But I like my city. Sometimes.

Because that last post was all negativity and stuff, I'll throw in one positive. Residents of the city where I live (University City, MO) have petitioned the City Council to take a formal stance against the Patriot Act. If the City Council follows through, we will be the first city in Missouri and one of about 30 cities nationwide that have done this. The (poorly copy-edited) story is here. Analysis of the Patriot Act by the ACLU and the Cato Institute are linked from that story.

I hate capitalism.

Several reasons why, if ever a group of hippies decide to colonize Mars, I'm more likely to go with them than I am to stay here on Earth:

AOL Time Warner somehow manages to lose $100 billion in the past year, despite owning pretty much everything. And...AND, no one seems to think that this will affect their ability to be profitable in the future.

We rely on companies with silly names like Deloitte and Touche, and Bunge (pronounced "bung - ee", hard "g") to provide something other than amusement at their silly names.

The California organization responsible for paying disability benefits to police officers and firefighters are found to be basing the amount of compensation for the disabled on their age. Then they are forced to pay $250 million to make up for it (it's the former that is the disturbing part--the latter is the nice conclusion).

The CEO of Clear Channel, Lowry Mays, testifies before Congress, downplaying, or flat-out denying:

the negative effects of centralized ownership on the radio industry.

the all-too-real phenomenon of "independent promoters" taking over the age-old practice of payola.

the custom of Clear Channel to avoid playing artists on CC radio stations who don't tour under Clear Channel's banner.

that he is, in fact, powered completely by the Dark Lord himself

Don Henley, however, looks like he's going to pass out at any moment for the entire time he's testifying. (interesting note: these hearings were the brainchild of those political rabble-rousers, Russ Feingold and John McCain).

bribes/threatens/something-nasty's the man who bankrolled the current wrongful death suit (brought by the estate of Lisa McPherson) into recanting his claims.

is fined by Denmark for saying that a filmmaker had links to the former East German secret police, just because the filmmaker was working on a television show that painted $cientology in a negative light (interestingly, their defense? Free speech. By that same token, I could say that they are made up completely of molesters who kick dogs. Hey! Free speech!).

pressures Google into removing listings for a Norwegian website critical of $cientology and its practices, under the guise of copyright laws (hence the $, so you know. They'll sue me).

According to Sen. Kent Conrad, member of the Senate Budget Committee, the 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion that was estimated two years ago has now turned into a 10-year deficit of 1.5 trillion. Yep. $7 billion more government spending, and I can't currently afford to buy mouthwash.

I hate hippies. But spending the next thirty years floating through space with a bunch of patchouli-smelling, non-bathing freaks is preferable to this.

Is terrified

A couple of music-related things:

Does getting to hear an album months before it is set for release ruin the entire ritual of seeing the CD in the store for the first time and going all ga-ga over it? I've been struggling with this question for a while now, and I still don't have an answer. On the flip side, though, there's something extraordinarily cool about being able to hear the album before you see any reviews anywhere.

And yes, I like the Postal Service album. And the new Cursive, while different, is pretty good, and growing on me.

Related: according to John Darnielle, Julian raps in German on the new Strokes album. Or he's joking. I'm still not quite sure.

Good-bye, Dismemberment Plan. It's been fun.

Did anyone else see Interpol perform on Carson Daly's show? As I thought, "Obstacle 1" translates really well live. And I don't think I've ever seen Carson Daly less interested in the jasminlive musical guest than he was with them.

Super Bowl XXXVII (right?) = Battle of Which Team I Care Less About. I didn't watch most of it.

In a flurry of activity last week, I finally got around to reading a book. No, not one of the many that are still piled up, glaring at me ever time I go in my room with looks of dashed hopes. No, I read a library book--All Families Are Psychotic, by Douglas Coupland. I enjoyed it, even if it read at times like the script for a slapstick comedy. And, like with every other Coupland book, after I finished, I looked around and waited for something to happen. I still don't know why his writing does that to me.

Two things to mention

First off, I would like to state that I love the word redux. Absolutely love it.

First, I am typing and updating this using the newly installed DSL in our apartment. Yes, this makes me happy. I'm surprised, actually, that I haven't immediately fired up Soulseek and started downloading music that has occurred to me in the past week or so, when I was unable to download with the speed and finesse that I can now. But yeah....high speed internet is back in the house. Rock.

Second, I forgot to mention the coolest thing (to me, at least) about the new layout. I'm sure that you have noticed the various images that I used. Just so you know, each and every one of those images are actual prints that have been printed at work...all of them mistakes. Light leaks on the film, weird shutter/flash problems, film that has been dropped in baby formula (honest....the logo image comes from that roll. Those are rips in the film emulsion)...they're all screw-ups from my www.chaturbaterooms.com job. Not our screw-ups, mind you, but screw-ups nonetheless. And I have tons more that I haven't even used or scanned yet.

Hence this new version of lovelettertypewriter is known as the Mistaken Edition.

One big happy family

It's a good thing I got the new format set up, and got most of the bugs worked out (two remaining--one bad, one just annoying), because I notice that my motivation is slipping with each passing moment.

I've been sitting here for a while now, formulating a nice sad bastard mix in my head, reading about the seemingly inevitable buildup to stuff that I (and many others) have been trying not to think about. I just caught a bit of the part of ER where Dr. Green finds out that he has cancer, and I avoided going to a party tonight because I couldn't find any parts of my brain that wanted to talk to anyone. I've now heard "Consequence" (by the Notwist) five times in a row now, because while the lyrics aren't anything to write home about, the music acts as some sort of reminder that, no matter what I'm thinking about now or five minutes from now, I will eventually go to sleep under the comfortable weight of one comforter and one blanket of a material that is not, despite my thinking earlier, made of fleece.

Luck is for the timid

Somewhere out there must be a Movable Type expert or three who actually reads this website. Does anyone have any idea how I can disable commenting on posts older than, say, thirty days? I'm sure I can do it somehow, but I have no idea how, because I have yet to delve deeply into the world of Movable Type--other than to put this up, that is. I doubt I'll find any help, but it's worth a shot.

I got off work early this evening, really early, so I might do something productive. If I have, you'll notice, but if I haven't, all will remain the same around here.

I've concluded something. I'm not taking any classes this semester (a choice that seems right to me, but then again, I still haven't told my parents. After that, who knows what I'll actually think about it...). As a result, I really have no excuse for not accomplishing things. Basic things, in some cases (taking out the trash, keeping my room at a reasonable level of cleanliness, reading more, etc.). More complex things, in others (taking care of assorted financial woes, etc.). I have no idea if this will work out in the long run. But it's worth a shot, and if I write it here, I feel a strange obligation to follow through. Even if it is months and months late.

I saw a friend and former co-worker last night, as he was in town from La-La Land for a few days. Things I learned in the course of last night:

If possible, avoid being present when your normally-hyper friend consumes five Red Bull-brand beverages. Heartbeats race at previously unknown speeds, and staffs at bars begin to hate your group, leaving you (the only non-sped-up, non-drunk individual in said group) to apologize profusely to everyone.

I asked my Hollywood-living (East? West? I can't remember) friend if he has actually broken into "The Biz", seeing as how that's why he moved out there. He said sure, but on a movie I'd probably never heard of. I don't know why he didn't think I would have heard of Grand Theft Parsons. So yeah, he's working in the production end of things on the movie, and is an occasional body double for the guy playing Parsons. So when the movie comes out, and you see a shot of a guy on a motorcycle in the desert shot from a chopper....that's Derek (*).

Note: when you go to a bar playing "trucker music" (I'm still not sure what they meant by that, except that it's hillbilly-ish country), and your friends all start dancing to it, the DJ will quickly abandon said trucker music and instead play the theme from Shaft.

Now to get working.

That reminds me of high school, where a guy in my homeroom class was one of the best hockey players in the school. That meant nothing, since our hockey team sucked, but he did end up being the "skating double" for some dimwitted actor who was in a movie about rollerbladers who join the local hockey team. No, it wasn't a Mighty Ducks movie, but it was equally bad. Anyone know what movie I'm talking about? From about 1994-5 or so? C'mon, help a brother out.

Congratulations

First, I finally got around to updating the links a little bit. One can now go to the weblogs of the same people whose weblogs I visit on a regular or semi-regular basis. Fantastic, huh?

Baby steps are being taken in the direction of a new design that was promised about five months ago. Jeez.

And second, congratulations to the Walkmen (and, by extension, Derek) for not only getting "We've Been Had" into a Saturn commercial, but also for getting the ooooooold Recoys album reissued on Troubleman Unlimited. Derek gave a special listen of the Recoys to KWUR several years ago, and they rocked.