Monday, August 29, 2005

Hey there, everybody!

I'm alive, and well, and in Nacogdoches of all places. That's Nacogdoches, TX, if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

I'm hoping that I'm not homeless, but I won't know for certain for awhile... I'm hoping the same for Katie.

Katie and I decided to carpool, which is of course why I'm in Nac - I'm staying with Dr. Parr (her dad). I've been wandering around the SFA campus, feeling extremely old.

I may not be at a computer again for awhile - but thanks for all your emails... And I couldn't believe the calls - almost every single person in my cell phone phonebook called. Thanks. And this time, your concern was not only appreciated, but it was also matched by my own. This was a scary one, and I'm glad that we got enough warning to get the hell out of Dodge.

Take care, all, and as soon as I can, I'll be back online. I'm just hoping it will be from home, and not from a shelter!

Thanks again,

Monday, August 15, 2005

So, I'm on the schedule to work at 7:00 tonight, and 8:00 tomorrow night.

I was feeling unexpectedly tired, so I crawled into bed at 5:00 am.

Woke up, looked at the clock, and it said 7:24. I had no recollection of when I'd gone to bed, all I knew is that it was monday. I panic; I've never been late to work here. And I've never been 24 minutes late to work ANYWHERE. In showbiz, that's usually an automatic firing.

So, in full panic mode, I'm out the door with my bag, fully dressed at 7:27. That's when I realize; it's 7:27 am, not pm.

Can you say "dumbass"?

In other news, I now have my tickets, car reservation, and hotel reservation for my American Idol audition. It's a whole lotta money for nothing, but hey, it's always worth a shot. At this point, I'm still trying to find several different songs that are right for my voice. I don't think they'll let me audition with "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," though. Or if I do, I doubt I'll get very far at all.

Of course, if it wasn't my only year to try to audition, I'd probably do it anyway, just to see the judges faces...

Well, I'm going to try to go back to bed. Good morning, everybody!


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tonight I was missing my South Texas roots, so I made some enchiladas and spanish rice. Well, the rice I didn't really cook - I just opened up a box of "Goya Spanish Rice" and poured it in boiling water, with a little onion, pepper, and cilantro added. So I more heated it than made it. But that's beside the point.

After I was through eating, I went online to read the news. I'm a news junkie. And there was an article about Texas now being a "Majority Minority" state.

Well, first off - the U.S. of A. is going to be a "Majority Minority" country in a few years. I'm wondering - can I get minority protection then?

In some ways, the whole issue seems idiotic to me. Why does it matter? It should be about equality and fairness for everybody. What does it matter whether you're minority, or majority, or white, or black, or hispanic, or Asian-American, or Scandinavian-American, or Irish-American, or Jamaican-American, or Asian-Pacific-Islander American, or whatever? Legally speaking, I think we should all be considered American, and let the issue die there. Let culture and heritage stand on their own, with no legal prejudice in any direction.

On the other hand, I have always found Latina and Asian girls really hot.

So the hispanic population is booming. Why is this a surprise? It's a culture that celebrates large families. That's how we Irish got to be a majority in the US - we used to keep on popping out kid after kid!

It's not so common now, since we've been taught by society to limit the number of children so we can buy them more education, fancier clothes, lots and lots of electronic junk...

As I get older, it seems less and less likely I'll have a family (it would be helpful to at least get a girlfriend first, and I'm having no luck with that!), and if I do, it will probably be a small one. Unless of course, I've got dozens of illegimate kids running around out there. If so, good luck! Look me up someday, and wonder how you got such a deadbeat dad!

But growing up, I remember being the youngest of five. And yeah, it was tough. And yeah, our house was way too small (seven people in less space than my current apartment... Yikes!). And we wore crappy worn-out hand-me-downs (which were REALLY worn out by the time I got to wear them).

But still, I remember the love I got from my brothers and sisters. I remember thinking that my older brother David knew everything, and was the smartest person ever (okay, so I still think that, and he continues to prove me right). I remember my sister trying desperately to make me less of a nerd (it finally kinda worked, Amy! I mean Jes!). It's no secret I hated my childhood, and have very few good memories of it. But the ones I have are all of the love and support I got from my family. Well, that, and the first time I saw a naked woman. Which, now that I think about it, was on a video my sister had. Damn, I love my family!

Small families have a lot of advantages, But sometimes, I think the mainstream culture has forgotten the beauty of large families. And if it takes another culture to come in and remind us - so much the better!

Besides, though I do love Oriental food, and Italian food, is there anything better tasting than good mexican food?

Talk to you all later,

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Anybody who knows me knows my Joss Whedon obsession. I have the complete collection of Angel, Buffy, and Firefly on DVD. I can't wait to see "Serenity," and I'm really excited (I never thought I'd say THIS) about the possibilities for "Wonder Woman."

There are certain hallmarks to his style that I love; the incredibly clever dialogue. The mix of genres, to where you're not sure if you're watching comedy, horror, sci-fi, drama, romance... The fact that sometimes your favorite characters get killed off when doing something dangerous, so you never feel completely secure about what's going to happen. For that matter, the complete disregard for where plots are SUPPOSED to go, in favor of where Joss thinks they SHOULD go. I even love the flaws in the characters. Buffy was an arrogant, lying girl, who wasn't always that bright. Willow had confidence and self-esteem issues that weren't solved in thirty minutes and a pep talk. Angel was way too depressed. And I think the doctor on "Firefly" was equally attracted to his sister and to Jayne (Adam Baldwin's character).

Okay, now that I think about it, the last one is just really ooky.

But anyway, I was watching an episode of "Firefly" a few minutes ago, and I realized what I loved the best about Joss Whedon. His characters come together to form a dysfunctional, messed-up family unit that is both utterly believable and wholly endearing.

And it makes me realize how much I miss my family.

I do have the coolest family of anyone I know. We've all gone in such disparate directions, but all pursued our dreams. And my siblings and I have one other thing in common; at one time or another, we've all been Jess.

Okay, you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about. It's not the crack, I tell you. I've got that under control, and I can quit any time I want.

First there was my oldest brother, Michael Jess. He got the name fair and square. And then I was named Jess Tandy, so I got it fair and square, too.

Then a few years ago, my brother got bored with being named "David." But while he wanted to change his name, he wanted to have something familiar. So he called me up and asked how I felt. I loved the concept. Having a brother with the same name as me - how awesome is that? Besides, he's the eccentric genius of the family, he's allowed such things.

Sadly, he ended up changing it back about a year ago. I mourned. I think his wife still calls him "Jess" though - that's what he was named when they met.

So then my sister Amy called me a few weeks (months?) ago, and asked how I felt. Again, loving the concept here. So she legally changed her name to Jes Mills. In full, it's either Jes Amy Elizabeth Mills, or Jes Elizabeth Amy Mills. I can't remember. (Elizabeth was my grandmother's name, and we both miss her immensely)

She's the one who just graduated college (Jes, not my dead grandmother). She just started working in the publishing industry, and just got a divorce, and in general, is just starting a completely different chapter in her life. And she wanted to start it with a new name. I think she picked a great one.

Now we've just got to talk my sister Tammy into thinking about her name...

I love my family, and when I become a millionaire, I'm building a giant mansion where we can all live close together. With our own wing each, so we don't have to live THAT close together.

Talk atcha later,

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I have a T-Shirt that says "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups."

In a way, I find stupidity amusing - it's one of the reasons I love my job. Drunk people get really stupid, and it's an endless source of fun for me to watch and be amazed by.

On the other hand, sober stupidity is less fun.

We live in a democracy (kinda - technically, it's a republic; a representative democracy, and even that's somewhat questionable these days). Which means if the masses are stupid, they put stupid people in power. Not that our choices have been all that great the last few years; Gore, Kerry, Bush... I wouldn't really vote for any of these guys for President of the Bingo Club, much less of the United States (is there a President of the Bingo Club? I need to look into that).

In fact, I didn't vote for any of them. I vote Libertarian, which means I will never, ever see anybody I vote for get into office. But at least I vote for what I believe, not "the lesser of two evils," which I think means you need to find another choice.

However, the majority of the United States put Bush into office. And every time I think I can like him less, I find myself to be mistaken. I've seen bumper stickers that say "He's not MY president," but that's bullshit. I'm American, and I'm proud to be so, even when we're doing something really, really stupid. So he's my president. And he's a moron.

Now he's pushing for "Intelligent Design" to be taught in the classrooms. Bad enough that "Abstinence Only" education has made strides; we all know that teenagers only want to have sex if they're well-educated about it. Keep 'em ignorant, and there won't be ANY premarital sex! And we'll win this War On Drugs any day now, too.

But "Intelligent Design" is worse - it's faith masquerading as science. It's completely lacking in objectivity and rational thought. It's taking a foregone conclusion, and altering the facts (and ignoring others) to achieve that conclusion. It's the opposite of science. It's the opposite of logical and critical thinking, and it's exactly what we SHOULDN'T be teaching in schools.

If your faith requires you to lie to yourself and your children, to ignore what truth is, you need to find another faith. The God I believe in said "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

I don't need to believe that Noah put 5,000 species of mammal onto a boat to believe that God saves us. I don't need to believe that you have to pluck out your eye and cut off your hand if you need to stop sinning. There are stories in the Bible meant to prove a point. And if you take them and try to force reality around them, you're in for a world of confusion, and ultimately, deception. And I can't handle a religion that seeks truth through deceiving yourself. That's not the God I believe in.

For more info on the whole Bush and "Intelligent Design" topic, visit

It's much like Astrology. Everybody down here believes in and swears by Astrology. I've already offended one friend by saying in my blog I don't believe in it. It's hard not to email Phil Plait's complete debunking of it to everybody I've met since moving here
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It's hard not to challenge them to come up with one credible shred of evidence for it, or to give them a complete description of one of my siblings, down to every personality trait, and tell them to come up with his or her sign. It should be obvious, right?

But critical thinking is not taught anywhere. I don't know whether that's new, or it's always been this bad. I'm not old enough to know. I know it seems as bad with the people in their 50s as it does with the people in their 20s. Everybody seems to go for the easy answer. His/her/my flaws are all based on my Astrological Sign. I can't help it.

Bullshit. My flaws are mine. Not my sign's. Not my parents'. Not my upbringing's.

Your faults are yours. You have no excuses, and neither do I.

Unless you're drunk. In which case, hey, I understand. It's how I make my living, and how I get most of my fun.

But if you're sober; I challenge you to do what I've been struggling all my life to do (and often failing) - think about it. Whatever it is. Don't go with the easy answer. Really, really, really think about it.

I'm going to go think about lunch now.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

So, I walk into Pat O'Brien's for my last set last night. They announced my name, and that I was coming back onto the stage - and I got a standing ovation.

It was both exhilarating and terrifying - it definitely made me feel like I'm better than I've ever been before. On the other hand, what if this is it? As good as it gets? I'm at the top, and I'll never go farther?

American Idol auditions are coming up, and I'm trying out this year. Like everybody else, I have the dream of making it onto the television. But I know I have no chance. My voice, although far better than it's ever been, is just mediocre. My stage presence, which is the hallmark of my show, is based on the piano. My experience working a crowd, at which I've become exceedingly good, is based on them being drunk. My repertoire of songs - not needed.

So I'm going to audition, and get turned down, and figure out where to go with my career from there.

But what a great training ground and career move the piano bar has been! I've learned more about music and showmanship in the last three years than I did in the 25 years of my life before that. Of course, that's not saying too much.

Katie is now in her own place, and though I miss her company, it's nice to be able to walk around my house naked when I want. Or to bring home dates and not say "No, Katie's not my girlfriend. No, I'm serious. Where are you going? Come back!"

But getting that apartment finished for her has dominated my life for the last few months. Hence the lack of Blog posting. Also a lack of songwriting, piano practicing, and new-songs-for-work learning. But life is settling back into its routines, and that's good.

Now if I can just get back to work on my CDs!