“Guys, this could be huge”: a good news / bad news story told by your band’s manager (inspired by @believermag’s 2012 music issue)

October 27, 2012 § Leave a comment


"Amazing news, guys. That literary magazine I told you about a while ago, well I just heard that they listened to the CD I sent them and they love your song and it's going  into a compilation that's going to be distributed to all of their readers as part of their annual music issue. Remember what I told you: this is The. Perfect. Audience. They're literate, hip, and a bit affluent too, and that doesn't hurt, right? I think this is a bullseye hit. A huge win.

Just one thing and it's really not a problem but I just thought I'd mention it because I know we were talking about communication the other day, anyway, it's possible most of the people who get it won't be able to listen to it.

Okay, that's it. Call me back if you want. So proud of you guys! Okay, bye."


Can you imagine the type of person who gets this far and presses “Enter”?

July 21, 2012 § Leave a comment


It’s like putting the barrel of a gun in your mouth and imagining what comes next.


The Race Against Time #longreads #running

July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

"A champion marathoner and a champion horse are both physiological marvels; the difference is, the marathoner understands that he is in a race."


12 Days Later or, The Family Abides

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment


Since a few days after Edmund was born we've been getting out and about. The dog's getting walked. Baby slings dusted off. Foursquare mayorships of playgrounds defended. We're doing okay. Friends and family stocked us up with food right away so we had a few days at the beginning to find our feet. Today we went for our first session of grocery shopping as a family unit since the expansion. All along the pregnancy Samson's reaction to being replaced as the baby of the house loomed as a big wildcard, but he's turned out to be an affectionate and attentive big brother, and we're lucky that he's just coming into a phase where he's trying to get good at manners, offering up please and thank you without needing prompting, and asking questions — "Mama do you like to come read a book with Samson?" — where he used to only issue demands. He's even volunteered for naps a couple of times recently. We're really proud of him. For a guy who hasn't yet celebrated his 3rd birthday, he's dealing with cataclysmic change extremely well.

So anyway, we know we can survive okay on weekends and under weekend-like conditions.

What's less clear (to me) is how to get along on weekdays when I'm at work and Allie's alone with the 2 boys and Edmund's not respecting the boundaries of his diaper and Samson's nap didn't take and he's doing the pee-pee dance but refusing to do anything constructive about it (i.e. acting his age). I'm sure she's already got an idea of how to keep the household humming while I just worry about what'll happen when I'm not here to… what?… change some diapers and start a load of laundry?

On second thought, this is all going to be fine as soon as I either stop worrying about it or leave for 10 hours.

“… the only acceptable deviation from traditional masculinity is queerness”

May 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Walk Like a Man


Maiden voyage in my weirdo shoes, aka. Vibram Five Fingers Bikila #runTO

May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Men's Vibram Fivefingers Shoes Bikila Royal Blue Black Grey

  1. Went for a "short run". Not sure how far I ran because I messed up setting my new Nike+ GPS watch. It was taking the signal only from the shoe sensor, which I haphazardly clipped to the side of the strap. In this position, it apparently doesn't do a very good job of recording motion. According to the watch: Time: ~20 mins. Correct. Distance: ~1.5 km. Dubious. (Google Maps estimates 3.5 km.)
  2. Minimal though these are, any shoe is a form of technology. And even the most useful technology introduces itself as a distraction from what you're trying to do with it. So it was a good thing the shoes were the only brand new tech with me on my run this morning. My attention was focused on how my feet and legs felt. (The GPS watch has been with me for a handful of runs now, but I've still got some things to learn — see above.)
  3. Normally my left foot gives me problems. Specifically, my left fifth metatarsal. On today's run, no pain from there at all. But on my right I was feeling some strain in my achilles tendon a couple km into the run. I breathed deep, focused, and relaxed the discomfort away. I can see value in switching between shoes depending on planned distance and how I'm feeling. Not sure these would ever become my only shoes.
  4. You really shouldn't start here. I've been running in minimal shoes for a couple of months now. And before that, I was working on developing a forefoot strike in my neutral bargain bin Mizunos. "Barefoot" shoes are something you come to in the course of becoming a certain type of runner. Better to start in a shoe that feels familiar and work on refining your technique in that context before adopting gear that feels foreign.
  5. My achilles tendons feel fine. And my feet feel great. But my calves feel so abused I might just go ahead and sell them for veal. It's a "good" muscle pain in that it's not really pain. But I can already see how long the road ahead of me is if I want to be running in a "barefoot" shoe for distances over 5 km.

The Delta blues was born in the pages of the Sears catalogue

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

"There was no Delta blues before there were cheap, readily available steel-string guitars. And those guitars, which transformed American culture, were brought to the boondocks by Sears, Roebuck & Co."


I got my first steelstring Yamaha plywood top dreadnought from the Sears catalogue.

The #supermoon on my street

May 6, 2012 § Leave a comment


With streetlights for comparison. Excuse the finger. 

34 years ago my body was extracted from my mother’s. And yet I’m still there… [audio: 20 mins]

May 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Six years ago, wearing his NPR science-correspondent hat, Robert presented listeners with this question: what if we told you that legions of fetal cells hang out inside a mother for decades after she gives birth — and might even help heal her when she’s sick or hurt? Back then he described this as a “too dangerously beautiful idea” for the scientists researching fetal cells. They wanted to believe it, but the evidence wasn’t there yet. One of those scientists was Kirby Johnson at Tufts University, who explained that the cells might also hurt the mother. He wasn’t sure which. “I think that that’s something that we’re going to see within the next five years or less,” Kirby said. So, Robert thought it was high-time to call Kirby for an update, and to ask once again about Kirby’s personal stake in the work he’s doing.

This podcast goes viral in 5… 4… 3… 2…….

On the eve of my 34th birthday

April 30, 2012 § Leave a comment