Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Baltimore...or less

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Steamy in Baltimore...

I'm still in Baltimore and I'm ready to come home! This town is 'O.K." at best. See...I like to be able to get off the beaten path and roam around. However Baltimore is reaaaallly muggy and realllly urban so going exploring isn't a real interesting idea. The photo above is of the Hard Rock Cafe in Baltimore which is located in a place called The Power Plant near our hotel. It's basically obnoxious chain restraunts (Hard Rock, Chipotle, ESPN Zone, Barnes and Noble) but I have to admit, I've been to ESPN Zone 2-3 times. Good, cheap food and a gazillion TV's. I'm dying to find somewhere local and cool, but like I said, have no real desire to go find it. I think Edgar Allen Poe is buried around here too, but I have no clue where.

So far, my travelling companion and I have had fun. The first day we went to the Baltimore Aquarium, which was really cool! I'd say it's one of the nicest, coolest aquariums I've ever been to. They had a nice rain forest exhibit and a very cool "Outback Exhibit" with some cool bats. Then last night we went to the Orioles game. I tried to do an audio blog but it evidently didn't work. Camden yards was..."O.K." It's very pretty and very cool. Kind of the gold standard for new ballparks. But overall it just felt like a ballpark, nothing more, nothing less. You'd have to be a baseball fan to know what I mean. Like, once you got up into the hallways, it looked like any old stadium and there was no real sense of anything "special" about the park.

Oh! One funny/cool/unusual thing that happened was, I went to HOOTERS Thursday night! I love HOOTERS and not just for the girls. I like beer and wings and TV too. And I like the way Hooters is designed to always have the girls doing something subversively nawty. Like, the plates and cups are stacked way high around the walls so they have to reach way up to get them. I just find it hillariously distasteful. Plus, I like the way the waitresses flirt with you like their strippers, but you actually get food and beer from them at a regular tip price. Anyway, I met this guy at Hooters and we ended up talking music for a few hours. He gave me a 2-CD bootleg of THE BAND live outtakes! Sweet!

Other than that, I've been sitting in different conferences or sitting in my hotel reading THE RUINS by Scott Smith. My friend Neil reccommended it and HOLY SHIT...it's really, really good. Really f-ed up, but I can't stop reading it. I've only got 100 pages or so left and a 5 hour flight tomorrow so I'm trying to make it last till then. Don't know if I can though. I need to get out today/night as all I did was wake up late, not get into an overcrowded conference, go back to bed, read, go get a crab cake at the street fair outside (The Duhks were playing!) and then get a salad at ESPN Zone. I felt I should eat a salad. Maybe I'll go back to Hooters or something. I'll be glad to get home tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Business trippin

So tomorrow I fly to Washington D.C. and then drive to Baltimore for a work conference on underage drinking. We got a big grant to help study the effects drinking has on kids...it's apparently bad for them. I'll know more later. But I know there's been some changes in what you can and cannot bring on the plane. I was just going over the list on the Transportation Security Administration's website (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm) and these items surprised me.

Meat Cleavers
Box Cutters
Ice Axes/Ice Picks
Baseball Bats
Bow and Arrows (not sure if you can bring them seperately)
Spear Guns
Flare Guns
Parts of guns and firearms
Realistic replicas of firearms
Starter Pistols
Axes and Hatchets (not just ice ones, any ones!)
Cattle Prods
Black jacks (huh?)
Brass Knuckles
Kubatons (again...huh?)
Stun Guns/Shocking devices
Hand Grenades
Plastic Explosives
Realistic Replicas of Explosives
Cheese in pressurized containers
Whipped Cream
Yogurt or gel like food substance

and finally...

No gel like shoe substances....I shall not be gellin' like a felon...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...

So I made it through the night, thankfully. Man, that whole thing is still kind of creeping me out. Anyway, enjoy your Sunday and remember to watch The Venture Brothers tonight!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm scared!

So, I went to see the Sorentinos tonight at the Mystic here in
Petaluma. It was great! Then, I decided not to stay for the other band
and opted to walk home, get some beer and catch up on the backlog of
movies/TV shows I've accumulated on my "Tivo (it's really comcast
DVR),. Anywho...

I roll over to the one 7-11 thats on my way home and some creepy, yet
gentlemanly dude holds the door for me. I thought it was nice of him
because I'm one of the few that really, honestly takes 5 seconds out
of his/her day to hold the door for people. Yet this guy watched me
cross the parking lot, waited for me to get there and was holding the
door the whole time. Admittedly, I am totally, totally PARANOID and
lately I question every persons motive (in my mind of course). But,
the dude abides. I get a sixer of coors light and a taquito and the
door holder is like, "shopping" but eyeing me like I was his childhood
basketball coach. And, I could be. I coached alot of kids. But 8 out
of 10 of them go "Heyyy....weren't you my basketball coach when I was
9???" This guy bought some chips, some smokes and a whole eyeful of

I'm the guy behind the guy behind stalker and I buy my stuff, say
hello as always to the middle eastern guy behind the counter and on my
way I go. Sure enough, I look to head out...and that dude is holding
the door for me. He bought his stuff, watched another guy go out and
was holding the door for me. Whatta (freak) guy! Holding the door for
me with authority.

I had already thought it odd, but come on man. Waiting a
customer ahead to hold the door for me? Weird. So, I get wigged out
and say thanks and out I go. He's following me. Seriously. Going the
same way I am, looking at me...etc. I cross the street and watch.
Still there. Smoking. I then make a smart move. I decide that since
I'm coming up on the bus stop, I'll stop there and act like I'm
waiting for a bus. If he's truly following me, he'll sit down and wait
too. Right? RIGHT? So I do that. I duck in behind the bus stop and I
calmly look over and see him standing there, looking at me looking at
him...and he takes a drag off his cig and turns down a street that's
like, 1/2 a block. Nobody lives on it. Dude. NOBODY lives on that
street. Ugh.

I then kind of trot out and get way ahead of the distance I should be
if you're following me without really watching. I scoot over to a more
populated place where I know I can cut through a parking lot and get
home. I then stop and talk to my friend Jay who runs a bar in town. No
sign of Mr. Head-hunting-good-samaritan. Whew. Maybe you had to be
there, but it was fricking creepy. I was, and still am, freaked out
kinda. My wife isn't here and I'm all alone with a 6 pack of coors
light and 5 episodes of Venture Brothers cued up.

I'm closing with this: I will post something the SECOND I wake up. If
you're reading this and it's Sunday night and there's no new post, you
know what happened. Tell the dude at the 7-11 on the boulevard by the
movie theater to roll tape at about 9:45. I'll be the first murder
victim who told everyone what the hell happened!

p.s. The sorentinos rocked!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Neglected to mention...

In my rush to keep blogging lest I get yelled at in traffic again (Gabby!), I forgot to mention my two favorite TV shows at the moment. The first one is THE VENTURE BROTHERS. I'm not a big animation guy. Sure, I went through the same SIMPSONS phase all us 30-something males did, and I love THE FAMILY GUY. But I just don't get into the stoner TV that is ADULT SWIM on Cartoon Network. I just don't have the patience. I also hate anime. But I love, LOVE the VENTURE BROTHERS. To try and explain the show is impossible. It's just ridiculous and hillarious and highly entertaining.

My best description is...The Venture brothers are the sons of Doctor Venture, a hack inventor who's a mega-millionaire. The brothers, Hank and Dean are total idiots. Hank dresses like Fred from Scooby-Doo (I don't know why, but it's funny) and Dean reminds me of Richie Cunningham. The Ventures are protected from an onslaught of supervillains by Brock Lester, my least favorite character. The #1 enemy of Team Venture seems to be the Monarch who has recently got out of prison and is not really after the Ventures, per se. I mean, I guess he is...but he's so obsessive I think he forgets.

A good example of the show's hillarity was the episode a few weeks back where the Monarch tries to get some new henchmen so he sends his two moronic, but dedicated henchment to recruit more baddies. They go to the inner city and recruit a bunch of gang-bangers who drink 40's and smoke weed all day. I guess you had to be there. Anyway, the show is fricking awesome and it's on Sunday nights at 10:30, right after my other favorite show...

HBO's ENTOURAGE. The show started way shaky this season, especially after last years great season. But they recently righted the plane and the last few episodes have been great! I love the new role Vince is taking on (**Hint: "Hey-ho, let's go!**) and Jeremy Piven as Ari the agent is always top notch. Thank goodness for Sunday nights!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

One of these things is not like the other...

Look at the quotes on this website for the film A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS.


Which one of these film reviewers seems way, way out of his league.

**Hint: It's the guy listed first**

Super, Super, SUPERSTAR Sunday!

So at about 1:30 in the afternoon this last Sunday, the wife and I went to Applebees for lunch. We roll in there and get seated and as we do, I see this short little buffed guy kind of strolling around the restaurant. I always make little jokes about people I see like, if I see an old lady I'll go "Oh look, it's Bea Arthur." Or perhaps there's a portly hispanic man. I'll go, "Oh look, it's Horatio Sans" and so forth. This time I look at the buffed guy and say, "Oh look, it's Ken Shamrock." I was only half joking but as he drew closer I realized that this guy was, in fact, UFC champion and former WWF superstar Ken Shamrock. In Applebees. In Petaluma. At 2:00 on a Sunday.

All the bartenders were giggling like little girls and they all stood at the window as Shamrock went out to his car for some reason and then came back in. It was all pretty funny and extremely random.

Then that night I went with my mom, aunt and sister to see the movie HOLLYWOODLAND with special guest Adrien Brody! The movie is pretty good and a tad too long, but it's worth a look when it hits theaters. Brody was cool and the films director Alan Coulter was there as well with some great insights. Plus I'm a big fan of Brody so it was cool to see him and his beak in person.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I go to sleep now

Hammer.....you're on notice...that Dave Edmonds solo....

MARAH and the MATS

I often wear a Marah shirt and I often get asked..."what the hell is a Marah." Keeping in the theme of the weekend (and so I don't lose it!!!) here's why I love MARAH:

Again. step away from youtube...

My hero zero

Don't ever go to youtube.com or else you'll find yourself sentimental and drunk at 1:00 a.m. But on a happier note, Paul Westerberg....I fucking love you. When I was a kid, I thought Danny Sorentino of The Sorentinos was actually Paul Westerberg. Hey, I was like, 12 and all those long hair abrasive songwriter types looked the same. And while Danny is a mighty, mighty great songwriter (one of my all time faves!), he's not Paul Westerberg. Who is though? Well, Paul is.

This one is for Trent, Jason Smoliak, Chuck and Danny Sorentino whereever you all may be....you're assuredly not surfing the net at 1 a.m. wondering if you can sneak out and get more beer without your wife noticing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What I've been listening to and seeing...

I've been pretty busy with movies lately, for better or for worse. I've been trying to spend less time channel surfing and more time watching movies. We got Comcast digital cable and...wow. Wow. There's like, 500 free movies on demand every month and for the next 3 months they have like, every Alfred Hitchcock movie ever made on there. I've seen most of them, but that's still a nice thing to have at your fingertips.

I saw MIAMI VICE and fricking despised it. It's strange because 2 people whose opinion I like Pete and David Poland at Movie City News found it passable and "pretty good" respectively and that freaked me out. Am I losing my edge? Or maybe I'm gaining an edge and theirs is dulling? I dunno...but you can read my MIAMI VICE review HERE at Soundwaves Cinema. Click my name, not the review.

Yesterday I saw ROAD TO GUANTANAMO and it was good, but really confusing. I also just got in from WORLD TRADE CENTER and liked it as well, but still need to let it sink in. It is a bit schmaltzy, but I think that's O.K. This weekend I hope to see LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and will also be seeing HOLLYWOODLAND Sunday with Adrien Brody in attendance.

Music wise, it's all about 3 CD's for me right now.

1. Todd Snider- The Devil You Know. It's his best album yet (as I already mentioned) and I seriously cannot get enough of it. I try and take it out of the CD player because I don't want to get sick of it, but it always finds it's way back in.

2. Head Automatica- Aside from having one of the worst bands names ever, this band kicks so much ass, I had to buy a HEAD AUTOMATICA ringtone. They sound like a combo of Elvis Costello, Phantom Planet and Weezer. They simply kick ass. Check them out HERE

3. I downloaded a 1982 live performance of Nick Lowe who I absolutely love. The CD sounds amazing considering it was probably taped on some little analogue device. It's got most of the songs of his I dig ("I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass," "Switchboard Susan" and "Marie Provost," the song with the rad chorus of "She was a winner/who became a doggies dinner"...the songs about the cops finding a lady who had been dead in her apartment for a week) and it even has his tourmate Paul Carrack singing "Tempted (by the fruit of another" as well as "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding." Anyway, it's a great, fun bootleg.

This weekend I'm just laying low after last weekends shennanagins. We went to the fair to bet on the horses (I lost) and to see five a.m. Here's one of the many races I lost

So...that's what's good to see and listen to. Go have a nice weekend and buy that Todd Snider CD!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New Todd Snider...BUY IT!

One of my all time favorite singer/songwriters is Todd Snider. I've been a fan since his first album "Songs from the Daily Planet" and I bet I've seen him over 25 times in concert. Sometimes he great, sometimes, he kinda sucks...same for his albums. I will say that I think his last 2 albums (well, the last one and the new one) are his best yet...and I'm not just saying that. His last one "East Nashville Skyline" was his best album in close to ten years. I didn't think it could get any better till I got his new one, "The Devil You Know." This one features his best songwriting yet.

So...go get it! You won't be dissapointed. It rocks, makes you think, makes you laugh and conjures up all kinds of great and not-so-great feelings. If you want a sneak peek of the man, go to his website at http://toddsnider.net/ or watch him on Jay Leno tomorrow night!