Reversing the Numbness

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Toon Time

My friend Todd draws cartoons and greeting cards for various companies throughout the States, including the magazines I work for. He's going to send me some of the toons he has lying around every now and then to post here. Thanks, Todd!

looking for some new books

hey everyone. was hoping for some suggestions of books that you thought were some of the better you have ever read. i typically go through a book about every 2 weeks. i will be finished with what i have in the next month of so.
bring it on!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Space-Age Dinosaur

Pleo might be the coolest toy I've ever seen. The video is sort of long, but you'll get the picture quickly. The story about it, in Wired magazine, is a great read too.

Find of the Day

I don't know what they have in the water up there in Canada, but it's good. Be sure to check out Wintersleep, another great band in a run that includes New Pornographers and Arcade Fire. Let me know what you think of them.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Last Town Chorus

If you like really mellow music, a la Mazzy Star/Cat Power, be sure to check out Brooklyn's Last Town Chorus. Here's their video for "Modern Love," which is one of my favorite David Bowie songs ever. And that's saying something, because David Bowie rules.

Music Monday

Last week's music post got a lot of responses, so I'll try another. If you're loving a band or musician at the moment, let me know who and I'll check 'em out. I've started the day with Baby Dayliner, thanks to kara.

Revealing Roy

My mother-in-law came up with the best explanation for Roy yet -- a paintball. I don't know what a paintball would look like in near dark, but if it would have any kind of glow to it at all, then it's a perfect explanation.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Spiders on Drugs

Dark Tower Graphic Art books (comics)

this is so awesome. if you haven't already experience the joy of reading these gems, here comes some eye candy.

The Black Metal Dialogues

this is a link to an email correspondence between...well, click on it and you can read it.

it's kind of a long read, but it is hilarious. I guess there were a series of church burnings, murders and other acts of evil that took place in the early '90's. they were all linked to people involved in creating music that falls under the genre of "black metal."

Pick My Music

I will dedicate at least an hour today or Monday (depending on responses) to listening to the first three bands that get posted as comments to this post. One band per person. Please, go easy on me.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More Thoughts on Roy

If you've read my previous post and the comments, you'll know that I've named the mysterious "light" I saw a couple of nights ago Roy. (Roy Orb, to be exact.) I'd like to clear up a couple of things about this.

First, I'm not joking about this; it happened just like I said. I don't know for sure what shape it was, and after driving back by there yesterday, I can't even remember exactly where it happened. But it did happen.

Also, I know there have been a lot of reports about mysterious lights in the sky, and the Air Force has taken responsibility for these. What I saw was right in front of me, not in the sky, so I think we're talking about different things altogether. I guess it depends on just what kinds of weapons they're testing.

Next, after talking it over with my co-worker Billy, I stumbled upon a possible explanation. Based on the way the light moved, and its speed, it could have possibly been an arrow painted with some sort of glow-in-the-dark paint. I'm not sure how glow-in-the-dark paint works, but if it's like other glow-in-the-dark stuff, I assume it would need some sort of light to "ignite" it. So, maybe, somebody was in the woods with a flashlight and a painted arrow and they decided they were going to try to mess with the next sucker to drive by.

If that unlikely but at least possible scenario happened, then the bastards were successful, because I can't seem to stop thinking about this.

Other possible explanations are quite welcome.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I was driving home from Lowe's at about 5:45 this evening, moving toward my house on South Pierpont Road, when the strangest thing happened. After 34 years, I've had my first experience that I just can't explain. (Not including the time I dated that girl Kim. I'm not sure what that was about, either.)

An oddly bright pink or orange ball of light flew past my car, in front of me, like a bird would, about a foot or two off of the ground. I couldn't tell how big it was -- maybe softball or soccer-ball sized. It was moving very fast, much faster than a bird.

My first thought was: Was that one of those red laser-light pointers? But it wasn't. I mean, it absolutely was not on the ground. It was in the air. And it was bigger, and the color was way different. I think the color may have been the strangest thing about it. It gave me chills.

A couple of hours later, at home, the remote control for my iPod speaker dock fell off the TV and landed in the dogs' water bowl. And when I looked in the room, nobody was there! I'm wondering if the incidents were related.

Monday, January 22, 2007

An Accumulating Resource

Today I met a guy at my office who used to be a roadie for a bunch of bands in the '60s and '70s, the most notable of which was Lynnrd Skynnrd. I admitted to him that I've never been into that band, but we did find common ground with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings. I'm sure if we'd had more time to talk, we would have found dozens more bands that we both like.

He was talking about how cool it was to be around some of the great bands of all time as they were coming up through the ranks, and while I agreed that it must have been great, I also stressed that there's a lot of good new music coming out these days. And that got me to thinking about music, and art in general, as a resource for joy (or pain or sorrow or love or whatever it is it makes you feel), and how it doesn't just renew itself, but it accumulates.

All of that great music he loved as a young man? It's all still here: every note, every chorus, every word. But so much more great stuff has come out since. And ten years from now, there will be a whole decade's worth of great music that'll just get lopped on top of all of this other great stuff. I guess it's been happening this way since the cavemen made horns out of mastodon tusks and played songs that others remembered and passed on. (I don't think this actually happened, because I'm pretty sure their horns were solid, but still.)

I've already got a long list of bands that I'm just not very familiar with that I plan to explore eventually. I call them my rainy-day bands. I've recently checked off the Talking Heads from that list -- love them! -- and next up will be Otis Redding. I also need to listen to more Bill Withers, and I've got to stop judging The Who by that god-awful Tommy rock opera. It's astounding to think how much of their music I've never even heard. My list is long, and I'm excited to tackle it.

Alls I know is I better get cracking, because with all of the new music I plan on exploring as well, I'm starting to get behind.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

11 Years Out

It's hard to believe it's been 11 years since Bill Watterson's final Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. There's an example of a guy going out on top.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finding Balance

Finding balance in our daily lives is difficult for many of us these days. But not for John.

Honey and the Moon

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Eyes on the Apocalypse

Up until about 11:00 am today, my wife had -6.5 vision, which is pretty bad. But thanks to the medical miracle that is Lasek surgery, she could fly a fighter jet now. In celebration of her newfound vision (and the fact that our kids are with the in-laws), we decided to take in a movie this evening. We'd heard good and bad about Children of Men, but it was either that or Stomp the Yard, so, well, you know. Anyway....

Holy. Shit.

I don't want to give away too much, so I'll just run with the official synopsis to give you an idea of what it's about:

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the future of humankind.
I will mention that a lack of procreation isn't the lone problem, as England is pretty much the only country that hasn't been obliterated via nuclear devastation or otherwise and is therefore the destination of choice for the world's refugees. This creates a genecidal wasteland of horror, pain, and destitution. Unless you're a card-carrying Brit (literally), you ain't getting a cup of coffee at Picadilly Circus. But hope can sometimes shine brightly in the worst of circumstances.

As a bonus, it's set to a soundtrack that includes Radiohead, Jarvis Cocker, and King Crimson, and the decidedly British feel to the cinematography is somewhat reminiscent of 28 Days Later.

As I walked out of the theatre, I doubted that I'll see a better movie in all of 2007. Don't miss this one.

Mmmm. Pork Rinds.

And you thought Mikeee would eat anything? Meet Steve.

I knew a guy who used to do this sort of thing, only it was with drugs instead of food. Too bad we didn't have blogs back then.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Band du Jour

I recently discovered the band Poor Bailey, from the San Fran Bay area, and they rule. This band has Kevin Kelly written all over them.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Peet's Dragon

You might not have kids, but if you regularly go to bed with somebody, you never know, so remember this name: Bill Peet. He died in 2002 at the age of 87, after a celebrated career as one of Walt Disney's top guys and, after an unceremonious departure from that relationship, as a successful author and illustrator of children's books.

But I'd never heard of the guy before finding his book How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head in a bookstore in Vermont, and it's quickly become my favorite children's book, surpassing Seuss's The Lorax.

Droofus, the youngest in a hell-raising clan of dragons, gets lost one day in a storm and separated from his pack for good. While rummaging around for crickets to eat, he spots one trapped in a spider's web awaiting its doom. So Droofus plucks the insect from the web, but then struggles with the idea of killing something he's just saved. Ultimately, he decides to no longer eat anything that crawls, flies, or is otherwise mobile and begins to develop a taste for grass.

What comes around goes around in Peet's world, and eventually a grown-up Droofus is saved from decapitation by a young boy who chooses friendship over a king's reward. It chokes me up a little every time I read it.

If you're going to read books over and over, you might as well make them good books. I'm looking forward to exploring more of Bill Peet's work. If anyone is familiar with other Peet stories, let me know what you think.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Whatever Feels Right

I'm an early morning writer
Sometimes before 7 a.m.
The first thoughts I have
Are so vivid and clear
My coffee is so bitter
I think that it needs more sugar
My hands are not shaking
They will be at noon
That's the opening verse to a song I started writing more than fifteen years ago. Like most of the songs I've started writing, I didn't finish it. (Even the ones I "finished" weren't really finished.) But my buddy Greg, who was in a band called Once Hush, liked the words, and he used them at the beginning of a song called "Whatever Feels Right." I've always been stoked that he took a simple thought that meant something to me one morning a lifetime ago and, instead of letting them die away like most of the other thoughts and experiences I've had, he saved them. Even if the song has been forgotten by most, I still remember it, and I'm sure I always will.

I don't think I could maintain a blog by myself, and I'm not even sure I would want to. But lately I've been wishing I would make note of some of the thoughts and experiences I have in my life--really stop and recognize them--maybe with the hope that doing so will make them last longer than just a fleeting moment. But a journal is no good, because I won't keep it up.

So I'm creating this blog with the hopes that some of my friends will help me. It would be nice to have a place to talk about things that mean something: songs, books, thoughts, experiences -- whatever. Maybe some conversations will ensue as a result. I'll try to share some meaningful stuff that crosses my path, and I hope you'll share the stuff that moves you, that makes you feel. Because I'd like to check it out.

So comment away, and if you ever feel like posting something of your own, just let me know and I'll hook you up with a password. Maybe you can help me finish this song.