Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looks like the fittest did a little surviving last night, huh?

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010.


That felt like a cruelly short year, didn't it? I guess they all do. If I could have one wish... Well, I was about to say that I would wish for longer lives and more hours in the day, but that could be considered two wishes, and let's be honest, if I had one wish, it would be for infinite money, or superpowers, or ageless immortality, etc.

Anyway, I wish we lived longer and that there were more hours in the day.

I've started reading Chuck Klosterman's latest, Eating The Dinosaur. I like Klosterman a lot because he over-analyzes pop culture in the way that I would like to have time to. I guess the over all message of all the Klosterman that I've read is that, no matter how petty or materialistic pop culture seems, these things matter. I tend to agree.

I'm reminded of the summer of 2002. Everyone gets at least one big, earth shattering, soul crushing, heartbreak in their youth; or at least, they should. You know, at least one time where something or someone happens that calls into question everything you believe about yourself and the human condition. Mine came by way of a breakup with my first longtime girlfriend in the summer of 2002.

I got sad. Real sad. Less so because I still wanted to be with that girl, really, and more so because I had based all of my hopes and dreams around being with that girl. If we're being dramatic, I got suicidal. If we're being more realistic, I got dramatic about being sad and, like many children of the 90's/Nirvana fans, channeled that drama into lionizing suicide. Anyway, that's not important. What is important is what got me through those times. Was it supportive friends and family? Sure, somewhat. Was is faith in a higher power? Nope...well, kind of, maybe, I guess. Do The Beatles and/or Star Wars count as higher powers? If they do, then yes.

During that time I had two great revelations:
1. That the arcade in the mall had The Star Wars Arcade Game, and...
2. That the Beatles are amaaaaazing but I did not own their entire catalog.

So I made the decision that I would not buy any new music other than The Beatles until I had every album. Also I began most of my days by pillaging the couch cushions and our apartment's dusty corners, looking for quarters or any spare change that was equal to or greater than 25 cents.
I played the Star Wars arcade game almost everyday that summer. What has two thumbs and could (at that point) beat the Star Wars arcade game with one credit? This guy!

I know that those things didn't solve my problems, but they provided me with enough distraction from said problems that I was able to function, and that has worth, right? I think so.

Ian and Elana got me Futurama: Season 5 for Xmas and I've been watching that almost all day. For my money, Futurama is possibly the best animated show of all time, least ways, nothing else springs to mind that is better. I'm so glad it was resurrected. When I am cancelled, I, too, hope to be ressurected.

This was a great year. I had a really great time. Thanks for having me, and I'll definitely recommend you to my friends, Universe.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The dude abides.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday. We did.

I was nervous going in because I weighed myself before we left and saw the lowest number since college, 174.5 lbs. I was very happy. Progress, you know? But I knew that my parents' house is no place for a diet, especially on a holiday. However, I was pretty proud of myself, and although I did allow myself a shred of gluttony at Xmas dinner, I diligently counted my calories otherwise. So today, I weighed in at 176.0 lbs. Not bad, not great. It won't be too terribly difficult to recover from anyway.

Harper had a great time, and Leah and I discovered that, at her grandparents' house, we don't matter as much. We're not offended, we get it. Kind of a pain in the ass when she doesn't eat good because she's too pumped up, but oh well. She got to play with her cousins, which she loves, especially her cousin, Rylan, who is only 6 months older than her but the same size.

I got to see some friends that I haven't seen in a long time, ate some pizza, did some bowling, saw some movies.

We actually saw two movies, because having grandparents around is free babysitting. On Friday, we saw True Grit and we really liked it. Not my favorite Coen Bros. but still really great. On Saturday, we saw Tron: Legacy 3D. IT'S A JEFF BRIDGES CHRISTMAS!!! Tron was OK. Pretty forgettable, but OK. It was in 3D but after the movie we all stood around saying, "Was it in 3D? I don't remember seeing anything that looked 3D."

I'm rounding out the weekend by watching The Big Lebowski at work today.

I had designs to blog about the Old Testament today, and how Christians justify all the crazy shit within, but all the profound ideas I had in the shower escape me in this chair. So it goes. Perhaps I should blog about my ever dwindling desire to engage in religious discussions. I really had a stomach for it a year ago. Now, not so much. I'm sure this blog is significantly less interesting because of that.

I think I've just decided that if any real progress for free thought and/or Humanism is to be made in our culture, it's going to be made through art and/or humor, so I've been exercising those demons by working on the new record. Which I plan to do more of tonight.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Everything louder than everything else

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed this weekend. Good job, America. Way to fix your horrible, shameful ideas. Leah happened to be shooting a gay wedding on Saturday when everyone found out. That seems like a pretty great place to be when such a step towards true equality is taken.

Leah obviously worked on Saturday so Harper and I hung out all night together. It was really great, especially because last week found Harper in a strange, "mom is awesome, dad is less so" mood for a few days. By Saturday, she was over it, and she was a perfect angel for me. We ran around trying to find my father an xmas gift, trying to find a certain cable to remedy a band issue at Guitar Center, hanging out in Terra Toys and then getting some delicious tacos for dinner. It was a great day, though I did miss my wife something fierce. I continue to.

The next morning, we all went to IHOP for breakfast, which was lovely. Then Leah had more errands to run, so Harper and I played at the park and went to Target where we finally decided on my father's gift. So our holiday shopping is, more or less, complete. Yay.

After Harper went down for her nap, I trekked over to Matt's studio to record. Recording always takes longer than I think it will, and I always leave sessions feeling like I should've accomplished more. I've recorded 3 albums, I should know how it goes by this point, but alas... I apparently do not. It's not that we're particularly slow (well, I don't know, maybe we are) or lazy, it's just that this shit takes time. Setting up mics, taking down mics, setting up different mics, bringing in amps, moving out amps, bringing in different amps, tuning, re-tuning, adjust the tone, not quite, adjust the tone, not quite, adjust the tone, there it is, play the part again, I can do better, play it again and again and again... When I finally got home at 11, I was dragging. I did remember to take the Flip camera with me and got some footage of the process. I'm going to try and do that every time from now on. Maybe we can get someone to edit it all together for a "making of" thing.

Tonight, I'm back in the studio to knock out more acoustic guitar, and probably some vocals and piano. I always get so anxious about doing vocals and try to put them off as long as I can, but they always have to be done eventually.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'd rather be a forest than a street

So, several months ago, I weighed myself and I was not happy with what the scale said. "193 lbs." I've been telling people that I weigh 175 lbs since college, so the facts weren't going along with my story. I tried exercising, and I fucking hated it. I even tried Yoga for a couple of days, and while you can't argue with the overwhelming amount of success stories, it really hurt and made me feel stupid. So then I bought a fairly expensive diet pill, and actually saw some results, but upon introspection realized that it was probably only working because it was coupled with eating a lot less. So that's what I've been doing: eating less and taking a ton of green tea. And do you know what my scale said today? 175.5 lbs! Yay me!

I'd like to get closer to 170 before next week because I know the holiday food is going to set me back. So will the free BBQ that our regional manager just bought the office, and the free BBQ that is being served to the bands at our show tonight.

I've been wanting to blog a lot lately but couldn't think of anything to really talk about. That problem has not been resolved but Leah told me that she was tired of coming to the page and seeing the entry about my penis, I am.

Tonight we've got a big show here in Austin. It's the celebration of KGSR's 20 year anniversary, and we are honored to be on the bill. We're sharing the stage with Alpha Rev, Joe Ely, and The Old 97's, so it should be pretty well attended.

Xmas is coming up. Leah and I went back and forth about whether or not we would celebrate it. We eventually decided to, for Harper's sake. It will probably be just like Halloween, where my level of involvement correlates directly with her level of enjoyment. We still haven't gotten her a gift though, which I'm not terribly worried about. She has toys, she has clothes, she has, generally, everything she needs. If we were smart, her gift would be the beginning of a college fund, but who knows.

Doing a lot of recording in the next couple of weeks so I'm looking forward to making progress on that. Tommy and I have been slightly obsessed with guitar tones for this record, but so far, it's paying off. Whenever I look at our recording "to do list" I start feeling underwhelmed by the amount of things that are checked off, but the next couple of weeks should make a significant dent.

Happy Holidays, true believers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cool band name: Shy Bladder and the Moral Highground

I don't have a shy bladder. I can, more or less, pee on command.

A few hours ago, I found myself standing next to a stranger in the bathroom, pants unzipped, "Tiny-Taylor" in hand, ready to go, and then a booming, inappropriately loud, voice filled the room.

"Where is this rain we're supposed to get?!?!" December and May are supposed to be the wettest months but I don't see it!"

"God?" I thought, "This is a weird time to choose to speak,"

...but then I realized it was just the stranger next to me. I wanted to be friendly, I really did, but all of a sudden I realized that I couldn't pee, I was so unnerved by this unexpected conversation. It took every ounce of concentration to force the liquid from my loins, and so my only contribution to our discourse was, "....yep."

Sorry, guy. I'm usually much friendlier, but then I usually don't meet new people while holding my penis.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On why I would be a great superhero, or a really bad one, depending on your perspective.

I've been watching Smallville a lot lately. It's one of those shows that I always wanted to get into, and thought I would probably like, but never got around to. So now, I'm playing catch-up with the DVDs. I like the show a lot, but all the back and forth, will they/won't they between Clark and Lana gets a little maddening. It got me thinking about what I would do if I had super powers.

First off, I'd tell everyone. Well, not everyone, but several people. The whole idea of a secret identity keeping your family safe is kind of bullshit if you think about it. As long as you keep your inner circle small, you'll be alright. Just don't get caught by strangers doing super shit. But if there was a girl I really liked, I'd probably tell her the first time it became a problem. "Oh yeah, I know it was weird when I inexplicably ran out on our date the other night, but the reason is that I'm actually an alien and I have super powers as a result of your planet having a yellow sun and my home planet having a red one, and some people needed some super help. You understand right?" Or, "Oh yeah, I know I was a total dick to you the other day, but what had happened was that I'm actually an alien from another planet and as a result of the radiation from your yellow sun on my cells for all these years, different colored pieces of my home world, called 'Kryptonite,' affect me differently, and someone slipped me some of the 'red' and I just lost my shit." And maybe at some point, you could do the reasonable thing and say, "Hey friends of mine, who I've saved on countless occasions and all owe me a life debt or two, could you all please make a point to find and destroy as much Kryptonite as you can, as there seems to be a disproportionately large amount of it lying around? Thanks, it seriously harshes my mellow."

Here in the real world, to really be a good guy, you'd have to be willing to get your hands dirty. How easy would it be for Superman to fix a lot of the worlds big problems? First, I'd make a bunch of big, brightly colored, hand lettered signs that all said something along the lines of "Be nice or Superman will mess your shit up!!! :-)" and place them all around. And then I would proceed to kill all terrorists and warlords. Totalitarian? Kind of. Fascist? Maybe a little. Everyone thanking me later? You bet your sweet ass. The question you have to ask yourself is this: "Is it really noble of Batman to spare the Joker's life, knowing full well that the prison won't hold him forever, and it's only a matter of time before countless innocents will pay the price for Bats' nobility?" The answer is "no." The truly moral thing to do is to kill the Joker at the first opportunity.

One of the reasons I've wanted to get into Smallville is that one of my favorite heroes is now on the show.

Green Arrow is a badass, but when you think about it, only in a comic book could someone get away with being Green Arrow. Now, if some kid in New York got bit by a radioactive spider, developed spider powers, and started using those powers to fight crime, then we'd all think "Ok that person is crazy, albeit good intentioned." Because dressing up as a spider and swinging around on webs and beating up baddies with your bare hands is quirky and endearing.

Green Arrow's M.O. is to shoot people with a bow and arrow. Usually not even "trick" arrows. Just regular ol', "assault with a deadly weapon," arrows. Now, Batman may break several of the bones in your body and hospitalize you indefinitely, but he won't stab you! He won't shoot you in the arm! He won't run you through with anything!

...Green Arrow will, though. I don't know, just seems....well, it seems like Assault With A Deadly Weapon.

Looking forward to seeing him in Smallville, but I'm only on season 3. I can't see him and Clark getting along, somehow.