12.17.2008

Remember when rainy days used to be great?

It's raining now. I remember as a kid, when it would rain really hard, my mom would let me stay home from school. Seeing as how it barely rains in Orange County, these were quite the treat. So I'd spend the day at home, playing Super Nintendo, or Playstation. It was great. Today, it's me & Willy. And I don't really have the luxury of playing video games all day. Nothing's hooked up. I've actually got things to do today, and I don't want to pull my car out of the garage. When it rains, there's literally a stream of water that flows off the roof right where the latch to my garage is. It's not as bad as Monday was, when it looked like someone took the hose and ran it down the roof. But there's still constant flow, which cramps my style.

12.07.2008

I thought I was tired

I got home around 1230.
Changed into PJs.
Watched all 95 minutes of The Darjeeling Limited.
It's now 2 am.
Ricky Gervais is on.
I don't want to go to sleep yet.
I feel like my great big brain is letting me down.

11.24.2008

Earning back some hours

I'm officially on my first hour of Thanksgiving recess. Normally, I'd be on my way to school already. Last night, Dawn put me in a serious food coma with a killer homemade turkey-meatball sandwich. We watched the finale of True Blood, and had mixed reviews about it. This morning, I finished the 2005 movie, Everything Is Illuminated. I liked it quite a bit.

Today, I've got a paper to write that's due tonight for my online class. I'm determined to figure out this damned french horn, too. I've got a lot to get done during these next few days of vacation.

11.20.2008

Finally, a break.

It looks like I may be able to get my observation hours done, after all. I'm not holding my breath, but I've got 18 more class hours to observe between now and the end of the semester, and I think that it's all being planned out by the Assistant Principal at the high school I've been at. My stress level went down slightly when I found that out. Also, I'm knocking out 5-6 hours tomorrow at a middle school in South County and I'm stoked.

11.19.2008

Tapatio is the shit!

I've always felt tabasco sauce gets a bad wrap, but as awesome as it is, I can't get enough tapatio. I bought a bottle for my carne asada dinner last week, and I can't stop using it. Why didn't anyone tell me! Actually, Ryan probably did.

I just got home from a 2 1/2 hour bar-meeting-slash-cleaning-party, and I'm starving. Dawny made me a burrito before I left, but it didn't last the three hours I was hoping it would. So I hit Taco Bell just now. So good for $2.46.

Also, classic Venture Bros. is on: The Incredible Mr. Brisby. This turned out to be a good night.

11.18.2008

bent

UCI people, remember when you had a concern about what classes to should be taking, so you went down to Cloud's office any time you wanted to talk to a peer adviser? Fullerton has no peer advising system. And my faculty adviser is an asshole and only sets aside one week a semester for advising students. I asked him to meet this week, one week after the only week he makes himself available to students, and he essentially told me to fuck off. Now I'm fucking bent out of shape. I'm starting to get more disenfranchised about this school by the day. Also, I'm starting to realize I have no time for ensembles and lessons, especially if I have to take a majority of late afternoon and night classes next semester.

11.17.2008

Fire in the sky

We're having the fire of the decade here in Orange County. My parents and brother are safe, and as far as I know, and all of my local friends are safe, as well. I'm here at school, in the middle of the smoke cloud (though it's not as dense as during the weekend), and I can't seem to escape it. I'm in the basement of the library, in the computer lab, and it just looks hazy in here. Maybe it's not. My glasses could be really dirty (which has been known to happen), or the florescent lights are playing tricks on me, but it seems... gross everywhere I go on this ash-laden campus.

20 minutes to class, and I should be warming up, or finishing my weekly boring paper for my online class that's due tonight. But I'm blogging. I bought my parking pass for Spring 2009. $162 to park, which brings my total for the school year to over $300. Maybe I'll get lucky and have to take summer classes too, since it looks like all the classes I need will be full by the time I register this Friday, after everyone else.

11.11.2008

Please! No more carne asada!

I cooked carne asada for my little party thing on Sunday. I had somewhere around an extra pound when everyone had eaten. I love it, but I can't eat any more!

11.10.2008

Gas Update

For those that haven't realized, gas prices are way down. Even from my blog last week, when I paid $2.73. I paid $2.47 for gas this morning. That's 16¢ difference since last Tuesday. Here's hoping it drops below $2 by Barack Obama's swearing in.

11.08.2008

Why online classes are dumb

I have to submit a topic for my online Adolescence class project by tomorrow. We have to do a Power Point presentation on a book or film with an adolescent main character. My initial idea was to use Ultimate Spider-Man as a topic, since Peter Parker is 14 in the story. From my Professor's reply email:

Jeff,
You really need to choose a book or a movie that is a realistic fiction. It is challenging enough for adolescents to deal with all that normal adolescents deal with –but to add something like superpowers that is not realistic. You present a challenging case but you need to pick another topic for your final project.

Browsing the list of topics other people have submitted, I came across Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman. IMDb's quick synopsis says:
"In a fantasy world of opposing kingdoms, a 15-year old girl must find the fabled MirrorMask in order to save the kingdom and get home."

Uh huh. Another topic was a movie called Kiki's Delivery Service. Wikipedia says:
"Kiki is a 13-year-old witch-in-training, living in a small rural village where her mother is the resident herbalist. The film opens at the time traditional for Kiki to leave her home to spend a year alone in a new town to establish herself as a full witch. Kiki therefore flies off on her mother's broom with her closest companion, Jiji, a loquacious black cat."

You can imagine how I feel. I Am Sam was also chosen by a classmate. I Am Sam is about a mentally challenged adult with a 7 year-old mental age who tried to get custody of his daughter, who is 7 or 8. Where's the adolescent in this equation? Also, Mean Girls was chosen 4 times by 4 different people. Are you kidding me?

So here are my other choices for topics:
-Drumline
-Juno
-Scott Pilgrim (23 y/o adult main character)

I would really like to use Scott Pilgrim. It's a great story. And I own it. At least Juno is On Demand.

A couple things

Dawn is in Costa Rica, and I miss her terribly. Even though we don't see each other very often during the week, it's tough to be home alone when you're used to having your girl here. I was closing last night, and I didn't have anyone to talk to. It was kinda depressing.

There's a woman I've known for a while that comes into the Z regularly. She's a lesbian, and she was in with her partner last night. I said "Hey, Mary, how's it going?" "Good and bad," she says. For those that don't know, Proposition 8 passed in California last Tuesday. Prop 8 bans the already-legal right to gay marriage. Prop 8 is the worst thing that could happen in the struggle for equal rights. Anyway, I asked Mary if Tuesday's election was the reason she was upset, and she said yes, so I showed some sympathy and said I was sorry about the turn out. She then gave me a look like I was full of shit and said "yeah, right." I then told her that I voted no, too, so don't blame me. I'm all about equality, as you all know. She was surprised, for some reason, to find I voted no. Just because I'm straight, doesn't mean I don't want my gay friends to have the same rights as I do. It really bothered me last night.

11.05.2008

Case of the Wednesdays...

I got to school a little early today in an effort to warm up for the last conducting class before our exam on Monday. I got beat out on the last practice room by 30 seconds, and I don't feel like practicing outside for everyone to hear. Do all of you Anteaters out there remember when there were no practice rooms in the MOB, you could always use the old cement rooms in the original arts building? There were always plenty. Here at Fullerton, there's maybe 20 rooms, and they're always taken. I hate it. I think today is the determining factor on me buying that practice mute I've been pining over for the last month or so. It's the first one under Tenor Trombone Practice Mutes at the bottom of the linked page. I keep wanting to practice, but can't find the place to do it. I gotta order it today.

I've got 2 lessons today, down from 4, because of an all-district band pageant. Oy vey. PYLUSD is fuckin' with my money. I need to reschedule those 2 for tomorrow, which sucks, because Dawnie leaves for Costa Rica tomorrow night at midnight, but she has to be at LAX by 1030, so those lessons will cut into my time with her. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

By the way: Sunday, my house. Carne asada & beer. Count on it.

Obama Wins!!!

Finally! No republicans in the big house for at least 4 years! Here's what CNN.com says:



It's a pretty fantastic turn of evens, in my opinion. I haven't been an Obama supporter since day one, but I definitely got behind him when it was him vs. Hillary. He's an intelligent, well-spoken, younger man. We need some new life and new ideas in the white house and I truly believe he's just the guy to make some great things happen.



I did my part.



I love living here in paradise, but I see things like this, and it breaks my heart into bloody, little pieces. Friends, equal rights are never a bad thing. There is absolutely no reason why Proposition 8 should pass. I realize all of the precincts have yet to report, and I hope Prop 8 gets shot to shit by the morning.

And a little something to change the mood...

When the hell did gas get so low in price. It seems like just this last summer, gas was well over $4. How does gas drop $1.5 per gallon in 3-5 months?

10.23.2008

Suspension of Disbelief

Not that I normally go in for this sort of talk, but apparently we have a ghost in our apartment. Now, aliens, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Dracula, zombies, you name it, I probably have thought that it's real at some point, but I've never believed in the existence of ghosts.

Willy was in the second bedroom today with a chicken treat (his favorite), when he came out shaking with the chicken left in the room, uneaten. That's when Dawn laid the ghost story on me. She's known about our ghost for a while, but she didn't want to shake me up. I didn't believe her, because I don't believe in ghosts. But I trust her feelings, and Willy was visibly upset. He's not usually shaken up like that. He eats chicken like it's going out of style.

To see if I can make a difference in this situation, after Dawn left for work, I went in the room and talked to this ghost I don't believe in. I told him how if he doesn't want to be part of this family, he needs to find a new place to live, but if he want to be part of this family, he's welcome. I got some serious head to toe chills when I said that. My entire body was tingling for quite a long time. This was 30 minutes ago. I've still got weird chills. Maybe I'm just cold, but I'm dressed pretty warmly.

Now, I'm not saying I believe in ghosts just yet, but I'm certainly suspending disbelief for the time being.

10.21.2008

Woo!

First trombone lesson through CSUF this Friday!

In the air

I live near the pacific ocean, maybe 5 to 10 minutes from Newport and Huntington Beaches. Although not close enough to see the ocean, if the breeze is right, I get a nose full of sea air, and I remember why I love living in this place...

Irrational Fear of Zack

I have this irrational fear. I probably have blogged about it before, but it bears repeating. We just watched I Am Legend, and Will Smith spends his days (literally) protecting himself against these monsters that only come out at night. They remind me of zombies. I sometimes think that if I leave work at midnight, the mall will have a zombie or two in it, and they're trying to get at me. I've already figured out that if I can get to the knife shop on the floor above me and down a little ways from the restaurant, that I'll be able to get something to protect myself, like a sword, spear, or axe, or a gun hidden in a back office. But this begs the question, how do I get in the store without completely fucking myself, because if I break the glass, then I'm unprotected. That's not to say that if I shatter the glass, Zack won't immediately come running. Also, if there's a lot of zombies, and they see me, then they'll pour down both sides of the stopped escalators that I'd use to get up to the second floor. So I freaked myself out because I took my only escape route away. Then I remembered that, besides food and beverage, my restaurant offers roof access, reached only by a 20 foot ladder. So if they get in, I can still store the massive amounts of canned food in a place I can eat it. Too bad it's mostly gallon-size cans of creamed corn. But there is juice. These are the thoughts I think when I am left to my own devices. At least when I leave and I see the mall's cleaning crew, there are no zombies. Because if those guys are zombies, they're the best zombies at buffing a tile floor.

10.19.2008

Gone are the blues

On are the... tireds.

As usual, Sunday has become my homework day, and I managed to stay away from it as much as possible. After watching Dawnie play softball, getting breakfast afterward, a trip to PetSmart, Trader Joe's, and Albertson's, I Am Legend, dinner, Game 7, and True Blood, I got my paper and midterm done. Now, Futurama is on. I've seen it already.

I'm still at odds with what to spend money on. I really want to get the Best Brass Warm Up Mute, since I could stand to blow a few notes right now, but I'm still curious to get a Nintendo DS. I think I'd get more use out of and spend my time more effectively with the warm up mute, which costs $110. Of course, Game Stop is offering DS's for $89.99 with a GameBoy Advance trade-in. This is silly. That's what Xmas is for. I think I'll send an email about the mute in the next couple of days.

10.16.2008

The blues...

I've got a serious case of the blues right now. There's a dozen productive things I could be doing right now, and I don't want to do any of them. I'm thinking about doing what they call "retail therapy." I really want to buy something. I've been looking at buying a practice mute for my trombone. The one I want is $110, though there are other ones that come cheaper. Supposed to be well worth it. I'm trying to justify the idea that I could practice at midnight with it if I wanted to and not wake Dawn, Willy, or our asshole neighbors. I want a new mouthpiece, too. Also, I feel nauseated. Just came on. Now it's gone. Maybe it's cause I didn't sleep well last night. I dunno. I've been looking to buy frivolous crap, too. Nintendo DS, with games, is top on my list.

10.14.2008

Violins beget violins

Just had my first violin lesson. I'm completely terrible. But I have two weeks to get great. Now on to trumpet...

10.09.2008

Killing the curve.

My string methods teacher told the class that she was worried she wasn't grading our last test correctly, because there were so many 5's out of 10. Until she saw one student got a perfect score, 10 of 10. Then she realized (paraphrasing) that everyone else in the class was just dumb. I got the perfect score =) I aced my playing exam today, too. I'm awesome!

By the way, I also killed my tuba test.

10.07.2008

At school with little to do.

I just had another written test in my string methods class. Cello & bass material. The playing test is on Thursday. I think I got an 'A' today, though I made one minor mistake. We'll see. Maybe I bombed all my string hand positions. My tuba test is in 2 hours and 15 minutes, and I'm not sure what to do in the interim, though practicing the tuba might be a good idea. Maybe some lunch...

10.04.2008

Car hole woes.

I park in my garage.

I shut the garage door.

A hinge breaks.

My car is effectively stuck in the garage.

It's midnight.

I have things to do tomorrow.

I want to scream.

10.02.2008

Rounding 2nd Bass...

The group string class I just had was a fiasco. My professor, who's teaching abilities leave a little to be desired, invited two observers from China into our class. They only speak Chinese. My professor speaks English and Korean. We've spent only one class meeting on the bass before today. At the onset of class, she announced that we would teach ourselves in a group lesson style, with the Chinese people observing how we're teaching each other. She assigned someone, but he turned it down, so I volunteered. She said I could bullshit as much as I want through a "lesson." Not a problem, I said.

I realized today that I'm the only person in this class that seems to take it seriously. I've practiced twice since our last class meeting, and it shows in my playing. Not that I'm any good in the grand scheme of bass playing, but I'm pretty goddamn good for having my hands on this thing for two days. My classmates (including my bass partner) told me that I set the bar too high for everyone else.

Here's where I thank Ryan and Luther for being friends with me. I think I learned bass from them, through osmosis or something.

I just don't get the people in this class. This class is only open to music education majors. Passing this class is needed to get a teaching credential, and no one really takes it seriously. It's frustrating. I've practiced three times since getting this bass, and it's coming as naturally as it can after only three or four weeks on stringed instruments. Someone in class suggested whoever got the highest score on the cello exam should teach today, then changed his mind when he figured everyone scored seven, or lower, out of ten. I got nine out of ten. I think I'm the only one with an A in the class.

9.28.2008

Can't Sleep. Clown'll eat me.

My dumb ass had 4-5 beers and a Manhattan at Dawn's friends' wedding reception this afternoon, chased by a cup o' coffee. The booze knocked my ass out as soon as we got home at 445. The coffee took hold during tonight's boggle session. Now I'm up watching Chris Rock's new special. I just learned tonight that Chris Rock is banned in our house. I don't think that's gonna last.

Tomorrow morning, we have to leave early to get to the breast cancer walk that I told Dawn I'd do with her. Her friend passed away from breast cancer last month. She was 34. It's for a good cause, and it's exercise. Too bad I'm only gonna get 4 hours of sleep (or less) beforehand.

9.25.2008

Cello, my baby! Cello, my darlin'!

I just finished my cello final! I played an E Major scale (2 octaves) from memory, ascending. I went to descend back down the scale when she stopped me and said "your ascending was perfect, and your descending is atrocious. Let's move on to the song." I followed that performance with a rousing rendition of "She'll Be Coming Around The Mountain." Now onto string bass!

9.23.2008

Making use of my time at school...

I'm here in the computer lab, thinking on what to work on between classes. I've got a paper due tomorrow on my conducting class notes. I also need to post to my online class discussion board, but that's not due til thursday. And now I've spent all my time blogging...

I'm in a weird mood right now. I ate at Carls Jr. for lunch. Not the best idea. I got a nice salad wrap yesterday, and a nice sandwich for dinner, so I justified the fast food. But all I saw were overweight people. A few thin athletes, but mostly lazy-looking people. Unfortunately, I came to the realization that I am no different from the people I saw. To some extent. I know I'm handsome and everything, but I could stand to eat there less times a month than I do (around once a week right now). I'll bring a sandwich or something tomorrow.

I had my String Methods class today. We're learning the cello right now. I practiced 10 major scales between last thursday and today, as well as little exercises from our All for Strings method book. I suck at cello. I think for someone that's been playing it for three weeks, I'm decent, but compared to the trombone, no bueno. I played in class today the B major scale (in two octaves), which is pretty hard on cello, the hardest scale in our classwork anyway, and I had to play exercises and conduct a mini-rehearsal. I may not be good, but I think I'm near (or at) the top of the class. Very few people put any real time in, and although I never intend to be a virtuoso, I've put in something like 3 hours over the last 2 days on the cello, not including class time, and it shows.

My brass class is at 1, and I'm attempting to learn the tuba. It's funny, I thought I would have an aversion to cello, and take to the tuba quickly. As it turns out, it's pretty much the opposite. I lovelovelove the cello (I want to buy one) but I can't wait to be done with the tuba.

9.17.2008

4 weeks down (almost). 3 more years to go.

I'm nearing the end of my first 4 weeks back at school. I'm enrolled in 5 classes. I've got 3 papers due, I need to know 10 scales, competently, on the cello (with bow), I need to set up classroom observation dates with a high school, get my TB test cleared (by Friday), practice conducting, practice trombone, and read 4 more chapters for my class. All by Monday. Plus, I work 4 nights a week. Add a fifth night if you include my lessons night. Aikido has fallen to the Wayside. It's very sad =( I'm also waiting to see if I can add trombone lessons to my schedule. I'm fucked.

9.07.2008

Big Sur Weekend!

Dawnie & I have been planning this trip for months now, and last Friday, two days ago, we finally managed to free up some time and drive up the beautiful California coast to Big Sur, Monterey, and Santa Cruz. I have dozens upon dozens of pics which I'll post whenever I have free time. Our trip was great. We were free from the shackles of our jobs and of school and whatever else wears us down day in and day out. It was such an amazing trip, I can't recommend enough that you take a drive up Pacific Cost Highway, Highway 1, until you hit Big Sur, get a campsite and set up camp. We had a tent cabin, by the way. The only way to fly, as far as I'm concerned. Now, Instead of doing homework, I'm blogging. I still have two chapters to read before bed.

9.05.2008

Out the door!

Be back Sunday!

8.31.2008

New look, same great taste.

So I changed it. There's gonna be some tweaking in the near future. I'm home from work, and drinking beer, ready to do something involving this fucking blog.

8.27.2008

School Daze, School Daze...

I'm back to school. Day 3 of my 10-unit semester endeavor. It's gonna be a hard 16 weeks. I have to get in the shower now, because to park for my 10a class, I have to leave my house by 8. If I ever have time, I might change the look of this place...

we'll see.

8.18.2008

They call it a 'cutthroat razor' for a reason...

For the last month, I've been using a disposable-blade straight razor. A Dovo Shavette is a straight razor with blades you can replace when they dull, instead of trying to sharpen & maintain a true razor. I've been on a shaving kick since Chris and Eric started wet-shaving (using lather & water, instead of electric shaving) with a double edged safety razor , more than a month ago (even longer for Eric).

I didn't want to use a double edged razor, because I just feel they're unsafe. I mean, they're called safety razors for a reason, but they're just not my bag. I'm more the kind of guy to jump in headfirst on a higher difficulty level, and make it look easy. The Shavette seemed like the easy way to start out. I get the experience of a straight razor for $35, without having to invest in a real straight razor (and all the accoutrement), plus a pack of disposable blades costs $8, with 20 blades in all. That's 20 fresh shaves per package. I bought soap & a brush, pre-shave treatment, & aftershave, too. My shaves were, on average, pretty good. There were days I wasn't able to get close enough for the baby's butt smooth shave, and there were days where I tore the shit out of my face. On most days, I'd nick or cut myself a couple times, but have a smooth, confident shave that I was proud of when it was all said and done.

I've been on BadgerAndBlade.com, trying to learn all I can about the art of wet-shaving. I've got my skill down with making lather from shaving soap, and I've been reading about what razors to consider buying as my first real straight razor. From what I've read, the Dovo Special from my previous post is to be one of the best starter razors for the price. For my birthday, Dawn got one for me. The site she ordered it from hones and strops their blades so they're shave ready. I bought myself a strop (a strap of leather used to maintain & clean the blade and keep it sharp). The strop came Saturday and the razor came today. I'm ready to shave.





Since I already had the basic shaving movements down, the shave with the Dovo Special went pretty smoothly. I was surprised at how easy the easy parts were (cheeks, middle neck), and how much more tricky the tough parts were (jawbone corners & jawline). My experience with a Dovo Shavette showed me that I really do like straight shaving, and it showed me how to go about shaving. I'm glad I went with the Shavette before a true straight, and I know I'll need to retrain myself to get a truly nice shave with the Special. This whole routine has been an enjoyable variation in my normal routine, though. If you've ever wanted to try shaving with a straight razor, and can commit the time to it each morning (or each evening), do yourself a favor and try something manly.

8.16.2008

Happy birthday to me, muthafuckas!

I'm home from work, an hour after midnight. I spent my first hour finishing up my paperwork, because the Z was not a drama free environment tonight. I came home to my little family fast asleep. It's one AM, and even I should be effing asleep right now. But I'm on the post work unwind, two beers in, and feeling good. I've even got a little Futurama on. The ep where Leela meets her parents. It's a good one. And now, I'm off to beer.

8.15.2008

It's only a day away... (b-day plans)

Tomorrow's the big day. Big birthday #28. I am officially an old man now. I'm not exactly sure what the night holds tomorrow night, but dinner, drinking, and possibly a movie are in the works. My morning and afternoon are booked, but plans will kick off probably around sundown. I'm thinking in the neighborhood of Katella & Main. More info to come.

8.11.2008

Rule of Three

This weekend, two guys who truly I admired, died. Bernie Mac passed away Saturday of complications due to pneumonia. He was 50. Isaac Hayes died at the age of 65, found on the floor next to a running treadmill in his home. I can't even begin to explain the hours upon hours of enjoyment the two of these guys have given me. Bernie Mac, in Original Kings of Comedy, is one of the funniest acts committed to video. And how many times in our lives have we quoted from the theme to Shaft? Damn right. The world has lost two geniuses. Granted, I haven't seen or heard all of either of their bodies of work, but I respected them, and thoroughly enjoyed what I have seen.

Last night, Dawn & I were at our friends' place for dinner, and we were talking about Bernie Mac when the news reported Isaac Hayes' death. Her friend Nick commented about the Rule of Three and that it was good that there won't be any more celebrity deaths for a while, since there has been three. I asked who the third was and he replies, in all seriousness, "*Estelle Getty." "WhatWhatWhat?!" I reply. I contested that she isn't even in the same league as Mac and Hayes. We disagreed. Now, I really like this guy, but to lump Getty in with Mac and Hayes seems ludicrous to me.




*I hate to talk mess on the achievements on fellow Jew. Sorry, Estelle.

8.05.2008

Long Tuesday

I went in to work at 9 today, thinking I'd be out by 4 or 430. The closing bartender called in sick with kidney problems (sound familiar?), so we had to shuffle the schedule to get him the night off. That meant a 12 hour day for Jeffrey. 9 to 9. Granted, 12 hours isn't all that much compared to some people. But you gotta understand: I'm lazy. It was an easy day, but I hit the wall somewhere around 330. A little food put me back on track, and a solid two hours in the well made me forget about how tired I was.

When I got home, Dawnie had a sweet stir fry cooked up (delicious!) and we watched a little TV. Now she's in bed, and I'm left to my own devices until I pass out. I'm working on a bottle of Moylan's Irish Style Red Ale (scroll down). It's pretty good, and it's helping me forget about the day.

8.03.2008

Didn't I earn the right to stop taking tests 6 years ago?

As moot as that statement is going to be in 3 weeks, I've been up all night (sorta) taking this 'test' that the corporate entity of my job has asked all us bartenders to take. We have a new drink menu, and with it come new drinks, and the test consisted of copying the recipes off the study guide and onto the test. I managed to do it while sitting in our sweet-ass recliner, watching Unbreakable. Of course now it's 115, and I'm not entirely tired, so it's time to blog.

7.31.2008

Thursday, on the cusp of August.

I bought a parking pass today for the fall semester at Cal State Fullerton. I'm enrolled in 6 classes, plus I might sign up for a yoga class, if there's time, in addition to Aikido, of which I've been a poor student lately. I've spent most of the morning watching TV and reading the comics I bought at Comic Con. I'll try to get my pics up today or tomorrow, too. But until then, I gotta get the house cleaned up, take Willy to the dog park, and clean myself up, in that order. Also, I've got a birthday coming up... Donations are greatly accepted:

Dovo "Special" 6/8 Straight Razor




And a strop...

7.24.2008

SDCC Day 3

In the middle of our third day here, we're taking a little break to sit, drop our things off at the car and maybe find a little grub. The weather is great down here. We couldn't have asked for better conditions. Time to get back to it.

7.23.2008

sweet! iPhone blog!

Chris brought his iPhone to the campsite and let me blog on it. It's pretty sweet.

Day/night #1 was a success, tho as a group we have yet to master the intricacies of campsite cooking. Everything's turned our great thanks to Chris' desire to share a hot meal with his buddies.

Now we're off for a big day of tearing up the town. And maybe Batman.

7.22.2008

Off to Comic Con!

I'm just a few short bartending hours away from my trip to Comic Con! My bags are packed, and I'm so excited to go! I've got to leave the loves of my life for a week, which sucks, but I'll keep in contact, babydoll!

I'll be back on Sunday!

7.19.2008

Burnout.

It's nearly one AM, and I just got home from my shift tonight. One of my long-time regulars at the restaurant pulled me aside and told me that I'm visibly upset, or worn out, or that something's the matter with me. This guy is incredibly perceptive, and completely nice. I've known him and his family for the last 5-6 years, through the restaurant, and they've been nothing but nice to me throughout that entire time. We talked a little bit, and he laid some sage advice on me (he and his wife have 4 or 5 kids and they've got to be late 30s/early 40s, tops). But I do feel unsettled, and I'm not sure what I need to do to settle myself. Between school issues and money issues and medical issues and my Comic Con trip next week, I think I'm just scatterbrained.

Part of my demeanor tonight was that I'm completely fucking tired lately, too. I say that after I climb into bed with Dawn & Willy, ready to pass out, only to gain a second wind. I'm here in front of the E! Network, with a Corona and a shot of 4 Copas Reposado 100% Organic Tequila (a pretty fuckin' smooth shooting tequila), trying to relax and center myself, while praying for a catharsis from tonight's blog so I can get to sleep. Of course, I need to get a little deeper for that, and I don't see that happening just yet.

I've got to get my shit straight for tomorrow, since it's my only day before Tuesday to get all the errands in and buy incidental shit I'm gonna need for San Diego before we go.



P.S.: The tequila's working...

7.15.2008

So much baseball!

I just finished watching all 4 Hours & 57 Minutes of the 2008 MLB All-Star Game. Longest game ever, literally. And I'm not quite ready to go to bed. I've been on a kick about shaving, lately, so I've been scouring the internet for resources about wet shaving and vendors who sell straight razors (including ebay). So, off I go.

7.01.2008

Blogging, when I should be asleep.

Work in 7.5 hours. I'm wide awake, and there's Costa Mesa PD helicopters flying directly above my house. No wonder Dawnie has restless nights' sleep when she's home alone. I gotta get some sleep before my 7am wakeup-movethecar-takeWillytothedogpark-jumpintheshower-getyourclothesready-gobartend morning begins. Would I have it any other way, though? Of course not :)

6.08.2008

It's 123a. I'm 2 drinks in, and Probama (HA! Pro-Obama, get it?)

Hey. Sabbatical is over. I'm roasty-toasty, and unsure of what to blog about, except "Don't vote for John McCain," "Chained Heat" is on one of the Encore channels (and I'm an hour in) and am sorely disappointed about this. Condolences are always excepted.

Much love.

5.20.2008

Sabbatical

I've not kept up with my blogging duties lately. It's been a solid month since my last blog, and I just haven't found my muse to keep up with it. The recent future is going to be very busy and away from the computer, but just to keep everyone in the loop, here's the rundown of the next couple weeks.

This week, I'm packing to move out of my apartment and into a new one. Dawn and I are getting a place together right around where I live now. We get the keys on Thursday, and it's gonna be a mad rush of moving furniture and boxes from my place to the new one. Oh yeah, and get utilities turned on.

On Friday, my main man, Antonio is having the rehearsal dinner for his wedding, so I have to be in LA by 330, which means all my moving and getting ready needs to be done by 130 so I can get up there.

Saturday is Dawn's move. We're getting a truck and making the long haul from her place to the new place, and it all needs to be done before I go into work (probably around 5 or 6).

Sunday is Antonio's wedding. I'm to LA by 230 or so to hang with the groom & get ready for the 530 wedding.

Once the weekend is over, I'm on a mad dash to get my (old) apartment in pristine condition so we don't get any of our deposit taken out when the lease ends.

It's gonna be at least two weeks before I blog again. I'm gonna miss you all. bbs.

4.11.2008

Behind the Times: More Cowbell

I check Kyle's blog out on a daily basis, because he always has some interesting shit on there. Today, he's got a link to a list of "The 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time." I checked it out. Saw some things I've never seen before. But the most embarrassing thing for me on this list is that I've never seen #50: The Christopher Walken SNL Sketch, "More Cowbell." Years of enduring people's jokes about "more cowbell," and I've never taken the time, nor had the interest to look it up, until just now. I watched it and I laughed my damn ass off. For me, when a pop culture joke is run into the ground, before I've even had a chance to see it, I'm over it. That was 'Cowbell' for me. It enters the zeitgeist, and gets overquoted and overused, and the potential to be funny goes away. Now that I've watched it, long after it ceased being popular, I love it. For anyone who hasn't seen it, here you go.





Does blogging about other people's blogs make me lame? Probably.

4.04.2008

''Just got signed by Fit-tee"

Budding rapper, Yacc, came to the Z'bar yesterday. Sat for two hours, drank lemonade, and tipped me a dollar on $24. One. Fucking. Dollar. I knew he was doing business, as his laptop was out the entire time, so I said, laced with saccharine, good luck in whatever your business is, man. He said "I'm a rapper. I just got signed by Fit-tee*, and he's gonna produce my album." I wished him congrats and good luck. In my mind I said that's great, but where's the other four dollars you owe me? If you check out his MySpace, it's sort of obvious why he didn't have the extra money to leave me.

*For you white people, that's rap entertainer 50 Cent.

3.15.2008

Two Ay Em

That's what time it is now. I went to The Helm, a much-less-trashy-than-I-remember Costa Mesa bar (but still a motherfuckin' dive), to help celebrate a friend's bday. I had Beer, Jager, Beer, Jager Bomb, Beer. After a very calm walk home, I'm on an MGD to help get to sleep. Of course, I opened it 5 minutes ago and I have yet to drink even a little bit of it. Think my constitution is trying to tell me something? I've got an 8a rehearsal with the Orange County Mormon Orchestra tomorrow morning. We've joked about it for years, especially in college, but if you're jazz, you rehearse at night. Or at least after the morning. There isn't one iota of jazz in the very fiber of this group, which is why we're at 8a and not 8p. No one takes into consideration my late Friday night drinking. Bastards. So now I listen to Bob Marley on my iPod Shuffle (on shuffle mode, mind you) when I realize this is the second Bob song in a row. With all the songs I have, especially 25 Monk tunes, you'd think 2 sequential Bob Marley songs would maybe not happen. Not that I'm complaining. I love me some Bob lately. In any case, I need to go pick a movie to fall asleep to (hopefully). That shit didn't work last night with Empire Strikes Back. Maybe Return of the Jedi will have some help with knocking me out.

3.14.2008

"Glissando"

For those that don't know what a glissando is, take a look at the multiple definitions for Glissando at Dictionary.com. Done? Good. All those definitions are stupid. At least in relation to trombone. Blow a note and slide the slide in or out at the same time: Glissando. Think slide whistle.

Can't sleep. Big surprise. In the mean time, here's a Music Update.

March 15th, YL Orchestra, 7p, Forum Theater, 4175 Fairmont Blvd Yorba Linda, CA 92886

March 21st, OCMCO, 730p, Segerstrom Hall, OC Performing Arts Center.

I drank an espresso drink at the mug tonight when I went with Chris and Eric (Happy Birthdays to both of those guys). I know better. I need to stay away from caffeine with my kidney stone issues. But I couldn't resist. Now, I'm paying the price. Aikido is gonna be rough tomorrow at 10.

This Saturday, I'll be performing as part of the Yorba Linda Community Orchestra at 7pm in the Forum Theater (in Yorba Linda). I am principle trombonist. We are playing selections from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Holst's The Planets, and John William's original Music from Star Wars. No dumbed down stuff for us (well, a touch of the Stravinsky is dumbed down. Not the hard shit, tho).

Next Friday (Good Friday for those keeping score), in an effort to pollute yet another Christian holiday, I am performing as 2nd trombonist with the Orange County Mormon Choir & Orchestra (yes, Mormon. You'd think I'd've learned my lesson by now), to help LDS'ers from all over Southern California commemorate the return of Zombie Jesus. We're playing the mostly-new Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. It should be damn exciting. Except for the poor voicing chosen by the conductor of a trombone glissando in one piece. Someone please show me how to play this, since I have yet to figure it out:



I can't figure out how to play this gliss. And trust me, it's a gliss, not a fall. I can feel it in my heart. For those that don't know/can't tell, see where it says "a2?" The note beneath that, to the next note, connected by that squiggly line that goes across the bar. A descending fifth, G to C, glissando. If I had a trombone pitched in G, with 8 positions, I could to it. Alas, I don't. Nor do I believe such an instrument exists. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Quick music theory/bone physics for you: The standard tenor trombone (which I play) uses slide positions as well as overtones to change pitch. In 1st position, using simple, not-too-high range, the partials, or overtones, are built off a Bb dominant chord as follows, low to high:

Bb2, F3, Bb3, D4, F4, (Ab4), Bb4. (Never play that Ab4, in 1st position, btw. It's way too flat to be useful.)

The slide extends in 7 positions, 1st being all the way in, 7th being fully extended. Each position further out (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) is a half-step apart from the previous. Starting on Bb, that gives us, Bb,A,Ab,G,Gb,F,E. Three whole steps from 1st to 7th position, or a tri-tone. A descending fifth is 3 1/2 whole steps, which necessitates an 8th position. Which doesn't exist. Also, no G in first position, so I can't even fake it if I wanted to.

3.08.2008

I don't get paid enough...

Just got off work. I'm home, trying to catch a buzz. I'm tired like a motherfucker, watching Team America on the Secret Stash, and on comes a commercial for Quizno's featuring the voice talents of Michael Clarke Duncan. I'm not sure how that makes me feel. Then a commercial for Old Spice, starring Will Ferrell's Jackie Moon. I miss the Bruce Campbell ones.

2.29.2008

Big Mac Attack

Earlier this week, my favorite radio show, Frosty, Heidi & Frank, was talking in depth about the McDonalds menu (podcast found here). This was Wednesday. It's now coming up on Friday, and I've had a fucking craving for some goddamn Mickey D's! See, for me, the time has to be right. I can't just get up and go. I gotta be coming home from some place, or don't have any meal plans. And I want to eat at home. As it stands, I get shut down every time. What's really bugging me is that wherever I'm at, there's no 24 hour McDonalds anywhere! When I lived in Anaheim, there was one in Orange I could always stop by after hanging with the guys, or on the way home from a closing shift. How is it that I live within proximity of three (THREE!) and none of them are open past 11.

Tonight, Ryan's old neighbor, Jason, had a poker game at his new place in HB. On my 230a drive home, I was on the lookout. I drove by 3 open Jack In The Boxes, 2 open Carls Jr's, an open Del Taco, and a Taco Bell open til 3. But no open McD's!!! I'm gonna have this crazy craving for 2 Double Cheeseburgers and a small (or medium) fry. McDonalds research execs, if you read this, PLEASE open a 24 hour store in Costa Mesa!

2.21.2008

Last Monday, we went to the Huntington

Our second trip together, Dawn and I went to the Huntington Libraries to check out their newly opened Chinese Gardens. Here are some pics. More at Flickr.

The first one's here to give the scope of how many people there were that day.









2.19.2008

Sad news... my iPod died.



The iPod I've had for the last 3.5 years has ceased to operate and its spirit has left this mortal coil. I attempted a jog the other day and it just stopped. I think I jostled it a little too much. We miss you, 4th Gen iPod. You've brought a lot of joy to my life, and you've certainly been there when I needed you.

In a beautiful turn of events, my dear Dawn had an iPod Shuffle she wasn't using (because she has an iPod nano), so she let me have it. It is awesome. I've loaded it up with a few songs, I've taken it out, and it's really easy to use. Me likey.



I will be repairing my old iPod through a service I've used once before with my PowerBook, called iResQ. I can't remember if I enjoyed their work, but it's a damn iPod. How can you fuck that up?

2.11.2008

RIP BKV.TV



Tonight around 930, in a depressing turn of events, Brian K. Vaughan took his Cabal and blog, BKV.TV, off the internets. I found Brian's forum 3 years ago when I went looking on the DC comics board for discussions on Y: The Last Man. My first message board experience, Brian's board has been nothing but a positive influence for me. The first place I've ever made "internet friends," many of which I've met in real life, including BKV himself, who is an awesome guy in person. Over the last few years, I've found myself looking forward to getting home to answer replies, to post stories that happened to me, to see what interests over people with similar interests to me, and see what comics I should (and shouldn't) be buying. I've been lax with my posting over the last few months, but the community over there have genuinely cared for the things I have to say, and the things that happen in my life (I ended 7th in total posts, by the way).

Those with the fortitude to do so are planning an exodus to Tony Harris' board, which will open soon. I have joined my fellow Caballeros there, where a massive redesign is pending. I'll post the URL once it's open.

Thank you, BKV and all the Caballeros for all the time well spent talking about the things we all love.

-jX

2.07.2008

I know it's insensitive, but...

I'm at the store, buying my beer, and I notice the magazine rack. I think I counted eight separate magazines with Heath Ledger on the cover. Eight. As soon as I take my camera to the store, I'll take pics. I'm sorry he died, but eight? Let the man die with some dignity.

2.05.2008

I voted. Did you?

I never changed my address when I moved to Costa Mesa, so I'm still registered to vote in Anaheim Hills. I made the trek to that lucky garage that gets to be the polling place this year. There was a bit of a fiasco in that I registered as 'unaffiliated' but they had me as a democrat in their records. Once that was sorted out, I voted. How did I vote, you ask? Well here you go:

Prop 91, Road Tax: NO

If you looked at your info guide, you'll see that This Proposition is useless, due to previous legislature. The "Vote Yes" argument is "Vote No." What more do you need?

Prop 92, Community College Initiative: YES

The Teachers support this one. What more do I need to know? Support the teachers!

Prop 93, Term Limitations: NO

Lowering term limitations from 14 years to 12. Not a bad thing, right? Well, there's a serious loophole is the wording of this one that got my attention. If this one passes, then EVERYONE in a political office in CA will have 12 years until they're out of office. That's 12 additional years to whatever they have already. So if someone's in office for 13 years already, and 93 passes, they now have another 12 years in office before they gotta go. That's 25 years total. That's quite the loophole.

Prop 94, Indian Gaming 1, YES
Prop 95, Indian Gaming 2, YES
Prop 96, Indian Gaming 3, YES
Prop 97, Indian Gaming 4, YES

There's a lot of people upset by this one. Indian casinos get to add more gaming, which will channel more revenue into the state. They get to decide what percentage goes into the state, but how ever much the state gets, each Proposition will channel tens of millions of dollars per year into the State of California. The primary opposition to this one are Indian tribes who weren't able to get in on the deal, and Horse Racing tracks. Lets get our priorities straight.

President: OBAMA

Honestly, I don't much care for any of the candidates, but I like Obama batter than Hillary. But whoever beats McCain is ok in my book.

I stretched 'em last night.

Last night, after midnight, I took it upon myself to stretch my earlobes. I got tapers and new plugs off eBay last week (brand new, mind you). They came yesterday. For those that don't know, tapers look like long spikes. Two inches long or so, they start at a point, and they taper out for about an inch, to the size you're stretching to, then about an inch at at that size. I came into it with an 8 gauge (3.2mm) piercing, stretching to 6 gauge (4.1mm).

I was slightly concerned that they were gonna hurt like hell, or I wasn't gonna be able to stretch 'em because my lobes wouldn't be up for manipulation. I took the taper, and pushed them in lightly to the point they stopped. That's when I realized all the tugging and pulling on my lobes I've been doing over the last two months hadn't stretched them out adequately. I went to a stretching FAQ, and they said use a little lubricant, so I did. One taper lubed, I pushed it through my right lobe. It hurt, not quite like hell, but there was pain. I was surprised how easily it went in, tho. The tapers came with bands to hold them in place, so I put 'em on til I figured out what to do next. Then came the left one. This one hurt like hell when I got it pierced, so I figured it would hurt like hell when stretching. Not so much. It went in easier than the right ear. So I banded this one up too, and sat around taking the pain of my holes wanting to close to their previous 8 gauge size.

Now, I've seen people walking around with tapers in their head after stretching. I never understood that, but for some reason "monkey see, monkey do." I sat around for a while with these tapers in my head, wondering how long I should leave them in, or if I should sleep with 'em, or just what to do next. I checked that FAQ and they said the whole process should take a few seconds, or a few minutes at most. Feeling foolish, I went into the bathroom, butted my plugs against the back of the taper and pushed the taper through, leaving the plug in place. That was easy! Now they're in, they look good, and I have bigger holes than before. Pics to follow.

2.04.2008

Quick post.

Now that I'm posting again, I'll try to do it more often (like I always say I'm gonna).

Today, in a nutshell:

Aikido was awesome.
Pho was awesome, too.
Gotta send in transcripts to CSUF.
Work meeting as soon as I can get there.
Bone lesson, then dinner with the folks (as long as there's no pork involved)
Gonna stretch my lobes from 8 to 6 gauge tonight.
Meet with the guys to talk SDCC.

Elaboration to follow.

Follow-up questions from Nick I.

Nick I. left some freakin' sweet follow-up questions to my last post, and I thought I'd show 'em off to everyone, and then answer them.

Ew!

Wasn't this during the holidays too?


This was during the holidays. My surgery was on the 20th of December, and it took my recovery through Xmas and the 1st of January.

And how are you now?

I am great now. There's still some pain in the left kidney every now and again, since the stones were so big, but I'm in great health (as far as I can tell).

Did you get to keep the stones? Possibly like trophies?

The stones were shattered internally into a fine sand, which I passed via urine. There was no actual cutting into me to get the stones out.

And are you going to the Y party?

For those that don't know, The fine people at Meltdown Comics (In Hollywood) are having a Y: the Last Issue party to raise money for the CBLDF. I'd love to go, but I have to work at the restaurant that night =/

2.02.2008

Because I never follow up...

I had surgery 40 (or so) days ago. Lithotripsy, remember? The surgery went very well, and I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth due to complications. The surgeon broke up two stones. One was 6mm x 8mm, the other, 8mm x 1cm. That's 'one centimeter' for those not paying attention. And they were literally on top of one another. It's my understanding that the big one was blocking the little one from dropping into the ureter. I left the surgery center, high on anesthetic, a bottle of vicodin in hand. Dawn took me home, got me food, and made sure I was comfortable enough to fall asleep if I needed to. I spent 5 days sleeping, pissing blood (in varying degrees), and staying stationary as much as possible.

1.31.2008

Y the Last Issue...



I knew it was coming. For the last 12 months, I knew the end was inevitable. They said 'final story arc,' and I didn't heed the warnings. Today, I spent my $4.99 on Y the Last Man # 60, knowing it was the final issue, but I didn't care. It wasn't until I read it, and then reflected on it on BKV's message board that it really, truly got to me. I'm talking tears welling up in the eyes got-to-me. Y the Last Man has been such a treat for my imagination these last five years, that it kills me to see it go. I literally feel like a part of my life has come to an end. A small part, mind you, but a part, nonetheless. In the next few weeks, I'm going to dig out all the other 59 issues (at least 50 of them hiding somewhere in my parents' house) and reread from start to finish. I might buy the first trade paperback, since my #1 is signed =D I know there's scores of stuff that I missed the first time through. It's gonna drive me crazy...

1.19.2008

Met a rude person tonight at work.

He lost his phone. I found it. He stole it from my hands, and we argued about it. He asked to speak to the owner, and I told him that he's talking to the manager. We argued some more. He said he would report me, and I told him to go ahead. "Now go take your seat," I said. He was very offended. At some point during the altercation, he gave me his cell phone number. Oh, human! What would possess you to do such a thing? Maybe the 4 beers you drank? Why your sour dispostion? Maybe your mother didn't love you as much as she should have. So sad!