Thursday, June 28, 2007

link of the day.

I hope that this bill goes through. When I was away at college, I co-founded a college radio station. It's one of the things that I did that I talk about surprisingly little, but it was one of the greatest times I've ever had, and it was always a lot of fun. Dealing with the FCC was not. They were always assholes to us, and it was a major hassle to get our license. It would be amazing if these things were freed up a little bit, so that more universities could have such a great tool.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

(canyoustillfeelthebutterflies?)

The title and the (pseudo-) last track are a direct rip-off of Jimmy Eat World but the mix is all mine. No rights reserved, obviously, and if this blog ever gets any traffic, I'm sure I'll have to take it down, but this is being put up here for now just to keep track of the link. So there's my latest mix. Ohhhh, breaking the law! ;)

EDIT: I got told that the tracks are all out of order, so I put up a new link. This one should have the right order, let me know if the mix seems a little unwieldy. This time it should be better.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

speaking of "my generation."

The attempt at embedding in blogger having failed; xkcd is funnier than you.

We drove 80 miles over 3.5 hours today to see two roofs outside of town. While the people (at least one set) were nice, I always have to wonder to myself, "Why the hell would anyone want to live all the way out here?" City mouse for sure.

Monday, June 25, 2007

link of the day.

From boing boing, I found this link reflecting some of the pop culture stuff we've been talking about, mixed with academics and a little bit of that techno-slave-whorisheness that we love. The difference between MySpace and Facebook? Maybe class divisions, as it turns out. Surprised? (Yeah, not so much.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

in accusation of my generation.

Every once in a while, I attempt to attend a house party again. I used to do them all the time while I was in college (and even for a brief time afterwards) and I seem to remember almost always having a good time. When I was first away at college, I remember always having to pay for a cup in order to gain admission. I don't know if that was just a rookie mistake, or being from out of town, or the private school atmosphere, or what, but it was solidly known that, even if we brought our own beer, we'd be pressured into paying to get in. It was retarded.

When I got back home and went to school here, we hung out at the same houses a lot more often, but even when we didn't, when we'd go to someone's house we didn't know, we never felt pressure to pay for shit. If someone asked us for money, we'd either laugh in their face (if we didn't know or like them) or we'd pitch a buck or two their way (if they were a friend). Regardless, the atmosphere was the same. Always a bunch of people crowded around a keg of cheap beer and a few stupid games going on, always divided between the cliques of the parties that were there. No mixing, no outside socializing, nothing. It was very odd. I don't know how we had a good time, but I remember doing so.

So the other night, I was out on the town, crashing a house party where I knew just two of the people in attendance and I was eavesdropping on the crowds. The typical things were being talked about (now that we're older, a lot of the conversations center around work instead of class, but that's to be expected) and the typical people were there. There were the smokers outside, the girls shooting hard alcohol in the kitchen, a few gossipers crowded around the table and sofa, etc. I was outside, hanging on the fringes of conversation, not really getting in to any of them, but trying to listen to all of them.

My attention was broken when I overheard a guy across from me tell his buddy, "Well, ya know, of course DWI laws are so stupid. They're so easy to be broken and to get out of that it's ridiculous that we're even scared of them. I mean, when I got my DWI, it was no big deal." And his friend just nodded. And I started thinking to myself, "How sad is it that we know people who have been arrested for drunk driving?" I mean, we're all drinkers, sure, and we all drive, but we're also (most of us) pretty liberal in our views, and we like to think of ourselves as good people.

How good of people can we be if we're drinking and driving, though? My thought process took me through all my friends whom have been arrested for drinking and driving and I started to get pretty sad. I wondered to myself if the culture of house parties (and binge drinking, but I don't want to get into that too much because it's been covered to death) affected this issue. It seems like a terrible idea to get people together in such a small space with the express intent of getting wasted if they're just going to be driving home sooner rather than later.

(Then I thought that's pretty much the letter of the law when it comes to bars in general, though, so am I attacking the wrong end of this problem?)

Regardless, how can we make this better? Mass transit? Biking more places? (Drunken bike riding is okay?) I don't know... It seems to be a real problem, though, when I can think of my friends (normally responsible, trustworthy, etc. type of people) and it seems as though a DWI is some sort of rite of passage. "Oh you haven't got your DWI yet? Just wait..."

I don't want to wait for that. Nor do I particularly admire it's place as a talking point amongst my generation.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

on working for family.

During the summers, teachers have an odd opportunity: we can either sit back and relax and continue to earn the same money we were during the harried, frenzied months of the school year, or we can pick up another job and double some of that money, make a little spending cash. I always maintained that I was not going to work during the summer (it was one of the reasons that I became a teacher!) and the Doctor always objected to that. (She said that it wasn't fair that I'd be free to do whatever I wanted while she was still working. While that's neither here nor there, it's not like we both didn't choose our respective careers. I mean, if she wanted summers off...she should have become a teacher! But I digress...) Ironically, now that we've broken up, I find myself working. During the summer. For my father. With whom I have a (n in) famously strained relationship. Yeah, it's an odd conundrum, but not something I mind.

Regardless, so here I am, working. Yep, this is what I mean. I'm getting paid to write this entry. (Theoretically, if someone, at this exact instant, clicks one of those ads, I'm getting paid double...) Anyway, the job's not so bad, but I wouldn't recommend working for family. Ever. And here's the reasons why not:

1. You see each other frequently enough. You don't need more family time, by the time you're supposed to be earning your own living. (Obviously this precludes youngsters from this list, or at the very least, this reason. If you're young enough that you need more family time, there's no better place than work.)

2. You're family, you're going to have problems with one another. If you bring those problems into the workplace, they're going to multiply.

3. If you don't have problems, you will after working together. Work is tough. I don't know many people who love their job, and even those who do don't love everyone they work with. We naturally crave conflict.

4. You'll have different approaches. This will lead to (more) problems.

More to come, I have to go run an errand for my dad. Yep, this is my work.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

link of the day.

Skynet takes control.

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me?!

No one thought this was maybe (just maybe) a little too much like tempting fate? NO ONE?! This is easily the scariest news I've ever heard.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

on ocean's sopranos.

Expanding on the ideas in the pop culture entry, let's get into just a bit of specifics...

The issue of pop culture plays a big part in my desire to know everything. And so it was that, even though I'd only ever seen two episodes before this point, I downloaded the the season finale of The Sopranos. (Well, also that I'm downloading all of them, to burn to disc for Brother 1's birthday.) Regardless, I'm glad I did. It turned out to be a big fucking deal. (This is so reminiscent of when everyone was talking about Lost, and I tuned in, and they were right, except now I feel like the last guy to arrive at the party, cuz The Sopranos is already done.)

I'm of the mind that the finale was well-done. Brilliant, even. However, I feel pretty ill-qualified to say any of those things, mainly because I didn't watch the rest of the series. So, I'm stuck in this odd position of holding an opinion on a pretty zeitgeist-y thing that I can't really share with anyone. (So, if any anonymous lurkers are reading this and want to get down on the finale, let me know. ;])

On the other hand, I did see Ocean's Thirteen this weekend, and I thought it was great. I don't remember hating on Ocean's Twelve as much as the critics apparently did (or might this be a ret-con?). Lots of good action, lots of fun times seemingly had by rich people who probably have those good times regardless, and lots of over-the-top plotting. It was fun. And that's what I went for.

All of this reminds me why I fell in love with pop culture so much to begin with. When I got to be about college-aged, I hung out with a lot more guys than I ever had before. (This is a whole separate issue: I used to hang out with nothing but girls. My dad always worried that meant I was gay. Wouldn't he be happier?) So, all of a sudden, I was tossed into this world that I had never inhabited before. I mean, I played soccer and I ran track, but I didn't watch anything. No basketball, no hockey, definitely no baseball, and next to no football. But when I went away to college, the guys were always talking about sports. So I started to watch, and read about teams, and research this and that. And it gave me this common ground on which I could communicate with people. And that was rich.

Monday, June 18, 2007

link of the day.

Heretofore it's gone unmentioned that I'm a huge comic book fan. Gigantic. And we'll get into the whys, the whats and the hows at a later date, but for now, read this LiveJournal post about why you should care about New Avengers #31. The important things that are happening in comics right now relate a lot to my last post about pop culture and the meta-awareness that's taking hold right now. They realize they have an opportunity to tell stories that are on a more grand scale than has previously been achieved and I think it's interesting to see.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

in defense of pop culture.

A couple days ago (maybe a week at this point), I finished Love Is A Mix Tape, a book that had been recommended to me via the Musician. While reading the book, obviously, I couldn't help but compile some of the songs that he put on his mixes for my current one. And that got me to thinking...

One of the most fascinating things that I like to study and/or think about and/or talk about is this issue of pop culture. I love it. And to steal (shamelessly) from Nick Hornby, and less (or more) directly, his character Rob, "A while back, when Dick and Barry and I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like...there was an important and essential truth contained in the idea, and the truth was that these things matter, and it's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently, or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."


Pop culture is important to me because the things that I like are important to me. My favorite songs are songs that I listen to all the time, my favorite books are things that I quote all the time, and my favorite movies are required viewing for anyone who's going to be my close friend. The Sloot knows that he has to be willing to hear me rant about Kevin Smith for a long while if we're going to be talking about movies, and the Doctor used to know that she'd have to put up with my iPod dominating the car stereo while we were driving. These things matter, not just to me in my personal life, but they matter in my personal relationships. But for some reason, pop culture gets the short end of the stick a lot of the times.

Maybe it's because pop culture is so dominated by particular items that "mature" people out in the "real world" think of as juvenile, or maybe it's for some other reason. Whatever the reason, I can't help but scoff when someone tells me nowadays that they don't know any current songs, or can't place a zeitgeist-y movie quote. I mean, I understand the appeal of the underground and the certain snobbery that comes along with liking something other than the mass culture's current offerings. But, to me, that kind of ignorance isn't necessarily something to be so proud of. Why not aim for a combination of the two?

And so, in closing, I'd like to recommend taking a look at a pop culture blog maintained by an acquaintance of mine. She's very into the issue as well, and oftentimes asks some of the good questions that lead to serious, realistic, studious interest in this vast field. The Vox blog can be found here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

link of the day.

Oh thank you Lord! New Mexico joins the ranks of the sane, bans smoking. Sorry smokers. I know you think this is an affront to your personal civil liberties. But I'm psyched that I won't have to stink like hell after a night out anymore.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

an introduction.

There's nothing here because I've deleted it. Maybe someday I'll think of something clever with which to replace the worse that were here. Until then, these are just placeholders.

Edit 6/19/08:When I first started this blog, it was mainly because I'd just had a near-perfect day. It inspired me to do some writing that I wasn't doing at the time for various reasons. However, I realized semi-quickly that sort of writing wasn't what I wanted to do here, so there have been a few changes to this blog. Every once in a while, as you read, you'll see a tag or a link that doesn't seem to fit with the general feel of the rest of the blog, and it might not go anywhere, or it might be unexplained. Those are remnants from those times.

What this blog focuses on now is up at the top, underneath the title: pop culture. I focus a lot on basketball (check the Busket links to the right this is now the fourth link, under hoops), because I love the game and I love the League. I also talk a lot about literature, because I'm a teacher and I read a lot. Music is a must for anyone my age, so it gets discussed a lot. Every once in a while I talk about movies and TV (especially Lost), but more often than those, I geek out on comic books. I love comic books.

Very, very rarely, there's some personal stuff on here - mostly related to my two brothers, who are the best people in the world. If this sounds interesting to you, have fun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

link of the day.

A while ago, Whole Foods bought out Wild Oats and some of us local liberal types were talking about what it would mean. Now it looks like it might not happen, cuz the FTC is doing it's job...kind of.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the beginning.

A long time ago, there was some other stuff here. When I started this blog, I was having a really good day. At that time, that had been kind of unusual. Now it's more of a normal thing. Anyway, I thought this was going to be a personal account of me, but it's certainly not.

For what it's worth, I figure I should have at least a little bit of an introduction. I'm obsessed with pop culture, in most of it's forms; I fail a little bit at computer games and definitely reality television. I'm a teacher, I love to read. Mostly comic books, but I've read a lot of the famous books. Some of them I liked. I liked The Sparrow a lot more. I liked Jack Kerouac even more.

I love movies, but my front page tells it all: for me there have been two great films made that captured my generations attention. Fight Club and The Matrix. Someday I'll write an entry about why The Matrix is a far superior film.

Records, CD's, MP3's, anything that resembles music, I love to get my hands on. I'm not a believer in the RIAA, so I'll do whatever it takes to get them out of the picture, so we can access our music in a more fair way than stealing it or making them rich. Because I don't want to make them rich.

I love sports, especially the Los Angeles Lakers. It's been an easy time to hate on the Lakers recently, but I always stick up for them when people say, "Oh, I used to love the Lakers, but I hate Kobe Bryant." Way to be a fan, jackass. I've stuck through the team with way worse rosters than Kobe and the All-Stars, so I don't feel the rush to abandon them now. Greatest franchise in the history of sports!

Lastly, I have a great family that I'll mention on here quite a bit. They influence me. Suffice it to say that I love them more than any of the aforementioned things.

Monday, June 11, 2007

glossary.

This will be added to as needed, but should serve as an explanation for some of the characters in this blog. EDIT: I trimmed this on January 28, 2008, because when I first wrote it, I included a lot of people who I thought would be featured on this blog, but were, in fact, not. If you were on here but no longer are, don't feel bad. It just means that I want to keep you to myself. This is the same edit wherein I removed the personal entry.

The Sloot - My bestest friend in the whole world. He has a blog which can be found here wherein he recounts the hilarious tales of his dating adventures. As the Sloot now has a steady girlfriend, his blog has changed into a rather different experience - it's now mainly about his job which involves him traveling around the country (and sometimes to other countries) doing smart work for a genetics company.

Brother 1 - Only a year younger than me, he used to live in Cali, but he got in a lot of trouble out there. He moved back here and lived with an ex-girlfriend and I for a long while, but has recently gotten his own place. He loves to bike and has taken to making kick ass YouTube videos as often as possible. He's in the beginning stages of becoming an EMT, making our entire family damn proud! He's now a beginner EMT and just recently moved into his own house with his girlfriend. They now have a beautiful baby boy named Tiger!

Brother 2 - Six years younger than I, possibly the smartest of the bunch, he knows a lot about computers. He's got long, hippy hair right now, which I tease him about relentlessly. He finally got rid of that hippy hair, but he appears to be letting it grow back. What a disappointment. He's currently residing in my house, while on summer break from university. He's found a place of his own for University second year. It's behind a coffee shop. Pretty sweet. He now lives near the Law School.

Rocafella - Brother 1's best friend since Kindergarten, he lived with me the longest in my house. He's become one of my best friends just by virtue of all the time we spent together. He writes, works as a hospice supplies guy, and wants to become a fireman. He's also the dopest artist I know. He's moving this August to San Francisco to take a job in a tattoo shop on Haight and Ashbury! Having completed said move, he's now working full time out there, killing it.