Ah summer

Those were the good old days.



Hello blogspotters!... I thought I'd look for an excuse to put up a
post so you wouldn't have to keep being greeted by the MacBook Air
(agreed, friendly commenters - it's pretty but it's also pretty much
not what I would buy if I had eighteen hundred dollars begging to be

(although kudos to you early adopters)

(and I'm sure if I had enough loose change, I would join you)

What am I up to? I'm at the airport.

Why am I writing to you from my phone in an airport? Because I slept
through my alarm, found a later flight, and will be sitting at Gate D2
for the next five hours. Sweet Chicago home, here I come. Eventually.

In the meantime, I thought we could keep each other company! (the
"you" in this particular "we" can be a passive one).

Let me catch you up. And by catch up, I mean "type whatever comes into
my head until I can't think of anything else."

(can you tell I'm typing from my phone? there's less editing and more
asides - like this one - more parentheses and quotes)

(I will work on this)

(starting now)

I've skipped out on enough of the northern winter and am heading back
to single digit degrees. I'm also heading back to all things Anathallo
- WE'RE GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER!! - and that sounds really
great to me. I was thinking about it last night... but I don't know if
we've taken this long of a break in half a decade. Intense, maybe? But
if there was ever a time to get away, get our minds right, it was now.
I'm so excited to see everyone. And to be headed to the UK. And SXSW
in the spring (South by Southwest, for those of you abbreviatedly
disinclined). And to be heading out with _______ (maybe!) a little bit
afterwards. Hopefully we can fill in that blank for you soon enough.

But right. This all feels good. It's been important to me to get my
bearings again, to feel sorted out. The record is coming out soon,
we'll be touring, and I think this whole go-around will be more
enjoyable because we were able to catch our (collective) breath.

Why haven't I been posting? No, I didn't trade you all in for Madden
football (my ranking reached 50, I put down the controller, and that
was it). No, I have been writing but nothing has been coming out
right. One post, especially, was just entirely too sentimental. Maybe
if i can fix it I'll put it up this week. If you go to Manchester's
myspace and read their post about our UK tour... well. What Andy wrote
was just entirely... it was very nice. Look at me -still - it's been a
week and all I can manage is "it was very nice."

It meant a lot. If I can manage more, I'll be sure to post.

I'm also still waiting a couple days to put up Cloverfield thoughts.
If you're going to see it, the less context the better.

What else, what else... If anyone else was watching the debate (Josh?)
on Monday, I'm sure you can imagine. I was literally out of my seat. I
don't think I had ever seen anything like it (maybe when I get to a
computer, I can link and youtube everything I'm writing about)... the
first fifteen minutes were out of control and from everything I can
find online, you pretty much came out of it feeling stronger about
your candidate. Depending on your favorite senator, you could make a
case for each winning. Except Hillary. JUST KIDDING. I suppose the
narrative can only be written once the votes are cast and there's a
winner. Then we can figure out what it all meant. It was just wild,

And Heath Ledger, of course. But there, too... I have nothing to add.
It's sad and it's sad that my response is mainly abstract. I think
that's why I have nothing to say... I don't want to follow this story
with a strange sense of... I don't know how to put it. I don't want to
treat it like a story. A macabre form of entertainment. I want to
leave it as sad.

I don't know if that makes sense.

Okay. On that, I'm going to think I'll end this (strange little)
airport update. There's a chic-fil-a around and I'm pretty sure that's
the finest southern meal I could hope to leave on.

And if anything else exciting happens here in the next three hours,
I'll be sure to let you know.







Pardon the celebratory post yesterday... but we're going to Europe!!

Our friends in Manchester Orchestra are lifting us by our grimy Chicagoan paws (as loveable as they are) and will be taking us for a dip in the sweet pool of overseas travel. When we return, I plan on being insufferable.

"Oh you've never been to LEEDS? It's magnificent."

"London. Sure, it's alright. Oh. You've never been?"

I'm sure you can't wait.

But I have even more news. Big Scary Monsters - you can read more at the appropriately titled Blog Scary Monsters - will be putting out our first UK release next month. A two song vinyl, the album will include "Hanasakajiijii 4" (you might have heard it) and our previous vinyl attempt "Entropy" (you might have heard it... but that's less likely). Pre-orders can be found here.

Now, a "what have you been doing?" and a "what I've been doing."

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed the comment thread from a couple posts back. My "what in the world is going on?" was met with a collective "A LOT!"

A small recap:

(1) My old roommate from CMU...

...now has his own Vandermolen blogspot blog. Spot blog. Blog. RIGHT. It seems that everyone is getting one of these. With that said, I think Nick would make a good electronic friend for some of you... and who knows? Maybe he'll even include Vandermolen commenters in his latest homemade Michigan Mythos Action Deck.

(2) A time travelling history professor from the 23rd century stopped by to say hello. His or her (***fixed!) cryptic future talk can be found here. Interesting.

(like I said, everyone is getting blogs... even futuristic historians from New Harvard... it must be the thing)

(3) Ninjas in Staten Island, a war in Kenya, Lost rumors, the Iron Chef return, a Chicago heat wave, Norm MacDonald wreaking havoc on an old episode of Conan:

Okay, none of you posted about Norm. But seriously. This is brutal. Wonderfully brutal.

(Kevin, I know you know where I found this... but we'll just keep that a secret between you and me. Deal?)

So that's all what you've been up to. Minus Norm. Now here is what I've been up to:

This, my friends, is called market research. Here's how it goes:

(1) Yours truly goes on craigslist in the ETC section of "jobs."
(2) I wade through all the junk postings.
(3) I find PURE GOLD.
(3a) "PURE GOLD" is defined as "candy cough drop taste test."
(4) I show up at a research center slightly outside of Atlanta in Dunwoody.
(4a) Yup, I went back to Atlanta for new years (and the next couple of weeks). If you can't tell, I really like my girlfriend.
(4b) By like, I mean love.
(4c) In case she came on here, read the post, and I had to answer to: IT'S BEEN TWO YEARS AND YOU "REALLY LIKE ME?"
(4d) Just kidding. She's wonderful and she'd never speak to me in all caps.
(4e) Ummm, moving on.
(5) I show up at the research center and try nine different cough drops over three different hour long sessions.
(6) They hand me a check for $120.
(8) In all caps.
(9) I pay my modest bills.
(10) Those are saltines in the picture (above) to cleanse my palate.
(11) So yes, I received about twenty free saltines along with my check.
(12) Like I said, PURE GOLD!!!

How sweet, right?

And if that weren't enough... if you'll humor me, I'd like to end this post with a tribute to me:

A cryptic photo?... let me help. The fourteen is the level I've attained. My reputation is a sterling five out of five stars. Graham Swift? Not only is he a famous British novelist and winner of the Booker Prize... he's also my Madden NFL 2008 screenname.

And the RNK? What could that be?

That is my rank... I've finally - FINALLY - cracked the top 100 players in the world at Madden online play for the Nintendo Wii!!!

Tonight was my big night.

And here is one of my victims:

Like I said. Top one hundred.

Sincerely yours,
Graham Swift Unstoppable



February 9 --- Dublin, IRE
February 10 --- Glasgow, UK
February 11 --- Leeds, UK
February 12 --- Birmingham, UK
February 13 --- London, UK
February 15 --- Manchester, UK
February 16 --- Bristol, UK
February 17 --- Nottingham, UK
February 18 --- Brighton, UK

February 19 --- London, UK

a real post tomorrow?! I promise!



Exciting cities like _____ and _____ and _____!

We even get to tour with _______! Doesn't that sound fun?

(yes, I'm blogging from my phone again)

(no, I haven't figured out pictures yet)

(or embedded videos)

(so I'm left with half-delivered rumor)

(how fun for you!)

Blanks to be filled in soon. Probably even a post or two written with an actual keyboard.

---Hey, what's going on in the world? Right now I am real strong on primaries, professional basketball found in Detroit, defending my online Madden ranking, ultra portable mac laptop rumors, Cloverfield trailers, Atlanta roadways, phone blogging (redundant) and last year's Modest Mouse record. That is an eclectic collection (weird), for sure, but there has to be more going on. Anyone care to fill me in?



I woke up this morning and wanted to write a very different post than I attempted yesterday. For me - watching Obama's speech last night was pretty special. I had chills. I remember being in fourth grade and having a teacher tell her class that each generation has a few shared moments where you'll always remember where you were. I'm not claiming Senator Obama's speech last night as one of them... I think that would be short-sighted of me. I don't think the rest of the country was rabidly watching CNN along with me, waiting up for the cameras to switch to his victory speech.

But I had chills.

And yesterday's post included me making jokes about other candidates. Last night - for me - wasn't about being for and against the right and wrong candidates. It was about being a part of history (I know, melodramatic). A whole lot less about cynicism and sarcasm, a whole lot more about hope and possibility. The thought, "this is finally happening" and 'this is what it's like to be uplifted by a leader, to be inspired and terribly hopeful for what could be."

Yes. I know. This is a blogger getting carried away. But I'm not sure if it's the kind of "carried away" that I'll be embarrassed about later. It's too forward to sound "smart" but I'm glad I was able to feel how I felt last night.

I think this is probably enough. I'm typing this all out from my phone in a sign workshop in Cave Spring, Georgia. I apologize for any typos, of course! And while I haven't been able to figure out how to embed videos from this thing, I at least wanted to include a link to the speech:

I'll try to clean up this post when I get to a computer (fixed!), but this will have to do for now.

Take care.



Happy Belated New Years! Not too much to post from me today (my mind, I think, is still slightly on vacation) but it is Iowa Caucus Day... which, depending on who you are, could be terribly exciting (ME) or just another blustery winter day (MAYBE YOU).

Or it could be your birthday (MY DAD).

But yes, since tonight is the Iowa Caucus and all I do when I wake up is check the news... well. Hmmmm. I have thoughts. Of course I have thoughts. I'm just not sure how much I should share here. Everyone has political thoughts... and I would hate for his blog to devolve into:

me: I don't get Ron Paul at all.
the internet: WHAT.
me: really, I don't.
the internet (perhaps even anonymously): YOU HATE THE CONSTITUTION!
me: but I like the constitution... it's a noble document.

And that would be that. The internet and I would be at war.

(and please please please - I know that was unfair, that was really unfair of me - everyone likes their candidates, everyone has their reasons... and some are just a little louder about their like than others)

(says the blogger who shares Obama videos every few weeks)

(what?! here's another one?)

It looks like I pretty much took my thoughts and shared them.

So yes. That's that. If you're in Iowa tonight, have fun! I will have fun here doing google news searches.

Happy 08!