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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Heavy Metal

2-and-a-half year old Cole throwing the goat.

That's my boy. Posted by Picasa

The Room of Spencer

And to think, I just had him clean it the other day.

Notice "makeshift" drummer set in the left corner or the Ron Liberti signed rock poster above the bed. Posted by Picasa

What Is This?

Spencer art.

Skateboard tricks. Notice the movement of the arms or the guy second from right with the pink deck who is doing the ollie. Or maybe it's the first guy? Or maybe it's a sequence! Posted by Picasa


After my brother-in-law came over and assessed the damage, we took a trip to Home Depot for some roofing sealant slash caulk. Sealed the area around the exhaust piping and left the wet insulation to dry. Hope plywood dries out otherwise it'll need to be replaced. At least I didn't fall through the roof when I stood on it.

One More Time... Closer

I see many trips to Home Depot in my future...
and a headache the size of Texas. Posted by Picasa


This is what greeted me this morning in the bathroom my sons use. It used to be a little brown spot. Then we got three solid days of rain.

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Guess I'll call the landlord.

Oh wait, I am the landlord, I own this place.

Shit. shit, double shit.

I think I'll take aliens up my nose over this type of home improvement.

And it's 38 degrees out. Posted by Picasa

The Aliens Are Coming

Or maybe they already came...

Had another mind blowing, yet harrowing, lucid dream last night.

This time I go to some weird compound lured by the guise of it being some family entertainment place a la Chuck E. Cheeses-meets-Seasame Street or something. Only once you get in there the kids are seperated from the adults. I have to go through these myriad of doors but they play it off funhouse funny like the beginning of Get Smart. At the last door I have to do some sort of light-in-the-eyeball ID check.

A mechanical woman's voice calls out your specs: "Greg Barbera, male, [there's some sort of escort waiting for me to enter and he says in unison w/ the voice], age 37."

I turn to him and say, "I've been here before. That's how you know."

He gives me a sheepish grin. I imagine they are going to up the dose on my amnesia meds this time. I now recall why my sinuses always hurt so bad, it's because the method they use to do whatever procedures they want to do involves entering via your nasal cavity. I shudder thinking about the pain of it all.

My recollection is patchy from here.

I know I took some sort of ferry to get to the place. But it was through the artic circle or some shit because all I remember is passing iceburgs and being frigidly cold and wondering where am I going because clearly there is no life here only to be greeted by some Mission District on ice neighborhood/city. Covered in 24hr darkness. Streetlight/car lights bouncing off the slushy, wet mess that seemed to be streets.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Had incredible nightmares last night.

- One involved a elephant running lose in a suburban neighbor and headed right for the backyard cookout I was at. People screaming. Nowhere to turn. "Fate or luck is going to get me out of thsi one," I thought. Dream fades

- Second involves alien abduction. I am sleeping in my son Cole's bed. I sense something. Get up and look out the window. There's bright lights but it's not the street lamp. Too bright. I seek solace in the room. Only now I'm lying w/ Cole and my wife. We are looking at the stars out of a sky light. And then the bright lights come. A ship, which looks like an oil drilling rig laid on its side, hovers over the sky light. "Shit," I mumble. "It's here." And then scramble to get Cole and wife out of the room. I'm behind Cole and standing in the doorway looking back on my wife on the bed. "Get up!" I yell and reach for her hand. And then the window crashes and this mechanical arm comes reaching towards me. "It wants me," I say to the room not sure to whom. "What do you want?" I scream. "Answer these questions," says a voice from nowhere. Dream fades.

- Third one. Three of my best friends and a childhood neighbor break into my house. Armed robbery. They are surprised I am home and I am surprised they are trying to rob me. They are dressed in black like cat burglers yet their faces aren't covered. This is bad they say. They tie me up, slap duck tape across my face and inject me with a needle. To put me to sleep or to kill me I do not know. Dream fades.

Seems like a good time for some Black Flag:


I'm about
To have a nervous breakdown
My head really hurts
If I don't find a way out of here
I'm gonna go berserk 'cuz
I'm crazy and I'm hurt
Head on my shoulders
It's going...berserk
I hear the same old talk talk talk
The same old lines
Don't do me that today, yeah
If you know what's good for you you'll get out of my way 'cuz
I'm crazy and I'm hurt
Head on my shoulders
I won't apologize
For acting outta line
You see the way I am
You leave any time you can 'cuz
I'm crazy and I'm hurt
Head on my shoulders
Crazy! Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!
I don't care what you fuckin' do
I don't care what you fuckin' say
I'm so sick of everything
I just want to...die!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Got A New PC

A Dell.

With sound.

And burning/ripping capabilities.

Oh my.

If I Was A Podcaster!

Fortunate Son - CCR (just because my band Chest Pains is partaking in the local Minutemen tribute show at the Local 506 on 12/10 [] and I had to learn it)

The Time Flys - Teenage Is The Stoneage

Bonniwell Music Machine - Two Much (sometimes you just got to raid the vaults)

The Blazers - Nobody Told Me

Souled American - Notes Camp Fire

Blackheart Procession - Release My Heart

Tom Waits - Underground (inspired to play this because I heard it in the suppose-to-be-for-kiddies movie Robots but it really ain't a kid flick)

X - We're Desperate

Los Olividados - Don't Cry

Lyres - Gonna Find A New Love

Blowtops - Black Jebus

Mountain Goats - Alpha Desperation March

Odell Thompson - Georgia Buck

Supersuckers - Pretty Fucked Up

Electrick Frankenstein - It's All Moving Faster

Guided By Voices - Jane of The Waking Universe

Cheap Trick - Stiff Competition

Ween - Gabrielle

Beil Young - Hopeless

Built To Spill - Else

Yo La Tengo - False Ending

Polovo - Feathers Of Forgiveness

When The Shit Hits The Fan

So my shitty sound-less PC died the weekend before thanksgiving.

I got drunk late one night and just listening to music...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mike Brainard Made A Movie

and he wants you to see it:

go to

sign up to see movies

click on "Lookin' For Some Posse"

nuff said, pard'ner

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sex Bomb Baby


What he said.

And Yet Still More Flipper!

Living For The Depression Lyrics
We're living for life to be the way we feel Not living for life, but the Death appeal Who wants a cancerous boring end when you can die from misery and following the trend? I say "Who cares anyway? Who listens to what I say?" This song rhymes and we play it in time And if you wanna live in Super Market Isles And take your vacation by flying for miles Take a day off and live in the lies While others work and capitalize I say "Who cares anyway? Who listens to what I say?" This song rhymes and we play it in time We're living like cockroaches in this place Sprayed with insecticide that leaves no trace And if we could crawl on you at night You could be sure we'd love to bite I say "Who cares anyway? Who listens to what I say?" This song rhymes and we play it in time I'm not living life to be A really cheap fucker like you Copout

Someone Say Flipper?

The Way Of The World Lyrics
There are eyes that cannot see And fingers that cannot touch That's the way of the world There are dreams left empty and blank And legs that have ceased to walk That's the way of the world There are kisses undelivered Sighs and moans unuttered That's the way of the world There are hearts no longer beating And there are entrails spilled on the floor That's the way of the world

Moonshadow, Moonshadow

We had the moonshadow tonight.

I am an Aquarius, I get the fever sometimes at full moons.

Like real insane, howlin' shit.
Werewolves of London and shit.
Fucking moonshadow.

A shadow cast by the moon?

Do you know I almost went blind tonight from that shit?


Got the [CHEESEY] telescope out, the one Gramps gave the kids years ago and tried to peeps me some astrology. I'm into horoscopes to some extent (, so, so, so, so.... so I almost lost mytrain of thought but lookin' into a telescope aiming for moonshadows is almost like bringing a magnifying glass to an eclipse.



Who is Ed? And why is he in my head? Get him out. I don't want him there anymore.


In Through The Out Door

The door to Spencer's room. Replete with the prerequisite punk rock show posters. He's a flyer artist in the making. Most of the white ones are for his band Sharks & Lions. The stickers under his name represent trips to the doctors' office over the years (7 stickers, 5 and a half years; unless he pinched two at one time which wouldn't surprise me).

He's probably behind that door listening to Thin Lizzy's Live And Dangerous, a drum set made out of old powdered Gatorade tins and a couple of shoe boxes for floor toms.

This is the kind of shit that spooks the moms on play dates.

That and the number of empty beer cans on top of my fridge. I store my empties there. When the top fills up they then are placed outside in the recycling bin... speaking of which, it is time to curb those empties. Posted by Picasa

This Is Cole's Room

My wife felt it ideal to repaint the room from the set-up we had for Spencer which was, uh, I forget but different.

So crazy Martha Stewart girl that she is, she made the curtains, did the "trains, planes, and automobiles" border (she wanted to do the whole room Thomas The Train - I objected), and got the big boy mattress.

Not that the kid ever sleeps in his bed. He's one of those that falls asleep on the floor trying to stay up with his older brother and then gets moved to mom and dad's bed after he passes out.

I object but there's no arguing with a mom. Especially a working mom who finds comfort in sharing a bed with her toddler. If he would just piss in the bed one more time maybe she'll see the light.

And that lamp? Hell yeah, that's some shit I cribbed from my parents and is total real deal '70s shit. Used to be olive green until Mrs. Martha Stewart Barbera got her hands on it and transformed it into some Trading Spaces room essential. Posted by Picasa


My name is Cole.

Please to meet you. Posted by Picasa

I Mean C'mon!

Look at this kid in action! Posted by Picasa

Go Gnomes!

So Spencer had his last soccer game of the season this past weekend. I missed it of course because I was working some bar mitzvah in Durham but my wife snapped a bunch of awesome pictures of our boy in action. Here he is jukin' some opponent enroute to a scoring the third goal of the day and sealing his umphteenth hat trick of his soccer career. As much as I bitch about my boys and rigors of being a parent, things like magic marker tattoos and little league soccer make it all worth it. Posted by Picasa

Dean Smith Has A Posse

I worked a catering gig at the chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill's house last Friday.

Carolina's legendary basketball coach Dean Smith was in attendance. Smith is like a deity around these parts.

So I was walking past him with a tray full of spent wine glasses and empty dinner plates and he said, "Excuse me."

I stopped. His voice is very nasally. Like the antithesis of Bobby Knight's.

"Can I get some coffee. Black," he asked.

I looked at my tray full of empties and then gazed over at the two girls who were making the rounds in the room with coffee and dessert, then returned to the Dean'er not saying a word.

"That's your job isn't it?" he said.

I wished I had some witty b-ball retort.

I didn't.

I went and got a cup of coffee from one of the girls and placed it in front of him.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Tattoo You

So my boys have decided that in order to fulfill their rock star fantasies, they have to be tattooed. So in recent days they have taken to drawing on themselves with these Crayola (washable I might add) magic markers.

Spencer has had a cough for the last few days and had a coughing jag so bad last night that he puked twice. So today I took him to the doctor's office. You should have seen the look on the nurse when she pulled up Spencer's shirt.

"What have we got here?" she said.
The turned to me and said, "Kids get to have all the fun. Don't you wish you could sit around all day and draw on yourself?" Little does she know.

Then Spencer's doctor comes in. Same thing happens all over again. He asks about his cough. "Do you have any chest pains?" he asks.

Spencer turns and looks at me with a smirk then mouths the words "chest pains!"

Kids. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Studio

Here's a picture of the studio we recorded in. The studio - Track and Field Recording - is nestled upstairs in the GO rehearsal space. Essentially, one of the room is wired for recording. Upstairs houses the boards and computer with Pro Tools and Rockets & Mortor's Nick Pedersen at the helm. It's amazing how long it can take to record something. We did most of our songs in one or two takes with the exception of "Action!" which took about five takes before we got a version we could live with.

Now we're going to take a week or two to sit on the rough mixes we got and see if there are any parts that need to be redone or if we want to add anything. The we'll mix it down and master it.

Fuggin' A.

It's a dream come true.

Now if we could just find somebody who wants to put it out on 7 inch vinyl... Posted by Picasa

Punk Rock

So my band went into the studio last sunday.
We recorded 10 songs.
Set up at noon and went clear through to about 9pm.
Got some good shit if I don't say so myself.
One day I'll figure out how to post audio tracks... Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 31, 2005


Halloween used to be my favorite holiday when I was a kid.

I remember being scared shitless as a kindergardener going into a neighborhood haunted house with vienna sauges and ketchup representing the home owner's cut off fingers. Or the time the one neighbor was on the roof and would throw down this rubber jack o' lantern in front of your face and then have it spring back up on its little bungie cord.

By elementary school, Halloween was a total blast: me and my school friends following the cute girls from the neighborhood around. In sixth grade I went as Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live which I thought was cool as hell because that meant I had stayed up late enough to watch SNL and therefore knew who Mr. Bill was. In all fairness, I'd probably only made it a handful of times but who the fuck was counting? Plus, as a sixth grader on the parish's A league basketball team coached by Whitey Barry, you were deemed doubly cool. Coach Barry was also the guy who ran the catered events at St. Judes, so by default this meant you qualified to work for him. My first shift ever was doing the coat check at the New Year's Eve dance at the church.

We used to fill pillow cases up full of candy. One year, probably fourth grade, some local thug "traded" me a bar of soap for my bag of candy. I was totally bummed. I saw my older brother Mike, then an eighth grade stud and neighborhood hoodlum himself. He asked me to described the guy, told me to go home and not worry about it. He came home about an hour later with a bag full of candy for me.

Freshman year in high school was a total bust. That year a rapist had been terrorizing Aspen Hill, the neighborhood I lived in, and not a soul went out. By tenth grade I was doubling as a jock and punker. I had a football game that night and then caught shit from my friend Jeff's girlfriend for being more "jock" then "punk."

The next two years of high school saw me spending many a night partying in the cemetary by Rockville High School with my friends drinking beer and listening to the Misfits. So when Halloween came, it wasn't about walking around the neighborhood trick or treating, it was about going down to mix it up with the hordes of ghouls walking around the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. One year, my friend Mr. T and I missed the Metro and spent the better part of the night walking up Wisconsin Avenue drinking a found bottle of schnapps trying to stay warm and stave off the cold until his sister woke up around 5am and came and picked us up.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


- This just heard while dropping my two-and-a-half year old off at his playschool:

"Where did you get that Hong Kong Phooey lunchbox?" says a mom to my son.

"It was mine when I was a kid," I reply.


-Yesterday at soccer practice this New Zealand woman was asking about what kind of things I get my boys involved in during the winter months. She just relocated to Carolina this summer because her husband is going to divinity school at Duke. "Many men I know," she says in her thick Kiwi accent, "always wish they learned to play guitar.

"So I'm thinking of starting the boys on violin lessons because it seems similar, ya know?" she says.

"That's not a bad idea. But why not just start on the guitar?" I say.

"I have musical instruments in the house - a bass, a guitar and drums - all available for them to use whenever they want," I say.

Another mother askes if I am in a band. "Yes," I say.
"Do you play out?" she asks.
"Yes, we just did the night before. And we play again Friday."

Kiwi mom joins in again, "I guess that's what you do to blow off steam?"

"Yep," I reply. "That and read books."

Mom Number Three joins in now. "I have a book club. We meet today."

Mom Number Two. "I was in a book club once but all we ever did was sit around and drink wine," she says with a giggle.

I tell them about the local library book sales. But add the comment that my wife thinks I already have too many books.

"You can never have too many books," says Kiwi Mom.
"And I'm told I have too many CDs," I say.
"Oh, you can never have too much music or too many books," she says.

She then turns to me and asks: "So you stay at home with your boys, do you?"

"Yeah," I say. "Have been doing it for over four years."

"You're like a hero," she says patting me on the back.

This Just In...

From my friend trey on the west coast:

We live in an information society. Virtually anything you want to know about anybody is readily available with a few keystrokes and a simple web search. And because I'm a generally observant (AKA nosy) person... I am often entertained by seeing just how much information I can gather about people I don't know. It's pathetic, obtrusive, and probably unlawful, I realize... but still fun.

Yet sometimes... I'm entertained... even inspired... far more than I could possibly imagine.Case in point.This morning, while waiting at the post office to pick up a package... I saw a guy in his mid thirties enter and join the line. He looked like a rock and roller about twenty years past his prime. Long permed eighties hair. Leather duster. Ostrich skin boots. But what really caught my attention was the way he spontaneously kissed his hand and reached up to a postal service banner which had the American flag printed in the background behind various stamp prices.

At first I thought he might have just stuck his unwanted gum up there, or something. Then I started concocting elaborate stories in my head about how his late father may have once been a mail carrier who bravely fought rain, snow, sleet, and hail for half his life - only to one day suddenly go postal over the permanent replacement of lickable stamps with self-adhesive varieties.But ignorance is anything but blissful.

For little did I know-- I was actually standing in the presence of greatness. And not just greatness... but All American, Flag-Waving, Red White and Blue, Patriotic greatness.He set down a package on the counter beside me. And naturally, I couldn't help stealing a glance at the return address - quickly memorizing the name.Dennis Madalone.Curious to know more about this oddly reverent rocker... I immediately returned to my office and typed his name into Google.And all I can really say is... GOD BLESS THE INTERNET and GOD BLESS AMERICA.

I highly recommend you visit the following links at your earliest opportunity.

Do it for yourself.

Do it for your country.

And above all else, do it for Dennis Madalone. 2005/04/29/notes042905.DTL

The Goddamn Itch

Got the damn zrytec withdrawal itch again.

I'm too broke to cough up the $30 for my monthly supply (and my wife gives me shit that I just keep taking it to avoid the itch).

So here I sit and itch.

And scratch.

Day three.

Mind over matter.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ride The Lightning

That's the title of the Metallica album that "For Whom The Bell Tolls" is on.

Had that song in my head all weekend.

Yet I couldn't find the CD at our house. I was a bit surprised at first because my wife is a huge Metallica fan (although) she stopped buying their CDs at And Justice For All. I'm not sure why. Probably because the influx of promos at the time in our house was enough to discourage from adding to the mess of CDs.

Anyway, I looked everywhere for it, finally finding it in the car. And why not? It makes an excellent soundtrack to long rode trips.

So last night I slipped on the headphone after the boys went to sleep and blasted the song til my ears bled. What a great fucking song... what a great fucking album.

I remember the first time I heard it. It was shortly after it came out in 1984. I was on the way to see G.B.H. at Sanctuary Theater in DC, when we stopped by one of his friends' houses. It was Tommy Carr the drummer for Black Market Baby. I'm nut sure if BMB was still a band or whether or not he was still in it at the time but that's how I'm placing him in my world.

So we arrive and meet him and his girlfriend. A full-on metal slut with teased hair. lots of jewerly, and very little clothes. She had just finished getting high and was still trying to doll herself up. She picked up an album and I'll I could see was a dark blue cover with lightening on it. She put on side one. "Fight Fire With Fire" came on. I instantly recognized it as a song from a mix tape my friend Tim had made me. Tim was the bass player in my thrash punk band Youth Terrorists but was the biggest metalhead I knew. I turned him on to Agnostic Front, Black Flag, Fear, Government Issue and the Bad Brains. And in turn he exposed me to Iron Maiden, Accept, Metallica, Dio and Megadeth.

So I was familiar with the band but only had three cuts of the album on my tape. I sat and listened to the album, looking at the cover was alternately peaking over it at Tommy's hot girlfriend. A few years later, in college, I would meet my wife and shortly there after Metallica became a permenant fixture in my life.

One last thing: bassist Cliff Burton is the fucking man. Rest in peace you maniac motherfucker.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

UNC vs. Duke

Okay, so this past weekend I worked two catered gigs: one at UNC and one at Duke.

The UNC gig was a pregame party held under some tents that were set up by the Bell Tower on campus located right in front of Kenan Stadium.

I got there at 9am for set-up. My co-worker Tim showed up shortly there after and we got to talking about music and art and literature as we normally do. Tim said he worked the opening of the Kerouac exhibit.

The we heard the Bell Tower go off. Or at least that's what we thought. And soon after Tim's launched into the air guitar intro for AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" verbalizing the classic rock guitar riffs. Soon after I joined in with my best Brian Johnson impersonation: "Rollin' thunder across the sky..."

We started laughing.

And then, loud as all get out, we hear Johnson's vocals come screeching out of the stadium PA system.

"Oh shit," said Tim.

I short time later, the stadium PA played "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Metallica. I made a mental note to myself that I needed to go home and play that track as loud as possible.

The crowd slowly showed up, the wine & cheese type, alumni dressed in Carolina blue eager to chow down on duck gumbo and blood marys. Shortly before game time a crowd gathered by the sidewalk.

The the football team walked a path from the Old Well on campus, down past the Bell Tower and into the stadium as fans lined either side of them cheering and hooting and hollering. They were followed by the cheerleaders and the marching band. I got to say it was pretty cool.

We broke down and I headed home for a brief rest.

The next gig was for Duke's homecoming, a prom-like fest of food, beer, wine and live band.
For 2,000 people.

They consume 20 cases of wine in an hour.

The crowd swells and moves like a paramecium: devouring everything in its way; everything in its path.
I'm bartending and all I can do is try to maintain sanity as drunken co-eds stumble around me, expecting everything ("We're Duke students! We're rich!"). By 1am the event staff bouncers are corralling the drunken horde out the door. Breakdown is a mess. There is shit everywhere. At the buffet tables, the students didn't even bother to use the plastic plates, rather they stood over the chaffing dishes like they were bowls of salsa, just picking meatballs out with their fingers and gulping them down right over it. The floor was covered in stale beer and stained with wine. Fortunately, the party planners had the foresight to lay a tarp down - now it was primed for one giant round of alcohol-infused slip n' slide.

I went to pee. The men's room was trash. A inch layer of boozey grim covering the floor and causing a major health risk. I watched one drunk guy tag his head on the brick wall on the way in, then stumble into the handicap stall to puke.

Like army ants they were. Fucking spoon fed richies who want it all and give nothing in return.

Entitlement. That about sums it up.

One of the decor guys looked over at me as we were folding chair.

"They're a whole different beast," he said shaking his head. "A whole different beast."


Finished Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers. Written in '75, it's very much in the same vein as Apocalypse Now and that flick's association with the themes addressed in Hearts Of Darkness.

Needless to say, I really dug it and plan on digging in to some more of his work.

Two weekends ago I was drinking beer with my friend Ron and telling him about Stone's book. Also mentioned to him how I finally scored a copy of Robert Bingham's anthology of short stories, Pure Slaughter Value - I'd been on the search for this one for years.

Ron laid Barry Hannah's Ray on me before I left that night.

Fuck me was that a great book.

All this reading has got me jazzed. I'm been deligently working on another short story; juiced man I am.

So today, to capitalize on my gas'ed up newfound inspiration, I went to the Wilson library on the campus of UNC where they currently have an exhibit on Jack Kerouac's On The Road. UNC has a real fucking awesome collection of Beat Lit. City Lights Books proprietor Lawrence Ferlinghetti went to UNC back in the '40s. Of course he was just Larry Ferling back then.

So one of the things they have on display is the scroll that Kerouac wrote On The Road on; it is a sight to behold - one long run-on sentence. Now I've never been a huge fan of the Beats, never got obsessive about them (save for my desire to possess every chapbook in the Pocket Poetry Series), but seeing this really put the whole Beat scene into perspective. Much like burgeoning music scenes over the years (Seattle, Minneapolis, Chapel Hill etc.), you can see how the whole thing got momentum and soon became the shell of its former shelf.

But along the way, thanks in part to Ginsberg's foresight to archive much of it through photographs, you get to discover what fueled this small group of authors who would drastically change the course of contemporary American literature. They all seemed to feed off each other; collaborating with each other; acting as another's agent; helping one type. Really, these guys were like family and the collective mindset helped them forge this new world of literature.

Man, I gotta go write!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Good Spot

So my boys and I, we've got this game we play when we are in the car called Good Spot.

What you need to spot is a Volkswagen beetle aka the bug car.

It goes something like this:

"Bug car!" hollers Spencer.
"Good spot," I say.

We have since added motorcycles and motor homes.

And convertible.

The granddaddy of them all being a convertible bug car.
Which gets the double good spot.

Like, "Bug car. Montezuma."
Now I don't know how convertible started getting called Montezumas but I assure you it had something to do w/ Spencer and his growing Hot Wheels collection.
Anyway. "Bug car. Montezuma," gets the double reply: "Good spot, good spot."

Also worthy of the double reply are blue or green bug cars.

"Bug car!" Spencer will holler. "Blue."
"Good spot," I'll say.
"Dad, it was blue. That's 'good spot, good spot'," he'll remind me.

This has been going on for about two years or so.
Which means that younger brother Cole is starting to get in on that act.
Although he often just yells out "bug car" or "good sport" at the most random times.

Until yesterday. At Spencer's soccer practice.
We all got out of the car, and parked across from us was a blue VW bug car.
"Bug car," said Cole as he pointed to it.
Spencer looked at me, said aw man and then, "Good spot, good spot," to his brother.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Through The Pores

I am sick.

Stuffy nose. Congested head. Fever. Cough.

And when I am sick, I get a junkie's sweet tooth.

I want salt and sugar; I want potato chips and starburts; twix bars and kalamata olives.

Junk food. Just give me junk food.

I once worked with this ex-junkie. She was a courier with me in DC back in the late '80s. She told me she could smell a junkie a mile away; could smell the cut oozing through their pores. The body's way to extract the poison ebbing through it's system.

I can smell myself today. I could shower twice a day during times like this and still smell the infection, seeping from my skin. I burn incense. Make potpourri. Spray air freshener. Nothing covers the smell. I change my dampened shirts several times a night. My pillow cases as well.

I had a coughing attack last night. Coughed so hard that I fell into a dry heave jag - I'd do anything just to catch my breath before the next wave hit. Made some lemon tea with honey and laid on the couch. Watched late night television.

Was duly impressed by Bryan Adams concert piped in from Ireland. Yes. That Bryan Adams. Mr. Cut's Like A Knife. The band played as a three-piece w/ Adams mostly handling the bass duties. His guitar player was a real scorcher. Fuck. I kept going back to it. I flicked between that and rock start-like illusionist Criss Angel. Now that guy is out there, man. Out there.

I came to the conclusion that late night tv is so much better then daytime tv. But late night tv is best enjoyed under the storm of sickness, when you are too tired to care about it all. Or hopped up on a handful of your favorite street drugs.

Either way, it's the pores you'll be smelling.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Post Nasal Ping Pong

You know what I'm talking about.

When you got that congested head and stuffy nose.

Decide to hit the sack. And then it starts: first it flows to the right side of your head. You have to wait a moment or two to breathe during the transition. Then it's time to blow.

After a while you switch sides, lay on the left side of your head. And the sinus migration begins. Your tongue starts to taste like the underside of a college dorm room rug. And then you surface, can breathe again. Blow.

I did this for several hours last night. I'd say I didn't sleep but then again I did have some twisted dream about getting a job as a custodian at one of the local middle schools. Had to learn how to use the tile buffer on my own. "You'll figure it out sooner or later," he said. "You're a smart guy. You went to college," said my wisened supervisor.

The weird thing was that I had to diagram on a school map where I found stuff. Like broken glass by gynasium, soilded diaper under sliding board, lost sweatshirt near the monkey bars. I had to draw these little icons of the stuff I found on this map.

This is what you get when you send your kids to school and live off of a steady diet of pulp fiction and detective shows.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Froggy Went A-Courtin'

Froggy must have the hots for my wife - because she found him in the shower last night with her.

Lord knows how a frog got into my house, much less nestled up in the corner of our tiled shower.

According to this site - - I believe he was either a gray treefog or a green one. He definitley looked like a rock. And I had just found a treefog on sunday in - where else of all places - the treehouse.

And I was reminded of the turtle my neighbor JB found earlier in the summer.

"Greg," he said over the phone. "I found a turtle in the road and I don't know what to do with it."
"Let him go," I said.
"You've got to see him," he said.

Fucking thing was as big as a hubcap.

I shit you not.

It was either a yellowbelly slider or river cooter.

Whatever it was, he was big and most likely older than all bloody get-out.

At first I figured we'd keep him as a pet and the boys could hand him down to their kids because surely this guy was going to outlive everyone. So I put him in the fenced part of my yard and went to bed. Next day I woke and a couldn't find him. How do you lose a turtle as a big as a hubcap I thought. The wife figured he'd crawled under the deck and was going to die a slow death, one that would bring lots and flies and other critters who like to feast on the dead.

Then I saw some brush move one day from the kitchen window. The fucker was huffing down the fence line obviously looking for a way to get out.

Then the wife calls and said that some girl she works with has pet turtles. "She let's them sleep in her bed," she said. My wife will believe anything. So this girl and her husband came over to rescue the turtle. I asked them basic questions I'd think turtle lovin' folk would know like how old do you think he is and what kind of turtle is it. Of course they know nothing. Real turtle lovers these people are. So smart guy husband picked up the beast and his lady sticks a blade of grass in front of his mouth. He does nothing. "Well, he's not a snapping turtle," she said. Fuckin' crikey mate! I could have told you that. And if it even crossed your mind he might be a snapper would you put your finger anywhere near his mouth?

I wonder if that turtle soup was good?

The List

Books I want to read.

Memoirs: from James Frey and Augustus Burroughs.

Bio: Nick Tosches penned tome on Dean Martin

Housebroken by David Eddie. The fucker who beat me to the stay-at-home-dad published punch

and I just picked up Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers...


I've taken - in my newfound free time - up reading again (yeah, mike i'll read that fucking screenplay soon).

I tackled The Comedy Writer by Peter Farrelly. One of the Farrelly brothers most noted for movies like Dumb And Dumber and Something About Mary. I had read the book years ago when it first came out. Friggin' hilarious. So I sent it to my brother Mike who is the funniest person I know and he's not even a comic. Anyway, I spotted it at the library book sale and figured it was time to revisit it. And I cracked up all over again.

I just finished Laura Lippman's Baltimore Blues. An awesome crime novel set in Baltimore. She's like a female verson of one of my favorite crime writers George Pelicanos, whose novels all take place in DC.

Back To School

It hasn't been easy for the boys. Neither has warmed up to the idea of school.

My 5 yr. old Spencer has broken down into tears just about every day that I've dropped him off at kindergarten.

I'm not quite sure what this is all about as he had been going to a playschool several days a week for almost three years. Best I can guess is that going from a hippie co-op w/ young girls as teachers to public school where Mrs. Doubtfire is his homeroom teacher has been the most traumatic.

Cole, whom I thought would be digging the interaction w/ other kids (he often seemed bored by me over the summer) has gone the route of his older brother and cries like he's in need of an exorcism every time I drop him off.

These are the joys of parenting my friends.


The summer went something like this:

a. spencer learned to swim, and when i mean swim i mean cannon balls into the 4 ft. deep end w/o me or the lifeguard having to worry about him drowning.

b. he also learned to open his eyes under water

c. he also taught his younger brother cole how to do the heavy metal rock sign

d. my band - chest pains - played out severla times. live footage can be seen at:

e. i taught a class on how to make a zine at the Duke Young Writers' Camp ( i had two classes. one comprised of six middle school girls and another comprised of 13 high schoolers (10 girls, 3 boys). i learned that technology has greatly altered the course of adolescence. i took the middle schoolers to a dance performance by the ADF ( where one girl text messaged her friend during the entire 20 minute performance. in the high school class, i watched a young crush develop between two students - who shared iPod earpieces in class everyday. one day, while taking a field trip to 9th Street - the main drag of stores by Duke - i said to them as they walked earpiece-to-earpiece, "back in my day, when we liked someone we held hands." of course all i got was blank stares. fucking old man that i am.

f. i had a piece published at ironically, after all these years of writing, it represents my first piece of fiction published. and it's a fucking doozey.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Coming Up For Air


Taking a a gulp of warm, sticky, humid air.

Two more weeks and summer officially ends which means they boys go to school: Spencer will make his kindergarten debut and Cole will make his playschool debut and punk rock daddy will finally get some quality time to himself twice a week from 9am -1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Blog updates will be more frequent I promise.

Stay tuned.

until then, waste what idle time you have over here:

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Sanity Slowly Slipping

And it's only the first week of summer vacation.

The boys are maddening.

Cole always wants something to drink. "Juice," he'll say. Or "Milk." So I've taken the necessary precautions and bring along some juice in the car everytime I go somewhere like the grocery store or the park. Of course, he either drinks it all immediately and then asks for more juice in ten minutes or you give him juice and he wants milk.

Add to this an unhealthy obsession with Thomas The Train and the mental state of my brain takes some heavy hits.

Then Spencer adds his two cents in. I promise to take him to the pool on a play date but forgot it was the day the flooring guys came to replace the kitchen floor. Boy has meltdown when he finds out we're stuck at the house for the majority of the day. Quite honestly, I felt for him. I wanted to go to the pool as well.

Of course, I didn't whine about for the next two days like he did.

Then he wanted to go to this park that has a lined baseball field. Baseball being his current sports obsession. But the field was off limits because it was freshly lined. And just like his little brother, he managed to drink all his juice before we even got to the field. It's 90 fucking degrees here in Carolina folks and humid as a motherfucker. I know in two short steps the two will be sweating and thirsty.

Today it worked out for the best because when they started to lay into me with their demands for their thirst to be cured, a stormed loomed on the horizon and we got home just in time to miss the downpour...

And just in time to hear the moans for food, the requests for Thomas videos, and the need to pester me, dad, incessantly about anything.

Xanax anyone?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Trying to enjoy what little I have left.

Come tomorrow, summer vacation officially starts.

Which means tending to two boys, 5 and 2, from 6am to 6pm.

You can only go the the zoo, the pool or the museum so many times before it boys the fucking hell out of you.

Looking forward to the first few times though.

Tomorrow we're going to do the family picnic thing after Spencer graduates from playschool.

Maybe do som fishing.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Caught Up On Catching Up?


Two weeks just fly by.

Chest Pains played our second gig.

Masotodon blew the roof off the Cat's Cradle.

Had life affirming experience at band practice when my guitar player's Mexican neighbors invited us into their practice space, played a 30 minute set of whatever it is that they play (country? sung falsetto and backed by a polka beat), the asked us to step up and play. We played one song. The Tim left and returned with his amp and Fender guitar. Played two more songs. Got greeted by chants of "uno mas! uno mas!" and "my first time hearing American heavy metal!" Then retired and let the Mexican guitar player and his brother on drums take us through a Stones-like romp of Mexican rock & roll. Epic. More on this later.

Father-in-law got menigitis. He's okay now.

Son Cole turned two.

Saw the most fucked up movie: The Saddest Music In The World.

I'm sure more happened.

Enjoy the abridged for now.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Shit, While I'm At It...

here's another gem of a poem.

inspired by the *first* Gulf War.

nothing has changed my friends:

This Ain’t Alaska

Smell of a thousand
oil changes lingers in the air.
Incessant eye sting
brings tear trail,
cutting and carving the face their way - down.

Sand clings like Bay mud
to boots, hands, lizard, and the like.
Darkness at noon
here to sway metabolism
cheating lives - away.

Soupy skin of disaster
looks straight out of hell.
This ain’t Alaska
rather modern day Mesopotamia
burning from the inside.
Eden seems some far away - now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Laundry, Fucking Laundry

I feel like I'm always doing laundry.

Always a load or two to do.

Always a bundle of clothes to be folded.

Fucking laundry.

I hate laundry... almost as bad as I hate VH1 Movies That Rock.

But, in honor of my buddy and fellow archivilist Mike Daily,
I bring you this gem from 1988:

The Church Of For Best Results

It wasn’t gray out
but rather hot - too hot.
The gray skies seem synonymous
with doing laundry; maybe it’s all those
sunshiny-fresh detergent commercials.

Heavy air of heat was beginning
to crush down on my chest
and the faint tingle of listlessness poked his head out.
Laundry isn’t terrible only
full of inconveniences: humming dryers,
dust of detergent to tickle the nose; bleach to burn it.
And the radio, just loud enough to not be ignored,
dancing between dryer and washing machine.

Becomes religious to some; apostolic.
Same day, same time, same machine.
Alcleaning, washing souls mixing
the darks with the whites.
The Church of for Best Results
and its congregation
going soul-searching with the Tide.

Chest Pains in Chapel Hill

So the Ron Liberti flyer is for my band's second show ever at some new club in Chapel Hill called Wetlands.

Last night I was drinking and spinning records getting juiced up for the show, working off some nervous energy and generally just inspired to be making music again - punk rock no less - after a 20 year absence.

I got to thinking about how to describe the band because people aske me what we sound like and hell I've been in the business of telling people what bands sound like for many moons as a music journalist/rock critic.

Yet I find it oddly incomprehensible to describe my own band.

Last night I looked at the pile of vinyl records next to my turntable, the ones currently in rotation, and I thought that might be a good place to start for inquiring minds as to getting to the bottom of what my band may sound like from my perspective.

Here's the list:

Sacchraine Trust Paganicons
Reigning Sound Time Bomb High School
Flipper Album
The Dehumanizers End Of Time
Minor Threat Out Of Step
Mentors You Axed For It!
ZZ Top Tres Hombres
Sheer Terror Just Can't Hate Enough
Rites Of Spring self-titled debut
Die Kreuzen self-titled debut
FEAR The Record
Venom Black Metal
Thee Headcoats Elementary Headcoats
Fang Landshark!
Laughing Hyenas You Can't Pray A Lie



so I figured out how to post pictures on the blog.

Intriguing yet slightly disturbing, no? Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

This is the tree house my friends Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005

Punk Rock For Life

So my band - the Chest Pains - played our first show this past weekend.

It was a four-band bill in Raleigh at a place called Kings (

I was nervous as all get out come the day of the show.
But we came, saw and conquered.

Nobody could have fingered us as a new band. Most folks thought we were tight.
Which is good.

I fucked up the verse on the first song but we figured out how to fuck up and keep playing weeks
ago, so it was all good. By the second song, I was channeling my inner rock god and going full bore.

The club owner said my vocals reminded him of Dez Cadena-era Black Flag, my friend Daniel over at thought we had some Minutemen-esque moments. Another friend said we sound like Gwar. Nothing to complain about there; our 8 songs in 20 minutes won over many, as we were asked to be the opener for shows next month with The Ghost Of Rock and the Chrome Plated Apostles. Also Kings c-owner (and Cherry Valence bassist) Paul Siler said he was happy to see something that punk at his club.


Keeping the flame alive.

Punk rock for life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Lecture

Okay, so I got the lecture again today.

From my wife.

The "you are so fucked up I can't trust you" lecture.

It was almost comical. Comical in the sense of context: Saturday I'm set to play the first show with my new band - first band in 20 years I might add - and my wife thinks it's going to turn into a drunken intervention of the collgiate kind. I think her exact words were: "you will be puking in the alley way behind the club."

I heard Homer Simpson in my head... "It's funny cuz it's true!"
I mean you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I have no agenda set out to get totally fucked up that night but then again there are few nights I've set out to do that yet most nights it can happen. So I'm not aggrevivated by such a comment as smirking delusional on her part - it is what it is.

Egged on even more by the prospect of going to a rugby reunion at my old college the following weekend. "You'll be drunk then too!" Fuck, I'm drunk now! Shut up. And what's so wrong about living a little. "Your pushing 40, have kids, you can't be passing out in the gutter."

But I like the gutter. Me and the gutter are old friends. And sometimes you like to get in touch with your old friends. I guess that's what the lecture was about. Old friends. Gutters. Vomit. Conspiracies. Booze. Brass rings and broken mopeds.

I fucking hate lectures.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Drama City

Not only is Drama City the name of the new George Pelecanos book, but it also sums up my weekend.

Drama started on Friday when I was the victim of a shift change: I was scheduled to work a 200 person served dinner. But when I got to the site, it had turned out that I had been switched to another party - still a served dinner - but only for 70 guests. I could live with that.

What I couldn't live with was getting caught in a downpour while trying to unload food from the van into the building. Working in wet clothes is no fun, I can tell you that. Top that off with having to work with a recently divorced woman so bitter that I believe at times she thought I was her ex-husband by the way she was talking to me. She also had a hard time counting - several times throughout the night I asked her how many plates of needed to run to her from the kitchen she gave me the wrong number.

Next day I worked a party in Raleigh. It iwas a fund raiser for an all-girl private school called Saint Mary's. I got put on bar with this African American guy named Kenny who gave me funniest, dirtiest running commentary throughout the night. "Ooh G, look at that girl. Wo, I'd tear that shit up!" he said standing like the pimp he thinks he is. He then preceeded to rate and grade every female that walked by us be it a co-worker or guest of the party. "Look at that old lady wearing fishnet stockings. Holy smokes. She must be 60. What's a 60-year-old lady doing wearing fishnet stockings?" he finished with a question. "But she looked good though."

He confessed toward the end of the shift that he hasn't eating pussy in over a year and a half but that he's starting to get the hankering for a taste of it. I told him years ago, while working as a courier in DC, that a co-worker told me that "black guys don't eat pussy." Indeed it was a black man that told me so. "It's true Greg," he said. "We don't. But I'll take getting my dick sucked all night long! Sure enough," he said. "But sometimes don't you have to give to receive?" I asked.
"Sheeeet," he said. "Not Kenny."

The talk of pussy reminded me of a friend of mine named Doug, who as an undergrad at the University Of Maryland, had earned himself the nickname Muff Man because he loved to eat him some pussy. I shudder to think at wear his mouth has been. I told this this story to Kenny to which he replied, "Yeah, I do hear that the white man loves himself some pussy."

The shift goes from bad to worse when the hour and a half cocktail reception goes past two hours as the hostess bellowed from a sqeaky mic, "Folks, Pl-ease sit down!" Kitchen crew panics as it throws off the cooking of 350 filet mignons. Tragedy strikes again when it is discovered that the diagram that has everybodies designated sections on it has been taped to the wall upside down.
So I was really in section 9, not 6. Confusion ensued. Our VIP party turned into and All You Can Eat at Red Lobster scene with chaos as to who was serving which table. Could it get worse? Yes. Halfway through dessert the hostess anounces that the bar has opened back up. Kenny and I look at each other. "Oh shit!" he said before scrambling for some bags of ice to replenish the ice bowl. Back at the bar I calm the nerves with a double Kettel One and tonic. By the night's end, I would be borderline drunk.

Next day. Sunday. The family is about to head off the the store when a scream came from the passenger side of our parked car. As I walk around I saw Cole's hand closed in the door. I don't know how to react: I'm scare at the site of his hand; I want to open a can of whoop ass on Spencer. Cole turned out to be okay but I still lsot my shit on Spencer.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Old King Cole Was A Jolly Old Soul

While my son Cole is generally a happy kid like the fairy tale that he wasn't named after, he is turning out to be quite the mischievous lad.

I've caught him wrapping the living room in toilet paper and I've stopped him from pulling wine bottles out of the wine rack. Just two days ago, I went into the kitchen to make lunch for us and when I was finished preparing it and came back to get him, I noticed the sliding door to the deck in our back yard was open. I dashed outside, yelled his name, and saw him standing in the middle of my neighbor's back yard sticking his finger in what appeared to be a mud puddle.

You can't turn your head for a second with this boy.

No sir.

As a matter of fact, I'm going to check and see if he's still napping.

Just because the house is quiet doesn't mean he's not trying to bring on the ruckus.

We Are The Chestpains

It's downright odd that my band has its first gig almost a year to the day of my sudafed O.D., which happened April 19 of last year.

Ironic in that it was because of that health scare that I got off my ass and decided to start a punk rock band; ironic in that it's how the band got our name.

So the band has buckled down.

We've scheduled two extra practices into the next two weeks - Sunday and Wednesdays respectively - to tighten up our 10-songs-in-25 minutes set. Two of them are covers: "Beverly Hills" off of the Circle Jerks' seminal Group Sex album and "Hall Of Fame" from Joyride-era Goverment Issue. Again you can find irony: we only added the covers as a way to pad our set, yet each song barely clocks in at 60 seconds.

It's Snowing Out

But the flakes are not frozen water, rather a fine yellow mist of pine pollen.

This is the time of year I dread: sinus hell.

Despite the fact that the weather is beautiful - mid-70s with a gentle breeze - you cannot open the windows to your house or car because it will be covered in a fine yellow film of pine pollen.

When the wind blows, little mini tornados - dust devils - whirl about in all their yellow glory and I have to be on my best behavior or else I will be crushed by it all; the whirling devils a constant reminder of the evil that lurks outside my closed windows.

I've been vigilant in taking my Zyrtec and even got a prescription to Flonase filled just as an extra percaution to ward off the rhinitis and sinusitis that I'm prone to get this time of year. My head is still mad congested - and I can hear my sinuses whistle and squeak when I blow my nose - but at least I can function and don't feel like total horseshit.

It's important that I keep my wits about it all right now as:

a.) it's the busiest time of the year for the catering world of which is my sole means of income
b.) my band - the Chestpains ( - have our debut gig April 23 at Kings in Raleigh (

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Pope Died

And being the good Catholic that I am, I figured I should weigh in on the matter.

As much as I have abandoned catholicism and its strict guidelines over the years, the impact of 12 years of Catholic school made a strong imprint.

This blog's name afterall is based on St. Jude who is seen as the patron saint of hopeless cases and lost causes. We catholics have a patron saint for everything, trust me.

St. Jude was also the name of the parish I belonged to growing up and consquently, the name of the elementary school I went to from first to eighth grade.

Our school field trips were to places like cathedrals and shrines. There were May Processions and Friday masses; First Communion and Confirmation; and lots of confessioning.

I still dearly moved by religious iconography and art.
I mean what is the first thing you see when you walk into a catholic church?
Jesus nailed to the cross.

Like Mardi Gras

So UNC won the NCAA basketball championship last night.

And in predictable fashion, drunken revelry ensued: people flocked to the town's main drag Franklin Street, started bonfires, hung from street signs and trees and stumbled around like freaks on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.

There are some hungover people today in Chapel Hill.

One of them was a mother of four. Her oldest daughter plays on my son Spencer's soccer team. Her husband is an academic counselor for student athletes at UNC.

Shortly after arrived for the 4 pm practice, she mumbles to me that she has a raging headache.
"I celebrated a little too hard last night," she said.

It's a little after 7 pm and I'm on my second vodka tonic.

No hangovers here my friend.

Monday, April 04, 2005


And for those of you still wondering about the status of my cock, well its alive and well.

I dropped off an ejaculation sample at the urology clinic today and got a call back later that I officially have no swimmers... my sperm has been rendered unless.

Now for those of you paying any attention, you realize that I had my vasectomy procedure way back in January.

It's true, it has taken me that long to get up the nerve to cum into a sample specimen cup.
I mean I don't have a problem impregnating the sewer/septic systems of the world but there's something about having to put it in a cup and take it somewhere that kept me from doing it.

My interaction went something like this:

"Honey, what do you say we knock out a sample for the doctor today?"
"Um, well okay," she says.
"What do you have in mind?"

I unbuckle my pants and dropped my drawers to reveal a hard cock.
"I'm thinking it'd be great if you blew me"

"It better not take long," she says.
"Does it ever?" I say.

Then I call the urologist and ask if the doctor's in (this is what I've been instructed to do knowing full well my doctor isn't going to test my semen for sperm).

The doctor's in alright.

"Can I drop off a sperm sample?" I say.
The old lady receptionist does her best Mrs. Doubtfire impersonation: "Ohh well um, hee ho, why I'm yes."

Five minutes later I'm at the doctor's office with my sample in a brown lunch bag as to not scare anybody walking in with a specimen cup loaded up with cum. Mrs. Doubtfire asks me a few questions.

"Is this from this morning?"
I turn around and look at the clock.
"Um, about ten minutes ago," I say.
"Uh, ooh, ahem, Okay and your date of birth is?" asks Mrs. Doubtfire and I could swear she was blushing.
"Two sixteen sixty eight,"I say.
"And when was your procedure?" she asks.
The phone rings.
"Excuse me," she says as she picks up the phone.
"Durham Urology. How can I help you?"

I can't help but wonder what the person who handles these specimens thinks:
"Um, that's all he could muster up? Poor fellow" or "God damn that guy delivered a monster load." And then I have this weird, creepy sexual deviant thought that the lady who works in the lab is one of those buttakke-types who likes to drink cum. Of course! That's why she works in the lab testing men's ejacualte for traces of sperm.

I'm only momentarily freaked out by this.
And it's more so that I thought about it then it actually happening.

Christ My Spelling Is Bad

I'm so glad my mother doesn't read this blog.

Lord onlyknows how much she'd be on my ass seeing all those mispelled words in the last few posts. I mean given the fucking fit she threw about the way I endorsed my checks and all.

The next vodka tonic is for you mom.


They're Playing Basketball


That's right folks. There's a basketball game on tonight.

And if you live in my neck of the woods, this means serious business.
Bars are apacked, streets are closed, blue spray paint has been unavailbale for sale for a couple of days and hotels are packed to the brim with the faithful.

ACC basketball in the Southeast is like a religion; like fucking Pentecostal snakehandlers, worked up into a fevered pitched for their team.

Once I went to the grocery store in mid-February on a Saturday, late afternoon, and it ws like a ghost town. "It sure is slow in here for a Saturday afternoon," I said to the cashier.

"Game's on," she said.

Tree House Boot Camp

Oh my.

The wifey took off last week for spring break, whihc just also happened to correspond with my son Spencer's 5th birthday.

And yeah, stupid us we made some promises: to take him to the beach and to build him a tree house.

The beacj part was easy. My wife works for Holiday Inn so we scored an Employee rate at the Holiday Inn in Wrightsville Beach, NC. A little over two hours is the drive and there's pretty much nothing between Raleigh and the beach. It can get boring. But the boys slept most of the way, that is until the wife got pulled over for speeding by an unmarked police car.

I'd tell you more but all you locals can read about it in the next issue of Raleigh's Hatchet magazine ( where it will be the bulk of my Confessions Of A Punk Rock Dad column.

Anyway, to brief you on the subject, the wife and I spent the better part of four days - from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - contructing a tree house for the kids in our backyard. By Day Two, my body was so sore I thought I was coming down with the flu. By Day 4, I couldn't close my fingers into a fist from excessive use of hammer and drill.

Hey, but will built the fucking thing in a week.
And it's strong, study and has a god damn tin roof to boot.

Too Much Time On Their Hands

I've officially come to the conclusion that most bloggers have entirely too much time on their hands.


Pot calling the kettle black?
Maybe so, but I haven't posted anything in two weeks and suddenly my password has changed, the Pope has died and my son had a birthday.

People think that being a stay-at-home-dad, I have all the time in the world on my hands.
I should be posting a good half dozen blogs a day. To some extent, I agree. I should be posting more.

So prepare yourself for the dazzling display of catch up I'm going to do this evening....

Friday, March 18, 2005

Mike Daily Starring As The Archivalist

My good friend Mike Daily saves everything.

He is an archivalist.

Recently, Mike sent me an email with cullings he collected from the archives of our communications over the year.

Below are some of them:


"never heard an elephant..."
ebbed out of his snout
before blacking out.



did the usual - find the
farthest space away
and park. this theory
eliminates the UPCLOSE
psychos and allows
for an easy exit. my
quarter panels thank
me for this. the
buffalos on the
Dumbarton bridge are
on my mind. big bronze
bison - guarding



sitting on the dryer in
the Drury Lane wash room.
watching Lee wash his
bong. talking about
the lack of emotions -
the going through of
motions. it's New Year's
Eve 1992.



Drinking with my friends
only they're not here
to hear
It's make-believe
because somethimes that's
how it has got to be.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Makin' Good On Promises

So I managed to come through on my desire to start exercising my fat ass.

I went for a bike ride today as well as yesterday.

I love riding my bike.

I do.

I'm currently sporting a 24 inch Mongoose Brawler.

It's real nice because it captures the essence of those days of my youth spent cruising around looking for jumps on my PK Ripper but also is sized slightly larger and has a short wheel base ideal for trail riding.

I felt like I could have riden forever today.

Like back in the day when I'd ride from my parents house in suburban Maryland down through Rock Creek Park and into DC.

Me and my buddy Scooby. We say we were going to ride to the National Zoo but we'd eventually end up at some bar and then skip off on every imaginable trail on the way back home. I'm talking a good twelves hours or more in the saddle. We lived on our bikes.

Scooby was short for Scooby Doo because he was a black guy with a flat-top fade like Big Daddy Kane in the late '80s and he looked like the cartoon character.

We all had nicknames.

My whole BMX crew and those loosely surrounding the BMX mecca that was Rockville BMX. The most noted alum of Rockville BMX is film maker Spike Jonze.

There was Nubby who used to get me in all sorts of trouble in high school. Nubby was the kind of guy who would say he's picking you up at 10pm and not show up until 11:30pm.

In high school mind you.

But my parents loved Nubby so I generally got away with murder hanging out with Nubby and Scooby.

My name was, and still is, Greg E. Boy.

Eventually, I would end up working as a courier at a place called Topel Blueprinting in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Scooby's older brothers both worked there - his brother Stephen was the spitting image of Weird Harold from Fat Albert. Notice something about this family? They all looked like cartoon characters who had come to life.

One day when I had come back from my spring semester at Towson State and resumed my summer job at Topel, I spotted Rodney ( wearing a tie standing on the median strip in downtown Silver Spring.

"What are you doing Rod?" I asked him because he didn't look comfortable wearing a tie.
"Man, this shit sucks!" he hollered into my open car window.
"I got to find me a job," he said.

Two days later, Rodney was working at as a courier with Scooby, Nubby and myself. By our bosses, we were affectionately known as the Dickie Boys. Oh, I can't forget The Wedge. The Wedge looked like Slash. He did.

It was commom knowledge around the office that Thursdays meant $2 pitchers of Rolling Rock at Cagney's in Dupont Circle. The bosses used to take bets to see which one of us would be the most hungover, be late or worse yet, who wouldn't show on Friday.

It was usually Rodney who was M.I.A. Because Rodney was a man whore.

Anyway, back to the bike: I've forged lifelong friendships through riding BMX. These guys are like brothers to me. And although I haven't spoken with some in years (Nubby does nothing but ride his Ducati sports motorcycle; Scooby is a mountain bike guide in Boulder, Colorado, where he claims he's "the only black man" and likes it that way), but if I saw them tomorrow I know it would be like we never skipped a beat.

And the stories we could tell...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Weighing In

I started wearing a belt years ago when my waistline girth started to exceed it's proper limits.

Weigh gain first started to appear on my lean frame in the mid-'90s, after I moved from
Los Angeles to North Carolina. The year was 1995 and it would be the time when I first became working in the food service industry.

I skipped around hotel jobs like being a bellman at The Washington Duke Inn (which is across the street from Duke University) until finally ladning decent part-time work as a banquet server at Hope Valley Country Club in Durham. It was here that I first noticed my belly starting to bulge.

It was easy to get to as employee meals where usually left over food from the wedding reception of cocktail party. You never really felt like you were eating a lot because your intake was done by constant grazing: a few appetizers here and couple of rolls of bread there, maybe plate of mash potatoes downed after the shift. Brunch for me was the ideal shift, although most people hated it, because you had unlimited access to bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and fruit.

Eventually, like most places I've worked where food is served, you get bored of seeing the same selections over and over again, get sick of the taste and curb your appetite.

The I got a full-time job working at a weekly newspaper.

I had scored the dream job: music editor.

The downside was that it involved sitting on my ass in a cubicle for 8 to 10 hours a day.

And then there was the daily lunch trip with my co-worker the Reverend Gene Slax, he of the red pen and copy edit God. Suddenly, there was many options: chicken philly sandwiches, great pizza and extraordinary sandwich shops. Life was good. Slax often busted on me for looking pregnant so I would push my belly out and rub it just to taunt him.

Enter the belt.

It allowed me to strap it up or down a notch depending on my mood. Around that time, it was customary to ride it on the third notch.

Things went sour years later and I got laid off.

So it was back to catering. Only this time none of my black pants fit. I had gone from a 32 inch waist to a 36 inch waist. I needed new clothes.

I trimmed down a bit and many rode the fourth notch.

And it was like that for years.

Then last year the whole chronic sinus infection-turned-into-sudafed-overdosing and I found myself making constant trips to the doctor's office. Each trip required a weigh in.

At my heaviest, I remember tipping the scales at about 173 pounds.

I tried to get into excising, but my first son had been born by now and finding the time and energy wasn't quite as easy as I hoped it would be.

I maintained a good 168 pound frame for many moons and was comfortable at the belt's fourth notch. Some days, when manual labor was required of me, I'd slipped it up to the fifth notch, making my jeans or pants snug enough to avoid any gangsta-styled baggy sagging.

Then just the other day it happened: I felt like I needed to hit the fifth notch.

I reached down to adjust my belt, and lo and behold, I already was on the fifth notch.

I tried hitting six but that was far too tight.

Dumbfounded because I had made no real attempt to lose weight only changing my diet by reducing dairy for it caused too much havoc on my sinuses, I decided to step on the scale in the bathroom.


Damn. Haven't seen myself under 160 in quite some time. I hope to seize this moment to jump into some spring time exercise routine (of minimal effort) by riding my bike and doing a few simple sets of push-ups and sit-ups.

Although, I can say I've never felt the slightest bit concerned about my girth and I have no desire to get back to my lean 135 pound college days frame.

But I would like to stay under 160.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Checks & Balances

So my mom calls last night.

Her purpose is to razz me about my signature.

Seems mom was balancing her checkbook and came across a check she sent me for my birthday back in February.

"What kind of signature is that?" she cackled into the phone.
"What are you talking about?" I asked
"The way you endorsed the check I sent you" she said.

This is followed by a debate on generations and how sloppy handwriting has gotten over the years. In typical Catholic guilt fashion, she tossed in: "I thought I taught you better."
Like some how my shitty handwriting is a reflection on my mother.

She quickly segued into how I should take Spencer to church.
"When he's old enough to sit through mass, I will take him," I said.
"He can't even sit still or be quiet in a movie theater," I said.
"You've taken him to the movies?" she says all surprised like that was a bad thing.
"How many times have you taken him to the movies?" she asked.
"Once," I said. "And it was a bad idea, he wouldn't shut up or sit still."

She confesses that my sister has taken her kids, triplets who are one year older than Spencer,
to a movie theater once.

"But you could go show him what a church is," she said.
"Mom, he knows what a church is," I said.
"Well go when there's no mass and show him around. Or," she paused, "take him to a synagoge."
Adding that last part in an effort to not seem too insensitive to the fact that I'm married to a Jewish girl.

"But I don't know when they are open," she added.

Fuckin' mom.

Gotta love her old school sensibilities.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Chronic Case of Hopelessness

I spelled zyrtec wrong in the previous post.

Ironically, no links are atributed to love or music.



I was going to blog on endlessly about my soon-to-be-5 son Spencer's
first soccer game this weekend.

He had one goal and one assist and lead his team to victory.

But as I was browsing over recent posts I started to notice
links that I didn't put there.


I will type in a few words and we'll see which ones get the special
"hey I'm underlined and a link!" treatment.

Car. Home. Zrytec. Heart. Penis. Drugs. Music. Love. Rock 'n' roll.

Let's see what happens folks.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Pee Wee's Playhouse

I turned my kids on Pee Wee's Playhouse yesterday.

I was on my way back from a play date that Spencer had with his friend Jack. Elizabeth, Jack's mom, had decided to quit drinking during the week and requested that I take the beer in the fridge.

There were four beers.

I drank them instead of taking them.

So with a very mild buzz, I stopped by the video store with the kids on the way back home. Spencer rented some animated movie about a dog in the Great White North, Cole rented a Wiggles DVD because that kid loves the friggin' Wiggles. I spotted a Pee Wee's Playhouse DVD.

I picked it up and said, "I'm going to turn you guys on to something really cool."

It's just barely after 8 am the following day, and both boys are sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching Pee Wee Playhouse.

Thank you Pee Wee.

Oh and Penny rules!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005, R.I.P.


It goes something like this:
"You probably already know this, but Hunter Thompson died. Killed himself."

I did not know this when the news came via a phone call.

A few minutes later, my kids are still asleep in the back of the car on the way to the grocery store.

The sky is overcast; it is balmy out. A perfect day for the topic of death.

My eyes well up.

"Fuck me," I think.

"Why am I about to weep over the death of a man I've never met?"

I'll tell you why: because after reading Hunter Thompson, he changed the course of my life.


It'd be silly for me to try and put into words what this man meant to me or how his idealogies helped me chart a path through my own twisted life.

I will say this: If you have not read RUM DIARY or FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, go read them.

Now fuck off.

I've got some beer to drink you god damn bastards.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Smell Like Teen Spirit?

Or does it smell like anarchy?

Went to a house party last night in Carrboro - held at the Co-Op House.

Zegota, 1905 and Del Cielo played.

The room was filled with patches and studs, torn t-shirts and tattooes; alternative living at its best I guess. It's always worth a good chuckle to see the conforming non-conformists gather.

Del Cielo was an all-girl three-piece that reminded me of Sleater Kinney because they were all fuzzed out and shrillin'.

I thought 1905 were awesome. Maybe it was the fact that their singer is this tiny girl with one of the loudest, angriest howls. They did the herky jerky punk smattered with breakdowns thing. Different enough to not sound like anybody else (although there was a band name running through my head last night while I watched them but I've since forgotten).

Zegota played last. They rocked the anarcho-crust punk vibe while tossing in some emo (nee screamo). I was there to see them because I work with their singer. Never heard them although I wasn't surprised by their sound because I know Moe their singer fairly well. We always get into discussions on punk rock and music and arts and culture during down time at gigs we cater. It's always good to see the younger generation of punks keeping the flame alive.

God bless house party shows, I tell you. I feel that half of the reason I enjoyed any of these bands was the setting. I don't think it would have translated as well if they were on stage and in a club.

I need to see more house party shows.
I do.

Saturday, 2:45 PM

Yesterday was Saturday.



2:45 pm.

I'm listening to the Mick O'Grady Trio CD that Mike Daily sent me.

Mike Daily is Mick O'Grady.

Mick O'Grady is the protagonist in Mike's forthcoming novel AS IS.

The music is sparse, enough to fill a room but not enough to overpower the words, the verse.

So the Mick O'Grady Trio is the performance vehicle for Daily; reading passages from his novel backed by soundscapes.

On the package that came in the mail, there is a quote:
"If you like listening to the sound of your own voice, does that mean you're an audio-narcissist?"

Track 4 is on. "Los Angeles." Mick is talking about selling his most prized possessions for money. "I keep sellin' books and tradin' in CDs to buy groceries. Henry Miller for macaroni and cheese. Dostoevsky and selected Bukowski for lunch meat. My Sonic Youth discography for meatless patties. I'm not a vegetarian."

At 2:45 pm, Saturday, the phone rings.

It is Mike Daily.

He has memorized passages from his novel in order to perform them.

If listening to the sound of your own voice makes you an audio-narcissist, then what does memorizing the text of your own novel make you?

Wrapped that around your head.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Would You Hit A Woman?

I was channeling surfing recently when I came across an old interview (I believe it was old) of prize fighter George Foreman and the interviewer asked him the question: "Would you hit a woman?"

Typical of knee-jerk journalism to ask such a question. They we're trying to bait him into answering it like he was some sort of animal a la Mike Tyson.

Foreman replied: "I once said I would fight man, woman or child."

Of course the man made a living as a professional boxer and in context it makes perfect sense: He felt so confident about his skills that he would get in the ring with anyone.

That I believe is what he was trying to say.

The interviewer, a woman, asked again: "Would you hit a woman?"

"Yes," said Foreman, "I would hit a woman."


Remember that word.

Today, I almost hit a woman.

I was driving Spencer to school.

Pulled out of the neighborhood onto the main road which leads to his school.

Just as I pulled out a tow truck towing a broken-down recycling truck lurched into the road from the next intersection. I slowed to possibly let him go but with a tattered pickup riding my ass, I decided to keep on going.

I could see the driver of the pickup cursing at me, arms waving, finger pointing, obviously upset that I was suddenly in the way of wherever they were going.

As I made my way up the hill, I pointed to the speed limit sign - that read 35 mph - knowing the driver of the truck was looking at me and continued on down the road glancing at my speedometer and seeing that I was at 40 mph.

So I slowed to 35 mph. You could see the anger on the pickup driver's face.

I turned into the school parking lot.

I saw the pickup truck pass the left turn where it was planning on going and zoom down to the next entrance to the school.

"Aw shit," I thought.

I park the car, walk around to the passenger side where Spencer is and see the pickup truck squeal to a stop in the space next to me.

"What the fuck are you doing?" yells the driver at me.

"Do you have a problem?" I calmly say.

"You pulled out in front of me!" yells the driver. An older woman, short hair, dressed like a man, veins popping on neck.

I size her up as I walk to the driver's side door.

"The speed limit is 35 mph," I say.

"You cut me off!" screams the woman.

"The speed limit is 35 mph," I say again. My hands are on the driver's side door by now; my face almost inside the vehicle.

She makes a move like she is going got unbuckle her seat belt and get out of the car. Moms are pulling in beside us to drop off their kids.

"I suggest you stay in the car," I say. My heart is racing now.

'Fuck you!" she says. Then peels out in the gravel lot and speeds off.

I would have hit that woman had she gotten out of the car and tried to attack me.



Ass Crack

So yesterday I broke the seat of my toilet when I leaned over to grab the roll of teepee giving new meaning to the term "ass crack."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Saved By Devo (Again)

My kids love Devo.

What can I say.

So little almost-2 yr.-old Cole gets to being cranky after dinner,
fights with me take his meds, spits them out all over me and basically does his best at being the Gemini that he is.

He begs for a Little People video but the video doesn't work.

He wants to be held. He feels like shit I know.

I hold him.

The sleeves and shoulders of my shirt are stained with his snot.

I'm about at my whit's end.

He asks for the Wiggles but I returned that DVD earlier today.

I put on Devo... and all is well in the house.

We Are The Chestpains, This Is Our Theme Song

So I take the boys to the doctor this morning after being kept awake for several days by their snotty noses, coughs and general crankiness.

Both boys are diagnosed with minor ear infections.

We discuss meds and inevitably is comes back to allergies and how to handle them. The nurse practioner is big on Albuterol to help the cough. Suddenly you find yourself giving your kid motrin for pain, albuterol for the cough, amoxicillin (that nasty Pepstol Bismol colored shit we all had as kids), and zyrtec for the allergies... it's like they are living in an old folks home I tell you.

Somehow it comes up that I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, my 37th birthday at that.

"Oh but that's for his heart," says my wife when the nurse makes a comment about three boys being sick on Valentine's Day.

"What?" she asks.

"It's a long story..." and without skipping a beat I launch into my whole Sudafed O.D. story.

"And you had chestpains," she says.

"Yes," I say.

Spencer interrupts, "Yeah and now dad has a band called the Chestpains!"

"A little dose of humor goes a long way." I say to the nurse, before turning around and giving a high-five to Spencer.

On the way home inthe car, he starts singing the band's theme song, "We Are The Chestpains/This Is Our Theme Song/Don't Know The Refrain?/Come On And Sing Along..."

Little Cole chimes in with the "whoa, whoas"

Saint George Makes A Request

Seems avid reader St. George was the first to puts dibs in on the soft cover edition of Kem Nunn's THE DOGS OF WINTER (from Saturday February 12 post).

So George it's yours just tell me where to send it.

That is George if you want to give up that thinly disguised veil of being anonymous.

A Monkey Is Born

I worked a post-wedding brunch yesterday (Sunday) at a house in Durham which was full on Cribs-style (if Southern gentrified folks had their own version of Cribs.)

Had to get to the catering company shop by 6:30am.

Woke up very unrested from sleepless kids with sick desires:
"Blow my nose," "I need a drink," "wahhh aah wahh."

I make it to the shop on time but coffee and the morning constitution aren't part of the program.

Because the house is so huge (i.e. VIP customers) we've got the crack staff to handle it. 9 people are working a party for 100.
Two kitchen staffers who prep the food and work the eggs benedict stations, event planner, one lead, and 5 waits of which I am one.

We had to set up tables and chairs around the house.

Some of which involved a flight of stairs 16 steps long.

Midway through the shift one of the co-ed, young girl waits confided in me that she was about to shit herself.

I'm not sure why she told me this other than to get some smypathy. Caterers (and food service blokes for the most part) are a rare breed. Not topic is too taboo.

When the lead wait sat down for a break in the garage and tipped over an ice cooler with wheels, falling back into the bussing area and knocking over the tub of slop (i.e. the liquid of drinks not drunk) and spilling it across the garage floor, there's nary a chuckle. Just a matter-of-fact discussion by those in the room:
"It looked as if it happened in slow motion." After said discussion the collective regroups and continues about the duties of the shift. Someone muttered the adage: "what happens catering, stays in catering."

So I'm not suprised about the shit comment. Everybody probably needed to take a morning dump, myself included, but when working a house party, nobody wants to be the staffer who stinks up the bathroom.

As the shift began to wind down, I noticed the bathroom door ajar and got a whiff of stench.

A few minutes later I saw the co-ed and asked her if she felt better. She chuckled. "I feel like I just gave birth to a monkey," she said.

"That's funny, " I said.
"Because I just saw a monkey running through the house."

This is catering.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


I am tired.

Tired I am.

Thirst For Verse (Slight Return)

When I went to the library the other day, I noticed they were holding their quarterly book sale this weekend.

So after my shower and some coffee, I head off to the sale.
Run into a few book-loving freaks like myself that I know.

Say hello.

Good luck.

Happy hunting.

I'm only sort of half with it from the sleepless night and I don't have the time to do any real serious browsing.

I hit up the basics: poetry, biographies, fiction.

The poetry section is weak and blurred together with drama and classics. I don't see any City Lights Pocket Poetry Series chapbooks (easily identifiable by their size) so I head off to biographies hoping to find a good one by Nick Tosches (on Sonny Liston or Dean Martin specifically) but find no such luck. Browse the fiction. See a Jim Harrision book - Dalva - which I'm convinced I already have in hardback, this one here is soft cover.
So I pass on it.

Oftentimes, I'm so fixated on trying to land a certain score that I end up buying it twice. I've done this with records many times.

I go back to biographies one last time before I leave. Along the way I spot Kem Nunn's THE DOGS OF WINTER which I recently read and it was one of the best books I consumed in quite some time.
I pick it up because it is hardcover and vow to send/give my soft cover copy to someone in the near future.

Back I biographies, I spot one on Kenneth Rexroth - who is one of the grandaddies of San Francisco's epic Beat lit scene - and pick it up.

I had just gotten an email from a friend of mine about how I was a great American poet after he discovered a long lost stash of poems I'd sent him years ago.

He is an archivalist.

He keeps everything.

Ironically, this was on the same day that I felt compelled to go to the library and read poetry. I felt it was my duty to keep the synergy going and take the Nunn and Rexroth books to the checkout.

It cost me $2.

Turns out I don't have DALVA