Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Long Time Coming

Maybe it was Microsoft e-mailing me to say my subscription had been auto-renewed.

Maybe it was Mary Lou bugging me about it.

Maybe it was Amra’s frequent posting lately.

Maybe it was all of these. (probably)

Maybe none.

Certainly it was laziness that has caused this one year, one month gap in posting. It’s not for lack of things going on in my life I’m sure. I feel like I haven’t felt as contemplative lately. So I started thinking about things.

I still have opinions. Most are pretty self-serving. Narcissistic even. But at least I’m not a blob?

fivedollarscanihearten?thendoihearfifteen?fifteentwentytwentyfiveihavethirtycanihearthirtyfive?SOLD!

Some of my old posts make me laugh. I miss the Blog Wars for certain. Would love to get back to crafting writing challenges. I’m sure I have the time. TV is just easier I guess. Maybe I’ll be smarter if I read more, write more, and whine less.

So stop me if I whine. Or I’ll stop myself.

But here I am, remembering how to type.

I still have to look at the keys.

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On this Self-Imposed 140 Word Silliness

I had a conversation with Mary the other week which I used as the inspiration to begin blogging again. The topic which we discussed was mostly my lack of blogging lately and my attempts to justify it. She was quick to point out, however, that my tweets had not decreased in size. I countered that they were easy and quick to pound out at only 140 characters a piece to which she suggested that I simply make my blog posts that long.

I couldn’t justify such short blog posts; what’s the point? Then they might as well be Tweets. So what if I made them 140 words? It seemed to be a great idea; I’d write succinct posts and the word limit would be beneficial to my momentum.

As it turns out, that was a silly idea. For one, the limitation led me to feel like i hadn’t hashed out my thoughts thoroughly enough. (That was 143 words…I still feel unfinished) I do ramble, and, though it has no place in professional writing, this is my blog. I feel that rambling is my way of casually communicating my thoughts in a (hopefully) entertaining fashion. So I won’t win any writing awards and I probably wouldn’t even get an A were this graded. It’s mine. My self-imposed limit was an exercise in restraint. I have none.

Second, even with such a short requirement given to myself, I haven’t been writing every day. I can’t promise that to myself or to anyone. It’s fun and I enjoy my ranting and raving, but I don’t always have the time make the time. Other things take precedence. Sleep is one of those. Studies have shown that sleep makes one less tired. That, in turn, means I am able to be less cranky at work. Who’d’ve thought?! Crazy…

So I may to another 140 word blog post. I may not. I hated ending things mid sentence. I also didn’t like the brevity. Tweets are fun because staying within 140 characters can be an interesting challenge, but it’s always doable. This 140 word garbage was just that. Shit.

Small Guys

I’m not a large person. Not in stature nor in presence. So I overcompensate by being bawdy and by making “dress clothes” my normal attire.

The former is for shock value. The latter, attention. Much like dying my hair and collecting flair in high school.

The latter, however, is difficult for kids of my stature. My neck is a size smaller than the smallest dress shirts sold at JCPenny. Suit size? 2 smaller than the normally offered smallest size at almost ANY department store.

Years ago, I found refuge in Express for Men’s small 1MX shirts. They were great…until they did what women’s stores often do and make their smalls mediums and so on. So their smalls no longer fit me.

Then they made an XS. Like American Eagle before them…my day had come! Or so I thought…

[to be continued]

140…139…138

I am pretty certain that a tweet is 140 characters. I’m’a make this post 140 words. Why? Cuz it’s a number I can reach quickly without the chance to ramble TOO much. Rambling is a bad habit of mine. However, recent attempts to motivate myself to write coherent, useful blog posts have failed. Epically (that word looks funny written).  Mostly because I’ve discovered the beauty of unlimited texting. At my friends chiding of my 1500 text a month plan (which I finally surpassed), I went unlimited for $5 more. I won’t go into my previous justification of being limited, but I’ll say that I wanted to get my money’s worth. My billing cycle ends tomorrow. Estimated text message usage for the month? 4,400.

Epic.

30 text bursts certainly contributed to that impressive number. So, if I’ve been notably absent on the interwebs, that is most certainly the reason why.

Tumblr: Bow Ties

A daily web log of my bow tie collection, worn successively for the next forty-or-so odd days: Clicky here

A Positive Rage

What is a web log for if not to occasionally complain and rant about things that get under your skin? While such pedantry has no place on a professional blog, I believe this subject breaches protocol in an apropos fashion becoming of my online persona.

I recently saw the Hold Steady in concert with my good friend Christi. I know I’ve probably mentioned it before, but it was likely the single most exhilarating concert I’ve ever experienced. The energy and love emanating from the band on stage was unsurpassed by anyone I’ve ever seen perform. It certainly didn’t hurt that they were my favourite band to begin with.

To prepare myself, before the show, I listened to nothing but their music for two weeks prior. As I learned from seeing Ben Folds live, I sometimes will not know a song they perform. Though well versed in the catalogue of Ben, he played some unfamiliar ones that, while still enjoyable to witness, were not as fully experienced as the ones I knew by heart.

So, in those preceding weeks, I did some research. Despite it’s often bad rap, wikipedia is a great compendium of information regarding bands and their releases. Through it, I discovered that the Australian version of Boys and Girls in America had four bonus tracks and the European version of Stay Positive had three. As I already owned the American release of Boys and Girls in America, I set about locating my missing tracks via various means. Said tracks were fairly easily located.

The Stay Positive bonuses, however, were slightly more elusive. The copies I was able to find were poorly ripped and had many glitches reminiscent of mp3s from the late nineties. As I did not own Stay Positive legitimately, I promptly ordered the UK version used from amazon.com. Though cheaper than new, it was still a good eight or nine dollars more than the American version. I was quite happy with my purchase, seeing it both as a worthwhile investment in a good band and a guarantee of the unadulterated tracks. For a while, I was content.

Fast forward to last night. Or rather, a few days ago. Last night is really the climax of the story. I was browsing the hold steady dot com and found their twitter link. As they do not post prolifically, I though following them would not bloat my twitter feed and so I did just that. Some promos were tweeted about their upcoming DVD/cd. These I largely ignored as I try to make a point a) not to buy live albums and b) not to waste time watching videos online.

On a side note, the reason I do not generally buy live albums is this: archive dot org is a great source of live recordings. It also highlights what sucks about live recordings: shoddy recording by a fan will not get one the full effect of the live performance. Also, if you weren’t at the concert in question, at least for me, you don’t get the feeling of reliving the experience, so this point is kind of in the same vein as my first. Still, the site is a great way to get a feel for an artist you may have not heard yet or even heard of and offers a legal way to sample their music.

Likewise, the hold steady live compendium is a great source for all things live by Craig Finn and company. The quality is what you’d expect, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it won’t disappoint.

My general distaste for recorded live music aside, I did not ignore a tweet regarding a stream of one of their new tracks off the album. The track was so excellent that I utilized a certain firefox plugin to allow me to encode the stream as an mp3 to take with me until the album arrived. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that that song alone convinced me to order A Positive Rage.

Amazon shipped the two disc set very promptly and I ripped it then stuck the disc in my car stereo and have been listening to it since. It’s great! I can’t speak for the DVD just yet but will update when I can give an opinion.

Last night, as I mentioned earlier, was the moment of truth. I put the cd in and ran the program to get my free bonus tracks. As these programs usually are, all it contained was a link. This link required my e-mail address. Soon, I was e-mailed a link to download the songs. Excitement!

The one track was the one I loved, 40Bucks, now owned legitimately (something I hope someday to say of all my music). The second, a new track called Spectres was one which I’d never heard. The remaining three, however, were the very tracks I bought the UK Stay Positive for: Ask For Addedall, Cheyenne Sunrise and Two Handed Handshake !!!

A Positive Rage boiled through my veins!

Truly, the previous statement was only aimed to be hyperbole. Also, I wasn’t particularly angry, per se. It just kind of sucked. I suppose had I waited and done my research, I’d’ve known what the bonus tracks were. That, however would’ve required buying Positive Rage before Stay Positive, which isn’t something that would have happened. Regardless, for a live album, A Positive Rage is quite well recorded; ’tis a far cry from those found at the compendium. Plus, the pleasure of the new song and the the legal version of my favourite song was well worth the money.

The moral is this: patience is a virtue and will pay off in the end. Also, don’t steal music. Thank you.

My Tuxedo is Sad

Symphonic

Went to the symphony this weekend. Slightly more money than I thought, but dammit if it wasn’t a great excuse to break out my newest tuxedo.

I had to steal this photo from Mary for a few reasons:

  1. I neglected to bring my SD card with me today
  2. I haven’t uploaded the pictures from said card anywhere
  3. I wanted to post this at work and not later
  4. I am at work right now

The reason I never pulled the photos from this evening off my camera is two-fold: I meant to do it that night, but the power was out so I couldn’t use my desktop. I forgot to the next day.

I was excited about the symphony because they would have beer and I had a great excuse to break out this tuxedo I had yet not worn.

I hadn’t worn this newest one because for another list of reasons:

  1. It was purchased on Ebay but afterward I never had anything formal enough to warrant wearing it
  2. It is stylistically more classic than my pinstriped, notch-lapelled first tudexo (it features peak lapels and a double vent – my vent of choice)
  3. Said first tuxedo got more wear due to said non-classicality and the risk of damage being negligible
  4. Last time I tried it on, the pants were smaller than I remember them being

When deciding what to wear for the evening, this tux was pulled from the bowels of my closet. I went to try on the pants and realized that they did not go on all the way. The culprit: a safety-pinned note (holding the legs together thus making them impossible to separate) telling me to get the pants taken out. I pulled the note off and found that the pants fit perfectly again! I was ecstatic; my period of non-drinking has actually had an effect on my waist size in a positive way!

So I wore the tux and we had a great time at the symphony, making steak and pasta afterward and watching the Rocker (a veritable who’s who of television celebrities, I must add). ‘Twas raining when I left and visibility had decreased. It took a while to realize that the decreased visibility was also due to all the power being out within a mile radius of my house. It’s truly eerie to drive home in pitch darkness (I turned off my headlights for a moment to feel the full effect – it was neat). Arriving home, I parked in the muddiest spot, not realizing it was the muddiest spot due to the darkness like pitch that enveloped the night. Stepping out of my car, I must’ve hit a mud puddle or something. This morning, whilst brushing the dog hair off it, I discovered the interior of the pant legs caked with mud.

I’ve worn it once since my last  dry cleaning, and it’s a mess again.

It is a sad day for tuxedo wearers everywhere. Or maybe just for moi.




Hello; my name is Nicolaus E. Witchger. I am a graphic designer from Saginaw, MI best known for wearing bow ties and drinking single-malt scotch, dark beer, and espresso.

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