Posts Tagged consulting

Whoops, there goes another rubber tree plant…

7 August 2010

I’m freshly returned from my first ever trip to Charlotte, NC.  A business trip.  Was it high on my wish list of travel destinations?  Of course not, but it was a welcome diversion… and perhaps more importantly, it was an ideal next step in expanding my comfort zone.  This was a five-hour flight, after all.

I’ll confess to a certain reticence concerning the South, and spying a large Nascar store in the airport as soon as I walked off the plane didn’t help.  (In fact, I was later to find that a Nascar-branded skyscraper was visible from my hotel room!)  I grabbed a cab and headed towards downtown.  It wasn’t long before I was experiencing first hand the heat and humidity that was to define my whole trip.  Near triple-digit temperatures and the crushing moist air made me wish I had brought my business casual shorts and sandals.  The good news is that I was in air conditioning more often than not during my 3+ days in town.

I don’t mean to sound negative though.  Aside from the weather and the almost comical lack of vegetarian food options (even the upscale Asian place served no tofu nor much of anything else veggie apart from a side of noodles), the trip was really valuable.  Not least because I found it all very inspiring.  Not just the change of scenery but even the general experience of travelling.  It really seems to get the creative juices flowing, or at least it does for me.  I remember my consulting days were rich in that department.

Christ, why don’t I do more travelling on my own time?  It’s exciting, that getting up early on the day of your flight, the nerves as you pack up and leave the house, that walk through the airport parking lot, all leading up to some great unexpected wide open.  It was the same preparing for Ireland as it was for anywhere else.  And then once you’re there,  I mean, my memory/concept of both work travel and vacations is wrapped up in experiences like the ones in Charlotte.  Walking around some neon-heavy outdoor marketplace on a night so hot and humid you can wear shorts.  Walking light because all my stuff is securely in the hotel.  There’s something to the idea of having so few possessions to worry about.  Just being out there without much more than the clothes on your back.  Even the rental car — when there is one — isn’t actually yours.  Somehow it makes you live in the moment more.  Really live.  No strings.  You’re simply there absorbing all the new sights and sounds, taking it all in.  And there’s a feeling of such independence that goes along with that too.  You, dropped into unfamiliar surroundings and left to fend for yourself.  You against the world.  Mano-a-mundo.

Speaking of consulting, that was definitely the vibe of the trip.  Preparing for it was not unlike reliving those old days.  Bringing a laptop, living out of a hotel, wearing my trusty work jacket (and digging out of it two crusty Dramamine vials that expired in 2006)… then keeping receipts for expenses and just remembering all the little details like that.  Well, it was my own white collar version of a washed up gunfighter dusting off his guns and coming out of retirement for one last ride.  Happy and sad at the same time.  I really need to get around to writing my old consulting stories here and just exorcising that once and for all.

I always enjoy catching the local news when I’m travelling, just to try to get a flavor for the place.  Usually I’ll watch the Fox affiliate, because even though their 24 hour cable station’s reputation is understood, the local branches like our own KTVU seem relatively independent.  Charlotte’s?  Not so much.  I’ll spare you the breakdown of every skewed story choice, story angle, and show of incompetence I witnessed.  You’ve got the Daily Show to do that for you at the national level.  Suffice it to say the anchors’ views — or perhaps in some cases the network’s views — were plain as day.  So much for journalistic integrity and unbiased reporting, eh?  Is “news” like that a bad influence on the local public, or is it actually a product of the existing public disposition?  I watched and thought no wonder people here think this way… it’s what they hear every day on T.V.  But I guess they might say the same for the more liberal Bay Area.

Anyhoo, Charlotte was nice.  We all stayed in/near what is kind of like the Metreon of that city.  A movie theater, an outdoor music bandstand, several restaurants.  We met up with a local coworker one night and walked around downtown for the evening.  Highlights included Crave, billed as a “dessert bar.”  Basically it was an embarrassingly trendy bar that also happened to serve food… to the tune of 26 gourmet desserts.  I bought two.  Because I’m a grown-assed man, that’s why!  Don’t question me.  Oh, and when walking near the ball park, we happened across The Breakfast Club: a full time 80’s dance club!  Sounds great, right?  Well, even though it was open on a Tuesday night, all we saw was a bouncer, and empty parking lot, and what looked like a half dozen prostitutes loitering nearby.  We passed.

So there you have it.  Another wall comes down.  This makes all of the continental United States and possibly even Hawaii “reachable” again.  Pretty exciting stuff.  I may not be that far from a European trip… eventually.

“In the face of such uncertainty, believe in these two things:  you are stronger than you think, and you are not alone.”

— Maya Angelou

Prêt-à-Porter

4 December 2009

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: tired tired

My chief fashion consultant took me shopping the other day because I needed a few new work shirts.  By “work shirts,” I mean button down Oxford style shirts, a.k.a. “consultant wear.”  In my consulting days, the rule was always to dress one level more formally than your client.  So I was basically always dressed in these shirts.  Even though I’m in a stable cube farm these days, and could easily get away with jeans every day, I’ve never given up my habit.  It’s become like a uniform to me… I never wear street clothes to work, and I never wear work clothes other than to work.  I think it helps me mentally keep those two worlds and sets of responsibilities separate.  Anyway, because I view them strictly as “work clothes,” I don’t worry too much about them.  Simple solid colors.

You see, I have exactly five of them in my rotation.  The means I have a Monday shirt, and a Tuesday shirt, and so on.  So if you only ever meet with me on Tuesdays, you might think I wear the same shirt all the time.  I realize that even introducing one more, a sixth shirt, would skew that whole cycle so this Monday’s shirt will be next Tuesday’s shirt, and the following Wednesday’s shirt, etc.  But again, this isn’t a fashion show.  It’s just my work clothes.  I don’t care.  And in fact, some of these shirts are 12 years old.  I’m not kidding.  As they’re getting a little frayed, I figured it was finally time to get some more.  The last time I bought shirts was like 2005, and they were around $60 which I thought was expensive.  Do you know that she helped talk me into buying a pair of shirts for $250!  I know there’s been some inflation, but what just happened?  I guess with the amount of use I appear to get out of my work shirts, it’ll average out to like $0.02 per use, but still, that was a hard pill to swallow.  And they’re both purple.  This is the kind of power some people have over me.  It’s mystifying.

I now have six viable shirts in the rotation, which means my five-day cycle is broken.  It’ll be anarchy, but I think I can handle it.  In response, I think I need to finally relent with my consultant wear and just do casual Fridays like a normal person.  The thing is, Converse and tattoos at work?  It seems like a CLM (career limiting move).  Subconsciously, I think the constant consultant wear gives off a vibe of heightened professionalism to my coworkers and management.  Dress the part and all that.  What happens if they see me in cuffed jeans?  The spell could be broken for them, even just subconsciously.  Thoughts?

In other news, I’m almost done with Stephen King’s latest short story comp Just After Sunset.  Notice these pages are flying by, unlike the Mozipedia.  It’s an interesting and I’d almost say more “mature” collection.  Highlights so far include “The Things They Left Behind” which is a really moving story around 9/11, and the profoundly disturbing “N.” which deals with OCD and slipping into madness.  Maybe it just hit too close to home, but I found myself having to put it down a couple of times.  Pretty powerful stuff.

Alright, holy hell, I write about some boring things sometimes.  I’m knocking it off right now.  Goodnight!

Flying Coach With Coach

29 April 2009

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:  accomplished

I spent a good portion of tonight working on my ongoing housecleaning.  Tonight, I tried to make yet another dent in my shredding of boxes of old paperwork.  There’s a ton of it.  Destroying all these documents.  Don’t ask me why, but I have virtually all of my pay stubs, and I’m not kidding.  I literally shredded hundreds of them tonight, back through my job selling pool supplies in 1996, my days at Blockbuster where I made so many friends, my entire PeopleSoft career from internship through consulting, my time at Mercury.  I had dozens of old credit card statements and receipts from those days too.  The last surviving records and mementos from my trip to Atlanta (complete with reminders of Crista), my stint in Thousand Oaks, etc.  Reading through some of them brought back memories.  The restaurants I ate at, the places I shopped.  Holding them in my hand tonight… the last person to touch this piece of paper was me 13 years ago.  A message from the past.

If you could, what would you say to the “you” of 13 years ago?  What advice would you give him?

Should I have kept these papers instead of destroyed them tonight?  Well, it made me wish I had been blogging or keeping a diary back then.  But in the end, I’m telling myself that keeping this stuff is like scrapbooking.  Why waste my current (and precious and limited) life cataloging my past life?  Life is short enough as it is.  As I said recently, there isn’t any time to dwell on the past.  We’ll all be dead before we have time to sort it out, catalog it, and enjoy the scrapbook.  So goodbye memories of Atlanta restaurants (like Dante’s Down The Hatch in Buckhead), and goodbye records of what hotels I stayed at on which consulting trips, and goodbye list of purchases from 2001.  There’s nothing to stop you from fading away now.  Those things seem important to me because they’re mine.  My life experiences.  But it’s so easy to get bogged down by the details of everyday life.  No one, including me, will ever need all this information.  There’s no reason to treat it like the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Shredding all these papers, I shredded an offer letter I once got from a company in New York (Vitech).  I was making that career decision back around the time of my project in Reno.  I ultimately turned them down, but looking at this offer letter… it’s mind-boggling to think about all the different paths your life could go at any moment.  That job in New York you didn’t take.  That party you skipped.  The shoes you bought.  Chaos theory.  One little decision made differently, and who knows where your life would be now?  Maybe you’d be living overseas.  Maybe you would have never met me.  Maybe you’d be married. Maybe you’d have been hit by a car that very afternoon.  You can’t even get your head around it.  So many ways life could have been different.  And now, as ever, as always… infinite possibilities for your future.  And mine.

After all those musings, if you’re now bored, Starla advises you to go look at this fucking hipster.

I braved getting on a plane this last weekend for a quick round trip, for the first time in over a year.  I was expecting the worst, but despite Murphy’s Law being in full effect (my initial flight was cancelled, the flight I did get on was completely packed, turbulence so bad the passengers clapped when we landed), I survived and felt pretty good about the whole thing.  I got to meet up with Colin and his girls for a brief tea, and then it was back to the Bay.  There’s also a questionable picture Selene took of Colin and I.  I’ll see if I can nick it and put it up for you voyeurs.  Quick side note, on the flight to Burbank, Todd Bridges was on board, and on the flight back, so was Coach’s Craig T. Nelson.

I continue to hear positive feedback about that Blackthorn show a couple weekends back.  Big shows coming up, and some changes in the works regarding my gear.  I won’t bore you with the details here and now.  But I might next time.  :)  Anyway, in addition to providing the clever title for this blog, the quote of the week comes from Sus, on the subject of her assuming absolute power over TCB:

“The whole band bear dances right now!!!  Oh my goodness, I’m so close to getting you guys to do it, I can feel it.”

Munich Hair Disaster, 2008

8 April 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:  nostalgic

Every couple of months, my hair gets wise to the way I try to brush it, and it starts rebelling.  I can never get too complacent with any method, because it will inevitably need to change once my hair is “trained” for it.  Anyway, I realized that for all its extra length these days, I haven’t really been getting as quality a pompadour as I feel I deserve.  This all came to a head (ha ha) the other night when I specifically took a shower and re-did my hair before going out only to find that is still looked like shit.  It occurred to me that I’d been using the same method for months now without throwing my hair any curve balls.  So I took drastic measures and brushed it in a completely different way and BAM!  There was the volume and height I’d been missing.  With my latest method, I can take full advantage of my hair length and produce everything from a well sculpted normal pomp, to a cartoonish Johnny Suede pomp (which you might just see at my upcoming shows).  There’s a new sheriff in town, bitches.  At least until my follicles get hip, and I have to change it up again.

This last weekend was pretty good.  Friday night, I grabbed some sushi with Colin, and randomly ran into Shel at the restaurant.  The three of us got dessert and discussed who among us was the biggest slut.  (Not surprisingly, it was not me.)  Then Saturday morning I met up with Anna and Sean in Pacifica.  I don’t make it out there enough… it’s a shame.  You know, less than five minutes from my house, you hit this beautiful coastline and within ten, you’re in this pretty little beach town.  The views there rival Ocean Beach!  OK, so then Saturday night was New Wave City.  Too much to type, and most of it is probably not even fit to share with the public.  The short version is that a lot of friends were there, they played way more Smiths and Moz than I expected, and just about everyone there with/round me was good and drunk.  I had a couple myself and found myself standing on one of the DNA Lounge’s pedestal/platform things, dancing up a storm, singing along with all the Smiths lyrics, and fighting off the hordes of people pawing at my legs.  (OK, well Colin and Shel at least.)  At the end of the night, we were in no shape even for Sparky’s.  It was a mess.  I got up late on Sunday and was feeling pretty anti-social, so I stayed mostly around the house with the exception of a few errands, and generally avoided contact with the outside world.  I think I needed that alone time.

A small digression to nerdy work-related stuff… you may recall that in most of 2005 and 2006 I was working as a consultant for a software company in the South Bay called Mercury (now owned by HP).  If you are in the software biz, you have probably heard of the Mercury product LoadRunner.  One of my old coworkers sent me this link to TuffRunner.com, which I guess is a spoof site created by one of Mercury’s old competitors.  It’s notable in that it’s pretty cut-throat, and it seems like a bold marketing strategy considering it the language and approach it uses.  It doesn’t exactly convey a message of “professionalism” on the part of the company behind it, and makes them look desperate (which they are, last I heard) more than anything… but it actually is pretty funny, assuming you’ve ever worked with LoadRunner.

So my friend Jonah is getting married this summer.  In Hawaii.  Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to make the trip to see it happen, but damn I wish I could.  He and I have literally been friends since birth, and though over the years our paths have diverged quite a bit (he moved to Japan for a while to teach english and learn judo), we’ve always remained close friends.  He is the short blond that appears to the left of me in this pre-school picture.  Ever my partner in crime in those days.

I think I’ve referenced my ever-growing “to do” list a time or two in my blogs.  Well, at times over the years, I’ve had to combine a few separate lists that have started to evolve independently.  These days, I do my best to make sure only one “master” list exists, but a few minutes ago, I ran across an offshoot list that apparently was last saved in May 2006 and has been untouched since.  It was filled mostly with things I had intended to mention in blogs and in some cases fully/mostly written blogs that I just never posted.  I will see about trying to filter these gems in over time.  We’ll start slowly, with just the following:

Am I the only one that ExplodingDog.com depresses the shit out of?  So sad!  :(  The amount of emotion captured in those little stick figures is amazing!  (Historical Note:  At this time, I had just discovered ExplodingDog because Jessica was in the habit of posting some of those images as comments on my profile.  I just revisited that page, and it’s a lot fancier now.  But you can look back in their archives and see what was happening there in 2006 and get the idea.  Even the latest stuff looks good.  And I see now that he draws his pictures based on phrases that other people send him.  It’s the complete creation that moves me so much… the picture and the quote.  For whatever reason, I find it all brilliant.  And heart-wrenching.  My kind of sentiment.)

OK, that wasn’t so bad, huh?  More of that in the future, though I probably won’t usually bother to call them out as “long lost” blog items.  This NOS, as it were.

Before I go, a quick note for those of you in the Fresno area (Blanca comes to mind): our show for May 10th has been rescheduled and moved all the way out to July 19th!  I know it sucks, but sadly it’s due to circumstances beyond our control.  Don’t worry, we’ll see you in the summer!

And finally, the quote of the week comes from Jamie herself, hilariously reacting to my account of New Wave City last weekend:

“Let me explain something to you… you are much too old and lazy to be dancing on pedestals getting hyphy.”

… and if you like, you can buy the ring.

15 March 2007

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: sleepy

Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting up with some of my old PeopleSoft consulting buddies which I hadn’t seen in two years.  It was great to catch up… my relationship with them… I guess the closest thing I could compare it to would be what I imagine frat brothers to be.  These are guys (and girls) that I worked with on the road… where you’d all be away together for weeks at a time, working next to each other every day, staying in the same hotel every night, eating together at every meal and hanging out together because you’re all from out of town and all stuck together.  And as it turns out, I was fortunate enough to work with some amazing people.  I won’t bore you with all rehashings of our inside jokes, but man it was really good to reminisce.  This group I met up with at the Ferry Building the other night… some of us worked in Boulder, Colorado together once.  I learned a new term which I must share, and it will make perfect sense to Taylor, Nick, and anyone else who’s ever lived in or been to Boulder… “Trustafarians.”  These are the multitudes of rich white college kids in that area that grow dreadlocks and become obsessed with Rastafarian culture.  I can’t explain it… it’s like a Reggae version of “Malibu’s Most Wanted” only for real.  Someday when I finally get around to chronicling some of my more interesting consulting experiences, you’ll get to read about my time in Boulder.

Friday night Sarah and I went to see George Clinton at the Fillmore.  I was way into funk in high school, and for all the bands I saw, I never got around to seeing George Clinton or any of his projects.  I wasn’t disappointed.  There was a guitarist wearing nothing but a diaper.  A male stripper playing the role of Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk.  George himself looked like Jim Henson puppet with one foot in the grave.  Pretty much what I expected, but as a band, they’re as tight as could be.  It was a great show, aside from the mandatory contact high.

The centerpiece of the weekend was of course the Brides of March event.  The idea is that everyone dresses up in wedding dresses or wedding-related attire and does sort of pub crawl / scene-causing kind of thing.  My participation was Sarah’s idea.  I must admit that at first I thought it was ridiculous waste of time, but it ended up being a blast!  She put together a dress and veil, and I wore my black suit with white-on-white.  Damned if we didn’t actually look like we were really getting hitched!  So much so that when we first arrived at the meeting place, we were literally swarmed by several of the dozen or so photographers hanging around the event.  With all the filming happening throughout the day, it wasn’t not hard to find us on Flickr and YouTube as early as Sunday morning.

Sarah’s friend Mig was there in a gorilla suit and a wedding dress over it.  His friend had an alien puppet bride he was toting around.  Tons of men in drag.  People dragging cans on a string (just married) and people dragging toy babies by the umbilical cord.  Tourists constantly stopping us to ask what the hell we’re doing.  We started at a pub on Kearny, walked up to Union Square, then out towards China Town, eventually into Tiffany’s, and then ending at another pub on Geary.  Of course we stopped along the way to drink and be merry (er.. marry?).  Some of the brides were stopping traffic to roll around in the street, sneak into limousines, pose for photos.  I ran into all sorts of random folks there including Dori (the Heathers had started drinking on the train up), Brit (who just happened to be passing by), a neighbor I’d never met (but recognized me), and a few TCB fans.

The thing that struck me about the whole afternoon was how well everyone was getting along.  Just a bunch of strangers getting together to do something stupid.  But so much good will… I guess there’s a certain code of positivity between social deviants?  I’m sure some of you could probably tell me.  One of the lovely men in drag seemed to take a liking to me, and wanted to have a few photos with me.  He asked Sarah to do the honors.  While she did, he whispered in my ear, “You know that thing she can’t do?  I can do it.”  I know I’d be in trouble if I tried to take on a mistress… but what about a mister?

Oh, and on Sunday I also got to check out the aquarium at Pier 39.  I don’t think I’d ever been there… it’s small, but we got a chance to pet baby sharks and bat rays and starfish.  And I saw a sea bass the size of a Saint Bernard.

Coming up this Saturday, This Charming Band is back in full force to celebrate St. (Steven) Patrick’s Day at the Blank Club in San Jose!  We always have a great time there because of the great crowd that has shown up in the past.  This time around, it will be even more special… in addition to the fact that it’s St. Patty’s Day, we have it on good authority that the infamous “Moz Krew” will be coming up from SoCal!  If you haven’t experienced a TCB show with the Moz Krew… well don’t miss this opportunity.  We’re also expecting our San Jose friends (such as the Coven, the Heathers, the Choir Boys, etc.), our San Francisco friends, and I hear even a couple of my friends from Boston will be in town.  We’ve even learned a few new tunes for the occasion.  This will be one to remember, kiddies.

So our old friend Peter was able to get me an advanced copy of the soon-to-be-released Modest Mouse album featuring their collaboration with Johnny Marr himself.  If you liked their last album (and I really did), then you will not be disappointed here.  Some of the songs really bear Johnny’s sound, and tracks like the single “Dashboard” are so Smiths-like in guitar riff, that you get the feeling that Johnny Marr could squeeze out another “This Charming Man” any old time he wanted to.  That fucker.

Goodnight, Irene

21 December 2006

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: accomplished

Well, I handed in my laptop, Blackberry, badge, and gun today, and I am officially unemployed.  Until Tuesday, when I start my new job.  I would just like to give a blanket thank you to all of you who have given me words of wisdom and encouragement lately, and even to those of you who secretly read my bloggin’s and don’t comment.  It’s nice to have this stress behind me.

And now on to bigger, better, and prettier stresses.

Clear your dance card…

15 December 2006

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: excited

… because I’m coming home, and I’m here to stay.  I am never travelling for work again.  And though you’ve heard me say that a million times before, this time I can back it up.  I’ve handed in my two weeks notice (which is now half gone), and I’ve accepted a position in downtown San Francisco.  I’ll share the details later, but the important points are:

  • I will be based in downtown San Francisco.
  • I will be working within blocks of most friends and bandmates.
  • I will actually be working at the same company as some of them.
  • It’s a company I’ve been trying to get into for a while.
  • That’s right, bitches.

As if that wasn’t enough news for one blog (you can go back through my old blogs to count up the dozens of times I have mentioned hating business travel), there’s even more to report!

Our New Wave City show tomorrow is threatening to be our biggest yet!  We’ve done a ton of promo for it, not to mention it’s a major Smiths anniversary.  On top of all that, it’s a joint event between TCB and New Wave City which has its own built in audience.  And this is at a hot new venue.  The stars are aligning for this to be a hell of a night.  Our theatrics will be in high gear, and true to the anniversary set list, we’ll be unleashing some new songs including “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others” and “William It Was Really Nothing.”  I have an unusually good feeling about this show.  And I’m also unusually nervous for it.

How many of you attended Live 105’s Not So Silent Night last week?  Sus, Shel, Nick, and I all went, and we saw Peter there too.  The Killers, Shins, and Raconteurs all played, but they took a back seat for me.  I was there to see Modest Mouse and only then because of one man: Johnny Marr.  We pushed our way up close (I usually hate to do that, but I made an exception here).  I stood in awe watching my boy play.  No it was not like seeing the Smiths, but I was just happy to see him play in person period.  I like his swagger.  I may have to adopt some of those moves.

Afterwards, we got to talk to Live 105 on the air about seeing Johnny, and also Sus got me a short live on-air interview where I got to plug the band and what we do.  I neglected to mention the New Wave City show (damn it!), but I think plugging the band couldn’t have hurt.  I’ve heard from a few friends that they’ve since heard it all replayed on Live 105 commercials.

One last quick TCB note: we finished recording our track for an upcoming Smiths tribute compilation.  It’s due out in February I think, but I’ll be sure to let you know more as it develops.

So all this great news was sullied just a bit when Queen Aki took it upon herself to drop this news in my lap this morning.  The gist of it is that my ideal mate and dream girl, Christina Ricci, is more or less a defiant wearer of fur and that this fact has caused the webmaster of her biggest fan site to shut down.  This puts me in a tough place.  I do take that stuff pretty seriously, and my conviction is strengthening all the time.  And if I’m being totally honest, I’d probably villify anyone else in a heartbeat given this unfortunate news about them.  But then I think, conceptually speaking, wearing fur is absolutely no different from wearing a leather jacket, and some of my best friends and family wear leather.  Does that mean I should hate all of them?  And really, it’s not like I really know Christina as a person.  I might even hate her whole personality, who knows?  (Maybe someday I’ll get to find out for sure?)  But for now, I just think she may be the most physically attractive woman on the planet.  So the question of the day is: can you disagree so fully with someone’s beliefs and still want to hump them?

The answer seems to be… YES.

“Oh yes, you can kick me,
And you can punch me,
And you can break my face,
But you won’t change the way I feel…”

Protected: Hey Nineteen

13 November 2006
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I Just Want To Say… I Haven’t Been Away

7 November 2006

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: optimistic

Yes, I am on the road once again.  But this will be the last time.  I’ll explain more in a bit.

I have neglected to write lately, so there is much to catch up on.  First off, we had our big Halloween show at the Rockit Room.  The band dressed up as the droogs from “A Clockwork Orange,” and I had the pleasure of stuffing myself into white thermals, suspenders, and a jockstrap on the outside of my clothes.  Something more akin to the Michelin Man than a droog, but c’est la vie.  It was a great night though.  A ton of good friends were on hand, many in costume.  Most notable were Sus and Shel, who both dressed as me, complete with pomps, sideburns, toothpicks, combs, chain wallets, jeans, chucks, and scowls.  Is it wrong that I was even more inclined to make out with them when they resembled me?

And then of course there was Halloween itself, where we watched Nikki get married at the Cat Club, then watched her play bass in her wedding gown along with the rest of Japanese Baby (guest-starring our own Ozzolini).

Last weekend had some good concerts, thanks to our beloved Sus (as usual).  I got to see Scritti Politti on what was apparently their first ever U.S. tour.  It was… bizarre. He sings in the same voice I use when I’m doing my uncanny impression of a pansy.  Then on Saturday we got to see the Eagles Of Death Metal (still as sleazy as ever) and then Joan Jett!  She looks as good as ever, and though her band consisted of burned-out punk clichés, they did play every song I think I’d ever heard from them.  It was lovely.  We ended the night with a brief trip to New Wave City.

I was looking up high school classmates on MySpace the other day.  I would just like to say that so many of you fuckers turned out exactly as you deserved.  The assholes ended up with six kids and live in a trailer park.  Maybe that makes me a petty asshole to say that or feel that way, but I don’t care.  I knew you were headed that direction back when you were just a little punk, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Band practice has been amazing lately!  I won’t give away any secrets, but new songs, new styles, and new surprises are coming your way soon.  I have a renewed fire for the band, and I am looking very forward to unleashing all of the new plans on you over the next few months.  Our next show takes us up to the North Bay (Santa Rosa to be exact).  We’ll be playing with For The Masses and Japanese Baby, so North Bay fans, don’t miss this rare opportunity to see us all together and in your neck of the woods!

I finally got to see the documentary “Is It Really So Strange?” which aims to explain the connection between SoCal Latinos and Morrissey.  I saw the usual San Francisco Moz fans floating around there, which is to be expected.  Jared, Sus, Shel, Nick, and even Jem were there to share in the learning.  We got to meet the film maker, and I certainly appreciated his work.  However, some members of our SoCal rivals appeared in the film.  With them, I was not impressed.

Speaking of Latinos, I have a very white friend who claims to have a special connection to them.  I imagine that she fancies herself a sort of “Aquaman” of Latinos.  Like somehow she can communicate with them in a way that I could never understand.  That she could somehow summon them out of the woodwork like fellow gang members in West Side Story.  I remain unconvinced.  Gringa tonta:)

So I officially work for HP now.  The acquisition was finalized today.  I think I shared my feelings about this previously.  It looks like good news for my fellow employees, by and large.  It’s not a PeopleSoft/Oracle kinda thing, so I’m not too worked up about it.

But I am getting off the road.  I have finally put my foot down and let it be known that I will not travel for work anymore.  There are several reasons for this.  I don’t even want to get into it now, but I’ll say this: the last week’s events in my career have inspired me to do something I’d long been putting off.  I’m going to begin documenting/blogging my experiences on the road over the last four years.  I’m planning on doing it in the form of several vignettes about different perspectives on consulting and my more vivid memories of specific projects and teams.  I’m doing this for myself really, to help organize my many thoughts on the matter, as well as capture some of these memories before they fade entirely.  But if you ever wanted to know exactly what it is I’ve done for a living all this time, you’ll soon be getting more than you’ll ever want to read on the subject.

By the way, the quote of the week comes from The Village:

“Sometimes we don’t do things we want to do so that others won’t know we want to do them.”

How true, how true.

Let’s Kill Uncle

22 October 2006

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: nostalgic

I’ve been seeing lots of friends lately, which is great.  I caught the Decemberists with Sus, Orlie, and Nick the other night at the Warfield.  Pigged out at several restaurants including Bugaloo’s in the Mish (that’s the Mission District of San Francisco, if you’re not hip enough to know).  This place was just a few blocks from where Jared and I used to live.  Even now, I walk by it when I go to get a haircut.  It’s always crowded, and it always has hordes of hipper-than-thou indie types milling around out front.  Guys in pants two sizes too small, and messy-haired girls wearing satchels.  All standing around striking poses with cigarettes in their hands.  I have avoided this place until now, but Anna and I went there and I must admit the food was great.  And the staff was nice.  And knowing that I’m so much hipper-than-everyone-there made me feel at least a little better. Indie kid in your tight pants, you look ridiculous.  And comb your hair.  You animals.

Tangent Time: Aside from the simple and clear value system that was prevalent in the (at least romanticized) 1950’s, which fits nicely into my black-and-white lifestyle, another thing that attracts me to the 50’s / rockabilly aesthetic is the emphasis on hygiene.  If nothing else, we’re clean-shaven, our hair looks nice, and our clothes are clean.  We’re presentable.  You indie types, you look like you belong in your parents’ basement.

Oh, and last thing about current events — I had an all-day work meeting on Friday.  It’s no secret that HP is in the process of acquiring my current employer.  You may recall the Oracle-buying-PeopleSoft fiasco I lived through a couple of years ago.  Well this time around, I’m not as in love with my company, and I don’t hate the company buying us, and it’s not a hostile take-over.  I am looking at getting off the road (as I’ve been saying for months), but it will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.  I’m actually pretty optimistic.

So I was noticing how my jeans have been fading and I was in need of some new ones (dark indigo being crucial to my afore-mentioned aesthetic).  I went to jean store out on Geary that’s run by a family of very pushy Russians.  They try to sell you world peace, and they tell you you look handsome in everything you try on.  If it’s too small or it’s too big, don’t worry.  That particular style is supposed to fit that way.  It’s all the rage.

Well the point of my story is that I walked out with three new pairs, all different sizes, and two of which were the discontinued-but-ultra-cool “Type 1 Iconic” line from Levi’s.  I guess they’re made to look like a retro-historic design from the past, but to me, they look like little kids’ jeans.  But here’s the rub: these happen to be button-fly.  Now, I’ve never owned button-fly jeans, and they definitely take some getting used to.  In fact, my only past experience with the button-fly, and I’m being honest here, is taking them off of other people.  Consequently, I find that taking off my own button-fly jeans now reminds me of taking other peoples’ pants off, and by extension, sex.  The end result is that I feel particularly sexy when taking these new pants off.

You probably didn’t need to read all that.

In other news, I’ve been getting an increased number of emails from strangers recently.  How did all these people get my email address?  And more importantly, how did they all know I’m impotent, hooked on Valium, in the market for a fast and easy mortgage, and have a pecker that’s 3-5 inches too short?  Have they been reading my diary?

Halloween is coming up, and I’m excited.  I usually don’t dress up, but after the success of last year (Taylor and I went as Wednesday and Pugsley), I am inspired.  This Saturday (10/28), This Charming Band is playing the Rockit Room with Stung, For The Masses, and Japanese Baby.  There will be a costume contest (and TCB will be dressing up as well), so come in costume for this night of Halloween pre-partying and tribute band mischief.

While we’re on the subject, have you looked at our upcoming schedule lately?  The Last Day Saloon, Popscene, New Wave City, Slim’s, and the Troubadour.  That’s a pretty impressive lineup, wouldn’t you say?  And we can thank Nick for booking it.  Fucking rock stars, I tell ya!

In closing, I was contacted out of the blue this week by someone I used to date.  In fact, I’d not talked to this person in about seven years.  MySpace, you are too cool.

“Found, found, found…”

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