bschaller at ltoa dot com
Thursday, March 25, 2004

The Congo Has Moved!!!!!

Please visit me at . See ya soon!
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Check Out This Bad Mother Fucker!

I am so excited. I just can't hide it... Oh wait, wrong post and/or song... Well I am excited none the less. Today I received my first heavy duty amateur camera. I have wanted to take up Photography for a while, see "Things To Do..." list, and now I have the chance. Soon there will be a companion photoblog to "In The Congo", as well as some other neat changes. My new camera consists of a Nikon D-70 with a SB 800 Speedlight and a Tamron AF28-300mm Ultra Zoom XR Lens and a one gigabyte flash card. It is time to take some serious pictures. I am super psyched about the cool shots I can get at shows. Maybe if I hone my skills I can become a show photographer for some kind of magazine, newspaper/zine, or site! Like I said, get excited. B.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Not Dr. Ruth, But Just As Old...

Yesterday I was over at Brie's apartment catching up on my watching of the new season of the Sopranos. Afterwards we happened across a show on Oxygen, The Sunday Sex Show with Sue Johanson. This is some seriously funny shit. Brie said she had seen it before. It looked scary, Sue (pictured above) is very old. I was skeptical and then I heard the first caller. A woman from Des Moines, IO called in and said that when she watches game shows with her family she wants to have an orgasm when she finds out who the winner is. This is possibly the funniest thing I have ever heard. So what does old Sue say? She tells the lady to get a silent vibrator and take care of it in the bathroom after watching the show. What!? Then she starts to model different vibrators. That is where I decided this was truly a different show. The old lady freaked me out, but it was some comical stuff. Usually I do not recommend channels like Lifetime and Oxygen, but this maybe worth watching... B.

Friday, March 19, 2004

The Free Huey World Report...

I must admit, I am confused. Being an NPR junkie I get no shortage of news, of course during this day and age it is hard not to. One word I hear over and over again is "al-Qaida". This is where I get confused. Much like most of America, this is what I know: (1) al-Qaida is a "loosely knit network of terrorists organizations", (2) They are Muslim extremists, (3) Osama Bin Laden is their leader, and (4) They are responsible for everything that blows up anywhere in the world. I have questions. First off, How can a "loosely knit network' have a leader, and more importantly be responsible for everything? The proof behind their responsibility seems a little shaky to me. All someone has to do is blow up something and then send an anonymous letter to a newspaper claiming to be in al-Qaida and poof, al-Qaida did it. This would not hold up in any court in the land, at least I hope not, yet the American people are just taking it a face value and not questioning a damn thing. Well, not everybody. On top of that, how do you go after such an anamorphous organization as al-Qaida. The answer, you don't, because al-Qaida itself is not an organization, just a network. At least the drug cartels are clearly defined organizations. It just seems to me that al-Qaida has become the American Boogie Man and a great scapegoat. I bet GW wishes he could pass a law making himself president until we topple al-Qaida, because it is never going to happen. What do y'all think about al-Qaida and what we as a nation can do about terrorists. I am curious. B

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Top O' The Mornin' To Ya!

I would like to wish everyone a very happy St. Patrick's Day. Being Irish Catholic and a lover of fine brew, this is my favorite holiday. I have been known to rank it slightly above Christmas, which falls slightly above my birthday. Needless to say it is a very important day. I am not quite sure what St. Pat chasing the snakes out of Ireland has to do with getting plowed, but who needs explanations? I hope all of you visitors to the Congo have an enjoyable and safe holiday, and be sure your wearing green. To paraphrase Riley "Escobar" Freeman from "The Boondocks" : "I'll be pinchin' fools just for livin"." May the luck of the Irish be with you all. B

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

My Favorite Artist...

This honor goes to Leroy Neiman. Born on 1921, and still alive today, Neiman is called "The most popular and best known living artist in America". He also founded the modern school of American Impressionism. He is known for his capturing of popular culture, sports, and politics in brilliant colors and impressionistic style. His favorite medium is oil that is then silk screened onto limited prints called serigraphs. These prints retail for anywhere from three to ten thousand dollars. Neiman is a popular VIP at sporting events and can be found sketch pad in hand capturing the moment. My favorite paintings and etching of his are "Marylin" (pictured above), "John Lennon", "Howard Stern", "America's Cup", "Wine, Women & Cigars", "Desert Inn Baccarat", "Skier", "Sliding Home" (featuring the 1972 World Series Reds) and "Four Aces". The last three of which hang in my parent's house. Check out his site and see all the other wonderful work he has done. Neiman is an American treasure and will be missed when he is gone. If you are a fan of the Warhol celebrity portraits, wait until you see these. What do ya think? B.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Things To Do...

Last Saturday Brie and I went with some friends to Birdy's to see some bands for a friend's birthday. We were unaware that it was a punk rock benefit night. We walked in and saw all the girls trying to be vamped out like Bettie Page and guys with leather and spiky hair. There was another group present that captivated my attention a couple tables away from us. There were two guys and three girls hanging out. The girls were vamped out like all the rest of the girls there, but the guys were different. The guys had 1950's greaser ultra-styled black hair with pointy side burns and were all tatted up. One guy was wearing a white t-shirt and the other guy was wearing a sky blue nylon jacket. On the shirt and jacket was written in script letters: "Emperors, Indianapolis" and in the middle of the words was a big crown looking emblem. I thought to myself, "These guys must be in an old-school Grease meets Hollywood Nights 50's style social club". I guess if retro fashion and furniture can come back, social clubs are fair game too. I saw this and instantly wanted to found one. I told this to Brie and she just kinda laughed. She told me: "Some people have no ideas, you have a new one everyday." I got to thinking about that and I decided to document my grand ideas. Very few of them ever get accomplished, so I have decided to make a "To Do List" on this blog of things I want to accomplish. Maybe I can get more motivated by seeing them everyday and getting feedback on them. Most people's to do lists are small like "take out the garbage" or "get a car wash". This list is on a grander scale. It includes perennial favorites like "Open a record store" and new ones like "Take up Kayaking". Tell me what you think of these goals and if you have any advice. Remember, dreams are only ideas without financial backing. Let's see what I can do. B.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Bootleggin In The New Millineum...

Being the complete music nut that I am, I freaked out today when a guy at work showed me this site. I have about one thousand disks of live shows, but this site has stuff I have never seen. The Tori Amos and Phish sections are both fantastic. As a matter of fact I am currently downloading the Tori show I saw last year at the Murat. Check it out. You will be amazed... B

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

That Little Yellow Fucker...

You all know who I am taking about. I was talking to Scott today and was reminded of one of my least favorite experiences on the phone. I was calling AOL to cancel a subscription that one of my siblings had signed up for. I had to call three times. I did not think the first 2 assholes would actually cancel it, so I hung up and called back. The third guy finally did it. Credit Card companies are the same way. When you call to cancel "free" services it takes forever. Has anyone else had problems like these? Feel free to vent... B

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

New Music Tuesday...

This week I am going to try out a new segment here in the Congo. Being as Tuesday is the nation record release day, I going to offer you up my opinions of some new wax fresh off the presses. I will not limit myself to music released today but all recent releases and advances are fair game. This week's album is Forget Cassettes Instruments of Action.

Forget Cassettes should be Forget The White Stripes. Cassettes has a similar 2 person girl/boy line up except the roles have changed. Anyone who says that The White Stripes are cool because Meg, a girl, plays the drums is just plain wrong. Nothing against her, but she sucks. Cassettes takes a harder edge to garage sound and Beth and Doni rock hard. Beth's hauntingly sweet yet edgy, and sometimes screaming with rage and anger, vocals and Doni's complex 5/4 beats with interesting and not over used double bass beats make for an great listen. The fact that they venture into more complex territory than their garage rock brethren really separates them from the pack. The debut album Instruments of Action has sleepy, lullaby lows and screaming, cathartic highs. Think of the Kinks at a hardcore show saying "hmmm, maybe we could do that...". In the beginning it is kind of strange but it works well. Song highlights include "Like Tiny Swords" and Beth's description of a May/December relationship in "Bruce Wayne". This album is fresh at a time when most everything is the same lo-fi rip off. Definitely check it out. B.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Arranging Your Records Autobiographically...

There is a great scene in my favorite move, High Fidelity, in which Dick comes over to Rob's apartment and finds him depressed and sorting his records. Dick asks Rob if he is sorting them chronologically or alphabetically. Rob's response is that he is doing neither, he is sorting them autobiographically; if he wants to find Fleetwood Mac Rumors he has to remember that it is in the fall of '74 pile and that he bought it for someone else but kept it for personal reasons. Dick's response is a very appropriate: "No fucking way!"

The other day I was think about this because I am about to sort my album collection. This task takes no less than six to eight hours. I was also thinking about my top five favorite songs and what they are. I realized that my top five favorite songs, whatever they are at the moment, are so because they are extremely important autobiographically. These songs may not be the best or most representative, but they take me someplace long gone. Music maybe aurally stimulating, but some songs bring back all senses to a specific time and place. So, without further ado, here are my All Time Top Five Songs for Autobiographical Reasons:

5. Pearl Jam - Black - Year: 1994 - Memory: This was my first real girlfriend's favorite song. I was a young kid with long black hair in braids. We listen to it on headphones we were sharing on a bus to Old Indiana Amusement Park.

4. Phish - Sample in a Jar - Year: 1996 - Memory: I had been listening to a tape of the song I had made from Tim James and was really digging it. I some how managed to score tickets to see them at Deer Creek that summer. It was an amazing show and they encored with this song. I was a huge fan ever since. Over 52 shows later, that one is still my favorite.

3. Pharcyde - She Keeps Passin Me By - Year: 1996 - Memory: This is a story for another time. Trust me it's a good one. Sprunger, you where there...

2. Big Head Todd and the Monsters - Bittersweet - Year: 1997 - Memory: The band I was in at the time, At Random, or to some of the Proximity girls, The Bearded Seals, played this song all the time. I think it is a great song and it is a lot of fun to play.

1. Tori Amos - Winter - Year: 1995 - Memory: A girl that I had a huge crush on and was my best friend at the time introduced me to this song. She could play piano and sing very well and would play this all the time. I still get chills.

What are your top songs for autobiographical reasons? B.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Another Promise Broken...

Once again GW has lied, not that I am surprised. Except this time it is a very tacky lie. In the wake of September 11, 2001 Bush said that he would not use the events for political gain. That is just plain not true. The first ads that he put out for his re-election campaign are all about 9-11-2001. Shocking, no. Tacky, yes. Everyone know that he was a joke before he became the political equivalent of Rambo on that day. It is no surprise that he would want to capitalize on it. So the guy made a few speeches and killed a couple thousand people, that hardly makes him a good president. I am sure every president ever wished he could have as good of a cop out as GW. Times get tough, say 9-11, people shut up. Sorry GW not this time. To view the ads go here. What do you think? B

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Unfashionable Wars...

I was thinking the other day, what ever happened to the war on drugs? First there was the Cold War. That is how they scared our parents and grandparents. Then there was the War on Drugs. They used this one on us. Now our younger siblings and children have the War on Terror. The way I see it, we are fighting enough real wars, why do we need wars on things? Granted it could be good like LBJ's War on Poverty. I miss the WOD, okay that's a lie, but at least that didn't involve much fighting and killing, oh wait, that's a lie too. Politicians apparently like word "war". There must be some connotation about beating the shit out of a thing that makes we Americans like it. I mean you never saw Ghengis Kahn or Attila the Hun declare war on things and ideas. They we more concerned about war for survival, a novel concept and one I think we have completely forgotten. I guess the bottom line is that you can't win a war on a thing. There is no State to conquer, no leader to depose, no rebellion to quell. So what does this mean? As far as I can tell, it means the people in power have a blank check to do what they will in the name of vanquishing this idealized menace. War on people is easy, they are dead, you win. War on things is much harder. Maybe we still have a War on Drugs and it is just not cool enough for the media anymore. The War on Terror makes such better headlines. I think we should be politically retro and where red ribbons and just say no buttons, oh and don't forget your D.A.R.E. t-shirt. I mean come on how idie would that be? What are your favorite fictional/ idealistic wars? B.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Forget Napster...

I have good news for anyone who is sick of Kazza, Imesh, or paying for I-Tunes. Thanks to Mr. Er@serhe@d I have found a much better way to expand my music collection. It is called Soul Seek. Soul Seek is a new peer to peer client with an interesting twist. If you donate five dollars a month to their development effort you get to bypass the download queues. This mean a world of high speed, high quality music is instantly at your fingertips. I have been using it now for a couple of days and I am super impressed. I suggest all of you give it a try. The chat rooms are extremely funny. If you want a real laugh check out the "Inde" chat room. Pretenious bastards like you read about. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think of it. B.

Monday, March 01, 2004

And the winner is...

Last night, for the first time in the history of the world, the Oscars were right on. I agreed with every award given. Not to mention, I really enjoyed the show as well. Starting off it had me in stitches. The CGed intro for Billy Crystal was a little cheesy but when Michael Moore came out and said "Shame on you hobbits. This is a ficticious war!" I was rolling on the floor. Mitch and Mickey from A Mighty Wind performing their nominee for best song was also quite funny. I also learned a little about fashion last night, apparently beards are in and Tim Robbins and Peter Jackson showed it is cool to where buttons on your lapel. Although, Heath Ledger was a target for scorn. I was shocked he was with some on like Naomi Watts. I said that he was just like Aston Krutcher, but he had a little more class. Heath was also bearded. Adrian Brody's presentation of the Best Actress to Charlize Theron was also rather funny. The breath spray was a nice touch. Needless to say RTOK deserved everything it got. Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Finding Nemo, Sofia Coppola, and Tim Robbins all were quite deserving as well. The Academy actually did well this year. My favorite part of the night was when Peter Jackson is accepting the award for Best Picture and he says that the Academy wisely overlooked Meet the Feebles and Bad Taste. I thought they were good. All in all a fine showing by fine talent. Lets hope next year can be this good. B.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

What the Hell Is Going On?

The countdown has started. There are two hundred and fifty one days until the election. Bush and the conservative right see the end is coming. This must be why things are going to hell so quickly right now. Apparently they have decided that they need to cause as much damage as possible in the time they have left. At the very tip of the iceberg we have things like new media censorship and obscenity laws. I was pretty sure that Larry Flint and others went to court and jail many times to change those to what they are now. This is quickly changing. Howard Stern is gone, who knows who is next. CBS is apologizing for damn near everything and MTV is trying to be more family friendly. I think they are taking the "it takes a village" thing a little far. Next we have gay marriage. Bush is trying to get an amendment to ban this. This would be the first amendment to the Constitution since Prohibition that takes away as opposed to granting rights. We all saw how well Prohibition worked. On top of that we have new laws being passed about fetal rights, a not-so-slippery slope to the end of Abortion. And lastly we have a whole lot of people bitching about Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Everyone is saying how it is too graphic and, my favorite, the Marque de Sade's version of the death of Jesus. Last I checked Jesus was not beaten to death with down filled pillows. He died a horrible and gruesome death. For being a founding tenet of most of these critics beliefs they sure don't like to remember it. It is ok to say "Jesus died for us" or to hold up "John 3:16" posters at sports games, but if people actually see it they can't deal. What is a young liberal guy to do? The answer: Vote as soon as possible. Sure we can't get rid of the critics and the crazy right wingers, but maybe we can stop some of the other madness. The news these days is so depressing but you have to pay attention so you know what to fight. What are you outraged by these days? B.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

You're Kidding, Right?

For some reason that I will never understand Maxim Magazine has chosen Landsharks in Broad Ripple as the Bar of the Month. I am shocked, amazed, and horrified. Obviously they have never been to this bar. Although it is cool to have a bar from Indy in Maxim, why Landsharks? Anyone who was ever been there knows that it sucks. At best it is a sleazy meat market with a shitty dance floor and really bad live bands. I mean Ryan Jacobs played their regularly for God's sake. In the article they claim to have girls dancing on the bar and girls in bikinis, this is just a lie. Okay, the girl at the beer tub does wear a bikini top, but no girl has ever danced on the bar. I don't even think it is possible. Of all the bars in Indianapolis, let alone all the bars in the country, how did this shit hole get the nod? I respect Maxim. I respect what they have to say. I find it humorous and insightful, but this is over the top. Matt has said that he is going to write a letter to Maxim in hopes that they realize the grave mistake they have made. I say we start a letter writing campaign. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, anyone you know. Maybe we can get this place publicly shamed to point they have to close their doors forever. Granted the bars on the strip in Ripple are not known for their outstanding class, but there has to be something better than this. I like drinking. I like seeing live bands. I like dancing. There are a million places I would do these before Landsharks. We live in a sad world when this can happen. Does no one have standards anymore? Let me know what you think. B

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The Color War...

We do not live in a black and white world. We try tool fool ourselves sometimes with newspapers and arty photographs, but in real life we have color. Some people are born with a natural knack for color. Some people spends semesters of their collegiate life studying color theory. Some people are color blind and have an excuse. I am none of these. I am color illiterate. Things like shade, hue, tint, and saturation elude me. I live in a Roy G. Biv world. Unfortunately there are millions of other colors that I know nothing about. No wonder the majority of my wardrobe consists of greens and blues, with an occasional daring foray into a red, purple, or orange. I can not match colors in my clothes and I definitely can not decorate. I guess this is why I have spent all of my art energy in the black and white world of music and literature. This is my dilemma. I can not color coordinate my blog. I have tried, I hate everything I come up with. I have used sites with long lists of css color names, color wizards, and web color wheels. None of this has helped. So I am going to start a contest. The person who can come up with the best color scheme for my blog gets the prize and trust me it is a good prize. All suggestions are accepted, however if it is bad, you will be publicly humiliated. The only rule is no pink or lavender. Other than that anything goes. I know I have some artists friends out there, hell I am even dating an artist. I don't know how she can date a color-challenged person like myself. She must be very patient. I look forward to seeing everyone's cool ideas. The winner will be announced at the end of the week. Have fun! B

Monday, February 23, 2004

Monday Quiz...

Hey Everyone! I've decided to change things up a little up a little and have a Monday Quiz today. Adriana sent me this and I thought it was kinda funny. Give this a whirl. Are you a Yankee or a Dixie? B.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Oh, What a Day...

As I sit here at work, beer in hand, I can just think of how much it needs to be five o'clock. This day and/or week has been kinda rough. Luckily I have had good tunes to help me through it. I am excited for some Hawaiian party action host by one of the famous Proximity bloggers. The overhaul of Prox and the Watts has given me some drive to change things around a bit too. If anyone has ideas on how to make it better please let me know. I may even experiment with some Micro fonts. We'll see. I hope everyone has a good and restful weekend. God knows I need it. B

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Concert Announcements...

I have a couple quick concert announcements here in the Congo this morning for the Indy area. Just remember kids, you heard it here first. The Pernice Brothers are going to play Radio, Radio on April 4th. Better than that, the Long Winters are opening for them. Get excited two great bands in a super small club. Also on March 30th The Pushstars have been slated to join Great Big Sea at The Patio. Concert season is starting to swing into full bore, there is just nothing better than live music. Also next week do not forget Erica Badu or Big Head Todd and the Monsters on Monday February 23rd. If you are really adventurous check out The Big Wu at The Patio this evening. All of these shows are guaranteed to be a fun night of great music. Enjoy. B

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Dean Out of Race, Kinda...

Today at 1:00 PM Howard Dean announced he was out of the race for the presidency. This is a shame, but we must move on. He did not endorse either John Kerry or John Edwards. He also is not running on a third party ticket. He said he will keep his organization together to start a grass roots effort. The main point of his speech was that the most important thing to do is to get Bush out of the White House. Dean will continue to be a strong voice in the Democratic party. His supporters are thought to go the Edwards camp, but nothing is sure yet. With Dean out there is no choice for the thousands of young people who felt he was their candidate. Me being one of them. I agree with Dean that the dethroning of Bush is the number one issue, but I would like to see someone go into the Oval Office with severe change in mind. Let's hope all of this hope is not lost. B

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

A Good Day In Music

The past couple of days have been great for music. First I picked up "Cash Unearthed". Read my review at BlogCritics to find out more. Needless to say, a fine set. I also found a new radio station on the Net that a friend told me about. WOXY out of Cincinnati seems to be a real independent radio station. They play stuff like Modest Mouse, Sun Kil Moon, The Coral, The Bens, Primus, Outkast, among others. Definitely worth a listen. I also got play DJ last night at the Wellington. I got to subject the shirt and tie crowd to some Postal Service, Idlewild, Jets to Brazil, Gomez, and Badly Drawn Boy. It was alot of fun. We also played some of the new Johnny Cash set as well. I was in a music drought for a while now it is pouring down. I am convinced that the only thing better than your old favorites is new music. Check this stuff out, I am sure you guys will like it. B

Monday, February 16, 2004

Bloggin' Cajun Style: Surviving Bourbon Street and the Aftermath...

I am back home in Indy after my short excursion to the Big Easy. For those of you who don't know, I was down there for a training class for work. I left Wednesday at noon at got back to town on Saturday at 5:00 in the afternoon. I maybe slept eight hours on the entire trip. When we last left our hero (me), he was about to venture to the French Quarter for the first time...

I met a guy from class at his hotel which was a block from Bourbon Street. He had been there before so he decided to show me around. We walked up and down Bourbon so I could check it out. I saw it all. The movies and television at best understate the party here. I thought people in Vegas knew how to party. Sin City has nothin' on the Big Easy. It is all true. It rained beads and large groups of people gathered around drunk topless women. I even saw the camera crew from Girls Gone Wild. If you look close you may see me in the background. There were all kinds. I saw your typical drunk frat boys, little kids, old couples, and my favorite: old business men in suits with girls a third their age in orange mohair miniskirts. Yeah pops you didn't pay her my ass. I was in shock and awe. We cruised around a little and decided we were thirsty. We went into the Howl at the Moon piano bar. Aside from drinks being a little expensive, it was a fun place. We heard all kinds of typical piano bar fair as well as stuff I did not expect like "Old McDonald" with a farm near a nuclear power plant and lisping snakes, narcoleptic pigs, and Turets Syndrome chickens. They also did a surprising good rendition of "Hey Ya!". That was a real treat. So after hanging out there and getting rock star drunk I caught a cab back to my haunted abode. I did not see any ghosts per say but there were creepy noises and rattling. I did walk through Lafayette cemetery Number 1 at night and that was super creepy. It is the cemetery that is in Interview with a Vampire. The next day I had class again and then back down to Bourbon for more of the same. That place is one hell of a party. There is even talk of going back this weekend. I have done Vegas and now Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras wins hands down. I will be returning for sure. Some things I have learned this week include: Never swim in fresh water in Alabama; If a young child bets you a dollar that he knows where you got your shoes you say "On my feet"; and don't walk too far down Bourbon Street if you are not a transvestite. All in all a great time and I even got to finish Don DeLillo's White Noise, look for a BlogCritics review soon. Also look for a picture post soon. B.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Bloggin' Cajun Style: Day 2

Wow. This place is a serious trip. After a long day of drinking bourbon in airports I was prepared for an early night. I figured in bed by 10:00 at the latest. I could not have been more wrong. My friend Marianne gave me the name and numbers of a couple of her friends to call so I would have someone to hangout with. So I called Dan and we went out at 11:00. Later than I expected, but hell, when in Rome, right? We went to a super pretentious place called The Wine Loft. We were also with two girls and two guys from Ecuador, who by the way spoke Spanish to each other almost the entire night. So here I am with five people I have never met before, in a town I don't know, and at some high class wine bar. Just call me Raoul Duke. I bought this ticket, I might as well take the trip. It ended up not so bad. They were nice people and of course I managed to strike a music conversation. We agreed on Zepplin. Oh, and I was drinking Maker's Mark with a vengeance. I got back to the inn at 2:00 AM, tanked. Waking up at 7:00 AM this morning was rough. I was wicked hungover and maybe still a little drunk. So I take a shower, brush my teeth twice and jumped a trolley for class. Class was not so bad, aside from the massive pain. I learned a lot and I think the product is pretty great. After class I came back to the inn and took a light nap. I mean how does one sleep well in Haunted House? I woke up and was of to a steak house name Dickie Brennen's. I told the inn keeper this and she said not to go. She told me about a place called Charlie's and said that was the best bet. So off I go to Charlie's. What a trip. Imagine the worst VFW or American Legion you have ever been to. Now take that down another couple of notches. That is what this place looked like. The waitstaff was a few days older than God and a little younger that Oprah. There was also no menu. Now with all this I was a little apprehensive. What I got was some of the best food I have had, and arguably the best steak. They even have a step below rare, called "purple". Of course I had to go with this. The steak came out sizzling hot and super good. Never judge a book by it's cover. I am now about to rest before heading to the quarter for some jazz. I'll check in soon. Keep it real until then. B

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

New Orleans...

Hello everyone from New Orleans! That's right, The Congo is broadcasting live from the Big Easy. I arrived here at around three in the afternoon and have been enjoying it ever since. This place is a trip! I am staying in the Garden District, just down the street from the French Quarter at a place called the Castle Inn Bed and Breakfast. My room is great and I love what I have seen of the city. Stay tuned for pictures which are sure to follow. I ate a place this evening called Igor's Garlic Clove. Absolutely amazing food. If you go try the Chicken Anna, wicked good. I am off the enjoy some more of the city. I will write with more updates tomorrow. See y'all soon. B

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Can I See Your Papers Please...

Last week the Department of Homeland Security conducted sweeps in Portland, Maine looking for illegal immigrants. It arrested 10 people and harassed countless others. After going through a local social outreach shelter they set up shop outside of a Mexican grocery and asked everyone who exited for their citizenship or immigration papers. This caused a panic in the Latino community in Portland and caused many legal Latino citizens not to leave their houses and not even send their children to school. Last Saturday people gathered in the streets to protest these actions. Even the mayor of Portland was appalled. I was pretty sure that one of the benefits of being in this country was that you could move around freely without being asked for your "papers". This is a practice that was common in fascist countries like World War II Germany, Spain, and Italy. Something tells me that this is not making our country inherently safer. I think it is important that we do not tolerate this kind of activity. We must not desensitize ourselves to such acts. Anyone who is in the United States legally should be free from fear of harassment about their legitimacy. This seems to me like just another in a long line of infringements by the Department of Homeland Security. I understand the need to improve safety but if the choice is between safety and freedom, I'll always choose freedom. Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me Death". New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die!". Have we as Americans become so comfortable and so afraid that we are willing to cash in liberty at the first sign of possible harm? That's not what being American means to me. What do you think? B.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Get Down Charlie Brown...

From our friends at Gothamist, check out "Hey Ya!" Charlie Brown style. This is great! B.

Cry Me a River...

When I look a the list of winners, that is what I want to do. I want to cry. Granted their are a few awards that are well deserved, but on a whole I am pretty sure this show was the nail in the coffin. I have officially lost all faith in humanity, or at least the record industry. I am happy that Outkast won Album of year with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, but look at their competition: Missy Eliot, hardly the most prolific of song writers and should definitely lose for her association with all things puffy suit; Evanescence, a modern rock band whose breakthrough hit came on the "Daredevil" sound track, please; Justin Timberlake, enough said; and the White Stripes, although good I hardly think the record of the year should sound like it has been recorded on a 4-track in your garage on purpose. In a way I am glad that Outkast won not only because I love the album(s), but because if any of the others had won I would be really pissed. I am happy with best Folk going to Warren Zevon, even though JT beat him for best Pop Vocal, best Bluegrass going to Alison Krauss, and best short video going to Johnny Cash for his cover of Hurt. However I super pissed about things like Sean Paul winning best Reggae Album, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh are rolling over in their graves. The fact that Beyonce won five awards just makes me sick. I thought this was an award show about music not little girls who shake their ass and get pimped out by their fathers. The fact that 50 Cent did not win a goddam thing does however harm my soul. I did not watch but I heard the performances were awful as well. Hard to believe. Oh, wait no it's not. I know what to expect. It is the same every year, but I think it is getting slowly worse. It is just a matter of time before TRL votes are counted for Grammys. I guess that is why we have reverted to being musical tree-top flyers. We must search out music from below the mainstream radar before it gets twisted. In that sad state of affairs that is pop music at least we have something to listen to. What do you all think about the Grammys? B

Friday, February 06, 2004

Get Excited...

In the effort to infect as many people as possible with my ideas I have become a BlogCritic. That's right, the sinister cabal of superior bloggers has selected me to contribute to their wonderful blog. You can find my first post here. We here in the Congo are very happy. I have always wanted to be a critic and now I have a chance to pander my views to the masses. Do not worry, the content here in the Congo will not suffer. You can be guaranteed the same quality and quantity that you all have grown to love. Please continue to post your comments on both sites, you know I love to hear them. Until next time please enjoy my new expansion in group blogging. B

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I Don't Like Country Music...

At least I think I don't. Some how I am slowly getting drawn in. It all started with At first it was too twangy for me, and then I started to really like it. I still said that I drew the line at though except for George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. Any more though I am not so sure. Last night I was over at Brie's waiting for some people to show up. We had just finished watching the latest episode of Sex in the City and were flipping channels. Thanks to the wonders of the menu guide on digital cable I saw a show called "Morning After: The 40 Greatest Drinking Songs of All Time". The only problem was that it was on CMT. I decided to throw caution to the wind and flipped to it. I watched the entire show. It turns out I really enjoyed it. My top three country artists were all on it multiple times as well as some other songs I enjoyed. Of course Garth Brooks took number one with "Friends in Low Places" but I really think the number two spot Hank Williams Jr. with "Family Tradition" was more deserving of the win. The show link above has the complete countdown. Maybe in my old age I am growing less bigoted about my musical choice or maybe I am just getting soft. I'm not quite sure. Maybe I just like drinking songs, I am German-Irish. All in all I would recommend watching it if you want to expand your musical horizons, it is playing all this month. Enjoy. B

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Blame the Puritans...

For some reason Americans are under the false impression that our country was settled by a bunch of freedom loving, democratic, and tolerant people. Nothing could be further from the truth. With all the craziness this week about the media and obscenity I am glad that we can look back and find one group of people to thank. Those people are the Puritans. Our county was basically founded by a group of people who were so heinously intolerant they were kicked out of their own countries. That is a scary thought. When I think of one thing that a lot of people like and want it is sex. Most people like nakedness. Why is part of a breast on national television such a big deal then? TiVo has said it was the most paused live television in their history. People obviously enjoyed it, then why the big fuss? In Europe and most of the rest of the world nakedness on television in no big deal at all. Why do we care? We don't. They do. They being the Puritans and crazy religious folks. My favorite thing so far has been this post from Optimus Crime. MTV was just trying to give people what they wanted. I say that this oppression is nothing less than the tyranny of minority. As of late we have been trying to get back to what our country was literally founded on, not the hidden meanings. This should be no exception. B

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Reviews: Sarah Vowell's Partly Cloudy Patriot and Patty Jenkins' Monster

Partly Cloudy Patriot: This is with out a doubt one of the best books I have read in recent memory. Sarah Vowell and I are on such the same page it is uncanny. From the small personal things like being in marching band in high school and being active participants in political email discussion groups to the really big things like being Jeffersonian Democrats and liking the same TV shows. She gets upset at the same things I do, like someone putting a flag on her lawn on the 4th of July and not asking her permission. She even goes as far as explaining Al Gore by sighting a conversation between Jordan Catalano and Brian Krakow on My So Called Life. By the way I am a huge MSCL fan. If you look up "Byron Schaller" on Google two of the responses are high scores for an online MSCL trivia game. She also talks a lot about Giles versus Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I thought that was neat too. She has great politics and likes the same stuff I do so it is kinda hard not think this book is great. It was also very funny and made a lot of sense. Any true patriot will enjoy this book, but for us on the nerdier end of the spectrum this is a real treat. A must read.

Monster: This is one of the most intense films I have ever seen. I am not new to cinema extremes and I have seen this all before, just not quite like Monster. I have seen the rape/revenge/mass murder plot line before in I Spit on Your Grave!. I have seen Florida white trash true crime before in Bully. I have seen clandestine lesbian relationships in both Bound and Mulholland Drive. And that's not even considering foreign films. Yet something about this movie really struck a chord. I think a lot of it has to do with the score provided by BT. The background music really drives the high power intense scenes. Most of the movie it is hard to tell who to feel sorry for. Do you feel sorry for Lee or her johns? There are a couple that a very hard to tell and a couple where the decision is far easier. The real mark of this film is that you leave feeling like you have been hit by a truck. The experience is so intense and overwhelming that forming a valid response as the credits roll is almost impossible. For someone who is shockproof and seen it all, this kind of impact says a lot. A must see and award worthy all the way. B

Monday, February 02, 2004

Big Winners...

Superbowl XXXVIII (38) is now history, so how has it effected the world. Let's see: The Patriots are the big winner in a battle of who could care less, Tom Brady is all of sudden being compared to Joe Montana, Jake Delhomme has made a name for himself, and I am a whole fifteen dollars richer. I says a lot about a game when you have to gamble on it to make it even a little fun. Last night was all about a total lack of quality. The game was barely entertaining. The commercials were sub-par. And the halftime show sucked, aside from Janet of course. I mean what do you get when you combine P. Diddy, Kid Rock, and Nelly and they all sing old songs. Fuck me, it was horrible. In fact NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement about it: "The show was offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing to us and our fans." Something tells me he was not talking about Janet at the end either. That was the best part. Loving football and music however, I was offended by the incredible lack of actual talent on display. Hasn't U2 played a halftime show? It is a sad day when the biggest day in sports amounts to this... B

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I love NPR...

I am a huge fan of music but for some unknown reason talk radio has weaseled it's way into my life. I am not quite sure how this happened but now I wonder how I ever got along without it. I was listening to "Day to Day" on my lunch hour today and Alex Chadwick had some interesting stories. Here are three of them. The first is about a fellow blogger named Crystal Evans who publishes Crystal had been homeless for 3 years and for the past year has been blogging about it via the Boston Public Library's public internet terminals. On Monday of this week she got an apartment with the help of a couple in Cambridge who read her blog. Although not now currently homeless she is still going to use her blog to fight for the homeless and share their plight. The second story they had on was a little lighter. It was about Ebay auction where a girl was auctioning herself off to be someone's imaginary girlfriend for one month. I thought this was hysterical. Nerd culture has taken an entirely new gruesome twist. I went to eBay to check this out but I forgot the item number so I searched for "imaginary girlfriend". It got 79 hits. I thought this was one girl but apparently it has grown into quite the fad. Some girls even come with a pair of worn underwear. I am not quite sure how I feel about this very strange, yet tame, form of prostitution. Weird. The last story that had was an interview with the founder of Despair Inc.. Despair is one of my favorite online stores. They sell anti-motivational supplies. If you have ever been sick of "Sucessories", check these guys out. See kids, NPR is not just for dorks. It is a fun place where you can hear about all kinds of crazy things. Check it out, you just might like it. B

New Gaping Void Cartoons...

More Cartoons can be found here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Review: Gomez at Birdy's Indianapolis, Indiana

What do you get when you take 6 guys from England, a small club packed to the brim, and one very cold winters day? The answer: one hell of a show. These six Brits are Gomez. For band with very little radio play and mainstream exposure they almost sold the place out. I came to learn later that many fans at the show had driven from as far away as Northern Michigan and Wisconsin in borderline blizzard conditions. The fan's drive was not in vain. After the previous show in Cincinnati was snowed out and cancelled the band decided to rock Indy twice as hard. Tom Gray (guitar, keys, and vocals) lead the charge. Feeding of off the crowd noise and shooting it right back, a crowd that was head bobbing started going nuts. They started off with a couple of favorites including the last single off of In Our Gun, "Shot, Shot". In Our Gun was written in 2001 as a response to the election of George Bush. Needless to say, it is my favorite of their efforts so far. A couple of songs later they played the title track which masquerades as a nice ballad and then proceeds to rock out hard, the crowd went nuts. The band also debuted a hand full of new songs off of their forthcoming March release. All were solid, well written, and a whole lot of fun to dance to. After playing close to a two hour set, the band left the stage and came back for a 5 song encore. They played two of my favorites as encores: "Detroit Swing 66" and "Revolutionary Kind". The later devoling into front man Ian Ball playing solo and drawing out the chorus, very cool and a nice surprise ending. The sheer energy these guys poured into the show and a great crowd response made them a bit hit. I am sure Birdy's is the last small venue we will see them play in Indianapolis. If word of mouth is anything, these guys will spread like wild fire. B

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Measuring your worth by Google...

It started out as a hobby, now blogging is a full blown obsession. I can understand why it is so popular. At various times in my life I have experimented with having a journal but that never could really keep my interest. Plus it is no fun if no one else reads it. I think Matt said it best when describing my blog to a buddy of ours. He said "It's Byron's brain in text form". I could not agree more. Unfortunately I have gotten sucked into something I did not know was possible, a web popularity contest of sorts. In an effort to spread the word of Byron (please excuse all Jesus references...) I have been obsessed with tracking page hits and worse, my Google PageRank. When you install the google tool bar every page you visit shows a rank from 0 to 10 (yes 0 is possible). This is Google's estimation of the page's worth. I (In The Congo) rank a lowly one out of ten. Congrats to Proximity for ranking two out of ten. Hopefully one day this will increase. I have two goals, spread the word of the blog and increase my PageRank. I need a real hobby, I know this. I was pleased to find out that I am googleable now though. If you search for "Byron Schaller" on google I get four hits, all of which are actually me. Get excited. I am officially part of the World Wide Web. How do the rest of you rank? B

Monday, January 26, 2004

The Ghosts of Speeches Past...

Six days ago we all tuned in to hear President George W Bush give his fourth State of the Union address. It is pretty easy to tell by what I wrote earlier that I was not impressed. In fact the speech was so bad that I have been unable to stop thinking about it and how it should be a wake up call to a half asleep nation. This speech stands as the antithesis of what a rallying call should be. When I think of great speeches and the effect they can have, I fell that we were all short changed by this presidency. If GW is going to do unspeakable things in our name he can at least speak about them with grace and elegance. But that has never been his forte has it. His speeches have given us "The Axis of Evil", the sixteen words, and a hard fight against steroid use in pro sports. I am not quite sure what the last one has to do with the State of the Union at all. In all this doom and gloom I have jumped into the Way Back machine know as the Internet and looked up some speeches that were truly moving. William Jefferson Clinton and John Fitzgerald Kennedy were two of the greatest presidential orators this country has ever know. They will forever stand with the likes of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington, and Franklin as some of the best we have had. Here is some of what Clinton had to say in his 1997 State of the Union address: "America is far more than a place. It is an idea, the most powerful idea in the history of nations. And all of us in this Chamber, we are now the bearers of that idea, leading a great people into a new world. A child born tonight will have almost no memory of the 20th century. Everything that child will know about America will be because of what we do now to build a new century." That is truly moving. Here is what JFK had to say in his first State if the Union in 1961: "I am confident that that friendship will continue. Our Constitution wisely assigns both joint and separate roles to each branch of the government; and a President and a Congress who hold each other in mutual respect will neither permit nor attempt any trespass. For my part, I shall withhold from neither the Congress nor the people any fact or report, past, present, or future, which is necessary for an informed judgment of our conduct and hazards. I shall neither shift the burden of executive decisions to the Congress, nor avoid responsibility for the outcome of those decisions." Those are great words of partnership and responsibility. I long for the days when the commander and chief could move all Americans to action for the common good and not be mocked for his "strategery". In these coming days I will be paying close attention to these primary candidates and watching for greatness through speech. We need a president who can move a stagnant nation to the greatness it is capable of, through action not fear. I have gotten in to a bad habit of caring about politics and national discourse. I at least want what I watch to be moving. If that means sounding a barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world, so be it. B

New Gaping Void Cartoons...

More at

Friday, January 23, 2004

Shiver Me Timbers!

Shiver me timbers you know loads about pirate
vocabulary matey so Splice the Mainbrace and
celebrate!yoho!{please vote}
pirate vocabulary
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks Ali for a great Friday Quiz! I could work at Championship as well. Check out this quiz. You all do know my love for pirates! I think I need to remember this site for this year's "Talk Like a Pirate Day". If there is one thing I love more than pirates it is random obscure holidays. I wonder if Michelle Branch will be impresses with my pirate vocab knowledge... B

Brooklyn, WHAT!

Apparently I have been misunderstood. My creative endeavor to discover new depths in Warren G. was a half jest and half a nod to the old school. By old school I mean CYO dances. Being Catholic comes with all kinds of things. You get indoctrinated 1 to 6 times a week about the church. Your parents will probably want you to take Latin. But best of all you get CYO dances. The Catholic Youth Organization puts on these mid-day and sometimes, when you get older, at night, dances. Being at the height of the early 90's we heard a lot of Warren G., Cranberries, and Violent Femmes. To the mind of the twelve year old Warren G. and Paperboy are pretty dope. Plus they have a good beat that your plaid-skirted classmates enjoy shaking it to. That right there is a selling point. Had I been the hep cat that I am now, I would have made requests for some Tribe or Digable Planets. But alas I was not always this cool. Had I been, I could have been the kid that threw his hands in the air when the bass dropped yelling "Brooklyn WHAT!" and represent for my brothers back on the east coast... B

Thursday, January 22, 2004

G-funk on a whole new level...

In the infinite boredom that is my day job I have been pondering the eternal question: "How can I keep it real like Warren G?" I know that I am blessed to have a job that allows me time to ponder such important issues. Second only to Paper Boy in shear genius and inspiration, Warren is a pioneer. Because of him I learned it was cool say "Mount Up!". I also learned what exactly to do when trying to pick up the ladies (read as "gang of hoes") or what to do when you see your homie "end-up". I would be remiss in not also thanking Nate Dogg. Although I do want a public apology for his later work. I don't quite see my self as a "regulator" and I don't think I can impact the level of G-funk. Personally I will try to do for blogging what Warren did for G-funk. I have begun to toy with Movable Type. We will see to what extent I can elevate this art form... B

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the Year of the Monkey! I was born in the Year of the Monkey myself, which I think makes a lot of sense. I would like to give a shout out to all the new monkeys coming onboard this year. The Lunar New Year is one of those great holidays that proves the Universe does not revolve around the USA. I would like to invite you all to share this holiday with me by going to your local Chinese restaurant and checking out those cool zodiac placemats before your food comes. If your choice is a buffet please read the placemat first anyway. Please enjoy learning about a whole new set of sky animals that have absolutely nothing to do with your life. They always say two sets are better than one. Woo hoo, I love being a crab and a monkey. It's just so versatile. Just remember the next time someone asks you what your sign is, tell them both. B

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

News Flash: Dick Cheney Is Alive!

People of America be not afraid! I know that you all thought, much like me, that the Vice President had died some months ago. This is the only possible reason why no one has seen him. However, last night during the State of the Union address a very much alive Dick Cheney sat behind our beloved and fearless leader. Okay , now on the serious part of the post. Last night I had the pleasure of watching President Bush's State of the Union Address. For those of you who had better things to do let me explain. There are two things that really define the State of the Union Address. The first is the President making a speech. The second and far more obvious is way too damn much clapping. One thing I have noticed over the years is the applause during the speech is very interesting to watch. It has it's own dynamics and subtleties. First you have the congressmen and senators of the incumbent president. They clap like hapless idiots after every second sentence. This is quite annoying. Then you have the opposing side. They almost never clap. They did clap last night after Bush said two things: "Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year." and "The tax reductions you passed are set to expire". I found this most humorous. Next you have the Supreme Court Justices. They never even blink much less clap. And last you have invited guests like Tom Brady. He just sat and wondered what the fuck he was doing there. The speech made no mention of space exploration and carried the same Bush rhetoric as always. There was a bunch of "we did good in Iraq", "the economy is really ok", and "seniors won't die now because of prescriptions". There was also a bunch of "everyone is equal in God's eyes, but straight people are more equal", "motherfuckers best recognize or we will blow their shit up", and "there have been no attacks since September 11th so I will say September 11th as much as possible". Ok so that is a bit of paraphrasing, but you get the point. If you really want to read or see the speech visit the link above. Kerry's response afterwards with Tom Brokaw was nice and low key, he did make a point to say Bush was wrong a lot. I like that. As if an article about the State of the Union could not get funnier, take a look at what I found on the web while looking for pictures and transcripts. On the page their is link to Laura Bush's recipes. How funny is that. The "Cowboy Cookies" are my favorite. Proof once again that Bush likes his women in the kitchen. What were your impressions of the speech? B

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Review: Old 97's at The Vogue Indianapolis, Indiana

Last night Brie and I saw the Old 97's at The Vogue. I was really looking forward to this because the last time I saw them was when they opened up for Train and Matchbox 20. As if this was not bad enough I went with a super annoying girl who would not shut up. People who talk through an entire show are way worse than just seeing a shitty band. We arrived promptly when the doors opened at 7 and were able to snag a table and waitress, prime property at The Vogue. It was not very crowded and for a while it looked like no one was coming. A little after 8 The Damnwells from Brooklyn, NY took the stage. The lead guitarist had some serious hair and style issues but the music was a good solid 7/10. Not bad for an opening act. After about an hour set and a quick change Rhett and Co. took the stage. The third song they played was my favorite of theirs , "Lonely Holiday" off of Fight Songs. They played a great mix of old b-sides, singles, brand new songs, a Merle Haggard cover, and a song originally written for the Ranchero Brothers side project. After a nice long set Rhett came out and performed two off of his solo record. Much like when he opened for Tori Amos he tore through the songs playing them as fast as possible. I like the album version better. After that Murray played one of his solo more country than alt songs. The rest of the band then joined them for three more songs. Quite a long encore. All said and done we were out of their by a little after 11. Not bad for a full Monday of music. I enjoyed the band much more this time and hope that the next time Rhett is in town he brings Murray, Ken and Phil with him. Join the Reviewer's Corner next week for a look at Gomez. B

Kerry Wins...

Welcome everyone to yet another exciting day in politics. Big news all around, from the big win for Sen. John Kerry (D MA), to GW's State of the Union Address. Although I do favor Howard Dean, I must say that all the excitement and big turn out last night are good signs. I am also pleased with Dick Gephardt's decision to drop. He was my least favorite. I was listening to a NPR this morning and a commentator said that with this big of a race and the top three contenders so close it could go all the way to the convention. This would give lots of free press to the Democrats and not give Bush the time he wants to attack one candidate early on in the campaign. This is good for voters. After being disillusioned for a while, this primary is really giving me hope. Although I still think the idea of Al Sharpton as president is real funny, I think whoever the Democrats decide to run will be at least a better choice and possibly a really good choice against Bush. I think the biggest bonus is the fact that the Democrats have much better blogs. You would think that the president could slide in some blogging time while running the free world. In completely unrelated news it is David Lynch's 54th birthday. Happy birthday David! Stay tuned for last night's show review...B

Monday, January 19, 2004


Get excited everyone, I have been accepted into the BlogChat beta. This means that if I am online you can have a conversation with me right through the blog. Please give it a shot. Just visit the Congo Tribal Council link. If you want even more conversations check out Fresh Air and listen to some great interviews by Terri Gross. B

Happy Democracy Day!

Today is truly a day to celebrate democracy. I would like to wish everyone a happy King Holiday and hope that you spend at least a little time today reflecting on what this means. Sure it is a day off school and work for some but I think we overlook the intentions of this day of observation and reflection. Today is truly a day to reflect on how far our young country has come and what we still have left to do. We have fought hard the battle against discrimination and hate, but the war is not yet over. I challenge everyone to step back for a couple of minutes today and think of what they can do in a small way to make us better. If I have any readers in Iowa, you guys have an extra special opportunity today. Today is the first primary election for the 2004 election. As you probably all know, we here in the Congo proudly support Howard Dean. If you would like to please vote for him, but also remember that the most important thing is just to VOTE! Voting is not only fun but it also buys you the right to bitch for the next 4 years. So when you have some time today reflect on the importance of today's events, I know I will. P.S. Who do you want to win the caucus in Iowa? Let me know I will keep a tally. B

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Worst Christmas Ever...

Today when I woke up I got into the shower. At least I thought it was the shower. I think that although I was cleaned by water and soap, it was in fact Mr. Peabody's Way-back Machine. I was wisked back to 1994 and saw a Colts team from that era. Four intersecptions and a fumble as well as well horrible officiating led to the demise of the Colts. After close watching all year this was not the team I knew. They played outside in the cold and snow, but I can not blame what happened on the weather. I don't know why they fell apart but I will look forward to the next season. I hope the jersey I bought, the first sports paraphenalia I have owned, will not go to waste. With all this said, I would like to thanks them all for a great season and I look forward to a good one next year. B

Friday, January 16, 2004

Fair and Balanced...

I would like to welcome back our friends at Proxmity. It has been a while. Now, on to the story. Yesterday I had to take my car into the shop to repair an ignition coil. I was in the waiting room and had nothing better to do than watch the television which was conveniently set on Fox News. Normally I would never watch Fox News but I decided it was better than looking at the floor. I found it rather humorous that apparently Fox News has the new slogan: "Fair and Balanced". Wow. If there are two things that Fox News is not it is definitely fair and balanced. Now granted Rupert Murdoch is no Elliot Carver he is not the nicest guy either. Liberals and the Left should love Fox News. When everyone says that the media is liberal all you have to do is watch Fox report on the war in Iraq and boom (no pun intended) you can prove it is not liberal. In fact I even got the idea to post the constant Terror Alert Level from them. I hope everyone in Nebraska knows we are on "Yellow". However, I think they would only care if aliens making crop circles were on a watch list. All of this really culminated when I saw this cartoon on my Great Thompson Hunt. There was a time were being a journalist was noble, even respectable. Now you are in league with Mr. Rivera and his ilk. I just love how he smiles when talking about dead people. The sad thing is, he is immortal. No enemy of the USA would ever kill Geraldo, they would be doing America a favor. I still can't see how people can take this guy seriously. I mean at least Wolf Blitzer looks respectable even though he may not be much better. With all the propaganda on cable news I am glad we have the net where we can come and get our propaganda is nice written bloggy format. No one ever said we had a right to be propaganda free, but at least we can choose which stuff we want to consume. I guess that's a little better than Communism. B

Thursday, January 15, 2004

A day that shall live in infamy...

It is a dark, dark day. JP Morgan Chase and Bank One are merging. GW is peddling his new Moon and Mars plans. Mad cow disease is upon us. Any of these three things by themselves could signal the end of the world, but it gets worse. According to the love of my life, Katie Holmes, is engaged. After all that pining she goes and shacks up with the guy who plays Oz in American Pie. Of course she is not married yet. There still is precious little time for me to convince her that I am Mr. Right. Part of me is truly upset and part of me wants to just move on to Michele Branch. I could learn to love Hotel Paper. Okay maybe not. I have done it all wrong. Instead of taking computer classes I should have taken Jazz choir. I can sing James Taylor damnit! B

A Free Man In Paris

As promised, albeit a little late, here is my review of David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty One Day. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I keep reading books by gay men (I still maintain that Salinger is gay too). Apparently gay people have the special ability to make self deprecation really humorous. There were a number of times when reading this that I laughed out load. Seriously funny. The book is divided in to two sections aptly named "One" and "Deux". "One" is various stories from him life here in the states. "Deux" is about his life as an "ex-pat" living in France. One particularly funny part was when he was talking about his French class in France trying to explain Easter to a Muslim who had never heard of it. It involved funny translations like "Jesus tied to two morsels of lumber". His stories about Amy are hysterical. Apparently one day when getting off the El in Chicago she yelled back at him "Good luck beating that rape charge!" for no good reason. I really enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it. Now I am on to read the definitely less funny No Logo by Naomi Klein. Being not humor and thicker, this might take some time. Check back later for the news of the day update. B

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Is there a doctor in the house?

Learning, I have decided, is an interesting and slow process. I think that this blog demonstrates that axiom rather well. My skills at HTML were completely nonexistent when I started but are getting better. As you can probably tell I have learned about post titles, how to float pictures, and even some nifty font tricks. Although not my primary reason for starting the blog, I guess becoming proficient at writing code isn't a bad thing. My main reason for wanting to flood the Internet with the never ending monologue that is in my head is to improve my writing. I you can tell by the last sentence, I have a ways to go. I haven't quite grasped the whole comma thing yet, but I am trying. I guess this goes back to the being a college drop out and opening one grammar book in my life. If you want to know how to conjugate verbs in Latin, French, or German I am your man. If you want to know were commas go I am no help. I still throw them around for the hell for it and hope people get the point but I really haven't a clue.
I have wanted to write a long time and just never got around to it. This is much the same with my desire to become a ninja. Hey if Chris Farley can do it, why not me? I want to be a bold and witty writer. Reading books by Michael Moore, David Sedaris, and Nick Hornby have fanned this flame. They are way better than me, but it is a nice goal. There is one other author that I think of when I think of being bold and witty. HST. Hunter Thompson has got to be one of the craziest and funniest people who was ever lived. What's better is he documents all of this craziness. The other day I was sitting over at Brie's apartment and was discussing how I needed to spread the word of the blog with her roommate Kate. Kate was surely joking when she said: "You should email Thompson". Some of you may know that HST writes for EPSN's website on their "Page 2" section. Kate was sure their would be a feedback email address for him. After thinking about it I said what the hell. I went to ESPN's site in search of HST's email address. Unfortunately I had not luck. I am now on a quest to find this address and see if I can convince the good doctor to read and comment on my site. This is my goal for 2003. However, if he does start to visit I should probably learn to write better. What do you think? Feel free to post on our nifty new commenting system. Their will be gold stars given to anyone who can either tell me how many commas are in the post versus how many are used correctly, or get me HST's email address. Happy hunting. Stay tuned later for a full review of Me Talk Pretty One Day. B

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Sex in the City...

In honor of the final season of Sex in the City and the events of last night I have decided to write my post Carrie Bradshaw style. The names except for Matt have been changed to protect the innocent and those not so as well.
Indianapolis is a fairly boring city. Things tend to pretty much stay the same. Sure there is always drama, but after a while it is all the same drama. This was not the case last night. When people think Monday the words danger and excitement do not so much come to mind. I'll start from the beginning. So my buddy Bill got a new a job so we decided to go out and have a guys-night-out to celebrate. Matt goes to Bill's apartment to meet him after he gets off work. Matt shows up and finds Bill and his friend Cindy. We are ready to go out and Matt asks Cindy if she would like to come too. She says sure. Bill has to make a quick stop before we go out so Cindy takes him while Matt picks me up at work. Matt also has Bill's cell phone so he can stay in touch being as Matt does not have one of his own. We are on our way to the bar to meet Bill and Cindy when Bill's fiance Veronica calls his cell phone. Matt sees this and answers it. Veronica asks if Bill is there and Matt says no he is with Cindy and they are going to meet us. Veronica is not please by such things and asks if Cindy was at the apartment and Matt being the honest man he is tells Veronica that she was. Now she is steamed. Matt hangs up and we carry on to the next block. Still not at the bar and Veronica calls me and asks if we are with Bill yet. I respond negative and she asks me to have him call her ASAP. We get to the bar the same time they do and proceed to have drinks and merriment. Veronica keeps calling Bill again and again. Around nine we make our way out of the bar and find Veronica has been waiting in her car with a friend. She gets out and confronts Bill, thanking him for lying to her. A long talk ensues while Matt and I just want to go to La Bambas for a burrito. Bill asks Matt and I to drop off Veronica and him at home. Matt agrees. The ride home is a very quiet one. We think that Bill had quite a talking to when he got home. By the way, Bill and Veronica are engaged. This brings me to my point. Why did Veronica feel the need to stake out the bar and have a confrontation with Bill? Why did she not just come inside and drag him out. Also, if this is how she is going to act why does Bill want to marry her? Bill can obviously not be himself so what is the point? Matt and I theorize that Veronica has some serious control issues. It is clear that she thinks Bill and Cindy are more than friends, why does she stay? All of these are good questions and I would like everyone's input. Let me know what you think. We now have a nifty new commenting system, feel free to use it. I would like to start a dialogue about marriage, fidelity, and control in relationships.
On a lighter and happier note, Matt is the proud recipient of the playa of the week award. Overnight he has gone from bachelor extraordinaire to the number one playa in his postal code. Way to go Matt. We here in the Congo salute you. As the old expression goes, when it rains it pours. It is about time to capitalize on that whole nice guy thing. Out of the three you should find one that can pass your tests. Best of luck. These are my two cents, where are yours? B

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Thirteen: Teen Vice in Inde Film
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