May 29, 2008

Herbert "Pops" Rives: No Worries


This man is friends with a grizzled newspaper vendor named Hassie. A lot of people think Hassie is a well-intentioned homeless man without much for an education - but really, he taught computer-engineering at a local college. He decided to change his life though.

Pops eats sushi in a local Hardee's some days. On a shelf at his home sits a Polaroid camera he's going to let me borrow. I'd estimate him at about sixty-seven years old.

He also has the best business card I've seen.

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recent Reason

Edit: If Eliot Rosewater were come to life, he'd probably be the man featured in this article from The Chicago Tribune.

Here's a rundown of the best content from the two most recent issues of Reason Magazine, in order of quality:

+ Doherty tells the story of one group living off the grid (and brainstorming a highly efficient and recycled style of living) in "Power From the People."
+ Beato on the "Nuppie," or more specifically, on how living mobility is becoming a sign of wealth, not poverty.

+ Beato on Hollywood's "Decency Epidemic"
+ Various essays on "The Coming Recession"
+ Reason writes about The Wire a lot, and here are two recent stories that got me intrigued: 1, 2

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May 24, 2008

Murnau: the Greatest German

"Nosferatu! Doesn't the name sound like the very midnight call of Death? Speak it not aloud, or life's pictures will turn to pale shadows, and nightmares will rise up to feed on your blood."

Murnau's "Nosferatu" is one of the scariest movies I've ever seen... pretty good for no sound, except for a totally sexy score. From the moment Count Orlock looks at a picture of Hutter's wife and comments (his words etched in a thrilling font, cozied quaintly within a white box): "Your wife has a beautiful neck," I was hooked... or should I say 'snake-bit.' I was literally sitting on the edge of the couch, with clenched fists on either side of my chin. No lie.

The night after I watched the film I had a dream that I was a vampire, with leathery bat wings, claw to claw with another vampire, fighting for my life. And, I can't say I remember perfectly accurately, but I'd swear I dreamed in black and white.

May 22, 2008


Zach kindly pointed me to this video of a bear falling onto a trampoline. This prompted Econ to show us the other video of bear fight (the one where the one bear shits).

Somehow, YouTube, in its infinite wisdom, linked me to this, what it calls the worst fight scene ever. And I'll admit, it's pretty bad (and funny). I'm not sure I'm ready to throw out "worst fight scene ever" about it, though. And what's the best fight scene ever? You be the judge.

(In case you were wondering, no, I do not have a job yet. The Argus Press told me today that they hired someone more familiar with the area. So its back to the drawing board.)

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May 20, 2008

unread and for sale

When I go to Half Price Books today, I'm selling my heritage readers and some freshman year stuff. But, most troubling of all, I'm selling the collection of Ellery Queen novels that I never read. I bought them mostly for the covers, which we can all enjoy in my new Picasa album, below:

Ellery Queen novel covers

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May 18, 2008


My belly is full of squid but I'm still faster than Charleston, SC.

The days pass in a lazy, dizzy sort of haze. There's already a lot to be happy about. The family I'm staying with have hospitality that can't be beaten, I'm almost sure, save for one of them, Malbec the cat. A typographic claw mark makes an "L" across my hand.

The real summer begins tomorrow, Monday, and I have a box full of story ideas.

It's odd to think that on the same spot where I buy shaved ice, hundreds and hundreds of people died. Even more odd, to honor them they stick up anamatrons that repeat the same thing every fifteen minutes.


The Post and Courier recently ran a blurb about a site where you can make you're own mixtapes.

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May 16, 2008

albums we never heard

Music releases in April and May revealed how we are so obsessed with three albums (NMH, Sunset Rubdown...maybe two albums) that we neglect everything else. There's new stuff out, and here's what I know so far:

[edit] Local H, "Twelve Angry Months"
Just came out this week, apparently, and called one of the best albums ever released by the duo by longtime fan and critic Jim Derogatis.

Tapes 'n Tapes, "Walk It Off"
Chase and I listened twice through on the drive to Louisville. Initial reaction: the album is simultaneously less focused and less ambitious than "The Loon." Best track is probably "Hang Them All" or "Headshock," while the live version of "Demon Apple," on YouTube is much stronger than the studio track. The album would benefit from Josh Grier doing more soft-spoken vocals like on their first disc.

Black Mountain, "In the Future"
From free snippets and some longer plays in-store while shopping, it sounds like Black Mountain has returned with another mix of psych jams and odd folk/electronic ditties.

Black Angels, "Directions to See a Ghost"

The Kills, "Midnight Boom"

Presidents of the USA, "These are the Good Times, People"
I was underwhelmed by the first few tracks, but enjoyed the four or five new songs they played live in Detroit. I may need to fill in the oddities and rare releases the band has dribbled out in recent years, but I'll come around to this eventually.

Gnarls Barkley, "The Odd Couple"
I asked Chase to go back to the record store just so I could snake a few more minutes of Gnarls Barkley on the free listening station. The new album sounds awesome, but I refused to buy it at $16.99. Opening track "Charity Case" is worth a listen. "Going On," and "The Odd Couple," display similar sweet beats and humming low-fi samples. The whole album is up on YouTube, etc.

The Black Keys, "Attack & Release"
Evan said it well when he said The Black Keys are sounding more like old blues guys than young shit-fucker-upper-rock-debasers. Skimming through the new tracks included some surprises and a few moments of Danger Mouse-induced producer magic bliss.

The Dirtbombs, "We Have You Surrounded"
Two times through and I still feel the Dirtbombs made a slew of dumb decisions on this record.

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Office Depot could not fulfill my request to change the shipping address on my online order. I had to cancel. The Feeders Supply fish department employees "did not have time" to break open a large bag of black fish-bowl-bottom rocks so I could buy a dollar bag. I had to buy red rocks, and ended up using marbles. And I just got outbid on Ebay for Super Mario Kart.

I'm tempted to believe these things never happened in Hillsdale. The only thing better than the other side of the fence is "that grass we used to have." Still, seriously, I have applied at five Starbucks, four of which are hiring, none of which have called. That's bull.

But angst be durned. Last night, watching "Juno" with my family and hating the latest "luv-me-cause-I-hate-me" music, I ate a Dove chocolate. Inside the wrapper: "Write a love letter this week." So I did. And Izzy circled like Yeats' falcon by candle light, over his speckled marbles.

May 15, 2008


Hardees sucks right down to its red, skinny straws. But Hardees fries may be the best in the fast food business. They're a hearty blend of the "revolutionary" Burger King fries (released in 1997, but I could swear it wasn't that long ago) and the somewhat more traditional fries at Checkers. So I've lifted my outright Hardees ban; fries are allowed.

I only stopped once during my final ride from Hillsdale to home. I listened to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Violent Femmes 3 and realized a lot about Beethoven and a little about the Femmes. They didn't peter out after their self-titled debut.

But before all the driving nonsense, which left me with a spilled succulent, I spent my last morning in Hillsdale. I found a way out of my cell phone contract, visited the old Collegian office, ate at the Palace with Jack and asked for a new spoon because the one I had was "kinda funny." The waitress took offense when a long-time patron called her by the wrong name ("Wendy"). She called him "Raul" in return.

I said goodbye to the boys, got some buddy pats, and took two photos, displayed at right, which I'm simultaneously proud of and sad about.

And now I'm home with Magic Secrets Revealed on TV behind me (narrated by Skinner from the X-Files) and tomorrow I'm going to play in my dad's company softball league because he's sick (more than me). Look out slow pitch!

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May 14, 2008

Everything I learned in Louisville

Livia Purdy, 6, who was "not born through the birth canal," knows her multiplication tables up to 5 x 12. She knows that boxes are for playing in and that a 1 is the hardest dice roll to roll, "because you need them the most" in the game of Aggravation.

Livia wishes that Chase didn't have any money so he'd have to stay around the house when he visits. She'll play dolls with you and not tell your friends. The secret treasure under her bed is a green trampoline. She seems to weigh about 20 pounds when clinging to your shoulder.

She faces 90 degrees the wrong way when batting. She has a cat named Gracie (named so because the cat is gray and a girl cat). She thinks her younger brothers are fraidy cats for failing to jump into the cold pool.

Livia lives with Connie, Bruce, Luke, Abe, Gracie, Blackie, Poco (dog), a fourth cat, and sometimes Chase. She lives upon a hill in Kentucky (less hazy and a lot more like heaven than Hiram, Ohio) that seems much farther from Louisville than it is. Their driveway is gravel and leads to a garage full of lawn mowers, hanging bikes, and engine-type things. It takes a series of harrowing country roads to get there. They get water from a cistern (which they used to fill with water on a delivery truck). Abe rides a Rip Stick. Everyone except Livia shoots hoops, but she's comfortable with chocolate on her lips.

Also: the mayor of Louisville (Muhammad Ali) is very nice.

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May 13, 2008


Temporary loss of purpose and drive. Yes. I'm currently hunting my personally concocted antidote of 50% new Levis and 50% beta fish. The pet store gets a new shipment of betas in two days. I just can't wait.

By the by, which is the better Strokes album: "Is This It" or "Room on Fire"? I'm looking to buy.

May 12, 2008

Presidents of the United States of America

Live at the Magic Stick in Detroit:

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One word: Plastics

So, here goes day two of life without purpose (so's temporary). The other day I felt like diving into a pool with a wet suit.

Regardless, I found this weird story in the Freep this morning, as I was eating my breakfast sandwich at the Palace. It's about Neo-Nazis in Detroit. They don't appear to be too successful.

They also had a story about how the Cincinnati Reds batted out of order yesterday. What is this, middle school? The thing I thought was funny was how even though David Ross flied out to center, he batted in Corey Patterson's place, so Patterson was called out. Ross got to come back to the plate and got a single.

Man, is baseball a great, fucked-up game.

Lastly, the new album from the Breeders (you know, the band that Kim Deal runs since Frank Black doesn't let her do shit with the Pixies) is really solid. She doesn't scream as much as Frank Black (never has) but sometimes that's a good's chill. Check it:

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May 9, 2008

They Tried

Pictures from the blue walk:



(left to right): Gary & Len, Paul Ray, Chauncy Purdy, Econ, Honeybear.

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May 8, 2008


That Polan thing is sweet, and it reminds me of this guy (Greg Blackstock), who's something of an obsessive-compulsive artist who likes to draw series of collections of things. For example, he depicts the whitefishes, the extinct American birds, theme park law and order signs, among others. A lot of his book is online on Google Books here.



Jason Polan wants to draw every person in New York City. A project he's started after drawing every piece of art in the MOMA.


"Too funny!"

Some of the worst voice over acting (and writing), ever.

A scene from Final Fantasy X:


May 7, 2008

Professor sues students, Microsoft rapes its customers

A Dartmouth professor plans to sue her former students for anti-intellectualism:

“She maintains that some of her students were so unreceptive of "French narrative theory" that it amounted to a hostile working environment.”

Mark Pilgrim wrote an excellent piece on Microsoft's MSN Music debacle, and by extension, DRM.

Finally, check out this video, sent along by my brother:

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May 5, 2008

"four seconds was the longest wait"

See the rock moves around 2:36:

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May 1, 2008

Whalen: Poetry about Poetry

In the tradition of C. Purdy, I'll share a quote from my class with Dr. Whalen, Poet-Laureate of the World:

"Stick with me, lots of you guys think I'm just goofing off, but if you stick with me you'll realize this stuff is fun... but deadly."

And the room got quiet.

By the by, this man is also known for referring to T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock" as "cogitatis interruptus..." with apologies to our sensitive minds, of course.