Friday, February 29, 2008

Ten Reasons Why Your Guitar Playing Sucks

1: You're lazy, and the only time you practice is when the whole band gets together, so you never have anything figured out ahead of time, and are about as fluid as a petrified monkey turd left in a pyramid four thousand years ago.

And you do so without giving a shit about tone. I mean, really, just having a big Marshall Stack and a crappy metal guitar is not a substitute for knowing how to make the men jealous and the girls damp with pleasure.

3: You got no groove. You don't play songs, you just play chord patterns. And the same one, on everything, like a mindless robot assembling defective butt plugs in some factory in China that will short out and fry buttholes.

4: You're timid. You cling to one style, one guitar and one tone, and only play safe things you've figured out beforehand, so you can eliminate the possibility of mistakes.
You also suck all the energy out of the music and bore a lot of people to the point of wanting to projectile vomit whatever they're drinking, just to see if you're the robot mentioned above or if you will actually respond to having gastric juices filled with cheap beer hurled upon you by gut muscles.

5: You're an arrogant prick, and are confused, thinking that having a guitar and being onstage makes you think that your fecal matter has no odor, that everybody wants to hear your full shred masturbatory wankifying more than they want to hear a band.
This makes you play very long solos that are really just the scales you learned on the couch watching bad TV talk shows after you got laid off from that cubicle job, instead of figuring out that getting in, dropping your tasty bomb of musical mayhem and getting out makes you seem like a crazed master of restraint and frenzy.

6: You're rigid. You see no need for improvement, and without a drummer, you suck, big time at keeping a steady rhythm.
And you refuse to learn new ways to play to the point of insane meat headed self destructing stupidity, thinking you have to have use heavy strings, flail about beating up your guitars for no good reason with wild pick strokes and and a steel fisted monkey grip.

7: You forget your guitar is a tool. So you baby it, don't play it hard when you need to, are afraid to take it out of the case and leave it out where it will remind you every time you walk past it to check your pointless email or watch that stupid TV show about lactating men and the dogs who love them.
There's no point in smashing a perfectly good guitar, but there's also no point in dying and leaving behind an instrument that's not played into a state of perfection.

8: You forget your guitar is more than a tool. You just use it to push chords around so your heartfelt songs have something to hang on, instead of as much a part of the music as Your Stupid Lyrics About Love and Your artistic PAIN.
This is like ignoring a new sweetie who rubs your feet, feeds you fine chocolate, greets you at the door with an eight ounce bottle of lube warmed to *102 degrees Fahrenheit, wrapped in red Saran Wrap and fuzzy pink slippers holding a giant margarita made with fine tequila while you're spending all your time thinking about your last sweetheart who pissed on all four seats in your car and fucked your best pal for six months. But you're an idiot who's guitar playing sucks, so we don't expect much.

9: You're boring. You do everything the same way every time, and want everybody else to as well. The idea that somebody might just be in the moment and roll off on some great tangent bugs you, because you think being professional means getting everything "right", and that anybody who rides the edge and risks screwing up is a loose cannon, a dangerous sort of free spirit.

10. You never realized that you're one of millions of idiots with a guitar. Even more so in Madison, where legions of white boys with guitars prowl the streets, looking for people to talk at about their greatness. It's boring, self involved and pathetic. You are not a special snowflake, nobody gives a shit. Come down off your high horse, before you fall off it.

Note: the photo of the lovely dark eyed Pam spanking her telecaster is an example of Does Not Suck, and she is a rock star we all should admire and give huge sums of money to.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Found on Craigslist Today:

Yeah, um, right, just what I'd look for in a musical partner, sure.....

Looking for musical partner(s)

Date: 2008-02-26, 2:44PM CSTi have shit. have been working on vocals for 6 years. don't sound like anyone in particular. I live in misery. i had a girl and kid. she left me. i drink when i can but i'm a light weight. i smoke everyday, but i just got fired. sometimes i just feel like dying. the only one that ever cared about me doesn't have much left. i'm looking for weird people that get hocked on by this world to find something to escape to with. you should get a hold of me. I guess i like dark music the most. but i like all types of music. i have lots of originals, maybe you should hear them. maybe not, we could just create new stuff. who cares either way. there now we have no expectations and whatever music we create will be beautiful. i am going to go eat some pills now. i am not a drug addict, i cannot afford it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hurling Buicks

Sick, sick, sick. Hurling buicks, tossing cookies, calling up ralph on the big white phone, yawning in Technicolor, kneeling at the porcelain throne, sick, sick, sick.
Finally, after dodging the virus at least six of my pals have had, I am unwell.
This winter just gets better and better, illness, flu, ice making me fall on my ass, shoveling till the snowbanks are too high to shovel, and now I'm out of propane for the shop and can't work out there till I get some.
I think I'm going to bed for a month with a stack of DVDs and a case of everclear. Who needs a liver when you have this kind of winter.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stretched thin baby head, July 2007

If there's anything more lovely than a human baby, I sure
haven't seen it.

Big Smile, August 2007

Happy big smile, with a photoshop boost.

Kyle and his bass, June 2005

Kyle's my pal Sindi's son, I met him a long time ago when he was a little shit of about six or seven.
I took this photo of him a few years ago when I made it out to Port Townsend, Washington, where he lives with his cool mom and Jake, her sweetie.
Port Townsend is a very cool place, a little town across the water from Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula, out there in the rain forest.
Kyle's a bass player these days in New Faces, a band who just won the first semi-finals of Sound-Off!, the NW battle of the bands.
The finals are on March 1st at Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Here is a link to a video interview of them (some good shots of Port Townsend too):

or the direct link to the video is:
I wish them luck, he's a pretty cool dude for his age, and I'm envious that he started so young. It took me till I was thirty to finally learn to play, and I didn't get good till a few years ago. Good at being loud, anyway.
They're coming to visit soon, I'm looking forward to hanging with the three of them.
And winter still sucks. Four to eight more damn inches of snow on the frakkin' way.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Climbing the Walls and Falling on my ass..

I think I am going to make hardwood cleats and attach them to the studs all over the house. I'm already climbing the walls, might as well save what's left of my fingernails. One month of winter left on the calendar. Yeah. Sure. Whatever, I sorta doubt that winter cares what that stupid calendar says this year.
Everything is covered with ice, I managed to fall right on my back walking to the coffee shop the other day, and last night's record cold was only tempered by the fact that there wasn't much wind.
My shop's too cold to work in, and I already dropped about as much money as I can spend on propane for it, so I'm not building anything, or even fixing things I should be.
This winter is about as harsh as I can remember on the brain, even more than the ones in the early 70's when I was living in Northern Wisconsin.

I want to ride my bike, plant my garden and crack the windows and air out the house so bad it's making me insane.
But at least it's warm, I have enough food and a sweetie who loves me and a wide screen TV and dvd player and electric blanket, and our band's playing this Saturday at the Winter Market. So it's not all suck, but this cabin fever making me batshit insane.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Emma, August 2007

One last photoshop hack of Emma, then I have to go change into different pojamas. You know,that's all people with blogs do, just shower ever few weeks and change jammies.
It's a hard and brutal life posting all this stuff for all 19 of you on a regular basis, but you're worth the effort.
And if you live here in Wis-cow-sin, go vote for Obama tommorow.
I'm sick to the point of barfing up every one of the five thousand burritos I've ever eaten at the thought of another four to eight years of anybody named Clinton or Bush.
Two hundred ninety or so million people in this country, and all we seem to be able to get are people with those two names.

Ellis, Sept 2007

I love the liquify function I just learned how to use in photoshop.
And children are sooooo photogenic!

Family Portrait, August 2007

The lovely and talented Erickson family.
No relation other than being part of the tribe.
Think I should go into the portrait business?

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Lucy with her Ball, 2006
I love dogs, and Lucy was a big happy one, the best kind. I miss her
every time I go to see Martye and David. If I wasn't allergic to dogs, I'd have two or three.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Toadkillin' at the Winter Market

Here's a shot from our last gig at the winter market.
We'll be there again a week from Saturday, starting around 9:30.
It will be a simple, mostly instrumental gig.
I like playing that all red electric at the farmer's market. Sorta goes against the grain.
And on another note:
Up to ten inches of snow due Sunday!
Happy goddambitt not another frakkin' snowstorm coming again day, everybody!

It's Official, Texans can go Fuck Themselves

From the Washington Post, an empty shell of a newpaper that brought us lots of BushCo love and enabling:

"Feeling lonely in the Lone Star State this Valentine's Day? You'll be glad to know that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has just overturned a statute outlawing sex toy sales in Texas.
According to a law on the books since the 1970s, the sale, promotion, donation or lending of "obscene devices" was punishable by up to two years in jail. And all it took to "promote" was a goodie drawer of six or more.
The statute was seldom enforced. But the owners of two Austin sex shops, as well as a retail distributor doing business as Adam & Eve, claimed it hindered their business and deprived potential customers. The state argued that it had a moral basis for maintaining the law, "discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex and the pursuit of sexual gratification unrelated to procreation."
The 5th Circuit, however, found that sexual privacy supersedes that morality. The court cited Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court
decision that struck down bans on consensual sex between same-sex couples. The 5th Circuit, siding 2-1, said it is unconstitutional to punish individuals selling sexual devices, since those devices are typically used in the privacy of people's homes.
Alabama and Mississippi now remain the only states where sales of sex toys is illegal, though several other states have
restrictions. The defenders of those laws say it would be dangerous to make sex toys more easily accessible. They note that sexual addiction is a recognized mental disorder, and they worry that sex toys may encourage that.
So has Texas opened up a Pandora's box here? Or has the Lone Star State simply opened its mind?"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Fake Holiday!

Happy Hallmark and Floral industry holiday, everybody!
It's that day of the year where we spend billions of money on the slowly withering reproductive organs of plants, pack our loved one's faces with too much rich American food, cheap oily chocolate made from crappy ingredients, many of them harvested by poor children in places where they dream of having too much shit like most Americans do!
Today, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pounds of fat and cellulite will be made by people gorging themselves on this excuse for a holiday, millions of people will finally wake up and realize they'd better do something nice for their sweetie because some advertising dudes figure a way to make them feel guilty for ignoring them the rest of the year as a way to make huge piles of money!
So don't forget to tip that waiter, or that flower delivery person. and at least a few people on the bottom might come out a little less behind.
Me, I tell my sweetie I love her every day, and almost every day thank her for being my partner. And I'm glad that she doesn't buy into fake holidays.
We make our own, mostly.
So, once again, I say, Happy Hallmark and Flower shop scam holiday, chumps!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sometimes I drink too much coffee at EVP

I draw things like this while bitching about jerks like our Senator Kohl selling out to the rethuglican swine by voting against our interests by passing that shitwad FISA bill, so George Bush can wipe his ass with our laws and constitution.
Enjoy the artwork! And remember, every email you send me gets read by somebody in the government, because my internet account is in the UK, where Gradwell.Com is. That means it can be intercepted and read by people who might decide I'm a threat.
Happy our Senator Kohl is a tool for Bush Day, Folks!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The House Concert Was Fun

We played a good set, or at least it felt good and nobody threw things. We seemed popular!

But we also didn't talk much, played the hell out of our instruments, sang like drunken angels and kept our between song blather amusing and fairly short.

And every song about murder, blood, falling down wells and bursting levees we described as "love songs".

No metaphor intended.

It's still too frakkin' cold. And there's more snow in the forecast.


More pregnant earthling photographs

I can't decide which one I like better.
Both shot last winter when my camera shy pal decided
to let me photograph her.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

House Concert Tommorow at two

I'll be playing this ugly banjo for one creepy song about guns, drugs, bait tanks and murder in the swamp.
But don't worry, only one song in our set... The rest will be on less scary instruments.
There will be three different musical acts performing in Ellyn's living room, we're on last. Come see our band,
Toadkiller Dog.
It's the first time we're actually calling ourselves that. It seems less cumbersome than Tim, ellie and Bess.
It's at the lovely Ellyn's house, at 1149 E. Gorham, second floor.
There will be hummus and lots of creepy music, and some children.
I like almost all of those things but the children.

Legs, 1990

Friday, February 08, 2008

100 proof Root Beer Schnapps

So, I'm bumping elbows with the polar fleece and snow booted masses at Woodman's today, searching for joy and love and heavily discounted nearly expired produce and wild raspberry stash tea and expensive rustic sourdough bread, and at some point I think, holy shit, there are too many primates here, and head to the checkout lines, where the overworked checkout people struggle to shove everybody's suspect food choices past the scanner.
On the way out, shuffling past the photolab and the soon to be extinct DVD rental section, I throw restraint out the window of my monster truck nascar mind and head into the Liquor store.
I like booze. I like Stroh's Inlander Rhum, a toxic Austrian rum that is 80 percent ethanol. I love Tequila, have a real attraction to good whiskey in less than two ounce portions, and have what can only be described as a tasteless and semi-toxic love for Schnapps, although American Schnapps has too much crap in it for me to really love. Too sweet, too thickened with glycerin, too much like diabetes in a bottle.
But today, I found something almost as good as what them e-u-rope-eans drink, Phillips Root Beer 100, a much less syrup and sugar laced kick ass liqueur.
We killed half a 750 ML bottle tonight, four of us getting friday night stupid. It Does Not Suck.
It tastes like a slightly bitter and aromatic root beer barrel candy, with hints of semi adult spice to it.

An adult version of what we drank as kids back in the mid 1970's, when we had to sucker some lonely 18 year old into buying it for us because we were too young to get it ourselves.

It reminds me of rolling in the wet grass on Clem's hill with a lover I had who had the most amazing curly red hair, of a time when we had fewer chins, flatter and leaner bodies and when we were both clueless and fearless.
I'm still pretty fearless, having decided a long time ago that life is just too damn short to worry about much, even if I'm 50 damn years old.
Back then I was just young and stupid.
Now I'm just too old to burn daylight on idiots unless I can get a good rant going.
Go buy a bottle if you're in the mood for some pleasant stupid. Just don't drink too much, because it will hurt in the morning.

Photo stolen from Bighappyfunhouse.
Check em' out on my links page.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Letter To Mayor Dave!

It's time to piss off some developers!
Time to make them hear our mighty if somewhat dirty hippie roar!
So take some time and write to these two email addresses if you can, and ask in a nice way for a greener, cleaner Madison with more bike trails, walkable neighborhoods and fewer damn developments made of unsustainable wood and plastic that require cars for every single thing, including going somewhere where it's safe to BICYCLE!
I did today. If you're not sure what to write, just rip off the spirit of my missive to our handsome young Mayor. Be polite, but be a pain in the ass, too.

My somewhat manic missive to the mayor, in full!
With added exclamation points!!!!!!
(they were cheap, I got whole box full at St.Vinnie's!)

Hey Mayor Dave!
I voted for you!
I want a better city, more bike trails!
More infill and less sprawl!
Fewer ugly expensive condos and more public art!
And more Bike Trails!
Make the whole city like the east side and you'll have a much heathier place, with fewer cars and more community that can walk, bike and take public transit!
And I loved the trolley cars, no matter what the cranky nay-sayers thought.
And did I mention more bike trails would be lovely?
The future is in your hands, let's make this joint like a fine e-u-ropean' city, although you can skip the whole legal drugs thing Amsterdam has for now. I'd be happy with some green planning.
Let's rock this town with some clean, mean green momentum, so I can vote for you again.
And remember, Cars are SOOOO 20th century! Think of them last, they're rolling dead wheels. Zombie transport!
Another happy biker eastside freak who has time to bug you,
On the Isthmus!

When Coffee is a SIN!

I read things like the blurb below and I hope a virus gets loose that only effects godbag fundamentalist men. A nasty one that makes their genitalia transform overnight into vaginas.
But then I stop and think, they would just start to demand everybody have a vagina, and they'd go around beating up people who didn't have them.
Some days I think this whole fundamentalist streak that stupid human monkeys have is beyond understanding, and I wish they'd all just shut the frak up and go flagellate themselves.
Then I turn off the internet and go build a guitar, and try not to think about how they'd stone me and my girlfriend to death, just like the Jesus-facisists we have here in the USA.
I sure wish we weren't giving a bunch of Saudi thugs billions in oil money every year. That's Amerika, propping up dictatorships everywhere there's oil, all in the name of freedom. Freedom to kill the biosphere with fossil fuels, anyway.
At least they didn't kill her or whip her with forty lashes for going on the internet with a co worker.
Happy godbag fundamentalist day, everybody! Let's all sing!

(CBS) An American businesswoman was carted off to jail by religious police in Saudi Arabia for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks in Riyadh, the Times of London reported. The woman, who spent a day behind bars, was strip-searched and forced to sign a false confession before being released, the newspaper said. The Times declined to publish her name at her request.

The 37-year-old businesswoman works for a finance company in Riyadh. Her problem began when her office lost electricity. She and her male colleagues then went to a nearby Starbucks to use the coffee shop's Internet connection. She sat with a male colleague in the Starbucks' family area, the only place women are allowed to sit with men. “Some men came up to us with very long beards and white dresses. They asked 'Why are you here together?' I explained about the power being out in our office. They got very angry and told me what I was doing was a great sin,” she told the Times.

Following her arrest and interrogation, the woman was hauled before a judge. “He said 'You are sinful and you are going to burn in hell.' I told him I was sorry. I was very submissive. I had given up. I felt hopeless,” she told the Times.

The newspaper said the woman had received a visit from officials at the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia. A U.S. official told The Times that it was being treated as “an internal Saudi matter” and refused to comment on her case.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Not so much a phlembot

I thought it was just a cold that had me laid out for the last three days.
But I found this under the floorboards of my bed, right under my side.
I suspect that it might not have been just a cold, because I noticed a few other things were different. Like the way I glow in the dark, the way I seem to be able to read people's minds, how I seem to be able to stop time, fly like Supergirl, and remember everything I've read or heard in the last six months. That and my ability to become invisible and to heal instantly from wounds.
But I did have a high fever, and I did watch the whole first season of Heroes in a fever dream state, so maybe everything but the invisible part was a dream.
I know I posess the ability to become invisible, or transparent, because when I got into music stores, auto parts stores and that pit of swine who work at Marling Lumber, nobody seems to see me.
That might just be because I'm a middle aged woman who does not have big tits, a flat belly or big hair.
But enough about my fever dreams and disgruntled state of being.
How about that blizzard? What a perfect three days to spend sleeping off a virus.
Think I'll go do that now.
And because, as my globe trotting pal Craig said to me, "you can't not bring up politics, can you?" here's a bit for you:
How about that fucker McCain? Blows off the vote today that would have provided fifty billion for extended unemployment benefits and aid to retired poor folks after saying "we need a stimulus package!"
He's a nasty old, angry fossil, ready to bomb everyone, and if there was a god worth caring about, he'd toss that bastard a stroke that would make his eyeballs blow out.
But instead he'll stay healthy because he gets gold plated health care
thanks to his privledge as a Senator!
Ain't amerika great?
And, a tip of the hat to that pair of scewups Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid:
Thanks for kneecapping Senators Dodd and Feingold on FISA, and for taking impeachment off the table!
Paving the road for President McCain by being without spine!
Happy snow day and stupid old school Democrat day, everybody!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I have rhinoviruses

Don't you just hate that feeling, the tickle in the back of your throat, the flushed feeling of fever, the slow buildup of more than usual aches, and how your head starts feeling like a big wad of snot soaked cotton, ears ringing?

I do. Even more so because that's what's going on in my head tonight.

bleeeech. Time to go to bed for a day or two.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

100 Years Ago Today Was My Father's Birthday

He's on the bottom of Clearwater Lake now, we fed his ashes back to the fish that he used to catch every day like he requested before he died in 1983.
He was 50 when I was born, already grandfather age.
I miss him today. But I have his sneaky grin and his sense of humor, and a lot of memories, the bigger half of them good.
Happy birthday, old man.

Friday, February 01, 2008

10 Reasons You Suck at Leadership

Why your leadership skills suck diseased unconsenting donkey dicks:

You don't listen to people. Even when they're anserwing questions you asked them. You have the attention span of a rabid, horny weasel on crystal meth.

You're paranoid about everything, seeing danger and conspiracy all over the place, seeing only the worst possiblities, so you trust no one, not even yourself.

You micro manage everything, because you're a control freak. You can't stand the idea that somebody else might screw up some tiny little thing and destroy your anal retentive picture of How Things Are, and How Things Should Be, missing out on the bigger scheme of things.

You dismiss the people around you, and embrace the idea that anything invented here must be second rate. So you ask outside people for input, who have no clue about the inner workings of your crew, their ideas or desires to move up in the organization/mob/tribe.

You're a concept thief. You hear half of what's told to you, file it away, then later on, when it all clicks together, you think it's your idea, even though people loyal to you have been begging you to listen to them. Some of it's subconsious, some of it's just lazy listening, some of it's a desire to make the good ideas seem like yours.

You're scared shitless of looking like you made a mistake. So you scapegoat, blame your problems on the more vocal members of your group who's actually intersted in changing things, then play kill the messenger, making it seem like they're troublemakers instead of assets. This helps the followers in your group to form a viewpoint that anybody who's talking about issues is The Issue.

You trust the wrong people. You trust the ones who tell you what you want to hear, the ones who suck up, and the ones who are more interested in being seen as team players so they can cement a place in the organization, instead of figuring out new and better things. You see anybody who does tell you the truth as a threat.

You're too self involved, spinning into your own glorious event horizon, lacking any empathy for the people you're about to screw over, because your own tender heart just can't take it. So you justify it by claiming that it's just too hard to work with them and either shit can them, or lie to them and sabotoge them.

You're lazy and easily bored, and hate your job. Instead of figuring out your next move in life, you just bitch about things, preffering a soft misery where you can have dreams of greatness while surfing the web and barking at your underlings.
This is not a dress rehersal, it's your life, and you're too shortsighted to see it.

You pretend to work with other people, instead of actually working with them. It's connected to number nine and five, but also about surfing along on the hard work of others, not actually doing all that much when it's time for you to suck it up and be part of something bigger.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson