Musical things are a-brewin!

So next weekend I have 2 gigs in Austin as a duo with a Craig Davis. One at some South Austin Arts Festival which is supposedly some big Woodstock type thing with tons of bands and food and crafts and such, and then a songwriters showcase at a club later that day. They’re supposedly going to record one of our sets for possible inclusion on a later compilation CD. Then, on Sunday, Craig and I are going into the studio for 3 hours to record one of his new songs. I’ll be playing guitar, bass, singing harmony, and possibly programming the drums in my drum machine. It’s all quite exciting. The week after that, We’re doing our first full band Craig Davis gig since the initial (and only) one which is how this whole wacky thing started. It’s for the Northgate Music Festival which is sort of a smaller “South by Southwest” music festival. I made a set list, burned CD’s of the set list in order, and distributed them to the band guys to learn by March 20th. Also on that day we are doing a live radio appearance and possibly an in store performance at the local record store. The 22nd, my cover band is playing is also playing the same festival. This is all quite exciting for me! It will be fun to be back in the studio and end up with a recording of our efforts. Craig and I work really well together, and I really think this could go somewhere, especially when we move to Austin and it will be much easier to actually get together to write, record, and play. He has a woman managing him who is absolutely awesome too. She really busts her ass and gets all these things happening. Exciting things are cooking, gentle readers!

Great weekend, craptastic Tuesday.

So after the great weekend, I find out today that UPS left $300 worth of new video cards for our computers laying on our doorstep last night at about 9 pm. This package then apparently disappeared between that time and 11:45 pm when we got home. My neighbors said they saw the package, and then saw that it was gone later. Then in the midst of my frustration over this issue, I notice that apparently at some point during the weekend, my cousin’s cat decided to use the back of my leather jacket as a scratching post. There’s now several small little chunks out of the surface leather. I just want to go to bed now.

So how was your weekend?

Mine was pretty damn good! We went to Austin on Friday, and spent the weekend with my cousin. There was much video game playing and eating. However the reason for the trip was to make some musical appearances on Monday. As many of you may know, I’ve been playing with Craig Davis, a musician out of Austin. Monday morning I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am (an hour which just shouldn’t even exist, honestly), to go perform on the Fox-7 morning show. It was quite cool being in a TV studio watching them do the live show and preparing for our appearance. We did 2 little 15 second teasers as they went to commercial, then performed one full song. We then played about 30 seconds at the end of the show too. It was quite a cool experience indeed. That night we did a 4 song set at a club where there they were doing an open mic night combined with featured artists (which we were one of the 3). I think we blew the roof off the joint. up until that point it had been a very folky, coffee house type vibe with performers to match. We got up and did some rockin’ pop songs with strong harmonies. It was quite a contrast, but we were very well received and it took me a while to actually get out of the place since I was stopped by someone every 10 feet to tell us we were great. I also had many inquiries as to my kick ass new guitar which stunned several people since it looks like an electric guitar but yet was producing perfect acoustic guitar sounds. All in all it was a cool weekend, and I think things with Craig are really starting to get rolling. I’m going back in 2 weeks for another set at the same club during “South by Southwest” a HUGE music festival that takes place annually in Austin. Check out some clips of Craig’s music on www.cdbaby.com

So, hey, how are you all doin?

I realize that I am extremely erratic at blogging, and that because of this the tiny group of people who may occasionally grace me with their presence here, probably get tired of not having new content, and thus quit coming here at all. This entry probably won’t help because it’s just random ramblings. Well, hey, look at the title of this page. You can’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉
I feel like I am naturally a very distant person, I have decided. With this whole, WD, internet friends/community thing, etc., I feel very much like a distant observer. Take my wife for instance (well don’t TAKE her, but you know…), I feel like people genuinely like her, miss her, want to see her, be friends with her, etc. I always feel like I’m kind of a fringe or periphery entity. Most people generally like me, or think I’m ok, or when I’m mentioned they think “Yeah, he’s pretty cool”, but I don’t feel like most people have or desire a connection of any real depth with me. People don’t generally “wish I was there” when I’m not. I basically feel like I’m slightly on the positive side of “neither here nor there” for the vast majority of people who are aware of my existence. Although I am very self conscious and worried that people think I’m creepy or make them uncomfortable sometimes, even though I’m usually pretty sure that’s just my own mind being goofy.
I think part of this distance is self perpetuating, because since I always generally doubt that someone likes me (in all instances not just internet related ones), I kind of create my own distance too because I really don’t want to bother people. I realized today that I’m much more comfortable with e-mail than with chat IM programs because when you send an e-mail, that person can reply at their leisure or not as they choose, while when I IM someone I always feel like I’ve put them on the spot.
This brings to me to a related tangent. I can’t remember if I’ve bitched about it before in this medium, but never the less I’m going to bitch about it anyway. Many times throughout the years I have made many efforts to find old friends or people who used to be a part of my life in some way. Old high school friends and such. I get in touch with them, and there’s the usual exchange of “Oh wow!”s and greetings, and then almost without fail that person makes no real effort to stay in touch. They’ll respond to my emails (usually) but never really make any effort of their own, thus contributing to the ongoing neurosis my life, the “I always like people much more than they like me” syndrome. It’s such a let down because I’m always so absolutely thrilled to be back in touch with these people. I’m someone who values my friendships dearly, and while I never really have tons of close friends (usually I have tons of acquaintances, with a handful of really close friends), I treasure my relationships dearly. Everyone I’ve ever met or known is at least partially responsible for shaping me into who I am today, and I’m always so thrilled to rekindle old friendships, but then it always leads to that inevitable crestfallen moment when you realize that apparently the other party must not have been nearly as thrilled as you were. Perhaps I’m just a nostalgic romantic dreamer at heart, (ok, well not perhaps, pretty definitely), but it never fails to leave me with that feeling that a little bit of the starry eyed magic of my youth has died. Like I’ve lost some of my kindred to the listless zombie like template of “growing up”, while I remain one of the last champions of the child-at-heart, anything’s-possible, keep-hope-alive, fairytale-dreamers faction. If anyone needs me I’ll be staring off into the sky, soaking up the energy to combat the weariness and continue fighting for the cause and fending off the weight of the world. Hmm, reminds me of a song… “You can’t take the sky from me…” heh heh. 😉

Who needs crack?

So yes, my wife and I are addicts. We’re addicted to “Earth and Beyond”, an online roleplaying game. We jet around the universe together in our ships, taking missions, running trade routes, fighting baddies. This is almost exclusively all we’ve done every waking hour for the last week. The evolving storyline is extremely intriguing, and the game is just plain fun. Even though you spend a large amount of time “warping” through space, it still holds my interest. We downloaded the 5 day free demo with the intention of playing it for 5 days just for something different to do. After a couple of days we were hooked and had upgraded to the full game and paid the monthly subscription fee. The downside is that we are definitely only playing until April 15 when Star Wars Galaxies comes out, and at that time it will be kind of a bummer to let go of our characters we’ve developed so far and just forget about this universe and the storyline. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll very quickly become far more addicted to SWG than to this game. In fact, the review I read specifically said that this game was cool but loses interest after a couple of months, which made me think “perfect!”. It’s probably the only time that a trait like that could actually be positive. Anyway, we’re actually restraining ourselves tonight to try and catch up on some watching of stuff. We have 3 DVD’s from Netflix, 2 that we never got to from last week, and a new Buffy episode to watch, my country’s five hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped.
*side note: I’m so anal retentive that I had to look up that princess bride reference to make sure I had it exactly right. I think this trait was instilled in me by all the even more anal retentive nerds who insist on correcting your quotes even when you are paraphrasing and perfectly aware that you’re not quoting word for word.*

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I Have The Power! Alternately: The First One Always Hurts The Worst.

So I got my new guitar in last week. It’s the Variax by Line 6. It has electronics within it that digitally model 28 different classic vintage guitars. Electrics, acoustics, 12-strings, banjo, sitar and more. It’s absolutely phenomenal. Add that to the fact that I also use a Line 6 amplifier which digitally models tons of different guitar amps and effects, and you’ll see that I now have the power to invade small planets. So now with one amp, and one guitar, it’s as if I have a room full of amps and wall full of guitars, all of which are classic, very expensive, often rare, and very high end. I love technology. My bandmates were particularly tickled with my banjo playing this weekend.
Now for the pain. I had 2 gigs this weekend. My brand new guitar made it through a grand total of…1 of them before getting a ding in it. Sometime at our gig today I acquired a small little dent in the face of my brand new guitar. It hurt me. I hurt. I feel pain. I obsess. It totally soured my mood which was already not that great since we got 4 hours of sleep before having to go to this all 8-4 gig for the Bridal Show, where we pay them to set up a booth and ply our wares along with caterers, photographers, florists and such, trying to get all the future brides, who pay to get in, to hire us for their wedding reception. For the rest of the day my eyes were just magnetically attracted to that tiny ding in my guitar. On the slight upside, I was planning on having a sticker made up of my musical yin-yang logo to put on my guitar right over where the ding is. Still it stresses me. Silly, I know, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

The Decline of Civilization…Well Not Quite

Why is it impossible to go to a movie theatre these days without being in the company of people who incessantly talk, or kick the back of your seat? My own personal theory is because all traces of movie etiquette have been killed by the home video/ DVD generation. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a part of this generation and a card carrying renter. Hell I belong to Netflix (which totally kicks ass by the way; I encourage you to go check it out now) and the wife and I watch an average of 3-4 DVD’s a week. However we realize that a movie theatre is a different environment. Apparently many other people do not. They’ve been so spoiled by watching movies in the comfort of their own home that they think they can just carry on conversations as if we were all in their living room (not that it would be any less annoying there). I’m surprised they don’t shout at the projectionist “Hey! Could you pause the film? I need to pee!”. If I feel the need to make a comment to the person I’m with then I whisper it in their ear. In fact I whisper it so quietly that sometimes they have to ask me to repeat it.
Then there’s the seat kicking. This isn’t always actual kicking of the seat. Sometimes it’s that very subtle nudging. They have their legs crossed, which results in one of their feet pressing against the back of your seat, thus causing you to feel every shift of their annoying flesh vessel. Sadly I find the majority of my theatre trips involve one if not both of these annoyances. Sometimes I shoot angry glances in their direction hoping they’ll get the hint. They never do. If only I had laser beams I could shoot out of my eyes, that would solve much.
*tangent*
I often see those signs for “Laser Vision Correction” and wonder if these are clinics for super heroes to come and have their laser vision corrected. You know, maybe it’s out of alignment or something.

My goal is to eventually start my own chain of theatres with a very strict regime. There will be ushers/bouncers in every theatre at all times. If you talk, you’re out. If someone is kicking your seat or annoying you, you can push a silent alarm button on your hand rest and the ushers will remove that person. It will be a theatre where you know you can go and have a pleasant cinema experience, unless you’re one of the offenders. Perhaps I’ll call it “Cinemarcus Aurelius”. I don’t know if that’s really appropriate, but it was the only pun I could think of that might possibly work.

The Wacky Seven Hour Movie Marathon!

So yesterday, Jess and I were planning to go see “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”. While looking at movie times, I noticed there was a “sneak” of “Chicago”, which we wanted to see, but it hadn’t come here yet. There was also a “sneak” of “Shanghai Knights” which we also wanted to see. The times just happened to coincide perfectly so we decided to have a marathon. We saw all three in a row. We were in the cinema from 2:00 to 9:30. All three were very good. “Confessions” was very well done with some real original artistic style. “Chicago” was very entertaining also. “Shanghai Knights” was pretty much more of the same as “Shanghai Noon” so if you liked the first one, you’ll probably like this one.
However all this movie going obviously messed with my head. I had a dream that me, my cousin, and my friend Andy were going to a 3 movie marathon. We went home after the second movie and just watched some TV, napped a bit and just generally lazed about. I realized that it was 8:00 and the movie started at 8 so I was suddenly rushing everyone around saying “Hurry up! If we leave now we can get there at 8:15, and with all the previews and stuff we’ll be fine!” Everyone kind of took their time waffling about whether to go and such and by the time we finally left we were now going to be 30 minutes late and I was annoyed. For some reason it was really important to me to get in the third movie of the marathon because I’d already seen 2 movies in a day before and I wanted to break my record (that fact was true in real life too). When we got there I was waiting to use the little kiosk where you can just swipe your credit card and buy tickets quickly (which I also use in real life) but there was a huge line. Since we were already way late I was annoyed again. Then I bought like 10 tickets because I was confused and thought I was buying tickets for everyone. Strangely the tickets were square crackers that were slightly convex and about 3 inches square, and I now had a stack of 10. Well it turns out they had bought their own tickets so now I had like 9 tickets too many. I decided to go to the ticket window and see if I could explain that I had messed up and pushed the wrong key or some other excuse to get my money back, when real life crept into my dream and I realized Jess and I had indeed already seen 3 movies in a row, so getting to this one in the dream was no big deal.Then I woke up. Crazy.

Back in the Saddle Again

So I seem to have gotten back into writing my screenplay. It’s only been a year or 2 of laziness. I feel a lot better since I’ve been writing. I feel like I’m doing something. Making some kind of progress in at least a small way towards getting somewhere. I’ve already started entertaining fantastical thoughts such as some Hollywood studio being interested my script, and what I will do then. I’m definitely writing it for me to star in and direct, but what if some studio offers to buy it for scads of money, but doesn’t want me to star or direct? Do I stick by my guns and say “nope, that’s part of the deal” or take the money and be happy that I just got paid for a screenplay and get to see it made? Yes, I’m way ahead of myself, but like I said, I’m a dreamer. I was going through a conversation in my head yesterday, pitching this to a studio executive. I figure it’s a good deal for both sides. I would get to have my movie made, and they could make the movie for far less money since I am an unknown star/director. They would save millions, or tens of millions even by letting me star and direct. Yes I often have imaginary conversations in my head. This is one of the reasons I think I’m a good writer. My brain is constant inventing imaginary scenes and such.
When I’m done with the first draft I will need feedback on it. The first draft will need lots of re-working I’m sure, but if anyone would like to read the first rough draft when I’m done (which won’t be for a while yet, I’m only a little under 2/3 done) let me know and I’ll be happy to let you critique it. I’d like as wide a range of feedback as possible since 10 people can give 10 different opinions of the same movie.