Thursday, July 31, 2008


I read 8 books in July, bringing my total for the year to 34 (I also abandoned 1 book). That's a full 6 books ahead of pace for my goal of 48 on the year. Last July I read only 3 books and had a total of 22 on the year; then again, I don't remember the last time I read 8 books in any's certainly not in the last 11 years. Anyway, here's what I read...

Bust by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr - my first Hard Case Crime book
Saturn's Children by Charles Stross - strong SF
Harry, Revised by Mark Sarvas - highly recommended!
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - YA SF that's scary and good
In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker - the first Company novel
Shining City by Seth Greenland - lots of fun
Sky Coyote by Kage Baker - Company novel #2 and really good
Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Baker - Company #3 and things are getting very interesting

Truth be told, I'll probably start the 4th Company novel tonight but with less than 3 1/2 hours in July left I can count it under August, I think.

I didn't read any stories in July, leaving my total for the year at 144. As with my high book total, my non-existent story total is an aberration but taken together, they make sense. I don't imagine this trend will continue, since shorter works will probably become predominant as I make some changes in my life.

I read 7 comics in July, 2 trades and 5 single issues. Actually, 4 of those single issues were read today. Single issues, I can't quit you! Anyway, that takes my year's total to 69, 26 of which are trades. I read more comics last July (though not much more) but I had read way more comics overall (though 3 fewer trades at that point).

I downloaded 7 CDs in July and didn't buy any actual CDs, bringing my total on the year to 57. One of those CDs I got from Amazon 49 cents (the new Paul Westerberg), one of them was regular price for an Amazon download (Fleet Foxes), and the rest were from eMusic (detailed in yesterday's post). Strangely enough, all of my music last July was downloaded too, though I had a yearly total of 66.

I saw 1 movie in the theater in July, the awesome The Dark Knight. That brings my total on the year to 6 movies; last year saw 3 movies in July and 14 on the year by that point...which was also the total for the whole year. I hope I see at least a few more movies in the theater the rest of this year.

So long, July!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Yes, it's that time of the month once again, the time when my downloads are about ready to refresh and it's time to mention what I grabbed from eMusic the last few weeks. Without further ado...

Earlimart/Hymn and Her - This is the band's second release in the last year and it's another winner full of lovely pop music. It's quieter than Mentor Tormentor but that's okay with me.

The Hold Steady/Stay Positive - I decided to stick with the mp3 release and hope the 3 bonus tracks work their way onto the internet somewhere. I liked it at first listen, though not all of the songs. I've now listened to it quite a bit and have to stop myself from doing it every day.

The Baseball Project/Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails - Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Steve Wynn, and more deliver great indie rock songs about the greatest game. How can I refuse?

Matthew Sweet/Sunshine Lies - Another batch of highly enjoyable power pop from one of its foremost practitioners over the last 17 years.

King Khan and The Shrines/The Supreme Genius of King Khan and The Shrines - Compilation from a band I just learned about. Garage rock and soul and all sorts of throwback goodness that I haven't even scratched the surface of yet.

Today I finally worked my way through all of G4's coverage of this year's Comic-Con. Kinda fun to look at all the craziness without having to be in the middle of it..not that I've ever been to Comic-Con. Heck, it's been a lot of years since I've been to Wizard World Chicago but maybe I'll take Grant next summer. He might be into it.

Anyway, I still have lots of stuff on my DVR that I need to get to...and watching baseball doesn't help much in getting it watched. Not giving up watching the Sox and Cubs, though. No way.

Here's what I still need to watch...

3 episodes of Generation Kill (new mini-series from David Simon)
2 episodes of The Middleman (one of which is started)
2 episodes of Burn Notice (with a new one coming tomorrow night)
2 episodes of Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Billie Piper!)
1 episode of Mad Men (Season 2 premiere!)
1 episode of Venture Bros. (how did I ever live without this show?)
1 episode of Doctor Who (the penultimate ep of Season 4)

In other news, Grant and I have started on Superman Season 3 and have managed to watch the first 6 episodes. That's faster than we've watched anything in a while. Two really good two-parters, both full of Kirby creations, and two so-so single eps. A commentary and a featurette and then we're on to disc 2!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I can't believe I've done 100 of these things already. What's scarier is that this is my 518th post, which means Sunday Shuffle makes up 19.3% of my total blog posts. I guess that shouldn't be too big of a shock, especially since I've been posting very sparsely of late. I had been toying with stopping this feature once I got to 100 or even stopping the blog for a while, but I'm going to keep going and let whatever happens happen. It's one of my Sunday rituals (along with Sports Reporters and Baseball Tonight half of the year) and I enjoy it too much to let it go. You know what, let's make today's a double too...

1. The Windows on the World/American Music Club (8)
2. Black Buttons/Portastatic (15)
3. the sun fell on you (ps 119:82)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (26)
4. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down (live)/Jeff Tweedy (3)
5. Elvis, I Don't Love You Anymore/Harvey Danger (8)
6. Psalm/M. Ward (7)
7. Pretty Girl from San Diego/The Avett Brothers (4)
8. Meat Is Murder/Shout Out Louds (6)
9. Ella's Arms/Warren Zanes (11)
10. I Fought Piranhas/The White Stripes (10)
11. All My Banks/The Whigs (11)
12. Fakey Fake/Earlimart (11)
13. Slow Show (Daytrotter session)/The National (5)
14. Metal School/Spoon (5)
15. Quito/The Mountain Goats (16)
16. London Bridges/Josh Rouse (7)
17. First Few Desparate Hours/The Mountain Goats (13)
18. Stop Breathin/Pavement (6)
19. It's Now/Imperial Teen (6)
20. Last Year's Rain Didn't Fall Quite So Hard/The Twilight Sad (5)

Sunday, July 20, 2008


The big performance didn't happen the other night, due to a long line in front of me for signups (and I got there 40 minutes before the door opens to sign up) as well as people who got signed up ahead of time by the host. The result was that we were 17th on the list, which would have meant an 11:00 performance time or so - way too late for my parents to stay and our son. It was frustrating. We performed it on the porch for my parents, at least, and then we all went out for some ice cream.

Enough whining, let's get to the last Sunday Shuffle in double digits...

1. Don't Talk Anymore/The Whigs (12)
2. Wonderful/Josh Rouse (10)
3. Tonite It Shows/Mercury Rev (1)
4. Happy Alone/Earlimart (11)
5. I Feel Better/Frightened Rabbit (6)
6. Rogue Revelator/Oakley Hall (6)
7. Ten Lonely Words/Julie Ocean (5)
8. Abigail/The Broken West (16)
9. Georgia, Georgia/Elliott Smith (9)
10. Good Dreams/Superchunk (7)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Today is my 15th anniversary. To celebrate, Jill and I are going to perform together tonight at an open mic - she will tap and I will play guitar. We're using a piece of music that I'd been fooling around with but couldn't mold into a song with lyrics; we've changed it a little bit and hope it will be fun to listen to. Okay, everyone will care more about what she's doing than me anyway, but that's fine. For my other song, I'm going to play "Let's Get Married Tonight," which isn't really about us though it does capture that feeling we had when we first got together almost 17 years ago. I've asked our friend Tom to play it with me, because I love what he adds to the song both on guitar and harmony (it's also his first night playing Front Porch as a Valpo resident). Should be a fun night...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I spent over 4 hours putting together class lists and such at work this afternoon. Missed much of a beautiful day too. Plus, my brain is pretty much mush. Have I complained enough yet?

1. These Paper Walls/I Love Math (3)
2. Shiny/The Decemberists (3)
3. I Got Lost/Dinosaur Jr. (7)
4. The Things You Don't See/Canasta (7)
5. Wonderful Witches/Thurston Moore (4)
6. La Ferrassie/Tokyo Police Club (14)
7. Like A Rolling Stone/Drive-By Truckers (13)
8. Light Years/Sloan (11)
9. All the Wine/The National (9)
10. Silver Plate Complaints/Centro-Matic (16)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend...

1. Lights Out For Darker Skies/British Sea Power (4)
2. One in the Same/My Morning Jacket (2)
3. Someday Never Comes/Creedence Clearwater Revival (4)
4. the sun fell on you (ps 119:82)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (25)
5. History Of Lovers/Iron and Wine/Calexico (15)
6. Old News/Dr. Dog (4)
7. Sunndal Song/Apples In Stereo (11)
8. Totally Free/Elk City (9)
9. What Happened.../Grandaddy (11)
10. Song Of Our So-Called Friends/Okkervil River (15)