Next up, Djork

Amanda (AKA Djork, Phrogrrl, Mrs. Boyd etc. etc.) also accepted the Five Question Challenge. Like Dan she is blogless (Really dear sister, isn't it time you got one of your own? If you did, maybe next time you get tonsillitis you won't be so bored). So, me being the charitable type, here are here responses.

1. You are currently applying to grad schools. Which is your top choice, and why.

Washington University in St. Louis. I don’t know if I can articulate why though, just a gut feeling I got one day that I should apply there. I’ve never been to St. Louis, I had never heard of their faculty, but something just clicked I guess. I should start hearing from programs any day now. It’s quite nerve wracking.

2. Name your top five albums of all time, and your top five of the past five years.

Five only five???? Let me start off by saying this question kinda sucks because most of the music I truly cherish came out about 8 years ago. So by answering the second part of the question honestly some of my favorite music in my collection like the Rentals the return of, Weezer blue and Bjork’s post must go unrecognized. That said I will continue.

1. The Who, The Kids are Alright
2. Pearl Jam, Yield
3. Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes
4. Thelonious Monk, The Best of Thelonious Monk
5. Radiohead either The Bends or Ok Computer, I always have a hard time deciding between the two!

1. Beck, Sea Change
2. Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
3. White Stripes, White Blood Cells
4. Eels, Daisies of the Galaxy
5. Beck, Midnite Vultures

mmmm, looks like another tasty beck sammich!

3. You are a poet, but did you know it? Just kidding. If you could spend a week at any point in time, anywhere on earth where and when would it be.

My week would begin in 1985 at the Twin Pines mall parking lot. I would knock out Marty and Doc and then I’d hop in the DeLorean with my buddy Spenser (the newest addition to my harem, a 17 year old emo boy from Grimes) and make our way to Summer 2004 on the road to California. Thanks to the Flux Capacitor we would arrive in no time at all. Upon arrival I would meet my pen pal Jeaux (pronounced Joe) and spend the week on the beach learning to surf. At night we would go to stellar Hollywood parties and hang out with all the artsy-fartsy types. Well, not for the whole week though because due to my amazing talent for picking up new abilities I would perfect the art of Surfing in two days flat. Everyone would be amazed and start hounding me for autographs and surfers
would be challenging me to competitions. But I’m not down with so much attention and I’m not really competitive, so to get away from it all, we would make our way to Big Sur and I would find a nice little place to hide away and
never return to the “frozen wastes of Iowa.”*

*the phrase “frozen wastes of Iowa” was seen in the London Tube on a poster ad for a mystery book being released while I was there with the Wartburg English Department, Mayterm 1999. We all had a good laugh and then returned to Iowa to see the joke was on us.

4. I am going to recycle this one, kind of. You live in Des Moines. Apart from family, name three really cool things about Des Moines.

Well I can easily name three things that WERE cool about Des Moines; the old property, the River Hills, and “nowhere”--a park that used to be south of the capital building where my friends and I used to hang out. But now all of these things are gone, demolished, filled in, paved over, built upon. “There are places I remember”. . . How depressing. But now, now, hmmm. . .

I-80, I-35, and the internet

No, just kidding, okay I will try, really, I will. . .

The Des Moines National Poetry Festival is cool. I have had the opportunity to listen to and to meet some good contemporary poets the years I have been able to attend.

The parties. Probably due to the lack of good bars or decent clubs in town most of the real action is in the apartments and rented houses of the 18-24 year olds around. This age group is pretty rad right now, they have good taste in music, movies, books, and clothes. Nothing like the dorks I grew up with. The music they play at the parties is way better than the crap at the so-called clubs in Des Moines and you can actually hear it. We usually burn or dub mixes for people to dance to, with everything from Weezer to rappers whose names I don’t know. There is always plenty to eat and drink and everyone looks out for each other. And everyone likes each other or at least respects each other--unlike the frat parties. And unlike the bars I actually meet people instead of just get ogled by the desperate chumps from the meet markets--though my evil eye glance is pretty effective at keeping them away. And I am more of a party-goer than a bar-hopper anyway.

Now, I know I can’t really say that the parties here are specifically different than those elsewhere but I do think the fact that since there is no other outlet for the cool people in Des Moines to really have a good time affects the effort that goes into our parties. Maybe it’s just that I love my friends that much (sniffle) but the times I have had here are way better than the parties I have been to, like say, in the Twin Cities--again, it could be the people. Though I am sure if Aaron and Krista had a party, it would be a freaking blast.

Sadly the only other thing I can think of is seeing movies. I get to see all the hollywood stuff for free since I still whore myself out to Carmike Cinemas every weekend. And we also have a couple theaters which focus on the “independent” works, and I don’t mean the Cinema 3. The Fleur Cinema and Cafe is a nice joint and the Varsity plays some good flicks too.

5. Ewan, Beck, and now Billy Boyd. Who is next in this line of torrid celebrity affairs?

Bill Murray. . . unbelievable as it may seem, a couple of years ago I got the idea in my head that he would make a great date. What is it about him you ask? Something about the way he would break into sprints at random in Rushmore, I think, or maybe the charming personality of his character in Stripes. BUT, then Lost in Translation comes out and I find someone has access to my innermost thoughts. So maybe since that’s “been done” I will get back with Giovanni Ribisi instead, he’s more my type anyway. He and I had quite the affair way back when, during his My Two Dads days.

Well I went a little overboard on answering, but I really am freaking bored here. I have been at home for like four days--which normally would be cool but considering the state I am in I’m miserable and have no choice but to entertain myself. I think I will go watch some more Spaceghost now.
Dan Steps up to the Plate

Dan has taken the Five Question Challenge. As he does not have his own blog (Hmmm, maybe you should create your own blog Dan, what, with this ten month satirical coming up) I am posting his answers here.

1. You have long had a love of maps. When did it all start.

Love of maps began probably studying the Atlas intensely while riding in the back of the station wagon on family vacations. My brother & I would quiz each other on state capitals, city populations, highest point in the state, etc. I still retain many of those facts and I also still LOVE looking through the pages of a good Atlas.

2. What is your favorite Beatles song?

"Favorite Beatles Song" is a completely transient call--it really varies. I tend to have ones to which I am "sympathetic"--ones that I feel are really connecting to me, relative to other Beatles fans. In the past, I've really really dug "Lovely Rita," "Strawberry Fields," "For No One," "You Won't See Me," "Martha My Dear," "Ob La Di Ob La Da," and others too numerous to list, of course. Currently, the one I think of the most is probably "She's Leaving Home." Beautiful melody--wonderfully arranged & performed. And the lyrics blow my mind--what the hell was a 27-28 year old single male rock star doing writing a song like that?

3. If you were offered an all expenses paid climb of Everest (including all training), with no guarantees of safety, would you do it?

Sadly, no. Unfortunate you asked me about that type of trip, specifically. If you were to have mentioned nearly any other "expedition" opportunity--Patagonia, Mongolia, Pacific Coast Trail, Northwest Territories, African backroads, etc. etc. I would have said, "Yes" in a heartbeat. But, alas, though I love mountains and hiking in mountains, I do
have a fear of heights. And I know just enough about the Everest expedition to be aware of the ladder-accross-the-crevase trick to know that I could not get myself to cross.

4. If you had to choose one musical artist to be erased from history, who
would it be?

Hopefully just erase their music, not the artist... but I would choose Toby Keith. Actually, go ahead and erase the artist.

5. Just who is Daniel Guitarra?

Read all about Daniel Guitarra here. I can tell you little you can't learn there.


We're Moving! I got a great deal on some land...

Here is a new twist on the name-a-star-after-your-loved-one-scam. Be sure to read the terms on the "about us" page. Now, you all know I love Mars, but if you've got $15+ you want to drop on me, just let me know, and I will start up a wish list on Amazon.
Again with the questions...

Once upon a time, a Buffalo Blogger answered five questions. In turn, he offered five questions to anyone willing to answer. I was one of the willing. Those who answered correctly gained super magical powers, and sailed into the west. Well, I'm still sitting here, but the kindly Buffalo Blogger has offered a second chance, so here it goes.

1. Name three things that are either cooler or better in Des Moines than the Twin Cities.

Traffic. While I have been largely able to avoid the Minneapolis rush-hour headaches (buying a house fairly near work, the hours that I work etc.) the times I do have to deal with traffic suck.

Lower cost of living. Especially housing. For what we paid for our house, we would have been able to buy a much larger house in Des Moines. Although working in television, what I earn would be significantly less in Des Moines. Whaddaya gonna do?

I guess that a third would be that it is quicker to get out of town to some good twisty motorcycle roads. Boy, that was tough coming up with three...

2. Here's a hypothetical near-and-dear to Bills fans, adjusted for you. God presents you, a Vikings fan, with this choice: the Vikings will either go to the next five consecutive Super Bowls and lose them all, or they will win the Super Bowl next year and go 1-15 each year after that. Which would you rather happen?

Definitely go to the next five and lose. That would provide five great, exciting seasons, capped with a let down that personally I would not find all that disappointing. I would be much more disappointed by one 1-15 season than a string of Super Bowl Losses, let alone four 1-15 seasons. Of course my opinion might change by that fourth Super Bowl loss...

3. You win an one-week, all-expenses paid vacation to your choice of destination within one of the following states: Nebraska, Montana, Delaware, Maine, Alabama, and South Dakota. Where do you go?

Since you left Alaska off the list (which would have made this the obvious choice), I'll take Maine. The Down East/Acadia region. Rent a motorcycle for a little self guided coastal tour, do some whale watching and just general taking in the sights, breathing the salt air, and take rolls and rolls of photos.

4. A few years ago, the American Film Institute came out with its list of the 100 Greatest American Movies, which can be read here. What is the highest ranking film on this list that you hate and would be perfectly happy never seeing again in your life?

This is a tough one. There are some truly great films on the list, and some that are highly over-rated. There are also quite a few that I haven't seen. I'm not sure if there is one on there that I have seen all the way through, and truly, deeply hate. The highest ranking is at number 55, The Sound of Music. Not a fan, but I wouldn't say that I hate it. It is the highest ranking, at 55, and I really don't care if I were to ever see it again. Now, move down the list to number 71 and you have Forest Gump. Blech. Highly over-rated, and I would even say I highly dislike it, maybe even mildly hate it. But number 72... At number 72 you have Ben-Hur. I must admit I have never seen it all the way through, but I have seen large portions of it, and I have hated nearly every bit of it. The epic scale of the movie is impressive. The sets, action sequences etc. are all finely done, but the dialogue and acting are abhorrent. It makes me want to drive ice picks into my ears. I cannot comment on the score, as I have never watched long enough to get a good sense of it (maybe Jaquandor has some insight here), but not even the best score could save this film for me. So, I would have to say that Ben-Hur is the winner.

5. Did Yoko really kill the Beatles?

No. So far Mark David Chapman, and cigarettes... Oh, you mean cause the end of the group. No. She may have been a contributing factor, but there were so many other issues building to a head, starting around the time of Magical Mystery Tour, that the end was unavoidable. On the upside, all of this turmoil gave us some of the greatest popular music ever.

Now, anyone who wants to answer five questions from me, just ask. I dare you.


Free Advice

Don't taunt Old Man Winter. Just don't do it. Last week when we dropped to 24 below, I did just that. Well, the temps warmed up, but we got nearly a foot of snow from Sunday into Monday. Now, tonight will likely be the second coldest night in over a year. Here are some photos of our snow.

You all are welcome to come over and enjoy our patio. Cold beer is on me.

The snow piled around the perimeter of our driveway.

And here is where Krista "fell" in the front yard.

Now, a foot of snow may not seem like much to a Buffalo Blogger, and he may say as much on his Buffalo Blog, but coupled with the temps, it isn't much fun.


This is a test. Please ignore.


Rap Back!

Commenting is back, via Haloscan. All previously posted comments appear to be lost in the ether(net). Which is too bad. But we must soldier on! I am confident that you, my readers, will post new comments better than those that came before! Of course, I suppose that leaves me with the task of creating posts worthy of commenting...