Archive for April, 2008|Monthly archive page

just had a sandwich

tonight, the moon was low and red above the road.
I nearly failed the only astronomy course I took in college. which was dumb, becuase it was an elective. but I did learn that the moon doesn’t rotate. it orbits the earth, but it doesn’t spin. so you always see the face of it.

from what I understand, there’s a bunch of different explanations into the meaning of Bob Dylan’s “visions of Johanna.”
everybody’s got an opinion. but I don’t know if Dylan himself ever bothered to explain it. shit. I wouldn’t.

now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously.
he brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously.
and when bringing her name up, he speaks of a farewell kiss to me.
he’s sure got a lot of gall to be so useless and all. muttering small talk at the wall, while I’m in the hall.
oh, how can I explain: it’s so hard to get on?
and these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn.

edit: it’s not that hard.

this is news

I’m clicking around, looking for a story about Wesley Snipes going to jail for income tax evasion. fuck him. 
the lead story on CNN.com is “Scars of war fail to deter Iraqi athletes.” I haven’t read it, because it looks fucking ridiclous.

I’m really hungry. give me a second to work on that.

five minutes elapse.

and now, thirty.

bleeding out

I think of Indiana as my home state. I mean that in the ultimate sense. like, maybe if I settle somewhere else, that’ll change. but I don’t introduce myself as being from Charlottesville. but I live here. maybe I should.

Pennsylvania had its democratic primary Tuesday, which Hillary Clinton won. I’m really nonplussed; if you ask me – and you’re asking, trust me – Clinton and Obama are the same candidate, with Clinton being less electable. doesn’t matter. I think McCain’s going to win in the fall. I say this, as I feel the electorate in this country is pretty fucking stupid.
please don’t take that as an insult, electorate. but we are a mob. remember last time? Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? flip flops? 

now we have the Reverend Wright and Bosnian sniper fire. and I mean, god damn it. isn’t there anything, at all, more important right now? do you know what that motherfucker is doing in the White House right now?

god damn it. excuse me a fucking rant, but I love how, of the half of the country that actually bothers to vote, more than half of those people decided another term for the most undeserving president in the history of time was a good idea. and now, no one wants anything to do with him. George Bush is someone’s responsiblity, and someone deserves a kick in the balls for him.

anyway.
Indiana is the next state to have its primary. it and North Carolina vote on May 6. so Clinton’s been in Indianapolis, and mom saw Obama in Gary, and Obama was in Evansville Tuesday evening after he got worked in Penn. and now, the media is turning its dumb, dumb eye toward the midwest.
Indiana hasn’t gone for Democrat in a presidential election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. so this drawn-out primary is the first time in a while that the state will actually matter to the democratic campaign.
with that said, I’d opine that the attention -that ability to really matter – is totally overrated. Indiana – ‘less momentous’ Indiana – will now have to suffer the indignity that is a primary battle.

campaign rallies. national media. Democrats. there is no diginity in any of these things.

my evening with internet pornography

if that doesn’t get your attention, well.

so yeah. I put everything on the blog. and you’re fucking welcome: I’m twice as entertaining as daytime television.
but I’m getting kind of tired of defending that – mostly because I’m not very good at defending it – so maybe another round of self-editing is in order. it’s been a while. this is getting pretty heavy, so we may need new rules.

in the spirit of that: my brother told me a funny story about how Jesse “The Body” Ventura was appearing on Larry King that evening, via satellite. The Body was in Mexico, so they had to send a satellite truck out to do a remote feed to him. sending the truck, from Mexico City, to Baja. The Body is in Baja. that’s like a fourteen-hour drive. and apparently, bandits are a concern. not kidding. bandits.
I mean, can you imagine driving a truck, emblazoned with a major media outlet’s logo and full of expensive-looking gadgetry, across Mexico? it’s like the wild west  down there. CNN is going to make someone have to possibly deal with bandits so that Larry “The Mantis” King can interview Jesse “The Body” Ventura about god knows what. and no one’s gonna watch that shit anyway.
I’d love to receive that phone call. “dude, gas up the van. we’ve got to drive a thousand miles to set up a camera for Larry King tonight. oh, and you’re gonna have to ride shotgun. literally.”

went to the Newseum with dad today. I am not the museum type, but the Newseum is solid, and worth the price of admission. lots of interesting stuff in there. I am recommending it. to you.

I just heard this on television.
“look, yes, I have banged hundreds of broads, internationally, but know this: I wrap my rascal two times cause I like it to be joyless and without sensation, as a way of punishing supermodels.”

and, to end. great titles for future posts:
nobody does chips like Utz does chips
and then, he put it on the god damned blog
edible, nacho, sombrero

passion

this post is brought to you by black cherry cola and cheap vodka.

this song jams. it jams!

the NBA playoffs have begun.
I like the playoffs. especially the early going, when it’s a big, frenetic free-for-all. the first round is usually pretty luke-warm; it isn’t bad. there’ll be a few good games, a few shitty ones, but it usually comes up in the black.
the quarterfinal are kickass. these teams are the proven winners; almost all of these series go to six or seven games.
the semifinals are normally pretty entertaining.
and then, the finals, which inevitably suck. like last year. Cleveland lost four straight to the most boring team you’ll ever watch be awesome. Tim Duncan might be good for 20 and 10 a night minimum, but I’d rather watch paint dry than see him get those numbers.

the eastern conference has been pretty weak this year. but, Philadelphia – a team that was below .500 during the regular season – upset the Pistons in Detroit tonight. I didn’t watch the game, I was in the truck, but according to the AP story, the Pistons didn’t take the game as seriously as they should have. actually, it was funny enough to quote:

Sixers forward Reggie Evans smiled when told the Pistons were shooting the breeze with (former Piston) Flip Murray during breaks in the game.
“That’s good,” Evans said.
Rasheed Wallace took the blame for the loss — despite having 24 points, nine rebounds and matching a franchise playoff record with seven blocks — but didn’t think blowing a big lead had anything to do with talking to Murray.
“That’s my man,” Wallace explained.

Rasheed Wallace is my favorite NBA player. “that’s my man.” yes!

I’m looking for new work. that’s it, and now it’s official because it made the blog. I’m looking for work. I’ve applied at exactly three places, and for as much as I’d like to have a new job, they aren’t very easy to come by.

so I’ve been thinking about voice.
so do I, come across, fully, on the blog? is the blog a necessary suppliment to me? do you need to read it to read me?
well yeah, probably so. but that’s weird, to think that you might read this, and then meet me in person, and not get something different from the experience. discover a different personality. I hate the idea that I’m being disengenious through this experiment. but has the blog taken on a pesonality of its own?
yes. I’m playing dumb, because I know it has. there are probably readers of this who haven’t spoken to me in, what, in years. and there’s probably the one or two that have never spoken to me. and they think this is just how I sound.  just some cynical asshole with the emotional development of a twelve-year-old.
but I’d like to think that I’m not this chariacture. but I’m not going to lie, it’s not entirely untrue, this is more or less hand to mouth here. I am that asshole. and I grow tired of apologizing for my gut feelings. I probably should just stop writign them down on the internet. well, duh.

I have a passing interest in internet privacy. so here, check this out.

stay out of Riverdale

lesbian custody battle. it just goes to show, divorce is never pretty. even among the lesbians.

I think I’m still hungry

this is after a tunafish sandwich, an english muffin with peanut butter, and one beer.

today was one of the worst days I’ve had at the ol’ newspaper in quite a while. because I know everyone cares, I’m going to detail it. you’re welcome.
the day started off right. I arrived, to find that, yes, I would be responsible for the front page this evening. fuck.
during the daily budget meeting, I kept quiet. there’s usually like half a dozen people at these, all of whom, normally, outrank me. so I just take notes, ask the occasional question. but tonight, when talking about the planned story on the hearing for the juvenile accused of shooting up a bunch of cars on the interstate last month, I opined that the little shootings logo we’ve been using to identify sniper stories is awful looking, and that further, we shouldn’t use it because it looks ridiculous. and also, that those morons in Richmond who prepared it for us are worthless.
I said all of that, only it was peppered with “fuck” and many of its tenses. 
everyone was laughing, and I probably went on for another ten seconds cause I was feeding off the crowd, but it turns out that it was my boss who designed it. and he was sitting directly across from me. nice.

anyway. my manager wrote himself in as doing ‘advance’ work tonight, which is bullshit. ‘advance’ work often means he just putzes around and looks over your shoulder before going home around 10 pm. so that left me with six pages to build, which is a lot. I got everything out by 11:30, with the nightly deadline being midnight, but I keep on learning this the hard way – a half an hour isn’t enough for many of the editors who are going to proof your pages on any given night. so I didn’t get the pages to editor’s liking until 12:30. at that point, I was a half an hour past deadline.
then some stupid fucking ad corrupted on the weather page, and I had to go dig it up and fuck with it in photoshop until it printed correctly. yep.

so the paper didn’t print until 1:35 am, and I didn’t leave until nealy 2. that’s in the morning.
I will catch hell in the morning.

tomorrow, before I go back to work for another front page, I’ve got to get my glasses set. I had the opportunity to get new frames, but I actually like the ones I have now. so I have to present these ones to the glasses place and wait for them to fix them.
that’ll leave me with a solid two hours to wonder around the shopping center nearly blind. that oughta be fun.
also, I need to call Andrew. I don’t need eyesight to call Andrew. so maybe I’ll try that. hooray, Andrew!

my stomach is making strange noises

man. job hunting is a motherfucker.
I can’t find anythying, and I’m looking. no joke. maybe I’m not looking in the right place. I’ve never been exactly proactive about job hunting; for instance, I’ve never been one to apply to a company/organization that hasn’t posted anything. maybe I should be doing that. lots of maybes.

edit: with that said, there’s a pretty sick job for a copy editor posted suddenly, for DC. this would look kickass on a resume, though I don’t know if I can handle another editing gig like this. I guess it would be dumb not to apply for it.

this ran in the paper yesterday.
gist of it: the county allows landowners massive tax breaks if they agree to place their land in a conservation easement. that way, they curb sprawl. developers don’t just start putting buildings up everywhere.
sprawl sucks. countryside is nice. I agree. but the guys interviewed for this story, eh.

Rich Collins led a contingent of 20 University of Virginia graduate students down a rocky path into the middle of a bucolic 154-acre field in Albemarle County.
“Ooh! Look!” exclaimed Collins, a UVa professor of urban and environmental planning. “There’s a pair of nesting geese.”
A few moments later, UVa history professor Stephen Levine strolled up, leading his nervous donkey Neftu.
“She’s taking her time,” said Levine, the property’s owner. “This is all new for her.”
The grad students are part of Collins’ class on the legal aspects of planning. They spent Monday morning in Levine’s field — located at a convergence of the north and south forks of the Rivanna River — to learn about how conservation easements are protecting hundreds of thousands of acres of rural countryside across Virginia.

and then:

Virginians who donate land that will be protected in perpetuity are allowed a tax credit for 50 percent of the land’s fair market value. The tax credits can be used to offset taxes for up to five years or sold off for cash.
For the general public, conservation easements provide scenic beauty and quality of life. In a sense, the public pays for them via forgone tax revenue.
The easements are proving to be an increasingly popular tool throughout Virginia and in the Charlottesville region for preserving rural character, environment and culture. As many of his students intend to eventually work as municipal planners, Collins wanted them to gain insight into how conservation easements work.
“It’s basically a gift to the general public,” Collins told them. “Think of it like donating a piece of artwork to a university.”

I just want it to be known that I get it. I understand easements. and anyone who has spent any time, at all, in northern Virginia understands that unchecked development will turn your once-livable towns into a soulless web of shopping centers and planned communities.
but ‘it’s basically a gift to the general public?’ give me a fucking break. it’s almost like this was planned to sound like a stereotypical liberal telling you what’s good for you; a couple of wealthy university types – who own large tracts of land – get to play farmer in Albemarle County while getting sweetheart deals on their property taxes. taxes that would go into county coffers, you know, for fucking roads and schools and other such utilities. but it’s cool, because these assholes get wonderful unobstructed views from their restored 19th century farmhouses, and they get to pat themselves on the back for contributing to how aesthetically pleasing they’ve made the countryside.
as far as it being a gift to the community, that’s not true. the community gets less tax revenue so it can be pretty and faux-rural. it’s not a gift if you’re paying for it.
and that’s fine, maybe it’s worth paying for. have you ever been to Manassas, Va.? talk about sprawl. it’s just nothing but shopping center after shopping center after gridlocked traffic light after shopping center. so maybe Rich Collins and this ‘gift to the community’ is the way to go. there’s a ton of people in this town already, easements are probably just holding everything in check.

that’s all. I had a very visceral reaction to this story as I laid it out. but as far as tax easements go, I’d also like to mention that 1) they seem to be an ultimately temporary solution to stopping sprawl and 2) they accheive their stated objective, and I don’t have a better idea.
oh, and 3) almost all of you probably don’t have any idea what the hell I’m talking about.

it will take everything you’ve got

two more reporters are, uh, reportedly on their way out the door. that’s nine reporters down to four in ten weeks. hiring freeze still in place. also, a coworker on the desk told me he’s applied elsewhere. I’ve applied elsewhere. I applied to work at a Presbyterian church. yes. “you’re going to work for fuckin’ Presbyterians ?”
this shit is draining. I’m always tired, and I can’t sleep.

 

according to the television, one in five adults have genital herpes. so please, before me and you, you know, do it, wrap your junk in latex.

 

thoughts on music.

the CD – and when I say CD, I mean album – that began my record collection was Cake’s Fashion Nugget. Got it for Christmas. It’s pretty good, still, but it is long gone. my record collection sheds.

the second CD was The Action is Go by Fu Manchu. my brother gave it to me for my birthday when I was … when I was 14. I still have it, and it is awesome. matter of fact, I listened to it today. so in its own small way, Fu Manchu has been a constant in my life for the last eleven years. through that lens, so has Taco Bell. because it’s delicious! I remember the first time I went to Taco Bell, I swear to god. but that will be for another time.

last summer, Mike and I were driving around DC one night, and I put in In Search Of … . one of Fu Manchu’s albums that came out around, what. 1995 or 96. the first track is called “Regal Begal.”
my brother said, “this is the song you listen to when you go bodysurfing all day.” and that is exactly right. 
because there’s something to be said about a band that has based its career on writing songs exclusively meant for cruising and bong hits. I don’t think every band is groundbreaking. and thank god for that; that would be too heavy. sometimes, you just want to jam, and not in the lame Phish way. this is what Fu Manchu is for. being loud, and sounding like Sabbath, if they came up in Orange County in the early nineties.

*
I had this Aretha Franklin greatest hits album that I listened to incessantly until it started to skip, so I’ve got to dig up another one. a few months ago, I heard she got pissed when Beyonce, while accepting an award at some show, didn’t namedrop her amongst great female vocalists. Aretha Franklin noticed the absence of her name and actually contacted the press with her beef.
I mean, that’s awesome. that woman, god damn. she can sing.