May 18, 2004

WEEKEND IN THE UPPER PENINSULA



Dana, her dad, and I spent the weekend (half of it in the car) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, visiting Dana's grandparents (Barb & Clem) in the nursing home. It's a 7+ hour drive and we headed out about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. We were all pretty wiped out because we had been watching Game 5 of the Pistons/Nets series on Friday night at 8:00pm and it went into triple OT and lasted about four hours (one ot the BEST games I've EVER seen, seriously -even though the Pistons ended up losing the game). So we ended up not getting much sleep before the drive. Nevertheless, we managed to survive and actually made really good time.
We got into Marquette at about 11:00am and checked into a cheap hotel.
Once we got the car unloaded and got washed up some, we went over to the nursing home and picked up Grandma & Grandpa Laurila. None of us had eaten yet, so we went out to lunch, followed by some clothes shopping for Barb & Clem at Kohl's, and finally a visit to Grandma Laurila's sister and brother-in-law, Marie & Wiljo, who are in their late 70s/early 80s. They were both very nice people. I especially enjoyed visiting them. (Sidenote: I got to see a bird fly smack into the window of the family room - it was so great!) It was a good opportunity for me to meet some family on Dana's side for the first time and sit down with them over some much-needed coffee and not-so-much-needed, but nonetheless delicious, homemade butterscotch-chip cookies, courtesy of Marie. Wiljo was a really nice guy with some above-average storytelling skills, particularly when sharing the one about finding a bear on his back porch with his head in the birdfeeder. Nice, dude!
So, that was our Saturday.



Sunday, we went back to the nursing home in the morning and picked up Grandma and Grandpa again. We took them to Wal-Mart and out for a drive around Prisque Isle Park (sp?) close to downtown Marquette, where I took these pictures. It's right on Lake Superior, I think. Really nice view of the lake. There's a cool little harbor and several loading docks for these big ships that come in. We even got to see one out there. It was huge. There's also a lot of woods right there off the shore, so we were hoping to spot some deer or maybe...a bear? Maybe...??? Naw, no dice.

After driving around there for awhile, we hit the Red Lobster for some lunch, stopped off at another nursing home to say hello to Uncle Ben (Clem's brother-in-law?), who was in pretty bad shape. Grandma & Grandpa Laurila weren't even sure if he recognized them. The place was givin' all of us the creeps. It was bad. So we didn't stick around there for more than a few minutes. Then we headed back to Barb & Clem's nursing home and played some cards with them for the afternoon.
This weekend was my first time going to visit them in the nursing home and it was good because I got to see for myself that the home was really nice, comparatively speaking. It was not your typical nursing home. G&G are definitely getting good care there and, because of both of their respective health situations, are probably better off there than if they were at home by themselves. Anyway, they seem to be in reasonably high spirits and l think they've settled in there nicely. So it was good to see that.



Later in the afternoon, we started our trip back home. We had to jump off the highway about an hour and a half away from home - in Bay City - so we could watch the fourth quarter of the Pistons/Nets Game 6. We were having a really hard time getting it in on the radio, so the pitstop was a must. We hunted down a sports bar and got to see the Pistons beat Jersey on the road, tying the series and forcing a Game 7 back in Detroit this Thursday. I wish I had tickets to Game 7 so freakin' bad!!! This series has been absolutely incredible! Once the game was over, we hit the last leg of the trip. With two Woodchuck ciders in me, I conked out in the backseat for the remainder of the trip, my iPod drowning out any and all outside noise, except for that of Havergal's newest record, "Elettricita". It's really good. Thanks to Kaleb for sending me that disc. I got it in the mail Friday, just in time for the weekend's tour de force.
To me, it was a good weekend. It felt more llike a week, though, with all the time we spent in the car and being in the U.P., which is a complete change of pace from Metro Detroit. Time goes by slower up there, I think. I still can't believe we drove 7-8 hours twice in two days. That's freaking crazy.

May 12, 2004

MUSIC NEWS: New Sufjan Stevens Interview

Here I am with another link to yet another Sufjan Stevens interview, this one courtesy of the people over at JunkMedia. Not a very deep interview, but somewhat amusing. Sufjan's answers are quite...brief. Maybe because he was being asked boring questions that he's been asked a hundred times already. Anyway, it's there for you to read. And it will be there later if you're too busy right now.

May 10, 2004

MOVIE NEWS: 3rd Annual Lebowski Fest



Tickets go on sale today, brothers!!!
This has really captured my attention. I'm very excited at the prospect of it. All things Lebowski for three days and Jim James and the fellas in My Morning Jacket providing the soundtrack to the weekend. I really think this would be a great opportunity for me and my friends in VA/NC/KY to see each other since it's been quite awhile and have a total blast. It's on a weekend. It's centrally located (about the same distance to Detroit and VA/NC) and fairly inexpensive, man. And best of all, it's a festival celebrating "The Big Lebowski"! What more needs to be said? It would be a non-stop laughfest!

o o o


Checked with my lady friend and she is okay with it, so now I just need to see about my friends (if they can make it).
Compadres, if you think you could make it out there, e-mail me this week!
This has got me so amped.

Note about accommodations: The hotel they're directing travellers to is right next door to the bowling alley where the festival is being held. It's $65 a room up to 5 people. So if there end up being four or five of us, we could get a double and it'd be dirt cheap. But I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of people turning up for this thing. It's only the third one but it sounds like the turnouts have become more and more surprising each year they've held it.
I had my brother, Dark Rider and the Yellow Dart in mind, specifically. Others are welcome to join, though. Don't feel I'm leaving anyone out. If you want to make the drive to Louisville to join us, then by all means, join us.
Okay, I want people to get back to me on this promptly. If people are with me, we can order tickets, reserve a room and what-have-you before it gets too late.

May 7, 2004

MUSIC FROM "THE O.C." SEASON 1



EPISODES 1-4

1. Phantom Planet - California
2. Slightly Stoopid - Sweet Honey
3. The Cooler Kids - All Around the World
4. The All-American Rejects - Swing Swing
5. Black-Eyed Peas - Hands Up
6. Mazzy Star - Into Dust
7. Joseph Arthur - Honey and The Moon
8. Rufus Wainwright - California
9. Rooney - I'm A Terrible Person
10. Doves - Caught By The River
11. The Androids - Do It With Madonna
12. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
13. Brooke - Wanna Be Happy
14. Turin Brakes - Rain City
15. Liz Phair - Why Can't I?
16. Leona Naess - Lazy Days
17. Brassy - Play Some 'D'
18. Smashing Pumpkins - To Sheila





EPISODES 5-8

1. Spoon - The Way We Get By
2. Black-Eyed Peas - Let's Get Retarded
3. Grade 8 - Brick by Brick
4. Fountains of Wayne - All Kinds of Time
5. The Roots w/ Talib Kweli - Rolling With Heat
6. OK Go - You're So Damn Hot
7. The Runaways - Wait For Me
8. Tricky - Hollow
9. Death Cab for Cutie - A Movie Script Ending
10. The Chemical Brothers - Out of Control
11. Rockers Hi-Fi - Going Under (Kruder&Dorfmeister mix)
12. Mazzy Star - Into Dust
13. Guster - Keep It Together
14. Paul Westerburg - Let the Bad Times Roll
15. AiR - La Femme D'Argent






EPISODES 9-12

1. South - Paint the Silence
2. Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me
3. The 88 - How Good Can It Be
4. Aqualung - Strange & Beautiful (I'll Put A Spell on You)
5. Stacy Kent - A Fine Romance
6. Leaves - Breathe
7. Earlimart - I Drink On The Job
8. Minibar - Breathe Easy
9. Trespassers William - Different Stars
10. The John Buzon Trio - Caravan
11. Gordon Jenkins - Caravan
12. Alexi Murdoch - Orange Sky
13. The Dandy Warhols - We Used To Be Friends
14. Jet - Get What You Need
15. Belle & Sebastian - If She Wants Me
16. Jet - Move On





EPISODES 13-14

1. The Ventures - Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
2. Ron Sexsmith - Maybe This Christmas
3. The Dandy Warhols - You Come In Burned
4. Peggy Lee - Winter Wonderland
5. Eartha Kitt - Santa, Baby
6. Bright Eyes - Blue Christmas
7. The Pattern - Selling Submarines
8. Brookeville - Walking On Moonlight
9. Alkaline Trio - We've Had Enough
10. Zero 7 - Destiny
11. The Dropkick Murphys - Walk Away
12. Laptop - Ratso Rizzo
13. Jem - Just A Ride
14. Singapore Sling - Overdriver
15. The Suicide Machines - Did You Ever Get a Feeling of Dread?
16. The Flaming Sideburns - Flowers
17. Finley Quaye & Beth Orton - Dice





EPISODES 15-18

1. The Eels - Saturday Morning
2. Beulah - Popular Mechanics For Lovers
3. Rooney - Sorry Sorry
4. Rooney - Blue Side
5. Laptop - Want In?
6. Ash - Burn, Baby, Burn
7. Rooney - I'm Shakin'
8. Rooney - Popstars
9. Puddle of Mudd - Away From Me
10. Martin Denny - Quiet Village
11. Tom Jones - It's Not Unusual
12. Martin Denny - Love Dance
13. Enrique Iglesias - Addicted
14. Clinic - Come Into Our Room
15. The New Amsterdams - The Spoils of the Spoiled
16. Damien Rice - Cannonball
17. The Thrills - Big Sur
18. The Eels - Love of the Loveless
19. I Am Kloot - 3 Feet Tall
20. Azure Ray - New Resolution
21. Turin Brakes - Self-Help





EPISODES 19-21

1. Super Furry Animals - Hello Sunshine
2. Mojave 3 - Billoddity
3. The Fire Theft - Summertime
4. Squirrel Nut Zippers - Anything But Love
5. Bob Seger - Night Moves
6. Ryan Adams - Wonderwall
7. Preston School of Industry - Caught in the Rain
8. James William Hindle - Leaving Trains
9. Mojave 3 - Bluebird of Happiness
10. Halloween, Alaska - Des Moines
11. Patrick Park - Something Pretty
12. Trespassers William - Alone
13. Death Cab for Cutie - A Lack of Color
14. Interpol - Specialist
15. Journey - Separate Ways
16. Nada Surf - If You Leave (OMD cover)





EPISODES 22-24

1. The Vines - Ride
2. The 88 - How Good Can It Be
3. The Crystal Method - Born Too Slow
4. The Secret Machines - Road Leads Where It's Lead
5. Radio 4 - Start A Fire
6. Timo Maas - To Get Down
7. Jude - Out of L.A.
8. Jem - Just A Ride
9. Modest Mouse - Float On
10. Chris Murray - Heartache
11. Aqualung - Gentle
12. Syntax - Pride
13. Henry Mancini - Loose Caboose
14. Bob Seger - Night Moves





EPISODES 25-27

1.Camera Obscura - Keep It Clean
2. South - Nine Lives
3. Electrelane - On Parade
4. Beastie Boys - Ch-Check It Out
5. Franz Ferdinand - Jacqueline
6. Tricky - How High
7. Stars - The Vanishing
8. The Ohio Players - Fire
9. Zero 7 - Passing By
10. The Willowz - Meet Your Demise
11. Jem - Flying High
12. Alexi Murdoch - Orange Sky
13. Iron & Wine - The Sea & The Rhythm
14. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

May 6, 2004

TV NEWS: An Armchair Analysis of The O.C.'s Finale

I've just got one thing to say about last night's O.C. (besides that it was better than the final episode of "Friends" will be tonight):
Simply put, it was straight...up...poignant.

May 5, 2004

TV NEWS: O.C. Season One Winds Down

Well, sadly, the first season of "The O.C." is coming to an end tonight (Wed., May 5 on Fox 9/8c). This show has completely absorbed me over the course of the last 9 months. I became addicted to it after two episodes. Now, I gotta have my fix each week. But tonight will be the last time I get it until the fall probably. Anyway, I know the finale is gonna be good. A lot of stuff is up in the air. Seth and Summer are shaky cos of the Dad, Ryan and Marissa are on the rocks with this latest bit of news about Theresa's pregnancy, Julie and Caleb may or may not be getting married tonight, Jimmy laid Caleb out at the end of the last episode. That leaves a lot to be tied up. So, what I'm trying to tell you is...just don't miss it.
Oh, and for those 21+ folks reading this who like the sauce, you might enjoy this: The O.C. Drinking Game. Just stay in for the night if you play.

May 4, 2004

ART NEWS: Get your portrait done by "The Bee with Wheels"



For $150 bucks, you can have the one, the only David Barnes paint your portrait with all kinds of interesting creatures and mechanical doodad's and whatnot - it's up to you to choose what goes in it.
David is the brother of Kevin Barnes, leader of the Elephant 6 band, Of Montreal, and he has done almost all of their CD artwork over the years. So take a look at his extensive gallery of portraits and other drawing he's done so far and decide if you'd like one of yourself. I'm seriously contemplating it.
One thing sure to be included in my portrait: polar bear(s).