instant gramming

December 31, 2008


Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
Epicurus Greek philosopher (341 BC - 270 BC)

December 30, 2008


In the face of Holiday sales, it's time again when I need to challenge myself to stop thinking about buying certain, unneeded things for myself and consider a target or goal to put my consumption in perspective. For example, there are two things I've been craving lately: a new pair of shoes and a new coat. It might be worth mentioning that for a long time now I have harbored four fetishes including bikes, hats, backpacks, and shoes. Lately, due to the fact that I'm outside more than ever before, I've added jackets to the growing list. This last obsession is at least a little more practical than the others... right?

I've taken inventory of the things I already have which includes nine pairs of various types of shoes and two winter coats. Damn. What this tells me is I need to get better about fulfilling the useful lives of these things before considering replacing them--and when that time comes around, I need to be more considerate about the quality and utility of each thing I buy. That last part has to do with things like proper fit, good materials, and multiple uses.

So, I have set two general targets for myself: no new casual shoes before my next birthday and no winter coat until next year. It will be a good exercise in self-control. Do I hear New Year's Resolution???

Hmm... I've only thought of one other N.Y.R. for 2009: run at least twice a week, every week. See how I am being specific? Oh yeah. Probably more to come...

If you have any fixations, feel free to use the Comments section as a therapy session of sorts. Or, if you have managed to transcend the binds of such mundane compulsions, take this opportunity to confess your superiority. But seriously, write something; participate.

December 29, 2008

Effin' Catalina Winemixer!

Back to work after a great Holiday up in Cleveland with C's family. I really enjoy spending time with everybody up there. I drank a lot of coffee and a lot of beer, in tandem, all the while eating lots of sugary foods. My first trip to downtown Cleveland, including a visit to the West-side market and Great Lakes Brewery, was a highlight. Also, watched Stepbrothers and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Jess and Mike bought us some B.A. coffees, including a shade-grown, fair-trade Guatemalan light roast from Peace Coffee which is getting me super hyped for a day at the office.

C got me a computer for my bike which I hope to use to keep track of miles-traveled in 2009--something which I'll try to keep track of on this here blog. I was at first hesitant about needing the thing, but I'm getting excited to use it and learn about how fast I bike and how far I travel for certain trips. It was great to get back on my bike this morning--even though my body was totally out-of-shape after a week of not riding.

I'm sure there's so much more about which to write, but I need to get some more work done before another long weekend. Sue/Mom and Gary/Dad are coming down later this week to celebrate New Years as well as to help do some work around the house including install canned lights in the living room and hang some doors! I can't wait.

Big ups to C for buying all eight of us matching PJ's to wear on Xmas morning.

December 22, 2008


This weekend was the highly anticipated Gag/Red Shadows/Coffinworm show in Indianapolis. Chris did a great job pulling everything together and making it happen. You just can't beat a house show... except with a free house show with lots of cheap beer, some home-brewed porters, and a bunch of cool people. I'm really glad I made the commitment to Chris to play with the band and I can chalk this one down as another one of my glory years (but, this was not a last-hurrah). It reminded me of how great if feels to make music. Also I made some friends through the project and hope to keep in contact with them. This week I will work on downloading videos of the show.

Yesterday, our friend Zane and his family hosted a winter solstice party. There was a bonfire that struggled valiantly against something like 30 mph winds and 3 degree temperatures--but we weren't as strong. I'm glad we went though. Not only because the winter solstice is one of the best days of the year to celebrate (the beginning of longer days!), but because Zane is such a good guy. Incidentally I realized he rides a really nice fixed gear bike which blew my mind... While we were downtown, we got to visit with Jess, Mike, and a friend, Ed, while the dogs played, and retrieved some dinner fromThe North Star Cafe...

As for now, I have lots of work to do before leaving town for the holidays, so I'm gonna cut this short. Stay warm: it was reported that Columbus was experiencing a windchill of 16 degrees-below-zero this morning. Balls

December 18, 2008


hang out with J & M and bella

and bouclé all over Columbus-town.


In other news, I experienced divine intervention yesterday. It occurred to me that by simply shortening the chain on my bicycle [rather than waiting for my new crankset and buying a smaller chainring] and running my 42-tooth chainring, in the stead of my 52-tooth ring, I could greatly reduce the gearing [from 87.8 to 70.9 gear inches] and subsequently enhance the enjoyment of riding my bike in fixed gear mode... So, after a troubling bout dismantling my grimy chain, I shortened it appropriately and rode around in the street to try it out like a giddy child on Christmas day... The roads were still wet from melting ice--ideal conditions to learn how to skid-stop. Perfect.

Speaking of Christmas-come-early, C bought me some wicked good slippers that are blowing my mind. I even brought them to work to wear at the office today. Sipping coffee, wearing slippers, and blogging. Shit. I need to work. I'm out

December 17, 2008

December 15, 2008

This isn't just the coffee talking

I'm feeling great today

I went out to the Homestead (at Denison University) last night to visit with Chris and Nolan who were driving through Ohio to West Virginia. I got to hang with some of the current Homesteaders and retrieved my old acoustic guitar!

Also, I bought a new crankset for my bike on Ebay. This means I can finally mess with the gearing... Hopefully I might be able to sell off the stuff I'm switching out to recoup some of that dough, making it "stupid cheap"...

C made killer vegan sugar cookies last night; I've got pizza for lunch; this is my last full week of work for two weeks; this weekend is the Gag show and Nolan will be there... shit, what else?

I dunno. Just felt like counting some blessings for a few minutes...
New playlist... Light This City's album,
Facing The Thousands. It's metal music - not for the faint of heart: BYAH!

December 14, 2008

No name post

It's a gray Sunday. C has been painting doors. I've been... watching Ebay and growing a doom-errific beard to prepare for the "Gag" show this weekend. Also, practicing my bass lines and drinking beer to get ready. What else? Drinking lots of coffee. Bought the movie "A Mighty Wind"--haha: "Wha' happened?!" Watching football--Bengals are winning... This weekend is the winter solstice--almost halfway done with these short days, right?

I love C--she's been cooking some really awesome stuff lately. I don't think I do enough to repay her for how well she treats me...

C made the point that someday soon Work-life, for everyone, may have to make a compromise of sorts with Self-sufficiency (i.e. making stuff, growing food, etc.). It's a good point. I'm looking forward to next year's garden: more vegetables, stuff to freeze, stuff to share...

Last thought: thesauruses might be better than dictionaries

December 10, 2008


If you're looking for a good time--and by a good time I mean a healthy dose of DOOM--check out this playlist of Mastodon's album, Remission. If you feel hesitant to listen to any of it, do me the favor by listening to the second track, March of the Fire Ants. It will blow you away. I've been groovin so hard to this album all day. It might even replace the Kanye playlist despite the fact that RoboCop keeps getting stuck in my head.

I've been learning the "Gag" songs Chris wrote and they are nothing less than epic. John said Chris was the J.R.R. Tolkien of writing songs, and as it happens that I hate reading books, perhaps I disagree because I love this music... Just kidding; I understand the allusion...

Work can seem... so pointless

December 9, 2008

If you've been sleeping... might not have noticed the playlist on the right side of this blog with the new Kanye West album, 808's & Heartbreak. It's pretty decent, overall. I can't help but think some of the songs are biting Phil Collins, or something along those lines. "RoboCop" is straight up goofy--should've featured Chris Brown, or a cameo by Bow-Wow. Also, you might recognize "Street Lights" as it was featured during the last episode of Grey's Anatomy. "See You In My Nightmares," featuring Lil' Wayne, hurts the flow I was feeling in the album. I'm not sure if I don't like that particular song, or if I just hate it {Lil' Wayne exerpt: "You think your shit don't stink, but you are Missus P.U." What?! That's dumb.} might not have realized that weather is getting wintry (read: crappy). I've been biking every day though and have been pleased that during my last few commutes I've felt overdressed. Too warm, that is, as opposed to too cold. I guess that's a good problem. I'm still trying to fine-tune my idea of appropriate attire. With a pair of jeans and some long underwear, plus the occasional rain paints over all, my legs have felt great. On top, I've been wearing a t-shirt, a long sleeve tee, a button-up or sweater, my puffy jacket, and either my rain jacket or other winter shell... I think my most cherished article of warmth is my fleece neck warmer. I just wish it were a little longer and didn't hold on to the moisture from my breath, because after a while it gets soaking wet. My fleece beanie has been good to me also. Two things I've been struggling with keeping warm are my hands and feet. Naturally, my fingers and toes tend to get (and stay) ice cold in the winter. I haven't figured out a great solution yet. I care to have some dexterity in my fingers, and that is compromised by increased insulation. My feet need to fit in some tennis shoes, so I can only fit so many layers of socks; plus, my shoes and socks get soaked when it's raining... oh well. Overall, I feel really good and proud about my warmth. The other obstacle I need to surmount is the snowy & icy bike path that is neglected by city crews. My mountain bike gets goin when the goin gets rough, fa-sho.
I feel like I should be keeping track of the miles I commute by bike. Not sure why I haven't, or why I would. It would be interesting to add it up, but I don't think it would blow my mind. I would guess I've been biking an average of 12 miles per week... might not have been keeping up with Get Buck. Brandi's been posting some great quotes, like this one and this one. probably haven't heard any good Doom and should go listen to some. I recommend Gates of Slumber. haha

December 7, 2008

Capital of DOOM

This weekend I visited my college roommate, Chris, in Indianapolis. He's been writing music for a Doom band called Gag--which, surprisingly, will include me on bass for the band's one and only show to be held in Chris's parents' basement in two weeks, just before he moves to Portland, Oregon. Yeah, it is that chaotic. We had our first of two practices; the second of which will be on the day of our show. It's gonna be brutal.

My eyes were opened to the strange and hypnotic world that is DOOM. After practice, Chris and I went to a Doom show to see four Doom bands, before going to the after-show to see two more bands that were full of Doom. It was doomalicious. This has led me to believe that Indianapolis may very well be the American capital of Doom--and I mean that in a good way. All I can say is that Doom is heavy and full of soul and, after four beers, it will put me to sleep.

The other two guys in the band, John (guitar) and Patrick (drums), are awesome and I'm pumped to even have met them. They used to be in a band called Angelville. John is married, has a great house, lots of pets, and a really really (really) awesome bike. The similarities are even more eerie: we both got married on the same day of the same year and had both asked Chris to be in our wedding parties. I can't wait for C to meet John and his wife because I think it's so cool to meet another couple that, in my opinion, shares so much in common with us. Too bad Indy is as far from Columbus as it is...

Anyways, I'm excited about this project. It will be the band that Chris and I always wanted to start but never did during the four years we lived together. It's been so meaningful to me and I want to thank C for being so supportive. The music is amazing. I'll try to make sure to get video at the show and post it on this blog. The show will be December 20. Be there and prepare to get a face full of Doom: Doom to the face--Woop!

December 3, 2008


They are a perfect food. And the sound of an apple is that of puppy dreams and rainbows.

When I was a freshman in college, I had the opportunity to tag along with a small group that included a couple of professors and students from somewhere around Wooster to attend a conference titled "Students for Sustainable Agriculture" in Madison, Wisconsin... I think. The whole trip was a whorl-wind and the details were hazy from the start. All I knew for sure was I didn't have to pay for anything, the trip in the van was 8 or so hours, and I was going to a part of the country I had never visited.

Along the way, one of the professors pulled out a bag of apples--probably local and organic, based on the theme of the weekend. As she was talking, she took one out and began eating--that is to say, she never stopped talking, but continued as she crunched through each bite loudly, slurping and crunching, such that I imagine she was gasping for breaths in between the chaos. At first I was grossed out, but became fascinated that she was talking and eating that crisp-slash-juicy apple at once. I don't know about what was the conversation. I am suspicious that all five of us were eventually eating apples and talking. It was marvelous. It gave such life to the apple, as if the perfect sound of an apple was channeled through talking while it was being eaten. It includes that low, muffled bellow that is made when your mouth is full and you try to shield the fact from your friend while continuing to talk; your jaw is hung out a little more than normal as if to hold that food like a plate; your tongue slips to the back of your throat to prevent choking and make space for both food and sound. It defines the collective sound of farms and autumn and sustainability and positive energy...

I am eating one now--a Royal Gala--and the loud, crisp crunch and slurp together fill the relative silence of my closet-sized office.

And it is imperative that a crispy apple be chosen. I'm no connoisseur, but highly recommend Fuji and Galas. No "Red Delicious" for me. That mushy shit has got to go.

Go buy (or pick, then buy... or grow, then pick) a crispy apple and eat that ish off the core. Swim through the sound and make sure it is extra loud. If you can, find someone with an apple and have a lively conversation while you both eat so that chunks of apple flesh and juice are exploding from your mouths like joyous fireworks.
Ok. I'm being a little too sappy here. Admittedly, I really have to be in the mood for an apple--and usually I'm not. Today, I've been hungry all day--so, needless to say, I was really feelin that apple... I didn't mean to belittle puppy dreams or anything. Enjoy at your own risk.

December 1, 2008

Winter Wonder

Thanksgiving just passed and it seems like we're moving full speed ahead towards winter. I think this is the reason I've been contemplating, more seriously, how I want to spend my free time. In the summer, there's no question that time should be spent outside, in the garden, on my bike, or with Alden. As the temperatures have dropped, I've found myself in front of the TV more and more. I've managed to find a lot of shows that I enjoy watching. But my conscience has been pestering me to find something better to do. C and I talked about limiting our television time, and instigating a reward system to "earn" time to sit and zone out. I'm struggling with ideas for good alternatives. I would care to crochet another hat--this time for C. Also, I would like to make use of the sewing machine we borrowed from our parents--maybe make some useful winter layers, or convert my old army duffel into a messenger bag... Read a book, maybe? Cook? In the dead of winter, I will hopefully find some motivation to order seeds for next years garden. Maybe I'll make more art...