Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More on political corruption.

Swiped from My Meme Can Beat Up Your Meme. This is part of an effort to bring all these fun articles about the slease and corruption of GOP Congressional candidates up in the Google search rankings. For more information, go to the Daily Kos article here.
If you want to participate, the HTML source is here.

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Friday, October 20, 2006

And in sicko news...

So, most people probably heard about the fatal Enumclaw bestiality case that prompted Washington state to finally pass a law against sex with animals. Good job, Washington, as that law came in handy today for it's first known arrest. Note: if you're going to get freaky with your pitbull, make sure the wife doesn't catch you. She might get jealous (or maybe just disgusted) and photograph you with her cellphone and turn you in.

I know, it's only rock'n'roll, but I like it...

...like it, like it, yes I do!

On Tuesday, we went to fabulous Qwest Field to see venerable rock legends The Rolling Stones. I'm not even gong to try to give it a review. I mean, do you really think I would bash on the Stones? No way. They rocked. They came, they saw, they kicked ass, and they're like twice my age. It was awesome!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

One less thing to worry about

A few years back, we lived in a suburban yuppie-land in Issaquah. I disliked most of our neighbors there, because they were fake, plastic-y people who always had a smile when they faced you but turned up their noses and gossiped when you walked away. One exception was a neighbor named Thad, who lived in the place next to us with his wife and step-daughter, and later their son who was born when my son was about a year and a half old.

Thad was a working stiff, but a well-paid working stiff. He was more down-to-earth than most of our neighbors. I liked Thad, and would talk to him often. We never got to be what I would call "friends" - partly because we were both busy, and partly because his wife seemed to really dislike me. But it was good to have one neighbor who didn't piss me off, who didn't drive a massive shiny new SUV, who didn't pretend he was more important than you.

A few months before we moved out of yuppie-land and moved back to the city, Thad and his family moved out. They were renting a house somewhere. But Thad wouldn't really be moving with them - he was former military, and still on active Reserve, and got called up and sent to Iraq. I worried about Thad. Here's a family man, near my age, with a baby just a few months old, getting sent off to war. And like I said, we weren't really "friends", so we didn't stay in touch and I never knew what happened to him.

Yesterday, I happened to be at what I knew was Thad's place of employ before getting called up. There was a guy there I thought might be him, but it was hard to tell as this guy had a thick beard - I had only ever seen Thad clean-shaven. As one of the guys who worked there walked by me, I said, "I used to live next to a guy who worked here, named Thad or Tad...he got sent to Iraq. I was wondering if he came back, if he still works here." I have known several guys named Thaddeus, and they all go by either Thad or Tad, and I was doubting I was remembering right which one this guy used.

"Don't know any Tad," the guy said, and walked away. I was wondering if maybe he was just suspicious of why I was asking when the bearded guy walked over.

"Thought you looked familiar," he said.

"Hey Thad," I said, "Wasn't sure it was you with that crazy beard you have going."

We chatted for awhile, til I finished my business and left. I told him I was glad to see he got home in one piece, that I had worried about him. I suppose I could have given him some contact information, but honestly I'm not sure we have enough in common to sustain more than a brief conversation. And for now, it's enough for me to know he made it back.

There are thousands of Americans "over there" fighting still, and some die every day. That makes me sad. But knowing that one of them who I know - one who I like - came back ok, after a few years of wondering whether he did or not...well, today, that makes me just a little bit happier.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Live music review: Carrie Akre and Johnette Napolitano

A while ago, Nick posted on "Billy Ocean, Student Council Treasurer" a post about women-fronted bands. I went to make a comment about my favorite little-known female singer, Carrie Akre, and went to her website to link in the post. While perusing the site, I found out about a show she was doing, opening for Johnette Napolitano at The Triple Door. I immediately bought tickets. I wouldn't have known about the show if it wasn't for Nick, indirectly. Thanks again Nick!

First, about the The Triple Door. This is a swank dinner-and-a-show kinda place. Not too big...smaller than the Showbox, I think, but still good sized. The nice design and the way the tables are laid out all cozy-like make it a very intimate atmosphere for a show even if you're way up in the back. They don't reserve or sell certain seats, they just open the doors a certain time before the show and seat as people come in. One complaint I do have is that if you're a couple, you will probably get stuck on one of the little two-tops along the side, which are nice because they're close to the stage but suck because they're cramped. Seriously, these tables are barely big enough for one person to eat dinner on, much less two. If you're going to a show at the Triple Door, I suggest getting a foursome together and showing up early.

The food is actually from the Wild Ginger restaurant upstairs. Most of their food is Thai, which I hate, but there was enough on the menu for me to get something I liked. We had some unbelievably yummy potstickers, and delicious lamb satay. Dinner was chicken pad thai for Jen (she liked it) and seven-flavor beef for me (good, nothing to write home about). For dessert, they actually had a creme brulee that Jen liked. It was fantastic, in fact. (Jen has a bizarrely high bar for creme brulee - it must be perfect or she hates it)

Just about the time we were finishing up dinner and preparing to order dessert, Carrie Akre took the stage. Jen had in fact gone out for a smoke and came back in just as Carrie sat down with her guitar. There were obviously a number of fans of hers there, and she got a warm reception. She proceeded to play the first few songs herself, just her and the guitar. Two of them were songs I wasn't familiar with, but they were good anyway. Who am I kidding, that woman could sing me the phonebook and I'd be in heaven. Anyway, after the first three songs, she was joined by her friend Jared somebody (can't remember, sorry Jared) and did one of his songs that Carrie dueted with him on his CD. It was a good song, if I can remember who the hell he is I'll have to check out his CD. They proceeded to do a few more of Carrie's songs before the sadly short half hour set was up. I wish she could have played more; she really seemed to be just warming up when it ended. Thus is the nature of being the opener, I guess. It wasn't just me and her other friends who were happy with the set, though. The couple next to us were from Jersey and had never heard of her, and they were blown away.

On a side note, she broke my heart introducing one of her songs. She said she wrote it for the man who "hopefully soon" would be her husband. Jen turned to me with a sarcastic frown and said, "Sorry." Then she laughed at me.

After a brief intermission, Johnette came out and the crowd went wild. Her fans are not huge in number, I think, but they could be described as "rabid". She proceeded to do some of her own solo songs, but mostly acoustic renditions of Concrete Blonde songs. Naturally, the Concrete Blonde songs got the most reaction. About a quarter of the way through the show, though, she did Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows", which Concrete Blonde covered for the soundtrack of "Pump Up the Volume". She hit it out of the ballpark. It was amazing, leaving in the dust the Concrete Blonde recording and Cohen's own performance. I thought, "Damn, she should have saved that one for later," but there it was.

Sitting in front of us were half a dozen gay guys. I mean, over-the-top, justifying every stereotype gay guys. They were quite amusing. Between sets, they were asking the waitress to tell some guy to come over to their table, then one of them said, "You know what, just tell them ALL to come over here." Anyway, when Johnette launched into "Take me home" these guys starting hopping up and down in their seats and squeeling. I mean, seriously, squeeling, like giddy little girls. Jen and I cracked up and had to lean against each other we were laughing so hard.

Anyhow, Johnette worked through a number of songs. "Mexican Moon" stands out for me, because her acoustic version was more beautiful (that's right, I said beautiful) than the Concrete Blonde version. Eventually, she got to "Joey".

I hate that song. It is probably the only Concrete Blonde song I don't like. When the video for that came out, it was the first time I had ever heard of them, and I assumed based on that one song (because it was the only one of theirs you ever heard) that I would not like Concrete Blonde. It wasn't until years later when a friend played "Bloodletting" for me that I realized I really would like them. So when she started singing "Joey" I got up and went to the bathroom. When I came back, the song was ending and Johnette was saying goodnight.

I got back the table and told Jen, "God, she better not end it on that fucking song." Jen assured me there would be an encore, and there was, thankfully. One song.

Johnette came back out and did an a capella rendition of "Tomorrow Wendy". It was awesome, and tied for me with "Everybody Knows" for her best song of the night. A great ending for a great, but too short, performance.