Sep 28, 2007

Thinking the Big Thoughts

I think I'm going to run for city council next term. Really.

Happy Friday!

Sep 27, 2007

In The Way I Had Planned

A few quick notes while I wait on my mom to meet me at the deli:

Right this second:

*** I'm convinced that HD is something that only men can see, like those high pitched sounds that only dogs can hear. Honestly, I can't tell the difference between HD and regular TV.

*** Last entry, I mentioned that fall makes me want new records. I bought the new Okkervil River, and holy crap. It's too early to call, but it's totally Top 5 of 2007 material. And I'm not sure what the trend is, but there seem to be an awful lot (ok, three) of really great songs by awesome bands about John Berryman's suicide. I've also been listening to a lot of the World/Inferno Friendship Society. I'll admit it - I'm a little embarrassed, because...well, I don't know, really. Maybe because it sounds exactly like something Trent would love. Anyway, the live record has been the soundtrack to my workweek, and it makes me want to dance.

*** I can't seem to make it through a book. I was on a roll with "Water for Elephants", but I set it down for a few days, and I'm worried I'm never going to get started again. About the only thing I've had the attention span for recently is the Sunday NYT, which I read in one voracious sitting. I haven't even managed to read the new GQ, which has been in my bag for days.

*** Sunday night, I watched a few hours of the new Ken Burns WWII documentary. I've heard people say that it's not nearly as good as the others, and I'm not sure if I agree or not. It lacks a lot of the trademarked Ken Burns Slow Pan Over A Still Photo. That seems to have been replaced by lots of grainy video. I'm already working out the rules to the drinking game, though, and they involve crying old people and explosions. No word on when the DVD release is.

*** Dude, my mom is late.

*** A revolution was born in my apartment the other night. My friend Taco came over with PBR, Scrabble, and the best of intentions. Somehow, after drinking all of the PBR and neglecting the Scrabble, we had pieced together the beginnings of a revolution. There will be more about this later, but here's the readers' digest version: Shows in Memphis start too late on weeknights. On weekends, I don't mind staying out most of the night to hear a really great band. But during the week? Dude, I have a day job. And we're not suggesting that shows start at 6:30 or anything ridiculous like that. Maybe 8. That way, people with kids and jobs and responsibilities don't have to sacrifice the music that they love. It's the 8 p!m! revolution. And...there are T-shirts. You'll see them soon.

Early to bed, early to RISE!!!!

- Kerry

Latey McLatersons, aka my mom:

Sep 23, 2007

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Next weekend marks the annual GonerFest - a week-long rock'n'roll party put on by a local record store / label that features the best of local music, as well as some fantastic touring bands. My platonic soul mate Matt was supposed to come down next weekend so that we could go see Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat.

Friday morning, I had just gotten to work when I got an email from Matt asking for my address so that he could print directions to Memphis. I sent it, and got a reply that said "Great! I'm leaving now, see you in a few hours!"

This weekend wasn't Goner Fest. It wasn't anything special at all. I had no plans, so I didn't really mind.

When he got into town, we met some friends at the P&H for karaoke night. Normally, I try to avoid any singing in public, but something about Friday night took away most of the normal inhibition. It could have been the alcohol, it could have been that I was in a really good mood - I don't know. But what I lacked in talent, I made up for in enthusiasm.

During karaoke, I saw a flyer that said that Muncie favorites Everything, Now! would be playing at the P&H the next night. So Matt and I, bottle of champagne in hand, went to see them.

I've always had a weird fear of opening champagne corks. Maybe it was because once, I watched as one flew across the room and slammed into a picture frame, shattering it. Maybe I'm scared it'll shoot my eye out. So, I had Matt open the bottle, and somehow, half of the contents wound up all over his pants. The remaining was delicious, though, and we had a good time watching e,N!

The whole week was pretty uneventful - there was blues dancing, and Talk Like A Pirate Day. I celebrated the latter by going to the Buccaneer to hear a band called the Pirates. Before that, I went to the Deli. At the Deli, there was a boy who looked suspiciously like Craig Finn, who is almost the ultimate in dreamy. So, I passed him a note written on a napkin that read: "You look like Craig Finn. I think that's dreamy. We should hang out. Phone Number:" He never called. I mean, what sort of crazy person has the balls to hand a boy a note, but not really say hello. I suppose that person would be me, and maybe next time, I should say hello. Ah well - win some, lose some.

Today though, I'm exhausted. I wish I had more to say for myself, but there's not a whole lot going on. I'm sitting on my bed, watching Mad Hot Ballroom (thanks, Netflix!) and listening to a car horn that's gotten stuck in the on position. (oh wow - as I typed that, it magically stopped!) I'm also trying to find somewhere to watch the first part of the new Ken Burns WWII documentary. If you've got PBS, I've got homemade chili.

name and number,

Sep 18, 2007

Sometimes, an On/Off Switch Would Sure Come In Handy

Weirdly enough, it's still sort of feeling like fall in Memphis. Fall is always a problem for me. I love it - love watching the leaves change, love feeling the need to wear a hoodie, love sleeping with the windows open (except on Saturday nights, when my little apartment is filled with the sounds of airplanes, dairy, and the aural thrills that the local gay bar provides). Fall is also problematic because it makes me want two things (ok, three): to buy new records, to fall in love, and to drink whiskey ciders. Unfortunately, I'm broke and falling in love is the last thing I need right now. The whiskey ciders are fine, though.

Saturday, I went to the annual Cooper-Young Festival. It's not so much a festival as a big drunken street party with vendors, though. I arrived around noon, was handed a can of High Life, and started walking around, shopping for vintage clothing with Karen. It's impossible to park at this thing, so I had biked to a friend's house and then walked from there. CY Fest is such an insane thing - there are bands, and corndogs, and people you haven't seen in years. After, there are usually parties of some kind.

After all of that excitement, I felt the need to stay in bed for a good portion of Sunday, and then spend the rest of it reading the NYT and being a record dork.

In other news, nothing has really been happening. I go to work daily, go dancing twice a week, and fight the urge to be horribly boring in the meantime. I think that's what being an adult is like, unfortunately.

So, I'm looking for suggestions. What do you want me to do and subsequently, write about? What do you think I should try? Let me know - no suggestion is too ridiculous.

making a mess,

Ps - Partner Dancing is the new black (photos from Red Hot Lindy Hop:

Sep 13, 2007

So Many Bad Ideas, So Much Fun

I'm going to be honest here and say that no matter how delighted I am by the cool weather, I'm a little freaked out. I live in Memphis. It's mid-September. We should still be standing in front of our window units, naked, beers in hand. Instead, I'm sitting at my kitchen, wearing a hoodie and making tea.

This week has been a little busier than most, which is really no excuse for not having blogged about the Millington Goat Festival and Anvil Shoot yet.

To preface, anvil shooting is apparently a pretty big deal. There are teams of people that compete in shooting anvils (which must be solid steel and weigh 100 pounds). As you can imagine, there is great danger in doing this. Here's why:

The anvil is placed on one of these, which is packed with black powder:

A fuse is then lit, and the lighter of the fuse runs away as quickly as possible. Ideally, a few moments later, the anvil is launched skyward. And as is the nature of gravity, while the anvil goes up quite slowly, it falls much faster. And sometimes, this happens:


We got to Goat Fest just in time for the start of the anvil shoot, having driven aimlessly around Millington for about an hour trying to find the festival site. We weren't sure where exactly the anvil shoot was going to take place - one would think that something like that would scare the goats. (Just imagine the horror of a wayward goat wandering into the blast range.) As soon as the first anvil was shot, it wasn't hard to find the blast range.

As soon as we got there, however, there were some problems. We watched a dude light the fuse and run, which was according to plan. But when after about 10 minutes, no anvils were airborne, the contest organizers realised that there might be a problem. First, they had to wait for the fuse to quit smoking. After about 10 more minutes, they sent someone over to the anvil to investigate.

The process for disassembling a misfired anvil is apparently a lengthy one. From what I could understand of the crazily moustachioed emcee, it involves two people pulling the anvil from the base with ropes, then waiting for the fuse to sort of die on its own. Thankfully, this situation didn't require that kind of precision and care. Within 15 minutes, the anvil was fired, and it was pretty spectacular.

Originally, I had worried than anvil shooters were going for distance, not height. I'm still not entirely sure what the point is, you know? Like, are the anvils supposed to land somewhere specific? Is success measured by how deeply the anvil sinks into the ground upon landing?

I'd love to actually try it sometime. I'm not sure how anvil shooting is a team sport, but it would be awesome to find a team that would let me play along sometime.

The rest of the goat fest was a little bizarre. There were Civil War Reenactors, coverd wagons, and teepees. I'm sorry, but you can't have all three. The covered wagon can go with either, but teepees and reenactors shouldn't mix. Because this was a goat festival, enjoy some gratuitous pictures of goats. I'm going to eat some food.

- Kerry

Sep 7, 2007

By Far the Funniest Thing to Happen to Me Today

I have a sheet of paper taped to my cubicle that says "Shake the Haters Off". Today, my co-worker (a charming middle-age woman from the 'burbs) looked up the lyrics to the rap song "Shake the Haters Off." Then, she read them out loud to me.

And it was awesome.

Have a great weekend!

Sep 4, 2007

They Always Used To Read Us Our Rights

I'm back in Memphis after my Muncie Marathon Weekend. My apartment (which was sort of clean when I left) is now an explosion of dirty clothes, 45s and music magazines purchased from the News Cafe. And it was worth every mile on I-65, and every shot of espresso I took to stay awake for said drive, and every night spent throwing Kristin's tiny, hyper puppy off of the futon so I could get some sleep.

I left Friday as soon as work was over, and got into Muncie about 3:30 a.m. Kristin had notified the Black Glasses Brigade, and they were all at her house, watching the Muppet Movie and waiting for me. I had figured I would just get there and pass out, but the two espresso shots I had done at the all night Starbucks worked entirely too well, and after much talking, I finally fell asleep sideways on the futon between Matt and Andy.

The next morning, we all went to Eva's Pancake House for breakfast and sat at the same table that we sat at the morning I left Muncie for the last time. Matt and I made the mistake of starting a discussion about records that would last until the five minutes before I left town on Monday morning. If I were a dude, I would be Matt - he loves pop music like I love pop music. He understands the visceral pleasures of the Sunday New York Times. His favorite sound is that of a printing press (mine being the sound after the needle drops onto the record, but before the music starts).

But I digress.

Saturday night, I DJ-ed Village Green Records, which is the awesome record store owned by the lovely Josh Caldwell. He was nice enough to host the return of the dance party, which, despite some overzealous dancing knocking the needle around on the turntable and causing skips, was an awesome time. So many people came out, and it was great to see everyone. It was also great to have an entire room dancing to Fatboy Slim's "Rockefeller Skank" in a non-teen movie context. Saturday also marked the return of "Meat and Potatoes Cabaret Theatre", which is something that originally happened when my former editor and I should have been working, but were listening to Belle and Sebastian's "Meat and Potatoes" instead.

Sunday, after brunching at Puerto, I went to Indy to record shop and have dinner with Crotch Rocket Aaron. I bought Mirah's "C'mon Miracle" and the Silver Jews "Natural Bridge". Then I took some pictures:

When I got back to Muncie, I met the Brigade at the Heorot. They were all inexplicably dressed business causally, with the exception of Kyle, who thought he was wearing his only shirt with no holes (upon further inspection, this proved false). Since I had narrowly missed last call, we all went back to Kristin's to watch Big Lebowski. I use the word "watch" very loosely, because when Matt showed up, he showed up with some Anchor Steam and something called Ginger Tams.

A little back story - when I lived in Muncie, I had a small bottle of Rebel Yell at my house. Rebel Yell is made in Kentucky (which, I remind you, never officially entered into the Civil War), and it's about the nastiest excuse for whiskey ever. It makes Wild Turkey seem like something you'd actually want to drink. Anyway, I used to pass it around when I had people over, or it was a special occasion that required some bonding time (Valentine's Day, parties, etc.).

So Matt proudly produced the bottle of Ginger Tams, which his well-meaning sister had brought back from a trip to Scotland. The bottle described it as "Extra Strength Liquor", and damn, were they right. I could tell from the smell alone that it was going to be extra strength. I could not tell, however, that it would taste so bad. The bottle also described it as being ginger and honey flavored whisky, illustrated with a drawing of a cat that looked like it was being electrocuted so badly that it's tail had split in half.

So, I took a sip, and holy crap, it was the single nastiest thing I've ever put in my mouth. The liquor of my ancestors is disgusting, plain and simple. I don't reccomend it - the Ginger Tams is a Big Scottish Bad Idea. It will, however, make the rest of the evening just a little more fun.

That night, I slept on the futon again, crowded with Andy and at least two of Kristin's pets, surrounded by my favorite people in the world. I didn't realise until I left Memphis what an insane past few months I've had. Between graduating, and moving, and getting a job, and ending the relationship that was part of the reason I had moved, there have been a lot of changes. But you know, they're not bad changes, and I'm actually pretty happy.

Coming up later this week - the Millington Goat Festival. I'm going to be going to this fabulous event (which includes an anvil shoot - doesn't that sound like the worst idea ever?) and writing about it here. There's also blues dancing on Thursday, as well as a meal with someone I haven't seen in four years that should be pretty entertaining. Check back soon for more photos, stories, and bad ideas.

Little Scottish Bad Idea,