Swine Flu?! What's next, zombies?

So the entire world is freaking out about this swine flu. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially called it a "Global Pandemic" yesterday. Pandemic means "epidemic over a wide geographic area and affecting a large proportion of the population." This is the first medical pandemic since SARS and the Avian Flu, and lucky me, I'm geographically right in the middle of this one. Schools are closing, and the world is in freak-out-and-overreact mode to prevent the spread of this swine flu. Egypt is culling it's entire pig population, even though people aren't catching it directly from pigs. W.H.O. is watching Spain for a community-level outbreak, which will take it to the highest pandemic warning level possible. If I could ask, no one breathe on me, no one cough on me, and wash your damn hands before shaking mine. I just hope people with this swine flu are smart enough to stay out of my restaurant.


The unthinkable has happened

I find myself at a loss for words. I've done a lot of talking today. A lot of talking and a lot of directed thinking. And now, I'm tired. Maybe I'll have more to say tomorrow.


Finally, a laptop that again lives up to the name.

For the past year or so, I've been at a point where I can't run my laptop without having it plugged in. The battery has been dead. I broke down and spent the $129 on a new battery for my Powerbook G4, and it' runs like a champ. No longer do I have to worry about it unplugging and shutting down in the middle of an assignment, or a blog, or just looking something up. I'm stoked about this computer again. Maybe I can even hold off on buying a whole new machine for a little while longer after a RAM purchase from crucial.com


It's amazing what relaxes someone.

I said something to someone tonight that is kinda giving me a guilt trip. I turn on Spike TV and Deadliest Warrior: Samurai vs. Viking is on. If watching a viking's longsword slice nearly through a ballistics gel skull isn't the cure for what ails ya, I don't know what is.


Mark. It. Zero.

We've enacted a new set of rules at work, and I'm driving myself crazy with trying to follow them. I'm usually the cool, collected guy, but lately I feel that I have these incredibly high standards, and that I'm battling with an inordinate amount of apathetic coworkers. I get the feeling that I'm slowly transforming from The Dude into Walter. I believe the above clip speaks volumes for how I feel.

Sometimes Spike TV just hits it out of the park.

Last night, the average, but it's-still-good Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Tonight at 1am, the outrageously fantastic Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It may be the 20 year makeover version, but I still love it. I even still love going to Tashi Station to pick up some power converters.


I think I'm over it...

I was upset earlier about rotating out of a dinner shift for my brother's birthday. I'm still a little sore about it, but my family made the decision to bring the party to me, at work, instead of me trying to get out of work to go. It's probably better in the long run.

No love at work.

Trying to get tomorrow night off for Jonny's bday. Here's the email from my boss about it:

For Saturday, I gotta have you here. I am leaving to palm that night.
And [the other manager] has plans. Sorry.

Cya tonight.

I'm so livid at this situation, I can't see straight. I am upset with the lack of help from my coworkers.

"Cya." Jesus.


such a headache!

I caught the beginnings of a headache at work today. It didn't go away. I think it's because I'm so worn out today. I hit the wall in the practice room and class was a fiasco. I'm in a class full of Music Ed. specialization people, very few of who've actually taught (I have, by the way). The prof is giving people a chance to teach and no one's into it. It felt like four hours, instead of the 75 minutes it actually is. I still have my headache.

Trombones (and mouthpieces) are expensive!

Not that I'm in the market for a new trombone, but I'm always lookin'. The $3200 bass trombone I was dreaming about over three years ago is now over $4000. Damn inflation. I've got the itch for new gear, as if my new practice mute wasn't enough new shit. It's time for a new mouthpiece, for both bones, I think. My Conn 88H & King 3B are due, and as much as I hate changing gear, I've only been on the same basic mouthpieces for 10 and 13 years, respectively. Maybe when the semester's over, I'll indulge a little bit. I kinda want a new case, too. It's neat to see all the cases of the gear-crazy kids at school. If I'm gonna buy something, I want to see it in action.



I had a conducting test today. I was nervous as shit. I did well, according to my professor's evaluation. My grade? B+++. Literally, a 'B' with three pluses. Meanwhile, the guy after me got an A-----. An "Ay, minus minus minus minus minus." What the fuck is that?! Anyway, I'm kinda bummed I couldn't break past the "B" plateau. On a bonus, the other bone player who barely shows up to class, and is very nonchalant about it, got a C-. The universe the right thing every now and again.

If I feel ballsy enough, I'll post my conducting video later. That way, YOU ALL can critique me!



He's so poor, he can't even pay attention!

"he" is me in this scenario. I need to read Chapter 9 of my Literacy text book for my 1pm class (it's 12:05 now), but instead I'm blogging, tweeting, emailing, and I just signed up for a Facebook *egads*. I am the goddamn antithesis of productivity right now.


Totally, completely, and excruciatingly late.

I've been sleeping funny. I imagine I am, anyway, because it's so difficult for me to get moving in the morning. Today, I skipped breakfast because of it. I held lunch off an extra two hours today, too. I got back home at 245, lightheaded, burrito & comics in hand, and I vegged out for 75 minutes. I meant to leave at 4. I left at 415 and realized I needed to get gas. I got to my 445 class at 505. The doors were locked. The room was dark. They were watching a video. I go to every single class meeting. The only time I've missed any class this semester was when Chris' mom went to the hospital. Which is more than I can say for nearly all of my classmates. If I was to be locked out of a class, then this was the day to do it. I'm gonna go get a naked juice, chill out, and practice recorder for class tonight.


Midterm Monday Wrap-Up

Got my essay test back today. 100% That's right, A+. She said quietly that I my score was perfect. My professor even wrote "Excellent!!" with a little smile connecting the two dots under the exclamation points. As I'm watching other tests handed back around me, I'm seeing 87%, 92%, 93%, but I definitely have the satisfaction of scoring 100% on the only thing I was freaking out about last week. That makes my average an A+ average, having scored 100% on everything so far. That's pretty sweet.


Les Claypool : Of Fungi And Foe

Les Claypool has come out with a new album entitled "Of Fungi And Foe." My brother hipped me to a live performance on Jimmy Kimmel, and we went to Best Buy today to buy a tangible copy. Only a mere 90¢ more than iTunes charges. Les' liner notes say he came up with some of the source material while writing the music to a video game and an independent film. This is the most out of anything I heard from him. While Primus, Oysterhead, Frog Brigade, And Bucket of Bernie Brains (among others) are all pretty against the grain, this, compared to the rest of Les' catalog, is minimalist. That is to say, in the first track, bass, drum, & marimba ostinati, vocals, and what might be considered vocal percussion. Four line verses, very little hook, instrumental, back in with vocals. This is a fair amount of the album. Not much in terms of action, if action is being able to dance, sing along, or bump it in the car. The "single," Red State Girl, is vocals, arco bass (distorted) and tabla. Yes, tabla. And that's it. I don't know how marketable this tune is, but it's damn cool. Of Fungi And Foe is more suited to rolling a joint and sitting on the couch for a while. There are manic tunes on this one, like "Pretty Little Song" and "Primed by 29" (which I think he plays Dobro Bass on). But even then, manic compared to the other tunes on the album, not the rest of his catalog. I hear remnants of other Claypool-vehicles like "Here Come the Bastards" on Amantias, and bits off of Antipop and from Oysterhead, but I can't put my finger on just what this late at night.

Of Fungi And Foe is a very experimental album from a very experimental guy. If you like Les' other stuff, buy it. Know you're not getting an album to jam to all the way through. It's awesome, but some tunes just ask to be listened to.

Red State Girl, as performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live


Tax time is approaching.

This is how I know I'm getting old. I have my tax appointment at 1145, and I woke up at 630 thinking about it. I cashed in an investment last year, something my grandmother set aside for me when I was a kid, to pay off a credit card completely. I get to contend with something called capital gains tax today. Oh boy.