August 27th, 2004

I've been back in Buffalo for a week now. I was putting off writing because there was too much to write about, and after telling a few people my stories first hand, I'd be able to write about them in just a few sentences, so that's right, you're getting the shaft on the stories. In that case, I'll start you off with a new one. Two nights ago (Tuesday night/ Wed. morning) around 1 in the morning, I had the inkling to go for a bike ride. When I stepped outside, it seemed darker than usual, and I'm not a very safe rider, as in I trust that the people driving will look out for me... so I went for a walk instead. I got to the corner, took a right heading south on Rt. 62, South Park Ave., and after about a minute, a car heading towards me honks its horn and some big, skinhead mothaf'r hangs out the window, extends his left arm as far out as possible while still driving with the right, flips me the bird and yells a very fierce "FUCK YOU." I smiled and nodded and was on my merry way. For some reason this bugged me, was I supposed to be scared? What was this guy's motivation? I must admit that I was wearing my linen pants, which look pretty gay, and I had a tune in my head that gave me some spring to my step, but if he thought I was gay, he could've had the decency to qualify his remark, like, "FUCK YOU, Queer," or something, but no. Maybe he was operating a project quite the opposite of what I once did whereas one day I decided that I was going to tell random people that I love them, and see what they do. Perhaps he just wanted to see what people would do when yelled at like that. Or maybe he was looking for a fight, and the slightest provocation from me would've sent him into a U turn chasing after me. Either way, it made my walk a little more eventful. I only wished that I knew what it was all about. But then no more than 10 minutes later, he does it again. We were both going in the same direction as last time with me walking south, him driving north, so he obviously didn't have a destination for the night. That also lead me to discount the possibility of him being drunk since drunk drivers usually want to get from A to B as quickly as possible. So I'm left with the other two options. Something about him, though, suggested that it wasn't a project, and he was really serious about trying to intimidate me or provoke me to react foolishly. It was his big, dumb, nazi demeanor that convinced me that I shouldn't do anything to piss him off. So once again, I just smiled and nodded and continued on my way. The next hour and a half were uneventful.

Then last night, I went to see Joe's band The Wintersleepers at Neitzsche's. They keep getting better each time I see them. There were 4 other bands on the bill, which was pretty odd for a Wednesday night. I'm glad I stuck around because the fourth band, Fold in Half Cat, Heather Hodson's new project. I haven't seen her since her last days with Schwannoma about 6 years ago. And as it turns out, she's going out with a friend of mine who I haven't seen since Fredonia. I also ran into Curt, who happens to be the guy who booked my last Merlin's gig. He said he'd like to book me again, and possibly for this coming Friday, the 3rd to open up for the fifth band to have played last night, Malarkey. They were really good musicians, keeping the rock while exploring various other genres and melodies, all instrumental save for one punk breakdown and one hardcore transition where the drummer was growling. I've been reestablishing many lost connections lately, and it's a cool feeling to know that not only do I remember these people, but they remember me as well. A couple old friends found me on friendster... shoot, I don't even know how to find me on Friendster. I'm also on Myspace, and some music posting sites like broadjam, garageband, industry resource, ubl (ultimate band list), and a few others I believe.

The last time I wrote, I was in Chicago. I played one more open mic there, which went really well, and then headed to Iowa. I split my time between Shannon's house and Adum's apartment, and ended up playing a gig while I was there. It was dubbed the acoustic cagematch II, being the second time it was put on, and that also went really well. It was sort of like a battle of the bands, but the voting system was wack. Everyone gets a ballot when they buy a drink, the more expensive the drink, the more ballots you get, and if you buy dinner, that's a bunch more ballots, so for the second time in a row, the guy who won was the guy who worked at the bar. His whole family came in for dinner, and his friends stumbled home. If the voting was a little more fair, I would've mopped up the competition, but alas, I still had fun, and made some new fans. I bought a new bass while in Iowa, a cheap acoustic/ electric made by Sunlite. I painted a mural for adum's apartment, and a bunch more cd covers (which I would've had posted by now if I had a mac, which is what all the images are formatted for). Then I was off to Indiana, PA to visit HilRye. We spent most of our time together in Pittsburgh since she was doing an internship there at a print shop. I got to make a lithograph and a screenprint while I was there. We also checked out some openings, a party at the Warhol Museum (it was Andy's birthday), and the Mattress Factory. After Indiana, I was off to Baltimore to stay with Dave and Anna. I arrived the day before Anna's birthday, and we projected the lord of the rings 3 on the staysail of Clipper City, the big ol' boat that davy works on. I did two open mics, but one was closer to DC at the College Perk coffee house in College Park. I watched every single episode of the Family Guy at Davy's place, and some episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and SeaLab 2021, had some mild allergic reactions to their cat, Pi, took some rides on the boat, went to some museums, and ate some greezy food at the Sip and Bite. Davy had a recording session with his band, Steve Devil and the Relatives that I got to sit in on, and we also went to go see Napoleon Dynamite. After Balto, I spent an evening with Z in Connecticut, had all you can eat pasta which was going to last for a couple more days afterwards, and conversed about her going out with the guy who not only slept on my couch in Fredonia, but felt inclined to write on my wall saying that he did so in permanent marker, and who also wrote an editorial complaining about the way Neil ran the Lampoon section of the Fredonia Leader. I've never officially met the guy, but he's got a couple strikes already against him before he even steps up to the plate. The other noteworthy thing about my trip to Connecticut was that I was able to get there from Baltimore with only paying $3 in tolls instead of the usual $20, and it was only a half hour longer than the usual route. Then I spent an evening with Onge in Amherst, Mass. We played an open mic together in a very odd setting. It was bar out in the middle of nowhere, and everybody there knew each other. It was more of a blues jam, as it turned out. We played nonetheless, and had a lot of fun doing it, but I'm not sure the reception was as bright as it would've been somewhere else.

Of course I'm leaving out the details, but then again there's not much else to tell. It was just great to be able to spend some quality time with old friends again. I came back last Thursday being that I had a gig the following Friday. As it turned out, most of my friends already had plans, but I was able to scrounge up four people to support me at my first official gig (my name in the paper made it official). Once again, I had a lot of fun, but Merlin's is an odd place to play. The bar is on one level, then you have to climb some stairs to get to where the pool table is set up, and then the stage is even further back and higher up, so nobody at the bar can really see you at all, making it such that I couldn't even tell if anyone was listening aside from the four people I brought in, and by the way, thank you to Paul, Mike, Brian, and Karie for coming out. Especially since it was Paul's sister Jill's birthday and she was having a party. We all just went to that after the show. My set was cut short by the bartender, who thought I was good according to Curt, but whose patrons wanted to hear the juke box. The sound guy, Ed, told me I had one song left when two females came up to the stage saying that they wanted to sing one with me. "Do you know any Brittany Spears" said the unskinny one, "Or how about Journey?" I shuddered and said that I had a request, and that it was my last song, so they were out of luck. Then I played the Make Out Song. They weren't listening, so it was cool. I mean, that's some nerve going up on stage during somebody's set and wanting them to back you up. I thought that was pretty friggin rude. Or is that a polite way of wanting me to shut up? If so, I'll shut their faces up.

Now then, I think we're all up to speed. Tally ho.