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2010-Apr-11th 11:12 am - post-desert update

Originally uploaded by jacob earl
just a quick update:

vacation was awesome. i love arizona, but that's not news. my dad's wedding was fantabulous. i got a little something in my eye, you know?

while in wickenburg / phoenix / scottsdale we did awesome things like eat mexican and puerto rican foods (mmm food), and bought silly tourist trinkets. we went to the phoenix zoo, pueblo grande museum, and botanical gardens. i took about 1000 photos.

we stayed at an awesome hotel in scottsdale called the 3 palms. deluxe king whirlpool WHAT! awesome, that's what! the 3 palms had a swank restaurant called avalon. we dined there, yum!

i got cowboy boots! well, they look more like biker boots. biker cowboy boots.

i got sick (again, from my niece!), but didn't let that ruin my vacation!

also, seamonkey_mags and i got engaged!!! hello me = happy!!!111oneone!

also, look at that cactus! it has balls! :)
2010-Apr-1st 05:34 pm - tooth fairy
a big F**K YOU to the dentist, who insisted that i get a root canal the day before i'm supposed to fly to arizona, only to stop halfway through because she and her tools could not reach the bottom of my roots.

now i have a frozen jaw, and am in immense pain. it's a directly proportional relationship, actually. as the novocaine wears off, and i regain feeling, i equally regain the pain!

there's a temporary filling in my tooth, and i will likely still be popping ibuprofen for the entire vacation. how did this help me?! i should have just said no, or told her to pull the tooth.

oh yeah, and now i have two orthodontist appointments and a follow-up dentist appointment the week after i get back. dentist, consider yourself DUMPED.
2010-Mar-28th 11:04 am - candies!

Originally uploaded by jacob earl
mmm mmm birthday candies...

my birthday weekend is sweet and relaxing. :)

T minus five days, we leave for arizona... woo hoo!

tomorrow for my birthday, where should i go for birthday dinner? i'm thinking either the black tomato, or maybe somewhere where i can get some really yummy sushi. i think sushi would be a great bday meal. mmmmm...

right now we're going to have some brunch fries! mmmmmfood...
2010-Mar-20th 06:17 pm - footshooter

aubergine wellies
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
it's been a busy and hectic past month, leaving me pretty mentally and physically exhausted. i wound up pretty sick last week, but i'm all better now.

this past monday was my one year anniversary with seamonkey_mags. yay! i gave her a nice vase of flowers, and we celebrated with dinner at a korean/japanese restaurant on bank st. i had some quite yummy sushi.

this week we finished booking our basic itinerary for the trip to arizona for my dad's wedding. we're flying out on april 2nd, and coming back on april 8th. we'll be staying at an awesome hotel in scottsdale for a few nights, that is right in the shopping district, and only about a kilometre away from the phoenix zoo! yay zoo! i'm stoked for this trip. i need a good vacation.

i bought a new belt, calvin klein white dress shirt, a nice set of titanium cuff links, and a blue striped geoffrey beene tie [All net profits from Geoffrey Beene products are donated to philanthropic causes, such as cancer research, Alzheimer's research, domestic violence prevention and response, Save the Children, and educational programs (including scholarships for students majoring in fashion and related disciplines) - that's pretty cool]. now i'm all prepped for the wedding, clothes-wise.

this coming monday is seamonkey_mags' birthday, so we went to the byward market this morning, and i got her some new shorts and some new hunter wellington rubber boots (see? aren't they nice?). hey, if they're good enough for the queen of england and kate moss...

then we picked up various yummies at the sausage kitchen (pepperettes and fanta!) and nicastro's (fancy malt vinegar, olives stuffed with garlic, and half a kilo of chocolate!), and ate an unhealthy brunch at mcdonald's.

we also went for a 2k run this afternoon, and seamonkey_mags got her taxes done. and i fit some time in for a little nap. yay productive day!

soon i will post a new entry with music reviews. listening to lots of great new stuff right now, especially the new frightened rabbit album.

nine days 'til my birthday, people! what are y'all getting me?!?!
2010-Feb-17th 06:26 pm - fackin' fack! fack this meme!
freaky_eggplant tagged me in a stupid meme again! i'm being made to suffer! now you must too:

A - List 7 habits/quirks/facts
B - Tag 7 people to do the same
C - Don't tag the person who tagged you, or tag "Whoever wants to do it"

1. i'm totally OCD! i wash my hands about a dozen times a day (making them really dry, and break out in eczema in teh winterz), i love metadata and data rationalization, and ordering and organizing stuff (especially information, or even abstract concepts)... this is why music production appeals to me.

2. i have an extensive visual arts background. ten years of structured art and art history education, including techniques with various media (painting, life drawing, ceramics, film photography, etching and drypoint, printmaking, sculpture, design, etc.).

3. my thumbs are double-jointed. some people thing it's gross.

4. i pull at my beard when i am thinking or concentrating (this could be a corollary to #1). sometimes i notice that i am doing it while talking to other people. a lot. i'm doing it right now.

5. i like being practical. things that are impractical sometimes annoy me and get on my nerves. it's like they're defying the laws of physics and the universe. act practical!

6. fact: i've never in my life been drunk.

7. i make up songs about my cats, and sing said songs to the cats. sometimes i have to make up words in order to complete the rhymes. can you think of words that rhyme with agamemnon or relic?

i tag (edited): seamonkey_mags, fiercekitty, curriejean, this_red_crow, audrawilliams, littlegirltoast, and sigmasix kissingamemory! take that, you fackers!
2010-Feb-8th 08:17 pm - winterlude

winterlude ice sculptures
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
got some good pics at winterlude last night.

also, yummy chocolate and hazelnut beavertail. mmm...

this is pretty much the highlight of winter in this town. ok, i've had enough; winter can end now please.
2010-Jan-17th 12:20 pm - get up and dance
i've decided that it's going to be a good year. i'm not concerning myself with the little annoyances that get me down. those exist no matter what; some of them i have no control over, so why feel unnecessary anxiety over them?

i'm not gonna let my seizure a couple of weeks ago get me down, or make me overly-cautious about my life. it is what it is... and hopefully i won't have another one for another seven years or more.

and i'm having a good time so far this year! my show @ zaphod's last weekend was righteous fun! and hopefully i will be setting up another one in the near future, in toronto w. owel five & corboe, and mayhaps littlegirltoast too(?) :)

this weekend has been good. seamonkey_mags and i have done much walking, and much shopping in the market. we bought some awesome brie and walnut cheese, rabbit and pork and blueberry and maple paté, and seal pepperettes. also, some great pickles. we also got some nice new ear jewelry.

this morning, we went for a 3.5 km run. i'm totally loving my winter running gear. i haven't felt in this good shape since... well maybe ever! i was down to 180lbs last sunday. i can't believe i'm actually within a realistically attainable distance to my ultimate goal of 175. i don't think i look a lot different, but i know my clothes are fitting looser.
2010-Jan-5th 12:19 pm - stay perfectly still
i was going to make my next entry into my best of the decade list, but then of course as it sometimes does, real news happened.

first, while i was still in sudbury over xmas, i got a call from my dad on boxing day (my dad lives in arizona). he informed me that he is getting married again! which is great news in and of itself, but the real bonus is that he wants me to stand up for him. i'm beside myself. how often do you get the chance to be best man at your dad's wedding? and the wedding is taking place in arizona, easter weekend. great excuse for seamonkey_mags and i to take a trip out west. i'm really looking forward to her meeting my dad.

and then there's the news which leads me to be sitting at home in the middle of the day on tuesday, when i would normally be at work: i had a seizure on sunday night. this sucks. it's been almost seven years since my last seizure, and my health has been really good, possibly better than it has ever been. i haven't been over-exerting myself, i've been getting plenty of sleep, regular food and exercise, but then out of nowhere sunday night i'm trying to fall asleep, and i keep getting auras. so as usual, there was puking and wooziness when i came out of the seizure, and i felt pretty crappy in general yesterday (monday). i feel mostly better today, but still a bit low on energy.

i'm determined to not let this wreck my upcoming show, this weekend. i promise to be in top form, so come out and see me perform @ zaphod's this saturday! doors @ 8p.m. and i go on first, so get there early.
it's been a good year for me. especially meeting seamonkey_mags; she is the awesomest.

we spent the day wrapping up the year in a good way: equipping ourselves with winter running gear. also, i got new winter boots: bogs! they are super comfy. then we went for thai dinner, and went to see the imaginarium of dr. parnassus. i always have high hopes for gilliam films, but sadly, folks, don't bother with this one. butt-sore-n-snore-a-licious.

i'm stoked to get running again. i was tipping the scales at 183lbs a couple of days ago, which is really good... i've gotten past the 185lbs milestone, and am well on my way to reaching my ultimate goal of 175lbs. perhaps that will be my resolution of sorts. but i cannot reach it without some extra exercise. thus, gotta get back into the running...

anyway, enough of that! happy new year!

i have decided on my top 40 albums of 2009. the rules: no live albums, no EPs, no compilations or soundtracks, no repackaging of previous material shall be considered. this means that good releases like leonard cohen live in london, mark kozelek lost verses - live, throw me the statue's purpleface EP, cage's i never knew you EP, iron & wine's around the well, etc., were not considered for this best of... list. even though they were good releases. asterisk (*) denotes canadian content.

so here we go:

40. grizzly bear – veckatimest
39. wilco – wilco (the album)
38. sonic youth – the eternal
37. ryan dahle – irrational anthems *
36. pearl jam – backspacer
35. phosphorescent – to Willie
34. dinosaur jr. – farm
33. slug & murs (w. aesop rock) – felt 3
32. animal collective – merriweather post pavilion
31. porcupine tree – the incident
30. white rabbits – it’s frightening
29. jean leloup – mille excuses milady *
28. bonnie ‘prince’ billy – beware
27. the dodos – time to die
26. volcano choir – unmap
25. bishop allen – grrr…
24. royal city – 1999 – 2004 *
23. yeah yeah yeahs – it’s blitz
22. neko case – middle cyclone
21. the mars volta - octahedron
20. jason lytle – yours truly, the commuter
19. the flaming lips - embryonic
18. vetiver – tight knit
17. the tragically hip – we are the same *
16. yo la tengo – popular songs
15. cage – depart from me
14. junior boys – begone dull care *
13. eels – hombre lobo
12. lou barlow – goodnight unknown
11. sparklehorse – dark night of the soul
10. fucked up – the chemistry of common life *
9. bike for three! – more heart than brains *
8. dirty projectors – bitte orca
7. regina spektor – far
6. the mountain goats – the life of the world to come
5. john vanderslice – romanian names
4. matthew good – Vancouver *
3. malcolm middleton – waxing gibbous
2. throw me the statue – creaturesque
1. magnolia electric co. – Josephine

and lastly, the biggest disappointment of the year: muse's the resistance. blech. what a letdown after black holes and revelations.

anyway, see you all in 2010!
2009-Dec-29th 02:17 pm - xmas reindeer monkey cheer!
merry post-xmas! i hope all your holidays were good, and/or are still good if you're still on vacation like me!

seamonkey_mags got me this great paul frank julius the monkey with reindeer antlers t-shirt! isn't it awesome?! she also got me super mario brothers wii, which is so fun. i got her a new Wind 12.1" netbook, and a gift certificate for la senza. i'm just awesome that way.

i will be posting my best of 2009 list soon. also, i have decided that instead of doing a best of the decade list, i am going to concoct a "best albums of the decade that you nearly missed or didn't hear at all". because you really don't need another list comprising mostly of the strokes, radiohead, the white stripes, and jay-z. or else you could just read pitchfork, or nme, or rolling stone, or stereogum, etc. yes, we all know that those bands are big and well-known and popular, and put out albums in the past decade that sold really well. but what about all the other, more obscure, really good bands who put out really good albums in the past decade? that's what you will find on my best of the decade list! coming soon...

now i'm going to go enjoy the rest of my vacation... don't forget to come out and see me play live @ zaphod's on saturday, jan. 09th, with owel five & corboe, and julia set generator! that's just 11 days away! it will be a blast, i promise!
2009-Dec-24th 01:21 pm - happy holidays / live show soon!
i haven't posted in a couple of weeks and i keep meaning to, but get sidetracked... and i don't really have time for a good long post right now. i'm off to sudbury for four days, have a happy holidays everyone!

just a quick message to mark your calendars: jacob earl live @ zaphod's, 2010-01-09! that's saturday, january 9th! it will be a blast!
2009-Dec-6th 04:32 pm - slow stupor

aggie loves catnip
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
the weekend has been a nice, slow stupor. somewhat relaxing, lazy, not very eventful. aggie and relic got loaded on catnip yesterday. they are two hilarious goofs when they are not being total sloths.

friday night was hot date night with seamonkey_mags! we went out for shawarma for dinner, and then to the movies to see fantastic mr. fox, which was a very enjoyable movie.

if you don't already know this, i feel hit-and-miss about wes anderson. mostly, i don't enjoy his movies for one reason or another (could be that i think owen wilson is usually really annoying). the darjeeling limited was really good, largely thanks to adrien brody and jason schwartzman. and again in fantastic mr. fox, schwartzman shines, as do bill murray, george clooney, willem dafoe, and jarvis cocker. really great cast. the animation was superb, and so was the score.

yesterday we went to the craft fair at the jack purcell community centre. we got some gourmet chocolates; eight for $12.95! yowza! but worth it. i really liked the peppermint and chili flavours. and i'm not even usually much of a chocolate fan...

i'm planning to make a ground beef and pasta casserole for dinner; do you think this is a good idea? obviously, i'm going to put cheese in it. what else should i put in it?
2009-Nov-25th 05:52 pm - "i'm not really here"

agamemnon in b&w
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
look at that handsome boy! agamemnon can sure be cute when he wants to be.

i think it's been about five weeks since i last posted. apologies. life has been busy.

seamonkey_mags has been home for over a month now, and we've settled in together nicely. it's awesome having her here instead of 900 km away in nova scotia.

we went to montreal a couple of weeks ago with shaun, to visit sigmasix and my cousin, and to do some shopping and take in a concert. despite it raining almost the whole weekend, we had a lot of fun.

work is busy, but i have passed a pre-requisite stage of a competition i applied for. this is good news. could mean more money and a better work location (closer to home) for me.

apart from work, i've been really busy recording new music. Incarnations is almost done (just released the second-last track last night), and i have created a brand new blog - hadwemetinanotherlife.blogspot.com, to document my new upcoming album. check it out. first track coming in january 2010...

i'll post a few more new album reviews soon. i have already started compiling my best of 2009 list, and given some serious thought to my best of the decade list.
2009-Oct-22nd 04:38 pm - oh sweet anticipation
dear people i know:

in approximately three and a half hours, seamonkey_mags will finally be home, back in my arms for good. four long months finally over. yay!

bring on the joyous celebration!
2009-Oct-15th 07:03 pm - i can to review teh music...
i know, i know... i've heard your anguished cries, your screams of anxiety, your fretting moments of wondering: when will jacob tell me the latest, greatest music to listen to? it's almost the end of the year! it's almost time for the best of the year list, and the decade's best album wrap-up! when will there be some more great reviews for me to read?! jacob hasn't written a serious album review in over four months!!!

calm down now, folks. wait no more! here we go, as promised...

deer tick - born on flag day - really this was my introduction to this great band, and it grew on me pretty quick. very reminiscent of other alt-country greats like elliott brood and knife in the water. having also listened to their 2007 release, war elephant, there seems to be a definite progression towards a rockabilly sensibility, particularly with tracks like straight into a storm. if you're a fan of classic guitar licks, you will enjoy this album.

royal city - 1999-2004 - a long time coming, too long really. royal city were one of the most amazing bands ever to come out of ontario. their signature brand of understated alt-country pretty much single-handedly changed my opinion on any music that is remotely country-esque. i remember seeing them once at babylon, and being mesmerized by their live set, wishing i could produce that kind of live musical atmosphere. this collection of royal city recordings comes very close to that same feeling. great slow, sad mood, characterized by beautifully lulling tracks about smoking, drinking, and sleeping, like can't you hear me calling and i called but you were sleeping. gotta love it. nostalgic to the end.

dinosaur jr. - farm - speaking of nostalgia! the original members of dinosaur jr., reunited! i don't know what to say about this album. it's good. i don't know if it's better than 2007's dinosaur jr. release, beyond. but listening to it, it's pretty obvious that you can hear the barlow influence back in the mix, which is a good thing in my opinion. my tolerance of j. mascis masturbatory music wavers a lot.

lou barlow - goodnight unknown - definitely better than the dinosaur jr. release this year! this is a top-notch album, very likely to possibly make it in my top 5 of the year. i picked this up on vinyl, and i've listened to it a few times through already. barlow is an awesome, articulate, emotive, captivating songwriter, and this album exemplifies those qualities in every way. the clincher: is it better than emoh? i don't know. give it time. emoh is a veritable tear-jerker, and this album is a little more upbeat, so it's hard to compare. my personal tastes tend towards tear-jerkers, so i'm biased...

fucked up - the chemistry of common life - if you haven't heard of these guys yet, are you living under a rock? winners of this year's coveted polaris prize, fucked up are a great aggro-punk-electro-experimental band from toronto. and for once, the polaris prize winner lives up to the hype! this album is totally awesome to listen to from start to finish. it is technically accomplished yet whimsical. the lyrics are intelligent (if not always intelligible). there are some great female vocal harmonies. some really superb instrumental segues. awesome production style. a singer named pink eyes. what more could you ask for? for me, the stand-out tracks are definitely the bookends; the first track, son the father (great flute intro into a very catchy ramones-esque screamo rawkfest), and the title track at the end. very nice.

mark kozelek - lost verses (live) - this is a great live performance of some of kozelek's best tracks, including cover songs that he's known for, including send in the clowns and modest mouse's tiny cities. amazing live version of heron blue. a good follow-up to the finally lp that he released last year, and a good counterpoint to the 2006 live release, little drummer boy. i will never tire of kozelek. he is the king of sadcore. for those not initiated to kozelek, his previous incarnation was as the frontman of red house painters, and his other moniker is sun kil moon. you can also see/hear him in the oscar-winning movie almost famous, as larry fellows, the fictional bassist of stillwater.

b.a. johnson - stairway to hamilton - so the story goes something like this: b.a. johnson is a fat chud who lives with his mom, and makes up hilarious synth-music about living the life of a lazy, under-employed momma's boy with no marketable job skills. the schtick is probably not entirely based on real life, but b.a. certainly lives up to the mythos he creates in his live performance, including dressing up as a naval captain, karaoking along to moving on up and the littlest hobo, and crowd-surfing on an air mattress. does this guy have any class or shame? i don't think so. and it's hilarious! as for b.a. johnson's latest offering, stairway to hamilton, i know i mentioned it in my review of his live show back in july, but it deserves a second nod. it is THAT good.

throw me the statue - purpleface ep - it is so sad that this is only an ep and not a full-length. i cannot wait for a new TMTS full-length. moonbeams is gonna rank super high in my wrap-up of albums of the decade. purpleface is a good companion piece - a teaser, if you will - including a re-recorded, lush, full band rendition of written in heart signs, faintly (one of my favourite tracks off moonbeams). honestly people, if i haven't convinced you by now to listen to throw me the statue, i don't know what to do. you simply must hear this band (over and over again 'til you die of pleasure), or you are missing out on one of life's great things.

magnolia electric co. - josephine - as i mentioned briefly in an earlier post, this is a contender for album of the year. as i also mentioned, it is jason molina's best album since songs: ohia's the lioness (2000). no kidding! this stunning album (even better on vinyl, folks) is a dedication to deceased bassist evan farrell. and what a piece of justice. as tragic as it will be when i die, i hope someone records a homage album even 1/10th this beautiful. seriously, i'm not trying to be callous. expertly produced by the legendary steve albini, this gorgeous suite of compositions has all the typically gritty and strained anxious moments of molina's angst, rolled into perfect tight twangs and croons. from the lead-off track, o! grace: "i've been as lonesome as the world's first ghost..." wow. in fact, all the lyrics of this conceptual masterpiece are just stunning and heart-melting. of course, lyrics have always been molina's strength, so this is no surprise. one particular lyrical device that i really love about this album... molina takes the motif of "josephine" and repeats the refrain throughout the album; first, obviously, in the title track, then in hope dies last, and finally in the closing track, an arrow in the gale. it is a clever and pretty way of unifying the album concept, weaving it throughout the separate tracks to tie the story together. i can't think of a single bad thing to say about this stunning album. now on to the other contenders for album of the year...

malcolm middleton - waxing gibbous - another contender for album of the year! i've always loved middleton's music, since the relatively early days of arab strap. pure scottish sorrow, you can't beat it! and middleton's fifth release is definitely his best to-date. in this latest release, middleton shucks the acoustic-esque sound of last year's album, sleight of heart, and goes back to the uptempo electro-folk beats of 2007's a brighter beat. it's hard to pick a stand-out track, 'cause they are all awesome! but i really like carry me (very reminiscent of arab strap!), zero, don't want to sleep tonight, shadows, and box & knife. if you've never bothered to become a fan of scottish music, shame on you! now's the time to start, and malcolm middleton is the artist to start with. he is definitely a songwriter's songwriter. sad bastard music rules!

the mountain goats - the life of the world to come - yet another contender for album of the year! just picked up the 180g double-vinyl with gatefold a few days ago. amazing. also, if you missed the album premiere on stephen colbert on tuesday, october 13th, do yourself a favour and go download or stream it online. john darnielle and the gang are amazing live performers, and colbert's interview with him is quite funny (i had no idea that colbert was a mountain goats fan). the life of the world to come is a collection of metaphorical stories about the bible. each of the tracks is named after a bible verse. this is what i love about darnielle; he puts thought into his songwriting... he is an amazing storyteller. the music isn't always stellar, but the stories are endlessly captivating. this album is taking longer to grow on me than, say, the sunset tree or we shall all be healed. and it definitely doesn't have the immediacy - the catchy pop factor - of heretic pride (there is no killer lead-off hook-laden sing-along track like sax rohmer #1; i think even colbert recognized this, quoting sax rohmer #1 back to darnielle). but at the end of the day, this is a mountain goats release, which alone means it's better than 90% of the crap out there.

regina spektor - far - thus far, the only female artist in my contenders for album of the year. extremely catchy and infectious, i have listened to this album over and over and over again. i love tracks like eet, the calculation, blue lips, folding chair, and especially dance anthem of the 80s. i get a big nostalgia feeling from listening to this album, which is always a feeling i like. spektor reminds me (stylistically) a lot of joanna newsom, emiliana torrini, and martha wainwright, and my previous exposure to her was only through collaboration with other artists that i listen to. all of which is to say, she is one of my favourite new (to me) artists.

the dodos - time to die - i got into the dodos last year with their debut album, visiter; an amazing debut by any standards. sadly, their sophomoric effort doesn't quite measure up. it's good, but not as good. certainly not as good as their live performance this past july at bluesfest. oh well. still a very listenable album, but chances are - at any given moment - if i'm going to throw on a dodos track, it will more likely be a track off visiter.

matthew good - vancouver - so many things i could say about this album. everyone knows that i'm biased; i have been a matt good fan since day one: since first hearing symbolistic white walls on the radio so very many years ago. basically though, it amounts to this: vancouver is good's best album since mgb's the audio of being. all of good's solo stuff since the demise of mgb has been amazing, but vancouver is the culmination. it is anthemic in that grand way that the audio of being and beautiful midnight were a decade ago. for those familiar with matt good's signature sound, you're sure to love tracks like last parade, US remains impossible, fought to fight it, the vancouver national anthem, and the truly beautiful final track, empty's theme park (remeniscent of mgb final tracks like the war is over, running for home, and a change of season). also listen for recurring throwbacks to the motif of the man from harold wood. two big thumbs up.

whew. that should tide you over for now. now your turn. what are you listening to lately?
2009-Oct-6th 07:10 pm - WORDS are for losers!
haha, silly meme time!

reply to this meme by yelling "words!" and i will give you five words that remind me of you. then you will make an entry explaining what those words mean to you.

(who thinks up these things anyway?)

these are mine, from freaky_eggplant:

music - naturally. music is my lifeblood. listening to it, writing and composing it, recording it, going to see live music... music means almost more to me than any other thing that is not a human being. i love immersing myself in music. i love sharing music. i love the feeling of being sonically encompassed, told a story woven through the fabric of tone and rhythm, melody and harmony. i think it's safe to say that i would not be jacob without music.

beards - granted, i have one of the best beards ever. but you already knew that. what you may not know is that i have no strong preference either way, to go bearded or beardless. except that i loathe shaving with a passion only equalled by my love of music, and since y'all seem to like it that way, who am i to blow against the wind?

cooking - i love food. and cooking brings me to a zen moment that very few other tasks or preoccupations are capable of evoking in me. the art and simplicity of preparation, the anticipation of consumption, the feeling of accomplishment of self-sufficiency; cooking evokes all these things in me. it is a peaceful exercise. i yearn for a nice kitchen in which to perform it.

okcupid - this is freaky_eggplant's idea of funny, i'm thinking. i'm pretty sure we originally started chatting on livejournal, via audrawilliams' journal, but then she thought maybe she had checked me out on okc in the past(?) anyway, to me, okc has been a nice way to meet people that i have developed some lasting friendships with (yeah, the grammar in this sentence sucks). and of course it was how i met seamonkey_mags, and thus it means EVERYTHING. :)

photography - i love taking pictures sooooo much! it's been an interest since high school, when i first did work in a b&w darkroom. i love to take photos of landscapes (especially night shots), graffiti, macros of flowers, etc. i think the documentary nature of photography appeals to my ocd.

ok, enough of that now.
2009-Sep-29th 05:26 pm - black gives way to blue
i promise some new music reviews - real ones - really soon, but for now ponder this:


the question that i pose to you is this: do we really need a new and improved alice in chains? though i haven't listened yet, i admit that the prospect of a new studio album 14 years after the s/t last lp they did... well it's interesting. but - and maybe i'm just being old and crotchety here - i don't see how it's alice in chains without layne staley.

i see this as possibly going the same way as the doors and inxs and blind melon reunion-sans-dead-vocalists.

what's next? a nirvana reunion? a mother love bone reunion? a beatles reunion, right, huh?!
2009-Sep-27th 06:42 pm - smiley breakfast

another eggman
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
friends, heathens, zombies, lend me your ears... (drum roll please; da da da da da da dadadada da)...

i have lost 8lbs in the last two and half months! i am down to 187lbs. that is very close to milestone #1: 185lbs, and also not that far from ultimate goal: 175lbs.

i am maintaining my weight loss slowly and steadily, through conscious good eating habits, and regular walking.

and i don't even feel like i have changed my diet much; just removed a lot of unnecessary carbs/sugars.

i feel good. how are you?
2009-Sep-26th 09:19 am - twitter FTW!
fellow losers, i signed up for twitter! madness. i've gone off the deep end. follow me... it will be just like i'm there with you ALL THE TIME. won't that be great?

me, the twit!
2009-Sep-15th 05:23 pm - happy six-monthiversary!

Mags @ Phinney's Cove, NS
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
see this amazing, wonderful, beautiful young woman here? this is seamonkey_mags, as some of you may already know.

what you may not already know (but should, damnit) is just how awesome and great she is! it's astounding. she is the most affectionate and attentive partner. she is intelligent, witty, funny, and terribly resourceful. she is captivating. she makes me do a jig. she makes my heart sing.

i thought you should all know that. let's hang out soon!
2009-Sep-10th 07:19 pm - on these rocks we laid our hearts

Blue Rocks, NS
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
i had an awesome time in nova scotia, mini-vacation road-trippin' with seamonkey_mags!

we went all over the southwestern portion of nova scotia, from halifax to lunenburg and mahone bay, blue rocks and bayswater, down to liverpool and annapolis royal, and back up to centreville and wolfville via all the cool little coves on the northern coast.

we ate tonnes of awesome food (especially at all the bed & breakfasts, and at foxhill cheese, mmm pineapple gelato), and visited cool places like kejimkujik national park, annapolis tidal station, and fort anne. we saw seals and deer and snakes, and posed with cannons and cannonballs.

i took hundreds of photos. some of them even turned out well! the ocean is so cool! this was my first time back to NS in 11 years, so it was loads of fun.

that was my 120 hours of awesomeness. what did you do for labour day weekend?
2009-Sep-3rd 11:53 am - see this purdy face?

mags @ the hyatt
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
in just over six hours, i will be kissing it all over!

off to nova scotia i go, for five nights and five days of fun!

our approx. itinerary:
  • today – my flight arrives at halifax airport at 7.
  • 1 ½ hour drive to lunenburg, rose garden b&b.
  • friday 4th – second night at rose garden b&b
  • saturday 5th – liverpool, morton house inn
  • sunday 6th – annapolis royal, champlain motel
  • whalewatching - westport, brier island, 90-minute drive from digby
  • Mon, 7 – Centreville, Silver Shoe B&B

i'm all packed; clothes, cameras, netbook, book, e-ticket, passport, printed itinerary (and all carry-on, yay, i hate checking baggage)... fun, here i come!
2009-Sep-1st 05:00 pm - i am zero means zero
true story.
i think that john vanderslice's romanian names now has a contender for album of the year...

magnolia electric co's josephine. jason molina has pulled off quite possible his best album since songs: ohia's the lioness (2000).
2009-Aug-24th 07:51 pm - health update

pork tenderloin for dinner
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
see that yummy looking pork tenderloin with zucchinis, green onions, and butternut squash? mmmm, i prepared that for dinner tonight. it was yummy to the Nth degree.

so i think i'm making pretty decent progress on my health kick. still no fries or poutine (seven weeks)... cut potatoes from my breakfast specials... started eating more salads (four salads last week!)... walked to the byward market on saturday and bought fresh veggies... went running with shaun yesterday, around the back of the parliament buildings (ok, we walked half the time, but still, 4.2 km). still i'm not losing significant weight. hopefully that means i'm gaining muscle mass. :P

ten more days and i'm off to nova scotia to see seamonkey_mags! it will be a rockin' good time, you're envious i know.
2009-Aug-18th 09:00 pm - The Jacob Salad!

The Jacob Salad!
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
some of you regular readers who know me personally know that i have been fretting about my weight of late. which is not to say that i'm overly concerned about being obese...

(...and i still think the whole concept of being "fat" is so ingrained in the social culture of a multi-billion dollar diet and fashion industry that it is currently meaningless and rather insulting to the average person who chooses not to judge others by their looks)...

...but i want to be healthy, and i recently realized that i was the heaviest i've ever been in my life. such is life, getting older and more sedentary. i can't control hereditary factors, but i can try to have healthier habits.

to put some perspective on the subject as it pertains to me (which may or may not come off sounding like a list of excuses or rationales for my bad habits - so be it):

i was diagnosed with epilepsy 23 years ago, at 10 and a half. since then, food became a predominant part of my life. food is a wonderful control mechanism for not having seizures. maintain a good steady diet - keep the blood sugar levels good - and you can mitigate seizure activity. at least, that was my experience.

also, my medication makes it difficult to not gain weight, as is the case with many medications. my meds also caused me to wind up with chronic gastroenteritis from long-term use (valproic acid is, well, acidic - as the name implies). the naturally easiest way to avoid gastro attacks is to eat a starch (carb) heavy diet, and avoid really acidic foods. again, not the best recipe for keeping trim.

by the time i graduated high school i had stopped growing. i am the same height i was when i was 18 years old. i was 120lbs, and i went to work in shipping & receiving department at an art store. i spent a year lifting and carrying 45-70lb boxes of art supplies. i bulked up to 145lbs of (relatively) lean muscle. my waist was 29". i was in decent shape, probably the best shape of my life. but over the following 14 years it slowly creeped up pound-by-pound to 195lbs.

now i'm maybe 5' 5 3/4" on a good day. at 195lbs, that makes me quite the stocky fellow. i have pretty good mass distribution, good upper body strength, strong (if out of practice) muscles... but i also definitely got a pot-belly; that 29" waist has gone to 36-37" if i'm lucky.

but all that said, i don't have a bad self-body-image-thingy. i look in my mirror and think, yeah, cool. i wish i could fit into thinner clothes easier; it would make shopping much easier and more fun... however, that's a pretty vain rationale, and i don't obsess over it since i've got other (more important) things to occupy my mind.

still, in the back of my head, a little rational voice speaks to me about watching my health so i can llve a happy productive life for many years to come. the voice doesn't care about looking ripped and impressing girls at the beach, or playing sports, or running marathons... it just cares about feeling good, feeling well, being happy and in good health. that is how i know it is sound judgement.

so i am following the voice, little by little. i don't know if i can get back into running like i did last summer. that was definitely a headspace thing, and had very little, if anything, to do with wanting to be healthier or losing weight. this year was an entirely different dilemna, requiring a very different solution.

the first thing i have done is to start walking more and more. pretty much every day i can, for the past month and a half or so. my standard lunchtime walk is 3.5 km.

the second thing i have done is alter my eating habits. six weeks ago i stopped eating french fries and poutine. i'm sure a number of you will gasp at this, knowing my addiction to poutine, how i love and crave it always (who wouldn't?!)... but seriously, i have done it cold turkey. i have cut down drastically on my carb intake. i'm also cutting down on sugar drinks, and eating more home-cooked meals (current fav is butter chicken and rice).

tonight for dinner i invented The Jacob Salad! (see picture). it consists of:
(diced up);
sweet onions
old cheddar cheese
in a basil parmesan oil and vinegar dressing.

it was so yummy. last night i had a similar dish (without the broccoli and seaweed) along with some leftover lamb stew.

all of this is to say: i've lost 2.5lbs, now hovering around 192.5lbs. not very encouraging for six weeks, but hey, babysteps...

...and seriously, doesn't The Jacob Salad look delicious?! it was! it's not poutine, but hey, it's got flavour. i'll live (hopefully longer, healthier, happier).
stop! baking time!

stop! silly meme time!

The rules: Test your memory and your love of live music by listing 50 artists or bands you’ve seen in concert. List the first 50 acts that come into your head.

here's my list. i liked allsorts' idea of putting an asterisk (*) after every band that i've seen multiple times, so i'll do that too. here we go:

james *
the black crowes
john vanderslice *
okkervil river *
crooked fingers *
john critchley
the grapes of wrath *
the dears *
by divine right *
mogwai *
sigur ros
malcolm middleton
dirty projectors
of montreal
the hidden cameras
blue rodeo
the national
yo la tengo *
arcade fire
catherine wheel
rock plaza central *
jane's addiction
wax mannequin *
b.a. johnson *
third eye blind
matthew good *
gin blossoms
motley crue
cannibal corpse
jesse dangerously *
throw me the statue
the russian futurists
krista l.l. muir *
the tragically hip
matthew sweet
a perfect circle
the gandharvas
the tea party *
i mother earth
our lady peace

these last three bands i'm not particularly proud of, and they should stay in the past. :P

anyway. this is my first post in a couple of weeks. i've been keeping busy working, making music, cooking a lot, just basically filling the summer days with productivity... waiting for labour day weekend, when i will fly to see seamonkey_mags and we will have a great fun 5-day holiday driving to different bed & breakfasts, going whale-watching, and generally engaging in lots of fun funness!

in anticipation of this grand upcoming mini-vacation, i have purchased (indulged in) a new camera! a panasonic lumix TS1; fully submersible in water up to 3m, 12mp with 4.6x optical zoom and HD video! we can get HD video of fishies swimming in the ocean! well, maybe. so far all the pics i've taken with it are turning out great (it does sweet macro), and i can't wait to try it out underwater.

i have been listening to A WHOLE BUNCH of new music that i hope to get around to reviewing somewhat in-depth, but i'll reserve that for a future entry unto itself. for now i will just suggest a few new albums that are pretty awesome for various reasons:

deer tick - born on flag day (2009)
royal city - 1999-2004 (2009)
dinosaur jr. - farm (2009)
mark kozelek - lost verses - live (2009)
rock plaza central - 'Neath the lion's paw ep (2009)
b.a. johnson - stairway to hamilton (2008)
throw me the statue - purpleface ep (2009)
magnolia electric co. - josephine (2009)

i'm also anxiously looking forward to getting my hands on the new upcoming albums by the black crowes, the mountain goats, and volcano choir (w. justin vernon of bon iver).
2009-Aug-2nd 02:42 pm - eeeasy as pie
i have a had a productive and relaxing weekend so far... i took friday off for an extra long weekend (originally intending to go to my parents' lakehouse, but that didn't pan out), and ended up really investing some serious hours into pwning my eeepc. i removed eeebuntu, and installed a full-fledged version of windows xp. including peripherals and programs, it takes up most of the formatted 3.5 gb of the ssd, but it runs slick and smooth!

AND i installed some VSTs, plugged in my midi keyboard, and worked on a new track on my eeepc! the eeepc 701 is capable of being a music machine! this is phenomenal. this means that when i upgrade to a slightly better netbook, i know it will be a workable instrument for live shows. :)

thursday and friday night were both awesome nights of rap; thursday at maverick's i saw the backburner posse and kwiz massturrz, and friday at zaphod's i saw the kwiz massturrz again for their cd release.

i'll be releasing more Incarnations really soon...
2009-Jul-30th 09:32 pm - letters to the editor

Leave a comment and I will give you a letter. Then, write 10 things that you love starting with that letter. Post the list in your journal. Give out letters to those who comment in return.

I was given the letter "N" by the IPOD-LOVING fiercekitty

1. Nestea

2. Naan

3. Nerdcore

4. Nature

5. Neko Case

6. Napping

7. Noses

8. Nylons

9. Nerds (candy)

10. Nice People
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