Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Back at It

Sunday, April 30th, 2023 No comments

Yes, I’m still tired. I just woke up from a nap. I’m starting to get back into my normal level of social activity after taking it easy for a little while.

I went to see Muse with Evanescence and Highly Suspect. One of the best concerts I’ve been to.

Yesterday, I went to see a drag show in Pioneer Square. I saw Modest Mouse perform there last summer I think. It was a celebration of drag and trans rights. Lots of great performances and speakers. We may not have any issues with legislation in Oregon right now, but who knows what could change. The event was hoping to raise $3000 for OutMemphis, but it raised over $7000.

We got went into full summer mode weather wise for a few days, but it cooled down tonight. Looking forward to actual summer.

Life is good.

Christmas 2018

Saturday, December 29th, 2018 No comments

Overall, this Christmas has been much better than last year. We actually decorated a tree this year, which we didn’t do last year. There were times when I wasn’t feeling the spirit much, but it always came back. One of the things that helped me get back into it was Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland event. The music, skins, and map decorations are so festive it’s hard not to feel happy, at least until the match starts.

I won’t go into too much detail, but someone close to me is having a hard time and it has put a damper on my mood at times, but we can usually turn things around.

I took a 2-week vacation from work and 1 week is now over. I think I think this is the longest vacation I’ve ever had professionally. So far I’ve done exactly what I planned: played lots of video games, watched a lot of TV, worked on my podcast websites, worked on projects at home, and spent time with friends. I listened to my Christmas mix all the way through this year, but I don’t think I heard “Last Christmas” at all, which is a shame.

I know material things aren’t the most important part of this time of the year, but gifts are still one of my favorite parts of Christmas even though the excitement isn’t the same as it was when I was a kid. I always feel fortunate that people think about me. Here’s my haul this year:

  • Princess Mononoke on blu-ray
  • Marvel trivia box
  • Dancing Groot pop vinyl
  • Lucio and Junkrat pop vinyls
  • Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 1
  • Lunch bag for work
  • Card game and emoji toys (I regifted these)
  • Rainbow socks
  • Tardis fish tank ornament
  • Many Christmas cards (I’ve forgotten to mention these in previous years)
  • Some stuff I treated myself to:
    • Gloomhaven, Founders of Gloomhaven, and Spirit Island board games
    • a new car (post coming soon)
    • an Instant pot

Overall, this has been a fairly good year. There were difficulties, but I think I got through them okay. Professionally, I was thrust into a leadership position around mid-year, and recently I got great feedback about how I’ve been doing. I think I surprised a lot of people. Health-wise, there have been ups and downs, but I’ve done well these past few weeks. I’m eating more home-cooked meals and less junk food. I think I’ll have a workout partner in January, so that should help keep me motivated.

I’m so ready to take on 2019! I think some good changes are coming! I know that January 1 is just another day and it doesn’t mean that anything is going to change, but I think it’s a good opportunity to start over or make a course correction.

As always I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and a great new year! Take care of each other!

Rose City Comic Con 2018

Sunday, September 30th, 2018 No comments

Three weekends ago (the weekend after PAX). I went to Rose City Comic Con. I went back to work after a week long vacation after then and was swamped, so I didn’t have time to write about it.

I won’t do a blow-by-blow as usual, but I will say that this convention, unlike PAX, was more about panels.  There was some cool stuff on the exhibit floor (such as a Dragonball Z exhibit), but I spent most of my time there taking pictures of cosplayers.  I did some artwork from local artists like I normally do.

I went to panels featuring Kristen Bauer, Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members (Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Michael Dorn), David Tennant, Felicia Day, Overwatch voice actresses Lucy Pohl and Charlet Chung, John Barrowman, Catherine Tate, Karl Urban, Smallville stars Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, Michael Rooker,  and Evangeline Lilly.

I didn’t get any autographs this year, but I did get photo ops with Tenant and the TNG cast members.

They had a board game section which I didn’t check out because I didn’t see anything being played that I was interested in.  Maybe next year.

I ran into my friend Daniel on the second day, but we didn’t hang out long before we got separated.  Again, I kinda like doing my own thing at cons.

I really enjoyed being at RCCC again this year.  It was a exhausting having cons 2 weekends in a row, but I don’t regret it.  I think RCCC is later in the month next year, so that won’t be a problem. I’m so glad to have an event like this right in my back yard.

Summer Begins

Monday, July 31st, 2017 No comments

Portland Pride 2017
I’ve probably said this before, but here in Portland we say that summer officially begins on July 4. By then we can be pretty sure the rainy season is over. This summer has gotten off to a great start so far.

The gaymer meet up has been fun this month. We’ve had good turnout this month and last and it’s been a lot of fun playing with new and old members. We’ve got some ideas for new events that we want to try soon.

On the 4th, my friend who recently changed his named to Xander (formerly Kysen, formerly Alex) went on a hike/photo taking adventure with his friend David. Xander and I started doing this in April I believe. It’s fun exploring the city on foot and we’ve gotten some pretty great photos.

The following week Xander and I went to see Blondie and Garbage at Edgefield Amphitheater. It’s the first time I’ve been to this venue since I saw Foster the People there in 2012. It was a great show! Both bands sounded great. Shirley Manson is a queen. I’m more of a Garbage fan than a Blondie fan, but I think I had more fun during Blondie’s set.

The next day I went to my first Hillsboro Hops game. I had bought tickets to games before, but ended up not going. I won a ticket to this game from work. Intel had it’s own tent area where we could eat and hang out. I didn’t stay in that area long because I wanted to watch some of the game. The Hops weren’t doing well and I had other things to do that night, so I ended up leaving about halfway through.

The following week I went to my first Portland Timbers game. Once again I won tickets from work. I rode the MAX into town for the game, because I didn’t want to deal with parking at the stadium. There were a lot of Timbers fans on the game. The atmosphere inside the stadium was excellent. I can see myself going to more games in the future. I left at halftime to beat the crowd back home. It was a pretty lopsided loss for the Timbers.

Spider-Man and Girls Trip were good movies. I plan to see Dunkirk and Atomic Blonde soon. It’s been nice having a movie buddy (Xander) so I don’t have to see movies alone and I have someone to talk to the movie about when it’s over.

I’ve starting exercising again on a regular basis. I’m not back up to 6 days a week like I used to do. Most of my workouts are at the gym at work, but sometimes I go to my old gym. I even went on a bike ride with Xander one day. Now I just need to start eating healthy again.

I have so much more stuff that I want to do this summer. I probably won’t get to it all this year. I remembered yesterday how bored and lonely I felt in Mississippi before I left. I’m glad to have so many options for how to spend my free time.

Christmas 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 No comments

Another Christmas has passed and another New Year is coming. I was thankful not to spend Christmas alone this year. Thanksgiving was a little tough. Seeing everyone post pictures of food and family while I was sitting at home playing Fallout 4 was a little sad.

Luckily, my friend Joel invited me to a Christmas dinner party that he was going to. He’s in the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus and some of them had a fun party that night. My company and my runner’s group had Christmas parties the week before, so this was my third one this year.  I had a great time and it was fun connecting with new people.

What did I get for Christmas?

  • Blue Snowball microphone
  • Star Trek shirt
  • The Firefly board game
  • A wooden box that I plan on painting and keeping stuff in
  • A pair of briefs
  • Guitar Hero Live
  • Game of Thrones coloring book
  • Game of Thrones season 4 soundtrack

I hope I remembered everything. I’ll be getting something from my sister and family later.

This year I decided to end my tradition of watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy in December. It’s just becoming harder and harder to find the time and this December I was trying to re-watch all of the Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens was awesome, btw). Last year was I believe the 10th consecutive year, so it’s probably a good time to end it. I’m a little sad because my favorite traditions are ones that I’ve started myself. I always said that the year couldn’t really end until I heard that Annie Lennox song at the end of the third movie, which I always watched on New Year’s Eve.

I think I stopped setting goals for the upcoming year after I moved to Portland. In case I’ve never said this before, I hate calling them resolutions. I posted some 2016 goals on Facebook the other day and figured I would post them here to make them easier to find. Some are repeats of things I did this year. #1 will be completed on January 1 and #2 may happen before the end of basketball season.
1) Go on at least 1 real date
2) Attend at least 1 pro sports event
3) Get more sleep
4) Get organized again
5) Keep doing the good things I started this year
6) Take more pictures
7) Not forget about this list

Usually I don’t do out on New Year’s Eve, but I am tonight. It might be the first time I’ve ever done so. I’m going to a private party at my friends Ez and Andrew’s place. I was also invited to hang out with the Chorus people I spent Christmas night with, but I had already committed this one. It should be a great time. I guess this will end my tradition of buying a bottle of wine for myself on New Year’s Eve.

I had such a great 2015. I put myself out there more and made many new friends. I don’t have a lot to complain about, and what I do I hope to change in 2016. I hope everyone has a happy and successful 2016.

Christmas 2014

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 2 comments

Christmas was good this year.  I was in the spirit pretty early on, but sometime the week before I lost it a little bit.  I got it back though in time for Christmas.  I was alone here in Protland, so at times I did feel a little lonely.  It was hard seeing all the photos on social media of people with their families and good food.  All I had for dinner was a piece of chicken and some veggies. At least I had Reese and he’s good company.  Next year will different hopefully.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas?

  • Spartacus: The Complete Series on blu-ray
  • Microwave (I bought for myself)
  • King size wine glass
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind hardcover
  • Portlandia: Season 4 on DVD
  • Labyrinth on blu-ray
  • The Neverending Story on blu-ray
  • Interstellar soundtrack
  • GIRL by Pharrell Williams
  • Twin Peaks soundtrack
  • Requiem for a Dream (the book)
  • Touch and Go paperback by Lisa Gardner
  • Game of Thrones map poster
  • Game of Thrones blanket

Austin Vacation

Monday, August 18th, 2014 No comments

I spent most of this past week in Austin, TX.  My buddy, John, asked me to come down to see the Nine Inch Nails / Soundgarden show with him.  Since then, a new guy named A.J. has come into his life.  A.J. joined us on this trip.

John and A.J. drove to Texas and I flew down on Wednesday of last week.    It was my first time meeting A.J.  All we did that day was eat and go to a club.  I knew that a friend I knew growing up worked at a bar in Austin.  I figured out which one it was and we went there for drinks and music.  Tony is the name of the friend.  I can’t remember when I first met him, but I knew him up until the first year or so of college at Mississippi State.  He then moved to Texas.  It was good to see Tony.  I got a free drink and we all got free shots.  I hope to see him again the next time I’m in Austin.

We slept late on Thursday.  We went to eat lunch at a lounge in a nearby hotel.  We also changed rooms because the beds were too small.  That night was the concert.  It was hot out there, but it quickly cooled down.  I can’t remember the name of the opening act, but there was too much screaming and yelling.  Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails were awesome!!!  Both bands played the song of theirs I wanted to hear the most, “Spoonman” from Soundgarden and “Closer” from NIN.

On Friday, John and I got massages while A.J. went to the gym.  It was a very good massage.  It was different from what I’m normally used to.  This guy advertises himself as a Reiki Master.  I don’t know a lot about it, but I noticed that he was rubbing me very quickly and sometimes it burned.  John and I were both tired for hours afterward.  We got some food and did some shopping after that.  Later we went to the one of the Alamo Drafthouses.  I had never been to one of these before.  We saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The movie wasn’t that bad, but it was far from great.  The experience was great, so I really enjoyed myself.

On Saturday we went to Hippie Hollow, which is a clothing optional resort.  I mostly just wanted to see some sights.  It was hot, so we didn’t stay long.  It was nice being in the water though.  After that we went to Franklin Barbecue, which we heard is some of the best barbecue around.  It was pretty damn good.  That night we chilled at the hotel and drank more.

On Sunday we said our goodbyes and left.  They left a few hours before me, but we each made it to our respective homes around the same time.

I had so much fun on this trip!  I definitely want to go back to Austin one day.  I drank more than I normally drink over several months, but I don’t regret anything.  I can’t wait to see John and A.J. again, whenever that might be. I enjoyed getting to know A.J. on this trip.  He’s a great guy.  I wish I could hang out with all of my distant friends more often, but I’m grateful for the time I do get to spend with them.  Until next time…

Tori Amos

Sunday, August 10th, 2014 No comments

Time to catch up on blogging.

Back on July 18, I went to see Tori Amos perform and the Oregon Zoo. I was a fan of her hit songs back in the 90s when she first became famous. It wasn’t until I met my good friend John that I became a big fan of hers. I haven’t heard much of her more recent stuff, but I was still excited when I heard that she was coming to Portland.

I knew that the zoo has a summer concert series, but I had never been to see a show there before. It was cool. Not too far from the left of the stage you could see elephants roaming around. I wonder what they must have been thinking while the concert was going on. Tori had an opening act. It was a man and woman, each with a guitar. I’m not an expert on British accents, but they sounded like they were Scottish or Irish. After they left, Tori took the stage. She was wonderful. She didn’t have a band. It was just her and a piano and/or a keyboard. I recognized a lot of songs, even if I couldn’t remember the names or lyrics. Some of the songs I know by heart. I had a little bit of a moment during “Little Earthquakes”. I’m not ashamed to admit that. At one point she stopped playing to tell the security guys to allow some girls to keep dancing down front. Very cool.

All in a all, it was a great show. Not the kind of concert I’m used to going to. If I get a chance to see her again, I’m sure I will.

Nostalgia Kicks In

Saturday, May 10th, 2014 No comments

I know I’ve mentioned my good friend John on here before.  We’re both big music fans.  When we first started hanging out back in Starkville, MS, we spent a lot of time introducing each other to new music, mostly songs by Tori Amos and Pearl Jam.  He’s a big Tori Amos fan.  I had heard some of her big hits, but he introduced me to many more of her songs.  I’m a big Pearl Jam fan.  He had heard some of their big hits, but I introduced him to many more of their songs.  I made copies of many of my Pearl Jam albums for him and he did the same for me with his Tori Amos albums.

John has hundreds of CDs.  A lot of time he had to shuffle through his many CD cases to find a particular song that he was looking for.  If we were going somewhere together, sometimes it would take a long time to leave because he had to find the right song to listen to.  I suggested that he  get mp3 player.  He got the idea, but never got around to buying one.  At one point I was researching a Zune (yes, a Zune) for myself even though I didn’t have nearly as many CDs as him.

We became roommates after a while.  When he got a job out of town and had to move away, I got him an iPod as a going away present.  I didn’t get myself an iPod until later that year.  John had to leave pretty quickly, so he didn’t move all of his stuff out of our apartment immediately.  I spent the next few weeks ripping all of his music to his iPod.  I even put a lot of Pearl Jam songs on there.

This is around the time of the year that he started that job 6 years ago.  He  tells me that he still uses his iPod every day at work. Every once in a while I’ll get a text or email with a lyric from a Pearl Jam song that he’s discovered or gotten into lately.  Today he sent me lyrics from a song called “Wishlist” and I immediately starting getting nostalgic.

Man, why are most of my close friends so far away?

Pearl Jam, Portland 2013

Saturday, November 30th, 2013 3 comments

I had such a great time at the Pearl Jam concert I went to last night. Pearl Jam is my favorite band ever, for those that don’t know. Instead of Black Friday, I celebrated Pearl Jam Friday! I saw them 4 weeks after I last saw them at Voodoo Fest.

I woke up around 7am and I saw online that there were about 14 people in line for general admission seating as of 6am. I didn’t have time for that. I had a few things to do early in the day. I went to go pick up my tickets at 2:30 when the fan club’s will call windows opened. Each show (not counting Voodoo Fest) had a general admission “pit” area on the floor right in front of the stage for fan club members. Behind the pit was a seated section for fan club members. I requested tickets in the pit. I’ve been a member of the Pearl Jam fan club since 1998. That gives me a great priority because my membership number is fairly low. If people let their membership expire, they start over and get a new, higher number. Back when I saw them in 2000 and 2003, I got 4th and 2nd row seats. I’m sure that my priority and the fact that a lot of people probably chose to get Seattle (Pearl Jam’s home base) tickets instead of Portland helped me get the GA floor seats that I wanted. You have to buy fan club tickets in pairs. I found someone in a Facebook group I’m in to buy my other ticket. She and a friend were coming from Italy to attend a few shows on the tour. I can’t remember if she said it was her first time in the U.S. or just her first time in Portland.

The will call line was really short. After that I tackled the LONG merchandise line. Merchandise is very popular on Pearl Jam tours. They have unique stickers, t-shirts, and posters for each stop on the tour. Fans trade with each other or sell it online. It took my about an hour to get through the line. I picked up a poster, a t-shirt, and 2 stickers. I’m usually not into this type of stuff, but for Pearl Jam I’ll make an exception. After that I went to put my merchandise in my car and warm up using the heater a little bit. I parked in the garage next to the arena.
tickets and wrist bands

After about 45 minutes in my car, I went to wait in the GA line. The sooner you got there, the better. I didn’t’t have a bad spot, but I definitely wasn’t going to be right up against the rail. I met some pretty cool people in line. There was a father who was there with his teenage son. After about 2 hours there, we finally got to go inside. Everyone rushed so they could get a good spot. My spot was 4 people deep, slightly to the right of the center of the stage. Nice!

About an hour and a half later the opening act, Mudhoney, came on stage at 7:30. I don’t know much about them, but apparently they were a precursor to grunge and they greatly influenced Pearl Jam. They played for only 30 minutes. Thank goodness! I was tired of waiting. Then at 8:30, Pearl Jam took the stage.

Oh my goodness! This was an amazing show! It’s not just my opinion. The crowd was really into it. I later saw posts online from people show saw the setlist (it changes every night) and thought it was exceptional. There was a 60ish pot-smoking lady who was there with her daughters. I danced with her and one of her daughters some. Pearl Jam played a few songs from the new ablum, which I’m not as familiar with as I am the older stuff. Most of the show was older stuff that I could sing along to pretty much word for word. They played “You Are”, which they haven’t played in years. I was also surprised to hear “Sometimes”, “Rats”, “Deep”, and “Mother”. They didn’t play one of my favorites “Do the Evolution” like they did in New Orleans, but they more than made up for it with one of my favorites from the same album, “Low Light”. And they played many of the hits like “Alive”, “Even Flow”, “Black”, “Porch”, and “Rearviewmirror”. They were really into it and had lots of energy. At one point they mentioned that this was the best crowd they’ve had in Portland since ‘92 or ’93. The building was packed. There were a few times when I’m pretty sure Eddie was looking right at me while he was singing. I tried not to look away out of nervousness. I don’t usually get nervous around celebrities. Also, there was once were he spoke from the stage to a couple immediately to my left and a guy immediately behind me and to my right. They made a couple of mistakes during the show, but they laughed it off instead of getting upset about it. During the last song, “Rockin in the Free World”, a bunch of people came on stage to play with them, including Sleater-Kinney and Peter Buck from R.E.M.
Eddie Vedder

They left the stage for the last time right at 11:30. They played for 3 hours!!! 3 HOURS!!! After all the standing, jumping up and down, and dancing, it was hard for me to move my legs to leave the building. I could barely move for the last few songs. I ripped part of my thumbnail off during the show somehow. I have no idea how it happened.

My only complaints I had about the night were because of the pit. The couple that Eddie spoke to was rude to people and didn’t’t care that they were being rude because it was the husband’s birthday. And you had the people who would try to push their way up closer. There were times when it was so cramped that I couldn’t really move. I didn’t mind that we were bumping into each other a lot, but it wouldn’t have been nice I could’ve moved my arms more. I had to be a dick and shove some people back who tried to get in front of me. They should’ve gotten there earlier if they wanted better seats. The couple who was being rude earlier actually stopped some people from sneaking in front of me, so in my head I forgave them a little. Every time I would start getting upset, Pearl Jam would play a song I really liked or Eddie would say something cool and I would start to feel good again.

So, yeah, I had a great time at the show. Right now I believe it’s my #1 concert ever. I’m excited to buy the official bootleg in a few months! I’ll make every effort to be there the next time Pearl Jam is in Portland. My favorite part of the night was one of the many times Eddie came down front to interact with the crowd. This time he came into the crowd a little right next to where I was. There were only about 3 people between me and him. If I hadn’t hesitated and moved forward when others did, I could have been one of the people that got a fist bump. I waved at him and he either waved back at me or to the guy standing near me. Look at the pic below and see how close I was to one of my idols.
Eddie Vedder closeup

15. AFTER HOURS (Lou Reed)
17. RATS

27. WHY GO

34. ROCKIN IN THE FREE WORLD (with Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and all of Sleater-Kinney)