No post in almost three months? For shame, me.

First fantasy draft of the season in a couple hours. It'll be weird. It's a two-QB league, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would when I joined this league last year. We also lost some teams, so it's gonna be an eight-team league with retardedly well-stocked rosters.

Three drafts after that, then I watch football whole bunches.

I think this blog is going to turn into a photoblog, as I seem to vaguely recall a time I enjoyed writing regularly, and, what, with my newly refound interest in photography, might as well see what that's like.

And I must kayak on Calhoun before the summer's out.


Paradox versus flexibility...

An idea I had for a story is actually getting a little bit of development.

It's a time travel story, so I've been absorbing all the time travel speculative fiction I can.

In my opinion, the first thing you have to nail down before you approach anything at all is the binary nature of time travel: either there is predestination or there isn't.

If there is, then everything that your time-traveling character does was part of the timeline from the get-go. Character X going back in time was predestined, and the future (his or her present) couldn't be the way it is without them having gone back to the past to do whatever it is they do/did. Everything they do is guided, and though it may appear to them to be free will, it isn't.

If there isn't, then, effectively, there are no rules at all. Everything is in flux, constantly being altered. The only way around this isn't even logically feasible. You can say that your story is the first time time travel happened, but then you have to deal with the logical conceit that after your story is told, people are still mucking about with the past, present and future, and therefore, your story is actually just a snapshot of a possibility. Your whole timeline isn't a timeline anymore. It's a pigpile point of wrestling realities.

This debate is heavy on my mind. From a personal, theophilosophical point of view, I find predestination abhorrent, But as someone trying to tell a story, I crave the structure provided by fate.

The concept, in its initial form, revolved around sports gambling and time travel. Attempts to flesh it out rapidly escalated into something that would have to be a series or something. Too many plots for an effective, easy to sell, 1 1/2 hour comedy script. I can imagine Ebert's review of the film. He complains that one subplot should have been the main plot. I agree. But that's not what I set out to write.

Well, I'll update the progress on this as I feel necessary, but it's going forward. Now, to prepare for more negagement parties and concerts.

Yes, it's true. Every time the Kickback plays up here, I go to an engagement party.

Fuckin' weird is what it is.


Whoopsy fucksy.

Cool thing: In planning a musicful tomorrow, I swung by the Cabooze to pick up my ticket to see Man Man and Gogol Bordello, which should occupy the time until I get to see the Kickback at Triple Rock just down the road.

I got there in time to buy the last ticket. Sweet.

Shitty thing: I was there to buy two tickets. Now I sit on my email to see if any Craigslist knuckleheads can come through.


!UPDATE: The face value on the ticket is $24. The price of me saving face on this otherwise embarrassing snafu is $36.09. Thank you, Ticketmaster, and fuck you as well. Also, fuck the Cabooze for playing this game.



Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon. Moe's due home soon.

Don't know how this will translate to the page, but in the entry window, I got the nice vertical word acrostic going. Happy about the content of the sentence and how that worked out.

Up late last night reorganizing the basement. Looks like it might be better for me. Slept solidly with bed in new place and a north-south alignment.

Woke up this morning and Dremeled an inch and a quarter off of an old wire shelf that was laying around. Nailed it to the window over the new typewriter location. Fresh air with no Henry exit. Sweetness.

The guy I was supposed to write with on Saturday never showed, so I enjoyed a day outside the coffee shop, swilling overpriced-but-that's-the-point coffee drinks, swallowing sunshine and fresh air and strangers in whale-engulfing-the-krill gulps. Listened to iPod via headphones and on a strictly albums-only basis. Filled up pages in an old Volante-issued reporter's notebook I had laying around.

Not the day intended, but a day truly enjoyed.

Yesterday, Wyatt saw a body floating in the Mississippi Rive from the Stone Arch Bridge.


Impatience and Moderation

I just wrote a draft of a blog that sounded too much like the crap I'm sick of being.

I think I'm going to buy a shitload of blank CDs and album-by-album, burn off the contents of my hard drive. I will also buy a couple of huge binders and attempt to take care of them. I better, because then I'm going to delete all the mp3s.

For years I've been bitching about how crappy I think music has gotten, when the single biggest problem is that I haven't been carrying my weight. Yeah, there is a lot of shitty new music out there, but when I only listen to music for a half hour in my car a day and then listen to 100 gigs on shuffle when I'm drinking, it's no fucking wonder that nothing's wowed me in forever.

Read Jake Mohan's blog (jakemohan.net). He's Run at the Dog's drummer. Obviously an excellent drummer, but he's also a helluva writer. He's also been doing a pretty good job of documenting their current tour thus far: blurbs here and there and loads of pretty pictures.

Yeah, reading a good blog is why I felt embarassed to keep going down the track I was going and will be resuming if this sentence runs on much longer.

I'm going to meet up with a filmmaker buddy tomorrow at Spyhouse and we're gonna brainstorm some ideas. He's an arty spaz whose vision exceeds his grasp, and I'm a curmudgeon who seemingly prefers unfulfillment to failure, so I think we ought to be able to help each other out.

He has visions of being a director on par with Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino, and I'm more interested in the screenwriting end of things, but we have a common awareness: very rarely does anybody get the project they want made made they way that they want it at the beginning of their career, so we're going to collaborate on a blatantly commercial project in the hopes of selling the fucking thing and getting our names out there.

It ought to be, at worst, a fun, novel and productive use of a Saturday, and at best, well, actually, I'd just be happy with a productive Saturday, so let's just go from there?




Oscillations and church keys

To begin, another exploration of philosophy and how it shifts, ignorant of thinkers before me, blissfully believing my thoughts to be original.

I think satisfaction in human life derives primarily from two verbs: do and be.

One who does experiences the joy of accomplishment.

One who is experiences the joy of existence.

Ideally, you do and get a bit of both.

It's like an RPG, though, in that you can tweak your stats to suit your playing style.

Me, I've always been a min-maxer. But it's tricky to pick your dump stat when there's only two different stats.

When hearty be-ers do too little, they suffer a malaise that inhibits doing more and makes it impossible to enjoy existence.

When enthusiastic doers exist too little, they suffer anxieties that ruin any chance of simply being and make it impossible to enjoy their accomplishments.

I'm no captain of accomplishment, but I am an accomplished scientist of existence. I can't speak at great length for the former, but given my intimacy with the latter, I strongly suggest that the joys of existence and accomplishment are not the same, though in cases, one can lead to another.


Tis a joy to be in the season of open windows again. Methinks something foul did grow in my subterranean abode this winter past, and it had been waging war on sinuses with less than pleasant results.

Given the French adventure and an exposure to the black mold as a child, I'd expect to be pretty much immune to these bastards by now, but apparently not.

Whatever. Supersoaker+Lysol=Win < humorous anecdote.

Time to pay rent late!


Another fine weekend.

Uploading photos from card-to-comp is passive productive. It leaves me time to be theoretically productive.


I'm trying to get back to them. Flirting with pictures has been fun, and I'm getting back to the nearly-acceptable skill level I once possessed, but that should only be regarded as the gravy to the meat, which frankly has grown quite dry over the past three years.

After rereading much of my Volante output, spending the past three years being introduced to people as a writer (tough on me when the new person then asks me what I write), and realizing how many friends I have working in the (newspaper) industry, I need to do something serious.

The booze blogs, while fun, haven't really done anything to either preserve of further my former talent, so I need to cut those out.

Actually, the real big thing was getting to have a good, serious bull session with John Hult. Other than a five-minute chat on a smoke run way back at Austin's graduation party, I haven't had a chance to really converse with him in a not-literally-but-contextually-appropriate forever.

Every minute of it was absolutely worthy and delightful, but there was one thing he said that keeps gnawing at the back of my mind in a pleasant but intimidating way.

He mentioned that when he hired me on to the Vo-Vo way back when, I was just another unreliable-but useful-when-motivated Verve part-time scribe that projected no real interest. He looked away for a couple years, and wham-o-la! Something lit a fire under my ass and I had taken things seriously, putting on a couple editorial hats, writing prodigiously and proficiently, covering anything away from news (kill it! kill it with fire!) and sports (I was entirely uncomfortable with the concept of trading in my cliches for sports cliches).

He had been surprised that I had suddenly (to his persepctive) leapt from half-asser to tryer, with little to no warning.

That sat with me for awhile. He was still talking to me, and I was still responding to him, but the greater portion of the appropriate brain parts were playing with that Slinky of a notion he'd given me.

I had no idea what I wanted out of life when he asked me to write a David Bowie review nearly ten years ago. I was pleasantly drifting along, enjoying most things but not terribly committed to anything. Writing was a lark, giving me something to do that I had some innate talent for, and given the subject materials, an interest in.

It may be the first time in my life I tried hard at something before it became truly satisfying. At first, just seeing my name in a place where everyone could see it was fulfilling. That naturally faded, but I had committed to it, at least a little bit, so I had to keep at it. The only way to find fulfillment was to get better and broader.

All I know is I still don't know exactly what I want out of life, but some things have come into focus. I'm still pleasantly drifting along, enjoying most things and happily committed to a few things. Writing is still a lark, but given certain lethargies (spending eight a day at a keyboard for other people being one of them) seems a luxury.

But luxuries ought to be satisfying, and given that immediate satisfaction is something I've committed a fair amount of my life to attaining, that ought to tell me something.

I'm in roughly the same place I was, having made significant process in some areas of my life, but still searching for effort-related fulfillment.

Obviously, this calls for another abrupt lurch into trying.

Also, I saw Dan Deacon this weekend and it was both Maureen's 26th birthday and Wyatt's celebration of his own. It was awesome. It was busy.

I need to keep busy.

I need to keep thinking I need to keep busy, lest it fade and become another vain trapping of hobbies past.



Inspiration from the depths...

I tend to not be a fan of personal nostalgia, but my phone's text inbox is someplace where that fails. Usually, it's only particularly cute things Moe says or particularly hilarious and context-lacking things that Austin sends that I keep around, but on April 5th, at 1:47 am, Billy texted me "F-ing great to see you sir."

That made me happy.

On a random whim, or not so random, as I've been annoyingly calculatory lately, frequently in needless directions, I investigated the bloggerspots tonight. I caught up on Egan's infrequent but brilliant awareness and Billy's incessant postings.

Actually, I went to check on Austin's shit, got distracted by Egan's brilliance and Billy's goddam energy. I'll look Austin's posts later, after the whiskey (Catholic, not protestant).

But inspired by Billy's recent Fugazi-love for the last record, I went down the goddam rabbit-hole of personal nostalgia.

I went back to the Volante, which roughly a year ago, the senior staff (including one Michelle Rydell, editor-in-chief at the time, but a pup when I was at the paper) recycled an old story of mine.

I drove drunkenly through the counrtyside, visiting all the fantastic country bars that neighborhood has to offer. The new story hit (approximately) four of the six bars I hit, plus one that wasn't open while I was there.

I made a wiseass comment.

Then things got weird.

My comment was gone the next day.

The day after, my entire backlog of stories was gone.

Hey, I don't go there anymore and was never exectly a positive influence when I was there, but in all forms of retrospect I was pissed.

I stopped paying attention when I saw what was, to me, a blatant, "uh, server upgrade, sorry for the inconvenience" tag.

My affront felt deep.

Well, it's all back up now.

Afer reading Billy talking about the first half of The Argument, I felt like looking up my review of it.

It was there, along with more stuff than I remember writing, although it doesn't carry back to my inaugural Verve writings, curated by then-Verve editor John Hult, who I owe my fascination with journalism and Austin's job in it to.

All the same, the story that Rydell and Woltman (apparently, it took a sidekick) recycled is still not in the database. Oh well. I wrote it for a summer freshman issue.

I'd view it entirely differently if someone that knew me wrote it. Story recycling happens, especially at the college level, but...

But as I was one of those opinion/Verve geeks, alas.

After reading what I used to do, I need to step it up. Right now, I'm all about Jameson and Camel.

Who has a Twin City-connection that needs a pro-bono-for now writer?

Hook a cracker(kraken) up?


So yeah, at 3:00 in the morning and on a whisky kick, I might exaggerate things a bit to stir the pot and see what happens. Sometimes, I'll even act like a story written about bars that you might not know about near a sometimes-boring college town is the most original creation ever, and that anyone who writes anything remotely similar two or three years later in the same sometimes-boring college town is clearly guilty of intellectual property theft.

Additionally, inferring (and in turn implying to you, dear reader) that any subsequent wise-ass comment from yours truly had inspired any sort of managerial retaliation is more likely the result of aforementioned 3:00 A.M. whiskyness than any realistic conspiracy of named parties.

It should be stressed that this infrequently and irresponsibly maintained blog is for (my) ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. Use for all other purposes is expressly forbidden.


Back in action...

Up now, Morland's Hen's Tooth ale. Cued up for repeat later is a six pack of Moyland's
Kilt Lifter.

New Pornographers' Twin Cinema surfaced in my car stereo a couple of days ago, so
Electric Version gets some play now.

I love The Wire. I love Maureen. The latter gave me the former in its entirety in one lovely box set.


The only thing more difficult than watching it all again as quickly as I did when Stien told me to watch it in the first place has been resisting the urge to find whoever decided a compact, cardboard, discs-may-be-scratched-when-you-open-the-damn-thing-the-first-time packaging.

While it is impressive that they can fit however goddam many discs (ca. 30) into such a small package, what the hell good does it do if the product has been busy destroying itself since it rolled out of the plant?

A shitload of slim DVD plastic cases will be bought, space constraints be damned.

I bought another Bizarro action figure. It's not really new though. It's just the standard paint job of the alternate (therefore rare, I presumed) one I bought about a year ago. Dupe included, I'm up to four. Without resorting to eBay, I plan on purchasing all I come across. That means the tattoo is back on the cortical horizon.

Not that I have any love for Robin Leach, but he should find some way of getting money out of Viacom, provided Viacom is still the parent of MTV/VH1 (and it is; I just checked).

A majority of the reality crap they program these days is directly descended from his old Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous bit.

Being a native South Dakotan, class warrior runs in my veins. Yeah, I'm a a bit of a hypocrite, given how little my concept of the value of a dollar has to do with my parents', but for the love of something you hold dear, watch a goddam episode of My Super Sweet 16 and try not to go on tax-bracket killing spree.

Less than a week to The Watchmen. I'm excited because I'm a geek. I'm afraid because I'm a geek. Actually, the geek part of me is substantially more afraid than it is excited. Whether it's good or bad, I will feel reduced.

Part of being a geek is liking things and appreciating things that have flown beneath the radar of the commonfolk. You get to enjoy something that is awesome and spit in the eyes of those that deemed it beneath them, which is fun because of the logical assumption associated:

If they look down on or away from what you love, then they look down on or away from you.

Ergo, fuck'em.

It's no fun when everyone gets on board. For example, despite spending the first three years or so of college pushing him on everyone I knew, look how fast I got off the goddam Elliott Smith bandwagon.

In the coming months, I will be drowning in a sea of people who are wearing Rorschach T-shirts and Dr. Manhattan condoms and people being obtuse and saying they like Nite Owl the most, much as I insist that my favorite Pavement songwriter was Spiral Stairs.

I will be miserable, surrounded by people whose primary sin is not having loved and cherished The Watchmen for 15 years.

Also, they will be 20, unwashed, and think it's okay to shop at Hot Topic unironically.

I love Maureen, but if I can ever buy a Bubbles T-shirt at Hot Topic, those scratched DVDs will be pawned off at the Electric Fetus faster than you can say, "Who told Dominic West playing Jigsaw was a good idea?"


Goddam car.

Last week I took some sammiches to eat with Moe on her lunch break. Driving back, my car died in an intersection. After waving idiots around me for ten minutes or so, some kindly folks helped me push it the hell out of the way. Moe came and we jumped the car, which promptly died as I was parking it at home.

The next day, I put a new battery in. Ran it hard for a week with all 'lectrics running with no slow down, so I felt safe about the alternator.

This morning, whilst driving about innocently, more shit happened. I stopped by a thrift store. Car fine. I drove from the thrifty to a Target.

Engine cyclically squeaks and I have no power steering. Crap.

Upon arriving at Target, I pop the hood and investigate. Sure enough, the belts loose. I grab a ratchet and tug on the belt tensioner. It loosens, but doesn't spring back.

I drive home, squeaking and cursing slow motorists, red lights, and sharp turns alike. I wonder if I checked the belt tension as thoroughly as I thought I did when I was tinkering over Christmas.

The battery and the tensioner mishaps are more than likely unrelated, but when dealing with car electrical systems, there are few coincidences. Grumble.

I take the tensioner off and examine it. Realizing I don't really have the means to test the spring with it dismounted, I reattach it.

Nothing. No spring, not tension, nada.

Catch a ride to the store to buy a new tensioner. None in stock. Have one by two.

So I wait.

Goddam car.