2.27.2002

I got some sleep, changed the oil in my scooter and searched for work. Went through all my paperwork. Called my mother. Read some email. Yakked with Laurie on the phone. Checked out Matt's blog. Went shopping. Made and ate dinner. Composed a poem to the full moon. Drank tea and watched a documentary on Ancient Egypt.
Oy! Played our first "real" gig tonight...it went OK. I couldn't concentrate and all of us made mistakes. We didn't have monitors so I have no idea how the backing vocals sounded. And I was having trouble hearing Matt's guitar once things got loud. All & all, it was somewhat discouraging but I'd rather have a bad show now than later. Matt says he has two new songs, so maybe when we get them learned and tweaked we'll be more than ready for our next gig in March. Life is pulling me in so many directions. I'm still trying to find work and do all the creative things I enjoy. I feel pent up, trapped and isolated somehow. I'm sure this feeling will pass soon enough, hopefully. I need to restore some balance, find a routine...We're passing out of "The Doldrums" (January & February) into my favorite time of year, when the light increases, the flowers and trees bloom and everything feels new again. I need a renewal-but should I wait for it or try to effect some sort of change? How would I start? I'm getting too old to be!

2.23.2002

Damn, what a day! Ran all over town, with band practice and my gig at Barca. It was Rob H.'s berfday. We went to Leilani Lanes and did some karaoke and some drinking. Rob sang "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo, "Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison and "Always Something There To Remind Me" (Naked Eyes version). Who knew such an avant-grade guitar slinger had a soft spot for cheesy 80's synth-pop? I feel much closer to him now.
And Matt's take on "Easy" was truly something to behold!
Me? I attempted Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" but I forgot that song is like, a full note above my range...ah, well.

The Photoshop Tennis game proceeds apace, the two latest images should appear in the slideshow. I briefly fretted over posting Chad's entry, but decided fuck it-I'm grown. This is my page and if I want naked chicks and robots with boners on it, then tough nuggies!
Actually, this experiment has inspired me and fired my imagination in a way that was totally surprising. I've been using PS for over 5 years now. But mostly for touch-up and color correction. Back in my Photodisc/Getty days (and yes, it's getting easier putting that in the past) most of us in Production viewed the Design team with something approaching mild contempt. After all, in our opinion (and yes, this was mostly me, Jason, Chad and Beau) everyone is a designer. My mother, back when she was teaching preschool, put together some amazing stuff (posters, etc.) for her kids. My father, who did some graphics work for Boeing before the SST went tits up also did some cool shit (paintings, logos, drawings for church) when he wasn't working as a Firefighter. And he didn't have a degree.
Anyway, the fellas and I got a kick out of watching the guys in the design group strut around, wearing all black and acting like their shit didn't stink. Don't get me wrong, they did some amazing work and won several awards for it. So they had plenty to be proud of. But I don't think it justified an attitude...youknowwhadymean?
Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, Poser, 3DSMax, InDesign, QuarkXPress, Maya...all these tools make creating awesome images so much easier...and to think there are plenty of people still going at it with pencils, inks, paints and rubylith.
So when Chad sent me his image for round two, I really decided that this was something I wanted to pursue-even if I wind up cleaning toilets for a living. I've always been a firm believer in Ars Gratis Artis (Art for Arts sake) but didn't really think about what would happen if I quit screwing around and went for it. I mean, I knew I could draw. I used to spend whole days as a teenager filling up sketchbooks imitating the style of the great, late Jack Kirby. But I had a father who discouraged me ("Get a real job," he said). And somehow, someway, I'd convinced myself that real artists create simply because they have no other choice. Could Picasso, Van Gough or Dali worked as clerks or salesmen with all those lovely images locked inside their heads? Were they slaves to their unique vision? Was there some overwhelming compulsion driving them? The only compulsions I ever felt was to eat, sleep, crap, breathe and masturbate. I had gotten to the point where doubts about my "talent" led to me dropping it entirely and seeking to express myself in other ways. But I don't think I have to be half-mad in order to create something beautiful.
Or interesting at the very least.
So I went out and dropped some cash on a couple of books on Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm halfway through the first one and I should really be in bed but I'm fully awake. I'll be reading, conducting experiments, maybe posting some of the results in the slideshow. Other's may see the light of day as CD covers for mix discs and postcards for www.postcardx.net (I encourage you to join and participate at that site...it's really cool.) I'm sure more than a few will sit fragmenting on the hard drive and never see the light of day. But for right now, the important thing is to do...y'know?

I feel like a man who has finally come to the realization the that girl next door, the one he's known his entire life-is the one for him after all.


2.22.2002

Today, Chad a I agreed to engage in a friendly little game of Photoshop Tennis. I'd sent him a image that I'd been working on for his approval and he used it in an image of his own. Which I then messed with and sent back to him. We agreed on 4 rounds and my PS skills are miniscule compared to his...so I expect to get whipped. I'll post the stuff we came up with in the slideshow. Hope you enjoy!

2.21.2002

I got this message from Tess about the post about my mental soundtrack:

Never underestimate the power of a blond using Google.

Fa Reals...

I'll see if I can put a decent mix disc together for ya, Tess!

In other news, I finally got the mp3's of the songs we recorded at Sean's. I'm not entirely happy with the mix or my bass playing on "Brand New String", but it is a demo after all. I can't wait until we get enough money and time in a studio to get things perfect.

I picked up some new music for the first time in months. I got Shuggie Otis' "Inspiration Information" reissue, Sol De Mexico's "Tequila con Limon con el Mariachi SOL DE MEXICO" and Magazine's "Secondhand Daylight" which I had to get after reading this review at Allmusic.com: "Secondhand Daylight must have been committed in the cold. You can practically see the steam coming out of Howard Devoto as he sneeringly spews out lines like "Today I bumped into you again/I have no idea what you want" in "Permafrost." You can picture Dave Formula swiping frost off his keys and Barry Adamson blowing on his hands during the intro to "Feed the Enemy," while Johns McGeoch and Doyle zip up their parkas. More than anything, Daylight is a showcase for Formula's chilly but expressive keyboard work; he appears to release as many demons as Devoto does throughout the course of the dark album."

Muhahahahahahaha! Can't wait to hear it!

Oh! While I'm on about music, especially rock-you should really, really check out The Big Takeover. This hefty magazine takes at least a couple of weeks to read and it's all about the music! No stupid fashion or celebrity spreads or overt political crap. Fuck Rolling Stone, fuck Spin!! The Big Takeover actually got me excited about music and bands in a way that I hadn't been in years! I swiped a copy from a friend three weeks ago and I'm still reading the articles. Now...if I only had more money for CD's...

2.19.2002

I tried watching the "free dance" skating competition tonight but I kept cracking up! The teams look like human poodles! Do the guys look at themselves in the mirror with their big Fabio hair and say, "Yes-I am an athlete?!"

2.18.2002

It seems that the fastest cure for a stuck mental soundtrack is writing about it. I'm still sorta stuck on "Boys Keep Swinging", but I've moved on, thankfully. I went to visit Heidi at her house in Bremerton this weekend. We ate doughnuts, watched "Four Rooms", listened to some discs I'd brought over and watched Apolo Ohno's 1000 meter race and the men's Super G races. It was really laid-back, like many a weekend we spent together before she moved to the Westsiiide. It's nice to have people you can just hang out with and purely enjoy their company.
Unfortunately, I had to cut my visit a little shorter than I'd have liked, I had to be back in Seattle for an NSC meeting and band practice. Even though I got some decent sleep at Heidi's, I'm freakin' wiped!

Happy President's Day, y'all...

2.15.2002

Do you have a "mental soundtrack?" I do. I get certain songs stuck in my head and sort of hear them in the background. Sometimes, it's something that's really catchy or reflects my mood at the time. For example, when I feel confident and relaxed I hear "The Sidewinder" by Lee Morgan. Lately three tunes keep showing up on repeat: "Mersey Paradise" by the Stone Roses, "Boys Keep Swinging" by David Bowie and "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom" by Les Baxter and Billy May. I was talking to Tim and Tracy about this one night and Tracy told me that she thought there was a reason for this, but I can't find it. So, to anyone who wants to take on the challenge, I offer a custom mix CD...

Man, the fashion show was hot, hot, hot! I'm completely chuffed...women rule! They come in all shapes and sizes and...what? The clothes??!

Oh, those were cool too!
And Anna showed us her dollar.

Richard informed me that Barca finally has a website!

Scott Bwoy leaves for Europe today. I'm gonna be all-by-myself for two whole weeks, *sniff!*
(Grins)
Who wants to PAR-TAY?!!



2.14.2002

Main Entry: Stu·ism
Pronunciation: -"u-z&m
Function: noun
Etymology: Stu
Date: 2002
1 : an American philosophy traditionally founded by Stuart Scott McLeod in the late 20th century A.D. that is described by the combination of the following attributes:
a. A state of amused ennui or world-weariness
b. The use of apathy as a coping mechanism or weapon
c. Surrealist and/or Avant-Garde sensibilities in art and music
d. Neo-Millennial foppishness
e. A fascination with pre-pubescent or scatological humor
f. Staunch Atheism
2 : git-like behavior derived from Stuist philosophy and concerned with art, poo jokes and the release from disappointment by keeping one's expectations extremely low.
- Stu·ist /-ist/ adjective or noun
- Stu·is·tic /stoo-'is-tik, Stu-/ adjective

I had decided to adopt a Stuist point of view toward Valentine's Day (def. b) but then I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely bouquet of flowers from Oani and the plant and balloons I received from Laura. My "Big Sister" Amy and her husband Ty sent a card. My beloved Heidi stopped in to join me for breakfast at the cafe up the street too!
I had prepared a long (and rather lame) missive about "love and other crap (El Stu again)" but decided to keep it simple (and since V-Day is about the romantic, this goes out to the ladies-the fellas will have to wait until we're all suitably drunk, stoned or otherwise altered so that declarations of affection are somewhat (somewhat!) more acceptable). So, somewhere between Eros and Agape, I say to:

Nedoshia, the Laurie B.'s, Oani, Tess, Laura, Karen, Carmel, Laurie F., Kiyo, Kim R., Kim G., Carey, Anna L., Hannah, Maria, Tabitha, Richelle, Carol, Kelly, Heatherfaye, Ginelle, Tanya H., Monique, Caryn, Manda, Cinnamon, Ji-Huyn, Myshel, Michelle, Mercedes, Carla, Miriam, Liz, Elizabeth, Melinda, Juli, Jennifer, Teresa, Trumaine, Paula, Zoe, Trish, Tricia, Jacqueline, Elyssa, Susan H., Nikki, Cathleen, Angela, Maggie, Ours, Leslie, Loreli, Ashley, Marjan, Amy, Susan K., Theresa, Heidi L., Heidi D., Thea, X-tina, Christina, Dea, Patty, April, Cathy, Lisa, Annette, Julie, Dona, Louise, Gloom Cookies, Katrin, Stu, Adam & Scott Moms (rawr!) and anyone I might have forgot for being beautiful, wonderful and putting up with yours truly...Thank you.

2.13.2002

My latest batch of Blogger Insider questions arrived today from Wendy at www.skittish.org. Here are her questions and my answers:

1. What were your early blogging influences?
My earliest blogging influence was George Kelly. He and I were both members of the Firefly mailing list (for fans for Mark Eitzel and The American Music Club). He posted to the list one day saying he and his wife were visiting Seattle and wanted to know if anyone could point them in the direction of some cool things to see and do, so I wrote to him. We didn’t meet up, but he did email me back with a travelogue of his adventures here. Later, he invited me to check out his weblog. I thought it was pretty cool, and started sending him news articles and interesting links. He suggested I start my own blog. So I did! I think mine differs from George’s in that I use it as a “Journal with links”. His blog is deeper but I think I have a tendency to sound didactic, so I'm keepin' it light. I have a small group of regular readers and that makes me happy.
2. You and another blogger trapped on a desert island--who would it be?
Either Steven den Beste (I imagine he’s got mad McGuyver-like survival skillz) or maybe Oliver Willis, we'd have time to plot world domination, ala Pinky and The Brain.
3. What's the worst movie you ever saw? Pretty Woman. Why? What is the point here? The characters are unbelievable, it’s not even fun as camp. The messages seem reactionary and anti-feminist to me and I HATE, HATE, HATE Julia Roberts!
4. If you could only listen to music by one group/singer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Elvis Costello. He’s got a huge catalog, written in many styles and has consistantly produced high-quality work, although I could do without most of “Punch The Clock” and that album he put out with that German opera singer.
5. If you could rule the world, would you be a gracious leader, or an evil tyrant?
I’d be more of a gracious leader-but you better not cross me!
6. What do you like to do in your spare time (beside blog)?
I have a band (Fey Ray), I play paintball, ride my scooter, take photos, go dancing, visit friends, DJ at Barca (dub, reggae, acid jazz, soul, funk, R&B, downtempo, trip-hop), read, collect music, study the Tao Te Ching, play PC and console games, go to shows, explore Seattle and nearby towns, cook (I make a mean flank steak), drink beer, cider and vodka collins and do research into the many, many largely useless things that interest me.
7. How much time do you spend online in a week?
Too much…for reals!
8. If you had to lose one of your senses, which one would it be and why?
I could do without smell. I don’t have a particularly strong sense of smell anyway, and while it would suck, I think it would cause the least disruption.
9. Got any plans for Valentines Day?
Yes, I’m planning to attend a Lingerie Fashion Show put on by some friends. I may go out to dinner before the show and then seduce myself with chocolate and champagne later…
10. Do you like to travel? No. What is the most exotic place you've ever been to? I’ve only been to Canada, England and Switzerland. I don’t really consider any of those places exotic, but there are places in my neighborhood where you can go and not hear anyone speak English. It’s not unusual to ride the bus and hear only Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Spanish being spoken.
10. Don't you hate it when people end sentences with prepositions (like I did in question #9)?
Not really, I believe the primary purpose of any language is to transmit ideas and concepts rapidly. I understood your question and didn’t really consider your sentence structure an impediment to that.
11. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’m inclined to lie and say a villa in the U.S. Virgin Islands to appear cool, but I think a big old house in the Capitol Hill, Madrona or Montlake neighborhoods here in Seattle is closer to the truth. Who would you live with? Ann Curry of course!
She is the perfect woman.

My questions and Wendy's answers are here.

2.12.2002

BTW-Paula of Dumb Clothing is throwing a Valentine's Day fashion show at Barca. I believe she'll be featuring lingerie and if you've been to one of these sexy, sultry affairs before, then you know it's just the thing to put you in the mood for L.O.V.E.
I suggest you get there early, past shows have been packed! It starts at 9. DJ K.O. will be in the house, spinning the cuts.
"I'd kill him, if he wasn't so much fun at Mardi Gras!"

I've been in a weird mood these last couple of days. I thought the path was clear, but lately my progress is hampered by obsticles that seem to be of my own making. I need to get out of this thicket, quit spinning my wheels and hit the road again. Perhaps I should eat soup and listen to Mariachi music and dance to old R & B albums in the living room until I'm breathless. Maybe I need to stand in the sun for awhile and feel its warmth on my face, juxtaposed with the bracing sting of cold air. Or it could be I feel like singing! Anything to get the bad air out and get the blood flowing again.
Have you ever felt you were moving, but not going anywhere?

2.11.2002

Recap:

Dan's party on Saturday was aweseome, as expected. Pictures are posted here. And here. I sat next to girl in the red body paint for awhile. Amazing!
Sunday was spent mixing one of the two songs we recorded last week. I'd hoped to get a copy burned to disc so I could take it home, but we ran out of time. We're going to work on the second tune tomorrow and since all we did was re-record the drums, it should go pretty quickly.
It was really nice out today, I went for a ride and also sent some mix discs to a friend.

Tonight, Frito and I are going to check out Nu Patterns at the Baltic Room tonight, you should too. Show ya love and maybe score a mix CD.


Say Cheese, You Poor Emulsion-Film Dinosaurs! I blogged about this over a year ago. I'm glad to see the technology is finally coming to market. I'm ready for a new digital camera already, but I think I can wait another year...y'know?

2.10.2002

Check it out, y'all. Monkeyfist Celebrates Black History Month

I'm off to do the mixdown of our two song demo...hopefully I'll have something to post!

2.09.2002

Stu: "Pork" is not a verb.
Me: It is if ya cook it right!

Did my first Friday night at Barca. I think it went well. I even managed to get in a Scott Walker song and a guy gave me props for playing "Bra" by Cyamande. After my gig, I went down to catch the end of Aaron's happy hour set. Tess, Stu, Ryan, Tim, Jason J. and Tess were all in the house. I hung out for awhile and then Stu, Tess and I walked up to the Capitol Club for James and Carmel's friend Juliet's going-away party. Juliet moved out here a few months ago but couldn't find work, so she's going back to the east coast. I think I saw her four times since she moved here, but she was always really warm and friendly, so I'm sad to see her go.
Carmel showed me some shots from the WATER performance, it was pretty cool. Lots of body paint...I hope they'll post them.
It was good to hang with El Stu, I haven't seem him much since he went and got hisself a girly-friend. I try to live by the old maxim, "Sex will bring us apart." But when you've been pals with someone for close to ten years, you miss 'em.
It's amazing, the way we fly away from each other...following our various pursuits, only to come back together. To eat, drink, laugh and talk about where we've been, what we've seen and learned. I think my period of extra-intovertedness has come to an end...I feel like I'm back to my regular self. Standing on the verge of gittin' it on.
I got an email from my friend the Goddess Tess. She just started up a blog. Tess can hang with the boys, even though she's definitely one of the girls.
When I'm feeling nobody loves me, I think of Tess, 'cause I know she loves me! I'm truly blessed to know her.
I'm really psyched about her weblog-she's getting married this summer and I'm sure she'd got a lot to say. Check her out, won't you?

On an unrelated note, I came across this book (via Metafilter). I think I might check this out. I hope it doesn't turn out to be some cheesy "Chicken Soup for the Soul" ripoff.

2.08.2002

Oy. And the beat goes on. I'm sitting here freezing my ass off after a very cold and wet ride home. On the other hand, I've got a belly full of cheap store-bought sushi and warm bed that I'm bouts ta git inna center of. Just wanted to let y'all know that all is well...for now.

2.05.2002

So I went out to lunch today with my new friend Tanya. I haven't been up to Broadway in awhile and it was fun poking around in some of the shops. Broadway never fails to provide interesting sights, sounds and smells...(you can get a high just from the incense shop). It all seemed so much more exotic when I was younger. I remember sitting around in my apartment on Boylston & Union back in '91 thinking, "I'm bored...I know! I'll go to Broadway!"
Later, I made a run to the bank and Walgreens. When I returned I found a package from Chris, a fellow music fiend that I met through the firefly mailing list. He sent me three discs, one of Mark Eitzel demos (HA! In your FACE, Stu!), and two mixed CD's. I'm listening to them now.
Not much else going on. I'm in a funky mood. I feel detached. I haven't been returning phone calls or going out of my way to connect with the people I love. I didn't even call my sister on her birthday on Friday. I want to hide, to give into the introverted side of me. But if I crawl any further into myself, I'm afraid they're gonna need the Jaws of Life to get me back out! I'm sure it's just my yearly funk brought on by the wet and cold outside...
Tomorrow, I'm going back to the studio to record my bass parts for "Brand New String". On Thursday and Friday I'll at be at Barca, then on Saturday, Dan, Liam and Kevin are throwing their "Heartbreak Hotel Housewarming Party". Oani and Manda are coming up from Puyallup! WhoHoo!
After reading this, I hereby swear I never complain about my lousy, lame, tiny, little problems again.

2.03.2002

It was a busy weekend and the week is shaping up to be just as busy as well. I didn't go out Friday night, after all. I just wasn't in the mood to be social and after such a blazing Thursday, I wanted to have a low-key evening at home. So I chilled and played Legends of the Dragoon. On Saturday, I went to band practice and then down to the Pyramid Ale House for the Seattle Weblogger's gathering. I was feeling kinda shy and didn't get around to meeting everyone, but I did talk to Lisa from Bird on a Wire (found out she works with Frito), Dan from Danalope, and Erin and Shawn from Slightly North of Tomorrow. They all were really nice. Especially (the more lovely than she gives herself credit for-those lips! Those eyes!) Sandra (!) from Bitchquick. We talked about 80's music and movies...she's a big movie geek-like Matt D.
Around 8pm, I rode up to Beacon Hill to Guy and Lorelei's place for the Heaven & Hell Ball Volunteer Appreciation Party. About 25-30 people showed up. I found out during the course of the evening that Guy is a composer who did the music for the Monolith games "No One Lives Forever" and "Shogo: Moblie Armor Division." He has a great CD collection and hipped us to Susumu Yokota's "Grinning Cat" disc, a great ambient CD. He was also kind enough to hook us up with copies of his album-which I'll probably listen to tonight when I finally hit the hay.

It was sunny out this afternoon. I went to an NSC meeting then came home, still recovering from the night before. I think I watched about 15 minutes of the SuperBowl, I just can't make myself care about football, although I'm glad the Rams were upset. Frito got back from snowboarding at Whistler.
Tomorrow evening, my band Fey Ray, heads over to Sean's basement studio to cut three tracks for a demo. Hopefully, I'll be able to post the songs here by the end of the week. We should have our band site up soon.

2.01.2002

It's Black History Month. I believe every month is black history month, but alas, somebody decided on Feburary.

Knock yrselfs out!
Dan The Man emailed me this. I can't quite figure it out, but it looks like an invite to a gallery opening at the (former??) Vital 5 Gallery downtown. I may check this out.

Also, my friend Tricia (who Stu and I stayed with in London last fall) wrote:
Okay folks, it's that time of year again - Daytona 24-hr Race 2002. Robert (Trish's husband) will be in Car 68, a GT3 Porche, driving for a team called The Racer's Group. All of you over in the good 'ol US of A can see coverage on ESPN's Speedvision program. There is also some coverage on the internet... www.grand-am.com is a good place to start. Thanks for sending all your good vibes his way! Go 68! Love, Tricia

And finally, the lovely Hannah D. sent an invite to WATER. Billed as a "audio/visual extravaganza" featuring fashion and dance music to benefit the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance - a non-profit working to keep Puget Sound and surrounding Northwest waters *clean and healthy*!
(Note that the SUGGESTED minimum donation of $50 is "suggested". That means you can technically attend the event for a lesser amount- and NO you're NOT cheap if you do that. Why???? Because- first and foremost- every event needs attendance to be successful. And every dollar counts.)
Wotta night...I played a pretty decent acid-jazz set at Barca and made a little cheddar for the night's work. Richard asked me if I'd be interested in playing early Friday evenings as well. I start next week! My friend Laura came up to join me and we went down to The Baltic Room to catch J-Justice and sub_sonic. Both put on excellent sets. Jason warmed up the crowd with some jazzy house and downtempo numbers. Then Jadie, DJ Aaron and Sir Real took over seamlessly and pumped out their dense, busy grooves to a packed house. Even the Prof hit the floor and dazzled us with his famous VooDoo Dance!
At one point in the evening, there was a bit of a break and I heard a familiar keyboard riff. Adam and I looked at each other, "Dude-Is James playing 'Abacab?'" We cracked up and went over to give him his props.

In other news, Matt and I decided that Bonafide wasn't gonna do it for a band name. I did a search and found that there's a band on the east coast with the same name.
After much back and forth, Matt came up with Fey Ray, a play on Fay Wray (the actress known for screaming her head off in the original King Kong movie.) "Fay Wray" was also the first song Matt and I played together in The Visitors (along with El Stu and Andy "Dewey" DeWitt back in the mid '90's). We double pinky-shook on it, so there shall be no more changes. Our first gig is with TransAtlantic IceFlow on the 26th at the Re-Bar.
Discovered issue #2 of Minty Magazine, a very nice-looking local publication/website dedicated to promoting & improving the dance scene here in Seattle.
There are reviews, club listings, DJ profiles and lotsa pictures of the PYT's in clubland. Check it out!