Sunday, January 25, 2004

Wow. This has been one helluva night.

My career has taken an unexpected turn. Not for the better, possibly, but not necessarily for the worse. More on that, when the dust settles.

In my stupor, I have been distracting myself by reading Chuck Palahniuk books. That man is seriously twisted. His insights into life are undeniable, but I always feel bizarrely disoriented after reading his work for any length of time. Much like watching “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

And now I have to get ready for church.

What a life.

Jess

Friday, January 23, 2004

Sometimes the news is a little less than accurate. Not necessarily in a malicious way, but by journalists who don’t truly understand what it is they’re saying.
I just saw the headline “AIDS TURNS A CHILD INTO AN ORPHAN EVERY 14 SECONDS.” Now it seems unlikely to me that AIDS works like clockwork, waiting 14 seconds, then killing somebody else. But that’s what the headline said. For that matter, it seems that it’s the same child being turned into an orphan over and over again.
Sucks to be him (or her).

Now, we all know what they’re trying to say. But is it too much to ask for trained professionals (most of whom have degrees in this field) to know what it is they’re saying? And to do it accurately?

Some other headlines that caught my eye...

“U.S. TO TRY MIDEAST DIPLOMACY AGAIN.” Ooh, that’s new. Has there been a time in the last 30 years when that wasn’t true?

“ARMED GANGS THREATEN MEXICAN TURTLES.” Do I really need to say anything about that? The visual alone keeps me cracking up.

“RUSSIAN SPACE ENGINEERS EAGER TO JOIN U.S.” Well, quite possibly, but I think the story meant to say they’re wanting to work with NASA on the manned Mars mission.

“DOCTORS REMOVE 175 POUND TUMOR FROM WOMAN.” Now, there’s nothing wrong grammatically with that headline. I’m just thinking “OUCH!!!!!” Her tumor weighed more than me! After the surgery, she only weighed 88 pounds. Damn.

“FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY HAS MILITARY USES.” And what technology have we developed that doesn’t?

“NEW INTERNET VIRUS SPREADING FAST.” As opposed to all of those that spread really, really slowly?

Well, enough news for now. I’m going to read a book and catch some shut-eye.

Remember - if you’re too drunk to drive, take somebody else’s car.

Jess

Thursday, January 22, 2004

There is a problem with male/female communications. Some of you may have noticed this once or twice in your life.

It can begin as early as the first conversation:

Man says “Hi.”
Woman says “Hi.”

By now, both sides have received mistaken impressions. The woman is thinking, “Hey, he wants to talk to me.” The man is thinking “She said hi. I bet she thinks I’m hot. We might have sex.”

The truth is more mundane, but who wants to hear that?

Sadly the level of miscommunication and self-delusion rarely improves.

This is partly because we hear what we want to hear. We’ll spin anything to try to fit what we want life to be, or sometimes what we’re afraid it might be. Someone once told me that everybody is the star of their own drama. The older I get, the more truth I see in that statement. We make more of some things than they really are, and ignore the things we don’t want to see.

I think the truth is not that we can’t understand the other sex. It's that we don’t really try. We want them to understand us. We want them to play by our rules, and play our game. We want them to have a leading role as the romantic interest in our drama. We don’t want to star in theirs.

Then again, sometimes you find out you’re just the comic relief.

I’m just gotten out of a really, really bad relationship. Well, it wasn’t really a relationship, but I wanted it to be. And sometimes deluded myself into thinking it was. Really, I was just the poor schmuck who can't believe the bad girl is bad. "No," I thought. "Nobody could lie that much, and that blatantly. Nobody could be that self-centered." Yes, yes they can.

But it hurt a lot, finding out that I wasn’t anywhere near as important to her as she was to me. It’s a position I’ve tried really, really hard not to get into for a long, long time. And had succeeded, until now. But I fell into the trap of hearing what I wanted to hear, because it made life better for awhile.

The longer you deny truth, though, the more it feels like you’ve been whacked upside the head with a 2-by-4 when it finally hits.

Why do they call it a 2-by-4 when it’s not actually 2 inches by 4 inches? That’s false advertising. I ought to use that measuring system when people ask me personal questions about the size of my genitalia.

But life goes on. I’ve met someone cool, and though it’s not a “Love at first sight” kinda thing, we’ve started out with some real honesty. It’s a nice change. I’m really trying to listen to what she says, and not interpret it in guy language. That's not the language she's speaking. And I think she’s trying to understand me. Not on our own terms, but each other’s.

It’s a good start.

Remember - as George. W. Bush said, “Our nation must come together to unite.” How can you argue with a statement that inspired?

Jess

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I'm in a bad, bad mood right now. But I've found writing about it doesn't help; it usually just fuels my mood even farther.

So I'm not going to post anything tonight. For my fans (both of you - love you guys), tune in tomorrow night. I'll have something witty and free of bitterness then.

Jess

Monday, January 19, 2004

Perfidious.

Strumpet.

Sometimes I think some of the best words in the English language are being phased out, in favor of misspelled or abbreviated text messaging words, like "kewl" and "LMAO." Sorry, your ass is still there, no matter how many times you type that.

Not only are the good words going away, so are the great exclamations, like "Tarnations!," "Egads!," and "Pshaw!" What are these replaced with? "Shah!" "As if" "Oh, no, you di'in!"

Now, I'm not one of those who believes that the English language should stay static. And I'm eternally grateful that my parents' generation's slang didn't last. May "Far Out" and "Groovy" rest in peace.

But I wish that the ongoing evolution of the English Language would be towards greater creativity and complexity, rather than simply being dumbed down.

One of my favorite shows of all time is "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." One of the first things that drew me in was Joss Whedon's ability to turn accepted sayings and sentence construction inside out. There are websites devoted to the unique sayings bursting forth from virtually ever episode.

I don't want a return to old english. Verily, 'twould suck in a most heinous fashion, forthwith. But let's not lose the old, let's just gain the new.

After all, wouldn't "Perfidious Strumpet" be a great name for a rock band?

Jess

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Pardon me for asking, but why the hell are the French on the Permanent Security Council of the U. N. ? So we'll have an expert in how to surrender?

Have they been a major player in anything since the days of Napolean?

Well, if you have an answer, let me know. I'm going to go find a girl to freedom kiss.

Jess

Saturday, January 17, 2004

I want to learn how to sword-fight.

It just sounds so cool. Think about it - some street punk pulls out a switchblade. You look at him and say in your best Crocodile Dundee voice "That's not a knife! Well, I guess that is a knife, and a pretty nifty one, at that, but... AHA!!!"

You would of course pull out the sword while saying "AHA!!!" It wouldn't make any sense, otherwise.

Or you could be walking down an alley and some guy comes at you with brass knuckles. You look at him and say "That's not a knife! Really, it's not... AHA!!!"

Or, if you were in the type of alley that they have in low-budget karate movies, you could look at the gang of guys dancing around you and say "That's not a knife! That's a pair of nunchuka, a pair of tonfa, a bo, and... AHA!!!" After you defeat all the other guys, then the evil bad guy (with a fu manchu and a half-ponytail) comes at you with a sword. You have a fantastically choreographed duel, with sparks flying all over the place, and much taunting, then you win, and rescue your best friend and his sister, who happens to be your girlfriend. And thus you avenge your master's untimely demise at the hands of his former student.

Okay, so I've watched way too many karate movies. But I still think it would be cool. Alas, in real life, I doubt it would be as cool as it is in the movies. He pulls a knife, you pull a sword, he pulls a gun, you give him all your money and lose bladder control...

Which is why I'm not going to actually take the time to learn how to sword fight. It's (as far as I can tell) a thoroughly useless skill. Like speaking French. But it would be so cool.

*sigh*

Remember, if you're walking up the stairs, and it's dark and spooky, and really creepy music starts playing - TURN AROUND AND LEAVE THE HOUSE!!! Your curiosity can wait 'til you come back with bright lights.

Jess

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Call me weird, but I don't like to watch people making idiots out of themselves. I'm not talking about people who do what they do regardless of other people's opinions; I'm talking about the opposite. Those who are trying to gain respect, and only garnering annoyance.

Yet that seems to be the basis of about half the humor on TV and Film. Watch so-and-so act like a complete idiot and laugh at them!

heh.

hehe.

Why exactly is that funny? It just makes me uncomfortable. And I find most things in life funny, so I doubt it's that I have no sense of humor.

I was watching "Angel" last night. Since the end of Buffy *sniff* and the cancellation of "Firefly" *double sniff*, "Angel" has been my only dose of Whedon for the week. And I've been waiting for a new episode since last year.

Turns out that the entire episode was the about the character of Harmony, the ditzy blonde vampire, making an idiot out of herself. Thankfully, I had taped it, so I got to fast-forward all the embarrassing moments. Which made the episode last about ten minutes.

Now I realize that an occasional embarrassing moment can be funny, and true to life, as well. But over and over and over again? That's not funny to me, it's just painful.

Oh well, I'll quit griping. There's a new episode coming out next week. I have hopes.

Remember - if you have to reach up for the car door handle, you're probably too drunk to drive.

Jess
And lo, a dark time came upon the land, for the sacred Spurs had lost two in a row, thus relinquishing their first place status to the Timberwolves.

And there was much wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

It's been a beautiful, gorgeous, rainy day here all day.

Some people tell me that they don't like rain, that it makes them feel depressed. I don't understand that, myself. I like few things better than a rainy day with a good book, a blanket, and a mug of hot cocoa. It gives me a happy.

Of course, I'm lactose intolerant, so I usually skip the cocoa, but the rest of it...

I will admit, I do feel lazier on rainy days. I don't like to work, or practice as much. I just want to read.

Speaking of which, I've been reading the "Wild Card" series, edited by George R. R. Martin. If I ever become an author, I want to add a few initials to my name. Or keep my initials, and add a different last name. Yeah, they'd all be talking about J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, and Jess T. M. Mercer. Don't ask me where I got "Mercer" (Okay, I'll tell you - I pulled it right out of my... thin air...), but doesn't that sound like a good author's name?

If I had time for a second career, I would like to be a writer. I do enjoy writing very much, and I think I'd be better at it than my short-lived career as a gigolo. But I have no idea how to break into the industry. I know so many people that want to be writers, but serve coffee instead. I've finally managed to start a career in the music industry, and there's no way I'm giving that up.

But for today, I'm not going to write, and I'll only practice a couple of hours. Mainly I'm going to lie in bed and read, and listen to the rain on my tin roof.

So find a good book, everybody, and join me wherever you are. And if you're a good-looking female, join me wherever I am!

Remember - You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can sure as hell tell if it's a Romance Novel.

Jess

Monday, January 12, 2004

You know, I've got a great idea. Someday, I'm going to take a Shakespeare play, and turn it into a movie. But hold on - as daring and innovative as that idea is, I'm going to be even more avant-garde! I'm going to set it in modern times!

I know what you're thinking. This is crazy. Nobody's ever tried this before. But I'm just the man to do it.

Seriously, are we so short on ideas for screenplays that we've got to do that over and over again? There are other things to adapt. Look at how awesome LOTR was. The same could be done with any of the Vlad Taltos novels of Steven Brust, or the Ringworld series by Terry Pratchett. I love Shakespeare (well, the comedies, at least. Never really liked the tragedies), but come on, now!

Come on Eileen, Oh, I swear (what he means)...
Crap, am I singing eighties music again?

Speaking of which, what decade are we in right now? Does anybody know? The "Oughts"? The "O"s? The "Zeroes"? If you happen to know, email me. "pianoman@jessmills.com" - I'd sure like to know.

My cousin, who is on his way to being a plastic surgeon (although that's something of a misnomer; plastic rarely needs surgery), told me that my lifelong dream of having elf ears is quite attainable. I forgot to ask him about my other lifelong dreams, like being immortal, and having the ability to read minds.

*WARNING* Bitter rant coming along! *WARNING*

It's funny; I'm 26, thoroughly unmarried, and probably bound to stay that way for awhile (that's not the funny part). Everybody keeps asking me when I'm going to get married, settle down, and have kids.

HAH!!!

Now that I think of it, though, this is an improvement; everybody used to ask me if I was gay.

Don't get me wrong, I think parenting is a wonderful and noble thing. I also think it costs a whole lot of money, and more energy than can be measured. Sorry. I like sleeping for eight hours at a stretch, if I so desire. And I'm a musician. When's the last time you actually met a rich musician? Thought so.

Maybe I'm like this because I'm not married (and because I'm so damn selfish). But I know so many people that shacked up with the first willing person they could find, just so they could work on the white picket fence, the 2.5 kids, and the out-of-control credit cards that spell out the modern american dream.

Sorry, but if your marriage isn't stable and loving (and there are at least four or five of those out there), I don't think you should be having kids. The world's screwed up enough already.

Okay, I'm climbing down from the soapbox. But let's make a deal; you don't ask me when I'm planning on having kids, and I won't ask you when you're planning to learn to play piano.

Well, I'm going to go read now. Which I can do, since I don't have kids.

Remember - Life is like a box of chocolates. If you don't pay attention, somebody is going to eat all the good ones before you get to them, and you'll just be all pissed and bitter about it, and you'll leave the rest in the sun one day, and it'll all melt together into a big pile of goo, and you'll look up at the sky and scream "WHY, GOD, WHY?" in a melodramatic way, and rend your garments, and have to go around wearing sackloth and ashes Old Testament style, wishing you'd just been able to enjoy your box of chocolates...

On second thought, that had nothing to do with life.

Jess

Saturday, January 10, 2004

I just realized today that I've been on the full-time entertainment staff of Howl at the Moon for six months now.

Now, in all honesty, that's largely because they've been desperate shortstaffed for pianists for about... Umm... Six months now.

But I'm not one to look a gift mouth in the horse, so I won't complain. And if they ever get overstaffed, well, I know other piano bars that are not!

But in all honesty, it's been great. If any of the guys that I work with read this - it's been awesome working with you.

My friends are all tired of hearing how much I love my job, but I'm living the dream. I make a decent living, and I'm doing something I intensely love.

And some chicks think it's hot. :)

I'm just feeling very grateful right now.

Remember -
The Stork brings the good babies, like all of you reading this.
The Raven brings the bad babies, like me.
And the Swallow brings no babies at all.

Jess

Friday, January 09, 2004

You know, I had no idea just how influential I was. Several days ago, I posted a comment about the need for more extensive space exploration. Now President Bush is proposing virtually every one of my recommendations.

That's right, Dubya. Keep taking my advice, and you'll do well.

The web is a strange thing. Just when I thought Internet Porn sites had all become exactly the same (see 18-year-old virgin nymphos doing nasty things! Get a free password for thirty-two minutes, after which we charge you $29.95 a week!), well then a friend showed my "ratemycameltoe.com" - and as far as I can tell, that's exactly what it is. People post pictures of cameltoes, and then other people rate them on a scale of one to ten.

What a great time to be alive. I bet the ancient egyptians had nothing like this! Well, they didn't even have camels back then, but we won't mention that.

In other thoughts....

If "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" doesn't sweep up at the Oscars, I'm going to be mighty ticked off.

Do you ever wonder why we have a green setting on our whole "National Terror Warning Level" system? No politician will ever approve going there. If the smallest terrorist attack were to happen, they'd lose their career. So why have it? Maybe it's like nipples on guys: they don't really serve any purpose, but they're still there for show.

So people are always talking about genetic engineering, and how it's horrible to play God. Sorry, we've been playing God since Adam and Eve. We mess it up on a regular basis, but that's what kids do when trying to emulate their parents. It's also how we learn. And quite frankly, I think it's the only hope for humanity, because I think we're breeding stupidity into the human race. Let me explain.

I think most experts would agree intelligence (by whatever definition you use) is acquired by some unknown combination of genetics and environment. Well, it's a statistical fact that the more intelligent and educated you are, the fewer children you are likely to have. If you don't believe me, look it up. Now there could be many reasons from this, from the intelligentsia being more desirous of keeping our population under control, to stupid people being better at sex (which could explain why all Porn Stars seem to have IQs in the low double digits), from intelligent people wanting to conserve resources to offer more opportunities to their children, to morons who can't figure out birth control. I offer no explanations for the data, but it is pretty much inarguable.

What's my point? If intelligence is even partly genetic, and idiots have more kids, then we're breeding stupidity into the human race. If you don't believe me, watch daytime TV.

So humanity has only two real threads of hope.

1) Since I'm a well-educated man with an IQ far above average, any women who wish to bear my children for the sake of saving humankind, just email me. I'll be glad to help out (just don't expect me to pay for them).

2) Since I can't do it all by myself (much as I'd like to try), maybe soon we can use genetic engineering to make each succeeding generation healthier and more intelligent. Where's the downside? So what if my kids are smarter and think they know better than me? Every generation has thought that about their parents; this time it would just be true.

But there are thngs we need more than intelligence and health. Let me offer two things that I think genetic scientists need to concentrate on immediately, IMHO.

a) Removal of all body hair except eyebrows and scalp. (Almost) nobody likes being hairy, and (almost) nobody likes being with somebody hairy. Let's just get rid of it all.

b) Let's give women the ability to purr. That would the coolest thing since fake orgasms and Lesbian Porn. Sorry, I never thought sliced bread was really that cool. But guys; give me a "Hell yeah" if you think it would be cool to make a chick purr.

Well, those are my thoughts for the day. Feel free to let me know your thoughts by dropping an email to pianoman@jessmills.com - I may even write back!

Remember - without nipples, breasts would be pointless.

Jess

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I have a dream. A Grand Dream. One that may change the world. Someday, I want people to get my name right. Well, if it doesn't change the world, it'll still make me happier.

Now, I'll admit - sometimes I'm a little egotistical about my intelligence (okay, all the time). And sometimes I think things are easier than they are. But my name... Why is it hard? One syllable. Prounounced phonetically. Jess.

Today I went to get a gym membership. With hard work and regular exercise, I think maybe I can bulk up to 145 lbs. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic.

So the lady at the front desk asks me my name. I say "Jess Mills."

"Jeff?" She asks.
"Jess." I reply
"Jesse?"
"Jess. J - E - S - S."
"So it's Jeff."
"No "f"s - only two "s"s."

She writes something down. Mentions how she recognizes me from my CD. Talks about family members that she knows... We talk a little more while she fills out forms. She hands me my membership card, says "See you soon."

I look at the card. It confirms "Jeff Mills" as a new member of the gym.

Nor is this an isolated event. Most of my life people have gotten my name wrong. People at my church still call me "Jesse." And I've been the church pianist there since I was 16, with my name in the bulletin every week. One of the waitresses at HATM was introducing me, and called me "Jeff," despite the fact that my name is called out over the microphone at least three times a night.

Well, we all have our difficulties to overcome in life. And these days, more people are calling me "Legolas" or "Elf-Guy" than by my name, anyway. So I'll carry on. But if you ever want to get on my good side, don't call me "Jesse" or "Jeff."

Enough whining. I need to go back to practicing.

Remember - if you develop a burning rash, a second date is probably not a good idea.

Jess

P.S. Have you ever noticed that "Phonics" isn't spelled like it sounds?

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Aargh. Women are evil. We would've destroyed them all long ago if they didn't look so much better than us. And that whole "survival of the species" thing, too.

Sorry. I'm a little bitter right now. Womenfolk have been infuriating me over the last few days. So far, I've dated two kinds of women; those who can't seem to tell the truth, and those who don't ever believe I'm telling the truth (and sometimes those categories overlap). Anybody who wants details (and I'm not sure why you would), feel free to ask me. I probably shouldn't be writing this in a blog for all the world to see, but I'm really needing to vent, and it's 4:30 in the morning, and I don't know anybody awake right now. And after all, how many people are reading this? Really, you are? Wow. I didn't know you cared that much about me.

Well, I'd scream, but my cousin is in town visiting, and he's sleeping in the next room. I think I'm going to find something to punch, instead. Don't worry, it will be an inanimate object.

Remember - don't sweat the petty things; pet the sweaty things.

Jess

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Hmm... A bittersweet day.

On the bitter side, the Cowboys are out of the playoffs. Now, to be honest, I didn't think they would even get close to being in the playoffs this year. Bill Parcells did an amazing job turning that team around - I expected it to take longer. But after finding a reason to cheer on the 'boys for the first time since the Jimmy Johnson era, it was almost painful to say goodbye in the first round. But I have hopes for next year, and faith that things are just going to get better from here on. I just hope Jerry Jones continues to stay out of the spotlight. It's hard to describe just how much I hate that man.

On the sweet side, NASA finally got a Mars mission right. No mistaken English to Metric conversions, no wrong trajectories. Just a flawless landing, and photos on the way.

But I can't help but wonder; when are we going to start truly exploring space? I'm not talking about sending a robot off here and there to find out the age and make-up of comet tail-dust, or the chemicals in Mars dirt. I'm talking about sending men (and women) to the moon. I'm talking about a Space Station with a real purpose. I'm talking about a manned mission to Mars. You can find out a lot about a place by sending robots; you find a lot more by sending humans.

Most people don't seem to realize that we haven't even been to the moon in over 30 years. As soon as we were through competing with the Soviets, we lost interest. Perhaps with the Chinese space program building up steam, the US may once again have reason to compete. Also, with the "X" prizes, maybe individual competitors and private industry may move to the forefront of space exploration.

If you read the Sci-Fi literature of 50, 75, or even 100 years ago, you realize that in most things, we've far surpassed the most optimistic predictions. We've kept the world population from expanding as much as we thought, we've faced a lot less starvation, we've got better medicine, more technology to the masses, less pollution, more freedoms, more tolerance, more educational opportunities, and we've as yet to launch a full-scale nuclear war. Not that our world is ideal, but we've done better than many thought we could. With one glaring exception, though; we're still planet-bound.

No moon base. No real spacecraft (sorry, but the Shuttles don't really count). No manned missions to Mars, or the moons of Jupiter, or even our own moon. The International Space Station is not used as a platform to send spacecraft farther, or a stepping stone to anywhere. In fact, most of the crew-time is spent merely keeping the place going. Maybe I expect too much, but I'm still a little disappointed.

But that's not to say that nothing is going on. We're able to detect planets in other solar systems. We're getting amazing photographs and data almost daily. We've discovered more about the nature and origin of the Universe in the last 15 years than had been discovered since the dawn of humanity. And Star Trek has had some really good episodes, too (I won't bring up Joss Whedon's "Firefly" - its cancellation was a travesty beyond measure). So I'll try to look on the bright side - we finally got another lander to Mars. Maybe we can use the information we'll be gathering to prepare for a manned mission.

I nominate Jerry Jones to be the first man on Mars. That way, we don't have to worry about a return vehicle.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Well, here it is. 2004. A nice, round number.

It's been a good start to the year so far. Charlize Theron decided to get fat. Angelina Jolie is giving cows away. Steve Irwin topped Michael Jackson's balcony stunt in "things not to do with newborn children." Though I doubt the Crocodile Hunter is going to start inviting small children to sleep in his bed, unlike a certain MJ I won't mention.

If he were alive, this would be J. R. R. Tolkien's Eleventy-First Birthday. If you don't get that, I'm not going to bother explaining. Go rent "Fellowship of the Ring" - or better yet, read the book. It even has pictures, if you get the right edition.

My website is about to be undergoing some renovations... Many thanks to my webmaster Herb Midgley for his help in this. If there's anything you want to see more of (other than Jeri Ryan nude - I can't help with that), be sure to email me, and let me know.

In addition to this blog, I'll be updating the pictures section, and setting up a set of essays. On what, you ask? Okay, you didn't ask, and that's good, because I don't know yet. But I like to write, because I'm egotistical that way (and most other ways, too).

Many thanks to all of you who've come out to see me at "Howl at the Moon." It's been quite an adventure learning how to break out of my classical bubble and enter the more modern world of rock music. But I'm loving it.

To those who've asked - yes, I'm going to release more CDs. Right now I'm in the writing stage. As soon as I have material that I'm 99% satisfied with (I'll never reach 100%), I'll get started on the rest of the recording process. But I want to do it right, so it may take some time. Patience, my young Jedi.

Anyway, come back often, email me, and stay in touch. Give me money, if you want; I won't object!

Happy New Year!

Jess