Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's the Reason

So far in Texas I have:

  • watched Snakes on Plane with our two gracious hosts until the wee hours
  • sipped delicious coffee in the sunshine by a pool, reading the Dallas Morning News
  • demonstrated great improvement in my disc-golfing skills, this being my second go-round
  • waded into a muddy creek to retrieve a disc, errantly thrown into the river in spite of the aforementioned improvement
  • stepped barefoot into a pile of fire ants

  • I recommend doing four out of these five things.


    Off to Shreveport; then back to Fort Worth; then Houston.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    "Uh, is that a fang?"

    We were driving through Ohio, en route to Lansing, Michigan, from Buffalo. I occupied what seems to have become my standard role: navigator. It was a long drive, and we droned along the highway, the only noise being that from the CD player and the road. I almost wanted to doze off, but I have a hard time sleeping in cars (I can also read for only about an hour before getting nauseous, which really sucks, because there's a lot of reading time available otherwise), so I spend a lot of time looking out the windows, while everyone else reads or sleeps or drives.

    Thus, I was the only one to see the awesomest road name ever, Fangboner Road, which really does exist. So I immediately crack up and tell everyone about it, and, because we're a road-weary bunch of juvenile louts, we spent the next half hour debating (a) what exactly a fangboner looks like {yes, of course we drew pictures} and (b) whether a fangboner is a good thing, a bad thing, or something else {consensus: bad thing; I mean, really}. We have also begun using the term to describe some unfortunate turn of events. E.g., "Oh, man, you left your patch cable in Bennington?! Wow, that's totally fangboner."

    Chicago today, where my grandma fed us an awesome dinner and then beat me (by one lousy point!) at Scrabble™. She's awesome, as I've mentioned. Tomorrow it's a long drive to Kansas City. Oh, and we passed the 2,000-mile mark today. So, woot and all that.

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Everything's coming up bathroom

    I write to report on great advances in bathroom-odor-control technology. I've now visited three different gast-station bathrooms in Pennsylvania, Vermont, and New York—bathrooms that were filthy, their toilets urine-filled and disgusting. But! these bathrooms all smelled like flower shops, featuring an almost-overwhelming bouquet of rose-scented aromas. It was downright enjoyable to piss in these places, and while I'm suspicious of any chemical that can cover what must've been the natural smell of such bathrooms, I look forward to more encounters with floral-scented shitholes.

    Also: apparently I was sleepwalking last night, per Jonny Blaze. I fell asleep on a pair of shoes in front of the refrigerator.

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Leaving Somerville

    Last night we played in the Boston area. It was a show we didn't set up, and we soon found out we were playing last, which is bad-bad-bad for an out-of-town band with little local draw. (Our bread and butter on this kind of show is playing somewhere in the middle, sandwiched between the local acts, which forces people to hear us, love us, and buy CDs. This gives us gas money, getting us to the next gig, where the virtuous circle of tour economics makes another go 'round.)

    To top it off, I was supposed to get dinner with a friend whom I hadn't seen in a couple years, but we got delayed, because we had to find a music store after the band from the night before totally thrashed my snare-drum head. So, I missed dinner, and Boston Friend couldn't come out to the show because it was inaccessible by train and she is sans car.

    We also got to the show really early (like 7:10pm; show start time was around 9:30pm). So I paced around out front, grinding my teeth and smoking cigarettes like it was my job. The club owner was being kind of a dick, and I felt sort of unwanted there. I really just wanted to play a short set and get the fuck out of Boston forever.

    We agreed to play only four songs, assuming the room would empty out after the first two bands (who catered to an older-ish crowd, the kind that normally walks out when we play). I trudged up to the stage when the time came, ready to just slog through it and be done already.

    But, as it turned out, a fair number of people stuck around and bobbed their heads throughout. The other bands really liked us, and one dude kept asking why we hadn't played more (we did add a fifth song; about 30 minutes total). I told him that frankly we felt sort of unwelcome by the club owner, and said [Boston accent], "Ah, dat's bullshit. You play da room datcha play to," which really made sense at that particular moment and made me feel better about the whole thing.

    After the gig we agreed to hightail it out of Boston, rather than trying to find a place to stay. We had nice cushy couches a mere three hours away in Bennington, VT. (Well, I slept on two cushy chairs pushed together in a sort of open-coffin fashion.) Bennington's gorgeous and great contrast to my shitty, shitty mood before last night's gig.

    The point of this rambling and poorly written missive is: (a) I don't know why Ryan is not blogging; he mustn't feel like blogging, that's all; (b) I get the most frustrated when a situation is completely out of my control, as in the gig last night and missing out on dinner with Boston Friend. There was really nothing I could do to improve either situation, and I just had to sit and stew in it, and I hate that. It's much worse than a situation where I fucked something up, because at least then I have someone to blame.

    Anyway, I'm alive and in Vermont. I might take a shower today, too.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    It's not you, it's me*

    So, it's official. Teh Internets and I have broken up. And it's sad, of course. But the timing is right.

    I'll be away from the tubes for most of the next month, first on a work trip to Miami (yes, I know; life is hard), then on a three-week tour, which will take me to the places listed here. (Yes, TBA is a real city; we really like playing there. A lot.)

    I suspect my co-bloggy friend Ryan will keep you entertained with the every-so-often blogging that is his wont. Be nice to him. He owes me a lot of wine, so I try to stay on his good side, hoping in vain that he'll pony up already.

    I'll be checking e-mail on occasion, but not too often. If I don't respond to your e-mail, it's not necessarily because I don't like you. It may be that I'm trapped inside a Ford Windstar, hurtling down a freeway in the middle of the night—lost, cold, hungry, and happy.

    *yeah, yeah, "it's I"; whatever.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Return of the MACRoCk (Next Year)

    What?! MACRoCk is cancelled?!

    Well, this year, yes. But, per their update [click through]:

    The MACRoCk committee has thought long and hard about our mission and has decided to partner up with the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. We are now in stride to become a completely independent conference, free of the legal backing of James Madison University, with whom we have operated over the past ten years. The conference will now be housed completely in the Harrisonburg downtown area with the support of local independent venues and businesses.
    I don't really understand what happened. Some to-do with JMU, as far as I can surmise. Anyway, save up all your indie/emo/whatever juice for next year. I'm betting on a great fest.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Super Energy Booster!

    Some things::::
    - LC and I drove to Nashville this past weekend. One of the highlights was a wedding reception that took place in a half-sized, scale model of the Parthenon, complete with a 41 foot gold statue of Athena, replicas of the broken statues that line the front of the original, an art gallery with green walls, and a free photo booth. Another highlight was a naked cowboy playing guitar and singing on the street. Nashville is sweet. We watched live country music at 11 in the morning, while drinking beer, in a packed bar. Again, Nashville is sweet.

    - I just finished Don Quixote, which is sweet, but in a way so different than Nashville that it hardly seems appropriate that I would use the same word to describe each thing, but I did. There is a humor and worldview in Quixote that I have maybe never encountered anywhere else. (Note to modesto: my translation was by Tobias Smollet, edited by Carole Slade, and both of them did a sweet job.)

    - More on reading: Whenever LC and I travel via car, we read to each other from The Uncensored Oral History of Punk which, like Nashville and Cervantes and Smollet and Slade, is sweet. Punk is sweet in a sex, drugs, venereal disease, sex, drugs, drugs, sex, stabbing, sex, drugs, rock and roll kind of way. And while I can't say that I can name more than 3 Ramones songs, I sure know a lot about their trysts with homosexuality.

    - Do something nice to your neighbor today.

    Something in the air

    I should have been paying more attention to this story:

    Attorneys for the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the owners of the former Clark Oil refinery in Blue Island have been given permission to appeal a Cook County judge's decision to vacate a $120 million judgment they won against the company.
    I grew up about two blocks from that refinery. When it blew up on occasion, our windows would break. Insane. I knew the place had closed down, but I didn't know there was litigation. (My grandma used to give me the skinny on the town gossip, after we moved. But she's since moved further away from the city.) I'm definitely going to keep an eye on this one.

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    The presence of absence

    I've been meaning to write something like this, but I haven't known quite what to say. Thanks, roomie, for saying it for me.

    Thursday, March 01, 2007


    I've made no secret about owning a horsey sweater, and it's awesome. I wore it to a gig tonight, a gig with the cover-ish band. An amusing exchange after we played:

    Drunk Person: Are you the drummer?!
    Me: Yep. My name's Stanley. And you are…?

    Drunk Person: Why are you wearing a horse sweater?
    Me: Well, it's my favorite sweater. I really like it.
    Drunk Person: But what does it mean?
    Me: Oh, I dunno, it's just silly, you know?
    Drunk Person: Nooooooo, but it must mean something. There must be some deeper meaning.
    Me: Uh, well, I like that there are two horses, like a baby horse and its mom horse.
    Drunk Person: Aha! And it reminds you of your mom then. I love it. Great. Really awesome.
    Me: Uh, sure I guess. Though, Freud said something like "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
    Drunk Person: That's boring.

    Drunk Person: Have you ever shroomed?
    Me: Nope. You?
    Drunk Person: Man, I was in a field, and understanding, like, life. And like it's all connected, you know.
    Me: Oh. Are you a buddhist?
    Drunk Person: Well, I guess I'm an aspiring buddhist. Only not really
    Me: Good answer.


    Drunk Person: Okay, goodbye humanist.