Saturday, April 30, 2005

LOL and other things

Good lord, I don't know if I can continue the Robin saga. I should let the poor girl rest in peace. Not that she's dead or anything; I have no clue where she is now. But the next few entries are all about how a boy feels about a girl.

Haley knows how to open doors now. Well, she knew how to already, but we'd bought these "child-proof" handle covers. You gotta squeeze 'em to open the door. Well, she just pulls down on it and the doors open. So bedtime is like jailbreak these days. We hear the door open and it's on. Track her down, put her back in bed. Good times.

Looks like the Lunds have booked a gig for June 11th at a place in Tacoma called Panamonica's. Not much of a website, but supposedly one of the better clubs in town. I'll keep you posted.

I've "acquired" a copy of Make Believe, Weezer's latest CD. I've become somewhat of a Weezer lover the past few months, only recently learning of the new CD. My first impression of MB wasn't all that positive. I was hoping for more pop nuggets like In The Garage, or No One Else, Don't Let Go, and O Girlfriend. But there were songs that were quite simplistic, like the lead track, Beverly Hills. And some of the other tunes are very '80s-ish, with keys and all, but, after a few more listens, that sucker's starting to grow on me. It releases May 10th, so do check it out.

For my birthday, Marci got pre-bought for me Forza Motorsport for the good ol' Xbox. That hits on the 3rd and the geek in me CAN'T FREAKING WAIT. I played quite a bit of Gran Turismo 2 on the good ol' PS2, but sold it last summer, so have been without a racing "sim" for some time. Tuesday will be fun.

Oh yeah, did you notice that the Pope blessed my music? How cool is that? He has a blog as well and it's great. Check it out.

The Incredible Hulk has a blog too. Who knew he was literate? Great stuff.

Day: Monday Date: May 21st, 1984

Today, Robin brought Bucky Beaver. Bruce is back! She was mean today. I brought mr 31 to school. Rick loves it. In Math, I'm in Advanced 7th. I saw only 1 person in Standard and thought it was Jeanette, but it was Robin! I feel so sorry for Robin.

Day: Sunday Date: May 20, 1984

Today we went to the Madison hotel to look for one of the China Exhibit people. She wasn't there so we left her a note. Then we went to Uwajamia (or something) and got things like Go-bots.

Day: Saturday Date May 19, 84

Today we went to Chinese school. After that, Dxx Gxxxxxxxx came over. We got our hair cut, the Yxxx's came over (3 little kids Yxxx). But most of all I hope Robin will still like me even with this haircut!

P.S. I recorded Musictime! (turn me on! turn me up! turn me loose! turn me loud!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Last night's gig with StarChief

And then there were three. Me, Brett and Nelson. Brett had booked a gig for SC at the Rendezvous, a small little bar that happens to have a theater attached to it. In fact, this theater used to be a small movie theater, only now they have bands playing there all the time.

Even though the Mighty SC had played there a few times, on weekend nights, no less, the booker considered us new, and therefore booked us for "New Music Monday", a.k.a. "See if you can draw a crowd on Monday before we book you on a weekend". I went in with low expectations. As in happy to play in front of 10 people expectations.

Imagine my excitement when, just as we played our first note, there were four people in attendance. Keep in mind, my band only has three members. Luckily, the way the theater is setup, when you're on stage, you have lights shining in your eyes and you can't see the people dressed as empty seats.

This was our first "real" gig as a Power Trio. The other two (house party and bar & grill gig) didn't count. This gig didn't require us to bring our own P.A.; always a good sign. I could actually hear myself singing (not necessarily a good sign). My rig and bass had really satisfying tone and I thought I played pretty well. In fact, we all did pretty good. There were a couple of clams, though. But, as Nelson's fond of saying, you get one mulligan per song.

When we finished and the lights came on, it was nice to see that some people did actually come out (even though they were there for the Indie Cred filled White Collar High). It was a fun night in that I got to play music. How's that saying go? Even when sex is bad, it's good? That's kind of how I feel about music. Even when it's bad, it's better than not doing it at all.

Blog = long?

For some reason, I feel like anytime I post an entry, it has to be long. Like Gone with the Wind long. But, just to prove that that's not true, this is the end of this post.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Where were you 3 years ago?

I was at Swedish Medical Center with Marci and a bunch of doctors.

The night before, I was at the venerable Central Saloon with Johnny and Rob celebrating our band Ethyl's CD release. About 200 or so people showed up and we were ready to have a good time. Before we went on, a bartender came up and asked for me. She said, "Your wife's on the phone. She's going into labor!"

Uh oh.

I went in the back and talked to Marci for a sec. This baby wasn't due for another 5 weeks so, needless to say, this was a big surprise. Turns out Marci's water broke and she had her friend coming down to take her to the hospital. So I was stuck at a crossroads. Do I skip out on the gig and run home? Or do I play the gig? Well, being the well-informed individual I am, I knew that water breaking didn't mean instant baby, so I had a few hours to burn. (Luckily, Marci was on my side, too, so I had her blessing) But that didn't mean I wasn't a bit nervous.

So we get on stage and we're playing through our set. I have my cell on the floor, watching for it to light up, indicating a call. Between songs, I did try to listen for messages, but couldn't hear anything. I had 200 people really excited for me, too. That was pretty cool. We made it through the gig great and then I jetted out of there. I had some people help out with my gear and sped on up to Swedish.

When I got to Swedish, I was relieved, but also feeling quite guilty for not "being there" when the water broke. Then again, what could I have done? Marci made it there just fine without me, so we concentrated on the impending birth. At the time, the baby (at this point, nicknamed Marvy) was breech. Ultimately we hoped Marvy would spin around on it's (didn't know the sex either) own, but nothing happened that night. We ended up sleeping on the floor of the room because for some reason, the bed was too uncomfortable for Marci.

On the morning of the 21st, the doctors came in and said that since Marvy hadn't moved, it was time for a C-section. This was big news to us. For the previous couple weeks, we'd been taking classes on the Bradley Method, a natural (as in no drugs) way to give birth. I, of course, slept through all my classes. Or I doodled. Or goofed off. It was terrible. But, because of the C, I lucked out. I wouldn't have to do anything but take pictures.

So, at about 11:00 that morning, we went in for surgery. I put on my little mask and hairnet. The doctors began surgery and it was amazing. Like a machine. They're doing their thing and just chit-chatting. A few minutes later, they pulled a baby out. I took a look and saw what I thought was a penis, but then realized that we had a baby girl. And then I cried.

The doctors cleaned her up and took her and I upstairs to the NICU where they did all sorts of measuring and weighing and tests on her. I was just in awe of everything. Just a feeling of, "Holy cow. That's mine." And then I kind of got it. "It" being the whole dad-thing. As in, "Now I'm a dad." Before that moment, I had an idea, but after that moment, I realized I had no idea.

I ended up spending time up there with the baby (still unnamed at this point) and wondering about when Marci would be able to see the baby. Marci was still coming down off the drugs from the surgery, so they wouldn't let her come up just yet. A few hours later, when the drugs wore off, Marci finally got to see her baby. They spent a few minutes cuddling and introducing themselves to each other. It was kind of cool.

After that, we figured we should name the baby. We kicked around a couple names, most of which I can't remember. But we came around to Kaley, and then I suggested Haley, and then we realized that that was it. Haley. Not bad. My parents already had a Chinese name chosen for her, Tien Shing, which means heavenly fragrance. We were going to name her Haley Tien Shing, but then my brother, Knight, had a brilliant idea. He said, "Why don't you translate Tien into Sky?"


So we did the translation, but to be cool, added an "e" to the end. Haley Skye. So nice.

That's where I was 3 years ago. Haley ended up spending 10 days in the hospital NICU growing up and getting better. We brought her home after that and, well, it's been a lot of fun.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Halo. You're the best!

Monday, April 18, 2005

I gave my notice today

My 2 gig notice, that is. Har har har. Had rehearsal tonight for the first time in 2 weeks or so with StarChief. Rust, this is Gwon. Gwon, meet rust. I was rusty tonight. Forgetting my parts, vocally and on bass. But it worked out in the end.

As it was, I told Nelson and B$ that these last two gigs would be it for me and SC. But I threw an obligatory, "We'll see what happens" in there, so as not to completely slam the door in their faces. So, to help them along, I've taken it upon myself to peruse the Stranger want ads for Bassists Available.

Here's a good one... if you're wanting to know how NOT to write a Bassist Available ad:
I have bass...Not free bass that would be quite illegal to post insuch a place. HA. I Live between Tacoma and the upper eastside. Prefer the southerlylocation. But if anybody has anything good going on sign me up. I can do whatever.Just show me confidence. You got mine.
Ok. What does this ad show other than nothing? That he has a terrible sense of humor and is located within a 50 mile stretch. "Between Tacoma and upper eastside"? Of course, he probably means upper eastside of TACOMA, in which case I guess I'm the dumbass.

Boy. Bassist Available ads are lean. Here's one. Somehow, I don't think it'll work out.
Bassist for the band HorseHedd seeks new venture to take music careerfurther. Played a few hundred shows and know the circuit well. Influences uncludeKyuss, Deftones, Tool, Chevelle, etc. Have pro gear and transpo. Can practice anynight and available for tour. Lets jam.
Now, I think most bassists are intelligent, but, to me, anyone in a band named HorseHedd, let alone played a few hundred shows with a band called HorseHedd, probably ain't all there. Then again, I could be wrong.

Brett won't be emailing this guy either.
Bassist available for goth/industrial/metal band. I like heavy, odd feeling music, and I want to get out and play ASAP.
Why is it when I see goth/industrial/metal I think of something like this?

Only a lot skinnier, with clown make-up. And no gun. But with a long trenchcoat that might hide a gun.

*(&(%&$*&$ BLOGGER! I had some good stuff posted and *poof*. Off it went. Dammit. Let's see if I can recapture the magic.

BASSIST AVAILABLE immediately. Playing for 6 years. Influences include Kittie, Metallica, Saving Face, Blink 182 and many more. I play with a pick.Sound samples from my old band available at request. I am drug and alcohol free,rely on the bus.
What's wrong with this ad? I see an oxymoron! The words "immediately" and "rely on the bus" seem to not work together. Or maybe it's just me. Unless this person drives The Short Bus, band will shy away. Because with The Short Bus, this bassist could potentially turn into the Band Gear Hauler. And with The Short Bus, you get an added bonus of The Hydraulic Lift. Bass rigs + Hydraulic Lift = TLA.

Hello. i am a bass player. my name is john. i am eighteen years old.i am in desperate need of a new project. i have an email address. it i dont check it much. i have a big back.
Why even place an ad? Trying to be funny? If I was lookin' I wouldn't be callin'.

Want to be micro-managed? Then here's your man:
Bass player/vox looking to front project called "The Screaming Starts". Looking to put together a 3-4 pcs. Influences: Husker Du, Fugazi, Circle Jerks, etc. I`m a solid, innovative basses. Looking for the same. I need a guitarist, & drummer.
Uh, last time I checked a project needed more than one member. What you have here is the guy who No One Wants To Play With. What if I call and don't like the name of the band? Am I fired?

Looks like we're out of bassist ads, so onto making fun of other ads.

So angry:
In the immortal words of Maddox:

I don't know if I'd answer this ad. I'd read it, then run from the room screaming, only to find myself huddled in the fetal position, rocking back and forth, sucking on my thumb. They're scary.

Now these two aren't bassist ads either, but are great, so here they are:
SINGER SEEKING BAND!! Hello my name is Amber, and I am a singerlooking for a band to play in. I sound like a mixture of Ann Wilson from Heart, Leadsinger of Foreigner, and Patty Smythe. I am 25 years old, and can play guitar andkeybaords but am mainly interested in singing. If you want to go straight to the topthen please email me so we can get started. ( I have pictures of myself also toemail to you)
Hello! My name is Amber, I Wanted to elaborate from my first ad. I am a SINGER looking for a band, looking for a break, or something serious. I dont want anyone to respond unless they are hoping for a break or a chance to make it! Im 25,and can play keyboards and guitar but want to front a serious band. My style is like Heart, Do Doubt, or even Foreigner, my voice is like Patty Smythe but younger. I can hit the high notes and even higher. HERE IS MY SITE!! With my voice and pictures!! I want to go to the top and nothing less. Would like a female backup singer for harmonies... ROCK ON!!!
I'd hate to be Amber.


After Will & Grace, Amber sits at her PC, eagerly checking her email for responses to her ad.

Amber: Cool. I have email. *clicks open*
To: Amber

hi. i saw you're ad and i think your'e hot. do you have a webcam? mabe you can show me mor pix an di'll see if i want to be on top.. go to the top with you. i play drums and have conections.

Amber: I wonder if he really has connections?


Maybe it's the cynic in me, but something tells me Amber's a bit new to the game. I actually went to her site. She's cute and I think she'd be better off pursuing bubblegum pop instead of rock. Then again, who am I? Just a bassist being bitchy. Hopefully all these people find their musical Nirvana, and then some. And hopefully mine isn't shot to hell for being a brat.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Chiquita, R.I.P.

Today we had to put Marci's cat down. Chiquita was a little Calico that she met down in SoCal about 13 years or so ago. This cat attached herself to Marci and eventually tagged along when Marci moved to Washington.

When I met Marci in '93, she had 3 cats. Chiquita, Coco (Chiquita's baby), and Kitty (later to be named Grand, as she was HUGE). As the years passed, so did Coco (car) and Kitty/Grand (ran away). In the meantime, we acquired another cat, Raddy (aka: The Grey Menace) and that's how it was for years.

TGM and Chiquita didn't so much live together as they did coexist. TGM would harass poor Chiquita all the time: chase her around, tackle her, bite and nip her. And what would Chiquita do in return? Give love. She'd clean Raddy and just keep her company. That's how it was with that cat. She was a lover.

At the end, it became apparent something was wrong. For the past few days, we'd noticed that Chiquita had lost a lot of weight. That she was all bones. She hadn't been eating, and what she ate came out in, let's just say, not normal form. We made a decision to take her to the vet, not knowing what to expect. Turns out, the vet said she was 7 pounds (usually she was around 15 or so), that she had fluid around her lungs, and that if we hadn't brought her in today, that she probably would've died in 36 hours anyway. Decision time. We decided to not have her suffer anymore. I held her for a bit (I'd always joke that I loved the cats, as in I loved to hate them) and scratched her cheeks. She loved that. Haley gave her a hug and kiss (Where Cheeta go? she kept asking). Even Riley gave her some love.

Finally, Marci took her to a back room as I took the kids to the van. A few minutes later, she came out to the parking lot, in tears. That's when I was most sad; seeing Marci lose one of her oldest friends. For me, it was tougher than I thought it would be. But I'm glad we did it before she got worse. It was the least we could do for such a sweet kitty.

Goodbye, Chiquita. Have fun chirping at the birds. We'll miss you!

Chiquita, R.I.P. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Still waiting for more gifts

So yesterday was my 33rd birthday and, apparently, only one person took it upon herself to look at my list and get gifts. That one person being my dear wife. Sadly, though, when I entered my garage, the new GTi was nowhere to be found.

But I did get the Incredibles DVD, the Aimee Mann DVD, a pre-purchase of Forza Motorsport (wo00t!!) and Seasons 1 and 2 of Family Guy (from my bro). Oh yeah, also a free chocolate sundae from Red Robin, home of the Big Red Bird (as Haley calls it).

Right now I'm at home in the middle of the day. Marci's sick. Sore throat, congestion. She's miserable. Riley has more stuff wrong. Again. Ear and eye infections. One on each side. He's actually doing pretty good, though. Currently watching a Baby Einstein DVD. I wish I had the idea for that. Who woulda thought that taking a bunch of videos of toys and puppets and putting them to a classical soundtrack would make truckloads of money? Go figure.

In other stunning developments, I am working on learning about 16 Lund Bros. songs. They have a total of 3 CDs out (though 1 was a double). I'm learning songs from all 3 CDs and it's a blast. Some songs I'm singing harmonies on, others just bringing the rawk. It's a kick either way.

One thing I'm interested in tracking down is an Akai Unibass UB-1.

That little baby will help fill the void created when Chris (the guitarist) solos or drops out. Apparently it creates a rhythm guitar-y distortion a 4th or 5th above the root note that the bass would play. I'm interested in it because on the Lunds studio stuff, the sound is really lush and full. 3-4 guitar layers sometimes, with acoustic and 12-string thrown in for fun. So, in a 3 piece live setting, it can sound pretty thin at times. As it is, I have some overdrive distortion on my bass. It fuzzes things up a bit, but it's not quite where I'd like it. Therefore, this pedal gives me wood. Sadly, though, they're discontinued, and the only one on eBay is going for $220.

Then again, with more practices and getting used to the stripped 3 piece sound, maybe I won't need that extra toy.

Do yourself a favor and

Go Read This. Have a box of tissues handy because you will laff your ass off. You will cry like a baby when reading about Kancho and DodgeDick. Seriously.

It's written by an American guy teaching English in Japan to kids. HILARIOUS stuff. Here's an excerpt from the first entry:

Ok, so I'm an assisstant teacher in three Japanese middle schools. The grade levels are ichinensei, ninensei, and sannensei. Translated this just means "1st years", "2nd years", and "3rd years", and it's equivalent to American 7-9th grades. So the kids are about 12-15 years old.

For the ichinensei, they JUST started learning English. So this means they know nothing. Well, they know "Good Morning" and "I go to school by bike", but that's about it. Some of them don't even know that. It's not a bad thing, try to think about how much Spanish/French/German you knew after 3 years of it in High School. I took HS Spanish for 3 years and all I took out of it was "Yo quiero taco bell". My apologies to Mrs. Gonzalez, Ms. Kuchinski, and Mrs. Mach.

You know what's kind of funny though? Some kids can't say "Good morning", but damn near all of them can ask if I have a big dick. Or, "bigu dikku" in Engrish.

If you find that funny, you'll love the rest. You can thank me later.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Day: Friday Date: May 18, 1984

Today, I wanted Robin to write me a note. So she did. In math, Robin wrote me a note saying: Why are you so shy? I wrote: I'm just that way. In shop I had fun acting not shy. After school, I said bye Robin. She said bye!

Day: Thursday Date: May 17, 1984

Today, Robin and I didn't do much. During 6 & 7 period, Markham (from Portland) came and played and sang for us. They are pretty good. After school, I stayed for Open Shop. I waited 'til Eddie finished his desk set. Then we walked home.

I got the gig!

Well, finally. Two months after being contacted, two rehearsals later, I've been accepted as a Lund Bros. Not sure if I need to change my name to Lund or not, but for the time being, I'm in a new band. Check 'em out here.

Friday, April 08, 2005

What's new?

Well? What is new? Let's see.

Musically speaking... Had a couple of auditions with the Lunds. That's going smashingly. I'm singing a lot more than I ever have. It's great fun and challenging at the same time. Monitors are everything; not being able to hear myself sing when I play is a big ego melter. I sing the parts fine in the car, but come game time, I choke like A-Rod in the ALCS.

Played a gig with Starchief at Brett's work last weekend. Not the best gig ever, but there was a lot of eye candy and that was nice. Talking about monitors, the speakers were RIGHT behind my head and I could hear every note I sang, bad or worse! But, it was better than not hearing it all.

Bought a new strap for my bass. I've been using a plain black one for years and since I had a few eBay bucks, I bought a new one with red sparkly stars on it. I rock! Slapped some straplocks on that baby and now I'm a new man.

Health speaking... Riley has had a rough go the past few weeks. He had a vaccination a few weeks ago and it really screwed him up. Hives all over his body, for days. He looked like he fell into a hornet's nest. A few dr's visits and 5 days later, his skin was back to normal. Come Easter morning, he woke up with a fever of 100+ and hives up the wazoo again. Sigh. After a few more dr's visits, plus a trip to Children's Hospital, it turns out he has a condition called Erythema Multiforme, which basically means he is hyper allergic to certain things. We were able to wait another 4-5 days and it cleared up, but now we have to keep an eye on him. Good times.

Tonight, we tried to let him cry it out for an hour to go to sleep. Our regular pattern has been dinner, baths, bed. Only he likes it more like dinner, bath, eat, goof off, eat, screw around, laugh, jump up and down, be held, freak out, eat, and then, finally, when Marci and I hit the hay at 11:30 or so, go to sleep. That little brat has given his mom back aches and me tendonitis in my arms. It's been tough, but I figure we lock the sucker in his crib for a few hours for a few nights and we're golden. Cross your fingers.

Changing gears.

Washed my car yesterday at a drive-thru car wash. I forgot how hot my little hatch looked when it's clean. Nice! Then, of course, it rained like hell today. Figures.

Until next time...