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    • guinball
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    • From Salinas
      • The East of Eden Steinbeck.

      • answered by guinball on 03/17/2013
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    • Washington Meets Franklin
      • It's 7am and I'm wondering why I hear construction across the street on a Saturday. I cover my ears with my pillow hoping the whirring of saws and clanking of jackhammers will subside. Five minutes later, I hear the robins that have been unsuccessfully attempting to build a nest warring over territory on our balcony.

        As I lumber out of bed to bathroom, I'm wondering why it's always so difficult to sleep in, even on the weekends. At least it's not totally wasted. I was planning on waking up at 7:30 so I had enough time to make it into the office by 9:30. I stumble over to the bathroom and narrowly miss the pile of dirty clothes left by the washing machine. I guess we forgot to put those in the machine last night before bed.

        I groggily turn on the light and look in the mirror. Dark bags are visible underneath my eyes. Much darker than usual. I lift the toilet seat, pee, and flush.

        I make my way to the kitchen wondering why we have dishes in the sink only to remember I didn't empty the dishwasher last night. Too lazy to empty it now, I quickly wash a coffee mug stained dark brown. Washing it doesn't change the color, and I don't care.

        I open the cupboard to get the coffee and prepare myself for my morning ritual. I scoop five spoonfuls into the filter and fill the pot with water. Once it hits the ten mark, I turn off the water and pour the contents into the coffee maker as the smell of Golden French Toast begins to fill the apartment.

        I make my way over to the couch and turn on ESPN. There's a game on. Not one of particular interest to me, but it's a backdrop for my morning internet consumption.

        I take the iPad and begin to sort through my morning blogs. The coffee maker beeps the same high pitched beep as the smoke alarm, and I wonder if the birds outside can hear it.

        I make my way back to the kitchen and pour myself 3/4 of a cup of coffee. Some splashes out of the cup on to my hand as I'm pouring and I wipe it on my pants.

        I remember that it's been close to three weeks since I've explored iTunes for new music and make my way back in to the bedroom to grab my headphones. I try to sneak back into the bedroom without waking up my wife which is usually a fairly simple task. I lift the door handle as I turn it, trying to prevent it from squeaking.

        I tiptoe over to our dresser and open the top door to grab the headphones. I find an envelope with the names of my wife and I written in black sharpie. I take it with me back into the kitchen.

        In better light, it's still not clear what's inside the envelope. Sealed shut, it's a red envelope like the ones used for birthday cards. I try to be nice and leave it in the kitchen until my wife wakes up.

        I make my way back over to the couch and drink some more coffee curious about which friends my wife hung out with after work. She's supposed to work today too so she should be up soon.

        After watching the birds war on the balcony from the mirror opposite the couch for a few minutes, I make my way into the bathroom to take a shower. I'm startled to find my wife here.

        "What are you doing up?" I ask.
        "I just woke up" she says.

        We share the typical morning exchanges of married couples, complaining about construction, the birds, and weird dreams. I ask her about the envelope and she seems to have no idea what I'm talking about.

        "The red envelope," I say. "The one you got last night. The one from your friends? Who did you hang out with last night?" I ask.

        She tells me she hung out with work friends but that she didn't bring any red envelope home with her. I tell her she has a horrible memory because I have the red envelope in the kitchen to show her and she still says she has no idea what I'm talking about.

        I bring the envelope over to her as she's sitting on the toilet and she looks at it like I'm playing some kind of joke on her.

        "The envelope," I say. "This red envelope."

        She tells me she's never seen it before, and I tell her I haven't had enough coffee to talk about it.

        "In that case, let's open it," I say as my fingers have already begun to rip the rear flap off of the envelope. Inside, I find a single piece of paper reading:

        "$10,000 deposited into your checking account. A week off of work has been arranged for you both."

        I glance at my wife on the toilet, still unsure of whether or not this is a joke.

        "So, what now?" I ask aloud.

        She asks me what I mean as I grab my phone to log into my Chase banking app and see if there's anything to the anonymous note in the red envelope.

        As the screen pulls up, I notice extra zeros that were not there when I checked our balance yesterday.

        I log out and dial my office expecting no one to answer. After two rings I'm greeted by an abrasive, but friendly voice thanking me for calling and asking how my call can be directed. I identify myself, and the voice on the other line reacts with a twinge of surprise, asking me why I'm calling on my vacation. I ask her to explain herself and she says that she was informed I would be on vacation for the week and to avoid having emails and calls forwarded to my phone in my absence. I say thank you and hang up.

        I explain to my wife who is now off the toilet and in the kitchen that our bank account is, in fact, $10,000 larger, and that my work is not expecting me this week. I ask her to contact her sister that works for the airline through which we can get cheap tickets and tell her to pick a location for a week trip.

        I grab the camera and begin to pack, unsure of what I'll need besides a book, iPad, and camera. I throw a few t-shirts, jeans, sweaters, and shoes together into my duffel and figure I'll buy socks and underwear once we land.

        We finally get in touch with my sister-in-law and get word that we have the standby tickets arranged.

        It takes my wife considerably longer to pack. This is no surprise, however that doesn't make me any less frustrated.

        We call a cab to take us to the airport and make our way down to the lobby.

      • answered by guinball on 03/17/2013
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    • New Release
      • If Guinball's recent double album release is any indication of what we have to expect from this generation of DIYers, there's a glimmer of hope that's spreading across the current music-scape. Starting off at a raging tempo on par with the likes of Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye, we were convinced Guinball would achieve critical mass after the first three tracks only to discover the energy builds throughout the entire first album. While logic dictates such apparent repetition would result in an ennui usually reserved for a new Biebs release, a palpable sense of tension throughout the middle third of the album keeps those with wandering ears transfixed and feverishly anticipating the culmination that Guinball has prepared. Album one doesn't disappoint -- it's a cohesive work that continually builds on itself, remixing aspects of the first third of the album into something entirely new by the end. The final track falls short of perfection, but provides enough of an outline to illustrate the sonic resplendence Guinball attempts to orchestrate. Guinball hosts a worthwhile journey, though we hope some of the more jilting aspects of the trip are more thoroughly addressed in upcoming releases.

        Album two is an entirely different beast, a very clear shift from the tempestuous harmony of album one. Guinball pulls the tempo back significantly, allowing much more of a contrast among tracks. With tempos as slow as 60bpm, you can easily find yourself wondering if Guinball fell asleep at the mixing board. A lackluster release, it's clear there were no Hannett inspired production sessions, though at times we found ourselves asking if this was a bad thing. With all the predictable ebbs and flows of most pop releases, we find the album enjoyable, though not unique, so commonplace that upon hearing most tracks, you'll be convinced you've head them before, but in the context of the double album release, album two occupies the space needed to digest album one in entirety.

        Overall, the double album release is solid but needs more balance. We're on to something special with these releases from Guinball, but it's clear more time is needed to let the key ingredients ripen before we see Guinball's best work.

        Album One: 7.7 out of 10
        Album Two: 5.6 out of 10

      • answered by guinball on 03/10/2013
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    • Judge Me Please.
      • "What do you do?" (read: How much money do you make?, What role do you serve in our culture?, Am I more valuable than you?, Am I more educated than you?, Should I be threatened by you?, Do you rent or own?) (do not read: Could we be friends?, Do we have similar values?, Could we have a mutually respectful relationship?, What do you value?, What are your goals?) Please, judge me based on how society judges me. Judge me based on my title. Judge me based on my job. Just judge me.

      • answered by guinball on 02/18/2013
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