Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just Because I look Stunning In My New Shirt Doesn't Mean I Want To Talk To You, Girl Sitting Next To Me Right Now

My quite straightforward more or less masculine instinctual hatred for Bono, frontman/"singer" of good-during-the-1980s-and-good-during-a-small-chunk-of-the-1990s-but-certainly-not-good-anymore has more people - and these are friends, most of them - baffled than would please me, all things considered.

Why do I hate Bono? Well, I don't hate hate him [note: this is untrue, I do hate hate him]. What I hate is the word hate. I had a ninth grade "Social Studies" teacher who thought what a good excersize would be would be to sit in a circle and everybody had to name one thing that they hated. And these things we hated were not required to - and in the end did not - have anything to do with "Social Studies." More often than not they had more to do with Chrissy egging Tanya's house but Tanya's mother had to clean it up because Tanya was at cheerleading camp and Tanya's mother fell off the ladder propped against the tree, broke her knee, bad insurance, lost job. Tanya hates Chrissy, then, quite understandably. Anyway when it got to me I said I hate the word hate, because what good does the word hate do? And I distinctly remember hearing some girl, always sat in the back so I don't remember her name but I do remember her bookbag having Foo Fighters white-outed onto it, like a patch, but instead of Foo Fighters she'd put Food Fighters, could have been a joke but more likely is that she hadn't a fucking clue what she was white-outing onto her Jansport, saying, "I hate people like that." "Like that" meaning me, people who hate the word hate. Then later in the week the teacher showed us slides from his vacation to Sochi, where he picked up a sweet mail-order bride for like super cheap.

Life goes on, though, and I hate Bono, despite his numerous highly-publicized curvy sunglasses doing good all over Africa. I don't really know why I hate Bono, but I'm more than positive that I do, so there's no shaking me here. I know I hate Bono like my pregnant aunt knows it's a boy. I know I hate Bono like my Dad knows that sometimes we should take the Nickle Bridge, because, I don't know, I've just got a feeling that there was a large accident on the Powhite involving a motorcyclist and two trailers lugging horses to Powhatan. That's how I know I hate Bono.

I was also in that "Social Studies" class that I mastered the underappreciated pre-iPod schoolday skill of packing a CD player in your Jansport and having the headphone chord inserted under your shirt, up your chest, into an arm hole, into your hand, pressed against your ear. So that what might look like head-on-hands boredom/despondency is actually jamming out to Smashing Pumpkins.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I sat down at my drums last night, ready to play a three-hour gig, and I noticed a slight pain in my left wrist. I was worried, having experienced some symptoms of CTS about a year ago (I changed my typing technique and the problem went away). As the gig went on, the pain dissolved, and my wrist felt completely fine by the end of the night. But this morning, my pinky and ring fingers were numb, and the numbness has continued into the afternoon.

Do I give up typing? Give up drumming? Neither of these outcomes is desirable. Ack.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In which I take a position

Last night, while doing the important thing I was doing, I used a construction (in bold below) that a few found puzzling:

You whom with I played baseball and ate bubble gum and talked about Shakespeare think this crap is clever.

I swore up and down I'd heard it before, but google wasn't really any help. Apparently, I was making shit up. Sort of.

The sage and totally fuckable teofilo advised me that this kind of construction is called a postposition and exists in several other languages. Some examples from Navajo he sent along:

naalyehe ya sidahi
merchandise for one who sits
"trader" (lit. "one who sits for the sake of the merchandise")

naalyehe ba hooghan
merchandise for house
"trading post" (lit. "house for merchandise")

Really cool, right? I thought so. And it gave me full confidence that I should be encouraging the use of my new construction—it just rings so mellifluously in my ears.

So: go ahead. Use "whom with." Use other postpositions. You'll be yourself beside. And sure, wolfson will probably make fun of you, but that was likely to happen anyway, you know?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Three Day Guest Pass

On rare occasion, Ryan (your second favorite blogger (ever!)) climbes out of the moldy, dark caves he labors within, cringes under the oppressive Sun, and then drives to the local ski resort to teach a class on winemaking and eat a five course meal with forty sectarian couples who pay Ryan for his company, and then when the dinner is over they usually buy him drinks and, more or less, want him to be their son. This week marked one such occasion.

Here is a fairly representative snippit of me teaching:

Ryan: So once we've got the juice all squeezed out of our white grapes, we're going to move it to a tank, which can be done a number of ways and I will get into that in a moment. Once the grape juice is in the tank, though, it's going to chill for at least -
Ma'am: Excuse me, Ryan, but do you know where we've got to go to get our three day guest passes for the golf course?
Ryan: No. No, I don't. You'd have to ask -
Ma'am: Because yesterday I went to Guest Services and spent at least twenty minutes waiting for the receptionist to aknowledge my presence. She told us to go to the main offices, but they weren't open. Then we went to the check-in building, but they weren't open, either. By then it was time for my massage. And so what I'm saying is what do I have to do to get my three day golf course guest pass?
Ryan: I really don't know. You'd have to ask somebody who works here. What I can tell you is that we're going to let our white grape juice chill over night. This is called the cold soak. The purpose of the cold soak is -
Sir: Can you beleive it, though? We came here to play golf We didn't come here to jump through hoops all day. If we can't get our three day guest passes, why wouldn't we just leave? And if we stay till Sunday, which we wouldn't have to do if it weren't for all this incompetance, it's going to fucking rain. Rain, Ryan! It's supposed to rain!
Ryan: Well, sir, I can ask the activities manager after our seminar -
Sir: Fucking rain, Ryan!
Ryan: Would you like -
Sir: Fuck rain! Fuck it!

Comparatively, here is a snippit of me speaking at the end of the dinner, after four of the courses:

Ryan: And so this last wine is our port, which is very special. What's special about port wine is that we make a basically normal red wine, and then we add a lot of brandy. which kicks the alchohol up to about 40 proof.
Entire Group: (heartfelt, standing ovation)

Waste Not

WARNING: this post is not for the squeamish; I'm going to talk about human waste, namely, my disposal of it as it relates to playing drums in a rock band. Read on at your own discretion.


I tend to "sling a deuce" (in the parlance) prior to playing a gig. Not immediately prior. Usually about half-an-hour out, when a mixture of nerves and bourbon-and-diet-coke culminates in a troubling mix of lower-bowel gurgling, announcing the impending onslaught.

Okay, okay, "onslaught" is not the proper term here. But look: I have to poop every time I'm about to play a gig. It's almost a superstition at this point, and tonight I didn't "rid myself of the bad notes" (as I like to describe it). And, frankly, my playing was sub-par.

Now, correlation not being causation, and I not being one to succumb to the whims of the superstitious, I hesitate to tie my failure to "rock the shit" with my failure to "shit the rock", as it were. But there's a lingering doubt. And we just may never know.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"I'm so lost without you"

Of the many afflictions I sufffer, waking with a random song stuck in my head is probably the most common. Recently, it was Foreigner's "Head Games" for several mornings in a row. This morning, without any explanation, it's "All Out of Love."

Lucky for me, there's a whole internet out there to serve as my salve, to help me banish the haunting melodies from my cerebral folds. You see, someone knew I might need help today and was kind enough to cut scenes from a classic David Bowie film to coincide with the lyrics. Yes, here at long last, is Air Supply mashed with Labyrinth:

I think it works pretty well. I mean, kind of cheesy, but hey, so's the original video. And now the song's out of my head forever!

Wait. No. Nope. Still in there. Crap.

Partial Recall

I've finally begun to upload some photos from tour here. More to come.

It's probably not interesting to most people, but it does allow me to highlight this guy:

When I suggested his shirt might instead have read "I did whom last night?" [my emphasis], I honestly thought he was going to beat me up. But he did not.

Still, a testament that people everywhere? Lame.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A clear misunderstanding

Dear California Readers:

Please be on the lookout for someone standing near a 7-11 somewhere in your fine state, holding my debit card number and $1800. It seems this person thought it would be okay to take these funds from my account, but actually it wasn't okay. So if you see this person, just let him or her know politely that I'd like that money back, mmkay?

Great. Thanks in advance for your help.


UPDATE: As of today, Loss Prevention has refunded the full amount of fraudulent withdrawals. I guess they really do Watchovaya money. Though, I did have to place another call to remind them to refund the $12 in miscellaneous fees, incurred due to the withdrawals being made on a non-branch-affiliated ATM. Ah, life.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Still broken

The most striking place I visited on tour was New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward. I knew there remained work to be done, but I was not prepared for block after block of gutted, lifeless houses, like this one:

Every couple blocks, you'll see a FEMA trailer sitting next to a house that's on-the-mend, but mostly it feels like a ghost town. "Why isn't this fixed nearly two years on?" I kept asking myself. It's just shameful.

We did come across one bright spot, a sign of recovery, a sign of grass-roots community rebuilding efforts:

It's a part of something called Blue House Project, and it's a kind of community center where you can get shade, lend and borrow tools, communicate with neighbors, etc. Down the street rebuilders can access the internet to try to sort out the insurance and FEMA craziness.

It's a humble effort, but it's impressive nonetheless. An enthusiastic (and tired) man told us about the projects, about the volunteers that have been coming, staying nearby at a school. He gave me a pamphlet, which featured contact and donation info, along with a long list of needed supplies. He thanked us for stopping and asked me to make photocopies and pass the flyer along. In that spirit:

If you can help in any way, please do. I assure you it's much needed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Waste not, want not

One of my favorite co-workers—let's call him Ronnie—is always coming up with zany-yet-plausible ideas. Today's gem? He's going to harvest and sell worm poop.

Yep, it's a commodity: worm poop. And, checking the price list ($12/gallon!), I'm thinking he might be on to something after all. Anyone want to start a worm-poop farm?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sorry I Haven't Been Blogging, Stanley, But, You Know, Allergies

Dearest Stanley,
I hope you're having a great time on tour. I hope the shows are good and the bonding greater. By the way, I'm sorry I haven't blogged like I said I would, but my allergies have been a real bitch.
The first weekend when you were away I went to a maple syrup festival in Monterrey, Virginia. It was great. I had maple syrup donuts, and maple syrup pancakes, and maple syrup fudge, and saw an old time bluegrass band called The Maple Syrup Gospel Band. They were great, and I did real' well on their Bible quiz between sets. Then I bought buckwheat flower and checked out a badass sheep farm. Sheep are funny. They make a lot of doo.
So I couldn't blog on that first weekend, on account of being at the maple syrup thing.
Then that whole next week I had work, and when I wasn't at work I was slaving over my composition for my music theory class. I really think the song I wrote is sweet; very pretty, nice and nonobjectionable, reminds me of sunflowers and lemonade and children laughing near swimming pools. This took up many of my evenings. It was made especially hard because I also had to learn to play the piano. (Update: the recital went wonderfully and my teacher thinks I'm amazing.)
So I couldn't blog that week, on account of the song.
I don't really remember what I did the next weekend, but I know on one of the nights I played at Jaberwoke with Rob, and afterword went out drinking with Mr. Feeble, and after that I promptly got very, very sick. High fever, cold sweats, horrible. I had to stay home from work for 4 days, and miss a whole weekend. Took a lot of naps, though. And saw a lot of movies. That Borat shit is not all it's cracked up to be, but Dave Chappell's Block Party is very inspiring. Check it out.
So I couldn't blog for like the next seven days, because I was sick, but I did discover how easy it is to make homemade potato chips.
And after the sickness went away came the allergies. I've never had allergies. Not in all my twenty-some odd years. This year, though . . . Jesus. My Mom says it's from the pine trees. I don't know. It's horrible. I've made my way into my doctor's speed dial. I'm trying to find a way to freebase Benadryl where it doesn't stink up the bathroom.
Anyway, Stanley, my point is I'm sorry. Maybe for my birthday this year you could get me the internet. That would make all this a whole lot easier. It's in mid-July.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

On my mind bum

Georgia's pretty rad so far. I had a delicious cup of coffee and wandered through record stores in East Atlanta. Then I found a banging hot-pink fanny pack at a thrift store. Jonny Blaze and I decided that we were going to bring back the fanny pack, as our pockets are constantly overflowing with phones and change and chapstick and cigarettes and lighters and all the other crap that we have with us on a given day. So, fanny packs: do it.

More: Atlanta has been kind, so kind. We've had the most cordial of hosts. Seriously, thank you, hosts.

But, my one-night-stand take on this city is, whoa scenesters. I got the distinct impression that it matters quite a bit how you look. Which is to say that all the bands sounded great. But they looked faaaabulous.

Priorities, priorities...

Monday, April 02, 2007

On Me

You know that thing you see in movies, where one person at a bar says, "I'm buying a round!" and then everyone gets a drink? That actually happened tonight at this bar in Fort Worth. It was actually sort of awkward, because it was fifteen minutes of waiting for my free drink. But still: woo, Texas!

Also: I met the most amazing eighty-something woman, who told me our band was "hot to trot" and that we "ripped." Fucking. Cop. Show.

On to Houston...