bsu is smoke free, and i hate it

Boise State University has recently implemented a “smoke-free” campuswide policy, meaning that no one can smoke on campus, anywhere.  This is a Stupid Idea.  Not only because it infringes on personal liberties, but also because it enforces ideas that are Dumb, such as the idea that you are going to inhale secondhand smoke outside.  The only time this happens is if you are sitting next to someone who is smoking, and the smoke blows in your face because of the wind. Period.  Standing ten, five, hell, even three feet away from a smoker will not make you inhale secondhand smoke.  And even if you did, there’s this ludicrous idea that just a little bit of smoke will cause terminal lung cancer or something.  Grow up, people.  Lung tissue rebuilds, cleans itself.  A smoker who quits will have healthy lung tissue in about seven years.  Yes, a doctor said this to my father, who had been smoking for the past forty years.

Of course, I’m not a proponent of smoking — it nearly killed my father.  But I am a proponent of civil liberties, and the concept of being able to do whatever you want with your bodies, so long as it harms no one else (without their consent; if you want to be harmed, you’d better say so first).  Smoking only harms other people when it’s inside a building.  That I think we can all agree on.  The smoke accumulates and after a while we’re all smoking what you’re smoking.  But outside, there’s this wonderful device called Wind, which picks up the smoke and pushes it away from you.  Or, if it pushes it toward you, there’s another device called Legs, which carry you to a location where the smoke is not.  Crazy, but it works.

But no, Boise State had to buckle under the pressure of whatever hoity toity North End millionaires decided that smoking is bad, mmkay.  After the jump is an article from the Arbiter, the BSU newspaper; a Q&A about the smoking ban.  I’ve included some comments in the quotes themselves; they are in [brackets]. Continue reading bsu is smoke free, and i hate it

a decemberists dream (a rarity, i assure you)

I very rarely remember my dreams, aside from trivial details, like dreams wherein I can’t find the remote control for the TV.  This dream, however, actually lasted a while and was pretty funny.  So, as an homage to Todd’s blog o’ dreams, here’s mine.  It, surprisingly, involves the Decemberists[1. No sarcasm there — despite my /orate friends dreaming about the D’s to a great extent, I think this is the second dream I’ve had about them, and the first in such detail.].

So I’m at a D’s concert, obviously, in a big, wide outdoor arena.  I was with friends, but I don’t remember who they were.  We got front row but way left, all the way to the edge. Yet, Colin was still somewhat center of me. Oh well.

They come out, people cheer. They start to play Hazards, but the song is all gibberish (in my head). Somehow my POV switches to a person’s video camera, which Colin has noticed and begins to sing to. It’s kind of fisheye-y.  As he sings, you can see he’s a little out of it, and he starts forgetting lyrics.  Then, out of the blue, he stops playing.  The whole band stops.  He says, “I’m sorry, but something’s not right” to the audience, then he and the other D’s proceed to pull Jenny’s organ station and Moen’s drums closer to the stage, basically putting the whole thing closer to the audience.  We erupt in cheers.

Then they start playing a really, really weird, psychedelic version of Hazards.  Everyone’s like, cool, but it’s barely audible through the speakers. So everyone starts shouting, “Turn it up!” and pointing their index fingers to the sky[2. In much the same way musicians do to the sound guy — point to a monitor, then point up.]. There might’ve been booing involved, I don’t remember; what I do remember is Nate Query throwing his bass down, doing one of those loud whistles where you put your fingers in the corners of your mouth, and shouting, “You know what? FUCK YOU” and then leaving the stage.  I remember him wearing a weird black barbershop quartet hat, but it was black and had a lot of shiny jangly jangles on it — something, I assume, John Popper would wear.  Anyway, the rest of the band follows him offstage.

At this point I’m confused.  I turn and notice that my friends — and mostly everyone else — has left, marching in a giant swarm of humanoids towards the ticket office to demand a refund.  I hurry after them.  But about halfway there, I turn and look at the stage — and notice the D’s going back onstage and grabbing their instruments to play.  So I shout, “Looks like they’re coming back!” and suddenly there’s a stampede as everyone rushes back to the stage.  I’m running my ass off, thinking I’m gonna lose my sweet spot!

As I’m running I pass by a giant, gnarled foot, draped in a blue and yellow sundress (flowery pattern, I think) down to the ankle. I’m supposing this belonged to some giant woman, but I can’t confirm this because my alarm clock went off and woke me up.  And that’s my dream.

show #2: 7/28 horse feathers & thao with the get down stay down @ the woods

I really feel the need to write this entry not because the show was phenomenal (which it was), but more to spotlight The Woods, the new musical venue in Sellwood.  It is, in a word, great.  It used to be a funeral parlor for chrissakes!  Imagine if the Fisher family decided to hold rock shows in their viewing room — THAT’S what the Woods is like.  Unfortunately I didn’t think to take pictures of the place while I was there, but their website has some good pics, so check it out.  And if you live in the area, go see a show there!  Support that place, because it rocks. Continue reading show #2: 7/28 horse feathers & thao with the get down stay down @ the woods

show #1: 7/24 the thermals, jackpot records

This last weekend was pretty hectic for music.  The Thermals had an instore at Jackpot on Friday, PDX Pop Now! was on Saturday and Sunday (I didn’t go, I was fighting a nasty head cold in which my snot was somehow stuck in a gravity well), Monday was the Noisettes at Berbati’s (again, didn’t go, mostly because it was FRIGGIN HOT OUTSIDE), and Tuesday was Horse Feathers and Thao Nguyen at the Woods (Which I did go to, and will be the subject of the “show #2” post.

You know, the great thing about the Thermals instore[1. It was all great.] was that it wasn’t over a hundred degrees outside.  It was still hot, but it wasn’t Ridiculous.  Were they scheduled to play a show today, or yesterday, with 100+ degree temperatures, I think they would’ve called it off, because we would’ve all gotten heat exhaustion from rocking out so hard.

… That was a really long-winded way to say that the Thermals kicked ass at Jackpot.  Sorry about that.  Sometimes writers like to be a little too wordy.

I don’t really have much to say, other than they were tight, they were awesome, and they played that one Nirvana song that I can never remember the name of (“and if you something something, i will make you happy” or however those lyrics go) AND “Basketcase,” which was cool.  It was hot, we were all sweating, and some dudes in the front were headbanging to everything.  Overall, it was a lovely reminder of how great that band is, and now I can say that they are great live.

Here’s a couple of photos I took with the ol’ cell phone camera:

Hutch Harris
Hutch Harris
Hutch on a thing!  Yeah!  Punk!
Hutch on a thing! Yeah! Punk!
The whole band.  Hutch, some guy who is their drummer, and Kathy
The whole band. Hutch, some guy who is their drummer, and Kathy

the decemberists adventure!

Finally, something interesting happens with my life, which means I can update my blog.  I feel bad, because my last blog was harping on Portlanders, calling them “two-dimensional.”  I should say some Portlanders are two-dimensional.  It was all tongue-in-cheek to begin with, I swear!

Anyway, this past weekend was, since Musicfest all the way back in September, my favorite weekend that I’ve had since moving to Portland.  Why was it my favorite weekend since moving here, you ask?  Because I got to see the Decemberists play twice, AND I GOT A BACKSTAGE PASS.

Read on, reader. Continue reading the decemberists adventure!

life in portland

I’d say eighty-five percent of conversations I’ve had with people who live in Portland either start, or turn into, something like this:

Me: So I’m thinking about getting something to eat…
Person: Oh yeah?  Where are you going?
Me: I dunno, I was thinking East Burn?
Person: OH. MY. GOD. THAT PLACE IS SO. GOOD.
Me: Uh, yeah, it’s pretty tasty.

Or:

Me: So I’m thinking about getting something to eat…
Person: Have you ever been to Mama Mia?
Me: Mama Mia? Nope.
Person: OH. MY. GOD. IT IS SO. GOOD.
Me: Oh yeah?

Or:

Person: Have you tried the new Rogue ale?
Me: Nope. Let me guess, is it good?
Person: OH. MY. GOD. IT IS … SOGOOD.

Or:

Me: I’m thinking about heading to Powells to–
Person: OH MY GOD, I. LOVE. POWELLS.
Me: Yeah, everyone does, it’s–
Person: IT’S A BLOCK OF BOOKS.
Me: I know.
Person: SO. GOOD.

Or:

Me: Have you heard of this band?
Person: SO. GOOD.

Or:

Person: We should go to Ground Kontrol tonight. THAT PLACE IS SO. AWESOME.

Or:

Me: Have you been–
Person: SO. GOOD.
Me: I haven’t even said–
Person: AWESOME, THEIR SUSHI IS TO. DIE. FOR.
Me: It’s not sushi!
Person: I GOTTA GO.

Or:

Me: Have you been to that baby-strangling place?
Person: OH. MY. GOD. BEST BABY STRANGLING PLACE EVER.

My point being — the city is apparently the best place ever, but the people are a little two-dimensional.  When you ask people what they do for a living, they say something like, “I’m a vegan” or “I have tattoos.”  They pierce their septum or wear bright neon spandex or ride bicycles everywhere.  They read Nietzsche and Marx and quote them in an attempt to seem cool, but when you try to have a conversation with them it all falls into mush.  They love pop culture “ironically” (read: they really just love pop culture), and they like bands so obscure they probably just made them up on the spot.

I always thought that I wanted to be a part of the hipster community, but now that I see it face-to-face, I really, really don’t.

the bus chronicles

Tomorrow is the last day I see my morning bus driver. He is driving at a different time, and I leave for Boise on Friday. I truly am going to miss him: of all the bus driver’s I’ve let drive me around, he truly was the most punctual and the most efficient, while at the same time being friendly and very aware of his job. A lot of bus drivers don’t take the time to see if their regular riders are a little late to their stop. Once, I saw the 19 drive by as I was a block away from the stop. Annoyed (more at my own tardiness), I walked to the corner, and turned … to see that he had stopped the bus, as if he was waiting for me. When I boarded, I said, “I didn’t think you would stop for me!” and he said, “Well … I got here a little early…”

Truly, if there ever was a better example of pure heterosexual brotherly love than that moment, I would like to hear it. (and no ancient Greek examples, please.) Continue reading the bus chronicles

the first age has passed. all hail the second age of computers!

In 2004 I purchased a computer using my sweet, sweet financial aid money.  It cost me around $750 dollars.  I named it the Fortress of Consternation.  It had two drives (one a partition of the other).  I named the C: Gondolora and the D: Panda Bears.  I’ve had this computer for five years, and most of the time it was damaged, freezing on random occasions, making my life a living hell sometimes.

Well, the Age of Gondolora is over.  I have purchased a new computer, for nearly half as much money but twice as much power.  This computer is called Magrageeves, and it rises from the fiery ashes of Gondolora.  It has only one drive, but it is Large, and I need to name it.  Right now it’s called Pencil Bandit, which I think is kind of funny, but not really appropriate.  Suggestions?

The Fortress of Consternation is not dead, however.  From all ruins come new civilizations.  Gondolora and Panda Bears shall be razed, and on their ground shall be built new cities, under the watchful eye of Ubuntu, lord of Free Operating Systems.  There peace shall prosper and man shall learn how to access Terminal and receive Root.  And life will be good.

Really, I’m just stoked cause I can play Morrowind again.  Morrowind!

things that have happened

Some things that have happened over the past few days:

– Went to Music Millennium to get my vinyl copy of the Decemberists’ The Hazards of Love signed by members of the band.  Very weird experience, especially after making this video/song in response to this tweet by Colin Meloy, the lead singer.  I couldn’t look him in the eyes for fear of catching a glimpse of recognition … That’s the guy who did “Linda”?

– After signing, proceeded to get completely trashed with my /orate friends at Paul’s house.  Like, drunker than drunk.  I’ll put it this way: I puked.  For the first time since I was, oh, eleven.  I am not proud of this whatsoever.  In fact, it’s kind of infuriating.  It was partially because I am used to parties with Keystone Light[1. Or other cheap, watery beers.].  It’s not hard to pack away a few of those in a night and not feel anything.  But I was drinking good, strong beers, and I was drinking far too many of them. There is a video of us singing “The Rake’s Song” on YouTube but if you want to see it you’ll have to search it yourself, cause I sure as hell am not posting it.  Regardless, I am so drunk I’m on the floor, semi passed out. Ugh, it makes my stomach churn just thinking about it.  I had fun and I love my friends, but I refuse to be inebriated that much ever again (especially cause my dad reads my blog, for pete’s sake!).

– The next morning found me calling in sick to work[2. Obviously.].  I slept at Paul’s mom’s house, which is in the wilds of Gresham, and besides I was hungover.  Now this would not have been a big deal whatsoever … except that my brother decided to head into the clinic that same day to get a check.  So the following conversation occured:

BRO. Hey Boss, I’m here to get a check!
BOSS. Hi Josh’s brother!  How’s Josh doing?
BRO. He’s great.
BOSS. GREAT, HUH?
BRO. Yeah, I mean, I guess he’s great ’cause he didn’t come home last night.
BOSS. EGADS!

Meanwhile I’m at the Tin Shed on Alberta trying to determine if I really want to eat biscuits and gravy[3. I did. They were delicious.].  When I went to work the next morning I wasn’t sure if everyone knew I played “hooky”[4. I put quotes around that because I technically did not — I really was sick. Just not with a cold or the flu.].  This made the bus ride rather worrisome — would I be tested?  Tricked with questions created to deceive?  Led astray by the same people who hired me?

Instead I found out that no one else knew besides my boss, and she gave me lighthearted shit about it all day long.  God I love my job so much[5. Though I will, of course, not play hooky again.  Ever.  Never ever.].

– This past weekend I traveled back to Boise, just to hang out and see my friends and family for a bit.  It was a lot of fun, and a lot of really interesting things came from it.  I saw a Snuggie for the first time ever.  I wore said Snuggie, complete with a wig.  I drank a lot.  I also found out that I am an idiot and should’ve pursued a particular woman in the past, rather than shrinking back and being a socially awkward nerd.  I couldn’t help it (at the time); I was broke and felt like a loser.  Now I don’t feel like a loser at all but I am in Portland and she is in Boise.  Ugh, it’s always something, isn’t it?

So, uh, if you’re reading this, dear lady, you know who you are and maybe you should move to Portland?  That would be awesome? kthxbai

– Oh, and recently I released a free single that you can download.  It’s called “Mary! (Get Frisky!)” and you can grab it from my other website.  Here is a picture that you can click that will help guide you to a favorable destination:


– OH AND MY DAD HAS A BLOG!  He is the coolest.  Check it out!  http://rockinjohnnyb.blogspot.com

Okay that’s all! Hooray!