3.30.2003

How my mind works...

A few days ago, I decided I wanted to purchase a new PC game. I read up on what was out there and decided on "Freelancer", a fairly open-ended space shooter. (Reviewed here). Anyway, the game was a bit of a splurge and I figured since I didn't NEED the game, I would introduce a little of a randomness and/or chance into the matter by restricting myself to one or two stores. I decided on Wal-Mart and Fred Meyer. Now, while both of these stores usually carry a pretty decent selection, games do not comprise a significant enough amount of the store's busines so that they would need to have "the latest" on hand, thus suiting my purposes perfectly.
My mistake, (of course) was communicating all this to Frito.

You could go to CompUSA in SouthCenter...
Ah, no...
Dood, why don't you just order it off the net? (gesticulating wildly at Amazon's website, where Freelancer could be found used for $20 cheaper than list.)
I don't wanna order it off the net...
But why? Then you'd get it for sure!
Naah, that defeats the whole purpose of this little exercise.
Then why are you going? You must not want it that bad.
See, I want it...but it's $50. I could buy a lot of PBR for fitty bucks. It's like that line in that Parliament song, "If I didn't cop, then it wasn't mine to have"-Get it?"
No. I don't. You could get it online (used!) for 20 bucks cheaper and not only do you not want to do that, but you don' event want to go to a store where you'd be sure to get it!
(Nodding) Tha's right.
(long pause)
You're crazy.
Sigh. (wondering now why I have to justify a perfectly tried-and-true method to someone who obviously does not understand the concept of "purposely delayed gratification")
I'm going to explain it one last time. OK? Imagine you're on a diet. But there's this REALLY excellent chocolate you have a craving for. There's a store close by that stocks it on occasion, but there's another store further away that always has it...

You go to the second store...you've already decided to break your diet!
That has nothing to do with it!
Yes it does. You've already decided to break your diet, so why don't you go to the place you know will have it for sure?!
Because if you go to the first store, there's a chance it won't be there AND THEN you can still maintain your diet!
(Putting on his coat and heading out the door.) You're insane!
(Drawing myself up to full height) I am the sanest person I know...
(The door slams as Frito heads off to work)

...But that's not saying much.


So I leather up and ride south to Renton. Freddy's didn't have it, but Wal-Mart did! So here I sit, $50 poorer but...happy?!

(Later, at the Cobalt Cafe, Frito tells the story to Tess and Laurie B., who agreed with me! So did Neil, who added that he does the exact same thing all the time!)
HAH!

This weekend wadn't anything special. Frito and I went meet up with some of the Sun|Tzu heads at the Cobalt Cafe and have a few before going to catch The Guest Stars at The Mars Bar and Venus Cafe. They played a loose, goofy set but they seemed well received. I miss Adam, so it was good to shoot the shit with him. Annie R., my favoritest female in the whole world was in the set...so I was quite happy. She told me that we don't see each other enough-I concur! We'll have to work on that. Frito and I went back to the Cobalt and hung with Paul and watched people dance to the salsa and samba influenced house Jason and Miss Kick were spinning.
I didn't do much Saturday. I was supposed to go to Bremerton, but I couldn't muster the energy. Frito and I watched "Glengarry Glen Ross" and then I actually went to bed around 6:30 and didn't wake up until 7AM. I went to band practice, then work.

3.27.2003

Scott's scooter is famous!

Also, because I've been worried about other issues, I forgot to mention my beloved friend Oani, who turned 30 on Monday. Oani is quite possibly the sweetest person I know. Happy birthday, babe! I can't until you move up here so's we can hang out more often!

Also, the folks at Sun|Tzu Soundsystem are back from the Winter Music Conference in Miami. I admire these guys for all thier dedication, tenacity and hard work!It looks like there was enough DJ talent there to power a small city! Check it out!

3.26.2003

Damn straight. (Thanks B.)

I have spent the last week doing all I can to block out the war. I am seeking to find joy wherever I can. Yesterday I had lunch with Tab and we got on the subject. It's hard to keep from turing any discussion of the subject into a rabid spittle-spewing rantfest. Mostly, I just feel sad. And occasionally angry...woe onto the person who actually succeeds in unleashing The Dragon. I warn you now, if you're in favor of our little adventure "over there" DO NOT go on about how Saddam gassed the Kurds, especially since the U.S. government is in the process (that is, if they have not yet succeeded) of selling them out.
This is just one example of How Real Business Gets Done, folks. And we're just getting started.

Whew...I think I caught myself before I got too spitty. It's nice out. I'm going for a walk.

3.25.2003

Well, things with the move are at a standstill while I wait for some technical info...it may be awhile, I'm working an extra day this week as I get into my new work schedule.
Yesterday, it was so nice when I got home I decided to hop on the bike and go for a ride. I stopped by a couple of record stores in hopes of getting the new Stratford 4 and Pole CD's, but it was a wash. So I stopped by the Noodle Ranch for Red Curry with Yams and Chicken, which was excellent, as always. Of course the weather started to take a turn for the worse on the way home, but I made it without getting soaked. I was about to go to bed when Stu emailed me and said he had an extra ticket for King Crimson at the Moore! The show started at 7:30, so I'd make it to work on time! WhooHoo!
I tried to sleep, but couldn't. I met Stu at the Moore and we went to our seats about 3 rows from the back in the balcony and watched the show. Adrian Belew, "local guy" Trey Gunn, Robert Fripp and that guy from Mr. Mister made a pretty furious racket, though not on par with Wire's September show. The set was pretty evenly split between instrumentals and vocal numbers and the light show was fantastic.
I really couldn't tell what they played, Stu says it was all from the last three albums. The only songs I recognized were "Thrak" and "I'm a Dinosaur", which were both played during the encore (and made me VERY happy!) I WANT A WARR GUITAR!!
Stu and I were laughing at all the muso geeks and heshers in the audience. We were amazed that there were lots of women in the crowd, although they were still outnumbered 3 to 1 by the fellas, it was remarkable for prog-rock gig. I spotted three other black folks (two women and a man), even! Now that's amazing!
We ran into Suze after the show. Looked like she was on a date, so we didn't embarrass her...next time, though!
I stopped at Ralph's for a roast beef and cheddar on sourdough and headed to work. I did OK until about 4AM. Kelly threw a paper airplane at me to keep me from drifting off! I did all the things I normally do to stay awake (run stairs, drink coffee, splash water on my face) but it just wasn't working! It was too warm in the room. Finally, the AC kicked on around 5 and I snapped out of it.

Ah well...

3.24.2003

I haven't posted in awhile. I'm wrestling with Movable Type so I can make use of the built-in comments feature. I will probably keep this blog for awhile until all the bugs get worked out.
In the meantime, I've been pretty much sticking close to home and trying to find creative ways to avoid hearing about the war.

3.19.2003

Folks, while I am quite bummed at the utter FAILURE of the President to make a compelling case for war (despite going ahead with it anyway), yours truly is turning his attention to other things that matter. Spring has sprung (if I may borrow a line from an old Echo and the Bunnymen song) and my spirits are lifted by the lengthening days and blossoming trees and flowers.
I had thought about writing a lengthy rant about the current situation, but then I figure most of you made of your minds a long time ago and nothing I say could change it and heck, y’all know how I feel by now, anyway.
So, that said, I don’t know what is coming. This may turn out OK (in the short run) or be the beginning of the End Of Thing As We Know Them (we’re gonna have to deal with North Korea soon, y’know-and that ham-handed know-nothing fratboy (yeah, I said it!) in office doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence), but I’d like to take this time to tell those close to me (You know who you are) that I love them and hope that all of us manage to stay out of harm’s way.
Until we meet again, I ask that you continue to read, look, listen, think, snatch joy wherever you can and take everything with a grain of salt.
If I was a religious man, I’d say I’d be praying for you, but I’m not. So instead I will continue to have phaith, and pursue the unknown end.

That’s all.

3.17.2003

So this weekend I decided that I wanted to try a Durian, the supposed “King of Fruits”. I’d first heard of Durian on Metafilter (Hi Alex!) and when I came across an article on Durian OnLine about the guy who started the Viet Wah Market on Jackson St. and how he was responsible for getting them allowed into the country, my interest was really piqued.
I met Laura, my nemesis/partner-in-crime at Uwajimaya and picked out a nice-looking 5 pounder. The Durian is about the size of a football, perhaps a little bigger, and covered with small spikes. Then there’s the smell. I knew it was supposed to smell bad, but these weren’t too awful. It smelled faintly of rotting garbage…Yeah, I know. Like Haggis, Fugu and potato chips made with Olestra, this was Stu and I like to call “Food on a Dare”.
Another thing that made this little adventure even more extraordinary, is that I normally avoid fresh fruit. I know, I know, it’s good for me and all…but to my sometimes (Ha!) fuzzy logic, fruit is like cheating. Of course you’re supposed to like it, it’s sweet and juicy and refreshing. Pah. To me, Real Men get their veggies and leave the froot stuff to the pantywaists! See, I told you my logic was fuzzy…
Anyway, I got the thing home and waited awhile before I cracked it open. When I did, I selected the sharpest knife in our arsenal and cut into the grayish-brown hull lengthwise.
It gave fairly easily, revealing the yellow custard-like interior. The hull was divided into sections, with a big brown chestnut-like seed in each section.
I scooped the interior stuff onto a plate and tasted it. It was like pudding but fruity. The taste was fairly complex as well. Each bite was a little different in sweetness and intensity…but then the smell started to get to me. For real, if you wanna know what it was like, try eating overripe or pureed bananas mixed with sugar and vanilla over a full garbage can sometime.
I couldn’t take it.
I imagine the Durian would be really good in ice cream or a milkshake. But I was so put off that I couldn’t imagine eating any more, so I wrapped to whole thing in plastic that threw it away. Even after I brushed my teeth thoroughly, it took several PBR’s at the Baltic Room to get the smell/taste out of my mouth!
I supposed if I could get my hands on a fresh Durian, I might know why people in SE Asia go nuts for it. Until then, I’m going back to my arugula…

I spent a good chunk of Saturday with Tabitha. Jeez, she and I fight like cats and dogs, only to have some sort of breakthrough and greater understanding. I learned more about her in those few hours than I had in the last couple of years! We went out for lunch, then went to pick up a couch. I got to see her new place. The weather was sort of cooperating which made for a lovely day. But she messed up. See, her place is far enough away to make for really pleasant bike ride and I suspect I may be “dropping in” on nice days from here on out. Nonetheless, we had a good time and she sent me home with some cookies.
After band practice, I went down to Imperial Lanes to do a little bowling and celebrate Karen M.’s 31st birthday. We had ice cream, cake, blueberry pie and lots of beer.
I wound up with the Strike King award for having the highest overall score in two games.
I had to ride home with a painted bowling pin jammed in my leather jacket!
When I got home, I had a message from Frito. He’s down at SXSW and had gone to see Clem Snide. He played an entire song by them on the vmail, and it sounded pretty wrad!
I didn’t do much yesterday, aside from watching Road Rules/Real World Fantasy Challenge: “Battle of the Sexes”. I rooted for the boys of course a lusted after the extremely cute but evil Emily.
Then I went to Suze’s for dinner and WWE Sunday Night Heat/Real World Las Vegas/Alias before I trotted off to work.

3.11.2003

Randomage.

I did something stupid over the weekend. Not illegal stupid. Just embarrassing-I-shoulda-known-better stupid. But in the aftermath, I thought about some things in a way that I hadn't before. And that was good!

Wouldn't it be great if incompetant and/or criminal public offcials had to commit seppuku for fucking up?

I ran into one of my best friends from my formative years yesterday. We chatted for a bit in the street before we had to get back to our lives. He was a bit weirded out, because I'd been on his mind recently. I know where he works, I'm pretty easy to find...I wonder why we didn't try before then? We're gonna hook up for breakfast on Wednesday...I wonder if we'll keep in touch this time?

I was on my way to meet Laura, upstairs at the University Bookstore. As I came up the stairs, the clerk saw me and called my name. I was a bit late, due to running into my friend and Laura had told the clerk that she was "looking for a big black man."
"Aren't we all, honey", was his reply.

The weather here is in transition...but if you're from the Northwest, you know that the transition will probably be over around the second or third week of July. Still, it was wonderful to see the clouds break and feel the warmth of the sun on my face as I rode home, even if it was for a few fleeting moments.

I bought Dr. Israel vs. Dr. X a few days ago. My verdict? A Righteous Tower of Six Ton Dub...Urban Reggae spiked with a little D & B, pop and whathaveya. Israel keeps getting better and I hope he'll deliver his masterpiece soon.

My former co-worker and his lovely, warm and wonderful wife, Kim are gonna have a baby. I wrote and asked him, “How did that happen?!”
He said, “Not quite sure. I went to the store for a six-pack...told her I'd be right back...and BAM! Pregnant.”
That kid is lucky, lemme tell ya!

I am tired. I got lousy sleep yesterday. I’m somewhat cheered by finally being over the “hump” and knowing that I get an extra day off this weekend. I’m restless and bored too…a bad combination for being out on the roads on a two-wheeled vehicle. So I guess I’ll eat some Mocha Gelato and go to bed…

3.09.2003

Never Mind (Replacements)

Absolution is out of the question
It makes no sense to apologize
The words I thought I brought I left behind,
So never mind
All over but the shouting, just a waste of time
Never mind
All over but the shouting, just a waste of time

I'm not ready as I'll ever be
I climb the walls, I fall into the sea
I'm not ready as I'll ever be
And I suppose your guess is more or less as bad as mine
All over but the shouting, just a waste of time
Never mind
All over but the shouting, just a waste of time
And I suppose your guess is more or less as bad as mine

You oughta tell me, you oughta say if you're not sure
You oughta tell me, you got to help me remember

Never mind
All over but the shouting, just a waste of time
Never mind
All over but the shouting, just a waste of time
Never mind
Never mind
Never mind
Never mind
The words I thought I brought I left behind
So never mind

3.07.2003

AMC revisited.

One cold winter morning in early 1994, I was getting ready for work. I lived with my friend Jeff in a big three-bedroom apartment over a shop in the Roosevelt neighborhood. Anyway, I was listening to KCMU and this song came on. A voice sang:

I laid all my songs at Johnny Mathis' Feet
I said "Johnny, Johnny tell me, won't you tell me how to live?
All my hopes are unraveling and I just lost my lease
on a house without love, doors or windows—
Without peace..."


There was something about the lyrics, so full of quiet despair and self-loathing, the grand sweep of the music, the richness of the voice-I stopped what I was doing… and listened. Something welled in my chest and I felt tears welling in my eyes.
(Apparently Vudi, the band’s guitarist had the same reaction I did upon hearing the song the first time.)

And with a wave of his jewel-encrusted hand
across a glittering Las Vegas scene,
He said: "You've got to learn how to disappear
in the silk and amphetamines."

Johnny looked at my songs, and he said:
"Well, at first guess,
Never in my life have I ever seen such a mess;
Why do you say everything as if you were a thief?
Like what you stole has no value,
And like what you preach is far from belief?"

And with a wave of his red, white and blue hand
across a glittering Hollywood scene,
He said: "You've got to learn how to disappear
in the silk and amphetamines."

Johnny looked at my collection of old punk rock posters—
Anonymous scenes of disaffection, chaos and torture—
And he said: "You are on the right track,
but you are a lamb jumping for the knife;
a real showman knows how to disappear in the spotlight..."


The DJ came on and announced the song and band name and a few days later I tracked down a copy of “Mercury”. I listened to almost nothing else for days. A glorious fog of melancholy came over me. I knew Stu would appreciate this so I loaned him my copy, ‘cause you see, one of the benefits of my relationship with El Stu-is that I get to be the dilettante, while he is the complete-ist.
I knew that if he liked the band as much as I did, then he’d track down all of their albums. Which he most certainly did. I remember the two of us walking back to his place from many a Belltown pub-crawl, singing “Apology For An Accident” at the top of our lungs.
A lot of folks dismissed AMC’s music as sad whining, but I found that if you listen long enough, you get through that and see some of the humor. And I loved that fog of melancholy, because when it lifted-everything was beautiful again.

American Music Club broke up the following year and we never got to see them live, but I have caught Mark Eitzel several times over the years.
I have recently added a second hard drive to my computer, with the intent of using it to make mp3’s of all my favorite music. Things Being The Way They Are, I feel like the whole world is holding its breath. Whether it’s just an old shoe or the Sword of Damocles over our heads remains to be seen. But I feel it…and I bet you do, too.
So I wanted some “comfort music”, if you will. So last night, I borrowed and ripped the ten discs Stu had.
Later, as I headed off to bed I muttered, “All I have to offer you is archeology and Christmas,” and Frito (working on his new computer) said, “That’s good enough for me, buddy.”
Right on.
I dropped “San Francisco” in the disc player and let the music wrap me up.
I think I made it through 3 songs before zonking out.

3.03.2003

Sony Unveils First Blue-Laser DVD Recorder
It's finally here! If you've heard me rant about this over the years, you'll know I consider this a big deal. I wonder what kind of copyright issues this'll bring. So far, Sony has been playing both sides, selling recordable media and then bitching about piracy...

"ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's surprise rejection of a U.S. troop deployment is forcing American planners to rethink a strategy that called for attacks from two fronts to hit Saddam Hussein's army so ferociously his forces would have quickly collapsed."

"U.S. war plans are already leading to serious tensions between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds, and Ankara wants to make sure that if it gives its support, Washington guarantees that there will not be a Kurdish state in Iraq after a war."

"Turkey has also demanded that any Iraqi Kurdish fighters who are armed by the United States during a war are disarmed afterward in the presence of a Turkish military officer, reports said. The United States was looking to use the Kurds as scouts, reports said."

"Without a northern front, however, tensions could be even greater with less coordination between the sides, in part because Turkey is likely to still move its forces into Iraq if there is a war."

via Salon

3.02.2003

The Luminous Rose (Robyn Hitchcock)
(AKA my favorite dirge)

Oh the bodies of drowned sailors and dead airmen
flounder upside down beneath the roaring wave
and the fishes eat the flesh from off their fingers
and the sea is so much deeper than the grave
and the pale English stone stands alone
over me
oh the bodies rise and fall in slow motion
as the flesh gives way to coral and her charms
if you listen hard you'll hear the sea is breathing
and she's waiting there to hold you in her arms
and the pale English sun shone
over me

oh the telegram is lying on the table
you left it there you can't believe its true
God finds you naked and he leaves you dying
what happens in between is up to you
and the luminous rose glows
over me
over me

3.01.2003

I had a weird dream last night. I was somewhere off the coast of Japan looking for the ships of the Kublai Khan’s invasion force; sunk by the Kamikaze or ‘Divine Wind’, in 1274. I was drifting underwater, but I wasn’t in a submarine. The water around me was full of diffuse gray light, like being in a heavy fog on an otherwise sunny day. I could make out the black shapes of the ships where they sat on the bottom.
Only my reverence for the dead kept me from coming closer. So I drifted there, in the foggy water…

Must’ve been the Fettucini con Pollo I had for dinner last night, ‘cause Frito told me he had weird dreams too.

We went to the EMP last night to catch our good friends in The Guest Stars in the Liquid Lounge, which is sort of a weird place. I mean, you have this whole scene there, detached from any context other than they have live bands. There's nothing around EMP, so if you go there to drink, it must be that you're the sort of person who likes either a) unsigned local bands, b) drinking in overpriced glizy places, c) too old for Polly Esther's across the street d) all or most of the above.

Anyway, TGS rocked, we had some beers and flirted shamlessly with Trish's friend Allison, who seems to have all of us completely under her spell. She'd brough along a friend, a really cool Englishman named John, who is working in Seattle for a year and said he really, really digs Seattle. After the bands were over, we were watching Conan O'Brien's show and Ann Curry (AKA Thee Perfect Woman) was on. Unfortunately, the sound was off. I was surprised to find that Neil feels the same way I do about her!