Saturday, June 30

More Than Meets the Eye


(kinda nsfw)

[Listening to:    Rod Stewart"Hot Legs" ]


Friday, June 29

Dela Vkusa

When I came into work today there were large groups of people gathered around a set of tables in the café area where the employees' entrance is. Surrounding these throngs were smaller groupings of recognizable faces from the company all talking and nodding. Although many people like to start their day in this part of the campus with breakfast or whatever, it was pretty clear from the atmosphere around it all that something different was going on.

Once I sat down at my desk it didn't take long to discover that a longstanding employee of the company who is married to one of the more visible management team members had suffered an aneurysm the night before and was recovering in the hospital. I know and have worked with both people, but not often enough to be considered close. Not that I didn't feel the initial blow of shock and concern, and not that I didn't take the first opportunity I could to go downstairs and sign the well-wishing cards that were spread out on the tables people had been congregating around that morning -- but that simply because of time and circumstance I found myself in many ways on the outside of this tragic event looking in.

The core group of employees here have been together a long time -- which is probably why this particular event hit so hard across the building. Mainly because for a lot of the people here, the couple at the center of this storm are more than just managers or coworkers -- they are dinner guests, golf partners, and neighbors.

It was a situation that left me feeling like a distant cousin at a large family reunion, one that reminded me of the times when I was still married and found myself stuck at events with extended in-laws where the only person I really knew was my ex-wife, who was nowhere to be found as she was swept up in the tide of uncles and aunts she hadn't seen since childhood (a scenario that was surely mirrored any time she accompanied me to gatherings of with my own family).
There's an inside, and there's an outside -- and there's nothing do be done with it but
keep the people you know in your thoughts and hope that everything comes out all right.
Unfortunately in situations like this there is only so much you can do, and inevitably the groups that gather in hopes of finding solace ebb back into their daily routines, leaving behind tidepools of scattered conversations among passers by asking if you've heard any news, or spreading whatever information they might have at the time. But once that exchange has completed, many of these conversations are left with few other places to go. You want to help, you wish there was something more you could do, but too many times there's nothing you can do but try to find a way to lessen the weight of your fears. Which is why when faced with an event like this, a lot of us resort to a similar coping mechanism:
Relating the experience to similar events in our own lives.
A big part of my job is walking around and getting approval signatures from various department heads and engineers. The means it's pretty common for me to make rounds all over the company to find the people I need to talk to. There are other ways I could probably do this, but I prefer personal interaction over the easily-ignored coldness of inter-office mail.
dela vkusa - it's a matter of taste.
That being said, dropping in on people's desks the way I do means that I am subject to their schedules and convenience. Some people don't have time to sign, some people have waaaay too much time to gab once they've signed. And frequently -- I catch people already having conversations when I show up to see if I can get them to sign.
Which happened a lot today.
I'd walk up with my stacks of papers and approval forms to find one or two coworkers mulling over their coffee cups as they discussed the situation happening with the manager and his wife. Details were repeated, worries were expressed, and then people started talking about how they did their best to deal with the emotions that accompanied one of their own family members falling sick. Or getting in an accident. Or having some sort of surgery.

..Or being diagnosed with cancer.

I don't know why it is, I wish it wasn't the case -- but I think part of crossing over into adulthood in this given day and age is the number of people you encounter whose worlds have been scarred even in passing by this disease. It's a word some people don't even like to say. But what I've come to learn in the past year or so is that once someone actually does say it, it's usually not too long before you hear it a second time.

And so I found myself more than a few times today happening upon instances of well-intended smalltalk dealing with the kind of worry that comes when you're faced with that horrible diagnosis. Several times from relatives of survivors, or from those who are dealing with it now. Conversations I knew all too well. Conversations I could certainly offer my share of insights into. Conversations that regardless of how emotionally difficult to engage in probably provide the kind of momentary solace that might do me more good than I might actually realize (or want to admit).
Conversations I ultimately avoided.
It surprises me sometimes how easily the scab can be peeled away from the scar. Just how red, how sensitive, how vulnerable the skin underneath can be. Days go by, life goes on. You know what you have to do. You've seen what happens when you stand in that one place. You know you can't do that. What's more, you know that the people talking about that subject aren't in the same place you are. That your story is similar -- but doesn't end the way people need to hear at a time like this.
But I know better than to claim that I didn't add my voice to that fray just to protect someone else.

[Listening to:    Sonic Youth"Bull in the Heather" ]


Thursday, June 28

Watson Come Here iNeed You

You can always sorta tell when people tire of scandal and bad news when they decide to gloss over the kind of stories that are rampant right now (heiresses being released from jail, blockbuster summer movies getting ready to roll, roided-up wrestlers heading off the deep end and going on killing sprees) -- in order to focus on the one thing that really matters in this life:
The iPhone
I bet right about now the lawyers in the Anna Nicole Smith custody battle, the diaper-wearing-astronaut-chick, and all the stuck-in-rehab socialite/starlets in LA are kicking themselves for not being able to somehow have their scandals coincide with the release of the latest multi-function cell phone doodad to come out.

Not that the thing isn't ten shades of cool -- but just that I find it odd that this of all things is what has come to dominate the water cooler conversations taking place everywhere I go. Literally everyone is gabbing about it, with the dominant question being "So, are you excited about the new iPhone? Are you gonna rush out and go get one?"

Of course it's really more of a loaded question, because there are equal levels of conversation available regardless of the answer. Maybe that's why people seem to be gravitating towards it as a conversation topic instead of blabbing on more and more about Paris getting out of Jail or the NBA draft or that poor little girl at Six Flags who got her feet sliced off by the roller coaster.
I mean, what can you really say about those things other than
"Marsha Marsha Marsha - why does everyone feel so compelled to talk about that talentless skank?"
"Are you nuts? Phoenix wouldn't trade Amari Stoudemire to get Kobe out of LA"
"I guess they were really serious about that sign that says 'you need to be this tall to ride', eh?"
But instead what people are asking me about while I'm stirring my second cup of coffee is "Have you seen that new iPhone ad? Isn't it cool?". It's almost like a litmus test, fishing around to try to find out where you fall on the side of the technological-gadget-ownership-implies-status culture divide.

I say that because when you see these conversations you already pretty much know the people who are gonna be like "Please -- my phone does too much as it is already. All I really want is a way to make and receive calls." and the ones who are "Oh I wish -- did you see the way the web-browser turns around depending on the way you hold it?"

No doubt, the thing is pretty farking cool, but I guess I'm just the kind of person where once I realize I can't readily afford something I tend to not pay as much attention to it.
And if there's one thing I'm definitely sure of, it's that I can't afford an iPhone.
Straight up -- the top line model of the thing costs more than my rent, which doesn't even begin to address the fact that I just spent about half of my lunchbreak at my apartment digging under the couch for loose change so I can put something into my gas tank.

But beyond all that the simple fact is that I don't think that I'm really ready for this particular jelly just yet. Just taking a cursory glance at all the things the iPhone promises to deliver tells me that it's intended to be like an ultimate step up in multitasking and streamlined performance for people who have had it up to here with the limitations of their Blackberries and/or Sidekicks.
And while I may be many things -- that ain't one of them.
I got a phone a few months back that does some pretty cool tricks -- only about half of which I ever actually mess with. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a complete text whore. It's the closest thing I have to a digital camera, it's set to wake me up in the mornings, and there's a demo version of Yahtzee on there that I cannot stop playing once I start.

But to be honest it's probably a good thing that my phone is more or less a piece of crap when it comes to web-browsing or video sharing. I already waste too much time goofing off during the day as it is -- and having a device in my pocket that would allow me even more access to YouTube than I already have simply can't be a good thing.
Thanks for the thought -- but I'll stick with my ..hPhone for now, thanks
I know a lot of people use their Blackberries to death for work, even to the point where they're even probably sick of the things -- but even if the iPhone can do all the things those tools can do and more, it's clearly being marketed for it's cool quotient.
And why not -- have you seen all the things you can use it for?

[Listening to:    Talking Heads"Psycho Killer" ]


Tuesday, June 26

Dammit Janet

There's a small theater in town that's advertising a new run of the Rocky Horror Show for the next month or so. I think most people are pretty familiar with the Rocky Horror Picture Show (which I love) but seeing the whole thing performed on stage is pretty fun too. Different in a lot of ways, but it's a script that leaves a lot of room for actors to play around with and get cheeky.

Plus, if you've ever done Rocky Horror in a movie theater you know that there are all sorts of audience participation things that go on that are really the whole fun of the deal. Now imagine doing those same things with actors who actually react back to what you are shouting out (I once saw a production of this in Tampa where every time we called Brad an asshole he'd tell us to "kiss his grits" - which was for some reason funny as hell every time even an hour into the show).

So when I saw the marquee at the old Club 5 advertising for Rocky Horror, I was totally jazzed about it. Or at least I was until I looked into buying tickets and discovered that the show would only feature what they called "limited audience participation."
So you got caught with a flat? Well -- how 'bout that?
I mean, what the hell does "limited audience participation" mean anyway -- At Rocky Horror, no less? The theater that's hosting the show was recently refurbished, so maybe I can see not wanting the crowds to throw rice and make a mess of the floor or whatever, but knowing this town -- I'm not really so sure that's what they're getting at.

See, the theater the show is set to be performed in has had a long and storied history -- it started out as a movie house (the first talkie in town) but eventually was transformed into a traditional theater. For a long time it was known as the River City Playhouse -- back in the days when there were all sorts of independent theaters around town. This was also the same time that I started doing set design work, and I actually worked a number of shows in that house as part of their lighting and stage crews (the props department were the ones that loaned us all of the Audrey II puppets we used to put on Little Shop of Horrors at Stanton).

A few years later the place opened up as a live music room -- the original Club 5. It hosted random touring bands and did some DJ gigs. Once again, the timing of this coincided with the time I was doing roadie work around town -- and I was fortunate enough to be on the crews for shows featuring bands like Steve Morse, Kansas, and Tower of Power.

After that Club 5 (later renamed The Marquee) became one of the main clubs people went to downtown -- DJ's, watered down drinks, live music, Saturday Night Seduction (the local fetish show), stuff like that. Most of that happened while I was at College, but I do remember several occasions swinging through town to see concerts at the Milk Bar where Club 5 was a no-brainer afterparty spot.

But like so many other clubs in this town, things eventually started going downhill. One of the original owners passed away in an unfortunate accident, and as the club struggled to move on it became more of a haven for violence and drug busts than anything else. Eventually people stopped going to it, and it sorta collapsed under it's own weight. The building was literally empty for ages until recently when it was bought by local businessman/developer/possible future city politician Mike Shad.

To his credit he's cleaned up the place and completely refurbished the theater and the building it resides in, but for those of us who had so many good times there the bad news is that the hotel above it is probably going to become high-class condos, and unless he can get the theater running as an event center (recently it's been rented out for high-school reunions, corporate parties, and wedding receptions) it will probably end up being a Starbucks or a Kinko's (which would really suck).

The point I'm trying to make with all of this is that considering who the owner of the place is and the crowd he tends to roll with, it seems pretty clear that the current vision for the place is kinda upscale. Meaning that booking the Rocky Horror show is intended as some sort of guilty pleasure or whatever for the hoi polloi to make a fancy evening of once they've finished dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. And as such it might not be acceptable for local highbrows like Tommy Hazouri or Mayor John Peyton if they end up sitting next to a guy like me who feels it necessary to shout out things like "Who gives the best blowjobs on the Enterprise?" during Frank N Furter's intro to "I Can Make You a Man."
At the same time, why even bother seeing
Rocky Horror if you aren't allowed to do that?
That's the whole damn point of the thing! Have you ever tried to watch the movie without doing any of the extra participation parts? Of course not -- the majority of the performances are horrible, and the story itself only barely makes sense. That's why people started yelling at the screen. That's why it's become the phenomenon it is!
To be honest, I'd be kinda disappointed if the Mayor didn't scream "Slut!" every time Janet said something.
Back in the day, it was almost a required activity for teens old enough to go out at night but too young to go to clubs to go hang out at movie theaters. Which side of town you lived on dictated which theater you went to, but for those of us in Arlington and at the Beach, the destination was clear --
The AMC theaters inside the Regency Mall foodcourt, home to The Midnight Movie Express.
Every Friday around midnight they'd play something like Mad Max, Heavy Metal, John Carpenter's The Thing, or Night of the Living Dead. But on Saturday nights there was one show and one show only -- Rocky Horror.

We screamed, we threw rice, all the jokes that were supposed to be about Nixon were changed to be about Reagan -- it was a hell of a time. First timers got the word "Virgin" written on their foreheads, and people dressed like the characters would stand in front of the screen and act out the parts. It was raunchy, silly, and just about the best time you could have for less than $10 bucks in a town like this.

I'm sure it still plays somewhere in the country, but Rocky in Jacksonville faded away about the time theaters moved out of the malls. But I'm convinced that all the fun I had out there is the basis for one of my longest-standing secret dreams
Opening up and running a mugs and movie type theater at the beach.
Whenever I'm unemployed (which is unfortunately a lot more than I'd like) I always reach a point where I revisit this evil scheme. It doesn't help that the old Neptune theater at the beach has been empty and unused for ages -- because that would be the perfect place to do it. Of course operating a non-first run theater like that is basically a license to lose money, and it's not like I really have the investment capital to do something like that in the first place -- but make no mistake, I would LOVE to open up a place that featured Monster Movies, Bad Sci-fi, Russ Meyer nights, Anime Screenings, Horror Movie marathons, and of course:
Saturday Night Rocky.
I don't know -- I don't think kids are into things like that the way we used to be, which makes me feel kind of old to say, but I really do believe that it's because they haven't had the chance to see what it's like. As much as I love Rocky, it's tailor made as a parody of things that were funny to people in the 70's and 80's. There's probably a better film out there to become the next great audience participation classic -- but until we find it, Rocky's still the king.
We just have to find a way to get the kids to know what to say
Like this:
Hey Janet.
Yes Brad?
I’ve got something to say. SAY IT ASSHOLE! I really loved the... STARTS WITH AN S, TRY SKILLFUL. ...skillful way... WHAT A FUCKING GENIUS! ...you beat the girls... WITH WHIPS AND CHAINS! ...to the bride’s bouquet. HAVE AN ORGASM BITCH! SING IT ASSHOLE! -- The river was deep, but I swam it. JANET. The future is ours so let’s plan it. JANET. So please don’t tell me to can it. JANET. There’s one thing to say and that’s DAMN IT! JANET! LET’S GO SCREW! damn it! Janet! I love you! -- The road was long, but I ran it. JANET. There’s a fire in my heart and you fan it. JANET. HEY RIFF, KILL THAT SMURF!! If there’s one fool for you then I am it. JANET. I have one thing to say and that’s damn it! Janet! I love you! ONLY ASSHOLES WRITE ON CHURCH DOORS. Here’s the ring to prove that I’m no joker. HE’S A QUEEN! There’s three ways that love can grow. FIND ‘EM, FUCK ‘EM, AND FORGET ‘EM! That’s good, bad, or mediocre. HOW DO YOU SPELL SLUT? J-A-N-E-T I love you so!
Oh, this is nicer than Betty Monroe had. OH BRAD. Now we’re engaged and I’m so glad. OH BRAD. That you FUCKED MOM AND YOU BLOW DAD. met mom and you know dad. OH BRAD. There’s one thing to say and that’s: Brad, I’m mad for A SCREW! you too! Oh Brad!
Oh... ...damn it!
I’m PREGNANT! mad.
Oh SHIT! Janet! I WANT TO SCREW YOU TOO! I love you too-oo-oo-oo. There’s one thing left to do THAT’S SCREW! ah-oo. PICK A BUGGER AND LET IT FLY ASSHOLE! And that’s go see the man who began it. JANET. When we met in his science exam-it. JANET! Made me give you the eye and then panic. JANET. Now I’ve one thing to say and that’s DAMN IT! JANET! LET’S GO SCREW! Damn it! Janet! I love you! ASSHOLE SHUFFLE! Damn it, Janet...
Oh Brad, I’m mad.
Damn it, Janet. LET’S GO SCREW!!

[Listening to:    Black Light Burns"4 Walls" ]


Monday, June 25

Great Googly Moogly

While there are some people out there who check out this website from time to time to see what's going on in my world, or to get the latest tale of how I crashed and burned wherever I was before I woke up fully dressed on top of my bed covers alone, it seems that the vast majority of the traffic I've been getting lately are from lost travelers on the information superhighway who have found my site while searching for something else.

I know this because of the little sitemeter widget that I keep towards the bottom corner of the page that catalogues all sorts of dirty little details about the visitors I get day to day. It's there to feed the narcissistic monkey inside of me, but there's a little added feature on there that's sometimes fun to check out that lists the referring links that bring people here.

Some visits are from obvious sources -- Frank Zappa fans searching for information about the 1979 album I named the blog after, or fans of British Buffy the Vampire Slayer rip-off Hex, searching for news about the show.

But lately when I've taken a peek at the sitemeter referrals page I've started to notice some really odd trends developing. For example -- just today someone happened across this page hoping it would give them information related to their Google search for "velvet dreams Kathy shower." And while I'm thinking that person probably went away disappointed as I have no idea what the hell that means -- hopefully they stuck around long enough to be entertained by something else I wrote about.
Recent search terms that have brought people to this site:
  • Trailer park mind eraser rat poison
  • Miss Honeywell in the locker room
  • Songs they play at Publix
  • Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle
  • Paint bedroom children sleep
  • Portabella apartment
  • This ain't like dusting crops boy
  • What Really Happens at Male Strip Shows
  • Fred Durst's Car Audio System
Of course there are some people who find exactly what they are looking for when they find me on Google, like the guy who clicked in recently to find out what flying squirrels sound like when they talk (actual Google keywords) -- a topic I actually happened to be discussing a while back. I've also been getting quite a lot of traffic lately from people interested in Bourbon Chicken/Mall Teriyaki Chicken -- with search terms ranging from "shitty mall food" to "authentic cajun flavored chicken teriyaki recipe delicious."

But by far the two most popular search items that bring in traffic around here are

This:
And these three cuties:
Keep in mind that I've been writing this blog for the better part of five years now -- which is a long time for people to be curious about Was (Not Was) lyrics. Don't get me wrong -- I love that song. It's just that I find it odd that after all this time the boys over at Google still think that I'm the authority on it.

As for the cheerleader hotties, I linked to that particular photo last summer when I decided to throw my hat into the ring as a candidate for the NFL commissioner's job. As it turns out, when you do a Google image search for terms like "Kick Terell Owens in The Nuts" one of the first pictures the algorithm chooses to return is this.

And while I would easily let the girl in the middle do just about anything she wanted to me -- You sorta can't help but wonder exactly what kind of person is on the other side of a mouse click that executes an image search for a boot to the chonies.
Not that the concept can't be entertaining on occasion,
but really -- how often does anyone really want to look at that?
[Listening to:    Mötley Crüe"Live Wire" ]


Saturday, June 23

Examine the White Square That Doesn't Glow

The closer you get to the meeting point between the blue and the black walls, the more you realize that the ceiling tile that doesn't glow isn't a ceiling tile at all -- but a small door, with a sunken handle.

Now that you're right beneath it you can see just the faintest outline what seems to be red light around the edges of the door. Unfortunately the ceiling is too high to reach on your own -- but that's when you remember the bed you woke up next to.

Except now that you've turned off the lights, it's hard to see where they all are.

Maybe if you push that to the corner you could reach the latch on the door.
You choose to:

[Listening to:    40 Below Summer"We The People" ]


Friday, June 22

Thursday, June 21

Chocolate Mind Eraser

Mix equal parts Kahlua, Vodka, and soda water. Serve over ice cubes and then drink as quickly as possible through a straw. Kinda like a shot, except you suck it up instead of throwing it down. It's one of those things that sounds awful when you read about it, but it actually tastes like an iced coffee -- except you get immediate brain freeze and then a minute later all the mixers sort of hit you at once.

It's been raining off and on this week. When it hits in comes down in sheets, covers the ceilings in white noise, makes cell phone conversations hard to hear, and sends all the smokers hanging out in the parking lot scurrying for cover.
But then a minute or so later it's gone.
Florida does that a lot. It's like the sky can't make up it's mind. One minute it's angry tears, the next it's smoldering and humid. The weird thing is, people still react like it's something new and path-altering. It's just rain -- it's not like we all haven't seen it before. But when it comes, you still see people standing by the window, watching it fall.
Does the animal inside miss the connection?
I've been all over the place this week. Money is ridiculous tight, but sort of like the weather, it's not been one or two big twisters ripping through the trailer park as much as it has been a little bit here and a little bit there that made the water too shallow to support the weight of the big ticket waves when they crashed through. Now I'm overextended to the point where each tank of gas has an effect on something two weeks down the line, which isn't always easy to see when you're getting your mind erased inside an empty bar on a rainy night when you're basically the only one there.

Earlier this week it was The Legendary Shack Shakers at Jackrabbits with James -- a show I was able to keep hidden from him until basically the very last second. The look in his eyes when he realized we were about to see one of his favorite bands live was worth every second of the deception, as was the concert that followed. But finding something to keep the energy going on a Tuesday night in Jacksonville proved to be one miracle too many, and the night faded from there.
Still, you know how people say things like "We really needed this rain?"
..Like that.
Of course if I was thinking logically I probably wouldn't have gone at all. It didn't break the bank -- but it's not the kind of thing someone should be doing if they're worried about being overdrawn.

The problem is that I'm not coin-operated. That is, I'm not always driven by the desire to make scads of money or be obsequiously rich (even though it probably would be nice) -- so I don't always value the mathematics of some things the way I probably should. I'm happiness driven. I'm intensity-operated. I like having a good time. I like being in the curl more than I enjoy watching from the shore. So as a result I don't always flinch if it costs five bucks to get in the door or twenty bucks day of show for general admission.

But then the rain starts falling, you go to the store to buy a gallon of milk and a bag of cat food only to have the teenager behind the cash register say, "Uh yeah.. Do you have another card?"

All of which was swirling around my head like clouds when I got an email from a local employment recruiter I met during my job search adventures last fall. We weren't able to connect on a gig at the time, but he's stayed in touch ever since -- which I've always thought was kinda cool. The message asks me how I've been, if I'm still with the company I signed on with, and if I'm interested in a new opportunity.
..I don't know, am I?
It's odd to say it, but I really kind of like the place I'm at. I mean, there are some negative things about the job -- it's a bit of a drive to get there, there's hardly been any talk at all lately about bringing me on full time (even though the company's doing really well and just announced bonuses for all non-contracted personnel). But they appreciate the work I do, they leave me alone, they don't care how I dress. The people here are generally cool, and I'm making better money here than I've ever made before (including my time at IBM and Alltel).
But at the end of the day I'm still broke.
It's not like it's the companies fault that I can't balance my own checkbook half the time. It's just something I've got to get better at on my own. Either that, or find a way to make a lot more money.

I reply to him that I'm really happy here, and that despite the fact that I'd like to work with him it would take a significant jump in salary for me to consider any sort of move. I thank him for the consideration, and tell him to keep my name on file just in case anything changes.

He emails back a day later and asks how much I'm making. I reply back and tell him.
The next day there's a message in my inbox saying "Send me an updated resume, I can probably double that."
I think for a lot of people this would be a slam dunk. I imagine a lot of folks wouldn't flinch. I'm a contracted employee -- it's not like from a corporate point of view there are any loyalties at stake or whatever.. But I kinda like it here. I don't know jack about this opportunity he's waving in front of my eyes, except that the corporation I'd be working for is one of the big baddies, which means they can afford the ticket, but could easily also mean that I'd have to dress like a monkey, act like a drone, and work for douchebags who could give two shits about anything that doesn't have a decimal point and a dollar sign attached.

Two weeks ago an email went out company-wide here saying that the Asian Employee Outreach group was holding it's annual celebration, please come to the café for a free homemade authentic Asian buffet, featuring a full-sized roast pig.

I mean come on, are you kidding me?
Free roast pig and homemade Szechuan chicken while I'm on the clock?
You might as well have poured that into a glass full of ice
with Kahlua and Stoli and told me drink it though a straw.
[Listening to:    Sevendust"Burn" ]


Wednesday, June 20

C10 H12 N2 O

Always a queen, always so fine,
always some joker standin' in line
To get a view, and now he's hittin' on you

Well let me hear you sing it
Baby sing the beautiful blues

Since you were a babe you've been heaven sent
Just think of all the money
These crazy men have spent on you
(I guess I'm one of them too)

Well let me hear you sing it
Baby sing the beautiful blues

Now there must be times when you get tired of being idolized
It's got you searchin' for a man who ain't that kinda guy
Where you gonna be when you get old
You're gonna need somebody to have and to hold on to
Who really cares about you?
I do
Well let me hear you sing it
Baby sing the beautiful blues

Always a queen, always so fine,
always some joker standin' in line
To get a view, and now he's hittin' on you

Well let me hear you sing it
Baby sing the beautiful blues

I'm gonna tell you since you were a babe you've been heaven sent
Just think of all the money
These crazy men have spent on you
..I guess I'm one of them too

Well let me hear you sing it
Baby sing the beautiful blues

                - Stray Cats, "Beautiful Blues"



Tuesday, June 19

Bar Harbor

It's the little things you notice. The changes that weren't there before. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes it doesn't have anything to do with you at all. Of course that can be hard to accept, especially when you still would prefer to actually have control over everything, including all those things that you never really could (or did) in the first place.
I see you crying in the sunshine
I hear you laughing in the rain..
But when you're the only one who leaves dishes in the sink it's easy to fall into thinking that you somehow can. After all, these three rooms belong to me, that's my dust on the floor, and those are my pillows on the couch.

Not that I'm trying to blame anyone -- I chose this apartment myself, I've re-upped the lease three times. I really do love this dinky little place with all of it's faded-in charm and train whistle ambiance. I like my kitchen. I dig the way the painting I paid too much for looks hanging in the living room, and the way that the smaller painting I received as a gift looks out over the bedroom and the hall.
You say you never ever dream at nighttime
You say you only dream when you're awake..
It's just that as much as I know that every corner of this place is set up the way I want it to be, that I'm in control of everything that is and isn't cared for in this place.. there are far too many moonlit nights where the shadows of the broken window blinds project across the floors and bookshelves, over the crisscrossed guitar cables and cat toys until they crawl up the walls and illuminate the swatches of dark fabric dangling from the corners of the poster frames just enough to remind me that it's the things that you couldn't have ever expected have been in these rooms that helped to make it special.
It's the connections you make with what you can't control that makes life interesting.
It's easy I suppose to get caught up in the comfort and conformity that comes from planting a single seed in a single pot, watering and cultivating it so that it blooms exactly the same as it looks on the picture on the side of the package. There's a comfort in being able to stumble from one door to another in the dark and know without thinking that you're not going to trip over anything or stub your toe regardless of how many drinks you've had because the couch is always here, the table is always there, and as long as you keep one hand up on the wall on the left to make sure you're in the middle, it's only so many steps from the door to the pillow.
You get your sunshine from a tab of paper
Then you're sitting in a spinning room..
But what isn't always so clear (until it's gone) is the way that the little surprises stay with you. The bobby pins forgotten in haste, the aromas that linger.
You toss and turn differently when you're not the only one there.
You try to fill the spaces with what you can, but the world keeps turning -- and no amount of 20/20 hindsight or unbridled what-the-fuckism is going to change that. So you go driving around in the middle of the night listening to music simply because you know the scenery outside the windshield will change. You go where you know other people will be just so you don't have stay cooped up where they aren't.
The crowd you're in thinks you're so amusing
They're oh so flattering and so sincere..
A long time ago I came home from my morning slew of classes at FSU to find my (even smaller than the one I'm in now) apartment thoroughly cleaned and rearranged. It was a sign of things to come (both good and bad), but regardless -- it's something that I can't help but remember as a huge turning point in my life.

The shame of it all is that even when agitators are added to your control group, the experiment eventually equalizes. I'm not sure what the half-life is when it comes to crossing the streams of your life, I only know that eventually it seems a natural progression to tire of the surprises -- to crave singularity and sameness (even if it's a sameness of spontaneity). Favorite restaurants run the risk of becoming vortex-like traps or emotionally shadowed reminders, while songs and movies shared can't help but resonate no matter how far the miles.
Crave the comfort.
Curse the routine.
It's like we don't know what we want. Like our free will enables us to choose the same outfit whenever we go to a wedding, a funeral, or a baby shower. I know what I like, but I don't always take the time to discover what else I might like better. Not because I'm afraid, but because I know what my favorite item on the menu is, the way it tastes, the times it was shared, and all that came afterward.
You feel the earth revolving
You see the sun dissolving
You hear the night calling out to you
You have no direction and you have no protection
..What you gonna do when your trip turns blue?
And while indeed there will be time to wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?" -- time to turn back and descend the stair with a bald spot in the middle of my hair.. It's still my apartment.

I know it sounds like a contradiction, I know it sounds like I want to eat my cake and have it too -- but it's more than that. It's about wanting to see what you can become without somehow losing who you already are in the process.

I mean don't get me wrong, I want the surprises. I want the unexpected. It's just that there's got to be a way for it to happen without my mental furniture getting re-arranged (so to speak) -- because despite what it might sound like, the fond memory I talk about now doesn't really do any sort of justice in describing just how incredibly pissed off I was when I came home that day:
What the hell happened to my apartment?
Did you see? Do you like it?
Where's my Black Death Vodka Poster!?
I vacuumed -- did you see?
Did you vacuum up the poster of the Girl with the Black Death Vodka too?
Oh that. I spilled something on it -- it got messed up.
You did WHAT!?
It was an ..accident. But I rearranged the cabinets -- there's a lot more space now.
Wait a minute, where did you put.. How am I supposed to find the..
I spent all day working on this.
It's not that I don't appreciate it, it's just that.. I mean..
..I thought you'd be happy.
Oh what the -- Where's the porn!?
[Listening to:   Big Wreck"That Song" ]


Monday, June 18

Your Assignment

1) Click link.
2) Scan list to get an idea of what is going on.
3) Choke back and chew down whatever comes up your throat.
4) Press Ctrl + F.
5) Type in "The Greek".
6) Read comment to see exactly how I felt about this.
7) Resume life.
[Listening to:    Deftones"Korea" ]


Sunday, June 17

If It Was Easy Everybody Would Be Doing It

Those 10 pounds I managed to lose the past few weeks?
..I found them.
[Listening to:    Burn Season"Closer" ]


Friday, June 15

Just Like LeBron

I got nothing.
The nothing I got doesn't even have anything. Nothing went to the store to get some more, and they were out.
Of course anyone who knows me realizes that when I got nothing, it's usually because of something.
But the something that's left me with nothing hasn't found it's way into words yet. It's more like the shadows of something I can't put my finger on yet. Pockets of water, pulled by tides into waves that crash on beaches, stir up the sand, run back into the water, only to get thrown forward again. The first water's impact draws lines on the beach, as some things erode and pull away, while others fall together and form up against the gravity of the tide.
Only to be washed clean sometime later when the next one comes along.
I've stared at too many pictures this week. I've partied too hard. I've stayed in when I should have gone out. I let the dirty dishes stack up, only to spend time washing them that I probably should have spent writing. Or balancing my checkbook. Or trying to find that one netflix movie I've had for like a month and a half that I have no interest in watching but have thus far been too lazy to mail back. Or playing my guitar. Or learning to dance. Or moving out of this town.
I hate when I get like this.
I had such a good time last weekend. The kind of good time you want to spill over into everything else. I was even out a couple of nights this week. Saw some friends, watched a little basketball, ..complained about it, found out that Bartender Jodi's boyfriend also misses the glory days of Bobby Sura and Doug Edwards (yet another thing we agree on). Had another drink, took my broke ass home, woke up hard, came to work, did a little of this and that. Ran out of gas on it, set myself up to do a bunch of stuff on Monday -- only to realize that I've still got to kill a few more hours before I can leave.
Needless to say, this has let to a lot of random web-surfing.
Needless to say, this has led to some really obscure   last.fm radio choices.
Needless to say, that led to an extended lunchbreak.
Which led to cheeseburgers, fries, and a chocolate ice-cream rootbeer float.
Which has left me doing whatever I can to fight off this tremendous urge to just tilt back this chair and take a nap.

Like overthinking -- which always leads to something.
So, yeah.
..I got nothing.
[Listening to:    New Order"True Faith" ]


Wednesday, June 13

The Queen of Queens

I can understand what it's like to want something just a little more than what you have. You work really hard to claw to a certain plateau, but once you get there it's like all you can really see is everyone you know sitting another level up -- and no matter how much you appreciate everyone who helped you to get where you are, all you really really want is to get to where it seems everyone else is.
Yeah I'm talking to you, Kevin James.
I'm sure having friends like Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, and Will Smith is tougher than it looks, especially when it comes down to things like who has the nicest house, who has the most new cars, and who's the first guy to get recognized when you go out in public.

Sure, people love your show -- but it's been on forever, and until you get that Emmy it's probably really easy to start believing that the lasting popularity of the series might actually be a result of the way that it nicely bridges the gap between re-runs of Everyone Loves Raymond and new episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
Besides, all your friends are doing movies.
Crap movies, at that (I mean honestly ..Click?)
Look Kevin, I know what you're thinking -- it seems like Adam Sandler could film himself sitting on a toilet for two hours and he'd still probably top the box office for three weeks. And even if he doesn't -- he still pockets 20 mil regardless, and the only thing that probably burns more than that is watching Ray Romano pull that kind of jack for doing nothing at all.

Meanwhile you're slogging it out at the studio day in and day out -- and for what?

So you call in a few favors, get yourself some face time in 50 First Dates, even find yourself with a decent spot in Hitch. Bet those paychecks were nice, eh? Felt good to be in there negotiating for points instead of being told how much of your syndication checks were going to be. Besides, now you have something to fire back at Sandler when you're on the back nine and he's up two skins on you.

The problem is, Hollywood doesn't care about Nielsen's. Hollywood cares about buzz. Hollywood cares about gross players, topliners, and tentpoles. And I got news for you pal, you ain't there yet. Even so, that doesn't mean it's really in your best interest to keep humping your friend's legs for Laverne and Shirley billings.
Or to put it another way, you really should have pulled the brakes long before this got out the door.
Look, Kevin -- someone's giving you bad advice. You're the King of Queens. You speak for fat married white guys everywhere. You play in Peoria because you are Peoria (believe me, I've been there). And if there's anything Peoria's not interested in buying you as -- it's gay.

And it's not because America is closed minded and has a latent problem with male homosexuality (even though they are and they do), the reason is because you're not that guy.

Welcome to typecasting. There's a personality surrounding you. One you've partially created yourself, but regardless -- one that Hollywood has assigned you. You're not a romantic lead. You're not an action hero. You can be the romantic lead's best friend, you can be the action hero's comic relief -- but right now you're not the star, and unless you start making that work for you things are gonna turn ugly faster than you can say "David Caruso."

Look -- I can understand wanting to take your career to the next level. I can understand not wanting to be Doug Heffernan for the rest of your life. It's not like I can't sympathize with your desire to get as far away from Leah Remini as you can -- bitch is crazy.
But is I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry really the best way to change all that?
You might think that you're making a social commentary about how closed-minded society is about the idea of male homosexual love, but this thing only flies as a mainstream comedy if you make fun of Gay People.

Which means that when you open in Hollywood, when you open in New York -- there are gonna be picketers. That means at the end of the film Adam Sandler's character kisses Jessica Biel, there are gonna be cheers. And that means when Larry King is looking for someone to ask the tough questions about Hollywood's continued use of negative gay stereotypes in film versus the lack of gay men in leading roles -- you're the one who's gonna get the call.

But more than that, have you even seen this trailer? Adam Sandler doesn't look like he wants to even be there. It looks like you're the one who's desperate for the screen time.
What are you, Tim Allen all of the sudden?
How about this -- instead of letting yourself be turned into the next Rob Schneider (who's been in almost every one of Sandler's films, and look where that's gotten him) you consider taking care of number one.

Here's a thought -- why don't you pack that New York accent of yours into a sports coat and do a couple of cop movies? I know you want to be a comedy star, but you've got buddy picture written all over you. Don't like that idea? Call your agent, tell them you want in on the remake market. Cannonball Run is due for another re-hash -- maybe it's time to see how you look in a Captain Chaos cape. And even if you don't want that hassle, it's not like Will Ferrell isn't slated to do 35 more sports-themed comedies in the next six months..

Better yet, how bout milking all those Scientologists you've got hanging around your day job and see if you can glom in on Travolta's next idea. How many half-stars were in that motorcycle flick he did last year? Look, if Martin Lawrence can still get run in this town, then why are you letting Adam 'effing Sandler smack you around for cheap laughs?

You're not Dane Cook for god's sake -- you can actually tell a joke.
So get on the phone and make something happen before you become one yourself.

[Listening to:    Emilie Simon"I Wanna Be Your Dog" ]


Tuesday, June 12

Yes I Remember Spin Art

Just in case there were any lingering worries about me being somehow attractive to the opposite sex, let me step away from all this social commentary and get my nerd on for a moment.
     Venture Brothers Season 2?
          ..Worst DVD Commentary Ever.
There are probably very few things in this world that do more damage to your Q score (you know -- outside of knowing what a "q score" is) than actually attempting to listen to the commentaries that creators/directors/actors provide when they re-master a film or TV show for home sales -- but when I make the leap to purchasing a DVD set instead of just renting it from the netflix (especially an entire series of something that I really like) this feature is something I actually really look forward to.

Unfortunately, most DVD commentary tracks are crap. Normally it's two or three people sitting in some sound booth in front of some plasma screen display of their film who have been asked to "come up with something interesting to say" about it. The results range from the out and out boring "We must have spent months in specially modified helicopters flying around scouting locations, in fact -- I remember once telling Martin Scorsese at a benefit party that there are really few things in this life worse than helicopter seats in December.." to the almost too common occurrence of star actors who apparently have never seen the finished product of the film that they worked on for however many months talking to the director and saying things like "wow, that's cool -- how'd you guys do that?"

But when you get to things that are labors of love -- like animation, your expectations tend to rise a little. Especially when it's something so utterly overflowing with obscure references and in-jokes the way The Venture Brothers tends to be -- which is probably why I love it so much.

So you click the audio button on the remote to the right track to see what the creators and writers were thinking when they were coming up with all of this, or even discover one or two in-jokes you didn't pick up on the first time you saw the show -- only to find a what sounds like 2 guys in separate phone booths talking about how gassy they always are.

One of them you can hear, while the other one is like, I don't know 3 states away or something -- which would be a problem if he actually had something to say about the show, but it's almost as if creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick decided beforehand that the fans already know too much about the show as it is, so giving them any information themselves would actually be some sort of disservice or something -- so nearly the entire commentary consists of the two of them arguing about God knows what.
The odd thing is that when you read Publick's blog you get all sorts of interesting facts and information, which is probably why it was so frustrating to get almost nothing out of the actual DVD commentary other than two guys talking over each other so badly that even if it was relevant you can barely make out what they are saying in the first place.

It actually got to a point where I sort of forgot I was watching the commentary at all and actually said something to the effect of
"Would you two shut up, I'm trying to watch this!"
Of course the real issue behind all this is the way that people like to attach themselves to things that they're passionate about. I think in general it's more of a guy thing -- possibly because we value our diversions and hobbies on such personal levels.

I'm not really sure why it is, but you've seen it before -- that one gearhead who feels the need to name every car he buys, or the way all guys require time to mourn whenever our favorite sports teams screw something up really bad (I still wince whenever I hear Bob Costas talk about the Denver Broncos).

Women don't seem to do that as much. Sure women are passionate about things -- but I guess they simply have a better understanding of the difference between reality and things that just accessories to your life. For example, it's not uncommon at all to hear a chick fawn over a pair of shoes she really wants to buy, but once she's bought them and worn them once or twice -- all you hear is complaints about how bad they pinch, or how nothing she has really matches with them the right way.
Or to put it another way, I've yet to meet the girl who's named her favorite pair of pumps.
It's a subtle difference, but perhaps a telling one. I know lots of women who love football, but very few who are interested in watching football-related talk shows on ESPN five months after the season has ended (and two months before the next one is about to start). Women obsess over different kinds of things -- which is part of what makes them so mysterious and interesting (except on Sundays, Monday nights, some Thursdays, and all during March Madness).

None of which helps to explain at all the crush I have on Venture Brother's character Doctor Girlfriend, who talks like a man and is made out of ink
..but is still welcome to arch my super scientist anytime she wants, knammsayin?

[Listening to:    Peeping Tom"Sucker" ]


Monday, June 11

This Thing of Ours

It's a simple question. One that has been asked time and time again and probably will be asked again long after we’ve considered our thoughts on the matter:
When you create, when you imagine, when you write -- is it written for
the intended audience, for the characters, or do you write for yourself?
There really isn't one answer, because different contexts bring forth different criteria. If you're writing for the release that comes from the process, the catharsis of putting thoughts to ink, of claiming the order of definition from the chaos of thought -- then does it really matter if what you put on the page, on the screen, out of your instrument makes sense to anyone else?

Not that other people can't appreciate it, connect to it, or feel a resonance to similar feelings or emotional events in their own lives. Regardless of the artist’s intent, the enjoyment you feel comes from the way that the words and ideas resonate with your thoughts, emotions, and intellect. For example, its possible Jackson Pollock's One: Number 31 is supposed to be a picture of a pony. It's quite possible that when Jackson finished painting it, he thought to himself -- "That's by far the best painting of a penguin talking to a polar bear that I've ever done."

And even if it's more likely that it was a painting of the moment -- an explanation of an emotion attempted with paint and canvas, an emotional subset that Pollack understood enough within himself to attempt to visualize in that particular way -- the simple fact is that as a viewer, a recipient of the artistic expression, it's still perfectly valid for you to look at the finished painting and say:
"Oh cool -- a penguin."
If you work to create emotionally open art you are by definition asking your viewers/listeners to make themselves emotionally available to it. That's what makes abstract art so exciting (yet equally as frustrating and ultimately blah if you're unable to make the connection the artist was hoping for).

There's nothing worse than staring at some hunk of welded metal and mixed media that someone spent two years of sweat and tears slaving over and thinking to yourself,
"Ok, what the hell is this thing supposed to be?"
You're supposed to be asking something like "How does this make me feel?" -- but if you as a viewer aren't moved enough by the site/sound/reading of something to make an emotional connection -- then that leap to interpretation can't always be made.

To my way of thinking it's not really anyone's fault. Not everyone who looks at art can appreciate it the way it was intended. By the same token, not all people who create are able to connect with a given audience. I might find myself confounded by some nondescript piece of sculpture -- while the person standing next to me could easily be reduced to joyous tears just at the sight of it.

That's the beauty (as well as the frustration) of the whole thing. Can you connect the inspiration that drove you to make something unique and original enough so that someone else can at least tap into the general idea you were going for when they see it/hear it/experience it sometime later?

Because even if every artist out there isn’t trying to make millions of dollars selling their creations -- it’s my honest belief that every one of them is attempting to communicate something. Even if the message is as simple as "Doesn’t this cat look like he wants more vodka?" -- The imagery and presentation needs to be sufficient to get that thought across, or else the whole exercise is a failure.

I know not everyone out there thinks that they are artistic. Some people simply refuse to accept the notion that they can be creative in the ways that other perhaps more famous people are. But the simple fact is that everyone is capable of, and regularly practices certain forms of creative expression intended to express their individuality to those around them.

Perhaps this would make more sense if I used an example -- something we all understand and recognize, but interpret in our own individual ways
Like Make out music.
Sure it’s kinda high school, but put yourself into this situation for a moment -- You’ve got a date that you really like. Someone you’d like to get perhaps a little more intimate with if you can. The situation between you has led to being in a room together alone, but you’re feeling that coming out and saying something like "Hail to the King, baby -- Gimme some sugar" might not be the most appropriate way to create the mood you’re hoping for.
Question 1: What is your ultimate goal when playing make out music?
a) To set a mood that is more relaxed and intimate than it might be with silence or the distraction of a TV.
b) To help enhance the existing romantic feeling created by the two of you so far that evening
c) To drop a lead weight-sized hint to the effect that since the buying and eating of lobsters has been completed -- sexy time should commence.
In a sense, choosing and playing make out music puts you in the place of being artist attempting to convey a message to an audience. The message is both personal and emotional, but is absolutely intended to be understood by someone else (otherwise what’s the point?)

The problem is, how do you send that message without it being misread to the point where you go from being a charming guy that might be different from the rest to a slimy pig who believes that two handfuls of Aqua Velva and that K-Tel love songs collection is gonna get him laid?
The answer -- choose the right music for the situation.
I think most people understand that there are certain times when playing 2 Live Crew is probably not your best move. But at the same time you don’t want to bust out with "I don't See Nothing Wrong With a Little Bump and Grind" too early – because nothing is gonna kill the mood faster than a modern educated woman hearing some R. Kelly track to the point where she’s laughing in your face saying "Did you really think that was going to work?"
Which is kinda the heart of the point I’m trying to make.
Let’s get away from the whole Austin Power’s bedroom with the hidden speakers that play Tom Jones songs idea for a second -- let’s say you’ve got a weekend to yourselves with someone you truly care about. The kids are at the grandparents, the party guests have all left, whatever the case may be. You’re alone and feeling frisky, but she wants you to put on some music – maybe dance with her a little.
Question 2: What song would you personally choose?
a) Yakkety Sax (aka the Benny Hill theme song)
b) Ice Cube’s Put Your Back Into it
c) Something from your music collection that you’ve always felt conveyed a romantic feeling
d) Something unique that the two of you associate with a romantic memory
Your exact answer will probably be different depending on who you are both as an individual and as a couple. But the creative question that is posed is much the same as the one that’s posed to an artist seeking to express themselves in a manner that’s authentic to their individual sense of creativity, yet clear enough to also be commercially viable:
How do you set a mood that might lead to sucking face without making it seem like the whole point of the evening was to somehow arrive at the point of said face sucking and whatever else that might lead to (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?
Or to put it another way – let’s say you’re David Chase. 10 years ago you had the idea to tell the story of some modern day New Jersey Mafioso’s – but not in the cartoony, larger than life way that mobsters are usually portrayed in the movies. What if your goal was to give as much of a glimpse as you could into what that sort of life might really be like?

You make a show --- it’s got a gritty feel, actors that understand and believe in the characters in the premise, a good mix of action, violence, sex, and whatever – yet it still kinda feels like a family melodrama. People really get into it -- because there’s something about the characters (even at the shows most fictionalized and sensationalist points) that people connect with on a basic level (possible spoilers ahead).

The problem is, after eight years or so it’s time to move on. Maybe its past time to move on, but when something catches fire like this it’s hard to let it go. Especially if you feel like there’s more room to explore. I mean when you think about it, character studies don’t really have to end – they could conceivably go on forever.
Or to put it another way: When Pollock was painting
One: Number 31 -- how did he know when he was finished?
If that painting truly is an artist’s abstract visualization of a specific set of emotional feelings, there really isn’t an end to it. Every dripping of paint, every open space, every created line and shape is another note in what could be thought of as a very complex musical chord.
At the same time, if it is just supposed to be a painting of a pony -- what then?
See what I'm saying? There’s a big difference between the idea of creative expression and a finished piece of art. One is fluid, while the other can’t help but be static -- a problem that becomes even easier to get confused with when you’re dealing with more interactive forms of media.

Which leads to the final question -- Was The Soprano’s a story about what happens to a gangster and his family after a series of events and betrayals leads to a climactic showdown between rival families, or was it in a sense a televised still life painting of what life is like for a jersey Mafioso (complete with betrayals, showdowns, etc.) with the particular traits mobster Tony Soprano was given by the writers that imagined him?

Because if it is meant as a character study -– if it’s just supposed to be some attempt to give the viewer a chance to know what it’s really like to be that kind of person, the ending of the series was perfect.

What better glimpse into that world could there be than to watch a family you know all these things about, to see these people you’ve watched literally for years make decisions that have led them to a point where apparent danger seems all around, in a situation where you’ve come to understand and accept the things that might (and in the opinion of some perhaps should) happen to people like this given the world they live and operate in – eat dinner without consequence.

One has to suppose that a semi-public meal for someone like John Gotti or Sammy Gravano could be filled with that same sense of tension – where it seems like at any moment someone in the restaurant (like that guy in the grey jacket) might walk up to the table and shoot them all in the head or something. You or I might not be able to chow down on onion rings as nonchalantly as someone (real or fictional) who lives in that world every day.

But the problem comes in with the fact that even if The Soprano’s was intended simply as a character study of a unique modern lifestyle, a series finale episode is intended to perform a very specific function in the lifespan of a television show. In a lot of ways a final episode of a television series is no different than the final brushstroke of a painting – it marks the close of the story that the artist is telling on that particular canvas at that particular moment.
And when you look at it that way -- the final episode
of The Sopranos was a complete, crashing failure.
When you tell a story in episodic form the idea is to build tension for an ending. Each ending can be a different chapter in an ever-evolving fictional character study (i.e. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Who, James Bond) – but without an ending to the arc of the story the character is a part of, it’s as if you’ve been invited to a private viewing of Pollock’s One: Number 31 -- only to find when you get there that you’re being shown the multi-colored paint drippings left on the floor while he was working on the piece, with a huge blank rectangle in the middle where the finished canvas is supposed to be.
Which makes about as much sense as listening to make out music all by yourself.
[Listening to:    Cibo Matto"Beef Jerky" ]


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