Tuesday, September 30, 2008

'remember when there were just 6 of us?'

To: all@MyCo.com
From: HeapusBigusBossus
Subject: New Hire

Sundesh Palekar starts Wednesday as another developer. Sundesh comes with good experience in [gak spithle gork]. She seems to be flexible and smart, and really liked our environment (“perfect”) as she put it. Let’s see if it ends up that way for both her and us – please help her as appropriate.

Please welcome Sundesh tomorrow. She will sit next to Chris Sampson to start this week.

To: loucypher
From: finn
Subject: Re: New Hire

who the fuck is Chris Sampson?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2 years on

back from a week away; message on the answering machine. caller doesn't identify himself but doesn't need to. it's the voice i heard over my shoulder in mrs. mitchell's pastels class, so young he was back then, we all were but him even more, before his time with the dog and ours with him. gabe in fucking south dakota, WTF.

hey um sorry to be calling in the middle of the night, but i saw her, finn. she was running on the cart path by the creek. it might have been a sunday morning but she was alone. man was she flying, that long wheeling stride where her feet are just a blur and her hair flags out behind her. god, that blonde flag of hair... it was so good to see her again, you know? i couldn't tear my eyes away. but then she turned to go over the bridge and i saw she was crying, and she probably had been for a while because her eyes were all red and her cheeks were all wet, and then i woke up. i tried to call but it says the number's been disconnected. so please check on her finn. remember we talked about our saving grace? i don't know what i'd do. please just check on her.

someone's moved a bit beyond the perimeter. i thought about *69g and calling him back -- she's gone G -- but then laf pulled up and the dog started barking and time commenced to move regular again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

microsoft is rebranding

just saw the first sally in microsoft's much ballyhooed new ad campaign. MS dashed many account managers' wet dreams when it passed over the major players to hand its $300 million consumer branding budget to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an agency that primarily uses... macs. bogusky then enjoined jerry seinfeld (another mac advocate) to front the campaign.

if you haven't seen the first ad -- maybe you've been painting buffalo and horses on the walls of your cave -- it's on something called YouTube. this week i caught it during The Daily Show.

- ooh, you gotta see this - D told me - it's great.
aside from a couple stifled snickers & snorts he remained respectfully quiet while i absorbed. digested. furrowed. finally i spoke.

- i don't get it.
- you don't GET it? you didn't think that was funny? the shoes, clothes in the shower? "adjust your shorts"... ha ha!
- no, i DON'T get it. what's the point? what's it trying to say?

he looked at me with great pity, as though i'd confessed i'd forgotten how to multiply.

- it's saying - he pronounced slowly, with grrrrrrrrreat emphasis - that microsoft's new computers will be made from cake.

as someone who requires hand-holding to use iTunes, he might actually believe that. but he certainly GETs more than i do.

and here's the 2nd installment. the humor's more accessible than the 1st, but funny personable ads boost a brand only if there's a seed of truth there to start with.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

dumbing down the message


"Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and [obama]'s worried that someone won't read them their rights."
obama's response:
"My position has always been clear: If you've got a terrorist, take him out. Anybody who was involved in 9/11, take 'em out."

next: revamping a thoughtful definition of Evil to appease the dumbfuck masses who want it chased to the gates of hell and Defeated.
what's behind this dumbing down of america? is it religion? short attention spans & information overload? poisoned contrails (was that chick right)? this election is a heavy chest weight.

here, disperse your sorrows with 80's hair and the dude @0:55. i'll be round shortly with the hooch.

Monday, September 08, 2008

hertford college, 1990

you got a postcard – D said – from england?? -but it doesn't say from who.

wordlessly i take it from him: oxford's Bridge of Sighs at night under the soft glow of gas lamps. of course. this weekend is tad's birthday, when the bottom would drop out of kim for a bit and gabe would shore her back up.

i turn the card over in my hands, noting the softened edges and striated ring marks from the bottoms of tumblers. mine's in a picture frame; he's less precious. i guess he's also in south dakota now.

“i miss her” was all he'd written.

i do too.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in......

just added:11.06.08Atlantic City, NJHouse of Blues (map)on sale: TBA

presale: TBA

[j/k. i was neverout.]

had a CAT scan this morning. taking a look at the old pipes, so i got a bag of contrast dye shot through. techs warned i might feel some warmth, and i did, my goodness did i, a burning hole in my arm where the IV connected and then a tunnel of warmth gulfing down my body, pooling in the "downstairs" as PK would say.

- was it too warm for you? - debbie the tech asked as she slid the needle out.
- warm, but not unpleasant. does anyone ever ask for a second shot?
debbie laughed.
- some women cry out a little, and then afterward they say, 'honey i haven't felt that in YEARS.'

this is a tragedy, especially since it's so easily fixed. jackshepherd -- for the sake of women everywhere, and meb some dudes, come back to the Y.

'a night, a death, the end of a run'

running single-track last night, losing light and the outlines of trees and shapes of reaching undergrowth moving faster on either side, pushing to the event horizon where everything shuts down, ducking through a corner blindly and. suddenly on the ground. stunned. a hand skinned, an elbow grazed, hip thudding. looked up; a huge shape between me and the sky, curving horns black against blue. the escaped brahman bull. smell of anise, a stick a stone, it's the end of the road.

what are you running from child?
shake my head. nothing. sticky warmth on my knee, a scratch a lump, it is nothing at all. it is the tall wooly-headed orderly, five years of handling little babies at AI, slides the point; i feel nothing. is that what makes you so gentle?
head cocks.
clear turgid bag sways dripping into marrow, and the riverbank talks of the waters of march, blades burr against skin like the backs of warm bees
there is nothing behind you
there is no reason for fear.
one wheel creaks, panicked shriek of captain kirk. you said he ran away. i lied. lies.
mother's hand on brow, see you later alligator, now count back from 100, 99, 98 it's the end of all strain, will i will i will i
feel this again? the foot, the ground, the flesh and the bone
'this' is your creation.
crescent moons dip and fade into black. outlines and shapes reconstitute, ebb then fall of cicadas, after a while, 3 2 1

Thursday, September 04, 2008

the real story behind The Photo

i have to ask - PK wrote - is that pic of palin on your blog real?
no it's not, it's just a good 'shop job and if i were a nicer person -- if i were ethically nuanced, for example -- i would take it down to avoid any misconceptions but i'm not so it stays.

what i will do is point you to the original photo on Flickr, where you can also follow the unfolding story as the manipulated version hits meme levels. beginning 3mos ago with a respectful (denied) request for usage rights, the conversation snowballs into an exchange between photographer, journalist, troll and bystander and along the way addresses seasonable issues like creative license, political propagandising and "star-spangled porn."

doctor casino, the photographer of the orig "elizabeth" photo, shows admirable restraint & composure, even a sense of humor:

My new favorite theme in the comments against this image is that it somehow proves that conservative women have better bodies than liberals; ie "Who wants to see a feminist in a swimsuit?" Elizabeth, of course, has never voted Republican in her life, and we first became friends after I noticed her in a performance as "The Angry Vagina" in The Vagina Monologues. So, who wants to see a feminist in a swimsuit? 20,000+ internet surfers, apparently!

apparently. later skaterz i'm busy -- tryin to stick this:

on this:

and it's not going well.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

of VPs and pit bulls

sarah palin continues to bubble to the surface of conversations around here.
- Macain picked a Hottie for Vp! - laf texted me soon after the official announcement and the buzz hasn't evolved much since.

- oh, she's a total hottie – D agreed - compared to laura bush?? she'd be the hottest first lady maybe EVER.
a long jon stewart pause.

- you mean, VP.

- yeah. what did I say.

- you said first lady.

- yeah well she'd make a hot VP too. much better than that geraldine ferraro.

presents quite a moral conundrum doesn't it.
have you heard the leaked mccain/palin voicemail? [no liquids in the mouths upon the listenings, unless your monitors need cleaning.]

yesterday we got into a heated MyCo debate about whether palin's family and parenting... skills? challenges? dinnerplates? -should be factored into a debate about her political qualifications. when arguing with parents single libertarians, i've found, rarely win. i think that's because our concept of the world derives from Atlas Shrugged, whereas loucypher's struggles with braces, catholic school and cheerleading give him a more pragmatic yet ethically-nuanced perspective.

i have a pragmatic, nuanced perspective for you. it came yesterday when i was running trail and passed a guy walking his dog. in the short seconds it took to register him while phil anselmo roared in my ear about feeling fucking hostile, i noted a goatee, floppy bangs and a pitbull; and i realised that the one thing missing from NIN shows now is hawtness. let's get to the real issues people. how do we coax this guy back outside. where's that platform.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

NIN in philly, PA

Lights in the Sky tour
29 august 2008

subhangi described NIN shows as a pilgrimage. if you've not experienced one, go. the band's toight, the lightshow's ridiculous and the music pummels you but rests sometimes too. if you're in the seats you won't get bruised, squashed or groped by strangers during Closer. but where's the fun in that?? floor's where it's at.

parked next to a car with license plate “haloeight.” mah peeps. dudes i hung with in line were pretty normal by NIN standards, whereas the chick i chatted with in jersey tried to convince me that the government's killing us off with poisoned contrails. i just put a video up on youTube as evidence – she told me – even though i know they'll come after me now. i guess right then the voices told her to do a snake-charmer dance because she did a rather nice one, and a couple people applauded. if that's what contrails do, i'll take some now kthxbye.

NIN.com presales go in first, so got front & nearlycenter squeezed beside a short guy on the rail, close enough to spit – as PK noted, and remained relatively anchored while the sea of bodies behind pitched & tossed.

Does It Offend You, Yeah was even better this time 'round – soundguy finally woke up and mixed the vocals higher. band still looked like kids in a playground onstage, hopping & cavorting, good-humored. DIOYY's one of NIN's better opening bands IMO – would put 'em just behind APC and saul williams. set could have been longer, which is high praise for an opening act.

[reason #811 why i love mac: despite crowd noise Shazam still tagged filler music between DIOYY and NIN.]

trent reznor said he spent 4mos in a dark room piecing together the Lights in the Sky stage show, and that effort shows. drums, mult. keyboards, a fucking vibraphone – all these sit on wheeled platforms so they can be pushed like satellites around a stage that changes 5 times in the course of the show. 3 sets of stage-wide hi-tech LED screens alternately hide & reveal the band, and PK says it's proximity sensors that allow reznor to wipe away the tapestry of white light as he moves behind the screen during Only, that choreographing such complex movement between performer and lighting beforehand would be impossible. if you're nikki sixx, you might fulminate against overproduced & ponderous visuals, but when you overlay that production with the raw energy that is nine inch nails, the reason you leave the floor exhausted and at peace, jeans drenched and leather belt soaked through, you get the pilgrimage thing.

after the 1st driving set of Slip tracks and The Frail/The Wretched, the band sans the drummer freese gathered at the veryfront of the stage before an LED screen as roadies hoisted up 3 sequencer & keyboard satellites. by the light of a glowing console on a dark stage we got to see reznor at work, setting up his shit to cue Me I'm Not. EVERYone was on a keyboard, not a guitar in sight, yet there's body-moving *music.* it's then that you derive the full appreciation of how much this man changed music since Pretty Hate Machine. yeah, reznor's great on piano and can find his way around a guitar, but where he really shines is in the piecing & mixing, and during Me I'm Not or Vessel YOU get to watch it. it's like being in the studio except instead of atticus ross & alan moulder you've got klorgon the tattoed wonder on one side of you and queen vampyra on the other.

NIN shows still draw a sizable goth contingent. they creep out of their hideyholes in whiteface with scars, tats and piercings; with buckles, corsets and 8” boots; with the vain hope that maybe this once they'll get The Perfect Drug live. they obvy didn't get the memo about HappySoberTrent.

HST's given to speeches on this tour, short 2min jobs where he sounds genuinely thankful, even smiles, and the philly speech after Echoplex addressed the change of his fan base:

Trent's speech 8/29/08

highlights if the vid upstairs doesn't load:

i'd like to thank our opening band Does It Offend You, Yeah. please, if you like them, go out and buy their record. you can steal everything i put out, i don't care anymore. take it.

someone asked me, y'know we've been doing this for awhile, and someone asked me, when you look out into the audience does it look the same as it did years ago? and there's one difference that i've noticed, and that is... like i went and saw Rage Against the Machine the other day at, uh...

[at this point klorgon loosed a primal howl that deafened me.]

where was it? - at Lollapalooza, and it was... we were on the stage watching out, and a million people, and it looked great and they kicked ass.

but i noticed, it was all dudes. all dudes, as far as you could see, just shirtless sweaty guys. and when we started out it was all dudes, you know like vampire dudes, and it was all guys...

and now a lot of... a lot of hot chicks in the front.

[a giant purple bra sailed onstage and dropped in front of finck, who picked it up and modeled it thoughtfully. klorgon bellowed again.]

i dunno whether that's a good or bad but... i've blown the mystique. let's get all dark in here, shall we.

let's kill the lights.

and then came Reptile.

set list, with differences from the East Rutherford show in strikes and green:


Letting You 


March of the Pigs 

Head Down 

The Frail 

The Wretched

(w/The Only Time breakdown)
Gave Up 

The Warning
Me I'm Not

The Great Destroyer
5 Ghosts I 

17 Ghosts II 

19 Ghosts III 

Ghosts Piggy 

The Greater Good
Wish (w/ Pinion intro) 

Terrible Lie 


The Big Come Down 

31 Ghosts IV
8 Ghosts I
Down in It 

The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole 



God Given 

The Good Soldier

In This Twilight > Zero Sum

Down In It was introduced with “here's some really REALLY old shit” and it was balls.to.the.wall blinding force – one of this show's highlights IMO. an intrepid soul scrambled onstage in front of JMJ, ran over to reznor and bowed (one song early, bro), then made his way to finck before being tackled by security. took 5 guys to get him offstage. you gotta give the guy props for having balls but like the battered housewife, NIN fans fear anything that might set reznor off, like the lighter toss that prompted him to end an aWitha Teetha show in the middle of Hurt. HST was unfazed, however, and didn't miss a word.

another nifty use of those LED screens is the encore segue from dark stage into Echoplex. if you've seen the rehearsal vid you're familiar with how freese uses a Lemur to build the background drums; in the live show, the rear screen becomes a 16-step sequencer on a digital grid from which freesinator builds the drumtrack by touching a series of blocks... slowly too, so people like me who don't know a C-note from a centavo get the gist. the song ends with freese pulling beats away.

pix don't do it justice: check out this vid from the Toledo show.

in philly, as the 3 guitars wound down into silence, an errant, off-drumbeat rang. reznor glanced offstage, motioned “enough” and looked a little grumpy. the occasional fuckup isn't a bad thing, however; you derive more of an appreciation for what makes up a show.

missed Burn, Dead Souls and Suck in the set list, but In This Twilight // Zero Sum // exeunt still prickled the skin. and of course the savage beastie's been soothed and i won't need to kill anybody for at least a couple weeks.