janet reno's dance party

I don’t know all that much about the world of Indie music, but there are a few things I’ve managed to pick up. In a way, really, it’s not unlike a board game. Fans get points for loving bands that no one else has heard of. Bands get points for referencing small unknown diners in the Midwest. “Multiplier” cards are also available, where one’s points are multiplied and then either added to or subtracted from one’s overall score.

For instance, having first heard an obscure band at a hole-in-the-wall club in a city over 700 miles away from your current location takes whatever points you earn from knowing of the band and doubles or sometimes triples them. You also get points for being able to complain that one of your formally favorite bands has sold out (it’s best to remain vague as to what the band has sold out to – something large and corporate is generally assumed).

The “sold out” card is valuable, since if played at a time when someone has just stated that they like said band, that second person’s points are actually reduced, not back to the number that they would have had had they not made the comment, but actually below their pre-liking level, such that they would have been better off had they never mentioned the band at all. Thus, in one Indie play and counter-play, a lot can happen – Person A can gain points by saying he likes an obscure band, Person B can gain points by saying he liked them when he first heard them play in some out of the way club far away, then gain more points by saying he no longer likes the band because they have sold out. Person A then loses whatever points were gained by mentioning the band, and has his point total further reduced on account of still liking a band that has sold out. Thus, in an Indie play initiated by Person A, Person B can actually come out far ahead.

All that for this: how are points distributed when an Indie musician contributes a song to an album produced by a former attorney general? I see your first question is a perceptive one – which attorney general? For Alberto Gonzales, the answer is of course easy – all Indie points lost, game privileges revoked. But what about Janet Reno? As it turns out, Janet Reno has produced an album, a sort of musical history of the United States; it starts with a Lakota dream song and ends with a country-western written about September 11. I first heard of the album a while ago (while checking out a small club just outside the Omaha city limits), but only now got around to actually downloading one of its songs, a World War I classic sung (and whistled) by Andrew Bird. And it’s good. I don’t know whether my Indie points are added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided by listening to a song produced by Janet Reno, but something that feels this good can’t be all that bad.


anyone know what time it is?

My judge and I had set up a time for me to have coffee with her and the rest of the Court of Appeals earlier this week and all leading up to the appointment, random ways to screw up kept popping into my head. Ways that really didn't even make sense. Like once, where I envisioned myself offering to burn a copy of a song on the radio for one of the judges whom I had previously met. WTF? Like I'm going to offer to make a mix tape for a judge on the Court of Appeals. Maybe if we were in high school and I had a crush on him, but, well, no. Honestly, my mind can go the strangest places when I leave it unattended for even just a few minutes.

Point is, somewhere in my subconscious I must have been expecting to screw this up somehow. Which is likely why I panicked when deciding how to cross the street. A simple task, you might think, but not when contemplating jaywalking in front of a judge.

Needing to put more money in the meter for my car that sat parked across the street, I soon found myself in a dilemma. Does one needing to cross the street to get to his car a) Jaywalk in front of a judge on the Court of Appeals who also happens to be his boss, thus getting to his car as quickly as possible but also flagrantly violating a law, be it ever so small; b) Walk all the way down to the crosswalk, cross the street legally, then walk all the way back along the opposite side of the street, thus showing respect for the law but disrespect for his boss's time, or; c) Walk across the street while looking at his watch, pretending to be too distracted to actually notice whether there is a cross walk in front of him.

I think we all know which one I chose. In perfect honesty, my looking at my watch as I crossed wasn't consciously done to feign distraction, but it is certainly possible that my subconscious was operating independently of my conscious. Hoping she hadn't noticed, I came back to a conversation between my judge and her career clerk ... discussing jaywalking. And discussing how one of the former judges on the Court of Appeals used to get so worried over what to do when crossing the street that he would just look at his watch and feign distraction. Apparently I have a future on the Court of Appeals. Or at least my subconscious does.