Saturday, March 29, 2008

Unsafe adventures.

So, last night I was hanging out at home, drinking beer and playing ROCK BAND all by my lonesome. My wife and child were at her moms so it was just me and the dog. At about 9:00, I made the decision to get out of the house and see one of my favorite local bands, HugeLarge. They were playing downtown at this great new pub called Toad in the Hole which is maybe 4 miles from my house. It was kinda rainy so walking was out and I never drive if I've been drinking. So, I called a cab. I hung up from them at 9:05 and they said it would be 15 minutes. Half an hour later, my sweet ride showed up.

I jumped in and immediately noticed the driver had a co-pilot and I assumed it was his son. The person in the passenger seat looked small and was wearing a ball cap over their eyes. I say "take me to Toad in the Hole" and as we pull away, the passenger turns around and I'm greeted by a chick with some serious meeth. Meeth are the hi-larious catch phrase for meth head teeth. Meth+teeth=meeth. Anywho, she seemed nice enough and off we went. My driver was really funny and boisterous and his voice sounded exactly like Seth Rogen's which I found especially funny as I saw HORTON HEARS A WHO Thursday and Rogen voices the mouse. So I was laughing on the inside and enjoying the ride. Then I realized, we were basically circling my block. After we passed my house for the second time and continued on in the wrong direction I said, "dude. Where are you going?" The chick started laughing and then he did too. "I dunno man...I got turned around." I said, "I'm not really drunk yet so if you're trying to bump the fare by going the long way...." He cut me off.

"No dude, no...nothing like that." Then the girl started cackling and grabbed his arm. "Dude," he says. "I'm a caregiver during the day for a neighbor who has cancer and when I was over at his house around 6, I accidentally ate one of his pot cookies." Uhhhh. Yeah. Actually, what the cabbie said was "I accidentally took a bite of a pot cookie and it's got me totally messed up. I took a nap afterwards and woke up like, an hour ago and couldn't figure out where I was. Then the company called me and told me to get downtown to work so here I am."

I said, "so wait, you took a bite of a pot cookie, it jacked you all up and now you're my sober ride?" More cackling from Methy McMeth Head. "Well, dude," Taxi Seth Rogen says, "It was actually a hash cookie and I haven't smoked pot or anything like that in 10 years so it really did a number on me." He then (and I'm not kidding) ran a red light. Fuck. "What do I do here?" I'm thinking. It's too far to get out and walk in either direction (home or to the pub) and we're driving slowly and I'm seat belted. "Don't worry Freddy, I'll help you" said the meth head. "Fuck," I said.

So I decide to just shut up and close my eyes and hope for the best. He didn't *really* seem wasted, just not at the top of his game. Then the cabbie and the methy started talking about how they first met and she said it was when her boyfriend stole the cabbie's roommates credit card and they laughed and I wondered, how do things like this always happen to me? I swear, the strangest stuff happens only to me and although I kind of love it, it is rather shocking how often it happens. Anyway...

I then started mulling this whole story over in my head. For one, no one ever takes "a bite" of a cookie unless they're an 8 year old or unless it's a really huge cookie. Normally, you just eat the whole thing. Second, isn't it rather rude to go to your cancer stricken friends house and raid his cookies? Then I started thinking, if the dude has cancer and has some cookies...I mean, we live in California. I would automatically assume they were pot cookies, or at least ask first. And then lastly I wondered how and why this chick was even in the cab at all.

I just tried to put it all out of my mind and relax and sure enough, soon we made it to the destination and the cabbie said, "dude, I'm really sorry about that....I'll knock 1/2 off your fare." Sweet! So I started to get out and he gave me his card. "When you're ready to go home, gimmie a call." Then the methy said, "Hey man, be careful...don't drink too much." I had about 1000 retorts in my mind (like, "hey, I won't, don't snort too much meth!" or also, "hey, thanks...try not to lose any more teeth tonight!") that made their way to my lips before I decided to just walk away.

HugeLarge was amazing as always and after their set, I walked over to Russian River Brewing. About 1/4 of the way there, I pulled a muscle in my calf and started limping badly. Then these 2 guys started walking in front of me and talking about a drug deal they were going to make in an hour. One of them had 1/2 a pound of weed on him and some E, he said. I kept limping along and finally said, "guys, you know I can hear you, right?" They just laughed. When I decided to call a cab to go home (about 15 minutes later) I did not call the cabbie from earlier or even the same cab company because I know, I KNOW I would have got the same guy.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

All grows up.

I love my dog Igby so much, it's borderline creepy. He makes me so happy when I see him and he's been a very, very good dog in terms of the baby. Except now, he wants to be extra protective of her and Erica so he barks at anyone that comes near our house. Not cool, especially since we live across the street from a huge park.

He's an odd dog. He's incredibly clumsy and constantly falls off the couch and the bed. Once we were walking him downtown in Petaluma and he fell off the curb. When animals fall, it's hysterical. Ever see a bird fall or hit a window? Frigging classic. Once Igby fell off the couch when he went to lean against me and I had moved and that wasn't funny. It was really sad and I felt a twinge in my heart.

Anyway, the point of this isn't to get all creepy and touchy-feely about my dog. It's to point out the above photo. Up until about 2 weeks ago, whenever Igby peed he would squat down like a girl dog. It was actually kind of embarrasing when other male dogs and their owners were around. Like, if we were at the dog park or the beach and he would squat down. I would just kind of look around uncomfortably and hope he finished before some other male dog saw him. But whatever, he's my boy and I love him regardless. Still, kinda sissy.

But the other day he and I were going for a walk and he stopped at a pole and lifted his leg!! And peed for a really, really long time. Like, a minute and a half. Now he lifts his leg and pees all the time. I'm so proud of him!

As you probably realized about 3 paragraphs ago, this is one freeking odd blog entry. What the hell is wrong with me? Yet, I'll post it anyway because it took a whole 5 minutes of my time and, I am proud of my boy. Way to lift that leg, Igby!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Random ramblings post Austin

Man, I've been back just under a week and feel like I can't get caught up at home/work/school/sleep or with my new video projects. It feels like I don't even know where to start so I kind of....don't do anything unless it's pressing. Here's some random stuff from Austin though to get me moving...and keep you entertained....maybe.

I was super stoked to be staying the first part of the film festival at the Courtyard Marriott. I first stayed there 2 years ago when I went to the Austin Film Festival and it's central location coupled with a sports bar called Champions featuring $2 "Mystery Beers" (they won't tell you what the beer is....but it's $2) made it a perfect hang for me. Plus, they have one of those little bar machines that has games and trivia. No better way to start your night then frittering away $5 on the game while sipping $2 beers. So, after I checked in (a day ahead of my Film Threat compadres) I took a shower and hit the bar.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I spent so much time on the video machine (or, no one else did...ever) that my high scores have been up there 2 years running. It's silly, but I thought that was cool. Anyway, I got down there and the same bartender who has been there for 2 years seemed to recognize me video machine. They took it out!! NOOooo! It ruined my whole plan so I started bitching about it. Not like "seriously," more like....grousing about it. By the time I checked out 5 days later, the machine was back. My scores were gone, but still...squeaky wheel, etc.

I had a great time at, what I think, is the best film festival in the world in terms of fun and quality of films. But man, I was beat down tired the whole time. I came into the trip kinda sick and didn't really slow down until the Film Threat crew left. But as I read all these other peoples blogs and festival coverage, it seems like everyone was exhausted throughout the whole fest. Weird.

One night I was walking home, kinda drunk. I never really got wasted in Austin, but this night was as close as it got. It may have been the night I saw STYX at the rodeo. As I crossed the street near my hotel, I heard spray-paint. I got around the corner and 3 guys were totally tagging this big wall. Now, I freeking HATE graffiti. It's so rude and classless and ugly. I don't mean the spraypainted "art" out there....I mean, the tagging. I often imagine I catch a local tagger and hold him down while I spray paint MY name all over his face. So naturally, when I saw these 3 guys I was infuriated. I stood there not 10 feet from them and they didn't even see me. I was so close I could smell the spraypaint.

I thought about yelling but there was 3 of them and 1 drunk of me. Then I thought about calling the cops but last year, I got harassed by a cop for being drunk (at what is possibly the biggest collection of drunk people outside of a St. Patty's Day parade in New York) so I nixed that idea. What did I do? I walked away. Lame.

One of the movies I loved at SXSW was "Woodpecker." You can read my review here. It's about this kind kilter guy named Jonny who gets sent to Arkansas to try and spot this very rare woodpecker. The film is a hybrid between real documentary and like, staged parts featuring Jonny. Anyway, loved the movie. Cut to the last "official" night of the fest and I'm walking down the street and who should I see but Jonny. We start talking and I give him a copy of my new movie, DRAG KING. Then as we start to part company, I realize I had a burning question I had been meaning to ask.

At one point in the movie, Jonny becomes so obsessed with the woodpecker, he gets a makeover and a tattoo of the bird. Yet the movie is so good at mixing up truth and fiction, I wasn't sure it was real so I asked. Here's your answer.


After the film festival, the music kicked in straight away for me. this is like, the only chance to get to see the bands I really like since they hardly ever come out to California. The first night/last night of film there was a big ole Americana party called "This is American Music" featuring 2 Cow Garage, The Drams, Glossary, Grand Champeen and The Drams all rotating onto the stage, doing each others songs and having a blast. It was a totally cool show and a perfect way to kick off the music.

From there...days and shows get fuzzy.

The next day I saw Steve Poltz somewhere...I can't remember where. Hmm. His backing band The Truckee Brothers are fricking badass and I've become buddies with their road manager Chris. A cool guy even though he's a St. Louis Cardinals fan. So I told him to come down and see The Old 97's that night and to my surprise, him and Patrick from the Truckee Brothers showed up as I was about 9 beers deep. We hung out and as Patrick, a good looking rocker type is prone to do, he got some girls to come over. We all hung out and it turns out one of the girls really likes the Old 97's which was cool. In fact, I think this one girl really liked Poltz or the Truckee Brothers too, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, the Old 97's were great and as we were all joking around, I asked one of the girls if it would be possible for us to get a ride home. She agreed since she hadn't been drinking. Well, about 15 minutes later Patcrick and Chris were gone and about 5 minutes after that, the Old 97's were done and I was about a mile from home and still wanting a ride home. So, the nice Texas girls agreed. They were then treated to Donny the drunk who likes to repeat himself and ask obsequious questions and be annoying. Plus, the girl went the wrong way towards my hotel extending their time with me an extra 7-9 minutes.

By the time they dropped me off a simple "dude, get out was the last thing I heard. Now, if I had been home for this, I would have spent days feeling secretly embarrassed and foolish but hell, I was on vacation, there's like, 50,000 people here and I'll never see that girl again. Plus, I thought it was funny in general. One minute you're schmoozing cool rock guys, the next you get stuck with their not-cool drunk friend. Classic!

So the next day I got up and headed to my favorite bar in Austin, The Ginger Man. Poltz and the Truckee Bros were playing there at 4:00. Perfect! I got there and got a nice hefeweizen to start the day and settled into the 90 degree weather in the back patio. Poltz was awesome as usual and since they had a cool seeming show just outside of downtown at Marias Tacos, I hitched a ride over there with them. Marias Tacos was soo cool!! Just a basic taco joint with a rad back patio for music. It was awesome to see the Truckee Bros play their own set, then Poltz joined them.

By this time, I was beat and the place was packed. I really just wanted to sit down. Suddenly a seat opened up right by a fan and one of those cool air misting things! YAY!! I plopped down and as I did, I looked next to me....and the girl who gave me a ride home the night before was sitting there. Frigging classic! We both laughed and then I said, "hey, can you give me a ride back to my hotel" and she said "no."

O.K.....that's all for now. I'mn verbally un-constipated now. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Still alive.

Yeah, I'm still here in Austin....nothing much to report though. Well, nothing that would translate into something interesting for you. The rodeo/Styx concert Thursday was completely amazing. It was everything Styx at a Texas rodeo should be. Then the Film Threat crew (Mark and Pete) got into town and movies commenced. And a whole lot of rock band which Mark loves. And by loves I mean, starts visibly shaking if he can't play. Film Threat had a really fun party Sunday and we had rock band and I played. There's some hillarious pics on Film Threat.

Lets see....I saw alot of terrific small films. SXSW is the best at getting non-trendy, really creative films into their fest. I appreciate the diversity and the fact that I'd estimate the suck factor for SXSW over the past 4 years has been like...10%. That is to say 10% of all the movies I've seen here in 4 years have been less than good. That's pretty impressive. I'd put Sundance at about a 92% suck factor.

So yeah, saw alot of movies. Went to some parties. Drank alot of beer and then Pete and Mark left and now I'm in the cheaper hotel across the river. It's cool though because there's a Hooters across the street and a restaurant I LOVE called Threadgills next door. I saw Steve Poltz there yesterday and I'm about to walk out and see Roky Erikson's Psychadelic Ice Cream Social featuring Thurston Moore. I also saw Bob Schneiders R&B band The Scabs which were great.

Tonight the Old 97's are playing but not till 1 a.m. so we'll see. Oh, by the way, I'm sick and have been sick the WHOLE time I've been here and it's really dragging me down as late. I didn't let it bug me during the film fest (which is to say I stayed out past 2 a.m. everynight drinking) and now,'s tough. But I shall sally forth. Here's some random pics I have....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


So I simply cannot wait to go to South by Southwest this year! It's my most favorite thing to do ever as it's all movies, music, beer and BBQ. Basically it's my bible camp. Last year I was equally psyched and then somehow misread my flight info and missed my flight by a day. It was like someone stole all my Christmas presents I was so upset. I just went home and crawled into bed and waited for Saturday so I could fly out.

So today I've been stressed as my wife and child have the flu and I can feel it coming on. Plus, I have a review to write and a big article for Film packing and tying up loose ends at work. So I look at my flight info and come to find out, I leave tomorrow (Thursday) not Friday. It was almost a crappy deja vu!! Luckily, I caught the error on my part.

Still, what a moron I am. Who doesn't check their flight infoWHile I'm not too bummed because I'll get to be in Austin a day early, I now have less time to do all the stuff I gotta do. And what am I doing? Writing a blog. Genius.

The other good thing is my Austin buddy Kelly alerted me that STYX is playing the RODEO tomorrow night so that's a MUST SEE EVENT.

Viva Austin!!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Just sayin'

Since we all apparently can't get enough of politics this season, I wanted to share my insight on the whole Clinton/Obama throwdown. That photo above has graced the back of my staunchly right-wing neighbor's huge truck since we moved in over a year ago. Over a year ago...before Hillary Clinton even announced she was running.

I snapped a pic of it the other day but wanted to post it because there was a big hullabaloo on right wing radio yesterday (particularly by the fat druggie Rush Limbaugh) saying voters in these swing states should NOT vote for McCain as he has the republican nomination sewn up, but rather they should vote for Hillary so "the democratic party can continue ripping itself apart." However anyone who pays any attention to the talkies out there know the republicans feel they can beat Hillary but not Obama and that's why Rush wants to try and get her more votes.

The righties hate the Clintons and they're already prepping all kinds of smears should Hillary get the nom. Couple that with that bumper sticker above and throw in the fact Obama has more buzz than "Vampire Weekend" or "No Country for Old Men" and couple that with the fact any "ripping apart" of the party is being done by sneaky Hillary and I think the writing is on the wall.

If you're reading this and are voting today, please vote Obama. I hate to pull a Rove, but a vote for Hillary is a vote for McCain. If Hillary wins the democratic nomination, McCain is your next president. You read it here folks. Do the right Obama!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My how time flies

I've always tried to "manage" at least one band since the time I was about 18 years old. I love live music and here's a secret: if you're the manager, you get into shows free and get free drinks! I'm basically the person that books shows for various bands and right now (and for the past what, 10 years?) it's been my best buddies five a.m.. Before them was a 7-12 piece funk/R&B band called "Grand Junction." THAT was fun but trying to get 7-12 musicians to do anything is a frigging nightmare.

But still, I remember those 6 months to a year as some of the most fun I've ever had. The band would get together in various living rooms and just mess around musically. Jazz, blues, funk....they'd bring in some obscure record and learn a song and then just play it live. My good friend Sonya sang in the band but the main attraction was this funkmaster punk kid named Eric Lindell. After Grand Junction fell apart Eric switched to guitar full time and started some various blues-type bands in the area that were pretty popular. Then, he moved to New Orleans where he took off like a bottlerocket. Eric always had "star quality" and a great personality so it wasn't a surprise when he gained popularity nationally after his movie.

Me, Erica and Story went and saw him do an in-store appearance today at Last Record Store and then I came home and found this...

Man, one day you got a guy stuffed in your Suzuki Samurai with 6 other people, racing to a gig...the next day, he's on Conan. Way to go Eric!!