Last night, after a long and draining day of work and rehearsal, it was time for the Joe to crash out in front of the tube.
I love TV. I simply don't believe people who say they don't. I always think they're trying to pull that "the only books I enjoy are by Dostoyevski and Fante." I mean, that's just not true. Those guys are good and all, but everybody needs a break from high culture once in a while.
Which brings me back to TV. Sometimes I not only want to watch TV, I want to watch horrible TV. And people, there is no worse (and by that I mean better) TV than the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. What could possibly be more amazing than a reality show featuring the most obnoxious cast members of two other reality TV shows competing with each other in humilitating physical challenges for money? There's like 14 different levels of reality! Sometimes I think they should really change the M in MTV from Music to Meta. Dag.
Anywho, after one episode I'm already hooked. I'm debating putting together a team of RW/RRer's and competing in a RW/RR Challenge fantasy league. Perhaps the best (and by that I mean saddest) fact in the world is that such a league exists. No, wait, perhaps the saddest (and by that I mean best) fact in the world is that I think I actually am going to do this.
I certainly have lots to tell you about this past week and a half; stories about rock, stories about roll, stories about bad food and gastrointestinal distress. But people, those are going to have to wait. I need to look through the pictures and get my thoughts in order. Also, I need to at some point find some time to sleep. Dag.
Last night I had a weird ass dream:
- I had somehow become a part of the circle that included Reese Witherspoon. In casual conversation I mentioned that I loved kids. She asked me to babysit and of course I said yes.
It turns out her children were beautiful and very well-behaved. I apparently did such a good job that she asked me to babysit again. I was very flattered, but then began to worry that my real motivation to babysit was to become closer to Reese, and that I only wanted to become closer to Reese in order to be the friend of a celebrity. In other words, I was afraid I was becoming a fame whore.
Anyway, despite my moral quandry I did indeed babysit again for Reese and once again her children were really great. However, when I left at the end of the night I realized she hadn't paid me at all for two babysitting jobs. WTF? Was she taking advantage of me? Did she know of my fame whoring and was simply playing along to get free babysitting?
It was all very troubling. I woke up soon after and so I never got my answer. Whatever it all means, I do assure you that Reese Witherspoon is a class act - kind, beautiful and a good mom. Ryan Philippe? Surprisingly standoffish. Who knew?
"This is the true story of 7 yahoos who randomly ended up in a bar where a movie was screening and decided to talk really loudly and yell at the screen when the lights went out and things started getting reel....The Reel World...
Ok, it wasn't that bad. The screening last night in Rhode Island was actually pretty good. Many thanks to those of you who trudged out and came to see the film. Your support is appreciated.
Of course, there were some yahoos too, but they were actually pretty funny. During the part of the movie where I talk about how being a musician has made me very very broke one dude yelled out "Join the Union." He and his buddies could not stop laughing (actually more like loud movie drowning out guffawing) at this for six or seven minutes. Thanks, fellas.
As for the show it was actually really good. Most of the movie people stayed and we got to meet some nice new faces.
And honestly people, I wish I had more, but that was pretty much the night that was.
PS. There will be no journal next week because we're going on tour. However, as a penance I will be taking lots of pictures on the road and will have a multimedia celebration of rock when we get home. Have a good week, and people, if for some reason we don't come back.....please remember us.
Today as I was riding my bike into work I had to stop for a few minutes because of a car accident. Now, I didn't see the accident but I definitely arrived just a minute or so after it happened. Fortunately, the accident was minor, a woman in a station wagon pulled into an intersection without looking and tagged the passenger side of an SUV at a low speed. But, of course, just because it wasn't severe doesn't mean it wasn't traumatizing. The woman was crying and talking to the man who had been driving the SUV, who (IMHO) was a champ and was doing his best to console her.
Enter the pain-in-the-asser. The who? You know this kind of person, the kind that loves to enter a bad situation he/she has nothing to do with, then says something passive aggressive and nasty which causes the situation to become more stressful for those who are actually involved, and then walks away presumably satisfied. I hate these people.
Anyway, enter this morning's pain-in-the-asser, a 45-ish woman out for a walk who has the looks of a classic middle-aged meddler.
PITAR: Oh dear, can you please move your car?
Accident Man: Sorry, not until the police come.
PITAR: Hmmm. Well, you know, this is a busy street and you're really messing up traffic for people that need to go to work.
Now, what Accident Man did say:
Accident Man: I'm sorry, but we really need to wait for the police.
What Accident Man should have said:
Accident Man: Huh, beyond the fact that you have nothing to do with this and are, in fact, walking, do you know what really is messing up my ability to negotiate traffic and get to work? Hmmmm, maybe the fact that I was hit by a fucking car!!!! Why don't you move along and go catch up on your neighbor gossip or call your daughter to tell her how much she's messing up her life?
Arg. Anywho, the postscript to this story is that after this happened she looked at me and told me that I shouldn't be on my bike on the sidewalk!
My thought for the day is that being in the military sucks.
Now, don't get me wrong. Although I've been called a "candy-ass liberal wimp" more than a few times when discussing things like war I am not, in fact, anti-military. I actually can't get over the fact that there is a giant group of men and women who's job it is to help make sure my candy-ass doesn't get blown up. Dag.
However, I think the job itself and the higher-ups who run the military suck balls. Here are my cases in point from an extemely limited amount of research:
- I was watching the Hitlery...er...History Channel the other night. For some reason they were taking a break from their relentless WWII coverage and had a show about American GI drug addicts in Vietnam. Apparently a number of enlisted men would frequent brothels in their off hours to have sex and shoot heroin. It became something of an epidemic but you never heard about it because the brass were all very embarassed. These guys all came home as junkies and then were essentially abandoned by the government and VA Hospitals because their problem wasn't something like a bullet wound. Dag.
Now, I say that if your job (YOUR JOB!) is to KILL people while having a good chance of being KILLED yourself, then you should be able to do whatever the fuck you want when you aren't at that job. I mean, if I thought I might die every day at my job (physically, not spiritually, like I am) then I would be walking into that jungle with an IV drip of morphine in one arm, An IV of cocaine in the other, 11 nicotine patches on various parts of my body, a carton of cigarettes, four twix bars, some bubblegum and my pajama pants.
- Iraq. It's just not a fun place to be. People are shooting at you all the damn time, no one really seems to know what the objective is and people, here's the kicker; the 15-day forecast for Baghdad calls for no days under 100 degrees. None. Nor have any of the last 15 days been under 100 degrees. Today it's supposed to be 104 degrees. That straight up sucks, especially if you're walking around with 50 pounds of crap on your back in a full body suit of camoflauge.
So, thank you Armed Forces, but DO NOT sign me up....
After the exciting events of Saturday it was time to shift gears, put on our sneakers and hit the birthday party circuit.
First things first - I mentioned in an entry last week that I was going to a twelve year-old's party. This, in fact, was not the case. The birthday boy was actually turning nine. Dag. This unexpected youth worked both for and against me. In the against me column was the fact that I bought the birthday boy the heaviest baseball bat in the world. I went by the recommended size chart at City Sports and they told me a 31 inch bat would be a great present.....for a twelve year old. This bat was literally bigger than most of the party guests. Arg. Speaking of party guests, in the for me column they were all about nine as well, which made it really easy to kick their asses in baseball. Awesome.
The baseball game was very good. I coached one of the teams and we called ourselves "the butt-kickers", which is exactly what we did. The other team was called "the warriors" and they were about as lame as their name.
After the rout that was the baseball game (I hit three home runs, thank you very much!) (Ed. Note - Against nine year-olds, jagoff) an ice cream truck showed up! It was like the greatest day of my life. I had a chips galore even though I promised the kids I'd get a powerpuff girls bomb pop. Oh well kids, you gotta learn that adults will always disappoint you.
Finally, after a hearty game of steal-someone's-hat-and-run-away-with-it, it was time to go home. We all headed to the birthday boy's house, where we had pizza and opened presents, the best of which was a remote controlled fart machine that I personally loved more than any nine year-old ever could.
This was a jam-packed weekend, so jam-packed I think I need to split it into two entries. Dag.
The actual day of Saturday was pretty uneventful, but at 7:45 Brendo Frendo, Ladyfried Sarah and myself headed out for what would prove to be an interesting evening.
First things first, we were on our way to the post-reception rock and roll afterparty of our good friends Dave and Jess's wedding. Now, this rock party was in Bristol, RI, which is, how do you say?....a huge pain in the ass to get to. We got lost not once, not twice, but thrice. Dag.
Anyway, we finally arrived only to find out the bar was double booked and there was no place for us to play. What.....The......Fuck? And on top of that, the booker acted like we were absolute morons for apparently not carrying a full PA as well as a non-double booked stage to play on. Arg.
What followed was a great example of why Gordon is a great guy to be in a band with. I had to walk away from the argument between the band and booker because I have a very short fuse in confrontations. I get angry at any injustice or even perceived injustice and then I say a bunch of nasty things and storm away. I will never be an ambassador. But Gordon is a master diplomat. He eventually convinced the aforementioned booker not only to have a couple of employees hook up a PA from 1932 but also to go to a friends house to pick up microphones. Dag.
So, after a long wait, there was indeed a show. And it was good. The only near tragedy came when we exceeded our allotted amount of time and the "sound guy" got PISSED. I mean, really angry. He pointed at Gordon, stormed over and then screamed in his face. I was sure he was going to take a swing and that I would have to pull a Keith Richards and swat the dude in the head with the git-box. That would have been awesome.
Anywho, there was no fight, just some serious ill-will on both sides. Oh well. Finally, to cap the evening off and to take my mind off the crazy events that had just transpired, I had way too much to drink and forgot to pee before we left the club. Bad move. An hour and a half later, after another couple getting lost detours, I was literally in the most pain I've ever been in. It was as if God himself had a stranglehold on my genitals. Eventually, I made Brendo Frendo pull over on Storrow Drive and I peed on a building. In short, no one was happy with me. Dag.
Sunday was a lot different and I will hit you with all the details tomorrow....Dag.
Last night Ladyfriend Sarah and I found ourselves very very bored. The TV offerings were slim, the idea of going out was unappealing and we had no books to read.
Now rockers, when this level of ennui is reached there is only one thing to do - download illustrated Bible scenes and color them in! That's right, there's more than a few web pages which specialize in blank Christian themed coloring pages.
So we went to one of these pages, which ironically had 69 different pages to color in (Not Kidding). Here's what we chose:
- I worked on a scene of the baby Jesus surrounded by animals in the manger. Now, I know the animals supposedly knew who he was and loved him and all that, but there's no Mary or Joseph in this scene and the donkey looks hungry. People, that's just bad parenting.
- Sarah chose a scene from the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent. You'd kinda think God could've come up with a tougher test, like sending three strippers and an ounce of heroin into the Garden and telling them not to touch that. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I could go without an apple for the rest of my life.
- There was this other scene of a monkey and a man staring at each other in profile. Both have thought balloons above their heads. The man thinks "I can compose music, I can think, I can love, what can you do?" The monkey's thought balloon replies with a picture of a banana. This scene makes me think one of two things is true; 1) creationism is right on the money and monkeys have no conscious thought, or 2) this particular monkey was just pretty bad at improv and got caught off guard.
Regardless, coloring is fun.
Finally, a sad farewell to Johnny Cash. There's no good joke here, he was just someone who I admired and respected and I'm sad to see him go.
Not too much to report today. The big news in my life right now is that I got invited to an about to be 12-year-old's birthday party. And people, I couldn't be happier.
This is another sign that I am either getting old, becoming a kid again or becoming a revisionist historian of my own childhood. The argument for getting old is that I kinda like the idea of spending a Sunday afternoon out on a field having a barbecue and watching kids run around and have fun. Very un-rock. The argument for me becoming a kid again is that I can't wait to run around with kids as well as the fact that I almost peed my pants when I heard there would be an ice cream truck there. I'll have a Powerpuff Girls Bomb Pop please. The argument for revisionism is that I'm afraid part of the reason I want to play games with the kids is that I'm banking on being able to beat them very soundly (everyone except Andrew, the birthday boy. He's got my number).
I'm a bad person...
I haven't been to a 12 year old's b-day bash in a while. Feel free to send me gift suggestions at email@example.com. I was thinking beer or porn but was told it might not be appropriate.
As I sat around my house last night in my thrift-store track pants and v-neck t-shirt, drinking day old water out of a plastic Brown University reunion cup, surrounded by Playboy magazines and empty beer bottles - I had a realization.
My realization was this - I need one of two things to happen; 1) I get Queer-Eye for the Straight Guy-ed, or 2) I need to develop my own show called Straight-Eye for the Queer Guy and have my non-fashion sense come into vogue.
Now, personally I would prefer option the first. I want to be suited up in some sweet duds, learn how to cook some sweet meals, get a sweet pad, etc. The only problem with this plan is that I'm inherently very lazy and I feel like before long the sweet duds would be all over the floor and I'd be back on tuna fish and Budweiser for sustinence.
But what about option 2? Imagine a TV show hosted by me where I teach admittedly more stylish gay men how to be slobs. Instead of them preparing for a party or trying to impress a girlfriend, I'd prepare these guys for having a dinner get-together for their stuffy homophobe boss.
Me: Take that towel out of the hamper, go outside to get some dirt for this floor, leave those dishes alone, and don't change your underwear tomorrow.
QG: Why would anyone do those things?
Me: Trust me. Who's the straight guy here?
So yesterday I was all alone at work. Literally all alone. Also, I polished off all the actual work I needed to get done by 11:00. So what to do?
Well, I started what remained of my day of liesure by reading all my usual web sites. I hit Rolling Stone, Metal Sludge, The Onion, Salon and Jam Showbiz Canada. When I finished up with those I realized I had killed a good fifteen minutes and had almost six hours left to go. Oh well, no worries I said to myself, the internet is a rich and wonderland playland full of plenty to keep me occupied for the rest of the day. That, people, was incorrect. The internet, it turns out, is actually kinda boring.
I surfed for an hour or so; I looked at plenty of band websites, tried in vain to find interesting online journals to read, and did the Universal Syndicate Crossword. But then I got B-O-R-E-D.
When I reached boredom I headed over to google and looked for pictures of people I went to high school with and/or girls I used to be interested in. I did this mainly to see if they got fat. Unfortunately, I didn't find anyone I was looking for, became convinced they are all living wonderful lives and got even more bored.
I finally found a website detailing some Malaysian kid's drug abuse. That was pretty interesting for a little while but then it too became ass-boring.
Of course, here's what this is all leading up to. The internet is really, plainly and simply a vehicle for delivering pornography. It's very much like a Playboy magazine; sure, the articles are good and interesting, but eventually you have to go look at the boobs, right? And that's where I found myself at about 2:00, with three hours left. It was like there was a little voice in my head saying "there's nothing left to read here, Jo Jo, but you are connected to the largest collection of free pornography on the planet. Jo Jo... Jo Jo.... Boobs....." (Ed. Note - the voice in your head calls you Jo Jo?)
Luckily I have learned that when I listen to that voice I usually end up in trouble, and so I shut the computer off and reorganized my desk. Then I took a nap.
So on Saturday Fooled By April managed find NEMO - the music festival that is. (Ed. note - If any member of the band or the local media uses this joke one more time I will personally hunt him down and strangle or in other ways mutilate him).
Anywho, we were scheduled to play at the Linwood at 12:30 in the AM. What made this really super extra convenient was that we were supplying the bass amp and drums for the night and we had to arrive at 6:45. 12:30 - 6:45 = 5:45 of sitting on our asses time.
Now, if you're in a band and find yourself with six hours to do nothing with, what do you do? Well, if you're a cool band you prolly go crash at someone's pad and do lots of hard drugs. We opted instead for the combination of gastrically distressing Mexican food and a walk to Fenway Park to hear Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce. Both, well, kinda sucked.
There was so much security at Fenway you would have thought somebody good was playing there. Ha ha. Seriously, although I'm no big fan of the Boss it was still pretty cool. There were literally thousands of people out on Landsdowne street dancing and singing along to every word from that god-awful Rising album. I waited for Glory Days for a half hour and then packed it in.
Finally, it was show time and I was, well, honestly, a little drunk. But that was OK because I think the four members of the audience were as well. Special thanks to our friends in Scamper and Focusin for their support. Anyway, we played pretty well but got cut off after our seventh song (of 12). That bit ass, and as a show of how rock I am I knocked over all my equipment at the end of the show in protest. Since then ten or so people have told me that that's just not my style and that I looked dumb doing it.
Last night we were on our way to a gig at Westfield State College which, as it turned out, was about and hour and a half further away than any of us thought. So everyone was kind of dejected and cranky, especially the 12-G. What pulled us out of it?
Gordon:Oh, I forgot, we get free Subway at the gig.
Pete: For real? You're not messing with me?
Pete:Anything I want?
Pete:This is the best gig ever! I'm going to take some meatballs to bitch school, and when they graduate they're going to 12-G belly university for their Ph.D. in digestion science!
Gordon:You're a nerd.
Pete:My math club friends don't think so, troglodyte.
Now, people, this was a good paying gig. Even though we were all aware that the money we were about to make could put us all on the Jared diet for quite a while, the fact that dinner was free was the thing that got us back in the rock mood. And I don't think it actually had anything to do with Subway. Gordon could have said "Oh, I forgot, they're giving us free pigeon turd on bread" and we would have been just as happy.
And so, again, never underestimate the power of free food...
It's another rainy day in Beantown. Yesterday was also a rainy day in Beantown. Tomorrow promises to be a partly cloudy and then rainy day in Beantown.
I hate rain in general, but I especially hate rain this time of year. It's cold fall rain, not warm summer rain, and it seems that its only purpose is to continually remind you that the miserable winter is on its way.
The rain also does nasty things to the rehearsal space, which as you loyal readers know, is in my basement. Instruments won't stay in tune, amp speakers get damp and sound lifeless, the drums get all kinds of wonky and Pete grows mold about the ears.
So, I guess my point is, screw you, rain. I'm pulling for a nice long indian summer....
Finally, I wanted to put this up yesterday but am an html-tard and couldn't make it happen. So, read yesterday's journal again and then take a peek.
It's time for me to bid a long belated goodbye to the incomparable Wesley Willis, who unfortunately passed away last week at the age of 40.
For those of you unfamiliar with Wesley, he was bat-shit crazy. A long time homeless schizophrenic street artist, Wesley, along with his $20 Casio keyboard, made some of the funniest songs you will ever hear. His topics veered wildly from his admiration of recording artists ("Alice in Chains", "Alanis Morrisette") to bizarre social criticism ("Rock and Roll McDonald's" - perhaps the funniest song ever) to the absolutely absurd ("Cut the Mullet", "The Chicken Cow" "Birdman Kicked My Ass").
This is not to say I'm making fun of Wesley. Unlike most of the college age crowds who attended his shows to see what kind of scene his mental illness might produce, I always viewed and continue to view Wesley as a true folk artist. Perhaps the truest kind of folk artist, simply because his songs were so absolutely honest. He might be singing about the listener fellating his pet ("Suck my Dog's Dick") but you always knew that he really meant for you to suck that dick.
Anyway, go listen to his music. He had a tough life and deserves to be remembered. He will be missed.
McDonalds is the place to rock
It is a restaurant where they buy food to eat
It is a good place to listen to the music
People flock here to get down to the rock music
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
McDonalds will make you fat
They serve Big Macs
They serve Quarter-Pounders
They will put pounds on you
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
McDonalds hamburgers are the worst
They are worse than Burger King
A Big Mac has 26 grams of fat
A Quarter-Pounder has 28 grams of fat
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Rock and Roll McDonalds
Damn. This weekend was a trip. We packed up the band van and headed down to good old Hyannis for what we all anticipated was going to be a rough gig. A show in a coffehouse on Labor Day weekend on the Cape? Ouch.
Luckily, like most other times, we were proved wrong, although it didn't start that way. When we arrived in downtown Hyannis we were all hungry, and so we did what any self-respecting rock band would do, we headed to Hooters. Now, if I owned this restaraunt I would have called it "Busted Old Unnattractive Broads With Wikked Boston Accents Where the Food Sucks-ers" because I believe strongly in truth in advertising. Pete and I both had the Texas Steak Sandwich and got show threatening diarrhea. Thanks Hooters.
Anywho, after that debacle we went to the club....er....coffeehouse. It was really small (50 person capacity) but it was also really cool. The band opening the night was an all girl new wavy punky band called the Ticks and they rocked. They had also filled the place up so it was a fun atmosphere. FXA took the stage next and was greeted by some pretty rabid rock fans. It was all going so well until.....
During Monsters of Rock I attempted a Scamper-esque jump which, although well executed, did something to my back that should never be repeated. I remember feeling this weird pull and thinking "damn, now that just ain't right. damn."
I managed to finish the show because of the great Hyannis-ites, but by the time we got home I knew I was in trouble. To make a long story short, I spent the last two days on my back feeling like a damn fool.