11-10-03, 10:12 AM -
People need to quit it.
It's my last week here at XYZ Business Credit. Tara, the other admin, has decided that she needs my cellphone number for when I leave. It seems I've become the Dr. Phil of Officeland.
At least once a day, we have a variant of the following conversation:
"Okay, so you remember that guy?"
"The one you've been talking about all month?"
"Yeah, him. Now, see, you remember when I said I broke up with him?"
"Because he was calling all the time wondering where I was, & being all rude & stuff?"
"And I hated the way he dressed, and how he had $30,000 worth of debt he couldn't pay off?"
"Well, now I want to call him."
"Is that stupid?"
"Well, it depends on whether you want to spend the next 50 years of your life in misery with someone you hate."
"I know, but...it's stupid, isn't it?"
"See, I knew you'd know what to do."
"You know, you could've figured that out for yourself."
"I know, but..."
"...you just wanted to hear it in a deeper voice."
"Yeah...that's stupid, isn't it?"
"See, I knew you could help me."
"How am I gonna get by when you're gone?"
"I really don't know."
As I said, people need to quit it.
Watching the workmen build this big tower of condos outside my office window. I like the idea of construction work. All the gadgets and activity and planning. But then I spend lunchtime at the local Irish pub and listen to the roughnecks bitch about how stupid their wives are and how no one can coach a team anymore, and the magic fades. What magic there was. Very tiny magic.
Went out to a show the other night, a friend of mine's band called The Fashion. I must admit I'm not completely on board with the garage punk revival, but these guys put on a damned entertaining show.
Could've done without the middle band, who I've decided to call Hootie & the Matchboxfish. Big black frontman with slackerly whiteys backing him up. Not that they weren't tight as a frog's ass, but I find that the best way to write a song is to make sure it hasn't been written 800 TIMES BEFORE. Christ.
My friend Ashton's not actually in The Fashion, he's their shit-getter-together. Guy's 21 and from Buffalo, Middle American Nice Boy all around. Ah. I remember when I was nice. It'll pass.
Here I sit at my desk. Gurdeep, the Indian guy down the hall from me, has apparently decided that I need reading material for my workless days. Every day there's an old copy of Natural History, Smithsonian, or the New Yorker on my desk when I come in. It's starting to look like a damned dentist's waiting room over here.
I remember my dad telling me that during one of my mom's visits to the doctor while I was gestating, he picked up a magazine in the waiting room & saw a story about President Kennedy. He glanced at the cover: 1963. I was born in 1974. Friggin' doctors.
Saw a piece in the New York Times about the 40th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, & it seems that John Connally's widow is the last living person who was in the President's car when the shots were fired. I mentioned this to my friend Shithead the other day & heard his eyes get wide over the phone. The man's a history junkie like me, particularly '60s era. A bunch of us poor musicians took a trip to Dealey Plaza one time, & he gave us the full tour.
"Okay, and Zapruder was standing right here. Now, the shot came from over there..."
Some guy came up and began to pitch a $10 guided tour, and Shithead barked him down like Martha Stewart at a design meeting. It'd be like someone telling me that Tom Baker was the first Doctor Who, when it's quite plain that William Hartnell...
Got my Nerd Spasms on this weekend with the third Matrix installment. Okay, you people can hate me if you want, but I enjoyed it immensely. Yes, there were holes, but it got the symbolism across (copious Christer imagery, anyone?) and entertained in the process.
Though I'm sure I'll forget all about it when Lord of the Fucking Rings comes in & takes at least two viewings' worth of admission out of my pocket. Not to mention the mother of all DVD box sets once the thing finishes its run.
I am a slave to my inner dork, and I've found it's better to just lie back & enjoy it, to quote Clayton Williams. Hmm. I guess not everyone remembers Clayton Williams. (anyone?) Yessir, gettin' older all the time.
In fact, my hairdresser and the Wifely are divided about these light-colored hairs near my temple. The hairdresser says they're gray, but the Wifely insists they're blonde. I'm as colorblind as one of those tube worms that live on the ocean floor, so I have no fucking idea. Gray's fine with me. It's one step closer to being able to play cranky old men in commercials.
"In my day, we didn't have your fancy homework-bots. You had to sharpen your pencil yourself, AND milk the badger."
"Oh, come on, Grandpa..."
"And if you wanted pot, you had to go cleeeear across town and buy it from a hippie! None of this 'one free joint with the purchase of Tylenol Heart Attack' business."
"Grandpa, hippies are a myth..."
"Damned if they are! Why, I seen one eat a baby once. A 20-pound baby!"
"Grandpa, babies are a myth, too. Our dark overlords spring us forth fully formed at age 13."
"Damn those meddling Bush kids!!"
Had a serious Texas flashback while watching King of the Hill on Sunday. People up here think that show is entirely made up. They don't understand why it scares the hell out of me.
Like this last episode where Bobby hooks up with these Christian rock kids who tattoo bible verses on their arms & shout "Praise him!" when they shoot through the half-pipe on their Jesus-fish skateboards. That is no shit.
Man, you gotta be careful when you pump your kid full of Jesus. They may 'splode.
Random tale time:
Okay, so I'm buying some new ink for my cheap-ass $49.00 Lexmark Z605 printer. The lady behind the counter opens her eyes wide at the ink's $30.00 price tag.
"Boy, you know where they be makin' their money."
"Yeah, I guess so."
"I mean, here you be thinkin', 'whoo, that's a cheap printer', but then you be gettin' it later another kinda way."
"They done hooked you good. They be sayin', 'Oh, here's this printer, it's only $49.00,' and you be like, 'okay, that's cool...'"
"But you know they got it figured out. You gotta know they gonna get a piece one way or another. They ain't stupid."
"Hey, can I just pay for this?"
"All right. $30.00. I knew there was some kinda something wrong with that. They done hooked you good."
New at Staples Office Supply: Lifetime Buyers Remorse, courtesy of our friendly cashier staff. Jezus.
Okay, enough of this idle banter. Got news here:
Firstly, there are three more reviews to check out:
Aiding & Abetting (scroll down to Also Recommended)
Smother.net (scroll down till you see that sad, sad boy)
Secondly, my friends at Lucky Truck are now selling my CD with love & special care. They've got a damned great selection of used discs as well. Check 'em out.
Thirdly...well, there is no thirdly. Not yet. I'm told by my digital distributor that songs from "texas" will soon be available for download on the following sites:
- AOL's MusicNet
Apparently Napster and iTunes are bottlenecked, so those will be a while yet. I'll let everyone know when the files are up on each site, so you can direct your single-file-buying friends there to support your friendly neighborhood wandering poor-ass honky minstrel, amen.
(up on all of these now - ed.)
Right, enough business. Back to inane chatter:
Had another flashback when I discovered a marching band competition on ABC in prime time. It was a bunch of Long Island bands, & apparently they take this stuff a bit more seriously up here.
Not to step on any toes, but every time I see the Weatherford High School Band, it's smaller and more pitiful than the time before. Not that it was ever huge, mind you, but the scale has definitely shrunk.
The only advantage is that now they're actually winning competitions because the other bands in their classification are wearing burlap sacks for uniforms and blowing through cardboard tubas. Watching this Yankee band competition, I felt rather jealous of the bright, shiny brass & tailored uniforms these kids get. Why, in my day...
Actually, when they were interviewing some of these kids, I got a bit cracked up. A lot of 'em were looking rather sheepish, which is normal for us band fags, but for some reason it made me think of band bus romance.
Oh yes, my friends, there's plenty that goes on in the band bus. In fact, sometimes it's about as close as you can get to Sodom & Gomorrah, short of church camp (c'mon, repressed teens out in the woods...you figure it out). People always assume it's the jocks who are getting all the action, but their bus is men-only. The band bus is prime gropin' time, make no mistake. And I won't even go into the theatre bus...
All of this makes it sound as if I was some kinda suave dude in school. Alas, no. I'm just selectively observant. And I've heard all of deanpence's stories...
So we're lying in bed the other night, waiting for sleep to conk us on the head and drag us off to its lair, when Techno Dance Party 3000 starts up next door.
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP...
It doesn't matter that I can't hear the fucking hi-hat on the fucking up-beat. I know it's there.
So I put on my robe, stagger to the neighbor's door (about 6 inches from ours), and knock. The guy opens it up and immediately jumps back as if fucking John Wayne Gacy had just asked him to clean out his clown suit.
I am unfazed. "Hey, would you mind..."
"Oh, man, I'm sorry!" he grovels.
"No, no! Don't worry, we'll turn it down! Sorry...sorry!!"
I turn to go. He's still staring at me from behind the door, as if I might decide to kick his balls in at any moment.
"Umm...okay, thanks," I say, and stagger back through my door. The guy's still eyeballing me from his doorway. I think he's wet himself.
Wifely's on the other side of the door, laughing her silly head off. "You always seem to scare the hell out of people."
I do. I don't know why. Maybe it's my irradiated Anglo glow. It certainly isn't my imposing physique. I wasn't even that mad, just perturbed. But the room stopped a-rockin', so I stopped a-knockin'.
I must admit, sometimes I miss being able to bang on the walls of a house where no one can possibly hear me. Or to take a shower without the fear of a neighbor's flush giving me a shout-out from Butt-Ass Coldton. But then...then I think of mowing. And pruning, and mimosas growing into the foundation.
Wifely just made a post about our dream house, and it's true, that dream still invites me. But where? Land is as expensive as Britney Spears' panties anywhere near the city, and I've already decided I don't want to live in the Middle. Hell, maybe New England. The Carolinas? The Northwest interests me, as does England.
Oy. Too many choices. Which, in the real-world analysis, aren't really choices unless one has the resources to explore them.
No, my guess is that the New York experiment will last at least another two years, during which time we will attempt to make our creative lives into a paying proposition. And thus to work.
Finishing up the review mailouts now, then it's time for radio. College & internet radio, not the ClearChannel bastards. Dealing with them is like trying to milk a badger: It's unpleasant, pointless, and in the end you wind up with nothing but scars and a nasty infection to show for it. And so to battle. Mind the badger poo.
11-12-03, 8:39 PM -
Okay, so sometimes this is a pretty cool town.
I hear that a store above my subway station is on fire, fucking up any subway or bus routes I could reasonably take home. Damn.
But it's a nice afternoon, so I figure I'll walk it. On the way, I peer into lobby windows along 54th Street. I have a bit of a lobby fixation. I'm curious: In an incredibly ostentatious city, to what lengths will these hotels, restaurants, and tax offices resort in order to be the MOST ostentatious of all? From what I can tell, pretty far.
Some of the buildings aren't hard to pretty up. Immense Georgian facades, big bay windows, chandeliers that are likely worth more than any car I've ever owned. Yeesh.
Eventually I find myself at 54th & Broadway. It's the Ed Sullivan Theater! I always forget that this is where the thing is, mere blocks from my apartment. I pass it and continue on down 54th, but then it occurs to me that I've never seen the entryway of Dave's theater. Ah, what the hell.
So I turn around, make the corner, and there I am, walking past the spot where Letterman's show is taping. I don't give a damn what the ratings say, Leno can bite my ass. He can, too. He's a big fella.
Suddenly I'm approached by an attractive CBS staffer holding a clipboard.
"Excuse me, sir," she chirps, "But would you like free tickets to see the Late Show With David Letterman?"
Would I what? Would...huh?
"Would you like free tickets to see the Late Show With David Letterman?"
Wait. Think about this. No. No, don't think about it.
"The show's taping tomorrow. Can I have your name?"
Wait. Hold on, think. I've tried to get Letterman tickets before, but they were always booked at least a year in advance.
"Wait, there are free seats?"
"We had a tour group cancel. Can I have your name?"
Wait. No, don't wait. Quit fucking it up, numbnuts.
"Yes. Sure. Hold on." Dang. Ride that magic short bus.
Anyway, the short & curly of it is that we'll be in Dave's audience on Thursday night, barring banking accidents or editing injuries. Keep yer eyes open, maybe we'll wave. I'll bring a copy of the CD to see if it floats.
Okay, now to work.