Winter came to Omaha, it left us looking like a bride

This whole not blogging very often thing is crazy! When I finally get around to sitting down I have so much to get through. Let's begin at the beginning, shall we? My friends and I went to St. Louis this weekend for our friend Sarah's wedding. Road trip! Oh, I have photos, too.

So, after our six hour drive (that we survived with the help of some rockin' tunes from Declan) we headed straight for the arch. I've been up it a few times, but it was especially wobbly this time. That made me giggle and made Carrie nervous. See there's Carrie, Jeff and Jim before our bold adventure to the top!

They also have a Thomas Jefferson statue at the arch. I think my new hobby is going to be getting my picture taken kissing TJ statues all over this land. Just believe me when I tell you this isn't the first time I've been in a photo like this.

Anyway, after the crazy elevator ride, we were rewarded with a lovely view, and a great welcome to the city that never sleeps (except between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m).

The next day we went on a brewery tour to see where Budweiser comes from. It was really cool because I pretty much like any factory tour but I love them even more when drinks are involved.

But then we had to rush back and get ready for the wedding because that's why we drove all that way in the first place. The wedding itself was lovely. Sarah looked gorgeous and Austin was very cute in his tux. Those two are gonna have cute little kids someday. That's all I'm saying.

The wedding also had that most mythical of creatures, the "open bar." Much like true love itself, it is a gift from god when discovered and something to be cherished. The best thing about an open bar - you end up with photos like this.

Who loves ya, Baby?

The trip back was a quiet event with much napping, but I think we were all happy campers. Now I have a few days to recover before I head out to meet the family in Seattle. Sadly, there will be no open bar there.


Now here's the best part. I actually listened to an album, too, and it's one of my faves. Digital Ash In A Digital Urn was high on my top ten list of albums last year. It was released on the same day as the other Bright Eyes album I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and, like children, it's very hard for me to love one more than the other.

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning got a lot of the press last year, though. It's soft and acoustic and accessible. Digital Ash is noisy and loud and really kind of grating the first time you hear it. If you take some time to get to know it, though, it's very rewarding. "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)" has been my personal theme song for the last year or so and I start all my 5k runs with it. Just for that, I may love Digital Ash a little bit more.

There's a point in the listening when the electronics and noise just start to make sense. Conor Oberst's voice helps hold everything together and lets me know we're going on an interesting trip. Noise can be scary, but he makes it okay.


I've kissed you more than twice and now I'm working on your dad

I really must stop these long absences, but lately it's been more than my schedule that's kept me from blogging, it's the beautiful game. I get up at nine every morning and there it is waiting for me. This morning it was a 0-0 tie between Japan and Croatia. Not the most exciting game, but still a great way to start the day. After hours of World Cup viewing, though, I've reached some conclusions about soccer and why Americans don't like it:

1. The announcers constantly say it's "a man's game" but any game that features dramatic dives and fake injuries can't honestly be "a man's game" unless those men are drama queens, which brings me to my next thought.

2. Soccer players are like thoroughbreds. They're sleek and well groomed, easily scared and prone to silly injuries. It's so strange watching them prance around out on the field only to cry to the ref whenever someone trips them. It feels distinctly un-American.

3. Americans have a hard time liking any sport that doesn't involve constant forward movement. I'm sure it says something about our worldview but, like hockey, soccer often requires that the ball go backwards to get farther forward. It's a concept most Americans just can't get behind. Why would anyone ever give up ground?

Despite these quandaries, I'm a huge fan of the World Cup. I love it because it challenges so many things Americans hold to be true. Counties like Brazil and Portugal suddenly become world powers and we're only left with "girly man" jokes. We can hate soccer all we want. I'm sure that would be just fine with the rest of the world.


Oh, I also listened to an album today. Perhaps it's fitting that it's a British album that I never quite got. I never feel like I'm hip enough to listen to Different Class by Pulp. It's like cool kids music. It's dark and sexy and full of stories about people who are unlike any of the people I've ever met. Jarvis Cocker is one sad and British guy that I don't love. Mostly, it's because I don't think he's really that sad. It sounds like he's having too much fun.

If you think you might like Pulp, though, you should check out William Shatner's cover of "Common People." Unbeatable!


All my friends keep telling me that you can't drink or get drunk for free

One question keeps running through my head as I listen to today's album. Why is it called DGC Rarities, Vol. 1?

Were they planning on future volumes and just never got around to it? Did grunge go out of style before volume 2? I mean it's a pretty bold move to announce something as "Volume 1." You're pretty much obligated to put out follow-up volumes. Unless, your name is David Geffen, I guess.

So this mysterious volume of rarities was released on July 5, 1994 at the height of grunge. It featured b-sides from the famous (Nirvana) and nearly famous (that dog) artists who were signed to Geffen Records at the time. It's a surprisingly good collection that I've been reluctant to remove from Declan even though things are getting pretty crowded on him nowadays. A concentrated little taste of everything grunge, it would have been a perfect addition to any 1994 time capsule. It's a perfect sample of everything that was musically cool at the time.

There's one band on the album that sticks out like a sore thumb, though. In 1994 (as today) Counting Crows was considered far from grunge. Their endlessly catchy tune "Einstein On The Beach" is set smack dab in the middle of the album to wake everyone from their fuzzy guitar stupor. Hey, it's a great song and, frankly, probably the main reason I bought this album in 1994, but it's like a game of "one of these things is not like the others." If David Geffen doesn't have to pay attention to things like volume 1's, I guess he can rewrite the rules of grunge, too.


Hey, I just got a bunch of invites to lala.com and if you sign up I get a free t-shirt. There's no cost to you and it fun to check out so email (sadandbritish@gmail.com) me if you want an invite. There are seven different shirts and I want to collect them all. C'mon, help me out!


I lost my leg like I lost my way

I know, you guys are probably thinking I'm like Josh and have decided I'm too good for a blog. Not true, not true. I'm not too good for anything. OK, well, maybe prostitution. I'd like to think I'm too good for that. Truth is, my work hours have changed and now I'm trying to figure out when I'm actually going to sit down to write. Plus, I'm lazy.

I know you don't want to hear about how my parents came down for Memorial Day and we went to the Maker's Mark distillery. We got to dip our very own bottles into a vat of wax (insert your own off color joke here). The whole place smelled like the barrels at a garden store or my mom's fruitcakes. Sadly, some of you don't know what either of those smell like. Your loss.

What you're dying to hear about is Demon Days by Gorillaz. I guess I should have waited another day to write about this album, considering the title. It would have made a nice 6/6/06 post. Oh well. Anyway, Demon Days is decent. I think I like it more than their first album, but I've pretty much decided that Gorillaz is a singles band for me. I'll be happy to buy all their catchy songs on iTunes from now on and leave the full albums to someone else. I just never like them that much. "Feel Good Inc." though? Song of the year for 2005.


Everybody should wish my buddy Jeff a happy birthday tomorrow. I won't tell you how old he is (he's a fast runner for his age) but I do have to say he ended up with the coolest birthday in memory. He's having a 666 party to celebrate tomorrow. Aren't you jealous?