start the riot
so a few of us went to bw3 in broad ripple for drbmd's birthday. as far as sportsbar-type establishments go, bw3 isn't too bad... the place is swarming with tv screens, but they have quite the beer selection (and woodchuck cider on tap, a huge plus for me), & last night i discovered the joy of wings with thai sauce... today i'm already craving some more thai wings and another 23oz glass of draft cider. but anyway...
bw3 was chosen in part because drbmd wanted to watch the pacers/pistons game. i generally don't like sports, but it was his birthday after all, & i think we made a good choice of places to go. what a game it was!
people are already calling it one of the worst moments in nba history... and i actually saw it live. to drbmd: happy birthday. love: the nba.
pacers were up the whole game, by as much as 19 at some points, so it seemed like it would be an uneventful game, but then things went crazy. pacers were still up 15 points. ron artest (pacers) fouled ben wallace (pistons), who flew off the handle, shoved & charged at artest. things seemed to be over, and artest was actually lying down giving an interview, when drunken pistons fans started throwing shit, and artest got hit by a flying beer. that sent him over the line and he charged into the stands. then everything went fucking nuts. lots of footage of fans throwing shit, angry ballers bringing the smackdown.
i thought pistons fans waited until after
the game to riot! last night they couldn't wait, & the game was called with 45 seconds still on the clock.
this story, and its repercussions (including long suspensions and possible criminal charges against players and fans) will probably dominate sports news for several cycles. there's a lot of outrage
over what happened, but realistically this will probably fuel interest in the nba (and especially the pacers/pistons rivalry). americans like violent sports: football, hockey, war, etc.
so there you have it: an actual sports entry. don't get used to it, because there might never be another.
happy birthday, dr. butcher m.d.
happy birthday, you jerk-ass dork.
hurry up and figure out where you want to party tonight, yo.
my computer is fixed (or at least, it is back to the way it was behaving a month ago, rather than being on the verge of death). i went to compusa at lunch & bought a new heatsink, then barry put it in once i got home. everything seems to be running smoothly and, more importantly, quietly. so i'm all set, at least until i try to upgrade more parts (my burner has been flaky since i installed xp, for example, refusing to work with any program but windows itself, & i think i might need to buy a new one to get full functionality).
i also just got back from walgreens, where we picked up leland's prescription heart medicine (diltiazem). poor baby has to take 1/2 pill everyday, and he's a very finicky eater so i don't think i can trick him by sneaking it into his food. (i just tried to give him some moist food with his pill in it, & i don't think he ate a bite. he got up & ran over as soon as i opened the can, but once i put the bowl down he didn't eat any. he doesn't seem to eat much of anything but dry cat food.) barry has volunteered to be the one who has to force leland to take his medicine each day... and i'll probably let barry do it because i'm a big wuss about things like that. the idea of holding his head, forcing his mouth open, and then forcing him to swallow something just seems to mean
, even if it is for his own good. i just wish there were a more pleasant way, without having to go through some online specialty pharmacy
(even with a good-tasting suspension, we'd still likely have to force his mouth open to dose him).
but the sites i looked through about diltiazem at work (sorry, no links) sounded promising, saying that it can prevent or reverse hardening of his heart cells, as well as increase blood flow & make the heart's job easier. so i'm really happy to give it to him; i just wish there were a way to do it that wasn't so violent
down for the recount
the past week's blog entries have dwelt on my own drama (taking my cat to the vet, tracking down my web traffic, & my ailing computer), and even when i've mentioned current events, it's been out of personal interest (namely, some of my favorite musicians passing away). so in the awful event that anyone relies on this blog for current events (please, don't), here's a quick recap of what's been going on.
more white house resignations! the most prominent is colin powell, the token moderate, the most globally popular cabinet member. he's gone, and with him (unless bush has some very surprising appointments in store) goes any chance that the president will hear from advisors who might actually disagree
on something... the moderates are gone; only the crazies and sycophants are left. in powell's place, bush has promoted condolezza rice. like alberto gonzalez for attorney general, it's more of a promotion than an appointment: a reward to rice for spectacular ass-kissing. because it seems like i need a link for every news item, here's a quote from a nytimes editorial
Our concern about Ms. Rice is not that she makes the president feel comfortable. It's that as national security adviser, she seemed to tell him what he wanted to hear about decisions he'd already made, rather than what he needed to know to make sound judgments in the first place.
this trend of rewarding the yes-men and kicking out any actual thinkers is not limited to the white house. it's happening in the cia as well.
porter goss, newly appointed partisan head of the cia, is kicking ass and taking names: the names of agents who dared to disagree with bush, that is, & those names are being written on pink slips. many people agree that the cia needed fixing. but how can the fix for politiced, faulty intelligence be... further politicizing the intelligence?
the story of the recounts is going, despite the attempts of some to shut down the discussion and smear those who would mention it
(i heard a particularly disgusting piece on npr last week that cherry-picked all the weakest arguments, as though nothing
went even remotely wrong... i believe this was on all things considered
, proving that in fact not
all things are considered on that show). conservatives are all over keith olbermann
for daring to cover the story on tv.
ohio has still barely started counting provisional ballots
, the bulk of which will almost undoubtedly go to kerry. it might not be enough to flip ohio, but it will narrow the margin considerably. 9th district house race
Democrats sought the recount, which will begin in Dubois County, because of a voting machine glitch in Franklin County that wrongly tabulated straight-ticket Democratic votes as Libertarian votes. Although that county is not in the 9th District, the same kind of voting machines also were used in three counties in the 9th -- Ripley, Scott and Switzerland.
beep the speaker
my computer is making awful sounds! and i mean that in the bad way! it emits this terrible racket that sounds like a detuned engine revving up, & every so often it will start to sound this little two-tone "siren": it sounds sort of like a midi ambulance. click here to listen!
right now we suspect that the grinding engine noise is a fan that is dying, most likely the heat sink. and i think the alarm noise is my motherboard trying to tell me that my cpu is overheating (or at least it thinks
the siren keeps becoming more frequent: in fact this computer has been on maybe
20 minutes and the siren just started up again! looks like we're for some good times trying to upgrade some of my hardware...
cat scratch fever
just got back from taking leland for his cardiac ultrasound. my hopes were fulfilled and his results were the best possible given the circumstances. he does seem to have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but it's in the very early stages (the dr explained that "some purists" in the field would not even diagnose it as hcm yet [for reasons i might or might not explain in a future post], so you know it's pretty mild at this point).
everyone commented on how wonderfully behaved he was. i had been told that the procedure takes 20-30 minutes (at one point i even heard 30-40), but leland was so well-behaved he was done in 10! i had just settled down in the lobby, watched a couple minutes of animal planet on the tv, & started leafing through the paper when the dr's assistant came out, cat in arms, & said "i wish they were all this easy." i've been him through a lot recently (three vet visits in two weeks!) & he has a little bald spot on his belly to show for it, but he's a trooper. he even still gets in his carrier voluntarily.
i still have to talk to the other vet about possible treatment (the dr i saw today even used the word "if" so it's possible leland doesn't even need
treatment at this point, though i'd rather be safe).
so yeah, he has some potential health problems: early stages of heart disease and he's a carrier for FeLV (the virus is in his body, but seems to be latent: no infection), but he's in remarkable health considering. you'd never know he was sick (not without spending a few hundred bucks).
all in all it's still a little depressing, but considering how much worse it could have been, overall i'm relieved.
rip john balance
RIP john balance
damn, it was bad enough that odb died (though i think i was more upset by the slew of online haters who couldn't wait 5 minutes before trying to tear the man down), but now john balance? founding member of coil, & collaborator with groups like throbbing gristle, psychic tv, current 93, nurse with would, zos kia, etc...
and they died on the same day! alas.
bang on a glass
last night avant garde classical ensemble bang on a can
came to town with special guest philip glass
. i'd known about it for months but i hadn't been planning to go because the tickets start
at $25, which is a bit stiff. but bobby vomit called me the other night & asked me if i wanted to go, insisting that he was going even if he went alone. now that i had someone to go with, it was hard to resist the chance to go see a living legend like philip glass. so we went.
bobby vomit, his cousin matt turd, & i arrived mere minutes before the 8pm showtime, & still had to wait in line at the box office. of course, at the box office they try to sell you the most expensive tickets unless you specifically ask for cheaper (which we did). this netted us tickets for the second terrace. when we got up there the show had already begun so we had to wait a couple minutes for bang on a can to finish their first number before the usher would seat us. i thought the seats were good for being on the second terrace: we weren't exactly close to the stage, but the view was very clear.
bang on a can played two more pieces: a michael gordon piece called "light is calling" with some electronic sounds (it sounded almost like an ambient electronic composition: very cool) & a louis andriessen piece called "workers union": this was a very intricate piece full of point & counterpoint & these guys rocked it hard: about as it's possible to rock when you're playing classical instruments like cello, double bass, clarinets, etc. i'm not sure i'd ever been to a show with musicians who has so much classical training playing something so "different".
then came the intermission: at least 20 minutes if not 30 or more. i stayed in my seat for awhile, then bobby v & i went outside for a cigarette. we got back to our seats just in the nick of time, as philip glass was walking onstage. first he played solo on the piano (playing what he called "four metamorphoses", explaining that he was not going to play what was on the program). the composition was exactly what i've come to expect from glass: repetitice, subtle, changing very slowly after time. bv asked me after the show if it was "the best piano piece i'd heard all year" & i had to admit that it was, though that's not very stiff competition considering how few piano pieces i generally hear. really good stuff, but i'm used to glass having more of an organy electronic sound.
next the members of bang on a can came back onstage & joined glass in playing his "music in similar motion". excellent. this was closer to the sound i was expecting: glass on keys, alongside these supremely talented performers, playing an interesting piece full of gradual movement. at one point i looked over & bobby v was literally trembling:
i had to check to make sure he wasn't having a seizure.
after that glass left the stage. i guess he wasn't needed for the next piece: his own "music in fifths". despite his absence, this was possibly my favorite piece of the night.
they had suggested that "music in fifths" was the final number of the night, but obviously that was false because they walked offstage but the house lights didn't come up. i've never understood the point of encores: if you plan to play a piece, just put it in your normal set. don't yank the audience around by pretending the show is over & make them "demand" that you come back for more. but within moments they were back onstage, again with philip glass. bv and matt were very excited to hear that the encore would be "closing" from glassworks. again, it was very good. then we were on our way home.
during the ride home there was much mocking of the guitar player: onstage he looked more like he belonged with def leppard or something. he would make what matt called "eddie van halen" moves, which would make sense if he did them at emphasis points, but they seemed to be at totally random intervals. the moves were amusing & distracting, but i couldn't really hear him much so i didn't mind much. matt claimed that as a guitar player he could hear the guitar more clearly, & it was distracting for him, arguing that shouldn't even have a guitar. i can see his point, but it didn't bug me all that much really. and criticisms of the guitar & the high price tags (cds were apparently $20! i might've bought one if they were $15 or less), we all agreed it was a great show & we'd enjoyed it.
then we came back to my house for a bit: bobby vomit rocked out using my gear (one ttx1 turntable, the vcr audio, & my kp2 kaoss pad). i recorded about 40mins of it, with some beautiful moments where he would randomly pull some fantastic audio off of the cartoon network: at one point he switched over right as one character said "bad taste"! fantastic (& i didn't have to pay $25 to see it). then they were off, & i watched adult swim & real sex before turning in for bed.