Category: blagg

It’s a man’s world apparently…



Best Store Window Ever, originally uploaded by jnoriko.

So today I happen to be in Sacramento for work. Immediately I was stoked to go record shopping at one of my favourite record stores – Phono Select. After I got out of my meeting, I cruised over there to really dig in the crates. Normally when I go, I have Dr J or family members in tow. They get bored when I go through each section looking for stuff. Dr J is one of the nicest men ever, not only did he give me health insurance, but he’ll hold my records for me so it’s easier to browse. That’s love folks.

Anyhow, today I was in there and this couple walks in. They were a bit older than me, and the man was pretty dismissive of his female companion. Clearly she was bored within moments of walking in there and he was trying to get her out of his hair so he could browse in peace. Totally understandable. But then he had to take this totally dismissive, chauvinist tone about the whole thing. “Let me do boy stuff.”

If there was ever a time for the sound of a needle scratching off a piece of vinyl that was it. I couldn’t stop myself from looking up and giving them guy a death glare. Seriously. I might not be the cute yuppie girl he was with, but I’m totally a woman and I’m the vinyl collector geek in my relationship. I don’t even know how record buying is supposed to be gender based, other than perhaps selective affirmation bias and boys being encouraged to buy and spin vinyl. To each their own… but seriously… record collectors aren’t just dudes. Don’t act like I’m army candy.

a grey day…



me at the footbridge, originally uploaded by kendrak.

neil took this picture of me on a footbridge at the salford quays by the lowry and the imperial war museum north.

when we were walking across the bridge, i told him i was going to get cancer some day, it was inevitable. a month later i found my lump. it’s weird to think back to that time.

this all just makes me want to:
1. go visit neil.
2. have a chip buttie.
3. be happy about what i’ve got.

A sixth sense?



Brent’s TV – Lumberjack Days, originally uploaded by kendrak.

Yesterday I felt like it was a good idea to go to Amoeba. Not just because I like record shopping, but that something I really wanted would be there. As I walked in and checked my pack, I got this sense, a spidey sense, that they would have Lumberjack Days there and it was mine for the taking. Lo and behold, they did. This is my 10th copy of said record. 6 more to go before I have 1% of all that were pressed. Yeah, I know that’s sick.

It’s weird to me that I’ve been getting these little premonitions before I go into the store that the Brent’s TV or Ne’er Do Wells 7″s will be there for the taking. It’s creepy, sad, but that’s like me!

I used to be “eerie, lost-looking” but I hope I’m better now.



some of my denery/imlay records, originally uploaded by kendrak.

The other day Larry wrote about Cometbus in China. It was good and I meant to get us a copy. (I usually make Dr J a copy of the latest Cometbus when I’m walking on the avenue.) Well, it turns out Cometus struck a nerve with hardcore Green Day fans, which Larry wrote about today. The post and the comments really made me pause and think about what it means to be a “superfan”.

Now, I can’t pretend to really get what it means to be a Green Day superfan, especially nowadays, but I do remember the weird feeling I used to get (and still do to a lesser degree) for another Lookout band. Of course I’m talking about the Hi-Fives. The Hi-Fives are still my favourite band and I’ll admit to getting a weird mix of emotions when I listen to their music, but I also know the mix has changed over the last decade. (It probably helps that they broke up.) I also don’t want to act like the Hi-Fives are on the same level as Green Day. I mean, yeah I like them more but they’re a very different animal all together.

Allow me to have a flashback. Picture it… Carmichael… 1997… I was at home, totally beside myself because my parents wouldn’t let go to a Hi-Fives show in Benecia on a school night. I was hysterical. I had to be there! I couldn’t not be there! My life was over. I felt a very potent mix of anxiety, anger, frustration, and hopelessness. It was insane but also very real. Over the next three years I swear I spent a lot of time doing things to win my parents’ trust and respect just so I could bargain my way to Hi-Fives shows. I opted to see them play three songs in SF than go to my senior prom. I don’t regret the decision, but I do sort of wonder how I could have been so single minded for such a big chunk of my life. It seems OK since I did make some great friends out of it, like Larry, and the band did seem to appreciate my support, but still… it’s a little weird looking back on it.

So let’s get to now. Am I that bad? No. Am I completely normal? (Shut up, you!) Well, I’ll readily admit to compulsively buying Hi-Fives records still. If I see a 7″ or LP, I’ll buy it. Why? I feel like they need a good home. I used to pretend I’d actually give them away, but I’ve yet to be able to do such a thing. Instead I’m hoarding them. I can’t really explain it other than obsession. (Hey Larry, did you know I’ve sort of done the same with the Potatomen?) I’ve made concessions, like not seeing Sweet Baby at The Fest in 2008 because I had to start my new job and do school stuff, but I still have my weird habits. (Like owning 4 copies of It’s a Girl on vinyl.)

So I guess what I’m trying to say is I do sort of get what the Green Day fans are feeling. That a bunch of them self-identified with the type of fan that Aaron described and took offense. They named themselves as that type of fan. This is where I sort of feel bad for them… because really if they were totally secure in being a superfan, they wouldn’t really care what Cometbus says. (Though seriously, the ones asking who the hell Cometbus is are making me scratch my head. I mean, it’s Cometbus! That’s an important part of the East Bay punk scene, even if you don’t like what he’s saying.) It does remind me of the weird cohort of Lookout superfans in the late-90s, but I also don’t remember the stakes being quite so high. Maybe I’m just repressing more of my emotions though, trying to act like I’ve grown up some. I guess my record collection might tell a different story.

Brrr. It’s cold out here.

Greetings from that nation’s capitol! It’s cold (for me). I’m going to spend the next 10 days experiencing a real Winter. Last time I had 10 days of Winter, I was in the UK going to football matches, watching Corrie, and eating chip butties. This time I’m going to conferences and working. How lame is that?

The highlight today had to be the falafel I got for dinner – it had kraut! Man, that’s the thing that kills me about falafel in America, the lack of kraut.

I’m now going to eat a Cutie (the best name brand clementine money can buy), ponder my existence, and probably listen to some football podcasts. I am a dullard.

LIVE THE CHAOS: Maybe I should stop cataloging my records?



12/365 – LIVE THE CHAOS, originally uploaded by kendrak.

I’m really in denial about going to DC next week. Not ready and do not want to go. Well, I do and I don’t. Once I’m there, freezing my butt off and seeing friends, I’ll be fine. Until then it’s nothing but stress and angst. Thank heaven for records.

Today I walked into Rasputin’s for lunch and this was staring at me: FILTHLIVE THE CHAOS. It’s Dr J’s motto in life. Anyhow, I had to buy it. I just had to!

And of course when I got home I had to add it to my Discogs. Of course, the librarian in me feels like I should catalog my collection but it’s too much like work. I mean, really… it’s worse than work. I’m used to finicky, weird systems for metadata, and Discogs is not that. It’s more idiosyncratic, but then how will I know what I have? How will you know what I have?

It’s not bad until you get to the records that aren’t in the system. Is it worth entering them in? Sometime yes, sometimes no. (Where did I get so many random kitschy records from who knows when?) So yeah… I think maybe I should just pack it in and give up, but then I think that would lead to disorganization and then the bastards will have won.

I should get back to real work and getting ready for my trip to DC.

Jessica Fletcher bugs me, but I can’t say no to her.



, originally uploaded by sylvia k doodles.

One of the good/bad things about Netflix, is that it’s so easy to watch old TV shows. Revisiting The Rockford Files was a good thing. Revisiting Murder, She Wrote has been a mixed bag. There’s just something about Jessica Fletcher that is simultaneously annoying and endearing.

She’s a widow from Cabot Cove who knows everything and has the perfect balance of optimism and skepticism. Maybe I’m just bitter she’s the grandmother I never had, though somehow I think I would hate her if she were my grandmother. I can’t help but wonder if some of this is because the mysteries themselves are really quite bad… very much like most of the mystery/crime shows today, where they spoon feed you evidence of the crime so you feel clever at the end. Or is it that this show is painfully dated. Not just the velour track suits and bad hair. The Russians and the apple pie dreams, too.

Right now I’m watching the episode where Jessica becomes a congresswoman because her congressman is murdered in DC. She is appointed because she’s trustworthy and it has that back-woodsy charm you’d expect for quaint, cute Maine. I want to turn it off, but it’s so hard not to snark.

The other great thing about watching this, other than the trip down memory lane (Sunday nights in my household were for Murder, She Wrote before the rise of Fox), is all the sightings of every two-bit character actor on TV during the 80s. I swear there’s been recycling 9 episodes in.

Learning the vernacular by osmosis.



Subuteo, originally uploaded by Sleepy Gonzales.

This weekend I forced Dr J to listen to 606 Football Phone-In this weekend. I had to keep up with all the happenings and goings on this FA Cup weekend. He didn’t seem as bored as I would have expected, but he made a very interesting observation.

“I could probably understand more of what they’re talking about if I had more background.”

With people calling in about clubs from all the different leagues, mentioning matches and cup ties that went back decades, any neophyte would miss a lot of subtext. I’ve been listening to 606 for almost 10 years, and I’ve really picked up a lot of the history and vernacular through osmosis over that period of time. Dr J has probably picked up more than your average bear since we’ve been together, but he still has a lot to learn.

Really though, this is probably just another example of what a saddo I am, and what a nice guy he is. . First he’d let me listen to Football Heaven when he’s around, and then this. He at least appreciated the wit known as Robbie Savage

The flip side of this would probably be my friend Neil, the Evertonian who has really helped me plunge to these levels of sad obsession, asked me about Chad Ochocinco this weekend. How can you fully appreciate the all around talent and personality of the former Chad Johnson without the context the NFL, reality show, and the rest of the package? It takes time.

I shouldn’t try or expect to talk to most people about music.



FLASH!, originally uploaded by kendrak.

This week I had a few moments where I was reminded that I really can’t or shouldn’t talk to most people about music. I feel like such a jerk when I might rain on people’s parades. “Oh… you like Aerosmith? That’s… nice…” I mean, what else am I supposed to do? I normally play stumm until pressed for an opinion, but I don’t have what Lady Gaga would call a “Poker Face”. (God, that’s a great song.)

I think there might be a correlation to people understand why I would want all the colours of the Brent’s TV 7″, or the people who wouldn’t care. If you get this thing, you might also understand why I don’t like Aerosmith.

Sometimes I remember they beauty of Berkeley…



campanile, originally uploaded by kendrak.

Today I had a meeting in a library across campus, and the walk over to Southside was calm and still there weren’t many people around. I have to say, intersession periods are when I really appreciate working on campus. You can really see how pretty the campus is in the calm.

So when I was walking back I got this view of the Campanile. It was stunning. I had to stop and take the picture and just stare for a second. That’s a postcard view there. I walk past those view practically every day, but once in a while I actually recognize it as such.