The spectacular American Idiot

American Idiot

American Idiot

I love of energetic music but don’t know anything about punk rock. It always seems so angry and shouty; I’d rather listen to indie rock, power pop, bluegrass, or twang.

Despite this ignorance, I recently found myself on Broadway for a performance of American Idiot, Green Day’s punk rock opera—a Christmas gift to Type E.

And it turns out that I love punk rock, at least when it’s choreographed on an amazing set and has strings and vocal harmonies. What a spectacle.

And now I’m the proud owner of my very own punk rock album: American Idiot – The Original Broadway Cast Recording. That counts, right?

Fear the cake

There’s an apple pie in the oven right now, requested by Type E for his birthday tomorrow. It’s a big birthday, a multiple of five, so I really wanted to bake and decorate a cake.

Because the cake for the last multiple-of-five birthday turned out so well and was not at all reminiscent of a serial killer:

Happy 30th cake

Happy 30th, Eric!

And there was also that time I smashed the top of my brother’s wedding cake into the door of a Corolla:

smashed wedding cake

the top of Dan's wedding cake, oops!

And when we blinded Hello Kitty and hacked off her ear:

Hello Kitty cake

maimed Hello Kitty

I can’t imagine why Type E would rather have a pie instead of a birthday cake.

Good Grief! One year?

birthday cake
January 1st was the one year anniversary of Good Grief! Back in the day, many of the posts were political and sports-oriented and not even written by me.

You know what I like about this site? The diversity of people who stop by: Democrats, Republicans, parents, students, homosexuals, heterosexuals, metrosexuals, carnivores, herbivores, Christians, atheists, geeks, Luddites, academics, artists, cubicle slaves, Philadelphians, Philistines, and Viggo Mortensen stalkers.

Thanks to everyone for visiting.

Below are my favorite entries from the past year:

PS I got an e-mail from a FOMP (friend of Moon Pappy) who wants me to pursue a weblog award. I dunno. Should I try to win a bloggie for the “best tagline of a weblog”?” Then I could get rich and famous and tell boss-across-the-hall that I’m going to quit the soulless office park and devote my life to the Internet.

Old 97′s review: TLA 12-11-10

Last Saturday, the Old 97’s wrapped up the current leg of their tour at Philly’s TLA, the best music venue in town (with the possible exception of Johnny Brenda’s).

They’ve been around since 1993, but I know and love them best for Wreck Your Life, Too Far to Care, Fight Songs, and Satellite Rides, a progression of records that gradually moves from alt-county to pop, mostly with very clever songwriting. Some of my best musical memories are Old 97’s shows from that era.

Because of those memories, I compulsively get tickets whenever the band comes through town, even though I don’t like much of their more recent work. It’s time to stop attending the shows and just be thankful for the fun we had back in the late 90s and early 00s.

While the prevalence of new music in the set was expected (it’s the reason they’re touring, after all), the set list had no momentum, and many of their older selections weren’t the best representation of the Old 97’s glory alt-country days.  Busted Afternoon?  Lonely Holiday?

They did, of course, do Barrier Reef, and they ended the evening with Time Bomb. I can think of few better ways to end a show, but it took a long time to get there.


I do, in fact, know why there’s a big dent on the front of the Subaru.

I took three fiddleheads from a wildlife sanctuary and didn’t even eat them.

I snuck into your bathroom and dumped your homebrew down the drain.

I hoard the good pens.

I experimented with Republicanism and Libertarianism.

Yeah, I got your voicemail.

Gone Fishing

After being on the air for two years, Good Grief! has run its course.  A million thanks to anyone who has ever read, commented, or e-mailed–you made the endeavor worthwhile and fun.  Until the next project, so long, and thanks for all the fish!

MOMA fashion police

The recently re-opened Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is overwhelming. Not only is the place filled with sculpture, photos, drawings, paintings, and film, it’s filled with people. Lots and lots of people. Many of them are wearing questionable clothing. Is it art?

Exhibits A and B: a protest against the traditional repression of undergarments?

moma fashion faux pasmoma fashion faux pas

Happy Birthday, Moon Pappy

plaid family

In honor of Moon Pappy’s birthday, I present the famous S family seventies plaid photo. Brother Dan S was either:

  • not born yet
  • behind the camera
  • smart enough to run away

Happy birthday, Moon Pappy! You’ll be eligible for social security next year really soon!

PS: Don’t laugh–plaid is hot this fall!

Hoptown News

Hoptown News! It’s a blog from the Hopkinsville/Clarkesville area of Kentucky, and its purpose is to “allow locals to degrade each other and talk about how crazy their town is.” There’s lots of local flavor, such as polls on whether or not the ex-fire chief should lose his retirement, pleas for the expansion of Charleys (it’s too crowded on wing night), and information about who got pulled over the other day.

Besides the fun stuff, there’s some serious issues afoot in Hoptown because of its proximity to Fort Campbell and the returning 101st troops. The folks at Hoptown News are far more qualified to rail about the war than ivory-towered pundits.

Amazon reviewer scam?

We all know by now that accidentally revealed the identities of anonymous reviewers on its Canadian website last week. The story is newsworthy from a technical perspective (how confident can you be that personal information remains personal), and it’s also amusing (authors were found to have reviewed of their own work). But there’s a slew of websites reporting that the Amazon reviewer scam has been uncovered.

Are they serious? Really?  No one suspected that people were anonymously reviewing themselves and their rivals? It’s not really kosher for authors to do this, but it’s not really a scam. There’s no outright lie involved, and besides, people should be taking anonymous reviews with a grain of salt.

This is just another example of technology making it easier for people to do something they’ve always done anyway (the New York Times points out that Walt Whitman and Anthony Burgess reviewed their books under assumed names). If anything, these authors should be criticized for stupidity. If I was going anonymously review my own work on Amazon, I’d first log in under a phony name. Duh.