12.29.2004

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year (Randomage)!

I went to a great NYE party hosted hosted by my old swim-buddy Jay. He whipped up an amazing spread and we drank and (in a rather unusual departure from our normal activities) watched porn (the ladies were just as fascinated by Alisha Klass' talents as the boys were). At midnight we all piled out on the deck, drank bubbly and sang Auld Lang Syne.
Jay passed out sometime after that and the ladies wrote stuff on his forehead in lipstick. Good times.

All Music Guide gave my band's album a good review!

And Frito wrote to tell me how to speed up Firefox...which, if you're on a PC you should be using 'cause it rulz. Here's whatcha do:

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

1.Type about:config into the address bar and hit return.

2. In the Filter search, type network.http.pipelining. Set the value to true.

Set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. In the Filter search, type network.http.proxy.pipelining. Set the value to true.

4. Lastly, right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it nglayout.initialpaint.delay and set its value to 0. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

If you're using a broadband connection you'll load pages MUCH faster now!

From http://wiki.amazon.com/?MozillaFirefoxSpeedBoost




12.23.2004

The Poisoned Well

This is my favorite story.

I mention it every chance I get, 'cause nothing else seems to explain the times we live in quite so well. It's all about your perspective. You see, we are (thanks to technology, various rationalizations on the nature of objectivity, propaganda, the consolidation of major media outlets, etc.) increasingly able to choose our reality. What was once willful ignorance (ex.: "You read that in the New York times? Then it's bullshit!") is now just another point of view.
Facts are bent, lies are put forth as gospel truth and even minor details are contested to the point that the very nature of 'reality' starts to warp...without wormholes or time machines!
I wonder what will happen when we can actually rewire our brains to alter, accept or reject sensory input? What shape would public debate take when people can instantly turn on their "Chomsky", "Marx" or "Limbaugh" filters while perusing the paper or listening to The State of the Union Address?

I digress.

There are different versions of this tale...but it's pretty short. Enjoy!

The Poisoned Well

There once was a tiny little kingdom of peace and plenty.
One night a jealous foreign agent snuck in and poisoned the well in the town square with a foul potion. Everyone who drank from the well became mad and of course, everyone did drink from it.
Except for the king, who had his own well.
As the days went by, the townsfolk became agitated. They stirred and murmured among themselves about how the king seemed to be acting strangely and talking nonsense.
One day the king's madness became so bad that the people seized him and brought him to the
town square for public examination.
They asked him questions in logic, which he answered with crazy talk!
The king began to fear for his life. However, it was a hot day and naturally the king asked for water.
One of the women drew him a cup from the well.
Soon after, the king started answering his subjects questions with increasing clarity and his
madness diminished until finally he was sane again.
The kingdom rejoiced that their beloved king had recovered!

But it was odd how their crops perished when they fertilized them with salt...

12.19.2004

Stu's Birthday!

Stu's Birthday...

was Sunday and his girlfriend Rachel and I had been conspiring to throw him a surprise party on Friday. I rented a car 'cause I was tired of digging for change evertime I to take the bus...my bike won't be ready for another couple of weeks. We had everyone meet us at The Rendezvous in Belltown and Rachel met Stu under the pretense that she was taking him out to dinner.
Laura went in with me on his gift, which was all five of Eddie Izzard's concert DVD's.
Stu is pretty hard to surprise, but we actually managed to anyway!
It was a really nice party. A bunch of people I had not seen in a long time showed up. Rachel decorated the space with balloons and such and we had cupcakes instead of a b-day cake...and we drank a lot. I swear I only had 4-5 beers and with food and buying other folks stuff my tab was still around $100. Laura came with me but is still feeling ill - so she cabbed it home.
We stayed until 1:30AM.

Next year is the big FOUR OH...

12.14.2004

Gugh...!

Gugh...!

So, I went to a party on Friday with Stu and Evangeline, thrown by the Seattle School guys in West Seattle. There were a bevy of attractive people there and I threw down some vanilla vodka and discussed the finer points of ABC's "The Lexicon of Love" album with the host. While we were on the balcony smoking, Evangeline told me a funny story about how she got into a Bootsy Collins show at Bumbershoot several years ago. I was home by 12.
On Saturday, I was getting ready to meet Heidi, her sisters and stepfather at the International Motorcycle Show when Laura informed me that she and her friend (who was visiting from out of town) were going to go too. So I rode with them, but en route they decided to get some food first. So I got dropped off.
Heidi found me after about 10 minutes, then we wandered around looking for her folks. After we all hooked up, we wandered around trying to take it all in. I sat on a bunch of Harley's but didn't like most of them, they seems kinda narrow and small and the seats weren't as comfy as my Kawasaki. I did like both the Road King and the Springer, though.
I also am seriously wondering if I'd have to sell I kidney to move up to the Drifter 1500. I'm a little too unsure about my job to be getting further into debt, but I'm sure I could find a '01 or '02 for the same amount that I'm paying for my 800.
Anyway, we left and went to the New Orleans Cafe for lunch. Then I went back to the show to meet Laura. I really wanted to look for a new helmet, but I didn't see anything I liked. So we sat on more bikes and I fantasized about my dream rides, The Fat Bloke by Exile Motorcycles, The The Harley-Davidson Road King Custom, and The Honda F6 Valkyrie.
We were pretty much beat my late afternoon...I spent the rest of the day at home.
On Sunday, Laura and I got early to do some shopping. I swear sometimes my roommate and I are speaking separate languages. We went out to Costco to buy food an' shit and en route to making a stop at Uwajimaya, I was talking about my motorcycle.

Me: I hope to get some new tires once I get it back. And maybe some saddlebags. Too bad that stuff is so expensive. Tires and saddlebags could run me $700!

Her: Well, you know that bag of frozen veggies you bought? You coulda got the same amount of stuff for way cheaper if you'd bought it fresh!

Me: Yeah, but most times I don't feel like choppin'! (long pause) Uh...what does that have to do with motorcycles?!

She went on to clarify her point (which incidentally, still had nothing to do with motorcycles) but I think what actually happened is that I caught her not listening and by some Women's Union rules, she had to cover it up! Once again, proving that you ladies can be just as bad as us guys, you just have better P.R.

Anyway, if you've been reading this blog awhile, you know I love soup when it's cold out. Especially Udon or Pho! So I was dying to get some Hon Dashi Bonito Flakes. I also bought a crab soup base, frozen Udon noodles, miso paste & sweet soy sauce. We looked around in the food court, I wanted Humbow and found a little bakery that hooked me up.
Laura, however, is on a Filipino food kick and didn't like the little joint in the mall (and when I say "didn't like", I really mean really fuckin' hated!) so we drove up to Beacon Hill to another spot we frequent, with her ranted about the lousy food in the food court and how they were not representin' the whole way.
As she got out of the car she says:

"You comin'?"
"Nah," says I, biting into my humbow. "I'm already smackin'."
"Fine!" Laura huffs.
"Hey...couldja get some Lumpia?" I ask.
"FUCK YOU!" She yelled, slamming the car door.

By the time we hauled all the crap into the house, we were wiped. So we watched The Bourne Supremacy (I got my Lumpia, BTW (she's crazy, but sweet)), then racked out. Then it was off to work...


12.01.2004

Nothing Pithy Here...

Nothing Pithy Here...

I got up early to do a some shopping with Laura in anticipation of Orphan's Thanksgiving, the annual celebration where my "other" family gets together in appreciaton of each other. We met at her place of employment, then went to Costco and dropped a ton of money there but they didn't have the turkey Laura wanted, so we agreed to meet at Larry's Market in Lower Queen Anne.
We bought more stuff, I helped her load it in her car, then told her I'd see her at the house after I stopped to pick up some teriyaki in Fremont. Traffic was pretty normal for that time of day. I took Dexter into Fremont, crossed the bridge and then turned onto 34th. There was no traffic in front of me, though the lanes going the opposite way were full as per usual at this time of day. As I approached the entrance to the Adobe parking lot, I was anticipating my dinner and getting a few hours sleep before rolling into work.
Suddenly, there was a car in front of me.
I hit with a dull thud, I was thrown forward, then fell sideways the front wheel and fender bearing most of the impact. I was maybe going 25 or so. It happened so fast, nothing had time to register. I sat up and a group of people were asking me if I was alright. I had fallen to my left and my leg was trapped under the bike by my handlebars. My ankle got a tweak from the way I landed and the bike was pinching my leg.
I pulled my leg free and stood up, puzzled by what had just happened. I got my helmet off.
A bystander was already on the phone to the police by the time I stood up.
-Yeah, I'm fine. Nobody got hurt.
-OK, well in that case, we won't send an officer out, so just exchange information and call your insurance companies.
I handed the phone back and thanked the lady, she turned and was briskly on her way again.
A gentleman on a bike pulled up handed me his card and told me he'd be a witness if I needed one. He rode off again.
A guy in a trench coat stood nearby with a guilty look on his face. He introduced himself as the person who'd hit me. I was overwhelmed at the moment, feeling a growing elation at cheating death, weirded out by all the attention and surprised that I felt so calm. Traffic was beginning to back up because my bike lay in the street. I picked it up. The other driver and I decided to meet at the bottom of the ramp in the parking lot. I didn't try to start my bike, but rode in down the ramp anyway.
We exchanged information, neither of us sure of exactly what information we were suppose to exchange. My bike wouldn't start and neither of us had a pen. He went inside to find one, while I found a parking place for my bike.
Mr. Davis turned out to be a decent enough fellow, I think he was scared I was going to go ballistic, but I was so relieved at not being hurt, that I couldn't be mad. He even gave me a ride home. The whole thing seemed rather absurd. Two people who had no reason to interact at all intesecting due to a bad judgement call. I was just relieved that the judgement wasn't mine.
I didn't go into work that night...I wasn't sure of my emotional state. All could say for sure was that I was annoyed at being deprived of my bike. And a little afraid of how this would turn out. I was pretty sure that I was not liable for what happened, but that wasn't up to me.
My bike was towed up to a shop in Lynnwood the following day. I made a few calls and sent emails to my insurance company's claims adjuster and to his agent. The shop called and reeled off the list of damages, which added up to be a nice chunk of change. I wasn't going to pay a deductible...I hadn't done anything wrong.
I went to the company office party on Friday night with my buddy Jay. We had a pretty good time as the bar was serving Cosmopolitans and Apple Martinis. I got to chat with Matt F. and Kim and even a few coworkers I'd never met before.
I got home and found a message on my cell phone. I was going to be fully indemnified! WhooHoo!
Saturday was busy, cleaning, cooking and entertaining. I think this was one of the best Orphan's Thanksgiving's EVAR. The food was great and everyone hung out for awhile afterwards. I found out that a girl that Stu knew back when he was in elementary school was someone I'd met via another friend. I'd even gone to her wedding!
Sunday was pretty mellow. Laura and I got up kinda late and started cleaning up. Then I went to band practice and she went back to sleep. I took the bus to work.

Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo

Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo

Raise yr hand if you're surprised...
(via Metafilter)

11.27.2004

What We Did Last Night:

What We Did Last Night:

Seattle School presents:
IRON COMPOSER - "REGIME CHANGE"
The Popular Real Time Live Songwriting Competition, Drinking Game, and Aural Obstacle Course

Seattle, WA - IRON COMPOSER continues it's popular monthly run at the Crocodile on Friday Nov 26th, with a musical battle royale between Brent Amaker of Dorkweed and guitar god Ian Moore. The November IC show has an overwhelming number of insurance-nightmare scenarios for audience participation, and includes an election by the audience in an opportunity to vote for new members of the Songwriting Stadium staff. Positions up for elections include: The Chairman, The Interloper, The Cheerleader and The Cop.

Celebrity judges will be Q13 Fox Sportscaster Dan Devone; host of 107.7 FM The End's Morning Alternative DJ No Name; and playwright, director, & theater critic for The Stranger Bret Fetzer. Opening act is The Xenophiles, and post show entertainment provided by Batum Schrag. For the competition, one audience member, randomly chosen as the "secret ingredient," gushes about his or her current state of affairs (or nefarious past) in a five-minute interview. Each composer draws inspiration from the personal these life-details and incorporates those into an original song to be performed at the end of the bout.

Think it's that easy? This 45-minute competition is divided into five nine-minute segments. Each segment contains a "Mystery Chaos," performed by The Interloper (Korby Sears of Seattle School) which distracts the composers. As added molasses, each composer drinks a shot of liquor at the beginning of each round, consuming five shots in the course of 45 minutes. Each composer is equipped with "musical kitchens" contaning: one guitar, one piano, paper and pencil and one Sous Chef Line Musician. The Sous Chef conducts live rehearsals with the house band on stage, and composers can only communicate with the band via their Sous Chef. Now that's what we call confounding! Yahear?

Seattle School
www.seattleschool.net
Latitude:47.45N - Longitude:122.30W
"
Seattle School - it's comfortable."
206-335-3500

This really sounded like fun, and boy, it was! The best case of "organized chaos" that I've seen in a long while. At first I was pulling for Ian Moore, but Brent Amaker's song, "Prostitution, Drugs and Burglary in Spokane" (really, ya had to be there) won the day. The show ended kind of early, so Laurie, Stu, Mecedes, Scott, Cindy and I wandered around Belltown looking for someplace to eat, finally winding up at the Wasabi Bistro.

11.22.2004

Back To It.

Back To It

The weekend was utterly unremarkable. I messed around on Friday after work until about 3PM, laid down for a nap after making tentative plans with the Frito and work up 12 hours later. Damn.
Saturday was difficult at first, then got better with Heidi's arrival. She came over to see my band.
So we goofed off for awhile and got caught up, then went over to the practice space to load out.
The gig went well...although we played first, so a bunch of friends showed later and missed us. My coworkers, Molly, Renee and Rick were there and Dante came out, as did Stu, Scott, Cindy, Jerri, Rachel and Neil. I think we played well, despite of a rather bad, crackly PA. We have another gig in a couple of weeks, but it's on a weeknight...so all those people who said, "Man, let me know when you're playing on a weekend, I'll be there!" and didn't show up? Phooey on Yooey.
After our set, the second band came on...let's just say that most of my friends did not appreciate their style...so Neil, Stu, Rachel, Renee, Heidi, Scott and I moseyed across the street to Dante's for a drink and some Pomme Frites. I was good and buzzed after four pints of AJ Winter Ale (The bartender, to her credit, warned me to be careful) and Stu and I remembered how we used to come down to Dante's for Dollar Pitcher night back in the day. I met Tim (and Free) for the first time in that bar, on a night we got so sloshed, a bunch of us wound up standing in a circle on a dock on Green Lake, passing around a big jug of cheap red wine -- shivering in the cold and attempting to discuss politics, forgetting our points halfway.
Renee musta gotten into that spirit, Heidi and I had to take her home and I had to clean the puke out of Heidi's car door, but all's well that ends well.
On Sunday Heidi and I went to "our spot", Beth's Cafe for salt and grease (delivered via eggs and hash browns.) Afterwards, she headed back to Bremerton and I played Half-Life 2 for awhile, then helped Laura try to set up the stereo in the TV room. We had mac n cheese for dinner, then I was off to work.

It's hard to believe we're standing at the mouth of the X-mas season. Orphan's Thanksgiving is coming up and there's a rash of birthdays in December. Then the two barest months and it all begins again. Is it possible to maintain a sense of wonder in a (somewhat) orderly universe? I feel my world has gotten smaller these last couple of years...and it makes me unhappy. How does one balance that against getting older (perhaps slower) when one is not involved in "domestication" like so many of my friends?

Hm.

11.17.2004

Thought Of The Day

Thoughts Of The Day

Y'know, there sure are a lot of stories about ODB's passing. I mean A LOT. Personally, I think the media outlets just like writing Ol' Dirty Bastard...

Louise came by the other day to chat and check out the house, making her my second guest and first official one. Renee came by when we were moving in, but we weren't set up yet. I gave Weez a tour and she got introduced to Laura and a good time was had by all.
Sometime between now and the weekend, the entertainment room will get set up. The rugs have finally arrived, now all we have to do is play some musical chairs with stuff in there and it should be nice!

Fey Ray is playing @ The Monkey Pub on Saturday night. Should be a lot of fun. We had a band meeting on Sunday before practice and I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about the (immediate) future of the band. We're still looking for a guitarist, but playing with James has been fun. It's cool to see how the music can stand up to these changes, starting as a trio, then adding Sean on guitar and backing vox, then swapping Sean out with James on keyboard. Personally, I think the ideal scenario is to keep James AND a second guitar. James can play several instruments and the idea of four-part harmonies makes me grin. I think think our next recording is going to be wilder and much more adventurous, which couldn't make me happier! Anyway, the Monkey Pub is a pretty cool place -- laid back, a good selection of beers and good fries! Stu and I played our first gig with Mr. Pope waaaayyy back in '92.

There has been some interesting fallout from the election. Most progressives I know seem to be quickly working through their grief and girding thier loins for battle. I think there are several positive outcomes for this, one is that we are finally recognizing who our base is. Second, several friends of mine are attending informal meetings to discuss what went wrong, etc. and how we might move on from here. Third, I think several people -- who simply weren't paying attention before are getting active. There's a lot more at stake than gays and terror and I believe the greatest threats to my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness come from right here.
For me, the question is not "What Happened?" it's "What are we gonna do about it?" Personally, I think the focus should be at the local level. If the cities are our strength, then we should start there and move outward.

Also - I started Half-Life 2 yesterday. OMFG!! it's awesome! The graphics are amazing, the gameplay engrossing...I have to tear myself away. If you like FPS or computer gaming in general, you simple have to have this one...

11.15.2004

Back in the Saddle Again!

Back in the Saddle Again!

A few of you have called or written asking how the move went and how things are going. Here is my report:

The move was pretty smooth. I'd taken a load of stuff already boxed up over here a week before "M-day" and so I wound up only making two additional trips. Frito had taken me to Lowe's and we picked up some plastic bins with lids and they made wonderful, stackable containers. I found that over half my possession are (you ready for it?) books and CDs.
Things got a little hectic afterwards, I was pretty tired but couldn't rest yet. I'd only gotten everything IN the house not necessarily where it belongs...that has been a work in progress -- but progress has been steadily made.
Most of last week was devoted to hanging pictures, moving stuff around, doing laundry and sorting through stuff. We gave Dan a mini freezer and made a couple of dump runs.
Saturday was a exhausting. We got up early and headed south to Southcenter Mall, hit a bunch of bed and bath joints, both Pier 1 and Cost Plus and then Ikea and Costco...which I found depressing. I walked through the store while Laura was taking care of some bidness, looking at all the newlyweds and teenagers and middle aged and old folks, basically making a day out of shopping. Everyone looked well-fed and content and happy, glad to be out of the house and spending their hard-earned cast on...stuff. I'm not exactly an anti-capitalist, but I guess I'm not the type who gets excited about spending money (unless it's on beer or music). I bought a 1000 disc holder for my CD's and was somewhat dismayed to find that I might need another...I still have two boxes of discs down here in the basement.
Anyway, Laura and I have different styles, tastes and modus operandi, so there's been a bit of friction, mostly due to stress (and she's not feeling well) and after a day of running around we were really getting on each other's nerves. However, we talked about it and things are better now. We got the computer room set-up and over the next couple of days, the entertainment room will be set up.
Then we can have some folks over!



11.05.2004

Alright...

Alright...

I'm loading the last of my crap from all over the house. Tomorrow I tackle my room.
I don't know how long it will be before I'm back online at home, so if you wanna get hold of me call my mobile. I have Sunday and Monday off so I'll check my email Tuesday night.

Take care and wish me luck!

S.

11.04.2004

FEY RAY TONIGHT!!

FEY RAY TONIGHT!!

BTW- Fey Ray is playing @ Nectar in Fremont (AKA The Center of the Universe), it's a benefit for the Compass Center:
"The Compass Center serves homeless and low-income men and women over 18 years of age, a vulnerable and underserved population in Seattle and King County. It is a culturally and ethnically diverse population, consisting of individuals with varying strengths and needs.
Many come to the Compass Center having multiple issues including domestic abuse, mental illness, drug/alcohol dependence, poor employment histories, undeveloped employment skills, child custody or other legal issues, and poor or incomplete rental histories. Some of the clients who access the emergency services are non-sheltered; sleep on the streets, in parks, under bridges, and have no other available meals or hygiene facilities.
Most individuals have no income or very low incomes; those served by our case management and shelter program have incomes below $7500/year. Client data indicates that 40% of the men served by the Compass Center are Veterans.
Blending compassion and caring with effective programs and unique services The people and programs at each of The Compass Center's locations promote dignity, self esteem, and respect for self and others. One-on-one case management identifies the issues that led to street life and helps each person set his or her own goals."
Sitting in with us (on keyboards and backing vocals) tomorrow night is our good friend and ally, James Drage (SIL2K, The Guest Stars, sub_sonic) and I am especially psyched to share a stage with SUSHIROBO!
So come on down, bring a pal, check out a relatively new club and rock out with us! It's for a great cause!!
9 p.m.
$10 donation.
AND

We got played on KEXP today! Whoo Hoo! There's also a interview at NadaMucho!

I Hope They Move All The Chip Foundries First

I Hope They Move All The Chip Foundries First

"Secretary of State Colin Powell astonished observers in both East Asia and the United States last week with extraordinarily candid comments on the Taiwan issue. His statements moved U.S. policy closer than ever before to Beijing's position that Taiwan must reunify with the mainland -- an especially surprising step coming from a conservative Republican administration."

Wow...

Wow...

Whotta crazy week. Aside from putting on Troll A Go Go and packing to move, we see the same bad actors, crooks, bigots and enemies of democracy, freedom and (just about) anyone who doesn't make over 100K a year voted back into office.
Apparently, my fellow Americans are more scared of gays and terrorists than they are of losing their jobs, being uninsured, more war, deeper deficits or not having Social Security. Y'all want a strong leader? Someone who stands by his convictions despite (or in spite of) the facts? Well, I guess that's nothing new, after all - it's what the Japanese, Germans and Italians wanted from their leaders in '30's.
See what it got them...
There's an old term that military guys use: BOHICA. It stands for Bend Over Here It Comes Again! Nonetheless, I ain't bitter. As I said before, I think Kerry would've faced some pretty rabid opposition with the GOP in control of Congress, not to mention all the freeper types dogging him daily. Even if we were lucky, it would take a couple of years to get anything done and it would be bitter and partisan all the way.
I was surprised he conceeded so early, but maybe he thought (like I would):
"Fuck it, I'm rich. And I speak French. I can leave this bitch if I have to. They got windsurfing in Bali, right?"
Jezuz, I'm gonna be 41 before that asshole is out of office...that really bums me out. But what bums me out more is that in better, smarter hands, this wouldn't have even been a contest. With all that bad news (and trust me, there's more to come) out of Iraq and the fact that Dubya barely hung on during the debates AND the previous bullshit pulled over the last couple of years, you'd think anyone with a brain could see that this guy should be in charge of anything. And to the 11 or so percent of Dems who voted for Bush? Two words: Fuck You.
But I digress.
Now I wonder about three things:

1.) How Iraq and Afghanistan will play out. Since GWB broke it, he's not gonna have to watch someone else fix it. The international community will probably deal, but grudgingly - and could blame them?
2.) Now that he doesn't even have to pretend he's a moderate, how is that going to screw me?
3.) Who could oppose the GOP in 2006 and 2008.
4.) The Supreme Court...3 of them could be retiring soon and what that could mean.

I sure this feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop will fade into background noise at some point. A fellas gotta earn a living, take care of bidness and get laid no matter who's in charge. I got a long weekend ahead of me and after I get into my new place, I'm going to get wasted, free my mind so my ass can follow and see what else I can get into. After that, I'm gonna keep on keepin' on the best way I know how.

Johnny Lydon (before he became a total git) once sang "Anger is an energy." I plan to put that energy to good use, fa'reals.

10.29.2004

Today, Tomorrow and the Next Day

Today, Tomorrow and the Next Day...

Are dedicated to Troll A Go Go. Didja see the ad in the Stranger? Adumb is the Devil!! HAHAHAHA!!

ahem.

Before I go, I wanna give a birthday shout-out to my man Chad. Dude, happy 32nd!

Oh Yeah! Read this...the Dr. weighs in.

Out.

10.27.2004

Another Reason to Keep Living

Another Reason to Keep Living

Frito sent me a link to a new Clem Snide song. I really like it - it sounds like Eef is moving a little further away from the 'alt-country' thing, but I always thought that they got tagged with it due to the rather plaintive quality of his voice.
Some folks weren't feeling the last record, Soft Spot. But I thought it was awesome. It was heartfelt and honest. Eef's songs tend to be a tad arch, but I thought it was cool for him to drop his guard and take off the "I'm the smartest guy in the room" stance and just write some purty songs.
*sigh* I suppose this means they'll tour soon. See you at the Croc!

10.26.2004

A Quickie...

A Quickie...

Things are moving right along here. This weekend was spent between here and the new house. The cable guy came over and I helped Laura finish cleaning out her old place and brought some stuff I had stored in the basement here over. We've even met some of our neighbors. Laura says one of them likes to walk around the house nekkid...and she's "perky." Hm.
Regardless, I can't wait to get moved and have y'all come over. For poker. Or to hang out...
I also got a cell phone and I'm fascinated by the fact that - if I let myself - I could become fascinated with the thing. To you who already own one, you probably don't notice anymore, but standing in the mall while waiting for my phone to get activated -- all the people yakking and gaming and entering text messages and playing games...it's like some weird toy for grownups!
I got a pretty cheap plan: 200 minutes a month. And I only plan on carrying it when I'm away from a computer for a significant period of time, so it'll probably stil be better to send me an email. Laura says she want's a home line, so I'll give that number to those of you who are "worthy" at a later date.

This weekend is devoted to setting up and doing Troll A Go Go. We're keeping things simple 'cause Halloween falls on a Sunday this year and we're hoping not everyone will be partied out come Sunday. I'm going to try and make to the Hive Mind party at Jordan's which is always interesting. One of these years, I'm gonna manage NOT to be single around Halloween so's I can hang out in the make-out room without feeling like a creep. That's right, me and Hotsy are over. I didn't think her work/school schedule could accomodate a relationship and I took a sort of wait & see attitude.
She came to agree with me, but we both expressed a desire to remain good friends and will probably hang out when her schedule allows. I don't feel bad about it at all, although I'm afraid she's going to make herself sick with all the stuff she's involved in!

Just think! This time next week, I will have made my way down to the polls and cast my long-awaited vote. No matter the outcome, that does not mean the struggle is over. Not by a long shot. We still gotta figure out a way to limit corporate power, reduce our dependence on oil, undo or restrict the eviromental damage done these last four years, fight for gender equality, human rights and civil liberties and (!) most important of all: Not give our enemies a fucking inch! Look around you. Discourse has become impossible and "they" love to play the underdog, even though they've had incredible and unprecedented power over the last four years.
If progressives can stick together and hold whomever's in power's feet to fire and call them on their bullshit, we might just get our country back. Yeah, I'm an idealist - you gotta a fuckin' problem with that?

I will end this with the words of the late, great Joe Strummer:

White Riot

White riot - I wanna riot
White riot - a riot of my own
White riot - I wanna riot
White riot - a riot of my own

Black man gotta lotta problems
But they don't mind throwing a brick
White people go to school
Where they teach you how to be thick

An' everybody's doing
Just what they're told to
An' nobody wants
To go to jail!

All the power's in the hands
Of people rich enough to buy it
While we walk the street
Too chicken to even try it

Everybody's doing
Just what they're told to
Nobody wants
To go to jail!

Are you taking over
or are you taking orders?
Are you going backwards
Or are you going forwards?


10.20.2004

News...

News...

I guess the biggest personal news is that I'm moving! After living with Frito for most of the last 6 or so years, I'm leaving SOUL HEAVEN (while he still likes me) and moving to a new place.
It's a spacious house with plenty of room for having y'all over for summer BBQ's, B-day and holiday partys and the occasional "Just Cuz We Felt Like It" get-together. I think some of you know my new housemate Laura M.
We're gonna skip having a land line, so I'm FINALLY going to give in and get a cell-phone! I'll have a number in a couple of days.
I don't plan on being in the new space until sometime around, on or after Nov. 4th.
I'm gonna miss the Haus of Intrigue - South Genesee Branch (AKA Home of the SGC AKA SOUL HEAVEN) and Scott is most generous, considerate and kind (*sniff*) roommate/landlord one could hope for, but I'm looking forward to new adventures in a new place!

I haven't updated in awhile, 'cos there's so much going on I can't seem to keep track of it all!
Fey Ray is trying out guitarists, there was The Stranger's Genius Awards last week, work, friends, Troll A Go Go...

The days grow short and the evenings cold. In the darkness leave rustle, an owl hoots, and an unseen thing goes bump in the night. It can only mean one thing...

It's time once again for:

TROLL-A-GO-GO 2004!
The annual All-Hallows Eve masquerade party & fundraising benefit for the Fremont Arts Council with music by:

FCS North (featuring DJ Collage)
Sun-Tzu Sound
& No-Fi Soul Rebellion

and performance from:
inFusion Tribal Belly Dance
The Cabiri
& more!

SUNDAY OCTOBER 31st, 2004, 9:00pm (8:00pm Doors) @ the Chocolate Factory (old Red Hook Brewery) 3400 Phinney Ave North

An annual All-Hallows-Eve celebration, haunted masquerade ball, and Fremont Arts Council fundraiser, TROLL-A-GO-GO 2004, once again brings you a night of music, trapeze, belly-dance and art & performance of all sort – with YOU, in all your costumed glory, as the fabulous centerpiece of the décor!

This year's Troll-a-go-go takes place on Halloween night, Sunday October 31st at The Chocolate Factory (aka: the old Red Hook Brewery building) at N 34th St. & Phinney Ave North – the same location as last year’s memorable, all-star masquerade blow-out, attended by over 900 people!

Ticket prices are $8 in advance, $10 at the door ($15 w/out costume). This event is 21+ only (w/ I.D.) and beer & wine will be available to ‘lubricate your groove thang’ for a whirlwind night of costumed festivities, masked decadence & delicious haunted revelry.

***As many of you know, TROLL-A-GO GO has reputation for selling out!***
So get your tickets early and help support the Fremont Arts Council's
critical work of keeping community arts and free expression alive and well
in this great city of ours.

Advance tickets available at all Sonic Boom Records locations or online at:
http://www.ticketweb.com/user/?region=wa&query=detail&event=552274

RELATED LINKS:

The Fremont Arts Council: http://www.fremontartscouncil.org
FCS North: http://www.fcsnorth.com/index.php
DJ Collage: http://www.lasarletter.com/DJCollage/djmain.htm
Sun-Tzu Sound: http://www.suntzusound.com
No-Fi Soul Rebellion: http://www.nofisoulrebellion.com
inFusion Tribal Belly Dance: http://www.infusiontribal.com
The Cabiri: http://www.anunnaki.org/cabiri
Sonic Boom Records: http://www.sonicboomrecords.com


10.05.2004

I Am an Idiot.

I Am an Idiot.

OK, not really. I think I'm pretty smart, but more in a instinctual or intuative way than book-learned - not that I don't read. I do, constantly. Wanna know what the Oracle at Delphi was about? I know. How many light years to the three stars that make Orion's "belt" (and their names)? Gotcha. I don't have all those reference books stacked next to my bed for nothin'. And yeah, it's weird. I wholeheartedly agree with you, but when you're the weirdo, what can you do? I've stopped fighting and learned to love "The Dictionary of Word and Phrase Orgins." So there.
Unfortunately, as I get older things just don't pour into my head like they used to. Or maybe it's the sheer amount of information that one has to absorb on a daily basis to feel informed - but one things for sure, it's a freaking struggle.
Another thing is that I'd rather have empirical knowledge of a thing rather than spending valuable time reading the manual. This can sometimes be a rewarding and quick way to do things. It can, however sometimes be quite expensive. You see where this might be going?
A couple of months ago I parked my bike at the local Post Office to mail off some CD's for the Metafilter Swap I was in. The PO is on a hill and none of the spots are flat. I'd parked there before successfully and I was in a bit of a hurry, so I didn't think much about pulling into a slot and running in with my packages. I knew the noon rush would begin soon and I hoped to beat a long wait in line.
As I walked in a young Asian lady walked out. As it turned out, she was parked in the space next to mine. I don't know if she actually touched my bike in some way, or if it was the vibration from shutting her car door or perhaps starting the engine, but all I heard was a loud CRASH! My bike had fallen over.
I ran outside and picked her up, horrified. The lady gave me a "Don't blame me, mister!" look and backed out of her spot. I found a better (flatter) place to park, cursing my poor judgement.
I took stock of the damage. There was a small scrape/dent on the exhaust pipe, the brake lever was bent and the plastic end cap on the throttle had broken off. Shit. I went back into the Post Office, took care of my bidness and rode home.
I ordered new parts for the throttle grip and brake lever. Hotsy took me out to the dealership to pick up the brake lever ($40!) and I found some grips at JC Whitney for $29 or so. I put the lever on right away and when the grips arrived a week later I put off putting them on, 'cause a) they came with no instructions and b) I'd done some reading at Gadgit's Fix-it site and was now thoroughly confused as to what I was doing.
As it turns out, there are two kinds of grips you can buy. 1) What are called "universal" or "slip-on" grips and 2.) grips that bike-specific and come with a new throttle assembly. I was a bit confused as to what I'd actually ordered as far as I could tell, the grips were compatible with my bike but beyond that I didn't know as the grips came with no instructions.
But Saturday, I was feeling gung-ho and figured that I could just kludge something together, or figure it out somehow. I bought grip glue from a University Honda on Capitol Hill and sallied forth to do the repair. A quick glance told me the grips were similar, so I grabbed one and went out side. The first thing I could tell is that I did not need to replace the throttle assembly. Once I cut off the old grip, I could see the plastic sheath underneath it ran into the switch box. So I got out a rubber mallet and started tapping the new grip on. Which turned out to be a lot harder than it looked. I whanged away for a good 15 minutes and when I was done, the grip was mostly on, but was an inch or so short of being all-the-way on.
Since we were leaving for Men's Poker Retreat, I didn't really have time to figure out what was wrong, so I covered my bike and took off for the weekend.
When I got back, I realized that I could not ride it like that. So after several minutes trying various schemes to remove the (now stuck) grip, I decided on a pretty radical solution. I took a box cutter to it.
Needless to say, the grip came off, but now was totally useless.
Somewhat dejected, I figured what I actually needed now was a new grip with a throttle assembly. I went in, surfed the net and ordered a new pair. They were $55. Shortly after that, I walked into the kitchen and while chatting with Cindy, I picked up the remaining grip...and noticed that it's interior diameter was larger than the grip I'd just destroyed.
"Jeez, I'm dumb." I groaned. I went outside and installed the throttle grip with a bit of glue and two taps from the mallet. Which took all of three minutes.
To make a long (and dull) story short, I now have new, matching (and quite handsome) new grips on my bike. If I can swing it this month, I'm thinking it's time for some nice whitewall tires...but someone else is gonna install those.

10.04.2004

Well...

Well...

I'm back from the Men's Poker Retreat. I'll spare you all the gruesome details, but imagine 8 dudes in a cabin in the Okanogan National Forest. Bourbon, beer, tobacco, cards, cash, more food than a small grocery and conversations often punctuated by farts and burps and you get the idea.
Actually, the cabin was really cool. It had running water and gas powered stoves and a really cool solar panel set up (backed up by a generator) for electricity. The only thing I didn't like was the wasps and hornets that were EVERYWHERE - even inside the house! The first might we were there, we went outside in time to catch either wolves or coyotes howling at the moon.
Frito and I went fishing at Black Pine Lake for a few hours yesterday, the lake is nestled in some mountains and it was so clear you could see to the bottom. The fish mocked us by swimming up to the bait, but they wouldn't go for it. It was really peaceful and we just shot the shit, absorbed the heat of the day and watched the dragonflys strafing the lake.
We drove into Twisp and bought more (!) beer and Maker's Mark before heading back.
As for the poker, my game is improving rapidly. I didn't win any money, but I did finish 4th in the big game ($20 buy-in) and third in the small game the next day. I find it hard to keep focused on the game about an hour in. I actually went all-in on a lousy hand just to get out! I also need to learn how to convert the "majority hands" into wins.
I took lots of pictures, I hope to have some up soon...


9.28.2004

It's been pretty mellow around here lately. I hung out with Hotsy, ate Chinese food. Replaced the brake lever on my bike, visited Meg-Poo and hung out with X-Tina, Brenda, Stu and Rachel. Tonight, I'm going to make dinner for the kids and perhaps check out Takashi Miike's latest offering: GOZU

Sayeth the Stranger:

* Gozu
The most shocking thing about this 2003 film from cult-favorite shockmeister Takashi Miike, is how pedestrian and benign it seems as the beginning. Miike and screenwriter Sakichi Satô introduce two yakuza: the young, hapless Minami (Hideki Sone), and his elder "brother" in the organization, Ozaki (Shô Aikawa). The only problem in this yakuza group is that Ozaki's going crazy--as demonstrated by his darkly hilarious killing of a Chihuahua that he insists is a "yakuza attack dog." Worried about Ozaki's influence on the group, Minami's superior orders him to put Ozaki in a car, drive him out to the country, and have him disposed of. What follows from there is--dare I say it?--pretty boring, with Minami driving Ozaki around the countryside, and the two having conversations that don't really go anywhere. But then Ozaki suddenly disappears, Minami's left to his own devices to try to track him down, and a subtle demonstration of Miike's brilliance begins: slowly but surely, the darkest, funniest sort of surrealism begins to worm its way into the bewildered Minami's tale. I won't spoil the bizarre events Minami's subjected to--instead I'll use the clichéd "has to be seen to be believed" line, and throw in the fact that by the end credits, some utterly fucking unexpected plot twists leave Gozu in a place so far removed from its prosaic opening that it's hardly recognizable as the same film. (ERIK HENRIKSEN) Varsity, Fri-Sun 1:10, 4, 7, 9:50 pm, Mon-Thurs 7, 9:50 pm.

In other news, Hotsy started school this week. I hope the poor girl doesn't run herself ragged.

9.23.2004

What Goes On?

What Goes On?

Not much. Fall has embraced the PNW. And while I dread the oncoming cold and wet, inwardly I am rejoicing, thinking about all the soup, TV, beer and books I'm going to consume during the season.
Due to working the Labor Day holiday, I had a little extra in the ol' bank account for a change. So I bought some stuff for my bike, got my tabs renewed and took Bettie in for maintenence. I'm waiting for my girlfriend (yah, it's official...there was no reason to stall, I've known her for quite some time and it skips the awkward "dating" stage) to show up so's we can go out to Renton and pick up a new brake lever. Can you believe that little chunk of metal is gonna cost me $40.22? Especially, when the same part for a Harley-type bike is $6?? What a rip? I did get a good deal on some new grips, but I'm worried they won't fit. Ah, well.
Last Sunday, a bunch of us went to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow at the Columbia City Theater. It's nice to see a movie in the 'hood, yo. Usually, I have to go downtown or somewhere up north, but not anymore. As a matter of fact, I'm going to whatever they're showing there, just to support the place. Columbia City recently got a new bookstore, too. I haven't been in yet, but I'm going up there soon. Finally...
Went dancing with Scott, Cindy and Hot Stuff (the GF) on Saturday. Hotsy was not pleased about having to dress up being a very casual sort of gal, but I wanted to see those cute buns in something other than baggy jeans. 'Sides, if I can dress up for a night out, so can she! Oddly, we wound up doing more drinkin' than dancin', but the best part was going to Dick's for cheeseburgers!
On Monday, Cindy and I went into the wilds of Georgetown for lunch at Arby's then we stopped in at Maruta for Pocky and other assorted treats. Cindy started school yesterday and Hotsy begins next week.
I'd like to wish our friend Louise (AKA Weezy) a very happy birthday!! Also, congrats to Oani on starting her new job.
X-tina will be in town for the weekend and hopefully Hotsy and I will get to see a show on Saturday!

9.17.2004

I'm Drunk...

I'm Drunk...

And I've been up for over 24 hours, so I don't wanna hear no shite from ye.
There I was working hard on my new opus "Dialectic Negritude: I Gots It, You Might Gets It (a tribute to the Black Blogosphere the late Aaron Hawkins and My Negro George) when WHAM! something kinda neat fell into my lap.
I dunno if we're all like "dogs that have been beat too much," if I may paraphrase Mr. Springsteen, but it seems like allus single folk in our 30's (and summay'all in yr 20's) run around claiming you're ready for the big settle down, only to recoil and run like hell when something might actually happen.
Oh, yeah. I've done it too. Seinfeldian rationalizations. Underminings both conscious and sub. Passive-Aggressive horndoggieness...and to what end?

Alone again, naturally.

Well, not this time. I got a fortune cookie a couple of weeks ago that said I'd dine with someone new...and I did. And so far, it's all right. She's a'ight...and more than I could've ever expected.
Nah, I'm not in Ruv yet...but shit, a couple of more months of this and you're gonna have to slap the permagrin off my face!
But other than what I've just said, I'll spare you the "gruesome" details. But if I look a little younger and/or thinner, seem a lot happier, or (maybe) a bit handsomer - well, I know who to thank.

Baby...itschu...






9.13.2004

Yeah...

Yeah...

That was HOT!


9.06.2004

While summa y'all are still out lolligagin' and hikin', campin' or bumbershootin' - for me, the weekend is OVER. Being that my company provides service 24-7 worldwide, I have to work a couple of holidays a year, so I went in Sunday night.
Nonetheless, I had an a nice couple of days off. Matt & Tess came over Friday for couple of poker games. They talked me into playing and I promptly lost $10. Ah well.
On Saturday, Laura and I met in the International District for Dim Sum at House of Hong. Then we walked down to Uwajimaya where I found sandalwood soap on sale for .50 a bar - Plus it was buy 3 get one free. The funny thing was the checkout girl couldn't do the math and wound up charging us $2 a box (12 bars) instead of $4. Anyways, I smell gooood.
I was interested in picking up a graphics tablet so Laura kindly drove me around to a couple of place in SODO, but no luck. We walked into RePC as a last ditch effort. No luck there, but I did manage to score a really nice computer case for $60! It's got lights in the fans and a box on the front - it looks like a jukebox! There's room for 8 (Eight!) fans in it and the top and left side are windows. It's freakin' cool!
I'd like to give a showout to my man Chad for teaching me how to put these bad boys todgether. It was about 4 years ago that he helped me with my first computer, a dual 500Mhz P-3 machine. Now I'm rocking a 2800+ Athlon with a gig of RAM, put together myself.

9.03.2004

It's a Sammy Hagar Weekend.

It's a Sammy Hagar Weekend.

Not really.

My life has entered a phase of routine, routine. I stand on a broad and barren plateau at twilight, wondering where the sun will come up and what direction I should strike off in.

I just need a sign, man.

However, October is usually the month that brings a change...I think I can wait.

I can't decide if I wanna drag my ass down to Bumbershoot. The price of a ticket and the crowds sap my will. Not even seeing the mighty Pixies or American Music Club can make me do it...at least I don't think so.

I went to Dim Sum with Liz today and IQU and Helio Sequence are playing a free show at Chop Suey tonight...just sayin'.

And I received word that Sean is moving back to New York. So if you know of any guitarists who can sing and play keyboards, let me know!


OK.

You Go, girl!

You GO, girl!

"The best thing is that we're all American, and this tournament represents America," Venus said.

8.31.2004

Geezers Need Excitement

Geezers Need Excitement

He'd been thinking about death a lot lately. He didn't know where it began, or what triggered it, although he remembered being overcome by a very strange feeling on the 24th. He'd been digging around in a desk drawer and found an old pocket calendar from 1991. Wondering what he'd done that day. There, among notes that KGMI 107.7 was to switch formats and a reminder to pay bills (and shut up!) were the words: buried my father 1 year ago today. call ellen.
That Saturday, he attended a family picnic in a park not far from his mother's home. Most of his aunt's were there, including one who was visting from California. He was struck by how old his folks were, most of them were in their 60's and quite often the coversation turned to friends and family members recently passed away.
Jezuz, he thought. That's me, innit? In another 20-30 years - me and the fellas complaining about our hips and backs and knees and how we can't get it up anymore, due to the heart medicine. My folks aren't just old now, they're like... elderly...
A couple of his pals had just purchased their first house. Others were dealing with parenthood.
At a couple of BBQ's this summer he and Aaron had been joking about how much they sounded like their fathers when discussing techniques for lighting the grill. And what was the deal with the fellas current obsession with poker?
He remembered his aunts and uncles when they were his age. Back when they were still young(ish) and strong. Back when they listened to the stuff on the radio and not "lite jazz." Back when there were parties and dancing and loud laughing and games of Nerts so intense you think the card table would break.
Still later, he was on the phone with his best friend, who'd gone to his high school 20 year reunion.
"Everybody looked fat and old." His friend told him.
He felt a tiny twinge of panic. Is this where is starts? Gold chains and hitting on women WAY to young? Would he trade his motorcycle for an old Porche? Would he try desparately to settle down with the first woman he thought he might get along with?

Stay tuned...

8.27.2004

I Have a Dream...

I Have a Dream...

Today is the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech.

Check it.

8.23.2004

Ohmigahd...Randomage!!

Ohmigahd...Randomage!!

I watched The Venture Brothers the other night...sick and wrong. (Needless to say I laughed my ass off!)
Best line?
Sampson: "Uh, why didn't you tell me Sasquatch was...a dude?!"
Anyway, if you enjoyed watching The Tick as much as I did, you'll like this.
Also, my coworker The Ricker loaned me all of the DVD from Sportsnight. Man, it's sick that this show isn't still on the air - 'cause it was brilliant. Peter Krause is now on Six Feet Under, so I guess that's good but I have never seen a show so tightly written and acted! Felicity Huffman's character, "Dana Whitaker" is the kind of neurotic smart chick I'd totally fall head over heels for (shut up, Tim!)

I also picked up Far Cry this weekend and George hooked me up with a couple of nice books! THANK YOU!

That is all.



8.22.2004

The Big Lie...

The Big Lie...

Repeat a fib long and often enough and people will start to believe it.
This is scumfuckery of the lowest order. Especially after you consider this (via TPM):

"In a 1988 campaign-trail autobiography, here's how Dole described the incident that earned him his first Purple Heart: "As we approached the enemy, there was a brief exchange of gunfire. I took a grenade in hand, pulled the pin, and tossed it in the direction of the farmhouse. It wasn't a very good pitch (remember, I was used to catching passes, not throwing them). In the darkness, the grenade must have struck a tree and bounced off. It exploded nearby, sending a sliver of metal into my leg--the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart."

8.18.2004

For An Ex-Friend

For An Ex-Friend

The Girl Least Likely To
(Morrissey)

How many times have I been around?
Recycled papers paving the ground
Well, she lives for the written word
And people come second, or possibly third

And there is no style, but I say "well done"
To the Girl Least Likely To
Oh, deep in my heart, how I wish I was wrong
But deep in my heart, I know I am not
And there's enough gloom in her world, I'm certain
Without my contribution

So I sit, and I smile, and I say "well done"
To the Girl Least Likely To
Page after page of sniping rage
An English singe or an American tinge
"There's a publisher," she said, "...in the new year"
(It's never in this year)

I do think this, but I can't admit it
To the Girl Least Likely To
So one more song with no technique
One more song which seems all wrong ...
And oh, the news is bad again
See me as I am again

And the scales of justice sway one way
In the rooms of Those Least Likely To
Oh, deep in my heart, how I want to be wrong
But the moods and the styles too frequently change
From 21 to 25, from 25 to 29

And I sit, and I smile, and I say "well done"
To the Girl Least Likely To
Oh, one more song about The Queen
Or standing around the shops with thieves
"But somebody's got to make it !" she screams
"So why why can't it be me ?"
But she would die if we heard her sing from the heart
Which is hurt

So how many times will I shed a tear ?
And another stage of verse to cheer
When you shine in the public eye, my dear
Please remember these nights
When I sit and support with a dutiful smile
Because there's nothing I can say
So chucking, churning, and turning the knife
On everything (except their own life)
And a clock somewhere strikes midnight
And an explanation - it drains me
If only there could be a way

There is a different mood all over the world
A different youth, unfamiliar views
And dearest, it could all be for you
So will you come down and I'll meet you ?
And with no more poems, with nothing to hear
Oh darling, it's all for you...
Darling, it's all for you ...
Oh darling, it's all for you ...
Oh darling, it's all for you ...



8.16.2004

A Good Time Was Had By All.

A Good Time Was Had By All.

Meats were roasted, beer was quaffed, there was much laughter and conversation. Suze brought me lemon bars! Frito baked me a blackberry pie and a chocolate raspberry cake! I got cd's, a Nicholson Baker novel (not the new one), chocolate, a uh, "kustom" calendar and one of the "arty" movies with tons of boobies innit. Somehow, we forgot to take pictures...
And even after it was all over, the cleanup was a snap! (As they say in commericals.) Thanks to everyone who came out, sent greetings or at least thought about me!

Moving on: Both the Olympics and English Premiereship started this week. I ran across this and this. And as for the latter, well, Chelsea beat Manchester United (even though a few of Man U's key players were out). It'll be interesting to see how all the new money, new coach and new players play out over the season. I will also enjoy watching Fulham, Portsmouth and Liverpool over the next few months.
Fey Ray is switching practice spaces. After jamming at Sean's for over a year and a half, we're moving back to Troy's place in Fremont - back to our roots, so to speak. We plan to concentrate on writing new material and releasing an e.p. or perhaps a full album sometime in 2005. I caught the Clash documentary on Trio the other day and was inspired all over again to create! I think we'll probably come close to trading blows birthing these new tunes, but I think it'll be worth it. Matt said, "More everything."
We'll see.

Lastly - I am SO getting me one of these!

8.14.2004

A Fistful of Asides...

A Fistful of Asides...

The old-ometer has turned. As of yesterday 1:15PM PST, yours truly turned 37. I had a lovely day - slept in, read a bit (Kushiel's Dart - Carey's always handing me smut!) visited my mother and an aunt (up from CA) enjoyed a lovely ride along the lake in the sunshine and caught some wrasslin' on TV (and found out what happened to Dusty Rhodes, D-Lo Brown and Jeff Hardy). Later, Frito and I went to the butcher's shop in Columbia City for ribs, chicken and tri-tips for tomorrow's BBQ.
I cleaned and did some laundry, got my meats in their marinades and rubs, then caught Ju-On at The Varsity.
Ju-On had some pretty creepy moments, but it was hurt by its low budget. And after awhile, the 'monsters' aren't quite so scary. I wonder if the remake, "The Grudge" will remedy some of those problems in the way that "The Ring" improved on Ringu. Anyway, there were a couple of really great moments, a girl behind me gasped loudly at one point and some of the images were quite haunting.
Tomorrow I'm going to have to do something I've been dreading: Cleaning my room! I don't think the dust bunnies under my bed are gonna go without a fight, but if I can leap out of bed and get to it right away the heat won't have a chance to sap my strength like it did today.
Big UP! to Patty, Heidi, James and Carmel (who sent b-day wishes all the way from NYC!), Jay, my short (but sweet) comrade-in-arms Renee (whose birthday was Thursday), my sister Heidi (thanks for the nice card - I love you too!) my roommates Scott and Cindy and most of all, my mother - for making birthday's possible - even if she doesnae celebrate 'em!

8.12.2004

The Soundtrack of My Life If It Were a Movie v1.0

The Soundtrack of My Life If It Were a Movie v1.0

I got this idea from a new friend - Hope she doesn't mind. The idea is to pick tunes for your personal movie...here's mine:

1.) opening credits: Jackie - Scott Walker
2.) waking-up scene: I Feel Like Shit - Suicidal Tendencies
3.) average-day scene: Criss Cross - Thelonius Monk/Contradictions - Azeem
4.) first-date scene: Ready - Charles Webster
6.) love scene: Cafe Europa - David Sylvian
6.1) met the love of your life scene: Anti Love Song - Betty Davis
7.) hardcore fuck scene: Gimme - Jill Scott/Pull Up to the Bumper - Grace Jones
8.) fight-with-friend scene: Don't Be a Dick - Panthers
9.) break-up scene: The Confidential Agent - American Music Club
10.) get-back-together scene: I May Hate You Sometimes But I'll Always Love You - The Posies
11.) fight-at-home scene: Wrong - Archers of Loaf
12.) depressing scene: Apology for an Accident - American Music Club/American Trilogy - The Delgados
13.) life's okay scene: Warm Funny Feeling - Fastball
14.) heartbreak scene: In Everything You Do - Mighty Lemon Drops/That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - The Smiths
15.) mental-breakdown scene: If Winter Comes - Bright Eyes
16.) driving scene: Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (A True Story) - !!!
16.1) chase scene (*newly added category) Summertime Blues - Guitar Wolf
17.) lesson-learning scene: Stay Free - The Clash
18.) deep-thought scene: German Shepherds - Wire
19.) flashback scene: More Than This - Roxy Music
20.) getting drunk/high scene: Some Bartenders Have the Gift of Pardon - Mark Eitzel/Venus - Television
21.) party scene: Standing on the Verge of Gettin it On - Funkadelic
22.) happy/crazy dance scene: Milkshake - Kelis
23.) night driving scene: Exit Planet Dust - Chemical Brothers
24.) regret scene: Different for Girls - Joe Jackson
25.) long-night-alone scene: This Night Has Opened My Eyes - The Smiths
26.) death scene: The Luminous Rose - Robyn Hitchcock/T.R.O.Y. - CL Smooth & Pete Rock
27.) closing credits: The Sidewinder - Lee Morgan

8.09.2004

Fay Wray has died and Other Stuff

Fay Wray has died and Other Stuff

It was a weekend of BBQ's, White Trash parties, boat races, insane traffic and beer. I got to see my friend Heidi, watch Hellboy and generally escape the chaos, and now it's back to the grind.
OTOH, it's a short week for me cuz I turn 37 on Friday and took the day off!

Several of you wrote and told me that Fay Wray has died. Actually, I was surprised she was still alive! Way back in '94, when Matt, Stu, Andy and I got together to jam for the first time, Matt showed us a composition of his called "Fay Wray." So when we were thinking about a band name for our latest version, a little spelling change fit nicely.
I've been lobbying to get the song reinstated (perhaps with new lyrics) so mabye I'll finally succeed!

8.05.2004

Walloped!!

Walloped!!

A friend of mine is working on something called Wallop. It got featured in Wired recently and he tells me that they're gonna be opening invitations soon. I've been a member for over a year now, but since I can't invite anyone in, I haven't been using it much.
Actually, my friend says that the idea is to have small networks for friends actively sharing their blogs, music, pictures, etc. in a dynamic way that the other social networking sites have not quite put together yet (though flickr is pretty cool.) I'm psyched about this and you should be too. I guess they'll be allowing some invites sometime this fall, so if you want in -- let me know!

Thought 4 2day

Thought 4 2day
"The World Won't Stop Without You"
You've got to quit your little charade and join the freak parade
Now that your road has been paved from conception to your grave.
Enormous things to do, others' practices to eschew,
To be better than you is impossible to do,
But the world won't stop without you.No, the world won't stop without you.
Your achievements are unsurpassed, you are highly-ordered mass,
But you can bet your ass your free energy will dissipate.
Two billion years thus far, now mister here you are,
An element in a sea of enthalpic organic compounds.
The world won't stop without you.The world won't stop without you.
You're only as elegant as your actions let you be
A piece of chaos related phylogenetically
To every living organ system, we're siblings, don't you see?
The earth rotates and will revolve without you constantly.
Two billion years thus far, now mister here you are,
An element in a sea of enthalpic organic compounds.
The world won't stop without you.
No, the world won't stop without you.
I said the world won't stop without you.
Perhaps I'll try to be more elegant from now on...

8.04.2004

Uh...yeah!

Uh...yeah!

I spent several minutes while getting ready work practicing different ways to say, "No". I don't know why, but performing abolutions tends to turn my brain off and get me in touch with my subconcious. Maybe that's where I'm coming from these days...or it's a reflection of what been happening to me. When/if I figger it out, I'll get back to you.
Meanwhile! It's August already. I caught a bit of the Torchlight Parade last Saturday and the Port-A-Pottys and NO PARKING signs are going up on my street. Tomorrow the Blue Angels will be practicing for the weekend's big boat race. I, however, am getting the hell out of Dodge and going to visit my friends on the Westsiiide.
Fey Ray is playing the Black Nite Crash Bash 2 on Wednesday 8/11 at The Crocodile, I hope y'all can make it. We'll probably be playing our newish tune "Black Silk Pajamas" and another song Matt says he's got for us. On Friday, I'm celebrating my 37th birthday by going to the movies. On Saturday, we're having a Beer/BBQ bash here at Soul Heaven.

Now, on to other things. I was over at Metafilter and this article pretty much ties together all the claims made about Iraq and WMD's and debunks them. I assume that I'm preaching to the choir here, but this is the first time I've seen it all laid out.

OK. That's all for now.

7.30.2004

My Favorite New Band

My Favorite New Band

I think I mentioned that I've been downloading mp3's from various band sites and music blogs like largehearted boy, epitonic and pitchfork. Well, I've discovered my new favorite band, Midlake. They're from Denton, TX (also home of the now-defunct Lift to Experience) and they are simply amazing.
I went to their site and got several tracks from their EP and somehow got my hands on the track "Balloon Maker" (on their new-ish album, "Bamnan and Silvercork") which has sunk into my brain and won't let go. Midlake sound like a mixture of Clinic, recent Flaming Lips and Radiohead, but they manage to sound warmer, more organic and intimate than any of those bands (and I love all three). This is a record that makes me feel wistful and makes my heart swell with its beauty.
You should check 'em out and tell 'em Stacey sentcha...

7.28.2004

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's Time

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's Time

AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB's first new album in 10 years, "Love Songs For Patriots"will be released on September 5th in the UK & Europe by Cooking Vinyl and onOctober 19th in the USA & Canada. A double LP with a bonus track will beavailable from Devil In The Woods.Streaming audio of the new songs can be heard at http://www.american-music-club.com

AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB US TOUR CONFIRMED:
09/04 Sat, Seattle WA Bumbershoot w/ Drive by Truckers, Mindy Smith, Foghorn Stringband

7.24.2004

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Your Tax Dollars At Work
 
Ain'tcha just proud?

Good Grief!!

Good Grief!!

This last week has been a doozy. Had to learn and perform "Paradise City" for No Vote Left Behind (and too bad you guys missed it - I hit every bass players rock pose in the book, Sean climbed up on the amplifier and kicked the cymbals, Matt was down on his knees like he was gonna sacrifice something he really loved and Seth beat the skins like they owed him money!), had an important appointment, saw Scissor Sisters, Bowled against Bush and got my computer running.
Tomorrow, it's the Pirates vs. Ninjas Party at Oani's, Chelsea vs. Celtic at Seahawks Stadium and possibly the Space Virgins big bash at the Catwalk.
I wish I could hit up the Ballard Seafood Fest and the Capitol Hill Block Party, but maybe you can go and then tell me about it....GO!!


7.19.2004

It's Worse Than We Thought

It's Worse Than We Thought

Wow. If this is true, be sure to stock up on Canadian Flag shirts when you go abroad this summer.

7.16.2004

Got Bees?

Got Bees?
 
I was sitting on the couch yesterday, watching "Forever Summer with Nigella" and thinking rather impure thoughts  when I heard "Bzzzz - Plop!" behing me. I looked up and out of a small hole in the basement wall emerged the biggest, fattest Bumblebee I've ever seen!
It took several mintues of staring and blinking for me to establish that this was not some early-morning hallucination -- as much as I'd like to imagine that I'm imagining things -- it's been awhile since I've spiked my brain chemistry and I wasn't THAT tired at the time.
The bee had fallen into some junk we keep behind the futon and was buzzing...not angrily, but in a "Hey, I'm lost -- couldja help me out?!" sorta way. Naturally, I planned to smoke her ass, but by the time I found Frito's electrified fly swatter (no, I'm not kidding), it was gone.
I wondered if what had just happened was some sort of freak accident, but even more horrifying was the thought that there might be a hive in the wall. Having offed the mice that had moved in earlier this year, taking on bees would really suck, 'cause in general I try not to harm creatures that are beneficial to mankind (I'm waiting for Scott to leave town long enough for Whiskey to have an "accident" OTOH) and Bumblebees, are very effcient pollenators due to their size, strength and long tongues (kinda like Gene Simmons). But it also those some three characteristics that cause my uh, hackles to rise (kinda like Gene Simmons!) So for now I guess I'll just let the out the front door (which, unless they know of another way in the house -- brr!) is just as good as killing them.
Hopefully, they'll be able to spend the day happily pollenatin' before they discover they are locked out of the hive and that will be that.
I suggested to Frito that we build 'em a hive - I always wanted to keep some bees...

ee. otenki desu ne!!

ee. otenki desu ne!!
 
The week has flown by! The sun is shining and my thoughts are all about -- going to bed. Actually, it should be a busy night. I'm meeting El Stu for Bowl Against Bush event, then we're going to try and catch AC Lewis (AKA Aaron) at Chop Suey. Then I've got a small project I wanna bust out.
Tomorrow night my band will be participating in the U2 cover night at the Crocodile Cafe with a buncha other bands. We're playing "Rejoice", "Running to Stand Still" and my pick, "Until the End of the World." We sound pretty good right now and we have an additional practice set up before the show. Good thing U2 rarely uses more than 5 chords in a song!
 
I'd like to give a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Neil, who didn't want anyone to make a fuss this year, so guess what? We didn't! Still, plan to give him a noogie and a pack of bubblegum when we next meet. That's about it for now,
 
Sayonara!
 

7.13.2004

The Other White Meat

The Other White Meat

On Friday, my Science Fiction Twin Megan (AKA Meggie-Poo) and I met up beers and fried food at the Canterbury, then caught the amazing Bobby Bare Jr. at Neumo's. There was much rejoicing!
Megan's friend Amy joined us for awhile, but she had to leave 'cause she got called into work. Poo is so ossem. Out the blue, she turns to me and says: "Metal Detektor is such a cool song!"
That was so random, I mean - that was the last thing I listened to before going to meet her!
When I told her that she yelled, "We're twins!!"

On Saturday, Frito and his friend Jake put on their annual Birthday BBQ. I loaded up on the pull pork and enjoyed serveral pints of the Belgian Honey White beer Frito made. He also brewed a pilsner and a raspberry ale AND there's a ked of something in the downstairs refrigerator...I'll have to look into it.
After the BBQ, Louise, Ji-Huyn and I went back to our house to climb into the hot tub. We'd been standing out in the intermittant rain all afternoon and the water felt goooood. Stu and Suzanne joined us as did Burt, L.B., Cindy, Scott & Jeff.
Sunday rolled around and I went to band practice, we've got to learn three U2 songs by the 17th for yet another tribute night. After that I went to Stu's place for a BBQ and the first croquet game of the season at his place. Somehow, I wound up manning the grill, which was cool, since I'd already eaten. Unfortunately, I had to go home to get a bit of shut-eye before work.

7.09.2004

Hassled by The Man

Hassled by The Man

I have been trying to not let the news get to me. I've been cranking sunny power pop, engaging in the things that make me happy and trying not to let the "current silliness" blow my zen-like cool.

But then I had to go and read this (via Metafilter). Already I can hear the protestations of those who think the rights we have as citizens are simply a matter of convience making excuses - but this is complete and utter bullshit. Ian was racially profiled. The fact that the whole thing happened my hometown just makes it even more personal...

I'm gonna go listen to The Waking Hours until my blood pressure goes down. Then I'll look into what can be done about this.

7.08.2004

Riot Act...

Riot Act...

I am an Elvis Costello fan. He and I go waaaay back to the early '80's at least. I remember watching him twitch and jerk through "Pump it Up" on MTV at Tommy Simpson's house (we didn't have cable) and thinking "That's so fuckin' cool."
Course everything was cool then. There was this thing called New Wave and it sounded bright, energetic and shiny. Some of the older white kids in my Junior High school were into it: Checkered Vans, loud colors and asymetrical haircuts. Everything was new then. A new president, I was going to a new school. My family (due to my parents divorce) had changed. I remember the kid who supervised our newpaper drop-off spot (an old garage near Rainier and Holly St. - long since gone) listening to Cheap Trick on KISW on the groggy, foggy Sunday mornings when we'd come stumbling in to stuff and roll the Sunday editions. I was intrigued!
For a time it seemed like the future had really arrived and this is what we'd be listening to. If only lumpen, poor, unstylish me could be a part of it all.
I remember my friend Barbara telling my something about Elvis...that he'd used the "N-word" in one of his songs. But I recalled seeing him apologizing on TV about it. Besides, I thought, isn't the term "white nigger" (in "Oliver's Army") referring to the Irish?
I moved to Georgia after 9th grade (this would be '82) to get to know my old man better. Seattle, held no promise for me and I was afraid that things would be the same forever. So I fled, not realizing what I was running into. A new family (Dad remarried), new siblings, new school, new social order, new expectations...stressing to a 15YO, to say the least.
My Dad, convinced that my mother had ruined me somehow, decided that a policy of "tough love" was the best. He thought he was being "a Father", I thought he was a tyrant and a bit of an asshole (the latter due to all the terrible things he'd say about my mother). I went from having a lot a freedom (which I never abused) at my mother's, to having virtually none. Both my parents are very religious and while they had huge record collections, they viewed my love of music as something Very Bad. My guitar and sketchpad was taken away, as were the few casettes I had. I was told I was to concentrate on church and school and any dreams of being a musician (or an artist) were a waste of time.
Naturally, I rebelled.
There was a couple of hours everyday, when my Dad left for his job (he worked swing shift) and before my stepmother, brother and stepsister got home that I could do my thing. I also found a small transistor radio my folks had forgotten about -- I'd lay in bed at night, listening to Georgia State Radio (Album 88) and 96 Rock! There was also a channel on free TV that played videos that never made it onto MTV. It was there I got my second introduction to Elvis Costello.
I came home from school one sunny day in 1983 in time to catch the video for "New Lace Sleeves" (which, I might add -- is my favorite song) and I was hooked. Still, I didn't buy any of his albums until I was back in Seattle a year later. I started with "Trust" (naturally) and probably own or have CD-R's of everything up through "When I Was Cruel." My best friend Stu and I bonded over our mutual love for EC's music and my friend Tess took me to see him in concert for the first time a couple of years ago.
Anyway, last weekend I was at my friends JR's for the 4th and I hijacked the ambient and techno playlist he'd made for that had more new wave and rock.
"Riot Act" came on. I was saying what a great fookin' song it was and Jason's wife Liz told me that the reason the performance was so impassioned was the Elvis thought he'd never get to make another record. So he went into the studio and nailed the song in one take! I was pretty impressed with that but being nerd I am, I thought there was more to the story.
I was right:

Q. What was the Bonnie Bramlett/Ray Charles incident?
A. Elvis back in early 1979 made some not-so-politically-correct comments about Ray Charles (calling him a 'blind, ignorant nigger') while drinking with Bonnie Bramlett and Stephen Stills in the bar of the Holiday Inn
-Downtown in Columbus, Ohio. He also called Stills 'steel nose', in reference to Stills' one-time cocaine habit. A fight then ensued between the Attractions and Stills' backing band. He was later forced to make a public apology at a press conference.

From an interview with Greil Marcus in Rolling Stone, September 2, 1982:

'What actually happened was this: we were in the bar--Bruce Thomas and I were in the bar after the show in Columbus, Ohio. And we very very drunk. Well, we weren't drunk to begin with--we were reasonably drunk. And we
started into what you'd probably call joshing. Gentle gibes between the two camps of the Stills Band and us. It developed as it got drunker and drunker into a nastier and nastier argument. And I suppose that in the
drunkenness, my contempt for them was probably exaggerated beyond my real contempt for them. I don't think I had a real opinion. But they just seemed in some way to typify a lot of things that I thought were wrong with
American music. And that's probably quite unfair. But at the exact moment--they did.'

'...What it was about was that I said the most outrageous thing I could possibly say to them--that I knew, in my drunken logic, would anger them more than anything else.' (source here)

This site puts it all together:
"Elvis Costello had problems -problems with women, with the music business and with society at large. His neurotic behavior during the first couple of years of his career was legendary. He claimed publicly that his motivations for getting into the business were "guilt and revenge."
Despite the brilliance of his work, at some level Declan MacManus felt that he was a fake and a fraud, and that he would soon be found out and run out of the business. He basically dealt well with the early rejections from all the record companies. Rejection he knew how to deal with: he just kept hustling till he finally got a deal. What he didn't know how to deal with at all was success. His first album got rave reviews and sold like hotcakes. He just couldn't believe that he would in fact become a big rock star, just like his idols.
Elvis then went to great lengths to sabotage his burgeoning success. His most infamous incident came in some crappy little hotel bar in Ohio. He was being berated by some worthless, jealous dried up old singers not worthy of having their names mentioned in the same breath with Elvis. Having been taunted and baited with accusations that he was just a ripoff of James Brown and Ray Charles, he eventually dismissed them as "niggers." His nominal point was simply to piss off some smug liberal idiots who were harassing him
Now this was asinine enough to get him some serious humiliation. Naturally, the self-righteous pigs went tattling to every reporter they could find. They were going to make some ink! This was bigger news than anything in their pathetic careers. Of course Elvis didn't mean that stupid stuff, but his apologies still left him sounding like a fool. This stupid outburst was only a minor drag on his career, but left him with a little albatross of shame to carry around.
One good thing did come from all this foolishness. "Riot Act" is a merciless slow, grinding soul song. Feel the grand drama of bad karma coming inevitably back home. The organ and bass heavy groove works up tremendous torque. Hear the descending chords pulling down the narrator's ego and slowly grinding it into a fine powder.
He does not specifically invoke the Ohio nonsense, but it would be obvious to someone who follows his career. This is an outstanding tactic, making it autobiographically meaningful to his loyal followers, but not wrapped up in what to later generations will be boring and irrelevant personal details that would also make it difficult for others to cover the song. The narrator has been running his mouth, indulging his "pent up insolence," and finds himself having to step up and take his whipping. "A slip of the tongue is going to keep me civilian." By the end, he's volunteering to take it like a man.
"You can read me the riot act." Repeat 10 times. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
One cool thing about the record is that you might take it partly as a tribute to Ray's style. The best apology to be made for Elvis in the whole matter is to note how good a student of Ray the guy obviously is. Nothing would ever be cooler than to hear Ray himself sing "Riot Act." Damn, but that would be tough."


Indeed. (Too late, for that tho.)

I don't have a problem with this information. It happened a long time ago, he apologized publically and I imagine if I was drunk and some git was giving me the business, who knows what I might be apologizing for later! Elvis thought he'd never make another record because of the "Ohio Incident!" This does clear up a mystery for me AND (once again) it's proof that the 'net (and music) are a beautiful thing...

Riot Act

Forever doesn't mean forever anymore
I said forever
But it doesn't look like I'm gonna be around much anymore
When the heat gets sub-tropical
And the talk gets so topical

Riot act - you can read me the riot act
You can make me a matter of fact
Or a villain in a million
A slip of the tongue is gonna keep me civilian

Why do you talk such stupid nonsense
When my mind could rest much easier
Instead of all this dumb dumb insolence
I would be happier with amnesia

They say forget her
Now it looks like you're either gonna be for me or against me
I got your letter
Now they say I don't care for the colour that it paints me
Trying to be so bad is bad enough
Don't make me laugh by talking tough
Don't put your heart out on your sleeve
When your remarks are off the cuff

Chorus