Christ, I’m tired.

Going on 3-4 hours of sleep. Why I thought seeing the Flametrick Subs on a worknight was a good idea is beyond me.

So, okay. Since I’m tired, we’ll do something I cribbed from Steve Rolston’s blog.

Choose a band/artist and answer ONLY IN SONG TITLES by that band:

Artist/Band: The Afghan Whigs

Are you male or female: Sweet Son of a Bitch
Describe yourself: I’m Her Slave
How do some people feel about you: Cursed
How do you feel about yourself: I am the Sticks
Describe what you want to be: The Vampire Lanois
Describe how you live: Bulletproof
Describe how you love: Somethin’ Hot
Share a few words of wisdom: Greek is Extra

Chugging into Thursday

Thought I’d start off the day with a political cartoon I recently (as in this morning) enjoyed. Ben Sargent brings thought-provoking humor to the Austin American Statesman on an almost daily basis. He’s one of the few can’t misses of our local pay paper.

Looks like I’m going to OurLady Peace tonight. I haven’t heard their latest record, and I didn’t particularly care for Gravity, but Happiness is a Fish… and Spiritual Machines are two incredible records, so I’ll take my chances.

Well, it looks like I’ll have something special to sell at Wizard World Texas. I just finished copying off the ultra-cheap and ultra-limited Ruined. Ruined is a collection of three of my published short stories: “Hell Inside,” “Digging,” and “The Dixie Stand.” “The Dixie Stand” was my Christmas Card two years ago, and it’s a fun, mean little story. I’ll have fifty numbered copies for sale at Wizard World Texas (for only $2.00!), and those that aren’t sold will be available on this here website following the show.

Beginning to debate whether I should actively hunt for a Saint James artist in Arlington or not. The first issue is almost done, and the first arc is planned, with plenty of ideas for later arcs, but I’m not sure if the whole thing is where I want it to be yet. I guess I have just over two weeks to decide.

Veruca Salt (or “Did she say Pig Jelly?”)

Well, I told you all that news on the Veruca Salt show would come on Wednesday, and I wanted to keep at least one promise in this lifetime.

Here goes.

Doors were at nine, but George and I didn’t leave to head downtown until shortly after nine, putting us there at 9:30. No problem. We had tickets, right? So we park and pick up our tickets at La Zona Rosa’s willcall, then shuffle over to the front doors and hand them to the doorguy.

“Congratulations,” he says. “You are numbers five and six.”

“Huh?”

“You’re the fifth and sixth people to show up.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Wow.”

How is this possible, you ask? Well, the show was announced something like two weeks ago. It was barely advertised. It’s been five years since Veruca Salt toured or released a record (Resolver, which most people don’t know exists anyway). Okay, this could be depressing.

Ran inside and grabbed a beer, then stepped into the middle of the floor (with four other people) to watch Dig Jelly. The Jelly is a band out of L.A. who just signed with a label. They weren’t bad. Not the best band I ever heard, but there’s some really catchy stuff in there, and their guitarist, Robby, was incredible. For the first few songs, I could have sworn their singer, Rayko, kept saying they were Dick Jelly. She later corrected this, but the sound system led me to believe she had said Pig Jelly. I eventually ran back to merch stand to check. Oops on me!

After Dig Jelly, George and I grabbed another beer and went outside so George could smoke and try to convince me to go to the Our Lady Peace show on the 20th (he succeeded). Well, as we’re standing there, we see Robby and Joey (Pig Jelly’s drummer) hanging out, so we went over to congratulate them on a set well-played. We ended up talking to Robby and Joey (and later Rayko, who videotaped the whole thing, for about two hours. They’re a great group of folks, and I’m really hoping they can make it back for South by Southwest. I want to see those kids again!

George and I finally bid Dig Jelly adieu in time to catch Veruca Salt’s set.

And what a set it was. When Veruca Salt took to the stage, there were still less than 100 people at the show, maybe less than 70, but they still played with all the gumption, bravado, and enthusiasm they had. They tore the stage apart for over an hour, Louise (who now looks both “cuddly” and “spoonable” as per George and I) ripped through solos and shucked and jived through the rowdier bits of several songs. Guitarist Stephen was all over the place, getting as close to the crowd as possible. During the bridge on “Shutterbug” he handed his guitar to George, who rang his beer up and down the fretboard wringing as much noise as possible out of the Les Paul.

Louise premiered four new songs during the set, all of them off of their new EP, which should be available on their website this week. “For Days” is the winner here. After switching into “Straight,” the band left the stage, only returning when all 70-100 people were chanting “Better than Oasis!”

Encores? “Officially Dead,” “Seether”, and “Hellraiser,” the song Joy Gerwe once proclaimed “Everything a rock song should be.” The band left the stage to numerous cheers, and George and I stumbled over to the back bar for a drink.

Once we were done imbibing, we headed out by the tour bus for a chance to meet the band like good little fanboys. Louise came out first, said hi to a few friends and walked right over to George and I. We shook her hand so much I was afraid we might crush it, but Louise smiled through the entire ordeal, incredibly grateful to still have fans and determined to talk to every last one of them. I thanked her for having Triple Fast Action open for their 1997 tour, thus introducing me to one of my favorite bands. We talked briefly about whatever happened to that band, then we shook hands again, and George and I shuffled back to the car.

And that’s how last Friday went.

Fear of a Tasteless Planet (week 8)

Chisholm Trail BBQ
Mcneil and 183

It had to happen sooner or later. I found a restaurant in Austin that reminds me of Indiana. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all, and the reminder wasn’t nearly complete. For one, Chisholm Trail is far too big. For another, there’s far too much Texas football playing on their gigantic TV.

The rest, though…

You walk into Chisholm Trail, and you’re struck by how rustic and worn the place looks. The menu above the wood, cafeteria style counter as smoky and blurred from years of grease and, well, smoke. The table tops have seen better days. So has the bar that lines one wall. I looked over the menu, observing the meat prices. You can buy meet by the pound or on a sandwich. They also have “plate” deals, like two meats and a side for $6.50 or so.

And the meat selection… Yowsers! Brisket, ribs, pork, porkloin, turkey, 1/4, 1/2, and whole chickens, and sausage in both regular and jalapeno varieties are just what I remember off the top of my head. I’m sure there were others. I can’t remember the side choices aside from the roasted potatoes. That’s my bad memory, though.

I should really write this stuff down.

I decided to just go for it and get what I wanted. I ordered a quarter-pound of regular sausage, a half-pound of turket, and a helping of roasted potatoes. Astoundingly, all of this food plus my drink only came out to seven dollars or so. Not a bad deal.

As for the food itself, it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t the best barbeque I’ve ever had, either. Rudy’s has tastier turkey and sausage by far. There just wasn’t a lot of pop to the meal. Still, the food I ate at Chisholm Trail would have cost ten to fifteen bucks at Rudy’s. I guess you get what you pay for. To sum up, Chisholm Trail is a pretty good place to eat if you want a lot of food for little money or if you just want some space. There were three other people in there at lunchtime on Saturday. Not really a crowd any way you slice it.

Pros: Value, Atmosphere.
Cons: Kinda bland.

Rating: Eehhhh.5

Here’s the Weekend

Looks like my old buddy Dan Hudson recently had his first stand up show; an open mic. Congrats, Dan; now get back out there! I swear I’ll pimp his next show.

Well, I ended up being about 1000 times less productive than I should have been this weekend. This makes more work for me over the next few days, trying to finish Saint James, work on its bible, and rewriting 6-8 sketches for Fledgling TV Thing before Wednesday.

Other things to do…

Rewrite first issue of Licensed Property Thing. Write issues two and three. Get contract written and sent to Property Owner.

Finish Run Like Hell. Goal for this is mid-November.

Email Randy about The Program and all that entails.

Write short story for In the Trenches anthology.

Get cover for To the Last Man pitch.

Get art for Cold pitch.

Finish outline for Three Days.

Find story, characters for Cast Out.

Finish first issue of Savage Tom, complete outline for last two issues.

Schedule lobotomy.

So, you can see I’m busy with a bunch of stuff. That’s why I probably won’t get to the write up of Friday’s Veruca Salt concert until Wednesday. I will say it was a great concert, though. I guess you have that to look forward to, right?

She Returns

Shawna gets back today, and not a moment too soon. It’s like sanity is entering my life again. And it won’t be so goddamn boring around the house anymore.

No writing planned for tonight. See above. Last night was good for both Run Like Hell and Saint James. 1st issue of Saint James is at about the halfway point. I plan to finish it by Sunday afternoon, after recovering from Veruca Salt and a visit from George.

Got a call late last night. It looks like Fledgling TV Thing has some interest from a network (no, I won’t tell you which one!), about the equivelent of a raised eyebrow. They want to see some “Stand Alone Stuff,” So the writers are getting together on Sunday to knock some stuff out. I ended up staying up late to write two bits while they were fresh in my mind.

I need to see if I have enough cash for an Our Lady Peace ticket. Stupid cash flow problems!

Wednesday already?

I got to talk to Shawna (who’s in L.A.) for over an hour last night. She was depressed, missing me and the pets; and I was depressed, missing her and dealing with the pets. Apparently it’s pretty damn cold in Hollywood right now. Well, at least the sun’s out. It looks like Ohio in Austin.

Purchased my ticket for Veruca Salt last night. I also received a semi-joking scolding from Randy this morning for skipping gaming on Friday. What can I say? Sometimes you just gotta watch a girl rock on with a frock on.

Speaking of The Salt, I found some fun stuff on their website yesterday. After Nina Gordon left the band, she went on to become a Sarah McWhat’s-her-head style bore. Because of this, she became much more popular than she had ever been in Veruca Salt. Louise released one record (as Veruca Salt) that went nowhere. That was five years ago. What has Louise been doing since, while Nina gets all this radio play?

She sings the praises of the Illinois State Lottery!

How the mighty… I still love ya, Louise!

Finally started writing Run Like Hell last night. I’ve spent the last few months trying to find a good opening scene, something that kicks off the story fast, but not too fast. Well, that scene got written last night. Now I have to try to get another chunk of it written tonight, along with vacuuming, cleaning, and meeting my family for dinner. Ugh, I say. UGH!

Watched my second episode of My Name is Earl last night. Excellent show. I knew Jason Lee had some great comedic chops, but I never knew Ethan Suplee was just as good.

Whew!

Well, I feel much better today. I’ll probably feel fine unless I find out in a few weeks that the hotel for Dallas was never reserved. If I have to spend the weekend in a bus station, I will be quite put out.

No Fear of a Tastless Planet this week. I decided, after seven weeks, to spend this weekend revisiting some of my better stops. Lunch at Tino’s on Sunday, lunch at Austin Diner on Monday. Yummy!

Wow! Veruca Salt’s coming to town. I was sure they were gone. Now, I need to scrounge up the cash to go to that concert. It’s on Friday, so it’s not like I have a lot of time. I wonder if Louise Post is still hefty.

How this…

…Became this…

…Is one of the great mysteries of Rock and Roll.