe it's just me, but it's a tired construct - the isolationista using the anonymity of the web to generate attention at high levels
[12:49] Iggy: its been done to death
[12:49] BG: exactly
[12:49] Iggy: one of the original folks ever who did that on the web was heinovision from like 96-97
[12:49] Iggy: hell, thats 11 years ago now
[12:49] Iggy: the trolls. they will always be with us.
[12:50] BG: i want to call a moratorium on "art projects" of this nature. they're too bloody obvious to be "art" at this point in time.
[12:50] BG: unless she kills herself on day 90. THAT'S art.
[12:50] Iggy: lol
[12:50] Iggy: yup
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Shut Your Mouth Pussycat, and Find Me a Macchiato
Of Mice, Millions and Joe Henry
I trapped two mice this weekend, but that appears to be just the tip of my iceberg. Every night around 9PM the dormant mice rise from their slumber and begin to rattle around in and behind my kitchen cabinets, which gives me no small amount of unease with my (lazy-ass) dog home all day and more likely to approach a rabid mouse than flee from it.
Needless to say, I've laid traps all over the apartment, and have gone two-for-ten putting them to use. The first kill was Saturday afternoon, just at the tail end of my afternoon nap. I heard little claws clicking on the hardwood, then the satisfying snap and shriek of a spring-loaded wire trap doing its job.
I took pictures, but some people would get angry and/or weepy if I posted them, so you'll have to imagine the aftermath.
The second kill was a little uglier. I had a couple of glue traps along the baseboards and at about 3AM Sunday morning I heard a squealing and scraping. A mouse got stuck in the glue trap, and by the time I woke up on Sunday he had managed to free one paw and pull the trap a good ten feet across the kitchen while trying to escape. He was still alive when I got to him, and I tried to stun him with a steady burst of aerosolized Lysol, but he refused to choke on the freesia'd chemical freshness, so I had to step on him.
I can hear a couple more rattling around in the cabinets who SIMPLY WILL NOT DIE OR BE CAUGHT, so the landlord is sending an exterminator on Thursday.
That should help - at least until it thaws, then freezes again. I'm sure that's got something to do with the home they've set up in my kitchen.
(By the way, they're all peeing in the same spot underneath my cabinets, which is making my kitchen smell like urine. Seeing as the pee is under, and not inside the cabinets, I can't get in to clean it up. Fucking hell.)
On another topic, a slightly belated thank you to everyone who sent a note of congratulations on my promotion. I'm certainly happier today than I was a couple weeks ago. In fact, I'm now sure that a nearly 20% bump in pay will buy happiness.
For a little while, at least.
I was brought to this account in PA two years ago in a no-lose situation. The idiot woman running the business before me had, shall we say, a laissez-faire approach to things. Her carelessness had put our business on the line here, and they gave us 60 days to turn things around.
So, I turned it around and kept us on the account. Not only that, but we were able to continue to bid on expanding our business with the client due to my rescue. Since I coordinate roughly $12M in business a year, and since we're going to (roughly) double up with the addition of this business expansion, it's not at all hyperbole to say that I've helped secure about $30M in business for my company.
So now the objective is to get this expansion launched and train my replacement, then move somewhere else and run another program somewhere else. Maybe Europe. That'd be kinda awesome.
Anyway, it appears the contract on the account is getting signed today, which is clearly cause for an increase inn happiness that shall exceed my previous increase by at least 20%.
And then I'll have to wait at least a year to get moved out of Allentown for my next career-based piece of happiness, but that's a wait I can make, I think.
On a side note, usually when something good like this happens to me I end up splurging and buy myself something nice. It's probably a good sign that I can't find anything I want to buy, as it signals a bad habit may well be behind me.
If you'll allow me to get evangelical for a moment, I'd like to introduce you to Joe Henry.
I came across Mr. Henry via the tribute album to The Band, Endless Highway (click "Music," then "Bonus Tracks" to hear his take on "Bessie Smith"), and his production and musical (covers "One Too Many Mornings") contributions to the Dylan biopic soundtrack for I'm Not There (dig the Henry-produced Ramblin' Jack Elliot standout, "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" if you get a chance - I couldn't find it streaming).
Anyway, right around New Years' I got an email with a whole bunch of links to full album downloads from a friend, and thought I'd give Henry's 2007 album Civilians a test-drive (when I d/l for "free" somewhere, I either delete or buy the album and give it to someone else while I keep the digital files. I know, I'm a puritan.).
It's really fucking good. Here's an acoustic version of "Time is a Lion" off the album:
After a couple weeks with Civilians, I ordered two previous releases from Henry - Tiny Voices and Scar. While I'm not entirely sold on TV, Scar is superb. The opening track is a dirge written for and about Richard Pryor called, "Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation." It features a rare guest spot from jazz legend Ornette Coleman, playing a twisted and wrenching solo. Here's how that came about via Believer Magazine:
Several years ago, Henry wrote a song called "Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation." It was a languid blues, built around a saxophone solo he wrote with Coleman in mind. Henry didn't know Coleman and had no idea if he'd be interested in collaborating. But Henry sent a letter of introduction anyway, along with his most recent album, a moody, soulful release called Fuse (1999).
Here's the track in question. Buy Scar, buy Civilians, become a convert to his Waits-lite post-pop sensibilities. You won't be disappointed.
"Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation" - MP3 (not my upload, but it checks out)
Over the last year and a half I've been hunting down great songs by great songwriters, and have found a great deal of music that has appealed to my sensibilities. Joe Henry might be writing the most accessibly intelligent songs of any I've heard over the past couple of years, and has managed to create a trio of albums (the only ones I've heard so far, there are more) that cannot be pigeonholed into any singularly specific genre. He's surrounded himself with talented musicians (Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Don Byron, Ornette Coleman) from jazz, but it's not quite that. He probably writes music in a folk sort of style, but it's not quite that. He's been embraced by the indie and alt-country crowds, but it's not quite that either.
It's a lot of things, but it's his own. Like kind of a latter-day Rick Danko, his unique vocal tone grounds his singing in sort of an optimism and earnestness and indelibly stamps his songs as his own. Even the melancholy stuff shines through with this aesthetic, helping the more depressing stuff stay interesting and accessible.
I'm a big fan all of a sudden. Go buy his stuff. Seriously. No cheating on the downloading either...
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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