Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dear Farscape,

You're awesome.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Count the Dead Brain Cells

Wow. Just wow. Folks, you missed quite a weekend in Phoenix, or more appropriately, Mesa. First off, it was beautiful. I mean, literally, it was perfect weather. Palm tree-lined streets, a duck pond behind my friend's house, shorts and sandal weather...I think you get the point. But I didn't go down there to work on my tan (that's what I'm doing in January), I went to visit my ex-roommate, Josh. Was it fun? You be the judge. Here's a rundown of the weekend's activities:

2:45- Start six-hour drive. Little did I know the backroads I was taking were going to be curvy, poorly-lit two-lane roads that I would drive way too fast. Also, the AM station carrying Game 5 kept going in and out, but I was able to make it in for the 8th inning (I'm actually downloading it right now since I'm an MLB.TV member, which allowed me to watch every Cardinal game this season on my PC).
7:45- I arrive at my friend's house for the end of the game and act like the giddiest of schoolboys when the Cardinls win. We start drinking Jaeger bombs and Bud Lights. The bottle is gone by the time we leave to a friend's house for a costume party.
10:00- Arrive at the party. I, of course, am Chicken Cord-on-Blue. Sadly, I don't have a picture, but I do have one of Josh, who wrapped himself in Saran Wrap (packaged meat) and aother of an almost spot-on Oompa Loompa. The people here are ten times nicer than in Albuquerque. Beers flow, fun was had by all, and I warn one party-goer about what to expect when in Fiji (lots of trickery fron the natives).
1:30- We drive back to Josh's and continue drinking. We start a fire and B.S. until 5 or so when we pass out.

12:00- I finally get up, feeling very hungry. I hadn't eaten since lunch the day before, so my tummy was growling for something I had been looking forward to having for a LOOOONG time. So we clean up and head out to...
1:30- In-N-Out Burger. Oh hell yeah! It was busy, but soooo worth the wait. I got the double cheeseburger combo and wolfed it all down. If you've never had it, I highly suggest it.
2:15- I ask Josh what he wants to do and he brings up doing whippits (I think that's how it spelled). I had never done them before, but of course I knew what they were. So we go to a nearby head shop and pick up...well, probably too many capsules of nitrus oxide and go back to his house.
2:45- While watching Wildboyz and a show on train wrecks, we get silly. I mean, whole body wa-wa, hearing voices, drooling type of silly. Josh needs to take a nap afterwards, and I decide to take a walk around his complex.
6:30- We buy some Pollo Loco, another bottle of Jaeger, an 18-pack of Bud Light, and some XXL Monster drinks.
9:30- Again, the bottle is gone between three of us. We drive out to a party of a friend (of course we had a DD...both nights) and this is where the night becomes a bit of a blur.
10:45- I'm really having a good time. Cool people, the keg flowing, but while I'm in line for the bathroom, someone offers me a Xanax. Jake, Josh, and I all partake. And then...

3:45pm- Josh pounds on the door and asks me, who is fast asleep at the time, if I know what time it is. I guess 12ish and he tells me it's almost 4. That's a 17-hour blackout for the kids counting at home. Wow. I make a hasty departure and start the very long trip home. I'm not hungover, but I'm not really 100% either. I take far too many wrong turns leaving town.
11:00- Get home. Pass out.

Great weekend, but wow, I still feel a little off. I'm told we were very nice to everyone Saturday night, so I guess that's good. But now, time to rest and watch football. Until we meet again, fooligans...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What's On Tap

It figures that my house doesn't sell for four months, and so when I'm ready to renew my lease with the landlord, it sells. Usually, this wouldn't be a problem, but this weekend I'll be in Phoenix visiting an ex-roommate, and then next weekend I'll be in St. Louis for a wedding and seeing mommy dearest. I'll get home on the 7th, we then move out on the 10th, and have to be out by the 12th. Add that this week and the next are production weeks at work, and of course the World Series (Go Cards!), and you have a recipe for hijinx and hilarity! That's also why I've been a bit silent lately, here and on your pages. My apologies.

But yeah, Phoenix tomorrow. I have to leave early so I miss as little of Game 5 as possible. In case you didn't know, this is the Cardinals' year. After they win tonight, they'll finish it off in front of the home crowd Friday night. At least that's what I've been dreaming. But back to Phoenix. Two Hallowwen parties there, too. Guess what I'm going as? I'm tying a chicken around my neck and dressing all in blue. Drum roll...I'm a chicken cord-on-blue. Oh, stop moaning, I know you like it.

And then I return to the city that birthed me on the 3rd. Two friends, Jessica Williams and Phil Palacios, are tying the knot, and I'll be there for all the drunken festivities. Sadly, there will be no return to CoMo as I'll be spending Sunday and Monday with the mom unit, but I wish I could make it down. Drink one for me, will ya? And if you know either of the two soon-to-be-newlyweds (and I know some of you do), send them your congratulations.

But now, I have to pack, make some CDs (an old school driving mix for starters), eat dinner, and watch the Cards take Game 4. I'll fill you in on all the saucy details when I get back from Phoenix; should be a kraZy time. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Yay Spoon! Yay Cardinals! Yay Beer!

Okay, so there's not much direction to this post as of yet. I'm currently making a Spoon CD, and it's been tough to narrow down thus far. Right now, I'm 1:51 over and I don't know where to cut that out.

Also, Game 2 is about to start, and I couldn't be more excited. Those who watched the game last night know what I mean. The Cardinals looked awesome. Reyes pitched pretty much lights out, and the lineup did what they're supposed to do. But what's really been pissing me off is that St. Louis hasn't been given the amount of respect they deserve. No one at ESPN predicted them to win at San Diego, no one thought they could beat the Mets, and only one of eight thinks they'll win. In seven. Plus, the Fox pregame correspondants pandered to the local crowd and said Detroit would come away victorious.

But what happened? St. Louis beat the Padres in four, the Mets in a GREAT seven-game series, and routed Detroit last night 7-2. But of course, they say that the the Mets were injured and that Dertoit just lost momentum after a week off. When are the Cardinals get some much-needed praise?

This just in: Detroit hit a solo shot in the bottom of the first. But the Cards have been able to strike back after getting scored on all throughout the playoffs, so I'm not too worried about a 2-0 deficit after 1.

Sweet, I finally found a way to get it under 80 minutes, and now I'm just put the finishing touches on the playlist. I truly heart Spoon, and have since the first time I heard them in Lawrence with the head cheese over at What We All Want (and a great show that was; John Vanderslice's drummer was kraZy!). It's fun to listen to Spoon's five albums and hear how they've matured and progressed. With Telephono and Series of Sneaks, you really get a rawer Spoon, a little more rocked out than future years. But with Girls Can Tell, you get this Spoon After Dark feel. Really subdued and melodic, but still just as good. Kill the Moonlight had Spoon trying to be both minimalist ("Paper Tiger") and rocked out ("Jonathon Fisk"). And this led to Gimme Fiction. This was my favorite album last year, but I don't think it's their strongest by far. I don't know, I kinda long for the unpolished days of Spoon again. It's a very precise and well-made album, but it lost a bit of its intimacy, if that makes sense.

But anywho, they're still PTS's favorite band and pretty much do no wrong in my eyes (mostly due to that dreamy Britt Daniel). Here's the playlist for your burning enjoyment. I think it's a pretty good mix of the career de Spoon.

1. Everything Hits at Once
2. The Way We Get By
3. The Guestlist/The Execution
4. Cvantez
5. The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine
6. Anything You Want
7. Reservations
8. Plastic Mylar
9. Sister Jack
10. Jonathon Fisk
11. Take Fifth
12. June's Foreign Spell
13. The Beast and Dragon, Adored
14. Advance Cassette
15. Someone Something
16. Primary
17. Something to Look Forward To
18. All the Negatives Have Been Destroyed
19. Take a Walk
20. Car Radio
21. I Summon You
22. All the Pretty Girls Go to the City
23. The Fitted Shirt
24. Dismember
25. Laffitte Don't Fail Me Now
26. The Agony of Laffitte
27. Chicago At Night

P.S. I know, 27 songs! That's an extra-large Spoon serving. ENJOY IT!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Always Bet on Black

There were a lot of fun headlines on CNN’s home page last night/this morning, and while they all go to individual stories, I thought it would be fun to try to link them all together - completely out of context and without any regard for what the actual article is about - into an interconnected story of deceit and intrigue. Here goes:

Wesley Snipes is about to have the longest day of his life. On the run for crimes he didn’t commit, he must fight for survival as he attempts to uncover who his behind framing him for tax evasion.

While filming New Jack City 2: Boyz N Tha Cornfield on-location in Kansas, Wesley’s world is turned upside-down after uncovering an unusual meteorite, which contains data for a rare Apple virus that affects iPods worldwide. Hunted by U.S. Marshals and a race of vampires who both wish to possess the data to control the world, Wesley will uncover a conspiracy that implicates members at the highest levels of world governments.

His adventure begins as his apartment is set on fire while he’s sleeping. Luckily, his trusty dog Hayes saves him from a fiery grave. Sadly though, Wesley loses his trusty friend as Hayes rushes back into the building to save Wesley’s cat, Wong Foo. In a heartbreaking death scene, Wesley swears revenge on the government swine who took his friend’s life.

His quest will take him to North Korea, where he will have to save the inhabitants of a small town south of Pyongyang from radiation poisoning as three more potential nuke tests are possibly underway. Little does he know this is all a trap to capture him. But thanks to his training as a covert CIA assassin, Wesley gets away in an amazing spectacle of gunfire, knife fighting, explosions, and high-speed chases.

This all ends in a climactic scene as Snipes stages a fire alarm in one of the surrounding Capitol buildings, where he finally corners kingpin Mark Foley and gets him to release the name of his alleged abuser as a kid: a Thai mentor whose tough love drove him to program virus codes for Macs. This particular virus brainwashes the youth to vote Republican, thus keeping their corrupt party in power another 40 years. Foley, ashamed of his deeds, then plunges to his death out of a 10-story window.

For acts of bravery and selfless dedication to his country and moviegoers everywhere, Snipes is awarded the Medal of Honor and also receives a presidential pardon for his tax evasion. But Wesley is again in hot water after punching Democratic senator Ted Kennedy for ‘slavish’ remarks, when the gin-soaked politician says, “I could use more of your kind at my house.” The senator then apologizes and all laugh heartily as the credits roll and the screen fades to black.

What new adventures lie ahead for Mr. Snipes? Only time will tell. Tune in next time, same Snipe time, same Snipe channel. Now off to softball before I watch the Cardinals win the pennant.

Monday, October 16, 2006

B is for Beer, That's Good Enough for Me!

Okay, so that's not quite how it goes, but I think if there was ever a Sesame Street: The College Years, that's about how it would sound. But until then, just enjoy this trip down Memory Lane.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Crying in My Beer

Yep, nothing like writing a nice long entry only to have it completely erased by your browser closing. I was placing my last link (a clip of the head exploding scene from Scanners) when Firefox up and crashed. Not only was I giving an encore presentation of 300 after seeing it on Error 204, but I also shared something I happened to find while looking busy at work: The Mother of All Trailers. Two-and-a-half minutes of amazing cliche action. In fact, it was just like the trailer below. Weird.

It's too bad I lost everything, because I also wrote about my two-loss effort pitching in softball yesterday. Man, you missed out on a whole lot of laughs at my account. Oh well, have a good night, fooligans.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Vader Is Sooo Grounded!

That's a Winner!!

Despite the predictions of a nigh-unanimous panel of so-called "experts" at ESPN, the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres Sunday night in four games, a team they also swept last year in the NLDS.

I have to say I was a little wary of the Cardinals coming into the playoffs. They were the losingest team in the National League since the end of July, and almost went home early after nearly blowing a 7.5 game division lead. But by the skin of their teeth, they made it, and I was there cheering them on, for better or for worse.

Luckily, it was for the better. This team turned a complete 180, and the Cardinal I was most impressed by during the series: Ronnie Belliard. You never would think this fat tub of goo could move like he does, but yet, he made some great catches and stops at second base (saved a lot of runs in the process) and had some key hits throughout the four games. I didn't know what to think when they picked him up halfway through the season, but the more I watched, the more I warmed up to him. Definitely the better pickup between him and Preston Wilson. I'd like to see him back next year, methinks (I predict this to be a very eventful offseason for St. Louis, but that's a whole other post).

Next up, the Mets. Most of the season I had predicted it would be a Mets-Cardinals NLCS, and both had similar stories coming into this (losing their way into the playoffs). New York's really scary, our Redbirds better get their shit together if they even want to split the first two at Shea. But this little fan believes. Who's with me?!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Rap Ain't About Bustin Caps and Fuckin Bitches..."

"...It's about fluency with rhyme and ingenuity."

Tonight I'll witness an intergalactic rap battle. It's going to be interspectacular, fantabulous, and it'll blow my socks off. I hear it's one of those things where it's machine vs. man, man vs. woman, woman vs. your mother. It should be...instupituous!

But eff yeah, ya lil' crumbsnatchers, Del's in Albuquerque tonight. Who's coming with me?


So at work, my homepage is apple.com. Not that I love reading news about Apple and their trendy products, but I've just been too lazy to change it.

On the page, down the left side, it has its little iTunes section, with random small windows promoting exclusive downloads, new albums/TV shows, and the focus of this post, celebrity playlists. If you've ever checked the list, it's quite long. Musicians, actors, world leaders (Castro, WTF?), and every time I read through one, I wonder why Apple hasn't asked me to do a playlist. Then I remember I'm not a celebrity.

But I still thought I'd take the initiative and make a list to finally satisfy everyone's curiosity, although I'll try to keep it short so you don't have to read through 20 of my silly little ramblings. And unlike this pay-per-song nonsense, I encourage you to obtain these tracks using your preferred illegal method. Here goes:

Greg Klein's Playlist (in no particular order):

1. Spoon - The Guestlist/The Execution: "Lately, I can't get enough of Spoon's early stuff. That, and I just can't get enough of Spoon period."
2. TV on the Radio - Wolk Like Me:
"Try not dancing/moving/ freaking out during this song. I dare you!"
3. Dilated Peoples - Worst Comes to Worst: "Like 'Concrete Schoolyard' and 'Ain't Nothing But a G Thang,' this is just some of the most perfect laid-back hip hop you'll hear. Boo? Yah!"
4. Neko Case - Star Witness:
"My favorite song of 2006. There's a very haunting beauty to it and I just love Neko Case's voice throughout this album."
5. Frank Sinatra - The Way You Look Tonight: "My favorite song of all-time. Everything fits together perfectly: the lyrics, Frank's voice, the subtle sounds of the band behind him. I can't feel bad during this song."
6. Al Green - Let's Stay Together: "Goddamn, is Al Green one soulful dude! My dad was a big fan of his, so I've been hearing his Greatest Hits for a long time. Still one of my favorite albums, too. This is also my runner-up to the song above."
7. G. Love & Special Sauce - Kiss and Tell: "Classic fun G. Love."
8. Faith No More - Falling to Pieces: "Who wins in a fight: Mike Patton or God?"
9. Mr. Bungle - My Ass Is On Fire: "I've been on a several month-long binge of Mike Patton, and I keep finding new songs I love. This man is a musical genius."
10. Sepultura - Refuse/Resist:
"If someone was to ask me how a heavy metal song should sound, this is what I would play."
12. Non-Phixion - Skum: "'I come in bad taste, like sniffin' caine before a funeral.' Priceless. You need to listen to more Non-Phixion."
13. Iron Maiden - Hallowed Be Thy Name:
"I'm still sad the rumors of a Mastodon-Maiden tour never came to fruition, I would love to hear this song live and see if Bruce Dickinson can really hold that note. Something tells he can."
14. Tom Waits - Warm Beer and Cold Women: "No one can write a 3am bar song like Tom Waits."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pop Perfection

Whether created among four musicians or by the Harrington 1200, the perfect pop song is a topic I've brought up with friends before, discussing in length not only about what defines "pop perfection," but also what songs should fall into said category. This can be a very subjective topic.

First, a song need not be "pop" to be pop perfect, but this is generally where most of these songs come from, since the strength of a pop song lies in its radio playability and mass appeal. Pop perfection means you've reached this apex of the two. Pop songs are catchy, and can't be too complex. The chorus, the rhythm, the sound, all of it together to make a song that can be listened anywhere and enjoyed by all when played. And those who don't enjoy it, you're still going to have the song stuck in your head for half the day. The song doesn't need to be famous; a major label is no prereq for pop perfection. But be careful in making the list. Look past your love of a song and decide carefully if it meets the standards. A perfect song may not be pop perfect. I know, I'm confusing myself here, too; I can verbally explain myself better, but it's a little harder writing this without sounding like a rambling idiot (too late).

Of course, there are many different eras of pop music to be considered. There's the old standard singers (Sinatra, Bobby Darin), Motown (Diana Ross, The Temptations), old school rock & roll (Beach Boys, Little Richard, etc.), that whole 80s pop thing (Madonna, Duran Duran), boy/girl bands (NKOTB, Spice Girls), indie pop, ranging from the saccharine (Boy Least Likely To, Sondre Lerche) to the more...not saccharine (The Shins, Luna), and then just the general menagerie of Top 40 and popular music from the last fifty years. The potential list can be staggering. And so far, all I've done is just ramble off some artists.

But enough talk, I want to know what you think, fooligans. What songs do you consider pop perfect? Tell you what, I'll show you mine, but you gotta show me yours. Deal? Cool.

The Cardigans - Lovefool
The Archies - Sugar Sugar
A-Ha - Take On Me
Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life
Weezer - Buddy Holly
James Brown - I Feel Good
The dBs - Big Brown Eyes

Editor's Note: This list is in no way comprehensive, but several songs that soundly represent the feeling of pop perfection. There are many other songs swimming around in my head, but this has taken far too long and the post hasn't come out as good as I thought it would. C'est la vie.

Lazy Monday Morning

And I guess a happy Monday to everyone...yep, 1:00am, it's Monday. I've been a little on the quiet side this last week, trying to throw myself headlong into the writing and see what would happen. But alas, the great experiment was a great failure. Each question brought up three more, I stressed too much over how the story would flow, and didn't get a whole lot done. I have a lot more ideas, but no direction. I plan to shift gears this week and start writing different scenes, who cares where they lie. I had originally thought about starting from the beginning and going from there, but I'll try working on the parts I'm most clear about and hopefully that will get some answers. Maybe not, but it's worth a shot.

Also, I realize how many of you must have missed me last week, so expect lots of wit and candor over the next several days to make up for it. On the agenda: Spoon, pop perfection, and angry Muslims. Should be fun.

First on the list, it was a great weekend for Missouri sports. By that, I mean the Tigers and St. Louis teams. Saturday, the Tigers beat Colorado in the Big 12 opener to go 5-0 for the first time since 1981, which is 1BG if you were curious. Luckily, I've been able to see three of their games this season and they've looked surprisingly good. Quick defense, strong running game, and I'm really liking this Chase Daniel character. Up next: Texas Tech, where my sister attends, and also home to the worst tap water I've ever tasted. You can't buy liquor in Lubbock either, as if that town wasn't appealing enough already. But I digress...

Yesterday, the Cardinals clinched the Central by, very appropriately, losing. St. Louis, despite their best efforts, won the division for the third straight year by beating out Houston by a game and a half. This is a team up 7.5 games on Cincinnati with 13 games to go and just barely sputtered into the postseason, losing 5-3 today to Milwaukee. But I'll still cheer them on fanatically. And when all is said and done, I expect the playoff beard to be matured to its full month potential.

First up, a very good San Diego team that beat us 3-of-4 a week ago. Our pitching can be solid (it hasn't been...at all), and the run support is always there, so let's just hope they get their shit together by Tuesday afternoon. Anyone care to join me at the bars for the game? My treat. Let me know, we'll talk tomorrow. Dig? Dug.