Yes! The Games and Music Experience! Fresh out of SF and continuing on throughout the weekend, this games, music, break-dancing, taiko-drumming, and promotions-whoring extravaganza....turned out to be very lame. Ah hell, we got in for free, so no complaints. What we did miss out on is Flava Flave and Rob Schneider!

We expected to run into our share of dorks, and we didn't miss a beat....

We passed by this dude, and Vu thought he looked so ridiculous, we just had to have our picture taken with him. That's when I chimed in and explained that it's Vincent from Final Fantasy VII. Apparently that knowledge puts me on par for dork status with the cosplay dude. He was very flattered that we asked to have our picture taken with him, so pride and ridicule both win out! Ahh, balance.

We passed by the hip-hop stage, watched a couple dudes breakin, and I got this grand idea for a perfect photo-op that completely backfired. I handed Clay the camera and told him to snap some shots of the guys doing their thing while Chuck and I sneak behind and do a simple hand-stand or something to make it look like we're in the same league. You judge for yourself....

By this point, you can see the guy plain laughing at me because I look so ridiculous.

There was a really cute promotions girl Chuck and I were trying to talk up because she was in charge of handing out ipod nanos to the crowd. We almost swindled our way to that one, but no such luck. Completely crazy, considering how much fucking charm there is to go around when Chuck and I are on the attack. I had asked her where she was from, and to no surprise, L.A. I told her I bet she was a dancer/singer/actress, to which she replied, "And this!" motioning to her body. That's L.A. girls for you in a nutshell.

By the way, the new XBox 360 games look incredibly sweet.

After that very tepid evening, we opted for the bars, where Cockfest Central 2005 took place.

Nothing too exciting happened, other than I need to learn to open both eyes when someone takes a picture of us.
o rly?

Pandemic Express

So my vision towards starting a band is beginning to materialize....

Since it's my vision, I'll assume the role of leader as the architect of the band. My weapon of choice? Electric guitar. One of 3 such players in the band, along with a bass player (one sometimes switching off to play 2nd bass).

But never lead, rythmic guitar. I add/bring the flavor, the flair. I would be the color commentator to my bandmates' play-by-play announcer. Naturally, we'd all have pedal-boards completely tricked out for all our reverb, distortion, and delay needs.

The electric guitar is the single most important piece of hardware in today's music landscape (my opinion, of course). No other instrument is capable of driving home the hardest emotions. Therefore, the more, the merrier.

On top of that, two sets of percussion. One traditional drum kit, along with a tribal drum kit.

The combination of both is crucial. Aggressive, code-red percussion is a force that can move mountains. However, every other band that gets the formula right does so in an unorganic way, programming beats in lieu of stomping it out.

Next, the second most important instrument any band can use: a combination keyboard/laptop/synth. Want to strike that ethereal chord? Here's your winner.

What instrument can elicit a shrill, high sound to match the heights of the guitar and synth?

The ultimate play-maker: the violin!

Wait, did I forgot anyone? Ahh yes, a vocalist....

Opera singer, minus the viking garb.

Now, the mission statement:

To transform every molecule of air into a sonic reverie. Every nook and cranny, every inch of every square, engulfed in a vacuum of sound. Crafting music beyond the scope of the best of post-rock and shoegaze, with a strong emphasis on rendering listeners weak in the knees. Forging a spirit that will discombobulate the mind and reinforce the notion that music is the strongest force to behold, a power even greater than the individual. Beats and melodies that attack at the core, unleashing the animal in us all. Lush, driving soundscapes with minimalist, progressive dynamics, anchored by the most breath-taking crescendos imaginable. A tsunami-like wall of sound that swallows everything in its wake.

I'm still at the "ideas" stage. Beware what will come in five years' time.

Paypalpateen Girl Squadripalegic

Update on upcoming shows:

Minus the Bear - Oct 16th, Sun, Great American Music Hall
The Appleseed Cast - Oct 22nd, Sat, 12 Galaxies
Saxon Shore - Oct 23rd, Sun, Make-Out Room
The Go! Team - Oct 24th, Mon, The Fillmore
Broken Social Scene - Nov 9th, Wed, Grand Ballroom
Death Cab for Cutie - Nov 13th, Sun, The Warfield

Let me know if you're down.

Apartheidal Pool Toys for Tottinghammer Time

Me and Maian enjoying Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Mezzanine.

We didn't know the CYHSY/National show was sold out when we got there, but optimism triumphed as we stood in line for a couple hours at the prospect of extra tickets being available. Some dude with a headset walked out and counted out a certain number of people in line and waved us all forward. Suddenly, stories of $40 craiglist tickets and looks of pity from the will-call line meant nothing. We got in for a cover price of $15. The dude who sold me my ticket wouldn't stop talking about how gorgeous my eyes were. My eyes tend to glow when I'm euphoric like that.

The venue is located in a seedy alleyway, so you knew something hardcore was gonna go down while we were waiting outside. Behind the line of metrosexual hipster Gen-Xers sipping on their paper-bagged Sparks, a car stopped, windows down, and lots of yelling ensued. A small asian dude came up to the car's passenger window and started yelling at a guy for spitting on his friend. A massive guy stepped out from the other side of the car, threw his jacket in the backseat, yelled something about messin with his brother, rounded the car, and started swinging. The token girlfriend started screaming as her boy was being tossed around like a ragged doll, jumping in harm's way to protect him. Guys know not to hit a girl, so he got back in the car and they sped off, yelling shit about gettin fucked up. I'd seen enough of the same from my bouncer days, but all these harmless hipsters looked like they had just seen a ghost. They clanked their paper-bagged Sparks in honor of the moment.

The show was great. Not enough cute girls, though. The National managed to surprised me. Much more guitar action than I had originally given them credit for.

I also went and saw Mono, Interpol, and M83 in the time since.

charlatantric is up to 150 members. Good music wins!

Jerome in South Korea??

That's the plan! I'm busy looking for the next adventure in my life. Teaching English abroad is that current ambition. Of course, I'm very fickle, so don't hold me to it. Ideally, the program would last a year and bring me one year's experience closer to a future academic profession. Why South Korea, of all places? I don't know, just cuz. I want to experience a whole new culture with a whole different language, but I already took a year of Japanese (plus it's overrated) and my friends all already went to China. Plus the South Korean program pays the most.

Classes start early next month. We'll see what happens....

The Culf Ghost Meets the Ghost Card

My Fall TV viewing line-up:

Arrested Development
This show was introduced to me by one of my SF roommates, Brandon. No show is comprised of more inside jokes and interesting characters. The best is Gob, a womanizing, hack magician who rides around on a Segway. The casting for this show is seriously brilliant. Any show that makes use of guest appreances from the likes of Ben Stiller and half the cast of the Daily Show can never err.

FOX, Monday, 8pm, Sept. 19th

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David, co-creator of Seinfeld. That alone should sell it. I had all the episodes from the first four seasons sitting on my computer, so I watched it all in one week. I could try to describe the show, but I'd be killing the joke. Pure funny.

HBO, Sunday, 10pm, Sept. 25th

By far the most brilliant show on TV right now. I've never watched a drama that has me so riveted.

ABC, Wednesday, 9pm, Sept. 21st

American Dad
This show straddles that fine line of mocking gung-ho patriotic types, though not as well as Team America, which also mocks the left beautifully. Just as funny as Family Guy.

FOX, Sunday, 9:30pm, Sept. 11th

Those round out the four new members of the team to join among the ranks of Survivor, The Apprentice, The Daily Show, Real Time w/ Bill Maher, Family Guy, and every dating show.

I actually don't watch that much TV. Well, actually, now that football season is on, that's gonna change.

God bless Bit Torrent.

Golden Archibald Eagle Eye Cherry Stem the Tidal Wave Formattresspasskey Chain Link tothe Past Tense

Last night was......interesting.

JT and I went over to Clay and Scott's place and began drinking. I make a mean White Russian, so we got buzzed on those. We hailed a taxi and went to Mission street to make the most of our night at the bars. We met up with JT's friend, who was celebrating her birthday, and by that time I was already pretty faded. I made my rounds around the bar, turned to Clay, and said, "You see that black girl? She's been jocking me all night." Right then, the girl came up to me and asked if I graduated from Davis. She knew as much because the friend she came with was some girl I apparently had hit on 5 years ago during my freshman year in the dorms. Glad to see I can leave such a lasting impression on people.

Anyway, this girl was cute, smart, and cool. Except her name is Elsie. That's my grandma's name.

We flirted and danced the night away, and her friends wanted to rush off, so I cut my losses and settled for her phone number. Over an hour had passed since I had last seen my friends, so I moseyed around the bar looking for them. I was so fucking drunk that everything looked like a blur to me. I figured they had left, so I went outside to call them. I couldn't make out a shit's lick of what they were saying on the phone, and since the bouncers were being dicks and making everyone wait 30 minutes to get back in the bar, I grew frustrated and decided to head back home. Not wanting to spend $20 on a taxi ride home alone, I chose to walk back instead....4.5 miles. I turned into Forrest Gump and started jogging. Here's the kicker: I had no idea where I was or how to get back. But my intuitive sense of orientation came through despite my hammered state, and I made it home in one piece within 45 minutes. I downed 3 bottles of water, stripped down, threw myself onto my bed, and crashed.

(Cue 2 hours later)

I wake up to find JT at my door, shoving some girl in my room. I was still very drunk, so I was completely confused. The door was closed on us, so I did the responsible thing and introduced myself.

Long story short, this girl, 26, friends with the birthday girl we had met up with earlier, saw me at the bar, couldn't stop talking about me the whole night, and was upset that I had devoted my whole time at the bar to that one girl. All my friends thought it would be a grand idea to shove her in my room and let nature take its course. Which it did. Within 15 minutes. There's always something inherently satisfying about a cute girl whispering in you ear, "I want you to fuck me."

After dwelling on the fact that she had only known me for an hour, she had the nerve to ask if I thought she was a whore. I don't subscribe to the notion of whores/sluts/pimps/etc., so I told her to stop being a bum and worrying about it. She left that morning, and I probably won't see her again.

My friends were teasing me about it all day, saying all I ever do is yell, run, and fuck.

I still think the running home part was more interesting.

Here's a website that tracks your music-listening habits. Great way to find new music and see what your friends are listening to. Here's my profile.

The Nancy Post

It's been over six months since we broke up, so I figured it was time to put the whole relationship into "historical" perspective.

Well, where to begin? An acquaintance turned intimate partner turned friend turned girlfriend turned heartbreak. That's pretty much the gist of it.

I've never been in love before, but Nancy is by far the person I've had the most feelings for. We pretty much set ourselves up for failure, committing ourselves to a relationship knowing full-well I'd be graduating and taking off within months. Despite that, the relationship ended amicably when that time came.

The mistake came in the aftermath, when we decided to continue seeing one another when emotions were still floating around. I'm not gonna dance around anything; I fucked up big time. I was under the (false) impression that, since we were broken up, it was as good as an open relationship. And in that time, I started seeing another girl. Out of honesty (a must if you're going to be intimate with someone), the first thing I did was tell Nancy about it. She was mad, disgusted, and told me she wanted to end anything beyond a friendship between us. Me, not emotionally ready to just let the last vestige of our relationship end like that, put up a fight. I, myself, got mad and pleaded for her to reconsider. She, in turn, took my attitude as a sign where she felt sex was the only thing that mattered to me about her, and somehow had been the principal agenda during our whole relationship. At that moment, everything the last 14 months had built up to was rendered worthless, Nancy deciding she didn't want anything to ever do with me again. The inside jokes? No longer funny. The memories? Tarnished. The feelings? Abandoned. The future? Squandered....

Interestingly enough, guys see my side of it, girls her side.

Guilt, anger, sadness, I was feeling it all. Regret, mostly. I was incredibly burdened over the next two months, especially during my sleep. Whereas some people have the issue of recurring dreams, I suffered the wrath of a recurring theme. That theme being Nancy and I patching things up. So every night for two months, I'd wake up in the middle of the night thinking Nancy and I were on good terms again. Sometimes she'd tell me she forgave me as I was picking her up at the bus stop. Other times she'd just cuddle up in my arms when I was over at Bev's house. This was always followed by grave disappointment as I'd realize I was still in SF.

I felt the sting everywhere. At Picnic Day, when I saw Nancy's sister with her boyfriend, what normally would have been fair greetings was instead a smorgasbord of disdain. Her friends as well had some dirty stares.

The complication arrives here: she and my best friend, Bev, became inseparable in the time we were going out. They're still good friends and will be living together next (school) year. As a result, it's been in my interest to try and maintain some semblance of acquaintanceship with Nancy. My attempts grew fruitless, managing only to push her further away. The last time we talked, she was despondently annoyed with me and just as much bitched me out.

So why I can't I just get over it? Don't I have ice water running through my veins?

Well, for two reasons. One is, of course, Bev. She's been caught in the middle of this whole mess, and since Nancy and I are two of the biggest people in her life, it would only make sense that everyone gets along. I'll be up in Davis for Bev's 21st, as well as helping her move in to her new apartment, so Nancy and I are going to cross paths for the first time since it all went to shit. I still don't know how I'm going to react.

Second, principle. If the person I've had the most feelings for is going to hate me for something, it damn well better be legitimate. Like maybe if I burned her house down or sodomized her dog, that's one thing, but some false perception that I only used her for sex will not suffice. I feel cheated, and it still bugs me out of principle in a Seinfeldian sort of way.

Speaking of which, I have all the episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm on my computer, and it's a fucking brilliant show.

So, where do I stand now?

The romantic feelings have, for the most part, subsided. I've been with other girls without Nancy crossing my mind, if that stands for anything. I just hate the way things ended, and that still bugs me. But it's going to have to stay that way. I'd have to be a fucking idiot to bring it out and push the idea on anyone.

The reality is that Nancy and I will never talk to one another in the future other than to be make polite conversation for the sake of the people around us. There's no point in pursuing anything beyond that. And while it'll bug a part of me, the whole thing isn't going to be more than a blip on the radar considering the scope of my entire life. And for that, I'm ready to tackle whatever else life has to deliver.