10.30.2005

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:

PHO

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.

10.27.2005

Waiting...

Waiting...

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.

10.24.2005

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.

RIP

10.23.2005

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?

10.22.2005

Quite Possibly...

Quite Possibly...

The geekiest comic strip EVAR...

10.20.2005

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!

10.18.2005

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!

10.11.2005

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?

10.10.2005

Random...again.

Random...again.

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!

http://www.stormlarge.com/

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


www.feyray.com
www.highdiveseattle.com

Thanks!

FR

10.09.2005

"."

"."

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.



10.03.2005

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.

Damn.