Further Notes and Observations

  1. A while ago, I posted about Chinese restaurant names.  One of the constituent elements is the word "garden" (e.g. "Yang's Happy Wok Garden.")  I saw a place the other day called "Norm's Garden"...that violates the principle of only Chinese-sounding monosyllabic names, but it does have garden.  I'm on the fence about this one.
  2. Best probably-exists-somewhere Chinese restaurant name: Wang's Yummy Golden Wok Temple.
  3. Sample lyrics from one of the three new Nervous songs I wrote recently: "I'm in service to the Iron Lord, and I wield the +4 sword."
  4. My favorite subjects of documentaries are the following: people climbing Mt. Everest, high fashion, and prison gangs.  All three hit the same vicarious / schadenfreude sweet spot, best enjoyed on the couch with a beer (sample thoughts: "man, the death zone has very little oxygen!"; "whoa!  Pelican Bay state pen is rough!"; "I wonder if she'll find a buyer for this season's collection!")
  5. One other really good documentary available on streaming Netflix is called The Examined Life...it's a series of 10-minute interviews with prominent contemporary philosophers about pretty much whatever the fuck they feel like talking about.  Coolest philosopher: Cornell West.  Based on his interview, I definitely need to read his stuff.
  6. My girls get back from California tomorrow!


Number Nine

It's my ninth wedding anniversary!  It's also B's, because she was totally involved in it!  On the docket: sushi.

As I say just about every year, it's edifying and satisfying that so many of the people who were there nine years ago are still our homies now.  For the peoples we didn't know yet, you'd all be invited now if we did it again (there would still be Thai food, a keg, and croquet.)

Domesticity gets a bad rap because of Disney Republican Horseshit; I'm proud and happy with our version.


I Am Over Tonsils (and Other Weighty Considerations)

Whenever I miss a night of sleep, there's a good chance that I'm a-gonna get sick soon afterward.  If I miss a night of sleep and then my daughter starts waking up between 5:15am - 6am almost every morning, it becomes a sure thing.  When I get sick, my tonsils swell up and sting like bitches, then after a day or two a veritable mucous tsunami hits my respiratory system.  FUN.

I know that they now think it bad and unhealthy to remove tonsils from kids unless absolutely necessary, but they can go in and carve mine out with a ice cream scoop whenever the hell they feel like it.

Also: how about that male escape fantasy to move to a cabin in the woods and, say, write the great American novel (or read a giant stack of books about mythology, or become the most epic bow hunter since the ice ages, or whatever...)?  One of my three bosses showed me this http://cabinspiration.tumblr.com/">funny tumblr site (I think that's the right one...) that sort of summed up "cabin porn," meaning, pictures of cabins meant to inspire men to wish they could actually do that.

I totally don't want to run away from my two year-old for, like, ever, but sometimes I do wish I could do so for a few hours.  A shallow ditch beside a highway would work just as well as a cabin for that.


Nerd Rock

How does a nerd rock band practice go?  Well, we've narrowed it down to three things:
  1. You play your songs; maybe you work on new ones (e.g. "I've got the +4 sword.")
  2. You repair or set things up of a technical nature (e.g. Ransom soldered almost literally all of the wires in my bass back together, I installed the firmware and software for the USB recorder-m'bob in Linux on his laptop after much hackery.)
  3. This one may surprise you:  you lift heavy objects and move them (e.g. we hauled his and R's old dryer up from the basement for the Craigslist people, then we hauled the kegerator back down to the basement from the garage.)


Remembering How to Play Bass

By the time I quit playing in bands when I was 24, I was a pretty good bass player.  I prided myself in being a bass player's bass player: I didn't screw around with a bunch of silly Primus-inspired riffs or try to pretend I was playing lead guitar; I played bass lines.  My playing consisted of the root of the chords, with little lead-in notes and the occasional flourish.  The way I distinguished myself (or so I told myself, anyway) was by nailing every chord change and laying down a solid rhythm.  I thought of myself as being the guy who kept the rest of the band on track.

I didn't play again until we moved back to Portland...considering I had quit a year before we moved and we didn't start The Nervous until the spring after we moved back, that means I wasn't really playing for almost eight years.  When Ransom and I had practices with just the two of us, working on songs, trying to figure out how to do vocals again, etc., we'd sometimes just do the proverbial forehead slap and wonder out loud how the hell we had been so much better back when we played in Mondale over ten years ago.

The answer, of course, is that we had almost all the time in the bloody world to spend practicing.  We practiced twice a week or more and we played shows a lot.  Now, a good month is one in which we get together twice, and we can just about hold it together for two solid hours of actually playing the instruments.

That all said, I feel like I've kind of started figuring it out / remembering it again.  I have high hopes to suck a whole lot less and rock a whole lot more in the immediate future.


I Like To See That

  1. Gentlemen who make a decided effort to look like Vladimir Lenin.
  2. Nicely put-together thrift store ensembles on kids on the train.
  3. B's new glasses.  Hot.  
  4. Food cart pods.
  5. Huge ships at dock visible from the train bridge.
  6. Single-gear bikes.
  7. Houses where there are so many plants that the house is almost invisible from the street.  I imagine hobbits living there.
  8. The overlook part of Overlook, where you can look over Swan Island and the river, over there, look.
  9. Big cool headphones.