Sunday, February 25, 2007

Thank You For Your Patience...

After 4 days in NYC, I'm stranded in DC. It snowed here this morning, which was delightful to wake up to and play around in, but caused flight cancelations. Right now I'm watching the Oscars with my folks and have a phone glued to my ear b/c I'm on hold with Delta. My Delta representative, Robin, is having computer difficulties over in India... so are his supervisors... time logged: 44 minutes.

But Delta is kind enough to play muzak as I'm waiting here on the phone... currently on Delta's playlist:

Beck, "Strange Apparation"
Nelly Furtado, "Say It Right"
Sixpence None the Richer, "Kiss Me"
Spanish rap music
Bon Jovi, "Who Says You Can't Go Home"

The Bon Jovi song is especially appropriate because Delta can't figure out how to get me back to Atlanta directly... they want me to go through Columbus, OH... sigh... maybe I should just relocate permanently.

NYC adventures were awesome, and I will report back with pictures soon. Until then, I'll be chatting it up with Robin, hoping for a flight back to the Dirty Dirty...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Best US Cities for Finding a Job

To those of my friends currently seeking employment, thought you'd like see that Forbes released its list of best U.S. cities for finding a job...

1. Raleigh, NC
2. Phoenix, AZ
3. Jacksonville, FL
4. Orlando, FL
5. Washington, DC

DC was ranked #1 last year, and Bethesda was in the top 5... so I gotta ask: What happened DC? You stole 80% of my friends from me... that should have been enough to edge out Mickey Mouse...

Rankings were determined based on "unemployment rates, job growth, income growth, median household incomes and costs of living in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas." New York, Chicago, Boston, and LA all ranked below below #75. Atlanta ranked #22.

This got me looking for other lists (because everybody loves lists)... here are some to debate or discuss...

Best Cities for Singles:
1. Denver, CO
2. Boston, MA
3. Phoenix, AZ
4. San Francisco-Oakland, CA
5. New York, NY

Most Challenging Places to Live for People with Asthma:
1. Atlanta, GA (hmm.. maybe I shouldn't run outside anymore)
2. Philadelphia, PA
3. Raleigh, NC
4. Knoxville, TN
5. Harrisburg, PA

Best Places to Live
1. Fort Collins, CO
2. Naperville, IL
3. Sugar Land, TX
4. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
5. Cary, NC

Best Cities for Men ("health, happiness and abs")
1. San Jose, CA
2. Honolulu, HI
3. Madison, WI
4. San Diego, CA
5. Fremont, CA

The Great Idea: Too Popular for My Own Good...

Word must've gotten out about The Great Idea... because both Shins shows sold out... and now I will be Shinless for the spring... maybe I can use my charm to find some tickets. Sad times, friends... sad times...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Great Idea: Shins Squared, East Coast Tour Part 3?

I have a great idea... and when I have a great idea, that usually means it is 1) crazy, 2) unobtainable, and 3) something I will pursue anyway.

Here's my latest great idea:

I have to go to NYC for a conference in a few weeks. The next day I am supposed to leave from Atlanta for SXSW in Austin.

Pollstar tells me that The Shins are playing only Northern shows on their tour (why you gotta hate on Atlanta, Shins? We're city full of transplant people...). Being that I am a huge Shins fan and have worn their new album down already, this is completely unacceptable.

I will combat this with the following POA ("Plan of Action")

Monday March 12 - Depart Atlanta for DC; see The Shins play at DAR Constitution Hall
Tuesday March 13 - Depart DC for NYC at 6am; go to conference from 9am-4pm; take 5pm train to Philadelphia; visit Chris and Grant; see The Shins play Electric Factory
Wednesday March 14 - Depart Philadelphia for Atlanta at 6am; meet coworkers at the airport at 8:28am; depart Atlanta for Houston at 9:04am; arrive in Houston, rent a car, and drive to Austin for SXSW; rock for five days straight...

The Great Idea / POA FAQ:

Q: Why see The Shins play twice in 24 hours? Won't they play the same set?
A: The last time I saw the same band play twice in 24 hours it was Modest Mouse, and it was kind of awesome. And I like The Shins more than I like Modest Mouse. Therefore, it can be assumed that seeing The Shins twice in 24 hours will be awesome, too (unless their live show is not up to par). Q.E.D.

Q: That's a lot of 6am flights... aren't you going to be tired?
A: Yes, I will probably be very tired and cranky. But that is why I rarely drink caffeine, so when I need it it really works. Plus, I fall asleep everytime I even step foot on a plane.

Q: What if you miss any of your flights?
A: I'll be stranded in the north... which wouldn't be an awful thing...

Q: Isn't this an expensive plan?
A: Actually, it is no more expensive than a round trip to NYC, which I'd have to buy anyway. Amazing, right? Right.

So let's correct the Great Idea model... 1) crazy, 2) unobtainable, 3) something I will pursue anyway, 4) potentially amazing.

I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Joseph Arthur, Painting, and Expression

I've been painting and drawing all my life, and as a child had work in some local galleries and public spaces. I regret that I haven't kept up with it as much as I would like, but here's something I recently finished in honor of Paul McCartney's 64th birthday... [picture of it was taken with a camera phone, so quality and size aren't accurate]

Most everything I draw or paint revolves around people -- no landscapes or abstract things. I have a hard time capturing those images, whereas I am fascinated by the emotion people convey in their faces and body language. Still, whenever I see really off-the-wall, imaginative works I get frustrated that I can't see the world that way.

Jay Sweet has a cool story about Joseph Arthur over on his blog.

Reminds me me of the poem Arthur wrote for Issue 15 (April/May 05) of Paste. It's my favorite thing we've ever published.

Painting might be impossible to write about
It’s a place beyond words from where it comes
It’s nature showing strange flowers
It’s a drug that obliterates the self
It’s a mirror in the spirit world
It’s where the shadows come out to play
It’s a shared hallucination
It’s dream made material set ablase in the night
Maybe it goes beyond everything else
Like playing a guitar without strings
It’s a place man meets God and says
What the fuck
I love to paint
It’s where I go to church.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake: My Wedding Crash with Andrew Bird

I was so bummed to find out (after the Super Bowl, naturally) that "JP" didn't end up raising enough money to propose via a commerical! I watched 4 hours of football for nothing! (Just kidding, it was a great game, huh?)

But speaking of proposals, I had a dream that Andrew Bird and I crashed a wedding in Dallas. His album is inspiring me in so many ways... Get the full story here.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

The Super Bowl brings together just about everything I love: football, commercials, beer, and friends. Some years, there is even good music. That tops it off.

I'm a loyal Redskins fan (even in the bad times, which is all the time) so I'm not terribly concerned with which team wins tonight, though Jeremy tells me I have to root for the Colts, so I will.

But the one I really want to win? "JP," the man who started an internet campaign to raise enough money to buy a commercial. He is using it to propose to his girlfriend. A company came in and backed him, requiring product placement in exchange for capital, which is a new strategy for advertising... interested to see how it turns out. Get the story here.

I hope for JP's sake that his girlfriend, 1) likes football, 2) isn't in the bathroom when his commerical airs, and 3) says "yes!" Otherwise, he just wasted $2 million on the worlds most embarrassing moment. Almost as embarrassing as this.

So Happy Super Bowl. Happy engagement, JP. And while I'm at it, Happy February. The year is going so fast...