Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gilmore Gays

Ok, so I know these two guys... for the sake of anonymity I'll call them 'Bill' and 'Jason'. They are devotees of the Gilmore Girls and they talk about the show much like that gaggle of underwear-clad girls that for a brief time (pun intended)broke down the episodes immediately afterward.

I overheard a conversation with these two guys (they call each other at each commercial break) and it went something like this:

Jason: Did you see the opening sequence? Were you home in time??

Bill: Yeah! They totally hated that mexican quail crap.

Jason: And I call Christopher- he's so fucking hot!

Bill: You KNOW that I get Christopher-- you called Luke awhile ago when he was shirtless in Lorelai's bed and you saw that furry chest.

J: I love Rory's new hair. She has bangs now-- or as the Brit's call it-- fringe.

B: Yeah, its ok. Lets hope she breaks up with Logan soon and takes up with her friend's soon-to-be ex boyfriend.

J: And when is Lorelai gonna dump Chris's ass and finally get up with Luke?

B: Dunno- but at least that would free him up so I could be his 'rebound' guy.

J: I hear the CW is courting both Lauren and Alexis to do an 8th season. Evidently the network feels that they still have more story to tell...

B: Really? What else is left-- bringing Jess back to have sex with his uncle Luke while Lorelai and Suki finally realize their unrequited lesbian love in a kitchen scene fresh out of 9.5 weeks?

J: Its back on.

B: Later.

I'm not sure, but that type of stuff is exactly what may prompt castmembers of Grey's Anatomy to use the word 'faggot' in everyday conversation.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Flash "Whore"don

As I've said before, I am a complete whore for anything Flash Gordon related. Honestly I don't know why I am so Flash Obsessed, but I am. I think it all started in 1980 when this film first came out. I distinctly recall sitting on the floor at the front of the 4-Star Theater (a total fire hazzard) to watch it with my friends.

I think I saw the film a total of 6 times in the theater. And then a million more when it came to HBO. I also taped it off HBO so I could watch it whenever. Its my favorite "I'm bored and want to watch a film, what should I watch?" movie. (My second favorite in this category is "Romancing the Stone").

Perhaps it is the blatant sexuality of the film. Or the mixture of comicbook camp and outlandish creativity. I don't know- but I love it all. Even some of the painfully bad acting by Flash and Dale (and Hans Zarkov). The foreign actors (Ming, Ora, Klitus, Kala, Prince Baron, and Vultan) are all really decent in the film (must be the shakespearian training...)

What brought this blog on is that I watched the movie again this past Sunday. Things I noticed about the movie are:

The special effects are fairly low-budget and could have been way better done.
The whole, moon-crashing-down-on-earth plot is full of holes
The sets are fairly HIGH budget and very intricate (very art deco and comicbook appropriate)
The costumes are outrageous and awesome.
Sam Jones was fucking HOT, even if he couldn't act.
Why wasn't Dale Arden hotter???
The use of leather and bondage gear is off the charts, and there sure are a LOT of leather-harnessed hawkmen extras running about the movie.
The "initiation" sequence in the Arbor temple was just one hair shy of a gay orgy, and probably gave me a chubby as an 11 year old.
The women all look as if Erte ate chinese and threw up on them- and its freakin' cool.
Max Von Sydow is the perfect Ming.
The battle sequences are actually pretty well done.
The Queen soundtrack somehow mixes cheezy and genius together.

This film will forever be in my top 10 films of all time. I highly recommend watching it again- but with friends around. Drink heavily, groan at all the bad lines and acting, but ooo and ahhh over the sets and costumes.

P.s. I got FLESH gordon for christmas. I will be having a party to watch both films some evening- much like screening party.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Done with Kevin

Yes, I'm officially done with baptist, virgin, UNC fan Kevin. Through. Kaput. Over. Finito. The End. Arrivederci. Sionara suckwad.

So here's the poop- get ready to take a big whiff.

Being the 'instant karma (read as: gratification)' type guy that I am, I decided that since I sort of liked Kevin and because my curiosity was peaked, I would give him a call. This was last Sunday after a group brunch where my friends disected Kevin and my gamenight firtations.

I SWEAR to Buddha that I had my flirt set on 'stun' only.

My friends were convinced that our smiles and our verbal sparring were signs of impending marriage. And heartened by this, I gave Kevin a call. The phone conversation went something like this:

Kevin: Hello?

CB: Hey, this is _________. I was just wondering if you were maybe though with church and family obligations today and if you were potentially free.

K: Yeah, I'm done with all that. And was going to go work out.

CB: Ok, well I'm going to see the movie "pan's labyrinth" today and was wondering if you might like to join me.

K: Well... um, I haven't actually seen a film in about 5 years...

CB: ....???? (pause- sensing impending doom and/or Kevin trying to shun me) Wow- this is a critically acclaimed fantasy piece set in Spain at the end of WWII. Its supposed to be quite good, but it may not be a good 'jump back into cinema' film for you.

K: Well, I need to work out, but it should only take an hour. Lemme call you after I'm done to see if I can get to the theater on time for it.

CB: Sure. I'm just going to be hanging at the mall until showtime. Give me a call.

K: Will do.

And there was no phone call. Not before the movie. Not after the movie. Nothing. So I texted him after the film a short little blurb like "you missed a good film, I highly recommend you check it out" or something equally passive aggressive.

No reply. For a week.

And so friday rolls around, and I'm still curious about Kevin, although I'm a bit peeved about not receiving any sort of communication from him. So I figure he gets ONE more chance (yes, I'm a glutton for punishment). I called on Friday evening and this conversation went like this:

CB: Hey Kev- I have basically a free weekend with nothing major planned. I was just wondering if you might like to get together at some point.

K: Um, yeah. I can't tonight because I have a work function I have to go to. And I leave for Florida on Sunday and have a ton of laundry to do, and then the packing, but sure. Give me a call on Saturday so we can see what's up.

CB: No problem. Talk to you tomorrow.

So I called on Saturday and of course got his voice mail. I left him a message to call me when he was free, and that I was just playing some volleyball because it was nice out, etc.

Once again- nothing. No call. No fucking text message either.

Really??? I mean.... REALLY? He just dropped his candy in the dirt.

And the funny thing is that he isn't 'all that'. Hell, I'm more 'all that' than he is and this is the rejection I'm getting? I'm worth way more than the 'that' that he has to offer. Of course now I need to go all pretty woman on his ass and find a gorgeous boyfriend and then see him at the next game night and say "big mistake. huge".

What a pisser.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The B-52's

I rediscovered the B-52's yesterday.

I was looking through my CD collection (albeit very quickly) to find something to put in the car on my way to go work out. I got as far as the B's... that's where I saw my large B-52's collection. "I haven't listened to Cosmic Thing in forever," I thought to myself. So I grabbed it an off I went.

I had forgotten how good that album is.

Truth be told, I'm not exactly sure what about the B-52's resonates so deeply with me. They are kitschy and campy and fun- perhaps that's it. They are unique too, having survived so well with a male lead singer that doesn't really sing so much as speak in an affected voice. Maybe they stuck with me during college with the whole "Rock Lobster" vibe. Maybe I like their sense of musical humor. But actually I think its because that underneath the beehive hairdos and the funky clothing are real musicians. Sure their earlier albums were a bit 'thinner', but they were still very musical.

And then they hit their stride with Cosmic Thing. Granted they "sold out to the man" a bit and shrugged off a bit of their campiness. But they kept the fun aspect to their music, all while fleshing out the songs into lushness. Maybe it was because they had gotten older and wiser and didn't think the beehives fit anymore. I don't know.

But I do know that I love the album "Cosmic Thing". I think one of my very favorite songs is "Dry County". It just grooves for days.

I'm not obsessed with the group, but I do love them and own just about all their albums. I also regret never having seen them in concert. And I'm so glad that I rediscovered this love yesterday. I've been bopping my head and singing in my car along with Kate and Cindy. Its been fun and put me in a good mood.

K-dog over at stageright-stageleft has a couple artists that he is big on (Prince, Kate Bush, and Peter Gabriel). I guess the B-52's are the closest that I can come to his musical crushes.

Shake it til the butter melts, bitches.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hot Bitch Mess Haiku # cunt

My loathing 4 U
Burns hot as 1000 suns
Fuck off and die, bitch

(disclaimer: my hatred has nothing to do with anyone who reads my blog, any of my friends, or even the wicked witch of the west- whom I view as creation of society)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A cry for help...

Ok, I need some help finding something online or... wherever.

I need copies of the Mrs. Mouth show.

Back in the mid-90's, a friend of mine got a videotape present from some friends of HIS who lived in New York City. Evidently there was a cable access station that featured something called the Mrs. Mouth Show.

The thing was pee-your-pants hysterical! Obviously done by some big ol' queen with tons of extra time on her hands.

Mrs. Mouth would narrate the show and was a person with their head hanging over a couch with eyes and a nose drawn on their chin so that when they were inverted it looked like a puppet of sorts. Naturally there was a wig involved too, and some heavy makeup. And a little outfit covering the guy's neck.

But the best part involved the barbie dolls.

These queens put on a full Barbie doll puppet theater thing-- in a barbie mansion decked out to the 9's. It was like a barbie version of Dynasty. Some of the dolls weren't barbies, but they all worked together in a weird sort of way. The main character's name was Tallulah as I recall.

They had different voices and characters and these fuckers manipulated them like a gay man's dream puppet show. Better than the "Lonely Goatherd" sequence from Sound of Music.

One of the best clips involved the barbies sitting around and discussing a hook shit. it went something like this:

Tallulah: It reminds me of that time I had that hook shit.

Camille: What the fuck is a hook shit??

Mom of Tallulah: How do you not know what a hook shit is??

Camille: Just tell me what it is?

T: A hook shit, is when you are taking a shit, and the turd curves around and enters your vagina. That's... a hook shit.

C: That's disgusting. I've NEVER had a hook shit.

Mom: I lost my virginity to a hook shit...

And so forth. There was another episode where Camille kept borrowing Tallulah's razors to shave her legs and leaving them all dulled. So to get her back, Tallulah took a rock and beat the hell out of the razor first. Then when camille started shaving her legs, it just kept nicking and cutting the hell out of her. When she came out of the bathroom, her legs were covered with small white bandages.

Tallulah: What the hell do you have all over your legs, Camille?

Camille: Oh, I cccccut my leggggggs while sssssshhhaving themmmm, so I putttt all these neat round bandaids on alllllll the cutttttttttssssssss.

Mom: Camille! Those aren't bandaid's... those are my nicotine patches you stupid bitch!

(cut to camille convulsing on the floor)

If anyone can find clips of these or knows of where I can get them, I'd be much obliged.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What in Japa-Hell were they thinking??

Fags of a certain age probably remember this doll. You younger types probably do not. This abomination is what is called a "Monchichi".

What the fuck was Japan thinking?

I remember this from my childhood. I did NOT own one. My parents were not big on me having dolls. If I wanted a doll to play with, I had to build one out of Lego. (Ever tried to hug a lego doll? its all pointy and hurty).

Even though I never owned one, and never wanted one, and only wanted to burn one... I STILL to this day remember that damn Monchichi themesong. Much as I remembered the fucking My Little Pony theme song.

"Monchichi Monchichi
Oh so soft and cuddly
With their thumb in their mouths they're really neat
Fun to wiggle their little feet
Monchichi Monchichi!"

A few of the lyrics could be wrong, but the tune that is beating about inside my brain is right on target.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

I saw Pan's Labyrinth yesterday.

Phew... what can I say? It was good. I would even venture to say it was REALLy good. But it is VERY dark. And disturbing. And there is an incredible amount of violence in it... surprising, awful, shocking violence.

I'm doing my best not to write any spoilers. I think it should be experienced without being tainted by preknowledge. I will give a couple of general impressions though.

It moves a bit slower than I was anticipating. At least at the beginning.

There's less "fantasy" than I was anticipating-- its more like bits of the fantastic encroach on the real world instead. And the fantasy is uglier than I was anticipating too.

I cried in a couple places. And involuntarily exclaimed some things in other areas (mostly things like OH!) One scene literally left me with tears streaming down my face.

The film is sticking with me for longer than I was anticipating too. I find myself remembering scenes and thinking about it quite a bit. And I think that's the sign of a good film.

So go see it, so we can talk about it.

To clarify about myself

I read your comments about this Kevin guy, and i understand where y'all are coming from. But I think I need to clarify some things about me.

Rarely do I meet someone who captures my interest for over, say... a minute. In roughly 60 seconds of conversation, I can generally tell if a person is worth getting to know, or needs to be kicked to the curb. And of those that are placed in the "worth getting to know" column, only a select few creep through my mind's transom because I find them intriguing.

Kevin is one of these.

I'm curious about his life and what makes him tick. I want to know how he taught himself piano and when he started singing and what other sports he likes, his views on politics, etc. I also think about what it might be like to kiss him.

Just a simple kiss. I don't want to fuck his brains out. I'm not even remotely thinking along those lines.

And as for my hangups about some of the "uncheck" items... what can i say? I'm shallow. The whole 'breaking in' for me means dating, sex, whatnot. I had two episodes in my youth where I got involved with guys that were fairly new.

I agreed to have sex with one guy- and it was his first time. It was very hot, but to me there wasn't a love connection. He had to come to terms with all that ANd losing his virginity, etc. It was uncomfortable and messy (emotionally) because I don't like disappointing people, and I feel i disappointed him.

The second guy I dated for awhile. He was inexperienced at the beginning and I tried to work through it, but the sex part became all about me performing orally, and him lying there. There wasn't even really any kissing. It was unfulfilling so I broke up with him. He talked me into getting back together and giving it another shot. It lasted a couple more weeks, but it just wasn't working out so I called it quits again. THAT's when he offered up his 'anal virginity' to me.

I didn't take it.

He literally started crying during the breakup and wanted me to be his first and to do it to him to basically to get it over with. I refused on the grounds that his first time shouldn't be just about getting it over with. I told him he'd thank me later for it later.

He never spoke to me again. And once again I let someone down.

This is why I am nervous about the whole thing and not anxious to put myself into the position where a repeat of these types of events could manifest themselves.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Thrown for a Loop

I sorta met someone last night, and I am in a minor dither about it all.

My friend Frank (see posting of the same name-- nice guy, tragic decorating) had game night. This is a fairly regular occurrence for us. And by "us" I mean a small group of gay guys that actually prefer having a night in playing games as opposed to going out to the bar and playing 'games'.

This particular night, 10 gay guys decided that they would rather do the game night thing. Among them was a guy named Kevin. I'd actually met Kevin before at Frank's tragic holiday tacky ornament party. Unfortunately Kevin was a bit ill that night and not feeling quite up to snuff. But I had made a significant enough of an impression on him at that time (with only 5 minutes of chatter or so) that he asked Frank to pass me his number -- and basically check the 'yes' box on the note as to whether "i would like to go out sometime".

I never called him.

And then he shows up at game night. Healthy and with some damn cute glasses on. Ok, so cute-nerdy look? Check.

We start playing games, and I discover he's highly competitive-just like me. He started trash talking about being on the winning team EVERY time for the previous gamenight. Hmmm. And his clues during catch-phrase were very good. He had pop cultural knowledge, was speedy, got into the game, and was quick with answers when we played on the same teams. When we competed against each other, it was like a battle for who could give better clues to get his team to guess stuff.

My favorite point was where the dumb guy on his team was acting out clues for a charade portion of Cranium. I made the bold prediction beforehand that Kevin would be the one to guess the answer. The item in question? My Little Pony. The guy acting did a passable job,and sure enough Kevin got it.

But then I sort of amazed the group when they started asking about the themesong for My Little Pony, and I sang it for them. Evidently I'm the only one who knew the actual lyrics to the My Little Pony commercials. (yeah, I'm that gay).

Plays games and is competitive? Check. Smart and culturally literate? Check.

When I offered to get him a beer, I learn that he doesn't drink at all.

Um... Uncheck.

Then during gamenight we had to turn on a small radio for Kevin, so he could listen to the Tarheels basketball game. He's a HUGE tarheel fan. When I gave him shit about that, he stood up to me and would flip me off every time I cheered a Georgia Tech basket.

Likes sports? Check. Tarheel fan? UNCheck. Verbally spars and won't take shit off me? BIG check.

Other things I learn about him. He has two degrees from UNC (hence the tarheel pride). One must be in business. He manages accounts and such for a fancy hotel in town affiliated with Duke university. But he is also flying down to florida in February to help manage a hotel property that is hosting the Dodgers for spring training. And while down there, he will be singing the National Anthem for one of the preseason games.

He also is a self-taught pianist.

Musical? Check. Good job? Check. Travels a bit. Uncheck.

He was invited to brunch with the group of us today, but he respectfully declined. He had to to go Church today. Baptist church.

Relatively big uncheck. But- doesn't apologize for religious leanings. Check.

And then I discovered the biggest thing about him. He is a virgin. Girl virgin and GUY virgin. Still. At age 30 whatever.

Whoa. One of my cardinal rules (#3 actually) is "never break in a virgin". I did it twice-- both times it did not go well. It is just a recipe for disaster- or can be. This was a most distressing piece of information to learn. It would be so much easier if he were slightly inclined to whoredom- as I am. But no.

(sigh).... Uncheck.

Even though I know that he is basically 'off limits' and a no-go, I find myself thinking about him a bit. At the end of the night I even asked if he might like to grab coffee sometime. He said sure, although he doesn't drink coffee. He would drink water instead. Or hot cocoa.

Doesn't drink coffee?? Uncheck.

What am I getting myself into?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hot Car Haiku #1

Throaty V-12 roars
Exotic style, scissor doors
Cannonball Beauty

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sorry for the neglect...

Actually getting signed into my blog has been a real bitch lately.

The I.T. Nazi's have been installing ever more protective software protocols in order to protect the intellectual property where I work. The long and short of it is that I am having fewer and fewer porn sites to visit during my workday.

Seriously, they've killed off youtube (but not veoh), and it was looking as if they had killed off blogger too. I get sent links all the time that show up as "ACCESS DENIED" when I attempt to visit them.

Its nearly forcing me to WORK at work. I'm so not pleased.


iHave a severe problem. iAdmit it. iM an iWhore. Anything with an Apple logo on it, iHave to have it. Unless iCan't afford it- in which case iWait.

At work we have a shitty "merit" program where you earn "points" if you do good deeds or exceed expectations or work extra hard, etc. iAm already expected to do 3 people's jobs (plus pick up slack for my employees when they aren't here) so its hard for me to "Exceed Expectations" and earn points. The minimum award given out is 100 points. That equates to something like 12 dollars.

iMean how great is it to work overtime on the weekends without pay, go above and beyond on some projects, do things that aren't in your job description and then you get awarded a whopping 12 dollars in "points".

At any time a person can use their accumulated points and go shopping at an online store. The store is a mish-mosh of crap: from kitchenwear to sporting goods. There are some electronics too (mostly of the 'sparkomatic' variety).
The really good stuff costs a minimum of 800 points. I got a digital camera 2 years ago for 1250 points. This past year, it took all I had to accumulate 600 points. Which, as it turns out, was just enough to purchase a new iPod shuffle.

Not that iNeeded another iPod. iHave two already. But this one is proving to be fun in random shuffle mode. Its the size of a postage stamp, yet it contains 700 or so songs from my personal library. It automatically picked all the music for me, and boy is it eccelectic. So far it includes selections from:

-veruca salt
-peter gabriel
-drum and bugle corps
-carmina burana
-the musical Wicked
-pink floyd
-claude debussy
-the beatles
-bob conti's big band
-wind ensemble selections
and many more!

The dramatic gear-switching is half the fun.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Childhood Shit

When I was home for Christmas, things took a desperate turn and I started going though old childhood crap just to keep busy. Buried deep in a box of children's books and a few stuffed animals was the thing shown above. An ugly fucking puppet that I made God-knows-when.

I think this was an art project from like 3rd grade or so. My mother is convinced that it was my rendition of Mr. Bill (evidently I went through some sort of Mr. Bill phase back then). All I know is that it looks like a papier mache blowup doll designed by Edvard Munch.

My mom tried to get me to take it home in my luggage, but I would have none of it. So she sent it to me.

Now I have this nightmare sitting in my office/den staring at me. What was she thinking?

What was I thinking when I made it???

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hot man Haiku #10

Bending, golden feet
Posh Spice?? What was he thinking!
Let ME take his foot!


So we played the second movement of my composition last night and it was an absolute trainwreck. Needless to say, I'm a bit disappointed.

And angry actually.

This time the trainwreck was not the engineer's fault-- it was the train and the conductor. The transposition and note errors had thankfully been fixed. But the piece was a flaming disaster for the following reasons:

1) conductor took it about 20 bpm too fast
2) oboe player informed me she can't sight read- she learns by 'hearing' the music (and the entire second movement is based on an oboe solo)
3) main percussion player is reminiscent of the kid who can't find the beat in Mr. Holland's Opus- he completely butchered the percussion part which forms the underlying current that propels the entire movement.
4) the ENTIRE flute section played the piece at half-tempo so they were effectively MEASURES off from the rest of the band.
5) half the band didn't read the key signature and continually missed the G-flats
6) conductor NEVER stopped to fix any of this- he just kept on directing (like thelma and louise driving right over a cliff)
7) some of the band had trouble thinking in sextuplets. The entire movement has an underlying subdivision of 6 per 'beat'. That was beyond their comprehension.

There were other glaring errors, to be sure, but those were the biggies.

As the trainwreck continued on and on and on, I felt my face flush with heat. I was completely embarassed and I wanted nothing more than to put a bullet in the whole thing. What I really wanted to do was stop the conductor, shove him off the podium, and take charge of the whole thing.

But no. I just melted into the floor. And apologized profusely for writing something that was obviously so difficult. I got a patronizing, "keep working on it" from the director. Nice. THe rest of the evening I was beating myself up and trying to figure out how to rewrite it so that it could be playable and trying to analyze where I had gone wrong, etc.

Then it hit me. The movement is EXACTLY the way I wanted it. Period. And I don't think I have to compromise my vision because the Durham Community Band couldn't sight read it well.

We played another piece earlier in the rehearsal that was a sightreading disaster-- very rhythmic. but the director took time to break that one down and after 20 minutes or so, it was playable for the band.

Why can't we do that to MY pieces? Because we are just 'reading' them and aren't going to 'perform' them. That's why. So the director isn't willing to put much time into them. Okay, I get that.

But last night I got very pissed off about the whole thing. Like, why wasn't I allowed to conduct my shit? I know its his band, but I know the pieces and can teach them. Or why didn't he stop and get the train back on track? Or any number of other small things that could have helped. Or why does it seem to be such an imposition for him to give up 5 minutes of band time to play a composition that a band member composed? He is very "whatever" about my stuff and quite frankly a bit insensitive to me.

I think I deserve better treatment than "whatever". And "keep working on it". And "it was... nice" type shit.

I stewed and fumed until I finally passed out sometime after 1 am. I am still seething this morning.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cell Phone Wars.

I am wicked pissed at my Cell Network.

I am a "Suncom" member. What's "Suncom" you say? Well, you wouldn't know unless you lived in one of four states or puerto rico, evidently. I think its just a southern regional thing. I used to be on AT&T wireless, which was fine. Then for a nanosecond I was with Cingular... but then that got sold to Suncom.

And here I am.

The above picture is of my cell phone model. Its a Nokia 6170 stainless steel beauty, roughly 1" x 4" x 1.5" when closed up. It weighs something like 2 pounds and takes on the dimensions of the first motorola phone when opened fully. The damn thing is built to survive armaggedon. After the holocaust, the roaches will be using MY phone to call each other.

So a few months ago I had to update my cell plan in order to save a bit of money. Naturally when you do this, you have to sign up for a 2 year agreement. Fine. But they never gave me that "since you are signing up for 2 years you can get a new phone" deal. My current phone was new to me sometime in 2005 although it appears to come from the 80's. I want a new phone, so I called Suncom.

They tell me I'm not eligible for a phone upgrade until April 2008. WHAAAA?? I've already had this behemoth for a year and a half! They finally admitted screwing up by applying my changed plan date to my phone. Then we got to chatting:

CB: On your website, I saw an offer for a 49$ Danger Hiptop? Can I order one of those?

Suncom: That offer is only for new subscribers, sir.

CB: But, since I changed my service and signed a 2 year thingy, shouldn't I have been eligible for a phone upgrade at that time?

Suncom: No. Not for this offer.

CB: So, do you have ANY deals for the people that haven't had a phone upgrade in almost 2 years and that you shafted by not giving an upgrade to with his latest service plan?

Suncom: No, I'm afraid not. You have to have service for 21 months before you are eligible for a phone upgrade.

CB: So let me get this straight. I've been a customer dating all the way back to when it was AT&T wireless, had only two phones ever, signed up for another 2 year stint, didn't get a new phone and I still can't get an upgraded phone for another year?

Suncom: Well, you could always pay retail price for a new phone, sir.

CB: So whats retail on the Danger hiptop?

Suncom: $299.

CB: You've been most helpful.


So I've decided that they fucked with the wrong guy, and I'll simply take the hit when I cancel their service and switch to Cingular so I can get the new iPhone. I predict their business is going to go WAY down, as people switch to Cingular, and I'll be more than happy to contribute.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Good, Bad and Ugly

First the good: we ARE going to sight read the 2nd movement of my composition this Thursday. I hope to be vindicated by it, after the fiasco with the transposition error. Most of the small group of listeners enjoy the 2nd movement best so far- so I am anxious for feedback on it. ANd to hear it live! (This time I hope to get some kind of recording device so I can replay it-- perhaps one that plugs into my iPod).

The Bad: yesterday sucked from a work perspective. I had to have a bad meeting with my group about their behavior. On Friday I made a huge mistake. I was quite busy at the end of the day, doing lab work, setting up weekend coverage, etc, and I had to get out my manager book for phone numbers. Unfortunately I left this book out in the lab at the end of the day friday.

This book also contained all my notes about all the tardiness, absences, and counselling sessions that I've had with my employees.


Naturally the book is organized into individual sections, with name labels, etc. It also has my name on the first 3 pages- which are just random documents like phone lists, computer codes, etc. So my people being roughly the mental age of kindergarteners proceeded to READ the book.

Then they complained to my boss and my boss's boss about how some people weren't in the book enough... or they complained about what I had written about them... or they thought my keeping the book was unfair, etc.

So I got called into numerous offices and had to explain everything (HR TELLS us to keep a documentation book on everyone). The funny thing was, my bosses were upset that I left the book out... but didn't seem to focus on the whole 'invasion of privacy' act.

So I had a meeting with my group (with my boss's boss present). I apologized for accidently leaving the book out. I also explained the HR purpose behind the book. And THEN I admonished them for finding the book, passing it around, and NOT turning it in to me. I basically took the "disappointed parent" role. I told them that I was extremely disappointed that they knew who the book belonged to and yet not ONE of them turned the book in unread. I likened it to finding someone's purse and then going through it and passing it around for everyone else to go through. I think they were all sufficiently shamed.

Now the UGLY: I had chinese food last night and it is creating a very ugly situation for me. I ordered Moo Shu Beef (really my favorite because you get to pretend that its a burrito too) and it was very good. But when I went to bed, my tummy was alreay in turmoil. As I was relaxing in my bed, I completely beefed one in order to releave some of the pressure I was feeling. All was good until I rolled over.

Oh the humanity!

I seriously had to pull my teddy bear "Preston" out from under the covers because i thought it might singe his fur. Yes it was that bad. It was like someone had left moo shu beef on a hot car seat for a couple days. I was gagging myself on my own stench.

Seriously, what the hell??

And you will be glad to note that I have carried this bowel emergency all the way to my office today. I already let go in here- and I had to leave my office to let it 'air out'. I'm afraid to go to a public bathroom at this point.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Do Nuthin' Sunday

Wow- I was a complete sloth yesterday.

I went to bed fairly early on Saturday night- only went out for one beer with friends before the smoke and noise was just more than I could handle. Plus I was feeling exhausted from the day.

Woke up in time to make it to brunch with the guys at 10:30 am. By noon I was driving back home. I parked myself on the couch in my living room and tried to finish "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". This lasted about 30 minutes before my eyes started to droop. That was around 1 pm.

The next thing I know, I wake up at 4 pm with a full bladder screaming at me. A THREE HOUR NAP??? Uggh. I was useless the rest of the day.

Laundry and dinner occupied the rest of the evening. Along with the Simpsons, Desperate Housewives, bits of "You're the one that I want" and then "sons and daughters".

Some fancy life I lead.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Well, we did it.

HALF did it anyway.

Today at the music session (about 1.5 hours ago now) we read the first two movements of my composition for band. I'll shorthand it for you--- it went pretty well.

The good things: Everyone was able to play the first movement and some of the build sections went SO much better than I had anticipated. It came off just like I heard in my head!!! The percussion parts fit well and there weren't any noticable note errors or problems with the piece. It generally sounded just how I wanted and the big, half-time restatement of the theme went Very well-- the percussion cymbals and gong really added color that I just can't hear on my computer program.

The bad things: the second movement realized my greatest fear. I fucked up the transposition instruments and it sounded a bit how I would imagine the titanic/iceberg collision sounded. It was a stupid error on my part. I caught a note error in the second movement on thursday or so-- so i corrected it and reprinted out all the parts. When I reprinted the parts, I neglected to click on a dialog box that auto-transposes the instruments that need it. Had I but examined the parts, i would have caught this prior to rehearsal and spared myself the agony. The oboe solo sounded good though.

Now to the meat of the day. I showed up at rehearsal at about 9:45 and spoke with the director. I told him I have all the parts printed out and ready to go. He told me that we would read the piece after the break. Great. That meant I had to wait and play other people's music for 1.5 hours.

Which I did- although my guts were in turmoil the entire time.

Then break happened and I spoke to the director during it. I asked if we were going to read my piece directly after the intermission. Nope. We would do it 'at some point' in the second half. Torture! Agony! Quelle Sadisme!!! I could barely play anything.

Then after two pieces into the second half, he calls my name. He starts explaining to the band that they would be premiering a new, unpublished composition by me. And he explained it was the first thing I had ever written etc. I was about to fall through the floor I was so nervous. I pass out the music to all the sections and explain a few things to the percussion section.

And then I make my way to the front to listen.

The director picks up his baton and explains that the first movement is written at 180 bpm, but we would take it slower. He raises the baton... and it begins.

It starts with a cymbal roll-- but the cymbal player wasn't very loud with it. Then the clashy chords come (F major vs. B major tritony chord combo). It was aurally challenging to say the least and at this point I am still unsure if things are going well or not.

My legs are nearly jelly as I have been clenching the muscles in them for 2 hours now.

Then the piece resolves into F minor. And away we go. The pointillistic woodwind bits sound good but there is no flute 1 sound for some reason. Then the war theme starts in the trombone and euphonium. It sounds correct but could be sharper. then the Low brass and horns come in.

This is FINALLY when my heart starts beating again.

The french horn part sounds perfect and adds just the color and counter point that I wanted. Then the brass part dies down and the woodwinds prepare for their counter theme. The woodblock in the percussion finally catches up and gets on beat. The clarinet bit of the counter theme goes well.

Then the full band for both themes together and it is loud and full and exactly what I wanted with trills and percussion and bigness. Then the winding down part comes in-- the slow tapering off and elimination of instruments until its just the low brass. It works-- better than I thought.

Then the build section. This ALSO works mmuch better than I ever thought or heard in my electronic version. The swells and decrescendos worked so well that this is where I started to breathe again and probably started to smile. Although nobody could see my smile as I had my hand over my mouth the entire time.

The piece culminates in a huge driving section that brings the theme back but spaced out at half tempo- although the underthemes and percussion are still driving along at full bore. It was so gratifying to hear--and then my favorite part. Near the very end, I drop the entire bottom out of the piece and then slowly bring in each section back in to develop the big clashy chord from the beginning. I don't want to appear egotistical at all-- but it almost made me cry to finally hear it develop the way I knew it was supposed to. The way the chord develops and slowly you start to hear more and more clash... its just....

Well, it nearly made my heart burst with pride.

The piece ends shortly thereafter. There was a large round of applause and some "woo woo"s. Much congratulations. A cute french horn player looked at me and said, "now don't go getting all red and embarassed on us!"

But then the second movement started. From the opening chords I knew something was wrong. The bari sax part was hitting some funky note and fucking it up. But then I noticed that there were some other issues. We tried it without the sax and it was okay... and we made it through the oboe solo statement. But the we eventually had to stop after about 12 measures. The other saxes came in and it was terrible.

It was the transposing instruments! DAMMIT. Something had gone wrong in the music extraction. Fuck.

Out of the jaws of victory... defeat.

It was so frustrating! What had I done wrong? Something stupid as it turns out. One bit of proofing and I could have caught the error. I spent the first 30 minutes after rehearsal at my favorite coffee shop deconstructing the second movement and fixing the error. It was a simple fix too.

I hope that we will be able to play the second movement on thursday. I already have plans to print the second movement and to beg our director for about 4 minutes of rehearsal time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Drum Corps in January

I heard my first soundclip of the year, and I already have the "fever". Drum Corps fever.

Now, the Cadets have not been one of my favorite corps as of late. Being a former Cavalier, it is in my nature to despise certain other corps, especially corps that are extremely competitive with the Cavaliers. The Cadets are one of these corps. However its been easy to hate them in the past few years because their shows have been rather shitty.

And it really wasn't so much a hatred of them as feeling sorry for them. I used to worship the Cadets- especially back in the late 80's when they were SO impressive. They still are the owners of one of my alltime favorite shows (Appalachian Spring).

This year, they are finally getting back on track (i.e. back to their glorious roots) and putting on a more traditional show. The clip sounds really cool (minus the sadistic Dr. Beat).

Now I'm giddy with anticipation!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Its ON, like Donkey Kong!

Earlier today I called up the director of our concert band. I had agreed to call him when I got back into town after the holidays. This Saturday we are doing a 3 hour 'new music reading rehearsal'. This is a fun rehearsal where we read through old and new music (both hard and easy) in order to experience as much music as possible that we may never get the chance to perform. He asked me if my composition was ready-- and it sort of is. So, this weekend we will be sight-reading the first two movements of my suite for concert band.

I am now officially scared shitless.

I knew that this was a possibility (and a goal of mine) all through the holidays, so I worked on getting the music ready and the parts prepared. But now its a reality and I'm extremely nervous. What if I didn't score things correctly or its too hard to play or it is in a difficult range for an instrument? What if the balance or instrumentation is poor. Or what if it just plain sounds terrible??

Also, what if the transposition instruments got all fucked up? I don't know-- there are so many variables. I really don't want to go to this much work only to play the first 4 bars and discover that its a trainwreck.

Don't get me wrong, I know SORT OF how it sounds. The music program I have actually plays back the piece with synthesized sounds so it gives me a good idea. But it isn't quite like the real thing.

Anyway, I spent about an hour today using the facilities at work to produce some xerox copies in preparation for the event. I'm still going to need to visit Kinko's for some good ol' fashioned copying, but I'm nearly ready.

And now I wait. Oh, and don't get any ideas about copying my music-- the piece at the top is NOT mine.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm Baaaaaaaack

and I'm definitely bringing sexy back with me.

A less eventful trip back to North Carolina on the 1st. I usually hate to travel on the 1st with all the idiots and drunks, but this year necessitated it. And overall it went fairly smoothly.

So much to tell so I'll do it in short blurbs:

Xmas with mom was nice. Got lots of small goodies. Christmas eve church service was funny to me, as much of it is still the same traditional stuff from my childhood, yet they have also 'modernized' it. There was some arm-liftin' "praise music" added-- and a big video "sing-a-long" screen too that didn't QUITE keep up with the words (like bad karaoke). I also forgot how WHITE my old church is!

Xmas with dad was nice. Got lots of small goodies. Played various card games, ate chex mix, drank beer, farted, and generally had a good time.

K-dog from stageleft came down to Iowa and visited my family. He met both my mother and father/stepmom/stepbro combo. We had a good time, he played games with my family, my father farted in front of him, etc. The usual. Warning: do NOT play cranium with K unless you are extremely patient. We still won, but it was somewhat arduous... I'm just sayin'.

Spent last part of week with K-dog up in Minneapolis. We did some cool things like see the British Advertising award winners-- all the winning commercials for the year were shown back to back at the Walker Art museum. There were some awesome fucking commercials! Also, we saw the Wild win a hockey game. We went to a party where I managed to alienate nearly all of his friends single-handedly, except perhaps Scott (who was my favorite anyway). Evidently my "fire off a barb and see how the person reacts" approach didn't work so well.

SIDE NOTE: This is how I operate. When I meet new people I do a little verbal sparring. I lob them a few softballs, and see if they swing or duck. If they swing, I like them. If they duck or get beaned... well, I tend to write the person off. They may be nice, but not really good 'friend' potential. The best are the people who catch and then fire back a fastball. THOSE are the people I love. And date. Evidently a lot of the people I met at the party were 'duckers'.

K-dog took me to the Eagle/Bolt (gay bars) in Minneapolis. It was there that I ran into two people that I haven't seen since Grad School! Yes, this one guy I knew named Jim saw me and recognized me. I, however, did not recognize him. His hair was shorter, and he had a goatee. He also had taken off like 20 pounds and replaced it with about 15 of muscle. He looked pretty good-- although his accent had somehow mysteriously turned into that of someone from the U.P. or northern Minnesota. Along with him, I saw Kyle- a guy I used to have a crush on 12 years ago. He also looked good, but I thought he looked better 12 years ago.

New years eve was uneventful, as a snowstorm blanketed Minneapolis with snow and ice and the driving became treacherous. We stayed in and watched movies, ate pizza and drank beer. Which is my preferred way to spend New Years.

That's about it for now.