Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lyrical Tuesday...

"The Hardest Button to Button" ~ The White Stripes

We started living in an old house
My ma gave birth and we were checking it out
It was a baby boy
So we bought him a toy
It was a ray gun
And it was 1981
We named him Baby
He had a toothache
He started crying
It sounded like an earthquake
It didnt last long
Because I stopped it
I grabbed a rag doll
And stuck some little pins in it
Now were a family
And were alright now
We got money and a little place
To fight now
We dont know you
And we dont owe you
But if you see us around
I got something else to show you
Now its easy when you dont know better
You think its sleazy?
Then put it in a short letter
We keep warm
But theres just something wrong when you
Just feel like youre the hardest little button
To button
I had opinions
That didnt matter
I had a brain
That felt like pancake batter
I got a backyard
With nothing in it
Except a stick
A dog
And a box with something in it
The hardest button to button(x7)
*background: The hardest button to button (x3)

Great song, even more phenomenal video by Michel Gondry... You all should check it out!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monologue #3 "Talking my way out of a DWI"

Age: 25

So my girlfriend and I had gone to a BBQ this particular evening. I mentioned in an earlier monologue that a few things go perfectly with BBQ. One of those things is beer. See kids, that's what we call in "the business" foreshadowing.

I finished off a sixer of tall cans and smoked a liberal amount of pot before my girlfriend and I started to feel a little frisky and decided to go back to the apartment and get busy. We said our goodbyes to our people and started to head home.

I was driving a red Honda Civic 2-door standard (or coupe, if you will) at the time. Being a broke ass irresponsible 25 year old to say that the car had been poorly maintained was being extremely modest. The brakes were in dire need of being changed and were making this fantastic scraping metal grinding on metal sound. Some of y'all know of the sound in which I'm referring. The car had an expired inspection sticker. I had an expired license and no current proof of insurance, and I'm unsure whether or not I had current registration. I was a ticking time bomb.

I had grown very adept at down-shifting to stop at red lights unless I had to stop abruptly, and then I was treated to the amazing screaming and grinding of the brakes laboring to stop the car. I hated that sound so I tried my hardest no to have to stop like short. It was pretty awful, but I was a dumb kid who thought I was indestructible. I didn't have a care in the world. It was my life and fuck you for telling me how to live it.

I always took back roads to avoid seeing the police whenever possible. On this particular route I would have to go through one single red light. ONE SINGLE RED LIGHT. We zigged and zagged through the neighborhood streets as we neared the red light. The light turned yellow as we were about 20 feet away from it. There were two choices: slam on the brakes and endure the awful screeching sound or run the light. I chose the latter.

Unbeknownst to us there was a city police officer camped out in the adjacent parking lot staking out the intersection for speeders, reckless drivers, and runners of red lights. We ran the light. He saw us and promptly pulled out. I was fucked. Luckily my adrenal gland was up to the task of sobering me up so I could chat with the nice police officer.

"ACT SICK!!!" I said to my girlfriend as the cop was approaching the driver's side door.

"OK!!!" she shouted.

"I got this... don't worry." I calmly replied as I composed myself for the impending encounter with the Lafayette PD.

I rolled down my window and before the cop could begin his "license, registration, proof of insurance" routine I began talking.

"I'm soooo sorry sir. My brakes are failing, and I'm having to downshift to stop. My girlfriend and I are coming back from dinner. I think she ate some bad fish. I'm trying to hurry home so she doesn't throw up in the car." I replied with this mix of truth and half-truths.

He looks over at her and she gives her best Meryl Streep impression. And the Oscar goes to...
He looked thoroughly convinced.

"Did you have anything to drink at dinner?" He asks.

"No sir, not tonight. I have to get up early in the morning for work, and I don't like drinking if I've got to work in the morning." (lie)

"Well, what's that??" he asked pointing to the 12 oz. beer can in my cup holder.

"OH SHIT!" I thought to myself.

"Oh, that??! That's an ashtray (which it was)." I replied.

Someone had left an empty beer can in my car after a night at the bar last week and there it remained as my ashtray. I picked up the can and gave it to him. He could clearly see that there was absolutely no liquid in this can and unless I was a 5 pack a day smoker it was impossible for that beer can to have been from anytime in the recent past.

"Someone left that in my car last weekend, and I've been using it as an ashtray ever since." I said. "Please don't give me a ticket for having an open container... just pretend its a Coke can."

He looked somewhat convinced.

"Can I see your license?" he asked.

"OH FUCK!" I said to myself as I smiled and began reaching into my wallet for my expired license all the time hoping he wouldn't notice the expired inspection sticker. I was also repeating in my mind "Move on" trying to use Jedi mind tricks to rid myself of my current nuisance.

"Here you go, sir." I said as I handed him my license. He looked it over.

"You know this is expired, right?" he stated.

"WHAT?!! Reaaaallly??" I exclaimed channeling Bill Murray in my best half-serious/half-joking tone.

"Yessir, its December and it expired in October." he says.

"NO WAY!! I thought that was next year." I said continuing to channel Bill Murray.

"I tell you what, I know your girlfriend is sick but if she has a valid drivers license I'll let you go as long as she drives the car home." Apparently he believed us and didn't want to take me in, due to the massive amount of paperwork involved in such a simple traffic stop.

She pulls out her license, hands it to the officer, and he surveys it.

"Little lady, you OK to drive?? How's your stomach?" he asks in his most concerned tone.

"Oh, yessir. I'm a little sick, but I'm SURE it won't effect my driving." she says.

"Well, it looks like you're driving HIM home." he made sure to accent 'him' as to make sure I knew he was doing me a huge solid. "First thing Monday morning I wanna see you going down to the DMV and renewing your license." He said as I was getting into the passenger seat.

"Yessir! Thank you sir!! Thank you so much, I'll also get my brakes checked too while I'm taking care of things I should have taken care of long ago." I said.

My girlfriend jumped into the drivers seat, drove for about 3 or 4 blocks before we switched places. She couldn't drive stick, nor did she understand how I was downshifting to stop the car so the brakes wouldn't make that noise.

We finally made it home and the mix of adrenaline mixed with the cockiness of my escape from the clutches of the law led to some of the best sex of my entire life. THAT WAS A GOOD NIGHT!!! I guess I'm just a lucky dude.

Monologue #2 "How I became a deejay that night on XTC"

Age: 22

So I went to LSU for like one semester. I don't think I went to one of my classes... not one. I wasn't cut out for college. I was way too immature, and all I wanted to do was get wasted and chase girls. Well, I was fresh out of rehab because my mom caught me selling drugs. I told her that I had a drug problem and I was doing it to support my drug habit which was bullshit and a BIG MISTAKE. So after rehab, she moved me out to Baton rouge, enrolled me in LSU and had me live with my cousin Mark who was prone to going on long trips... AWESOME.

At that point I had become a fervent music collector. I had a handful of records and and overstuffed 100 CD wallet full of all different genres of music.

I used to go buy music every week at Paradise Records with my check from my awesome catering job. Those guys had a great music selection and a pretty decent vinyl section. I would pick up a few select albums and/or pieces of vinyl every week.

Well one night I was partying at a small electronic music club impressing the female patrons with my B-Boy moves until I saw this girl. her name was Angela, and she used to date my homeboy Jeremy years prior. I always thought she was hot and I saw this as my opportunity to finally hook up with her.

She ended up knowing someone who had some "good" XTC pills, and she wanted to know if I wanted to get some. She also wanted to know if I had a place to go and get cozy. I just got paid so I had a pocket full of cash. My cousin Mark was out of town, and I had the house to myself. Check and check.

Somehow using her powers of female eternal hotness, she convinced me to buy her XTC so we could roll together. I bought four (4) two for me and two for her for a grand total of $100. It was a mere drop in the bucket for me a reckless college student with an awesome low-responsibility job. In hindsight, I had NO IDEA what I was in for.

We pop the pills on the ride home and I remember her telling me to chew them up so they would hit me quicker. The taste was absolutely awful... just terrible. I to a swig of my water to try to kill the taste. That wasn't happening.

We get back to my house and I immediately rush to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Proper oral hygiene is important, especially after you've eaten a Schedule I narcotic or if you're chilling with a lady.

I step outside the bathroom and I start to get the rubber legs. So I labor into my bedroom and plop down on my waterbed (I was a classy dude). Angela was already on the bed so I put on some reggae and went to get us some water. On the way back to the bedroom I started to hallucinate. I had never hallucinated on XTC before so I asked her what was up.

"These are MDA pills. You'll hallucinate. There's no speed in them to counteract the hallucinations. All the sexy, none of the speed." were I believe her exact words.


We then started to talk and rub on each other as the drug started to take a hold of us. Eventually we quit talking, got lost in the music and just began to writhe around on the bed breathing in each other breath. It was pretty hot in a spiritual drug-induced sort of way.

We were doing OK until, I started to feel queasy. I had always heard that really good X will make your seratonin levels rise until they overload and then you will vomit and feel AMAZING. I had never experienced this phenomenon, but I was pretty sure I was about to experience it for the first time. There was a weird mix of fear and anticipation as I rolled out of the bed on a direct trip to the bathroom. I got two or three steps outside of the bedroom before the projectile vomiting started. I finished and quickly grabbed a towel to clean it all up. It never felt more amazing cleaning up puke ever before or since.

After I re-brushed my teeth, I jumped back into bed and she and I got lost in a long sexy embrace as I put Dj Krush's "Meiso" album on repeat. Be became one body. There were no words being exchanges except for "Oh GOD!!" and low audible moans. It was pretty fantastic. This continued for a long time, very long in fact. I switched CDs three or four more times to continue to set the mood. We continued this until daylight when the effects of the drug were beginning to wane. I mustered up the courage to drive her home because I had a catering job at 10am.

When I got back from dropping her off, I set my alarm for 9:30am so I could be at work on time. I changed into my work clothes, watched the clock and pretended to rest until my alarm sounded. Luckily I felt normal enough to think I could go to work. I headed out the door with my CD case and headed to work. I get about half-way to the job before I realize that I left my CD case on the top of the car when I left for work. FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK!!
That morning (Saturday) was an LSU home game so there was no hope. I just lost $1000s of dollars of music due to one night of drug fueled passion.

While at work I made the conscious decision that I would only buy vinyl from now on. I would never leave my vinyl on the roof of the car. Vinyl would stay at home and become tapes as I would just tape my records for listening in the car. It seemed like a workable plan. That decision directly contributed to my decision to dedicate my life to being a DJ.

When I got home from work, I tried calling Angela to see if she wanted to hang out again. She gave me the wrong number... figures.

Monologue #1 "Hello, Mescaline! Nice to meet you???"

Age: 19

Growing up in a small town in Louisiana there was a shortage places for reckless youth to go and get our "all night party" on. Bars closed at 2am, and weren't very friendly to psychedelic drug use. There was ONE all night club about 45 minutes from home. It was called "The Outer Limits", and they stayed open until 6am (maybe later but we never stayed past dawn). It was a techno music "rave your ass off" kinda place, and for us on the weekends it was home.

So I get picked up by my friends Kyle and Beau. We always asked beau to score the drugs because he "had people". What we were into back then was pot and acid. Beer and liquor had its place and that place was house parties and BBQs. We were out to get twisted and boogie down. There was no time for getting drunk.

So Beau reaches into his pocket and pulls out three pennies with foil taped onto them. That's how the acid always came packaged. We would always drop the acid as we were leaving. That way by the time we got to the club it would just start to kick in and we could effortlessly merge with the party crowd. We smoke a bowl on the way to the club and appropriately listen to Lords of Acid as the soundtrack to our current voyage.

We arrive at the club and aren't feeling a thing. We get into the spot and sorta wait around for something to happen... nothing.

"BEAU! YOU GOT US SOME BUNK ACID!!!" Kyle exclaims. "Go find us some more."

We were mildly annoyed, but we each lost out on $5 so who cares? Whatever. He comes back about 15 minutes later with some acid with a picture of Felix the Cat on it. It looked pretty legit, so we all dropped at the same time.

By the time it hit my tongue, I immediately began to trip. That was odd... very odd. We all immediately headed to the dancefloor and got busy for what I think was around 30 minutes. We all sorta stumbled off the dancefloor at the same time and looked at each other. We all seemingly had the same crazed looks on our faces.

"WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!" we all shouted in concert over the pumping electronic music.

"What in the hell is happening?!" I asked.

"I don't know. Fuck it. Let's party!!" replied Kyle.

We then headed back to the dancefloor and got lost in the music for hours until it neared 5am as we all collected ourselves in a corner somewhere.

"I don't know who's driving home, 'cuz I'm fucked up." said Kyle.

That had become the customary sign that it was time to make our way home. Whenever Kyle was too fucked up, it was ALWAYS time to go. I looked around and there was plasma shooting through everything. All solid forms were turning into liquid. I could see all of my friend's skulls through the skin on their faces. So, of course, no one bothered to draw straws, play paper rock scissors or cast a vote as to who was driving home. I was automatically assigned with this task as I had many, many times in the past.

I was always the most level-headed and "together" of all my friends plus I was an ace at driving style video games, so I was always the natural choice. I strap myself into Kyle's metallic blue Honda Civic hatchback, pop a quarter into the slot and begin the long journey home. I was done with electronic music at this point so the obvious choice was punk. I believe for this trip it was Bad Religion's "Recipe for Hate" album. This severely altered everyone's trips. Now instead of plasma, everything became weird H.R. Geiger-esque bio-mechanical forms. We were laughing like mental patients the entire trip. We stopped at a red light next to a gentleman and his "old lady" on a Harley Davidson motorcycle made out of bones and steel.

"HEY MAN, NICE HOG... AND I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT YOUR BIKE!!!!!!!!" I screamed out the window.

That did it. We laughed until we cried all the way home. The next evening when we all woke up, I called Beau to ask him what in the hell happened to us. He made a couple of calls and and he found out that that first "acid" we dropped turned out to be mescaline. That explained it all.

Hello mescaline... It was very nice to meet you!?!?

The Shadowbox Theatre Monolgues (Better late than never)

So I was asked by Chris Trew to perform monologues for The Megaphone Show. I was honored to be invited. I searched my memories to find the best stories for the improv troupe to piggyback. Considering my mindstate the last couple of months, reminiscing on my drug addled youth seemed to be the most appropriate topic. All of the stories are over 10 years old and 100% true.

I spent the better part of that Wednesday afternoon with a legal pad and a pen. It was amazing to me how much I could recall from those early days of my road to maturity. As the time creeped on, my hand started to cramp up from furiously writing. I penned one story, then the second, and lastly the third. It was a veritable chronology of shenanigans and tomfoolery. I was a wild kid living a reckless life. Oh how far I've come.

I arrived at the Shadowbox Theatre about 30 minutes early with my 12 oz. Redbull, bottle of water and yellow legal pad in tow. The anticipation was building as I was mentally preparing myself for the monologues. I had been to The Megaphone Show once before when my best friend Champsuperstar did her monologues which all contained strippers and rampant drug and alcohol use. I should fit right in.

When I got inside, I noticed that they were playing Yacht Bounce over the PA system (see, smart people get it). I re-read the writings and made some mental revisions since I forgot my pen. I anxiously waited as the audience filed in. As the theatre filled up, I became more and more excited at the prospect of sharing my memories with an audience of my peers. Chris gave me a rundown of the format, and I took my seat in the front row as the troupe came out and introduced themselves.

I was introduced and I started my first monologue. Much to my surprise, people laughed at all the funny parts and focused on the stories as if I was a drug obsessed Ernest Hemmingway. As I finished my first monologue, applause roared throughout the theatre, and I watched the Megaphone Show do their magic.

These guys and gals are brilliant. Each scene you get completely transported into each of the comic's worlds. They picked out small details of my stories and turned them into a festival of the sublimely absurd. The audience (including myself) couldn't help but to laugh as the stage constantly transformed as the stories flowed freely as the Mississippi river running through the city.

Once they were done with their first improv performance I came back on and did my second monologue. This process was repeated all night. I couldn't believe that I was part of this amazing process. Not only was I a part of the evening's entertainment, I was the focal point. It was amazing.

Performing in this capacity and just the simple fact that The Megaphone Show exists is a testament to the rich cultural landscape of this great city in which we live. I am honored to be a part of this landscape especially coming from such humble beginnings. Its hard to believe that at one point in my life my dreams consisted of getting a good job at the port, getting married and having kids with my then girlfriend. Oh the things that can happen when you embrace the power of psychedelic drug use. These monologues became a marker of my transformation into the person I am now. I do not regret any of those experiences because they have turned me into the man that sits before you today.

I will revisit the Megaphone show as a spectator, and I hope to one day return with newer, funnier stories of events of my more recent past. I sincerely thank everyone involved with the show, and I feel as if it has ignited an entirely new performance fire within myself. Its amazing how big the world can be once I stepped outside my small, self-imposed circle of life. Thank you Chris Trew, and thank you Megaphone Show. You have introduced me to a new part of myself, and for that I will be forever in your debt.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Saga of Getting in Shipshape

So, I've pretty much been biking at least 7+ miles every day for a month. I've been doing pushups and situps almost every day for the past month. I've been lifting weights for the last two weeks, and I still can't seem to put a dent in this belly fat.

I remember watching the movie "Super-Size Me", and the director Morgan Spurlock went from eating a vegatarian diet to eating McDonalds for every meal. He chronicled his "progress" which included a battery of physical tests and of course regular weigh-ins. After his saga of daily McDonalds he gained a whole lot of weight and faced really terrible negative health aspects. I say this because there was a point not too long ago when I joked that that movie was my life. I was so busy/lazy that I would eat fast food for almost every meal. I was a slave to my appetite for convenience.

When Spurlock went back to real life and resumed his vegatarian life, he immediately lost all the weight EXCEPT for the belly fat he accumulated in his saga. Apparently belly fat is the most stubborn breed of all fat and it takes a far stronger committment to diet and exercise to destroy it. I have that committment. Whether this belly fat disappears 1/2 ounce at a time or a pound at a time, IT WILL BE DESTROYED. I can't keep carrying this spare tire when there is no reason for me to have it. If I have to do abdominal exercises every day until its gone, that's what I will do.

This is a message for all you people out there who are struggling with weight loss. There are no quick fixes. You need to be committed. You need to take this seriously. Human beings are blessed with a superhuman capacity for pain tolerance and perseverance. Use these facilities people. All your goals can be reached, you just have to let them be reached.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My social networking addiction...

Ok guys... I have a social networking addiction.

Its not like I work at a job in front of a computer all day, and can be getting over on the boss by constantly Facebooking and tweeting... I choose to sit on the computer all day and constantly check, and update, rinse & repeat. Its a colossal waste of time. So from now on & until further notice, I'm going to keep my presence very limited. I'm going to check my Facebook twice a day. Once in the morning, and once at night. I will occasionally post updates from my phone, so I won't be all the way gone. It will be the same with twitter. I'm making a serious effort to do more with this "wasted" time, like interact with people in real life. The days of me tweeting in social settings are over, except during the random deejay set to tell you guys what song I'm playing or some shit like that. I've got to try & ween myself of these things because I feel as if they are retarding my ablility to relate to people in a real life setting. So if you guys wonder where I went, I didn't go anywhere. I'm just busy.

Thanks for your cooperation,

The Skratchman

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Anatomy of a boat party (Nightfever XIV: Yacht Bounce)

The story really starts late Friday night... I was restless and anxious and I stayed up way too late. When my alarm went off @ 4:45, I pressed the dismiss button thinking I was gonna get right up. I ended up sleeping another 30 minutes... FUCK!!!

So I'm rushing to the airport, running just as fast as my little feet would take me. I get to MSY at about 5:35 for a 6:00 flight. Cutting it close isn't the word. Luckily the lady at Special Services gave me my boarding pass and told me to sprint to the gate. I blazed through security in record time and ran to the gate. They were waiting for me, she called and told them to hold up. Pretty incredibly nice of her!!

So the first flight was quick, and I had a 2 hour layover in Memphis. I had no problems on the layover. Had a coffee, banana and a lavash wrap. I then just played chess on my laptop, and typed up some ideas... No big deal.

Boarded the plane in Memphis to Austin. This is when I started to get really excited about the weekend. I had three goals on this trip:

#1. Rock the fuck out of the Boat Party

#2. Don't drink

# 3. Exercise

I arrived in Austin, call Papa Chop then proceed to wait. While I was waiting I saw Trent Finlaysen (Writer for Waterski Magazine), one of xxxxxxx's old skiing teammates waiting on the curb also. Maaaaannnnn I hadn't seen that dude in like 5 years... What are the chances?? What is the universe trying to tell me???!!!

Well, Papa Chop and I went directly to the airport to meet Jeff Strange. We get to his house which has a sweet vintage Cadillac parked in the driveway, BEE TEE DUB.

Go inside and Zucca greets me at the door.

I relax on the couch and Jeff plays some records on his hi-fi phonograph. Good afternoon.

Now I may or may not have nodded out on Strange's couch for a second, and it seemed like it took us a lifetime to get moving BUT we eventually went on down to Congress to pick up some Captain's hats and some fresh gear.

Next stop was FOOD. We went to Wahoo's Fish Tacos for some grub. If you have never eaten at Wahoo's, you are missing out. I'm no Yelp reviewer, but it's good stuff.

We got back to Papa Chop's house, and I asked if I could borrow his bike for a ride. He told me the way to a dirt trail, and sent me on my way. It was a good ride. I went about 10 laps on the dirt trail until I decided I was tired and made my way back to Papa Chop's house.

After I showered, I layed down for a bit and typed some things out on my laptop, as well as build my crate in Serato for Nightfever XIV. We were going out later to promote at the RJD2 show at Foundation and later the Big Freedia show with Dj Mel at Beauty Bar.

Busted out way too late for school. We ended up scooping Strange at about 11:15 and got to the RJD2 show just in time to see his last 20 minutes before he shut it down. Same thing happened to us for Freedia, we got there for the last 20 minutes of her set, also. I guess you could say I was a day late and a dollar short, although I did snap this photo:

Pretty cool, huh?? I thought so too. Yacht bounce meets Sissy bounce!!! F*cking poetic...

Well we get back around 3 and I'm up for 7:30... Goddamn insomnia gets me every time.

I sat up for a while wishing I'd have brought my sketchbook and some pencils or markers, but alas if wishing got you anywhere I'd be in an entirely different place right now. After updating/checking my Facebook, tweetdecking for a bit, and general internet nothingness I made my way downstairs for some breakfast. I ate Cheerios with banana with Papa Chop's family, wife Reina and their two kids Zander (6) and Franti (10 months). Reina, Zander and I then went to the gym so I could feel sane. I pounded out about an hour workout and I walked around this massive gym, the size of the place is really truly amazing. There is nothing dedicated to fitness of that magnitude anywhere around New Orleans.

Went back to shower, and I lay down and rested my eyes for about 45 minutes before we had to start packing up for the boat. We got to Strange's house around 2:30 and loaded up two SUVs with all sorts of stuff for the party mainly many many cases of Dos Equis, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and a keg of Abita Purple Haze.

So Yacht Bounce is ready for it's first voyage out of Port New Orleans. The stage was set, the crew was seaworthy, and the passengers were ready for some good times on the Lake Travis. Thanks to Dj Orion, Dj Mel, Papa Chop & Jeff Strange we begin our voyage with hearts full of whimsy and stomachs full of Dos Equis, Abita Purple Haze, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and sliders.

We got to the lake just as the other boat was coming in. Coincidentally the boat party right before us was the Big Freedia boat party so Yacht Bounce was ready to meet Sissy Bounce.

It was a beautiful day on Lake Travis, and I waited patiently as everyone set everything up and got ready for launch. The line for the boat was building as everyone waited in anticipation for the maiden voyage of Yacht Bounce in Austin.

Once I got on the boat I christened her the S.S. Christopher Cross, and we began to sail. Once sailing Dj Orion took the first captain's ship, followed by Dj Mel and lastly I brought us through sundown and on to the dock.

All in all it was a great voyage. Everyone was very receptive to the music, save for a few families that complained about the profanity.

Above is a video of the water pigs interference... Pretty cool... Yacht Bounce shut them the hell up!!

The entire weekend was capped off by Rudy's BBQ and when Zander showed up, he was wearing my captain's hat that I'd left for him in his room...

He wanted us to call him Captain Night (for Nightfever). Here's to you Captain Night, and here's to you Soul of the Boot, Strangetribe ATX, & Austin. I love you guys. My captain's hat truly goes off to you.

End Captain's log...