Archive | January, 2010

[Odds and Ends] Some Dreams

29 Jan

I don’t really get to sleep in very often anymore. Even when I would very much like to sleep in, I tend to wake up a lot earlier than I intended. But when Saturn is in retrograde and Betelgeuse finds that special spot on the galactic plane, I still manage to catch some bonus shut-eye. The thing about sleeping in is that it pretty much ensures strange dreams–it’s those little windows of sleep that occur after that initial morning flirtation with consciousness that help open your mind to intriguingly implausible scenarios cobbled together in large part from life experiences. This morning, I dreamt about one of my past college history professors attempting to put out an electrical fire started by a vacuum cleaner in my hometown library, which after much excitement I eventually ended up dousing with some sort of lemon-lime soda. My professor’s hair was on fire but he didn’t notice until I pointed it out to him, at which point he said that the cranial flames had already been doused, which was true, as his scalp was now merely smoldering. My undersized hometown library was saved, and I was the hero. But my soda was tragically lost in the process and I was upset about it.

Things faded to black before the next inexplicable episode began. This time, I proceeded to explain John Darnielle’s songwriting method in the first two tracks from All Hail West Texas to my parents in great detail. My dad apparently enjoyed the football allusions in “Fall of the Star High School Running Back,” but he had a hilariously difficult time remembering the lyrics to “Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton.” This dream seems fairly close to reality, but the chances of it ever actually occurring are about as slim as the library dream.

Some people read a lot into dreams and think we can learn more about ourselves. While I’m going to go ahead and posit that they’re not much more then our brains trying to file away memories, a pleasant (unless you’re prone to night terrors) diversion from the quiet void (unless you’re prone to snoring) of normal sleep (unless you’re an incurable insomniac). A third of your life is spent sleeping, so having crazy dreams is sort of a way of getting some of that essentially wasted time back, especially if you  can actually remember them the next day. I would love to figure out how to do some lucid dreaming so I could reclaim more of my sleeping hours from empty idleness and dreams that just don’t pan out like they could have. If anyone is knowledgeable in these matters, let me know.

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[Food] Collegiate Cuisine, Volume One: Broke Toast

21 Jan

As a college student living off the meal plan, and with dwindling food stores at the old apartment, I am sometimes driven to innovation. This recipe doesn’t just work for broke college students, either. You could simply be traditionally broke.

What You’re Going to Need:

  • 2 slices white bread (from the freezer)
  • olive oil
  • pepper
  • shredded cheese (cheddar if possible)
  • a toaster
  • a microwave
  • about 5 minutes

Step One: Toast the bread. My toaster is not very good, so that means toast it once on full power, then toast the bread again at half power. Your experience will probably vary.

Step Two: Pour some of that olive oil on the toast. As much as you want. I don’t recommend drowning the toast in a sea of oil, but to each his own. It’s probably the healthiest part of the whole recipe, so don’t skimp on it, at least.

Step Three: Throw some pepper on your olive oil-soaked toast to give that stuff some flavor. Or it’s going to be bland, trust me.

Step Four: Generously distribute shredded cheese over top. Leave a little uncovered toast on each end if you want to go for the pseudo-pizza crust effect.

Step Five: Throw some more pepper on top. It’s for your own good. Europeans would have killed for it 500 years ago, so consider yourself lucky. Relish the pepper. Never take it for granted.

Step Six: Microwave the concoction for around 45 seconds. I prefer 38 seconds, but I also have this OCD thing where I don’t like to microwave stuff (or set my alarm) for traditional times.

Step Seven: Enjoy. It may well be the very best part of your impoverished day.

[Review] For Those Who Can’t Wait – S/T

21 Jan

This is a pretty darn good first effort from Long Island’s For Those Who Can’t Wait. There were three tunes that stood out to me in particular.

“Play Your Note” is a little bit Latterman/Shorebirds-like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, given where they call home, it makes perfect sense that their sound would be informed by these groups.

“The Tiger Becomes a Zebra” is a delightfully slow-building epic that sounds like Mineral/Texas Is the Reason/etc. strove to form a more perfect union. I have great love for second-wave emo, so I thus found much endearing about this song.

“Jesus Chrisis” is a fine closer. More dashes of Long Island punx here.

Donation-based download of their debut LP

[Video] Capricious Horses

16 Jan

Agreeing with Tom Gabel’s sentiment that this band would be one well worth joining:

One can only hope that the upcoming White Crosses will include such excellent Russian influences.

[Video] "Neil Young" – Pants On the Ground

15 Jan

Now I’m not a Jimmy Fallon fan, but his Neil Young impression is just about spot-on. So I will give him that much.

Enjoy.

(Via So This Is What The Volume Knob’s For)

[Review] Take Manhattan – An Audio Coloring Book

13 Jan

I somehow happened upon this a couple weeks ago on Punknews. There is some pretty good stuff here on this generally upbeat Indiana group’s debut EP.

I particularly enjoyed “The Trials and Tribulations of Beefy E.” Gang vocals and COWBELL = <3. My inner Christopher Walken was in full effect for this one. Best of the bunch.

It’s available for free digitally from the band’s website, complete with lyrics and PDFs to print out and color in. Awesome.

[Addendum] Releases I’m Psyched to Hear, Winter ’10 Edition

3 Jan

Today, I write from the freshly snowbound wastelands of Vermont, where cold and shoveling grow in unrivaled abundance.

Yesterday evening, some much-delayed inspection of the ol’ RSS reader brought to my attention that I’d failed to include the few different things that Andrew Jackson Jihad are putting out this year in my Winter 2010 list; I await them with bated breath.

Andrew Jackson Jihad have announced a slew of new releases for 2010. First is a live LP recorded on a 4-track at a hotel after party during The Fest 7 in Gainesville, FL. Said LP saw a limited release with a special pressing at The Fest 8, and will receive a wider release in January through Asbestos Records.

Second, the band will release a split 7″ with Chicago’s The Gunshy via Silver Sprocket; this record should be available by February.

Last but not least, Andrew Jackson Jihad will do a split with O Pioneers!!! that will see a vinyl (and perhaps CD) release via No Idea Records, and a limited cassette release through Underground Communique.

(via Punknews)

Oh yeah.