Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seriously though.

How awesome is this shirt? I just found it after several months of lethargic unpacking. I got it the last time Mogwai played in SF, and I know about seven people who might actually appreciate it.


The first few weeks of this year have just flown by in a fit of aimless, new-city driving, fruitless job searching and general culinary over-indulgence (you can get anything out of a taco truck in this magical city. Anything.). A few weeks back we hit The Wiltern to see Sonic Youth. Our old pal, and newly minted avocado farmer Dan was making some flashy flashy lights for them. I am slowly learning that my tolerance for rock music is waning. This may be on a sliding scale to how much I am being paid to listen to said rock music, but that's just an untested theory. Maybe I'll slide over to classical or maybe musical theatre. The show was pretty great though, and I love some Sonic Youth (and as a bonus there was no trumpet playing or free jazz-leaning on the night), but after about four songs I wandered aimlessly into the lobby to peruse the merch stand. I ran into my friend David Scheid who I haven't seen in ages, and haven't even spoken to since I moved to LA. We ended up spending the remainder of the show talking shit at the bar and making a subtle start towards the stage whenever we heard the start of a song that sounded like teenage riot. Oddly enough the start of damn near every one of their songs sounds like teenage riot. Indie rock fake out.

I spent another few days cobbling together some lights for an LA band/friend. I realized a little too late that the stands I had ordered were about four feet taller than the ceiling in the basement. I opted to turn everything sideways, since that's how the project seemed to be going anyways, at least metaphorically (or maybe metaphysically). A little out of practice, I guess.

It all turned out pretty bright and flashy in the end. The music was all good and dancey too, so a good fit all around. The whole mess ended up being operated by the keyboard player via a series of programmable foot switches that we toyed with most of the day. She was running samples, singing backup vocals, playing keyboards, running effects and then triggering lights, strobes and a fog machine with one foot. She never missed a beat, and made my otherwise tacky (not my fault, tacky was on the rider) setup look pretty professional. Solid.

Other than that it's been a culinary explosion (intestinal malaise be damned) out here. Canter's deli has the best potato pancakes outside of Warsaw. There, I said it. Also, they are still hawking this Guns and Roses biography written by some member of the Canter family. There is nothing more unsettling then sucking down an egg cream while staring into Axl Rose's sad, vacant nineteen year-old eyes.

One of my Christmas presents (to, not from) was a pair of tickets to the Lakers game last week. Good fun, and some further entrenching into our new adoptive homeland (what?). It was pretty great, and a real change of pace from desperately pleading with any local SF sports team to at least not lose by the largest margin in the history of sport, again. The Lakers, rather lackadaisically put The Bucks to shame (it looked like high school try-outs, no joke) and did it all with a live marching band and Rick Springfield on their side. Yeah, it was a weird night, but a good time all the same.

It's Lily's birthday today. Or maybe yesterday. Either way, tonight I am going to Koreatown to eat my weight in BBQ. I'm going to roll into bed tonight swollen, and stinking of Kimchi and charcoal. And happy. Yes, very happy. Last weekend a bunch of us, in a fit of boredom more than anything else decided to put an advance order in for an entire roast duck and drive out to Monterey Park. Mostly because it was there.

It started out innocently enough with a little bit of roast duck on a plate nestled beside a duck shaped, tin foil sculpture filled with duck guts and veggies.

But then quickly turned into a bull fight, wherein us patrons were the inexperienced, terrified matador, and the waiters, who seemed to multiply before our very eyes carrying a plate in each arm, were the charging bull. We were quite literally overrun by duck parts in varying guises, and wallowing in an array of sauces. We started employing an overstock system of plates and dishes below the table, while still maintaining maximum coverage on the actual table itself. It reminded me of two separate incidents, both of which took place in South America. The first was at a churrascaria in Rio where the goal is to quite literally clog your system with meat where you are then rolled into the kitchen and, I believe, served to the remaining patrons. There was a large table of Japanese tourists sitting beside me, and they would occasionally nod off, sleeping for five or ten minutes at a time, and then awaken refreshed and, impossibly still hungry for more meat. I felt like sleeping after the second round of duck soup and duck dumplings and duck hot dogs and duck martinis.

The second story which comes to mind involves Ally, again the lone vegetarian at a table of overwhelmed and bewildered carnivores. Several years ago, against the better judgment of several members of a touring party, and I believe most of the United Nations, I went out for sushi lunch in Belo Horizante. Ally watched as I pointed to a rather harmless looking lunch special that, in a picture, displayed no more than six pieces of fish, but in reality was an unending train of forty of fifty pieces of sushi, and failure. Lots of failure. This is nearly the same face he made that day, years ago when I asked if he felt up for renouncing his vegetarianism and helping me lay waste to a duffel bag full of raw fish. It's a look that says less 'I'd like to help you out,' but more 'I'm rather glad that I ordered the white rice and diet coke. Your problems are your own.' Thanks.

I'm off to Mexico for a week tomorrow. Adios.