August and Everything After…

I just found out that Counting Crows is releasing a “deluxe edition” of August and Everything After on September 18th… Lots of demos and live cuts on the second disk. I can’t actually remember the last time I went to a store and “bought an album,” but I’ll be getting mine on Tuesday. Because I’m a helpful kind of guy, you can get yours from Amazon.

The original release was a big part of the soundtrack to some of the best memories I have… I’m always amazed that everything around you can change, but the music always brings you back to a unique time and place. Listening to this will be like a chance meeting with old friends… OK, old friends from Berkeley… damned dirty hippy friends… but still, it’s just like Frosted Flakes, baby… They’re Grrrrreat!

Big old jet airliner…

Other than the obvious work-related foolishness, there really hasn’t been all that much going on this week. I’ve done a little photography in the evenings, but the light wasn’t terribly conducive to getting the long shots that I prefer. I do have a couple from down around the World War II and Lincoln Memorials that turned out much better than expected, though. Hopefully I’ll get them posted when I get back to Memphis and after I’ve had a chance to tweak the color settings a bit. All in all, it’s been a quiet couple of days here in the District. Good hotel, good food, good work. At the moment, I’m at a loss for things to bitch about… and you know how that drives me crazy. Even with that said, I’m ready to hop on that big old jet airliner and get back to the house.

Requiem…

I wandered out the front doors of the hotel this morning and looked across Pennsylvania Ave at the flags flying in front of the Wilson Building. It was early, I was nursing my first cup of coffee and cigarette for the day (damn Marriott anyway) and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the flags were flying at half staff. It didn’t occur to me until 15 minutes later, over a bagel, that today was actually September 11th. Yeah, I actually had to do that math on that one… It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been six years.

It’s only on reflection that I realized the real weight of the day – What it’s come to mean in our history; The blood and treasure that we’ve poured out on the days from then until now; the schism that it has left on our politics in our collective effort to decide what September 11th really means. More painful, perhaps, is the indifference that most now feel towards those who waged unholy war on us on a clear morning that seems both cavernously distant and painfully close. We were not the aggressor, but the victim of a ruthless attack carried out by cowardly men on an innocent population. We’re quick to forget those minutes and hours that seemed to stretch out forever.

I went to see Lincoln tonight. It just seemed fitting somehow. But the words that stuck in my head weren’t those written to bind up our nation’s wounds. They’re still too fresh for that. All along my long walk tonight, I was recalling Churchill’s words from the frosted depths of the Cold War… “We have surmounted all the perils and endured all the agonies of the past. We shall provide against and thus prevail over the dangers and problems of the future, withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe. All will be well. We have, I believe, within us the life-strength and guiding light by which the tormented world around us may find the harbour of safety, after a storm-beaten voyage.”

Winston would have understood the 21st Century. Sure, we have different clothes and different music, but it’s the same old world. He’d tell us to never give in and to stay the course. He knew that the only way to defeat evil was to pummel it into unquestioned submission. Winston would have understood.

And then there was light…

And I saw that the light was good. I’ve been working on a couple of relatively simple outdoor lighting projects and I must say, am please with the result on both counts. Did some small spotlight work on the front. Nothing major there, but it highlights some of the architectural details fairly nicely. Of course I’m never going to be able to resist the temptation to tinker with the settings and angles in search of perfection. The back got new floods and a motion sensor. It’s like daylight back there now, baby. Add in the mowing and trimming and you can tell it was quite the exciting Saturday here, no? There’s really not so much other “stuff” going on at the moment, so if you came looking for my usual misanthropic rant, I’m sorry to disappoint. Worry not, though, as I’m sure it will be no time at all before I feel another one coming on.

Garryowen…

Editorial Note: Apparently at one point, I had default music playing on my MySpace profile *shudder*. It seems to be for the best that it went extinct some time ago.

OK, so more than one person has sent me a message asking what’s up with the music on my profile. If you’re that interested, Wikipedia has a good article on the song itself. Mostly it’s there because I sort of like it. I know, century old marching tunes aren’t exactly top-40 material, but then again, I’ve never been much of a top-40 kind of guy. Still, I like the imagery of Custer’s 7th riding out of Fort Lincoln, guidons unfurled in the breeze, to meet their destiny on the Plains.

What can I say, I’m got a soft spot for lost causes.

Dear Neighbor… again…

Dear Neighbor,

Maybe you’ve been reading my blog, since it seems that you’re managing to get your trash can in from the curb by the time the weekend rolls around these days. Of course your lawn still looks like shit, so maybe you haven’t been keeping up after all.

It’s Sunday morning and I know I’m not really a late sleeper these days. It’s something close to physiologically impossible for me to sleep later than 7:00. You, on the other hand, were clearly up at 6:00, because that’s when you put your two Rottweilers out in their cage in your back yard (Incidently, I don’t really think an 8×6 cage is really big enough for two full-grown rotts). I know it was 6:00 because that’s when they started barking. You might remember it because we made eye contact as I glared at your sweat-suit wearing ass through my just-opened blinds.

In case you missed it, when you put your dogs out in the morning, they bark the whole time they are outside. It’s not so much a big deal during the week when I’m up at 5:30 anyway, but on the weekends, and since you know they are going to spend the next half hour barking at God knows what, maybe you could get up, put on their leashes and actually take them for a quick walk rather than sticking them in the cage 20 feet from my bedroom window.

So, dear neighbor, you are the clinical definition of a fucktard. I don’t usually wish bad things on people… mainly because I’m ambivalent about most of the asshats I’m forced to deal with on a regular basis… but in your case, I’m making an exception.

Regards,

Jeff