Happy Halloween. No one emailed me a good costume idea and so I've decided to go as myself, only handsomer. It's gonna be tough.
In other Halloween news, last night Ladyfriend Sarah and Supermaura had a pumpkin carving contest at their place. When I heard about it I bolted over there because, as anyone who knows me knows, I'm a sucker for pumpkins.
Anyway, when I arrived the pumpkin gutting had begun in earnest and the house was full of that weird pumpkin innard stink. The smell is kind of like puke mixed with carrot cake. So I decided to exit the carving area and watch TV until the pumpkins were done.
Finally, after about an hour (and two episodes of Real World/Road Rules Challenge) it was time to judge the girls handiwork:
-Ladyfriend Sarah's pumpkin was.....interesting. She made an error cutting the left eye and decided at that point that all hope of making a regular jack-o-lantern was dashed, and that the logical thing would be to make "Elephant Man Retardo Pumpkin", which is what she did. He had one HUGE eye, one tiny eye and, believe me, the weirdest grin you will even see on any fruit.
-Supermaura made "Carrie-o-lantern", which essentially is a regular jack-o-lantern design augmented with a prom crown and a healthy dose of fake blood. Dag.
All in all, two great pumpkins. I think Supermaura's wins on technical merit, although Ladyfriend Sarah's takes the "Innovation in laughing at the mentally handicapped" award (which she's won three years straight). Regardless, a fine showing.
If you get any extra candy tonight, please send it to the band. We're hungry.
Today I am wearing new underwear and folks, I love me some new underwear.
New underwear is innocent and perfect. It's almost like it doesn't know what its job is going to be when you buy it in the store. I mean, it agreeably pops out of the plastic package and very willingly gets right in there to perform its task. That first wearing is like heaven, a symbiotic relationship between two entities aiming for the same thing: namely the comfort and security of your genitals. When Mr. Underwear is working he truly is wonderful, he's wicking away sweat, clinging where he should, not clinging where he shouldn't and making sure the boys stay safely out of the way of legs and other potential dangers.
However, from there on in it only gets worse. I feel like during the first wash and subsequent placement in the underwear drawer some of the old underwear try to break the rookie's spirit by showing him their frayed waitbands and rips in their asses.
At first, their harangue doesn't work that well and you and the new guy still get along great, but it doesn't last. Soon you feel him pulling away (literally) and tears develop in the fabric of your love. Eventually, there's a true break in the relationship. For some, the simple degeneration of the cotton becomes too much. For others the break comes when you're walking around in just your underwear and realize that he and detergent didn't get that jelly stain out from when you were drunk on raspberry schnapps watching A Walk to Remember and eating a PB&J all by yourself while silently weeping on a saturday night two weeks ago. Anyway, however it happens, your once true friend will eventually finds his way to the trash.
Today Fooled By April heads into the photography studio in order to take some new pictures to promote the new album.
I would rather be shot in the face.
Folks, as an unabashed showoff, attention hog and megalomaniac I of course love having my picture taken. However, that love really only extends to candid shots or any picture where it's appropriate for me to make a stupid face. When it comes to actual posed and serious photos I would rather be shot in the face, as mentioned above, or perhaps buried alive in a pile of snakes. In short, I don't like getting real photos taken.
The reason for this aversion is that I am fundamentally and physically incapable of looking natural on command. I just can't do it. For example, when someone says "smile", my face contorts into this look that makes peolple think I am not at all happy, but instead just have very bad gas (which, coincidentally, I often do).
Anyway, my plan today is to recede into the background and let the photogenic members of this rock outfit carry the main burden. When the photo is finally processed and available please look for me. I'll be the guy who looks angry and constipated in the far left. See you then...
We have a show on Friday which we have tentatively dubbed "The Best God Damn Halloween Spectacular the Earth Has Ever Known." Unfortunately, we have nothing special planned for the show as of yet and it could very well turn out to be "The Worst God Damn Halloween Non-Spectacular the Earth Has Ever Known", or even worse "The Most Mediocre God Damn Halloween Kinda-Spectacular the Earth Has Ever Known."
In order to avoid these less than wonderful outcomes, we need some ideas. Brendo Frendo suggested that we all go with a Chili Peppers look and all just wear strategically placed socks. We said OK, but he changed his mind when he came to the dress rehearsal. On the other hand, some crazy drunk lady suggested we play a practical joke on the audience by giving them all kinds of pieces of candy with razor blades hidden inside them. We thought this was a good idea too, but unfortunately it turns out that we can't afford the razors.
And so we turn to you. The best idea submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org gets a back rub from Pete.
What a weekend. After not having been on the rock horse for a few weeks, we had the honor of having two great shows in a row. Dag.
-Friday we played TT the Bear's with The So and So's. 'Nuff said.
-Post TT's show I met two lovely ladies named E and Joey. They were very nice and interested in the band and hell, their names rhyme. They weren't amused by my observation.
-I also met a really nice girl named Anne who says she reads the diary all the time and loves it. Whenever I hear this from people I feel conflicted. On one hand, I'm happy that they enjoy my writing but on the other I'm also concerned because they obviously ain't right in the head. Help is just a phone call away Anne....
-Saturday we rocked the Luna Lounge for the CMJ festival with our good friends Helicopter Helicopter and Orange Park. Dag.
-A friend of ours in NYC came up after the show and gave me a hug. When she realized how sweaty I was she recoiled in horrow and said "EWWWWWW, you're gross!" Um, thanks.
-Post show, the NYC Rock City Crew (Myself, Brendo Frendo, Marebear and Gazzellevin) all made our way to Katz's deli. While there, we compensated for the fact that none of us were having sex that night by drowning our sorrows in pastrami.
-In my ongoing quest to always act like I'm 5 years old, when Brendo Frendo and I settled down for the evening I stayed quiet for about 6 minutes and then made a very loud fart noise. We were in hysterics for literally an hour.
And that pretty much was the weekend that was. Of course I had to leave out the stories about snorting coke off the nubile bodies of $2000 a night hookers and negotiating horse prices with Columbian warlords in order to protect the innocent, but I'm sure you all understand.
So, as you know, FXA has a weekend of big rock shows coming up. Now, not only are these shows in great venues with great bands, but they will also be the first time anyone outside of the band (and the girlfriends of the band, the band's close pals and the residents of the Somerville Rock House) sees the new disc. And I have to admit I'm pretty nervous.
This record has cost us an enormous amount financially, but even more so emotionally, mentally and physically. It is the culmination of almost a year's work and is the result of huge efforts by a LOT of people. I'm pretty sure everyone in the band has cried, cursed, lost faith and been overjoyed by this record at one point or another. It's not unfair to say that these 1000 tangible carboard and plastic things literally define a good part of the recent lives of four people.
You'd think that after working so hard, I'd be dying to get rid of this thing. But ironically, it's hard for me at this point to put the record out. I, and we, have put so much into it that I don't know if I'm ready for the inevitable criticisms and bad reviews that any record will get. With the last record I took all the good and bad opinions in stride, but I'm definitely more invested in this one. I don't want anyone saying anything bad about my baby.
So I guess what I'm saying is...if you insult the record tonight or tomorrow I will kick you squarely in the nuts. Kapiche?
So, last night I was spending some time with Ladyfriend Sarah and she commented that she had liked yesterdays journal entry about poor tiger maligned Roy. I of course, glowing in my own self of self importance, thanked her and was about to launch into a lecture about the witty wordplay and delicate sentence structures I had employed in crafting this entry that she had enjoyed when she followed up with "It was nice to get a laugh, especially after so many duds." WTF?
Duds? Is she crazy!?!?!?! In the past week alone I've written about the Cookie Monster's fictitious band's politics, playing X-Box and hating animals. If those are duds than perhaps she should take a look at.........whoah. Those really are some fucking duds. Man, I need some excitement in my life. Dag. Oh well.
On a sadder note, goodbye to Elliott Smith, whose music and gentleness I have always admired.
So, I was watching this Dateline NBC type show last night and they were having a "Special Report" about the latest in the Roy (of Siegfried and Roy fame) tiger mauling saga.
Now people, as perhaps you can imagine, this show was neither "special" nor really a "report." It consisted entirely of four or five animal experts called upon to tell us, the audience, what the tiger was thinking when he attacked Roy. Does this strike anyone else as some seriously dumb shit?
First of all, who cares why the tiger attacked Roy? I mean, if Brendo Frendo whacked me in the neck with a butcher knife and then I had a stroke, I gotta say that his motivation wouldn't be all that important to me. But besides that, unless said expert is a half man/half tiger mutant named Tigro who can speak Tiger fluently I don't think his testimony as to what a tiger is thinking is at all credible.
But of course, there was some Stone Phillips-ey guy hanging on every word. It was, in a word, irritating.
Last night we cooked up a brand spanking new rock gem in the basement of the Somerville Rock House. Now, this song may not change your life, but it will certainly be enough to give your ass a good kicking and, yes, it will be played in its entirety at this Friday's show.
We're psyched to be bringing in some new material, especially since writing songs is tough in a band like ours. Everyone is creative and has a lot to contribute which is great most of the time, but sometimes it derails our efforts at a cohesive vision.
In that vein, I was thinking this morning on the bike ride in how fun it would be to be in a band like Cookie Monster's Band. I mean, you know nobody stood up to Cookie and said "You know what, Monster? I think it should go 'C is for cookie, and it tastes OK to me' instead" You just know that never happened. Creative disagreements and tension were rare in the CMB and sometimes I envy it.
I am slowly recovering my senses after last week's heartbreak, and finally feel that my head is getting screwed back on straight.
A major aid to this end has been playing rousing games of 2 on 2 Halo at the Somerville Rock House. For those of you unfamiliar with Halo, it's a battle game for the X-Box where you and an army get sent to an alien planet to kill, you guessed it, pissed off aliens.
But to me, the actual game is pretty boring. The fun comes when you hook up four controllers, make teams, and blast the holy hell out of your friends in multiplayer mode. There's just something about seeing Jordan running helplessly across a field while I chase him down in a tank and then use a cannon, a cannon, to end his short but fruitful alien killing life. Of course, it's not actually about Jordan, it's really pretending Jordan's little army man represents every anxiety, insecurity and anger filled molecule of my body. In this way, Jordan can be Posada, my stupid boss, my promise to get back to the gym, etc.
What a horrible, disgusting, awful, terrible, sickening, heartrending, nasty, shitty, shameful, puke inducing crapfest of an evening.
If you had told me seven months ago that 9 overweight guys with terrible facial hair were not just going to break my heart but were going to shatter it into a million bleeding pieces I would have said "you're going to clone me nine times and then have me be mean to myself?" But that's not what happened. My beloved/hated Boston Red Sox reduced me to a pulp of withering tears last night.
Of course, this is why I've always been of the opinion that it's folly to get involved with pets or sports teams. In my life I've had more than enough problems with my actual human relationships, so the thought of forming an outside attachment to a dog or worse, a sports team, has always looked like heroin to me (i.e. that's prolly a lot of fun, but we prolly shouldn't fuck with it.) Anyway, I stuck the needle of the Sox in my arm and now I'm like some back-alley junkie rooting through a trash bin trying to figure out where it all went wrong....and, to my own disgust, looking forward to April.
If there's any more baseball drama this year I'm pretty sure all the inhabitants of the Somerville Rock House will have aneurysms and keel over stone cold dead. Last night there was more screaming in my living room than in all the Nightmare on Elm Street Movies combined. Dag.
I also learned things about my friends last night. Important things, like when they're cursing out Jorge Posada where they choose to put the F and A components. P-Diddy Lang like to get an F in first, followed by an A and then an S. Brendo Frendo, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. Myself, I like to shake it up, start with a non-curse word like "stupid" then follow up with a long string of non-sequiter expletives. I also like to, when in the company of men, throw in the dreaded C word. It's coarse but it works.
Finally, I actually learned things about the Yankees as a team. According to my much more baseball savvy roommates, an astonishing number of the Yankees, a team I always thought was pretty skilled, actually suck and have mothers who are prostitutes. Who knew?
The record is finished and will be arriving at the Somerville rock house sometime in the next couple days. This is great news for a couple reasons. One, we're excited as hell to finally have the fruits of our hard work in our grubby little hands. Two, this process has been a royal pain in the ass and we're just glad it's done.
It has taken so long that it actually seems like we're about to give birth to our own little plastic child. I feel like soon we will be arranging visits for all of you to come see it in its new nursery. Jordan will build a crib and Pete will be busy composing sweet lullabyes to gently put it to sleep. We might even buy a station wagon.
With all that in mind, don't consider buying the record as putting money in our pockets, consider it instead a contribution to little "Nice to See You"'s college fund. We're shooting for the Ivies...
Who wants a short and serious journal entry? No one? Oh well, deal with it...
Yesterday was Ladyfriend Sarah's birthday and I thought I'd spend a few words on her. For those of you who know her, you know she's the most wonderful, generous, smart, beautiful and kind lady on the planet. For those of you who don't know her, what the hell are you waiting for?
Seriously, she makes my world spin and, to quote Pete Galea in last week's Westborough newspaper, "I count my blessings."
Ladyfriend Sarah and I head down the Somerville bike path. It is nighttime and everything is pitch black, but somehow I know where we're going.
We get to an abandoned old shack which is standing beside old abandoned railroad tracks. The windows are all broken and it's really creepy.
We lay down a sleeping bag and get in together and we start to talk. As we're talking I realize that I used to live here. And not long ago, while it was still all abandoned. Apparently, LS and I were broken up at the time and it was a bad scene.
Anywho, suddenly I get really scared and a man appears who invites us inside. He tells me this would be a good place for FXA to rehearse. We go in and up some stairs and it turns out this place is now a swank-ass phat pad. WTF? It's fully furnished and warm and really nice.
So we walk around a little and then I see a cat. Rationally, the first thing you do when you see a cat in a dream is start to dance, right? And so I did. And people, the cat danced back!
So I called LS over and myself and the cat (who by now is standing on its hind legs and is fully six feet tall) start doing the lindy hop. Strangely, even though we are really good, Sarah is not impressed. So I turn to the cat and shout "The Hustle!" and we start seriously ripping shit up.
At this moment, in mid-Hustle, I was rudely awakened by one Ladyfriend Sarah who thought I was having a seizure because I was actually doing the Hustle in bed. And so I never got to see whether she was impressed in the dream, but she should have been because that cat could really move....
Sorry for not giving you the sweet journal love yesterday. I didn't forget about you, I just had a nasty little fever coupled with sweating that even the NBA has never seen the likes of. Dag.
Anywho, not too much going on in the FXA camp. We've honestly spent most of our time watching a lot of baseball and hoping sweet sweet Johnny Damon makes a speedy recovery.
One funny thing I saw in a sports centered news break during one of the games was a report on Kobe Bryant's return to the Lakers training camp. They talked about how tough it's been for him and how he's suffered unjustly and yada yada yada. All of which may be true, I have no idea whether he's guilty or not. However, the funniest part of the piece was when a reporter asked him about his new tattoo, to which he replied "oh, this is for my angel, my wife." Now, I don't know about you, but if I'm spending considerable time in a resort by myself having unprotected, allegedly non-consensual sex with a 19 year old I just met I might feel a little silly calling my wife "my angel." Hmmmm.
What the hell can you say about the Red Sox except Dag. I mean, dag. What a game, what a series, what a great time to be in Boston.
It's crazy what sports can do to a town. It is not an exaggeration to say that the usual emotional tenor of this town is what I would describe as indifferent smoldering aggression. People ignore each other until the slightest provocation sends them into a fury. If you don't believe me, stand on a corner of Mass Ave and watch the traffic for five minutes. You'll hear more curses than you would during 40 years of naval service.
But success in sports changes all of that. These past few days it's like the city has become a big family. Everyone says hi to each other, random people are giving each other high fives and seriously ugly people are getting play....all in the name of the Red Sox.
It makes you wish the Red Sox were in the playoffs all year long, except that Brendo Frendo would probably have an aneurism by month two. Oh well, no great gift comes without sacrifice.
How was your weekend? I heard some of you threw a heavily promoted party for yourselves to celebrate the release of your new record and at that party you had free food and drinks and you drank a lot of the free drinks with your good friends and then only when you began playing your guitar did you realize that you had more free drinks than you realized and that you were going to suck and be embarassed in front of said friends and then had a weird panic attack and eventually ended up wasting a lot of prople's time and money by being "the worst guitar player in the world." True? I don't know, just what I heard.
Seriously, we had a great time (obviously, too good a time) at the listening party and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who came out. And as pennance for my performance, I am offering a one time deal where you can punch me twice in the stomach with proof of entry to the show. Just mail your proof along with a $1.50 handling fee to:
Joe, you really suck and I want to punch you in the stomach
PO Box 24601
Somerville, MA 02145
Upon receipt I will get on my bike and come directly to your house, where, as promised, you can punch me not once, but twice in the stomach.
So, I'm sitting here in my office and I am freezing. I mean, freezing. Penguins are literally walking by offering me blankets.
The bike ride this morning was Bru-tal. I'm relatively sure my testicles have frozen solid and are now residing somewhere in my upper abdomen, from where they shall never be retrieved.
My point? I really hate the coming of winter and I'm sorry, because it's my fault.
The reason why it's my fault (actually, the whole band's) is that we just went on tour. People, whenever this ragtag group of rockers heads out on the road, no matter for how long or in what month, the season inevitably changes on us. When we left this last time it was summer and when we got back it was definitely fall. And when we left last March it was winter. When we got back it was spring. I'm convinced we could leave in July and come back with the winter. Arg.
Why we have this strange and unusual power is beyond me. I simply hope we're never abducted by an evil foreign government who will brainwash us and then put us on the road to conquer the world through weather domination.
Oh well, see you all tonight at the LISTENING PARTY!
Rough night at 26 Warwick yesterday, what with the Red Sox blowing their only assured good pitching performance of the series and Brendo Frendo moving in. Ha ha, only the second thing sucked actually.
Anywho, my new theory on the Red Sox is that they are essentially like the serpent in the Garden of Eden. This is actually the first year I've ever followed baseball and I'm starting to feel like at some point Manny Ramirez must have come to me in a dream and said "just take a bite of the apple, Joe. It will all be fine." Of course, once I ate the stupid apple I became hooked on this team that seems determined to make me pay for ever liking them. This is why I never got into sports as a kid and I thought I had escaped their allure, but now I find myself acting like a nine year old when Nomar strikes out.
So last night I had to move and people, I hate moving. I mean, I really hate moving. Given the choice of spending a week in a maximum security prison in a dress or moving I would definitely choose moving, but not by much.
The only good thing about this move was that it was only from one room to another in the same house. The not so good thing was that my new room is much smaller. So now, instead of living among thirty small piles of crap, I'm afraid I'm going to find myself living in one gigantic compost heap of crap full of mice and fingernails. Oh well.
Actually, I'm being pretty melodramatic. The move was actually pretty OK for a couple more reasons: 1) I got completely smashed before doing it and thus remember surprisingly little of the actual process and 2) Ladyfriend Sarah, who generally makes sure I eat and bathe and don't die, did much of the organizational work. She rules.
Anyway, I'm thinking about having a breaking-in party for my new room, but I can unfortunately only invite three of you. I'll be raffling off tickets soon.