Saturday, August 6, 2016


MissJeanLouise started life as Jean-Louis Dehaine (deux-N) - Lou to family- in the Alsace-Lorraine territory of France. As a child and adolescent, Lou never seemed to fit in, and never seemed to be bothered by it, relishing in singularity.
When the time came to choose a life path, Lou went to the only place he could think of that would accept his singularity without judgment, and may even embrace it a bit: the French Foreign Legion.
Lou was well-liked and respected in the FFL, rising quickly through the ranks to Colonel in only 10 short years (unheard of! which is why they changed the requirement to 14 years in after his tenure).
After conquering the realms of men is such a short period of time, Lou (always deeply curious) decided to transition to Jean-Louise, convinced that his feminine character being suppressed is what created the distance in him with other people.
With the limitless support from her comrades in the FFL, Jean-Louise blossomed wonderfully, if a little aimlessly and happened upon a singular phenomenon in one Misha Collins while freeing cross-species animals from testing facilities with unendurable living conditions, who roundly appreciated her singularity and created an advisory position for her in his life in general. Who doesn't need an advisor??
MissJeanLouise's history with singularity as well as her history of leading men, she has proven to be the caring guiding hand with patience (to a point) Misha needs to accomplish his goals of spreading silliness and kindness through the world.
Now MissJeanLouise is in her element, conquering the world of myshas and Mishas.

Friday, November 28, 2014

dear jack conte of pomplamoose:

I have some thoughts about the blog you wrote about Pomplamoose's 28 day tour budget. To give you a little context, I am not a musician, nor am I a part of the music industry as anything more than a fan. I dipped my baby toe in the industry waters for a very short time and quickly came to the realization that I couldn't hack it in the business solely because I had a very hard time asking musicians for money, even if I provided services for that money.
I also read Bob Lefsetz' letter/blog regularly and have done for a few years now. Essentially, I'm a nobody who has a scope on both sides of the story that is being presented to the internets.

I "like" your page on Facebook as a casual fan of the way you do business for yourselves. I'm not a doe-eyed, unconditionally adoring fan, nor did I attend your show when you were in town, but since I "like" your page on Facebook, I read your tour cost blog the day you posted it. While I admire your publicly posting your financials because no one else is doing it, I read it as having a few holes and presentation problems that made it obvious to me that you wanted to tell a specific story with the information so you presented it in a way that fit the story you wanted to tell. That was a little disappointing to me and it diminished any of my appreciation for what you had done. The resulting Lefsetz letter, his "mailbag" email and your subsequent response prompted me to write this.

There are 2 main points that I have an opinion on:

1. I truly feel that 85% of the backlash you've been receiving could have been avoided by issuing a preface or epilogue to your blog post: "These are the financials of a band that does NOT tour regularly and whose main source of income does NOT come from touring". Of course, anyone who knows who you are and what you do would know that, but that single sentence puts the whole story in a different light - it adds a different level of understanding. You must realize that Pomplamoose is unique in the music industry because of this. There are very few, if any other, independent bands whose income doesn't come primarily from touring. Touring 200+ days of the year. Which is tremendously difficult on anyone. So the people who actually do that are, understandably, perturbed about these financials.

2. I feel that you have picked the wrong target of your vitriol in Bob Lefsetz. Lefsetz is NOT a journalist as stated in your second blog. He is a blogger and is, therefore, not held to the same moral and ethical standard that journalists are. He presents his opinion just as every other blogger does - just as you do. He read your financials blog because several of his readers had forwarded him the link (not because he was trolling for a target) and then he presented his opinion of it in a blog. A blog that was pretty mild in my opinion compared to some of his "screeds". It seems that you're taking umbrage with the responses that his blog received rather than his blog itself. Lefsetz has always posted a "mailbag" blog when he's had informed and opinionated responses to a more popular blog of his - why would he stop doing that for you? From what I can see, your anger comes from the fact that he published the email responses he received from his blog about your band that impugn your integrity. If that's the case, you need to take umbrage with the people who wrote those responses, not with Lefsetz. He publishes their names and email addresses unless they specifically ask him not to. In this case, it looks like you need to call out Andy, Hugo Burnham, John Gaulke, Mike, Mike Vial, Ken McKean, Karly Brecher, Jack Casey, Derek See, Mike Kaiser, Mike Langford, Chris Sink, Ken Oliver, John Parikhal, Bill West, Brendan O'Connell, Scott Brill-Lehn and Hoodie Allen, not Bob Lefsetz.
Additionally, if your accomplishments aren't enough to keep you warm at night and ignore the 20 people who have called you out on simple presentation errors ("haters") then perhaps you need to put on your big boy manties and decide if you're in the right business. It is a luxury to all other musicians out there to not HAVE to tour to make an adequate living. If you are going to get butt hurt every time someone says something that makes you feel the need to defend the story you want to tell (because that is what it is - the story you WANT TO TELL, not the story as it really is) and not ignore the people while you're acknowledging and appreciating your accomplishments, then you need to look closer at yourself.

All the Lefsetz and other stuff out there opposing, contradicting or eviscerating your story is simply a difference of opinion and experience. It's not hate. The whole "haters gonna hate" is so easy and flip and incorrect that it diminishes any cache that you may have had with people in the middle. Your calling out Lefsetz specifically, is pretty childish and it's not the best use of your time, the facts or your fans energy.

So, go frolic in your field in Napa and enjoy the fact that you can feed and house yourself very comfortably while pursuing your passion of being the internet's bar band - the most popular bar band in the world. That is a luxury a vast majority of the people in this world don't share in.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin #5 - Bullock Texas State History Museum

You can read about the introduction and reasoning behind this here...


Let's just say, this was about as exciting as it sounds:

I went to the Texas State History Museum yesterday and it was an idiotic move on my part for several reasons: holiday, weekend, first Sunday of the month = free admission, tons of idiotic people who don't know how to use stairs, etc. but hey! it was free!

It's 3 levels of Texas. All Texas. All the time. Which I don't mind because I really do love me some Texas. I just don't love so many of the people in Texas. I would have had a much better time if I were in there all alone looking at the displays. But even if I were all alone, taking my time, dawdling, it would still be a place that you only need to visit once. So that's where this stick goes - in the "done it, don't need to do it again" jar.
It was the right amount of kitsch that Texas needs (bigger because...), they had "period folks" a couple per floor at various exhibits, was air conditioned and an entire half floor was dedicated to oil. Its where every grade school kid within 100 miles goes at least once a year on a field trip.

Side note: there are lots of "Bullock" named things here in Texas and every time I see or hear of one (Sandra included) I think of Jm J Bullock. What's that guy doing now? What's the deal with the lack of I in the first name? How do you pronounce that? Like Hmmmmm but with a J at the beginning? Jmmmmm? He played one hell of a sassy neighbor.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin #4 - Umlauf Sculpture Garden & a Disqualification

You can read about the introduction and reasoning behind this here...


This week's popsicle stick was slightly dramatic in the picking: there was an initial pick that got moved to next weekend (hey, the activity is FREE next weekend), the next pick marked the first official disqualification (more at the end) and then we finally got to the pick that happened:

You can find out about the gardens here.

If you look at the map page of the site, you'll see that it is quite literally in the middle of town. On a fairly busy road to get to another major city park. And it's probably one of the quietest places in town. It's beautiful, cooler than other places because it's so shaded and full of water and there are several places to sit and just think and contemplate and be around nature, arty things and beauty.
About 60% of the sculptures are religious - HEAVILY religious - with the longer, more minimalists faces of early 20th century and even medieval icon art.

One of my favorite things about this place is how carefully they thought out the placement of the sculptures in the natural setting. My favorite examples:

And another:

And when talking about the non-religious sculptures, there is an awareness of movement and detail that is awesome and beautiful:

And another:

This one reminds me of my friend Carlos - St. Francis & his little birds:

And all the rest:

Oh, and did I mention that it's free admission throughout the summer (donations are encouraged)? Even better!

However, even though it is quiet and peaceful and beautiful, it is something much more enjoyed with others. It's be a fabulous romantic date night or even proposal place. As well, the sculptures are never changed out - there is a rotating art exhibit (last photo) but those are fairly few and far between so this goes into the "don't need to do it again" jar. For myself solely. I'll gladly take guests there when they visit if they'd like and such, but I don't really NEED to go back.


Finally, the disqualification. The 2nd stick chose was for batting cages. BATTING CAGES. You know the ones: at a "family fun park" of some sort with a putt putt course and maybe some go carts that you can pop tokens in and hit big yellow balls at varying speeds depending on the cage you choose.
APPARENTLY those don't exist in abundance in Austin. As a matter of fact, there's only ONE. It's about 30-45 minutes (depending on traffic) north in Pflugerville. And you have to pay $8 for the privilege to pay for the batting cages! Usury! Out of the question! I just want to hit balls yo!
The only other options are these ultra competitive baseball camps for the high schoolers and university players to train at. The cages are inside only (no fun!) and they're expensive too! $20 for 30 minutes! And a high pressure environment?!? No thank you!
So, this stick has been disqualified. I'm slightly disappointed in this town today.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin #3 - City Wide Garage Sale

You can read about the introduction and reasoning behind this here...


I know it's been a couple of weeks, but work has been crazy. This week came popsicle stick #3:

This has been going on here in Austin for YEARS but I never went. I got curious because the signs are everywhere and I wanted to check out the format and such: is it really a bunch of people from a neighborhood getting together to sell their unused stuff? Or was it more of an antique mall set up? Or was it a whole bunch of sales people selling garages? Who knows?

As you can see here, the website is fairly unclear.

So, I convinced a friend of mine who hadn't been before either to come with me so we could see what this was all about. We go to the Palmer Events Center and pay $7 for parking and walk over to find that it costs $6 to get in. So... I have to pay to shop and rifle through other people's junk? Strike 1 right there.
We pay, we go in and we find that it's much more antique mall than it is garage sale. Yes, there's haggling and no price is fixed, but it's the same with an antique mall - nothing is really fixed at those as long as you can get a hold of the booth owner.
We gave it a chance and meandered through the aisles making sure to hit each booth/table/etc but it wasn't anything special. If you need a set of glass nubbled stemware from the late 70's that's missing a glass or entire boxes of sports cards or tables and tables of questionable linens, this is the place for you. Otherwise, disappointing. This stick goes in the "don't need to do this again" jar.

We left and were going to find something else to do but realized that we were virtually in the middle of town and why waste $7 on parking for an hour of disappointment? We decided to walk down to the park and find the new boardwalk on Town Lake (I'll never call it Lady Bird Lake) and see what the haps was. We weren't TOO far, but we were further than we thought away from the start of it so we had already walked about 2 miles to find it. It was hot, we were hungry and thirsty so we diverted to the Joe's Crab Shack (also very disappointing but it was the nearest food) for lunch and beverages before heading back. We took the main road back and stopped for some Sandy's Hamburgers and called it a day.

In reality, 3 popsicle sticks were completed on this day as Sandy's and Town Lake are in my jar but since they weren't the one chosen this week and because I want to do them again and right, this only counts as one.

Final tally: great day but paying to shop and paying to shop at a disappointing place/event = a big fat NO jar.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin #2 - Radha Madhav Dham Hindu Temple

You can read about the introduction and reasoning behind this here...


Today I picked popsicle stick #2:

You can find out more information about the temple here.

This gorgeous and quiet place is about 15 minutes outside of Austin proper, west of the "Y" (which is a place I've now decided I could totally live) in an area that's starting to blow up with houses on larger tracts of land. All along the road to get there, there are new developments or communities where you can buy the land and build your own home which is a neat idea, but a little sad because that means it won't stay as quiet and peaceful as it is for too long.

I arrived at the end of the Sunday Service, in time to watch the Satsang, which is the lighted devotional for Krishna and Lakshmi and all the other idols, including their Jagadguru, Shree Maharajji, which is the equivalent of a saint in the Hindu tradition. It's kind of silly and hokey in an awesome way the way they've pasted this guru's likeness in all of the scenes with the gods around the temple. They even have a cardboard cutout of him sitting in the throne-type chair that's in the temple. They have him photo-bombing everything and it's kind of rad. I didn't take any photos inside the temple or of the temple directly because it didn't feel right to, but you've got to believe it is sumptuous in only the way a temple in the Hill Country of Texas can be. If you let yourself be not cynical and choose to see the lightness of it all, it really is beautiful.

The temple sits on 200 acres that they have used to try to replicate holy places of the Hindu faith that are in India on. There is lily pond with dragonflies of all shapes and sizes as well as lotus blooms that is a recreation of the Prem Sarovar.

There is a "hill" (which I use very loosely) of flowers and plants surrounded be grazing land which is a replica of the Govardhan Hill and there are little cow statues chillin in the middle of the plants on the "hill".

There are several other little shrine areas around the grounds as well as more modern, western buildings because the temple also serves as a school, vacation area and retreat:

There are a couple of lady and dude peacocks squawking away too. Man, are they beautiful.

All in all, it was a very peaceful, very quiet place to just hang out. There are several picnic tables and benches around the property so you can bring a lunch or snack and sit and enjoy the area. And let me just say:

Damn, Texas. Damn.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin #1 - Hamilton Pool Preserve

You can read about the introduction and reasoning behind this here...


Today marked my first official popsicle stick:

You can find out the specifics about the pool here but, needless to say, it was an early morning. I don't have a lot of photos (none really) because the weather was ominous and there wasn't a point at which I could take out my phone at the pool.

The pool opens at 9am and, per everything I read and all the direction I got from others, best practice was to be there at or just before 9am. The park only has parking for 75 cars and there is always a line to get in - after the first 75, it's one out, one in. Even on this very gloomy looking morning:

I got there at 8:45, waited in line for about 20 minutes and got in. There were a surprising number of people considering it wasn't warm or sunny. Once you park it's a beautiful quarter mile hike down to the pool and, by this point, it was raining fairly steadily. About 100 yards away you start hearing the laughs and sounds of the people that are already there and it opens up into a gorgeous natural grotto. I get there, put my stuff down, take off my shoes and immediately jump in the water. Then it starts to rain hard. Then the thunder comes but I stay in... until we see lightning. So everyone was told to get out of the water and we chilled a little until the rain did the same and went back in. Until it all happened again. And again. All told, I was there for 2 hours before I left and, as I was leaving, I saw that they weren't letting anyone else in due to the weather.

In the middle of all this, I met a very nice girl names Ashley who was in from Houston to visit Austin and had originally come to the pool with her very pregnant niece, but the hike down to the pool was too much for her, so she went back to their hotel and Ashley stayed. I got her to come into the water a bit and swim out into it and we chatted during the times they advised us to be out of the water. She is an awesome gal and we exchanged numbers as she a a few of her friends are coming back to the area at the end of June for a more vacationy vacation.

All in all, this stick goes into the "lets do it again" jar because it needs a chance when it's hot and sunny and because I need to hike the trail up to the Pedernales River. For now, I apologize for the lackluster writing showing but I'm exhausted from not having slept last night and distracted by the cat that just traumatized herself. I need to put the screen door back up and then I need a nap.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin - Introduction & #0.5


We all know that the one thing I can't stop talking about is how bad a year last year was for me. Well, most of the stuff surrounding the badness has come to a conclusion and I'm in a position, my usual position, of digging myself out of a hole that the last year put me in. Besides all that, my fiddlefooted nature is trying to get the best of me again and I'm feeling the urge to leave again.

Lately, I've felt like I can't find quiet or silence since I've been back - both in sound and in feeling. I've felt displaced and, most recently, defeated. Majorly defeated. So my first instinct, as always, is to leave again. To a place that is a couple of years from it's cusp of awesome. Research shows that would be Boise (nope nope nope), Louisville (maybe... I'd be close enough to go see my Redlegs play in Cincinnati), Dallas (meh), Oklahoma City (probably not), and the like. But then a friend of mine just asked, "why don't you just stay?" and I don't have a good answer to that.

I don't like not having a good answer.
So I'm going to give it a shot.

I'm going to see if I can find the Austin I left (stupidly), the Austin I could wander through in the middle of the night, the Austin I left because I was happy and scared of that and what it meant. To facilitate my search, I've enlisted popsicle sticks:

Popsicle sticks with activities, most of which are Austin-specific, some aren't. One of which I will do, see, visit, complete each week. I also have 3 jars: the main one, the "did it, don't need to do it again" jar and the "did it and I totally need to do it again" jar in which to put the stick when I'm done. There aren't 100 of them, but there aren't only 10 either so I think it'll be a fair shot. If I can't find a way to be happy, to be still here after I've completed all of them, I'll leave knowing that I gave it a real shot but that it's just not for me anymore.

Finally, I'm going to use this place as a kind of accountability test for this. Whether I like the activity or not, I'll put a little something up here explaining what I did, what jar it will go into and why I did or didn't like it. So, without futher ado...


Today, I kind of did one by default. I have a stick in the jar for the French Legation Museum and I just happened to attend a shindig there today so I consider it a half since I didn't actually go into the museum. It was nice to get out into the awesome weather and see... interesting and enjoy the Circus Chicken Dog (adorable) and watch hip parents and their hip kids enjoy the hip hipness of the event and day. There were hot dogs and a tree for me to sit under, so I was cool but I felt a little lonely. I probably did that to myself though because that's what I do.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Martin Freeman is Britain's spirit animal

last night i dreamt that i was in a room full of british actors dressed as the contemporary role they were most famous for: benedict cumberbatch as sherlock, tom hiddleston as loki (dancing in a corner alone), sir pat as jean-luc picard, sir ian as gandalf, michael caine as alfred because, even though he's known for more critical roles, a lot of his more contemporary roles are alfred-like in nature, james mcavoy in a half goat get up because i'm pretty sure most of the world has only seen him in the narnia films, ewan macgregor as a strung out junkie, gerard butler dressed as a spartan and getting druuuunk, etc.

there were no colonists allowed: no russell crowe, david wenham, eric bana, chris hemsworth, mel gibson, etc.

however, martin freeman was there looking all adorable and straight-mouthed and he was the only one not in costume. i asked why and everyone said, "what would he be? he's been most everything iconic and british in the past 10 years: bilbo baggins, dr. watson, arthur dent, tim canterbury... so we just let him be him. he's our spirit animal."

then stephen merchant walked in all tall, pale amazon-like wrapped in an american flag and benedict cumberbacth made a poo face.

then i woke up.


Sunday, March 9, 2014


Was a good day.
8am hot yoga
Breakfast, hugs and good talks with louenrain
Squishy hugs with fudge, sweet beautiful clean non-cotton mouthy weed with con and charming a large handful of nerds
2 hours of doing nothing with the cat
An awesome, new to me as a whole but not in pieces Austin band
Ian Moore being Ian Moore
Sleepy times for 545am yoga 

Any day with hugs is a good day.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Dear Mac,

"I heard the news today, oh boy..."
I don't know where to begin, so i'll just jump in the middle and see where this goes. I can't begin to imagine how hard the last few years have been for you: being an amazing, beautiful, vibrant, active light of a woman physically and mentally degenerating so rapidly, without definition, without an answer, without a way to help yourself or for anyone else to help you. Seeing your strength and beauty evolve into a wholly different kind of beauty and strength over that time and through those trials was a sad but touching privilege for me.
Knowing you and the kind of person you were, it had to have been a tough hit to your independence, what you felt to be your essence, to have this trial put upon you so suddenly and seemingly without cause. But the grace with which you handled it and continued to live your life without compromise is inspiring.
While this won't be a popular opinion, I feel like you truly encompassed that grace and uncompromising attitude with your final decision. Your light and loveliness will be sorely missed by all who knew you and we are all devastated for your family's loss, however I am proud that you empowered yourself, finally, in what had to be the only way you knew how. Made this last act yours when it felt like everything else in you was being taken by forces beyond your control. In my opinion, that was a very brave thing to do - to live for yourself one last time.
I just needed to say that for you, for me. I'll never be angry that you made that decision. In being paralyzed by your situation in every way imaginable, you found the power and energy to take action. To take the only action that you felt was left at your disposal to make you feel better and I can't, in good consciousness, ever be mad about that.

I love you Mac and will miss you dearly. You'll always have a place of honor in my heart.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

drunken bumblebee

I'm reading a book on meditation - specifically the Vipassana technique. I've never really been much on meditating because I have a hard time sitting still, concentrating and being patient with myself. However, had someone shown me the following paragraph sooner, I'd probably be on the road to being a master meditator now:

"Somewhere in this process, you will come face-to-face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. It has always been this way, and you just never noticed. You are also no crazier than everybody else around you. The only real difference is that you have confronted the situation; they have not. So they still feel relatively comfortable. That does not mean that they are better off. Ignorance may be bliss, but it does not lead to liberation. So don't let this realization unsettle you. It is a milestone actually, a sign of real progress. The very fact that you have looked at the problem straight in the eye means that you are on your way up and out of it."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Feeling like...

You know what I feel like right now? 

A fish. 
In a bowl. 
With no water. 
Just flapping about. 

With a lot of people looking at the bowl, wishing for water. 

While looking at me flapping about.  

I just wish someone would or could pour a pitcher of water on me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

a letter to the 9 year old me

This past weekend I had a dream where I traveled in time back to some tropical island volcano in 1989 with Prince Charles and some random royal young person. In my half sleep, half awake ether at the end of the dream, I started to think about what I would tell my nine year old self since that's who I was in 1989.


Hey Pants!

This has been an… interesting year so far for you, hasn’t it? Got a bike for your birthday, fell off it a couple of days later, your appendix burst a week later, you spent 2 weeks in the hospital and another 2 weeks at home recovering and you got a sweet new daybed rom Jerome's out of the moms-guilt. You are going to start 5th grade at a new school with new people. That’s going to be an interesting one too, but you’re going to love Mr. Hutchinson. Needless to say, this is a pretty important time for you developmentally in every way. And because I couldn’t give a flying funt about the butterfly effect or space time disturbances or whatever, I’m going to tell you what’s what and give a little guidance on what to do about it to help, maybe, make your life rad because it’s not too rad now in 33-land.

1. Don’t stop riding your bike. I know the moms took it away after the appendectomy but that bike was not the cause of your hospital stay. Sometimes stuff just happens (to you, it happens a LOT) and this was just something that happened. Get your bike back or get another one, even if it’s a shrimpy BMX so you’re sitting back and your feet can hit the ground, and pedal your heart out because this is your freedom until you turn 16. Just make sure it has a basket of some kind on it. Talk to Muggy about it – she’ll totally back you up and she’ll probably even get one herself and ride around with you.

2. Speaking of Muggy: your Muggy and your Grandpa are the only two people around you now who know what’s what. The parents have no clue and, I’m sad to say, they never will so just nod and smile when they say something then go back to your room and do what you were going to do anyway. We both know that this episode with the appendix wasn’t the first time they let you down and it definitely won’t be the last. But your Muggy is your strongest, staunchest supporter. Give her lots of hugs – she needs them way more than you know. One day you’re going to be her strength in a way you won’t even realize when you’re doing it.

3. Meat and vegetables and fruit. You really like these, eat them as much as you can for meals. I know the parents don’t believe in vegetables or cooking or dining together (you have a pool table but not a kitchen or dining table, really?) but you need to start insisting on these. Apples: the green ones, not the red ones. Vegetables come in frozen bags, make them get them for you and learn how to make them. You know how to make mac ‘n’ cheese, cereal, peanut butter and jelly mixed together and sandwiches, learning how to get the frozen vegetables unfrozen won’t be that hard for you. Oh, and you love cabbage. Raw. With a little lemon. For real.

4. I know you read a lot already but read more. MORE. Anything you can get your hands on. Those Collier Encyclopedias? Read ‘em. Get on your bike and go to the library. It’s not more than a 20 minute bike ride away. There’s no such thing as a kid’s book and an adult book – they’re all for you to read. There’s going to be a time soon when the parents stuff you into a car every weekend for a “speed run” to Vegas or state line – bring 2 big books with you every time and bring a dictionary. Pocket your arcade money for #5 and read at the pool. The library is your friend.

5. Save your money. Christmas, birthdays (because we both already know that they have given up on trying to figure out what you would like and give you $20 instead) and the guilt/arcade money you get from the parents when they schlepp you to Vegas/State Line. The money you get for working for them: save it. More specifically, save 80% of it in a box or envelope or piggy bank or something else. When you have $500 saved, talk to Grandpa and ask him to buy you shares of stock in Apple Computers. You know, the IIe+ that you play your Oregon Trail and Number Munchers on? That company. Then save $1000 and take it to Grandpa and tell him $500 is for more shares and the other $500 is for a CD. And keep on doing that. Stop buying shares in the first quarter of 2003 and sell it all in September of 2012.
The other 20%, spend on music. Fuck what the parents say, you are allowed to love the crap out of Bruce Springsteen. When you and Muggy go to Sam Goody to get Heart and Queen tapes, get yourself ALL of the Bruce Springsteen tapes you can lay your hands on. Also, the Replacements. They are going to change your life. So will lots of other people who make music who are still brewing right now but will amaze you very soon.

6. Insist on swim camp. Insist so much that they don’t send you to Alabama that they have no choice but to cave in to your demand – tantrums yo, they’ll work. Make them send you to swim camp. Because, just like bicycling, you need to keep swimming. And you need community. Badly.

7. You need to make your own structure – your own life structure on a daily basis, a loose routine. You need to guide yourself because the parents aren’t going to do it for you. Don’t wait for them to support something, anything (even college), you want to do because they won’t. They won’t deter you but they definitely aren’t going to help you. They are ambivalent (dictionary) and unaware. They don’t have plans or ideas for you or what you can do in this world, you have to come up with them on your own. And then get on your bike and do them. You don’t need stuff, you need experiences which the parents don’t understand so they don’t know what to do with you. So go out on your bike and experience on your own. They won’t notice. Trust me.

8. Things come easily to you and you let this make you lazy (mainly because you need structure) – only superficially curious. Find something, anything, to dive deeper into. Know that you are going to majorly suck at it at first but you’ll get better. A lot better. Computer programming (because you’re good with number patterns), history, science, extra-curricular writing, machine/car repair (because you like working with your hands and you’d be amazing at it), karate/martial arts (because a ninja you would be MIND BLOWINGLY AWESOME), dancing, knitting, anything. But you have to find it and make the decision because no one is going to guide you to it. And you have to persist through the beginner “I’m horrible at this” phase. No matter what it is, this will be one of the best things you could ever do for yourself. **Note: I place my vote for ninja now because that would be uber-rad.**

9. Make this boy your penpal: B.T.C. Cumberbatch. He’s just now starting at Harrow School in England. The address there is 5 High St, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex HA1 3HP, United Kingdom. Write to him. Anything and everything. Stories, happenings, feelings, just keep writing. This achieves two things: 1. you’re consistently writing. Don’t ever let anyone – teachers or otherwise – tell you that the way you write is wrong because it’s not, it’s YOUR way of writing. 2. That boy is amazing now and will be even more so later, it’ll be totally worth it. Let yourself expand with it. Maybe you don’t always send letters, maybe make it drawings or paintings or collages or something.

10. There are quite a few people in your life who are around your age who are unnecessarily cruel. Jessica, Jennifer, Kellie Scott, etc. Fuck them all. Don’t listen or take to heart one word that they say to you because everything that comes out of their mouths is spiteful drivel and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. All three of them end up pregnant and on drugs by 18. For real. And, let’s be honest here, in a year or two, you’ll be coming up on a time in your life where 99% of the people your age who are around you are just bitches. Boys, girls, teachers, idiots all of them. There are a select few individuals who aren’t assholes but the rest are and it’s because there’s stuff going on inside and outside of their bodies that they just don’t understand so a lot of them get angry or hateful or controlling over something or someone outside of them to help them rationalize what’s going on inside of them. The biggest chunk of this period will be about 6-8 years, but there are some people who hold onto it for their whole lives. Remember this: anything that anyone ever says about you that’s negative is not about you at all, it’s about themselves. Because you are amazing and smart and beautiful and you grow up to have really awesome boobies. But this is the reason for a majority of my suggestions: bicycling to other places, swimming, reading, penpal, karate (hopefully?) will all be things that you can find solace in when these people get you down. They’ll be distractions for you, they’ll be outlets, they’ll be what gets you through.

Finally, not that your saying anything will be able to help this, but if you can, find a way to make it so the pops doesn’t quit the Navy. The reason he quits is noble but dumb in the long run because he loses his whole sense of self and ends up going back in 11 years anyway. He starts to resent everything surrounding the decision because he doesn’t really know how to fully exist without the structure that the Navy gave him.

Final instructions: read this letter every day for the first year. Read it every month for the following 6 years. Read it yearly and otherwise as desired or required after that. Remember that no one is going to do it (whatever it may be) for you, so go and get it or do it yourself. Also, don’t get that perm when you’re 13 – that’s bad juju yo.

Kisses! The 33 year old you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

An open letter to Benedict Cumberbatch re: PoshGate:

**warning: the word "posh" will be used unendingly in this letter/post/diatribe**

Dear Benedict Cumberbatch:

With you being the new "it" dude of the summer of 2013 (rather deservedly I say), there are countless articles out now where you're featured and most all of them have some sort of claim about you not being as posh as people think you are or might be and that you want to stretch your acting muscles out beyond the posh roles you've played in the past, get out from under the posh stigma* (most always with some posh photo set featuring beautiful clothes, beautiful people, worn leather, tea and cigars). I applaud your eagerness to grow and expand in your craft however, I don't think posh is as bad as you, or the people writing the articles, make it out to be. To start, you must know that the definition of "posh" has expanded in direct proportion to the income gap experienced in the past decades. Posh forty years ago was drastically different than posh is today. Perhaps you should look at the posh stereotyping from a different angle: you are tremendously adept and gifted at playing posh upper and upper-middle class people, both modern and classic. I think there are several factors that contribute to this, namely, 1. your unflinching acuity, eloquence and alertness; 2. your posture and bearing; 3. your mouth.

One of your most prominent and fawned about features are your amazing eyes. Not only are they a gorgeous, ever-changing, speckled and brilliant blue, there is an unerring, hawk-like sharpness about them. You can't hide that they are taking everything in - making mental notes of the goings on in the corner of your eye. You have a perpetual look of mental calculation on your face because of this and, as such, you come off as highly intelligent and alert. Highly intelligent and alert translates to well-educated (incorrectly so most times, but few choose to understand that distinction) which translates into posh. Additionally, your well-measured honey baritone does little to dissuade a posh demeanor. You're articulate and eloquent in your speech and you pause to breathe or quickly, but not anxiously, collect your thoughts often, both of which show a calmness and command that, combined with the molten rumble coming from your diaphragm, demands one listen to you, demands attention, demands respect (posh respect).

Another seemingly natural feature that screams posh is your posture and bearing. Your hold yourself very straight and very stiff but still demonstrate an elegance and efficiency of movement. At this writing I've seen everything you've acted in per IMDB's list except all but one of the episodes of "fortysomething" because that just hasn't made it over to the States yet, and the NINE things you are currently in production with. However, I don't expect it to be too long before "fortysomething" is here, I mean it's House, the original Duckface and you all in one show - it'll be on PBS or BBC America tout suite. Anyway, in all of that amazing stuff I've watched, I haven't seen you slouch once unless your character was sick. There are very few non-posh people in real life who aren't physically bowed by the trials life has thrown at them, hence regal posture and bearing equaling posh: well-bred, etiquette school, servants, different varieties of worry - survival versus maintenance of comfort - they all affect how people perceive you. I'm not saying that having amazing posture is bad, it just doesn't lend itself to your desired non-poshness.

Finally, one thing you can't change that really puts posh all over your face is your mouth. There's a way you tug the corners of it down when you're concentrating, trying to fight back an emotion - sadness, pride, hurt - or are otherwise touched by an act or situation, that brings great length to your face while enhancing the length of the rest of your features and it makes for a distinctly posh, "stiff upper lip" bottling of emotions. One can see the stopper being tamped into place when those corners go down.

So, I've come to the conclusion that this "poshgate" (great name by the way) comes down to two possible scenarios: 1. it's a massive PR move to show you as being more accessible to the plebes because there's some really generalized nonsense out there that your flame will burn bright but short if your fans don't feel like they can relate to you, or 2. you really are really really keen on branching out into non-posh roles. Lets take these one at a time.
PR move: let's be real here, you're not really going to be accessible** in the way that your fans want you to be accessible, which is constantly in our bedrooms lulling us to sleep with whispered dulcet tones of some completely soppy poetry after a wild romp of some kind. You don't have a Facebook account, you don't have a Twitter account, you don't have a Pinterest account, you don't blog - there isn't a way for people to know the real you and, to be honest, even if you did any of these, how would we know it really is you? It is your job to lie and/or go outside of yourself to tell the tale of another for a living - you're an ACTOR, you have two degrees in ACTING. However, there is a plethora of charming, down-to-earth, silly, fun, sweet interviews and tidbits all over the internet which paint you as this fellow that we would all get on with like a house on fire wearing sweaters over our shoulders with the sleeves tied, sipping tea and you schooling us on something like theoretical mathematical physics. You really don't need to be worried about accessibility, I think you're doing just fine with your Cumberbitches and your Sherlockian somethingorothers. They (ok, we) aren't going anywhere. We like you posh and fictionally petulant.
Branching out: let me work up a visualization scenario for you - go back to "Stuart: A Life Backwards". Could you play Stuart? Could you access the unintelligible intelligence that Tom Hardy brought to it? Can you let madness roll in and cloud over your impossibly clear and calculating eyes? Do you have the confidence in your well-trained voice to let it slur and tumble over words out of order? Can you let yourself have an irrational reaction to something rational and benign? Can you be filthy on the outside as well as on the inside? (I saw you play that posh pedo rapist, so you've got access to filth of some kind on the inside).
Tom Hardy has made a name brilliantly playing extremely clever, extremely mad antiheroes. You can see the fog of crazy rolling over him. He has a way of bringing the haze of inebriation (from drugs, drink, hate, revenge, exhaustion, insanity) to the forefront of his role and puts it right in his eyes because that's the only place it's believable. Can you do that? Actually, I think you can, but the more important question is, do you WANT to do that? Do you have the personal experiences yourself or with others to genuinely find, access and give respect to those actions and feelings that may seem so foreign to you? Yes, I saw you in the Vincent Van Gogh BBC1 bit you did and you were great, but seemed to play it more anxious than mad.
Christian Bale has taken a whole other tack to get into roles: extreme physical transformation. Would you emaciate yourself to properly play a role? Would you make yourself overly giant? Would you transform yourself into something wholly unrecognizable for the sake of a role? That may be a way to get you out of your posh box. They say the ladies have to get fat or old or crazy or drugged out to win an Oscar, maybe you need to do the same to release yourself from the velvet trappings of poshness.

I'm all for expanding horizons and trying new things (much to my own detriment) but I also fervently believe in knowing where you excel and accepting, appreciating and embracing where your talents lie. You don't strike me as one who would do something if you didn't think you'd excel at it. So, I'm glad that, in your breadth of work, you haven't thrown yourself into a role that was decidedly not posh, but wasn't the right part for you, simply because it was not a posh role.

To sum up, coming from one person who will very likely never meet you (which is a shame because I'm awesome and our powers of awesomeness combined would make the Wonder Twins blush with furious shame), I'd like to encourage you to embrace your inherent poshness and run with it. The posh have so much freedom of expansion within poshness: they can make fun of it without coming off as bitter; they can be silly as all get out, but are almost always subtly so; they can be searing, romantic or brooding (Heathcliff); they can be stiff, boring, unemotional and naïve (the perfect straight man). Anything and everything the unposh can be, but it's so much more fun because it's clipped and unexpected. Perhaps embrace the Alec Guinness in you: did he play a mad drunk who wasn't kind of posh? Most everything he did, he did well, even if he was typecast sometimes. He got to be funny, criminal, smart, mean, desert-y and wise but always had a little something poised, something regal, about him. Maybe you can help change the definition of posh once again into something you would desire it to be. Who knows? I just think there are so many better ways to think of posh than solely POSH per se. And you can help us find them.


* - the google search "benedict cumberbatch posh" spawns pages and pages of anti-posh articles
** - Hun, one of your charities of choice is the Prince's Trust. This means that you associate and hang out with a real life PRINCE. That's a posh mark that can't be done away with even with the strongest heroine addictions, impromptu prostitute blowies or crazy-haired B&E convictions. Prince trumps crime in Poshland.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Manager Manifesto

Dear tenants of 1313 Southport Drive:

I, your new property manager, would like to take this opportunity to clarify my position with regards to you and our interactions with each other.

First, I am NOT the owner of this property, I only work for the company that owns the property.  As such, my responsibilities are limited to two things: collecting rent and maintaining the property.  That's it.  I have no influence with the owners at all, I am just their employee.
With that in mind, let me clarify what I am not: 
I am not a mama.
I am not a babysitter.
I am not your woman.
I am not a mediator.
I am not a police officer.
I am not a repair person.
I am not your friend.
If something happens outside of these four units or with persons living or doing business outside of these four units, it is up to you to resolve it, not me.  
Repair requests: per the owners, they are moving to a different way of addressing repairs: for minor repairs, they ask that you keep a written list of repairs needed which will be collected every other month for the handyman to complete. I will send a written notice requesting the lists the week before the scheduled date for repairs and I will send a written notice of the date and time the handyman will come to make the repairs.
For any repair having to do with water: toilets not flushing or continually running, flooding of any kind, clogged drains, leaks, etc., please notify me immediately.
For any scheduled service or maintenance, you will receive written notice of the date, time, nature of the service and anything you may need to do for the service people to complete their task.
Finally, some additional clarification: per all of your lease agreements, your rent is due on the first of the month and is considered late after the 5th of the month.  If rent has not been received by then, written notice will be sent to you on the 6th detailing the legal and financial consequences of late rent payment.  

To sum up, I only manage this property: collect rent and maintain the building, i am not the owner.  You will receive written notification of repair days, scheduled maintenance and unpaid rent.  Contact me immediately if your repair issue involves water.
My phone hours are 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday.  I accept phone messages on the weekends and will return them during regular phone hours.  Otherwise, I ask that you respect my space as I respect yours.


Shannon, the manager

Sunday, June 16, 2013

1905 E. 18th St.

Six months before I left 1905 E. 18th St. was for sale for $165,000, making the monthly payment right at $1000/mo. It's a 2 bedroom, 1 bath - 864 square feet of front porched cuteness in the part of town where you now buy rundown places and empty lots for upwards of $250,000 just to build some half-million dollar monstrosity.  It is barnhouse red with dark blue trim and there's a sunroom off the back and a long, narrow backyard.  Down the street are two cemeteries, a 24 hour coffee shop on the corner and the new college football stadium that can fit 93,000 people in one spot is less than a quarter of a mile away. 

I put an offer in on this place and talked myself out of it.  I remember a hyperventilating conversation with Lou just before.  Scared of commitment (still), scared of putting down roots, scared of doing that by myself because doing that is something people do together just like drinking is something I don't do alone.
The person who owns the house now has a fan page for it and rents it out for $1500/mo.

Lately (this weekend) I've been thinking about what would have happened if I went through with it.  I would have walls and a bed to sleep in right now.  Walls that appreciated greatly in value in a short amount of time.  I probably would have gone out on some dates with someone I wondered about for 5 years, someone I still wonder about (he asked weeks before I left and I blew him off because I knew I was going).  It wouldn't have worked out because I'm still scared of commitment and, honestly, that much fucked up in one small part of the universe would have caused some sort of combustion.  I would have had a full house (I LOVE having a full house) at least twice a year, each year, since then, hosting friends for SXSW and ACL because that's what I do.  I would have been doing the same thing I am now, but at a different place.  I wouldn't have ever been on a real vacation.  I still kind of haven't been.

I wouldn't have gotten rid of something that really needed to go.  I wouldn't have known DD, Ireland or that teddy bear of a cop in Cork.  The Dutch girls, magners or Utrecht.  I would have, so wrongly, kept thinking that I really wouldn't like Paris.  There would have been no Colin or Shakespeare's or that Italian guy who stuck his tongue in my ear at sacre coeur.  There wouldn't have been jdg at the paradiso in Amsterdam.  There wouldn't have been that long stretch of gray in some European town that I can't remember right now (maybe maastricht? I can't get in to the mind palace right now) but feels very very real right now.  There wouldn't have been the timely grace of an unsuspecting friend.  No crazy camp, beautiful art or Jakie in New Mexico.  No smell of sawdust and real gorditas in Juarez, without fear. There would have been no office wife, no G (or only virtual G), and no finding that I can tolerate my job as long as the people are right.  I wouldn't have gone on my first (and only thus far) camping as an adult adventure (just say no to the fireball). I wouldn't be evicting a person.  I wouldn't be on my 77th day of living in my car.  My car with no air conditioning.  

It's been a big circle.  And I don't feel like I'm in a better place than when I left for drastically different reasons.  I'm exhausted: emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. Neko Case is singing my song and Paris sounds really really perfect right now.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


in the 3 hours of sleep i got last night, the following came out of my subconscious:

it was set in a fairly large ornate room, probably in a palace, with a wide hallway just off of it. there was a stage where the following lineup was set to perform that evening: Don Rickles and Mike Doughty. however, before Don Rickles came on, a tiny woman - maybe three feet tall - came on stage with a ukulele and started stacking empty Yoplait yogurt containers in a pyramid to the left of the mic: pyramid base four. no one paid her any attention until she adjusted the mic to accommodate her tiny frame and started playing and singing.

she was three songs in when she started doing a front to back sway that lifted her dress a little higher than one woman liked. i was watching from the corner of the room and the hallway when a fuller framed woman, in what looked like a cross between a prom dress and a bridesmaid disaster (strapless, stiff, taffeta, above the knee) stomped in front of me, red-faced and arms akimbo, "this is unacceptable! don't you know that the princess of genovia is here??! this creature is being vulgar before royalty!" i stared back at her and pointed to the end of the hallway where a deep bench with Steve Poltz and Heather Armstrong (in this dream her last name was Rhodes for some reason) of were sitting and giggling with each other.

"she's security, you should take that up with her." and off she huffed toward Heather and Steve.

Steve had a very tight buzz cut that was soft like a teddy bear.

then i woke up.

i feel like that was my last bit of silly leaving my subconscious.

please interpret.

Friday, May 17, 2013


I've been living in my car 48 days now.  That's only .4% of the days that I've been on the earth this time.  I need perspective.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

a random text thread

some poor punter from Kentucky texted me randomly this morning. here's the transcript (all spelling and punctuation kept the same for continuity sake):

KY: Who's this?

me: Perhaps you should look in a mirror and ask yourself that. I can't tell you who you are.

KY: Thats cute......then why don't you tell me your name and mine as well

me: Apparently my label is "cute". But I couldn't tell you yours as I'm not really into limiting a person or idea by naming it.

KY: Hahaha I didn't say you were cute it was sarcasm for wat you said. But when are you going to give me a name....??(I don't know how to type upside down question marks, but there are 2)

me: I already said I don't limit things by naming them. So I won't give you one, but you're welcome to give one to yourself.

KY: I already no my name but you have a name you were given so wat do your friends call you

me: Oh many things: Hey you. Oh gracious, serene and beautiful one. Dude. You know, the usual.

KY: Well wats the name your parents gave you

me: "are you sure we brought the right kid home from the hospital?" I know its long, but its what's on the birth certificate. People call me "kid".

KY: Lol smh so when are you gunna stop giving me the run around in tell me your name

me: I just did. Kid.

KY: Ok well tell me how you got my number

me: You're the one who texted me. So I should be asking that question of you.

KY: No you texted me first saying.... I hope so.I don't what to have to start all over again. Again.

me: Hm... Nope. I didn't send that to you. Or to anyone.

KY: Well that's wat my phone is showing

me: I think your phone has mutinied and is lying to you.

KY: Lol chill out...but wat school to you go to then

me: I go to the school of hard knocks. Where do you go?

KY: Can I get a real answer though

me: That is the real answer.

KY: In where is that located at

me: There are several campuses worldwide.

KY: In how does this so called school work

me: It utilizes aversion therapy to educate.

KY: Mhmm I how old are you

me: Old enough to know better, young enough to keep on doing it. Often.

KY: Why don't you give straight up answers

me: Like Paula Abdul answers? Last time I checked she was heavily medicated. I wouldn't trust her answers.

KY: Do you act like this to all the people you text

me: I act like this to all of the strange people who text me, yes.

KY: O I see

Friday, September 14, 2012


i wear 30 pounds of armor. it's very soft, squishy, kind of uncomfortable and nearly impenetrable. even though it's uncomfortable, i'm afraid of what would happen without it.

if ever i get a chink in it, i eat a cookie and it straightens itself out.

magic. gray magic.

Monday, August 20, 2012

sleepy sleep sleep

where you at? its 2am on an early Monday morning where I have to be up at 5:45am to get to work and my eyes, my body nor mind are the least bit tired. if my foot weren't fucked I'd run a couple of miles right now or at least meander outside with all the drunks, hobos and insomniacs. instead I'm playing around in my head with a house I haven't met yet and projects that only live in my head that I can't wait to touch with my hands.

dirt sifting though my fingers
the smell of hot, freshly cut wood
temperate nights
fort beds in the attic
rocking chairs
the scents of the day
the scents of the night
aaa baseball
pirate bars
finding art
monkey bread
swimming holes
iron beds
homemadey stuff

I'd like to sleep now so I can not bite heads off later on today. his will all be here for me when I'm supposed to have it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


i had this flash today. a flash that started as me sitting cross-legged in pajamas on the worn wood floors of a home office with printed spreadsheets strewn about me as i was deciding how they needed to connect. there was sunlight coming through the windows and i could smell the grass and trees outside.

so analog.

this flash then grew into a daydream that didn't, for the first time, scare the bejeezus out of me. it encompassed me in a house that i own, someone sharing that house with me, me settled into a sort of work/life balance routine that doesn't look anything like i have now. it was a 20 minutes daydream of living an awesome life. and it didn't feel wrong or undeserved for the first time.
i'm so used to being mobile and enjoying that mobility and all of the freedom that comes with it. i've gladly traded the downsides, most notably loneliness, for the many perceived upsides of FREEDOM.

it's kind of weird. and it makes me feel more grown up than old. i'm not sure what to do with this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

talkin' it out vlog - le deux

here's #2 for you where i talk about my way bigger than expected number of views, plans for the future and respond to last week's many letters from bob lefsetz's newsletter (and also give you a rad little geology fact).

i also want to address artists that don't take advantage of that which is at their fingertips - their fans. instead of signing to a label so they can take care of administrative tasks for you, why not look to your fans to help you out with those tasks? i bet you'd be surprised at the vast amount of talent and ability that lives in your fanbase. and, while they may not help out for free (but they might) i bet they help out at a deeply discounted rate, with a far more authentic touch and be WAY more excited about doing so. in their mind, it's creating a deeper or different kind of connection with you. take advantage of that and open yourself up to allowing that connection, it'll only make things better.

finally, i want to address the percentages i talk about in the video - they're not numbers that i pulled out of my ass, but they're not steadfast either. in the research i've done thus far, it's a pretty usual set of numbers. most of it comes from here because it's a simple and easy to understand breakdown that is easy to point others to. i use the iTunes example because it's the most ubiquitous and one of the easier to break down. essentially, apple will always take 30%, no matter what. the remaining 70% is up to you.
Let's do some math to put this into perspective using an oversimplified example: assume the artist's goal is to net $10,000 for themselves on an album they are selling for five dollars on iTunes. Assume, in both scenarios, the artists is a solo singer-songwriter with their own publishing company to further simplify the calculations. The independent artist spends $5,000 to write, produce, record and distribute their album. To net $10,000, the artist needs to make $15,000 in sales. 70% of five dollars is $3.50. $15,000 divided by $3.50 is 4,236 five dollar albums that the artist needs to sell to net $10,000.
Alternatively, a label artist spends $20,000 to write, produce, record and distribute their album (that's pretty thrifty), but it's not as simple as grossing $30,000 in sales for the artist to make their $10,000. This requires some higher math: at the outset, the label is taking 15% of the sales price ($0.75) until costs are recouped. So, $20,000 (the cost to make the record) divided by $0.75 is 26,667 albums that need to be sold to recoup costs. The artist has only netted 7% ($0.35) per album sold thus far, making their income $9333.45 on 26,667 albums, $666.55 short of the $10,000 goal. Since the costs of the album have been recouped, the artist now is making their full 22% ($1.10) per album sold , so they need to sell another 606 albums to make their full $10,000 bringing the total number of albums sold to 27,273. That's more than an 636% increase in sales to net the same amount. The label has made $68,121.90 in pure profit at this point.
these numbers don't represent any certain situation except the one listed above that i pulled out of my ass, but it gives you an idea of what goes on. every deal is different.

if you even get paid.

to put it further into perspective, jeff bridges, who went on a full media junket for his pet album, took 4 weeks with the "POWER" of tv, print and radio behind him to sell 27000 albums. to a nation of 250 million people. if even one percent of them saw "the big lebowski" or "crazy heart" and loved either one, that should give him at least 2.5 million people who would potentially buy that album, right? he just barely topped out at 1% of that 1%. funny, but i can't seem to find the year to date cumulative numbers on that album. hm.

let me step off my soapbox now.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

this is my zappos blog

on friday morning i was walking to the train and found a good sized purple plastic egg in a bush on the corner of 20th and burnside. i looked at it, scooped it up in the crook of my arm and kept walking to the train. a young man and his dog ran across the street and accosted me when he saw that i had an egg and interrogated me about it and then acted like i should give him HIS egg. i didn't.
i got to the train and had 10 minutes before the next one was coming, so i dug in.

inside the egg was a big, green, boys marmot hoodie. i read the card and thought to myself, "this is a fancy and fun way to (presumably) get rid of their promo items that they get from their suppliers!" turns out that hoodie wasn't a promo item, but an actual product valued at $55. the card in the egg said that if i didn't like what i got in the egg, i could return it for free and get a site credit/exchange for a different item. i bundled the egg back together and into my bag and continued on to work.

here's where the brilliance (on zappos' part) happens: when i got to work, i told at least 7 people throughout the day that i found this egg and what the deal was with it. because, how often do you find an egg with free shite in it? i know of at least 2 of those 7 went onto zappos that day to look into the whole thing. i still didn't even know what was really going on with anything, what the deal with this whole promotion was, only that it was REALLY doing its job.
around lunch time, i called the number on the card to see how the returning and exchanging worked. a nice young man named michael from the zappos couture department (that shocked me too) answered and we learned together about what was going on as he hadn't fielded a call about this yet. he signed me up for zappos' vip service which allows them access to track more closely what i look at, favorite and buy in exchange for free next business day shipping, exclusive features, at least 24 hour notice of new releases on their site and expedited returns. seems fair to me. and then michael emailed me a label for UPS or USPS (my choice) so i could send the hoodie back and made a note on my account that i have a $55 credit. it was all very friendly and awesome.

this is also pretty brilliant because it allows people who may not have used zappos before to experience their customer service (their top selling point to anyone and everyone) without having to buy anything first. how many times have you just kept or threw away something because you knew it would be way too much of a pain in the ass to send it back? zappos nips that in the bud for you with this experience.

if you look at the 1st picture, you'll see there's a little green sticker on it that says 51 implying that it's egg #51. further implying that there were at least 50 other eggs around. friday evening, when i got home and before i disco-napped, i researched a bit and found out that there are 100 eggs total playing in this game and that zappos was tweeting clues of the eggs whereabouts through saturday evening. on saturday, the office wife and i looked for a few of the other ones, but gave up tout suite as many seemed to be on the hunt and we wanted to enjoy the day.

to wrap this up: zappos is evil marketing genius. the hardest part about the whole thing so far is figuring out what i want from their site with my $55 credit.

smarty pantses.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

look who started VLOGGING!

vlog.  vlogging.  gosh, both of those sound so drrty. 
but i've started doing it.  and everyone thinks i'm cute.  i've never thought of myself as cute.  i've never really thought of myself to be honest.  so...  here it is.  i talk about kim chee, volcanoes destroying portland and give a brief overview of what this is all about.  in my thinking.

Friday, March 16, 2012

all i (don't) know

i just finished watching my first kickstarter campaign gift, "all i know", and i was absolutely blown away (again) at how much trust and courage it requires to be a musician and to work with other artists.  every one of the 12 musicians in this documentary showed assertiveness, gumption and verve at some point.  they all were so open to the new (to some of them) experience of co-writing songs.  with people they've never met.  who have a different native language than each other.  and then performing the songs live after only 12 days or so.
i know some of the people in the film and i know that they don't have an intentionally cruel bones in their body, but my heart was still scared for all of the musicians at the prospect of these ideas or melodies - their contributions - wouldn't be heard or welcomed by the partner.  of course there were a few bumps along the way.  of course it all turns out well in the end.  but i can't even fathom baring yourself like that in front of other people to be potentially judged harshly.
then, about 20 minutes into it, i realized that these people do that everyday: make themselves, via their art, available for judgment.  it's not that i didn't know that before, but i needed to re-remember it.  i needed to re-remember what it's like to take pride in others for being themselves.

there are lots of colorful, inarticulate fragments floating around in my head that, in there, seem to say this so much better or more floridly, but it's not coming out.  i don't know.

baby, i'm amazed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

epiph-ionic spree

the teeny tiny readership of this blog all know that i've been working my balls off for the past 9+ months so i could quit mortgage forever and go to la for school.  i've been going to school full-time and working 50+ hour weeks at work all while living on 1 paycheck a month and putting the other paycheck away in the bank.  it was going to work out beautifully: i put in notice at my job on 3/1, last day is 3/15 (the same day the quarter ends), i leave for la on 3/21, registration is on 3/23 and classes start - synchronously - on my birthday.  talk about a way to kick off a year, right?  32 was going to be the best, most kick-ass year ever for me.  for once, it was a birthday i was REALLY looking forward to. 
turns out, that's not meant to be.  due to a lot of boring details i'm ending up short on money to go.  i have enough saved for living expenses but not tuition on top of it (funny how those 2 amounts are so similar), so i COULD still go, but i would have to live on the street.  while i would probably be queen whitey (or ice cream queen, whatever) in the homeless village downtown on 6th, i don't know that i'd be in the right frame of mind to get the learning done that i need to get done.  i did a lot of running around this past weekend to make sure there weren't any other viable options.

that said, i was, understandably, frustrated, disappointed and very, very sad when i got back.  i was so numb to it that it took a good day and a half to sink in.  i talked with a few people about it and started getting really sad and then very pissed off about it.  so pissed off that i've been mentally blowing the wad of cash i saved up for this trek.  it started last night when i said to myself, "fuck it!  if i can't do the big thing i want to do, i'm gonna buy myself that $20 bottle of shampoo because i like how it smells and it makes my hair awesome."  and i did.  that mentality stayed put through the train and bus ride to work this morning and it looked kind of like this:

what i CAN'T do:
 - put a down payment on a sexy tesla electric car
 - go to la for school during the spring and summer quarters

what i CAN do:
 - shell out for a fairly fancy trip to this year's sxsw and even get a BADGE if i wanted.  and still have enough left over for an ipad.
 - buy outright a new-to-me car
 - buy 1000 shots of whiskey at my corner bar.  and still have enough left over for an ipad.  that i wouldn't be able to use because i'd be dead due to alcohol poisoning.
 - buy outright a house in memphis
 - buy outright two homes in memphis (i didn't say they were nice houses)
 - give myself a "what not to wear"-esque shopping spree
 - find some boy hookers and lots of blow
 - stalk david wenham

then my CAN list started to get less fanciful.  when that happened, i had to re-ask myself why it was i thought i had to wait a whole year to go back to la to try this again because I FORGOT.  i couldn't come up with a good answer, so i'm thinking it was just self-punishment for not being ready when i thought i should be ready.  then i thought to myself, "self, if you take the next 2 quarters off of school, you could TOTALLY go to la in the fall and you might even be better off."  i could get myself an ipad.  i could get a fancy phone when my contract is up in july.  i could slowly build my wardrobe up to where i want it to be.  i could start taking care of myself.  i could do all these things i'd been denying myself for a long time.  a very long time.
if i wait until fall, i will probably have more of my tuition covered by student loans too because i was AWESOME and completed my fafsa on the first day it was available this year.

so, this weekend i'm going to set a goal of what i want and where i want to be financially by the time i leave for la.  and then i'm going to work backwards from then to now to figure out what i need to save up per month.  i don't think it's going to be a whole paycheck which will leave me money to do things for myself like, starting to go to hot yoga again (to shoot for 5 days a week), buying a few pieces of clothing every month rather than a spree, getting myself an ipad, read for fun instead of school, get myself pedicures, go to shows again, etc.

when i came to this realization, it was like a weight lifted.  i was a totally different person at work (i don't expect that to last too long).  i felt light and awesome all day.

and to celebrate, i took my first steps today: notifying la school that i was going to attend in the fall, modifying the financial aid a little bit, and moving $500 from the school fund to the "let's spend some money!" account and promptly bought myself 5 rollers of my good smellin' smell stuff from nordstroms since it's discontinued and they're the only ones that still have any left.  it felt good not to freak out about spending $130 on knowing that i'll smell how i want to smell for the next 12 years.

Friday, February 10, 2012

cheese and rice, i'm hanging on by the tiniest fraying thread right now.  scratch that.  i don't even feel like i'm hanging on by that thread.  i work at a thankless job that sucks all my energy from me, affecting the things that i want to do.  i'm behind in my classes and feel like i'm never going to catch up.  i feel like i would burst into tears immediately if someone were to touch me right now but the thing i want the most right now is a big huge tight actual physical hug.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.
any of the things i need right now seem impossible:  i need to not have to go into work at all next week.  i need my paper to come together.  i need a hug.  i need a viable, actual living situation for la.  i need a massage.  i need to take care of myself.  i need extra hours in the day where i'm not sleeping or at work or on the bus.  i need to collapse.  i need someone to pick me up when i do. 


i feel compelled to add this post-script:  while the above is very valid and true for me a vast majority of the time, it's really coming to the forefront now because i'm due to start bleeding out my kooze in the next day or so.  hopefully this will pass with the crimson tide.  if not, i might check myself into a purple house.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

how to?

i've finally found that i'm not the only one who has run into this problem, so i've decided to pose this conundrum to you, my meager (understatement) readership:

say you're bold and you tell someone that you like them "like that" (yes, i'm still in seventh grade) and they don't return the feeling.  say you have come across this before and you have become (possibly too) adept at acknowledging and redirecting these feelings so that you don't have them anymore, but you still appreciate the person and are interested in continuing to build the friendship (because, to be honest, you wouldn't have liked them "like that" if there wasn't something there to like to begin with).
how does one let the other know that said feeling is quelled so that whatever potentially awkward feeling harbored by the previously affected party is diminished so you can get back to being "normal" (whatever your definition of that might be) and continue to be friends?  can that be done?  has that initial act turned incurably from bold to impetuous?

upon reflection, i've found that i've been in this situation more than once (heh) and, previous to now, have always let the friendship go, losing out on some potential radness in the buddy department, i'm sure of it and i would rather that it didn't happen again.  yes, one solution could be to cure my own rashness, but that's just not me - my magic would quickly dwindle if i did that, so i'm reaching out for another option.  i'm shameless and not easily embarrassed, so if it requires prostration, i'd be ok with that.

i'd be sad, but would deal with it, if there were no solution.