We All Have A Million Reasons Not To Do Something

Midwest Internet-Addicted Indie Kids, listen up. The Grand Rapids Marathon is going down. With slogan like Yes, You Can. and It's Your Time to Shine. this race is full of good vibes! Are you game or lame? Ok, I kid. You're not lame if you don't want to spend the next 13 weeks sweating out the Oreos. BUT, if you feel that in this moment of aimless wander-blogging, that you... yes YOU a) are an extreme individual who can quickly be convinced to commit to irrational things for no other reason than to do them (me) or b) are being summoned to a 3 month higher purpose, then by all means, keep reading.
A few of us have set our sights on GRThon 07. Now listen, I hate running as much as the next guy, but (for no valid reason) I need to do this. It's a test of will more than anything. We all love to create systems that help us feel a sense of progress. Here's a new one to try on! I'm following this Runner's World guide for first time marathon runners.

TIP: If you feel even slightly interested (even just curious), sign up RIGHT NOW. Seriously, don't think about it. Just do it. Trust me, that's how I got into this awesome mess. However, in the case that I can't finish the race in a respectable fashion, I'm working up a few prototypes for a wickedly aversive costume to exchange "respectable fashion" for "respectably fashionable". I'll be that annoying guy, the cow on roller skates, or better. Won't you join us?


LINK PICTURE LINK PICTURE (m-m-murkville, too)

Hello friends. It's been a while, no? Here I am back with a computer - your July Santa Claus - and I have many, many e-treats for all the children of the world.

Consider this YOU-ME-GO blog my sleigh.

On Prancer!

First of all... Murkville.
What is it? A children's story.
Does this video help explain it? No.
Am I giving it to you anyway? Yes.

I am probably just as confused as you are.

But!! Anathallo was given part of the Murkville story and we were asked to write our own musical version (topic: murderous bluish purplish berries). You can listen to it here.

For those of you (MOM and DAD?!) clamoring to sing along in your own falsetto:

"Scary Berries"

Do you see what I see?
A sweet lil berry
It looks sorta tasty
Let's (eat it)

You're turning colors
Let's not eat the others
Cause I've got my druthers
About those

Bluish purple scary berries
Swallow em and things get hairy
Drink the juice and some will stare
I've heard that you can lose your hair
Change a color so obscene
It starts with yellow, changes green
You're better off to be unseen

Once a boy on a dare
Put the berry on his tongue
Just for fun
But he screamed OH NO
What have I done?
That's the last he said to anyone.

First his tongue shrivelled up
He spit his teeth into a cup
His lips had puckered, face went sour
Countenance completely dour
His breath a stench to wilt a flower

Bluish purple scary berries
Swallow them and things get hairy
Drink the juice and some will stare
I've heard that you can lose your hair
Change a color so obscene
It starts with yellow, changes green
You're better off to be unseen


There you have it. And no, the new album will not be filled with two minute carnival songs.

Now for some more presents!

We've been writing on this thing for nearly six weeks now (THAT'S RIGHT) and it's pretty clear Anathallo has a predilection for scientists, pictures of scientists, and the work that has brought them (mild) fame.

With that said, Jonathan Schaeffer (ABOVE) and fellow miracle-workers at the University of Alberta have... get this.... SOLVED CHECKERS. The Machinist says it much better than I could, but let me give a try at an abridged version.

Jon is smart.
Wants to beat checkers. For good.
Starts work in 1989. I am seven years old.
Creates machine to analyze all 500 billion billion positions.
Yes. Double Billion.
Names machine CHINOOK.
---The word Chinookan refers to several groups of Native American tribes from the Pacific Northwest.
---They are the Native Americans that Lewis and Clark encountered on their expedition.
---I don't know if they played checkers frequently.
Back to Jon and friends (and machine).
It is 2007.
500 billion billion positions later.
Jon discovers a perfectly played game results in a draw.
A tie is like kissing your sister.

Here is your own chance at giving Chinook a smooch.


More?? Of course there's more.

This is Oscar the Cat.

You might not want him cuddling up besides you.

And while I hope you don't find yourself at the Steere House Nursing And Rehabilitation Centre in Rhode Island anytime soon...

...if it can't be avoided, try to keep your distance from Oscar.

(I hate clicking links as much as anybody else, but maybe you'll make an exception for articles entitled "Grim rea-purr: The cat than can predict death")



I want to see how many hits we can get from people googling the name JESSE LACEY.

If that was you, don't be disappointed! Afterall, it IS Christmas in July.

Why not take a peak under the tree? You didn't come all this way for nothing:

Hmmm... let's see if this won't do the trick:


Search engines will love me.


I think that's it! Bye!


Cornelius' Show Opening

One of the greatest moments at Coachella....right up there with seeing Paris Hilton, Cameron Diaz and Lindsey Lohan.


Double Indemnity

"No, I never loved you Walter -- not you or anybody else. I'm rotten to the heart. I used you, just as you said. That's all you ever meant to me. Until a minute ago, when I couldn't fire that second shot."

Well well well... looks like this week is going to be a hoot! It all kicks off tuesday night at Millennium Park with Double Indemnity at 8:50 pm. Now, I've never seen this classic, but after reading a plot summery, it appears as though the film has more internal character narrative than a Virginia Woolf novel. Shouldn't be hard to find one another among the trillions of folks. See you there...


It's Still All About Peer Pressure

Researcher Hye-Jin Paek (who doesn't have a Myspace, Facebook or blog page...come on Hye-Jin...let's get with the times) has done some interesting research on the affect anti-smoking ads have on middle-schoolers. She claims that ads with a simple authoritarian approach (you know the ones...'just say no') actually lead young people to be more attracted to smoking. I guess the rebellious thrill of doing something adults tell you not to is still cool. I suppose that's validation for me since 75% of my decisions in High School were simply made by doing the opposite of what I thought I was supposed to do. Oh well...mini-victory for James Dean, John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart!

BUT...the story doesn't end there. Paek found that ads were effective in deterring students from smoking when those students believed their peers were also being influenced by said ads. It seems that Paek believes health communicators should take the "Come on man...Nobody's doing it!" approach to tobacco awareness.

All this to say that peer pressure is still alive and kicking in middle schools across America. It's kind of like the Cold Fusion of influence among young people...you figure out how to harness that power and nothing can stand in your way! Let's hope the North Koreans don't get their hands on it first....



Please mix:

12 twin wrapped Swiss Cake Rolls
10 twin wrapped Zebra Cakes
8 individually wrapped Frosted Fudge Cakes
6 packets of Fudge Brownies
6 individually wrapped Oatmeal Creme Pies
1 box of Tangy Twister Mike & Ikes
1 Young Frankenstein
1 Grant Park
1 beautiful night
Lots and lots of friends
Lots and lots of your friends' potluck delights

What do you get?

I am going to go with "magic." You might say "stomach ache."

We both might be right.

I will try to take pictures!! Wish you were here!!

Yes, you.


On this...the Monster's Eve...

Well...tomorrow we witness Dr. Frankenstein as he raises his monster. I just wanted to remind anyone who was thinking of attending about the times: Movie starts promptly at 8:56pm but the crew is planning on showing up at 7:00 or 7:15 to get a decent spot and have some convo before the movie. The only thing that could dampen our spirits is the weather forecast for tomorrow night. According to weather.com we'll be at 40% chance of precipitation for the duration of the movie. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

And even if it does rain, what's the worst that could happen?...We wait until next week and see Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson in the 1944 Film-Noir classic "Double Indemnity".


Millennials... seriously?

We twenty-somethings... what are we? What sort of media cattle-brand do we sport? Does the "burn" (so to speak) look "cool" (so to speak) on our "skin" (so to speak)? I arrived at an article in this month's issue of Conscious Choice Magazine and found the answers to this short list of questions concerning which of the generation buzz-tags we (early to mid) twenty-somethings have the gift of lugging around. First of all, I'd like to say that Conscious Choice is a really great (and really FREE) publication that can be found around Chicago. If you can't track it down, check my favorite coffee hood. Here's the article. Now, in spite of the fact that Tom Tresser has a tendency to reach a little bit in order to scrounge up a profile for those of us between 15 and 25, we have arrived. We're Millennials. Isn't that great? Not only does Millennial connotate a cool futuristic and disposable plasticity, but it also gives the upper hand of endless publication title possibilities for trend marketing specialists and aspiring evangelist writers scrapping quickly to pen the next "how to reach a confused generation" book. If you're reading this and have it in your mind to be one of these writers, consider titles such as "ME-llennials: Subversive Micro-Marketing to Young Consumers in Search of P.C. Individuality" or possibly... for the evangelically and acronymically advanced memoirist, "M.I.L.L.E.N.N.I.A.L.S.(My Identity: Living Life Embracing Now. Non-Intentional Attempts at Loving the Savior)". But seriously though... what do you think about Tresser's assessment? Good? Fair? Just? Speak now, or forever hold your socially-responsible, groupthink focused, internet savvy peace.


Frontman Andy Hull Reserves His Energy and Focus For Pouring Out His Soul Across Sonic Landscapes

If you look deep into your heart and find that there is part of you wishing Manchester Orchestra had recorded nearly 40 more of these videos, you should probably click here.

If you also find in your heart the hope that Manchester and Colour Revolt are touring together three weeks from today, your cardiac muscles ought to be pretty happy right about now.



Matt feels the true power of what it means to be an American.


Prepare for Delight!

Starting the 17th of July the wonderful Chicago Film Office and the Chicago Park District are beginning their 8th Annual Chicago Outdoor Film Festival. I couldn't be any happier with the first movie on the docket: Young Frankenstein! Here's a little taste of what's in store:

The movie is going to be shown at Chicago's downtown Grant Park (100 S. Lake Shore Drive) starting at 8:56pm, but I think we might try to get there a bit early so we won't need to use the binos. I have no idea how we're all going to meet up, but we'll continue updating as the date grows closer.




or... "when thomas edison was asked of the hundreds of failures it took to finally create the light bulb he responded that he never felt he had failed but rather simply had found hundreds of ways of not making light bulbs"


Maybe this is blogger-cheating, but I trimmed away some of the excess fat.

What follows below is not the live blog.

It is slightly more coherent. Kind of.

Sincerest apologies. Kind of.


We're walking back from practice. Two blocks away. Cougars. Kittens.



For giggles.


"This could be my guy!"

"I'm young, I'm deathly hot. DEAL WITH IT."

On the Thallo-couch: Matt, Erica, Jamie, Seth, and yours truly.

On the TV: all of our dreams coming true


Mr. Kelly Ripa.

Is she a cougar or a kitten?


"I've never dated someone old before."

"You mean older."

"Older. Yes."


"Have you been looking for the one lately?"


The girlfriend just arrived!!


Seth: This has been one of the slower episodes.

Sarah (GIRLFRIEND): There's only been three!

Seth: It's been the slowest of the three.

Erica: Right.


Tessa is just one of the girls in the sea of women who haven't gotten to know Mark.

She made that up on the spot.


Erica: I've been saying things!! Why don't you write them down??


Slowest. Of. The. Three.


Girlfriend: "I don't think it's so bad!!! I think it only seems slow because you think you have to post about it."



Girlfriend: "I said that with love in my heart!!!"


The cougars: "The 20 year olds think we have cellulite... but you know what? WE ROCK."

Swim time for the laaaaaaaaaaaadies. And they love it!


WE LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

Seth: Mark's kinda pervy.

Jamie: A little bit.


I forgot to ask Matt to write a haiku for all of this.


Jen is starting to reaaaaaaaallly have feelings for Mark. She said so.

"The 20s better watch out. GAME ON."

You know. Go Jen. I'm okay with Jen.


"Every week you get funnier! You make me feel like a little kid!"

Jayanna will definitely take it.


Kelly is staying. We are upset.

I'm not allowed to transcribe what's going on here. My mom reads this.

Maybe other moms, too!


And there goes another nobody.


Me: It doesn't matter. She wasn't going anywhere.


Me: She's spicy?

Erica: You mean Elvira.


But let's take a moment for Cougar Lynn who was just kicked off:

"My Grandma has always said she wanted to live long enough to see me get married."

Seth: We can't make fun of that!!!!

Matt: Oh man.

....tears on the television set.

We can't make fun of that. We definitely shouldn't make fun of that.


And that's it!

20s and 40s moving in with each other next week.

I'm sure we won't be live-blogging it.



I didn't know these worked on the internet.

Don't go cross-eyed. I mean, permanently.

Age of Love tonight!!

See you.


"Mother and Child Reunion" turned "Everything together sooner or later falls apart"

I think that there is a certain reservoir of melody that you’re born with… and in the beginning, you draw from that. And after a relatively short while, you use it up. Now the question is “Will you be an imitator of who you were and continue to say, musically and lyrically, the things that made you popular… or will you feel uncomfortable with that?” I always felt uncomfortable with that, so I didn’t. That is what made me feel that it was fine to pursue music that I liked. –Paul Simon

After finding out that Paul Simon was scheduled to play Milwaukee's 2007 Summer Fest the same day as Anathallo, I ran what some might call "hot laps" around my apartment. There really isn't another artist that I want to talk with as much as Mr. Simon and I was prepared to fling myself forward in the unadulterated embarrassment of full on geek-out. The records "Rhythm of the Saints" and "Graceland" are so incredible, how could I not? Unfortunately, what I thought might become my only chance to ask my million questions has turned slightly bum-town. We were skeptical when we realized that his name wasn't on the official site, but were naively reassured by postings in Billboard and Rolling Stone. Well, as he states, "Everything put together sooner or later falls apart, there's nothing to it." However, in honor of the possibility of (ho-hum) someday... check out this in depth (hour long!) interview that he did with Charlie Rose upon being the fist recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song!

More stats:
12 Grammys
3 for "Album of the Year"
2003 Lifetime Achievement Award
Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame (solo and as 'Simon and Garfunkel')
Songwriters' Hall of Fame
2003 Kennedy Center Honors
2006 "100 People Who Shape Our World" Time Magazine
1st American to perform in Post-Apartheid South Africa (By the invitation of Nelson Mandela)

"Boy in the Bubble"