May 2008


Backbends are still probably the most challenging category of poses for me. Maybe I should practice them more.


Earlier this month, theCultFigure and I vacationed a long weekend on the OR coast, and overheard some folks talking about the upcoming Democratic primary. I’ll paraphrase one person’s remark; I’ve heard untold variations on it:

I mean, if Hillary wins, then there will have been a Bush or a Clinton in the White House my whole life!

Followed by some blather about how “wrong” that would be, etc.

Do the people who repeat this meme expect me to believe that IF ONLY Al Gore (or hell, John McCain) had been president for the past 8 years, they’d have a Hillary bumper sticker on their car? That her policies, qualifications, and whatnot would suddenly become preferred to all others’ depending on who is CURRENTLY the president?

There are all kinds of reasons to prefer either Obama or Clinton. This takes the cake as possibly the most inane.

I came across some videos on YouTube while writing about their show on Friday. One of my biggest disappointments in 2007 was missing the KEXP BBQ because my mom was visiting us. Not that I don’t love my mom! But Cloud Cult announced ahead of time that they’d play their cover of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”, and it crushed me to know I wouldn’t be there. Argh! But, some thoughtful fan posted footage from them playing that song! The audio isn’t great, but I don’t care. And I learned that the eye-mask that Craig wore as a headband on Friday is apparently a current motif.

Cloud Cult playing “Mr. Tambourine Man” at KEXP BBQ 2007.

Nothing new to report from the kitchen this week. We ate out on vacation, of course, and also a couple of meals once we got back. I made a few favorites during the week, but nothing new. And on Sunday I made:

~6 dozen sauerkraut pierogies, again with the new recipe for dough that I tried a while back. The only thing new about that would be the amount of stuffing per pierogi. For about half of the batch, I put in the usual 1 generous teaspoon of sauerkraut and onion. For the other half, I upped it to about 1 and a half generous teaspoons. They were slightly harder to close up, but I think it’s going to be worth it to have more filling. After all, we eat them for the sauerkraut inside, not for the dough.

A corporate neologism: worker “reclassification“. This article mentions a few other companies by name and focuses on IBM, which recently announced changes to some employees’ job status. Some jobs are changing from being salaried to being paid an hourly wage, and taking a 15% pay cut. Some of those positions aren’t even eligible for overtime, so they can’t work extra hours to maintain their current income. Naturally, people aren’t too delighted with any of these suck-tastic changes:

IBM workers upset over their new hourly status and the pay cut that comes with it have been circulating an online petition since February. They want their pay to be restored. They’ve also filed a class-action suit demanding overtime.

I am excited that IBM employees are organizing and trying to prevent these changes. Because who’d want to be paid 85 cents for a job they know has otherwise been compensated at $1?

Oh wait, that reminds me (bold is mine).

women [in the United States] earn 77 cents on the dollar for the same work as men…

Damn, I love Cloud Cult. We got to Neumo’s just in time for their early set – within the last few days we learned that the schedule had changed: there’d be two shows with the house opening at 11 for the second one. So Cloud Cult took the stage the first time around 9:15 and played an amazing set. We were sorely tempted to try to sneak back into the second set, and if it hadn’t been so hot in the club and it hadn’t stunk so badly of sweaty hipsters, we might have done so.

Pretty much with Cloud Cult I think every song is a standout, but last night I particularly enjoyed “Pretty Voice”. They played a good selection of songs from previous albums (mainly from Meaning of 8 and Happy Hippo) and from the new album. I’ve only listened to the new album once yet so I’m still getting familiar with those songs. Several people clamored for “Transistor Radio” [cute fan video] but to no avail. However, Craig thanked them sincerely for the suggestion :-)

I think this is the 4th time we’ve seen them, if I’m not mistaken, and clearly their following in Seattle is huge. The adoring crowd was very enthusiastic. When we first saw them 2 years ago, they were almost kind of shy on stage – I think they’re more confident and Craig had some easygoing stage banter with the crowd. As usual, Scott and Connie painted during the set, and occasionally joined in the music making.

Miscellany: Shawn the bass player looked oddly like Will Farrell in the “More Cowbell” skit, and with his new little goatee, Craig looked oddly like David Arquette.

It’s not often that we go to an actual first-run movie, but theCultFigure had two tickets to Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert film, Shine a Light, at the IMAX. I’ve never been much into the Rolling Stones, more due to neglect than hostility. After seeing them rocking out, a million feet tall on the IMAX screen, yeah. I get it now. I have an appreciation for them that I didn’t have before. So the movie succeeded on that count for sure!

One of the things I enjoyed most was revealed through some of the old interview footage that breaks up the otherwise long stretches of performance. Over and over, interviewers posed variations of the same question: whether they could envision being together, playing music, being the Rolling Stones “years from now” or “when you’re 60”, etc. I’m guessing this footage was included for the obvious cheap laugh. But more interestingly to me, it revealed a contemporary prejudice about rock music. Of course at the time, I guess no one had yet made a lifelong career out of rock and roll. But it’s not like humans hadn’t been making music forever.

And anyway, what are they supposed to say, “no, I’m just passing the time until I get hired to be a drugstore cashier” or “I doubt we’re creative enough to last for more than a couple of years”? But answering in the affirmative is guaranteed to elicit pretend-amazement from the interviewer. What a dumb ritual.

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