Monday, July 31, 2006

Is Castro kicking the bucket?!!!!

Just a week after Castro was boasting about how many people in Cuba are living to be 100, he's relenquished control of the communist party to his brother Raul and is supposedly undergoing intestinal surgery. The guy turns 80 next month, and he's outlived more assasination attempts than any of our governments care to discuss. CNN just had footage of people in the streets of Cuba celebrating like the Astros just won the pennant. Either that's some good propaganda footage or the people of Cuba definitely don't like Castro.

Should be interesting to see how things unfold. Obviously, we'd drop sanctions if their government folds, but I wonder if we'd drop sanctions against Cuba if Castro dies, but they remain communist. They could make serious money off the tourism industry, and direct travel would be so much easier for all the US citizens with family there. Obviously Castro is going to be gone sooner or later, but I have doubts that the communist government there is going to fall anytime soon since communism seems to be experiencing a resurgance of popularity in South America right now.

By the way, this is off topic, but what is our plan if civil war breaks out in Mexico over this whole shady presidential election? We're suddenly going to have refugees pouring over the border in droves.

Anybody else notice that the whole world seems to be on the brink of war?

It's just another manic Monday

So I went to see Hootie and the Blowfish Friday night, BUT to my surprise The Spin Doctors were opening for them. It was a total 90s flashback. I have to say, Hootie rocked my face off. I mean, a lot of their songs kind of sound the same, but they were all good. They had this old guy playing steel guitar and mandolin and an extra percussionist – it was good stuff. Along with their stuff they also did excellent covers of “Losing My Religion” and “You Never Even Called Me by My Name.”

Saturday was a waste. I did NOTHING all Saturday. I take that back, I did manage to tighten the A/C belt on the Mustang, and clean a couple things to get it ready to sell. However, now the A/C compressor is too close to the fan shroud and this little nubby thing on the front of it hits the shroud every once in a while. I’m going to have to loosen it all up and try again. That car is such a pain. I wish I didn’t love it so much. It would be so much easier to let it go.

Steph is back in town. Cute little Stephanie is now a PhD and raking in the big money. She let me drive her Infiniti G35 last night. I still remember back in college when she was cruising around in that ancient Toyota Corrolla with broken door handles. I’m glad she’s back in town. She was always to go-to girl when it came to hanging out or going to movies or drinking or last-minute trips to the beach, etc. Although as I remember the last trip we made to the beach was a real fiasco because she got something in her eye, and I had to stop at Wal-Mart in some Podunk town on I-45 to get eye drops for her. In true go-to style she came out to Olde City Pub last night for karaoke. Thanks Steph. The only downside is that I’ve had her Happy Gilmore, Snatch and Miss Congeniality DVDs for about 5 years, and now I’m going to have to give them back. Also, just a side note, I thought she’d be way fatter by now, but she actually looks the same. Who knew?

Sunday consisted of lawn mowing and housework. I was supposed to fix Jace’s brakes, but he got delayed at jujitsu because everyone was getting promotions. On the upside, after three years as a blue belt he finally graduated to purple yesterday. It kind of sucks that even though he’s now a deadlier fighter, he has to wear a gayer colored belt. I think after purple it actually goes to seafoam – the deadliest of the homo-colored belts.

Karaoke wasn’t too exciting Sunday night. The usual open mic crowd showed up to support Brittany, but things were winding down when I left at midnight. I think we all learned a lesson after singing until 2 a.m. the last time out. Halfway through the night the bartender started calling me “superstar.” I don’t think she was being complimentary.

It’s newsletter day today. Back to the grind.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hootie's still alive?

Apparently so because a guy at my office handed me tickets for tonight's show at The Woodlands. We'll see if he's still got that awesome Blowfish vibe.

I finally broke down and did some cleaning. My room and bathroom are now sterile, but the kitchen and living room are still a mess. I never seem to be able to get it all clean at once.

Wish I had something really exciting to report, but I'm just kind of sitting around waiting on the washing machine to finish, and myspace is down, so I thought I'd blog.

Interesting Facts

I stole these interesting facts from Al over at www.fromtherooftop.blogspot.com. I thought they were interesting enough to repost.

The Hundred Years War actually lasted 116 years, 1337 to 1453.

Panama hats are actually produced in Ecuador.

Catgut is actually made from the intestines of sheep and horses.

Russians celebrate the October Revolution in November – the Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.

Camel’s hair brushes are actually made of squirrel fur.

The Canary Islands are actually named for dogs. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria (Island of the Dogs).

King George VI’s first name was actually Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future kind should ever be called Albert.

Purple finches are actually crimson in color.

Chinese Gooseberries are actually indigenous to New Zealand.

The Thirty Years War did actually last 30 years, 1618 to 1648.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thank you to my anonymous donor

I checked my e-mail this morning, and I had a notice from fark.com that an anonymous donor had sponsored a one-month subsription to totalfark for me. Thank you anonymous. Instead of having to wait until noon to see one news story revealing the fact that Lance Bass is gay, I got to read 100 various submitted links about it as soon as I got to the office.

By the way, I have no problem with Lance Bass being gay. Back when those boy bands were popular I think we figured all of them were gay, so I applaud Lance for being the only one strong enough to stand up and actually admit he's gay. It's kind of funny ALL the girls liked JT, but the ones that didn't want to be mainstream (as if being an N'Sync fan in and of itself wasn't mainstream) liked Lance. I don't even remember who the other members were because girls only liked Justin or Lance -- that's it. Oh well, now all those "alternative" girls can go shopping with him and talk about how hot Justin is, and still be cooler than the girls that always liked Justin because now they have a gay friend.

I found one of my friends on Myspace now has my song "Got the Feeling" as her profile music. That's pretty flattering. She may have just done it to catch my attention, but hey, at least she made the effort.

I'm off to bed. Maybe tomorrow shall be more exciting.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hungover Morning with Bedhead and Bra

I spent the weekend in Austin with my brother and his old tennis-team buddies. It was quite the good time. Lots of late-night guitar playing with sing-a-longs. Lots of 6th Street madness.

The condo had a tennis court in the backyard, so I actually picked up a raquet for the first time in 8 years and took a few swings. My forehand is abysmal. I don't think I even used the strings of the raquet for most of my shots, but hey, I paid good money for that frame.

We went to Lake Travis, but my team lost at beach football. That kind of sucked. I need to work on my sprinting and recovery times because I don't think I've run full force in a long, long time.

Sunday we went to Hamilton Pool. It's a beautful spring-fed natural rock pool in a nature preserve. We had to wait 30 minutes to get in the park because they only allow a certain number of people in the park each day, but it was worth it.

We had one rainstorm on Saturday, and then drove home in terrible thunderstorms tonight to keep my perfect rainy-activity track record for this summer.


By the way, no idea whose bra that was. It fell out of the entertainment center when we opened it up to turn on the TV Friday night.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

If you don't pop your collar, the terrorists win.


Collar Popper
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
I don't actually pop my collar.

So I was sitting here working at designing the perfect billboard when this little old lady secretary stops into my office to tell me how much she loves my hair now that it's longer and not gelled up. I'm taking that as an indicator that I must cut it IMMEDIATELY.

Actually I'm kind of enjoying the softness of it, and the fact that I don't have to mess with all that sticky gel, but I really can't let it go much longer or it turns into this crazy Ted Koppel puffball doo. Nobody wants that.

My boss was getting aggravated that employees were wearing capri pants and flip-flops to work, so he started a joke that he and I should wear capri pants. Well, this joke has circulated the office so many times that people are actually popping into my office to ask me if I'm really going to wear capri pants. I'm almost tempted to actually do it now just because so many people have said something about it. I don't have any capri pants though. I don't even own any flip-flops.

I'm going to play at Fountainhead tonight, but haven't made any progress finding a venue to replace The Boat on the weekends. I hate trying to promote myself. I've got some new songs in my head though. I just need some quality time alone with the guitar to get them out before I lose them. Maybe that'll happen this weekend.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rockin' the CRTs


Captured at Work
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
Yeah, so my workstation still has CRT monitors. So what? Just because you've accepted the fact that it's 2006 and have your fancy-schmancy widescreen LCDs doesn't mean that I can't kick it with the Cathode Ray Tubes.

Man, my office looks bleak. I should put some pictures up or something. By the way, that's what happens to my hair with no gel. It gets feathered AND deadly.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Breakfast of Champions


Breakfast of Champions
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
I had dinner with T-Bone and Print.cess at Wings 'n' More last night. Had some beers. Walked over to Swig to discuss this impending World War III with Jace. Had some beers. Went over to Olde City Pub and blew it up karaoke style with Teresa, Paul, Brittany, Paige, and Dave. Had some beers. Realized it was 2 a.m., cursed myself and went home.

Getting up this morning was not fun. Luckily I had some leftover wings, fries and pickles to power me through the morning. Wish the fried pickles hadn't been all soggy after I reheated everything, but oh well. I dipped them in my coffee, and it was all good.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Let's face it. I'm a nerd.


starnerd
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
My weekend just culminated in grand disappointment. I was set to play a show at The Boat this afternoon, and I spent all weekend just resting and practicing because I hadn't played a show by myself in over a month now. I show up. They're like, eh, it's hot, and it might rain again, we don't want you.

I already knew I needed to find a new venue, but this Sunday afternoon thing was just so nice because there's no way I can play a weeknight thing until 2 a.m. and still make it to work. It's time to redefine my goals and set a more aggressive pace for myself. I either have to decide if I'm going to be a 9-5 Joe who spends his life in the office and his free time on the couch or if I'm going to get motivated and make my music and acting career happen.

I haven't been devoting the time to practice that I should. I haven't written a word on my new script since February. I've got to get in gear. I've spent my life thinking opportunity was just going to present itself and come knocking on my door, but I've finally realized I have to get off my ass and go find it.

I'm also sad about the show today because some of my friends from the band 4Play were coming out to see me. I realy wanted to impress them because I thought maybe I could get booked to open a few of their shows. Oh well.

Maybe I shouldn't be playing acoustic shows anyway. Maybe I need to find a real band and get back to the electric thing. I don't know. Most of my songs work both ways since I write them on acoustic, but they sure sound nice with leads and drums.

I haven't been out all weekend. I've stayed home and eaten peanut butter and jelly, hot dogs, and baked potatoes for every meal this week in an attempt to save money. It seems like no matter how much I make, there's always circumstances that suck it all away -- and not fun circumstances like vacations. Just crappy circumstances like things breaking and house costs, etc. Sometimes I wish I just lived in a cave by the ocean where I fished and subsistence farmed. Just be a total hermit with no connection to society at all. I think the only thing I'd really miss is soda. Damn soda for being such an incredible tasty and addictive beverage.

I promised Brittany and Teresa that I'd come sing at their karaoke night tonight at Olde City Pub. Brittany just got hired to start hosting it, so they need people to come out. At least I'll get to sing somewhere today.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I lost my G-string on stage!

The G-string on my GUITAR you perverts. Like I actually wear underwear.

I played Acadia last night. I jammed with Joey on bass and Keith on drums, and some old guy named Gordon playing lead guitar. It wasn’t too bad. Gordon was good. My originals went off pretty well, but it amazes me that none of the guys have ever even heard of The Fray. I still played “Over My Head” and they followed along fairly well. I mean, it wasn’t a total train wreck, but it wasn’t any kind of instrumental arrangement that remotely resembled the recorded version.

I’m jamming at Fountainhead tonight, and then I’ve got a show at The Boat on Sunday. I’m hoping to learn a couple new Jack Johnson songs for The Boat. People like Jack Johnson.

There was a baby gecko in my shower this morning. I would have just showered with it, but I was worried that chemicals from the soap would hurt it, so I caught it in a cup and relocated it to the bathtub while I showered. The poor little thing was so scared. It was brave though. Instead of just freezing up it actually flailed around and tried to bite me. I was planning to then relocate him/her outside once I was through with the shower, but it had already climbed out of the cup and disappeared before then.

I’ve got to buy guitar strings on the way home. Something’s wrong with the Telecaster and the high E won’t stay in tune. I don’t know if it’s a bad string or if there’s something wrong with the tuner. Then the strap-lock button ripped out of Lady Luck. I need to get some superglue to screw that back in so it will stay. Then I broke a string on the Takamine last night. Kind of sad that I don’t have a single functioning guitar to my name.

I’m designing billboards at work. I love the challenge, but all my ideas have been absolutely crap this week. I’ve got to keep brainstorming. I want to win some awards for these things.

I thought I had a chance at a role in another Indie film that’s being shot here in Houston, but I submitted my info on Tuesday, and I still haven’t heard a word from the director. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

No Mustard


No Mustard
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
Shell made a big statement today about how it's immoral to use food products to create biofuels while people in the world are starving. My question to Shell is, are you going to deliver that food to the starving people? It's not like we can't grow enough food, we're just not because there's no way to get it there.

Also, wouldn't the use of food crops in biofuels increase their profitability and therefore give more farmers work whereas now they're being paid by the government to not farm all of their land?

This was my lunch. I forgot the mustard, and I would have gladly traded it for a couple gallons of ethanol.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A lot of 4Play this weekend


4Play at Woody's Pub
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
Not much to report. The whole gang came out Friday night for the 4Play show at Woody's Pub. Then Leigh and I made the drive out to Cypress on Saturday for their show at Sports'n'More. Oh, by the way, if you're going to call your establishment a "bar & grill" you might ought to actually have a grill and some food. We drive WAY out to Sports'n'More Saturday night and don't eat because we figure they'll have food. They had nothing!

The weekend wasn't all partying though. I got the lawn mowed Friday, and I worked out twice. I was so toned in March before I started the new job. I've slacked long enough. Time to get back in shape. Besides the 10-year reunion is August 19, and I'm basically just going to see who's gotten fat. Don't want to be one of the fatties.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fireworks


Fireworks
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
There's wasn't much going on Fourth of July. It was just another day of non-stop rain in Houston. However, as it's one of my two favorite holidays (the other being Halloween) we weren't going to let rain stop us from celebrating like real Americans.

We grilled some steaks in the rain. They were New York strip steaks and we used A-1 Chicago Steakhouse Marinade and Texas Mesquite charcoal to get that all-over-the-country flavor. Then it actually cleared off for about an hour, so we played guitars in the backyard until it started raining again.

Since there obviously wasn't a fire danger in the neighborhood we decided to pick up some fireworks. The Amazing Snakes didn't do so hot since the ground was wet, but everything else worked fine. The best were these rockets that actually explode into a smiley face in the air -- pretty incredible fireworks technology if you ask me.

The Social


The Social
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
I hit happy hour at The Social with T-Bone and Print.cess last Thursday. It was good to catch up with them. However, my choice of black-framed glasses and a black SUV is NOT because I am trying to become T-Bone. I repeat, I am in no way emulating T-Bone. I think if you look at the facts, T-Bone is actually emulating me. Who had an classic car first? Oh, that would be me. Who was a karaoke master first? Oh, that would be me.

But anyway, we had been talking about shooting a music video last December before everything went to hell. Now we're talking about it again. I just have to figure out which song is the best candidate for a video and go get it recorded with Bobby, Keith and Kareem.