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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Friday, February 11, 2011

from Jesus' Brother Bob to Jesusland (University A Cappella Version)

Day 1637, Session 162:
Wednesday December 15th - Jewel on Ashland
First song: Jesus' Brother Bob by The Arrogant Worms
Last full song: Jesusland (University A Cappella Version) by The University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill's Loreleis
Progress: 4657-4668 of 10964
Total Songs Heard: 2088

12 songs, all starting with Jesus. Jesus... I believe that many of the world's problems are caused (and have been caused for thousands of years!) by people fighting over which version of the imaginary space grampa is the best.

This isn't to say that there necessarily isn't a space grampa. Personally I'm not sure, but if there is I'm firmly in the Deist camp.  (You know who else were Deists? The founding fathers. Which is why it drives me crazy any time some conservative bullshit artist claims that the founding fathers specifically wanted this to be an exclusively Christian country.)

Here's the problem with many religious people... they use it as an excuse to remain ignorant:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill O'Reilly Proves God's Existence - Neil deGrasse Tyson
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

You know what... I have no business really talking about this. No one came here to read my thoughts on religion. I'll leave you with this from Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog:
"Saying 'God did it' is not an answer. It’s an evasion. O’Reilly (and so many ideologues like him) wants his ignorance to be canonized, but ignorance is not a goal. It’s an opportunity to learn more.
Look: I seriously and strongly feel that everyone has the right to believe what they want, and to find comfort in it if they need it. But you can’t let that belief narrow your view of the Universe to where it’s simply easier to avoid what you don’t understand. That’s what O’Reilly has done — or is urging his listeners to do — and he’s missing out. Nature is subtle, and amazing, and layered, and complex, and interconnected on levels we’re only just now starting to suspect. That’s where the true mystery lies.

As long as we’re curious, and keep our eyes and minds open, we’ll be able to explore the Universe, and we’ll never run out of things to question and explain."
Also what Ricky Gervais said:

If I'm not struck down for this typing I swear to science that I'll take it less seriously next time.

Jesus' Brother Bob - The Arrogant Worms

Monday, December 13, 2010

from Jealous Minds Think Alike to Jessica

Day 1622, Session 161:
 Tuesday November 30th - Jewel on Ashland
First song: Jealous Minds Think Alike by You Me At 6
Last full song: Jessica by They Might Be Giants
Progress: 4616-4631 of 10907
Total Songs Heard: 2076

True story: I posted this update and almost immediately the occasional blue screens my computer had been giving me, turned into an unsolvable epidemic of BSODs.  One trip to the shop later and things still weren't better. Now my computer won't even turn on. We believe the cause of death is ruptured motherboard.  At this point I'm still working on the assumption that it is a coincidence that I posted here and my computer immediately decided to die... but if the wife's computer dies tomorrow, then I may have to give up this project for good.

Lots of "J" girl names on this day. Let's see what we can do with that...

Jen Brewer and Jen Pike by Moxy Fruvous - I was in several shows in college with Jen Violi. Her first book is about to be published. I think that's pretty awesome. Jen Gonzales and I met randomly over the internet my freshman year. She was from Texas. In spite of that, we got along very well. I once wrote an article about her for a journalism class. I got an A on the article.

Jenifa Taught Me (2 versions) by De La Soul - Though I've never actually known a Jenifa, I was once taught an important lesson by a Jennifer.  In 5th grade there was a girl in my class named Jennifer Gilbert. She was generally regarded as the good looking girl in class. Though I was not the most popular kid in my elementary school class, I thought I was generally well regarded for both my intelligence and sense of humor. Jen Gilbert threw a halloween party that year. As far as I remember everyone in my class (even "the smart kids" that I generally hung out with) was invited to that party. Everyone that is (as you've probably already guessed) except me. Jenifa taught me what I had suspected but had yet to confirm: Being smart /= being popular.

Jennifer Burnett by Moxy Fruvous - When I was a freshman in high school I joined the school "literary" magazine. I've always been a crap writer, so why would I do that? Why does any high school boy do almost anything? Cute girls. One of the editors of the magazine was a senior who was both cute and funny in a way that seemed very mature to me at the time. During one of the discussions of a submitted piece I said something that I probably pulled out of my butt. Jennifer Miller said, "That was cute." Then she kissed me on the cheek. I remember 1) turning a bright shade of red and 2) Thinking that just maybe smart/funny was going to work out after all.

Jennifer Save Me by Golden Smog - I've actually known several more that go by Jen, Jenny, or Jenni (just off the top of my head: a cousin, 2 friends wives, another college friend from theater, a former neighbor...) apparently variations on Jennifer were big from 1974-1981.

Jenny Washington by Moxy Fruvous - Jenny Shovlin was my second girlfriend. I've previously mentioned that "relationship," but I thought I'd actually include her name here because hey, if someone was writing a blog post about me, I'd like to be able to randomly find it someday with the google. That's why I included all the real names in this post.  Hello Jennifers of this post, you all still have a place in my head.

Jessica by They Might Be Giants - My friend Dan Telfer from his stand up set a few years ago:

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just a quick hello to wish you a Happy New Year. (Or as I just mistyped, a Happy New Yar... which I suppose is appropriate if you are a pirate or just in the general mood for Revenge.) Sorry I've been gone for so long, but I wanted to stop by let you know that this blog will return in the new year. Thanks to friends Mike and Jon who (besides representing 40% of the audience) both requested the blog's return so they would have something to read at work.

I think we can agree that the first 10 years of the 2000s were trying. Part of that is the growing older and the increased inevitabilities that come with that, part of it was living in a country where things genuinely seem a lot worse off than they were 10 years ago, but let us all try to move on the best we can.

In case you were wondering, there is a reason why things slowed down (er, stopped) here this year, and it's also the reason why, no matter what else, 2009 will be remembered fondly around these parts.

Here she is:

Friday, April 17, 2009

from Jane to Jared to Jarhand to Jealous Guy

Day 1001, Session 159:
Tuesday March 24th - Running around.
First song: Jane by Barenaked Ladies
Last full song: Jared Floyd by Moxy Fruvous
Progress: 3586-3596 of 8565
Total Songs Heard: 2054

I have 4 versions of songs titled Jane. 2 by BNL, 2 by Ben Folds Five. Last football season I met a girl in a bar named Jane. We talked about Ultimate Fighting, something I apparently know just enough about to have a conversation about in a bar. I realized as she left the bar that she was only the second Jane I could recall knowing in my entire life. (The other Jane is my friend Mike's mom, so I didn't even know her as Jane, I knew her as Mrs. Mike's mom. (Not actually true, I called her by her last name, but I don't need)

When did Jane become such an uncommon name? Was there some evil Jane that I've just blocked out of my mind because she was sooooo evil? I mean, I understand why I didn't grow up knowing any Adolphs, but what's the deal with Jane?

Jane - Barenaked Ladies

Day 1007, Session 160:
Monday March 30th - Flying back from Vegas.
First song: Jarhand by Immaculate Machine
Last full song: Jealous Guy by Collective Soul
Progress: 3597-3602 of 8565
Total Songs Heard: 2060

This was on the way home from Vegas. It was another great trip with the guys. It's amusing to see the debauchery reclaiming Vegas after the mid-90s attempt to turn the town into some sort of family destination. In the year 2000 (in the year 2000...) we made our second trip and stayed at the Excalibur hotel and casino. The place was crawling with kids. You couldn't get a seat at a $5 blackjack table cause 5-year olds were taking up all the seats.

This time (I believe this was my 11th trip) we ended up back at Excalibur for the first time since that trip in 2000. Excalibur at night used to be mostly dead since all the kiddies were in bed, and all the adults had gone swanky dance clubs that wouldn't let me in even if I was willing to pay the $20 cover (which I'll never EH-VER pay.) Suddenly, Excalibur at night is a happening place. They have 'dancers' on a stage right in the middle of the casino floor. The tables directly surrounding the dancers were stuffed to the gills with dudes who thought the only thing better than losing money was losing money while watching strippers stay dressed.

I avoided those tables like the plague...

In an alarming sign of my continued oldness I even turned down the limo guy who was offering to drive us to and get us into whatever strip club we wanted. Sigh... I'm there to gamble and drink, boobs just distract me from my goals.

The latter half of the previous sentence should probably be engraved on my headstone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vegas Time

Away in Vegas with the boys. Be back next week.

In the meantime, if you're a Barenaked Ladies fan, check out their first show as a 4-person band. I'd be lying if I didn't say it's rough, but I like the fact that they put it out there for us to hear.

You can download the concert
here. It's available until March 27th.

If you have a moment, send some good gambling karma my way. It'd sure be nice to come home with a slightly heavier wallet than I left with (for a reason other than packing my wallet with a bunch of hooker cards I picked up on the strip.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

from Jackass to James Lundeen...

Day 995, Session 158:
Monday March 16th & Wednesday March 18th - Running.
First song: Jackass by Green Day
Last full song: James Lundeen's Christmas by Garrison Keillor
Progress: 3547-3563 of 8507
Total Songs Heard: 2043

Observant readers among you may have noticed that the song total jumped over 1000 songs. I added a whole shit ton of music through from acts playing at SXSW 2009. If I were a really cool music blogger I'd be at SXSW 2009, but it's debatable if I'm
actually a music blogger at all (I'm going with not really, although I was invited to a SXSW party this year.)

Smart readers may ask, "Why the hell would you add 1000+ songs when you just determined that you won't be finishing this project for 5 more years?" That is a fine question. So here's the thing... this project is never going to make me famous, and it's highly doubtful that it will ever make me a good writer, but the important thing is: this project gives me something to do. So 1000 more songs = 75 m
ore entries or so. I just hope that I can come up with 75 some more entries to write about.

Now on to today. Well today and Monday and Tuesday.

The last few days it suddenly got nice in Chicago. The first nice weather of the year always make me itchy. I'm not a practicing manic depressive, but the first nice springy days of the year always leave me feeling manic. We had one nice day a few weeks ago and I went for a 40 minute walk. This time we strung three nice days and I took it a little farther.

Monday I took a staggering 15-minute run. I say staggering because I had been sick a lot of the weekend and fasted most of Sunday and Monday in an attempt to find some sort of equilibrium. Running when you're out of shape is hard enough, running when you've only eaten half a can of chicken
noodle soup in the previous 36 hours is a recipe for disaster. Basically I ran for 5 minutes, felt like shit, walked for 5 minutes and then ran 5 more until I felt like I was going to die. Good times. That's why I don't have a separate entry for Monday, I only heard* 4 songs before giving up and packing it in.

Tuesday was a good day. I've lived in Chicago for 8 years now, and I've never gone down to Lake Michigan by myself. What can I say? I'm not a big fan of lakes. Tuesday was different though. It was so nice, that I just had to get out there. I also had to get out there because my cousin sent me Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley came with a letter requesting that we take pictures of Stanley around Chicago. Never one to let the children down, I took advantage of the 70 degree day to get some shots of Stanley around Chicago. Here's what I came up with...

Stanley at the Lake:

Stanley and the skyline:
Stanley at the zoo, which was closed :(
Stanley at Wrigley:
I figure doing a good job on this Stanley thing is one more indication that I'm ready to do thing for kids and therefore totally prepared for fatherhood... you know, except for the being totally unprepared part.

I didn't actually listen to any music on Tuesday because I was on my bike the whole time and iPod listening while biking just isn't safe. All in all I spent about 2 hours biking around (and another hour shooting and taking in the beautiful day.) By the end the legs... they were sore. So sore at the knees that I had trouble sleeping last night. I will overcome.

Wednesday should have been a day of rest, but I've been at rest for way too long. The kid is now 3 months out, and part of the reason I've been out running/biking around the last 2 days is because the kid is coming. When this project is done in 5 years, I don't want to be so out of shape that I'm unable to keep up with the perpetual motion machine that is a little kid. The ass groove on my couch is deep enough that I figure it'll take me 5 years to get into good enough shape to keep up with a kid, so instead of resting on Wednesday, I went out again for a run. This one was much less disastrous. I was able to run the entire 25 minutes. If I keep at it, I may just be able to keep up with this life yet.

*'heard' may be an overstatement, mostly I heard my heart pounding in my ears.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

from It's Time They Knew to Jack Hinks

Day 982, Session 157:
Thursday March 5th - Grocery run.
First song: It's Time They Knew by The Swimmers
Last full song: Jack Hinks (Live) by Great Big Sea
Progress: 2959-2982 of 7175
Total Songs Heard: 2026

It Ain't Love by House of Lords, please show yourself out. It's funny how hard they tried with this particular metal ballad. There's a fair amount of guitar riffing, an 'emotional' male solo voice, a shouting chorus helping on the refrain, and of course a wailing mid-song guitar solo and yet none of those pieces seem to fit together particularly well. Deleted, but saved here in case you've really been looking for this tune to complete you House of Lords collection.

It Ain't Love - House of Lords

The other event for the day was moving out of the 'I's (last song Ixtapa by Rodridgo y Gabriela) and into the 'J's (first song J Smith by Travis).

Since I recently passed 2000 and have hit an alphabet transition, it's time to look at some stats.

2026 songs in 982 days = 2.06 songs per day
7175-2026 = 5149 tracks to go
Of 2982 tracks so far, 956 (2982-2026) have been
skipped/podcasts/added later/whatever = 32.1% skipped but this number is way high owing to the large increase in songs thanks to the library grift. So let's lower this to 20%.
5149-(5149*20%) = approximately 4119 songs to go accounting for skipped tracks
4119 songs/2.06 songs a day = 2000 days to go (5.5 years)
Estimated date of project completion = September 2014

Holy crap, my kid will be 5. Perhaps doing stats was a bad idea.

Friday, March 06, 2009

from 1001-2000: Mix Tape 2k.2

To send you into the weekend, please enjoy the second disc of the 1001-2000 mix cd.

Mix 2k.2 - Hurt to Into The Mystic

Hurt - Johnny Cash
I'd Run Away - The Jayhawks
I'm A Believer - The Monkees
I've Gotta Get a Message to You - Moxy Früvous
I Feel Fantastic - Jonathan Coulton
I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You - Tom Waits
I Need More Love - Robert Randolph & The Family Band
I Need You Back - Ben Kweller
If I Had $1000000 - Barenaked Ladies
If It's The Beaches - The Avett Brothers
If She Wants Me - Belle & Sebastian
If The Creeks Don't Rise Sunparlour Players
Ikea - Jonathan Coulton
In Between Days - Ben Folds
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Curve (Bonus) - The Avett Brothers
Inflatable Amy - the Argument
Into The Mystic - Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

Grab the file here and have a great weekend.