Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Selfish and helpless

I think that many of us are feeling very strangely as of late. What Katrina has done to New Orleans and to Mississippi is simply unthinkable. 80-percent of an ENTIRE city underwater? The families being torn apart and lives washed away? Having to evacuate 30,000 people from the Superdome by air (3 feet of water surround the arena)? I totter back and forth between feeling incredibly sad for those affected by the storm and guilt. Who are we to complainabout gas prices? We have our homes, our friends and our families still in tact. But for most of us, who make decent money but who are by no means 'well-off', these gas prices hit our lives hard. I'm not even sure if I'll be able to drive up north to see my grandparents because I can't afford the gas. Will we have to make choices between buying groceries, paying a bill, or filling up our tanks? I don't know if anyone could have predicted the severity of this storm, but it takes a punch in the face to realize that we aren't invicible. We need to live less excessive lives, make reasonable decisions about what we waste, talk about carpooling and other means of conservation, think about alternative sources of energy.

It also makes me feel guilty that it takes a tragedy like this to get people talking. Why weren't we talking about resources and conservation six months or a year ago? We hear reports on the news and on the radio, but it takes something like this to really open our eyes. I just makes me sad, that's all.

EDIT: Here's a great link to all the agencies that are helping in the relief effort, from the Red Cross to The Salvation Army to FEMA and many, many others.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Chapter 2: It's All New River To Me

Good Saturday morning, West Virginia! After hearty breakfast of hardboiled eggs and apples (rafting breakfast of champions) and a cup of mediocre coffee from Eddy's Eatery (hey, I'll take what I can get), we meet our tour guide to watch the 'dos and don'ts' video from 1985 with other rafters. Wow, if we weren't freaked out before, we were really scared now. It became all too clear that we could fall into the rapids and there was lots of different rescue elements that came into play - the direction that you swim, the position of your body, what you should and shouldn't hold on to. Let's see: when I fall into the water, tell me how I DON'T DIE. Oh, and by the way, it's still raining cats and dogs and iguanas and ferrets.

We hopped on the bus, and I become more and more anxious. After a few barbarian knocks on my helmet with my paddle and Ron's paddle, I perked up. It's go time! The rain had let up some as we met our rafting guide, Carla. She. Was. Awesome. And had probably the dirtiest mouth I've ever heard. She was truly a backwoods mama. She heats her house with wood-burning stove and she lived in her Geo Metro and a tent while she trained to be a raft guide. She's one of the senior staff members and we really trusted her. She poked fun at the boys in our boat and made no apologies about her 'city folk' bashing. Actually, after hearing some of the stories she told, we really were city folk. The trip took all afternoon and we took on rapids that ranged from a Class I (tea cup ride) to Class V (Top Thrill Dragster). The rain finally let up - and the water was so warm! I was airborne at least once and poor Amber was the only one who fell out of the raft (she made it back in one piece - go Amber!)...and she made the highlight reel! There was a man who followed the rafts in a kayak and shot video of the entire trip. Of course, you could buy it for a zillion dollars. We had the chance to get out and float along swimmer's rapids, which just take you down a portion of the river. The rocks and the trees and the waterfalls were gorgeous (pictures will be coming soon!). Sarah and I sat in the front of the boat. I don't know why I chose to because you get the first taste of what's ahead and you have to set the rowing pace for the rest of the boat. I wouldn't have had it any other way! It was so exciting - FUCK SNAKE RIVER CANYON! There were plenty of 'oh shit' moments, especially on the Class IV rapids with lots of riding up and down on not-so-friendly waves; Class V rapids are more technical than scary. I will have some pictures (as will Jackie, Emily and Amber) soon - they really tell the story.

After a meal of chicken, baked potato and some sort of cobbler-like desert (which included more drink tickets - BONUS), we retired back to Camp Bruce for some napping, reading, beer drinking and euchre playing. Later that night, Jackie and I saddled up for some kick-ass karaoke with cash and rafting packages among the prizes. We drank our free drinks and, because during the previous evening we had given away the rest of our drink tickets to other fine campers, received more drink tickets from other generous campers. We didn't pay for a beer the whole weekend, except for our two cases of Miller which were gone before we got to the bar that night! We were ready for a night of singing, rapping and the joys of being drunk!

TOMORROW: Jackie and I battle it out on the stage...and the night becomes more drunk!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Chapter 1: Arrival and Survival

Road trips are always a great way to enjoy miles upon miles upon miles of trees - then factories then more trees. We all piled in the Bruce van with all of our camping/personal belongings and hit the road for the Marietta, Ohio Best Western. THERE IS NOTHING IN OHIO. Well, save Cleveland and Cincinnati but otherwise it's pretty freakin' boring. We put our heads together and Ron created an ultimate mix CD with contributions from everyone in the car. We rocked out, we slept, we chatted, we visited many a TA (tits and ass!) station. Once catching about six hours of sleep, we're on the road again toward our rafting destination.

And it rained. And rained. And poured. We all were trying to be positive but there were many a grumble from everyone, and rightly so. Stupid rain! We arrived to meet Amber and Chris (YAYYYYYYYY!)and the gods were still super pissed. Jackie and Sarah went mud bogging, um, AV riding (I'll let them give you the details), while the rest of us went rock climbing. We were limited as to where we could climb, so we were taken to a beginner hill under a huge overhang so we were able to stay dry. Yeah, beginner my ass! Jeezy crezzy, it was so hard. I only got to about 10 feet - but Chris and Hutson switched on their spidey sense and made it all the way to the top. Our arms were shaking wehen we were finished. The wall was completely vertical and we had to grab onto cracks in the rock and place our feet on any natural outcropping we could find (no comfy handles or footholds). After that - repelling, the fun part. We all repelled off of a 150 foot cliff. I almost didn't make it. I was terrified, then thrilled, then terrified again! But with some gentle coaxing from Jason, one of our guides, I made to the ground. Silly city folk!

Our ride missed picking us up and we had to wait 45 minutes. Well, our guides weren't the least bit happy (we had all gotten friendly by the end of the day). We all knew we had an evening of tent and camp set-up in the pouring train; the grassy camp area was quickly becoming a marsh. Literally, it hadn't stopped raining since we arrive at the campground five hours earlier. Steve saved the day - he hooked us up with a free night's stay on their tent 'platforms,' tents that had already been set up and built into the side of a hill with a tin covering. We rented them for a second night and everything stayed dry. As we drove away from the reservation office, Steve told us to wait - he had another treat for us. He proceeded to hand us 24 drink tickets for the bar. A free night of drinking after hard day at the campsite - God Bless America! We set up camp (and finished off our first case of Miller Lite) and enjoyed a fine meal of grilled/iron baked cheese pizzas over an ambitious fire started and vigorously kept alive by Boy Scout Boylan. Bread, cheese and pizza sauce - carbaliously good. The mood was glum and shakey at bestt. This certainly was not the ideal trip we had imagined, but the bar was calling. A couple hours at the Red Dog Saloon with some 'new friends' (I'll let Emily and Jackie talk about that!) and we were drifting off to sleep on our air mattresses and sleeping bags. We had a long day ahead of us, and the rain was still going strong.

TOMORROW: We take on the river and entertain the masses at the Red Dog!

Coming soon: The Adventures of Detroit Family Bruce

Back from West Virginia - great times, shitty weather, awesome rafting, good karma - it's a tale fullied with woe and triumph. Adventures in kareoke, treehouse camping, rock climbing, A/Vs and MORE! Stay tuned for all of the adventures.

*Sigh* I took today off and I just sat down - whew! More soon!

I watch Entourage last night, and watched it again this morning...ARI GOLD IS THE FUCKING MAN! He's gonna burn that place to the ground and make everyone coming in at the ground floor rich. Tsi Tsi fly: mission compromised! If Jeremy Piven doesn't win an Emmy, I will shed many tears.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Single serving fans unite!

Does anyone have a band/bands that they love, but no one else has ever heard of? I was just thinking about two of my favorite albums, and if anyone else knows of or enjoys these bands, I'll buy you a drink.

Plumtree - this Canadian group is sugary sweet with kick-ass girl power. Thanks to Canadian Export on 89X back in early 2000, I immediately snatched up their two albums, only to have them break up a few months after I discovered them. They are pure power goodness in the vein of Sloan/Thrush Hermit. If anyone wants a taste, I gots what you need.

Dragstrip Courage - thanks to Ms. Millerand the WMHW Music Director's office, I found this Boston band on the 'discard shelf.' You can't keep everything! It's a little bit surf rock, a little bit Motown, but all in all, some great non-threatening rock and roll. They have a full length and an EP. Alas, they never tour outside the east coast, so we'll just have to make due with what we have.

Anyone else have music that they want to share?

Oh, and speaking of Sloan, WHY ARE THEY SO GODDAMN ADORABLE???

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Follow around your favorite band with a camera.

Check out this cool interview with the director of the new Death Cab for Cutie documentary. You'll have to click on 'NEWS' to get to the article, it's listed among the top five on the page. Fuck all the haters - I love 'Soul Meets Body.' I am looking forward to the new album.


Why is he so adorable????

Friday, August 19, 2005

Smiles at the click of a mouse

New iTunes purchases:
Low "The Great Destroyer" (I know...I missed the boat...leave me alone)
Regina Spektor - Us (I have to stop what I'm doing every time I hear this song).

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Everybody in da house say 'woof'

Tomorrow is my shoot for WDVD's Bark in the Park. Everyone say a little prayer for me to the diety of your choice. I'm nervous and excited. I miss having this feeling (oh, back in the days of Live From Studio A and in advanced video - you know what I'm talkin' about, JAX) of anxiousness. It's familiar...and strangely comforting. There always an unknown element when you're working outdoors, so as I always say, we'll see...

It's my baby, my project! It's nice to take ownership in something again long as it all goes well. *gulp*

Willie Nelson on there's something to look forward, too.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Enough to make you vomit.

This fall is the new summer:
8/24 The Muggs +more-FREE SHOW-Magic Stick
8/25 Great Lakes Myth Society-Magic Stick
9/02 Holy Fire-Magic Stick
9/10 Saturday Looks Good To Me-Bling Pig
9/11 Green Day/Jimmy Eat World - Palace
9/11 Sufjan Stevens - Majestic Theater
9/13 Bloc Party - Royal Oak Music Theater
9/21 BRMC - St. Andrew's
9/27 MIA - St. Andrew's
9/25 Interpol-Michigan Theater
10/26 Henry Rollins Spoken Word Tour-Michigan Theater

My money tree just died. I've never had a green thumb.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Worth every fucking penny.

That was last night's Destiny's Child Show in a nutshell. Now, you don't have to be a fan of pop music. That's fine with me. Plenty of folks chuckled and snorted in my direction when I mentioned that I was going to this show, even looking forward to it. But all I can say is ALL OF YOU PEOPLE ARE WRONG. It was phenomenal. From the dancing to the singing (yep, real singing from all of them-an especially impressive showing from Beyonce). The show lasted almost two hours, full of soul and hot beats. Yes, there was the 'medley' of hits (I was disappointed that I didn't get my full dose of "Independent Women Part 1" and "Bootylicious"), including their early hits from 1997. "Bugaboo?" "No No No?" I forget how electric those songs were (are!) on the dancefloor.

I lost track of all the costume changes...somewhere around 6 or 7 at least. And yes, each lady got to strut their solo stuff. Kelly had her version of "Dilemma," which originally featured Nelly, but Kelly filled in just fine. Then, the Reverend Michelle Williams. She has released a number of successful gospel albums during the height of Beyonce. She. Was. Incredible. Preach on, girl. It was revival time in the Palace. Then...B came out and, of course, brought IT. Her performance of "Baby Boy" and "Naughty Girl" were sassy, full of booty (that girl is HEALTHY. God Bless Beyonce!) and full of soul. Another costume change and the rest of the show consisted of song off of Destiny fulfilled. Lots of soothing R and B, they even invited three men to come up on stage, in which they proceeded to give each of them a personalized lap dance. It was so great! The girls were very charming and funny on stage and the guys were eating it up. The stud that Kelly picked couldn't stop staring at Beyonce. Crazy in love for sure!

Speaking of which, B came out later and busted out another solo jam, "Crazy In Love" (absolutely my FAVORITE song of hers). More from the new album, a full version of "Survivor" (complete with salsa dancing and bull fighters)then, oh shit, the drum line hit and the Palace went up in smoke during "Lose My Breath."

Ah, such a great time. Superb seats (front row of our section and we had the end two seats for easy snack retrieval/exiting), prompt timing (there was only a half an hour between Mario and DC), incredible lights and staging. I can't wait until three years from now, when they come out of retirement for their reunion tour!

Friday, August 12, 2005

I don't think I'm ready for this jelly.

Sunday night. The Main Event. The Farewell Tour. Destiny's Child. My head may explode with supreme hotness. I can't wait! Oh, but the fashion confusion - do I wear sassy shoes or do I go sensible since I'll be droppin' it like it's WHITE HOT? I don't know what to do.

I feel like sushi all the time now. Strange, eh?

By the way, I want to marry Sloan. If anyone was fortunate enough to pick up A Sides Win with the bonus DVD, you know what I'm talking about. All of their videos, plus interviews, plus live concert goodies. I want a harram of indie rockin', shaggy men. They can wash my car and fold my laundry and kick out the jams 24/7.

Okay, that's about it. Back to work - so much happening! Work, meeting with lendors, movie premiers, concerts (DC and Willie Nelson), rafting...shit, man! This is wack.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Books? Who need books?

Check out some mindblowing movies that are about to crash into your brain:

Serenity - Joss Whedon? "Firefly?" It's not just for geeks anymore - it's for everyone who appreciates brilliant writing and Nathan Fillion.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose - scary, man...

V For Vendetta - no, it's not because of Natalie Portman. It's Alan Moore...come on, people! The crown prince of the graphic novel? Oh, never mind. *sigh*

Mirrormask - Written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Dave McKean. If you say anthing bad about this movie, I will break off your thumbs and make you eat them. Try me.

The 40 Year Old Virgin - Can he top "Anchorman?" We'll see...LOUD NOISES!!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Summer equals:

1. Saturday Looks Good to Me "Every Night"
2. Watching Ron hit a HOME RUN tonight - superstar!
3. Daydreaming about Cillian Murphy - yeah, Red Eye was really shitty, but he is just goddamn adorable! If his eyes were in a steel cage death match with Elijah Wood's eyes, Cillian would remain Ultimate Champion for sure. He never needs to smile - just be brooding and sullen. Do it for me, baby!
4. Um...random...does anyone else remember Heat Vision and Jack and how fucking brilliant that show was? Oh wait, It never aired. Owen Wilson as a bad ass motorbike? Jack Black as a NASA scientist with supreme powers? Ron Silver as himself? The best show that never saw the light of day.

It's 10:49 - it feels like it's one in the morning. Grumble. I've got another hour to go. I physically cannot fall asleep before midnight. Not happening. Well, sweet dreams to you, world.


September 4th, 2005
Pontiac, MI
Arts, Beats and Eats


Monday, August 01, 2005

Yeah, I'm not crazy!

Thanks everyone for the kind words. Whether it involved getting high or scrambled porn, it was all good and solid and encouraging. I decided to really take the wheel on this project, and now it just comes down to a few details, which I will deal with when the time comes. Projecting will get you nowhere! Bill W. had it right - one day at a time.

This past weekend was so great - discovering new tea rooms (Karma on 9 Mile) and ice cream (Frostbites on Woodward), hanging out with great friends during important times in our lives (thanks to Matt, Ryan and Mackenzie and CONGRATS GARY AND KRISTEN!!!), bowling with good peeps and perfecting my windmill technique (STRIKE!), watching Ron chug a beer (which I've never seen in my life) and watching Gary's dad egg him on, finishing one of the most distrubing books I've ever read with an ending that I'm still puzzled over ("Haunted" by Chuck Palahnuik)...damn, is it Friday yet?

Well, back to work...we'll see everyone on Wednesday - it's Bad '80s Movie Night!

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