Stuff I Think Is Cool.

Maybe you'll think it's cool, too...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dayna Flies with Delta, But Drinks with the Eagles… And Then Enjoys Renoir, Rodin and Rubens…


So, on the heels of the last update and upon rolling out of the WAFFLE HOUSE, my dad and I set out to explore his childhood burb of Maumee, Ohio. (And I’m quite serious about the ‘rolling’ part of things… Damn. Umm, Waffle House ain’t for the faint of heart… I was pretty much full for the rest of the muggy, Ohio day.)

Logistically, Maumee is basically to Toledo as Shoreline is to Seattle. It is, for all intent and purpose, part of the city, but incorporated under its own name all the same. ANYhoo… We spent the majority of the afternoon just driving around so Dad could check out all of his old childhood haunts. We stopped by the home he grew up in and knocked on the door, but no one answered. He had a bunch of pictures of the house from when he was little of which he was hoping to show the current owners. There was a great picture of a newly planted maple tree in the front yard that was now at least a couple of feet in diameter. Too bad they weren’t at home…

We also drove to the town square and walked around a bit. For the record, Maumee is an incredibly quaint town and has definitely retained its classic, town-square sort of vibe. It’s no wonder it was recently awarded the ‘All American Town’ status. There were signs up all around town and they definitely seemed to be quite proud of the whole affair. Viva la Maumee! There's this great old movie house that they’ve completely kept up from when Dad was a kid. He said it looks exactly the same. I’m always impressed when a town works to preserve and take care of their history. While walking around the town square, my dad even bought me an ice cream cone! Awwweeee… :)

Later that night, we met up with a friend of Dad’s that he’s known since 2nd grade. And yes, that’s right – we met up with his friend at none other than the Eagles club. Suffice it to say, I was the youngest person for miiiiiiiiles around. However, once I had at least 6 beers in me, I probably woulda danced a polka with anyone in the room. And hey – that’s exactly what was goin’ on – Polka dancing! WOO! Okay, there were a few hits thrown in from the 40s and 50s, but other than that it was a pretty tame crowd. The band was actually quite well rehearsed and there was a couple engaged in a fairly elaborate ballroom dance display - very impressive! These items kept me entertained for hours while my Dad and his friend reminisced. (And reminisced and reminisced and so on and so on…But I racked up many incriminating stories about Dad, so that was cool… Heh heh heh…)

The next morning after breakfast (Sadly, not the Waffle House…) we drove into Toledo proper to check things out. We drove by Dad’s old art school and saw other various sites of importance. Our ultimate destination, however, was the Toledo Art Museum. Granted, it was a beautiful, warm and sunny day, but my dad and I are both total nerds and we wanted to visit the museum. So there. ™ For the record, I am very glad we went; sunny day be damned!

Not only did they have a decent modern art collection, but they had a fabulous offering from the Renaissance all the way through the Impressionist era. (And all sorts of work from before and after those periods!) I was very impressed with their collection. However, what I was most impressed with and TOTALLY happy about was their display of Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ Sigh… I have to say that it is one of my VERY favorite paintings of all time. It just about made me cry. Seriously… They also had some very lovely Renoir, Van Gogh, Pissaro, Manet, Gaugin, Picasso, Rubens, Goya… GAH!!! I could go on and on… Yeah, it’s safe to say we had a great time walking around and checking everything out. It was also really cool for my dad to see the museum as he hadn’t been there in about 50 years! It was a hugely influential place for him both artistically and musically and it was very nice to see him return. I was happy to have accompanied him there. (Being that I was just last year finally able to return to the museum that had rocked my world when I was young – And my mom and dad were there…)

After we spent ourselves at the museum, we went back towards the hotel and ended up at the GINORMOUS antique mall that’s right next to the hotel. That place was huge! And a very dangerous place for either my dad or I to be… However, we both did good and didn’t walk out with anything. Well, I guess it’s because our luggage wouldn’t accommodate what we wanted, but WHATever...

Later that night, we took off for my dad’s class reunion. And with that, I will say good night and continue my fascinating update tomorrow. I know, I know – How will you sleep?! How will you get by without knowing what happened next??! It’s SUCH a cliff-hanger…

See ya!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Thunderstorms, Kentucky, Dead Deer and the Waffle House

Greetings from Ohio!

I am currently hangin’ out with my dad in lovely Toledo, Ohio. I’m accompanying him to his 45th year class reunion as well as exploring greater Ohio and the Upper Peninsula (UP) area of Michigan. It is already proving to be a very interesting and entertaining adventure, indeed.

We sort of arrived in the area on Thursday afternoon. I say 'sort of' as we were supposed to fly all the way into Toledo, (via a connecting flight from Cincinnati) but due to possible thunderstorms, all flights to Toledo and surrounding areas were cancelled. So, rather than hang out at the airport until later that evening or more likely the next afternoon, we decided to chuck the whole flying plan and simply drive to Toledo. SO THERE. :)P

$130+ later and a touch and go luggage retrieval situation, we were on our way to Toledo…

When we arrived at the airport, I was surprised to learn the airport was shared between the Cincinnati area and Northern Kentucky. I knew they were close, but I had no idea they shared an airport. (They’ve always been so close – they really seem to get along well…) As I’ve always wanted to visit Kentucky, I was a bit bummed I wouldn’t be able to officially visit the state. And since I rarely count the airport as an ‘official’ visit to a state, I couldn’t legitimately add a Kentucky magnet to my growing and rather dorky US magnet collection… (Sure – I could’ve cheated, but I would’ve been living a magnetic LIE!!!) The situation was clearly saddening…

As we drove out of the rental lot in our very overpriced car, we headed North towards Toledo. As we were driving along, I kept seeing references to Northern Kentucky. I thought it was a bit odd to see so many official references, but didn’t seriously question it as the border was so close by. I continued to be bummed to have not visited Kentucky and tried on several occasions to get my dad to head down the highway in the wrong direction. I assured him we’d need only go across the border and to the nearest truck stop where I’d procure the first, dorky magnet I saw. He wasn’t on board with my plan. Crap.

ANYhoo – As we got closer to downtown Cincinnati, I saw a sign that would make my day considerably brighter. “Welcome to Ohio,” the sign said. WOO HOO! Seems that we had been in freakin’ Kentucky allllll along! HA! Sure, I’m an idiot for not realizing this fact sooner, but whatever – who cares?!? When we go back to the airport, I can legitimately scoop up a Kentucky magnet and all will be well with the world. There will be NO living of the lie and I’ll have a groovy Kentucky magnet to slap on my refrigerator. (Maybe I’m livin’ a few other lies, but whatever. What’s your point? I mean, there’s the whole “I’m a rockstar!” one I love to play out, but we’re not discussing that one right now…)

The drive to Toledo was lovely and definitely quite interesting. Not only had the area suffered rather intense thunderstorms the day before, but there was an AMAZINGLY large amount of semis out on the road. I mean, I was passing 5+ semis at a time! And I occasionally would get sandwiched in between several of them… ACK! I hate that. At one point in time, traffic was backed up in the opposite direction for about 20 miles and the majority of traffic was semis! Traffic was at such a standstill that families were out of their cars, hanging out in the middle of the grassy medians playing Lacrosse and catch! What the hell?!

In addition to very flooded-out farmland and millions of semis, we also saw a few unfortunate deer casualties on the side of the road. Wasn’t really expecting to see a lot of deer road-kill on the way to Toledo… Who knew?! As we were discussing this fact, we noted that we were just entering Dayton, Ohio. My Dad then realized he had seen a dead dear in the road on the way to Dayton, Washington a week prior. Weird! We then further worked out that Dad and Dayna see dead deer on the way to Dayton. Dammit!! Ahhh, fun with words… It was also decided that Dad and Dayna are dorks…

Another couple of fun words I latched onto along the road to Toledo are as follows: 'Waffle' and 'House.' There were many Waffle House restaurants, signs and other assorted advertising blurbs along the way into Toledo. I became very entertained by the sheer amount and decided to announce the existence of each and every reference as I saw it. In a monotone voice… Hey – stupid things start to become veeeeerrrryyyy entertaining when you’ve been up since 3am and traveling all day long. AND didn’t really get much sleep for two days prior… Yeah, ‘lots of things start to seem reeeeeaaaallllyyy funny. Like dead dear on the way to Dayton, dammit!

As I continued to obsess with the Waffle House sightings, we came closer to Toledo. As my Dad hadn’t been in town for a few years and when he was there last, didn’t have the chance to drive himself around, we took the loooooonnngggg way into town and towards the airport. However, as I’d never been there before, it was nice to get to see some of the town before I had to see the airport. (We had to take our rental car to the airport in order to pick up our OTHER rental car… Silly…) When we finally got to the airport, got our car, found a hotel to stay in and got everything up to the room, it was almost midnight. Yeah, that was a long-ass travel day…

However, it was allllll worth it as the next morning, we had breakfast at… THE WAFFLE HOUSE. HA!!!

And with that, I will bid you adieu for now. Coming up next: Maumee, the ‘All-American City’ and drinking several Labatts at the Maumee Eagles club. True story…

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

On the Road In Oregon - The Wrap-Up


So, we returned from our Oregon adventure on Sunday night. Back in Washington State, we now reside... It was great to get home again, but I'm already missing being on the road. There's really nothing like cruising from town to town, spreading a bit of musical joy along the way. Well, I hope it was 'joy' we were spreading... I mean, we all regularly washed our hands, so I don't think we were spreading viruses or anything. Who knows? :)

ANYhoo - Our show on Saturday night at Bombs Away Cafe was great! We had such a good time and the audience was awesome! There was a lot of support as Carrie hails from Corvallis, so we felt quite a bit of love in the room. I think we have all agreed we'd play there anytime. Not only was the crowd great, but the staff and the sound was fabulous as well. It was the holy trinity of gigs! Very nice... Viva la Corvallis!

Later that night, we hung out at Carrie's parents place and had a very amusing time. Ummm, yes - there was again a bit of whiskey involved. What's your point?! However, this time there was the addition of some Patron and that's when things took a bit of a turn. Yeah, be sure to ask Danny about the garden chair debacle the next time you see him. Heh heh... The next morning, Carrie's mom made an amazing spread for us (as usual!) and we took off towards Portland. (Along with a tin of snickerdoodles that Carrie's mom also made us. YUM!)

That afternoon, we played the 'Saturday' Market in downtown Portland. The Saturday Market on a Sunday... Go figure! Anyway, the show was alright - had some sound issues, but other than that, it was cool. One fan got a little carried away, however, and tried to get up on stage to steal the 'My Pretty Pony' from atop my amp! What tha!? Luckily, there was no need for a throw-down and it all worked out. Okay, no need as the fan happened to be 2 years old and her mom came and retrieved her from the stage. ;) Hey - but you just can't trust every two-year old you see. Come on - That kid had an eye for my pony and wasn't steppin' down... It could've easily gotten ugly. I'm just sayin'...

After the show, we loaded all of our gear for the last time and headed back across the bridge to Washington. One last time to assemble the complex puzzle that was our gear in the Honda CRV... (AKA "Squirt") For once, it didn't rain on the way home and everything was smoooooth sailing. We got into town that evening and allll was well with the world. Can't wait to get out there again!!!

Well, guess that's it for now. Life on the road... Sigh... Sign me up for the 24/7 deal!!

May the Force be with you.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Oregon Trail - Days 2, 3 and Part of FOUR!


Alrighty – So, maybe getting a solid wireless connection has been a bit of a challenge over the last 48 hours… OR – maybe we’ve all been drinking too much whiskey… I’ll let ya’ll just mull that one over for a while before I give a definitive answer. (Or maybe I won’t… Who knows?...)

We’re hanging out at Carrie’s parents house right now. Got into Corvallis this afternoon and we’ll be playing later tonight at Bombs Away Café in the university area. Okay – seriously – If you’re looking for some quality Mexican food while staying in Corvallis, that’s the place to go. Not only is the food great (Green Chile Stew was AWESOME) but they focus on using produce and meats from organic farms and ranches and promote a sustainable business, lifestyle, etc. Great place! Oh, and the margaritas were also quite tasty… heh heh… ANYway – we’ll be playing there tonight at 9pm for a couple of sets.

On Thursday night, we played at a place called ‘Imbibe’ in SE Portland. We’ve played there before and had a great time, so we thought we’d check it out again. The atmosphere is really nice, the staff is great and we had a really nice time hanging out. However, DAMN – It was freakin’ HOT on stage. WOO!!! We were all dying by the end of the night… We shared the evening with a solo artist by the name of Rollie Tussing. He was great! I absolutely loved his show. I highly recommend checking him out if you’re in the Portland area. He plays guitar (sometimes slide) and also lays down a mean beat while playing bass drum and a hi-hat/tambourine combo with his feet! (Even played kazoo on a few numbers!) Anyway – check out his site and enjoy some good music.

After the show, we went back to Carrie’s friend, Willie’s home and closed out the evening by drinking copious amounts of whiskey and wine out on the porch. Throw in some incriminating stories from Carrie’s childhood and it was a fine evening, indeed. Carrie and Willie have known each other since high school and definitely had some very funny stories to tell. Willie was very kind to let a bunch of very sweaty, pseudo-rockstars into his home for the night and for that, we are very grateful.

Yesterday, we traveled on to Bend, Oregon where we had a show at The Grove. For the record, I LOVE Bend. It’s an absolutely charming and beautiful town. I could totally live there. (And there are some amazing mountains surrounding the entire area – WOO!) We were again welcomed into the very lovely home of Patty and Mike AND Susan. (Both Susan and Patty went to junior high and high school with Carrie…) Greg and I stayed with Patty and Mike and Carrie stayed with Susan. Wow – Patty and Mike have such a beautiful home and it’s always a treat to stay there. I stayed in the ‘Persimmon’ room and it was LOVELY. :)

Damon and Graham also made it to the Bend show as well. (As well as the Imbibe show…) What a bunch of groupies! Heh heh – AND they helped schlep our gear around! (Suckas) But seriously – it’s always nice to be able to take a few supporters with you on the road. However, we’ve been lucky at every show to see some great friends. People have been very supportive about coming out to see us. And Bend was no exception – a great crowd, indeed! Aside from a few sound issues, the show went well and I hope we can return to Bend for another show soon.

After the show, we headed back to Patty and Mike’s place where we proceeded to enjoy more whiskey! Umm, there seems to be a trend forming here… Heh… Suffice it to say, it was very hard to get up this morning. BUT – It was lovely to spend a bit of time lounging about in the Persimmon Room. Yay! (I wanted to lounge about – It had nothing to do with shots of Jamesons or Makers… NOTHING…) (Keep telling yourself that, Smith…)

ANYway, we got on the road at around Noon and headed back towards Corvallis. It was hard to leave as it was an absolutely beautiful, sunny day. It would’ve been so nice to lounge around on Patty’s deck for a while. But instead of lying about in the sun, we piled back in the CRV and hit the road. We were going fine until we got stuck in the RODEO traffic outside of Sisters, Oregon. Oh well – we got past it after about 20 min. or so and were back on our way. We took a very windy, twisty and scenic way to Corvallis. There was a great display of all of the mountains in the area and it was all very beautiful in the sunshine. Very happy to see it all…

Okay – I gotta go get ready for the show tonight. Have to be over to the gig in about an hour. ACK! Hope ya’ll are doin’ well and I’ll see you back in Seattle SOON!!


p.s. Oh, and to the person who scored FREE tickets to the freakin’ Drive-By Truckers show tonight (you know who you are) – I hope you have a faaaaaabulous damn time! (Insert tears *here* Crap - I’d LOVE to see that show… Curses! I miss them every damn time they’re in town. ARGH!)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Oregon Tour - Day Freakin' ONE!

Greetings from the Land of Ports! Carrie, Greg and I are currently embarking upon a 5 day tour of Oregon. We’re spreading our Lonesome Lover vibes across the state with our present location being the lovely city of Portland. Join us as we continue to trek across the wilds of Oregon!

Well, okay - I guess it’s not really all that wild. Currently, I’m enjoying a fabulous morning at the home of Jill and Alex. Carrie and Jill are old friends and we’ve been lucky enough to stay with them during many of our Portland visits. They always give the warmest welcome and completely make us feel at home. I got to sleep in a rather comfortable bed, enjoyed a great shower this morning and was then greeted with a *very * tasty breakfast! What more could you ask for while on the road? Throw in the amazing meal that Alex had prepared last night when we arrived and it’s paradise! I have to say we’ve got some amazing and very generous friends. It makes going out on the road all the more worthwhile.

We rolled into town yesterday at about 3pm. We had a pretty easy going drive down to Portland and it was nice to get into town a few hours before our show. (However, we would’ve gotten there sooner had we not stopped at 27 rest stops along the way. Seems I’m finally able to give up my ‘Crown of Many Bathroom Breaks’ to one, Greg Fulton. HA!!!!) ANYhoo - There have been a few times in the past when Portland traffic has kind of bit us in the ass. This time, however, it was alllll hunky dory and we had plenty of time to relax before the show. (And plenty of time for Tiny Bladder to visit the loo… heh heh…)

Last evening, we had a rather entertaining show under the Big Top at the Rose Festival. From the pictures we saw after the show, it looked like we were performing under a giant hang glider. Pretty cool! It was a pretty swanky load-in as well. We were able to pull right up to the entrance and were met by a load-in crew and a cool, little golf-cartish vehicle! WOO! Any time we don’t have to carry all of our gear around is a GOOD time.

After the show, we went to a place called ‘The Lotus’ for some après show libations. Crap. They had video poker! DAMMIT! I will full-on confess to being fond of video poker. Well, and I usually do pretty good at it. (Usually… But only as long as I follow my hard and fast rule of walking away after doubling my money…) And well, I would’ve done that, but instead of doubling my money, I ended up turning my $5 into $25!!! WOO! And then I walked away… It certainly helped to finance my evening. In fact, it paid for ALL of my purchases yesterday. Wooo hoooo!

We hung out at the Lotus for a while and had a great time. Damon was in town for business and his friend, Graham was with him. They met up with us at the show and then later at the Lotus. It was great to have them around for the evening. They’ll also be joining us at some of the later shows. It’s pretty cool that Damon is working on the road in the same area as us! Always good to have the peeps around. :)

Alrighty – better get this posted. I think we’re taking off soon to go find a music store. Have to pick up a couple of things before the show tonight. We’re playing at Imbibe tonight – In SE Portland. (I think it’s SE Portland…) ANYway – if you happen to be around that part of town, please stop by! We’re playing at 8pm.

Until tomorrow – Have a good one!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

I'll take a number 15 to go, please...

So yeah – I had biiiiiiiig plans for my writing tonight. Rehearsal got cancelled, so I was most definitely gonna put pen to paper. Well, fingers to keyboard, anyway…

However, I am seriously tired! I don’t know what the deal has been the last couple of days, but I’ve just been exceptionally tired. Okay – maybe it has a bit to do with my weekend, but what’s your point? So what if I went out on Saturday night and closed out the clubs with my music-lovin’ pals?! I mean, I gotta do research, don’t I? Gotta stay hip to the scene, ya know? And hey, if a few beers happened to fall into the mix, who am I to question?

At any rate, I had a great time on Saturday night and saw some good music. Saw Swampdweller, Ruby Doe, Bill Horist, Wayne Horvitz, Kinski and a couple of other groups. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night. Ship it.

Yesterday I just hung out and got a few things done. Took a walk, listened to some music… I would’ve gotten more done, however, had I not fallen asleep on the couch at around 8pm. Again with the, “Waaaa, I’m tired” thing. Just plain silly…

Well, what I can say is I did do some writing tonight. Sure, it’s not Steinbeck, but it’s SOMEthing. And something is all I got to give tonight… Come on - I'm doing pretty much alright with the Experiment - WOO!! Give it up!! Hey – and I also rearranged my sock drawer and did some laundry. Yeah, I know how to party. Bring it!

Have a fan-freakin-tastic evening!

See ya!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

11 and 12 – BAH! (Lucky 13, It Is!!)


Alright - here’s the deal: I didn’t write anything for days 11 and 12. HOWEVER, I have a perfectly good excuse. And if I'm fine with it, you gots ta be, too. So there. (tm)

On Thursday night, I did actually do some writing, but not on my blog. Chadwick (aka ‘Le Tigre’) and I went out to Mexican food and discussed what is sure to be the next, great American screenplay. WOO! We’ve been talking about writing something together for quite some time and on Thursday, we finally started putting things in motion. (Sorta… We’re still throwing around story ideas…) Oh, and a few tasty margaritas were also involved. Heh heh… Screw Dorothy Parker and her vicious circle – we had a table wth chips and margaritas and everything was alllll good and literary-like. HA!

Last night, okay – last night I didn’t really do any writing per se, but I did have a great time talking about music, travels, good food/beer and other very important items. Hung out with Andrew, the drummer for ‘Halflight’ and had a really great time. (New band I’m playing in…)

Learned that I’ve made yet another connection to New Mexico - Specifically Albuquerque… It’s just so weird how many friends I’ve made from New Mexico over the last couple of years… Very weird, indeed! Turns out that he grew up a few blocks away from that crazy hotel we took a picture of while we were on tour... Cool!

Anyway, it was a really nice night and we ended it in SUPREME style with fried pickles and good beer/cider at The People’s Pub in Ballard. I LOVE THAT PLACE!! I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite spots in town… Good times, good times…

Alrighty – I gots ta go. Going out to check out a Seattle Weekly music shindig over in Ballard and need to do some practicing before I go out…

Have a fan-freakin-tastic night and fare thee well!