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old blog #2: i own a giga pet named "A".

i’m excited. november started, a huge test is finished, the next two weeks will keep me sufficiently busy but not crazy, and then thanksgiving break is going to rule. for three main reasons.
1. the wednesday before thanksgiving week, savion glover is performing at hancher auditorium at my university. most people probably wouldn’t know savion glover by his name, but if you are anywhere near my age and grew up watching sesame street(one two three four five, six seven eight nine ten, eleven twelve-elve-elve-elve-elve-elve!)(pinball machine cartoon), savion was the black guy with dreds who tap danced all the time.
how could you not love this guy?
he will be performing with a live band, so…a killer tap dancer and a live band at hancher? it’s gonna be a fantastic show. what makes it even better is that i have a midterm directly before the show so the show is like a huge treat. and my girlfriend is coming down for it so…how could it be better? if savion invited me on stage to dance with him? yes that would make it better. but that’s the only way.
2. as i mentioned before, colleen is coming down for savion’s show and then she and i are driving back to uni that night. i’m skipping the last two days of class that week and extending my break to eleven days. unbelieveable. the first five/six days will be spent at uni with friends, getting a feel for my new university. i’m psyched.
3. for actual thanksgiving, i’ll be probably in kansas city. which is cool. i’m not ecstatic about going home, but it will be really nice to see my sisters again. thanksgiving day will rule. lots of food. lots of lazing around. post-thanksgiving cold turkey sandwiches are awesome.
so november is bringing good things. and i want you to know about these:
find this movie playing somewhere and watch it.
1. half nelson. i just saw it tonight and really liked it. still digesting it so i’m not even gonna say too much. other than ryan gosling is a phenomenal actor. saw it at iowa’s indie theater, the bijou, which is a sweet place. one of the few things i’ll really miss when i’m at uni. check this out, they are having a FREE pre-release showing of the tenacious d movie coming out, how sweet is that? i’m going.
“if you want to see the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
2. ricky gervais. funniest man on television? possibly. star of the office, which was originally a bbc show before it became popular here in america. and if you like the steve carell version on nbc, it’s a hundred times funnier with this dude. and his new show on hbo, extras, is unbelieveably funny as well. i can’t really communicate how much this guy makes me laugh through a facebook note so…just watch him if you ever get a chance.
i’m done. i’ve got lots of other stuff i’d love to tell you about but it’s late. so happy november. i hope you’ll enjoy it as much as i will. and i really need to figure out how to communicate ideas in some other way than a numbered list. that is so trite. and i’d like to know how to make my photos bigger. adam? anybody?jon

p.s. i really hope somebody understood my pinball machine cartoon reference. if you did will you let me know? i have never, in my entire life, met anyone who knew what that meant other than my older sister hannah. so if you know what that is, tell me. i’ll probably freak out.

thoughts from 2009 jon:
a. i wrote this on november 3, 2006.
b. savion glover is an INCREDIBLE dancer. that show was one of the coolest live performances i’ve ever seen.
c. half nelson is still a great movie. watch it if you haven’t.
d. i’m going to write more in depth about ricky gervais’ brilliance sometime in the future.
e. i needed to ease up on the list format. i used TWO numbered lists in this one post. confusing
f. the pinball sketch. number 11:
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old blog #1: Web + Log = Blog

I used to think the whole concept of blogs was really arrogant, like it’s just one person going on some rant thinking everybody else really wants to hear their thoughts and opinions about the world. and what do I know, maybe lots of people do want to hear the the writer’s thoughts. it’s just the whole idea that the writer thinks his thoughts should be read/heard by everyone. it just seemed high-handed to me. until lately. i recently read a fantastic review of FutureSex/LoveSounds in a friend’s note, and it really convinced me that blogging is alright. not conceited, just a handy way to let people get into your mind a little if they want. ok enough of this intro. here are some things i’ve been into for the last week or two.1. Most people know i’m not a huge sports buff, but even I was following the World Series. and while i don’t have a tv, i spent game 5 clicking the refresh button on si.com every 30-60 seconds. it made for an exciting night. go cards.

2. organic chemistry…as much as that might be lame, it’s actually really interesting to me. unfortunately i’m not smart enough to be a chem major. shame. it’s cool now that we’re actually getting into practical stuff, we can do all sorts of reactions and crap. actually not in real life, but on paper, i can do reactions involving alcohols and ethers and epoxides. pretty cool.
It’s called 18-crown-6 because it has 18 total atoms in the ring and 6 total oxygen atoms…and it looks like a crown.

3. bob dylan. he’s just really good. that’s all.

4. this whole “my shares” deal on facebook is really cool. at least to me. it’s weird, i really thought that this blog feature and now the shares would catch on really fast, but not many of my friends write many notes, and so far the shares thing hasn’t gone over too well. which is really too bad, because it’s a way cool thing. i’ve only put up a few things, but i’ll add quite a bit as time goes on.

5. i read today that reese witherspoon and ryan phillippe separated? i’m pissed.

Come on. Seven years of gorgeous red carpet snapshots and you’re calling it quits?
6. i’m transferring to uni.so that’s all. i have to look over some notes for a biology quiz tomorrow. my bio t.a. has such a big butt, it’s really hard not to stare. and he’s a dude…so it gets a little awkward. but it’s just so big! later.

jon

p.s. Mathmatical equations – actual numbers = really annoying.

thoughts from 2009 jon:

a. this blog was written october 30, 2006.
b. the friend i was referring to who wrote the album review was adam. you can read that blog here on facebook and his actual blog is here. great stuff.
c. the thing about my shares on facebook was way back when facebook was intuitive and cool. remember, back when high school and college were separated? when “apps” didn’t exist? when you actually had to be in school to get an account? anyway, the notes feature was brand new and it was an easy way for me to start blogging without having to sign up for an actual blogging site, which i thought was lame.
d. the post script was referring to when people write sentences like “britney spears + last few years = so white trash!” i think i had read a sentence like that before i wrote it and it annoyed me.
e. since the font from facebook carried over to this website, i think i’m just gonna leave it as it is. it’s a little disfunctional it seems like but it’ll have to do.

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colleen’s wall post.

follow-up:

spitting image.

-jon

p.s. colleen wants credit for finding this picture.

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gig #1: the hub.

ladies and gentlemen, i’d like to introduce you to the immortal string trio.

about two weeks ago, i played at the hub with these two guys. from left to right, it’s me, eli, bruce. it was a ton of fun too. i was really nervous leading up to it, mainly cause the only other time i’ve ever played on stage was at church like three times, and these guys have been performing forever. the other reason i was nervous was that i was a little out of my element. the gig was originally gonna be at the hydrant, a small little bar that my roommate kevin works at, which i’ve spent a substantial amount of time at. i thought it was gonna be a really small crowd, nothing too big of a deal or anything, but then plans changed with the venue owners and we ended up playing the hub on a wednesday night. the hub is a quite bigger bar than the hydrant and i had an extra week to think about it so i got myself pretty worked up.

the day came and i got to the bar around nine, set up my guitar with eli and then just chilled out while people started trickling in. one cool thing though, eli took me down to the “green room” of the hub, i guess every venue’s gotta have a place where the performers can chill out before/after the show away from the whole crowd. unfortunately the hub’s green room is just the basement with a coffee table and like two crappy leather chairs and an old couch. all purchased from a thrift store most likely. so i went down with eli and bruce and another dude whose name i can’t remember now and just hung out while they had a few cigg-butts. we talked through the set list a little bit but basically just decided to wing it. and we went up and played a few songs. i think our first set was about five or six songs, nothing too much. i think it was mainly to get my nerves out.

it worked too. basically the way the three of us play together is either eli or bruce takes lead vocals, the other sings harmony, eli plays the basic rhythm guitar part, bruce will dink around a little with that and i get to pretty much do whatever i want. which means adding what i can during verse chorus parts and then they usually give me a solo in songs that call for one. that was what i guess i was most nervous about; i can play chords on a stage in front of people all day and it wouldn’t bother me, especially if there are two other people playing those same chords on stage with me. but soloing is a different story. when a solo happens, i’m trying express myself and the feeling of the song through strictly musical notes, and the spotlight is on me. yeesh. so the first couple songs featured a solo from me or just me playing along and it felt good to get the nerves out. especially once i realized that it was essentially like playing in my living room.

this is where i gotta give it up to my friends. all of my friends know i play guitar, and most know that i play a lot and that i’m better than the average shirtless college dude. so everybody was really supportive once they heard i was playing my first actual gig because playing with other people has always been something i’ve sort of wanted to do but never enough to actually pursue it aggressively. also, i’ve never really met anybody that has suited my musical sensibilities all that well either. i certainly hope that doesn’t come off as i’ve never met anybody as good as me because that’s not it at all, i’m not great and i’ve met people so much better than myself at guitar. what i mean is i haven’t met anybody that’s really matched what i enjoy listening to or playing to very well. eli and bruce fit that better than anybody i’ve ever really met.

so my friends knew i was excited and nervous about this, and they came out in droves to support me which felt great. and made me feel very much at home, literally, because with almost everybody who came, at one point or another in the last year, there have been one or two nights at least where i’ve played guitar in the jam shack (our garage) with all these folks around drinking. once i realized that the only difference between me playing at the hub for these people and me playing in my garage for these people was that i was standing two feet above them, i found my groove pretty quickly.

so i want to thank everybody that came out. there were new friends and old friends and super old friends, and it really meant a lot that everybody took so much out of their wednesday night to come and see us play. thanks.

so back to the actual thing. i played for about five or six songs, they let me take a break, eli and bruce duo-ed a few tunes, which is always fun to listen to them sing together, and then each of them did a solo set. so i had about an hour to hang out in the crowd and talk to friends and have a couple beers. it was great too, eli and bruce are both really great performers. they’ve got killer voices and they both have their own great style on guitar. and the songs they do are awesome. eli covers billy preston…enough said.

an hour goes by and eli invites bruce and i back up for another set. this is where it got fun for me. i had the jitters out and we just jammed and it was so great. set list (in no particular order):

soul scream (a bruce day original)
anywhere i go (slightly stoopid)
rivers of babylon (not sure)
wagon wheel (old crow medicine show)
2 drink minimum (chris cornell, written by john mayer)
omar bay (state radio)
arms of a woman (amos lee)
man in the hall (state radio)
always lift him up and never knock him down (old crow medicine show)
gulf coast highway (nanci griffith)
falling slowly (glen hansard)
what i got (sublime)
street corner preacher (amos lee)

that is the first list we made of songs we might potentially play. i think we did most of them, there were like maybe one or two we didn’t do all together, and i know we did one or two of them twice. but you can kind of get the feeling of the music we played. folksy, acousticy, no distortion or anything like that. just music that is easy to play and fun to play well. here is the end of my solo in arms of a woman. this is nothing fantastic, and watching it again i notice how freakin’ much i have to practice to get actually good or worth listening to. rather than fresh melody lines, my solos are normally just a glut of notes that fit in the chords being played cause i usually can’t come up with new melody lines themselves. and from just a technical point of view, i mess up pretty obviously here and there. but again, this is my first time playing on stage ever so i was happy with how it went. and sorry about the video quality; the video function on blogger is nothing to write home about.

EDITED 10/18/11: wordpress wasn’t able to import the video over from blogger’s crappy video function. oh well.

my favorite part of that is kevin yelling at the end, “i live with him! he’s my roommate!” that’s not his normal voice. devotees will remember kevin as the upside-down smile guy. anyway.

so that was it. i got to hang out with some friends and play guitar for like four hours. and on top of that, i got two free beers out of it, and on top of THAT, i got paid. like i was a legitimate working musician. this put me through the roof cause honestly, the thought of getting paid hadn’t crossed my mind through these few weeks like once. i was just excited i was getting to tag along with two seasoned performers to play on a stage in front of people i liked. i felt like the kid brother who had just gotten lucky and got to hang out with the older kids. i hadn’t thought once that i was gonna get compensated in any way. if anything, i was surprised i didn’t have to pay the bar owner to let me up on stage with a guitar, but when the owner of the hub gave me money for the gig, forget about it. what a treat. a great way to end my night.

so right now, there has been a little talk between the three of us about playing another show soon. the next one will be at the hydrant on the 2nd (tomorrow), and it’s actually just me and eli playing this one, bruce had a prior engagement. but i’m really excited because now that i have one gig under my belt, the next one will be a lot easier to be psyched for, and eli and i will have a fun time experimenting with what we can do on our own. he plays some great songs when he does solo shows and i’m excited to see what i can do with them. plus the hydrant is a super small and fun bar so i am already looking forward to it. we’re going on about 10 pm. hope to see you out there.

-jon

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the debut of the immortal string trio.

get a load of this.

this is on the official website of a local bar called the hub. i am playing there tomorrow night with two local performers slash friends, eli and bruce. eli is in a band called the barefoot compadres and they’ve played together for awhile and they are awesome. lots of college-y type covers, but the good ones. no crash or banana pancakes here. stuff like oar, old crow medicine show, amos lee, etc. and bruce plays all over the place, here in cedar falls, cedar rapids, and last time we practiced he was telling me about a gig he had just done in des moines. he plays mainly solo but also duos with eli occasionally. and he sounds like chris cornell. it’s incredible. actually both of them have killer voices, eli fronts barefoot compadres and sounds like a mix of everybody he sings, so when they sing together it’s a great blend. awesome harmony.

so a few weeks ago eli and i are out with some friends and he asks if i want to come and jam with him and bruce the next day and the next day comes and we jam, bruce teaches us a new song that he wants to start playing and then they ask me to play with them for this gig. yikes. i feel like the little brother tagging along with a brother and his cool friend. these two guys play all the time around town and even in other towns, and when i play i’m usually sitting on my bed in front of my computer playing along with itunes, not in front of real people who are drinking real drinks and listening and watching me play. i’m mortified.

i think it’ll be fun though. the two or three times the three of us have met and played our set we gel really well and sound pretty good if i can say that. we play a mix of the stuff the two of them play, folksy acoustic rock type of stuff. nothing flashbang but fun to sit and drink to and even more fun to stand and play. i’m looking forward to it. if at least just to get a real gig under my belt and not be so nervous next time. should be fun though. if you’re around, come check it out. the hub, wednesday night around 9.

-jon

p.s. i had no input whatsoever into what was put onto the hub’s website, especially concerning me. i actually have no idea who wrote that. just wanted to clear any doubt.

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i’m glad lotr made the list.

this is the side of the kansas city public library parking lot.

well done kansas city. you just sealed the deal with this. if i ever live in a big city, it’s kc without a doubt. absolutely inspired. I LOVE LIBRARIES.

-jon

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let’s be done with this month already.

so today was halloween. i was a die. would’ve worked better had i had another die to make a pair, but it was alright. i wouldn’t have dressed up at all but i was scheduled to work and i was told i had to. so i put this together in the last two days. pretty resourceful for zero dollars. unfortunately it was lost on some people; one guy said, “hey, a jack-in-the-box! nice!” and another old man said “what are you supposed to be, a computer?” yes, sir. a computer. come on people.

i hate halloween. it’s such a messed up holiday. i don’t even like calling it a holiday. there is no joy in halloween. it’s a day based totally on fear and evil. and sugar. even from a kid standpoint, there is so little value to be found in such a terrible day.

kids dress up, go to people’s houses and say “trick or treat.” trick or treat! they are threatening all these people for their candy! it’s just teaching kids greed, and that dressing up and being someone you aren’t is ok. as far as older humans go, it’s a day where it’s ok to let that one little “weird” part of you show. this guy came into work tonight with make up all over his face, like he was crying blood slash got cut in his head, and he had painted his shirt so it looked like it was all bloody. and nobody bats an eye! how is that ok?

as far as college town goes, it’s always just slut fest (insert current year). the short skirt and low tops are out in droves, like it’s their last day on earth to show off some cleavage. go put some pants on girls, it’s october 31st, probably too cold for anybody to be wearing what you’re wearing.

and i do not understand what our society’s obsession is with fear and gore in the movies. there is something to say about being excited, by like a roller coaster or something, but adrenaline from fear is completely different, and to me, it’s a terrible feeling. but tons of our scary movies were rented tonight. sucks too, because this last month i have been getting so many people asking me “what’s a good scary movie?” since i never watch them, ever, i have nothing to say. i always enjoy when people ask my opinion about films because i work at a movie place, and i pride myself on being able to answer 90% of the movie questions i get asked, but that question is the worst. and i’ve been getting it all month.

october in general is just a sucky month. it’s right in the middle of nothing. right after my birthday and just before the best part of the year. and halloween caps it off. plus midterms. awful.

one good thing happened tonight though. this girl spent a while browsing around the store and then came up and said “what’s a good movie?” not the easiest question to answer, since there is literally only one parameter to that question, it has to be good. so i asked her to specify a little bit, and she thought for a second and then said “one that will make me cry.” holy cow am i the man for this job. i immediately took her to eternal sunshine of the spotless mind and then just for some extra icing threw in high fidelity. awesome. she was happy to cause she had wanted to see both for awhile. i was able to rent out two of my Top 5 Favorites to this poor girl looking for some non-halloween themed entertainment. plus they are both in our 2 for $1 section, which is totally free until november 17th because family video is celebrating their 30th anniversary. what a deal. another day, another satisfied customer.

i’m just happy halloween has now been over for an hour and a half, and i can start focusing on november. such a great month. i’d like to leave you with this, the funniest halloween-themed video i’ve ever seen. watch it like three times, and you will probably laugh a lot by the end.

-jon

p.s. shout out to apc for the awesome ‘stume idea.

p.p.s. i just realized that my whole outlook is obviously biased since my family never celebrated halloween when i was growing up. so that’s really why i don’t like it. part product of my environment, part it’s a crap holiday.

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