This weekend is homecoming at Northwestern. It’s the 25-year reunion of my graduating class. And while my alma mater is less than an hour’s drive from where I live, I’m not attending.
Part of it is because I’ll be recording again all day today and into the evening, a far better use of my time than just about anything. (Part of it is because fucking Nebraska is going to win by a million.) But even if I weren’t busy, I wouldn’t go. While I had a fantastic, life-altering experience as an undergraduate there, I established very few close bonds with people. Not zero—I have a handful of very dear friends I made back then whom I still hold close. I see them whenever I can and it’s always great. But very few of them graduated when I did; they were a year or two older or younger. None of them are going to be in Evanston today. In fact, I looked at a list on Facebook of who would be there, some 200 people, and I only distantly recognized three names there, and one because she’s a local TV newscaster. Who are these people? The school isn’t that big. I figured I’d know a few by name, at least.
It’s hard to describe my feelings about it. I’m not sad, exactly, nor regretful. But there is some kind of lingering emptiness about the whole thing. That Facebook group is teeming with people excited to see each other today. Maybe the emotion I’m trying to describe is jealousy. Those people clearly had a different human experience than I did there, then. Maybe they were in the Greek system and are now receiving dividends on all those purchased friends. Maybe they gave a shit about classes and grades, and studied together, bonding that way. Maybe they didn’t spend their nights rehearsing and playing gigs in house parties and bars in the city. Maybe they didn’t spend all their free time chasing after beautiful theatre majors to varying degrees of success.
Come to think of it, maybe they should be jealous of me.
And sometimes it’s not about warm hugs. Sometimes you need to bang your head until you herniate several cervical discs, and have your innards liquified by a Marshall JCM800 on the verge of catching fire.
I’m on the record as being a big fan of taylorswift as a performer, a songwriter, and a woman doing the music biz her own way. I contain multitudes when it comes to pop.
But beyond all that, her tumblr is just super adorable…she’s clearly doing it herself (except when she’s not, and those posts are marked), interacting with her fans, having fun. She gets it. She does memes. It’s endearing.
(And no, I’m not creeping. She’s way closer to my daughter’s age than mine. Get your mind out the gutter.)
((But Taylor, if you see this and need a really solid, experienced guitarist for studio work or touring, holla.))
I just saw a Cadillac commercial that had the most flaccid, horrible version of this song. Unimaginably weak.
Look, I’m squarely in that commercial’s target demographic: a 47-year-old white dude in the suburbs. I work in the fucking stock market, for Christ’s sake. I don’t vote Republican but otherwise I’m exactly who buys this car, at least on paper. And I can see the little hipsters in at ad agency workshopping it. What appeals to Gen Xers? The Clash! Oh, but Mick Jones told us to go fuck ourselves, so let’s just license a cover version. The drunken old farts won’t care.
Well. It’s the wrong ‘em, boyo.
She said, “Balls to you, big daddy.” She ain’t never coming back.
Bond was set at $2 million for a man accused of opening fire on a CTA Blue Line train with “an assault weapon-type rifle” Thursday morning…While no one was hurt in the shooting, passengers were rattled when five shots were fired from the LaSalle station platform at the oncoming train at about 11:20 a.m.
Yeah, so, this is my train. I used to get off at that stop, though now I use the one west of it.
At 11:20am that train and platform were pretty much deserted, so no one got hurt. If he’d decided to exercise his second amendment rights at 7:30am or 5:00pm, however, this story has a whole different outcome.
Let’s continue to do exactly nothing about this problem, America.
It’s been the kind of week where the train isn’t just off the rails. It’s gone over the edge of the mountain, rumbling and tumbling down, spewing nuclear waste and crude oil all over the landscape, ultimately crashing in a fiery heap on a preschool. There are no survivors and the land will be uninhabitable for millennia.
So I’m flipping stations on the drive home—yes, I still listen to terrestrial radio, because I’m olde—and I punch into this song right around the 2:20 mark, where there is that eerie whining sound under the chorus. It’s up loud, because I’m olde, as established. And I mistook that sound for a siren, assuming I was nailed for some infraction committed while not paying full attention because I was too busy enumerating my miseries. I jumped on the brakes reflexively, almost causing a real accident, before realizing what was going on.
Welcome to this week. Literally—literally literally, not emphatically literally, in the Joe Biden sense—the worst week in the history of weeks, where the high point to this moment is not getting arrested and barely not causing an accident.
"The flip side of the "science as incomprehensible" idea is that science is basically magic. And that’s another notion that runs through many of those evil scientist stories. Many of the maniacal scientists in Fringe, for example, might as well have been evil wizards. Same goes for the ones we see in superhero movies (Bolivar Trask, anyone?). Again, you can only have representations like this when most people feel like they just don’t understand science.
This problem helps explain why we have so many mad scientists in movies, but so few mad cooks. Even if you don’t like to cook, or aren’t good at it, you aren’t likely to think of cooking as something that is profoundly incomprehensible and therefore responsible for almost anything. And this is why I think the best way to combat evil scientist characters isn’t necessarily to have “nice” or “goofy” scientists like the ones in The Big Bang Theory or (gag) Scorpion. Instead, we need to make science itself less mysterious.”
~Annalee Newitz, for Io9
See also: how mathematicians are portrayed as stammering loners with literally zero social capacity and Einstein hair, or how engineers, when portrayed at all, are there to be the brunt of cheap jokes (thick glasses with tape! pocket protector! floods!). Or like Michael Douglas in “Falling Down.”
There may be a group other than scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who are going to figure out how to sustain this planet, or abandon it if need be, but I’m not sure who that would be.
I was finally approved for my life insurance policy. I mailed the premium in, and am 100% certain I’ll be hit by a bus in the day or two before they receive it, leaving my family penniless.
Need to have The Talk with my son soon. We bought a book to help, but unless that book can give the speech totally by itself without stammering, blushing, or inappropriate giggling, it’s of little help.
I’m rapidly scrolling past all social media posts celebrating autumn. Not sorry; not even a little. Fall is to winter as being shot in the brain is to death. For my part, I am striving not to complain about the dark seasons this year. It’s like being the only liberal in the financial district. There’s no point. No one cares.
If the construction remains on schedule and we bribe the right people at the Department of Buildings, I only have four more weeks of listening to Racist Greg every day. His latest trick is to berate his coworkers every morning on the phone with a mouth full of food. I’d shank him, except I expect one of those coworkers will do it first, saving me from prison.
Please, someone, make my calendars read-only for the next six months to prevent me from scheduling any more things because I clearly don’t know how to stop myself.
The people at ello are all about “WE ARE SO DESIGNERISH” but it’s ugly as fuck, you know? Yuck. I’m @scholvin there if you want to be budz but I don’t reckon to be there a lot.
The blossoming trend of blogging via twitter, and then screencapping those tweets to the tune of perhaps ten thousand vertical pixels, and then tumblring the resulting image sets my nerd teeth on edge. It’s like using the back tines of a claw hammer to turn a screw. Feasible does not imply optimal.
I’m far more interested in the Ryder Cup (even without Tiger) than I am in Bears/Packers this weekend. Keep up the good work, NFL.
Seems like our school district does a good job with normal kids, or kids with serious challenges. Kids with small- to medium-sized challenges? Not so much.
“FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encrytption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when when they have valid search warrants.”—
Meanwhile out here in flyover country, far from the scrutiny of the shamefully biased and disinterested east coast media, a quiet leader who no one anywhere would describe as “overrated” leaves the game this week, too.
2340 H, 439 HR (42nd all time), .841 OPS.
2005 ALCS MVP, and he hit the home run that turned that WS around.
Verbow was our labelmate for a little while in the late 90’s. That and $1.50 would get you a ride on the El. While we moved into ever seedier bars, they moved up to a deal with Epic and got Bob Mould to produce their excellent major label debut, Chronicles. You know how I feel about Bob. To describe me as “jealous” would be to describe last winter as “nippy.”
Bob’s influence is deep and obvious on this record, in a good way. He must have really liked working with them, too, since Jason Narducy is now touring with him on bass and/or rhythm guitar, depending on the configuration. Last couple times I saw them, they even did this song.
You never know what people are carrying around. You don’t know everyone’s burdens. People you think have it together aren’t always as together as you imagine. Everyone has their problems. You just never know what is going on in a person’s life unless they are willingly sharing it with you. So as you go through your day, just remember that nearly everyone carries some kind of burden. Treat people gently. Be kind to each other. Mean it when you ask “how are you?” and listen with your heart when they tell you. You may have your own cross to bear, but sometimes it’s necessary to put your own cross down and take up someone else’s. Make it lighter for them. Walk with them. Hold their hand. You never know what someone is going through.
So, so true. Especially, I think, in social media venues where it’s quite easy to portray one’s life in unrealistically positive ways. There’s so much unseen suffering all around us. In recent years, I’ve been trying harder to do what she suggests—to be kinder, to empathize more, or in some cases, just to not be a flaming jerk. I think I’m doing better, but that’s really for others to say.
As I thought about all this today, though, an unfortunately corollary appeared in my mind. Sometimes, we are the least kind to those whose struggles we know the most about. We are often at our most unkind with those we love. That needs to change, too. Those closest deserve that better treatment as much as anyone, maybe more. Something to work on.
(I’m saying “we” but I really mean “I.” But maybe it applies to you, too.)
Do any of you have any experience setting up a large iTunes library on a NAS to be shared across multiple computers/accounts around the house?
Can I holla some questions at you? My googling on the topic makes me think it’s a nightmare, but my current implementation (trying to sync N library instances via 3rd party apps) isn’t working, either.