Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I came across this link. I took the test. Apparently I'm voting for Obama.

Oh, and play with this.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Now, I understand that blog posts that are founded on video clips are lame, but recently i have come across a couple of clips that i just have to post.

First: This is Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina, during the Q&A portion of the Miss Teen USA contest. There just aren't words.

Second: I found this via another Fat Tire tour guide's blog and thought it was a hilarious representation of how friends from back home could envision a year in Paris.

Third: In truth the job looks a bit more like this, except without the nu-rock score and sweet jake hamilton cinematography.

Last (and Best): This is the trailer for 'Heima', the upcoming Sigur Ros film.

I promise to have a real post soon. I only have twenty more days in Paris, only nine of which will be spent working before ashley arrives. A lot to do, see, taste, ruin with broken french, explore and relish.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another Eggers Dandy

Dave Eggers has done it again.

In What is the What Eggers assumes the voice of Valentino Achat Deng to craft an 'autobiographical' account of his life and his formative years spent surviving the atrocities of the Sudanese civil war. It's a truly moving story, and beautifully told. I know you're busy, but if you can make time to read the novel i know that you'll be happy that you did. Additionally, all of the proceeds from the novel are going to community rebuilding programs in Sudanese villages, so it's a win-win.

Buy the novel
Disregard this post and have a laugh

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Just Weird Enought to Post

It is not secret that i make it a point to visit Gorilla vs. Bear every day. He just posted this video from Black Moth Super Rainbow member Tobacco, and frankly, it's awesome.

Oh, and i'd also like to congratulate myself for dominating* the voting in the inaugural Blues From Down Here poll, being named the real deal in a friend group full of two-bit hacks.

It should be noted that I do realize that the poll itself was erred by the fact that it cuts off the 'kingdoms' of the other contestants.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Time For Confession

to some it doesn't happen often, and i am definitely among them. i think its fair to say that the rigors of daily living can only prepare you so well for such an occurrence, but i suppose that is a big part of why we're here, living. the 'it' of human experience i'm alluding to is the rarity of becoming briefly obsessed with a song you would typically dismiss simply on premise. these songs stop life in its steady gait. the sum of everything you thought that you knew previously microscopes into a new perspective, demanding thought. how do you recognize a fleeing musical obsession? when you are so overcome by the preoccupation that blood surging through the ravines and canals of your veins carries its tune and you find yourself drawn to the alabaster rim of the bathroom sink to splash cool water across your face, that is when you know.

and above all, you can't help but sing along.

Petrarchan conceits, Vivaldian melodies and Shakespearean emotion coalesce in just under six minutes of splendor. your pores swell to welcome the new beautiful sound into your very flesh and bone. it is a song of momentary incomparability, a ditty seemingly without the temporal grounding of known instrumentation, not heavenly, but bizarrely magical. each verse dissects your sensibilities; for it is a musical autopsy whimsically fiddling with your heart, mind and the enclave of your intestines where butterflies reside.

today, a predictably episodic bluegrass foray into wartime emotion got me. the dixie chicks got me.

on "traveling soldier" the banjo and violin float just beneath the beautiful high harmonies as the song addresses the delicate heartache of a small town gal who falls for the all-american boy off to deal with Victor Charlie and his communist bullying. the song builds towards an (admittedly) cliche marching cadence near its conclusion with her weeping beneath the bleachers of the football stadium at the loss of her beau. somehow the impermeable fortress of my usually wrought iron cynicism was bypassed and i found myself chiming in, even annunciating Vietnam as "vee-et-namm". i dunno, maybe it was just being in the right/wrong mood at the right/wrong moment, but i must have listened to that jewel seven or eight times today.

The Dixie Chicks - "Traveling Soldier" (mp3)

Monday, July 23, 2007

we are the sleepyheads

For the first day in a little over a week I woke this morning to the whispy tapping of french rain on my window. i only give the raindrops the distinction of being french because they are a particular kind of rain. always soft, almost misty, in its descent from the clouds. they come from strata without vengence, from a faction of the heavens polite enough to wake you with a kiss rather than an alarm. all that to say, it is really a lovely way to wake up. with glenn off to texas the room was decidedly still and only the awkwardly synchronized cooing of overfed pigeons on the balcony interrupted my sluggish thoughts.

i stepped over a roommate sleeping in the living room floor en route to the restroom. his breath softly hummed groggy life into the pillow, but the cloudy windows of the room's french doors cast an accentuated shadow around his sprawling figure like that of a chalk outline.

my morning routine soon behind me, i made my way down to the street clad in my obnoxious red rain coat. the street recoiled in the candescent violence of my water-resistant garb, but i wasn't nearly as awake as my wardrobe postured. it was a lazy walk to the metro station, passing the closed shop windows of the neighborhood optometrist and florist. i was momentarily roused from the hazy stroll when sam cooke's 'bring it on home to me' (mp3) fell into the predetermined cue of my ipod's shuffle feature, but would be lulled back into my warm walking reverie by the fates' decision to have cooke's soulful crooning followed by the warm electronic melody of a Mum song (mp3).

on the familiar platform waiting for the line 12 train i rocked back and forth from ball to heel. headphone buds in my ears, i let my drowsy eyes wash over the others waiting for the train. all the familiar stereotypes were present: young professional in a sharply tailored suit, fifty-something male with irrepressible eyebrows elegantly folding his morning paper into origami cross sections to isolate a particular article, poorly dressed & overweight young woman who's already cradling the cigarette between her fingers that she'll smoke upon her arrival, passed out bum contorted to the rise and fall of a row of plastic seats, etc., etc., etc.

across the tracks a well dressed older man stood awaiting the southbound 12. his hair was whispy, white and perfectly 'french' in its ability to be simultaneously untamed and refined. he looked nautical (read: ridiculous) in a double-breasted navy blazer, complete with shimmering toyish buttons, and beige slacks. a gaudy golden anchor embroidered on his blazer or an astrolabe protruding from his back pocket would have completed the ensemble, but i managed to sheathe my amusement with a disinterested smile. we made momentary eye contact from across the divide before my body constricted and fell into the grasp of a sudden yawn.

it is common knowledge that there are gradations of yawns ranging from those light reactions to someone else's yawning up to shockingly exaggerated full face yawns. this particular yawn was the latter, but to the nth degree. this was of that brand of yawning which causes your chest to heave forward to such unnatural proportions that the seams of your carefully selected and hopelessly ironic vintage t-shirt wince at the stresses being infringed upon them. this was a yawn that causes your eyes to seal shut and your jaw to perform a reptilian unhinging from its sockets to facilitate the respiratory vacuum. this is the yawn that results in temporary memory loss, dry mouth and dizziness.

this is also the yawn that is most difficult to cover with one's hand.

as my eyelids withdrew into their puffy folds of socket i found myself exposed before the sailor across the tracks. i felt like an immature child before him, like a grungy american peasant stowed away on some metaphorical boat. just then his train came into the harbor in the time lapse motion of every day life, i lost sight of him. moments later the doors would close to the train and i spotted him. he had made his way to a window seat across the cart and was craning back peering at me through the window. and then he really drove the nail. he raised his hand to his mouth, mimicking a yawn as a means of tutoring me in the ways proper etiquette. as if i were one of his grandchildren. i pretended not to see him and i casually turned away as the southbound 12 lurched away from the platform.

it rained all day today. it rained a polite french rain, but long enough to soak me to the bone.

and now a completely unrelated (but awesome) 'take away show'.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Currently Applicable Vocab

skinnyfat (adj.) - the current state of jason's physical health and its most accurate descriptor

(n.) - the state of mind one enters into after reading Lolita; often characterized by an intense and violent aversion to the sight of twelve year old girls

quadrate expulsion
(v.) - the overzealous act of simultaneously yawning and stretching while lying in bed. typically seen in males celebrating the absence of their (similarly heterosexual) male bedmate; each limb elapses its respective corner of a queen sized bed

monopwned(!) (n.) - the resultant emotional state of having had the misfortune to sit down to a game of monopoly with jason

lymanitis (n.) - a condition in which one becomes dangerously obsessed with 'The West Wing'

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Blog Post Appears

it has been made very, very evident to me that my blog is a complete joke and, in truth, i couldn't agree more. i started my blog with the hope of providing my friends with insight into my musical interests and the concert-going life with the suspicion that one day it might blosssom into a bonafide weblog. however, in the last few months instead of using Blues From Down Here to keep my friends and family up to date with my life i have quite selfishly retracted into a voyeristic state of glee reading the accounts and speculative treatises of my friends. jas, trevor, john david and glenn have been turning out some great posts and i've been greedily consuming without giving back. i understand how selfish this has been, and may this post and those to come serve as my formal apology.

{it should be noted that rob and william, two of my most talented and boisterous hecklers, haven't produced any more online material than i have}

it has, quite unexpectedly, drawn me into an introspective and largely withdrawn period of wonderment towards life's simple pleasures: a mid-day glass of wine or espresso, warm soft bread, afternoons sitting in the grass, the sounds of children, immaculate produce, an empty bench a good book and a blithe sigh of contentment. granted, i give my daily tours of the city to mobs of khaki short-clad camera toters (which have actually yeilded surprisingly little fodder for stories and blog entries), but outside of these obligations i spend a lot of time alone. i'm covetous of the little enclaves of endulgence that parisien life affords you. at the end of my time here i believe that i will genuinely miss this city, this sprawling mismatched metropolis. paris is quick to offer a warm embrace, but in its arms you feel the hidden condescending smirk at your back. as an outsider you get a taste, an essence, of the city's gifts but they're never truly yours. that isn't to say that they aren't enjoyable, but reality is often a nagging reminder that this is all temporary.

after my initial adjustment period came and went i had to come to terms with the realization that, even with an apartment, job, friends, comfortable familiarity with the city, routines and plans, this isn't my home. everything about me, from my markedly american appearance to my laughably inaccurate french accent, signifies my transitory state in Paris. my thoughts drift to stories from home. i'll catch myself chuckling at an unprompted remembrance of a jon wolfshohl gag or a late night conversation with b-rock. i miss taco tuesdays with joe, andrew and the chef. walking alongside the sea of gangly gaulish-nosed french women makes me miss ashley. i want a cup of coffee inbetween shifts at the restaurant. i'd love a ride in the cr-v and the inevitable grin when jas slides the toadies cd in the stereo. hell, i'd even relish a bob sea forearm smash.

the odd twist to my current situation is that i am truly without a home. i've always held Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again as one of my favorite novels, but only now do i fully comisserate with the sentiment beneath his prose. moreover, i'm not only without a home, i don't even have a career-based avenue of intrigue as i look to relocate. i'm excited for the prospect of moving back to the states. although i don't know exactly where that will be or what i will be doing, i have a certain amount of bravado (naivete) that convinces me that i'll be just fine.

As a peace offering allow me to extend these songs. My treat.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Parlez-Vous francais?

Well, no. Not yet.

I'm preparing to leave for Paris on thursday, and I'm finding myself significantly less prepared than i had hoped i would be. My language skills reach only slightly beyond 'hello', 'my name is', 'it's cold/hot today' and other cultural cliches. I know nothing about the city, although i've purchased the guidebooks, maps and dictionaries. I've bookmarked travel websites. The only thing i haven't done is acutually assimilate any of the information about the city's history or culture. I feel as if i know little more than the average college student about the city, and that scares me.

However, there is a surpassing calm that has come over me. I, in either my bravado or naivete, have little worry about this trip. I'm excited because i can't see anything but upside to the whole experience. I won't have a telephone, but i'm going to do my best to keep up with everyone via email and, gulp, facebook. Wish me well.