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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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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Monday December 18th - Heading Home

Day 179, Session 64:
Location: Leaving the office heading home on the train.
First song: Deadbeat Holiday by Green Day
Last full song: December by Teenage Fanclub
Progress: 848-860 of 4617
Total Songs Heard: 752

Finishing off triple header for the day by listening on the way home.

Dear Chicago by Ryan Adams... I wish I had a story that really went along with this song. I don't. Actually, I pretty much go well against this song. The guy singing this song is very lonely. He misses a woman. He thinks he's falling out of love. My story is pretty much the opposite.

I often wonder how it is exactly that I came to end up in Chicago. I grew up in Philly. I reluctantly moved west to Ohio. I always figured I end up back east and yet here I am, even further west. Living in the third biggest city in the country when I never really considered myself a city guy. Whenever I start wondering how I ended up here though, I come to the answer pretty quickly.

I moved to Chicago to chase The Wife. After college we ended up living about 2 hours away from each other. We managed to get through that way for 2 years. In fact, sitting here right now, I marvel about how nuts that is. How many college relationships last two years, let alone two years apart after the whole college thing is actually done? Eventually she moved here. That took our 2 hours apart to 5 hours apart. And still we managed to endure. (She gets the credit for this, as I am pretty much a dope.) Eventually married. Home owners. Still happy together. Here we are.

This year is 10 years since I met The Wife and 6 years since I moved to Chicago. Both these things are still pretty amazing to me. Anyhow, I'm babbling.

Dear Chicago,
As much as I complain, how lucky have I been?
Your trains and parking regulations still suck,

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Monday December 18th - During the day

Day 179, Session 63:
Location: Sitting at my desk. 8th floor. Cube C43A (that's right, I don't even get a full cube.)
First song: Day Tripper by The Beatles
Last full song: Dead Man's Hill by Indigo Girls
Progress: 839-847 of 4617
Total Songs Heard: 739

Dead by They Might Be Giants may just be one of my all time favorite songs. In high school we used to drive around singing this at the top of our lungs. I proudly knew all of the harmony part. We were nerds.

As much as I love They Might Be Giants, I still hold a little bit of a grudge towards them. My senior year in high school I hosted a radio show every Friday right after school. Part of the bit of the show is that every week I would call up the TMBG Dial-A-Song hotline live on the air. It was a bit because every week I would call the Brooklyn based phone number, and every week it would be busy. Then suddenly, one Friday the phone started ringing. I was excited because for the first time in 3 months, we were actually going to get to play a song on the air. I was then even more excited when instead of a song, a voice came on the line and said "If you're in New York, hang on the line for a special message." Sure, I wasn't from New York, but broadcasting a special message was even better than a song.

The excitement reached it's peak when, after a second or two, a voice came on a live voice came on the line and said, "Hey, this is John -- (I forget which John it was) from They Might Be Giants. Who's this?" Holy crap! I called up for a song and got one of the guys from the band live on the air! I explained to John that I was calling from WHHS and I unfortunately was not from New York, but that he was in fact being heard live on the air on both sides of Mill Rd. in Havertown, PA.

John seemed non-plussed. He said he didn't really have time to talk right then because he was giving away tickets to a show in New York that night, but that he'd be happy to call me back in about an hour to do an interview. I said that sounded great and we gave him the station's phone number. I spent the next hour hyping the interview and telling everyone around the station to tell everyone they knew. This was going to be the station's biggest moment since... well... possibly ever (at least as far as those of us around that studio that day were concerned.)

Of course he didn't call back.

In retrospect, that makes perfect sense. They had a show that night and he probably ran out of time. But at the time I remember being exceedingly disappointed in the way things turned out. I hung around the station for an extra 2 hours in case he called back. No such luck.

Years later when I was a radio "professional" Owen Wilson pulled the same thing. At that point it seemed par for the course.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vegas Baby!

Well Hello! Just got back from a few days in Vegas, hence the lack of posting. There will be an update this evening after work. Thanks for stopping by.


Dear Apple,

If you're going to make a change to way the default sort works in the iTunes 7.1 release, you should probably also include a way for the user to go back to the old way without having to edit the name of every single song that starts with the word "the."

Disgruntled Blogject Guy

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Monday December 18th - Morning

Day 179, Session 62:
Location: Training my way into work
First song: Darling Lorraine by Paul Simon
Last full song: Day Is Done by Nick Drake
Progress: 830-838 of 4617
Total Songs Heard: 730

Moved quickly through this set. There were 4 different songs from the Star Wars: Episode 1 soundtrack. Episode 1 was a lame movie.

As I have since found out however, Episode 1 makes a pretty good video game. I am referring to Lego Star Wars, a game which, much to my amazement, The Wife has adopted as something she enjoys playing. I still can hardly believe it as I type that sentence, but over the course of the last 6 months or so The Wife has turned into a video game fan. Previously, with the exception of DDR and some occasional Mario Tennis, The Wife didn't really play video games. She always tolerated my... let's go ahead and call it obsessive... love of gaming, but really had no interest in playing much herself.

For her birthday last year I got the wife the Curious George game. She thought playing as George was cute, and I even caught her playing it a few times when I came home from work, but I never got the feeling that she loved the game (probably because it's not a very good game.) Lego Star Wars, on the other hand, she loves. It helps that we can play it together. I can help guide through the rough spots. The cool thing about Lego Star Wars... the rough spots aren't too rough. Plus, there are no consequences to death. Which maybe explains why the part of the game she enjoys the most is "accidentally" slicing me up with her lightsaber.

I don't care how many times she kills me though... every time she suggests we play I know I've pulled her a little closer to the dark side.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thursday December 7th

Day 168, Session 61:
Location: On the way to the salt mines for another day
First song: Dancing in the Sunshine of the Dark by Fury In The Slaughterhouse
Last full song: Darkest Hour by Glen Phillips
Progress: 820-827 of 4630
Total Songs Heard: 721

I guess I'm not much of a Fury in the Slaughterhouse fan (who'd have guessed?) because DitSotD was deleted.

I first heard the song Danke Schoen in the same way I'm sure most people my age heard it: during the parade scene of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I am not at all ashamed to admit that for years afterward, I was pretty sure it was a woman singing. I can't be the only one who thought that, right?

Now that I live in Chicago, I watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off with a whole new appreciation. There's no way all the things in that movie can be done in one day. Except by Ferris. He was a righteous dude.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Wednesday December 6th - Afternoon

Day 167, Session 60:
Location: On the way home, only 19 shopping days 'til Christmas (I hadn't started shopping yet)
First song: D and D by Stephen Lynch
Last full song: Dancing Days by Stone Temple Pilots
Progress: 807-819 of 4630
Total Songs Heard: 713

Dungeons and Dragons first came into my life on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. The D&D cartoon series was incredibly frustrating. Those kids had so many damn chances to get home!

When I was 6 I played Advanced Dungeons and Dragons on my Intellivsion, I was terrified of the Winged Dragon (it took 3 shots to kill) and the blob (couldn't be killed at all.)

In sixth grade I actually played D&D for the first time. Yes, I own a set of dice and little lead figure. I didn't stick with it for very long because none of my friends played and I didn't understand all the in-jokes that all the other nerds were sharing.

Soon there after though I discovered The Bards Tale II. My friend Mike and I spent hours and hours playing that game on his Apple II GS. To the best of my knowledge we never really got anywhere in the game. I do remember being terrified of groups of 8 werewolves. After Bards Tale kicked me off, I've almost always been playing one RPG or another.

Here is an extremely nerdy (and I'm sure partial) list of RPG-type games I've played over the years (* indicates I finished the game, as you can see, I'm a bit ADD with the D&D):
Bards Tale 1 & 2
Might & Magic 3*, 4*, 5, 6 & 7
Diablo 2
Kingdom Hearts*
Champions of Norrath*
Neverwinter Nights
Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind (Game of the Year Edition)

and, here's the big one:
World of Warcraft plus Burning Crusade Expansion (here's my main character's page)

The stand-up/song D and D by Stephen Lynch pokes a lot of fun at that "nerd from high school." I just wanted to make it known that I am still that nerd.

So nerd am I in fact, that I'd like to share with you this awesome song about a public radio personality. (That's right, not only do I listen to public radio, but I enjoy songs about public radio personalities.) I give you Jonathan Coulton performing Dance, Soterious Johnson, Dance. Listen to it. I dare you not to enjoy (ha ha, you're a nerd.)