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Month: February 2007

neon bible

neon bible

by the way – I’ve managed to get my hands on a copy of the album leak for Arcade Fire’s upcoming album. I’ve been listening to it for about two weeks now. It’ll probably be one of the best albums of 2007. If you liked Funeral don’t be afraid to go out and get this one. If you like Bruce Springsteen but never heard of Arcade Fire…you might want to try this one. I can’t tell you how many times I was playing this album at the office and one of the older guys would come in and say “I didn’t know you liked The Boss…”

One drawback- it is extremely short. Win said they recorded 15 songs for this album – yet only 11 made it onto the disc…and those count up to a whopping 45 minutes… Not as lame as A Perfect Circle’s 30 minute debut… but almost… almost…

And – everyone in Ohio that likes rock music I urge you to go see Dolly Trauma’s upcoming show. It may be the last for a while.

blue balls (and pink and orange and yellow)

blue balls (and pink and orange and yellow)

Saturday was my first paintball experience. I rolled out of bed almost the same time as I would on any given weekday (ha! you thought I’d say “Sunday!”) and drove up the 5 towards Valencia. I arrived at Alfonso’s house around 8:30am and we proceeded to the complex. I had nothing to eat -and there was even less to eat once we got to the site.

After hours of preparation we headed up the hill (me decked out in Alfonso’s leftover gear) to shoot at each other. I was shot in the head ten seconds into the first game. In general I can’t say I enjoy paintball. Then again – maybe I was just hungry as hell. At mid-day we ate home-packed sandwhiches in the parking lot.

The one game I really enjoyed was the giant battle simulation. On a field full of old tires and burnt out automobiles (and a few boats) 150 “walk-ons” were sorted into two teams and then set loose until everyone on one team had been shot. I fared fairly well in both games (it is customary to simply switch sides after the first game for a quick second game). Because it was a much longer game I quickly ran out of ammo. By the start of the second game I had about a third of a hopper left. I decided to make the best of the situation and made my way to the very front line (the “50 yard line” as the experienced call it) to act as a sniper (it is extremely tough to get accurate shots from far away). This would end up making up for my earlier wussiness.

I came away with no confirmed kills – but several bloody bruises and burnt skin (I forgot sunblock). At closing (sundown) we headed back to Alfonso’s house and after showers we devoured five boxes of pizza.

I’ll probably play again – maybe a few times a year. I didn’t enjoy it enough to start buying paraphernalia. Especially since the equipment can get prohibitively expensive ($1,800 for a good gun, $300 for one day’s worth of balls, etc.).

And no, it doesn’t hurt as bad as people say. My first hit was in the forehead and I barely knew it.

keep on keepin’ on

keep on keepin’ on

On the first weekend of February I moved into my new place. I looked for condos throughout the fall and January. In mid December I put in offers on two places – one here and another in Encino. The sellers of the Encino condo wanted to go into a bidding war, so I dropped out. They would later come back and offer to take my original offer after the other buyer dropped out – but it was too late. I submitted an offer for a condo in Winnetka and the seller accepted almost the same day. I was informed that he wanted to move “really quick” and wanted to make escrow “a few weeks.” Six weeks later, a lot of hefty “surprise” bills, and lost of signatures on legal size paper the calendar flipped to February – and escrow still hadn’t closed. I had to pay for another month at Avalon after my lease on the studio there ran out. The next day escrow closed and I had the keys to my condo.

That weekend I set out to make my move. Kent offered to let me use one of his delivery trucks. It was the largest moving object I’ve ever piloted, a terrifying experience even for this old library van driver. Aaron had to get to his job at Myspace (yes, you heard right) in the early afternoon – so it became quickly obvious that we would have one shot to get the large items in the truck since the condo is roughly twenty miles away. So, we hightailed it to the studio, chucked my desks, dresser, and bed into the truck and made the long journey across the valley on Victory Boulevard (we both knew that the 101 would be impossible on a Saturday afternoon).

After unloading and dropping off the truck back in Van Nuys we went to Robeks and Baja Fresh for dinner (I swear I’m getting hooked on those “Enchilada Style” burritos).

Afterwards I started loading up the Mazda and traversing the valley back and forth. It took three trips but I finally had all my belongings inside the condo by midnight.

Putting everything away would take weeks though (I’m still not done).

On Sunday I spent the first half of the day cleaning up the studio – on my hands and knees scrubbing the black scratch marks left by Avalon maintenance months ago when they fixed my sink. I then went back to the condo and washed up before heading to Valencia to watch the second half of the superbowl with Alfonso and his crew. The superbowl was ho-hum, but Alfonso had bought a side of beef and he cooked up just about the best steak I’ve ever had. His son also convinced me to try playing Halo for the first time in my life. Based on my pathetic gameplay it will probably be the last.

When I came home from work on Monday I walked into darkness. It was time to call the electric company and get my electricity switched to my name. I had been asking for the Home Owners Association information and utilities for weeks – but nothing every came of it. It was do or die time apparently so I called a friend and had them google “Winnetka Electric Company” for the phone number. They assured me they’d turn it on the next day. I had them transfer me to the gas company. The gas company unfortunately wouldn’t be able to come until a week later.

Tuesday I came home – to a still dark house. I called the electric company to find out that it had been turned on – and then set to “off” in the main breaker room for “safety.” Did I mention I’d already set up my cable broadband to be installed on Tuesday? So, as the cable guy started setting up his stuff I set about trying to find this “main breaker room” in the building. It is a large building… I eventually found a room that had electric symbols on the door though… and a hefty lock on the door. So, more calls to more people later I found out that only the building management can unlock the door. I already knew that the management was not on-site, so at this point I was pissed . . . and my cable guy was leaving without being able to test the modem.

Later that night my appliances buzzed on and I got a knock on my door from another person living in the building who apparently is qualified to act as a management representative – he had gone and turned on my electric after getting a message on his answering machine from management.

Of course the modem didn’t work and I had to reschedule a later visit with Time Warner Cable.

Lets skip ahead one week – SoCal gass was supposed to show up some time between 5pm and 8pm. At 8:30 I decided to call them and ask why they hadn’t shown up. Their answer was that they tried to page me on the callbox and got nothing –so they left – and they aren’t allowed to call my phone number. Which makes sense until you think about it for a minute… lets say I don’t have a call box… and I’m a cold old woman… Am I dead? So now I try to get ahold of the management for the building again to set up the callbox (after rescheduling another gas visit for a week and a half later). The building’s manager (Gloria) doesn’t respond to email and never seems to be in her office. After days of frustration I left a message and got a call back eight hours later (while I was at the gym of course) from someone else. A long message on my cell phone informed me that I had to go through a long drawn out process to get the callbox working. I’m assuming I won’t have it done by this Wednesday – so I guess I’ll look forward to standing outside the building for three hours waiting for the gas men…

Okay, two pages – enough bitching.

a quiet shudder

a quiet shudder

(Yes I’ll put up a blog about my move eventually… I’m not out of the woods yet…)

As I was doing some freelance work today I had the TV over on the other screen when what do I hear but the music for The Magnetic Fields’ “I think I need a new heart.” And what was it advertising, you ask…

Dog food.

yes, dog food.

So now we’ve got Of Montreal telling us to eat at Outback and The Magnetic Fields telling us to buy our dog food from “Cesar.” …not to mention The Beatles telling us that Target has (Hello) “Good Buy”‘s… ugh!