7.31.2005

Firefly

I bought this Sci-fi series last night on DVD at the recommend of friends I made at Comic Con. I finished the 14 episode season today, around 7pm. It's a great fucking show. I'd describe it in more detail, but Kevin will razz me, so I'll let you find out for yourselves, or try to catch it on Sci-Fi Channel. Or if you're Barbie, you have lending-library privilages. It's the series that precedes the movie Serenity, which comes out in September. It's totally worth a look-see. At least if you dig sci-fi. AND it's written/directed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Astonishing X-Men's own Joss Whedon. I know that'll get at least one of your interests piqued.

As for right now, I've got a fresh beer, and The Big Lebowski on. It's been a while since I've seen this. At least two months... If you haven't seen it, please sound off, so I can go into a huge diatribe to hopefully force you to see it. I mean, nothing is fucked, man. New shit has come to light.

7.28.2005

The experiment of Three.

It's interesting being a music teacher for beginning students. I have three trombone students, all going into seventh grade, all having played for two years. Subject A is my most advanced student. He does whatever I tell him. I am strict with him, but only just, cause I know he's got a lot of potential. I have a TON of faith in him, and he knows it. Subject B is easily my worst student. He doesn't practice, he doesn't retain anything I teach him, he doesn't know how to read music. I tend to be a little short at times and I hate it, so I bribe him with candy so he'll get off his lazy ass and practice. Subject C is my new student. He reminds me a lot of me when I was in 7th grade, in that he looks like a bookworm, but is extremely quick witted with his questions, and is very deliberate in what he says. He can't play well, per se, but he WANTS to learn. He's got the desire for it, and I'm all about positive reinforcement. With all my kids, actually. It's going to be interesting to see over the next few months just how much they all progress, and to what levels. I think I have an idea where everyone'll be around Xmas, but we'll have to see just how they turn out.

Sacrilage

This is what my Dad bought, inadvertently, for my parents' party on Sunday. And yes, I'm drinking one right now.

Farewell, Paradise.

I'm officially not house sitting anymore this summer. I left Kei's at One PM. I'm back in Anaheim, and I'm wireless! I have three long hours before my lessons start, and I have to figure out SOME shit to do, or else I'm gonna get real bored, real quick.

I have too many comic books for my own good. When I find a place to live, I'm gonna need some kind of cellar or basement to store all this crap. I swear, some of you have no idea how much 35-50 titles a month starts to take up space. I've got 5 long boxes (a long box holds what, 200?), 6 short boxes (100 each, I think), all pretty much full, plus at least 100-150 comics from the past two or three months that I've been too lazy to sort and file. In the grand scheme of things, it's not THAT many comics, but when you don't live in your own place, it starts to cramp your style. That, and stacks and stacks of TPBs with no good place for 'em. I need a book shelf.

7.26.2005

Best.Emoticon.Ever.



If you wanna see the pics that spawned my necessity for this little guy, IM or email me.

I fear to look, yet I cannot turn away...

Haunted Tuba

If the bids are low, it think I'm gonna buy it. Like it says:

"It is a great conversation piece but, to be honest, it kind of scares me to have it around. I will NOT be responsible for any occurances around this tuba. Buyer beware!"

Sounds entertaining ;)

7.24.2005

Fire!

Yesterday, Antonio had a bonfire at Bolsa Chica to celebrate his 26th birthday. There was a bunch of people there from UCI, and it was nice to see a lot of the old gang. Antonio's family was there, too. And I was the "trombone player from the recital" (it's nice to be remembered for something you enjoy doing). I built my first fire, ever. And now, I am a level 15 pyromancer with +4 battle-mace and a bonus to Charisma.

Day


Night


Now, it's Sunday. My last weekend at Kei's (Thursday is the move-out da¥). Barbie came out on Friday night, and we've been having a pretty good weekend. We drank beer the other night. Yesterday, after lessons, we went out and did bf/gf things. The Block, the cigar store, sushi lunch. Then Antonio's thing. We bought the stuff for caucasians, and we proceeded (I did, anyway) to get faded quickly. We watched Jeeves & Wooster which is this british sit-com about a guy and his butler. Sounds silly, except it stars Hugh Laurie who as some of you know is Dr. House on House, M.D. He's pretty fucking funny in this show (J&W). And Barb and I would never have watched it had he not been in it. We then watched something I fell asleep during.

I had this fucked up dream about zombies, and that we were trying to escape them. It's nice to know that I'm resourceful enough to not get Barb AND I turned into zombies, at least in my dream. Then it turned into a good dream, but Lord knows if I remember what happened after the zombie attack.

7.21.2005

Pics from Comic-Con

*note, all pics with humans in them are people from the BKV boards*

Here's some pics I took from Comic-Con. The first is of the group from BKV.TV, "The Caballeros"
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

From left to right, that's Me, Mindy, dunno the guy in the back, Brian K. Vaughan, Kevin, "Wolverine," and Mike. "Wolverine" never introduced himself as anything but his board alias.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
This is Josh and Stephanie (from the Vaughan boards), in their small press booth.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
This is Sarah, who was at her own small press booth. She asked to pose in my cowboy hat, and I could hardly refuse.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Here's the man himself, Brian K. Vaughan, who was nice enough to sign my T-shirt, and talk with me for a few minutes. He also signed my Y the Last Man #1 which is also pictured.


I thought this was kinda neat, so I snapped a pic for Barb.


This one's for you, Chris.

Next year, I'm gonna bring my own camera, instead of borrowing my Dad's. One that works right. There are more pics, but a lot of them turned out shitty.

7.20.2005

Drinking the Green

I stumbled on this a few minutes ago.

As a service to my friends and regular visitors, here's the link to

Absinthe.

The site claims to be able to ship to the US, with no problems, in ten days. When enough money comes in, I will be buying some. Then, if it's for real and good, I'll be buying more.

7.18.2005

Y LSTMAN

I got this today:


I hope you all know just how commited to comic books, and Y the Last Man in particular, I actually am. It really is the best in print right now. If you haven't read it, go read it. If you're reading the TPBs, Vol. 5 just came out.

Jeffrey Long & The Half-Blood Prince *No Spoilers*

I just finished Harry Potter 6, after reading it in one ten hour sitting, minus an hour to cook, eat, and clean up dinner, plus a little laundry. So nine hours, 652 pages, and my brain feels like cottage cheese. Partly from the story itself, partly from the nine(ish) hours it took to read from cover to cover. Five stars. Out of four. This book gets 125%, IMO. I'm not gonna spoil anything for anyone, but I figured out what the title applies to, early on. HINT: It's not what you're thinking. If you've read the other five, go get this one (if you haven't already). If you haven't read the others, go read 'em all this week. C'mon, reading's good for ya'!

7.17.2005

My nine hours in San Diego

I made it to Comic Con at 430 (after three hours of traffic, parking, validating, etc, etc) and I was on a mad dash to find the Marvel booth and Brian K Vaughan. So frantic was I, that I didn't buy or look at hardly anything. When I found the Marvel Booth, they said he had left. Early. I was pissed. I ran around the place for another half an hour, looking to meet people and going in various booths, when I stumbled in the DC booth, and who was signing autographs? Brian K. Vaughan. When a line gets too long, or the artist wants to leave, the person at the end gets designated as the official end of the line. I was in line behind that guy. I took my chances, and it ended up paying off. I met Brian and we hit it off. "Hi I'm Jeff. From the Cabal." He was genuinely excited to meet me. We talked for 5 or 10 minutes, about the site, comics, the convention, cougar attacks, etc. It was fucking sweet. He said that I add a lot to the board and have some good things to say, and thanked me for participating. It was surreal. I know this means nothing to most of you, but this guy is my favorite writer AND his books Y the Last Man & Ex Machina both won awards for "best writing" and "best book" respectively, this year at the Eisner Awards (the comic equivalent of the Oscars). I spent the last 45 minutes of Con, wandering, taking everything in. I met some artists, but pretty much just wandered.

After Con, I found a sushi restaurant and treated myself to a $41.65 dinner. Before tip. Then it was off to this hip little bar, Lime to meet up with all the nerds. I actually got to learn everyone's real name, which was cool. It was weird tho, cause I know everyone by their online name, but calling guys "Wolverine" and "Lagomorph" in a public forum is a little disconcerting. Brian was there, too, and he was stoked to sign my shirt when I asked, and I was more than happy to let him [note to self: need to buy more of those shirts from Mixwell for next year]. We ended up hanging out til almost 1am, tho most of the group started peeling off throughout the night. I ended up taking Mike ("Lagomorph") to his car, since he parked in BFE, then I got lost trying to find the I-5. I made great time, tho. Made it back before the Tenacious D CD was over (apparently The D did a surprise performance at Con, which I completely missed).

It really was fucking sweet, and I was only IN the convention for two and a half hours. I'm going next year, and I'm gonna actually plan for it this time, instead of going on a whim. And Chris, if you get money, don't buy ANY back issues. WAIT FOR COMIC-CON. There had to have been at least a dozen booths offering $1 back issues.

Why I went to Comic-Con




"Brian K. Vaughan"

=)

7.15.2005

Nerd Prom

I just finished watching Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory for the very first time in my life. I've gotta say, I don't see what the big deal is. But then again, I never watched it as a kid, so maybe the magic was lost on me. But I'll see the remake. I'm not stoked on it. I'm not excited for it. It doesn't envoke a sense of fantasy for me. But I'll see it. Gene Wilder is genius in the old one, tho.

Tomorrow, I've convinced myself to make a run to the Nerd Prom in San Diego. The Nerd Prom is the annual San Diego Comic Con and I've been dreaming about going since I was 13. I decided on, say, Tuesday that I'm gonna suck it up and go early in the morning, so I can have all day. That's when I realized that I have lessons to teach in the morning. So. After lessons, it's back to Kei's, for lunch, feeding the cat, a change of clothes, and off to Nerd Fest '05. I was thinking about staying til Sunday, and even tried to get a hotel room, but that was a pipe dream. The cheapest, closest room was $500. I have to worry about the little bit on money I actually have, since I'm waiting on a check (my last check) from Dave. Plus, there's bills due. SOON. But I'm really going to meet people from the Brian K. Vaughan message boards, including Brian K. Vaughan himself. He writes Y the Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways, and Ultimate X-Men at the moment. Those that know me somewhat well, know that I've tried to get you to read all those books. Especially Y. There's a 9pm meet up on saturday night at a tequila bar, so unless any of my soon-to-be-new friends let me crash on their hotel room floors, I'm camping out in the xB, drunk off my ass... Anyway, I hope to get a good amount of my shit signed, and I may even buy some trades specifically for signing, since I don't want to risk fucking up my #1s. Of course, I have no intention to sell them... so we'll see. I'm hoping to meet Mike Mignola, too. He's the creator of Hellboy, btw. I'm stealing my Dad's dig cam, so I hope to have a TON of pics, tho I may buy a huge CompactFlash card to accomadate my picture lust. Anyway, enough about the Nerd Prom. I'll be back on Sunday.

7.14.2005

Jam Session

Ryan hipped me onto this jam session in Mission Viejo, and I was apprehensive to go. But I knew that playing with other people that play jazz would be a great thing for me, in terms of getting back on the horse. We went to this guy's house (where the jam session was), and apparently, he and his wife do this every wednesday. They cook dinner, stock up with beer, and jam til about 11. It was AWESOME. I had such a fucking great time. The problems I've always had with going to jams is that there's always guys that are better than everyone else, or guys are pretentious fucks that think they're better than everyone else. There were neither at this guy's place. Everyone acted like we were all on the same playing field. And THAT is really conducive to a great environment. It's basically a chance for cats to get together, learn tunes, solo, play in a combo setting, and to figure out what to woodshed. I thought I did a decent (not great) job, for not having really played with a combo since our recitals, but the guy that runs it, and one of the regulars said that they really wanted me coming back every week, and that I sounded great :) It's flattering, and I will be going back every Wednesday, until money gigs start happening. Thanks to Ryan for getting me out to play some jazz tonight.

7.12.2005

Fuck America.

If you love your country, and hate me for saying that the people that run America are fucking insane anti-semites, homophobes, and right-wing christians that should all die horrible, painful, fiery deaths, then you should skip right over this post.
-------









You gone yet?







-------
For those that stayed:
Fuck this country. Fuck everything "America" now is postured to stand for. Fuck George W. Bush and everyone who stands with him. Fuck everyone who intentionally voted a right wing, conservative, christian republican into any public office. Fuck the christians that give a bad name to all the other, good christians. Fuck you if you support ANYONE who considers themselves an "evangelist."

The American Taliban

Now that you've read that, let me just say that I am fucking sick of these Americans being in a position of authority. These assholes pouring a constant diarrhea of such venomous, indoctrinating bullshit, that the vast amount of "red-state" Americans are more than happy to eat up, like so much ambrosia.

"Don't use the word 'gay' unless it's an acronym for 'Got Aids Yet'" said Bob Dornan, Republican from California. How did We vote such a fuckwad into office?! I can't wait for all of these asshols to die, let this fucked up old generation of "Americans" rot in the cold, cold ground. I sit here, livid at the fact that there is no separation of church and state in this country. At the fact that gays aren't allowed equal rights. At the fact that there's an anti-semitism in this country that feels like it's ready to bubble over. At the fact that brown people can't live as normal humans in this country. At the fact that God is the law, and not the laws that we vote on. And I'm especially upset that there isn't one motherfucking thing I can do about any of it. I've never wanted to NOT be in this country more than when I finished reading that website.

I'm a Jew, I'm an American, and a Change is gonna come. It has to.

7.11.2005

Old Grandma Hardcore

I knew this title would get your attention.

There's this G'ma in Cleveland that's more addicted to videogames than anyone I know. Apparently, she just sits around all day, and plays, and is "happ¥." There's a reason why that's in quotes Read some of her comments. She has a grandson that she lives with, and he blogs about her rantings pretty much daily. It's fantastic. Without further adieu: OGHC.

Thanks to Eric for getting the link my way, and I will be adding this to the sidebar.

There's a beverage here, Man!

It's Sunday (Monday, technically), and all is well. I'm at Kei's, officially, and it's always a blast here. Barb came out yesterday, and we had a good time. We went to the store and stocked me up on food. We saw Fantastic Four with Eric, Chris, and Nash, too. It's better than Daredevil, not as good as X-Men. I give it 3 of 5 Ultimate Nullifiers (I don't expect ANY of you to understand that reference).

Thursday was good. It was my penultimate day working for Dave. In celebration, Val took Eric, Jake, and I to Fatburger for "double kingburgers" at like 5pm. The name doesn't do it justice. I didn't eat anything that day, and I wished I hadn't had anything the day before, either. I was full til lunch the next day. I had a new trombone student that night, as well as my baritone student (who made a huge improvement in one week). Tho I had a question for my trombone student that I couldn't bring myself to ask: How can you play a trombone for two years, and not know where 6th position is?! I hope he practices, but he's already making excuses why he can't spare 20 minutes a day, five days a week for the trombone. I wonder if it'd make a difference if I told him that I'll practice at least two hours at a time.

Friday was my last day, and I actually put a full day in (surprisingly). It ended up being a decent work day, but I'm glad to be done with manual labor. I came home to Kei's, hung out, and ate some food that appeared to be ramen. The Akagi's have this one cupboard FULL of japanese food, in packages with only Japanese writing. It's like a ¢rap shoot every time I pull something out of there. I think it was a $e$ame ramen, and it was pretty good. Then I was back in Anaheim, so I could get up early the next morning.

The next morning: I was up early for my two trumpet lessons. I'm better than my first student, but not by much. I manage to get through lessons, and I think he's learning from my teachings, but I really need some guidance (Jonny, that's your cue). My second student is a little kid going into fourth grade, who's never played a trumpet before. It made for an interesting lesson. All in all, the lessons took an hour, but it felt like two. But one Jamba Juice later, and it was all good. I hit Jim's Music for some much needed trombone supplies. The slide on my new trombone is less than perfect. If we call a perfect slide "100%," then the repair guy was able to bring it to about 85%. The prognosis was that a LOT of repairs had been done to the 'bone before I got it, and you can only work the metal so much until it loses its shape. The condition of the slide was at 20% when I got it, and it didn't move past 4th position, or about half way down. That said, 85% is pretty good. A little of the right lube and I'm in business. I switched brands, and gained 10% more facility. Anyway, that's what I bought at Jim's as well as pricing a trombone case I have my eye on. Barb came out soon thereafter, then lunch, FF, Borders, and back here.

Today was a lazy day. It consisted pretty much of eating, TV, interweb, naps, and more eating. Barb took off a couple hours ago, and I've got Comedy Central and Cartoon Network on. Tomorrow, it's a late wake up, and who knows, since it's my first day of unemployment since last summer. There's poker tomorrow night, and I may wash the Scion at some point, too. Before I go, I found this website, The Cyborg Name Generator. It's funny.

7.08.2005

I'll get you, Brock Samson!



You gotta love what that means for all us Venture fans...

Jackson Publick's (V-Bros. Creator) Livejournal

7.07.2005

Thank You, Everyone

I'd like to thank all of you that visit here on a regular, or irregular basis. I've had 1431 hits since February or so (as of this moment), and none of them would be possible without You. No, really. I have the counter set to block my IP address (a good thing, too, since I check it like 30 times a day). So, in short: Thanks for dropping by. Keep on comin' by. Tell your friends, and maybe we'll hit 2862 together. I Love You All.

A Jedi's Weapon -or- Nerds' Delight

I don't know why all my posts are Star Wars related in the last couple of days, but they are. I stumbled upon this just now, thought you all might appreciate it. It's going in the sidebar, too...

Parks Lightsabers.

7.06.2005

Artoo Detoo



This is the coolest cooler EVER! Here's the website it came off of:

Pepsi of Japan

Me & My Axe ¡¡UPDATE!!

If only I had longer hair...



¡¡UPDATE!! I changed shirts in this one...

7.05.2005

Daddy's going to make some art, Darling.

I just found this online, and I think it's genius:

Other cool art can be found here.

Once I was but a learner...

Now I am the Master. Yeah right...

I just got a phone call from one of the small few I'd ever dare call a 'mentor.' I just got off the phone with George, after not having really talked to him in like 2 years. It was a half hour well spent. Those that don't know who I'm talking about, George is one of the best guys you'd ever hope to meet. There's some cats out there that are saccharine, assholes, or just rude. George doesn't even belong in that same sentence. I studied trombone with him for a little over two years in and after college. We caught up on everything, talked about playing, about UCI, about each other, about life and health. It was really one of the more uplifting things that could've happened. It was a great self-confidence boost, too. And now that I talked about the trombone to another trombonist, its time to hit the shed.

5th of Jul¥

For those that came last night, thank you. For those that couldn't, you were missed. For those that didn't, a pox on your house.

Eric and Chris made it over. We sat in the spa, smoked cigars, and drank beer. It was good. I made a little carne asada for dinner before Chris arrived, which was also good. Hooked up the ol' iPod to the boombox outside, and enjoyed that a little bit. It was a chill evening, which was fine by me.

My trombone should be ready tomorrow... I'm so amped on this, it's sick.

7.04.2005

Special Away Message

Since my 4th plans fell through, I'm starting a party of my own. Come to my house for a little bit of carne asada and beer. If you want more than a little, bring your own. Call or AIM me if you're coming. There'll be cigar smoking, too. Some jacuzzi. Maybe a movie or two. Definitely Music. Da Works.

If you don't know the cell, AIM me or call someone who does.

I will be at or near the computer.

The side gate is open.
Bring swimwear.

7.02.2005

Bring it on, bitch ¡¡UPDATE!!

I'd like to announce the jealousy of Ryan Rost because I practice and he doesn't. Score one for me! Let the douche-baggery commence, you self-described Huguenot!

¡¡UPDATE!! For those that don't know, I've got nothin' but love for Ryan. Those that know us well, know that we're (along with Kevin) complete assholes to each other, like 60% of the time. The other 40% is pretty good, tho.

7.01.2005

Rub a Dub Dub

Last night, I gave my first baritone lesson to a kid that might as well have never played baritone in his life. Don't get me wrong, the kid is as nice as any 6th grader can be, but doesn't have the faculties to change partials in the harmonic series like one needs to when playing a brass instrument. I also realized that to teach this kid properly, I need to get a baritone. Does the studio I work for rent baritones? No. So, I went to trusty ol' ABI to rent one. Their last one. And it's small. For those that don't know what a baritone is/looks like. It's basically a small tuba, but it plays similarly to a trombone (it has valves instead of a hand slide). So I get to rent, with my own money, a baritone. $50 a month. I make $34.00 an hour teaching lessons. I teach half hour lessons to this kid. That equates to $85 a month I make to teach just this one child. After baritone rental, I make $35 a month to teach this child. I, in my heart of hearts, think it's the right thing to do; taking a pay cut of sorts to make sure this kid learns the right way. Thank God I can at least play baritone (unlike trumpet). Oh yeah, and the valve slides were oiled, not greased, so they won't stay in the horn when it's played. I'm bathing it right now, to get the oil off. This pic is similar to what mine looks like, btw.



My King 3B came, as I'm sure you all have read. Now that I have time to blog about it... The guy packed the thing like a vault. It took me 20 minutes to actually get it out of the box and taped styrofoam. Quick rundown: Trombone, wrapped in strip foam, then taped with packing tape, sandwiched in "fitted" styrofoam bricks, and that was taped. Then separate the bell and slide "sandwiches" were taped together, placed in a box of foam peanuts, then every square inch of the box was taped. The trombone, albeit a classic, and it'll be great once it's back from the shop, was in shittier condition than I anticipated it to be in. There were little dents covering the bell, two big ones (depicted in the auction) in the bell section. The tuning slide was almost smashed closed, and it didn't move, due to years of neglect. The slide slides rough, until you get it into 4th position. Then it stops, outright, and you have to force it into a lower position. It is, in fact, unplayable. It does sound notes, tho, which is excellent. But it does show signs of disrepair and poor repairs. I was at least hoping to get a couple of weeks out of it before going to the shop. The lacquer leaves a lot to be desired, too. It looks like Morgan Freeman's face in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, if any of you remember that... 13 years ago. There's some other, various dents, too. I took it to the shop yesterday, and there was this glimmer of hope in the repair guy's eyes that let me know he'll get the job done. He really is the best guy in the business for brass (and apparently woodwinds, which I only just found out). I was figuring it'd be $100-$150 to restore... Naw, son. $280. Two Hundred Eighty Dollars. A touch more than I expected, but in my defense, those horns are $1500 brand new. And I'd be looking at around $800 (at least) if I were to buy a used one in good condition. So it should be awesome, come next week (I'll post pics whenever I can get this shit to upload, goddammit).

I've told Dave that I'm quitting, which I've been meaning to do for months now. Finally got the balls, and it went over well. Friday is it for me. Next friday, that is. I'm house sitting again this year, so (hopefully) expect a shindig in the near future. I played some jazz with Ryan wednesday night, and that was sweet as hell. We met Steve Liu at Steamers in Fullerton and watched this drummer's combo, and they were good. Fun was had by all. I've got this weekend off, so it should be a lot of beer drinkin', cigar smokin', Practicin', maybe some lovin', and a touch of the R&R. Speaking of which...