Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Aural Quarterly. 4-6/2009

The Best of 2009 Contenders (April - June)
  1. Dirty Projectors
  2. White Rabbits
  3. Phoenix
  4. Cryptacize
  5. The Lovely Feathers
  6. St. Vincent
  7. Grizzly Bear
  8. Black Moth Super Rainbow
  9. Camera Obscura
  10. Patrick Watson
  11. Akron/Family
  12. Tortoise
  13. Bill Callahan
  14. Apostle Of Hustle
  15. Dan Zimmerman
  16. Bat For Lashes

Crashing Onto The Scene
  1. Crystal Antlers
  2. Blk Jks
  3. Candy Claws
  4. Like Bells
  5. We Were Promised Jetpacks
  6. Tim Exile
  7. Foreign Born
  8. Sunbears!
  9. Two Fingers
  10. Crocodiles
  11. City Center

Unexpected Greatness
  1. Pomegranates
  2. The Maccabees
  3. Speck Mountain
  4. Pink Mountaintops

Walking Familiar Ground

  1. Doves
  2. The Thermals
  3. Metric
  4. Papercuts
  5. Au Revoir Simone
  6. Jason Lytle
  7. Passion Pit

Say What?
  1. Black Dice
  2. Deradoorian
  3. I.U.D.
  4. The Woodlands
  5. Clues
  6. Diamond Watch Wrists
  7. Boutros Bubba
  8. Intelligence

Revisiting The Oldies

  1. Jason Forrest
  2. Pavement
  3. Menomena
  4. The Beta Band
  5. Max Richter

Eh, They've Done Better
  1. John Vanderslice
  2. Noisettes
  3. Patrick Wolf
  4. The Ghost Is Dancing
  5. Savath Y Savalas
  6. Pterodactyl
  7. Woods

Brief Yet Effective

Why does the time I spend at home always go so quickly and four days in Tennessee last an eternity? The time I've spent home this summer have been so far and in-between, I feel like a visitor. But we got some quality time in there and even got [some of] the lawn cut. We deal in extremes.

Laura exudes that fresh-from-an-airport-pickup look

First thing to do once you arrive in NJ: Diner

I liked this house. Now we like this house.

I love both these things

Home is nigh

We took in an oldie

She wanted to mow, so I had to rake

Making the daily sweat

Getting ready to be "back in it"

Laura, meet the RxHSCG09

This years show is Rambo: First Blood (apparently)

Then this happened

Now it is time to leave again. I'm off to live on a bus, which I hear is standing room only, so it should be good times. At least Daniel & I can share the three seater. That's right - pulling seniority at 31. And I end up in my hometown. First time that has happened. What to expect? It's all so exciting.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Demented Mind Asleep

The TV was on the wrong wall, the wrong side of the room, and it wasn't working. And rather than bring the TV down to the car we brought the car to the TV, which somehow of course got upside-down in our bedroom causing quite an obstacle you can imagine. We called our neighbor, a black man who was for some reason dressed like Wonder Woman.

"Our TV broke and the car is upside down in the bedroom."

"I have someone for that"

There may or may not have been a piñata involved. What ever happened to visions of sugarplums?

MaMaSe MaMaSa MaMaCooSa

As much as I'd like to resist jumping on the posthumous memorial bandwagon, I can't deny that Michael Jackson, and Thriller especially was a huge part of my childhood and most definitely helped shape my palate in some way, at least musically. I never sported a red leather jacket or left the house wearing one shiny glove or anything.

After seeing all the old footage on the television the past few days I am having strong recollections of frequently in my formative years watching the making of Thriller, on VHS of course, all the behind the scenes looks at the make-up, the candid shots & the clips from Werewolf of London (I can't watch that movie without thinking of Jacko.) And of course there's the glowing tiles of Billy Jean, the knife fight/dance of Beat It, the lean of Smooth Criminal. Every track was a frigin adventure, and not to sound beyond my years but, they don't make 'em like that anymore.

I remember hearing about new Michael Jackson albums coming out, while I was in high school of course, but didn't want to look like a nutjob buying them at the record store (yeah remember those). Now that I'm in my 30's and could care less, I'll admit to having every album, pre-Quincy Jones era & yes even HIStory, and I have never skipped an MJ track in random play.

I will however admit to my total indifference when it came to the MJ of the late 90's and the current decade. Hideous surgical procedures, hair catching on fire, dangling children over balconies, awkward marriages, molestation charges; I completely checked out. And it is a shame, in the wake of all the stories coming out now of drug abuse and his general naiveté, but I guess that's what made him him.

So, anyhow, here it is. My little acknowledgement of the passing of a legend.

Call it what you will. I am not sad or sobbing as I type this, but it does feel like there's some kind of hole in the universe. That may be a gross overstatement but you know what I mean. Not like I was awaiting a comeback or anything, c'mon now. But I do have to see if my parents still have that Thriller album on vinyl.

Little side note: Laura once clogged (that's right I said clogged) to Thriller outfitted in full zombie regalia. I'm looking to acquire a video as we speak. It's only a matter of time dear.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ágætis Byrjun Is Ten

Ten years ago I heard this strange new music...

nýja lagið from sigur-ros.co.uk on Vimeo.

What A Long, Strange Trip


Sometimes a week can go by seemingly in a day, especially when you're enjoying yourself. Such was not the case the past week and a half, which seemed to last an eternity, and not that I wasn't having a good time. Maybe it was the humidity.

Humidity pictured here in my camera's lens:


Budd showing us some early designs for Teal's uniforms:


Pink skies were the limit:




I went thru about four shirts a day down in Thomasville, where at 10 pm it was 98 degrees and humid:


This orange towel barely left my head:


What better when it's 104° out than the world's largest rib roast:


Eric informed me one night that he was at the Dirty Projectors concert hearing live reenactments of one of the best albums to come out this year. I surely would have been there with him had I not had to work. But the next best thing was this Dave Longstreth look-alike in the rifle line:


Best part of the weekend was Marios viola interpretations:

Budd was not impressed:

I have a favorite new airport - Memphis! Why? Free aerobeds!


...and Elvis in tile!


Met up with Johnny at the Charlotte airport and scared off a few southern travlers. No surprise there:


Then off to Ooltewah for a few days, which was quite enjoyable. I would like to go back someday:


The girls there were.... uhm... interesting:


And then this happened:


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Summer Southern

About to embark on the southern portion of my summer. Eleven days of humidity and heat and misery. Destinations include but are not limited to...
  • Memphis
  • Tallahassee
  • Atlanta
  • Ooltewah
  • Charlotte
  • Newark
That would it for this summer. I don't do the southern tours much anymore. Too hot. And no idea as to any access to internet so the blog may be dormant for a week or so. Unless, by some miracle that woman gets on here. Now wouldn't that be something....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day Of Birth, Bears & Helicopters

So at this point I'm kinda jealous. Laura's birthday was today and so far it's involved live bears, helicopters, the Amish, clowns & jelly cupboards. Ya know what I did on my birthday?? Taught. Right. Not fair.


We slept in, no surprise here, and had some cheese danish & apple cider donuts my parents brought up for breakfast. I was expecting a McDonalds demand but, we were too late and lazy. We all got on the road around 11:00 and headed for 611, the highway that holds an antique peddlers village we thought might have a much need hutch for our budding dining room. But on the way, just minutes from home we encountered a bear. Not a fake wooden bear cutout like the previous homeowners left in our backyard, but a real live snarling growling fuzzy bear. Unfortunately I was not quick enough with the camera and he escaped into the wood but I managed to recreate the moment in photoshop. It looked somewhat like this....

IMG_6549 bear

Unharmed we arrived at our destination and Laura immediately found something that linked her back to the day she was born when her parents named her after Laura Ingalls Wilder, no relation to Joan Wilder, regretfully.


I found something I liked. Clown face balloon toss.


And we did find the hutch we want, so we took some measurements and kept our fingers crossed. We think it's a winner. Hopefully no one else has spotted it.


Then we went off to get some ice cream, an Estler tradition*, so she kind of inherited it, willingly I might add. We hit the Eats & Sweets, a place I frequented as a youngen on camping trips to Scotrun. Oh and PS Eats & Sweets has a helicopter.


Laura had the chocolate peanut butter cup, which took all of ten minutes to make. I think they flew to Germany and milked a cow...


And I got vanilla with the rainbow sprinkles. Big surprise.


The large was too much.


Then we returned home for Laura's choice of dinner: pork steak & potato wedges. She's gotten really good at cooking this since she does it for herself everytime I am out of town. Nice


And she brought a little Krupp tradition to the table with Evelyn Krupps' Mexican wedding cake, which is a brilliant little dessert.


I think she enjoyed her birthday. Let me ask......

"Yes I did!"


*My parents told us a story of how when they were "seeing" each other they used to drive around a visit numerous dairy establishments ordering multiple ice cream products all within one day and then return home sick and swollen. So it's in my genes people. Get off my back.

Happy Birthday Baby!!!

23 Lauras

I do realize that in the last week I've posted photos of me donning a blonde wig and then later wearing a pink skirt but I assure you I do love my wife. And today is her birthday. So while we're celebrating out on the town, no doubt in search of the perfect yet highly elusive hutch to fit in the dining room I will treat you to some of my favorite photos of her thru the years. 23 of them.


...and 1 for good luck.