Haiku Friday - I Caught Y'all Looking

I wore shorts to work.
It's a special occasion.
Enjoy the show, girls.


Tombstones & Tent Poles

If you've heard SMRJMZ (it's not too late to get your copy), then you've heard Japandroids' "Young Hearts Spark Fire," which pretty much whips the werewolf's butt with a belt. See for yrself:

Think about that chorus for a second.

"We used to dream/Now we worry about dying." Daaaang. That's one of the truest things I've heard in a long time.

So yeah, I hereby decree: "More dreaming, less stressing." Who's with me?


The Universe Is Whispering

No iPod (may he rest in peace), so I walk to the train in a humid, gray silence. Or rather, what I assume is silence. I notice it after a block or so. It started small, with keys rattling ghostly from inside screened windows. It seemed to come from every house I walked by and it made me wonder: what have I been missing all this time, firmly ensconced in my headphones?

Then something happens. Now I'm hearing all kinds of stuff: birds calling a block or so over in ragged, rasping cries; cars sliding by up ahead on the boulevard, airplanes overhead. It's a whole new world.

I approach the overpass, which starts off sounding like gentle waves but becomes a rumbling, echoing racket once I start walking under it. It got so loud I worried for my safety as I passed below it's yawning expanse. I also worry for my safety because there's an incredibly drunk/homeless-looking guy staring at the chain link fence in my path, swaying in the minuscule morning breeze. I cross the street and try not to make eye contact. Is this wrong?

Then I'm turning the corner and can see the station, which brings with it a whole new array of sounds. The guttural, chain-like idling of the busses. The skritch of my feet as I try to kick a discarded movie stub over (I'm always curious about what movies people see even though 90% of the time it just depresses me). The guy in the box at the station yelling after a businessy guy who Boxman thought didn't pay but Businessguy did and Boxguy didn't see him because his attention was directed to his phone conversation but it's pointless anyway because Businessguy's halfway up the escalator and has his white earbuds in anyway. The escalator sounds like a million buzzing bees trapped in a giant steel bottle, all fighting to get out.

On the train platform the buses still idle, but their grumbling is a hum now. We all wait for the train. People talk on their cell phones. One girl interrupts whoever she's talking to to apologize for interrupting and then to clarify a time. 7 p.m. There are two businessy guys (one is Businessguy from earlier) wearing pink shirts, which has nothing to do with my morning sounds reportage, but I thought it was worth noting. Is this like a thing now or something?

At this point, I have my notebook out and am writing down all the things I hear. I'm all about noticing stuff right now, I guess. Carpe-ing the diem and all that jazz. I note the click on the intercom before and after the driver - who I'm assuming is a forty-something African-American woman but I could be wrong - tells us the next stop and warns us to stand clear of the closing doors. I stand clear, not wanting to be bifurcated. I notice the double dings as the doors close and the train starts to rattle out of the station. The train itself makes a lulling rumble with the occasional squeak when braking or just moving along.

The next stop comes and the shambling ka-thunk sound of the closing doors strikes me as familiar. It takes a moment, but I realize it sounds exactly like a housing project elevator door. I remember the sound vividly from my mission in New York City. Sense memory.

As we click-clack along, I pull out my book, a collection of daily comic strips by James Kochalka called American Elf. I snap a picture of it because by this point, I know I'm gonna write about this.

There's a guy with a shaved head and a Hulk Hogan mustache wearing big headphones who keeps stealing glances at me. Then I remember I'm alternating between taking notes, reading a comic book and snapping pictures of said comic book. I most likely look cuckoo-cuh-razy. He probably thinks I'm a tourist from another world which, given how alien this new World of Sounds feels, may just be the case.

It's my stop.

Walking past the train as it departs I hear the whirring of a fan, the double dings of the closing project doors and a clack-clack-clack as the train dissolves into a dull hiss on its way downtown. I walk up the stairs alone, scribbling stuff. At the top, I hear a (and this is incredibly judgemental and rude, but it's true) young poor white trash couple's echoing conversation, but I can't make out a word, it's just muffled and hollow. Like it's a strange language I've never heard.

Maybe I am in a new world. Maybe reality got thin and I walked through some weird wormhole into a reality where sounds carry more weight. I don't know, but as I walk past the PWT couple and the boothlady who is laughing hysterically at someone on the phone, (these RTA people love to talk on the phone, I guess) laughing to the point where she's rocking back and forth in her chair and slapping her knee, I fell all weird. I'm all tuned into the cosmos.

I walk out of the West Side Market station and out onto Lorain into the serenity and cacophony of the morning bustle. Trucks idle in the Market loading zones. Sounds travel in pairs now. Manhole covers clang-clang as cars pass over them. Buses honk their horns in two short blasts. Double trouble.

I cross West 25th and walk past the corner where there's always a colorful crowd. A trio of guys yell at somebody in a stopped car that they think they know but, given the guy's reaction, obviously don't. A fan squeaks away at the Souper Market where I assume they're making today's broth. It's warm and sweaty out and soup is the last thing on my mind as I wipe sweat from the corners of my eyes.

And it's quiet again. Traffic going my way on Lorain must be stopped at the light. I hear the scritch-scritch-scritch of the woman's feet as she walks along in front of me. I see the guy with the slicked-back gray hair and thick glasses who I think is an instructor at the barber college sitting in one of the chairs in an empty, silent barber shop.

And then it's noisy again. The belt on a car squeaks, hydraulic brakes hiss and diesel engines growl. I turn the corner to my office and the sounds suddenly equalize.

I'm back in my normal old world; safe and, well, sound.


Now It's Tron

Remember the 1982 film Tron? You know, where Jeff Bridges gets sucked into a computer and has to fight evil early-CGI'ed programs to escape? And it's all rotoscoped and glowing and cool and they fight with Frisbees and those ball throwy things and they race those rad light cycles?

Man, I sure do remember all that stuff. I also remember it being, as a kid at least, sort of boring and over my head. But oh, those light cycles. So I was a little confused when I heard that a sequel was in development. I mean, besides this guy, who exactly was clamoring for a sequel to Tron?

Well, after seeing this teaser from Comic-Con, I sure as shootin' am. I first got excited after hearing that Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (both Lost writers) were the writers, along with the writer/director of the original film. In fact, it got me so excited that I watched Tron again this weekend and dude, it's one of a few films from my adolescence that are actually better than I remember them being. Oh, and here's some Nerd Math for you: Tron + The Invisibles = The Matrix. Yeah, that's right, I'm calling you out, Wachowskis.

So yeah, Tron Legacy (in 3D!) is on the "Looking Forward To It List," along with Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3. What do you think?


I Like It When Hurley Says, "Dude."

So, lots of Lost stuff coming out of Comic-Con. Pretty mind-blowing stuff, actually. Suffice it to say that if you're not caught up on the show yet, there are definitely some ¡¡¡SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

You have been warned.

The first thing is the introduction of the Lost University ARG (Alternate Reality Game) at ABC.com which seems to be tied to the season five DVD release in September. Offering classes like "HIS 101: Ancient Writing On the Wall," "PHY 301 SEMINAR: New Physics With Jeremy Davies," (who plays trippy-dippy scientist Daniel Faraday on the show) and "SCI 201: Jungle Survival Basics." Needless to say I'll be enrolling on September 22, even though I have pretty much sucked at all these games.

ABC.com also has kicked off a series of webisodes from a fictitious 80's show called Mysteries of the Unknown similar to that one show that Leonard Nimoy used to host. You know the type, where they interview people who saw Bigfoot and show some blurry photos and end it all by saying, "Does such a creature as Bigfoot exist? Could he be the missing like between ape and man? Only time will tell. Tune in next week for tales of alien abduction!" I loved those kinds of shows. Anyway, so this clip of the fake show unlocks the mystery surrounding the Dharma Intititive. Watch it here and check back for more installments. I'm not expecting anything earth-shattering, but it might flesh out the Dharmites a little more.

Then there's the wealth of stuff that hit at Comic-Con. First up is the promo shot featuring 26 (!!!) characters, some of which are - or well, were - dead. Paul Scheer of the comedy troupe Human Giant has launched a Lost-centric blog called "Damon, Carlton and A Polar Bear," where he's posted the image and has the characters appearing on it. He has them listed as follows: Faraday, Boone, Miles, Michael, Ana Lucia, Charlotte, Shannon, Desmond, Eko, Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Locke (with his back to the camera), Ben, Sayid, Libby, Sun, Jin, Claire, Hurley, Juliet, Charlie, Frank, Richard, Bernard and Rose. So yeah, basically everybody ever except for Nikki and Paolo. Poor Nikki and Paolo. Also, no Walt. Why no Walt love, guys?

Next up is the Comic-Con panel. The Lostpedia blog has posted it here. It's really a fun panel, with taser-guns, polar bear paintings and some fun banter between Michael Emerson (Ben on the show) and Jorge Garcia (Hurley). Oh, and also, a special appearance by everybody's favorite Hobbit/dead rock star, Dominic Monaghan (Charlie). "You all, everybody!" indeed.

You can see Michael Emerson's genius Hurley audition here, because for some reason, it's cut out of the Lostpedia panel footage.

But that's not all that's missing from the Lostpedia footage. The most mind-blowing stuff is the most spoilery stuff which you can see here. Go watch them and then come back. I'll wait.


Did that just blow your mind? Are we dealing with an alternate timeline here or what? Hurley's had nothing but good luck since winning the lottery. Oceanic's been accident-free since 1979. Kate didn't kill her dad by blowing him up in his house, instead she mistakenly blew up some other dude at her dad's plumbing business. WTH?!

Matthew Fox did mention earlier this summer that the show would be dealing with "two timelines," for a portion of the last season, but I assumed he meant 1997/2007. But who knows now? Feel free to speculate here or over on Opening the Hatch.


Letting It All Hang Out

I'm not like all into celebrity chefs, but I had to pull some cookbooks for reference for a project at work and one of the ones I pulled was Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life by Jamie Oliver, aka "the Naked Chef." Now, that's a dumb-A name cuz seriously, who wants to watch a naked *dude* cook food? Sickos, that's who. Oh, and guess what? I'm told he's not even naked when he cooks, which is totally false advertising. I mean, as gross as it is to think of a naked man cooking, at least there's an element of danger in culinary nudism. You know, with grease spatter and whatnot.

Anyway, so imagine my chagrin when Candace (who was looking through it for nudie pictures, I assume) pointed out who the book is dedicated to:

To which I say: "Right on, Naked Chef guy. Maybe you're a little less creepy than previously imagined."

When Lando Met Lando

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you "The Best Picture Ever":


Thanks to Philippe for the inspiration.



I've mentioned our family's newfound love for the BBC's newest Doctor Who series featuring everybody's favorite Time Lord. We just finished up season 4 (well, one disc to go) and man, it's some fun stuff. Not always perfect, but an enjoyable romp. And there aren't many things in this world that qualify as romp-worthy these days, so yeah, grab hold of it and don't let go, kid.

So, in honor of the Doctor's radical time-space machine, the TARDIS (it stands for "Time And Relative Dimension In Space"), I came up with this poster that's now in the shop. The gag here is that the Doctor's ship, which looks like a dinky UK police call box, is in reality a massive ship on the inside. So yeah, a certain degree of geekiness is requisite here, but you knew that, right? But hey, it's Comic Con (or as I like to call it, "Nerd's Revenge") week, so may I present to you the newest Tuff Industries poster, "Step Into My TARDIS, Baby":



Also, if you want this mix, all you gotta do is pimp my mixes (anywhere, really: Twitter, Facebook, yr blog, skywriting, whatevs) and report it back to me to get the download code. Forget about that "next 7 people" thing. I probably made it sound a lot more difficult and intimidating in my post, but I just want to get the word out and if you like listening to what I provide every month, just say so to your network of people and let me know so I can send you the link to SMRJMZ. Cool?

In Memoriam

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a beloved friend and gadget, but you should know that my iPod died in its sleep this morning after a weeks long battle with it being all weird, corrupting files and dropping songs and whatnot.

This iPod has been a good friend and companion ever since he joined our family over three years ago. With his ample disk space and impeccable "shuffle" function, he was a boon to me and my family on road trips, morning commutes, study sessions and many school projects and papers. I will always treasure the time we spent together sequencing mixtapes, driving to Idaho Falls and Las Vegas from Rexburg and shuttling files to and from work. Vaya con Dios, mi amigo...

The iPod is survived by me, but just barely. Services will be held every time I go to listen to music when I'm not at home and can't because it has died and is gone. Forever.

Memorial contributions can be sent to me cuz I'm broke and can't afford to get a new one right now.

Sic transit gloria.


Also, did you hear the Taco Bell chihuahua died? I wonder who #3's gonna be? Hopefully it's that dude from those Alltel commercials, Chad. I hate that dude.


A Proposition

Hey, blog readers. As you're aware, I've been posting a mixtape every month for the last couple of years. I'm proud of these babies and love sharing them with all y'all. The hope is that you'll enjoy them and spread the word, pass the mixes around, etc.

So I have a proposition. Ready? Here goes: Anyone who blogs/Tweets/Facebooks about this month's mix, and include a link to that mix as well as the Mixtape Master List will get to download a special edition mix titled SMRJMZ, a mix of slammin' tracks from 2009 perfect for cruising around in the heat of the summer sun. Yr gonna want this one. Here's the cover:

To claim your mix, post a link to your post in the comments section. The first 7 people to do so will receive an e-mail with the link to SMRJMZ contained.

So get typing, Internetterz.


Final Answer

So I mentioned a few posts back that I wanted to audition for the syndicated version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. The version with that lady who used to be on The View. So, I registered for NYC auditions last month, but ended up not getting an appointment for whatever reason, which was sort of a bummer, but it saved me from taking an 18-hour round trip drive to the City. So, yeah, it evens out, I guess.

Recently their site announced that they'd be holding video auditions, so this weekend I pulled together a video telling the producers why I should be on their show:


PS: A big "thank you," to Sadie for being my director, Candace for running the camera and Claire for being crabby when she woke up from her nap.


Watching the Vultures Pick the Corpse Clean

Before you ask; no, I didn't watch any of the Super Stupendous MJ Death Spectacle™ on TV last night. But I did see this on the YouTube homepage this evening:

Poor Brooke Shields. What did she do to deserve her face frozen like this on the homepage of one of the more popular sites on the World Wide Internets? And what is she doing? Did she like sneeze while she was eulogizing the "way super talented and troubled which is code word for 'most likely a child molester'" performer? Poor Brooke.

And does anyone else think it's a little disingenuous to pretend like the guy's been anything more than, at best a punchline and at worst a dried-up pervert, for the last 20 years? I mean, it's sad and all, but like I said previously, the last halfway decent thing he did from a purely artistic POV, Bad, was recorded in 1987. Three Men and A Baby was the top grossing box office film n 1987. Think about it man, that was a lifetime ago.

Also, I did see that His Royal Fondley-ness was buried in a gold coffin. Really? The dude was in debt up to his eyeballs and you're gonna go and bury him in a gold casket? (I realize it was probably not like *gold* gold, but still) Is he a frickin' Pharaoh or something? Do you even capitalize "Pharaoh"? Probably not, but I do. Why? Cuz I'm a renegade like Lorenzo Llamas or whatever.

Anyway, yeah, Off the Wall is a dang fine album and Thriller is no slouch either, but come on, let's just bury the sad, self-disfigured man and be done with it because seriously, there are a lot of other legitimately capital-"I"-important things going on in the world that we can and should be discussing. Like how awesome Steve Irwin was. Man, I still miss that dude.


Getting Warmer

Aaaah, summer. Fireworks, barbecues, popsicles, Slip N' Slides, warm days, cool nights, beaches, baseball and sunburn. Oh man, it's the best, right? So here comes July's mix, a simple summer soundtrack full of summer sun, sweat and sweetness.


01. "Here is the sound that photographs make … "
02. "Keep our teeth nice and clean … "
03. "You might start with the boogaloo … "
04. "Every step I take is a step to you … "
05. "If it don't bounce back, you go hungry … "
06. "[For her I put my heart in front of reason … ]"
07. "You are the star, I mean the starlet … "
08. "Tell me I'm doing alright … "
09. "The weather there's so good … "
10. "And we're coming to the chorus now … "
11. "This has, of course, nothing to do with anything … "
12. " … "
13. "Uh-huh … "
14. "Right past the fireflies that sleep in my heart … "
15. "Marching forward with no doubt in his head … "
16. "We're all happy cause the streets they're always there for us … "
17. "All I want to do is get back to you … "
18. "I gotta kiss you one more time … "
19. "There's a thing left to say before we go … "
20. "Reach for the bright side … "

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited to hear what you all think of this one. I think I pretty much nailed it. But don't tale my word for it. Let's ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton what she thinks of Warm Soundz:

Two thumbs up? Well, I think that settles that, don't you?

Download it here.

And as usual, there are even more mixes to be found on The Master List, like last summer's High Five! and Hot Dog as well as the recently completed Photos of Freckles and a boatload of other mixes from the BRR Mixtape Brigade, so check that out, too.

Anybody else get a mix made this month? Let me know and I'll add it.

So yeah, have a great summer. Stay cool. K.I.T. Peace!