Saturday, February 23, 2008
The song is Noite Sossegada De Varaeo, and I recorded it under the name Caspian. It was created for a compilation called Virtual Brazilia on Cosmic Flux Musiq, a label I was signed to for a couple of years. Oli, the owner of the label, wanted me to create a mid-tempo lounge cut with South American vibes, something I had never attempted up until that point.
But the song came out great, Oli loved it, and off it went. I knew that Oli locked down some mechanical deals with indie radio stations, but I hadn't heard my shit on the radio for a while. (I heard another tune of mine from an Om Records release a few years ago on a different radio station.)
Anyway, it was a cool experience. You don't get to hear yourself on the radio every day. This was just as cool as walking into a Barnes & Noble and seeing a CD for sale with one of my songs on it. Awesome.
Also, I heard this song the same day I found out that I aced a calculus quiz and locked in a new apartment. So it was a total rock star day.
Go to my MySpace Music Page to listen to or download the track. Check back tomorrow if you don't see it right away. I just uploaded it, and it takes 24 hours to process.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Don't get me wrong. Crashing at my mom's has been an absolute lifesaver. There's no way I could have afforded to keep my old place and go to school full-time. My gracious mother, to whom I will ever be grateful, let me stay with her, rent-free, while I got my school situation off the ground. (She got a live-in maid and grocery-getter for her money.) But, you know, it's a small two-bedroom one bath, and it's in Edina. Edina, for Christ's sake! So it's been a stretch.
Now that I've been accepted to the University of Minnesota, it's time to move on. I've felt like the Wedge was my home ever since I lived there during high school in the late 80's, and I've always wanted to go back. If I had to pick the absolute best corner to live on, it would probably be where Franklin meets Lyndale.
And I'm in, baby! I was walking around looking for apartments yesterday when I happened upon this gorgeous behemoth of a building called the Twin Court Apartments. On a whim I called the number in front, and dude answered. As it turned out, he was able to show some units to me right then and there. The first one was so-so, a little awkward, and I was starting to wonder if I was wasting his time. But then I saw the 3rd floor studio. Jesus. It was love at first sight. Slightly cramped love, but love nonetheless. This place is an absolute gem.
It's on the top floor, so it's safe and not as noisy. It has hardwood floors, new appliances, and gorgeous woodwork. It faces north with a view of Ridgewood Ave and the top half of the iconic Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church spire. Best of all, it's right on a U of M express bus line. The bus stop is literally outside my front door and across the street. No more 45-minute commutes from Southdale to MCTC. I'll finally be going to a serious school and living in a serious city. With a 10-minute commute. Nice.
So here are some pictures of my new place, inside and out. There are more at the BMG website. It's the building right behind Rudolph's BBQ, and it has entrances on both Ridgewood and Franklin. It looks like the trees and vines really come to life in the summer.
I'll be moving March 1st. I'll send out e-mails with all my new contact info as soon as I get myself situated. And a housewarming is of course around the corner... although I'll have to have you bitches over two at a time.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I was reading a book about Descartes (The Magic Of Numbers And Motion) when the most remarkable thing popped off the page. Apparently it was common back in his day to use successive odd integers when working with perfect squares, but it caught me completely by surprise. I never knew this relationship existed. I never would have guessed that there is a direct relationship between odd numbers and squares! For example,
1 = 1
1 + 3 = 4
1 + 3 + 5 = 9
1 + 3 + 5 + 7 = 16
1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 = 25
1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 11 = 36
... and so on. These are the first six perfect squares! They are, in order, one squared, two squared, three squared, four squared, five squared, and six squared. I did it all the way up to 100, and it works. Unbelievable.
I'm sure this relationship seems elementary to mathematicians and scientists who work with number theory, but it's news to me.
Math is so damn cool.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
I'm so totally pumped. I've been working towards this goal ever since I began taking classes in the spring of 2006. I worked my freakin' ass off. I got good grades, I got on the Dean's List, and I got accepted to an honor society. I thought I had a shot, but I wasn't sure. Now, I'm sure. Oh, YEAH baby! I'm going to the U!
In order to get the ball rolling on my education I had to leave my awesome full-time job, surrender my cool Uptown apartment, move in with my sainted mother in Edina (land of the entitled) and serve iced skinny lattes to fifteen year-old girls with cell phones, high heels, and credit cards. It's been an uphill battle, but now it's finally starting to pay off. I'll be moving back to Uptown in June and classes start in September. Life is so sweet.
I love that this will be my last semester at Minneapolis Community & Technical College, a school I've grown to love and hate at the same time. I'm very grateful for the small class sizes and fantastic teachers, but being at a two-year community college for three years -- with no degree to show for it -- has been a humbling experience. Now I finally get to focus on my major at a serious school. I'll be studying mathematics and computer science full-time at the U with a focus on scientific research and information management.
My aunt Therese said that paying your dues is like wearing braces. I had to move to a suburb I hate, live with my mother who I love dearly (but who drives me crazy), and go to a PlaySkool My-First-College.
This summer the braces come off.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Reader's Digest just published an excellent article exposing the dark underbelly of this modern staple of a healthy lifestyle, and it's a joy to see such a large and well-respected outfit get it right on this oft-ignored problem. (Penn & Teller also did a wonderful bottled water expose on Showtime a few years ago, itemizing many of the same points.) I'm so glad this issue is finally starting to see the light of day. Bottled water bad!
It's amazing how much we take for granted. If you would have asked me three years ago about the downside to drinking bottled water, I don't think I could have come up with anything other than vague worries about landfills. It turns out there are many, many more reasons to kick the habit:
1) About a quarter of the water sold in water bottles comes from municipal sources. That means tap water, dude. You're paying for it twice at 100% markup. Talk about getting punked.
2) Bottled water is regulated by the FDA, while tap water is regulated by the EPA. The guidelines and regulations for tap water safety are light years beyond the lax-by-comparison oversight for bottled water. That means you're less likely to get sick drinking tap water.
3) Ironically enough, making plastic bottles wastes water. It takes two tons of water to produce one ton of bottled water.
4) Most people think they prefer bottled water to tap water because of the taste, but this myth breaks down in blind taste tests. Unless you have seriously rusty plumbing or are drinking from a well, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference blindfolded. Try it.
5) Bottled water doesn't have fluoride in it, and lots of kids are drinking it.
6) The chemicals used in plastic water bottles can seep into the water and do bad things to your health.
This last item really surprised me when I read the Reader's Digest article. I thought I was hot shit because I could make a plastic bottle last six weeks. Not such a good thing to do, it turns out. It's better to use a stainless steel or lined drinking container, and to clean it between uses. I'm going to go buy one this weekend.
The only sour note in the article was the suggestion to recycle. In all their talk about the environmental footprint of the plastic water bottle, they forgot to mention the environmental footprint of recycling. It actually does more harm to the environment to recycle plastic bottles than it does to just trash them. Of course it's better to not use them at all, and I suppose that's the point.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
It's been obvious for weeks now that a McCain/Clinton race would be close. But Romney always kept the game on edge with his cash stash ready to reinvigorate his lagging candidacy, giving McCain a good case of heartburn if not outright terror.
With Huckabee struggling for oxygen on the sidelines, it looked like the GOP was all but ready to swallow their Bibles in exchange for a candidate that actually had the mojo to trump Clinton, the supposed front runner since last December. But Obama's refusal to go quietly into the night Tuesday left conservatives wondering about an Obama nominee for real this time. Barack Obama could eat John McCain for breakfast. Why? Two words: religious southerners.
The only way McCain could have a fighting chance against Obama is if he cuddles up with a Bible-thumper for some footsie under the table. All McCain's juice from Giuliani's departure would pale in comparison to any juice Huckabee gets from a now suspended Romney race, and suddenly McCain would be on the run. Again. The faithful are not stupid, and they can move quickly if they have to.
And for the first time we must consider the unthinkable: Huckabee vs Obama.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
According to the Deseret Morning News, there is an interesting cultural crossover going down in Salt Lake City today, where Mormons will gather to say goodbye to their deceased spiritual leader, Gordon B. Hinckley. Of course Mitt Romney will be in the house to pay his respects.
That's nice, but down the street from the funeral a flock from the Westboro Baptist Church is taking this moment to protest the services. Why? Because Christians think Mormonism as a cult. A cult!
I have one thing to say to the good people of the Westboro Baptist Church: it takes one to know one.
It turns out Bob Scheer wasn't fibbing. On Thursday night's Hannity & Colmes, Ann Coulter did indeed speak the unspeakable. She triumphantly declared that if it was close, and if it was down to McCain vs Clinton, she would vote for Clinton.
I wrote last year that Ann Coulter is really a liberal in deep disguise. Not only is she cartoonishly animated, she was spotted at the gayest of gay restaurants in LA last fall with a gaggle of queens. There's even a picture! The fact that she's been able to go on without coming clean is a testament to the gullibility of the far right.
And now that she's openly supporting Hillary, it's clear that she's not even trying anymore.
What The Hell Happened On
· 41 - Gaius Caesar (Caligula), known for his eccentricity and cruel despotism, was assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards. Claudius succeeded his nephew.
· 1848 - James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, sparking the gold rush of '49.
· 1907 - Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scout movement.
· 1916 - In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the federal income tax constitutional.
· 1924 - The Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader.
· 1927 - Director Alfred Hitchcock released his first film, The Pleasure Garden, in England.
· 1935 - The first cans of beer were sold in the US (Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale).
· 1943 - World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill concluded a conference in Casablanca.
· 1984 - The first Apple Macintosh went on sale.
· 1986 - Voyager 2 passed within 50,680 miles of Uranus.
· 1995 - The prosecution gave its opening statement in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
· 2003 - The new federal Department of Homeland Security officially opened as Tom Ridge was sworn in as secretary.
· 2004 - NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars three weeks after its identical twin, Spirit.
· 2008 - A deepening political and economic crisis lead to the collapse of Italy’s government
· 1862 - Edith Wharton, American writer (d. 1937)
· 1917 - Ernest Borgnine, American actor
· 1918 - Oral Roberts, American evangelist
· 1941 - Neil Diamond, American singer
· 1941 - Aaron Neville, American singer
· 1943 - Sharon Tate, American actress and Manson murder victim (d. 1969)
· 1947 - Warren Zevon, American musician (d. 2003)
· 1949 - John Belushi, American actor (d. 1982)
· 1961 - Nastassja Kinski, German-born actress
· 1968 - Mary Lou Retton, American gymnast
· 1973 - Jason Herrboldt, American romantic
· 1965 - Winston Churchill, soldier, politician, historian, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Nobel laureate (b. 1874)
· 1971 - Bill W., American co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (b. 1895)
· 1986 - L. Ron Hubbard, American writer and founder of Scientology (b. 1911)
· 1989 - Ted Bundy, American serial killer (b. 1946)
· 1993 - Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1908)