Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Okay, life is going to slow down any moment now, right?

Of course, if it did, the boredom would kill me...

Memo to the world - go see "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." It's the best movie (non Peter Jackson directed) that I've seen in years.

Until "Serenity" comes out, that is (all hail Joss Whedon!!!).

I'm tired, and I'm going to go to bed now. The sun is coming up, and my cave is calling.


Monday, March 29, 2004

I love being in the rock'n'roll world. Let me give you some words of wisdom from some of my (much more famous and rich) rock brethren. They're so profound, they're... Almost intelligible.

"I'm not a snob. Ask anybody. Well, anybody who matters."
Simon LeBon

"There's a basic rule which runs through all kinds of music, kind of an unwritten rule. I don't know what it is."
Ron Wood

"We use volume to drive evil spirits out the back of your head, and by evil spirits I mean the job, the boss, the spouse, the probation officer."
David Lee Roth

"It's really hard to maintain a one-on-one relationship if the other person is not going to allow me to be with other people."
Axl Rose

"Damn, I look good with guns."
Ted Nugent

"I should think that being my old lady would be all the satisfaction or career any woman needs."
Mick Jagger

Any questions?

Friday, March 26, 2004

Well, after backing out of the comedy club on Tuesday, Monica and Alex and I were supposed to go to the zoo tomorrow. She cancelled.

This would probably be tragic and annoying, if it weren't for the fact that I'm so used to this, that I always make other plans 'cause I know she's going to back out.

What's going to be difficult is if someday she actually wants to do something, and I've already made other plans. But that day is a long day in the future, I think.

This week has been absolutely insanely busy, but I've enjoyed it immensely. I'm back to either gigging or recording seven nights a week. It's less strenuous than when I was working seven nights a week at "Howl" (plus I don't have to listen to Joe Miraglilo's bullshit), but I'm making about the same amount of money.

Money is my friend. Along with caffeine, frozen pizza, and drunk women. What else could a bachelor want?

Well, I'm going to leave you with the following international proverbs:

"He that cannot dance claims the floor is uneven." Hindustan
(I've got to use that one!)

"When one has no needle, thread is of little use." Japanese
(Unless you've read the Pern novels by Anne McCaffrey)

"When the ship has sunk, everyone knows how she could have been saved." Italian
(I'm the king of the wooorrrllllddd!!!!)

"It is not for the blind to give an opinion on colors." Italian
(And yet Hip-Hop fans critique my music...)

"Fault denied is twice committed." French
(Who would have thought the French would have something worthwhile to say?)

"The longer the explanation, the bigger the lie." Chinese
(Let me give you a long explanation about the size of my genitalia...)

Okay, I think that's enough for now. Laters!


Thursday, March 25, 2004

Zappa's Law: there are two things on Earth that are universal; Hydrogen and stupidity.

Green's Law of Debate: Anything is possible if you don't know what you're talking about.

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Man, what a week it's been, and I don't know when it's going to stop.

I've got the first rough track done for my Rock CD. Jonathan is a genius.

St. Patrick's Day at Pat O'Brien's was outstanding. Still recovering.

Tomorrow (later today) I'm driving to Houston to play a Jazz gig with Mark Smith, a friend of mine from college. Then I'm driving back.

Sunday is the official opening of the new choir loft at my church, and I'm working Pat O's again that night.

And so on, and so on.

I'm supposed to go to the Comedy Club on Tuesday night with my friend Monica. So far, she's stood me up at the last minute for every time we were supposed to go out. So I'm not betting on it actually happening. But it would be a pleasant surprise if it did.

Well, I'd better get to sleep.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I just got through reading Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” It seemed to be THE book to read. Everybody is always talking about what a work of genius it is, how intricate, and fast-paced, and unpredictable.

It’s a load of shit.

First off, I haven’t read a book so predictable since my sister talked me into reading the first three “Harry Potter” books (or did I just read the first book three times in a row? It’s hard to tell with that series). The only surprise in the whole book is that there aren’t really any surprises.

Second, it spends a lot of time trashing the Catholic Church. Now, I don’t think there are many who will pretend the Catholic Church is perfect (I’m not a member, nor will I ever be). But it’s done far more good than harm.

Third, I think author Dan Brown has had his nuts clipped, and been heavily into estrogen injections.

The whole book is preaching about the superiority of women over men. It couches it in terms such as “the sacred feminine” and “the natural harmony.” But while it talks about the balance of women and men, what it seems to long for is a world where women rule the world in wisdom, peace and tranquility, keeping us barbarous men from massacring each other.

Now, I’m not a big believer in male superiority. But neither do I believe in female superiority. Or white superiority. Or black superiority. Or Longhorn or Aggie superiority. There are superior individuals in any group, but I can’t think of any groups offhand that I just think are superior (I’m sure somebody will point out an exception to me). And I kinda find the implication offensive, that I’m superior or inferior simply because of my gender, or race, or hair color. My failings and successes are my own.

While I’m tackling this, I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction that gives rise to the belief that in ancient societies, whether Native American or Celtic or Nordic or whatever, the women were wise, powerful, and the men naturally catered to them and gave them all the respect and devotion so sadly lacking through most of the Judeo-Christian history.

Well, it’s a good thing it’s fiction, because from every study and history book I’ve read, that’s just bullshit.

If there’s one universal truth about Human Nature, it’s that the strong oppress the weak. For most of our history, that’s been mainly based on physical strength. Well, news flash; generally speaking, men are physically stronger than women. For every Wise Woman feared and respected, there were a hundred women treated as slaves. Offensive? Yes. Disgusting? More than I could ever express. But true.

The beauty of technology (no, not just computers, but all technology) is that it has a tendency to minimize the role of physical strength. A scrawny man (such as myself) can drive a car just as easily as a body-builder. And a just society strives to equalize the opportunities of all members, regardless of size, strength, gender, race, food preference, or whatever. Due partly to its high level of technology, our present society, though far from just, is perhaps the most equal that the world has ever seen. And I hope it gets more so. But the key to this is not to elevate women above men. It’s to quit elevating one group over another.

I don’t want to hear about Chivalry; it was a way to highly prize your (female) property. I don’t want to hear about “women’s intuition” and “the mysteries of womanhood” and “Instinctive Women’s Wisdom” or even the “mystical spirituality of the sacred feminine.” That’s just superstitious bullshit created as a reflexive backlash against a cruel and unjust oppression.

I don’t want mysticism. I don’t want pedestals. I don’t want to hear about the sacred natural roles. I want to live in a world where we judge people by what they do, not what they look like, or what group they were born into.

There’s a Garth Brooks song that says (among other great things)

“...and when money talks for the very last time,
When nobody walks a step behind,
When there’s only one race, and that’s mankind -
Then we shall be free.”

Not a world ruled by women. Not a world ruled by men. Not a world better for white people. Not a world better for black people. Not a world where we are told to fit into our “natural” roles. But a world where we can be free to be judged solely on our accomplishments...

That’s the world I want to live in. How about you?

Monday, March 08, 2004

As some of you know, there’s a concerted effort to give “Angel” one more year. The petition to the WB had over 60,00 signatures, last time I looked.

Well, if you want to get involved, there are actually things you can do. For more info, click on the banner at the top of my home page.

Let’s do this thing. Without “Angel,” all that’s left is “Smallville.” And though I love the character of Lex, everything else on “Smallville” is rather predictable.

Talk to you all soon!


P.S. Heidi - how’s them foreign lands?

Saturday, March 06, 2004

This is my long awaited rant on strip clubs and romance novels. This is also in my "Random Notes" section of my website.

I never understood the appeal of strip clubs. Don’t get me wrong, I love to look at beautiful naked women. One of the best things about being a musician is getting flashed by a hot groupie (doesn’t ever happen when I’m playing with my Jazz Combo, though).

But I’ve never quite gotten the point in going to a place where you’re surrounded by gorgeous naked (or mostly naked) women whose whole job is to turn you on, and then you have to go home. It’s always seemed like going to a buffet at a nice restaurant, looking at the food, working up an appetite, then going home and eating a sandwich. Why would you do that to yourself?

I think I get it, now. It’s the male equivalent of a cheap Romance novel.

Now I need to clarify that I’m not really an expert on either strip clubs or romance novels. I’ve only gone to a strip club a grand total of three times in my life, and all three times were to see a girl I was dating. And all the romance novels I’ve read were from one summer staying with a sister who had no other books (I’m a compulsive reader - I HAVE to read every day). So I’ve read about 40 or 50 romance novels in my life. Definitely not enough to make me a real expert.

Generally speaking, I don’t believe that either men nor women write romance very well (there are a few exceptions). But in romance novels (which I think we’ll all agree are mainly written by and for women), there are certain things that almost always apply. There’s the woman and her former boyfriend or husband, but the important thing is The Man. Let’s look at The Man:

Tall, very muscular
Very wealthy, unless he’s a cop. Often poses as a laborer, but actually owns the company.
Very sexually experienced, unlike the woman, who’s either a virgin or had one lover
At first he seems cold and distant, or possibly arrogant, but it’s a cover for his Inner Passion
Often bitter towards women, since he’s never really been in love
A great sense of ethics and morality

But the most important thing about The Man is how he changes in the course of the novel. Somewhere along the way he has an epiphanal moment where he realizes he’s In Love. At this moment, he realizes he doesn’t want any other woman ever again. He can’t stand the thought of being intimate with any other woman other than his soulmate. She’s healed him of his bitterness, and he’s happy for the first time. In return, he rescues her from whatever her situation is, and cherished her forever. They decide on three kids, and an awesome wedding.

Oh, and generally somewhere along the way, he forces her into having sex, but it’s not rape, because she really wants it.

Why am I bringing all of this up? It’s not to make fun of it, it’s to say that this is a fantasy world. It’s a world where the man plays by women’s rules. Women don’t understand how men think (no, you really don’t, I swear), so in romance novels, they create men they can understand. Men that act like women feel men should. I think most women know that men aren’t like the ones in romance novels. But they like the idea that somewhere out there, there’s a man like that.

I think men are a lot more straight-forward than women. We are just as in touch with our feelings; we’re just not as turbulent. And one of the biggest differences is that our sex drives are not really related to our emotions. Yes, we are more relaxed and generally in a better mood after sex, but that’s about it.

For most of the women I talk to, everything changes after sex. The way she feels about the guy, the intimacy she feels that she’s shared. And then there’s often a sense of betrayal when the guy doesn’t seem to feel anything has changed. Because for guys, sex is great, it’s awesome, it’s very much a need. But it’s not any more related to love than any other activity.

Is it more intimate for a guy if he’s in love? Of course, but so is watching a movie with his girl, or listening to music, or eating a meal, even just talking.

Quite often, as a result of this, men lie about their emotions to manipulate women so they can get some sex, and women use sex to manipulate men. I don’t condone either gender for this; I think manipulating another person is disgusting. But I think it’s equally shared by both sides, and I don’t think either one can claim a moral high ground in this.

Now let’s bring up strip clubs.

Like romance novels, strip clubs are a fantasy world, but one where women act men think they should.

When a guy walks into a strip club, he knows exactly what’s going to happen. He doesn’t have to guess what kind of mood the girls are in. He doesn’t have to listen to conversation when he’s not in the mood for it. They don’t want to talk about their relatives, or their feelings, or any of the mundanities of life. The girls are just in the mood to be sexy. They are there to be like men wish women would be. Straight-forward and horny. And even if they’re not, they’re good at pretending to be, or they wouldn’t be able to make any money.

A healthy fantasy life is good, I think. It’s nice to have a place to retreat to, where things make more sense than they do in real life. Where good wins, and everybody lives happily ever after. And I don’t really see any problem with either strip clubs or romance novels, provided that you realize that they’re not even slightly based in reality.

Men; you can pay women to pretend they like you and you turn them on. It doesn’t mean it’s true. Wait ‘til you’re out of money, and see whether they’re still there. Also, if they’re really into you, it’s still not likely they’re going to invite their friends over so you can all “have fun” together (although it does sometimes happen).

Women; even if a man is totally in love with you, he’d still like to have sex with other women. He just knows it’s not worth losing you. He’s probably not going to have an epiphanal moment where his love for you makes him emotionally a woman. We’re wired differently (ask me about the whole “crying” issue.), so don’t expect him to change. Also, make sure he really cares before you have sex, because that’s not going to change his feelings.

Well, that’s enough for now.

Have any thoughts about this? Agree or disagree? Tell me why!

Email me at

Friday, March 05, 2004

As most of you know, I am a total Joss Whedon fanatic; in my opinion, without him, there would be no consistently good television on the air.

And soon there won’t be. They cancelled “Firefly.” “Buffy” had a good run. And now the WB has axed “Angel” as it was hitting its stride like never before. Which is saying a lot; I thought nothing would ever top “Buffy,” but “Angel” did.

At least there’s going to be a movie based on “Firefly” called “Serenity.” And if there’s any justice in this world, some TV exec will want a series based on it.

Anyway, I’m rather bummed about this (and my total lack of female company lately). So I leave you with the words of Joss Whedon Himself on this issue (the cancellation of Angel, not my lack of female company).


“Thanks all for your support, your community, and your perfectly sane devotion. It's meant a lot. I regret nothing (except the string of grisly murders in the '80s – what was THAT all about?) Remember the words of the poet:

"Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I took the road less traveled by
I totally shoulda took the road
that had all those people on it.

Joss Whedon

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Is it just me, or is spam getting worse?

No, I’m not talking about getting more and more of it: in fact, I get so much, I don’t even try counting. I’m talking about the quality of spam.

It used to be that if I didn’t stop to consider that I didn’t know the sender, I wouldn’t be able to tell at a glance that it was spam.

Nowadays, there are usually all sorts of random letters and misspellings in the subject line. And they refer to me by my email address as if it was my name.

Now, just for the record, I know that there’s no magic pill to make my penis grow to 10 inches long, and even if there was, I’m not sure I’d want it. I know that there’s no beta test of a Microsoft email tracker that will give me 50 cents for every person I forward an email to. I know that Honda is not giving out free cars. I know that there’s no sick kid who’s waiting on us to forward a chain letter so his warped doctors will finally give him his treatment. I know there’s no dead guy from Zimbabwestan whose widow will give me half his estate, if only I give her my bank account info and credit card numbers so she can bring the money into the States.

Furthermore, all the porn ads have begun to look the same (I think I may have mentioned this before): “see barely legal teens doing unbelievable things with large objects in strange holes!”

And I want to see this because? I mean, I’m sure it’s funny, but not funny enough to pay $19.95 a month.

This is a rallying cry to all you spammers out there: do better! Be more convincing! Offer something new, and spell it right while you’re at it!

Okay, I think I really ought to get some sleep now.


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Well, I have been chastised indirectly for not updating my blog. I was reading a friend’s “weekly rant,” and she mentioned that people ought not to claim that they are going to update their blog, unless they actually get around to it.

Guilty as charged.

Things are going real well at Pat O’Brien’s right now. I think my boss is the coolest, and the guys I work with are all great. They’re also a whole lot easier to get along with than the ones at “Howl at the Moon.” A lot less “Prima Donna” attitude at Pat O’s.

I was having a discussion with my friend Kate the other day. She’s on my top five list of musicians that I’ve ever gotten the pleasure of working with; an incredible bass player, singer, Horn player, and arranger. Well, she was telling me about how she loves Jazz, and lives it, and has dedicated her life to the pursuit of it, no matter whether the audiences can really follow. And I respect that thoroughly, and once I felt the same.

But I realized that for me, the music is no longer about me, and what it does for me, and to me. It’s about what I can share with those listening. I want it to be genuine, and I want it to be challenging, and I want it to be emotional. But it also has to resonate with my audience, or I feel like I’m not doing anything worthwhile. I guess that makes me more an entertainer than a musician. But I’m cool with that.

Thursday night I was playing at Pat O’s, and there was this old couple there, celebrating some anniversary. They looked like they knew Yoda when he was just a boy. But the cool thing was that whenver we’d get a good groove going, they’d get up and dance. And man, could they dance. It was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. And at that moment is what I live for; what I was doing onstage was giving these people a night they’ll remember for a long time. It was letting them do something that made them truly happy.

To me, that’s what it’s all about. I love Jazz, and I love Classical, but I’ll never be a Jazzer, and I’ll never be a respected Classical player. I’ll visit those worlds every chance I get, but I can’t live there. It’s too lonely. Too many players, not enough listeners.

Speaking of which, I laid down two more scratch tracks for my Rock CD last night. I think it’s all going real well. I’m working with my good friend Jonathan Fernandez; I write the lyrics, melodies and chord progressions, but he does all the rest. I told him that I expect him to make the songs sound cool. I think he thought I was joking.

I do keep hoping that he’ll find a button on his mixer that will make me sound like Steve Tyler.

On the personal front, my life is still a soap opera. I think I’m about to give up on women, though. No, I've never made that resolve before. It should last at least a half-hour.

Heidi, if you’re reading this, I updated my blog. Feel better?

Remember, it’s not the size of the axe, nor is it the way you swing it; it’s being smart enough to realize what century we’re in, and going and getting a chainsaw.

Okay, so that metaphor didn’t exactly work out. But I still prefer chainsaws to axes. I mean, “The Texas Axe Massacre” just doesn’t sound as cool, does it?