Connecting the IndieDots: or, My Life Completely Revolves Around the Media, Vol. LCMMMXXXVIII

April 7, 2009

Today, 5:30pm

I’m speedwalking home so I can catch the beginning of the first Twins game of the season…

Let me guess: right now you’re thinking,”But PT, how in the world are you able to watch the Twins? Did you go to a bar and spend a million dollars? Did you buy The Concorde and take a 30 second flight in Minneapolis?? Gah, howww? TELLMEINEEDTOKNOWNOW!” Well, Fair Readers, earlier in the day AllysonD and I went in on mlb.tv together. It’s so amazing! I wont have to miss a single Dome home game all year! I’m sure my new streaming tv toy will be blogged about quote heavily in the upcoming months.

…when the song “Dying” by XTC comes a-shufflin’ onto my iPod.  I just recently procured Skylarking, so I’m almost positive this was the first time I’ve heard this song.  I was really enjoying the song, and at about the halfway marker it dawned on me, “Aww shit! I’ve heard this song before! They’re totally ripping off Grizzly Bear. Twenty years… before… Grizzly Bear existed…(cough).”

I’ve blogged about Grizzly Bear in the past. I really, really like them. And the fact their song “Shift” sounds eerily similar to “Dying” doesn’t piss me off or anything. Zillions of bands wear their influences on their sleeves. I think more than anything I was just surprised GB would listen to/ be influenced by XTC. They’re both such different bands; and granted, it’s a dark song, but XTC has a general sound more akin to say the  New Pornographers, or my favorite band, Decemberist Cab for Shins-y. I know it sounds stupid, but discovering this made me feel like I found some sort of link in the Grand Musical Universe that would have otherwise gone completely unseen.

What do you think? Decide for yourself:

XTC – Dying – 1986

Grizzly Bear – Shift – 2007

Advertisements

A Big, Beautiful Mess

April 5, 2009

HOT DAMN

Twenty-four hours from now the 2009 baseball season will be upon us. I can’t wait!

The beginning of the six month long marathon of fandom holds additional significance, in that, with baseball comes warm weather. And with warm weather come those beautiful,  life-affirming few months in Chicago that Mother Nature doles out as reward for your patience through yet another dark, blustery winter. Gah! Hate winter. Even though i come from a state that prides itself on not letting the tight-clenching grasp of winter get in the way of ahem, “fun winter activities“, I’ve never been one to embrace the cold. I merely tolerate it.

Long story short: good times are on the PT horizon. Nothing but long bike rides, movies in the park, and meals eaten alfresco. And, of course, baseball. In fact, Easter Sunday will be spent in the nosebleeds at US Cellular Field with AllysonD.

I wanted to take a little time to write about the building that is home to a majority of my baseball-related memories. After years of playing host to over two thousand Minnesota Twins home games, 2009 marks the final season the Twins play in the The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

metrodome-roof-view

It’s hard to believe a stadium only one year older than I am is so incredibly unfit for baseball  the Twins felt it necessary to build a new ball park just down the street for hundreds of millions of dollars. But, if the DomeFan in me takes a step back, I realize the Metrodome was never fit to be a baseball stadium. Either way, growing up, I love going to the Metrodome. Even though it’s ugly as sin, it’s such an incredibly unique space, one can’t help walking through passageway from the concourse to the seats, looking around at the vast green, blue, and (dirty) white area and say “Huh. Really? Baseball? Here? Sweet?”.

I have no scintillating tales of catching foul balls, witnessing  no-hitters, or getting my favorite player’s autograph; but with every ho-hum game I’ve attended throughout the years comes a distinct Metrodome Memory.

I attended my first Twins game–and a bulk of my early Twins games– with my dad (side note: my parents divorced when I was young and I rarely saw my dad). I remember 8 year-old me, nervously spewing every baseball player name and accompanying statistic to fill the awkward silences between my father and me. After one game, we went out to the parking lot to try and get player’s autographs. All I really wanted was Kirby Puckett to sign my glove. No dice. The only signature i came up with was that of then-current WCCO News Sportscaster Ralph Jon Fritz. My dad had loudly and embarrassingly flagged him down (the only person to do so in the crowd of fifty or so) and got him to sign some piece of paper from his pocket.  He gave it to me, and I was as confused about having RJ Fritz’s autograph then as a child as I am now as an adult. Pretty sure, it’s still in a shoebox somewhere.

metrodome1When I was about 10, my neighborhood friend Peter brought his birthday party guests to a Twins game. It was the first experienced the thrill of sitting behind home plate.. from one of the last rows in the upper deck. Either way, I thought it was SO cool to be able to look over the whole field form that angle. On the way home, Peter’s dad surprised him with a few packs of baseball cards to open on the ride back to Saint Paul. Even though it was Peter’s birthday, I remember feeling pissed at this fatherly gesture. Each one of us in the card seriously collected baseball cards; and for us kids to be crammed into the back seat of a red Subaru station wagon, forced to watched Peter open pack after pack of baseball cards, was borderline torturous.

In seventh grade, my mom had scored tickets to opening day through her work. I took 3 of my friends along for the afternoon. We promptly went to the very top row in the stadium and timed how long it took to walk around the entire Metrodome.

My most recent venture to the Dome was two years ago. My friend Dan, who’s mother gets amazing seats for games through her business, invited me to sit in like the seventh row. The Twins played an awful game; but the night wasn’t completely lost. We all headed over to the amazing Nye’s Polonaise Room after the game.

Although I can’t wait for the Twins to open their sweet-assed new outdoor ballpark next year, I’m going to miss the shitty confines of the Metrodome. Minnesota Twins baseball to me has become ingrained in paying $4 for nosebleed seat which leaves you with a vicious neck ache. It’s hard to know how to react when a home to so many childhood memories becomes a such a relic. Even if said relic is the biggest eyesore in professional sports.

RIP, Buddy.

metrodome-803711

Touche, Mother Nature

March 17, 2009

Planet Earth, you HAVE been reading the notes I’ve been leaving  in your comment box! What a fucking glorious weekend…

View from my office window

View from my office window

To…work…indoors.

Drag.

The first truly out-of-sight-weather weekend and I’m cooped up at work fact checking the hierarchies of a now-defunct gang.

ALL WAS NOT LOST

Saturday I scored some freeeee pizza left over from a viewing; and a quiet workspace gave me the chance to revisit the always enjoyable David Cross stand-up albums.

Then Sunday, after a shorter stint at work, AllysonD and I rode over the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Ferns.

Ferns.

Me n' AD

Me n' AD

Deceptively expansive, that Garfield Park Conservatory! One room after another awesome plants and flowers. The fern room was the consensus favorite. It was so lush and green…like Oregon and Ireland had a baby. Iregon?

A word of warning for anyone considering a bike trip to the Conservatory. Take Lake St. Yes, it’s dirty. and yes, cars drive at normal speed in the far right lane (which to the untrained eye, is definitely meant for only parking), but at least it was a smooth ride the entire way there.

On the way home, we decided to just cut up Central Park-which looked like a pretty boulevarded road- and ride down Chicago Ave. until we get back into the neighborhood.

About two blocks into the journey, our beautiful street turned into a major shithole. We were rolling through the straight up hood. A hood I didn’t even know existed! And boy, I was looking EXTRA White with my Plaid jacket, single speed bike, messenger bag and aviator sunglasses. “Just passing though, guys!”

Our bike ride down Chicago between Central Park and California is living proof of the disparity between funding for pavement refurbishment in this city. That part of town is ridiculously run-down. We, no joke, biked passed a love seat-sized pothole. the entire way was so, so bumpy. But, once we reached a more gentrified area. We may as well have been biking on air (air = smooth, right?)

In conclusion, it’s really alarming how our Mayor can rightfully argue the need for the Olympics to come to Chicago with it’s hefty price tag while neighborhoods deal with the reality of having to worry about their cars being swallowed by curbside potholes along one of the city’s major thoroughfares.

Time for PT to run for Alderman?

Spring BreeeEEEeeeak!

March 8, 2009

Look out Chicago! I just slapped on some SPF 5000, and threw on my favorite pair of Old Navy Hi-Performance Hawaiian-Print Cargo-Pocketed Super-Groovy Far-Out Boogie Board Shorts. Look out North Avenue Beach, HERE I CO–

2009_03_07_weather1

(sheepishly deflates Loch Ness Monster Inner tube)

It’s so frustrating to work on a beautiful Friday in the Spring, only for Mother Nature to flip you the bird on the following two days you’re out of the office.

So This weekend wasn’t the prelude to short-sleeves weather as I had hoped; but AllysonD and I made due with the non-stop showers. We had a great afternoon excusrion to New Wave Cafe to drink coffee/tea and play cards. AllysonD teacher her knitting classes at New Wave and loves it. My only experience there previous to yesterday was picking her up after class.

New Wave left me compltely impressed. I feel like it’s (sadly) rare a cofee shop can balance between being hip, yet completely accessible to all walks of life. It’s good to know a place exists that has graffitied bathroom walls, plays Beirut over the loud speaker, and is still a place I could bring my mom to hang out.

OOH, and a quick run to the grocery store gave me the chance to have the inaugural run of my new/used iPod. I’ve been without an iPod since 2006. I’m ridiculously excited to now be able to listen to tunes on my way to/from work everyday.

For one reason or another, I felt whatever song was to be first played in my new gadget would bear some significance. Like one day, as an old man, I’ll look back and tell my grandkids “What a great little machine, that iPod was! Boy, I remember when I first used it and _____ by _____ came playing through the earbuds. Thooose were the good old days.” It’s at this point my grandchildren will sigh with boredom and begin mentally txt-ing their bff’s with the microchip implanted in their brains.

SO, how to choose the perfect Song #1 out of the 8,052 songs on my iPod? I chose to let fate decide. I got this:

I’m feel good about it. TnT came up in a dinner convo a couple days earlier. Apparently their coming to town sometime soon. Is this is God telling me Tapes N’ Tapes at the Metro will be a life-changing event???

In conclusion: Don’t let changing out of your surf-wear deter you from having a great weekend. Hey, if anything, you can feel good about not having to worry about the sun turning you into Tom Jones.

badtan

How about that…Tom Jones is religious.

Spontaneously Obsessed: Kiva.org

February 19, 2009

Dear Fellow Millionaires Philanthropists,

I stumbled across an amazingly feelgood website this afternoon!

kiva_logo1During my Late Workday Block of Personal Internet Surfing, something clicked in my brain and I remembered I had been meaning to check out kiva.org. My desire to scope out Kiva may or may not be contributed to an advertisement I saw on Hulu (it’s scary to think how many more people besides myself have been turned onto helping save impoverished peoples via Kiva due of their unhealthy addiction to Hell’s Kitchen).

The concept of charitable lending is ingenius: Your loans go towards people who are trying to build a better life for their families. You help people, who are incapable of receiving bank loans due to their unfortunate level of poverty, create better opportunities for themselves. AND IN THE END, YOU THE LENDER, GET ALL YOUR MONEY BACK!

Kiva made me feel like my money, which is otherwise sitting in a savings account, is actually contributing to the betterhood of people who need it much more than I do.

Kiva totally brightened my day. I wish I could say it did the same for Little Gordon Ramsay…

Breakfast Omen, Vol. I

February 18, 2009

What are trying to TELL me, Valentine’s Day Pancake?

dscf0009

WHAT???

I Feel For You, Wacky Tuba Player

February 18, 2009

Last Friday, AllysonD and I attended Story Week Goes to AWP: Literary Rock & Roll.

I have never attended this annual event. But apparently, in year’s past, this fusion of dramatic readings and rock shows has taken place at The Metro.

The Metro would lend it’s traditionally rocking atmosphere to the event, giving the gathering an air of a rocking concert.

This year’s festivities were held downtown in a ballroom at the Hilton. It had the feeling of something more akin to a keynote speaker at a convention. While the readings were all solid, I couldn’t help but notice we were definitely some of the younger people in the audience.

“No matter”, I thought. I was excited for the night’s closing act, Chicago’s favorite 30-piece group in mismatched marching band uniforms, Mucca Pazza. “Once they get going, this place is gonna blow UP! It bout to get wild yallll!”

Instead, there was this:

dscf0006

the first five rows of the hall were MAYBE 3/4 full. Also, keep in mind the vastness of this space, there were at elast 15+ rows behind from where this picture was taken.

Even though I felt bad for Mucca Pazza, the did their thing and rocked the fuck out. I’d like to think that if I were in a band like that, and an amazingly awkward gig was on the horizon, the I would put my head down and play the best gig that I could. I had never seen Mucca Pazza before, but they were definitely stellar. Well done, Dudes.

For all of my readers with burgeoning event planning careers, for future reference, avoid hotel ballrooms if you’re planning on either rocking or rolling. You just end up with an event full of lost, party-hungry clownz.

dscf0020

Hardd 4 Tha $

January 24, 2009

What could wake me up from THIS work-induced haze?

dscf0004

Why an inebriated BroMessage from a co-worker, of course!

dscf00031

Don’t worry, I erased it right away. I’d hate to see what would have happened if the Towers RA saw!

In other news, I currently have a tie around my cubicle’s doorknob. YOU KNOW WHAT MEANS!

Oh what?

January 21, 2009

dscf0001

Just whistlin’ a happy tune about my new digital camera! Acme Valley’s about to get a whole lot sexier. Millions of bored self-portraits to come.

PT’s Greatest Obama GChat Moments, Vol. I:

Chatting with Chris Hill, my overwhelming feelings of patriotism regarding the inauguration took the form of, naturally, a song parody.

Who to translate my complex emotions better than Dead Eye Dick, right? RIGHT?

me: BarryO-O-O-O-O
he’s a vegetarIAN

Chris did not respond to this line of conversation.

So This is What Christmas Feels Like?

December 29, 2008

Just got back into town from four days in the Twin Cities. I’d loved to regale you all with some outlandish stories about seeing old friends an getting drunk down by the river. But I cannot. A majority of my weekend was spent in the confines of Martha’s house feeling like lymph nodes were trying to set my throat on fire.

I took a trip out to a CVS in Eagan, aka Haleyville, to go to one of these Minute Clinics. I’ve always been aprehensive about making a doc appointment at a regular clinic for some reason. But the MInute Clinic was so easy! If your throat/stomach hurts to the point where you think you need medical assistance, go for it.

I had a throat culture done, and the intial test came back negative. “Just a virus. Not much you can do but wait it out.” they said. So I continued to take tylenol and gagle like a mofo.

Cut to Yesterday afternoon. Just was the car arrived in the Chicago city limits, I get a call from the minute clinic, telling me they sent my test intot the lab, and I do in fact have Strep Throat.

FUCK!

I’m on antibiotics now, which is nice, but the pain is still very present.

I feel so gross, all I can do is make THIS face:

photo-30