Sunday, April 29, 2007

If it's been a while since I posted anything, that's because not much is going on these days. The ski season at Winter Park ended on April 14, and since then I've been laying low. I've been talking with my sponsor, Charter Communications, about the possibility of interning with their PR department this summer/fall, either in Denver or at their St. Louis headquarters. Nothing is confirmed yet, but it seems to be looking like a good bet.

I've been to a couple of concerts in Denver lately. I met up with my ski tech, Ian G., at the Gothic Theater in Englewood for a rousing performance by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. Then last night Nick and I went to see Bright Eyes at a decidedly non-rock-&-roll venue, the Temple Buell Theater at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Conor Oberst & co. (I counted 12 backing musicians, including two drummers (both women!), two guitarists besides Conor, a bassist, a keyboard/trumpet player, two cellists, two violinists, a sax player, and a flutist!) played mostly songs off of their new album, Cassadaga, but capped off the evening with a raucous performance of the older fave "Road to Joy," which incorporates the melody from Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Oberst looked dapper in a white suit and encouraged the crowd to its feet, turning a concert-hall performance into some semblance of a rock-club throwdown.

I have also been going to the gym a lot to get started on a new conditioning program for 2007-08, following a lot of Red Sox games on the Internet, and putting off cleaning my desk and my bedroom. Also, I've gotten quite a bit of research done for Check it out if you haven't already.

Our first ski team camp to prepare us for next season will take us to A-Basin beginning May 8. Then we head to the OTC in Colorado Springs for a few days of testing, and then perhaps I'll get in a trip to Maine before our next ski camp in June, at Mt. Hood, Ore.

I'll leave you with an amazing photograph. This picture, by one Ron Jenkins, shows a baseball bat that left the hands of the Cleveland Indians' Kelly Shoppach (a former Portland Sea Dog, I might add) and wreaked havoc on the jaw of an unsuspecting fan. I think my favorite part is the concerned reactions of all the people around him, contrasted with the incredibly unconcerned (or more likely, oblivious) cool of the little girl at bottom center. The photo is captioned "Bat out of Hell." I'm unable to post it here directly, so follow this link.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

should we talk about the weather? should we talk about the government?

Yesterday I was outside in short sleeves. Last night, the wind picked up and it started snowing. By this morning there were a couple inches on the ground. The clouds had cleared and the sun was out, but the wind was still out in full force. As I sat inside getting my hair cut, gusts blew snowdrifts off of roofs, and the air above the tops of the mountain peaks was full of towering wisps of white. Looking outside now, the gusts haven't let up much. Spring in Winter Park is an unpredictable time.

I met up with a college friend, Andy F., in Denver yesterday. We went to see the new Hamilton Building at the Denver Art Museum. Daniel Liebeskind's modernist creation has very few right angles and very few curves; even inside, structural columns descend at odd angles. It's a great space for looking at art though, and the highlight was "RADAR," a couple's private collection of contemporary work from around the world, from Japanese anime-inspired sculpture to one of Damien Hirst's formalydehyde-preserved creatures — in this case, a bull's head.

Speaking of art, the totally overrated English band Art Brut has an awesomely simplistic song that goes, "Modern art makes me want to rock out!" I could only listen to that song so many times, but that's a slogan I'd be proud to wear unironically on a T-shirt.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

what we have here is...

I love discovering a classic that I'd somehow missed until now. Tonight I finally saw Cool Hand Luke in its entirety, and I'd have to put it in my all-time top ten. Paul Newman's Luke is the ideal anti-hero, and the film is the prison-movie antithesis of feel-good fare like The Shawshank Redemption. Plus it has some memorable lines. There's the classic "What we have here is a failure to communicate!" (This one is #11 in the AFI's list of the top 100 American movie quotes of the last 100 years.) And then there's my personal favorite, Luke's line in the poker-game scene that gives him his nickname: "Sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand."

Then perhaps best of all, there's the song "Plastic Jesus," which I first heard my cousins singing when I was probably ten. Later, I heard the Flaming Lips' version, released on their 1993 album Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. But I'd never heard Luke sing it until now.

Plastic Jesus

Trad., arr. Ed Rush and George Cromarty

Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations,
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.

Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through my trials and tribulations,
And my travels through the nations,
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.

I don't care if it rains or freezes
As long as I've got my Plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car,
You can buy Him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, He's pink and pleasant,
Take Him with you when you're traveling far

I don't care if it's dark or scary
Long as I have magnetic Mary
Ridin' on the dashboard of my car
I feel I'm protected amply
I've got the whole damn Holy Family
Riding on the dashboard of my car

You can buy a Sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shell
Goin' ninety, I'm not wary
'Cause I've got my Virgin Mary
Guaranteeing I won't go to Hell

I don't care if it bumps or jostles
Long as I got the Twelve Apostles
Bolted to the dashboard of my car
Don't I have a pious mess
Such a crowd of holiness
Strung across the dashboard of my car.

Monday, April 02, 2007

new look for

Thanks to the web talents of Jared and the graphic-design skillz of Richie Jay, there is a whole new look over at my lexicographical endeavor, Go check it out... you can search for stuff, but since there are still not very many entries online, the best way to browse the dictionary right now is probably to start here, on the Recent Changes page.