Life springs eternal on a gaudy neon street

Just a quick post here. I'm heading out to Las Vegas for a few days in early September and I need some suggestions on stuff to do or places to eat. I haven't been to Vegas since I was six and all I remember from that trip is touring Hoover Dam.

Since I'm going to be at a conference I don't know how much time I'll have to get out and do stuff, but it never hurts to have suggestions. Hit me!


For a hefty fee I'm on your record like Bob Costas

Oh Olympics, what will I ever do without you? Soon I will be back to watching "What Not To Wear" on my Tivo late at night instead of something awesome like the men's open water swim. (How do they eat and swim at the same time?) Besides, I was just starting to figure out the rules for field hockey.

So in tribute to my two weeks of sitting on the couch and not working out as I watched other people work out really hard, I give you my take on the Olympics:
  • I don't get the point of the showers the divers use when they're done. They're just going to jump right back into the water, right? The hot tubs I can get behind, though. If I were a diver, I would spend all my time there, preferably with a piƱa colada. That might make it easier to jump off the platform anyway.
  • Speaking of diving, thank god there's still one sport left where the men still wear those little speedos. Too bad all the divers were gay or 15 years old.
  • My award for best uniforms goes to men's field hockey. They're a little retro but I love the sleeveless shirts. Tight shirts and pulled up socks? Classy!

  • My award for the worst uniforms goes to the Australian women's basketball team. Running around for an hour wearing a skin tight leotard type basketball uniform does not sound like fun. It actually sounds like a good way to get a rash.

  • Did you know there was a boxer from Ghana named Prince Octopus Dzanie? The first time I saw him on my TV, I thought I was losing my mind. Who would name their kid that? Still, I have to give the best athlete name award to Dutch swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband. It's just so much fun to say!
  • I loved watching water polo, handball and (regular) volleyball. It's too bad we won't be seeing those on the TV for another four years.
  • BMX was awesome, too. I'm just bummed that NBC devoted about 15 minutes to covering it. I think it will garner more attention in the next Olympics.
  • Let's take a moment to think about the next Olympics. I can't wait for 2012. Sad & British covers the London Olympics? The possibilities are endless. The chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympics is Sebastian Coe, who also won the gold in the 1500 meters race in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. Why do I mention this? Because I once bought a globe for his daughter. It's a long story that I'm sure I'll share with you in 2012, but I swear I did.
  • Any sport that requires judges to constantly watch you to make sure you're doing it right is NOT a sport. Yes, I'm looking at you, race walking.
  • Did you see this Cuban taekwondo guy kick the ref? It was terrible sportsmanship, but I can't stop watching it.
  • I don't care what people say, I love Bob Costas. Always have, always will.


Don't touch me 'cause I'm on the dancefloor

It's quickly approaching that time of year again, people - MidPoint Music Festival is next month. It's also known around these parts as Eileen's high holy days (and I take off work accordingly).

Citybeat is running MidPoint this year and it will feature some bigger bands and venues outside Over-The-Rhine. Robert Pollard and the Mates of State will be at The Southgate House and other bands will be at venues downtown. I don't know if they're planning on it, but I think it would be awesome to have a stage on Fountain Square.

Oh and Jeff, Coltrane Motion will be back again this year.

Anyway, I'm telling you all of these things because MidPoint runs on volunteers. It's really a fun time and you'll get free admission to the festival. If you're lucky, you might even get to work at the same venue as me! So go here and sign up to volunteer. I guarantee it will be worth it.


Found it!

Here's the commercial I was talking about a few days ago. You know, the one featuring "The Crane Wife 3" by The Decemberists.


Oops, I did it again

In an effort to not try to copy everything they do over there at the wine me, dine me blog, I've changed my template yet again. Maybe, like Goldilocks, this one will be just right.

Happy Birthday, Sir Ranulph!

I'm a couple of days late, but August 9th marked one year since I brought home my beloved Mini Cooper. It's been 12,600 miles of fun and, aside from the odd scratch, nary a problem. Mini even sent me a cute little birthday email.

What they don't know is we've already made it to Graceland. I guess we'll have to come up with another road trip destination.


All under the boughs unbowed

I've watched a TON of Olympics coverage this weekend. Seriously, I've seen swimming, water polo, boxing, fencing, beach volleyball, diving, weightlifting, rowing and gymnastics. It's been a nice way to spend the weekend actually, and I finally got around to cleaning my apartment some, too.

I've also liked some of the new commercials that have debuted during the coverage. I will admit to being a huge sucker for the new Nike commercial featuring The Killers' song "All These Things That I've Done." In case you missed it, here it is:

There's an AT&T commercial that's been bugging me all weekend. I can't find it on YouTube, but it showed different fans watching the Olympics on TV and reacting. It had been driving me crazy all weekend because the song on it sounded so familiar. Finally, with a lot of Googling and a guess that it was The Decemberists, I was able to figure out that the song on the commercial is "The Crane Wife 3" by the aforementioned band. I can't tell you how relieved I am to get to the bottom of this. Not being able to place a song is almost as annoying to me as having a song stuck in my head. I'll finally be able to sleep tonight! OK, it's not that bad, but I do feel better.



So how about this template instead? I felt like the other one was maybe too boring, plus I love orange. What do you think?


I have acted the idiot more than once

Man, I LOVE the Olympics. I'll usually watch about any sporting event on TV, so the Olympics are three weeks of sports goodness. It's also a chance to watch all those strange sports you usually never see on ESPN - handball, badminton, field hockey, water polo, etc. Did I mention I love it?

It's also a nice way to pass the time until football season starts. I'm just saying...


As the countries march into the stadium during the opening ceremonies, I thought I'd update everyone on some of the new music I've been listening to lately.

  • Black Kids - I just got the new album from this group and I'm loving their song "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You." They're from Jacksonville, Florida but they definitely have a British sound to them. You can hear The Cure, Jarvis Cocker and The Go! Team in their music.
  • Conor Oberst - You may know him as Bright Eyes, but Conor released a new album under his own name just this week. It's kind of loose and jammy and it feels like Conor has relaxed just a little. May he'll cheer up some, too. I hope not too much, though. There's a short little tune on the album called "NYC-Gone, Gone" that I really like.
  • Girl Talk - Their (or really his, it's just one guy) new album, Feed The Animals, is track after relentless track of crazy mash-up tunes. It's big summer fun, and if you go to the Girl Talk website you can pay what you want for it. So go ahead and get it now.
  • Frightened Rabbit - If you've gotten one of my mix CDs lately, you might recognize that this isn't a new band for me. Their new album, The Midnight Organ Fight, is pretty great, though. It might at the most depressing thing you can handle in the summer. Just a warning. They're sad, Scottish and oddly funny.
  • Heart-Sick Groans - I found out about this group from the wonderful Swedesplease blog that you can find over there on your right. They're another of the recent batch of great Swedish bands like my favorite, The Shout Out Louds. You can't buy their album in the U.S. but you can download a few tunes from their MySpace page for free.
  • Tobias Froberg - Another great Swede who you should check out if you like Peter Bjorn and John. "Slipping Under The Radar" is quickly becoming my song of the summer. You can get his album on eMusic if you're so inclined.
So that's what I'm listening to this summer. Is there anything else I should be checking out? Let me know!


This is what you get when you mess with us

I'm back from my Indianapolis concertacular weekend and I have many thoughts. The chief among them is why is Radiohead so popular?

I mean Radiohead has been at the top of my list of bands to see in concert for a couple years now, and I was excited to see them in Indy on Sunday. It was just strange to see about 10,000 other people just as (if not more) excited. They would play a couple discordant notes that barely sounded like anything and the crowd would go nuts like they'd played the opening slide guitar part to "Freebird." I love Radiohead, but they don't seem very rock an roll, you know? Someboday didn't tell this crowd.

About halfway through the show, I realized that Radiohead play the sort of music that the teenagers of the future listened to in '80s apocolypse movies. It's exactly the sort of stuff gutter punks would have blaring in the headphones (or ear implants or whatever) as they assaulted the fine citizens of a big city in the year 2030. It made me want to buy some parachute pants and get a barcode tattoo.


This is all in contrast to Monday's Wilco concert. Wilco is a band that by all accounts should be mch more popular than Radiohead. They have a core of very approachable pop melodies surrounded in several layers of feedback and noise to give it that indie cred that the kids seem to like. However, there were nowhere near 10,000 fans at the Wilco show.

Wilco played at White River State Park just outside downtown Indianapolis. Jeff and I been through there earlier in the day on a Segway tour (yes, I just said Segway tour) and it was a lovely venue. Everyone in the city seems really proud of it, too.

The Wilco crowd was as devoted and knowledgeable as Radiohead's but they seemed less inclined to rock. Lead singer, Jeff Tweedy, even had to give everyone permission to dance like the way you might tell a dying relative it's okay to go to the light. I really think Radiohead wouldn't have minded if everyone had just swayed back and forth, while Wilco would have really liked a mosh pit. They should have swapped crowds.

I've seen Wilco a ton of times and at this point it's like catching up with an old friend. We laugh, we have fun and we know we'll see each other again soon.

So now I need a new band that I've always wanted to see in concert. That list is thinning in my old age, so I think my new number one is The Weakerthans. Yes, they did just play in backyard in March, but I, alas, was thousands of miles away.