Friday, December 15, 2006

Redd Kross: Is there anybody out there?

So 13 milion people have a blog, and 39 million people say that they read blogs. That's an average of 3 readers per blog. That's also highy optimistic, I think.

My first punk rock album was a copy of a copy of a copy of "Posh Hits" featuring the destructive guitar stylings of The Black Nuns, TSOL, Dead Kennedy's, Black Flag, and one of my personal favorites Red Cross, who had to change their name to Redd Kross after a company that claims to save lives sued the teenagers who pretty much invented surf punk. Anyway, check out the interview (and some GREAT music) with Steven McDonald. Annette's Got the Hits! Their later stuff is very different, getting into a post-Nirvana sound in Jimmy's Fantasy. Steve McDonald, the bassist, went on to record much-needed bass tracks for the White Stripes and released Redd Blood Cells on the internet. I'm still trying to track down the original mp3's. Let me know where to find them!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...

I haven't finished the Old Testament, but I finally finished Walden. I got it for Christmas last year, and I've slowly been plugging along. It got a lot easier once I decided to skip all the Winter and Spring chapters (snore!). Now I need to find a way to suck the marrow out of life.

Yesterday I watched other people live their dreams on TV. It was the Biggest Loser finale. So maybe it was more of other people reclaiming their dreams rather than living them. It was really inspiring to see these people so focused and driven towards something that would change their lives forever. Not everyone can lose 50% of their body weight to change their life in a good way, but it made me think what ONE thing I could change about my life to be a better person.

And maybe the real question is, if I knew what that ONE thing is that would change my life for the better, would I have the courage and will to do it? Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure it's not reading the whole old testament.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's the Point?

Every once in a while I get a little philosophical. Not in an Aristotle vs. Socrates way, since I'm not intellectually inclined enough to even tell the difference between the two. No, this philisophical brooding is more in a "What's the point?" kinda way. Don't get me wrong. I have definite purpose and meaning in my life. Maybe it's the vision of that eternal goal that makes the day-to-day things seem so mundane. I can capture the big picture, but connecting the dots between the little things and what really matters in life that I sometimes don't get.

I mean, what in the world does doing the dishes have to do with self-actualization anyway? And when you add picking up after the kids (or worse, trying to get them to pick up after themselves), taking out the trash, and clearing off that clutter-sink that we sometimes call a "counter-top", it can get hard to see which part of Paradise these things contribute to.

Maybe its an acute case of abrupt acuity, the unpleasant side-effect from watching too much TV, and now I'm compensating for the braincells I lost by making the rest of them work harder. More likely (and less self-incriminatingly), my pensive preoccupation is because my life is in a transition state, which is probably the most exciting (and painful, if your a molecule) part of a reaction coordinate: it only lasts for an instant, but that's where all the action is! Either way, I don't feel like I've earned my sleep, so I'm up past my bedtime pondering the mysteries of the mundane and the life clutter that needs to be put back neatly on the shelf of eternal perspective.

The obvious answer is that some of these seemingly menial bothers are building perhaps the most important Paradise of all: the one I'm living in right now. But nobody wants to live in a landfill, so building my heaven on earth is going to require, among other things, loading the dishwasher, teaching the kids to clean-up after themselves, cooking meals ... and occasionally watching a little TV.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I was about to write about how much I get sick of listening to the same 10 songs on the radio. Truth is, I haven't actually listened to top 40 radio for a long time. Usually, I listen to CDs. I get to listen to what I want, when I want. Here are a couple of my current favorite bands (in no particular order):

1. Tegan and Sara
2. Johnny Cash
3. The Format
4. New Order
5. Styx
6. Reel Big Fish
7. Descendents
8. Weezer
9. They Might Be Giants
10. The Best of Bootie

Saturday, September 02, 2006

He's on his way to the store...

H-Street sponsored a guy named Matt Hensley who was a star of the late 80s video "Shackle Me Not!" Old school street skating at its best! What's he up to now?

I got a job. In the relocation package it says that they will pay to move 2 household pets, but not non-household animals such as "horses, sheep, pigs, llamas, etc."

Llamas? I can't help but think that someone, at some point, has actually tried to have this company pay to move their llamas. Who has llamas anyway?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

to many flanks in your analogies

Quick story about the name of the blog. It's more of an aspiration than a declaration. It comes from a fIREHOSE song I first heard on a skate video from nineteen eighty something. Yeah, I was/am a skater. Not professionally. I saw Hokus Pokus by H-street in the early nineties and was blown away ... in a bad way. When I saw what they could do, I realized I'd never be a professional skateboarder, and decided I'd better learn some skills. I also liked lighting things on fire, which led me to chemistry. I took a couple of chemistry classes in high school. I really liked it, and I was good at it, which was a nice combination. Secretly, I was motivated by a desire to light things on fire faster and in more creative ways.

Fast forward a few years, and I was able to avoid a life of crime and do something positive with my life. I told my high school chem teacher I was going to study chemistry in graduate school and he tried to talk me out of it. "You don't want to be a chemist. You wanna do something else, like be a helicopter pilot!" So much for encouragement. After a couple of years of grad school, I was wishing I took his advice. But I plugged through it, got a few publications and some letters after my name, and now I'm looking for a job.

I left something out. Family. I got married. Best thing I've ever done. And I have two kids. They're great. If you have kids, you know what I mean. A lot of trouble and headache, but a lot of fun and family just has a way of bringing you back to earth and reminding you what's important in life.

The long and short of it is: life is good. Did american eagle actually trademark that sentence? Gotta go to bed or life is NOT going to be good tomorrow!