8.29.2002

Randomage:

My weekend is here and it's a good thing. Getting by on 3-4 hours of sleep is starting to take its toll on me. I hope that soon I'll be able to make the switch. I know this will get easier over the winter months when there is less heat and light. Otherwise, things are going pretty well. My girlfriend and I are spending the time our schedules allow us together. She's coming to my gig tonight at I-Spy and I'm really psyched! I'm so lucky to have met my beautiful, fey girl...

I've been thinking about the president's attempts to get the country involved in his pursuit of Saddam, I'm concerned that the debate hasn't sparked any open protests. Right now, things seem abstract and unreal. When will people wake up and realize what the administration is proposing to do is nothing short of involving us in another Vietnam? Maybe when 18 year-olds start coming home in bodybags? I certainly hope not.
I'm disappointed by the quality of political debate in this country. It's not anti-patriotic to question the motives and direction of the leadership. Why are the left and the moderates so quiet on this issue? I think the mid-term elections are when the decision to go ahead with this thing will really be made. I hope common sense prevails.

It's mating season for spiders! Normally, I treat the little buggers with respect when our paths meet-either ignoring them or catching them and tossing them outside. But after J. and I both got bit last week, I'm declaring war! I caught a particuarly huge bastard trying to hot-wire my car last week! It was a struggle, but I stuffed his ass down the toilet. Hearing them go "crunch" just gives me the creeps!

8.25.2002

J. and I went to Camp Vashon (the annual gathering of now ex-Getty Production employees) and Jason R. gave me the opportunity to sit on his Kawasaki Vulcan Drifter 1500. I was tingling in places better left unmentioned as he cranked it up. I don't think I can afford that much engine, but I'd be happy with the 800! Then J. and I could take long rides together...sigh. I will make it so, very soon!

In other news, James and Carmel announced their engagement-I'm happy for those crazy kids, they're a really good couple! Cinnamon got married this weekend and Chad made a committment of another sort and purchased a Travis Bean bass! Sweet! Does all this abundence mean all our hard work is starting to pay off? I certainly hope so...

8.22.2002

I was talking to El Stu today, we were marvelling at all the changes going on with our group of friends. Weddings, children, couples hooking up and breaking down. Changing jobs and attitudes. The last year has been a whirlwind of activity.

"Who knows what the next five years will bring?" Says I.
"Long streches of boredom punctuated by random surprises." Was his reply.

Indeed.
Today is my Friday and I'm chillllllin'. I go back to work on Saturday and have to do the whole shift by myself. My lead will be coming in to help me this week, I hope it won't be very busy.
Camp Vashon is on Saturday, I'm looking forward to seeing all the Production gang again. J. will get to meet Chad and Patty, who is one of my oldest friends.
This week was harder than I expected it to be. I'm totally wiped out, I feel like I'm on 'shrooms... out of focus and a little weird. I hit the hot tub when I got home, I'm planning to put on Eno's "Thursday Afternoon" and float away for awhile.
Maybe I can talk Frito and Cinday into doing something tonight. If not, it's Smackdoon! and some Pringles and maybe some ice cream from the Walgreens' down the street.
Aye, sound.

8.20.2002

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | Matthew Engel: Chicken hawks-I wrote about this some time ago when Colin Powell was being criticized (by members of his own party!) for his lack of enthusiasm for pushing for a wider "War On Terror". When I get more time I am going to explore the New Hampshire Gazette's Chickenhawk Database...
I just finished my first night shift. I'm fighting sleep, trying to hold out until I hear from Julia, or 8AM...whichever comes first. It's been a long weekend. I painted my room on Friday night I'm really pleased with the results-my bedroom walls are a rich, buttery red. In addtition to that, a bunch the heads, including lovely Julia came over to help me celebrate my birthday. We made kabobs, grilled chicken and steak, drank beer and mixed drinks and had a really good time. Frito baked me a cake! The next morning J. and I went down the street to watch her sister participate in the Danskin Triathlon. I met the parents(!) and cheered sis on, then we went to Thirteen Coins for a late breakfast.
After band practice I rode the bus over to the Eastside and Julia and I went out for sushi. On Monday, she left me at her place and went to work, while I amused myself playing with her two cats are reading Cosmo and Elle. When J. got home we shopped for and made dinner, then spent the rest of the evening talking. I'll spare you the gory details, but dayum, I keep pinching myself! Is this some sort of dream? I've never met anyone who glows with her own light like she does...her smile could power a lighthouse!
Gahd, I'm corny...but happy!

Off to bed.

8.17.2002

Guardian Unlimited | Arts | He wasn't my king:
I saw the link to this over at Metafilter. I found this subject fascinating-especially the resulting thread, because music rules my life (especially rock) and certain people I have encountered seem to use my musical as a gauge of my "blackness".
Personally, I've enjoyed The E. One of my favorite memories from my childhood was listening to the 45 of "Don't Be Cruel" on cousin David's portable record player when we were about 6 or 7. We liked "Bird Dog" by the Everly Brothers and "Folsom Prison Blues" too. It wasn't until I got bussed to a school on Queen Anne Hill in 7th grade (1979) that music got "racialized" for me. The white kids were constantly putting down disco (which we blacks from the South End took as an attack on Our Culture) and touting "real rock music", whatever that was...
Suddenly, music wasn't something that was just fun, there was this whole other element to it. I remember that at lunchtime certain kids would race to the jukebox in the lunchroom to put on "their music". If the black kids made it first, then we'd hear Prince and The Gap Band; if it was the white kids, it was The Kinks and AC/DC. I'm not sure how I felt about Elvis by then, but something had changed. By 9th grade, things had mellowed out. Exposure had broadened some minds and some of the biggest rock fiends later became full-on B-boys! Yet, some years later when Chuck D rapped "Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me", I remember thinking "Right On!" Even though I was listening to Husker Du, The Pixies and Front 242 around that time. I still don't understand the Cult of Elvis, though.
Just recently my roommate's girlfriend asked me, "Just how long have you been white?" one evening after I'd gone on about my love for Motorhead. My retort at the time was, "Uh, who do you think invented Rock & Roll?!" Even though that was a simplistic answer, I wondered (again) why what music I like was so closely associated with my (for lack of a better term) racial indentity.
The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Not because Cindy was accusing me of "acting white", something that would've certainly gotten you a bloody nose in 7th grade, but because I'd already resolved the issue for myself. I love all music, just like I did when I was a kid-before the "racialization". No, what ticked me off is that she could take something that is only a part of who I am and somehow attempted to make a judgement about all of me. She simply doesn't know me (and I suspect) any black folks well enough to say such things. If I see some white guy who's into hip-hop, I leave it at that...maybe thinking of him as a hipster. Cindy, I am several things. All coexisting together in the unique combination that is Stacius Trimegustus Lester. Either use yr brain or get some tact, lest I fly into a rage and poke yr eyes out with my thumb!

Kidding! (maybe)

Chuck Berry is the fuckin' King-Get used to it.

8.15.2002

I am an idiot. I need to get some sleep and get some things done before the BBQ on Saturday, but I keep allowing myself to become distracted. I was planning to paint my room and get my bed set up but after I got home Scott says, "Dude, (yes-we really call each other dude) you wanna go to Cost Plus?" Of course I agree and now it's late and I'm like, $100 poorer after stop at both the Southcenter and Bellevue locations, dinner at Red Robin and a trip to Tower. I haven't done a damn thing. Julia suggested I blow the painting off until later, but I really thought I could do it. I was looking for CD's by Sister Rosetta Tharpe (??!! Stacey's listening to Gospel?! WTF?! Dude, she rocked me in the 3 seconds she was in Amelie-I gotta see what the rest is like) and The Fall, but wound up with Jacques Brel, Lee Morgan (Matt D. keeps telling me how great 'Search for the New Land' is), a fresh copy of the 'Breakfast at Tiffany's soundtrack and Screaming Trees 'Uncle Anesthesia'. I won't even tell you what we bought at Cost Plus. I joke and say it's a place where straight guys can get in touch with their uh, feminine side, but as Morrissey would say, "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore". Word is born. Whoo. Hoo.

Anyway, I'm finishing up my time on the day shift and will be making the switch to Graveyard on Monday. Past experience tells me that it'll take about two weeks to adjust. You get all tired, weirded out, rundown and ready to kill someone, then suddenly it's OK. I'm going to miss J. and couple others on the day shift. Some schedules will overlap. Saturday's I'll be working alone. Thursday's and Friday's will be good nights to have off and maybe things will change after the move in December...
Tomorrow night the bed goes up...for reals!

We must have faith and pursue the unknown end.-Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Goodnight cha'all.

8.14.2002

So like, I'm 35. Thirty-Five. Three. Five. When I say it out loud, I almost expect a mantle (?!) of maturity or adulthood to settle about my shoulders. My head anointed with the Oil Wisdom or experience or something. The truth is, I don't feel much different than I did at 19 or 26. I'm an idiot! But I got job I like. I've mellowed a bit and worked out a personal philosophy that works for me...but could be subject to change with new information. And aside from knowing nothing about women-other that they appreciate a clean bathroom-I think I've met one that (to my Great Shock and Surprise!) likes me too! So I've got a lot to be happy about. But I still gots some thangs that need doing. I gots more love to give. I gots some beauty to birth into this world. I gots to get my shit together. Folks, I think I'm no longer Standing On The Verge, but actually Gettin' It On!
Thank you for your support.

BTW-Smackdown! Was a lot of fun. Neil and Susan deserve mad props for making this birthday one to remember. I'd also like to thank My Big Brother Stu for hooking me up with that Mythology Anthology. That book weighs 5 pounds! To Richelle, Patty Jennifer and Julia(!), thanks for the cards! (HAPPY BIRTHDAY yourself, Richelle! Bestest Boss EVER) To the rest of y'alls who sent birthday greetings...thanks. See you all here at SOUL HEAVEN on Saturday!

8.12.2002

Frito went to RAW at the Key Arena tonight, then came back here to catch it on TNN. He said he had a blast! I coulda gone but I had to go to band practice, 'cause I missed it Sunday.
I'm pumped for tomorrow! Not only is it my 35th birthday and Neil is taking me to Smackdown! but the kind, beautiful, gracius, sweet, sensitive, awesome, stylish Julia baked me a cake!
She's so awesome...and sweet... and kind...(Aaaaa! Enough already!-Ed.) And HER birthday is coming up!

My personal present to myself was a new bed. And I'll be painting my room red and white. Frito and I are having a little party for me on Saturday. Drop me a note if ya wanna come out!

8.10.2002

Oy! Whatta night. Went to see Matt D. perform solo at at cafe on Capitol Hill. He did a few F3y Ray tunes and covered Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan". Then all us of went to Nation for BONAFIDE! (which led to me being deliriously happy)
I left my debit card behind but I'm off to the Westsiiide! to visit Chad and Patty, who I haven't seen in awhile. We're going out for sushi!

See ya when I get back.

(P.S. I forgot to mention that Kim Warnick from Visqueen and The Fastbacks was in the house on Friday. She started talking to me and Frito when I referred to her as "Rock Royalty". She's really nice!)
Deliriously Happy and Hating It.

Oh my.
I cannot bear this.
That giddy feeling you can't control.
Wild leaps of fancy springing unbidden from my imagination.
I'm too old!
I know better...don't I?
I tell myself that nothing that good could ever happen to me, but I ain't listenin' like I should.
I'm a man who has walked away from the mirror and forgotten what sort of person he is.
Doing something to get this off my chest.
Only to get "the talk"...I'd rather pull out all my teeth with a rusty pair of pliers.
If I could put out the stars in my eyes and deflate the balloon in my chest.
Cut off my arms so they will remain empty.

Hope is a two edged sword.
Not enough and all you are left with is dispair.
Too much and you're a fool, out of touch with reality.
I'm soaring in the clouds right now.
And while I exault in the feeling, I so need to find a way to get back to my earth.
To land without serious injury.

The heart is treachous, who can know it?
Undo me here, lest I ask too much.

8.08.2002

A (slightly) new look...

Ali: You have a font tag that isn't closed in your template. :P It's driving me buggy. Just add a to the end of your posting thing so you don't have that open tag that makes everything upper case. I won't even touch the redundant tags. :P

Me: I'm not gonna fix it now...so there! Unlike you, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to HTML, it's miracle that the site works at all! I was thinking about a redesign...how expensive are you? I can do all the imagery, of course...

Ali: For a friend? I'm nice and cheap. As in free. Just let me know what you want to do and I'll be happy to help out.I may need access to your account on blogger, though. Easier to implement templates if I can log in and publish as I make changes.

Me: WhooHoo! I just want a nice page, we'll discuss it in detail later.
Here you go.

Later...

Ali: Sorry... I went a little crazy with your blog. Let me know if you want me to fix anything... :)

Ali rocks, doesn't she?!

8.07.2002

From Salon:

"When a beautiful woman shows some kindness to a man but feels nothing sexual for him, he can buy her a sweater but he will never get to watch her try it on. That is the difference between love and in love. Likewise, the one she is in love with, she will not only try on the sweater for him, she'll pay for it herself out of waitressing money."

-Cary Tennis is fuckin' brilliant.
Whoa. Just returned from Laura's place. We went out for sushi at Mori, one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in town. I used to go there all the time when I lived in Ballard. I missed the place and now I'm listing to one side due to a belly full of spicy tuna rolls, miso, spicy green mussels, gyoza and rice! Not much else to say, other than we were visited by Frito's girlfriend this week, but alas, she has left us for her home in Detroit...
(...now we can both get some sleep!)

8.05.2002

I'm in love with one of my new coworkers, she's sweet, funny, stylish and really, really cute. I think all the males on this shift feel the same way! She was the first person here to take a personal interest in me. Too bad I don't have a snowball's chance in hell. I'm looking forward to moving to nights so that I can get over this crush...and on to the next one! *sigh*

8.04.2002

I saw "Signs" with Stu and Trip today. I think it's my least favorite of M. Night Shyamalan's movies, ("Unbreakable" being my favorite) but it did have several things going for it. The atmosphere and tension is established early in the film and it's pretty relentless, though shot through with moments of humor. I also thought the performances by Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin were excellent.
What didn't work for me was seeing Mel Gibson attempting to pull off the sort restrained and measured performance Bruce Willis did in the Shyamalan's previous movies.
Somehow, Willis' character's came off as being thoughtful and introspective, while at times I wondered if Gibson's Graham Hess was a touch slow. I also thought that the way the movie framed questions of fate and faith was rather simplistic and obvious. Why was it necessary for Graham to be an ex-priest? And what about all atheists and agnostics who are OK with not having "the answer?" I don't live in fear when faced with the unknown. Instead, I have faith in my ability to cope, my intelligence to discern what's going down, coupled with any wisdom I might've gained from experience.
I thought it was odd that the Hess family decided to stay at their isolated farmhouse, alone and unarmed in the face of what was going on. If it was me, I'd move to town and arm myself to the teeth. Then there's the whole question of what the discovery of other life forms beyond earth would do to humanity's views of itself and it's place in the universe...a question that doesn't get explored.
I suppose it's easier to make a feature film about extraterrestrials with more thrills than philosophy. "Contact" tried but failed because at the end of the movie there was no proof aliens existed.
Anyway, I suggest you go see it-but catch a matinee!

I came home and Maria was here with dinner. We had veal parmesan, tortellini, salad and two kinds of cake! It was lovely. We watched "The Newton Boys" with Scott and annoyed him with our chatter...what a great weekend this was.

It's 5:30 in the morning, my feet hurt from dancing, I'm slightly delirious from a shortage of sleep, full from breakfast at IHOP and happy, happy, happy, because the stain is gone!
I took a nap this afternoon in anticipation of the night's activities. Then rode downtown to El Stu's place to prefunction with Stu and Ali. We listened to CD's and music-geeked out. Ali was kind enough to indulge us old farts. Can you believe she's never heard Bauhaus?! What are they teaching the kids today?
Anyway, around 9:30 we hit the parties on Capitol Hill. Just about everyone I've partied with for the last 3-4 years was there, and there were dozens of people going from place to place. Before I could get set up, I was drafted by Anna Banana as she needed help setting film strip projectors for visuals at the three party locations. I hadn't seen Anna in awhile, so I was glad to help her-even though it meant leaving Ali with Stu and Scott. We even went back to her place so I could help her pick out her costume for the evening. She told me I was a great assistant.
I got back and caught up with Ali-she was doing just fine, meeting people and fending for herself. She's a charming and attractive woman, I'd knew she'd be OK. All of my friends really like her. I spent the next few hours smokin' & drinkin' and shuttling back and forth between Bhuddaful Studios (I talked Maggie into selling me some prints, even though she'd put them away for the evening) and Dan's place. I didn't even go anywhere near COCA! The Guest Stars played a rockin' set despite some problems with the PA. I think with a little more experience, Trish will be right up there with all the great "rock chicks" like Toni Halliday, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry, Patti Smith & Chrissie Hynde. The crowd was really into 'em and I think they'll have a following in no time.
Tabitha was in the house. I hadn't seen much of her lately, due to her school workload and (yet another) little tiff we'd had. But tonight was all good. We hugged and and she told me she loved me. To which I said, "You Better!"
Seriously, it was really good to see her again.
After the Guest Stars set, pretty much everyone headed over to Groovetech for Jason and Aaron's set-which was bangin'! I love it when they don't worry so much about mood and just throw down their slamminest records. The room was packed with sweating, heaving and flailing bodies and I got out there and did some heavin' of my own.
Around 4AM I ran out of steam and suggested that Frito, Maria and I hit IHOP before heading home...what a night.

The Blue Angels start at 11:30...

8.03.2002

I was surfing today and started thinking of one of my favorite bands from the early '90's...Prong. Prong was one of most unique bands at the end of the 80's: minimalist, very hard and drew inspiration from techno and dance music long before Korn and Limp Bizket. Tommy Victor also gave mad props to his influences, bands like Killing Joke, The Stranglers and Chrome. They've been quiet over the last few years, but I think they're about to make a comeback-and show the kids how it's done. WhooHoo!

From the website:

After a five-year absence, industrial rock pioneers Prong - whose provocative mix of thrash, metal, techno and hardcore paved the way for artists such as Static-X, Rob Zombie and Nine Inch Nails - have reunited for a six-week American tour that kicks off in San Diego, Calif. on April 1.

The current incarnation of Prong includes singer/guitarist/founder Tommy Victor, bassist Brian Perry, and drummer Dan Laudo. The band also will be accompanied on tour by guitarist Monte Pittman, a longtime friend of Victor and an alumnus of Madonna's recent Drowned World Tour.

Prong's lineup has been very fluid over the years, with Victor being the only constant. He says he initially considered touring under a different moniker. "For a while, I thought, 'I won't use this name; Prong is a dead entity,'" he says. "But really it isn't, because a good 95% of the material has been mine throughout the years, so I figured, 'Might as well just keep it going.' There's people out there that want to hear it, and I owe it to them."

Prong has written a four-song demo -with which the band expects to soon procure a new record deal - and plans to record a live album during its 35-city trek. "It took a long time to get this thing back going again," he admits. "It's something I'd been trying to do, and now it sort of reminds me of back when Prong started, where we didn't have a record deal - the idea of just doing it."

Founded in 1986 by Victor, then a soundman at New York City's legendary CBGB's, Prong put the New York hardcore scene on notice with two acclaimed independent releases, Primitive Origins and Force Fed. The albums attracted the attention of Epic Records, which signed the trio in 1989.

On its major-label debut, 1990's Beg To Differ, Prong showcased a refined approach accented by elements of progressive thrash. The following year, the band issued Prove You Wrong, which saw them experiment with programming and electronic samples while retaining an aggressive yet melodic sensibility.

But it was 1994's Cleansing that cemented the group's reputation as leaders of the burgeoning industrial rock movement. Showcasing a sharper yet more accessible sound, the album included "Broken Peace" and the infectious "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck," videos for which became staples of MTV's renowned Headbanger's Ball.

After the release of 1996's Rude Awakening, Prong disbanded, and Victor quickly began collaborating with prominent rock figures such as Glenn Danzig and Rob Zombie. But he knew he'd eventually have to attend to what he believes is "unfinished business."

In addition to classics from Cleansing and Rude Awakening, Victor says fans can expect to hear at least one new song performed live: "Initiation," co-written by Halford/Diesel Machine guitarist Pat Lachman. But he also looks forward to reacquainting audiences with fresh renditions of catalog favorites. "The stuff was on the shelf for a while, and you have a different outlook on it," he says. "I think I enjoy it more now."


I'm glad Tommy's still at it. Those of you who know me well have an idea of what this means to me. Maybe "Hell If I Could" will help me shake this stain on my heart...
Just got home from the sub_sonic set at Bonafide!, J-Justice and DJ Aaron's weekly house party at Nation. There was a lot going on tonight, the Bra Show, Seafair...so it wasn't as well attended as it should've been, but some folks showed up late and things finally got off the ground. I got to dance with the Second Most Beautiful Woman in the World and Ali joined Frito and I for the evening. I think she had a good time, although I admit I encouraged her to hold back in anticipation of tomorrow's action.
I've been in a strange mood these last couple of days, I'm sure it was brought on by a lack of good sleep (entirely my fault). I thought it was a case of the "mean reds" but I wasn't afraid...just kinda sad. I desperately wanted to listen to sad records alone at 4AM and ask my friends for hugs, but I couldn't think of legitimate reasons for feeling this way. I decided that if I was going to have a funk come on, it should be at a time when I could at least enjoy such an indulgence and with so much good stuff going on, I simply cannot.

The neighborhood is buzzing with activity. Our sexy dreadlocked neighbor Jennifer is moving out of her house and all around Genesee Park, the nearby beaches on Lake Washington and it's adjoining streets, people are preparing for the yearly celebration of aerial acrobatics, boats, beer and babes.
I don't really care about the races. I am amused at all the folks trying to make a buck off the proceedings. Folks are charging $15 to let hydro fans park their yards. There's even a fella down the street turning his front yard into a restaurant (Big D's World Famous BBQ). I think we're going to have some of the gang over before we head to the Capitol Hill parties at COCA, Groovetech and Dan's Place.

Neil wrote and told me that he'd gotten me a ticket to Smackdown! at the Tacoma Dome on my birthday! I'm gonna see The Rock! In the flesh!!
I'm looking forward to shaking off this weird hurt and gittin' it oan. There's a lot that's fucked up in this world, but there's a lot of good too. I won't take that for granted!

Good night.

8.02.2002

OK. Ali just sent me a link to get my comments section working and I'm messing around with the HTML trying to get it installed. If all goes well, you'll be able to place your pithy comments to my inept ramblings...
Wait. Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all.