Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How Do You Kill a Dead Eagle?

Simple "just kill it." Any fan of Old Skull would know.

After 15 years of being caught in the cobwebs, a random memory of my cousin buying the "Get Outta School" cassette from a bargain bin (yard sale or Strawberries...the details are fuzzy)came to the front of my mind. Why this would pop up in the middle of sending PDFs of contracts to affiliates...I have no idea.

After doing a little catch up on the band via Wikipedia, my heart broke. The little boys that started this band when they were nine and ten years old are now deceased. One of them actually committed suicide this past June! Their mother and father also passed away since the days when my cousin and I used to crack up over this special treasure we stumbled upon.

Little did we know at the time, Old Skull did have some big success as a novelty band opening for acts such as GWAR, Sonic Youth, and The Flaming Lips. Read the Wiki page. It's a crazy story.

I ask that you watch/listen to the videos embedded and say a little prayer that the Toulon family is skateboarding and punk-rocking it out in heaven.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Slapshot Steve

My friend, Steve, was on the radio talking about his obsession, the LA Kings. He knows his stuff. Check it out!

Monday, June 20, 2011

This Went Down Last Night

Jaron and the Long Road to Love, James Otto, Charles Kelley, and Joe Firstman (among many other talented musicians) spontaneously perform "The Weight" at Douglas Corner's "Sunday Supper."

And then this happened:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nap Nightmare

Earlier this afternoon, I decided to take a peaceful weekend nap. Two hours later, I woke up breathing heavy and fearing for my life. Here's what happened in this "dream":

A friend was in town, and she was helping me at work. It seemed that I worked at a grocery store, and was an investigative journalist on the side. However, my friend was really doing all the work - note taking, sleuthing, etc.

Anyways, she was having a beer in the chip aisle, talking about being unemployed in a loud, rude, yet hilarious manner. (Also, weird - this particular friend has a great job.)

The customers start complaining to me about it, so I tell her to take it easy as "corporate settings" are little more sensitive than what she's used to. (WHAT?! Better keep an eye out for Human Resources in the chip aisle.)

This is when I notice Special Agent Dale Cooper from the show Twin Peaks in the Coffee Bean area. He tells us that there's not much time and we need to leave now. He instructs us to meet him somewhere that I didn't write down, so I have my friend text him in the cab.

Once in the cab, I realize we are in some European city - probably Paris. There's a lot of activity going on, like a huge parade. The cab is making it's way through a crowd and I see my old boyfriend dressed in a Spiderman costume with his friend. My friend and I look out and yell at them something like, "I will always love you! Just kidding, totally just kidding." We must be back in America at this point.

I see one of my bosses from work with a megaphone telling everyone to take shelter. Sirens start to ring out.

We get to Agent Cooper's destination, which turns out to be the Third Man Records truck, except it's the size of the store.

People are shopping and Country backup singers are sound checking for an upcoming performance. Somehow we are allowed into the sound check where some of my coworker friends are hanging... Cooper is nowhere to be found. Major bummer, what a babe.

That's when the lights go out, and there's a weird noise. Somebody says, "Something's coming. I don't know what." Everyone looks to the horizon, and there's a flash. A storm of missiles come flying at us.

My friend and I are huddled in a corner, and I call my dad to say I love him. He's talking about all the horror where he is. I hear the Third Man truck start up like we are going to try to drive someplace...

...and then I woke up. What the hell is going on in this head of mine?

Friday, April 8, 2011


"I Turbo Taxed that ass." - A funny little phrase I came up with this morning after receiving an email saying that our e-file was being processed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bussing It Part 3: The Final 15-Hour Stretch

It could've been worse. Awful Freakin' Story. :(

It's true. The last leg of my bus trip was about 15 hours (maybe longer.) I met some nice peeps in the Dallas station. So at least, I kind of knew the type of person I was sitting next to.

This is the what happens when you "Go Greyhound"'re all in the same boat (or should I say "bus?" - ha! *sigh*), so you talk to complete strangers about everything and anything. I was chatting with a new buddy also traveling from Austin to Nashville about SXSW, my desire to have babies this year, and even bad drivers in Massachusetts.

Next thing I know, this good-looking musician-type turns around and starts talking to us. Turns out, he was in Austin playing with a band and he was traveling all the way to Boston - where he lives. Weird-o-rooni.

So, he gives me his CD, and my other buddy and I get in line for the bus. Sure enough, the good-looking musician is on our bus, which was amusing. I tried to think of single friends I could hook him up with, because apparently, I'm a matchmaker.

PS. If you're single and like hot music boys - do NOT miss SXSW. It's Spring Break without the douchebags. Well, I'm sure some are douchebags, but you can't tell on the surface. Whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean ;).

Later on, I looked up this dude's band. Turns out his band plays a lot of shows with my friend's band; a friend from high school that I reunited with at SXSW! Is your mind blown yet? Mine was. Small World.

Now, we're on our way and as I finally start to fall asleep, the bus pulls over and someone says, "We caught a flat y'all." Luckily, that was a false alarm.

You could tell this driver was not in the mood for any funny business, and we had some "characters" on this ride. It seemed like we were picking up more Sketchy Sketchersons with each stop.

I loved this driver. Mostly because I felt safe with him behind the wheel and I felt like he'd cut a bitch if anyone messed with me. I also liked how he pronounced Arkansas as Are-Kansas(/ɑrˈkænzəs/ ar-KAN-zəs - Thanks Wikipedia!).

The driver left the bus for a minute, and when he came back on, he made an announcement that we'd be stopping in a few minutes for a break. As he said that, he noticed that someone must have smoked in the bathroom while he was gone - big no-no.

"I see one of you couldn't wait. Had to have that cigarette. Let me catch you...Let me catch you." Next, we had to get off at a McDonald's (that's what she said, giggity) and I ended up walking in next to a dude in do-rag who seemed nice enough, but definitely thuggish ruggish.

"Damn, I shoulda sat next to you" he said from behind me. I awkwardly smirked and quickly made my way to the restroom to put on some makeup and attempt to brush my teeth with those WISP things.

A mother with the cutest little chubby son and a precious baby girl changed them on the sink next to me. "Uh, there's a table in the handicap bathroom, you know?," someone said. Mom ignored. Really, is there anything more uncomfortable than someone's child staring at you and trying to grab your hair? Oh yes there is, when that child is naked.

Yeah, it was probably a poor decision to "get ready" after I had just got semi-hit on by Easy-E, but I'm not one to repel compliments. Bring it, homeboy.

Hours later, while pulling into the Memphis station, my fave driver asked everyone to pay attention and started giving details about what was going to happen at the Memphis stop: reboarding, "connections," don't stand up until the bus stops moving, etc, etc. Of course, everyone talked over him, and this did NOT make him happy.

You could see his eyes glaring in the rear view mirror at my Do-rag boyfriend and his bus buddy. As soon the driver was done with his spiel, some lady who I had been observing since Austin (and found quite annoying) starts asking questions that the driver JUST answered.

"If you were listening, you'd know the answer to that," he said. We pulled into the Memphis station, and one of the "bad kids" on the bus stood up, when the driver specifically said to wait. The evil stare crept into the rear-view again, to which the kid responded, "What's he gonna do, kick me off the bus? This is my stop." Bad kid, you're a complete dick. Grow up!

Allllllmost - all we needed was to reboard and I'd be in Nashville in 4 hours or so. In the station, a group of us gathered around a secret outlet to charge our phones. One of the guys I talked to told me to be careful of Do-rag man.

He had befriended him at a stop and Do-rag told him to get his phone so they could exchange numbers or something. When he came back, the iPod that he had been charging was gone. Nobody knew where it went. How could you, Do-Rag?

We reboarded and we got a real gem of a driver to Nashville. She was loud, spunky, and would send "Bubba" to get you if you misbehaved. I thought she was a riot, sizing people up and down, looking for trouble-makers, yelling at that mother from the McDonald's bathroom because her adorable chubby son was getting a bit rambunctious.

"I tried to keep my peace, but you need to quiet those babies down."

Before you knew it, well actually, way after I planned to be, I was back in Nashville. Seeing those highway signs was like seeing DisneyWorld signs on family trips from back in the day. I tracked the minutes to escape using Google Maps, and debarked my sweet vessel.

Do-rag let me out with a "See Ya, Lil' Mama." I like lil' mama. That's hot. I bid farewell to my dear friends, and waited for Guy to come pick me up.

I watched good-looking musician get in line to get on yet another bus (poor fella), and also kept an eye on someone's phone while I waited. Guy showed up, and the guy whose phone I was watching wasn't back yet. Guy had to stand with me at the charging station until he came back. I just couldn't get away.

"God, is that what every station is like?," Guy said. I just looked at him. I didn't have the energy to get into it.

We stopped at Taco Bell on the way home, because I think after going through all of that and not eating for 13 hours, I deserve a freakin' quesadilla! Actually, if you read through this ridiculousness, you deserve one too. (I feel required to give you the nutritional info: 28g of fat, 490 calories - OMG!)

Go Greyhound on your next vacation!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bussing It Part 2: Back to Nash - Well, Not Quite Yet.

The trip back to Nashville was far more "entertaining" than the trip to Austin. I decided to take the 7:00PM bus instead of the 7:00AM departure; so I checked out of my hotel room late, and hung around the lobby for a few hours, sipping on Bloody Marys and trying to get pictures uploaded.

Of course, it slipped my mind that Greyhounds also have to deal with traffic. It didn't take long to realize I was going to miss my bus from Dallas to Nashville.
I'll give the driver credit though. He tried to get us there as fast as possible. Getting off at exits, taking the side streets and merging back onto the highway - then doing it all again.

It gave me the worst headache though, like being in an earthquake for 5 five hours; plus, the DVD menu screen for "The Patriot" pumping through the sound system on repeat for the first hour didn't help any.

Eventually, we were treated to a screening of "Fantastic Four." I'm glad I wasn't paying attention because that shit stopped playing halfway through. S.W.A.T was next on the movie schedule, I straight up cackled on some of the one-liners deliverd by Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J.!

Every couple of hours you get a stretch break on the old Greyhound, but as I learned from my past experiences - stay close to that damn bus or your ass is staying there. At one stop, this driver honestly almost left 5 passengers behind.

As we pulled out of the gas station, people were yelling to the front. "Wait!! Not everyone is on!" Two people would rush on, and then a few other people would scream for the driver to wait as he tried to pull out again.

"I'm not your babysitter! You need to be responsible for yourself!," the driver said.

Yeah, no shit, but I think a little announcement in the store before you ruin somebody's trip is in order. For the love! I can't tell if he was joking or not, but even so, should I have to question his sincerity? I'm a customer, damn it.

At times, going Greyhound is like being on an elementary school field trip during your first week at a new school, except on this one, the driver can kick you off the bus and not suffer any repercussions.

My favorite part of this specific ride, was when the lights and radio turned on around 11:30 PM and the bus started blaring George Clinton's "Atomic Dog." Guess it was time for us to wake up! At least it's a cool jam. I looked around at my fellow passengers, smiling ear-to-ear; I guess nobody else saw the humor. Just a bunch of sourpusses.

Mind you, as all this random stuff is happening, you're trying to conserve the power on your electronic devices (unless you get one of the new buses.) I used one of my much needed battery bars on calling my husband for this funky Greyhound moment (actually it was an "Americanos" bus.) He needed to hear for himself the alternate universe I was living in.

The driver closed the night by apologizing for the bumpy ride out of Austin, and mentioned that although ONE of the customers thought he was tired and driving recklessly, he wasn't. He just wanted to get us there, and the majority of the bus seemed appreciative. He wished us all a blessed life, which made my heart tingle. I did everything I could to resist hugging him as we parted ways in Dallas. I should've hugged him.

Now, I had to wait until 3AM for the next bus that would take me to Nashville. I got to say "Hi" to my favorite employee...the cook in the "café" area, and met some new friends at the Dallas station.

More to come! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bussing It - Part 1

Ever since I was little, I've been a girl on a budget. My mother told me that she found sheets of paper in high school where I wrote down a plan to pay for prom, mapping out my pay from Dunkin' Donuts and how much I could spend on a dress, hair and make-up, tickets, etc.

I've also always been a girl on a mission, and if I want to go somewhere or do something, I will do everything in my power to make it happen. I really wanted to go to the South By Southwest Music Festival this year, and when I got accepted to cover the festival, I started searching flights and hotel rates. Unfortunately, after I booked the hotel, Guy realized that he didn't have the vacation time to take on Austin with me. By that time, airfare was pretty high and I just couldn't stomach it. So, I booked a Greyhound for $170 roundtrip. I knew it might be hell.

I must have blocked out the bus I took to Vegas alone when I had a broken arm. On that trip, nobody told me that the buses wouldn't be running to the station where I parked my car on the night I came back. So, there I was, Skid Row Los Angeles, with a dead cellphone, broken arm, and no cash. The street looked like Thriller, and I had to sit out in the thick of it waiting for a ride.

Then, a couple years later, I took the good old Greyhound back to Vegas for a night of fun with my fellow New Kids on the Block fans. We watched a killer NKOTB show from the front row. I scored a penthouse at my hotel, because I checked in late, and then...I got on the bus. *sigh* I don't know if you know where Barstow is, but it's like in half way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and there's nothing in between. Welp, the bus was acting up and the driver decided to play it safe. Luckily, he made it to the nice rest stop in the town.

We had to wait at the Barstow rest stop for a new bus to come get us. During that time, I saw a man (bless his heart) on another bus went into the building to get food. He came out and realized he left his drink inside. He went back in, and while he was in there, a bus departed the rest stop. I wasn't sure if it was his, or I would have stopped it. It was. He was left stranded, and another bus wouldn't be there until the morning.

Worst part of the his fury, he dropped and spilled his drink all over the pavement. It was awful to watch.

I must have totally forgot about these prior incidents, because I didn't hesitate for a minute to buy that 20 hour trip to Austin. 20 hours. They say to get there an hour before your bus. Okay, 4:00 PM, I'm there. The bus gets delayed 45 minutes...which obviously turns into an hour and a half. This means I miss my connecting bus to Dallas from Memphis, but I'm positive and get ready for adventure.

I felt a little better after sitting next to a man who was visiting from Iraq. He had been traveling for five days already. He was on a plane from London, and the crew got sick, so half way through the flight, they turned around and went back to London. That was after a day or so of getting documents approved so he could even leave Iraq. He gave me a blanket that came in so handy for the rest of the trip.

Once we hit Memphis, we had to hang out and wait for the next bus. We didn't board until 11:40 PM. The phone chargers suck at the bus stations. The outlets are too big for your charger, so you have to find "secret" ones in the bathroom or kitchen areas. That's what I did the whole time. Hold my phone in the charger to try and gain some bars. The trip to Dallas was heavenly though. A bus with WiFi and outlets (figures) and plenty of empty seats, so you had an area to yourself.

After embarrassing myself by plugging my earphones into the mic jack and blasting 30 seconds of Backstreet Boys' "Get Another Boyfriend" so the whole bus could hate me, I decided to just put my laptop away and go to sleep. I popped a couple NyQuil tablets and woke up every few hours at rest stops. Loved it.

When we got to the Dallas station, what a cluster fuck! You can never understand what the employees are saying over the speaker, and no one is there to say "How may I help you?" You just wait in a line and hope that's the right place to be. I knew a bus to Austin was scheduled to leave any minute, but I thought I needed a replacement ticket.

Of course the lady in front of me didn't speak English and took forever to move away from the desk when she was done with the attendant. Another attendant opened up, and told me that the bus is about to pull out of the station now. I ran up to the gate while another employee was reading off departures to where she brushed me off. When she was done, she said, "That's your bus pulling out. They're not going to stop for you." I had to wait for the next one...3 hours.

Luckily, I met a nice Canadian boy who had been traveling for two days, also on a SXSW mission. We psyched each other up about the days ahead, and I actually ended up attending the event at SXSW that he helped put on. Dude made the best nachos at that showcase. Also, during my "layover," I had some breakfast, and it was nice to be served by a Greyhound/Americanos employee with a smile on her face.

Finally, it was time to board and I felt so bad for the girl traveling with tons of bag and her little boy. She was miserable and her son was understandably bored and wandered around. Then, he had to go to the bathroom while we waited in the boarding line. She asked him to wait, because if you leave your spot in line, you might not make the bus. They fill up quick. He couldn't wait and went in his pants. I told her I'd watch her bags and hold her spot while she took care of him. Poor little thing. The rest of the ride was uneventful, and that's a good thing.

We made it to Austin by 2:00 PM on Wednesday. Perfect time to check into my hotel. To Be Continued...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nashville Auditions on American Idol Tonight

I can't handle it. Tonight is the Nashville auditions on American Idol. My little sister, Irene, tried out and was on for like two seconds during the promo for the new season. God, please let there be more. So cute!

Check out the song she recorded while you wait for the show to air!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taking the "Dull" Out of "Idol" (I-dull, Get It?)

Not even ten minutes into the season and my sister's on American Idol! Hopefully, there will be more when the Nashville auditions air. She was also mentioned during Randy's interview on Ryan's daily radio show. She's so cool!
I have to say, so far the new season is pretty entertaining. I like the contrast of the judges. The chick that loved Britney and sang the show tune was the highlight of last night's show (besides Irene's two seconds, of course). I hope to see more of her too. She honestly would be great on Broadway. It may read as too intense on the screen, but on a stage she'll be perfect.