Archive for year 2004
It all started on the way home from a gig with my cover band once day. We got to talking about band names for the project I was working on with Craig Davis (which has since become The Toreadors) and my band mate Donnie, kept coming up with random things, sometimes culled from passing road signs. One random one from his head was “The Skagnastics”, which we found amusing, but then he came up with one that for some reason just made us laugh our asses off. Treasure Pie. This amused us way more than it should have.
I relayed this story to Craig and a week later he had written a song called “Treasure Pie”. It was a fun, silly little ditty, and my mind immediately had a vision for it. A vision of drunken pirates, a peg-legged tap dancing pirate, tubas, accordions, kazoos, and general insanity.
Last night and today, I took the demo Craig had recorded and added my own insanity into the mix. I was far more pleased than I should be, and find it all terribly amusing and catchy at the same time.
So grab your grog, and experience Treasure Pie.
Yesterday Jess and I went “window shopping” for a Toyota Prius. Afterward, I took her to the home builder place where she worked the afternoon as a “working interview” for the job she’s trying for there. We got there early and look ed at the model home they have which is, of course, totally decked out. So by the end of the day I was really feeling kinda bummed about not being rich and famous. I want a big fancy house and a Toyota Prius!
Then something dawned on me. Whenever I get these feelings, or when I feel dissatisfied with my place in life, it’s not really a longing feeling, but more of a missing feeling. I feel like a “has been” who once had it all, but now must struggle working for “The Man” to get by. It made me wonder if I had been a highly successful actor or musician in some past life or something (if you believe in that kind of thing).
Either way, it still sucks.
This isn’t really news, but it needs to be said. He came to the Alamo Drafthouse tonight to a showing of “Stand By Me”. Afterwards he did a Q & A, and signed books (Just A Geek). He was down to earth, charming, and just a cool guy who you want to hang out with. He had tons of great stories about the movie too. Check out his blog.
I took a picture of Jess with him, but sadly it came out completely blurry and unrecognizable. Boo.
More importantly, we have a present for our beloved Annika when we go to L.A. in December.
The Blockbuster offer doesn’t seem to be available any more. Boo. That makes things a bit harder. Maybe it will come back. The Ancestry offer is a free 7 day trial which can be cancelled during the first 7 days, so this is a good candidate too. I have confirmed several people who used this offer and cancelled without problems.
As you can see fomr today’s haiku, I’m trying to get a free iPod from freeipods.com
I learned about it on my tech shows I watch. At first glance it’s bound to sound dodgy, however it has been tested and demonstrated to be legit.
The deal is, you sign up, then sign up for one of their offers (such as a 2 week trial to Blockbuster’s new Netflix ripoff where you get movies in the mail, or one of those CD or DVD clubs where you buy X now for $.50 a piece and then agree to buy Y more within the next Z years ), then you refer 5 friends using a special URL which gives you credit for the referral. Once those 5 friends each sign up for one of the offers, you get a free iPod mailed to you.
The CD/DVD clubs, actually interested me since they’re pretty good deals, and I like CD’s and DVD’s, however the choices area bit limited (especially the DVD club). I ended up going with the Blockbuster trial, since you only have to do the 2 week trial and can then cancel if you like. There’s also a good offer if you like coffee. Just make sure to read all terms and conditions of any offer you sign up for so you really know any hidden obligations you might be getting into.
So if you feel inclined to sign up and try to con your friends into doing the same, please follow my link above to do so! I will have my free iPod!
This weekend we were helping our friend Travis move to his new third floor apartment. It came time to move his washer and dryer (ugh) and he expressed how he really wished he could have sold them so he wouldn’t have to move them. I inquired as to how much he wanted for them and he told me they were $1200 brand new 2 years ago, and he bought them used for $800, so he would like about $400, and since we were friends and that would save him from moving them we could pay it out in installments. Everybody wins!
We jumped in his moving van (now empty except for the washer and dryer) and went to our apartment where I quickly threw everything we were currently storing in the empty laundry room into any empty space I could fin in the rest of our small apartment. We installed the washer and dryer, and later when Jess and I came home we sorted out the carnage and tried to figure out where to put all the crap that was formerly stored where the washer and dryer now live.
No more trips to the laundry room and worrying about having tons of quarters! Wooooo!
More evidence that Lucas is losing more and more of his mind. Now let it be said that I think some of these changes actually sound cool to me (especially the removal of the scream, and the insertion of Ian McDiarmid), but on the other hand, just leave your classic movies alone! I’m sure he’ll release other future editions, and box sets once all the movies are out, and will probably make even more changes. I just hope he eventually will at least include the “original” versions in addition to his Frankensteined versions.
My personal wish: a box set of all 6 movies, including the altered and original version of the original trilogy. With all his tinkering, it wouldn’t surprise me if he accidentally edited himselg full circle and ended up with the original movies without even realizing it.
George: “Ummm, the power of myth and technological advancements have allowed me to further improve my movies to be what I originally conceived them to be in my very large cranium and, umm, ”
Reporter: “George, the movies are now back to exact original cuts”
George: “Umm, well umm classic mythical influences often have, uhh, circular themes which make irony an important ingredient in the m�nage-a-casserole that is creative vision…”
Reporter: *leaves George blathering on in the corner*
Now that the play is over, it’s time to spill all the beans.
Richard Garriott is a video game designer here in Austin. He designed the Ultima games, and many others. He’s a fairly well known celebrity around Austin and among video game fans. He is also known for his incredible themed parties he throws. Last night he threw a “Victorian Christmas in September” party. For this, he built a replica of The Globe Theatre on his property. For the inauguration of this theatre, we performed “A Christmas Carol”.
I was Bob Cratchit, and Jess was The Narrator, and The Ghost of Christmas Past. Jess also was the Scenic Designer, and she busted her ass since June designing and building (or acquiring in some cases) all the set and prop pieces with pretty much no help except for me and my cousin Casey, who we also roped into the production. I initially called my cousin to just be an extra in the background.
Since my cousin isn’t an actor, and has never been involved in theatre with the exception of things I’ve dragged him into, he told me that my call was possibly the strangest call he’d ever received, since it was basically, “Hey would you like to be in a play (a bit unusual) at Richard Garriott’s party (more unusual). It will be “A Christmas Carol” in September (more and more unusual).” He ended up playing the silent Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and a party-goer, and helped build the sets and such with Jess and I.
The play went phenomenally, and afterwards all the guests were taken down to the little fake village on the property where there were shops, a planetarium, an opium den, a toy shoppe, a brothel and other Victorian locales. Jess and I worked after the play tending the snow slope. Yes, you heard me right.
A while back Richard acquired a snow machine which was used at another party in the past, and this time they used it to create a snow slope for people to race sleds down, and such. Jess and I were hawkers giving out coins to the winners of races, and generally trying to get people to come play on the slope. Unfortunately, the ice slope was quite surrounded by a lot of mud due to the inevitable melting of ice in Texas in September. Remarkably the slope was still totally intact and all night long, and you couldn’t really detect any melting of it aside from the wet mud marshes surrounding it. I must say I was in top for as the master of the slope. My days working at the Texas Renaissance Festival as an actor had served me well.
At the end of the night there was a fireworks display. Real, class “c” fireworks like they use at professions displays. We all gathered in front of the wooden castle to watch the display. They fireworks were being set off on tables not more than 20 feet in front of us. We were warned that, as anyone who has attended Richard’s parties in the past, many times the fireworks display becomes interactive with the audience, or “full contact fireworks” as some called it.
Jess and I were sitting on a tarp right in the front as close as you could get to the tables. Indeed it was somewhat like being in a war simulation with debris and ash raining down from above, and occasional stray fireworks causing you to duck and cover. It was definitely and extreme sport, but quite fun.
A few highlights:
Jess and I had Victorian portraits taken in our costumes and they look pretty authentic.
The planetarium was cool. It was in a domed little room, with a projector that projected the night sky on the ceiling and walls, and the man controlling it was explaining constellations and then could overlay the pictures over the stars so you could see how they were supposed to be the things they were named. Most constellations are an extreme stretch to say the least, but then again constellations called “a crooked stick”, “old man’s cane”, or “bent rapier” wouldn’t be nearly as exciting.
There was aa brothel where you could pay a prostitute, and then they would take you into a room and give you a card telling you what happened like “You got the clap”, “broken member”, “you pulled a muscle”.
All in all it was very much fun, and having met Richard Garriott, I have to say I’m a fan. He is a very nice, fun and down to earth guy. A big kid with a lot of money, which is totally what I would be in his position. He’s always out at the site doing all this manual labor himself. Tinkering with this and that, and helping put up curtain rods, and lanterns. The man knows good video games and a fun party too. Thanks Richard.
The capper is that we all ended up getting paid a decent amount for our work in the play (and separately for our work at the party). Jess got a lot more money than we were expecting for her role as Scenic Designer (although, believe me, it was well earned). Consequently, we will be going to a party in L.A. in December. That’s about all I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure Jess will have more to say when she gets back from helping clean up the site today (I had to work so I couldn’t go).