Gamelan Night

Friday, October 21, 2005
I knew a guy once who was vehimently homosexual, but claimed that he had to have sex with a girl about every 6 months just to remind himself of how gay he was.
I hate shakespeare, for as long as I can remember I have always hated shakespeare. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, and it’s not that I go to see some shakespearian play twice a year to remind myself, rather I avoid him as much as possible. But shakespeare is one of those things… Like Pot or Beer. Whenever I say “I’ve never done Pot.” the reply is always “Oh, I totally have to get you high.” etc…
My buddy Phil is into the noise rock scene. I guess locally he’s well known for it. He told me about some of the groups he plays with called The Gamelan. Apparently they are pretty succesful, and actually get big money grants and stuff.
I was pretty weirded out when I finally reached him after a couple weeks of leaving messages and he said he had been super busy with The Gamelan lately. “I’ve been super busy, we practice 3 nights a week for 4 hours a night”.
4 hours a night. I’m not dissing the genre, but how much do you have to practice to make noise? What’s the worst that could happen? You get onto a stage with your noise band and not make any [noise]?
To get to the point, Phil called me monday to invite me to a performance of his band with a Balinese Shadow Puppetry performance of shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Review here, via your local mega corporate newspaper.
It turns out, Gamelan wasn’t the name of his group, but the type of group.
The screen was giant, like a movie screen, and the images were surreal. The most impressive part of the show was the number of “camera angle” changes. I would say the folks running the lights had the most complex task of all the performers. The puppetry was very surreal, and the adaptation was decent, but it was still shakespeare. There’s no getting around it. Add gats, cars, and ho’s and it’s still fucking shakespeare, there’s nothing you can do to change that fact.
The music was cool, it was the sort of stuff with the guy that goes “awahooooo-o-oh” and the sitar that goes “twang, tway-nay-nay-NAY-nwang” and the drum that goes “BOOooomwoooOM… Boom ba BOOooomwoooOM”.
It was cool finally getting a sense of what Phil does, and the puppetry and scenery where great new experiences.


Packaging Friday, October 07, 2005 Looking for sit…

Packaging
Friday, October 07, 2005
Looking for sites with lots of box scans of old toy packaging or old cheesy looking electronics packaging/instructions. I have always been influenced by this style, but I’m trying to build up some reference material for my next site. If ya’ll know of any, share ’em.
Found this today:

Also, check this out. Seriously.

Houdini Thursday, October 06, 2005 I just learned…

Houdini
Thursday, October 06, 2005

I just learned that a good friend of mine in the yo-yo community took his life yesterday. His name was Ryan, but we all knew him as Harry Houdini.
Harry idolized Houdini, and really enjoyed learning about Houdini’s life and work to defraud con men. In the community Harry was well liked and dedicated a lot of time to helping beginners and teaching yo-yo basics through his site Dif-Spinners.com
In the beginning, Harry was a quick learner and always enjoyed sharing his knowledge with others. He loved Frank Difeo’s yo-yos, the Dif-e-yos, but knew that Frank would never have a large enough sales to sponsor his own team. So Harry started Dif-Spinners as a tribute to Frank’s yo-yos, and never expected any free stuff or money for his loyalty to Frank.
I hung out with Harry (I just never could get used to calling him Ryan) at all the Midwestern contests. As a matter of fact, I hung out with him more than anyone else at this years World Yo-Yo Contest. He was a celebrity, I know that yo-yoers of all ages would constantly come up to him and shake his hand while saying something like “I yo-yo because of you, thanks for the How to Bind videos”.
I felt like Harry and I had a very strong connection, and although we only saw each other at contests and Midwestern events, we would always catch up quite quickly like we saw each other all the time. The time spent with him at worlds this year was one of my biggest highlights of the year. Our styles and sense of humor were very similar, we just cliqued well. I never saw any unhappiness in him, and cannot begin to understand what made him so desperate.
In the beginning, when I first met Harry, he always had his long hair covering his face, sort as a defense mechanism. He was nice, but often hunched over, and awkward. But in the last year, he really started to become more confident, got into weight lifting, was really excited about college (he was interested in schools such as Harvard and Yale), and he even cut his long ass hair and stopped slouching. I was very excited to see the beginning of the next phase of his life. As I mentioned this is all still a big big shock. I will remember him, and will miss his presence from our community.

ChicoFriday, September 30, 2005So I’m here now, sa…

Chico

Friday, September 30, 2005

So I’m here now, safe and loud… er, sound.

We biked for a long ways, but ended up using some mass transit. The name of this blog should be Planes, Trains, and Bicycles.

So far John and I are having a great trip though. Wednesday had a bunch of problems, including bicycling all the way up to Antioch/Oakley to get to 160 and ride the bridge across the water, only to find out that 160 is a freeway until it crosses the water, so we couldn’t get our bikes across. There were no city buses or anything nearby to cart our asses, so we had to double back pretty much to Martinez to cross over. I got a flat. I expected at least one during the trip.

We rode Amtrak across the Capitol Corridor (over the Sacremento River). I love trains! I get so much done on them, and I love the big tables and nice light, and smooth ride. Especially dig the ones with the fancy dining cars. John and I went straight to the dining car on ours, which was an older style, everything was wood grain or brass, and there was this real friendly old timer workin’ the place. I saddled up to the counter and ordered a PBR.

The man started laughing and said there’s only been one other time that anyone had ever asked for a Pabst Blue Ribbon on his train.

“This one fella, about ten years ago, he asked me for Pabst Blue Ribbon. I laughed and said son I don’t think they even make those anymore. He had just gotten out of re-education, that’s what I call prison, and I asked him how long had he been locked up. He said 35 years, and I believed it, ’cause nobody orders Pabst Blue Ribbon anymore.. Hehehe, Pabst Blue Ribbon.”

So I ordered a Fat Tire and a Krispy Kreme, a well earned reward for riding my bike pointlessly for many many miles.

John refers to our non biking periods as portaging. Like we ride our bikes thes great distances, but them we have to portage them on BART to cross the bay. At times it feels like we should call ourselves Guys With Bikes, rather than Guys on Bikes.

Oh, the cd’s arrived, they look amazing. It’s a silkscreened two color cover, that sort of looks like SuperTop #1 (look for SuperTop #2 in fall of 2009!). So the cd looks and sounds great, but the one thing is.. well I wont tell you, I’ll just let people see for themselves. It is really embarrasing though to say the least.

So we are nice and relaxed now, the city is great to bike through, and Mer Mer should be here tonight with all my clothes and yo-yo t-shirts for sale.

See ya’ll when I get back.

-Doc doc