so I grew out a mustache for Halloween and I decided to keep it for a few days because it looks ridiculous. I laugh everytime I see myself in the mirror, and I've gotten some funny comments from people: I look like an uncle, their dad, a cop, a pedophile, etc. I've also been noticing mustaches more, even on people I see everyday. It's like a fraternity, the Mustache Fraternity. I'm also feeling a little self-conscious about it, when people look at me I wonder if they're thinking "what a dumb looking mustache." In which case, they're right.


so I was looking at the CDs released this week and saw a band called the Slumber Party Girls. I figured this was a pretty funny name for one of those twee indie girl bands, like Pony Up! or All Girl Summer Fun Band, or maybe an even funnier name for a band with all dudes. But unfortunately it's one of those manufactured teenie-bop pop groups, which makes it one of the lamest, most uncreative band names I can think of. "I want a group to make cheesy, stupid music for girls' slumber parties. I'll call the band the Slumber Party Girls." Why not just call it "The Band For Girls Who Like 'That's So Raven' and 'Lizzie McGuire'"?


My Big Road Trip, Part 2

So I wrote about the first part of my big road trip awhile ago - got a little lazy there. Here's the second part, St. Louis to Omaha.

So after a long and pretty uneventful drive from DC, we stopped in St. Louis, where Adam is from. We were there for a few days and met up with his sister there as well. St. Lou is a pretty nice city, I'd never really spent any time there. The downtown is big, which is always suprising to me after being used to smallish buildings in DC. The inner burbs where Adam's folks live are nice, and were a lot bigger than I would have expected - St. Louis metro area is pretty large, about 3 million. We ran some errands stuff and went to a neat nightlife area, the Loop, which is near Wash U I think. The crowd seemed more relaxed than your usual DC bar crowd, but still seemed like young professionals, so that was cool.

the future
Originally uploaded by sparkles..
Adam and Liz are big Cardinals fans, as are the whole fam, even the grandma, which was kinda funny. Adam said that people tend to stay in St. Louis for their whole lives, so I guess that makes sense. We went to a Cardinals game at the new Busch Stadium, which is a really nice stadium. The view is fantastic (pictured top), you see the Arch and lots of downtown, and the facilities are really nice too. I liked it more than Camden Yards, which is saying a lot. The Cards played the Reds, and I think the home team won.

I left the game early so I could get to the Gateway Arch, which is walkable far from the stadium, both are right downtown. The arch is pretty interesting, you go underground into this dark visitors center and wait in line for awhile until you get close. Then you get in these crazy, tiny little space capsule looking things, five people jammed into them, sitting down. I couldn't sit up straight either, I had to bend my neck over. Then the thing starts going up. At first it goes straight up, but as it gets farther up the arch, it begins to rock back and forth as it goes up each step - kind of like if you were lugging a bag up a flight of steps. The ride is pretty interesting. Here's a picture (left), but it seems smaller than that.

The viewing room
Originally uploaded by glynnish.
The view from the top is actually not that impressive. It's decent, and you are pretty high, but what I liked most is that the floor is still curved (pictured at right) which is pretty neat. You can see down into the stadium and can see a lot of downtown (pictured below), and from the other side you can see across the Mississippi and into Illinois. So I stayed up there for a few minutes hanging out, and there is one neat plaque that says "elevation 620 feet" or some similar number at the apex, so that's cool.

After that, we left for Omaha. The drive was pretty uneventful, and we didn't spend much time in Omaha, as we got in late and left again earling the morning. Seemed like kind of a blah city. Reminded me a lot of Knoxville. I didn't see Conor Oberst or Rilo Kiley anywhere either.

Originally uploaded by Steve and Brooke.
Stay tuned for the next episode on my road trip, full of further adventures, in which we will visit a crazy drug store, get trapped by bison, and other cool stuff.

Here's the first episode, and the next episode (number 3).


so I wrote about the Little Superstar the other day, and just recently found a Wikipedia article about the video, which is pretty funny. It translates the video clip too:

Mother: Hey, hey. What's with the party this early in the morning. Everyone leave, shoo, shoo. (Speaking to Rajinikanth, who's lying on the cot) Why not get some rest, honey. Go ahead and rest.

Rajinikanth: All right (lights up a beedi).

Thavakalai: Boss, give me a beedi.

Rajinikanth: Hey! Little kids shouldn't smoke.

Thavakalai: Brother, I'm ten years older than you, you know. You should give it to me.

Rajinikanth: And if I don't...?

Thavakalai: I'll skin you alive.

Rajinikanth: Here you go.




Originally uploaded by bensmithson.
so I went to see Ratatat last night at the Black Cat and they were fantastic, the best show I've seen in a long time. It's just three guys with a keyboard, guitar and bass (plus a drum machine, fog machine, and light show) and they tore the room apart. The music is entirely instrumental and most of the songs build before exploding into chunky guitar riffs and keyboard blasts. A lot of the first album is repetitive, in a good way, and kind of reminds me of video game music (specifically Castlevania for some reason), and the other songs they played were also really good. I especially like "Crips" and "Wildcat", which is on their myspace page. The music sounded great live too, the extra volume and fuzz and pretty energetic playing made stuff I like really great. The intro to "Seventeen Years" was probably the closest I've seen the Black Cat to going completely crazy.

I like these photos too:


Urban Prairie

Orange House
Originally uploaded by Allan M.
So I was goofing around on Wikipedia and was reading about Detroit. The article has a link to Urban prairie which is when an abandoned city block gets taken over by vegetation and eventually wildlife starts to move it - pheasants, possums, raccoons, and so on. It sounds fascinating and bizarre, that this sort of thing happens in a city.

Detroit seems really interesting because of that, here's this huge city which has half the population it did in 1950, so vast swaths of downtown land are empty - huge, abandoned buildings and blocks where most or all of the houses are burned, knocked down, or completely gone, so they're completely overgrown. I found a really interesting blog post about it too with some great photos. There's also a lot on flickr. It makes me wish I knew somebody up there so I could visit and see the city.