29 December 2006

Back west

I made it back from the east coast the other day and know I'm just trying to relax a little before a quarter of labwork. I'll be posting my "Best of 2006" very soon ... it just needs a few more tweaks, but I thought I'd at least post my top 10 from my iPod. I probably got too many CDs when I was in Boston (gifts: XTC, Jarvis Cocker; purchase: Band of Horses, Bright Eyes, Bon Savants, Tortoise & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Mittens) but ah well, what can you do. Today is dominated for me by a lot of nervous (good) anticipation about picking a certain someone up from the airport and heading to Big Lou's housewarming in Oakland (which will feature "Once More With Feeling"!)

Current iPod Top 10
10 Between the Moon & the Ocean - Bon Savants
9 Here's Your Future - the Thermals
8 Devil's Pie - Rhymefest
7 Pull Shapes - the Pipettes
6 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Death Cab for Cutie
5 This Sentence Will Save/Ruin Your Life - Born Ruffians
4 The Funeral - Band of Horses
3 Parentheses - the Blow
2 Blood - Klashnekoff
1 True Affection - the Blow

Two things to watch when you get a chance:
- The video for the new Bloc Party song "The Prayer" is kind of messed up.
- Somehow I missed this live performance of "Wake Up" by David Bowie & the Arcade Fire.

19 December 2006

Heading back east ...

I leave for Massachusetts this evening ... And really, what says fun like a red-eye with a 2 hour stopover in O'Hare from 5-7AM? Nothing, thats what!

So, I will be very sporadic again as I will be returning to the world of dial-up interweb. Oh boy! And bad mobile phone coverage! Double oh boy!

But hey, at least I get my Dunkin' Donuts coffee...

18 December 2006

Recovering ...

I am in recovery mode from AGU and one of the more remarkable weekends ever. At this point, I don't care what I get for Christmas anymore b/c I got enough already. Now, I just have to survive my week and a half back in Massachusetts.

I might have more to say, but my brain is gone right now. It will be back later. Maybe.

So, here is my latest iPod Top 10
10 The Funeral - Band of Horses
9 Magick - the Klaxons
8 Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone - Islands
7 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
6 Here's Your Future - the Thermals
5 Devil's Pie - Rhymefest
4 Parentheses - the Blow
3 55566688833 - James Figurine
2 Blood - Klashnekoff
1 True Affection - the Blow

08 December 2006

And thats a wrap folks ...

I will be at the American Geophysical Union meeting in lovely San Francisco next week, so updates will be very sporadic. We'll see ...

I've finished preparing my talk for the meeting, so thats a good feeling. Now I just need to get myself organized. I also have a pile of semi-interviews with the likes of ... Texas A&M! The Nuclear Regulatory Commission! Central Washington University! Woo! Heck, if I'm bored, I'm sure I can talk to Chevron too (how do you like that, Bloodfist?).

Look for the beginning of my top 20 albums of 2006 starting after the meeting ...

Anyway, here is a little iPod top 10 ... Enjoy!
10 Rut! - B for Brontosaurus
9 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
8 Here's Your Future - the Thermals
7 Devil's Pie - Rhymefest
6 Magick - the Klaxons
5 I Think We're Alone Now (live) - the Pipettes
4 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
3 55566688833 - James Figurine
2 Blood - Klashnekoff
1 True Affection - the Blow

07 December 2006


can you get carpel-tunnel (sic?) syndrome in your shoulder? in your entire arm?

06 December 2006

Underappreciated ...

Alright, I can't remember if I posted this back when I attempted to run the "Island of Lost Records" column here, but after spending the morning working on my talk and listening to the Afghan Whigs, I feel like I need to remind people that they might have been the most underappreciated band of the 1990s. If you missed them, I recommend three of their albums that are near-classics in my opinion (in order of preference): (1) 1993's Gentlemen; (2) 1991's Congregation and; (3) 1996's Black Love. (Oh yeah, and if you can find, their cover of TLC's "Creep" is amazing). All excellent listens, especially Gentlemen - an album everyone should have a copy of, especially if you're a guy. (Greg Dulli, former lead singer of the Whigs, has his new band, The Twilight Singers, which are good in their own right, especially their cover of Bjork's "Hyperballad" and the entire Blackberry Belle album.)

Back to work!

05 December 2006


Note to self: Stop being dumb.

04 December 2006

Busy Monday

Ok, busy, so not much to say ... except ...

I guess the Mariners are in on the Manny talks, so here is my 'Ners package: Putz, Piniero & Adam Jones. Yeah, like that will happen.

And for those of you who enjoyed the Blow's "True Affection", the album is even better. Yow!

01 December 2006

I should stop comparing things to baseball ...

So, Boston is all in a crazed mood over whether the Red Sox should trade Manny Ramirez. On one hand, he is possibly the best and most consistent right-handed hitter in all of baseball, on the other hand, he is likely crazy as a loon. What do you do with a player who can produce on the field, at least in an individual sense, but can be a hugh distraction and has questionable dedication to the team? Do you gamble and try to get a package of talent in return for a future Hall of Fame player? It is a tough question, and right now for the Red Sox, they have a lot to think about and assess as they do with talent issues. The teams that are in the mix are apparently the Dodgers, the Giants, the Rangers and possibly the Padres. People have mentioned the Orioles, but I doubt the Sox would trade Manny within the division.

My dream packages for Manny
Dodgers: James Loney or Andy LaRoche, Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp, Jonathan Broxton & B-level prospie (Sox might send cash & B level prospie)
Giants: Their cupboard is much barer, but maybe Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Fransden, Merkin Valdez + 2 A-level prospies. But thats still rough.
Rangers: Michael Young, John Rheinecker, Kameron Loe & Nelson Cruz or Victor Diaz
Padres: Chris Young or Clay Hensley, Paul McAnulty, Scott Linebrink

I dunno.

Anyway, what does this have to do with my life?
I think I currently an semi-involved with my own Manny and am in the same throes as the Sox. Do I stick with it even if she might not be a team player focused on the championship knowing that she is an All-Star? Or do I take my chance on prospects hoping to get a good roll of the dice? Can Erik really deal with Gladys being Gladys? Ah well...

Alright, here is an iPod Top 10 update ... enjoy!
10 Magick - the Klaxons
9 Rut! - B for Brontosaurus
8 Here's Your Future - the Thermals
7 Devil's Pie - Rhymefest
6 My Slumbering Heart - Rilo Kiley
5 I Think We're Alone Now (Live) - the Pipettes
4 Blood - Klashnekoff
3 55566688833 - James Figurine
2 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
1 True Affection - The Blow

30 November 2006

Sox sign Japanese pitcher!

Alas, not the one you're thinking of ...

Hideki Okajima.
"If we can't have Mike Myers, we'll import our own!"

Apparently, no one has ever taken a picture of Okajima, so I can't post one.
Instead, I posted the first image to come up on Google Images when you search for "LOOGY".

29 November 2006


My postings might become a little sporadic for the next couple weeks because of this:

(My favorite thing about the source of this image is the instruction to "note the nice cleavage". He he.)

28 November 2006

Let's keep this brief

After a few rambling, long, introspective posts recently, let's pull the throttle back a little.

Anyway, if you want to read me ramble, enjoy another TIG review: Various Artists - Plague Songs. It's a fun album about biblical plagues! Woo!

27 November 2006

The 4 Lessons

So, after an odd weekend of mood swings, frisbee, High Fidelity and records, I've come to a number of important conclusions:

(1) I am not assertive enough (or at all).
(2) I am too available to people I have a romantic interest.
(3) I don't follow my instinct enough.
(4) My life was altered in junior high when I decided that the epitome of life of Kerry Kuokannen, a senior who was the soccer goalkeeper, anindie rocker (before indie rock) with a hottie alt/indie girlfriend. Since then, subconsciously (or consciously) that is what I've aspired to accomplish.

Now, 1-3 can be remedied. 4 is more of a "huh, well I'll be." sort of thing. So, today, I am attempting to be more assertive. Sometimes this is difficult when the person you're trying to be assertive to looks like death warmed over. However, I have decided that I deserve more from my current flame than having to deal with her being down and dour about everything. Where is the fun in that? Now, the question is, how do I make that clear when she's being all gloomy? That will be the fun part, eh?

Anyway ... it is time to be a champion and not a chump. Champions do what is right because they know its right, even if others might not. Make sense, eh?

Here is a new TIG review for you to enjoy:The Black Keys - Magic Potion

25 November 2006

Yet again with the Riley

I'd have to say, Riley Finn from BtVS has, over the course of the last year, gone from a character that I was strongly indifferent towards to one I wholly connect with. It is very odd, but I constantly feel like I play the role of Riley to all my Buffys. Oh lordy, that was an odd sentence. Sorry ...

Anyway, I was watching some Buffy, as you do, and this stretch of dialogue just reinforced my belief of my own Riley-ism...

Buffy: It's just... different, you know? A picnic. First of all, daylight ... kind of a new venue, Buffywise. And the best part: he said he would bring all the food, so all I have to do was to show up and eat. Those are two things I'm really good at.
Willow: So he's nice?
Buffy: Very, very.
Willow: And there's sparkage?
Buffy: Yeah. He's ... have you seen his arms? Those are good arms to have. I really like him. I do.
Willow: But...?
Buffy: I don't know. I really like being around him, you know? And I think he cares about me... but... I just... feel like something's missing.
Willow: He's not making you miserable?
Buffy: Exactly. Riley seems so solid. Like he wouldn't cause me heartache.
Willow: Get out. Get out while there's still time!

Wait Erik, thats not bad, right? Yes and no. However, it proves the point: girls don't get as fiery about guys who are stable and won't cause heartache.

Buffy goes on to say...
I can’t help thinking, isn’t that where the fire comes from? Can a nice, safe relationship be that intense? I know it’s nuts but, part of me believes that real love and passion have to go hand in hand with pain and fighting.

Bah! Drama, you suck!

22 November 2006

Wild Misinterpretation

Sometimes I wish I made any forward progress in my dealings with the opposite sex. I still just have the same reactions and feelings that I had when I was in high school, yet here I am, 29 and still acting the fool. What exactly is it about relationships that cause me to act so oddly/dumbly/insanely? Not really sure beyond my lack of any true confidence that I can keep a lady interested in me (possibly based on the fact that I, well, can't, as my track record proves). Do I just make things too complicated for myself - getting worried about things I shouldn't be? Or is Lauren right in the sense that most modern women these days don't want a "relationship guy", so I can just scare them. What is the point of dating then? Or is Ashley right and I need to be more of a jerk? Not in my nature I'm afraid. Did I just miss that day of the seminar? Am I doomed? Honestly, I would love any advice on this matter? I have plenty of friends who are happily married and all - is there a secret? Can I get a hint? Anything? Sigh. Again, this post in itself is probably ridiculously out of proportion, but these days, I just feel like in my current situation, I'm living out Riley Finn's comments about Buffy: Hey, I'm well aware of how lucky I am. Like, lottery lucky. Buffy's like nobody else in the world. When I'm with her, it's like... it's like I'm split in two. Half of me is just on fire, going crazy if I'm not touching her. The other half is so still and peaceful, just perfectly content... just knows: this is the one. But she doesn't love me. *sigh*.

And on that note, a few things to entertain rather than bewilder you:
New TIG review, for Stephin Merritt's latest outing Gothic Archies - The Tragic Treasury
A grand, semi-new version of one of my alltime favorite songs "It's a Sin" by the Pet Shop Boys

EDITOR'S NOTE (11/22, 3PM): the author might be a little loopy today for no good reason. Please take his rants with a grain of salt the size of a small asteroid.

21 November 2006

Oddly enough ...

All I have to say today is ...

F&%k you, Derek Jeter...Ha ha!

Oh yeah, here's a new TIG review too: Xiu Xiu - The Air Force (soooo good).

20 November 2006

Blogging about blogs

Yes, indeed. I do not have much to say today beyond...

(1) I apparently destroyed by jaw & ribcage playing soccer yesterday. Nothing as anti-satisfying as getting hurt in a losing effort, but I could take consolation in the fact that we played the whole game 2 players-down.
(2) When did the airlines decide it should cost 75% more to fly from the west coast to the east coast than this time last year?
(3) I find it a little odd to blog about a blog, but if you want to read a blog that is both entertaining and full of good (free) mp3s, check out the daily (well, M-F) blog of Tullycraft, the truly excellent Seattle band. Good stuff almost every day.

Thats it ... At least its a short week, right?

17 November 2006

Almost made it

Well, I've almost survived the week (knock on wood). That, in itself, is quiet an accomplishment.

Maybe, someday, when my head is less muddled, I will detail it all in a great short story. Or something. Won't that be fun?

Here's my iPod top 10
10 My Slumbering Heart - Rilo Kiley
9 Devil's Pie - Rhymefest
8 Easy/Lucky/Free - Bright Eyes
7 Rut! - B for Brontosaurus
6 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
5 This is That New Song - Badly Drawn Boy
4 I Think We're Alone Now (Live) - the Pipettes
3 Blood - Klashnekoff
2 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
1 True Affection - the Blow

Oh yeah, and a little Billy Bragg for the weekend.

16 November 2006

15 November 2006

you met me at a very strange time in my life

People who talk to me frequently know my apprehension about how I will be turning 30 in about 2 months. It feels like I should have more things sorted out by the time the big ol' bell of 30 rings. However, at the same time, my 20's (and many people's 20's) have been so unsettled and chaotic, I can't imagine that it can continue. Well, at least I hope that. I mean, I'm not expecting some sort of magic enlightment when 30 hits or to feel that different, but whatever ...

Last night I watched Fight Club with my friend Marie and I noticed a few things: (1) Ed Norton/Tyler/Narrator is supposedly 30. Woo. (2) It is a vaguely uplifting movie to me; (3) He does remarkably well for receiving a gunshot wound to the head. The highlight of the evening was, though, getting a fortune in my cookie that was something like "Your current plans will come to fruitation within a year". Of course, I'm not sure what my plan is, so that might make things more difficult. I hope the PTB know what they're doing.

Anyway, I need to stop listening to so much Weezer and Badly Drawn Boy. Nothing like these gems for a melancholy mood.

13 November 2006

I seem to always play the role of Riley

Ok, the title is a little melodramatic, but it was another odd weekend for me. Not necessarily bad, but complicated. It prompted me to watch Moulin Rouge, which is still love. Speaking of, it also made me feel like a hopeless romantic in the sense that even after all the bad things that I've experienced in relationships (being mislead, being cheated on, being dumped, etc.) I still have this odd belief in love. Maybe I would have worked out well in the Bohemian lifestyle like Christian and its odd that I can even say that Moulin Rouge isn't a sad movie to me. It is just melancholy thats all. Now, I just need to batten down the hatches and weather this one. I'm actually oddly optimistic ... I think.

I wish I had more to say today, but I don't.

10 November 2006

I wish I had $45 million for a pitcher

According to Buster Olney, whom I trust about as much as I trust Tony Snow, the Red Sox may have made a $45 million bid for the right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka, the 26 year old Japanese phenom pitcher. Now, if this is true, well, I'm excited. With Beckett, Papelbon, Matsuzaka and Schill, the rotation looks pretty darn good. However, if the assumption is that to sign Daisuke it might take 6 years/$80M, then when you add the bid, thats like $125M for a pitcher. Yowch! Can anyone say Mike Hampton? We'll see. In other Red Sox news, the man who threw the final pitch of the 2004 World Series became a free agent today. Keith Foulke turned down his $3.75M option and now will try to milk the weak free agent closer market. We'll see if he has any takers. My guess: Tampa? San Fran?

Wow. A baseball post? Go figure.

Anyway, here is my iPod top 10. I need to spend this weekend working considering my "distractions" are not out & about. Indeed.

10 My Slumbering Heart - Rilo Kiley
9 La La La Lisa - Math & Physics Club
8 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
7 Compliments (Shibuyaka Remix by Nick Zinner) - Bloc Party
6 Rut! - B for Brontosaurus
5 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
4 Seems to be on My Mind - Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
3 I Think We're Alone Now (Live) - the Pipettes
2 True Affection - The Blow
1 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons

09 November 2006

Nothing like Thursdays

They always bring surprises!

My surprise to you? My favorite song in a long long time.
Enjoy it at your leisure!

The Blow - True Affection.

(that's supposed to be a drooling noise).

07 November 2006

Late Night Politics

Alright, well, it looks like the Democrats have won back the House and look like they're headed for a tie in the Senate (well, not really with the Darth Cheney tiebreaker). Good for the Democrats, it is about time. Hopefully they can not f&%k up too bad before the 2008 Presidential Election.

So, thats enough for politics. Right now I'm not really feeling like partying because I'm kind of melancholy again. It has been a very up & down week for me, and I really don't know what the overall trend is for this whole situation. It's probably dumb of me to think what I think, but I wish I could meet someone who just wants to be with me. No complications, no hesitation, no nothing. Maybe I'm just insane for thinking this is possible. Who knows. Maybe I just don't know how to find people like that for me, but its really kind of getting me down lately. Not that I don't have someone who likes me ... I do, but there are of course, complications, and I just wish that it could all be easier. Maybe I'm impatient about it all. Jeez, what is my problem lately?

Election Day

Today is Election Day. Did you vote? You better have.

Remember, a vote for the Democrats is a vote for the Terrorists!

06 November 2006

Let's get my head back on straight

Sometimes, well, most of the time, I wish life could be simple. OK, maybe not simple, because that would probably be pretty dull, however, it would be unbelievably fabulous if life wasn't always so, well, bizarre. I mean, sometimes it feels like its one of those guy-meets-girl-and-new-girl-gets-cold-feet-but-then-other-girl-who-guy-already-knows-makes-move-then-has-complications-involving-another-guy type stories. You know, those. Everybody has 'em, right? Are you with me people? (A hushed silence). I guess I just feel like life has got to be simpler, I mean if we're just going to appeal to Occham's Razor, but if this is what the "simplest explanation" really ends up being, thus somebody has lost of lot of blood getting ready for work in the morning.

On that note, I did enjoy a fun evening in San Francisco with a friend of mine from Seattle. Always odd to hang out with people out of context. I do, however, wish to file a complaint with the city of San Francisco for their surface streets that MAKE NO SENSE. Sure, great, you have a grid that has a massive kink in the middle that destroys it. It's like Boston without the sanity.

I will offer a link to a "musical fun band" called Brontosaurus that I recommend. They're from Boston and the song "Rut!" tends to get stuck in my head.

Enjoy a new TIG review ... it even references a lathe! Damien Jurado - And Now That I'm In Your Shadow

And here is a late iPod Top 10 ... enjoy!
10 Scream and Run Away - the Gothic Archies
9 Lost Blues - Palace
8 Heartbeats - the Knife
7 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
6 True Affection - the Blow
5 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
4 Compliments (Shibuyaka Remix by Nick Zinner) - Bloc Party
3 My Slumbering Heart - Rilo Kiley
2 Seems To Be On My Mind - Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
1 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons

Oh yes, and for Big Lou and Marie
(my interpretation of the results is that all the Finns relatives in Massachusetts altered me towards that North Central accent. Damn them. At least Boston is a close second, eh?)
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The West
The Midland
The Inland North
The Northeast
The South
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

02 November 2006

Thursdays indeed

So, my enthusiasm has quicky converted to ambivalence. I think the reaction is something like this ...

optimism + enthusiasm + 2*unrealistic expectations + hidden problems <-> ambivalent + angst + resigned failure + 2*uncomfortable situations

Not sure if it balances, but hey, its close ...

Today, it has rained. A lot. First time since I moved here in early August. I had a good run, but now its done. Ah well.
I think instead of going out tonight I want to sit at home and regroup... Yeah, thats it.

In honor of the rain, here is a picture of Andrew WK. I still think I Get Wet was a darn fine album.
I am also a big fan of his demeanor in this picture, especially today.

31 October 2006

And on that note ...

Big Lou came up with a slogan I soooo want on a t-shirt:

Women: Huh?

If someone can make that happen, I'd be indebted to you for life.

Melancholy (in bunny form) ... and a new review!

So, if anyone read my recent review of the Math & Physics Club, you would know that I'm found of the emotion "melancholy". Thats how I feel lately, rather melancholy, which might not be an entirely bad thing, but its not the most fun. I mean, I have plenty of opportunities and such right now, but it just doesn't make any sense. I wish it did...

Anyway, nothing more fun than trying to compile the perfect melancholy CD when you're feeling melancholy. Talk about a feedback loop. So top songs so far:

"Little Light" by Jets to Brazil
"My Slumbering Heart" by Rilo Kiley
"Romeo & Juliet" by Dire Straits
"The Slow Descent into Alcoholism" by the New Pornographers
"Easy/Lucky/Free" by Bright Eyes
"Say Yes" by Elliot Smith
"A New England" by Billy Bragg
"Girlfriend" by the Modern Lovers
"Out of Gas" by Modest Mouse
"Stratford-on-Guy" by Liz Phair
"P.S. You Rock My World" by the Eels
"Johnny Mathis' Feet' by American Music Club
"April Showers" by Math & Physics Club
"Close to Me" by the Cure
"Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland" by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
"Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order
"Crown of Love" by the Arcade Fire
"Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez
"Blue Light (Engineers Anti-Gravity Remix)" by Bloc Party
"I Saw Her at the Anti-War Demonstration" by Jens Lekman

Any other picks from the readers ... ?

In less melancholy news, here is a new TIG review of an album I love quite a bit ...
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - #3

(note: I did a Google image search for "melancholy" and darned if everything was way too sad ... this was the best image I could find, at least in my opinion ... )

30 October 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled program

OK all, sorry about the freakout over the weekend. It happens sometimes, but things seem to be back on track now. No need to avoid me anymore! Really. Honestly. Nothing that watching a few episodes of Coupling couldn't solve.

Beyond that, I really don't have anything else to update. I need to get back on track with my TIG reviews ... hopefully this evening. And gosh, its almost November? Go figure.

I might actually have some baseball stuff to post later on. Now won't that be a refreshing change. Really.

29 October 2006

My weekend in heck

This weekend was more or less a disaster. Unmitigated. No mitigation what so ever. If any government agency had a plan for how to mitigate for this weekend, it was a terrible plan that was bollocks and got no where, lost in committee somewhere until BAM! the disaster strikes. So, here we are. I spent most of the weekend being sick, longing for things I couldn't have, watching some good DVDs (Six Feet Under and Eddie Izzard stand-up ... thanks Alisha), working in the MC lab and generally have a mid (third?) life crisis over the course of 48 hours. For those of you who got to enjoy my posting from last night surely must think I've gone off the deep-end or something, but maybe I was getting a little carried away thanks to 6FU and red wine. Maybe its a little ridiculous, but at least I'm conscious of where my life may or may not be heading. I think the key to this problem is that (a) I'm bloody impatient and (b) I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, and considering my misadventures with love are just that, misadventures, its hard to feel good and roll with the punches in that venue. So, where have I gotten? I'm not sure. I'm feeling pretty good about myself otherwise ... I'm probably in the best shape of my life (of course this cold has curtailed by gym going), I'm a doctorate and an indie rock music critic. Some lady is bound to think thats a good catch, right? Am I right here? I think so ...

Oh wait, where did this start.
For those of you looking for a soundtrack to this weekend, try Art Brut's "Bad Weekend" and Suburban Kids with Biblical Names' "Shitty Weekend". Get the pattern?

And don't you love that when you plug "bad weekend" into Google Images, you get Freddie Mercury. Poor guy...

Ah well ... I guess it is the end of October. I never could get the hang of October ...

28 October 2006

What I should have learned...

Is never to post after drinking wine ...

Sorry, its gone now ...

27 October 2006

Cloudy headed Friday

I thought Friday's were supposed to be filled with sunshine, lollipops and roses. Oh well. I think the Midwestern cold that has struck the department has finally caught up with me. Dammit! We'll see how I survive ...

With that being said, not much to say lucidly today ...

New TIG review Viva Voce - Get Yr Blood Sucked Out

And my current iPod Top 10
10 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS
9 Do You Remember? - Cars Can Be Blue
8 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
7 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
6 Seein Thangs - DJ Shadow with David Banner
5 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
4 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
3 Seems to be on My Mind - Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
2 Compliments (Shibuyaka Remix by Nick Zinner) - Bloc Party
1 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons

I thought about posting a cute animal today, but instead I'll just post this picture of David Eckstein apparently vomiting into his own mouth. Yeah, he's the Ecksteiniest!

**EDIT: Hey, and guess what? He won the World Series MVP. Go figure. Everyone else can have their hitting and plate discipline, he clearly leads the league in gentlemenly conduct!**

26 October 2006

Allergies can bite my ass

The wind here whipped up every allergen known to man and now I have a helluva a headache. Yeah. Fun stuff...

I've been meaning to write a little bit about a song that I find truly amazing. I mean, I toss around the idea that I think songs are really good, be that they be catchy or danceable or something like that. However, "Hope There's Someone" by Antony & the Johnsons transcends most everything. The song is remarkable in its emotional capacity, its melacholy and the remarkable well of hope that seems just below the surface. As lame as it might seem, every time I hear this song (and I've heard it a lot) it gives me chills and if it catches me in the right mood, I can almost get downright weepy. It is the sort of song that I feel like I can't do justice to in the written word because it causes such visceral reaction in me. If you want the full effect, throw on some headphones and turn down the lights.


Here is a new TIG Review too ... all sorts of goodies today - Silversun Pickups - Carnavas

25 October 2006

So tired this week

I think the switch from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time is draining energy from my soul. Either that or its some horrible space parasite. That sounds like less fun.

For some reason, this video fascinates me. It should fascinate you too.
The Streets - Prangin' Out

I think this lack of energy is killing my buzz about other things that make me giddy. I hate that sort of thing. At least I seem to be calmer than I usually am, which is a big plus. I can actually take a deep breath, relax and let things come as they may.

And by that, I mean this.

24 October 2006

New Review

Here is a new review from TIG. Hewh, that was tiring ...

Skygreen Leopards - Disciples of California

And considering I have nothing else to say, enjoy this lovely illustration.

23 October 2006


I like tea.

Red Zinger. Its really hybiscus.

(note, this is not what it seems. Well, not yet)

21 October 2006


Yes folks, it has been one year of this ever changing blog. Its my blogiversary.

Have a drink in honor (horror?) of it all!

20 October 2006

Top 10 and some updates

The week is done ... I don't know if I can survive soccer/ultimate frisbee four times each week. We'll see.

Looking forward to the weekend (I hope).

I have an odd trio of mini-reviews up right now, for the Rapture, DJ Shadow and TV on the Radio. Enjoy!.

I was looking for a figure of "blobs of magma" on google images yesterday for a talk and found this instead. I mean, really, doesn't it get across the same message? Yeah, I thought so ...

Here are my weekly Top 10, for those of you keen on keeping tabs on my music
10 Be Gentle with Me - The Boy Least Likely To
9 Seein Thangs - DJ Shadow with David Banner
8 Seems To Be on My Mind - Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
7 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
6 Pull Shapes - the Pipettes
5 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
4 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
3 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS
2 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
1 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons

19 October 2006


Maybe I've been co-opted by Big Lou ...

However, I do doubt the results in the sense that no one EVER dismissed me as a hippie (thankfully) ...
And I was hoping to get Stockton anyway ... or maybe Sebastopol.

You Belong in San Francisco

You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.
You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.
People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!

Erik starring in: Music Critic Mea Culpa!

For those of you who enjoy reading someone writing circles around themselves, you might enjoy the saga that is my review of The Thermals' The Body, The Blood, The Machine. Be sure to click the link in the last sentence to see the first, original review of the album from August. I was very torn about this. My opinion on the album has changed, but does this mean I should have written this semi-retraction, semi-modification of the review? How does that effect my legitimacy? Why do I think I have any legitimacy anyway? I'm not too sure.

I don't have any cute animals today ... but I did want to post an image of the Killers from Bill Simmons' Mailbag mostly because I'm entirely amused that they look like they should be on Sabado Gigante. This is my attempt to give props to both one of my bigger influences in my writing style (Simmons) and the uber-Chilean, Don Francisco.

18 October 2006

Yo La Tengo is gooood.

Yo La Tengo with Why?
Harlowe's, Sacramento CA 10/17/2006

Opening band (Why?) - Ever wonder what a band fronted by a sweaty, shirtless, emaciated Billy from Six Feet Under might look like? Well, look no further! Why? was ok, but felt a little "flavor-of-the-month", mixing up equal parts Dismemberment Plan, Modest Mouse & TV of the Radio. They had some promise if they could get over trying to be overly eccentric, and maybe, you know, bathe.

Yo La Tengo - They were great! They mixed up their set from their entire ouevre, hitting the messed up distorted epics like "The Story of Yo La Tengo" to some of the best quiet songs they've done like "Center of Gravity" and "The Summer". They also nailed their underappreciated gem "Little Eyes". However, for me, the showstopper was "Nuclear War". I was hoping they'd play it, but was wondering what they might do without the chorus of small children, but instead they started with a new rhythm and broke it out into maybe 4 different songs (stylistically). It was stunning (as was my company for the show.)

So, in honor of the Yo La Tengo show, here is today's cute animal cursing. Enjoy!

17 October 2006

Review, Picture and ...

I have Yo La Tengo (with a special guest) tonight in Sacramento. Exciting stuff, considering at this time last week I didn't think I was going...

Also, why not enjoy another new TIG review ... Cursive - Happy Hollow

Anyway, to continue to amuse my friend Ashley, here are more cute animals cursing:

(Note how cleverly I made "with special guest" ambiguous. Is it a band? Is it a person? Who is this guest with, the band or the writer? Ah, the intrigue.)

16 October 2006

And its already the middle of October?!

As Marty's brother might said "When did this happen?!"

I've been hindered lately in my research by a lack of parts for a magnetic separator that has got to be 40 years old (at least) and the company is apparently whittling the new metal chute by hand with illegal hobbit labor or something. In the meantime, I get to spend quality time with the electron microprobe (woo!) and order large flats of 2.5L bottles of HCl and HNO3 (double woo!)

However ... it has afforded me time to try to work on my teaching/research statements and my talk for next week. And, I have now officially gotten my name on a paper - albeit as the third author - on a paper from my undergraduate thesis in Maine. Yes, now the offers will come rolling in!

Otherwise, this was a great weekend (for reasons that may become clear later). I was hoping to see the Skygreen Leopards, but they cancelled. No matter! The weekend was still excellent. I did destroy my shoulder again playing ultimate. No matter! Weekend of excellence! I only got through 2.5 of the 5 TIG reviews I need to write. No matter! (I think you get the picture).

Also, was I the only one who found that from my post of Friday picture amusing? C'mon people?!

Just for that, enjoy this prancing unicorn. F&%k you, that's what the unicorn is saying.
(In an amusing sidelight, when I pulled down my google menu to re-search for "unicorns" (don't ask), I saw a search that took me a moment to remember why the hell I searched for "sexless shoulder to cry on". Ah Joss, you bastard).

That's it. F&%king prancing unicorns for your day. Don't say I didn't ever do anything for ya.

13 October 2006

The week's end

OK, good week. I'd give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, minus 0.5 stars for the bruise on my hand.

I've added this image I saw on ESPN soccernet because, well, its not the soccer that got my attention:

Ah yes ...

Anyway, most of this week seem to be filled with my evergrowing love and admiration for Dinosaur Comics. I think my friend Marie for buying me a $1 "My Tyrannosaurus Rex Notebook" to keep track of my T. Rex-related ramblings.

So, here is my current iPod Top 10. Not much has changed ...
10 Terror! by the Rakes
9 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
8 I Was a Love by TV on the Radio
7 Seein' Thangs by DJ Shadow featuring David Banner
6 Hope There's Someone by Antony & the Johnsons
5 We Share Our Mothers' Health by the Knife
4 Love Travels Faster by Halo Benders
3 No Rest for the Weary by the Blue Scholars
2 A Pillar of Salt by the Thermals
1 Meeting Paris Hilton by CSS

And just for kicks, considering I have a different library on my iBook, here is its top 10!
10 How We Know by the Thermals
9 Heartbeats by the Knife
8 Our Days in Kansas by Tullycraft
7 It's Not Too Beautiful by the Beta Band
6 Johnny Mathis' Feet by American Music Club
5 I Know the Pattern by the Thermals
4 Proletariat Blues by the Blue Scholars
3 We Share Our Mothers' Health by the Knife
2 Where There's a Wish There's a Whalebone by the Islands
1 No Rest for the Weary by the Blue Scholars


12 October 2006

New Review

It's been a pretty good week so far ... got to show up some young rapscallions in soccer yesterday, so I feel pretty with it. Pretty cool. Ah yes, nothing like sporting activities to give one self-worth.

Anyway, here is another TIG review ... its a little, well, odd.

Electric Six - Switzerland


09 October 2006

erik is sleepy today

OK, not much to say. Busy weekend, but at least my shoulder doesn't hurt anymore!

Here is a new TIG review, and its a gem (well, I liked it) ... it has possibly my favorite line I've ever written.
Can you guess what it is?
Math & Physics Club - Math & Physics Club


06 October 2006

The week, in review

So, its Friday.

This week started with a bang that turned into a pop that degraded to a fizzle that rebounded to a crackle. So, here we are, crackling. Not sure what exactly it was about this week that was so odd, but it feels like a transitional week ... not too sure what I'm transitioning from to get to someplace I don't know, but it felt that way. A rebuilding week, with lots of new players trying out and old players fading to the background (possibly being moved for PTBN). I've had somewhat low energy, which I blame on (a) the return of the students on campus here - I swear, the campus must have a finite amount of energy that is divided by the total amount of people on it, and the damn students are using much larger than their fair share and (b) my shoulder injury acquired by playing ultimate. Not sure how the latter might effect energy, but it is. However, as I've been reminded, self-pity is not cute, I shall stop wallowing in it and instead muster my forces to move ahead. A few key conclusions from this week (1) stop being such a muddled mess and be decisive; (b) the interweb is not a place to be social ... it's a tool, like a butcher's knife or a harpoon or...uh, a...an alligator (Thank you Homer); (c) fall just isn't the same without the Red Sox in the playoffs ... its, well, calmer. Maybe thats what's throwing me off ... ? Since 2003, I've had almost a full month of stress related to the Red Sox in the postseason, occupying most of October, but now, I can sit back and relax, jump on any bandwagon I choose (Go A's!) and its kind of disconcerting but at the same time, comforting.

There you have it. And I say we must move forward, not backward! Upward, not forward! And always twirling, twirling, TWIRLING toward freedom!


05 October 2006

04 October 2006

Your Shortcomings and Regrets, Personified.

I normally don't just link to someone else's stuff, but this comic had me laughing for many minutes all by my lonesome in my office last night, especially the last two panels. Sheer brilliance!

Thank you Dinosaur Comics

I'll add a new Top 10 to this too
10 Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes
9 Seein Thangs - DJ Shadow with David Banner
8 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
7 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
6 I Was a Love - TV on the Radio
5 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
4 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
3 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
2 Love Travels Faster - Halo Benders
1 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS

03 October 2006

New TIG Review

Here's a new review to amuse yourself if my last entry was too much of a downer...

CSS - Cansei de Ser Sexy

Oh yeah, and I've banned myself from Myspace and deleted myself from Friendster. The revolution has begun!

02 October 2006

Monday once again

So, I really really really need to learn to be a focused researcher. I just keep on getting distracted by, well, pretty much everything. Frisbee. Soccer. Baseball. Coffee. Ladies. Lunch. Coffee. More ladies. TV. DVDs. CDs to review. Somehow, some way, I really need to get it through my thick head that I am (a) an adult; (b) an academic and (c) need to get serious. Maybe I'm trapped in what is was called Impostor Syndrome and I'm somehow convinced that everything I've earned is just a chance and really has nothing to do with any innate talent I might have. Or, possibly, the fact that I've avoided anything resembling real life by going to grad school and working in universities for, oh, ever. Which does make me wonder/worry a bit that if I'm going to be an academic as a career choice that I might never grow up. Am I doomed to forever be trapped in this world for the rest of my life? Is this what I have to look forward to ... ? Am I just being overly pessimistic at a time where I lack certainty in my career, my romance, my general place in life? Maybe so ... what is there to do? I have no idea, so I'll just pop on some Rilo Kiley or Cursive and hope it all works out in the end.

27 September 2006

A less crazed look and a top 10

So, maybe I should look a little less crazy ...

Hmm, or maybe I look more crazy. I think the key is that I need others taking candid pics of me. Ah well.

Anyway, here's my current iPod Top 10

10 Seein Thangs - DJ Shadow featuring David Banner
9 Pull Shapes - the Pipettes
8 Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes
7 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
6 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
5 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
4 I Was a Lover - TV on the Radio
3 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
2 Love Travels Faster - the Halo Benders
1 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS

25 September 2006

Beard is on hiatus for retooling

Ah, funny what 4 days without showering will make a person do...

20 September 2006

Field Trip and Top 10

I'm off to northern California/southern Oregon on the Geology Dept. field trip for the next 4 days. It's a good thing. I can get away from technology, the sorry end of the Red Sox season and everything else. I've been suffering from what I could term as "internet fatigue" lately that has me seriously contemplating plugging the plug on my Myspace & Friendster profiles for good. It seems somewhat of a liberating idea. I mean, can someone give me a real benefit from either of those sites? Ah well. We'll see how I feel after the weekend, but I'm getting to a weird point where I want to simplify ... maybe not getting cable when I moved here was what I needed to get that snowball rolling. Or maybe I'm just getting old, grown-up and bland. That's life, ain't it. Just been a few things in Davis that make me feel like Jarvis Cocker (from Pulp) when he sings "you are the party that makes me feel my age."

Wow. I'm a f&$king ray of sunshine today.

Here is my current iPod Top 10. Enjoy!
10 Proletariat Blues - the Blue Scholars
9 Wildcat - Ratatat
8 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
7 I Was a Lover - TV on the Radio
6 Pull Shapes - the Pipettes
5 Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes
4 Love Travels Faster - Halo Benders
3 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
2 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
1 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS

See you next week ...

18 September 2006

A new review and baseball

Firstly, baseball.

Sadly, the fantasy baseball season of the Golden State Daleks ended yesterday, falling in the quarterfinals. This ends my streak of third-place finishes at 2 years. Ah well. As the Red Sox go, so go the Daleks apparently.

Secondly, here is a new TIG Review: The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers

One of these days, I'll have some commentary on life in Davis, but I think that may wait until after the Geology Department field trip later this week. However, California has been nice so far.

Oddly, today, I just discovered that the Geology building is next to the law school. And that the UC-Davis law school runs on a semester system while all the rest of the university is on quarters. Funny what you find out when you work the nerve to strike up a conversation with some in the same coffee line as you.

15 September 2006

New Review

Another fine TIG review from yours truly:

The Knife - Silent Shout

14 September 2006

Still working on it ...

I'm trying to find a better time of the day to get in the habit of writing here to at least be more consistent.

It's been a busy week on many fronts. And next week is field trip time! Good geology fun.

Anyway, here's my current top 10

10 Terror! by the Rakes
9 Djuna! by Frida Hyvonen
8 Do You Remember? by Cars Can Be Blue
7 Proletariat Blues by the Blue Scholars
6 Wildcat by Ratatat
5 Pull Shapes by the Pipettes
4 A Pillar of Salt by the Thermals
3 Insistor by Tapes 'n Tapes
2 We Share Our Mothers' Health by the Knife
1 Meeting Paris Hilton by CSS

12 September 2006

Who's been a total slacker?

Yes, I've been a total slacker in terms of keeping this thing updated ... In fact, it may need a new name so I don't feel so ashamed that "Shuffle of the Day" should be more accurately portrayed as "Shuffle of the Fortnight". Ah well.

I recently returned from Massachusetts to Davis and finally feel like I'm making some headway into not feeling so transistional. Slowly meeting people here in the department (including someone who's extended family has a house on freaking Wyman Pond in Westminster...weird). I've been playing soccer (just ask my ankle) and hanging with the indie rock kids, so its getting better. I've got the Geology Department Field Trip next week - a surefire way to bond with other geologists: camping, fermented beverages and rocks. Beyond that, I'm just trying to take things with a relaxed (well, for me) attitude and let things come as they may. Which, of course, for those of you who know me well, is sometimes next to impossible.

So, for now, I need to spend my time (a) catching up on TIG reviews; (b) writing my third paper (this should actually be (a) eh?) and (c) being friendly and such. Ah yes.

Oh yeah, and watching the Red Sox fade into the twilight for 2006. Ah well.

08 September 2006

Back from Massachusetts, can't think straight, so only a Top 10

I think the title says it all. Just trying to get my head back into the PDT. Nothing like 4.5 hours on a 737-800. I had the good/bad fortune of getting X-Men: The Last Stand as the movie, which was not very good. That makes me sad considering how much I liked the other two X-Men movies. My conclusion is that Brett Ratner is what you get when you create a hybrid of all the bad things about Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay (which is most of him).


Current iPod Top 10
10 We are the Pipettes - the Pipettes
9 Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
8 Do You Remember? - Cars Can Be Blue
7 Meeting Paris Hilton - Cansei de Ser Sexy
6 Proletariat Blues - Blue Scholars
5 No Culture Icons - the Thermals
4 Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
3 Pull Shapes - the Pipettes
2 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
1 Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes


05 September 2006

The one vacation post

This is for Big Lou:

Howard hits 64 HR

28 August 2006

Ah well -- Top 10 and 2 new Reviews

One of these days I'll get diligent about SOTD. Really.
Off to see the shell of the Red Sox play Oakland in the Network Assoc./Oakland-Almeda/3Com Coliseum. Yeah, nothing like seeing Kason Gabbard start for the Sox. Ugh.

At least I'm off to Boston on Tuesday so I can watch the Red Sox lose live every day for a week! Woo!

My current iPod Top 10

10 Meeting Paris Hilton - Cansei de Ser Sexy
9 Proletariat Blues - Blue Scholars
8 No Culture Icons - the Thermals
7 Wildcat - Ratatat
6 We Are the Pipettes - the Pipettes
5 Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
4 Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
3 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
2 Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes
1 Pull Shapes - the Pipettes


Two new TIG reviews!

The Pipettes - We are the Pipettes!
Ratatat - Classics


23 August 2006

"She's Got a New Spell" by Billy Bragg

Shuffle of the Day for 8/23/2006
"She's Got a New Spell" by Billy Bragg from Workers' Playtime

Billy Bragg is one of the most underappreciated songwriters in rock music and Workers' Playtime is one of the most underappreciated albums of the 1980's. Unlike Bragg's reputation and the album's title, Workers' Playtime has very little politics (except for the classic "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards"), but instead the album is populated by nearly perfect love songs. Most of them are sad love songs, and "She's Got a New Spell" is one of them, a song about, well, getting dumped. The song is built off a base of gentle guitars and an infectious melody as Billy spins a yarn about discovering that his woman seems to have changed, and probably not in a good way. The song itself is almost 20 years old now, but it still maintains its timeless sound as a lot of Billy Bragg's works seem to be able to do. It is truly one of those hidden gems of a song on a hidden gem of an album.

Another day, another Red Sox loss. *sigh*


21 August 2006

Red Sox and Shuffle of the Day

First things first:

The Red Sox were swept in 5 games but Yankers to put them 6.5 games out in the AL East. Talk about ending the season in a 4 day span. The games were painful to watch, read about, hear mention in passing, etc. Last night was a game that the Red Sox needed to win and should have won, but Timlin & Lopez couldn't help but put Yankers on base. Papelbon tried his best, but ran out of luck (and his ERA is now officially 1.00), but Craig Hansen couldn't make it 3 pitches in the 10th without giving up a run (and was rewarded with a demotion to AAA). However, the real goats have to be Hinske & Mirabelli who couldn't drive in a run from third base with only 1 out (well, 2 outs for Mirabelli). Painful. This is why the Sox need a better #5 hitter.

A few additional comments on the Red Sox.

- The Varitek injury was a killer - Pre-Tek Injury Winning %: .610; Post-Tek Injury Winning %: .263. I know that it could be a coincidence, but that seems like a stretch to me. It's 2001 all over again. Varitek plays such an important (yet undefinable) role on this team in terms of keeping the pitching staff working it seems like a joke to think that Dumpy Doug and Javy Lopez could have any luck keeping this team afloat.

- I wonder if Francona is long for this world. I know at least we need a new pitching coach.


Shuffle of the Day for 8/21/2006
"Yr City's a Sucker" by LCD Soundsystem from LCD Soundsystem.

Wow. I wish I has something to say except that this seems like the perfect song for New York to sing to Boston today. Damn them.


19 August 2006

Top 10, Red Sox and a new review

Yesterday I went to San Francisco (specifically the Presidio), so no Shuffle for yesterday.

Instead, I'll throw my iPod top 10 here:

10 We are the Pipettes - the Pipettes
9 Country Roads - Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
8 9mm and a Three Piece Suit - Catch 22
7 Do You Remember? - Cars Can Be Blue
6 Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heart Broken - Camera Obscura
5 Proletariat Blues - the Blue Scholars
4 Capture with a Magnet - the Thermals
3 No Culture Icons - the Thermals
2 Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
1 2wice - Mission of Burma

Ok, here is my real thought for today. We're going old school and talking Red Sox.

They're done for 2006. Sorry, but it had to be said. I'm not being a pessimist, I'm not trying to be a kneejerk fan, but they're done. When you play your closest rival and you let them score 36 runs in the first 23 innings [edit: make that 39 runs in 27 innings] of the series, you're done. Now, unlike a lot of Red Sox fans who are ready to throw Theo Epstein under a bus, I stand firmly behind Theo. He has a plan that goes well beyond 2006 and he's sticking to it in the face of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Boston press, the Sons of Sam Horn, and all the various Boston sports idiots. Sure, it stings to see the Yankers hoard more players and run away with an AL East that looked like it was for the taking by the Sox. However, things just didn't pan out: injuries beset the Sox, especially the devasting loss of Varitek; young pitchers hit their rookie wall (Delcarmen, Hansen, Lester and Papelbon to a lesser degree) and the offense was a different type of offense that might not be able to bounce back as quickly as previous editions.

What are the key problems for the Red Sox right now.

1. Terry Francona needs to learn to manage a pitching staff - I can't even count how many times he's sent a starter (especially Beckett) back out there to pitch when they've been (a) shaky throughout the game and (b) at or near 100 pitches. Why? To instill confidence but letting them get shelled? Sure, the bullpen is thin, but destroying your starters will not help the bullpen. Francona needs to not keep trotting the starter out there when its obvious that, probablisitically, this inning will be a tipping point as they hit 100 pitches. He also needs to have pitchers ready to get starters out of jams when he feels he needs to trot the starter out there again. Today's game was a microcosm of this pattern, where Francona brought Beckett out for the 6th inning after Beckett had already given up 5 runs to the Yankers and was at 97 pitches. What happens? Beckett loads the bases and walks in the go-ahead run (and ends up throwing 121 pitches). Finally, Francona brings in Delcarmen with the bases loaded and the rookie pitcher walks in a run, then gives up a 3 run triple to Jorge Posada. A 5-5 game becomes a 10-5 deficit. Would this have happened if Francona brought Delcarmen in to start the inning? Who knows, but I would like to hope it might not have gotten so out of had.

2. The front office needs more bench depth - The bench has been weak this year: Cora, Kapler, Mirabelli are the main off the bench hitters. Mirabelli was a panic move after Josh Bard couldn't catch Wakefield. Cora has played above his projections, but Kapler seems to be a sentimental favorite rather than a practical one. Other players to grace the bench were Willie Harris, who lost 1 if not 2 games on the bases and Adam Stern, who couldn't get his WBC magic back.

3. The Boston Press/fans need to learn that the Sox will not win it all every year - Funny how the win in 2004 has made many Sox fans and most of the press even more insufferable. They expect that the 2004 magic should happen all the time and that the "WIN NOW" mentality should exist every year. 2004 was a unique season for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the free agency of Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra. Without these events, I don't think the Sox front office would have pushed so hard to win that year. Sox fans need to get used to the idea that the Henry ownership and Epstein management will not be playing the same games as the Yankers to win at any cost. Deal.

4. As vaunted as the Manny-Papi duo is, they need backup - The Sox relied too much on the two-headed monsters of Manny and Big Papi. What they need is a good, consistent #5 hitter to follow Ortiz, someone like the 2006 version of Raul Ibanez or a Jermaine Dye or someone who can be more consistent than Varitek or Nixon. Maybe Eric Hinske can fill that role in 2007, but the Sox should look for some other power bat to fill in behind Manny & Papi.

Players who will not return in 2007: Nixon, Loretta, Alex Gonzalez (maybe), Timlin, Seanez, Clement, Wells, Wakefield (?), Mirabelli, Kapler, Lowell (?)

Those are my key thoughts right now. The Red Sox of 2006 aren't a bad team. Really. But they're also not as good as people made them out to be. They're young and unexperienced in many important parts of the team. The 2007 Sox may be better, but they have a lot of holes to fill. Sure, it might be early for a post-mortem like this, but I at least wanted to get it out before the real slashing begins.


New TIG review: Mission of Burma - The Obliterati


16 August 2006

"A Credit to His Gender" by Good Riddance

Shuffle of the Day for 8/16/2006
"A Credit to His Gender" by Good Riddance from A Comprehensive Guide to Moderne Rebellion

Back in the day (read late 1990's) I was really into hardcore, especially the more political/straight-edge/anti-frat boy as it could get. It was part and parcel with the general ultra-leftist feelings I had in college (that has since been tempered with real world pragmatism, a.k.a., resigned bitterness and resentment). However, at the time, I thought these bands might be able to change the world, or at least parts of it. Good Riddance seems especially well suited for this pursuit, just look at the title of the album that "A Credit to His Gender" is derived. The song itself is a downright indictment of the frat-boy culture, although Good Riddances lyrical chops might go over their heads. It seems pretty clear with lines like Call her a whore/just the same as you/but she could never be that shallow. When you put lines such as that to a punk/hardcore song, well, its perfect for playing at 1:20AM on a college radio station and hoping you can at least comfort yourself that someone might be listening thinking "yeah, screw that frat-boy types" (I suppose it was less prevalent at my college considering frats and sororities had been banned since the 60's - but the culture was still present). I don't know how I feel anymore about the changing power of music. It seems like most music has been co-opted in this country just like almost everything else by (1) big business; (2) the christian "right" and (3) downright evil. I suppose I just have to hope that it can work like it did with me: one person at a time so we don't totally lose sight of the way life should work rather than the way we're told it has to be.