Hey I made it! I have a little chill time so let me tell you some travel tips and an in-flight movie review.
Travel tip #1: Since basically all US airlines are part of the same government-bailout conglomerate—we might call it the FAA—sometimes when you're supposedly flying on one airline (the dudes you bought your ticket from) you're really flying on another. It is important for a variety of reasons to understand this fiction. One reason, this is tip #1, is that if you get to the airport and there's a 999999-bajillion km (that's kiloman, here man meaning man, woman, or child) line for the United checkin counter at 6:45am, then you should instead go to the US Airways desk because that's which airline you're really flying and they have a much shorter line and if you waited in the United line you might have been sent over there when you finally got to the front anyway. (This last thing is especially true for connections with international airlines.) Don't be a chump: If it says "X Airlines flight 1234 Operated by Y," then behave as if you're flying Y Airlines. Tip successfully employed!
Mini-review: I was watching Lost re-runs on my laptop so I missed the first 3/4 of it, but do you ever get a phrase stuck in your head like you sometimes get a song stuck in your head, repeating? Because when I was watching the last 1/4 of this movie The Astronaut Farmer I had a Spanish-language phrase running through my head and that was muy idiota. Wow, maybe I just missed out on the continuity in that film because they cut out some important not-family-safe scenes or because I missed subtle dialogue in the right stereo channel, unable to reach me in my airplane-incompatible headphones, but damn what a dumb film. Synopsis. Billy-Bob Thorton is a farmer (also his name is Farmer, making the title of the film a clever double entendre) who wants to go into space so he builds a rocket ship in his farm. Then he shoots off into space, with his family being like mission control. Success! There's a montage of the other farmers in his village and some local policemen looking off into space, slapping their thighs with their cowboy hats and mouthing, "Well I'll be!", I am not exaggerating at all here. BUT THEN SOMETHING GOES TERRIBLY WRONG... a nearby satellite causes his radio to fail and he can't talk to his family. Can you hear me, Major Tom? And how is this crisis resolved? He sees his wedding ring somehow floating around in the space cabin, so he takes his space glove off (the whole time he is wearing a bubble-head space suit, but I guess it is just for fashion or something) and puts the ring on. Then he hits the control panel and he can communicate with mission control again. Right? It's a Power Ring. Why does he need to communicate with mission control? So his son can tell him the "coordinates" for his farm, because he couldn't have just written down the coordinates of his farm before he left for space with his Radio Shack POS radio. What the? Then they get pizza and that is the end of the movie.
Travel tip #2: This is some kind of weird nom de net hotel that I booked online where their phone number doesn't work and they aren't in the yellow pages, so I have to find another hotel with a very similar phone number and address, because although they say they have a complementary shuttle in the online info, the bus drivers tell me that these dudes do not have a shuttle. Sorry, this should be in the 2nd person because it is a travel tip. The bus drivers told you that these dudes do not have a shuttle. Anyway, so you finally find the hotel where you are actually booked and they call you a complementary taxi and ask what airline you flew, and you say "United or US Air"—you've already screwed up! Because those are different parts of the SFO. You need to be on top of your shit and apply travel tip #1 proactively because the hotel and cab are not going to be on top of your shit even though this is like their business. You are waiting in the wrong place where you were told to go for like 45 minutes, and keep seeing your cab drive by and you wave at him but he is like, "wrong place, dude!" but eventually relents and on the ride you kinda wonder if you're the weakest link in this game show, but then when he eventually drops you off at the wrong hotel and tries to explain to the understanding-faced but obviously context-lacking concierge why you're so late because miscommunications etc., you can be pretty sure it's not you.
This is a pretty interesting page documenting debunking the various federal tax evasion myths that I have heard pop up from time to time. It comes from the IRS, naturally, but is well justified by numerous court cases. This may be useful in case you are considering building a bunker in New Hampshire with 8-inch concrete walls and a turret and swear that you will not pay taxes even if the SWAT teams storm your compound and kill you because you are sorta wacko.
Ehh... umm... I'm a bit worried that after doing a rudimentary histogram on my song of the month blogothing you will find an alarming distribution with this month's addition. Only 5 different artists in 8 months? And two are Andrew Bird and The Shins? What is wrong with this supposedly worldly fellow? Is he like not caught up on The OC reruns or something? But even though this month's song is another one by the Magnetic Fields there were a lot of contenders so let me tell you about that first which will at least get me an asterisk on that embarrassingly heavy-tailed histogram.
They Might Be Giants put out a new album after a pretty long break called, the album not the break, The Else. Even though as I mentioned in a previous post I haven't been paying much attention to these guys since college, I think this album is pretty good and I have listened to it many times. Favorites include Upside Down Frown and I'm Impressed, and even Careful What You Pack which is especially noteworthy since it has been an even longer time since I've liked a Flansburgh song. But anyway, one of those could have been song of the month for May but they're not.
My pal mat64 put out a new internet chiptune album called Noise Feeder which I think is pretty good. I really like the songs Noise Pulse and Pfreeze, either of which could be a song of the month but they're not.
Also right at the end of the month I tried Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit and was quite surprised by its creativeness. But, a little late to find a song of the month, so maybe for June.
I checked out The Curtains, the band that Chris Cohen betrayed Deerhoof to go phoenixize, right before by my coolometer Deerhoof really exploded in popularity but I don't think these events are related and we still do miss him. Curtains is very good and much more subdued so it might have had something to do with a desire to be generally less convulsive. The best song is Fell On A Rock & Broke It. But it is not song of the month.
No, again The Magnetic Fields have sneak-attacked me with an oldie that I probably first heard ten years ago but somehow didn't realize the rulezness of until listening through their entire catalogue recently in search of such gemstones. The song is The Saddest Story Ever Told. Wow, nice! I learned this on piano just to verify that again the music is extremely simple, and am still puzzling over why I love it so hard. I think it basically comes down to three aspects: the melisma when Anway sings "those summer nights" and "diving for a girl you'll never find" the surprising shortness of some chorus phrases compared to their analogues in other parts of the song, and I just find the lyric "do do do do do, come on!" so funny especially in the context. No doubt there are other oldies waiting to sneak attack me in the MF back-catalogue. But let me pose a question that is two questions: Everyone knows that 69 Love Songs is pure gold, and if the Anway-era stuff is so underrated (I argue it is), why is i (the album's title is so narrow you can hardly click it!) so off-broadway disappointing? And when is their new album coming out?
Hey, update! Running nerds keep like log books of their trips and I've finally reached a decimal milestone: 1km since I've started keeping track. Of course I mean not the diminutive kilometer but the non-standard kilomile, or 1,000 miles (that's 1.6 megameters). Only about 615 miles are for my Pactom project (see progress above); the rest are from running around in circles in Shadyside. Okay I know, boring, see you!
Also Q. What popular TV show has hilariously bad incidental music? A. Lost