Hot for the presses

shellac is touring, according to pitchfork, and they're playing at a vfw hall in fairview heights, illinois. i don't know why, but that's pretty damn cool. i'm not sure if i should go, since i'd be standing there the whole time waiting for them to play "my black ass" and "prayer to god" (thanks, vasant--but i haven't managed to start listening to the rest of them yet). then again, i think half the crowd would be waiting to hear "prayer to god," judging from how often people get to this site looking for mp3s of that song.

no one bothered to tell me that the new hayden live disc has "woody" on it, which is quite a fine song. as if i wasn't going to buy it the moment it comes out in america anyway... (no comments please, kate, about how you've had it for months now--such comments would make me cry).

have i ever mentioned that best-ofs and box sets are vital to the musical knowledge of cheapskates like myself? i'm not sure if the beat happening box is worth it to me, but it's still a cool idea. oh, and the camper van beethoven (five cds at a three-cd price) box set is a godsend...whenever it comes out.

why is she holding a ferret?

all right, i'm back after an absence that, for once, was warranted. luckily, the car made it to milwaukee and back without blowing up or ramming me in to a wall or anything like that. obviously, that was good.

as to the funeral, etc., i'm not really sure what to say about it. i needed it--i needed a chance to say good-bye with my family. i'm trying to avoid getting all reflective and everything about it (as that would inherently involve many words and little coherence), so i'll just leave it at that.

i will, however, make a list of things i did not know prior to the past few days:

i did not know that my dad's parents lived in or around milwukee for their entire lives.

i did not know that milwaukee has the coooolest (yes, i meant that--it's so cool that it needs four o's to properly articulate its coolness) looking art museum. seriously. go look (click on "more on mam", then "photo gallery"). it was so freaking amazing that i didn't actually go in any of the exhibits.

i did not know that every male under the age of thirty who lives in illinois really likes souping up (aka "tricking out") their cars. i have never seen so many huge exhaust pipes in my life.

i did not, and still do not, know how to respond when someone says that they're sorry. i know that "thank you" suffices, but i can't say it and make it sound believable. i don't know why.

i did not know that one of my aunts (on the other side of my family) is a lesbian.

i did not know that serbian restaurants existed. but they do, and we went to this one, and it was fabulous. the food was great, the owner is this great guy named branko (oddly enough, my late grandfather had a brother by the same name), and one of the waitresses was among the most attractive women i've ever seen.

i did not know that it was possible for me to be stopped by a cop (illinois state trooper, but whatever) and not get a ticket. i got a warning.

i did not know that my dad was so hardcore about his new-found hobby of genealogy. we spent an hour and a half at dusk in a cemetary looking for tombstones for relatives of mine. you think my last name is weird? they get weirder as you go back.

i did not know that chicago would suck all knowledge of north vs. south out of my head, forcing me to drive for several miles in intense downtown traffic in the wrong direction while trying to find my friend nicole's apartment. i did eventually find it, though.

i did not know that i would ever think that i could survive on a diet made up entirely of frozen custard from kopp's. seriously. it's enough to kill a man with happiness. i had bienenstich kuchen (almond custard with almonds, honey, bavarian creme, and yellow cake (yeah, you read right, yellow cake in the custard)), and i could have died right then and there. and i won't even go into the "never enough chocolate" flavor, because i already miss it. the thing is, kopp's has a different special flavor every day (they have september's flavors on the website--go look for yourself), so i have a feeling that if i lived in milwaukee i'd weigh about 500 pounds.

i took a few pictures, and they mostly are overexposed and bad, but i'll still probably scan some and put them up here. sometime soon.

oh, and a million thanks to those of you and your kind words. i needed it.