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Current Mood: sick
It’s been a busy week, kiddies. I don’t even know where to start, but I guess it makes sense to go chronologically?
So I just worked Monday last week and then flew out Wednesday to Los Angeles for the Crash Mansion show. Given that it was major holiday travel time, I gave myself plenty of lead time. But my trip seemed to be blessed from the beginning. When I got to SFO, I found that long term parking was full (which I’d never seen before), but they gave me a voucher to use short term parking for the same price! The checkin and security lines were short. My flight was full, but the airport seemed surprisingly dead. I got to LAX to find that my Hertz gold service was still in effect and I was automatically upgraded to a Ford Mustang for no reason at all. I got to my hotel in plenty of time, and though it had a Spanish grotto design on the outside, it was pretty shabby inside. No big deal though, I only needed a place to sleep really.
The venue (Crash Mansion) was very big and open. The stage was huge, and the sound was great. After soundcheck, Orlie and I walked down the street to eat at an Italian restaurant. The waiter asked if we were coming back from a club. After explaining who we were and what were doing there, he says, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of the Smiths. Like old school, right? Mark Ronson did a Smiths song… I liked it. Are you with those guys? Mark Ronson?”
Back at the Mansion, while waiting to go on, I decided to have a drink to loosen up. I apparently drank my Tom Collins a little too fast, and followed it up with too much strenuous dancing. I almost immediately felt sick and almost had a panic attack. Nothing like compounding the nausea with the stress of knowing that you’re about to go on stage so hundreds of people can watch you intently while you throw up. Luckily, we had a delayed start and I had some time to pace and sip water and get over it. By the time the show started, I was fine. The Moz Krew, Irving, and many others were in attendance for the show. We played some new songs including “Barbarism Begins At Home” and it got a great reaction. Great crowd participation in general. People seemed to have a great time, and I got a few pats on the back on and off stage. It was a lot of fun. I’m sure Sus will provide the videos soon.
Orlie crashed with me, and when we got back to the hotel that night, we had the pleasure of watching a drunk guy puke all over the parking lot, while his friend carried in his passed-out girlfriend. There was only time for a few hours of sleep before heading back out to the airport to come home. This part of the trip wasn’t quite so smooth, but it wasn’t awful. Again, I gave myself plenty of time to get to the airport, and it was nice not to have to rush. Once through security, I got some iced tea, and took a nap in a chair at the gate while I waited for my flight to board. Slept some more on the flight. It was great.
I did have two gripes with my trip home though. When I got back to SFO, I had a ticket on my car. I got my “2008” license plate sticker in the mail months ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to putting it on my car yet. I figured if a cop saw me on the road and looked me up, they’d see that I was all paid up and was only missing the sticker itself and would ignore me (as surely they have more important things to do). Then if I ever did get pulled over, I had the sticker in my glove box, so it would be a very short conversation with the cop. Well apparently, not only does SFO have a police force patrolling the short term parking lot, but it has a lot of time on its hands and it pays attention to detail. I got a $25 ticket for not having my 2008 sticker on my plate… I repeat, I got this ticket from the airport while parked at the airport! So beware!
My other gripe has to do with people using their miserable job to take out aggression on customers. Case in point: at LAX, I had to check a bag. Rather than check it in for you, they require that you get a sticker from the ticket counter, then go give your bag directly to a TSA security guy to put through some conveyor belt machine. A little hassle, but not too bad. Well they were backed up, and they basically had people just leave their bags in a pile out in the open with the implication being that they’d gradually get to it. Well maybe I’m paranoid, but I didn’t like the ide of just leaving my bag unattended until they got around to it, so I left my bag and stood against the wall watching it until it went through the machine. Eventually a TSA guy asks me “what are you doing?” I explain that I didn’t want to leave my bag unattended so I wanted to watch it go through the machine. He rudely says “do it over there” without pointing anywhere. So I politely moved over to where I assumed he meant, and even more rudely he says “I didn’t say there, I said back there!” and this time he points to an area behind a wall to where I obviously can not see my bag. At this point I’m getting pissed, but I eventually find a “back way” so that I can see my bag until it goes through the machine. But on the back end of the machine, there’s another TSA guy who gets each bag when it comes through, puts a sticker on it, and literally slams it onto another conveyor belt… seriously, he completely throws it, totally unnecessarily.
So to these particular TSA guys, I’m sorry you hate your job, being rude douchebags for absolutely no reason at all. Yes, go ahead and pretend to be king of LAX. Obviously you spend a lot of time here and know how things work, but I guarantee I’ve been to more airports than you have, and trust me, you’re a huge d-bag. No other TSA guy at any other airport has treated me that way. While your job (airport security) is important in the grand scheme of things, you being a rude d-bag is not enhancing your ability to fight terrorism in any way. Slamming people’s luggage around for no good reason, and then giving me an attitude for doubting you as if things don’t get lost, broken, or stolen by you fuckers all the fucking time. I should end this by saying that I have at least one friend who works for the TSA, so I don’t mean to slam the whole organization. I wonder if he could speak to this issue… did I run across a few bad apples or is this an epidemic?
The Thanksgiving show at Popscene was a lot of fun as well. No big surprises there… we always have a good time. And it was great to do the whole Meat Is Murder album, which is my favorite. Jamie, Sus, and Colin were all there to see it. I think some of the show has popped up on YouTube already. Good times!
One final thing on the subject of TCB. I noticed on the SATH website that they have a prominently-featured graphic that they stole from us. How do I know that? Because I made the graphic myself. They grabbed it from our site, recolored it for their site, and used it as their own. Not a big deal I guess. Whether it’s the clubs we play, the way we interact with the crowd, or even website graphics, the TCB-showing-SATH-how-it’s-done trend continues on every level. Bitches.
I had some good family time this weekend. Visited the folks. Played guitar and wrote some music with Dad. Saw my sister’s new place. Bonded with my latest neice. Ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate.
My 10 year class reunion was last night. I don’t know if I’ve really had time to process it all, but I’ll say what I can about it. Jamie and I dressed up and went together, starting out with a nice dinner in North Beach. At the reuninon, people looked mostly the same, with a few exceptions. Some people got way tall and/or skinny and I hardly recognized them. The weird thing for me was that if I saw any of these people on the street, I’d of course go say hi. But in this one room, where I recognized everyone more or less, I wasn’t sure how to act. Do you say hi to everyone? I didn’t. But I did catch up with some old friends. Ran into some old enemies. I just didn’t even know what to do there. There was nothing but good will in the air, but frankly I used to despise some of these people. It’s nice you matured and all, but I still don’t care for you. Then there were times that people reached out to me to say hi, and I worry I didn’t respond with the same level of enthusiasm, often because… well… we weren’t really friends back then. But oh well. If any of you are reading this, I wish you all nothing but the best. Sorry if I came off like a dick last night. I was confused.
I did get a lot of compliments. Apparently I look a lot different nowadays? I didn’t think that was the case, but I guess I must have really looked like crap back then. I saw what appeared to be shock on a lot of faces. I was having a good hair day. Maybe that was it? I venture to say I had the best hair in the room. Ha! Just what my ego needed.
Anyway, Jamie and I grabbed some In-n-Out and relaxed back at the house afterwards. A nice relaxing finish to an extremely busy week.
Man, there are so many movies out or coming out that I’d intended to see. I’m falling behind! Look at all these I’ve yet to catch!
- No Country For Old Men
- The Mist
- Lars And The Real Girl
- I’m Not There
- I Am Legend
And I’m probably even forgetting a few! And speaking of lists…
It’s coming up on Christmas time, and I thought I’d share my Christmas list this year for anyone trying to shop for me but wondering what I need these days. This is what I am submitting to the collective Santa of my friends, family, and benefactors:
- A Levi’s white jean jacket (Men’s XL) – I realize these have not been popular for a while, at least not in white, but I’m bringing them back. If only they weren’t so hard to find! I’ve been checking eBay.
- Layrite Pomade – I am most of the way through the cannister I got in SoCal last month, and I need to get more! Unless you live in SoCal, I think you gotta order it from the site.
- The Jesus & Mary Chain’s greatest hits on CD – I saw them in concert recently and would like to get more familiar with their studio work.
- My two front teeth (tho I could with you merry Chrithmath).
- A bucket of International Klein Blue paint – Ever since I saw some of Yves Klein’s work at the SF MOMA, I’ve been obsessed with the story of his pattented color, and I want some of it. Or perhaps one of my art school friends could tell me how to get a reaonable substitute for it?
- A coin holder that will fit in my car – I often find myself needing change for parking meters and I have a ton of change at home, but it’s never on me. I need a little spring-loaded coin holder that I can keep in my car so that I can always have parking coinage ready. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a little coin holder. Trust me, I’ve been trying.
- My early 20’s back.
- A white Gibson Firebird V or a gold top Gibson Les Paul Standard (60’s neck) – There are still several guitars/amps/gear on my list “someday” list, but these are the highest at the moment.
- A black and white letterman’s jacket – I never lettered in anything, but I think this would still be a good look for me. This place online, you can make a black and white jacket, use vinyl instead of leather for the sleeves, and embroider a name (“Benzilla?”) on the chest. I guess I’d be an XXL for this jacket?
- George Michael’s heart (which I foolishly gave away last year).
Actually though, before you run out and buy or steal me any of these things, I should note that while I pay off some stuff (such as my recent $650 computer repair), I will be in no position to do any lavish gift giving this year. In fact, I am effectively cancelling Christmas. Please don’t buy me anything, and I won’t buy you anything. Let’s just go have dinner together instead, umkay?
I’m not sure if I’m getting sick, but this afternoon I started feeling achy. And as I type this, I might be running a fever. I shook a lot of hands last night, so maybe I caught it from an old classmate? I guess we’ll know the score when I wake up tomorrow.
Finally, the quote of the week was also incidentally the highlight of my holiday travels so far. As I passed through security in SFO wearing a Morrissey tour t-shirt (the one with the picture of a hot, young Moz), a TSA employee about my age asks me:
“Is that you on your shirt?”
Yes, miss. Yes it is.