Friday, December 30, 2005

There is Rocky Roll Activity

The most important band in the world has two things:

1. A gig tomorrow night, that's New Year's Evening, at the historic Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle's U-District. We've played there twice before and have proven crossover appeal with drunk hippies and meth hippies alike. Our good friends, who we've never met, Hart and the Hurricane and Sweatband are playing as well.

2. We have a MySpace page. So this clears the way for simulated friendships with Dane Cook and all that. I'm not 22. I don't know how it all works. But you can hear aaaaaancient samples of some of our, uh, we'll call them songs on this page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Welcome Global Visitors!

I put up this weird little mappy thingy underneath Kevin Duckworth over there and it confounds me every day. Someone visited from Iceland? From Indonesia? From, I think, the United Arab Emirates? I suppose it shouldn't shock me given how worldy the world is but I can't imagine a lazily maintained blog based mostly on my weird children had such a reach. Anyhow, welcome! Looks like I'm still awaiting my first Dakota or Wyoming friend. And South America and Africa continue to blow me off.
2005: The Musical

this from a producer at some radio station where I work...

Hi all-

We are doing a show this Friday called “2005: The Musical.” We will be using music to reflect on the year.

What song will remind you of 2005? Perhaps it played at a very important moment. Perhaps the lyrics of the song describe your year. What song will play 10 years from now and make you go, “I remember, it was 2005 and…”

Send your stories and song titles to before Friday. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please encourage your friends to write in ahead of time too if they have ideas.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Conversations With My Children on Different Topics

Charlie (Age 5) on Contemporary Cinema

HIM: Dad, when can I see King Kong?
ME: Maybe when you're older. Like 10 or 11.
HIM: Or maybe 12. Is King Kong evil?
ME: No, he's just misunderstood.
HIM: He's just too big. He can't help that. He's too big and too heavy.
ME: Yeah, that's his big problem.
HIM: And he weighs more than any building in New York. So people in New York are scared.

Kate (Age 3) on Calendar Planning

HER: Daddy! Don't go to work!
ME: But I've got to go to work.
HER: No!
ME: What are you going to do today?
HER: (pause) Fight people.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Beauty and Occasional Not Beauty of Flickr

As performed in a touching song and video. O, it is funny. O yes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Do You Think I Should Be, Like, Worried?

This is what we found in our daughter Kate's dollhouse today. And yes, that is an oven that the cat's head is in.

To me, it's all about the alarmed cat standing next to the oven. I mean, the cat with the head in the oven is okay. But the alarmed cat with arms sticking straight in the air makes it a real drama.
A Conversation with Charlie (age 5) about Linguistics

HIM: Hey Dad, do you know what?
ME: What?
HIM: The word "under" isn't funny. And the word "pants" isn't funny...
ME: Yeah?
HIM: But the word "underpants" is very funny.
Did you know they still make videos?

At least they did last year. And John Mellencamp just made me love him more with his video for the song "Walk Tall". It's not just about dwarfs but the video is. In a world so jam packed with bigotry against dwarfs, it's nice to see. I think I'll go paint my house pink now.
Ryan Adams, Little League Coach

Then, when the first game in May got rained out, I was sitting on the picnic table in the parking lot, watching the rain fall on the cars and thinking about Emily. I started crying when Craig's dad was asking me about who I was gonna have play first base. God, I got so high that night.

read the whole thing at McSweeney's

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Conversation with Charlie (Age 5) Goes National

After a particularly poignant viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, I wrote up something, submitted it to All Things Considered on NPR, and it ran today.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Challenge of the Flirtatious Barista

(at the coffee shop this morning. Male barista working, attractive female customer, who is a regular, comes in)

BARISTA: Hey, what's going on?
CUSTOMER: Oh. What? Sorry?
BARISTA: What's going on with you?
CUSTOMER: A tall non-fat soy latte.
BARISTA: Ah. Okay. Coming right up.
How Is Your Book Going?

Just waiting for the edit process to start. But, as a further indication that yes there really is a book, I now have an ISBN number: 0-06-085401-4. You will find nothing if you Google it, but still, neat. The ISBN is the number that bookstores and the industry use to track a book. When I've written book reviews for Amazon (editorial reviews, not customer reviews), that's the number used to load them on to the site. And since part of the goal of writing a book was to leave some kind of trace after I'm dead, 0-06-085401-4 does the trick.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Person From the Northwest Learns About the Midwest From His Wife, Who Is From the Midwest

ME: Is there any part of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago that's outdoors?
HER: No. No. It gets very cold in Chicago.
ME: Yeah. But doesn't the aquarium in Chicago incorporate, like, Lake Michigan.
HER: No. It's near Lake Michigan but it is not of Lake Michigan. The fish in Lake Michigan are not all that dramatic.
ME: You don't get, like, lake whales? Or lake dolphins?
HER: No, it's a lot of perch. And smelt. And that would be a really sparsely attended aquarium.
Misadventures in Sportscasting

(me on the air today at some radio station, doing a newscast, which I'm almost never called upon to do)

"Ray Allen had 35 points, six assists, and seven points in the effort for the Sonics; an effort that ultimately...proved...futile."

I know there are more efficient ways of saying that a team lost a game but none came to mind.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Other Matters

1. New Pop-Song Correspondence is up on McSweeney's. This one dealing with Elton John's termination from NASA.

2. I recently collaborated with my old high school drama rival Rob on a story for Weekend America (way at the bottom of the page) . We tried to figure out who was the better actor by calling up all of our old classmates. Was it as painful as it sounds? You bet it was.

3. Completely free of any political content, I just really liked the way this blogger dealt with his detractor. It's a blog, after all. They're giving it away for free. Roll with it, you know? (found on Boing Boing)
A Conversation with Charlie (Age 5) About Gender Politics

HIM: Dad, at school some of the boys dressed up like girls and we fooled the girls!
ME: Wow. What did you do?
HIM: We found some dress-up clothes, like dresses, and we pretended to be new girls at the school, and we fooled the girls! Then we jumped out and said WE'RE BOYS!
ME: That sounds fun.
HIM: BOY POWER! Hooray for Charlie Moe! BOY! POWER!
ME: Wait. What is "Boy Power"?
HIM: WE were Boy Power.
ME: But how do you get that power? How do you get Boy Power?
HIM: You pretend to be girls. Then you jump out and you're boys and then you chase the girls.
ME: And that gives you Boy Power?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I'm not sure I've ever been prouder to be Norwegian...

Than I am after seeing this video

From Norwegian band Hurra Torpedo

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Few Things On My Mind

1. Is there any scientist title more disappointing than "Egyptologist"? Because most other scientist get some cool word for what they do, like "Paleontologist", "Entomologist", and "Limnologist". Then they get to explain to people that what that means is that they study, respectively, fossils, bugs, or inland waters. But "Egyptologist"? How disappointingly unimaginative.

"Oh, an Egyptologist? So you must study..."
"Egypt. Yeah."

It would be like a biologist having to be called a bodyist. Or a cardiologist being called a heartist. Just doesn't impress.

2. Why can't I get a 12 ounce can of soda anymore? Why you gotta be pushing the 20-ouncer, soda pusher man?

3. I think it would be funny to have a big stage act called Pooh Man Group. Where it's just like Blue Man Group but with Winnie-the-Pooh.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

How is Your Book Going?
Funny thing about formatting. You can have what you think is a perfectly reasonable book of 243 pages, single spaced with a blank line between paragraphs. But when your editor prefers it without those blank lines but double spaced, you realize you've written something that's 421 pages long. Cripes! I mean, that's not how many book pages it would be but still. 123,000 words or so after four drafts. Probably need to drop 25-30k of those.

But..BUT!...I did submit the manuscript today. As per the agreement made long ago. Next comes the editing and the design and the world of other things. But tonight, I feel like I've done something.

And, it's being picked up by my fave new media outlet: conservative blogs!