Sunday, February 27, 2005
It goes like this. Buy 1000 t-shirts and, for the ladies, babydoll tees (that IS what they're called, right?). Then start printing the following:
Black People Are Funny
Chinese People Are Funny
Mexican People Are Funny
(Insert Ethnicity Here) People Are Funny
Why? Because it's true! Seriously. I'm Chinese and surrounded by 'em at work. And they're funny as hell.
I was talking to this guy named Steve last week. Chinese, but not ABC (American Born Chinese) like me. But, he, like me, unlike my parents, had assimilated into the White Man's World. We had just met and though I'd told him my name, evidently he'd forgotten it. I gave him a card and he looked at it.
"Gwon? That's your name?"
He grimaced. "Why?"
I shrugged. "Ask my parents."
So I have this Chinese dude questioning my deeply-rooted-in-China name. ...
Well, maybe you had to be there.
Here's another one. I work with this black guy (in our other business). He's a dapper guy. Usually dresses quite nice. Good looking guy. Super nice guy. He comes into work the other day wearing slacks, a black button down shirt, and a black hat that looks like it shoulda came with a cane and a fur coat.
Now, this guy is getting funny looks from everyone. Comments too. But the thing is, he pulls it off. Could I wear a hat like that? Sure. If I had a black mask and went by Kato. But I lost my mask and my name is not Kato, so, in reality, hell, no. This guy wore the hat, knew he would catch hell for it, but didn't care. You know what? That's funny.
I'm sure everyone has stories like that, or even funnier ones (highly unlikely!). So, I print up a bunch of shirts, make 'em look worn, then sell 'em by the box load to Hot Topix on Capitol Hill, or some second-hand stores. Get 'em on some trashy Hollywood starlet and BLAM. Instant fame and fortune.
Soon after, you'll see knock-offs of my shirts designed by Issac Mizrahi for Target. Then, soon after that, we know the shirt has jumped the shark when little Auden (I do have a 5 y.o. neighbor kid named Auden), surfer hair and all, has a "Irish People Are Funny" shirt for St. Patrick's Day and gets suspended because one of his teachers is offended by it.
We get there about 12:00 for a 12:15 show only to find out that it's a 12:30 show. Normally, that's ok. You sit and talk with your date/friend/s.o. and it's cool. However, with 2 kids under 3, it's not so ok. In this case, though, it was ok. Everyone behaved fine.
We were the first ones in the theater. 400 or seats, all to ourselves. A few minutes later, 5 people came in: Mom, Grandma, another woman and 2 little girls. Where do they sit? RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. There's 396 other seats and they plop down right in front of us. Luckily, the movie was what it was, so it wasn't that big a deal. I was looking forward to a nap, to be honest.
Before the movie starts, of course, are the previews. Before the previews, of course, are the commercials. Being that it's a kid's movie, the commercials are age appropriate. Well, "commercials" may not be the right word. More like PSAs or something. There was one that showed all these people, with America the Beautiful, R&B style, playing in the background. All ethnicities. Kids pushing kids in wheelchairs. People at the county fair. A pregnant woman and her daughter on their front stoop. I half expected it to be a Coca-Cola ad. When it ended, there was something on the screen like "America: For a Better Tomorrow", or something. Not sure. Then they had these CG (computer generated) shorts that had some Sasquatch or something stomping around. Bigg's Adventure, they called it. As I watched it, I got the weird feeling that it was slightly preachy. This Sasquatch, Bigg, was invisible. But, if you wanted to see him, you could see him. And when it showed the stupid CG kids seeing him, their eyes lit up like candles and then it was, "Oh my gosh! I can see him! (or maybe Him?)" I thought I was at church.
So the movie started and so did my nap. Actually the movie was cute, when I was awake, or not yelling at Haley to sit still. Man. That girl is wild. Anyone got any extra Ritalin laying around?
That little girl in front of us was named Sloan. Or Sloane. Not sure. I heard her mom ask her something. Now, say it with me: What the hell kind of name is Sloan(e)? It reminded me of this Ken and Barbie couple me and Marci met at a pre-bringing-your-2nd-child-home-to-meet-the-first-child class. Barbie starts saying something about how Berkeley did this and that and blahblahblah (aside: It bugs me when people talk about someone you don't know like you know them well). Then I got to thinking about all these damn trendy kids with names like Savannah, Mackenzie, Tristan, Madisyn (what's with the Y?), etc, etc, etc. Are Haley and Riley trendy? I just thought they sounded good with my last name. *shrug*
Friday, February 25, 2005
Now, I like me some sushi, but I'm really a sushi wuss. Rolls, please, no wasabi or ginger. Just a bit of soy sauce. Next to us was a brother/sister couple, hanging out, having sushi, obviously sushi experts. Ordering stuff not on the menu, chatting on a first name basis with the sushi chef (Mato), and generally being the studs of the restaurant.
Normally I could care less about something like this, but it made me wonder. At what point do you become a sushi expert? Apparently this guy (his name was Shayne with a "Y", as we made some small talk after dinner) was a regular when he lived in Issaquah. I didn't ask how he became Sushi Certified, but we did talk about the new used BMW he bought earlier in the day. (The same dealer, Platinum Autos, has a Imola S4 sedan. Badass!)
Again, I digress.
Shayne ordered a bunch of rolls, plus seaweed bags with fish eggs. My feeling that to become a sushi expert, you need to eat a shitload of sushi over a long period of time. Especially when each order is $8.00 or more. Rough calculation time:
- Average meal of sushi, say 3 orders: $24.00
- Number of visits to Sushiman to get well-versed in sushi eating: 15-20
- Total money spent to learn how to eat sushi like a native: $360.00 to $480.00
- Stuff you could buy with $360 to $480: Rio Karma, PS2/XBOX, round trip airfare to somewhere warm
By the way, having dinner with the S.O. is underrated. Or maybe having kids is overrated? In any event, hanging with the wife is great. I owe it all to Jennifer.
Let's see if I can recapture the magic.
Last night I met with Brett, Nelson and Brew for rehersal. I wrote about this guy, Brew, here, in a previous post. He's an Irishman (by way of NY) and he's in the States to play music. Back in Dooblin (as he says), he was in a band called Blue Sun, and they had some success playing there. Radio airplay, lots of gigs, but apparently, in Ireland, they're afraid of success, so that's as far as Blue Sun got. So Brew left for the Spacious Skies of the good ol' USA.
He's an interesting cat. I get the feeling sometimes that he's putting us on with his Irish accent. It seems forced to me, but I guess 15 years in a different country will affect your speech whether you like it or not. Still, to me it's like, "Hey! Look at me! I'm Irish. Where're me Lucky Charms, mate?"
So Brew has a little stable of indie pop tunes. 4 chords and a cloud of dust. You've heard it before. Nothing groundbreaking, or even terribly original, but they are catchy (and better than I can do, so don't jump on the "Why don't you do something better" bandwagon). What Brew has that can do him some good is a lot of charisma, especially as a frontman (though I think his singing and guitarplaying need some work). Charisma goes a long way, though: see David Lee Roth.
Now, this isn't a bitch session about Brew. He's been great at our rehersals, bringing an energy that we haven't seen for awhile, so it's quite welcome. What's funny is that he thinks he can go out (with us or another band) and really knock Seattle on its ass. I hope he can. But, being the jaded industry vet that I am (sarcasm on +10), I can't see it happening. In order to succeed in this town (with a big in my opinion just to be safe), here are some things you need:
- fewer showers
- tight, poorly fitting leather jackets
- boys: Buddy Holly glasses
- girls: rainbow colored wristbands
- lip piercings
- clunky shoes
- marginal musical talent
Do I sound bitter???
Johnny Low, from our bands Ethyl and StarChief, was a master at writing the cynical rock scene rock song. I can think of 3 he wrote that were just awesome commentaries on the Seattle Music Scene (or lack thereof). Bonehead Rocker, The Failure and Jaded, were all songs we recorded that he wrote with killer lyrics that I loved. Here are the words for Bonehead Rocker:
You got your bitchin' little haircut
And your downtown indie cred
Friday night shows at the hotspots
With your trendy little friends
Don't get me wrong I'm very happy for your localized success
Well, me, I'm just a bonehead rocker
Your late eighties bastard son
Any association with me could be the end to all you've done
Well, we were livin' in the same world
Havin' fun, I feel no shame, feel no shame
I'm just tryin' to keep it real, man
Hey, what's my name?
And when you look inside of strangers' eyes for comfort
You'll find that time and time again they'll let you down
Unless, of course, you've got that indie cred they all dream about
And just to think for me to make it in this town
I've got to kiss your ass,
Basically change everything that I'm about,
Don't get me wrong I'm really hopin' for some localized success
Well, we were livin' in the same world
Havin' fun, I feel no shame, feel no shame
I'm just tryin' to keep it real, man
Hey, what's my name?
Don't want a revolution
Just you to sing along
This is my institution
And it's called rock 'n' roll
I always loved that song. So fun to play. Loved to hear Johnny sing it. Some nights, he'd really go for it and it was great to be out and about with him. People would rock out to it, but no one really "got" it.
So, what is being successful, then? Playing to 200 people on a Friday night? Sometimes. You get paid more that way. For me, though, it's about staying power. Too many times Ethyl/StarChief would play a gig, impress people, and really have a good time. Where were those people the next show? Who knows? Do they need to come to each show? Of course not. But it would really float my boat for someone to come up after a gig and say, "You guys were great." And then, 2 or 3 shows down the road, come up again and say, "Remember me? You guys were great." Repeaters, I guess. Too many "one and dones" for me. One show and that's it. Can it be done in this town? Sure it can. Who's gonna do it? We'll see.
I'm going to bed. If you want to hear Bonehead Rocker, you can check it out here.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
What the hell was I on? When I was 12, I liked girls. But, looking at the outside (I haven't even made it to the contents yet!) of this horrible book, it's obvious that it's a GIRL'S diary. Now, maybe it was given to me; I don't remember. But, nevertheless, you'd think I woulda figured this out, especially with stuff like, "A GIRL'S HOME IS HER HASSLE," and "A DATE AT THE DOOR IS WORTH TWO ON THE PHONE." Jesus Christ. How stupid was I?
In any event, I read just a teeny tiny snippet the other day and almost had a heart attack from laughing so hard at my teenage pubescent idiocy and stupidity. Something about a girl named Robin that I was "going" with in middle school. She was tall and pretty and I was a pimply faced Chinese kid trying to fit in a White Man's world. For whatever reason, she wanted to "go" with me (Looking back, it was probably so she could just say she was "going" with someone...). Anyhow, I digress. Middle school was a hundred years ago and from all the people I went there with, there's 3 I can name right now that I still keep in touch with. Hopefully none of them are reading this now.
But my whole point for going down Memory Lane was to say that with my GAY diary, at least I knew I was the only reading it. Then I could put down my innermost thoughts about whether this boy liked me, or which boy I had a crush on..., er, I forgot. The DIARY is gay, not me!
So, I could write whatever I wanted in my little locked book. On this blog, I suppose if I had a big set of balls, I could write whatever I wanted to as well. But, can I really? I know there are people that will read this (even though my pathetic counter only reads 13) that will know I'm writing about them. Even if it's anonymously attributed to someone, that someone will know. Ah, hell. I don't know. I guess I just have to be tactful in saying that so-and-so is a drama queen, or that I thought so-and-so shouldn't have worn what she wore today; I could see her panties. Blah blah blah.
ps: I made that panties one up. I never complain if I can see some panties.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
This is going to be my first audition in a long time. My previous bands were situations where I already knew one or some of the guys. I have no clue who these guys are other than our email communications. We have, however, worked with the same engineer in the past, so we have that in common.
LCD panels rule the world. I came in to work today and found my old Compaq 150 15" monitor (with built in squint-to-read-option), replaced by a brand spankin' new NEC 17" LCD! w00t! Bad ass! It's bright, big and small(??)! You know what I mean! I can actually SEE stuff now. Plus, I have more square footage on my desk. No more rummaging around for anything (knock wood). Now, how do I get one for my CPU at home?
Good karma alert! Read on.
My brother told me about a TV he got for free recently from freecycle.org. It's a website (Yahoo! group, basically) where people give stuff away. For free. You go there and you'll see it broken down into regions. Need baby clothes? No problem. There's a ton. Books? Check. Refridgerators? You bet. Plus, you can give your crap away. I saw a Want listing for a bass guitar. Well, wouldn't you know it? I had a bass (old Ibanez) sitting in my recently cleaned basement, neglected. Got it 15 or so years ago, haven't played it on a regular basis for the past 10 years or so, probably wouldn't for another 10+ years, either. So I figured I'd hook someone up with a cool freebie. Sure, I probably could've gotten $100 or so on eBay, but I was too lazy to post pictures. Plus, this guy picked it up and was very appreciative. It was more fulfilling than getting a +1 at eBay, that's for sure.
Did I mention Blogger.com is sweet?
Here's their procedure. A fairly painless sign up. Yay. Then, to get people to see your blog, you send emails out using their service (warning flags go up). Before sending the emails, though, I did try to find my blog through Myspace.com. Let's see. Search for Gwon Chang. No results found. I couldn't figure anything out. So, sheepishly, I sent the email out. Got a few responses and reads. Then one friend wrote back saying how he didn't want to register to just read my blog, no matter how brilliant and insightful it may be. Yikes. The last thing I wanted was people to NOT want to read what I have to say. Thanks to Myspace, I was getting what I didn't want! (turns out, after some digging around, you do Friend Finder, then type in the name you're looking for. But I still like the Blogger front end better.)
Anyway, I went through a few days of blogging and now, I'm moving to a nicer part of town. Already, I like the blogging interface. Very nice. Let's see if people will actually come to read now.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Let's see. What did I find? Tons of Stephen King books, both hardcover and paperback. I read a bunch of that stuff in high school. And look! I'm normal! Also found a bunch of my old Indiana Jones stuff; the books, comics, screenplays. Let's not forget the old NES and 3DO systems. Now I gotta find out if they work.
I had no idea how obsessed my brothers were with sports cards. They had BOXES of basketball cards. Unopened ones from 1993. I have no idea about the stuff, but shouldn't there be good money in there?
So, yesterday, we awoke to a leaking hot water heater at my house. Luckily, it wasn't that bad, aside from the final bill. But there was some water on the adjacent wall which is the other side of a crawlspace/closet we have downstairs. Sadly, there was a bunch of crap in that crawlspace that I had to clear out to see if we had any seepage. Being that I was in junk/cleaning mode already from the weekend, I went to town. Hauled out boxes of Marci's old clothes, wrapping paper (who knew we'd save so much used wrap!), empty compter game boxes, toys, and junk. Two garbage cans later, we had some room in that closed. Thankfully, also, there was no seepage. Good times!
Keep an eye out on eBay in the next few days. I think I'll put up some stuff, see what I can get for it.
Friday, February 18, 2005
So I get up to Edmonds, to this unassuming little cul-de-sac in a nice little upper-middle class neighborhood. They're house 5809 and I don't see it. Then, at the back of the cul-de-sac, I see a red gate with 5809 next to it. Now, I knew these people would have the cash (they own a very successful restaurant in Seattle), but what I saw behind the gate was pretty neat.
I pull through the gates and it's like I'm in a different place. Driving down this one lane driveway, tall trees on either side of me. I make a slight right and see this lake, a private lake, with a walkway from one side to the other. I pull my car into a parking spot (they had parking spots at this house!) and look around. It's like I just skiied down a mountain and am coming into the lodge. This house is like a Swiss chalet. For some reason, I was very intrigued by it.
Inside the home (lodge?), I felt like I was in Europe. High ceilings. Dark wood beams. Brick walls. Lots of art and paintings hanging (I half expected the eyes in a portrait to follow me as I walked down the hall!). This place reminded me of the kinds of places I daydreamed about as a kid. The kind with a library, where, when you pulled a certain book, the floor would change into a descending spiral staircase. Sadly, though, I wouldn't get a chance to explore anywhere but the master bedroom (with spiral staircase to a upper floor!) and the bathroom. Not terribly exciting.
Makes me wonder why someone with the $$$ that these people did would buy a home like that. Definitely cost mucho bucks, but not quite the big home I was expecting. Very unique, though.
I got my remote last night. Spent about an hour setting it up. Kinda cool, but me and Marci are gonna have to learn the in's and out's of it.
Watched a bit of Kill Bill Vol. 1 last night. Entertaining, to say the least, but I was so tired I couldn't stay awake.
I've pretty much learned two of the four songs the Lund Bros. want me to learn. Feel and Accident. What a couple of catchy little ditties. Love 'em. I got a CD today with 2 more songs, Sinking and In My Hand. Looking forward to learning those this weekend.
So who's got badass weekend plans? Not me. Going to work tomorrow and then Sunday, may do this thing with my parents at said restaurant for a Chinese New Year celebration. WooT.
I think I might switch blog programs too. I'm embarrassed that I blasted everyone with the Myspace crap. Then again, I can barely find my own blog when I jump on as a general user. Pretty user unfriendly.
Talked to Johnny Low (sang and played guitar in Ethyl and Starchief) today. It's
funny; since he left town, we've gotten closer. We were friends, but not TIGHT. Now we call each other once a week or so to bitch and moan about music. It's cool.
And speaking of Ethyl, spoke to Rob L. Jones today too. He has a really puffy coat he wears around. It's cute. In a gangsta kind of way.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
So we're playing something (I don't remember what), and I get REALLY thirsty. Like dry-heave-when-you-swallow-because-your-throat-is-so-dry thirsty. In the middle of the song, I spy the singer, Adam J., a graduated fellow who thought it was cool to still hang out with high schook kids, with a Big Gulp cup and figure it'd be ok to take a swig. I mosey over, still playing, and take a drink.
Horrors! I had just taken a drink from Adam's cup expecting Coke or Sprite, but instead, got Skoal Wintergreen Flavored Chew Spit®.
I did a spit take and proceeded to pick bits of chew from my teeth with my tongue. Sadly, we were still mid-song, and the show had to go on.
I was reminded of that episode tonight at band practice. We had this guy come out. Brew was his name. A guy from Ireland who was born in the US. Apparently he moved to Europe in his 20's and stayed there for 15 years. Had the accent and everything. Pretty good audition. He did well, added some needed energy to the room. Some flava too, being African-American. Pretty interesting. But, back to what reminded me of the Chew Spit Incident.
It was pretty minor, actually. After rehearsal, while chatting, I innocently picked up one of my water bottles off the PA speaker, uncapped it, and took a swig. Before I swallowed (I think!), something like a twig entered my mouth. I spit and saw it was a Q-Tip with one end black (burned, I think). I continued to spit and saw there was another one in the bottle. Go me!
Moral of the story. Before you drink, see what you're drinking. Save yourself the grossness and disgust.
PS: sorry again to anyone who had to sign up to read this drivel. I do have a link so you don't have to give Myspace any of your precious info. Let me know if you want it.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Anyway, I wrote them back, hopefully without sounding too eager, that I wanted to try them out. Fired off the email and waited. And waited some more. Then some more. Checked once more: Inbox (1)! Woohoo! They wanted me to learn some songs and then get back to them. So now I'm stuck at work where there are 3 people on 17 beds and it's damn dead before I can go home and start woodshedding. Plus, then I gotta eat dinner and then do the kids routine (dinner, baths, bed). Hopefully Riley S. lets us be tonight and sleeps a bit. That little punk has been terrible at sleeping. Only likes to sleep with Mom, and only when Mom sleeps. Does wonders for the sex life, that's for sure!
So this band, Lund Bros., sounds a bit Cheap Trick-ish, with some Posies thrown in for good measure. I know I'm putting the cart before the horse, but C'MON MAN! It's time for The Kid to get a musical break. These guys sound like the real deal and I think I want to be a part of it.
Plus, this is a neat way to keep in touch with people. Going down my email list, it was evident that most of the people on the list, I haven't contacted/been contacted by in months. That stinks. What can you say?
For all the people that are "brave" enough to sign on with this program, great. I hope to hear from you. Maybe you'll have comments on this stupid little blog I'm putting up. In the meantime, once it hits 6:00pm, it's out the door I go and I may be listening a bit to the following:
BTW: I have 6 women on the beds right now, talking about their ex-boyfriends and their hairy backs. WTF???
Another interesting thing about the site is that the two dudes behind it went to high school with me. Who woulda thought?
Riley went to sleep for about 45 minutes tonight. His mom had to feed him to get him to do it though. Should make for fun when we have him do the cry-it-out method for sleeping.
Here's something else. I'm sure there's plenty of blog sites out there. I chose this cause I saw someone else's site and figured I could do it too. What I didn't know was how wacky the "invite" thing was. I figured I had to use their email service to let people know about this blog. It's kind of misleading. People think you have to sign up to Myspace.com to read anything. Apparently you don't. But hell if I know how to find my blog without signing on. I found a link that seems to work and have linked it to some forums I frequent.
Watched half of American Idol on TiVo tonight. For some reason I always get dragged into that train wreck. Sometimes I find myself peeking through my fingers like it's a horror movie. Where do some of these people come from? Quick Degrees Of Separation Note: I am 2 degrees separated from our favorite dawg, Randy Jackson. Here's how it plays out. I play bass and get my bass repaired at Mike Lull's Guitarworks in Bellevue. Mike Lull makes Mike Lull Basses and Guitars. Randy Jackson plays Mike Lull Basses. Nifty, eh???
Now, who's your daddy???
Friday, February 11, 2005
In the meantime, I'm anxiously awaiting responses to my Bass Available ad in the Stranger. My old band, Starchief, (well, old is a bit premature), is on a bit of a hiatus. We're "feeling things out", as they say. So I have an ad out. Gotten some responses, all coherent, but nothing mindblowing yet, though I am waiting to hear from someone that I'm really interested in. Hopefully they'll get to me soon.
Oh, yeah, I bought a Logitech Harmony 676 remote the other day. The place I bought it from is based in Tustin, CA, so I was expecting 2-3 days shipping (to Seattle). When I checked UPS, it was 7 days! WTF? Apparently their warehouse is in PA. Great. Oh well, all good things to those who wait, right?