Out With The Old, In With The New...

Out With The Old, In With The New...

So, even though I'm agnostic and don't really care about Xmas, I did manage to get some cool shit. My boss gave me a bottle of wine, a year-end bonus and all of this week off, paid! The owner of our sister company gave me a $50 gift certificate to M Coy Books and my supervisor handed me a $25 iTunes gift certificate! WhooHoo! I promptly ran out and got Gary a bottle of 18 year old Glenfiddich, 'cause nothing says holidays like booze!
On Xmas eve, I went over to Karen's for a little party. I didn't know anyone other than Karen and her brother but everyone was cool. I met Martin Feveyear and his family...he runs a studio in Seattle and has a bitchin' motorcycle...both he and his wife ride. I was hanging out with Trish and her boyfriend, a couple of nights before -- two producers in a week? Interesting. I also met Karen's coworker Sarah, who's probably the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in person. She hugged me goodbye when she left..! *sigh*
I spent Sunday puttering around the house and I finished the second book in the 'Prince of Nothing' series. I've been buying music like mad...and since I was feeding Stu's cat for him, I've been borrowing his CD's and ripping them. I brought home all of Funkadelic's albums, and yesterday I borrowed a bunch of King Crimson and Roy Ayers. Then I went to breakfast with Mercy on Monday and we stopped by Sonic Boom and I got The Pernice Brothers first album, Spoon's latest and both M83 albums. Then I went on iTunes and picked up Kelley Polar, Opeth, Loverboy and Billy Joel (don't ask). Stu had also hooked me up with a couple of mp3 discs of power pop.
Today I was at a used CD joint and grabbed Black Sabbath's "We Sold Our Soul For Rock 'N' Roll and a Scratch Perry/Scientist disc!
Yesterday, I got the urge to do some shopping, so I went downtown, got a couple of pairs of kicks at the Rack, Hugo Boss cologne at Sephora, chocolate at See's Candy and a couple of hoodies at Old Navy (natch). I got home, dropped off my stuff went to feed Stu's cat and then went to Frito's to see Cindy's 1970 Triumph Tiger Daytona, which she'd gotten shipped here from Detroit. I also wanted to borrow a drill because I couldn't get the bolt out of the ride side handlebar. I wanted to mount my other mirror and I'd spent $10 bucks on a special bit that was suppose to remove stripped screws. It didn't work! So I got it home and took a hacksaw to the bar end weight. I sawed off enough so that I could grab the bolt with vice grips and twisted that fucker right off. I'm sure one of the neighbors saw my victory dance and think I'm nuts, but I don't care - it took over an hour!. After I got the mirror on, I hopped onboard the GPZ and took her out for a ride out to Renton through Skyway down to East Marginal Way and through Georgetown to Airport Way and back.
Last night I went out with Louise and Kelly for drinks at The Elysian...it's been a good week so far.

NYE looms, but we can't seem to make up our minds about what to do. I'm leaning toward going to Bremerton for the Westsiide posse's party, but then with my best friend getting engaged, I feel like we should celebrate! Hm. What to do?


Sneaky Bugger...

Sneaky Bugger...

And another one bites the dust... Congrats, kids!



Bloo Note

So Frito took this picture of me at Stu's birthday party on Friday. And I thought it would make a pretty good jazz album cover, so:

Pretty funny, huh? Of course, I'm already considering ways to improve it but I think it'll do for now. (update - Ah...this is better.)

Stu's party was fun. I helped Rachel put big photocopies of Stu from his younger days. It's hard to believe how much things have and haven't changed in the 13 years we've been friends. Anyway, the party was held in The Grotto, a private room down in the basement of the Rendezvous. My band played, the Westsiiide posse was there, we had cake, listened to The Stares, I talked to Chad and Oani for a good while. Matt, Tyrone, John and Adam all roasted Stu...the night seems like a blur. Stu's Official birthday is the 19th, so if you haven't yet, wish the geezer a happy 40th.
I - OTHO, still have until August 2007.

I spent most of yesterday cleaning a fixing things my GPZ. I replaced the right turn signal, the brake lever, replaced the light bulbs in the speedometer. The only thing left to do is try and get the end bolt on the handlebars out so I can mount the right side mirror. Then I need get some small fasteners for the faring and I can relax! For awhile anyway.
I took her out for a ride today. It was cold, but we went south to Genesee, then up to Beacon Hill. Then I went into Chinatown and ate at Shanghai Gardens. Now, I'm doing laundry and thinking about chocolate and where I can get some...must...resist!


Happy Birthday Matt!

Happy Birthday Matt!

Today is Matt's 33rd birthday and even though he doesn't like to make a fuss about it, I think that even though we're between the holidays and Stu and Maria's birthdays, he should to get a shoutout - and a bottle o' Basil Hayden ('cuz nothing says "birthday" like booze!)

I met Matt about ten years ago. Me and Stu's pop band Fierce Logic was running out of creative steam and I was looking to rock out more. I found an ad in The Rocket (the long defunct local music mag) and called it. We had a good chat, Matt and his housemate Andy were looking to start a band, but we didn't have a drummer. I didn't know if Stu would go for it, so a couple of months went by. I finally asked Stu and it turned out he was interested! Matt, Andrew, Stu and I got together in the basement of Stu's mother's house for our first jam as The Visitors in September and worked out some songs Matt had. The first one was called "Fay Wray." We recorded a demo soon after which we expanded to a full length some time after that, but we never released it.

Andrew moved away, we got "management" (Matt's girlfriend, Trish) and play a bunch of gigs but around the fall of '97, I was frustrated and ready to move on. I wanted to do even heavier rock and Matt was moving in a more loose and experimental direction. The band continued with newer personnel as Askew, but that fell apart after awhile. Matt moved away and got married. I never did start my "Super Maximum R&B" band, but while on vacation with Stu in 2001, I listened to the old Visitors disc and I loved what I heard. Matt and Leslie had moved back to Seattle, so I contacted him and Fey Ray was born.

Aside from being a husband, father and my Brother In Rock, Matt's a touchable and interesting dude. He's into film, poker, music in all its guises (he turned me onto Television, for example), does an awesome Bob Mould impression, is an excellent cook and his political writing is precise, concise and insightful in way I wish mine were (part of the reason I quit doin' it!) He's a graduate student in Middle East Studies and Arabic and I look forward to the day he's on Meet the Press, pontificating on the Middle East and the differences between Eric Clapton and Dave Gilmour's string bends.

Happy B-day dude.
(And thanks for the cigs!)


Sunday Again

Sunday Again

The Cretins MC party was a hoot! I'd taken a nap and really had to talk myself into suiting up for the ride to SODO. My bike was covered with a light layer of frost. My roommate Jason came home as I was cleaning it off and chuckled at my foolhardyness but honestly, I seem to have resigned myself to being cold so I didn't think it was that big a deal.
The clubhouse was full of bikes when I arrived, mostly streetfighter/standards and cafe racers. The Mosquito Fleet was there and as were The Pleasure Barons MC.
There were huge heaters set up in the larger rooms in the clubhouse and a knot of people stood around them, trying to keep warm. I ran into Smokey as I was talking to a fella I'd met at The Viking a few weeks ago. He told me to go in and grab a beer, 'cause they were going to start the races outside in a few minutes. It took me about 10 minutes to get through the crush of bodies to the bar. The place was packed, but everyone was friendly and having a good time. I got back out to the street in time to see the races. Bascially, there were a couple of rolling chassis that the contestants were required to push backwards down the street. There were a few spills as the racers lost control, but it was all in fun and nobody got hurt. They had a bunch of kids bikes that they raced too.
I went back into the clubhouse and struck up a coversation with a fella named John, who recently moved out here from Denver. He'd caged it that night, but he told me he had a Triumph. We talked bikes for awhile and when I went inside to get another beer, I was waylaid by a nice young lady who gave me a back massage! I complimented on her skills (assuming she was a massage student getting her practice hours in) and she said, "Well, that's why they call me 'Backhoe!'" Alrighty then.
I got phone calls from Amber, who came down and hung out for awhile and from Frito, who was drunk off his ass at the SeaCompression Party at ConWorks. He was pissed 'cause he lost his rather expensive camera which he'd brought along while participating in the local Santarchy earlier in the day.
Amber and I chatted with a guy from Oak Harbor, who'd ridden down on a Bonneville. He was pretty wasted but proud of himself, which I don't blame him for -- Whidbey Island to Seattle in 40 degree temperatures is pretty hardcore. Especially on a bike with no windshield!! Amber remarked that she thought he was pretty hot, "For a white guy." So she gave him her card and took off.
I wandered around just shooting the shit...everyone was so cool that it was really easy and I didn't retreat into my shell, which I sometimes do when confronted with a roomful of people I don't know. Smokey came by and started rockin' the decks playing everything from cheesy 80's metal and punk to 50's & 60's garage rock, soul and stripper music. The movie The Leather Boys played on continuous loop on the DVD over the bar (which was interesting because I'd just recently taken an interest in cafe racers and the whole early 60's British biker scene. The Ace Cafe which reopened in the 90's is featured in the movie.) I spent the rest of the night dancing with a bunch of girls and sobering up. It was 4AM when I left.
It was foggy as hell on the way home, but the streets were deserted and I made it home without incident.

Pho and aspirin cured my hangover.


Happy Birthday Maria!

Happy Birthday Maria!

Today is Maria's birthday. I think Dan's was sometime this week. Matt and Stu are coming up.
Maria will be 28, which at least means I can breathe a huge sigh of relief because if there was anyone I know that was a candidate for the "27 club" it was her...(I half-kid).

She says she has to work tonight, but she's going to be at Tango around 10, so if you want tapas and drinks, that's where we'll be. Stu and I are going to see Syriana first, however.

Tomorrow is the Cretins MC's X-mas bash...I'm so psyched!


Cold Fun!

Cold Fun!

Last week was weird. Work sorta plodded along, though we got news of some cool and exciting new projects. But my days were long and now that we're full-on into winter and it's dark so much, everything is a blur. I did get a new motorcycle last Sunday, however...it looks a lot like this:

It's a 1984 Kawasaki GPz750. She's a faded in the paint and needs some TLC...but not much surprisingly. I spent a good part of Saturday really looking her over. Whoever owned her before me made some pretty cool upgrades, like braided stainless steel brake cables. The seat is in good condition and the tires are fairly new. It's nice to have a bike with both a side and center stand.
If I can get the dirt and rust off and repaint the engine and pipes, she'll be lookin' gooood. I took her out for a ride today, just along the lake to Seward Park, then down to Rainier Beach and then took Rainier Ave. to Renton, then up into Skyway and back, with a stop at Frito's so he could check her out. It was sunny out, but damn it was cold!
Unfortunately, my upper thighs caught all the wind, unlike my cruiser where all the air hits my knees and shins! I was freezing when I got back, so I hadda climb into the shower to get some heat back into me.
As for the bike, my immediate plans are to fix a few small things and then ride the shit out of her until she reaches 40K, then see what needs to be done. Sometime next year I'll get a lower fairing (like this) and paint the whole bike metallic orange with two racing stripes...that would be cool. She doesn't have a name yet...but I'm wavering between Orange Peeler (as a tribute to my cousin David's old Schwinn) or The Black 8.

Speaking of bikes, I met Kim, J.R. & Liz down at the Motorcycle Show yesterday. I was a bit diappointed because Triumph didn't have a booth. I really wanted to see the new Scrambler and 675 Triple. I barely looked at any Honda's, mostly spent my time in the Kawasaki, BMW and Ducati displays. Ran into my cousin and his wife and kids and we walked around a bit. I dunno why, but I quickly got bored. I wasn't even thinking about buying anything and most bikes nowdays seem to lack personality. There weren't many customs around, so after awhile everthing looked the same.
We left and went over the Pyramid Alehouse to have a couple of beers and kill some time before Liz had to go back to work. Then I rode out to my friend Karen's to watch Murderball.
Tonight is Movie Night as El Stu's. We're watching The Jerk.
Tomorrow, I'm trying out for Will and Chris' band, D-Chromatic.


...Even Rode My Motorcycle In The Rain

...Even Rode My Motorcycle In The Rain

Mercy! invited me to a housewarming party last night and much to her surprise, I went. Her kinda sorta ex Sailboat Guy was there too. Our hostess is a friend of my swim-buddy Jay and she and I had met a few years ago, although the exact circumstances are somewhat murky to us both.
It was cloudy and cold on the ride over, I'd chosen my half helmet and vented leather jacket to ride in. Nuts, I know -- but for some reason, the cold air was invigorating. Plus, I'd worn bulky rain gear over the last couple of days so I was glad not to have to suit up.
The house was on a quiet street in Ballard and it was freakin' huge! It was all hardwood floors and hip and tasteful colors, right out of the Pottery Barn catalog.
I came in removed my shoes (most everyone had) and hung out with Mercy and Sailboat Guy. He and I were punning like crazy and gently teasing Mercy as only two men who have dated the same woman can. We weren't mean or anything, but it was fun watching her get flustered as he and I played off each other.
Our hostess was a lot of fun, especially after a bunch of us went downstairs to play Asshole.
She was president for most of the game and man, could she talk trash!
Laurie B. came in and we had a good chat. I don't see her much, even though we kind of run in the same circles. She's changed in a lot of ways...and it's really cool that we had some things to talk about.
I don't know if it was the vodka or the company, but next thing I knew it was after 2AM. I was sure I was sober and geared up only to find out it was raining out. I thought of something Jay had quoted to me earlier in the week from the Hagakure:

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking.

And by the time I was almost home even though I was soaked to the knees, I felt really serene.


Turkey Day Aftermath

Turkey Day Aftermath

I managed to practice some moderation this year and didn't burst my stomach! I went to Pt. Orchard to Chrissie and Liz's place for dinner on Thursday, woke up with a mild hangover and rode through the pouring rain back to my house the next day. Then I did some quick grocery shopping and went over to Frito's, where I peeled and mashed 5 pounds of potatos (Stu said they were sublime), then rode to Everett with Stu and Rachel for our traditional Orphan's Thanksgiving at Erin and Adam's.
Both dinner and the company were excellent and I'm truly blessed to know so many wonderful people.
Tommorrow, I'm going to have brunch with my witty and much beloved friend Mecedes, and if all goes well this afternoon, I may be the proud owner of a new motorcycle!

Much to be Thankful for...


This Is A Public Service....Announcement!

This Is A Public Service....Announcement!

Ordering the Crab and Pickled Cabbage with Bean Curd Soup at Shanghai Gardens then following it up later in the evening with Mac & Jack's African Amber Ale?

Bad idea.

Don't do it.

Trust me on this.


The Vin Diesel Top Thirty

The Vin Diesel Top Thirty

Go here...make sure you don't drink anything while reading. I don't want you blaming me for ruining your monitor or keyboard. (Via MetaFilter)


An Update...

An Update...

The weekend has arrived and I am tired.
I spent just about every night this week out doin' something. Last night I met up with Richelle and Jay, then later JR and Kim, down where Liz works. I'd had three pints of Maritime Nightwatch and a PBR tallboy and I was DONE around 10. Richelle was nice enough to give me a lift home.
On Wednesday, a bunch of us went over to Frito and Cindy's to see the anti-Wal-Mart movie that MoveOn is sponsoring. Although the movie felt a little padded, there was some pretty damning stuff in there. I just read today that the Feds raided a Wal-Mart and made 126 arrests on immigration violations.
The funny thing is that while Wal-Mart is something of an aborration, they're a very successful one...and sadly, the shape of things to come. Don't think for a second that there aren't people seeking to study and emulate their business model. Constant vigilence is needed to combat them...or at least make them change their practices.

I'm itching to buy a new bike! I've been combing Craigslist and various boards and can't seem to make up my mind. I'm hoping a trip to Bob's Bike Salvage will inspire me in some way, but I know that if I hang out to the cash I have and add to it, I could get something way cool later.
Either way, my cousin David and I seem to have been bitten by the same bug and I'm glad there 's something that we can bond over. As kids we spent hours and hours taking our bikes apart and putting back together again. I guess some things don't really ever change.

Tonight, I'm going out with my friend Karen. We're going to have some drinks and see a band. Tomorrow, I plan to meet up with David and go to Bob's, then later on, meet up with JR and check out Transpacific's "Remix" show at the Rendezvous.




We're the same age! I hope he didn't OD or something...damn.

Eddie Guerrero passes away
Nov. 13, 2005

WWE is deeply saddened by the news that Eddie Guerrero has passed away. He was found dead this morning in his hotel room in Minneapolis. Eddie is survived by his wife Vickie and daughters Shaul, 14, Sherilyn, 9, and Kaylie Marie, 3.

R.I.P. Latino Heat...

She's Goooonnneee!

She's Goooonnneee!

I sold Pearl on Friday. I want to get an old standard (AKA a UJM "Universal Japanese Motorcycle") to learn to do some wrenching on. This passion has been growing inside me for years now. And the more I read about bikes and the more people I meet, the more this urge grows.
Especially after going The Cretins meeting on Thursday. It's one thing to sit on the various boards and look at pictures and make pithy comments. It's another thing to be face to face with someone and see the fire in their eyes and know that the secret joy you have in your heart for two-wheelers, the joy that your non-riding friends don't understand, isn't such a secret to him.
And even after three years of lurking, reading various sites and magazines and watching "Biker Buildoff" and "American Chopper," I realize that I haven't even begun to scratch the suface.
I decided I wanted to try something simple. Find a relatively inexpensive bike, buy some manuals and see what I could do. So Pearl had to go.

My plan was a simple one devised by the smart part of my brain (who's voice is always just a little too faint). I really didn't want a hassle. There's enough scooter and motorcycle guys in this town to be relatively confident that I could trade the scoot for a bike. So I crafted a Craigslist ad Wednesday night to that end. I got four responses right away, but held off because three of the offers were to trade bike in the sub-500cc range. I'd specified that I wanted 500cc and above. One guy was pretty determined. He wanted to know what I'd sell for in cash. I put him off for a day...but when Friday rolled around and I didn't get close to what I wanted, my resolve wavered.
The smart part of my brain feebly suggested that I wait until Monday. But the persistant dude had mentioned the Hagakure in passing and had won me over. So Friday night he came out check out the scoot, handed me a wad of bills and carted her off.

I swear, not more than 10 mintues after he left, I received an email from one of The Cretins telling me that he owned 15 bikes available to him and that he'd gladly trade me one for the scooter.
I called him anyway and told him I'd sold the bike already but that I was still interested in what he had on hand. He told me that we could get together next week and he'd show me what he had.
It might cost me a more than what I had. But I figure between him, Craigslist and Bob the Junkman, I might be able to find something cool...we'll see.

After the phone call, El Stu came by and he and went to catch "Black To My Roots" a stage play directed by his coworker, Tyrone Brown. The play is about...hair. More specifically, the relationship between black folks and their hair. I thought the production was well done, although there were a couple of rough spots, but I guess that's to be expected on opening night. Having an aunt who was a hairdresser and a father who prided himself on his ablitly to "cut heads," there were a lot of cultural signifiers I recognized in the play, but then again it wasn't nearly as deep or entertaining as Tyrone's "Hamlet X."

After the play, Stu and drove around trying to score some Pho, but parking on Capitol Hill was sucky (especially if you're in a '55 Pontiac Starchief) so we wound up at Dick's. Then we met Neil down at the LoFi Gallery where the Sun Tzu posse was spinning. The place had a very cool, New York loft vibe, although after talking to one of the owners I thought the whole notion of trying to create an "underground" scene here in Seattle was a bit contrived. Especially when half the crowd looked like they'd come from the suburbs.

Yesterday was fairly warm and nice, though cloudy. I went out and bought a new pair of jeans and a winter coat, then got some Pho. Ran into one of the Cretins and said hello. Then I came home and took a nap. I met up with some of the Westsiiide posse at Chapel and we spent the evening quaffing cocktails (the sage & pear margarita was the bomb, yo) and talking up a storm. I rode home in the rain.

Tonight, I go to Stu and Rachel's for spaghetti and a slideshow of their trip to Italy...should be fun!




Y'know, as everybody (else) gets older and paired off, I thought I might need to make some new friends. I went to the Cretins weekly get together at The Viking tonight and I don't recall ever being in a room full of nicer people who weren't Jesus freaks or on drugs.

I walked into the bar and everyone looked at me for a second, then Smokey introduced himself. Then I Bob, AKA Bob the Junkman who was one of the organizers of the Mods and Rockers ride that I went on this summer. Then I met Matt from the UTMC board and another Matt and Todd and John and Micah...I had a couple of beers, a couple of smokes and we and we started talking bikes.




Two Days In February

(Goo Goo Dolls)

Dedicated to chief dog
Take 22, copy 1
And the guy across the street

I hung your picture on the wall…and that's all it is
I break my fingers to make a call…and that's all it is
I know you're living way out west and I don't think that I confessed
Everything I feel

You say you got no faith in things that you can't see
Well I'm sorry I ain't there with you, but you ain't here with me
And I'm down in all my fears
But I ain't cryin' no tears over you

'Cause everything's wrong
Well it's all right
Everything's wrong
Well it's all right

You said that this is crazy, you're a half a world away
Well I'm sitting and I'm thinking but I didn't know what to say
So I said something I can't touch, I always want way too much

'Cause everything's wrong
Well it's all right
Everything's wrong
Well it's all right

I hung your picture on the wall, but that's all it is
I break my fingers to make a call and that's all it is
I know you're living way out west
Don't get me wrong I'm not impressed
With you no more



Ted Leo Is God.

Ted Leo Is God.

I was walking to the bus stop when "You Could Die (Or This Might End)" came on and fuckin' floored me. If there was any justice in the world, we could quit screwing around and let this man save rock 'n' roll!

Buy his records. Write him a check. Sit on yr friends and make them listen...they'll thank you later.


I'll Give You a @#$#% Haircut Blog!! (AKA Soma - Or Something Like That)

I'll Give You a @#$#% Haircut Blog!! (AKA Soma - Or Something Like That)

I dunno why, but seem to be feeling the cold a little more intensely this fall. I love lying in my flannel sheets all warm and toasty, but I'm also cursed/blessed (it seems all one and the same with me sometimes) with a restless mind and the only way to sleep in is to not let myself get attached to one idea or question before I can get back to sleep. If I fail, then it's off to the races -- or more likely, the computer.
I don't know why, but lately I've been waking up around the same time every morning...4:20-ish.
There's no reason I can think of for this, as far as I can tell it's not the furnace coming on or Keisha bugging me when she decides to visit.
This morning, I managed to "gray out" a couple of times until 9 or so. But then I started thinking about the things I wanted to accomplish before Jay came and picked me up and unfortunately, one idea stood in Times New Roman about 4 feet high in ma breen:


So any thoughts of sleeping in until 11 went inta the dustbin. I got up and sent some emails and IM's, played with the cat, swept the front room, listened to KEXP and chatted with Moiks for almost an hour. I woulda never thought that I'd come to love an ex-girlfriend in an entirely different way...But talking to her was a hoot. She's one of the few people who can keep me on my toes. We once had an brief argument entirely made up from song lyrics.
Today, I kept mixing metaphors and mispronouncing things and she was totally busting my chops about it, which just made it worse! I should've taken it as a sign I wasn't fully awake. Normally, I'm in the habit of delivering a stream-of-conscious monologue to myself when I get up in the morning -- I'm told it's hilarious (or at least Leslie thought so) -- but I've fought that tendency since I moved into my new place. I don't want my new roommates to think I'm nuts especially since I usually don't remember what I've said. Maybe that's why I was kinda fuzzy...

Anyway, the plumber showed up to do some work on the pipes in the laundry room, so I delayed leaving until he was gone. Then I suited up and Bettie and I ran over That Famous Costume Shop in Lower Queen Anne to get a simple mask for tonight. But naturally, the joint was packed with people getting their last-minute shopping done. I kinda balked at the prices I saw ($10 for pressed paper and elastic?!) but what caused me to bolt were the lines for the register. They went all the way back in to the product aisles!

So I bailed.

I decided to head to Broadway for Pho...There's a joint up there I'd eaten at before and it was pretty decent, but right after I parked my bike, I saw a new place and ducked in. I had spring rolls, Pho with Brisket & Steak and a strawberry bubble tea. I was planning on doing some drinkin' that night and needed a good filter. AND there's nothing better than Pho on a cold day.
I got home, showered, dressed and made sure the cat was fed and watered. Jay came and got me and we drove south through Tacoma and around to Pt. Orchard to Jaz (AKA Chrissy) and Liz's.
They'd lit the place with candles and X-mas lights and Liz was rockin' in the kitchen, getting tons of food ready (she's in school for Chefin') and Chrissy was being, well...Chrissy. We had a really good time. I stuck with vodka (as is my wont) and paced myself pretty well. Everyone looked fabulous. JR had a really cool brocade coat and knee-high belted and buckled boots. All the ladies were in gown or rockin' bustiers and corsets. I pretty much looked the same...I was told that wearing all black was acceptable. Hah.

Aside from that, not much happened -- or rather things happened in the way they do at parties (Check the party scene in "Breakfast At Tiffany's" it pretty much sums up every party in history rather succinctly I think). We ate, drank and gave Carey her presents. I wound up giving her the M. John Harrison book I bought a couple of days ago. If I'd given it more thought, it would've occurred to me that it was perfect for her anyway!
There were two cakes...Lemon and chocolate and a pistachio torte. It was fun watching Carey squirm as she hates being the center of attention, but thought she might actually cry there for a second. The only misfire was it was pretty hard to get anyone to dance. Jaz put on deep house and I think most of us wanted something more sensual...Dead Can Dance, Coil, etc. (BTW-If you don't already know, I'm not Goth. Just..."Goth friendly.")
After many, many kisses and hugs goodbye, Jay and I bailed around 1:30AM and went home.

So...Now that the Rock Star is wearing off. Here's something to Randal on outta here to.




My bosses say they've got some new work coming in, but for most of this week we've been twiddling our thumbs. I suppose we'll get dumped on tomorrow. I look forward to the challange of a full schedule, we've had all summer to prepare new proceedures and I wanna see if they work under a full schedule!

Last night, I called Maria and she took me out for beer in Madison Beach. Poor girl, I think she's starting to lose her mind -- but Jeebus, she's funny. I was subjected to a long, profane rant about the state she's in. Ashley came down to join us and the way those to play off each other was even funnier. Man, I love those two.

Today, Stu and I went to Borders to buy things we probably shouldn't. I couldn't find any of the records I was looking for (Heavenly, Elbow, Funkadelic, Editors, Aereogramme) but I did find a M. John Harrison collection of his Viriconium stories that I've been looking for. I dunno why, but I've been reading a lot of "weird fiction" lately...which may have to do with the season, my state of mind, or both. Or neither. My mother always said that type of stuff would get me into trouble and I'm like, "Whatever!" (That was for you, Hotsy...) Anyway, I plan on getting into that as soon as I finish Thomas Ligotti's "The Nightmare Factory," then maybe I'll get back to "The Odyssey."

Saturday is Chad's birthday. Hard to believe we've been friends for 9 years now. I call him my "Science Fiction Twin" 'cause there's so many things we have in common that we enjoy. Like N*Sync, The Melvins and movies with a deeply black sense of humor. I hope I'll get to see him sometime this weekend. It's been awhile.
It's also Carey's 30th birthday on Sunday. So I'm going to Bremerton for her birthday party. I haven't seen the Westsiiide posse in awhile so I'm really looking forward to it. I imagine it's going to be an interesting weekend.


Death and The Maiden

Death and The Maiden

I found out today that a former coworker comitted suicide last Tuesday. Two in a month...damn.
I didn't know her well. People, especially your coworkers, move in and out of your life in strange ways and I just learned to go with the flow a long time ago. My former job didn't have the feeling of family that I'd enjoyed at PDI. I hated working nights and with only a few exceptions, I didn't make friends there.
I knew enough to know that Lisa was a real wild-child growing up. She was a little older than me and I liked the fact that she didn't seem stuffy or static like a lot of middle aged types (myself (reluctantly) included). She was a lesbian who wore Hawaiian shirts and really liked men. Unlike a certain straight girl I know, who hates us.
We shared a love of motorcycles and rock and roll. She reviewed the Fey Ray album when it came out and her opinion really mattered to me as she was no hipster who flit from trend to trend. Someone who had a sense of history and context, a hardcore music fiend.
I dunno the exact reason why she took her life. I heard she'd suffered a series of failures in both her romantic and career life and there were some family issues as well. Maybe she didn't see a way forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe she was just tired.
I do know that the world is a little dimmer today.
I hope to make it to her wake and pay my respects...she was damn cool.



Weekend Recap

Weekend Recap

Despite my adversion to going to my 20 year high school reunion this year, this week was almost like a homecoming.
Or just more proof that this is a really small town.
As I'd mentioned previously, last Thursday, I had dinner with Patty. After we'd eaten and gotten caught up, I walked her down to the ferry terminal, then went to a party at Elmer's design firm, which is located in the same building as my previous employer.
I wasn't expecting to know anyone other than Jay, Kev-o and Elmer, but I wound up running into ex-coworkers from my PhotoDisc/Getty/Corbis days, a high school chum who came to my gig the following evening and guy I knew from my post high school days that probably hadn't seen in 15 years.
Did I mention that I walked past Paul Allen on the way in?
We got nice and buzzed at the party. Open bar, yo! Just like the good ol' days...the salad days, as it were. Jay was nice enough to give me a lift home.

We played The High Dive on Friday, to one of the biggest crowds yet. I was kinda dragass tired after going out the two previous nights and working all day. I think we played well. Storm and The Balls were pretty awesome. They did some mashups of songs and Storm led the audience in a singalong of one of the best breakup songs I've ever heard, "I Want You to Die". Poor Hotsy had a little too much booze so I had to leave my bike in Fremont and drive us home. She crashed on the futon and took me back to my bike the next day.

Later on, I met up with my two best friends from high school. Derek, Jim and I hung out for quite awhile after we graduated. Jim joined the Marines and Derek and I were in a band together until 1992. I don't think the three of us have been together in the same room since 1997 or so. But with some people you can just jump right in where you left off. We talked of many things I guess you'd expect "young geezers" to talk about. Marriage (they've both been hitched for 10+ years) and work (They're both firefighters now - Jim in Seattle, Derek in Coupeville on Whidby Island) and increasing amounts of grey hair. Derek was the only one us who'd gone to the reunion, so he filled us in on what we'd missed.
We started off at the 74th Street Ale House and the moved to Fremont, drinking at Brouwer, then The Triangle and winding up at El Camino.
I had to meet someone on Capitol Hill at nine. So they drove me back to my bike. My headlamp burned out! Damn! I kept it on high beam all the way hoping the cops wouldn't notice.

It rained all day today, which is fine. I went out for some food and spent the day reading, sleeping and listening to music...but damn, I wanted some Pho.
Stu and Rachel are supposed to be back from Italy today. I'm eager to hear about their trip and see the photos. I wonder if he proposed?


Quite Possibly...

Quite Possibly...

The geekiest comic strip EVAR...


Nuttin' Honey...

Nuttin' Honey...

It's getting colder and with the change in season, I've gotten...mellow. Listening to The Smiths, Elbow, Hem, American Music Club, Low and Johnny Mathis(!) a lot, countered with the occasional blast from Iron Maiden and The Fall to keep me from sliding into a coma.

Frito and I went to a Global Battle of the Bands tonight. He somehow got asked to judge. There were four acts and I was truly impressed with most of them. The band I thought deserved to win, did...which is weird for me as I almost NEVER pick a winner. (I could go on...but I digress.)

Anyway...it's late and I'm freezing. Keisha (Jason's grey tabby) is sleeping at my feet as I write this. Poor thing. Jason's out of town for three weeks. My other roommate is over his girlfriend's a lot, which means I'm pretty much the only person she's seen all week. She follows me around the minute I get home, headbutting me and attempting to climb into my lap...

I'm currently reading Arthur Machen's classic "weird tale" The Great God Pan collected along with some of his other stories...we don't have a TV here and while I'm bummed I won't be able to keep up with 'Lost' and 'Invasion', I'm still happy I can get the news etc. from my computer.

Now, if I could just stop waking up at 4:25 every night.

Tomorrow is dinner with Patty. w00t!


Man, I'm tired...

Man, I'm tired...

The move went well. Neil showed up at 8:20, we got coffee, then picked up the truck. I'd placed everything in the basement so we only had to travel 20-30 feet to grab my boxes and put them on the truck. We were done in about 30 minutes.
I made a couple of idiot checks around the house, hopped on my bike and then we were off. It was a longer trip into the new place. Frito and my new housemate Jonathan showed up and helped out. We quickly got everything in the house. I drove the truck back to the old place, loaded some stuff for a dump run then grabbed a few items to stuff in Neil's car. Then we went to the dump, returned the truck and then back to the house to get my scooter. I rode pell mell back to the old place, cracking people up along the way...I look like a bizarre circus bear on that thing (I was mugging and throwing devil signs the whole way, too) and the scoot was smoking like crazy...I was running Sea Foam to clear off carbon build up.
I got to new place and got the last of the stuff in. I made an incredible amount of progress getting things squared away. My bed went together in five minutes. I slept like a rock.
I caught the wrong bus to work in the morning and wound up taking over an hour to roll into work. I got the right one today, u betcha!
So far, I'm diggin' the new place. I haven't decided where everything goes yet, but it's coming together. I feel a little displaced, but as I get more comfortable that will fade.

In other news, the SunTzu Soundsystem posse released their first e.p. I got it on vinyl AND CD...gotta support my boys! Jeremy Ellis headlined and it was awesome...and it was Aaron's birthday! The chocolate cake was yummy, yo. I hope you got some.

This Friday...Fey Ray is playing The High Dive. If you can make it, please come down. We don't get many weekend shows, but that may change if we can pack this one. I have a feeling this is gonna be one for the record books...I am super primed to RAWK and we will BRING IT!


The Mission (Updated 10/13)

The Mission:

(Note: There is obviously more to this than what follows. If you're in "the know" then there you are. If you're not, you'll probably figure it out...or you can ask me later.)

Part I - Monday

IT was a fairly routine mission, but then that's the way they all usually start. I was flying without a wingman, as it was early in the day and I was not expecting trouble. I made sure I had sufficient eye protection and wore my leather jacket.
As I flew into the patrol area, I checked my payload. I'd stopped into the office early that morning to pick it up, go over my plans and make any last minute adjustments. There were but a few and quickly taken care of.
Air traffic was light and although that was good news, I knew that could change at any second. However, I could easily abort if I had to and no one would be the wiser.
I approached the target's airspace. She was busy with a customer...giving him some sort of detailed information and very distracted. At the same time a couple of other customers fell into line behind me. I felt my resolve waiver, but it returned somewhat when her attention turned to me. There'd be no haverin' today!
"Hey Stacey," she said brightly. "Grande Mocha?"
"Yup." I replied.
She turned and yelled my order to the barista on duty and rang me up.
I handed her my debit card and as she gave me the card and my receipt back, I slid the payload out its bay and placed it on the counter.
"My band has a gig next week. That's a copy of our album."
I'd caught her off guard.
She took the disc and looked at it, then clasped it to her chest.
"Is this for me?!"
"Yeah...Listen to and tell me what you think. Maybe you'll come to the show?" I was already moving away from the counter, I didn't want to delay the customers behind me, nor did want to make too big a deal out of it. As Bugs Bunny once said, I had to use fin-esse and act non-chal-ant.
She told me that she wouldn't be in the next day and that she'd listen to it and we'd chat on Wednesday.
I told her, "Cool." and briefly chatted with the barista, grabbed my coffee and resisted hitting afterburners on the way out. It was going to be a long 48 hours.

Part II - Tuesday

I didn't go to the target area today. I wound up taking a different route into work. But it was fruitful nonetheless. Not only did the hottest girl from my junior high school (Sandy W. and yes, she's STILL drop-dead gorgeous) pass me on the street, but also the hot latina woman on my bus (alas, she's boyfriended) talked to me as we got coffee at a different place. She's pretty cool and her voice and demeanor was totally different from what I expected. (I guess one shouldn't make assumptions about pretty and demure-looking woman reading Madame Bovary on the bus, heh.)
I put the mission in the back of my mind and concentrated on the ugly job I was met with at work.
Still Wednesday looms. I imagine a few scenarios.
ONE - She likes the album but can't or won't make it to the show. It's slightly awkward, but I can recover...painted by radar, I call this.
TWO - She likes the album but doesn't like me. It's really awkward and I get my coffee elsewhere for a few weeks...missile lock.
THREE - She doesn't like the album or me...shot down in flames.
FOUR - I choke in some way (probably the most likely outcome)...hydraulic failure, return to base.
I left my email and website info with the payload. For all I know, she could've checked me out.
I didn't get any messages however, but I'm not concerned.
I'll just have to be cool. Giving her a disc and making an offer to be at the same place away from work is fraught with uncertainty for both of us. I didn't exactly make my intentions clear. But all I ever wanted was a woman to meet me halfway.

This is why I'm single!

Part III - Wednesday

Radar bloomed all over the valley floor as I entered the target area. I didn't get any missile lock warnings, but I sensed something might (might) be wrong. The airspace was totally clear.
After a minute someone came out to help me. I thought I saw someone in the very back...could it be her? Was she in stealth mode?
Wow...she must've hated our album...
There wasn't much I could do...I left. And bummed about it. For an hour.

I didn't go in the next day. I was running late and the competitor's is nearer. I'll be back tomorrow. I didn't crash and burn and I didn't suffer equipment failure. I will show no fear.
I cannot go through life afraid I will get shot down....even if I did, it's usually a crash you can walk away from.
And you know what they say about landings you can walk away from!

The End?




Frito helped me take a load of CD's over to my new place today. Jason was there and he mentioned that he was leaving for 3 weeks for his massage courses. Jonathan will be gone the weekend I move in, so it sounds like I'll have the place to myself on occasion.
Earlier, I tried to take my scooter down to the local terry-yakky jernt, but it kept dying. The carb was dirty, totally my fault for leaving the petcock open.
So I got home, opened the thing and cleaned it out with some WD-40. She started right up! HA!
The last time that happened, I panicked and took the scoot to the shop, which cost me over $100!
I'm seriously considering replacing the front end on that thing myself. How hard could it be?
I'm slowly working up to the day I bob my Drifter...it's gonna be so freakin' shweet!
I pretty much did "make work" all day today. But it was cool, I've been in my usual fall "mode", listening to sad and moody songs, offset with blasts of ol' skool disco.

I have be careful about that though, 'cause one of my bosses starts to dance when he comes into the room -- and having a guy talking to you about semi- important matters whilst doing a odd sort of jiggle is unnerving to say the least.

Fey Ray w/Storm and The Balls @ the High Dive 10/21/05

Fey Ray w/Storm and The Balls @ the High Dive 10/21/05

Alright, this is the weekend gig you've all been asking for! And we're playing
with one of the hottest bands from Portland!


MARK YOUR CALENDARS and come down for an evening of high precision rock & roll
and loungecore...







I got an email from my buddy Ed Thursday telling me that a.) a guy we knew from church had killed himself. b.) A guy I went to junior high school with had drowned recently and c.) another classmate of mine was seen turning tricks on MLK.
Ed is the historian. His family (like mine) is from The South, but his folks are a good ten years older than mine and perhaps more of their "old school" traditions stick. He keeps his ears to the ground and seems to know the scoop on everyone, a neighborhood that streches from Lynnwood to Renton. Me, I find the ties of family and community more of a hinderance or burden myself. I tend to be more interested with "the now" and "the future" and I'm often surprised when I can't remember names and faces of people I knew 10 or 15 years ago.
Anyway, David -- the fella from church who killed himself -- wasn't someone I could say I kept up with over the years. My main recollection of him was a weekend in the summer of 1980 when, after a mostly boring and restless summer with my father in Georgia, Ed's middle sister took Ed, David and me up to the Pacific National Exhibition near Vancouver B.C.
I remember a lot of early teen-age silliness (not all too far removed from current early middle-aged silliness, now that I think about it), playing Tail Gunner and SpaceInvaders until my thumb ached and about 15 trips down the giant slide (they actually stopped charging us after awhile). David was a natural comedian, yet there was something tragic about him even then.
Ed and I wondered if he was gay.
I can't say I recall much more than that. But I bet Ed could.
My cousin just happened to email me the next day and I passed on the news. He was shocked and called Ed to find out when the memorial service was...2PM Saturday. He and Ed were going and I was compelled to attend as well.
I can't say when the last time the three of us were in the same room together. I actually got there first. The sky was threatening rain and I was on my motorcycle, so I showed up in jeans and my leather jacket. Ed came in next and my cousin arrived shortly after the service started on his bike as well.
We sat in the back.
The service was about a quarter full. There was an funary urn on a table and picture frame with a couple of snapshots of David in it. There were lots of faces I kind of recognized, but since I'd left the church something like 20 years ago, I wasn't sure how I'd be received, so I kept a low profile.
The service was a very typical Jehovah Witnesses'-type thing:

God is love, but because of Adam and Eve, all men sin, the wages of sin is death, death is a sleep-like condition in which the dead feel, sense or see nothing, there is no soul that lives on after the body expires, but through God's love and Jesus' sacrifice, we mortal sinners have the hope of salvation, resurrection and eternal life in paradise. etc, etc.

This message was delivered with about as much passion of the reading of a grocery list.
There was actually very little said about the deceased. I remember a skinny kid with a 10,000 watt smile, big brown eyes and that he was funny...and maybe (probably) homosexual. I don't know why he did himself in, though Ed thought he might've had HIV. Instead there was a brief listing of his surviving relatives.
I was somewhat angered by this...the same thing happened and my father and stepmother's funerals. Anyone could've been in the casket, just fill in the blank.
After it was all over, Ed and my cousin worked the room. I hung back, feeling rather sheepish. I guess my inchoate reasons for being there were to pay my respects to a childhood acquaintence...and learn something more about him. But there was no revelation.
Instead, I was reintroduced to some folks that I hadn't seen or thought about in years. Names got tossed around, some still with us, others long gone. Then my cuz had to run off to pick up some boots for his wife and we all promised that we'd get together soon. I sped home hoping to pick up some food before it started to pour.

Rest In Peace, David.

I think you deserved better.


I Gotta Say...Something...

I Gotta Say...Something...

The internets are fixed and I'm able to update at home once again! WhooHoo!

Fall landed like a ton of bricks around here. We didn't get our normal Indian Summer. It's been wet and cold about three weeks too early! I'm going to have to make lots of trips to the Pho shop these next five months.

The only thing I can add as "news" is that I found a new place to live. I'll be moving to the Madison Valley...a return to my ancient stomping grounds as it were. My three new roommates (two guys and a cat) all seem like decent folks (well, maybe not the cat -- she bites (gently) sometimes) but I think we'll all get along swimmingly.

Basically, the rest of 2005 means hunkering down and working like a madman until spring. Hopefully something new, funny or at least interesting will happen between now and then, eh?

BTW -- This morning I dreamed I was the sole witness to an early performance by The Commodores. Lionel Ritchie fronted a five-piece that played a really stripped down and funky Meters-like jam. I had just begun to upbraid him for become a sellout schlockmeister who ditched his band at the first opportunity when my alarm went off.



And So...

Our router at home has been acting up which means I can't access the net or even keep a phone call going for more than a few minutes. It's ticking me off as I'm looking for a new place to live and need to get back to people when they call me back! Aggh!
I'm posting from work, which I normally don't like to do but I've been cranking through the stuff we have here. Photoshop CS2 is the shit!

I rode my bike down to the 2nd Men's Poker and Bible Study Retreat over the weekend. The weather was perfect and it was nice to get the bike into 5th gear for awhile. I didn't play poker (or study the bible, for that matter) but I did finish Matt Ruff's "Fool on the Hill" and listened to a lot of cool music. And I consumed a copious amount of vodka and tah-kill-ya. And there was much farting, of course. And scratching. And belching...

Anyway, things are cruising right along. Johnny 2X is blasting Highway 61 Revisited and I can't get that Kanye West's "Gold Digger" out of my head, but maybe that's not such a bad thing.


Oh, Joy!!!

(via Pitchforkmedia)

Morrissey at Work on New Album

Kati Llewellyn reports:
The man who put the 'M' in Manchester is in the news again. Surprisingly, we're not here to tell you Morrissey's playing "X" festival, [insert fancy name here] Hall, or a couple dates around Europe. Oh, it's bigger than that...the kind of thing that makes people yell "THIS JUST IN!", "BREAKING NEWS!", or even "STOP THE PRESSES!".

Everyone's favorite Smiths frontman is currently in the studio with producer Jeff Salzman (the Killers)...and our good friend death. Yup, Morrissey is at work in Rome in film soundtrack god Ennio Morricone’s former studio, which happens to be located in the catacombs of a seventeenth-century church. Ooh, how goth.

According to his publicist, "It's apparently the most full-on rock record Morrissey's ever done. It's a balls-to-the-wall rock record, not a slow one like the last one." The album is close to being wrapped, and is tentatively scheduled for a spring 2006 release. At this point in time, tour dates have not been released, but hey, I'm sure they'll be, uhh, balls-to-the-coffin.

Pitchfork Review: Morrissey: Live at Earls Court
Pitchfork News: Morrissey to Release Live CD, DVD
Morrissey: http://www.morrisseymusic.com/


Nostalgia Day...

Nostalgia Day...

Johnny was out today so I skipped listening to Howard Stern and Air America Radio and put on the KJET 1600 station I've written about before. Graham Parker's "Temporary Beauty" floored me right away -- I was immediately taken back to '82, where I spent the better part of the summer watching MTV and playing Intellivision in Tommy Simpson's basement.
I was telling my friend Karen about it and was amazed that she'd never heard The Replacements. Or Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. Or The Comsat Angels...seriously, check it out. The station is low fi (KJET was AM, anyway) but the tunes are good, even if some are a bit dated production-wise.

On Saturday, Heidi took me to see Dead Can Dance at The Paramount Theater. It seemed like every goth in town was there. I'm not a huge fan, although I love Brendan Perry's voice (I think that if there was a real Metatron, it would sound like him) and he did songs with words in english, so he had my full attention when he sang.
We were there mostly because back in the day (something like 10 years ago, for those of you keeping track) Heidi and I used to go out drinking on Thursday nights. We'd start out at The Frontier Room and hit various spots in Belltown, ending up at a now defunct place called The Brick Street. The Frontier Room had "American Dreaming" from "Toward the Within" on its jukebox and we'd play the song and sing it to each other, even though I don't think either of us are exactly sure what the second half of the second verse is. It was "our song," regardless -- so there!
(Other songs that proceeded a night of drinking: Stu -- "Frenzy" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins; Frito -- "Soul Heaven" by Deep Sensation)
Anyway, the concert was really cool, even if I didn't care for Lisa Gerrard's songs. J.R. and Kim were there as was Patty, Robert and Kelly but we didn't sit together, so I had Heidi all to myself...quite nice.
After I got home I cranked "How Low Can a Punk Get?" to scrub the goth off me brain.


Things That Make You Go Hmmm.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm.

I was checking my various inboxes and the following was in one. I usually dump things from addresses I don't know but for some reason, I clicked on this:

Ya know! All men's misfortunes spring from their hatred of being alone.

If politics is to become scientific, and if the event is not to be constantly surprising, it is imperative that our political thinking should penetrate more deeply into the springs of human action,
Wherever there is possession of marks, there is fraud; wherever there is no-possession of no-marks, there is no fraud. Hence the Tathagata (note: The Buddha referred to himself as the Tathagatha, the 'thus gone one'- the one who has reached enlightenment - Ed.) is to be seen from no-marks as marks.
He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.

keep her for she is your life.

Legzhembe joen ("Goodbye" - Ed.) All women are flirts, but some are restrained by shyness, and others by sense.

To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.

OK, then.




I used to have a pretty progressive policy on spiders.
I couldn't help it. As a kid, didn't you cry at the end of "Charlotte's Web?" Spiders are beneficial creatures due to their mad insect-catching skills (even though they are so freakin' creepy). I bragged of my benevolence to all that would hear. I remember living in a studio apartment on First Hill years ago; hearing the pitter-patter of (really) tiny feet and watching (with an odd mixture of awe and horror) this really huge fella hauling ass across my kitchen floor. I decided to give it the bum's rush, rather than slaughter it outright -- didn't want my flesh to crawl from the snap, crackle of its exoskeleton...brrr! Encounters after that were usually marked by me showing the wee beasties the door...literally.

I don't recall ever being bitten by spider...until I moved in with Frito a great while later. I mind finding a bump on my inner arm, just a bit above my elbow. It didn't hurt but it itched a bit...way milder than a mosquito bite. I looked closer...there were two holes there.
Another time I found a spider bite on my ear.
And then I got bit on my face.


I changed my policy on the bastards sometime after that. Do unto others, I say -- and I got done unto first. I still don't smash them, but they get sent down the toliet!
We had a shit-ton of the little (heh) buggers around the house this spring and summer. You had to be careful when going out the back door because there would be a huge web with some big bastard sitting innit like (s)he owned the joint.
The last time that happened, I got out my empty pellet gun and pumped it up 6-7 times, pointed it at the wide-o, and fired. The spider flew across the yard, landing I know not where. But it didn't come back! So, I'd found my new favorite method of getting rid of them.

I haven't been bitten this year...go figure.




Recently dropped a new album, "Leaders of the Free World." I heard a track off it today (Forget Myself) on KEXP and I'm (as the Brits say), "Fookin' chuffed!"
I'll be visiting the record store today...more on this later.

UPDATE: It's not out until the 27th.



Blegh. Random.

Blegh. Random.

Johnny2X, the boys on IGAS and I have been following the aftermath of hurricane Katrina closely all week. We all use fake names on the site, but I thought this post summed up the sitchiation brilliantly:

Grover Norquist, conservative activist, close Bush ally, and world-class wanker once famously said, “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Fortunately for us, he and his ideological allies never quite reached their goal, but unfortunately for them (and most distressingly unfortunate for the victims of Katrina), they got close enough that their depraved, social Darwinist, every-man-for-himself political philosophy may well drown in the flooded remains of a devastated American city.

I previously said that I’ve not much inclination toward trying to lay the responsibility for the levee breaches solely at Bush’s feet, if for no other reason than I just don’t feel confident that I have all the information to determine that one way or another. However, the responsibility for the catastrophically abysmal response to this tragedy I feel quite confident about aiming solidly in his direction, not only because of his practical response, which, as widely discussed, has been nothing short of atrocious, but also because of the closely held beliefs about the role of government that have made this situation infinitely worse than it needed to be. As Rob Salkowitz notes:

It’s moments like this when you need a party in power that actually believes in the affirmative power of government to help its citizens, rather than the party that sees government’s role as protecting the property of the well-off from the predations of the underclass. It’s when the true ugly soul of American conservatism is borne out for what it is: a rationalization of selfishness and the hysterical denial of community. America is about to see what happens when the government is staffed by people appointed to their jobs precisely for their disdain for the whole notion of policy in the public interest. It’s won’t be pretty.

Damn straight. Take a look at the international analysis of what’s happening in America right now—the entire world is appalled, watching the richest country in the world let its people die of thirst, and yet that is the inevitable result of a ruling party who feels little obligation to its citizens. I once wrote: “The Conservative view ultimately benefits a very small minority; the Liberal view benefits us all.” Never has that been more glaringly apparent than in the aftermath of Katrina, as those for whom Bush and his ilk have the greatest contempt turn to their government for help in a time of crisis as the whole world watches, and their government offers not compassion but blame. I think the administration will quickly find that abstract endorsements of personal responsibility which elicited such fervent applause from hand-picked campaign crowds won’t be met with quite the same reception when offered in lieu of the practical solutions now required. If the chance to so easily identify with those quite literally left stranded by the callousness of conservative philosophy doesn't finally reveal its utter folly to a majority, I don't believe anything ever will. As Matthew Yglesias said today, “They say there are no atheists in foxholes. Similarly, there are no libertarians in the aftermath of a giant, city-wide flood.”

The news yesterday stirred in me equal feelings of desperate concern for the people hit hardest by this near-inconceivable disaster and blinding anger toward the people responsible for their continued suffering. The two feelings crashed headlong into each other as I listened to a woman on NPR, sobbing, pleading with Bush to help them. She said children and women are being raped, many are in dire need of medical care, and people are starving and dying of thirst. “Please, President Bush, please send someone to save us.” I just completely broke down. It was the final straw, listening to someone beg for help from someone who was out playing golf while she was fighting for her life.

There are those now calling for Bush’s impeachment. Fuck impeachment. The whole lot of them—every last conservative ideologue who has advocated “starving the beast,” every last one of those selfish, soulless, anti-American bastards—ought to be rounded up and sent to the Superdome to live in the river of shit and piss until every single refugee has been provided safe sanctuary and a warm meal. Then Bush and his gang of cretins can clean up the trail of scattered corpses. Let the blood that belongs on their hands be a literal lesson for these pitiless pieces of human refuse. It’s long overdue.

Some judge died. I think I'm depressed -- and I hate GWB even more than I did before.
It's a three-day weekend and all I've done so far is hang out with Stu for a few hours on Saturday. Oh, and Weeze came to visit -- that was nice.
Right now, I'm ripping the Led Zepplin remasters into my computer (along with The Best of The Smiths, Vol. I & II, Televison's second album "Adventure" and local bands Crystal Skulls and Slender Means) and trying to think of something fun and distracting to do that doesn't involve Bumbershoot. Maybe I'll take myself out for Futomaki later on.

Did you know Jada Pinkett fronts a metal band?!


Reunion -- Not!

Reunion -- Not!

So my 20 year high school reunion was this weekend. After months of haverin', I let entropy take over and didn't go. I thought I'd somehow work up the energy to attend the picnic over in Wes'Seattle this afternoon, but after sweating through band practice, all I wanted to do was eat some Phad See Ieew and chill.
I suppose I probably missed a potentially great time, but then, I suppose I already know the score.
Anybody that I really, really feel a need to talk to is still just a phone call away. Everyone else just means awkwardly talking about jobs, wives/husbands and kids. For me, one outta three ain't bad.
I was only at the high school I graduated from for a year, though I knew a lot of people there from junior high. My sophomore and junior years were in Georgia.
When I got back to Seattle, I felt a little more self-posessed, more self aware and while I had friends, I wasn't afraid to go to movies and ball games by myself. I saw that as a kind of strength. And here, years later, I'm still very picky about who I'll let in.
I wonder if I'll regret my decision (or lack thereof) years from now, but my curiousity wasn't that strong... somehow, I doubt it.


The 40 Year Old Virgin

The 40 Year Old Virgin

Saw this movie tonight and it was freakin' wonderful. The perfect "guys movie" without a single explosion in sight!
Too often men get the short shrift on the dating scene and most movies paint all guys as being hopeless buffoons or sex-crazed predators. And we put up with crazies and individuals with poor social skills just like women do, but most of us view it as part of the "deal," since men are (until fairly recently) socialized to be the initiators of relationships.
This movie is really different, Andy (our virgin) is a really nice guy (or geek, I should say) who after a few bad dates decided he'd rather avoid all the frustration and disappointment of dating and put his energy into well, geek stuff...video games, collecting action figures & playing online poker. He seems happy with his solitary life, until a night out with some guys from work causes him to spill the beans about his (for lack of a better term) problem.
The movie deals with Andy's buddies trying to get him laid, but more than that, it's about the awkwardness and fear of interacting with "the other". Some guys try to hide behind a mask of machismo. Others wallow in a cynacism, some try bolster their courage behind new age homilies...but no one really has an answer...or do they?
Anyway, this movie manages to keep things light AND be funny as hell. I've often maintained that "dating" is an absurd proposition even in the best of circumstances. And I know a lot of guys (though most of 'em aren't virgins) that Andy reminds me of -- myself included. This is the first time I've cared for a character onscreen in ages and even though there's a lot to make you squirm, it's Andy's humanity and kindness always show through. This flick was brilliantly done and I can't wait to own it on DVD.

Oy...I just wrote a movie review, huh?


Death By Tapioca

Death By Tapioca

The bubble tea habit is getting serious. I'd go every day if I could but I have this fear of OD'ing. What will they tell my mother? Instead, I try to stave off the craving with lesser drinkage. Slurpees are the Methdone for my habit, but SO less satisfying.
This morning, I had a mocha at Tully's. A green tea Frappahooty at Starbuck's when I left work and then this evening...bubble tea.
I came home, filled the Bettie Maru with coolant and gave her a wash. I decided that I wanted to clean up the mounts for my windshield, which were all rusty and maybe lower the handlebars a bit -- it's after 7 and I'm not sure if I can locate Rustoleum and a big Allen wrench at this hour, but what the hey, right? I ask The Laura if she needs anything.

"If I buy, will you get me a bubble tea?"


Laura being Laura, this will mean a lot of modifications...you know, like Meg Ryan's character in "When Harry Met Sally," so I make her write them down. Turns out she'd been to the Pochi Tea Station (our dealer) THREE TIMES yesterday. I can't talk though, I now buy two at a time when I go -- and I was there yesterday too.

"Don't forget to have them stamp my card!" She calls after me.

The ride over was pleasant. Traffic was light. There were clouds were rolling in from the east, capping off a rather mild day. Both of the hardware stores on 45th are closed. Rite Aid didn't have paint (but they carry motor oil and showerheads...so it didn't hurt to ask) so I headed to the dealers.
I started humming "I'm Waiting For My Man" while they were making up the order. Fortunately, none of the guys tonight was working when I came in yesterday, so I can make fun of Laura's habit. Apparently, one of them saw her twice, but didn't know she'd been in a third time. It's a Korean joint and they usually have really cheesy K-pop videos playing. Which causes me to marvel, as a lot (most) of that stuff sounds like modern R&B to me.
I picked up some terror-yakki next door and ride home. Even though I usually have a really short windscreen on my bike, without it, the roar of the wind is quite loud at speeds over 30mph. I got home, handed Laura her Avacado with chocolate syrup and jelly and a lychee and taro with boba (I note that she stuck one of them in the refrigerator -- bet it ain't there now!), and took my banana split with boba and 'yaki downstairs.

Maybe I was influenced by the K-pop videos, but after I sucked and chewed on my tasty, semi-frozen and creamy treat, I spent the rest of the evening watching a really bad Korean gangster show (with subtitles) called "Family" on the AZN channel.


Powder Blue

Powder Blue

...is a song by the Scottish band Elbow, off their debut album "Asleep In The Back". I find it utterlyfuckinbrilliant in the way that it opens like a flower and washes over you. Give it a listen here, wouldja?

Sunday 2:14AM

Sunday 2:14AM

On Friday, I met up with The Viking and The Frito. We caught a DJ set by members of Gus Gus. I marvelled at how unhip those guys looked...like they were trying to be dorks! The music was decent, but I was somewhat underwhelmed, 'cause they spun off CD's all night. Great for their compactness...but, hell -- I can (and have) hit the "play" button at parties. Least there were some cute girls on the dance floor.
I got home in time to catch the 1AM showing of Battlestar Galactica. I ain't gonna try and covert y'all if you ain't into it, but I think that show kicks ass! Then I dinked around on the computer for way too long and went to bed around 5AM. Oh, and it was a beautiful night out. I went into the front yard and took some pictures. I tried to hold the camera steady, but the exposure was too long...but I still think this looks cool.

I got up and quickly got out of the house 'cause it was a beautiful day. Went to visit the Frito and scored a Chuck Klosterman novel and a 2 disc mix by Junior Vasquez. Scott was brewing beer and watching "Hildalgo" at (more or less) the same time. We hung out, played DOOM3 and he decided he wanted to wash his car. I got hungry around 5 and rode to a Japanese restaurant near the house for Sukiyaki and Futomaki and started the Klosterman book. After I got home, I puttered around, then went to The Baltic Room to meet Neil and Tess. Cheb i Sabbah was spinning and the club was a weird mix of hippie types, Indian-Americans and club regulars.
I can't say I like Bhangra based stuff too much...or at least in large doses. Everyone was heavin' though. I chilled in the Mafia booth and drank Red Bull mixed with Ginger Vodka. After I was sure I was sober, I took the long way home.


The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats

This week blows. There's cloud of negativity and uncertainty creeping around the edges of things, work is slow and summer is grinding to a close. My High School reunion is coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm not sure I wanna go.
We're headlining tomorrow at The High Dive, but everyone's complaining since we go on at 11:30. Jeez, when did we all get so old and settled (me too)?
Anyway, I think this would be a good weekend for getting out of Dodge. Maybe J.R. and Carey will feel like a long bike ride, say to Pt. Townsend or something. That would cure me from these blahs, eh?
Anyway, Stu, Neil and I went to see The Aristocrats, which is a movie about...a joke. It was a crack up and I suggest you see it (if foul language doesn't put you off your feed). If there was ever a need for a pure "Stuist" movie -- I think this is it. Too bad Tim Conway was only in it for about two minutes. And shit, I didn't know Larry Storch was still around!




To everyone who came out with us this weekend...that was one of the best birthdays EVAR!!
And it was even better 'cause I got to share it with Rachel!


It's Official...

It's Official...As of 1:15PM

I came home to a surprise party for me and Rachel last night. Rachel told me that she was missing her friends from Portland, so Stu arranged for some of them to come up. Laura and Stu masterminded whole thing. From what I hear, it had been in the works for months!! Why is my heart (and wallet) always smaller than I wish it was? 'Cause what I got Laura back in April wasn't nearly as nice.

Neil hooked me up with a bottle of Ketel One Vodka. Stu got me the first two seasons of Ren & Stimpy and Steven Soderbugh's classic "Schizopolis" on DVD. Tim gave me the first six seasons of Red Dwarf. Stu's mom got me a copy of her (now deceased) ex-husband's book "From Alcatraz to the White House", which details Nathan Glenn Williams days as a bank robber in the Depression Era, his capture and incarceration at Alcatraz and his Presidential pardon from Jimmy Carter. I got a bottle of sake from Weez and a box of chocolates from Matt. Frito got me a two month subscription to suicidegirls.com. I love the gifts!

Thank you all.

Tonight, Weeze is throwing a BBQ at her place, then we're going down to Nectar in Fremont for WORLDWIDE!! The Westsiiide Posse is coming...should be funfunfun!!

I tried duplicating the look of wonder, determination and innocence that I had on the baby picture that I posted earlier. Unfortunately, It came out looking like I've just passed gas...


Leo's UP!!

Leo's UP!!

Today is Cap'n Leisure (AKA Le Saucier) and Hotsy's birthday. I believe the Cap'n turns 40 and the Hot One is 28...(oops -- 27). Warm thoughts and hugs go out to you both!

Tomorrow, it's me and Rachel!!



Anybody Got $15K to Spare?

Anybody Got $15K to Spare?

'Cause I reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally want of o' these:

Bobbed Harley's are teh shiz, yo.


Another Birthday.

Another Birthday...

I'll be 38 on Saturday. I look at this picture and wish I could fill this poor kid in with what I know.

P.S. Mercy called me last night and told me that the image was screwed up. I didn't look at it after I'd posted it -- I'd scanned it here at work and forgot to convert it to RGB from Lab.




Adam and Erin got married on Friday, which seemed like (and probably was) the hottest day of the year. I started sweating the minute I left work. I stopped by Ross on the way home, hoping to find some cufflinks, only to be told "Yes, no cufflinks." by a rather sour-faced lady watching the dressing rooms there. Frito came over and the he, Laura and I rushed around getting ready. I'd bought 3-4 new shirts for the occasion before settling on a nice purple-blue number that came with a tie and hankerchief.
Anyway, I was pretty moist by the time we struggled through Friday rush-hour traffic up to Edmonds. It was nice and cool inside the church. Although the ceremony had already started, we found seats in the very back.
The couple looked relaxed and happy. Erin was glowing and Adam looked quite handsome in his black suit.
The reception was held at the library and cultural center in Edmonds. It was a cloudless day and the view of the Olympics at sunset was amazing. We had dinner, did some dancing and headed home. Jason J. posted pictures here http://www.flickr.com/photos/j-justice/sets/727088/
I was feeling somewhat industrious the following morning, so I went out to Big People Scooters and bought some parts, came home and got my scooter running. I rode it around the neighborhood, grinning like an idiot. I'd forgotten how much fun it is!
Later on, I met Oani and her crew in Fremont at the Outdoor Cinema. We watched "The Goonies" then Cassie, Graham and I went to a chi-chi beer joint nearby.
On Sunday, I went to the Fremont Sunday Market to look for the guy I bought some amazing soap from but he wasn't there. Damn! I gotta get hold of the stuff...I love it!
I did some motorcycle maintenence and then went to get Bubble Tea, only to run into Laura who was coming out of the place with some for me! She also brought me some dinner from a party she'd gone to. So we went home and chilled.


Just Cuz...

Just Cuz...
This is my lovely roommate -- This picture was taken Saturday before last at Meatfest '05 and she's totally wasted. I tell her I don't like the top she's wearing, which means she puts it on to irritate me.
I imagine I'll be in trouble for posting it, but I couldn't resist!


8/1/05 - I've just been informed that I'm dead when I get home from work today. I guess she saw the picture!

For the record, I don't want any extra-ordinary measures taken to keep me alive (in case she botches the job). I also want to be cremated and my motorcycle goes to my brother. Stu and Frito get first dibs on my CD collection and anything else I own...well, I won't care, will I?



Picnic at Madison Beach

I dunno why, but the sight of El Stu in short pants is somewhat disturbing to me.
He used to be such the hipster! Ah, I guess he's still pretty hip, even tho' he's pushin' 40.
A bunch of us went to Madison beach today to grill some meat, quaff some beverages and enjoy the perfect weather.
We even played some croquet!
I won the first game. I went last and took my time going though the wickets. Three people were poison by the time I got to the other end of the field and Megan took out everyone but me.
When she came after me, I hid around the wickets and she eventually hit one -- I won!!
I took a lot of pictures, which I'll probably get around to posting somewhere.
Now I'm off to the Torchlight Parade!

Rachel and Sarah...cute, huh?

Yoiks! And Away!!

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Stu sent an email to me, Rachel and Sarah today:

You know it's your duty to see the new Star Wars. You've waited long enough. George Lucas says you must see it. You aren't part of our culture unless you do. In fact you are a traitor. It's playing at the Cinerama at 8:30 tonight. Wanna go? Plus all of you are having a birthday in the next couple weeks.

So we met up at a Chinese Restaurant for dinner, then went to the movie. I think I've said before that I was somewhat immune to the Star Wars thing when I was a laddie. I liked the first two movies but I was in 11th grade when Return of the Jedi came out and by then I was kind of turned off by the fact that the SW franchise had become "kiddie movies."
Yeah, yeah. I know the idea behind the whole thing was to sort of recreate the feel of old Saturday afternoon serials, yadda, yadda -- which would be fine if these movies hadn't grown into such an EVENT. Like Stu said, watching the new yin was a duty. I found Episode III to be the cultural equivelent of a root canal -- necessary and quite unpleasant.
I was amazed at how souless and cold the whole thing was. No one seems to actually fear for their lives. Nothing made me feel a sense of awe or wonder. I didn't care about any of the characters, although I did like the way they fleshed out Yoda (ironic, ain't it?). There were plot holes big enough to drive a truck though. I felt some of the fight scenes were way too long.
I don't think I'm jaded.
I loved "Iron Monkey," "Crouching Tiger" and even "Independence Day" but even though I watched this movie on a big-ass screen, I very might as well been at home.
At least this time I didn't fall asleep!

Happy Birthday Sarah!!


Lord Gosh?

Lord Gosh?

A nice article here about one of the best MC's to come down the pike in awhile.




OK. So Fey Ray is in the practice room working on some new songs. We have 3-4 ideas that we play around with but none of us are really happy with the results yet. Personally, I like the melodies and such, but everything has had a sort of mid-tempo Coldplay-ish feel to it...ugh. (Don't get me wrong, I like Coldplay but I don't consider them a musical influence...certainly not one I want indentified with my band, anyway.)
If you're a musician and a music junky, one of the pitfalls you encounter when writing is what I call "style-aping." This is sometimes intentional, sometimes it's not. Usually you can combat this in a variety of ways, but sometimes it's really, really hard.

So, it's getting late we're tired and Matt starts playing a funky, Meters-like guitar riff. So Adam and I fall in behind it. Matt stops playing.

Matt (to Adam): No, No...That's too funky. Dial it back a little.
Adam (a tad confused): OK.

We start playing again, but Adam's drumbeat now has a New Orleans-style thing goin' on.

Matt: Nah. Still too funky...Try thinking Stereolab.
Adam: Stereolab? Aren't they sort of Krautrock? Can?
Me: Well, I always thought they had a sort of disco thing going on. But what I think it's disco played by white people from countries lacking a sizeable black population. See, the Talking Heads were from New York and even though they were white, they were still funky, 'cause you can't escape the influence of black folks there. Try playing it like you're from Switzerland or something.

We start playing again. Adam is a very straight beat, but...

Matt: Nope. Still funky.
Adam (getting pissed - but laughing): It's a funky guitar line!! How am I supposed to un-funkify it?!
Matt (holding his hands up in surrender): Dude, I don't even want to play this any more.
Me, Seth and Adam: No! We're gonna get this thing! Keep going!

Seth comes over and gets behind the kit. We're all cracking up over the idea of "un-funkifying" a song.

Adam: So much for 12 years of drum lessons!

We play again.

Adam (glowering): OK...so you're playing kinda busy and doing fills every two measures, is that what you want?
Seth (shrugs): Something like that...maybe a bit busier.
Me: So like a Zach Barochas/Jawbox thing? Maybe more math than funk then?

Adam gets behind the kit and comes up with something that kind of works. I'm still laughing.
We take a break.

Seth: So, I guess you just have to not play on the one.
Me: Dude, EVERYTHING is on the one!