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Monday, December 22, 2008

I think God has Portland confused with Vermont

We thought the snow was bad yesterday:



But look what arrived last night and this morning:



Good lord. I'm so cold and hungry. Not thirsty, thanks to plenty of beer & liquor from the Christmas party. But staying drunk for 3 days in a row is hard, you know?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rock for Christmastime



Well, it's not really for Christmas as much as it is just coinciding with the Christmas season. Coupla things:

1) I'll be playing drums & percussion alongside John Stewart for Chris Robley & The Fear of Heights CD release show at Someday Lounge this Friday night. It will be a rocking good time, because sometimes 1 drumset just isn't enough. The other bands are Tango Alpha Tango (featuring 2 of the dudes formerly of The Carolines) and James Low.

2) My band Hello Morning just finished a rough mix of the first song from our recent round of demo recording. You can listen to it and be our myspace friend here.

3) Hello Morning will be playing a rocking house show in North Portland on Monday the 8th, and a totally rocktastic set on Saturday the 13th at the Ash St. Saloon. That day happens to be my birthday, after which I can say I'm in my early 30s, not just 30. My Amazon wish list is on top of the links on the right. Show details can be found here or here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A look inside the mind of a crazy person

I'm pretty sure this is the song (and video) that plays in the head of the Zodiac Killer, Mark David Chapman, Charles Manson, and anyone like that. The first chimney sweep you see looks ready to cook and eat the children. Enjoy the maniacally haunting sights and sounds:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tour Blog #2


Tour updates: Saturday night show in Merced, Sunday show in San Diego. I then spent the next 2 days with my old friend Lonny and his family, which includes 3 hilarious daughters, ages 6, 3.75, and 1.5. We went to Disneyland on Monday, and by "we" I mean Lonny and I, not the kids, which might seem a little mean, but I don't think they would have liked the rides we wanted to go on, like the teacups and the flying Dumbo ride, and Toon Town. I mean, kids don't like those things, do they? And the Tiki room was pretty intense.

Tuesday night we played a dive in LA called the Silverlake Lounge. The sound was pretty good, the crowd was small but appreciative, and afterword, I had burritos with Lonny and his brother, who lives in LA. Yesterday we did a "live in the studio" recording/performance dealy for a website. The dude who recorded us did an album with Norah Jones singing for him and has apparently played with some other quite famous folks. He was super nice and it was a fun time. Last night, I went to a diner with Feaver, whom I haven't seen in 2 years, but since we chat all the time, it wasn't like, "OMG! You're so different now! LOL!". Instead, it was more like, "PWNED!".

Today, we leave the amazing house we've been staying at (and it is amazing), and drive up to Fresno, to play at some sort of Japanese restaurant/rock venue.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

CRATFOH Tour Blog


As I'm on tour, filling the drum chair for John Stewart, playing with Chris Robley and the Fear of Heights, I thought it might be nice to do a little tour blog. This is my half of a [slightly edited] chat with Benjy, which I thought might serve double duty as both a chat and a blog. Here are the dirty details of life in a rock band on the road:

me: are you there now? I had to restart my lappy.

me: ok cool. Touring is fine, It's only been one LONG day and one night. We're at a house in Molesto now. It was like an 11 hour drive down yesterday, but the van is really spacious and comfortable, it's a 13 seater.

me: nah he rented it for the tour. It's not too bad for a 12 day thing.

me: yep, to a very receptive crowd at a little cafe/bar all ages places on the main drag in downtown Modesto, home of George Lucas.

me: we crashed at the soundman's house, as he's a friend of Chris'. It's a huge McMansion in what used to be the rich part of Modesto. But the lappy thing does work on the road, too. I got that ATT USB Mercury thing and worked in the van for a good 2 hours yesterday.

me: yeah, so far so good. we only have 1 hour to drive today, so it's basically a day off, so that's nice. Tomorrow it's ~5 hours down to San Diego, but then I'm going to stay with my friend Lonny for 2 days.

me: I haven't seen him since he was in Portland a year ago... He came to our last Towne Lounge show.

me: Yeah, the 3 of us hope to get together on Wednesday.

me: no that was Ben K., my old next door neighbor. I went to grade school with Lonny and worked at TCBC with him and Feaver.

me: yep. i hope it works out. Anyway, 2 days off with Lonny will be fun... Maybe we'll go to Disneyland, I dunno.

me: oh Lord. yeah. dang.

me: well, i don't even know if I'll go. It could be too much of a wear out.

me: cool. i'm hoping it's all decorated for Xmas, like the Haunted Mansion is all Nightmare before Xmasy.

me: yeah, it's like, if you stay for 12 hours, you really get your money's worth.

me: haha. yeah, totally. i guess on Robley's last tour it was like LA, Vegas, San Francisco, etc. a whole buncha 10 hour drives, so he knew that was no good.
oh wait, there's also a San Diego show between Merced and LA. So, 7 shows, plus a day of busking.

me: aha ok. i'm starving.

me: sweet! that's probably more than I'll make on the whole tour.

me: he promised he would, he's just still asleep.

me: haha. My brother gave me $100 as a gift for the tour, so i can spend that on the tour.

me: yeah, i think so. he's a nice guy. anyway, i'll let you go setup your bass.

me: ciao!

Well, that's my tour update. I hope to find time to do more later.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

West Coast Tour!

Guess who's coming to a town near you? Provided you live in Modesto, Merced, San Diego, LA, or Sacramento, the answer is: ME.

I'll be pleasantly playing drums with Chris Robley and The Fear of Heights.

Please come say hi.

I'll be working from the road with my lappy and maybe doing some sort of tour blog, if there's time and desire for such a thing.

I leave first thing in the morning.

Adios!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Podcast is Up!


Lavalier podcast episode 005

Erik was in the basement for a few weeks, so we have a SPECIAL GUEST CO-HOST! Benjy Rickard wipes the mic down for this episode.

Pretty much we talk about Halloween.

The bumper music features these fine Portland artists...
Gifty, Welsh Rabbit, The Beauty, & A Blinding Silence

SUBSCRIBE IN iTUNES...

It is a very easy process to download, don't get scared...

1. open iTunes
2. go up to the "Advanced" menu
3. pull down to "subscribe to podcast..."
4. cut/paste the text below into the box...

http://www.lavalier.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

5. Click "OK".

You are subscribed! Copy to your iDevice of choice.

If you have already subscribed, iTunes should download 005 automatically the next time you start up.

iTUNES STORE UPDATE:

You will be able to download direct (and still free) from iTunes store SOON; we just have to go through the application process first (and create a better logo, too.)

TO DIRECT DOWNLOAD:

Get it here...
http://media.libsyn.com/media/erikstanfill/lavalier_podcast_episode_005.m4a

---

Send us feedback, legal mp3s, and anything from rimsky-korsakoffeehouse...
lavalierpodcast at gmail.com

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Real Website for my podcast




Yep, that's a picture of Simon, on his throne of toilet paper, during our trip to Costco the other night. Of course, with all those truffles and beer, we'll need huge amounts of toilet paper.

Anyway, the headline and the story. Just go click on this and you'll see the website in its infancy. Coming soon will be an official logo, crap loads of links, etc. But for now, you can go there and stuff.

In other news, I had fun playing with Chris Robley & his marvelous band The Fear of Heights at Holocene last night. It was my first Portland rock show since last January's disastrous finale for ye olde band. But that, I believe, is water under the bridge.

I'll be on tour with Chris Robley and the Fear of Heights (CRATFOH) for 11 days in November, going to San Diego and back. Should be fun, and I hope to visit 2 of my best buddies (Feaverish and LoHarp) while I'm down there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hard at work


This is what I look like, every day, on the job, more or less. Sadly, this photo is more interesting than half of the music I listen to for my job.

Going camping on Saturday should be fun. I haven't slept out of doors in probably 3 years, I think.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hot Portland Podcast Action!


So, my friend Erik (Lavalier) agreed to let me sit in with him to start co-hosting his podcast, Lavalier. I think next time I may drink a latte instead of a beer and cocktail when we record, just to take it up a notch on the excitement meter.

I believe Erik put it best when he wrote:

We made it to the second episode! Now with 2x the hosting power... Peter Swenson pulls up a mic, and will be co-hosting from now on.

***EXPLICIT WARNING***

I forgot to bleep Peter's potty mouth so be forewarned about upcoming crassness. Put the kids to bed, folks! We are covering: stolen radio towers, movies from the 70s, serving coffee in bikinis, the best damn bridges in Portland, and all things non-sequitur.

The bumper music features these fine Portland artists...
The Morals, Dirty Mittens, Justin Bennett, Drats!!!, & Transient
Thanks for submitting! Clicky clicky to get all myspacey with them.

LISTEN IN ITUNES...

To subscribe via itunes, open itunes, go to the "advanced" menu, pull down to "subscribe to podcast..." cut/paste this URL...

http://www.lavalier.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

you are subscribed!

If you have already subscribed, itunes should download 002 automatically the next time you start up

Send us feedback, legal mp3s, and anything from saint cupcake...
lavalierpodcast@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weeping hippies are funny


http://view.break.com/567077 - Watch more free videos

Your revolution is over. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose. Do you hear me?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thanks to Rick Emerson for reminding me of this.


I didn't write this, but wish I did.

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it.

We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be!

We all know things are bad -- worse than bad -- they're crazy.

It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone."

Well, I'm not going to leave you alone.

I want you to get mad!

I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.

All I know is that first, you've got to get mad.

You've gotta say, "I'm a human being, goddammit! My life has value!"

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,

"I'm as mad as hell,

and I'm not going to take this anymore!!"


Now go watch the movie Network, for a little context. Amazing how relevant it is today, 3 decades later.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A little help

I'm just looking for a particular Bible verse. I think they're teaching it in schools and/or churches around the country. It's the one where Jesus said, "Protect thine own wealth, detest the poor and suspect anyone different than thine own self. Also, monger ye some wars, lest there be too many people in heaven."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My Tiny Mouse


You won't believe how small my new mouse is.

The packaging tricked me into thinking it was a normal sized mouse, but it's actually smaller than a credit card.

It's kind of cute though. Like the little mouse who could.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A little update!

Hello blog.

I've added my Twitter updates on the upstairs of this page.

Also, my recommended albums (available for purchase) over on the right, in my links section.

I'm doing well. Got that "promotion", which isn't so much of a pay raise, as much as it is a huge upgrade in the flexibility of hours and the amount I'll likely enjoy the new position.

The new job involves listening to cds and writing about some of them.

Also, The Dark Knight is awesome.

That's all I have time for now.

Perhaps I'll change the picture up top, too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm not dead!

Hey everybody. I am fully aware that I've neglected the crap out of this blog. But don't take it personally. I've virtually ignored all but the most important websites altogether. The reason being that my new job actually gives me stuff to do, so I don't quite have the time to devote to the old (arbitrarily named) Ice Deck. I hope to blog more soon. For now I will just say that I love my job and heard a nasty rumor that I'm getting a promotion (or maybe just moved to a more desirable position) tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stuff and Stuff


I think I've got proof that Simon is the cutest boy ever. That's him giving Curious George a big hug.

Moving on, this Friday I'll be singing:

That's right; I'm leaving the office job I've been at for about 8 years. I've had periods of full-time and periods of part-time work here. I had about 8 months off when Moz and I moved to Seattle and back in 2001. And of course my short-lived career as a full-time professional drummer/instructor. And my even shorter career at Torrefazione Italia, over by Lloyd Center, under the management of an Italian bastard. Seriously, he was physically and verbally abusive to his staff. He was fired immediately upon Starbucks acquisition of the company. Besides those stints, I've been at this job since the week after I got married, May 5, 2000. So now I'm leaving.

I don't really want to talk about my future employment plans here, but I am really looking forward to it. Of course, I can sort of picture myself, 4 years from now, reading this post as an archive and thinking, "You fool! You have no idea what horrible workplace atrocities you're about to encounter!". But for now, I'm excited about the future.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jesus walks! ...as does Simon


That's right. My boy, after months of stumbling and crawling and taking one or two steps at a time, has finally reached another milestone. Yesterday, he took seven steps towards the remote control I was holding. I told him how proud I was of him and what a strong and smart boy he is. Shortly thereafter, he walked across the entire kitchen; probably 20 or more steps. I consider that walking. He's not totally fluent in it yet, but I'd say he can do casual walking now. I'm so proud of him and can't help but give him rave reviews on this, the only public forum I have. Also, he's getting really good at strumming the guitar. And standing on it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Lithp



Why, oh why, do so many NPR commentators have lisps? I mean, I like "This American Life" and the dry, droll insights into ordinary life, pop culture and white people, but it seems that many of them have a gentle (or harsh) lisp. I'm just saying.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Look over there. That’s my son. You see? See? You see him? You don’t tell me how to raise my family.

Lately, I've been honestly surprised at how much I can't wait to get off work to go spend time with Simon. Not that I ever didn't want to spend time with him, but the past few days, he's taken his playfulness to a whole new level. He's started eating bean burritos, and working on saying the word "beans". He's also gotten pretty good at saying "Lola", as Moz wrote about the other day. Plus, you've got to admire his approach to new challenges:

He puts his hands around it and tells it who's boss. I believe it's the same approach taken by Al Pacino in Godfather II, before giving Fredo the kiss of death and I think by The Joker in the 1989's Batman, telling someone "You are my number one guy!", only in a very creepy, insane Bugs Bunny way. It's a way of living that I find admirable and highly deserving of mimicry, in many walks of life. When someone questions your judgment, put both hands around their face, and then while they're transfixed by your gaze, either a) stare them down, b) questioningly lick their face, or c) knee them in that special spot. It'll get the job done.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Crap pile, or, How life is.


As we blindly try to climb our way out of the seemingly endless pile of guano into which we are born, we sometimes see some light at the top of the cave, and a little joy comes into our life, and if we can just get over this next mound, we'd get a breath of fresh air, and maybe get out of the crap heap. But then, a hundred thousand metaphorical bats show up and dump a ton of steaming dook on you. Like when your new car breaks down and it costs more to fix it than you paid for your last 2 cars combined. And then you start trying to climb again, with your head down, hoping to not get dumped on again. But you know it's coming. What form it's coming in, exactly, you don't know. But the crap will dump on you for the rest of your life, and it never stops.


Wow, that's a downer of a paragraph. I try not to keep this mindset, but sometimes, life sure feels like this. Today, I'm fretting over a phone call. If it goes one way, I'll be giddy. If it goes the other way, I'll start thinking about the mile high pile of guano again.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lousy Smarch Weather



Shortly after Simon's birthday party, he discovered the joy of biting balloons, so Moz and I found it helpful to take a few pictures. Also, two days ago, he learned how to climb up onto the couch by himself. He's a big boy. We also got him a cheap "Eddie Bauer" brand car seat which sucks horribly and jiggles a lot over every intersection or ant in the road. So, after a week of driving with that, we decided that something a little more stable (preferably a lot more stable) was needed. I went to get a Britax "Latte" model car seat. It's wonderfully secure, and much heavier and simpler to use. Naturally, it cost about 3x what the Eddie Bauer car seat cost, but totally worth the money.

Driving home across the Marquam bridge every day, as I do, I couldn't help but notice that a large stretch of the waterfront was getting bug-bombed. But then I realized it was no bug-bomb. It was the circus. Not the good zebras-and-bears circus, but the French-Canadians-looking-for-errant-rainbows circus. I should add that I hate Cirque du Soleil. I'm sure that it takes a lot of strength and dexterity to perform whatever muscular atrocities they do, but it's not for me. I don't mind if you like it; I used to work with a fellow who bought their soundtrack cds and dvds, and I gave him a very small amount of harassment for doing so. (Fare thee well, Graham, wherever thou might tread) What I hate about Cirque du Soleil is that it's intensely whimsical and people will pay $75 for a ticket to the spectacle. I've had someone tell me that "it's like watching a work of art", to which I say, "No, it's actually watching grown men in glow-in-the-dark Spandex body suits climb all over each other to the sounds of Zamfir and Yanni. They have websites for people who want to watch that, in the dark corners of the internet."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Aughties

Is anyone else in futureshock besides me? I just realized that I'm not really comfortable with the fact that we have to call this year "2008". I'm no Luddite; I mean, I embrace technology and science and all that. But I still have a hard time saying "oh, such-and-such, yeah, they were big in the 90's." Then I realize that most of the 90's took place over a decade ago. Plus, it seems that we have yet to agree on a name for this decade. I like to call it "The Aughties", but it hasn't caught on. Finally, it struck me this week that I vividly recall the "Mondale/Ferraro" ticket from the 80's, and how weird it is that that was 24 years ago. How many forgotten presidential bids are stuck in my brain somewhere? I remember Jesse Jackson did a parade down the street near my grade school during his campaign and how somebody (mom, dad, a friend?) told me that he wanted to make America like Communist Russia. So I was scared out of my mind when Reverend Jackson and his supporters paraded down NE Alberta way back when.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It was one year ago today





Well, it was one year ago today that Simon emerged from hiding, saw his shadow, but decided to stay out and keep us company anyway. It's pretty amazing to think about how much he's grown and changed in his first year.

If you were look at me and my knowledge and abilities of a year ago, then look at me today, I'm basically the same person. I look about the same; I don't think I've learned any new skills whatsoever. I offer the world pretty much the everything I could have offered it a year ago.

But take a look at Simon. A year ago, moments after he was born, my first impression was that he was like a pile of noodles. Granted, he was a pile of noodles that I would gladly stop a bullet for, but he was just all limp and floppy and needed someone else to do everything for him.

Amazingly (although I know this is how it normally happens), he has learned to crawl, walk (with a little help), and take food from the plate into his own mouth to eat. He will call out "Mama", "Dada", "Lolololo" (an approximation of the name of our dog (Lola), "Up", and "Hi". Plus, he loves to listen to music and dance, read through books with us, and carry around an old picture he found of his mother & I. He's got
tons of personality and every day I'm amazed at how much he's grown, how much he will grow, and how much I love him today.

For his first birthday, I'm kind of glad he won't remember it, because I'd hate for him to know that Mommy & Daddy can't really afford much this year. I'm sure it's just a temporary lull in our checking account, but for the past three weeks, we've had to pinch pennies in a way we've never had to before. Not to get too weepy, but we actually had to cash in the penny jar the other day, and it actually made a huge difference to us. So, we won't be going to Sasquatch this year. Nor any other thing which costs money. At least in the foreseeable future. Moz has a new job on the horizon, so pretty soon we'll be back to our life of Riley lifestyle. But today, I'm eating frozen chicken wings and President's Choice Cola for lunch.

The photos at the top of the post were taken about 364 days apart. And since I love looking at my boy, I'll post one more, from about 11 months ago:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Whose line is it anyway?



I just returned from my work's local Starbucks. When I walked in the doors, I couldn't believe what was going on. I thought I was in a carnival hall-of-mirrors fun house or something, because everything was so disproportionate. Specifically, the line was all wrong. I was the fourth person in line, yet I was approximately 20 feet from the counter, standing in the doorway. You see, every person found it necessary to stand about 4 to 5 feet behind the person in front of them. I tried to fix the problem by glaring at the people ahead of me in line, to no avail. I looked around the cafe, to see if anyone else noticed how bizarre the line was, and it looked like one person smirking while watching us.

I took the above picture after waiting for about a minute, and people had started shuffling around a bit, so it doesn't quite convey the absurdity of the spatial relations. I'm all for personal space, believe me, but if someone were to tell me that "the line was out the door", I'd expect more than 4 freaking people in line. Maybe everybody in line ahead of me should be wearing glasses, but wasn't, so they had no depth perception. Or better yet, maybe they were all really cyclops' and just faking like they had 2 eyes, so they couldn't see that the person in front of them was WAY in front of them. That's what I'm going with.

Before and After













The photo on the left is from about 10 weeks ago. The photo on the right is from a few days ago. Just charting Simon's progress in relation to the island in the kitchen, on the shelf of which he now loves to climb. He's probably 23 pounds and just a couple weeks shy of his first birthday. He's a pure joy to be around, plus he's now learning to join in when we chide Lola (the dog) for being bad. He makes an angry face and talks gibberish, very sternly, to her.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Sad Truth

The Rat-filled Race

Some of you may have noticed that I've been posting a lot more lately. This is explained by 2 factors: 1) A few months ago, I started working full-time (again) in the office job I've been at (off and on) for so many years, and 2)on most days, my job is infinitely boring, plus there's a lot of down time, so I usually have time to read the internet cover to cover, and make my own contribution to it. In fact, startling statistics have just been announced, revealing the relationship of office boredom and coffee consumption:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lazy post?


First off: after this morning's donut, I decided I should go back to low-carbing it, at least for a while. So now I'm enjoying some peppery beef jerky.

Moving on: every once in a while, I find it interesting to take a peek at which text searches bring people to this blog. Here are some of those searches:

"Pine State Biscuits"
"did elvis do any commercials/endorsements"
"snake with arms"
"never seen things"
"tips for spicing up your love life"
"menomena under an hour blogspot" (in Spanish!)
...and the winner is:
"most amazing blog ever" (Yes, congratulations on finding it. It's right here; you're reading it.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mexican Food, Biscuits, and Fugazi, of course



Has anyone visited that new Mexican place by Bipartisan Cafe & The Academy Theater? I think it's called Rojo's Latin Quarter or maybe Romo's or something. I remember the font on the sign more than the words comprised in the font. It was a bad font. Not papyrus, but something else distractingly bad, for sure.

On a similar note, when will the Pine State Biscuits restaurant open? Moz and I used to get their sandwiches at the PSU farmer's market, but I think that market is closed for the winter. Their restaurant is supposed to open this winter, so since there's only a few weeks left, I'm guessing it's soon. Then again, if I go back to a low-carb dealy, then biscuits will be (again) strictly for the birds. Literally. And figuratively.

Finally, I have to silently curse something (God? The Devil? U2? Myself?) for not "discovering" Fugazi until after I turned 30. WTF self? Why are you so nonsensical sometimes?

Another Simon video

A different video. Maybe this one will work. This is from about a month ago and accurately portrays an average evening in our house. Seriously. It's just constant crawling and laughing.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A few links and such


Some website called Spinner has put together a list (lists: America's 2nd biggest industry!) of the 25 best band logos. A fairly interesting read.

Also, I came across a "Letter to America" which (according to Snopes) is falsely rumored to be written by John Cleese. It's pretty hilarious and I think it makes some really strong arguments as to why we should have our independence revoked. Read it here.

And, heads up Maurice Sendak fans! Is this test footage from the forthcoming (in 2009!) Where the Wild Things Are? Looks like. It sounds like maybe Sean Penn is the voice of the monster.

Finally, as you may (or may not) see in the previous post, I put a video on youtube. It's a simple video, just my wife and baby playing around. However, after loading it (twice!) onto youtube, I can't get it to show up on the blog here for more than a day at a time. And when I log into my youtube account, it shows that I haven't uploaded a single video. Maybe I'm dense (this blog is subtitled "Computer-dumb, book-smart" for a reason) but I just can't figure the dern thing out. Any hints, webnerds?

Update: Moments before writing this blog, the below video said "We're sorry, this video is no longer available". But now it looks like it is available.

Update 2: It's only playing on my computer, not my coworker's. What the what?!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Family Video

Sand in your what? also, that was the 90s

1. There is almost nothing worse than trying to eat a bite of week old birthday cake only to find yourself crunching into a mouthful of half cake, half sand. Trust me on this one.

2. Is it ironic or just stupid that when using the Netflix online movie viewer, and you try to skip ahead 1 minute, it takes 3 minutes to load? And why is said viewer only accessible through Internet Explorer? Does anybody even use IE anymore? What is this, the Clinton Administration? Is everyone getting psyched for Nancy Kerrigan's appearance at the Olympics? Is My So-Called Life starting to gain some attention? Are the Spice Girls yet to make a movie? I think I've made my point.

3. And now, here is the modern dance interpretation of Internet Explorer:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V.D. Day


Here's an original poem you can feel free to use, instead of that mass-marketed Hallmark crap:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
What I like about you most is
You don't smell like poo
Very often


I think Kazugoogoo will agree with me when I say "Thank god that cop last night didn't ticket me". But the surprisingly not-rude cop did alert me to some tail-light problems on ye olde horseless carriage.

And now, today's vitriol: I wish I had a bouquet of dead roses to send across the street to the numbskulls at Jiffy Lube, who, after spending nearly an hour tinkering on my car, managed to leave my occasionally working tail-lights in worse condition than before they got their barely functional brains to working on them. Seriously, the guy asked if my name was spelled "P-E-T-T-E-R". My second clue, alerting me of their incompetence was the big sign on the door of their lobby which read "Help wanted. No auto experience required."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I think therefore iPhone, or, A pretty hilarious week.


Last weekend Marisa had her 30th birthday, so I celebrated by buying myself an iPhone. Wait, let me back up. It seems that the Flying Waitress decided to give an iPhone to Marisa. So, whether it was mercy or pity, or perhaps even a sense of justice or fairness, my wife let me buy an iPhone for myself. This was a pretty fun and unexpected turn of events for the weekend, but I was mostly happy that Marisa had a good birthday. Between the shmancy dinner on Friday, and then the snow tubing and little party with some friends on Saturday, I think we had a pretty fun and memorable time. Then my ma had a birthday on Monday, so we went to Ya Hala for some hummous, grape leaves, et al. So, two birthdays, two iPhones, and bunches of cake and ice cream have occupied much of my time for the past week. That's about it. Nothing too hilarious, I'm afraid.

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention the clowns that showed up and threw banana creme pies in everyone's faces? And, uh, then I, uh, slipped on some banana peels at the top of a staircase, then I fell onto some rollerskates and skated down the stairs and landed backwards on a horse, which galloped around town and finally bucked me off into a pile of cow poo. Yeah. A pretty hilarious week, actually.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It actually was a dark and stormy night


Last Christmas, I was given some $100 in pre-paid American Express cards, and I've been debating for the past 6 weeks about what to do with them. I finally decided on some drum accessories that I found online, but didn't want to wait for them to ship, since I am hasty in most matters. So, I checked my favorite music shoppe (Trade Up), found they didn't have it. I would have gone to my second favorite (Portland Music), which I actually don't really like, since the service is abysmal, but they are fairly conveniently located. However, they close too early for me.

My last resort was the strip-mall chain store Guitar Center. This place is basically the Walmart of music stores. They're a huge chain, so they have decent prices, late hours, and generally apathetic, ill-informed sales staff. Plus, they pretty much always blast the most terrible music you can imagine, throughout the store. Like, screaming, pounding metal. It's really awful. So that's what I had to look forward to, while driving with little Simon out there, through the snow on the 205. The thing about strip malls in the suburbs is that, despite being monstrosities and eyesores, they can be darn tricky to find.

I found myself driving, a little panicky, with Simon griping at me from the backseat, through the snow. Very few streetlights can be found on the roads around the store I was trying to find. I drove around for a while, unsuccessfully searching, entering 3 different darkened parking lots, hoping they'd be the right one.

I finally gave up and decided to head home. But after driving for 1/2 mile back where I thought I came from, I couldn't find the freeway, and instead got stuck on some long winding road with a barrier between lanes and no turnoffs for a U-turn. At this point, I called Mo and asked her to luck up the store online. She told me the address right as I arrived at an actual intersection, with lights and everything (!). It was a pretty glorious moment, and I didn't feel so far removed from civilization, as the lights and the correct address and my car turning all arrived at the same time.

So, I finally found the store, although the windows were all blacked out, so I wasn't sure they were open. Luckily, some emo-teens were making out on the walkway, in front of the store. I wonder if that's what GC uses instead of "Open" signs now... Anyway, they were blasting some awful nu-metal. Unsurprisingly, they didn't have the items I wanted, but said they could special order them for me. Maybe I look like a guy that's never used an internet, because I could really easily order this stuff myself. We left the story, racing to get away from the Puddle of Filth or Staingled Devil Horns, or whatever it was assaulting our ears. As we were walking through the store, I promised Simon under my breath that we'd never hear music that bad at our house.

Song of the moment: How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm on a vacation... from my problems!




So what are the good things I can focus on? Well, new musical ventures are underway and that's good. Further details will be made known as these stories develop. Also, I spent a good morning with my friend Luke and his wife, who live in Salem. It was good to spend some time with the man who, when Simon was still a young fetus, bought Simon the Complete Chronicles of Narnia, in a single gigantic hardback volume. There's also further exciting talk of selling La Casa del Sloop y Moz and moving to a different zip code. I'm all for it. I'm tired of my idiot white trash neighbors yelling at my friends for parking in front of their crappy house. There's also rampant speculation that we may rent an RV and take a road trip this summer. One word describes this: totally awesome.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Just to avoid confusion


My marriage is still intact. The "bomb" that dropped was my and Kazugoogoo's unceremonious firing from our band, which we've been playing with for over 2 years. On the brighter side of things, there's already a couple new musical projects in the works.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What can I say?


Since the bomb was dropped a week and a half ago, I've been going through a mix of emotions, sometimes separately, sometimes all at once. Anger, frustration, betrayal, sadness, relief, brief moments of happiness, resignation. This is not an easy cocktail of feelings to reckon with and reconcile with each other. And while I know I should look forward to sunnier days, it's hard to see past the murky present.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Music in Aught Eight


Ok, there's a lot to talk about, but not now. For now, let's put the iPod (currently holding 3851 songs) on random and see what turns up:

1. Vendiendo Alegria by Wayne Shorter. I've been trying to expand my musical taste lately, so I've copied a number of albums from genres that I don't normally listen to much. This (Alegria) is nice jazz album, featuring the exquisite drumming of Brian Blade. He's a pure joy to watch (and listen to). Anyway, this song is very nice, not too crazy, mellow jazz with sax, trumpet, piano, bass and drums. This song is perfect for a foggy morning like this one.

2. Secret Beach by Metheny Mehldau. Another jazz number, kind of a bossanova tune. I got this album (Quartet) for several reasons: a) Brad Mehldau is fond of doing nice cover tunes and is a great pianist, and b) Jeff Ballard occupies the drum throne on this album. I saw Mr. Ballard on OPB not too long ago and was blown away. Also, c) my dad's a fan of (jazz guitarist) Pat Metheny, so I knew there would be some interesting work there. The guitar solo at about 6:30 gets a little cheezy in it's tone, but that's Metheny. Also, a 9 minute song can be a bit much for some listeners, so consider this a warning.

3. Treasure by U2. An old non-album track. Upbeat, with off-key vocals from Bongo.

4. Expecting to Fly by Buffalo Springfield. A gorgeous song. I normally have a fairly low tolerance for Neil Young, but this one gets 5 stars, indubitably. Not quite sure what it's about. Jack Nitzsche produced it.

5. At last I am Born by Morrissey. New Morrissey rocks with baritone guitars. Also, dig the children's choir. "It's remarkable what you can learn once you are born." Sweet.

6. Tulsa by Rufus Wainwright. Fine chamber pop from a decent album (Release the Stars) by a great artist.

7. Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles (from the album "Love"). Did anyone else have to fight the urge to delete this album, after learning it was associated with Cirque Du Soleil? I'm glad I didn't delete it, as the remastering sounds great, but can't say I listen to it much.

8. Head On by The Jesus & Mary Chain. This is one of the first songs I remember seeing a music video for (I was 11). I knew it was cool and that my friend Mark's older brother probably knew who it was. He did & I was hooked. I remember biking to the mall to buy this tape (Automatic) and then listening to it over and over.

9. God by Smashing Pumpkins. From the single for Zero, which my mom bought me at Fred Meyer, after school on the last day of my senior year of high school. This song rocks pretty hard with plenty of screaming, wild drumming, and appropriately pissed-off lyrics.

10. Resolve by Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man. I love Portishead, but this album is a gi... Oh crap I just fell asleep while typing. That's how boring thizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... Dang, there I go again.