Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

20 November, 2008

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

20 May, 2008


Astute readers of the medulla noodle ("noodlologists" I've heard is the preferred nomenclature) will note that this is the first time in this blog's two-and-a-half-year existence that I've neglected to title a post. Seriously, if you want to search the archives, I'll wait...

if you're lost you can look--and you will find me
time after time
if you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting (oh, I'll be waiting!)
time after time

See? Tolja.

Where was I? Ah yes, there's a first time for everything. There's also a last time.

If we were to be brutally honest with ourselves, I think we'd have to admit that there's a certain amount of conceit that goes into the decision to start blogging. For us to click "publish" and lay bare for anyone who wants to read it, there has to be the belief that we have something to say that someone wants to hear. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that when I started this blog I thought a lot of people would want to read what I had to write. I'll fully 'fess up to initially having a narcissistic attitude during this blog's first year.

Things change, though, and as I figured out my own bloggy voices and who my audience was (you, natch), medulla noodle became a much more personal project to me. It allowed me to indulge parts of my self that didn't normally get expressed, to entertain people, to keep in touch with friends. I put a lot of creative and emotional energy into this blog - probably more than I should have - and I'm very proud of what I've written here in the last few years.

However, on top of the narcissism, I've also wanted to create a site where people would come almost every day to see what was new. And that's tough to do solo, more so when you're also committed to more important things beyond the blogosphere. Over the last twelve months, I haven't been able to commit as much energy to the noodle as I would've liked, and I think the writing is on the proverbial wall.

It's with a sad heart that I tell you that medulla noodle will from here on out be on "irregular hiatus." The blog's not going anywhere, and I'll keep it sporadically updated, if just for the purpose of making sure the archives stick around. But as of this post, the substantive writing here is done.

I have no problem imagining any one of my grandparents (a more pious generation) lecturing me that "God doesn't close a door without opening a window." I'm not one to subscribe to supernatural deities intervening in human affairs. I'm closing the door. But I'm also, with some help, opening a new window.

As sad as it makes me to mothball the noodle, I'm more than excited to say that I'll be blogging with four people who've been hugely important to me both professionally and personally at Organizing Grievances. All four are first rate thinkers, incredible activists, and most importantly, great friends. On top of that, they're fantastic writers. So not only can you keep up on what I have to blab on about on any given day (and PRM, Bambino Blogging, and Douchebaggery will all be heading there), you can also make the acquaintance of a few more of the talented denizens of soviet blogistan.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope we'll see you at the OG.

16 May, 2008

It's fucking 2008 people!


Labels: , ,

15 May, 2008

Thursday night smackdown

We don't have cable in our household, which means I miss out on the happenings of 24 hour news on the teevee. That doesn't bother me much. On top of that, I've long felt that Chris Matthews was particularly unwatchable. But I gotta say, watching him take down this pompous ass was good. Really good.

Labels: ,

14 May, 2008


There's a bunch of half-naked women in cages in front of the hotel next door to my office building. Apparently, PETA wants to make a point that "chicks suffer for eggs." I'll simply note that this is another chapter in PETA's blatantly misogynistic PR campaign and go smugly about my business knowing I eat only tasty cage-free eggs.

So... any caged half-naked women in your neck of the woods?

Labels: ,

13 May, 2008

Pop culture ephemera

While I was so studiously not blogging, I was also engaged in soaking up all manner of popular culture. A sample of the sights and sounds of the casa de wobs:
  • ms. wobs and I recently finished watching Band of Brothers. I am, admittedly, a sucker for a well-made WWII flick and had been keen on watching this series for years now, and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. It's a well-crafted epic, both narratively and visually. More importantly, there's a fine line between telling the truly incredible stories of those who were there and myth-making, and I think the series tacks towards the former the vast majority of the time. The filmmakers also manage to keep the film apolitical (save the obvious narratives about the justness of WWII and a general "war really is hell" sentiment) while not flinching from the political and moral ambiguities that were inherent in the conflict.

    A special shout-out to goes to Donnie Wahlberg as Sgt. Lipton. When you see a former New Kid on the Block in the cast, you tend to be a little dubious, but Wahlberg plays Lipton with an understated dignity that's perfect for the role, even if he's less than convincing as a West Virginian.

    The only serious misstep in the series was casting David Schwimmer in a small but important role. It's really hard to get into the episode when all you can think is, "You're such a fucking douchebag, Ross!" Aside from Schwimmer and the obligatory awkwardly paced exposition of the first episode and the less-than-satisfying (emotionally, at least) denoument of the last, Band of Brothers is breathtaking to watch, especially the emotional heart of the series centered around episodes based on the Battle of the Bulge. It really is some extraordinary visual storytelling.

  • We also managed to watch Thank You for Smoking and Idiocracy. They're both funny - I wouldn't necessarily watch them over and over, but they're definitely worth a spot in your Netflix queue. They're both over-the-top in their moralizing (though Mike Judge uses the outlandishness to far better effect, especially in a meta sense) but have plenty of gags to make them more palatable. I'll especially recommend Idiocracy for the visual gags that are Judge's vision of a distant future ruled by morons. The "House of Representin'" alone is worth the rental price. Or check it out free from your public library.

  • I thought I was done with REM. The only new album I've bought since Automatic for the People was Up, and only really for the first six songs. So when I heard some good things about Accelerate, I at least paid attention. Then I read that someone heard a track on a college radio station, and that pushed me over the edge. It's good! Peter Buck rediscovered his distortion pedal, Mike Mills rediscovered those sweet counter-melodies backing up Michael Stipe, and the whole band rediscovered the whole jangly* rock thing that made us love them back in the 80s. There's a few tracks on there that sound like they could've been outtakes from Life's Rich Pageant or Green. The music itself is enough to put a nostalgic smile on your face, but the sly self-referential lyrics definitely seal the deal. This new album makes an old fan happy.

    * A little known section of law stipulates that media discussing REM with more than 50 words must use some variation of "jangle" within their work. It's true. Look it up.

  • The best dKos diary I've read in a long, long time.

Labels: , , , ,

Sith lords gone wild!

I'm not sure which part of this simple tale of assault is the most unbearably wonderful (to borrow a phrase) [all emphases mine]:
  • "A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of a group calling itself the Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday."
  • "Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, attacked Jedi church founder Barney Jones — aka Master Jonba Hehol — with a metal crutch, hitting him on the head, prosecutors told Holyhead Magistrates' Court."
  • "Unfortunately for Hughes, his March attack was recorded on a video camera that the cousins had set up to film themselves in a light saber battle."
  • "'Darth Vader! Jedis!' Hughes shouted as he approached."
  • "Hughes claimed he couldn't remember the incident, having drunk the better part of a 2 1/2-gallon (10-liter) box of wine beforehand."
  • "In the 2001 United Kingdom census, 390,000 — 0.7 percent of the population — listed Jedi as their religion."

12 May, 2008

Putting the war room to shame

You haven't read spin until you've read this.

Labels: ,

Time's up

The answers to the ones you didn't get yet:
3. "Wicked Path of Sin" - Old & In The Way
5. "AT&T" - Pavement
6. "Fishwater" - Widespread Panic
7. "The Eleven" - Grateful Dead
8. "Maybe Partying Will Help - the Minutemen
9. "I Know There's an Answer" - the Beach Boys
11. "Diamond Dogs" - David Bowie
12. "Split Open and Melt" - Phish
15. "God Knows" - God Is My Co-Pilot
16. "Hell Yes" - Beck
18. "The Picture" - Son Volt
19. "I'm Convicted" - Bad Livers
20. "Billie" - Pavement
21. "Heroes and Villains" - Brian Wilson
23. "What Is The Light???" - Flaming Lips
25. "It's So Obvious" - Wire



I guess it's probably a result of my upbringing and sweet, sweet FM radio (I hear they still have that), but I've got a soft spot in my heart for the Cars.

"Let's Go"

"Just What I Needed"


10 May, 2008

Sporty chit-chat

During the last two baseball seasons, I had the pleasure of chatting in great detail about our fantasy teams with dave and pattyjoe. Now, 3000 miles away, it's a bit more difficult to do that, but thanks to the miracle of bloggy technology, we can do that in the friendly confines of cyberspace. So please, indulge yourself in some good, old-fashioned fantasy baseball talk. And yes, this is going to be a regular feature.
  • This is the first season I've had a player get really, really hot. And right now, my friends, Lance Berkman is en fuego

  • Prince Fielder, on the other hand...

  • On paper, my pitching staff is pretty rocking. Unfortunately, if they pitch well, they either don't get run support or aren't in a position for a save. You'll note that I said if they pitch well

  • Nate McLouth and Ryan Doumit are my two early season free agency scores

  • It's maddening having to juggle a bunch of decent-to-good but as of late inconsistent infielders around Mr. Reliable at shortstop

Lay your woes upon me.

Labels: ,

You deserve answers

But before I spoil the meme-y fun, I wanted to offer a few more hints. See if any of these help jog the "random knowledge" portion of your head:

  • 3 is a Bill Monroe tune performed by a early 70s bluegrass supergroup.

  • Numbers 5 and 20 are the same band, one that pretty much defined the term "lo-fi." The two songs are not on their two best known albums.

  • Numbers 6, 7, and 12 are all jam bands from (respectively) Athens, GA; San Francisco; Burlington, VT

  • 8 - San Pedro's finest belt out what should've been the Eugene anarchist theme song - seeking to pacify existential angst about "victims of [our] leisure" with beer and a bag of mersh.

  • Numbers 9 and 21 are from (respectively) the crown jewel and belatedly realized masterpiece of these iconic Sixties Southern California surf/pop band.

  • The artist in 11 is well-known for collaborating, musically and possibly otherwise, with the likes of Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, and Iggy Pop. Tough lyrics, though.

  • I'm not even going to bother with 15 - it really does qualify as obscure indie rock.

  • 16 is a repeat of one of the first four artists.

  • For 18, think of the lesser known half of Uncle Tupelo.

  • The song title's in the lyric in 19, played by an awesome bluegrass/punk/rock/klezmer/etc. band from Austin, TX (and featured on Punk Rock Monday)

  • For 22, think Big Suit.

  • Number 24 is a repeat of an artist from 12 through 15.

  • Number 25 is so obvious. Think influential 70s British punk band that wasn't the Clash or the Sex Pistols.

I don't know whether these will help or hinder your efforts. I do know, however, that I've spent far too much time absorbing trivial knowledge.


08 May, 2008


I don't begrudge HRC wanting to fight out the last few primaries. Hell, she's made it this far. In fact, I can even mentally envision certain circumstances in which it could be a positive, party-building campaign invigorated by big ideas rather than policy nit-picking. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to happen.

And perhaps more tragically, I don't think the seeming desperation of the HRC campaign will necessarily damage the Democratic Party so much as it will be the ignominious tailspin of someone who should return to the Senate and - freed from the constraints of presidential ambition - lead the legislative charge to enact at least some progressive policy reforms. She deserves a better legacy than what this campaign will bequeath her.

At any rate, to my friends back home, enjoy your turn as the last stand.

Labels: , ,


I threw up some hints on the music meme, so if you're still playing...

Incidentally, there's a broad range of genres there, from 90s lo-fi to hippie and neo-hippie jam bands, from SoCal surf music to bluegrass. And only a few obscure indie bands.


04 May, 2008


George Harrison tops my ballot for most underrated songwriter.

"My Sweet Lord"

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (I dig the arrangement on this one)

And... "The Pirate Song"



Shaping and molding young minds

Two tales of the emergent political consciousness of l'il wobs.

Tale One: L'il wobs is currently enrolled in a hippy-dippy kind of Christian Montessori school. The boy apparently enjoys the religious part of the curriculum, which is fine by us, albeit a little jarring at times (for instance, when he referred to our wine as "Jesus blood." The way we see it, he'll encounter Christianity at some point - better from people who are teaching him to love everyone than from, say... Baptists. Besides, how's he ever going to appreciate Milton if he doesn't get some Judeo-Christian learning?

At any rate, a few weeks ago, l'il wobs started talking about "Rock" Obama. I was curious to know what the lad knew about "Rock," so I asked him. We were told that Obama is very beautiful, that he was put in jail, and then they killed him.

We were obviously a little surprised by his answer. Either ms. wobs or I asked him if maybe he was talking about Jesus, and l'il wobs responded, "They're the same."

Tale Two: One of l'il wobs friends and his parents weren't able to make the baseball game today, so they offered their tickets to us. We trekked down to watch the Nationals take on the Pirates. All was going well until "Star-Spangled Banner" time. To add a little razzle-dazzle to the proceedings, fireworks are launched to punctuate the "rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air."

L'il wobs hates loud fireworks and immediately broke down and wanted to leave. We talked our way through it, and he eventually re-settled and started to have a good time, charming our seatmates and munching on (four fucking dollar) Cracker Jacks.

During the bottom of the fourth, however, an Aaron Boone shot to the patio in center field brought out another round of celebratory fireworks, upon which l'il wobs recommenced freaking out. He was talked back down again, but by the time the sixth inning rolled around, he was pretty adamant about going home.

At any rate, when l'il wobs grows up to detest America, you'll know who to blame.

Labels: , , , , , ,