Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pain Made No Less Because It Is Shared

I just came across this potentially chilling bit of comisseration: The author's circumstances are remarkably similar to ours: a couple living in their row house while renovating, except the amount of actual work to be done (as well as their expertise, it seems) rivals ours by a lot. Mold, termite damage, and an additional storey to have to work on.

The chilling part is that the final blog entry was in November of last year, in the middle of framing the second floor. With all of the stress that I can project into each blog entry, it reads to me something like the final photos of Scott Fisher's Everest expedition before it was buried by a looming storm. He still sounds chipper, but his year-long silence is more than a little ominous...

The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye

This monstrousity is what I'll be throwing myself into later today, while Janine's lungs try to hold her encroaching brochitis to the upper chest area, and I try to keep from falling prey to what has been my pulmonary kryptonite. On your right, you'll see the top and floor plates of the frame I've been trying to make level for far too long now. In the front of the house, the original ceiling joists were removed by a previous owner in the interests of achieving a grand cathedral ceiling (while sacrificing the entire master bedroom). The ceiling was later replaced by Oscar, a renovator who may or may not have been responsible for the unholy firetrap this place was made into -- a famously dangerous breaker box and wiring strung above the drop ceiling like streamers on a Borg ship. I actually met Oscar unexpectedly in a greasy spoon down the street, but didn't ask him whether the crappy overhaul was his doing. I guess the best I could have hoped for was his saying, "Why yes, asshole, it was. And yoooooou bought it!"
Anyway, trying to level out the framing across the entire north wall, between the "new" 2 × 8 board ceiling and the vintage 1890 has been a colossal headache, but I hope finish the job (well enough) today, and maybe start toenailing in some studs. Like Tim Russert always says, "If it's Saturday, it's rabid frustration." Y'know, 'cause Sunday's Meet the Press.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Darker Days

Get this: I'm being flown out today to Lancaster, Ohio once again for approximately 24 hours, whereupon we'll be throwing an appreciation/Christmas banquet for the field crew -- this is all going to be in the restaurant of the hotel they've been staying for the past many months, which has been of suspect quality. And we're bringing the beer, which is going to have to be in oceanic quanitities to justify not actually taking them to a decent eatery. But then, I'm not sure if we have the facilities to keep it all cold, and y'know, this is a Wednesday evening, and everyone has to go out and work again tomorrow. Warm beer, bad food, drunk and unhappy archaeologists. Hotel Attica.

Meanwhile, I'm getting depressed about the house. It's been too cold downstairs to want to work on the living room much, and the slow progress is making me morose about having to live here in our historic bomb shelter, where I expect to open up a closet and see Fortunado shackled there. Barbara Corcoran mentioned that we'd probably need a marriage counselor to get through this whole process, but somehow she didn't recommend personal therapy, and perhaps heavy medication. I'm trying to revv myself up and throw myself back at it, and maybe a night of gruel and surliness is just what I need to get psyched.

Thanks to Caren for the link to this test. I'm apparently 78 % Nerd, 52% Geek, 34% Dork, which makes me a "Modern, Cool Nerd." I don't know if that's good or not -- being a a nerd has never been cool, per se, now it at least seems perceived as almost edgy. I've always believed that being nerdy is a disavowal of societal sheepdom, which makes at least 25% of the population uncomfortable right off the bat. Calling me a "cool" nerd sounds like a backhanded compliment from the nerd community. I'll have to get my membership card renewed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I ♥ Dick

Note to Chris Dodd: Make Dick's "People = Shit" your campaign song. You'll still lose, but you'll be unbearably cool.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Delgados, "Coming in from the Cold"

And now for your morning soul crushing...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chowder Boarding

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Public Service Announcement

Trader Joe's Butternut Apple Soup = vomitous. My appetite's been on the fritz over the past week or so anyway for some reason, and this crap just made me want to shelve the idea of eating anything for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, Janine's been on overdrive in preparation for Thanksgiving, and not eating's not going to be an option in a few days.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try to avoid the little bit of my finger that made it into the mashed turnips.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dessert Storm

Janine's been struck by a bolt of inspiration that has moved her to seriously plan a bakery/dessert shop in Baltimore -- she started off with a batch of red velvet cupcakes a few nights ago, and they were remarkably good (of course, she plans to perfect them). She's giving herself a year to prepare, then launching for all she's worth.

She's now passing around the idea hat for names for her place. The short list is:

The Confectionery Goddess
Confection Perfection
Confection Cafe
Confectionery Cafe
Lord Baltimore's Bakery

My short list is:

Cakes of Fury
Crisco Inferno (Bake Baby Bake)
The Painted Tart
Toothsome Devil

Anybody else?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

John Bockhorst

Interesting story: I dutifully awoke at 5 AM on Saturday morning to stroll down to the Sip & Bite, a pretty lousy diner a few blocks from here. I was scribbling away at my Nanowrimo project when a young woman sat down opposite me an started asking me questions about where I was from. Then she started making fun of my damn accent, certian that I was from Canada or Minnesota because of the way I said, "though." And then she starts making ham-fisted sex jokes based on my astrological sign. And then it's pretty clear that she is, in fact, at work, initiating lines of commerce that start at my wallet and end in her pants. Propositioned at a greasy spoon. My life in Baltimore has become so damn peachy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

That sucks: I was actually planning to try to amend some of my recent reclusionist tendencies and get some people together to go see the Decemberists at the 9:30 Club in DC next weekend, but alas they've cancelled their tour. That makes an even umpteen concerts I've missed in the last year due to cancellations (Decemberists in DC, Innocence Mission in Philly), outrage at ticket prices (Morrissey here, on Halloween, for $65 a head), or sheer forgetfulness (Feist here, on 9/11, Peter, Bjorn, and John at the 9:30 earlier this year). Might actually have to spring for the delux reminder system at to rip my attention away from this damn house.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Work is hell, especially driving 2 hours a day for the priviledge of obsessing about hyper-specific triviliaties. Luckily, I've got the mornings, which I'm alternating between the gym and Nanowrimo (again, for what, the fifth time?). This year is proving maybe a little more encouraging, though, with as much hand-wringing as I've been doing over the years about getitng back on the writing horse, I actually seem to have a storyline with some legs. I'll be devoting some time to it, at least, although I don't think I actually habor the delusion that I'll be piling up 50,000 words this month. I believe 5000 would be a personal record, so the bar's appropriately low. At this point, low is wonderful.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You know it's true, how nice.

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Yes, it's true: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. May 2008.

We are simply passing through history. This: this is history...

Monday, July 02, 2007

So, so, so pissed.

My first letter to a Representaive:

Dear Representative Sarbanes,

With the outrageous commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence by Mr. Bush, this administration has essentially admitted that the rule of law does not apply to its inner circle. I had thought impeachment an inappropriate avenue until now. Now I must insist that you support the movement to rid the country of this cancer. It has finally become very clear that impeachment is crucial to preserve the very idea of President. To see the office sullied in this manner is unbearable.

Thank you,
Andrew Bockhorst

Now you.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lovecraft is Rock and Roll

I'm going to try to get it together to scribble more, but I couldn't help but share this.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Fillet of Soul Underground: Loquat

Unbelievable San Francisco quintet, floating heartfelt pop music with a wicked sense of humor (see "Serial Mess," about playing hide and seek with a serial killer).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's Alive! Alive and Creamy!!!

Wow, hysterical AND terrifying! It's that special brand of mental assault that the Christian fundamentalist community wields so well. Prepare to laugh. And be scared.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Some Clear Joy is in the Record Store

The maestros of mother-me music have come again... God DAMN it, I love them! They're going to be playing in Philly next month, and I'll be there wallowing in it.

Oh yes, and Good Morning America is also coming again, but unlike the Innocence Mission, they're coming to my house. Tonight. I wonder if they'd deliver a message to Glen Beck for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ya Ho!

The best news in the world!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Thanks for the Memory

A quick thanks to Tommy, Janine's brother, who kindly sent me 2 gigs of RAM and some headphones, all in a ploy to get me into the fairly addictive world of City of Heroes. In it, one creates his or her own superhero from scratch, and launches it into a globally interactive cityscape filled with other superheroes from players all over the world.

The real fun, of course, comes in character creation...


Oh yes, the Tobacconist was originally supposed to have been the Savage Cabbage, but that name had already been taken. Somehow.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination.

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Thanks to my Dad for scanning umpteen slides into digital form. I hadn't seen this photo since shortly after it was taken.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Done and Done

I'm very tired at the moment, but in a state of muted glee. This is the last day I'll be here in the Siberia of Lancaster, Ohio for the foreseeable future. I think I can honestly say that this has been the longest week and a half in memory, to the point where I'm having trouble remembering what life was like before Januray 24th. Didn't I have a wife? A home? Somewhere... was it Connecticut?

Fillet of Soul Sessions: Feist

Feist performing in studio at KCRW, an NPR affiliate in Santa Monica. The song, venue, lady herself, it's all just too goddamn hip for words.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fillet of Soul's Late Nite Music Club with the Innocence Mission

The idea freshly ripped off Crooks and Liars, here's the Innocence Mission's 1995 breakthrough college hit, "Bright as Yellow."

I was in Taiwan at the time, so I missed the song's emergence, only for it to become one of my favorites a decade later. Better late than never.

Happy When It Rains

I'm back in Ohio for the week, and we appear to be rained out for at least the early half of today. The national weather radar looks like there's a massive, angry fungus swallowing the Midwest, so we might be out of the field for large chunks of the weekend. And god knows how I love sitting around the hotel! Luckily, I've got a foot-high pile of reading material, including several hand-picked graphic novels that Dan lent me a while ago that got caught in the undertow of the renovation and hidden for a while.

Meanwhile, it appears that has been purchased by someone who isn't interested in staying in the blog comments business, so I've switched over to the embedded Blogger comments. I don't know if that means that Blogextra has expunged all past comments, and if they come back online anytime soon, I'll probably switch back. Probably not a breath-holding situation, though.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fifteen and a Couple

Here's us on GMA once again. Short, compact..., uhm, functional. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Some of the Images You're About to See are Awesome

This alone deserves an Emmy.

On a side note: strangely, "What a to-do to die today" is, for some reason, one of the top searched phrases that leads people to my blog. Anyone know why?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

...And We're Back

Yes, the Good Morning America folks are back for another poke around our disaster area tonight in an impromptu show of interest. This bit should be airing either this coming Friday, or the following Friday, depending on whose date book is right.

Oh yes, and GMA also recently hired this guy as a regular commentator. The liberal bias of the Mainstream Media strikes again!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

There Are Others Like Me

Some may remember my great yet nauseating business idea (here too)from a while back. It seems like I'm not the only one who dreamt of something beyond Clean Cotton and Tropical Fruit.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

In a truly awful twist of fate, I'm on a project in Ohio while Janine's celebrating her birthday over a glass of wine in Baltimore, with the pets and the guitar she got me for Christmas.

Come to think of it, this is the 10th anniversary of me missing her birthday because I was swilling it up in New Orleans with Pete. Anyway.

Happy Birthday, Baby!