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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yucky Oatmeal Spurs Thoughts of Revolution

I had another bad experience with oatmeal.

Last time it was the Weight Control Oatmeal from Quaker Oats, which tastes like it's made with 64% instant death. (I stole the instant death thing from a Black Chandelier T-shirt.) This time I bought the Albertsons brand knock off of Quaker Oats' Strawberries and Cream instant oatmeal. I don't usually buy knock offs, because I'm a sucker for the real thing, but Quaker Oats only had packages with both Strawberry and Banana flavored oatmeal. The strawberry has no corn syrup, but the banana does, so that just wouldn't do. I didn't want to waste the 6 packets of banana.

Turns out my money would have been better spent if I had just bought the Quaker Oats and thrown the banana packets away, because I ended up throwing away 9 of the 10 Albertsons brand packets. Why? Because Albertsons makes their oatmeal with 97% instant death. Seriously, I wasn't sure if I was eating food or pure chemicals.

And this seems to be the last straw for me as far as consumer complacency goes. And for that matter, complacency as a citizen in general. What will it take so that we can trust that the food we buy will be healthy and tasty, and worth the money we spend on it? What will it take for businesses to stand by their quality guarantees not by refunding our money or giving us replacement products, but by doing things right the first time? What will it take for customer service to be more than just a joke?

I know what it will take: Fear.

Ian and I watched V for Vendetta on monday. We were three weeks late, because we had intended to watch it on the 5th in honor of Guy Faux day. The end of the year has a way of speeding up rapidly until all the days just blur together. In the movie, V says that people shouldn't be afraid of their government; the government should be afraid of its people. And this is true, because the government is supposed to operate in service of its constituents. Instead the rule seems to be for the government to trample on the shoulders of the people through its invasion of our privacy rights in the name of anti-terrorism, its moral indiscretions of every kind, its greed and high class that yields a lack of concern for the people who pay their salaries. Utter lack of respect. Complete lack of fear.

Following the movie, we saw a news story about riots in France, and I remarked to Ian, "They riot in France at least twice a year!" I was being jestful, but Ian said, "That's how they keep their government under control. They are afraid of their people." And this was a sobering and inspiring thought: the themes of V for Vendetta playing out in the real world.

The problem and the solution, therefore, lie with us. We have entitlements as citizens and consumers. We have rights, and we must enforce those rights by reclaiming power over our government and over business. And the way to reclaim the upper hand is to re-instill a healthy amount of fear in the hearts of those in charge. Fear that they will be overthrown, that their corruptions will be revealed. Fear that business will be lost and that people will recreate their own microcosm communities to subsist upon instead of depending on big business to support their livelihood.

Governments mean nothing without the people they govern, and businesses are nothing without their customers. We must remember this if we wish to stop being taken advantage of.

What, then, can we do?

We can start speaking up.

On the consumer level, we can start letting businesses know when they let us down, and not allow them to assuage us with meaningless monetary tokens. I don't want my money back on my oatmeal, or the countless other products with which I've been displeased. I want the problem to be fixed. I want food producers to start caring about what they put into the things we put in our bodies. I want them to stop cutting corners in ingredients just so that they can save money and then not pass that savings on to the consumer. I am willing to pay more for quality products. It's not enough that Albertsons puts a Quality Promise on the back of their products. They need to actually try the products, and then ask themselves if they want those products associated with their name. Because if I were Albertsons, I would be ashamed of this oatmeal.

On the governmental level, we can start voicing our opinions by caring enough to vote. And in order to do that, we have to care enough to be informed on the issues and the candidates. We have to turn our brains back on and start thinking critically. We have to refuse to allow the wool to be pulled over ours eyes and our concerns to be lulled to sleep by a feeling that we can't make a difference. We can make a difference if we make our voices heard and get involved in the process of speaking out against injustices performed upon us by the people who are supposed to be looking out for our best interests, not just their own.

These are all strong feelings to come from one packet of oatmeal. But then, it wasn't just one packet of oatmeal. It was one packet here, one can of soup there, one bad taco there, etc. It's the cops who care more about ticket quotas (i.e., anything that makes money for the state) than bagging neighborhood taggers (i.e., anything that takes money away from the state). It's the Invasion of Privacy Act (aka Patriot Act) that authorizes the government to spy on its own people under the pretense of looking for "terrorists". It's everywhere.

And it's high time we open our eyes and use our voices! Time to stop being sheep.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Welcome to My New Blog Home!

Welcome to, the new home of my old MySpace blog!

Here are a few ways you can help me improve

Urgent: It turns out my blog views very badly in Safari on Apple computers. None of the floating tables shows up, it's just black words on a houndstooth background. I'm working to fix this problem, and if anyone knows why this is happening, please let me know. Thanks. Fixed!

1) I need to know how to change the title on the top of the browser window when my site is open. For Instance, my browser currently says "Mozilla Firefox" when I'm at my site. I'd like it to say something else, like "", or "Welcome to Bunsnip" or some cheeky sentiment. I've heard this has something to do with meta tags. If you know anything about this, pray tell.

2) Possibly on a related note, I'd like to know how to associate an icon with my site, so that when all you lovely readers bookmark, your bookmark listing will show a delightful icon. This icon also shows up next to the URL in your browser. Anyone know how to do that? Check out this tutorial to learn how to do this on

3) I'd like to make my site searchable to search engines. Currently, even typing in "bunsnip" to Google creates no hits. I'd like to change that. I think this also has to do with meta tags, but I could be wrong, or partially right, or even completely right. But I still don't know how to do it. Can anyone help me out? Done!

4) I've spell-checked each post on this site, but in the process of moving the posts over from MySpace, some of the formatting got lost, and so if you notice any egregious formatting that must be fixed, please let me know. Also let me know if there is anything screwy with the site's functionality or if my blog looks weird on your screen.

5) Finally, needs readers and commenters. It won't be a community without that. Make sure to subscribe to my feed or bookmark my site if you like what you see. Feel free to forward posts to friends or link to my site from your own blog. The old posts are also desperately in need of fresh comments, since the original comments were lost in the transfer, so if you are a new reader, feel free to browse the archives.

Thanks for coming to I hope y'all find something worth reading here!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I'd like to post a blog about mutants, but I'm trying to get my stomach to settle down a little bit first. For some reason, a two-faced cat and an octopus girl kind of make me a little queasy. I think that's part of the reason that people like to look at such oddities. We like to be freaked out a little. Alright, here goes.

We'll start with the two-headed cat, Lil Bit:

Freak show, huh?! The news story includes a short video of the cat wiggling around on its back and blinking its eyes independently. Creepy. I think the owner could have come up with a much more creative name for this little monster than Lil Bit, though. Janus, for instance (after the two-faced Roman God).

This little freak of nature reminds me of an excellent X-Files episode from season 5, called Post-Modern Prometheus. It's about a two-faced mutant, and it features Cher, circus tents, and various people who resemble animals to a tee (like a goat-man, pig-lady, and chicken-reporter). It's also the only episode filmed in B&W, so it has that creepy halloweeny atmosphere. But it's a light-hearted show. I recommend it. Incidentally, the name of this episode was once the answer to a final Jeopardy question. For once in my life I wished I was on Jeopardy.

Anyway, let's move onto Lakshmi, the little Indian girl who was born with four arms and four legs (and was named Lakshmi after the Hindu god with four arms -- how appropriate that she was born in India!):

Wow, huh?!
Lakshmi just underwent surgery to remove her superfluous twin, and is apparently recovering well. I can't help wondering where the "business" area got hidden in all that mess of limbs. I hope it got sorted out.

If anyone else has heard of any mutants, I'm in a freak show kind of mood, so post your links below in the comments section.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Simple Cold-Weather Pleasures

I hate the cold. Hate is not a word I like to throw around much, and when I do use it, I usually don't mean it, but this time I really do mean it. I HATE the cold.

We are quickly moving into the most dreadful 5 or 6 months of the year, despite the fact that it was 71 degrees yesterday. What a pleasant surprise that was! Unfortunately, it wasn't that warm in my office (generally never is, even in the summer, due to over air-conditioning). So I didn't really get a chance to enjoy yesterday's weather.

Today it's something like... well, it's supposed to get around the 40's, but I'd say it's more 50's right now, and even that is too cold for me. I like it to be about 74 degrees inside, and 70-72 degrees outside all the time. Unfortunately, we're not living in San Diego. So for now I have to deal with it.

One of the ways I deal with the evil cold is by basking in some simple pleasures that make the chilly gray more bearable. One of those pleasures is scarves. I think people look much more sophisticated with scarves, and today I wore one for the first time this season.

I have almost as many scarves as I have coats, which is another one of my cold-weather pleasures. I do love the look of coats, especially long coats. I usually acquire at least one new coat a season. It's the one obsessive shopping thing that I indulge in, because I'm not a rampant shopper. But I love buying coats. This year I'd like to find a nice Victorian-style coat, because my vision of the future involves people reverting to Victorian styles, although in an updated fashion, of course.

An obvious cold-weather pleasure is the absolute plethora of warm bevies available for consumption. Most of the year I'm a plain latte kind of girl, but as we get closer to the holidays, I frequently change my order to pumpkin spice lattes, eggnog lattes, cinnamon lattes, peppermint lattes, chai lattes, and the list goes on. The only problem with that is that most of these bevies are overly sweet, especially when you are accustomed to drinking unsweetened lattes. I'm wondering if I could get my baristas to cut the flavoring in half? I'll try doing that.

Finally -- and this is the simplest pleasure of all -- when washing my hands, I enjoy keeping my hands under the stream of warm water for longer than usual. I frequently leave them under the water until the threat of scalding becomes imminent. Unfortunately, our bathrooms at work have only cold water for both the hot and cold knobs. Such cruelty! So I only get to indulge in this pleasure at home or in public restrooms. Though this may hurt my feelings a little, I'll take all the comfort I can get in times of cold. Especially since we haven't figured out the secret of human hibernation yet.

Stay warm this season, folks.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Beginning Ian's Healthy Diet

Weekly Stats
Weight: 159
Body Fat: 30.9%

Well, for anyone who's been following along, you'll note that I am now down two pounds and roughly 6% body fat from where I was before and during the Shangri-La Diet. Go me! (Of course two pounds is really not much to celebrate about, and I'm rather skeptical that the scale is correctly gauging my body fat percentage -- a 6% drop seems rather much. But even so, it's nice to actually see the numbers change.)

Today is my first day starting Ian's Healthy Eating Diet. It entails eating rather small portions more frequently throughout the day, and shunning corn syrup and starch like the plague.

This morning I had a bowl of corn-syrup-free oatmeal. It's called "Weight Control" Oatmeal, by Quaker Oats. Let me tell you the secret of Weight Control Oatmeal: it helps control your weight by tasting so bad that you won't want to eat it. I took three bites, one of which I sweetened with Xylitol, and then I threw the rest away. It is so bitter, I thought I might not be able to swallow a couple of the bites! So I'm scrapping that oatmeal. I know that the Strawberries and Cream flavor of Quaker Oats has no corn syrup, and it's really tasty, so I'll switch to that. At least I tried something new, though.

The problem with this week is it's Thanksgiving, so Thursday and Friday are pretty well screwed diet-wise, and today we are having a Thanksgiving Feast at work too! I'm going to try to limit my portions, especially today, and especially since I have a banana for my mid-afternoon snack today. I likes me the bananas.

But anyway, this is kind of a bad
week to start my diet, so I'm just going to do the best I can, and then next week will be the first real test.

I'll let you know how I fare after this week, and I'll probably post my meal plans if I get around to it.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stupid Things People Do

1: Leaves

Why do people keep raking up and bagging all the leaves in their yard when it is much easier to just mow them up? I scoff at all the leaf baggers out there. Idiots.

2: 1-inch Driveway Bumps

I just love finding myself behind a car that absolutely insists upon slowing to a near stop in order to go over a driveway bump. Apparently people don't trust that their expensive SUVs can handle the severe shock of crossing a driveway bump any faster than snail speed. Idiots.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gay Man Friend Wanted

25 yr old woman in a committed relationship seeks gay man friend. Must love shopping, watching chick flicks, and drinking pumpkin lattes.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Eff Shangri-La!

Well, I was going to give the Shangri-La diet until the end of November, but I decided today I just can't take it anymore, and I'm giving it up. My weigh in this week was exactly the same as last week, yet again, and I'm tired of swallowing oil twice a day and seeing nothing to keep me motivated.

On the brighter side, I don't feel like as much of a lump as I felt three weeks ago. I don't know if that is a feeling that I can attribute to the oil diet, but it's not a bad place to be when you are trying to lose weight, so I'll take it.

As for the Shangri-La Diet, I think it's something that needs a lot more study, experimentation, and confirmation of results before it's marketed to the general public, and I suspect that is why it isn't as popular it would be if it really worked. I mean, it's been around since the early 2000's, and a few weeks ago was the first I'd heard of it.

Some people are having success with this diet, just like some people have success with any diet. But how much of that is placebo, and how much is individual chemistry, and how much is universal science is really still up in the air. SLD followers do consider themselves guinea pigs, though, so at least they're being realistic. And Seth does tout self-experimentation as a positive thing about his experience in discovering the diet.

More power to all of them, I say, but I'm quitting this crap.

Now, Ian had me agree to try his diet, which he once lost a lot of weight doing. It's basically a meal plan that is low-glycemic, and focuses on complex carbs, extremely limited corn syrup and starch, and lots of protein and vegetables. His description sounded very healthy, and so I think it will have a better chance of working out for me than SLD did. The only problem is I have to severely limit my sweets, which is difficult, but I will give it just as honest of an effort as I gave SLD.

We are going to work out the meal plan in the next couple days, and hopefully I'll get going on The Healthy Food Diet (Ian's less than creative title, but he says that the point is to firmly plant one's tongue in one's cheek. Alright, sweety.) by next week.

Then I'll track those results soon. Hopefully those blogs will be more interesting than these have been!

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dvorak v. Qwerty

I was reading an article on the renowned Boing Boing blog about typing using the Dvorak keyboard layout instead of the standard QWERTY layout. (Phew! That's the slowest sentence I've typed since typing class in Junior High!)

This blog is my first effort using Dvorak, and so it is going painfully slow; consequently, this writing will be quite short.

I'll wait for the cheers to die down.

Thank you.

If you would like to read about the Dvorak method, I highly recommend checking out this charming and entertaining Zine. It tells a history of both layouts and shows you how to toggle between layouts on your computer.

As for me, I'm switching my board back to my comfortably familiar QWERTY for now. I think these few paltry sentences are enough practice for today!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Heart Salt Lake Voting

The cool thing about being a liberal in Salt Lake City, as opposed to other areas in Utah, is that my votes actually mean something from time to time. This year, all four of my votes were on the winning side:

Becker beat Buhler in the Mayoral race
This one didn't surprise me at all, since Becker had a pretty good lead even in the primary. I think Becker will be a pretty good mayor, at least until the inevitable political corruption sinks in. And mostly I'm just glad not to have a republican Mormon running this city. (Although, as far as republican Mormons go, Buhler seemed pretty moderate and probably would have been alright.) No offense to any republican Mormons out there, but this city needs a little division of power -- someone to counterbalance all the Mormon influence around here.

Garrett slayed Saxton for City Council
Honestly, I only figured out that these two were running for the same race a couple days ago. I knew I liked Garrett, but I didn't know who his opponent was. When I found out, I figured Garrett might have a bit of a struggle in ousting an incumbent, but then again, Garrett was a much more visible candidate in this election, and often that's all it takes. I think the deal was sealed for me after Garrett released a pamphlet pointing out, among other things, that Saxton took a loan/grant from the city for her business -- somewhere around $400,000 -- and then voted to change the laws that allowed her to do so. How hypocritical is that? So I'm thinking a change of pace is called for, and I'm pleased Garrett won.

Referendum 1 -- School Vouchers -- goes back to the drawing board
I feel really encouraged by the outcome of this issue. If you follow my blog, you'll know that I was undecided about which way to vote a few months ago, but after some investigation and consideration, I decided that this would be a bad way to spend our tax dollars on education. The money wouldn't increase spending on education, only redirect the source of money already going to private schools. If we instead put that money into public schools, that would be showing more support for education. Voucher supporters posit that this was about more choice for kids, but it's not like the choice
to send your kids to private school hasn't always been there. And getting an extra $3,000 dollars still wouldn't make private school any more accessible for low income families. It's just a rebate for the wealthy who already send their kids to private schools. So I'm really glad this one was shot down -- and by a large margin too! Way to go, Salt Lake!

Proposition 1 -- New Safety Building, etc. -- was very barely beaten
Apparently the City Safety Building (cops & fire) is in complete and utter disrepair (how it got to that point it the first place is a valid concern). So they wanted some $100,000,000 to build a few new buildings, and of course they tacked on a few extras for good measure. I didn't look too hard at this one, but I voted against it because there are plenty of vacant buildings that the Police and Fire people can move into downtown. A new building is not necessary. I'm all for them improving their circumstances, but to me, the proposal was just too greedy. Also, apparently this tax was to be levied only on homeowners, and so some people who also benefit from fire and police services (e.g. businesses) would not be footing any of the bill. Neither would renters. I don't think that's particularly fair. I would vote for a bill that provided better accommodations for a reasonable price and that was paid for fairly. The concept is good, but the means need work, and that's why I'm glad this one did not prevail.

Way to go SLC!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Stupid Legalese

Here's something I hate about legal writing (this sometimes also occurs in other types of writing, such as business writing, but lawyers are frequent offenders): when people use the word form of a number and then immediately follow it with the numeral form in parentheses, thus: "You have twenty (20) days to respond to this request."

What's with the double coverage?!? Is the parenthetical a safety net just in case we don't understand the word "twenty"? If so, maybe we should start using icons to assist with the comprehension of other words, as in: "I love (<3)>

The grammatical rule for numbers is to use the word form for numbers ten and under, and use the numeral form for 11 and above. An exception is that numbers beginning sentences are always written in word form: "Twelve days is an awful long time to celebrate Christmas." If I were a lawyer, I would write "Twelve (12) days is an awful long time to celebrate Christmas." Do you see how this takes away from the casual nature of the sentence?

Personally, I think it would be better just
to stick with writing numerals or words. I prefer numerals, but there are exceptions to this preference: "We will do this one way or the other" versus "We will do this 1 way or the other". It looks funny when I use the numeral form here. Maybe that's because "one" in this case acts more like an article (a, an, the, etc.) than a number. So at any rate, I suppose there will always be practical exceptions to rules.

But I don't like double number business. Just write "twenty" or "20", but both are not necessary for comprehension!

I pledge that I will never write in this atrocious way when I am a lawyer.

Now that my rant is over, does anyone know the history behind this double numbering? If I were to guess, I would say it had something to do with preventing someone from altering the number. If both forms are present, perhaps altering would be too difficult. We use double numbering on checks. Is this a related concept?

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Shangri-La Week 2: Plateausville

Well unfortunately I have made no progress on my magical mystery oil diet. I'm still 161 and 36.3% BF. But, you will note that I have not GAINED any weight. So things aren't as bad as they could be.

I did get the Shangri-La Diet book in the mail, and I read it. Although it's a bit more organized than the website, there isn't much in the book that can't be found on the online forum, so it's not much help. I did accidentally buy the hardback version instead of paperback, and the paperback is supposed to have some substantial changes. But seeing as how my body so far has no substantial changes, I'm not too concerned with what the paperback has to say.

A magical, no-effort weight loss miracle this diet certainly is not. But then again, when you read about it, it doesn't claim to be. It claims to be a tool which you may use as an aid in weight loss. The bottom line is that you can't lose weight by not making any changes. The oil is supposed to help you start making changes by suppressing your appetite some, so that you begin to eat fewer calories. It's also supposed to change the level of weight that your body is aiming to attain (aka, lowering your set point). If these things really happen, then SLD is supposed to help make weight loss easier. That is not to say that weight loss is easy.

So I guess one thing I need to do is be more discriminate about what I eat. I haven't thus far made any effort to change what I'm eating. I pretty much eat whatever I want, I'm just eating a little less of it now. But whatever I want usually consists of a lot of bread and chocolate. Can you blame me? No, I can't either, and I still want to eat those things, but I need to eat less of them, and start eating more veggies, which I really don't eat very much of at all.

So for this next week, I will try to be more conscious of what I'm eating.

Next week, I will consider adding more exercise. I'm taking a one-hour yoga class every week, which is great for flexibility and strengthening, but it's not so good for cardio, and once a week isn't very much. I'm considering joining the field house at the U, since it's walking distance from my apartment, and I already know that I like the bikes they have there.

Meanwhile, I have some xylitol coming in the mail, which I will try using as an additional method of appetite suppression. The xylitol is supposed to slow stomach emptying, which will aid in the feeling of being satisfied longer. It's also supposed to be good for your teeth, which couldn't hurt me right now. I keep putting off going to the dentist, but I really do need to go before I get to root canal territory.

I'll report back on progress, or lack thereof, next week.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007


So I'm preparing to take the June 2008 LSAT, and there are a couple ridiculous things that have come to my attention as I learn about the test:

1) Writing Cursive
You must write out and sign a legal statement before the test begins, basically certifying that you are the individual who is registered to take the test, that you are taking it for the sole purpose of admission to law school, and that you will neither receive nor give help during the test. The statement must be written in cursive, not print.

I haven't written in cursive since I was in 4
th grade, mainly because it's not necessarily faster than writing in print, and since at the time I was more familiar with print anyway, having written it since I first learned to hold a pencil, the cursive never really stuck. I find it takes more time to make all the stupid ostentatious loops in cursive. Like the letter I: In what way does a loop with a little horizontal swoop save time over a single downward line?

Anyway, I'm a little mad that I even have to write it out at all, because my signature should be enough, since the statement is typed out on the form anyway, and
as far as I know, no other legal document requires you to hand write a statement. Also, my handwriting, even in print, is like that of a serial killer anyway. Welcome to the digital age. At least this has no effect on my ability to bubble out the answer sheet.

2) No digital timers
You are no longer allowed to use digital timers, only analog. I suspect this rule has to do with the annoying propensity for digital timing devices to beep, but that is why god created silent timers, thank you god. I just acquired an analog timer, even though I already shelled out roughly $25 on a nice silent digital timer. Now I'm hearing rumors that only analog watches are allowed. That will really chap my hide, because I don't want to have to turn my wrist to see how much time I have left. It's much easier to just glance up and then back down at my test again.

Screw the damn
LSAC and their stupid rules!

Screw them all.

Progress update:

First practice LSAT score: 154, just about average.
Goal: 165
7 months to go.

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Letter in the SLC Weekly

I wrote a letter to the Salt Lake City Weekly in response to a letter written last week, and it was published in this week's issue. Below you can read the letter that I responded to followed by my letter. Well, it's not so much a response letter as an "I second that motion" letter. If you pick up the publication, please note that the SLC Weekly edited my letter a bit, and all the nasty grammatical errors belong to them. I'm also not responsible for the really stupid title.

The other guy's letter:

Venue: Snap to It
In the Venue connects the "sh" to the "itty."

Eighty-two miles, four gallons at $2.67, $30—and all I heard was three songs. Oct. 15 will be the last time I step foot into In the Venue.

A month of excitement and anticipation was crushed when, a week prior to the Shout Out Louds' scheduled Urban Lounge performance, I heard a rumor that the show was moved to In the Venue. The Swedish band I have been promoting for the past two years was now going to be an opening act at a shitty club for $30 instead of a headliner at an energetic bar for $10. I seem to remember the same move happening when TV on the Radio last played. I protested the move then.

In the Venue has already won awards for the worst name in music-club history, but I am willing to nominate it as the overall worst venue in the universe. To date, I have seen shows in Seattle, Portland, Boulder, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Iowa City, Duluth, Madison, Milwaukee and Ashville. In the Venue is by far the largest s—t stain I have witnessed. It doesn't even have a Web page!

Although pissed, I still wanted to see the Shout Out Louds, who have been on top of my "bands I need to see live" list for two years. So, Monday night I arrived at the show as doors were scheduled to open. I wanted to make sure I would be inside when the one band I paid $30 to see hit the stage.

Past the front doors and around the street corner, the entrance line stretched within feet of 500 South. Thirty-five minutes passed before I got patted down. The club frisker found my cell phone which, to my surprise, needed to be returned to my car! While we were standing impatiently in line, couldn't a friendly employee have informed several hundred of us no cell phones were allowed?

Arriving when doors opened, waiting in line, running to lock my harmful phone, running back to the friskers, and I was finally inside the club to catch the final three songs of the Shout Out Louds set. I have never been so angry at a rock show and probably never will be. I am sure some devoted fans missed the set completely while they waited along the curb. Why did the show get moved? Why did the music start so early? Why didn't In the Venue let those who came just for
Shout Out Louds in once the band started playing? Certainly, I was not the only one in line coming just for their set.

After watching my band for 12 amazing minutes and, before the headliner took stage, I waited 20 minutes for a beer. I ordered a jumbo Heineken.

"We're out."

"Do you have any other jumbo beers?" I asked, not wanting to wait in line again.
"You drank them all." The bartender said with a monotone, hateful voice that seemed to parallel her black attire, which included her hair.

"I'll take a PBR."

"We're all out of taps." She pointed at the black plastic backs over them.

They ran out of kegs before the headliner took the stage! Unbelievable. No—believable, because this is the In the Venue, after all. Even if I could have purchased a 3.2 Pabst, I would have been forced to watch the show sipping and looking through a metal cage that separates the floor from drinkers and nondrinkers. They ran out of kegs!

In the three years I have lived in Utah, there has been a shift with touring bands. Instead of stopping in Salt Lake City on the way to or from Seattle or Portland, many are playing Boise. I imagine such a trend will continue to grow as long as In the Venue hosts a majority of shows. I would rather drive five hours to Boise before In the Venue ruins another show for me.

Joe Singewald

My letter:

Joe Singewald's letter about how shitty In the Venue is was music to my ears. Actually, I haven't had a bad experience with the larger shows at In the Venue, which are held on the southerly half of the building -- what I consider the Venue. My beef is with the smaller shows being held on the northerly half of the building -- what I consider Club Sound. It's the side with the little stage shoved up in the corner by the windows and the bar in the back instead of on the balcony.

I have gone to many shows on both sides of the building and, with the exception of one or two shows, all the shows in the Club Sound side have had exceptionally bad sound. The bass is frequently too high, while the vocals can often barely be heard at all.

The last straw was the recent Deerhoof show at Club Sound. This is an obscure but excellent band that doesn't come around very much, and so I was super disappointed in how awful the sound at the show was.

So disappointed in fact that I actually took the time to write a complaint message to Club Sound on MySpace. They responded by saying that no one has ever complained before -- I am the first -- and that I obviously don't know what I'm talking about since most bands bring their own sound guys there (which may be true, but I suspect that the bad sound has more to do with the Venue than the bands). They said I shouldn't expect CD quality sound at a live show.

And I don't. I expect BETTER sound. I expect to have the kind of experience that prompts me to pay MORE than I pay for a CD for a one-time listening session. I expect to experience sound produced by professional musicians in a professional concert environment.

If you ask me, Club Sound is anything but professional, and I am henceforth boycotting any of the shows that will be played on that side of the venue. I suggest that anyone else who has had a bad experience (or several bad experiences, as in my case) at Club Sound also boycott the shows, or at least write them a message so they don't think there is only one unhappy customer out there!

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