Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Gmail out the wazoo!

I just got SIX Gmail invites made available to me...who wants 'em? Comment below or slide me an e-mail...
I don’t live in THE SUBURBS!!!

Okay, I have a few friends who think it's humorous to keep asking me how "suburban life" is treating me just because I moved out of Wicker Park. Now I'm the first to admit that, had I my druthers, I'd rather be living in the 'hood I've grown to love over the past decade. Right now, however, Photogal owns a nice house with a big yard and all kinds of cool amenities so I gues I'll just suffer and live in luxury for a while. Is that a crime?

However, even though I do live closer to Oak Park than Wicker Park, my new neighborhood is by no means "suburban." It actually reminds me of when I moved into Humboldt park about ten years ago. Rough, a little dangerous but definitely turning around.

Contrast this with Wicker Park, land of the H2 and the Jetta and legions of peroxide blondes shoe-shopping every weekend, and then tell me which tastes more like the suburbs.

Anyway, to the few of you who keep asking me how "suburban life" is I would like to make clear that while the question was funny and cutting the first dozen times you asked I have now just grown weary of it so cut it out, okay?

Hmmm…I just re-read that and it comes off a lot grumpier than I meant it to so keep that in mind, m'kay?


DJ Tankboy
wanna blanket you
with love and good music.

But don't call us hippies, okay?
We don't wanna have to kick your ass.

Old school rock and/or roll attitude
mixed with only the finest selections
from yesterday, today and tomorrow.

TONIGHT, Tuesday August 31, 2004
Free PBR from 8-9pm
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

Features of the week:
We guarantee we'll play something off these new or unreleased albums!

Bjork - Medulla
Delgados - Universal Audio
Jimmy Eat World - Futures
Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Shake The Sheets
Radio 4 - Stealing Of A Nation
Elliott Smith - From The Basement On A Hill
The Twilight Singers - She Loves You

You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore…
And the legend of the rent...was WAY HARDCORE!!

Every Tuesday, only at Ten56.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Monday Tankboy: Mailbag Edition

Okay, time to sort through the massive piles of mail that have been virtually piling up here at Tankboy headquarters and answer the questions that have been burning holes through your cerebral cortex.

Q: I want to be your friend. What should I buy you?
A; Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy me. Also Little Debbie's Swiss Cake Rolls or Hostess Cupcakes. Yum!

Q: Is it fun to date Tankboy?
A: Let me answer your question with few questions of my own. Do you mind mental instability? Are you a licensed social-worker with a background in dealing with substance abuse? Do you enjoy finding automobiles in unlikely places like swimming pools and trees? Do you mind suffering mild to serious hearing loss? Do you enjoy it when someone corrects your English as a reflex action? Do you enjoy fried chicken but hate mushrooms? If all the above were answered with a resounding YES then you might find Tankboy fun to date.

Q: So are you some kind of crazed drug fiend?
A: Actually, and when I was younger I never thought I’d say something like this, but no. One could say Tankboy has outgrown most mind-altering substances. Except for booze. And cigarettes. And caffeine. But that’s it now, I swear!

Q: The third person thing. Drop it. It’s lame.
A: Tankboy will do his best to stop referring to himself in the third person.

Q: You know that whole, “It’s hot” thing? I ws watching The Simple Life and noticed Paris and Nicole say that a lot. Don’t you feel like a chump?
A: A chump? Not at all. I’m glad that a ctach-phrase I initiated has wored its way into the mainstream so quickly! I haven’t been this successful in getting my word out there since I coined “postal” as a verb in the early part of the last decade. Hurrah for Tankboy!

Q: Will you book my band?
A: I don’t know, are you good? I tend to book music I feel strongly about so I tend to use the same local bands over and over. Out-of-town bands that send me great discs, or whom I happen to catch live (like Shame Club last Saturday) usually end up getting approached by me to be put on a bill. It’s that simple. No hidden equations or back-room deal-making.

Q: Well, can you get us a show on October 13?
A: I’m working on it Aaron. If all else fails take that show at Elbo Room and I’ll find someone good to play with you.

Q: You talk about your dog a lot. Why?
A: I don’t have kids (that I know of) so Betty is my baby. And I’m glad we’ve expanded the family to include Lucy and Chloe the Cat as well. All three were strays at some point and all three are well and fully loved now…

Q: What are you listening to right now?
A: This second? Jimmy Eat World’s new disc Futures. Then it’ll either be Ricky Fante, The Twilight Singers or the new Mike Watt...depends.

Q: What happened to those mp3s you said you were going to start posting.
A: Well, the guy that was going to help out got a little nervous, understandably, about hosting copy written music in today big biz litigious society so until I can afford some server space of my own in the future (which ain’t happening any time soon since Tankboy is broke and in dept) you’ll just have to wait. I do love trading mix CDs so feel free to contact me for something like that…

Q: Did you give out all your Gmail invites?
A: Well, I did, but another popped back up. So who wants a Gmail invite and what’re you gonna give me for it?

Q: Sorry about your dad.
A: Thanks, me too. I think of him at the weirdest times and still really miss him. I have a feeling that’s how it’ll be for, oh, the next fifty years or so.

Q: Do you know any good jokes?
A: Watch me walk down the street with “attitude.” That’s pretty funny...

This is lame...

Totally, but I couldn't resist. Does that make me lame? Probably.


Wha's yo name?

Friday, August 27, 2004

Wah wah wah.

Looks like I will miss the wrestling as I won't be out of work early enough. I think that makes me happy, but I'm not sure...

Instead I will be attending a mandatory employee picnic. I just hope there's no three-legged sack races as I refrained from wearing jeans to work today. Obviously an employee picnic and permission to wear jeans go hand in hand, right? Obviously I completely forgot that little fact whilst dressing for work this morning, right?

Even though everyone else did wear jeans, it still seems weird to me to wear jeans to the office. Now if the "work casual" dress code was ever permanently dropped, believe you me, I would no longer feel awkward in jeans in the workplace. Until then, though, I'll stick with slacks/pants/non-denim legwear.

I have decided to take advantage of the early-ending work day -- due to the picnic of course -- to take a lunch break. Which is what I'm doing now. Which, now that I'm thinking of this as a lunch break, means I am now growing hungry. So I'm gonna eat something. So there! And maybe read a bit of my magazine at my desk.

Serenity now!

It's Friday! I'm lazy! So instead of all-brand-spankin' new original content (that was redundant, wasn't it?) I figured I’d point you in the general direction of a few healthy diversion for the weekend.

First off, my friend Darcell has had one of her short stories published in IT'S ALL GOOD: How Do You Like It Here Now? And I think you should run out and buy the book right this second. It's out on the wonderful Manic D Press and can be purchased here or here if your finest neighborhood bookseller isn't already carrying it. It's an anthology of short stories, poems and commix and while I'm pissed Darcell is ahead of me in the curve of published fiction I'm also incredibly proud of her. Way to go!

Now from the highbrow to the incredibly lowbrow. Last weekend a flyer appeared on my front door for an amateur wrestling match taking place just down the street from me. I laughed. I sneered. I tried to crumple the flyer up but Photogal stopped me and read it for herself. She squealed. With joy. She’s decided we are going. Why me God, why me?!

Apparently the All American Wrestling group (yeah, I never heard of ‘em either) is opening their own center of operations, The AWW Independent Wrestling Center, a mere two blocks from my house! Auuuugh! Anyway, if you’re interested in watching Tankboy squirm and Photogal cheer on guys willing to hit each other over the head with folding metal chairs then full details can be found here. God save me.

I saw Secret Window last night, the Johnny Depp flick adapted from a Stephen King story, and it was kinda lame. It might have been better if I hadn’t spotted the "twist" ending about fifteen minutes into the film. And then I felt stupid for not catching it earlier. Also, the play on names later in the movie had me mocking the technique as totally ripping off The Shining...until I realized it was written by the guy who wrote The Shining. So that got me to thinking; how funny is it that the movie about a guy suspected of plagiarizing (basically himself) contains a plot device that the writer of the original story the movie is base on, basically plagiarized from himself? Anyway, while the movie was a bit dopey, it was a good way to unwind last night after an evening barbeque.

And in another bold marketing move, Sara Lee has decided to just embrace "honesty" in their new campaign for Jimmy Dean foods. An example:

Magazine ads feature clever lines with simple shots of sausage sandwiches: "With a breakfast like this, you can carpe the whole dang diem."

The ads introduce a new tagline: "Eat Jimmy Dean." (full story)

Clever? Sure. Honest? No!

So with that, I bid you adieu. I may be in town this weekend. I may not. I may update this weekend. I may not. I may shower this weekend. Eh, probably not...

Keeding! I’m keeding!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

A child of the 70's.

Back in 1995 my friend Mark and I scored tickets to see Mike Watt tour behind his debut album. I was stoked becasue I dug Watt to the extreme and opening the show would be the brand spankin' new little band named Foo Fighters. Back then, folks really didn’t know what to expect so the show sold slowly...until it was announced that Watt's rhythm guitarist would be Eddie Vedder! ( I had guessed he might come along since his then-wife’s band, Hovercraft, was the first band playing that night.) Anyway, obviously the show sold out and I have terrific memories of that night, even if the huge grey brick of a cell-phone I had at that time kept missing Vedder’s calls after the show (we were with friends of his) so we missed the post-show carousing with the band.

Anyway, up until today, all I had were fond memories of how terrific the evening sounded...until I came across this site! This is a stereo recording of the show I was at and it's a scorcher! Download and relive the glory alongside with me, won’t you?

Holy crap!

Psychic TV is playing at The Empty Bottle on November 19?!!!!!!

I am so there.
I'm mortified.

I just remembered that I was totally rockin' out the air guitar Tuesday during my DJ set when I spun that part of The Killers' "Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll" that totally rips off a Queen instrumental breakdown. I can never show my face in public again.

Boring, boring, boring Sydney...

That's what I was yesterday. I got out of work so late there really wasn't anything to do other than go home, chow down and crash out. Yeah, that's me, keepin' the rock and/or alive in everyday minutiae.


Please note I've added a few links to the left, deleted some that haven't been updated in months (sorry!) and I've also noted (thusly)which sites seem to be on temporary hiatus. I've also added a few new links like the hallucinatory Leyner-like¹ prose of So Sayeth The Peabs and the oddly addictive and not-quite-safe-for-work musings of That Ashley Girl.

I am always tempted to add lots of new links but I would prefer that the stuff I recommend is kept to a minimum rather than risking that the links are just ignored due to their sheer number. I've noticed some sites just keep adding the links until they number in the hundreds but that seems to defeat the purpose of recommending something in the first place. I mean, if something I like is buried so deeply that you have just as much chance landing on it through a random Google search as you do picking it out of an unedning line of links, then what's the point? Anyway, if you enjoy this babbling of mine, you’ll probably like the sites I recommend even more...that’s all I'm (poorly) trying to say.

Goddamn Dunkin’ Donuts!

Okay, I can smell the morning batch of donuts from my office at home, so I'm getting the hell out of here and getting me a chocolate iced and big ol' coffee. I'll try not to run the stop sign by my house, cut off a county sheriff and get myself another ticket like I did the last time I have a craving for Dunkin Donuts...

So that's why DJ tankPOD beat DJ Tankboy!
How to argue...hah! (credz Sarah)

...and that's it...

¹That would be Mark Leyner. I got into his stuff about, oh, ten years ago and really dug it. Apparently he is/was pals with my first college English teacher Curtis White. Anyway, I always really dug his style of writing supposed non-fiction and heightening it with the most unbelievable situations. For instance in his most popular book, Et Tu Babe?, the hero is a certain Mark Leyner, world famous author, ingestor of myriad mind-altering substances and possessor of both a beautifully exotic wife and an unbelievable physique. I don't know...it's not the most challenging reading in the entire world, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun. I guess it's best summed up by one Amazon.com reviewer’s words, "It's a Mark Leyner book. That's about as much of a compliment as I can think of. Really a uniquely disturbing individual. But a brilliant, innovative writer."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

!!Advance Warning!!

Rudy is ditching me to catch Tommy Stinson at Double Door on Tuesday September 7. I have forgiven him a) as long as he kidnaps Tommy and brings him to Ten56 after the show and b) because the lovely and talented Photogal will be DJing in his place! Yup, that's right, boyfriend/girlfriend team Tankboy and Photogal will tear it up a week from Tuesday at Ten56.

Will we get into a drunken brawl?
How many songs with cowbell will Photogal play?
How many Bonnie Tyler songs does tankboy own?
Just how sexy is Photogal when she dances
to Queens Of The Stone Age and Prince?
Just how gross is Tankboy when he dances
to Jesus Christ Superstar?

All these answers and more!
Slalom y'all!
Don't miss this!

Um, wow.

I totally didn't see this coming. Dick Cheney approves of gay marriage?

I guess Cheney isn't Satan after all, he's only mostly evil!

Some mornings you get in really early, and some mornings you get in really late. Thank god for flex time, eh? Today I made up for my early arrival yesterday and got in later than usual.

Anyway, no real post today, but I did get an e-mail from a guy selling his Slim Shady EP on eBay. It seems like a real collector's item. Or not. Regardless, I like the way he described Eminem, the disc and his selling procedures. Any time I see english in a form that's not completely mangled on eBay, I get a little excited. Plus, if I can steer an interested party over there and help this dude keep from getting evicted, I'm down with that to.

Sorry to be so lame and leave it at that, but I got work to do and daddy needs to pay his bills!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Yo yo yo...wassup?!

Alright, I'm Audi in about twenty minutes, but reckoned that this stylin' picture of my nephew would be a good way to end the day. When he's old enough he'll be at Ten56 every Tuesday night. For sure.

Sweet jesus, why is this man still in power?

Click here to see Dubya laying out more words of wisdom.

Do you think most Americans know we are the primary source of both humor and bone-chilling fear the world over?

And now, a plea: Please please please register to vote and get rid of this guy in three months...please...
Six-frickin’-fifteen in the A-to-the-M?!

Why have I been getting up so early lately? Oh well, now I just guess I’ll get ready and get in super-early. That should be fun as the following will or may happen:

Getting in early means you get to leave early so maybe I’ll have time for the gym before the usual Tuesday night DJ shindig.

The possibilities for a rash of coronaries spreading through the office when people see my puss before 9:00 has it’s darkly comedic possibilities…though I had better bone up on my basic CPR since I don’t want anyone to actually die!

When the clock strikes noon, my day will be almost half over already! This is quite an adjustment from the clock striking noon an hour or two after I’ve sat down at my desk. (Okay, that’s pretty lame. When you work in an office though it is those little things that help keep the day chugging along sometimes!)

Early departure from the homestead means stops at both Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks on the way in. Yum!

Y’know, I’ve been getting in earlier and earlier lately and that’s starting to freak me out. One of the great things about my job, when I accepted it, was the flex-time. As long as you put in eight hours a day, the time you clocked in wasn’t so important. This was partially done as a response to folks living in the city (I commute to the ‘burbs in case you haven’t picked that up over the last two years) and partially done because it seems that Marketing-types tend to like to sleep later…and what good are we mentally if we’re not well-rested, right?

Since I’ve moved, though, the commute is much less hellish so I seem to be getting in earlier and earlier. I suppose the fact that I’m not out at night nearly so often probably helps contribute to my subtly shifting schedule as well. Is this what it’s like to slowly turn into a grown-up? Hmmm…

Speaking of grown-up, I’ve discovered the one hidden trap that comes along with owning a house with a really big lawn that the doggies love. Someone, eventually, needs to mow thast really big lawn that the doggies love. And do you for one second think that someone is Photogal? Uh uh. It’s me, baby. Last week, for the first time in who-knows-how-many years, I cranked up as lawn-mower and cut the grass on our property.

Tankboy doing yardwaork? Now that's hot!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Ooog...screw the gym.

Am I glad I got in early today becasue boy-oh-boy am I glad to be on my way out right now. Operation Tankboy Slim, Trim and at The Gym will have to wait another day due to the weird intestinal wrangling taking place in my belly right now. What could I have eaten to upset my stomch so? All I've had today were a few pieces of candy, some Cheetos, some peanuts, and a slice of toasted white bread. Are you trying to tell me that's not a healthy combination of foods?

Ooog. Apparently no, it's not healthy. Get me home NOW!
On my own again...
(sung to the tune of "On The Road Again")

Yup, Photogal is out of town again. That's fine since I expect to be pretty busy at work, I'm scrambling to finalize some shows at local venues in September and I will finally get a chance to get back into the gym routine since I've been a major slacker in that area over the last few weeks. I have good excuses for not going, but those excuses have run their course and if I don't get my ass in gear soon I fear said ass will no longer want to fit into any of my current wardrobe. Okay, it's not that bad yet, but I do have that Mr. Yuk feeling that goes with a bit of sloth after a period of pretty regular activity.

Photogal's sister got married this weekend and that was quite lovely. The ceremony was brief but they were surrounded by friends all day and everyone had a really good time. It was more of an adult affair, but fun was had nonetheless. Later that evening, that'd be Saturday, I caught the tail end of Milk At Midnight's set at The Note. They were great but the band after them, who I admit to having booked in the past primarily because the band and I share a mutual friend and she used to promote the hell out of their shows and get lots of folks out, were not so good. I'm guessing by Saturday's turnout our mutual friend is no longer helping the band. Anyway, a bit of the Ten56 Sweet Alice Tuesday crew was there and I have to admit to being in fine and unusually acute caustic form. The quips were barbed, bitchy and oh-so funny. Also, Gina tried to hug me simply to make me screech like a rhesus monkey. Very funny Gina.

I ended up at Double Door and judging by my reception I should spend more time away from the place since the staff was unusually warm. I consider a good number of the folks there friends and I guess I didn't realize that it's been so long since I stepped foot in the club. Bad bad Tankboy! Well, only partially bad, because it was while I was at Double Door that Photogal rang my cell to tell me she was heading home and to ask if I’d like a ride. First I declined and then I came to my senses and hopped a cab to where she was. Good good attentive boyfirend Tankboy!

So there you have it. Another wild Saturday night with Tankboy. Sunday was even wilder as it included walks in and lying on a blanket in the middle of a park about a half-mile from our place. Oh yeah, and cleaning up our kitchen. The excitement just never stops in my topsy-turvy rock and/or roll world!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

And she's off...again!

Photogal just jumped onto a train headed for Memphis with a mutual friend of ours who works for another railroad company. Apparently our friend is considering a job down south and was heading down for a few days to check out the city and some property so Photogal, who is on the last week of her three month Summer sabbatical, decided to get one more trip in before she has to return to work next week. Added bonus? Her friend, who is a girl by the way so don't you be getting any ideas buster, got a free sleeper car so they are travelling in style.

One might think this would herald the return of "Party Tankboy" but, alas, Tankboy is broke so he will be whiling away his evenings at home catching up on his DVD viewing.

And what will Phtogal's next few days be like? Let's just say that when I dropped the girls off at the train they were already smuggling in a bottle of reasonably expensive champagne and a few Coronas. I think they'll be having a dandy time...

Friday, August 20, 2004

Hotties that want to save my soul? Sign me up!

I hope that if I'm ever, god-forbid¹, single again, I hope that one of these girls tries to save me so I corrupt the ever-lovin' hell out of her.

Date To Save: Missionary Dating Ministry

¹Ironic already when taken in the context of the rest of that sentence!
Chicago Booking Agent Update!

Remember the local booking agent giving me grief yesterday? Well I was just informed that they are now e-mailing bands and telling them that I take 60% of the door at the shows I put together! Not only is that an out-and-out lie (scroll to the bottom of this post to get the real numbers), but the person sending this e-mail obviously didn't realize that the bands I work with already know and trust me so they're going to let me know when someone is trying to slam me behind my back!

The really unfortunate thing is that this person works with a couple really talented bands and this person is doing their clients no favors by behaving this way. (Update: While I still don't condone the initial wording of the response I received to my offer, it has come to light that my offer was either mis-read or mis-written but ultimitely mis-interpreted so I'm just gonna drop the whole thing.)

Oh well, that's the music biz...c'est la vie!

A few quick thoughts about music since time is, as usual tight.

Usually I would put this sort of thing on the DoneWaiting site, but since I don’t really have the time to write extensively about any of this you get another morning of bullet-point stylee writing. Joy!

The new Bjork, Medulla, is actually really pretty. It is largely vocal (though not entirely so, so lay those rumors to rest) and the layers upon layers of Bjork singing over herself is kind of mesmerizing. I dig it. What’s more, I think I'm going to try and sneak it in on Photogal, who HATES Bjork, since I think she might actually enjoy it. Hell, even my mom might dig it.

While I'm on the subject of women, I have to fall in line with the buzz and admit the new Rilo Kiley album More Adventurous is quite possibly one of the best discs of the year. I did have a "which one is Pink" moment when I was looking for the disc at a local record store under "R" for Riley and then found it under "K" for Kiley. Funny. I also predict that, based on the success of The Postal Service, that this disc will sell quite well. Isn't it funny how a side-project can help kick-start the careers of the members' main bands previously stuck in the comfortable mid-selling strata of the well-respected, respectably selling Indie world?

I am also digging The Mo based on the track Fluxblog posted a few days ago. I searched out the rest of the disc, Night At The Zoo based on the stand-out "Nostalgia Locomotive" but the rest of the album is filled with a kitschy sort of pop rarely heard around the states anymore. Catchy, well-produced, burnished licks in no way stifled by the antiseptic environment usually associated with "pop" on these shores. I could go into a long rambling discourse on how Green day is just as pop as Britney Spears who is just as pop as The Strokes who are just as pop as Robbie Williams who is just as pop as Duran Duran...but I will spare you.

I guess I've just gotten so used to NOFX that I didn't even notice they released a new disc titled The War On Errorism. I've got to give the band props for getting in touch with the Political Punk™ side, but jeez...couldn't they have paired the angry lyrics with better tunes? Other than the synth-laden (apparently the synth is the new Theremin, again) "Franco Un American" the tunes kind of blend together in a generic pop-punk sludge. Oh well, I suppose if it gets a few kids to pay attention to the newspaper vagain then that's cool...

Finally, I had been told that the new Tommy Stinson, Village Gorilla Head, was a mellow disc. It's a good thing I can't remember who told me that otherwise I'd be trackin' 'em down to sucker-punch 'em for being a damn liar! It does have a few reflective tracks but overall it’s a pretty rocking effort. He's playing here at The Double Door Tuesday September 7 and I’m glad he’s doing two sets so that Rudy and I can switch each back and forth while DJing and each run down to catch a bit of his show.

In other news, Photogal's sister gets married tomorrow so don't expect any updates this weekend as I make it my mission to drag the wedding party to the dirty old Polish bar beloved by both the groom and myself after the wedding and reception are wrapped up.

Zubrowka and Apple Juice for everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Gotta moooove!

Not much time this morning since I have to bring in Photogal's dog, the oh-so-tiny Lucy, into the vet for an ultrasound as we continue in our quest to uncover and define that which has been ailing her over the past few days. Add a dinner/meeting of the minds between Photogal's mom and my mom tonight and I think it's pretty obvious I gotsta get me to work as fast as I can. So instead of discourse that was meant to be well-constructed before fraying out into a rambling shambles you instead get a few sort thoughts presented in the ever popular "I'm-addicted-to-PowerPoint-bullets" style:

Remember my friend Hope the mud wrestler I mentioned yesterday? She sent me a link to some pics from her match. Kudos to the "Aladdin Sane" face-painting and the good showing (at least photographically) in the ring. Even bigger kudos to her ex-boyfriend for posing with some red-headed pierced hottie. How do you get back at a hot ex? Pose with another hot girl and get your picture on the same page as your semi-naked hot ex wrestling another semi-naked hot girl. That’s hot.

"That’s hot." I've got to stop saying that and realize that I'm just not going to turn it into a catchphrase that will wash over the Midwest in a matter of weeks. It just ain’t gonna happen.

Why did my friend Kip call me at 1:45 this morning and leave me a message that he was riding in a rickshaw down Lake Shore Drive and had just witnessed some car flipping over as it tried to take a turn to quickly in the rain and boy was he glad that it wasn't me and that's why he was also glad that I didn't drink and drive and God Bless me and say hi to Photogal and Betty the Beagle? I have no idea but I love that kid. Also, I am glad I turned my ringer of before going to bed so I have the story stored for posterity.

I have rediscovered Adorable’s unbelievably great song "Homeboy." It's got a really melodic bass line entwined around its verses and then explodes for the chorus. It’s perfect for playing in-between The Killer and Duran Duran in a DJ set. That's hot.

I did it again! No more "that’s hot" damnit!

Finally, it can be a pain to deal with booking agents in this town. I'm setting up a bill with some friends and tried to get some other bands I respect on the bill. Their agent said cool. I said how do you want to work the money? Their agent said give 'em a small guarantee versus a percentage. I gave all the money details (the club takes a percentage of the door, I take a variable percentage from the bands -- between 15 and 20 for a local show -- for setting the night up, blah blah blah) in the interest of full transparency and just got a really rude and terse e-mail back. This wouldn't be so distressing a) if I hadn't worked with this person for years and was caught a bit off-guard by the curtness of and the profanity within their response and b) neither of the bands I asked to join the bill are exactly the strongest draws in town. I offered the slots to them because I like them and don't think they get enough exposure. Hell, one of 'em is from way out of town and hasn't played here in over a year. Oh well...that's why I should learn to stick with bands that, when at a lower-level, don't employ "management" or "agents."

Okay, that’s it. I’m off to work. But just so you don't think I'm a big ol' grump I think I should show you this latest picture of my first nephew.

I'm glad to see my brother is setting my nephew up for ridicule at an early age so he'll better weather those tough teenage years. Seriously though, as goofy as that hat actually is, when viewed in tandem with that baby is it not the cutest? I want one!

All together again, "Awwwww...."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Hi Sam.

I just found out my boss has discovered this page. Don't worry Sam, I'm not writing on company time. Well, except for this post.

Also my mom showed me that my dad had been carrying around printed out entries from this site in his briefcase right before he died. I had no idea he even knew where this site was but I'm glad he was able to read my thoughts on dealing with his illness.

Okay, sorry Sam, back to work...
One of those nights.

Yeah, I don't know where my ell phone is. I have a really good idea (under the counter at Ten56 where my bag was sitting I hope I hope I hope) but I don't know for sure. It was that kind of night. When I finally stumbled home I was booted to the couch and I can’t say I blame Photogal one bit.

Here's the odd thing: I feel great this morning! I got up early, ate, got ready and got out the door in record time. It wasn't until I was halfway to work that I even realized that regularly after a night like last night I would still be sleeping and groggily dragging myself out of bed.

So what was so special about last night that it warranted the breaking of the self-imposed post-DJ curfew and risking the wrath of Photogal? Nothing! That’s the wild part...absolutely nothing. It was just one of those drunken, fun, fumbly evenings filled with great music, sexy dancing and lotsa shots with rock and/or rollin' types.

So I was thinking about ex-girlfriends since one of mine is being used as the art in some radio-pen display I keep seeing at Walgreen’s. I think it's some clip art photo she posed for since I've seen the picture elsewhere and even though I've googled her name (Claudia Tsesis...there maybe it’ll pop up now!) I can’t find an on-line image of her or I'd post it.

Anyway, seeing the ad got me to thinking about encounters with exes, or sort-of-kindas and almost-but-not-quites, and the inevitable question:

"Do you ever wonder what would have happened
if we had stayed together/dated/gotten squishy?"

Um, yeah I’ve wondered and I always came to the same conclusion. If we had stayed together/dated/gotten squishy we probably would have been miserable. I mean we broke up/didn't date/stayed away from the squishy-squish for a reason right? This, of course, is not an absolute truism (especially since me and Photogal have dated on and off for, jeez, almost ten years) but it's a right on statement more often than not. ¹

I'm wandering here but I just looked at that rave era photo I posted of my self yesterday. Are my eyes that freaking big. Hold on, here's a mirror. Yikes! They are! I was an alien baby!

Speaking of babies, here's another pic of my brand spankin' new nephew:

All together now...AWWWWWWWWWWW...

I ran into my friend Hope last night and she told me, well rather her ex announced, that she had been mud-wrestling at a party last weekend and ended up topless. I realized she was at the same party that Jason Pettus had been writing about the past couple of days and I realized that I'm not as much of a rock and/or roller as I thought I was if I'm missing parties with half-naked girls slipping around in a kiddie pool full of mud while Hope is getting topless...crap!

Okay, to recap, we've gone over unwarranted late-night carousing, ex-girlfriends, alien babies and topless mud-wrestling. I'd say that should just about wrap it up for the day, don’t you think?

Oh wait a minute, this is a better way:

Now that's hot. Photogal rulez. Now, onward, upward and off to work. Man I wish I had an intern to help me catch up on this backlog of work that piled up over the last week while I was out. Remind me to add "intern" to my Christmas wish-list this year.

¹ That whole me and Photogal on/off thing can get a bit confusing for outsiders. For instance at my dad’s wake a few of my brother's friends who were at his wedding a few years back were asking me about Photogal and seemed stunned to find out we had been together as long as we had. Then the looks of "you dog" started to dart out of the eyes of the women since I had hooked up with a really cute Hungarian girl at my brother's wedding (who later flew out to visit me and boy did we have fun while she was here so let me take this opportunity to thank my brother's friend Balasz for bringing Mikolt to the wedding in the first place) and they were thinking I had cheated on my girlfriend. Luckily my brother caught this and explained that I was indeed single at the time and would certainly not cheat on my girlfriend.

Which is, of course, true but I did enjoy looking like the bad boy for a second.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Some lighter fare perhaps? A dash of optimism, no?

Why yes, I think I'll have a steaming helping of that thank you! Last night I became an uncle for the first time in my life as my younger brother and his wife welcomed their first son, Alexander James, into the world. Everyone is healthy and happy though I would’ve paid a million dollars to catch a glimpse of the sheer panic that must have flashed over my brother's face as the baby finally finished it's dramatic entrance as he realized, "Oh crap…what do I do now!?" I kid, I kid. I'm sure he and his wife will be super parents. I just can’t believe my younger brother was the first to turn my mom into a grandma! Here's a picture of the handsome little devil.


Come to think of it...

...why not share some more pictures celebrating the joy of youth while still slipping in a bit of sarcasm and what better subject to study than me? Where to start? Oh, this is good. This would justify my mom saying, "You were so cute when you were little...what happened?"

So this should disprove the notion once and for all that I've never liked sports. I've literally tried playing every sport I could – barring polo or cricket because seriously, I just don't have all day – but damn if I don't like mighty fine in a pair of shoulder pads. Incidentally I think those shoulder pads would have also looked dandy on any of the female characters from "Dynasty."

Awwwww...here's Tankboy with his teddy bear. Actually this is the teddy bear I’ve had since birth – inventively named Baby Bear – and he's stuck with me through all the years. He had to undergo some reconstructive surgery after I adopted Betty the Beagle and she mistook him for a chew toy but I made up for it by sleeping with him every night for years and years. I stopped a long time ago and grew out of it. About last year I think...

Look at those dashing devils! Those are all the men of my immediate family and I’m the one giving my dad the super-hug whilst my brothers just ham it up. This is actually a rare shot since none of us are beating on each other within sight of the lens. I wouldn't doubt that there may be a bit of kidney punching going on behind my dad though.

So we’ve covered the "cute when little" phase so we'll wrap up with a "what happened?" picture. This must have been taken when I was really into raves so that would be 1992 or 1992. Notice the unfortunate multi-colored hoodie. Notice the gothically pale skin due to my inexposure to any kind of natural light for months on end. Yikes! I went through lots and lots of things when I was younger since I worked under the philosphy that you may as well try everything once if at all possible. Sometimes I paid mighty big fines to the fashion police for daring to chance their wrath as is oh-so-obvious in the above picture. Anyhoo, that's enough for now...maybe more later today...maybe not. I think tomorrow or the next day I'll post some photos featuring some of the ladies from my past...expecially since, as we were going through family photos last week, I realized my mom was quite the hottie when she was younger. Yowza!

I almost forgot to tell you who has a hipper play-list than WKRP in Cincinatti!

That would be me and Rudy throwing down the tunes tonight at Ten56 starting about 9pm.

My name is Mok, thanks alot!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Circle of life?

So every day that I drive into work I come within close proximity to, and directly under the flight paths of, O'Hare International Airport here in Chicago. Sometimes I think of all the people constantly arriving in and departing from where I currently live and I wonder if there’s some sort of meaning behind it, some sort of complex mathematical algorithm that must be adhered to in order to maintain balance, a particular balance that must be maintained in order to avoid chaos.

I bring this up because I got a call this morning, almost exactly one week after my father passed away, to inform me that my sister-in-law had gone into labor and by the end of the day I would be an uncle for the first time in my life.

Funny how that works, huh?

...and a dubious honor.

If you type my last name in Google (or virtually any search engine) my dad's obit comes up at the top of the list. Finally he's famous!

And that, friends, is an example of how my family utilizes dark humor in trying situations...

DSL problems.

So my DSL at home crapped out a few days ago. (This post was actually written in Word old-school-stylee, transferred to a good ol' fashioned floppy and transmitted from a computer other than my own.) Apparently my old provider's portal finally rejected me and I didn't realize I didn't have the software to access our current provider, SBC. So I get the software. And it needs 64MB of RAM when I only have 60MB of RAM...any suggestions from the more computer-literate minds out there? Any way I can jerry-rig my computer to get the software on there?

Also, I am apparently going straight to hell...

Sorry Mom and Dad, it wasn't your fault! I got a score of 210...what did you get?

Friday, August 13, 2004

Time to get down and start living again.

Tonight ** Friday the 13th

DJ Tankboy and Rudy

That's hot.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

It wasn't as bad as I thought a.k.a. it didn't completely suck.

Well, the wake was yesterday and lots and lots of folks came to pay their respects. I was personally knocked out by my friends trekking all the way out to the 'burbs and can't even begin to express how much I appreciated it.

The only Mr. Yuck part of the day was all the hugging. Photogal knows I'm like a rhesus monkey when it comes to physical contact like hugging (and is amused it took me years to get used to shaking other people's hands) so she especially enjoyed watching me bob and weave and duck and dodge the waves of outstrecthed arms chasing me. I feel I must say that for some folks I got over this fear and actually enjoyed the hug so, if I was hugging you be aware that I liked it and the rhesus monkey was nowhere in sight.


I don't know if I'll be near a computer tomorrow, but Rudy and I are DJing at InnJoy tomorrow (Friday the 13th!) so stop on by and say hi.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The wake is today.

Boy am I not looking forward to this.

If you're interested in attending -- and sorry if I haven't gotten back to you if you sent an e-mail asking me for this info since my DSL at home is out -- my dad's obituary and wake information is online.

Click here for obituary and wake information.

Thanks again to everyone who has sent in words of support. It really, really does help to know so many people care.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Well that didn't work out as planned.

I sat down to write about the road-trip this weekend, figuring that by centering on something filled with so much joy that I could side-step the whirling emotions brought on by my dad's sudden death, but I just can't bring myself to do that quite yet. Then I started thinking that maybe there is joy to be found in my present (difficult) circumstance. I mean yes, my dad passed away much quicker than anyone thought he would. The final developments took even his doctors by surprise since Saturday they had seriously been considering removing him from the I.C.U. and possibly even sending him home even if it was just in a hospice sort of situation.

I guess even the best doctors can't see what’s coming sometimes.

So where's the joy?

For one, my dad left knowing he had a family that loved him deeply and his family knows how much he loved us. Not everyone is that lucky and I'm glad I come from a unit that despite our differences and exhibits of human frailty and even occasional cruelty towards each other we all know that there is no other family we would want to be a part of. We also now know that the cancer was far more widespread than we imagined and the fact that my dad felt so little pain at the end is a minor miracle in itself. There is definitely joy to be found there.

Yes, this is the real hard part as we navigate the final arrangements, sort out financial affairs and generally just try to figure out our own ways of saying goodbye to the physical stage of my dad's life. As I type this that sounds kind of clich̩ but for all my supposed gifts Рand I've been told writing has always been one of my stronger talents Рthis is one time I'm still struggling to find out how to put my feelings down in a way that seems honest without becoming hopelessly fragmented. In the end that's what I think this stage is as emotions whirl out of control and any kind of continuity as far as an inner monologue is doomed to break apart and splinter in a million different directions at any given moment.

But yes, despite all that there is joy. Well wishes from friends, the chance to reflect on a life well-lived and a family that grows closer even as our numbers diminish, all contribute to the support system that makes a tragedy I really thought I was years away from dealing with infinitesimally more bearable.

So maybe tomorrow I'll want to add to that joy and talk about the last time I saw my dad and how he urged me to hit the road with one of my favorite bands filled with great friends and how even had he known he was never going to see me again he still would have wanted me to be out there living so he could die proud that his son was on the same road to experiencing a life as full as he had. Or maybe I won't want to. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how I feel.

My dad wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Had a dad, big and strong, turned around and...

Bloomington and Columbus were both a blast and I had the best time hanging out with Woolworthy on the road. I got back around 7:30 to learn that I needed to run to the I.C.U. right then and meet my mom.

I didn't know it, but my dad had already died.

I love my dad and I already miss him.

This wasn't supposed to happen so quickly.

Friday, August 06, 2004

The cheers and jeers edition.

Time is tight today so...

YEA to waking up this morning and smelling donuts as their scent wafted in my window from the Dunkin' Donuts about a block from my house.

NAY to getting a ticket for rolling through a stop sign as I hurried to the aforementioned Dunkin' Donuts to itch the scratch laid in my belly upon waking.

YEA to heading down to Bloomington/Normal, Illinois later today and Columbus, Ohio tomorrow (where I'll meet up with some of my DoneWaiting co-writers) with Woolworthy(see poster above.)

NAY to maybe having to cancel the trip, from my end, due to my dad being in the Intensive Care Unit.

And now we've come to the crux of this post.

Yes, my dad is in the I.C.U. because his breathing became very erratic yesterday morning. I went to see him last night and while he feebly waved to me when I was finally allowed to enter his room that was the extent of our discourse…or his awareness that I was even there.

I just talked to his doctor – or the attending or whatever they call physicians that aren't the primary doctor – and was told that my dad made it through the night fine, he was stable and he was alert. He was under painkillers when I saw him last night so I think that had a lot to do with his, um, being out of it. I'm going to wait until later today to make my final decision about going out of town but if he seems fine then I'm going.

I struggled with this since it seems kind of selfish of me to do but this is really heavy stuff I'm not used to processing, so my gut instinct, when black humor runs dry, is to run. Obviously if I thought my running would deny me a last goodbye or anything like that I would fight my flight response and make my peace with my dad...but I don’t think that's the case just quite yet. He's not done.

Seeing him last night was weird though. He had a mask strapped to his face that was basically doing all of his breathing for him. I guess they took it off for a minute to give him some pills before I got there and all of his vitals plummeted so I think it's safe to ay that, at this point, the oxygen mask is essential. They keep telling me with one breath that he'll be fine and then follow up with questions about just how far they should go should things turn south. That freaks me out.

My dad isn't that old, so why does it look like he's dying in front of me?

I'm not ready for this.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The right kind of prescription...

The new Ted Leo/Pharmacists Shake The Sheets is awesome. I liked Hearts Of Oak but I love this disc. I want to but one for everyone I know and start a global dance party.
First things first.

Sin City. The movie. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller. I mean, c'mon, look at this picture of Jessica Alba as Nancy! Hottt. This is one adaptation that'll be done right. (Click on the pic fer a larger view, eh?)


A third person view of Mexican town written on July 30 whilst baking in the sun.

A languid fugue state set in easily as he sat silently smoking within the lush confines of the patio surrounded by chirping birds, a trickling fountain and the occasional buzzing of a fly made fat from fallen fruit on the roadway outside.

He was no stranger to foreign towns but was caught off-guard by the sheer ease and the unaffected manner with which both residents and ex-pats moved about their lives here. Gone was the hurried rush of the urban sprawl and gone too was the frenzied scrabble that usually accompanied an economically depressed culture. It was easy to see why someone would relocate here to become lost in the green hills and impossibly narrow cobblestone roads that in some perversion of logic always seemed to rise at ever steeper angles and rarely did so much to ease the calves as to momentarily level off.

Tourists ran rampant but instead of obscuring the sites or mangling the centuries old culture and traditions they instead tended to become marginalized almost to the point of being invisible. There were plenty of establishments willing to cater to these largely graying sightseers and their money was accepted to keep the fiscal forward motion of the residents but the usual loss of identity suffered when these transactions occur in other locales seemed unable to influence the ancient values soaked into this municipality’s psyche.

(This was the big spooky tree behind Photogal's building and I always thought it seemed to be throwing its arms up in the air in some silent and anguished question relating to "the meaning of it all.")

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

(insert subject here)

I just saw my dad – he's been in the hospital for the last two weeks due to fluid in his lung but I haven’t really wanted to write about it since every couple of days they say he'll be well enough to go home – and I'm a tad bummed. Well, more than a tad, obviously, but there's nothing I can really do, right? The most frustrating thing is that he's supposed to be undergoing an experimental treatment at the University of Chicago but they can't start the damn protocol until this current boo-boo is fixed.

In lighter fare, last night went well even though I stayed out too late. Again Rudy had a super-tight set and I was a bit more varied, but in a good way this time. I didn’t feel as unfocused as last week. I've noticed that my selections have been getting further and further out there while Rudy’s style is getting more and more honed until his musical choices begin to focus on the listeners while laser-like intensity. Our styles balance well with each other.

Anyway, between my late bed-time and visiting my dad I'm not really in the mood to share today so I'll put off the Mexico recap until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Yup, I'm back in the U.S.S.A.

My flight got in late and I'm short on time so look forward to a San Miguel de Allende recap tomorrow. Until then come on ouyt and see what Tankboy looks like when he gets a little color in his skin and his blonde eyebrows are actually visible!

Me and Rudy
spinning the hits tonight
at Ten56.

We're famous!

...man do I wanna be back in Mexico...

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Cipro? I don't theenk so!

Day four and still no sign of internal combustion qua digestive troubles a.ka. "Montezuma's Revenge" even though yours truly, the hero of this particular narrative, has dared to eat the local food and even gone so far as to consume freshly squeezed unpasteurized juices and daring against all common sense by eating -– gasp –- drinking water containing ice-cubes that may or may not have been comprised of filtered agua.

Mexico has gone well so far. Obviously. Unfortunately this is indeed the last full twenty-four hours I will be spending here and I suspect they will not match the highs experienced thus far which have included but were not limited to: a bullfight, intensely good Flamenco dancing, the Mexican version of The Shaggs, a danceclub smaller than my family room and filled with more beautiful boys and girls than I could possibly ever hope to fit into my own family room, almost going to a cock-fight but running out of time, shopping at the Gigante and not having to use a single word of English and being oh-so-proud that Photogal and I accomplished this small miracle, as well as numerous other experiences I dare not describe yet as this is primarily a primer and a reminder so that I am able to flesh all of this out in a fuller and more respectable fashion at a later date.