Working For The Weekend...

I've got a review coming out on Green Options tomorrow about the new doc King Corn. It's about industrial agriculture, specifically corn, in the US. I promise I didn't think it was cool because I'm from Iowa. If you liked Supersize Me, you would like King Corn. It comes out in December 7th in St Louis, at the Tivoli, and is already out in several major cities. I got a screener copy, because I'm big timer like that. Anyway, check out my review Saturday.

I'm about to go pick up the new Ryan Adams EP then hopefully have some beers after a long week.

Awesome Student Quote

"Actually, I've done some research on grind trains. They're a lot more dangerous than one would think."

One of my students said this in regards to the homecoming dance.



...from parent/teacher conferences. Ugh. Hopefully it will be peaceful with little confrontation. Several of my students earned Fs this quarter.

Where have I been. Mostly rocking out. Went to State Radio at the Bluebird last week (which is not the greatest venue--it's pretty much not as nice as the bar in my grandparents basement, and they opened the doors 20 minutes late while it was pouring rain, leaving many diehard State Radio fans soaked for the show). The show was phenomenal, though. Ask the 150 18-year olds who were there. Last night caught Amos Lee, Elvis Costello, and Bob Dylan at the Fox. I forgot how much of a treat it is to see a show at the Fox. It's so majestic and beautiful. Amos Lee was a new artist for me, and I'll definitely look into his discography, and Elvis Costello was awesome. He was totally high-energy and chatty with the crowd. Dylan was Dylan. He's old and his voice is gone, so he sing-talks, which is fine for his newer stuff that was written for the rasp, but not fine for older stuff. Dylan and Costello did a great duet during Dylan's encore, but honestly, both Chris and I could hardly stay awake during the final set.

Speaking of rocking out, spent a raucous Saturday playing kickball, then partying until last call in full-on kickball regalia, which, for the uninitiated, meant I was wearing a camo t-shirt with neon orange "Awesome Kickball" all through South City. Did you know they sell $1 jello shots at the Double D Lounge on Hampton (not to be confused with the Double D Lounge in Brentwood)? They are, but avoid the tequila ones at all cost. There was raving to Daft Punk, there was South Park pinball, there was drunk Sister Ginny and Cuz Cuz Julie (don't ask), there was bikes and Ali Baba karaoke. As a tribute to Ed Best, I sang Brandy by Looking Glass in a very weird drag queen voice. Who knew? That's what you get when you drink for ten hours. Just ask Banter who passed out on Krchma's porch. Followed that up with a hungover Sunday brunch at Koko, which was very cliched in the Sex and the City sense, but delicious all the same.

This weekend: kickball, bike-riding, costumes, brunch, ShaNaNaNa....


Not-So-Secret Message

Hi, Missy. I miss you. No pun intended.


Hoo Boy!

Tuesday's Green Options post (which I thought was actually pretty simple and not full of anything new or particularly clever) ended up on the front page of Digg today, which attracts all the trolls who think that attempting to do things that are less harmful to the environment means you are hippie scum that deserve to die. To think that I had the audacity to suggest handing out something other than candy or using a cloth bag to hold trick-or-treating goodies! When people are mean about shit like this, I really just want to tell them to suck it and not to waste so much time reading articles from Digg that they clearly have no interest in. Seriously, really? You have nothing better to do than read posts about trick-or-treating from a relatively obscure website about sustainable living when you hate sustainable living? That would be like me getting on a blog about Mac shit written by some dude in Ohio and talking shit about said dude's opinion of Apple's repercussions for those who unlocked their iPhone. Lame. But that's just me. Keep hatin'. It brings traffic to the site, sucka.

Like I said in my response, it's amazing to me that for all the things people feel a call to action for in this country, all the stuff that we have to be outraged about, my post on TRICK-OR-TREATING raised hell. Wait until I post pictures of my "slutty Jesus" Halloween costume.

Gotta go. I gotta read about Nelson Mandela being in prison for 25 years for nothing.


Hills Confessional

I have a confession to make: I secretly love MTV's The Hills.

I know, I know. Why would I watch something so obviously staged, so vapid, so clearly against almost everything I know to be true? I KNOW!

But I can't stop. I watch it on my laptop because MTV is so kind and generous to post entire episodes online for free. Like free samples of crack for the cheeldren.

What is it about this show? It is Spencer, the douchiest douche that ever douched, and Heidi, a person whose sole ambition in life is to be a manufactured piece of famous poo, and their fake, so-desperately-Newlyweds-bastard-wannabe showmance? The fact that she parades her new foobs around in "candid" "paparazzi" photos of her and Spencer candidly! chillin! on the beach. We're so famous, we just can't escape the cameras! That she's trying to parlay her ex-friend's reality television success into a pop career, complete with shitty, shitty lip-synching debut in a club while her boo raises the roof behind her. What about her PR job that she's so "passionate" about? What about her famewhore boss who promoted her strictly because she's on an MTV show, not because she's competent at anything, and she didn't expect her coworkers to mind. Hell no!

Yes, I read Perez. Yes, I read Pink is the New Blog. I also save kids every day, so suck it. I will read my gossip shamelessly right before I read Mandela and right after I finish my fat paper.

Or could it be Audrina? There's just something about her vacant eyes, her substance-free conversations where her chief contribution is to nod and agree or say, "I know, right?" What about her on-again, off-again romance with the mysterious Justin-Bobby? I bet those two have some deep conversations. Dude's name is Justin-Bobby. For real? Who would have thought there would be two dudes more fucking lame than K-Fed in one half-hour reality show? Certainly not I!

I don't really mind Lauren. I don't. Sweet life for her: born into wealth, randomly cast on some "reality" show that ends up making her hella famous. She's still working, even if it's at an internship, so good for her. But she hangs out with all these fools, so something must be wrong with her. Maybe she just likes hanging out with stupid people. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed D-lister is king.

But I do like Lo. I love me some Lo. And I love Whitney, who seems like an actual real person. And maybe what I like about The Hills is I will never feel bad for talking shit about it. Ever. Because vapid famewhore deserve all the schadenfreude they can get, and since I can't call the ten-year-olds on Kid Nation tools without feeling bad, and those famewhores are making mo' money and having mo' fun that I get to, just for being worthless, I will bring the snark.

Pop Culture Tuesday

My paper in in the mail, and I am happy to be rid of it. I was so far down the rabbit hole that I don't even know if it was good, but it was 34 pages long so I hope I at least pass or at least half of the class did worse than me.

Now, I'm focusing on reading several books and catching up with what's going on in the world. For school, I'm still reading The Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela's autobiography. This is a phenomenal book--he's a clear, concise, and engaging writer, and the insight into South African history, something I haven't really studies, is totally fascinating. It really makes me realize how ethnocentric all my social studies education was, except for this cool teacher I had in 9th grade who showed us slide of him going an staying with Masai. I'm also reading some technical books about research,which aren't as boring as one might think. Learning about how survey research is done allows me to analyze polls and articles about research that are in magazines or the paper to see if their results are credible. I swear, it's not as nerdy as one would think. The final book I'm reading is a review copy of The Future of Nature, a collection of essays about the natural world and humanity's relationship with it. I'm very excited about this book, because 1) I love getting advance copies in the mail--it makes me feel like a big time reviewer or something and 2)there are some big names who contributed to the book: Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, to drop a few. I'm aiming to review it on Saturday for Green Options.

Chris and I have been listening to a ton of new discs since we went to Euclid Records for his birthday to pick up some stuff, and we stopped at Vintage Vinyl yesterday while we were in the Loop. The new State Radio, Year of the Crow came in the mail today--I haven't had a chance to listen to it fully yet (although I'm listening to it right now), but it seems like typical SR--political lyrics with ska and punk overtones, with a little reggae every now and again. They're playing at the Bluebird on Olive on October 17. You should go.

I also got the new Iron and Wine, The Shepard's Dog, which has the shhhh vocals of every other Iron and Wine but is more uptempo and has more energy; this is not a record of lullabies. I highly recommend it, particularly if you are a fan of his other work. I took a minor gamble on two new-to-me bands: Architecture in Helsinki and their latest Places Like This, and Northern State, with their latests Can I Keep This Pen? I found out about Architecture in Helsinki from one of my trusted new-music sources, Paste Magazine, and their single, the primal "Heart It Races" caught my ear. I'm not going to lie: this is different than anything else I usually listen to, but it's growing on me. It kind of reminds me of Polyphonic Spree. They're playing all kinds of random instruments like xylophones and glockenspiels, lots of handclaps,etc. Northern State can be summed up in just a few words: white girl rap. Love it. Ad Rock from the Beastie Boys produced two of the tracks, and the lyrics are hilarious. I heard about them from a Pop Candy podcast where Whitney Matheson interviewed Hesta Prynn from the group. Whitney is my guru for all things pop, and as of last night when I got the disc, Northern State has not disappointed.

Finally, if you are in the market for a bike, but aren't really sure how to go about getting a good one that fits your needs, I highly recommend checking out Paul at Recycled Cycles. Dude runs a bike shop out of his house in UCity, and Chris just bought a practically new bike from him last night. He knows what he is talking about, and can help you find what you need. I e-mailed him last week with what Chris was looking for and our price range, and by the weekend he had something for me that is going to work out. Check out his website to find out more. Used bikes can be a great deal, since a lot of people buy new bikes, hardly ride them, then sell them. Chris is getting a Kona that has been ridden about four times, and we're going to save about $200 by buying it from Paul.