Monday, October 30, 2006

Does your grandpa have a worm farm? Didn't think so.

Originally uploaded by ffacker.
Ben and I made the trip up to Oklahoma Thursday to spend the weekend at the farm. Why we decided to leave after work and drive all night, I'll never know. We got there at 5 a.m. It wasn't a fun commute.

We also had Ben's dog Dutch with us. Dutch isn't a real exciting or active dog. I think he might be brain damaged. When he does get excited he just runs in circles and chases his tail until he collapses. Then he's not excited he just lays around wanting to snuggle with people. He also has no short-term memory of who people are. If you walk out of a room and back in, he'll bark at you because he doesn't remember you. Every night when I get home from work, I get barked at because he has no idea who I am until he finally recognizes my yelling. Well, being developmentally disable Dutch is not smart enough to actually go to the bathroom when he's being walked at rest stops. I don't think he ever went the entire trip. Oh, we stopped for him often because we were more and more paranoid he was going to relieve himself in the car -- but he never went.

The weekend was fun. The weather was nice. I spent Saturday lazing around under a tree in a creekbed. I tracked some coyotes and actually came across one that afternoon. I snapped a picture, but he's so camouflaged that you can barely see him.

I ran into the doctor that birthed me and my elementary school librarian. Stuff like that happens in small towns.

Grandpa showed off his new worm farm, which looks a lot like an old refrigerator filled with dirt where they dump their eggshells and coffee grounds. I dug around in it a little, but didn't find any worms. However, by spring it's going to be the perfect place to dump bodies.

Apparently Dutch wouldn't stop barking this morning and drove a neighbor to actually call the cops. I don't know how you train a dog not to bark when he only barks when you're not there. Hopefully the police won't decide to take him out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nothing exciting

Originally uploaded by ffacker.
I almost lost my glasses last night. I never wear them except when I'm working on the computer or driving at night, so I had them in my pocket driving home from work yesterday. Then they were gone. I couldn't find them all evening. I finally started back-tracking my steps from when I got home, and I realized that I had bent over to pick up the empty garbage cans and carry them into the garage. When I did that my glasses fell out of my pocket. I found them lying in the grass by the curb.

I’ve got to call some repairmen out to the house. A ceiling fan has quit and my refrigerator is leaking water everywhere. Even after I shut the water off to it, it’s still leaking – not fun.

Supposedly we’re going to Oklahoma this weekend to visit the grandparents, so I guess I’ll have to keep mopping up the water until I can be home for the repairs.

I’ve got to teach Junior Achievement today. I always dread that. The kids I teach are very well-behaved, I think I just have permanent ingrained hate for schools.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Gimme a brake ... or four

Not a very exciting weekend here. Since Jace's brakes have been squealing since like January he finally decided it was time to fix them. Let's just say, it took a little longer than planned. When we tried to take the first wheel off, the lugs were all seized up, so we ended up snapping three of the lug studs. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the job. Seven hours later we finally had all four brakes fixed and changed the oil and transmission fluid. Jace hadn't been planning on changing the transmission fluid, but during our lunch break I was like, "I'll go drain the oil." I'd never worked on a foreign car before, so I couldn't quite identify an oil pan. I just unscrewed what looked to be a drain plug on the bottom of the motor. Turned out it was the transmission drain. Hey, he had 130k on the car, it probably needed the transmission fluid changed anyway.

The car can stop on a dime now, but apparently Jace doesn't have much confidence in our ability as mechanics. He freaked out on the freeway on his way home this evening because the car was having a weird vibration. I went to go pick him up, but the car miraculously healed itself and was running normal again by the time I got there. Maybe he'll be more confident when it passes the safety inspection.

We hit up midtown last night. Midtown is midtown. Nothing exciting. I do wish all those bars would turn their music down though. I mean, they're not dance clubs. People aren't really dancing. They're just hanging out, but the music is too loud to talk. You have to yell at the top of your lungs just to tell each other your drink orders. So since the music is so loud, nobody even talks to each other. They just stand around trying to look cool.

Today has been nothing but cleaning. I scrubbed down the kitchen, cleaned my room, and did laundry. I went to the grocery store and got more pumpkin pie.

The autumn weather is finally here. I think the cool weather is making everyone lonely. They want someone to keep them warm. I wouldn't mind cranking up the fireplace and popping the cork on a bottle of wine with someone.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hydrogen is flammable, oxygen helps it burn, yet water puts out the fire.

I’ve been putting out fires all morning. I had to get proofs for a benefits brochure back to the printer, and then get a Chronicle ad written, approved and sent by noon. Somehow it just always works out. It’s a mystery.

I gave up on growing the hair out. As much as I wanted the cool long hair that I’ve never had the patience to grow my entire life, I just couldn’t deal with how horrible it was looking. Plus, taking the time to blow dry it in the mornings just isn’t in my schedule. So I went back to the super short cut on Monday. I shaved off the goatee too. I’m not sure why. I just felt like it.

Supposedly the dog hasn’t had any more accidents in the house. Of course, my brother’s been home sick with it ever since he got it. He got diagnosed with strep on Monday, but then he started throwing up on Tuesday. I’m doing my best to drink plenty of alcohol to kill any germs he’s spreading around that may be trying to invade my body. So anyway, he apparently just sits at home with the dog all day. We still don’t know what’s going to happen when he gets left home alone. Also, I keep coming home to find my brother walking him to go to the bathroom in the front yard. I can’t quite figure out why he can’t just go out in the back.

So word on the street was Front Porch Pub tonight, but I texted one of my friends I hadn’t talked to in close to a year to confirm this with her, and some guy called me back from her phone. I didn’t know whether I should invite him or not since he already knew where we were going from the text. I could just see him showing up and having to introduce him as “the random dude that now has Betsy’s phone number.”

No open mic performance last night as I had a company dinner. None tonight either. Maybe next week I’ll unveil the new songs.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The songs are taking shape

I spent more time in the studio on Friday doing some mixing and editing with Karim. They're still not completely finished, but She's Infectious and Silverscreen Dreams are starting to take shape.
Check them out:
She's Infectious
Silverscreen Dreams

Unfortunately Pawn Shop Guitars is taking much longer and needs more studio time to record more guitar parts. Don't know if I'll ever be able to afford that or if we're just going to have to cut losses there. I'd sure like to have it on my promo disc in the press kits, but we've got too much invested already to spend another $200 finishing it.

At work we got clearance to film in Canada, but we may have to cut the Canadian site because of budget restraints. Kind of sucks because I was excited about seeing the Great White North. We may still go. Who knows? We're meeting with the production company again tomorrow.

I now have a dog. Actually, my brother and his girlfriend adopted a dog together this weekend, but as my brother lives with me, it basically boils down to me having a dog. I don't know what breeds it is, but the best way I can describe it is Rin Tin Tin humped Benji. It only weighs 30 pounds, but it managed to take an amazingly huge dump on the tile in the entryway yesterday. Then this morning I ran into Ben and the dog walking into the kitchen as I was leaving, so I patted it on the head, and it looked up at me and peed on the carpet at my feet. This dog may be headed back to the SPCA unless it learns some bladder control.

That's about all the news. I may be tagging along to Oklahoma with Ben the weekend after next if we're not traveling for work.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

One thing I like about Halloween

One thing I like about Halloween
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
Nobody makes fun of me for drinking out of my pumpkin mug. Best present EVER.

And yes, the eyes jiggle!

And I'm sure the record labels will be calling at any moment

Magik Studio Sessions 10-07-06
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
I spent the weekend at Magik Studios with Jess, Bob, Karim, and Mark. We managed to record the music to three songs in a little under four hours Friday night. Then I went back Saturday to lay down vocals. Karim sent me home with quick mixes Saturday. This week I've got to make notes on what needs the be changed/fixed. Then we edit, mix and master next Friday.

It's been exciting because it's the first time I've been in a real studio, but also scary because I've always chocked up a lot of the shortcomings of my home recordings to equipment. Now I've got to face the fact that some of those shortcomings are actually talent based. I've been working on my singing for years now, and I still have a horrible tendency to go flat.

We ended up recording Pawn Shop Guitars, She's Infectious, and Silverscreen Dreams. I'll post the final results next weekend.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm writing this down before I forget it

I had a crazy dream this morning. I was in some foreign country, and I had to use my drivers license to get in and out of all these buildings. Anyway, I was in this park/zoo place, and I went and sat down in what was either a booth or a tram car, but it was right next to the walls of the tiger cage. So the walls on this cage are not very high. The tiger is standing on his hind legs with his front legs over the top of the wall and sticking his head into the booth sniffing at me. Well, I lean back to get away from him and something pokes me in the back of the head. I look up, and it's a freaking polar bear sticking his huge head into the booth from behind me,and I realize the back of the booth is right up against the wall of the polar bear cage, so I lean forward to get away from him, but I'm still trying to stay away from the tiger. Then I feel something yank my right leg really hard. I look down, and the polar bear has found an open slat in the side of the booth and is reaching through with his big-ass paw and yanking at my leg. So I jump up, but there's not a lot of room to move around in this booth because there's a table in front of me. It's at this point, the tiger decides just to jump into the booth. He's kind of timid about it though because he acts like a dog that's been told not to do it, but he know he can, so he's going to try it and test your limits. Well, I yell, "Shoo, get out of here," and the tiger turns around jumps back into his pen. I'm just standing there cramped between the table and the seats of the booth afraid that if I turn my back to the tiger or the polar bear one of them will take a bit out of me over the wall. So then, as if that's not weird enough, the tiger suddenly looks at me and says, "You know I can come over that wall anytime I want, and you're not going to stop me."

So I back out of the booth and make an exit out of the zoo, but as I'm headed to my next destination, I realize that I don't have my ID. I must have dropped it in the floor of that booth, so I get the zoo people to let me back in, and I'm slowly walking back to the booth/trolley car thing trying to figure out how I'm going to bend down and reach under the table to get my ID without ending up with a tiger on top of me and a polar bear grabbing me through the slats.

That's when the alarm went off.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Where's the pumpkin pie?

I had a grandiose plan for this evening. It went like this:
1) Buy pumpkin pie.
2) Rent a movie.
3) Eat entire pie while watching movie.

The problem is, despite the fact that there are pumpkins stacked all over the groceries stores, the bakeries still aren't making any pumpkin pies. I went to Randall's first, and they had apple, cherry, and pecan pies, but no pumpkin. I almost settled for pecan and went home, but I REALLY wanted pumpkin, so I drove on down Louetta to HEB. That was a real disappointment. The only pie they had was a pineapple pie. So then I resorted to going to the frozen foods section. I grabbed a frozen pumpkin pie, and moved on to step 2.

When I got home at 7:00 I started reading the instructions on the frozen pie. You had to bake the thing for an HOUR. Then it said to wait TWO HOURS before eating. THREE FREAKING HOURS! It was going to be 10:00 before I finally got any pie.

Well, I gave in and had hotdogs for dinner while I watched Sin City. Then yes, finally at 10:00 I had a slice of pie. It was delicious, but not quite as delicious as it would have been if I'd had it at 6:00 when I decided I wanted pie for dinner. Why are the grocery stores already pimping halloween, but failing to provide people with ready-to-eat pumpkin pies? I'm filing complaints.

Incidentally though as I was looking at Halloween stuff on the Internet, I did come across an article about how to make sex toys out of a pumpkin, some plastic bags, and a plastic tennis ball container. I may never look at a pumpkin the same way again.

And no I haven't tried it ... yet.

The concert at Swig was a blast. 4Play rocked as always. Hopefully we'll be seeing them back on Wednesday nights. Of course, I'm always at open mic on Wednesday nights, but oh well.

Lots of work tomorrow. I've got a meeting with the video production people on setting up a schedule and budget to go shoot our projects first thing in the morning, and it's non-stop from there. Plus I've got to figure out my lesson plan for the second session of Junior Achievement on Tuesday. This time I've got the kids in the computer lab. Should be interesting.