friday random eleven: “vuvuzela in the throat” edition


Gonna be honest, I was feeling this most of the week:

A second week of having a full house of testers in my building, a sick wife, a dance competition coming up this weekend, a metric assload of meetings and pointless administrative issues, another back to school night, three or four days of straight rain, at least one stress-related breakdown and a sharp tickle in the back of my throat that I know is becoming a little something more after watching what my my lovely spouse is going through and what I’ve been seeing when I’ve been in the schools.

Eh. Hasn’t been the best week, but in a couple of hours, I’ll be done with it, and things are looking quiet on the calendar and in the building.

Like I said, there’s a dance competition in town this weekend, but for once, it’s being run by one of the other schools in town besides ours (not just *a* school, the rival school), so I can mostly just sit and watch instead of doing all the odd jobs I normally get caught up in. I’m not getting good feelings about organization based on what I’ve been hearing, but I am hoping it goes well, because as much as I think some of the girls would enjoy the schadenfreude of seeing their rivals preside over a dumpster fire, I would rather they had a successful competition.

Okay, maybe I’d enjoy a bit of a dumpster fire too…some people just want to watch the world burn.

whatever. Not a whole lot of extra on the agenda this weekend; I’m figuring my throat’s going to give out at some point, so I’m blocking off some time to be sick, just to be safe. The last season of Person of Interest just showed up on Netflix, so I’m good for couch time.

Anyway, here are some tunes….lots of viking metal this time. I’m kind of digging the anger, cookie monster vocals and reed pipes playing over detuned power chords.

  1. “Tunic (Song for Karen)” – Sonic Youth
  2. “Sweet Child O Mine” – Guns & Roses
  3. “The Pursuit of Vikings” – Amon Amarth
  4. “AKA Driver” – They Might Be Giants
  5. “Hazey” – Glass Animals
  6. “Dodedansen” – Svartsot
  7. “Sitting Still” – REM
  8. “The Missing Arm of Victor Krum – Harry and the Potters
  9. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
  10. “Satin in A Coffin” – Modest Mouse
  11. “Train in Vain” – The Clash

And sure, random Eleven. These kids are adorable:


volatile mood warning


I apologize up front today to anyone caught in the crossfire, but y’all need to know this.

I am currently wrecked with stress, anxiety and the afteraffects of insomnia. It’s very likely I’m going to, with roughly equal chances on average with variations based on current conditions on the ground, ignore you, rage at you, or weep on you today. It’s not necessarily your fault, unless you’re one of the people who have contributed to the conditions feeding my stress, then it totally is.

Because I’m a grown-ass adult though, I’m going to to my best to try and hold it together and power through it, because that’s what fucking grown-ass adults do.

I do, however, kind of feel, maybe a little, for the folks who have to deal with me on conference calls today (if the fucking office phones would start working) and the folks at the other back-to-school night have to cover this evening. Odds are, I’ll keep it together and they’ll never know, because, to be perfectly honest, they’re not important enough factors in my life to even matter.

Just know that today, on the inside, I’m one of those people who wouldn’t necessarily mind watching the world burn.




Oh, it’s also Talk Like A Pirate Day!

I posted this way back (I can’t actually find it), though it was always my favorite TLAP celebratory stunt, courtesy of PlunderAsunder:

Ahoy! Four score an’ se’en voyages ago th’ old salts brought fore on
these waters, a new crew, free an’ dedicated t’ th’ accord that all
swabs be on the account.

Now we be engaged in war amongst we brothers o’ th’ coast, testin’
whether that crew, or any crew so conceived an’ so dedicated, can hold
fast. We be met on th’ briney deep. We be gathered t’ th’ Spanish
Main, Davey Jone`s locker fer them who here gave the’r lives that th’
crew might sail. ‘t be altogether fittin’ an’ proper that we be ortin’
ta do this.

We canna dedicate — we canna consecrate — we canna hallow — th’
deep. Scallywags, livin` or dead men be, layed by th’ lee, be havin’
consecrated ‘t, far above our poor power t’ add or detract. Ye`ll nay
strike th’ colors, nor long reckon what we say here, but ‘t can
nereforget what they did here. ‘Tis fer us th’ livin’, rather, t’ be
dedicated here t’ th’ unfinished work which they who fought here be
havin’ walked the plank. ‘Tis rather fer us t’ be comin’ about t’ th’
great task remainin’ before us — that from these honored dead we take
increased custom fer that cause which they gave th’ last full peice of
eight — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall nay be
havin’ sank t’Davy Jones’ locker in vain — that this crew, damn th’r
eyes, be havin’ a new birth o’ freedom — an’ that th’ Articles o’ th’
brethren, by th’ brethren, fer th’ brethren, shant dance wi’ Jack


i may smell a bit of incense and sage…


As mentioned previously, I spent the weekend with The Blibbering Humdingers at the Central NC Pagan Pride Festival at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh.

The weather was warm, though we had plenty of shade. The company was likewise warm, though we really didn’t feel the need to shield ourselves from it. I’d never been to this event before, though as I kind of expected, it was tremendously welcoming, a great gathering of eccentrics united in shared experience. There was a bit of everything – part commune, part renfaire, part fairie festival, part spiritual retreat (The UU in me felt right at home); Some great celtic, medieval, and roots music…and, of course, us.

In spite of some (I assume) back-to-school-related sinus/throat issues, we knocked out a couple of pretty great sets, which seemed well-appreciated by the folks who settled down to watch and interact with us, as well as those passing by and engaging in commerce in nearby vendor tents (we ended both sets with more of an audience than we started with, which is always nice). Also, my sincere thanks to the organizers and sound folks who made us sound good across the entire festival area.

We also, and I can say I’m definitely looking forward to this, hatched some plans to add some new tunes to the repertoire that sound like a lot of fun – we were going to work them in the evening after the festival closed on Saturday, but we were all kind of worn out and had bellies full of really good Thai food. It’ll happen soon, I hope. Certainly in plenty of time to give our friends at Marscon some new material to chew on.

So yeah, thanks to the festival organizers for putting on a great event, thanks to all the folks who stopped by to listen to some tunes or say hello and buy music and other stuff at the merch tent, and thanks, as always, to Scott and Kirsten for continuing to drag me along on all these great little adventures we keep having!


friday random eleven – “to all the shows i’ve missed before” edition


So, thanks to an overloaded family schedule and somehow projecting dates into next week, I totally missed the Willie Nelson show I had tickets for last night on the other side of town. I totally had it in my head that the show was on the 20th rather than the 15th. Even if I had realized before I found myself sitting in the auditorium waiting for the high school “Back to School Night” to kick off (as I was covering two kids’ schedules at once…at least I got a hug from the very friendly art teacher) half an hour after the opener went on, I probably would have had to bail on it anyway, but at least I would have been able to pass the ticket on to someone who could have enjoyed it.

It still chaps my ass. I was looking forward to this show, and Willie isn’t getting any younger. Please stick around a few more years, Mr. Nelson, you’re a freakin’ national treasure, and your show is one of those boxes on my bucket list I have to tick. Tell Dolly to stick around a while longer as well while you’re at it, okay?

Not a whole lot of other news to report, other than the fact that my still-slightly-blue-from-Dragon*Con beard (I mentioned that my wife dyed the grey in my beard blue prior to D*C this year, right?) will be gracing my employee ID card for the next three years. RAWK.

Anyway. Like I mentioned in the previous post earlier this week, I’m playing a couple of shows in NC this weekend, so if you’re in or around Raleigh, come on out.

Here are some tunes that Pandora spit out this morning:

  1. “Alleyways” – The Neighbourhood
  2. “Welcome to the Jungle” – Guns ‘n Roses
  3. “Man on the Moon” – REM
  4. “Thunderbird” – They Might Be Giants
  5. “I Want It All” – Queen
  6. “Glory Bound” – The Wailin’ Jennys
  7. “Your Love” – The Outfield
  8. “Sweetest Thing” – U2
  9. “Good Times Roll” – The Cars
  10. “Runaway” – Bon Jovi
  11. “Favorite Thing” – The Replacements

And just because, here’s this week’s random Eleven news.


revel for the weekend


The other day I mentioned a gig this weekend with the Humdingers, and now I have the details:

We’re playing both days of the Central NC Pagan Pride Festival at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. If you’re in the area, come on out, admission each day is a non-perishable donation to the Central and Eastern NC Food Bank.

We’re on stage at 3pm on Saturday and noon on Sunday; I expect we’ll be playing some of the cool fairie and myth-inspired stuff as well as our usual buffoonery. I’m hoping for a good time.


spam folder poetry – back to school edition


Rather than just dumping the spam folder out of hand every couple of weeks, sometimes I like to pore through it and get…creative.

The short poems below are taken directly from text included in spam comments; I’ve mixed and matched and assembled, though I haven’t added any words; it’s directly out of the spam pile otherwise.

an amusingly old school cry for help:

Hey! I just wanted to ask
if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
I really found you by error, while I was looking on Aol
for something else
Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was super long)

praise and colorful metaphors:

Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a information!
I’m slightly certain I’ll be informed
look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post.
F*ckin’ remarkable things here.

a paean to monetization of services:

It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
I think one of your commercials caused my web browser to resize,
you may well want to put that on your blacklist.
One thing I’d like to comment on is that weightloss system

a ballad to community-organized scientific grammarians:

We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community
Much of the infor mation about signal transmission in the nervous system has been obtained from experiments
A number of them are rife with spelling problems
and I find it very
troublesome to inform the truth

This one is actually more flash fiction than poetry; it’s pretty much a spam comment in it’s entirety (I axed a line with a link trying to sell me black-market cialis), but it was fun.

Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!

This has been the most recent edition of our semi-regular literary experiment. I hope you feel as cultured as I do.


con crud is real


I didn’t do a hell of a lot this weekend. I thought I’d mostly avoided the con crud, though ill feelings started creeping in Friday afternoon; by the time we’d gotten to our friends’ house for an evening of board games on Friday night, I was feeling pretty off.

I woke briefly on Saturday morning and cancelled all my plans (Shindig, sunday brewery tour, etc) and went back to bed. My lovely wife brought me some nyquil, and I spent most of Saturday in bed, either sleeping or working through the Replacements bio I’m reading.

Sunday was much the same, though I forced myself to stay (mostly) awake for the day. Couch and movies. Worked for me.

I think I’m mostly clear now (I’m working, but taking it a bit easy…it’s a light day today anyway), though I’ll give myself some more rest this evening before stuff really starts happening around here. Based on the word from my fellow D*C performers on social media, I got off light. Still, I gotta be healthy by the weekend, as there’s another gig on the calendar, which I need to get a little more information about, though once I have it, I’ll post it here.


since it’s friday


…and the 50th anniversary (give or take) of Star Trek:

I needed that. I hope you did too.


friday random eleven: “quoting danny glover” edition


What with all the dragoncon stuff the last couple of weeks, there’s been little attention paid to all the other stuff going on. The biggest of this is the fact that we sent the kids back to school this week. I have two kids in high school now. I’m getting too old for this shit, seriously.

Oh heck, that’s probably the biggest other thing. We’re settling into our new fall semester routine, which means figuring out who/where everybody’s gotta be on any given afternoon. the answer to that is usually “the dance school”, though the question is who’s got to be there which nights and when (this is mostly due to the school’s newish “family flat fee if you’re registered for at least so many classes” policy, which means they’re taking ALL THE CLASSES).

Oh one dragoncon thing I didn’t mention previously was the fact that I was far enough away from my usual haunts that the Pokemon ecosystem was a bit different. Downtown Atlanta, constantly lured due to D*C, was full of Clefairies, Horseas, and Tauros. I was a happy camper. I also got Kirsten hooked on the game by the end of the con. Judge me all you want, Barb:

Heading into the weekend, I think we’re talking about hitting the Shindig in Norfolk tomorrow, but as I haven’t bought tickets yet, we’ll see. I also might be drinking some beer at some point.

And here’s the random eleven for this week; not a bad mix; getting a few different things lately. Variety is nice.

  1. “Nothin’ But A Good Time” – Poison
  2. “Karla with a K” – Hooters
  3. “Saucy Sailor” – The Wailin’ Jennys
  4. “Hold Me Now” – Thompson Twins
  5. “Solsbury Hill” – Peter Gabriel
  6. “Last Breath” – Ensiferum
  7. “Faded” – Zhu
  8. “Iron Hand” – Grand Magus
  9. “Gagged and Tied” – that dog
  10. “If You Leave” – Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark
  11. “My Best Friend’s Hot” – The Dollyrots

I saw a bunch of cool Stranger Things costumes this past weekend, but was usually too busy to take pictures. The alphabet walls were generally pretty great, though. In any case, here’s another random Eleven, because she’s awesome.


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