Monthly Archives: September 2009

Southern Hospitality, My Ass

So the story goes a little something like this…

Tim: I’d like a Mexican pizza, with no beef—

Taco Bell Lady: With no beans?

Tim: No, with no beeF [emphasis on the F added]

TBL: Huh. Ok.

Tim: And I’d like a soft taco with no cheese.

TBL: What?! [said incredulously]

Tim: A soft taco with no cheese, please.

TBL: What, are you on some kind of diet or something?

Tim: No, I just don’t want cheese.

TBL: Ok I guess, just seems weird.  Pull around to the second window.

Continue reading

Tarantino Style

Cheers,
Dustin

And so we hope the luck of our tourmates changes sometimes in the near future, or else we’re gonna have to add a funeral or five onto the end of this tour.

Why they had a skill saw, I’ll never know, but no one can deny that it definitely came in handy for this particular situation — so to whoever gave it to him on that fateful Christmas 2007, that rockin’ band from Arkansas owes you for your eccentric gift-giving taste.

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, they were loading out after the show on what I’m sure was already the longest day of their lives as a band, and when they were locking up their trailer where they store their band gear, their key snapped off in the trailer door’s lock.  So the next thing we know, there’s a crowd of about two dozen people standing around and watching Trevor from The Wedding trying to use a hacksaw to cut through the steel hinge on their trailer door so they can get it off and the guys from Abandon Kansas can get to their gear.  And somehow he’s got this crazy like, coal-miners forehead light strapped on while he’s doing all this.  For about 20 minutes all anyone did was stand around and take pics and video of him hacksawing at their trailer hinge, occasionally making sarcastic comments and twittering about the situation.  When out of nowhere, Matt (lead singer from this tour’s main-support band, the Wedding), strides over, surveys the situation and declares, “You know, I’ve got a skill saw in the back of our van, if you wanna plug that in and powersaw through it.”  At first, this is taken as a joke by onlookers, but quickly went from ridiculous fodder to the best plan anyone had come up with yet.   One extension cord and several wary head-shakes later, it’s just after midnight and Trevor is now hunched over the trailer’s lock, miner’s light headband on, powersawing away through the steel hinge with aviator sunglasses on to “protect his eyes.”  At this point, even the previously-jocular peanut gallery had the good sense to stand about 15 feet away from the scene, lest some chunk of shrapnel fly off and lodge itself in someone’s sternum.  Sure enough though, after a few more minutes, the hinge came right off and the Abandon Kansas guys could get to their gear and live on to play a show another day.

So now, in addition to Brian’s misstep (pun intended) and being an hour and a half late for the show, they were out almost $700 dollars in auto-repair costs because their radiator blew out just a few miles away from the venue.   So now there’s a mad scramble to make sure AK gets loaded in ok — and as they opening band, they had the least amount of time to prepare from the outset.

If you took one look at Abandon Kansas’ tour van (an early-90’s looking fullsize van in various shades of brown, the sort of vehicle that could’ve just as easily been purchased from someone’s yard or a police auction), you’d think that they’d seen some rough things in their day — but you’d have no idea how much crazier it was destined to become.  Within the first three days of tour, the half-Kansas/half-Arkansas (or Pirate-Kansas as I call that state) based band had already experienced a pretty out-of-the-ordinary accident as their drummer, Brian, managed to break his foot…while stepping off of a curb.  Not jumping from a hotel window into the pool, not kicking a roadie, not stage-diving into a weak-armed crowd — walking off of a curb.  Ridiculous.  The day after that, their merch guy, Jared, manages to contract some hybrid combination of swine flu and the bubonic plague — keep in mind, this is the guy who interacts with every single one of their fans who come to the merch table, handles all their money, and touches everything that the band signs.  Not a good guy to have contract the most incurable disease since disco fever.  So naturally, when we were playing a show about five days into the tour and Abandon Kansas didn’t show up for load-in time, we started to get worried.  At the rate these guys were going, we were afraid they’d driven off of a cliff or something by accident.  Our fears were slightly assuaged once we’d finally been able to make phone contact with them, only to find out that they were at an auto-repair shop in the same town as the venue we were scheduled to play later that night.

I don’t really put any stock in “bad luck” or “curses” or any of that nonsense, but after spending the first week of our tour on the road with our opening band, I’m starting to think that THEY do.

As they say, it’s a hard rock life.

As an homage to the skilled — albeit eccentric — directorial style of Mr. Quentin Tarantino, I will be presenting today’s blog in reverse order.

Hey guys, welcome back to Blogville, USA.  Population: people with too much free time on their hands.

Five Rules for Dating Dudes

As an eligible, edible, knowledgeable young single man, I’m often approached by eager young women who want to know how to attract and maintain their relationship with “their man.”  Since I’m the sort of generous person who always wants to help others achieve their dreams (and because I need the tax write off), I decided to compile this brief list for all the ladies out there who want to land “their man” and then keep “their man” happily in relationship with them.  So ladies, just follow these guidelines and you and “your man” will be husband and wife before you know it, and then he’ll have to stay with you regardless of unhappy he is, and you won’t have to worry reading dumb articles about how to please “your man.”

Rule #1) Don’t refer to your man as “your man.”  Unlike women — who are used to being objectified through centuries of practice and conditioning — men are fairly new to the concept, and as such find it pretty off-putting.  We like to pretend we’re wild and untamable — as incapable of being contained/controlled as the wind or Kobe Bryant’s sexual advances.  Deluding ourselves into this mental state is a huge part of where our self-worth comes from, and as a female, you’ll have a lot better luck keeping us around if you don’t challenge this frame of mind.  In fact, the strongest/happiest/longest relationships are the ones where the female is so good at keeping the male in his mental illusion of wild freedom and independence that he doesn’t even realize he’s standing around for her, holding her purse while she’s in the bathroom or out on the dance floor.  But that’s a pretty advanced move, best to start with baby steps. Continue reading

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Wher’ Da Gold At?

Tour factoids so far (Day 4):

+Somehow, everyone has contracted the same non-sickness.  None of us are actually sick, but we all seem to be passing around the sniffles to one another…it’s more odd than debilitating.

+We had our first day off today, which is always a mixed blessing — it’s nice to have some extra free time, but by the same token, we’re on the road in order to play shows, and having a day where we’re not playing shows almost feels like a waste.  Still nice to recuperate though.

+Mike Herrera’s (lead singer/bassist for MxPx) side project, Tumbledown, is following our tour routing almost exactly, but just a day behind where we are.  Weird.

+Kind of disappointed at the overall number of shawties we’ve encountered thus far, but it’s still early in the tour so I’m hoping that changes as we ramp up into towns where we draw better.

+Purchased a crapload of music today: the new Muse, the new Thrice, and the very old yet brand new Beatles songs.

+A minimum of drinks have been spilled in the van, which is good because spilt drinks are the number one cause of lingering bad smells in the van.  And when you have a couple of 8+ hour drives coming up, the last thing you want is to have to endure those drives in stank.

+Watched The Vampire Diaries pilot on my computer today via the free iTunes sampler.  No lie, it’s pretty bad.  The chicks are passably hot though, and it’s about vampires, so it’ll probably run for 10 years because people are idiots.

+Still pretty unimpressed with how the VMAs went down — finally saw a full replay today instead of just the Taylor/Kanye part, and aside from Muse and Jay-Z’s performances, I really could’ve done without it.  The VMAs are the number one reason foreign countries hate America, I’m sure of it.

Those are all the major stories so far, nothing too out of the ordinary.  Some sidenotes include a list of pretty inhospitable southerners (I thought “y’all” were supposed to be nice to visitors?), a homeless man who was trying to sell us a t-shirt that he clearly found laying around to “help the children,” and the outlandish desire to punctuate all of our sentences with “where da gold at?”

Oh and I’ve already read almost 2,000 pages worth of books at this point.  ‘Cause knowledge is power.

Cheers,

Dustin

P.S. They love us in St. Louis.  Of course, compared to the Rams, we’ve been a lot kinder to that town.

P.P.S. Where da gold at? Give me da gold.

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The Tale of Dustin and the Magic Crapbucket

Once upon a time, in a faraway land of fantasy and feces, there lived a boy named Dustin. Dustin was a special young man who had a magical set of abilities that he used primarily to further his own agenda and profiteer off of his less-intelligent associates. Dustin wasn’t like any of the other boys in the forest (except anatomically — he had all of the standard parts that anyone would expect a fully-developed man to possess. The right amount of testicles and everything, nothing out of the ordinary). Oh yeah, Dustin lived in a forest, did I mention that yet? Well he did. Only it was a magical forest, because if you live in a non-magical forest, people judge you and automatically assume that you are weird and smelly, like a hippie. Dustin was neither weird, nor smelly, nor a hippie; and his forest was located in the heart of the most fun part of town, near where all the cool bars and clubs were, just walking distance from a nice park, and his forest had a kickass HDTV with killer reception and all the sports channels. Truly, the forest was a magical place, and Dustin was happy there because the girl-to-guy ratio was like 5 to 1 — and they were hot girls, too. Recent college grads, sorority girls, young professionals and a few underagers just to keep everything interesting.

One day, Dustin decided to leave the magical forest and see what else the world had to offer (besides, it wouldn’t be much of a story if Dustin just stayed in the forest the whole time). Normally if Dustin was going to leave the forest, he would’ve traveled using his magical phoenix, Phocus, but an evil wizard named Dui put a spell on him that prevented him from riding Phocus the Phoenix unless he obtained special high-risk insurance which was totally overpriced, you guys. But all was not lost, for Dustin heard tell of a magical beast named Falcore, whom some of his fellow knights used to travel long distances in order to spread good tidings across the land. Oh yeah, did I mention Dustin was a knight? Because he was definitely a knight. Reared under the tutelage of the greatest knight that the realm had ever seen, Sir Paul McCartney of the Fabulous Fortnights. The rumor was that Falcore — an ancient creature who was supposedly 300,000 miles old — could transport as many as 12 men safely inside his steel belly, all while traveling at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour (70 in some states).

Along with some of his cool knight buddies, Dustin traveled in Falcore to the magical land of Tennessee; a land stuck in an ancient time where women were not treated as equals and most of the men still secretly thought it was ok to own people, even if they didn’t say it out loud very often. It was like stepping into a painting of the past, only with bovine-smells and high gas prices. Upon arrival at their target (which was a Target, appropriately enough) Dustin and his fellow minstrels immediately set out to see what wrongs they could right, and how they could leave the mysterious place better than how they’d found it. Oh and Dustin is a minstrel now, if I didn’t mention that. And so are the guys in his posse. They’re all minstrels of rock, with some dance-punk and hip-hop influences. Five minstrels of dance-punk, hip-hop rock — with a sixth one foretold by the prophecies to meet up with them in time for tomorrow’s show. So anyway, these quintuple minstrels are all rocking it out like Guitar Hero set on “expert” in the parking lot of this Target, when what to their wondering eyes doth appear, but a magical bucket containing a substance that they had never previously seen in a bucket. It looked like excrement. Probably because it was excrement.

“You smell it,” said Sir Colonius to Sir Rigsby the Less.
“Nay mine brother, thou art the one what shalst be doing of the smelling. Let us make Sir Dustin the Lanky imbibe its odor most foul,” came his reply (oh yeah, they’re all knights again, by the way).
“But what if it befouls us with some sort of unforeseen enchantment,” said the great wizard, Frisstacular (ok, they were all knights except Frisstacular, who was a wizard of flames and sound mixers), “we cannot afford to lose a member of our troupe, nor pay the fees at Urgent Care.”
“Dudes,” came the reply of the group’s wisest elder, Sir Tim, “let’s just do some shots and get back on the road. Someone should twitter a picture of it, though.”

And with no one able to refute the unflappable logic of Sir Tim, the great minstrel-knight (they’re like these minstrels who rock, hard, but also get to carry swords and boss people around like knights…while rocking), that’s just what they did. Shot and picture taking commenced post haste, with everyone rejoicing at their discovery and conquest of the crapbucket. Having twittered all they could twitter, and unable to twitter any longer, the merry band of four minstrel-knights and a wizard set back upon their journey to experience new heights and explore new depths — all while promoting the virtues of peace, love and late-night drive-thrus to any who came across their path.

The moral of the story: if anyone tells you that you’ll be happier if you try to be more like someone else, or go someplace where you can start over and leave your past behind, it’s a bucket full of crap. You control your own happiness, and you need to accept what you are, where you are and who you are — rather than rely on external changes in your occupation, location, or circumstances to provide you with happiness, well-being or self-worth.

The end…is not the end.
~Dustin

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