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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble Gobble

Gobble gobble gobble. Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble. Gobble, gobble gobble gobble gobble. Gobble -- gobble gobble gobble.

Monday, November 20, 2006


The battery for my MacBook Pro was recalled a while back. I finally got around to requesting a replacement on Saturday afternoon, and was impressed to see that it arrived today.

Even more impressive, however, was the pickup of the defective battery that I sent back. The instructions said to call DHL to request a pickup, which I did. I hung up from the phone call, went downstairs to get a piece of packaging tape to seal the box, put it on the box, turned to head back upstairs and saw a DHL dude coming up the front steps. It couldn't have been more than a couple minutes. I'm not sure if he just happened to be driving by, or if they have a teleporter. Our house doesn't even have a number on it...

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Modest Mouse

I may be the only reader of this site for whom this is exciting, but I'm going to write about it anyway.

Modest Mouse has a new album on the way called We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. In a completely random yet awesome development, the legendary Johnny Marr of the Smiths is now a member of the band, having been pulled in during the course of making the album. Original (and very impressive) drummer Jeremiah Green returns for this record, too. The release date has been delayed until some unspecified time early next year. Isaac Brock described it as "a nautical balalaika carnival romp", but I have this suspicion that that might just be his way of making fun of the indie music press.

Despite the album delay, the band has played some new material at a few shows recently, and it can be heard in bootleg recordings online. They sound great to me, despite the iffy sound quality, and I'm really excited about the new album. Some mp3s you can listen to, if you like:


And there's even a YouTube of "Fire It Up" where, lo and behold, Johnny Marr can be seen on stage (far left) with Modest Mouse:

Unrelated interesting development: The New York Times publishes an article with multiple embedded YouTube clips? Crazy -- I never thought the editors would come around to something like that so soon. YouTube was started in February 2005, and hardly anybody had heard of it at this time last year.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Feeling so grown-up

Today, while surreptitiously checking my personal email at work, I received...a job offer. Holy crap! I'm hesitant to be specific out here on the internet, but although it was not completely out of the blue, it was extremely exciting nonetheless. I need to respond by early next month, so I'll be thinking about it over the next few weeks. I'd say it's likely I'll accept.

So it's looking more likely than ever that it will be off to DC come this spring. And looking toward the remainder of my year in school, approaching it with a job offer in hand is a reeeaaally nice feeling.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A bit harried

Whew, sure have been busy.

Jesse was up here for dinner last Wednesday, amid his fall visit to the USA. In response to my request for British foodstuff oddities, he brought me a few items. The highlight, I'd say, is a can of "All Day Breakfast," which is a tomato-based concoction containing baked beans, pork sausages, mushrooms, bacon slices and -- wait for it -- an omelette. The picture on the label shows a fat little sausage and a half-moon omelette floating in tomatoey beans. Eeew. Well done, Jesse.

This weekend I went to NYC to visit Alex again. It was good; taking advantage of his free museum admission, we went to MoMA and the Brooklyn Musuem (which had a fabulous exhibition by sculptor Ron Mueck, who started his career with the Muppets. (His stuff doesn't translate to photos well.) MoMA also has a couple theaters that you can also get into free on Alex's card, so we saw Midnight Cowboy, which was quite impressive.

We also verified David Byrne's claim that this arch in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn
does in fact contain a large number of cool puppets. Byrne was himself varifying the claim of a friend that this was true -- I think it's just the sort of thing that doesn't seem like it should be true. But I'm glad it is. The New York Puppet Lending Library takes up the leg of the arch, and they have a small performance space in the top, no joke.

I also did a lot of eating this weekend, including my quota of three Doughnut Plant doughnuts. (Vanilla bean, strawberry jelly with vanilla bean glaze, and tres leches cake style, in case you were wondering.)

In the Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, there was a posed picture of the main movers of the Bush Administration -- W, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, Tenet, etc. looking at the camera steely-eyed and purposeful. The galleries were extremely crowded, and the picture was exerting a forcefield of political distortion in the room. Unlike the other photos, it had created a little half circle of empty space. As people stood and looked or milled past, everyone was forced to acknowledge it. A man sighed loudly. A woman rolled her eyes. Another woman made a sarcastic remark to her companion about how the crew really looked like they had it together. There was visible displeasure on the faces of many of the people walking by as Bush suddenly intruded on their pleasant afternoon of art photography.

Not exactly an unbiased sample of the voting public, but hopefully a similar dynamic of repulsion will be at work in the elections today. I've got my races I'm paying particular attention to, and a few of us will be gathering at John's place to watch returns. Fingers crossed.