Archive for October, 2005

October-November Romance

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

Saturday I played at my friend Amy Bennett’s wedding. For her processional she wanted “If You Want to Sing Out” by Cat Stevens from the movie Harold and Maude. I had never heard the song, so Jason let me borrow the DVD and wow, what a perfect song and movie. I love discovering older stuff that I never know about; it’s an increasingly rare occurrence for me, having been sired by a man who has more movie posters than wall space.

The song was easy enough, but I wrote out an EZ-baroque counterpoint version of it to make it more…matrimonial? It worked out well. Interestingly enough, Amy is marrying a guitar player. David Planchet is his name, and he brought his ’62 Gibson to the wedding with him. His groom’s cake was an exact replica of that guitar. I can’t tell you how detailed this cake was. Tragically I left my camera at home, but I took a pic with the crusty trusty camera phone.

Come back later and I’ll have the contact information for the sculptress who created this magical thing. I ate the headstock. I almost didn’t want to. The Gibson logo was perfectly rendered, the frets accurate, the tuning pegs made with toothpicks, and the piece de resistance…a pitch-accurate lead sheet of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” made out of icing!

Also Saturday was Hillcrest’s annual Harvest Fest. I ran into an old high school chum who’s running for State Treasurer. Vote for Mac Campbell. My friend Hal did his website. What a weird world I’m moving into when the guy who might be State Treasurer was the guy who ran Spanish Club, and the company that did his website is run by the guy with whom I used to watch WWF and listen to Ray Stevens tunes.

This Saturday is my brother Trey’s wedding. So this week promises to be even more surreal than the last.

The Darning of the Sox

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

Slate had a fun article on why the White Sox and Red Sox have an “x” in their names. The piece contains links to some interesting stories about late 19th/early 20th century spelling reformists who wanted to simplify the English language. Sadly, they failed, and schoolchildren get their first taste of the breakdown of logical standards by first grade. And as if the indeterminacy of standards weren’t bad enough, wait until they find out about the indeterminacy of rules.[1]

In other news, here’s a picture from Tara’s reunion. It felt like prom, but with good wine instead of cheap beer. And I have better hair now.

Tara, will you marry me?

And to all you lurkers out there who didn’t offer opinions on my last post…you pansies. I know you’re out there; some of you have emailed me. People from Harrison, people from Arkansas Times, the doctor that works with Jessica. Go give me your opinion on the restaurant question. I need to know what y’all think.

And another thing. Check out Shelley Raymond. She’s really good. She’s a friend of a friend.

1.) Fortunately for them, they probably never will. I was surprised to find that searching Google for “wittgenstein ‘indeterminacy of rules’ chair” brought up only two websites. I thought Wittgenstein’s example of the Chair Problem was an elementary philosophical conundrum. Of course, my philosophy professor was John Churchill, the Teddy Roosevelt of Philosophical Inquiry, so it’s hard for me to know what everyone else was taught in Intro to Philosophy.

Help Me Out Here

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

My neighbors want the restaurant next door to my house to abide by zoning restrictions that say it can only have so many seats and can only stay open until 6:30. The restaurant’s owner wants to extend the zoning to add more seats and stay open until 9:00. Several of my neighbors just don’t like the restaurant because they think it negatively affects property values and clogs up traffic on the street. Also, the dumpster is an issue. So they don’t want to give the place an inch. Personally I like the restaurant, and I think 6:30 would hinder them financially, plus I might actually want to eat there around 6:30. So far, patrons have been good about parking on the wider street of Woodlawn rather than the narrow Tyler that most of the neighbors live on, and I don’t smell anything from the dumpster.

My question to you is, do think having a restaurant in a residentially zoned neighborhood would affect property values negatively? Am I the only person that finds it charming and actually a plus? Would you be more or less likely to buy a house near a small restaurant? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

All you lurkers out there who don’t actually know me, chime in. I know you’re out there. Help a brother out.

Please Sir, May I Have Some More?

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Hot on the heels of the batch of pictures from last week, here are some new pictures taken over my four-state jaunt last weekend.

Tara pointed out to me recently that I don’t tend to take pictures of people. She’s right[1], and I’m trying to figure out why that is. Lord knows I met some interesting characters last weekend. I guess I just don’t want to bother people to take their picture, and whatever peculiar joy I get from taking pictures rarely arises from posed, smiling[2] shots. I’m still trying to figure out what sparks the “ooh grab the camera” reaction in my head. Looking through my pictures, the one recurring theme is that my subjects either seem odd (weird signs), or one-time-only (cloud formations). Maybe I shouldn’t think about the impulse too much. I might lose it.

1.) Actually the only times I like to take pictures of people are when they’re not aware I’m doing it.
2.) Read: Fake

Tennessee State of Mind

Monday, October 24th, 2005

The Superflux crew drove to Nashville last weekend to play a benefit for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. This benefit was better planned and organized than previous ones we’ve played, but the fatal miscalculation this time was the assumption that, once the activities are over, people would stay for the band. There was a small car show, karate demonstrations, door prizes, and a kid going for a world record of kicks-per-hour (over 2,000). We were slated to go on after all the trophies had been handed out, as we were ostensibly the headliner. But the already small crowd only grew smaller, so we had very few people in the audience. We played a few songs and called it a night. An air of Spinal Tap hung about us.

Immediately afterward I drove to Huntsville, Alabama to attend Amy’s geek-a-thon birthday bash. It mostly consisted of heavy drinking, Eddie Izzard DVDs, and cartoons. It was great. Sunday morning we watched cartoons and ate pancakes. It was how life should be.

On the drive over I realized something. Given that migrating birds fly in a V formation because it cuts down on wind resistance, we can see Nature taking the path of least resistance, yet the outcome is organization. Most of the time the path of least resistance is synonymous with entropy, the tendency to disorganize. Can you think of any other examples of the path of least resistance creating structure rather than destroying it?

Wisdom

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

This thought just popped into my head:

The universe is mostly nothingness. That should make anything else a pleasant surprise.

Really, the fact that life exists at all should be reflected upon often. Unless your life is one of constant excruciating pain, then existence is preferable to nonexistence. If you expected more, then you watched too much television as a child.

Party Like It’s 29

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

That title will make more sense after you read Amy’s latest blog entry. Today is her birthday, and she’s having a vast geek-massing party this weekend at her fortified suburban compound in Huntsville, Abalammy. Conveniently, I’m playing in Nashville Saturday night, a mere 2 hours away. So naturally it would behoove me to attend, as my orbit so rarely takes me to such a perigee. I haven’t been out there since the infamous Sub-Appalachian Road Trip of 2001. Yay karma.

Plog Update

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Lots of new photos in the plog, backed up from the last couple of months. A wide array of Arkansas is covered: Harrison, Bryant, Damascus, Arkadelphia, and of course the State Fair.

“10 Years, Man!”*

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Once again, decade awareness sets in, as last weekend I went to Tara‘s 10 year high school reunion in Arkadelphia. I guess she just wanted some backup, so she invited me. Initially we thought we should go in there and make up stories about our lives, but Tara is a horrible liar so we abandoned that idea. It was interesting to watch such a gathering from a distance. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t at least use a fake Scottish accent for the evening.

The attire was “dressy casual,” the meaning of which Tara and I spent far too long debating. Pictures hopefuly soon. We were dressed just a bit better than most of the people there. Initially our plan was to head back to Little Rock after the event, but her mom pulled rank, so Tara stayed in Arkadelphia. I was hoping to have all of Sunday for us to play. We did get to have some brief fun Friday night; I made dinner and we looked at each other’s yearbooks and photo albums. We were supposed to go to the State Fair, but Tara missed her flight and didn’t get in until 10 or so.

Anyway, with nothing to do on Sunday I was a little mopey, so I called Heather and we went to see Domino. If Keira Knightly playing a gun-toting badass doesn’t lift a man’s spirits, I don’t know what will. This movie represents everything that is wrong with American culture, so naturally it was great. Someone in the film refers to a “ferret on crystal meth,” which is actually a pretty accurate description of the movie itself.

* Are you happy now, Josh?

Updates at Google Maps

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Last time I checked Google Maps, they were pretty crusty over Europe, but now they’ve definitely improved. Although still without street maps or any kind of text references, the satellite photos of Paris and London are pretty neat. That London link shows St. Dunstan’s, the church featured on the last day of the UK Travelogue.

Something else to check out – the renovation of Battersea Power Station (sans roof). Pink Floyd might recognize it.

Also I realized I hadn’t checked out San Francisco. If you click that link, be aware that I walked from the upper right of your screen to the lower left. Sometimes I impress even myself.