Monthly Archives: November 2009

Fantastic November Mix

November was a fantastic month for new and old tunes. In this month’s edition we are reminded of the power of cinema. If I hear a song in glorious digital THX sound in a movie theater during a good film it can elevate the song to a new level. Music and film work together in perfect harmony, side by side on piano keyboard. Oh Lord, why can’t we? Ebony/Ivory, PB/Chocolate, Beans/Franks: MUSIC/FILM.
Who’d-a-thunk-it that my fave fire-up tune of the month would be from 1965? “Let Her Dance” by the Bobby Fuller Four (“I Fought the Law”) blasted out during the end credit dance sequence of Fantastic Mr. Fox and I was blown away, not only because the soundsystem at Showplace Icon Theater in St. Louis Park was so righteously loud.
I also believe that any movie that ends with a dance sequence can’t be all bad. Rushmore was the only other Wes Anderson film to end on such a high happy note. Great movie, go even if you don’t have kids. Ours haven’t seen it yet as I went to an advance screening. Bad Dad. We’ll go again. Wes Anderson is my current fave, hasn’t made anything I haven’t loved.

I’ve been doing the signature whoo hoo click click whistle of Mr. Fox for weeks now. Doodles and I walked into our favorite indie bookseller, Magers & Quinn, and for no reason I did that whistle. I kid you not that everyone in the store stopped and look at us. So when Doodles saw this clip he said, “Hey Dad, he does that thing you do.” Gotta love that he now thinks Mr. Fox is mimicking me. (I’m certainly going to try to continue dress like Fox at Books & Bars. I promise not to repeat a sport coat on our double winter run.)

Another example of the power of Film/Music is the older song “All My Friends” was in heavy rotation because of the Greenberg trailer. Of course all the Glee stuff I like fits, too, but that is another post about the added power of reinterpreted covers, showtunes, Broadway, etc.

Download the Fantastic November Mix and please give me feedback. I’ve listed a potential song order in the picture, but do as you will.
I’ll let you dance.

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Filed under Take a Chance

Give thanks

At preschool, they list what the 3 and 4 year olds say they are thankful for. Doodles was thankful for his toys much like Pablo gave thanks for Clones last year.

I am thankful the school installed safety guards on the bathroom doors as Doodles had previously got his hand caught. It was pretty nasty. I almost passed out, too.

The four year olds were thankful for other things. Neither of our kids are represented on the long lists here, it’s just fun to read.

Pokemon v. Pinkie

If you want presents, you gotta believe in the C.o.S. – Church of Santa.

And we’re thankful for good friends, food, beverages, and those who know how to share it.

Thanks for reading. I am especially thankful for comments, too.

Happy Thanksgiving. Take a moment to remember all you have and share with those that don’t.

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Filed under food & drink, School

Great Expectations

Tonight, I preview Fantastic Mr. Fox (written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach based on the Roald Dahl book) and the new ICON theater in the SLP. You may know Roald Dahl and I have a history. I worked on the film Matilda as a production assistant and even appeared as an extra. Good times.

My next most anticipated film is also by Noah Baumbach. Looks and sounds…well, kinda perfect for me. March 12 is too long to wait.

And maybe the coffee is talking, but I’m super fired-up for this week.
Thanksgiving with the joint families, a wedding in MKE and a mini-high school reunion reunion. Perhaps a few days off from the kids is getting me typing quickly here, too. Milwaukee, a great place on a great lake: Here we come.


Filed under Adults (kid-free)

Short Attention Span Theater

If an event occurs in the woods, but no one tweets about it, did it really happen?

Multi-tasking? Always doing at least two things at once? I am. Are you? Watching a movie or a show, checking mail, texting, eating, reading, listening to music, playing with the kids at a park, concerts, etc. Where is my “be here now”? Where is the “living in the moment”? Or am I really living, by living two things at once? Am I already tweeting or blogging about something I haven’t finished doing? And why?

When am I not multi-tasking (other than private moments)?
The movie theater. If I’m in a movie theater and the movie is being projected, I am not doing anything else. But we all seem to see less and less in the theaters these days.

We are planning on taking the kids to see The Fantastic Mr. Fox and I really hope it is showing at the new Icon theater opening tomorrow in St. Louis Park.

Check out what’s going to be different here.

Can I disconnect? R asked me if I could spend a week away from e-mail, internet, etc. I said, if I wanted to, I could. If we were on vacation, I would. Is the ultimate irony that we are all so “connected” but actually more distant from each other? We think we are so in the loop, but it’s an artificial kind of bond. We’ve been raised by Wi-Fi and are part of the world wide web yet we don’t know that much about our neighbors. We know very little about very much. Hundreds of fracquaintances but few true close friends. Is it just me?

At least I don’t text while I am driving. Neither should you. I am exaggerating a bit about the multi-tasking, but when I recall my rally cry for a zen-like presence, I come up short. We could all use a reminder. What do you think?


Filed under Take a Chance


We have seven kinds of tea in the cupboard. Is this a lot or not?
I just added two, Pumpkin Spice and Apple Cider, because they seemed so appropriate. So last week we only had 5. Currently I am enjoying a Tazo Organic Chai.

Brendan Benson has a song called Tea, track one on his first record.
“I’m drinking tea. If it’s good enough for me. It’s good enough for you. We could have tea for two. How do you do?”

I saw Benson at First Ave this week. At one point I realized I had reverted back to air guitar and jumping in the air. The album cover and album itself (one of my faves ever) sum up the show and my enthusiasm for it.

That was me on a Tuesday night at 11:30p during “You’re Quiet”. “Tiny Spark” was another highlight along with so many from his older records.

I’ve seen Brendan Benson in the Viper Room (Johnny Depp’s infamous club). I’ve even seen him at Nick Hornby readings. But most people only know him from The Raconteurs with Jack White.

The First Avenue was so sparsely attended I felt bad for BB. Why is he still so unknown? At least Adam, Andy, Steve, Pam and I had a great time.

Check out the albums One Mississippi and Lapalco. Maybe you’ll join us next time.

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Filed under Take a Chance

Thank You for the Guilty Pleasures

Which one are you?

Doodles walks around singing this tune every once in a while. This morning he was hitting it pretty hard.

I make no apologies. Much like The Current’s No Apologies track at 4pm each day with Mary Lucia. These are damn fine pop tunes. And for some reason this next one always hits me on an emotional level. In fact, yes, I’d put in my Top 100 All Time*.

Hey Abba, thank you for the music.

I’ve been on some kind of Swedish kick lately with books, music and film. Stieg Larsson, Little Dragon and all the meatballs I’ve been scarfing down. I can’t remember yet, only one coffee in me, but there are other examples of my Swedelove.

Anyway, I used to make mixes called Guilty Pleasures, but now I find there is no guilt. You like what you like. It’s a party in the USA. There’s a reason why some things are really popular. Maybe they’re actually pretty good, too. Throw a T-Swift tune on your mix and see if it works. I should confess, I cut one of her tracks from an earlier monthly mix for not wanting to dilute my indie cred. And the other track alluded to up there was an almost ran, too.

Here’s your chance to tell us your formerly guilty pleasure. In the comments section write:

My name is __________ and I like _______________.

Give us a link to check it out and not judge you, but rather admit maybe we like it, too.

*List in progress, always changing. Can’t be held to it.


Filed under Music, Take a Chance, video

Fun with Comcast Live Chat

My Comcast phone service went dead. I got on a live chat with a Comcast rep.
Why not have a little fun with the problem? First I chatted with George but the chat went dead and then I restarted a new browser and got Mohammad

Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:43:19 GMT-0600 (CST))>

and I have a dial tone

Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:43:47 GMT-0600 (CST))>

7 solid and one blinking Link, right?

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:41:54 GMT-0600 (CST))>


Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:42:01 GMT-0600 (CST))>


Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:43:57 GMT-0600 (CST))>

and when I have the phone on, it should blink

Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:44:32 GMT-0600 (CST))>

yes, maybe just needed a reset? did you or george who I was on with before send a signal or test restart to do that?

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:42:37 GMT-0600 (CST))>


Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:45:13 GMT-0600 (CST))>

ok, thanks. guess I am good to go.

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:43:22 GMT-0600 (CST))>

i didnt do it

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:43:28 GMT-0600 (CST))>

george might do it

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:43:34 GMT-0600 (CST))>

thats why its working

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:43:38 GMT-0600 (CST))>

Is there anything else i can assist you with?

Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:45:45 GMT-0600 (CST))>

give george my best. and thanks.

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:43:58 GMT-0600 (CST))>


Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:43:59 GMT-0600 (CST))>

I am glad i was able to resolve this issue for you.To assist us in improving our level of service,please
participate in our short survey, by clicking on :End chat Session” button.

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:44:01 GMT-0600 (CST))>

Thank You.

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:44:08 GMT-0600 (CST))>

have a blast day

Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:46:20 GMT-0600 (CST))>

blast day?

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:45:08 GMT-0600 (CST))>

great day

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:45:32 GMT-0600 (CST))>

sorry spell mistake

Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:47:30 GMT-0600 (CST))>

you, too. and have a blast, why not. enjoy.

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:45:45 GMT-0600 (CST))>


Jeff_(Thu Nov 12 2009 14:48:07 GMT-0600 (CST))>

I am going to have a great blast day now that my phone works again.

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:48:45 GMT-0600 (CST))>


Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:48:47 GMT-0600 (CST))>

Thank You.

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:48:47 GMT-0600 (CST))>

Thank You.

NOTE: At this point I thought we were done. I started writing this blog post. But then a couple minutes later, maybe 5? This popped up:

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:50:56 GMT-0600 (CST))>

helo is all fine now

Mohammad(Thu Nov 12 2009 15:52:10 GMT-0600 (CST))>

Analyst has closed chat and left the room

analyst Mohammad has left room

NOTE: At this point I was testing the phone by calling R and having a laugh about the whole thing and then wanted to see how long I could keep chatting with Mo. But he was gone and missed this from me:

Oh yes, I didn’t know you still wanted to chat. What’s up? Just testing my line…


Filed under Take a Chance