Disclaimer: this is another one of those mammoth posts that was written probably a little bit every day for a week. So every time I say ‘today,’ I don’t mean the same day, contrary to normal logic. And yes this could have easily been fixed by finding all such references to ‘today’ and replacing them with correct dates, but disclaimers are just much more fun.

     I know I said I’d be back last Friday, but I ran into one of those “Just when you thought everything that could go wrong had already gone wrong” moments. A certain person decided it would be fun to harass my family and friends in the guestbook of the site we established in memory of my brother. Their M.O. is to skim the other entries, use someone else’s name and e-mail address in the form, and be extremely vulgar and nasty. They said some pretty upsetting things, enough to have my mother just about hysterical. The people whose names and addresses were being used made it very clear that they didn’t write any of it. Most of this happened on Thursday night. Here’s a post written by a friend of my brother’s, Michele, followed by their reply. This is probably the least offensive message they posted.

Today’s painting is absolutely beautiful. I just wish that Chris could have finished it…I love you Chris and miss you more than you will ever know. Take care of us down here. – Michele

Today’s painting is absolutely ugly. I just wish that Chris could have not sucked so bad. I didn’t love you Chris and don’t miss you more than you will ever know. – Michele

I ended up just deleting their trash from the guestbook late Thursday night. On Sunday night, they were back at it. Here’s a post written by a friend, Cyndi Lareau, followed by the reply this jackass posted last night:

Hey Chris! I added a VanGogh candle holder to your memorial. So this way, no matter how cloudy, you’ll always have a “Starry Night.” – Cyndi!

Hey Cyndi! I just wanted you to know that I am going to smash the present you left for chris along with everything else at that stupid memorial tonight. If you want to stop me come tonight at 11:00pm, then you can see how sick I am…

…so yeah, that’s pleasant. And then just the other day they started prank calling us at home. Just the fact that I have to waste time worrying about this bullshit is absolutely disgusting to me.

     The Recital played a benefit show in Grand Rapids last weekend. Despite the fact that there were several other shows in town the same night, there was an enthusiastic crowd and a good time was had by all. On the drive up, we stopped at a rest stop and observed the most incredible vending machine EVER. It was an ice cream vending machine, and after you put in your money and made your selection, the top of a cooler (visible through the glass) flipped open, and a vacuum hose dropped down. The hose then moved over to the selected variety of ice cream, turned on, sucked it up, and deposited it in the ‘pick-up bin thingy’ at the bottom for your eating pleasure. Kind of like a claw game at a carnival, but you always win and the prize is ice cream! We were dumbfounded.

     At any rate, two of us bought a Nestle product called the ‘Tandem.’ So you can imagine the dorky multiple of two jokes that were slung around the car. Eating Tandems in Tandem, etc.

     When we arrived at the venue, we were bowled over by how nice it was. It had an undergound backstage area – complete with sorted M & M’s:

…so big ‘ups’ to Cyndi Lareau for setting everything up in regards to that show. Incidentally, Cyndi also won the ‘slightly heightened sense of self worth’ offered in my last post, by finding the MST3K episode ‘Hobgoblins’ for me. So I’ll revise my former statement and say: huge ‘ups’ to Cyndi.

     Goddamn eBay person outbidding me with 10 minutes to go. I had been the only bidder on this arcade machine for 4 days, so I thought I was safe. Damn damn damn. I had big plans for this game. I was gonna gut it and put in something not quite as lame. New eBay superstition: never talk about an auction until it’s over with. Damn. Please note the subtitle of the game in the screen shot below. So great. Also note that this subtitle is TRADEMARKED. Because we all know how in-demand “Battle Fire Engulfed Terror Island” is as a trade name.

     I’ve seen two movies in the past few weeks: Josie and the Pussycats, and Memento.

     Josie and the Pussycats was pretty similar to what you would expect. Dopey plot, dumb jokes, etc. If you’re into seeing Rachel Leigh Cook hop around for an hour and a half though, you can’t go wrong. Incidentally, did anyone else see her on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other day? He asked her how old she was, she replied that she’s 21, and he yelled ‘twennyone!’ Which of course prompted her to throw her arms in the air and yell ‘Shit!’ in a gruff “imitating a frat boy” voice. Truly great television. To me at least. Anyway, I should probably mention that every time they use a piece of recording and / or mixing equipment in this movie, it’s capabilities are complete fiction, and that bugged the shit out of me. Best exchange of the whole movie:

“I still don’t understand why you’re here.”

(mumbles) “I was in the comic book”



     Memento, on the other hand, was great.
Pretty incredible since it’s this guy’s directorial debut. This is the sort of movie that would be fun to re-edit linearly (Okay maybe not FUN in the strictest sense of the word, but INTERESTING, yes). Does anyone know of a site that’s dissected all the intracacies of the plot yet? If not, I might just put up a message board or maybe something like the magnolia site.

     Some obligatory Weezer triviality: The boys are touring japan right now, and are putting up some pretty amusing photos on the karl’s corner page. Particularly this one and this one. Also, you can download MP3’s of one of the shows where they played under the name ‘Goat Punishment’ and played nothing but Nirvana Covers (seriously):

1. Mr. Moustache
2. Aneurysm
3. Breed
4. Dive
5. Swap Meet
6. Blew

     So I was at work today and someone I’ve never seen before in my life came in and asked if she could pick up her paycheck. Now, a lot of people work at Barnes and Noble, so this is not uncommon. Thing is, no one else recognizes her. After I call the floor supervisor to get the checks, she turns to me and asks “Does she work here?” referring to the paycheck-wanting girl. Anyways, the supervisor goes through the checks, and doesn’t find one for some anonymous girl that no one recognizes. So she asks her name. The girl says “Mary,” and when prompted for a last name, mumbles something, excuses herself and promptly leaves. Which makes it look like this person is just wandering around trying to collect paychecks from random businesses. Is there even a remote possibility that this could work? Is there a manager somewhere who just hands paychecks over to the first person to wander in off the street to claim them? Crazy.

     Number one best discovery of last weekend: Singing an unaccompanied rendition of that one Toadies song (Update! It’s called “Possum Kingdom”) is infinitely funnier if you substitute the word “Jebus.” But it’s only funny to people who get the “Jebus” reference. Otherwise you just look stupid. But I guess you look stupid either way, it’s just that people UNDERSTAND why you’re looking stupid if they get the reference. Or something.

Some quick and severely underdeveloped show reviews:

RSB / Absinthe Blind / Trocar / 1000 Times Yes
@ The Lunchbox in Ann Arbor.

I got there kind of late so I missed all of 1000 Times Yes and most of Trocar (Sorry!). I did, however see Absinthe Blind, who are really young and really quite good. Their new record is coming out soon (I think..) on MUD. And RSB was drunk and good. Wow, that’s the worst show review ever written. Let me try to remember some other details.

     Okay, I got some. For those of you not familiar with the Lunchbox, it is just a house. A certain person, who we will call ‘Ryan Brescoe’ for reasons of anonymity, went to this show with me. This ‘Ryan Brescoe’ has a habit of falling asleep at the drop of a hat. Perhaps he is narcoleptic. At any rate, he was sitting in this armchair about 20 feet from where the bands were playing. He fell asleep during Absinthe Blind’s set, and slept through the end of the show. With loud music being played a stone’s throw, NAY a pebble’s throw away. I need to start carrying a camera to document this ‘Ryan Brescoe’ and his incredible ability to sleep in the most bizzarre situations.

Spoon / Oranges
@ The Magic Stick in Detroit.

     With all the good press Spoon’s been getting, you’d think this show would be packed, right? Well, there were probably twenty to thirty people TOPS at this show. I’ve never seen the Magic Stick so deserted. I didn’t care much for the oranges, but Spoon knocked my socks off. They opened with the guitar-less “Take the Fifth” from their new album, which left guitarist Britt Daniel free to wander the audience with the microphone, returning to the stage occaisionally to slam two beers over the course of the three minute song. Very rock. There were also some crazy “looked like they belonged in a hot body contest at a sleazy bar in Canada” girls there, who were totally smashed and standing in the front, relentlessly propositioning Spoon throughout the set. They bought shots for them, and protested loudly when Britt declined. They made a point of showing parts of their underwear to the band. It was pretty amusing to watch Daniel squint through the lights to get a look at them while the Bassist and Drummer exchanged “Wow this is really quite weird” looks. A member of the Oranges stood at the side of the stage laughing the whole time, and eventually talked them into waiting for Spoon backstage. So I’m sure that was an interesting ending of the evening for the band. Let’s see, anything else? Buy their new CD.

     Also, I’m going to see Evan Dando of Lemonheads fame later on tonight (Disclaimer to earlier disclaimer: This time when I say ‘tonight,’ I really do mean ‘tonight’). In about a week I’ll get to see Juliana Hatfield with the Blake Babies in the same venue. Why the hell didn’t they tour together? They could have done a ‘Drug song medley’ at the end of the night, because the two of them are incapable of being in a room together without writing and / or performing a song about their mutual drug experiences (See also: Lemonheads albums, new Blake Babies album). That would’ve been ‘Rad’ I dare say.

     For Marty: an interview with John Carpenter about the making of Big Trouble In Little China (The DVD version is coming out soon).

     P.S. Never type the phrase “Just when you thought everything that could go wrong had already gone wrong,” because the following things will happen the next day:

  • You will manage to drop big gobs of both toothpaste and butter on your pants right before leaving for work.
  • You will get in a car accident.
  • The other party involved in the accident will not stop.