oh look, the weekend is coming.

When you're unemployed like certain of us, every day is like the weekend. But for the rest of you, the real weekend is fast approaching, and there are many things to do with yourself during this time, none of which is a Steelers game.

Tomorrow evening I may well end up downtown at the gallery crawl, even though I don't know much about what's going on there (other symptoms of chronic unemployment include apathy, lethargy and a general tendency to not pay attention). Built to Spill is also playing, at Mr. Smalls, but that's in Millvale (not public transit-friendly, or particularly bike-friendly) and I didn't get a ticket, and I'm getting stingy in these dragging weeks of incomelessness) (WHICH REMINDS ME, I get my last paycheck tomorrow, despite not having worked a day or this month, because the paychecks are so delayed at my former place of employment).

Saturday, Medications are playing at Garfield Artworks with Allies and some bands I don't know. I suspect I will go to this show. This is after the IMC meet thing, where I will see you. Also, AIR is having an all-day fundraiser show event thing with lots of bands, from noon till midnight. $10 donation for that.

Sunday, I think we're probably finishing up the mixing for the long time coming split LP (the label, who is also my roommate and landlord, is threatening to drop us if we don't hurry up), and/or I might head to the parents' house to indulge their need for someone to do physical labor. That's still to be seen.


stand and sing until your skull begins to ring

This morning I woke up with what felt like a bowling ball or something in my gut. A big nervous knot that felt like it might explode and send bone shrapnel all about the place, piercing passerby. Throughout the day, some less-than-desirable things transpired, but the bowling ball sort of disintegrated in the process, and that, at least, is good.

Some more desirable things transpired, though, including Jo pimping my ride as a birthday gift. Holy goddam. That bicycle is ready to be ridden.

Also, there was a power outage in the afternoon, and in the evening the traffic lights at Friendship and Pearl were freaking out, going from red to green at three-second intervals and at times going solid red with green blinking at the same time. Until right now, this did NOT make me think of my earlier post about traffic anarchy in the Netherlands, but now it kind of does. Monderman's anarchy is the IWW type, though, and this was like, Anarchist Cookbook shit.

(As an aside, you really ought to come to the Indymedia Meet-N-Greet described below on Saturday, both because it will be interesting and because I feel like a jerk about missing out on some publicity opportunities because I was/am being a lazy fool and I want people to show up. Hopefully maybe there will be food. And you get to talk to me.)


all this, and i'm about to eat a banana

In pleasant Internet-related news, I spent some birthday money recklessly and we now have a (fully functional) wireless router of our own, so it's back to dispatching these reports from places like the kitchen, my bed, and the john.

I trolled about the commercial strip of Monroeville this morning, purchasing things like picture frames, a fall sweater (Seriously. It looks like something that would be worn in an ad for the Clarion Autumn Leaf Festival), and a triple EXXXTREME razor, important as I have shaven my face again. I did not go into The Dreaded Music Store again, though I shuddered as I passed it. I didn't even go in the nice one.

I have a job interview on Wednesday (finally!) (I can't believe I'm sort of looking forward to a return to the 8:30-to-5, but I'm aiming to have at least half as much to do with my days as the people I care about have) and I'm also hoping to read Ulysses finally, or at least put a dent in it, since my mom got me a sort of accompanying text that explores Dublin's cartography at the time of the novel.

And I saw the family yesterday (some of the little ones a bit hyped up, but generally in good shape), and the Steelers lost (but it was close!) (I have such a muddled relationship with football, which perhaps I will explore one of these days), and I've eaten much too much in the way of sweets lately.

Time to find some self-control, it seems, for a lot of reasons.


it's an oxymoron, like "microsoft works"

So for my birthday, The Girl and I went to see Corpse Bride, which was cute and short, the way I like my movies. (Insert stupid joke about women here.) The way movies (and books and any sort of narratives) treat death and afterlife and zombie-ism or whatever always interests me, so, even though it's a kid-oriented story, it made my wheels turn.

Also, we read some Jews for Jesus pamphlets (source of my post title . . . I never said they weren't clever) and ate a white pizza at Aiello's, which resulted in her becoming rather sick-ish. But not before getting the old tattoo-related talk from the guy who works there with the funny braided goatee a la Scott Ian.

(We ran into Tyler whilst reading the J4J propaganda, and he mentioned that they had "gotten him" the night before. I asked if they converted him, and he said that they had gotten him to become a Jew, but didn't succeed in pushing the Jesus part.)

Today I return to that place whence I came (well, not really, but that place whence I went to high school, and where my parents call home still) for some family action. I've been promised that my 3-year-old nephew will be hopped up on drugs still following an allergy incident earlier in the week. That should be amusing.


andys in the news

I missed this. I mean, I knew I was interviewed, but I didn't pick up a City Paper last week, because I'm unemployed and don't do anything, and for whatever reason neither did my roommates. Then over the weekend someone said "Hey I saw you in City Paper!" and then I forgot about it again.

So here: me, fully aware of the irony. (Mr. Mock shares with me the trait of being a reporter who knows his angle on a story and structures his interview to reflect that. I don't mean that as a criticism, although it could be one -- I think he, like other good reporters I've encountered, has a good enough head on his shoulders to do it well. Whoops. Did I just say that? I mean, DOWN WITH THE CORPORATE MEDIA!)

friend to friend in the weekendtime

Just so you know:

This weekend is Little Italy Days in Bloomfield.

This weekend also contains my birthday, which I share with the Model T, Nirvana's "Nevermind," The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Blood Sugar Sex Magik," Linda McCartney and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

All I want for my birthday this year is spam comments on my blog.


andyfest 2k5, early warning

So, all of the shows I'm booking this fall (as far as I know, at this juncture) just happen to fall on one weekend at the beginning of November. Thus, Andyfest 2k5, November 4-6. Here's what I have for you so far. More details forthcoming.

Friday, Nov. 4
facedowninshit (Stoner metalcore from NC, now on Relapse)
Sequoia (Stoner riffage from Pgh, now on Myspace)
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (Locals who will kill it)
one more tba
@ Roboto
7pm, $5

Saturday, Nov. 5
The Close (Adorable indie rockers from Atlanta, Goodnight Records)
A couple locals tba
@ Quiet Storm
9pm I guess? Price tba

Sunday, Nov. 6
Bellafea (Sweet girl and sweet guy playing sweet dynamic indie, from NC)
the sea, like lead (That's my band)
Other locals tba
@ Modernformations
7pm, I guess $5.

If you happen to be interested in all three shows, let me know, we can work out an Andyfest Pass package deal or something.


chicken chicken chicken ham, and you gonna like

So, this evening The Girl and I went to Thai Cuisine, where I hadn't been in quite a while, despite its proximity to home. I'm usually really into it, more so than Thai Gourmet down the street, which is also pretty good. I had a little bit of anxiety about it after I ate there once last fall with the roommates and Charissa and ended up, through no fault of the food, vomiting up and down Millvale Avenue a few hours later. It was a stomach flu, but poorly timed.

I've been back since then, though, and tonight we went only for me to find that the Pad Thai has changed. Not a lot, but it has changed. There is now broccoli, which is okay since I like broccoli, and there is a little bok choy, which is not okay since I despise bok choy. And the carrots, which used to be grated, are now chopped into little stars and stuff, which is cute, but not the way I like my carrots.

So, I was a little disappointed. Then I began to poke around for my vegetarian chicken ham. And I didn't see it. And I poked more. And I found one little piece, sort of a heel of chicken ham, kind of like the end of a sausage link. I ended up finding one more piece. I was peeved.

Then The Girl saved my dinner by bumping her water glass over, causing it to shatter across the table.

Since it was possible that shards may have gotten into my meal, I was made another dish. And this one had the right amount of chicken ham. And despite the bok choy and other aesthetic changes, it was pretty good. And the service, as always, was excellent (I'm usually stressed by restaurants because the servers give me more attention than I want, but not so here!) And, as usual, it was pretty quiet even though there were a fair number of people there.

So, a good grade for you, Thai Cuisine, once again. You nearly lost it this time, but you (and I) got lucky.

(By way of a quick PS -- I was always endeared to Lou Pappan, of the now-defunct Pappan's Family Restaurants of the Pittsburgh area in the '80s and early '90s, whose tag line I steal for this post title. However, I learn now that Lou and his family were responsible for the launch of the career of "Disco Bob" O'Connor, city council a-hole and heir apparent to the rough scene known as the mayor's office. Lou is no longer endearing to me in the least. Your whimsical sloganeering does not outweigh the grave offense for which you are responsible, Old Man Pappan.)


that's a fine sack o' 'gaweas!

I went to the post office today to get a book of stamps (Antique Toys, if you must ask) and there was a line. Behind the backs of the people in line there was a machine. This machine was like one of those machines from which you get your can of pop or little bag of Cheez-its. But this machine dispenses stamps. Books of stamps.

So, figuring I was the target market for this particular device, I decided to go for it. I located the number for the Antique Toys and began to load my cash into the device.


It began to take my $5 bill.


It spit it right back.

This continued a few times until I gave up and realized that I would have to either approach the counter or bring out the big guns, which is a bad metaphor to use in a post office, but which simply refers to my $20 bill.

Out came the guns, and out of the change dispenser came my change: 12 dollar coins (6 Sacagaweas, 6 Susan B. Anthonys), 2 quarters and 2 nickels.

Twelve dollar coins.

I feel sort of like I did after the couple of times when I sold my textbooks back to the shady truck dude on Bigelow after the semester and he gave me loads of $2 bills. What do I do? The dollar coin. An exercise in redundancy. A step backward from lightweight, easy to transport currency back in the direction of precious stones and metals.

The dollar coin is so superfluous, the U.S. Mint's official Dollar Coin webpage features the motto, "It's money. So use it." If you were a food company with a product whose tag line was, "It's food. So eat it." you'd probably be on your way out of business.

Not to say that the U.S. Mint isn't headed there itself.

So, here I stand, a pocket full of ways for the Treasury to say it honors women's roles in U.S. history without running the risk of dissing any dead presidents or Ben Franklins. I will let you know when and where I use them, and what kind of reaction I get from the person on the other side of the transaction.

Until then, I will continue to remind myself: "It's money. So use it."


spammers be dammed

I am now officially TURNING OFF COMMENTS.

This was the last straw:

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Check it out if you get time :-)

Let's repeat that:

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doff your spidey togs

Since I missed a few days due to extreme busyness and/or Boring Day Syndrome, you, my reader, get TWO PHOTO POSTS today. I just thought this comic was funny because there's a uniform place in the Strip District called Crill Tog Co., which spawned an amazing conversation when Joe Meno, Sean Carswell and Mickey Hess were in town.

Also because the onomatopoeia: "AROOP AROOP AROOP AROO*"

I might also take this time to comment on how OUT OF CONTROL our little corner of Bloomfield has become in the past month or so. It seems as if sometime in mid August, all the kids on our street, independently or working together, murdered their parents, and since then the block has become a sort of "Party of Five"-meets-Lord of the Flies. Little kids running around playing with steak knives. Big kids SCREAMING at each other all day ("GET OVER HERE BITCH!" "SHUT UPPPPPPPPPP!"). Big kids with little kids of their own leaving used pregnancy tests on the sidewalk. All within about 50 feet of our house. (As a side note, the broken Barbie Corvette in which they drag one another around IS pretty amusing.)


To sound like an irritable old curmudgeon for a moment or three, I'm looking forward to when the weather makes it incredibly uncomfortable for them to sit/stand/run around in front of my house all afternoon and evening.

it's one of my bad habits.

Emily once told the story of how the Computer Nerd at the office where she worked at the time ate lots and lots of disgusting prepackages sugary things, and one time she walked in on him in the break room with a pyramid of Diet Coke cans on the table, photographing them.

"This is one of my bad habits," he explained self-consciously.

What, exactly, was the habit?

"Taking pictures of food."

Well, if it's a bad habit, then I don't wanna be good. Above is our dinner from last night, not the most photogenic ever, but still pretty nice. Grilled seitan reubens (constructed by Emma, making up for Saturday's less-than-impressive tempeh reuben experience at Quiet Storm) and fried potatoes (designed by Q), with ginger brews of differing varieties to drink.

Despite a hankering cold that I came back to bite me after I bragged that I had beaten it, fueled by this tasty food, I applied for TWO JOBS today, at least one of which I am confident I am qualified for and can get. Hopefully I can get through the fall without being completely destitute at any point. Hopefull also I won't have to deal with applying through Pitt's ridiculous HR website, which uses the most poorly designed and buggiest software this side of Blackboard. It took me probably over an hour to apply for these jobs, when I had most of my information already online and it should have taken maybe half an hour.

Please do get yourself a copy of Jaden's Swirling Vortex of Terror zine if you haven't yet. The show was a blast (a slightly underwhelming Pay Toilets set was made up for when Jim caught himself in front of a seven-year-old and said "He doesn't give a shit -- fu -- I mean, FUCK. He doesn't give a FUCK!") (also Sequoia was big and loud and amazing).

ALSO, I forgot to point this out last week, CONGRATULATIONS to Monroeville and Pitcairn residents for riding your council's ass until they rejected Wal-Mart. This location would've been right on my way to the parents' house, and would've been an eyesore and a mindsore and a heartsore, and would've finished Pitcairn off for sure.

Last but not least, do listen to Rustbelt Radio tonight at 6:00 on 88.3 WRCT to hear my report on Grow Pittsburgh. It'll be posted online later if you can't tune in.


i was born on a pirate's ship

This was just brought to my attention, and looks excellent, and I hope to go:

Saturday October 29th
@ The Pirates Cove
in Allentown, Pa

10 minute sets by:
Carpenter Ant
Robot Attack / Hypatia
Headaches (last show)
Get To The Chopper
Block Head
Audio Recording Club
Slingshot Dakota
Erik Petersen (not confirmed)
Witch Hunt (not confirmed)
Fighting Dogs (not confirmed)

What a lot of good stuff. Except I can't imagine a 10 minutes Belegost set. I don't think they have a song less than 12 minutes long.

Purchased the Aloha CD from last year FINALLY today (I had heard it before, and had the first track on a mixtape, but I didn't but it till now). I really like the first track, and the rest is pretty good . . . I suspect it'll grow on me.


i didn't leave the house today until 6:30.

I got up this morning at 9:30 (okay . . . closer to 10. It's not my fault. Sarak kept me up talking on the instant messenger all night) and I didn't leave the house until about an hour ago. Therefore, I'm going to leave again pretty soon, just to be somewhere else. I'm getting couch sores.

But I feel okay because I accomplished things. I finished my radio piece for next week's Rustbelt Radio AND I made lots of funny jokes on an internet message board. For whatever reason, I feel like that counts for something.

I missed the City Council special meeting on Taser use because I was sitting here making poems out of ridiculous things Adam Mac says on said message board. I hope someone with note taking skills and a minimum of rhetoric made it and will report back on the IMC. It would be a shame to miss out on it, but I didn't go, so I can't complain.

Also today, I got my first SPAM COMMENT on this blog, which I promptly deleted. If it becomes an issue, I'll just turn comments off, at which point you'll just have to email me when you have something to say. That isn't so damn hard, is it? IS IT NOW?


i'm just going to tell you about things i'm doing soon.

Here are some things you might be interested in:

- Jaden's Swirling Vortex of Terror zine release show/party is this Saturday, September 17 at Roboto. Jaden, in case you are not "in the know," is my friend Charissa's son. He's seven and is publishing his first zine, replete with interviews, show and CD reviews, etc. We are playing, along with Sequoia and Pay Toilets. (Yes, Pay Toilets and a seven-year-old. In the same room.) Five dollars gets you in, gets you a zine, and gets you goodies.

- We're playing Advanced Calculus at some point soon. We're scheduled to be on Monday, Sept. 26, but there's a show at CMU that night that WRCT is putting on, so we'll probably pre-record and it'll run and no one will listen because everyone will be at the show. That's OK. I'll let you know anyway.

- The first weekend of October will be an Indymedia meet-n-greet type session, for anyone who would like to get involved in the IMC. More details on that when they're shored up -- I think it's going to be Saturday afternoon at Kiva Han on Craig St.

- We're playing with Cerebrus Shoal and Air Guitar Magazine at AIR on October 18th. That will be awesometastic.

I'm also working on bringing you a few totally sweet out of town bands on the first weekend of November, so don't be out of town, if you live here in this town. More details when they become available.


Bourgeoisie Aren't Threat

1. Thursday night I went to my parent's house, anticipating a birthday party for a very cute three-year-old who calls me uncle the next day, and my brother made me turn on the Patriots' pregame show on ESPN, which featured Ozzy in an oversized Pats jersey grinning from ear to ear, jogging in place and singing "Crazy Train." This came not long after they cut away to show the Rolling Stones marching about like fools on a stage somewhere else. The point of the evening was to show us all that, no matter how much of a threat you might pose to American culture now, you're pretty much guaranteed to either fizzle out or make an ass of yourself if you live another 30 years.

2. Speaking of being a threat, I stepped back into Indymedia for real today, going to a MEETING for the first time in a couple years. It went smoothly and quickly and was one of the best meetings I've attended, I think. It's amazing what happens when you have a small core of people who have their shit together and don't want to deconstruct the entire mission of the organization at every meeting. Look for media workshops, more awesome radio shows, and hopefully a free bi-weekly print edition in the future.


a show tomorrow, if you will.

So, last minute-like, Q is throwing together a show for The Body at Roboto. Tomorrow night, September 7. 7:30 or whatever. And we're going to play. Sequoia is also going to play, hopefully. $5.00. I promise you, The Body is jarring in their volume. And Lee has funny-looking drums. And this show will RULE. Hard-like. See you there.

PS: Also thank you to everyone in Chicago and St. Paul for your incredible hospitality and kindness and rock. I can't say there was one band we played with this weekend that I didn't enjoy a whole lot. And we ate good food and I bought too many good books and a couple CD's.



labor day is barely over, so check it:

We went to Quimby's Saturday morning before leaving Chicago for St. Paul, and I soon realized we were walking in on a most Burianical moment: Al sits behind the desk, and next to him lies one loaf of bread, one jar of peanut butter and one jar of jelly. "Looks like you got yourself the makings for a fine peanut butter and jelly sandwich there, sir," says I.

"Yeah, yeah," he concurs. Then he looks about for moment and admits: "I just really need a knife." I unfortunately don't have my bookbag with me, else I could help. A few moments later, he walks by, still unfed, and drops a plastic fork on the floor.

Sometimes you've got all the fixings, but without a knife to put it all together, you're helpless, and gosh darn it, a plastic fork won't do.

But like I said, Labor Day just ended, and the point of this story is not about the impossibility of the perfect sandwich or the perfect life, or anything of that sort. It's actually about the book I bought my roomates that morning as a gift: Wobblies! A graphic history of the Industrial Workers of the World.

It has some amazing art and some amazing history, and while I definitely spent too much money this weekend, I don't regret having gotten it for them. It's new, and I recommend it if you're intested in radical/labor history and/or aesthetically pleasing things.


so far this weekend.


- Seeing friends (old Pittsburghers, general Chicagoans, one North Carolinian)

- Being called "fucking metal" by three guys who also referred to those who stood outside during our set in Chicago as "cunts."

- An AMAZING beautiful storm (featuring a strip of mammatus clouds in Wisconsin that, unbeknownst to us, was spawning tornadoes elsewhere.

- A "Service Engine Soon" light that, I assure you, means nothing.

- A salted mango.

- Big V's hockey jersey, which actually said "Big V" on the back.

- A huge sack of popcorn.

- A paint can falling out the tailgate (foolishly left open) of a pickup truck on the interstate after quite a long time of shimmying back and forth and tempting fate. Don't ask why this was so amusing. It just was.

We came, we played, we sold some stuff, we basically made enough money to cover the cost of coming. We're too tired to go to a party we were graciously invited to and would like to go to. We're coming home tomorrow.

More sensory observations to come.


a gigantic, collective crossing of the fingers, for many reasons

Leave it to us to be going halfway across the country on the weirdest weekend in years around these parts. Death and despair and looting and rape in the South (if it's any consolation, they rescued Fats Domino . . .), gas prices at absurd levels (great time to be going on a road trip, guys), and closer to home, the kids on our street have been terribly obnoxious lately (DeAndre tried to run in our house while I was leaving last night and the older girl who came from who knows where and acts as the ringleader of the bunch was offended when I yelled at him for it). And on the way home from Roboto tonight we witnessed a car fire AT A GAS STATION (it was the only thing that kept us from a tank full of $2.99/gallon Shell), and then when I got home I read that soon-to-be birthday girl Hopper was in a car accident. UGH.

Hopefully all of these nasty omens do not actually bode so poorly for the weekend. It kind of seems like it's going to be an eerie weekend regardless, even if things go pretty well for us. Chicago, Minneapolis, turn out in force to see me, please, and make this worthwhile. I will give you big city-hugs, I promise.