gettin’ botanical

June 19, 2007

Friday night, went to the Chihuly exhibit at Phipps. Pretty sweet: the outside, sugar-crystal-looking pink thing was pretty astounding, and the room full of big marble-looking balls in a canoe was probably the best. Also impressive was the Thai room, replete with massive koi pond/aquarium. The only real drawback was the backup that occurred in the orchid room, but I’m sure if they didn’t control the ticket sales the way they do, it would be a lot worse.

It’s expensive to go in the evening (or anytime really), but totally worth it, methinks. I always forget just how huge Phipps is; I remember going to the National Botanical Garden in DC and thinking it was kind of paltry — definitely no bigger than Phipps, likely smaller. More on the exhibit here; purchase tickets here.

More recently: over the weekend, I played baseball with the little nephews; one is big enough to throw the ball well (he’s better at overhand than underhand, and is also really good at throwing the football), and the other is just big enough to kind of run around and sometimes pick a ball up and hand it to me. The bigger one is too big for me to pick him up and spin him for more than a few seconds now, but the smaller one is just big enough to want me to do it for HIM too now. It’s a neverending job, being an uncle. Oh wait, I forgot the part where it’s awesome.

Yesterday I spent some time going through old shitty Go-Kart and Hellcat comps and finding the songs that I guiltily still like a bunch: I will never deny Doc Hopper. In fact, basically the two songs they put on the “Go Kart vs. the Corporate Giant II” sampler fulfill my desire for pop-punk completely. The rest of the genre can basically go to hell.

Today it’s going to storm, and I, for one, am excited. I need to flyer for the Joe Jack Talcum show Friday at Roboto which you will be coming to, but I also will likely feel like hunkering down, cooking and chilling out in the rain tonight. We’ll see.



June 15, 2007

Didn’t have time yesterday to post about the show Wednesday night, so here goes —

Not well-attended, but that’s to be expected; it was a last-minute thing, on a Wednesday night, and the openers were all of dubious notoriety (for what they were performing, I mean). I have promoted shows that were less attended, for what it’s worth.

Greg read stories about woods porn. Evan played guitar amateurishly in his undies. I read poems most of my audience didn’t care about.

Cages were good; an intense curly-haired man plays guitar with a lot pedals, most of which he seems to not be using most of the time, while a pixie-ish woman in a funny dress whirls and contorts and does interesting vocal things. The Joanna Newsom comparisons are apt on some of the recordings I’ve heard, though a lot of what they were doing live was more in line with Sigur Ros-ish nonsense talk and atmosphere, only more effects-laden. I would’ve liked the singer to do something without so many effects (it’s clear she does really cool vocal things even underneath all that), and at times I felt like they weren’t necessarily completely together. But I got their double CD and I like it pretty good. I’d probably go see them again.

notes on flag day

June 14, 2007

Flag Day is one of those events that brings out the ridiculous journalism.

This morning I missed the early bus and, as such, caught a little bit of “Pittsburgh TODAY Live,” the morning show on KDKA TV. Keith Jones, introducing a story about how the founder of Flag Day is from some godawful podunk place in Collier Township or something, announced that on Flag Day, you can “salute our flag by . . . simply flying it!”

THEN, I read in the Post-Gazette about how no one cares about Flag Day anymore and oh what a shame it is and encountered the following:

The designation has faded over the years; some calendars don’t even mark Flag Day.

“That’s how pathetic our calendars are nowadays,” said Rhonda Baldt, manager of Amerian Legion Post 826 in Monroeville.

Right, Rhonda. That’s how pathetic our calendars are. The omission of Flag Day, a redundant observance at best, is a clear indication of a downturn in the quality of our calendars in general. Next thing, they’ll be telling us when Rosh Hashanah begins but not when it ends. I bet they’ll get even lazier and just skip out on the leap year thing completely in 2008. Hell, by 2010 I bet our calendars will be so pathetic, ALL of the months will have 30 days.

dream post

June 13, 2007

It’s been a while since the last dream post, and the dreams of late have been plentiful. I don’t remember nearly as much as I dream, though. A few select memories:

  • A bird gets in the house; I don’t have a net to catch it with, so I somehow catch it in a big jar using a tennis racket. It’s a sparrow. As soon as I get it outside and release it, it’s a young robin, and its beak has fallen off. Whoops.
  •  I’m moving in with some girl I don’t really know (who doesn’t exist in real life to the best of my knowledge), who is in grad school and has cable TV (that’s enough to make me go for it even though I don’t know her). A* is moving in too. The apartment is small and we’ll all be sleeping in pretty open quarters, which at first I’m fine with, then soon I’m not okay with. My mom is concerned because my sister is concerned that I’ll be watching too much TV. I realize at some point that if I’m moving into this place, I’m leaving my apartment way early, and I feel bad for my landlord because he’ll have to find a new tenant. I begin to freak out about what I should do; the dream melts into reality too much and ends.
  • More elevator anxiety dreams.
  • The one where one of the guys who works at the radio station that shares offices with us asks if it’s okay for him to pour a bunch of excess water from (something? I can’t remember what it was in) and I say sure. He does immediately, all over my shoes. I get mad, and after a good thirty-second delay, find him and say “YOU COULD’VE WAITED A MINUTE MY SHOES GOT REALLY WET” and he says “Oh, I’m sorry!” and then I feel really dumb for having said anything and think about how awkward it’ll be to see him at work from now on.

show tonight etc.

June 13, 2007

Today is Wednesday the 13th. Fairly meaningless to even the most superstitious. Tonight I read at the show at Roboto I mentioned last week — Cages, me, Natty Mike’s Amplifier (apparently this is Evan doing things with, yes, Natty Mike’s amplifier), and Mantooth aka Gregsetsfire aka Greg Mantooth Is A Liar. Not completely sure, but I’ll probably just read the normal stuff. Maybe with FEELING. 7PM. Tonight. Do come.

Other plans for the future include going to check out Chihuly at Phipps. I PROMISE that I’ll actually report back about that. Though my expertise in that area isn’t horribly impressive. What do I know about glass artists? Just that there are seemingly thousands of them in the area exhibiting their work this summer.

quick roundup

June 11, 2007

Time to catch up on some things.

  • Missed Wax Fang, but Centipede and Oxford Collapse were both spot-on at the arts fest Saturday evening. Oxford Collapse was the best I’ve ever seen them. Other highlights of the show included: the dude dressed like LL Cool J who claimed to be the best chef in Pittsburgh, the Shadyside-looking girls who took a picture with Lingo because they were city girls and presumably had never seen anyone like him, Lingo pouring red wine on Dan from Oxford Collapse’s shirt, bike messenger looking dudes skanking onstage,  a 50ish guy with a cowboy hat, button-down shirt, shorts and tennis shoes who was rocking out, etc. etc.
  • The French Open women’s final was kind of a gimme; Ivanovic started out strong but pretty quickly folded to Henin. The men’s final was exciting — at points I thought Federer might actually take it.  I’m pulling for Nadal to pull off the major upset at Wimbledon now. Cheer with me.
  • I ate twice at D’s this weekend, which means I’m not allowed to eat there again for at least two weeks. I’d rather not burn out on it. I think I’ll turn my attention to the ice cream place on the corner. Saturday at D’s was great; strangely enough, it was pretty empty and our waitress was very attentive. Sunday at D’s was back to the average D’s experience: really good food and beer, when it finally came, and wasn’t the wrong thing (like that veggie dog that I ordered that came as a beef dog).
  • Also, it’s smoothie season.  Get all your fruit servings for the day in one slurpy glass of tasty stuff. Last week was strawberry for me, this week is peach. Don’t let the season pass you by.
  • Read Vintage Didion, a collection of her essays on stuff like Patty Hearst, the Central Park jogger, the Reagans and the Clintons. Now on to Let Us Now Praise Famous Men again. This time I might finish it. Or maybe not.

I’m hopping onto this last-minute show — next Wednesday, June 13, at Roboto, 7PM or whatever. Cages play, I read, maybe someone else does a thing. Come out! It’ll be chill and fun, I’m pretty sure.