Archive for June, 2008

On Karma

Posted in Uncategorized on 25 June 2008 by jason

I’m not one who believes that there are forces watching us and weighing our every action, meting out punishments in this world or the next. Nor do I think that living a “good life”, devoting yourself to a religion or a spiritual practice are a cosmic prophylactic against harm. The truth is that bad things happen to all people, good or bad (though bad people may be less likely to be taken advantage of).

So, then why be a good person? Well, first of all, I don’t need motivation to be a good person. I try to go through life, at worst not causing harm to anyone, and at best actually making the world better. And there are rewards to that, besides the obvious “it makes me feel good.”

Last night, my upstairs neighbor (the one who broke his glass door onto my porch) gave me his XBox. When I told him that he didn’t have to do that, and that I actually still have an XBox (I had one regular one and one that was…”special”), he said to sell the one he gave me then and use the money towards a new laptop. Today, he brought down an extra controller.

Now, obviously, this says something about who he is, but I like to think that it says something about who I am, too. If I were an asshole, nobody would want to help me out. I must be doing something right.

So that’s the way I see Karma. It doesn’t stop bad things from happening, but it helps you deal with the things when they do happen.

The good news…

Posted in Uncategorized on 24 June 2008 by jason

…is that one of the projects I’ve devoted the most thought to is the one I’ve been posting on this blog HERE. So at least that one’s saved.

Break in at chez nova

Posted in inturwebs, video games, Writing on 24 June 2008 by jason

I got home last night to find my back door wide open, one of my cats missing, and a buch of my shit taken. The cat came back, which is the only thing preventing me from going all vigilante-death wish on some motherfuckers right now.

They did get my laptop. And all my discs with my writing from the last 2 or 3 years. So right now, as a writer, I’m completely demoralized and considering an occupation where the theft of something the size of my pinky can’t ruin my life (That’s my flash drive, not my laptop.).

They also got my XBox. You know…that super top secret XBox I talked about on my birthday. GONE. And my DVD player. So, even though they left my TV and most of my DVDs, I can’t watch anything.

They got my digital camera. So no more YouTube posts.

They also got some DVDs from the library. And some games I borrowed off my friend Rob. And a game and controler I borrowed off my friend Tom. So, you know, not only did I lose shit, but now I owe people money that I don’t have. This means that, because of these motherfucking bastards, I have to get a second job.

Besides shit that they took, they also ransacked my entire place, probably looking for drugs.

The end result: I owe people money, my hand hurts (maybe broken…I can’t afford to go to the hospital to find out) from putting it through a wall when I found out my laptop and discs were gone, and since it’s obvious that my neighborhood is becoming a high crime area (my car stereo was stolen last week, and there was another break in a few days ago), I’ve got to find a new place.

Seriously, can someone check to see if I have a sign on my back?

In Memoriam…(NSFW)

Posted in Uncategorized on 23 June 2008 by jason

George Carlin has died.

The seven words:

NSFW…I mean, come on…he’s dead. I couldn’t wuss out and go with an edited clip!

(Actually, I’m at work, so I could only preview it enough to make sure it was unedited)

My back, and the sign which hangs from it.

Posted in Conspiracies, Exercise, Food, Holidays on 20 June 2008 by jason

3:00 AM. I had just settled down for sleep an hour earlier, and was completely sojourning through the dreamlands when a CRASH!!! awoke me. Breaking glass.

“What the what the what did you cats do!?!” I shouted as I sprung from my bed and onto my knees, on the floor. My body wasn’t working yet. The thing was, the cats were on my bed, just as freaked out as I was. Oh shit! It must be a break in! I thought.

Then I heard, “YOU BROKE IT, YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKER!!!” from upstairs. Ah. The neighbors are fighting, and the’ve just broken their sliding glass door, which has somehow rained glass through the slits on their porch and onto mine. I try to go back to sleep, but with the yelling, the girl from upstairs escaping her apartment via my balcony, and the other neighbor sweaping his sliding glass door off of his porch and onto mine, I didn’t get much sleep.

This morning, I got ready for my workout. I figured I had to at least get that done before I cleaned off my balcony. So, after assaying the damage in broad daylight (I’ll probably never be able to step barefoot on my porch again), I headed out to the College.

I got to the weight room to discover that they had decided to close up early today. No workout for me, but at least I could go run on the track, right?

No dice. The Relay for Life is tomorrow, so the tracks closed to let the crew set everything up.

Pissed off, I headed home to sweep off my balcony. Now, I’m not my neighbor; instead of merely sweeping the shards of broken glass onto the ground (and my downstairs neighbor’s backyard), I got out the dustpan and swept as much of it as I could into my trash. After that, I had worked up an appitite, so I decided to make my day start going better by heading to Eurogyro, the gyro place down the street.

I hopped in my car and took off, eager to partake in Eurogyro’s vegitarian goodness. I was so eager that I didn’t see the stopsign (or the cop), and I got pulled over. Two buildings away from mine. I could see my appartment from where I got pulled over.

So that’s how my day’s gone. I’ll admit that the stopsign was my fault. That’s cool. But the broken glass had fuck all to do with me, and if the gym was going to be closed today, they should have posted it earlier in the week instead of wasting my gas.

And today’s a holiday! It’s supposed to be a good day for me!

What I’m Listening to: The United Colors of Trouble Books

Posted in Music on 18 June 2008 by jason

A few months ago, I bought The Microphones The Glow, Pt. 2 based on the song “I Felt Your Shape”, which I heard on Pandora, as well as the rave reviews that critics and musicians gave it. Listening to this album makes me think of a desert: dense, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. However, another thing this album has in common with a desert is that it is so vast that it is easy to lose one’s point of reference and become completely lost. As much as I like this album, with the sprawling sonic landscape it creates, it just wasn’t the album that I wanted it to be.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, it turns out that the album I wanted from the Microphones was recorded by Trouble Books.

Trouble Books’ The United Colors of Trouble Books shares the same abient quality that The Glow pt. 2 has, complete with “instruments” that defy recognition and just become part of the overall sound (the album opens with sparklers, of all things, and later, there’s something that might be a saw or a theremin).

United Colors has almost a cold, lonely feeling to it, even when the two vocalists sing in harmony. This works with the themes of the songs, though, whether lamenting allowing a dog to be taken away and shot into space (“the only place colder than the Motherland”) in “Strelka”, or wishing for the strength and confidence to approach a crush in the audience of a show in “CFHC”, a song that manages to be beautiful and touching while mentioning stickers above urinals and blood-stained pick guards.

Packaging on this album is great, too. It comes in an inside-out, previously used record sleeve (mine’s a John Fogerty album), silk screened with the album art. Inside is a photocopied book of lyrics and drawings, stitched rather than stapled, the LP itself, and a CD-R with a digital copy of the album.

The United Colors of Trouble Books is dense, beautiful, and awe-inspiring, but it never loses the listener.

Buy this album at The band’s label’s website.
Visit them on MySpace.

Take a trip to Balthrop, Alabama (Pop. 11 or so)

Posted in Music on 17 June 2008 by jason

Full disclosure: My friend Chris Buckridge is in this band (as is his girlfriend, Mo). That said, this song is awesome. I would listen to it if I didn’t know anyone in the band. Watch the video. Better yet, go to their website and watch a higher quality version. Even better, buy their album!

Shut the hell up, Gene Simmons; you’re an idiot.

Posted in Music on 16 June 2008 by jason

According to this article, Gene Simmons is offering some constructive criticism to Radiohead.

“I admire bands like Radiohead, but the idea of being that serious?
Fuck that, get up on stage and blow shit up,” Simmons said.

Seriously? So, In Rainbows debuted at #1 because fans were saying, “Maybe this will be the one where Thom starts screaming about booze, sex, and Satan?” Radiohead fans know what they are going to see at a Radiohead show, just as KISS fans know that you go to a KISS show to see pyrotechnics.

I admire bands like KISS, but the idea of being that old and still acting like teenagers? Fuck that, get off the stage and grow up.

Another gripping tale of…Adventures in Akron!!!

Posted in beer, Food, Music, otter on 15 June 2008 by jason

The otter and I went to Akron for another of our adventures in the Rubber City this Friday, and we had a great time! What? You want to know more? OK!

First, we went to our favorite place in all of Akron: Square Records. The otter finally bought that Clientelle CD whe has been looking at for almost a year (very indecisive), as well as a few other things, and I picked up my copy of The Mountain Goats’ Bitter Mellon Farm that I ordered. I also picked up Trouble Books The United Colors of Trouble Books. I’ll review this one later, but I’ll just say that I’ve listened to it 4 times in the last 3 days, and that’s one more time than I’ve listened to my new Mountain Goats CD.

Next, we went accross the street to Chipotle. I feel a little bad going there, as I blame them for running Two Amigos out of business. Still, we needed food, and we needed it fast…there was a show starting back at the record store soon, and we wanted to catch it.

Chipotle was uneventful, except that I got recognized as “Writing Lab Guy.” I always find it odd when I get recognized in another town (not Canton) for doing my job. Anyway, we went to Angel Falls Coffee, a coffee shop in Highland Square. The coffee was great (I personally don’t like their house blend, as it is supposedly a light roast, but it tastes dark to me…I can’t remember what I had that was so good…otter, can you help me out?), and the atmostphere is nice (they have lots of books on Venezuela…also, very gay friendly without making us breeders feel unwelcome).

A storm hit while we were there, so we ran through the rain (and surprisingly hot wind) back to Square Records, where, while waiting for The Screaming Smoldering Butt Bitches to play, I bought David Bowie’s Lodger on LP, and the otter got the DVD Fans Only by Belle and Sebastian.

The Screaming Smoldering Butt Bitches were something to be experienced. These three chicks screamed 30 second long, profanity-laden noise bombs, such as “Fartlighter” and the number they dedicated to Square Records, “Square Records, Eat My Ass, Square Records, Don’t Eat My Ass.” I didn’t think it was the otter’s thing, but about 2 songs in, she got it.

Our last stop for the evening was the Ohio Brewing Company. Um…well, bars are not my thing, really. Especially, brightly lit bars. Especially, brightly lit bars where I can see that the half-empty glasses that the waitresses brought up to the counter have splashed their germy backwash into the ice cube tray. I’m sure someone got hepatitis that night. Still, the service was good to us (my order got lost, but when I got it, we also got free sauces and beers. YAY!).

It will probably be a while before I make it back to Akron, what with my reduced hours over the summer at work and the price of gas, but I can’t wait!

You’re kidding me, right?

Posted in Conspiracies, Music, Radio on 10 June 2008 by jason

When I go to work, it’s like I’m camping. No, I don’t mean that I sit out and roast vegetarian hot dogs over an open flame; I mean that I carry so much crap. I have my bag with my laptop, books, paperwork, and whatnot, a second bag with my workout gear, a third for my lunch, and I’m usually carrying a coffee around.

When I get off work, sometimes I buy groceries. This means that my trip back to my apartment is harder than the trip to work. Because of this, I sometimes leave my stuff in the car to get later.

So, last night, I went out at about 1 AM to take out some trash and get my stuff from my car. On my way to my car from the dumpster, I was surprised by a stray cat. “Woah! Hello, little kitty,” I said. It just stared at me. Then, a second cat appeared, ran towards me, and stopped by the other cat. This was a little creepy. “Er…hi?” I whimpered, backing towards my apartment. Then, a third cat, a kitten, appeared. The cats just stared at me with sickly glowing yellow eyes. My parking lot turned into Village of That Darned Cat! Giving up on making it to my car, I headed to the apartment, followed the whole way by these creepy, creepy cats.

This morning, I awoke to find that overnight, thieves broke into my car and stole my stereo (technically my brother’s stereo), and I don’t know what else. They ransacked my car, and didn’t have the decency to close my door afterwards, so it rained in my car all night.

(My Mountain Goats CD, Heretic Pride, was in the stereo. I don’t illegally download music, but I also refuse to pay twice for a CD, so I guess I’ll just never have that one again.)

Anyway, it’s obvious that these cats were working with the thieves in some sinister network of orphan animals and cutpurses.

Artist\'s rendition of one of the suspects, with wis company