December 2005 Archives

Voice Post


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Grubby would be proud

I just cracked Big Slick with The Hammer... to win a SNG. Oh, if PokerTime didn't muck immediately after tournaments end, so I could get a screen shot.
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Gotta love it

Nestled all up in my pop's recliner, Xbox fired up, spitting this season of Veronica Mars at me in rapid-fire.Is there any better moment in life when the action glides to a halt, and the swell of Dandy Warhols' We Used To Be Friends starts?
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Happy Hanukkah!

Today begins the celebration of Hanukkah... so to everyone who celebrates, Mazel Tov and L'Chaim. From fishamaphone on Fark:Lincoln was an awesome guy. Unfortunately, as far as morals and righteousness are concerned, comparing Lincoln to today's Republican leadership is like comparing Julius Caesar to the current Prime Minister of Italy.Yahtzee.
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If it wasn't for real, I wouldn't believe it.

Just as soon as I start cracking back on my hometown, the most bizarre development ever breaks out:There is a new internet cafe in downtown Napoleon. (unbelievable.) They have free WiFi for the entire downtown district. (very unbelievable.) They have NTN! (impossible.) They have food, French Press coffee, sofas... QB1! Oh, and it's called the "Philosophy Cafe." That won't scare away the local rednecks, no way. Supposedly it's an afterschool hangout for the high school kids. I think it's amazing. Napoleon's downtown tends to be a hole; most places there can't survive because Wal-Mart came in and gave people no reason to go downtown. I hope they do well.
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Where the hell is Akron, Ohio

My time in Akron has come to a close, for now. Last night, I:

* Got horrendously drunk
* Hit on [info]berrydip's paralegal (successfully)
* Found a bar with Harpoon IPA (which I realize I haven't fully written about yet)
* Came home and typed things like <Bubbaprog> ogobllllel my 0ccc on IRC
* Ate less than I should have to avoid appearing a glutton
* Got pwn3d in Silver Strike Bowling
* Watched the UT Rockets put the hurt on the UTEP Miners
* Stole a glass from Parma Tavern
* Stole another glass from the Winking Lizard
* Managed not to break them
* Left the leftover pizza in [info]berrydip's car so I can't eat it this morning.

Grumble.

I'm leaving now for the Y-Bridge city of Zanesville, where I have not set foot down since July 31, 2004. My anticipation can really, truly only be appreciated by a few of you. And by that, I mean, well, probably no one. Nobody gets excited for Zanesville. Do they?

Well, I do.

James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, was found dead at 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday in his apartment in Lutz, Fla., a suburb of Tampa, Debbie Carter, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, confirmed Thursday.
A death investigation is under way, and the spokesperson said that the county medical examiner's office or the hospital at which James Dungy was pronounced dead would have a ruling on the cause of death.
James Dungy officially was pronounced dead this morning at University Community Hospital in Tampa.
Tony Dungy has left the Colts and is in Tampa. Indianapolis plays at Seattle this Saturday.


Lutz. A scary place. I'll be watching my back next time at the L.A. Hangout.

Way to go, Ohio

with apologies to The Pretenders

I went back to Ohio
But my city was gone
There was no river bridge
There was no downtown
All my favorite places
Were covered with snow
I didn't know the faces
Wal-Mart is the mayor now
A, O, way to go Ohio.

Well, I went back to Ohio
But my family was gone
Kid brother off in Iowa
There was nobody home
Dad was workin' out a new knee
I sat down at the piano
Called up some faded memories
But I think I better go
A, O, way to go Ohio.

I went back to Ohio
Have to leave for Akron's shore
Through a pretty countryside
That's probably not there anymore
The hometown of Chrissie Hynde
My destination today
I've got my jingle bells on
But my Jeep's no one horse-sleigh
A, O, way to go Ohio.

I'm here. It's 20 degrees and there's snow everywhere. Leaving for Akron now, be back Friday. Have fun, kiddos.

Is Grey's Anatomy any good?

| 1 Comment

I caught up on some television today while sweating off a hangover from last night's bash at [info]tinafizz's. I am several months behind; episodes build up in the TV directory of my server, waiting for my Xbox to order them up like hearts when you're holding all red AKQJJ.

I couldn't decide if I was in the mood for Veronica Mars, Law & Order, Alias, The Office, Arrested Development, Numb3rs, or any of the other myriad programs I download weekly due to the cable company's piss-poor DVR being a piece of crap. So I decided to catch the last three of Grey's Anatomy, and pondered whether or not I think it's a good television program.

A TV show, like any narrative, is held up to scrutiny along two lines of cognition: Narrative coherence and narrative fidelity. Narrative coherence refers to whether the story "holds together" and makes sense in the world. Do the characters behave in rational, or if not rational, realistic manners? Do computers/hacking really work the way represented in the story? (That's a big stumbling block for me, and after watching a woman on Numb3rs WAVE A MAGNETIC WAND over a broken hard drive platter, extracting a .jpg in the process, I might have to stop watching the show.) Narrative fidelity is the nature by which the story "rings true," or reflects our own life experiences. Can we identify with the characters, and see our own thoughts and emotions in theirs?

It's in this analysis that I have to bring up the question posed in today's subject line. A more pragmatic person might simply ask, "Do you watch the show?" to which I'd obviously answer "Yes" and thus it must be "good" because I don't, as a rational human being, watch bad television. (The pragmatist does not realize I voluntarily watch The Biggest Loser and even those late night commercials for the loathed Girls Gone Wild. Perhaps we need to reconsider the concept of rationality.)

Anyway, let's look at the show through the first dimension, narrative coherence.

The vast majority of the program (at least in this, its first full season) has dealt with the complexity of the sexual relationships occurring amongst the show's characters, who essentially are banging each other with regularity. They are all phenomenally attractive human beings, easily engaging with each other but with the expected results. Even the "lovable loser" cliche of George O'Malley is cute. It's not ER by any means; while the medical situations due move the plot occasionally, this show is about the relationships amongst the characters -- and nearly the entire show takes place inside the hospital where they're surgical interns.

Narrative coherence would mean I would have to buy into the idea that people placed into this situation would inevitably end up screwing each other. I've been working full-time as a professional for seven years now. While I work in the field diametrically-opposed (in terms of intensity of work) to medicine, I can't say I've observed co-workers going at it with such fervor and passion. Maybe I'm blind; maybe I don't get the invites to those parties. Most importantly, the utterly single nature of each character is particularly out-of-line with my observations of the world. I don't buy that all these gorgeous doctors emerged from med school without a one of them being in a serious relationship. (Then again, I dated a med student a while, and knowing the life she lived, perhaps it's not that absurd after all.)

Regardless, this is either a commentary on the lack of narrative coherence for Grey's Anatomy or on the lack of my having ever been on the "Everybody's Having Lots Of Sex" train.

As for fidelity, I think the show comes through a bit better. A recent episode dealt with the boons and banes of solitude; the reactions to which amongst the characters I certainly found reflective of the way I see things. There's a spectrum line upon which lies the dot that represents our comfort with being alone. At one end we have the Ted Kaczinskis of the world, and at the other, the hypersocial. While the show in its first season focused closely on the title character, the second season has been fairly even-handed in taking a more omniscient perspective (making Meredith Grey's occasional voiceovers a bit of a paradox, but anyway). It's been to the benefit of O'Malley, ever-longing after Meredith -- the only girl for whom he wears a heart on his sleeve, but obscured by the black armband of self-doubt. Even Alex -- the future cosmetic surgeon and embodiment of the cold, heartless surgical cliche -- suffers his first major mistake in the manner you or I would: with anguish and dejection.

I've always wondered why programs about the most exclusive and least-identifiable occupations (medicine, law, politics) are the most popular on television. It would seem that to create narrative fidelity, writers are challenged further to make these very unique characters behave in the manner a common viewer would, with the same goals, hopes, and aspirations. Of course, dramatic programs about more commonplace situations occasionally succeed; Boston Public, Six Feet Under, Joan of Arcadia (ignoring the metaphysical dimension), and others. Alas, most "everyday American" programs are relegated to the half-hour sitcom format, where they flourish.

Some critics respond to this by saying, "If people wanted to watch dramatic television about their lives, they wouldn't have to watch television. They could just watch life." In her book on Irish television drama, Helena Sheehan of Dublin City University says the key to good writing for a TV drama is the same as good writing in any narrative: evocation. Viewers don't need to identify with a television character's occupation, living situation, or degree of wealth; they simply need to have emotions that they recognize evoked by the story. In that, I have to question whether or not we (the people in my academic genre) have been privileging autoethnography to a degree. I'm not entirely sold, anymore, that autoethnography is any better than fiction writing; nay, I don't even know if it's even different. So should I abandon autoethnography and go into fiction writing? (Television writing?) I don't know if I'm that creative. I'd like to think I am. What I know is this: I'm not reading autoethnographies and yelling, "What an asshole!" I'm not reading autoethnographies and writing about them here. I *am*, however, reading autoethnographies and saying, "I hope I'm never this self-involved and pretentious."

I think we all need to watch more, not less, television. We just need to be more conscientious of what we're getting out of it.

Fed up, but here's the final product

| 3 Comments

I got fed up with trying to make it sound better. It's still one of the best songs I've recorded, but i have some serious sibilant issues. It's almost becoming a lisp. Ack.

A Single Christmas - 4:30 6mb mp3

Edit: Some people have problems with the main EW server. Here's another one that will work.

A Single Christmas - 4:30 6mb mp3 alternate server

Rough cut of what I worked on today

A Christmas Song for SinglesMissing a few instruments, and mixing, EQ, etc, but thought I might share
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I ought to go to jail for this

Not sure what I was thinking.

Frosty 2 - 1:48 2mb mp3

Joe Redner is gay

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/12/13/news_pf/Tampabay/_Out_front__and_now__.shtml

I have always been a fan of Larry Flynt. While the manner in which he makes a business can be a bit revolting at times, the man has fought -- more successfully than not -- for First Amendment causes around the country. In that, I consider him one of my heroes, and would like to meet him some day.

Thus Mr. Joe Redner is also a hero of mine. While I do not patronize strip clubs (I shun the fantasy that a stripper will go home with me; instead, I embrace the one where a single woman will one day walk into the L.A. Hangout), Mr. Redner has tirelessly fought for First Amendment issues here in Hillsborough County. (I say "Here" even though technically I live in Pasco. Go with me on this one.)

Anyway, for Mr. Redner, a man with a family whose career has been made in catering to straight men, to admit he's gay shows a certain strength that might not accompany other outings -- though the first major male athlete to come out will probably take the cake in the "heaviest door out of the closet" award. That Redner came out in order to further the case against Ronda Storms and the other bigots of the Hillsborough County Commission is even more impressive.

If I went to strip clubs, I'd drop a few [insert whatever the current argot for hundred dollar bills] at Mons tonight to show this man I'm on his side. As you can see from the story above, nobody really cares that he's gay. And isn't that the direction our country ought to be going?

Cookie Christine puts it much more eloquently:

Whether you agree with his politics or not, one thing is for sure. Joe Redner is not a liar and he's not a hypocrite. It seems these coming out of the closet thingys are only fun if the new openly-gay person has been hypocritical or has bashed guys himself/herself for personal or political gain. And Joe has done none of that.
I wish Joe the best of luck in both his private affairs and his legal affairs.

I am taking suggestions on best suicide method

Sitting here listening to the feed music on the NCAA volleyball tournament video, I notice a song that is rather catchy and "rock-y." I decide to google the lyrics to see who it is.LINDSAY LOHAN.*time to take a quick shower*
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Quick Grammy nominations reax

Record of the year:
Mariah Carey (haven't heard it)
Gorillaz (don't even know who they are, though if they have De La Soul, it can't be bad)
Green Day (good song, but probably the 4th best cut on that LP)
Gwen Stefani (dear god shoot me with B-A-N-A-N-A-S)
Kanye West (my pick)

Album of the year:
Mariah Carey (see above), Paul McCartney (ditto), Gwen Stefani (gag), U2 (auto-nomination), Kanye West (my pick)

Song of the year:
(I either don't like or am not familiar with any of the choices here)

Best new artist:
Ciara (who?), Fall out Boy (sucks), Keane (boring), John Legend (who?), SugarLand (who?)

Rock Performance by Group:
Coldplay (good song), Foo Fighters (average), Franz Ferdinand ([info]_mathlete approves), The Killers (meh), U2 (boring)

Rock Song:
Foo Fighters (meh), Weezer (seriously? the song is okay I guess), U2 (blah), Bruce (okay I guess), Coldplay (my pick)

Urban/Alternative Performance:
I'll go with Mos Def since I have never heard of these other people.

Country:
Honestly, nearly all these records were fantastic this year. I couldn't begin to pick one over the other. Or I will: Lee Ann Womack. Note that Big & Rich, those totally homosexual guys, got a nomination for best group performance. Cincinnati Chili forever!

Polka:
My money is on Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones, my all-time favorite polka band. Though Jimmy Sturr has like 40 grammies already, so he's the favorite.

Spoken Word:
Tough competition here. Garrison Keillor, Al Franken, Barack Obama, and George Carlin will fight it out. Sean Penn will stand on the sidelines and claim bigotry.

Compilation Soundtrack:
Beyond the Sea, Napoleon Dynamite (CANNED HEAT BABY), Dylan, Ray, Six Feet Under. You know who my pick is... the underdog.

More later.

Flattery or ripoff?

http://www.upcheer.com/images/foxnews/The very first image on that page, the Dr. King one, I made for Fark on April 1st, 2003. I don't mind Upcheer using it, really, but it's kind of in bad taste to take someone else's creation and put your logo on it. Right?
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New Christmas Song

Wrote and recorded song #1 for the Christmas EP today. Remind me to tune my guitar before recording next time.

Don't Feel Like Christmas At All - 4.6m 3:35 mp3 version

Don't Feel Like Christmas At All - 5.1m 3:35 AAC version for you iPod people

New song

Needing new material to perform at the Sunday night comedy open mic at the Hangout, I threw together a new jive and recorded it so I'd remember it. It's kind of gross.

Jail - 2mb 2:06 mp3

I arrived and found myself the only white person a room containing about eight other comics. Being that my material is pretty much cracker-ass white boy guitar jamming, I was a bit concerned, but it went over well, considering the main joke was about a guy I knew at the prison, a sweetheart 6'6" 300lb black dude who was in for drowning a guy in a bucket of bleach. I had to leave during some of the other sets; I may sing about some disgusting topics, but I'm not down with gaybashing, which apparently is the core of a lot of these comics' routines.

Ended up staying there until two or so, hanging out with some folks who liked me enough to buy me drinks all night. A few girls were there, for once, celebrating a 21st birthday. The birthday girl was more hammered than I've seen anyone in a *very* long time. Usually people pass out or throw up by the time they get that wasted, but this girl, I mean, WOW. She was a broken woman, and of course attracted about seven guys who were trying to take her home. My friend Chantal got involved and basically picked her up and threw her into a cab to the dismay of the creeps who wanted to take advantage of her. Just another night at the Hangout...

The saga begins

I realize not a lot of you click on the jump. The next few days, I'll start doing my stories from the past couple weeks. I assure you, it'll be worth your time.

Question

This is my first holiday season with an LJ. Is the whole adding-a-Santa-hat-to-your-LJ-icon meme a yearly tradition, or just something that's working its way through this year?Writing will come. Eventually.
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