Friday, December 22, 2006

Goodnight Moons.

This is probably my last post for 2006 since I'll be traveling and then spending the rest of my free time figuring out what LP and I are going to do for New Year's Eve in Chicago...

Goodnight Moon.
Goodnight A Blog of a Good Time... and your dreams of your future husband Justin Timberlake.
Goodnight Anonymous Midwest Girl... and your AMBF.
Goodnight Autumn... it was a good one, but it is winter now.
Goodnight B-Muse... when are you going to start blogging? Surf blog?
Goodnight Carolyn Says... and your super cute kitty who is killing your little Christmas tree.
Goodnight Cat Pee Smell... I know you are a smell, and not a blogger, but you are starting to piss me off and I am not going to take (or smell) this shit (or piss) in 2007!
Goodnight Cherry Ride... it's Merry Christmas, remember that, and goodnight Richard.
Goodnight Chuckdaddy Xpress... I hope this is not one of your pet peeves.
Goodnight Classy & Fancy... hope you have many dreams of a Smiths' reunion.
Goodnight Darci from the Block... Sorry you lost on Days of Our Lives.
Goodnight Fish Not Fried... keep the indie rock alive, and listen to some Queen.
Goodnight Jader... I hope you have a White Christmas... since it seems like you and I are the only ones who like snow.
Goodnight K.i.d... enjoy your break from studying.
Goodnight King Dan... we'll have to throw back some maple syrup and O.J. when I'm in S.F.
Goodnight LP... I'll be up for a little while, I'm tryin' to figure out how this blog can get us paid!
Goodnight Lori Mocha... and all of your babies... although you're probably so amped on pills you won't fall asleep. A new meaning to the term White Christmas.
Goodnight Meaning of Loaf... hopefully you are sleeping on that green couch.
Goodnight Mimi Smartypants... when is your new book coming out?
Goodnight Random House... and Penguin, Viking, Doubleday, Harper Collins, Regan Book, and Bantam, I'm the guy you want for a book deal... really.
Goodnight Reckenroll Lifestyle... but is "Goodnight Moon" on your Top 5?
Goodnight Smack Dab In the Middle... hope you have a night void of violent dreams.
Goodnight Stuff On My Cat... you are an inspiration to all, and fuzzy too.
Goodnight Sufferin' Succotash... hope your child support payment comes in, and hope you hook up with Wayne Coyne.
Goodnight The Gancer... Liar's Club 2007!
Goodnight Annoymous Posters... who are you?
Goodnight Readers of 5 of 9er.... bored yet?
Goodnight Chicago... now bring me some snow!
Goodnight Moon.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Things To Do (before 2007): Update

With only 11 days left in 2006 I am realizing my list is going to be tough to accomplish. Not impossible, but probably impossible for me since I am a slacker at the end of the year. Here is an update on some of my goals...

1. Learn to play the guitar. Yesterday was day #1 of lessons. After realizing that my fingers in no way will cooperate with my brain, or the instructor (the man on the dvd I am watching), it is highly unlikely I will be playing "Auld Lang Syne" on New Year's Eve. So I am supposed to do some finger exercises on the guitar until my fingers work right... maybe by 2008. Crap!

3. Get over my fears of flying. Any one have drugs?

5. Find a good hor d'oeuvre to make for Christmas Eve. LP and I were at a Christmas party last night and the host's younger sister made stuffed mushrooms. She was so proud of them, and put a nice little twist on the standard recipe... and they were good. So making stuffed mushrooms is not all that bad. Is it?

6. Find Lori Mocha some help... I'm still working on this. Hopefully Santa will fulfill Lori's wish and she'll be so sedated she'll forget about my goal #6. Or, I'm going to call Tyra up and get Lori Mocha on that show. You all need to step off of Tyra. She is all that and a bag of chips.

7. Get more sleep. Been doing good on this, but I'm still sleepy. Crap!

8. Be more active. I stood up at the party last night... every time I needed a refill or another stuffed mushroom. LP and I can be such wallflowers around people we don't know. I ended up petting one of the fat kitties there... and occasionally saying things like, "uh, hi!" and "yeah". One of our good friends could not make it since her grandmother died (what a crappy way to spend Christmas, sniff sniff), and the hostess (our other friend) was way past drunk that it was pointless conversing with her... although she did tell us all the story of when she got thrown in jail for having a car full of drugs. I love drunk people!

9. Lose ten pounds. I guess all the beer, cheese, and stuffed mushrooms are not helping. Crap!

12. Come up with a plan not to get lice from my sister's children. I think I have accomplished this goal! I called my mom last night and told her we need to move Christmas Eve to my parent's house. I also mentioned that we should tent my sister's house... but somehow I don't think that will be done. I am still thinking about wearing the shower cap.

Today's entry has been brought to you by the letters: C, R, A, and P.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Judge Maria Lopez, Part 2.

Oh Judge Maria Lopez... I have given you my time and attention every weekday (well, almost every weekday) for the past month. My goal to get away from my desk during lunch has been semi-successful. I do actually eat my lunch away from my desk... but staying away from my desk for at least 30 minutes is really hit or miss. Our lounge area is only ten feet from my desk so I can still hear my phone. But on the days I do sit back and relax for a few minutes I still have been zoning out on TV. Yes, I've gone through my phases... Tyra (still dig her), Jerry (ashamed), Maury (just sad), CLTV (Chicago's NY1), and Judge Maria Lopez. But I finally made my commitment a month or so ago. I made my commitment to Judge Maria Lopez. I would give up the rest. My 30 minutes at lunch were all about Judge Maria Lopez.
Judge Maria Lopez is intelligent, fair, sharp witted, and hot. She's Cuban, and declares she is the "true American dream." And how she slams down that gavel, and rules with such authority - Yet, she still has a couple minutes after each trial to show her personal side and talk to the viewer (that’s me!) about why she ruled the way she did. I know I've written about Judge Maria Lopez before, but for daytime TV her show does not get old... at least that is what I thought. The past few times I have tuned into Judge Maria Lopez it has been re-runs. Re-runs! I have so many choices of crappy daytime television, how can you do this to me Judge Maria Lopez? I could watch Judge Mathis, Judge Hatchett, Judge Alex, Judge Judy, Divorce Court, or the People's Court. I have many other choices and you give me re-runs after a month of viewing.

Judge Maria Lopez, I think this calls for a break between us. I am giving you up until 2007. Maybe by then you'll get your act together and give me new episodes. If not, our relationship is over.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things To Do (before 2007).

With thirteen days left in 2006, these are some of the things I wish to accomplish before 2007:

1. Learn to play the guitar. I just purchased a how-to DVD and Book, so I need to pull out my guitar and figure out how to play it. I think I remember where my guitar is.

2. Come up with a plan to get to Tucson, AZ for the White Sox Spring Training. The White Sox are playing the Giants on March 21. Must get there!

3. Get over my fears of flying. Especially since I am flying to San Francisco this weekend.

4. Get rid of the cat pee smell. Ok, I have not smelled it in over a week... but I am worried it will come back. Although it now my desk smells like coffee since I just spilled my coffee all over it... shit!

5. Find a good hors d'oeuvre to make for Christmas Eve. my family does not stick me with the regular stuffed mushrooms. My family thinks I'm a complete moron when it comes to the kitchen, so when it comes to Christmas Eve I am usually in charge of stuffed mushrooms or cutting cheese in the squares... while the rest of the family is making things that light on fire and uses ingredients no one has ever heard of.

6. Find Lori Mocha some help, friends, reasons for human interaction, or maybe a book deal for her comics.

7. Get more sleep. I've been tired lately.

8. Be more active. See #9.

9. Lose ten pounds. I don't want my mom to think since I moved to the Midwest I got fat. Technically, I have not gained any weight since moving to Chicago... but I can always shed ten pounds.

10. Find out where to get Leberkäse. I am completely addicted to this spam sandwich at the Christkindlmarket. And the market leaves on Christmas Eve. Maybe if I stopped eating them I could lose ten pounds.

11. Try to insert more good albums into my Top 10+10 list. What about The Raconteurs, Built to Spill, Eagles of Death Metal, Mojave 3, Sonic Youth, Scott Walker, Futureheads, Justin Timberlake, Yo La Tengo...?

12. Come up with a plan not to get lice from my sister's children. Only one kid has them, but we are supposed to spend Christmas, or Christmas Eve there. I'm thinking about wearing a shower cap.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Favorite Albums of 2006.

2006 was a good music year... Not great... not like 1992. But I've never struggled to find 10 albums to make up my list. This year was missing jazz for me. I was not super excited about any of the jazz records I heard except for a few re-issues. There were some good ones, but not great ones. And there sure were disappointments this year... for me the biggest disappointments were The Decemberists' lousy album "The Crane Wife" (capitol)... three good songs, that's it - And also Patricia Barber's unlistenable crap-maker "Mythologies" (blue note).since compilations of old material never make my Top 10 (since it's previously released material) I must point out two super great compilations... Soul Gospel 2 (soul jazz) and Air's "Late Night Tales" (thrive). Both are worth the listen. My favorite singles have to be "Country Girl" by Primal Scream and also The Tyde's "Do It Again." My most listened to record of the year was the Hot Snakes "Thunder Down Under" (swami)... but since it is a live record of old material... I decided to keep it off the Top list.

My Favorite Albums of 2006...

1. Belle & Sebastian "The Life Pursuit" (rough trade)
2. TV On The Radio "Return To Cookie Mountain" (4ad/interscope)
3. Bonnie "Prince" Billy "The Letting Go"
(drag city)
4. The Hold Steady "Boys And Girls In America"
5. Clipse "Hell Hath No Furry"
(re-up gang/zomba)
6. Kelly Stoltz "Below The Branches"
(sub pop)
7. The Sword "Age of Winters" (kemado)
8. So Many Dynamos "Flashlights" (skrocki)
9. Donavon Frankenreiter "Move By Yourself" (lost highway)
10. Laura Gibson "If You Come To Greet Me" (hush)

and the +10:

Bruce Springsteen "We Shall Overcome" (columbia)
End Of The World "Youre Making It Come Alive" (flameshovel)
Ghostface Killah "Fishscale" (def jam)
Josh Ritter "The Animal Years" (v2)
Jo Jo "The High Road" (blackground)
Left Alone "Dead American Radio" (hellcat)
M. Ward "Post-War" (merge)
Mastadon "Blood Mountain" (reprise)
Mission Of Burma "The Obliterati" (matador)
Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 "Ole! Taranula" (yeproc)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Al Gore Is Heatmiser.

Ok... so it's December and I am thinking about wearing shorts because it's in the 50's in Chicago. Actually there was a guy on the Red Line train Tuesday night who was wearing shorts... and they were not the "I just worked out" or "I just went for a run" shorts. So I am sure we all know who is behind this warm weather. No, not SUVs and not the oil companies. The sole person behind this global warming is Al Gore. He couldn't swing it in politics so he made some movie about global warming... blah blah blah blah. It did ok in the theaters. Reviews were kind. He did the talk show circuit. But now it is out on DVD... it just came out a week ago. And BAM! it just happens to warm up. Think about it. If he was really for the environment he would of not used all of that plastic, and instead he would have bicycled from city to city putting on puppet shows (puppets made out of recycled material) about the environment. Hey Al Gore, in your SUV, you are Heatmiser. And you wear tacky sweaters.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

You Did Not Kill Me.

Dear Driver From Hell,

I just wanted to send you a little note letting you know you did not kill me today. Yes, you got close - but you missed. You remember me... that white boy who was walking across the street, in a crosswalk, at a 4-Way Stop, and you decided to step on the gas and aim your piece of crap beat up Jeep Cherokee right at me. Your wife, sister, girlfriend, lover, daughter, grandma, whatever in the passenger seat was yelling at you like you had gone mad. Well.. YOU HAVE! You tried to run me over you sick person. What the hell did I ever do to you? I don't even know you. And since it was dark out I could not read your license plate. You got lucky.

So a big Happy Holidays to you... because you will not be celebrating Christmas this year when Santa comes to your trailer and poops down your chimney... if you have one.


Dead Moon R.I.P.

What a major bummer... one of the best rock bands of all time has called it quits. For many, Dead Moon is right up there with the Rolling Stones. And their live show had so much energy. I was lucky to see them countless times in Portland... and I got to witness their first NYC show which was over the top. Dead Moon will be missed.

"After 20 yrs, Dead Moon is retiring. It has been a journey we will always treasure and feel that a worldwide family has emerged in its place. Dead Moon became much bigger than the band itself, it became a DYI underground hopeful for a lot of people. The candle is still burning!"
--Fred Cole

Hip Tip, #2.

Last night LP and I went to the Christkindlmarket in the Loop with our friend Sara. Since Sara spent the last year in Germany we wanted to know how authentic the market really was... and according to her expertise it seems to be pretty authentic (except that they offer Miller Lite).

That was all good... but the highlight of the evening was when Sara taught us a new term to use when you need to talk about taking a poop... simply talk about bowling. You can talk about strikes and spares and splits... lots of fun bowling things. All the hip kids will be talking about their bowling adventures... and so should you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Low Christmas, Part 2 (Tone Deaf).

Last night on my drive to pick up LP from class I listened to Mariah Carey's "Merry Christmas" album. I always take two CDs for my trip, and usually listen to the guilty pleasure on the drive to pick up LP... then I listen to the more sensible choice (less embarrassing) on the trip home.

As I was singing (yelling) along, matching Mariah note for note (in my head) it once again dawned upon me what an amazing album she made. It truly is a classic. The gospel choir adds so much to the recording... and in the pop/rock world gospel choirs and string arrangements are usually added when everyone has run out of ideas. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is a fantastic song. It's has a bubbly fun to it that reminds me of the Beach Boys. And some may not call it a Christmas carol, I do... since you can sing along (or pretend to) to it. It is truly a Christmas album, not a Season album, or a Holiday album. It is Christmas through and through.

As I drove up and saw LP walking up to the car... I quickly pushed play on disc 2... the Low "Christmas" album.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Low Christmas.

I purchased the new Sarah McLachlan album "Wintersong" when it came out in November, but when I realized it was a Christmas album I decided not to listen to it until after Thanksgiving. I am beginning to think Sarah might never put out a true new studio album ever again. But the thought of Sarah McLachlan singing Christmas songs seemed great to me... she has a fantastic voice and could put a good twist on the classics. On the drive from Memphis to Chicago after Thanksgiving LP and I listened to "Wintersong" and quickly came to the conclusion... it sucks. Parts of it sound more like a Dead Can Dance Christmas (an idea which hopefully never comes true). A major bummer to us both. The album is such a downer.

This got me thinking about my favorite Christmas albums. A good topic to write about here since so many bloggers are writing about the Christmas season... and I have not joined in. So I am jumping on board.

Low's album "Christmas" is hands-down my favorite Christmas album to date. It is in every way completely perfect. They mix traditional classics ("Silent Night" "The Little Drummer Boy") with new songs they have written ("If You Were Born Today" "Just Like Christmas"). And they do all of this is their very unique Low-sound. And coffee shops around town seem to agree since I seem to hear it in every coffee shop I go into.

My second favorite Christmas album would have to be Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." This is as traditional as it comes, but it is a classic that stands the test of time. The Andrew Sisters give it some good added 1950's charm. And "Mele Kalikimaka" might be the most fun song ever written about the Christmas season. Too bad every time I listen to Bing it I cannot help but think about what an a-hole he was and how he beat his wife and children to no end... BUT he recorded one heck of a jolly ol' Christmas album.

Then there is lots of other Christmas albums that are a good listen including Elvis', Sinatra's, The Muppets', Dolly Parton's, the 1960's Christmas compilation. I read that Twisted Sister put out a new Christmas record this year. And then there is a Death Row Christmas... what an awful idea that was. But Sarah McLachlan... oh Sarah, your album is not so good. You should just focus on putting out a new studio album.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Grannyisms, Vol. 1

LP's grandmother (Granny) uses words incorrectly often. Mostly she pronounces them wrong. But when someone tries to correct her she refuses to change. So I decided to start a list of what we call "Grannyisms." This is the first of hopefully many more entries:

Grannyism : Real Word
Stencil: Stint (for a heart)
Walmark: Wal-mart
Journaly: Generally
Trevis: Trellis
Oxygen: Austrian
Triangle Bed: Trundle Bed
O-fen: Orphan (like Little O-fen Annie)
Twicet: Twice

* Side note: My grammar can be pretty awful at times when typing away... but that is why there is Spell Check. Well, I just noticed this morning that the spell check for Blogger has not been working. I should have figured that out when I went an entire week with no typos. I had the word random spelled wrong in my title this week. Thanks Blogger.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Glad I Don't Live In The Midwest.

Completely random ramblings...
I'm getting old. Last night LP and I went out with the crew (yes, the crew... we're in a kick-ass gang. we actually started the initiation process last night for Richard. he's pretty tough... I think he'll make it. and Cherry has his back... but all of that's a story for another day...) for a couple drinks to just get out of the house and see Richard who just got into town a few days ago. I was yawning the entire time. I kept thinking to myself "Wow, two beers seems a lot for a Wednesday night. Wondering when we're going home so I can sleep." And then this morning I could not get out of bed... I just wanted to keep sleeping. At least I had a -10 wind chill on my walk to work to wake my ass up.

LP was taking to my mom on the phone the other night... and my mom told her all about how she was glad she did not live in the Midwest. It was not about the weather or about the ocean or the mountains... She told LP that people in the Midwest do not have their priorities straight. She went on about how Midwesterns are just not right. Midwesterns make lots of money and spend it all on big houses. Uh... and LP and I live where... yep, Chicago - in the Midwest. And we rent. Thanks Mom. We feel really warm and fuzzy now.

My desk at work smells like pee. Cat pee. Some kind of animal pee spray smell... but I am sure it's cat pee. AND IT'S DRIVING ME UP THE WALL. I am a total neat freak. I clean my desk all the time. I wash my hands probably way too often. And for the past month every so often I get this hint of pee. Where can this smell be? I have washed everything. It's not my chair. It's not me. This morning I thought I figured it out... I though it was my iBook... but no. There are times when I think I am getting close and I'll be sniffing my desk... I look like I am snorting lines. WHERE ARE YOU PEE SMELL... and why are you around? Why does my desk smell like cat pee? How can I make it go away? We do have an office dog... but I am pretty sure she does not shoot out cat pee. Will made a suggestion last night that maybe this is a precursor to something like a brain hemorrhage or comma. Geee... what a nice thought. My last memory before I drop dead (at work) is cat pee. That sucks.

And a big BOOOOOOOOOOO for the White Sox trading Freddie Gracia.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hip Tip.

Just making sure all of you are down with the lingo... so you don't look stupid at the next shin-dig you're at (yes, the word shin-dig is back and very usable). According to the new Clipse album, the new word for money is STINKIES. That's right. STINKIES. So don't make a fool of yourself at your Christmas parties and use some old/played-out word like Benjamins. Be hip. Tell everyone you have a pocket full of stinkies!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yesterday, This Morning, Today.

Yesterday... I was invited to attend a lunch/talk at the Union League Club in the Loop. I was told I had to wear a suit for the lunch, which was alright since I rarely have a reason to wear one of my suits (usually just at weddings & funerals), and with it being so cold the more layers - the better. The Union Club is Swanky. For two hours I felt like I was part of old Chicago society. I was one of the elite. I was rubbing elbows with some of the most powerful people in Chicago (although they were not talking to me... and when I was near a conversation I kept thinking about Bridget Jones saying "Do you... Do you know... where the toilets are?"). I was looking around for Randolph & Mortimer Duke, but I only caught a glimpse of some look-a-likes. After the lunch everyone headed for their cabs & cars... while I headed to the Brown Line.

This Morning... it was 9 degrees! Such a warm up from yesterday morning's 6 degrees. But this morning on my way to work I had a snotty runny nose. So with it being 9 degrees the goo froze and every time I breathed in through my nose it would start to peel the frozen snot from the inside of my nose, simultaneously ripping out my nose hairs. Ouch! Also, when it gets under 15 degrees my eye tend to water... so tears are running down my face, and freezing. I pulled out my handkerchief to wipe my face, forgetting I blew my nose in it a few minutes earlier, and proceeded to wipe snot all over my face... which froze. The expressions of the faces of people walking by me said it all. I looked like a snot popsicle.

Today... Beerfest comes out on DVD!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday: Random Thoughts.

I am working from home the first half of the day... which works out since it is 6 degrees outside and a walk to work would not be fun. So my random thoughts for this Monday (booo for Mondays)...

1. Doc Martin's are good for one thing: Walking in the snow/ice. I feel like I am back in high school/college when I tie them on my feet... but they really are good for crappy weather (shoes, not the boots).

2. Is there some unwritten rule that people don't have to pick up their dog's poop when there is snow on the ground? The first snow comes, and by the next afternoon there is frozen dog poop everywhere. WTF?

3. I bought a new knit hat from the Gap which is alright... but every time I wear it LP calls me Enrique (Iglesias). Not good. So I have purchased a new hat from Norstrom that makes me look more like Elmer Fud.

4. I'm so sick of MSNBC's Top 5. They blow. Really. Last week's top 5 is: Undeserving Rock Band's in the Hall of Fame. Their Top 5 included: Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Percy Sledge, The Lovin' Spoonful, and Bobby Darrin. Black Sabbath not worthy of being in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame... are you kidding me? What the hell is this person smoking... or not smoking? Black Sabbath changed the sound-scapes of rock and opened the doors for metalheads to come. And don't get me started on Aerosmith or Percy Sledge.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wrong About 2005.

For those of you who do not know... I am obsessed with my annual Top 10 albums of the year. Each year, at the end of December, I try to narrow down my favorite new ablums of the year (that were released that year) to a Top 10... and then I add 10 more that just would not fit. The more and more I listen to last year's release by The Magic Numbers I realize that I was completely wrong not making it the year's best album. It truly is pop genius. And since it was such a sleeper (I took me a while to get into it) I made the mistake of not making it my number one. So I am going back and making the change...

The Best of 2005 (re-do):
1. The Magic Numbers "The Magic Numbers" (capitol/heavenly)
2. Nada Surf "The Weight Is A Gift" (barsuk)
3. The Perceptionists "Black Dialogue" (def jux)
4. SF Jazz Collective "SF Jazz Collective" (nonesuch)
5. Josh Rouse "Nashville" (ryko)
6. Stars "Set Yourself On Fire" (arts & crafts)
7. Lyrics Born "Same !@#$ Different Day" (quannum)
8. John Davis "John Davis" (bht)
9. The National "Alligator" (beggars banquet)
10. The Frames "Burn The Map" (anti)

and the + 10:
Bloc Party "Silent Alarm" (v2)
Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah "Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah" (self released)
Drunk Horse "In Tongues" (tee pee)
Elbow "Leaders Of The Free World" (v2)
Freakwater "Thinking Of You..." (thrill jockey)
Ida "Heart Like A River" (polyvinyl)
Mariah Carey "The Emancipation Of Mini" (island)
Shannon McNally "Geronimo" (narada)
Sybris "Sybris" (flameshovel)
The Game "The Documentary" (interscope)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thunder Snow!

What is thunder snow:
  • The rare weather occurrence that brought a big-ass snow storm to Chicago Thursday night?
  • Super amazing top grade cocaine?
  • A new Norwegian Black Metal band?
  • The new version of Pop Rocks (and if you eat two packages of them and chug a Coke you'll die... really!)?
  • The new Public Enemy song "Welcome to the Thunder Snow?"
  • A new Mel Gibson film..."Mad Max Beyond Thunder Snow?"
Thunder Snow?

Friday, December 01, 2006


The Gilmore Girls pretty much blows this season. The show is done. Really. After last season (which was a total downer) I was not holding my breath for anything spectacular this year... especially since the creators of the show left. The best parts of the Gilmore Girls are: The interaction between Lorelai & Rory, And the people in the town (Mrs. Kim, Michel, Lane, etc.). All of that seems to be going away more and more lately. This marriage to Christopher is crap. The whole episode in Paris was predictable, and it looked so much like it was shot on some set it L.A. it should of been flushed down the toilet. And speaking of Paris, even Paris is not very entertaining these days (except the 2002 dancing was classic). Yeah, Yeah... you can tell me all about this week's episode and how the town was involved in it... but it was a terrible storyline that went nowhere. Bring back Mrs. Kim! Bring back Gill! Bring back all of Lane's terrible band. Write about Lane's pregnancy. Don't keep bringing back Rory's new "art" friends who are boring characters... that one new friend who calls the naked-guy "boyfriend" is so drab, so nasty skinny. This is probably the last season for the show... I hope the last few episodes are not as disappointing as the last year.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday: Random Thoughts.

I am getting amped about the 12" of snow we are supposed to get in the next 24 hours! Yea for snow! I know many people here bitch and complain about the snow... but I did not grow up here so I am not jaded. Plus I walk to work... so not having to drive in the mess helps me not get so angry with it. Snow angels tonight!

Last night LP and I went and saw Wicked. Fantastic! I enjoyed the first act much more than the second (the songs were better in the first half)... but over all it was a great production. Guffman would of been proud. It was fun just to do something different for a change. During the show I kept thinking to myself that the years I lived in NYC I never went to a Broadway show (because I could not afford it... all my extra money went to records and 32oz's of Miller High Life). I am finally seeing Broadway... not on Broadway.

The scary fact I learned this morning: Walmart sells 40% of all DVDs in America. 40%! Wowzers. So now with the release of "Superman Returns" on DVD Walmart is offering a free download version of the movie if you purchase the DVD through one of their stores. Walmart is setting themselves up to hopefully one day get 40% off all downloaded movies. It just amazes me how many people support Walmart because of the low prices... and then spend all of their extra money there on crap. And yes, "Superman Returns" does fall into the crap category.

I dig the new Hold Steady album... "Boys And Girls In America" (Vagrant) just as much as most of the little indie-rockers and snobby rock critics out there. All of the Hold Steady albums are great rock fun. But not one review I've read will admit that the Hold Steady is just rehashing Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band riffs. Come on. Admit it. I know... Bob Seger is sooooo not cool, hip, and indie-rock - but that Hold Steady record you are blasting sure would flow nicely into "Hollywood Nights" or "Night Moves."

Lastly, I have been enjoying reading more and more blogs lately. There are some great minds (warped & sick too) out there. I am learning that lots of women have "Battery Operated Boyfriends" and like to write about them. Some people way over-share. And some people just need help. All of this blog reading has lead me to not pick up the current book I've been trying to read for the past week.
Tomorrow is December!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Not an occurrence you see every day.

Thanks to the Associated Press for being on top of the important news happening around the world:
MAHOPAC, N.Y. - A man broke into a barn on Thanksgiving morning, spray-painted three pet goats and scattered pages of pornographic magazines on the floor, apparently to harass the property owner, police said Tuesday.
Drew Gagnon, 37, of Mahopac, was arrested the next day and was charged with burglary, criminal trespass and animal cruelty, said Lt. Brian Karst, of the Carmel police force, which covers Mahopac. The man who drove Gagnon to the barn, Douglas Bisio, 34, of Mahopac, was charged with criminal facilitation, police said.

Lori Mocha. Carolyn Says.

I am adding Lori Mocha's blog to my blog list just because her writings make my day so often...

I am also adding Carolyn Says' blog to my blog list... because she's a cat person, and her post about her kitty who died is super sad... sniff sniff.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Joe Pugliese

Last night I had a dream I was back in high school. I honestly do not remember much about the dream, but I do remember all of the people around me where classmates from my grade school years, not high school. My dreams rarely take me back to high school (thankfully)... the only dreams I have about high school seems to be about me forgetting my locker combination, or what class I am supposed to be in for first period.

So this morning I decided to look up my alma mater's website and see what the old Cupertino High School is up to these days. I discovered that one of my classmates from my graduating year made it to the school's Hall of Fame. Joe Pugliese was always on the path to become a photographer... and he accomplished his goals. It was either that, or he was going to go pro with his freestyle bmx. It seems quiet clear that he chose the right path. Joe always had two things: a camera, and a smart-ass remark. His sharp wit keep most people laughing for hours.

I have not seen Joe since my high school days, but it's nice to see someone knew what they wanted so early in life... and achieved it. Way to go Joe!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Beer Finds.

Most know that I like beer... Anchor being the tops in my book. Since moving to Chicago I have discovered that this is the land of Miller Lite, not microbrews (ala Portland, OR). Thankfully I can find Anchor here with relative ease... although finding it on tap is more of a challenge. And there are some pubs that have amazing beers on tap (the Map Room). But the majority of this city is Miller Lite.

So I get excited when I find some of my favorites in stores... or discover something out of the ordinary. This week:

24oz of Red Stripe. They make this in a 24oz! Red Stripe is not the best of the best, and its too sweet for some - but their short stubby bottles are hard to resist. This past weekend I discovered my local corner store now carries 40oz's (there goes the neighborhood)... which includes 24's of Red Stripe. At

Bridgeport IPA at Schnucks in Memphis. Thanksgiving took us to Memphis this year, and LP discovered that one grocery store carried our favorite beer from Portland, OR. We have never seen Bridgeport outside of the Northwest. The only (huge) mistake we made... we only bought a six pack. Crap!

Iron City. I finally found Pittsburgh's best at Binny's in Chicago... but they do not have the iron bottles. That is the best part. So I did not rush to pick it up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Flicks.

This morning on I read an article about their Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies. So before I even started reading a few great movies popped into my head... Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Dutch, Home For The Holidays, Son-In-Law, and of course A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

None of these movies made it into their Top 5. None. Instead they picked movies like
Giant, Alice's Restaurant, and Brokeback Mountain. Brokeback Mountain? I thought Thanksgiving movies were:
1. About Thanksgiving, or centered around the Thanksgiving holiday.
2. A good, lighthearted movie to watch with family and friends after eating way too much.

Brokeback Mountain? Alice's Restaurant? I can kind of understand Giant... since it's a long-ass 1950's western... which means you will be asleep in a few minutes letting all the calories you have just inhaled to race to your ass. Who the hell is going to watch any of MSNBC's Top 5 movies this Thursday?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good movie, Not-so-good purchase.

This weekend I made it to a movie theater. I love movies. And I love the whole experience of going to the theater and sitting in the big chairs and eating lots of crap. But I so rarely do it. This weekend I got myself to the theater to see "Shut Up & Sing" which is a documentary about the Dixie Chicks. Not my first choice, although I did want to see it... but the new 007 shows were sold out, and LP is not sure about "Borat." So Will, LP, and I chose "Shut Up & Sing" which ended up being a fantastic documentary. You do not have to be into the Dixie Chicks to enjoy it, and be amazed how many people are willing to jump on a bandwagon (especially during war time). If you are a flag waiving Bush supporter you might not be a big fan of "Shut Up & Sing," but we all really enjoyed it. The best quote from the movie: "You're a dumbfuck." Biggest surprise: how big Rick Ruben has gotten... he takes up half of his couch.

On to another movie story...
I did something I never do... I bought a DVD for a movie I've never seen. When "American Dreamz" was in the theater I so wanted to see it, but just never got to it - just like lots of other movies. From the reviews, and the cast, I could clearly see this was my type of movie. I always get sucked into American Idol. I tend to like movies with Hugh Grant in them... plus Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, and Willem Dafoe all are a good thing. This was going to be the next "Love Actually" or "Notting Hill." So LP and I gave it a watch last night. It sucked. Well... maybe not sucked, but it was far from good and would not be one I would of ever purchased had I seen it. Bummer. This movie also takes many jabs at President Bush too... but they are slap-sticky, and not really funny. Anyone wan to buy a copy of "American Dreamz?"

Watt & Clarkson.

Thanks to Pitchfork for posting this fantastic photo of Mike Watt and Kelly Clarkson! You can read on Pitchfork all about Mike Watt playing on the new Kelly Clarkson record. Wonder what D. Boon would of said?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

PDX in the Windy City.

Thanks to friends, LP and I got to enjoy a couple of the things we really miss from Portland, OR (yes, there are a couple things we really miss there). Juli brought us two pounds of Stumptown Coffee! And Luke & Marni sent us two bottles of Black Rabbit Red. Super fantastic! Amped and buzzed all at the same time!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Get a life PS3ers.

I went out to lunch today with Jason, and during our trip to Aladdin's we passed a Best Buy. Outside the Best Buy was a line of people (probably 20) all bundled up waiting for the release of PS3 which comes out tomorrow... I think. The best (worst?) part was people had set up tents. There was even a family-size tent that was taking up most of the sidewalk. IT A VIDEO GAME PLAYER PEOPLE. Hello? Do these people have jobs? I mean... they must, since the PS3 cost $400 or something absurd like that, so they have to be getting paid from some place. Wonder where they go to the bathroom?

Side note:
Aladdin's Eatery is not good. It's not bad, but it the corporate version of Mediterranean food. I felt bad for eating there. Sell-out.

A Fred Store.

My brother sent me a photo of the this store in Vieux Montreal with an amazing window display... possibly the best window display ever. I know Marshall Fields (R.I.P.) had some amazing Christmas window displays, and Fifth Ave thinks NYC is the top in windows... but I am pretty sure this one tops them all. Just simply placing the name "Fred" over and over in your window is a sign of true class. It's simple. It's elegant. It's powerful. It's Fred.

I just need to throw in my two cents about this OJ book that is coming out... what a sick F***. Really. Anyone who buys this book should be thrown in jail, or better yet they should be sentenced to work in a battered women shelter for a year. OJ is not good. And I have to say I cannot watch the Naked Gun movies just because he is in them. Drinking a delicious glass of orange juice can be difficult at times too (ok... I am making that last part up). Boo for OJ and his new book.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday: Random Notes.

Some random notes...

1. The first track on the new Lady Sovereign album is the crusher. "9 To 5" is an over the top track that clearly points out the Lady Sovereign is not another M.I.A. - and will not give you a headache from listening to her. I know I'll get slack for that... but all of the M.I.A. tracks sound the same. She needs a better producer.

2. The rebuttal given for a Heineken (beer in green bottle) in Amsterdam is not bad... it might even be a good comeback to the Green Bottle Rule - except, if you are in Amsterdam, why the hell are you drinking Heineken in a bottle? And... Heineken still sucks. It's in a green bottle. And Rolling Rock blows too.

3. I was opposed to the idea of this Beatles remix album that is coming out in a couple weeks... but I am changing my point of view. I have heard some of the LOVE record and must say it's a pretty intriguing listen. From what I've read, the only remixers are George Martin and his son. The only added sounds are sounds recorded by the Beatles. So it is Beatles songs that have been layered with more sounds. But I still think Cirque du Soleil is weak... and a waste of money.

4. Smokin' Woody's on the Northside made me still have hope that there is good BBQ in Chicago. Nice call Jason.

5. And for those of you who have been waiting... I still intend to post pictures from last weekend's trip to Medieval Times. Yes, I did say Medieval Times.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Green Bottle Rules

My friend Brian in San Francisco has a Green Bottle Rule. The rule is simple... all beers that come in a green bottle are not good (taste like poop). I'll have to agree with him.

Friday, November 10, 2006


My friend AJ was telling me last weekend about this person (she works with?) who won the Halloween costume party at her work... and he was dressed up as Aqua/Fish/Sea/Ocean Guy (see photo). From the picture you might not be able to see that there are real fish swimming around in the tank. Yep, it's filled with water and tons of fish are swimming in circles around him. How over the top is that?! Crazy! I guess he went to a few costume contests and won them all (which kind of takes the fun out of the costume) - but no denying that it is unique.

And then after looking at the photo a while I noticed the guy has a Camel-toe... so it makes the costume scary too!

Can You Come Out And Play?

I got an Evite this week from a girl on my summer softball team. It's her birthday, and she is having people get together at Joe's Bar for an night of drinks. It was really nice of her to invite me... although it's not my crowd. Joe's is a little too frat boy for my tastes (I believe they have a mechanical bull)... but to go for a birthday party it might be fun. The thing that is stopping me from attending is the image that was used on the Evite - it was a definite sign that this is not a party for me. As you can see it's a little... slutty. A toon "hottie" with the words "Can You Come Out And Play" is a little trampy for my tastes. It's a little too Brats. And maybe if I were single and 21 I might attend (probably not). So since it's my birthday weekend too, I don't think I want to kick it off with Joe's crap-ass-bull-riding bar. I'll kick it off by going to see some bands at the Beat Kitchen and Subterranean.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yea for Green Card!

Since lately I've been disclosing some rather personal info on this blog... I figured I'd role right along and embarrass myself just a little more. I love the movie Green Card. This 1990 classic (can it be a classic if it's only 16 years old?) starring Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu sets the bar for romantic comedies, and is truly unlike many others. Of course it is not as good as You Got Mail, Must Love Dogs, or Notting Hill (best movie ever)... but Green Card is pretty fantastic. Some may say it has dated poorly, but I would disagree. It seems to be on TV weekly, so I challenge you to sit down a watch it... unless you are terrified you will side with me. Hopefully when Richard gets here we can have a Green Card party and get smashed and watch Green Card!

Other random notes for this Thursday...
  • The new Joanna Newsome album "Ys" sounds like a Bjork version of Peter & the Wolf. That is not necessarily a bad thing... but that statement should get my cool-hip-indie-rock card taken away (which I am surprised did not happen when I announced that Deerhoof is terrible).
  • As get older I keep meeting more and more Scorpios. This is a good thing.
  • Jamiroquai's greatest hits album came out this week and I have yet to pick it up.
  • If you don't vote you should not complain about the government. You did not try to fix it by voting... so stop your bitching.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

No More Free Rides.

Did any not see this coming? I was actually surprised the Britney K-Fed marriage lasted long enough to pop out two kids. Actually I am more surprised the marriage lasted long enough for K-Fed's album to see the light of day. So I guess those millions of dollars he "raps" about will be going away soon...
K-Fed slackin' as usual.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote for Judy.

Today is election day. LP and I did our civic duty by going to the polling station before work this morning. There were so many things to vote for... and as usual I left much of my ballot blank. The two big races are for Illinois Governor and the Cook County Board President. Plus lots of seats in Congress. Then the judges (lots of judges who run against no one) and measures. Now I would never even think about voting to Judy Baar Topinka for Governor, not just because she has bad hair, but for the sole reason that she wants to fund the entire state by building casinos in Chicago. F That! No way. Go to Indiana and dump on them by gambling there.

But this past weekend Judy lost it... or snapped... or just figured she was going to lose... so she spouted off. She told a bunch of reporters that Governor Rob Blagojevich was a loser, and that he should manage the Cubs because they are a bunch of losers too. ACES! Go Judy. That took balls! Being a White Sox fan... any public bashing of the Cubs by politicians is always entertaining. That is just plain good old mud-slinging. No good can come from a statement like that (she probably lost some votes from it in the southern part of the state)... but this campaign has been so ugly, that this statement seemed to sum it up very well.

It was so tempting to vote for Judy since she stood up for her Sox. That statement was classic and stupid all at the same time. But to get my vote it really takes more than being a fan of baseball to run the state. ...And we already have that with Governor Rob (who will will again today). Maybe next time Judy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bad times for Cubs fans.

Yesterday in the Chicago Tribune there was a fantastic letter to the editor from Ben Cleveland in Downers Grove...

"Can there remain any doubt that God continues his Jobian test of Cubs fans? Last year the White Sox win the World Series. This year the Cardinals win the World Serier. Next year locusts."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My pal Jay.

I am a Jamiroquai fan. Just throwing it out there. I've never been that into the disco sound, and I am not a superfan of Stevie Wonder... but Jamiroquai seems to do everything right for my ears and brainwaves. I always felt this was something not to discuss, not make public, but after Jamie Oliver went to Jay Kay's house (The Naked Chef: Rock & Roast - Episode NC1B02) and made dinner (a traditional roast with all the trimmings) for Jamiraquai I have been a proud and public fan. If some one like Jamie Oliver is into Jamiroquai then can it really be a bad thing? Maybe... maybe not... but I have gone with embracing it and letting people know. Since Jamiroquai has been popping up quite often in my shuffle play the past few days, and their greatest hits record comes out next week... I'm writing about it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween After-Thoughts.

I took off early from work yesterday so I could get ready for the beggars that would be coming by during the evening... I had yet to carve the pumpkins. I arrived at my front door by 4:30pm and the neighborhood was full of trick-or-treaters. Between 4:30pm and 5pm about 40 kids came by... and most of my candy went with them. These are some of my thoughts and reflections from another Halloween gone by:

1. A majority of the beggars who came by did it before it was dark. I understand being safe... but what fun is trick-or-treating in the daylight?

2. There were a lot of kids not in costume. Hello? Since it's not for me to judge someone for not being in costume (maybe they could not afford one), I gave them PEZ. Then they get candy... but it's PEZ. So I guess I am sort-of judging them. Guilty!

3. No exciting costumes this year. Lots of cute ones, but nothing over the top exciting. And also I did not notice any one costume that was super popular this year. No over saturation of Batmans, Supermans, or some Disney character.

3. Free cigars are great! This couple who were escorting their daughter (granddaughter) stopped by our stoop. The man was smoking a cigar and offer me one. Hell Yes! Since LP was not home from work I could not pass it up (when the cat is away the mouse will play). Cigars are fantastic, but the price I pay is no smooching for a few days while the stank-ass breath goes away.

4. Tons of kids are going to hate the PEZ we gave them. That's funny!

5. I can carve two pumpkins in less than ten minutes. They are not that well done, but it's still something to brag about.

6. LP and I had our traditional Mexican food for Halloween (Day of the Dead is the next day). This year we went to the neighborhood taqueria (Tony's... yes Tony's) which was OK. We both think Dona Torta is much better (for the Northside).

6. People go out late no matter what day Halloween is on... that's why there were not too many people my age at mass this morning for All Saints Day.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Being a panda for Halloween is a fantastic journey. So when Will and I took on this journey (thanks to his grandma for making the costumes) we discovered a few things:

1. Being dressed up like a panda is sort of like being a celebrity. Everyone waves to you. You get that same amount of smiles as Cat-calls. The attention is exhilarating.

2. We met up with two more Chicago bloggers (Classy & Fancy, The Gancer) who had more energy in one night than I have in an entire year. It was a fun time (I'm a slowly turning into an old fart).

3. Straight or gay, young drunk girls will try to make out with you... when you are a panda.

4. Nick's is really Mix, and yes, there is a $10 cover.

5. Some great costumes this year included: Duff's Beer Man, MySpace, Jem (she was truly outrageous), a Double Dare team, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

6. By the end of the night one person finally "got" that we were trying to be the pandas from Jackass... yelling at us "Hey! Pandas! Where's your skateboards, Jackass!" Classic.

Will and Fred, Pandas 2006.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bubble Breaker.

I bought a new phone a few months back and just descovered a game on it called Bubble Breaker. Well, the truth is, that I discovered the game the day I bought the phone, but since there are no directions to it I just figured out how to play it. No, it did not take me months to figure it out... just months to give it enough attention for one sitting to figure it out. Now - I'm totally hooked. This game is super easy, but to break the high score is becoming more difficult. And I am not a gamer... I could care less about video games... but Bubble Breaker has me hooked.
Yes, I am a dork.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday: Random Notes

1. The Map Room is a great pub. Fantastic beer and a good crowd (not filled with Frat boys... in fact I think the only high-five that went down was between Jason and me).

2. For all of those Detroit Tiger bandwagon jumpers (or those just "rising to the occasion"), you should go purchase a St. Louis hat.

Who does this to their child?

3. The blogs for the World Series on are a good read.

4. My jeans are too tight. I was thinking during the first half of my walk to work that I should turn around and go back home to change pants. The problem is that they are low-rise cut (they were on sale), but I do not wear them as a low-rise... I am not into showing my butt crack. So they are a little too snugly around the crotch.

5. I learned that the singer of My Chemical Romance is really short.

6. The past few days of rain have reminded me why we left Portland, OR.

7. I am excited to hear the new Magic Numbers new album. "Those The Brokes" comes out on November 6.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


My dream last night:
I woke up in a hotel room with vague memories from the previous day of being on the beach and doing lots of activities in the blazing sun. No surfing though. I get out of my big hotel bed and walk into the bathroom. I turn the light on and look into the mirror and see that my face is completely disfigured. I have such a bad sunburn from the day before that my face is a dark purple color, very swollen, dry and flaking, and some puss oozing out. I look like I am dying... like someone beat the crap out of me (or at least my face).
So I decide to go for a walk (my dream skipped the shower, etc.). I run into some friends who tell me how bad my face looks, and they remind me that they told me countless times the day before that I should get out of the sun. This seems to not bother me too much, so I keep walking and walking (not really sure where I am going). As I walk on I start running into people I have not seen in years. They all want to talk about how life is going... and they all try to avoid talking about my face. After seeing tons of old acquaintances I walk into a big room where I discover that I am at my high school reunion.
Then I woke up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I wanna be Ben Wallace.

For some crazy reason I have been wanting to purchase a Chicago Bulls jersey. Now this might not be crazy to everyone, but for me it certainly does not make a lot of sense taking in to count these factors:

1. I do not really like basketball.
2. I do not really like basketball.
3. I would have absolutely no place to wear it, besides at home... in which I am sure LP would make fun of me.
4. I do not really like basketball.

So I am not really sure where this desire to buy a Bulls jersey is coming from... but if I happen to make that purchase I will be going with the Ben Wallace jersey since he has crazy hair like me (well if I let mine grow out).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Weekend: Random Notes.

1. I was told all about how sketchy the "famous" Chicago dive in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood called Tuman's Alcohol Abuse Center. Well now it's just called Tuman's and the only thing sketchy I witnessed on Friday night was the horribly awful deejay. But it's alright for a bar.
Side Note: The best party trick I saw was the dumb-ass who went into the bathroom, put his beer on the floor right next to the toilet (not the urinal), peed (which splashed all over the beer), picked up the beer and drank it. Wow. Yes, we could see into the guys bathroom from our table.

2. Kenny Rogers (the pitcher of the Detroit Tigers) looks mean. Maybe it's because he is always yelling. Or maybe it's because he beat up that cameraman last year. But whatever it is... I don't think he has too many friends. And now that some people think he is cheating, he is losing respect.

3. Pinochle and drinking often leads to potty mouth.

4. My favorite new album of the week is "Flashlights" by So Many Dynamos.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


This one picture represents me well.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I am special... I have made the leap to the Beta site. Look at me now! Superstar!

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan.

I am a fan of Belle & Sebastian. The Screaming Trees were one of my favorite groups of all time. Mark Lanegan's solo material has been hit or miss... but more hits than misses. So when I read that Isobel Campbell was teaming up with Mark Lanegan to record an album I was excited. Two amazing voices that could possibly mesh to make a perfect record. Wrong.

Oh, the reviews have been pretty good. Pitchfork said good things. Allmusic said good things. So how could I not go out and purchase "Ballad of the Broken Seas." It is certain to be the record of the year. Wrong.

This is the most disappointing long player of the year. Not the worst album of the year, just the most disappointing. (If I were to start writing about worst records of the year I'd have to start somewhere around the Killer's huge crap sandwich called "Sam's Town.") "Ballad of the Broken Seas" is soooooooo boring. I understand it is a collection of mellow material (I like Low and the Dirty Three). But this album goes no where. It just runs on and on and on.

So if you are in the mood to go out and purchase one record this month... please make sure it is not Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan's "Ballad of the Broken Seas" on V2.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jackass, Number 2.

WARNING: Jackass, Number 2 is super funny. Hilarious. The stunts in the second movie are way more dangerous... and just completely wrong. The laugh-factor is extremely high (my face and stomach hurt after it). The musical number is genius. This again proves that this group of nuts are 100% insane. And I might have to go see it again.

I am glad I have a friend like Will who will go see completely stupid movies with me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Vinyl Rights?

I have been a vinyl (12" & 7" records) fan since I was in 3rd grade. Jefferson Starship's "Modern Times" was my first purchase that I made with a gift certificate to Rainbow Records (in Valco Mall) that I won at school. I bought it since my brother told me it had bad words on "Stairway to Cleveland," which it did. Corrupted youth starting at 3rd grade. My next purchases were by Black Flag, Pop-o-Pies, and the Big Boys.

Over the years I have purchased tapes and CDs, but I truly love records. There is something about playing a record that is much more enjoyable than any other format. But at the same time I have become very dependent on my MP3 player. I take it everywhere. It is my stereo at work. The only place my MP3 player is not used is at home. This has caused a dilemma in my life when purchasing music. Do I buy something on vinyl or CD (downloading blows)? If I buy the record I cannot put it on my MP3 player. And if I buy the CD I just do not get the complete satisfaction of buying a record.

Lately a few indie record labels have made this an easy solution. Labels like Matador, Merge, and Quarterstick have been including a coupon for a free download of the album in MP3 format with the purchase of the vinyl record (Mudhoney's last record comes with the CD inside). Great! This past weekend when I bought the newest Brightblack Morning Light (on Matador) release on vinyl I not only got great 12" packaging, and two 180 gram lps, and a set of stoner 3-D glasses so you can trip out on the artwork, and two extra songs not on the CD... but a free download coupon. If you buy the CD or just download the songs you miss out on so much.

I hope more labels start doing the same... it's a good thing. And it keeps record buyers, like me, very happy... and wanting to keep buying records.

Buy this album or vinyl!