Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
On the way to our friend Sean's 30th birthday party in downtown Nashville on Saturday night, Adrienne and I heard frantic scratching noises as we walked along the car-aligned banks of the Cumberland river.
"Is that coming from someone's trunk?", asked Adrienne.
"No, I think it's coming from inside that trash can.", I replied.
As I cautiously approached the receptacle in question, the scratching grew louder and more agitated. I guardedly peeked in and caught a glimpse of what seemed to be a large squirrel, ineffectively leaping for freedom from the shadowy depths of the near-empty trash can.
"It's just a squirrel, it must've fallen in the trash can in search of food or something and now it can't get out", I yelled at Adrienne who was now standing timoroursly, a good twelve feet away from the area of contention.
Upon closer inspection of the woodland creature I noticed that there was no big bushy tail and that its ears and snout were more pronounced than I remembered on a squirrel. That's because it was no squirrel, it was a big ol' sewer rat!
"What should we do?" I asked.
"Nothing! Get away from there! Let's go!", said Adrienne in disgust.
But I couldn't just turn a blind eye, I had to help this poor bastard.
Sure, the rat put itself in this treacherous situation and it should have probably perished for it; natural selection and whatnot. But you don't understand. I was a boy scout, I was taught to defend the defenseless and stand up for what's right. Plus, I'm a Libra and I'm very adverse to injustice and suffering to begin with. And furthermore, my patron saint is St. Francis of Assisi, the dude who (allegedly) talked to animals and felt a kinship with them (you know, kinda like that half-naked dude in the Beastmaster movies). I'd like to think that I have the same kind of qualities. Animals always love me.
So yeah, I had to do something.
I quickly determined that I was not willing to touch the trash can in any way, shape or fashion. That shit looked gross. And I certainly wasn't going to try and grab that fierce beast with my bare hands for fear of catching typhoid or hemorrhagic fever, or perhaps even the bubonic plague.
So I scoured the surroundings for objects that I could throw in there as to create a ladder of sorts for the rat to climb on and out to freedom. There were some trees near by, so I made it across the street and cut off a branch with my trusty pocket knife (another carry-over from my old boy scout days-- always be prepared.)
As soon as I dropped the branch in, the rat came shooting out, like a tiger unleashed from its cage, prompting Adrienne to scream erratically and jump up and down (hence, she was unable to capture the successful rescue operation on film like I had instructed her to.)
The jittery rodent scattered across the pavement and up a hill until it was nowhere in sight.
So maybe saving a rat from a trash can isn't your idea of a valiant act, but I felt proud of my good deed. That's one more rat that'll get to go to school, get to fall in love, get to be cool.
Keep on rockin' in the free world, my ratty friend, keep on rockin' in the free world...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
You be the judge:
Well, let me offer some support for that geographical claim of racism.
Below is a report from St. Clairsville, OH, just 25 miles from SW PA. I'm willing to bet it's not too much different across the state line:
Remember this video the next time you hear someone talk about "small town values".
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Albums That You Should Own, But Perhaps Don't (And In That Case, You Soon Will): Walking Concert - Run To Be Born
In the 1980's he was in two seminal New York hardcore bands, Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits; in the 90's the all-star post-hardcore unit Quicksand; and since the start of the new millennium, two rousing rock bands, Rival Schools and Walking Concert. Along the way, he also managed to produce one of Hot Water Music's best record, No Division, and release it on his own record label, Some Records.
The guy has quite the body of work behind him.
And while most of his accomplishments have been universally lauded, his outing as Walking Concert, 2004's Run To Be Born, was largely overlooked.
It's too bad, because Run To Be Born displayed Schreifels' keen and mature songwriting skills more so than anything he had done before. Wanting to pay tribute to the sounds of his youth (the Kinks, Bowie, T.Rex's Marc Bolan), he loaded this record with huge hooks and stretched his vocals to new dynamic levels. Songs like "What's Your New Thing?" and "But You Know...It's True" are sure to stick in your head right from the first listen while "Girls In The Field" and "A Lot To Expect" drip melancholic goodness.
It's one of those records that I can't ever see getting sick of and that I appreciate more and more with each new listen. Good stuff.
See Also: ATYSOBPDAITCYSW: Superdrag's Regretfully Yours & Centro-Matic's Distance And Clime.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I learned how to deal with these nocturnal pests when I lived in the basement of a house I shared with two friends. There, in the humid murkiness, I caught at least one every night. Through these pre-bedtime encounters I figured out that they never put up much of a fight. Most of the time, you can just walk up to a cave cricket and smash it, capture it or what have you, and it won't even move. And if they do respond by fleeing, they give up after two meager jumps. That's all they've got, two jumps. Millions of years of evolution-- two jumps.
It's like they're programmed to not even try; they know who got the short end of the evolutionary stick. Any attempt to escape is futile, it only delays the inevitable. They must realize that the absurdity of life is trying to flee from a well-too-certain death. How existential of them-- Sartre's got nothing on these fuckers.
It almost makes me rethink flushing this poor bastard down the toilet after I finish writing this blog.
Perhaps I can draw parallels from this parable on knowing your limitations to recent failed attempts at expressing my feelings about current events. In the last few weeks I've started several blogs on issues ranging from the election, the economy, to politics in general, but I've had to abandon all of them shortly after commencing. I just found it impossible to focus my frustrations into specific subjective propositions supporting broader objective conclusions.
I attribute this to the fact that I've never been great at expressing myself, even about topics that I feel I fully understand. It's a weird cerebral process that I just became cognizant of recently.
I reckon that somewhere along my early developmental stages, I adopted a method for rationalizing complicated concepts that involves omitting given or obvious information from the process of inducing. We all do this to some degree, but I especially adapted it to perhaps debilitating proportions. Once I grasp a part of a process, it's automatically validated, and in my mind, no longer requires to be evaluated as part of the rationale.
So, I often come to conclusions without being able to explain my reasoning. It might just be that I'm full of shit, but let's not go that route just yet.
This shortcoming of mine is why I always hated math teachers that insisted that you showed your work on tests. It would drive me crazy because I often got the answer right away but I would have to learn the "proper" way to come to it so that my teachers didn't think I was cheating. They missed the point completely. I got the answer right, who cares how I got there? Isn't the point of math to develop pathways of logical reasoning? Shouldn't you be happy that I'm doing so all on my own?!
Anyway, this rationale, along with my poor writing skills (in heavy Italian accent: "dees ees a-not ma ferst a-language!") keeps me from making sense a lot of the time and I'd rather spare you the confusion. But I promise to work on it.
Now, how do you think one would go about water-boarding a cave cricket? Hmm.....
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I wonder how Lt. Pete Mitchell feels about all of this...
Shit, I knew you'd be cool with it, Maverick, you're so cool! You live on the highway to the danger zone!