Today was busy but at lunch I made a salami + provolone sandwich along with a tasty bowl of Progresso New England Clam Chowder. Maybe I was hungry but it was much better than I remember Progresso’s clam chowder being. A delicious midday meal.

Remember: sometimes (often times?) its the small pleasures.

What we know about Weird Al Yankovic: He is the first person I saw live in concert (c. 1985, free at the O’Dome at UF). His art — albums and especially the sadly obscure AL TV — was critically formative to my brother and my “brilliant” senses of humor. He remains perhaps the most criminally underated artists of the last century. A song of his was on our wedding invitation. He is a genius AND a fashion plate.

And he has a new album out, Alpocolypse!

Bonus: Chuck Klosterman talks with Weird Al. Where we learn of the world missing out on “Chicken Pot Pie” (to “Live and Let Die”). Two of my cultural heroes — why is it only 33 minutes? OH WHY?!!?

Listcore 001 (link to come) wasn’t my first obsessive, semi-meaningless, soon-to-be unfinished project (that one, c. 1988, will be properly discussed in Listcore 003…someday) but it was the first that I tried to really document & record as a Listcore project. I built a database, had raw files in Excel, even tried butchering some HTML to release it into the world. Of course that was 11 years ago and counting.

After reading through some of Justin’s 500albumreviews today I got a bit nostalgic. At lunch I pulled up the old Listcore 001 file I created and scrolled through the 722 database records. What a great, insane project. And after some more coffee, I decided that I wasn’t gonna give up: LC 001 will not go unfinished! Hell, I even came across a new addition to the madness. I’m going to have to go back and make some changes under the hood, tweak the database, revise some rules and check my math but it’s got some great bones, a good solid foundation.

It’s fitting in some ways because I feel sort of the same way now that I did in 1999 when I started LC 001: a bit worn out on my own music collection, but ravenous about sounds new and old. So much so that I’d actually started to make plans for a new, equally ambitious LC project that will now go on hold until I two of 001, 005 or 010 are finished (or forever like so many before it).

Tonight was my first day back as a part-time staffer for the Alachua County Labor Party. Most of my time was spent just organizing things in the office for our new staffer, Kimberly, and getting to-do lists set up but I’m really looking forward to what I think is going to be a good year of growth/rebirth for the ACLP.

I’ve served as co-chair with Jenny Brown since we started the Local Organizing Committee (the level of organization below a chapter (which required 250 members)) in 2000 and was the first part-time staffer in 2001 (my first day was Sept. 11, 2001 oddly enough). After building up through the Committee of 100, I left my job at UF and worked full-time for the ACLP for most of 2004 — so I’m excited to be back on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.

Candi, Andrew and I have had a pretty long history of some mammoth game playing and I’m usually brought in as a 3rd (or 4th now with Jason taking over the 3rd spot) to test out and learn new games.

Tonight we played 4(!) hours of Cosmic Encounters. I think Candi got it for Andrew for Christmas and this was our first opportunity to try it out. We had a great time as always playing, but ultimately Cosmic Encounters doesn’t come close to cracking the upper echelon of games in rotation: Race for the Galaxy, Nexus Ops, or even Blue Moon City.

Spent my lunch break tearing through this Washington City Paper series looking back at Q and Not U’s terrific debut.

My younger cousin Dan, who’s featured in the series, turned me on to Q and Not U (along with dozens of other bands). While I love the No Kill No Beep Beep cover, I now wish they’d gone with this outtake (both photos by Shawn Brackbill):

No Kill, No Beep Beep (Dischord 123) is a great record and this series was a captivating and unfortunately rare look at a single record and the scene it sprang from:

Those key-janglers and hand-clappers formed a scene that, to be sure, no longer exists, but the photo marked the beginning of a several-years-long creative period for young post-punk bands in D.C. … To MacKaye, the album is a reminder that musical innovation comes in waves. “What Q and Not U captured for me was this: They inherited this thing, and they said this is our fucking take on it.”

Among the amazing, thoughtful, over-indulgent wedding gifts our friends and family gave us was a gift certificate to the Paramount Grill — a nice restaurant that we’ve occasionally had brunch at but is just a little pricier than we’d normally spend on a dinner out. For our first Date Night as a married couple we shared:

Toasted panna rustica, roasted garlic and sweet red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, olives, warmed chevré and extra virgin olive oil, and

Red Snapper with garlic mashed yukon golds

Janeen and I went down to the Civic Media Center to watch New Low, which had been filmed in and around Gainesville (the old CMC, Video Rodeo, Northeast Park, Common Grounds’ Porch, etc).

New Low was an amusing, occasionally laugh-out-loud-funny, look at a drifting college kid and his romantic failings. Adam Bowers, the writer-director-star, reminded me of younger-sort-of-hipper Woody Allen (which is probably what he was going for).

There was nothing groundbreaking about New Low, but it was enjoyable and any movie that has the good enough sense to include Radon in its trailer and involve The Civic Media Center as a key part of the plot gets 8 thumbs up from me!

After the movie, we went home and I watched the Celtics beat the Spurs with Rajon Rondo dishing out an amazing 22 assists. This was a beautifully played basketball game that I can only hope is a preview of the 2011 NBA Finals.

After a whirlwind wedding week, I had one more day off than Janeen and I enjoyed by doing two things I hadn’t done in a while: Slept-in until noon then watched the first 2011 episode of Pardon the Interruption.

Drove Nikki to Tampa + Went to Vinyl Fever one last time + Went to Alcove to finish celebrating

I was really happy that Jason had a class since it mean that I got to drive our dear friend Nikki down to Tampa airport. Nikki and I have known each other since the mid-90s, dating back to the early days of the Center for Campus Organizing. We’d both go on to work for CCO at different times but it wasn’t until the early 2000s when I was back in Gainesville and Nikki had moved to Philly (where she met and introduced me to Jason) that we got to be good friends. Living so far apart most of our friendship has been based on letters throughout the years, with the occasional visit thrown in.

Having been so busy over the last year, I’ve fallen criminally behind in keeping in touch so the 2-hour drive was a great opportunity to catch up on each others lives. As always our conversation settled on the changing nature of our work, love relationships, the Red Sox and our ongoing search for meaning and happiness. I was sad to hear about the pains Nik had been through but excited to hear about her new plans and her settling into a great life behind enemy lines in Brooklyn.

After saying our goodbyes at the airport, I headed over to Vinyl Fever. The day before when Howard and I went by Hyde & Zekes, Chaz had tipped me off that that this terrific music store was closing after 30 years. I got to a already picked over store with only about 20 minutes until they were closing — but left with something like 10 CDs for $20.

As he rang up my ridiculous total, I told the owner that while I was sure it was too little too late, that I was really sad to see them close since they were one of the better record stores in Florida.

Loaded up with a fresh playlist, I made the trip back to Gainesville where I met Howard and Chad for a last round of celebratory beers at The Alcove before Howard went home the next day. What a terrific way to end a great stretch of time with old friends.