Archive for August, 2009

TWITTER: Security Deposit

Hot damn … fully returned security deposits are extremely friendly things, indeed. Especially after you damage 2 walls and the floor …

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The Behemoth

Photo © 2009 Stan Syckes

As I mysteriously alluded to in the last edition of [stanus.butt], there was a large, new purchase that occurred at the new apartment. Cassie and I have gone all in (to debt, that is) towards a purchase of a 46 inch, Samsung backlit LCD HDTV. We found a really great deal on Amazon, and it arrived super fast. They initially had it ready for us last Thursday – but neither of us were going to be home – so they moved it back to Saturday.

Unfortunately, the majority of our weekend was spent performing the final painting/cleaning touches to our old apartment. If all goes according to plan we turn in our keys tomorrow and receive a healthy security deposit back (that should go great at paying off that beast of a tv).

Also, before you ask, no, I haven’t set up my PS3 up to it yet, much less simmed any NBA games on it! All this giant screen has beamed into our room so far is a lot of Cops and VH1 reality programming (in glorious high definition). But perhaps I’ll get some gaming and better show-watchin’ in during this week. KEEP A HAPPY THOUGHT!!!!

    Site Updates

  • Added Sub Menu to Albums page of musicDB to choose between album types
  • Added lyrics legend to recording pages of musicDB

Current Mood: Ecstatic emoticon Ecstatic

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  • Zepmoon
    Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 08:07 | #1

    Very nice! Good luck with the move.

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TWITTER: 2 Drafts

Two simultaneous fantasy football drafts (one live, one online). Hectic!

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Evil Computers

Less than a month ago I worked 60-hours-weeks twice in a row. This crazy amount of work – added with my usual post-work hobby (re:getting on my computer at home) – was starting to put a strain on my hands. As a result, I’ve been trying to limit my computer access after work, which is probably a big reason why things have been so quiet on here recently. Luckily, this hasn’t stopped me from playing iMobsters, an addictive lite-RPG app for my iPhone. In it, I’ve already amassed a mob of 10 gangsters and we’re pulling off missions like liquor smuggling, bribing policemen and attacking other mobsters who are played by real people. In fact, Brandon’s on my squad but I still kicked his ass when I saw him on the attack screen just to keep him in line! I run a tough ship!

But never fear, dearest readers! There are a lot of upcoming things to look forward to once my hands get back up to snuff (what a weird phrase). Here’s your hit parade of coming attractions:

  • Audition of a third singer … death or rock? 1
  • A large new purchase should be on its way soon, but I’ll keep quiet about it until it’s official!!! 1
  • A tragic milestone is fast approaching, be ready for a tearjerker! 1

  • … and much, much more! 2

1 – The makings of a really boring blog
2 – Actually, nothing more

Current Mood: Ashamed Of This Blog Already emoticon Ashamed Of This Blog Already

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TWITTER: iMobsters

Why Twitter when I can be playing iMobsters?

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TWITTER: Homorific

Being homorific

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  • Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 at 00:21 | #1

    Cassie and sister Tori being “witty” with my Twitter account while I was watching tv …

Deer + Headlights

Alright, back to the singer search …

As I said last time, the first singer John and I tried out was a little green for us – something all three of us knew pretty quickly into the audition. Strike one!

Audition 2.0: The next guy up was a Jim Morrison-sounding guy who had a little more experience under his belt. I wasn’t all that impressed with what I heard in the mp3 he sent of his old band – his singing seemed kind of the same note over and over again – but John and I felt he was alright enough to at least audition.

We booked the usual 8-10 PM Thursday slot at UltraSound even though the singer said he could only jam for 30 minutes. If I hadn’t already gone through the first singer’s audition (where we knew he didn’t work in the first 5 minutes) I would’ve rescheduled, but 30 minutes sounded like enough time. The guy showed up with hair past his shoulders and a beard/moustache combo giving him a 70’s, Southern rock type of image to him – another noticeable upgrade from the previous guy. He also was very easy going and instantly gelled, personality-wise, with both of us. We talked for a few minutes about our old bands, what music we were into, and about future goals and then got down to business.

… That is, we would have gotten down to business had the room cooperated with us. Seriously. Not a minute into the first song (“Love Me Two Times” by the Doors) we found ourselves in sonic hell. My amp was squeaking uncontrollably from my new-pedal-knob-adjustment incompetency. The singer’s mic was giving wicked feedback that would bounce around the room, almost as if it were making sure that no one’s ears were spared. And John even complained that his drum set was shitty and not tuned correctly.

It was ghastly. When we weren’t being attacked by squeals and sonic booms, we couldn’t discern anything in the resulting, muddy mix because the room was too small. Before the singer left we all agreed to redo the audition in two weeks (he was busy the following Thursday). John and I didn’t stick around to see if we could conquer the rooms’ musical booby traps and left soon after the singer’s exit. I went home and felt completely bummed about yet another wasted rehearsal.

Audition 2.1: Two weeks finally passed and I prepared myself for the audition mulligan. At work we had an office party to send off our interns (whom I never met nor interacted with … but heartily drank beers celebrating them) and I got jazzed up even more about playing by talking with a bunch of my musician coworkers about their bands. When I ran back up to my desk to get my stuff and head over to UltraSound I found a txt from the singer waiting for me.

He said his mouth was numb from a dentist visit (that he had mentioned earlier) and he could barely talk, much less sing and had to bail. This was two hours before the gig – considerably less than the 48 required to extricate myself from the financial obligation of the studio. I sent his memory to the hell I reserve in my mind for flaky singers and decided to move on to the next guy.

The next Monday, however, I received an email from this same singer apologizing for missing the rehearsal. He said he really wanted to give it a go and honestly wasn’t able to sing at all the previous Thursday. He offered to pay some of the bills and asked to meet up again for another audition. John and I were surprised and convinced enough by this email to give him another opportunity so, once again, we saddled up for an UltraSound jam.

Audition 2.2: We all met up at the Mustang Harry’s – the usual pre-practice drinking establishment – and then went over to the nearby Bikini Bar (on the singer’s recommendation). It definitely had an image upgrade over the very corporate atmosphere of ‘stang’s with moody lights and waitresses in bikinis but the beer was cloudy and the singer found a “nugget” in one of his glasses. Somehow, I don’t think it will be supplanting ‘stang’s pre-practice status. We all had a good time chatting about music, though, and we entered the studio in high spirits.

As bad as the first room we all had played in was this room was it’s complete opposite – fucking huge, amps upon amps, and a great sounding kit. I even managed to tame my pedal and coax a rocking tone out of it! John and I were on fire – not having played together for 3 weeks (that previous “audition” doesn’t count as playing, it was so bad!) had us pent up, I guess.

Then I remembered we had a singer in the room. I looked over at him and he had a deer in the headlights look on his face – he was completely lost. He wasn’t coming in at the right times during the songs he had suggested to play and when we just tried jamming on blues he didn’t sing at all. For 10 minutes! At the end I just straight up asked him why he wasn’t singing. His response was classic: “I couldn’t sing over that, man.” It’s the blues! It’s been sung over for more than a century, now!

Then the guy just grabbed his stuff, shook our hands and bolted without saying anything more than “it was cool.” It was a surreal experience. Both John and I are competent on our instruments but aren’t phenoms by any stretch of the imagination yet we just totally outclassed this guy and he knew it. I can only imagine how tough it must have been to get through those two hours (though he did keep sipping on his huge 40 for courage). Still, I wonder why this guy agreed, nay, lobbied for another audition after the first. Sure, the sound wasn’t great during that initial meeting but he must have grasped some of the talent difference between us. Very strange and very disappointing.

In fact, the guy was so out of it and left in such a hurry he forgot his microphone. I grabbed it since he also left before settling any of the bill, as well, but my boy scout instinct kicked in soon after. Soon after he txted me asking if I had found his mic, that is. Ah well, the guy did pay for our beers at the bar. I guess it’s a wash.

Strike two! The singer search continues … !

Current Mood: Surreal emoticon Surreal

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TWITTER: RIP Les Paul

Thanks for the guitar, Les. Rest easy as I will use it’s power only for good. Goodbye, sir.

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TWITTER: Lost Trivia Again

Lost trivia night by 1 last night … Really may need to find some more teammates

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Holy Running Batman!

A quick break between singer audition blogs to recap what else I’m up to …

  • Batman – Over a year ago I entered a pact with El Stevedore about purchasing old TV show series. We were both huge fans of Batman (the 1966 TV series) and The Wonder Years but neither are offered as full DVD collections. So, we did some research and found people who had taped every episode and copied them to DVD. I would get Batman, he’d get Wonder Years, and then we’d switch when finished.

    Well, I got caught up with other things like my old band, the NBA, and Lost but Stever didn’t wait for me. In fact, after watching all of The Wonder Years, he impatiently got his own copy of Batman. Meanwhile, I’ve finally started to watch these bad boys, now. So far, the show is way better than I had remembered. I have watched some of my favorite childhood shows (Quantum Leap, Danger Mouse, Thundercats) post-childhood and none have measured up to the memories I have of them. Well, readers, Batman may be the exception! You have to be able to operate in a camp atmosphere (and I specifically have to toss out my “comics must be treated seriously” film adaptation expectation) to fully appreciate (and just get through) each episode but there are gems here: great acting (really!), classic superhero vs villain ecapism and Rocky & Bullwinkle-esque jokes that are more appreciated by the adults than kids.

  • Running – I admit it … I hate running outside for no reason. If I’m playing a sport, I love it. If I’m running to catch a bus, I can rationalize it. But any other reason to jog outside and I have to overcome crippling boredom. So, when I found out that the our new apartment building comes fully stocked with a gym I was so excited that I needed a new pair of pants! Although relatively tiny, it has 2 treadmills, 2 bike machines, 2 elipticals, and quite a bit of weight lifting equipment (eh … I’ll get to those eventually). But the best part is that the gym is on the 32nd floor in a completely glass-encased room. So, as I run my miles on the treadmill I’m literally overlooking First Avenue from 32 floors in the air. It’s like running in the sky. Pretty hot.

    Anyway, since it’s now so convienient to run just the way I like (on a treadmill), I’ve begun another legendary 100 Mile mission. This will be the third one I’ve started (and hopefully completed) and will try to track down how long it took me to do the two previous. Keep track of my progress on the 100 Mile Challenge counter that I’ve added (waaaay down) on the sidebar.

Later fools … oh, and some more batshit making the band drama coming up next post …

    Site Updates

  • Added 100 Mile Challenge counter to sidebar

Current Mood: Ready To Kick Some Ass On A Treadmill emoticon Ready To Kick Some Ass On A Treadmill

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