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Monthly Archives: January 2008

randomnity in ’08 #2

I know it’s a made up word. But I kind of like it and it seems to fit.

-Finished To Kill a Mockingbird. Good book. I enjoyed it. I know it’s supposed to be a great masterpiece of American literature and all but Owen Meany still beats it hands down for me.

-“There Will Be Blood” is finally in NW Arkansas, but it’s at the theater that would require my taking the WORST exit in all of NWAR. That combined with Nuffy being sick last weekend and not being able to go and me just not really having the time, I’ve still not seen it.

-Not last Friday, but the Friday before, I stayed up until 4:30am Saturday finishing an assignment for my Licensure program that was due at 8am. I then had to sit through an extremely boring and nearly pointless class from 8am until about 3pm that day. Let me just tell you: I am WAY too old to be pulling all nighters of anything, let alone homework. It was horrible. It has crossed my mind that I’m constantly trying to motivate my 7th graders to get their homework done that they shouldn’t waste all the time I give them in class to finish things which is basically me telling them they shouldn’t procrastinate. Would this prove no one’s disbelief that I am a hypocrite? No, because there’s one big difference between me doing that assignment and my 7th graders: I actually did it and turned it in.

-I’m still contemplating buying a new computer. However, I haven’t been contemplating since the last time I blogged and I only started contemplating again because the promotion that gets me an extra $150 off a shiny new Dell ends tomorrow. I’m afraid that my computer is still running well and that I can’t make a $1000 decision in the time I have left. Froogle? Tight-wad? Incessant waffler? You be can decide for yourself.

-Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to go see my friends Ezra and Keith play a house concert with their original band, Wheatfield. Experienced incredible musicians, some great songs and impressive performances in an intimate setting with another good friend, Justin, that I’d not been able to hang with for awhile. It was so good to see Ezra and Keith and I’m so glad I found out about it and decided to go on short notice.

-Last night, I spent twice as much on a ticket (4 times as much if you count that I paid for Holly’s ticket too) to go see the Indigo Girls.

Well, I just got a phone call and ran out of time to finish those thoughts. Will try to revisit this soon.

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Posted by on January 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

randomnity

-Great holiday break. I had two full weeks. Made treks to parents on both sides. Love and good fortune abounds. Sister came for 5 whole days, and even though she made me help her work on her record, it was still fun because that’s almost the longest she’s ever stayed with us.

-Was ready to get back to school last Sunday. I had a great attitude and felt rested and prepared. WRONG! last week may have been the most difficult in spite of the fact that nearly all of my problem students have transferred out of my class or moved. All I can think is that I’ve had a lot of congestion and didn’t sleep well last week.

-Friday night, I watched the movie Jesus Camp. It was overwhelmingly depressing/horrifying/frustrating. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to deal with this. Can’t stop thinking about it.

-I ordered the book, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” through interlibrary loan. I’ve seen the movie, and there’s not a whole lot more there. But it’s interesting to me that Cameron Crowe actually went back to high school undercover as a 22 year old and then wrote this book. It’s even more interesting that this book is out of print and that if you ever even find a beat up old paperback copy of it, you’ll probably pay $50 or more.

-I’m reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the first time. Don’t know why I haven’t read it other than it seems weird that I wasn’t required to read it in school at some point. I’ve never seen the movie either even though I’ve checked it out from the library a couple of times. I’m glad I’ve not seen the movie. I have a feeling it might end up being pretty high on my favorites list.

-Sent off two co-writes to TAXI for country listings. Neither got forwarded, but got some good feedback. I think we’re going to try to fix one of them. More than anything, it’s good that I’ve done something, even if it has been all because the co-writer keeps pushing.

-I just realized how inexpensively I could get into a PS2. That’s tempting. 1)I would like to get guitar hero, 2)I could get tomb raider for even cheaper.

-Been contemplating a new computer purchase. However, I had to barebones my current machine before my sister got here, and it’s been running better than it has for awhile. Can’t decide if now’s the time or not. Also having hard time deciding between desktop and laptop.

-I can’t believe how big and growing NWA is and there still aren’t any theatres playing “There Will Be Blood”. This is a college town. Why in the world is there not an art theatre?

-Watch Bourne Ultimatum the other night. Those are pretty good flicks. Holly and I watched Waking Up in Reno again last night. That is a great movie. I know you’ve not heard of it. It’s worth seeking out.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Favorites from 2007

So, I’ve seen a lot of people making their “best-of” lists for 2007. I started trying to think of things, but realized I don’t have much. So, here are some lists. They aren’t in any order, and they weren’t even necessarily released in 2007. It’s just what I can remember that I’ve been into this past year.

Music: More than anything, it feels like I have to view this year as the year I got old. I look at the big 2007 lists from the critics and I just don’t get 90% of it. So many people like Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, but man: it just sounds like crap to me. stupid crap.

Josh Rouse– Just discovered him this year and particularly got into the projects Nashville & Subtitulo. He’s very pop/folk with a smidge of some jazz chords here and there.

William Fitzsimmon, Goodnight. I typically don’t like buying music from itunes, but I found this online and the only way I could actually get a CD would be to order it. After going back and forth on it for about a month, (more than enough time it would have taken for a CD to arrive in the mail), I downloaded it from itunes. The best I can describe this CD would be Iron & Wine vocals, folk instrumentation with the addition of trippy beats and loops as unto The Postal Service. The difference between this and Iron and Wine is that for some reason, it doesn’t strike me as so precious and the melodies are more interesting to me. Besides just the gentle finger-picky guitar, he does have a lot of keyboards/piano on this thing. One of the reasons I may like it so much may be because his keyboards sound a lot like the way I play. This is definitely MELLOW, so don’t be thinking you’ll rock out to it.

Ingrid Michaelson- Girls & Boys. Folky/poppy New York chick. Somewhere between Lisa Loeb, newer Norah Jones, and Coldplay/Keene (but again NY, not UK). Honestly, I can’t stop listening to this CD. She’s got a real effortless, ‘real-world’ kind of voice that I like. One interesting thing that I realized listening to one particular song: It starts out with a nice staccato guitar figure that hangs pretty well (again, it reminds me of something that I might do) and at the end of the 1st verse this 16th note hi-hat comes in. When I first noticed it, it felt so good, just because, in the studio, it’s so rare to hear a drummer come in like that and play it so perfectly in time. I’m starting to think that my producing/recording experience may have left permanent scars…

-Suzanne Vega- Beauty & Crime. It didn’t capture me like Ingrid did, but I’ve listened to it quite a bit. I’ve never been a Vega fan, but I like this CD and she’s kind of taken Jonatha Brooke’s place in my heart, because I couldn’t really get anything out of her new record, Careful What You Wish For.

Bruce Springsteen- Magic. I can’t say that I’m in love with it. I LOVE The Rising and there’s a lot that I like about Devils & Dust. However, I keep popping it in to listen to it some more, so that seems to say something to me.

Looking forward to the new Sam Phillips CD that’s supposed to be coming out in February.

Movies:

Boy this category is dismal. 1)I’ve not seen many movies this year but 2)There really haven’t been many movies worth watching.

I did love Pan’s Labyrinth and regret not getting to see it in the theatre.

The only movie I can think of seeing in the theatre has been No Country for Old Men. Although that movie was really good and probably the best movie I’ve seen in the theatre of late, it’s VERY dark and VERY bleak, and I don’t know if I could put it as a favorite. I do love a lot of the Coen Brothers and Fargo is high on my favorite movies. More than a couple of times, I’ve described No Country as sort of Fargo set in TX but without any of the fun. Did you hear that peeps? It’s DARK with a capital D.

Again, I don’t know if this would be a favorite, but I saw my very first theatrical 3D movie about a month ago when I saw Beowulf 3D at the new Razorback theatre. The U2 3D trailer at the beginning about made me wet my pants and I will figure out a way to see it, but of all 3D movies I could see, Beowulf was pretty great to see that way.

Books:

-Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer. I’ve wrote enough about this book. Go back and read previous blogs if you want.

-I’ve read a lot adolescent fiction since I’ve spent almost all of my mentoring money on books for my classroom library. I’ve not really hit any that I really love, but maybe I can’t really love them anyway. I’m proud that I turned at least one student on to a book called “Touching Spirit Bear” that is pretty good.

That’s all I can think of right now.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2008 in Uncategorized