Thursday, October 29, 2009


In 1992 I was in the Cub Scouts. I don't really know why I joined in the first place, but I think it had something to do with wanting to learn how to tie an awesome knot. That, and the book that they give to kids to sell them on all the amazing things you'll do in the scouts is pretty good—it definitely piques the interest of a 3rd or 4th grader. The Pinewood Derby, Cub Country and other seemingly spectacular things were all laid out and mine for the taking. I talked my parents into it and they signed me up.

For the most part, I enjoyed it but I think the fact that I wasn't Mormon and had absolutely no intention of becoming Mormon kind of rubbed everyone else the wrong way. The majority of our meetings were held in the Church basement a few blocks from my house, and I always found myself more interested in wandering the halls and looking into the rooms do discover weird religious things instead of learning how to tie those knots I'd been so stoked on in the first place.

I went through the motions for a few years—earning all the requisite badges for the meaningless busy work that didn't really teach me anything I'd ever use in the long run. I got the Bobcat, the Wolf and the Bear badge and they were all sewn on to my navy blue shirt that I wore with mock pride every week. There were a couple of interesting experiences, though. One of my Scout Masters was a dentist, so for one of our weekly activities he took us to his office and make a plaster cast of our own hand doing the Scout Sign. Mine turned out deformed and a little ghoulish actually. I guess that could act as a metaphor for my entire experience with the scouts, but that's a little deeper than I want to get here.

When I was in sixth grade however, the meetings changed from Tuesday at 6 to Wednesday at 7 and I quit for good. I was well on my way to earning that final badge—the Webelos—before advancing
to the much more difficult and widely respected Boy Scouts, but I threw in the towel. I told my scout master, my friends and my parents that being in sixth grade was a little tougher than I expected and I needed that extra hour a week to work on homework.

That, of course, was a complete lie. Wednesday at 7pm was when Beverly Hills 90210 was on, and I'll be damned if I was missing that.

It was the senior year at West Beverly High and there was bound to be some trouble that I just couldn't miss. Brenda picked up a chain smoking habit while in Paris, Andrea was hit by a car and the Walsh's only had enough money for one of their kids to attend a private college. These were all things that I needed to be a part of. These fictional events were far more important that scout meetings in the basement of a church planning a flag ceremony.

Have you ever looked at the requirements for a Webelos badge? They were borderline ridiculous. The most important aspect of that last badge is recognizing your faith.

This is the list:
Do two of these: (Use this Worksheet to track activity)
- Attend the mosque, church, synagogue, temple, or other religious organization of your choice, talk with your religious leader about your beliefs. Tell your family and your Webelos den leader what you learned.
- Discuss with your family and Webelos den leader how your religious beliefs fit in with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and what character-building traits your religious beliefs have in common with the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
- With your religious leader, discuss and make a plan to do two things you think will help you draw nearer to God. Do these things for a month.
- For at least a month, pray or meditate reverently each day as taught by your family, and by your church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or religious group.
- Under the direction of your religious leader, do an act of service for someone else. Talk about your service with your family and Webelos den leader. Tell them how it made you feel.
- List at least two ways you believe you have lived according to your religious beliefs.

And that's just one aspect. In no way was I ready to do that at 12. Hell, I'm not even sure I'd be able to pull that off now. The only religious knowledge I had was from watching The Simpson's (The early 90s FOX television lineup helped me a lot growing up, as you can tell). I had attended church only a handful of times in my youth and it was never because I chose to. It was always because my parents were out of town and we stayed with relatives that went. I was bored out of my mind and had no idea who any of these ridiculous stories were about or how I was supposed to relate to them.

I was far more comfortable learning what harsh realities the privileged rich kids in California were discovering than examining my own faith. I was 12. I had no faith.

Looking back on it now, 17 years later, I'm 100% sure I made the right decision.

Even if Melrose Place ended up being the better show.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I make fun of a lot of bad tattoos on this website because there are a lot of them out there.

But, if you want good tattoos I suggest you visit Jake Miller over at 11th Street Electric Gallery. Top notch work and a hell of a guy. Head over and visit his website.

Victory Come Death

(Hopefully he updates soon. Quality reading material. More photos of his stuff here.)


I want to write a book.

I've never written one before and I'm sure I'm just another one of the millions of people in this country that thinks they have what it takes to write the Great American Novel. The thing is though, I don't have the Great American Novel in me. I'm far more comfortable waxing intellectual about pop culture and things I find interesting. Maybe one day I'll have a novel that I'm itching to get write, but that time isn't right now.

Right now, I want to write a book about basketball. I think being a casual fan of the sport and not a sports writer makes me the perfect candidate for such a thing. I have no interest in writing about the history of the game or that one great quarter from some obscure, but meaningful game from the mid-90s, I want to write about a team.

I want to go on the road with a professional basketball team for an entire year and turn that into a book—Hunter S. Thompson with the Hells Angels or campaign trail style*.

*I'm fully aware that this is not an original idea at all and it's what newspaper beat writers do for a living, but they are slaves to the formula of the newspaper. They have to adhere to the facts of what happened, how they happened, who played well and what was said on the record. I want more freedom than that. That is what would make this a good book.

I imagine it's kind of like being on tour with a band for a year at a time, only far more luxurious. With a band (that's not famous, I mean), your schedule is pretty routine. You drive, play, sleep and drive again and repeat. If you're a famous band you have TV spots and appearances occasionally, but otherwise you mostly keep to yourself.

I want to know what it's like for these guys that are getting millions of dollars a year to play a sport they love. They have to put their heart out on the court eighty-two nights a year and sometimes, it gets crushed. Then they have to go into the locker room and explain to 15 people with microphones and cameras why their heart wasn't big enough.

There are tons of factors that go in to making this a reality, though—and I'm not talking about financially. Right now I'm just dreaming. The biggest question is what team do you go with? Do you pick the team that's a sure thing to make the playoffs, like the defending champions? That angle could be interesting because you'd get to see the stress of living up to expectations and dealing with everyone just assuming you're as good, if not better, than the year before.

Or do you go with the perennial loser that hasn't been in the post season in years? There are no expectations so all the pressure is off. You may get one or two guys that feel like they should be playing for a winner, but just don't have the supporting cast. Kind of like Ray Allen when he was in Seattle. He's doing everything he can to carry a team, but the rest of them are just happy to be getting paid to play the game.

The most fun I think, would be a team like the Phoenix Suns. On paper, they're one of the most talented teams in the league and should be in the running for a title every year, but for whatever reason they've just never made it over the hump.

(The Jazz are in kind of in this same category, but not quite. They have talent and they will always be good, but never quite good enough. Phoenix, on the other hand, has superstars like Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire and they are always expected to preform better than they usually do. In fact, last season with the Phoenix Suns would have been the perfect team to follow for this book. They had Nash, Amare and Shaq but a coach and front office that were never on the same page.)

Ideally, it would start the day that training camp opens and follow the team until the finals were over—regardless of whether they were in the post-season or not. I wonder what it would be like to watch the playoffs with someone like Steve Nash, whose Suns missed the post-season by merely two games. That would make a great chapter, I think.

But in the end, you have to know the right people to pull something like this off. You have to have money to spend too, because 40+ plane trips, hotels and meals a year wouldn't come cheap. I'll probably never get to do it, but it's always fun to think about what it would be like.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Shortly after World War II ended, a statue was erected in Cherkassy, Ukraine. The statue was a woman holding an ever-burning flame in her right hand to symbolize the memories of the fallen soldiers. It used to be a popular place—from the look of old photos, which is really all I have to go by.

When the Soviet Union collapsed and different regions became independent, some things were overlooked and other things changed. In particular, Cherkassy would no longer receive the natural gas used to keep the flame burning for free. Eventually, that led to it being extinguished.

Then the future came along.

A Russian company installed a cell phone tower on top of the statue surrounded by a video screen covered in pixelated flames. Now it looks like a combination of ancient history and an 80's Nintendo game.

Sometimes I look at technology and just shake my head. Or write about it on the internet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Nothing goes together quite like Straight Edge and Bacon.

Man, I love AFI

Not as much as I love Converge, though.

Sick tat, brah.

I don't even have a quip for this one.

Think you know the rest?

Oh, not quite.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And completely unrelated but still awesome photos, I would support both of these teams whole-heartedly.


In a 1985 issue of EBONY magazine, they had a feature called "Portraits of the Stars" and used computer wizardry (and in the mid 80's, it really was wizardry. Now, your 6-year-old could probably do the same thing with some weird program they download from the Internet) to project what the stars of the 80's would look like in the year 2000.

Here's what they said about Michael Jackson, if you can't read the little tiny writing: "At 40, he will have aged gracefully and will have a handsome, more mature look. His fans will have grown tenfold by the year 2000."

What they wanted to write was, "We're pretty sure he's going to slowly turn in to Lando Calrissian from The Empire Strikes Back."

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I've never been to Boston. And to be honest, I don't think I'll ever make it there.

It may be a lovely town and I hear that I'd probably really enjoy it. That's a very good possibility, as I usually do enjoy visiting new places. I love wandering around random cities and seeing what they have to offer. I've never spent much time on the east coast (other than NYC) so, Boston would be probably the next logical place to check out.

But I'll never go there for one reason, and one reason only.

Because I hate the fucking Red Sox. I hate everything about them.

I'm sure real Red Sox fans (ones that don't think baseball was invented in October of 2004) are a different breed since they've grown up around the team and rooted for them their whole lives, but everywhere else in this country it's another story.

It's like a flashback to the early 90s when everyone wore Raiders hats and Kings jackets because it was 'gangster'. Now, everyone is big supporter of the working class and the Red Sox are the team that represents them.

I was a big fan of baseball when I was little (yes, I was a Yankees fan growing up and I still root for them, so I don't have much room to talk, but this is my blog. Get your own.) and followed it casually ever since I got out of high school. I never heard anyone talk about baseball in general, let alone get specific enough to name drop a team. But once 2004 came around the Red Sox started doing well all I heard about was that this was the year they were going to break "The Curse."

The Red Sox are the epitome of a bandwagon team. And it doesn't end there, either. I don't care about hockey, but I hate the Bruins. And it almost pains me to say it, but I hate the Celtics, too. And that bothers me because I really, really like KG, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce—and now Rasheed Wallace. I really want to like that team, but as long as their jersey says BOSTON across the front, I just can't bring myself to wish them anything but the worst.

I don't want to jinx anything, but man I hope the Angels win so I don't have to hear about the fucking Bo Sox anymore for another year.

Kind of a shame though. I hear Boston has some great vegan food.


So good.


I don't know how people commute from Ogden to SLC every day. That drive is boring. At least I had some entertainment.

Guilty pleasure, I guess you could call it, but damn it's good.

I haven't really cared about this band since the Agoraphobic Nosebleed split, but this album is really, really good.

And I like this band. Street cred - gone. So what.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Old News Records

If you didn't know, I run a small (very, very small) record label. It's basically just for fun and I only release records from bands that broke up before they got around to releasing anything. There's two out now, Tamerlane (who is still a band, but this was recorded literally 6 years ago) and Up River.

There's another one in the works right now and it's City to City. Hopefully that'll be out before the years end. We'll see. I have kind of a lot on my plate as it is*.

(*That's not really true.)


I'm equal parts nerd and little kid at heart, so it's no surprise that I'm really, really excited to see this. Toy Story double feature in 3-D? Sign me up. It's a limited two week run, though. That's the only downside.

If I have to see it alone, then so be it. No way I'm missing this.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I went to Seattle this weekend to see Unbroken. I've always wanted to see them and I missed both the Chicago and California shows, so I figured this might be my last chance. Totally worth the trip. They were awesome, shit got nuts and I had a good time.

However, I did manage to make one giant, idiotic mistake. I left my bag in the overhead compartment on the plane. Such a dumb move.

I had been off the plane for an hour before I realized it. I had everything important in my backpack, so I wasn't too stressed, but I had no clothes. Kristien drove me to the nearest Target so I could get a few things, so that was a plus but still. Pretty sure i'll never get it back, either. I didn't put any tags on it (since it was a carry-on) and it wasn't in the SEA/TAC lost and found. The nice lady did send an e-mail to the next three places that plane went to, but I'm not holding out much hope.

All I lost was a few shirts, a hoodie and a pair of pants that was falling apart, but I did lose a badass shirt that had an ape king riding a mastodon. Oh well.

I did tourist-y shit all day Saturday before the show: Went to the EMP, the Sci-Fi Museum and the Aquarium. Weather was nice and I spent the whole day walking, then the show that night was awesome.

Nothing too exciting. Sorry for the bland post, it's late and I'm not very creative today.

I think I'll take a cue from Brandee and start making this blog a little more entertaining. After all, isn't that why you're here?