Friday, March 30, 2007

Today's musical guest

You may have heard today's band before, without even realizing. Rogue Wave has been featured on a number of soundtracks, including the movie Napoleon Dynamite and TV shows The OC and Heroes and Friday Night Lights. They've even done a couple covers that they have up on their myspace page, "All You Need is Luv" is their version of the song by the Beatles, and the Pixies' "Debaser." Those, however, aren't my favorite songs on there, their original songs are much better. They have a sound sort of similar to the Shins, not quite as poppy. They also share a label with the Shins, Sub Pop, also home to Loney, Dear, The Thermals, and the Fruitbats. (It looks like Sub Pop has the early lead for "Official Label of TPoL.")

the music recommendations will return on Monday! I'm going out of town tonight, to the lovely city of Muscatine, Iowa, to watch my mom's dog. So if I don't post, it's because I'm playing with Niles. I'll be coming back to Iowa City tomorrow night for the Rock Plaza Central show, so I'll let everyone know how that goes! Until then, have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Book reviews and other news

I finished reading John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces today. A good read, but I never really felt "into" it until the final 50 or so pages. The ending was good, though, and it definitely had some laugh-out-loud parts. I think the main reason why I could never get into was that I didn't feel for any of the characters, I couldn't relate to them. Again, it wasn't a bad book, I'm not upset with reading it, I'm not even disappointed. I just feel I didn't really appreciate it as much as I should have, so I'm partially disappointed in myself.

Here's a quick rundown of the book. Ignatius Riley is the main character, a portly, no, fat, 30 year-old man living with his mother in New Orleans, I believe sometime in the 60's. Due to an unfortunate series of events, Ignatius has to get a job to help his mother pay off damage she had caused in an auto accident. The working life doesn't really suit Ignatius, and the book is about his ordeals as a "Working Boy," while he's conspiring to find a way to one-up his one-time "girlfriend," Myrna Minkoff.

I know I'm not really giving it the best endorsement, but I would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a humorous book. It seems many people have really, really enjoyed it, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. So give it a shot.

Next on my reading list is David Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity! I'm a fan of his, after reading A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and McSweeny's and The Believer on occasion, so I was excited to find this book at the closing Atlantic Books store with a 40% off sale. I just started this book today, and I'm already 115 pages deep. It's a fairly quick read, about a pair of friends who are attempting to travel around the world in a week, while giving away over $30,000. The main character, Will, came inot this money rather unexpectedly, and is uncomfortable having it in his account. So far the book has very funny moments, juxtaposed (you like that word? I do!) with tragedy from Will's recent past. This is one author I would recommend to everyone, Eggers has a unique approach to writing and uses some effective techniques to grab the reader's attention and keep it for the duration of the book. (In A Staggering Work. . ., a mostly autobiographical book, there's a good chunk in the middle where Eggers has a conversation with his 5 year-old self, except his 5 year-old self has the vocabulary of his current self.)

Since the meal review post yesterday went over alright, I'll continue doing it, but only when there's something interesting to write. As Jad had commented, my meal last night was vegan, but it mostly just happened that way. Sorry Jad, I like to eat meat. But, I live with two vegetarians (almost vegans, but they'll occasionally eat dairy products and eggs), so I am sympathetic towards the lifestyle. I just like hamburgers and hot dogs way too much. However, today I ate no meat, my lunch was an Indian buffet with Daren, and my dinner some of my left over hummus on toast. Now I'm thinking about making some popcorn and watching the latest episode of "Heroes." That show's been kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. I don't really know if I should feel guilty about liking it or not, but it makes me feel like a kid again, watching stories about superheroes and whatnot. Anyways, I think they're in the middle of another 5-week hiatus, and I've been waiting to watch this episode for a little while.

One last quick thing; I wanted to put an update about the Iowa basketball coach search. Bruce Pearl is out, as is Billy Gillispie, and I've heard absolutely nothing about Tony Bennett coming here. So for me, right now, it's a toss-up between Chris Lowery and Reggie Theus as my number one choice. Both can get a large raise by coming to Iowa, and both would be welcome. I've also heard a rumor about Rick Majerus coaching with BJ Armstrong as an assistant, but that seems a little far-fetched to me (alhtough I'd be all for that). Dana Altman's always in the conversation, but it seems like he doesn't want to put up with the "search committee" that Barta has assembled, and has stated that he's at home in Omaha, coaching Creighton. I wouldn't count him out, though, I think he's definitely in the running. I don't know if Gary Barta is going to announce anything tomorrow, like I had originally predicted, but he better do something soon if he wants to get/keep recruits. He's supposedly meeting with Altman this weekend in Atlanta during the Final Four weekend, maybe he's waiting to make an announcement on Monday, before the championship game.

Also, congratulations to West Virginia for winning the NIT. I had predicted them to make it into the NCAA tournament (Jim will vouch for me on this one), maybe this shows they should have been selected. . . And congrats to Coach John Beilien, you'll be getting a nice pay raise, and maybe a new office in the Midwest. Michigan's gotta be salivating over this win.


Today's band, Casper and the Cookies, goes along with yesterday's recommendation, as The Late B.P. Helium played guitar for these guys when they toured Japan. It's not hard to imagine thet guitarist from Of Montreal playing with this band. They're kind of like Of Montreal without all of the goofiness or ridiculousness, just a indie-pop band from Athens, GA. The songs they have posted on their myspace are all light, poppy, and just kind of sweet little tunes that sounds like they could've come out of the 60's or 70's. Give them a listen, and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tonight's meal

Tonight I made some whole-wheat noodles, tossed with some olive oil, cilantro, and a little basil. Simple, yet delicious.

Also, I decided to try to make some hummus since I have a few cans of chickpeas that have been collecting dust for a few months. I didn't have any tahini, but I was still pleased with how it turned out. I used my tiny "food chopper" (not big enough to be called a processor, it sucks) to mash up the chickpeas, then added some garlic, olive oil, Tabasco sauce, and cumin, then spread it on some toast. No pita bread was to be found, so I stole a piece of sourdough bread from my roommate. Sorry you had to find out this way, Daren. You can have some of it when you get home. For my first attempt, it turned out well.

(let me know what you think of this new feature to my blog... I can't decide if I like it or not, I don't know if people really care about what I eat. Maybe I'll only do this if I make something awesome or unusual.)

A new additions to my blog life?

It's rainy and cool here, which means. . . perfect Chris weather. Although I would prefer the temperature to be 5-10 degrees warmer, I'll make do.

Today has been another in a series of rather unproductive days. This past weekend and Monday I was too busy enjoying the weather, yesterday I just didn't feel like doing much of anything, and that's carried over today. I've gotten some reading done, but really haven't had the desire to do anything more, not practicing my sax or playing guitar or anything. I don't know what it is, if I'm just too spent from playing around outside, or seeing the end of the tunnel in Iowa City, or just being lazy. I can't even work on the blog entry I was planning on writing! This entry, if written, is going to be a pretty long writing, maybe broken up into different days. I really don't even know exactly what it's going to be about, but right now it's just based on observations of people around Iowa City. It's been exciting to me thinking about it, but then when I've been trying to put it into writing, it's turning out to be more of a daunting task than I had imagined. So we'll see if I'm able to coherently form my thoughts into a readable essay of sorts. I guess that's never really stopped me before, so why should it now? But look for the first installment in the coming days.

Something else that I'd like to start incorporating into my life, and thus into my blog, is cooking more meals, trying new recipes and experimenting with food. I've said that I want to try new restaurants, and will continue to do that when time and money allow. But a cheaper alternative is to make my own meals more often, and better meals than hot dogs or quesadillas. (although quesadillas are delicious. Why is cheese so good? And how does putting it on tortillas make it even better?) So I'll be trying to post more meal/recipe info on here, letting everyone know how things turn out, and maybe giving tips on cooking and whatnot. I consider myself to be an ok cook, I can make a mean pizza (ask Marin, Bill, Haley, etc.), and have a few other "standby" meals that I can whip up. But this is a time of growth, a time of new things for Flenker. And that's what I'm going to try to do. If anyone has suggestions on new foods to try, post them as a comment or email me or something, let me know. Or if anyone has any questions on foodstuff, I may be able to help out a little on that end, too. I've watched a lot of Food Network in my day, and have read a lot of cooking books and spent a lot of time hanging out in the kitchen, so I'd like to think I know my way around the stove/oven/open fire. Hopefully the first post in this new line will come in the next day or so. A lot of things to look forward to on TPoL!

Another bonus music day!

While searching music to post here and recommend, I came across two guys I thought I could recommend, and thought it was appropriate for them to be on the same day. I was on the Of Montreal myspace page, and noticed that two of the guys in the band have their own sites with their own music. So today, I suggest everyone check out The Late B.P. Helium and James Husband! Helium's got a sound similar to the Beatles' "psychedelic" period (Sgt. Pepper's and on) but does it in a way that's not totally ripping them off. James Husband's songs are acoustic guitar-based, and kind of reminds me of The Special Goodness, but a little more poppy, a little more acoustic, and a lot better, in my opinion.

What's even better is that these guys have given me my recommendation for tomorrow! Unfortunately, it looks like it'll only be one band, but I can't keep the pace of two-a-days...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Where exactly is the nugget??

I just finished off a plate of chicken nuggets, caving into my late-night hunger. You may say that it's not good to eat chicken nuggets so late. I say that it's never really good to eat chicken nuggets, but they can be so darn tasty with some barbecue sauce.

My night was basically ruined by Roger Federer, who decided it'd be a good time to lose to Guillermo Canas for the second time in a month. I was at work, so I was unable to really focus on the match, but it seemed whenever I looked, Federer was hitting a winner or up in the game. So how did this happen? Once I saw the final, I was totally discombobulated. How could I live in a world where the best tennis player of my generation, possibly ever, could lose two matches in a month, to an unranked player?!? I realize Canas was in the top ten a few years ago, but he's fallen off, mostly due to a doping ban. How can Roger lose to someone who had to serve a doping ban?!? It'll take me a little while to get over this. When's the next Grand Slam event? The end of May? damn. As long as Federer can win on clay and take the French Open, I'll be happy. (And I tried to find a recent picture of a sad Roger Federer to use here, but there is not one to be found. This was the best I could do, in that he's not holding a trophy)

In other sports news, Bruce Pearl has apparently said he's not interested in the Iowa head coaching position, so I'll take him off of my list. Billy Gillispie (yes, it's I-S, not E-S) moves into sole position at the top, but that's pretty much an honorary position. I don't really count on him coming here anymore than I thought Pearl would come here. And I'm not really sure on Tony Bennett, any talk of him coming here has basically stopped recently. I don't know if everyone was busy talking about Pearl, but it seems strange to me. So that means Chris Lowery could make a big leap in my ranking. I'm sold on is defensive coaching ability, but not sure how his slow-down offense would fit in with the fans here. It'd be nice to see a better offensive team. But, as the saying goes, defense wins championships. I'd like to think a good point guard helps, though. (can Tony Freeman step up and take the reins? We'll find out next season) Rick Majerus is also climbing, but I feel we'd have someone being "groomed" to take the job over soon (BJ Armstrong?!). Others I have mentioned (Kevin Stallings, Dana Altman) are still in my consideration (as if I have a say in it).

I just want them to hire someone so everyone can stop talking about it, myself included. I'll post more stuff tomorrow, not related to Iowa Hawkeye basketball, I promise. Also, I'll try to check "Lost" out, so I can appease a possible new reader, who apparently thinks I should tackle this show and give it a review. We'll see. (Only because his name is Chris. That's a weakness of mine; I have a soft spot for Chrises worldwide.) Actually, it may be interesting to post some reviews of a show that's been out for a while now that I've never seen. More to come. . .

One last quick thing, I talked with a certain Adam (Johnny Austin) about the possibility of my moving to Austin, and he was all for it, and made me very excited. Could Austin pull into the lead? Well, it's got a pretty good music scene (you may have heard of one of the music fests there.... something by something... North by Northwest? no, that was Hitchcock... I'll have to Google it, I guess.), some good college sports, but nothing professional, so I'd still be a few hours away from a Major League Baseball team. Jad made a pretty good point about Portland, baseball abounds, and a pretty rockin' music scene. That's actually where I may want to end up eventually. I've also decided that I need to make a stop in Boise, ID. My reasons are long and convoluted (one reason is potatoes, I'm not going to lie), but I just thought I'd get it out there: Boise, I'm coming, eventually.

double bonus music day

Today's musical recommendation is a band by one of the members of Animal Collective, called Panda Bear. He has a similar sound to AC, but not quite as busy, a little more stripped down. But if you like Animal Collective, you'll like this. And if you don't know Animal Collective, well, check them out too. Today is a special day, two bands to listen to! Yay!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Labels and more on the Hawkeye bball coach search

Taking a cue from Haley, I'm going to be doing some updating on my blog, retro-fitting it with labels and everything! This is a work in progress, so be patient. Hopefully I'll get everything worked out, so that anyone can look through older posts easier, like if you want to look up past music recommendations, just click on that label. Or if you want to know about food I've eaten or want to eat, just click on the food label! Neato!

It's also come to my attention that some people have found this place by Googling some of the Iowa basketball head coaching candidates, or something related to the Hawkeyes (someone found it by searching for "Huluska engaged," which I thought was cool.) While I like that a lot, I hope everyone realizes I'm just some dude with a blog, I don't have any real inside information. Anything I hear and pass on is just speculation. With that in mind, I'll go into a little bit more about my list of candidates, coaches that I hope the Iowa Hawkeyes are considering.

  • Bruce Pearl, Tennessee (still my first choice, but I'm not sure how likely he is to leave his current position. I've heard everything from his agent contacted Iowa's Athletic Director Gary Barta to Pearl telling his AD that he has no desire to leave. I don't really know what to believe right now, if anything, from what I've heard.)
  • Billy Gillispie, Texas A&M (I would consider him 1B to Pearl's 1A. I like this guy a lot, but I've heard he's a top candidate for the Arkansas head coach opening. So we'll see on him)
  • Tony Bennett, Washington State (He's really starting to grow on me, but I don't know if he would leave WSU [I refuse to call them Wazzou] after only one season. But he seems to be a hell of a recruiter, he's familiar with the Big 10 [under his father, Dick, he was a recruiter/assistant at Wisconsin]. He would be a great hire, in my book)
  • Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois (worked under Bruce Weber and Matt Painter, so he knows their styles, and could translate well into the Big Ten. Not sure if he'd want to leave his alma mater, but a plus for Iowa is that SIU probably wouldn't be able to match an offer, and have better facilities. Strikes on Lowery could be his age, at only 34 he's pretty young, and he only has a few seasons of head coaching experience.)
  • Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt (I like his style, he took Illinois State to the NCAA tourney, and has improved Vandy by an impressive amount. Seems like a good character guy from what I've heard, and should be able to recruit well)
Stan Heath is another interesting name now, he was just fired from Arkansas after a 20-win season, and even made the NCAA tournament. The knock on him seems to be he didn't live up to expectations, though, which sounds similar to another coach that used to be around these parts... We'll see if he figures into the Hawkeyes; plans.

Right now, I'm lukewarm on Dana Altman. He's not a flashy name, won't have the impact of a "Tubby Smith to Minneapolis" deal, but he does a decent job at Creighton. I don't know if that's due to the competition, or if he is a good coach. If he is hired here, it would take some time for me to come around to the decision. But, I'd give him a chance, if he can win me over, then great!

Another name I've heard tossed around is Rick Majerus. He knows his basketball, and apparently has family in the area, so he has been rumored to be drawn to the vacancy. The main concern here is health issues. He had taken the USC job initially, only to later back out because of his health.

So far Gary Barta and co have been silent, only speculation and hearsay is circulating. Some think that an announcement will be made on Friday, to make some news during the Final Four weekend. It seems like the most opportune time to make a splash and get people talking about Iowa basketball. Until then, though, we'll just keep up with the rumors, and make our own lists, and hope that we get the right guy for the job.

Apples in Stereo!

Today is definitely an Apples in Stereo day, with the weather being like it is and just having a great all-around mood. So they're my recommendation today. Check out their song "7 Stars," (can be found on their myspace page) it's my favorite one off of the new album. I've mentioned their album before, but I think it deserves its own recommendation for today, since, according to their myspace page, " The Apples in Stereo are the indie-rock flag wavers of sunny pop." So there you go, no better day to have sunny pop than an almost unseasonably warm day in Iowa! Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

new links

I've added a couple of new links in the past days that I've forgotten to mention. First is Eternal Rhythms, my roommate Daren's blog. The other is It's Hard to Find a Friend, another music blog that I'm enjoying. Check them out, enjoy them, and comment on them, because I've come to learn that if there's one that that bloggers like, it's when people comment on their blogs. It makes us feel like someone likes us out in the ether that is the internet.

A wonderous day

There was record warm low temperature last night of 60 degrees in Moline, accoring to the National Weather Service. I'm sure there was a record high today, too. When I was downtown (getting some ice cream), the bank's display read 83 degrees, and according to the same National Weather Service, the record high for today was 77. It's still 70 degrees outside. Basically, it was an incredible day to be outside. I walked down to City Park and read my book, then came back home to get Daren and get our already mentioned ice cream at Whitey's. We had decided to sit in the Ped Mall while we ate, and as luck would have it, we ran into a few friends, carrying a boombox and some pizza! We all sat around, either on the planter or on the ground, eating ice cream and pizza, listening to KRS-One. Good times.

When we got back, Daren and I internetted it up for a while, both getting excited over his new buy, a cast-iron skillet. I dreamt of upside-down cakes and cornbread, he of his new obsession, chips (or home-style fries, as we like to call them on this side of the Atlantic). I guess trips overseas can change a man. So, as I'm typing now, he's preparing some potatoes, putting them in the oven, and getting harassed by yours truly. He's threatening to hold out on the fries, but I will not be denied.

Also today, I started reading The Economist Style Guide, something Daren had on his computer. I thought I could use some help in my writing, especially if I ever decide to do more than just blog. I've only read the first few pages, but I think it's helped so far. I'm already using some of the suggestions. It may not be noticeable, but I'd like to think my writing was already above average. That could be just my own thinking, though. Anyways, we'll see how this works out, maybe it'll have some useful information that will put me in the ranks of Keats or Salinger or Hemingway. (I'm not to the section on how to compare my new-found abilites yet. So these authors may change in the near future, depending on who, if anyone, is referenced. Really, if I could get to the Salinger-Vonnegut level, I'd be happy. [I just used something I've learned already! I had originally put that I'd be content, but this guide said to simplify, so I thought the simplification of content would be happy. I'm a quick learner.])

Thanks to Kansas and Memphis, I am finished in my bracket. It hurts to have the teams I expected to meet in the finals lose right before the Final Four. My brother, though, correctly chose all four teams. I wish I could say that he learned everything about college basketball from his big brother, but I'm afraid that'd be a lie. I haven't found out how well our dad is doing in the pool, but I imagine it's better than me in my pools. I will now cheer on Georgetown. Or Ohio State, which ever one advances to the finals. As long as this year's NCAA Basketball Champion is not named Florida or UCLA. And while we're at it, Iowa's new head coach better not be named Dana or Lon. Or Steve for that matter. (Quick update on my preferred choices for head coach. Bruce Pearl is still number one, followed by Billy Gillispie. I realize BJ Armstrong most likely won't be chosen for the top position, so I'm lobbying for his as an assistant. Anthony Bennett is bumped up to third, Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois moves onto the board in fourth, and Vanderbilt's coach Kevins Stallings also makes his appearance. If you're reading this Gary Barta, you better have these guys on speed-dial.)

Finally, I remembered today that NPR's program "This American Life" started their TV show on Showtime this past Thursday. Since I don't have Showtime, or TV of any kind, I missed out. Luckily, the first episode is available to be watched online. (You can find the online version by clicking on the picture to the left.) If you've never heard the show, last week's episode was hilarious, providing me with entertainment on my drive home from Minneapolis, so I'd suggest that as a starting point. You can find it here. Last week's show is about TV's affect on life, what it can teach us, and how it can hurt us. It even includes the music of Mates of State, providing a hilarious backdrop for Ira Glass's section in act 3. Listen to it, and love it as I did.

Well, I'm off to sit in the lovely, cooler air now. I hope everyone's day was as excellent as mine.

Sunday Sunday Sunday

It's supposed to be a wonderful day outside, so I'm going to enjoy it! There's another Iowa baseball game today, so I'll probably try to go to that. My dad may even be coming up for it, so that would be exciting times! There is a chance of some thunderstorms, but that's alright with me. I love thunderstorms. It'd be nice if we had some sort of porch here to sit upon during said storms, but sitting near an open window will have to do.

Temperatures are supposed to be right around 80 until Wednesday or Thursday, then it looks like a front is heading through, and it'll cool off and rain next weekend. (I know everyone comes here for the weather forecast in Iowa City) I love this time of the year, when it's warming up but not getting too warm, and rainy. 80's may be a little too warm, but I can manage. I'd prefer upper-60's to the lower-70's. With no humidity. That's the problem here, it's not the heat, it's the humidity. I especially like the summer days when it's near 100 degrees, with 75% humidity, and you can hardly breath. Something to look forward to in the coming months.

So I think I'll leave you with that. Everyone should go outside today and soak in the sun. Do some grilling, throw a ball around, or just read a book in a hammock. Anything is a little more enjoyable in lovely weather. Have fun!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lazy Saturday

I'm going to take a little break on the music recommendations for the weekend, but they'll hopefully be back on Monday. No particular reason, just thought I'd take it easy this weekend, and just post whenever, whatever I felt like. I guess that's kind of what I've been doing anyways... So yeah.

It's been a lazy day for me so far. I went to bed around 10:45 last night, and got up a little before 10:30. Nothing like twelve hours of sleep to start my weekend. I didn't even end up taking any NyQuil, it was an all natural sleep. That means no grogginess this morning, no feeling like I was so out of it like yesterday. I still feel a little sick, but nothing I can't handle. And I do still feel a little out of it, but I think that's just the way I've been lately. Unfortunately, it seems like I missed some really excellent finishes to the NCAA games last night. And apparently there was a blatant travel in the Georgetown game that was not called, and resulted in the game-winning basket being scored. That's a shame. But, I had the Hoyas winning that game in my bracket, so yay for me!

Now for the rest of my day, I'll just be doing some grocery shopping, maybe finding some place to watch the basketball games, and that's about it. KP will be here later, so we'll probably get a drink somewhere. Exciting times on this dreary day in Iowa City.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Back from the baseball game!

And what a game it was! The weather was decent, but hovering right in between warm and chilly for most of the time. When the sun was out, it was nice and warm, but those moments were few. But it wasn't bad, a thin coat was plenty enough to keep the wind off and keep me warm. Had it been a little cooler, the free Hawkeye knit hat that I got for being one of the (first) 500 fans would've kept me warm. It really is a nice hat, I'm impressed. They're probably just left-overs from the Hawk Shop, but that's fine by me.

The Hawks got out to an early 4-1 lead in the 4th, with Caleb Curry getting a two-run double and Justin Toole knocking him in. But North Dakota State eventually tied it up. After some shoddy fielding on both sides resulted in a run for each team, the score was tied at 5, and the game was going to extra innings. Nothing spectacular really happened in the first few extra frames, neither team could get much going. Iowa's Jason White started off the bottom of the 11th with a single, then got moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. He advanced to third on a ground out by Kevin Hoef. Then, with Dusty Napoleon at bat, White took off for home on the pitcher's first move, and won the game with the seldom-seen steal of home. It was exciting to say the least! One of the more unique happenings I've ever seen, I can't imagine a straight steal of home being called with two outs in extra innings all that often. So I'm glad I was there to witness the event, it ranks right up there with the no-hitter I saw Tim Sturdy throw for the Quad-City River Bandits, and last year when Travis Sweet hit his first collegiate home run, a three run shot with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game against Nebraska. Sure, the Hawks ended up losing by two in 13 innings, but it was a pretty incredible moment.

Jake Christensen was in the stands for a couple of innings, apparently meeting up with some people he knows on the women's soccer team, including Nate Kaeding's sister Jackie. Why do I know these things? Because I'm some weird Hawkeye fanatic. And she looked just like a female version of Nate.

Well, I think it's almost NyQuil time again for me. I started feeling a little crappy during the game, and got a headache, so I opted to not stay for the nightcap. And besides, how could the second game possibly top the ending to the first?

I'm not there...

If you see me wandering around town today, looking generally lost and confused, don't read anything into it. I'm just feeling totally out of it, as a result of taking some NyQuil last night and basically feeling rundown. For instance, I was standing on the corner of an intersection this morning, minding my own business. Of course, I didn't think to actually watch the signals to see when I could walk, so I stood there for probably about 3 cycles. There's a chance I'd still be standing there if a friend of mine hadn't come up and started talking to me, asking me why I was just standing there. Then, I was walking with him for about a block, totally in the wrong direction. That's just been my day.

I'm hoping I can get over this by this afternoon, the Iowa baseball team has a game starting at 3, which I've just found out is going to be a doubleheader, due to the rain in the forecast over the weekend. Which is exciting to me, the only thing better than one baseball game is two baseball games, but I'm kind of doubting my ability to make it through both of them. I guess I'll just play it by ear, and see how things work out. I'll try to post later tonight, to let everyone know my first impressions of the baseball team, because I'm sure everyone is dying to know. Also, I'll post later if I'm able to coherently function. That could be the interesting part.

continuing the music trend

I've noticed the last few recommendations by me have been female artists. Okay, just the last two, but it seemed like more when I was thinking of this. So I'll call it a trend. Wait, it's actually 3 out of the last 4, so there! Anyways, I thought I'd stick with it, and when Marin sent me the link to Melanie Horsnell's myspace page, my choice was made pretty easily. She's another singer/songwriter, and like Rosie Thomas, she does it well. Plus, she's from Australia, so that gives her bonus points, right? It does in my book. (remember, that's the Points Given by Flenker for Random Things, first mentioned here. Right now Feist and Melanie Horsnell are leading the way, with a score of 1 each.) Any country/continent that gives us Paul Hogan is alright in my book. So check out Melanie, I hope you'll like it!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack

To start, I want to say that I've decided to start using more photos in my blog, that is to say I'm going to start using some photos, as opposed to none. So look forward to a whole new era of TPoL.

I finally made it to Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack today, one of the newer barbecue restaurants in Iowa City. My dad was up in town, so he took my brother and his girlfriend and me out to eat. It's great having parents that come to town and take us out to eat, except on the rare occasions when they each come up, and each want to take us out. I like being stuffed silly, but there's something to be said about moderation, as well as spreading out the free meals.

Walking into the parking lot, I could tell I would like this place. The aromas were enough to get my mouth watering, and it just got better as we went inside. It was a nice place, a decent sized dining area and some good decorations on the wall. My dad and I each got the "supreme" sandwich, which had pork, turkey, and beef brisket on it, while Travis and Jonanne split a whole rack of ribs. Each of our meals came with coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread. The food was out to us quickly, which was a nice surprise, and it all looked delicious. I've never really eaten much coleslaw in my life, but I was feeling adventurous, and decided to try some. It was very good, much to my pleasure. Kind of sweet, and crisp. I don't know if it's something that I'll eat on a regular basis, but definitely something that I'll consider as a side on occasion. The baked beans were also good, with onion and pieces of bacon mixed in. The sandwich itself was very good, I'm thinking that next time, though, I'll stick with just one kind of meat. Not that the mixture was bad, I just wasn't really able to differentiate the meats. I ate it too quickly!

They also have 4 sauces to use: regular, 4-alarm, cowboy, and a mustard-based sauce. I had to sample all four. Their regular sauce was good, but my favorite was between the cowboy and the mustard sauces. (I'm not the biggest fan of hot bbq sauce, although theirs was good) The cowboy sauce had a smoky flavor to it, then went extremely well with the rib that I stole from my brother's plate. And the mustard sauce was kind of unique, something I've never really tried. It went really well with the sandwich.

This is a place that I will be going to again, though I'm not sure how often. It's not within walking distance, but not far of a drive, and the prices were ok, but not the cheapest. I've come to expect that from a barbecue place, though. You have to pay a little more for the quality, but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Big day around Iowa City

Well, so long Steve Alford. I hope Albuquerque appreciates you more than Iowa City did. I for one never had a problem with him, per se. I thought he could've handled some situations better (see: Pierre Pierce), but he did a heckuva job recruiting, had one of (if not the) best records of any head coach in the Big Ten tournament, and finished with a winning record in every season after his first. I think he just had some unrealistic expectations, and never lived up to the hype that surrounded him as he got the job. I'm not exactly deeply saddened to see him leave, but I'm not packing his bags, either. I'll cheer for the Lobos when I see their name. Unless it's as a visitor in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

My first reaction and worry to the news was "what will Tyler Smith do?" I've read he's feeling a little homesick lately, and this would give him the perfect excuse to transfer. I've heard he's thinking of transferring to Memphis. Now this is all message board talk, so it could be totally unfounded. But I could really see it happening, too. I like Memphis- I like the city, and I like the University. I picked them to win the NCAA Tournament. However, I don't wear their colors (any time I happen to be wearing blue and white it is for the Royals. Sorry Tigers), and I would really prefer that I was cheering on Mr. Smith in a black and gold jersey. I realize that any new coach has the possibility of coming in with transfers, but I don't know if I want to live in a world where Tyler's playing for a different NCAA team. So come on Tyler, I know it may be a tough decision, but stick around. Iowa City's not so bad, especially on beautiful days like today. This team is yours, I hope you realize that.

Naturally, I started thinking about replacement coaches next. And of course, I went to the message boards, where everyone knows someone who knows someone. Some names being mentioned were Bruce Pearl from Tennessee, Billy Gillispie from Texas A&M, Tony Bennett from Washington State, Dana Altman of Creighton, and Tubby Smith from Kentucky was mentioned, but he took a job at Minnesota. Out of those, I would be ecstatic if Iowa could bring Bruce Pearl back, and would be very happy with Billy Gillispie. My dark-horse candidate, though, is another former Hawkeye. I speak of none other than BJ Armstrong. What Iowa fan wouldn't want him to be on our bench? And what kid wouldn't want to play for a 3-time NBA champion, let alone someone who won with the Chicago Bulls?? BJ seems to know his stuff about basketball, he does a fine job as an analyst for espn. So give him some consideration!! And if not him, why not Kevin Gamble?? I'd be fine with that, too. Along with Reggie Theus of New Mexico State. Seems kind of symmetrical, right?

I've talked with my "sources," and most got a chuckle from the Armstrong suggestion. And, almost everyone said there's no way that Bruce Pearl comes to Iowa, he's got too much of a good thing right now. But we'll see what happens. I also talked with a member of the Iowa basketball team, who shall remain anonymous, but he didn't really have anything to say about the coaching situation. Seeing as how Coach Alford hadn't yet talked with them, that's basically what I was expecting. He just said "we'll see man, we'll see what happens." (that ends my Name Dropping section, without really dropping any names)

Here's my short list for new head coaches, as of right now:
  1. Bruce Pearl
  2. Billy Gillispie
  3. BJ Armstrong
  4. Tony Bennett (if he goes by Anthony)
  5. Reggie Theus (with Kevin Gamble as an assistant)
The top 2 might be a little outlandish, they both have excellent jobs right now, with great teams. But who would've thought that Tubby Smith would become a stupid Gopher? That just goes to show that Iowa needs to step it up, get a good guy and make some waves in the Big Ten. And don't forget, Michigan still needs a coach, too, so the Hawks should hurry before the Wolverines nab someone who could be better suited in the Hawkeye State.

Music, anyone?

Regina Spektor is starting to get pretty big. Maybe it's been coming for a while, and I'm just living in a void, but on my trip to Minneapolis, I swear I heard her song "Fidelity" almost every time I was in the car on one of the more "indie" radio stations. Which is not an entirely bad thing. I'm all for some new, good music getting airtime. I just hope that people are listening to her entire repertoire, and don't get sick of the one song, no matter how catchy it is. I can't exactly remember where I heard of her first, it was probably through Marin a while ago. So if you've already heard of her, already love her, then I apologize. Let me know that I'm waaaay behind on the times. But if not, check out her new stuff, but also give Soviet Kitsch a listen. It's a little less poppy, but I like it a little more. Her music is mainly piano-driven, with some occasional different instruments sprinkled in here and there. She can control her voice incredibly well, which can add a lot of depth to her songs. Her latest album definitely seems more easily-accessible, so it makes sense that people are just starting to catch on to her. So start there, and then work your way back. You'll be glad you did.

late night ramblings

First, let me start this by saying that everyone should go out and get the Loney, Dear album, entitled Loney, Noir. I got it today, and cannot emphasize enough how good the entire album is. So far, there hasn't been a song that I've wanted to skip. They may be my favorite Swedish band since the Refused.

The weather tonight is really amazing, not too humid and pretty warm. I took one walk tonight, and I'm considering another. I should get to bed, since I'm still fighting this cold, but I'm really not tired right now, and I just stop myself from enjoying the weather! Earlier, I was walking to kind of blow some steam off after work, and now I want to go out just to relax a little more. It was a long night at work, at first everything went wrong that could, our one-hour photo machine went down, and it was just busy overall. Then, around 8:30, it got incredibly slow. So the last hour and a half just crept by. (For those of you that might not know, I work at the customer service department at a grocery store. I deal with returns, exchanges, one hour photo, and a host of other things. I haven't really talked about it much here, not because I hate my job, but just because it's not really that exciting, there are other stories to tell.) So to find the weather to be so agreeable helped my demeanor. I was still a little frazzled and a little grumpy, but it was while I was walking instead of while I shut myself in my room. Which is never a positive thing. I calmed down a little, got into a better mood, but still need a little unwinding before I can sleep, I think. Either that or I'll just take some Nyquil and be done with it. But then I'll just feel all discombobulated in the morning, groggy and whatnot, so I'd like to avoid that if at all possible. Besides, I'm not sick to the point where I need an aid in falling asleep anymore.

In Kansas City Royals news, Alex Gordon has been officially announced as the Opening Day starting third baseman. It doesn't really come as a surprise, but it's good to hear. It seems as he's doing alright in his spring training games, hitting .390 with 9 rbi in 16 games. Decent numbers. Let's hope he continues that into the regular season. I hope I am able to make it to his very first big league game, but right now it's looking less and less likely. My money is dwindling (taking a week off can do that), and it just is not working really well with my schedule. It'd be nice to be able to work it in, but I should have plenty of opportunities to see Mr. Gordon play. I hope this is the last time that I refer to him without using the word "stud."

Speaking of Kansas City, I was emailing with Haley, as we usually do during the day, and I had mentioned something about how I was in a predicament about deciding where I want to go in life, more specifically where I wanted to live in the next year. I told her I was thinking of going to Austin, Kansas City, or Minneapolis right now, with others in consideration. Immediately after I sent the email to her, I received a new message in my inbox from, with the subject line "See what fun awaits you in Kansas City this spring!" It seemed like a sign. Then, when I was having a similar conversation with my mom, she mentioned that she had heard from her brother that my cousin Kim (from California) had a job interview in KC. Just kind of some strange coincidences. And the Royals are there, so it's already got a strong draw for me. Plus, the grocery store that I work at has a lot of locations there, so if worst comes to worst, I could probably get a job there until I can find an actual career. Other cities, you have some catching up to do.

Well, I reckon I should try to get some sleep. Sorry outside, I can't enjoy you any more tonight. It's time for Loney, Dear to tuck me in. Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year. . .

It's getting to be that time of year. The time of year when temperatures climb, birds start chirping a little louder and more often, everything thaws, rivers swell, thunderstorms roll in (one's starting right now, as I type!), and the grass gets greener. And, most importantly to me, the two most welcome words are heard: "Play ball."

The first time that I walk into a stadium and catch a glimpse of the freshly-mowed grass, my eyes tear up a little (mainly due to allergies, but due a little bit to the sheer beauty of a baseball diamond. I really wish my allergies shared the same feelings on freshly-cut grass as I do. I love the smell, love seeing it, but my allergies do not so much) and I start to feel like spring has really started. Even if it's only a college game, or a minor league game, or just a pick-up game with some friends, baseball brings out some of the best memories and emotions for me. I remember playing T-Ball when I was younger, having a line drive hit to me when I was playing second base. I stuck my glove into the air and my face towards the ground, and somehow made the catch. I remember playing catch with my dad, and then going to watch him play for the Moose Lodge softball team, picking up the basic rules of the game and watching the enjoyment of the older guys playing. I remember my dad pitching the whiffle ball to me, and me smacking it right back, literally knocking the glasses off his face. I remember playing with my dad and brother, having "ghost runners" and laughing while I stole bases. I remember hitting the home runs later in life, and my favorite defensive plays I've made (my personal favorite came from a charity 100-inning softball game I played in, when my team only had about 6 players on it at the time. We had a pitcher, catcher, I played the right side of the infield, another guy the left, and two outfielders. With a runner on second, the ball was hit to me, I tagged first base and made a perfect throw to third, right at the bag so the guy covering didn't even have to move his glove to tag out the sliding runner. I was proud of that throw), and also the pain in my shoulder that kept me from playing a lot and playing catch for too long. That's pretty much all better now, but at the time, it was kind of scary.

This time of year is also when the grills start getting dusted off, moved outside, and fired up. Hot dogs, burgers, brats, chops, ears of corn, even pizzas are delicious when flame-kissed and with some grill marks on them. One of these days, when I have a little better porch/patio area, I'll get one of those nice grills. But for now, I have a little charcoal guy that gets the job done, plus he was only $5. Not a bad deal.

So anytime that anyone is in the Iowa City area in the following months, let me know, I'll get the grill going, I'll break out the gloves and a ball, and we'll have ourselves a good old time. We could probably even catch a band coming through town, or just listen to some good tunes while we're cooking and eating and catching. Good times, all around.

Musician for the day

My nod today goes to Madeleine Peyroux, from New York. One of my old roommates heard an interview of her on NPR one day a few years ago, so we looked up some of her songs, and I gotta say I was impressed. She sounds kind of like a white Billy Holiday, a bluesy/jazzy sound, which I dig. Sure, she's on a big label, and has had a song in a commercial, so it's not like she's some underground recording artist, or someone that few people know about. But I'm feeling like listening to her today, and I thought that maybe I could have other people join me in my enjoyment. She's got a nice, relaxing sound, perfect for listening to while doing the morning crossword or having lunch, or just hanging around, listening to music. So enjoy, have a great day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

some links, some books, and some other stuff

First off, I want to suggest to everyone to check out the AM Music Blog. I found this through Jad's Blog, Three Pints and a Towel, when the writer of the AM blog posted a comment. Since I'm always looking for some good online reading, I glanced it over, and started to enjoy it right away. Both of the blogs listed above are music-related, and both have some excellent reviews and recommended bands, so give some new bands a listen. Go ahead, you can leave my blog for a little while. As long as you come back. Ok, now that you're back, I put a link up on the right to the AM Music Blog, so you can check it whenever you like. And of course, I always recommend checking out Haley's blog, Random Mindless Ramblings.

I finished up Housekeeping vs. The Dirt today while sitting at the Java House, enjoying a mug of hot steamed milk (a delicious, light mixture of cinnamon, honey, and of course hot steamed milk) and a wonderful peanut butter cookie. When peanut butter cookies are done well, they may be the perfect cookie, and the Java House bakery does them well. I liked the collection of columns presented in this book, but I am a little biased. Nick Hornby is one of my favorite contemporary authors, I find him humorous and can relate to his appreciation of music and sports. You know, because I'm funny, musically inclined, and knowledgeable about sports, he's the perfect author for me, right? Anyways, this book made interested in a number of other books, all of which I hopefully will read in the near future. It was very easy to read, the humor made it all rather enjoyable. Passages from a few of Hornby's favorite books were included, which helped tie everything together nicely. I would definitely recommend this book to any Nick Hornby fan, or any literary critique fan (if such a genre exists). For just the average reader, I'd probably pick up a different book. Try High Fidelity.

Now, I've started on A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, as I had previously stated I would. Then after that, I'll start in on some books from my trip to Minneapolis. Then, after those, I'll start in on the books I've learned about by reading this Hornby one.

I'm very excited for this weekend, Friday marks the first home game for the Hawkeye baseball team, and it's a "Knit Hat Giveaway" day, so I'm hoping for a free knit hat. I've got the weekend off, and should be able to make it to all of the games against North Dakota State. And, I just found out my friend KP will be in town, so we'll be able to hang out for the first time in a while. Should be a good weekend. As long as Memphis beats Kansas in the NCAA finals, my bracket should be ok. Damn Wisky and Texas messed up the rest of my Final Four. (Note to Kevin Durant: Please stay in college, at least for one more year. I'd like to be able to watch you play, but I watch a lot more college games than NBA games, so it'd just be more convenient for me. Plus, you might have a shot at a national title and consensus number one overall pick status. It'll give you a chance to put on a little muscle-weight, and build up some endurance. I hope that your coach figures out how to use you better, maybe even run plays to get you the ball late in the game. You and DJ Augustin could own the Big 12 next year. So please, think about it)

oh college.

I generally avoid such stories, but everyone's got one, some are humorous, so I may as well share mine. Of course, I'm talking about the Drunkest I've Ever Been.

The story starts about 3 years ago, in the spring of the year 2004. Now I was a novice drinker, having not imbibed until I was 23, so I was still trying on my drinking shoes at this point. This was coming on the heels of an excellent night out had by me, Bill, and Adam (which I can recall taking place during March Madness, so this had to have been almost exactly 3 years ago), during which a girl had told me that she liked me. I wasn't so sure of what I thought of her, she was nice and all, but I didn't know if I wanted to be in a relationship with her, so I side-stepped the issue that night, and kind of forgot about it. I only mention this because it set up the theme for the Drunkest Ever night, I had been kind of a jerk and felt bad, and decided to drink away the guilt.

My friend Travis and I started off going to the liquor department and getting a bottle of Jim Beam and Southern Host (not Southern Comfort, but the 100-proof knockoff of it) and some mixers, then went to get a Falbo Bros. pizza. We headed over to our friends' place (I think Travis was dating one of the girls at the time, but we were all friends) and started the night off innocently enough, just a few people mixing drinks and eating pizza. More and more people started showing up, and so I decided to keep up with the drinking. (I'm not usually super comfortable around a bunch of people I don't know, and so I either get really quiet and sit off on my own, or, in this case, I'll drink until I don't know the difference.) It turns out the people in the apartment across the hall were having a party, so both places started combining into one party. After losing any sort of inhibitions, I went over to the other apartment to mingle, and ended up going to a totally different apartment building next door to the original party. I don't know how exactly I ended up going there, but two other people I knew were there, so It was ok, I guess.

At this other building, since people didn't really know me, they just called me Conan. This isn't that unusual for me, due to my red hair I get that often. (Once, someone said that I reminded her of Conan O'Brien, to which I replied, "yeah, I get that a lot with my hair," to which she said, "oh yeah, I guess your hair color is similar, too." I took it as a compliment, assuming she meant I was funny like Mr. O'Brien.) What was unusual for me was that, after some prodding, I climbed up onto a table and started doing Conan O'Brien's "string dance," and deemed one other party-goer Max Weinberg, and another Jimmy Vivino. After my dance, I decided I needed to call Bill and describe the scene to him. While I was on the phone, the power went out, and to paraphrase Bill, I reacted like I had just watched the 9/11 attacks. I left to go back to the original party location, I guess to leave the traumatic scene. Many people left with me, probably invited by yours truly, much to the chagrin of the hosts on both ends. Also at this point, I started to take pulls straight from the Jim Beam and Southern Host bottles (I ended up having nearly half of each bottle on my own.) Not coincidentally, this is where things get a little hazy for me.

I was told that I went into someones room and started playing their guitar, using a quarter for a pick. When Travis entered the room, I took off and threw my shoes at him, knocking over a box of powder laundry detergent in the process. I then apparently went to the living room and joined in a game of Twister with a few people I had never met. They didn't like this, and eventually I was playing Twister by myself. When I realized that everyone else stopped playing, I plopped down on the couch, and started yelling for Max Weinberg to do inappropriate things, involving the words "toss" and "salad." Also I was saying something about wanting to "roast someones pig," but I don't recall that at all, so it must not have happened.

Travis found me a little later in the bathroom, after I had somehow thrown up on the wall opposite the toilet, about four feet off the ground. What can I say, I have talent. I think a majority of my mess was made on the wall and myself, minimal damage was done to the actual toilet. Since my clothes were pretty much disgusting, one of the girls let me borrow some clothes that she had that she thought would fit me. So I went to bed wearing the bottom of some scrubs that were probably about 4 sizes too small, and a t-shirt that was only a little tight. And I guess I would not pass out, I just kept talking to anyone who would listen.

The next morning Travis gave me a ride home, with my clothes stuffed into a grocery bag, me still wearing the donated clothes, leaving little to the imagination. Travis kept saying (and still says to this day) that I was the drunkest he had ever seen anyone, which means a lot coming from him. He is an experience drinker. Over the next couple of days, things about that night kept coming out, things that I didn't remember or wasn't around for. It took me a long time to have a drink again after that, I still won't have Jim Beam or Southern Host. And I don't ever want to have a night where I drink to the extent of getting sick like that again, and don't really want to have a night that I don't remember chunks at a time. So I guess this was a learning experience for me. I've calmed down quite a bit since then, haven't gotten nearly as out of control, so I'd like to think I've matured since then and whatnot. But that night, I was a wild man. Or so I've heard.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Band of the Day!!

Today's band (like a number of bands I've already recommended) comes to us from the Pacific Northwest, Seattle to be specific. They are the Fruit Bats! I saw the lead singer a couple of years ago, opening for Iron & Wine. And while I was a little more impressed with Band of Horses (may be a future recommendation, I haven't decided yet...) and a little disappointed with Iron & Wine (they were good, but I wished that it was only the main guy, not a full band), Eric Johnson's songs grew on me. Marin liked him and the band right from the start, so that helped, and I listened more. Now, they're my band of the day! So give them a listen. They're upbeat, happy, and have a couple of love songs, and a couple of songs about unicorns. You'll love them. I promise.

Fare thee well, Atlantic Books in the Mall of America. . .

. . . and thanks for the deals! I felt kind of guilty (or I would have, had I not given up feeling guilty for Lent) purchasing a large amount of books from a store whose closing was imminent, like the only reason I was buying books was that they were having a "going out of business sale." That may be true, actually, but, it just happened to coincide with my visit to the MoA. I may have purchased some books there otherwise, had I ever been there while they were in non-closing mode. (A similar thing happened when I was living in Ames, and a local record store was going out of business. Peeple's Music was the store's name. I would do any cd buying there, but definitely got more stuff there when they were having their store-closing sale. I don't think I could've single-handedly saved the store by buying more stuff before that time period, but I still felt somewhat responsible.)

Anyways, I thought I would use this blog as a chronicle and perhaps review some of the books that I bought at Atlantic Books. Here are the books that I bought

  • You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers
  • Housekeeping vs. The Dirt by Nick Hornby
  • The Infinite Book by John D. Barrow
  • Boogers are My Beat by Dave Barry
  • The Baseball Geek's Bible by Douglas B Lyons
  • Fair Ball - A Fan's Case for Baseball by Bob Costas
  • Baseball and Philosophy edited by Eric Bronson
  • Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Sushi by Lulu Grimes
  • Stargazing by Tom Van Holt

Sushi is a general book about sushi, with some photos and recipes, and Stargazing is a book with constellations and other information about astronomy. So those most likely won't be read straight through, but will be used as a reference or just some idle reading material. But the others all looked like books I would be interested in, some I had heard of, some I hadn't. I got the Nietzsche mainly because of the references in Little Miss Sunshine, and the baseball books because I love baseball. I had read another of Dave Eggers' books (A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius, which is excellent, I'd recommend it to everyone) and wanted to read this other one, so I was pleased to find it, especially since it was out of order and kind of a random find. And Nick Hornby is one of my favorite authors, so I picked up his book. And that book is basically giving me the idea of writing the reviews. Housekeeping vs. The Dirt is a collection of columns Hornby wrote for a magazine called Believer, in which he critiques the books he reads each month. He does so in a humorous way, relating it to life or football (soccer) or whatever. I've been compiling a list of books to read from it, so it looks like I'll be busy for a while now (however I'm still open for suggestions!!) The next book that I'm going to be reading is one that Haley let me borrow, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Hopefully I'll have some time to be reading in the next few weeks, and I'll try to get through maybe a book every week or two. We'll see how that goes. . .

A quick music recommendation

My music recommendation for the day is Rosie Thomas. I found out about her though Jad's blog, and thought that I'd second his endorsement. She's basically a singer/songwriter, but I feel like that's a good genre, one that I can wholly support. It's one that if done well, I usually like a lot, and if done poorly, is easily ignored. Rosie does it well. She even covers an REM song. While my feelings on REM may not always be ones of general pleasure, her version of "The One I Love" is pretty good. So check her out!!!

Home again, home again

I made it back to Iowa City last night in the early evening. Not a bad drive at all, aside from the fact that I felt like crap and had to stave off the strong desire to fall asleep. Minneapolis was a good time, Haley and Jim made me feel welcome, and were very gracious in letting stay at their places. The Mall of America was a huge mall with a little theme park inside of it, pretty much exactly what I was expecting. But, I did love the cheese store and the book store, and I wish I had more money to spend at the peanut butter place. I also kind wish that I hadn't spent $70 on books. I'm not upset that I bought the books, but that money could have probably been better spent. Oh well.

The day I spent in downtown Minneapolis was a nearly perfect day, the temperature was in the mid- to upper-60's, people were out walking around, and there was just a lot of stuff to check out. I got the tickets for Of Montreal after a little searching (you'd think that the venue would have some sort of box office right there, instead of a couple of blocks away), and spent the rest of the day just wandering around. I'm fairly certain that I saw the lead singer of TV on the Radio, which made me want to go to their show even more. However, the week was already pretty packed-full of plans for me, so I figured I'd save the money and do the other stuff with my friends. Sorry TVotR. Come to Iowa City soon, and I'll go, I promise.

I really enjoyed the Of Montreal show. Loney, Dear impressed me, I think it helped that I kind of knew some of their songs before I saw them. They were pretty much what I expected, which wasn't a bad thing. I really liked the lead singer's accent, especially when he'd talk in between songs. My favorite thing he said was "I wish I knew English better so I knew what you were saying to me." to a fan who apparently was saying something.

Of Montreal put on a show that was similar to their Iowa City show I saw in August, but they played more from their latest album and a couple of new songs, but not much older stuff, which was a little disappointing to me. They played almost all of Hissing Fauna, are you the Destroyer, and about 3 or 4 from Sunlandic Twins, but not my favorite song, "So Begins our Alabee." Oh well. They did have a lot of energy, and some interesting images/videos playing on screens behind them. The crowd, in my opinion, sucked. It was made up mostly of what appeared to be high schoolers, who all decided it's cool to have loud conversations during a concert. I hate that. (I think I was spoiled with the Jeff Tweedy show here last year, it was an incredibly quiet crowd during the songs and while Mr. Tweedy was talking, and loud and cheering at the appropriate parts.) Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure the last show I saw at First Ave was similar. I'm not sure if that's the norm for concerts these days or what. I wish they would've had a 21+ show, but based on this crowd, there may have been only 15 people going in that case. It was alright, though, the crowd didn't make me dislike the show. It was just kind of an annoyance. The floor was pretty packed, I felt like I should've bought the guy in front of me dinner afterwards, and maybe had a cigarette.

St. Patrick's Day was fun, or as fun as it can be to go out when I feel pretty terrible and want to go to bed. We went to a couple of bars, I had a decent time people-watching. I feel kind of bad for not really getting into the whole spirit of the day, but I did what I could. Plus, by not drinking, I was able to drive everyone home and avoid any taxi fares. Everyone wins!

All in all, it was a good trip. I wish I hadn't gotten a cold for the last few days, and wish I didn't spend so much money right away on books, but I managed. I'll probably post more about my trip later, but this is a good overview of it, I feel. Oh, I should mention that we played a lot of Settlers of Catan and the card game "Oh Hell," so that was pretty awesome. I think Jim and I pretty much split the games of Settlers, but I never did very well at cards. It was still super fun, though.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Quick notes re:Tate Vs Haluska

Just a few things about some comments that have been posted about the Tate Vs. Haluska thing I did a couple of days ago. A good point is made up, Tate took the team to the post season every year, including his "disappointing" senior year, while Haluska didn't take the teams to ANY post-season tournament. So add another point to Tate's.

And as for Haley's comment about Tate, I'd like to set some things straight... He missed one half due to dehydration, against Kent State, a game that the Hawkeyes won 39-7, a game that Tate had 2 td's before he left. The game that was his very first collegiate start. In around 85 degree heat, with it being much hotter on the field. (I was at the game, I got smoked by a sunburn and felt like crap most of the time.) The other 2 games he missed in his career were due to an abdominal strain against Syracuse and when he had hand surgery the week before the Northern Illinois game. Neither game was expected to really be close, so he didn't miss any important games in his career. The abdomen strain affected him for most of the regular season, he wasn't really 100% until the bowl game. Plus, he played most of this past Michigan game with a torn ligament in his hand. Sure it was the left hand, but that's the hand that takes the impact of the snaps, so it's still important. I really don't know where people got the idea of Drew Tate being a wimp. A week after missing 2 quarters because of dehydration, he was fine for the whole game in dismantling Iowa State, taking every offensive snap.

Now, I'm off to shower and then explore the town!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Music recommendation from the North

In honor of being in the Minneapolis area, I figure I'd pick a Minneapolis-based band. Here's Tapes 'n Tapes! They sound a little like Pavement with a little Pixies. Basically they sound like an indie rock band. Unfortunately they're not playing up here while I'm in Minnesota. But, everyone should check them out, they're pretty darn good. And they'll probably be getting bigger eventually. So you can say that you heard them before they were big. Sweet.

Chillin in Cottage Grove

Had a nice, relaxing day today in Cottage Grove, MN. Got out to a pizza lunch buffet, which was delicious, then headed back to Jimbo's for some college basketball. I've decided that Kevin Durant is my favorite non-Hawkeye player. I'm hoping he stays in college, so I'm able to watch him more... I don't get to watch as many NBA games, and would really like to see him dominate the Big 12 for another year. I'd really love to see a Tyler Smith/Kevin Durant match-up someday. Preferably in the Final Four next year or something. Seeing as how there's no chance for any match-up this season. I expected the Hawks to miss the NCAA tournament. But I had hopes for the NIT. Little did I know that there were about 120 teams in D-I basketball with a better record. Poor Adam Haluska. Well, Adam, thanks for the past few years. But, it's time to hand the keys over Tyler Smith. Tyler, take care of the team, and try to stick around for a few years.

I'm excited for the Tyler Smith Era, as long as Tony Freeman grows into a point guard that can help lead a team, and if Seth Gorney decides to put on some muscle and figures out how to play the center position. It'd be nice if Greg Oden leaves for the NBA, too.

Tomorrow should be an exciting day for me. I'll be out and about on my own, probably heading to the Mall of America to kill some time while I wait for Haley to get off of work. Then I'll meet her at her place, meet up with everyone else, and then go see 300 at the IMax theater. Good stuff!

Well, I'll be back sometime to post.

New Wilco!

Much thanks to Jad for posting this on his blog, but I thought I'd put it up here too, so I can maybe bring this to the attention of two more people. My current favortie band, Wilco, is previewing their forthcoming album in its entirerty on their website, Go listen to it. It's good.

Hello from the North!

Well, I made it to the Minneapolis area without a problem yesterday. I am at the Casa del Jimbo, posting from his laptop. Good times last night, played some NCAA football and some Settlers of Cataan. Yours truly won the second game of Settlers pretty handily. I think I'm going to enjoy myself up here.

I'll post when I can from here, but it probably won't be to often.... Sorry. I'll check my e-mail every now and then, so if anyone comments I'll be able to tell, and if anyone wants to e-mail me, I'll get back to them if I can.

later people

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Next band!! and notes on the next week

My recommendation today is for everyone to listen to Menomena. I haven't exactly been able to maneuver their homepage very well, but their myspace is good enough.

These guys are from Portland, just like The Thermals, and another performer that I will be suggesting in the near future. (I'm glad to hear that the Pacific Northwest has more stuff than just grunge coming out of there now!) They have a rather unusual kind of sound, kind of quirky, always shifting from song to song.. It's hard to pinpoint their exact style, it's almost an electronic sounds at times, then some drum-driven songs, and then some just rock-based songs. Definitely a different sounding band, something to check out and let sink in. So enjoy!

This may be my last post for a while, or I might post again tomorrow night! I'm leaving for the Minneapolis area tomorrow morning, and don't really know what sort of access I'll have to this here internet. So when I have the ability and the desire to, I'll post here. Until then, I hope everyone enjoys themselves and keeps reading and commenting. I like comments. It lets me think I'm important or something. Yeaaaaaah.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Haluska vs Tate

I don't know when the last time we've had two high profile, skill position athletes start for three years for the Hawkeyes at the same time, or if it's ever happened before. But this year, we have two seniors leaving, one in basketball, one in football, each carried the burden of the Hawkeye faithful's hopes on their shoulders. For football, it was quarterback Drew Tate; basketball had Adam Haluska. I've been wondering the past few days about which student-athlete had the bigger impact, meant more to the Hawkeye Nation. So, I've decided to use my blog to break it down and come up with a winner.

Freshman Season

Drew Tate saw limited action his freshman year, going 6-11 passing for 55 yards and 1 td, no ints, along with 46 rushing yards. He was the future, and everyone knew it. Poor Nate Chandler had to deal with the pressure of being the starting QB in front of the QB that everyone wanted to be playing. (I often picture Nate Chandler sitting in a class during his senior year, and when his name is called for roll, everyone starts chanting Tate's name.)

Adam Haluska played for the Cyclones his freshman season, starting all 31 games he played in, averaging 9.2 points a game on nearly 40% shooting. But, it was for the Cyclones

Edge: Tate

Sophomore Season

Drew Tate takes over the starting job and has the season that everyone had dreams of: Big Ten Player of the Year, the Hawkeyes beat Iowa State, Ohio State, and threw the game-winning pass in the miracle ending of the Capital One Bowl vs LSU. Guided the Hawkeyes to their third straight 8th-ranking in the end of season polls, and their third straight 10-win season.

Adam Haluska started all 33 games of the season (after transferring and red-shirting one season), averaging 14.7 points per game and almost 81% from the free-throw line. He helped the Hawks win over Texas, Louisville, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Michigan (twice), Michigan State. (Louisville and Michigan State both made the Final Four this season) Lost in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to Cincinnati.

Edge: Tate (If only for the Capital One Bowl)

Junior Season

Drew Tate passed for more yards, more td's, and less int's than the previous season, but the Hawks slipped a little in the win department, compiling a 7-5 record, and a loss in the (terribly officiated) Outback Bowl vs. Florida. Didn't have any real "signature wins" over the season, as the Hawks ended the season unranked.

Adam Haluska averaged just under 14 points per game and nearly 5 rebounds per game, to go with 84.8% shooting from the charity stripe, starting in 34 games. Had wins against Ohio State (2 times), NC State, Illinois, Michigan State (twice). Scored 15 points and had 8 rebounds in the win over Ohio State for the Big Ten Tournament championship. Scored 20 points in first-round NCAA game against Northwestern State... also was guarding the player who hit the game-winning 3 for NW State.

Edge: Haluska

Senior Season

Drew Tate missed two games due to injury as the Hawkeyes struggled to their first sub-.500 season since 2000. Again, no real signature victories, except possibly Iowa State. Threw for fewer yards and tds than the season before. Lost last 4 games of the season, including a 26-24 loss to 11-point favorite Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

Adam Haluska led the Big Ten in scoring in his first year as the "premiere" player for the Hawkeyes, averaging 20.8 points a game. Had 5 games of 30+ points, and another 3 in which he scored 29. Shot 87.6% from the free-throw line as he led the team to wins against Iowa State, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan. Helped the Hawkeyes finish 4th in the Big Ten in a season they were expected to finish near the bottom of the league. (season still in progress)

Edge: Haluska

Defining Moments of Career

Drew Tate threw the game-winning pass in the Capital One Bowl, slammed the ball down in frustration against Ohio State, gave himself a concussion making a tackle after he threw an interception at Iowa State, played with a torn ligament in his non-throwing hand against Michigan.

Adam Haluska started every game of his Hawkeye career, currently somewhere near 130 games straight, scored 30 points in back-to-back games, scored over 1000 points as a Hawkeye, guarded the player who won the Northwestern State game, made thousands of Iowa State Cyclone fans furious when he transfered.

Edge: Push (too close to call, Capital One Bowl vs. pissing off Cyclone fans)

Record versus Iowa State

Drew Tate: 2-1

Adam Haluska: 2-1

Edge: Push (would have given Haluska another victory over ISU for leaving them, but since he was on the Cyclone team that beat Iowa in 2002, he loses out on that point. But, that same ISU team lost to the Hawkeyes in the NIT. Still, it'll stay as a push)

Post-season records

Drew Tate: 1-2

Adam Haluska: 0-2 in NCAA tournament as a Hawkeye, 5-2 in Big Ten Tournament, including winning the championship in 2005-2006. Current post-season still in progress

Edge: Haluska

Professional Prospects

Drew Tate is too undersized to really have a shot as a QB in the NFL. He may get picked up by a team, or make in the CFL. Has great elusiveness, throws a pretty ball, and is an intense competitor.

Adam Haluska has the best shot of any recent Hawkeye to make it in the NBA. Has an awkward but effective shot, can drive the lane on occasion, isn't a defensive liability, and is very athletic.

Edge: Haluska

(having seen both of them with their girlfriends
on consecutive nights, I feel qualified to judge this)

Drew Tate - cute girl, blond. About the same height as he is. Don't know any cute story of how they met, or anything about her, really.

Adam Haluska - very cute girl, brunette. Much shorter than him. Sweethearts since elementary school, got engaged on the same playground where they met. Did I mention she's brunette?

Edge: Haluska


Drew Tate never quite lived up to his sophomore year, but will always been known as a fiery competitor who threw "The Pass" in the Capital One Bowl (I feel I cannot mention that game enough. It really does mean something personal to me, but that's a different story for a different day.)

Adam Haluska took a young Iowa team on his shoulders his senior year, led the Big Ten in scoring, and beat pre-season expectations. He'll be remembered for his three-point and free-throw accuracy, and for screwing over the Cyclones (I also can't mention this enough. I think it's hilarious!)

Edge: Haluska

So there it is, Adam Haluska wins 6-2, with 2 pushes. Sorry Drew. Both have been great Hawkeyes, and I'm saddened to see either of them leave. Hopefully I can write something similar three years from now, about Tyler Smith and whomever takes over the starting QB job, be it Jake Christensen or Arvell Nelson. Assuming Tyler Smith stays for his entire collegiate career. And assuming I'm still doing this in 3 years.

Sleep dialing??

Yeah, I didn't really post anything yesterday. I didn't have that much of an inspiration to blog, or blogspiraton if you will. Nothing really happened during the day, and I didn't feel like rambling on about nothing.

Last night, however, was a little different story. I'm a member of the Old Chicago beer tour, this thing where you sign up and each time you have a different beer, you get it put on your beer tour card. You get prizes at certain intervals, and after 110 beers, you've finished the tour. I finished my first tour a couple of months ago, got my name on the "Wall of Foam" or whatever they call it, and got my sweatshirt. So now I just go for the mini-tours they do, which are tours made up of anywhere from 8-12 beers, usually revolving around a holiday theme. There's a St. Patrick's Day tour right now, consisting of Guiness, Harp, and some other Irish beers. Good stuff. Anyways, you can only get 4 beers put on your card in one day, so in order to finish the mini-tour today with my mom (yes, my mom's finished the tour, too, she's the reason I'm in it in the first place), I needed to have 3 last night.

Now, I didn't really feel like drinking on my own, so I called around, and talked a couple of friends to meet up with me. It was a good time, but I was stuffed full, so I didn't really finish all 3 beers (you don't really need to drink them to count, just purchase them). I had all of the first one, about 3/4 of the second, and not even half of the third, so I wasn't drunk at all, not even really feeling anything. But when I got home, I immediately got into bed and fell asleep, pretty hard. Hard enough that I apparently started calling people while I was sleeping. I probably wouldn't have realized that I had done such an act, had some of the people not been out and called me when they left the bars around 1:30 in the morning, and I can barely recall that. I don't know what brought about such a sudden sleepiness, but whatever it was got me pretty good.

I have had a history of calling in my sleep, once I guess I said something about fighting a tank on my own. Much like dreams, I guess it can be pretty random, and just overall strange.

I woke up this morning about an hour before I usually do, which was kind of nice, it let me leisurely get ready and arrange some stuff. I still need to do some cleaning around my room, and pack for my trip up north, but that shouldn't take too much time at all.

Maybe later I'll post something that's actually interesting!!

Band of the day!

Congratulations Loney, Dear, you're my music recommendation for the day!! They'll be playing with Of Montreal when I see them in a week, so I found their myspace page to get an idea of what they sound like. They're Swedish, and you can kind of hear the accent (which seems a little unusual to me, why is that when I hear bands from England or Australia and even some from non-English based languages, I never really notice an accent?) throughout their songs. I kind of hate describing the sound of a band, I feel that I don't do that great of a job. But if I had to, I'd say they're kind of alt-folksy, with a good use of a variety of instruments. I'm looking forward very much to seeing them!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Quote of the Day

Courtesy of Buddy Bell, manager of the Kansas City Royals. Buddy's talking about Mark Grudzielanek, Kansas City's Gold-Glove secondbaseman, after he just had knee surgery.

"Only time will tell how much time he is going to need."

thanks Buddy. Did you ask Yogi Berra for help on coming up with a statement?

My daily music recommendation

So I'll keep this going daily for as long as I can, I've got about a week's worth of bands lined up, and probably more that I'll think of. But there's also spring break, which means that I'll probably have limited abilities to post. (All the better, I imagine, I've been going a little overboard on this recently, posting multiple times in a day...)

Anyways, today's band, The Thermals, hails from Portland, Oregon. I heard of them through my roommate Daren, who either knows one of the members of the band or knows someone who knows someone. They'll be in Iowa City on March 19th, and if I'm recovered from my week in the Cities up north, I'll be heading to the Picador. They're kind of an indie-pop-punk band, and they seem to have fun in their performances, based on some of the videos from their myspace page. I really enjoy their song "A Pillar of Salt," which seems to be their "big song" right now. They've performed it on Last Call with that one dude, and have a video for it that I highly suggest you watch.

Well that's it for now, I'm calling it a night. But you can be sure that I'll return during the day for some more of my wild and crazy antics!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

addendum to Gotta find a way...

I screwed up. I don't know how I let it slip my mind, but it happened. I would be remiss if I left Washington DC off of my list of where friends live. Because that's where my best friend lives. So I've edited the post and added on there, I'm truly very sorry for leaving it off, Marin. Please forgive me.

Dear Senator Obama

First off, thanks for stopping by Iowa City this past November. I don't know if you remember me, I was the guy in the crowd with red hair, standing about 20 feet away from you. You also shook my hand after the rally, so maybe you'd remember me from that. If it helps, my name is Chris. But a lot of people just call me Flenker. You can call me whatever you're comfortable with.

Now I notice that you're going to be coming to my hometown of Muscatine, IA, in the next week. I'm very excited that you'll be in my old stomping grounds (except for the fact you're going to West Middle School, come one, everyone knows Central is the place to go), but disappointed that you'll be there when I'm in another state. Could you do me a favor and maybe push your appearance back a week? Or maybe stop in Minneapolis while I'm there? You don't have to have any speech prepared, we could just hang out, share impressions of Muscatine, get some coffee, or if you'd like, we could find a bar and trade music suggestions over a beer. I'm going to see Of Montreal while I'm up there, on the 16th, so if you're free, I can grab a ticket for you. It's on me. (If that's ok for you to accept a gift from me. You can just get me back some other time.)

You know, Samuel Clemens lived there (Muscatine) for a while. He worked at the local newspaper, and said that the sunsets over the Mississippi River were the most beautiful he'd ever seen (I'm paraphrasing). Sure, he said similar things about other cities, so I guess you'll have to judge for yourself. Also, you should get a pizza from Salvatore's while you're there. I'd recommend a cheese pizza with the white sauce.

I'm going to try to convince my family to go see you while you're in town. I'll tell them to mention my name to you, so you'll know who they are. Tell them I say hi. I've been espousing you and your oratorical skills for a while, so I'm really hoping they can see first hand what I'm talking about. (Boy, I really hope I used the word espousing correctly there. I'm sure you know how to properly use it, maybe you could let me know.)

Well, I'm sure you're a busy man, so I'll let you go. Give my regards to your family (although they might not know me, I didn't see them in Iowa City. Unless you've talked to them about me, in which case they may feel as if they've met me.) Good luck with everything in the future. You've got my vote. And we'll get together sometime soon, if we miss each other in the coming weeks.

Chris J Flenker

Music recommendation for the day

I'm going to try to do this one a semi-regular basis, to share some music that I like with everyone. It may be a band that I've loved for years, or a new one that I just found. If there's any story behind the band that I can provide, I will try to do so, whether it be how I found out about them, a concert that I've seen them play, or just some random tidbit. And I'll do my best to at least link to some songs, most likely a myspace page and maybe a band's official site. This is the official first post in this new line, but really it started yesterday with my mention of Feist. If you haven't done so yet, you should check her out.

Today, I'm suggesting that everyone look up Rock Plaza Central. A friend from work had said that she was listening to them recently, and since we have a similar taste in music (which I learned tonight!), I thought I should give them a listen. I had kind of forgotten about them until I was in bed, falling asleep. I bolted up, remembering that I had written down their name, and began searching for the scrap of paper. And naturally it fell out of my pocket in my car. So I put on some pants, my sandals, and my new coat and stocking cap, and run outside to frantically search my car, of course it had fallen in between my seat and the console, it couldn't have been right on top of anything. Luckily I found it without any frostbite setting in, and scurried back inside.

After explaining to Dan why I had run outside in the middle of the night, I looked them up and listened to a few of their songs, and checked out their bio. Megan, the girl who had mentioned them earlier, had said that their album was a sort of concept album, but the concept was too ridiculous to not read it for myself. She was right. Apparently, Are We Not Horses is an album about robotic horses thinking that they're actual horses. I dig that. And I dig the songs, my favorite being "My Children Be Joyful." They kind of have a Neutral Milk Hotel meets Modest Mouse with they tiniest hint of They Might Be Giants sound, but it's hard to describe. Just listen to them. Love them. And come to Iowa City on March 31 to watch them in concert with me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Gotta find a way to get away... or gotta find something that makes me wanna stay?

(sorry about the Zebrahead quote. I feel like it fit. And screw off, I kind of like some of their songs)

So I wrote all of this last night, but the "internet" stopped working, so it's getting posted now.

One more day of work and a couple of tests are all that stand before me and Spring Break 2007. And it cannot get here fast enough. I love Iowa City, I really do. But I'm starting to feel ready to be done with it. I'm starting to feel like I don't really have much holding me here anymore, except family in the general Eastern Iowa area. I have friends in Washington DC, Austin, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Baltimore, and family in St. Louis, Arizona, Northern California, Oregon, and Maine. All of those places sound very appealing to me, all for different reasons. I don't know if I can really go somewhere that doesn't have some sort of a winter without feeling a little strange. Even this year here in Iowa it felt odd to me, with temperatures near 50 in December, and no real snow until the middle of January. I'm sure I'd adjust, and I could always visit the snow-laden climes. (This is where Haley will say "you're nuts, winter SUCKS.") I've always been drawn to the Pacific Northwest, I like the idea of constant rain and being near a coast. And I've enoyed every visit I've made to California, even with Bill vomiting in the bathroom at the In and Out Burger. (Note: this was not related to the food at said In and Out. The burger I had there was the second best burger I had on my trip, only behind Bob's Big Boy. I don't know if that Big Boy burger can ever be topped, it may have been the best burger of my life.)

I think any place that I move to would have to have a baseball team of some sorts, preferably MLB, but I'd be fine with a minor league team. Just as long as I can have the option to go to many games over the summer. And they'd have to have a good music scene, or at least some good venues that get a lot of acts coming through. Public transit would be a huge plus. As would a major airport nearby to be able to travel through for a relatively cheap price.

Will I be moving any time soon? Probably not. My lease isn't up until August, and I've been talking with Daren about finding places to live around here. But, it's always something that's in the back of my mind, something that I'd like to just up and do. Maybe I've just been waiting for some kind of push, something to get my up and going. That may have happened, and that may be why I've had such thoughts recently. I kind of feel like this will be my last year in Iowa City, possibly Iowa, and I don't really know how to feel about that. I'd miss the Hawkeyes, being able to go to the football games. But that's where the airport comes in, I'd have to travel to see at least one game with my dad.

Sorry if this has been kind of disjointed and random, but these are things running through my head. And my life has kind of felt random and unfocused lately. And it's 2:21 in the am. I think I'm well within my bounds. (I'm not really that bitter and jaded. I just like to act like it.)