Monday, April 09, 2007

Gettin' Hitched 

We're getting married.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Looking for the latest Tbag ramblins?

Check out the livejournal here.

I'm giving it a test drive to see if I want to switch over there for my not-so-often-these-days posting needs.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Torture Debate 

Just typing those words in that order makes me sick. There should never be a debate about torture...ever. But here we are. I can't formulate words (and I have work to do), but Matt Yglesias says it well:

While you can obviously imagine or gerrymander or stipulate a situation in which torture might yield useful information, in practice the systematic authorization of torture creates an army of butchers, not a crack investigative team. Bush, Cheney, and those around them remind me of Nietzsche's line about staring too long into the abyss. They've become transfixed, hypnotized almost, by the evils they believe themselves to be fighting. Obsessed to the point where they've clearly developed an admiration for the brutal methods, ruthless dishonesty, and utter secrecy with which the enemies of liberalism conduct themselves.

But these things they're so eager -- determined, really -- to cast aside aren't frivolous luxury to be abandonned in times of peril. They're the very essence of what makes our system of government work. They're what makes it worth preserving, as a matter of ethics, but also as a matter of practice vital to the preservation of our way of life. Liberal democracy isn't a fluke occurrence that just so happens to have survived despite its drawbacks. It's actually a superior method of organizing a state. The idea that the country is being run by people who don't understand that is sad and frightening. The idea that the very same people claim to be embarked upon a grand mission to spread our system of government around the world is like a horrible tawdry joke, but doubly frightening in its own way.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Banksy in L.A. 

A few years ago, one of my friends told me about this great new stencil graf artist in England who was making a splash by doing extremely creative, provocative work and doing it in dangerous, how-could-he-not-get-caught places. His name was Banksy. Well, that was his tag. Nobody knew who he really was. But it was graf at its best...organized to make a statement, not just rep a name.

Well, I just got back from an art show in the warehouse district in southeast downtown L.A. featuring Banksy. It was a great show, but the meta-irony was perhaps its most interesting aspect.

First, the "secret" show was publicized. Nobody knew where it was until the week of (was supposed to be the day of). But at the same time, somehow CNN and Marketplace on NPR knew it was going down. Point is, it was clearly PR'ed. Fine and dandy, but it was done in a slightly underhanded way. And you could tell it was PR'ed by the crowd. Huge...thousands. That's fine...better thousands gather for good art than for shit.

There was the central piece of the show...a live elephant in a mocked-up living room. Again, art with a point. Hard to ignore the elephant in the room here. Apparently the elephant was painted for the first 2 days of the show, but it had worn off by the time we saw it. It's also an ongoing theme in his work, and I thought it was a great idea, but the elephant just looked sad. I couldn't help but find it ironic that this artist who so often expresses regret that people are used for the purposes of others would use this living thing to get his point across.

The show was great, but it was canvases. There was some graf -- on a box truck that'd been pulled into the warehouse space, for example -- but not much. I expected more work on the walls...I thought it was in a warehouse so that he could do his thing, vandalize it to make a point. I remember thinking that it sure seemed like he'd taken his graf and made it marketable, sellable. The segment on Marketplace on NPR about the show had made much of the fact that this anti-commercial artist (and he is) was making so much money off his art (and, apparently, he is).

The meta-irony got really in-your-face as we left. They were throwing out a kid for...you guessed it...tagging up stuff in the warehouse. So a kid got tossed from the artist's show for doing what made the artist famous to begin with. Go figure.

But all in all it was a cool experience, and one that I couldn't have in another city. I'm really beginning to like living in a city that's an epicenter for the arts. You have to put up with more hipster bullshit, but then you get to go see a Banksy show.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

RIP Ann Richards 

What a sad way to come back from dinner. Apparently, Ann Richards has died of cancer.

I've blogged about my love for her before. This is truly a sad day. Texas has lost one of its most beloved daughters. Though she never knew it, Richards inspired me on several occasions and was one of the people who first got me interested in politics. She was a great woman, and will be sorely missed.

Incidentally, she also shares both first and middle names with my mother, and like my mother chose to go by her middle name...who knew?


As an initial matter, I'm adopting Probative's policy of not writing about work (see 1). I find this a more balanced approach to the blog issue than those who've decided to hang it up (god rest their blog-souls).

I'm also going to follow Probative's lead and write about work anyway. At least a little.

So far, I like work. I'm having to adjust to the schedule, of course, but it's giving me an opportunity to adjust some other things in my life that I felt needed adjusting. Hence the smoking cessation and the beginnings of getting back into shape (Men's Health workouts here I come).

The atmosphere at work is exactly what I need. It really is as laid back as they advertised. I wore sandals and ripped-up jeans with a t-shirt on top today and loved it. I get along well with my co-workers so far, and most of the people I summered with haven't even showed up yet (and I get along with them very well).

The work is challenging already, but I've been staffed on cases that look to be interesting with partners I like. The work is also copious -- apparently they couldn't wait for more associates to arrive and we're stepping into a busy time at the firm. Fine by me. I'd rather be swamped than bored, and it means it's easy to find work even though I've just begun to get used to the nothing-is-spoonfed system.

Alright, dinner time now, maybe a bit more later. Overall, everything's good...I think I've landed myself about where I need to be.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Willie at the Hollywood Bowl 

I went to my first concert at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. It's a really nice outdoor venue that allows you to bring your own food and booze. It's like Miller Outdoor Theater (the outdoor venue of my youth) on roids.

I had to get a little more Texas out of my system, so we caught Willie Nelson there. It was a great show. Neko Case opened and then Ryan Adams played a (surprisingly, to me) good set before Willie hit the stage and tore it up.

Overall it was a great show, and a good introduction to a venue I know I'll be seeing more of in the future.

Tomorrow I start work. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Load of Hokey Shit 

I'd like to apologize for the "(yikes!)" that appears in the last post. And for the whole tone of the post. You see, when I don't have nicotine and I need it...and I need it, something happens. I go from having many different emotional gears when communicating to having two. My two non-nicotine gears are "happy flower time" and "fuck you, asshole."

I promise subtlety and nuance will once again become part of my life soon, but for the moment I assume anyone who still reads this would rather get happy flower time than my foot up their ass.

That is all.

Settling in... 

It's amazing how long it takes for me to really nest into a place. Ever since leaving my parents' house in Houston in 1998, I've lived in a half-moved-in state. One of the things I decided to do upon relocating to Los Angeles was to change that.

I feel like this is my home. One that I'm sharing with my better half. It's a good feeling, and part of that feeling is really settling in. I love our place (if you still haven't seen it, click here for Jessie's flickr tour). So I've spent a significant portion of every day since Monday working on little things around the house. The most important is finishing unpacking. But that requires finding storage for everything, which means trips to places like Target and the Container Store.

I've still got to go get some shelving to set up my sound/DJ gear, but other than that most of the major work is done. In fact, the flickr tour doesn't really do the place justice as it is now.

I'm also quitting smoking again. Cold turkey again. Poor Jess. But I think I'm already over the worst of the physical cravings and sudden desires to rampage and kill everyone. Now I just gotta keep sucking on the toothpicks and everything will be okay. Pretty soon I'm going to be a non-smoking, occasionally-exercising, totally-moved-in, working (yikes!) member of society.

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