December 26, 2003

GV Time



Grass Valley time is a weird phenomenon that usually only affects my family during the holidays when we have nowhere to be early in the morning. Since my mom & stepdad's house is a ways out of town, there's not much around and this time of year is pretty cold, so we usually stay inside, a little tired from the 7 or 8 hour drive. Dinner's usually later as well, and so no one goes to bed til around 2 or 3 am (last night Bryn waited til 4), and then wake up at around noon.

It's easy to do this if we get caught up in a book or movie or something like that, but hard to readjust to once we're back in Santa Barbara. Still, until then all we have to do is lounge around in the same clothes for 3 days without a shower (which gives them all the time to attract as much pet hair as possible) and we're in the perfect Grass Valley time state of mind.

Ah, sloth. It's the American way.

December 18, 2003

Happenin' Tunes 2003

In which I contribute to a particularly odious form of festering crap: the Year In Pop Music list. However, since I'm hopelessly behind trends and fads about 90% of the time, there are of course several entries from last year that I finally got around to hearing and enjoying.

So:

January
"Good Morning Aztlan" by Los Lobos. An actual January heat wave went along with these bright-and-shiny tunes. Faced my first month of unemployment with a frantically pathetic attempt to gain admission to the writing programs at UCI and SFSU. Bombed.

February
"No One Knows" by Queens of the Stone Age. Okay, so KJEE played this one to death, and Brian had this album for weeks before I finally figured "hey, Josh Homme has a cool singing voice!" Better late than never I guess.

March
"Ego Tripping At the Gates of Hell" by the Flaming Lips. Same story what with friends being into this before I was. Shaun, Bryn, and Brian jumped all over Soft Bulletin and then Yoshimi a long time ago. Makes me wonder what the hell I was listening to when they were doing this.

April
Tossup between "Inside of Love" or "Hi-Speed Soul" from Nada Surf's "Let Go" album. Made not a few drives from SB-Oceanside for baseball games and whatnot, and for whatever reason these songs remind me most of doing that.

May
"Ventura" by Lucinda Williams. People have been going gaga for Lucinda over the last 5 years like they're trying to make up for relatively ignoring her. Some tracks on this album are a bit overdone in the bloozy sense but this one really sounds like that drive between Carp and Ventura.

June
"Restraining Order Blues" by Eels. "Ask Uncle E" is one of the more hilarious features of the Eels homepage, so go give it a gander. This song is more mini-road-trip backgound music. Great title too.

July
"There There" by Radiohead. In which Bryn and Brian exact their revenge for my lackluster interest in the previous 2 Radiohead albums (which no amount of qualifiying re: how awesome some of those songs in fact are). Curses. Foiled again.

August
"Everything Is New" by Frank Black & the Catholics. FB&C make frequent appearances in Santa Barbara, ever since the tour for "Dog In The Sand" 2 years ago. I actually like that album better, but they're on a roll toward becoming the best bar band in the country, so this matters little.

September
"True Nature" by Jane's Addiction. Car song: whether driving up PCH in Huntington at noon or up the Salinas Valley at sunset, I couldn't get this bastard (and others from its parent album) out of my head. I could make those lyrics even better, though. Really.

October
Tossup between "Fugitive Motel" and "Switching Off" from Elbow's "Cast of Thousands" CD. Guy Garvey's voice is great. Still hasn't been released in the US, so V2 needs to get their butts in gear.

November
Tossup between "Stop" and "In Like the Rose" from BRMC's "Take Them On" album. You know how some people play songs over and over and over and over and it drives you bananas? I'm one of those people, but I do it on headphones, so you'll be happy and I'll be deaf.

December
Anything off Meshell Ndegeocello's "Comfort Woman". Silly title, and less cool bass playing than her previous albums, but she's still fantastic. That's all I got right now.

So as you can see I've got little taste in terms of what all them hip kids are listening to, but they all live in New York or LA and read Spin and then grow up to be bitter, sniping, hipper-than-thou monsters. Write more than I do though. Meh.

December 11, 2003

Creeping Nostalgia, part XXVIII


There are days when I’m not so keen on living in Santa Barbara. I know, I know- for everyone else in the world, that’s bordering on psychotic blasphemy, especially those who live anywhere east of, say, Nevada. Still, bear with me, cause it’ll make sense at some point, I promise. Today was not one of those days.

Anyway, I was minding my own business and eating a burrito (gee, how many times have I started an idea that way- like Bryn’s drinking stories, I guess) at this place called Tucker’s Grove Park in Goleta, on a gloriously bright and fantastic December day (cue more hate from back east). I suddenly drifted into one of those “smell the flowers” moments when I came back to my new job and parked underneath some trees that were changing color. Despite the close proximity to fleets of cars just over on Calle Real, things were very quiet, and I could see the red and orange leaves sway gently in the afternoon breeze. Really.

Seems trite, I know, but I was absolutely transfixed by a sudden enormous pull of unsolicited nostalgia, and it took me a while to figure out what the fatal combination was that caused such a wide rift in the space-time continuum. What happened was the convergence of afternoon sunlight, a soft breeze, relative quiet, and the ultra-specific visual texture of buildings constructed during the late 70’s and early 80’s (but aged a few years), namely, Dana Point when I was growing up. Every house I lived in there was up a hill, which was great for biking, but also made for instant access to sea air on the move.

One reason I’m such a sucker for Bryn’s reverb & echo-laden guitar is that it evokes images like this for me. Big wide spaces of sky balanced out by the undulating ocean, with the sliver of land in between. It’s not really like that all the time, of course, and less so now, even when we went back for Labor day in September and crashed at the San Clemente Westwind Mansion. Still, the power of it knocks me on my ass whenever I think about it.

December 02, 2003

Billy's Email Survey

(over Thanksgiving weekend)

Well gee, that was stupid. Now I've effectively doubled everyone's spam. Oh well. My answers were really cool before I accidentally wiped them all. Crap.

Anyway, stand back- here comes version 2:

1. WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME? Jean-Keir DuBois. Used to be preceded by "The
Omnipotent Genius", but then I woke up and hit my head and Emily laughed at me. Thought up a great idea for a Flux Capactitor, though.

2. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? A toupee. Yeah, bubba, just picture that.

3. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The yapping of small yappy-type
dogs. My mom's dogs have a unique ability to hit the higher, ear-splitting trebles that make every other animal species go "Holy blabbering Christ! Shut up, just shut up!!" wait, no... that's just Bill O'Reilly. Hoser.

4. WHAT ARE THE LAST 4 DIGITS OF YOUR PHONE NUMBER? What kind of
question is this? I mean, if you're a stalker, you'd still be frustrated, right? People who know the first 3 numbers of my handle don't use them anyway. No, no, that's not true. Sometimes Bryn calls from the Old Country just to say dirty words onto my answering machine, and laughs hard since I'm usually not in a position to do anything about it.

5. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Chinese. Food, not people. Jeebus.
Yep, gastrointestinal gagga galore.

6. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Melanin. Changes colors in the sun, don't you know. Also helps avoid the occasional embarrassing
"flesh-tone" issue, and I use the phrase "flesh-tone" in the most racially neutral, PC, non-Hannibal Lecter way.

7. WEATHER RIGHT NOW? Sub-arctic. A high pressure zone in Alberta, Canada
has forced the polar jet to a viciously low altitude above Nevada County, California. I'm shivering in my little booties.

8. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? God. No shit, I really did. I
know I know, God's not really a person, if you, you know, read the Bible or anything, but trust me- the dude jingled my jangle and sayeth "Yo yo yo, y'all in some deep shiznit now, dogs- been perpetratin' centuries worth of wackness in my name!" Fucked me right off, I'll tellya. It's gonna be worse for, say, all those snake-handling yahoos in Alabama. For sure. Hell, once they find out the Almighty can speak jive they'll get right down and beg for mercy after pissing themselves.

9. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX? Well, since I’m spoken for I guess I'm not supposed to notice anything about the opposite sex. I know it and they know it, and usually the trouble starts when they don't know it. Anyway, uh, the discriminatory nature of this question offends me. Um, yeah.

10. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? If I say no then I have no band, as Billy, Brian, and Bryn have in that order blessed me with this particular offering.

11. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? I too am SUPER, thanks for ASKING!! Can't improve on that, and if you can, get in touch with me. If there's something better then super I'd like to be it.

12. FAVORITE DRINK? V-8. Many of you may not know this, but if I don't have my daily v-8 I'm condemned to walk this earth at a spine-punishing 35 degree angle. One time I offered to endorse their product but the v-8 people scoffed me out of their office before stealing my angular walking idea and running with it to the tune of 85 grand. Yep. One other time I drank too much V-8 and instead of subsequently walking at a normal, 90 degree perpendicular angle, I ended up at a gravity-defying 146 degree angle! Yeah, take that, Isaac newton, you delusional, senile old virgin, you!*

*It's true- Newton prided himself on his sexual purity, the freak.

13. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINKs? V-8 and Red Bull. Makes me a slavering
boozehound. Wait, that’s not alcoholic. Um, switch the V-8 to, uh, Chinaco Anejo or something. Say, why is it that the addition of Red Bull to anything automatically makes it Hip and Cool? I mean... oh hell, Keir, why didn't you make this point back when people still actually did this sorta thing? It's time for you to move on to other abominations, such as the Crooked Trucker Hat syndrome currently affecting the young MTV kids these days. Yeah. Yeah, Ashton Kutcher sucks and all that.

14. FAVORITE SPORTS? Yuppie-punting. Yep, still love to kick the shit outta them yuppies. I would have said something normal like baseball, but unlike baseball, yuppie-punting never goes out of season. I've become quite good at it, and have won several championships in 24 California counties- even participating in competitions as far afield as Nebraska and Kentucky. Aha, and you thought there were no yuppies in the American Heartland. Well, sonny Jim, you'd be wrong. People everywhere love to bup the yups, and soon we'll inherit the earth on the strength of our combined class-defying abilities. Our ultimate goal is the dismantling of the British class system. Damn limeys.

15. HAIR COLOR? Uh, these questions are funny, and they never seem to go away, do they? I used to think they were tiresome, in my own selfish way, until I just now discovered the perfect answer: Melanin. Get it? haHA! Yep, changes color in...oh never mind.

16. EYE COLOR? Puce. No, no that's true. Haven't looked me in the eyes lately, now have you?

17. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I'd be happy to, despite my 20/20 vision, but
every time i think of contacts or eyedrops or anything like that, I become a teary watery mess. Wait, that happens for other things, too. Maybe I should seek professional help.

18. SIBLINGS AND THEIR AGES? My brother is the world-traveling bum is 25 going on 14, and my sister is 23 going on, um, 24. I can say this with impunity cause I'm the Big Brother, and I rule with an iron fist. Or at least I used to, til Bryn and Lis hid the iron fist, and so I no longer rule with an iron fist. I simply Rule.

19. FAVORITE FOOD? Burritos. Didn't think it was such a cool favorite food until Ozzy started publicly gorging on them on TV. Hey, he had to get addicted to something safe if he was gonna be on prime time. No, my favorite food is really OxyContin. I gobble them pills at a rate that would make Rush Limbaugh puke and Jack Osbourne die. Dig that hillbilly heroin, mm-mm.

20. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Mystic River, I think. Poor Tim Robbins gets knifed and shot, which I know lots of Republicans would love to see. The commissioner of baseball might dig that too. that crap about liberals running Hollywood is a lie. Arnold runs it all now, which is why flabby Democrats like me wet the bed in fear these days.

21. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Friday Flip-Up Day. What, they don't observe
this Day in your fair city? Well, can't fight city hall I guess. Still, you should petition for Thursday Opposite Day then, or maybe Wednesday wedding day. You could be cool and progressive and try to make it Wednesday Civil Union Day in the latter case, or even Wednesday Domestic Partnership day, and then laugh derisively when this does not in fact prove to be the moral undoing of these United States. Oah Jeah. Anything to annoy
Rick Santorum and the rest of those sniveling pricks who voted for the Defense of Marriage act.

22. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT? No, but I'm not supposed to do that either. Actually, when I ask Emily out she's usually too busy being a Teacher these days, and conversely when she asks me out I'm too busy doing...uh.... .... um, what the hell have I been doing this year anyway?

23. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. Better outdoor gig weather. Not like I've
booked anything, though.

24. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS? I'll take a relationship over
a night stand any day. I mean, night stands don't even talk back, now do they? How can a night stand provide the care, comfort, and acceptance of a Committed Relationship? Hell, all night stands to is hold up other things, like lamps and alarm clocks and (in my case) loose change and dirty socks. Why the hell would I want that instead of a relationship?

What?

Oh. Oops.

25. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate. Vanilla is for cowards.

26. DO YOU WANT YOUR FRIENDS TO WRITE BACK? Sure, even if all they say
is "You're stupid for sending a blank email and then not even following it up with something halfway funny, you fat bald pendejo!" and I'm afraid they'd be right. I'm most definitely in decline when it comes to Email Survey Hilarity.

27. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Bryn. He'd do it just to call me a pendejo.

28. WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Emily. No, maybe she'd want to
call me a pendejo as well.

29. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? Drove like a bastard from Santa Barbara to
San Jose, only to find my sister's apartment unlocked and abandoned in favor of the Boyfriend's Parents Anniversary Dinner, in which Lis accompanies Nick to an evening of fine dining and raucous fun with the Kurns clan! We love you Nick. You know that right?

30. FAVORITE SMELLS? No, no, olfactorialness is not my forte. Really, I mean, have you seen my nose? It's teeny-tiny. Yes, I know I just made up that word "olfactorialness", but hey, who's the grammar geek, me or you? I thought so.

31. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? You know how in some cultures there are Arranged
Marriages? Well, I have an Arranged Living, and this allows me to live or not to live according to any arrangement I may choose, and this varies from day to day, or even minute to minute. Like right now for instance. Instead of my preferred arrangement (sharing a clean, well, lit cardboard box with a gorgeous babe), I am 8 hours away, typing an unfunny Email Survey merely for the sake of not looking foolish for sending a blank email. It's not the arrangement I would choose, but I'm not living in Baghdad as a
bombed-out victim of a war between corporate greed and totalitarian penile envy.

32.WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? "Fear And Loathing On the Campaign Trail
1972" by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. What with conservative nutbags in the press claiming that the Democratic nominee will be stomped like a toad in 2004 just like McGovern was by Nixon in '72, I thought I'd go to the source and see what the good doctor has to say about it. "Lo", he sayeth: "Conservative pundits are raving gas-bags! Nixon played in a league where George W. Bush would never be anything but a batboy!" Yes yes, I know
this. How does this apply to 2004's Democratic primary? "What? Oh, uh, how about you pass me that joint first, then I’ll tell you." Huh? "Listen, kid- these will be two very different elections, so don't listen to anything those whimpering bastards on TV tell you."

Oh, ok. Well, that's not the real insight into Modern American nut-cutting politics that I was looking for, but it's a long book, so I'll keep looking and get back to you.

WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A half-naked mermaid. No really, it's true.
This is my mom's computer. What that has to do with half-nakers fish-chicks I have no idea.

34. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? This. I'm starting to get bored, but I must Press On!

35. CAN YOU TOUCH YOUR NOSE WITH YOUR TONGUE? No. Shut up.

36. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? The groveling pain of immorally powerful people.

37. FAVORITE CAR? The Pope Mobile. Gotta get me one of them.

38. FAVORITE FLOWER? The artichoke.

what? I don't have a favorite flower.

39. HOW MANY KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? 182. 4 for my house and 178 for my
secret super-hero hideout.

40. CAN YOU JUGGLE? No. Can you tell me what the capital of Tadjikistan is? Didn't think so. Who's the geography geek here, me.. oh, never mind (again).

41. IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would change my underwear. Haven't showered in like 3 days, yo.

That's all, folks. If you've made it this far you're some bored mofos, dig? Either that or very very masochistic.

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