Music Highlights of 2008

2008 wasn’t much of a rocker when it came to music. There were still some shining moments, performances and a couple solid (and sometimes experimental) albums. I’m highlighting concerts since most of my music listening this year consisted of albums pre-2000s – obviously a sign of my old age. Here I count down some of my favorite moments.

#6: Metallica at Key Arena
I’m a fan of Metallica, a casual fan. Conor invited me to meet him and a couple Irish pals from out of town on the day of the show. We scalped some tickets at close to door and sat in the 3rd or 4th row. Who said rough economic times were all bad? It was an unexpected good time, since I didn’t know what to expect. They put on a great show, even though I still think Lars is weird. Conor even got a Metallica guitar pick. Black Album songs are always good for fist pumps.

#5: Paul Westerberg 49:00… Of Your Time/Life
Westerberg self-produced this single track album and sold it through online venues for 49 cents. At times it feels like it’s a DIY mashup, other times you can’t believe how good the songs are. It feels rough and exciting at the same time. You can lose yourself in the lack of tracks and it’s amazing.

#4: Radiohead in Auburn
Never seen radiohead, didn’t know what I was missing. Brian and I managed to take back routes in and out of this horrid venue, avoiding any sort of delays. This was part of the excitement of the show, but the rest was left to Radiohead. They’ve got deceivingly complex light shows that make the stage look like a basement jazz club one moment, and the set of a Kubrick movie the next. The length and breadth of their catalog was strewn out in front of us with exciting change ups and new instrumentations. Radiohead makes their albums better live, I’ve got a bootleg of the show to prove it.

#3: Yelle at Neumo’s
I generally despise shows at Neumos. They love to pack it in and the sound quality ain’t the best. We packed up near the front and danced our asses off. Who doesn’t love good beats and a french girl with attitude that speaks nominal english? I don’t don’t like it. I loved it. Props to the dance crew.

#2: David Byrne and Brian Eno Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
It feels like classic Byrne and Eno. There’s lots of layering of beats and melodies, but they manage to do it without sounding busy. It’s a solid offering that I keep coming back to. There’s even non-obvious metalyrics that cue changes in songs. I imagine this to be the kind of music anyone’s super-genius ADHD kids might benefit quite a bit from with its complexity and reference to points of singularity in space and time.

#1: Jeremy Enigk at Chop Suey’s
He pops his head out every now and then to perform around. This night it was mostly acoustic guitar and piano with Mr. Enigk’s voice on the main stage. This show was an honor and privilege to see. Everyone went wild for the SDRE songs. Jeremy Enigk’s voice is one of the most unique in contemporary music and seeing him perform live is nothing short of breath taking. Jeremy can sing about anything he wants.

Disappointment of the Year: Crystal Castle’s live at Neumo’s the day after Yelle. Stick to the studio guys.

Hopefully I didn’t miss anything.


The Witch Is Gone

The chain smoker at the end of the hallway in my apartment building has moved out. On Saturday, I walked by to see the building manager standing inside an empty apartment with the maintenance guy (who was cackling for some reason). You have no idea how happy this makes me. I have gotten colds multiple times as a result of this guys second hand, lingering smoke. The world is a beautiful place!


Have Fun Stumbling

You’ve probably already been there, but StumbleUpon just released a new browser-agnostic toolbar. After using it I have to say, it’s the first web application that has made me this excited about the Web in a very long time. It’s easy to find weird, fun, old school unique web sites again. Long live stumbling upon!


My New Favorite Resume Builder




My New Favorite Resume Builder

On the way back from the bar Friday night, Jessie and I had a photo sesh. Shaine headed home early, and missed out. This pic is my new fav for all profile photos. It’s my new “head shot.” I can vagrant with the best of ‘em on Boren any day. The other photos are great, but Jessie needs to get a publicly viewable photo album.


First Skydive



Right On!

Kyle and I went to Kapowsin Skydive over the weekend for our first skydive. Kyle asked a month earlier if I wanted to take the dive (pun intended) and I said why not. We did a tandem jump (not together!) at about 18 thousand feet. It was an intense and fun experience. I’m definitely going to do it again sometime in the future. I’d like to do a solo dive from a lower altitude, so watch out, you might get asked to go skydiving with me.

Click on the photo for a guided tour of my descent. Goodbye plane, hello weekend warrior.


The Finger That Healed



A week and 5 days after stitches removed

After I got stitches in my finger, I became obsessed documenting its progress back to good health. Almost two weeks after the stitches were removed, its starting to look pretty normal but there is definitely some permanent scarring in the shape of a crescent due to how the glass cut into my finger. I’ve put far too many finger (navel) gazing photos up on Flickr.

Day After Stitches

Day After Stitches

Longish story short, don’t ever accept three pints of beer in non-pint glasses from a bar. When your slap happy friend bounces into you, the cocktail glasses will collapse onto your hand and cause great damage to your money makers. Just imagine my horror when I considered not being able to play the keys anymore? And by keys, I mean keyboard keys, as in computer keyboard.

The next day when my wrapped finger didn’t stop bleeding, I headed out to find some urgent care. For all my neighborhood’s lack of being a neighborhood, it has hospitals. There are three within a few blocks of each other and another about a 15 minute walk up to Capitol Hill.

A couple days before stitches come out

A couple days before stitches come out

I stopped at them all. Harborview (the only “free” care facility, fully fortified with police and metal detectors) next door to my apartment had urgent care but a four hour wait on a Saturday afternoon. I considered shooting myself in the foot to kill two birds with one stone, but weighed my options and kept moving. Virginia Mason only had emergency care and the lady wouldn’t give me any time estimate other than “we’re very busy.” No luck there either.

Day After Stitches Were Removed

Day After Stitches Were Removed

I grabbed a coffee at Sugar Bakery, because what’s better than getting high on caffeine when you’re low on blood, and shuffled over to yellow and blue Swedish hospital. Although swedish looks great, they weren’t much more helpful; there was no urgent care nor a wait estimate available. My guess is that Swedish likes to offer high cost, high quality specialty care and could give a crap about emergencies and urgencies with the bad ass trauma center down the street at Harborview. This is the point at which the combination and coffee, loss of blood (albeit not much) and dwindling options start making me nervous.

4 days after stitches removed

4 days after stitches removed

Maybe the four hour wait at Harborview wasn’t that bad, could they give me the Olive Garden table pager while I rested in the comfort of my own apartment? It has been discussed, and we all agree that it would be a savvy investment on the part of the tycoons running ship at Harborview. We can only hope they listen. In the meantime, I had no real option than to huff it to 15th Ave. Group Health was the only place to have dedicated urgent care, and be able to give me a wait estimate of 30 minutes which they actually kept. An hour and a half, six stitches and a tetanus shot later, I left urgent care with a finely dressed finger that had stopped bleeding. The best part of the entire ordeal was documenting its progress back to health and grossing out a good deal of people with my scabby finger full of stitches.


Amazon Universal Wish List Is Here

Wish Lists on Amazon have always been a popular feature. They let you show to everyone else things they should buy you from Amazon. The new twist is the Universal list where you can add anything from any site to your wish list. I definitely like to see my employer heading in a more “open to the rest of the Web” direction with its features.

All you have to do is drag the bookmark button to your toolbar and use it to add entries to your wish list whenever you find a product you want on the web. I’ve added one for a new Lenovo tablet laptop on my wishlist.

Get the Universal Wish List. Apologies for the advertisement, I really like the new feature though. And I’m sure one of you can find a completely inappropriate use for it.


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