Monthly Archives: December 2008

2009, bitches.

31 December 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood:  contemplative

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m staying home.  Let’s be frank.  NYE is amateur night, baby.  This is the night when even the people who don’t normally go out still go out.  And the bars and clubs know it, and they charge ridiculous covers.  And the SF streets are gridlocked with bridge-and-tunnel people.  And drunk drivers.

Not that any of these things have stopped me in the past.  So what’s the deal really?  OK, well let’s be really frank.  2008 was one of the worst years I can remember, and I don’t particularly feel like celebrating it.  But as I did for 2006, 2007, and 2008 (sorta), I thought I’d take a few minutes to wrap up the last year and ring in 2009.  This year, I’ll do it Sergio Leone style, and I’ll also keep it short.

The Good
Well first off, I’m fortunate to be alive and have my physical health.  In this economy, I’m also fortunate to be employed and financially stable.  I’m thankful for all my family and friends, their support, and their health and well-being.  I met several great new friends this year, and I got to spend a lot of time with my friends, new and old.  I saw a lot of excellent bands.  I met Duran Duran.  I headlined Slim’s, and played a ton of other great shows.  I was interviewed and played a few songs live on the radio.  I appeared in one of Morrissey’s videos.  As a nation, we elected Obama.  Bush’s considerable days in office are numbered.  That political nightmare is almost over.  The thing I’m most proud of this year is that I took the initiative to turn my peaceful life upside down in the name of opening my mind, and though I’m still dealing with the fall out of the Pandora’s box I set loose, in the end I think it will have been worth it, and that I’ll be a better person for it.  I’m making progress.

The Bad
There’s no question that the world got darker this year.  Or put more delicately, I’ll say it was challenging.  It was also the fastest year of my life yet.  Maybe that’s good since it was such a miserable year.  But then, it only serves to make me feel all the more that I’m wasting my youth.  I have a lot of regrets.  All those loud shows and practices without ear plugs led me to develop tinnitus this year, which still hasn’t gone away and may never.  I gave up on the original band I started, and I didn’t pick it up again.  In the working through of psychological issues, I made mistakes in relationships and became unable/unwilling to invest in them anymore.  California passed Prop. 8.  And of course one of the biggest stories of my adult life so far is panic/anxiety and how severely it has impacted my day-to-day life for most of 2008.

The Ugly
Mother’s Cookies went out of business.  I will never taste those delicious treats again.

2009, and beyond…
So there you have it.  What am I proud of and what do I regret about 2008.  I’m looking forward to shaking things up this year.  I live in the same place I have for years.  I work at the same job, go to the same restaurants and clubs.  I play the same music at the same shows.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  I enjoy those things.  But I’ve lived that year already.  A few times in a row now, in fact.  When I’m laying on my deathbed, I don’t want to look back on my life and feel like I found a comfortable pattern and stuck with it for a decade.  I want to make sure I’m infusing some new things in there too.  There’s so much to see and do out there.  Why waste year after year doing the things you’ve already done?  Well at least that’s where my head’s at this moment.  We’ll see if it sticks.

Before embarking on all that though, a great TCB show is coming up.  This Friday we’re at Du Nord, and the past two shows there have been a lot of fun, not to mention sell outs!  Get your tickets early, and hope to see you all there!  There’s even a rumor the Moz Krew might show up…

As I said, I’ll be around tonight, doing some serious reflecting on the last year and what I want to accomplish next year.  An exercise to consider… imagine yourself a year from now.  And ask, “what would the future me say he regrets about 2009?”  And now, “what can I do to change what he had to say?”  There’s a lot to think about for 2009, and for the rest of my life in general.

It’s been a bad year, kiddies.  2008: don’t let the door hit you on the way out.  And good riddance!  The quote of the week… er… year… comes from Bill Vaughan:

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

Baby, it’s cold outside.

18 December 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood:  bitchy

Fucking cold, that is.  If you’ll pardon the expression.  Baby.

I know, I know.  We’re spoiled in California, this isn’t really that cold, et cetera, et cetera.  But it’s a matter of what you’re used to, and what I’m used to is mild Bay Area weather.  Having to break out my marf (man-scarf) and glerves (gloves).  Having to use lotion (my hated nemesis) on my dry hands.  No me gusta.  Oh, and it snowed in Las Vegas yesterday.  Worst storm in 30 years they said.  So… yeah.  Of course, all the d-bags are saying “so much for global warming, yuk yuk.”  Never mind the fact that global warming is supposed to cause more extreme temperatures, not necessarily just warmer ones.  But no, no, d-bag, I’m sure you know more than all those scientist and meteorologists.  Yuk yuk.

But how about those gas prices!  $1.75 a gallon?  $28 to fill up?  Excuse me, but aren’t you the same fucks that tried to gouge me at $4 a gallon just a few months ago?  And OPEC is scrambling to stabilize oil prices, and we’re giving them the finger.  It’s a beautiful thing, and a preview of the coming decades when we’re onto renewable energy and OPEC becomes irrelevant.  But I’m sure we’ll see that $4 mark and higher again eventually, so I’ll just enjoy this temporary break while I can.

Did I mention I’m stressed out and pissy lately?  Work is getting really busy, and it may cut into my weekend and even holiday vacation!  I have much to say on this topic, but this is going to be a long enough blog as it is.  I’ll save it for another time, but the thought of work causing me to significantly shift my private life around has me seriously on edge.  It’s been making me noticeably irritable to where I’ve been snapping at people, and getting into arguments with people I never argue with.  I can see myself doing it, and I don’t like the person it’s turning me into.  This has never happened before.  It’s unsettling.

Adding to the stress is the holiday season.  All my family’s going to be away, and so I think this will actually be my first Christmas alone, ever.  I’ll see them a few days later, but just the societal pressure of this being a family holiday.  I’m anticipating a depressing few days next week.  When I met them for dinner the other night, my folks gave me one of those fold-out plastic Christmas trees to help brighten my place.  I don’t know if that’s going to make me feel better or worse to have that in the house, but at least I can’t kill it.  (Last year, Jamie got me a little tree… a live one, though not for long.)  Surely there must be some kind of social events going on in the city for Christmas?

(For at least the next couple weeks, you can see the full animated dance that Wally made us here.  Don’t know for sure how long it will be up though!)

It’s been a busy few weeks.  There’s been bad news, such as the passing of Bettie Page, icon-of-icons to half the girls I know.  Then there was more uplifting news such as the deer that mauled a hunter.  The hunter described it as “15 seconds of hell.”  I would describe it as a 15 second preview.  New Wave City and Club Gossip were nice as usual.  Got some shopping done in the Haight.  I managed to sit through the entire Dark Knight.  I had a nice dinner in the West Portal and saw Milk, which was as good as they say.

But  certainly one of the recent highlights came last night.  I had the great pleasure of seeing Bruce Campbell’s new movie, “My Name Is Bruce,” at The Bridge Theatre here in SF.  Now, the movie itself was totally bizarre.  But the real draw was that Bruce himself was there to introduce the film and be interviewed by San Francisco’s own Peaches Christ!  It turns out, he’s absolutely hilarious in real life.  It was great to hear him talk.  He told some stories about how crazy his friend Sam Raimi is, and how Sam’s Oldsmobile Delta 88 has appeared in every one of his movies including the western “The Quick And The Dead” (stripped down to its chassis and covered with a fake wagon).  Bruce also happens to be bent on destroying it, but that’s another story.

But there was an aspect I hadn’t considered.  It didn’t occur to me until it was too late that of course a Bruce Campbell event would attract super-nerds.  Like SUPER-nerds.  A theater full of them,  It reminded me of the crowd at Tenacious D a few years back.  Which is horrifying because then you wonder, “am I one of these people?”  That would have been bad enough, but then the questions they asked him during Q&A were just… so embarrassing.  Did you ever see that SNL sketch where William Shatner is at a Star Trek convention and the fans are asking him these obscure questions?  It was exactly like that.

He was asked questions like, “you remember in Evil Dead 2 when you’re running away and then you go into the bathroom and there’s a secret passageway in the bathroom?  Why was there a secret passageway there?”  So many questions like this.  There was such a fundamental lack of understanding from the crowd that Bruce Campbell is an actor with a real life and cannot possibly know or care about the details of the this stuff the way that you super fans do.  You guys watch these movies over and over and debate them.  He acted in it 25 years ago and has probably not watched it since.  And even then, that’s a question for the writer!  I’m telling you, it was that SNL sketch come to life.  The most cringe-worthy moment had to be when someone in the crowd tried to pitch a script to him!  The funniest thing though was that after this absurd Q&A, the movie starts… Bruce plays himself in the movie, and there’s a part where he’s mobbed by super fans asking him almost the same questions the SF crowd just did.  Priceless.

He seemed to take it in stride, and he had snarky responses for all the ridiculous questions he was being asked.  Jamie pointed out that he must be used to it and works with it, which I think is probably true.  I didn’t bother asking him anything because, while I love his work, what do I really have to talk to him about?  Just the same, I bet he’d love to be asked a normal, adult question once in a while.  It’s a wonder sci-fi and horror b-list celebs like him don’t go nuts from that kind of bizarre attention from cult fanbases.  Although in fairness, I can imagine that’s how it would be if I ever met Johnny Marr.  “Johnny, you remember the bootleg third alternate take of ‘This Charming Man,’ on that second verse were you playing an open D-flat or a fretted D-flat on the Telecaster track?”

The quote of the week comes from an anonymous guy in the crowd last night:

Girl In Crowd: (to Bruce, flirtatiously) Are you into polyamory?
Bruce: What’s poly… polyam… polyamory?
Peaches: It’s for perverts.
Bruce: Wait, if I say “yes,” what am I saying “yes” to exactly?
Guy In Crowd: CRABS!

All I Want For Christmas Is You

3 December 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood:  contemplative

I didn’t end up going out Saturday night, sadly.  But I was feeling better on Sunday, and I ended up in the Haight with Shel.  Oh, and while I was out, I bought a new hard drive.  Why?

Because I had another fucking hard drive crash, damn it, damn it, damn it!!!

You may recall that I went through this nightmare last year.  So Saturday night, one logical drive started acting strange and denying access, and by morning, the whole physical drive was gone.  This could have been catastrophic as it included the drive with all my TCB stuff.  All the pics, videos, flyers, et cetera from all the years with the band.  But I’m no fool, and after getting burned last year, I have been religious about backing up all my important stuff.  So when this drive went kaput, I lost virtually nothing that was irreplaceable.  But I cannot stress enough, a word to the wise… if you, like me, have writing, pictures, anything that you couldn’t stand to lose living on your computer, make sure it lives on more than one piece of hardware.  Because your hard drive, flash drive, whatever, could take a dump on you at any time.  I’m super serious!

And while you’re at it, clean that monitor!  These are all over the web.  Dogs, cats, apparently it’s big business now.

Well, December is here already.  I can’t believe a whole year has gone by.  This has seriously got to have been the fastest year of my life yet.  Terrifying!  The last six months in particular went by in a blink.  I don’t even want to think about it.  But the holidays are here, and it’s pointless to deny it.  To try to get into the holiday spirit, let’s begin with the hilarious Christopher Walken’s 12 Days Of Christmas.

In terms of the previous Christmas, I actually did pretty good, eventually getting my hands on over half of the things on last year’s wish list.  This year, I want so badly to rehash those same jokes too (because frankly, they were gold), but I will refrain.  Though I am putting IKB on there again (come on, Santa!).  So what do I want for Christmas?  Without further ado…

  1. A 2009 monthly calendar for my wall at work – Aside from pictures of Sus’ cats, a calendar is the only thing I have to look at.  Well, other than work.  And a hand mirror.  I’ve been trying to think of a good calendar theme for this year, but there are too many to choose from.  Surprise me!
  2. Calvin Klein’s Eternity.  For bears… er… men. – This is my scent (for you boys and girls who dream of me and want to know what to spray on your pillow).  I’ve almost run dry!  Spritz spritz!
  3. Another year of my 20’s.  Seriously, any year.  I’m less picky this time.  30 is breathing down my neck!
  4. 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 patented color, and I want some of it.  Or perhaps one of my art school friends could tell me how to get a reasonable substitute?
  5. A newsboy cap – It seems like years I’ve been searching for the right hat.  I have a flat cap that’s served me well, but I’m always on the lookout for a black or gray newsboy, in a medium cut, that will fit my massive 7½ head.  You cannot imagine how many variations I’ve come across that are all-but-one of those requirements.
  6. My own Christmas elf.  What do you mean, “what am I going to do with it?”  That’s none of your concern!  Who are you to judge me!?
  7. A black Gretsch Synchromatic – OK, so the last thing I need is another guitar.  And in this economy, it probably isn’t wise to be making these kind of purchases at all.  But what would life be without another guitar always on the horizon?
  8. Magic Sam’s fingers.
  9. A letterman sweater – The black and white letterman jacket went over so well last year, that I am considering taking the next step.  There were nay-sayers before hand, but they were silenced by the endless stream of compliments the jacket garnered.  But maybe this time, I really have gone too far?  I was thinking very pale yellow with dark navy blue arm stripes and a “C” on the front.  Cal pride and all, circa 1952.  Am I crazy?
  10. The balls to finally get an original music project off the ground in 2009.  (Note: this may require actually getting my balls back from Sus, which I’m not sure is negotiable.)

This year, the economy’s even worse off than it was last year of course.  So once again, before you run out and buy, make, or kidnap any of these things for me… I don’t really need any of them.  I have too much stuff as it is, and in all likelihood, so do you.  So let’s not exchange stuff.  Let’s make plans to see each other and have meaningful interaction instead, umkay?

On a totally unrelated topic, I was thinking about marriage today.  When I was younger, I just kind of assumed it was something I wanted for myself eventually.  I have to say, these days the idea is a lot scarier to me.  That’s not to say that I want to spend my life a bachelor, but the idea of planning and going through with a wedding at this point in my life… talk about panic attacks!  I mean, I can barely stand to be in the same room with anyone for very long these days.  The thought of being relied on day in and day out, and all my decisions being “our” decisions.  I feel trapped just thinking about it!  I guess part of that is my general anxiety, and maybe part is that stereotypical fear of commitment (which I never thought I’d have).  But then I think there’d also be a relief in being married.  Like once you make that decision and go with it, your life path would become a lot clearer, wouldn’t it?  A lot less ambiguity, or more bluntly, a lot of doors would close.  Is that totally unromantic?  Sorry…

But anyway, I was thinking about how most people I know aren’t married.  Maybe it’s just the friends I happen to have, or the kinds of people I surround myself with, but I kinda thought that at my age, most people I knew would be married.  I guess I even expected I’d be married too.  But in fact, most of us aren’t even close.  My model growing up was my parents and their friends, who were all generally married couples.  So I’m left feeling that we’re all missing the boat.  Are we?  Is it just a generational thing?  Or the fact that our world is a lot bigger than theirs was?  I guess there’s no rush, but why aren’t we all getting hitched in our early 20’s the way our parents did?

And on that note, the quote of the week comes once again from Risa Mickenberg’s Taxi Driver Wisdom:

“You marry out of your greatest love or your greatest fear.”