Sunday, November 30, 2008

If its too loud, you're too old

Dear Mighty sound engineers,

I like loud. Really, I do. I'm a firm believer in cranking the volume WAAAAY up because music just sounds better when its louder. BUT, Friday night's Calibre/ DRS show was a little too much. Ok, A LOT too much. If people have to actively seek out earplugs because they can feel their hearing being damaged, it's time to turn it down a notch or two. The line for earplugs was actually longer than the line at the bar or the bathrooms. That shit ain't right.

Even with the earplugs in, the sheer frequency of the bass literally hurt my ears and gave me a headache. BL, too. Talking to Method One (Hi Jason!) outside, we realized that weren't alone. It was just too loud to tolerate. We were all really excited to see Calibre and DRS live and we were totally disappointed. We wanted to stay longer but eventually, the headaches and ear pain won out and we left long before the show had ended.

Its been a long time since I had been to Mighty before Friday night , so I don't know if ya'll crank the volume that high for every other performer, but I think it might be time to seriously re-evaluate how music actually sounds in your club. The highs were too high, and the lows were way too low and horribly blown out and distorted. Bringing in a DJ like Calibre should have been a slam dunk because his music is beautiful on its own, but when you've got hardcore fans like DJC wanting to leave because he couldn't stand the way everything sounded, you've got a problem there.

Mighty is notorious for poor acoustics, but given the large space, it shouldn't be that difficult to design a sound scheme that works. And if you can't figure it out, perhaps its time to start looking for a different line of work. Not gonna lie...Friday's show was easily the shittiest sounding show I've been to...possibly ever. I may be a little older than the club kids of today, but I'm still all about loud volumes...its just gotta be done in the right way. You all have a ways to go in reaching that right kind of loud.

On the other hand, I did manage to snap a few cool pics of the goings on:

One thing, though, Calibre might be time for a haircut. And a little sun. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Aaaah, a day off. Most people I know used this day to sleep as late as they could before pigging out. Me, I woke up early and headed over to the gym. Amelia was teaching her Core Challenge and Core Chisel classes back to back starting at 9am. As warm as my bed (and my DJC) was this morning, I knew that MASSIVE calorie consumption was in store later in the day. I could use all the help I could get in counteracting the pounds of mashed potatoes, yams, turkey, gravy and stuffing. So, I tied up my running shoes and made the commitment to get a little exercise before indulging in my dad's awesome cooking. Great call by me. Except, not so much...

Let me just say that Amelia's evening-time workouts normally suck. I always leave her class on wobbly, totally fatigued legs, *drenched* in sweat and slightly nauseated. So, first thing in the morning, sans food or water, it makes sense that I nearly died. Twice. She is a machine. A perfectly tuned, ass-kicking, slave-driving, no mercy, no sympathy MACHINE. She will f*ck you up and do it all with a smile on her face. I love her. Srsly.

So, I put in the hard work this morning. This afternoon and evening were spent at my parents' house. My dad is a fantastic cook and holiday meals at their house are always over the top. DJC and I ate and ate and ate until we couldn't fit another morsel. Then came dessert. Then came the indegestion. We were both SO happy to get home and change into sweatpants with elastic waistbands.

Now, we're both sitting around, constantly shifting positions in an effort to find a comfortable way to sit. This is what the holidays are all about, folks. Time spent with family, laughing endlessly and overeating until it physically hurts. Good times, good times.

If only I didn't have to go to work tomorrow...

Happy Turkey and Antacid Day, everyone! I'll be holding down the fort at work tomorrow if you want to keep me company. Drop me a line! =)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A great Saturday

After conquering the caulking catastrophe early in the day, I settled in to watch the 111th Big Game with some buttermilk biscuits and strawberry jam from Trader Joe's. I know this makes me a bad alumna, but I didn't particularly like Cal's chances. They've just been so all over the place this season. But thankfully, the whole can of whoop-ass was opened on the Cardinal and the Golden Bears reclaimed The Axe. There were some seriously brilliant plays (Frank Cignetti WHAT WHAT!!) and MAN, when Jahvid Best is having a good day, he is pretty damn incredible. Even though the Bears season has been very ho-hum, it feels DAMN good to beat Stanfurd. Woot!

Around the middle of the third quarter, DJC and I headed to San Francisco for a quick stop at Lush, and then to find a beer store he read about on this blog. Apparently, the latest craze in the beer world involves putting beer in cans. Like, ridiculously expensive beer... in cans. Yeah. Novel concept, I know. Anyways, the store's called Healthy Spirits, and its on 15th and Castro. We went in search of the elusive beers from Oskar Blues. When we walked in, we saw this:

And then I heard the disctinct sound of drum n bass being played. Then we met Nate. He was standing behind the counter, manning the laptop that was streaming I was liking this place more and more. After a great discussion about the San Francisco music scene, we met Dave, beer master extraordinnaire. DJC and Dave got down to business and serious beer talk ensued. I meandered around and decided to snag one can for myself of 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon (it's a watermelon infused wheat beer) from one of these coolers:

We've been pretty loyal to City Beer for a while now, but after a not-so-pleasant experience a while back, we've been reluctant to go back. Despite the fact that you can actually drink your purchases at City Beer, I think I prefer the folks and the unpretentious vibe at Healthy Spirits. Nate and Dave were knowledgeable, friendly, and totally willing to talk shop with us for as long as we wanted. DJC and I feel like we made new friends. They stock over 500 different beers, so there's sure to be something for every kind of taste...even mine!

Armed with a ridiculous amount of good beer, DJC and I headed home to catch the Sharks game. Can I just say that I LOVE hockey?! Ok, Ok, you all know that, but the Sharks are on a freaking tear right now and it's just so much fun to watch. I've said it before and I'll say it again...Joe Thornton makes whoever he plays with better. He brings other players up to his level of awesomeness. This season's beneficiary: Devin Setoguchi. Those two make it look easy.

All in all, it was a great way to end a perfect day. Everything just worked out: Caulking, Cal football, Lush, Healthy Spirits, Dave and Nate, the kick-ass Sharks and spending the whole day with DJC. Good times!

The great caulking extravaganza of 2008

Remember last weekend when Joe Satriani saved me from re-caulking my bathroom tub? Yeah, no such luck this weekend. It had to be done. After work on Friday, I stopped at my local Home Depot and picked up one tube of white silicone caulk, and one 1.5 gallon bottle of Clorox. My dad had already given me the run down on how to use the caulking gun, but I've learned over time that when someone is teaching me something completely new, I really need to write it down. My ten minute caulk gun tutorial in the parking lot of The Great Impasta last weekend was no different and I really should have written all the important instructions down. Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of being able to take notes. My dad assured me that this was a "minor project" and that I would be fine. Later in the story, the lack of notes will come back to bite me. Oh yes...

Friday night, I was determined to knock this "minor" project out. After cutting out all of the old caulk (OMG, so gross) and taking more than half of the grout with it, I bleached everything into oblivion. It felt good. Things were going as according to plan. After letting the bleach dry, I was feeling pretty confident. I loaded the caulking gun...and then everything went to hell in a handbag...

Here's an important tip for all of you amateur caulkers out there: Before applying pressure to the gun itself, PUNCTURE THE TUBE'S SEAL. Otherwise, you will have one hell of a mess when you push the plunger of the gun through the bottom of the tube. Right after I called my dad in a semi-panic to ask for advice , I vaguely recalled him telling me what the little wire on the gun was for. Sonnofa....

The result: caulk EVERYWHERE...and worse yet, it was coming out a break-neck speed. I also forgot about the gun's pressure-release lever. So, with caulk streaming out all over my pants, shirt, hands, tub and floor, I had no choice but to begin caulking the tub.

I did my best with my very limited control over the caulking gun, filling in the spaces where grout used to be. It wasn't pretty, but it looked sufficient. I kept moving until I ran out of caulk. Only half of the tub was finished and I hadn't bought a second tube. Cursing loudly, I cleaned up as best I could and called it a night. (Side note: anyone ever try to wash this shit off of your hands? I'm fairly certain my hands will be waterproof until 2010)

I woke up the next morning, bought a new tube of caulk and a vanilla latte and finished the job. It's amazing how easy this whole caulking thing is when you know what you're doing. My bathtub now looks like it was caulked by two completely different people: one blind, double amputee that used her feet to operate the gun, and one who had done this sort of thing before. It's totally amusing. Whatever, though. The shit's done.

The best part of this EPIC FAIL story is that my dad called me afterward to tell me he was proud of me. I could easily have just asked him to do it for me, but he was proud that I tried to do it myself. Suddenly, I didn't feel nearly as foolish. Dads are good that way...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've watched this five times already...

...and I still can't believe what I'm seeing:

This, I don't know, thing is the mascot for the Houston Rockets. Apparently, eating and then subsequently vomiting up cheerleaders is a common practice.

I have but three little words: Only. In. Texas.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Guitar Hero

Saturday evening...sitting on the plans. Actually, I figured I'd just spend the night re-caulking the bathroom tub (because, DAMN). I even borrowed a caulking gun from my dad, which, trust me when I say this, is a serious piece of machinery. The tutorial alone that my dad provided me with lasted at least 10 minutes.

Then, the phone rang. After one lightning quick trip to Taco Bell, one BART ride to San Francisco and one $9 Hangar One and tonic at Farmer Brown while I waited for BL to finish dinner, I was able to snag this pic from the floor of the Warfiled. Pretty freaking cool, huh?

For those who don't recognize this uber-amazing, bald, guitar slinger, that's Joe Satriani. Yeah, we were that close (note the rocking fist-pump of approval in the foreground!) . But, more about that in a sec...

First, we were treated to the likes of Mountain. Never heard of Mountain? Yeah, me neither. But I'm sure you'd recognize their biggest hit, Mississippi Queen after hearing the first note. It's pretty synonomous with classic rock. Anyhoo, they have a new bass player who, as evidenced by the next two photos, couldn't stand still long enough to not come out blurry...

Homeboy has about five long dreadlocks on top of his head, which he swung around in a helicopter-type fashion when the band really started kicking ass. It was totally comical (and very difficult to capture!!)

The old dude is Leslie West. Say what you will about Mountain, but that guy is a freaking legend in the guitar world. And I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the guy can still ROCK. Like, really, really well. It was a great way to open the show.

Then, The Extremist came out and blew us all away...

You can recognize an awesome guitarist in two ways:
1. By their obvious super-human skill with the instrument itself, paying special attention to the hands, and...
2. By the way they move their mouths when they're really feeling what they're hands are creating. This never fails. If you know someone who can totally wail on the guitar, ask him or her to play for you, and then observe the mouth movements. Its awesome.

Anyways, the show was just incredible. I've been listening to SO much electronic music lately that I've totally forgotten just how much I love the sound of electric and acoustic guitars. In high school, I dated a serious guitar player who introduced me to the likes of Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Nuno Bettencourt, Gary Hoey, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck, Yngwei Malmsteen and yes, Joe Satriani. I owe A LOT of my current taste in music to his influence. Through him, I gained a ridiculous appreciation for the sheer skill involved in making music of that kind. The guys listed above...they make it look easy. The things they can do with a guitar, I'm convinced, makes them not only geniuses, but super-human. They take making music to the extreme. And hearing it live is even better.

Thanks go out to BL for snagging the tickets. Even if the old, annoying, crusty guy with a long white, curly beard and hair kept offering me things I didn't want, I had a blast!

And, just because I think Steve Vai does things with a guitar that no one else in the world does, take a listen to two very different examples of his work:

I just love how this one moves. So perfect, and yet pretty accessible even by those who can't really appreciate the difficulty. On the other hand, there's this one, where he really pushes the limits of what one simple instrument can do:

When listening to this, keep in mind that he did the whole thing with only guitars. I tried to find the tabs to give you an insight into the crazy things he does in this song, but no dice. The nuttiest part of all is that Joe Satriani was Steve Vai's teacher!

Happy Monday, y'all. Rock on.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Land of Confusion

I read earlier today that noted whiner Kanye West is still pissy about the fact that he hasn't won any major awards for his noise music and videos. Boo-fucking-hoo, you ungrateful bazillionaire. Guess what, dude? Aside from one or two catchy songs that get stuck in my head for all eternity, your music kinda blows. I don't know anyone who would willfully admit to listening to it.

Anyways, in the same article where Kanye belly-aches about not being recognized as one of pop music's elite, he mentions that he's now changed his style around to sound more like Phil Collins in an effort to gain more listeners, popularity and respect. I have one thing to say: ZOMGLOLROFLMFAO. Seriously? Dear GOD, this should be rich. I can't wait until these new songs released.

Now, here's the funniest part of all. I REALLY like Phil Collins and Genesis. I think anyone who can play the drums (really well) at the same time as singing the lead in all of his band's songs is a ridiculously talented bad ass. I used to steal my dad's vinyl (yes, vinyl) Genesis albums back when I was a kid and play them late at night. I'm a total closet Phil Collins lover! The fact that a little bitch musician with an obvious identity crisis like Kanye is now trying to emulate the Phil Collins sound will just make his music that much more immortal. Thanks to Kanye and is unoriginality, kids today will know who Genesis is. And perhaps that's not a bad thing. I only hope that he does the Genesis style justice (Oh who am I kidding?! This is Kanye we're talking about here, for crying out loud! Never mind...)

Anyways, all this talk of Phil Collins has made me want to listen to his music for the rest of the day. Thanks to imeem (for once), I was able to locate one of my favorite Genesis songs. Its not well known at all, but here it is for those who are interested:

And now, here's one that's a little more popular:

Aaaah, the 80's. God love 'em. =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Discovery Channel scores again

Have you seen Storm Chasers? It airs on Sunday nights on the Discovery Channel and follows two teams of crazy people meteorologists and one IMAX filmmaker in their respective quests to intercept and film tornadoes. OMG, I am obsessed with this show and more specifically, with the personalities of the people it follows. Let's discuss, shall we?

First off, I'm gonna come right out and say it... Josh BUGS me. He's just sooo wishy-washy and unsure and conservative and careful. To a fault. Correct me if I'm wrong, but being a Debbie Downer buzzkill and chasing tornadoes aren't two things that really go hand in hand, no? All he does is sit in his little truck and look at his Doppler radar (which is malfunctioning most of the time) and make wrong decision after wrong decision. Damn, I want him to grow a pair and make a call based on instinct and feeling and stop depending so heavily on technology.

In Josh's misguided entourage of six plus vehicles is Sean, the IMAX filmmaker and his mighty TIV. Since Sean is at the mercy of Josh's overly-cautious calls as to which storm they're going to chase, the Josh/Sean segments of the show consist of a lot of pointless driving, very few tornadoes and even less footage for Sean. I honestly don't know how he manages to maintain his cool. If I were in the same position, I'd have told Josh and his DOW to pound sand a LOOOOOOOONG time ago. I feel bad for Sean most episodes. You can almost feel how badly he wants to do the complete opposite of what Josh thinks.

The second team of fools tornado chasers is headed up by Reed. I like Reed. He is shithouse NUTS. He runs this website and generally works in the same area as the Josh/Sean team. The difference is that Reed had ZERO access to Josh's uber-fancy Doppler, and still manages to be in the right place at the perfect time to snag some un-freaking-believable footage. Reed has what Josh just can't fake: instinct and balls as big as church bells. He just knows where the tornadoes are going to be. And, did I mention that he's totally nuts (but in a good way)? It makes for seriously entertaining TV.

Weather is cool. So is this show. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you check it out. Its good for a serious couch-adrenaline rush. =)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Random photo dump

My new laptop has a slot for my camera's SD card and DJC recently found a good online program that re-sizes photos for those of us that don't have Photoshop (yet). I've been playing around with all the cool features of this program, hence, the 10,000 pictures you're about to see. Some of them are a bit older, but there's a good story behind each one. So, sit back and enjoy!

Here, we have a super-artsy, dark shot of SPL from the basement of Club Six I took last weekend. I'm impressed with the fact that this isn't horribly blurry, because seeing straight was not something I was capable of doing. Hooray for auto-focus! Such a great night. (EZ Sam!!)

I snapped this shot from a bench near a cafe that serves amazing pasta close to my office building. Can't really complain too much about the view, although it was a little chilly that day.

About a month ago, I walked into the Benefit salon on 4th Street to have my eyebrows cleaned up. As I was signing in, I noticed a shoebox sitting on the counter that looked like it was filled with elaborately ugly fabric. Then, the fabric moved, and this little guy popped his head out. I instantly melted, took like 15 pictures and cooed until my appointment time...and I don't even like cats!

I'm a total shoe-whore, but never, in a million years, could I pull these off. What I could do, however, is fall off of them and bust my head open. To add insult to injury (and increase my jealously), the person wearing these was dancing somewhat athletically...on a raised platform.

Bebel Gilberto crooning in smooth-as-silk Portuguese and transporting me to a sandy, sunny beach where the vacation drinks flow like water and the blue skies never end. This was taken at the Greek Theatre over the summer, where she opened for Thievery Corporation. Note: look at her shoes! LOVE!!

Nothing to see here. Move along. (Pizza FAIL!)

I spent yesterday afternoon oogling Lucky Girl's new little guy while DJC did his best to avoid the path of every child in the house (smart man). Eventually, we grew hungry and headed over to Don Pico's to stuff ourselves senseless. This picture is actually from the first time I was introduced to possibly the best mexican food around. The six of us decided to try the sopapillas and were quite surprised when this concoction showed up. When I commented about the size of the dessert (because usually sopapillas are not the size of a human head) stating that I had never seen anything like that, the waitress quipped, "That's because everywhere else makes them the lazy way". Sweeeeeet.

Holy cow, that's a long way down! Note the size of the cars along the right side. (From earlier this year at the Hoover Dam during my yearly Vegas birthday extravaganza.)

Taken from the balcony at the Otis Lounge in San Francisco. Every now and then, The Editor will play a super-sexy house set there and its always a good time. I love how swanky and pretty this place is. Strong drinks, too! Bonus!

Ok, that's it for now. Iron Chef is on and even though I ate WAAAY too much chili tonight, the squash battle is making me hungry. Catch ya'll soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happiness...and total disgust and embarrassment

The late, great Tupac Shakur once mused in his song "Changes":
"And though it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready to see a black president..."

The song was released posthumously in 1998, but was recorded in 1992. Ten years post-release, after President-elect Obama's moving acceptance speech, I wonder what Tupac would say if he were here. I know that whatever it was, it'd be interesting and thoughtful and that I'd very much like to hear it. Such is life. Rest in peace, Tupac. We've seen the day you spoke about so long ago. Sorry you weren't here to see it, too.

And now, as happy as I am about the result of yesterday's election...

I wonder, how is it that a state that helped elect the first African American president ever in history could be so cruel to its own people by denying the LGBT population the right to marry whomever they choose? Proponents of Prop. 8 claimed that marriage between a man and a woman is "traditional" and that they wished to uphold those traditions. Well, then...under the guise of "tradition", is it now OK for white people to have black slaves again? Because that's what people did back then. And is it now OK to deny someone entry to various public places because of the color of his or her skin? Because, traditionally speaking, that's the way things were. And what about women? Tradition has it that women can't vote. Prop. 8 is the same shit, in a different package.

I'm completely dumbfounded that a society that has righted all the wrongs mentioned above can't grant people the right to marry whomever they choose. I'm sorry, but if you're against gay marriage, don't have one, mmmkay? Let people live their lives as they choose! I can't believe California, of all places, has thumbed their noses at equality. In Alabama, I could see this kind of thing happening. But not here. Not in such a progressive state. I just don't understand this one at all. It's really upsetting.

Yes, we've seen some progress with the election of Barack Obama. But have we seen any real change? Not even close...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekend Roundup

I never thought I'd ever hear myself say these words, but thank goodness tomorrow is Monday. Perhaps I'll finally be able to get some sleep. Since Thursday night's kick-ass Sharks game, I've been missing my bed, pillow and comforter. Its been a rainy, cloudy weekend...usually great for staying in bed. Unfortunately, there was so much going on that I didn't get nearly the loafing-around time that I wanted (although, I did manage to catch the most recent episode of Ugly Betty on my laptop in bed. It was dope.).

Friday night was moderately low-key. Despite it being the one holiday a year where its OK to dress like a whore at parties, which is always good for a laugh, DJC and I grabbed sushi and then stayed in. We handed out zero candy. Thanks to the rain, most of the little ghosts and goblins and devilish children of the neighborhood stayed home, too. It was a fairly quiet night, aside from being unable to sleep because what ever bug I've been fighting lately is putting up one hell of a battle.

Best. Pumpkin. Ever.:

Saturday, it rained. A LOT. We Californians do not handle rain so well. BL completely bailed on plans we had because he didn't want to drive in the rain. LOL. Apparently, he wasn't the only one. Saturday night, DJC and I ventured out of our warm, dry house to head to San Francisco to catch up with one of my favorite drum n' bass DJs, SPL. It could have been the rain, or perhaps the fact that he was playing dubstep instead of his usual rough dnb, but NO ONE showed up for the show. I felt bad for him playing to all 10 of us, but because no one else was there, we spent a lot of time talking to him before and after his timeslot. Nicest guy ever. Totally down to earth with a huge genuine smile. DJC got his record signed and we all drank waaaay too much. Kick-ass night, for sure.

This morning, a rip-roaring headache woke me up early. Shocking, I know. What I really wanted to do was roll over and sleep it off. But, I had made plans with a bunch of people that I love to attend the Below Zero Beats Sunday brunch. I couldn't just bail on everyone, no matter how much I wanted to (side note: I never knew my head could hurt so badly! Damn, I'm getting old!). Good thing I didn't wuss out. Check out this setting:

This is the third floor of the JW Marriott in San Francisco, which is open to the top of the building. The guy spinning is Mason Rothert, one of the original Below Zero DJs. Seriously, this was the *perfect* way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Mimosas, brunchy food, chilled out music, great friends, and a super swanky setting provided the perfect hangover cure (SO great to meet you finally, Mason!!).

Now, I'm sitting on the couch again trying my best to recover. I plan to hit the sack after a decadent Lush bubble bath, a few more Advil, and a lot more water. As tired as I am, I had an amazing weekend and spent time with some of my favorite people (and met some new friends, too!) and I wouldn't trade it for the world. All I need now are some precious ZZZZZZs. =)