Denim-lined leather - just like your soul

After retiring a wallet my uncle Rich (who, with Gayle, read occasionally - hi Gayle and Rich!) gave me for Christmas many, many years ago, and replacing it with some soulless (but awesome-looking) white wallet from Target (which I bought because I wanted the indigo from my jeans to stain it - it didn't work out), I just bought this wallet from a guy on Superfuture.

That may have been the most complicated sentence I've ever written.

It's leather lined with denim, and the orange tab means it's from the mid-to-late 1970's. It's also around an inch larger in both directions than my current wallet, so ass-fading ahoy!

Cheap Mondays on Friday

I sold a pair of black 7 For All Mankind jeans (for more than I paid for them, how bout that) and bought a pair of raw black Cheap Mondays from Context. They're not washed or overdyed, so they look almost blue in these photos. I took a picture by Missy's office curtaindoor to prove they aren't. Click em to enbiggen em.

But most importantly:
Buyers Beware: Swede Jeans Promote Satanism Among Youth

Sweden, already one of the most liberal and antichrist countries in the world, has taken another huge step away from God, the creator and toward death and darkness.

Cheap Monday Jeans, which feature a satanic logo, with a cross turned upside down emblazoned on the forehead of a skull have already sold nearly a quarter of a million jeans as European youth are gobbling them up at about $50 a pop.

Here's someone who is not me but is wearing the same size in the same jeans so could pretty much be me except I don't have GNAR written on my head

Cheap Monday also makes lots of jeans that are too tight and or too ugly for me to wear unlike the jeans I bought which are almost too awesome for me to wear.

Bonus: Picture of me in them and them on me, from What Are You Wearing Today on Superfuture.

Impossible is the Opposite of Possible

Michaellll. Cerrrrrrra.

confidennnnce. providerrrrr.

Extraspecialbonusfeature: Martin Starr, who played Bill Haverchuck on Freaks & Geeks, is listed as a spotter in the credits.

Best Music of 2006 - Post #1

In the lead-up to my always-much-anticipated (by me) 10 Best Songs of the Year list, here are my 5 favorite albums of 2006. As always, the comments are a good place to tell me how right I am. You should purchase, download, or otherwise acquire all of these - you won't be disappointed.

1) Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards
This was 2006's blog-hyped underground release, and the anti-hype backlash (led by Pitchfork) was pretty much simultaneous. OleNelson e-mailed to say I would like it, and I think my response was something along the lines of, "I feel like I should be sooo over this album already, but the truth is that I haven't even heard it yet." This is what rock & roll should be like, teenagers - are you paying attention?

2) Tapes & Tapes - The Loon
This was self-released and sold at concerts in 2005, but got a label and a wider release in 2006, so I'm declaring it eligible. I'm glad I can include it, because it's some of the catchiest, best rock ever recorded on a 4-track in somebody's mom's basement.

3) TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
This album is fantastic, after you get past the impression that you're going to be listening to a podcast of a Sesame Street episode. Seriously, great album, but numero uno on my list of silliest album titles.

4) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
Karen O has been unscreechifying her vocals album by album, and this one is the ideal mix of barely-restrained passion and flat-out good singing. I remember listening to this in the spring and wondering how I would be able to pick just one song for my end of the year list.

5) Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Blood
If Neko Case doesn't make you cry when she sings, then you just stop reading my blog, you robot with your rusty metal heart.

My Secularmas gift to you

I'm in Nebraska, and thanks to the mystical power of photography, it's like you are too! Wheeee!

This is our niece and nephew, Anya and James. M.Bro's better at babies than me.

My Grandpa has been working on an exhibit for the Norfolk Museum, so their house is packed with amazing old photos, maps, and memorabilia. When Grandpa was discharged by the Navy in 1955, he shipped his duffel bag to his sister in Oakdale. It was locked, and he didn't know where the key was, so it stayed locked when he got back to the US, and continued staying locked when he and Grandma moved into their house (the one pictured way at the bottom) in 1963. The lock stayed on until Grandpa found his dog tags a week ago, with the padlock key on the same chain. His dress whites were still yellowed from a walk through Okinawa before shipping the bag, but after a clorox bath, he said they turned as white as they were a half-century ago. The patches and insignia show his rank, that he was deployed to active duty, and that he served in the records division.

M.Bro and I also took a little drive around Brunswick, the town where my Grandparents have lived since 1963 and my Mom grew up in. There can't be many more than 200 people living there, so it was a very little drive.

You've never seen this much corn, and in fact, I'm not sure you even believed this much corn existed. In the rear pile, the center tower runs a system of exhaust fans that sit under the kernels and blow air up and through them to keep the pile dry. In the foreground, the fans suck air down, pulling air through the corn and also holding the tarp down.

Home of the might Brunswick...ummm..Baseballers, and the stadium where little J.Bro played tee-ball and little league. Led by yours truly at first base, we were league champions when I was in sixth grade.

This is the post office for 68720, where my Grandpa was postmaster for many, many years, and my Mom still works.

Finally, my grandparents' house and my Mom's childhood home. Saturday mornings, when Mom was at work and I didn't have school, I used to stay there, often passing hours throwing a baseball onto their complex roof and letting it bounce around and shoot back down to me. It turns out my uncle Kirby did the same thing as a kid.


The Sue-Sue-we're-lost commercial - I know you know the one I mean. What do you think that couple's story is? First date? Married? Working girl and john?

Into the maw

"J.Bro - I don't know what a scrapbook store manager's office looks like."


(this is my first post in newblogger which isn't even bloggerbeta anymore how did i do)

WTF, rodents? W. T. F?

Riding to school on the bike path today (pleasant, thanks to unseasonably warm temps in the mid-30s), I startled a middle-sized rabbit. Like a teenager rabbit, full of angst and probably scampering home to put a 30 Seconds to Mars song on his myspace page. It sprinted along the side of the path, it's bunny-heart beating 300 beats a minute and its bunny-eyes like saucers. I tried to reason with it - "Why would I chase you? I don't even need a pelt" - and then tried to be authoritarian with it - "Just stop running and I'll go right past you!"

But, terrified out of its little fluffy head, it darted onto the concrete, right underneath my front wheel. I swerved the best I could, but with a thud and a crack, the damage was done. I was on my fixed-gear, so I skidded to a stop and flipped around to, I don't know, give it CPR or something. But it was gone, hopefully to a rabbit-ER in the woods to have whatever bone I broke set.

Alas, if that had been today's only rodent disaster! Walking out of a review session for the class I'm TAing, I heard a very dull SPLAT. Or maybe a THWACK. Either way, "what the hell?" is what I and the 20 people near me asked simultaneously. Laying on the sidewalk in front of us, stunned and upside-down, was a squirrel that had fallen 40 feet from a branch above the Bascom Hill sidewalk. Miraculously, it sat up, shook its adorable little head, and trotted back over to the base of the tree.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. If I can't believe that rodents are naturally graceful, then what universal truths am I supposed to believe in? My world is shattered. Just like those little animals' legs.

I can name this whatever stupid thing I want because it isn't the first of the month

From Sam at Context:
OK. So some of you may remember from a while back I posted that we at CONTEXT were going to conduct a denim experiment where we gave a pair of jeans to our friend, Don. Don is the head brewer and plant manager at the local brewery [Ed. Stalkerish note: I assume this is the Great Dane, which is right down the block from Context] and is a metalworker, handyman and builder. We picked him because he is harder on his clothes than anyone we know and he cares nothing about fashion or his personal appearance. So we gave him these jeans and told him to wear them to work every day for one year without washing them. Every Wednesday I take photos of them at the brewery. At the end of the year we will wash them and hang them on the wall at CONTEXT with 52 pictures (one from each week of the experiment) in chronological order and a brief synopsis of the experiment. We had also planned to make a website called that would have weekly updates, but never found the time. Anyway, Don scoffed at us, insisted they wouldn't last a month, but eventually agreed.

We gave him the Atelier LaDurance Royal Pant on JULY 1.

That is 5.5 months ago.

He has done as we asked and, needless to say, he is ahead of schedule.

These things are FILTHY.

He has developed a hole on the right front thigh from carrying screws in his pocket, so we are going to patch that with the denim from the repair kit that came with the jeans. He will then resume wearing them for the rest of the year.
For reference sake, he bought a pair of Caterpillar boots at Farm & Fleet the same week as he started with the jeans and had to replace them 2 weeks ago.


Year in Review

Following the meme. I'm a lazy titler, but 10/12 of those lazily-titled posts were on the very first day of the month!

Ringing in 2006

Raconteurs mp3s - you failed me

Still away - nothing to see here

A thievery update


The good news and bad news post

Truthy and not so truthy

Raul's moment in the sun

A September Post

Nothing's funnier

A hypothetical question (probably)

(no title)

O Christmas Scotch Pine, O Christmas Scotch Pine

There were differences of opinion about what size tree would be best -

but we found one we could all be very, very excited about -

decapitated it -

tied it up -

tied it down -

and decorated its carcass!

Merry December, tree-killers!

A fashion psa

Flannel's on its way back. Fitted and buttoned, though, Eddie Vedder.

Best of 06

It's still two or three weeks away, but the J.Bro Ten Best Songs of Ought Seis list is being pared down right now. The top three are pretty safe (but a big secret, obviously), but about fifty songs are in the running for slots 4-10. The fact that there wasn't a New Pornographers album this years means the top spot is wide open. Except that I picked it in late '05 and nothing's surpassed it yet.

I'm also thinking it's about time to start cultivating a winterbeard. Yes? No?

Edit: Bleh to the Grammies - it's not Mary J. Blige.

Low self-esteem R&B

Have you heard this song? What if Sir Mix-a-Lot had used this many qualifiers? Did he suppose that he maybe liked what some might consider larger-than-normal butts, if that's OK with you, and if it's not, that's cool too? No! In fact, he had enough self-assuredness to tell other brothers that they couldn't deny their feelings either. Paula Deanda could learn a thing or two about writing a straightforward lyric from Sir Mix-a-Lot. We all could.
I saw you with your new girl just yesterday
and I feel that I must confess,
even though it kills me to have to say it,
I'll admit that I was impressed.
Gotta commend you on your selection, and
though I know I shouldn't be concerned,
in the back of my mind, I can't help but question

Goodbye yellow brick Cabrini Green

The only memory of Cabrini Green I have involves being in Chicago as a naive Nebraska high schooler - I didn't get off at the wrong train stop or whatever other story you're imaging, but someone did ask me for money to take a bus there. My first experience as a panhandlee is all tied up in this place.

I read that the housing development was imploded today - if he's back from his travels, maybe Grrrbear can relate some hometown wisdom about Chicago's reaction.

Update: America's so lame. Cabrini Green's got nothin' on the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong.
Square buildings folded up into one another as thousands of modifications were made, virtually none by architects or engineers, until hundreds of square metres were simply a kind of patchwork monolith. Labyrinthine corridors ran through the monolith, some of those being former streets (at the ground level, and often clogged up with trash), and some of those running through upper floors, practically between buildings. The streets were illuminated by fluorescent lights, as sunlight was rare except for the rooftops.

The mutual decision to tear down the walled city was made in 1987.

At that time, it had 50,000 inhabitants on 0.026 km², and therefore a very high population density of 1,900,000 / km². It was allegedly the most densely populated spot on Earth.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Even though Spice sent me an article to convince me not to read it anymore - like I'm even susceptible to peer pressure - Pitchfork tells me some useful things once in a while. Such as the release date for the new CYHSY album. And links to download two tracks from it. Clap! Yeah!

I'm on warm milk and laxatives

The point of this post is just to say that I miss Nirvana. But that I might not even listen to them if they were still around. So I miss them, but I'm conflicted about it. That's all.

Republican Girls Gone Wild

Described as "the conservative answer to The Daily Show", The America Show, Episode 1 and Episode 2 are pilots that are being considered by FOX News for possible broadcast.

I have a lot of respect for any of you that can sit through more than a minute of either episode - they're searingly unfunny. I'm a 2-minute cut-and-runner. They're not just roll-my-eyes unfunny - they're I-want-to-throttle-a-republican unfunny. As a commenter on Metafilter asked, "How come, whenever I hear the phrase 'the conservative answer to', my mind rearranges it to 'the shitty, humorless version of' something?"

While that comment's insightful, it's not as funny as this one - "This is so terrible, I pulled out my credit card and bought a membership to MeFi, just so I could say how terrible it is. That's right: five dollars of terrible."

It's not just this show, though - conservatives, as a group, just aren't funny. Why is that?

Update: Hey - a YouTube video response slash intervention! "If people are telling you this is funny, they're lying to you. They're not your friends." Hee.

"Dovdt" is Russian for "stupid mystery painting"

Can you figure it out before the professor visits to give this answer this afternoon?
* This was painted by a person with a rare and severe mental disorder. He was constantly seeing his own fantasies all around him. He also had a certain phobia (undisclosed).
* His (the poster’s) psychiatry professor showed this painting in a lecture, and said there was one tell-tale sign in it that showed the painter’s insanity.
* The professor didn’t say what that sign was, leaving the students to do the guesswork. The only clues he gave was, “don’t look for small details, look at the whole; if you figure out what the phobia was, you’ve got the answer; ask yourself what could have preceded this scene; think of what the place would look like with all the objects removed“.
* The professor said that during the 15 years of his teaching, only one student had figured it out.