by Nick Smith in

Over the past 2 days, I have become borderline obsessed with curling.  It looks like a lot of fun.  I have always wanted to do it.  These Olympics may finally push me over the edge.  I am really psyched to watch the women's final tomorrow.  It's always fun to see the beautiful Cheryl Bernard (or as the great Bill Simmons calls her, the "Curlgar") in action, screaming "HARD!"   The Curlgar is the "skip" (captain) of the Canadian team.  Bill Simmons, for those of you who are unaware (I would imagine many), is a fantastic sportswriter who does columns and a podcast for  He is, to me, to sports what Top Gear is to cars.  He is a hilarious writer and comes at it from such a fun angle that reading him makes me care about what he's writing about, even if I didn't already.  I'm probably going to watch some NBA once the playoffs role around, and it will be all his fault. So I'm going to try to get into it.  There's a curling club here in Schenectady.  The season's almost over, but if I get a little ice time in this year, wherever I wind up come the fall, I will be able to join the local club with a bit of experience under my belt and hopefully get in a league.

At the moment, for next year, I'm leaning towards Austin, Texas.  A college town seems to work for what I am interested in.  I could find an apartment in a student neighborhood, where I wouldn't be terribly concerned about making noise after 9 PM.  I could hopefully find some sort of job to pay the bills.  And Austin has a fairly strong musical scene that I could hopefully carve a little niche in.  Who knows, though, I may have somewhere else in mind next week.  It's just an idea right now.  I could always just wuss out and go get a real job next year.  I would have money that way.  But I would also be making the choice to give up on my dream.   I feel like this is the last chance I'm going to have to really make this choice.

I'm a little frustrated with life in general.  I have the optimism that it will all get better eventually, but I fail to see how.  If you asked me last September about where I would be right now, I would have had much more optimistic expectations than what came to pass.  I was going to write that different things come easily to different people, but I can't for the life of me remember what comes easy to me anymore, other than whining like this.  Metabitch'd.  For someone who believes strongly that there is a balance in everything, I find myself confounded by my own situation.  Of course it could all get better in a hurry tomorrow.  I just don't expect it.

I haven't been writing, the past several days.  Maybe I'll get around to recording "Who Cares" this weekend.  I'm still not 100% comfortable with what I'm doing in the vocal melody.  I've got the words and the guitar part set, it's just how I sing it that I'm getting hung up on.

Also, my parents had to put our dog, Hooper, down this past Monday.  He had been suffering from leukemia for months.  He outlived the vet's wildest expectations.  I'm doing OK.  I had a long time to prepare for it.  I just want to pay tribute.  He was the best damned dog ever.  I'm really gonna miss my buddy when I go home.  I worry more for my parents.  He's kept them sane/insane since my brother and I stopped living there full-time.  I'm pretty sure it's the first time they've been married and petless.  My dad had two cats for a very long time.  The second one died very shortly after we got Hooper.  They're going to need to find something new to fuss over.

The weather has been absolute shit.  It snowed like crazy Tuesday and Wednesday.  It's rained all day today.  It's a wet slushy fucking mess out there.  I want to be in a grassy field with the sun on me.

Spending some time living in a foreign country has gotten more and more interesting to me, but I hate learning languages.  My French is not good enough to survive.   I don't know a lick of German, although it seems like a really cool place to be.  Amsterdam, while a little cliche, seems like a lot of fun.  Maybe if things go well with the next step, I can take a step overseas.

I really love good stand-up comedy.  George Carlin, to me, is one of the greatest minds of the latter half of the 20th Century.  Bill Hicks was a goddamn genius (Smoke a cigarette for Bill tomorrow, he died Feb. 26, 1994).  There is also a very talented crop of comics who came up in the 90s and are enjoying moderate success right now, such as Patton Oswalt, Louis CK, and Maria Bamford, all of whom are uniquely gifted and well worth your listening.  And, of course, the great popular standbys such as Mitch Hedberg, Louis Black, and Jim Gaffigan, who can just make me laugh uncontrollably.  The problem is, exploring comedy is a much more difficult process than exploring music.  Pretty much all of the available materials offered to the public by Carlin, Hicks and Oswalt have been committed to memory almost verbatim already.  I'm scraping the barrel on all the other guys I've listed.   It is hard to find a wealth of good comedians similar to the ones you enjoy and easily find good material to listen to without living in a good comedy city and being tapped into the scene so you can see them live.  I live in Schenectady, NY.  It is not a comedy haven.

I've been listening to Radiohead's Kid A a lot lately.  I really, really like it.  I don't know how it slid under my radar until now.  It's just a real cool album.  I tend to miss the boat on things until long after they are new and relevant.

That's all I got right now.


I've never fucked a ten, but one night, I fucked 5 twos.  I think that oughta count.