Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Airport, USA

The following is the travel status of my vacation so far: Saturday night, I flew out of Seattle into Chicago via the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. I have been in Chicago, or at least the suburbs thereof, since, and tonight I and a part of my family (my sister, aunt, uncle, and three cousins) leave for Shannon Ireland.

One thing the trip has made me think about is airports. Airports are a strange place. In being in one for an hour or two while you transfer, you may be visiting a place you have never been to before. At the same time, you are not really seeing that place, but rather a large hub airport, a sort of culture into itself that exists outside of the local region, and indeed exists more in a series of remote locations. So while individual airports might contain some hints of the civilization just beyond its FAA-run borders - a locally themed gift shop, ads for local businesses, what have you - they all (at least within a given country, and to an extent outside of it) are basically the same place. It's as if one big city were split into a thousand pieces and distributed throughout the US and abroad.

Given that, the list of place I've been doesn't tend to include places where I've only been to the airport. So while I had been to Chicago O'Hare years before now, I hadn't actually been to Chicago until the other day; I had just been to the ORD district of the international airport continuum.

The other parts of the continuum I have visited where I have not visited the surrounding non-airport regions:

AMS (Amsterdam)
DTW (Detroit)
BOS (Boston Logan)
MSP (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
IAH (Houston)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Unmitigated GAAHL

Gaahl from Gorgoroth: Total Queerbo?

Excusing the fact that commenters on sites like Blabbermouth are the reason I usually can't stand metalheads, I think this is the most fantastic thing that I have ever heard ever.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


How have I not heard of this before!?

Must see soon.

Oh, also I'm going to Ireland next week. You probably knew that. I'll tell you all about it, I promise.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh That Funny Old Man

In 1986, John McCain told the following joke during a Senate campaign:

"Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’"

Think the media is going to mention this? Now imagine Barack Obama said it. Think the media would mention that? Hell, imagine any other politician said it, think the media might mention it?

Write your local journalist.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


The following CDs have been completely kicking my ass lately:

Opeth - Watershed
Tyr - Land
Agua de Annique - Air
Novembre - Classica
Novembre - Novembrine Waltz
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads

A couple of these are not exactly new, and the Nick Cave album is a classic by now anyway. But they have all been in heavy rotation for me just recently. Everyone should go out and buy or download all of these.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Yeah, Damn Bloggers!

JOHN MCCAIN: “Now we’ve got the cables. We’ve got talk radio. We’ve got the bloggers. I hate the bloggers. We’ve got all kinds of sources of information.”
(thanks to Crooks and Liars)

McCain hates all internet traditions. But more importantly he refers to cable TV as "the cables." That is every bit as good as "the internets."

Friday, July 04, 2008


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Flúgva valkyrjur á val

Týr are an excellent band. I have been blasting their new album almost constantly the past few days. The way they blend old folk tunes with proggy metal and heavy metal (almost reminiscent of Metallica sometimes (only better)).

One thing I've noticed about Týr songs in general - or at least the ones specifically based on old Faroese songs and lays - is that the choruses tend to have seemingly unimportant lines in the focus. For example, in the song from their second album (Eric the Red), "Regin Smi∂ur," the chorus translates as follows:

Greyfell carried the gold from the heath
He swung his sword in wrath
Sigfried defeated the dragon
Greyfell carried the gold from the heath

Notice the line that is repeated. There is sword swinging and dragon defeating going on, but the part emphasized is Greyfell (who is not even the titular character of the song) carrying gold.

Then, on the new album (Land), the chorus of "Fípan Fagra":

Loud beats in hall
Soldiers ride forth
A maiden plays in goves* with the nobleman

This is a little more central to the story of the song as it is about the referred-to maiden. Still, the details seem a little off-topic.

But more to the point, the latter song is completely fantastic. It, along with "Ocean," "Sinklars Vísa," and "Valkyrjar" have been in heavy rotation on my iTunes and in my car. I leave you with the untranslated chorus from the gorgeously arranged "Fípan Fagra."

Há trummar í høll
Hermenn rí∂a fram
Jomfrú leikar í lundum vi∂ tann edilmann

*I don't know what this was supposed to be; the translations in the cd booklet are not the best.