Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Where Do All The Boogers Go?

A friend of mine posed this question once, and I've been giving it a lot of thought lately.

I'm sure many boogers end up on car floorboards and eventually in the vaccum tank at Spot-Not, and even more probably just sit and accumulate dust/dirt until they can no longer be recognised as boogers (in essence, they become dust/dirt). But do you ever consider what fanciful adventures one of your boogers might have experienced?

Maybe one of them inadvertently hitched a ride on a cat or was eaten by a small bird. Or could it possibly have somehow travelled across the sea while remaining intact, and is now basking on a sidewalk in St. Petersburg? Maybe the DNA in one of your nasal pebbles that you simply discarded without a second thought has been mutated by a rare virus and will eventually evolve into a new species of blobular super-human (this is obviously an extremely rare virus we're talking about here). Then there's another possibility..

Suppose boogers are already a superior organism and our current technology just doesn't have the guff for us to figure this out yet. They are a clever species, much more advanced than humans, with capabilities such as transmogrification and teleportation. They are pateint creatures, just waiting to be rolled up and flicked into the atmosphere, where they lurk unnoticed, perhaps for years. Then, when the sneaky booger is absolutely sure no one is watching, it teleports to another dimension/new galaxy.

It's possible. Honestly, how the hell do you know what really happens to your boogers?!?! You don't know, you couldn't possibly. So don't assume that it's still sitting in that kleenex you threw away yesterday. It could be lounging on a beach in Tahiti drinking mai-tais with a fingernail clipping.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Recent Expeditions

Saturday, I tagged along with my parents on a trip to Monterey. Even before we arrived at our destination I had taken interest in a few happenings.

1. A burning mini-van at the side of the highway. I've never seen a car on fire before, and it was pretty cool. The flames were thick, rose about 25 feet, and the steady black smoke could be seen from a few miles away. A bunch of people were standing around watching casually, so I assume everyone got out ok.

2. Taco Bell. I think it was in Hollister, the town of origin of the collar-popping company that manufactures what most call clothing, although it sometimes appears as more of a visual assault. Anyway, while I was shoving a cheesy bean & rice directly into my esophagus, a familiar tune came on the speaker system. It was apparently the original version of "Along Comes Mary" (I didn't realize the Bloodhound Gang version was a cover), which I later found out was released in 1966 by a group called The Association. Hmm. You find out new things about music every day.

3. When leaving Taco Bell, I noticed an ad on their window for breakfast. I nearly sharted with disbelief and/or excitement. I have always dreamt of the day when TB opens it's doors to the public at an earlier hour. It had nice pictures of Tacos, Burittos, Chalupas, and even Mexican Pizzas with all kinds of nice breakfast foods stuffed in them. Even eggs. Oh, glorious day. I have yet to try this new intriguing breakfast, but I'm making plans to do so in the near future.

We arrived in Monterey Bay and got tickets for a two and a half hour whale watching cruise. Seems like a long time, right? Well it was worth it. It takes about an hour and a half for the boat to get far enough out in the ocean. Ya gotta know where the good whale territory is. After floating around aimlessly for another half hour, we finally saw a couple of humpbacks. These things are freaking huge. Sixty-footers. Of course, moms forgot the camera. Theys come ups to the surfiss, blows warter out them holz real fast (90mph), takes about 5 breaths, then dives back downs to try 'n eat sum fishes. Daaaaaang. At one point I'd say the whales were only about 30-40 yards away. I'm not completely sure why, but it really was amazing. Especially when they would dive back down and you could see the huge tail fins sticking up out of the water. Maybe it's the simple confirmation that such truly monumental creatures exist that makes it so enthralling. Also, the fact that many people never get to witness whales like this in real life makes it a unique experience. I was tempted to jump into the water, swim over to the whales, and pull radishes out of their backs like world 4 on Mario 2. We watched them breathe and dive for 15-20 minutes before the ship had to turn around and head back to the coast. I totally reccomend an excursion like this to anyone who has the opportunity. I would definitely do it again.

After we got off the boat, we ate at an Italian restaurant called Isabella's. It's on the dock overlooking the harbor, so we got a nice show of a seagull giving himself a thorough wing-cleaning while standing on one leg throughout our meal. I really liked the local feel of the place. They had a nice Monterey Bay wheat beer on tap, and we ordered some fried artichoke hearts that were grown not too far away, in Castroville. They were damn good, I couldn't stop eating them!

The rest of the day paled in comparison to the burning van, whales, food, etc. We drove down PCH to check out the rocky shoreline on the way to Carmel By-The-Sea. After driving around Ocean Ave in Carmel (not like the candy, the accent is on the last syllable) for a bit, we headed home. It was a nice day.

In other news, I bought the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album, Some Loud Thunder. It's pretty good, but I definitely prefer the self titled album at this point. I think it's awesome that the band is fully funded by the members. They pay for the production of their albums, touring, etc. out of pocket (no record label is involved), and have somehow managed to establish a fairly hefty fan base. I guess all you need is verbal support from The Thin White Duke & Pitchfork.

Oh, and speaking of humpbacks, in this morning's Wikipedia escapades, I have discovered that the original members of Boyz II Men are still alive, although one suffers from severe back pain due to scolliosis. Don't act like you don't care. I know you've still got a copy of Cooleyhighharmony floating around in the back seat of your car. You probably get it out once a month and exclaim, "MOTOWN PHILLY BACK AGAIN!" in your best black robot voice.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Stuck In My Cabana

The idea of this blog is simple. I'll list the pros and cons of moving back in with my parents. First, let me give you a little background info: I moved out of my parents house when I was sixteen. I'm twenty-one now, so if my math skills are still pretty rad, I'd say it's been five years since I last lived with them. Yes, I can math. Radly. Anyhoo, here's my current external and internal environment:

Not so bad, eh? We'll see. Let's start with the negative.

- Having to hear Moms hum music I like (I left my Regina Spektor album in her car).

- Obviously, there's a lack of privacy (pronounced with a short "i" sound). No more smoking J's indoors.

- No friends. Seriously. (It's kinda hard to meet people your age when you don't go to school and you work 46 hrs/week at a factory primarily employed by non-English speaking middle aged folk.

- It's really hot here most of the time. I miss the roller coaster weather of the Midwest.

- A damn little dog follows me around everywhere like someone is paying him to do it (this might actually be a PRO, I'm not sure).

- Hanging with the fam on a Saturday night!! WOO-HOO!!!! You never know what they're going to do!! READING BOOKS, WATCHING ROMANTIC COMEDIES, DOING CROSSWORD PUZZLES, LAUNDRY, AND MORE!!! The excitement never ends.

- My room is the guest bedroom. That means when there's actually a guest, the couch becomes my room.


- I still have my records (although my player has crapped out on me).

- Driving their cars all the time (no buying gas or paying car insurance).

- No rent or bills; paying off debts. Gnarls Bronson.

- Free food all the time. This is very nice, it allows me to indulge in extravagant meals that I wouldn't generally pursue (a can of Tab and a Vanilla Charleston Chew for breakfast).

- Sharing a pitcher of beer with Moms.

- Moms is taking me to see Modest Mouse in San Jose, mid-May (you can expect a related post when the time comes.)

- Free internet and computer usage. Bonus.

- They like to buy shit for me. Food, booze, clothes, shoes, food, booze, new glasses, food, etc.

- Pizza is still in existence.

That's all for now. It's not so bad, but damn, there are people and places that I miss 24/7. It's a good experience chilling here for awhile, but I'm more than ready to be back in my element. I'm counting down the days 'til June and passing the time by working, recording music, skateboarding, playing Nintendo, and blogging. Oh, and watching Wes Anderson movies of course.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

I know, no one really wants to read about an album they haven't heard, but I'm going to talk about it anyway.

There's a fine line between country and folk, and Bright Eyes, or should I say Conor Oberst, has come dangerously close with this one. Then again, I said the same thing when I heard Emmylou Harris singing on his '05 release I'm Wide Awake It's Morning, and now it's quite possibly my favorite Bright Eyes album. Cassadaga is a different story though. Named after the town in Florida and with lots of "on the road" or travelling themes, there's one distinctive factor that sets it apart from Oberst's other albums: twangy country fiddle. No, not violin, fiddle. There's a big difference. On my first listen I was a little startled to say the least. Yes, Oberst has always had a tendency to blend genres and hop around from style to style, but you still just never know what to expect from him. It's always something different.

Genres and fiddles aside, it's a great album. Call Conor a conceited, sniveling, whinebag-emo asshole if you want, but that doesn't change the fact that the boy is a lyrical genius. Plus, with guest artists like Maria Taylor, Ben Kweller, Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley), Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney), and Andy LeMaster (Now It's Overhead) all appearing on the album, it's kinda hard to mess it up too terribly. Oh damn, I almost forgot the best part about the record...

After I removed the shrink wrap, the album appeared to be completely covered with black and white speckles (much like TV static) with no text, pictures, or other form of visual enhancement. Then, when I pulled out the liner and the vinyl, a small plastic card fell out with it. The card is mostly transparent, but is decorated around the border like a tiny picture frame. I started to piece it together in my mind, "Is this what I think it is?? Surely they didn't..." Oh, but they did!! A MAGIC DECODER!! The entire front and back of the record are covered with interesting artwork, but you could never see it without this tiny plastic window. I think it's an awesome surprise (it felt like it was my birthday) and a creative ass-marketing tool (see
Toothpaste for Dinner comic about moving the hyphen to the spot after "ass"), because you actually have to purchase the album if you want to see the artwork. Now, I only have the vinyl, which was released early, but Pitchfork has hinted that the CD release on April 10th will also have the decoder.

Anyway, good album. It's going to take me awhile to get used to the twangy fiddle, but good music is good music, right? Who cares what genre it sounds like? Some (very little, but some) country music is great, and alt-country is actually pretty rad, so if Bright Eyes wants to fiddle it up, they can have at it as far as I'm concerned. Here are a couple of free downloads from the album, courtesy of Saddle Creek records: downloads