Friday, September 24, 2004

It's all About the Back-Up Guitar
Tuesday night we played The Good Hurt again. We filled a last-minute opening slot for some bands on tour. Prior to the show, as I unloaded my drums, a guy stomped out a cigarette and offered to help. He played drums in another band. (He reminded me of Chachi if Chachi had a more cave man-y eybrow hairline). His band, whose name I unfortunately can't remember, had trecked across the U.S. from Jacksonville, and had played empty shitty show after empty shitty show. Then he told me how just before he left one of the hurricans had collapsed a bathroom in the house he just bought, how there was no time to see Big Sur, and how he had to miss his daughter's first birthday in order to hit the road on schedule.

Then we went on and it was fine, if not frought with technical difficulties, which makes for some awkward, song-less stage time. For better or worse, Parker's not one for banter, and I have access to nary a microphone (unfortunate, since I've got an arsenal of killer Monica Lewinski jokes), and "jamming" gets really old really quickly. So there's not much for us to do while Josh changes a string, except look like 12-year-olds hugging the wall at their first school dance.

Then again, we only traveled 20 minutes to get there. In that sense, we fared better than Band From Florida, specifically Caveman Drummer in Band From Florida, who came up after we finished and asked if he could buy drum sticks off me; he left his in Arizona. So I just gave them up, 'cause the least he should get out of the this tour was free sticks.

...I'm realizing as I write that this ended up way more Chicken Soup for the Soul than I ever wanted. So here are some possible substitute endings:

-I bludgeoned him to death with the sticks

That's all I got. It's Friday, man.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

God Bless You, Onion
This makes me really happy.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Biscuit's In The House
I was sifting through these pop culture trading cards the other day (Super Stars of Late '80s/Early '90s Music edition, to be specific). 'Twas a flashback to a time when popular music sucked just a little more than it does now. In case you forgot about the explosive success of MC Skat Cat, the sassy animated feline who tangled with Paula Abdul in the "Opposites Attract" video, he and his posse are now immortalized, and prepped for trading with your friends.

I remembered most of the "artists", if only for a song or video. But then there were the obscure ones that you most certainly never heard of, despite the cards' perhaps slightly exaggerated declaration that they "blew up the charts" and had "ultra-mega success". My favorite of these these lost treasures is Biscuit. What's that? You don't remember Biscuit, the NKOTB bodyguard turned rapper? Allow Super Stars MusiCards to break it down for you:

Biscuit played his demo tape for New Kids Joe McIntyre and Donnie Wahlberg, who excitedly told him, "You've got a hit record there!" That single, "Biscuit's In The House," was soon a hit nationwide and was followed quickly by the album 'Biscuit' (1990).

Sadly, my web search for a Bisc pic bore no fruit. But imagine someone's overweight, balding dad in a leather jacket, and that's pretty much him. His smile makes me think Dancing Teddy Bear, but the jacket suggests a hardened thug seething under the surface. Sort of a black Snow, if you will. A more palletable Brian Austin Green. MC Hammer without the edge. You get the picture.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Storming Versailles, or Why Six Feet Under is The Shit
I made a bet with a friend at work. It was over what happened to Nate's wife (Lili Taylor) on Six Feet Under. I won, 'cause Brenda be crazy, but she ain't kill-your-ex-boyfriend's-wife crazy. Now I get sweet, Cuban-y Versailles for lunch as prize for my TV saviness (although I never would've guessed Hoyt to be the jealous/murdering type.... by the way, if you watch the show and haven't seen the season finale, you should've stopped reading a couple sentences ago).

And for all 0 of you keeping track, I decided this season that I'm not leaving the show. We're bound through tough times. 'Cause there have been some. The first two seasons were honeymoonish (the show, by the by, is about a family who owns a funeral home, and tries to cope after the dad is killed by a bus). Then, last season, the characters got a little too dysfunctional and self-indulgent (which was forgiveable, since it is, after all, a show about death and how it affects the people who have to keep going). And occasionaly, it gave Dancer in the Dark a run for its money in tragedy, which as a viewer was sometimes rewarding, sometimes exhausting.

But this season it came around. Had more of a sense of humor about itself (save for a couple intense episodes... David Gets Car-jacked -- dizamn!). The dysfunctional and whiny, while still damaged, wised up. Which, coupled with everything else about it, makes it the smartest show on TV. For one, it deals in relationships and day to day existence, and what all that means in the grand scheme of things. But it's also just funny and clever as hell, and perfectly cast/acted/written/directed -- eerily accurate, Office-accurate, in its depiction of odd, fascinating people.

Okay. I think I'm only making it sound lame now. I'll stop. But here's more if ya want it.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Santa, You Really Shouldn't Have
I haven't even made a list, and yet somehow he just knows what I want. Consider Psychic Abilities added to my rolodex, Great Things About Santa.

This looks pretty rad, too. Sort of your formulaic, been there done that, Existential Comedy, but me likey.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Spring Break Soundtrack
A shout out to Jeff Ramirez for this. Because I champion all things Spring Break, I had to include this. I'm not sure how their music celebrates the drink-til-your-liver-explodes spirit of this website, but hey, they're a band from San Diego. I can pour some 40 on the curb for that.

This picture is especially rad. I like how the middle guy and right guy aren't nearly as into it as the bearded one. They're just sorta feigning creepy.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Repeat As Necessary
I have a history of goofy sunburns.

Or rather, I have a history of haphazard sunblock application.

Either way, I have a problem with learning from my mistakes.

In high school, I was in a play (for which I won an award. Have I mentioned that before? I was pretty rad), and I had to appear on stage in nothing but boxers and a towel around my head. So I figured I'd brown my pasty Anglican-ness a little before revealing it to all of MCHS. It didn't go well. I got a ril, ril nasty burn that streaked all over my body. Even my eye lids were torched. I rubbed Aloe on that shit three times a day, and it stung. I ended up wearing a T-shirt on stage, and vowed that this would never happen again.

Cut to 2 years later when it happened again. Not as bad, but I still had to work at RobMay during Inventory Week. Now, as a dude, standing in the middle of the Lingerie department while folding and scanning women's underwear is awkward enough (though certainly not the worst occupational casualty I've endured). Add to that the fact that I was blotchy all over, and the looks I caught ranged from Curious to Very Uncomfortable to Should I Go For My Mace? This would be the last time I mis-applied sunscreen, for sure.

So you see where this is going.

This weekend, we went to the beach. This time, I walked away with a Little Brow Crown. It looks like I fell asleep with with my fingers spread across my forehead. But nope. I just missed that area. I thought about trying to play it off as tribal make up, my salute to the world's Aboroginies. Curiously, no one's buying that.

Oh well. Here's to next time.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I saw Arnold's speech at the RNC the other night. It didn't really say anything, but it did confirm what I already knew. Namely, he's mostly just a harmless embarrassment who, if flexible enough, would blow himself. While quoting his movies.

And then there were the Bush twins. Watching them was like watching a bad '80s stand up comedy team. Yes, I realize people write their words for them. But the giggling, Hillary Duff "I like boys and flowers!" delivery added a layer of awful. When they weren't name-dropping their friends in the White House, they bashed their, like, totally un-hip grandparents. My favorite line:

Grandma's so dumb she thinks that Sex and the City is something you should do and never talk about!

Okay, I made up that "so dumb" part, but it was implied. I just cut out the middle man.

And then last night there was Zell Miller, Republimat from GA who sounded more like a delusional hillbilly than a senator. (No offense to delusional hillbillies). Followed by Cheney's smug, quoted-out-of-context attack on Kerry.


I'm still hopeful, but we may very well be royally f'd, people.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Phone Habits of the Elderly
My grandmother called me last night from her assisted living place in Milwaukee. She usually goes to bed at 9, but waited an extra half hour to make sure I'd be home from work and rested by 7:30. She was glad I answered because, as she shouted, "I wouldn't have been able to understand anyone else if they tried to tell me you weren't home, or if one of those message things came on".

This is true. At 90, she's nearly deaf, but her problems with understanding people on the phone aren't so much a result of age, as they are of a timeless antagonism with phones, answering machines, and well, communication in general. My grandparents were married young, and much to her relief, my grandfather handled everything, save for the cooking and cleaning. And when he was incapacitated by Alzheimer's, she got mad at phones. Well, phones, driving, bill-paying, and everything else she never did.

She's less and less mobile, but Nonny's gotten garrulous since moving into Luther Manor. When she used to call, she'd stay on the phone just long enough to hear how I was, tell me with dread that life was "fair", and then quickly but politely excuse herself and hang up. Last night, though, she covered in detail everything from the recent spell of "crazy weather", to how wonderful her nurses are, to global warming, to her remote granddaughter, to the power of prayer (an old, reliable topic). It was as if she'd just discovered the possibilities of the phone. She still scoffs at the internet. But give her another 50 years, and I'm sure she'll come around.

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