13 September 2007

Are You An Anarchist?

Anyone who reads me regularly knows that I avoid anything truly political. Today I couldn't resist.

As a caveat, please do not read anything more into this than that I found this to be a very interesting quote. The last thing I want is for everyone out there (all 6 of you) to start thinking I'm making political statements or even giving away my political perspectives in this forum. I am not.

A secure, stable, democratic Iraq at peace with its neighbors is attainable.
-- Ryan C. Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq

These are good adjectives. Unless you are an anarchist, these are good adjectives. Believe them or not, it is important to at least start with good adjectives.

Brandi Carlile Concert

Last night at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip I got a chance to see an artist I have been waiting quite a while to watch live.

Brandi Carlile (and the twins) brought an incredible performance. It was very impressive. Most of her music has struck me as well-produced recordings, and then you see them performed and it knocks yer socks off! Their work is so powerful in-person it just overpowered me.

My friend Cam is a musician who came to the show with me. What a great shared experience! Not just excellent for catching up; but if you are going to be moved, it is more meaningful to be moved with someone you care about.


The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip is a thoroughly L.A. experience. Ludicrously overpriced beverages (We only have canned beer, for $7! Rocktail? $10!), a pretentious wait-staff, self-important patrons and a no-cameras policy. Ugh. It reminded me, like a slap upside the head, why I hate venues in L.A.

Of course, even though I had to wade through the upholstered toilet that is an mainstream L.A. venue, Brandi and the twins made me forget if for a little while. Seriously, go see this show. The unplugged bits will make you weep, shudder, and dance all that same time. What an incredible voice. What rare talents.

09 September 2007

Making Up For It

The usual cast of characters seemed to take umbrage with my fast and loose referral from the last post. So by way of reparations, I give you gapingvoid.

Yes, I agree I've been playing it sloppy.

And yes, I do believe this one makes up for it.

07 September 2007

Momo!

Surfing around this afternoon (yes it really was for work!) and I happened across one of the funniest, most creative sites I've seen in a while. And you know I'm not big on pushing the drivel of others so you know this must be good.

It's Momo's Clubhouse and you can find it here.

I almost peed.

06 September 2007

Distinctive. Delightful. Drivel.

As an avid fan of watching television on-demand and on-my-computer, I have more than usual opportunities to experience new programming. When you can watch anything at anytime at anyplace, the need for variety becomes much more ingrained in your viewing habits.

Recently I watched the first few episodes of a new series on Showtime called Californication.

As loathe as I am to admit it, I was enraptured from the onset. Fantastically creative and complex writing, just a hint of the pretension and pace I have come to savor like a guilty pleasure from shows like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Deadwood.

This particular mind-candy comes in the tangy tart form of David Duchovny and Evan Handler clamoring around the City of Angels climbing through chaos and clutching clich├ęd crutches.

The twists and turns taken as the plot thickens are unique and edgy but not outrageously so. It butts up against the unbelievable with a firm hold on a possible reality, enough to drag you in but not enough to shake you awake.

Have my tastes become so diverse that drivel delights me? Probably. But it's rich, well-written, and yummy so I'm going to have another taste.

05 September 2007

The Thrill of Having Strings

The service industry can be brutal.

Let's face it, if you are manufacturing or creating art or fixing cars or any one a myriad of things that are production related, you have a built in buffer between you and the customer. Sure, you might have to deal with critics or fickle consumers or market forces or whatever, but those affect the job you do, not necessarily how you DO your job.

If you are in a service field you have someone standing over your shoulder as you perform. The stream of second-guessing, backseat quarterbacking, and un-informed critique is delivered not after you have performed, but during. There is always a hand on top of yours, fighting for control of the mouse, the steering wheel, or the cash-register. Everyone has a better way, everyone thinks your performance could be better, even when they have no idea what your performance entails.

Use me as you will
Pull my strings just for a thrill
And I know I'll be ok
Though my skies are turning gray

-- Your Guardian Angel
by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus


Today I'm struggling with the weight of criticism. Even the confident among us (a group in which most people would include me) feel the urge from time to time to be free of the henpecking and nitpicking.

I know I add value. I know I have worth. Usually my service gives me purpose. My purpose gives me strength. When my service is for fallible people, I forget and look for a fallible reward. Big mistake.

When I'm slipping and I've brought my eyes down, it is my friends that remind me to look up. Sometimes with their words, sometimes with their silence. It helps to have someone you trust pulling your strings.