Dec 28, 2006

I got a new bass guitar, what've you done?

I bought it. I was tired of the insurance company dragging ass (really? why?) and tired of being poor and "not able to afford it".
That's what credit cards are for, friends.
So Merry Christmas to me.

Confidential to the dipshitz who stole my last bass: I've also got a photo of the serial number on this baby - put that in your thief-hole.

Dec 18, 2006

I'm nervous. Should I be nervous?

Google took over my blog.
Well, it really took over Blogger, so it took over most folks' blogs, I suppose.

Now that means that if I ever forget what I said in my own blog, I can Google it to to see what I said. Then I can blog about *that* on a new post and Google *that* post... and so on, and so on.

Then I will consume my own self-referential butt. And Google will have the YouTube broadcast rights to my own self-referential butt-consuming and then everyone will GoogleBlog about it and they will end up consuming their own butts...

...and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and

Nov 29, 2006

Best/Worst restaurant name

(seen in Victor, Idaho over Thanksgiving)

This is obviously where Mickey Rooney took Audrey Hepburn for lunch in "Breakfast at Tiffany's 2: Slightly Racist and Loving It!"

Nov 28, 2006

There is snow on the ground where we got married

It sounds like a morose, indie-core song title, but there really is snow on our wedding site. About an inch. It looks really beautiful. Ida and I stood in the middle of it the other night and remembered how lovely it was. Then she hucked a snowball at me.
Like fire, however, snow in Seattle is a double-edged blade cut from the same coin: Silent. Beautiful. Deadly. Like a mermaid. Or maybe a mute hyena.

Of all the car wrecks I passed on the icy road last night (about 4,000), the strangest was the car that had hit the guard rail, spun around and sat in the middle of the highway surrounded by a swath of white plastic forks. A crappy, unoccupied red sedan with a smashed front end that seemed to have hemorrhaged an entire bag of white plastic flatware. It looked like the strangest site-specific art installation I'd ever seen (maybe it was. Snow makes people more creative. I mean, doesn't it?)

Then I returned the rental car to the airport and couldn't catch a cab back home for 3 hours. And even then, I had to jump over a retaining wall and sprint down the baggage claim drive to beat out 50 other people for the one driver that was taking fares. The look on that old lady in the wheelchair's face was priceless.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Nov 7, 2006

Dear everyone...

"If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing having worthless dreams".
- Yann Martel from the introduction to "Life of Pi"

Any questions?

Oct 30, 2006

A dark day for Seattle theatre

I heard about this while I was driving and I almost had to pull over. And I'm a pretty good driver.

Despite the diplomacy and thoughtful blame-skirting that is going on and will likely continue to go on about this, it pisses me the hell off. How much longer are we going to let boards of directors drive theatre into the ground in this city? ACT (still alive, but really, why?), ConWorks and now Empty Space. The divide between business and art grows wider now as the divide between fringe and so-called professional theatre grows ominously wider for young actors.

Here's who I blame:

The Board, - Non-profits operate in debt as a matter of course. This is not a red-flag like it is in the corporate world. The point (no matter how saddening) of a non-profit is not to make money. Seems obvious. This particular non-profit showed promise - something corporate investors should know how to spot if they're worth their salt. Shame on this board for its apathy and lack of vision.

The Non-Profit Model - I don't pretend to know the details of how these work (perhaps that's the problem, maybe I should. Maybe we all should). But it seems that artists are kept in an endless cycle of begging for money and then pouring it into a model that has zero return. Then we fill out mounds of paperwork to prove that we didn't make any money, then we beg for more with the promise not to offend our benefactors. Meanwhile, the self-worth of an entire arts community continues to erode. Why can't art be part of the marketplace? Let's have this discussion more often. Shame on us for believing that taking money equals selling out.

The Arts Community - Including myself. As stated above, we perpetuate a belief system that becomes a self-fulfilling cycle. I am an idealist, admittedly, largely due to the fact that I am physically unable to hide my frustration and anger behind apathy and cynicism anymore. It makes me ill. We all have the chance as artists to change what we do. To make it work better. The resources are there, the enthusiasm, the talent. We should be tarring and feathering these people for retarded decisions like this. Instead we cower and say "thank you sir, please don't yank my funding..." The Stranger is killing theatre?! Wrong: The Stranger has given more ink to Seattle theatre than any other paper in the city. Their criticism hasn't always been just, but I'll take it over Adcock's pointless ramblings any day.

Grow a spine, Seattle artists. Be brave and passionate and angry. Give the Stranger a reason to hate you and the other papers a reason to poo-poo you.

And raise a glass to the Empty Space, you ungrateful bastards.

Oct 12, 2006

Put it on. Put it all on.

Is it just me, or is this new Burlesque Revival thing just... well... not very exciting? All due respect to the folks I know who do it and like it.
I don't know, it just doesn't seem to spin my pasties as much as everyone says it should.

[Insert your own "Emperor's New Clothes" reference here.]

Oct 8, 2006

David Caruso, J'accuse!

There's been a lot of fun-making around Beetsland lately regarding the unconventional and questionable acting ability of one Mr. David Caruso, better known as Lieutenant Horatio "H" Caine of CSI: Miami.  

Let it first be said that Ida and I guiltily adore this show as well as the entire CSI series - (favorite imaginary subtext in CSI:NY scenes featuring Gary Sinise -  "I'm Gary Sinise, by the way, so f*ck you.").  

Back to Caruso in Miami, though. We've spent many an evening trying to make sense of the train-wreck that is often the ex-NYPD Blue star's palate of acting choices.   Being theatre people ourselves, we spend a little more time on this than others might, however it is a constant and delightful source of speculation for us in the league of, say, our favorite jigsaw or crossword.  You know, if we actually wasted our time on those kinds of things.  Ida can often be found staring at the television, slack-jawed and mumbling: "How does he get away with that crap?".  For, in truth, he is gloriously terrible.  Indeed, friends, he is not Gary-Sinise-by-the-way-so-f*ck-you.

After last night's episode, though, I think I may have come closer to making the case for the Defense of David Caruso's Acting Career - how, in fact, he does get away with that crap...
I submit that David Caruso is a scene partner's DREAM! 
Any actor who's ever endured trying to tap-dance their way out of a bit of terrible writing knows how it feels to be abandoned by their scene partner. One who either A) actually likes the terrible writing and makes it their own personal audition monologue, leaving you to look pretty along with the other set dressing, or B) flaccidly submits to the horrible text and forces you carry the dead weight of everyone else in the scene.  I myself have often silently begged actors, "Good choice, bad choice, just MAKE A CHOICE, for the love of all that is holy!" 
Well, Mr. Caruso doesn't know me, so I can't expect him to cater to my individual needs as a viewer, BUT I will allow that he always makes some strong choice or other given the underlying fact that the writing on the show is a true suck-fest.  Come on, it's Jerry Bruckheimer, after all.  
Caruso always gives his scene partner something strong (sometimes strong-smelling) to work with. Whether it's an obtusely growled threat or his ubiquitous "friendly chat with a child victim that always ends up looking creepy" scene (about every other episode), our red-headed Irishman in Miami never leaves his co-stars lacking for something, anything, to which to react onscreen.  It's not the best formula for success, but it sure can be fun to watch.  And there's all that lush Miami scenery to chew on.  

The real tragedy here is that Caruso, by all fourth-hand accounts, is a Grade-A Diva on the set, or else a stone-cold weirdo.  Or perhaps both.  Though this is America, where I suppose it's just unrealistic to expect that an actor have the depth of personality to play the Weirdo on TV and be somewhat Normal in Real Life.

Because, let's face it, only the British can pull that off.   

Oct 5, 2006

Overheard Conversation #12: Boomin' Grannies

(In a coffee shop, two elderly women and one elderly man at a nearby table.)

Older woman #1: "I heard him say, 'your skin is so pale you should color it'. And I said, 'I'M FROM FINLAND!'..."

Older woman #2: "He's trying to tell you you're too good for your husband?!"
Older woman #1: "That's exactly what he told me! He said, 'You're better than him. You are too good for Mitch'. That's what he said."
Woman #2: "I don't believe it..."
Woman #1: "I am serious as a NEW YORK HEART ATTACK."

Man: "He doesn't even speak English, does he? He's from Finland too."
Woman #2: "No, when he speaks English, it's like a manner of speaking. A figure of speech."
Man: "Oh, I see."

Man: "Anyway, it will make a good story. (long pause) A story without a hero. Except for you. (long pause) You'd be the hero of that story"
Woman #2: "Well, thank you for that."
(long pause)
Man: "You're wasting your time with those cats!"
Woman #2 (laughing): "I know it!"

Woman #1: "I have to wear this hat in the sun. Doctor's orders. Otherwise my skin gets very red."
Man: "That's okay, it looks good."
Woman #2: "Yeah, it looks very mysterious"
Woman #1: "Mysterious! Like a fart in a movie theater!"
Man: "Well, I guess that's mysterious too..."

Sep 29, 2006

How's My Driving?

As we all know, modern bumper stickers are the ultimate expression of one's personality. An indelible representation not only of what the driver is thinking at the moment you read his or her bumper sticker, but of what they TRULY BELIEVE AT ALL TIMES. You are right to let them make you angry.
I'm not hyperbolizing when I say that bumper stickers, therefore, are the cause of 100% of all road-rage-induced violence, both on the road and off.
As a public service, and in keeping with the terms of my parole, I'd like to provide light-hearted responses to just some of the personal dogma labels that I've seen over the last few days. Consider it a form of therapeutic release.
You're welcome!

Bumper sticker: "Drum Machines Have No Soul"
Retort: Yes, but they're never too drunk to play and they always show up on time.

Bumper sticker: "1.20.09: Bush's Last Day in Office"
Witty Rejoinder: You're willing to wait that long?! No wonder they call you a liberal.

Bumper sticker (applied upside down): "If you can read this, please flip me over"
Scathing barb: a) of all, you're driving a Dodge Neon. b) of all, if I see you flipped over, I'm not taking orders from your fascist bumper sticker. NO STICKER IS THE BOSS OF ME!

Bumper sticker: "Bush/Cheney '04"
Sigh: We all say stupid things. How about a hug?

Bumper sticker: "Share the Road With Cyclists"
Sorry: I think I just hit something and spilled my damn coffee. I'll call you right back.

Bumper sticker: "Keep Your Laws Off My Body"
Um: Sir, my laws wouldn't come near your body after 40 tequila shots. It's the pony tail, I think.

Bumper sticker: "Free Ballard"
Really: Where? I love free stuff!

Bumper sticker: "This Vehicle Makes Frequent Stops"
Big Whoop: This vehicle makes frequent illegal left turns, you don't hear me bragging about it.

Remember, while driving is a privelege and not a right, putting a bumper sticker on your car IS a right. And it's protected by The Bill of Reilly, Acting Transportation Secretary Maria Cino the New York Yankees.

Send in your own! Keep the internet free and easy! USA! USA! USA!

Sep 25, 2006

Things that are needed and not often experienced

Getting out of town before winter comes.
Renewing faith in creativity; one's own and that of others.
Rivers that go fast.
Throwing rocks of all sizes into same.
Sloppy joes and red wine (I know...)
Missing one's wife and feeling proud instead of incomplete.
Hip-hop from the late 1990's
Sleep, but not too much.

Sep 20, 2006

Science! Now with more boasting!

Of course, my *other* favorite film critic in Seattle is Annie Wagner, for purely self-serving reasons:

We Go Way Back
 Winner of multiple awards at Slamdance, We Go Way Back (by Stranger One-to-Watch Lynn Shelton) is the tender story of a fringe-theater actress in Ballard who is knocked off her twentysomething rails by simple little letters she wrote to her older self at the age of 13. Amber Hubert is properly vague in the lead role, R. Hamilton Wright scores bountiful zingers as a capricious theater director, and Basil Harris is perfect in the small role of an empathetic friend. A must if you've ever attended Seattle theater, and a sweet, subtle choice for everyone else. (ANNIE WAGNER)

"Perfect" is a strong word, Annie.  You're going to make me want to punch myself in the face.

Sep 19, 2006

SCIENCE! So shut up!

Lindy West is now my favorite film critic in Seattle for this review of "Accepted".  Starring nobody and apparently written and directed by same:

"Accepted" is about a bunch of horrible, entitled, middle-class teens who don't get into college for perfectly legitimate reasons. Well, boo fucking hoo. You're such a smarty-pants that you only applied to Yale? Your bad! Busted rotator cuff busted your sports scholarship? How about some studying, champ? Oh, you just didn't try that hard? Wow! Fuck you! I wish it were possible to punch a movie in the face (can we get to work on that, science?). (LINDY WEST)
(from The Stranger, 9/14-20)

Also, now that I know "The Last Kiss" came from the co-writers of "Crash" and "Million-Dollar Baby", I have been forever purged of any desire to see it.  Speaking of movies I would love to punch on the face...
Dear Hollywood, Thanks for the heads-up!!
Yr pal,

Sep 18, 2006

This was to be expected...

... but still

"Football is Everything:"

Seriously, Everything??

Football season has officially started, I'll grant them that, but...


I'm nervous.

Sep 15, 2006

As if I didn't have enough trouble with football

Heard on Fox Sports last night:

"...the New York Yankees take on the Hated Red Sox..."




HATED Red Sox??!  Compared to - I'm sorry - the #*!$% YANKEES???!!?!?
Everyone knows, of all the teams to hate in MLB, Steinbrenner's Stormtroopers are a not only the obvious choice, they practically hate themselves FOR you!

Remember in 2004 when everyone was a Red Sox fan?  And that was before they even met the Cardinals!
Underdogs!  Scrappers!  Heros!  Kurt Schilling's bloody ankle, fer chrissakes!!

And now they're the "Hated Red Sox" according to (speaking of hateful) Fox.  
I guess that's what winning a World Series does to you.

Say it ain't so, Rupert.

Sep 10, 2006

Hello Dad! I'm in Canada! I like it here!

So let's get one thing straight, I love Canada.  I'm not ashamed to admit it, ask anyone. 
I.  Love.  Canada.

So I'm here in Toronto on business.

How can one be somewhere "on business" if they're unemployed?

Well, I used to do a little acting on the side, though these days it's more about the music.

Yeah.  Awesome.

Anyway, someone whose name I won't mention here - we'll call her "my agent" - thought it was a good idea for me to go do this live gig at a convention for... I don't know what, actually.  I do know I'm supposed to have a british accent and act like "Q" from James Bond and talk about this new product with the CEO of this company that makes said products and "show" him how it's used and then go away.  20 minutes of work for a veritable sh*t-ton of money.  Though, by my current standards, a sh*t-ton is anything over $200.  But it's a work/pay ratio that leans pretty nicely in my favor.

Anyway, back to Canada.  I love Canada, did I mention that?  The people are friendly and polite in that real way.  You know, the way that is devoid of insecurity or pompousness or sensationalism?  Okay, maybe you don't know.  It's a hard thing to pin down, the Canadian personality, especially if you're American.  But I love it.
I love how clean things are in the city.  Clean but well-used.  Like a working kitchen:  Nothing's brand new and shiny anymore, but you can tell someone gives a sh*t-ton about cooking.  
The taxis are clean too.  I believe this is because they use actual town cars instead of old police cruiser hand-me-downs like we do in the States.  Brakes that don't squeal and a car that doesn't smell like criminal.  What a concept!

Granted, every time I've been to Canada, it's been summer.  With the exception of a trip to visit my sister in Montreal in January which - and I can say this with confidence - was colder than anything I could have ever imagined.  Ever.  
My sister taught me how to curse the cold in Quebequois, but there's no way I won't murder the spelling here.  I got a lot of practice saying it out loud, though.   I like to think that residents of Montreal curse the cold to keep their tongues from freezing.

Canada has some history for me, too.  My parents went to college here in Toronto where they met and fell in love.  It's the same city where Queen Elizabeth allegedly waved to me (not to the throngs of people behind me, my mother insists) as I sat on my dad's shoulders and watched her parade by.  I have cousins in BC, I did a summer Fringe theatre tour in the late 90's, driving through some of the most mind-bendingly beautiful Canadian wilderness.  Some of my favorite music comes from Canada.  There's the friends in Vancouver,  the relatives in Calgary.  I could go on.

So I'm here in Toronto, put up at the swankiest-of-swanky hotels AND it's the Toronto Film Fest this week as well.  Just spotted most of the cast of "Best in Show" in the lobby as I checked in, in fact.   I'm so giddy that I momentarily forgot that Ida and I were on this liver-cleanse detox diet together, though it was assumed that I'd be forced to drop it while I'm was traveling anyway. 
Nevertheless, what did I do as soon as I dropped my bags in my room?  Get to bed after a long day of travel? Watch TV like a normal tourist? No. I went downstairs, crossed the street and bought a hot dog from the sole vendor that was open at midnight on a Sunday.   Yes, it was fun walking back through the lobby of Chez Swanktown gorging myself on a giant, delicious dog, however there's no doubt a very serious mistake has been made:
After 6 days of nothing but water, whole grains and raw, organic, gluten-free, non-animal foods... a hot dog?  Probably not the most healthy idea I've ever come up with.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the captain has turned on the fasten-seatbelt sign due to some turbulence ahead.  We ask that you take your seats and fasten your safety belts...

Oooooooooo... Canada...... I don't feel so goooooood...

Sep 3, 2006

NFL Update

Latest companies witnessed shamelessly pushing their products using football, the NFL or both:

Direct TV
Fox (again)

Seriously, am I the only one getting nervous about this?  Is it some kind of war-time thing?  I thought baseball was the patriotic thing (see also, Apple Pie and Gasoline).

If by some chance I mysteriously disappear in the next few weeks, know that I never meant to cause any trouble.  I'm no whistle-blower. Just a poor sap who got too curious...

Go Pats!

Aug 31, 2006

Dear jerkwad

You are a jerk for stealing my bass guitar and gear out of my car last night.

I was lazy and too tired to lug it up the stairs, so I left it in the trunk overnight, true.  Silly me for thinking you wouldn't think to look there.  Mea culpa.

Nice touch leaving our copy of "Too drunk to F***" neatly on the passenger seat.  Funny.  
You're a regular comedian.  

Also, I noticed our empty Altoids tin on the sidewalk, and while I appreciate your "cleaning" instinct, you could have also taken care of all the empty Vitamin Water bottles as well.  What gives?

Anyway, thanks again for being a total jack-off and reminding us that poor artists still deserve to get their gear stolen from their own car in their own neighborhood. 

Enjoy that meth.

Aug 26, 2006


I don't know if anyone else has noticed this (are there any conspiracy theorists in blogland, I wonder?), but what is up with pro football?
So far, I've counted one football TV show coming up (Friday Night Lights, the series) and at least two feel-good football movies (Gridiron Gang and Invincible aka "Marky Mark is the unlikely hero of a 70's football team instead of the unlikely lead singer of a 70's metal band").
Add to this that Qwest has been pushing their "Football Bundle" package since May (did anyone know Qwest was even involved in the TV biz?) and FOX has practically made a new reality series out of their NFL pre-season ad campaign.  

People, the World Series hasn't even happened yet.  Yet football has been on a media blitzkrieg since early summer.  I know there are people out there who truly believe that Major League Baseball is pulling all the strings behind the scenes in Sports-land (and perhaps in other areas...), but I submit that one of two things is going on here:

A) The NFL, FOX and MLB have joined forces to create a new, ultra-American hybrid Supersport called "SmashJam", which combines all the time-outs of football with the long, slow pace of baseball and is used as a jumping-off point for players' singing/acting/endorsement careers at triple the salary.


B) The NFL has hired its own players to physically assault members of both other parties into submission (they have the man-power and the built-in anti-social behavior, let's face it) and are using Qwest as a patsy for the whole thing.

I know the second argument is a little weak, I'm still working out the logic.  
I'm really hoping Seattle gets a SmashJam team, though.  This is our year!!

Aug 25, 2006


PS  in the style of all great hubris, our neighbor did, in fact, password-encrypt his wireless router not long after I bragged about sniffing his wi-fi.   
just goes to show you.  something.  haven't figured it out yet.

by the way, anyone know how to crack a WEP Password-encrypted wi-fi router?  
just asking, no reason...

Summer's over, babies!

And I need a job.  

Seriously, I need to start being a responsible husband and quit dickin' around with this Merchant-Ivory-style living.   I, for one, am TIRED of being chased around the back gardens by Helena Bonham Carter!  For the last time, get your houndstooth off my Damask, lady!

Any help is apprecited.  Lame office drone jobs need not apply.  Not yet, at least...

Aug 18, 2006

Internet Outrage!

The interenet is down at our apartment again.  It's not really a huge deal and it doesn't happen a lot, thankfully.   
Oh, and it is free, after all.  We piggy-back on our neighbor's wireless signal which saves us apporximately four-hundred-million dollars a month in interweb bills.  I'm sure this is a huge violation of some kind of internet geek code - like downloading music on a file-sharing site without sharing your own files.  Dude, not cool.

But whatever, I'm in this for Number One, you fart-knockers.  I might not even fix my blog comment function so there's not a damn thing you can say.  How ya like me now?!  
Too bad.  I'm not listening!

Besides, I'm now at the hip Brooklyrd coffee shoppe where I get free wi-fi and the absolute greatest mix of 90's hip-hop in the universe.  

And I finally found the perfect bag. (in army green, not pink).

It's the little things, really.

Aug 10, 2006

I think I fixed the comment problem.

*Now* I remember why I didn't like Blogger in the first place. So temperamental!

What do YOU think...?

(fingers crossed)

Aug 8, 2006

Controlled by hatred/feel like sh*t/Deja Vu

Ever have one of those days?
Of course you have, everyone has.

Well, today I'm afraid there might be an earthquake or a terrerrist attack or some kind of cataclysmic event, emotional or otherwise.  I just can't get comfortable waiting for it.  Vague and looming dread: It's fan-tastic!

Perhaps it's the unemployment talking.  Lord knows, I can't exist for long without some kind of daily structure; literally a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  To say nothing of income.  Income is definitely saying a whole lot of nothing these days.
Plus, my legs will NOT stop itching for all the damn lotion in the world.
You totally wanted to know that, you MySpace whores.

I'll buy a beer for whoever can name the band referenced in the title of this post (offer not good for Dave J).  That will make both of us feel better.  

Aug 7, 2006

Sometimes I get distracted

It's easy with this internet thing. Maybe this will be the new home of Beets...?