Posts Tagged food

Don’t Let’s Be Silly

20 January 2010

So, I finally saw Avatar last night.  Imagine Dances With Wolves as played out by the offspring of Nightcrawler and Jar Jar.  It’s a cultural event now, you know.  Like The Matrix, it’s one of those things that’s going to be referenced and parodied for years to come.  You kinda have to see it, if for no other reason than to educate yourself in preparation for all the references you’ll see to it in the future.  I hear it won best drama at the Golden Globes.  I admit, it was better than I expected.  But best drama?  Really?


Couple that with the Democrats poised to lose in Massachusetts*, Kraft poised to buy Cadbury, the ongoing Conan vs. Jay saga, and this week’s torrential rains (I hear Deanna’s building an ark)… the world’s gone crazy.  The end of times may be upon us.

* Obviously, I’m pretty liberal.  But holy shit, Dems.  You’ve had this crushing majority for a year, and what have you done with it?  Goose egg.  What’s the excuse?  Trying to reach across the aisle?  How much reaching did the GOP do over the previous eight years?  What a shame you didn’t take this opportunity to exercise your power to effect real change while you had it.

Lazy Sundae

18 January 2010

Cold Stone to be exact.  It’s no Baskin Robbins, or even Swensen’s.  But it’ll do in a pinch.  And as expected, as soon as I ate it, I wish I hadn’t.

Today we (me, Booty Lou, and the Balls Family) were supposed to be seeing Conan O’Brien live in SF.  This was all planned and in the works well before this latest drama happened with him and late night.  Just when I thought we were going to be in the right place at the right time.  I mean, what are the chances we’d be seeing Conan precisely when the world spotlight is on him (see: David Bianculli)?  Well, slim as it turns out.  Needless to say, he called it off and there was no Conan today.  I don’t blame him.  But I did I hear he got a $30 million check from NBC today.  Good!  Fuck ’em.  Go Conan!

So instead we had dinner in the East Bay, later the aforementioned Cold Stone, and eventually saw Daybreakers which wasn’t bad.  This weekend has also included sushi, Guy Ritchie’s slick Sherlock Holmes with Shel, and an 80’s dance party for charity.  Normally, I’d never do the corny dress up thing, but I’ve been dying for an excuse to peg my jeans, and I so totally did.  And also won a staggering three raffle prizes on only five tickets.  I think Shel must have rigged it.  As the night wore on, the 80’s party dwindled, and the bar turned into the Jersey Shore.  When the fist pumping began, we split.  Anyhoo, the three-day weekend isn’t even over yet!  More big plans for tomorrow…

The music in Sherlock Holmes got me thinking of The Dresden Dolls and what a great experience it was when I first saw them.  That got me to thinking about my favorite (or most life-changing?) concerts of my life so far.  I know I’ve forgotten a lot, but the say top three that come to mind right off the bat are:

  1. Erasure on the Union Street tour (5/11/06).  Quite possibly the best live show I’ve ever seen.  I mentioned this at the time, but I’d always considered them disposable synth-pop.  Suitable for dancing and not much else.  But this show changed my mind about them completely.  To this day, I listen to that CD regularly.  Two pieces of applicable trivia.  First, this show was at the Herbst Theater which is where I was supposed to see Conan.  Second, the next date on Erasure’s very limited tour was at the Showbox in Seattle, where TCB just played on New Year’s.
  2. Morrissey.  It’s hard to pick the best one.  They were all amazing for different reasons.  I might point to the first time I saw him live, with Jessica in Berkeley (9/14/02) where we cried along to “There Is A Light,” or the Stockton show (4/27/07) where I first got close to the man himself, spoke to him and touched him even… both of these shows recounted here.  And then there was the magic of the Hollywood Bowl show (6/8/07), footage of which was eventually used for the “That’s How People Grow Up” video.  Applicable trivia:  As I was in the front row for that show, my massive head — along with Sus’ and Nick’s — can be clearly seen a few times in the video.  Can you see me?  So many Morrissey memories these past few years, it almost doesn’t seem real.  To think how much my life has changed in the last five or so.
  3. The Dresden Dolls on New Year’s Eve at the Sea Of Dreams (12/31/05).  It may have been a combination of all the weird things I saw that night, the burlesque, the holiday, I don’t know.  It was one of the weirder nights of my adult life.  But what I do know is that I was blown away by their show.  Applicable trivia: I went to Sea Of Dreams again the year after, and it wasn’t nearly as good.  I hear this year though, both Olin as well as Maya (and friends) went.  Go figure!

OK, that’s all for now kiddies.  You may be wondering what happened to that “year in review” I planned on, and that I’ve done for several years.  It may still happen, but I’m just not feeling like taking stock lately.  We’ll see.

… in which I run off to Hollywood to make it as an actor.

3 January 2010

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: chipper accomplished

Well it was a lovely Xmas / New Year’s vacation, kiddies.  So much to tell.

You know, that last week of work before Xmas, I went bowling with some coworkers.  First time I’d picked up a bowling ball in 2+ years, and the very first time it left my hand, I scored a strike.  Ended the game with a strike too, and at one point bowled three in a row. Finished with a 168, far and away the best score of my life. (Do bowling skills just naturally grow with age despite zero practice?)  Anyway, maybe I should have taken that as a sign of good things to come…

Home For The Holidays
After being stuck at home for Xmas last year, while the rest of my family was at Disneyland, it was nice to get to spend it with them this time around.  I got to see my sister’s new place and hang out with her rugrats.  Spent a couple days with my mar and par.  Was somewhat dismayed that the best reaction I got from any of the gifts I gave was from my grandma when she opened her 2-liter of Bombay Sapphire.  As always, it was nice to “unplug” from my usual daily stresses and just mellow out in that alternate universe that is my family life.

Hollywood Swingin’
Staring down a whole week off, I started to think that maybe I should, you know, do something.  I decided on a spontaneous trip down to SoCal the day after Xmas, being the first time I’d taken my current car there, not to mention the furthest I’ve driven in a couple of years now.  A good challenge, and an excellent chance to catch up with the friends that I only ever get to see when TCB plays down there, and briefly at that.  I stayed on Sunset at the same place TCB used to.  Fabi and Megan were kind enough to take me around to a couple of excellent honky tonks, as well as an unbelievably delicious meal at P.F. Chang’s of all places (kung pao with five-spice tofu instead of chicken… good gawd!).  Oh, and they taught me the proper way to pronounce the local baseball team’s name: “Los Doyers.”  I met up with Jessica and her man at The Cat & Fiddle (no Moz sightings), and then Amoeba (saw Forest Whitaker there).  Sadly, I missed Colin altogether.  🙁  And there were others too that on short notice I just couldn’t hook up with.  Next time though!

On the way out of town, I hit up Sunset’s Guitar Center and Sam Ash, places that historically have been rushed stops during TCB show trips.  Here I got to take my time and explore.  Saw the array of Gretsches that dwarfs Bay Area guitar stores, as well as a ton of vintage gear… LED Rics, 12-string 335s and Coronados, Vox 2×15 AC30s, and on and on.  Candyland, basically.  Anywho, I was surprised to find the drives there and back were both easier even than I remember.  And I’m so glad to be a comfortable with that again, because I’d like to make little weekend SoCal trips a regular occurrence like they used to be.  Too many friends down there to let so much time go by between visits, you know.

New Year’s Eve In Seattle
I popped out for a quick 24 hours in Seattle to spend New Year’s Eve playing the Showbox (SoDo) in Seattle.  We were staying in a dodgy area near the airport, with strange people milling around outside for no apparent reason… reminded me a bit of the hotel from that first Fresno show a few years back.  But I quickly forgot about all that in dealing with the constant waxing and waning rain all day and night.  Made driving a bit of a hassle, but for once I got tremendous use out of the rental car’s GPS, and I have a new found respect for them.  If I drove my own car in unknown areas more often, I might even pick one up for myself.  Pretty neat.

The show was more fun than I expected, with a highly entertaining bill that included Dead Souls, Love Vigilantes, and Fascination Street.  All the bands’ members seemed to be in good spirits, and we all got along great.  I joined Love Vigilantes as the fake Johnny Marr in a successful rendition of Electronic’s “Getting Away With It” (which I had picked out last minute in my Hollywood hotel room earlier in the week).  Some of us went to eat afterwards and found a former Denny’s.  You ever seen “Coming To America?”  Well this was the McDowell’s of Denny’s.  Nick and Orlie can attest.  It was hilarious.  Instead of “Moons Over My Hammy,” they had “The Rising Sun Sandwich.”  But the menu was identical in terms of content.  The building, the fixtures, everything.  Denny’s, but not.

One note about logistics.  I got it from all sides at the airports this time around.  On my way home, I was almost arrested for wearing a belt buckle that looked like brass knuckles.  They were not in any way functional, but apparently they were enough to earn me a stern talking-to along the lines of “do you know how stupid it was to try to bring this on an airplane?”  I am not a thirty year old man; apparently I am a 15 year old Beavis.  Oh well, just doing their job I guess.  My guitar was swabbed by TSA for bomb residue, and they almost wouldn’t let me bring on my pedalboard until a musician working there vouched for what it was.  And aside from all this, I have never received so many disapproving looks from old folks in the airport, brazenly inspecting the stickers on my pedalboard (none of which are very offensive, save the “I <3 Hunting Accidents” one).  Apparently images of Mozzer and Marc Bolan offend them.  But they looked at me like I was a gutter punk moonstomping through their garden party.  All hilarious to me, because I’m probably a more stand up guy than their own sons and grandsons, but whatevs.  It’s the way of the world.  I’m sure in their day, old folks used to fuss at them when their dresses showed ankle.  Someday, I will be fussing at young’uns for whatever they’re up to.  Hell, I probably already do.

It was an interesting way to ring in the new year.  And a major change from last year.  See last year, I didn’t want to leave the house.  Too anxious.  This year I flew to Seattle in the rain for one day to play a show in front of hundreds of people.  What a difference a year makes, huh?  🙂

I don’t usually take a lot of long vacations.  Most of my days off are used to make three-day weekends for TCB trips and such.  I gotta say that this last week off is one of the few vacations I can remember that feels like it was really well spent.  In a single week I made it to see the family for Xmas, drove all the way to SoCal and back, flew to Seattle and back, visited with countless friends, and learned and played a lot of music.  Even made it out to New Wave City and Leisure this weekend.  Oh, and I saw The Road yesterday, too.  (Super creepy and also amazing.  Check it out.  Do it.  Do it.)  But yeah, I’m feeling like I really made the most of this time off.  If only every week could be so action packed.


OK, so hopefully I’ll get to my “new year” blog next time.  It’s been so busy, I haven’t even had the time to sit down and reflect yet, much less make plans and resolutions for 2010.  But I’d say it was a pretty good trade.  Nice to be spending my life lately actually living it rather than just busy planning it.

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
— W. C. Fields

Hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side…

8 October 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: crappy hungover

My neighborhood, which is quiet and all but a ghost town for 359 days of the year, is currently in the throes of its annual golf tournament.  I’ve woken up every morning this week to find my street, which is normally empty, instead lined with hundreds of cars, already parked.  Who’s up that early, and for golf?  Supposedly Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, and whoever else are all around here somewhere.  Word is Obama himself might show up.  Based on previous years of experience, I can look forward to having to show my ID at a police road block just to get into my driveway.  And this morning was no different.  Sure, it’s unusual, but it’s not that much of a hassle.  Though it didn’t help that I was a bit… hungover?  Let me back up.

Last weekend started off with an Ocean Beach bonfire among friends.  Saw some old friends, made some new ones.  It was lovely until the cops came along to shut us down, which I guess they do to everyone around 10pm.  The next night I got to see a couple of bands I’d been meaning to for a while: The Pine Box Boys (not bad) and then the headliners, Denver’s Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (who were excellent).  They were similar to The Legendary Shack Shakers, if a bit less… kinetic.  Great tunes though, no shortage of banjos, and every bit as dark and revival.  Highly recommended.

Sunday, a coworker of mine from out of state came to visit San Francisco for the first time.  I spent the afternoon playing tour guide and doing all the things I only ever do with out-of-towners… the Golden Gate, Pier 39, etc.  Plus some local favorites like Savor, Amoeba, and Cha Cha Cha.  I gotta admit, it was a blast.  And then with someone in town, it was much easier to wrangle other folks for a happy hour last night (which normally just doesn’t seem to be part of our collective culture, though I’m hoping to get more of those going in the future).  Anyway, long story short… I ended up agreeing to a half a shot of tequila near the end of the night (being the first drink I’ve had in a year).  I know that’s not much, and it doesn’t sound possible, but I’m telling you… I felt anxious and jumpy the second I swallowed it, and for the rest of the night.  Then I woke up this morning feeling like dogshit, and for the rest of the day.  It’s probably all in my head, but just the same.  I guess I’ve already lost what little tolerance I had.  Blame in on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.  Nice experiment, but not sure I’ll be resuming my drinking career any time soon.

I also saw Zombieland this week.  It was fantastic.  Easily one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, which probably sounds silly.  It’s funny and stylish and just really well done.  Maybe even worth seing again, and how often do you see a movie in the theater twice?  OK, well maybe you often do, but I never do.  As a bonus, there were several great trailers for upcoming flicks, including this one…

OK, I have to admit something.  I somehow managed to go the last year or however long without hearing a single note of Lady Gaga’s music.  Not the least because I’ve made zero attempt to find out, and I don’t exactly keep up on my MTV, you know.  I knew nothing about her, just like I know nothing about a fuck ton of other recently-relevant bands that I only hear about in passing.  Well I saw the video for “Paparazzi” the other day and… I liked it.  It’s dark.  What’s more, I went and bought the album.  I don’t know what that means, and I don’t want to know.

Holy shit, that reminds me… did you hear Rhino Records is going away?  Maybe number one on my list of companies I wanted to work for someday.  I was such a fan of and believer in their vision of resurrecting, remastering, and reissuing great music in vast retrospectives.  I guess it’s another casualty of the economy, and perhaps the move to mp3 culture, but who is going to fill that void now?  Who’s going to unearth and clean up the classics for us?  I am heartbroken.  🙁

A general comment on life lately.  My radar can’t be that far off, can it?  I’m like a blind-folded kid gunning for a piñata.  Swing and a miss.  (And a miss… and oh yeah, another miss.)

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
— Mark Twain


26 August 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: busy busy

What is it with August birthdays?  I am not exaggerating when I say that I know four people born on August 22nd.  That shit’s astronomical.  It also happened to be the day I… uh… became a man.  Ah yes, a whole year now it’s been.

Last night was the Deadbolt show in San Jose, and their first NorCal show in years… at least since I first heard about them.  A lot of fun, those guys.  On stage shooting sparks, breaking boards, throwing stuff, and just weird banter.  Merch included nudie magnets, sunglasses, and Tijuana-made beer holsters: worn like a pistol holster but designed to hold a can or bottle.  They were wearing and using them on stage, and come to think of it, the bassist had a bottle-opener screwed onto the front of his bass.  What a great idea!  (If only Mike’s Hard Lemonade wasn’t a twist top, I’d do something like that!)  It was a hell of a show, and you probably missed it.  But you got one more chance.  They’ll be at The Uptown in Oakland next Thursday.  And while the Bay Bridge is going to be closed that day, as your attorney, I advise you to make every effort to be there anyway.  Mayhaps I’ll see you there.

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a big fan of the $11 organic “milk” shakes at Cafe Gratitude.  It’s an unusual place, no question.  But if you’ve never been, I definitely recommend trying it out once.  And after all, you might spot a celeb there!  (Jamie and I once saw Kirk Hammett there.)  Anyway, I saw this article the other day.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, assuming it’s even true.  Will it stop me from stepping up to the bar and dropping $11 and declaring “I Am Cool?”  Not a chance.

In other news, I sold one of The Twins recently.  So never again will my glorious pair of turquoise Casinos grace the stage together.  Above all else, this alone should demonstrate my commitment to shedding excesses.  This is TCB history after all.  The Twins were (at least in my mind) pretty iconic of the person I was at that time.  And I’m sure some of you early TCB fans remember them, yeah?  Well, those days are gone.  I’ve moved on.  Though what I’m starting to suspect is that my guitar habit quietly transformed into a t-shirt habit.  Yes, t-shirts.  I think I pick up at least two or three a month these days.  It will be years before I ever wear them out.  What could possibly possess me to collect them that way?  Am I that desperate to be regarded as clever?  (Yes.  Yes, I am.)  Most recently, I’ve been narrowly escaping the urge to pick up obscurities like this Road House shirt.  I look at that, and I wonder: will people get it?  Another great site is 80’s Tees… so many good ones.  I’m reminded though of how my Cobra shirt is temporarily ruined by the fact that there’s a meathead G.I. Joe movie out now.  Anyway, what the hell am I saying here?  I need to stop buying shirts.

Well now, speaking of hippy restaurants and t-shirt obsessions, the quote of the week comes from the back of the Deadbolt shirt I bought last night:


Thirty, clumsy, and shy.

26 May 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:  busy

Well, it’s official.  As of tonight, I have only one month left of my twenties.  It’s coming up so fast.  I can remember distinctly thinking that I have a year left, six months left, three months left, two months left, and now here I am.  I have a feeling it’s all gonna go by in a blink.  I mean, all of 2009 is almost half over already.  Holy shit!  Holy shit!

I was looking through some old saved song files on my computer the other day, and looking at my Morrissey folder, I saw that the timestamp on many of those files is back in 2001.  This would have been the time that I really got obsessive about tracking down each and every song.  My point though is just to think that Morrissey’s been a huge part of my life for eight years now.  I’ve been listening for longer, but that was the time it really started becoming part of my personality.  I know that to some of you, that’s not a very long Moz obsession, or even band obsession period, and that’s fine.  Personally, I look back at 2001 and think how big a turn that was for me.  How might I have turned out without that influence?  And eight years.  That’s a long time.  I can still so clearly remember those days of discovering Moz b-sides for the first time.  Each one such a revelation.  And that was eight years ago.  Again, gone in a blink.

Morrissey turned 50, you know.  The Slim’s show was a big success, I think.  The opening bands were both great, and totally appropriate for the bill.  We played well.  The turn out was great, and it seemed like I couldn’t turn around without running into someone I know.  Damn near everyone I can remember ever coming to an SF show came out of the woodwork.  Friends I haven’t seen in months and even years.  It all added up to one of my favorite shows yet.  The radio promo was fun too, but a little rough.  We were all more nervous for that than we were for Friday!  (You can download a podcast of the radio show here.  We start at about 80 minutes in.)

The rest of my long weekend was all relaxing and recuperating.  When I hit up El Beach Burrito, I was reminded to go next door to Other Avenues (hippie grocery store).  I forget if I mentioned this place before, but they’ve got all kinds of great stuff that I can rarely find elsewhere… fake beef jerky, carob, apple butter, insanely expensive organic trail mix, etc.  For all their organic/local/green hippiness, ironically, they carry Mrs. Meyers cleaning products (owned by SC Johnson!) instead of the locally-based and infinitely greener Method brand.  But alas!  Anyway, I was tempted once again by another brand of peanut sauce, and again I was disappointed.  Tell me, is it impossible to find that Thai satay peanut sauce in a grocery store?  Can this only be had in a restaurant?

This weekend, TCB has another couple of shows, and these ones are way up north!  Those of you in the know may be aware that I haven’t been too keen on travel lately.  So this is gonna be a big trip.  I expect it will go fine though, and when it’s all over, I’ll have something to be happy about.


I’ve got much more to say, but it’s gonna have to wait till next time.  I’m busy this week, bitches!  The quote of the week comes from Morrissey, on mortality:

“People don’t last, and it’s the thinnest of lines that you step over and make that final journey.  When you’re younger, you feel that it’s a great leap to take, but it isn’t.  It’s the batting of an eyelid, and you’re no longer.  And all this brain matter that you’ve been working on for the past 50 years, perfecting, and all these elongated words that you now know and use… it comes to nothing, and you’re rubble.”

Monday Night Fever

11 May 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: sick

If it was swine flu, it passed pretty easily.  I came down with some kind of weird fever and achiness over the weekend that left me without the energy to do much of anything.  From what I hear, a lot of folks have been battling sore throats, so knock on wood that I didn’t have that to deal with.  Tonight, it’s down to just a headache, so I’m hoping to be right as rain tomorrow.  Unrelated (I think), it occurs to me that I’ve been to the doctor more in the last year than in the previous five.  Honestly.  I think that’s partly me getting old and partly me getting paranoid.

I really just wanted to mention that the flyer is finally done for TCB’s celebration of Morrissey’s 50th birthday… a week from Friday!  This is a huge headlining gig at Slim’s, and we’ll be joined by Dead Souls (awesome Joy Division tribute) and Love Vigilantes (a New Order tribute coming all the way from Seattle).  I expect this show to be way better than our Slim’s show last year… for many reasons.  Not the least of which that it’s Mozzer’s semicentennial birthday!  Hope you guys can make it out!

Alright, bitches.  Finally… proof positive regarding the existence of Peanut Butter Boppers.  My previous evidence consisted of their brief appearance in grampa’s fridge in The Lost Boys.  But now RetroJunk has posted the commercial.  Tell me someone else remembers these things?  Delish!  And if that weren’t enough, the Mother’s website is back up, and it indicates that Mother’s Cookies should be back on shelves any day now.  A glimmer of hope in these dark times.  But alas, I’d be sick(er) if I tried to eat any of that stuff right now.  Maybe tomorrow.  Meh.  I’m off to go rest.  Nighty night…

“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”
— Unknown

I admit, I was not expecting that.

31 March 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:  selective

So I went to this place called Bender’s on Friday night.  I’d never been, but it turns out to be this punk / bike messenger bar, similar to Zeitgeist, but without the Mission hipsters.  The kind of place where (I assume) real punks hang out.  I’m only going by the ripped clothes and the B.O. here, but that’s my guess.  Anyway, my main reason for going was that I had wanted to check out this guy Jesse Morris who was going to be playing.  I’ve seen him busking a few times at the Montgomery BART station, and the guy sounds more like Johnny Cash than any tribute band I’ve heard, and that’s a fact.  I admit that, not being much into punk, I was aesthetically skeptical.  But I wanted to hear his original stuff, and I wanted to hear the full band, “Jesse Morris and the Man Cougars.”  I have to say, I had a hell of a time.  The guy and his music were awesome… charismatic, energetic, funny.  There’s something unsettling about hearing what could be Johnny Cash’s ghost singing dirty songs in old country style, all while inciting a mosh pit.  But needless to say, I was impressed and will definitely try to catch them again.

The headliner that night was an added bonus… a band I’d been meaning to see for years: Cookie Mongoloid.  One of those SF Bay Area phenomena that you owe it to yourself to experience once, I guess.  This is a speed metal Sesame Street cover band.  The band looks like your standard metal group, including a lead guitar player in vest (no shirt) that would be right at home in Dethklok.  The singer comes out in a leather jacket and a full mascot-style Cookie Monster mask.  He sang in the Cookie Monster voice, and even talked in that voice between songs… you know, “me like cookies” and all that.  Not surprisingly, every song was about cookies, including classics like “C Is For Cookie” and some originals(?) like “I Lost Me Cookie In The Mosh Pit.”  He had a homemade double-barrelled pneumatic cookie gun that launched cookies into the crowd and against the ceiling.  They had about a dozen “Cookie Girls” up on stage with them, which was something like Rock Of Love contestants with a furry blue letter “C” on their chests.  During the first couple songs, they came out with buckets full of crushed cookies and relentlessly pelted the crowd with handfuls of crumbs.  Even in the back where I was, I was hit all over and ended up covered in cookie crumbs by the time I got out of there.  In short, I’d hate to be on clean-up duty that night.  Fucking bizarre, but worth seeing once for sure.  Before I move on, best cupcake idea ever:

The rest of the weekend was busy too.  I finally got a new couch, which involved a lot of hassle, twine, and bargaining with my demon-possessed elevator to get it from Palo Alto to my living room.  In addition to getting a ton of help from Dad, I got to eat with the folks and my niece before and after the ordeal.  In the end, I got a cheap (discontinued?) IKEA couch, which also happened to be the most comfortable of all the ones I tried.  It only came in this dark chocolate brown, but I dressed it up with a couple of black and white Victorian floral throw pillows and… well, I’ll stop there.  It looks classy though.  I’m pleased.  And I should mention too that at IKEA, I ran into an old East Bay friend (Kelli) that I hadn’t seen in something like seven years.  Sus is in the Midwest molesting Morrissey.  Shel is back from Hawaii.  I’m sitting right here wasting my life away documenting the sort of details of my life that no one could possibly care about.

Horror of horrors, Boudin has discontinued its butternut squash soup, which has been my only reason for getting out of bed on Wednesdays.  I’m hoping it’s a seasonal thing.  And then I heard that Snapple’s blueberry tea is off the market too.  Seriously folks, what the fuck?  This is not the first time I’ve mentioned this kind of shit.  I’m not that fussy about food, but it seems like the things I particularly like are always disappearing.  Do I just notice it more than most, or am I actually cursed?  On the topic of nostalgia, I could surf Branded In The 80s for hours, if I had hours.  So many stickers and useless garbage I remember from my youth.

OK, before I call it a night, I wanted to mention quickly that I’ve made some progress towards simplifying my life.  I sold a guitar!  Sort of.  I actually talked Dad into just having one.  But same thing.  It feels good to be rid of it.  I did update my MySpace layout in its honor.  Strange, you know selling these guitars would have been unthinkable just weeks ago.  But I’m trying to reject that collector impulse.  I see guys with bigger collections and I feel some envy.  And I don’t like that.  You can’t buy self worth, your possessions don’t define you.  I’ve got some guitars that would be hard or even impossible to replace if I ever changed my mind.  And in that context, it really is hard to let them go.  But they’re just things.  And the things we want in life change over time, right?  It’s hard to imagine me pining for “the one that got away” for the rest of my life.  Oh, if only I hadn’t sold such-and-such a guitar.  I don’t see me doing that.  *sigh*  This is what I mean about it feeling like a burden.  The things you own end up owning you.  Material things are supposed to help facilitate happy times in life, not become the focus of them.  I should be spending more time practicing and learning, and less time dealing with the finding/buying/selling of guitars.  It’s ridiculous, and it completely misses the point.  The loosely-related quote of the week comes from… oh, well you know:

“Genius lasts longer than beauty.”
— Oscar Wilde

If you can’t think of anything nice to say, come sit here by me.

18 February 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

Finally a break in the rain… hallelujah!  My umbrella(-ella-ella) has been working overtime, but at least my car’s clean now.

Hope you all had a nice Valentine’s (a.k.a. “Singles Awareness Day”).  The Reverend show was great… he played a few new songs that I guess will be on the next album.  Some stuff with a slide, with kind of a “Sleepwalk” vibe.  We ran into some friends there, and ended up in a tiki bar down the street with them afterwards.  I have to mention too that the John Cameron Mitchell event on Sunday was amazing.  I knew basically zero about him outside of the Hedwig movie, but it turns out he’s really funny.  And hearing some live acoustic renditions of some of the Hedwig songs was really moving.

The big news of the week, however, is that the new Moz album “Years Of Refusal” was released.  If I can nerd out for a moment, the album’s got some impressive credits.  Guest guitar by Jeff Beck on “Black Cloud.”  Guest vocals by Kristeen Young and Chrissie Hynde (on one of the b-sides, but still).  Mastering by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch, basically the godfathers of digital remastering, having done a ton of such work for Rhino Records.  Five songs by Alain, four by Boz, three by Jesse.  On paper, everything looks good.  So how’s the finished product?

I must say that I’m on the fence.  As a big fan, that’s an uncomfortable to be.  The stand-out tracks are all great.  My far-and-away favorite is “Something Is Squeezing My Skull,” and he’s crazy if he doesn’t release that as the next single.  After my first couple listens, I was concerned.  The band is at 10 the whole time, and the drums are at 11.  Lots of plain power chords and the sounds of somebody beating the hell out of their drum kit.  There’s some pastiche, and some questionable moments to be sure, but after having listened to it for the better part of this evening, I’m pleased to report that it’s growing on me.  Some of the vocal melodies took some time to appreciate, but I’m getting there.  I had much more to say about it earlier… my less-than-stellar first impressions of many of the songs… but after sitting with it a while, I think I ought keep my mouth shut until I’ve really had a chance to let it sink in.

On a side note, I swear that a few weeks back, I was reading a Moz interview from a few years back, and the unusual phrase “… after years of refusal…” appeared.  I instantly thought this must be where he got the album title from.  Now I can’t find the interview to save my life.  Oh well.  Moz was on BBC One recently, and thus so were Sus and I!  Look at the blue faces in the top left corner at about 1:51 – 1:53.

OK, it’s late.  From nerding out, to oinking out, I’ll leave you with some news on snack moratoriums.  Do you guys know/like Kettle Chips?  They had a flavor once upon a time called “Cheddar Beer” which tasted exactly like it sounds, and it was fucking delicious.  I guess it wasn’t that popular, because they did away with it last year.  Kettle is still the brand as far as I’m concerned, but another in a long line of foods I loved that have gone the way of the dinosaur.  But I told you that story to set the stage for this one… are you sitting down?  Kellogg’s has purchased the bankrupt Mother’s Cookie brand and all its recipes!  And they expect to be back in stores by June of this year!  And with the backing of the same folks responsible for Keebler, I think we’re in good hands.  Hallelujah, indeed!

“Something is squeezing my skull!
Something I can barely describe.
There is no hope in modern life.”


29 October 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:  full

It’s been a good week, all things considered.  This last weekend, I made it out to the Catalyst for a less-than-stellar Smiths night.  The bar was cozy, and I never even realized it was there.  However, other than Deanna and her crew, there was virtually no one there.  Ah well, it was nice to see them at least.  And I got to see the End Up that night too, which was beautiful inside.  You’d never guess from the outside.  Anyway, I had nice dinner with Jamie, ran a lot of errands, and just generally had a busy weekend in which I got a lot done.  And on one of those nights, I was up till 5am cataloging spaghetti western CDs.  I don’t know why other than that sometimes I get focused on a task and time and good judgment goes out the window.  Speaking of spaghetti, I also spent some time in the practice studio with my Telecaster over the weekend, and without a doubt, that’s the guitar to use for that sound.  I should have been using it all along!  I was matching Alessandroni’s tone pretty closely, if I do say so myself.

More and more, a new band project has been on my mind.  Many ideas floating around… just gotta pick one and go I guess.  As far as This Charming Band goes, we’ve been learning lots of new tunes (four in the last week!).  Our next show is the annual Thanksgiving show at Popscene… our fourth in a row, you may recall.  More details and a flyer to come, but in the mean time, go visit Popscene’s website to vote on our set list.  That’s right, we’ll be playing the songs you pick… or at least the top seven or eight vote-getters.

The weather had been nice for a while, and I got a couple of good walks in over the weekend.  In the past few days though, it got really cold, and I hear it’s supposed to rain for the next few days.  That means a potentially rainy Halloween!  Oh well.  I wasn’t planning on dressing up, and I think I’ll end up doing something quiet here in the city.  But I’ll do my best to be ready for action at New Wave City on Saturday!

I had a huge craving for chocolate-covered strawberries today.  Surprisingly, this is one of the few things I’m actually qualified to make in a kitchen.  Of course, I don’t have any chocolate, strawberries, or wax paper around here.  Or people to share them with actually.  How depressing!  OK, well… maybe I’ll just pick up a few for myself then.  Anyone know where to get them ready-made locally?

If I can get heavy on you for a moment… If you’re keeping score, my existential search continues.  In addition to trying to figure out what I want from life, there is a related issue that permeates the same areas of my consciousness and that is a vague fear of my own mortality (and that of those close to me).    I am transitioning from that younger phase of life where you sincerely believe, right down to your core, that you are invincible.  As part of my life re-assessment, I think I’ll need to face and come to terms with it.  Of course I’ve always known that my life is finite, but I’m not sure I ever really accepted it fully.  Death hasn’t been a big part of my life so far, and even just culturally I think we treat it as something dark and mysterious.  Compare that to other cultures where death is accepted to be a natural part of life.  Where traditions like Dia De Los Muertos help remove that taboo.  Ultimately every animal, every plant, every amoeba… every one of us will make that final transition.  Ideally, I would like to be able to view it and accept it as the natural and beautiful thing that it is, which may even serve to enrich my day-to-day life.  But truly accepting that most Zen of principles is not likely to be easy.  I’m about to start a philosophical book on the subject.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

OK, back to lighter topics.  Have you guys heard of the photographer Miles Aldridge?  There’s some nudity in there, so it may not be work-safe.  OK, so I’m not usually the least bit interested in the typical supermodel photo shoot type fare, but this guy does some really interesting work.  To be fair, a lot of it still is that typical supermodel boring shite, but there are some gems in there for sure.  Check out the archive too.

In case you weren’t sure, this is what’s wrong with America.  The fact that an ad like that is put out means that 1) candidates think that a ridiculous message will resonate with voters and 2) it probably will.  God help us.

And in case we don’t talk before Tuesday… don’t forget to vote!  And don’t be lazy and skip voting!  And above all else, vote YES on Prop 2!  And also NO on Prop 8.  And also probably NO on Prop 4.  And go ahead and vote for Obama while you’re at it.  🙂

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