Am I…

…an asshole?

I’ve been wrestling with this question lately.  I find my sarcasm getting a little too sharp, too cutting around my friends and family.  I try to stress points to the point of angering these people (case in point, my speech last night to my in-laws, huge Beatles fans, on how John Lennon would be a washed up joke if he were alive today).  I don’t need to do that, Lennon is dead, and people are far too busy hating Paul McCartney for marrying (gasp!) a younger woman!  Hell, if you’re gonna hate Paul for anything, hate him for adding 20 choruses onto “Hey, Jude.”

So why do I feel the need to say these things?  Am I just a first class jerk?  Is it some bullshit need to assert dominance?  Am I just lashing out because I’ve been beaten over the head with this Austin “Live Music Capital of the World, we know more about music than you ever will” bullshit for so long I feel like I’ve cracked in the skull with a telecaster?  Or is it something else?  Have I always been this way, and until now I was too much of a dick to care?

I don’t get it.  Maybe I’d be better off as a hermit.

Taco Tour 2006, week nine

It’s a damn shame.

Taco Deli is within walking distance of work.  Their food is tasty as hell.  They’ve got a great staff.  Sadly, they don’t want to be a taqueria so much as a local hang out.  In order to bring that about, they’ve priced themselves way too high.  I picked up three tacos on thursday, and my bill was over $12.  That’s silly!

But the food was good.  I had the tequila marinated pork (puerco borracho), the regular beef (Mexico City), and the adobo marinated chicken (adobodas).  All were delicious, with the Mexico City being especially nice, if a little tough.With some better pricing and an atmosphere that doesn’t scream “Look at us!  We’re cool!” this might have been the top stop on the tour so far.  Sadly, it just falls short.

Puerco Borracho: 6.5

Mexico City: 8

Adomodas: 7

Wallet-based disgust: -4

Average: 5.83

Taco Tour 2006, week eight

Two months into the Taco Tour, and no end in sight.  I would have had this up on Monday, but I was to busy being productive.  Then I posted about my personal shame and found it only fair to let everybody read that first.

So, let’s get to it…

My friend Wammo once told me, “Tamale House has been keeping musicians alive for as long as I can remember.”  I can see what he means.  WHen I went to the Tamale House on saturday, I was treating to the most filling meal of the tour, and it cost me less than four dollars.

Tamale House is a fun place, a run down little concrete building on Airport Blvd, whit no air-conditioning. The interior is about 90% kitchen, with a small counter, a huge fan, and a single table.  Three more tables greet you outside, but the place is so busy you’ll probably end up taking your tacos home or eating them in your car.

And that’s cool.

So, my choices were a Taco al Carbon (grilled brisket) and a barbacoa taco (slow-cooked roast).  I topped it off with a coke, and went outside, where a table was just clearing up.

Man, that was some great food.  Inexpensive, tasty, and ooooh so filling.  The tacos were delicious from top to bottom (or end to end, I guess). 

al Carbon: 8.5

Barbacoa: 7.5

Less than $4 bonus: + 2

Average: 9

Here’s where I lose what little cred I have…

Let’s talk music. As my official title of “Up-and-Coming Horror Writer” dictates, in today’s market, that I’m supposed to love metal. I’m supposed to love it more than I love french fries, porn, and puppies. It’s in the Union by-laws.

Thing is, my taste in music is a little more skewed than that. My musical tastes were instilled on me early in childhood by a mother who loved Barry Manilow and Elton John, and a father who loved Elvis and The Beach Boys. In turn, I grew up loving songs that were over the top and contained incredible pop hooks. It explains my power-pop love of Superdrag, Schatzi, Weezer, and Jimmy Eat World; my pop-punk love of Green Day, Cruiserweight, and Motion City Soundtrack. There’s my nostalgia-fueled love of artists who tend to avoid respect, like The Monkees and Meat Loaf. Even my credible music sources are swathed in pop overtones, like Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac.

See? I’m really hopeless.

Perfect example… The best love song of all time is, in my opinion, Janet Jackson’s “Love Will Never Do Without You.” You just can’t get better than that. I performed the song by myself for my best friend’s wedding.

Still, I’m not sure I should drop this latest bombshell.

Really, it’s that bad.




I fucking LOVE Jessica Simpson’s new song!

I can hear the crickets now.

That other sound is Shawna kicking me in my bits and pieces.

Right, so Jessica is sort of the Anti-Christ of pop music. She’s almost completely without talent (at least, any talent I can see). She too blond and too pretty for my taste, and she’s not even dumb in that entertaining Britnet Spears sort of way. She’s just dumb.

But goddamn that song rules.

“A Public Affair” is, at its most basic, a rip off of “Ain’t No Mountains High Enough.” Same hook, just a different melody. Hell, it even rips off the ending refrain. Shit, it worked for Puff Daddy (I refuse to call him P Diddy. My man is Puff Daddy!), so why can’t it work for Jessica. Whoever wrote this song, was a genius at pop manipulation, putting just enough drums and guitars behind an infectious pop hook (and I Do mean “infectious.” The fucker’s like bird flu!). From the beginning to the end, this is a song that makes my white, lame ass want to shake!

Y’know, I wouldn’t be nearly as ashamed if Kelly Clarkson had recorded this song.

So, yeah. Bye credibility and respectability. Oliveri’s gonna write me to laugh at me. Keene’s gonna pull the FEAR rights. Shrews and McBride are gonna pull our projects. My mom’s gonna call me an immasculated little pussy, and Shawna’s gonna leave me, taking the dogs I’ve finally grown to love.

And you know what? I can deal. Why?


All the girls come out for a public affair!
All night, let’s rock, ’cause the party don’t stop!

On my own

The girlfriend leaves for San Diego tomorrow.  I’m enjoying this because I get to take a whole day off work just to drive her to the airport.  I then get to spend the next few days writing and sleeping and stuff.  I had to buy new tires for the car tomorrow, so I had to call the agency and cancel the hookers, but that’s cool.  I can make these little sacrifices.

In truth, the sacrifice I’m making involves all the great food I was going to buy.  Now, I can’t afford it.  Ah, well.  I got three cans of Gold Star Chili.  I’m good to go.

Your 21st century wake up call.

So, the Middle East has gone apeshit again, with Israelis Pastinians, and Hezbollah going at it like wildcats.  I’m not going to choose sides, because all three are killing innocent people, and that just doesn’t wash with me.  I just watch the deathtoll rise and wait for our government’s preserve the voting block response while the rest of the world goes, “Huh?”

In short: “Shit is nuts.”

And it’s all God’s fault.

Why?  C’mon!  You’re not that fucking thick, are you?

Since the creation of his fictional self, God has been the leading cause of murder, suffering, and everything except bad breath known to mankind.  The Crusades, The Inquisition, and hundreds of others… all of them carried out because of various religious beliefs, either promoting your own or damning those who expressed theirs.

And before it even crosses your brainpan… yes, I know the Jewish people suffered greatly from the Holocaust, and I sympathize with them for that.  I do not, however, believe that gives Israel a permanent get out of jail free card.

So, now we have Jews and Muslims killing each other, fighting over a scrap of land that is holy because somebody who created a God says so.  The Christians, for their part, take one of two stances: side with Israel because at least their God isn’t called ‘Allah,’ or hope they all kill the hell out of each other so the fine, God-loving, non-Jewish Christians can move into the area that is ‘rightfully’ theirs.

See? it even SOUNDS stupid!

I don’t know if anybody who reads this believes in God.  I don’t really think I have that many readers to begin with.  If there are some of you out there, reading my little words, who believe in the idea of a devine creator, please do me a favor.


The idea of God is killing us, every single member of humanity.  Sooner or later, we’re going to have to evolve past this idea, or we’ll end up murdering each other in His name.  Do you want that?  Are you going to believe in God when somebody says He wants you to kill the little brown kid on the other side of the globe.  Thou shalt not kill?  Only if the victim worships the same God as you!  Is that the kind of idea you want to subvert yourself to?  Does that in any way sound intelligent to you?

So the next time you’re reading about Israel and Palestine and Lebanon and how everybody’s killing each other, don’t think of it as terrorism or a political clusterfuck.  Don’t.  Those are just smokescreens, and even worse, they’re just words.  Instead, think of it as an alarm clock, a giant buzzer screaming in your ear.

It’s time to wake up.


Taco Tour 2006, week seven

Special double-post this week, as I hit not one, but two places on Saturday.

The first was Wahoo’s fish tacos, which is a great place despite the fact that it’s a chain.  Okay, so Austin has the only Texas location of this California chain, but I’m still counting it as a chain.  I went with SHawna, and while she grabbed a blackened fish taco, I got a combo: blackened fish taco, grilled beef taco, rice, and beans.

The beef was excellent, but the fish was a little bland.  Strangely enough, Shawna’s tasted much better, so I split the difference.  The food filled me up (and then some!).  You’ll also remember from a previous post that Wahoo’s has the cleanest bathroom in Austin. 

Oh, and their weekend happy hour is domestics and margaritas cost whatever the outside temperature is!

Check it out!

Beef: 8

Fish: 7

Chain penalty: -2

Ultra-full bonus: +1

Average: 7

Later, we went to La Ferria with some friends, where I ordered the Pastor plate.  Mmmm, spicy grilled pork.  Delicious!  La Ferria also bosts incredible salsa and wondering mariachis.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

I will be giving them a deduction for not serving the pastor tacos a la carte, however.

Pastor: 8.5

Plate penalty: -1

Average: 7.5

Yup, there it is.

For some reason, they hit this morning, and they hit hard. Yeah, it’s those “I’m not going to Comic-Con” blues.  It’s funny, because I really don’t have any reason to go this year.  I made bigger leaps in my career by attending one World Horror Con than by going to the three San Diego cons I went to.  I have a new project to pitch, but I have an in with somebody, and I can bypass the con.

But I still want to go.

I want to walk around with Randy and watch incredible artists draw sketches for him while I wonder Why didn’t I save up more spending cash?  I want to buy sketch books and talk shit with Larry Young.  I want to get run over because I didn’t realize Halle Berry was walking behind me (this really happened back in ’03).  I want to get drunk at the Honey Bee Hive during the annual burlesque show and live art show.  I want to drink even more and talk geek stuff with people in the Hyatte bar.

I want to eat fish, fish, fish!

But alas, tis not to be.