Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Out of My Gourd

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It's odd that I hadn't carved a pumpkin since I was a kid, but this year alone, I've already carved three. Last night, I went to the Nicks house to carve over there. Johnny grew pumpkins in his garden this year, and gave me the most gigantormous pumpkin to carve.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It was a nice relaxing evening of making jack-o-lanterns and watching football.

Nick's Pumpkin
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I tried to make mine scary, but it ended up looking too happy, which, in turn, looked kinda creepy. Nicks was, by far, the best. He's obviously a Steelers fan.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I did something really stupid last week, and now I'm dealing with the rather humiliating consequences. Well, it would be humiliating were it public information. Sorry, but I'm gonna keep this one to myself. And rest assured, I won't make the same mistake twice.

Indian Summer

We've had some really nice weather the past couple weeks, with temperatures reaching the upper 60s and nothing but sunshine. Luckily, there's still snow on the mountains. Starting tomorrow, the days are supposed to be getting cooler, but still sunny. Besides a lack of that wonderful white precipitation, the worst thing about too many sunny days in a row is what Utahns refer to as an "inversion." Everyone else in the country just calls it smog. When we don't get rain for a while, all the pollution in the Salt Lake Valley gets trapped, and it's pretty nasty looking. Though the local weather man says it won't happen, I'll continue to pray for rain.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Do the Whirlwind

Is it indie pop? Is it dance rock? Is it twee avante garde? The answer is all of the above, because it's a band called Architecture in Helsinki. Admittedly, I wasn't exactly familiar with this band until a few weeks ago when my friends started talking about their upcoming show. I did a little YouTube research, and decided that this is a band I wouldn't mind seeing. Luckily, my opportunity came last night when Pete, Brian, John, Jonathan, Chris, Taylor, and I went to their show in SLC.
There were two openers, neither of whom I could name because we were hanging out in the bar. Though we did see the first opener doing some strange jazzercise-type dancing during her set.

Architecture in Helsinki
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Finally, the Australian six-member collective came out, and began playing their super-fun tunes. I liked how every song was unique, with their haphazard energy flowing through the crowd. I was impressed with their varied instrumentation, pairing synthesizers with trombone and bass, and making it sound so full of glee. Equally impressive was how each band member switched between nearly every instrument on stage. They played for just over an hour, but unfortunately, their set was cut short due to equipment issues. Still, it was a very playful show, evidenced by the big smiles on the faces of everyone in the crowd.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mood Swing

I know Fridays are supposed to be the best day of the work week, but yesterday was very long and very boring; and by the time I got home, I just wanted to lay in bed all night. But I couldn't do that. Sarah Vowell was giving a talk in SLC, and Brian and I had tickets. That gave me the motivation to keep going. But then things started to go downhill.
Brian called and was sick in bed and unable to move. I frantically called around trying to find someone else to take the other ticket, but it was late notice and everyone had plans already. So I figured I'd go by myself and just catch up with everyone afterward. The show started at 8, so I left home at 7:10 to give me plenty of time to drive down, park, and find my seat. Then I got stuck in traffic, which normally isn't bad that late, but there was construction. It took me 40 minutes to drive seven miles. When 8 PM rolled around, I was still on the freeway.
I decided that since I was already in SLC, I might as well see if anyone could incorporate me into their plans. Thank God for Jeff and Trevan. They were at a pumpkin-carving party, and said I'd be more than welcome to join them.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
There were tons of people I'd never met, and plenty of pumpkins to carve. At the end of the night, we lined them up and placed candles inside. Here are the finished products.

More Pumpkins
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Spider Pumpkin
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Starry Night Pumpkin
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This girl did Van Gogh's "Starry Night." How creative!

Still More Pumpkins
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Even More Pumpkins
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Mine is the one on the right. I obviously free-handed it, and I was going for scary. It's juxtaposed nicely with the smiley one next to it.

There were probably a few too many drunk people with knives, but surprisingly, nobody was injured. There was also a prize grab-bag. People were pulling out cool things like funny glasses and giant glowsticks. I reached down really deep and pulled out.....the Bible on CD (Vol. XXIV, The Gospel of John, Chapters 11-21). There was only one ticket to heaven in the bag, and everyone was jealous that I got it.
I was such a Debbie Downer early in the evening, but everyone's kindness and merriment totally brought me around. It's interesting how our actions and attitudes have such an impact on the people around us. Thanks to Becky for hosting such a great party and Melody for keeping me laughing all night. You guys rock.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fire the "Laser"

I know I just posted a couple days ago about a site I found funny, but here's another I've been reading a lot lately.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Big Showing

Last week, Ryan and I started talking of plans to see Superbad at Brewvies. Things kind of snowballed and we ended up having fourteen people show up last night. We thought it was odd that we can never get such a big group together on the weekends, but on a Tuesday, you can't keep people away. It might have something to do with the Tuesday night beer specials.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Inventive Inventories

I came across an interesting little site the other day called The List Universe. It's just a bunch of random lists; some funny, some informative, some factual, some opinionated. But the one that made me fall over laughing is this one. Enjoy!

Playing the Field

Since I have less than four months left here in Utah, I've pretty much given up any intention (read: hope) of getting into a steady, romantic relationship. I'd rather just date casually and have as much fun as I can. Oddly enough, my social life seems to have exploded in the past few weeks, and I've been meeting tons of new people all the time. Go figure. I'm just doing my best to keep things on the friend level. Sometimes it isn't easy. Thanks, hormones.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Full House

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Last weekend, the Nicks (Fuoss and Sorrentino) moved into a new house, and last night was their first offical poker party. I'm not much of a poker player, but I decided to join in just for fun.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
There were nine of us when the game began. I came in third place, meaning I won back my twenty dollar buy-in. I probably could have done better, but by that time, I'd had quite a few beers. Nick Fuoss is one of the few work people I hang out with outside of work, so it was cool to interact with people from my squadron in a different setting.

Woody's Clothes
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Also included in last night's festivities was a pay-per-view Ultimate Fighting Championship bout. I could never justify paying forty bucks to watch a couple guys beat the shit out of each other, but I guess the Nicks can. Woody was rooting for a certain fighter, and vowed that if his pick didn't win, he'd streak down the street. Since this isn't an X-rated blog, I'll just post this picture to prove he lived up to his word.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall Out Boy

Last night, Kate, Doug, and I went to the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, where, once a month, all the art galleries downtown stay open late. We stuck around in one area mostly, and saw some pretty neat stuff. Then we decided to check out an exhibit at The Pickle Company entitled "Exposed." It was a very sobering collection about nuclear testing, environmental impact, and the consequences on those downwind. There's a corresponding play going on right now, produced by Plan-B Theatre Company in SLC. Brian saw it last night, and said it was very moving. I might have to check it out, as well.

A Boy Named...

Today was sunny, breezy, and a little warmer than it's been this week; and even though it's Friday, I still feel a little down for some reason. It made me think of this:

Everything about this clip is perfect, and the song almost makes me cry. When I was little, I used to be obsessed with the Peanuts. I had a Snoopy doll that I carried EVERYWHERE. I think we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Charlie Brown, and probably every Peanuts character. This is precisely why Charles Schultz was the master.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Change of Seasons

Golf Course
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The scenery in Utah is nothing short of breathtaking. It seems I see another gorgeous landscape every day. I don't normally have my camera at work, but lately, I've been taking a few pictures with my phone. I took this one last week just because the colours of the trees seemed so bright, especially against the backdrop of the mountains.

Cloud Cover
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
On Tuesday, we had some serious storms roll through, and for a while, you couldn't even see the mountains at all.

Snow Capped
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It's been pretty chilly the past couple days, and it looks like the snow blanketing the mountain tops is here to stay. You have no idea how happy I am about this. Most of the resorts should be open by Thanksgiving, and I'm literally counting down the days. (It's 35.)

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
And if that scenery wasn', scenic enough for you, here's Johnny staring me down. If you see him, ask if he has any peanut butter you can borrow.

A Night Off

I wasn't particularly tired or fatigued yesterday, but for some reason, I just felt like taking a night off. A night off from the gym. A night off from being social. A night off from blogging. A night off from everything. I came home, took a hot, relaxing shower, put on some sweats, and relaxed. It was the most calming and mellow night I've had in a long time. (The only excitement was getting a drunken phone call from Don and Jessi who were at a Halloween party, but it was definitely appreciated.) I'm starting to think I should maybe leave one night out of the week to do this. You know, just to keep me from becoming too much of a busybody.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Today My Heart Swings

Last time I saw Interpol, they were promoting "Antics," their brilliant second album. They recently released "Our Love To Admire," which is a little disappointing given how great their first two albums were. I even considered not going to last night's show, but since Pete, Brian, John, and Trevan were going, I went, too. Good thing.
The first of two openers was the Shout Out Louds from Stockholm. They sounded like a happier, Swedish version of The Cure. They were amazingly cute, especially when their lone female came from behind her keyboard/accordian set-up to sing.
The second opener was The Liars, an experimental, psychadelic indie rock outfit from LA. I bought their 2002 album "They Threw Us In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top," but it didn't really vibe with me. They were much better live, incorporating lots of tribal beats and strange dancing, but I still don't think I could listen to them in my truck.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Before Interpol came out, I was wondering how much of their older stuff they'd play. But once they came on stage, it didn't matter any more. They came out, all dressed in black and looking very classy, and played a wonderful set consisting of songs from all three albums. I've always appreciated Paul Banks's voice, but last night, I was particularly impressed with Daniel Kessler's guitar work. He seemed to put so much passion into it.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Also impressive were the visuals. They mixed a great combination of projections and video screens to create a very dark, ambient mood. It complemented their tunes very well. The audience swayed and sang along, and I was mesmerized the whole time. I thought their last show was great, but this was even better. They've obviously grown in the performance department, and I look forward to seeing them again.

Green Machine

Last week, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in proclaiming man-made climate change. I don't know if you've seen An Inconvenient Truth, but it's a pretty compelling movie. Many have come forward to castigate the message of this film, and I'm not one to say who's right and who's wrong. Regardless, I believe how we live can affect the environment permanently, if we haven't already. It's never too late to begin making even the smallest of measures to reduce our carbon footprint on the Earth. There are so many little things we can do that, added up, can create a positive difference.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Track Listing

You know what I love doing? Making mix CDs for people. But sometimes, I think I put a little too much effort into it. I have over 8,000 songs from which to choose, and narrowing that down to about 20 (40 if I make it a double) takes a while. Sometimes there's a theme, but more often, it's just for fun. I want to choose songs the recipient will like upon hearing, but will also open up his or her tastes. Would she prefer predominantly male or female singers? Would he mind if there's a country or hip-hop song thrown in? Do any songs hold a special meaning? Does the order of the songs flow smoothly? What's the largest amount of music I can get in 700 MB? It's not an easy task. Right now, I'm putting the final touches on a couple double CDs for two very good friends. They don't know they'll be receiving it until it arrives in their mailbox, but I hope they enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Surprise, Indeed

Last night, I went to Kevin's birthday party in Ogden. I knew very few people there, but still had fun. Kevin was pretty tanked and ended up incapacitated on the bedroom floor. I forgot to take any pictures; but somehow, pictures of Kevin in a loincloth ended up on my camera. Those have been deleted and will hopefully never see the light of day ever again.

"I wanted the pretty girls to come up and say, 'Hi! I see that you're good at Centipede.'"

This afternoon, Mike and I went to see The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, a doumentary about two men vying for the record high score of Donkey Kong. At first, it seems absurd how devoted these people are to video games; but soon, I was on the edge of my seat rooting for the underdog. If you get the chance, go see it. You'll be cheering, too.

Starvin' for a Carvin'

Jeff & Trevan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Jeff is having an early Halloween party tonight, but I have a previous obligation. So, last night, I went to his place to help carve pumpkins.

Alter Ego?
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I went for something creepy to offset my sunny disposition.

Jack O' Lanterns
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
These are the final products. But the fun didn't end there. Last night was also the birthday of Brett, Jeff's neighbour, so things kinda kicked into severe party mode.

Jeff & Trevan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
There were lots of shots.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
And plenty of cool new people I'd never met before.

And cool new people I'd never met before doing shots. A great combination.

Shoe Gazing
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I don't know why I took this picture, but I'm sure it had something to do with the tequila warming my belly around that time.

Shawn, Me, Jeff, & Trevan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It was a great night that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. I hadn't carved a pumpkin in years, and it was really fun. Almost as fun as new friends.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Say What?

Stephanie & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We spent an abnormally long amount of time in our gas masks today. Usually, when we put them on (or, MOPP up), breathing slows down, speech becomes incoherant, and doing anything except sleep is an exercise in futility. But today, we grew so bored, we played some basketball. It was fun...for about five minutes. Then it was back to sleeping. The thing about exercises is that they're more annoying than difficult. We ended around 6 PM today, and this will be the last one I ever have to endure at Hill. Thank You, God.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chemical Brothers

We're having a mini-exercise today and tomorrow, which is, thankfully, the last one I'll have to endure at Hill. It consists of sitting around our shop for twelve hours a day, playing cards, and waiting to don our chem masks (affectionately known as "sucking rubber"). The craziest part is that this is supposed to be the exercise where we train the people that are taking over the base after we leave...and they're deployed. Luckily, we have the girls from entymology in our shop, and they keep me laughing. It's scheduled to end at 6 PM tomorrow, but I pray it will end sooner.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jigsaw Falling Into Place

In case you weren't aware that this is THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF THE YEAR, I'll fill you in. Last week, Radiohead announced the completion of their new album, and that it would be available for download as of today. Not for purchase at your local Best Buy. No record companies. Only download. Directly from the band. I love how they're making up their own rules, just because they can. Even better, buyers can pay whatever they want for the album. I chose £3.45, equal to about seven dollars. I figure this is a reasonable amount, and probably much more than they'd get if they chose a more traditional release method.
So, go at once, dear readers, to In Rainbows and pick your price for an album that's been four years in the making. I'm downloading it as I write, and I'm already confident it will be the most brilliant sonic triumph of the year.
And if you're one of those people who just has to have the physical CD in hand, you can wait until December when they release a discbox set, which includes the album plus a second CD of bonus tracks. Yeah, I bought this, as well.
Well, my download is complete, so I'm going to grab a snack, lay back, and prepare to be blown away.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Softer, Softest - Mad Props #6

It's been getting rather cool at night around here, so yesterday, I put my flannel sheets on my bed. I was actually excited about getting into bed last night. They're so warm and soft and I love moving around under the covers. So, Mad Props to you, Flannel Sheets, even though you almost made me late for work this morning.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Autumn Air, Mountain Air

Waterfall Canyon
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Since we were off today, Natalia, Nick, Nick, and I (and Stella) went hiking up Waterfall Canyon in Ogden.

Waterfall Canyon
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We've had some nasty weather all weekend, but today, the weather was absolutely perfect, without a cloud in the sky.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
There wasn't as much red and orange as I was hoping to see, but there were a few remnants from Saturday's snow.

Waterfall Canyon
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The hike wasn't too long or difficult, and when we got to the waterfall, it was just breathtaking. These pictures really don't do it justice.

Ogden Overlook
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Natalia, Nick, and Nick hung out by the waterfall, but I continued up the side of the mountain to an even more spectacular view.

Waterfall Canyon
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This was taken standing right next to the wall of the mountain and looking straight up. Seriously, have you ever seen a sky so blue? (These pictures were not altered in any way. I promise.)

Waterfall Canyon
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Nick, Natalia, Nick, & Stella
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Waterfall Canyon Hike
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Autumn Leaves
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
If you'd like to check it out, the full photostream is available here. It was a nice, relatively easy hike, and Stella seemed to be having an especially good time. I was just happy to get up in the mountains before they get covered in snow. Well, without my snowboard strapped to my feet, anyway.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I call the Santa Maria!

I know this day commemorates Mr. Columbus's arrival in the Americas and all, but I'd still consider it a minor holiday. It probably just barely qualifies for getting a day off. Like, just a notch above Valentine's Day or something. It's not like anybody decorates their homes or anything. What are we really supposed to do to celebrate? Dress up in 15th century clothing and go sailing? Maybe introduce a new disease into a foreign culture? Perhaps enslave some people of a different race? Regardless, I'll take the extra day off with no complaints.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Matchbook Seeks Maniac

At the LCD Soundsystem / Arcade Fire show last week, my friends were talking about a band coming through town called Deerhoof. I'd heard the name before, but wasn't familiar with them. So last night, Brian, John, Pete, Trevan, and Jeff went to the show, and I tagged along. And it was only twelve bucks.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I couldn't tell you who the two opening bands were because we hung out in the bar and got a little tipsy. But we got to the floor just in time for Deerhoof to take the stage. I guess they'd be considered some form of experimental indie-rock, but no words could really begin to describe their sound. There are tons of odd chord progressions, funky time signatures, and tempo changes; but it makes the music really fun. Satomi Matsuzaki's voice is so sweet and clashes nicely with the guitar-heavy instrumentation. And her little hand gestures and toys were particularly amusing. They even took a "snack break" in the middle of the set and threw candy into the audience.

It was a very interesting show, but just in case you want an idea of their sound, check this out:

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Lazy Eye

Since Monday is Columbus Day, we lucky government workers get a three-day weekend. I have a minimum of activities planned, mostly because most people don't have Monday off. I considered traveling up to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, but it's cold and rainy outside, and the forecast up there looks even worse. This was probably my last oportunity to see those places before I leave Utah, and it's a shame I haven't made it a higher priority. The weather will be getting worse, and it will be difficult to tour those parks without a snowmobile.
I'm sure the rest of my weekend will consist of lots of napping and laying around, spiked by sudden bursts of energy where I'll go for a run or grocery shopping. It's weird how during the week, not only do I work, but I also tend to be more active when I'm off-duty. This makes the weekends even more appreciated.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Beats Per Minute

Usually when I run, I listen to really upbeat punk, pop, or rock music (i.e. The Distillers, Kylie Minogue, Courtney Love, etc.). But lately, I've been listening to dark, moody tunes (PJ Harvey, Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple, etc.). And I seem to be having more productive work-outs. I don't really understand why. It might have something to do with trying to run with the beat of the music, and since the slow music has almost no beat at all, I run as my abilities allow. Hmmm, interesting.

Pavlov's Dawg

The internet has so much control over me. I'd definitely choose the internet over television (but not over human interaction). Sometimes when I get home in the afternoon, I just want to fall on my bed and surf the internet for a while and be lazy. But what happens most often is I start surfing, a few hours pass by, and I haven't done anything I really need to do. So I've started a little reward program for myself. I get home and do the stuff that needs to be done (laundry, taking out the garbage, etc.) before I allow myself to even flip open my computer. It's not easy, especially since Jay got me started watching those damn YouTube vloggers. It's a good thing I'm not a big gamer, because then, all hope would be lost.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

With Such an Abstract Grace

It's been nearly two years since I last saw Eisley. Since then, they've been touring almost non-stop, and released their second LP, "Combinations."

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
They came through SLC last night as an opening act for MuteMath, so my friend Mike and I went to watch. The first time I saw them, the band seemed to be centered around Stacy, the keyboardist/vocalist; but this time, the lead vocals switched back and forth between Stacy and Sherri, which I really appreciated. We even heard a few harmonies from Chauntelle, who rarely approaches the mic. I enjoyed the first album, "Room Noises," but I think their writing really matured on their second album, which made the whole performance seem more unexpected, yet accessible and balanced. They rock harder now, and the crowd definitely benefitted.
Between sets, Mike and I got a drink, and then decided to take off. But just as we were walking out the door, I looked back to see MuteMath take the stage. I'm not familiar with them at all, but that first chord they played emitted a wonderous energy. Part of me wishes we would have stayed, but.....

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Almost Sleepwalking

It's supposed to be a mellow week. I only have one concert (which is tonight), and the other days are supposed to be laid back and relaxed. But Sunday I stayed up late surfing and reading; and yesterday was Nick's first day working as a civilian on base, so I told him I'd take him out for a beer to celebrate. Things kinda snowballed from there.
I somehow survived at work today, and even went for a run afterward. Tomorrow, I might not fare so well.
I'll go to the show tonight, but after I get home from work tomorrow, I won't be leaving my house until Thursday morning. Then again, the promises to myself are the easiest to break.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Seeing the fragile jewel of the Earth hanging in the blackness of space..."

Last night, Jonathan, Chris, and I went to see In the Shadow of the Moon, a documentary about the Apollo moon missions. It was basically a series of interviews with most of the astronauts who were on the actual spacecraft that orbited and landed on the moon. It was educational, fascinating, and very entertaining. It made me want to call my parents and ask what it was like to be alive to experience it; and also wonder if my generation will ever have such a proud, defining moment.