Friday, February 29, 2008


Sleeping all day is pretty cool. Except when it's not my choice. This flu, this cold, this whatever I have, is the ultimate sleeping pill. I close my eyes. Two mintues later I'm out. I have things to say, things I want to write about, but I can't. Their isn't enough gas in the tank for that right now. I can't wait for the day when Jim Hall sleeps all day by his own free will.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I know you people in Internet land are sitting patiently for me to drop more knowledge, but I have bad news. I am still sick. To tide you over, here's something from the latest edition of the District. Vegan cupcakes from Veg-O-Rama. They rule, whether you're a vegan or not. I'll write more about those later. But for now I gotta get some rest before Project Runway.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I thought I was lucky. I thought I was in the clear. I thought, for once, when the flu goes around, I won't get it. I was wrong. Last night was hell and today is only slightly better. That's all for now. I have to get back in bed.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Those three words are how someone from Puerto Rico found my lil ol blog. Ya see, that number at the top of the screen can tell me where people are coming from and how they found me. Don't worry, one thing it can't do is tell me your name. I suppose if I was an Internet genius and bothered to track people down using ISP numbers, I could, but I don't care that much. Yesterday I was looking to see how well my keywords work (not very well, thanks for asking) and I came upon one that showed me a Google search for the words Italy Fuck Beach (By the way, I'm number four on Google if you type that in). Separately, I know my blog contains those words. But combined, I have no clue what the pairing of Italy Fuck Beach means. So I searched. And came up with nothing. I thought maybe there's a beach in Italy where cheap hookers own the sand and people bone out in the open, but according to Google, that's not it. So what the hell is an Italy Fuck Beach? And why is someone searching for that?

Friday, February 22, 2008


Took my little brother to see Del Tha Funkee Homosapien two night ago at the Vault in Long Beach. I think it was his first show. Here's a quick recap.

We got there around 9, after listening to final three minutes of the Lakers/Suns game in my car. Walked up, found out Del wasn't going in for two more hours, so we walked Pine and sat outside at Taco Beach to watch the Celtics/Warriors on a newly-installed tv outside of Shannon's.

Got to the Vault around 10. Opened the door and got a massive whiff of weed. Some reggae-influenced rapper was on stage. We both thought he sucked. Then the host of the show talked for what seemed like forever, asking people trivia questions like "For a free t-shirt, someone tell me the name of RUN-DMC's second album." Dude, these people are 12. They don't know the answer. He kept promoting his crew, but I already forgot the name. He did lots of "throw your hands in the air" and "when I say hip, you say hop." Pretty embarrassing cuz the "hop" response was always very minimal.

More weed smell. Then Aceyalone came on. I've wanted to see him for a long time. He started slow, then got really good, then went on for too long. Rap fans are fickle --they NEVER care about opening acts and don't show any kind of love to people on stage who aren't celebrities. This had a lot to do with the grinding halt that was the second half of the set. Aceyalone was trying, but they weren't giving much back. That said, a 20-minute set woulda been better.

Then the host came back and talked about his song that we might have heard on KDAY. Wrong dude, we haven't heard your shit there or anywhere. Surprisingly, his song wasn't half bad, much better than his hosting skills. More rap cliches followed. The best part of all this was DJ Orator, who was cutting it up on the ones and twos. There aren't nearly enough real deejays anymore, at least none that I can find. It was funny because I met two dudes a week earlier who told me to check DJ Orator out if I was looking for the real deal. I think I found it.

That was a problem with all the deejays. The deejay's job in 2008 is to play some tracks on an iMac and yell backup vocals. No cutting, no scratching. Just fist pumping.

After what felt like forever, Del came out and proved he truly is a funkee homosapien. I told my brother that rap shows go like this: Two hours of amateurs and 30 minutes of pros who instantly blow the other guys away. My theory was true. Del moved, shaked and flowed like a man possessed. Even his sideman A Plus was good. He ended with that Gorillaz song and everyone freaked out. His between-song banter was pretty classic. I'd repeat it, but it was so off the wall I can't remember any of it.

I'd see Del again. He reminded me why I still flirt with the idea of becoming an emcee. Rap sucks live, but it can be done right. When it is, it rules. Unfortunately, it hardly ever is. At least none of these guys rhymed over their own vocal tracks. That's a trick I've seen many mainstream rappers do. It's fucking weak. I want the real shit, beats and rhymes. Nothing more, nothing less.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Here's something I wrote for the District on BJ's Clothes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Monday afternoon. I'm driving down Spinnaker Bay, between the park on the left and the water on the right. I'd mention the name of the park and the water, but I don't know them. Wait, it was just before the Pete Archer Rowing something or another. I should know this as I take this route to get to Bixby Golf Course. But none of that matters. So I'm driving along, obeying the 35 mph speed limit when I see a group of pre-teen boys playing flag football on a tiny patch of grass overlooking the water. No, I don't make a habit of watching adolescent males, but I was about to discover that destiny drew me to these kids. I'm finally out of the turn and into the straight-away when one of the larger kids -- looked about 12, taller than most and although not fat, much heavier and just all around BIGGER -- caught the ball. He looked startled as three or four kids rushed him. They were wearing flags, but there weren't any adults around. Kinda looked like a few teammates goofing off before practice, which might explain why he wasn't ready for an onslaught. Not sure if it was intentional or not, but one of them nailed this soon-to-be lineman right in the balls, and I don't mean pigskins. He crumpled like a blown-up Vegas hotel, fell to his knees and looked right at me in my now stopped-in-the-middle-of-the-road-laughing-my-ass-off-while-feeling-
for-this-poor-kid car. He stayed hunched over for a good 30 seconds and I watched the whole thing. His misery went on for so long I pulled over to the side of the road to let passing cars go by. The longer it went on the more I not only emotionally felt for him, I began to physically feel his pain. Ladies, getting hit down there doesn't hurt. It's worse than that. It's like, shit, I don't even know what it's like but it fucking sucks. It hasn't happened to me (knock on wood) in a very long time. Just seeing it was enough to make me crumple in my driver's seat, but not before enjoying what I just saw and thanking my lucky stars it wasn't me.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I guess I never really thought of it until about five minutes ago, but Todd Congelliere's been a pretty big influence on me. As a kid, I went to Seaside Elementary School in Torrance and would go to the adjacent Sea Aire Golf Course to watch him skate the ramp in his backyard. I got into punk in high school and discovered his band F.Y.P, who were the only (at that time) contemporary punk band I really liked. I mean, me and my friends fucking worshiped these dudes. We saw them all over and there'd be reports on Monday mornings of F.Y.P sightings around town. The best one was when my friend was working at a movie theater at the Del Amo Mall and said Todd brought a smoking hot girl with him. We thought that was pretty rad of him. Then he was dating a girl who, I swear, looked exactly like my 5-year-old brother. You'da thunk she gave birth to this kid, not my mom. I got to know Todd a little bit as we became more and more involved in the South Bay punk scene, if there was such a thing, and he was always cool to us, even though I'm not sure I would have been cool to our annoying fanboys asses. Unlike most people, I loved the later poppier F.Y.P just as much as the early thrash stuff. Which makes sense cuz his two latest bands, Toys that Kill and the Underground Railroad to Candyland, are in some ways a continuation of where F.Y.P was headed and I dig both too. My point? Not sure. I think what rubbed off on me was Todd's attitude and approach to what he did and still does. From a technical standpoint, no one would ever call F.Y.P a great live band, but their energy and spirit always took precedence over proficiency (PS Perhaps the biggest difference between F.Y.P and Toys that Kill/the Underground Railroad to Candyland is his two current bands play really well). Whatever band he's in, Todd looks like he's having a blast and that's way more important than anything else. He's issued more than 100 releases on Recess Records and has always indulged my nagging requests for interviews. In no way am I getting rich off this writing thing, but it's what I have to do. Maybe I got some of that from Todd. If a book is ever written about him, I can't imagine a better person than me to write it. I guess what I'm trying to say is I could go on for days, so I'll stop and get to what I hope is the first of many interviews (with other people, not just Todd) on this here blog. Enjoy!

Here's a list of stuff you should hear if you've never heard any of Todd's band. But I'm a bit biased. I think you could pick up anything of his and not be bummed about blowing money on more music.

Recommended Todd C. listening:
Made in USA 7 inch
Dance My Dunce
My Man Grumpy
5 Year Plan

Toys that Kill
Citizen Abortion

The Underground Railroad to Candyland
Bird Roughs

More stuff to know before reading this. Consider this my half-ass attempt at footnotes.
Jed is former F.Y.P bassist Jed Schipper. Not much else to say about that.
"Take it Like a Jed" is a reference to an F.Y.P song of the same name.
Jack Doyle plays bass in URTC.
Before he was a musician, Todd was a pro skater.
Boris (RIP) was Todd's cat.
Todd lives in San Pedro (Pedro to locals).
Post-Punks was the name of his basketball team that played at Lomita Park. I played on my brothers' team once and they played after us. Weird.
Todd played drums in the Fondled, a good band everyone should check out.

1. According to Wikipedia, anyone who meets a Recess band in a McDonald's bathroom gets into shows for free. True or not?
well i guess thats true. we rarely go into McDonald's and if we do we avoid the bathroom just so we dont hafta get in anyone free.

2. Where's Jed?
he is prolly outside my door on his cell phone.

3. How does one go about "taking it like a Jed?"
its more of a hereditary thing. i dont think you can aquire "taking it like a jed". I'm pretty sure you hafta be born Jed. Jack Doyle comes close though to earning the bronze though

4. How often do you skate? What are you riding right now?
I dont skate much. i want to but i have soooo many excuses its starting to irritate even me! i skate when i feel like it.

5. What's the plan for the solo songs on your myspace page?
No plan at all. Just messin around and making music. like usual i guess. my friend was talking about puttin out a 7" of it but its just talk at this point.

6. How has your life changed in Boris' absence? Any plans on getting a new cat?
I got a new cat actually! thanx for the advice, you were right. 2008 AB (After Boris) has been a trying time but i think he left so i could get "Meower" from the SP Animal Shelter. He farts alot though.

7. Judging by the pics on your myspace page, you -- like me -- were a fat kid. How does this affect you now? For me, I never believe people when they tell me I'm skinny. Deep question, I know.
) yea fat kids will never be skinny. its a sad truth of life. Attn Moms! you let your kids eat alotta twinkies you are turning their emotions into twinkies. Forget confidence! thats long gone. i'm glad though. dont wanna be a firmed handshake-go-getter.

8. If I offered you $100, would you play the Made in USA 7 inch at my birthday party?
Yes but you forgot a zero

9. What do you have against the above-ground railroad to candyland?
Oh well thats a trick question cos it doesnt go to Candyland! It goes to Monopoly...where all the skinny punks are.

10. Do you see Mike Watt in Pedro? If so, is he always wearing flannel?
Yes and Yes

11. You've been in some bands, but who cares about that. Tell the world about your basketball team, the Post-Punks.
Post-Punks didnt pass. Post-Punks didnt practice. Post-Punks didnt win. At least WE had a perfect season!

12. What's the story behind the FYP Toys that Kill Record and the FYP 5 Year Plan record?
One of em cost $15,000 to record the other cost $30 to record.

13. Is 13 really an unlucky number?

14. How awesome is Japan?
Japan is the Disneyland for adults. or at least me! Nice people awesome shit. You dont really need much else. I think that is their national anthem.

15. Does the Kanker Sores 7 inch go for more money now that Aaron's a goth celebrity?
I think thats a loaded question.

16. If I offered each member $100, would the Fondled play my birthday party?
Yes. if the others say no i will do drum solos for my $100.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


That's what soccer mom turned tv personality Meredith Viera said about Jane Fonda using the word "cunt" on the Today show. Here's a free piece of advice Meredith, maybe you should do something to offend the audience. Might make for a more interesting television program. But what do I know? I haven't been awake that early since fifth grade.

And in related news, Diane Keaton said "fucking" during an interview with Diane Sawyer. My favorite part of this clip is the gasp of the crowd. A bunch of housewives on vacation to (presumably) New York City freak out over the f word. You can't not love that!

Really people, what's the big deal? If there's one thing I knew about American culture and now REALLY know about American culture after visiting Europe last month, it's how conservative this country is. A word is a bunch of sounds thrown together to make a new sound. That's it. Whatever meaning a person gives to it has nothing to do with the noise coming out of the speaker's mouth. There's no such thing as a "bad" word, only negative connotations attached to some words. In Germany, there's a large newspaper called the Bild (don't ask me what that means). On the bottom half of the A1 section every goddamn day is a huge picture of a topless woman. I was floored the first time I saw it. Chip and I were at the Frankfurt airport. He was taking a leak when I saw a guy reading what I thought was porn in public. Nope, it was the newspaper. I was bursting with excitement when Chip came out of the pisser. I told him what I saw and how I had to have a copy of that. We searched for about two minutes, then found a copy someone left on a seat. I grabbed it and now that paper sits in my filing cabinet, perhaps the best souvenir a newspaper writer such as myself could bring home. And somehow Germany hasn't collapsed from this. Sure, they caused not one but TWO world wars, but this is a sign that things aren't how they used to be for the Germans. Never in a million years did I think I'd say the Germans were more advanced than Americans, but they are. By a long shot. Us Americans are living under an invisible religious regime that dictates our morality. I am fully aware of the other half's rights -- some people, for whatever puritanical reasoning -- just don't want to be around profanity and nudity. That's cool. Unlike religious tightwads, I'm not comfortable telling other people what to think, how to live, how to act, etc. But what about people like me? Those who don't mind hearing "fucking" and "cunt" on television? What's the harm in showing boobs on tv or in a newspaper. For fuck's sake, every woman has them. This kind of small-minded thinking gives me a headache and makes me long for the day when I am walking down the street and find an errant money bag filled with billions of dollars dropped from one of them trucks that picks up cash. When this happens, there's no way in hell I'm returning it. I'm buying the farthest island from the rest of humankind and setting up a society where I'm charge. I'll open my borders to my friends cuz living with only my girlfriend could get kinda boring for both of us. Those who don't like my policies will be free to leave, no questions asked. But I guaran-fucking-tee if I was in charge of this country or any country, the world would be a much better place. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't narrow-minded conservatism the exact thing the United States' founding fathers were trying to get away from? Funny how those who hoist these men onto pedestals are the same ones who live their lives in the direct opposite way of these men.


This cd review was written for the website It was supposed to be used in late January, but I just found out they forgot about it and aren't using it, which means I'm posting it here. Rumor has it they're still paying me though.

Greg Ginn will forever be tied to his hardcore roots, no matter how far his post- Black Flag endeavors take him. The underground icon has recorded and released more albums with different groups or as a solo artist than he did during the more than decade-long run of his seminal punk band, but those who forgo anything the six-stinger touched post- Damaged are missing out on one of the few musicians from American hardcore's halcyon days who remains true to his original vision.

Ginn's relentless desire to press forward has sliced his audience into two categories: Black Flag diehards and fans of his experimental work. This penchant for challenging the status quo isn't new. Even Black Flag fans are torn between which version of the ever-revolving lineup is best. Some will go to their grave saying the 1981 addition of Henry Rollins ruined the Southern California act, while others prefer the more abstract path Ginn led his troupe down beginning with 1984's My War.

The discrepancy in the guitarist's resume has to do with the way the public views rock musicians. Rock fans associate artists with band names and lump players into a herd mentality, failing to see the individuals who comprise a band. Miles Davis performed in at least two groups heralded amongst the jazz community. Although the legendary trumpeter was the sole consistent in each outfit, jazz fans accept lineups shifts and focus on a player's career arch. Ginn's recorded output mirrors this mentality. Listeners might think differently about the trail the guitarist blazed had he issued Black Flag's 1977 Nervous Breakdown EP as a solo effort.

Other than three Black Flag reunion shows in 2003, Ginn has kept a low profile for more than a decade. But this changed with the release of three new records in November. Although each is listed under a different band name, Ginn's unique approach is the common thread that connects one disc to the next.

Ginn first used the name Gone during Black Flag's final days. The only attribute this new Gone disc shares with its predecessors is its unexpected sound. With a total of three songs each clocking in at more than 15 minutes, The Epic Trilogy serves as a greatest hits package for Ginn fans due to the continually changing moods. Like a rock opera, each tune runs the gamut from heavy breakdowns to electronic-inspired beats to blues wailing and Stooges-esque freak-outs. Epic comes with two discs: the first is instrumental while the second features Bad Brains vocalist HR adding his improv-sounding bag of tricks to the mix. Those who felt the singer's new style clashed with his band's latest album will find Ginn's music a better-suited fit to HR's slowed-down pace.

Ginn's second release is Under the Willow Tree by Mojack, a free jazz inspired group that has issued two records in the past. The band has always featured Ginn on bass and guitar and saxophonist Tony Atherton playing one of the best jazz/punk hybrids around. Unlike lengthy tunes pioneered by Ornette Coleman, Mojack's take on abstract music uses short songs with a solid backbone that allow Atherton the freedom to wail like a modern day Eric Dolphy while Ginn's bass playing holds down conventional structures.

The guitarist's final disc is the most interesting of the bunch, but not because of what it is, but what it is not. Unlike the aforementioned albums, Bent Edge is the debut from a new act called Greg Ginn and the Taylor Texas Corrugators. The 15-song record finds the 53-year-old slowing down his trademark spastic style for a unique blend of Texas swing, blues, bop and cool jazz. With drummer Steve DeLollis, Ginn plays guitar and uses a synthesizer to recreate an upright bass and piano for a groove-laden ride unlike anything the guitarist has issued before. Ginn's relaxed playing lets listeners know it's him behind the instrument while incorporating a smooth technique throughout each track. His ability to distance himself from prior efforts while maintaining his signature sound is perhaps Ginn's biggest accomplishment since flipping the switch on what people expected Black Flag to be.


I have a friend from Italy in town. Yesterday I took her around Long Beach because she wants to move to Los Angeles. I told her she should forget LA and move here instead. I think she now agrees. Although I love it here, I've been kinda burned on Iowa by the Sea for a while now. Seeing the same things, going to the same places, driving the same streets, golfing on the same courses -- it's been getting boring. Being a tour guide can change that. She's into rockabilly and there is none of that in Italy. Needless to say, she was blown away by Fourth Street. We hit the dollar pile at La Bomba, browsed Siren and got coffee at Portfolio -- very Long Beach of us. Later we got an afternoon drink at Alex's and another at House of Hayden, where booze was free, that's right FREE, yesterday afternoon thanks to some creepy old guy with long white hair. He was sitting alone in a corner and opened a tab for all six people in the bar. I got a cold PBR on tap and I hate to say it, but it wasn't as good as it should have been. A free beer, my favorite kind, on a lazy Saturday afternoon...German beer has spoiled me. I came home to get work done, but my computer was broke. I called Verizon and that's another story for another day. Later we went to the V Room for some beers. More PBRs, these were better. Lots of fun, but pretty uneventful, other than someone playing mass amounts of the Descendents on the jukebox. I love when people pick songs that I woulda picked. I'm too cheap to ever put money into one of those machines, but I'll gladly listen along if it's something I dig. Lights came on and it was time to go. Offers of going across the street to a friend's apartment for after-hours booze loomed. But burritos were needed. Thank God for Hole Mole. Even if it wasn't the only place open on Fourth after 2 a.m., I'd still go there. It's even sweeter that the only open restaurant is something I really enjoy eating. We're standing in line and a fight breaks out behind us. Big dude getting whooped on by a much smaller guy and much smaller guy's girl. They got at it for a few minutes and when the big dude got up, he had a glazed look on his face like he was too drunk to understand he just got into a fight. The aftermath was pretty hilarious. Food EVERYWHERE on the floor. Shit, there's still some on my right shoe. Tortillas, chips, salsa, salad, soda, was like the kitchen exploded in the dining room. The really cute Mexican girl who works the cash register (and who looks way too young for me to be calling her cute) called the pigs and of course, they showed up. Nothing went down as far as I could tell. Hole Mole booted everyone out except for me and Chris, partially because we were too drunk/dumb to realize we needed to leave. So it's us, the cute girl and the cooks. While I'm eating, Chris' phone rings. Friends at the apartment want to know where we are. I say I'm about a quarter of the way from home and I'm flaking. I'm handed the phone and turns out my presence is requested. So I go. On the way back toward the V, Chris and I get hollered at (not in the hip-hop way) from across the street. Three girls and a guy. It's the guy/girl from the fight and their two friends. We shoot the shit for a minute. They're looking for more booze. I tell 'em we're going to a mini-party. Can't officially invite them, but there's nothing stopping them from following us, wink wink nudge nudge. Besides, if party hosts were bummed, I decided to tell them he threatened to beat us up too. Dude tells us about the fight. He was drunk and got the wrong plate of food. This is where I got confused. Booze from the storyteller and the audience will do that. Some words were exchanged and big guy swung at little guy, missed and hit little guy's woman in the mouth. So he pounced. I'm no fighter, never been in a fight (sucker-punched in ninth grade, but that doesn't count), but if someone hit my girl, I'd have to beat a fool down too. We get to the party. The other two girls made friends with three people in the alley and they came up. So our presence accounted for seven more people showing up. Let it be known that Jim Hall is a motherfucking party on wheels (or, more specifically, legs). Wine's a'flowing and everyone is cool. No fists, just some good convo about God knows what. Met a deejay named Ryan who said he hated everyone named Brian because of the name confusion. Then I introduced him to my friend Brian, boyfriend of party co-host. Again, no fists, just smiles. Like how it should be. More drinks and all of a sudden, it's time to call the Yellow Cab. My man shows up in less than three minutes. I bum $12 off Chris cuz I still got the post-Euro money blues. I try to be quiet getting into bed. Girlfriend wakes up and says "It's four in the morning." Then she tosses and falls back asleep. Minutes later I'm dreaming about a nasty Vince Carter dunk (ironic cuz last night was the NBA dunk contest) and some cats stuck in a tree. And now it's 2:19 p.m. I'm flaking on a bar-hopping bike ride cuz I just got up. I love Long Beach.

Note to Robert Glen Fogarty...I don't think you are a stalker. You seem to be the only one reading, so please feel free to comment as much as you like. Without you, I'd be wasting my time. Blogging is much more fun than telling all these pointless stories to my cats.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


This guy also had some pretty good shit to say about the Night Marchers in Eagle Rock.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Roger Clemens took steroids. Or maybe he didn't. Like the title suggests, who cares what this guy, or any other athlete, did? Not me. Tax season is around the corner and I can guarantee I'll be paying out the ass this year. I've supported myself as a writer for 12 months and had not one penny taken out for taxes. So I'm screwed. But I look at it like this. 1. It's a small price to pay for the life I'm living. AND 2. Maybe some of my tax dollars will go to things I support. Things like public schools, homeless shelters, fixing potholes, etc. But no. This year my hard-earned dough is going to Congressional hearings on whether or not a bunch of overpaid jocks took performance-enhancing drugs. Shit, I LIKE sports. But I really don't care what these guys are doing off the field. And neither should anyone else. You want a role model? Look to teachers, firefighters, artists, good parents. Athletes are entertainers. I've never heard of anyone looking to rock stars for advice on morality. That's why being a musician would be much more fun than being a pro athlete. Sports has this phony pretense of family values and wholesome goodness. That's a bunch of bullshit. These are millionaire men who play kids games for a living. They've never had to grow up, never had to face reality. So Clemens or Jose Canseco or Mark McGwire or whoever takes HGH. Were they fun to watch on the field? Hell yeah. Considering how much a ticket to a baseball game costs, I'd prefer if all these guys were juicing. Baseball is by far the most boring game on the planet. More shots to the outfield only makes things more interesting. Which I guess is why a pitcher taking 'roids is a bummer. No -hitters are great to watch on SportsCenter, but a bummer to see in person. I want some action. Striking 15 guys out isn't my idea of a good time. And this is what our representatives deem important? How awesome would it be if our world was so perfect, so safe, that our biggest concern was finding out which baseball players are on steroids? That's a world I want to live in, not the one with unnecessary wars in foreign lands where people have been killing each other for years yet my country lies and says things are going well. A world where the best city in this country, New Orleans, is ravaged by a horrific natural disaster and still hasn't recovered nearly three years after the fact. A world where, in the year 2008 (actually 2006 but you get my point), white teenagers hang nooses in Louisiana to scare off black teenagers. A world where homeless people are pushed out onto the streets of Long Beach and every street in every town in every state because they have no place to go or don't have the mental capacity to fend for themselves. A world where dog fighting and cock fighting and killing bulls in a public arena still exists. A world where I can't get health insurance because asthma is a pre-existing condition. A world where a religious nutjob like Mike Huckabee has an outside chance of becoming if not the president, a presidential candidate. Things are fucked. Yet the United States government wants to know what athletes do in the locker room before gametime. Times like these make me wish I was a cat. They just sleep, eat, shit and piss all day. Wouldn't that be nice?


Candles rule.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Round two of the Night Marchers last night. Once again, an awesome show. Weird seeing a band like that in a bowling alley bar, but sometimes that's the fun of being into underground music. I couldn't help but laugh at the Budweiser signs surrounding the stage. John Reis made a comment about a war flick on the tv. He said he was watching it out of the corner of his eye while he was playing. If anyone can play and catch a movie at the same time, it's him. I'd say the Long Beach show was better, but that's biased. I live in Long Beach. LA is such a terrible place for so many reasons. One of them is the lack of enthusiasm from audiences. Sure, the Night Marchers played a nearly hour-long set of music never heard by anyone, but would it hurt if ONE person unfolded their arms and, I don't know, maybe tapped their toe or bopped their head? Of course it would, that's why this is LA. No one in the Los Angeles hipster world wants to be the first one to take a chance on something new. No, it's easier to look around, make sure others are enjoying themselves, THEN pretend like you've been rocking out the entire time. On the flip side, I think I knew or recognized every other person out of the 200 people there. Most I actually wanted to see. Others I didn't. I caught up with a few old friends I hadn't seen in years. Did the number/email exchange and would love to see these people again. Hopefully I will. The rest, well, LA can go fuck itself. I'm staying in Long Beach.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Newsflash...I don't listen to much music anymore. This can make writing about music, well, difficult to say the least. I've been known as a music guy since I first heard Nirvana in the seventh grade. But the past two years have been different. Words are my new music. I've embraced writing in a major way and for better or worse left music behind. I always knew it would happen, just never knew when. That's not to say I don't appreciate music or get moved by it. But now it's different. Thanks to Sirius, I have no use for CDs, which means my attention span for one artist lasts as long as any given song. I love throwing on old rhythm and blues before bed, jazz during late night typing sessions, blues for lazy Sunday afternoons and hip-hop on a drunken Friday night. Which brings me to my point...

Last night I checked out a new band at Alex's Bar called the Night Marchers. The four-piece is led by John Reis, former member of Drive Like Jehu, the Hot Snakes, the Sultans, and my favorite band of all time, Rocket from the Crypt. I dig lots of musicians, but Reis has been atop my Fav 5 list since an old friend named Tim insisted I buy RFTC's Circa Now at his record store called Scooter's Records in Hermosa about 10 years ago. For this, I am eternally grateful to Uncle Tim. I've seen Reis in three different bands (now four) and genuinely enjoy each one. I make the two hour drive to San Diego whenever he plays or the dreaded 45 minute drive to LA for a simple reason: Reis delivers the goods. Music, writing, painting, photography, spoken word, puppet shows...Whatever it is, it has to move me. It's got to be real, passionate, honest. Reis is all of these in a way that no other musician is for me. I've spend hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars seeing his bands, buying his records, driving to shows, paying for parking, purchasing t-shirts. I've skipped important events to see his shows. I've stayed out late when I shouldn't have. I've pushed my beat-to-shit truck harder than it should have. And never complained because investing in a John Reis project is worth the time, money and effort. The guy is insanely talented and consistent. When he plays, my back doesn't hurt from standing. My mind doesn't drift (which it does often). I don't get upset when some asshole bumps into me. My ears ring and I love it. Why? For all the reasons I just mentioned. Talent doesn't equal success, but it should. If it did, Reis would be the second coming of Elvis in terms of influence and popularity.

The Night Marchers are no different. Alex's was packed for a Sunday night. I was glad to see Long Beach coming out to see Reis, a guy who deserves a crowded room every time he steps on stage. But I couldn't help but wonder where these people came from. The Scene Police will drop Reis' name to earn cool points, but when doing so, they seem to be alluding to DLJ and the Hot Snakes, not the Sultans or RFTC. Strange cuz I prefer the two latter to the two former. RFTC, for me anyway, seemed to be Reis' trunk while all other bands were branches of his musical mind. But RFTC never got the "it" factor from the hipster doofus elite. Fine by me cuz that meant more elbow room at their shows. Goes to show what hipsters know.

Consisting of two former Hot Snakes alumni and a fuzzed out bassist, Reis' new band rules. Of all his previous bands, the Sultans might be the least known, which is a damn shame for many reasons, the most important one being the NMs seem to be picking up where Shipwrecked left off while taking elements from each of his previous acts and rolling them into one. Clean tone pop ala the Sultans? Check. Intricate guitar playing ala the Hot Snakes? Check. Showmanship of RFTC? Check. Fervor of Drive Like Jehu? Check. Yet this is something new, something fresh, something exciting. Reis has always teased audiences with his knowledge of groove-based rhythms that come from the blues, but now he's parading that structure out on stage and letting shit fly. I heard tons of surf influence holding down the fort while Reis and company layered their two cents on top.

I don't buy records anymore. But I'll pick up the Night Marchers for sure. Any person into non-mainstream music has one band that they can say they were there for before the big time. Most of these fairweather fans bitch when their former favorite hits the big time. Although Reis has flirted with rock stardom, he's never been a household name. Every time I see him perform, I wish he would. Whether it's a tiny bar on a Sunday night or the Long Beach Arena with 10,000 people, if Reis is playing, I'll be there because I know the only thing different would be the size of the crowd, not the band.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


During halftime of today's Lakers/Heat game, Lakers forward Luke Walton was asked to name his Fav 5 favorite players. Of course he picked his dad, but his final pick? Him. Luke fuckin' Walton! Good to see a guy with (what I hope to be) a sense of humor. For that move, he's now one of my Fav 5 too.

Been watching this VH1 trainwreck called Celebrity Rehab. So much to say...For starters, where are the celebrities? That guy who was super loaded during the first episode. Can anyone tell me who he is? Seriously, I don't know. What I do know is, if he's the real deal and not hamming it up for another go-round of fame, he's in the tiny percentage of humans who I think should die. He's such as fucking wastoid he makes me want to put down the bong while I'm trying to get through this show. Speaking of bongs, one of these "celebrities" is the youngest daughter from Family Matters. Her addiction? Weed! What the fuck is that? Girl, you don't need Dr. Drew to solve that problem. What you need to do is get your has-been ass off the couch and do something. I hate to sound like Cheech or Chong, but come the fuck on. Rehab for weed? You gotta be kidding me. If this isn't a desperate attempt at getting back on television, I don't know what is. Some of these rehabbers are an embarrassment to themselves and their families, but going to rehab because you can't wake up without smoking a blunt is downright pathetic. I wonder what happened to her after day three. Did she get up and say, "Well, that's over. Guess I'm good to check out?" Cuz that's the reality of it. Dudes are shaking non-stop, sleeping all day and all night and this moron is in for weed. Her feeble attempt at attention makes Botox-faced Chyna and Mr. Tattooed One-Hit Wonder (whose song was lifted from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) look like decent human beings, which I'm sure they're not. But standing next to a child "star" in rehab for weed could make just about anyone look intelligent. And what the fuck crawled up Daniel Baldwin's ass? Again, I thought this was a show with celebrities, not brothers of celebrities. If he's been sober for a year, why's he in rehab? Oh, that's right. Attention. If someone offered me $30 million, a lifetime supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon and an endless amount of hot Mexican hookers, I still wouldn't be able to name one thing this dude's been in. Can't say the same for his brothers though. Shit, even I saw Biodome. Maybe that's why he been using drugs. If my dumbass brother was more famous than me for being a moronic born again Christian and co-starring in a Pauly Shore flick, I'd be on the nose candy too. Mary Carey, you're a great guest on the Howard Stern show. Don't go and get sober and ruin that. You're in porn. Sorry, but I think you have to be on drugs for that, don't you?

Started and finished Bukowksi's Post Office yesterday. Many claim this as one of the funniest novels ever. I wouldn't go that far. I heard this might be his first novel and it shows. I've read most of his other stuff and think when someome reads these out of order, it shows. I enjoyed it, but Women, Hollywood, Pulp and Ham on Rye are much better. It's like Reservoir Dogs vs. Pulp Fiction. I don't watch movies, like ever, so after enjoying Pulp Fiction, my girlfriend made me watch Reservoir Dogs, claiming it was just as good, if not better. I'd heard many people say that, so I obliged. Wrong. Reservoir Dogs, like all non-Pulp Fiction Tarantino flicks, sucks. This idea also surrounds Elvis Costello and My Aim is True. Sure, if you're old enough to remember this album being released, maybe it's the best for sentimental reasons. But anyone really paying attention can easily tell you the follow-up, This Year's Model, is not only infinently better, but is by far Mr. Costello's best release. I purposely stayed away from Post Office for years because I've wanted to write a book about my experience working at a newspaper. I thought not reading the book would give me a good excuse when half-assed critics would claim my story a Post Office knockoff. But I said fuck it and gave in. Buk's one of my favorites and one of the best, but my tales at the Press-Telegram are gonna make his 12 hour days at the Post Office seem like nothing. Now onto writing said book...

Saw a lesbian couple on Broadway today. One was, well, very lesbian, while the other was a smoking hot 22 year old. Made me feel like maybe I'm doing something wrong.

What else? Hmmm...jetlag still sucks. I'm still waking up not knowing where I am. But I've been more productive today than the past three days combined. Maybe I'm almost over this. If not, I might have to check in to Celebrity Rehab for post-jetlag disorder. It would be less embarrassing than going in for weed.


This week's issue of the District ( lists Long Beach's sexiest people. For some unbeknownest reason, I was left off the list. Perhaps there was a rule about people who write for them making the cut. Something about a conflict of interest perhaps? Other than this slip-up, I think the people at the paper are doing a fine job.

Tonight (and tommorrow) I am going to see the Night Marchers, which is John Reis' new band. I heard a few songs on their myspace page, and whaddya know, they rule. Tonight is Alex's, Monday in Eagle Rock. I will spend the final $40 in my account and not give a damn.

I have been going to bed around 9 p.m. the past few nights. Thanks jetlag!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I am neither smart nor dumb
rich or poor
life of the party or a bore

but I am something
I am me


I am a human holding cell
capturing many men
Within my walls
there is
a lover, a dreamer
a cheater, a liar
a reader, a writer
a sleeper, a partier
a happy man, a sad man
a man who knows what he wants
a man who doesn't know how to get it
a comedian, a shrink
a hippie, a prude
a drunk, a stoner
a boyfriend, a flirt
a fashionista, a slob
a man of the present
a man of the past
a fat man, a skinny man
a tired man, a coffee fiend
a handsome man, an ugly man
They take turns
letting one lead
while the others follow
There are fights
but never any deaths
for each man
is as strong as his cellmates
and as alive as ever


Fuck you jetlag. It's Friday morning and I've been up since 7:30 a.m. I laid down for what I thought was going to be a nap at 5:30 p.m. last night, but it easily could have been a full night's rest had I not been woken up for reasons I won't get into. I was confused again when I woke up around 7 p.m. Unsure of where I was, I couldn't tell if I was dreaming or not. This has never happened before. This morning I had a minor case of this, but it appears that my mind is adjusting to the fact that I'm home. This better be gone by Monday. I gots work to do.

I don't return to my part-time job until Feb. 25. 'Nother trip perhaps? I'm thinking Portland. But every time I plan a visit there, something gets in the way. This time around I'll just wake up one morning and go. That way nothing can alter my plans.

I'm going for a walk. It's rare (for me anyway) to be up this early and I really love the a.m., although I'm hardly ever awake for it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Things I saw on my solo walk through Koln tonight.
A drunk teenage girl ringing the buzzer of every apartment she passed. A drunk teenage boy dressed as a construction worker waiving to people from the steel bar that connects two trains. A lot of people dancing. Teens drinking. College kids hooking up. Lots of falafel/doner joints. Guys pissing against a church wall. Teens getting tossed around on a ride that I was have gone on if I was younger. A neon sign 30 feet tall of a man drinking a beer and having it fill his body. The Detroit Pistons beating the Dallas Mavericks on a tv set facing the sidewalk in an American bar. All the other sets were turned to soccer, which would never happen at an authentic American bar. A drunk teenage girl smash a bottle. Three guys banging drums in unison. Lots of strange looks. Really great furniture stores.
Tomorrow it's back to Garmisch for our two final days of the trip. It's winding down. Not sure if that's good or bad. Taylor's gf asked if I missed home. I said I wasn't sure. Some things I miss, but I'm not necessarily dying to go home either. A huge part of me wants to be totally irrational and irresponsible and go back to Venice, get lost and never return home. But I know I can't. I'd never go through with it, which is why it hurts me as much as it does.
This trip taught me that I need to get out more, especially solo. It's time to live. I need to find a better balance. Thank God Europe is far away and expensive to get to or I'd be in a bind. I've been stagnant for too long. This trip showed me that. I'm serious about traveling. I've been more inspired than ever before. Every moment is an adrenaline rush down a fast-paced roller coaster. There's no time to stop or get off. You gotta keep moving or get squashed. But I miss my bed and my cats and my shower and my gf.
Last night I was lonely and wanted to go home. Tonight I want to stay in Europe. This exemplifies who I am: A man of contradictions. I knew it before, but not like I know it now. How does going overseas and seeing new things, lands, people, cultures, food change a person? I've been all over the US and never felt like this. I'll never be happy. The grass will ALWAYS be greener on the other side. Whatever I'm doing, I want the opposite. I want stability and insecurity. How selfish is that? There's a fire up my ass. Time to get moving. It's been a pretty tame life so far. Excitement is needed. Perhaps I feel like I need to touch the stove to make sure it's hot. Crazy, I know. But true.


First journal entry of the trip.
1/25/08 3:45 p.m. Sitting in a studio apartment on an American military base in Garmisch, Germany. So much as happened already and we have 12 more days. Europe really is that awesome. So far anyway. We went to Munich last night and partied. Nursing a bad hangover at the moment. Chip and Taylor are sleeping, which I'll be doing once I am finished writing. Our flight from LAX was delayed. But our bags went on without us. They are arriving anytime between now and 6 p.m. It'll be nice to have a change of clothes. Chip and I were at LAX from 9 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. Long day. Chatted up a drunken Swede. Flight was better than expected. Ah, fuck it. I'm taking a nap. We're staying here tonight, so there will be plenty of time to write. I've had this line in my head since this morning.
"A man does things he normally does not do
when he's far from home
He drinks liters of beer
eats cheese pasta
dances alone at a German disco
takes pictures of buildings,
announcing his status as a tourist
sleeps in rooms with strange men
pays money for coffee
doesn't call home
farts violently in front of others
and so on"
Naptime begins now.


Journal entry from Venice...
Monday night around 3 a.m. Just walked home from alone from a bar in Venice. Scary and exhilarating. I had no idea where I was going, but I made it. It's amazing how safe this city is. People out at all times, walking, drinking, playing guitar on bridge steps. This city is amazing. Very inspiring. Beautiful. Etc. There is nothing like it anywhere. I can guarantee that. We could stay here for the rest of the trip and I'd be fine with that. With the proper amount of layers, the cold is not an issue. We were supposed to meet our new friends for dinner at 8, but they flaked. Too bad. I got my own room. I haven't got good rest since we've been gone. Missing home gets further from my mind as each moment passes, yet I can't help but think of how much Kelly would love this city. I'd love to find a way to return, maybe for a summer job. I can't get enough. That's the sentiment echoed by most. Truly wonderful. Most people speak English and are friendly. But I have encountered many who want nothing to do with me. That's fine. Maybe they're scared because I'm an American. Being out of place is a truly humbling experience. Frightening, wonderful, scary, exciting. I was alone for an hour today trying to use a phone. I failed but found an internet cafe. My toll was .80 cents and I had no cash. I looked for a bank, but couldn't find one, asked for help from a woman who spoke no English -- who asked her friend who spoke no English for help -- and found it on my own. The bank gave me 50 Euro bills. The cafe had no change, so I got the call for free. The young guy behind the counter wasn't thrilled. I apologized and felt like shit for being an ignorant American. But there was nothing I could do. People say visiting Europe for the first time changes a person. I agree. We are not yet half over and already I am opening my eyes and my mind to new thoughts and ideas. I have an idea for a novel about Venice that I will write one day, hopefully sooner than later. I want to come here to write. I want to live here and eat amazing pasta and drink delicious red wine. I'm told it's not always this busy. Carnival is the reason, but it doesn't matter. At night there is no one out and the city tugs at my heart, begs me to stay. I walk slow to take it all in, but there is no way to do that. I get what I can, which is somehow enough and not nearly enough. I've found my muse. Her name is Venice.


Glad to be back in sweet home Long Beach. But not gonna lie and say I'm happy about leaving Europe either. It would take volumes of encyclopedias to write about every aspect of the trip. So I won't. Maybe it will come to me over the next few days or maybe the next few years. Either way, I've got stories to tell. Perhaps that's why I had to go -- refuel the ol' noggin with new ideas. Big thanks to Taylor and Chip for letting me tag along. It was an experience I will never forget, even when I'm a lonely Alzheimer's patient shitting myself in some old folks home. I won't be able to remember my middle name, but the words "party machen" will always be at the forefront of my mind.

Jetlag's a motherfucker. I woke up this morning around 9 a.m. and didn't know where I was. Pretty strange considering I was in my bed. Oh bed, how I missed thee. All the sleeping bags and couches in the world could never take your place. I turned over, saw my sky blue wall and the cat tree and was dumbfounded for a few seconds. I'm not what anyone would call a morning person, but this lack of mental stability was a stretch even for me. But now I'm pretty sure I know where I am. I think.

Shaq traded to the Suns. Do I care? Not sure. I was pretty bummed when the Lakers got rid of him, but it's been a few years and now we're back. Yeah, he got one on us in Miami, but in the long run Bynum is where it's at. But I still digs the Big Fella. Any athlete with personality is ok by me. Good luck Shaq. I'll be pullin' for ya, except when you're playing my team. Then we're gonna run your fat ass out the building.


Back home after what was maybe the longest day of my life. Waking up in Garmisch, Germany at 8:30 a.m. and falling asleep in Long Beach, California at 1:30 a.m. is not something I want to do again.

Here's an excerpt from my journal, written on the plane after something like eight hours of non-stop boredom...
Hell is a trans-Atlantic flight. Sittin' upright with nowhere to sleep. Sun shining all day and all day. If there's no rest for the wicked, then I'm the wickedest of them all. Friend passed out from free beer. All I got was a nice wine buzz and a forced shit three hours later. People talking, people sleeping. Babies crying, babies FINALLY sleeping. Trying to read with bloodshot eyes -- no focus. Words not making sense. Terrible inflight flick, 'nother Cusack (this had both of 'em) wannabe tearjerker. Speak up, no one likes a whisperer. Hey, it killed time. For that we're all grateful. When's dinner? Not hungry but bored. Three beeps is bad, she said. Wonder why. Face looks like shit. Pastier than ever, eyes that look stoned but aren't (wishing they were), stubble, yellow teeth. Stomach tossing and turning. Round two perhaps? Spoke too soon. Crying baby means crying passengers. If it's young enough to cry, leave it with grandma and grandpa. Square behind me clicks away on his laptop. Mr. Important gettin' shit done. Strangers cough and we're all gettin' what he's got. Don't talk to me about torture. Not interested in hardships or woah-as-me tales. I gots my own. They're called Lufthansa. Tiny pillows smaller than my head and a pint-sized blanket. Thanks for patronizing us, stripping us of dignity while dangling that elusive carrot, showing us what could -- and soon will -- be. Who needs 'em? Ain't no sleeping going on. 'Cept for the thin older but cute woman catching zzzz across the aisle. She's layed out, enjoying this much more than I am. Everyone's enjoying this much more than I am, even the crying baby. Where are we all going? SF's the easy answer. What's the hard one? Puttin' men on the moon, shootin' missles to Baghdad from DC but we can't make this any quicker. Email keeps the world together by an invisible thread. Type and click, it's there. Scotty, can you hear me?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


So maybe I won't have all day to type. In the meantime, here's a link to something I wrote for the District. I highly recommend this coffee.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Taylor and Chip are snowboarding tomorrow, which means I'll have time to recap the past few days then. In the meantime, here's my journal entry from two nights ago in Koln (Cologne to the Americans), Germany...

I think it's now Saturday, Feb. 1. But I could be wrong. We (Chip, Taylor and I) are in an apartment in Koln, Germany. Taylor is across the hall doing God knows what to his girlfriend. Her neighbor is not here and she let us crash here. I'm way paranoid right now. I just bought 2 grams of weed of a friend of Taylor's girlfriend. We met on a street corner and I bought it in an alley for 20 Euro. He didn't speak English, so I got what I could, which was 2 grams (EDITORS NOTE: I found out later it was three grams after I reached into my pocket hours after writing this and found another baggie). Way too much for one night. Tomorrow we go across the border to Holland, where it's ok. I gotta write cuz I'm freaking out. I bought weed of a dealer on a street in Germany. All of that is wrong. Taylor's girlfriend said to smoke on the balcony cuz the girl who lives here is "very legal." So I'm paranoid about leaving shit here. I'm paranoid about someone seeing me out there. I'm paranoid about one of the neighbors smelling it and knocking on the door. I'm paranoid that I acted like a fool and shouldn't have allowed Taylor's girlfriend to hook it up, even though I told her not to many, many times. I'm paranoid someone in another balcony (there are a ton of them here) saw me and is calling the cops. I'm paranoid of getting caught with it. Obviously, this is stress cuz I'm not having such a good high. It's been 11 days, so my tolerance is low, but not this low. And I spent money on something I can't use on something I can get tomorrow (EDITORS NOTE: I have no idea what that last sentence means). She was hooking it up on the phone when I had to take a gnarly shit, maybe one of the most gnarly in my life. I returned and she had scored. I feel like a drug addict and I don't like that. I put my shoes on to go outside and get rid of it, but I decided to write instead. Now that I'm writing, time is passing and things are getting cool. But no more for me until tomorrow (EDITORS NOTE: This turned out to be false). I'm gonna stash it somewhere for hopefully some lucky person to find. I'm munching on pb pretzels and choc-covered almonds and water. I haven't been eating a lot on this trip, but I haven't been all that hungry either. I'm also paranoid about messing this person's stuff up. I'd be shitting if I knew two strangers were in my apartment right now. I'm having a good time, but I'm getting ready to be home (EDITORS NOTE: This is half true and the weed talking for sure. Today I am super bummed we are leaving in two days). Tomorrow is Sunday and we leave early Wednesday, so not much longer. Chip is sleeping and it doesn't look like he's going out. I'm either staying in and writing a bunch or going w/ Taylor and his gf. I was in a shitty mood today for no reason. My guess is I'm tired and missing home. Venice was so awesome, so easy to navigate, easy to find food, so easy to communicate, but Germany is the exact opposite. Many people speak perfect English, but everything else is off. I turned the tv on here and all 30 channels are in German. The best I could find was a pool tournament. Then Chip said it wasn't pool, it was something similar. That's frustrating. We've spent a lot of time in Garmisch and still have two more days. But it's been nice to have a free place to stay with some American tv programming, where I can buy goods with the American dollar. Bitch as I may, the US is comfort because the US is home. I'm not at home here and I'm aware of this every moment of every day. It's part of the rush and part of the scary feelings. It's true what people say about traveling Europe. I have learned a lot about myself and the trip isn't even over yet. I learned that I'm a man of contradictios. One side is wild, adventerous, exciting. The other is tame, boring and content. I like both. I might prefer the tame, but it's hard to say. I enjoy my comfortable life because I'm allowed tiny pockets of excitement. Maybe that's all I can handle. I do crazy things because I know I got one life and I've got to pack as much into it as possible. I want to experience most everything, but I demand them on my terms. Part of the fun of this trip is never saying no. This pen is getting crazy. My right palm is full of tiny ink spots. My big jacket, lent to my by Steve Haggerty, smells like smoke because it was in Taylor's room for a long time when he was burning a pot of beans and rice. It's so strong Taylor's gf Unga (or is it Ugna?) smelled it as we walked in.

There is so much more to stay about the past few days, but I don't have time now. Koln was a blast and the weed paranoia left after a few minutes and the rest of the weekend was amazing.

I heard the Lakers got Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown and Javaris Crittendon. Sounds like a steal to me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

PRONTO... how Italians answer the phone. Basically, it means, "I'm ready. Start talking." I think it's my new motto. Cut the bullshit. Get to it.

Drank Absynthe for the first time last night. Man, could I feel that. I heard it was unlike any other buzz and that is the truth. By 3:30 a.m., my stomach felt like I drank a case of beer, ate Thanksgiving dinner and did one thousand sit-ups. Right after I drank it, I got something similar to heartburn, but not quite the same vibe. I was burping a lot and then I thought I was having a heartattack because my chest began to cave in. For the hours in between those two feelings, I was a light-headed, loose-legged dancing machine...

Yesterday we went to the Dachau concentration camp. My first thought was how fucking cold it was. Then the reality sank in. A whirlwind of emotions kicked in my mind, but my lasting impression was how the country I live in (notice I didn't say my country)is royaling fucking things up worldwide. For all of Dachau's misery, the pictures and scenes from a mini-documentary about U.S. troops freeing the prisoners gave me an overwhelming sense of pride, a feeling I've never had for my country, partially because until last week I had never left it. The American troops -- along with many others I assume -- saved a lot of lives in Dachau and that sentiment was written across every prisoner's face. One pic in particular was taken from above. The prisoners -- bones showing through their faded striped clothes -- were waving their hats and smiling in a way I'd never seen before. I got goosebumps thinking about that moment when those people knew things were getting better. But Iraq and terrorism was never far from my mind. Here in Dachau was a perfect example of what the United States military should be about, but in 2008, it is the exact opposite. We are not liberating anyone. Period. If you're the type who thinks Bush is the second coming of God, Kennedy, Lincoln, Washington and Elvis rolled into one, go to a concentration camp and see what liberation really is. Those troops I support 100 percent because, based on what little knowledge I gained from my 12 years in the shitty public school system, they were fighting the good fight. It's unfortunate that the same can't be said about our current troops. Unless you're talking the liberation of oil and money into fat bastards' pockets.

As far as Dachau itself, it's a massive plot of land that could never accurately show the suffering thousands of people endured. Most of the original buildings are gone and in its place are a few replicas and a few religious memorials. I didn't care much for those as I don't see how three churches are going to somehow rectify the damage inflicted on those grounds. To me it stunk like more religious infiltration of an event that tugs at everyone's heart, even a hedonistic agnostic such as myself. I don't need to see a cross or star of David to remind me of what went down at that site. The gas chambers were, well, I pride myself of being a decent wordsmith, but what does anyone say about that? It was fucked up beyond belief.

Now for happier news...Last night was Fat Thursday in Garmisch. I almost stayed home as I wanted to get some writing done and I was feeling like a cold was taking over my body. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact that the only thing I ate or drank until 5 p.m. was bubbling water and cold stale fries from Burger King. But I showered and said fuck it. I'm in Germany. I can stay home at home. We dressed in our one-piece ski suits (it's similar to Halloween -- everyone dresses up)and took a cab to this amazing German concert hall where a band played a slew of American covers like Blue Suede Shoes, Proud Mary, Brown Eyed Girl, etc. The joint was empty when we got there, but filled up within 30 minutes. The crazy thing was, although the venue was very German, it felt like I was at a college bar due to the mass amounts of 20-something American kids who live in town. Thanks to the aforementioned Abysnthe, I was feeling good and danced with everyone in sight. Lots of good costumes. There were four dudes dressed as cigarettes with smoke coming from the top of their heads and a group of storks with a baby doll that they handed me to dance with. I obliged. But the best was the two girls dressed as flight attendants. They had a fully legit cart stocked with a tray made of fishsticks, corn and fruit, TONS of booze (beer and the hard shit), napkins and a handful of small potato chip bags. I told them it was the best costume accessory I'd ever seen and I meant it. The told me they walked to the joint and made 60 Euro selling drinks on the way there. I hope Chip got a pic. If so, I'll post it cuz their committment to their costume was like nothing I'd ever seen.

Finally doing laundry right now. Time to change my wash to dry.


Hello all...I am trying to learn how to market this blog, but don't know how to do so. If anyone reading this could tell me how you found me (serious answers only, please), that would be great. I am diggin' the blog scene much (woah, I think I just became Mike Watt) and want to expand my little universe. Thanks, grazie, danke.