Last week, I made it to yet another concert. Wednesday night Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves made down here. I was pretty excited since he is either in the Northeast or touring in Europe. He swung through Dallas on the way to SXSW in Austin.
The concert was at a tiny venue called the Loft (it is in the same complex were I saw the Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings concert last year), and there were I would guess between 100-200 people there. It was kind of a weird concert, let me put it into these terms
It would have been like if Dream Theater and The Dead Kennedys were opening up for James Brown. That is how different the three styles were between the bands.
First up was Lite, a prog rock band from Japan. Which I called in my head when I first saw them. Japan seems to embrace a lot of different music genres. They were on their 51st gig in a row, and they still brought the energy. They were really good , and all of their songs were instrumentals. The drummer was just insane, and a lot of times he was doing some head banging even when he was doing nothing else. They had a keyboard that had some pieces programmed into it for some songs. Other times the rhythm guitarist would play the keyboard. Good hard rocking music.
Next up we have Mike Watt & the Missing Men. Mike Watt is a punk rock legend. I wasn't sure who he was really, but then I remembered him from the Minutemen. Really I am awful recalling member's names in bands. It was funny when Mike Watt first walked in all I saw was a man in his 50s with a cane and knee brace and two minutes later he is up on stage getting rid for his set. It was interesting that the drummer from Lite and the Missing Men shared a drum kit. The latter drummer just removed some of the pieces for a smaller kit, and then he went to town. It was a classic punk line-up of guitar, bass, and drums. It was also the part were I don't think I;ve heard the f-word said more during a shorter period of time. There was a short I believe in Mike's microphone and he kept getting shocked by it. Every time it happened he dropped an f-bomb, in addition to the ones that came naturally in the songs. Afterward I went to shake Mike Watt's hand and tell him how much I enjoyed it, and we shared a black guy hug. Pretty cool actually.
Finally, we got to the main attraction with Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves. They are really good, and can rock it. Eli has a lot of charisma on stage, and knows how to work the crowd. I did feel bad for him in that he broke a string on both of the guitars he brought, and they are such a small operation he didn't have any roadies to fix either of them. He did try to fix one offstage at one point but couldn't do it. He came back and apologized. They were still really good. I loved the drummer of the True Loves as well, he always had this big ol' smile on his face. Seemed to be having a really good time.
It was a high energy concert all around, and I enjoyed all three acts. I wouldn't mind seeing any of them again.
Last week, I finally got my hair cut after a little bit over two months. It is still weird for me that Marion, my stylist for about 25 years no longer cuts it. Even after 3 years or so later. I just thought it was silly for me to pay those prices to get my hair cut, and drive about an hour out of my way to do so. On the other hand, it also made me leery to have anyone else cut my hair. Which explains the one time I went over 4 months, and that was definitely the shaggiest I ever looked. I did go though, as I finally know what I want for the most part, and they keep notes. Before I would just tell Marion to cut it short, and let her go to work. No muss, no fuss, and I would be in and out in fifteen minutes.
The young lady who cut my hair this time I actually liked in that she actually taught me some things. At one point she was asked me if I wanted it "square or round." I asked her what she was talking about, and she told me the back of my hair. I let her know that I had never been asked that question before. Apparently a square look is a men's look. Some men want a rounded back, but it is considered more feminine. I really didn't care, because I never look back there. She cut it square since mine was pretty naturally square, and it looks cleaner that way and will grow out better.
I explained that a lot of the terms used and such are foreign to me with my previous years with Marion. She said she tries to teach her clients what to ask for, and to use the terms the hairstylist will use. That way everyone is on the same page when the cutting goes down. Just for when her clients move, or if she ends up moving away.
I like the was my hair ended up, and I asked her to take a lot off the top, and by gum she did. I was shocked how much she took, but I like it. Now I can wait two more months.
I don't know if you heard about the weather we had in the Dallas area last week or not... Anyway, I actually made to work everyday except Friday. I freely admit I can't drive on the bad roads. In my neck of the woods we had a nice 2-3 inch layer of ice on the road. Also, driving a standard makes it worse, so hard to accelerate without spinning out. I go to work Tues-Thurs though, but when the icy roads got a nice 6 inch later of snow on top of it. I decided I really didn't need to be out on the roads. The weather really is an abnormality for us here. The meterologists say it is some of the coldest weather in 30 years or so. I can never remember it being this cold for this long. Yes even in just a four day stretch.
Then of course by 2PM Saturday it was 90% melted away. The amazing thing is that at my boss' house there was still a lot of ice on his front porch as of yesterday afternoon.
I went to a Super Bowl part Sunday, but really reeled in my drinking. Having done it a million times before, but I decided I didn't want to be hungover at work on Monday. When are we going to move the Super Bowl to Saturday?
As I write this we got more sleet and snow today. After being told of a "light dusting" We need to define those terms I think. So not that mound of ice on boss' porch has some sleet sitting on top of it. Awesome
A quick hit I think. First, about a week ago I went to a bar called The Pub in McKinney, TX. I thought it was a pretty generic name, and made jokes like I drink The Beer, and later eat some of The Food. It was a pretty cool joint though. Me and my friends were seated at the bar, and for my lunch I had some shepherd's pie, actually made with lamb. It was pretty good if a bit on the salty side. What made this place for me though was this: they make their own pork rinds in house. They come out warm in a bog ol' brown paper bag. Get some of the Chulo hot sauce in a bowl, and dip the pork rinds in there. Oh, my goodness. The would start popping and cracking, and they tasted just terrific. I told one of my friends they were like Rice Krispies for adults. What made me laugh was about an hour later the group to my right got some pork rinds as well, and one the guys told his friends they were like Rice Krispies as well.
This past Friday I caught up with some friends I haven't see a looong time. My friend Little Mike had his birthday the day before, and he was going to Trinity Hall Friday afternoon to celebrate. Let's knock Trinity Hall down to begin with. I had never been there before, but it was a really cool Irish pub with a decent selection of beers on tap, and whole slew in bottles (or cans). I didn't have any of the food, but everyone who tried it said it was pretty decent food, especially for bar food.
I had two Carlsbergs myself at first. Then I tried the Kilkenny Cream Ale, which was really good. It is a nitrogenated beer, made by makers of Guinness. I give it a hearty endorsement.
Besides that it was really fun to catch up with some of those guys and gals. I've only seen Mike, Roda, and Ann about 2 times in the last 4 years. Me, Mike, and two other guys joked that the four white guys were the first ones there and on time as per usual. Some of the people I hadn't seen it 6+ years: Sean, Rodney, Sun, Tammy, Duc, other Mike (sometimes Mexican Mike, our nicknames are sometimes very direct), Winnie, Ella May, and Betty. Plus, there are always new people I've never met before. Like Sun's boyfriend Don.
It was really a trip to see Duc again after all of this time. He was perhaps one of the most wheels off, crazy assed dudes I know. In the intervening years he got married, has two kids, has a job as an office manager, and he quit smoking. Wow, for some a lot has changed.
New Year's: Well my New Year's Eve was pretty failed as my plans got canceled at about 9PM. by that point I just said "Screw it" and decided to not do anything. I still had people trying to get me to go over to their house or drive up to Winstar (a casino). Instead I just sat in front of the TV and watched a marathon of Lockup on MSNBC. I did at least stay up to midnight. I haven't before.
Karma: As some of you may or may not know I used to do volunteer work for the Hero Initiative. Well since there hasn't been a show near me that they have been at I haven't really done anything to support them lately. Well this year I decided to actually join them with a membership. I looked at the options and plunked down that money for the Bronze membership. 29 bucks, no problem. Just a few hours later I got an e-mail from the guy who runs the charity saying he was bumping me up to the Silver membership. Which I thought was very kind of him, and totally unnecessary. If you are a comic fan at all, I would highly recommend supporting them in some way. A donation, and they put out several books a year that are really fun. Like a collection of all of the Stan's Soapbox from I think 1968-1980.
Under No Management: We've had a a few local restaurants close down. The first was the closest Jack In the Box which I was kind of shocked closed. I figured if it would close it would have been 2 years ago during all of the construction going on. It made it nearly impossible to get there, once that was done I figured it would be okay. Nope, it was all boarded up.
Next, one we lost was Lenny's Sub Shop. I didn't go there a whole lot, but I did like their version of the philly cheesesteak, as they had this really good spicy relish they put on it. This place actually lasted longer than I thought it would, because it was never busy there.
Finally, Andrea's Pizza closed. This one hurts the most. It was a local mom and pop place and when I did get a pizza it was usually theirs. They had such an awesome thick crust pizza that was just a little sweet. Definitely not the cardboard variety. It was really good pizza at a decent price. Plus, I hate to see little local shops like this close to the chains.
Christmas eating: A little Christmas info. Here is what my step-mom made for three people:
a nearly 12lb turkey
carrots (did I mention this was for three people?)
2(!) Jello Salads - which I don't usually eat. Nor did I this time.
plus for dessert, also for three people. Cheesecake with strawberry sauce
There was so much food, my step mom bought some containers just for me to take leftovers home. Plus, I took a whole pumpkin pie.