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As I figured it would, this week is absolutely flying by, and I'm busy like a bee. It's all good, though, as my mind and body actually work better when I'm jumping quickly from one thing to the next. After helping Aaron move tonight, I'm finally back home and winding down by scanning some new pictures from a roll just developed (I'll put them up soon, promise) and listening to some new music.

Speaking of music, the word around the campfire is that our group might decide to debut ourselves with a full-length rather than an EP. Things have been coming together so well lately that we've been talking about postponing the release from our original rough date (mid September) and try to polish everything up a little more and spit out a couple more tracks for an even more full release. We're having a blast with it right now and I'm still super excited about the direction things are moving. For those still paying attention, hopefully it will be worth the wait. Plus, if we got our act together, we should even be able to play a show or more in support of it. Sweet!

Awake for 20 hours straight yesterday as my day started at 6a.m. and didn't end until I crashed into bed at 2 in the morning. As mentioned two days ago, I went and saw Wilco in Omaha, and it was a good show. I've been at least partially interested in the group since I heard their Being There album back in college (I won't lie and say that I've been down with them since Uncle Tupelo days), and I think that their new album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the best releases I've heard this year, and easily their best disc to date. During the first two-thirds of the concert, they played nearly every song off that new release, as well as some older tracks (some of which they had reworked). For that period of the show, I was having a blast, and it was interesting to see how they fit the more experimental elements of the new recording into their live sound (mostly tape loops and a couple phat keyboards). As the show progressed, they started lapsing back into older material, as well as riffing a lot more, and while it was interesting for awhile, it just didn't have quite the same appeal to me and eventually the heat and smoke started getting to me so I sat out in the lobby and relaxed a bit. Most of the rest of the crowd was eating it up, though, and the group came back out and played two complete encores, including a couple very rockin' tracks. At the very end, they launched into a Led Zeppelin cover, and the shy roadie who'd hovered in the background all night exchanging guitars with Jeff Tweedy lept over the stacks and grabbed the mic, belting out the lyrics in almost full-on Jimmy Plant mode. It was pretty damn hilarious, and as soon as the vocal part of the track ended, he again scurried off to the side of the stage and the place erupted in applause. In the end, Wilco played for well over two hours, and although I was a bit tired on the drive home, I was glad I stayed until the end.

When I got home, I remembered that because of water restrictions, my only chance to water (without risking the wrath of neighborhood water spys) would be to do it before bed. Things had looked a bit wilted earlier in the night, so I stood out under the stars at 1:45 and made sure everything got a good drink. After showering, I crashed into bed and don't remember anything else until the alarm went off again this morning at 6:15.

This is going to be one of my busiest weeks in recent memory. A concert, helping someone move, a wedding, and much more is on the agenda for the next 6 days. No time to rest, so I'm going to sleep early.

Didn't really do a whole lot during the day today for once, which was nice. A bit of thrifting (didn't really find anything except a 10-cent softcover book of John Barth short stories), a bit of gardening, and some chatting and music-trading with Jason.

After probably a month of working on nothing but older tracks and trying to finish things up for the release, Aaron came over and we decided to start something completely new. Creating literally everything from scratch for the night, we put together almost an entire new track, and one that I think sounds pretty darn cool. Once again, I'll have to sleep on it, but it was good to get back on a purely creative course after trying to be nitpicky for so long.

It seems like it's become sort of a weekly thing (which is actually quite nice, considering how often I get annoyed by theater audiences), but TG and I rented a movie this evening, and after a string of good flicks, this one was kind of a letdown. By the time we got to the rental store, things seemed kind of picked-over, so we each picked out a couple things that looked interesting, then decided on a little Canadian flick called Rare Birds. It started out good enough, but soon lapsed into almost absurd sequences, trying to play the quirky card (like so many good British films have done), but didn't quite do it well enough. The main character, played by William Hurt, was sort of a bumbling drunken loser who I really didn't have much sympathy for, while the best character was his crazy conspiracy-theory neighbor, played by some Andy Jones (whom I don't think I've seen before, but was quite funny). At any rate, at the beginning it felt like it was going to be similar in style to a movie like Saving Grace (which I found highly enjoyable), but ended up just sort of wandering aimlessly and predictably to a silly conclusion. If I had to give it a rating on a scale to ten, it would clock in at about 5.5 (some of that coming from the lovely Newfoundland scenery).

I'm not nearly as obsessive about looking through my access logs as I used to be, but today when I was scanning them at lunch quick and ran across a couple random nice comments on a message board about my review site. That made me smile a bit. Some weeks, it feels a bit more like work than fun, but seeing comments (even if they aren't glowing) helps the motivation factor a lot.

So far, I don't know of any pictures in existence of our band, but I hope that when we actually do get one, we don't look as goofy as the majority of people in this collection of bad band photos. If you have the time to click through a couple galleries (and there are a ton of them), there are some good laughs to be had despite the somewhat juvenile humor.

Speaking of music, we had band practice tonight for the first time in quite awhile (due to general busy-ness of everyone involved), but it was a good night. Got closer to finishing another track, and so we've got a slew of stuff that's getting close and we're still trying to figure out a track lineup for the EP. We did decide on a packaging idea, so we're going to try to get that going, as well as a little website to suppliment things. Fun.

Oh, and speaking of music again, the weekly reviews, including number 100 for the letter S.

Two years ago, I was one of those people who was still way too nervous to buy anything off the internet. Even though the boom had already come and gone, I was still tip-toeing around, making sure to never give anyone too much information. Although I knew there were some better deals to be had, I simply didn't feel like giving out my credit card (which I only finally got about 3 years ago) information to some 'unknown' entity.

In the past two years, though, I've loosened up considerably. I edged into things easily, buying small media like books and CD's, then about halfway through last year I purchased a digital camera. I remember pressing the button to buy it on Ebay and feeling this weird swell of blood go through my head, as if I'd suddenly burnt 500 dollars, but everything went through just fine, and I've gotten quite a bit of use out of the small chunk of metal and electronics. Earlier this year, I made another big purchase with a semi-fancy keyboard (musical variety), and once again things were just fine. I didn't get ripped off, and it's more than served it's purpose at this point (and will hopefully continue to do so).

At any rate, this last weekend, I again spent a fair amount on an internet purchase (again through Ebay), and I received my laptop in the mail today. My main reason for buying a laptop was to set it up and use it as a dedicated music computer for the band. It will not only act as the main mixing board, but I'll also be using it to trigger samples, etc, when we (eventually) play live. I didn't spend a lot on it (compared to what I could have spent on a laptop), but it's a pretty slick little IBM Thinkpad, and I've had fun messing around with it so far. I need to take a few of the pre-installed things off of it, get a bit more of my stuff loaded onto it, and put a bit more RAM in, but I'm excited to get it going more and see what I can do with it.

Today was the first day in a long time (probably two weeks or longer) that the high temperature was under 90 degrees. With a temperature of 100-plus for the past 3 in a row, waking up this morning and biking to work when it was 68 degrees felt downright cool. The cold front came through as it was supposed to, although once again it didn't bring any rain along. There's still a chance this week, so I'm crossing my fingers for it. There have been mandatory watering restrictions in place for about a week now, and although even a couple of inches wouldn't ease that off right away, it would allow people to stop watering for just one day.

No, those aren't pumpkins, they're the first two tomatoes from our garden and we've got more on the way. Making salsa is definitely a future plan, but if you have any other ideas, send them my way.

sasquatch man holds mutant-sized at ten

Ever since I tried it out a couple years ago and had a good bit of fun with it, I've been way into mailordering my music directly from the labels I enjoy. While you sometimes have to wait until slightly after the release date to get your items, I've honestly had nothing but good luck with every single label that I've sent my money to, and that little extra wait usually just ends up whetting my appetite for the release even more. Of course, sometimes I get a little letdown, but the whole experience of it all is still something that I enjoy. Many labels still offer little human touches (free posters, postcards, little handwritten notes) that add to the person-to-person feel of it even more, and as a buyer you know that your money is going directly to the source. Tonight, I got a mailorder-only release from the excellent duo Matmos (plus J Lesser), and once again it had the little extra personal touches that made me happy to support them. M.C. Schmidt even dropped me a little note saying he'd checked out my site and liked the photography section. Very cool.

For more mailorder fun, check out Alien8Recordings, Bubblecore, Carpark, Constellation Records, Kranky, Plug Research, Temporary Residence, and Tigerbeat6 Records.

Oh, and hot peppers from the garden! (and baby potatoes)

hot cha cha

A majority of the day was spent sitting in the hot car travelling to and from my great aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary celebration. With temps in the high 90's, I'm glad that the car we were driving in had a good air conditioner, but I still just sort of feel beat down and tired from everything. Lots of conversation, and alternately being tired of sitting and standing, it will be good to finally crash into bed after a nice shower and dream of rain. And once again, congrats on 50 years, Harold and Sharon.

Last week when it finally came out on DVD, I picked up Kids In The Hall: Brain Candy, and tonight TG and I sat down and watched it again. We'd both seen it before, but it was just as funny as I remembered it being, perhaps even a little better, as I remembered different scenes just before they would happen and that familiarity would make something even better (you know the feeling, right?). Anyway, I know a lot of people who were let down by the movie, which I felt was a little unfair. It's a pretty smart flick, and it makes fun of designer drugs, large company excess, rock stars, and all kinds of pop culture, as well as the "15 minutes of fame" and what it does to a person. Although it's a bit offensive at moments (the entire character of 'cancer boy'), it's highly entertaining, and made me laugh aloud several time, which is more than I can say for more movies. Probably one of my top-5 comedies of all time. Speaking of which, Top Secret also came out on DVD last week, and I need to get that still (along with Amelie, although not for comedic reasons).

Even though it's been pretty brutal around here lately in terms of heat, today was the first day that it was actually over 100 degrees. It was a high of 102, and it hit right about the time I was riding home from work on my bike. Needless to say, there was sweat involved. Going back to the temperature again, though, apparently there are an average of 5 days each year in which we have 100+ degrees temperature days. The record for number of 100+ days was back in 1937, when there were 42 reported in the state, which is pretty hard to imagine. We're definitely in a drought here, but that was at the height of the dustbowl, when air conditioning wasn't such a staple and there was no water management in place.

If you're in the mood for flash games (warning: you _will_ waste a lot of time poking around), this site has some of the most beautiful, cute, and clever little games I've seen in some time. Great design, sound, and play all adds up to some nice stay inside and enjoy the air-conditioning time, plus a good lot of them load up quickly even on slow connections. Wow.

I've been known to be a little bit obsessive-compulsive about some things, and one of those is numbers. When I was younger, I fed on reading sports stats and even enjoyed my math courses. For some reason, though, that never really translated into remembering dates in history, although I've gotten much better at that as well.

What I'm leading into with the above is that I still keep track of lots of things numerically in my life. Each year, I keep track of how many miles I bike, how many pages I read, how many pages I write, etc, and it's fun for me to compare them to one another year-to-year. It's all a little geeky perhaps, but it sort of gives me a measure of my input and output for each year and whether I'm spending enough time doing the things I enjoy. I meant to give a rundown on a couple of those numbers at the beginning of July (halfway through the year), but forgot until now. At this point in the year, I've biked over 700 miles, which puts me on pace to beat my last years total of 1080, but it also sort of comes at the expense of rollerblading (which I've only done 50 miles of this year, as opposed to over 900 last year). The main reason for this is that I live further from both the rollerblading trail and work, so although I don't get out to rollerblade (it's rather perilous to get to a spot where it's made for the sport), I've been riding to work a lot more and getting some exercise that way.

Also at this point, I've read 3675 pages worth of books. Since last year I read 3950, it looks like I'm well on my way to easily besting that, although I doubt I'll ever catch my personal best of 13551 pages read in 1998. Of course, that was a year in which I had no social life, a surgery that kept me laid up for a couple weeks (perfect reading time), and not as much interest in doing a website. As always, little trends can be traced through the years (the first year I started keeping these numbers was back in 1998) and attributed to different focuses. All in all, 2002 is turning out to be one of my most productive years ever, so hopefully I can keep rolling along. I haven't written quite a much as I'd like to (in terms of fiction and non-review type stuff), but then again I'm doing that whole music thing, which I'm unbelievably stoked about.

Fortune cookies are funny. I've never really taken them too seriously, as they're usually written in a way that one can interpret them in a couple different ways most of the time (much like astrology), but I still sort of take some delight in opening up that little tasty cookie and seeing what the soothsayer has to offer me. In the past, I've even saved them if they've seemed rather relevant to my life (or completely the opposite). A couple years back, I got one that said, "Your love life will be happy and harmonious," and at the particular time I read it, I was going through one of my most cynical, bitter periods ever in terms of dating. I put that little piece of paper in my pocket and chuckled about it, then stuck it on the corner of my monitor at work for some reason. It was like this little thorn in my side for some time, but after awhile I completely forgot about it and even covered it up with something else silly.

Just a couple weeks back, that same monitor bit the dust, and while cleaning all the taped paper and pictures from it, I noticed that little fortune and smiled, because it was no longer a bitter reminder, but a true statement. Not needing it anymore, I tossed it along with other junk that I'd accumilated.

Then, just a week ago, I was out eating some Thai foods again, and when I cracked open my cookie to find a fortune, there was none. The cookie was completely empty, and I looked across at TG and we wondered if it meant anything. I'm not one to believe in superstition or even luck or fate, but instead of taking it as a bad sign, I instead read it as my future being completely open. There are no limits and no boundaries and no two-sentence sayings defining my life from here on out. Although, last night's fortune (yeah, I've been eating out some) said, "Nothing in the world is accomplished without passion," so I'm down with that...

Finally we've got another garden update going on. Tonight, we picked our first eggplant, as well as a handful of green beans and a couple hot peppers. From the looks of things, there will soon be tomatoes by the jarful, as well as some zuccini. Hopefully in two weeks, trips to the grocery store for produce will start being very limited.

Green beans and peppers and eggplants oh my!

A squirrel was sitting in a tree chattering at me tonight while I watered the garden. He was in a branch about 20 feet overheard, so after I'd given everything a good soaking, I walked back up to the house acting as if I wasn't paying any attention to him, then quickly turned and sprayed him directly in the face with the hose. He ran up the branch, but I was able to follow him for at least 5 more feet with the spray of water until he sat out-of-reach, chattering at me even louder.

After sleeping in a bit to negate the nights of little rest (self-inflicted) last week, TG and I went and had lunch out at my parents farm, which is always a good time. Saw the llama, had some tasty vegi lasagna and a good chat. Came home and got some things done around the yard, then worked on computer stuff to close out the evening before another busy week arrives. Rinse. Repeat.

Not a particularly exciting day, although it was another one in which I had quite a few good scores at the stores. Picked up The Be Good Tanyas (which I'll probably review on my site eventually) finally, after it was recommended to me by a reputable source some time ago, and also found the excellent soundtrack to the orignal Raiders Of The Lost Ark (which is out of print and the movie hasn't even been released on DVD yet, what the hell are they thinking?) for supa-cheap. Also scored Drunken Master 2 (aka Legend Of Drunken Master) for cheap on DVD, which is probably my favorite Jackie Chan film ever (although the cheesy, but absolutely crazy Rumble In The Bronx probably comes in a close second). The fight scenes in which he's fighting drunken-master style crack me up and amaze me at the same time. TG still hasn't seen it, so I will probably make her sit down and watch it at some point in the near future...

As sort of a changeup from our regular fare, tonight the lovely TG and I rented Francois Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black. Made way back in 1968, the film is a revenge piece with nods to Hitchcock and a slight touch of schlock. Produced by the producer who keeps on ticking even today (Dino De Laurentis, born in 1919, who has been involved with movies 100-times more cheesy than this one), it was a pretty darn entertaining little French film from back in the day. Watching movies from 30-plus years ago is always a nice break.

I also finished Rick Moody's The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven today, and I have to admit that it started weighing on me after awhile. Although I enjoyed the seemingly relentless darker tone of the stories for the first half (and the story "The James Dean Garage Band" was a freaking classic, especially if you're a music geek), it started to wear me down the further I got into the book, and by the closing, book-titled story (which is also the longest), I just sort of wanted to finish for finishing's sake. I'm sure I'll start into another of his books at some point down the road, but balance it out in the meantime with some lighter stuff. I've been on a big fiction kick the last couple months, and most of it I've enjoyed quite a bit, but I've already started 3 non-fiction titles of varying degrees of seriousness, so I'll report on those in time.

TG and I saw Neko Case in concert tonight and it was one of the most refreshing shows that I'd been to in a long time. I stood right in front of the stage for nearly the entire show, and with minimal amplification everything was at just the perfect volume for maximum clarity. After hearing her perform last night, she's easily moved into my top 3 female vocalists in music right now, and she'll probably easily stay there after I hear more of her new CD when it comes out in just over a month. With a mix of old style country (think Wanda Jackson or Patsy Cline), a touch of rockabilly, and a touch of torch-song jazz singer, I looked through the crowd last night and nearly everyone was standing agape. That last point brings me to another of why I enjoyed the show so much, and that's the crowd. I've had quite a few bad crowd experiences in this town (Low, to name one specifically), and last night was probably the most enthused I've ever seen the old Lincoln crowd get. There were huge rounds of applause after every track and I think that Case was actually a little bit surprised by the amount of energy as well. She was gracious and funny and completely nice as she engaged the crowd in coversation between the songs during the show and took her time with everyone while selling t-shirts and CDs afterward. Although she's opened for the likes of Nick Cave and Los Lobos, I think that she's going to get much bigger in the near future, and for good reason. If you enjoy great music, make a trip to see her (and her excellent band) if she swings through your area.

Neko Case Rules!

It's not like I have a lot of money invested at this point in my life, but lately I've wondered just how long it will take for the markets to get out of their slump and back to normal. I've always been told that you shouldn't invest unless you're willing to be in it for the long haul, but it's hard not to get cold feet when the markets keep going down. It's a bear, ya'll.

When I got home from work, I had a slip in the mailbox that said a certified package was being held for me at the post office. Grabbing just the piece of paper and my keys, I sprinted off in hopes that I could get there in time. I was already a bit damp from the bike ride home, but the jog in the hot sun pushed my body temperature up even more, and by the time I stepped into the lobby at about 4:40, I was sweating heavily.

After waiting in line for about 10 minutes, I was told by the fellow working there that I'd need some form of identification in order to pick up my package. I tried to persuade him to let me have it anyway, but after seeing that he wasn't going to budge, I decided that I wouldn't be defeated. There was only about 10 minutes until they closed, so I sprinted the 4 blocks home again, grabbed my drivers license, then ran back and arrived with several minutes to spare. By this time, I was sweating profusely, wiping at my face with my shirt sleeves and feeling the ocassional drip of sweat fall from the back of my head and land on my neck. Even though the air was going full-blast in the place, I couldn't cool my body down fast enough, and I was acutely aware of a couple people in line looking at me as if I had festering boils all over my face. Fortunately, I ended up being the last person they let in the door, so I could keep my distance from the person ahead of me and plant myself directly in front of the air vents. When I finally got up to the window again (helped by a different person this time), I simply showed them my certified mail slip and they let me have my package without so much as asking for identification. I held up my license anyway after receiving the package, as if I could somehow justify the fact that I was still dripping with sweat.

When I got home again, I quickly drank two pint glasses full of water and fell asleep on the living room floor for 20 minutes.

Although it's because of unfortunate circumstances (death in the family), Andrew and Aimee made a guest appearence in town this evening. Hadn't seen them since the holidays last year, so it was fun to see old friends again, and interesting considering we'd just had guests for the past couple days. Their stay will be short and busy, but it was excellent to meet up and just catch up a bit (which is much easier in person than through email).

Our houseguests left this morning, and I'm having the usual slightly bummy feelings I always seem to get after very nice people come to visit and then have to go their seperate ways. Although it was slightly cramped (but not badly so) with two other people and a cat in our little place, everyone had just the right personalities that I never felt in the slightest bit annoyed with anyone (and hopefully they weren't with me). A really nice 3 days, and I spent the fourth of my long weekend trying to finish up some things I'd put off.

We have 5 songs done for the EP now, and the rough time for the thing is 20:21. Although that's definitely more than many EP's that I've seen and reviewed, we're going to try to finish up at least one more track before we go through with mastering and burning. We want to give the listener more for their money, and also we need more time to figure out the package design (although we're definitely getting closer to something). Very happy with things so far, and I'll be excited to hear feedback from people when we eventually send it out into the world.

Although it's just an odd coincidence, the past three times that TG and I have had people over for a gathering, we've had some kind of weather-related incident. When we had a housewarming gathering back in March, there was a snow and ice storm. Then, just over a month ago when we had another little get-together, it rained and we had to take everything inside. Finally, tonight we had sort of a mini-reunion of people at our house and even though we've been in the midst of a severe drought, it rained. After threatening rain several times in the past couple days, it finally cracked open and a steady rain fell for some time. The great thing about it was that it never came down too hard at once, instead pacing itself fairly nicely to soak the soil a bit and continued to sprinkle or rain for some time. We probably didn't end up getting that much overall, but it was refreshing after the long period of none. Like I mentioned a couple days back, I simply found pleasure standing outside in it (just minutes ago) and letting it dampen my clothing, while the thunder cracked and rumbled and the lightning flickered in the sky.

Finished up reading House Of Leaves last night, and for a debut novel, it was kind of a tour de force. Clocking in at over 700 pages with the index, it tells stories within stories and is actually quite creepy at times. The design of the book itself is very interesting as well (and I can't quite imagine how he talked the publishing company into splurging so much on a debut), in places typeset all crazy to fit the words on the page, and with extensive footnotes and referencing, it really does sort of create an entire alternate reality world around which the events in the novel take place (somewhat similar to how The Blair Witch Project created a stir with their website and marketing before the film broke huge). Like a lot of new writers that I read, it felt like at points Danielewski was simply trying to one-up others who had done the non-linear, highly technical writing styles (like David Foster Wallace), but because of the story itself, most of the time it didn't feel really extraneous. While there were some moments that dragged (usually when it launched into a moment of hyper-saturated technical references I started glossing over a bit), overall it worked pretty darn well. There were some really amazing sequences, including one with the main character trying frantically to simply finish a book as he ran out of light and sanity, and if you don't mind a bit of challenging reading it will probably be right up your alley. And yes, it came out several years ago and I'm finally just getting around to reading it. I work like that sometimes to avoid the hype machine...

A full day of thrifting and shopping in Omaha in general, and it was a good bit of fun, even though my car turns into a mini sweat lodge on days when the temperature is 95 degrees. Found a lot of great scores for cheap at the music stores, including some things that I'd wanted to get for some time (New Pornographers W/Neko Case, Him Vs The Dylan Group, and Nick Drake) along with some really cheap things I bought just so I could finally hear what the groups sounded like (Dead Voices On Air, Rapoon, Shostakovich). Feeling beat-down from the sun (and a filling Indian food lunch), but had a nice time and it was good to hang out with our guests even more.

Also forgot to mention that I'd put up new photos the other day. Mainly farm pictures, but some interesting stuff.

Had a relatively calm and quiet fourth of July, which was just fine by me. The older I get, the more than sudden loud noises like fireworks just grate on my nerves. Not only that, but people seem to forget what day it is, and I hear them in the days leading up to the actual 4th and for many days after (no doubt as people get rid of the large amounts they didn't manage to finish off). If I can be really happy for one thing, it's that no fires were started in the dry conditions we've been having. I always get worried about those sorts of things.

Although it happened a couple days back now, I forgot to mention that my car had been vandalized. In the almost 10 years that I've had the old car, it's the first time that I've had something like that happen (mainly because I've never had a nice stereo or anything else in it). What seems to have happened is that someone picked up a rock (which was found laying right next to my car when I found it) and threw it at either the door or the drivers side window. It hit just below the window (fortunately) and instead skipped off the metal door and into my drivers-side mirror, shattering it. It's not a huge amount of damage (small dent, cracked mirror), but as usual with these things it's more annoying than anything. I'm sure it was just a random weird vandalism thing that happens, as I don't think I'm targeted by anyone. Hopefully not, anyway.

Lacy and Ian (friends of TG) arrived in town last evening for a stop on their cross-country trip. Along with them, we have another guest in the form of Bug, a Sphinx kitty who's also a welcome addition to the house for awhile. Four day weekend. I'm stoked.

bug aka super secret agent kitty

40 days without water. It may not be quite that many, but it's getting pretty close (.19 of an inch 30 days ago doesn't really count), and although somewhat foreboding clouds have floated through the sky in the past couple of days, it hasn't slipped up yet. If and when it finally rains around here, I think I'll probably just sort of lose whatever current thoughts I'm having and go outside and stand in it until I'm wet. It won't matter if I'm at work or if I'm fixing dinner or doing something else, the sight and sound and feel of rain coming out of the sky will simply be too much of a pull for me and my body will move involutarily out into it. Of course, then I'll probably start worrying about how much pollution and particles from fires and everything else have filled the air since the last cleansing downfall, and I'll worry that the rain might just be a moving net that catches and sends all of it right back down onto us. Will the first wave sting? Is it safe to tilt my head back and let it go down my throat? Will my co-workers think I'm crazy if I strip off my shoes and take a 10 minute break to spring around in the moisture? Yes, we need rain.

As a way to escape the heat, I got up an hour earlier than normal today and arrived at work by 7a.m. The sun was a lot lower in the sky on the bike ride in, and it was much cooler as I'd suspected when I came up with the silly idea of depriving myself of even more sleep. As sort of an added bonus, there was only about one-tenth the amount of traffic that there is for my normal time. It was a comfortable, quiet, and stress-free ride, and when I left an hour earlier than normal to compensate, I missed out on rush-hour evening traffic as well. I'm going to try to keep the trend going, as long as I can drag my tired arse out of bed to conquer the day.

I didn't mention it in yesterday's entry, but music practice went really well last night. We began the session with one track done for the EP, and finished the evening with four. Although we want to try to finish up a couple more tracks and fine-tune everything a smidge more, an end is definitely in sight with things, and an August (at some point during the month) release isn't out-of-the-question. One of the tracks we completed last night is a bit silly, but it was something we needed. Plus, it just sounds cool.

Friends &

Aaron G.
Andrew F.
Christine C.
David M.
Jason K.
Jason M.
Jessie D.
Jon W.
Paul B.
Tina H.