10 random thoughts while listening to Tim Buckley

1) Who is, I may add, far superior to his offspring.

2) Pointless rant: My password for my e-mail account is way too long. I fuck it up about half the time, then curse myself and start over again. I've had the same password for about three years, so why haven't I changed it? "They" tell you to change it up at least once a year. I guess I'm just too lazy to remember a new one. It's far easier just to retype it over and over again.

3) My M googled my name tonight and on like the seventh page -- after a whole bunch of work-related entries, old music reviews, and fantasy sports crap -- was a comment someone had left in response to an M. Dodds review that got picked up by the Springfield weekly of the Living Blue's last album. The commenter called her something along the lines of the worst music critic of all time and then ripped me (?) for comparing the Living Blue to Blue Cheer and Mudhoney. This person was pimping Tummler, so they're clearly one of the hard rock fanatics that lives around the area that had also read my unrelated praise of the Living Blue and felt that the old Octopus/Cityview snubbed hard rock/metal bands. Which is mostly true. But largely because most (local) bands in that genre happen to suck. Which is not to say that Tummler sucks. But the thought process went something like this: Why say something negative if you're only going to discourage some naive person from checking out said band -- or at least that's what I was often told. The one time I did rip some Alice in Chains soundalike a member of the band sent me the strangest, mistyped, drunken slab of hate e-mail I've ever received -- even stooping so far as to call me "gay". The rage-stricken fool later apologized. Thinking back on that, I should have written about that scene more often, if only to receive such poetic wall art.

4) I'm moving into a new office soon. It's much larger than my current office, and will afford me some privacy. That means I can finally listen to more music at work!

5) Speaking of offices, who's excited for the new season of The Office? Me!!!

6) Thoughts on Superbad: not the funniest movie I've seen in five years, as others have claimed, but not far from it. The entire kid-draws-dicks tangent was simply brilliant -- odd enough to be true enough to be hysterical. And it plays right in to the homosexual undertone to the film.

7) If you live in town, then you should play some trivia this Thursday. Unlike the excellent Drink 'n Think at Mike 'n Molly's, which the Grumpy Dougs will one day win, this trivia night is a one-time affair put on by some friends who are tirelessly trying to keep WRFU on the air. (As you may recall, D-Finn and I used to DJ for the low-power station.) They're trying to raise an insane amount of money to get a new off-site tower for their antenna so that once again I will not be able to get good reception at my house. Anyway, that's another matter entirely. I'm going -- and you should too! It's Thursday at the Esquire at (I think) 7:30.

8) Time to put on something not named Tim Buckely. How about The Move? Sure, sounds good.

9) It seems like forever since I've made good use of my backyard deck. That will change this week as the temperature dips into the 60s while the sun is still out.

10) Tennis: I finally beat Chris! I'm a little late in my bragging, as he has since beaten me yet again. But, hey, I finally beat Chris! It was a momentous occasion to be sure, which is why I'm glad I captured it by taking a victory lap around the net. Now, if I could just beat Emily...


HORNS! is done ... almost

The research for HORNS!, a mix two months in the making, is complete. From over 100 songs, I whittled the tracklist down to 22. I think I'm happy with the sequencing, which means all that's left is to design a cover. I often feel this way after completing a mix, but this particular one rings truer than others: This is probably the best mix I've ever made. The research was far more challenging than on Songs About Girls; with that one, I had only to select songs with a girl's name in the title. With this mix, I had to listen to a LOT of songs to ensure that the horn parts were memorable and the song was to my liking. Basically, I listened to a healthy portion of my record collection.

Now it's on to new territory. ORGANS!, anyone?


10 random reasons my back hurts (or not)

1) I never thought my back would actually be fucked up at the age of 31. But it is. Mostly, it's my lower back and it's all my fault, the result of 8+ years of bad posture at the desk job. So ...

2) M and I joined a gym. My past gym exploits have been laughable and ugly. (Seriously, old naked men are both.) The new gym features none of that, and possibly I'll stick with it this time. My back reminds me on a nearly daily basis to get to the gym by screaming at me in the morning and at night. Since I'm in no shape to throw down 3 grand on a new mattress set, I'll have to settle for weights and stretching.

3) Tennis: I suck. I've finally found a sport that I really like and have little natural ability to excel at. That's not saying much, really. There are plenty of sports that I know I suck at — say, football — and hence I've never given those sports much of a chance. Then there is basketball. I could go an entire calendar year without touching a basketball, then hit the court and at least do a good Dickey Simpkins impersonation. A few times out, and I'm a regular Horace Grant. But tennis is another story. There's no Roger Federer hiding inside me, but the sport is a lot of fun regardless and gets my competitive streak fired up. If only I could learn some fundamentals, like a forehand or a backhand for example. My serve is actually my best ally. I've been playing once or twice a week, and so far I'm basically oh-for-the-world. I have a lovely tendency to get up 3-1 or 3-0 and then lose 6-4. I chalk my inconsistency up to said lack of fundamentals, and hope for the best next time out. At some point, I just have to get better, don't I?

4) Beans. They don't really cause back aches, per say. But I suddenly enjoy them in varieties previously foreign to me. M's white bean salad is delicious! There, I said it.

5) Superbad was funny. Who knew the best character plot line of the year would come in the form of a kid overcoming his sketchy past as a dick-drawing maniac?

6) Big Ten Network. Fuck you. Comcast. Fuck you, too.

7) Research on the HORNS! mix is nearly at end. Lo and behold there's hardly as much new(er) music in my collection featuring horns. I'm troubled by trying to mix the old with the new, while still maintaining a congruency. Then there's the whole issue of Chicago apologists.

8) I just finished Ladies and Gentleman, the Bronx Is Burning. Good book. I wonder if the ESPN miniseries will hold up. The book wanders for large segments of time away from baseball to deal with rioting, bankruptcy, politics, and the Son of Sam. I'm guessing ESPN knows their audience and stuck with the Yankees for the most part.

9) We just went through massive layoffs at work, which is saying something when you work in an office with 20-some peeps. My department has been reduced to just me (the editor) and a designer. Good thing the title list is shrinking too, even if it's not significant enough. My guess: We'll be out of business in five months. I hope I'm wrong, but having gone through this process in my previous job at the newspaper, I have a pretty good feel for this sort of thing.

10) Guitar Hero II was an unexpected hit at a recent party. M even digs it! I had never played the game prior to receiving it as my surprise b-day gift from M. It's incredibly addictive — and fucking hard. I can't play a lick on the hard level, despite being pretty good at medium. My pinkie is just not used to such workouts. (Insert joke here.)


Being a fan these days isn't easy

This morning's Post-Dispatch web site displays the obvious complexity. Is it possible for a newborn star to be reborn in less than a month? If you've read the Daily News story then you know what all the hub-bub is about. Baseball can't catch a break. Its fans can't catch a feel-good story. And now I can't even enjoy the small sample of this season that's been enjoyable for me, the Cardinals fan. Or can I? Can I just block out the suspicion? Can I justify that prescription (regardless of its legality) as part of Ankiel overcoming a bunch of significant injuries and attempting to battle back to the majors as a hitter? Do I believe that he is now clean, accepting that we may never know because baseball doesn't test for HGH? What a fucking dilemma. And all it does is distract from a great pennant race between three mediocre teams.

Up until today Rick Ankiel has been the opposite of the typical jock storyline of 2007, which is to say he hasn't been in trouble with the police, in and out of court, beating his wife, being a reckless, gun-toting idiot. He has figures in his life — like his dad — who fit that mold. Yet he rebelled from that stereotype, seeming unbeatable, invincible, able to do the impossible and walk that thin line.

I'll need some time to process this. Being a Cardinals fan hasn't been easy after the McGwire hoopla. I didn't know if I would ever be able root as hard for a team or a player again after that. And then came Rick Ankiel. And then came his scandal.

I hope someone gives him the best advice of his life: Be honest. Do it for yourself. Do it for the game you love. Do it for your fans. Do it to be a real hero, to set an example for all the other players around you who are too chickenshit to own up. Tell us why. Maybe your reasons are legit. Maybe you did stop using when HGH was banned. Or maybe you didn't. Either way, just tell us the truth. It can even be your interpretation of the truth. Just speak. Now. Please.