Category: Jon Brasfield and Amanda Richardson

I saw Snüzz live in concert solo only once, last year, while I was living in North Carolina with Jon and Amanda. It was some kind of multi-band benefit thing, and the Brasfields, ardent fans of his, convinced me to go and take a cute girl from OKCupid.

The show (like the date) was a mixed success. It introduced me to Midtown Dickens, my favorite lo-fi act, but while Snüzz was great, he only played for about twenty minutes. Afterwards he sat next to us in the audience, and I mentioned that I was a friend of Jon’s; he smiled broadly and said hey, yeah, Jon and Amanda were awesome, he hoped to see them again sometime. Then I said I’d enjoyed the show but wished it had been longer. He opened his mouth, hesitated, then smiled (less broadly) and just said thanks.

Turns out he was probably forced to stop early by the symptoms of his then-undiagnosed lymphoma. I wish I’d known to say something more tactful. He’s holding the second of a couple benefit concerts himself now; the first was to raise funds for his medical bills, and this one for a group that helps buffer cancer victims against unforeseen costs.

It’s not like I have many non-Brasfield contacts in North Carolina, but hey, if you like good music you should go and toss some money in the hat. It’s this Sunday night at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro.

Jude: Child of the Oughts

Jon and Amanda are having their baby, and Jon is blogging it live! I’ve been following along as the due date came and went with mounting anticipation (like, surely more than THEY have been), so I’m really glad they’re keeping us updated so closely. The child I can ruin is almost here!

Sumana, you should probably stop reading here

What you have to understand about the Burger King Loaded Steakburger is that I had no choice in the matter. The moment I spied it billboardwise, during the long drive west, I was gripped by the same potent mixture of revulsion and lust that came upon me once in college, when Jon and I first saw the commercial for the Bacon Club Chalupa. We turned to each other, then, eyes wide and desperate, like two men drowning who each believe the other can swim.

Neither could.

So it was only a matter of time before I ran out of excuses for not planting this particular meatbomb in my face. Leaving the drive-thru not ten minutes ago, I left steering to my nervous left hand while my right fumbled through wrappers. The first thing I saw was the edge of the patty, protruding a full inch beyond the hapless bun like a beckoning pseudopod; the second was the utter absence of traditional dressing. There is no pickle here, no tomato. The bastards have delivered a sullen daub of gray potato and onion shards instead, and they have somehow transmuted lettuce to bacon. The rites involved are none I care to imagine.

The sandwich is not good. I stress this even in the full knowledge that it will accomplish nothing; those who weren’t going to eat it won’t, and the rest of you will have no more agency than I did. But like any Lovecraftian narrator, I am bound to commit these desperate words by sheer force of narrative. I must write of its taste, like barbecue Spam fried in motor oil. I must write of its texture, which is also like barbecue Spam fried in motor oil. I must tell you how it sits in my stomach e’en now, heavily roiled, plotting its course downward with the slow cunning of a brain-damaged tiger on spelunk.

Taco Bell recently reintroduced the Bacon Club Chalupa. Should I even have time to post this missive, I cannot imagine that I will outlive it long. The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some crispy flatbread, sliding deep-fried fingers up to caress the latch.

Jon also introduced me to Dancer in the Dark. Jon likes to hurt me.

Almost exactly three years after I started Sad and Happy Movie Day, Jon and Amanda finally maneuvered me into actually watching Hotel Rwanda. We didn’t even have a happy movie to chase it with, but a couple episodes of Arrested Development made do.

I could have sworn that was Julia Sawalha playing the Red Cross worker, but IMDB says I am wrong. Dang. Oh, also the world is going to burn and we all deserve it.

The insignificance of numbers

Today I posted the 1001st story in Anacrusis, and I wanted to do something a little different for the occasion: an audio story, read aloud by a startling array of generous people. I thought the hardest part would be actually asking them to read the silly little thing without cringing, and the next-hardest would be the actual mixing process. It turns out that the hard part is not being able to use all the material from everyone for the whole thing. They were all so good!

Thanks to Robert Baker-Self, Maria Barnes, Amanda and Jon Brasfield, David Clark, Amanda Dale, Kevan Davis, John Dixon, Holly Gramazio, Josh Hadley, Sumana Harihareswara, Stephen Heintz, Catriona Mackay, William O’Neil, Leonard Richardson, Kristofer Straub, and everyone who’s had a kind or critical word to say about Anacrusis. Let’s do this again when we hit 10,201.

Yesterday Maria and I looked at the best apartment in the world, and today she applied for the lease; assuming she gets it, we’ll be moving in mid-February, and I will probably just be leaving my stuff in boxes in anticipation of leaving Kentucky. My very, very tentative plans for the move are to buy my brother’s truck for the transportation involved and drive to wherever I’m going sometime between February and April.

For those of you paying attention: yes, this means I’m going to get my driver’s license.

There really isn’t a better time in my life to do this. Everything I need to do my job fits in a backpack, and I can work from any coffee shop in the country. All that’s missing is a destination.

Excluding New York City and the South in general, where should I move? I want to live in a metropolitan area with a healthy tech sector. Also, truck or no truck, I want somewhere with good public transportation. Chicago (sorry, Flora) and St. Louis don’t really interest me; all the places I’ve traditionally talked about are coastal, but it’s not like I surf. Said places:

  • Boston: I understand there is neat stuff here, and also they put all the cars underground.
    • Downside: I’ve never been there and I might dislike it for the same reasons I dislike New York (cold, dark, smells bad, cost of living).

  • Providence: I’ve been there and I liked it a lot.
    • Downside: Not really a rising-star tech city, and rumor has it the sun sets for six months at a time. Iffy public transit (but highly walkable).

  • San Francisco Bay Area: Been there and liked it too. Kind of the standard to which I compare all other potential destinations.
    • Downside: I would be a twentysomething male web developer living in the SF Bay Area. Also, insane rent.

  • Seattle: High scores in tech and coffee-shop availability.
    • Downside: See SF Bay Area.

  • Portland: Apparently the place where kids move these days.
    • Downside: See Boston.

  • Hilo or Honolulu: Ian might be in Hilo in August, plus, y’know, Hawaii.
    • Downside: This is a stupid idea.

  • Greensboro or Raleigh-Durham: The model of a rising tech area; driving distance from Jon and Amanda.
    • Downside: Jon and Amanda might be moving, and more importantly, this defeats the whole point of getting out of the South.

  • San Diego: I’ve been there and I liked it; solid tech score; not wet, dark or smelly; people can crash my place for Comic Con.
    • Downside: Poor public transit. Would probably be considered outcast for weird skin patterns that emerge when I tan.

  • London: I have beautiful illusions of this place.
    • Downside: This isn’t actually a possibility. I’m pretty sure I cannot legally work there, or afford to live there under a weak dollar. Also I’m enjoying those illusions and would dislike having them crushed. Consider all this repeated for Sydney and Toronto.

The pachyderm in the pantry is that except for the unlikely choices (North Carolina, London, possibly Hawaii), I have no friends in any of these places, and I am spectacularly bad at meeting new people. All of my current friends were obtained through academic programs with enforced social contact or Internet. So, friends on Internet: where should I move?

Update 1038 hrs: Maria got the apartment! Who wants to give me driving lessons?

Thanks to everybody who has commented or emailed with advice and information. You guys are the best Internet ever!