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Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Sprainy-Skiploader/dp/B000001HLQ

"And sometimes things they don't work out, especially if they're supposed to..."

I guess it's appropriate that we start here, as Skiploader was pretty much the first "indie" band I got into back in my early teens and really "championed" among my friends. I first heard them on KNDD's late night local music program, "The Young and the Restless." Keep in mind this was back in '90s when The End was setting trends and breaking new artists. Not being old enough to drive and not having any way to get to any "cool" music stores, I didn't really have any way to pick up a copy of Sprainy.

After Sprainy, Skiploader signed a deal with DGC who had been going on somewhat of an underground signing spree after the untimely end of Nirvana. This resulted in the Anxious, Restless EP which I was actually able to find in "uncool" stores. I played these five tracks to death not knowing that three of them were actually Sprainy tracks.

"I don't trust how I'm starting to like my own voice, the sounds of my head swelling..."

The first rock show I attended, at the tender age of 14, was at Green River Community College: MxPx / Skiploader / Super Deluxe / Thirty Ought Six. I was in love with the middle two bands at the time. Chris and I went to the show and I had an absolute blast. I had no idea live music could be so much fun. As I recall, I saw a few other people from school there (including a girl I liked), but they were chilling in the back being "cool" (I think on acid) and not paying any attention to the music. After the show, I went and bought a Skiploader t-shirt from the band which I actually still have (http://twitpic.com/6yl3os).

"All my fucked up expectations left me so anxious and restless..."

With "music on the Internet" still in its infancy, and wanting to turn more people on to this band, I started a Skiploader website. This actually got me in contact with Tom Ackerman, the singer of the band. It was actually via e-mail from him that I found out that the band broke up shortly after the release of their major label debut full-length, From Can Through String. I never got to see Skiploader play live again.

It wasn't until a couple years later, long after Skiploader was dead and buried, that I found a copy of Sprainy in the used bin at the Wherehouse Music store in Federal Way. I ended up digging it a lot more than the major label releases, and once again was bummed that such a great band was no more.
I used to write on here. A lot.

Two things I have not had much time to do that I used to love to do are listen to music and write.

So, here's the thing. I know no one uses LiveJournal anymore. However, it seems like a good enough place as any to do some writing. I'd probably still be writing here if not for Twitter. In fact, if you look, you can see my LiveJournal writing pretty much dropped off after I started posting on Twitter.

There's something to be said for long form writing, but what do I write about? The kind of stuff I used to write about on here seems like an entirely different life (thankfully).

Here's the plan: I'm going to load my entire music collection up on my computer, hit "shuffle," and then I will write about the album on which the song that plays appears. Instead of doing a "review," I'll write about when I bought it, where I bought it, and what it means to me. If I don't have a story or I've already done it, I'll shuffle off to the next track and try again.

I'll try to do around one a week but hey, maybe more, maybe less. Hopefully this will encourage me to listen to music more and to write more. Off I go!
24th-Dec-2011 08:46 am - merry christmas, everyone
For the two of you who still use LiveJournal, and the five of you who read the LiveJournal posts I make because they cross-post to Twitter... here's wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

As always:

15th-Nov-2011 07:57 am - diaspora
So for a while now I've been messing around on Diaspora, which is a new completely open-source and distributed social network. It's a cool idea... you own all your own content, and anyone can run their own server which all connect to each other. It hasn't gotten much "mainstream" attention (except for recent articles in the news that one of the people involved in the project died, and another recently quit the project), but I'm hoping it will be successful. I'd really like to see people move away from commercially-controlled social networks. I think I can invite people if anyone wants to try it out with me.
8th-Nov-2011 07:54 am - well... uh... what's up.

We've finished moving and I turned in the keys at the old place. We're out of Renton, except for still working there (for now, at least). If you would like to come visit us at our new place, let me know, we'll have you over.

Life seems simpler now. Having a drive home actually makes me feel like there's a "difference" between home and work. Living in a smaller place and getting rid of a TON of crap I didn't need makes living so much easier.

I really haven't written much on here the past few years. Neither has anyone else. LiveJournal seems to be somewhat of a ghost town, as it seems most people have abandoned it in favor of first MySpace and now Facebook and Twitter. I only have a few friends who still update regularly on here anymore.

I want to write again. I used to write a lot on here when I was miserable and depressed. I was pretty good at it. I know "nobody" uses LiveJournal anymore, but I'm going to keep posting here. I have it set up so that when I post here it posts a link to Twitter, so people who follow me on Twitter can see my posts as well.

No I'm not going to use Facebook, thanks for asking. Too much drama, too much corporate control, and too many people from my past I'd rather avoid. For anyone who knows me well and thinks there's a specific person or two or three that I want to avoid, no that's not the case. It's more that I'd rather completely avoid my junior high and high school "acquaintances" except for those of you that I have specifically chosen to keep in touch with. If you're one of those lucky people, you already know that you are. If I sound like I'm being a snob I'd like to remind you all how miserable I was during school.

Wow that took a negative turn! Now I'm remembering why writing on LiveJournal is so much fun. You never know exactly what's going to come out until you start writing.

I've been happy the past few years. I'm happier now. Renton was killing Lauren and me. We love where we live. Our new place is cozy and simple. I'm finally able to save some money. I'm studying to one day get a better job. I'm... DOING SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE? Maybe I'll be living up to my "potential" soon, Norris-style. Whoa, school reference!

So, it's time to start writing again. Lauren and I now commute together to work, and she works earlier than I do, so I have an hour or so in the morning to get on my laptop in the break room and hop on the FM wifi. It's nice to actually get up and do something before work. It makes me feel like (or perhaps realize that) I have more of a life outside of work.

On a related note, if you use public wifi regularly, use this:


Okay, time for work! Talk to you soon!
I turned 18 in 1999. I didn't vote for President in 2000. I didn't really think it mattered.

Since I was very little, I've always been aware of my political views. I've always been interested in politics and what's happening in the country. I've always admired the institution of government and the idea that people work together to do what's best for the country. I've always been concerned of the corrupting power of money and the influence of giant corporations. I think I've always been “left” even before I knew what that meant.

Yet I watched politics unfold in a very detached fashion. Although I knew I had my own opinions, it never really clicked in my head that I should also want the elected representatives in the country to share those opinions. Politics seemed like another show on television.

I remember being in high school and watching President Clinton's impeachment trial. The only thing I really remember thinking about it was “Wow, if he got removed from office that would really be something.” I never thought about if it would be good for the country. I never thought about if the aftermath of his removal would have a positive or negative effect on the issues that were important to me. I just thought it would have been an incredible moment in a very exciting political drama.

I didn't vote in 2000, the first presidential election in which I would have been able to do so. I knew Bush was a bozo, and I had some idea I would have preferred Gore, but I didn't really think it would make a difference who won. I was starting a new job, my first out of high school. I had my first real girlfriend. I was trying to forget high school (which I hated) yet going out every night in a desperate attempt to keep my social circle from high school intact. I was focused solely on myself and my immediate surroundings, and never even bothered to register to vote.

Which is probably the same reason so many others never register to vote....

I remember after Bush eventually won the legal challenges and became President-elect, David Letterman had all of his writers come out and says “Thank you America, for voting for the dumb guy.” For a while, I think a lot of people felt this way. America's in good shape, it doesn't really matter who's in charge, let's watch this doofus try to be the president for a while and have a good laugh.

On September 10th, 2001, I was working from 2:30-11:30pm as I usually did. During this time in my life I was a night owl: I would work until nearly midnight, then usually either go out with friends or go home and stay up until sunrise working on the new computers I was finally able to afford. I would sleep through the morning and get up at about 2pm for work. I was getting ready for bed at about 6am on September 11th. My dad got up and told me to turn on the TV.

I remember the burning towers being on TV, and my dad asking “How are they going to put out those fires? They're so high up there.” I mumbled “I don't know” because I didn't want to say it out loud, but I knew that either those towers were going to collapse because of the explosion and fire, or they would have to eventually be brought down because there was going to be no way to repair the damage.

I didn't know what else to do, so I got on LiveJournal and just started typing everything that was going on. I also started keeping a close eye on LiveJournal and instant messaging because my friend Shane was in NYC for the CMJ Music Festival. I didn't have any reason to think he was anywhere near the towers, but I worried nonetheless. Shane's girlfriend messaged me and I tried to convince her, with absolute certainty, that there was no possible way Shane was in danger. I was lying.

Shane eventually made it to a computer with a working Internet connection and checked in with us. I didn't really start to think “bigger picture” until then.

I “stayed up” and watched the news. I knew I wasn't going to be going to sleep, my day had already started. Like everyone else that day, I spent the day listening to newscasters telling us that “the country has changed” and trying to figure out... “Yes, but how?” Tom Brokaw told us that terrorists had declared war upon the United States. In those first hours, it didn't really occur to me that we'd really be going to war. I was thinking of war more in the abstract, like in the way that if you do something to piss off someone, he might reply “This means war.” Not actual war with tanks and planes and guns and stuff, because a country didn't attack us, right? Just some jerks?

As the day's events unfolded and I was glued to the television, it became clear that most people didn't see things the way I did.

I remember when it finally hit me that last year we had elected, as Letterman put it, “the dumb guy.” It actually matters who's in charge. And I didn't vote... and I should have.

I went to work at 2:30pm on no sleep. We didn't work though, we just watched television. I was in the electronics department of my store at the time, so we just put the news on our giant wall of 31 televisions. I don't remember there really being any customers that day, and any that did come in just started at the TVs.

I slept a bit that night but I left the TV on. I was in and out of sleep all night. I was off work on the 12th and ended up making plans to meet some friends that night at Denny's. I told my dad I was going out.

“You're going out tonight?”

I don't know why my dad asked me this. I'm not sure if he thought it was still a possibility that something terrible could happen to me if I go out in public, or if he was just surprised that I'd want to go out and socialize in a time when it seemed like the entire country had stopped in its tracks. I wanted to go out and see my friends. I wanted to laugh. Most importantly, I wanted to talk about what was going with people I knew would understand me.

I listened to KIRO on the drive to the restaurant. I can't remember for sure who I was listening to at the time, but it was probably Mike Webb (rest in peace). People were calling in saying the stupidest things, and the host was trying to calmly explain how the world actually works. Someone called in saying that we should “blow up the president of Afghanistan,” to which the host replied “There is no president of Afghanistan.” “Uhh...” Later, the host said something that made me feel like the country hadn't gone crazy. I'm paraphrasing but it was something like this:

“The idea that we should now attack Afghanistan doesn't make any sense. This is a poor, war-torn country that doesn't threaten us. Our bombs will do nothing but stir the rubble that's already on the ground.”

Yes, exactly! That makes sense. Surely, people will listen to smart level-headed people like this.

I couldn't believe what happened when I returned to work. Our screensavers on our computers were set to say things like “We Shall Prevail” and “God Bless America.” There was an e-mail from the music buying office stating we were going to start carrying a “patriotic music category.” The store was selling t-shirts with American flags and 9/11/01 and some quote from George W. Bush about freedom, and encouraging employees to wear the shirts on the job.

I didn't know what to think. Wait a minute, I thought just a few days we all agreed that Bush was a moron? We like him all of a sudden now? Since when is it appropriate for us as a store to be out of dress code and promoting the words of a president that not all of us necessarily agree with? How long are we going to be doing this?

It occurred to me that this had to be happening all over the country. It was then I really realized how the country had really changed.

And how I hadn't.

A month later, we were at war. I wasn't the only person in the country who thought it was a bad idea to do a full-fledged invasion of Afghanistan, but sometimes it felt like it. There was no debate, no discussion of what the best course of action would be. It was war, and those of us who disagreed were shouted down.

Everyone on the television was talking about the new wonderful sense of unity that the American people now had for each other. We were survivors, united by tragedy.

As long as you agreed that it was time to start blowing shit up and killing people.

The mainstream account of what happened from 9/11 to the end of the Bush presidency was that on 9/11, America was united. It was only because of Bush's divisive policies that followed that we, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, doves and hawks, or whatever descriptors you want to use, grew apart.

I never felt that way. It's always been my belief that little by little, people have started to wake up and see what a crazy path we've been on.

It's my hope that this continues.
9th-Jul-2011 10:48 pm - slam it in, win, win[dows]

Does this Windows Live Writer thing actually work with LiveJournal? Wow. Hey, I should write some stuff.

This program seems nice. It’s better than Windows Dead Writer, anyway. Sorry, Ernest Hemingway!

So I have Windows 7 installed on the “other” computer now, multi-booting it with Fedora and some “other” OSes. I haven’t used Windows in about two years… I’m so counter-culture! Someone got me a deal on a (yes, legit) copy so I figured I’d install it just because it’s “nice to have” even if don’t actually need it. Now I’m installing some old games I have.

2nd-May-2011 02:49 pm - "celebration"
Yes, it is wrong to celebrate someone's death, but is it wrong to celebrate the fact that a vicious criminal is no longer at large?

It's really irritating when some sort of national event happens such as this and people feel the need to say what type of expressions of emotion are appropriate.

Some people laugh at funerals and fondly remember their departed loved ones. Some people cry and think they'll never be able to laugh again.

At the gathering for Gabrielle Giffords when the President spoke, some people cheered for him and his message. Some thought that was inappropriate. What gives anyone the right to decide what "the right way" to express your feelings is?

The crowds that gathered in DC and NY last night were not there to cheer the death of a man. They were there to cheer the fact that someone who was instrumental in carrying out a horrible crime -- and could possibly have been working to carry out others -- no longer walks free.

I probably wouldn't have rushed out onto the streets to cheer, but who am I to say it's wrong?
25th-Dec-2010 07:21 am - morning

Someone reminded me of this old Christmas tradition. Listener discretion advised.
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