Saturday, February 28, 2009

Well This Is Just Stupid

Hey guess what?! There's a new "supergroup" in the works within the music world and it's bonkers. It involves former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, and Hanson's (yes that Hanson) Taylor Hanson. This can't be for real right?


What is the point of these four getting together and churning out awful renditions of Rick Springfield style poptunes? The best part is, I'm sure everyone will love it. This, my friends, is why I will welcome the end of the world. Better sooner than later.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Many Mets

Is it me or does like every team in the baseball classic have a Met on it? I don't know who to root for.

Let me see here.
  • David Wright & godsend J.J Putz are gonna represent USA
  • Jose Reyes is the lone Met amongst the Dominican Republic
  • Beltran, Delgado, Figueroa, Jesus Feliciano, Pedro Feliciano & Alex Cora are all playing for the Puerto Rican team
  • Francisco Rodriguez will hone his closing skills for Venezuela, only briefly
  • Oliver Perez & Elmer Dessens are on Team Mexico
  • some dude named Ruben Tejada will play for Panama
  • down under & around the horn, Stefan Welch
  • and Shawn Bowman? is playing for Canada?
And that's not including Johan Santana, who pulled out for Venezuela & even tho he's not a Met anymore, Pedro Martinez will be pitching for the Dominican Republic. I think the Mets have the most players going to the Classic this year........................................


Yes. I did the math. The Mets have 15 (not including Martinez) playing in the WBC, followed closely by the Red Sox who have 14, and both the Twins & Mariners who each have 12, one Mariner being ex-Met great Endy Chavez.

Makes you wonder, if all these Mets are the greatest even when choosing from an entire country, why have the last two seasons been such a nightmare? Maybe it's a bad thing their all going. Maybe they should just stay at spring training and work at some more of that small ball.

Hmm. I've decided not to root for anyone and just enjoy. Yay baseball!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hallelujah! Antiques!

Ready to be embarrassed to know us?

How excited were we the other day when we decided to follow the smallest of signs pointing us to a mysterious back alley shop and after losing our way between old brick buildings and wandering into workshops we finally stumbled upon the Olde Engine Works Antique Mart!


One of our favorite things to do on a lazy day while we lived in Georgia was to hit up all our favorite antique marts. There was the one near Hooters off 41, which we hit up regularly due to it's proximity to Laura's workplace. That's where we found our Benjamin Franklin bust amongst other little treasures still stashed around the house. The infamous traffic signal debacle, where Laura convinced the guy not to sell me this amazing piece so that she could surprise me with it later on. I was actually pretty mean to the dude, but that happened at an amazing shop on route 41 right near the Big Chicken. And the one tucked away in the back of a strip mall on the corner of 92 and Canton Highway. I think that's where we got our green breakfast table, the one we hold so dear. Then there was another favorite further down 92, where it meets Bells Ferry, and where we both, on separate occasions, picked out the exact same lamp without knowing the other had ever seen it. It now hangs over our bed. So, yes, it's safe to say we enjoy "antiquing" even tho it sounds like something my Mom does (hi Mom, love you).


So you can only imagine how quickly our faces changed from probable blank canvases to smiles ten feet wide as we entered this humongous warehouse chalk full of treasures and riches and prize finds!


And even tho we were pretty hungry at that moment, we managed to spend a good hour or two scouring each nook & cranny for things to tickle our fancies.


Days like that make us wanna be millionaires. I guess being a millionaire any day would be nice tho.


I just thought this guy was creepy is all.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Life With Less Color

Where have we been? I haven't posted anything significant on here since last week. And of course the significance of said posts are deemed questionable as well. Ok what no-good have our souls been up to.

Last Wednesday I photographed a lovely winter sunset, may be the last one this season.


And then Thursday night Laura & I moved the toaster into the living room so we could enjoy some toaster strudels and not miss our television program. I wonder if the design you make on your toaster strudel tells anything about your personalities. Can you tell which strudel is whose?



{answers below}

Friday was relatively uneventful, in that we saw no relatives. Ha! But no really, we didn't do much. I did however learn how to set my camera to take black & white photographs. Madness ensued.


Saturday was Saturday. I had planned on being out of town but plans got pushed back. Highlight of the day: probably this delicious salad and watching Man On Wire. Great film about the other day everyone stared up at the World Trade Centers and one you should definitely see, if you can, again, stand French subtitles. Aren't we such movie snobs?


Sunday. Now Sunday was a big day. We have been making big plans. Big plans that involve windows, toilets, stackable washer/dryer & sledgehammers. But we needed to do some clearing of a mess that's been accumulating since May 23rd, the day we moved in. I say we made a ton of progress and are quite pleased with where we are in these developmental stages, even tho it meant throwing out my favorite found couch.


We also discovered the sepia setting on our camera and used it on some close-up photos.


Oh! And Laura made bread. It's gone already.


Monday was back to the grind, but I had a free moment and pretended to play stalker. I think I freaked out some old ladies.


Yesterday was a whole new adventure, but I'll have to get to that later on. I got stuff to do.

{A. Travis's strudel, B. Laura's strudel}

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bing Bong

I been going thru the photos from last year, organizing them some. Look what I found.

I like this one.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon

I've given up trying to keep up with new movies as they come out. I still haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire. And that's fine. Something satisfying in waiting for the hooplah to die down and see it on your own accord; somewhat. Anyhow, I just watched the Diving Bell & The Butterfly, the film about the late Jean-Dominique Bauby, his stroke, and the realizations he was able to arrive upon thru only blinking one eye til the day he died. Brilliantly shot & acted, I even watched the "making of" featurette on the DVD that had me respecting the approach taken towards telling this story. Highly recommended, if you can stand reading subtitles of course.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mixtape> 1.29 thru 2.19

Categorical Impulses

  1. Gustaf Spetz - Lava
  2. Bound Stems - Sugar City Magic
  3. The Soul's Release - Catching Fireflies
  4. Sholi - Any Other God
  5. Gregory & The Hawk - Oats We Sow
  6. Kyle Andrews - Sushi
  7. Charles Hamilton - Windows Media Player
  8. The Lovely Sparrows - Larks & Owls
  9. Lia Ices - Twins
  10. Leander - Four Days
  11. Cazals - New Boy In Town
  12. The Stills - Snakecharming The Masses
  13. Sunken Foal - A Bear In The Hermitage
  14. Lily Allen - The Fear
  15. Sun City Girls - Mr. Lonely Viola
  16. Odawas - Secrets Of The Fall
  17. Malajube - Dragon De Glace
  18. Timber Timbre - Magic Arrow
  19. Kay Kay His Weathered Underground - Swan Ink
  20. Telefon Tel Aviv - Stay Away From Being Maybe
  21. A Camp - Love Has Left The Room
  22. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Hey Paul
  23. The M's - Naked
  24. Christopher Bailleau & Neal Williams - A Mountain Of Flutes
  25. Morrissey - You Were Good In Your Time
  26. Anni Rossi - Machine
  27. An Horse - Rearrange Beds
  28. De Rosa - Under The Stairs
  29. Frances - Locket
  30. School Of Seven Bells - Iamundernodisguise
  31. The Deadly Syndrome - Animals Wearing Clothes

William Hopkins Holyland

We Like To

Another Facebook game. This one made us laugh quite a bit. Laura's more than mine. Here's how it works.

a. Go to Google
b. Type your name and the words "likes to" all in quotation marks. (e.g. "Julie likes to")
c. Report back on the first 10 things that come up for your name.

Here's mine:
  1. Travis likes to play without feelings
  2. Travis likes to relax
  3. Travis likes to be seen at the Ultra Supper Club
  4. Travis likes to sew puppets
  5. Travis likes to play his Walkman and view cartoons
  6. Travis likes to bring happiness to as many lives as he can with and through his singing
  7. Travis likes to have him around because he always wears a helmet camera and knows how to pack a chute
  8. Travis likes to explore the natural beauty of the North Georgia Mountains and foothills
  9. Travis likes to recount a time he was on tour with Jones in Kentucky
  10. Travis likes to dance in bras!

Here's Laura's:
  1. Laura likes to be admired and she has a tendency to force admiration by fishing
  2. Laura likes to watch the boys play
  3. Laura likes to reminisce about times spent gesticulating at others
  4. Laura likes to curl her luscious long mane into well formed stunning spiral curls
  5. Laura likes to see how hard the ground is on a daily basis
  6. Laura likes to make baseless accusations that somehow papers have published that people do not appreciate
  7. Laura likes to say, 'visitatin'
  8. Laura likes to eat burritos and listen to Prince records
  9. Laura likes to wear pastels
  10. Laura likes to get hammered

Snow Return


As do the deer...


...haven't seen these guys in like a week. Look at him, he thinks he's staying out of the snow under there. Silly deer. Go eat those pumpkins we threw in the woods last week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big & Chase Chicks

Don't mind the commercial

About Yesterday

Yesterday started off same as most days.


Out for a drive then? Yes we were. Made the left off Coolbaugh and headed out towards Newfoundland. Have some relatives out there with a pretty big spread, Susie & Eileen, but they have an RD address and we couldn't find it. Someday. Mainly just taking in some of our neighboring towns and braving mountain passes. We came across a house we looked at back in October 2007.


We liked it because it had that huge basement, but mainly we really liked the area. We were kinda bummed when it sold shortly thereafter, but just yesterday morning I realized how close we are to it. Like 1 mile. So we ended up living in the area we thought we'd like, and we do. That's confusing.


Driving nowhere in particular we took in a few abandoned homes, or motorhomes, something that goes back to our days in Canton Georgia when we'd ravage empty houses for any possible hidden treasure or nonpareil. This place skeeved us out so much that we didn't have time to jack anything and just split.


While we drove we planned the evenings dinner. We would make a delicious salad consisting of yellow & orange bell peppers, goat cheese & spring mix followed by a scrumptious tikka masala chicken, spread it over basmati rice, and finish it off with some real rice pudding. Our lack of ability to conceive all the needed ingredients however led us to stopping at three separate groceries...


...and ultimately having BLT's. Those were delicious too, tho.


Why do we have photos of grocery stores you might ask. Well there's just no good answer for that question is there now?


Butterflies In Michigan

Laura's iPod Thing


1. Copy this Note and paste it in a new note
2. Put your MP3 player, iPod, digital music player on shuffle/random
2. Press Play and use the first song/artist to answer the first question
3. Hit “next” and use the next song to answer the next question....and so on
4. Then tag 25 people including me

1. How am I feeling today? Handed (Lithops)

2. How far will I get in life? Ship Of Love (Dum Dum Girls)

3. What is my best friend’s theme song? Money Babies (The Dears)

4. What was high school like? Further Back (Efdemin)

5. How will today be? The Day I Lost My Voice (Copeland)

6.What is in store for me this weekend? Autumn Winter Spring (Jay-Jay Johanson)

7. What is the best thing about me? A Piacere (Mama!Milk)

8. What song describes my parents? Butcherman (Charles Hamilton)

9. How is my life going? Contortionists (The Republic Tigers)

10. What song will they play at my funeral? Here Should Be My Home (No Age)

11. How does the world see me? Vortex (Benevento Russo Duo)

12. What do my friends think of me? Everything Changed (Aqualung)

13. Do people secretly think I’m good looking? Band Hammer (Lucky Dragons)

14. How can I make myself happy? Clock Shock & Freedom (Valina)

15. What should I do with my life? Dig To The Orient (Aeroplane,1929)

16. What is some good advice? Dogwood (Antlers)

17. Will I get married? Play Play (Toboggan)

18. Where will I go in life? She Sells Sea Shells (Beep Seals)

19. Will I have kids? The Machine Will Tell Us So (Papercuts)

20. What is my current theme song? Island Avenue (Jacuzzi Boys)

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Puppy For Estlers

My mom's been wanting a new dog and was planning on rescuing a boxer from Arizona or somewhere, but she was a little nervous about never meeting the the puppy before they had to make commitment. By luck Laura & I passed a house earlier in the week with a large sign out front that read...


Serendipitous! I forwarded the number on to Jackson and by Saturday evening a meeting was scheduled. Sunday morning my parents drove up along with Tyler to [hopefully] meet their new dog. Ed & Carol Meyer were also in town for some sort of Elk Club/VFW thing in Mt. Pocono, so they swung by as well.


We took two cars over to the residence. Laura & I rode with the Meyers and heard all about their weekend with old folks, eating and sleeping and playing naked bingo twister. The Meyers are a little off.


I'm sure they did not expect seven people to show up to see this puppy, nonetheless there we were, ringing the doorbell, seven people, two cameras, I'm sure they were ecstatic about it. But we were brief. My parents fell in love instantly and a quick exchange of papers and we were off again, this time with a little boxer pup.

The mother

Laura wanted to take the big one home that they named Tank.


He did well, saving the poop for our backyard and playing and sleeping and doing puppy things.


Everyone had to get going pretty quickly, but we had time for some pizza and catch up. But I'm glad my parents got a new puppy. That house needs a dog. I just hope they don't name him Wellington.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Happiness Project Works

2009 is shaping up, musically. First Animal Collective drop the album of a lifetime. Stellar follow-up by longtime favorites like Andrew Bird & M. Ward. New favorites Fol Chen, The Bird & The Bee, Here We Go Magic and Frances. I like what I'm hearing.

And just when I thought my ears were full and I couldn't take in another note, along comes a humongous breath of fresh air like Charles Spearin and his Happiness Project. From the first 12 seconds you can tell this album is gonna be a trip. Introspective "lyrics" give way to aping melody and when the conversations begin to trade off between interviewer & interviewee you are already locked in. From there it only gets better. I've never heard music approached in this manner.

In the album’s liner notes, Charles took time to write a bit of an explanation on the idea behind the project.
“These are my neighbours. My wife and I have two little kids and live in downtown Toronto.” Spearin explains, “In the summertime, all the kids in the neighbourhood play outside together and everyone is out on their porch enjoying each other’s company, telling stories and sharing thoughts. A year or so ago I began inviting some of them over to the house for a casual interview vaguely centered around the subject of happiness. In some cases we never broached the subject directly but none-the-less my friends began to call it my “Happiness Project”.

After each interview Spearin would listen back to the recording and examine the thoughts expressed. In addition, he noticed a natural melody and cadence to the speaking voices of his neighbours as they each discussed their views on “happiness”. “It has always been interesting to me how we use sounds to convey concepts,” says Spearin. “Normally, we don’t pay any attention to the movement of our lips and tongue, and the rising and falling of our voices as we toss our thoughts back and forth to each other,“ he continues, “We just talk and listen. The only time we pay attention to these qualities is in song.
With The Happiness Project, Spearin blurs the line between speaking and singing - life and art - and writes music based on these accidental melodies. With the help of some of his musician friends, Charles plays the instruments to match these natural neighbourhood melodies inspired by thought and happiness and then, as Charles concludes, “I arranged them as though they were songs. All of the melodies on this album are the melodies of every day life.

I linked to his myspace in there and on the sidebar a while down. His album comes out today, Valentines Day, how appropriate.

Do yourself a favor...

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Moderate Thaw

Looks like them groundhogs was wrong. Snow is disappearing...


...retreating like Tecumseh. And everything feels brand new.

P.S. Lesson for yesterday: Cats like fish.