I'm geniunely puzzled why everyone is so up in arms about this gay marriage thing. Jesus Christ, relax already. Is Mitt Romney afraid that once a gay couple is married they will become terrifying monsters who will stop at nothing to eat his brains?
What is especially galling is that all the politicians are saying "we don't think gay people are bad people, we just want to preserve the sanctity of marriage". I wish one of them would stand up and say what he really means, something like "I believe gay people are weird. I'm glad I don't know any of them personally and I hate them because I'm afraid of the whole concept. Also, in my darkest moments I worry that I might be a little gay myself. Anyway, they can have civil unions but no marriage - separate but equal you see."
Well people, separate but equal didn't work the first time and it isn't going to work now. People deserve basic human rights. If no politician has a problem with a sanctified married straight coupling putting on S&M gear and chaining each other up in a dungeon then perhaps they should get over themselves about two guys making out and grant them their dignity as American citizens. What's normal is in the eye of the beholder and people's personal proclivities about love and sex really don't need to be policed by the authorities.
Furthermore, five or six American GI's have died in the past two weeks in Iraq. I say five or six because I really don't know. The story of these unnecessary deaths doesn't even make the front page anymore. It's buried on page ten under nine pages of stories about the desperate attempts of politicos to do things like amend our constitution to codify discrimination.
There's a lot you assume about a person just by looking at them. Today on the T I was standing across from a well dressed, albeit slightly disheveled, middle-aged guy with a guitar. He had his guitar in a leather gig bag that had obviously seen some use and his face was lined enough that you could tell he'd done some hard living at one point or another. Altogether, my impression was that this was a reformed wildman who had established a solid middle class life but still valued art and refused to completely settle down. In other words, a guy I'd probably get along with.
Then he threw the whole impression to hell. I noticed that he kept looking at his hands and finally realized that he had small handwritten squares of paper in them. He kept looking at them and sorting through them and eventually started to look pretty agitated. Who reads a bunch of tiny notes to themselves on the train? Creepy, right? Anyway, I quickly revised my opinion and decided that this dude was a somehow well put together homeless crazy and that he had tasted human blood before.
I was happy with this impression until he dropped one of his notes to Satan and I saw that it was actually a chess puzzle from the paper. Just as quickly my opinion reverted back to "settled down wildman" and I became embarrassed by my presumption.
Of course this all leads to the larger question of what it says about me that all I do on the train is stand in judgment of other people. Send your thoughts on the matter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, Friday night's rock show was simply rocktastic, except for the excrutiating black magic cramp torture put on my stomach by our good friends at Mary Chung in central square. Oh well, that's all water (or something very similar to it) under the bridge. I was feeling fine and ready to go by showtime.
Anywho, as I said it was rocktabulous. There was a big supportive crowd and we played reasonably well. Overall, by the end of the show I was feeling good. Of course, seeing as this story made it into the journal, there has to be a twist.
And here it is. As I was packing up my gear after the show this extremely drunk dude comes sauntering up.
EDD: Hey man, you guys are great.
Me: Thanks man. I appreciate it.
EDD: You know, I walked in here tonight and I was like 'this band is good. I'm going to buy their record.'
Me: Wow, thanks. If you want to buy it you can go see that guy right over...
EDD: I liked all the tunes. Except that second to last one. It sounded too much like Billy Joel. I thought that one sucked.
Me: Huh. OK. Thanks for the honesty. Look, I'm pretty busy here...
EDD: Dude, don't get mad. I'm just sayin'. I'm just sayin'.
Now, I know many of you are coming to the show tonight at TT's and we couldn't be happier. I also know that most of you are probably familiar with the "Pepsi Challenge" that they used to do all the time in the 80's. Well, tonight I'd like to put a twist on the idea.
What I propose is that you all bring the worst tasting thing you can possibly imagine and test it against TT's Diet Coke. I promise you that you will lose.
Don't get me wrong, I love TT the Bears as a venue and they've been very good to us. But since I quit the sauce I've needed to find an alternative beverage to Budweiser and I've picked Diet Coke. Unfortunately, when we play TT's they always seem to confuse my order of Diet Coke with battery acid on the rocks. It's literally that bad. I usually have to stop and take a look around to make sure I'm not on Candid Camera.
And so the gauntlet has been thrown down. I dare you to take the challenge. Bring pickle juice, motor oil, monkey sweat...whatever; Just come and see for yourself.
So the band reconvened last night and there were smiles all around.....for about six minutes. Once we hit the basement and cranked up the amps it was a different story. It was as if we had never played together in our lives. We were all missing parts of songs, forgetting chords, dropping beats etc. It was stone cold amateur.
We also got tired really fast and then got crabby with each other about when to knock off. Dag.
Anyway, contrary to what you might think these are all good signs. The worse we play last night, the better we will be at TT's tomorrow. Guaranteed. All the slip ups will somehow be magically converted into moments of improvised glory, the dropped beats into funky 11/16 breakdowns and the forgotten chords into uncharted jazz odyssies. It happens every time.
In short people, the rock works in mysterious ways.
So, it's been a while but tonight all the boys are back in town and we are going to rock my nasty nasty basement until it begs for mercy.
It's funny, because in a lot of ways band rehearsal is like a family dinner. Sometimes it's fun and you're glad to see everyone, and sometimes you wish you could throw your fork into someone's head. Usually it's a combination of both.
But, also like family time, when you're away from it you miss it. So, even though the last time we played I think everyone wanted to physically murder everyone else, I know everyone can't wait until tonight.
This morning on the T I was lucky enough to sit between Senor Crazy Pants and Madam Lunatic. They were literally shouting at each other without looking at each other and completely disregarding that I was sitting between them. A sample of the conversation:
SCP: Don't tell me what I'm gonna do when I get to Florida!
ML: Yeah you and your sister. You'd feel it if it was your sister!
SCP: But does anyone listen to me?!? I said don't do it and he did it anyway!
ML (jabbing her finger): You can't even be a woman around here!
SCP: Forget it! That's why I'm going to Miami!
And......scene. Anyway, I was wondering why there were so many available seats on this particular car and I believe that was my answer. I ended up doing the old out and in at Harvard and traded the crazies for some smelly guy's armpit in another car.
I'm back after two days lying on Ladyfriend Sarah's couch wishing for death. Ok, perhaps that's an exaggeration, but I did have a nasty little stomach virus that literally and figuratively knocked me on my ass.
I hate being sick. It's one of those things that doesn't translate well to adulthood. I mean, when you're a kid and you're sick and you stay home from school it honestly doesn't matter that much that you feel like crap - it's still a day off. But as an adult I want to be using my sick days for fun stuff, not for actually being sick. That defeats the whole purpose. I essentially want my sick time to represent ten more vaction days.
Not only that, but now I'm way behind at work. Arg.
What can I tell you? It's 4:30 in the morning and I am wide awake with nasty heartburn. Life is, of course, terrible.
Ladyfriend Sarah is studying for the MCAT right now and so we talk everyday about things biological and chemical. We talk about it so much that the lingo has permeated just about every part of my life. For instance, right before I woke up with this raging fire in my chest I was having a dream that people kept calling me an autotroph (an organism that "makes its own food" and does not require previously formed organic materials from the environment) and lo and behold I am, sitting here slowly digesting myself. Dag.
Anyway, right now I am the only person awake in my house - the only person who'll be awake for hours. It's kind of nice to be able to sit in the quiet with my thoughts, completely undisturbed, surrounded by piles of my roommates clothes that I'm going to serruptitiously try on and do solo fashion shows with.
Addendum: Whoah. I really wrote that at 4:30. Note to self - Don't write the journal at 4:30.
I am tired. I am so tired I have to spell it T-I-D-E because I am simply too tired to type the 'r'.
I am so tired because of a very ill-conceived nap I took last evening at around 5PM. 5PM, as I 'm sure you all know is a bad time for a nap. It's just too late to get a quality amount of sleep in before you cross the threshhold of not being able to sleep that night. For me, the threshhold is about 6:15, give or take three minutes. Of course, last night I zoomed right past that to 7:30.
The end result is that while Ladyfriend Sarah was sawing logs I lay awake thinking about poker until about three in the morning. You'll be happy to know however, that in all my poker scenarios I ended up winning (usually with a full house).
On my way to work this morning I was given a granola bar by a nice kid in front of the Porter T Station. I thought he worked for Kellogg's or something and it was all part of some promotional campaign but I was wrong, this granola bar was special.
You see, wrapped around the granola bar was a note informing me that this particular crunchy treat was actually just a daily reminder of how much God loves me. The note also told me I should probably get my ass to church in order to tell God how grateful I am for his daily nut flavored expressions of love.
But why granola, instead of...say...cable TV with the Spice Channel? Or full repayment of my student loans? I mean, I'd honestly be more grateful for something like that. But I guess God works in mysterious ways:
God: Jesus! Get in here!
Jesus: Yo, God, what's crackin?
God: I need you help. We have a big problem.
Jesus: What is it? Floods? Drought? Violence?
God: No no. It's....well...it's Welsh. I can't get him back to the church no matter what I try. I've given him health, excessive good looks and charm, a modicum of talent. I mean, who's dick do I have to suck to get some thanks??
Jesus: Well, I don't want to get all crazy here, but have you thought of using......granola?
God: I do believe you may be on to something.
Anywho, thanks for the granola bar God, even though I still don't believe you exist. Next time try a Snickers bar. I mean, that would rule.
(P.S. to my 9 year old homey Andrew. If you're reading this, well, you shouldn't be. Go play that guitar and disregard what you've seen here.)
Fooled By April plays in Worcester Part V: In which it takes a turn for the way worse
After we solved the directions snafu we found ourselves on the Mass Pike at 3 AM. And I tell you, it was 3 AM and I wasn't lonely but I was really really really tired. So tired that the lines started blurring and I could feel myself kind of being hypnotized by the road. That, my friends, was a good time for a Twix bar/Diet Coke pit stop.
And so we stopped at the Natick travel plaza. Gordon got some gas while the rest of us ambled inside for a pee and to see whether McGriddles were on sale yet. Actual conversation with the teller, who was a charming albeit not very straightforward Indian gentleman:
Me: Hi there, are you serving McGriddles yet?
Charming albeit not very straightforward Indian gentleman: No, no McGriddles.
Me: OK, I'll have a McFlurry.
CANVSIG: No McFlurry.
Me: OK, just two apple pies then.
CANVISG: No apple pies.
Me (getting frustrated): Can I get a cheeseburger?
CANVISG: Of course, my friend.
Anywho, I had a cheeseburger. After the burger we all headed back to the van, which for some reason was still at the pump. Oh well, I figured Gordon was just tired and didn't want to park it. But I was tired too and we then had this conversation:
Me: Gordon, are you sober yet? I'm really tired and I was hoping you might be able to drive.
Gordon: Yeah, I'm fine to drive. Wanna give me the keys?
Me: You have the keys.
Gordon: You were driving.
Me: Yeah, but I left them in the ignition so you could park after you got gas.
Gordon: Oh shit. I locked the car after I got gas!
Oh shit was right. And so at 3:30 in the morning we headed back into McDonald's to wait for the Mass Pike emergency crew to come and unlock the door. It stone cold sucked.
When we finally got home at 4:15 I literally wanted to make out with my bed. That's how happy I was to see it. Dag.
Fooled By April plays in Worcester Part IV: In which Doris gets her oats
After we rocked out to the other bands it was time to head back down to the abandoned lot of certain death to load out. This went pretty smoothly with the exception of Phillippe, easily the largest rat I have ever seen emerging from a rotted old mattress. Oh well.
Anyway, we hit the road. I was driving the three drunkies, which would have been fine except that we weren't sure which way to go, it was two in the morning, I was really tired and I have bad night vision. But you gotta do what you gotta do and so we headed out.
Now here's where the shit hits the fan. Usually I'm the go to guy with the map. I'm cool and collected about directions. But this night I was flustered, namely because I had no idea where I was going and Pete and Jordan were screaming about ice cream or something in the back seat. So when Gordon said "Go this way, I'm positive" I did what I was told without stopping to make sure that Sam Adams Light was pointing us in the right direction.
I think it was approximately thirteen meters before we hit Virginia that everyone, even the ice cream twins, insisted we pull over. Of course we were forty minutes out of our way at 2:30 AM with no more direct route home than retracing our steps. Arg.
Fooled By April Plays in Worcester Part III: In which our asses are kicked by the rock
After our set the band split up and went on two separate paths. Gordon, Jordan and Pete all went down hammerd road while I instead decided to pay $2.50 a pop (more than the beer!) to drink 12 ounce bottles of Poland Spring. Life is, of course, terrible. It's actually fine, because in my own warped way I feel like every time the rest of the band gets trashed and I don't it wipes the slate of my prior indiscretions a little cleaner.
Anywho, once we were suitably watered and liquored up, it was time to catch some rock. Rebecca Nurse kicked the proverbial ass like an angry donkey kicking himself. They unabashedly quoted metal songs and riffs and have a song called "Freako in the Supermarket" whose chorus is "Maybe all he wanted [in the supermarket] was a little sympathy, god damn it!" It rocked.
Next up was Baby Strange, our friends from back in the day. Well, since the last time we played with them they have gotten a lot better. Not that they were bad to begin with, but now they bring the ruckus like a roomful of two year olds fighting over a popsicle.
Now, you faithful readers are probably wondering why I've wasted so much time and energy on this one seemingly unremarkable gig. Don't worry, the story gets really good very soon, and by good I mean humiliating.
Fooled By April plays in Worcester Part II: In which Pete becomes the God of Thunder
When we left off yesterday, we had loaded the gear in and were getting ready to play. First we had to eat however, and settled in for some seriously underwhelming $9 hamburgers. I mean, I feel like if you're going to get charged nearly ten dollars for a burger (without fries) you should really be able to pick your own cow or something.
Anyway, after filling up on meat and potato chips we hit the stage. This was a pretty good show for everyone performance wise except for Pete. He stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park. It was as if he said to himself "self, tonight I shall thump the throngs with the unforgiving thwack of my bass prowess" and then he did just that.
The show wasn't really the interesting part of the night though. Much more interesting was Pete's behavior afterwards. As you know, he's pretty mild-mannered and isn't very into excess. But Worcester brought out the best in him. He was drinking, smoking and making all sorts of lewd comments. I, for one loved it. The things I could teach him about throwing your life away....Oh well, Saturday morning he was back to himself.
Fooled By April In Worcester: Part I in which FXA fears they will be beaten up by a crack pimp
So we played in Wormtown on Friday night and it proved to be a potent combination of one of the best and worst FXA gigs ever.
It all started out fine: after a slight argument about the best way to get there we were off. I read my book, Pete worked on his fantasy baseball software (yes, you read that right) and Gordon and Jordon probably argued about something.
Once we got off the highway it looked like things might get sketchy. We literally had to drive through Crackville, USA to get to the club. Finally, after a little searching, we remembered that you need to take a right turn at the burned out Chevy truck and pull in behind the abandoned mattress factory, next to the empty lot which I've heard is a finalist in the competition "shittiest junk filled empty lot in New England."
Anyway, we were there and that was the most important thing. Load in went fine, with everyone at Ralph's being as sweet as we were promised. The night looked to be uneventful, but things were just starting up....
Last night I was in my bathroom and noticed that someone had bought a copy of Maxim magazine. I haven't seen Maxim for a couple years, but it's exactly like it was back then....stupid.
Maxim pisses me off. I actually feel insulted as a man reading it. The entire magazine is a lie. For instance, the main article this month was "10 sure-fire tips to get any woman in bed." Give me a break. Is anyone actually pretending that this article isn't written for the ultimate insecure man who is completely incapable of talking to any woman at all? The other articles are all like "How to wrestle an alligator" and "how to kill a man with your bare hands." Why?
What irritates me is that I feel like the content of Maxim is written by highly educated nerds who feel cool pretending they know what they're talking about and is written for insecure nerds who think that these guys do know what they're talking about and are actually cool. It all seems really pathetic.
And then there's the girls. The magazine is full of beautiful women, semi-nude, and surrounded by nudge-nudge wink-wink text that essentially boils down to "oh, the things we could do her, huh?" Um, right. No one writing or reading this magazine would have any idea how to seduce women like that, or any women at all. The readers of Maxim are not cool people. Additionally, why would you want to look at hot women kinda naked? Just go the whole way, there's plenty of porn out there if you want it. It just seems like another weird lie built into the Maxim universe.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking nerds. I'm a nerd and a half. Maxim makes me angry because I think that they think that I'm their intended audience and it pisses me off the way they try to pander to me. I'm not suave, but I'm not an idiot. I like beautiful women, but I don't pretend that Carmen Electra and I would ever hook up. And I like reading about weird stuff, but I don't pretend I'm going to ever be in a situation where I need to know how to gouge out a cheetah's eye.
You know when you do something really stupid, and you know you're doing something stupid, but you do it anyway because, well, you're stupid? Check out my evening last night.
It all started off with Brendo Frendo's benign request "Who wants to get some 'nese?" I say sure and put in an order for the General and some Swan La Chow Show (horribly misspelled). Now, when I got my order of the General I realize that it's a little iffy to say the least. The chicken was a pink in the middle and tasted more than a little funny. This is when a rational person's brain says "stop!" But my brain instead said "I paid $9 for this and I'll be damned if I won't enjoy it." Mistake 1.
Then I went over to Ladyfriend Sarah's house. We're having a campout over ther this weekend because her roommate is away. And like at any good campout you need some snacks. LS, being the most considerate and best Ladyfriend money can buy (shh!) actually made me cookies. Now, even though I knew I had just consumed enough salmonella to kill a Blue Whale I thought to myself "Cookies? Mmmmm" and ate a lot of them. I mean, a whole lot of them. Mistake 2.
Needless to say, since 10PM last night I have been living in "am I going to puke? Seriously, am I going to puke?" land alternating with "no really, am I going to boot?" ville.
Last night's show at the Paradise was, as Curt Schilling has been saying, awwwwhhhhsum.
- We played really well. This is always good in its own right, but last night it was really good. You see, we were playing with the Damnwells and the So and So's, who are not only two very good bands but also are the two bands we have consistently completely sucked in front of. So, bully us.
- I had to dig into the dirty laundry for stage clothes and, after sweating into them through the whole show, I produced an odor powerful enough to take over the world. Or so I thought until...
- I smelled my house when I got home. Since yesterday was so nice I opened all my windows, which apparently made it very easy for Herbert the neighborhood skunk to unleash his fury directly upon me. I say god damn.
- Finally and perhaps most gratifyingly, I have more evidence to support my theory that Pete is becoming more attracted to me. As we were loading in he stopped me and said "Dude, your hair....it looks so awesome blowing in the wind." Then he full on man-kissed me. We'll be going steady by the end of the week. (Ed. Note - the hair thing actually happened, the kissing did not)
This weekend was a trip, literally and figuratively. However, I am swamped with work right now and unfortunately will have to put off telling it in all its ugly glory until tomorrow. Until then I will entertain you with a classic example of one of my pithy observations.
Last week the Attorney General of Wisconsin was arrested for drunk driving. Maybe I'm cynical, but if I were a resident of Wisconsin this would cause me to completely lose faith in my judicial representatives. I mean, how bad of an Attorney general are you if a) you're stupid enough to drink and drive while ignoring both the potential consequences and the fact that you obviously have the means to get a cab and (almost more importantly) b) you can't get yourself out of a DUI ticket? I mean, you're the Attorney General for Christ's sake! You can't get that smudge on your record erased and kept under wraps? To me that means no one in the police force respects you very much and/or wants to help you keep your name clean.
In my humble opinion a+b=short tenure for the AG.
(Someday, when I have a little more time, I would like to explore the sad state of American politics which makes me feel like a public official who can't cause corruption in others is ineffective, but it'll have to wait.)