Saturday, December 20, 2008


The shiny, silver bracelets
connecting her wrists
limited her movement
but released my inexplicable affection.

As she turned to face her warden,
our eyes met and exchanged a silent truth.
She breaks the law.
I enforce it.

My evening's fate,
Chinese take-out and Seinfeld reruns,
looked suddenly and strangely bland
when compared to another option.

was to be transferred,
in all of her tall, slender, dark brunette beauty,
to a lower security prison.

Her accompanying officer Deputy Hark
conveniently complained that The Bachelor ends tonight,
Marla's making garlic mashed potatoes,
and Trotner, would you take her for me please.

I thought of my overflowing heart,
her golden eyes,
and obliged.

[Lit Mag final]

Friday, December 12, 2008


My remaining strength is inadequate.
I hold on, brown knuckles white from exhaustion.
The air is so cold,
so mind-numbingly cold,
that my translucent veins feel the same.
My changing feet dangle far above
an inevitable fate.
I braved the sweltering sun,
pelting rain,
droughts without ends in sight.
I now add the occasional flurry to my life story,
debating whether it's one worth telling.
I risk losing focus to peer at the ground
but immediately wish I hadn't.
All of my family, all of my friends --
Their waxy green sheens now turned
to hues of sun,
their resilience now brittle
and lives now lost.
I take a final breath
and join them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"The Best-hidden Government Secret from New York's Public"

So I was listening to "This American Life," my favorite podcast, last night on my iPod. It's a radio show that picks a theme and stories within the theme to tell. They're true stories told by the people who experienced them. Last night's episode was called "Human Resources," and one of the segment's stories caught my attention. It's titled "The Rubber Room."

New York City Public Schools educate more students than the combined population of 8 US states. The teachers who teach in those schools, like in any other school system, are suspended for unacceptable behavior when need be. When teachers are suspended in NYC, they are told to report to the Redistribution Center for further instructions. What the teachers don't know, is that the place they're directed to has no idea when the teachers will be teaching again. The teachers are sent indefinitely to a center they call The Rubber Room.

There are 5 of these centers in NYC. They hold an estimated 900 teachers on any given day. The teachers report to these centers from 8-4 like they would any other work day. Once they're there, however, they realize something completely outside of what they expected. In The Rubber Rooms, there is nothing to do.

Nothing. The teachers sit in chairs, reading or playing cards, making friends and sometimes enemies over the course of weeks. Months. Years. The Rubber Room, effectively, is a detention center for teachers. Some call it "teacher jail." But they stay -- and receive a salary.

30 million dollars go to Rubber Room teachers every year, courtesy of the taxpayers. Some find it a scandal, while others find it a worthy method of putting teachers in their place. The teachers' offenses range anywhere from having 'creative differences' with their principals to screaming, cursing, or throwing chairs at students. Most teachers don't even know their charges. And though they're paid, "not one teacher considers themselves lucky."

Not every teacher is angry. One teacher pointed out that "if you hate teaching and love playing cards, this isn't bad at all." Most though, after long bouts of denial, feel "demoralized" and "robbed of their dignity." The Rubber Room's social aspects speak of high school's. Teachers are cliquey, gossipy, and territorial. Going away parties are thrown for teachers leaving to teach again, while some teachers never do. One was fired after 2 Rubber Room years.

Want to know more? Go, like I did, to Yep. There's a movie. The site features Rubber Room facts, myths debunked, and the movie trailer itself. And when you're done with that, subscribe to "This American Life" on iTunes for free.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ode to Humanity

Complaining about what you cannot change is a waste of your time.

Complaining about what you can change is lazy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I know giving is hard right now, but

1) $25 a month will put a child through elementary school with food; there are approximately 600 elementary age children in the Mount Barclay area our partners are seeking sponsors for; 2) a $500 one-time gift will support a girl transitioning out of the prostitution industry for one year, providing education, vocational training and counseling. To go to our official Child Sponsorship site, click here.

Through Imago Dei Community, Portland.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Missed Connections

I couldn't help but expand these audiences. Enjoy. (from P.S. In case this post has confused you, I did not write these. I found them on Craigslist under a category called Missed Connections -- people write anonymously to others they wish to regain contact with, hoping that the subject finds it at some point. Here are some I thought you'd like:

to the girl with the broken hand
You are rad. You complimented me on my (the Jam) shirt and I was delighted by the way your face lit up as you began rambling about mod bands. I hope you read this, but if you don't I will be back to see you soon.

I Hate You
So what gives, after four years you decide to grow a backbone? You could at least give me a reason, you could at least open that beautiful mouth and tell me why, instead of leaving me to guess and speculate. I'd like to think that I deserve better than that, after everything. I know that I made mistakes along the way, but I always did my best to be there for you, I never batted an eye at coming to your aide, regardless of the cost or sacrifice involved. And you know what? Even after all of this, I still wouldn't, and that's the damnable misery of it. I don't know how long it will take for this to wear off, if ever. It's new and fresh every day. I miss you something terrible.

Green eyes in the office at school
I saw you this morning at the elementary school, you were wearing a black Wake Forest University sweatshirt. I am unable to describe your beautiful eyes. I know I was staring, you smiled brilliantly. What a vision to take in. I could gaze at you all day. Thank you doesn't even cover it. I noticed your PTA tag. I will be sure to attend all events!

we made out in your dorm a few years ago
i felt something then. and every time i see you, it comes back. i think about you more often than i should. i can't help it, really. i doubt if you'll see this and that's okay. you're awesome and unforgettable.

Happy Birthday My Love
This will be the first year of many years to come without being able to say Happy Birthday to you. You'll never read this and if you do you'll never realize its me, but I wanted to be able to still say it anyways.

So Happy Birthday My Love. My Birthday wish for you is that you never know another sad day in your life, that you never have to cry yourself to sleep, that you find the love of your life, and that you have nothing but good health and happiness for the rest of your life.


To My Wife
I received the divorce papers. I am shamed. I am sick with grief that I have done this to you. My beautiful wife. I love you. I love our children. What have I done? I do not deserve you. I have failed you greatly. You have asked so little of me. I couldn't even pull that off. How sad and lonely you must feel. I have thrown your life away with mine. My children. I cannot express the grief I feel at this moment. Not that it matters. Yours by far is greater.

Your creativity amazes me. You asked for nothing. You asked for not one posession, not a single dime. You merely asked me to open my eyes and learn from this great mistake. To seek out help. To seek guidance to be a better father, husband, friend. To seek understanding and forgiveness.

I know you read these posts, since we have talked about them long ago, yes, remember when we actually spoke to one another? I have thought greatly of all the things I miss of you, and they are numerous.

I have many things to make amends with you about. I have no idea if you will choose to accept me back. I know it is your choice.

I am flying back in the morning, instead of Saturday. I hope to find you there. I've texted you three times and called twice. Perhaps the silence is my answer.

Even after everything
I still want to help you write your book. No matter how it ends

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sorry Charlie

Charlie loved Anna from far away.
He saw her once on the tube
and vowed to tour where she lived
worked laughed cried ate walked loved
he vowed to give her new reason to love
(Charlie thinks he's the hero,
but he needs more love than he has to give.)

Anna wears business suits.
Houndstooth, when she can get away with it.
She never wears green.
Anna already loved,
lied, and lost.
She vowed to never return love blindly.
If her love was a response to devotion,
he would be hurt.
He would love her too much.

No shows sold out
and most of the seats were radio prizes
but poor Englishmen, Charlie figures,
are like poor American men
but speak in accent.
"Would you like to 'ave tea wif me, Ahna?
Oh, blahst. Do you 'ave any cahsh?"
Yes. She would love his empty, British pockets.

Anna loves her job.
She presents cold fronts and storm threats
on a daily basis
and says things like "Back to you, Don."
They love her there,
even though her big, red curls cover Iowa sometimes.
She eats in the station lounge
where a stranger finds her.
A stranger named Charlie.

"Ello, Ahna."
"Um. Hello."
"Oi'm Chahlie. Oi, uh, get the Weathuh Channel
in my apahtment back home. Oi saw you."
"Yes, well. That's where most people do."
"Oi've come to see you. Heah, in real loife.
Oi fink oi luf you."
"--Do you now. I'm flattered. And, quite frankly,
a bit amazed. But I'm sorry, Charlie. I can't love you back."

"Yes, yes, but oi 'oped you could...try."
"What do you drink, Charlie? Tea?"
"Shuh. Blahck."
"Let's get some. My treat. For your trouble.

I want you to know, I can only love you first.
I can't love you because you love me."
"Thaht's okay, Ahna. Oi wouldn't wahnt you to.

"Oi like yoh suit."
I like your accent."

Monday, November 3, 2008

"I Appreciate You Being My Guardian Angel"

^copy and paste the link/read the post/view luxury and faith, if possible, differently.

See you soon, Stephen Baker

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Lonely Apple

Radio City's famous pine twinkles.
Rockefeller's ice rink encircles lively figure eights.
Street vendors feature swaths of cashmere --
scarves: five for twenty.
Central Park carriages overshadow honking yellow taxis.
The world's largest toy store presents
its ten foot Lego Nutcracker
as an unprecedented seven floor Department Store
wraps mannequins in mink.
Philharmonic concerts will "be home for Christmas."
Far away fathers concur, phoning
"You can count on me."
Grand Central terminals fuel the city
with hundreds of "I'll be home for Christmas" claimants.
Sadly but not so sparingly,
certain cars will disappoint,
branding young and rosy mittened minds
with the seasonal tune's often overlooked conclusion:



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008


rolling tears liberate.
as each bass riff swells through
the greatest song you know
from the worst time you’d forgotten,
a cold and fragile outburst is
evidence of what a closed door hides.

rushing fears cripple.
what doesn’t kill you makes you
not stronger, but a lost and fallen
version of strength. hope for this.
for only the hope of strength’s return pushes
past blind eyes and forces clarity.

uneasy heart rates rise.
heads throb with pumping blood
but no sense is made.
hands shake and search for a handle,
an anchor. what you walked away from
still holds on.

expectations fall,
but mediocrity never knew you.
passion is passion and yours is full.
no one looks down when your chin is up.
tears and fears helped build you,
but you’re not built of them.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


[I wrote this sonnet two years ago for my Lit class. The only structured poem I've written, save haikus. I'm working on a sestina now, which is proving harder than this baby was... I'll post that one, too, if I like it.]

The wind it whispers through the branches few,
She speaks of what the world has come to be.
I listen then and tell the wind of you,
She knows now how your love has set me free.
The river rushes swiftly past the pines,
He says he has not seen me in a while.
Confessing that indeed this fault is mine,
I boast to him the wonders of your smile.
The mountains strong stand tall above the rest,
Their noble faces silent never bend.
Of all the spirits they have listened best,
But you alone I'll treasure til the end.
My truest love, you spoke to me at dawn,
Alas, it was a dream -- for you have gone.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Guess What?

So I realized this is the kind of thing you might like to hear about. Since dropping Spanish, I have taken up a position on the Literary Magazine staff. We publish our high school literary journal at the end of each year, and I'm hoping the experience will reflect well on a career based in journalism and fresh ideas. Jobs and their descriptions were assigned on Thursday, and I was decided as one of two Deputy Editors-in-Chief. ...hyphenated? Job title spelling is probably something I should know. Anyway. I'm very excited. Along with a spot on the Poetry editing team as a General Editor, this spot directly beneath those who finalize the magazine will prove rewarding.

**Also: current and future Lit Mag assignments will probably find their way up here. I'm working on a few things right now, so I'll post them soon to find out what you think. Isn't this cool? I write post material for a set-aside hour each day and get class credit for it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Champion Imagined

Clearly, she had made a fatal mistake. The colored tetrapods stacked to the breaking point, and GAME OVER flashed so violently that even in her alternate reality where Tetris is an Olympic sport, she realized the gold would be impossible to win. An official would place the ribbon around her neck, from which would hang a chocolate coin. Hand placed over heart, she would hum along as her ringtone, The Office theme song, resounded throughout the stadium in her honor.

In this reality, the one where her only taste of Olympic victory will reach not her lips but her child's (if pushed hard enough for vicarious gymnastic stardom), she stumbles upon a shadow puppet not unlike a unicorn, followed by that of a dove. And as those same Tetris playing fingers flawlessly wield animal after animal against the wall, she realizes -- after sticking the most graceful dismount ever seen from a bed -- not that she had an inner heroine waiting to be discovered, but that over the next four years even this could be perfected....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

An Interjection About the Process of Writing Something That You'd Like to Read More Than This Interjection

Which are your Those Days? You know, the "Have you been having one of those days?" days. My those days are stagnant. My motivations move in and out faster than I can say, "I need a nap," faster than the tendons in my hands flicker as I type. Higher than my motivation to read is the motivation to produce something as powerful as what I read. I am happy to say I have stumbled upon perhaps the greatest lesson of my writing career before the career's begun. Power finds me. It doesn't arrive when I hope it should or say it should, it doesn't appear as flawlessly or apparently as I'd like. But when I have too much to do, when I'm too busy or sleepy to even find a working pen -- that's when power seeps through what I'd decided was a pithy poem or convoluted paragraph of fiction. I will tell you that I hate that I can't control this. I often struggle with what I can't control. It's a fault I don't mind. And really, let's not even call it power. Call it magic. Or life. But whatever it is that pops from the page or screen, whatever it is that sticks with you and with me as a result, usually kicks me when I'm down. Kicks me to get back up again and write about what makes no sense. Because surprisingly? It makes sense to somebody most of the time.

And that makes no sense to me at all.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's Been Flipping Forever,

due to a Missions Trip, Band Camp, and Post Band Camp.

I've gained...flex-worthy triceps, my annual freckles, funky tan lines, an uncanny affection for lip slurs and the occasional basics vocal,

and no new material :]

I'll work on something and get back to you.

I love you all. No lie.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


you need something to hold on to. 

you need to stand in the rain.
you need to know, 
amidst the billowing philosophies that outline your truth,
an explanation for why, when you held on to the rain,
it seemed at that point more solid
than the ground beneath your knees.
because falling had become commonplace, 
and it seemed as though even the bottom
wouldn't stop you.
this challenges everything you've heard.
gravity is still gravity, you're told.
it still doesn't send you to the top.
all you know is that the top is taller than you.
before you return--
before you long to root your feet in the sky--


it doesn't matter in which direction.
run barefoot through the glistening streets,
faster the rain falls,
as though you'll catch up with the wind.
and you'll find what you're looking for. 
you'll hold on to more than rain. 

{as read at Rhythm & Hues, 7.11.08}

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The One. The Only.

Dave Matthews Band: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte, NC on July 1, 2008. Are you ready for this?

THE Tim Reynolds.

And his opener, Michael Franti & Spearhead.

As you know if you've ever seen Dave live, this is not a show. It's an experience. That's the best way to put it. . .he opened with "The Stone" and closed with "Too Much." He covered Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and Pink Floyd's "Money." He didn't play "Crush," but I think somehow I'll see past it. Even though Jeff Coffin of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones filled in for LeRoi (injured in an ATV accident), the band was top notch. Tim Reynolds' solos were righteous while his hair was...not. Their Atlanta show on the 7th gave this one a run for it's money, according to the setlist and personal opinion. You win some, you lose some, eh? Hah.
Also, Michael Franti was a wonderful performer. It was a near-perfect coupling. I thoroughly enjoyed (and danced to) his mix of reggae, hip-hop, and rock.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday's Haiku

first meal of the day
cheeseburgers aren't very good
when they're leftover

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Lonely Fourth

I'm realizing that the core of my missing someone is the haven that's gone with them. Short of hitchhiking, I can't seem to escape to another corner of the country. So instead, I've settled for escaping to my room.

Also, attempts to be merciful seem at first fruitless when offered to certain people. I shall press on....

Happy Independence Day, all.

The irony in that is rather bittersweet.

**Dave Matthews Band concert review on its way**

Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday's Haiku (Back On Schedule)

the green globes lighting
up the newly painted walls,
but the clock's still slow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Why do you have blue on you?"

-Will, age almost 3, about my nail polish.

...and other summer ramblings.
  • Is summer too hot for spiders? Is that why they hang out in my room?
  • HEY I killed my first ever mosquito todayyyy
  • Ikea's having a sale. That never happens. Quick, get your 30 cent hand towels!
  • Reading pleasure books alongside required ones makes the latter easier to get through.
  • Parents, if at their last resort, try to get along for their kids. Siblings have no such motivation. Civility isn't cool enough, apparently.
  • Luckily, my friends can drive.
  • I need to replace my permit.
  • Coming soon to Lucy's walls: Rapture Blue. A color bright enough for all four walls, but deep enough to rule out baby blue..other weenie blues.... I mean come on. Rapture.
  • Sun bounces off of me. The only difference between my skin in the womb and my skin now, is that there's more of it.
  • I'll probably still manage to die of melanoma.
  • Speaking of death, are gardenias too aromatic for even themselves to handle? They last maybe six days. Where's the will power in that?
  • My phone doesn't send texts anymore.
  • I like that it's lighter for longer. I need to put it to the test with a rousing midnight game of hide-and-seek.
  • "Hide and Seek" is a wonderful song. I'm sorry. I couldn't ignore that music plug. The song is worth it.
  • WAIT false alarm. The text sent.
  • I canceled Smorty and they still link my words. That totally sucks. I've already emailed them four times about how to handle it. They misunderstood my problem and probably feel harassed at this point.
  • When given the word "harass" in a spelling bee, ask for alternate pronunciations. When they say HARE/us instead of huh/RASS, you'll remember that there are not, in fact, two Rs.
  • Also, "panache" is not phonetic. P-i-n-a-s-h sounded good though, didn't it?

  • I love you guys. I love summer. I love late nights and late mornings. I love getting out of the house with no apparent agenda. I love the concerts, I love the movies, I love the parties. I love that you're here to hear all about it.
  • Homonyms kind of suck though, huh.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Totally Underestimated The Creepiness."

The Cure, a beloved 80s into 90s alternative post-punk band, is a far cry from the act I'd pictured. Somehow, having listened and never seen, I envisioned them more along the lines of the fictional pop band of "Music and Lyrics," Pop! I don't know why I ever pegged them as such a posters all over a girl's room, on the back of your cereal box, featured on the next 80s comeback reality show, band. No. They're hardcore. And that's what happens when I accept a generous offer to attend a concert based on sound alone. Luckily, concerts run on sound alone. And even though they played every possible song except my favorite, "Friday I'm In Love," over the course of a 90 minute main set and 3 encore sets, I had a fantastic time. . .made possible by the surrounding and extremely intoxicated "dancers." Here are some highlights from June 15, 2008 at Gwinnett Center.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Far far, there's this little girl
She was praying for something to happen to her
Everyday she writes words and more words
Just to spit out the words that keep floating inside
And she's strong when the dreams come
'Cause they take her, cover her, they are all over
The reality looks far now, but don't go

Far far, there's this little girl
She was praying for something good to happen to her
From time to time there are colors and shapes
Dazzling her eyes, tickling her hands
They invent her a new world with
Oil skies and aquarel rivers
But don't you run away already
Please don't go

Far far there's this little girl
She was praying for something big to happen to her
Every night she hears beautiful strange music
It's everywhere there's nowhere to hide
But if it fades she begs
"Oh Lord don't take it from me, don't take it..."

Just look at yourself now
Deep inside
Deeper than you ever dared
There's a beautiful mess inside
Beautiful mess

- "Far Far," Yael Naïm

Saturday, June 14, 2008

and the world was it's own psychoanalyst

Where do you find your therapy?

Are you able to self-analyze but not dwell,
introvert but not shut out?

Or rather, are you able to look at your actions, your problems, your vices and shortcomings, and understand their origin? Their purpose?

Do you always need a second opinion?

What would you do if you were alone?

...not that you ever should be. But. While echoing Donald Miller's conviction that "we are not wired to be alone," I also mean to wonder, concerning dependence, how much is too much. At what point does companionship hamper our ability to know ourselves?

By this I speak less of restricting time spent with or time invested in others than I do of harping upon the need for an underlying and unrelenting sense of self. The time it takes to find yourself also depends. The rub is that it's losable and, based on outside influence, always in danger. I've found one that I mean to hold on to. Sometimes I worry that it strongly affects the way I handle others' pleas for input.

This is the reason we all must learn to stand alone. Perhaps the only time we choose to be will exist in the late hours before sleep, or during the fitness walks around the neighborhood. But needing others to judge your decisions before you can for yourself is ultimately detrimental.

This said, I don't mean to judge how any person spends their time.

Only to judge any person on the self-determined Path to Self that chooses never to walk it alone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ingrid Michaelson w/ Special Guest, Greg Laswell @ Variety Playhouse 6.10.08

[my first scanned ticket! Greg wasn't listed,
so I asked him to list himself :)]
["who's Greg Laswell?"]
["ah okay. I gotcha." He was the best opening act
I've seen thus far.]
[Ingrid in her "dress/shirt" with ukelele]
["This is not a back-view dress."]
[during "Die Alone," perhaps...?]
[whole band during last, post-encore song]

My good friend Chris Flenker first introduced me to Ingrid Michaelson with this very post. I am forever grateful. You know that penguin movie? The cartoon, not the wow-those-are-honest-to-God-penguins antarcticumentary. Happy Feet! That's it. If you've seen it, you remember that every penguin has a heartsong. I've stumbled upon a handful of heartsongs and can't seem to settle on a single selection, but Michaelson's latest album, Girls and Boys, includes at least three or four. She has that voice and those lyrics. The kind that reiterate the reasons why musicians better explain your feelings to you than you ever could.

[...And the kind that, under the right circumstances, could draw a good cry. Take for example 'I am in love with a boy/manufactured to destroy' from "Lady In Spain," or 'You finished first/I must catch up with you/You have had your fill of me' from "December Baby." ]

She plays live like the CD sounds. It's beautiful. Not to mention how satisfyingly hilarious she is. Nothing ups a show's likability like a side of dry, comedic material.

Greg Laswell, who's touring with her and opened for her show, was unexpectedly great. I might have guessed that Ingrid would settle for nothing nothing less than the bar she sets with her own music. He earned the ticket price with his set alone.

And to tie it off? Yes. A little Ingrid right at your fingertips.
...well she's actual size, but this sample of her work is rather teeny.
And a sidenote: The "dorky clown that kisses her" is none other than Mr. Laswell....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday's Haiku (Plus An Interactive Game!)

wheel of fortune's on!
what's the solution?
  • now including Andrew's Os
  • ooh and Katie's off by a hair
  • oh Rami dear. I suspect you may have
    faked the hair you're off by.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ben Sollee @ Red Light Café, 6.3.08
[Bonus: Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet @ Variety Playhouse, 5.22.08]

[^what happens when I forget my camera and
Dad takes a cell phone picture. Pure magic, obviously.]

[Ben Sollee with The Sparrow Quartet]

Okay so here's the deal. This guy is good. And I didn't set out to like him. It's a rare CD that, on a whim, pushes its way onto my Favorite Albums of All Time after a single listen through. I credit that to the new horizon it's presented to my music tastes. Ben Sollee is a revolutionary, Kentucky-birthed cellist. At the Variety show, he was a swell classical addition to Washburn's bluegrass -- until she offered him the spotlight and forced him to surprise her audience with his all-encompassing technique and honest, unadulterated vocals. After his solo, I hopped out of my seat and purchased his upcoming release Learning To Bend. Each track competes with the one before it for the inevitably chosen Favorite Song. My favorite is "It's Not Impossible."

"And I must admit, all jokes aside,
I find some men beautiful
some women handsome
and some children wise."

{And now for a back in time bonus.}
[Marquis w/ a side of Turkish Delight s]

[L-R: Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Ben Sollee, Casey Driessen]

[They find each other funnier than first...expected]

[but it grows on you]

[note the matching men and red-strapless-Abigail -- trés chic]

*Note: One mustn't postpone concert reviews for diversity's sake. One may forget the concert's finer points and have only pictures to show for it.*

...anyways, the music was refreshing and Washburn's Chinese lyrics were interesting and somewhat amusing. I enjoyed it, but will say this: If headed to an unfamiliar act, listen to the show before buying the EP.

P.S. Check out Sollee's track "A Few Honest Words" in my Last FM playlist if you haven't already.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday's Haiku

chocolate pudding
break n' bake snickerdoodles
vitamin water

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dreaming at Night

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday's Haiku

empty nest syndrome
baby pictures turn tassels
another year gone

Friday, May 23, 2008

Music Critic, Graphic Designer.... Tomato, Tomahto.

I can see myself happy in a lot of places. When I'm watching Without a Trace, I want nothing more than to negotiate hostage situations for the rest of my life. When I'm watching Miami Ink, I know my calling is hiding in the tattoo industry. When I stumbled upon Design By Humans, I immediately researched the best Mac compatible graphic design programs. What the general yet brilliant public designs on a daily basis makes me want to, too. Really bad.

Here's the scoop. Thousands of DBH members submit as many t-shirt designs as desired. Based on user responses and votes, every day yields a new Shirt of the Day. A week's worth of winners go up for Shirt of the Week, and those four go up for Shirt of the Month.

And now for the yummy part. Shirt of the Day: $750 prize. Shirt of the Week: $1500 prize. Shirt of the Month: $1750 prize. Winning over $3500 in prizes and residuals because the butt in your computer chair proved to be an artsy one: well... you know.

Make no mistakes -- the shirts are snazzy. We're talkin' super cool. The skill that goes into making each one is remarkable. So I was thinking? I'll pay for Adobe Illustrator CS3 with the money I make working with Ami in the tattoo shop. Good thing Jack Malone's team is already full, or I'd have a dilemma on my hands.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Swell Season: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre 5.13.08

[Venue before the show]

[The Swell Season]

[Once more, Glen Hansard front and center]

[with Marketa Irglova on piano]

[and then again on guitar]

On the last night before my AP exam, a couple friends took me to see Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova -- collectively known as The Swell Season. They are the Oscar award winning stars of the 2007 film, Once. They were up there in Best Shows Ever. I always hate that I haven't saved every concert ticket stub, since I've seen more artists than I now remember. The Swell Season was better than those guys. Is that worth anything? I think so.

What caught both my eye and ear was how they opened. Using a very suitable, crowd-pacifying tactic (they showed about 20 minutes after a tardy and yawnworthy opening act), Hansard strapped up his characteristic worn in guitar and stepped in front of the mic. Using no amplification, he preceded to hammer out a version of 'Say It to Me Now' that drew my jaw to the ground. Wiping our memories of previous impatience, they followed up with a show that proved, personally, better than the film. And the film was spectacular.

What's more, the passionate vocals and rhythms came in a close second to Hansard's comedic ability and insight. About halfway through, he shared that Marketa had offered him $100 to not speak between songs. He said he just couldn't do it. An explanation or anecdote preceded every song, but it was strangely welcomed. "Strangely" because I often brush aside background information that too completely analyzes the lyrics. Hansard's synopses, however, were the most candid and heartstring-plucking I'd ever heard. I found myself searching fruitlessly for an illegal recording device.

One of my favorite parts: as Marketa hooked up her guitar (see picture 4 and rewind your imagination), she asked for Glen to stall. *Must read out loud in endearing Irish accent*
"Tell a joke, Glen!"
"Hm, what? Oh! Okay here's one. How do you know ET was a Protestant?

He looks like one!"

And for your listening pleasure...that you may understand and adopt my extremely glorifying bias: