Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Conversation with Charlie (age 8) About Literature

HIM: Dad, is To Kill A Mockingbird a real book?
ME: Yes.
HIM: Do they really kill a mockingbird?
ME: No.
HIM: Does anyone get killed?
ME: Yes.
HIM: Why do they call it that?
ME: It's an analogy.
HIM: Does someone at least turn into a mockingbird?


It's easier

Tumblr, I mean. Way easier to blog. If I have something I want to post, I can do it right away. And unlike Blogger, I choose whether I'm posting a photo, text, link, audio, video, or discussion and it then delivers me a template to speed that along. The fact that it all takes about 1/3 the amount of time a posting requires here makes a huge difference to my posting without, I HOPE, a drop off in relevance and quality.

Not sure where I go from here but I encourage you to read me over there as well.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

At the coffee shop this morning

(I remove my headphones and place my order, BARISTA pours coffee, hands it to me, rings me up.)

BARISTA: What are you listening to?

ME: Oh. This American Life.

BARISTA: I don’t know what that is.

ME: It’s a public radio show.

BARISTA: Oh, like MPR? I love MPR.

ME: So do I. I actually work there.

BARISTA: I don’t sleep very much, I just can’t fall asleep easily, so listen to the BBC a lot late at night. It’s fantastic.

ME: It certainly is. I love the BBC.

BARISTA: Well, I’ll let you get to work. Thank you for all you do. Thanks for making all that wonderful radio.

ME: You’re welcome. Thanks for listening to it.

(and I leave with more of a spring in my step than coffee could ever provide.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fooling around with Tumblr

It really does seem like an easier blogging platform than Blogger. So I set up a version of this blog over there to try it out. I've been looking for somewhere to store interesting things I come across: stories, pictures, videos. So I'm going to try to make the Tumblr page less about writing and more just, kinda, stuff I brought home from the store. We'll see how it goes. I'll keep doing stuff here too.

Anyway: check it out if you like.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bands that have songs named after bands

Wilco is live streaming their new album
- FOR FREE! TEMPORARILY! - and the first song is called "Wilco". After asserting on Twitter that the only band I knew of that had a song named after themselves was Talk Talk with "Talk Talk" off the album Talk Talk, I come to find out it's way more common than I thought:

* 45 Grave's "45 Grave"
* A's "A" (from album A vs Monkey Kong)
* Anthrax's "Anthrax" (from album Fistful of Metal)
* Armor For Sleep's "Armor For Sleep" (from album Dream to Make Believe)
* At the Gates's "At the Gates" (from album Garden of Grief)
* Avantasia's "Avantasia" (from album "The Metal Opera")
* Babyshambles's "Babyshambles"
* Bad Acid Trip's "Bad Acid Trip"
* Beastie Boys' "Beastie Boys"
* Belle & Sebastian's "Belle & Sebastian" (from the EP Dog On Wheels, and re-released as part of the album Push Barman to Open Old Wounds)
* Blue Öyster Cult's "Blue Öyster Cult" (from album Imaginos)
* Born Blind's "Born Blind" (from album One for All)
* bob hund's "bob hund" (from album Omslag: Martin Kann)
* Brand Nubian's "Brand Nubian"
* Brian Wilson's "Brian Wilson" (from the album Live at the Roxy Theatre, a cover of the song by Barenaked Ladies)
* Built to Spill's "Built to Spill" (from album Ultimate Alternative Wavers)
* Captain Jack's "Captain Jack" (from album The Mission)
* Chicago's "Chicago" ( from album Night and Day: Big Band)
* Children of Bodom's "Children of Bodom" (from album Hatebreeder)
* Choking Victim's "Choking Victim"
* Julian Cope's "Julian H. Cope" (from jehovahkill)
* Daddy DJ's "Daddy DJ"
* Dali's Car's "Dali's Car"
* Delta 5's "Delta 5"
* Descendents's "Descendents" (from album I Don't Want To Grow Up)
* Die Ärzte's "Die Ärzte" (not released, just live)
* D.O.A.'s "D.O.A." (from album Hardcore '81)
* Doop's "Doop"
* Dr. Octagon's "Dr. Octagon"
* Dschinghis Khan's "Dschinghis Khan"
* Enkindel's "Enkindel" (from album "Some Assembly Required"; the band lather changed their name to The Enkindels)
* Exodus's "Exodus" (from the album "Bonded by Blood")
* Fishbone's "Fishbone (Is Red Hot)"
* Fleetwood Mac's "Fleetwood Mac" (from the album The Original Fleetwood Mac)
* Flying Machine's "Flying Machine"
* Fuck...I'm Dead's "Fuck...I'm Dead"
* Goon Squad's "Goon Squad"
* Gotcha!'s "Gotcha!"
* Gouryella's "Gouryella"
* Green Day's "Green Day" (the song title preceded the band name, and was written while the band was still known as Sweet Children)
o Also had a song called "Sweet Children" when they were known as Sweet Children
* G-Unit's "G-Unit" (from album Beg For Mercy)
* H-Bomb's "H-Bomb" (from mini-lp Coup de Metal)
* Hammerfall's "Hammerfall" (from album Glory to the Brave)
* Hard Skin's "Hard Skin" (from album Hard Nuts And Hard Cunts)
* Imperial Teen's "Imperial Teen" (from album Seasick)
* In Extremo's "In Extremo" (from album Verehrt und Angespien)
* In Flames' "In Flames" (from album Lunar Strain)
* JFA's "Jodie Foster's Army" (from album Blatant Localism)
* Jilted John's "Jilted John" (from album True Love Stories)
* LFO "LFO" (from album Frequencies
* The Living End's "The Living End" (from album Hellbound)
* Louis XIV's "Louis XIV" (from album The Best Little Secrets Are Kept)
* Love City Groove's "Love City Groove" (the United Kingdom entry in the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest)
* Mad Caddies's "Mad Caddies"
* Madness's "Madness" (a Prince Buster cover)
* Manowar's "Manowar"
* Masta Killa's "Masta Killa" (from album No Said Date)
* Miljoonasade's "Miljoonasade" (from album Pesuhuoneesta keittiöön)
* Miss Black America' "Miss Black America" (from the album God Bless Miss Black America)
* Mr. Big's "Mr. Big" (a Free cover)
* Mr Blobby's "Mr Blobby"
* Mull Historical Society's "Mull Historical Society" (from album Loss)
* Night Ranger's "Night Ranger" (from album Dawn Patrol)
* Nightwish's "Nightwish" (from their untitled first demo)
* Nichya's (?????) "Nichya"
* Paradise Lost's "Paradise Lost" (from the album Lost Paradise)
* Peach's "Peach" (from the album Giving Birth to a Stone)
* Pet Shop Boys' "Pet Shop Boys" (b-side to the 1984 release of "West End girls")
* Pink Grease's "Pink G.R.Ease"
* Polygon Window's "Polygon Window" (from the album (Surfing on Sine Waves))
* Railroad Earth's "Railroad Earth" (from the album Elko)
* Rammstein's "Rammstein" (from album Herzeleid)
* Reagan Youth's "Reagan Youth" (from album Volume 1)
* Renegade Soundwave's "Renegade Soundwave"
* Samhain's "Samhain" (from album Initium)
* Siddharta's "Siddharta" (from album ID)
* Sigur Rós's "Sigur Rós" (from album Von)
* Skyclad's "Skyclad" (from album The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth)
* Slipknot's "Slipknot" (from album Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat)
* Smog's "Smog" from the album Sewn to the Sky
* Snoop Dogg's "Snoop Dogg"
* Snot's "Snot" (from album Get Some)
* Spacehog's "Spacehog" from the album Resident Alien
* Steelheart's "Steelheart" from the album Tangled in Reins
* Stratovarius' "Stratovarius" from the album Fourth Dimension
* Sworn Enemy's "Sworn Enemy" from the album As Real As It Gets
* Talk Talk's "Talk Talk" (from album The Party's Over)
o note: The song "Talk Talk" also appears on a five-song EP that's called Talk Talk, and the band itself was named after the song (written by the Hollis brothers).
* Talulah Gosh's "Talulah Gosh"
* They Might Be Giants' "They Might Be Giants" (from album Flood)
* Tricky Disco "Tricky Disco"
* Unun's "Unun" from the album Æ (album)
* Van Dyke Parks' "Van Dyke Parks" (from album Song Cycle)
* Voivod's "Voivod" (from album War and Pain)
* Warp 11's "Warp 11" (from album Red Alert)
* White Town's "White Town" (from album Women in Technology)
* X's "X" (from album Blue Blood)
* Zonata's "Zonata" (from album Tunes of Steel)

AND this list even left off Bad Company by Bad Company, Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath, and Kajagoogoo's Kajagoogoo (because if you have the word "Kajagoogoo" available to you, you need to use it all the time.)

Right, LIMAHL?

Kajagoogoo, John!


Monday, May 11, 2009


"If you tell me x, I WILL FIGHT YOU WITH MY FISTS!"

What does x equal?

For me:
x = Jay Leno is better than David Letterman
x = anything in pirate vernacular
x = there hasn't been any good music made since (fill in any year or era)
x = you are guaranteed to lose any fight involving fists


Friday, May 08, 2009

Family on the radio

I'm doing a story for The Splendid Table about kids and cooking. We had Charlie and Kate prepare a family meal, sweet and sour chicken plus rice and for some reason dumplings, which they then refused to eat.

JOHN: But this was your idea!
CHARLIE: Ugh! Well, when I always see it in restaurants it doesn’t look like something from a squid’s body part.
JOHN: Well, you want a dumpling?
CHARLIE: Ooh yeah!
KATE: Can I try one?
JOHN: It’s white and bland.
KATE: Actually I don’t want it.
JOHN: Yes you do! Eat the dumplings or you’re out of the family.
CHARLIE: You’re kidding.
KATE: Are you kidding?
JOHN: I’m half kidding. And you know it might be terrible.
KATE: It is! I just not like it. Mom, you can have it.
JILL: No thanks.
JOHN: I’ll eat it.
KATE: Ooh, thanks
JOHN: Charlie, are you okay?
CHARLIE: I don’t want to try the dumplings.
JOHN: Did you try the dumplings?
JOHN: The dumpling is pretty bad, actually.
JILL: They’re horrible. Give ‘em to the baby. I bet the baby will eat them.


Monday, May 04, 2009

A Conversation with Charlie (age 8) About Music and Entomology

HIM: Our yard is full of bugs of prey.
ME: That would be a good name for a band. Bugs of Prey.
HIM: Or Insects of Prey. Arachnids of Prey.
ME: Beetles of Prey. Or just The Beatles.
HIM: That's already a band.
ME: Right. So you can't use that name.
HIM: Well, maybe. They broke up a long time ago.
ME: So you think the name is available. You could just come along and claim it.
HIM: Yeah, I'm pretty sure.


This is one continuous shot

Nyle "Let The Beat Build" from Nyle on Vimeo.

And it kind of made me cry with joy.


Scenes from the coffee shop


ME: Hi, could I get a small coffee?
BARISTA 1: That'll be $1.75.
ME: I thought it was only a dollar on Mondays.
BARISTA 1: That's if you get a medium.
ME: (sigh) Okay, I'll get a medium.
BARISTA 1: Okay, that'll be one dollar.
ME: You're trying to break my mind, aren't you?


If you answer the trivia question, you get ten cents off. Today's question was, "What New York University was taken over by students from April 23 to April 30, 1968?" The answer is Columbia.

CUSTOMER: Hmm, I don't know the answer.
BARISTA 2: Think about the name of a South American country where lots of cocaine and coffee comes from.
BARISTA 2: No, it's a university in New York City.
CUSTOMER: I'm drawing a blank.
ME: It's in upper Manhattan.
BARISTA 2: It's in kind of a rough neighborhood?
BARISTA 2: But it's a good school. A really good school.
ME: It's an Ivy League school.
ME: It's Columbia.
CUSTOMER: No, I just can't figure it out.
BARISTA 2: He just told you the answer.
CUSTOMER: Hmmmmm....