Sunday, March 30, 2008

MMJ: More

Have I told you lately about My Morning Jacket? The band from Louisville that is currently DOMINATING my iPod playlists? I bought their most recent album "Z" and have been burning it into my cellular structure.

The first track "Wordless Chorus" is a godsend.
The last three minutes on "Lay Low" is a remarkable jam. *see below YouTube clip

I've got to wait until JUNE for their new album?

Thanks to MMJ, I was in total rock out mode at work today. I'm sure the coworker in front of me could make out the song's beat manifesting itself through my keystrokes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Morning Jacket

WOW. A song just hit me. Heard it on the consistently euphoric podcast "All Songs Considered" (NPR).
Song of the moment:
"Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 2" by My Morning Jacket

I'm going to go listen to this song four more times, then try to fall asleep... I'll probably wake up ten minutes early to give me another listen before work.

FYI: I'll be undergoing Internet Silence (and will probably turn off my cell phone) until April 21.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Condo First & A Concert First

I actually prepared a meal and ate it on my dining table less than a half hour ago.
The television was not on, nor was there any music playing.

Sadly, it is rare that I eat a meal in my condo that wasn't just purchased from an outside establishment. More rare is that the dining room table was used for the purpose its designer and manufacturer intended.

It was the third meal of that table, which is more than a year old. MySister, a cousin and a friend (not saying that MySister and cousin aren't friends) ate delivered pizza in January 2007. The second meal, also delivered pizza, was with the great Bernardi family (all 6) four months ago.

Who knows what sparked it; maybe it's the latest in my lazy attempt for maturity.

In other news, I redeemed a Christmas gift from my boss today. The gift was a gift certificate for two lawn tickets for any Live Nation promoted concert. (note: Live Nation pretty much promotes at every single concert amphitheater that has a lawn)

As soon as I got this gift last December, I knew what I wanted: RADIOHEAD.
I've been scanning the world wide internet for Radiohead tour news on a near constant basis for the last four months.

Sadly, my quest appeared to take a step back when Radiohead choose to play Lollapalooza as their "chicago stop." Not only would I not be able to use my gift certificate on Lollapalooza, but also I didn't want to see a set that may be shortened due to the confides of the huge musical event.

Indianapolis here I come! On the first Sunday in August me and a friend (who is also excited) will take the four-or-so-hour drive to just outside the Circle City. That should give us ample time to run through some of their choice albums on the way. Yes, the money saved in the "free" ticket will be lost on gas and parking, but it's worth it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Killer Weekend

(The following is something I said, word for word, into my cell phone this weekend)
"Hey it's Tom... Do you have a shovel?... I've got a dead body on my hands and I need to get rid of it, can you help?"

I killed a squirrel on Saturday. Seems like my chick-magnet 'Rolla is also a magnet for other animals. The unlucky former inhabitant of this world must've scurried under my car's left front tire as I was backing out of my parking space Saturday afternoon. Upon return of my errands, there was one dead-ass squirrel waiting for me.

This was upsetting to me. But not in the ways PETA would want me to react. My feelings were mainly personal-inconvenience based. I wasn't too pleased at how I would have to step over a larger than I thought possible squirrel carcass to just get out of my ride.

Also knowing it was nobody's problem but my own - I decided to not go with the shovel routine. Fifteen minutes after the above phone remark, and $2 lighter, I returned to CSI:DP with a plastic dustpan that was destined for one singular task.


What also died this weekend?
My damn NCAA Bracket. Nobody knows just how disgruntled I am that four one-seeds advanced to San Antonio.

Also, a little bit of my sanity died as I purchased a frame for the following poster:

MySister and I now will soon have another item in common.
Owning a piece of art in a frame costing more than forty times the price of the piece.

The stories pales in comparison:
MySister's prized art possession is a painting purchased on her "first trip to Africa." She watched the artist paint the piece as she walked by him on her way to the Habitat for Humanity job site. I don't know the exact price MySister paid for it, but it was a fair price in that economy (ridiculously cheap by ours).

My poster was bought at my "first Lebowski Fest." Just as my sister's initial trip to Africa sent her back for another humanitarian mission, my first experience was great enough to make me want to attend future Lebowski Fests. I watched the artist (Bill Green) sell multiple printed copies on my way to the beverage station for another White Russian. The poster was the second cheapest item at the Fest.


Finally, I started a new book tonight.
The book was written by the teacher of my minicourse.
(I am working on the final draft of one of the stories I wrote for Northwestern University's "Fiction Writing in Depth")

This news does not fit with the Killer Weekend Theme, but it's worth mentioning.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Anniversary of sorts, Mourning End, P.A.T. & The Catasta-stroke

On a Thursday in early March 2005 I interviewed at the organization that currently employs yours truly.
The following day I was called back; they wanted me to start working the following Monday. Due to prior appointments that needed wrapping up, I would not be able to begin until a week later.

My prior appointments can be summarized in two words: March Madness. Not even a new job was going to prevent me from watching the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament in its broadcast entirety.

I have yet to work those days since. Last week I took my third consecutive Thursday/Friday off in order to watch as much basketball possible.

Thursday was a great day:

For reasons I can not publicly say (let alone privately admit) beating the University of Kentucky sent a wave of transcendental bliss throughout my being.

Saturday was a bad day:

I had to watch the game at a Sports Bar in Palatine. It was the first time and last time I will ever step foot in that establishment. Not only is it because the site is engraved with the memory of an end to a season of Marquette Basketball, but also it was the scene to a horrible instance of my beloved Father facing my reaction to the game’s ugly shrapnel. (the place is also an utter dump gutter dump)

Thank God I didn’t have to go into work the next day. Not even the Resurrection of my Lord was able to lift my spirits. But I’m getting there. Still coping with the loss.
The TV Room of my parents’ house needs to be filmed for a television series. I’m picturing something between Public Access and C-SPAN 2. A lot like that EWTN show with the nun at the table - I just want one camera with a fixed "two-shot" of my Mom and Dad.

Sitting the way they always sit. My Mother on the left and my Father on the right. That’s how they appear to me when I look at them from the couch. And that’s how they’ll sound politically. Well, one at least.

"P.A.T.: Political Armchair Talk"
"With Patti Quiery, joined by her husband Dan."
"Today’s episode, like all the rest, will include Patti’s presidential campaign breakdown and her analysis of the media’s coverage."

You see, my Mom is constantly talking about what she saw on Morning Joe, Hardball and Ballot Bowl. She comments on the political coverage from three newspapers. She watches the Sunday Morning Roundtable shows when they first air and their repeat airings.

All in hopes of eliciting a reaction from my Father. All for naught. My Father has yet to volunteer any political views (with the exception of his run for Prospect Heights Alderman in 1999).

The show will end when my Father finally can’t stand it anymore and walks out of frame.

However, as the credits, he will have an "Andy Rooney" type segment called:

Catasta-stroke of the Week

This is one of my favorite terms invented by my Dad which blends the disaster of a catastrophe with the seriousness of a medical stroke.

This week’s example would probably be his son yelling at him in a public place. Just because the poor guy’s son was unable to sit still and provide him with an unblocked view of a basketball’s deciding play.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A St. Patrick’s Day Gift for Myself

First things first:
Today is the birthday of the famous "MySister."
This blog dare not speak her name, but can still wish her a very Happy Birthday.

Meanwhile, today I got a gift in the mail:

I won two tickets to The Swell Season (Music from the motion picture film from the theaters Once). I won these tickets on WGN Radio the night of The Oscars. The night the Oscar for Best Original Song was awarded to Once. At the time the award was given, it was the highlight of my night.

That all changed when the post Oscar radio show that I listen to every year announced that there was going to be a giveaway for these tickets. These tickets you see above pictured.

A trivia question from the film was asked. I called in and answered. That simple, that grand. By the way, this was around 1:00 AM.

I’ve only seen one event at the great Chicago Theatre. It was David Copperfield (Illusionist / Magician / former boyfriend of Claudia Schiffer). Say what you will about the man, but seeing him get cut in half by a "Death Saw" eight feet in diameter was as damn kick-ass as anything gets.

I don’t remember where those seats were, but I don’t think they were on the Main Floor, which these above tickets are (proudly proclaiming MNFL3R)!

I quickly looked up a seating chart.

Q: How many days until June 17?
A: Too many.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The latest "Song of the Moment"

Ladies and Gentlemen, please listen to "West Coast" by Coconut Records:

It was after I discovered this song did I learn that the band is fronted by a famous actor. Well, famous because I’ve heard of him.

It’s Jason Schwartzman

I remember him most from his memorable role in Rushmore.

Is it true that all actors want to be musicians while all musicians want to be actors?
For ever Dogstar (Keanu Reeves) there’s Jon Bon Jovi in a movie. And for every Chris "Ludacris" Bridges acting effort you’ve got the latest band like 30 Seconds to Mars (Jared Leto).

Regardless, I like this song. And I’m not going to allow the fact that it’s singer was in one of the worst films I’ve ever seen (I Heart Huckabees).