Thursday, September 22, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
You know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it.
We'll be accepting tweets and things as well. Cause we're interactive like that.
@art_butcher on the Twittering.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Hello again. I feel like I'm getting worse at this, but I also know that this past year at work was beyond bonkers, so I'll just play that card and see what happens.
Earlier this week, we went to see Dick Dale, the King of Surf Guitar. If you don't know his music, you already do. It's that fast-moving, oddly twangy song that was used as the main theme for Pulp Fiction. It's called Miserlou. I learned a few things. Here you go...
1. Surf Guitar might just be one of the primary roots of thrash metal. Guitar Player called Dick Dale the "Father of Heavy Metal," but I think they had the wrong reasons. They were talking about how he used to blow up amplifier after amplifier, which is pretty metal. But, I think there are better reasons. The superhuman pick hand work. The pedal tones on the low strings. The weird scales. The god forsaken volume. The way the songs are a huge puzzle of individual riffs. Go and listen to the intro of Pantera's Cowboys from Hell. Or anything Metallica did before they went to pot. Or Marty Friedman's work with Megadeth. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that a whole lot of that is because of surf guitar. Thrash came out of LA and the Bay Area. A pinch of surf guitar, a half cup of SoCal punk, two pounds of the NWOBHM, and you're on your way to thrash. Pretty awesome to hear live.
2. There is nothing more tragic than a hipster dropping an entire tallboy of PBR.
3. I am all for volume when it comes to rock n roll music. In fact, the more the better. Go see a Slayer show. It's very much a function of the volume at which the stuff is played. And they're definitely not alone. Ask Motorhead. Or Dick Dale. The guy rolled into the Hi-Tone with 4 12" speakers and an old Fender head and rattled my innards worse than a half dozen Marshall stacks. It was profound. And, to tell you the truth, it's mostly the reverb that does it. I felt parts of myself vibrating that I'm not sure I feel comfortable talking about. There was a point where I actually thought I might be disintegrating from within. Awesome.
4. Laramie Dean, the opener, is a bad bad man. He can play like hell and is exactly the kind of endearing gas station jacket-wearing, Brylcreemed, awkward with a microphone nostalgist that everyone should love. And, if that's not enough, he was gracious enough to shout out a local great when he saw him in the audience.
5. Shows at the Hi-Tone are fun, if only because everyone shows up. I saw 60 year old dudes in aloha shirts next to tatted-up rockabilly women next to a kid with a Misfit shirt. It was the same kind of crowd as at the Social D show I saw in Nashville a few weeks ago. The kind of crowd that reassures your faith in humanity to get along with itself. The kind of crowd that proves that good music is perhaps the most universal universal.
6. There is nothing more hilarious than a hipster falling off of a chair whilst trying to seduce a dude with a slew of poorly-balanced dance moves. Thankfully she wasn't hurt, and my wife was the one who saw the entire sequence, but it's hard to explain just how hilarious it was. Yell of hipster. Crash of chair. Thud of beer hitting the ground. Woosh of air as hundreds of heads turn to what just happened. Me laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee. I'm probably going to hell for laughing at other peoples' misfortunes, but this one was well worth it.
Happy trails. I'll try to get it together and be more productive.
PS: It's true. Ghost's Opus Eponymous is a really great album. If you like Priest and Sabbath, this will flip all of your switches.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Allow me to apologize in advance if any element hereforth is in anyway obscene or offensive to any of you, but I have been wronged.
Some barbarian degenerate stole a small plastic trash can from out behind my apartment. There is already vindication in this, so I am sure that the universe does not need to be righted. Nonetheless I remain concerned. And infuriated.
This small plastic trash can which, until some point today, lived next to the back door. For those of you that just laughed at the words "back door," that's fine. I did too. But back on track.
This small plastic trash can was where we used to drop the bags of freshly-scooped cat turds before we took them to the garbage. This is less grotesque than it sounds. Well, it's cat turds, so it's already grotesque. But the day's scoopings go into a bag, which goes into a bigger bag in the small plastic trash can. This unknown turdosity is my only solace in this entire event, a slight vindication.
Either way, some barbarian degenerate has stolen my small plastic trash can!
Filth flarn filth cat dog hot ants angry bat cut rip and murder hives this is what i have to do to not use all the words i learned as a kid in new jersey and then the ones that i learned from my italian friends and my german friends and my french family.
Listen to me people. There is an agreement. We are all supposed to be members of a civilization. One of the implicit agreements that all members of a civilization make is to keep up their end of the bargain. The bargain that says "I will not act like a barbarian degenerate."
Seriously, if one person steals another person's small plastic trash can, it's essentially Armageddon. Barbarism must not exist if civilization is to be.
I realize that this may not be terribly meaningful to many of you, but I cannot abide this degree of carelessness towards the possessions of others.
Half of you people, according to the polls at least, are Republicans. This certainly violates a law, and you guys are supposed to be really offended by people who break the law.
And you Democrats over there with your ennui, don't act like you wouldn't spill coffee on your New Yorker if you learned that you had been personally affronted with robbery.
And all of you Christians out there should be angry because this violates at least one of the Commandments. Not the first, about Godness, or the second, about guns, but one of the other ones. Violated.
And, if what I hear on the TV is right, then half of the rest of the world is waiting to find the person who stole my small plastic trash can and either put them in a hellhole of a prison or kill them outright for it.
So, I think I have something that can bring us all together as a people.
As a civilization.
Quit stealing other people's small plastic trash cans.
Once we get that right, we can step it up a bit.
And sorry for being away so long. It's been really nutty around here.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
These are questions that were brought up, in a broader way, at the recent CAA conference, so I don't want to make it sound as if this is my idea entirely. But those became remarkably present to me recently, so hopefully this is a different variety of question.
I was recently brought to a greater, more directly seen, understanding of artists with physiological difference of the optical variety.
We already know that we are all embodied. And that the linkages between the material physiological perceptive self and the immaterial intellectual self are rather difficult to explain.
But where I'm really caught up here is that we have, as of late, in our more linguistically politically conscious existence, always spoken of "visual impairment" or "the visually impaired."
This seems to me to hierarchize the physiologies of vision. That there is some 20/20 perfectly centered binocular pinnacle and everyone else--us glasses wearers, the cross-eyed, the albino, the wall-eyed, etc.--are visual at a lesser degree of quality.
Notwithstanding the castes that such belief creates, the more interesting, and I think far more important, question is what one does with this valuative (given its mathematical usage, this may not be the right word here) language when applied to visual artists? Perhaps I need to widen this to include all varieties of artists, but I am, for the moment, concerned solely with visual artists.
Does their different physiology of vision offer them an entirely different process of inputting, processing, and outputting art?
Perhaps is this difference parallel?
How, then, do we overcome these essential differences so as to be able to speak collectively about art?
I can't even believe I just said "essential differences." I feel like I just killed 100,000 people.
But, if it's physiological and we are each of our own physiology, how can this not be a question of at least one difference of essence?
I just hit a wall. I'm so confused. Please help.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Man, I'm telling you, I'm in crisis. I've been trying hard as hell to get into Death Magnetic, the most recent Metallica album. I'm failing.
I've loved Metallica for what may actually be two decades now. I came to them a bit late, being that I was 7 when Kill 'Em All dropped, and I don't think my parents were too interested in me getting into that before 2nd grade. But I do have quite vivid memories of coming upon ...And Justice for All, courtesy of my childhood pal Larry, who was listening to it at our friend Anthony's house. On a Walkman. Awesome. I subsequently came upon the rest of their work and fell immediately in love. I was a grumpy teenager who had just decided to learn how to play bass, which turned into a grumpy teenager who was learning to play guitar, and the Hetfield-Hammett-Burton axis of evil is about as much as you can ask for in the way of inspiration. Hell, I think I got into Mozart because of Master of Puppets, so don't try to tell me that metal will do nothing but turn me into a Satan worshipper. I actually ended up at Notre Dame, and I didn't even combust.
But Death Magnetic is a problem. There are elements of it that I like. The band is better than it's been in many a moon and their writing is closer to the classic material that I prefer. And I really like Robert Trujillo, who I thought was a beast in Suicidal Tendencies. There's a lot to like on this album, but it keeps underwhelming. And, then this morning I had a thought.
Rick Rubin and whoever engineered that sucker really dropped the ball. The sound of the thing stinks. It's not as beefy and full as it should be. Beyond some intermittent moments of lightweight playing, the whole album seems like someone stole all of their gear and rented them a bunch of stuff from some diet metal band. It's not chunky enough. And thundering, pummeling, propulsive chunk is what Metallica is all about. At least in my mind. And it sounds digital, which is a large, steaming bunch of BS. Everyone knows that the right way to get a good metal sound is to overdrive the crap out of a wall of tube amps. Tubes, as you all know, are analog, as are hands and guitars. Putting them into ProTools and compressing them down to digital files is like putting a whale in a fishbowl. Someone call Fleming.
In other music news, I have been reading Motley Crue's autobio The Dirt. If you were alive in the 80s and/or care about metal, you should read this. It's amazing. And the Crue deserve a lot more credit than they may get. I defy all of you to watch their Carnival of Sins DVD and then tell me that they don't still kick ass.
I've found a new metal band worth a bit of your time, and they're local. Memphis-based Sacrum. Check 'em out. Nice stuff. Powerful, agile stuff. Check it out.
Also, to bring things full circle, for those of you guitar nerds like me, the new Guitar World print edition has a ranking of the 100 best Metallica songs, as they see it. Now, I have plenty to pick about, but I'm happy as a clam to see that Creeping Death made the top of their list. It's a personal favorite of mine, the first Metallica song I learned how to play, and perhaps the best way to convince Christians that heavy metal and the Bible aren't mutually exclusive.
There has got to be something wrong with me. This won't make no damn sense, but I keep thinking about Ben Roethlisberger and Jesus. Stick with me for a second and I promise this will become even less lucid.
See, this is not really my fault. For the past three weeks, I haven't done anything but teach Art History and watch football. That's not exactly true. I also listened to a boatload of metal and broke the cat of a fully unsavory habit of leaving thank you notes next to the litter box.
But, I've been teaching this semester's crop of first years all about the Renaissance, which involves massive doses of Catholic Jesus art. Old World Jesus. Not that new fangled post-pilgrim stuff that we pass around like a bowl of popcorn stateside. Go ahead, born agains, feel free to damn me, but I've got a Notre Dame degree, infallibility, and Lou Holtz on my side. Bring it.
Anyway, before I slander/libel/blaspheme another dozen denominations, back to the point.
I, like every red-blooded, God-fearing, beef-eating, beer-drinking, gas-guzzling, democracy-bringing American watched the Super Bowl yesterday. I don't give a damn what anyone says, that was a hell of a game. Quietly great. Lots of good downfield blocking and a whole bunch of fun stuff happening away from the ball that I've begun to really appreciate.
And--spoiler alert--the Steelers lost, which somehow made a lot of sense to me in a cosmic, this is the way things go in an Old Testament sort of way. This is where Roethlisberger comes into play. As I'm sure you all know, number 7 has had some problems letting Little Ben do the thinking for Big Ben. No charges were pressed, but the Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, suspended him for a bunch of games and Ben was subsequently dragged across the coals by the media and everyone else.
Rightfully so. Sexual harassment and assault are among the most offensive and repulsive crimes going, up there with human trafficking, stealing the White House, and enjoying Metallica after Cliff died. So I'm with you when you want to hate Ben.
But I'm not with you when you refuse to allow Ben the right to do his penance and carry on with his life. Same way I did when people tried to keep persecuting Michael Vick after he left prison. I've said it before that America has double-jeopardy laws and Jesus has forgiveness. We all suffer when we cannot move on and allow a person to better themselves and earn a place in society. This is why we should stop putting people in prison and start having them fill in potholes, teach people to read, and garden for the elderly.
So, when Roethlisberger started throwing interceptions, one of them a fantastically fun pick-6, I began to wonder if this was his final act of contrition. This is a guy who won two Super Bowls in his first four seasons and certainly deserves to be considered among the elite QBs in the league. Stat heads and Peyton fans can kiss my grits. I'll take a rings over numbers any day. So, for him to have a tragic evening in front of the entire world must have been gutting. Forget what they're saying about Mendenhall's fumble, Ben's wayward throws were the primary reason the Steelers lost. Say it with me kids: ball control.
Given the epic, public, and immortal devastation of losing a Super Bowl, in conjunction with his season-long drubbing, I believe that we may never see Ben in such a compromised position again. I'm not trying to excuse his prior, horrible behaviors, but I think it hypocritical and cruel of us to carry on with airs of moral rectitude whilst wishing ill on someone we don't actually know and demanding of them a perpetual state of agonized penance. I just don't think that's what Jesus would do.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Jesus has given me a sign.
The cast of Jersey Shore is going to Italy for Season 4. Read it here.
Now, this is probably career suicide, but I want to be their cultural guide.
Allow me to offer my credentials:
- PhD/MA/BA in Art History, with a specialization in Italian art, Modern and Baroque
- I speak Italian.
- I have lived in Italy for about three years total.
- I was born in New Brunswick, NJ 08901. That's halfway between 8A and 9 for those keeping score, and it means that I speak Jersey Shore.
Now, I understand that TV shows are organized years in advance, but I would like to volunteer my services.
If anyone works at MTV or knows someone who works at MTV. Tell them to holler at me.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I was in the car today listening to Social Distortion. Their self-titled 1990 album, which is awesome. By the way, you can stream their new album online, and for every 100,000 listeners amazon is going to drop it's price by a buck. That's cool.
Anyway, I was listening away, happy as a clam, and during the third song "Story of My Life," and all of a sudden my brain went: "Carl Perkins." Actually, it came out in the voice of the guy from Mystery Train, which made it all a bit hilarious. What if that's my inner voice? This got me to thinking. I may have another link in my mental map of music history. But I can't really work it out, so I'm appealing for help. I'm gonna ask someone I know who is smart about this and will report back.
Anyway, and this is probably not new news, but I was thinking about how the Carl Perkins line of early r&b/rock clearly flows to California and manifests in bands like Social D. And then I was thinking about the wider culture of what I'm going to call California punk, mainly because I don't know enough of it to have a more appropriate or specific term. But I'm talking about everything from Social D to The Descendents to The Dead Kennedys. Maybe this should extend outward to bands like Black Flag, too.
I'm thinking mostly thematically in relation to the songs, rather than musically, but I still stand by my idea that Social D sounds like Carl Perkins. Anyway, then I was thinking about how important California punk was to metal in the mid-80s. Anybody who's ever seen Jeff Hanneman's guitar will know what I mean.
So now I'm trying to figure out exactly how the cow we get from Sun Studios in Memphis to Reign in Blood. And this is all I've got, so any help is welcome.
I just made up another word, which I can do because I'm an art historian. I have a few going.
Relaxicate. v. to relax to the point where you think you're on vacation.
Geometricize. v. to make geometric, as happens to form in a Cubist composition
Thurp. n. a thought burp, a distant cousin of the vurp.
I just got new glasses today. The doctor said that these will make me see 20-15. I'm worried because, so far, 20-20 is more my speed. This is a little intense so far. It also doesn't help that these have bigger lenses, which means that I can see more better in my peripheral vision. Try that. Try to see more of your peripheral field of vision. Then watch what happens to the walls, floors, and ceilings of the room you're in. It's a little intense.
I'm also afraid that these new spectacles might make me look like a hipster. If you see me and think I'm a hipster, please accept this preemptive apology. I'm not a hipster. I'm a metalhead nerd.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Actually, I'm not, but I wanted to be sure you were paying attention.
I like Christmas, second only to my birthday. I like any holiday where I get stuff for doing nothing, but I think we should rename it and just call it either Jesusmas, for the people who actually care about Jesus, or Capitalistmas, for the rest.
But, I have a new tactic for Christmas, which I started this year. I don't care about it anymore. That is, I don't care about what I get.
I'm an only child, so Christmas was all about me when I was a kid. Parents, beware, it creates really absurdist behavior. Everything that arrives is greeted with "Is that for me?" When the Wife gets me something, and makes the mistake of telling me about it before Christmas, I follow her around asking what it is. It's bad.
So, naturally, I used to, up until this year, make really elaborate lists of what I wanted. I even forced it upon the Wife's family, who took it like the sports that they are and made hay with my idiotic methods.
Then, this year, as I was assembling my list, I realized that there wasn't a single thing on it I couldn't live without. I didn't need any of it. It was all just excess stuff that I, like the good American citizen I am, already have too much of. So I emotionally divested. Told everyone that I didn't care what they got me and that they should spend as little as possible. Or, alternatively, do nothing at all, or give the money to a charity, or something that would be a better use of the energy and lucre.
And then I scored huge this year. Talk about a Christmas miracle. Art, books, shirts, socks, all sorts of football stuff, an arsenal of awesome cufflinks, glow in the dark shoelaces, a headlamp that lights up two colors, some really sweet pens just when my pen had died. It just kept getting better. It was nuts.
So, from here on out, I'm not even gonna get concerned.
Kids, the best way to get exactly what you want for Christmas is to not care at all what you get.
Yes, it's true. I'm not as consistent at this as, say, Peyton Manning's forehead is at being huge. But, much to my shockification, I have noticed that people are still reading this even when I am not writing. So I thought I'd get to some achievement and actually write something.
And, since I've just finished the brain-melting, boredom-inducing, tree-killing experience of assembling my advancement packet, I've got some reason for taking a break from the real labor. For those of you outside of the weird world of academia, advancement is when someone changes rank. Assistant Professor is the first rank, then Associate, then Full. For all you college kids and English people out there that have no idea what our titles mean. What you have to do for this advancement thing is work your ass off for about six years and then make a giant binder with all of the things you've done inside of it. Then a committee (presumably) reads it all and decides if you're any good at it. If you are, you are advanced. If you aren't, you're (presumably) supposed to lose your job. But my institution of higher learning believes in advanced complexity, so our system works a little different. Either way, if you have access to the art history gods, ask them to favor me. I like my job.
I also like beets, which is the first thing that I think I should address today. Consider it an appendix to The Duran Diet, or whatever I called that craziness I tried to pass off as a health plan. By some odd coincidence, I've been eating a bunch of beets this break. Had some with the family at Jesusmas, then we decided to make some at home, then we had some at some friends of ours's house. That's the New Jersey possessive for all you grammar nerds. First of all, beets are awesome colors. There's even yellow beets, which are less common that the purple-red ones that we all know. Both are amazing and, to boot, both can be used to dye clothes, which is why you have to be careful when you eat them. At any rate, I've done some research, the veracity of which I refuse to verify, and it turns out that beets are both anti-inflammatory and detoxifying, which means that they will cure more than one property of a mean hangover. That's a plus, right? And, in a recent study from Italy, which, after all, started the Renaissance and is thus totally credible in all things scientific, beets may actually be better for your eyes than carrots. Of course, they're harder to feed to horses, so you've got to pick your battles. But, hell with the horses cause beets are also known to lessen tumor cell growth. That's bad, meaning good. Go beets. Also, in case you are wondering, the leaves are awesome to eat. You can do to them the same thing you do to greens and they're just as tasty. Or, look here for other ideas. And the best thing about beets is that their scientific name is Beta vulgaris, which means that they're especially healthy for New Jersey people like me.
In heavy metal news, I think I need to quit bitching about how metal has been a total pile since Vulgar Display of Power. As I'm sure you all do, I've been scouring the interwebs for those awesome Best of... lists so as to learn about things that I never hear about, or only hear about a decade after they happen. Most recent example being why it took me so damn long to get a copy of Dio's Holy Diver. More like holy shit. That's a great album. And who knew a guy named Vivian could play metal like that. Awesome.
Anyway, I've come upon some really great stuff recently that I think you need to know about. Intronaut's Valley of Smoke is sweet. Really smart, proggy, but heavy. Imagine sort of if Helmet and Rush made a baby while listening to Call of Ktulu or Orion and you're sort of in the area. The interwebxperts say that they are the inheritors to what Isis was up to. They're worth your time as well. Oddly, it's the clean stuff that I find the most compelling. If you're into the epic, classical vein of metal, Agalloch might be up your alley. It's really not the heaviest stuff in the world, so you should go back to High on Fire if you want to get pounded (Check this out. Best metal track I've heard in forever. Shout out to Stephen Deusner for hipping me to them.). But it's really awesome nonetheless. Has great momentum and texture, and is way more interesting IMHO than what a band like Opeth is doing. No offense to Opeth, they're just not my thing.
OK, last two. Tryptikon's new album Eparistera Daimones is what I'm listening to right now. Actually, I'm listening to that High on Fire video cause it rules, but I'm going right back to Tryptikon. Listening to a video? What the cow? Welcome to our post-media state. But, this Tryptikon stuff is great. It's a Tom Warrior project, so that's got lots of cred. Nice and sludgy, heavy as an anvil with gout, and doused in all the right kinds of Satan. Seriously, kids, if you're afraid of the devil, steer clear of this. And, last but not least, there is this awesome band I just came across called Christian Mistress. Best name ever, number one, but you'll also get crazy on this if you're into NWOBHM stuff. You should also listen to the Nachtmystium stuff that I've mentioned before. And we should all reconsider the greatness of Slayer's Hell Awaits.
A moment of silence for the Eagles.
So, now that I'm only half invested in the NFL playoffs (I'm wacco for Flacco!), I can reflect on 10 things I've learned from this year in pigskin.
- Rex Ryan is still the funniest man in football. He and Belichick should go on the road as a comedy team. Belichick is hilarious when he's trying to ignore Rex. Hi-larious!
- I was right about Michael Vick. Don't even start talking to me about dogs. I've already addressed that, and I'm talking about football. He was great this year. And, in the greatest maneuver in my brief career as a Fantasy Football GM, picking up Vick put me Sly Stallone over the top in my league and I went from worst to first in a single year. Yep, that's right, what I learned this year is that I freaking rule at Fantasy Football. Going for a repeat next year.
- Congratulations Kansas City. You actually have a team. Todd Haley needs a haircut bad, but the man can coach. Speaking of haircuts, I'm comfortable enough in my excess manliness to say that I think Tom Brady's haircut is cool. With that helmet on, it's awesomely retro. Reminds me of the 70s, when football was supermega.
- Chad Ochocinco, who I really do think is great, needs to shut up and play some ball. His production and his mouth exist in inverse proportion. Let's just say that the former needs more attention.
- This Tim Tebow thing is great. I know lots of people want to hate, and I too am glad that damn scripture-on-the-eye-black crap is over with, but I want to see if this guy can last. He's improving, has the aura of something exciting, and I'm learning a lot about throwing motions, too. Let's all support this for a while and see what happens. I'm not buying no damn jersey, and I'm certainly not expecting much, but I think this is interesting.
- WHY THE HELL IS DON CORYELL NOT ON THE HALL OF FAME BALLOT?
- On that note, my vote, entirely emotional is: The Bus, Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Ed Sabol, Richard Dent, and Prime. I don't actually even know how many votes I get.
- I love what Jerry Jones is doing with the Cowboys. By which I mean I love that they suck.
- Keeping Tom Coughlin is brilliant and should be commended. That kind of patience and recognition of the fickle and accidental nature of the league is why the Mara family is as esteemed as it is. My Philly friends are going to kill me on this one. Speaking of such things, Bud Adams made the right choice.
- The people at the NFL Network need to check their game. Jerry Rice is an indisputable #1, but Otto Graham not holding the top position? 4 AAFC Championships, 3 NFL Championships, 5 Pro Bowls, 105-17-4 record in an 11 year career in which he appeared in 11 championship games, winning 8? C'mon son!
One last addition to The Duran Diet. Sierra Mist Natural is great stuff. I decided that getting high fructose corn syrup out of my diet would be worth my time. It's hard, that crap is in everything. But I saw a commercial for Sierra Mist Natural, with natural sugar, like Mexican Cokes, and decided to try it. It's awesome. All it is is lemon-lime flavored fizzy sugar water. What's not to like? And, after drinking it for a while, you begin to realize that regular American corn lobby Coke makes your teeth feel hairy. It's nasty.
And, because I'm an edumacator, I need to recommend a great series of books. If you haven't already heard of the 33 1/3 series, you better get with it. Each one is about a single album, and they're unbelievably good. I'd read the ones about Slayer's Reign in Blood and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Facing Future, both of which are freaking amazing albums. And the books are just as good. And then I got two more for Christmas, Led Zeppelin IV and The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society. Finished the first. It ruled. And their blog is totally awesome, too.
Ok, that's it for now. I hope this gets my momentum back. Thanks for being patient. And for reading.