Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Wonder of wonders; we had a white Christmas here in New Orleans. From what I hear, that's the first time in 40 or 50 years...

I got totally schnockered on Christmas Eve, then slept most of Christmas Day. 'Twas a good time.

Tonight I was watching "Stargate: SG-1." I realized what made it such a brilliant pilot. It had sarcasm, yes. It had decent special effects. It had a plot, and a nice Sci-Fi element. But it came through in the most important category of all; bare breasts.

So many shows these days are lacking in the ever-so-necessary female nipple viewing minimum requirement. Even R-rated movies these days often lack female nudity. They're more likely to show men's asses than women's. And I know I'm biased, but I think naked women are much more esthetically pleasing than men.

I think there should be a standard in every movie and TV show; at least four scenes of bare breasts, two of bare asses (female), and at least one of full frontal nude shot (female, of course, and preferable shaved).

I mean, there's no show that wouldn't be better off this way; imagine "Friends" if you'd gotten to see Phoebe in the bathtub, or "Alias" if Jennifer Garner were running from a scene all naked and jiggling, or "Angel" with Cordelia showing off those magnificent ta-tas! Name the show, and I will tell you how it would be better off with more female nudity.

Except "Golden Girls."

Also, Bin Laden wouldn't be able to air any of his messages, if he knew they'd keep throwing in nude shots of women. It goes against his screwed-up religious principles (killing and wounding thousands of innocents; God loves you. Eating bacon and seeing women naked? You're going to hell). So, as long as there's a lack of TV and Movie nudity, the terrorists have won.

Anyway, that's my contribution to the betterment of society, and world peace. Talk to you later!


Friday, December 24, 2004

I just watched the making of "Pirates of the Caribbean." I was struck by several things...

1) That a movie that cool came from a theme park ride that lame is quite incredible.

2) Johnny Depp is bad-ass. Not many men can pull off looking cool while wearing eyeliner.

3) I want to be Orlando Bloom. Nothing more to add to that.

4) Whoever came up with the phrase "Fire at Will!" must've hated Will. Just once on "Star Trek: the Next Generation" I wanted somebody to shoot Will Riker when Picard said that. Yeah, I'm weird.

5) Whoever wants to be a pirate obviously doesn't place dental hygiene in high priority.

6) I want to be Orlando Bloom. Okay, I already mentioned it. But it's still true.

7) Jerry Bruckheimer should've been put in charge of "Phantom of the Opera." Yes, technically speaking, the Phantom never makes anything explode, and there couldn't be too many cool car or boat chases... But it still would've been way cool.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Damn, I hate the holidays.

I don't know if I'd mentioned that before. Just thought I'd let you know.

I've been pretty much out of food for a week, but I've been eating the dregs of my pantry to avoid going to the store. Finally, I had nothing left, so I went tonight. I thought if I went at 2:00 in the morning, I'd be safe from the crowds.

Nope. After fighting the crowds (and having the store be almost out of everything), I ended up waiting 45 minutes in the checkout line.

One thing I've noticed; I think I'm the only person in Louisiana who puts the shopping cart in the receptacle for it in the parking lot. There will be (literally) hundreds of carts scattered throughout the parking lot, and not one of them will be in the receptacle. It's very odd.

Also, I'm not sure if people are more charitable, or just more needy, but I had nine phone calls from charities yesterday morning. I was keeping the ringer on because I was expecting a phone call from a friend that I really wanted to talk to, but finally I just had to turn the ringer off.

But a few more days, and the shitty christmas music season will be over! I won't have anybody asking me to play "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" for eleven months! You know, that song was funny the first few hundred times I heard it. Then again, I also used to like "Piano Man," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Walking in Memphis," "Tiny Dancer" and "Brown-Eyed Girl." But after playing them each four or five times a night for two years, I'm ready to not ever hear them again.

It's gotten cold. I think the proper meteorological term is "bitch-cold." It's 35 right now, and heading down towards the 20s. Of course, the person I talk to the most is way up in the Northern part of the states, so I won't get any sympathy from her.

Almost a year ago, I was talking a lot to Anna, and she was snowed into her house a lot. That's just a bizarre concept to me. Of course, I don't really have any experience with snow, and that's not likely to change.

"Phantom of the Opera" is out now. I'll probably go see it Christmas Eve, if any Theatres are open during the day. After listening to the CDs extensively, I've decided that Schumacher is a total dumbass. I mean, I knew that before, but it's been thoroughly reinforced. He took the elements that made that my favorite musical of all time, and just tossed them out the window. I guess it's hard to see what you're doing when your head is that far up your ass, though.

But soon It'll be New Year's Eve. Last New Year's Eve, I was working at "Howl at the Moon" in San Antonio, and I thought life couldn't get any better. Man, was I wrong! 2004 has been by far the best year of my life, and I have hopes that 2005 will top it.

I'll be sending out my twice yearly State of the Union (or Jess's Life) email in a week or so. If you've ever emailed me, you'll probably get a copy of it (unless I really don't like you...). Look forward with glee, or foreboding, whichever you find more appropriate.

Talk to you all soon!


Sunday, December 12, 2004

It's something that just needs to be said...

Mothers; when you're naming your son, think about whether you want grandkids someday. If you do, there are certain things you should NOT name your son. It will ruin any chance he has of procreating if you name him something like:


I mean, to get anywhere, he'll have to be good-looking, charming, and already have given the girl multiple orgasms before he tells her his name. No girl wants to scream "Marvin" in the throes of passion.

Of course, no mother wants to think about her son having sex. But hopefully, he's going to. And you should have some consideration here.

I've left a whole lot of bad names off that list. I'm sure some of you all will email me with several I didn't mention, and I'll probably devote a later blog to them. But that's a good start, and if I've helped the world in any way, I'll be glad.


Saturday, December 04, 2004

O, happy day! O, Frabjuos, wondrous fervolity!

As many of you know, I have had a thoroughly unhealthy obsession with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" since I was a teenager. Within weeks of hearing it for the first time, I had bought and memorized the original score. I sang every male role in it at my house and at the movie theater I managed. My best friend from those days, Jonathan Fernandez, shared my love of the musical, and we would sing it over and over again, sometimes recording ourselves, just to hear how bad we were. He couldn't hit the low notes back then, and I couldn't hit the high ones. I've listened to it beginning to end several thousand times, I imagine.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when the effort to make the movie took off again. First was the dread because it looked like Antonio Banderas would get the role of the Phantom. Although he turned in a masterful performance as Che in the movie version of "Evita," his voice could hardly be more wrong for the role of the Phantom.

Then I heard Joel Schumacher would direct. Now I'll admit, I loved "Lost Boys." But I've hated pretty much everything he's directed since then, and several of my top five worst movies of all time were directed by him (#2 being "Batman Forever"). So I was thinking that my favorite musical of all time was going to become total shit.

The momentary sigh of relief from hearing that Antonio was not getting the role was overshadowed by hearing that it would go to Gerard Butler, who had never sung before. Why? Because he was, and I quote Schumacher here, "Young and sexy, which is what the role needed." Which just goes to show how little he understands the story. The curse of the Phantom in this story is that he's old and ugly.

The pictures I saw of the production looked like I had always imagined it, though. So I figured that visually, it would be a masterpiece. Just not musically.

But I just got in the soundtrack to the movie, and you know what? It's not bad. I mean, Butler is no Michael Crawford, but he gives a very passionate performance, if not as trained and smooth as the Phantom is supposed to be. I have not had time to thoroughly examine every song, but so far, I'm pleasantly suprised.

I still think if they were going for someone young and incredibly sexy, they should have picked me. I can sing the hell out of that role, now. But maybe they just figured I was above such things.

Anyway, now I can't wait to see the movie. I am once again excited about it.

How do you feel? Or do you even care about it? Let me know!


Talk to you later,

Friday, December 03, 2004

In case any of you ought there are unaware, the world has changed, and there are great times ahead. No longer will we have to suffer the way we did, and the easy life has gotten easier.

That's right, you know what I'm referring to. Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper is now available in cans.

For years and years, if you had a craving for this divine concoction, the only possible improvement upon that sweet nectar of the gods we call Dr. Pepper, the only way to satisfy that craving was to go to your local Sonic and order it. But of course, then you had to brave the hordes of high school kids who thought the ultimate of cool was to hang out for awhile at the Sonic Drive-In, before going to "cruise the loop" (drive in circles around town for a few hours, in other words). And nothing can spoil an appetite like being around high school kids.

But all that is behind us, for we can go to the store and buy 12 packs, or even 20 packs! Or, if you're counting calories (as opposed to counting crows, which I'm all in favor of), you can get Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, which is probably the only soda that needs five words for its name. They had to work to cram all that in on the can.

Let us rejoice!


Thursday, December 02, 2004

Call me a grinch, but I really don't like the holidays.

For one, the music is terrible. At most, there's about 50 Christmas songs that they play over and over and over and over and over again. And most of them are badly written, and badly performed. And no matter where you go, they're playing there. I thought I could at least escape it at work, but my coworkers all seem to love Christmas songs, and keep asking the audience to request their favorites. And vomiting onstage is frowned upon, for some reason.

Second of all, I don't like being in crowds. Well, that means I can't go anywhere from Thanksgiving to New Year's. Everybody's shopping, and eating out, and in a really big hurry, and usually in a surly mood. Rudeness abounds while they tell you about holiday cheer.

Third, it's just so commercial. What do I buy this person? How much into debt can I go to pay for all the gifts? Have I included a card for every single person I've ever met? My dad once told me that your family is the people you're related to by love, not blood. But that certainly doesn't seem to be the case during the holiday. You're expected to treat total strangers like they're you're best friends, simply because you share some genetic material.

For that matter, the holidays are way too secular. And those that participate in the religious aspect often do so because they ignore their "beliefs" the rest of the year. As a former church musician, I always knew we'd have a packed house at Christmas and Easter. The rest of the time, the front rows were always empty.

But Santa Claus, and Rudolf, and Jingle Bells, and all that bull - that's what's more prevalent. And I'll tell you why; it's easier to sell stuff with them. When people feel guilty about God and Jesus, they give money to the church to soothe their conscience. When they feel guilty about other people, they buy them gifts. Well, your average business owner is more concerned with turning a profit than seeing how the Sunday Contributions are going.

But the worst part? You're expected to have a lover during the holidays. If you're single, people spend so much time telling you how bad they feel for you that even if you felt great before, you sure won't afterwards! Every activity is geared towards couples and families. Every movie and song is about couples and families. There's no time that you'll feel more alone than during the holidays.

No wonder depression and alcohol abuse are so rampant at this time of year!

When I was a kid, there was one good thing about the holidays. My grandmother would have a feast (usually Mexican food), and my extended family would get together. And though there were some people I didn't really know in that mix, it was usually a fun time, with lots of food, and laughter... I'd often end up playing her Steinway, and we'd just have a good time. She'd buy a lot of crap gifts, and we'd end up with bags of junk to take home... But it wasn't about the gifts.

She passed away a few years ago. Various members of the family have tried to revive the tradition, but it just hasn't worked. And that's okay - times change. But I hate the artificial nature of how the holidays are celebrated.

So yeah, I'm a grinch. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Even if I didn't like the movie with Jim Carrey.

Talk to ya later!


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

(to the tune of "Sounds of Silence")

Hello, weblog my old friend
I've come to write in you again
Though I'll admit that I've neglected you
Please don't think that I've rejected you
I've simply had other things to do
I hope you knew
That I still love my weblog...

Anyway, it's been a fun and interesting time the last few weeks. I've had a succession of friends come and visit.

First there was Janelle, who I don't think was overly impressed with New Orleans, but we had a good time anyway. We played pool, and she let me win. I can't argue with that. She liked all the gay guys in interesting outfits for Halloween. I liked all the girls wearing virtually nothing as their costumes. But that's just me.

Then Caleb came over, and despite our grandiose plans, we basically just watched "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" all weekend long. That is such an incredibly good show. Is there anyone out there who reads this blog that is not totally hooked on that show? Please let me know; I'll loan you the Season One DVDs.

Then my friend Monica came over for a visit. We had a good time, though many of the things that had previously driven us apart were still in evidence. But we saw a lot of sights, went out a few times, and just generally had a relaxing time. It was only the second time we'd ever been anywhere without her son with us, and that made things a lot easier to plan. She didn't care too much for the Hurricanes, but she LOVED the Hand Grenades.

While she was here, she danced a couple of times at the Hustler Barely Legal club. I went to pick her up one night, and it was a real revelation to me. The previous times I'd been to strip clubs, they seemed to be a strange combination of frustration and enticement. This time, I was just thoroughly bored. The girls I date now are way hotter than any girls that strip, and a lot more classy. And for that matter, the thought of having to pay a girl to act interested in me just seems pathetic. I've definitely moved far beyond my former days of dating strippers. Which is a good thing; they're expensive girls to date.

In other news, a few months ago I mentioned how most of my female friends were hooking back up with their loser boyfriends/fiancees/husbands, and swearing that they were completely changed. Well, with one exception they've all now broken up with those guys, realizing that the changes were cosmetic, at best. As I've said before, people rarely, rarely change. I have to see it, and see it last, before I believe it for a second.

The one exception is Anna, who is still with her husband, and apparently happy. She doesn't claim so much that he's changed, though, she's just changed what she's looking for, I think. I'm not completely sure, since we're apparently not on speaking terms anymore. Which is mostly my fault. I was not always the most tactful of people in talking to her. Honesty is always a bad habit of mine. I do miss her, though; she was very insightful in analyzing my psyche. Plus, she has one helluva singing voice.

Speaking of which, my singing is getting much, much better. My friends have all noticed. I guess doing something for a living five or six nights a week will do that to you. I've got a long way to go, but I'm moving closer to being ready to really front my own band.

I've made a new friend on the internet, something I don't do too often. Her name is Christine, and she's a fascinating individual who lives in New York, and used to be a model in Hawaii... She's a mother of two, and I don't get to talk to her anywhere near as much as I'd like, but she's way cool.

I'm also starting to get to know my co-worker Amy Trail better. She's got a great sense of humor, and manages to slip the naughtiest little comments onstage while looking completely innocent. Plus, she has probably the best voice at Pat O' Brien's. And I've also been hanging out with George Rossi and Kristen Cady, two of the other entertainers there. Musicians; weird, quirky habits, but a lot of fun.

Well, I'll try to keep things posted a lot more. Later!