Saturday, May 31, 2008

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The lovely lanada shared an idea with me to make children's books out of Radiohead songs. I've been working on mine, and holy cow is it fun. I'm still tinkering with ideas, but these are some of the pages I've come up with so far.

Depending on how this book turns out, I might make a few more. Wouldn't "Reckoner" or "Faust Arp" make a fantastic children's story?

Monday, May 19, 2008

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You know what? I'm not actually going to write about the Radiohead show. It was an amazing experience for me, since I'd waited so long to see them, and I knew every song they played instantly - even the obscure one that no one else in the venue did - but it just won't mean anything to anyone else like it would to me. Of the people I know that read this blog, only a handful of them are Radiohead fans, and of them, only one or two are as diehard as I am. Suffice it to say that it was perfect. I got to see how Jonny Greenwood really does always hang his head low when he plays so all you can see is his long hair. I got to see all five of them mesh together perfectly when playing. I got to see 10,000 people hold up lighters during "Exit Music" and get a rush like nothing else I've ever felt. And I got to hear "Optimistic" played live, which you'd better believe meant something extra to me.

I could spend hundreds of thousands of words writing about it and describing every detail to you, but it won't really give you the sense of getting to hear the cascading notes of "Arpeggi" or hearing Thom Yorke belt out the immortal lyric from "Nude": "You'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinking." It's incredible to hear live, but that much more so if you've been waiting for eight years for them to even release the song.

Instead, I'll tell you what I've been up to at work today: playing Hatris!

It's like Tetris, but with hats! And every time you go up a level, the heads change! I was putting wizard hats on an Abe Lincoln head for a while, which was pretty cool.

Seriously, you guys. Take a minute and play the game. It's hilarious.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

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My feelings on the Radiohead concert are still coming, but this is something that was weighing so powerfully on my mind that I need to write about it right now.
Here you'll see a picture of my youngest brother, Matt. (He just went to prom tonight, and he looks pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. He also snagged a smokin' hot woman to go with. Impressive.) I don't tell a lot of stories about him. He's really not the one that grabs attention in our family. I'm the oldest, my sister is the dramatic one, and Elder Carp is the showman. Matt really isn't any of those things, and while I love him dearly, the fact is that he's always sort of been pushed out of the limelight.

I feel partly responsible for this, and I've never been able to forgive myself for it.

You see, when we were all younger, we were pretty mean to him. You can chalk a lot of that up to the fact that we were immature children, but I still feel really guilty about it. We'd chastise him for not having as keenly developed a sense of humor as we had. "That's not actually funny, Matt," we'd say after he cracked a five year-old type of joke. I can imagine him telling jokes like that to win the approval of his older brothers and sister, and feeling crushed when we not only didn't give it to him, but smashed him into the dirt. This still makes me ache inside, and these are things that happened over a decade ago. One time I actually said - to his face - that he was the "worthless one" in the family. He can still remember that today, and thinking about it still hurts him. What makes me feel worse is that I have no recollection of it. Clearly I didn't think anything of it at the time.

My two brothers and I all have glasses. I got mine in ninth grade, but Elder Carp and Matt got theirs at about the same time. Elder Carp was probably nine, and Matt was probably seven. In a cosmically ironic sort of way, Matt got big, round frames that made him look like a nerd. There were kids at school who went out of their way to be cruel to him. That's typical of many people's schooling experiences - I was pushed into lockers and had breath spray sprayed into my eyes in middle school - but I have a haunting image in my mind of Matt coming home, falling into my mother's arms, and sobbing while she tenderly held him. She was always the kindest one to him - probably the only kind one of us all. You'd better believe this still gnaws at me.

Maybe this is symptomatic of my growing older, or maybe it's lingering guilt for Matt's miserable childhood, but it hurts me unbelievably to see innocence trampled upon. We have a family that lives below us with a boy aged about seven. He's bright-eyed and optimistic about life. I really like him. Sometimes I'll come home from work and see him playing with his construction worker toys or riding his bike and smile to myself. He's innocent. He's just a good kid. And yesterday I came home to see that one of his toy trucks had been run over in our driveway. I'm sure no one did it on purpose, but it made me hurt to imagine him running outside to play with his truck to find that it had been smashed. Life is cruel, but I feel like he ought to be shielded from something as sad as that. If I were to see someone picking on him, I'd probably do something irresponsible and vigilante-like. I can't stand the idea of innocence being crushed. It just makes me feel awful inside. And if I'm this way now, I can't imagine what I'll be like when I have children of my own.

The bottom line is that I try to be especially kind to people in an effort to compensate for what I've done in the past. Yes, I feel responsible that Matt had a horrid childhood. And yes, I feel like if I go out of my way to be kind, it will make up for that in a small way. It's also probably that if I do something cruel to someone else - even unintentionally - my imagination will conjure up an image of heart-wrenching misery for that person, and I won't be able to shake it. So maybe it's self-centered. Either way, I can't abide cruelty, and I'm certainly not going to add to it.

Matt, even though I'm almost positive you'll never read this, I hope you can begin to forgive me. I'm not the same as I used to be, and I hope I never am again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

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I have thousands of things I want to say about this concert, but it'll have to wait while I get settled back into Utah life. Suffice it to say the concert was AWESOME. Hands down the best I've ever been to, apologies to Arcade Fire. For now, we'll have to make do with a set list, pictures, and video.

All I Need

Jigsaw Falling Into Place

15 Step


Kid A
Arpeggi/Weird Fishes

The Gloaming. (Softly Open Our Mouths In The Cold.)

You And Whose Army?
Faust ARP
Everything In Its Right Place


Bangers and Mash

(First Encore)
Exit Music (For a Film)
My Iron Lung
There There. (The Boney King of Nowhere.)
Fake Plastic Trees

(Second Encore)
Pyramid Song
House of Cards
Paranoid Android

I've been waiting for ten years to see these guys live, and this show was totally worth the wait. WOW.

Monday, May 05, 2008

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Radiohead recently put on a show in producer Nigel Godrich's basement that was televised on and later on Anyone who knows me knows that I can't possibly get enough Radiohead, so I've been spending some watching them tonight. Of course, the first song I had to listen to was "Optimistic." How could I resist?

They also played "Bodysnatchers", "Nude", "Myxomatosis", "Arpeggi/Weird Fishes", "House of Cards", "15 Step", "Reckoner", "Where I End and You Begin", and
"Bangers and Mash" (that last one you have to listen to on Pitchfork). Yup. These are the guys I get to see live in just over a week. There are no words for how much I'm looking forward to this.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

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Genuine. wanted to shake things up last night, so we went out to see a movie. Since getting married, we've tended to be the type of people that stay in on Friday nights and go to bed around 10.30. (I'm tired, alright?) I haven't heard of any movies that I've really wanted to see lately - I've insisted for some time that the only movie I plan on seeing this summer is Pixar's WALL-E - but she sat me down and showed me a trailer for Baby Mama. The title put me on guard, but after watching a preview, I thought it would be worth a watch. After all, we had a $30 gift certificate for movie tickets left over from our wedding. So off to the theaters we went.

I have to say, it far exceeded my expectations.

First of all, it's hard to go wrong with Tina Fey. She's not only easily the funniest female in show business right now, but also an extremely clever and witty writer. I thought she did a great job. She does a really good job when paired with Amy Poehler (think Weekend Update), which only made things better. And then Steve Martin made an appearance as a hippie CEO, which was hysterical. ("You've done a good job. I will now reward you with five minutes of unbroken eye contact." I love Steve Martin.) And then, best of all, John Hodgman made a cameo as an OB/GYN that was brilliant, if only 30 seconds long.

It's not the movie of the year, certainly, but it was definitely a good choice for an evening. If you're looking for something to do one of these days, I'd recommend giving it a look. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

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Genuine. and I are planning our upcoming trip to St. Louis (RADIOHEAD SHOW I AM SO EXCITED!!!), so we've been tinkering around with Expedia. When it came time to select our flights, it prompted us with something I didn't think needed to be asked. See if you can spot what I mean:

Seriously? People have problems with this?