Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Damn you, Kerns!

Thanks to Kerns, I've been spending a sizable portion of my waking hours lately playing this evil computer game he let me borrow. It is called Caesar 3 (I'm pretty sure there is a Caesar 4 at this point, but I'm always behind on these things), and it is awesome...well... in a civilization building kind of way. Luckily I've been substitute teaching quite a bit to keep me on a normal schedule, otherwise I might start losing track of night and day. Needless to say, Elizabeth does not share my love of this game. In fact, I think she vaguely despises it.

Also, think kind thoughts of me this weekend. We are hosting John and Graham, who are abandoning Mortimer from the Rose City, and I'm running in the 13.1 mile Indianapolis Mini-Marathon on Saturday. Having Graham in the house the night before running a morning distance race is a really bad idea for me. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

guess we should have moved to NC

Many people know that Superchunk is one of my favorite bands. Yet somehow I've only managed to see them once. [that was a show in Portland, where I 'famously' lost my mind a little bit. I became incredibly paranoid that they weren't going to show (dreams beforehand, panic during the opening acts, one of which was little known at the time Rilo Kiley)...and then when we were leaving, I was incredibly confused when my car from high school wasn't parked outside. This just shows what a gigantic if strange fan I am....though when I had the chance to talk to lead singer Mac about year ago in Seattle at a Portastatic show, I can say proudly that I did not act like a giant weirdo.]

Next Friday, they are playing a FREE show with the Arcade Fire in my hometown in support of Barack Obama!! It's "sold out" at this point, but I'd definitely figure out a way to get there if I could. Superchunk hasn't toured since 2001-2002 and really hasn't played many shows outside of the triangle since then. I wish I could figure out a way to get down there.

Where did I park my car!?!

I was recently searching youtube for some infomercials and was disappointed to find no face shocker wrinkle remover. Elizabeth was hoping for the original Infinite Dress ad, but it wasn't there either. But I was able to find one of my favorites: My Lil' Reminder. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Last weekend we had the chance to see Spoon at the Vogue. This was nice for a few reasons, other than the obvious reason that Spoon is awesome. First of all, this was the first show we've been to at the Vogue since we have lived within walking distance of the venue. It was pretty nice to have a fifteen minute walk after the show rather than a twenty minute drive (which is how far away most venues in Seattle were) or an hour drive (which is what most venues are from Greensburg). Also, the last two times I've tried to see Spoon (in London on our honeymoon and three weeks ago in Cincinnati) the show has been sold out to the extent that even the scalpers did not have tickets. This one was sold out, too, but because of the proximity of the venue and the last two failed attempts, we actually got tickets. I also feel like this may have been our last chance to see Spoon in a club, as their popularity can probably support larger capacity shows on their next tour.

As if practicing for the big time, one of the odder aspects of their performance was the overuse of a vocal effect that caused the last word of a line of vocals to echo / flange. This worked sometimes ("I Turn My Camera On," and the weird rock steady version of "Don't You Evah"), but mostly it was awkward. It was as if they were saying, "check out this new toy we got!" But the biggest problem with the show was that the Vogue felt the need to make it an early show, ending at 10:00 p.m. so they could bring in the DJ and dancers for their Saturday night dance club. Spoon's response to this close their encore with a kick-ass cover of The Smith's "Panic!" Burn down the disco! Hang the DJ! All in all, it was a rockin' time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Holliday Park

With a tip from John, we recently made a trip to Holliday Park on Indianapolis's north side. The park actually brings a lot to the table that we have not checked out: nature center, 3.5 miles of trails, a pretty cool looking couple of playgrounds, etc. The only things we saw while we were there were a youth lacrosse practice and an Irish setter puppy, both in the shadow of this:

The Ruins! The story is that Indianapolis won these three statues that were on the St. Paul Building, which claims to be New York City's first skyscraper. The building was being torn down in the '50s and they wanted to salvage part of the facade and had a contest to give them to a city. Indianapolis won, probably in part because the statues are carved from Indiana limestone. The parks department seems to enjoy bragging that the statues were "valued at the time at $150,000." They were originally arranged as a work of art complete with reflecting pool, but over the years the art began to accumulate pieces of other old buildings that were being destroyed. And now the reflecting pool and other aspects of the original work are fenced off and have been left to dilapidate. I guess one of the nice things about artwork called "The Ruins" is that the less care you take of it the more authentic it gets.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Change is good

Andy and I did some much needed repainting last week. What do you think?

In bunk bed room, we went from depression purple (not to my knowledge the official paint color) to GREEN!

And the living room changed from Greensburg High School Yellow

to a nice minty green

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fear of Change

On a recent trip to Bloomington with some out of town friends, I found myself desperately trying to locate my favorite college restaurants and shops. I suffer from hereditary hyper-nostalgia (thanks to my mom) and often find myself pining for the way things were even months ago.

My nostalgia fest was progressing well after a lunch of falafel and deep fried pickles at the Trojan Horse and an iced latte from Soma when we continued our walk down Kirkwood towards the Sample Gates. I looked left and to my horror, Jiffy Treet was gone! For those not in the know, Jiffy Treet is a local ice cream place, offering frozen delights similar (but better) to those at Dairy Queen. Even more unbelievable, they deliver! Delivery ice cream! As an undergraduate with an (also hereditary) affinity for ice cream, this discovery was too good to be true. Now, according to Bloomingpedia, Jiffy Treet still exists; only the Kirkwood location closed. The reason for its closing? Outside Developers (of the ice cream hating variety) bought the building and put in a Panda Express! Want to know what else these Outside Developers hate? Good Movies, as they purchased the old Von Lee Theater and turned it into a Noodles and Company (although the theater chain Kerasotes may be more to blame on that one, since they are the ones that shut it down).

The end result is a complete lack of ice cream stores in downtown Bloomington. When I was in college, there were three: Jiffy Treet, White Mountain Creamery, and Ben and Jerry's. Now, there are none! What a tragedy!

As if this weren't enough for my fragile psyche, we kept walking only to realize that The Den had been replaced by a flatbread restaurant!?! The Den was one of those stores that sold everything: cds, cheap IU tshirts, snacks, fountain drinks, "water pipes", disc golf discs, and general convenience store items. It was one of those fixtures; it never occurred to me that it could close.

Andy's in trouble because I already have the old person tendency of complaining about can only get worse.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vintage Columbus

Yesterday we were in Columbus to show off some architecture to an out of town friend. I was very disappointed to see that the Commons Mall has been torn down. This was probably my favorite building in Columbus, so it's too bad to see it go. I'm hoping that it will be replaced with something cool, but I have my doubts.

Anyway...while searching for stuff on Columbus, Elizabeth came across this website that has several of Columbus High School's yearbooks online. We found my mom, Naomi Weddle on the bottom right-hand corner of this page--the last person alphabetically in the class of '62.Cheerblock junior and senior year? Seriously, mom?

And I'm pretty sure Dad didn't have a senior picture in the yearbook, but the dude front and center of Mr. Scott's class checking out the Civil War musket looks a whole lot like him from the '59 yearbook.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Tom Crean Era

Okay. So I've had several days to digest Indiana University's hiring of Tom Crean as the new Head Basketball coach. I love it. I think it's a great hire. But keep in mind, I said the same thing when they hired Kelvin Sampson. They would have been hard pressed to find a coach I wouldn't be excited about, though they did come close. So let's take in the positives and negatives of Tom Crean. I'm obviously a positive guy when it comes to IU coaching hires, so let's start there.


1. Experience. He's been a head coach for nine seasons (during which he resurrected a dormant Marquette program), three of those years were in the Big East, and he once made it to a Final Four. You really couldn't ask for any more experience considering #2....

2. He's young. Indiana needs somebody who could be there for 20 years so they won't have to go through a coaching search again. In spite of all of Crean's experience, he's only 42.

3. He's clean. The worse thing about being pro-Sampson was that I had to defend the hire because of the phone-call stuff from Oklahoma. I had to assure people that he learned his lesson, and he couldn't get away with that stuff at Indiana anyway. It turns out I was wrong about the former but right about the latter. Anyway, Crean hasn't even been sniffed by NCAA investigators, and he graduates 89% of his players. Nice.

4. Big Media loves him. This shouldn't be important, but I do care about the national perception of Indiana basketball, and nobody had anything but nice things to say. For Big-Media love fests, click here, here, or here.

5. He was one of the first men to explore Antarctica.

6. He's a character. I think to survive under the microscope of Indiana basketball, you need the head coach to be a bit of a character. Crean is that. He's ridiculously animated on the sidelines, he's supposed to be a tireless worker, and the introductory press conference showed how smoothly he could work a room. Unfortunately, part of his being a character leads to his number one negative:


1. He looks like Tom Arnold. I don't think I need to explain why that is a negative, but I will supply proof:
Um...maybe when Tom Arnold was 42. Plus, it looks like Crean will be hitting up some of the tanning beds around Bloomington, eh? I'll just pretend the tan is from recruiting in the Southwest.

2. Lack of post season success. It seems like a guy who has been to the Final Four wouldn't have to be defended about post season success, but his record can be a little underwhelming. In nine seasons he's missed the NCAA tournament four times. But the first two years he was rebuilding the program, so another way to look at it is that he's been to the NCAAs 5 out of his last 7 years. He did only have the one deep tournament run in 2003, but next year's Marquette team looked to be poised to make a bit of a run. So if he can put together teams that are capable of a Final Four run in five year cycles at Marquette, there is no reason to believe he won't do that at Indiana as well.

Now...I can finally ignore college basketball for a while. Although it is less than 6 months until Midnight Madness....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crean and Crimson

I am sure Andy will want to post on this more, but I thought I'd put an initial post up. Indiana hired a new coach: Tom Crean! We're pretty excited. He's gotten a proven record as a head coach, he's clean, and he has a high graduation rate!

Perhaps now, Andy will stop spending the majority of his waking hours on the iu basketball message board.