Vanity Fingers

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Final Day

So today is the official final day (well, technically the day ended two hours ago, but whatever) of me being a vegetarian. To be honest though, I think I'm just going to continue to eat vegetarian until I have a compelling reason not to. I feel that in creating this little self-experiment I learned a lot about something I knew very little about. Granted, I haven't signed up for any vegetarian groups or causes, but regardless I feel like I can understand their side a bit more. I still have a lot of socio-economic issues with being vegetarian/vegan as well as just having lame reasons for not eating meat, along with dietary issues, but overall, it ain't as bad as I thought. It's really not hard and it makes me feel a little bit good about myself. Granted, I think I feel good because I set a goal and completed it, but I think that's still substantial. Being vegetarian has also had some nice effects on my usually touchy digestive system, which was nice for a change as well. However, I'm sure I'll make the switch back to meat sooner rather than later, but at least I did it.

On to a very stressful week. See you in 12 days, California!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Vegetarian days 5 & 6

So much for posting every day. But hey, every two days ain't bad, right? At least it's consisent. So I'm finishing up my sixth day as a vegetarian, and what's my status? Well, I think there might be an 8th day. I have to admit, it's really not that bad or that hard. Granted, my Chinese food dinner may have been a bit better if there was meat involved (as opposed to my rather nondescript soupy-like substance of onions, broccoli and mushrooms that was somehow supposed to be chow mein), but overall, not eating meat ain't hard. Especially when you can have an absolutely amazing dinner of spicy potatoes and coconut rice at West House. Seriously guys, best dinner yet!

Well, it's late and I'm tired. One official day left.

Oh, and an early Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Vegetarian Days 3 & 4

So it's day four now and I've already not followed through with posting every day. Yesterday was one of the toughest for a kind of strange reason. The main dining hall, The Ratty (no, it's not short for anything, so make your own conclusions), had a guest chef which I assumed would just mean an extra line of slightly less subpar food. Nope, the Brown dining services actually pulled out all the stops and served us something legitimately amazing. Of course, it didn't bode will with my new vegetarianism. It was easy to pass up the meat and grab some great mashed potatoes, and pasta, but I did have a piece of some good looking fish put on my plate. As I ate around the fish I became more and more tempted. Should I just eat the fish and resign myself to pesca-vegetarian status? As I was about to plunge my fork into it, I managed to fight the temptation and get up to some good dessert. By the time I was done with that, I was full. So I'm still officially a vegetarian.

Today was pretty easy and I'm worried that I might actually start being a vegetarian, which I am morally opposed to. Oh well. I'm sure on Monday when I eat a ham sandwhich I'll think otherwise.

Ceritified Bananas tonight!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Catching Up (again), and Vegetarian Week!

So I've done and seen so much in the past few weeks that I really wish I could write about, but frankly, it's in the past now. However, the highlights of the last few weeks include a concert (I think), getting in touch with my Jewish side at the Hillel seder for Passover, and an allstar cast of guest lecturers - John Nash, Robert McNamara and Bill Clinton! John Nash was disappointingly boring and confusing, but McNamara and Clinton were just plain amazing. McNamara was surprisingly open and willing to admit his own flaws as well as finding those in the current administration (which he was very critical of!) He left us with the chilling note that "I failed. Now it's your turn." Clinton, as usual, was stunning. He is certainly one of the smartest people in the nation as well as just being a damn good speaker. That man has style and charisma for days. He was incredibly inspiring, but his off-the-cuff comments on marriage (much laugher ensued) and evolution ("Oh god, I just said I believe in evolution, didn't I?") were definitely raucous highlights.

So on to my current position. As of right now, I'm procrastinating for a final tomorrow, but that's really not important. What is important is the fact that this week I'm going vegetarian...for a week. It's a challenge that I proposed last semester that I'm finally making good upon. I could go on and on about why I disagree with vegetarianism, but I'm going to save that for another date due to said impending test. I also had a great, but unfortunately short, conversation with Cindy, a pesca-vegetarian, who put things in perspective a bit.

So how am I fairing? Well, it's day two of seven and actually, it's not that bad. After the initial withdrawl at lunch and dinner last night, I'm kinda over it. It's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Tonight I was bummed that the Ratty (dining hall) was serving one of my favorite meals of sesame breaded chicken, but as soon as it was out of sight, I really didn't care. I just piled my plate with some extra rice, which I love anyway, and made myself a nice salad.

I think the hardest part of going vegetarian is the fact that you're limited in places like dining commons. If I was cooking my own food, I think it would actually be incredibly easy to pull it off. As long as I had some black beans or refried beans, some tortillas and rice I'd be set. In fact, my biggest beef (no pun intended) with vegetarianism is the fact that vegetarians often make communal dinners really irritating. It's really inconvenient to try to accomodate for one person in a group.

Anyway, I'm going to try and update on my progress every day until I'm done.

Other things to look forward to:
5/5 Ceritified Bananas at the American Legion
5/6 Caribou, Junior Boys, Russian Futurists at The Living Room

Back to work.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

bobrauschenbergamerica

So tonight I had the pleasure of seeing a production of bobrauschenbergamerica (I can't believe I spelled that right the first time). It was really out in left field and a little long towards the end, but overall I really liked it. The only thing I had to remember was to not take the silly parts too seriously. I have a problem where I sometimes take a goofy concept way too seriously and in turn rate it poorly because it's too zany. However, I really liked the style of the play. It was very random in parts, but it had a ton of reverberating themes, words, and people, which I really loved. The set was creative and all over the place and really made use of the Rauschenbergian concept of the "combine." Check out the script if you don't have a chance to see it. It actually really clarifies some of the confusing parts about the play and gives you an idea of the form of the play. I almost didn't go and so I'm glad Allison had an extra ticket. Thanks!

Other than the play though, tonight has been unfortunately uneventful. I've been holed up in my room doing not very productive things and listening to Michigan by Sufjan Stevens. I really love this CD, although being a kind of sad mood, it doesn't really lift my spirits. Today has been a bit of a downer, but tomorrow at AS220 there's going to be a record show, so I'm sure that will lift my spirits, if not temporarily.

Shout out to Nicole, cause she's awesome!

Here's hoping things get better
Peace.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Back from Hiatus

Whoa, I can't believe it's been almost exactly a month since I last posted on this thing. A ton has happened for me and I've seen a bunch of shows in the past month. Here are the most musically relevant events in reverse chronological order from today. Enjoy:

Last night I had my first electronic music performance. I spent the past two days and about twenty hours programming MAX/MSP for this thing and it turned out decent. I was definitely not the best performance, but I still had fun. I was helped out be Elly who thankfully (I swear I'll repay you) replaced Josh at the last minute. It went well, but a few things didn't go as smooth as I would have liked. One cue was kinda missed, but overall it was still fun and cool. I'll definitely have to spend more time with MAX/MSP though.

Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of seeing a nice lineup at PW, here on campus. Two Brown students, opened, Sing Swan Song opened and Lucky Dragons, followed by Books on Tape and closing with the surprisingly awesome Mahi Mahi. Since Mahi Mahi were from Providence, I figured they'd be some kind of hardcore band (which is not a bad thing), which I wasn't in the mood for. Thankfully they came through with some awesome dance-y rock music. It as a ton of fun and made it a great Saturday night. The Books on Tape dude made an interesting use of an MPC and featured some pretty intense pedal-slamming action, but ultimately his set was pretty boring. Lucky Dragons was (it's just one guy) pretty cool as usual and Sing Swan Song was a fun little performance, but I'm sure I'm biased since I know both of them.

That Friday I had the pleasure of checking out Dosh of anticon (they prefer it lower-cased). I had never really heard any anticon records so when Josh popped in the Dosh CD his parents sent him, I didn't know what to expect. Turns out he doesn't rap at all and plays muli-loop instrumental songs. He has that hip-hop flare, but not quite as obviously as other instrumental artists. In addition, he doesn't seem to integrate samples into his songs like other artists. Live, he was amazing. He played a beat-up sounding Fender Rhodes and even used his drum sticks to wail on the key strings. It was weird but sounded really nice and relaxing. His 5 or so song set consisteded of multi-layer songs that were sampled live as he played a keyboard, the Rhodes and a drum kit and then effects that he fiddled with. It was such a pleasant set that I just wanted to lie down and take it all in. If you have a chance to catch Dosh in your area, do so. We didn't stay for the other two acts because the show started stupidly late. Oh well.

On Thursday I had the pleasure of catching Athletic Automaton, Hella and the always amazing Out Hud. However, this show was totally killed by the atmosphere. There weren't many people there to begin with, but after Hella's set (I wasn't really impressed with anything about it other than the crazy drummer) almost everyone left. So now it was a roomful of maybe 20-30 people for an upbeat, discoesque dance music featuring Nic Offer and another guy who's name I forgot of !!!. I loved their set as well as their new album Let Us Never Speak of This Again, but it really sucked having 20 or so people in the audience, with maybe third of the people dancing. This paled in comparison to the time I saw them with !!! and danced for about 3 hours straight. It was the best show I've ever been to. I still danced my ass off, but seriously, I'm disappointed in you, Providence.

On Tuesday, I had the chance to see Dizzee Rascal for the first time. I even stayed a few extra days in good old California to check out his show. As I had hoped, he was solid on the mic and tried his best to keep the crowed hyped. Unfortunately, like the Out Hud show, Dizzee suffered from a similar lack of attendence (apparently from a lack of promotion), although it was more like 150-200 people when it should have been sold out. The other problem was that every time he asked for audience participation, it was really hard to understand. A distorted speaker sound + a sharp ghetto London accent = lack of understanding for this suburbanite. I think I could maybe understand him better if he was talking directly to me, but the slang and accent was tough to get passed. However, this kid can rap. He held down every song perfectly and showed why he deserves all the hype. Seriously, his flows were awe-inspiring and his charm more than made up for the fact that I couldn't understand a damn word out of his mouth. The only other problem with the show was that there was no opener other than DJ Wonder who did a decent "History of Grime" set.

This is where I stop remembering what days I saw shows on.

I had a chance to see local rapper, Sage Francis for the first time and now I know why he blew up. He's a solid rapper, but what really makes his show is his zaniness. Seriously, he could have been rapping about anything, but the amount that he gets into each song is impressive. From the hilarious "Dance Monkey" in which he managed to pull off a front flip to the more serious "Makeshit Patriot" where he passed out "Support Our Troops" ribbons, Sage really made his set into an experience as opposed to just a set of music. He also backed by the talented Tom Inhaler and the Sol.illaquists of Sound. I was really happy to catch these guys live because they had been in the BSR studio the day before the tour launched about 2 months ago. It was weird to think that they had been across the country and back and that I finally got a chance to see their show. Most impressive of the group was DiVinci who managed to play two MPCs to crazy effect. He almost took a prog-rock approach to the instrument, meaning that he had some crazy rock-like solo's on the machine that were really cool, but bordered on pretentious and showy a la Mars Volta. However, they put down a solid set.

Compare the Sage show now to Atmosphere. Yet another all white show (I'll speak on that some other day). He had a great backing band, which almost turned out to be the problem. I found myself tuning his vocals out and just listening to the funky instrumentals. Granted I've never been a huge fan of Atmosphere, but seriously, put some effort into your set, man. Of course, all the suburbanites were out there, nodding their heads and singing along. Anyway, compared to Sage though, his show was boring and uninspired. There was still an energy in the crowd but that's because they already liked Slug (the rapper of Atmosphere) before they walked in the door. Instead of building on the like Sage, he just kinda enjoyed the fact that he had the attention of about 150-200 white males. Not really the audience I'd want, but whatever.

I feel like there was another show I caught, so if I remember I'll have to write abut it. In other news, I headed out to Santa Barbara over spring break and came up with some decent records for a relatively cheap price. I wound up grabbing some things I wanted without breaking the bank too, which was nice. I'd mention the CDs I bought, but I don't wanna link 'em.

So this post has gone on way too long now so I'm just gonna end it. I swear I'll update this thing more often.