Monday, March 31, 2008

Baseball Predictions...

It's that time of year.

Baseball season!

My predictions:

NL East: New York Mets

NL Central: Chicago Cubs

NL West:Arizona Diamondbacks

NL Wild Card: Philadelphia Phillies

Last year the Mets collapse in spectacular fashion, however they replaced an aging indifferent Tom Glavine with Johan Santana. I think that should be enough to make that one game difference that kept them put of the playoffs. Also Pedro Martinez is back for a full season and that should make for the best one two combo in baseball. That's why they will win the division. The Phillies will finish second with probably the second best record in the NL.

The Chicago Cubs will for the first time in a hundred years make the playoffs two years in a row. Lou Pinella is doing what he succeeded in doing in Seattle but failed to do in Tampa Bay.

The Diamondbacks pitching is the best of the league and I don't see them having competition in their division.

NL Championship Mets over the Phillies

After the division series I see the Mets face the Phillies where I feel the Mets pitching will be too strong for the Phillies tough lineup. So the Mets should be in the World Series for the first time since 2000.

AL East: Boston Red Sox

AL Central:Detroit Tigers

AL West: Seattle Mariners

AL Wild Card: New York Yankees

I think the Red Sox will continue their run of being an elite team by winning the division for the second year in a row.

The Tigers with their new acquisitions Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera should take the central pretty easily.

The Mariners made a surprise run last year before they faded in September. This year they have better pitching and a weaker Angel team to put them over the top.

AL Championship: Seattle over Boston

I see the Mariners playing the Red Sox in the AL Championships and for the first time in their history getting into the World Series.

World Series: Seattle over New York Mets

And for some reason I see the Mariners beating the Mets in what I hope to be a 7 game series. That will be okay with me. I can wait until the Mets move into Citifield before they win their championship.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In Memoriam

One of my favorite old time actors died. Richard Widmark was 93. He was an actor whose career dated back to World War II. His most famous movie was probably his first, the film noir "Kiss of Death".

It features the infamous scene where his evil character pushes an old woman down the stairs while giggling like a madman.
They don't make them like him anymore.

Remember Lollapalooza?

Back in 1991, I was quite the optimist in what the future would hold. I was travelling up and down the west coast with the intent of moving to Seattle and conquering the city with my mad cartoon skills.

1991 was the year that music seemed to get out of the doldrums and silliness of the 80's. There had been good music in the 80's but it was few and far between. There wasn't a movement per see, nothing like what happened in the 60's. That seemed to change in 1991.

The Seattle scene had been rumbling under the surface with its alternative scene, Alt-Brit pop was making a bit of noise and the alt-music scene was at full display with a series of concerts around the US in the summer of 1991. These concerts were called Lollapalooza. It was formed by Perry Farrel of Jane's Addiction.

I was a fan of Jane's Addiction and some other bands on the bill. They had a concert scheduled at Waterloo Village, New Jersey. The price was right, tickets were available, I was ready to go unfortunately the date coincided with a commitment I had to do caricatures for a wedding with my friend Buck. They had added a second date, which was good news except for the fact that it was on the same day as when I would leave New Jersey to travel up and down the west coast.

I was bummed that I wouldn't see what I felt would be the closest concert to what Woodstock was.

Oh, well, I had a new life to make on the west coast, I just have to forget about Lollapalooza.

Or do I?

I was talking with some people in San Francisco who were going back to Seattle at around the same time as me. They mentioned that there was a concert in the Seattle area that would fit in nicely with my travel plans.

I was able to purchase the tickets at a Ticketmaster at the soon to be defunct Frederick and Nelsons in downtown Seattle. No problem there, now I had to figure out how to get to King County Fairgrounds which was a bit outside of the city.

I had talked to this girl Justine in Portland, OR. she had lived in Seattle and gave me her phone number after letting me know she was going to the concert. I called and she like many women I've known in my life, disappointed me breaking her promise to get me a ride to the concert.

So, now what? I had no clue on how to get there. I wasn't aware of any shuttle buses, so I had to figure out a way to get there by the bus system. I called the bus line. (I made a lot of phone calls in those pre-cell phone era times.) There was a bus that took me to a mall. (I, to this day don't know what mall it was) where we took one of those mini-buses to the town of Enumclaw.

Now, I was able to meet up with some other concert goers, so at least I had company, and perhaps a guide to the fairgrounds. Now Enumclaw is kinda out there in the sticks. In 1991, it was still very rural, very farm-oriented, which became evident when the bus we were riding on, was being held up for quite a while by a combine riding the back roads of King County, WA. There was no way to pass. Anyway, we were let out about three miles from the fairgrounds. Like I said, there was no direct shuttle.

So, we had to walk.

And it started to rain.

I was hoping to hang out with the guys I met on the bus but we had gotten separated one by one by the time we approached the entrance. Some of them wanted to get something to eat, but the concert had started. I didn't want to miss much. We were down to three when we approached the entrance. I wasn't allowed to go in with the backpack I foolishly brought with me. I didn't want it taken from me, so I asked what should I do. I was told to put it back in my car.

Ha Ha

Anyway, I wandered around looking for someplace to put my backpack. I saw a clump of trees, where I thought would be a good place to hide the backpack. My first attempt was foiled by walking into an amorous couple going at it in earnest.

My second attempt was more successful. I hung it up on a branch about ten feet in the air. One would have a hard time finding it, since it blended in with the darkness that was enveloping the overcast sky.

I finally got into the concert. I had missed the Rollins Band, which was fine. I wasn't a fan. I came in when the Violent Femmes were on stage. They had replaced the Butthole Surfers which was fine with me. I kinda liked the Femmes, and they were playing some of their familiar songs. After they were over, I wandered around,checking out the art shows and political tables that were sheltered from the rain. I also had the pleasure of witnessing the early days of the Jim Rose Circus Freak Show. I wasn't able to find anybody I had met who was at the festival. So I had to enjoy myself as much as possible in the rain by myself. Food was a drag. I had to wait on a long line to buy scrips, and then wait on another line to buy the food.

The band Fishbone was one next. They were a funk band who had a minor hit with "Everyday Sunshine". They were at their peak at they put on an exciting performance. Too bad they didn't get more success, otherwise the act would be more significant.

Next up was Ice-T. Lollapalooza was quite diverse in its first year. Having Ice-T, Violent Femmes and Nine Inch Nails on the stage was ballsy.

Anyway, Ice-T was great. His best album OG:Original Gangster had come out that year and he introduced his hard rock band Body Count halfway through the show. This was the band and the album that would create a huge amount of controversy a few years later with the song "Cop Killer". They performed the song at the festival and let me tell you, most of the audience were really into the song. The fans, (mostly white) all saluted their middle fingers in time with the refrain "Fuck The Police" .

Lots of fun, I can assure you.

Siouxie and the Banshees were next. I watched close from near the stage at first but I was getting to the point where I was soaked. It was getting cold, so I went back to the art tent where some people had started a bonfire. I got near it enough to get warm but I wasn't dry.

When Jane's Addiction came on, I went again front and center and really was into the vibe of their performance. The highlight of which was when Perry Farrel told a very racist joke.

Oh, oh. Ice-T wasn't gonna have that.

He came out on stage angry singing "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey." Farrel reacted as though he knew he was gonna get his ass kicked. He then sang "Don't Call Me Whitey------ " You know the rest of it. The duet was punctuated by some kick ass guitar work from both Jane's Addiction and Bodycount.

Despite the greatness of the performance, I was really getting uncomfortable in the rain and it continued to get colder. I had heard all the main Jane's Addiction songs I wanted to hear. I left the concert, found my backpack which was mostly dry. I walked past the venue and was still able to hear the rest of Jane's Addiction's set. I was walking with a lot of people at this point, many who parked more than 2 miles from the fairgrounds. I had walked up to the bus stop only to see that the last bus had left at 9PM and the next one wasn't until 5 in the morning.So what to do?

Wait 6+hours until the next bus?

Hitchhike like many other concertgoers?

Rent a hotel room in town?

I decide that even though I was already paying for my room at the Seattle "Y", I decide to rent a room at a hotel in town.

Too late, all the rooms were full.

I went back to the bus stop and ran into a guy from Vancouver BC who was in the same predicament. He talked about hitchhiking to Seattle. I now considered it. Especially when two girls also from Vancouver came our way. They offered to drive us to Seattle. They just had to walk to where their car was parked. They said it was about a mile away. Well, it was clear after walking 2 miles that we had a lot more to go. The girls decided they needed to hitch a ride to get to their car. They had gotten a ride to the concert from the parking lot. Anyway a VW Rabbit came by and picked the four of us up. the driver was a husky friendly guy who allowed us to squeeze us into his car. We drove a good three miles before we got to the parking lot. Finally we got into the girls car.

It was a VW bug. An old one. A really old one. It was like a Flintstone mobile. The floor of the backseat was exposed to the road beneath. I could literally put my feet to the ground. It was that bad.

Anyway, the car chug, chug , chugged along on the local roads. When we approached I-5, the chugging got more labored and we were going at best 25 miles per hour on I-5 where the speed limit was 65. this got the attention of a police officer, who pulled us over. When he asked the driver if she had a driver's license, she said she didn't have it on her. the other two passengers didn't even have a license on them. The only one who had a valid driver's license was me. Of course the license was from New Jersey, which had the officer saying

"Newwww Jerrrreey" in what I would figure out was a typical Washingtonian accent.

Anyway, the cop returned my license and stated that I had to drive.

So, it was up to me to chug chug ourselves into downtown Seattle. The girls were planning on staying at a hotel across the street from the Y. Terry, the guy asked if he could crash in my room. I said yes reluctantly. I'm always cool about meeting strangers in public but I really was wary about letting him stay. Anyway, when I entered the lobby of the "Y" I presented my key right before I entered the elevator. They asked Terry for his key but he said he was staying with me.

Well, they don't allow that at the Y, so I gave my apologies to Terry as he went to the front counter to rent a room.I went into the elevator and never saw him again.

Some night.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

But It's My First Day...

So, in 1996 I decided to give up on my brilliant acting career. I was running out of money from unemployment, so I needed to get a real job fast. So I made the mistake of going to a temp agency. This was the second time I looked for work through a temp agency. The first time I was sent to work at a horrible warehouse called Norvanco. The work was hard and the pay was low. The only good thing I got out of it was the ability to drive a forklift. I switched to a different temp agency hoping that a better opportunity would come along.

I was wrong.

Still, this little story isn't about the job itself more about what happened the first full day I worked at A Raleigh bicycle plant in Kent, WA. I was sent there late one afternoon where I did some rudimentary training work. They asked me to come in the next day at 6AM.


I didn't have a car, so I had to do the bike/bus combo to get to work. This meant I had to wake up at 4 in the morning. This was the beginning of my not sleeping in the same room as my girlfriend.

So, I would ride my bike to the bus stop 3 miles away. (If my shift started at 7, I would have been able to catch my bus outside my street.) I would then take the first bus to yet another bus stop at the top of Kent Valley. I had to wait ten minutes for the next bus that would take me to the street where the factory was at. It would let me off at 3 minutes before 6AM.

The problem was that Kent WA, is notorious for having a bunch of grey and beige warehouses that all look the same. Their street names were all numbered street with 3 digits. My memory where I worked the day before was a little faulty. So that first day I got off at the wrong street. The problem was that I didn't realize it until I walked about 200 yards east. I saw the street I needed to be north about two blocks. The problem was that I would have to walk back west two hundred yards go north two blocks and again walk two hundred yards east to the bike factory.

I was running late and was looking to see if there was an alternative. I could maybe cut through the woods and tall grass that separated me directly north in front of me. I figure it was worth the possible trespassing violation.

All was fine and dandy at first. It was just short cut grass at first. I headed towards the trees and approached the tall grass that had been beyond the trees. I brushed the first of the tall grass aside, took one step ...


I had plunged chest deep in cold October wetlands water. I quickly got out of the murky liquid and proceeded to go with the other choice.

I walked into the bike factory, punched in late and went straight to the work station I worked the day before. I was moved to another station by my supervisor, keeping a safe distance to hide the fact that I was soaked to the bone.

Periodically, I would go to the bathroom to squeeze out the excess water from my socks. I finally got dry by the time my girlfriend picked me up.

That was the first day of what would turn out to be the worst job I have had so far. The beginning of an 8 month nightmare.

The lesson learned?

Always bring a dry pair of socks, and put it in your hat.

A Thought...

Does anyone else find it ironic that on the same day that Barack Obama made a speech explaining his association with a pastor who allegedly made anti-American remarks, John McCain was in Israel trying to get votes from American citizens who don't think enough of the United States to live there?

Oh, Well

A disappointing night of karaoke for me last night. I was excited too. I had bought a pair of jeans, one of those kind that hang a little low and because I had lost some weight due to my working at UPS, it looked good on me. I found an old shirt that looked good with it and was ready to go.

I had my usual tasty burger at Windmill and headed to Jack's. It was less crowded than usual, so I talked to the host Karaoke Steve. He had a new set up he wanted to try out. I put in a song already but he wanted to know what other song I planned on singing. Asa rule of thumb I don't like submitting a second song until I sang my first. This is because I don't know where my voice would be until after the first song.

Anyway I asked him if he had any new songs not yet in the book. He said yes, and asked me for my input. I asked for some T-Rex songs and he had one of my favorites, a song I had never done before. I was excited.

Then it came time to sing.

The first song I sang was "How Soon Is Now", the only Smiths song I really like. It's a mid tempo song in the vocal range I am comfortable with when I am the first one to sing. I hate being first, and the way I fumbled through the last quarter of the song gave me justification in my fear. Here's the great video they made back in the day.


The second song I sang was the aforementioned T-Rex song "Children of The Revolution". I'm not a fan of the company Sunfly who made the CD+G. Still, it sounded good, but I flubbed a little, couldn't get my vocals down and was timid in going full out. I have usually not cared whether the people know the song I sing but these days I try to please. Anyway, here's vintage T-Rex.


The third song I sang was always a favorite of mine to perform but only when it was as a duet with my Seattle buddy Mac. Mac was an excellent singer who hit the high notes dramatically. When we did "Under Pressure", he'd be Freddie Mercury and I'd take the David Bowie parts. It's different trying to do the song by yourself and on a different night I might have been able to handle it. I flubbed, my voiced cracked, and I was stiff. I didn't get the crowd into it. That and the fact I ended up going home alone made it a disappointing night.

Oh, well maybe next week.

Anyway, the clip I have is Queen performing the song by themselves. It was from a concert some magazines have called the greatest of the rock era. Looking at this clip and you can see why. Freddie Mercury was at the top of his game enthralling the huge crowd at Wembley in 1986.

We miss you Freddie.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Little Late...

My buddy Inkboy informed me last week that the great Comic artist Dave Stevens had died. Anybody who has seen his work knows how beutiful his work is.

He is best known for his work on the Rocketeer, where he was instrumental in reviving the interest of 50's pinup queen Bettie Page.

This page from the Rocketeer may explain why. I had the poster on my dorm wall for years.

He'll be missed

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Not So Fatal Attraction

So I was in the Tower Records on 4th St NYC one day. I was enjoying myself fumbling through some records when I came across some Bee Gees records. It was 1988, so back then that was amusing to me.

Chuckle worthy, even.

I heard someone echo my slight laughter. I glanced my eyes sideways and noticed a woman who had a somewhat crazy look in her eyes.

I was a little taken aback and walked over to the "New Release" section. While I was rifling through the latest hits, I noticed that the same woman had put herself at a strategic vantage point from where I was standing. I took more glances in her direction. She wasn't bad looking but there was just something a bit odd to me.

I decided to put her to the test.

I went upstairs, to the Jazz section. It was quiet and uncrowded. Right around the time I had made the pretense being interested in something, I spotted her again. She was right around the corner from where I was standing.

At this point I had gotten somewhat scared. I breezed through the store and out the front entrance of Tower Records. I crossed Broadway and took a glance towards the front entrance, I didn't see her.

My sense of relief was immediately followed by mild panic, when I saw her coming out the revolving door. She was looking intently for something...

...or someone.

Since I thought that someone was me, I slinked west on 4th toward Washington Square park. I glanced backwards and saw her out of the corner of my eye. I darted south on a side street and went west again until I got to 6th Avenue. I crossed to the other side of 3rd st and hoped that I would lose her through the street crowds. She was walking quickly in the opposite direction. I then took the opportunity to duck into the McDonalds on 3rd street.

I took the time to look out the second story window. I saw her yet again! She was almost retracing my steps! Does this woman have a canine sense of smell? I watched her look around and saw her head north and out of my line of vision.

Thinking I lost her, I relaxed and went to order some food.

I had not even finished my first chicken nugget when I heard a woman's voice.


I nearly nearly choked on my food when I looked up and saw the woman I saw at Tower Records.

"Do I know you?"

I looked at her closely for the first time. She really didn't look familiar. She had a pleading look on her face that made me wish I could help her. Still this was during the time "Fatal Attraction" came out so I actually was quite scared, which explains my track record with women.

"Uh,, I don't th-th-think sooo......"

"Oh, sorry"

And she left, I was to never see her again.

I guess I could have been a little more kind, more helpful and who knows maybe we could have figured out if we really did know each other. Maybe we could have connected, got to know each other and today she could have been Mrs. Scanman and we could have had some scankids. I might not be the wretch I am today. Opportunity lost.

Still she might have been crazy, on the other hand if it weren't for crazy women I porbably would never get laid.

The lesson I learned?

I miss Tower Records.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Plug, or Two.

So my buddy Pro is trying to make it as an actor, in Wisconsin of all places. He has a significant role in an independent horror movie called Groundead. It's not listed on the Internet Movie Data Base yet. It's going through the motions on getting more funding. Check out the teaser here.

Anyway, If Pro gets successful I hope he'll remember me because other people I've known over the years probably don't. They do have entries in the IMDB though.

I'll start with Caitlin Kelch. Here she is with Inkboy, Me, and a girl named Emily. And yet again with Inkboy in a rather cinematic photo at Twins Pub back in its dive days.

When we knew her she stated she was in a movie called "Sweet Dreams". Since it was a movie about Patsy Cline, I had no interest in seeing it back then. Anyway, she showed us a movie still with her in it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Anyway, she was a film major, learning other aspects of the film industry. I figured she might have been in the industry in some capacity. I was wrong. One day I was watching television when "Sweet Dreams" came on. Sure enough, there's Caitlin playing Patsy Cline's sister in what I felt was a significant role. She was cute as button and twice as good an actress. so when I looked her up on IMDB, I was surprised that she has only one credit to her name. No other acting roles, not even an entry for any other aspect of film making. So, I have to wonder, What happened?

Another person I knew at SVA was Agustin Rodriguez. I took an acting class with him. As a matter of fact, I performed side by side with him on a mini play written by David Mament. I was with my girlfriend, (Who incidentally has an entry in IMDB) watching a short-lived show called "Moon Over Miami" when I recognized the supporting actor. I had to look at the closing credits to confirm (and remind me) that it was Agustin. Cool. I liked the show, but didn't like Agustin's pony tail. The show was cancelled too soon to make him a star but I periodically see him in things like "Generation X", "New York Undercover"and more recently in episodes of the "Law & Order" franchises. Good for him.

The next person I recognized is some one I knew way back in first and second grade. His name is Jason Kravitz. I was watching the show "Wanda at Large" when I saw the name Jason Kravitz. I had to rack my brain figuring out where I heard that name before.

I looked at the cast closely and determined that the short balding man was the same kid I used to wait with, for the school bus back in the 70's. He looked like his father, minus the mustache. His birthday was when I remembered it, because I had attended his 7th birthday. Still, I wasn't totally sure. He was born in Massachusetts, no big deal because no one was born in our neighborhood until the 70's. The entry says he has a brother Garth, who I remembered being in the same class as my sister. Maybe someday I can find a photo. For now, I look for him and spot him,much like Agustin, guest starring on the L&O and CSI shows.

Oh, I be re missed if I forget to mention Miggy.

He's behind the scenes on some of the better pieces of animation these days. Most notably, "The Venture Brothers"

Acting? Well, we'll see, though he is the physical inspiration for Dr. Venture.

Name Dropping Department

One of the things about my current job at TSA, is that there is an opportunity to see some famous people who go through checkpoint. Now, I don't work checkpoint, I work behind the scenes. so the opportunity to see people of note is rare.

One of my co-workers got excited that Ashlee Simpson was in the airport.

Ashlee Simpson? The sister of a third rate Britny spears wannabe?


Still, I should talk. when I was walking around the airport I spotted Terence Stamp.


Terence Stamp. He is a British actor who did lots of movies in the 60's.

"Uhhhh. Don't know him."

C'mon, he was in "Princess, Queen of The Desert"

"noooo, don't know that one"

He was in "The Limey"

"The What?"

Oh, give me a break.....okay, he was General Zod in "Superman II" Surely you remember that movie!?

"Not Really"

Sigh! ... Let's seeee, ..........All right, he was in the movie with Ashton Kutchner, He played the father-in-law. What was it "Guess Who"?

" The movie "Guess Who"?, that was Bernie Mac!"

No, no, no, I meant the other movie....

ahhhhhh forget it go back to Ashlee, I don't care.

Call me when you spot HOMER Simpson.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Ah, the days before MTV where the only way you can see your favorite songs being sung on television was on variety shows like Ed Sullivan, Mike Douglas or music shows like American Bandstand and Soul Train.

Now this was fine and dandy if you were a band or music group performing your hit single on these shows, but what if were a song writer/producer messing around in the studio, An ad man capitalizing on a commercial trend, or a radio DJ cashing in on a dance trend?

If you're Van McCoy you show up with a piano and some of your background singers and let the dancers provide the movement because your hit song is "The Hustle" about a dance that was popular in 1975. A viewer might not worry about the lack of instruments.


If you are C.W. McCall, you bring some props in, because you are an award winning adman and your hit song (?) is "Convoy" A song featuring simulated CB radio dialogue, a chorus of female singers, and an early example of white rap. When C.W. appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show"
he had to deal with the fact he had to reproduce the song himself while lip syncing. He brought a CB radio to do the CB dialogue, used the microphone to do his rap which is fine until it came to the chorus and he's singing along with the piped in female voices.
Very amusing.

So, you are a DJ in Memphis in 1976, and you want to cash in on the disco trend but you fancy yourself a funny man. so you write a novelty song that unexpectedly becomes a monster hit. You are Rick Dees and your hit is "Disco Duck" So now you're travelling around the world appearing on TV shows. What to do when the song has the vocal stylings similar to the most famous of all ducks, Donald? You bring along a puppet, an ugly puppet at that. Even though Rick Dees was a fashion victim of the times, but I guarantee it got him laid a lot.

Now, what would be the solution to visually presenting your hit song without appearing in it?
Let MTV and the Alan Parsons Project show you the way.
video video

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Don't Forget The Tip!

Everyone has gone through it. You are hanging out, eating at a restaurant with a bunch of people, some may not even be your friends. You enjoy drinks and a meal and the bill comes.

You know the scene. It's one check, everyone at the table chips in what they think they owe and somehow you end up short a significant amount.

Anyway, back in 1998 I went to a dinner with my girlfriend with a group of her co-workers including, "Matt" who was celebrating his birthday. I was invited along, because that's what boyfriends do.

Now Matt never cared for me. He thought my girlfriend was too good for me. (He may have been right) He thought I was low class because I didn't make much money. He also thought I was homophobic. Which of course, is ridiculous.

Anyway the group included two of Matt's friends. They were very successful software engineers. My girlfriend had a good job, as did her co-workers, so that made me, a cook, the person who made the least money, by far.

Now, I've been called a miser, impossible since I've never been rich. I am cheap, especially when it comes to myself. I have this weird notion of not buying things I don't need or things I don't want.

Anyway, my girlfriend didn't bring cash but I had taken out money that day, Friday that was to last the weekend. Little did I know.

We went to a somewhat fancy restaurant in Kirkland, WA. It was seven of us at the table. My girlfriend, me, her friend Kate, Matt, another co-worker "Kyle" , and the two previously mentioned software engineers. Now I was buying for my girlfriend and she opted to share her modest entree with Kate. Now my girlfriend didn't have anything to drink. Kate was too young to drink. I had a steak with two beers. so covering for the three of us would not be an expensive proposition.

The dinner was fine, The rest of the group indulged in lobster, lots of appetizers I didn't eat, and two $45 bottles of wine. The main topic of conversation was work related and other subjects I wasn't into, so I felt a little out of place, I wasn't part of the "in" crowd..

The bill came, of course the place was too sophisticated to give us separate checks. It came to 300 dollars. Not too bad for a group of seven. My tab came to $20. My girlfriend's was $11. Combined that made 31 dollars. I threw in $40 figuring it would cover the tax and tip. Everyone else threw in what they felt they owed.

We ended up being $90 short.

Mister Party Planner stated that since it was Matt's birthday, his tab was free. Now, since he set up the party, was Matt's best friend and made the most money, I would think he be the one to cover Matt's tab. No, he felt that all of us should chip in.

OK, Fine.

I did a little quick math, figuring Matt's share was $50, I threw in another ten bucks. We were still 70 dollars short. They looked around for more money, I then threw in another 10 dollars to cover my girlfriend's share. I had put in 60 dollars which is normal for me when this to pay double what I owe, just to be a nice guy and not be accused of being cheap.

Mister Party Planner reminded us that the tab included two bottles of wine. Well, Me, my girlfriend, Kate and Kyle didn't have any wine. Kyle didn't drink because he was a Mormon. So only the two rich guys and birthday boy indulged in the wine. Still, I put in a twenty dollar bill, took 5 dollars out to cover Kate's share of Matt's tab. I have now put in $75, a quarter of the tab. Mister Party Planner still looked in my direction for more money because we were STILL 45 dollars short. I put in another 20, took out ten, now we were 35 dollars short.

Mind you, since the initial 90 dollar shortfall, I contributed 45 dollars, only ten dollars was put in that didn't come out of my wallet. No one budging to put in more money, so I just threw in 40 dollars to cover the rest of the tab. I was down to $5 for the weekend and Friday night wasn't over yet.

Finally, Kyle came to the rescue. He was the only one who noticed how much I put in. He had initially put in his share and then some, his was the ten dollars put in after the initial shortfall. He liked my girlfriend and saw that she was annoyed that I wasn't standing up for the fact that I put in too much money.

Imagine, a girlfriend who gets annoyed at spending too much money.

So Kyle put in 60 dollars gave me back $40. So now my share was 75 dollars. His contribution ended up being $120, on what was a 50 dollar tab. He had expensive food and appetizers. This left $105, not bad for two guys who had lobster entree, three appetizers and figuring $60 dollars worth of wine, and 2/7 share of birthday boy's tab.

So, the server got her 20% added gratuity plus ten dollars that Party Planner thought she deserved for being patient with us.

How altruistic, Mr. Party Planner.

The night was over , I got an earful from my girlfriend, I never saw Mr. Party Planner or his rich boyfriend again. Matt continued to think I was tacky and homophobic. Part of the reason was that I sometimes uncomfortable around Kyle. It wasn't because he was gay, it was that he was a preachy Mormon. The Amway of religions.

Within a year Matt would get his wish, my girlfriend ended up breaking up with me, married another co-worker. He then promptly moved.

Thanks Matt. You're a prick.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Karaoke selections 3/4

Tuesday Karaoke had me at my usual place, Jack's Ribs in Long Branch. There were some promotion gigs going on, so the singing was on late. I only sang twice.

The two songs I chose to sing were from the 90's. Interestingly, they presented bookends to my long relationship with Sonya. It wasn't intentional. I just noted it involved a club I liked going to called the Romper Room.

The first song I sang was "Creep" by Radiohead. I went to the Romper Room back in 1993 at the suggestion of a friend. It immediately became my favorite club to go to in Seattle. They played music that I enjoyed with a crowd I felt was fun to dance with. I met my share of women there, Sonya wasn't one of them. A woman named Sheila was. The song we liked was "Creep". It's one of my favorite self-loathing song of all time. Shortly after hearing the songs many times, I met Sonya at an Oktoberfest party, looking really cute. I was supposed to meet Sheila there but she did not show.

"Creep" used to be sung by many guys at this place called Ozzie's, which is close to where the Romper Room used to be.

I have a weird rule in regards to Karaoke. I don't sing songs that others sing on a regular basis. I like to do songs no one else did. "Creep" was one of those songs that popular good looking guys would sing to get girls to see their sensitive side. It helped them to get laid. It usually worked.

Now, I liked the song and wanted to sing it and finally did tonight. How did I do? In my opinion, not so good. But people liked it so I guess it was a success.


The second song I sang was "You Get What You Give" by the New Radicals. It was at the Romper Room where I first heard the song and saw the video. My relationship with Sonya was over, she was with her new man who would soon be her husband. I was very depressed. I went to the place where I enjoyed myself before, the Romper Room. I was more than 6 years older and the Romper Room was in its waning days. But I loved the song for its pop friendly nature. I was feeling suicidal and the uplifting words in a song that wasn't meant to be uplifting gave me hope and made me feel good.

I sing this song pretty often and many people like it, so I aim to please. I usually do it differently, more like the version itself, but now, like I said before, I do it in my style which went well except for a little glitch. A fun night but a reminder that I am geting old.

In Memorium

Scanman's Mustache

November 4, 2007- March 4, 2008


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

While I was working at the lousy bicycle factory and putting in work for The Seattle Scroll, I continued to put out Pipe Dream submission to the syndicates. After I had been told that Pipe Dreams was too de classe, I toned down the anger and made it a little goofier. It helped that I was able to express my anger and my angst for the Seattle Scroll.

I kept the sideways format for this submission. I felt that seeing it large would make it more presentable. I started this set of strips with the re-introduction of the character of Julian. I expanded his background. Before he was an incidental character, mainly as a foil for Skat outside of the Pipe Dream gang.

This time I decided to make him much more eccentric. The house I lived in that served as the setting for these set of strips, had a messy basement that was very dusty. I decided that it would make for a good place for Julian to reside.

The friend I based Julian on had lived a month or so in a basement in Brooklyn one summer. It was a miserable setting for anyone to live. Another friend I had, who lived in Sloane House was a squatter in a basement in the lower east side. Both of these guys had similar backgrounds. Both grew up upper middle class and went through a period of time rejecting their upbringing. I decided that would be the basis for Julian. The Socialist Bourgeois.

Anyhow, I was starting to get sloppy in my presentations. I missed some typos in this set of strips and wasn't able to sustain continuity. I added some quirks to Skat like the fact he was into hacky sack. The fact that I was doing hacky sack in a vain attempt to lose weight had nothing to do with it being featured in Pipe Dreams.

One other thing, We had finally got a computer at this point. My first obsessive interest in the new technology at my disposal was fonts.

All at my disposal, fonts, fonts, fonts. The variety of fonts I was able to buy, I did. I experimented with the variety to find the best one for Pipe Dreams.

Oh what fun!

Anyway, I continued my periodic tradition of receiving of being rejected by the main syndicates. If only I can get out of my job at the bicycle factory.