Dog Problems, Beautiful Dog Problems

I cannot express my glee. One of my favorite albums of the last year, The Format’s Dog Problems is now free for download until July 16th, no strings attached. All you have to do is sign up for their mail list (which you can opt out of at any time). It’s infectious, wonderful, indie happy pop and you need to download it and listen to at least Time Bomb or Dog Problems or Pick Me Up or The Compromise, because if you don’t and tell me I’ll probably cry. And if you don’t and don’t tell me, shame on you.

The greatest part about The Format is that they self-released this album. I think I heard that after their first (fantastic) album was released with Atlantic Records, the record deal went horribly south. Well, self-releasing has its perks. Actually, the greatest part about The Format is that they’re awesome. All that other stuff is just really cool.

Check here for some rare tracks by The Format, including a cover of The Kink’s Apeman. I know my mom will like that.

And I’m seriously thinking about going to see them Wednesday, August 1st at 7:00 pm at Avalon Hollywood. It’s $17. Anybody wanna come?

Ultimate Water Ballooning

Tomorrow, Saturday the 23rd of June, join me as we kick off the first ever (that I know of because Nicole and I invented the game) Ultimate Water Balloon game.

3:30 pm at Cuesta Park, San Luis Obisp0 (google map)

If you have any squirt guns, feel free to bring them. Balloons and water will be provided, but you can always bring more balloons and heck, if you’ve got a Slip n’ Slide, we could use it.

Following the game, at 7 pm, we’ll have the 2 million 673 thousand and first barbecue in the history of man (figure may be less than precise) at our place. Bring your own meat! Donations of chips, soda and beer are always welcome.

And yes, it’s my birthday, but don’t feel obligated to bring a present or a card or anything. Your presence is all the gift I ask.

Congratulations, Grads!

And so, with much fanfare, this weekend is finally over, and I’d like to extend congratulations to Matt Valentine, Matt Dixon, Kristen Dewey, Red Wagner, Daniel Treachler, Rebecca Giordano, Anthony Pessagno, and all the other recent grads I know.

In a year, you’ll look back, and if you have the joy of attending another graduation, you’ll realize although we’re glad we’re there,

speeches are twice as boring for the audience than they are for the students.

I tell you, there is nothing, nothing more troubling than to hear a student give a speech in front of just over a thousand people, and to tell everyone that the deepest, most emotional insight she’s had over the last five years of her life was that at Cal Poly, when you’re ten minutes late, you’re really right on time. I think my heart threw up a little.

I mean, I understand that these students don’t have very long to craft something, but you’d think that they’d have an English major go up there, or a Theater major, or a Communications major.

Anyhow, I’m rambling. Congratulations, friends. Stay in touch.

A New Cessation

I’d been having some pretty extreme neck and shoulder pains the last few weeks, and so, I went to the chiropractor last Wednesday. To make a long story short, I was having these pains because my caffeine intake was so high that some adrenal gland was getting tired out, and started messing around with the nerves around my spine.

Now, I’ve always prided myself on not drinking a lot of caffeine. Not getting addicted to the stuff. I mean, it used to be that I’d probably drink three cups of coffee a week. You know, only when it was being made at work. And with the product launch, that was going up to two or three cups a day. Add to that the fact that for some reason, I subconsciously didn’t count Coke or even Red Bull as being caffeinated beverages. And I got an entire case of Red Bull, expecting many a long night during the launch. Needless to say, I had a reality check.

So, as of today, I’m six days off of caffeine. I had some pretty major headaches on Thursday, during Brian’s musical (which was hilarious), but other than that, it’s been alright. I never drank the stuff to stay awake, really. It was always because it was just something to drink.

In the Bible, there is talk that, once you decide to believe, you’re what’s called a “new creation” — basically, you don’t want for the things that ruined you in your old life. I never truly understood that until I stood in front of the fridge on Wednesday, gazing at Red Bulls and Cokes, a dozen each. That was when I realized I didn’t even want it any more.

I am a new creation. Those are exciting words to type.