Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gas Prices, America!

In the face of ever-record-breaking gasoline price increases, one thing (among the endless hours of discussion any 2 people could have on the subject), is the American media's treatment of the topic (also, the fact the price rises barely register in European news outlets). I have to say TV and radio anchors (I hesitate to call them 'journalists', knowing that what Bonnie does is real journalism) are quite smug about reporting this 'news'. I saw an exchange on the morning TV news broadcast that solidified my opinion. A DC correspondent was criticizing Bush's energy appeasement plan, comparing it to a 'junkie' saying he was making it easier for the American people to get their fix, not working to change their habits or 'addiction'. He threw it back to the desk, and the clowny anchors had a laugh over it, "Hahaha, that's a colorful analogy.", and joked about moving in together to make it easier to carpool. The correspondent further explained that people need to drive less, get smaller cars, and take public transportation. The female anchor replied, in a rather bitter tone, "well, BART doesn't run at 3 AM when I need it." The newscandy program followed up with a report on where to find the best prices (oooo... 3.04 vs. the average 3.17).

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Next One

OK - so the house that we were in contract on ("Sale Pending") fell through. Can't share specifics (for reasons of legality and courtesy), but briefly - we found a few red flags in the inspection, and countered the seller to get a credit. They came back a few days later, and said 'No Deal'. Kind of odd, they wouldn't budge a nudge. A few days after that, we found out they had taken it off the market, are doing repairs we outlined in our inspection, and will put it back on next month. Considering ours was the only offer, it wasn't very much over asking, and we came back to them after we found out these things, hard to believe they'll get a better deal without sinking many thousands of dollars into it. Well, who knows.

Now, we have another deal pending, looks really good. Once we know more, if anyone's interested, I can share the info. But not being premature...

So, Bonnie's mom Annie was in town, spent a nice afternoon Saturday in the Gourmet Ghetto (including the new Epicurious Garden, Cheeseboard, and the rather silly vegan Cafe Gratitude, and went by the (now-defunct) house to show her. She's made several real estate transactions, she and her husband Steve have been very helpful in this process. Thanks, if you're reading this!

A busy weekend last time - party on Thursday, noisy jazz show on Friday at Starry Plough (Good for Cows, and Nels Cline). It's always great to see Ches and other fellows (and see how many bands share members). Saturday was Jewdriver and ArnoCorps (and Ron Nichols' band which I didn't know about!). I squeezed in 2 (two!) movies while I was waiting for the show - Scary Movie 4 and 'The Wild'.

Thinking of starting a weekly profile/spotlight/review on some recent albums. So this week is "Operation Mindcrime II" from Queensryche . A sequel of sorts to the grand concept album from 1988 (!). One of the first videos I remember seeing on "Headbanger's Ball" - "Eyes of a Stranger", and I was a fan ever since. "OM II" is definitely the best Queensryche album since "Promised Land" , but doesn't come close to the original. Solid songwriting and production, but lacks interesting elements, doesn't come across as an 'album' (again, falling way short of the original), and is far too polite for its context. I suppose if I were to give it a ranking... 3 out of 5 for mild listenability, and sheer chutzpah for revisiting the Mindcrime... Guest vocals by Dio!

One last bit - celebrating National Poetry month with a gift from Bonnie (an e.e. cummings assortment! yay, my first!), and got Purgatorio, and Paradiso from Dante's Divinia Comedia. The Inferno is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writtern works in history. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read the other 2. I admit this was sparked by the new Sepultura album, Dante XXI, based on the trilogy. Quick review of that - some great metal, interesting Sepultura flourishes, probably their best with Derrick Green. (though I still think I'm a bigger Soulfly fan) 3.5 out of 5. Yah!

Friday, April 07, 2006

No foolin

Not a lot new, in negotiations on a house, still (how slow a week can go when you're busy or waiting every day). Should get an answer any day! Had to scramble to get the funds together (in addition to other expenses). Been a stressful few days...
In other news, played some music last Friday. Jumped onstage to strum the banjo for a song with El Fay, nice to play again - with Carla, Marika, Matthias and Colin - but still need something more. The next Monday, went with Bonnie to a reading at "Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books" , a panel of contributors to a book about 'women in their 30's'. She heard about it because a writer/actress/producer friend of hers was there - Tanya Schaefer, but Carla Kihlstedt was also speaking there. Good discussion, topics didn't stick to women's issues, but expanded into maturing and ageist aspects of society. Good to catch up with Carla and Matthias, too - they're moving to New York this summer.
Don't forget - April is National Poetry Month.