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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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Thursday, May 31, 2007

from Dutch Wonderland to Earthquakes

Day 218, Session 78:
When/Where: Friday January 26th - In the air between Chicago and Nashville.
First song: Dutch Wonderland by Josh Joplin
Last full song: Earthquakes by Moxy Fruvous
Progress: 1053-1059 of 4791
Total Songs Heard: 906

Busy day here. Rolled the song count over from 899 to 900 (Dutch Wonderland by Josh Joplin) and moved the alphabet from D(ysfunctionally Yours by Wally Pleasant) to E(arly Morning Rain by Gordon Lightfoot). All this while listening outside of my normal train/work based comfort zone (flying down to Nashville for a weekend of drinking/hockey/video games/trivia/drinking.)

Since we've run off another 100 songs, it's time to do the math:

906 songs in 218 days = 4.16 songs per day
4791-1059 = 3732 tracks to go
Of 1059 tracks so far, 153 (1059-906) have been
skipped/podcasts/added later/whatever = 14.4% skipped
3732-(3732*14.4%) = approximately 3195 songs to go accounting for skipped tracks
3195 songs/4.16 songs a day = 768 days to go (2.1 years)
Estimated time of project completion = March 2009

Well, that's still slower than I'd like to be. At this point reaching my goal of getting through this entire project by the end of 2007 seems to be a bit of the pipe dream. (Especially considering I haven't made any progress outside of writing these catch up posts for almost 4 months now.)

Dutch Wonderland was actually a place I visited several times during my childhood. Man did I love Holland. Kidding! Dutch Wonderland had nothing at all to do with Holland. Anyone who grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania will tell you that Dutch Wonderland was named that way because it is in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country and that the Pennsylvania Dutch were actually from Germany not The Netherlands. Dutch was a mispronunciation of Deutsch which managed to stick through the years.

Anywho, Dutch Wonderland is an amusement park for kids. But aren't all amusement parks for kids? Well yes, but this place is basically full of rides for people 4'6" and under. There are no looping roller coasters. There is a ride called the Lady Gay River Boat Cruise. (I can't decide if that is open minded or oblivious.) Many of the shows are described as edutainment. They don't serve beer. Yes I realize that sounds kind of lame now, but when I was a kid I absolutely loved it.

My family used to go there at least once a summer. I specifically remember one trip where we loaded the family plus a few more (Mike, I'm pretty sure you were there) into the blue Chevy station wagon (it was exciting because we sat in the back (this was in the days before seat belts)) and we rode the log flume about 20 times. Even when we took my little sister there (she's 7 years younger) I still enjoyed it. I'm pleased to report that Dutch Wonderland is still around so if I should ever have kids, I will take them there (and also to Sesame Place.)

The funny thing about Dutch Wonderland the song (which I love) is that it's a melancholy look back on all the innocence Dutch Wonderland the amusement park represents. I should probably focus on that but, well,
how hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood once in a while?

Dutch Wonderland - Josh Joplin

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

from Drum Trip to Dust Mites

Day 217, Session 77:
When/Where: Thursday January 25th - On a late train home.
First song: Drum Trip by Rusted Root
Last full song: Dust Mites by Heywood Banks
Progress: 1041-1050 of 4801
Total Songs Heard: 899

I will now sell four copies of "The Three EPs" by The Beta Band." - Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

Dry The Rain by The Beta Band came up in this set. It's the only song by The Beta Band I've heard. I did not buy "The Three EPs" even though I should have. High Fidelity is one of my favorite movies of the last 10 years. In the spirit of the movie, here are my Top 5 reasons that High Fidelity is so great.

5. I loved the book by Nick Hornby. Usually, I get very nervous when books I like are turned into movies. In this case, it worked out very well.
4. It inspired my other (now dead) internet project - BOX5 lists. Over the course of 47 lists my friends and I voted for the top 5 in a variety of topics, ranging from Top 5 Original 13 Colonies (Pennsylvania) to Top 5 Presidents Not Named Washington or Lincoln (William Howard Taft (because he was fat.)) Even though boxleft.com is gone now, I still have almost every list archived. At some point I'll start posting them again.
3. It was filmed in Chicago, where I currently live. Now every time I watch High Fidelity on DVD I can point out all the places I've been.
2. I hosted the Dayton premier of the movie. It was one of the first times in my radio career that I was out from behind the mic and out in front of a crowd. I was surprised by the nice reception I received and more surprised by the fact that some people were actually excited to meet me.

1. It's about guys and relationships and music. Those things kind of resonate with me.

Seriously, name me a better movie about music. I wonder how Rob and Laura are doing these days.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

from Dreams to Drown

Day 215, Session 76:
When/Where: Tuesday January 23rd - On the way home.
First song: Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Last full song: Drown by Son Volt
Progress: 1032-1043 of 4814
Total Songs Heard: 889

Drive Mix is another dance routine song clip. Thank goodness it came up immediately after the last entry. I'd hate to be able to shake the creepy old man feeling any time soon.

Drinking With You is more from Jonathan Coulton. The song tells the tale of a guy with an office crush which is
probably reciprocated but unspoken, think Pam/Jim from The Office (or Tim*/Dawn if you're Brit-inclined.)

Jonathan Coulton - Drinking With You

I've only tried to actually ask a girl from the office out for a drink once. I was temping in the customer service department of a credit card company. She was a temp who started a month after me. Since it was my second year at the same place, I was obviously qualified enough to train new hires and I trained her. (And it's killing me right now that I can't remember her name.)

The training went well. It was flirty and fun while still conveying the necessary information. We started eating lunch together in the cafeteria. I found out that she was the son of a preacher man. She found out that I was a little bit crazy. I thought things were going so well that I got it in my head to ask this girl out to eat after work. (Neither us were legally old enough to drink.) The week before I left to go back to school, as we were leaving the office (her name was Sarah, whew I feel better) I asked her out. She immediately, and I mean before I was even finished the asking the question immediately, said no. Apparently the feelings were not as reciprocal as
I imagined.

The funny thing is, we then proceeded to spend the next 45 minutes standing by her car chatting. By this time I was very hungry; so I told her I was going to get some food and she was still welcome to come along. This time she said yes.

We had a good time at dinner. She talked about how she often drove through Dayton when going to visit a friend in Cinci. I invited her to stop by and visit some time. She said that sounded like fun.

Two days later I left the job for the summer but not before making sure she had all my contact info so we could hang out before I went back to school.

If you know me at all, then you've already figured out that I never heard from her again.

I'd like to think things will turn out better with Pam and Jim. (But if they don't… Pam, call me.)

*Originally posted as Martin/Dawn. In the British version of The Office, Tim was played by Martin Freeman.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

from Dragonfly to Dreams

Day 215, Session 75:
When/Where: Tuesday January 23rd - On the train and in the office.
First song: Dragonfly by The Thorns
Last full song: Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Progress: 1024-1031 of 4814
Total Songs Heard: 877

With three versions of Jeff Buckley's Dream Brother and two versions Dreams (both the original and a Corrs cover) out of the 8 songs it wasn't the most varied listening session I've ever had. Let's take a look at the shortest "song" of the day, which was actually a clip from Dream Police by Cheap Trick. It was only a clip from the song because it was being used as part of a high school dance routine. I can't really go into all the details as to why I had a song from a high school dance routine in my music library but at one point this year I went to go see this high school dance team perform.

It was... uncomfortable. I had a perfectly good reason to be there watching this team but I still couldn't shake the dirty old man feeling I had while watching. I mean, I knew why I was there, and the girls on the team knew why I was there, but I couldn't shake the feeling that other people in the crowd were wondering what the hell I was doing there. I thought about pretending I had a kid there, but, while I am obviously much older than a high school student, I don't look old enough to be mistaken for a high school parent. In fact, compounding the problem, I tend to look younger than I actually am... which in this case meant I still looked too old for high school, but not old enough to completely dismiss the thought that I might be the type of creepy guy who hangs around high schools watching the dance team perform.

The whole time I attempted to awkwardly straddle the line between watching carefully (since that's what I was there to see) and making it look like I wasn't watching at all. It made my brain hurt.

In the end, of course, I'm sure no one thought twice about my presence.
The parents were too busy video taping their kids or yelling at the refs to notice me. And even if the high school kids couldn't tell that I was much older (which they could,) they would instinctively know that I wasn't cool enough to talk to.

So, is there a proper way to watch a high school dance team as a 30-year old guy? Probably not... and I should probably delete the track to stop reminding myself.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

from Downsizing to Dr. Worm

Day 211, Session 74:
When/Where: Friday January 19th - Coming home from work.
First song: Downsizing by Moxy Fruvous
Last full song: Dr. Worm by They Might Be Giants
Progress: 1017-1022 of 4808
Total Songs Heard: 869 (1 skipped podcast)

Only 5 songs today:
Downsizing - Moxy Früvous
Downtown Train - Tom Waits
Dr. Jerome (Love Tub, Doctor) - The Bogmen
Dr. Stephen - Stephen Lynch
Dr. Worm - They Might Be Giants

3 songs about doctors? There's only one thing to do.

Dr. Jerome vs. Dr. Stephen vs. Dr. Worm

What type of doctor?
Dr. Jerome is a love tub doctor. I don't know exactly what that is, but it sounds kind of slimy.
Dr. Stephen is a gynecologist. The song is performed by a stand up comedian singing as a gynecologist, that's even slimier.
Dr. Worm is not a real doctor, but he is a real worm. Oscar the Grouch's pet worm was named Slimy.

Representative Lyric:
Dr. Jerome - "When I snap my fingers you'll remove your clothes and climb into the tub with me..."
Dr. Stephen - "There's not a lip that I can't read. A pap that I can't smear..."
Dr. Worm - "Good morning. How are you? I'm Dr. Worm. I'm interested in things. I'm not a real doctor, But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm."

Who would I want as my doctor?
Dr. Jerome seems to have something on his mind other than traditional doctoring. Being a guy, I have very little use for Dr. Stephen. Plus, the idea of a gynecologist who loves the job so much he sings about it seems kind of creepy. Dr. Worm may not be a real doctor, but at least he's up front about it. Anyway, I haven't actually been to the doctor's office in 5 years so I probably don't even need a real doctor. The fact that he's a drummer (and a real worm) is a bonus as I don't currently have any friends who are practicing drummers (or worms.)

Dr. Worm in a landslide. It doesn't hurt at all that I love the song. Back when I used to have to wake up for work at 4:45 in the morning I would use my stereo as a back up alarm. I found that no song was better at waking me up on a positive note than the opening horn section of Dr. Worm.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

from Doug to Downeaster

Day 210, Session 73:
When/Where: Thursday January 18th - Coming home from work.
First song: Doug Levy by Moxy Fruvous
Last full song: Downeaster "Alexa" by Billy Joel
Progress: 1008-1014 of 4802
Total Songs Heard: 864

A couple things to say before we hit the music.

First, sweetness! I think I've set this dealee up so that whenever I'm linking directly to a song, you should be able to play it without leaving the page. For now that mostly means Coulton songs will play directly on this page. (Of course if you like those songs, I can't recommend highly enough that you go to his site and pick up a cd or find out when he's playing near you.) For the future that opens up all sorts of possibilities, most of which I'll probably never fully realize.

Second, not so great, as of this evening this blog now appears on the first page of results if you Google zip gun plans. Even though THERE ARE NO PLANS HERE. (I realize of course that by typing this I'm only encouraging Google results to point this way, but maybe that's actually my plan. If people can't actually find the plans they're looking for that potentially means one less gun out there. Grass roots gun control at its lamest.)

Let's see about using that new feature. The first song of the day was another Fruvous fan song:
Doug Levy -
Moxy Fruvous

Give it a shot. Let me know if you were able to play the song with the little blue button.

There was a little juxtaposition of two of the last songs from today:
Down to the Old Pub Instead by Stephen Lynch is an old Irish song encouraging the guys to get away from the wife and off to the bar during certain days of the month.
Down To The River To Pray by Alison Kraus (from "O Brother Where Art Thou?") is an old timey gospel type song encouraging everyone to follow the lord down to the river for some good old fashion baptizin'.

It was jarring to hear these two songs back to back. I'm pretty sure if you combine the two songs together, you should make sure your old pub is not located in shark or piranha infested waters.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

from Don't Stop Me Now to Double Huey Skit

Day 210, Session 72:
When/Where: Thursday January 18th - Going to work.
First song: Don't Stop Me Now by Queen
Last full song: Double Huey Skit by De La Soul
Progress: 999-1006 of 4802
Total Songs Heard: 856

Only 3 more "don't" songs... since it's the end of an era (4 posts now equals an era) let's look at them in no particular order:

Don't Wanna Be Your Fool - Quiet Riot: Don't want to hear you again. Deleted!

Don't Talk To Strangers - Jonathan Coulton: While I still find this to be reasonably good advice, I have now found that it somewhat limits my ability to make new friends as a 31-year old. When I was a kid, strangers were only the people that I didn't know at all. Now strangers are everyone that I don't already know well. It's hard to get to know more people well when you don't talk to anyone because you don't already know them well. Vicious cycle and all that.

Don't Stop Me Now - Queen: If you haven't seen "Shaun of the Dead" you really should. Who doesn't love zombie fights set to Queen?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy First of May!

While I haven't made it the F's yet, I didn't want today to go by without wishing all of you a happy First of May.

A little warning: this song is probably NSFW (unless you're wearing headphones or work in a very laid back office) or for small children.

If you enjoy the First of May, please visit Jonathan Coulton's website for more fantastic music.