notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Feet

I'm typing this from the floor of a friend's friend's apartment. I made it to New York at around 4:30, picked up the key, and lugged all my stuff to Queens for the night. Tomorrow (I hope), I move into my apartment on the Lower East Side, but for now I'm happy to have a place to relax after a day and a half of travel encompassing:

-one car ride to Atlanta
-one 5AM car ride to the train
-one 45 min. train ride to the airport
-two one hour long flights with a
-three hour goddamn lay over in Akron-Canton
-one erroneous bus ride
-one subway ride
-whole lot of walking
-one cab to home, sweet, home for the night

Right now I'm waiting on Blake to get off of work to let him into his own apartment, where I've been using his computer, watching his TV, and eating his wheat thins. I am exhausted, but I owe the man a drink for letting a total stranger avoid homelessness in what is, upon first impression, a somewhat intimidating metropolis. Hopefully we'll head down to a watering hole an minute now.

I still don't have my laptop, so it may be awhile before I can visit the Muck again. In the meantime, I'll be getting settled in, visiting the school for some paperwork, and working feverishly toward building a mental map of Indian restaurants, arthouse movie theaters, and somewhere to buy a cheap hoodie for the Fall. For the latter my future roommate, who has spent 50 plus years in the city, recommended the nearby K-Mart. Go figure.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Everybody Now...

I'm finding it hard to do this year by year review the meantime, thank God for youtube -here's a little something to make up for the abscence of any Yippeekaiyay (sp) in the latest film.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And That's When The C.H.U.D.S Came At Me

The big news in my life is that I'm heading to New York for three months next Wednesday. There's a screenwriting workshop I'm attending through October, and I've decided to stay an extra month to enjoy the city without the pressure of class. I will accumulate some good ol' American debt by the end of it, but I'm sure it will be exciting at the least.

If anyone knows anybody in New York who can educate me on how to live on the cheap, I'd appreciate the contact.

Also, I bought a new laptop and iPod, neither of which I can afford. I'm just documenting all this to have a solid record of the genesis of my apparent descent into madness.

Matt - is this iPod thing going to give me battery problems?

We're just misunderstood. Really.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Least Plausible On-Screen Romance

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ciao, Cow

Lately I've felt Death riding on horseback to my front door. Physically, I'm plum beat, and actually think I have an energy deficit that leads to my organs and muscles cannibalizing one another. Initially, I blamed the long hours. Then I blamed the long hours and hot Georgia sun. Then I blamed the long hours, hot Georgia sun, and sleep deprivation. Then I blamed the long hours, hot Georgia sun, sleep deprivation, and gross intake of addictive substances.

And then I blamed meat. Or rather, the lack thereof.

It was over two years ago that I gave up meat after an outing to the BW3, or whatever that place is called, with Matt and Ben to watch a sporting event and eat massive amounts of chicken wings. And goddamn, it was delicious. Then I saw the amount of waste produced and made a decision to give up on carcasses for awhile.

I went two weeks before wolfing down some chicken at Guadalajara. I had been feeling fatigued and decided to get some protein as quickly as I could. Also, I really like chicken.

Then I gave it another go. This time it stuck, with a handful of caveats. I allowed myself to cheat whenever I felt truly compelled to, which happened less and less often as time went on (until I started hanging out with intoxicated Athenians desperate for a Krystal burger at 4:00 in the morning...and at that point you sort of have to take whatever' s shoved into your mouth). Also, I eat fish and shrimp and crab and all that good sea stuff. Lastly, I promised myself I'd never be that serious about being a vegetarian. Let's face it, the in your face vegan punks I've known deserve to be barbecued and fed to the frat houses.

The point of the back story is that I now find myself at a crossroad where my habits for the past couple of years simply cannot carry on. Truthfully, I'm probably not getting the calories, protein, or iron that I need. The way I've been feeling lately I wouldn't be too shocked if a Doctor just gave me a prescription for a McRib. On the other hand, she might just tell me to stop drinking so much and get some sleep.

I've been thinking lately about giving up, about digging into a slice of pepperoni pizza or stopping by Chick-fil-A on the way to work. I came very close, and I even tasted a piece of pepperoni the other day.

Today, however, I've decided to go the other direction. Instead of making sweet love to some chicken salad, I'm filing for divorce and getting a restraining order to boot. No more seafood, which is going to be difficult, and a more dedicated attitude about it all. I'm doing this for my health, because I really don't want to go back to meat, but I need to respect my body and the importance of good nutrition a whole lot more than I'm doing currently. There are plenty of ways to get what I need...I've just been lazy. I'm also halfway considering going vegan, since I'll be living on my own soon again and will be doing my own shopping and all of that. But we'll see. I'm still terrified of withering away to nothing. And I love cheese even more than I loved chicken.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis, RIP

30 years ago Elvis Presley died on the toilet. NFTM would like to remember him in his prime.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Life in the Muck: Year Two

September 2006: moved back to Athens; took my first ever visit to LA; stopped dating someone via google chat; canceled a trip to Australia; got back into photography (getting the camera should have been listed under August); spent many quiet evenings wandering around Athens taking pictures; was driven to chills by a certain TV show

October 2006: visited Charlottesville; disappointed by the Del show at Starr Hill, but blown away by the opening act; newly single and unemployed, took to spending even more time in front of a computer ; dressed as M for Halloween ; grew increasingly frantic about not finding a jo

November 2006: along with Matt and more than half the country, celebrated; kinda started dating someone; got three jobs at once (Vision Video, Barnes & Noble, and at some chapel watching someone else run the lights for lame and arguably racist weddings); mourned an idol ; gained a pen pal

December 2006: good lord!; sincerely missed eating lunches with Ben; co-founded the short-lived Athens Film Club; learned something about Christmas; kinda stopped dating someone; started dating someone else, thus questioning my once immovable resolve that I am perfectly content being alone

January 2007: pft

February 2007: stopped dating someone, got back together with someone else; developed something of a dietary problem; continued to hang out with my great friend Paul, realizing things like this about myself; sold some sweet Star Wars merch; watched some comrades fall; started working at "the movie theater," a.k.a job number four

March 2007: turned 27; dropped off the face of the internet (i didn't post even once) ; worked, literally, almost 30 days straight leading into April (averaging about 12 hours a day); came to hate my new job; grew generally exhausted and depressed whilst turning into a work/alcoholic

April 2007: saw an inspired M. Ward concert in Asheville with my very patient and good friend Matt; saw Inland Empire; made a new friend; lost an old one; continued the trends of March

May 2007: witnessed the return to form of LOST; had some nightmares; learned that I just might hate the Swiss; started working my TV show idea

June 2007: watched one of the most brilliant finales in TV history, but the end of a show I've loved for years; learned that another great show, depite our best efforts, would not be returning; continued to write, work, drink, and watch the world go 'round

July 2007: quit this for this; continued the workaholic trend, but willfully; dreamed of a new TV obsession; signed up for this; foolishly considered throwing in the hat here in Muckland

And that brings me up to speed, as August isn't over yet.

In putting this together, I've realized that NFTM has been the constant in two years of tumultuous change. Despite my frequent desire to burn the whole damn thing to the ground, I'm glad it's been here. I'd love to see Matt and Ben put up a similar post in honor of our two year anniversary, and I hope meet back up in honor of our third. Maybe I'll even muster the courage to pop in once or twice in the meantime.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Life In The Muck: Year One

UPDATE: All the links below should be working now.

I was going to retire from the Muck. For real this time. It had been ages since I'd posted anything, and the comments section was a ghost town. It was time to let go. Fortunately, Matt and Ben talked me out of it. The Muck has a life cycle similar to that of the Phoenix, and once again it has sprung back to life.

The retirement post was going to be a personal one. Not about Veronica Mars or The Wire or Harry Potter. It was meant to be a recap of everything that has happened in my life since Notes From the Muck crept onto the internets back in September of 2005. I no longer have the energy to write that post in prose form, but I would like to post a little timeline in its stead. One thing about my life that hasn't changed in the past two years - laziness.

September 2005: co-founded Notes From the Muck; developed unprofitable obsession with online poker

October 2005: made unprofitable but highly enjoyable gambling voyage to Las Vegas with Matt; avoided the Chicken Ranch like the plague, but spent many hours discussing the implications of its nomenclature with Matt; saw Lyrics Born at the Satellite Ballroom (still one of the best hip hop concerts I've been to); welcomed Beldaz to the NFTM writing staff; honed my ability to blame bad luck for my online poker losses; started short-lived Muck of the Week with this beauty; threw embarrassingly bad Halloween party, wandered around the Corner afterwards with Will, who was dressed as a ninja, only to be kicked out of a frat party before stealing any of their beer; quit online poker for the first time

November 2005:pledged to post a blog at least once a day; broke the pledge four days later; discovered my man-crush on Tony Curtis; engaged in the Great Blog Wars of 2005, primarily as back up to the Captain of our mighty ship - Beldaz; saw Bright Eyes in DC, as well as a man playing guitar whilst wearing a diaper; learned about kinkajous; grew unreasonably angry about people not liking movies that i like; found this

December 2005: had my deformities immortalized by Katy; signed up with Niki for Donors Choose and discovered my heart is not as cold or dark as I had thought; mourned Richard Pryor; discovered and ranked great new music with Matt and Ben; went home for the holidays, where I read about this very happy event

January 2006: deleted my MySpace account, vowing never to return (update); complained about the weather

February 2006: supported Matt's desire to make Mariah Carey a permanent NFTM fixture; tried to wrap my brain around the fact the our Vice President accidentally shot a man in the face; helped design a new template for the Muck (i still think we did a fine job); attended a less than stellar GZA concert; resurrected the Muck of the Week

March 2006: read and posted about Snakes on a Plane, which i mention only because i recently got to meet and work with Sunny Mabrey; learned the true meaning of suspense; got excited about the Ween and Wilco concerts, neither of which I went to; changed the world~; started my reading project with Don Quixote, now one of my favorite books; played Mega Millions with Matt, secretly allowing myself to truly believe that I was going to win; got South Parked
; became irrationally angry about a DVD bootleg I bought on ebay to replace Matt's Arrested Development disc; obsessed about Lost; turned 26; acted 13

April 2006: fell in love with Veronica Mars, which apparently kept me busy all month

May 2006: downloaded stuff; experimented with a caffeine free life; watched this video many many times

June 2006: saw the inimitable The Coup in concert, gave Boots a man hug after the show; founded the short lived CineMuck; did a little house sitting and hanging out with Francis

July 2006: died a little bit inside; discovered and survived the Great Cyrkam Airtos invasion; nerded the fuck out

August 2006: SAW TOM WAITS...TWICE; went temporarily insane; took a sabbatical from Notes From the Muck; said goodbye to Niki as she departed for Australia; moved out of my apartment on Linden; lived with Jenny for a month; quit VCRRC

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Flipper Finished, Leo Loses, Bugs Boings

It's been a while since I reported on the demise of a cute fluffy creature, so I need to make an impact here. I bring you sad tidings of the passing of not just one individual but of the end of an entire species; the Yangtzee river dolphin has gone the way of the T Rex and the Dodo after a 6 week survey of its habitat concluded that each and every one of them was dead. It has more in common with the Dodo than the T Rex however in that humans are responsible for its destruction, and we did it without even trying.

Unlike most historical-era extinctions of large bodied animals, the baiji was the victim not of active persecution but incidental mortality resulting from massive-scale human environmental impacts - primarily uncontrolled and unselective fishing

Well done us, that's what I call multi tasking.

In other animal news, when I was in primary school I wrote a story about a fight between a lion, a crocodile and a rhino. The teacher said I had a good imagination. Imagination my arse, I was only one off.

And finally, is this a sport?

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

County Fair

Here are some pictures of the Albemarle County Fair that Cleo took on her Fisher Price digital camera last night. One of the things I like most about Cleo's pictures (though this is not so much apparent from this selection) is that they give you the 4-year old perspective of the world. Everything is torsos and asses; for the most part, only children have heads. Cleo is also completely unabashed about taking pictures of strangers, which generates a lot of interesting shots that I would be hesitant to take myself (see, for example, #2). Maybe I'll make this a regular feature.

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