Thursday, May 31, 2007

Brand New Colony

Remember that "bowling" picture I posted last week? That was just the tip of the iceberg. Just the tip. You see, I have a thing for neon lights. I have hundreds if not thousands of neon pictures, and anyone that has ever travelled with me has no doubt been annoyed while I stop to snap a dozen photos of the same sign. I don't know why I like them so much. Maybe because they evoke a bygone era. Maybe I'm just a simpleton that likes shiny glowy things.

This is one of the most spectacular neon signs I have ever seen. It's in Miami's South Beach, on Ocean Blvd. I think. I walked down there by myself one night, after an incredible rainstorm that left the streets flooded. Overall my trip to Miami was not that great, an account of the heat and humidity and the fact that the mosquitos tried to destroy me.

Wanna hear something wacky? This building is actually purple. Shows up as blue in all the photos. What's up with that? Furthermore, back in the '80s when the Utah Jazz had purple uniforms they always looked blue on tv. Someone explain this to me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I changed the name of this blog. The other one just didn't make any sense. Now there's more consistency. The address matches the title. This is good. I'm excited.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Three-Day Weekend Report! New Recurring Feature!

Welcome back! For my readers in the U.S. I hope you had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. For my international following, I hope you had a lovely weekend as well.

You may recall that last Monday I wrote all about my weekend in perilous detail. Well I'm going to do that again now, and in fact I have decided to make this a regular feature. Every Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is a Federally mandated holiday) I will write about my weekend. I think it's better for us this way.

This is me at the beginning of the weekend:

This is me now:

I'll explain later.

Thursday Night
-Watched the Season Finale of Lost, again. Jack has a beard!!! They have to go back!!!
-Went to Dee's with Terrence Rex and Cherie the Schoolteacher. I ate breakfast at night. Can you even believe it?
-Watched Scorsese's masterpiece Raging Bull, which I had never seen. Black and white photography has never looked so good. Amazing movie. I can't believe it lost the Best Picture Oscar to Friday the 13th.

(note: I just realized that my weekend actually started Friday night, not Thursday night. Oh well. Consider it a bonus.)

Friday Night
-Got home from work, napped on the couch for two and half hours.
-Woke up refreshed, bored, and in the mood for a snack.
-Went to the House of Barlow where Cherie the Schoolteacher shared from the enormous supply of candy given to her by her students.
-Watched MTV's Scarred. Have you seen this show? Why why why why why why why is it on the air? Why did I watch it? Here's what it is: home-made footage of skateboarders and other Mountain Dew types suffering grievous injuries. It's not like Jackass where they're trying to hurt themselves, it's more like "Dude check it out I'm totally gonna jump over OH NO MY FOOT'S ON BACKWARDS!" Bottom line: arms should not be shaped like lightning bolts, when standing upright the sole of one foot should not point skyward, and your testicles should always remain on the *ahem* inside.

-slept in way too late. Puttered about for a while. Straightened up the homefront.
-Went to Jiffy Lube to get my oil changed. This took literally half a second.
-Wasted an hour wandering around Barnes n' Noble, did not find what I was looking for.
-I did see a book that looked interesting but I wanted to read the reviews on Amazon before buying it. Now I can't remember what it was called or who wrote it or what it was about.
-Headed Downtown to go the Gateway Mall, an hour before the Big Game was to start. If you live in SLC you know that this was a bad idea. For those that don't, the Gateway Mall is across from the Sporting Arena, in an area where parking is minimal and construction is rampant. I realized too late that I was never going to be able to find parking unless I wanted to pay $10. Traffic was so bad it took another half-hour just to get out of the area.
-Had some folks over to watch the Game. Home Team was losing until I realized that I was accidentally wearing the colors of Enemy Team, so I quickly changed and then Home Team ended up winning. Go Jazz.
-A French girl drank my Gatorade.
-Made the best cup of coffee in the world. I also make the best burgers and the best frosted cookies in the world. Just sayin'.
-Due to space limitations the rest of the evening's events will be omitted.

-Remember a few weeks ago when my computer got all busted? I finally got a new one. Yes, the reason I tried to go the Gateway Mall on Saturday and the reason I switched from Nerdy Guy to Cool Guy is because I have purchased a Mac. I am typing this up on a Macbook right now. I love it. It's so white and pure. I feel like I'm in the "club" now. In fact as soon as I took it out of the box electronifunkfolk rocker Beck called me up to congratulate me.
-Southern Soul Food Feast hosted by Terrence Rex. Best fried catfish I have ever had. And I've had a lot of fried catfish in my day (true story).
-My friend Em and I were feeling anti-social during the feast so we ended up inside watching Scrubs and drinking Guinness. Dr. Cox is so mean to JD all the time.
-Messed around with my computer.

-In honor of Memorial Day I sat around and messed around with my computer. I was disappointed by the lack of Baseball on my TV.
-Accidentally watched That Thing You Do. Pretty good.
-Went to the Big Game (part 4). Sat on the very last row. The Jazz lost. Afterward I saw a man crying.
-While I was walking from my car to the arena I passed a girl on the street who said "Nice blog." This is 100% true. She probably recognized me because I was wearing my Mets hat. Also I was sipping a fruity drink through a straw and carrying a turtle.
-During the game I saw a Marine in full dress uniform gingerly carrying two beers and trying not to spill. Later I saw him clapping two Thunder Stix together (Dear Australians: Thunder Stix are these inflatable balloon tube things that sound like a snare drum when banged together. They're very popular at sporting events. Maybe you have them over there too and now I just look like an idiot). Anyway, seeing the Marine just acting like a regular guy kind of made me sad. I'm not going to make a big "Support Our Troops" thing out of this but you really gotta hand it to those guys.
-Maybe someday I'll tell you about the time I snuck into Parris Island (that's where they train the Marines).
-Back home, messing around with my computer.

Oh, and now that I have a Mac you can expect to see a lot more pictures of me, like this:

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hot Summer nights won't last forever

This is one of my most favorite pictures I've ever taken. It represents everything that is good and pure and right with the world. Like neon, and sunsets. Electricity and, Also oxygen.
I've spent my whole life in this Valley, and there's a certain feeling you get from the air on those May nights, right before dark. The windows are down and the air is cool and there's a minor-league baseball game on the radio and even though you're not listening it's just nice to know that it's there, and you think "Something great could happen tonight" and "This is going to be the best Summer ever!"
But then the next day you're driving to work and the sky is choking on inversion smog and it's so hot that you're seeing mirages and you waste what little free time you have sleeping on the couch.
I'm getting carried away here.
Anyway, bowling.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's only teenage wasteland

Being a man of the world, I like to be informed of hidden dangers, alarming trends, and new ways to get high. That's why every night I make sure to tune in to my local 10 o'clock news.

"It's slowly killing your dog, and it's probably in your garage. Find out what it is tonight at 10."

"A powerful new drug that's sweeping across the valley. It's not illegal, it can be found in any grocery store, and it's surprisingly cheap. Tune in at 10."

I saw a similar promo when I was watching the Big Game on Sunday. It went like this:

"Emo. Do you know what that means? Chances are your kids do. What every parent needs to know about this dangerous new subculture. Monday at 10, only on ABC 4 Utah."

I for one say thank goodness to KTVX Channel 4 news for bringing us this expose on beatniks. I mean, Elvis fans. I mean, Hippies. Er, Punk Rockers. No wait, Dungeons and Dragons players. Straight Edge. Goths. Emo kids. Yeah, Emo Kids. That's the ticket.

I'm going to share the report with you. I assure you that there are no exaggerations or inaccuracies, aside from my own parenthetical comments.

Newsman Ross Becker: "It's *shudder* ... weird."

(Who is Ross Becker anyway? Where did he come from?)

Reporter: "This is something that has come out of the internet, and into music. Emo is found in books, magazines [holds up stack of magazines, in case we're not familiar with the term], even Spiderman 3."

(Oh no, they got to Spidey!)

Cue a My Chemical Romance video, pictures of AFI, the Used, etc.

Reporter: "These kids wear black clothing and hair."

Reporter: "We started with the internet, where we quickly found thousands of websites dedicated to Emo!"

Cue a video that is obviously a parody of Emo culture, where a 1950s style announcer says, "Happiness is a sin in Emo culture!"

Reporter: "There's even an internet quiz for kids to determine if they too are Emo!"

(everyone knows quizzes are a gateway drug. It starts with some innocent quizzing, but that leads to questionnaires, surveys, tests, and even exams)

Reporter: "Do teenagers know about it?"

They do.

Reporter: "Do parents know about it?"

They don't.

Reporter: "Emo fashion is obvious to the eye."

Then they show a picture of an orange polo shirt, and a pair of jeans. Yep. Obvious.

Reporter: "There's an even more disturbing aspect."

They show a video of some dude that is probably a hip young intern at Channel 4 pretending to cut himself.

Reporter: "Advanced Emo kids cut themselves."

(Advanced? How many experience points do you need to move up a level?)

Reporter: "On the internet, in this seemingly sweet song, a young boy sings about killing himself after the death of a lost love."

(since when is Ben Gibbard a young boy?)

Reporter: "Just because a teen may look Emo, parents shouldn't be alarmed. Unless they cut themselves."

(Some Parent sitting at home: "my boy cuts himself all the time. You're telling me I should be worried?"

After the report Ross Becker reacts as though this is the most shocking thing he's ever seen. I think he may vomit.

Who is Ross Becker?

Bleh. I hate these local news reports. After watching this I'm going to cut myself just out of spite.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Would you care to know what I did for my three-day weekend?

Thursday Night
  • ate part of a Hot n' Ready
  • drank a dead man's beer
  • wrote a blues song about drinking a dead man's beer

Okay, I didn't really drink a dead man's beer. But the opportunity was there. Also, don't you think that would make a great blues song? I'm not talking about that Chicago style blues music, the kind that goes "I got the blues! I got the blues so bad!" but that spooky Southern blues.

  • Vacuumed.
  • Went to Target, bought t-shirt, looked for ipod speakers (unsuccessful).
  • Went to Car-Max to give my friend a ride after he sold his car.
  • Ate a Costco hot dog even though my membership has expired. Take that, Costco!
  • Saw Pan's Labyrinth. Good movie. Later I looked up the Spanish Civil War on wikipedia but I didn't bother to read the entry because it was too long, much as this entry has turned out to be.
  • But did you know that the guy playing the Faun in Pan's Labyrinth is the same guy that played Mac Tonight in the old McDonald's commercials? Whenever I see Utah Jazzman Andrei Kirilenko I think of Mac Tonight. Also that same guy was Tom Cruise's hand-double in Interview with the Vampire.
  • (That thing I mentioned about Interview with the Vampire is foreshadowing).
  • Fondue at The Melting Pot. A complicated experience that was kind of fun but the waitress was rude. Also I drank an appletini.
  • (I ordered the appletini as a joke. I would never drink something so froofy.
  • (it tasted really good though)


  • Ridiculous Purchase Adventure Day!
  • What if I told you there was a store. A store where you could buy batteries, DVD copies of The Matrix Revolutions, cases of Shasta, almost expired canned goods, teethpaste, Nicaraguan basketball jerseys, floppy disks, giant novelty scissors, a Brett Favre autographed photo, a porcelain statue of Moses (next to a porcelain statue of Mr. Spock), a set of Presidential pocket knives, a wooden carving of a nude woman's torso, and a sky-blue Western cut suit with Ostrich-skin epaulets? Would you believe me that such a store exists? Well it does.
  • After leaving that store, visited the Latino Mall. I didn't know it existed until we drove by. Really one of the nicest malls I've ever seen, but they don't have any cool stores.
  • Next stop, some cowboy store. Tried to convince my geologist friend to buy a duster and a cowboy hat.
  • Another cowboy store. Tried on some cowboy shirts but it turns out they're not for me.
  • Saw a prostitute conducting a negotiation on State St.
  • Went to a vintage clothing store, nearly bought a pair of emerald-green loafers but they didn't have my size. I didn't end up purchasing anything during Ridiculous Purchase Adventure Day, but one of my associates got a pair of snakeskin boots.
  • Attended a Roller Derby competition. Did not compete.
  • Saw Hot Fuzz at the drive-in, drank Mexican Soda.
  • ("Mexican Soda" is not a euphemism, but it sounds like it could be. "Hey Jimmy guess what? This Big Gulp is half Fanta, half Tequila!" "Well you got yourself a Mexican Soda there.")
  • Made biscuits.
  • (didn't actually make them, but I assisted in the gathering of the ingredients).
  • Watched the last half of Signs.
  • (Spoiler: Mel Gibson dislikes Jews).
  • Sat in a sweat-lodge with one of my favorite associates and watched the first half of Interview with the Vampire. I'd never seen it before, but I did read part of the book. Furthermore, the plantation where Brad Pitt lived for the first part of the movie? I have totally been there!


  • Some light yard-work. But I live in a yardless apartment! How is this possible? The answer, my friends, is Science.
  • Watched the first half of the big game while laundering my t-shirts (gentle cycle, cold water)
  • Relocated, watched the second half of the big game.
  • Relocated, laundered the whites, took a terrible and spiteful nap.
  • Relocated, made waffles.
  • Went to the store, saw a guy with a t-shirt advertising the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy.
  • Relocated, watched Sopranos and Entourage.

The end.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Can music save your mortal soul?

Last time I mentioned an album and the memories associated with it. There are a few other songs that bring up memories, but in a strange twist they're memories that haven't happened yet.

I've always wanted to kiss a girl while the Smashing Pumpkins song "Tonight, Tonight" plays in the background. In particular the part where it crescendos during the chorus.

believe in me
drum drum drum drum drum drum drum


drnh, DRNH, drnh

By sheer chance I actually did this once, and it was way disappointing. Not nearly as cinematic as I thought it would be.

My next goal is to kiss a girl during the "Oooooh ooh ooooh" part of the song "Bleeding Heart Show" by the New Pornographers. If I ever finish writing my novel the characters in the book are going to do this, so that I can accomplish this by proxy.

I also want to dance with a girl to "Age of Consent" by New Order (possibly the best song ever). Also we're both silhouettes, like in an ipod commercial. (see below)

This one is going to be tricky. For one thing, where am I going to find that girl? Furthermore, I still haven't figured out a way to turn myself into a silhouette. The psychedelic background is doable, but it would be such a hassle that it would take a lot of the spontaneity out of it.

My last music/romance goal involves the song "Please Let That Be You" by The Rentals. We sort of broke up, and she's at a party with all her shallow snobby friends, and I'm hanging out with my idiot friends that are just holding me back. She half-heartedly drinks a champagne toast to her newly engaged friend, I half-heartedly chug a beer because wtf man. Both of us keep checking our phones hoping that the other has called. Finally we leave our respective parties and meet on the lawn of the mansion where we embrace and even though the sprinklers come on and soak us we don't even care.

I'm gonna go get some lunch now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hangin' on the corner of 52nd and Broadway

How long has it been since you've listened to this album? Probably a while, eh? Did you forget how good it is?

I had forgotten how good it is. The other day I wanted to listen to some music as I bathed and prepared for my day. As I've mentioned earlier my computer is slightly borked so that option was out. I have a large stereo in my bedroom (my room is too crowded and needs redecorating), but the CD player doesn't work. The stereo was a Christmas gift in 1993, so it had a good run. In case you need to know, the first CDs I bought for my new stereo were Led Zeppelin IV and The Doors self-titled debut.

Anyway, I was digging through the fourth drawer down, where I still have some old cassettes. I wanted to find the White Album because I had been listening to The Grey Album a lot lately and had a powerful craving for the White Album. Incidentally, I bought the White Album one summer after riding my bike to Raspberry Records, which no longer exists. Then I headed over to Blockbuster and rented the movie Yellow Submarine. A Cherry Coke was probably involved as well. This was back in... I'm gonna say 1993. That was a big year for me, musically.

Back to 2007! I couldn't find the White Album, but I did find "...And Out Come the Wolves." Guess where I bought that cassette? Raspberry Records. Probably closer to 1995 of 1996. My sophomore year of High School. Around this time my outward fashion sense was transitioning from classic rock t-shirts to a more ska/punk oriented mode.
How I loved this album! I remember seeing the video for "Time Bomb" and being so excited. Ska music on MtV! Wild.

2007: I pop the tape in my seldom used tape player and remember what a pain-in-ass cassettes are. So hard to find the track you want. Nevertheless, I was pleased to find that this album still holds up. It's got just the right amount of raw punk snarl, but at the same time it's just professional and polished enough to be accessible.

There's another Rancid tape I have that I can't listen to anymore. "Let's Go." It's a fine record, but for some reason it brings up all sorts of bad memories. Nothing specific really, just a vague notion. Every time I hear it I'm reminded of lonely Saturday nights in January, the wind howling, sweeping away any remnants of the last snowfall, leaving exposed the muddy dead grass on the islands that divide different sections of an oil-stained parking lot. I hate that feeling.

By the way, I actually have spent some time hanging on the corner of 52nd and Broadway, but nothing cool happened.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

papa loves mambo

Longtime FCOS reader Caw made mention of "fruity drinks with umbrellas in them," so I thought I'd share a picture of me enjoying such a beverage. It tasted like red.

Sadly, sometimes fruity drinks lose their umbrellas, which means that somewhere someone's cocktail isn't as festive as it could be. Tragic.

Friday, May 11, 2007


I almost forgot. Sunday is my birthday. So, y'know, feel free to praise me here.

even if we're just dancing in the dark

Starting a fire is easy when you have a friend who is made out of sparks.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Where's Waldo?

Sorry for the late update today. I didn't have time to upload any pictures last night.

That's a lie. I had nothing but time. I just didn't do it. Deal with it.

Luckily loyal FCOS reader Juder sent me some pictures. Here's one of my favorites. 10 points if you can find me hidden in there. 10 more points if you can name the other two people. 20 points if you can spot the Wizard.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

almost camping

Spooky is the horizon, and though green is the scenery, perilous is the drive.

Like I said, perilous. Seems like with every picture I take the car swerves a little.

On the ground, snow. In May! In the desert!

This picture was taken shortly after a scary incident in which I was cruising at 70mph enjoying Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" when suddenly I hit a wall of snow and lost control of the vehicle. Luckily I remembered my training and regained composure while cars around me veered ditchward.

Though cold remains the temperature, breaks does the sun.

Through the Grand Arch I go.

Erected is a tent where no tent was before.

Sleep is interrupted by wind and rain and snores. Angry is B.


I'm back. Back to the world of blogging and sleeping and performing work in exhange for wages.

I went camping over the weekend. Don't believe me? Well I have proof!

Still don't believe me? Then this campfire exposes you for the fool that you are.

Oh, so you're one of those jerks that requires three forms of proof for every statement? How 'bout the desert sky?

Geez, what more do you want from me? Here's a tent!

More pictures throughout the week, if I feel like it.

Friday, May 4, 2007

gone fishin'

Going out of town. No updates for a few days. If everything goes as planned I'll be a rich man. If it doesn't go as planned...well, you'll read about it in the paper.

Oh, also:

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Regarding Disappointment

I don't handle disappointment very well. Not just my own, but yours too. Tell me that you crashed your car and I'll say "Whoa, that sucks." Tell me that you had a milkshake that you were totally looking forward to but then you dropped it in the parking lot and my heart will ache for you.

Along those line, minor aggravations that ruin my whole life, here's an event that happened recently.
I'm on the red couch at my mom's house watching The Bourne Supremacy while I wait for my laundry (the whites) to finish drying. I'm watching The Bourne Supremacy because it is the best thing I could find on the movie channels. I have received a new arrival from Netflix but it's not what I want. The disc is Sopranos Season 3 vol. 2, but I still need vol. 1. A quick check of my Netflix queue reveals an erroneous claim. They say that I have vol. 1. This is simply not true.

Matthew "Jason Bourne" Damon is racing through the streets of Moscow when suddenly I am stricken with a craving for spaghetti. A powerful craving at that. So much of a craving that I grow weak. I'm pretty sure I have spaghetti noodles and ragu at my apartment but I demand satisfaction now. Aha! A meatball sub from Subway will do the trick. I quickly gather my laundry and steal some cookie dough balls from the freezer and head out the door.

My choices are thus: I can go to the Subway on 9th or the one on Highland. They are both equal distance away, but the one on 9th is right next to a Blockbuster so I can get my sub and Sopranos Season 3 vol. 1 and only have to park once. I walk through the door of Subway at 9:55, five minutes before closing. As I wait in line I can practically taste the delicious meatball sammich. It's my turn to order and with great confidence I say "6-inch meatball."

The lad behind the counter says "We don't have any meatballs."

I'm shocked and saddened. I say, rather un-cool-ly, "Wha-huh? Serious?"

He says "Yeah."

Without a word I walk out shaking my head, crushed by the realization that it is now too late to go to the other Subway.

My trip to Blockbuster is without incident, though I do overhear a girl hold up a copy of The Fog and say "I heard this was really good." and I hear another guy say "David Blaine is freakin' tight."

Yeesh, speaking of disappointments, check this out:

Tremendous disappointment! Aisle after aisle of mini-vans, mortgages, APRs, lawn-mowers, taxes, silky-hawaiian shirts, carpet samples, awkward small talk, collar tabs, prostate exams, AND an entire section devoted to going to bed early. Not... not what I had in mind.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Giving in to your demands

Ever since I started this little blogsite my inbox has literally been flooded with literally billions of e-mails from readers all around the globe. Today I thought I'd share a few of them and respond in kind.

Dear B,

Your blog sucks. Post a picture of a sea turtle already.

- Roy (Dearborn, MI)

Hey B,

If I wanted to read a blog with a complete lack of amphibians, I'd call my grandmother.

- Steve K. (Eden, UT)

Well I don't even know what that means, Steve. And sorry you don't like the blog, Roy. why don't you start your own damn blog

Don't worry readers, some people actually enjoy it here. Why, for every ten "you suck" letters I get one positive letter, like this one:

Dearest B,

A skunk with a cup on its head? Where do you come up with this stuff? I love it! But I can't help but wonder: have you ever beheld a sea turtle? If so, what did that look like?

- Some Hot Chick (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Alright, I get it! You folks want more pictures of turtles. Well away we go.

Hope you're happy.

Who will, who will rock you?

Maybe the reason I haven't had any really creative blog posts in the last few days is because I've been pouring all of my artistic energy into my band.

We don't have a name yet, but we had our first photoshoot last weekend and I'm really feeling good about it.