Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pixies: A Definitive User's Guide

Hold my head, we'll trampoline

My last post seems to have generated a lot (over 3 units) of increduilityness (and that's something that doesn't even exist, so, good post). I will attempt to address that here and perhaps provide some guidelines to "discovering" the Pixies.

Music, my friends, is not an area of expertise for me. This is more Alan's (updated annually!) bag, but I will give it a shot. I don't know a whole lot about music technically (I can play the chromatic scale!), but I know what I like. And generally I like a little quirk in my tunes - a little hitch in my giddy-up. I addition, I like a band capable of varying its metronome settings. To demonstrate what I mean, the first band I really liked and pursued was They Might Be Giants. I was in the 8th grade and I found them fascinating. Flood, to me, is the album that made me want to find more music "like this." What attracted me? TMBG are always eclectic. I had spent most of the past year listening to a top 40 station and rotting my brain with Bobby Brown's "My Perogative." TMBG were an oasis in that cultural desert.

As to the metronome thing, speaking generally, a genre like punk is one which I don't have much of an affinity. Though I might like a band here or there (Bad Religion), I'm overall not that enthused about the overall punk scene. Thrashing at your guitar as quickly as possible is a fine skill, but not always the best in creativity. In much the same way, I don't usually enjoy singer-songwriters. I might find them talented and I can understand why they are liked, but I tend to avoid them.

This is the most basic and seminal of my musical tastes that I can provide. With that grain of salt, here is my Pixies' guide:
  • Start with Doolittle. Not only is Doolittle their best album (maybe not my favorite, but that's another story), but its range is best indicative of their catalog as a whole. My one bit of advice is, give it time. It may be off-putting at first, but don't listen once and discard. Take some time to listen, at least 3 to 4 times. If you don't like it then, feel free to mailbomb me.

  • Doolittle is the ideal starting point. From their, if you like what you've heard, you'll probably want a Bossanova or a Trompe le Monde.

  • That being said, many people consider Trompe le Monde, not the last Pixies' album, but instead the first Frank Black album. I don't necessarily agree that that's true. While TLM is not pure Pixies it is rockin' enough to be a legitimate part of their body of work. I only mention this because if you find that Doolittle isn't your bag of tea, you might enjoy TLM all the same.

  • Surfer Rosa . . . just be sure that you're ready. If you don't like what you've heard so far . . . you're probably not ready and you'll probably never be a fan.

  • Come on Pilgrim you know I love you! CoP is usually my favorite Pixies' album. As with any band you love, this distinction can fluctuate amongst albums. If you want to get your ass rocked off for 25 minutes, this is the album for you.

All this is to say, give them a try. If you like them, fantastic! We shall be best of friends. If not, well I guess there are other albums you might enjoy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


There is news very germane to my life. But yet, it scares me. What if I don't like it? Ok, there's no way I won't like it. I might like it least, but it's not possible for me to dislike. But, I'm still kind of scared.

That is all.

Monday, October 23, 2006

hey mickey you're so fine

Well, Anaheim was good. theMonica (who the hell registered that?) had a grood time. The conference was solid too. It started with a big, general kick-off session in the convention center's arena. This is pretty big place, probably seats 7 large or thereabouts. After most people were seated, the back of the stage rotates around (like the secret doors in an old castle) to reveal a band. They're playing "Let's Get it Started," but the lyrics are changed to be conference specific. This would seem to be the most hilarious thing ever, but in actuality, they used such general concepts, that it wasn't funny at all. What was funny was the poor man's Nikki Parker singer trying to get the 5200 computer dorks all up into it. First of all, the sheer geek power in that room would crush any small amount of cool that may have been in the air. Additionally, it was 8 o'clock in the morning. I don't wave my hands in the air over business synergies at 8 in the morning. Now, wait until after morning snacky time and I'm all about getting my synergy on.

As is my wont, I began to look for celebrity look-alike contest winners. I saw Red from That 70's Show, Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish (I know his name's not Hootie; I know he hated being called Hootie when they were big; I bet he would kill to be Hootie again) and Wayne Brady. Oh wait. That actually is Wayne Brady. Wayne came out and did his improv thing with a buddy. CroutonBoy should look to get on the team as Wayne busted out about 10 World of Warcraft knee-slappers. I would contend that we are a little different brand of dork, but the details of such an argument would bore and confuse you. Regardless, I have to give Wayne props. He didn't phone it in at all and he didn't seem bitter than he was working a computer guy (ok, like 90% guy) convention. He had the same energy you always see him with and he even went 10 minutes past what he was contractually obligated to so he could put on another improv game. That's a pro's pro, right there.

The ushers for that initial kick-off deal were wearing giant, white Mickey hands. It was way creepier than it sounds.

At any rate, that's all I can think of for right now. More to come, or not. Prepare yourselves accordingly.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

not dead

Hey gang. I am not dead. I am fine. I am actually with theMonica in Anaheim. Yes, while she lounges around the pool I am in a convention center learning about IBM and other computer-guy related stuff. I will update again if I get a chance. Woot.

Oh, per last post, my deepest apologies to Smokey. The culprit was actually Monoxy, my carbon monoxide detector. I did not know Monoxy had a battery, nor that it did the BEEP!! thing. I was picking something up off the ground when it went off right in my hear and only then did I figure it out.

Inanimate objects: 1, Rogman: 0.

Friday, October 13, 2006

to be opened monday

My first words of the day were, "Oh shit!" Sunlight was streaming in on my face, trucks rumbled by, children playing - all indicators of late-early morning, i.e. I had overslept. In the summer, 6:30 a.m. (when I usually get up) can look like 8 a.m. (when I was getting up), but not in October. I got up, muttering swears to myself and started to get ready.

Then I heard the shrill BEEP!! of my smoke alarm. There was no fire. You see, the smoke alarms in the house are hooked-up to the electricity. So, they're operable when the batteries die. BUT, you should have working batteries in the smoke alarm in case a fire disrupts your electrical service. When the battery dies, the smoke alarm will BEEP!! every, I don't know, 30 seconds. Even non-electrically-hooked-up smoke alarms will do this, but in the latter case it's a few beeps before dying. My smoke alarms will continue to beep for all eternity, provided the grid is still providing juice, I'm paying my electrical bill and I don't put a new battery in the smoke alarm. At that point, the smoke alarm, sated, will be silent until there's a fire or the new battery dies.

Last night, living room smokey started beeping. Fine. I went out to dinner with theMonica and family and then to a bar for some drinks and at some point theMonica procured a 2-pack of 9-volt batteries. We returned to my apartment and I, gleefully, proceed to put a fresh battery in smokey, so as to silence the intermittent BEEP!!. Good plan.

Well, it was a good plan until it didn't work. Smokey had a fresh battery, yet she wailed. WTF? At first, I was perplexed. Battery in correctly, connection achieved, tested properly, what's the problem here? BEEP!! Hmmmm. Maybe the battery was a dud? I mean, probably not. But I'm sure in all of batterydom, this happens regularly enough, right? BEEP!! Oh, you little bitch . . . Ok, I get the other battery from the package. Put that one in. Pat myself on the back. BEEP!! Fuck.

And it kept beeping. Now, I am a calm guy. People don't make me mad, but inanimate objects can, very easily. I understand how inanimate objects are supposed to work. If I am unable to operate them properly, it upsets me. People, I have no clue about. I don't know how people are supposed to work or what possible convoluted reasoning they could have for their actions. I enjoy trying to decipher their unspoken motivations, but since most logic is specific to each person, it doesn't bother me when they behave differently than I think they should.

So, rocks and dead sticks and stuff have the power to engrage me when they aren't doing what they're supposed to. This is especially true if I can't figure out WHY they won't do what I want. BEEP!! (deep breaths). With battery replacement, I don't have a lot of theories. Positive/Negative, new battery, ok, all out of ideas. BEEP!! (anger building) I tried the battery 12 different times, Monica another half-dozen. It was making me sooo BEEP!! pissed off. I was ready to take the whole place apart ala Gene Hackman during the final scene of The Conversation. Actually it would have been nothing like that. It would have been more like, "HULK MAD! HULK SMASH BEEP!! THING!"

Fortunately, I was beeped - I mean - buzzed. I went to bed and was able to fall asleep quickly enough. And then the morning came. And Alarmie not ringing true. And Smokey still BEEP!!ing. It did not calm me. Despite the fact it doesn't matter what time I get in, as long as I put my time in, I like to be in early so I'm not there late. It's a better way to start the weekend, I find. I ran around my apartment getting ready as quickly as possible. Cringing every 30 seconds or so. BEEP!! All the while pondering why the alarm didn't go off, nearly positive I had set it.

Eventually, I got into work and related my tale of woe to a work buddy. He reminded me that it was Friday the 13th and that must have had something to do with it. And in the background I heard the menacing howl of the werewolf of inconvenience. Damn that vile beast and it's alarm clock knavery!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

i can't say, "the article made me want to vomit."

Why won't blogger remember me? I always check the button that says, "Remember Me," yet the blogger, she refuses. It's not like I had a one-night stand with blogger and then never called. I am loyal and true. I remember blogger, yet blogger leaves me blue.

Well, not so loyal and true, you might be thinking, "not enough updating rogman." Well, I will get my team of monkeys working on a more rigorous schedule. They are wily and unruly and sometimes I have to "discipline" them. Also, nothing really funny has happened throughout the entiritey of humanity in the past couple of days; therefore, I have nothing to offer. We could talk about the semicolon a little. My friends and I were discussing its proper usage. We're not even English dorks; it's just one of those things that happens when you spend a lot of time with the same people. See. That is how I like to use a semicolon - to connect two independent, highly-related clauses. Yah, I just got all Strunk and White on your asses. You're welcome!!

Anyway, now that I can call it a post, what do you think of the title? (of this post, not the blog.) I will sometimes put a random song lyric or movie quote in the title because I happen to be listening to/thinking about that lyric or quote as I'm tabbing into the post's title input box. Then sometimes I will get google searches on this random bit of quote/lyric. I feel I'm disappointing ones of people everywhere because most of the time I don't reveal what it is that I'm talking about (or even that it's creation wasn't my own). Should I make note of it via link? I don't know; it kind takes all the fun out of it, eh?

Monday, October 09, 2006

work funny

I can kill at work. Pretty much kill on-demand. I'm like the IBM of work comedy. I'm not trying to make it sound like I'm all great or something. It's not my jokes that are so great; it's the environment. It's usually so humorless and soul-crushing that any competent attempt at humor is met with guffaws. That's how I like it - easy pickins. In a way, it's like a reverse comedy club, but with similar results. At a comedy club, everyone is drunk and wants to laugh; they're giddy with expectation. At work, everyone (well, most everyone) is sober and doesn't even expect a giggle.

I thought of this when I was on a conference call last week. There were a few of us in an office talking with a prospective employee. He had been at the company many years before and I had seen him here and there. As is my lot in life, I remembered who he was, while he wasn't so sure of me. (At least it wasn't a woman, that makes everyone think you're a stalker). My boss asked him if he remembered Roger. He said the name sounded familiar but he couldn't put a face with the name. I said, "Think very handsome face."

Oh the laugh we had.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

caveat emptor

When I purchased my piggy (or zebra or flamingo) print boxers, I didn't really anticipate that I'd be wearing them, uncovered, in front of co-workers in the gym locker room. Next time, I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

right-hand man

I added a bunch of stuff to the right-hand column. I'll continue to put stuff in there I like, so keep an eye on it. Go forth and prosper.


I know I've already pimped the Pandora on this blog. It's the finest in internet radio, created soley to please you, yes you, you that specific person reading this, not you in the plural, general, generic sense.

You give Pandora names of bands which you like. These bands are grouped into your own personal stations. (I put all mine into one station, but you could break it up by style or era or whatever else.) Pandora takes this information and plays music for you. Then you thumb it - up or down. It'll play something and you'll be all, "Hey, I like that." Then you can ask Pandora, "Hey, Pandora! Bro! What's up? Why did you play that Cause and Effect song?" And Pandora will say something like:

You see, Pandora employees a crack staff of golden-eared smarties who break down songs into identifiable musical characteristics. The characteristics from songs you like are identified in other songs. I didn't particularly care for the Cause and Effect song, but it made sense to me why Pandora would have selected it. Naturally, it starts pretty hit-or-miss with the idea that it gets more and more accurate as you rate additional songs.

So, use Pandora, but a word of caution - leave it running for a couple of hours and you want to buy like 15 new CDs you didn't even know about yesterday.

the end of innocence

Per this post . . .

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you Alan, but I just heard "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" playing during a DirecTV pay-per-view commercial for the Robin Williams' classic, RV. It's a sad day indeed.

the post that never was and never shall be

  • Last night, snuggly tucked in bed (actually overly warm and uncomfortable, but we can roll with snuggly) I thought of a blog post. The muse is a fickle mistress, so I always appreciate her arrival however inconvenient. Generally, if I get a really good idea, I'll try to write it down. But per above, I was in bed. I don't care enough about this blog to be all getting out of bed to write shit down for my blog. Sorry blog. In lieu of all getting out of bed, I thought to myself, "I hope I remember this idea tomorrow morning." And then, in response, I also thought, "Well, if I don't. No big deal. It wouldn't be that great of a post anyway." This is the thin line on which my writing ability balances. Do you see the disadvantage I'm in?

    At any rate, today I come into work and start sending emails or whatever it is I do around here. Suddenly I remember that I don't remember what I was supposed to write about. *sigh* Thanks for that accurate, but incomplete update, brain. Apologies to my never realized post.

  • I'm not really scared of germs. I warsh myself with a rag on a stick and whatnot, but generally, I avoid OCD. It always makes me chuckle when a guy washes his hands and then grabs some paper towels to shield his hands from the faucet handles. I don't go through all that, instead I deftly use my elbows to turn off the water. It seems like a good alternative, but if you use this method the whole rest of the day you have to remember: Don't lick your elbows!

  • I sent an appointment to a co-worker. He informed me that he was no longer part of the project. I replied that I bet he was sorry he would miss all the exciting discussions and wouldn't see the conclusion (a document) of the project. I made the joke even though I know him to be somewhat of a wet blanket. He replied that yes, indeed he was sorry, because he was interested to see the conclusions. Huh? So I replied and said I would forward him the document upon its completion. He said, "THANK YOU!!" WTF? Actual excitement about this is beyond my comprehension. He had to be ripping on me right? I actually hope that he was.

Monday, October 02, 2006

a Cary Grant impression

should not sound like a Howard Cosell impression. That's a little tip for all you current and future Rich Littles out there. You see, that's the thing about a good impression. It is in some way reminiscent of the impressee. And then you say something that the impressee would never say and everyone laughs and goes away impressed. Get it? It's the circle of life people. I am posting this here in case the person I heard attempting a Cary Grant impression happens to read my blog.

In the first go-through of that last paragraph, I generated about 50 grammatical/mental errors. You should be glad I proofread this thing . . . NOW! Ok . . . Stop! Depending on your processing speed, that should have been the proper amount of appreciation necessary for my proofreading skills.

I have a cold(ish). I don't have a full-on cold, but an itchy throat, mini-cough, general annoying bug-thing going on. I woke up Saturday morning with the itchy throat. It was as if my body was taking pre-emptive biological measures in an attempt to prevent me from playing coed recreational two-handed touch football in the cold, cold, fall rain that day. Well, I could not be dissuaded. Play I did and I fearlessly led my team to a 10-point loss. We are not good. But I did not think it was cool of the other team to call timeout with like 1 second left so they could score again from the one-foot line. I have never rumbled in my life, but I was ready to throw down after that. Don't they know how much money I lost when we didn't cover?