SOMS Weekend

on Thursday, August 30, 2007

This weekend is one of the few weekends in the year that I look forward to with much anticipation: Sons of Munich! The others are Maibock and Trivia.

Sure, it's just a glorified kegger wrapped in all sorts of pomp & circumstance with a variety show in the middle, but it the best party I've ever been to. Everything about it is magical, from the land to the lake, up the hill at the Schwartzwald and down to the main gate, but it is especially about the people. This party has been happening annually for over 30 years, we call it "post doctoral" partying. Our friend Pete, who had his rookie year last year, said it best when he said, "Every party I've ever been to is a piece of shit compared to this."

The rules are simple: only those who have been attending for four years can bring anyone new (a "rookie") to the party, once you're there you don't leave - all food & drink is provided, if you see someone who needs help, help them, if you see someone who doesn't want help leave them alone, remember to pay your Poobah and most importantly: safety first!

We play music, we dance like fools, we play around in and on the lake and we eat like royalty!

We leave in about 24 hours!! I can't wait!

Jimmy John's Downtown

on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I can't fucking believe it! Downtown St. Cloud -- specifically 5th Ave in downtown St. Cloud -- is getting another fucking sub shop! Jimmy John's is going into the former Meeting Grounds/Waldo's spot between D.B. Searle's and the Radisson.

Now if you want a sub sandwich and you're on 5th Ave you can go to Hemsing's, Milio's, Jimmy John's or Erbert's & Gerbert's, and they're all located within a block and a half of each other. The order goes like this, south to north: Hemsing's, the Electric Fetus, Milio's, Pioneer Place, D.B. Searle's, Jimmy John's, the Radisson, M&H Appliance, Erbert's & Gerbert's.

The reason this merits more than a mere eye-rolling from me is the fact that Jeff & Stacie (my business partner and his wife) looked into taking the former Meeting Grounds/Waldo's space and turning it into a locally-owned vegetarian coffee house/restaurant. The article I read today in BusinessCentral magazine which is sent to me monthly as a part of my membership in the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, said that they finalized the deal with Jimmy John's back in June, which means they were jerking my friends around when they said they were considering their proposal. Add the fact that the space is still sitting empty, whereas Jeff & Stacie had an opening date set for August 1st and my eyes can't roll far enough nor fast enough!

The final straw for me is the fact that both Milio's and Jimmy John's were formed by former Erbert's & Gerbert's partners and they all make EXACTLY THE SAME SANDWICH!

So, way to go Jim Graves, owner of the Radisson building, you passed up a locally-owned and operated, unique restaurant for a fucking cookie-cutter sub sandwich chain. Way to support the small business owner, dude.

Leaving Myspace in Favor of Facebook

on Monday, August 27, 2007

Myspace was fun for a while, but I am moving to Facebook.

With Myspace I was able to connect with some people I hadn't seen in years, but mostly I "friended" people I already knew. Most of the time, however, you run across teens who have no concept of what is and what isn't good design. There is no shortage of web sites that can help you customize your Myspace page, but it seems that most of them allow the user to add animated glitter to the background and change the colors some. Animated glitter should be banned from the internet forever! Personally I used CSS to edit my page and my blog, the design is clean and there isn't an animated GIF anywhere on my page, but the code is u-g-l-y!

Customization is about the only thing that I like about Myspace over Facebook. Facebook uses a proprietary coding language that makes it difficult, but not impossible to customize your page. All I have found so far gives you the ability to customize only parts of your Facebook page, not the overall look. That would be nice. But then that's why I have my own web site, I can change the look daily if I so choose.

Ultimately I got tired of the copious amounts of spam that are part and parcel of the Myspace world. Every day my inbox has friend requests from web cam hotties who want me to subscribe to their little hobby and from bands that suck. (Because I have "jazz" listed as one of my favorite styles of music I get spam from sucky "smooth jazz" players. Smooth jazz is crap.)

I have heard from my PC using friends that if you use Myspace you have to religiously sweep your computer for viruses and spyware. Fortunately as a Mac user I am spared that delightful aspect.

To its credit, Myspace has gotten me in touch with people from my past with whom I would have ordinarily lost contact. But I am making this move very public so if they want to keep in touch they can follow me.

I don't think I'll really miss Myspace.

Long-ass Weddings

on Saturday, August 25, 2007

This is the second time this summer I will have had to play a wedding gig that lasts more than 6 hours. In the past we have maybe had to show up early to set up (you don't want a bunch of road-weary musicians dragging equipment through your wedding reception), but we only played for 3 or 4 hours at the end of the night. The wedding earlier this summer, and the one today, are 9 hours long.

I don't think people realize that playing a musical instrument is a physical activity and that it takes a lot out of the players. Certainly a trumpet player can't play for 9 hours without getting seriously fried by the end of the night. As a guitar player I get pretty shot after about 4 hours. My fingers start to hurt from the knuckle out to the tips and it gets harder and harder to play.

I know I shouldn't complain, as I am being more than adequately compensated, but I don't like these long-ass gigs. And to top it all off I will be in a tuxedo all fucking day. I hate wearing a tuxedo, the jacket and shoes are very uncomfortable, and George (my boss) won't let us shed the jackets later in the evening -- like all the wedding party men do.

At the first long-ass wedding of the year the couple was very nice and it was very relaxed, I only hope the couple today is. We've worked for some very uptight people in the past -- one couple had their wedding itinerary planned out to the minute! If these people are uptight it will make today suck, suck, suck!