click here to email me

Went to Omaha and thrifted (found a nice hardback copy of Into Thin Air (a crazy good read, if I need to repeat myself) to replace my softcover copy which was promptly given to my brother) and music shopped (found a copy of Mouse On Mars' Instrumentals and Rollerball's Trail Of The Butter Yeti for cheap). A bit of a warm and humid day, but nice to just sort of meander around without a care and relax. Later in the day, arrived at a house a friend was housesitting for and was literally awed by it. Probably closer to what would be called a mansion, the place had a pool, 12 foot ceilings on each floor (3), shuffleboard, a mini-theatre, a pool table, weightroom, jacuzzi, sauna, etc. The rest of the day was spent slacking, swimming, and tinkering about with the different game options before ordering a pizza and gorging on a buffet of Ben and Jerrys ice cream. Wow. A whole day dedicated to being lazy. Now I gotta get back to work.

Tonight, TG and I rented Iris, which was quite good. After a somewhat slow start, the movie really sucked me in and was quite moving throughout the entirety. Although I've had a bad habit of somehow thinking that different people don't deserve their Oscars (when in fact I hadn't even seen their performances), Jim Broadbent's acting was indeed amazing in this film. Whereas the character of Iris Murdoch was played by two different people for the span of her life (Kate Winslet and Judi Dench respectively), through great makeup and amazing acting, Broadbent played his role of John Bayley over what was probably the course of a 40 year span or more. Just a great little movie and one of the best reflections on lifelong love that I've ever seen. It was also unfortunately quite a depressing movie, showing the deteriorating effects of Alzheimers disease on a vibrant mind, so keep that in mind if you're interested in watching it. I was a bit misty at the end, which is a rarity, but I'd highly recommend it.

It feels good heading into a three day weekend with nothing really set in stone. Maybe some sleeping in, maybe some gardening, probably some work on music. Such is the joy of having a slightly extended break. Of course, I'll probably try to get some things done as well...

Nearly everyone I talk to agrees that this is probably the busiest summer they've ever had. Is it that everything around us is simply speeding up as we try to cram more and more into our lives (which James Gleick so nicely illustrates in numerous ways in Faster), or is just that I mainly associate with people who have numerous projects going at the same time? I think it's probably a combination of both, and I sometimes question much of what I put my energy into. I wonder whether I should spend less time working on my site and more time in actual conversations with people, or whether I should read more or write more or try to learn how to make better music. The main problem seems to be the pervasion of technology and how many things it's made possible.

There are also two different factors that play a big part of me personally feeling like I'm tugging myself in too many directions at once. One is that being a curious soul, I'm interested in doing lots and lots of different things. The second is that I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, and I always (in my own mind anyway) have to try to reach the point where I'm at least decent in doing all of the things that I start. I've been that way since I was a kid trying to learn every single sport and do it well at the same time, only at this time in my life it applies to a whole new set of activities. They always say that something's got to give, but hopefully I can stay adept at bending in the right places to accommodate everything I want to do in at least minimal amounts.

After watching the skies get more and more dark (and thunder and lightning get louder and brighter), a storm rolled through the area with a quick force. One instant, it was partially sunny and still a bit muggy, and the next rain was pounding against all the north windows in the house and small trees were bending violently in the cool wind. At one moment during the height of the downpour, I looked out our kitchen window to see what looked like the entire backyard moving. It was, in fact, just sheets of water pouring over the entire yard, coming out of the sky so quickly that it couldn't soak in.

After the storm was over, I went outside to see if there was any damage from it all and found a rather large branch from one of the two big trees in our backyard laying on the ground. The garden seemed relatively unscathed, despite being right at the bottom of the hill in the backyard, and the excess runoff and whatever loose dirt that washed into it will probably only help it in the long run. I know it's been a long time since I did a garden update, but there's been sort of a lull between outputs from the plants. Soon, there will be pictures of squash, more eggplant, and the usual suspects (tomatoes, green beans, hot peppers). Until then, I leave you with a picture of the eerie, post-storm sky.

It was getting dark

I own something like 5 pairs of shorts, one of which doesn't get much wear. In the past two days, I not only realized that one of the four pairs that I actually do wear now has a hole in it, but also managed to spill a glass of wine (red) across the leg of another pair (light colored). Tonight, I made a detour to the store to get a couple more pairs so I can last through the summer.

The funny thing is that a couple summers ago, all of the above would have been a non-issue since I used to not wear shorts at all. Even during the hottest parts of the summer, I'd wear pants, all because of some silly notions I had about myself.

I'm sort of a hairy guy. My arms are hairy. I've got a decent patch of hair on my chest, and my legs are pretty hairy as well. While I've gotten used to these things over the course of the past couple years, I used to have some serious self-image problems because of it. It didn't help that people in college (yes, even in college, even people that I dated) made mention of my arms or legs being "more hairy than normal," and for some reason it took me even a couple years post-graduation to realize that it really wasn't a big deal if I wore shorts. There are even hairier fellows than me out there, and I personally don't give a rats ass if they wear tank tops and skimpy little shorts, so it shouldn't matter if I wear knee-length, somewhat-baggy one (comfortable and my favorites). Although much of my self-consciousness came from other people, I think that some of it also simply came from advertising and media. All male models that you see in magazine are perfectly hairless and buff, and you rarely ever see men in movies with body hair either (or if they do, they're the bad guy). I know a lot of women get body issues from seeing idealizations of women in magazines and media, and believe me, I know what it feels like.

So yeah, I have some new shorts, and I'm going to wear them, dammit.

I'd like to offer up some bit of wisdom, but alas, this evening was like many others. Went rollerblading, ate some dinner, wrote a bit, worked on some music, and scanned a bunch of pictures. Is it true that a certain section which just met it's demise may soon be re-launched? Yes, that's the going rumor.

Got a lot closer to finishing the track that I'd started and unveiled it at practice tonight to a pretty good reception. Since I'm fairly new at playing all instruments, my method of construction is a lot of hunting and pecking in order to translate sounds in my head. I think it will eventually be good for me, though, as most of the things I've learned, I've ended up teaching myself (with some strategic pointing in the right direction from others). At any rate, I feel like I'm getting better at things, as is our group as a whole. Speaking of which, we should have something near the end of this year. Another late night this evening shooting the shiz and getting things done.

An oldie but a goodie (from my college roomate Mouser) Evan being possessed by the souls of Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Sean Connery, Tim Curry, Yoda, and Andre The Giant. Bizarre, and not safe for the kids!

On a completely unrelated side note, I was cutting hot peppers earlier and I can still feel tingling on my fingers in different places from cutting them.

After a fairly lazy Saturday, I decided to go rollerblading this evening and ended up doing nearly 15 miles, which is one of my longest trips ever. If I can keep things up, I'd like to do a 20 mile trip before the end of the season. Although I haven't been going out every night as I did a couple summers ago, I've been managing to do more miles per night when I do go this year. Just toward the end of the trip, I noticed that traffic was filtering off and Lincoln was settling into a solitude. That's what happens when football games are going on, and it's actually one of the best times to get things done in this town. I walked to the store to get some lemonade and hardly had to check before crossing streets. Ended up getting a bunch of housecleaning done, so I'm basically just chilling out a bit for awhile. I continued work on a track that I started the other evening, and I feel like it's actually sort of coming together now.

Had a big, tasty Indian food dinner tonight as I'd mentioned I probably would. There's something about the spices in Indian food that when used in heavy amounts makes me feel like I'm on some sort of mild narcotic. Who needs any sort of drugs when there's something so simply blissful as a big bellyfull of delicious foods?

Also last evening, TG and I rented The Cat's Meow. I'd actually read about it when it came out earlier this year, but it didn't play anywhere near here in the theater. After seeing Citizen Cane and reading a bit more about William Randolph Hearst and his empire, I thought it would be an interesting tale given the 'did it happen or not' nature of the story. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich (who's a respected film historian, especially in regards to Orson Welles and Hitchcock), it was a pretty nice little slice of the times movie. The acting was pretty solid all-around, although I felt like it was rather overdone at times (which may just be partially atributed to the setting). I'd say check it out if you're a fan of any of the above. 7 out of 10 stars or so.

Oh, and in music news, two big (for me anyway) items of note today. First, the new Godspeed You Black Emperor! drops one day before my birthday, and according to this article the new Sigur Ros will be arriving in late October. I'm _very_ stoked about each.

This weekend is going to be absolutely crazy in old Lincoln, Nebraska. Not only are all the students moving back to town (as school starts next week), but the state fair is starting and the Pornhuskers are having their first game (at home, natch) on Saturday evening. Basically, the town is going to be overrun starting tomorrow, and it won't be letting up anytime soon. My plans will probably involve a lot of hiding out in the humble abode, although TG and I will probably make a journey to eat at the Tandoor tomorrow evening. If you want to blend into the crowd, just wear red...

Update: The lightning, thunder and rain is back again! (oh, and new reviews, but you already knew that, right?)

The lovely TG is off seeing Bob Dylan tonight, so I've been forced to revert to my bachelor ways. After coming home from work, I went and exercised, then came home and made myself some supper. Ryan stopped by just as I finished it up (along with a phonecall to my Grandma) and we had a good conversation about our music, other peoples music, and life in general. As he was leaving, we sat in the driveway petting the neighbor cat and watched as a bat flew overhead and lightning moved steadily closer. After he went home (to avoid rain), I retreated to my basement lair and worked on some writing, tinkered with our music a bit (and morphed a track we just started into something fairly cool I think), and read a bit. Lightning cracked in the background for over two hours, but every time I went upstairs to refill my water, not a drop had fell from the sky.

Now that's all changed and the rain is coming down in sheets and the lightning is flashing every few seconds. After a two-month stint of very little rain at all, we've had at least trace amounts for the past 4 or 5 days in a row. Hopefully it's enough to give the crops at least a partial boost that they desperately need. No more water restrictions would be nice, too.

It's really strange how much difference a single hour of sleep in one night can make. While I usually average about 6 (give or take 15 minutes) hours of sleep a night, last night I got about 7 and felt very lively all day. Even about the time that I usually have my post-work lull (usually fighting off the urge to nap when I get home), today I was feeling pretty darn good. Maybe that's a sign I should be getting more sleep, but honestly I'd rather be reading or trying to get something done most of the time that I probably should be sleeping. If there were a pill that I could take and get only an hour or two of sleep per night (and feel rested the next day), I'd probably do it, if only to accomplish even more things that I have to put aside during waking hours. I want to live to be 100 years old and either be taking in information or creating something with a majority of that time. Whether it means anything to anyone other than myself isn't really the point (and everytime I get caught up trying to satisfy other people with my work, art, music, I simply lose focus and seem to be doing it for the wrong reason), but at the very least I can hope and hope that what I've done has helped someone or made them a little happy along the way.

Wow, I started out talking about a night's sleep and somehow segued into pondering my place in this world. Maybe I'm delusional.

Jason says some words today that I can totally relate to (and we've in fact discussed just such things when talking about our respective sites). To some people, I can see how he may come across as being a bit elitist, but that's not what it's about. Since we both have personal sites, we really don't have any obligation to anyone (neither of us run ads or have shareholders), so it makes sense that we'd just want to promote the CDs that we enjoy. At times we've gotten together and discussed music, and I know that he has a big time love for it. Of course, we've also discussed some of the worst music we've gotten. I've had awesome discussions with readers of my site and even musicians that I've reviewed, and that's what it's all about baby- THE MUSIC!

In adding to what he said, one way that I've always viewed the review section of my site is as just a sub-section of a much larger personal site. While it's technically the section that gets the most traffic in regards to sheer numbers, it isn't really the one that I'm most proud of in terms of my own creativity. While I have a lot of fun doing it (obviously, otherwise I'd simply stop), the review is inherently something that is already based on something else (in this case, a music release). While I try to exercise a bit of creativity in writing them (without trying to veer too far off-course), I'm always slightly stifled by the source material. That last statement may sound like I'm complaining, and I'm really not. Instead, I'll just say that I'm much more proud of the writing that I've done in other sections of the site and leave it at that. Hell, I'm happy that anyone stops by at all.

Last night was spent up too late (early?), so I'm hitting the hay at a good time tonight and trying to start the week off fresh (with a new self-made haircut). Cheesh!

Had a little mini-music get-together this evening with Elastic Aaron and we resusitated an old track and turned it into a gem (or at least we think). At any rate, it was a darn fun practice, if only for the cinammon graham crackers, the wine and Leine's, and the scratchy mews of a kitten.

Oh yeah, the last part. I'm kitty-sitting a little bag-of-bones adopted kitten for my brother. He found it in his work parking lot, and it's a friendly little thing, but needs to put on some weight. Here's a picture of it scrambling up my torso and looking to find a perch on my shoulders.

no name cute kitten

After getting home from watching some bands play in Jason's basement (viva A Dim Halo!), I felt like just chilling out for awhile and watching something or the other on DVD. Ended up putting in The Wild Bunch (which I'd started months ago and somehow shelved) and watched the end of it. If you haven't seen it before, let me just tell you that it's probably one of the craziest westerns ever filmed. There are literally no good guys to root for in the film, only varying shades of grey. The main group (after which the movie is named) basically make up their own rules as they go in order to pull their heist and survive. It's one of those older films that is stunning in technique and how much the filmmakers got away with for the time that it was released (1969). The end scene is what a lot of people end up talking about, and rightly so. It's one of the more bloody scenes that I've ever seen put to film, even nearly 35 years later, with a body count that rivals early John Woo films. At 144 minutes, it definitely runs a bit long (although some people still consider it _the_ quintisential western), but I'm glad I finally got through it.

Worked on the music again tonight with the band, and just sort of kicked around ideas. Mixed down a couple tracks and decided that we will indeed not mess with them anymore, as well as made some additions to a track which was lacking a bit, but now is completely beautiful (think we found the definite album closer as well). Although we're all obviously wanting to put something out, I think one of the key things is that we haven't set a date for ourselves. We're all pretty laid-back about things, and although we're not going to go the route of working on things until we've beat them to death, we realize that it's not like the world is waiting with baited breath, so we can take our time a bit and be more choosy.

Finally, some completely random links for your enjoyment. As always, new reviews. Too bad the pictures are down on this auction. Robert Rodriguez is a true film renaissance man, and this is an excellent interview with him. Oh, and finally, this is a freaking great article about smart kids ripping off casinos. Zing!

I've gotten back into the rollerblading pretty heavily lately, so after taking a couple days off, I was anxious to get out again tonight and exercise. The weather was much nicer than it had been (less hot and humid), and the going was great. Just before I left tonight, I was picking up the paper in the living room and happened to glance at the opinion section from last Sundays paper. In it, a girl had written a letter that basically ripped on a rollerblader for his bad habits on the bike trail (crowding people, passing without heads-up, etc), calling him "bike trail bully." The funny thing is, that I know exactly who she was talking about from my experience on the bike trails, and I had my own nickname for him ("hardcore skate asshole"). Although we have some of the same things in common (we both move relatively quickly and both skate with armweights), I try to be very courteous and aware of everyone around me, whereas he just acts like he owns the trails and anyone else on them should yield to him. I hoped that when I went out, nobody would mistake me for him, and was consciously smiling and nodding at people just in case.

Over the course of the past year or so, the proliferation of chatboards, personal blogs, and liberal swiping of graphics have really put the hit on a lot of people that have websites. Since nearly everybody who's posted on the internet in some form (website/blog/ebay/messageboard) knows how to make an image link (and messageboards and even other self-publishing sites make it so inherently easy), there are many people who simply copy code and therefore steal bandwidth instead of making a copy of an image to use for themselves (which is still stealing of another sort). After reading about some code to fix the problem, I finally think I figured it out today, so I'm going to try to implement it within the rest of my site where I was having problems. While it hadn't yet become an issue that I noticed in my pocketbook, the rate that it was progressing means that it possibly could have been within time if I didn't put some sort of access restrictions in place. Sorry if all of the above sounds like a bunch of geekspeak, but it always makes me feel a little nerdy to figure something out like that, even if it's as easy as creating a .htaccess file for my site. I'm such a low-level geek.

Standing in the kitchen making eggplant parmesan, and every time the sky rumbled we both laughed like silly little schoolchildren. Nearly all the windows in the house were open by this time, and curtains blew in nearly every direction, drifting the scent of the outside rain and cooked foods throughout the upstairs. I made an excuse to go outside and stand in it, as I usually do. I wanted to yell, "bring it on!" hoping that it would just storm harder and harder (the dry summer perhaps inspring this last part), but I held myself back and we got a decent little amount in the end anyway.

When we moved into the house we're renting, we found an old tennis ball laying in the bushes near the house. For some reason, I stuck it in the crook of a tree, where it stayed for a couple months. TG then took it out of that crook a couple days back and was bouncing it on the pavement as she walked around to the back of the house while watering the lawn one night, where she then deposited said tennis ball on a table that sits on our back patio. Yesterday, I came outside the house to again find squirrels messing around in our garden, one with a tomato in his grubby little paws. Usually, I just storm after them and throw a stick or twig of some sort, but the tennis ball caught my eye and I picked it up while moving steathily toward the now-suspecting squirrel. When I got within 20 feet, I wound up and threw a nice mid-speed pitch right at him, hitting him in the side and knocking him off balance (and the tomato out of his arms), after which he scrambled all willy-nilly up the closest tree and sat on a branch chattering at me. It was at this same time that a rabbit came running out from under another tomato plant (infestation!), and I retrieved the ball quickly and clocked another quick throw, which only missed him by a couple inches before bouncing off into the bushes. He took off running past our neighbors yard and into one two houses down.

While it's perhaps a bit mean, I think that the ratty tennis ball solution might be the best in trying to keep the animals out of the yard. For awhile, I was thinking about getting a BB gun to zing them with, but I felt bad knowing that I might actually hurt them, and even though they annoy me I don't want to have the blood of some poor little creature on my hands. I think that even if I happen to hit an animal with the old tennis ball, it will at worst case stun them for a few moments, and most likely just scare them. Sure, both a rabbit and squirrel only have a collective long-term memory of probably 5 minutes, but I think there's something to be said for a bit of Pavlovian training in the area of keeping them out of the garden. If they're always suspecting that a lumbering giant will throw a big yellow object at them at high rates of velocity, maybe they'll decide to forage for food elsewhere. It's not the best picture (damn that backlighting!), but the one below features one of the little bastard squirrels sitting in the crook of a tree eating a green tomato he has stolen before it reached its prime. See what we have to deal with?

Soon after this picture was taken, an old tennis ball zoomed by his head

Sheesh. Last month, I had quite a few pictures in this daily section, and it's already a third of the way through the month and things are rather visually absent. It's not that nothing has been happening, it's just that I've been neglecting the digital camera (as well as the analog) this month so far. It's weird, because I try to take my regular camera with me nearly every place I go (even going so far as carrying it in my small bike rack bag every day on the commute to work), but I think my problem is that I've travelled the path so many times that I feel there's nothing new for me to look at. What I forget is that I could probably easily shoot a good roll of pictures on the way to work in the morning, as the dawn light creeps across buildings and through the leaves above me. I'm lazy, taking things for granted, or maybe all of the above, and I need to get out of that mindset.

I had a crazy media week, which was good. Lots of new things to listen to, and I found Donnie Darko used on DVD last night. I first saw it a couple months ago and enjoyed the hell out of it, so I decided to add it to my collection. Also picked up the now out-of-print (probably forever) Ceefax release by Fridge, which completed my collection for them, and an excellent new upcoming compilation on the Morr Music label that is really nice and features unreleased tracks by Mum, Manual, Lali Puna, members of Notwist, and lots of other people.

Also, it was my step-fathers birthday last night, and I went out to the family farm and had a really tasty dinner and some good conversation as usual. My parents garden is absolutely huge, and my mom wouldn't let me leave without taking some green peppers, chili peppers, banana peppers, and fresh tomatoes. Fresh produce rules. And happy birthday Ken! (even though I doubt he reads this site).

While I was out rollerblading again this evening (10 miles!), I realized again why I enjoy it so much. I was heading toward home on a rather smooth, straight stretch of the trail with a moderate wind behind me and I realized that in gliding along inches above the ground at a high rate of speed is how I move when running in my dreams. While there are dreams in which my feet feel as heavy as lead (usually at the most inopportune times), most of the time I'm able to zoom along with little effort, leaning into corners and jumping 10 stairs at a time. While I obviously can't do the latter when I'm rollerblading, the times at which I'm moving very quickly with precision give me that little dreamlike rush as if the two worlds blur into one another. I know that sounds like just about the cheesiest thing in the world, but I'd almost be willing to bet that there's a subconcious connection like that for a lot of people who do different high-speed activities. I might be full of it, though.

I had a super busy week, but it didn't stop me from doing 6 new reviews. Quite a few obscurities, but definitely some enjoyable stuff as well.

After a several month hiatus, I finally got out the rollerblades this evening and went for some exercise after work. Although we live pretty close to the start of a bike trail, it has a rather rough surface, so I've been sort of scouting a path to the bike trail for some time now, always giving myself excuses as to why I can't get out. Tonight, I finally felt the pull enough, and strapped on the old skates and went out. Getting to the smooth trail proved to be sort of difficult, but I think I discovered a good enough route for upcoming trips. It was quite hot when I went (probably about 94) and I wanted to ease into things on the first night, so I only went about 5 miles, but it felt really good. Surprisingly, I was able to keep a really good pace, and even passed a couple people on bikes. Although I didn't think it would make much of a difference, biking to work nearly every day has definitely at least kept me in a minimal state of health it seems. Still, it's my goal to get back into rollerblading groove and even better shape. It's going to involve a bit more time management on my part, but it will definitely be worth it.

Oh, and a new scar story after several months of inactivity.

TG and I walked to the local grocery store this evening to pick up a couple things, and I noticed that one of the girls who works there (roughly high-school age) had a guy friend there talking to her. He was being loud and obnoxious in the ways that not-so-subtle high-school guys are when they're obviously flirting, but I didn't really think much of it and we made our rounds.

As we came around a corner to the backside of the store, I could see the same girl through a small door window of one of the back storerooms, and just as we walked closer to the door, the same obnoxious fellow jumped out and yelled "yee-haw!" rather loudly. On this particular trip to the store, I was wearing my straw cowboy hat, and as I looked at him, I wasn't sure whether he was trying to poke fun at me and my hat, or whether he'd just happened to jump out of the back door at the same moment I was walking by. It was probably the former, but regardless I was annoyed and showed such by giving him a bit of an evil glare as he looked up just after yelling. Although we weren't in the store for that much longer, he avoided eye contact with me, and went back to his obnoxious flirting by tossing cucumbers in the weigh scale of the produce section.

I hinted at it on the first day of the month, but the sad truth has finally arrived in that I've killed off the Photo Trust Project. The truth is that it's basically been limping along for the past year as limbs fall off and by the wayside, and it was simply bugging me to even see it day after day. At any rate, it's one less thing for me to worry about, even though I flushed about 150 dollars down the drain with my little "project." As a last ditch effort, I put out a call for the cameras in hopes that I can get at least one or two of them back and re-distribute them among friends I can keep a close eye on. You win some and you lose some, and this time I was a loser. Zing!

Spent a lot of the day just getting little things done that I'd been putting off. Cleaned the office, fiddled around with the new laptop some more (very close to getting it as the dedicated music machine) and did some laundry. Even though I just took a day off on Friday, I feel like I'm just an eyetooth away from falling behind on several different things. My energy is all spread around working on many different projects simultaneously, and although that's a good thing, my mindset is such that I feel guilty if I'm not working on something/anything. Must read, write, make music, take pictures, bike, garden, clean, or cook. Such is modern life, I guess. At least I'm not piddling away hours watching television.

Even though he went up the hill with Jill, and that all work and no play makes him a dull boy, I don't really know Jack.

As the latest in the long line of somewhat strange bedtime reading, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War was an excellent book about how far biological warfare has come over the course of the past 70 years or so. Some of it was truly chilling, knowing that scientists had created an engineered germ which basically instructed a human immune system to destroy itself, as well as the flimsy record keeping and other general gross overlooks from both the former Soviet Union and the United States in regards to germ testing. Without being too alarmist, it went into detail about what kinds of things have been produced (unbelievably contagious and deadly), how much had been produced (staggering amounts), and what sort of defenses are in place to stop the spread of something if an attack should occur (not very much). It would be easy to get seriously freaked out from reading the book, especially considering many top advisors in the country seem to really like the phrase, "not if, but when" in referring to a germ attack, but I tried not to let myself (alhtough the bleak future in 12 Monkeys came to mind more than once). After all, people have been living in a world with thousands of nuclear weapons for a long time, and hopefully for a lot longer. As a human race, it seems like one of our main goals it to see how many ways we can make ourselves extinct.

Yeah, I just got done saying how busy I was lately, and then I go and take the day off from work today to just kick it around. Instead of relaxing, though, TG and I were out for nearly the entire day for a trip to Omaha. We basically just ran around in the lovely weather (dropped into the mid-80s for the first time in forever) and did a little thrifting, a little music store shopping, and a little antique gazing. I had to hold myself back from buying a really sweet used Rhodes Keyboard, though. Holy crap was it cool, but I can barely play the keyboard and I don't really have the money in my budget right now so it's not like I need another one, right? Uh...

Anyway, after the Omaha trip, we came home and rented The Devil's Backbone, and it was easily the best movie that I've seen in a long, long time. Part ghost story, part coming of age, and partially just a reflection on life, emotions, and human interaction that took place during the Spanish Civil War, it was a beautiful film from Guillermo del Toro (whom I'd sort of written off after the slightly hokey Mimic). Pretty much everything about the film was great, from the acting to the cinematography to the range of feelings that it conveyed. It's a movie in which you'll be creeped-out one minute, genuinely nervous 10 minutes later, and sad after that, with many fine layers in between. Seriously, go rent it or even buy it, you won't regret it. If you do, you can tell me about it later.

Last month was one of my busiest ever in terms of just about every aspect of my life. I think I averaged about 6 hours of sleep a night for the entire month, but I did end up getting a lot of things done. Looking at the very basics of my site, I noticed that I also wrote a lot more than any previous month. Naturally, my question is whether I was writing more because I was busy, or whether writing more actually factored into me being more busy... Since I really never put a whole lot of thought into my entries, I'm guessing it's the former unfortunately. My goal is to get even more done this month, although I shouldn't neglect my sleep so much

Starting off the month on a strong foot, though, I have both new photos up as well as the usual new reviews. We also started yet another new song tonight at practice. Are we crazy or what? For those paying attention, I'm going to be announcing the demise of one section of my site soon. It's a bit sad, but nonetheless necessary.

Friends &

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