10/28/2008

My people

I sent this letter out to almost everyone I know so why not you too?

Hello friends and family,
As much as I keep joking that I'm going to vote yes on Prop 8 so that I don't have to pay the government another $98 for a marriage license when I've already got a domestic partnership license (what, I should have to pay twice?), I'm writing today to ask you to consider voting no on Prop 8. I'm asking you to consider this for several reasons:

#1) I think some people might be confused as to which way they should vote in order to keep gay marriage legal. The way to do that is to vote no on Prop 8. I'm not saying you're dumb. Just lazy.

#2) Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with gays marrying each other, I think we can certainly agree that a bill intended to take away the rights of any group, which is what this bill does, is downright un-American. Even if you don't morally agree with gay marriage, imagine if there were ever a bill proposed that specifically targeted your ethnicity, religion, beliefs, etc to say that since some people do not agree with you on a moral level, your legal rights should be removed. That would be weird and insulting, right? It kind of goes against everything that America was founded upon.

#3) If you vote no on Prop 8, a lot of gay people in California will get married. This will bring much needed money to the California economy. On top of that, you might even be personally invited to one of these weddings and everyone knows that the gay people, as a whole, know how to throw a good party. A no vote on Prop 8 increases your chances of attending a kick-ass, gay party.

Most of you that I'm writing to are already planning on voting no on Prop 8. But what about your family or friends that live in California and are kind of on the fence about it or don't really follow politics? That lazy cousin in Fontana? The confused aunt in Paso Robles? Maybe drop them a line.

I thought about giving money to the "no on Prop 8" people but decided that this email would be more effective. If I get even one of you to change your mind and vote no, then I just saved myself twenty bucks. And if you pass it on and get one more person to vote no, then you owe me twenty bucks, or at least a beer the next time I see you.

Love,
Cristina

10/25/2008

Show reviews: Blondie's on Monday and Thee Parkside on Thursday

There are two shows for me to review this week. I played solo on Monday at Blondie's and with Gee on Thursday. Let's do this in chronological order, shall we?

Blondie's: We all know that Monday is a tough night to get people to come out and since I had two gigs this week, I really pushed the other gig more than this one so there were none of my people there besides my wife. It was really low key, as Blondie's tends to be and most of my audience was comprised of the band playing after me, The Moondoggies. They were nice boys and excellent musicians.

My wife caught up on her hand-stitching as I played. The two Guinness I ordered were perfectly poured and hit the spot. I really should have pitched my mailing list more (which, by the way, you can sign up on at the top right of this page) but it was so low-energy in there, I didn't do too much talking at all. Just playing. Overall, good. My wife remembered the camera. These pictures have an eerie feel to them.





Thee Parkside: I read back over this blog recently and realized that every time I review a show it starts out "well, I was really stressed out that day..." so I was trying to have a different attitude about getting to this show. I commented over dinner that I was glad I don't get so nervous that I can't eat, which is how I used to be. I got to the club on time. Everything was fine.

The two opening bands (B And Not B and Whitey On The Moon) were both really cool. They shared a few members between them but still had their own thing going on. Plus everyone was so nice, including all of the friends they brought with them. I love nice friends. Admittedly, I did not get nearly as many friends there as I should have. Also, two of them who did show up couldn't make it to 11:30 pm, (I wouldn't have been able to either if I wasn't playing) which is when we started so that left me with one friend in attendance. She is the best Little Helper of all, let me tell you.

Gee also had a few friends attend. I'm not sure how many. Three? They sat out back so I didn't really see her too much before the show. I went out and grabbed her when it was our turn. Within a few moments, I realized that she was drunk. The show was a little uneven as a result but still going really well. The audience (which was mostly the first two bands along with their nice friends) was digging it. I was feeling good. Gee called for another beer. This would later prove to be a mistake.

There were a few dudes in the corner that were being really loud. Loud enough so that at one point, I almost lost focus but I stayed with it and blocked it out. This was not as easy for Gee to do and before the last song, she got on a microphone and exploded. She started cursing out the guys in the corner, one of whom was the sound guy. I won't repeat everything she said because I'm not trying to embarrass anyone. I just want to explain why Gee is no longer in The Heated.

Anyway, so the sound guy started yelling back at her there was a brief exchange of words. The club then went dead silent. In that silence, some smart-ass woman in the audience did exactly what I would have, had I been an audience member instead of on stage. She said, in a sing-songy way, "Awk-ward," and oh it was. It was.

The whole thing had me so rattled that I couldn't remember how to start the song. The silence (punctuated only by the "awkward" comment) stretched out until I remembered that The Current Or The Undertow? starts with me, solo. That last song was a mess. Wrong chords by the both of us. Poor timing. We made it through. Barely. If that song had fallen apart in the middle of it, I probably would have left it to die.

Things wound down quickly after that. There was a brief conversation between Gee and me but I quickly remembered that there is no reasoning with someone who is drunk. Believe me when I say I have a lot of experience in that area. I stayed calm, stayed smiling, got my stuff together, said goodbye to all and left. Then I went home and cried a lot.

Gee wrote to me the next morning, extremely apologetic and mortified. I'm sure this blog will not help. If this had happened under different circumstance, I wouldn't write about it here but this was in front of an audience as a representative of my organization. It's regrettably pertinent.
Gee has resigned. I have accepted. There is no ill will on my part whatsoever and I mean, who among us has not gotten accidentally drunk then acted like a jackass? I consider Gee a friend and wish her nothing but the best.

Let us not dwell. Let us just move forward.

The Worst Show?: No, this was not the worst show of my life. The worst show of my life took place in Tempe, Arizona years and years ago while I was on tour with another band. There was a show where not a single person showed up and the guitarist had such a wounded ego about it because she had booked the show that she got wasted drunk (see a pattern here?) and played horribly, which I found ridiculously unnecessary. We got in a huge fight afterward. I stepped away and disconnected from the whole situation(because of the whole not reasoning with drunks), but then she called my name out. As I turned to look at her she took a picture of me and said, snarkily, "I just wanted to take a picture so that you can take a look at yourself." This was before digital cameras so the picture got printed out and everything. That show remains the lowest point of my performing career. Below is the photo from that night. I look like death with my black hair, sucking on a cigarette. Gross. It was not a good time in my life.




So, in the grand scheme of things, not such a big deal. Maybe that's what I get for naming my band The Heated. Anyway, let us not dwell. Let us just move forward. Here's how I am today.



10/21/2008

This is for rich people

I love articles that have these awesome tips for one to use in order to save energy.

The easiest (and most obvious) thing you can do is get up right now and unplug whatever you're not using. Candidates include:

* Your hand-held vacuum in its charging station
* Power drills
* Automatic coffee makers
* The VCR you haven't used in nearly a decade
* The TV that's collecting dust in the guest room
* The empty refrigerator in the garage

I have put the things that I do not have in bold. It's fine if you have these things. Maybe I even want some of these things (I don't). My apartment is such that the television does not stay plugged in. It has a cord that we stretch into the living room when we watch a DVD (or VHS tape). I like my coffee from a French Press and I know just how much water to boil (count to six... have I mentioned the obsessiveness?). You're damn right I have a drill but leaving it plugged in all the time is not a good idea. Batteries develop memories of how long they lasted from the time before to the time they get plugged in again. The poor really are the best environmentalists. It's not just a line, people. But never underestimate the obsessive people either.

The damp: When I went to the acupuncturist last time, we were discussing my allergies and I said it seemed like when it got gray out is when my sinus problems really kicked into overdrive. She said that in Chinese medicine there's a theory that some people have a dampness inside of them and so it when it gets damp out, it gets exacerbated. Ever since then, I've enjoyed affecting the accent of a grandpa, possibly from the south, then saying the following: "they say I've got the damp in me."

10/18/2008

Trois


Believe it or not, I went back to acupuncture today, despite "the incident". I didn't mention it to the woman who stuck me with needles this time because it was a different woman than last time. However, I became very nervous when she looked me over for needles with the exact same look on her face that Jane had when she did the same scan. I asked again, "You got them all, right?" She said, "I hope so. We charge extra for the ones you take home." Yes, ha ha. I love a sense of humor.

This Thursday, October 23rd at Thee Parkside: The Heated has their first paying gig! That's right, get your five dollars ready and make your way to the Potrero Hill area of San Francisco with Whitey On The Moon (oh, I'm going to ask them about that band name, you can be damn sure of that) and B And Not B. The 22 line stops directly in front of the club. It will be way past my bedtime but I promise to rock regardless. I will rock as if it was my job, which it is, because you will have paid good money. I will be playing a solo show without Gee on Monday at Blondie's too, if you're in that area, which is 16th and Valencia... It will most likely be a shortish set but may whet your appetite for Thursday's show.

This was not my dream:
but my wife told me today that she had a dream that we had a three-way with Jan from the television program The Office. But apparently, Jan is really high maintenance and brought along three alarm clocks to make sure she woke up in the morning.

"She spent the night?" I asked my wife. It would seem that after that kind of thing, one should put their clothes back on and leave as quickly as possible. Apparently, it wasn't that great either and so we plotted to wake up early and have a make-up session, sans Jan. So, I'm not the only one with weird dreams.
I had really lame stress dreams that I woke up crying from. Twice. Damn it. I might need more than acupuncture.


10/16/2008

...get it?

Tonight, I came across my notes from mixing The Heated EP. This post may only be for super-fans but if you click the photos, you can read the notes. Some are pretty informative.


10/13/2008

Show review: The Red Vic last Friday

It's already been well over a week since the Red Vic cafe show but I'm just getting to the review now. Sorry about that. Things have been a whirlwind lately. Honestly, that show was a bit of a rough night for me. I was having anxiety over there not being parking and having to double park and unload all the gear and how was I going to eat dinner and just basically freaking out over nothing but freaking out nonetheless.

So, my wife and I drove up there and found parking pretty close, somewhat easily. Gee was meeting us later so we had her drums with us. We unloaded and took store of the cafe itself. Honestly, it reminded me of this weird art gallery that I used to play in Santa Cruz back when I wrote brutal, acoustic guitar songs and went by my first name only. Cristina. Awesome. Anyway, this art gallery was the type of place where bad spoken word took place alongside bad interpretive dance. To top it all of, it was called "What Is Art?". You should never name your business a question you don't want answered. Because the answer is: not that.

The Red Vic really reminded me of "What Is Art?" both in looks and smell (old coffee, pine-scented cleanser and mildew) and also there was weird "art" that consisted of paper cut-outs pasted to foam-core in the shape of peace signs that sold for hundreds of dollars. Really? My anxiety kicked into overdrive and I started contacting everyone I know to make sure they were coming because it's best to overcome these situations in a group. I wanted to give the Red Vic a chance because I've heard really good things about how supportive the audience is there. Except, here's the problem, nobody else brought an audience. Six groups played that night. Not to brag, but I brought fifteen people. The other performers brought literally zero people with them. Ouch. Was it just an off night? If you know the answer, please contact me.

It was great playing for my friends though. Some old co-workers came out (thanks Lauren and Sara) and I had some surprise visitors up from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara so that was good stuff. Plus the show was early enough that we had a chance to meet up afterward and get a drink or two elsewhere so in the end, it was a great night. Rumor has it that recordings might exist of the set that night but I haven't heard any yet. I will try to track it down because one big plus of the Red Vic cafe was that it sounded great.

What was nice about that night too was that as we were leaving the bar later that night, it finally started raining. I'm not sure how long it's been since it rained but several months, at least. Too long. It had been threatening to rain all night and the sky had been dark but it hadn't opened up and let it go. Something about the weather juxtaposed with how stressed I'd been feeling earlier... I don't know, it just felt like this release, like it meant something. What it meant, I don't know but don't you ever feel like the world is trying to show you something?

p.s. Did anyone take pictures at the show? Would someone please take pictures? Wifey can never remember to do so and I need to keep this blog visual. I know I can only hold your attention spans for so long.

10/05/2008

Represent

I wrote to Nancy Pelosi not once but twice asking her to vote against the bailout because I think it is complete and total bull feces. She is actually my representative since I live in San Francisco. I didn't bother to tell her that I will never, never, ever vote for her again, even if the only other choice is a nut-job (which will undoubtedly be the case, since I live in San Francisco).

My father sent this to me. He's a registered Republican and it's nice for us to agree on something political.

10/01/2008

No pain, perhaps gain.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to acupuncture to treat my shoulders (and if my allergies happen to be cured at the same time, so be it). I know that I've mentioned that my shoulders hurt but haven't really gone into detail. Here are the details. I work as an administrative assistant, which means that I move a lot of data from databases to Excel, then make sense of that information. (Wait, isn't that called a data analyst? I'm being ripped off! Oh right, I only have a bachelor's degree. Nevermind). The point isn't what my work is. The point is that it involves me sitting at a computer for long periods of time, using a mouse.

About four months ago, my shoulders decided they couldn't take it anymore and seized up in pain. I've been going to physical therapy for about two months. She pushes my back ribs into place. It hurts. While the pain has gotten a lot better, the muscles are still stiff and sore by the end of each day.

So, the physical therapy has been working but I decided to go to acupuncture too for the muscle pain. When I went in yesterday, the acupuncturist (let's call her Jane) knew just where my pain lived, without me having to tell her. I told her what I did for a living and she knew what was up. It made me feel relieved.

This is a community acupuncture clinic, which means that you get your acupuncture in central room where other clients are as well as opposed to a private room. It's cheaper but you're a bit on display. So I was down to my wifebeater (a.k.a. butch bra) so that Jane could put needles in around my clavicles. The needles went in. She asked if I was cold but I wasn't.

"Ok, well if you get cold, catch my eye and I'll get you a blanket," Jane said. I said that wouldn't be a problem and then I got to relaxing. Or, at least, I tried to relax.

My body felt relaxed but my mind is such an asshole. While I'm reclining, I'm thinking things like, "If there is an earthquake, who will take out my needles?" or "is there any truth to the urban legend about a needle being left in and it traveling to your heart?". I mean, I want to relax but it just might not be who I am.

Then, I started to get cold. It felt like Jane would be coming around soon to take the needles out so I didn't call out for her to bring me a blanket. Plus, and I don't mean to be crude, but they're just nipples, ok? Everyone has them and when you get cold, they get hard. It's just science, people.

So I was a little self-conscious, even though there was only one other client in the room with me and they were a little distracted by being filled with needles too. "Breathe," I told myself, "listen to the bonging chimes. Nobody cares about your hard nipples. Jennifer Aniston smuggled gumballs in front of millions of viewers each week and she didn't care."


At one point, I could have sworn that I felt one of the needles near my clavicle fall out but I decided to just hold still and wait it out. Finally, Jane came and removed the needles. Before I got up, I smiled and said, "You got them all, right?" She was kind enough to smile and ignore me.

I walked home, as the clinic is really close to my house. I really did feel relaxed and my shoulders felt better, despite the fact that two spots really stung near my clavicle from where the needles were. So I got home and decided to check out the two spots and THE NEEDLES WERE STILL IN! My nipple-erections must have pulled my wifebeater up over the two of them, hiding them from Jane's view. Stupid, scientific nipples. I'm not going to tell you which clinic it was, because I don't want you to think it wasn't awesome, because it was. What's a few needles between friends, right?