Random Ramblings

Procrastinating the Inevitable...

Best of 2008...

By thePatrick

So, it seems to be the popular thing to do to list a bunch of things at the end of the year. Best new sitcoms. Best restaurant entrees eaten. Best Wal-Mart bathroom stories. Me, I like music. Lots. Some of it you have heard of. Some of it, you have not. Unless you are Norte and Christy, then you have heard of all of them, because I make you. Either way, I present my list of top 10 CD releases in 2008. EPs don't count, only full length releases. How did I come up with this list? I simply looked at which ones I listened to the most throughout the year. If I'm listening to it, it must be good. And my apologies to Norte again for not putting Get Set Go in the top 10.

10) Headlights - Some Racing, Some Stopping
This has been a favorite band of Christy and mine ever since the Photo Atlas didn't show up to a show. Self described as "Indie Pop with a Shoegazy Aftertaste," they're good enough that Tegan went to two of their concerts before she was born. Plus, they're really down to earth people and will chat with you after a show about being an angsty teenager. (Favorite Track - Get Your Head Around It)

9) Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off the Lavender Bridge
Former guitarist for Test Icicles (yes, that was a real band) left the angular sound behind and picked up an acoustic guitar and started making some folky rock tunes. By all means, you really should check out the video on Youtube for Galaxy of the Lost. Nothing says fun like watching a man with the worst hair ever sing along with muppets. Plus, he sings to a kitten. (Favorite Track - I Could Have Done This Myself)

8) The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
A word of warning: If you are not already familiar with The Mars Volta, then this album will sound like a bunch of stuff/noise going on all at the same time. However, if you have already listened to their earlier albums (Tremulant, De-Loused in the Comatorium, Francis the Mute, Amputecture) then this album will build on the admiration you have for their talents. (Favorite Track - Metatron)

7) Bayside - Shudder
I don't know why, but I love me some Bayside. I love the energy that is put off by their songs. For those of you that remember, they released an album last year that also made it to My Top 10 of 2007. Bayside makes me smile. Maybe it's because their name makes me think of Saved By the Bell, maybe it's because they just rule and everyone should deal with that fact. (Favorite Track - I Can't Go On)

6) Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
Bright Eyes singer Conor Oberst finally left the stage name behind and made an album as himself. This is one of the most relaxing yet rocking CDs I heard this year. I can't count the times that I was walking around campus with this playing in my earphones. There is just something about growing up while your favorite artist grows up too. Oddly, this album is mature, but keeps the Bright Eyes vibe. (Favorite Track - I Don't Want to Die (In a Hospital))

5) Portugal. The Man - Censored Colors
Yes, there is a period. I'm sure there's a reason. I don't know why. What I do know is that these dudes can wail. Seriously. And they sport a toy piano. Like Bayside, they sported an album last year that rocked my socks off. They again rule. If you ever get to see them live, go. It's worth it. Plus, a fact that I cannot overemphasize, their keyboard/bongo player looks like George Michael Bluth. (Favorite Track(s) - Colors/And I)

4) Ben Folds - Way to Normal
Earlier this year, I was able to do something I'd wanted to since I was a freshman in high school, see Ben Folds live. Christy and I, Norte and Catherine, and my parents (yes, my parents) went down to SLC and saw Ben Folds rawk the "Great Saltair." For real, it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Plus, I've already posted a music video on the blog. (Favorite Track (and Christy will vouch for it)- You Don't Know Me)

3) Jaguar Love - Take Me To The Sea
The fact that I can rate them as #3 is a testament to the love my wife has for me. Christy hates, and I mean HATES this band. In her eyes (and ears) there is no redeeming quality they have. Yet she lets me listen to them. A lot. Usually with headphones. But boy do they make me happy. My ears dance a happy little jig whenever I hear them. So, I rate them third, and nominate Christy for "Wife of the Year" in the same sentence. (Favorite Track - Jaguar Pirates)

2) The Faint - Faciinatiion
The Faint make me smile. They make me dance. They make me wish I had more talent with a synthasizer. And when you go to their concert, you are treated to their lead singer dressing like Dr. Horrible himself. Norte and I went to their concert this year, and I'm going to speak for him and say it was one of the best shows I've ever been to. This album could cure leprosy. (Favorite Track - The Geeks Were Right)

1) Reggie and the Full Effect - Last Stop Crappy Town
Reggie is angry. His last CD was all about his divorce. This is angrier. Like, going to Wal-Mart angry. Like getting cut off in traffic angry. Like getting called into work on your day off angry. All of that. Combined. And multiplied by a brazillion. Best. Reggie. CD. Yet. And since he has now "quit" (see the air quotes? I stole them from Leathermouth) you should get him while you can. (Favorite Track - V Train)

Good Listening!

Tegan's Eyes...

By thePatrick

Are blue.
Christy took this photo a while back, but I'm a little slow posting it. Is my little girl cute or what?

See, Christmas Really IS for Everyone...

By thePatrick

"But Patrick", you may say in protest, "sure I like Christmas, but the songs and movies are so bad. I mean, if we were all still living in a suburban paradise in the 1950s they would be swell, but what is there for me?"
"What could you mean?" I reply.
"Well, I love Christmas, don't get me wrong. But I also love death metal. And Arnold Schwarzenegger movies/quotes. What could possibly exist that could help me better celebrate the holiday season?"

"This" *wink* "Merry Christmas."

Wierdest. Walmart. Experience. Ever.

By thePatrick

So, you know how I love a good Wal-mart post. This actually happened just over a week ago, but with finals week in full swing, I've kind of been neglecting the blog. I promise I love you all. And to prove it, I give you this story. It's long, but if the laughter of my coworkers and family is any indication, it's well worth the read.
I have to start out by telling you that Christy had sent some pictures online to Wal-mart to get developed. They should have been done (we gave them 3 days for a 1 day development) but when we went earlier, they weren't there. So the lady told us that if we gave them an hour or so, they would get them done for us. I had to run to work, but Christy was able to go back. When she got there, the lady told us that there were not any pictures for us. We never ordered them, even though she told us she found the order. Reason was, she thought we were someone else. So, I took off from work while the kids were in a family group session to talk with the "special" people who work at the Wal-Mart photo lab. Long story short, they asked us to give them until the end of the week, and they would call us when the pictures were done. So, I figured that Wal-mart owed me something, so I went to use their facilities, if you catch my drift.
This is where things started to get weird.
I entered an empty restroom, which was new for a Wal-mart. However, within a couple of minutes I heard a young kid come in and use the urinal. When he backed away, the automatic flushing toilet scared him, and he started screaming. I chuckled to myself. Then I looked up at the gap between the door and the stall wall, and staring at me like Jack Nicholson in The Shining was this kid. Well, technically, it was only his eye, but that's creepy enough for me. So he asked me what I was doing. Having the tact that I do, I told him I was pooping. I figured that since everybody poops, he should know that I was fairly normal, too. Then he crouched down on the floor and reached his hand inside the stall, trying to grab at my shoes. Double creepy. Remembering that I work where I work, and knowing that I, a 26 year old man, was alone in the bathroom with a little kid who was lying on the floor and giggling, I asked him to leave me alone. I suggested that he go over to the next stall and use it. He told me he had already gone, but he would go over anyway. At this point, I'm done, but am afraid to finish my business. Who knows when the kid will stick his head back through the door? The next thing I knew, he was lying down on his stomach with his head starting to peek under the door, looking up at me like some psychotic precious moments doll. At this point, I told him that he really needed to go somewhere else. Also, I'm wondering where in the world his parents are. I don't want my little girl to be alone ever; and definitely not alone in a Wal-mart bathroom.
Anyway, the next thing I know, he goes over to the next stall, lifts up the lid, then slams it shut. Again, the sound of the flush scares him. I hear him scream, leave the stall, and he runs out of the bathroom. Or at least I thought so. I heard a big thud, which I only assume was him hitting the wall. But was he done? Of course not. Trapped inside my prison of a stall, I heard him wander back into the other stall and lift the lid up again, only to slam it down once more. Of course the flush makes him scream, and he runs out of the stall. However, this time, instead of making it all the way to a wall, he slips. Falls. Screams. Cries.
So now, let us reassess the situation. I am trapped in a bathroom stall with my pants around my ankles. There is a screaming child on the floor. I do not like this situation. Luckily, his dad comes in. Finally. And makes fun of his child for slipping on the bathroom floor. But, he escorts him from the bathroom, for which I am eternally grateful.
Wal-mart. Always low class. Always.

Memories from my Idiot Box...

By thePatrick

So, earlier today, Tegan and I were doing some Festivus shopping, and she decided that she was uber-hungry. Being the ever prepared dad that I am, I prepared a bottle full of delicious formula for her to much on right there. Yes, I fed her in the store. Luckily for me, we were in the middle of Borders. Also luckily for me, there are oodles of chairs by the DVD section, so while she went to town on some Similac, I perused the TV series that are for sale and reminiced about those series from long (and not so long) past.

You see, we don't get television. We live in a black hole of television reception, and we're too cheap to shell out for dish or cable service, so we live on movies and TV series that we own. We own the basics (The Office, Spongebob Squarepants, some King of the Hill) but as I was sitting there, I quickly formulated my list of 4 shows that I one day will own on DVD. And since only two of the shows are available right now, it should be fairly easy. If anyone out there is willing to help a brother out (I'm someone's brother), feel free to donate.

Flight of the Conchords - Quick summary: Radtastic band who bill themselves as "Formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo", come to New York and try to make it big. Complete with musical numbers.

The Venture Bros. - Quick summary: Son of famous super-scientist tries to follow in his father's footsteps but sucks hardcore. Has a rad bodyguard. Clones his two sons who are prone to death. Has a nemisis who dresses up like a monarch butterfly.

Parker Lewis Can't Lose - Quick summary: I like Ferris Buehler's Day Off, and if they were to make a TV show out of it, this is what it would be like. 'Nuff Said. Oh, and it's not out on DVD, so I will probably just have to dream about it.

Duckman - Quick summary: When my family first moved to Preston, for some unexplicable reason we had cable (I honestly think the previous owners pirated it, and we were "slow" in taking care of the problem). Private detective/duck voiced by Jason Alexander (i.e. George Costanza) runs around with his wife, farting grandma-ma, stupid jock son, two headed son(s) and pig partner. Also not out on DVD.

So am I the only person who remembers the last two?