turning your orbit around

or... the utter enormity of the task


big pants has risen again

that's a double entendre there.

if you missed it.

so, big pants is back together, and we finally, finally have a drummer. his name is brett, he's from champaign, and i met him when wendell gee was out visiting. he went to central, but we won't hold that against him.

he's a good guy, solid drummer, and just as new to playing with a band as i am. he says he's seldom played with other people, but you'd never know that. he says he's never been on stage either, but i don't think he'll be shy when we do get a gig. speaking of which...

we have some gigs! some parties where we won't get paid, but still - actual gigs are on the horizon! i'm pumped.

here's what we're working on so far:

2 kenny wayne sheperd songs
trouble/the jayhawks
via chicago/wilco
the golden age/beck
just kissed my baby/the meters
what i got/sublime
ain't no sunshine/bill withers

any other suggestions?


jack ingram is one bad mammajamma

after illinois came from 8 down on tuesday night with 9 minutes to go at wisconsin, sparked by the superb and gutsy play off the bench of fifth year senior workhorse, jack ingram, timmy dudie sent me the following email on wednesday:

"i'm officially starting the german chapter of the Jack "hardnutz" Ingram fan club.

i strongly suggest you boys start your own."

as usual, timmy has perfectly captured what i was thinking in his own unique, profound and profane way. he's a funny man, that timmy.

in other news...

there is no other news.


i am so torn

on one hand, i want illinois to kick wisconsin's butts tonight. and i think they just might. on the other hand, i want illinois to lose one or two before march madness. it'll be good for them, show them that they're not unbeatable, and make them redouble their efforts. and, as timmy stated, they won't be going into the tournament with that big unbeaten bullseye on their backs like saint joe's did last year.

but, seriously, if illinois wins this game, probably the toughest of the entire season (conference and nonconference combined), then they're a very real threat to be undefeated going into the tournament. and that, my friends, would be remarkable.

i am ignoring the iowa debacle last week (at home!) for this simple reason: to play as poorly as illinois did, and still come out with a win, well... it takes one hell of a team to do that.

if you're not watching illinois wisconsin at 9 eastern, 8 central, 7 mountain, and 6 pacific, then i just don't know what to say to you.

oskee wow wow, illinois!


totally random posting

hey all. in lieu of my usual anecdotes, songs and stories, i thought i'd post a little critical thinking today. p-diddy has requested assistance with foucault's 'will to truth'/'will to knowledge' thing (good god, who can blame him). remembering very little of foucault, and processing what i was able to find with google, i came up with the following:

p-diddy -

christ, i'm glad i'm done with grad school.

okay, so taking what little i remember of foucault, and regurgitating/paraphrasing some web sites, i'll attempt to ramble for a moment:

the continuities/discontinuities in modes of thought that occur over the ages, as well as the social contexts in which these thoughts and practices occur, are what foucault would consider major discourses.

foucault is concerned with how some discourses attain the status and currency of truth, while others are marginalized.

i'm taking the following quote from a web site, which i'll link to below:"Foucault argues though, in The Order of Discourse, that the 'will to truth' is the major system of exclusion that forges discourse and which 'tends to exert a sort of pressure and something like a power of constraint on other discourses', and goes on further to ask the question 'what is at stake in the will to truth, in the will to utter this 'true' discourse, if not desire and power?' (1970, cited in Shapiro 1984, p. 113-4)."

the way i see it, foucault is making a distinction. does truth equal power for foucault? i think so. has he deconstructed the word 'truth' to simply mean discursive constructs that give their masters power? makes sense to me. is truth always knowledge? absolutely not.

sometimes, knowledge can be limited by whatever truths are in place. sometimes, a truth is accepted without any knowledge to support it. sometimes, when a truth is in place, no knowledge is sought. it seems to me that foucault's 'will to truth' is a somewhat disdainful subversion of power and intellectual constructs, whereas 'will to knowledge' remains pure.

that was fun. let me know if i'm completely off.




blue balls... and green balls and brown balls and...

bowling is hard.

you watch bowling on espn8, and those guys/gals are knocking down pins and you think to yourself - "it can't be that hard! look at this fat guy with the combover and pleated pants. he just bowled a 280!"

but i'm here to tell you that it's difficult. last night was a practice night for the college's bowling league, which begins in earnest the week after next. again, i'm on a faculty/staff team, and once again it's the only fac/staff team in the league. couple that with the fact that my fellow teammates won the league last semester, and we definitely have some big bullseyes on our backs. just like the illini. it's tough being number 1.

but as i said, last night was practice, and we rolled 2 games, in which i scored 112 and 115. i kept losing the ball off to the left, so i'd start farther to the right, and that helped for awhile. then, at the beginning of the second game, i started with a 3 and an 8. ouch. so i swapped out balls, from purple to fuschia (very manly) and that helped me somewhat salvage the second game with 2 strikes in a row and then 3 spares in a row.

tommy's wife sarah kicks ass. in her second game, everything was straight down the middle every time, starting with 6 spares in a row, then 3 strikes, then a spare in the 10th frame for an extra frame. i think she finished with a 235. wow.

the place was packed, and the student bowlers were hilarious. every bowler had a different style. some big guys used little balls, palming and cradling it with their wrist without even sticking their fingers in, and would whip it halfway out into the lane with a whole bunch of spin. the less coordinated would use different footwork every time, often bowling off the wrong leg (which looked painful). others would release early, double or triple bouncing the ball into the lane from three feet behind the line. entertaining stuff.

i can barely move my forearm this morning. i'll have to ask mista overman how he alleviates this kind of pain, since this is a problem for him also (but for very different reasons that will remain unnamed).

have a great weekend.


that house down there

that house
down there
drifts smoke above rooftops
guards over its corner
without a hint of enmity

that street
down there
freezes and thaws daily
endures its cyclic destiny
without despair

a pickup in a driveway
a snowshovel on a porch
a dog in a yard
a man at a desk

the sun shines bright
winter high pressure
and the valley’s inversion lifts
to reveal frost-rimed cottonwoods
standing sentry
over the yampa river



i heard a yo mama joke on tv last night that had me laughing until i went to bed.

yo mama's breath is so bad, when she talks her teeth duck.

oh snap!

in other news, i think this will be my first posting where i solicit comments from readers.

the three rivers library council, of which we are a member, has disbanded. as a result, they have taken leftover money from the budget and pieced it out to member libraries. we have a $6000 dollar windfall to spend on materials, and i couldn't be happier.

i've set aside $1500 to spend on popular dvd's and cd's. we started a circulating collection of dvd's and cd's last semester, and it did a fantastic job of getting students in here and increasing attendance. while they were here, they often found other materials they could use for assignments. it's kind of a bait and switch, i guess - bring them in with the strokes latest album and fight club, send them out with bf skinner and chinese art books.

anyway, i'm looking for suggestions from the loyal readership for favorite albums and movies. fire away. thanks!


chanelling walt whitman with refrigerator magnets

we have a set of refrigerator magnet words here in the library, on a magnetized board, for students to play around with. occasionally we throw something up there to encourage creative thinking from our patrons, rather than their normal bathroom grafitti (which i love also). here's what i came up with this morning:

i sing with delirious beauty
like a solitary symphony
about luscious and sordid
summer night carnivals

i ricochet from rhythm
and milk life through soil and rain

when you only have 250 words from the 'goddess set' to work with, the results can be a little over-indulgent.


a somber set

hey all.

tonight i'm playing the starbucks open mic. it'll be my first time out in about 2 months, but i'm not nervous. it's such a nice atmosphere at this open mic. anyway, here's my set list (i love saying that - my set list):

factory girl by whiskeytown
someone else's song by wilco
dear employer (the reason that i quit) by minus 5
naked as we came by iron and wine

as much as i'd like to be playing all originals, i'm just not that inspired by the songs i've written. i really need to put forth a better effort and get some decent stuff worked up. i've written ten songs in 6 years, and of those ten i only like to play 1, maybe 2.

everyone is their own worst critic, aren't they?

in other news, my mother-in-law moves out on monday, back to the midwest. she's been a great roommate, and i wish steamboat had worked out for her. i'll miss her. good luck, mary!

also in other news, school starts this monday and the gremlins will be back on campus. i'll be disappointed if there isn't a new round of graffiti on the bathroom stalls by march. let the bro-down begin:

"dude, it was so sick up there today!"
"right on! how was the snow?"
"sweet, bro! i landed a nice rodeo 540 with a tail grab!"
"dude, siiiick!"
"i know, dude, it was sooo sick!"
"bro, wanna smoke a bong later?"
"sweet, bro. hit me up on my cell."
"right on. i'm gonna bounce."

to all my peeps, like, have a good weekend, yo.


crap i've been listening to

since i don't have much to post about today, i thought i'd make a list of albums i've been digging lately (inspired by p-squared's mix-cd postings).

pedro the lion
achilles heel
jade tree records
if r.e.m. met the lemonheads and then used way more feedback, all while under the influence of a sweet codeine cough syrup haze... it would sound a lot like pedro the lion. thoughtful lyrics and pretty, fuzzy melodies. the lead singer sounds like evan dando at half speed.

elvis costello
the best of elvis costello and the attractions
columbia records
i am only now just discovering the awesomeness of elvis costello. watching the detectives may be one of the coolest songs by anyone ever. "i don't know how much more of this i can take/she's filing her nails while they're dragging the lake."

david cross
it's not funny
sub pop
david cross is an angry man. and funny like a trainwreck. you don't want to look, but dammit, it's just so horribly hilarious. i don't normally buy comedy albums, but this one was worth every cent.

iron and wine
our endless numbered days
sub pop
not since i discovered simon and garfunkel's greatest hits at the tender age of 15 have i stumbled across an album this beautiful. simple, hushed, and rootsy. music that makes you stare off into the distance.

jeff tweedy
january 9, 2003 live show
in which jeff plays old and new, cracks the house up, shares some of his poetry, all while giving the crowd a full medical report ("the medication makes me talkative"). he would check himself into rehab for pain relievers a little over a year later. this musical meltdown is funny and sad all at once and, amazingly, the music doesn't suffer. tweedy is healthy and touring with wilco again.

otis redding
good to me - recorded live at the whiskey a go go, vol. 2
stax records
there were r&b guys who were better singers, but none could match redding's raw energy and power. damn, this guy could sing. this is all live stuff, from a 1966 performance. really, if you're gonna pick up some otis, don't bother with any of the studio stuff. get a live recording, where he and his band just let it rip. awesome.

jay-z/danger mouse
the grey album
this is one of the most amazing things i've heard in a long time. if you're unfamiliar with what a mash-up is, it's where dj's and producers take two distinctly different works and re-work them by taking vocals and bits and pieces from both, thus creating a new and unique result. a dj named danger mouse took the awesome rap vocals from jay-z's recently released black album, and mashed it up with beats he created from the beatles white album. ground-breaking, compelling, and totally awesome. it's worth it just to hear how he re-works all these beatles songs into new beats.


i tappa keg

i wanted to share some more of the mind altering brilliance that manifests itself on this campus in the manner of graffiti and low-grade property destruction by our students.

we have little paper tripod signs on some of our tables that say:

Please Use Quiet Voices.
Thank You!

but now, one of these signs has been changed to read:

Please Use Quiet Voices.
Thank You!
There are people trying to get drizunk!

how great is that? i have saved it and it's on the window sill above my desk. Now, whenever I'm feeling down, all i have to do is look up and marvel at its simple, poetic beauty.


bad news, folks

sick again. crapola!

instead of snowboarding this weekend, i imbibed cough syrup, pain relievers and orange juice for 48 hours straight, watched sports, blew my nose, and spent 2 hours vacuuming (or as jenn and the rest of iowa call it - using the sweeper) on sunday in a futile attempt to reduce the absurd amount of dog hair in our condo.

and i still don't feel any better! doctor's appointment at 2 this afternoon.

icing on the cake? it's raining. in january. not good for the snowpack at all.

or my sinking spirits.


straight dumpin', yo

it is duuuuum-ping! it has snowed pretty much nonstop since late tuesday night, with periods of heavy snow. this storm has finally presented us with some of that legendary steamboat "champagne powder." i brushed 8 inches off the car this morning and it was lighter than dust. i could have blown it off (though i probably would have fainted).

good news, people:

-snowboarding on buff pass this weekend with tommy and his snowmobile, which means two things: 1) fresh tracks all day, and 2) i don't have to use a day on my 20-day pass at the resort

-illinois, though challenged at times (which is to be expected in conference play) wound up trouncing the buckeyes last night with a fantastic 21 pt 10 reb performance from augustine

-finally got my external cdrw drive installed which means i'll be downloading more free shows and copying them to disc (currently listening to jeff tweedy at the vic theatre in chicago in january of 2003)

-good friend wendell will be skiing with us the week after next

-my main man and yo mama sparring partner, mista overman, claims a trip to steamboat is planned late this month or early next

and lastly, i'd like to share a piece of advice i received from a former co-worker at dpl. he told me "as soon as you're back from your most recent trip, start planning the next one." to that end, i'm already thinking about spring break visiting my parents and one robbie dudie down in the desert. via the red rock country of southern utah, of course.

until next time, friends.


down from the hill

sage brush hillsides buried under snow
branches poke out whispering where to go
resting up here above the whole damn town
dogs in streets while cars shift and slow down

snowplows scrape and shake gravel on the street
while my heater clicks and windows steam
couple on a corner huddled against the storm
foreheads touching trying to keep warm

and i know that this storm will pass but every day has some sort of passing storm (x2)

horses huddle with their blankets on
bundled hay from this morning already gone
every doorway shelter from the cold
but i keep driving i just want to go home

and i know that this storm will pass but every day has some sort of passing storm (x2)

sage brush hillsides buried under snow
branches poke out whispering where to go
every doorway shelter from the cold
but i keep driving i just want to go home


we both dove, and rose once again

you step out onto the frigid porch
and the snow squeaks beneath your boots
the snow squeaks beneath your boots
and there is a mountain behind you
there is a mountain behind you
and a life and a love on the other side of the door
on the other side of the door that is at your back
there is a life and a love

the dogs' collars jangle in the snow in front of you
and their breath rises upward and frosts their whiskers
their breath rises upward and frosts their whiskers
and they feel like your children
they feel like your children
whom you love and laugh at and share
you love them and laugh at them and share them
with the woman on the other side of the door at your back


if you don't know, you better axe somebody

if you don't know about a band called iron and wine, you better ask somebody. furthermore, if you have never heard of their album our endless numbered days then, well, you should go buy it.

man it's hard to get back to work after 2.5 weeks off.

trip highlights

i am back from the prairie and enjoying cold, cold colorado once again. after 18 hours on the road on saturday and sunday, and an overnight in kearney, nebraska - exciting and wonderful meth capital of the plains - i am sitting at my desk, looking out my window, and trying to get the wheels in my mind to start turning. but first, trip highlights:

- ice-covered roads from rabbit ears pass to sidney, nebraska on the way out - stressss!!!

- white elephant gift exchange with jenn's funny relatives - i thought there was going to be a wrasslin' match between the men for that nerf gun

- finally arriving in champaign to timmy's bear hug

- after timmy's bear hug, a wonderful, beer-soaked and sentimental evening between old friends that included group hugs, hippy dancing and awesome indian food (all evidence captured, as we found out later, by craig's indiscriminate camera)

- monical's, jimmy john's, la bamba, and a new incarnation of el torrero that was awesome

- a relaxing day, back in decatur, with jenn's mom's side of the family

- getting to play just one song with rebecca and her amazingly sweet voice (if she doesn't do something with it soon i'm going to kick her ass)

- a new year's eve illinois basketball game (in which we kicked cincinatti's ass), listened to the old-fashioned way on the radio, with my homies

there was a whole bunch more, but i actually need to work at some point today. lastly, click on this link for a cnn page that lists aid organizations to which you can donate for the tsunami disaster.