wisdom of the ages..

music, ramblings 3 Comments »

hey, thanks for your concern guys. it was just your run-of-the-mill funk. no worries. it just cycles itself through every now and again. you know, some folks turn to prayer, the bible … or .. beer in those special times of need.

me?

I turn to a group of enlightened sages that speak healing, compassion and inspiration to all generations. they live among us yet they are set apart by their limitless understanding and boundless knowledge of the human condition.

I’m talking Chynna. I’m talking Wendy. and I’m talking Carnie.

yes, you all know.

you-all have heard of their wisdom.

let us take a moment to dwell on their profound words of encouragement.

Don’t you know? Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way if you hold on for one more day..
..You could sustain Or are you comfortable with the pain?
You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness
You got yourself into your own mess
Lettin’ your worries pass you by
Don’t you think it’s worth your time to change your mind?
I know that there is pain but you hold on for one more day
and you break free right from the chains…..
Don’t you know? Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way if you hold on for one more day
..baby hold on… turn around, just turn around baby
Hold on for one more day, cause it’s gonna go your way…

-Wilson Phillips ;)

..gotta get through this…

ramblings 4 Comments »

where oh where is that darn happy button..

giant, closer and a life in endless bliss

movies and TV, ramblings 3 Comments »

i just got the first issue of my free year subscription to Giant magazine. dude. this is the magazine to get. check the april/may issue out: an Office Space (an all time classic!) reunion, a feature on Asian horror movies (Ringu anyone?) and a feature on one of my favorite bands - XTC. the editors must have tapped into my brain somehow ala Being John Malkovich (…ohhh, that’s a frightening thought..). all they have to do now is put Todd Rundgren on the cover and do features on the movie Brazil, the Farrelly Brothers and the 80’s supergroup Asia and i’d go right out and actually pay for my subscription! :P yup. that’s right. that’s how cool this mag is.

—-

finally got around to watching Closer which has been sitting around the TV for a while along with the two other titles from Blockbuster Online. Sad to say the movie wasn’t my cup of tea. although i have to mention that Natalie Portman was excellent in it, as always. At this point in my life, I really don’t want to see movies centered solely on crumbling relationships/marriages and selfish/self-destructive behavior. Marriage and life in general is hard enough as it is and i really don’t want to be reminded of such things while watching a movie. some of those issues just hit too close to home and i’d rather live my life in denial. yes, denial. i want to take out my contacts so i won’t see the devil in the details. …to view life all hazy and in soft focus like a glamour shots portrait. to believe in a life filled with perfectly manicured lawns, colorful flower beds, laughing carefree children running around the backyard, all the bills paid in full, a healthy savings account, a stress-less job, a problem-free car that you drive to and from work where you encounter absolutely no traffic tie-ups, a BMW sports coupe sitting in your three car garage, a wife waiting for you at the front door as you get home from work with a smile, a kiss and a warm home-cooked meal ready for you at the table. i’d like to have that type of bliss. no need to focus on the tear in the seams. what good would that do me? …now, where did i put those rose-colored glasses….

all2easy.net

reviews No Comments »

funny that i mentioned in the previous post that dial up users can’t use the online radio feature b/c this includes me too (at least at home.)

yes, i’m using dial up. broadband is still too expensive around here. maybe once it gets to be about $20 to $25 a month elaine and i will spring for it but not at the current rates. I’ve been using access4less for the past three or four years (see my old review here) and it’s been a bargain at $6 a month.

but alas good bargains definitely don’t last long on the internet. they’ve been bought out by earthlink and the prices will increase to earthlink rates if you don’t opt-out of the service. so, after careful research, i’m proud to say i’m a new all2easy.net user. the service is pretty comparable to what access4less was and the price is even better. it’s currently $5 a month for dial up access. so check it out if you’re using dial-up and you’re paying more than $5 a month for it. :)

new radio blog is up and running

general No Comments »

i just added a new radio blog feature to the site.

it only works with broadband (hi-speed internet) so dial up users are out of luck. so for those with a fast connection, enjoy some cool new praise and worship tunes on the online radio player.

i don’t eat buffalo…

food 1 Comment »

had some wings for lunch today. man, them’s good eatin’. only thing is - there isn’t really a “clean” way of enjoying buffalo wings. definitely not a place you wanna take someone that you need to impress. lunch today was with the coworkers so no one to impress there. but if you’re on a date or you got the boss with ya, skip this joint. with sauce all over your hands and across your mouth, it just isn’t a pretty picture.

maybe more like a Spitting Image puppet than a potato..

movies and TV No Comments »

chloe rocked last night on 24. did anyone else catch the show? that scene where she grabs the automatic rifle and starts shooting is classic! oh and check this out, in a recent interview with the actress that plays chloe, she was asked if she’s been to one of the 24 fan sites. here’s her response: “I did it once, and somebody said I had a face like a potato, so I never went back on there.” classic.

won’t ya be my neighbor..

general 2 Comments »

well it looks like your outta luck Michael. your dream of being my neighbor won’t be coming true … at least for the time being. our neighbor’s house on our cul-de-sac sold within one day of being out on the market. that’s a home owner’s dream to sell that quickly. some of you might remember a year ago when we were selling our townhouse, it took a good four months before it sold. and that was hard work especially with two boys and a pregnant wife (at the time). geez. i hope when the time comes to sell our current house, it’ll be as easy as what our neighbor just experienced. … but we ARE still having problems with Ethan’s school situation though…so that time might come sooner if things stay the way they are …. he still can’t get into the neighborhood school because it’s capped (where they can’t take in any new incoming students since they are at/over capacity.) he’s currently 11th on the waiting list which isn’t that great a position. plus, we just learned that our application for Ethan to go to a nearby year-round school has been denied as well. wonderful. and we’re not all that excited for Ethan to continue going to the school he’s currently at so what to do… what to do? poor kid. elaine and i are definitely learning to HATE this school system here with a passion. like i’ve said many times before, had we known the severity of the problems with the schools here in the area, we would have definitely stayed in our little townhouse back in chapel hill. ..hhmmmm, i wonder if the principal at the capped school accepts benjamins. you know it’s all about da benjamins baby….

yes, mama Fu warned me and i didn’t listen..

food 4 Comments »

OK, you know that spicy basil noodle dish at Mama Fu’s?? well, i learned first hand last night that it actually is “spicy”! who woulda thunk it? i mean, i love spicy, i do. but man, they weren’t kidding when they wrote on the menu “double spicy”. I normally pay no attention to those labels on the menu b/c i assume they gauge it relative to the middle-american pallet so “my bad“. i’m definitely not ordering that again. i tried convincing Elaine to switch her (non-spicy) teriyaki beef bowl with mine while we were eating last night but she saw how hot ‘n sweaty i was getting and said no way! so needless to say i was in pain the rest of the night. my stomach was on fire!
lesson learned: …umm…when it says double spicy, you may want to rethink your order.

weekend roundup

general 5 Comments »

wow. we had great weather over the weekend. well, a little windy saturday but sunday was perfect. spent the bulk of saturday cleaning up the yard - trimming, weeding, tidying up the plant beds and of course mowing the lawn.
hooray for yard work
it definitely felt like we accomplished something after we were through. we still need to plant decorative flowers around the front but it’s definitely taking shape. i know it’s not a big deal for most people but you have to understand that we lived in a townhouse for over eight years before moving to our current house so yard work/landscaping is still sort of foreign to us. i’m OK now with the mowing, edging and trimming. plus i just got a new gas-powered blower. man is it loud! but elaine and I are still trying to figure out the “landscaping/beautification” part of all this. but i think we’re finally getting it. hooray!
anyway after church on sunday we took the kids to the park. like i said earlier we had perfect weather for being out and about.
sunday in the park
the only thing i could have done without was going into the public bathroom at the park. yup, just like clockwork, Alec had to go pee and just as i suspected the bathroom was filthy. the smell was horrifying. someone or maybe more than one did a number in one of the stalls in there. i was about to hurl from the smell. man, i feel like hurling now just thinking about what it was like in there!!!
anyway, the great benefit of course for letting the kids run around at the park all afternoon is the fact that they go to bed a little earlier in the evening. which then let’s me veg out in front of the TV all evening! well, actually Elaine went out with her friend for dinner so i played around with the website a bit. i installed a radio blog to stream music for friends. (yes, i know it’s old news for most bloggers!) but this was the first time i had in a long while to actually go in fiddle around with the site. i still need to overhaul the worship team’s website which will be a major investment in time and effort but i’ll wait for civicspacelabs to release their official version of their content management system before i get all deep in it. well, that’s what my procrastinating side has to say about it anyway. actually the radio blog is a test for the worship team site. we’re still trying to figure out a good way (in terms of copyright issues) to get team members up to speed on new music and i think streaming music might be the answer since it’s low-quality (64kbps) files and you can’t download/save the files. the jury’s still out on streaming music over the internet. last i read, it’s a grey area. anyone hear otherwise? would i get into deep doo-doo for streaming files?
and lastly, this week is off to a good start. i just checked my blockbuster queue and it’s got four titles listed as being sent out instead of the 3-title limit. bonus!! :)
blockbuster queue

Rundgren speaks!

music 1 Comment »

OK, i promise i won’t turn my blog into a Todd Rundgren Blog. just allow me post one more entry about Todd and i’ll then go on to other things (..for now..). first - i’ve noticed that he has a new acoustic on this tour.
Variax 700 modeling guitar
yes, it’s the one that gave him problems with broken strings and whatnot during the opening night of the new tour. i personally think he’s using too thick a pick and with the combination of some hard playing, of course the strings would break! anyway, about the guitar. The Line 6 model is the same one i was thinking of getting for myself even before Todd got one for the tour. It’s got built-in modeling technology that allows the guitar to sound like various vintage guitars from a 1960 Martin D-21 to a 1954 Gibson J-45. there’s even an Indian Sitar setting. of course the guitar runs around $1200 so there’s a good chance Elaine won’t allow me to get it. but if money didn’t play a major part in my particular situation, i’d definitely get one! :)
anyway, the other thing was that Mr. Todd Rundgren himself has posted in response to all the negative reviews from the opening night of the tour. The response was posted on a fan-based website. I think this is actually the first time he’s responded publicly to any criticism so this is big. he sounds sincere so i’ll forgive him this time!!! :P but i’ll be watching this tour closely!!!

No doubt about it, this first show was pretty flawed regarding my performance. I got so involved in the larger picture of the presentation, the pacing and set changes and interstices and such, that I neglected to focus on my own contribution.
I paid also for some decisions I had made whose consequences were unknown until showtime. All the other musicians but I opted to use in-ear monitors. I wanted to try using the monitor system that had worked for me during the Liars tour. I didn’t really have a piano check, our preshow time being taken up with Joe and Ethel rehearsal and the house piano tuner. No sooner had I started my piano songs when I realized I couldn’t hear myself and there was little I could do about it.
Shortly into the first song the monitors began to ‘explode’, the volume suddenly and randomly increasing many-fold for a few notes and then dropping off again. It became impossible for me to get comfortable at the instrument and I became apprehensive about the random blasts of sound from the side of the stage. The end result was me at my sloppiest and least confident, where even the singing cannot redeem the crappy accompaniment.
Simple things plagued me through the set, like picks not being taped to mic stand so I wouldn’t have to search for them, or guitar cables that weren’t secured to keep them from falling out. If I had worried more about my own performance instead of the whole show I would probably have double-checked all these details. There were broken strings late in the set, but broken strings are a fact of stage life.
I likely miscalculated the pacing of my own set, which is far shorter than what I’m used to and which doesn’t leave much time for redemption after a disastrous piano experience. I don’t recall having any particular ‘attitude’ in my stage demeanor, so I’m not sure how to respond to complaints about the humor or lack thereof. Some people just don’t find me amusing, and sometimes I am just not funny. I guess Melborne was one of those times.
I do not think it is fair to condemn shows that have not happened yet. The entire crew, myself especially, have learned a lot during the first show and there will be adjustments all around. I’m truly sorry that people were upset by my performance, but everyone must know that I care about the quality of the tours I’m involved in and I am not blase about the audience who make it possible for me to play.

-Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren/Joe Jackson/Ethel 2005 Tour

music 2 Comments »

The first show of the tour began last night in Florida. Here are a couple reviews from some long time Todd fans:
joe jackson todd rundgren and ethel

Todd Rundgren was so awful it was embarrassing. People were actually leaving during his “performance.” He treated his entire set like a big joke and all his comments were insincere and cynical. He made mistakes in every song he attempted and called attention to every incorrect chord and blown lyric. He could not even complete I Saw the Light. He forgot the chords to Hello It’s Me and the lyrics to It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference. He couldn’t get the settings right on his guitar and didn’t have any picks on stage. He stepped on his guitar chord twice during a song and pulled it out of the guitar, stopping in the middle of the song to secure it properly. He angrily ripped the lower E string out of his guitar during While My Guitar Gently Weeps. I mean he wasn’t even trying to give a performance. Each song got progressively worse. It was obvious he didn’t even rehearse before this performance. He had no set list and he was simply pulling songs out the air. He had to resort to songs he could actually remember and went to Beloved Infidel and Lunatic Fringe back to back, the two songs he played solo on the Liars tour all last year. Then, he played One World, which looked to be about three chords. Todd cared little about his presence and laughed off the whole evening. This was incredibly sad to see. Ironically, the one song he performed well was Pretending To Care. Rather than the headliner, he should have opened for Ehtel and Joe Jackson, who were incredbly well prepared and rehearsed, and actually wanted to perform for the audience. You would think someone who wrote and performed all these songs consistently over a 30-year period would know how to play them all the way through. I will never see him solo again. He needs the support of a band, or at least the discipline to rehearse the material at least once before attempting to go onstage before a packed house. I would much rather have seen a full night of Joe Jackson and Ethel. Todd was definitely amateur hour.
- Frank A. Delle III

it is now ‘the morning after’, and it all feels like an incredibily bad dream. to say that todd was horrendous is putting it mildly. the master of missed opportunities has struck again! it seems that many of the long time fans had high expectations for this tour, based on the stunning success (fan wise) of the Liars album and tour. Maxwell King center was beautiful, and also seemingly sold out. Ethyl started things out on a classy note, six songs in approximately 35 minutes. They were extremely professional, and seemed blown away by the very appreciative response. Much was made by all performers regarding opening night. Joe was next, and was the picture of grace and class. He referred continually to a thick song book atop the piano, and said a couple of times as he flipped through it that he had no idea what to play. But everything he did play was flawless, and dead on. 11 songs, 1 encore. Then a 20 minute intermission, with everyone so psyched to see what Todd had come up with for this show, as we all know he had at least six months (or more) to prepare. This was seemingly not the usual “pack em in and pay the rent” situation. WRONG!! It was worse than any of us could ever imagine. He came out with an unbelievable attitude, and it was all downhill from there. I can’t bring myself to list the songs here, you can find that elsewhere. Suffice it to say that it was the setlist from hell, everyone seemed stunned. Todd attempted to play some piano (of course) and after 3 tries of song of the viking he actually turned to the stagehand to ask him if he could ‘fix it’. It’ s called rehearsing. The show got so bad that some of us couldn’t even watch, we went out into the lobby to commiserate, and sneak glimpses of the monitors that were set up by the bar. After 11 or so botched songs, the whole entourage came out for Prentending to Care (right Todd) Guitar Gently Weeps, and Black Maria. The entire Todd portion of the show was a complete slap in the face, and we actually thought it was cool to go to the show knowing nothing of what was to happen. Surprise, surprise. Too late to back out of some of the future shows now. Airport runs to be made, family to visit, etc. etc. Approach this show with caution, and set expectations seriously low.
-dan in florida (no relation!!)

wow. i’ve been a Todd fan since freshman year in college and it sorta hurts when you see or hear about him giving a bad performance. it’s like someone talking crap about your dad. it’s gotten to be that personal for me. ..but the sad fact is that Todd Rundgren has been coasting for years on his solo acoustic outings. he totally phones it in. it’s like he has no self-discipline. he does great when he’s playing with a full band but when he’s out on stage alone with just an acoustic guitar or even worse on piano, it’s a cringe-fest. forgotten chords, lyrics, bum notes, broken guitar strings, guitars going out of tune, being pissed off/sarcastic, not addressing the audience etc.
it’s sad to see someone you love being so self-distructive like that. interestingly, if you look over his career, you can see signs of this every step of the way. he basically sabotaged his own success back in 1973 after his hit album “Something/Anything”. and it goes downhill from there. at every single opportunity to become big or popular, he’d do something either ridiculous or uncommercial which would bring him right back down to just “cult status”. it’s obvious he doesn’t want a successful career. the only reason he constantly tours every year is to cover the expense of living in Kauai. but the support of his fans is dangerously dwindling from the recent years of crappy performances. i’ve posted about this numerous of times in the past. i’ve personally witnessed several awe-inspiring concerts and just as many horrendous-train-wreck type shows as well. i’m sorta glad i didn’t get tickets to one of the shows on this current tour. i’d probably be real disappointed with the dude. but who knows, maybe someday real soon, he’ll wake up and see the light.

It was late last night I was feeling something wasn’t right
There was not another soul in sight, only you, only you
So we walked along, though I knew there was something wrong
And the feeling hit me oh so strong about you
Then you gazed up at me and the answer was plain to see
‘Cause I saw the light in your eyes…
- Todd Rundgren

the future ain’t what it used to be..

funnies 1 Comment »

gas
gas
gas

Read More »

Paz

movies and TV 2 Comments »

the highlight of Spanglish: Paz Vega :)
Paz Vega and Waterboy
the lowlight: Adam Sandler. I keep on expecting him to start speaking like a stuttering cajun. and at other times i want him to whip out that wig and start singing like operaman. come on, when are they going to do a sequel to the Wedding Singer??
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DLee.us - The Ridiculously Mundane by Daniel Lee