Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Over It? Pt. 2

I finally figured out why I don't like taking pictures anymore as I blogged about in a recent post.  It came to me in a revelation during the first Camp Freddy show we went to.  Steven Tyler walked out onstage and my first instinct was to tell The Wife to start taking some pictures or a video clip.  Then I looked out in the crowd and saw about 30 cameras taking photos and videos, including the clip I posted.

So, I think part of me not wanting to take photos is because everybody else is.  Why do I need my own crappy video of Steven Tyler when I can get on YouTube two days later and watch something much better than I could have taken?  Why do I need to take a photo at friend gatherings when most everyone posts most everything on Facebook?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

So...That's It?

So. Apparently I graduated from my Master's program. I passed my one final and the other class was a breeze anyway so...I guess that's it...? It's a weird feeling since I didn't attend a graduation ceremony and I had no feeling of accomplishment of turning in my final exam. It was just me sitting in my front of my computer...clicking 'submit.'

So. I guess I'll get a diploma in the mail sometime. It's a weird feeling doing this program online but I'm glad it's over with and I'll be able to spend time with those that I've neglected throughout all of this -- namely my comic books and my Playstation.

I've been keeping an eye on job postings so I'll probably look a little more intently in the new year but hurray for being done with that. In celebration of getting a Master's, here's a YouTube video of Metallica doing "Master of Puppets."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Camp Freddy - 12/17/10

The Wife and I went to our second Camp Freddy show on the 17th and it was, once again, a really good and fun night. We got there a lot later since we knew CF wouldn't be taking the stage until 11 or so. Here's how the night broke down:

They opened with "We Will Rock You" and The Sweet classic "Ballroom Blitz" with the core band members. Steve Isaacs joined them onstage to sing The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary." Franky Perez came out to do "War Pigs" again, and an amazing version of The Who classic "Baba O'Riley." Cypress Hill came out and did their own "Rock Superstar" and then Guns N' Roses classic "Paradise City." Sebastian Bach from Skid Row jumped onstage during "Paradise City" for what was one of my favorite performances of the night. It was cool and weird enough to see Cypress Hill singing "Paradise City" but then you throw in Sebastian Bach's screaming and headbanging and the crowd was going wild for it.

Juliette Lewis joined them onstage againf or "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "Proud Mary" followed by Marc McGrath signing Ratt's "Round and Round" and Beasties' "Fight For Your Right." Jonny Lang came out to take guitar and vocal duties on Santana's "Black Magic Woman" - a song which bored me to tears. The only thing redeemable about that was the hysterical guitar faces Lang was making while he played. Thankfully he only took center stage on that one song.

After that, Sebastian Bach did his scheduled performances of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever" and Van Halen's "Aint Talkin' 'Bout Love." Then the show closed out with members of Billy Idol's band and Billy Idol himself singing "Ready Steady Go," "Dancing With Myself" and "Rebel Yell."

My favorite performances were the aforementioned "Paradise City" and Franky Perez once again nailing some sick vocals on "War Pigs" and "Baby O' Riley." I'm not really a Billy Idol fan but it was kind of cool to see him live. Sebastian Bach was also a highlight as well. Another great show from Camp Freddy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yay, County!

On the flipside to my previous entry, The Wife and I got a letter in the mail from the County saying we owed just a little bit more on our property taxes.  We have an impound account but we got this letter saying because there was a transfer in the title of our property and because of section code blah blah blah, we owed like $80.  Not a huge amount, and it wasn't due until January and even then, it was broken up into two separate payments if we wanted to spread it out.

Fast forward to a week later, and we got another letter from the County saying to disregard the previous notice and in fact, our impound account had overpaid the County, so here is a refund check for $27.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll!  Dinner at Red Lobster, here we come.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unemployment Blerg!

A few months ago, I got a letter from the department of unemployment stating that they overpaid my benefits while I was unemployed.  I looked at the paperwork enclosed and sure enough, they were right.  When you file for unemployment, they ask how much you make each week.  At the time, I had a part time job, so I wrote in the total received from each paycheck...but, as I later found out, they wanted to know how much I made pre-tax.  Grrreeeeat.

So, I basically got a letter from the state saying I owed them X amount plus interest.  What was even weirder was when I called to talk to someone about it.  I asked for an explanation since I wasn't clear on everything.  The woman explained it to me and I said I had never filed for unemployment before and just didn't understand the paperwork.  She said I could not pay the fine and set a court date if I wanted to file a claim for it, and I said I would rather not.  She then said I could deal (in part) with the matter over the phone but she would have to record our conversation as evidence.  I said 'okay' because I really just wanted this over with and she came back and was like, "So, you're entering a plea of guilty?"

Whoa, lady!  Guilty?!  What am I being charged with?  I kind of skirted the issue and admitted that I was overpaid, but it was not intentional on my part.  I guess she was okay with that because she didn't bring it up further

Honestly, lady, what am I going to do with the extra $7.50 a week you overpaid me for four months?  Run away to Cabo San Lucas and retire?!

Ugh.  I totally hated that phone call because it just brought up the misery I went through of being unemployed and going through the process of unemployment benefits.  I know the system is there to help those in need, and it certainly helped me out (a little) but the whole process is so daunting, it almost seems not worth it.  As the great Liz Lemon would say, "Blerg!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Camp Freddy 12/10/10

The Wife and I finally got to see Camp Freddy this past Friday at the Roxy and...wow, what a show.  We got down there around 8:30 and they weren't letting people in until 9.  Boo.  And there were 2 opening bands - Sabrosa Purr (who I kind of liked and The Wife did not) and Darling Stilettos (who The Wife liked and I did not).

Camp Freddy finally took the stage a little after 11 and opened up with "We Will Rock You" followed by Blur's "Song #2."  "We Will Rock You" was pretty good as an opener and I would rather hear classic rock songs covered than something like "Song #2."  After that, the special guest musicians started pouring in as the original Stray Cats drummer joined them for "Rock This Town."  Franky Perez (who I never heard of, but was really great) came out and sang "War Pigs" and "Helter Skelter."

Camp Freddy guitarist Billy Morrison then sang Cheap Trick's "Surrender" and did a great job.  Actress Juliette Lewis came out and sang AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" followed by Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" and did a stellar job at both.  Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray came out to sing "Fight for Your Right" and "Rock N Roll All Nite."  Even though I think he's kind of a tool, this is what I love about Camp Freddy.  They have an arguably cheesedick singer singing an arguably cheesedick song but they're up there to have fun and play some rock and roll.

Original Sex Pistols guitarist joined them onstage to play "Anarchy in the UK" with Corey Taylor from Slipknot singing.  He also sang Van Halen's "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love" and Stone Temple Pilots' "Sex Type Thing."  He was a good singer but not great.

The evening then closed with the biggest surprise of the night -- when Steven Fucking Tyler from Aerosmith came out onstage.  He played drums on The Sufaris classic "Wipeout" and then took over on vocal duties for Aerosmith songs "Rattlesnake Shake" (which had Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac sitting in on drums) and "Sweet Emotion."  The evening then closed out with a rocking rendition of Led Zeppelin classic "Whole Lotta Love."

Wow!  What a bunch of fun songs and fun performers.  Overall a superfun night and I'm glad we went.  I'm very excited for next week's show and hope it holds just as many surprises in store for us.  We stayed a little bit afterwards to see if we could grab a photo with Steven Tyler but he was escorted very quickly out by security.  Ah well.  Thank you so much, Camp Freddy - can't wait to do it again next week.  In the meantime, here's a video clip of "Whole Lotta Love" --

Friday, December 10, 2010


Might as well continue talking about TV shows for this week.  I own the entire runs of 5 television series on DVD...and I don't think I've watched any of them.  My intentions are good - I love the shows!   I want to watch them anytime!  But I just never seem to have any time or interest in watching them again.

There have even been recent shows that I thought were brilliant and I've seriously considered owning (30 Rock) on DVD but given the dust now collected on Joan of Arcadia, Buffy, Angel, Seinfeld and Lost, I think I may be giving up on the principle of owning a television series.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mad Men

After waiting nearly 2 months and having it pushed up and down in my queue and having to endure 'Long Wait's and 'Short Wait's -- Mad Men, Season 1, Disc 1 finally arrived via Netflix this past weekend.  I eagerly sat down to watch it with The Wife on Sunday morning and we plowed through the first 3 episodes.  And here, ladies and gentlemen, is my one word review: "Meh."

I had heard this show was brilliant from my former improv teacher.  I had heard good things about it on various podcasts and through friends of mine.  After watching the first 3 episodes, I found myself not caring about any of the characters or any of the storylines they developed.

I kept thinking it might get better as the season progresses, but really if a show can't grab you after 3 episodes, I think it's grounds for dismissal.  Think about it - if you watched a 2 1/2 hour movie and thought it was nothing special, would you want to watch the sequel?  So sorry, Mad Men -- it's better we go our separate ways.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Today! Tomorrow! Yesterday!

For the sake of this story, let's just pretend I'm talking about a company when in fact, I am really NOT talking about my company, okay?  I'm really not.

So, a company recently made a change to their magazine advertisements which involves putting a banner at the top that states "Sale starts today!"  The problem is that these ads go in magazines.  That are printed.  And are picked up / go on sale two months from today, six months from yesterday, eight weeks from tomorrow.  There is no "today" in that scenario.

I am baffled by the rationale behind putting this as a masthead on every single ad because it's about as effective as those restaurants that have a sign stating "Free beer tomorrow."  The free beer will always be tomorrow.  The sale will always be starting today.

Translation - there is no free beer and there is no sale.

Is anyone going to pick up that ad and go "Waitaminute! The sale starts today!  Like, today today?!??!!"


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I don't think sushi and I will ever get along.  The Wife loves sushi and Japanese food in general and luckily, she has several friends that are also sushi lovers.

The 'problem' with me is sushi doesn't do anything for me.  I can eat a cheeseburger and my mouth says, "Hell yes!"  I can eat a pickle and my mouth says, "Never again!" I've tried sushi more than a dozen times - everything from the standard California roll to octopus, and each time my mouth says, "Okay, that was sushi."

Sushi doesn't elicit any response from me whatsoever, so I tend to order the standard and uninspiring chicken terriyaki or if they have it, some delicious tonkatsu.  Am I the only one out there that doesn't get any sort of reaction from sushi?