Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Curse of New Year's Eve

I'm sick. No fevers or anything like that, but a nasty cough that would make anyone turn and run to get a SARS-style mask if they wanted to hang out and chat. It's kind of a bummer, seeing as how I'd like to go out and revel with the revelers and bid farewell to 2004. Still hoping for a dramatic recovery, but at this point it's probably better to watch the ball drop on the tele with Dick Clark... er, Anderson Cooper? The irony in that is how Dick Clark is "the man who never ages" and Anderson Cooper looks like he could be 60 (but he's actually 37).

Anyhows, New Years Eve has always been a lame holiday for me and probably countless others because the expectations are higher than Scott Weiland two weeks after rehab! I mean, what better holiday than a day where we're EXPECTED to go out and make a bunch of noise and get drunk and have a hangover the next day. But no such luck this year for yours truly.

This isn't the first time. I got really ill in the late 90's and sweated out my fever in bed. My roommate Luke busted through my door half-wasted at about 11 and looked at me cross-eyed while babbling something about a party, then saw me under the covers and turned around and yelled "WOOHOO" as he ran down the hall. The next year, my girlfriend got us tickets to Primus at the Oakland Arena. We had about 3 shots of Jaegermeister each before BART-ing it over. Once we made it inside, we got into a huge fight which forced us to leave before the show began. And most recently, I was on a job in Chicago and couldn't make it back to SF to be with friends. The saving grace was that Lily was able to come out and take one for the team.

So now I look forward to NYE 2005 to do some reveling. With Anderson Cooper.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Merry fucking Xmas

Done all your Xmas shopping yet? I haven't. None of it. Well, I actually got a few gifts for my family when were in Spain, but they weren't going to be Xmas gifts. But since we've now reached that time of year for MANDATORY gift-giving, the Spain gifts will be used for that purpose. And I suggest we all call it "X"-mas and not "CHRIST"-mas, because there is hardly a whiff of Christ in there anymore. Now I'm not advocating putting Jesus back in there as much as I'm advocating calling the holdiay "SHOPFEST" so we're aware of what the 25th of December really means. It means giving gifts and receiving gifts.

For some of us with a major tendency to accept guilt into our lives as a motivational factor, we will go to church and perform the requisite sequence of sitting, standing, and kneeling. But for a large majority of Americans, we do nothing more to celebrate this holiday than handing over credit cards and receiving merchandise which will be wrapped with paper and bows and put under a decorated tree. Don't get me wrong, I find it all really beautiful and heartwarming to spend time with friends and family and stuffing your gut like it's Thanksgiving again. It's just the blatant merchandising and mandatory nature of the buying that kills me.

So while you're out there on the night of the 24th, looking for that gift for cousin Charlie that you forgot to get, just remember that this is what Jesus really wants you to do.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

music can kill

So aside from my previous rant about wearing earplugs to shows to avoid face melt-age, it appears that there is now a convincing body of evidence that music can indeed kill. Just today, I read an article about the former guitarist of Pantera - "Dimebag" Darrell - was shot and killed onstage by a gunman in the audience. Now I guess I'm gonna have to recommend that in addition to the earplugs, everybody should wear a bulletproof vest to any and all metal shows, and a bulletproof helmet wouldn't be a bad idea either.

I know I'll be getting a letter soon from the USHMA - United States Heavy Metal Association - declaring that I have singled out metal as the only violent type of music warranting such protective gear. But I also know that with all the moshing and people wearing spikes and lyrics talking about beating the crap out of your neighbor and such, it's hard to point the finger in any other direction.

On the other side of the spectrum (not really, but hear me out) - John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is doing the unthinkable by recording and releasing 6 albums in 6 months. Now if that's not a death wish, I don't know what is. I only hope the subsequent touring schedule doesn't kill him in the process. But then, that would be the Chili Peppers' legacy, wouldn't it?