Saturday, March 31, 2007

a bird in the hand is worth a bird in a cage is worth a bird on a telephone wire

Daniel Fric of Shiner, one of the first friends I remember having back in elementary school, you know, the kinda childhood friendships that makes you gravitate to the same crafts table or what have you back in the day. Today was his day in the spotlight as he got married in Sweet Home Texas, and had the post wedding bash at Turner Hall.

It's a thing with Shiner folks gettin' married, you show up the the hall around 6pm, a lot of people are already 'tipsy' off the free beer, and before the meal, its quite and interesting time. The highlight of the night was seeing a bunch of my class of 95 comrades, seeing what's changed, what hasn't, etc.

Thru the course of the night, I took a few 'where's baldo' pictures, first one being with Ryan and Marty, college roommates / great friends, and CJ, an old troublemaker, one whom in 6th grade told the band director he 'accidentally farted' in the background, and that's what was making the entire percussion section of the bandhall laugh.


Then there's Scott and Bob Werner, Bob I haven't seen since he turned vet and moved to Navasota, but he talks care of the sick animals and loves his profession, and Scott, well, when he's up to bet on some pool, he knows where to lose his money.


Another successful evening

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We've Run with Wolves We've Climbed K2 Even Stopped a Moving Train

Mike and Laura P, in their new crib -- Congrats to yall! Nothing like watching mountain climbing expeditions in high definition brilliance.

Keystone, a stick in hand, and banana pants, you can't beat it.

White Collar Jobs



It's amazing how organizations treat their life blood like a commodity. Are we truly in the age where intelligent people are treated like cattle?

Are we blind to this?

It seems that in this day and age, there's a disconnect to 'ambitious' people who want to do things like travel and see the world, but yet don't mind being treated like sheep in the workforce.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ghosts

Hmmmm, so how do I tie Greenday and haunted houses together?

I met the boys from Greenday in 97'ish, got my shoe and ticket stub signed, after they put on a brilliant show, the entire catalogue has been blarin' tonight as I catch up on the overhead of life, which for me is actually washing clothes, and eating something semi-healthy.

My niece and nephew say my house in Shiner is haunted, and I've have to start agreeing with them. Strange things happen every now and then, I guess it's your typical house built in 1925, lots of history, lots of creeks, lots of dark corners, etc. The windows also reflect back, reminds me of Poltergeist, which big time creeped me out as a young lad.

Ghosts, hmmm, maybe there are ghosts. I've heard they only visit sensitive people, which begs the question, why are they around me? I guess I'm sensitive. Doc once described me as people the most sensitive and insensitive person he's ever met all in one stroke. I tend to agree with that, as I live by the gospel of Yin Yang. I've heard a few times that I need sensitivity training, I say people just need thicker skin.

Ghosts are welcome, I don't mind them, I don't think they necessarily scare me, as long as they aren't Ghost Snakes.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Portfolio Pregnant with Gains, He's Been up All Night Moving the Goalposts

I'm not suffering from a lack of content in my head, just a way to organize it all. I thought about it for a moment and was like, this blog is loosing momentum, perhaps it is, in this context. It's getting too hard to stay personal in the blogosphere, too many friends, family, perspective employers, etc read this, so I'm not as quick to curse, put crazy pictures, and its hard to put an imitation of myself out there.

Where does it go then? Well, I'm still pondering that, shall I write about music, shall I write about my profession, should I write about random musings about life, man its just all complicated, but I'm going to continue to write, about something, nothing, hell I don't know.

It's hard to make life seem not mundane, and I've been able to spin my life to seem exciting, not the OC or Scrubs exciting, but much more exciting on paper than it really is.

I've come to a saturation point when it comes to my personal life, and I feel as if I'm going to ween myself away from personal blogging, and 'sell out' and try to focus on a topic, perhaps with a bunch of other peeps, join a group or something like that.

I have no lamp post as a guide in what to write. Organized media is a cash cow that focuses on stupid stuff like Anna Nicole and politics to make money, I'm skeptic of the opinions and research represented in blogs, and things like music and art, well, I'd rather just look and listen instead of reading.

What's on the horizon, we'll see.....

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Irony

Some introspection for Sunday night. It turns out that for the last however long I've been in the pursuit of irony in life, really without being able to put that into perspective until now.

I've been under the impression that it's what's cool, witty, intelligent and all the other things that most people aren't. This pursuit has left me tired and scatterbrained.

In times of doubt, I have to return to the 'base', and realize that it's not irony that makes me cool, but rather my own internal set of beliefs and values, and this is what draws the right people into my life, in the future I will have to constantly remind myself of this fact.

Regardless of how much fun and cool I think it is, the continued pursuit of a more and more ironic life will only lead me to more confusion and infantilism about people and events.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vanity Takes the Dog for A Walk

You know the whole, keep a plant alive, keep an animal alive, find a girlfriend, well, in my life, there are several precursors to even the plant. This joke isn't funny anymore, time to turn the worm into a butterfly.

Can't even think about vanity in the form of 'walking cool looking dog to get chicks attention' yet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Here's a Man Aware of his Defects, Such a Sensitive Soul such a Rebel

If there could be a song to capture the worry, scatterbrain, uncertainty, hope and conceit that at present exists inside me, this has it down to a T, none other than Sondre, such a beautiful yet sad song.

Tragic Mirror

Here's a man, his own tragic mirror
capable of such crimes he is scared
to look at himself too long at a time.
Here's a man, his own wrapped up worry
thinking he will do wrong very shortly.
The answer remains locked up in his head.

And charity plays a game with your head
it gets to you now, it gets to you now
and charity plays away with your head
it gets to you now, it gets to you now.
Somehow you've got to smarten up
and act like nothing's ever gonna break you
break you, break your mirror in two.

Here's a man aware of his defects
such a sensitive soul such a rebel
capable of detecting his flaws.
Here's a man self righteous, self pitying
nursing losses and pain and inflicting guilt
that should keep them busy for days.

And charity plays a game with your head
it gets to you now, it gets to you now
and vanity takes your dog for a walk
it gets to you now, it gets to you now.
Somehow youve got to smarten up
and act like nothing's ever gonna
break you, break you, break your mirror in two.

Here's a man really worth the attention
so mature but so dumb.
In broad daylight the answer remains locked up in his head
it's blowing around somewhere in his head.

Monday, March 19, 2007

South by Southwest 2007, a Recap

Highs and the lows, wrapped up into one posting. It's the music festival that comes to Austin every year, and touts free BBQ and Miller Light to fans, 'industry professionals', bands, and lots of free tshirts and other goodies.

The panels are great, I got to see David Byrne put up some interesting graphs about the greed and beurocracy of the industry, and also of Britney Spears popularity demographics. I got to hear Pete Townsend compare the industry as it exists today as 'nero is playing the fiddle, and rome is burning'

I got to hang out with the usual crew, Mike D, Ashley came out every now and then, Manuelabor and Lacinator rolled into town one day, and other casual friends as well. It's always a reunion of sorts, admist the calamity around you.

I got to meet some great people, most noteworthy, a dude from the frosty north named Martin, an all around cool, calm, collected, cultured, computer geek, and also reconnect with Meghan, someone who I painted the town with some years back. I didn't bring the business cards down, but amoung the people I met that I plan to stay in touch with, a few lawyer types, a few record store types, and other random folks.

The day shows are spectacular, the night, well sucks. My visa card paid 425 bucks for the music badge, and I found myself not getting into venues I wanted to go to. I can't imagine how the owners of wristbands felt, when their 160 dollar band couldn't get them into half of what I was rollin' in. I talked to an 'industry professional' and his sentiments were, its not for the public, its a trade show. Well SCREW THAT, it's just as much for the fans as it is a 'trade show.' If you want to make it a pure trade show, jack the badge prices up to 1500 bucks, make the same revenue, have good bands play to 50 stiffs per night. I'd like to see how the elitist like hanging out with their type of 'like minded' people day in and day out. Next year, I will stick to the free food and beer parties, and actually sleep at night, I'll probably have a better disposition that way anyway.

Stamina, not a human being out there can go that hard for that many days in a row without it having an effect on their mood. In the thick of it, its hard to have the 'pace yourself' mentality, but for my old ass, I believe it to be essential.

One of my friends says its when Austin turns into Los Angeles for a few days, and the baggage that comes with a music festival of this sort includes industry people 'one upping' each other about how important they are, good or not so good intentions / empty promises, and the meatheads snorting 8 balls in the stall next to you in the pisser. The 'upper end' of the industry professionals have their eye on an illusive prize, which in the future will be distributed in the hands of where it should be, the artist. The 'lower end' of the 'industry' just hasn't had the time to let it corrupt them, my opinion about the music business.

For the fan and casual observer, its a riot, have beer, have bbq, go to shows, take pictures, and for the tourists, the event is off the hook, but as a local, I found myself frequently going off the beaten path for solice, meeting in places I'd know there'd be familiar faces, and looking outside going, whew, I can't wait for a typical weekend, where there's only 1/4 of the volume, but still volume and fun.

At the end of the day, I'm happy about the 45 million in revenue it brings to the city, I'm happy our mayor says our pro sports team is music and he will continue to fund it, and I'm happy I don't have to head back home to Wisconsin, Nebraska, Halifax, or any other city that needs something even 1 / 10th this 'cool' --- and despite my bitchin' and moanin', the grassroots stuff that goes on in Austin is like nothing else, and I'll continue to find ways to cherish it, as my exposure and perception of it changes.

Willy Mason at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2007

Neil, absent friends, here's to you my man, everytime I pop Willy Mason in the deck I think of the great times. Especially interesting was the fact Willy played in a church downtown, with amazing acoustics.

The video is dark, but the experience was surreal, in a packed dark church, music sounds amazing, and people sitting in pews. Welcome to the church of Willy Mason. For all you religious people out there, this is a GREAT way to evangelize, tolerate, what ever happened to that?

Check out the baptismal fountain in the forefront --

Mando Diao at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2007

Toshi, holla from Texas, the show wasn't the same without you, and during the slow tune below, I held the ligher up and out proudly in your honor, wish you could have been there, and I recall the great times at Emo's when we saw them when you were here.

High intensity band, I think they played 10 shows in 4 days, workin' hard for their living, gotta appreciate that.


Pigeon John at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2007

This post is for Marty and Ryan --- Man we gotta go see this dude sometime, he's OFF THE HOOK! For the hip hop averse, skip to the next post.

There was a song about 'getting even' with girls and stuff....he shook my hand and looked me straight in the eye on that song, it was crazy stuff dudes!






Sondre Lerche at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2007

Easily the biggest highlight of my South By Southwest 2007 experience was getting to see Sondre Lerche, not one, not two, but three times. One may say, why the repetition, well....

It's a tough world, the real world, especially in this sort of twisted world of indie rock and all the baggage that is associated with it, there's a few that hold firm on principal, he's one of them. Lyrics, his perceptions on life that I've read, and just a most of the time a generally good disposition.

First video taken from Antones, he plays amazing guitars, and for his 45 minute set, he played all his tunes except this one much faster, so he could play more, kudos, high energy and great time.


Then there's the Buffalo Billards afternoon gig, which was actually recorded for a radio show in Minnesota somewhere. When asked the question, 'What have you learned from opening for Elvis Costello?' -- The answer, 'I need to get out of the music industry' --- sad but true answer....a very smart lad. Super Sweet sunshine song :)


Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Master Key To Riches - Happiness is All You Wanted

is knowing yourself, what you want, what you can acheieve, knowing how to push yourself, etc, etc, etc.

That being said, life is good, I really feel as if I know myself. Also, it doesn't hurt know that my mom is in good condition, chipper, lively, etc. The more I think about it, my happiness hinges on her happiness (the answer to all the critics questions of why I spend so much time in Shiner.) To me, she's the hub of immediacy in my family life, when gone, its a group of brothers and sisters....peers, which is great, but not the same. Most of the rest of the family has a new family, and that's awesome, but it gets me thinking more about the nuclear family, and as much as I want that, I truly don't think its in the cards for me, just chalk it up to personality.

I do know there are a lot of complainers in the world, and not too many problem solvers, there are too many people who are victims of something or another, and it's taken me this long in life to understand this simple concept, and of the mass populus who are 'victims', I've come to have absolutely zero tolerance.

South by Southwest is in our midst, its a big music festival, downtown Austin, you either get it BIG TIME, or you think is the equivalent of your perspective city's crappy music festival. I'm going to be out and about, getting my learn on about different things, and also catching many many many times 10 bands.

What's new, an ever evolving state of mind, and fortunately the current is one that's become strong and relaxed about the state of affairs and state of emotion that revolves around me at least. That's what it's all about you, the one who's got to wake up every single morning and be you. Awknowledging this truth makes me weiry of giving advice to anyone, in a strange sort of way on several scenerios, giving advice is a selfish thing.

Life has to run its course, I like blog reading, and I will attest to liking two types of blogs, probably equally. First type, the informative blog, which talks about all subject matter areas, why I like these is self explanatory.

Second, personal blogs. This bald headed microsoft dude that comes in every now and then always reminds me, you have to get the 50 yard line before you can see the goal. Well, personal bloggers who are of substance, and how are the troubleshooting, problem solving, figuring things out on the fly and also who have figured out how to write to a wide array of audience is well.....shall i say, once the goal line is realized.....we are 50 yards further than someone just out of the starting blocks.

Personal blogs are about self-enrichment more than anything I think, sure its informative, and I enjoy reading friends and family blogs to keep up with what's going on with them, and surprisingly, when I see these people who blog, many often say, damn, yall never see each other, and yet yall are still close. Well, If you're my friend, and plop something down in the blogsphere, I'll read it, especially on sujects where thought has been put into it.

More often than not I think about what it means to be successful, and self help book after self help book, over and over again keeps reinforcing postive influences on my life. Sure I read first time, understand, but I'm like yea yea. But I think the persistence has actually started to pay off.

I watched Joel Osteen the other day for the first time and maybe the last, (yea, and the Compact Center didn't combust either), and the message was simple, sometimes your dreams are bigger than the audience around you, and anyone can take that as they will, and could possibly learn from that, and awknowledge where the fly in the ointments are in their life, and realize the next steps they need to take in order to rise up in a different social level (not money-wise, but incite wise.) or both....hell

Monetary values, I've come to realize I have a ton of skills that I can't make money with. The movie Before Sunrise (ultimate make me sad and happy all at once chick flick) touches on this. It says when you grow up, you tell your mom you want to be a writer, mom corrects and says, you mean journalist, etc, etc, etc. Well there's a fine line between the banter of 'follow your dreams' and the practical reality of people following their dreams becoming hot dog stand vendors. One day I hope it just clicks for me, and I'm sure it will, before it happens, I truly have an understanding about what needs work in my life.

As times moves on, I'm now the 'old guy' in Shiner, and as I hang out with younger people in the community, I feel as if I'm not the old guy in terms of what people do, and how they succept themselves to the same routine over and over again, which is ok, but it's staggering the number of people that 1) complain like hell about it, or 2), are so oblivious about it, haven't seen a whole lot in life and don't have the desire to. I think its sad, but what compels me to do things is different from others.

I've always been motivated by the persuit of happiness, and never really understood the bad Aerosmith cliche of 'lifes a journey not a destination,' although its becoming much clearer. You take those stupid words to heart, I think it becomes more and more difficult to be pissed off about your current situation or state of mind. It tells me, don't like something, change it, but don't expect cloud nine, because whatever endeavor you choose, its hard work, and the fountain of youth is waiting there for people who work hard.

While on the subject of bad quotations, Matthew McConaughey's got a good one. He says, I try to get a good sweat going everyday, that's what keeps me in shape, or something of this nature. I take that to heart, especially on the weekend, when me and the beast feel like having a beer, we head down to the football field and try to bend it like beckham. My fat legs are actually good at kickin' the old ball around, and I AM getting a wicked bend on it. Other than that, I painfully count the time to stop-o-meter on the treadmill, and keep reminding myself this is good for me, this is good for me, and SO NUFF' I do feel good, I sleep much better, and the beer gut is slowly but surely going away. I must say its nice when this 30 year old pops sees a fat college kid, thinking, and damn, he / she even got metabolism workin' for them.

Well, enough random sentiments, I hope everyone is doing well. I hope life will slow down soon, no more curveballs, and I'll get to be on the road to see everyone soon. I'm looking for a new place, currently I'm looking at 4-500 square feet roach shacks in Hyde Park, but if anyone knows a good place, centrally located ATX, let me know, a roomate is also not out of the question, drama queens and pimp daddies need not apply.

Leaving yall with a quote in tribute of SXSW, from a long time hero of mine.
-----
“As I define it, rock and roll is dead. The attitude isn't dead, but the music is no longer vital. It doesn't have the same meaning. The attitude, though, is still very much alive -- and it still informs other kinds of music.” --David Byrne

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

There are Those Long Nights, There is this Good Love

Nothing earth shattering on my mind tonight, just watching youtube performances of this amazing dude.

Taken in a Church in Chicago just last month, a sweet acoustic performance, damn I wish I coudda been there.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I've Had the Same Jeans on for Four Days Now, I'm Gonna go to a Disco in the Middle of Town, Everybody's Dressin' Up, I'm Dressing Down

Hospitals, what can you say about them, many things, but lets just say I probably sway to the Patch Adams view of things.

When there are trying times, it's easy to put things into perspective, families bond, etc, etc, a beautiful / wonderful energy of support.

Perspective....I recall when my old man had stage 4 cancer when I was 15, I really didn't worry about the social pressures of being a teen....the parties, the drinking, if the girls thought I was cool or not, etc, but rather if dad was going to be ok tomorrow.

That influences you as a teenager, I suppose in good ways, and in bad ways other times. It was a good lesson in character, trial by fire, and it's up to me with what I do with the perspective gained from it all.

I often wonder, if dad would be alive today, would he approve of me, would he approve of the state of affairs, etc, and what would be different especially in my life if there was a father around in those years to 'crack the whip' on me.

I suspect it wouldn't be cut and dry, he'd like certain things, other things he'd be like 'what the hell.?' At any rate, I would have liked him to be around longer so I could have asked him the tough questions, and see what his responses would have been.