>Happy Birthday to Me

>No, it’s not actually my birthday, but I did ensure that my birthday, which is in April, is going to rock. I bought tickets to go see THE BLACK KEYS in Portland on the day of my birthday.


These guys are a great band. I wish I had seen them in Ohio (they are from Toledo) while I was there, back before they started getting “big.” I just love the stripped-down bluesy rock that they deliver, and they don’t veer into that sappy, gig-vest-and-a-stupid-hat trap that so many folks playing what passes for blues these days do. In fact, I don’t even like blues that much anymore, unless it’s being played by someone named Son House or Blind Willy Johnson or something like that. I think the last straw for me was playing in Portland a couple years ago on a LAZERWOLFS tour and we did a show with this blues band; they were good players, but their “look” was white shirts, ties and bike helmets. That is quite possibly the night the blues died for me.


As for our part of that show, that was back during the height of Bubba’s mullet-tude. That thing was truly a creature of beauty. Check it out:


We destroyed that place. It was fun.

I can’t wait to see The Black Keys, even if it means getting another year older. I’m convinced, however, that traveling for rock shows will more than keep me young. We hope to do a TATER PIG show the night after, since we will be in Portland. That will be a gas too!

>The Freakin’ Road

>Just saw this somewhere:

UPDATE: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Guy Pearce has also joined the cast. The Road is tentatively schedule to begin shooting in Southwestern Pennsylvania in late February.

According to Variety, Charlize Theron is joining Viggo Mortenson for the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s contemporary classic The Road. Theron will be playing Mortenson’s wife (the characters in the novel don’t have names, they’re just referred to as “father” and “son”), a relatively minor part mostly played in flashback due to the work’s intense focus on the father/son dynamic.

The Road is being directed by John Hillcoat, the Australian director behind 2005’s The Proposition, a dark western in much the same vein as McCarthy’s earlier works. Also fitting for the production is playwright Joe Penhall adapting the work for screen.

The film was originally slated for production this month, but has now been pushed back a month. The Road is still expected to premiere before the end of the year, though.

Maybe that’s old news, but Viggo Mortensen as the dad in this? That could not be more perfect than if I had cast him myself! Don’t know what part Guy Pearce will play, maybe a cannibal or something, but I don’t really care. Viggo will own that role.

Viggo is the man. Did you see Eastern Promises? He was ridiculously good in that movie. In fact, I’d have to say that was one of my favorite movies of the year; the nude fight scene he did was probably only topped (and out-disturbed) by the one in Borat. I also really loved that movie The Proposition, which was directed by the guy who is directing The Road. Look, if this story is treated anywhere near as perfectly as the Coens did with No Country For Old Men, then my head will probably explode. After this 1-2 punch, though, I hope they don’t try and make a movie out of Blood Meridian. I just don’t see how that could fly.

>A Turn for the Worse

>When I arrived in Wichita last night, it was calm and 50 degrees. By this afternoon the temperature had plummeted, the wind was blowing, and it was snowing. I had originally planned to spend my evening by leaving the customer site, then heading down to a gym I passed a few miles back up the highway. On account of the weather I chose not to (the weather, and the fact that it feels like the front end of my rental car is about 80% hosed), and I’m glad, because I was just out a little while ago to drive about a 1/2 mile to a restaurant to have some dinner, and it is one slick mofo out there. I’d upload some pictures, but 1) I forgot the cable that attaches my camera to my laptop, and B) I didn’t have my camera with me when I was out and about. I did take a few pictures of the “server room” aka “closet” I inhabited all day today. It was one of those cluttered messes I encounter once in a while. I don’t see how people can function like that. I’m no neat freak, but when my workspace — and that could be my desk, my nightstand, or the jam room — starts getting too disorderly it kinda stresses me out.

In case you’re wondering, though, skipping the gym I had planned to visit does not mean I skipped a workout this evening, though I really tried to talk myself into doing so. This hotel has a lame little fitness room, but the first time I went up someone was on the treadmill, and that is about all they have. So I waited a while and went up again, and someone else was on it. That’s when I got pissed, but rather than say to-hell-with-it I decided to go up and down the three flights of steps for 30 minutes. That thoroughly kicked my ass.

After dinner I logged on to see what my “doom buddies” (as Sid calls them) at Hellride were up to and saw a post about the whole Tom Cruise Scientology video thing. Have you seen this video? The dude is out there; if nothing else, his awful black turtleneck is a dead giveaway. Clearly I am feeling a little giddy with cabin fever, because a couple posts in the Comments section literally had me nigh blacking out I was laughing so hard. At one point Tom talks about not being able to take vacations because he always feels responsible to be helping people instead, and he says he’d like to “romp and play” like other people do. This comment took me down hard:

Wow, he really doesn’t do well without a script- all the nonsensical bursts of laughter, the knee-slapping, the hand motions? If there’s anything better than 9 straight minutes of hearing the Mission Impossible theme on loop, it’s hearing Tom say he wishes he could “romp and play”. When I heard that I had an image of him dressed as Little Lord Fauntleroy prancing around in a garden.

I started giggling again just cutting and pasting that. Little Lord Fauntleroy? :snort: Next, after someone mentioned Tom didn’t sound any different that the 700 Club yahoos, someone laid this gem on me:

You’re right. Crazy Scientologist Tom is better than Crazy Christian Tom. Although, I would like to see Crazy Christian Tom fight Chuck Norris for the love of Mike Huckabee.

Damn, either that is some hilarious stuff or I am sleep deprived. Don’t worry about me finding constructive ways to fill my time, though, I have 10+ hours of unwatched KISSOLOGY — VOLUME 3 with me. Oh yeah. . . .

>I’m Gonna Work the Saw. . . .

>. . . make the sweat drip out of every pore.

2nd trip of the year finds me in Wichita. Of course the title/opening line of this post is a White Stripes reference. Maybe you’re too hip to like the White Stripes, but I love them. We were supposed to go see them in Salt Lake last February, but their tour was canceled on account of Meg having some extreme anxiety problems. I don’t blame her. It can’t be easy being in a band with an ex who is now married to a supermodel. Then there was the whole thing with the “Meg White Sex Tape” floating around the internet which turned out to be bogus. Not that I ever watched it. I wasn’t in it, so why bother? I’m pretty sure that if Meg ever did do a sex tape, though, she’d want me in it.

I Want a Living Roof

On the way out here, I read Stoneview: How to Build an Eco-Friendly Little Guesthouse. I dug it. I’ve been lusting after a living roof for a couple years now, and I bought this book specifically to indulge my fantasy even further. A little building like this will be perfect for a studio in the future, once we sell the current place and downsize. I helped Julia build a straw bale house the last year she was in Tucson, and it was pretty awesome. The next one will be even better. And out back will be a smaller building, like one of these, and they’ll both have living roofs on them. Hell yeah!

I hadn’t thought that much about cordwood building before. It seems cool enough, but I think I’d still use straw, just because I think I prefer the aesthetics of stucco better than the look of the cordwood stuff. The cordwood is still real cool, though, especially using the sand/lime mortar described in the book instead of concrete. I think a wall built like that would be especially cool.

>Survival

>I just wrapped up reading Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales. Wow. What a thought-provoking read it was. In a nutshell, it tells stories of various horrible accidents in the wild, and why in most cases they really aren’t “accidents.” Very interesting stuff, especially if you have any interest at all in how the brain works in stressful situations.


I guess what strikes me, as someone who likes to get outdoors a lot and make forays, however brief, into the wild, is how close we are at all times to something really bad going down. I tend to be almost anal about being careful; I’m the guy chiding a companion for wanting to try and jump over a deadfall rather than walk around it, that kind of thing. Maybe it’s because the bulk of the injuries I’ve sustained, generally sports-related, have been when my guard was down. Like stepping wrong when walking back onsides after a big run on the soccer pitch and rolling my ankle; it never happens during the run, never in the heat of action. That kind of thing. Why take an unnecessary chance has always been my opinion.

I don’t worry about myself so much because I am pretty careful, but I worry about people I care about. I used to have nightmares about my son and nephew falling off of Hungry Horse Dam, or falling off a cliff on a hike I used to take in the Missions. The week between Christmas and New Years we were in Tucson; one afternoon we bought some sandwiches (from Greasy Tony’s on Speedway, mmmm. . . . ) and drove out to the desert to have a picnic. We picked our way through the cactus and climbed up on this big rock to have our feast. While Sid was standing up and walking around on this thing it totally made me paranoid. Once he sat down I was fine, but I was extremely nervous again when he and Julia made their way back down off the rock.

Nothing happened, but one night after reading Deep Survival at bedtime I was laying awake running all these scenarios about what would have happened if Sid fell off the rock; broken leg, landing in cholla, all that. It was terrible. I finally fell asleep, but it was a restless night.

The book was great, though, despite triggering my own weird little fears and obsessions. Very enlightening, and helpful. It may add a pound or two to my backpack for even the “safest” of trips, but it will be worth it when it comes to peace of mind.

http://www.youtube.com/get_player