Tuesday, April 11, 2006

here comes the rain again

Call me wanky, but the intense, neverending rain (except for those sweet, sweet hours this weekend, gorgeous) has got me thinking about how we wee wanker humans are affecting that most natural of phenomenons, the weather, even here in the beautiful bubble of the SF Bay Area, which sometimes I like to pretend is immune to most disasters. Ha ha, yes, I know. We're coming up on the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and I'm a dunderhead. But still. Ye olde climate change is getting me a little buggered, as usual. There's nothing new on that tip.

Still, here are a few of my personal faves at the moment:

1) The new issue of Vanity Fair is their green issue. And while the cover is full of wanker Hollywood types like Al Gore and Pretty Woman Roberts, the inside is full of coolness, like Chip Giller, the founder of my favorite environmental Web site Grist.

2) Guster, my new favorite band. Yes, they are hippies. But they are also super cute Jewish boys with a great sense of humor. Definitely check out the songs "Backyard" and "Come Downstairs and Say Hello" from their media page. They're on a Campus Crusade environmental crusade tour right now. Check out this report from ground zero in Michigan:

April 6th -- East Lansing MI
About a half hour before our scheduled National Biodiesel Fuel Press Conference today in East Lansing, Adam hit his head on a tampon dispenser in the bathroom while getting up from taking a crap, requiring a trip to the Michigan State Infirmary and four staples in his head.

There are two tragedies here.

1) We lost our one articulate spokesman at the press conference. Ryan stepped up to the podium and did his best to talk about renewable energy, alternative fuels, and making a difference in your community, but the one guy who actually knows what he's talking about was getting his bloody scalp stiched up.

2) I'm like a pig in shit today. All I could think about during the press conference was writing this road journal. I know it's wrong, but I feel the way Jon Stewart must have felt the day he walked into the office and learned that Dick Cheney had shot his 78-year old hunting buddy -- no one died, and it's just good clean fun. Lots of it. If I had Ed Helms standing by I'd ask him "did Adam Gardner really take a crap and then cut his head open on a tampon dispenser today" and Ed would take on a grave tone with his wonderfully redundant response -- "Indeed yes, Brian, I'm here on the scene in East Lansing where Guster guitarist Adam Gardner has apparently sliced his head open on a tampon dispenser in a bizarre bathroom accident, all a mere half hour before he was scheduled to speak at the band's big press conference on biodiesel fuels."

Ha ha. Tampon dispenser. Crapping. My kind of humor, friends.

3) Ming and Ping

This freak played at the Rickshaw Stop Saturday while I was working. The crowd FREAKED OUT and LOVED THE SHIT OUT OF HIM. Basically he pretends that he has a twin, and his twin is somewhere else, like in Hong Kong or something, and then they coordinate their live show with a "live broadcast" of his twin shown on a screen behind them. It was pretty amazing. Bad, fun, danceable electropop. Drag queens abounded and played the cowbell. Ming insisted that the dancers were "extra spicy!" It was impossible to find pint glasses anywhere because it was so sweaty, packed, and impossible to focus.

4) The Milo Foundation

A great dog rescue group in the Bay Area. We fostered our doggie friend Goldie from this organization, and we may again. though Dan and I are still sad about giving away Goldie to our new family. It kind of broke our hearts. Because we are the sappiest dog lovers in the Western Hemisphere.

5) Spiral Gardens

If you get down West Berkeley way, stop in at this rad nursery and "Food Security Project" on Sacramento Street. I bought all of my seedlings here, and now that I've finally gotten on the snail's asses by sprinkling iron phosphate everywhere, my hollyhocks, Oregon snowpeas, rhubarb, strawberries, bull's blood beets, curly mustard greens, etc., etc., are flourishing. They're volunteer run and serve the local community, striving to provide fresh, organic produce for all folks, regardless of income. Oh, and they sell redworms for your worm composting, if you're into that sort of thing. Lord knows. I am.

6) The Current

You can stream this totally fucking mindblowing station through iTunes or Windows Media. THIS is what public radio should sound like. Check out Mary Lucia's set list from today (Mary Lucia, by the by, is Paul Westerberg's sis):
4 - 5 pm
4:25 Nouvelle Vague - I Melt With You
4:19 Thunderbirds Are Now! - Harpoons Of Love (Aquati
4:16 The Sounds - Song With A Mission
4:10 Paul Westerberg - Seein' Her
4:06 The Lashes - Sometimes The Sun
4:03 Hockey Night - Saturday Night Gallop

3 - 4 pm
3:58 The Faint - Let the Poison Spill From Your Lips
3:55 Heavy Sleeper - I'm With You
3:52 LIVE - Eagles of Death Metal In Studio
3:52 Weezer - My Best Friend
3:48 The Fall - Hit the North
3:45 Crystal Skulls - Treat It Well
3:30 Marjorie Fair - Stare
3:27 Elliott Smith - Memory Lane
3:25 Hank Williams - A Mansion On The Hill
3:19 Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - The Charging Sky
3:14 Louis XIV - Marc
3:10 Drive-By Truckers - Sink Hole
3:08 The 101ers - Letsagetabitarockin'
3:06 ACDC - There's gonna be some Rockin'
3:01 Friends Like These - Karen

2 - 3 pm
2:56 Jamie Lidell - The City
2:53 Belle & Sebastian - White Collar Boy
2:48 Minus Story - Little Wet Head
2:45 Tammy Wynette - D-I-V-O-R-C-E
2:40 The Double - Hot Air
2:35 The Teenage Prayers - Center Of The World
2:33 Morphine - Yes
2:30 Run Come (Throw Away You - Run Come (Throw Away You
2:24 Kelley Stoltz - The Sun Comes Through
2:19 Patrick Phelan - Fall
2:14 Breakestra - Family Rap (This is the Sound)
2:10 The Red Hot Chili Peppers - Knock Me Down
2:06 Psyche Origami - Commercial Property
2:01 Gogol Bordello - Immigrant Punk

I love them because 1) they play your on-line-submitted requests; 2) they post their setlists in real time; and 3) because MINNESOTA ROCKS!!!!!

7) Hammocks.

Damn man. When that rain stopped for a few hours and the damn mongo hammock dried out, I just wanted to stay in the sunny yard forever. The smell of mint, the twittering of the incredibly greedy birdfeeder-emptying songbirds, the incessant evil barking of the newly arrived Rottweiller next door. Yeah, life ain't perfect, but it seems a hell of a lot better when it's spent in a hammock.


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