Saturday, June 30

Ryland Sleeping

Britt and I are in Jacksonville, visiting our new nephew Ryland. My brother and sister-in-law are here, of course. So are both sets of grandparents. Everyone is beaming with pride. Ryland isn't really doing much. He's bundled up. He sleeps a lot. He has light brown hair and little tiny hands and is the most precious being I have encountered in all the world.

Here's a picture, taken a few days ago, of Ryland sleeping. I am taking lots of pictures and will post a gallery online soon.

A True Colors Souvenir

I wasn't totally crazy about the True Colors CD I bought at the concert, so I raided my music collection and compiled my own playlist. Enjoy.

Friday, June 29

I Have An iPhone!

I have an iPhone! I have an iPhone!

Or, to be more precise, I have an iPod, I have a cellphone, and I have two rubber bands. (Photo taken by Rich Mullins. I could not use my own cameraphone to take this picture for rather obvious reasons.)

Britt And Me In Big D

Britt and I headed to Dallas last weekend for the True Colors tour because, for some reason, a large concert promoting equality and gay rights didn't come anywhere near Florida. Perhaps the organizers forgot about us. Anyway, I have been to Dallas about three million times, but this is only the second time that I have been outside the confines of the airport. It's not a bad place to visit, if you don't mind the stifling heat and the fact that the worker elves at Mapquest have absolutely no idea where anything is. (One Mapquest map told us to make a slight left to get to our hotel which, in fact, was located directly to our right. Another Mapquest map gave us directions from the concert venue back to the hotel via North Dakota.)

I've posted my pictures from Dallas here.

Here are some thoughts about the True Colors concert, in no particular order:

-- The concert lasted nearly five hours long, and tickets were about $50 each. That's the best entertainment value I've seen in ages. In comparison, when Britt and I were in London, the cost of a single CD at the Virgin Megastore, when converted from pounds into U.S. dollars, was approximately $10,000.

-- There were a lot of age groups represented in the audience, but not a lot of diversity. Also, there were not a lot of outrageous outfits -- nary a sequin in sight, and only one person dressed like Marcel Marceau in drag!

-- The first band of the evening, the Dresden Dolls, was the most delightful surprise. I had never heard of this group before True Colors, but now I'm a big fan. As I noted in an earlier post, they call themselves a Brechtian punk cabaret band but sounds wonderfully gothic. I think they sound like Tori Amos with a sense of humor.

-- The second act was Debbie Harry, who was determined to avoid playing any songs that anyone in the audience might actually recognize or enjoy. This was wonderful move on her part, because (a) it gave the audience a chance to experience her new, non-Blondie music and (b) it actually gave the audience a chance to walk around and buy overpriced souvenirs. Come on woman! Sing "Rapture" or something!

-- After a short break, during which most people grumbled about Debbie Harry, Rosie O'Donnell came out and spoke about the challenges of being a plus-sized celebrity in a gastric bypass world.

-- At one point, two young women sat in front of us. They looked identical, right down to their chic pixie haircuts. Suddenly, I wondered what happened to Akbar and Jeff.

-- I want to start a new club called PWHJRCLHBUATL, or People Who Have Just Realized Cyndi Lauper Has Been Underrated All Their Lives. This woman is a dynamo. She doesn't stop moving on stage. I suspect she chugs 50 Red Bulls backstage. She started with a song I've never heard before, "There's A Hole in My Heart That Goes All the Way To China." She turned "She Bop" into a moody rocker. And she brought the entire tour cast onstage for the final number, "True Colors."

-- After hearing Lauper talk about the incident that inspired her to start the True Colors tour, I'm a fan of hers for life. That incident was meeting Judy Shepherd, mother of Matthew Shepherd, at a PFLAG function several years ago. I could tell that Lauper was genuinely touched, moved and inspired by her encounter with Judy Shepherd.

Thursday, June 28

Britt's Incredibly Deep Thought Of The Day

"How do we know that pigeons aren't robots from another planet? You never see baby pigeons. You never see dead pigeons."

Britt claims this is something he overheard. I think it's actually something he thought up.

Wednesday, June 27

LDN Calling: Photos and Music

I have finally posted photos from our trip to London. Click here to check them out.

I have also complied a playlist of songs that remind me about London.


Tuesday, June 26

Monday, June 25

Welcome, Ryland James

I'm an uncle! Ryland James was born at 6:25 p.m. He weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 17 3/4 inches long.

I'm over the moon with joy. Mazel tov, Michon and Lee!

I Wish They All Could Be Californian Punk Cabaret Girls

I didn't know much about the Dresden Dolls before I saw them play in Saturday night at the True Colors concert in Dallas. Now I consider them one of my favorite bands. If I had to describe this Boston-based duo in just a few words, I'd say they remind me of Tori Amos, but with a sense of humor. They describe themselves as Brechtian punk cabaret, which is a concept so bizarre and painfully obtuse that it just makes me admire them more.

Here's another reason to love the Dresden Dolls: their new video, for "Shores of California," appears to be a shot-for-shot homage to David Lee Roth's video for "California Girls." Check it out:

Thursday, June 7

Die, Salton Sea, Die!

A recent Newsweek article describes efforts to revive the Salton Sea in California. Britt and I have visited the Salton Sea. It is a horrible place, filled with the stench of a million rotting fish.

Here, as you may recall, is the memo I wrote after that visit:

To: Salton City Chamber of Commerce
From: Dave
Date: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007
Subject: Marketing

After visiting Salton City for the first time today, I have thought of a marketing tagline to help promote your community to tourists. It is:

Salton City:
Come for our pungent sewage-like scent,
Stay for our festering fish corpses

What do you think? I believe we've got another "What Happens In Vegas..." or "I (Heart) NY" campaign on our hands!

And here are some of the delightful photos I took. Look closely and you'll see decomposing fish. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that the toxic air didn't warp my camera lens. Five minutes near the Salton Sea left me feeling nauseated for about half an hour.

So spend all you want, California businesspeople and politicians! You are not going to get me anywhere near your Salton Sea again anytime soon. If I want to relive the Salton Sea experience, I'll just peel open a tin of sardines, let them sit in the sun all day, and then chug a bottle of ipecac syrup.

Update: Britt says that any attempt to recreate the Salton Sea experience must also include the smell of sulfuric acid. How could I have forgotten this?

Tuesday, June 5

I Am The Champion Again

Once again, my degree in English from Emory University (combined with my vast knowledge of useless information and my ability, like billions of other people, to type things into Google) has proven handy. I am one of the winners of this week's Entertainment Weekly Popwatch Headscratcher Challenge. I knew what William S. Burroughs, Lewis Carroll, Stephen Crane, Aldous Huxley and George Bernard Shaw all have in common -- they're all depicted on the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album cover.

Coincidentally: There is a song on "Sgt. Pepper's" called "When I'm Sixty-Four," and Paul McCartney, one of the Beatles is 64 years old, and, at this very moment in time, I'm sitting in a Starbucks and listening to music from McCartney's new album, "Memory Almost Full." This is proof that there is a Higher Power at work in our universe, and It likes adult contemporary music. This bodes well for Norah Jones ... but not for the rest of us.

Monday, June 4

Open The Pod Bay Doors

"2001: A Space Odyssey" imagery + Voyager space program references + a kick-ass song = my new favorite music video

Introducing "You Only Live Once" by The Strokes. Brilliant!