Archive for April, 2003

Remember that movie I did?

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Probably not. However I totally forgot to relate this really cool story from when we were in Dallas. We were at The Angelika Theatre, a really nice movie theatre, to see “A Mighty Wind“. I was at the concession stand to get some goodies when to my left I suddenly notice a mounted poster on a stand that’s touting the grand premiere of The House Of The Generals at The Angelika on May 15. There’s a Los Angeles premiere on June 12 at The Regent Showcase Theatre.
This is the movie that I did when I lived in Dallas in 1999. I had a small role as a Russian Tank commander. Here is a picture of me sitting in a tank. It was quite wild, and sort of exciting for me to just randomly stumble upon that by pure chance of being in that particular theatre 3 weeks before the premiere of a movie that I was in 3 years ago! Of course, if my “Walker, Texas Ranger” career is any indicator, my part will probably end up on the cutting room floor. I guess we’ll see!

Adventures in band gigs, last night edition

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Last night we played at a place called “The Hall Of Fame” for a big party for a bunch of photographers. Since they all work on the weekends doing weddings and such, they have their annual party on a tuesday (we’ve played it for several years now). I really love playing this place because it’s big, and has a great built in sound system meaning everything sounds huge and good, and we don’t have to bring our own system. It also has a band dressing room with couches, and it’s own bathroom with a shower (not that I’d ever use it since it’s kind of icky)!
I’ve got a new toy by Line 6 called the Pod XT. This little unit simulates 32 guitar amps, tons of speaker cabinets, microphones on the speaker cabinets, and has tons of built in effects. So between my Variax and the Pod XT I now have a room full of guitars and amps in one tiny compact little setup.
Since the Pod emulates all parts of the guitar amp chain, you get the best results running through a “full range” system like a P.A., or a keyboard amp, so I ordered a supposedly great keyboard amp which should be in next week. Our keyboard player had also ordered one because his old one is kinda flaky, and these new ones were a real good deal. He offered to let me use his new amp until mine comes in since it doesn’t really make as much difference to him as it does for my guitar stuff, and he still had his old amp to use.
We get to soundcheck and I set my stuff up through his new amp, and it sounds awesome. I can’t wait to get mine now. Jess and I left to get some food and such and when we returned before the gig the sound guy said “your amp was making really weird noises so we turned it off”. I go to investigate, and sure enough every time I turn it on it makes very weird noises and kinda smells funny. Eventually the weird noises stop, but at that point all I can get out of it is a weak distorted sound that obviously indicates the amp is dead. It’s getting shipped off for a replacement today. Luckily I just plugged my Pod into the P.A. system and had it turned up in my monitor so I could hear it on stage.
The first set was really rough. Everyone was making little mistakes here and there, even me which is highly unusual. 😉 There was one point when Angonia called out a certain country song to do, and I proceeded to start a completely different song much to the surprise of all the band. My excuse was that all those country songs sound alike, and both were about drinkin’.
The rest of the night went pretty well with the exception of some obnoxious and annoying people, Angonia old keyboard amp going back to it’s flaky ways, and our drummer breaking one of his cymbals and hurting his arm on the way back from the bathroom. He had to pee really badly so he ran to the bathroom between songs, and on the way back he ran into this big metal piece of electrical machinery in the hall. It tore the sleeve of his shirt, so during our break he just ripped the sleeves off and made it a sleeveless shirt.
An amusing anecdote about one of the annoying people:
these two girls came to the stage and started asking if we knew all these songs. It went something like this…
girl: Do you know “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger?
us: No, we sure don’t.
girl: (indignant look) What? If you don’t know that song , you guys suck!
rest of band (who are drooling over themselves at the pretty girl even though they are all married, and apparently think that playing this song will somehow instigate some fantasy sequence where the pretty girl goes to the dressing room and pleasures them): Well we could probably do it!
me (knowing full well that we could do it, and in fact have done it before, but not wanting to do it because it’s an overplayed clich� and apparently being the only one not under this siren’s spell since I don’t care if she’s pretty or not, she’s a bitch): [dirty look at band] No, we can’t!
girl: What about “The Cotton-Eyed Joe?”
us (normally we just play a recording of this during our break to save us the agony): No. We don’t have a fiddle player.
me (as girl, again, looks disgusted with us): but we know this…
I then launch into our next song to end this little exchange of obnoxiousness.
Ah, my glamorous rock star life. Then there was the guy who wanted to sit and play drums with us.
I’ll end with two important pointers:
1) it’s OK to ask if we know a song or 2, but don’t cop an attitude, and don’t sit there for 5 minutes listing through 20 songs that you want us to play. While we have a very extensive set list that could probably fill 6-8 hours if we played every song we knew (and more if we played all the songs we could even fake), that leaves approximately 9,876,678,155,984,278 hours worth of music that we don’t know.
2) Don’t ask to play or sing with the band. This isn’t karaoke.

The weekend in Dallas, and a random shirt related tidbit

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So the weekend in the big “D” was pretty cool. Thursday night we went and saw “A Mighty Wind” which was, as expected, damn good. Friday, we went geocaching, but had really bad luck. We only found one out of four caches we looked for. Saturday we went to downtown Dallas, and walked around the whole JFK area. We were going to go in the Sixth Floor Museum, but they wanted $10 a person, and I had already been there once. I really didn’t think it was anything all that great, and not really worth $10, especially since we were spending money on plenty of other things already. We proceeded to go on to the Dallas World Aquarium which was much cooler than any of us thought it would be. I was baffled by the strange admission prices (something like $11.85 for adults and $8.66 for seniors). I was much surprised that the first thing we saw upon entering the “aquarium” was an enclosed area with monkeys and birds and some other non aquatic animals. We were all enthralled by the adorable manatees. There were also river otters, tons of fish, jellyfish, a Japanese Spider crab, and a HUGE crocodile like something out a monster movie. Very cool time. We then proceeded to the Hard Rock Caf� where we ate and bought tickets to the show that night featuring Zebra. They had a few hits in the 80’s (“Tell Me What You Want”, “Who’s Behind The Door”), but have been quite a favorite band of mine for some time. I saw them once in Houston like 10-15 years ago and was thrilled when my friend Esteban just happened to hear on the radio that they were playing at the Hard Rock Caf� that night. It was very intimate and we were standing right at the stage, literally like 2 feet from Randy, the guitarist/singer. That’s the way to see a show, people. They absolutely rocked. If you ever get a chance to see them, do so. They are amazing. They actually have a new album coming out June 17 too, so go out and get it.
Sunday was Geocaching II: Revenge of the Cachers. We refused to be defeated. We actually found all three that we hadn’t found before. It was incredibly strange because we found out that on Friday my GPS unit had apparently been hundreds of feet off on all three, thus the reason we didn’t find them. Now normally GPS is only accurate to about twenty feet anyway, but I’ve never had it be that bad, much less consistently that bad. The unit would consistently point me to the same spot, it just happened that the spot was like 500 feet off. I’m still baffled. Maybe the government was re-calibrating the satellites that day or something, or perhaps a giant alien mother ship was deflecting the signals. Luckily on Sunday, it actually steered us true. There was much going out to eat (including being served by Groucho Marx at The Magic Time Machine), DVD watching, plus a trip to REI where I got some cool black Merrell Jungle Moccasins (or Comfy Slip-on Shoes� as I call them) and Jess got some cool water shoes in preparation for our tubing/water park trips we’ll be going on in a month or two. Plus it’s always fun just to hang out with friends. We also listened to a couple of Han Solo books on tape to pass the car trip, which was cool. Random fact #1: a married couple going out of town for 4 days will have a lot of luggage. We had 1 suitcase with all our clothes and such, our inflatable bed-in-a-bag, my bag of disc golf frisbees, 2 pillow and a blanket, my backpack, and a cooler bag with lots of water in it. Esteban seems to think this was excessive by his reaction to it, but honestly, we really weren’t excessive!
Random fact #2, inspired by Bettie: A few weeks ago a friend gave me some old clothes that didn’t fit him anymore. Among them was a Really Cool Shirt� which very quickly became my new favorite shirt. I wore it to work the following Friday, and wore it to one of my gigs a week or two later. Then we did laundry. Like a fool I didn’t look at the care instructions, and I washed and dried it, which I shouldn’t have because it was rayon. It shrunk up, a lot. It’s still wearable, but just doesn’t fit the same as it used to, and required much ironing before it was anything resembling wearable. The sleeves are way too short now, but since I wear it with the sleeves rolled up, that’s not too big a deal. It’s also not nearly as long as it was either, thus making it questionable as to whether I could tuck it in if I wanted to (which, again, I generally don’t), but still it just saddened me. My new favorite shirt, and I messed it up. Like I aid, it’s still wearable, but it just doesn’t “hang” on me like it used to. I’m heartbroken. I need to find a place that has cool shirts like this one. Finding cool clothes for men is difficult. Even more sadly I did the exact same thing to another shirt years ago. Same story too. Before the “accident” it just “hung” perfectly. Afterward, it was never quite the same. According to Jess and the rafs, I am a BeeGooBloo*. This entry will only reinforce that opinion I’m sure.
*giraffe language for “Big Girls Blouse**”.

**Someone flamboyant, camp, or glam, or exhibiting signs of these traits.

Have you ever wished for IE spell checking?

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Maybe you’re putting an entry in your blog, or writing an entry on a message board. If you’re like me you probably quite often think “Damn, I wish I could spell check this easily without cutting and pasting into Word.” Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just right click the text in the entry box and spell check it?
www.iespell.com I am filled with geeky joy.
I use Crazy Browser , and while I can’t use the tool bar button, or the “tools” menu option (since the program is meant for IE), the right click menu option does work! Wooo!

Off to Dallas for a long weekend!

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So the wife and I are off to Dallas for a four day weekend. We’ll be staying with our friend, Esteban, and testing out our new self inflating air mattress thingy. Tonight we’re going to see “A Mighty Wind“, which somehow I have managed to NOT hear about until Soupy mentioned it in her blog. How this managed to elude me is a mystery and quite disturbing to me. I’m usually quite “in the know” and on top of all entertainment type news. Being that I’m a huge Spinal Tap fan, and a Christopher Guest fan I’m really quite baffled by my lack of knowledge! We also plan on playing some disc golf and finding some geocaches, and much more! Should be a good fun weekend. Being that we’re all immense geeks, we will of course have plenty of computers and net access at our disposal, so we won’t be totally out of touch or anything. 😉
Also, in case anyone didn’t already know, you can now enter your email in the box above to be notified by email when I post something new here!

The latest band gig

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So as you may have read about in Jess’s blog, my gig last night was good, but a bit draining for me. First off, about 30 minutes before the gig I find out that Donnie can’t make it because he’s hellaciously sick. This really bummed me out because one of the things I think really stands out about this band is the incredible vocals and harmonies and many of them just aren’t the same without Donnie, especially songs where Craig is singing lead and Donnie and I are singing some echoing backup part or some ooohs or ahhhhs. We didn’t get to start until later than expected so our set would have to be pruned a bit, and the first several songs were spent more as fodder for getting the sound system all set right. We didn’t get to practice before this gig so we were quite sloppy. Many mistakes were made by all and endings tended to be incredibly loose.
That being said, we still rocked pretty good. Everyone said we were great, and that it sounded like we had been playing together a long time, when in fact it was only our third gig. I just know what we’re capable of and how good we can be, and thus know how sloppy we were last night, but all in all it was still a pretty good gig. Thanks to all of Eden Automatic for letting us open for them and get another gig under our belt. They’re an awesome band. Check them out.

Now powered by Movable Type

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I have now transferred this blog to Movable Type also. Please let me know if you find any bugs or have any suggestions or anything. This, of course, also means that all previous comments are now gone again. I apologize and hope that this will be the last time. However, now I have nifty built in comments, so utilize them! I think that’s about it for now. I’ll have to settle in and see how comfortable I get in the new digs.

Perfume…

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It’s supposed to subtly accent and compliment, not take over the room like guerilla mercenaries assaulting and rifle-butting your olfactory sense into submission.

The Philly Cheesesteak Scale

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So my friend and I are quite fond of Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. Of course, he doesn’t like peppers, and I get no peppers and no onions so I don’t know if it’s really still a Philly or not, but that’s beside the point. Today at lunch, we were trying a new restaurant which, and decided that, as Philly connoisseurs, we had to try them at this new place. We then decided (along with our lovely wives) that there should be various traits by which a Philly is rated. Things such as taste, greasiness/sogginess, and cohesiveness. You see, these sandwiches were indeed very tasty, but they were a bit on the greasy/soggy side, and that fact combined with the intense amount of meat stuffed into the bun, cause the sandwich to reach critical mass and lose it’s cohesiveness. Sexual innuendos aside, you want as much as possible stuffed in there without it losing it’s ability to remain a single sandwich entity, and instead becoming more of a Philly casserole of some sort on your plate. So yeah, there ya go.

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BLAH!