Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Schmuck you!

Last night my improv troupe, Wit & Will, and I "opened" for a sneak preview of Dinner for Schmucks at a local movie theater. We planted ourselves in the audience and volunteered to be contestants in Albany's "Most Extraordinary Person" contest. If you know anything about the movie, you know that "extraordinary" has connotations. Our job was to be the schmuckiest, most idiotic contestants we could create. I think we succeeded.

Check out the website for Wit & Will and look at all the glorious photos! Matt and I pretended to be a couple whose special talent was me singing Cher medleys while he interpretively danced. He even did an unexpected, very loud, and very painful flip. So you'll definitely want to check that out.

If you're in the Albany area, come check out our next show! It's at 8pm on August 14th at Zuzu's Wonderful Life. BE THERE!

Back 'n' bloggin

Yo champs!

I am back from my grueling journey. 2 weeks of cheeseburgers, po'boys, ice cream, boudin (seen above), cracklin, beer, omelettes and 4 pounds later, here I am. I wasn't able to blog on the trip since I rarely had interweb access and my iPad isn't the best at letting me use blogger. Hopefully you kept up with the journey via Twitter, though. If not, then I will slowly but surely give you my post-trip account of all the things I encountered. Well, not all of them, perhaps just the mildly amusing and safe to publish things. There are many things. So many things there are. I like things.

By far, my favorite stop was Louisiana. The moment I stepped outside of the freezer (aka Dodge Caravan), it was like someone installed a warm-water faucet on the back of my neck and turned it on. New Orleans is like walking around a Bikram yoga room but without the expensive fee. We arrived under cover of night, checked into the hotel, and then waited for the arrival of Mr. David. Although he used to teach earth science and theology in upstate New York, Mr. David now works for BP and is a man of mystery. He took us for hurricanes in one of NOLA's lovely courtyards. After catching one another up on our lives, we parted ways and set out to satisfy our ravenous roadtripping hunger. Fried fish, with lettuce, tomato, and a large glop of mayo on a French baguette never tasted so good.

The next morning we explored the French Quarter, but the highlight was definitely trekking to the swamp and meeting Captain Jack. Cap'n Jack "gave 110%" and we couldn't have asked for anything more. He assured us that anything we might have questions about we'd definitely discuss. "You wanna know about the trees? We'll talkabout it. Gotta know about the gators? we'll talkabout it. Don't worry, folks, we'll talkabout it."

A tourguide for the Honey Island Swamp, Cap'n Jack introduced us to...El Whoppo. El Whoppo is the biggest alligator ever found in the wild. "I can't even tell you how big he is. Yer only seein' 'bout 10-20% of 'em. You don't even understand! He's a big boy. You can search all yer life, never gonna see a alligator this big! Nope, never gonna..." Cap'n Jack - who, by this point I was madly in love with - proceeded to feed El Whoppo marshmallows and hot dogs. Then, with a gasp from the other boat passengers, he reached down into the water and grabbed El Whoppo's paw, lifting it up into the air so we could all see. "Whop wouldn't ever do nothin' to me. Right, Whop? He wouldn't hurt me. Hey, Whop. How are ya buddy?"

The tour was great, especially when he drove so fast I finally felt a breeze for the first time since leaving Albany. We explored the Bayou and saw the swamp houses and how they have to take a boat to the grocery store. One of the houses had a sprinkler on the roof. "That's a Cajun air conditioner," Cap'n Jack informed us. And then Cap'n Jack had a moment of darkness: "Man, I went inna house that had one of those one time. Keeps it cool, but man I get depressed. Feels like it's rainin' all the time. Hopeless. I walked outside and I was like aww man there's the sun! Man, inside, with the sound of that, man, you get depressed. Sheesh, yeah..." After recovering from his brief flashback to Cajun Air Conditioning Depressive Disorder, he drove right next to a branch hanging over the water. A branch that had a red wasps nest. "Whoooweee! Man, they give me the willies! Those things are messed. Up." He motioned to the children on the boat, "Those kids, wouldn't survive it! Nope, they wouldn't. Once they swarm ya, woooo it's all over. Lotta fisherman accidentally rustle 'em up with their lines. Not a pretty sight. No, sir."

The tour of the swamp ended all too quickly, but I did manage to get my picture taken with this hunka hunka burnin' Cajun man meat.

Well, I must depart for now. More stories to come! I hope to edit my footage at some point soon, but that will probably depend on if I ever get access to a computer that won't overheat and burn my vulva from working too hard as I try to edit.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dixie Fried & Dazed

I'm so close to being in the Dirty South I can almost taste it. It tastes like barbequed meat and sweet bread and beer and sweat.

And it tastes good.

On my way to work this morning I decided that for the next day and a half I will listen to music only produced by Sun Records, a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee. Luckily on my trip to Texas a couple years ago I picked up a "Best of Sun Records" album at Half-Price Books. Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis...what more do I need? (Question: Why isn't there a Half Price Books in EVERY city?! It's glorious).

Tennessee is the first stop on our trip, and I'm incredibly excited about it. I've been wanting to go there since high school when a friend and I thought it would be a great idea to take a roadtrip to Nashville over the summer. Things didn't work out and we didn't end up going - probably a good idea since we were both still minors at the time - but ever since then my heartstrings have been tugging me towards Tennessee. Much to my dismay we will not be going to Pigeon Forge to visit Dollywood, but I think I will be able to muscle through. Plus, it gives me a reason to go back! Tennessee is a horizontal swirl of burnt orange and reddish in my head (see Synesthesia). I don't know if it has to do with the heat or the music or what, but the mix of hues in my head is beautiful. I hope it lives up to my neuroligically-based condition!

I am going to try and resist the cliched urge to croon that awful song, "Walkin' in Memphis" while on Beale Street. But I won't make any promises.

Here are my top two favorite Sun Records listens of the moment:

Every time Carl comes on shuffle, I'm always pleasantly surprised and left wondering why I don't put more time into researching and listening. This song kills and empowers me at the same time. Does everyone with the last name of Perkins have tremendous talent? Maybe that's why the best, most friendly kinds of student loans are named Perkins. Let me know if you know any shitty Perkins.

Who can resist a good Presley play on words? Not me, that's for sure.
I also recommend Hardrock Gunter's "Fallen Angel," but it's not on YouTube. Such a light-hearted tune, but full of sinister reproach. In front of happy piano keys and a bouncey percussion you hear this chorus:
You're just a fallen angel / that's all you are / you could've been somebody's heavenly star / but you're a fallen angel / you've had your way / a lonely life of sorrow is a price that you must pay

I luhhh that kinda stuff.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Everything is changin' faster than I can describe, all I really know to do is grab the wheel and drive!

Just 4 more days until Excalibur 2010...and it can't come soon enough!

Some things still left to do:
- get a VEGAS dress
- somehow acquire a few pairs of shorts while all the stores are selling sweaters already
- prepare my camcorder
- hold onto my fitness regimen
- buy a camping lantern
- make much-needed trip to the laundromat
- prime my liver
- tell all my friends and family I love them

Throughout the trip, I will attempt to blog. Notice that I say attempt. It is not guaranteed that I'll have enough time to stop dancing in the desert or turn off the camera or put down the BBQ pulled pork sandwiches long enough for me to type anything coherent.

Who knows if I'll be back! I may pull a Connie Converse or something.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Les Dirty Fab

"Is the closer just a random band or do people actually come to see them?"

"I think people actually like to see them."

I saw Les Savy Fav at the Northside Festival, hours after Elvis Perkins in Dearland. It was a pleasant evening, not too hot or sticky. But I was tired and ready to go back to my friend's apartment, knowing I had to get up at 5:45 to get to work upstate the next morning. Something told me to stay and not bail out of the evening early like I'm wont to do when I have other upcoming responsibilities or obligations weighing on my shoulders. I'm glad I stayed.

The first song began and something emerged in a beastly furry multicolored suit. It ran through the crowd with stage hands holding the microphone over our heads so that a Ghost Ship decapitation situation did not occur. He sang, and I assumed it was an early 30-something man. I could see the person's slight potbelly protruding from underneath the suit, but no other clues gave me insight as to who this man was. He sang, but you couldn't even see his face. He eventually busted out of the Beast Suit and I was taken aback by what was in front of me on the stage. The lead singer was grossly bearded, overweight, over-the-top, poorly bathed, and balding. Probably in his early 30s but looked about 40. My shock turned into an "Alright! Hell yeah!" since I had just had a conversation about how one only sees the "pretty" people on stage anymore. But then I was disgusted again, as he ripped his shirt off and pranced around heavily in skimpy cut off jeans while caressing the inside of his belly button. However, in between songs he won me back with his silly Dan Bandish banter and dry delivery.

Train of thought: OH GOD! THAT'S HORRIBLE! WHY IS HE DOING THAT! Hey, he's pretty funny. HOLY CRAP IT'S ALL HANGING OUT OF THE SIDE OF HIS SHORTS! Wow, this music is actually pretty good. AHH! HE'S RUNNING THROUGH THE CROWD AND DRINKING PEOPLE'S BEERS AND SWEATING ON THEM! Hmm, his voice is pretty good. I like it. WHY DOES HE KEEP SPITTING WATER ON THE CROWD! These songs are catchy! HE BETTER KEEP HIS SHORTS ON. Aww, he's kind of endearing and a great performer... HIS BEYONCE-LIKE GYRATIONS ARE REPULSIVE!

So that's pretty much how it went. My friends and I could not look away from this musical shock and awe campaign. And now I want all their albums.

Here's a video from the actual show I was at. Disregard the horrible sound (it's the same song as at the top of the post), I just want you to see the image that has been burned in my brain since Sunday: