My tweets of the last week:
Archives for August 2009
I. The 27-Club.
Last September I turned 27.
It made me nervous.
Being a major music fan and devout lifetime subscriber to Rolling Stone, I am all too aware of the so-called “27 Club” – a musical super-group headlined by Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi, Janis, Jim, and Kurt, all of whom met their untimely ends at age 27.
My nervousness wasn’t an actual, rational fear. Just a fringe anxiety. Still, it hung there. The 27 hurdle. A year it would be a challenge to survive.
In the months after my birthday the challenge of surviving gave way to the challenge of getting from one day to the next. Honestly, I was so preoccupied with life that the whole 27 Club concept didn’t reoccur to me until I was getting ready to jump out of an airplane last month. And, since that failed to kill me, I assumed I was in the clear with regard to the whole untimely end angle.
I continued thinking that until the past few days, when I began re-reading my entries from the past year in anticipation of the ninth anniversary of Crushing Krisis.
It was then I realized that it happened. I died.
If that sounds like hyperbole, it’s meant to be, but only a little bit. Truly, the past year of my life was so vastly different than any that came before that it was hardly lived by the same person.
If that sounds like hyperbole, it’s not. One of the benefits of your blog celebrating it’s ninth birthday is having the ability to make frequent, sweeping, and entirely-accurate generalizations about the state of your life.
In fact, that’s my favorite thing to do on August 26, the birthday of Crushing Krisis. [Read more…] about Happy Birthday To This
Today is the ninth birthday of Crushing Krisis.
I have hundreds more words to share on that topic, but they’re still simmering. In the meantime, I am counting down my top nine posts from Year 9 of the blog on Twitter, adding them to this post as I go.
#9: Groom Team Style, pt. 1, wherein I am nearly ejected from David’s Bridal. Twice.
I love having this sort of madcap adventure so I can present it in a slightly-enhanced-reality post (surely influenced a bit by my love of H. S. Thompson). This one is made all the more amusing by how little I had to enhance the reality. All of the dialog is real, except for maybe the bit about the cloven hoof (although E claims I might have actually said that).
#8: “I’m not old,” and other stories from my actual life, wherein I meet @brimil, watch a house burn down, and have way-out dreams about the impending financial holocaust.
I followed the seemingly disparate thread of my day through a post to something coherent – a story disarmingly framed by an unlikely pair of Kelly Clarkson references. I love that blogging can tie together the themes of our lives, and here they really did come together to something larger … and maybe a little poignant.
#7: … – – – …, a brief SOS wherein we are stranded in London on our honeymoon.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard as much in-person feedback on a post as I did on this one. It was certainly meant to be funny, but the actual direness of the accommodation situation made the situation (and the post) even more ridiculous. All of the Honeymoon posts rank pretty high on my list of favorites.
My favorite single recording of the year is definitely “Saving Grace,” but its post didn’t make the cut for my list. The “Tattooed/Colorblind” double A-Side still kinda blows me away – recorded them both in a matter of hours.
#5: whiling away the hours, wherein Gina and I discuss the ramifications of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and sing harmony to Hezekiah Jones.
Not all of my favorite posts are flashy, funny, or memorable. Some of them simply document moments in time. Many of my favorites occur in the company of Gina, my best friend and bandmate in Arcati Crisis.
It’s impossible to exaggerate the effect #blamedrewscancer has had on my year, which included me leaping out of a plane with a bunch of people I met on Twitter.
#3: right now, wherein I live-blog my wedding vows. (not really) (but kinda)
The last thing I did before Team Groom left my hotel suite was set this post to go live when Elise and I would be saying our vows. Unfortunately, it does not capture the hilarity of my ad-lib Battlestar Galactica vow, delivered to the great amusement of E and our collected geeky friends.
#2: pipes and glass, a stream of consciousness on my childhood drug-addict neighbor.
Blogging gives you so much power over formatting and media richness, but sometimes the most powerful evocation of a memory is words arranged in just the right way.
#1: President Obama, wherein I (& my mother) react emotionally to the election of our 44th president.
I was extremely hesitant to make a post about Obama my top post of the year. However, it’s a not a post about his politics, or really even about him as a person. It’s a post about me, my family, and America, and I’m proud to have written it.
My traditional birthday post will be up tonight.
My tweets of the last week:
My tweets of the last week:
I disliked District 9 from the start, but it took until about an hour in for me to reach the “I really might leave this theater” stage.
Mild spoilers, but not as many as the Rolling Stone review.
1. It’s a personal take on sci-fi, except we’re made to dislike the extremely unsympathetic protagonist very early on. A mid-flick attempt to humanize him (pun) didn’t work for me, as he only seemed repentant as a result of his torturous conditions and quickly reverted to being an ass whenever possible.
We’re left with only a vaguely personal connection to a shallowly defined alien sidekick and a well-executed CG tiny alien tot. (The best scene in the movie is when we first visit their home, and find the pair of them to be defiantly intelligent. Well-scripted and -played.)
2. The transition from documentary to omniscient perspective was clumsy – only made worse by continuing use of documentary devices, eventually leading to a transition back to documentary.
3. The documentary portion is too caught up in it’s tasteless racist (speciesist?) humor, and not interested in enough in its characters. Yes, we get it, subhuman treatment of non-humans is a lot like subhuman treatment of people that are different than us. Were you that afraid the theme wouldn’t play to the back row?
(That said, I did love the abortion joke. Most big summer flicks would never go there.)
4. The movie is gross just to be gross. Gore and splatter is one thing, but did we really need the constant vomiting, dripping, severing, and devouring of unsightly food? Again, gimmick in lieu of plot.
5. The major plot maguffin is a complete deus ex machina, which would maybe be forgivable if it wasn’t for all of the antogonists being completely fucking obsessed with the effects of said maguffin.
6. There isn’t a single good bit of dialog in the entire movie, which leaves the audience to be dragged along for the (yes, frequently compelling) ride rather than strongly engaged and eager to follow. They say “fucking” more than I say “awesome.”
7. Aliens are shown to be viciously strong, except where it doesn’t suit the continually contrived story.
8. The action set pieces just didn’t sizzle – lots of noise and wonderful effects, but the confrontations themselves were one-dimensional.
9. The exploding people trick was just done by Watchmen, though I think it was executed better here. Still, shock value was lost.
I’m in the minority to the tune of 80/20 per the TomatoMeter; the review I agree with most completely is Vancouver Voice:
It’s a bore. Blomkamp offers up an ugly world, poorly photographed. There is more debris, more smudged faces, more gore effects packed into this film than are conceivable in the worlds of, say, Ulli Lommel and Lloyd Kaufman. Worse, nothing happens in this film that the viewer can’t anticipate after the first 15 minutes. It’s mockumentary style is rendered inconsistently since there are scenes shot in mock style but to which the implied filmmakers couldn’t have had access. And, like most so-called science fiction these days, it is really a war story in scientific drag. … [T]he narrative eventually devolves into one of those long CGI fight scenes that at least a portion of the viewing public is finding repetitious and uncreative. The film is also achingly obvious in its political message.
Biggest plus? Constant subtitling, of both aliens and hard-to-understand humans. I’ve been watching movies with subtitles for over ten years; I’d watch every movie and tv show that way if I could.
A rare glimpse at Arcati Crisis in the wild, as Gina and I duet on our new cover of “Video Killed the Radio Star” at last night’s benefit for #blamedrewscancer.
By rights and logic I really ought to be asleep right now, but if I don’t recount the past week it’s going to sleep out of the memory banks and completely disappear into the ether. At least this way I can prove that it actually happened.
So. If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been since that last post and why I am not writing you wonderfully detailed bulletins about my life, here is the download.
A week ago right now I was up late on the couch, laptop on my chest, firing out #blamedrewscancer emails. (Yes, I know I owe you the last chapter in the skydiving story. All in good time.) Around the time I planned to go to sleep National Mechanics emailed me and Mike(y) to ask if we were planning to bring some live acoustic cover music with us to the #bdc event next Thursday (i.e., TODAY).
Um, no. We had talked about it and thought music might be overwhelming. Given the open invitation, suddenly I was firing emails to all of my Philly artist friends who carry a bevy of covers, trying to find a bill for the night.
I fell asleep mid-email in that same position – lying on the couch with the laptop on my chest. When I awoke just shy of ten on Thursday morning (don’t worry; I had the day off) I literally opened my laptop before I opened my eyes. I had originally allotted the day half to #bdc and half to myself, but it wound up being double #bdc, and then some. Project managing, writing emails, talking to Drew, rinse, repeat.
It kept churning into the night (interrupted only to spend three hours researching my own well-documented credit history because – to the best that I can discern – CHASE is a bunch of predatory frauds. Without getting into my personal finances, they sent me a letter changing my terms that was blatantly untrue. Like, each “reason” they listed was immediately and factually refutable. The letter I wrote to them in response, it’s a beautiful thing. Elise speculates that they’ve never encountered such a document before in their lives. I can’t wait to fax it.)
Then, Friday. After work I found myself in a telecommuting menage a trois with Drew and Britt. What I couldn’t tell you then and can now reveal thanks to TechCrunch breaking the story earlier tonight is that I was working on a sponsorship proposal for 23andMe.
I started occasionally following 23andMe shortly before they were a Wired cover story in November of 2007, to the point that I knew just who they were when Cecily K. recapped her experiences with their commercial testing kit a few months ago. The reductionist version is that you spit in a test tube for them, and they report back to you about your predisposition for health and disease, and on your family history.
Point being, 23andMe is a real, tangible brand to me – a brand providing a valuable and potentially life-altering service. And I was proposing that #bdc (and, by extension, me) should be their business partner in a sponsorship.
So, yeah, just a little stress on Friday. Luckily, Drew is a wonderful human being who can make me laugh and cry remotely via instant message, and between the two of us everything was fine and from Britt’s abstract we all created a really wonderful proposal.
Saturday E and I headed to the burbs to assist in moving some friends into their first house (YAY!), and then I had a two hour intermission before heading with Gina to West Philly to play a house party fundraiser for her FringeFest play, Fefu and Her Friends. I’ve never played a house party before in a formal sense, where I was billed as a feature and was expected to play for some certain amount of time. It was awesome, but it kicked my ass – even when I wasn’t on I was still ON, from six at night to four in the morning.
In that ten hours, I played three or four hours of music. I also met, mingled, sang, and danced with some of the most beautiful and talented people in Philadelphia, namely the cast of Fefu and their amazing friend Ed, who is half lounge-singer and half space alien come to earth to reclaim Prince as one of his people.
Also, I played an on-command version of Cher’s “Believe” totally off of the top of my head, and at some very late point (possibly as late as present?) Gina, Wes, and I sang an epic three-part harmony version of “With or Without You” with Gina and I clustered around a single mic in a vague sketch of Springsteen and Van Zandt.
Then I slept. Until, like, seven at night on Sunday? All I know is that any time I was halfway roused during the day I would restart The Matrix and be asleep before the scene with the pills.
Um, where are we? Monday? Three or four hours of rehearsal with Gina directly after work (as we are providing some covers support TONIGHT while we await the arrival of the proper musician who will grace us, one Chris Huff), including playing an entire set live for TwitCam, followed by further rehearsal on my own.
Tuesday one of my other cover-songs leads came through in the form of my good friend and former TrebleMaker Kate, who showed up at my house with a setlist of 20 songs to bash through with me – out of which we were to craft 45 minutes of rockin’ cover music for TONIGHT (which is rapidly approaching as I continue to write this post).
Another four hours of rehearsal later and we had our set, packed with lots of stuff I had never played before, like Katy Perry, Aerosmith, and Evanescence … plus some familiar favorites.
Then, tonight, I baked. You see, somewhere in the midst of the days/paragraphs above, team #bdc decided that the best possible component to add to a benefit night at a local bar packed with acoustic music was a bake sale, and I – inexplicably and against my nature and better judgment – volunteered. (My altruism may have had something to do with wanting to play with the Kitchen Aid standing mixer my groom’s party bought us as a wedding gift.)
A dozen dozen cookies, half-a-dozen lead sheets, and half a half-dozen loads of laundry later, and it’s 4am. Music starts at our event in a mere 16 hours. I still have not had a proper rehearsal for myself, and I just hours ago realized I don’t have another set of my preferred strings (a particular issue since I just broke one).