Monday, July 28, 2008

Ahmadinejad is SO over nuclear weapons

Courtesy of Mark Halperin at The Page:

Ahmadinejad also says repeatedly his country is not developing a bomb, and says “nuclear weapons are so 20th century.”
This quote comes from Brian Williams' interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad airing tonight on NBC.

Is this really a translation of what Ahmadinejad said? "So 20th century?" If so, that's hilarious.

Are we channeling the spirit of The Hills girls in our discussions of nuclear armament? Or perhaps Chandler from Friends.... Oh, I'm that Friends reference "so 1997"?

As soon as I read this statement, I emailed my husband. I have to print his response email because I thought it was too funny not to share with my reader(s). Here's the conversation:

"Ahmadinejad also says repeatedly his country is not developing a bomb, and says 'nuclear weapons are so 20th century.'" (from Time magazine's "ThePage" politics page)

Do you really think that translated to "so 20th century"???
If so, that's freakin hilarious.

That is really funny…and he’s right…they are so 20th century. In fact, I think I saw Michael Ian Black making fun of them on VH1’s "I love the Cold War."

"I Love the Cold War"....I'd totally watch that one, but I hear Ahmadinejad is so over nostalgic VH1 clip-shows.

Here's a link to the actual NBC interview if you want to see the whole thing.

Warning: Vegetarians Please Do Not Press 'Play'

A meat commercial from Estonia in the 1980s. It's AWESOME.

Now, I eat meat. I love meat, actually. I,too, think everything tastes better with bacon. (Well, almost everything.) However, after this video, I think I'll just have a salad for lunch.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Man of the Week: Nas

This week the activist group Color of Change attempted to deliver a petition to Fox News headquarters that demanded that Fox end its continued use of racist and sexist slurs, especially with regard but not limited to Obama and his presidential bid.

Rapper Nas stood on a podium made up of the 620,127 signed petitions (my name is on one of those sheets of paper) outside of Fox HQ and made his pitch to Fox to "man up" and accept the petition. "Faux News" did not acknowledge the protest, but lo and behold -- Stephen Colbert did, as he invited Nas onto his show The Colbert Report on Wednesday, July 23rd.

Stephen, of course, began his segment with his usual satirical take on the whole petition and the"Of Course Fox isn't racist! bit" by showing clip after clip of evidence supporting the claims. ("Barack's 'Baby Mama'" anyone??) He then had a great interview with Nas, in which the rapper recounted his ongoing feud with Fox Host Bill O'Reilly. Nas made great points about the violence in rap/hip-hop lyrics and the importance of questioning the actual origins of such violence. He described violent lyrics as a symptom of a greater violence problem rather than the scapegoat cause of violence -- a theory to which O'Reilly subscribes. I encourage you to check out the video of the interview or watch the re-run sometime this weekend. It really was great.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with the video of Nas' performance at the close of the show. He wins my "Balls of the Week" award for this verbal assault on Rupert Murdoch's empire and the Comcasts of the world. It's a balls-to-the-wall, no-holds-barred teardown of everything from Fox & Friends to the NY Post to Myspace and on down the line. It's beautiful and spot on. Kudos my friend. Nas, you're my hero of the week. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Slacker Numero Uno

I have been remiss in my blog-posting duties. I apologize to anyone who keeps checking back to see if I've written anything new. Especially, in regard to the European Obamapalooza....shouldn't I have lots to say with reagard to that trip? Sure I do. The only problem is that I've been overwhelmed by a lot of things in my life right now, and blogging seems like a chore rather than a pleasure or form of stress-relief.

I really appreciate the few of you who do check in, and I urge you to stay tuned. I will try to update more frequently soon. In the meantime, I added a subscribe feature so you can add my RSS feed and see as soon as a post has (finally) been added. That might save you the hassle of meandering over here to "TGPN" only to find the same o', same ol'.

You can also add me on Facebook, if you haven't already. I was forced over there by friends and my brother, so there you have it -- I'm a late adopter on that one. Peer pressure, yadda, yadda, yadda...

Stay tuned....the good part's next. Promise. ("Crossies" may or may not be behind my back right now.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A thing to do - My Version

My friend over at Living in Misery posted his version of this list a week ago and challenged other bloggers to do the same. It's taken me awhile, but I accept the challenge. He posted his favorite albums from every year he's been alive -- and while his list was a few albums longer than mine (snark), it was a great list. I encourage you to check it out. While you're there, follow the links to the Gorilla v. Bear post where you'll find another great list.

These lists are a great tool to not only understanding the"DNA-like" make-up of one's musical tastes, but they also are a great" go-to" reference to remind you of albums in need of a "dust off" & a fresh listen. They can also point you to an album you should own but don't, and even an album you should at least know and don't. I hope my list is as insightful as the other two I mentioned, and I encourage you to follow my fellow bloggers' lead and post your own.

Here goes!
1977: Iggy Pop "Lust for Life"
I know, you get sick of hearing the title track in those cruise line commercials. However, it's a great album & you can't deny it's lasting effect on modern rock.

1978: Buzzcocks "Love Bites"

A great pop-punk classic. Plus, you have to wonder if the title inspired the 1994 film Reality Bites.
1979: Ramones "End of Century"
(there's a bit of a toss-up over whether this is a 1980 release or not)
I have to include this album for many reasons, but most recently because it played a bit part in (but lasting memory of) my wedding. I had my DJ play a lot of Ramones for my reception (party), and I ended up ripping the bustle on my wedding dress while dancing to "Rock & Roll High School" with my Dad. How cool is that? That was one of my favorite memories of my wedding day.

1980: The B-52s "Wild Planet"
The greatest party band of all-time. And everyone loves a party.

1981: Joan Jett & the Blackhears "Bad Reputation"
Joan Jett paved the way for so many other female rockers of the next two decades. (Many of whom you'll find on this list.)

1982: Michael Jackson "Thriller"
How can I not include "Thriller?" I LOVED this album as a kid....the whole thing. A-side to B-side. C-side to D-side. I actually own it on Vinyl now. For the levels of craziness that make up "Michael Jackson" now, he topped those levels in sheer, musical talent throughout his earlier life.

1983: U2 "War"
I couldn't do this list without adding at least one U2 album. The mix of politics, religion, and great pop music merge into one on each U2 effort, and I feel that's something that pop/rock music of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s is greatly lacking. So much pop/rock music of the 1960s had great, overarching socio-political messages. Yet, in the past two decades the only place you could hear such powerful messages was in hip-hop and rap. U2 was the most creative outlet on the pop/rock side doing the same thing. It's only natural that I was drawn to the social gospel aspect of U2's lyrics, and the music wasn't so bad either.

1984: Run DMC "Run DMC"
I wasn't really encouraged to listen to rap music at the tender age of 7, but I have to include this Run DMC album because of its influence on later artists & my later love of a lot of underground/indie hip-hop.

1985: Big Black "Atomizer"
Big Black is on here because I couldn't squeeze Shellac's "At Action Park" album in at the 1994 slot. Big Black wasn't Steve Albini's first band, but it was the major predecessor to Shellac. Albini is an infamous engineer (don't ever call him a producer), and worked with more bands/artists than I can name. His current band Shellac is one of my favorites, and it helped shaped my love of "angular" music. I'm usually only one of 10 or 11 girls at a Shellac live show, which I never quite understood. It's not just a "man's band." However, it's not music for the light listener. Seeing Albini at work on stage is like watching a mad scientist of sound. It's magical. It hurts. It's marvelous. It's treacherous. I love it.

1986: Squirrel Bait "Kid Dynamite"
This album is on here, not because it's good -- it's teenagers from KY playing punk rock -- but because this band led to so many other incredibly important bands in my life...Slint, King Kong, Bitch Magnet, Gast del Sol, the Lemonheads, Palace , etc. Then you can trace the genealogical lines to so many other indie bands of the 1990s and 2000s. I used to be able to spout off the family tree connections at the drop of a hat, but old age and fried brain cells have gotten the best of me. I lost a lot of my indie rock trivia chops, but I still know how important this album was/is.

1987: Guns N Roses "Appetite for Destruction"
Oh gosh...what to say? Well, this was my first real die-hard crush on a rock band. I LOVED GNR. I had "Sweet Child O' Mine" on 7-inch. I watched the "Paradise City" (and the white leather jumpsuit) video over and over. I swore for years that I would dance to "Sweet Child" at my wedding (and I did). I married a guy who love GNR even more (WAY WAY MORE) than me. I won him over by giving him a pewter GNR belt buckle, bought on eBay. He knew I was the one after that. It was a match made in white-trash rock heaven.

1988: The Pixies "Surfer Rosa"
Songs from this album became my and my college friends calling card on jukeboxes throughout Columbus. We entered a bar; the Pixies came on the jukebox. I've played many a game of pool with "Gigantic" playing in the background. This album takes me right back to my college days.

1989: Slint "Tweez"
Enter the Louisville legacy. This band was the tipping point for 1990s indie rock. I can't even explain how important Slint is. If you don't get it, you won't get it. If you're an indie rocker from Louisville, KY, it's in your blood and it always will be. This album is great.

1990: They Might Be Giants "Flood"
Between 1991 and 1994, I listened to album regularly, and it cemented my love for eclectic pop. I actually discovered it on a church youth retreat because Presbyterians are a bit wacky & love line-dancing to REM, Dr Demento and TMBG. (Hippies!!!) If you're really lucky & I'm feeling particularly nostalgic I'll do the "Camel Dance" to "Istanbul (not Constantinople)." That is, if you're really lucky...

1991: Nirvana "Nevermind"
This album came out at the most perfect time in my life. I had just turned 14, started to feel rebellious, but was not the type of girl who rebelled outwardly. So this album (played loudly on my Walkman) took me to a world in my head where I could be what I want/say what I want/look the way I want. In reality, I was still in my shell, but with this album I was somewhere else. I can listen to this album in full today, and it STILL says all those things to me. It never lost its luster. It still takes me away. And I still crank it up to 11.

1992: Uncle Tupelo "March 16-20, 1992"
This album is probably the polar opposite of "Nevermind." This is one definitely one of my top albums of all time. While Nirvana takes me forward, rebelling from what I am. This UT album takes me backward to remind me of where I'm from. It's a reflective album, a quiet album, and it too never lost its luster.

1993: Liz Phair "Exile in Guyville"
This one became important to me in 1997. I was floundering between roles of girl/woman, girl/friend, girl/girlfriend, and this album spoke to everything I was feeling. "The Divorce Song" and "Mesmerizing" were particularly important in dealing with (or not dealing with) the dude that consistently broke my heart over the course of 3 years.

1994: Rodan "Rusty"
The album that was equivolent to the best one-night-stand (or "one-CD"-stand) of all time.
This album finally broke me out of my shell, formed who I would be, shaped my musical tastes from then on out, developed my ears as a musician, let the Louisville indie rock blood flow freely through my veins, added attitude to my passion for music, and so much more.
[Sidenote: I actually have had at least 3 guys who have "showed me their copies of" this album, I guess, in the hopes of "woo-ing" me, shall we say? I will tell you that does NOT (always) work, and that I am happily married now -- so please, no one "show me their Rodan" anymore.]

1995: Pavement "Wowee Zowee"
The soundtrack to the summer after high school. My favorite Pavement album (sorry, S&E and CR/CR fans!). It still sounds like summer & brings back fond memories with every listen.

1996: Rachels "Music for Egon Schiele" and "Full on Bells"
Both of these Rachels albums helped form my musical compositions. You can hear their influence in my composition projects from Music Theory I through IV. Plus, they opened the ears of many an indie and punk rocker to more sophisticated music. As my then-boyfriend once observed at a Rachels' show, "I've never heard a roomful of punkrockers so quiet"....and they were digging it, too. A classical chamber orchestra never seamed like an appropriate opener for Fugazi, until the Rachels came along.

1997: Built to Spill "Perfect From Now On," and Modest Mouse "Lonesome Crowded West"
This one's a tie because I couldn't pick between the two. "Perfect From Now On" played over and over on my stereo 1998-2000, and is one of my all time favorites. The most-perfect moment on that album is the 4:20 marker on track 7. Listen and melt.

The Modest Mouse album marks all of my fondest memories of college. It reminds me of roadtrips, memorable shows, fun parties, mixtapes in J Dehass' car, and on and on. It equals good times and good friends.

1998: Sunny Day Real Estate "How It Feels To Be Something On"
This album picked me up when I was down. It's beautiful, anthemic and soothing. Greatest reunion album ever.

1999: Juno "This Is The Way It Goes and Goes and Goes"
This album saved my life in 2000. It's probably tied for my 3rd favorite album of all time. In late-2000/early-2001 I was stuck in a massive self pity-party (after a broken wedding-engagement, a 2nd breakup, an unhappiness at my job, with my friends), and I didn't know where to go or what to do. Listening to this album over and over, woke me up, kicked my butt, and made me realize I was doing it all to myself. "January Arms" (track 6) is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, and when blared from my car radio had the ability to shake me out of despair. "A black hole by nature know there's something better. You know there's something better. ...I can't waste my life waiting for you to come alive."

2000: PJ Harvey "Stories From the City, Stories from the Sea"
This album makes me feel like a powerful, soulful woman. Love it. For all of the guy-centered/fronted bands I listen to, it's nice to go back to an album with a real woman delivering a real woman's message -- and rocks while delivering it.

2001: Juno "A Future Lived in Past Tense," and Les Savy Fav "Go Forth"
Juno again....I don't know of a more wonderfully-indulgent band than Juno. The onslaught of three guitars in one band is usually over-indulgent, but not here. This is just mindblowingly "straight TO the top" without going "over the top." Tracks to make you melt: the 3:54 marker on track 9, and all of track 6. Track 3 and 4 are triumphant rockers. You can skip over a a few tracks in the middle, but definitely hit 1-4, 6, and 9-11. TURN IT UP ALL THE WAY. Make your ears bleed a little. Make the musical experience a physical one. You'll get what I mean if you do it right.

This Les Savy Fav album is a rocker from beginning to end. I LOVE it, and i love the band. A Les Savy Fav show is pretty unforgettable....don't stand up front unless you dare.

2002: Oasis "Heathen Chemistry"
I didn't really appreciate Oasis until 2002. With this album, I really came to love the band, and I went back a revisited all of their older albums. I was too much of an indie snob to give them props in the 90s. Now I love them. Beatles rip-offs? Not quite. It's too easy to say that. I urge everyone to give them more of a chance.

2003: The Shins "Chutes Too Narrow"
This album was on constant repeat during late 2003/early 2004 while our house was under construction. It lifted me up when I got stressed over my new grown-up worries (house, upcoming wedding, money, work).

2004: Bonnie Prince Billy "Sings Greatest 'Palace' Songs"
Call me a purist, but I prefer all of the old Palace albums to Oldham's later works. Nothing compares to the original Palace songs. It's that Ohio river laziness that I love. These renditions are good, but not as good as the originals....which were more vulnerable, more sloppy, more real.

2005: Bloc Party "Silent Alarm"
This just shows that I'm less of a snob in my "old-age" than I was in my youth. Bloc Party was everywhere from the radio, to TV (thanks OC andGrey's Anatomy), but I still really enjoyed this album.

2006: Sleater Kinney "The Woods" (not the best SK album)
Ten years after I first discovered SK, they make another great album. Girl rock, turned up loud, without being cutesy or shrill. I refuse to call it riot grrl. I just call it rock and roll.

2007: Kanye West "Graduation"
His lyrics may not be the best of any rapper out there (I can think of far better), but the production on his albums and the samples he chooses are great. Despite what you think of him as a person, he's owned some of the great musical moments over the past few years.

2008: The jury is still out....I've enjoyed Plants & Animals "Parc Avenue," but to date nothing has rocked my world. Check back with me next year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I DID it!

Well...this is what I wrote a week ago:
And that finally leads us to the "fishing and beer" lure I referred to in the beginning of the post. We'll spend the holiday weekend in Savannah with our friends, Phillip and Jonathan. (I can't even begin to explain how nice it is to have friends with parents that live in such a wonderful place.) I learned this week that their dad has arranged for a deep-sea fishing trip for us on Saturday. Can I TELL you how EXCITED I AM??!?! I'm psyched beyond belief. I'm not sure why.....I don't think I've been so excited about something like this in a while. Does that make me weird? I'm not sure. All I know for sure is that I am GOING to catch some Amberjack and am going to have my picture taken with my catch like this chick (minus the big boobs).
And I DID it!! Here's my loot (my biggest prize of the weekend):

It's a 45-pound Amberjack, and it took about 10 minutes (maybe more?) to reel it in. I caught it about 35 miles off the coast of Savannah. I also caught a beautiful Queen Triggerfish, which is in danger of becoming extinct, so we quickly let it go back to its business in the ocean. The next day I caught a 2-foot shark. Here's a picture of me, freaked out by the shark I just caught. (Please excuse my "double-chin" look in this picture. I was too busy freaking out to care what I looked like on film.)

I told everyone I was going to do it, and I did. And it was fun. If I could carry that kind of ambition with me in all aspects of my life, I'd be set for a pretty darn good life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

List #4: Top 5 "Goldilock-Moments" at a rock show

Ever felt like the odd-man/woman out? Ever felt like you don't quite belong? Ever feel like "This one's too big...this one's too small?" I have. These are my top 5 "Goldilocks" moments at an indie rock (or other genre) show.

5. Phantom Planet (8/30/2004), The Cotton Club (Atlanta):
  • Reason #1 = Too Old.
  • Reason #2 = Too far behind on my OC knowledge. (see also Reason #1)
  • RESULT: Stayed until the end. Laughed at myself & my friend. Sang along to "California."

4. June of 44/Rex/Him ( 11/?/1996) The Rec Center Antioch College (Antioch, OH):
  • Reason = Too Sober. (For the weirdness that went on that night, that is... JO44 was one of my favorite bands at the time, but that was one WEIRD show.)
  • RESULT: Someone pulled the fire alarm, and the show ended early. We left Antioch shaking our heads, and are still confused to this day.

3. Reverend Horton Heat (9/4/2004) The Cotton Club (Atlanta):
  • Reason = Too Indie Rock. (The show was awesome, and I enjoyed it. If you could see the fans there, you'd know what I mean. For a visual think "forearm size"....think of the size of an indie rocker's wrist and an ironworker's wrist. Got it?)
  • RESULT: Drank many tall-boy PBR's for courage, stood next to my tall friend, and loved it.

2. The Gossip (2/?/2006) The Drunken Unicorn (Atlanta):
  • Reason #1 = Too Straight.
  • Reason #2 = (possibly?) Not Drunk Enough.
  • RESULT: Stayed for the whole show & was hit on by my tiny-lesbian friend who attended my wedding. She was, in fact, "drunk enough." I didn't mind much. I take what I can get. (Kidding!)

1. Modest Mouse (12/16/2007) Gwinnett Center Arena (Atlanta):
  • Reason #1 = Too knowledgable about the band's "personalities"
  • Reason #2 = Too old/cynical to enjoy it anymore (and therefore, mad at myself)
  • RESULT: Left after 3 songs. Vowed to love them as I remembered them, but won't see them live again. (For more on Modest Mouse shows, stay tuned to my upcoming "Top 5 Shows of All Time" and perhaps the more-entertaining "Top 5 Reasons NEVER to Visit Cleveland.")

Morning reading

Please read this article by Al Giordano.

Here's a snippet to whet your appetite:

"Actually, I have to correct myself already: the highest calling of patriotism is not dissent. It is smart dissent, that based not on self-indulgence or the blurting of one's frustration's out in ways that seek to share the panic or the misery, but based on - even sometimes against great odds - building the objective conditions by which we will win the important battles worth fighting."

To all the fighters out there, keep up the good fight. To all the fighters in my family -- whether you "held the sign" or not -- never forget that you're still a fighter. I'm proud to know from where and whom I came.

"A nation without dregs and malcontents is orderly, peaceful and pleasant, but perhaps without the seed of things to come." - Eric Hoffer

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

List #3: Top 1 Thing You DON'T want to find in your mailbox

A top 5 list could be boring....bills....a wedding invitation from an ex....etc.

But I only have one thing on my list: A Black Widow Spider.

YEP. I FOUND one on top of the mail I pulled out of the mailbox tonight. It was just sitting right there on top of my water bill!

Needless to say, I threw my mail in the air in a [slightly, but deservedly so] melodramatic fashion and then proceeded to stoop down and take a look at the thing. That's when I observed its two little red dots in an hourglass shape on its bloated black belly. I then commenced scolding the spider and said, "Please Don't Come Back to My Mailbox Again." At that point a jogger ran around me and my scattered mail mess in the street. For effect, I stomped on the intruder. (The spider, not the jogger.)

UPDATE 7/2/08: Tyler found ANOTHER ONE on our driveway today. It was alive and well and appeared to be happy, "post-kill" of an unsuspecting bumblebee. You will be pleased to know that the spider is no longer "alive and well" (much like the bumblebee), and the proper authorities (i.e., Decatur Pest Control) have been alerted of the problem.

Fly the friendly skies

So, you're saying it's your right to carry a gun from home into the Atlanta airport (up to the security checkpoint), but yet I can't even carry a bottle of water or a mug of coffee from home on my flight?

So people can have guns at the ticketing counters and around the security lines where tensions run highest? Neat. Maybe if we're all afraid that everyone else is "packing, " though, we'll be more well-behaved toward those airline employees and fellow travelers. Right?


[WARNING....may offend older viewers....younger viewers...viewers who value proper grammar....well, pretty much anyone....]

Oh, and after watching the YouTube of this [lovely] young lady on MARTA, I'm not sure I feel any safer knowing guns are cool on trains now either. Grandma (I mean "Shawty/George Bush/Shawty/Ho") may have said, "Know what, baby girl? I don't like your tone OR your poor Soulja Boy rendition.....BLAM, BLAM." Or it could be the freaked out suburban kid in the back of that train that did it just because he felt "threatened" by her bad rapping.

I'm not sure what to say. I understand 2nd Amendment concerns and arguments, but are people that afraid ALL the time? So afraid that they have to carry their handguns to the airport to pick up the wife & kids? If so, I think they make drugs for that. And meditation. And church. Or whatever it is you need to feel sane and protected. Now, I think I need all of the above because I'm feeling pretty spooked. Hmmmm.

List #2: "My top 5 beers"

I'm sure I'm forgetting something here. There's really nothing fancy on this list, but here goes:
  1. Beck's Light
  2. Red Stripe (also good with a lime)
  3. Dos Equis Lager (the Amber's a delight, too)
  4. A tie between Leinenkugel Red and Abita Amber (the Abita is a new discovery & much easier to find around here than the Leine's Red)
  5. Blue Moon Honey White (not so much a fan of the Belgian White)
These also almost made the list: Sam Adams Summer Ale, Brooklyn Brown, Stella Artois (have to be in the mood...), Lone Star Beer (for the puzzle bottle-tops alone), and that Oatmeal Stout from Brownings Brewery in Louisville.

Okay, open thread now....everyone post your faves....I'm in the mood to experiment.

UPDATE: I hope to god that no one references the new Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry.
I like pomegranates. I like raspberries. I like beer. Do NOT, however, combine all three.