static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Monday, July 31, 2006

Pitchfork, Day 2

Yesterday was day 2 of the Pitchfork Music Festival and while I thought it good, for me at least, it was much more polarizing. Yesterday had my favorite bands and one which I have to say I really didn't like, that would be The Liars. My day didn't start out the greatest, I left just before 12 and it was raining which was a good thing because it cooled things off. I was almost to the train station when I realized that I had forgotten my phone. I went back to get it and arrived to a long wait for the train. While I wasn't tremendously interested in Tapes 'n Tapes, I really wanted to see Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and Nels Cline who were going to be performing on the Biz 3 Stage. I luckily arrived just in time to see Jens Lekman who I really did want to see. He is a Swedish singer/songwriter with a great sense of humor and a a very friendly stage presence. I spent most of the day bouncing between the main stages although I did stop over to Biz 3 briefly to catch part of Cage's act. As I said, I missed the first two acts on the mains stages but I caught at least part of 8 of the remaining 9 sets. I stepped away during Devendra Banhart's set so I could get something to eat and to make sure I was close for Yo Lat Tengo on the other stage. My favorites of the day were Mission of Burma, even in their late 40's, these guys can kick some serious ass, Jens Lekman as I mentioned before, and Yo La Tengo, equal parts beauty and noise with enormous skill. I did stick around briefly to catch the beginning of Os Mutantes but I was really tired and they just weren't that interesting to me. Overall, it was a great day and now I have 4 days until Lollapalooza.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pitchfork, Day 1

While today was officially the first day of the Pitchfork Music Festival, events associated with the event have been going on all week and their was a pre-party at The Metro yesterday. There has been a poster show by Graphic Noise going on in the loop for the last week. There have also been rock music documentaries being shown at the Gene Siskel Film Center all week. I went to neither of these events. While I like documentaries, I have little interest in Rock documentaries because the idea of each seems (to me) to run counter to one another. I wanted to go to the poster show because I really like rock posters but I didn't have time. I did go to the pre-party. The performers were The Joggers, comedians Eugene Mirman and Todd Barry (Aziz Ansari was also going to perform but he was stuck in New York with flight troubles.), Voxtrot, and Sunset Rubdown. The Joggers were pretty good, they do post-punk with a hint of 70s Prog Rock, I had seen them before when they opened up for Pretty Girls Make Graves. The comedians were weak. Voxtrot, while I found them technically proficient, I also found them pretty boring. They do a flavor of Indie Rock that reminds me of a cross between Ted Leo and Spoon. Except for the fact that the lead singer of Sunset Rubdown seemed pretty drunk, They put on a pretty good show. They are an Indie Rock group from Montreal with members also in Frog Eyes, Wolf Parade, Destroyer, Arcade Fire, and others and sound like these groups.

Of the 20 bands that played today at Pitchfork (12 on the main stages), I only saw full sets for 3: Man Man, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and The Silver Jews. I did see partial sets for all of the bands on the main stages except for The Futureheads who while they are ok, don't really turn me on. I also caught partial sets on the second stage from 8 Bold Souls (who were great), Chicago Undergound Duo, and Ghislain Poirier. I liked the artists that I have listed, but I also liked Mountain Goats and Art Brut.

And tomorrow is Day 2. I imagine that I will be pretty tired tomorrow so i will probably report about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Congratulations Floyd Landis

Congratulations are in oreder for Floyd Landis, the third American to win the Tour de France. Landis, a former Mennonite from Farmersville, PA rode on Lance Armstrong's U.S Postal Service Team for three years before leaving for the French hearing aid manufacturer Phonak's Team, much to the chagrin of Armstrong. Landis broke hi hip in 2003 and while it functions, three surgeries failed to restore blood flow to the joint which resulted in a severe case of Osteoarthritis. He walked with a limp and he rode in constant pain. He will now have to undergo hip replacement surgery in order to implant a titanium joint. He plans on riding in the Tour next year to defend his victory. If he makes it, it will be an incredible recovery. I wish him much luck.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Balloon Man

I went yesterday, to Millenium Park to see the first of Red Moon Theatre's two scheduled spectacles this year, The Balloon Man. As most of Redmoon's works, they again have created another work that is whimsically bizarre. As it is described in their publicity pages, it is a rock and roll science spectacle that uses 300 pounds of helium, 20 feet of truck, 5 rock and roll musicians, and a mythical beast. The show begins with a small gold car driving out onto the great lawn with music blaring adn parking next to a performance announcement sign. "The Balloon Man Next performance: Some Minutes" . The Balloon Man exits his car, puts on a gold lame jacket, changes the performance time to 90 seconds, then 60, then 30, then realizes that there is no 0 seconds and presents himself to a hopeful audience applause. He runs around giving out a few balloon animals and then stops to count and realizes that he has far fewer balloons than he has children in the audience. After some thought he decides to draw a volunteer from the audience to help him blow balloons. As he is blowing his first balloon, he gets hit by a truck that is backing into the area where he was performing. This truck is manned by rock musicians scientists who are searching for a mythical creature called the picnob which has been floating around the fringes of the performance area. The scientists have a lot of scientific knowledge and sing songs that reminded me of They Might Be Giants. In the course of the show they drag the child into helping them and also The Balloon Man after it is determined that he is not dead. The scientists make several bad decisions on how to capture the picnob and then eventually capture something that is not the picnob. The show played for 5 performances this weekend and tomorrow and will do 3 more next weekend. It is a very good show that is fun for all ages .

Friday, July 21, 2006

Late Ride Booze Cruise

Last night the Friends of the Parks held their thank you cruise for Late Ride volunteers. I have been volunteering for the last four years and I have attended the cruise for three of them. I missed last year because I didn't notice that I had received my RSVP until it was too late. While the food hasn't been too bad (pizza mostaciolli, salad and cookies plus all of the beer, wine, soda, and waterthat you can drink) and the view is great, in past years, I have found the cruise pretty boring. The DJ has been pretty bad and I don't really have anyone to talk to. This year, however, I was very happy to see my friend Lisa, who came to a couple of warehouse work nights, came. We ended up talking for the entire cruise and she invited me out afterward. I was just coming out as a surrogate date to keep other guys from harrassing her and to hang out until the guy that she was going to meet showed up. She didn't seem that she was really sure about the guy she was meeting and while she did call him several times after we got to the bar that they were going to meet at, she did seem to make her decision to fire him before he got there. When I left she was dancing with a guy who I found, when I called her this afternoon, was not the guy she was waiting for. While nothing is going on between the two of us, I think, with her, that I can have someone to do stuff with. Time will tell...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Slow News Day?

What happened today? Pres. Bush issues his first veto banning the expansion of stem cell research, the war in Iraq continues, Israel is in full war mode against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and American Floyd Landis, a Mennonite riding for the Phonak team, lost the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. What major stories were carried by the Chicago Sun-Times today? While they did write about life and death, it was life and death of animals. For life, a female Beluga whale at the Shedd Aquarium has given birth for the second time and so far, things look good for the baby whale. And for death, they had an obituary for a Capuchin monkey that lived at the Animal Kingdom on the northwest side of the city. He worked as an organ grinder and loved thin crust pepperoni pizza. Capuchin don't normally live more than 8 years in the wild or 18 years in captivity. Chico was 36 years old.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Museum of Hoaxes

I received my air conditioner yesterday and it ran all day. Today was relatively cooler so the air conditioner was turned off and the windows were opened. When I went to bed last night, it was still warm so I left the AC running. I did notice some lightning off to the west so I expected some rain in the evening. I didn't hear it however, because I had the AC on and I fell asleep immediately. It must have been pretty rough though because I apparently had a power blip because my clock was blinking and when I was riding my bike to work, I noticed, on a side street, an eight inch tree branch laying across the road.

I came across this website today and tought it was pretty good so I thought I would share it. It seems to explore the odd, unusual, and otherwise bizarre. An email I received referred to a bicycle eating tree so i had to look it up and thus I found the Museum of Hoaxes.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hot Zombie

Yes, I know that headline sounds very strange, but that is how I feel today. Why? I was up for a very long time yesterday and didn't sleep well this morning and the weather is hot and my air conditioner has kicked the bucket. I got up yesterday morning at 7 AM to volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository with One Brick. Two of my friends were running the event from our side and it was pretty good to see them. We transferred frozen green beans and snow peas from 600 pound boxes to two pound bags in order to make them more usable to the various food pantries that the GCFD services. After we finished, several of us had lunch at El Muro, a very good Mexican restaurant that is near the GCFD. I got home at a little after 3 PM and was planning to take a nap because I knew that I was going to be up all night. It was hot outside so I decided that yesterday was going to be the first day I ran my air conditioner. I closed my windows, turned the air conditioner on, and laid down for a nap, but it was really too warm to sleep well. I let the air conditioner run for a while expecting my place to get gradually cooler. I checked it a couple of hours later and found that it wasn't happening so I called my maintenance guy not really expecting anything to happen on Saturday night. I opened the windows and hung out before I had to leave to go to Grant Park for the L.A.T.E Ride. I was a Course Marshall this year so I had to be out on the course longer than I usually am. I did however, get back to Grant Park soon enough to get my breakfast and sit down to watch the sun rise. I arrived home at about 7AM this morning and after I took a shower, I tried to sleep. As I am not used to sleeping at 7 AM, I didn't sleep well and my maintenance guy arrived at 12:30 PM to declare my air conditioner dead. So as I said at teh beginning, I'm hot and I feel like a zombie.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I saw something today that I wanted to post about but I don't remember what it was. Generally, if I come up with something at work, I will mail it to myself at home. Today I did not. I had a very frustrating day at work. I was very busy but seemed not to get anything accomplished. I had lunch at Chipotle and then this evening I went to the last Warehouse Work Night for The Late Ride which will be happening on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I happened to run into my friend Lisa again who was also volunteering and will (obviously) also be riding. It was good to see her although again I left things to open. She is a person that I wouln't mind hanging out with but I always manage to let things end when we part. Oh well, maybe next time I run into her...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

He did it

I thought that I had posted about this guy before but apparently, I haven't. Kyle MacDonald started with one red paperclip and through a series of trades on Craigslist, he parleyed that into a house. I first came across his story when he had gone from his red paperclip to a fish pen to a really ugly ceramic doorknob to a coleman stove to a small generator to one instant party (a neon Budweiser sign, a beer keg, and an IOU to fill the keg), a snomobile from a famous Quebecer (Kyle is also from Quebec), a trip to Yahk, BC, a moving van, a recording contract, and a year of free rent in Phoenix, AZ. He has since traded his rental in Phoenix for an afternoon with Alice Cooper, a Kiss Snowglobe, a movie role from Corbin Bernsen, which the small town of Kipling, Saskatchewan traded for a house. While some of the trades seem to me a bit ridiculous, the people that traded with Kyle were not cheated and everyone got something that they wanted. This really reminds me of my brother, Marty although while Marty has made some good deals, he has not yet parleyed a paperclip into a house. Anyway, Congratulations, Kyle.

Shine on You Crazy Diamond

Syd Barrett, founding and former member of Pink Floyd, died at his home in England on Friday, July 7, he was 60. Barrett, founded Pink Floyd in 1965 with Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright. They recorded The Piper at the Gates of Dawn in 1967. Barrett left the band in 1968 suffering from instability that was exacerbated by heavy LSD use. He was replaced in the band by David Gilmour. While he left the band, he remained close with his former bandmates who made sure that he was getting the royalty payments form the Pink Floyd works that were created while he was a member of the band. Several works by Pink Floyd after Barrett left were based on Barrett (i.e. the album Wish You Were Here, and the mental illness themes that could be found in Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall). He had been living at his mother's house for many years where he enjoyed painting and gardening. He had been suffering from diabetes for many years and while the cause of death has not been released, it is speculated that it was diabetes related. There will be a small private ceremony for his family and friends.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Other than work which was fairly routine, I had a fairly uneventful day. I watched disc 2 (of 3) of The Battle of Algiers which was mainly a couple of documentaries about the director. While the movie itself was great, the documentaries on this disc (except for the last one which was five American directors talking about the movie) were a bit dry. I also told my cousin Wendy about my blog, so Wendy if you're reading this, "Hi!".

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Saturday afternoon, I volunteered at The OldTown School of Folk Music's Folk and Roots Festival. The Festival ran from about noon to 9 PM on Saturday and Sunday. I only had to volunteer from 4 PM to 7 PM, but because of that I got free admission free food, and free beer. The music was pretty good with a wide variety of stuff from folk to country to bluegrass to zydeco to blues. While I really enjoyed the music after we finished, I was becoming engrossed in a conversation with a couple of women and another guy. There were about 15 of us when we finished that decided to sit together and socialize but by the end it was just the 4 of us. We walked back to the beer tent at the end of things and were slowly making our way past the vendors tents when I had to make a pitstop. I excused myself expecting to meet up with them when I returned but apparently I didn't make that clear because when I returned, they were nowhere to be found. I looked through the vendors tents between the beer tent and just outside the entrance, I returned to where we had been sitting, and I looked in the volunteer tent all to no avail. I was a little embarassed and hoped that they didn't think that I was running off without saying goodbye. I hope that I see them when we do GCFD next Saturday so I can explain myself.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I just remembered...

After reading my blog last night, I realized that I hadn't posted about my trip to Indianapolis. I went down because my cousin Wendy had graduated from IUPUI with a BFA in furniture design this year and she was having an open house on the 24th. I went to Indy for the open house. Her older sister Stephanie catered the event. Actually she had the party at her own house. While I knew that Stephanie was a caterer and I knew that she was a pretty good cook, I did not know that she had a storefront or that she was nearly as successful as she is. My cousins have had several events in the past year, but due to a variety of circumstances, I have been unable to make it to any of them. It was nice to see them. I had planned to go down just for the day because I didn't make a reservation at a hotel and I hadn't asked to stay beforehand. I thought that it would be rude to assume that someone could put me up for the night without my asking first. When they found out that I was planning to drive back on Saturday, I had offers from both Stephanie and Wendy to stay there for the night. As I was already at Steph's house, I decided to stay there which was good because as a chef, she felt the need to feed me and then send me home with more food.

A couple of days after I returned home I got an email from Wendy, again thanking me for coming down but also to ask about the type of women that I like. The fact that I am single and have no luck with women came up and so she decided to take it upon herself to try to introduce me to someone. The fact that she was asking about the type of women that I like told me immediately that she had someone in mind which I told her, but having said that, I also gave her a description of the women that I tend to be attracted to. Actually, I told her more about what I don't like than what I do because there are fewer things that I would rather not deal with than things that I have to have. Wendy gave me a description of her friend and her email so I will email her and see what happens. More on this later...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm Ba-aack

After a very busy week and a very relaxing holiday weekend, I have returned. I don't really have much planned for the next 8 days; actually that's not true, I have something planned on Saturday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but it will be much more relaxing than it was last week when I was out every night. Monday and Tuesday, I was helping with the Late Ride; Wednesday, I was CBF; Thursdaywas bookclub night (which I have decided to resign from) and Friday was Critical Mass. Saturday, I drove up to Midland to spend time with my sisters and nephews and a good time was had by all. My parents weren't home so I had their house to myself with the exception of my Mom's 3 cats. I spent 4 days up there and really didn't do much spectacular. I ate a lot of pizza (because my sister's boyfriend is the manager for Papa John's Pizza). I played video games, I had some long talks with Kathryn, Melissa, John (Kathryn's boyfriend) and Sean(Melissa's Ex) and I went on a long walk with Melissa's son Devon (who is 5). We also went to Coldstone Creamery and saw fireworks on the 4th.

Today, I drove back home and had to buy groceries after I got home. It should be fairly quiet in my immediate future so I should be able to put up more frequent posts when i do have something to post.