Thursday, February 28, 2008

Independent Worm Saloon

After a semi-tough day at work and a completely tough drive home in the rain, I walked in the back door to our apartment and saw the usual sight of Lily reading a book to Judah as he attempted to finish his dinner. A stack of children's books about 12 high stood on the counter next to them. I took off my backpack and set it on the floor, and I had removed one of my loafers when Lily said "Could you return these books to the library?"

As any good husband and father would, I pulled on my recently removed shoe, grabbed the stack of books and headed out the door. The Abbot-Kinney Library is right across the street from our driveway. It's also the place where, in the rain or in any other kind of weather, a group of homeless folk call their home. And being that it had just rained, a group of 6 or 8 homeless guys were standing off to the side of the entrance to said library.

And as I crossed the street toward the library, one of the smoking homeless guys stared me down. I returned the stare as I made my way toward the entrance carrying the armful off books. As I passed the guy, he shrugged his shoulders, looked back toward his buddies and muttered "bookworm". The group erupted in laughter. Great. Like I wanna be made fun of by a group of homeless guys. Actually, it was a good one. Bookworm. I'm gonna keep that one for a rainy day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Run To The Hills

At the risk of pigeon-holing myself as a closet metal nerd, I need to get this off my chest. I've been to a lot of concerts. A ton of concerts. So many concerts that when I turned 21 (many moons ago) I decided that I wasn't gonna go to concerts anymore. That didn't last long.

I still go to plenty of concerts. Especially now that I live in a place where every single band comes through. But the one concert I didn't go to, if I could go to one concert that happened in my lifetime? Iron Maiden - Powerslave tour - 1984-85.

If you've ever seen pictures from this concert, then you know that the stage setup was a spectacle of the Spinal Tap variety. You don't have to like heavy metal to appreciate monstrous stage setups with fog machines, flamethrowers, fireworks, and a huge animatronic Eddie.

That concert eluded me, and I'd been trying to go to an Iron Maiden concert ever since. I came close in 2003, but the realities of a tight work schedule nixed my drive down to Shoreline Amphitheater. It looked like a live Eddie sighting wasn't in the cards. Until this year.

Iron Maiden at the Forum in Inglewood. Perfect. The parking lot was like a scene from 1984: muscle cars and jean jackets. The Forum looked like 1984. When we walked in, I imagined Magic Johnson no-look-passing to Kareem for a Showtime slam dunk. Kobe Bryant would never play here. Jack Nicholson probably wouldn't be caught dead here now. The Forum stinks and after you get 10,000 Iron Maiden fans spilling beer everywhere, it's treacherous. No lights on the slippery soaked stairways tells the whole story.

So after the obligatory horrible opening band, Iron Maiden came on and played mostly songs from around 1984. Rocked the house. Everybody looked a little older, but after the 10 foot tall animatronic Eddie walked around the stage with a laser gun, nobody noticed anymore. And now I can cross "See Iron Maiden Live" off my to do list.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

These go to eleven

In plowing through my ever-expanding music collection, I've discovered some songs that aren't really songs. They're silence. They're tracks on albums which, on vinyl or cassette or 8-track or CD, might go unnoticed. But in digital music file format, they're bona fide "songs" which take up space on my hard drive.

And in researching some of the new albums I have, I've noticed that digital music stores such as Amazon & iTunes sell these silent tracks. You can buy them as part of an album or as individual tracks. "(Silence)" by Ciccone Youth: Only 99 cents at the digital store of your choice. "One Minute of Silence" by Soundgarden: Same price. "(Silence)" by Juno: Again, just 99 cents.

And they really are just that. Silence. So here's my plan. For a mere 50 cents - that's 49 cents cheaper than any digital music store - I'll sell you a track of silence! 50 cents! Can't beat that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stealing People's Mail

In my possession is an e-mail account that must be worth some money. I say that because I get a lot of inadvertent mail because so-and-so told their friends "hey, my e-mail is" but their friends heard something more simplified than that.

For instance, my dream e-mail address would probably be "" because it's short and sweet and easy to remember, but somebody who's even more ahead of the curve and more cutting edge than even I am got there before me and stole it from its rightful owner. So instead, I have an e-mail address that's a little harder to remember than that, but people may assume, under drunken circumstances probably, that I said "".

So basically I receive inadvertent e-mails from all over the place because drunk people thought somebody told them an e-mail address, but it wasn't what they vaguely remember. And here are some of the results of that drunkenness:


All detail of the offer below. I was a little inaccurate on the car allowance so it is just £400 short of current basic if you choose to take the car allowance. There is the option to take a car. Of course they pay all your business mileage/petrol when used on business.

The sooner you can come back the better.


Tom was offering Louise a job, but apparently either Louise or Tom was at a 3 martini lunch and one of them (probably Tom) got Louise's e-mail address mixed up with mine. Too bad. Louise would have gotten a pretty sweet gig complete with 5 weeks "holiday" (this is in the UK), and 4 weeks company sick pay. Apparently I'm working in the wrong country.

Here's another. Somebody named David sent these pics, and all it says is "here ya go":



And this mistakenly sent e-mail might have caused eternal damnation:


Would you mind printing these for mass today. I thought "We bring the sacrifice of praise" for the opening, "Change My Heart" for the preparation and "Shine Jesus Shine" for the last one. Thanks.


There were no attachments. Somebody's gonna burn in hell.