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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Post Christmas Hi-jinks!

In an animalistic attempt at getting some gum open, I swallowed part of the plastic wrapper.

Also, if you're wondering the secret behind Adam Clayton's awesome bass stylings for U2, wonder no more, there's an in-depth interview in Bass Player magazine up in here.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Best Emails of 2005

Some people are doing their best cds or movies lists. I thought I'd take an alternate route for today and share with you the highlights of my favorite emails that I've either sent or received in the past year.
Fun Fact: Only 2 of these emails are fictitious!!

10. Subject: How to blog
F: Dude, I don't think I need "blog" advice from someone named "Tony."
M: Yeah, you do. This article was nominated for a bloggie. When was your
last nomination?
F: Thanks to you, never! And a blog about blogging is just a little too
post-modernist/meta for me. And anyways I like to think of my website
as more of an Adventure Magazine than a blog. I mean, I rarely write
about my own bowel movements and I even more rarely tell the truth.
M: What's that you say? Every one of your entries is like a bowel movement! Zing!

9. Subject: Cookies
Did you eat all the cookies in the breakroom? That's not cool, Peter, not cool. It was ***'s birthday and he only got one. I'm not placing blame, but *** saw you had a stack of 6 cookies next to your monitor. I'm going to have to write you up for this...

8. Subject: Lunch?
Noon okay?

7. Subject: Hey Jake
Did you fart?

6. Subject: Radio
I will definately tell you straight up and RIGHT AWAY if somehting is interfering with my ability to work efficiently

keep your ears open

5. Subject: Office Noise!!
...and when i'm trying to work and learn the ropes of 120 new accounts handed to me in mid cycle with a dozen hold overs and per requests. - I DON"T WANT TO HEAR IT....especcally not talk show jabbering. instrumental music is easy on my mind, song with lyrics are a little more jangling, TV or talk radio is a complete concentration KILLER for me. i can't read, write, study, or think with the IDIOT BOX on.

4. Subject: I cant wokr with all this noise!!
sometimes it seems like you're more intrested in DJing entertainment for us all, than working... and you seem to have this punk attitude about it....

3. Subject: NOISE POLUTION!!
BUT SINCE YOU E-MAILED **** about me me behind my back, i will reply to both of you:i have just as much right to work and concentrate here, as you do to listen to radio commedy on the job! the people back here perviously were acoustically considerate and quiet, played music occasionally AT THEIR DESK, and had no attitude about it....

2. Subject: Mask!
...is here today, wearing a surgical face mask just like Michael Jackson. I swear, he's so weird. And apparently he's being super weirder than usual. So that's pretty, pretty weird.

1. Subject: RADIO!!!
...asked yu many tiemes!!! TURN DOWN YOUR RADDIO!! I CAN'T CONCNETRATE WITH THAT STUPIRD CARP PLAYEING!! Ive asked *** and he said to go and tell *** about it so I don't evne nkow why I'm writing this !! ?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Gluttony

The 23rd: Shopped like mad. Then shopped some more, then played some video games while cooking mac & cheese which got overcooked because I am Wolverine and can't be bothered to check noodles. [Former band name] show at the Tonic. The Beauty rocked it, then Garrett and Timmy got ready and stuff and then Timmy walked off after about 1 song, so Garrett kept playing. Then Lowenbad played rock music with samples. We finally took the stage at 12:30. Got home at 2:15, then got Taco Bell, then watched Zoolander with T, Mo, Jake G. and Ben. Got to sleep at 4am. Yipes.

Christmas Eve: More shopping, then wrapped gifts for the entirety of "It's a Wunnerful Life". Then a pleasant little service at church, then on to granny's, then Empire Strikes Back pinball while wearing a Boba Fett mask at the open house of Bill & Dagmar. Then home: sleep disturbed, not by visions of dancing sugarplums, but the sounds of Armageddon raging on our street. Seriously, Christmas morning from about 3 until 4:30, we experienced the most horrific windstorm of the season, and I seriously thought that our windows were going to break. The house was shaking; Yoshi had to sleep in his crate, which he usually only does when he's sick, but this time I think he was just taking shelter. Total hours of sleep in 2 nights: not enough.

Christmas Day: 4 gift exchanges, 3 stockings, 2 dinners, 2 breakfastes, 1 nap. Fun times with my loved ones, but still a long day.

Yesterday: We finally got a good night of sleep and woke up at about 10ish and in our post-Christmas stupor, Mo & I spent the entire day in the house, whittling down the piles of chocolate, cookies, and candies we got during the previous days. We began the day by tidying up a little bit, then having leftover Chinese food with coffee while watching the end of Bad(der) Santa, which we had seen the first 1/2 of on Christmas night. Then we watched 40 Year Old Virgin, another comedy that was released as an unrated movie for it's dvd release. Then I finally got to play King Kong on the Xbox which looks amazing and is in widescreen. Then T went and got Papa Murphy's, and her and Mo and I ate that and watched "After the Thin Man" and I drank about 2/3 of a bottle of some festive wine, which really didn't affect me since I'd had so much to eat in the day. When it was over I was ready for bed, it felt like about 11:30, but found it was only 8pm. So we watched Arrested Development which is unceasingly funny and then we watched about 1/2 of "Another Thin Man". Then we went to bed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

U2 Rose Garden concert wrap-up

Here's the thing: I've been listening to this band for most of my life, that is, for the past 18 years. I remember hearing them on the radio when I was 9 or 10, but secular radio was strictly forbidden during my childhood. It was the forbidden fruit, but to my young ears, it was the only fruit that was out in the "real" (aka non-Christian) world that was worth listening to. I had no idea what the lyrics were about; my naive mind tried to interpret every song as a Christian faith song, to justify listening to the heathen radio. So here was this amazing sounding "With or Without You" and I couldn't imagine how anybody could even make these sounds, or "I still haven't found what I'm looking for", and wondering how the drummer could play tambourine and all those drums at the same time. Achtung Baby came out when I was in 8th grade, getting ready for high school and preparing for manhood. I latched on to these things. Like it or not, U2 played a role in my own search for identity and meaning - not just the lyrics, but the photos on albums, the concert videos, the tv specials, the 1993 Grammy awards promise to "continue to f*** with the mainstream". When I finally tried to sort out the lyrics and figure out what Bono was so passionately howling about; after hearing these songs dozens if not hundreds of times, I started to figure it out. Relationships are with women are tough and mysterious and good and fulfilling. Friendships are hard. God is out there somewhere, but where? The world is a strange, scary place, full of tragedies but comprised of wonderful people.

The show last night was f-ing brilliant. We had pretty good seats overlooking the stage on the left. Full house, decent sound mix, although the bass was boomy and indistinguishable when everyone else was rocking. Bono's voice has never sounded better. The song selection was a little on the safe side, although they did do "Miss Sarajevo", wherein Bono did the full-on kick-ass operatic Luciano Pavarotti verse. They did a full band cover of "Instant Karma". They also did I will follow, Until the End of the World, and Mysterious Ways, but nothing from October, Rattle & Hum, Zooropa, or Pop. They opened with "City of Blinding Lights" with Adam on a bit of synth piano on the intro and closed with an acoustic version of "Yahweh" with Larry on synth, then 40.

And so I was on the verge of tears for most of the show; I think it was because almost each song triggered a memory. This band has been the soundtrack of my life for as long as I've listened to music, and it was exhilarating and surreal to see them again. I've seen U2 four times before, twice on each of their last tours, and this was probably my most enjoyable show of all.

Epilogue -
After the show was done, we saw Adam Clayton exit the room while wearing a bathrobe.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fending for Myself

To celebrate my 28th birthday, my wife drove up to Seattle for 24 hours. Actually, she went up there for a work thing; maybe she'll blog about it herself. So, what do I do when my wife is out of town? I fend for myself, very very poorly.

Before she left:













Ten Minutes later:









For dinner last night I had a cheese quesadilla and some mint chocolate chip ice cream, then I tried to eat some of the awesome red chili peppers that Moz bought, but they were kind of waxy and started electrically shocking my teeth, and then I realized they were plugged in and were actually the new Christmas lights that she bought for the kitchen.

Then I played about 2 hours of video games with my awesome bandmates, as part of our "friendship bonds = musical bonds" theory, and eventually turns into a lot of swearing at each other and calling each other all sorts of names. It's actually a lot more fun to get run over by a purple alien driving a jeep than you might expect.

Then I stayed up late; finding and downloading some songs by my favorite women singers: Joni Mitchell & PJ Harvey. They are incredibly talented women with unique voices that I think express a lot of personal insight that resonate on a larger level because of the microcosmic truth in them. Just because I get weepy when I'm all alone at midnight, falling asleep while listening to "A Case of You" or "Both Sides Now", does that make me any less of a man?

Naturally, Lola slept on the bed next to me the whole night, and groaned loudly when my alarm finally got me out of bed after an hour of ROCK!/snooze/ROCK!/snooze, etc.

So I ran downstairs, gave the last few bits of dog food to Lola and Yoshi, and then out the door, only to find frozen raindrops on my car windows. Then I went to the coffee megalopolis and got my fix, then finally got to the office, just 1 minute late, but still before the bosses.

Can't wait til Mo gets back.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Movie Round-Up: Narnia; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Star Wars; Lord of the Rings; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Squid & the Whale



Today's post is a movie discussion taken entirely from emails sent back and forth between myself and "F", who wishes to remain semi-anonymous. We join the talks mid-email:

Me:...not to piss on your parade, but he also has "hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" and "narnia" as 2 of his top 5 movies of the year. Oh, well, movies must not be his forte.

F: Well, to each his own. I liked hitchhiker's guide alright, but it wasn't my favorite of the year (although I can't really think of movies I saw that I liked that much this year — OH! Except Squid and the Whale). I thought you like Narnia?

Me: Narnia? Like I said earlier, "It was ok."

F: Better than Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, though, right?

Me: Sadly, no. Possibly better than the 2nd & 3rd Harry Potters, but that's not saying much. I don't know. It's much more of a kid's movie than Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, mostly because it is about 4 kids running around doing things. And I don't generally go in for overly sentimental, earnest kid's movies.

F: So you're excluding the LOTR and Star Wars trilogies from the "overly sentimental, earnest kid's movies" classification? I see... I saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith this weekend. Twice, actually, once with the commentary on. Not a good movie, but Pitt and Jolie were fun. And the commentary was mildly interesting. Also saw Last Starfighter, which was as good as I remembered it from when I was like six.

Me: Goddam. I saw that one last week. Pretty, terrible, and pretty terrible. It was barely mediocre. Why why why? You must really hate yourself. And at least LOTR and SW had some sense of humor, and some character development. Narnia was all, "but what about our poor father, he's in the war now... he wouldn't want us to go to war". And they have absolutely no problem or shock seeing that every animal can talk. And Aslan is introduced and immediately is trusted by all the children, who aren't the least bit afraid of this 400 pound talking lion going feral on them.

F: Well, you know, they're unafraid in the books, so... I mean, that's half the point, right? That only children could save Narnia because they're so trusting and innocent or whatever. Kind of a Christian idea, I suppose. And Mr. Smith was pretty bad, but not unbearable. It just took too long to get started (like, once they start fighting it gets markedly better). There's some good dialog (Mrs: What do you think of the drapes? Mr: Hmm. Mrs: If you don't like them, we can return them. Mr: Okay, I don't like them. Mrs: You'll get used to them.) L. says a similar premise has been done at least twice before, and in better movies (which I've never seen): War of the Roses, and...er...something else.

Me: Agreed on all points. I think the premise of Mr. & Mrs. Smith was done before in the 1996 TV series called "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" with Scott Bakula and Maria Bello, or the movie Prizzi's Honor, from 1985, which this movie is a remake of... I calls 'em like I sees 'em. Stupid crap is stupid crap, whether it's from an artsy independent lo-fi director or some rich bastard with a $167 million budget.

F: But again, LOTR and Star Wars, those aren't stupid crap, right?

Me: Right, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith is the model of artistic vision perfected.

F: Man, you go from zero to overboard sarcasm in like two seconds flat.

Me: I learned it from you.

F: Impossible! I learned it from you!

The End.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving

So, tomorrow is the day that we give thanks to our God(s?) for letting us discover this bountiful land (which happened to already have people living here), and giving us the faith, determination, and courage to kill or give diseases to almost everyone who opposed us; such is the legacy of our forefather's manifest density.


In other news, an "alleged" gunman was witnessed shooting a gun at the Tacoma mall the other day. This was the "alleged" gunman who sent warnings to his girlfriend and was then witnessed by a great crowd of witnesses at the mall. Then he was arrested and pleaded not guilty. So my question is, after so many witnesses witness him doing all this insane shooting, why is he referred to as the "suspected" or "accused" or "alleged" gunman? Six people aren't allegedly in the hospital because of him; that's where they are. He is the gunman. He's no less suspected of shooting than I am of writing these words; the people who saw him and the people who ended up in the hospital are the evidence of that, just as these words being read by you, gentle reader, are proof that I wrote this. Why all the semantic pitter patter?

Moving on, um... my train of thought has completely jumped the track. I want pie!



Later!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Menomena - Under an Hour - Review


Menomena - Under an Hour

In crass attempt to appeal to mainstream commercial radio, "Under an Hour" consists of 3 songs that are about 18 minutes long a piece, each written by a different band member. It's pretty interesting how you can tell which track was written by which guy (Brent Knopf, Justin Harris, Danny Seim - in that order), although all the tracks have that Menomena sound - meaning piano, bass, drums, sax, guitar, and a plethora of other instruments that might be found in a church in southeast Portland, all jumbled together in a very non-Beatlesy way - meaning these are not your mother's pop songs. Or your dad's freedom rock. Under an Hour is definitely more produced than I am the fun blame monster, as evidenced by the backwards guitar on "Water", or the cut & pasted drums and guitars on "Light". The opening track's banjo leading into bells, bass, and guitars reminded me of "Cabinessence", the wonderful Beach Boys outtake from Smile, but it also reminded me of the beginning of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride at Disneyland, which is indicative of the grandness and magic of this album. "Water" is chamber poppy, "Flour" is saxophone-loop driven, and "Light" is the most progressive and ambient sounding, full of e-bowed guitar and chopped up guitar and distorted drum sounds. It's a fun ride, sometimes heart-pounding, sometimes jaw-dropping, always enjoyable. However, it's more thought provoking than an amusement park; where Disneyland seeks to make one forget the outside world, the wordless nature of this music forces introspection and reflection.

These instrumental compositions were made for a Portland dance troupe called Monster Squad. Monster Squad was a movie from the late 80s starring The Wonder Years as a boy who's friends with a bunch of weird animals like Frankenstein, the Werewoof, a Count Chocula-based character, and Angela Lansbury. They go around playing video games and one guy finally ended up in an Austin Powers movie and Winnie Cooper auditions to play baby Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode 3.


All in all, I give Under an Hour an "A" for "Ayyyyyyyyyyyy!"



Monday, November 14, 2005

My favorite movies


I was going to do a list of "the best films" but if I do "my favorite", I don't have to defend their artistic qualities, and you can just trust me that these are my personal faves. This is basically my dvd collection (not arranged in order of importance):

00s:
1. Donnie Darko
2. Fellowship of the Ring
3. The Two Towers
4. Return of the King
5. Lost in Translation
6. The Royal Tenenbaums
7. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
8. High Fidelity

90s:
1. Pulp Fiction
2. The Big Lebowski
3. Edward Scissorhands
4. Goodfellas
5. Fight Club
6. Rushmore
7. Groundhog Day
8. Kicking & Screaming (not available on dvd)
9. The City of Lost Children
10. Swingers
11. What about Bob?

80s:
1. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. Return of the Jedi
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
5. Blade Runner
6. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
7. A Christmas Story
8. This is Spinal Tap
9. Crimes & Misdemeanors
10. Radio Days

70s:
1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather, Part II
3. Annie Hall
4. Star Wars
5. Apocalypse Now
6. A Clockwork Orange
7. Manhattan

60s:
1. Dr. Strangelove
2. A Hard Day's Night
3. The Graduate

50s
1. Rear Window
2. The 400 Blows
3. Singin' in the Rain
4. A Streetcar Named Desire
5. White Christmas

40s
1. Citizen Kane
2. The Big Sleep
3. Casablanca
4. It's a Wonderful Life
5. The Thin Man Goes Home

30s
1. A Night at the Opera
2. Animal Crackers
3. Bringing Up Baby

So there you go. Not my most personal blog entry ever, but I wanted to do this. I'm taking a "Hollywood of the 70s" class right now and I wondered how my tastes look, when arranged by decade. There's probably more that I can't think of right now, any suggestions? And be prepared for me to criticize your suggestions.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Halo, Dolly!


The weekend was good and as eventful as I could have hoped for. A certain Mr. J. Thom ran me through the ringer on Saturday. After rehearsing for a good 2ish hours with [former band name], Benjy & I had to speed race out to Beaverton to play with the Fellowship of the Thom for a church named Bethany. We rehearsed for almost an hour, and then played for about 2 hours!! And this is after the whole daylight savings thing, so it was almost like we played for 3 hours!

I used the church's drum set, which sounded ok at first, but the snare drum sounded progressively (digressively?) worse as the night went on. And there was a big note next to the drum set which read something like:

Drummers: You are not to tune these drums. If they need tuning, call the church music director's assistant. Every time you adjust these drums, it makes the little baby Jesus cry. Jesus died for your sins; don't take it for granted. You bastards are lucky we even allow these demonic "rhythm makers" into the house of our Lord. Remember, each turn of the drum key is like hammering the nails into Jesus' coffin. So don't do it!

Other than that, it was a very welcoming place; they invited the band to go out for pizza after we played, but our guitarist Jon Junior "Professional Heartbreaker" had other plans. And then Hurricane was like "Dudes, I'm Audi 5000" and Kristina was like "thank God I've got a babysitter tonight, my kids make me wanna tear off my ear", and Jeremy was all "all of me is more than enough for all of me", and me and Ben were like "we gotta jet! Rhythm section out!"

Friday, November 04, 2005

TGIF: The gravy isn't finished

Well, it seems all I needed was a good band practice and a rousing match of Battlefront II to get back to normal. Thank god.

It's somewhat comforting to know that our nation is being led by raving sadistic idiots, such as the mayor of Reno, Oscar Goodman. As Jane's Addiction so eloquently put it way back when: Idiots Rule. Why should we stop this great American tradition of having the people who are least qualified or most ridiculous get elected? Apparently Oscar Goodman is fed up with some people created graffiti a highway landscaping project, so he suggested that we televise "these punks" getting their thumbs cut off. He also suggested whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble. I'm guessing he'll be the next president. Here's a picture of him dancing. Make up your own caption. (He's the one on the left)


Read the whole story here.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Three cheers for daylight savings!

So I really can't put my finger on it, exactly but here goes. Do you ever feel unappreciated? Not just unappreciated, but taken for granted? Misunderstood? Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or say or work for to try to change, everything is basically meaningless? And no amount of coffee or candy or beer or days off or movies or music is helping? Have you ever had one of those days where everything works out how you wanted and you still feel dissatisfied? Or one of times where nothing you had planned works out the way you wanted, but then something happens to change everything and the world is ok and you feel good again? I've been feeling like that, but I'm still waiting for something to happen to make everything feel good. I wouldn't say that I'm depressed; maybe just a little afflicted by SAD.

(ten minutes of internet research)

Hey, hot damn. I was just guessing, but after looking at those symptoms, it seems pretty spot on:
1. Usually desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake but, in some cases, disturbed sleep and early morning wakening
2. Feeling of fatigue and inability to carry out normal routine
3. Craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, usually resulting in weight gain
4. Feelings of misery, guilt and loss of self-esteem, sometimes hopelessness and despair, sometimes apathy and loss of feelings
5. Tension and inability to tolerate stress
6. Irritability and desire to avoid social contact

Well, I guess I'm SAD. Looks like I'm due for some "light" therapy, or else Lustral, Seroxat and Prozac, or maybe just some intensive psychotherapy. Hurray! Winter is here.

Update! Also, my knee kind of hurts.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Last Thursday

So last night, my wife and some of her band of renegades decided to go to the "Last Thursday" event on Alberta Street in northeast Portland. Somehow they twisted my arm with their feminine charm and convinced me to go with them; I wasn't totally alone though, Yoshi (my little wire-haired fox terrier) was a requested guest, so he came along too.

It was kind of surreal going to this street and seeing all the artsy white people walking around, playing music, looking at art, and acting civilized on Alberta Street. You see, I was raised just off Alberta, and my entire childhood, even up until I moved out of my parents house, Alberta was a terrible slum of a street. There was Crip house there, so some sh*t went down. There were some skinheads around. I can distinctly remember several gang shooting just a block from my house. I'm not trying to romanticize or glorify the dangerous neighborhood in which I was reared; it was often frightening, and I couldn't wait to get out of the crappy neighborhood, as it was.

It was about 7 or 8 years ago, and I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would actually walk on NE Alberta by my own free will. When I was a kid, I had always assumed that if I were to ever do any walking down Alberta, it would be because I was being kidnapped by some drug dealers or pimps or drug-dealing pimps, or I was being sold in to white slavery, which was a lucrative business in Portland just 80 years ago.

Some highlights of the night:
-being asked by a scary clown with a sad face if I'd ever been hit in the head with a hammer. The more I thought about it, the more this made me mad. Was he trying to pick a fight? What kind of clown makes a clown-living by intimidating people?
-when Yoshi pooped across the street from a restaurant and 3 of us all pretended to clean it up.
-when some vegan activists tried to give Yoshi a vegan dog treat and he absolutely refused to eat it. Like, it didn't last 1/2 second in his mouth. My dog Yoshi isn't some fruity vegan.
-the one of the only African Americans we saw the entire night had a gun, but that was way down at 17th.
-Yoshi saw some paintings and sniffed them, interestedly. I told the guy selling them that Yoshi was about to make them into post-modern art.

News Flash

This just in:
-Is anyone selling eggnog lattes yet?
-I want one
-More as this story develops
UPDATE:
-Is anyone else concerned by the fact that a top U.S. government official is called "Scooter"?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

WTF? Seriously.

I just heard Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the conservative Federalist Society, say that the next Supreme Court candidate should be the best "man, woman or minority" that we can find.

Are women not minorities? Are minorities not comprised of men and women? This is dehumanizing to people everywhere.

I find rather staggering that there are adults alive in 2005 who talk like this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why don't you find out for yourself?

Well, gentle readers, I've done it again. Changed majors, that is. It's only the 2nd time in 9 months, and the 3rd time in all my years, so it's really not that bad. I changed my major in high school twice, so 3 times in 7 years is really pretty good. And frankly, I changed back to my original major from when I first started going to school way back before I even started dating Mo, back in the 90's. It was the era of the Lewinsky scandal, Patch Adams, Tubthumping, and of course the end of Family Matters. That's right, it was 1998 when I started seriously going to school. Actually in 96, fresh out of high school, I took one term of music classes and found it to be way way way way over my head, so I entered the workforce.

Then I was an English major for about 3 years of community college (with some music theory and music production years in there somewhere), then an Art History major for my first 2 terms at PSU, then Graphic Design for the past 3 terms, and now I've gone back to my first love: Engllish.

I thought I loved graphic design, and I guess I still do, as far as the design itself goes; what I don't like is the advertising industry side of that career. I kind of loathe rampant commercialism, and I'm afraid that I wouldn't be able to fully dive into a graphic design career without having some kind of ethical question somewhere along the line regarding selling crappy products to poor people. No disrespect intended to any super-talented graphic designers who I know are reading this ;) You guys are good at what you do and I wouldn't trade you for anyone in the world.
But for me, I think I prefer reading and writing.

At least for the next few terms.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

When else but Thursday?

So, it seems I'm having my semi-annual period of self-doubt, self-discovery, and self-help. For example:

a) I'm seriously thinking about changing from Graphic Design to an English major
i) why am I in school?
ii) what do I want to do with my time and my life?
iii) thank God my wife has clear goals

b) In my film class today, we watched a scene from "The Deer Hunter" where the guys are all rowdy and drunk in the bar until one guy plays this haunting little song on the piano, then all the guys quiet down and look at each other while the music plays. By the end of the scene, I had tears in my eyes.

c) I've re-discovered the joy of writing poetry. I shall not give you any examples here today.

d) I looked at my senior yearbook yesterday. One of the signatures was from my friend David Weisenberg who died in Iraq; I don't know what to do about that.

e) the band is going well, but seemingly at a crossroads. More on that next week.

Other than that, everything is good. The Posies were indeed awesome last night at the Doug Fir; I was happy with the set list, especially when closed with "you're the beautiful one" - such a gorgeous song. I wasn't able to see the opening bands, as I had my own band practice to attend to. fter the show, my household got a late night dinner at the Doug Fir restaurant which was also spectacularrrrrr.

Shout out to T. Sickels for being on the phone with Earthlink customer "service" for so many fruitless hours last night. I hope Verizon has room for one more cable modem customer, our house's dsl service is getting worse and worse from Earthlink, or as I call them "we don't speak English, please hold".

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

White Trash Haute Cuisine

Wow, who knew that one silly song could get so many comments (see last post). Well done, folks, and bravo.

Ok, I don't know if that headline is entirely accurate, but it doesn't matter. Ever since we moved so close to 82nd Ave, my wife and I have kind of had a double life when it comes to our eating habits. Well, not even really a double life, but more of a mixture of the sacred and the profane foods coming together in one unholy mix of sinfully delicious dinners. Because, you see, we often buy our groceries in a feeding frenzy of gluttony while making promises to go on uber-healthy diets, so we end up with lots of foods and drinks that were never made to be had together. Because of this, we've decided we need to write a cookbook which recounts these meals. Our ideas so far:
- corn dogs and caviar
- Top Ramen and champagne
- hamburger buns and brie
- Kraft macaroni & cheeze with gouda
- wheat thins & prosciutto

That's all I can think of while I'm at work, but you get the idea. Any suggestions? And don't be silly, like Tortellini & Ketchup, I mean actual foods that you've eaten out of necessity.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I just can’t look its killing me

Consider, if you will, the hard scientific facts: The more popular The Killers' song "Mr. Brightside" gets, the more tragedy there is on earth. Our crack team of top scientists analyzed the data and put together this scientific graph:



Coincidence? I think not. Let's go back in time and un-record that song.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Halloween House of Horror!

It's almost time for Halloween and I've been seriously considering what I should do to honor this most sacred of days (aside from National Boss Day, October 16!). Anway, I think the most disturbing theme I can think of for a party is dubbing my house the "original & true" house. This would entail the entire house being sarcasm and quote-free and no alcohol allowed. Anyone who comes into my deliciously spooky house of horrors would have to speak what's really on their minds and not resort to Big Lebowski or Simpson's quotes. In fact, no pop culture references allowed at all.

This would make the house not only fantastically eerie, but so dreadfully boring that everyone would be scared away within a few minutes. It honestly sounds like a real downer, and I'm not going to say something like, "If sarcasm is a crutch then I walk with pride" because that would be a Steve Taylor song quote, of sorts.

As I'm getting farther along in the planning stages for this spooktacular event, I am terribly sorry to inform you than I am regretfully unable to attend, because this party sounds: a)weak, b) lame, c) boring, d) delightfully horrible

That certain feeling

Do you ever get that feeling like all the cashew nut chicken you thought you had for lunch was just an illusion, a bizarre charade, if you will? And that feeling that you pay for 1000 cell phone minutes per month but only use 300? And that you have to take the car through DEQ because the tags expired 4 days ago? And that you dreamt of Krispy Kremes and then when you got to work, there were Krispy Kremes in the break room?

I have that feeling right now.

Also, anyone else going to the free Doug Fir show tonight? It's some band, then a band called Cabinessence and then Scott McCaughey, who you might know from his work with The Minus 5, Wilco, or REM.

And let's not, nay, let's never forget, The Posies next Wednesday at ye olde Doug Fir, for which tickets are only $10. Woot! See you all there.

Friday, October 07, 2005

This just in!

From KOIN.com:
" Feces-Covered Sex Offender Arrested Near School
Man Made Loin Cloth From Rope, Lawn Chair Piece
A registered sex offender who fashioned a loin cloth from a rope and piece of lawn furniture has been arrested near a Medford high school."

This is so disgusting and hilarious, I don't even know where to begin. Thank god they caught the creep, but seriously, who in 2005 fashions loincloths? Not to mention loincloths made from rope and lawn furniture? I mean what the hell is going on here?

In other poop-related news, it seems that South Park will now be playing for a full hour (11-12) every night on channel 49 in Portland, and I, for one, can't wait to start watching. Thanks to this site for the heads up.

Show Review: U2

First, they got up on there and played "All Because of You" with a pre-recorded acoustic guitar and percussion track. Then this giant fire-haired leprechaun b.s.'ed with them about "Hey, so how did you get started?". A nice little Q & A, or I think it was. If they played along with pre-recorded music, what's to stop them from lip-syncing along with pre-recorded answers for the interview, right? Are there no rules? Has the whole world gone crazy? Well, not me! I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore! Everybody, right now, get up off the couch and go to your window and yell at the top of your lungs, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Then they played "Origin of the Species", and inserted some lyrics about appearing on late night tv. They had a guy playing keyboards and a little string quartet in the back, but they didn't look mic'ed. Then Bongo got on his soapbox derby about fixing all the world's problems. Then they played "Stuck in a moment" and then for the shocker of all shockers, the most amazing miracle in the history of humankind, they played that iPod song! OMG!! LOL!! J/K!! TTYL!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We're both part of the same hypocrisy, senator, but never think it applies to my family.

For those of you who don't think that U2 are corporate sell-out hacks, or think they are but enjoy them anyway, then you might be interested in tonight's Conan O'brian: pure U2 show. No crappy teen actresses, bad stand-up comics or celebrity train sets, just U2 for the entire show. Portlanders: set your VCR for channel 8 at 12:30 am, Friday October 7.

note to my wife and the artist formerly known as the Flying Waitress: sorry for making you stay up till 12:35 last night. I swear I read that it was supposed to be Wednesday's show! It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Where does America go from here?

Tough Choice: this or this?

Notes from today's class discussion of "A Clockwork Orange"

- there is a thing called "the masculinity cult" that the TA likes to talk about
- I'm a dude and therefore probably part of "the masculinity cult"
- should I feel guilty for having a dong?
- "Kubrick isn't as divorced from Alex as he'd like to believe" - the TA
- there's no blatant causality for Alex's violence
- senseless violence, like 'Nam
- I'd like some coffee
- Alex is full of rage against "the man", he takes it out on everyone except "the man"
- more bullcrap about "the masculinity cult"
- "Kubrick isn't as divorced from Alex as he'd like to think he is" - the TA, 2 minutes later
- violence as performance art
- what does it all mean?
- I don't know
- even more bullcrap about "the virility cult"
- infantilism - milk, diaper-ish costumes, acting on every impulse, pure id
- id rhymes with squid
- I don't like seafood, nor kalamari
- Dog Day Afternoon, etc.

Friday, September 30, 2005

50 free songs

Go to emusic.com and sign up for a free trial. It's similar to the iTunes music store, but you get 50 free songs, and you can cancel for no fee or anything. The songs are all in MP3 format, 192kbps, which is better than at iTunes. You do have to download this little tiny downloader program, though. They have a pretty good music selection, too. I got albums from The Hold Steady, Calla, and The National, and PJ Harvey, as well as individdle songs from Elliott Smith, Frank Black and Peter Murphy. And if a friend signs up because you told them about emusic.com, you get 50 more free downloads. After you've signed up and registered, just go to "tell a friend" and start sending them out. Enjoy your free music!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone for helping me hit 5,730 visitors. Special thanks to people who found me in the past 4 days by searching for:
"Planet Of The Apes Festival"
"Frida Sorce"
"dylan likeness"
"MOVIES IN DUBAI"
"portland+panhandlers"
"How to be emo checklist"
"someday- flipside"

and most importantly:

"ass parade ice"

So basically, I'm having an ass parade on ice at the Lloyd Center skating rink this weekend. Also, I'll be making some ass parade margaritas, using ass parade ice cubes. Later, some decorative ass parade ice sculpting; you provide the chain saws. Finally, some ass parade ice cream. What's that? You want some chocolate ass cream? Maybe later.

Why is this called My Space?

Why is it that whenever I log onto my "myspace" account, I feel kind of sad and frustrated? There are several possible answers:
a) it can feel like a popularity contest
b) I've rediscovered some friends from 10+ years ago and see that they (and I) haven't really changed or succeeded like I imagined we would
c) reading about most strangers personal lives isn't nearly as interesting as it ought to be, because most myspace users are so young
d) it can be a reminder of just how illiterate so many people are
e) my dog seems to get better comments than me
f) I think that I know that comments shouldn't matter
g) I don't know proper myspace etiquette
h) who are these people I call "friends"?
i) why have we decided to call each other "friends"?
j) too much pressure to read & respond to bulletins, add crappy bands as my friend, etc.
k) I've realized that I'm not just being cynical, there really are a lot of jerks.

That's about it. Despite all this, I'll continue to visit myspace regularly; exactly why, I don't even know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back to school

Well, here I am again, one year later, scarred but smarter. Another year of school begins at PSU. Sigh. It recently occured to me that I've been going to college since 1996. With a couple short breaks. Most people, after 9 years of higher learning are called "doctors" or "lawyers" or "professors". Not me; I'm called a "junior". That's right. After all the classes I've taken (usually 3 courses per term), since 1996, all my transferable credits add up to about 120, which makes me a junior, or 3rd year, student. Sigh, again.

One nice thing today: the room my film class was supposed to be in had a sign on the door that said: Room changed to CIN 90. I walked all over that campus about 3 times, for a total of probably 2 miles, by the end of the day. After 15 minutes of wandering the campus, I realized, there is no CIN 90. Then I overheard somebody talking about the 5th Ave Cinema, which they use for some classes, so I went there, and all was made clear. There is a CIN 90, just no CIN building, which couldn't be more confusing for people like me who have only been going there for a year. It's like those exclusive clubs that if you don't know how to find them, they don't want you as a member.

This year should be fun though, because I'm done with all my prerequisites, electives and otherwise unneccessary classes (2 years of Spanish? Gimme a break!), so pretty much every class from here on out is directly related to my major, Graphic Design. So, except for my film classes and my senior "capstone", it's all art, all the time. Hurray! Now I just need to hurry up and master Photoshop and Illustrator, and I'll be on the fast-track to freedom. Rather, I'll be on the high road to high grades. That is to say, I'll be unimpeded by unintelligence. To put it otherwise, I'll be laughing my way to the bank! Yes!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Milk & cookies & vitamins

Me & my coworker (who goes by the nom de internet Sumo Haiku) were eating cookies at work today.

SH: Dude, I need some milk. Cookies without milk is weird.
Me: I don't drink milk. It's gross. Not even soy milk.
SH: What? How do you get Vitamin D?
Me: Get what?
SH: Vitamin D, it's the main vitamin in milk.
Me: Jake, there is no "Vitamin D".
SH: Whatever dude. When you die, I'm gonna be like, "Vitamin D".
Me: Whatever. When I die, I'm gonna be like, "Vitamin C-you later".

Zing!

I totally crack myself up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Arcade Fire - review

Did you see The Arcade Fire at the Crystal Ballroom last night? Holy crap! It was the best show I've ever seen in my life. We bought tickets months ago, but got their early and stood in line, so that we could get a place right up by the stage. The sound in that room is terrible, unless you're within 15 feet of the stage.

8, 9 and then 10 people on stage, all playing their hearts out. It was absolutely brilliant. Winn Butler jumped out into the crowd a few times and cut up his hand, he held it up and it was all bloody, so he asked the mulletted guitarist from Wolf Parade to play guitar on the next song, Wake Up.

He also told a little story about how David Bowie "is still insane enough to like us, so he asked us to play with him for a recent TV benefit concert, but we got cut so that Rob Thomas could play." People started booing at that.

"What?" he said, "Rob Thomas is a gifted songwriter. (pause) Just kidding. No, I was glad to be there, because I saw a duet between Billy Idol and Lisa Marie Presley that I'll take to the grave, because I heard their singing before it was auto-tuned!" The crowd laughed. Then the band broke into "5 years", the lead-off track from "Ziggy Stardust".

At the end of the night, the band walked through the crowd, still playing, and went out onto Burnside and played in the middle of the street, surrounded by hundreds of fans. It was probably the closest I'll get to a rock & roll riot, and for that I'm grateful.

They played (mostly in this order):
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
Une Annee Sans Lumiere
Headlights Look Like Diamonds
Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
Crown Of Love
Haiti
Brazil (cover)
Five Years (Bowie cover)
No Cars Go
Rebellion (Lies)
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Wake Up
The Backseat

The first opener, Bell Orchestre was a good, 5 piece instrumental orch-pop band, consisting of 3 members of Arcade Fire (on violin, upright bass, and french horn), plus a trumpet/melodica/percussion player and adrummer. The drummer was very young-looking, but was a really good player, very precise and well-thought-out parts. The dude from Arcade Fired who looks kind of like Woody Allen or Buddy Holly was playing upright bass, and sometimes would just
pound on it, like a drum.

The second opener was Wolf Parade, or as I like to call them "Ass Parade". They were absolutely terrible and un-listenable, except for the very last song, when they finally discovered what I like to call "melody & harmonic structure". Jonny and I exchanged text messages that went like this:
Me: This sucks
Him: You don't like Seinfeld's band (a reference to the bass player's resemblance to Jerry Seinfeld)
Me: They sucked ass
Him: Yep
Me (after spotting a mutual friend): Brents over here by the gtrs
Him: They need a Ridlin

I had to have a few drinks to get through their set.

All in all, a good night.
update: Beth Bagel had a similar experience at the show.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Starbucks - Crap-ass Central or Oh, Libby, you broke my heart

Dear Libby at Starbucks,

When I came into your cafe, you greeted me like we were old friends. I played along and asked how you were. I was feeling good. I even paid for my americano in cash, so that I could give you the change, Libby. I noticed the manager was being harassed by a scary woman trying to return an espresso machine. I watched you prepare the espresso for the drink and so I perused the cd selections while waiting for the drink to finish. After I had memorized the entire tracklistings of both the new Rolling Stones cd and the Jagged Little Pill acoustic album, I realized that you had forgotten about me & my drink. I went and stood at the little pick up counter and made eye contact with you a time or two, while you cleaned out the scone tray and check on paper towel supplies.

Finally, after 2 other customers came in and ordered, you gave me a puzzled look of recognition, like a ghost from the distant past fluttered by. Libby, you saw the 6 minute old espresso shots on the machine and proceeded to add hot water then hand me the cup of old, stagnant, bad espresso. You asked me if I wanted room for cream. "No," I said, "but that shot is very old. Would you mind pulling a new one?" Without saying a word, you turned around and made me a fresh americano. Aren't you normally supposed to apologize for making me wait for so long, and offer me a free drink coupon, Libby? Aren't you?

The point, Libby, is that I'm not an idiot. I've worked at cafes before. I know that Starbucks has (or used to have) a policy of dumping an espresso shot that doesn't get used within a minute (or was it 30 seconds?). Libby, you could have made at least a dozen shots of espresso and dumped them all out because they were bad in the time it took you to make me that old-as-hell americano. In the city of Portland, there are a plethora of coffee shops, and a lot of people here know what a good cup of coffee should taste like. Treating the customer like an ignoramus doesn't behoove you, Libby. If anything, giving me that crap-ass drink just reveals that you care even less about coffee than you do about your customer. For shame! For shame!

I won't ever come back to your cafe on Barbur & Capitol Hwy.
sincerely,
Sloop

Should I feel bad?

Am I the only Netflix subscriber who sent myself an invitation for a free month of Netflix dvds, then created a new email address, then used a different name and different credit card number to sign up for a free month of 3 dvds at a time as "Jon" in addition to my regular 4 dvds at a time? Am I? Who's going to turn down a free month of dvds? Who? Of course I'll cancel when the free month is up, but I think there's no reason not to sign up again with Mo's name, then my brother, then my dog Lola, then my dog Yoshi, then your momma, then who knows? Why, there's virtually no end in sight, as long as I've got a handful of credit card numbers to choose from, right?

Although, who really has time to watch 7 dvds at a time, right? Me. I do. Until next week, when school starts, time is on my side.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Naked honesty

So Marisa was out of town this weekend, gallivanting around Seattle. At first I was like, great, I can eat whatever I want and watch all 6 Netflix dvds. Which is exactly what I did, but then I discovered that 2 days of doing (almost) nothing but watching dvds, eating frozen burritos for breakfast, drinking root beer with Ouzo, and eating ice cream isn’t quite as satisfying as you might think. Here’s how the weekend went: after watching dvds all day, I was driving out to play at a church on Saturday night, and I was listening to the song “Wake Up” from the Arcade Fire, and I was singing along, and all of the sudden I couldn’t sing along anymore because I was crying, pretty much out of nowhere, the words just resonated with me like never before. I played at the church and then went out to eat with the bandmates and it was good. On Sunday morning, cruel things people said about me in the past came back and got stuck in my head; I started having doubts about anyone’s genuine interest in me, my band, or anything important in life; I started questioning my own talent/determination as a musician, I started questioning my choice of majors at school. To top it off, my cell phone crapped out so I couldn’t call my wife. So I tried to draw a comic to cheer myself up, but it was so horribly depressingly true (or false, it’s hard to tell when you’re depressed) that I could barely even look at it when I was done. My life right then seemed absolutely pointless and unneccessary and I couldn't do anything about it.

Then last night, Mo came back and I spent some time with her and with our friends and things seemed better. So here I am at work and I think I’m back to normal. Thank God Marisa is back; I love you babe.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Who's worse looking?




Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim

Or Anne Rice?

And 2 hard boiled eggs. Honk! Make that 3 hard boiled eggs.

So, I just back from a certain unnamed incompetent fast food burger place. I went with my co-worker, the Sumo Haiku Warrior. Here’s an exact transcript of what happened:

Me: Yeah, I’d like 2 cheeseburgers, a regular fry an-
Voice: Oh, hold on. If I make that a combo basket, you can save a little money.
Me: Ok, thanks. (long pause) (to the Sumo Haiku Warrior) Hey dude, do you know what you want?
SHW: No. (long pause). What’s on a Classic Burger? How is it different from a regular burger?
Me: I dunno. Do you want me to ask?
SHW: (long pause) No. (long pause)
Voice: Ok, so I’ve got a cheeseburger combo basket and what do want to drink?
Me: I want a regular Vanilla shake.
Voice: Ok, so I’ve got a cheeseburger combo basket and a vanilla shake. Will that be all?
Me: No. I also want (to the SHW) what do you want?
SHW: A large fry.
Me: A large fry.
Voice: A large fry? Ok. Hold on. I’m gonna make that a combo basket with that one cheeseburger.
Me: Ok, great. (extremely long pause)
Voice: Ok, so another cheeseburger combo basket. Anything else?
SHW: A classic burger.
Me: A classic burger.
Voice: A classic burger. Anything else?
SHW: And a vanilla shake.
Me: And a vanilla shake.
Voice: And a vanilla shake. Anything else?
Me: (to SHW) Anything else?
SHW: No.
Me. No.
Voice: Ok, so we’ve got 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, and 2 vanilla shakes and a classic burger. Anything else?
Me: No.
Voice: Ok, that’s $13.78 at the first window.
(we pull forward)
SHW: Goddammit! We should’ve just gone to Taco Bell! $14 for hamburgers? That’s crazy!
Me: Yeah, what the eff dude?
Guy at first window: Ok, so we’ve got 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, 2 vanilla shakes, a classic burger and a large chocolate shake.
Me: What? No. Both shakes should be vanilla.
Guy at first window: Yeah, 2 vanilla shakes and 1 large chocolate shake.
Me: No, there’s no chocolate shake.
Guy at first window: What? Ok, hold on. Do you still want 2 vanilla shakes?
Me: Yeah.
Guy at first window: Ok, just a minute. (walks away for at least 50 seconds).
Guy at first window: Ok so 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, and 2 vanilla shakes.
Me: And a classic burger.
Guy at first window: Oh, you still want that?
Me: Yeah, just no chocolate shake.
Guy at first window: No chocolate shake and add a classic burger. Ok hold on. (walks away for another 50 seconds).
Guy at first window: Ok, so its 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, 2 vanilla shakes, and a classic burger?
Me: Yeah.
Guy at first window: Ok, then it’s $10.26.
(we exchange money and I pull forward)
First lady at second window: Ya’ll want a holder for all yer shakes?
Second lady at second window: No, they only get 2 shakes. They didn’t order a chocolate one.
First lady at second window: Really?
Me: Yeah, just 2 vanilla shakes.
First lady at second window: No chocolate shake?
Me: Right.
First lady at second window: Ok, so I’ve got 2 cheeseburger combo baskets, one with a regular fry, one with a large fry, 2 vanilla shakes, and a classic burger?
Me: Right.
First lady at second window: So do you want a holder for your 2 shakes?
Me: Sure.
(they hand us our crap and we drive away)

To sum up, never in my life have I had more difficulty making a simple order and then confirming it a dozen times. So I'm going back tomorrow, definitely.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

First day of school

I had a dream last night that it was the first day of fall classes at PSU and I rode my bike there and there was nowhere to put it and I didn't know what any of my classes were, nor where and when they met. And I was naked and couldn't remember any of my lines. Ok, that last part I made up, but seriously, I've been rather concerned about my transportation to school this fall. It's about 6.5 miles and mostly downhill from my house. Parking every day (4 days a week) would cost about $240. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Friday, September 09, 2005

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ye olde drum set


Ye olde drum set, originally uploaded by Sloop.

So the band (L Mix R) played last Friday, along with Jaycob Van Auken and Junior Private Detective and Galactic. Ok, so Galactic was playing upstairs at the Crystal Ballroom and we were downstairs in Lola's Room, but we all had a bunch of fun and enjoyed watching the McMenamin's employees take Galactic's fish & chips to their dressing room and enjoyed a funny herbal smell that wafted out of their dressing room a little later. I watched Stanton Moore (or maybe just his awesome drum tech) soundcheck his drums.

The afterparty totally rocked and Prince's "Sexy MF" brought everyone to the dance floor.

Total unexpected overnight guests: 1
Total cars retrieved the next day: 1
Total buckets barfed in: 1
Total dogs at the party: 3
Total beverages consumed: ~100
Total pissed off neighbors: ??? (none that speak English)
Total helluva good times: one

On Saturday, I went with Kazu Googoo out to Hood River to pick up his newest bass gear purchase. On the way home, we stopped by a place called Charburger Country, or something. It's one of those restaurants that's probably been there for 50 years and the menu's been exactly the same the whole time. They have a bunch of old tacky crap on the walls and a "gift" store surrounding the cash register. How many restaurants nowadays have gift stores with frisbees, yo-yos and novelty pens with the restaurants name and address on them? Not enough, if you ask me. When I'm trying to think of where to go for dinner, I usually grab the nearest crappy frisbee or pen that ran dry the second time I used it and then mapquest whatever address I find on it. I mean, who doesn't do that, right?

After lunch, knowing but not caring that he had someplace to be right away, I casually suggested stopping by the music gear mega-mart, as they were having a huge sale. I happened to notice that the had the drum-set of my dreams, stacked up in the corner. I thought about it a little, tapped on it a little, then I bought the crap out of it and the best cases for it that money (or credit, to be precise) could buy. So now I have my old drum set for sale.

The business: I have a Pearl Masters Studio Series Birch 5 piece drum set, with bags, for sale. I'd like to get $1200, OBO. Interesting trades considered, i.e. scooters, Jeeps, etc.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Leeeeeeeeeeet's get ready to get ready!


Guitar!, originally uploaded by Sloop.

Here I am, Sunday afternoon. Yesterday was a helluva day. I woke up a good 20 minutes before my alarm, at 6:40. I showered, got dressed up in my "stage clothes", then realized I had about an hour and a half before Ben was supposed to come over to carpool with me. So I made pancakes and coffee and listened to NPR. Ben & I then went to Esther Short park in The Couve and played music with The Fellowship of the Thom, the worship music gig that we do with JJ, Hurricane, K-Tina, and J.Tho. Downtown Vancouver has changed a lot... since the 1870s, but in about 1960, it looks like the city development came to a standstill, which is actually kind of nice. It feels completely different from Portland. We set up our stuff, then got some Starbucks, then waited around, then sound-checked for a very long time, then finally played the 10 tunes that we came to play. We played next to a farmer's market type situation, so after we played, Mo and I got Pad Thai at the little "Teriyaki Explosion" stand. The gig was done, we all got the "check's in the mail" routine, so we shagged ass back to Montavilla.

We had about a half hour or so and then Johnny showed up and it was time to load up for L Mix R's show for the Burnside Skatepark thing. We got to the gig, set up our crap, then the 10 horse power generator they had crapped out while the DJ was playing. We were playing under the Burnside Bridge, literally, so it smelled like piss and doobers. I mean weed. Weed? Weed?! Ohmigosh! Weed! So we waited around for about 2 hours, while the "organizers" (and I use that term extremely loosely) tried to find a 600 foot extension cord to plug into a warehouse that was a block and a half away. Tim and Mia went to get juice, the rest of us stayed and watched the skateboard action. Beth and Vanessa came and brought us burritos and agua (muchas gracias, amigas), and the band rejoiced, then Mo and both Teresa's showed up and everyone rejoiced. So, we finally played; our faithful group of friends and fans rejoiced, and then we were done. As soon as we finished, ye olde DJs started playing hip-hop again, and the people rejoiced with the clapping of hands. Luckily, it was good hip hop, as far as I could tell. Unluckily, we were packing up our gear right in front of the speakers and it was some freaking loud hip hop. Afterword, I was more deaf from the hip hop than from the live rock.

Then we went to Dot's and I had a bacon & cream cheese hamburger and a big old bottle of Beck's beer which was good and tasted like honey. Then we came home and watched "Made", with Vince Vaughn, Sean "Puffy" Combs, I mean Sean Combs, I mean Puff Daddy, I mean Prince, I mean the Artist, I mean P. Diddy, I mean just plain old Diddy, and Famke Jannsenn. I fell asleep after not too long a time because it had been a freaking long, hot day. As Marisa said, "it feels like we lived 3 different days today".

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

All I ever cared about was gleaming the cube, until the night they killed my brother.


So apparently,
my band is supposed to be playing at a fundraiser at the world famous Burnside Skatepark this Saturday. I'm gonna gleam the sh*t out of some cubes. The thing is, I can think of 100 other bands in Portland that skaters would probably like more than us (i.e. we're not rap or punk), so I'm expecting the skater punks to throw old trucks and decks at us, therefore I'm going to wear a helmet, and probably some knee-pads, and maybe even some goggles and protective gloves, just to be safe.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

My Saturday Night


IMG_3009, originally uploaded by Sloop.

Fun Fact:
You know you've been sitting in one place for too long when a) spiders start to form webs on you and b) you don't really mind.

Tonight, I drank beer and sat on the front porch, people watching, which is neither as depressing nor is it as interesting as it sounds. My neighborhood (shout out to Montavilla!) is pretty tame at night.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Visit Portland! But not if you're ridiculous.

I like Portland; it has a rich, sordid history (Shanghai Tunnels, corrupt government officials; read the book "Portland Confidential" for details). It's still fairly small (1.5 million), but big enough to attract good touring bands and spawn a ton of good local bands like The Dandy Warhols, Menomena, The Helio Sequence, Viva Voce and L Mix R.

Nevertheless, bike lanes aren't always properly marked, hippies abound, and there's a lot of bums. Still, the panhandlers were a lot more aggressive and angry when I lived in Seattle.

We also have movies on rooftops downtown, theater pubs, great music venues, and our monthly First Thursday arts events.

In Portland, we have many good things, but we also have excessive homeless folks, questionable cell phone service, and belligerent bicyclists. What gets me is people who move here and then brag about how much they dislike it so much (see the comments here). Portland's population has grown a lot in the past 10-15 years, mostly due to people moving here from out of state. So, as a native Portlander, I have little tolerance for a Californian who comes here, helps to congest traffic and inflate home prices, and then posts 3 times on a blog about how he doesn't like it here, nor does he like Portlanders.

"The funniest thing about this place (I've been here for two years, from the Bay Area) is the high opinion Portlanders have of their local food and culture. They make me giggle a lot." - Richard B.

Fellow Portlanders, most of us try to support the local arts scene, local economy, local cafes, local restaurants, and local government, and this Californian is criticizing us for it? WTF? And so what if you're from the Bay Area? Is that supposed to be impressive? Based on nothing, I would guess that this is a guy who lives in the suburbs, drives an SUV, and shops nowhere but strip-malls and chain stores. Richard B., if you dislike Portland's local food and culture so much, why don't you giggle yourself back to California? I'm sure none of us Portlanders would mind having one less ridiculous (read: Portland-hating) Californian here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Just when...

Just when I start to feel good about music, I turn on the TV to find a whole team of ass clowns butchering classic songs, in front of an idiotic audience, the unknown members of INXS, and that guy who looks like Satan.

The Bob Dylan Marionette

I was listening to the song "Series of Dreams" today, which sounds like an outtake from Rattle & Hum, but it's actually an 80's treasure from Bob Dylan. When I was a kid, my best friend Isaac's aunt and uncle made and performed with marionettes. Among the many marionettes they made was one in the likeness of Bob Dylan. However, at that age, I was only allowed to listen to "Christian" music by artists like Carman, Petra, Bryan Duncan, The Archers, and worse. So, I became much more familiar with Bob Dylan, the puppet, than Bob Dylan, the musician. As I got older, and found out that not only did Bob Dylan dance without strings, but he also could play guitar, I was very impressed and was an instant fan. And to this day, hearing Bob Dylan makes me nostalgic for my childhood, before all my dreams were crushed.

Fun Fact

When doves are released at big teary-eyed public events, they will fly up to 600 miles and end up at their home. I've tried to teach my last 30 dogs this trick, but with no luck.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

This summer's hottest epic adventure!


Mt. Tabor Statue, originally uploaded by Sloop.

This morning, Mo and I got up and took the dogs for an epic journey up the mountain. Without even the thought of coffee for ourselves (the cafe doesn't take debit cards) or food for ourselves (our kitchen has nothing but lettuce and ice cream), we set off with our faithful hounds in search of adventure, and to do as much as a man can before he repents. Erm... that is to say, I've never really considered myself much of a mountaineer, but after this morning, I think that it's really in my blood.

Have you seen the Lord of the Rings movies? Our journey this morning was a lot like that, only instead of the Balrog in the mountain, there was a sleeping pit bull outside the Bi-Partisan Cafe. Yes, that's really the name of the cafe.

Also, instead of facing tens of thousands of orcs as we entered the forbidden land, we were greated by a dozen emptied cans of Pabst, remnants of last nights battles, I assume. Then came the "never-ending staircase", which literally had at least 4 flights of stairs!!! OMG!!! Literally!!!! Luckily, Lola was able to drag me up most of them.

We found our doppelgangers at the top of the mountain, only instead of a big dog and a little dog, they just had a couple of little barking moustaches on leashes, from what I could see. Mo and I agreed that if we ever got Pomeranians, we'd kill ourselves. At the top of the mountain, we looked down on the people of this city, as usual, but this time, we were surrounded by trees.

The walk back home was alright, a little bit of a let down. Mo nearly fainted as I slid on my butt, rebel-style, down the handrails of the "never-ending staircase". Half-way down the stairs, though, Lola saw a squirrel and, naturally, ran after it, yanking me off the handrail and onto the ground. Luckily, my face broke the fall.

Then we got home and I took a nap, and when I woke up some little people jumped onto my bed in slow motion, and then a weird old guy with a beard dumped a 40 on my bedroom floor and said, "One for the homies".

And that was my morning. And with the exception of the visit from the Kazu-Hank's, this afternoon has sucked d------- ---s. Or rather, it's been a tad boring.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Book Baton

From Feaverish

Number of Books on the Shelf
I don't know. Maybe 100 or 200. I got rid of most of them about a year and a half ago. I used to have many many books, but I went through a monkish phase, getting rid of many books, cds, and clothes.

Last Book Purchased
Prossibly the Thrawn Trilogy of Star Wars books by Timothy Zahn. It's the story of what happens after Return of the Jedi. So what if I'm a geek? I've never been a sci-fi fan (of books, that is), but I caught Episode 3 fever and had to find out what happened after the 2nd Death Star got all blowed up.

Book Reading Right Now
"Dark Force Rising" (see above), and "Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing" by Benjamin Nugent. The Star Wars books get a little boring and I wanted some inspiration for my music career, so I'm taking equal doses of Han Solo and Elliott Smith.

Last 5 Books Read
1. Straight Man by Richard Russo - funny, good the 2nd time around, too.
2. Independence Day by Richard Ford - existential, funny, sad, thought-provoking totally great in every way. One of the best books ever. Probly my flavorite.
3. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn - Star Wars tomfoolery
4. Something by either C.S. Lewis or Hemingway, I think. It was a sort of yellowish paperback. It fit nicely in my bag, next to my Spanglish dictionary. Any guesses?
5. I'll have to fill this in later, because I literally cannot remember. The part of my brain that remembers basic things is filled with Spanish phrases, therefore, lately I've had trouble remember simple things like el mes, I mean the month, el dia, my own phone number, paying the electric bill, feeding the dogs, how to spell simple word en ingles. See what I mean?

Passing the torch to:
1. Moz
2. Kazu GooGoo
3. Reesa Rick
4. Bonika
5. Lavalier

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The magic of childhood

Top 5 Childhood Memories

1. When my parents would let me out of the basement at night, and I'd get a glimpse of the wonders of electricity.

2. My 13th birthday, when they finally gave me a lighter to cook my daily slab of meat with.

3. That day when the cat o'nine tails was in the shop.

4. When my parents replaced their VW Bug with a station wagon. Not that being strapped to the roof was that bad, but I lost more than one toe to frostbite on those icy mountain passes.

5. When I saw that movie "All Dogs Go to Heaven", I realized my parents had lied to me about Sparky's afterlife. 8th circle of hell, my ass.


Next up:
1. The Pieman
2. Sex in OC
3. Flying Waitress
4. Feaverish
5. Michelle Auer

Monday, July 18, 2005

This just in!

Update: I'm still not interested in visiting Dubai or any thirld world countries. And don't give me any crap about Dubai not being a third world country. Not to imply that it's a third world country; I know what's what. It's not North America and it's not Europe, so why should I go? Regardless of how many 5, 6, or 7 star hotels they have, I aint interested, got it? Do they even believe in a God with a big white beard and red pajamas who distributes candy every Easter and Thanksgiving? Doubtful. Do they have a hipster indie rock local music scene? Also doubtful. Do they protest Taco Bell at the local university? Again, doubtful. Do they have entertainment industry has-been's performing at local casinos run by Native Americans? Doubtful. Do my dogs live there? Definitely not, so that's like the nail in the coffin of the suggestion of my trip to Boo! Die!
More on this as news comes in.

So freaking hott up in this joint.

One of my favorite summertime memories evah, was 2 years ago, Mo and I were at Ole Ole on Burnside, eating outdoors. There was this 30ish year old black dude on the 3rd floor of an apt. across the street. He was on the li'l balcony wearing nothing but cut-offs, swinging his shirt around his head and singing along with "Hott in Herre" at the top of his lungs to all the Burnside traffic below. Good gracious ass bodacious, indeed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rock Star

Currently watching "Rock Star", the American Idol meets INXS tv show on CBS. Jesus help us; what a bunch of jackinannys these singers are.

This summer has been much busier than I expected, which leaves me very little time to update ye olde blogue. Here's what's been happening:
1. My mom had thyroid cancer.
2. My mom surgery for the cancer yesterday. It was successful, and she's now recuperating.
3. My brother turned 30 yesterday.
4. My band's been recording some demos. Download and listen to them here.
5. My band's been rehearsing a bunch for our upcoming debut. That makes us debutantes, right?
6. I've been going to school and doing homework for 6 hours a day. ¡Hay carumba!
7. Those goddamned bombings in London. What can I say?
8. Frida Sorce, wife of Mike Sorce from the Don & Mike Show, died in a head-on collision last Saturday.
9. My church is having a cd release concert/service/thingy this Sunday, the cds (which I played all the drums on) will be available next week.

Whew! That's what's been on my mind: music, sickness, death, and Spanish. Not necessarily in that order.

This just in: I said to my wife, "Do you have to watch local news? It's lies." She said to me: "You're lies."

Monday, July 04, 2005

Moving on...

A certain relative was at my house recently, looking at some of my art projects. I showed them my series of close-ups of my wife's face. Here's what happened:

Her: Oh these are good!
Me: Thanks. I got an A on this project. I'm pretty proud of them.
Her: Are they all of Jonny?
Me: Um...
Her: It's Jonny right?
Me: No, it's Moz.
Her: What?! They look like a boy.
Me: Oh. Thanks.

So that's always nice too.

How old do I look to you?

A week ago, I was hired to play drums for my brother's church for that day's services. No problem, so I show up way too early just to be good and professional and all that and this geezer comes up to me in the parking lot. I know the guy, he'd sung at the church when a played there 6 months previous. We had met, shaken hands and exchanged pleasantries back then. So he comes up to me and it went like this:

Him: Wow! What are you doing here?!
Me: I'm playing today.
Him: Oh boy! Wow! Talk about a blast from the past!
Me: Yeah, I guess so.
Him: So did you work last night?
Me: No; I did homework.
Him: Homework? What kind of homework?
Me: Well, I go to PSU, so I'm taking Spanish right now.
Him: PSU huh? That's kind of different.
Me: Yeah, I'm a graphic design major.
Him: Wow! Well, it's sure great to see you again! Whatcha got there? (pointing to my little case) A monitor?
Me: No, that's my kick drum pedal.
Him: Kick drum? Well, I always remembered you as being a bass player! You're playing drums now.
Me: Yeah, I've always played drums. My brother plays bass here. My dad plays bass, too.
Him: (stunned silence)
Me: Yeah, so I'm playing drums here today.
Him: You know what? I thought you were your dad! Oh. Ok, so your not Ted?
Me: No. I'm Peter.
Him: Oh, ok. (walks away).

I swear to God, there's no exaggeration in this story. My dad, young as he looks, is in his 50s. On the other hand, I am 27, roughly half his age, and this ignoramus thought I was him. Sigh.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The goal of my Spanish class

I know, I know, it’s about freakin’ time, right? Well, maybe I’m the only one wondering why I haven’t updated in over a week. The answer is simple and contains only one ñ: El clase de español. I’ve got class M-F and about 2-3 hours of homework each night. The upside is that I’m getting a B (yes, that’s good news). So, hopefully, seven weeks from now, I’ll never have to think about the preterit way of saying “stab to death with a knife” in Spanish. Seriously. There was a little comic strip depicting the events of the movie “Psycho” and our task was to describe the plot in Spanish. I think the goal is that when I finally visit Mexico I’ll be able to say, “I embezzled thousands of pesas and now I need a room to sleep in for the night and pray I don’t get stabbed to death with a knife. Do you have such a room for me?” Because that’s the basic story of everyone I know who goes to Mexico.
So there’s that and my band. We have been practicing, making posters and last night, we began recording our first full band demo songs. So far, it’s good. I recorded my parts for 4 songs last night with the help of Ben and Jonny.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Fascinating Facts about Me

1) What stickers do you have on your car?
a) Radiohead, b) Stereo Crush, c) remnants of an REM sticker

2) How/where did you meet your last bf/gf?
Through mutual friends, we kind of met a few times without being properly introduced, finally she came to my house with some friends and we watched "The Big Lebowski". That sealed the deal, so now we're married. She still calls me "El Duderino".

3) What do you hear right now?
Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl
Creedence - Lodi

4) If you could have a drink of anything right this second, what
would it be?
Ice water

5) Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My left knee - it's my achille's heel.

6)How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could
chuck wood?
Next.

7) What's your job position called?
Ad writer / producer

8) What size ring do you wear?
Hell if I know.

9) Do you own a picture phone?
WTF? No, man. No.

10) What's your bf/gf's birthday?
February 9th

11) What's your Mom's favorite band/musician?
My dad

12) What's your Dad's favorite band/musician?
Tie: Yes/The Yellowjackets/Steely Dan

13) What was your highschool's mascot?
A "tech-man". Your guess is as good as mine.

14) What's your favorite bottled water?
Widmer W 05. I believe it's a pale ale.

15) What's the next concert/show you're going to and when?
Who can say? The only tix I have are for U2 in December, but I've gone to shows the past 3 Thursdays, so if that's any indication... Then I'll probably go out next Thursday.

16) What were you doing at 9 pm last night?
Watching the wrap-up for the Pistons v Spurs game.

17) What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
Doppio con panna or Double 12 oz. Americano

18) Do you exercise as much as you should?
Exer-what?

19) Did you attend your High School prom?
Regrettably, yes.

20) Would you give your bf/gf a second chance if they cheated on
you?
Hell no. Welcome to Dumpville: Population - You

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

L Mix R


L Mix R, originally uploaded by Sloop.

So, my band finally decided on a name - L Mix R, and while we were at it, we put up a myspace page (until our real website goes up) and we took some self-portraits and agreed to post an old synthy demo. We'll start playing shows in July, so strap in and prepare to feel the G's. Please look and listen to us here. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Rock and Roll All Night!

I want to urge everyone in Portland and the surrounding boroughs to either go see Bryan Free at the Doug Fir (free show!) or Stars of Track & Field and Longwave at Dante's (it's only $5!).
I hope to see you at one or both of these, my fellow rock and rollers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

There's this snake wearing a vest...

This morning, while driving to work, I saw a semi-truck that had painted on it a snake wearing a construction worker's outfit, with a jacket, a hardhat, and outstretched arms with gloves on his hands. Yes, a snake with arms. I thought this was totally idiotic, but the kicker was the slogan, "Rockmorse says No! to drugs". Seriously. Why the f should I listen to a snake named Rockmorse, with a forked tongue and gloves tell me about doing drugs? I would normally jump at the chance to listen to the wisdom of a snake in a hardhat, but come on, "Rockmorse says No! to drugs"? Why would anybody offer drugs to a snake with arms, on a jobsite, repeatedly? Regardless, it's good that he didn't just say "no" once, but he "says 'No!'" each and every time. Out of curiousity, I offered him some television, and he said "Maybe!".

The real lesson here is: a) snakes are frequently tempted by drugs, b) snakes can talk, c) snakes have arms, d) snakes work construction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Thank God for Grammar School

Myspace quotes:

OH YEAH YEAH YEAH WOO...watch out biatches...I'm comin 2 rock ur a$$es this weekend...HOLLA!!! =D
Yet another Robbii love... hahaha so roykstoppppp!!!! is comming to the hollywood bowl on the 7th biotch! You better be here!!! Otherwise Ill have to put my kettle on myself...:) :
muah you are missed


Man!!!! That is you! man i thought you were someone els!!!! hahaha!

TAG UR IT!!!!!
THIS IS SOOOO SCARY!!! SEND THIS TO 15 PPL IN THE NEXT 143 MIN AND THEN PRESS F6 AND YOUR CRUSHES NAME WILL APPEAR IN BIG LETTERS!!! IT IS SOOOO SCARY CUZ IT WORKS...BUT IF YOU BREAK THE CHAIN...YOU WILL BE CURSED WITH RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS! SEND IT TO 15 PPL IN THE NEXT 143 MIN

DAM U HOT SEXXXXX BITCH!!! ur modeling pics LOOOK GREAT!!! do the dam thang thang!!! anyways MI AMOR... how have u been?! whats JOLLY wit u?! get bakk at me asap!!! i wanna see u before i leave to italy at least ONCE!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

The verdict is in!

Michael Jackson: Guilty on all counts!
Well, that's my personal judgment of him. The jury of his "peers" found him not guilty.
My question is, who really are Michael Jackson's peers?

1. Darth Sidious
2. Jar Jar Binks
3. Bubbles the Chimp
4. Ronald McDonald
5. Jim Carey as The Joker
6. A steaming pile of sh*t
7. Some perverts that are already imprisoned
8. That evil clown from my dreams
9. The principal from "Ferris Bueller" - total perv
10. Any other all-singing all-dancing child-molesters who have sold millions of records
11. Lyndie England
12. This guy

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Modern Rock

So, this morning, my alarm woke me up to the sound of Grover singing some rock song. After a minute, I figured out it was actually the latest Foo Fighters song. And, as much as I was ready to hate it, the new Coldplay album is very pretty and nice. It's not going to change rock history or anything, but it's very decent and listenable, much like their last one.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Last Nite

I spent yesterday acing my film final, then sheet-rocking the band room ceiling with Johnny. Then, later last night, we went to Berbati's to see The National and Menomena. Mo stayed home to sleep.

I have to say that The National started off pretty boring and slow, but halfway through their set, they woke up and finally started rocking. My main problem with them is that their drummer didn't seem to be aware of the ride cymbal, and when he did spy that cymbal over there, he tapped it very lightly, like he was afraid of causing a fuss. The thing is, though, their supposed to be a freaking rock band, so I was hoping to get my ass kicked, but instead it was gently massaged.

Menomena, on the other hand, knows how to rock and roll. Danny smacks those drums with Thor's hammer. He's a guy who's not afraid to bash away and get noisy, and I like it. Menomena played, like, 5 new songs and they were good and varied and the band doesn't sound like it's repeating itself.

So, I got home at 1:30, hopped into bed at 2 for a quick read before going to sleep, and Mo started acting up.

Her: Hey! What are you doing? Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? I'm trying to sleep! I've been asleep since 12 and you just woke me up!
Me (whisper/shouting): Hey! Whatever! I need to read before I can fall asleep!
Her: Shut up! Rude! I need to wake up in 2 hours!
Me: Why the fudge would you need to wake up at 4 in the morning?
Her: ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Me (shutting off the light): I'll get you back! Mark my words!

So today she suggested that I read in a different room before going to sleep; I suggested she get a blindfold.

A day in the life of my dog, Lola

Arrrrrrrrrrg!! Hungry! Must kill visitors!! ARrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Where's that Yoshi bastard so I can step on his head?! ARRRRRRRRRRRRR! MMMMM! This floor tastes delicious! Yummy, this ladies shoe is like some fine cheese! ARRRRRRRRroo roo roo! It's the friggin mailman! That bastard keeps coming back! ARR ARR ARR!! Ok, I've got to concentrate, think of something peaceful. Think of something square. It's a square. My brain hurts. Must lay down. Too overwhelmed with brainery. Aroooooooooo.
(lays down)
(someone comes in the door)
ARRRRRRRRRRRRRG!! Must kill friends of Sloop and Moz!!!
(Repeat)

And repeat. All day long. Forever.

So, different dogs for different... needs.