stuff i listened to a lot this week
robotpolisher's Last.fm Weekly Artists Chart
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Back from the synth hospital. Shiny, buzz free, factory patches reloaded. Whoo! 
Sent from my mobile device. Apologies for any typos.

posted by robotpolisher 7:02 PM :: (8) comments
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Why this place lies fallow and why Web 2.0 has taken my publicly expressive and thrown it to the 4 winds. 
I really used to enjoy blogging, and so it's a shame that I've fallen off it so badly. I realize that there wasn't one horrible Moment of Public Discovery say that led me to stop blogging actively. It's that other "web 2.0" sites started filling the needs that this trusty old blog used to and step by step my attentions and my life-tracking started moving there.

I was never one of those bloggers who really poured his heart out on his blog (with I guess a few exceptions). But odds were good that I wasn't going to write anything on here that I wouldn't tell you in person after a few beers and a hug, and I guess since my audience never REALLY extended beyond a few folks I knew here in town and a few far-scattered friends who used it to keep up with me, well it never really became a place to vent to strangers, if you will. On some level I think I'm a little jealous of the folks who could (and still do) pour their hearts out on a blog, but it never felt genuine to me. Maybe it's that steely Swedish reserve. My author voice was a little less... that. When I did want to spit some bile out or mention how happy I was about xyz or how thrilled I was with person ab or c in my life, I generally did it in pretty oblique terms.

So what it ended up becoming was more of a journal of things I did, a track record of weird memes I ran across, shows I went to, parties I went to, elections that happened. Every once in a while I guess I'd rant a little about politics but in general it was mostly maybe a way to document the things that happened in the world around me.

So then I found Flickr. Maybe despite my love for writing, I'm a very visual person. And if something worthwhile and or interesting is happening around me, odds are good that I'll snap at least one photo of it. So in a weird way, starting maybe even 4 years ago when I first got on flickr actively (first photos' from election 2004!) it started becoming the way I tracked the trips, parties, shows, days in the park. I noticed as soon as I started posting a bunch of things there I fell off more and more here.

Well and then there was the "link factor". I'd find interesting and/or weird things across the internet and post them here, in part because I wanted to remember them, and in part because I wanted to make sure that all my friends saw that weird new site I'd just run across. But slowly it dawned on me that as sites like plastic.com (back in the day), and later digg, reddit started agregating the most interesitng or passed around stuff, really I was duplicating, not creating, and that there were better ways for me to keep track of interesting flotsam and jetsam that had come into my life. Del.icio.us actually filed a big gap, providing a way for me to put away things to look at later, things I found interesting & maybe to a lesser extent share them with other folks. But the sharing thing slowly went away actually as a motivation. If I was really convinced someone would love something, I'd just email it to them or bug them over IM.

I used to love writing about the music going on in my life, and hey I still could, but i do that now in person with people, on a very fun small-community music board I'm on, and in a way I keep up with what people are listening to and get a sense of what my own music filter has been taking in via last.fm which I've been a little addicted to since I first signed up back in the audioscrobbler days.

I guess out of all of this, the part that it took the longest for me to find a decent substitute for was the oblique mentions of the good, the bad, the historical. Something textual to tie the whole thing together. And that's where twitter has come in. I was originally skeptical as shit, and I'm still sorta feeling my way around it, but in so many ways that matter, it really has filled a certain last remaining gap in my life that this blog used to fill. It's a place to vent about the small mundanities, revel in the small pleasures, mark the passing of small milestones. Its short contained format in some ways works becuase increasingly one of the things that made it easier for me to just post a photo to flickr of the amazing weekend I had is that I never found enough time to sit down and do it blogging justice, to sit down and write out everything I wanted to say.

Constrained to a small # of characters, you have to get to the meat of the matter, and hey, then at least you (ok I)'ll get it done.

In a strange way, it's also become what my friend-network of blogs used to be. I remember going to a halloween party where two of my friends met for the first time and one asked "oh you're [blog alias]?!" and my other friend responded with "oh, wait YOU'RE [blog alias]". And then there wasn't a lot to talk about. Blogs at that phase of our lives I think gave everyone maybe a falst impression that they knew everything relevant going on in their friends (who blogged)'s lives. I think maybe twitter also keeps some folks from keeping closer tabs on the folks around them than they used to.

On the other hand, maybe it let's use keep up with people we wouldn't have otherwise bothered to keep up with?

The one thing I find that I still lack is a good place to actually practice... writing. I used to write for pleasure a lot when I was a disgruntled suburban teen. I like stringing together not just a few words into a sentence, but a whole thought into a messy arc of paragraphs and and chapters. It's never been the mode of expression I've been the best at, but it's damned satisfying sometimes. Maybe someone will cough up a good web 2.0 project devoted to letting people shoot their mouths off longform.

Well and then there's the music, but that's another story.

So, well that's where my output energies are going these days. If you used to read this and want to keep up with me by any of the bold-faced venues above, get in touch (you know how) and I'll send you what you need.

Beyond that, I think this here blog'll probably fade further away into a nice archive of a certain period of my life, and in my interaction with technology. It was a good run. Thanks Blog!

Now more than ever.

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posted by robotpolisher 10:03 PM :: (2) comments
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Foods to try before you die 
I picked this up over at Molly's place and thought oooh fascinating. Maybe it's 'cause I'm just off a really good lunch and food is big on my mind right now....

About 55% of 'em down though, I'm pretty happy with that! Living in NY is good for that kind of thing, I guess. Sadly I'm at a bit of a disadvantage since plowing down any of the shellfish on there would probably put me in the hospital. I guess that means I just have to try to make up for it with the rest of the stuff!

So how about you?


The Omnivore's Hundred is a list of foods the gastronomic Andrew Wheeler thinks everyone should try at least once in their lives.

The rules of the meme: bold those you have tried, strikethrough those you wouldn't eat on a bet.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (if you try just one "scary" thing on this list, I advise you to try black pudding. Don't let that whole "it's blood" thing freak you out).
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras.... hm.. not sure.
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (curse you shellfish allergy!)
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (see 28)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (blech)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare ... I think. I'm fuzzy on my definitions here.
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab (see #28)
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish (if the catfish tacos at san loco count)
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (see #28)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

posted by robotpolisher 1:33 PM :: (1) comments
Things I've done in the last 86 hrs (or so) 

Just to keep you caught up

  • went swimming and laid around on the beach at Fort Tilden
  • watched a crapton of Olympics
  • almost saw 200 guitarists playing at once (damn you rain)
  • took advantage of a summer friday to go see a 4:00 showing of Tropic Thunder with a couple of beers smuggled out of the work fridge
  • spent an amazing day with J driving all around New York state looking for just the right place to have our wedding (and maybe even finding it!)
  • played soccer kind of half-assedly but enjoying it a ton
  • continued plowing through Mad Men (which I'm enjoying a bunch)
  • ...aaand paid down to zero a credit card that had led to phone calls, lost sleep & general horror. It hadn't been down to zero since college when I first got it but was burdened with all kinds of bad-mojo stupidly aquired debt which I'm beyond thrilled to see the back of. Hey, there's something to be said for getting your financial shit together. Whoo hah.

posted by robotpolisher 1:54 AM :: (0) comments
Monday, July 28, 2008
GrAMPa, Greenpoint & Sub Neighborhoods 
A bit back I was having a conversation w/ some people about how increasingly different the chunk of Greenpoint J & I live in feels from the "main" strip of Greenpoint that hugs the river and is now the home to lots of bars, bookstores and all kinds of other newfangledness. True, the last few years have seen the opening of a coffeeshop over on this side of McGuinness and we do now have a Sushi restaurant AND an organic dry cleaner (which is just odd). But still, I feel typically pretty compelled to explain to folks that I live in something like the Greenpoint Annex, or "Not the part of Greenpoint you're thinking of". It's a quieter, Polisher, more sewage-factory-having part of town and hey, I love it.

Unless it's the middle of the winter and I'm cursing having to walk 15 minutes to the G. But still.

It's got a lovely identity of it's own and so we thought, since every subneighborhood on the planet has its own snappy acronym, it was about time our fair sub-chunklet of Greenpoint had one. A lightbulb went off over my head and thus GrAMPa or Greenpoint Around McGolrick Park.

I don't expect to see it on an official map anytime soon but feel free to use as you wish.

And just as I was thinking about this, a coworker set me Very Small Array's map of Greenpoint Subneighborhoods which makes a genius kind of sense. I mean minus the obvious ommission of GrAMPa.

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posted by robotpolisher 5:44 PM :: (0) comments
Monday, April 21, 2008
Good cause for updating the blog for the first time in half a year 

Heck. Yes.

posted by robotpolisher 4:03 PM :: (3) comments
Friday, November 02, 2007
Because I need one more distraction. 
Twitter. Are any of you on it?  Is it vastly more interesting once you have more than 4 contacts on there?  Do I really need one more thing trying to get my attention? 

I suspect the answer to all of these may be no.

But here's my twitter style update: Work's intense.  But... interesting.  Many interesting things and trips have happened that have gone unblogged.  I'm off tomorrow to Mass for the weekend.

Perhaps I'll blog about that.

Hm.. that's more than 140 characters I think.

posted by robotpolisher 1:12 AM :: (0) comments
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I became a citizen 4 years ago today 
It's an exciting milestone, but looking back at the last 4 years of US history, I'm starting to think that maybe I'm a jinx...  Hm...

Either way, I'll make sure to have a burger or something equally domestic for lunch today. Like a Bud.

posted by robotpolisher 10:20 AM :: (1) comments
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Go Junior, Go Senior! 
Last night before my new job (more on which soon, I promise...) Jessie and I went to go see Junior Senior at the Highline Ballroom. Highline Ballrom is kind of a mixed bag (nice big stage and good lighting, two bars... all that's good stuff. 7 bucks for a Bud though? And a bathroom attendant guy? Er, I dunno.)

But onto the most important part: Jessie and I saw Junior Senior with some other folks at Mercury Lounge 2 years ago and we just blown away. You can tell that a typical New York audience is really fired up if they start maybe swaying a little or start nodding their heads extra enthusiastically. But then every once in a while you get a show like this:

That's more like it.

posted by robotpolisher 11:00 PM :: (1) comments
Friday, August 10, 2007
I am sucky blogger 
Remember that epochal event I mentioned and then didn't elaborate on?  Today's my last day at the job I've been at for nearly 7 years.  Last time I had a last day at a job it was election day 2000.  We all know how that night ended up.  I think tonight will be better.

Either way, big stuff is afoot and I will get with the blogging about it forthwith. In theory. New job starts next tuesday. Eep! In the meanwhile I've got that excited giddy feeling you got when you were a kid and you were running off the high jump at full speed.  Kinda scared crapless but mostly yelling "wheee!"  Now I've just got 800 loose ends to tie up before I leave tonight so no more writing now. But more details soon!

posted by robotpolisher 5:35 PM :: (1) comments
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Reasons Life's Purty Darned Good 
  1. Spent an awesome weekend with a large batch of friends in a gorgeous house up in the wonderful Catskills swimming at a beautiful swimming hole and playing wonderful games of kubb and BBQing surprisingly tasty food.  It appears I may have picked up some kind of tick-borne disease that forces me to overuse adjectives. Hm... At any rate it was really amazingly nice to be out of the city for a weekend.  Just plain did my soul good.  And the stars, man. Good god the stars.
  2. Had to head out into pouring sheets of rain yesterday morning to move Karu (our adopted car for the summer) and then head to work. I ran like hell to the bodega around the corner to get an umbrella (as we were fresh out) and arrived soaking.  So I ask for an umbrella and the guy behind the counter says they're fresh out.  Nuts.  Seriously, it's ark-building weather outside. I start looking around and pick up a copy of the Post to use as a temporary umbrella.  It's got to be good for something right?

    In the meanwhile the counter guy's been looking around the store and he's on the phone.  He comes back to the register and says "Yeah sorry I tried looking to see if we had any others and called the owners to see if we had any more hiding anywhere. But hey, I mean, do you just want to borrow mine?" He asks, producing a small umbrella from under the counter.  I'm just kind of in shock.  "Wow, um, thanks!" I stammered back. "I live right around the corner, I'll bring it back later?" "Sure! No problem." He says.  And like that, I'm off for a rainy day, well protected.

    I dunno, maybe I've just been in New York too long, but I'm always kind of just astonished when someone who's basically a stranger does something totally unnecessarily friendly and helpful, even if it's just with something like a $3 umbrella.  I went back this morning and thanked him profusely and gave him his umbrella back.  He looked kind of surprised to see me but thanked me for bringing it back and pointed to the new stock of Chinese umbrellas. "Next time, we got you covered.".
  3. Twisted Mister won the World Series of Pop Culture, which does my heart good 'cause hey man, NYU pride, right?  But seriously, I have absofuckinglutely no idea what I would do at that age with $83,333.333333333333333333.  Probably something really stupid.
  4. Today promises to be an interesting, possibly epochal kinda day.  Of that I can say no more.  But yoikes.

posted by robotpolisher 11:47 AM :: (3) comments
Monday, July 16, 2007
Ways in which by time is taken up 
It's summer in New York and there's a million better things to be doing than sitting inside watching TV. I've even made a pretty conscious decision of late to avoid watching just "whatever's on" in favor of ya know, just reading a book or anything else.

That said, I'm not ashamed to admit that I think I could watch 24 hours straight of the World Series of Pop Culture no problem. Okay maybe I'm a little ashamed.

posted by robotpolisher 8:32 AM :: (1) comments
Monday, July 09, 2007
Art of The Spectacle 

This weekend I took in two things which were both intended to fall under the banner of "spectacle".

One was a Friday night viewing of the Transformers movie. I have a hard time deciding whether my standards were too high or too low going in. Honestly I'm still split on the whole thing. On the one hand it had BIG. FUCKING. ROBOTS. Smacking each other around, firing guns, crushing buildings, blowing up busses and (hilarilously) flicking off humans like they were fleas. On the other hand, the second John Turturo's character got copiously peed on by a gigantic CGI robot you kind of had think to yourself that boy, there's a reason Michael Bay doesn't direct comedies. Oddly enough some of the, let's say, "actingy" bits in this movie were actually quite good! Funny, a little affecting... ya know, better than expected. And then you have the star of Barton Fink being peed on by a giant CGI robot.

also, I couldn't stop thinking of this Perry Bible Fellowship comic. My final rating of this movie on a scale of 1-10: It's summer.

Then on Saturday on a whim I decided to see if I could get into the Boredoms 77 Drummer musical piece that they were playing in a park basically under the Brooklyn bridge. Because it was 7/7/07. and the # 7 is very important. apparently.

I got down there about 4:30 and the line stretched far enough that from the front it still took about 10 minutes at a brisk pace to get to the end. Apparently the park had a capacity of 4000 and I would estimate based on how many people didn't get in that at least twice that showed up. Actually I would guess that of the people who were standing in line, maybe 15% of them had ever heard a song by the Boredoms. I'm honestly in the other 85%. But then, New York loves a spectacle and a 77 minute long piece with 77 drummers? come on now!

As it was, I stood in line with Lukasz and another guy I know from Taiko for a good long while before we were basically informed to give up. On the other hand we were told, it was going to be "fucking loud" so if we could find ourselves a comfy grassy spot, we would certainly be able to HEAR the show. So off we went over a small fence out onto a breakwater of big angular boulders. Across a tiny bay, there were a set of fences, some trees and on the other side was where the show was actually taking place. So we set up shop, got ourselves some beers and settled in. And honestly I think we lucked out! Sure we didn't get to see the whole coiled snake spectacle up front for ourselves. But instead we got to sit right by the water watching the sun set, drinking beers, enjoying the company of our friends and listening the music wash out across the water towards us. It was really kind of magical in its own way having nothing to do with the spectacle of the event and everything to do with just a bunch of people getting together just to be and relax and take something in.

And yes, I accept that all of that sounds terribly hippie and frutiy, but what can I tell you, it was that kind of afternoon. More than anything, I realized that although I live surrounded by water and streams and islands, I find myself down at the water amazingly infrequently. And even more than that, as you're sitting around chatting with a bunch of complete strangers at some hugely attended manifestation of weird art-rock with the sun setting behind almost century-old skyscrapers on a random Saturday, it's hard not to say that we don't live in the best city on the planet.

I'm just saying.

Also, it has not yet been destroyed by giant robots.

posted by robotpolisher 1:04 AM :: (1) comments
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Looks like the whole Wiimbledon tournament has enough press that I couldn't even managed to register.  There were three open windows to register and I tried on on wednesday one whole minute after registration opened but apparently that was one whole minute too late.


I was actually really excited about the whole thing, even though i guess there was a pretty good chance I'd get creamed in the first round by some pasty kid just crawling out of their basement after a months long Wii Tennis binge.  Since you're supposed to play under a pseudonym, I was even going to be playing in homage to a childhood tennis icon as Mats Wiilander.


So now I guess I can go on Saturday and watch other folks play (or hope that perhaps I'll get one of the walk-in slots) but who knows, maybe I'd just sit around feeling jealous that I couldn't get in there and kick ass.  Either way: bummer.  Good thing the rest of the weekend is shaping up to be packed with really fun  things, not the least of which is Midsommar in the park tomorrow.

posted by robotpolisher 2:48 PM :: (1) comments
Saturday, June 09, 2007

Originally uploaded by robotpolisher
Hello my name is totally sweet set of mounted horns martin bought at a stoop sale this morning.

posted by robotpolisher 5:03 PM :: (1) comments
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