Wednesday, August 31, 2005


My first clue should have been when my email was returned with the reason "unknown user."

I decided to drop by her office in the Psychology building, but the name on the door had changed. I was slightly confused, so I asked the man in the office next to it.

"Jennifer Ringel's not here?"
"No, she doesn't work here anymore. Is there anything I can do for you?"

I was taken aback. I stood silent for about eight seconds then mumbled some question under my breath.

"Excuse me?"
"Yeah, I just wanted to know about a double major in Latin."
"You'll have to check with the department of Modern Languages for that."

That's right: My academic advisor doesn't work here anymore.

This sort of thing isn't supposed to happen. I thought advisors were for life, like the Supreme Court. When one leaves there are nominations, various levels of approval, votes casted. There was no notification to me, not even an email ("I'm not working here anymore, talk to Mr./Mrs. _________ for all your future advising needs" would have sufficed). After waiting a year and a half to talk to an advisor, finding out she was really nice, and then having her leave the very next semester...

Now I don't even know who my new advisor is. And I'm not too keen to find out, either. Heck, the new person could be even better than Ringel, but I don't care. Ringel was Ringel: someone I had met (once), had emailed (once), someone reliable that was there.

Whatever, I know what I'm doing anyway. (For the most part.) (In enrolling for classes, not in terms of future schooling, subjects of interest, career, my ability to have glass successfully removed from my feet, nor what to write about for commentary articles in the FSView.)

I think.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I woke up way too early for my classes today, thinking I needed to be on campus at 9:30, when it was really 11:15. I walked down Pensacola, down Stadium's underpass. I had two of my psychology classes today, and both of them are looking more promising than I imagined, mostly because the prof.'s were entertaining people. I've really had exceptional staff members as instructors these past couple of years and wonder how I pick 'em so well.

This past weekend I was informed that I was promoted to A&E assistant editor, and I have edited a bit so far, but I have some left to do right now. So I'm listening to Sinatra and looking forward to deleting commas, inserting dashes, etc.

We watched the original Godzilla tonight, in the special director's cut release that came out last year. This is the first of many exciting titles lined up for the SLC this fall (A Very Long Engagement, Sin City, Singin' in the Rain, A Streetcar Named Desire, Back to the Future) that I'm looking forward to seeing on the big screen.

I wrote a rather charming review of Broken Flowers today. I was actually a little proud of it and will be glad to see it run and give that great film some (more) press.

...Anybody hear the new Kanye West? How is it?

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Jimmy Eat World was last night and we had people from Gainesville all up in the house. It was kind of muggy, but they gave out free water. Opening band, christian hardcore outfit Underoath, was better than I thought they would be. Jimmy Eat World... I mostly just liked the songs I knew.

*People whose only constructive criticism of my writing is "Maybe put a little more intellect and quality. I guess I just mean use bigger words. Sometimes one big word can take the place of three words." (he also has a weak handshake. And doesn't like white people despite being one of them [and told me not to trust them either]?) are nearly as irritating as girls who decide to overturn metal garbage cans to stand on top of them (garbage everywhere) to better see concerts.

So, Friday night we went to party in Gainesville, and Saturday they all came up and partied to Jimmy Eat World. It was a pretty good weekend, overall. And today I get to go to an FSView meeting to learn about being assistant editor of A & E, which makes the weekend even better. (Godzilla showing at the student life building would have been the coup de grace, but I'll have to see it tomorrow because I'm going to the meeting today.) I haven't done anything all week, but it seems to be picking up considerably this weekend in anticipation of the starting of classes.


How about that hurricane? And those Miami 'canes?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Yeah, I still write for the paper...

Ever notice how prevalent hypothetical situations are in social interactions? People talk about what they've done, what they're doing, and what they've going to do, but they also joke around with what could be happening right then. Part of our childhood imagination escaping through socially condoned speculations of whether we should just take the whole box of pizza, run around shouting... okay, well these aren't really good examples, but you know what I'm talking about.


I lost a promising interview this morning because they could not locate that particular Sprint subscriber on the network. He said he was in Maine and that I should call him back if we get cut off, and we did, and I did, but one hour later I was still not talking to him. Well, at least I have the cell phone number to a semi-well-known indie rocker, although I would find difficulty using it in any way other than calling him and saying "WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL ME BACK TO CONTINUE THE INTERVIEW" and then hanging up. Or something.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Five CDs in one day. I'm pretty sure I set a personal record there, especially since I got them at three different places (I think I only ever got four at one time, and it was probably at Best Buy).

This Charming Man Remixes, The Smiths: I got this at "Mike's," a.k.a. wherever (weeeird word there) that guy with a beard decides to set up his bins, this time outside the FSUBookstore. It's actually... a CD of different versions of one song, including some remixes from some Francois Kevorkian dude. Oh, but it does have a song, "Wonderful Woman," from the group that I had never heard before. I think this was worth the $6, since I remember listening to this song ("This Charming Man") over and over and over again a couple years ago, listening to and playing along with the bouncing bassline (my favorite bassline, in fact) and the jangly guitars (quite possibly my favorite guitar intro-riff as well).

Shoebox EP, Barenaked Ladies: I also got this at Mike's (I think that's his name...) for $5. I'm counting on the Ladies to come through on this one, since I haven't had time to listen to it yet. It contains a bit of material from Born on a Pirate Ship (I think) and, coincidentally, when I pick up that album, my BNL collection will be complete (I think).

Summerteeth, Wilco: I headed down to Best Buy to look for audio cords, but they didn't have what I was looking for. They did, however, have CDs. From my cursory rounds of the Rock section, I brought it down to four selections. Based on the simple, sweet majesty of

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,

which I bought a couple weeks ago and have listened to religiously, I decided to pick this one as the album-from-a-band-I-know over the tempting Building Something Out of Nothing (Modest Mouse) that was at Best Buy for $10.99. (I got this Wilco for $11.99.)

Open Season, British Sea Power: Based on the cool coverart, with its deep, calming blue (yes, these are things I consider) and dancing bear, and a couple of positive, if not glowing, reviews of the group and this album, I decided to go out on a limb a bit and picked this one over Beck's Odelay!, which I considered the safe bet. Another $13.99 of my hard-earned FSView wages.

Let Go, Nada Surf: I actually looked for this album at the other places I was buying CDs today (since Brandon went so Nutso over it), just to check out what kind of price it was going for. Looks like it was going for $4.99 in the budget rock section of Vinyl Fever!!! This is reason number 3652973610 why, if Vinyl Fever ever opened up a room for rent, I would pay outrageous monthly fees to live there, waking to the sound of The Clash and Tom Waits, the posters of Radiohead and Sleater-Kinney, that famous picture of Johnny Cash on the hugest poster I've seen, and a sea of the coolest CDs I can imagine now. (And that employee that gets really excited about Mike Patton and talks very loudly about eight minute drum solos.) And the disc was in perfect condition. Ain't no scratches or nothin'! Despite my spending of a lot of money, I decided this was an opportunity I could not afford (ha!) to miss.

I'm so excited that I'm just about ready to go to sleep.

This is why I still read Ebert.

Although he slips up sometimes (giving Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead [the movie] zero stars because it did not do justice to the live performance of the play he saw, in London -- he basically said everything about the movie worked well, but he didn't feel it worked well as a movie...), Roger Ebert is definitely the man.

Don't think so? Check out his review of Chaos, then, the letter he received from the movie's makers, and his response (maybe even the review for Open Water that he links to there-- it's pretty cool, too), and finally the report from an L.A. opening of the movie (this link may change, since it's a blog page and I couldn't find the anchor for the specific entry).

I liked the part where he talked about Greek Tragedy aptly.

When I read that reader's contribution, I had to check out the site (which I won't link to because it really is dumb), and what do I see but this hyped-up warning:

Warning: You are about to enter the website of the most brutal film ever made. This website contains material from the motion picture CHAOS that is of a highly disturbing nature. Not reccomended for persons under 17 or the weak of heart.


I admire people who comb through enormous amounts of movies (or albums, or books) and relay information on the more important and less important works (although I have a growing concern for reading and writing music reviews which I might go into on another post) that are available; especially when they use a relative system, instead of an absolute one, which Ebert explains in his review for Shaolin Soccer.

And In response to a particular harsh reception of a three-star rating for The Longest Yard, Ebert comments

Those who consult only the stars have only themselves to blame. If stars were all that mattered, why would I go to the trouble of writing a review? Nor need stars be immutable. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is now in my Great Movies series, and "The Godfather, Part II" is headed there. That is a de facto upgrading to four stars.

Attentive reading of "The Longest Yard" review, especially its final sentence, will show that persisting with three stars was my way of punishing myself. Not everyone appreciated this attempt at irony, but I must say I enormously enjoyed writing that review. To cravenly cave in would not have been nearly as much fun.

And, wielding so much power in the media world, I'm sure he gets loads of stuff like this:

Q. When you wrote a review of the movie "Bewitched," you sir, were a liar and a charlatan. You stated you never saw the program when it was on television because you were reviewing hundreds of films per year, which did not leave you much time to watch the tube.

May I remind you that you did not write your first review until 1967 and by then "Bewitched" had been on for three years? Possibly you might like to rethink that line of reasoning and pursue another feeble excuse. All you had to do was look at one or two episodes and I suspect even you might be able to determine the present piece is nothing more than garbage that should not be considered in the same breath as the original series or movie.

Gil Effertz, Frazier Park, Calif.

A. My bad. I forgot when I started not watching it. (Source.)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

HQ (2)

Moved into the new place today. Everything is looking and feeling a little better than I expected. When I arrived, two sets of parents and half a huge budget truck were strewn about the parking lot, wood furniture and office chairs mixed and cluttered on the pavement. Sweat.

So, the previous tenants had a dog (against the rules) that pissed all over the carpet (way against the rules). The Staff tried to clean it out before we parked the biggest moving truck imaginable outside our building, but it wasn't getting the stench out. Shame, really, that carpet really tied the room together.

The hours of 11 AM to about 6 PM were spent sitting out in the parking lot, sweating, moving heavy furniture to the third floor hallway, perspiring, watching two ruff-ians installing new, brown carpet, glowing, and shifting dozens of boxes and cartons around inside the new HeadQuarters.

In all reality, whatever the weathermen report, Summer '05 officially ended yesterday. As an overall rating that is not absolute, but relative, I would give this summer a big, honkin' B- for reasons I am too tired to delineate at this point in time.

Hats off to HQ (2), a.k.a. Tuscany Village Apt.s.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The One-oh-Strummers

The 101ers — Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited

Rating: B+

Before Joe Strummer gained international fame with The Clash, he was playing rock and roll standards and rhythm and blues originals with a pub rock group known as The 101ers. Never having released an album proper, The 101ers’ only output was the single “Keys to Your Heart,” which was released a month after their breakup, and Elgin Avenue Breakdown, a compilation of three recording sessions and several live tracks assembled by Strummer five years afterwards. Astralwerks’ Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited is a revamped collection of 101ers’ songs extended to twenty tracks from the original’s dozen with previously unreleased material and a detailed history of the band written by one of Strummer’s friends, Allan Jones. Jones relays (among other things) Strummer’s first description of the band: “They don’t have much money, he says, and … they’re not great musicians.” If that last part was ever true, it is thoroughly discredited from the searing guitar solos, soulful arrangements and clean, precise playing displayed throughout the recordings on this album.
Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited begins with the blistering “Letsagetabitarockin,” a two-minute burst of energy in the vein of Little Richard’s “Tootie Fruitie,” with Strummer spitting out the words like Chuck Berry on “Maybelline” (no wonder a cover of Berry’s classic turns up on the second half of the disc). One can almost sense the punk movement rising up through Strummer’s chugging rhythm guitar; turn up the distortion, simplify the walking bass line, and remove the slick R&B licks of the lead guitar, and the resulting mix would provide the breeding ground for The Clash’s self-titled debut.
Although The 101ers never greatly overstepped the bounds of pub rock, the mixture of songs on this album display a certain stylistic depth. With fast-paced numbers like “Motor Boys Motor” and “Sweety of the St. Moritz,” grooving, laid-back songs like “Surf City” or the glistening “Sweet Revenge,” and different shades of songs in between, Strummer shows his flair for writing with a quaint blend of styles early on in his musical career. “Keys to Your Heart,” for example, one of the catchiest songs here (included in two versions), is also one of the most diverse. Starting out as straightforward rock and roll, the song slowly progresses into a reggae feel with the help of a bouncy, melodic bass line, plucked guitar that begins to go into off-beats but then reconsiders, and Strummer’s trademark vocals, speak-singing some of the lines and bringing his whole soul into the delivery. Amazingly, as revealed by drummer Richard “snakehips” Dudanski’s liner notes, this is Strummer’s first self-penned song.
The second half of the album is a set of live tracks littered with covers, among them Van Morrison’s “Gloria,” the Rolling Stones’ “Out of Time,” and the traditional tune “Junco Partner.” These tracks display Strummer’s burgeoning showmanship with his strong vocal delivery and even a bit of interesting banter. Although they’re not a very good quality, the live tracks will interest both fans of old time rock and roll and The Clash alike (especially considering one of the originals, “Lonely Mother’s Son,” contains the chorus of The Clash’s “Jail Guitar Doors”).
Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited will most likely be enjoyed by Clash enthusiasts as a welcomed addition to Joe Strummer’s catalog, but those unfamiliar with the group or the man might want to consider picking up London Calling first.

Techno Savvy

I've felt a bit technologically savvy lately. (Savvy is a cool word with a cool Latin etymology, I should use it more often.) I installed a CD player in my car since places were charging an exorbitant amount for installation/parts (I thought that was "inexorbitant" until I looked it up and realized that I just always used it with the indefinite article in front of it and "amount" after it). I did cut the FM antenna and had a bit of trouble mounting it with that plastic fitting kit, but fixed the antenna with dad's help and rigged the mounting to make it work. I just installed my CD-R drive into my sister's computer since mine won't recognize it and it turned out it works fine (was a bit of a beast though, with the small, compact HP tower I was putting it into...!). So now I've been burning mp3 CDs to use with the aforementioned car CD player (starting with the stash Brandon had on that computer...hmmm, . yeah, Toadies. yeah).

I'm reading this book, Something Happened, by Joseph Heller (his second novel) and he uses parentheses just about as much as periods (literally, almost). He'll open one in the middle of the sentence, going off on a tangent for a paragraph, or a page, or two pages, close the parentheses and go right back into the end of that sentence. What a badass. He also does weird stuff with the parentheses, like correct grammar. He'll write a sentence like:

It was a secret between him and I (me).


It was me (I, I know. Ha.) that was at fault.

And at random times, he'll just insert (ha)'s. Very strange. But very compelling. Most of the narrative is just the narrator talking about situations or characters or using some flashbacks. 200 pages and only half a day has gone by. I love it.

Anyway, so a friend of a friend is going off to Iraq (talked about making a will and stuff), I've got glass in my foot that I've tried to get out for about a month or so and will see a physician tomorrow about it, I've got my eye appointment tomorrow, I haven't packed for this week of vacation, nor my big move back to Tallahassee next weekend, and I've two articles to write in two days because I procrastinated super-bigtime even though I had all the time in the world (one of those days means within the next 8 hours, and I haven't started it yet), but hey, you know me, I can't complain.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Check the warning on my universal AC adapter:

"This product contains chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling."


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Yahoo! Audio Search.

Yahoo Digs Up Audio Files for Audiophiles

"With Yahoo Audio Search, users have a starting point for finding all audio-related content available on the Web, making it easy for users to find, use, share and expand their knowledge of audio-related content," Yahoo Search spokesperson John Thrall said.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Everybody's got their story to tell,
Everybody's got their own portrait of hell.
Mine's not exciting,
Mine's not exciting,
But I wrote ten thousand words about you.

In my younger days I
Thought I must prove
Myself through games Olympic,
Girls, money, and booze.
It's not that exciting,
It's not that exciting,
So I swore to give it all up for you.
My bitterness too.
Give it all to you.

Somehow, I miss all the cues.
Listlessly you play with your food,
I think nothing better of it.

Now that I'm paranoid,
I seem to find you overjoyed
At all that troubles me
You're my cute little enemy.


I've fallen into disrepair,
Living in the soft contours of your hair.
It took months for me to recognize
The weathered cracks pervading your disguise.

Let's socialize,
If you can find the time.

In a shard of glass I spied my face,
My dull blue eyes have turned a bright shade of green.
My broken past now comes to mind,
With details clear that I'd rather not find.

Let's comprimise.
When you can find the time.

I need a helping hand
To hold you down.
I think I know a man
Who'll follow you 'round.

I think I know a man-
Best detective in town.
Best detective in town.
Best detective in town.

He'll follow you 'round,
He'll follow you 'round.
All around this town.
Listening to every sound.