Category: rants

hot water.

i think my current apartment is making me want to be a republican. i find myself getting more worked up about our downstairs neighbours every week, and i think robojoe wants me to just chillax. of course i should lighten up, but all the little things are starting to bug me.

like waking up at 4:00am on a wednesday to the house stinking of pot. this makes it impossible to get back to sleep because i’m convinced my downstairs neighbour is going to burn the place down. (this is a reoccurring nightmare.) nevermind the rotating pile of junk on the front porch. i think i might just toss it, but that would probably make waves, and i don’t want to rock the boat too much. though i think i am willing to fight the person who likes to fill up the garbage can over the weekend. garbage day is friday. don’t fill it up on a saturday because that’s the day you decide to throw half your belongings out! space it out through the week. i’m tired of living with rotting stuff for a week and smelling it because there’s no room in the can.
the thing that’s really starting to irk me is the lack of hot water in the morning. robojoe and i share a 2-bedroom apartment. our downstairs neighbours both live in 1-bedroom apartments (one’s a studio). i’m convinced the hot-water heater is equipped with 4 inhabitants in mind.  right now both of our downstairs neighbours have at least one other person, more likely 2-3 people living with them. talk about tight quarters! i didn’t mind until they all started using all the hot water up in the morning. i need a good hot shower in the morning, especially since my sinuses are all sorts of messed up right now. it’s irritating that there’s precious little hotwater because 3 other people have taken showers since then. now, i know i could get up earlier, but this is a new thing that’s started within the past couple of months. i’m convinced that 2 of the 3 shower people are not my neighbours with leases, which irks me more. it wouldn’t be bad if these people were visiting for a little bit, but it’s been months. i’m tempted to ask the landlord for a new hotwater heater to account for all the new tenants, but that would be a dick move (especially with a contraband cavy).

so what am i to do? use as much hot water as i can when i can, and hope it doesn’t run out when i really need it. sounds like a republican, don’t it?

ugly feet.

it’s getting to be summer time when i let my feet out of my shoes and into a pair of sandals. i used to hate sandals, but they really keep my feet cool (which is important since we don’t have air conditioning here). the problem is that most sandals are ugly as sin, at least according to my own personal aesthetic. now, i understand that part of it is related to the form and function of sandals, but there are styles that seem to be egregiously hideous. that’s why i chose the very benign and plain pair of black reefs. they’re not the coolest looking things, but they’re boring and relatively unoffensive. i think that’s my style, save for the ugly plaid shirts.

anyhow, allow me to climb up on my soap box and complain about two pairs of shoes that may be functional but are some of the ugliest things you can put on your feet. what makes it worse, is that these sins of fashion are insanely popular with certain crowds and can be seen all over the place. the offenders? crocs and keen shoes.

crocs may be the most comfortable shoes on the planet, but they look stupid. you can get them in a variety of colours, many of which are quite ghastly and most likely meant to be whimsical. but oh, they are so comfortable, so their hideousness can be overlooked. that’s a lame excuse. maybe if you were a surgeon and that was your uniform (i don’t think either of my surgeons wore crocs), but that’s not the same as running around town. i guess it’s the ugly partner of the velour track suit. i think manolo the shoeblogger puts it best:

These they are indeed the shoes of a hypothetical distopian future, one in which the inmates they must be dressed in the footwear least likely to be useful in the popular uprising against the regime.

Yes, the defenders of the Crocs they will speak, as the defenders of the ugly often do, of the great comfort of this “shoe”. Manolo asks you, why must the “comfort” always be the war cry of those who would lead us into the bad shoes?

Manolo says, comfort and style they are not incompatable, one does not obviate the other.

of course the crocs people are in good company. president bush, fashion maven he is, wears them. crocs also make you more likely to lose your toes in an escalator. at first i didn’t believe it, but sure enough there’s an epidemic of kids and adults getting their toes sucked into the stairs of escalators. i guess that’s comfortable…
as for keen shoes… i think it’s the same as the crocs. supporters will tell me they’re so comfortable and rugged. to me, they look like post-modern idea of hippy clown shoes. do the toes have to be so big? oh, i guess they’re quirky that way. i could see it if there was some functionality to the quirk, but there isn’t. instead, it’s a bunch of money for ugly shoes that convince you it’s worth it. i say this knowing many people who wear them. wearing them is one thing, telling me they’re cool is another. though most people who can afford those sandals are old enough not say “cool’, but will tout their functionality and comfort. i guess some people will say the cool kids wear them, but i think these people have an entirely different definition of “cool kid” than i do.

with both shoes, i think the “quirky” design doesn’t actually improve function, it just makes it ugly enough for a some people to see them as exciting or different enough to justify the fad. others don’t really care that they’re wearing clown shoes because they’re more concerned with comfort. if that’s the case, don’t get mad when i say you’re wearing clown shoes, because if you really were only concerned with comfort you don’t care about how they look. i’m probably also lumping in a lot of other stuff with my irritation for these shoes- a lot of annoying people who have many other annoying traits- driving a volvo or prius, falling for terry gross’ shenanigans, tepid moral outrage about lots of stuff but not actually doing anything about anything- tend to like these shoes. (that’s not to say that everybody who wears these shoes fits the profile, they’re just more likely.) it’s like a perfect storm- the shoes bug me, the wearers bug me, which make me dislike the shoes more.

man, robojoe think’s i’m crazy. i probably am. i just hate those shoes. oh well. i’m all ranty.

[tags]ugly shoes, crocs, keen footwear[/tags]

stupid east coast bias.

i was eager to watch cold pizza this morning because i wanted to see them talk about the warriors beating the mavericks last night. no, they’re talking about the red sox beating the yankees. if this were later in the season, say august or september, when the hunt for october is coming down to the wire, i would totally understand, but it’s not. this is in the first 20 of 162 games of the season. the warriors beat the team with the best record of the league in the first game of the nba playoffs. that seems like a bigger thing. but of course, espn has their head up george steinbrenner’s ass, so you get all yankees all the time. i just hope that peter gammon isn’t part of that because i like him. at least skip bayliss can say “i told you so!”.

and please, just shut up about dice-k. though i do give him credit for hitting that punk ass derek jeter, but i thought he was supposed to this amazing sensation. he’s been fun to watch, but nothing spectacular.

oh, now they’re finally talking about the warriors. stupid yankees.
[tags]espn, golden state warriors, dallas mavericks, nba playoffs, baseball, yankees, red sox[/tags]

does it burn when you pee?

i never really understood the allure of burning man. i remember during our senior year of high school, a friend of mine ditching school for a week to go. i thought it was cool she was doing that, but more because she was ditching school for a week to go to a festival or something alterna, burning man itself seemed sort of self indulgent and boring. what ever.

over the years it’s grown to be huge and bloated, full of drugged out “hippies” play-acting for a week. over the past few years my indifference has grown into contempt, mostly out of proximity to people like my downstairs neighbour who’s a total “burner“. (this is ignoring the fact that i’m paranoid that she’s going to burn down the house someday.) there’s nothing hip or edgy (to me) about (upper)middle class white people people who spend so much money to act arty and hedonistic one week a year, when many seem to be compensating for the guilt associated with privilege and affluence. it’s funny too, because to be able to afford to go to burning man in style, and all the other neo-primitive arty stuff like srl. ahh, you all love the stereo-typical san franciscan, though it’s sad when they’re robbed.
well, i guess the burning man community’s being ripped apart by a lawsuit. to borrow a phrase from the w3b 2.0 burners, “oh noes!” of course it’s a big story on laughing squid. of course i’m something of a hater because i never “got it”, but the whole thing isn’t suprising- except for the level of indignation people seem to feel. you mean spending a week bartering junk and being high isn’t a spiritual experience and people just want money? pshaw.

[tags]burning man, san francisco, pretentious[/tags]

girls and guitars

while robojoe and i were away, my friends who looked in on maude brought along the 6 year-old daughter of one of their friends. the little girl is a fan of anything small, furry, and cute. maude fits the bill. the girl saw all the guitars in the front room and commented that robojoe had a lot of guitars and my friends told her they were probably mine. the girl said that’s not possible because girls don’t play guitar.

my friends tried to explain to her that girls do play guitar but the girl didn’t believe them. the only guitar player she knew was her father, which meant boys are guitar players. they’re now trying to figure out how to show her girls rock. i guess the kid likes sleater kinney, so they’re on their way. i mentioned liz phair, joan jett, and chrissie hynde.

it’s odd for me to think about female guitar players, because so many of them are so insufferable. actually, lots of bands with women just bore me. i can’t tell if it’s because the music sucks or their being women in that band makes it suck. bads like tilt make me wonder what the music would sound like if it weren’t lead by a woman vocalist. i think it would be different, and that probably means better. there are exceptions to the rule though- i like x-ray specs, and i don’t think their music sounds like it’s played by women. this is my fist is one of my favourite bands too, and again, i don’t think the music is any different for it being written and sang by a woman. dreamdate’s another group like that. though they try to project such a girly image (and it sells, really), their music lacks that insipid quality i expect from groups that try to sell itself through gender.

i guess i just remember as a kid the cliche of girls in bands playing keyboards and looking hot. then it was bass players (which i’m guilty of). and i guess guitar players. or the primal girl drummer. point is, girls in bands can be used as a gimmick and when it seems gimmicky, it bugs me. oh well…. maybe i’m jealous because i’ll never be the token cute girl in the band.

speaking of bands with girls… one of my new favourite bands what the kids want will be playing gilman this friday with the groovie ghoulies and gravy train. i’m suprised they’re coming and really stoked.

for me it’s a foul, for you it’s a trip to the pool…

i think most people would agree with me that jose mourinho is a twat.

[Andrew] Johnson’s tumble in the box under Chelsea keeper Hilario’s challenge sparked a touchline row between [Jose[ Mourinho and Everton counterpart David Moyes after the Chelsea boss made a diving motion with his hands.

Mourinho said: “He’s dangerous for opponents because you cannot trust him, and I was not happy with that.

“But I think he was a bit embarrassed and he behaved very well after that.”

The Chelsea boss stopped short of calling Johnson a cheat, but said: “In my country we call them ‘intelligent’ players. In other countries you can use different words and are critical.

“I’ve been in this country for three years now and I am influenced by your culture. It is a country I admire, I am proud to be part of it.

“For me when a player chases a penalty, he is no longer an intelligent player.”

now, i didn’t get to watch this supposed dive live, since i was sleeping. i regret that decision. did johnson dive? i don’t know. does he have the reputation of christiano ronaldo or the entire chelsea squad? no. is mourinho supposed to be responsible as a manager? yes. is he? no. he’s an ass, and makes me want to see man utd. win the league this year. so yeah, mourinho’s a twat.
[tags] chealsea fc, everton fc, andrew johnson, jose mourinho, football, england[/tags]

gross noises.

i don’t know if people know this about me, but i hate gross noises. like squishing things, licking, oozing, things like that. i get really sickened/irritated by mouth noises. you know, people who eat too loud, chew with their mouth open, smack their mouth when they talk, breath too loud… it’s all a little neurotic, so i try to be as understanding as possible and let it go. with all the stress in my life, i’m back to hating gross mouth noises 10 times over.

i bring lolipops to work to keep people happy. just another reason why we have the best library to hang out in on campus.

problem is, some people lick, slurp, smack their lolipops in such a loud way that i grosses me out from across the room. if only i could go across and tell them to shut the hell up, but i can’t. i guess i should stop buying the lolipops, but then i won’t have my endless supply of wrappers to decopage everything.

seriously- mouth noises are gross. so are snot noises. nobody likes hearing people blow their nose (which is why i hate doing it). nobody likes hearing people cough or sneeze. i really hate it when people suck the snot through their sinuses down their throat, you know the sound. my brother does it, it’s blood curdling nasty. one of my favourite grad students does it, it’s the only mark against his character. ugh! gross!!!

how’s that for an inane rant?

[tags]lolipops, snot, gross, sounds[/tags]

set a record like an asshole.

saturday night D-III cold pizza this morning, and yuille seemed like an aggressive snot. not in the “i’ll be mean to your face” sort of way, but the “i don’t care what you think, i’m more awesome than you!” sort of way. which really, is a D-III basketball coach really more awesome than me? perhaps. more awesome than a big name coach like bobby knight or mike krzyzewski? well… not so much. i do appreciate that jay crawford wasn’t kissing his ass, rather asking if it is really something to gloat about. is it? no. ohio state-marion was totally in a different league, and yuille said he just wanted to let his team play. i don’t know… sounds like excuses.
really, the only way for a team to score 201 points in a single game in basketball is to play like selfish assholes. that might be good for the nba, but division III of the ncaa doesn’t seem to be the place for that. i’m happy that more people are wagging their fingers at lincon, but it’s not going to change anything.

[tags]ncaa basketball, lincoln university, ohio state, marion, garfield yuille, jerks[/tags]

boomers waxing on their ipods…

slate has a piece today about how the ipod changed everything, because life without it sucked. actually it didn’t because the walkman was around, and people had portable cd players, but they’re not cool like the ipod. the article mentions steven levy’s book about the ipod, the perfect thing. michael agger’s critique brings up the baby boom element. they’re obnoxious as ever:

Levy, a senior editor at Newsweek, is a prime example of the boomers who think the iPod is revolutionary. But really, they’re grateful, because it’s made them feel cool again. As the first generation to embrace rock, Levy’s cohort faced a musical conundrum as they aged: Do we graduate to classical music or keep listening to the Doors? Both choices have their downsides, but the iPod provided a third way out. Under the guise of converting CDs to MP3s, you could plausibly dig out your copy of Trust and discuss Elvis Costello around the office. The adult engaging in such behavior wasn’t doing something as juvenile as listening to the music of his salad days; rather, he or she (but mostly he) was getting hip to the white-ear-budded technological wave. From there, it was only a short step to listening to the Arcade Fire.

it’s not just boomers. it’s all the indie rock kids who don’t give two shits about the music, but rather like the sound of their own poetic waxing on indie music. it’s just another form vocal diarrhoea. i should write a review about defiance ohio’s new album with an excess of adjectives, but i can’t be arsed. it’s more fun to listen to the music and moan about pretentious people.

hmm, maybe i should get back to my bread and butter so to speak. i’ve been trying not to be so bitter about everything, but it’s better to put it here than to spew it at robojoe and maude.

[tags]slate, ipod, steven levy, pretentious, baby boomers, music[/tags]

fuk new york

is it blasphemous to use a blatz song to talk about baseball?

i sent off a ranty e-mail to cold pizza this morning because they spent the first 10 minutes of the show talking about the yankees-tigers game that didn’t happen because of rain. 10 minutes about a game that didn’t happen! then, they moved on to the mets’ game (the dodgers are stupid), and then the a’s and torii hunter’s big flop. a little uneven if you ask me.

it’s a big ol’ conspiracy to get the yankees to the world series. seriously. why do they even have to participate in the playoffs? to pad derek jeter’s resume? just give them a pass, so they can face the mets at the end of the month and i can not worry about missing it when i’m stuck at kalx during the fundraiser.

oh, and espn totally sucks. i need to stop watching that stupid channel.

[tags]baseball, playoffs, yankees, espn, conspiracy[/tags]

two sweet!

why did i doubt the a’s today? because i’m an england fan, and i’m used to letdowns. it’s all too true.

but today, the a’s won their second game in the metrodome from hell, bringing them back home to oakland with a 2 game lead that will quickly disappear like it did in 2001. i’m trying not to be such a downer, but i’m not going to start screaming that they’re going on to round two (to most likely face the yankees). if that’s sometime friday afternoon, i’m not out $120 for saturday’s tickets. if it’s saturday afternoon, i got to see one more game. i probably should try to score tickets to the next round, those will be night games.

assuming the a’s do go on to the next round, it is probably also safe to assume it will be facing the yankees. (unless the tigers do something magical, which i’m hoping for.) any yankees game will be primetime because that’s where the money is. i’m sick of all the stupid hype about the yankees and the mets. big deal. you’d think new york=america, just like london=england. it doesn’t, and there are 6 other teams out there representing the rest of the country. as much as i’m pro-oakland, i’m anti-l.a. and even moreso anti-n.y.c. (sorry, larry.) today on cold pizza they opened with a torrent of adulation for derek jeter and every single yankee highlight from the night before. then they threw a very small bone to oakland, showing the second of frank thomas’ home runs and a short phone interview with zito. what was bigger news? the favourite team beating the underdog? or the underdog beating the favourite? (i’m convinced americans don’t really want the underdog to win.) then during 1st and ten, woody paige was wearing a yankees cap, alluding to being at the game the night before. cue five minutes of singing the yankees’ praise. at least skip bayless, who was an early backer of the tigers, made a comment about the show having lost all objectivity. after the bronx love-fest, they briefly talked about how the zito out pitched santana, and then moved on to talk about how albert pujols should be a yankee.

allright, i know i’m weakening my point by ranting about the yankees, but i’m sick of hearing about them! it’s bullshit that i have to miss work friday to go to the game just so woody paige can public drool over a-rod.

[tags]baseball, oakland a’s, yankees, espn, cold pizza, new york, playoffs[/tags]

out of the bag.

i was going to blog about the a’s after reading slate’s guide to the baseball post-season. i have to hand it to slate for taking the time to make it easy for the pretentious intellectual types to rub elbows with the proles and act like they know baseball. they did it with the with the world cup. but after today’s win in the metrodome, does this mean the a’s will be respected? somehow i doubt it, as evident through the ludicrous start times. you’d think the yankees were the only baseball team in the world. boo!

the post about that would have been a lot longer, but i was reminded of something that really bugs me- people who eat sandwiches in the bag. you have a sandwich, small, on sliced bread. say, peanut butter or turkey and cheese. you put it in a sandwich bag. you eat it while the sandwich is still in the bag by either putting your mouth in the bag or sliding a bite sized portion out of the bag directly into your mouth, thus your sandwich is never exposed to the outside atmosphere and no crumbs will fall on the floor. i’m just being weird, i know, but it bugs me to no end. it’s like people who chew with their mouth open.
[tags]baseball playoffs, oakland a’s, sandwiches, anal[/tags]

the t-shirt club

st. pauli! i’m wearing my nick swisher t-shirt today because i’m going to the a’s game tonight. i like to wear my allegiance like that because it helps make the experience better. if i want to shout abusive things at the other team, i should look like a fan doing it.wearing a team shirt also opens one up to random talk with other fans/people who are interested in the game. any time i wear an a’s shirt to work, all the construction workers give me a bigger smile than when i don’t. they ask me about last night’s game, slag off the angels, or lament crosby’s injuries et. al. it’s fun, and makes me feel like i’m part of something. it’s pretty silly, and rather superficial, but i guess it’s one of the ancillary benefits of being a fan. when i was in hamburg, i felt safer with my st. pauli hoodie and it was great hearing random people shout “saaaaaangkt pau-liiiiiiii!” when they saw me.
it’s the same with my england kit. when i wore it during the world cup, the old guy at bear’s lair was extra chummy because i too was a fan of “stevie g”. and when england lost to portugal (in 2004 and 2006), people who paid attention to that sort of thing gave me extra sympathetic looks. i guess the best pay off i got from wearing my england kit was when ray davies gave me a thumbs up for supporting england. i guess there’s also a bit of elitism to go with the whole england thing. (well, i know that’s why i picked gerrard instead of becks, owen, or rooney.) i mean, to really understand how stupid my “stephen gerrard is a bad kop” shirt is, you first have to know who stephen gerrard is, then you’d have to know the signifigance of kop. i know it doesn’t make sense, and i get “who’s stephen gerrard?” and “why’s kop with a k?” quite often. i’m pretty lame yeah? but if i get that chuckle of spotting one new person who thinks it’s funny, then i won.

it’s like the other week when i took a picture of a kid in everton kit on campus. i was suprised anybody would support them. he was supprised anybody would recognise the shirt and was more than happy to have his picture taken. there’s also a grad student here who has a gerrard england shirt (home), which was a clue that he’s a footie freak. (he’s a gooner, and has the shirt to prove it.) i wonder what will happen when i get my everton home kit, larry willing. i hope people don’t mistake is for chelsea or something. or when i get my sheffield wednesday home kit in january, will other owl fans come crawling out of the woodwork? i don’t know.

this whole shirt thing extends beyond sport. it’s why we wear shirts with slogans anyhow. my “beheaded like beckett” shirt always provokes a comment about how samuel beckett didn’t lose his head, or people wonder why i’m “straight outta carmichael” or why did i touch dave carswell’s ass? (again, most people ask “who’s dave carswell?” very few say “he’s my favourite canadian!”) but the whole thing goes to bands as well.

if somebody is wearing a hi-fives shirt, i want to talk to them to see if we can be friends. some bands’ shirts illicit that response. it waves your taste proudly and like minded people can flock to you. i guess that’s why i’m sick and tired of seeing belle & sebastien, le tigre, sleater-kinney, smiths, et. al shirts at kalx. you don’t need to advertise cmj’s top 100 at a college radio station- it’s understood. but to the general unwashed masses, it’s understandable.

it’s like buttons. i you know somebody is cool if they have a button, maybe not the shirt. jenn spotted all my sacto buttons 6 years ago and said hi. i think dr. frank and dallas denery’s first conversation was prompted by a joy division button, but i might be wrong about it. but that was also back when a joy division button really meant something. now, not so much. i feel like an idiot with my kinks button, but well… i like the kinks so i deal. it’s funny how i stopped wearing most of my buttons. it’s been milhouse and some anonymous saint for months. now i’ve got a hi-fives button on again, but i’ll probably ditch it milhouse again. i need to preserve all my hi-fives gear for posterity.

this whole long thing belongs in scenester bangs’ thing about band shirts. so does this great picture of larry in a crimpshrine shirt.

5 years on, you know the drill…

i told myself i wouldn’t blog anything about 9-11 because i don’t think i could add to the discourse much. i did read quite a bit about the anniversary today, and it seemed to be lots of hollow platitudes to make the living feel good about themselves and that they honour the dead as society asks. i recognize this may be a little harsh, but i’m just so tired of the culture of the victim here in the united states.

but it wasn’t until i saw bush at the start of his address today that i felt anger and rage at today. he sat there at his desk in the oval office with that smug, self-satisfied, frat-boy, asshole face. not to be melodramatic, but it was so distastefull that i immediately shut off the television. robojoe and i went to concord to get a jacket from h&m, to celebrate america and all that. there was an overpass with a sidewalk over hwy 24 that had american flags all over it and people waving them and cheering america. it was tacky, but reminded me of the last free advice. patriotism itself isn’t so bad, just so many assholses use patriotism to justify their menacing behaviour. but that tribute on the overpass, it made me feel ok. sure, our country and our president may not have learned a thing over the past 5 years, but i’m not going to be too angry about it right now.