Stina and I went our separate ways on Saturday night, after cleaning the house all afternoon in preparation for the baby shower. I still am unclear why we clean before a party instead of after, but I’m glad I don’t have a upcoming big house clean hanging over my head while we have people over.
Stiners headed to Bimbo’s trying to get into the sold out Tainted Love (80’s cover band) performance. I went with Rachel and Aron to see New Monsoon at the Fillmore. This was a sorta weird chain of events, since I never really thought I’d pay to see those guys after the sketchy departure of bass player Ben. But low and behold, there I was. Fortunatly, I’m generally in good spirits when I’m at the Fillmore.
I figured they would sell it out, since every up and coming jam band sells out the Fillmore on their first headlining appearance. And they did. Good for them. The show was better then I anticipated. The bass player was totally solid. People seemed psyched. The older dude was there. I ran into some folks. The poster room was packed with some bluegrass band. Good times for all. Dan Lebowitz of ALO was there for a bunch of the tunes. I got one of their songs stuck in my head: “Water Vien“.
The highlight was actually when I arrived home, around 1ish. Stina was dancing around in the near dark listening to her ipod when I walked in. It turned out that she walked in just a couple minutes prior, and strangely enough, was listening to an audio book. It was fun to compare and contrast our evenings. She did indeed get into the show through random circumstance and had an excellent time.
We had several sets of people over for dinner last week. It was most amusing, and involved a lot of cooking. It smelled good ’round these parts for a while.
Pat Wednesday transformed into Pat and Angela Wednesday with a surprise Toronto Angela appearance. Most exciting and joyous. Moment of hilarity – Stina was beta testing potential baby shower games. She blindfolded pat, filled a large bowl with cotton balls, and had him move the cotton balls with a heavy spoon into another large bowl. We never told him what he was moving, and after he finished he said “Did I move all the marshmallows?” We didn’t correct him, and he then proceeded to pop one in his mouth.
Tony and Elana got chili for their troubles. Elana doesn’t enjoy the games so much, so we weened her on Cosmic Whimpout. Just roll the dice, good times will follow. Her skill and savvy led her to victory. On Friday, we played dominoes with DaveSG and Erin.
If you didn’t pick up, we like to play games. I particularly enjoy “I’m (not) touching you!” and “eat all these now!”
Blogger just informed me that this is my 100th post. Hurrah!
Its been an interesting weekend. On Thursday night Stina and I made plans for Friday – to swing by the Box Dog Bike 2nd anniversary party (congrads!!) and then go to some random club downtown to go 80’s dancing. On Friday afternoon, I was invited to a jam. I’ve been wanting to play music with other human beings for quite some time now. I was struggling between my commitment and what I really wanted to do, and decided upon my previous commitment. I had a great time socializing and seeing friends at the party. The 80’s club was less fun, since I wasn’t really feeling it. I also am coming the realization that with my musical snobbery, unless I’m totally into it or somewhat drunk, I don’t really dig the 80’s music as much. So I wasn’t having that great a time. Stina was having a good time though. I was happy about that.
It turned in a frat scene less then an hour after we showed up, and we decided to depart. Right before we left, Stina went to the bathroom. That’s when I saw a guy in a wheelchair, grooving to music, decide to also go to bathroom, which you had to go up a small set of stairs to do. After watching him pull himself up the flight of stairs, I had a totally different perspective on my evening, and realized how amazingly good I have it.
On Saturday, Heather informed me of an opening party at Miette’s, an upscale candy store in Hayes Valley. They had cotten candy (made from organic sugar and natural flavoring) and champagne. Yum.
Then I ended spending the night playing Domino’s with Angel, DanT, and Josh. It was just what I was feeling. Dan and Angel have become surrogate parents to Coco the wonderdog. She’s a good time.
Today Haber and I walked the park to the brewery at the Ocean. It was a great afternoon.
Friday, Stiners and I went to see the Jerry Garcia Band (sans Jerry) at the Great American Music Hall. It was a surprisingly intense evening. Right before we went in the venue, I mentioned to Stina that I was having some regrets about the new album and was feeling not so good about it. She wanted to talk about it, and was able to give me really good perspective about what I was feeling. It was incredibly supportive and helpful. We ended up talking for a while. Then we went and saw the JGB. And it was wonderful. My head space was all over the map, and I ended up thinking about some difficult moments growing up. I now recognize that if I’m thinking about a shitty time and its the first time I’ve thought about it since it happened – its a good thing. I gotta face that shit. At least with age comes perspective. So yeah. Friday with Stina and the JGB. I clinked glasses with the old hippie dude. First contact.
I knew Saturday night was gonna be the big one. We were hella productive all day and then we went to Lindsey’s Bday party at like 6:30. It was super fun to meet Lindsey’s circle of family and friends. Cool peeps. She had a food theme: mini. So she and Haber (who worked non-stop the entire time I was there) made like 15 different mini things. There were mini tacos (with full condiment selection), fried mac’n’cheese squares, mini hamburgers, and a lot of other things. I don’t want to list them. They were all delicious.
Then we went to 12 Galaxies to catch the new iteration of Izabelle. New keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist singing guy. It has good potential, but its still pretty raw right now. They did a smoking Marvin Gaye cover. The new players are seriously good, but a little dramatic for my tastes. Good times. We’ll see them again on Feb 2rd at the Connecticut Yankee. Y’all in bay area should come. It’ll be amusing to see how they’re gonna fit 7 people on that itty bitty stage.
Then Stina dropped me off at the pleasure pad party. Aww yeah. I’m still rocking. The New Up is rocking the living room. I know some people. I meet some people. Random things occur. I hung around in a hallway for while. Lotta action in the hallway. Then its past two am and I’m tired. I convinced some people leaving to drive me down the hill.
I ate some sandwich. Then passed the fuck out.
Today I reunited with my old friend the TV.
Last night went to the Crucible to see “Romeo and Juliet” performed as a fire ballet. It was AMAZING. The was fire integrated into the dancing and all through out the set. They had two staircases – one circular, one straight, that would come ablaze. I can’t aptly describe the level of dancing and choreography integrated in this performance. It blew my mind. There was elements of hip hop, circus, flamenco, and of course ballet. Juliet was an unbelievable dancer. At one point a chandelier (on fire) was lowered and dancers did some thingy like rope dancing on it while it spun. This is while dancers were all over the set. Eventually the chandelier was lowered so that it was spinning right above Romeo and Juliet – the dancers were on it casting a spinning shadow on the dancers. Jaw dropping cleverness. There was rarely a moment where there was only one thing to focus on. Even when it was just Romeo and Juliet dancing, the fire would intensify whenever the music/dancing got more intense.
Words do not really do this production justice. Unfortunately, they asked for no photography or video, so I have nothing to share with you in that regard. All I can say is go see it if you can. Its only running for another week, and all their performances will sell out. As they should.
Stina really wanted to make a lamb stew from out fabulous new cookbook “The Big Book of Soups and Stews”. We made plans for peeps to come over and enjoy it with us. That fell through. So, just as we embarked on our cooking excursion, Amanda called to ask if we wanted to join them at Kezars. We flipped it around and asked if they wanted to enjoy stew with us. It turned out, they did. So Matt and Amanda came over for some very tasty dinner. This cookbook is now three for three.
Earlier in the week I went to the Great American Music Hall website to see about tickets for the JGB on Friday. I noticed on their calender that the Everyone Orchestra was playing there on Wednesday, hosted by some .com party associated with Mac World. I emailed the conductor of the EO to see how I could attend. He asked my name, and BAM, I was on the guest list. Turned out he had 200 spots. Nice. So after dinner was finished, I headed down to the GAMH.
I’ve been hanging around in the hippie jamband circles long enough that I’m starting to know a bunch of people who circulate in that scene. I ran into a lot of the pleasure pad crew. The old dude who I see all the time was there. Rachel and Aaron came along. The opening band was Von Iva and they were great. An all female crew who fully captivated my attention and ear drums. The drummer was kick ass. The front lady had the undefinable “it” – looks, stage presence, and one hell of a voice. I totally dug them, to my surprise.
For some reason I had been really looking forward to the EO show all day long. I was feeling the urge to see some good live music and shake my thang. Fortunately, they didn’t disappoint. The line-up, as always, was stellar, chalk full of top caliber musicians. Its always great to see Asher on keys. That guy can fucking rip. Eric McFadden played some mean guitar. I went right up front, so I could see everyone and read what Matt Butler (conductor) was writing on his white board. They did a SLAMMING version of Sledgehammer, which Asher sang and played lead on. The energy was pretty high all night. Matt really did a good job of keeping the music interesting and varied. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
I was dancing almost all night, through both bands. I’m pretty much broken today. It was immeasurably good for my soul. There was maybe 200 people there, tops. The upstairs was the “VIP” bar (you needed a wristband), which was amusing since there was nobody at the downstairs bar. I ran into Ben Berstein (former bass player for New Monsoon), and he’s going to school right now learning about electronic music production. Funny, I have a background in that. Maybe we’ll do some collaboration. Maybe not. Who’s to say. My cousin Alan, who is the manager for Tea Leaf Green, was there. He’s was fresh off the jam cruise, which was allegedly off the hook. It was cool to introduce him to Tia, who is an event planner extraordinaire and currently works with Mickey Hart. It was fun to feel like I help make a connection in the San Francisco music scene. I was there, man. I was there.
Last night Haber and Lars came over for our special brand of poker. We played a couple rounds of “Do it three ways” and Haber asked me to write down the rules:
Put out three tokens. Everyone gets 9 cards. You create three hands – a 5 card hand which you want to win, a 2 card hand which you want to lose, and a 2 card hand which you want to win. No draw. Threes are wild, and they have to be wild – meaning that if your low hand is a 3 and an 8, you are showing a pair of 8s. Then you show your hands one at a time.
We also played “Don’t do it three ways”, where you make a 5 card hand you want to lose, a two card winning hand, and a two card losing hand. This is much more challenging.
We also embarked on a series of Lars themed game. The first one was a five card draw where 8’s were wild, but 8’s could only be called Lars. Then we played “It’s all about Lars”, where Lars were still wild, but all numbers/cards had to be called Lars, or you pay the pot. This led to a very amusing discussion of the rules of the game. Eventually, Haber clarified best with “All numbers are called Lars, but Lars is wild”. Then came “Follow the Lars”. I believe we peaked when we played “Maximum Lars”, where the only word you could say was “Lars” except for you were occasionally allowed to yell “Maximum Lars”. A lot of people had to pay the pot.
I think this is why I’m not invited to most poker games.
Since I spent the majority of the week cooped up the house, I was itching to get out on Friday night. Stina was more in her nesting phase, so I went out solo. I debated between a bunch of bands/events, and eventually decided on seeing “Every Move a Picture” at the Rickshaw since:
1. It was “Loaded”, a dance event that occurs every other month or so. I was definitely in the mood to dance.
2. Tony and Elana were hanging out at Danielle’s, who lived a block away from the venue.
Sold. So I grabbed a cab and got dropped off at the Rickshaw so I could get in early and grab a ticket. There were a bunch of very attractive ladies in line outside (which was kinda weird since it was so early), but I got out of the cab and into the line. Then some people had a very heated argument right next to me. That’s when I noticed there was a camera, mic, and lighting crew behind me. Whoops, I just walked right into their shot. Ah well. After the duder yelled “Cut”, I meandered inside, got a ticket and found out set times. Perfect.
I went over to Danielle’s, where they were having Burgers and Wine night. He’s housing sitting in a beautiful condo right in the center of the city, with kick ass roof access. This including caring for a genetically modified cat which was like the ideal stuffed animal. It was beautiful and fluffy, and had zero survival skills whatsoever. You could pick it up and play with it, and wouldn’t protest at all. I enjoyed a very tasty second dinner.
I wandered back to the Rickshaw around 11:30 (supposed 11:45 set-time) and the DJ was spinning some great beats. I went up front to the stage and it was full of done up girls, and very few guys. So I’m happily getting down in the throng of ladies in my home embroidered dragon tee shirt. Good times. The band came on shortly after midnight. Men appeared, and the ratio sharply shifted.
They were great. It was sorta indie meets 80’s, with hints of U2. Very very danceable, high energy music, with great vocals. I enjoyed myself thoroughly for the 45 minute set. I can see this band going places. I think that they would translate really well to a studio disc.
Thus I deem Friday night a success.
Haber turned me on to a fun PC game called eets, which has been described as “lemmings on crack”. It cost a whopping $10, and I think I’ve already gotten my money’s worth.