Sunday, December 28, 2008

the unified theory of everything

as expressed by the six toothpaste tubes in my bathroom, and the exhortation on each: FOR BEST RESULTS, SQUEEZE TUBE FROM THE BOTTOM AND FLATTEN AS YOU GO UP

1) go to the store and look at the different types of toothpaste! there are so many! some have Scope (TM) or Listerine (TM) or tiny, tiny breath strips in them! toothpaste is so fun i forgot i already have six half used tubes at home!

2) when tube is full, squeeze in the middle! it doesn't matter! the best part is the very first squeeze! i wish they made toothpaste tubes that were only first squeezes! why bother squeezing tube from the bottom and flattening? we'll NEVER need to do that! this will be full FOREVER!!!

3) shit, the tube is not full enough to squeeze in the middle and have toothpaste come out anymore. silently resent toothpaste tube.

4) glance covetously at your roommate's toothpaste, which is AquaFresh, and always comes out in those three stripes, but you suspect is made out of pure sugar.

5) wonder if you should be using the Tom's of Maine that's in the bathroom, but remember that it tastes like drywall, and besides you'd have to squeeze from the bottom, and in your high-stress lifestyle, who has time?

6) squeeze tube from bottom and flatten as you go up. one time. wipe off of toothbrush, squeeze roommate's tube of sparkly Kidz XTREME toothpaste from middle.

7) stop by CVS because it was "on your way" (it wasn't); buy new shampoo bottle and box of cereal, since your house is only full of almost-but-not-quite-entirely-used bottles and boxes of each, and while you're there, go back to step 1).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

god only knows

there is a picture, somewhere, of brian wilson and a goat. he is wearing this coat (from the pet sounds album cover shoot). i need it.

Monday, December 22, 2008


i'm going back to the ol' place-of-work tonight, i think, for a holiday potluck. i also get to pick up my winnings-- one bottle of bourbon, and some scratch for winning the fantasy football season (UruguayUnited comes through huge). this should keep me going for a few more weeks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

alec, you might ask, gently,

why are you recording seven minutes of rain? why, also, are you recording seven more minutes of rain bouncing off the skylights? why, also, are you inevitably going to pan one into one channel and one into another?

why, you ask?

Why? Because I believe life is for the living. I believe in taking risks and biting off more than you can chew. And also, people were yelling and I got confused about the rules.

and, most importantly, BECAUSE I CAN

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

new song up

may it inspire you to be, and look, more like will oldham.


reading this feels like the News of the Weird stupid criminal section in the CityPaper

jesus christ, blago, you are the WORST.

Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being "stuck" as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife's employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office. (link)

I can see it now: Rod Blagojevich, standing on stage, flanked by his family and his vice presidential pick, Mobutu Sese Seko, declaring victory and then diving into a
pool of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck.

thank you, at least, for looking so sleazy that we all should have seen this coming since day 1. but, you say, thank goodness that none of the upstanding politicians in squeaky-clean Illinois encouraged him in this behavior! cue daily show-style incriminating clip.

According to the statement from prosecutors, Mr. Blagojevich told an adviser last week that he might “get some (money) upfront, maybe” from one of the candidates hoping to replace Mr. Obama. That person was identified only as “Candidate 5.”

In an earlier recorded conversation, prosecutors say, Mr. Blagojevich said he was approached by an associate of “Candidate 5” with an offer of $500,000 in exchange for the Senate seat. (link)

Friday, December 5, 2008

i just want to remind you all of this

it's very much in keeping with my blog title.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

a gem from dowd's mostly dumb vanity fair article on tina fey


Watching a parade consisting of Mark Wahlberg, a donkey, Palin, and her Secret Service agents, a visiting screenwriter observed, “This is like a Fellini movie.”



Thursday, November 27, 2008

dept. of not belaboring points

there are things that are less than perfect about today (food, ugly national history whitewashing, etc), but on the whole, the idea of being together with your family and giving thanks for the things you have is in the best tradition of secular humanism great.

also, thursday! good public planning. get it out of the way early.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

wednesdays are great.

we won at trivia tonight, again. steve came along and helped. dana's hunches were all correct. gabrielle knows a friend of mine, randomly! (the other guy i didn't know was next door neighbors for my mom's old principal/boss at the elementary school where she teaches! WEIRD.) she also did research on puppet movies, when i thought they were puppy movies, so that helped the team knowledge and allowed jessica to finally understood my turner & hooch joke. steve and my joanna newsom love helped us successfully answer an astronomy question. jessica also threatened me but also offered to give me a pep talk, which is a very jessica thing to do, by which i mean an awesome thing. i didn't get punched in the neck, my lymph node didn't explode, and my brief whining was tolerated long enough for me to turn around my crappy two days.

so there you have it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a letter i want to send to charlie kaufman

dear charlie kaufman,

i don't anticipate this ever getting to you, since i'm not sending it, but i thought you'd appreciate it. my friend beth and i went to see synecdoche, new york and afterward she overheard this from a man outside the theater:

"i didn't get it. it felt really long, but it was only two hours!"


Monday, November 10, 2008

we are great conversationalists

0:14 PM me: my apologies for venting but that's what i needed to do
Meredith: i understand
me: (feeling a little sorry for myself enters into that)
Meredith: keep me posted on this
the prospect of you pooping your pants is interesting
if nothing else
10:15 PM did you see michelle obama's white house visit dress?
me: hahaha
10:16 PM yes there is a lot of humor value here
and also the only emotional energy i've spent in monts
it was orange right
Meredith: yeah, orangey red. so good
maybe you should spend some emotional capital somewhere else.
just give it a shot
10:17 PM go out, spend some emotional dollars
me: you invest capital
cmon who are you, bush?
if i could, i would
my emotional capital is extremely illiquid
Meredith: solid?
10:18 PM me: no
very difficult to make into liquid assets to sell or trade or spend
Meredith: i know i know
i was making a joke
me: it's like commercial real estate.
i know.
Meredith: i know what liquid means
10:19 PM me: but it was a good use of financial terms!
i'm not worthless, my portfolio is just very difficult to value right now!
don't make me sell at firesale prices, meredith!
that would be FOLLY
10:20 PM Meredith: oh geez
me: hahahahaha
now i can call sex "capital infusions"
i feel better.
Meredith: hahahahahahahahahaha
10:21 PM omg. that mystey show was ridiculous!
that man is hilarious
me: was it not?!?
Meredith: it was absurd

Sunday, November 9, 2008

i think we can all agree

Friday, October 31, 2008

update: at least a half-dozen strangers said "BAUMER!!" to me tonight. i think that, let alone the other good things about tonight, made it a success.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

i think i'll need a new heart

stephin "neither my first nor last name is spelled quite like you think it is" merritt

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i love reading the paper in hard copy format

if you are not lucky enough to do this with the washington post (which is well-nigh unreadable online), you might have missed this gem today.

i have included a picture of him primarily because of his turtleneck.

Monday, October 20, 2008

this thing looks like that thing

while i'm on the posting train, here are a few other things. they're mostly all beard-related.

i am probably going to be richie tenenbaum for halloween, because though it is sort of played out, i've got the beard and i've got to use it. if you have better suggestions (maybe raleigh st. clair? i'd need a lot of Just for Men: Touch of Gray for that). my friend meredith is going as max fischer, which i think is perfect, and these decisions were made separately and unbeknownst to the other. once is happenstance. twice is coincidence. three times is enemy action.
in other news, while obtaining my daily double macchiato, the girl at starbucks asked me if i listened to death from above 1979, and said i look like that guy (i didn't specify but i'm assuming the bass player, who is awesome [though upon further review, it looks like the bass player usually has just a moustache, so you be the judge]) or ben bridwell from band of horses. i also thought about buying a pair of maroon jeans from h&m, because i feel like if i can get mistaken for people who are actually cool, i should just go all out in dressing like an idiot. people will have certain expectations for me and i shan't disappoint them.

i didn't, though. i just bought two button down grey striped shirts, because my other twentyfive from h&m were getting lonely.

come to think of it, "i've got the beard and i've got to use it" is a pretty good mantra.


i've been thwarted twice in my quest. i needs. i wants. i will have.



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

i would like a grande expresso.

i haven't really done anything with myself yet. i did find a way to put that picture in the title of my blog, so i guess i have done one thing, and it necessitates another blog post so that it doesn't conflict with the one below. so, in the spirit of living in the moment, this is where i'm going now:

all their babies are vegan-- and delicious!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

tell me what it's like to never worry

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

i must have missed this earlier

this appears to be the definitive palin rape kit post. read.

even if we tried so hard, would we still be coming to an end?

the place i get bagels in the morning is right below our building. it's a greek restaurant that primarily does lunch, catering, and rotating greek specialties. seems to be doing well, since it's one of the only local-run lunch places within five blocks of here, and the food is generally good. who doesn't like greek? (not real great for vegetarians, but i am assuming.)

they also have breakfast, coffee, a seldom-used espresso machine, and bagels. h & h bagels, to be specific. fresh from new york. they are easily the best bagels i've had in DC-- which, admittedly, is like saying i'm easily the tallest person on Lilliput-- and have traditionally been coupled with a gigantic styrofoam cup of iced tea, no ice, which i take upstairs and pour over ice for the equivalent of 3 glasses of tea. $4.39 for bagel and cream cheese and tea-- if they had a tip jar, i would have chipped in tons of cash over the 18 months we've been at this office.

the people who work there all know me pretty well by now, and are really, really friendly. the big boss, when he's around, is this super greek looking guy who insists on engaging every single person who comes in. there's a weird mixture of english, greek, and spanish (with different accents) that are spoken behind the counter, which always amuses/delights me, because i don't think i've ever let on that i understand or speak spanish. the guy who makes my bagels on most mornings is my buddy, as is the guy who works the register. it's sort of a de facto family.

i used to go every day. i've gotten really sloppy in recent weeks, and we got an iced tea machine in the office, so i haven't been going. so, when i went in today (at about 11am, the whole place is empty as they're getting ready for catering and the lunch rush), all of them greeted me kindly and immediately commented on my beard. i swear to god the damn thing is a conversation piece. they treated it (and me) with a mixture of amusement, confusion, and enthusiasm. so i told them about how it's for the election, and how i'm going traveling.

i don't know if i can flog the point that i'm going to miss dc any more than i already have. i'm looking forward to having stories about other places, and to returning.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

re: stacks

this is what i did this morning.

i played in front of a big gothic building last night. mixed talking heads and destroyer. mixed wilson pickett, the national, and bob dylan. used a delay pedal.

today it took me a long time to wake up, longer to get out of bed. i combed my beard (after the video), ate a tempeh bacon lettuce tomato sandwich, and bought a radio alarm clock in the hopes of being able to wake up if NPR comes on instead of a hellish beeping.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

i think blogs are like DFW footnotes, for life

let me see if i can weave a bunch of convoluted references into a linear progression:

1. had the same bus driver today that i had on my previous post! he was not as talkative, maybe a little sad, but i do project that on others.

2. man on bus with a moustache (different one this ti
me) commented on my beard.. at least i thought he did, and i ignored it at first, thinking it was not about me. i got confirmation when he asked me if i wanted to visit iran, because the mullahs would really like me with my gnarly beard and lack of tie (wearing collared shirt sans tie as per my strict personal dresscode). i took the 'compliment' as gracefully as possible.

3. that made me think of this video which is worth watching again, because it's funny, because fred armisen is adorable, beacuse they ripped off a great aphex twin piano line, and because gay panic jokes are not usually funny, but they're goddamn hilarious when in regards to ahmedinejad.

3b. which reminds me, andy samberg is dating joanna newsom. i was initially really mixed up about that, but i've sort of made my peace. sort of. i still might try to hurt him.

3(c)(4). which reminds me, this is like brandon's obsession and subsequent disillusionment with scarlett johansson, except almost the opposite; the common thread is that i think we both are on some level inspired to volcanic, impotent fulmination by them. and yes i read everyone's blog in the universe. sorry.

god knows that volcanic, impotent fulmination is my middle name.

Monday, September 29, 2008


i fully intend to write a wrap-up of my overall fantastic weekend, soon, but until then here are some things that make me joyful:

i contracted for a custom-made amp cover at crafty bastards. houndstooth! go here for bags from the same charming designer. seriously, who makes custom amp covers?

i'm also going to get a custom-made awesome 60's luggage pedalboard/suitcase for music stuff. they don't have anything online but trust my judgment. now all i have to do is learn how to play music that will live up to the style of my gear!


Friday, September 26, 2008

the city

there are a lot of things that i'm going to (probably viscerally) miss as i go on the road over the next couple months, normalcy being a big one, but the busride brought some of the little things into focus.

the busdriver was this awesome, awesome man with a super deep voice who is great at driving the bus and at being friendly. he's older, probably in his fifties, and seemingly knows everybody. i always recognize him and say hello (i am very friendly with busdrivers. they make me happy, in general), and so my morning started off right. it was also jacket weather. he picked us up at lamont street, and drove very prudently, which i appreciate. jobs well done are jobs well done. i decided not to crack open breakfast of champions, which i'm re-reading, because i didn't feel like it and because it's sort of a bad book to read on the bus due to vonnegut's hilarious and sometimes dirty illustrations. so i was looking around, listening to the busdriver's conversation, noticing other folks. my bus is great because it's always got a slightly different mix of people. one guy looked to be iraqi (which is a guess), in his fifties, well kept moustache, blue dress shirt, dark blue slacks. he was wearing sandles (this type). there are always hispanic ladies, but no kids today.

two things happened that are worth noting. first, we always drive by the planned parenthood on 16th and L, and i tend to look out and see if anybody's protesting under normal circumstances. today, we stopped at the light at L and everybody noticed there were tons of people outside (60+, this is not a big front lawn), and i think several others assumed they were protesting. but then we realized that they were primarily kids, from age 8 to 18 or so, and they were all wearing similar shirts... my next thought was that it was a church group, but what sort of church group takes friday off to come protest planned parenthood with 8 year olds?! then, and these thoughts were going through my head in real time at the same rate they were going through other people's heads-- there's a school right next to PP, on the corner, and from a certain angle you could see a flashing strobe light. fire drill! i think, actually, that the kids were blocking the sightlines of two or three white college-aged protesters who were kneeling and praying at the building. sucks to your ass-mar, anti-choice zealots!

the second was a little bit of jesus wisdom from my bus driver. often along 16th street there are multiple S2 and S4 buses running at the same time, and sometimes they'll pass one another. a rather imprudent driver came up and kept trying to pass our bus, and finally at around U street he/she did so. our busdriver was talking to one of the passengers up front, i think, or he might have just said this offhand and out loud: "Don't you worry, the first shall be last and the last shall be first" in his baritone voice, and kind of chuckled. If i ever run for office, that's going to be my made-up-Found-Jesus moment, because i immediately grinned and just thought, YES. that's the most enlightened view of busdriving, and life, i've heard in quite some time.

they're closing down the homeless shelter right next to my work today, and hauling out the beds, and there are police all around. it was scheduled to happen next wednesday but they secretly moved it up so as to avoid protests. there's no alternative site they're setting up-- it's basically Fenty saying, good luck in the outlying parts of the city, we want you out of downtown so we can build a hotel. it's total bullshit. i think fenty could use a little busdriver advice: don't you worry, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. i'm going to miss this fantastic, fucked up city, and i already can't wait to return.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

mccain cancels debate to take nap; implores americans to sacrifice and "go see alec's show instead"

i'm glad i don't own anything of value

When I die, they’ll want to put my face on money-- if there were money in the future, instead of just hugs and internet memes!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

the conclusive philosophical proof that all long-haired bearded dudes are music geniuses





josh it in your josh blog

glinks says:
yeah, i mean... if they're using the template (she said they were), it might not be bad, but i'll let you know if it turns retarded
glinks says:
not that you'll care! you big bully
alec says:
alec says:
i do care
alec says:
you know this
glinks says:
i know
alec says:
but in another important way
alec says:
i don't care
glinks says:
i just JOSH with you
alec says:
so cram it in your cram hole
alec says:
glinks says:
josh it in your josh blog
alec says:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

x marks the spot

this is the (dream) plan

said it was good to be alive

i am in a rough mood, so let's focus on the positive. the weather today could not be better. twelve calendar days until the end of the quarter. twenty two calendar days until the end of work. and i've got holland, 1945 stuck in my head.

which led me back to an idea that's been kicking around in my head along with my other grand and probably unworkable plans: monthly drunken cover singalongs. here's the pitch: lots of people like to go to/host dance parties, in which good times are had and alcohol is consumed. as is well documented, i don't like dance parties very much. as is also well documented, i love playing other people's songs. so, what i want to do is curate and host the first edition of a hopefully monthly gathering of folks hanging out, imbibing, and having a big ol' singalong.

i have no idea if this will work, be weird, be well attended, or what. but i think it'd be a hell of a lot of fun, especially if a few people (me, others) were actually excited about the ethos of it, namely, to participate and share and have fun unironically via music. so, preferably no snide covers of radio rap, no forced participation, etc. byob, byoinstruments. i'll need to get an upright piano. three part harmonies encouraged.

brainstorm a tracklist with me in the comments. forward this to anyone you would want to have involved. tentative ideas: neutral milk hotel, fleet foxes, CSN(Y), spoon, pavement, sufjan, bowie, talking heads, joanna newsom (duh), wilco, bon iver... i guess anything that's on the tip of people's tongues. we'd publish it in advance for learning purposes, and if muxtape were still around i'd make one of those. maybe i'll post the tracks... ON MY BLOG.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

draft calendar

important dates in my life, first draft version. add yourself in the comments!

sept. 26 (friday): show @ the red and the black. seriously, please come.
sept. 30 (tuesday): last full day of work
oct. 3-5 (friday-sunday): maybe going to richmond for okkervil river and friends
oct. 10 (friday): last day of work forever; mdr show @ iota
oct. 18 (saturday): pittsburgh for elephant 6 travelling circus of a show, hanging out with my pgh adopted friends
sometime in between: making a record with poets and painters and kurt vonnegut's ghost in iowa city
oct. 28 (sunday): back to dc for magnetic fields
nov. 4 (tuesday): JUDGMENT DAY

sounds pretty good, right? want to join? want a piece of me post-election day?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"I was down on one knee and my eyeballs looked like novelty-shop eyeballs."

this article is geeky, technical, digressive, fanboy-ish, and two years old. it's also phenomenal. something about the story of the little boy and the context of dfw's recent suicide makes it that much more moving. and somehow life affirming? weird. i think my life is affirmed by reading a great writer who compulsively uses footnotes. there are dozens of us... dozens! thanks for everything.

Monday, September 15, 2008

downer... with jools holland

this is what i shoot for. you've got an affable british presenter named 'jools' thanking some fellows from glasgow, chatting about sensible dress, you know. typical variety show patter.

and then...

well, stick that in your craw, jools. justin vernon busts out the definitive version of this song. i love, and i mean like :D love, performances that demand your attention like this one does, even though/especially because it's in such a weird context. nobody's remembering the banter after that one.

other than that, the other song i've been obsessed with recently is pretty much the exact opposite of the one above. listen, or do as i do and listen on repeat 15 times in a row.

on purpose

i like italics.

i like italics.

at least in the abstract. they give words momentum. songs should almost always be written in italics, not to imply that they are emphasizing every single word but to feel like they're going somewhere, that they have a purpose of their own, even if the italics should be backwards-- songs that are so comfortable in where they're going that they don't have to get there with any particular speed or purposefulness.

maybe it's the illusion of purpose. just italicizing something doesn't make it worthwhile or win the argument or your attention for more than a second. you seem like a charlatan or a National Review Online commenter or a sadly befuddled protester outside McPherson Square when you overuse italics. (or hyperlinks for that matter). when used correctly, though, even the act of writing and italicizing a word can make you talk out loud to your computer screen-- yes, that is what i meant, or yes, that is what i agree with, or yes, that is how i feel.

as some of you know i'm leaving my job to go work on my soul a little bit. i'm going to travel as extensively as i can through the parts of the country without snow and try to play music and make friends in different cities and drink water and double espressos in as many places with wifi as possible. it feels like (and this is one of those comforting fabrications that i make up to make myself feel more impressive) i haven't had a week off since eighth grade, so i'm going to take about four months to try and make a record and read and write and experience. the point about italics, because there's always a point with me, is that i'm looking to make something that's worth italicizing, that i can share with other people and say, hey, this is worth your five or so minutes of contemplation before you go back to your undoubtedly complicated and mixed up life.

i think the process will be exciting and scary and illuminating, and i think i'll come out on the other side with a lot of the same hangups that i have now (and less money), and if i come across things i want to let you know about i'll put them here so you can keep track of what i'm up to and so that i can share it with you.

also, i will probably think of lots of funny jokes, and i will need a place to publish them to universal acclaim.