1. Too hot.

    (Source: Spotify)

     

  2. "Even at 8 years old, I couldn’t suspend my disbelief long enough to think anything by KISS was worth money."
    — John Roderick is NOT A FAN. (via hodgman)

    Yes. This.

     

  3. My Twisted Life Word Cloud

    Thought it would be interesting to see what happened if you fed Eliot Rodger’s Manifesto through wordle.net, the wordcloud generator. Can’t really say it turned up anything creepy and unexpected, but I think it could be an interesting exercise to feed similar works through analysis like this just to see what turns up. Note that this cloud is adjusted to eliminate many of the most common English words, including most pronouns. Wordle: My Twisted Life Word Cloud

     

  4. Wee puns of mass destruction

    Fans of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy will recall the strange story of Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged.  Listed by the Guide as one of the universe’s very small groups of immortal beings, Wowbagger determines that the best best way to live out his infinite days is to pop around and insult every sentient being in the universe.

    In alphabetical order.

    Should I find myself similarly cursed with infinite existence, I think that, instead of insulting everyone in the universe, that I would turn my attention toward coming up with jokes whose punchlines are puns on well-known names and sayings. For example:

    • His Bach is worse than his bite.
    • I left my harp in Sam Frank’s disco.
    • Felonious Monk

    It’s hardly a noble pursuit. But diverting enough to keep one occupied for bleak centuries without end? Probably so.

     
  5. Such a strong album. Loopy and sad in that way that too-long Sunday afternoons in the dusty crease of summer meets fall are.

     

  6. "What do you do?" - The Conversation Starter of Last Resort

    My best friend Williams sez:
    "I’m reading "Everything that Remains: A Memoir" and I saw this. Thought I’d share it with you fellas.
    "what we’re actually asking when we posit this question (what do you do?), albeit unknowingly, is: How do you earn a paycheck? How much mney do you make? What is your socioeconomic status? And based on that status, where do I fall on the socioeconomic ladder compared to you? Am I a rung above you? Below? How should I judge you? Are you even worthy of my time?"
    "I’ve got to find a way to change my answer to this question."
     
    Discuss amongst yourselves.”

    Alright.  I’ve thought on this.  

    Because in any given situation, there’s what we do and what we wish we would do.

    I think “What do you do?,” outside of meeting her father for the first time, is code for “We have been placed in this conversationally adjacent place against the will of at least one of us. Neither of us cares to take on the work of getting to know the other because the fact is, neither of us are really interested in meeting new people unless we have something to gain by it. So here is a conversationally and emotionally innocuous question that can fill dead airspace until the elevator comes or the girls come back from the john or whatever.”

    It’s different in the case of meeting someone new in a setting like a run, or volunteering, or even a work setting, where you already have the situation in common.  While I don’t go to the gym for what you fellows refer to as “a pickup game of ball”, my guess is that the first time a schmendrick walks on to the court and says “So whaddya do?” as an opener with another bunch of guys playing “ball” is likely to be the last time schmendrick has that rock tossed himward. 

    Before Cube fucked around and got his triple double, he didn’t ask Felicia’s brother from Chicago “So yo Holmes, what do you do?”  Nope.  They talked smack to each other. Mild insults aimed at each other or a common enemy that allows one to size up the other and determine whether that person belongs in the box of “people who I would talk to, I suppose, if I had to” or the other box of “yeah, I think I met him once; I don’t recall wanting to stave his head in with a rock at the time so I guess he was cool.”

    I think that outside meeting someone in a shared context, “what do you do” is making noise. I’ll make a joke about the situation or something similar to avoid having to ask that. If it wasn’t so pretentious, and if people read more, I would love to ask “What are you reading that’s cool?” But if I end up asking “so what do you do,” either I have failed to care or the other person has failed to be interesting enough to inspire a better opening out of me.”

    All of which sounds super cynical.  But I think it’s true.  I think it’s why it becomes harder as we get older to make new friends absent a common structure or situation. A job, a team, a neighbor, it all has built-in context.  Even two old guys sharing a room at the retirement ranch have that cute nurse in common. But outside an established context, finding a common ground to begin the business of building a new relationship is probably lots more work than most of us are willing to undertake voluntarily.

    That’s what I think at least.

     

  7. Dear Television News … Please Stop Misusing the Word “Bust”

    Bust is a noun.

    It can mean the area around the chest, usually of a woman.

    Bust can also be used as a word for a small statue, usually showing the head and shoulders of the subject. And it is a term which has come to denote a large-scale arrest, often related to drugs. However, it should not be used as a verb in place of “burst” or “hit”.

    Ever.

    To wit:

    You may report that a police bust took place. However, it is important to note that police arrested people during the bust.

    Female police officers might complain that their bullet-proof vests are too tight in the bust area, and that they dislike wearing them when they go on a bust. However, they too, arrest people. Or maybe detain them for a short time.

    This same bust may turn up a stolen bust of a famous figure. And the leader of the criminals (Let’s call him Buster) may have planned to break the small statue by hitting an officer in the chest with it.

    However, then, if you weren’t careful, you might be required to report “During the bust, police report that gang leader Buster threatened to bust someone’s bust with the bust instead of allowing himself to be busted.”

    And no one, as the kids say, has any time for that.

    Police arrest and detain. Sometimes they question.

    Water mains collapse. They explode. They catastrophically fail. They even burst. The do not ever, ever bust.

    So please, unless you are reporting on a person’s chest area, a small statue, or a large scale arresting event, never, ever use the word “bust.”

    Addendum:

    To be fair, language is a living thing. Therefore, you are well within your rights to pass on the simple instructions of Young MC and “bust a move.”

     
  8. If only….
    #flashbulbs #polaroid #landcamera #deadstock

     
  9. Spotlight lens in front of streetlight. #dark #light

     
  10. I work at a place where this was an actual, albeit unproductive, exchange on our internal chat network.

    [11:30 AM] Coworker: Anyone have any idea what this guy might be talking about?

    [11:49 AM] Web Webster: It would appear he’s indicating the quantity of peas that have been loaded into a tube whose primary use is somehow related to a telephone or similar device.  Were he to have said “the phones”, one might logically assume he was indicating instead a set of headphones, which are often colloquially referred to as “phones”. The spellings are similar, but the meanings, both connoted and denoted, couldn’t be more dissimilar. Sorry. I was up too late last night reading David Foster Wallace.

     

  11. You’re creative? Then quit your bitch-ass whining and prove it.

    A fascinating read on Cecil Beaton, a fashion photographer whose skills were commandeered by the British Ministry of Information during WW II.

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/picture/2014/jan/18/photography

    God, that would suck right? A creative mastermind crammed into a bureaucratic hellbox, right?

    Not so fast.

    I love it when art accomplishes editorial aims. It’s what makes working as a commercial creative gratifying.

    If you’re 45 years old and toiling at a job you hate, with a copy of the great American novel moldering in your desk drawer, get off your can and find a job that scratches that itch. Something, anything. If you think you’re supposed to be in a creative job, and you’re not, who’s fault is it?

    I worked 15 years in positions best described as “creative-adjacent,” bitter and resentful that the crown and scepter had been bestowed to others but not me. Damnit, I was “more creative” than all five art departments I worked with put together.

    I was miserable. I gave my clients my best work, but I did a lousy job meeting even the most basic responsibilities for my position. But if those creative people would just give me a chance!, I whined. To everyone. All the time. Thankfully, I got fired.

    Doubly thankfully, I almost immediately found work as a copywriter. I took a 30-percent paycut. But in retrospect, it almost seems like an entrance fee I needed to have paid years before in order to do what I was supposed to have been doing all along.

    In the seven years since, whenever I’ve caught myself slacking, staring at my navel and bitching that those idiots in the x department wouldn’t know solid creative if it came up and fellated them, I remember that better than half my job is figuring out how to do soul-gratifying work within the confines of someone else’s time, budget and expectations. Creativity, true creativity, is making art regardless of what you’re given.

    So you’re an “art” photographer and your boss is making you go shoot propaganda pictures. There’s no possibility for expression in an assignment like that. Boo hoo. Woe is you.

    Now shut the fuck up and go make the art you’ve been promising yourself.

    Cecil did. And look what he ended up with.

     

  12. On the Singular Plurality of the word “Danish”

    An Excerpt From: David Sedaris, “Me Talk Pretty One Day.”

    “Amy denied that she was bored and lonely. The problem, she said, was that she was hungry. “All I had on the plane were a couple of Danish. Can we go out for pancakes?”

    The noun “Danish” (rather than the national affiliation) has always confused me. For instance, I know in the passage above that – Amy Sedaris’ sexual history not withstanding – that she is here referring to having eaten approximately two croissant/cream cheese wads on an airplane. So here is the question…

    Data is, despite what many will argue, the plural of datum. The same does not hold true for the word Danish. ”The data suggest that Amy ate more than one croissant/cream cheese wad and less than three of them.”

    However, when ordering, most people use this plural noun singularly … “After finishing her first, Amy asked the flight attendant if she could have another cream cheese Danish.”

    No reasonable person would suggest that Amy ordered two cream cheese Danishes. In fact, oftentimes, Danish is used in a more collective sense … “Amy was happy that the plane offered unlimited refills on coffee and Danish.”

    My purpose here is not to call David Sedaris’ grammar and usage to task. On the contrary, I find his essays to be a joyful demonstration of how wit is made wittier when the writer has the technical chops to write precisely what he or she means to say.

    Instead, I’d like to get a handle on when and how Danish came to be used in both singular and plural senses simultaneously.  

     

  13. Summary: Good sound below 100 Hz is cheap. Go buy a powered subwoofer and hook it up to your Twenty. You’ll be glad you did.

    If you’re fortunate enough to own one of Griffin Technology’s Twenty amplifiers, then you know what a freaking gem it is. (in the spirit of full disclosure, I work for Griffin Technology. That said, everything I say here still holds.)

    Any speakers, an old Airport Express and those bookshelf speakers your spouse made you pack away when you get married and you’re all set to stream music.

    I’ve been enjoying the heck out of mine this Christmas especially now that I’ve added a subwoofer to the setup. A 200-watt powered sub plugs into the mono sub out on the back of the Twenty unit and holy cow it makes such a difference.

    My Twenty is hooked up to some Bose 201 Series II’s (ca. 1987) and between the Apple Lossless codec and the amp chips built into the Twenty, the sound is fantastic (as fantastic, rather, as the mp3 files allow). But as you’d expect, there’s limited low end. Plugging in the sub activates the Twenty’s built-in crossover.
    And suddenly Paul’s bass is there as I listen to Sgt. Pepper. And when I feel like frightening the cats, the 10-inch sub is more than enough to rattle the china and bring out all the murky low- end goodness in The Bends.

    Good sound below 100 Hz is cheap. Drop a hundred on a powered woofer, hook it up to your Twenty and get ready to piss off the neighbors.

     

  14. Circles Super Bon Bon Sleepless - Mike Doughty Reclaims Some of Your Fave Soul Coughing Songs For His Own…

    …and while it’s taken 20 years, the music’s the better for it.

    I’m reading Mike Doughty’s memoir Book of Drugs, in which he recalls the dual paths of his addiction and his music career. Only halfway through and it’s clear how the two fed off of each other.

    After Doughty left Soul Coughing, his solo career has produced many of my favorite songs of his (I Hear the Bells, Looking at The World from The Bottom of a Well, Ossening, Sunshine). So while his path has been strewn with unpleasantness that nearly killed him, the work that emerged out of it seems better for it.

    All of that said, listening to Ruby Vroom and Irresistable Bliss knowing how fucking miserable he and the band were, it’s hard not to hear the chaos and the deeply-rooted self-destructiveness that seems to infuse all of the songs. There was some nasty, death-dealing tumerousness in that early stuff.

    Which is part of what makes his most recent album (Circles) that much more fulfilling a listen. He’s recut a selection of songs from Vroom, Bliss and Soul Coughing’s final album El Oso. It’s a completely different take on a bunch of familiar tunes. And while the uncapped batshit unhinged note doesn’t snake through songs like Super Bon Bon any more, the new cuts show that everything you loved about Soul Coughing was Doughty. The lyrics, obviously, but also the instrumentation, the beats, the loops, the whole thing.

    The book is interesting. But the album wants to be your new favorite. Go get it.

     
  15. iPhone solo opens St. Louise is Listening.