Congratulations to EcoChicHandKnit, My Dear Darling and soulflower. You are the winners of a clementine tea towel given to the person you are thankful for. Everyone's comments were equal in my eyes so in the end, I pulled your names from a hat. I mean, how can one judge who does and doesn't deserve a towel? I will be in touch as to where they should be sent.


Giving Thanks

It's about time for another giveaway. Since Thanksgiving is coming up though, it's going to be run a little differently than usual. Up for grabs are 3 Clementine Dishtowels printed on unbleached cotton towels. To "win" please post a brief comment telling us about someone you feel grateful to have in your life. Rather than sending you the free towel, we'll ship it off to the person who has made your life a little better. Please make sure to give us a way to contact you! We'll post our favorite 3 comments on Thanksgiving day.
By the way, if you think this doesn't sound like Cristina, you're right (it's Jenny).


Sing It Again

Making a video requires a lot of work. That might be why I haven't made a proper one in almost two years now. Sure, I've had my little live videos but it's not the same as a real video with editing and such. My friend Craig, who edits professionally took the helm on this production though so I will not personally be spending the ten hours it takes to whittle three hours of footage into three minutes and thirty seconds of awesome.

The location was amazing: an empty house in Cow Hollow with a view out onto the bay. There were sailboats! Can you imaging waking up in the morning and putting your arm around your spouse as you gaze out to the sea from your bedroom? That's living, people. Anyway, I got to have it for a day except I spent my time there singing the same song about twenty times in a row. Previews below.


The Heated Is Accepting Applications

Here's what up (taken from my craigslist ad). Passing this on to your musically inclined friends would be appreciated.

Dear Musician,
I write songs. I need kick-ass musicians to play these songs with me and help me develop and arrange them for a full band so that we can become popular and make some money off of our efforts. I would love to have some non-standard instruments, especially some brass. No instruments too weird for me to consider including. Of course, a drummer and bass player are needed too. I have been playing as The Heated for a few years now, have a good little following, good contacts with local bands and a few contacts at clubs and local blogs.

Click this link for an application: http://www.theheated.com/application.html
Click this link to listen to The Heated: http://www.theheated.com/mp3s.html

If you have any trouble with those links, please email info@theheated.com for further assistance.
Thank you,


A Proper Engineer

I've been ignoring you. It's true. Mostly because I haven't wanted to say that The Heated no longer has a drummer again but that is the case. Why? It just wasn't working out. We're better as friends. I've also decided to put a full band together. My time-line is to accept applications through mid-November then contact applicants for interviews in early December. Rehearsals will start in January. In the meantime, I've been recording again so as to have demos ready in order for new band members to hear and learn songs.

I've wrangled my friend who actually took classes on recording into the project. We've got one full song recorded and plans to do more. I've decided to just record guitar and vocals, not percussion yet. I'd like to musicians to be able to hear themselves in there. Of course, I don't have the application process finalized yet but more details are coming soon. The timing is tentative.

Set-up and coffee

It looks like she's talking into the mic, but she's not.

Fast. So fast.

What else?: Right! I have a show coming up. This show will be extra-special as it features bands that I have old friends in, Mikel and Donnelle. Their bands are both very cool too. Winfred E. Eye and Marabelle Phoenix. I feel supported. I also feel like I'm really digging designing these flyers. It's as if I just discovered color. Color!


For The Birds

Exciting announcement time: The Heated has two new designs for sale. They're both bird-themed and both designed by Brooklyn's very own Nicole Martin. Nicole, like me, has a day job but just so happens to have other talents as well. I'd requested designs from her a long time ago and Party Bird was among them. When she came to visit me recently, I specifically requested that she draw me a Ratbird. "Why a Ratbird?", you ask. Let me tell you the story.

We had a mouse problem in my apartment. It started out quietly. That's kind of what mice are known for. Anyway, we didn't realize that we had a mouse until last winter when we saw one run across our kitchen floor. He was getting in from behind a built-in cupboard. I went in and sealed it up and figured that would be the end of that. There are a few things about this that I now find unbelievable. The first is how we thought there was just one mouse. Because they're known for their solitary behavior? The second is that this apartment is very, very old and had so, so many more holes than the one behind the built-in cupboard.

Anyway, we didn't hear anything for a while. A month went by. Two months. Then, one day I came home from school and caught another mouse running across the kitchen floor, hiding behind the oven, then dashing into our pots and pans cupboard. I searched the apartment further, found more holes and sealed them up. I consulted with my upstairs neighbors who were also spotting our friends and went through with some plywood, steel wool and nails and sealed up the crazy, gaping holes they had in their floorboards (why?). One day, a mouse ran across our dining room floor and I saw it dash into what can only be described as a cartoon mouse hole.

We started hearing them in the walls at night, scratching. One night we heard them desperately clawing around a pipe in the bathroom to gain entry to our house. We got up and banged on the wall until they scurried away. The next day I examined the hole and tried to patch it up but couldn't due to the sink vanity that couldn't be moved. I realized that drastic measures had to be taken.
I couldn't sleep. By this time, it was summer. Six months we'd lived with this. We were set to go on vacation in July and I was terrified to leave because they would have unfettered access through both the bathroom pipe entryway and through the pocket doors in our bedroom (shudder). I went to what I knew was the source of the problem: the basement.

Upon inspecting the basement, with its gaping holes leading directly into the walls beneath our bedroom, the same walls where we could hear them scurry, I felt hopeless. It was filled with so much junk that there were parts we couldn't reach. But I staked out my prey by leaving out snap-traps that were baited but not set. Once they took the bait and got comfortable with the traps, I started setting them. I caught two. We had an exterminator come out. He gave snap-traps to us and our neighbors. Our upstairs neighbor caught eight. Eight! EIGHT! Poison went out. The junk in the basement got taken to the dump (which was so much fun, by the way, other than the mouse-pee smell). But with the gaping holes in the basement ceiling not filled, it was all pointless and our landlord was dragging her feet. We went on vacation and found signs of them everywhere when we returned.

I'm not going to lie, by this point I was completely traumatized.
I couldn't sleep. I would lie there awake, listening for the slightest movement. One night, I heard a screeching. "Eeeeeee. Eeeeeeeeeeeee." By this point, I knew that rats couldn't be far behind. That's how the food chain goes. So, in my mind, the mice were no longer my problem. It was the inevitable rats we had to fear. And I did fear them. Mice are one thing but rats are no joke. They're smart. Much smarter than mice.

"Eeeeeee. Eeeeee. Cristeeeeeeeeeeeeeena." It kind of sounded like a bird, this strange noise. But it also had a rat-ish quality to it. My mind tried to classify this noise but all I could picture was a little rat with wings, serenading me, which sounds cuter than it felt. I bought a set of earplugs.
I also waged a campaign of appealing to the emotions of my landlord and finally, last month, the holes were sealed up. The problem had already been slowly tapering off and now that the holes have been sealed, our apartments are mouse-free. We haven't seen any further signs of their existence. I still can't put on my shoes without looking in them first though. In time, maybe I'll learn to let that go. My wife discovered the source of the noise: it was a metal street sign rubbing against it's fasteners. Not a ratbird at all. I sleep much better now.



There is too much going on. I am completely overwhelmed. School is back in and things get crazy. I've talked about my to-do lists, yes? Everything moves forward in tiny pieces, crossing things off and chipping away at these giant rocks of ideas. Every once in a while, things jump ahead but most drag on for years, like the goal of getting some better promotion behind the band, most likely in the form of an indie record label. Sigh. The hope is to lure in a label with an album that we're going to record this fall/winter. Here are some pictures of us planning and scheming. Enthralling, isn't it?


Just Like Jonah

My teacher said, "Get it finished and get it the hell out of here." I haven't quite gotten around to applying finish yet. I'm thinking shellac.


Real Quick Like

We have a show next Saturday, September 5th at The Brainwash Cafe and Laundromat. All ages. Free. Here is the quick and dirty flyer I slapped together (don't pretend that didn't give you a little thrill when I said that).


Show Review: Hotel Utah August 11th

The Hotel Utah show went well in a few ways. Ok, maybe it wasn't our strongest performance, but there was a proper sound system and everyone was there. If you weren't there, you're nobody... or you had something better to do maybe... whatever. Anyway, my point is, the joint was filled with people so I feel that all of my marketing efforts are starting to pay off. When you start getting all your friends out to a show and it feels like a good party, chances are people want to come to that party again. The Heated throws a good party!

You know who else knows how to party, musically speaking? Everyone else that played that night, that's who. The Grownup Noise was on tour from Boston and their members were all quite nice and such great musicians. I had a good conversation with one of them about how our music scenes (San Francisco v. Boston) are quite similar. Competitive but we pretend like they aren't. It seemed as though we both reached the stage in life where one realizes that Together Everyone Achieves More and have started to form small collectives, little groupings of bands we know we can work together with.

Audrey Howard and the Misters killed it. They rock. Not like how you say somebody rocks but really they're poppy or hippie. Like they really rock. The show they put on had such great energy and that violin solo at the end? You know what I'm talking about if you were there. Killer. Then Leilujh took the stage. They're a little dark and really complemented each other, instrumentation and vocal-wise. Man, that woman can sing. Overall, a good night. Damn good night. Oh, and somebody (thank you, Christina) finally took pictures. Check it.


Work It Out

I'd never wanted to join a gym. Why would I? I can lift free weights at home and I can't lift more than 20 pounds anyway so no need to go somewhere else to do it. But I've had these pains that started in my shoulders and have worked their way around my neck and back for over a year now. I've been to acupuncture, pilates and the physical therapist. I've done stretches, iced it and had ribs pushed back into place and while all have helped transform what was searing pain into dull, occasional pain, it still hurts and I get new pains all the time. So when my physical therapist told me that the reason I keep getting injured every time I do anything that requires muscles is because I am weak. I'm weak as a kitten and she said I need to join a gym.

It's not that I've avoided the gym because I don't like working out. Mostly it's because I'm scared of new things and of looking like I don't know what I'm doing, especially in front of other people. The gym has other people in it! But screw being scared, or rather, screw letting fear get in the way of me getting totally buff.

I hired a personal trainer for a few sessions so that I could learn what I'm doing and get a plan together. He's actually a physical therapist too, which is why I choose him. So, I met him at my gym and he did something that my Kaiser therapist had not done. He looked at my back. Thoroughly. We talked about my scoliosis, which I knew I had. He wanted to know whether it was structural so he did something the doctor who first diagnosed the scoliosis at fourteen years old did not. He measured me. Turns out, my right leg is shorter than my left by a quarter of an inch and everything has desperately been trying to compensate for the leg's glaring inadequacies. "Somebody should have caught this a long time ago," he said. Indeed. But he claims I can be fixed. Huzzah.

We started with the basics. He told me I need to do cardio four times a week along with some other exercises to strengthen my back and some yoga stretches to strengthen my inner hippie. But he forgot to show me how the elliptical machine works. When I went back to the gym alone, I did my yoga poses and my dead-lifts then considered skipping the elliptical because of the aforementioned fear of not being perfect at everything right away. But then, when I looked over at the cardio section there was this woman, probably in her late fifties on one of the machines, pumping her legs like crazy while completely hunched over the front of the machine in a pose that is certainly causing her back to twist in completely unhealthy ways. I looked and looked at her then went to the front desk and said, "hey, I'm new. Can you show me how this machine works?"



This project has been in the back of my mind for a while. There's so much vertical space but a free-standing shelving unit would be too wobbly. This back room has been a mess for weeks. It's on its way to becoming a workshop for my wood working. Furniture class (and javascript class) will be starting back up again soon and I want to be able to do some work at home, especially since this is the last time I can take the class. Anyway, I get a little shiver every time I see how everything is clean and lined up all neatly.

What's that? Does it dispense gasoline?: I went to the Mission to flyer tonight. I live on a far edge of the Mission. People still poop on the street but there's less gun-play. Anyway, the Mission District of San Francisco is notorious for having the highest concentration of the city's hipsters, which is true. On my way home from getting those flyers up in various bookstores, cafes and record stores... oh, and the lesbian bar (ladies), I stopped on the sidewalk to shove tape and flyers back in my bag and caught the tail end of a conversation between a hipster, who was locking up his bicycle (of course he was) and a gentleman who I thought was asking for directions. The reason I thought that was because I heard the hipster say, "Sorry, I don't know. I've never driven a car in this city." Of course he hasn't.

I almost just kept going but instead I turned around and said, "Did you need directions?" but the first gentleman was too far away and didn't hear me. The hipster did though and said, "oh, he wanted to know if he still has to pay the parking meter."

Ok, I understand not having driven in the city, but certainly the hipster is familiar with the concept of parking meters. The first gentleman appeared to be visiting from another country and has an actual excuse to not know that the hours of operation of a parking meter are posted on the meter. I took the gentleman over and showed him that as it was after 6:00 pm, he did not need to put money in the meter. Jackass hipster.



New Year's was seven months ago. Yes, I made resolutions. Publicly. For the most part, I can successfully say that things are underway. A drummer for The Heated has been secured, some business ideas are in the back of my head, a gym membership has been procured, a few trips to beaches, forests and lakes have been traveled and as for the calming down... well... how do you really measure such a thing?

Last night my wife walked into the living room and asked,"who are you and are you doing yoga?" I was kind of doing yoga. It wasn't my fault. These things just happen sometimes. I've even been considering signing up for a beginning meditation class and have started to love the musky scent of patchouli and body odor. White-girl dreadlocks are sure to follow.

Anyway, that's not my point. The point is that I am awesome at accomplishing things.


But not today

Tomorrow, I'm going to post a couple of blogs and hope to disguise the fact that I haven't been posting lately. But until then, I have this video for you. At first, I was insanely jealous that these young ladies (First Aid Kit) have such beautiful voices and wrote such a complex and haunting song too. I thought it was awfully mature of them. But it's actually a cover of a Fleet Foxes track. I'm not really familiar with either of these bands but this video is keen.


Renegade! A rebel!

Two things arrived while I was on vacation: my new business card and the flyer for the August 11th show at Hotel Utah. Allow me to plug a local business. I've dealt with Clubcard Printing for a few jobs now and they have excellent customer service, great pricing and are super-gay. If you live in San Francisco and have printing needs, they are it!

The Renegade Fair is this weekend. Everything is printed and waiting to be tagged. I'm no stranger to being "booth candy" but this is my first time selling my own wares. There's still a lot left to be done and I go back to work tomorrow. Sigh... Anyway, last night I sanded and shellac-ed these six foot poles (*wink*) for use in our display. Ciuccio and The Heated and gonna tear it up. Here's the info on that:

Hello! The second annual Renegade Craft Fair in SAN FRANCISCO will take place JULY 18 + 19 from 11am – 7pm, at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion. Located on the sparkling waterfront, shoppers needing to cool off from all the excitement indoors at this FREE urban art, craft and DIY extravaganza can pop right outside for a refreshing gust of bay-breeze! We’re so excited, let’s say it one more time: FREE!

(click here! for directions and parking information!)


Horses Of The Sea

My friend recently went on a "stay-cation" whereby one does not roam too far from home but is not working. She went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and took this picture.

There's something about the color of the water that I loved so I totally stole the concept for my next show flyer. Check it.

On another note, I am going on vacation. Not a stay-cation, but a real one where I'm actually leaving the country so please be aware that I am not ignoring my thriving, riveting online presence but am merely on holiday until July 12th-ish. I'm so excited. I cannot hide it. See you in a couple weeks.


Show review: El Rio last Saturday

Let's just start out by saying that the show went awesome. Really good. It's nice having Gina around because she gets nervous enough for the both of us. I can totally understand why though. The truth is that I have played a lot of shows before. With The Pre-Teens, we played the back room of El Rio at least three times... though the stage used to be along the back wall and there was a bartender where the stage is now... memory lane. Anyway, I've been doing this a long time now. Even before The Pre-Teens, I played solo and before all of that, I was a total band geek., which really does prepare you for performing. Once, the marching band played in the parking lot of KFC. Even as a teenager, I realized that was a shitty venue. You learn quick.

It's nice to open the show because nothing makes me more nervous than waiting for the other bands to finish. "Is this their last song?" you start asking people around you. It could be Cyndi Lauper up on that stage and I'd be all, "God, I wish she'd just stop now so that we can get on before I have to go nervously pee again."

This was clearly the biggest audience The Heated has had so far and was mostly filled with friends, which is just the best, best crowd you can have. I'm pretty sure I snagged a few friends on the mailing list too. Start with your friends, man. There were hoots and hollers and clapping in the breakdowns just like I'd imagined the crowd would do once The Heated's music moved them so. Special thanks to the "Little Helpers", especially my door crew... and then especially the door person who had to cover during our set. It could not have been done without you.

Beatbeat Whisper is just the coolest, nicest, prettiest band that I've played with so far. Please go see them play. One of their band members lost a bag that night. If you have any information regarding where it might be now, holler. I ended up seeing Grand Lake's set from behind and even from the other side of glass patio doors, I could tell they were rocking it in there. They sounded great. The staff at El Rio totally helped everything run smoothly. Everything came together and it was the pinnacle of success for The Heated so far. the one thing that didn't happen? Pictures! Sorry, kids. The one below is all we got.


Finishing Touches

We're as ready as we're gonna get for the show this Thursday (at El Rio, 9:00 pm for reals). We've practiced and practiced and honed our seven little songs. They're shaping up, for sure. I took the liberty of screenprinting some patches then sewing them on to Gina's new homemade cymbal case and stick bag. The stick bag is designed to hook on to the snare drum stand to simulate the bass drum with decal that we don't actually have. I am a complete and total dork.

Little apartment, big ambition:
When you live in an smaller apartment, you have to use all of the space you have. This often means building up. I'll be building up my tea towel inventory in a serious way this month because The Heated is sharing a booth with
ciuccio at the Renegade Fair next month. To accommodate the number of towels I'm printing, I've strung up hooks for clotheslines. Yesterday was the first time I felt like a professional screenprinter with my press and my clotheslines.


Sneak Peek

Gina and I have been working really hard to get it together for next week. This song has given Gina grief from the beginning but I feel confident that we will rock this one next week. Sneak peek of the new The Heated line-up!



The Deli SF has begun featuring the show. Check it out!


Steel. Iron.

Finished my ironing board. I hammered the metal brackets and rods myself, sawing them and pounding them flat enough to drill through. Other than that, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.


Good idea!

Have I talked about the show coming up on June 11th? First off, The Deli SF is presenting it (big ups to Anna from The Deli for cho-cho-choosing us and to Nicole for keeping the show on as Anna has now moved on to Stranger Dance... things move fast, people) and seeing as how having a promotional sponsor makes things special, I decided to take it one step further and asked my friend Jill (a.k.a. small stump) to design a poster for the show. Can we all agree that it's bad ass? (Is "bad ass" one word or two?) Grand Lake and Beatbeat Whisper are also both bands I would go see, even if I wasn't playing and I hate going to shows (irony). Mostly because I hate people. Anyway, extra-extra-special.


For the ladies and the gents!

On Sunday, Gina, the wife and I headed out to Stern Grove for The Heated's first photo shoot with Gina. It had rained all weekend but luckily, by the time we arrived, the rain had downgraded to heavy fog. There are less terrible and hilarious shots this time. Most of that can be attributed to my wife being so prepared, bringing her laptop so that we could see photos full-sized to see what was and wasn't working. It's all about the people you surround yourself with. Also, since I've gone through this a few times now, I've learned how to hold my head and make my face look in order to avoid double chin-itis and hawk nosery. But here are the goofiest shots anyway, just for funsies.

Jenny said we could pose a little

We kind of posed a lot.

I titled this picture "eyebrows". No reason, really.

Dog ass!

Um. Whoa. Creeeepy.



Pleased to meet you

Gina and I have our first show together next Friday, May 8th at the Brainwash Cafe and Laundromat. 8:00pm, please. Below is an interview with Gina so that you won't feel that she is a stranger to you. Click it to read it.

Brainwash Cafe and Laundromat - Friday, May 8th at 8:00pm

1122 Folsom St (between 7th and 8th Street, South of Market)
San Francisco, CA 94103


I went to the doctor

I've asked a friend to sing back-up for me, possibly while swinging a tambourine. He agreed to this proposal so I printed out all the lyrics that I have written down. A lot of these lyrics also had the chords written on there. I believe I did that for the synaesthetic guy who didn't make it to one practice (What color are my songs? I'm dying to know!) but in this case, it worked out. I even put page numbers on it and gave it a table of contents. The table of contents was actually printed on the other side of a page from a sperm donor contract (it's a long story).

My friend came over for practice and I gave him the lyrics booklet. He emailed me the next day to say that the booklet had fallen out of his pocket on the way home. Now I'm picturing the person who finds this booklet, filled with my dramatic lyrics with guitar chords provided, a table of contents printed on a sperm donor contract and what their thoughts must be. Those thoughts might be along the lines of, "damn. Whoever made this is possibly the biggest lesbian ever."
They might have a point.



This coffee table was re-finished by yours truly. You too could have such a table by following the instructions below.
  1. Buy your wife a coffee table from Pottery Barn (this was before my "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" resolution to stop buying crap I know is evil) but realize when it arrives that the finish and quality sucks. Vow to never buy anything from Pottery Barn again. Succeed.
  2. Only halfheartedly complain when your wife leaves tissue soaked in nail polish remover sitting on the coffee table, further ruining the cheap finish. Only halfheartedly attempt to fix it with some weird stain-crayon thing. Ignore the blemish for years.
  3. Finally come up with a plan for the coffee table. Using your new sander, remove all of the finish from the top of the table.
  4. Draw an outline of a tree on the table in pencil after much online research on what the tree should look like. It's a redwood, by the by.
  5. Ignore the unfinished wood with a tree drawn on it for another few months. Remember to constantly harass your wife about using a coaster because if anything should stain the wood in its unfinished state, it will wreck it. Give her looks when your father-in-law does not use a coaster with his red wine. This look should say "I don't care how you do it, but get a goddamn coaster under that red wine before the small vein in my forehead explodes, which would suck because then blood would never wash off the table."
  6. Get your teeny-tiny paint brush out and fill in the outline of the tree using flat black paint. Finish with coat upon coat of polyurethane in a satin finish.
  7. Enjoy!


I read about music.

I don't listen to as much music as I should. I've been hearing about The Mountain Goats for a while now. Based on the song below, I'll be buying an album once I get paid again.



I injured myself in my furniture making class last night. There were these steel rods that I need to smash the ends of in order to create brackets for my ironing board. I'd done it before with two other rods and now needed to work on the rear legs. Well, the damn things weren't smashing. I gave it my all with that sledgehammer but the steel was actually denting the vise. That's how damn strong it was.

Occasionally, Teacher John would walk by and ask how it was going. It was not going well but I didn't want to act like a puss, even though I had to pause to renew my energy approximately every ten seconds. So I took a longer break and came back hammering with renewed vigor. Nothing. The steel wouldn't budge. But the skin on my first finger sure did. A blister had formed then ripped itself open within a span of three minutes. It didn't hurt but that's when it struck me that this was all wrong. The steel I'd hammered before wasn't nearly so difficult. I compared the rods and realized they were different steel. Different, impossibly tough steel. It was a total waste of my time, money and pride. I seriously have about seven incorrect rods now due to not knowing what the hell I'm doing. Learning sucks. You can tell your children I said that, too.


I make things

This is what I spent some time making this week. It's a screen-printing press. Up until now I've had to ask wifey to hold down the screen every time I want to print, making what is clearly a one person project take up two people's time. But now, with my handy press, I'm flying solo. Fly, little bird. Fly away.



The hunt for used drum parts has so far taken me from the ocean to the bay. Tonight I went to pick up a hi-hat stand from a part of the city I don't spend much time in. I had to back my car down a tiny, steep one-way street to let a cable car back up into a tunnel. I saw the Bay Bridge. It's strange how the city is so tiny but so densely packed that neighborhoods can change in less than a blink of an eye. Of course, I couldn't find parking and pulled into a driveway to call and ask my craigslist connection to bring the stand down to me. Plus, I don't go into strangers apartments, no matter how curious I am about what kind of view they have from their windows.


No kitty, no.

Last night I had a dream that these cats asked me to adopt their kitten because they couldn't feed it anymore. They had told me the kitten was five weeks old but when I went to the vet, they said it was only a week old, at best. Liar cats. Then I was in a room overlooking an angry ocean. I dream about angry oceans on a fairly regular basis. All it takes is that one big wave...



When you're included in a shopping guide for an organization that bills itself as "a hand-picked selection of the best", it makes you feel good... and a little sexy. I'm not gonna lie. Check it.