Archive for June, 2004

Me The Woman

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Current Listening NOFX – “The Decline” (The Decline)

I wish I had a schilling, / For every senseless killing, I’d buy a government. / America’s for sale / And you can get a good deal on it / And make a healthy profit

Somebody mistook me for a woman today. Someone called, asking for my dad, “Steve Short.” I said he wasn’t home, and they asked if I were “Mrs. Short.” Now, last time I checked, I had gone through puberty and my voice sounds like a man’s, at least enough like a man’s for the raging sissy-boy I am.

Of course, this isn’t the first time this has happened:

It all adds up…we feel 16% certain that you are…
A Woman!
Compared to others…

70% more male than you6% like you24% more female than you

TheSpark tells me that I’m a woman; in fact, there are only 24% of people who’ve taken this test who are more womanly than me. This means that either 1. an army of short-haired, boot-wearing, man-hating she-males has taken the test or 2. I am a nancy boy. I tend to agree with the second conclusion, mainly because I’m sure that valley girl, makeup-ensconsed, prissy teen queens use TheSpark. And me.

So, in order to combat my unmanliness, I have come up with this six-point plan to combat my sissiness:

1. Watch More Sporting Events

Since I was a child, I have been horribly deficient in the watching-other-people-have-fun category. To my knowledge, there 156070 x108 activities I would rather do than watching sports. Call me crazy, but I find nothing entertaining about a bunch of grown men running around in tight clothes and tackling each other. Sexy, maybe, but not entertaining.

2. Stop Asking Directions

I know this is a stereotype, but I’m not taking any chances. From now on, I will pick a direction and keep driving that way, never giving up or admitting I’m wrong or lost, no matter what, even if I’m going to New Mexico and I can see penguins out the window.

3. Start Eating Meat

I’ll level with you all. I stopped eating meat to get chicks. It’s a great conversation starter! But it’s just not manly. especially here in Montana, where everybody, even the girls, hunt and kill deer.

4. Start Working on Cars

This might be difficult, because I don’t have a car of my own and I’m terrified to touch my parents’ cars. So I figure I can start working on other peoples’ cars — people I don’t evne know. I’ll be like the car fairy, flitting from hood to hood, initially damaging the cars I tinker with but eventually being able to do some sort of repair, until I get shot.

5. Start using the word ‘fag’

Nothing shows how manly I am more than throwing hateful phrases at others because of my own deeply-hidden homosexual tendencies!

6. Start grabbing the breasts of random women

I’m really looking forward to this one.

7. Build Things

The only things I’ve ever built involve Legos. I want to be able to create monstrocities, things that can destroy major metropolitan areas.

And, most important of all:

8. Stop Writing in a Blog

I mean, c’,mon!!! It’s basically a diary, right?

PS — Dear diary! Today I ran into Judy Armstrong, and she is SOOOOO HAWT!!!1!!!onehundredeleven!1!!1 I hope she asks me out, but I just can’t wait… I’m sooo sad!!! LOLOLOLOL!!!


Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

A pattern of explosions, like Zeus doing his laundry,
and a festive drop of a thick-again, thin-again hat:
these, and a million more. When shutters pull
apart to reveal a pearly white something, or
when a mop of fine silk is contained,
I am content.

Stars explode across the sky,
until they are outmaneuvered by the sun,
casting back the cold emptiness from whence it came.
Shadows crawl to life, and a din of dark-damped sounds
emerges from nowhere.
The earth pirouettes in an intricate
number with her partners, choreographed by a madman
with an eye for numbers but not logic.
Somewhere across the globe all manner of
creatures peer at one another before rushing to
(and through) their days, until they retire.
Shadows cry out as their souls stretch to infinity,
and crickets chirp a symphony of questions.

All that remains of our scurrying brothers
is a series of headlamps, foolishly mimicking
their parents – the stars.

Foolish. It’s all so foolish when you
and I are here, and the rest
equates to a crossword best left

Camping Galore

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Current Listening: The Queers — “Surf Goddess” (Surf Goddess)
There’s no doubt that you’re just about / The prettiest girl that I’ve seen / You look so cool hanging by the pool / You’re the only girl for me / Surf goddess, I’m in love with you”

I just finished up the website for my family’s reunion at Priest Lake, which can be viewed at I had a program that did most of the stuff, but — me being the perfectionist that I am — I went through and changed the style a little bit, using a handy little relative expression technology called grep, so it only took me a couple of hours instead of a couple of days.

Carrie called last night and said that she has three days off next week, on Monday through Wednesday, which is perfect! We were planning on going camping, and the perfect time off for her would have been three days off early in the week.

My solo album, Pick Your Poison, is finished. I will make up some copies sometime, then offer to sell them right from this very website! I’d give them away, but it costs money to print and ship, so there you go. In the meanwhile, you can listen to the three MP3s in the litle bar to the left.

I watched Adaptation last night. It was pretty good, I thought; and the irony at the end was very fitting. The whole Nicholas-Cage-playing-his-own-twin-brother thing threw me at first (it was, after all, a Charlie Kaufman film), but I managed to adjust. Expect a review soon!

Calling All Sperm Donors

Monday, June 28th, 2004

Current Listening: Bad Religion – “Billy” (No Control)
“But Billy was a lunatic just barking at the moon / and his brain was totally wasted / He then exchanged his friends for a needle and a spoon / And threw his future away”

Someone has got to tell the people that this whole cellphone thing has gone too far. Someone besides me, because this blog routinely gets fewer readers than can be counted on two eyes. It’s intolerable! Everywhere I go, you see some boneheads yacking to their bonehead friends on the bonephone. Never about intelligent or particularly pertinent stuff, either. The only conversations I hear on cell phones I hear involve drinking or the actual act of talking on the cellphone. One time I was crossing the Oval at UM and I saw a girl talking to her friend on the phone. “I’m right over here, Stacy,” she said (I assume her name is Stacy), “can you see me waving?”

And these people play games on these damn things, and take pictures. They take pictures. With a phone. And some of them play MP3’s! Then there are the ringtones. I tell you what, nothing’s cooler than telling the world how downright emo you are when your girlfriend calls you to break up and your cellphone’s ringtone is set to play a song by Thursday or Thrice or Story of the Year.

The spermetozoa: Its only known enemy: the ten-minute “Goodbye, I wuv you! No I wuv you!” Boyfriend/Girlfriend valediction.”

But something soon might take care of these people. According to some study or other, cellphone use can cut a man’s sperm count up to 30%. Of course, all the phones the scientists looked at were Plutonium, but that’s beside the point. The point is that, finally, the gene responsible for the need to always have a phone on you may be weeded from the gene pool.

And I can finally be spared the indignity of telling someone I don’t have a cellphone and getting ‘that look.’ For years now I’ve felt like the kid in elemetary school whose family doesn’t ‘believe in’ TV. You know, the kid who ate worms and now is probably a running for Congress on a sinister party ticket, like the Green Party? That’s how I’ve felt. But not anymore! Now I can look down on cellphone-using males: “No, I don’t have a cellphone, but at least I can knock somebody up in the old-fashioned sense.”

Of course, this could be a good thing. Cellphones could be used as contraceptives! This is a double boon — the guy doesn’t get a girl pregnant, and if somebody calls at the right time and the ringer is set to vibrate, the guy won’t have to do as much work!

Shit. Looks like not having a cellphone has screwed me over. Again.

Review: Bad Religion – The Empire Strikes First

Sunday, June 27th, 2004

The Good: Everything Bad Religion is known for: catchy, thoughful, fast songs, plus a little bit of musical experimentation.

The Bad: Too many tom-tom breaks in the bridges.

The Ugly: Ewww — black, white and red for the cover? Since when did Bad Religion have to knock off the White Stripes for a color scheme?

Bad Religion’s got a strike against them.That strike, of course, is the fact that they’ve been around for over two decades. With this longevity comes a stigma: of course, the old stuff is better. Ask any crusty punk who was at a show in ’88, and he’ll tell you that How Could Hell Be Any Worse was better than anything Bad Religion is putting out now.

But I say screw that. Why give a band demerits for having longevity. AC/DC’s been around forever, as well as the Rolling Stones… well, maybe they deserve a few. Anyway, Bad Religion should not be docked because they’ve been on this earth longer than I have. If a band gets docked, it should be for writing shitty songs or not showing the least bit of change.

Thankfully, Bad Religion has evolved artistically. The Empire Strikes First has its share of warp-speed songs under two minutes, but it also has a few slower number that give you a pensive respite from the breakneck tempos. The first song — if we really can call it a song — is a slow, vaugely regggae (the extra ‘g’ is for great!)-ish intro to the album’s first song proper, “Sinister Rouge.” This track demonstrates what BR does best — soaring vocal harmonies (there’s even an opera singer adding heft to them), high-octance but tasteful guitar solos, and pissed-off-but-still-melodic vocals that actually have something to say — in this case, a rant against the Catholic church, “Comin’ back for more / To even the score.”

The record maintains its pace until thingsd slow down a bit with the first single, “Los Angeles is Burning.” The single must be making some sort of impact, because my friend Patrick, who only listens to the radio, mentioned it to me. It’s catchy and in a major key, which is a rare occurance for Bad Religion. It’s also pretty straightforward for a song written by Brett. I think it’s actually about fires in Los Angeles. Anyway, I can’t help but singing along.

Next up on the list of artistic changes is rap. Yes, rap, thanks to Sage Francis, another Epitaph artist. I’m sure some punx (notice kewl ‘x’ in spelling) screamed ‘Sellouts!’ upon first hearing this, but I like it. I’m not a fan of rap, but it fits the song somehow. There’s some nice interplay between Graffin and Francis, and it shows BR branching out. Hmmm… maybe next time, an album of polka music? Anyway, the rap comes on top of a little tom-tom riff courtesy of Brooks Wackerman, which would be okay but the next song, “God’s Love,” has the same damn thing in its bridge. C’mon, guys, couldn’t you put one song in between these two?

The First really slow song is “To Another Abyss.” This song’s got some great vocal harmonies — when Greg and Brett (maybe?) sing “purity” together it gives me goosebumps. The song’s 4 minutes long, but doesn’t really drag. The only problem I have with it is that the little lead guitar line (it sounds vaugely like a slide guitar, but it’s just a ghost bend) that comes in at the end of the chorus and ends the song sounds just like the lead guitar line from “Superheroes” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every time I hear it, I think “I’ve done a lot / God knows I’ve tried / To find the truth / I’ve even lied.” I love the way this song ends — just the fading chord with feedback rising, a little groove on the ride cymbal, and then the guitar hook — God bless it — again.

The title track is another slow one, but what a damn-catchy chorus. Like Aretha Franklin, Bad Religion knows that when you spell something out in a song (in this case, E-M-P-I-R-E), people will sing along. This song, like “Let Them Eat War,” is an attack on America’s policy in Iraq. Bad Religion rarely is so blatant in its politics, so this is a nice change. Unfortunately, this song also has a tom-tom break in its bridge. Gettin’ a little old, guys. The album ends strongly, with a slow, introspective song that has some neat poetic devices (one rhyme sound, “said”), some poetry that I’m guessing was written by Gurewitz (“Beyond Electric Dreams”), which dissolves into feedback and overlapping-vocal madness, and the last song — “Live Again (The Fall of Man)”, which is a great way to end the record — Fast, bouncy, catchy, and with a serious message — if you could give it all up for heaven, would you?

Except for my stupid little quibbles, this is a great album. I think it’s better than pretty much anything they’ve put out. True, it’s not montonously fast and there are some artistic experiments, but they lean in the right direction. This is one of Bad Religion’s top two or three records ever.

Adventures on the High Seas

Sunday, June 27th, 2004

Link of the Update: Dino-Riders: Does anybody else remember this? Lasers and dinosaurs? The two coolest things ever?

Current Listening:
Dr. Frank: “She Turned Out to Be Crazy”
Show Business is My Life

She turned out to be crazy
And she just wouldn’t stop
She kept calling me
She kept following me
And her dad was a cop

So I went up to Priest Lake for a few days this week. My grandparents used to have a cabin up there, but they sold it. We found the guy who owns it now and rented it for a week. I hiked to a beautiful upper lake and even built a sandcastle.

It was, I can quite honestly say, the best sandcastle ever built in the history of humankind. I put up 5-foot long board as a breakwater. I gave my tiny sandpeople a moat fed by the lake, and lined it with rocks to keep the banks from eroding, sending hundred of thousands of imaginary sand dollars’ worth of imaginary sand houses to their imaginary sand deaths. I even managed to create two towers — you know, the kind you build by putting wet sand into a bucket and tipping it onto the beach — despite the fact that the sand on the beach was so coarse that my brother was skipping grains of sand across the lake. I thought to myself, not even God him (or her, Women’s Libbers) could destroy this marvelous piece of engineering.

I managed to spend about two hours on the dock before a storm blew in. Now, this is not an uncommon occurance at Priest Lake — everybody’s heard about the crazy weather in Idaho! (EDITOR’S NOTE: this is a joke. Obviously, the people in Idaho are crazy, not the weather. Maybe a little bit of both)

This was not your garden-variety, get-the-towels-drying-on-the-rack-wet storm, this was a storm. Two trees feel on the cabin property (each one managing to hit a building), it was hailing, new creeks formed on the trails, and the cleats on the dock broke loose, putting my uncle’s boat in peril.

My uncle, of course, ran on the dock to tie it up. In a raging storm. With rain. And hail. And waves going over the dock. So of course my father, cousin, and cousin’s husband ran out to help him. It was insane. This was a scene from some stupid movie where the Captain of a dilapidated old freighter decides to sail into a hurricane for some reason and very nearly sinks the ship. The hail began sticking to the dock, turning it into a sheet of ice. It turns out that Sid, the owner of the cabin, had lost a finger and his boat doing the same thing. All I could do, man that I wasn’t, was sit there sipping my Mike’s Hard Lemonade (that alone proves I’m no man) and shooting pictures with a camera.

The storm abated and the boat did not sink, but something horrible did happen — my sandcastle was erased, as if God were challening my audacity. Lesson learned, God. Jerk.