Blogo De Wilson

The incoherent ramblings of an insominiac.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

new bed, dachshunds, late night visits

Friday night I was on call, so it was destined to be low profile. Dinner with Andy and Rami at Maudie's. Steanso stopped by after viewing Thank You For Smoking. We came back to casa de wilson for drinks on the grass couch. In what will no doubt go down as one of the top 5 moments in 2006, Steanso dubbed Andy and Rami "The Whisquitos" (Whiskitos?) for their propensity of sucking down all of your whiskey. It's true. They do love your whiskey. Andy and Rami left shortly thereafter, either because there was no more whiskey or in order to prepare for a pre-wedding shopping excursion - you decide. Pea went to bed ealy. Steanso and I tried to stay up for the approaching storm, but gave up around 1:00. The storm hit hard around 2:30. I was still up, so I ventured out onto the porch to watch for hail and listen to the frogs. I got called down to the jail around 3:30, and was stood up. awesome. Headed home around 4:30, dogs woke me up around daybreak, and I stumbled out of bed around 7:30.

Saturday's plan was to build a new flowerbed in the backyard. I had previously enlisted my dad - Don "Viejo" Wilson to help me build the bed. He arrived around 10, and we got started. First order was to clean out the pond filter. Then we broke for lunch. After lunch at Dan's (where I saw my Civil Procedure professor, and one of the few professors I liked from law school, Patrick Wooley). Don pulled the old plants out of the bed. We dug a trench for the stone border, then i laid the first row of rocks down. Thankfully, we ran out of mortar half-way through the second layer, so we quit around 4:00. Eddie Kaye stopped by to say hello. We had a few celebratory beers, and sought approval from the straw boss (pictured to the right.)

flower bed before construction

Viejo takes a break

phase two

The Pea and The Iguana spent the day in Buda at the Dachshund races. They came back around 4:00. We all enjoyed a nice dinner of seared meat, brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. The folks left, and Steanso, Pea and I enjoyed the outdoors, the sound of the frogs and the unseasonably cool weather. We decided it was a nice night to hang outside, so we called our usual late night suspects - Andy/Rami (at a wedding), Team Bloom (girls night/New York), Ellie (in pj's, reading.) Eventually we wandered back inside. Upon checking the mail Pea discovered the new Pearl Jam disc had arrived. No one in the universe loves Eddie Vedder more than Pea. No one. So we listened to Pearl Jam. Then we listened to the Violent Femmes. Surprisingly, the album is almost 25 years old. 25. wow. Steanso ventured home, Pea and I fell asleep on the couch rocking to Eddie V and co. Phone rang. 12:40. Andy and Rami on the way. They arrived, had a beer, Andy promised to make us breakfast Sunday morning - three pieces of fish, fried baco, eggs over easy. He stole the fry daddy and ran home. In bed by 3.


The Pea just caught me cleaning the bathroom sink. Told me to stop and go to bed. A side effect of being ocd and being an insomniac is that oftentimes, things get cleaned (and sometimes extraordinarily so) at oddhours. After a unfortunate laundry accident a few years back, bleach has been banned from the Wilson household.

I'm sorry, Mandy's shorts.

I miss you bleach, I still love you. Please come back. I can change. I promise.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

its been long

it has been a long couple of days for old CrackBass. 2 hours of sleep on Thurday night. about an hour and a half last night. Went to bed around 5:30 (storm, jail), dogs started barking at resident possum at 6:00, out of bed at 7:30. My dad came by to help with pond filter, and to build a new flower bed. We had steanso for dinner with don and jajuan. Drinks after. I called Ellie and treid to convince ger to come play with us. no go. New Pearl Jam cd came in the mail. mandy and i listened to it. Steanso wanted Violent Femmes. Steanso went home. More Pearl Jam. Andy and Rami are now coming over after a wedding far far away. Ahhh, sleep denied once again. I need to swim or be in water soon. bathtub not cutting it. Mas tomorrow. good night kiddos. CrackBass loves you.

Friday, April 28, 2006



how about this for a weird look into the past. Apparently I took my first swipe at a blog almost a year ago. here is what remains of it. A lot has changed in a year. Andy and Rami are officially a couple. New Orelans flooded. Steanso left a job and got a new one. I have a job. Eddie and Leigh do have a house, and are now married. Wilson Meyer PC never got out of its formative stages.

Lets hope that my current blog will last longer, and will be surrounded by good luk, instead of the bad that surrounded the first attempt.

It's Friday, I'm in love

Friday couldn't get here any sooner. Despite the fact that I was out on Monday, this has been a long week. Last night I was on call. The phone only rang once, around 12:45, but i really never went back to sleep until about 5:00 this morning, so I feel like im in a bit of a haze...I'm on call again tonight.

That aside, we had another crack practice- trio style - Andy, Steanso and yours truly, last night. Andy chided me for my amnesia on a song that he said I had been playing forever, that it took me all night to remember. We fumbled around wih Walking On The Moon. Andy rapped about dark alleys, and garbage bins, and throwing up in a car.

The dropsy fish is recovering nicely.

We had neighbors Kate and Judy over for dinner last night. Well, Judy ate dinner. Kate is doing the master cleanser (lemon juice, cayenne, maple syrup.) I personally am all for the master cleanser/juice fasts, etc. Sometimes you just need to give the old guts a flushing. Mandy disagrees. anyone? Dr. P?

On a heavier note...

Looks like the girl in the Duke Lacrosse rape case has made rape allegations before. No charges were filed in that case, though three men were accused. Her dad can't remember any details. Nor can any of the cops. The story barely makes sense in the newspaper article...
Asked Thursday if she was sexually assaulted, her father said, "I can't remember." In an interview with the News & Observer of Raleigh, posted Thursday night on the newspaper's Web site, he said the men "didn't do anything to her."
If the woman was assaulted at all, I certainly hope that justice is served. However, it looks more and more like she is lying (at least about who it was). I obviously don't know all the facts, but here is how I see it (based totally on what I've read in the media): There was evidence after a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse's Exam) that she had been sexually assaulted. However, there was no DNA evidence linking any of the Duke players to the assault (to me, this means that the DNA found on the victim was not DNA from one of the players - so, if she was raped, and it looks like she was, it was by someone not at the party - it happened either before or after she was there). Pictures that are time stamped supposedly show the victim arriving at the party all bruised and intoxicated. Despite this lack of evidence, the DA filed charges on two players (and a third player to be named soon). These two kids were arrested and bond was set at $400,000 each. That's high. Ridiculously high. As an example, bond in Travis County on a manslaughter charge, or repeat offender sexual assault of a child would be set around $100,000. These two kids have spent $40,000 just to get out of jail. They will probably spend another $10,000-$50,000 to defend the case. Most likely they will go through a trial. A public trial.

I think the DA indicted these kids to avoid rioting. Based on what I've read, Durham is very segregated between the rich white students and poor minority residents. There is lots of tension. The press prior to the indictment raised these tensions. The DA had promised indictments prior to the DNA evidence. He felt trapped and had to indict - (in all fairness, it ws a grand jury that indicted, based on evidence presented by the DA, and we don't know what that evidence was).

However, I think this case will do so much more harm than good. I imagine that the defense attorneys will attack the victim. They will bring up her past rape allegations. Tehy will bring up her past criminal history. They will hammer on the lack of DNA evidence. They will hammer on the pictures of her showing up. I don't believe the kids charged are the ones who attacked this lady. And I think the ugly trial that is going to ensue will convince so many more women who are actually attacked not to press charges. I think it will reinforce the fallacy that lots of people believe - that rape allegations are often unfounded and are about money grabbing. This is untrue is most cases. But high profile ones like this, where that is seemingly the case, help thse people justify their beliefs. Having known people who were sexaully assaulted and who were afarid to press charges, this infuriates me. This is the reason they were scared. They thought if they went to the cops, and to a trial, they would be humiliated. And they shouldn't have been. But high profile cases like this make them scared. The DA in this case has really botched the job (again, assuming the story in the press is the only story). Maybe I'm wrong and there is more to the story and he is just playing his cards close.

In the end, I think victims of assault will suffer from this case more than anyone else. And that sucks.

Enough rant. Have a great weekend. Pea and I are meeting The Elf and Andy for dinner. Steanso is wasting his money and time on Thank You For Smoking.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

How do you lean?

Unsure about how to label yourself (politically, that is)?

Take this quiz.

It's quick, easy and fun. (like your mom)

Big Johnson

Happy (belated) Birthday to Greg "Big" Johnson.

Congrats on another successful trip around the sun. Greg currently works in Houston for KHOU. He makes sure their website is both informative and sexy. Mostly sexy.

(here we see Greg in formal work attire)

I met Big Johnson at Baylor in 1993. He lived in my complex in 1996. When I first moved to Austin, Big Johnson came up for a weekend, and took me to a party to introduce me to some friends he had in Austin that had transferred from Baylor. One of those people happened to be the Pea. Others included Camille Killian , Andrew Sensat, and numerous other Beaumonters. Without Big Johnson, The Pea and I would never have met, or eventually blurred the lines between friendship and lovers while in a Las Vegas elevator. And I probably would never left my oh so lovely apartment on Pleasant Valley that entire summer. (I wasn't really meeting the kind of people I wanted to hang out with at work - I was serving time at the loacl mall, advising shoppers on which Abercrombie and Fitch Flannel shirt would look best with their A&F torn jeans.) So, kudos to you Gregory.

(Greg and some drunken hooligan at 2003 ACL Fest)

Greg is a big music fan, and has joined us for two of the last three ACL festivals (damn you Rita). He is somehow involved in a club down in Houston, so if you're in town and at the Warehouse, be sure and name drop. He has also attended most Festivus throwdowns. He saw Guided By Voice's last show for New Year's Eve last year. He can lift in excess of 200 pounds over his head. He has six toes on his left foot.

We haven't seen Greg in quite some time and we all miss him. He will be here for ACL Festival. Hopefully sooner. He are trying to get him to move to Austin. If any of you need a gorgeous, (mostly) disease-free, music loving, web designer, let him know. Happy Birthday Greg.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Austin screws me again

and not in a good way. I received my property tax evaluation in the mail yesterday. Austin, the county of Travis, and, in my mind, Will Wynn, have decided that the value of the land my house sits on has more than doubled in the last year. DOUBLED! Since I have a homestead exemption, the assessed value of my home is capped at a 10% increse per year. However, the actualy assessed value is up almost 20%. Maybe the city forgot that I HAD A WHOREHOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME FOR 6 MONTHS LAST YEAR. and not even a good whorehouse. See Steanso's blog's comments section for a tour of the whorehouse. Or that now that the whorehouse has been shut down, it is an unlicensed old folks' home. Run, and I couldn't make this up, folks, by the guy who was running the whorehouse. So yeah, I can see why my taxes would go up.

My property taxes are around $350 per month. That may seem low to some of you. It's a nice car payment. It's $30 a day. That's a movie and dinner. Or a movie and a crappy dinner for two. Every day. That means, even once my house is totally paid for, I will be paying $400 a month to the city just to stay in my house. I will be renting the house from the city for the rest of my life. kickass.

Now, I wouldn't be so upset if this money were going to parks, or to a good school system, or even to some decent public transportation. But, last time I checked, schools in Texas sucked, Will Wynn is giving out tax breaks to every jackass big box builder that wants to throw down some concrete and plow down trees, and you can't get anywhere in this town without a car.

I am, by most definitions, new to this town. I moved here in 1997. I immediately knew I would stay here. I have lived in Abilene, Lubbock, Houston, Huntsville, DFW, Cleburne and Waco. Austin felt good. I could still leave Friday Fizz at lawschool on 26th at 4:50, and be home on Oltorf by the time Jeopardy started at 5:00. SouthPark Meadows was a music venue, not a Circuit City. There were trees around The Backyard, not a Lowe's. . There were only two walmarts. Not within 5 miles of each other, but in the whole city. There weren't two Lowes and three Home Depots within 10 miles of my house. North Austin was different than south austin. All that has changed. New Austin is here, or at least coming. The tech bust in 2000-2001 sent a lot of the jackasses back to LA, but Will W. just keeps trying to get them back. (I do not harbour any ill will to those of you who work for the high tech companies, so long as you don't drive a hummer and want more convenience over green space. I do appreciate that IBM/AMD/Motorola employ most of my friends, and 3/5 of the Mono Ensemble.) And I feel like I'm paying for that with my property taxes. And I'm pissed. ARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Protest your proerty values, kids (if you don't know how, talk to John Lastovica. If you don't know Lastovica, pray for guidance.). You have until May 31. Damn the man. And vote for Leslie. Anyone but that Republican in Democrat's clothing.

sorry. i'm calmer now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Farewell and adieu... JackBart and Sigmund.

Sigmund leaves us tomorrow to head to the big city to cover the NFL draft. Sigmund, once an aspiring young Syracusian Orangeman with sports broadcasting dreams is back on path to be just that. Personally, I believe it was that endzone interception in 1997 flag football league that both took him off and got him back on the path. Sigmund is the newest writer to Football Guys dot com, your best source for all news football related.

JackBart, an aspiring screenwriter/director hails from Cleburne, Texas, and is a product of UT's fine Radio/TV/Film department. JackBart also leaves Travis County tomorrow to head for the cooler climes of Ruidoso, NM. He will be working on his directorial debut, a sequel, Grizzly Man 2: The Revenge.

Wish them well, and a speedy return.

CrackBass falls in love! The End of the world is near!

CrackBass falls in love!
I was out sick yesterday, as you may know. Upon returning to work this morning, I found a package. Manilla envelope. Handwritten label. Obviously containing CD's. Awesome! My package from Cobra Kai Dojo (aka The Pope) had arrived. I tore it open with surgeon like precision. Held my breath...and gently poured the contents onto my desk. 4 new CD's (in jewel cases, no less). Painstakingly labeled (on both CD and cover) by The Pope - Editors, Andrew Bird, Pulp, The Black Angels. The experience was great in and of itself, but even better as it reminded me of old times - getting Phish tapes (and later, cd's) in the mail. Or shipping them out. Seeing the covers for the first time. Would they be handwritten or typed? or totally blank? In the case of CD's - would they come in a jewel case? plastic slipcover? paper envelope? All part of the excitement of receiving the music. I have, in turn, sent a package to The Pope. Now I look forward to digesting my new music.
Despite the fact the The Pope described My Morning Jacket as "stoner jam band" music, and would therefore not have ever liked phish, Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The End of the World is near!

Well, I guess it must be coming. How else to explain the following: today, Sigmund M. Bloom (pictured here) announced he is joining the world of brain cancer subscribers, and has purchased a cell phone. Welcome to the 1990's Bloom. (phone number available upon request)

77 %

That is my estimation of my recovery. I haven't thrown up since yesterday morning. (Well, i threw up a little this morning, but i caught most of it in my mouth, and it was mostly just a gag reflex from the toothbrush, so that doesn't count.) In what is the best indicator that I was fighting something off, I slept from 1:40 yesterday afternoon until 5:45, then was in bed again around 11:15. Skept through the night. In all fairness, I did take a benedryl and a hot mentholatum bath, but still...

And, I skipped Friday the 13th in 3-D playing at the Alamo Drafthouse last night. Here's hoping it was just a stomach virus, and nothing else. (I do have a cough and itchy ears this morning, but maybe they're from too much sleep.)

PS - thanks for the postive thoughts Bloom , JLO, and works too much. Thanks for the threats Steanso. Kinda

Monday, April 24, 2006

sick day report

Well, despite my best efforts, I am home sick today. I made a valiant effort to go to work, but I never got any further than socks and my dress shirt. I doubt there are many funnier images than me running to the vomitorium, with dress socks pulled up old man style, dress shirt flapping as I ran to purge myself of whatever alien symbiote has taken up residence.

As recently as last year, I would welcome a sick day. But, I'm afraid the ethics of our forefathers (or, at least my father) are taking hold. That and I happen to work in a small office, and it happens to be a place I love working. Now I just feel guilty for missing work. The only thing keeping me home (besides the love of the cold cold porcelain) is the fear of spreading the alien byrum.

As my insomnia may relate, I do not rest very well. Often a sick day involves me cleaning house, straightening the war zone that I call an office, doing dishes, etc. Not today. I have left the couch on very few occasions. I am watching, between naps, Crimes and Misdemeanors. I really am enjoying it, it is (so far) very like Match Point, which I liked a lot last year at the theatres. Woody Allen really has some issues with marriage and affairs.

I also had a disturbing dream this morning. I rarely sleep on my back, but the couch invites that position best. I drifted off, face up, only to have a dream about jumping into the Mississippi River off of some balcony (and I have no idea why I was doing this.) As I jumped in, I remembered that this was the way Jeff Buckely died. As I went under the surface, I realized why. The Mississippi River of my dreams was very deep and had lots of cross currents. I was under for what seemed like forever. I woke up as, or immediately after, I broke the surface. I sat straight up, with a large gasp for air. I know they say drowning is a calm way to die, but if it is anything like my dream, i have to disagree.

The oatmeal I had for breakfast is staying down. Time to try some dry toast.

aliens have invaded earth...

...and have started their home base in my stomach. Aftre doing pretty much nothing Sunday, I made dinner and decided to watch some TV and go to be early, so as to be refreshed and ready to face a new week. Dinner was sauteed spinach and mushrooms, mozarella, tomato and basil salad, and some left over garlic/spinach/italian sausage pasta from Thursday night at macaroni grill.

Around 8:30, the grumbling began. Loud enough for Mandy to hear it from across the room. Since then, it has gone poorly. Very poorly. I went to bed around 10:45, only to be woken up at least once every thirty minutes by the need to run to the bathroomand vomit violently. This stopped around 12:30, and changed from every half hour to once an hour. 1:30, 2:30, 4:00, 5:30.

As i sit here, shivering, I start to wonder if I got sick from:

a) the carrot juice I had Sunday afternoon,
b) the leftovers, or
c) from Ellie Gamble (who got it from Chris Sanders).

I bet it is c). I am looking to sue both Ellie and Chris. Any hungry attorneys out there wanna represent me on a contingent fee basis?

I will make a brief appearance at work, reset my cases, and head back home to sleep and repeat the Jesus Prayer until all is well.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

weekend update

Friday night was relatively uneventful. The week was long, and Friday was greatly apperciated. We grabbed Steanso and headed out in search of adventure. And by adventure, I mean a restaurant that we haven't been to. Settled on the Red Bud Grill in Westlake. Mandy loved the cabin/lodge decor. I was doubtful, but hopeful. The menu looked promising: salads, numerous hamburgers, sea foods, chicken. My medium rare burger was more like medium well, Pea's crab cake had crab shells left in it, and Steanso's food was no better than ours. See what we get for trying something new?

The Pea came home and went straigh to bed, I went to Steanso's for a few drinks - checked on the dropsied fish, and came home. Everyone was getting plenty of sleep in order to be ready for the Safeplace walk and pre breakfast, planned by Travis County's own Channing Neary. My walk preparing sleep was interrupted at 3:30 in the am by a jail call. I got up at 6:30, headed down to the jail, and headed home just in time to stop by Taco Xpress to meet the Safeplacers. As I was pulling up (30 minutes late), I saw Kelsey and Channing also approaching. They had stranded Steanso with the founder of the women's movement in Texas. A taco later, Channing revealed that, no, she had no idea the walk didn't actually start until 12:30. ooops. Steanso and Kelsey dropped out. Steanso and I headed to the store, stocked up on beer and hot dogs, and headed for Krause Springs (35 miles away in Spicewood).

Ellie Gamble braved a stomach virus and headed out with us. (due to her illness she would have no beers. Due to her silly beliefs in vegetable sacrifice, she would have no hot dogs.) Team Bloom met us at the Springs.

Here we see Steanso flashing gang signs and sporting his official headband.

Here is the team (minus picture taker The Pea, all smiles and sunny.

Here are numerous girls running to worship at the feet of their god, The Great Steanso.

For more photos of the Springs (and oddly enough, of me) visit Steanso's page.

Sundrenched, happy,and full of mexican beers or Lone Stars, we headed home. (I drank just enough Tecates to make me brave the rope swing, but not the cliff dive - I did not drive home.) Team Bloom continued to party at their house, or perhaps at Crown and Anchor, but The Wilson/Steanso contingent went to eat at Cherry Creek Catfish (I had the chicken fried steak, the only meal suited for post tubings). We went our separate ways, and went to bed. (I did stay up late enough to watch Natalie Portman's gangsta rap on SNL)

Sunday - I did little or nothing. Pea made us all a breakfast caserole. I catalogued my comic collection for appraisal on the net, and watched DVR'd Sopranos.

Next week is here. damn, weekends are too short. I need three day weekends at least once a month.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Amber Alert update

For those of you who care (and that should be both of you), Brent Doty is back from the dead. He's been buried deep and digging like hell to get back to the surface, but he is well on the way. He is working up north "with The Organic hippie that has the gardening show on KRLU at 10 am sundays Sheryl McGluaghlin...Look for me on HGTV May 25 @ 8 pm, we lost landscapers challange."

Expect Doty to emerge from his hobbit hole and back into society within the month. We look forward to seeing you, Brent. I'd like to ask in advance for your paticipation in a game of Sink the Ship on cinco de mayo.

ps - Sink the Ship is a drinking game Doty brought to Cleburne Texas on cinco de mayo, 1991. It is nothing of a sexual nature, I assure you.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Allmans and Pops

Tonite was Crack practice, trio style. Bloom arrived around 7, Pea was back from a cancelled WTNa meeting that was cancelled, Steanso took us all out for a birthday meal at Macaroni Grill. Back home the trombone broke, was fixed, and Crack jammed/pushed through 3 songs, each 10 minutes or so. Afterwards, a little discussion about Bloom's first fight, and a listening of the Mono Ensemble's new disc. Good, kids, check it out at Waterloo later this summer...

I came home, checked on the Pea (in bed), checked on the pond (clean), and set to turn off lights, fans, tv's. etc., through the house. Turned off lights on porch, fan in kitchen, and was about to shut off the TV in the den, when I saw that Pea had left the cable on to CMT (or Beaumont CNN), and an allman bros special. Well, it's been a long week, it's almost over, Pea's asleep, why not watch a little southern rockumentary. Grabbed a Pacifico (cause the other beer in the fridge was too strong for 11:30 on a school night - damn, im old) and sat down for Allman Bros doc.

Now, I like to think I have a pretty diverse taste in music. I love at least an album or two in most genres. I thank my dad for that. One of my first memories is of listening to my dad's records, sitting in front his player, most often sticking my gi joe figures on the records, watching them chase, but never catch, each other. I guess a lot of those records he played (Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, Doors, Dolly Parton, Jimmy Buffet, Beatles, early Marvin, Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel, 2001, Tchaikofsky, Ravel, etc...) must have sunk in, cause I love it all now.

Since that time, i have become a bit of a music snob and addict. Jazz and indie rock have made me turn my nose up at top 40 (though most of it deserves it). And I tend to give my dad crap about all his top 40 cd's he feels obligated to track down and buy for one song. Bubblegum pop, I call it. He likes the early Beatles, I don't listen to anything before they got in to Eastern religion and drugs. (but, i did first hear I am the Eggman on his records.) He like pre What's Going on marvin. He like 62 James Brown. I like it funky, sexy, Shuggie. But, every now and again he surprises me.

Allmans show turned out to be a southern rock show. Allmans are one of the Pea's favorites, (as well as the late Brad Curl 's), and a band my Pops listened to. But, when the CMT show segued (pronounced by some as segway) from ABB to southern rock, The Marshall Tucker Band became the focusof the show. What? they were cool? they were trippy as the allmans? And here it is I've been making fun of my dad for listening to Marshall Tucker. damn, he is hipper than i knew.

As a shameful aside, once, in 1988, in 7th grade, on a church trip, I bought a tape of Marc Almond (formerly of soft cell). When i got home, I told my dad about my new tape (at that time, my parents had to approve my music), and he hoped it was an Allman Brother. man, i bet we both wish it had been. "The stars we are" indeed...


Last night, The Pea had a visitor, one Susan Philp Ormand. Susan is a fellow Beaumonter, and the proud parent of two fine children, ages one and three. Their names escape me. Russell i think is the youger one. Susan and The Pea drank all of my Sol cervezas (in all fairness, there were only 3) and sent me to the store for more supplies. Jajuan had sent dinner over, meatloaf, 4 cheese macaroni, and asparagus. It was delicious. Mad shout outs to Jajuan. and to Don "The Dragon" for delivering the meal.

Susan was witness to one of my manic outbreaks, I am sad to say. I will preface this conversation by saying that just a few weeks ago, Ellie G., Steanso, the Pea and I all had a converstaion wherein I asserted that dropsy was a disease. A disease that affected humans. Ellie and Pea disagreed.

We have a pond in the backyard. Here is our eplileptic dachshund Lucy, scoping out the pond (Based on information from the Feds, I suspect she may be a sleeper terrorist, and is actually thinking about how to poison the fish or blow up the pond.) Photo by Greg "Big" Johnson.

Mandy was showing the pond to Susan, when she discovered one of the goldfish did not look well. It has been extraordinarily hot, and the the recent rain has made the water cloudy and subject to an algae bloom. I frantically removed the sick fish, put Mandy and Susan on fishdisease detail, and went running about the house, calling Steanso (our unofficial expert on all things Discovery Channel or pet-related), and attempting to perform a 10% water change in the pond.

The fish in happier times

I eventually calmed down, the sick fish was quarantined in Steanso's 3 gallon aquarium (thanks Steanso). Mandy and Susan discovered the fish has...

wait for it....
you guessed it...

Dropsy is a fungus, affecting fish

(It is also a disease affecting humans. So IN YOUR FACE! Ellie and Mandy)

I am going to purchase some tetracycline at lunch to treat the fish. Although the vet did say it was damn near uncureable. Hope she is wrong.

In other news, I listened to a new album last night, and ended up listening to it three times. It really has its hooks into me. The Mountain Goats: Sunset Tree. Incredibly heartfelt, depressing, uplifting, all to an upbeat guitar. The first track, "You or Your Memory" with a chorus of "St. Joseph's baby aspirin, Bartyles and James..." reminds me of another great ode to suicide and a bottle of asprin, The Femmes's "Kiss Off." I also highly recommend track 5, "Dance Music." Thanks to Special Friend Gary Meyer for the recommendation.

Time for lunch, and a trip to the fish store with Steanso and the better looking half of Team Bloom.

Crack practice tonite, but just a power trio. AF Sensat and GRM are unavailable. Should be interesting. When just the three of us practice, it tends to be a little jazzier and quieter than other times. It is always fun.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Black Crowes, Mantra, Marijuana

After Monday nights Robinson Brothers show at the Ballroom, they were scheduled to play the Cactus Cafe last night. The Cactus holds 156 people, so it was a significantly smaller show. However, i had no tickets. I searched Craigslist, but cheapest ones were $150. Sigmund determined he was too tired for band practice or for the show, but did run down to the cactus to see if anyone was selling tickets - no. JackBart also went down to the catus, but to no avail...

Now, a few years ago I would have done everything in my power to go to these shows. Not dropped the $150, but gone down to the Cactus, staked out scalpers for both shows, waited outside from 6:00- 10:30. You see, part of my insomnia comes from my stong realization that life is finite, and while I am sleeping, I am missing life. That is also the reason I feel like I need to go do everything I can. This has some good results (lots of traveling, seeing Phish a lot, seeing lots of other concerts, etc..) and some bad ones (spening too much money, never sleeping, driving everyone else crazy). Few years back, the old head shrinker told me that I should just repeat "It's OK to miss things," whenever I start feeling that way. Boy did we argue about that.

"But, it's not OK to miss things"
"and why not?"
"Because, what if the thing I miss is the best (whatever it was I missed) ever?"
"but, I will have missed that..."
"You don't understand"
"What don't I understand?"
"well, times up. bye"

Anyway, she was kind of right. (our time was up). So, now I just repeat "it's Ok to miss things," whenever I think I might be going overboard. (well, that and smash up quaaludes and drink them with whiskey) And you know, I'm still alive. So there's that.

Mantra repeated, I called off my quest for a second helping of the Brothers Robinson, grilled sausages and watched JackBart's DVD of the first few episodes of Battlestar Galactica with JackBart and Steanso. It's good. I liked Firefly better, but I'm only two episodes in.

During BSG, the super hella level 5 storm that was supposed to hit Austin wth hail and rain fizzled out, barely dropping 1/2 inch of rain on us. Again.

In other news, friend, criminal defense attorney and f4Fake-r Charlie Roadman will be putting on a seminar entitled MARIJAUANA LAW FOR MUSICIANS, tomorrow, April 20. Charlie is a good lawyer and a hell of a rocker. If you are a musician, a marijuana user, interested in the law, or know someone who is, check it out.

Public Service Announcement

Just a Friendly PSA from the Desk of Jeff Wilson (aka Your Friendly Neighborhood CrackBass):

The turn lane is NOT to be used as a "chicken lane" or acceleration lane. It is illegal! It is for LEFT turns only.

And to the lady who cut me off (coming from the turn lane) in the white BMW SUV with a segway strapped on the back - I hope your segway explodes (not while you are on it, I don't wish you physical harm. Maybe while on the back of your car, but after you have gone inside to your yoga class.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Brothers Robinson/ The Black Crowes

Last night Chris and Rich Robinson, the oft dueling brothers that have formed the Black Crowes since the late 1980's, played an acoustic show at the Texas Union Ballroom. I first saw the Crowes in 1991, on the Shake Your Money Maker tour. I saw them play the Bronco Bowl in Dallas, which at the time was little more than a bowling alley. I broke up with the first love of my life over her attendance (and presumed pot smoking, and therefore making out with someone besides me) of a Crowes show on the High as the Moon tour in 1993. Saw them open for the Stones at Wembley Stadium in the summer of 1995. I saw them play in Atlanta with a disney-esque Crowe on stage in Atlanta in 1996. I embraced depression to their "coming down" album, Two Snakes and a Charm, while i tried to get out of waco in 1996/1997. I saw them play 6 or 7 times in law school (La Zona Rosa, Ariel Theatre in Houston, some dive in San Antonio)in 1997-1998, during and after the fiasco that was By Your Side. I gave them up when Lions came out. They both went solo. Chris' New Earth Mud no-showed at ACL fetsival in 2004. The Crowes rose from the ashes at last year's ACL performance. The show was a crowd pleaser, full of the hits, but it made me realize how great they once were.

I haven't given them much thought since that show. Team Bloom saw them in Amsterdam and London and loved every minute of it. Then the Brothers announced a four city tour- New York, Austin, San Fran, could I resist?

Met up with Team Bloom for a beer or two at the Crown and Anchor, then headed o the show. JackBart saved us seats, and was accompanied by Wren. The Texas Union Ballroom holds around 1000 people. Wood floors. Pitched barn like wood ceiling. Great acoustics. Chris came out, hair past his shoulders, beard clost to the same. Rich was clean cut. Chris had two acustic guitars and a harmonica, Rich had a couple of acoustics and a Tele.

Setlist was:

Jealous Again
Log Cabin Home In The Sky (incredible string band cover) - Rich had a little false start - Chris gave him a look, then they came in together
Soul Singing (Chris on harmonica)
Good Friday
Forgiven Song
Someday Past The Sunset
Thorn In My Pride (long Rich intro, extended Chris harmonica jam)
Late Nights Again
Darling Of The Underground Press
How Much For Your Wings
This Is The Way (Devandra Banhart cover)
--- Chris yells at the audience for a while ---
Let It Bleed (Stones cover)
She Talks To Angels
- encore -
Boomer's Story (Ry Cooder cover)

I've seen a few hundred concerts, and this one was of the most amazing moments I have ever experienced. There were no cameras recording the show, it is not going to come out on DVD, I doubt it will be released on CD. They can't have made much money, tickets were only $30.00. This was just something they wanted to do, for the love of playing small venues and just playing music. And it showed...It realy was a magical show. If you can go see one of these shows (San Fran and LA left), I highly recommend it.

Dr. Octagon is coming! Dr. Octagon is coming!

YES!!!!!!! I have just read that Dr. Octagon has returned from the dead (or a psych ward), and has a new album coming out. Read more here.

Mix tape update...

I wrote last night's post around 2 am, and boy to i feel like a walking turd today. 4 hours just isn't enough sleep like it was when I was 18, or even 28. But, I felt the need to clarify that my tastes have improved. I only drank the Ruinite one time, and that was because it was the only red wine they stocked at the liquor store in Waco that took my fake ID (I was from Kenner, LA). Now I drink whiskeys and cokes, or nicer red wines, or non domestic beers. And my depression mixes are so much better (and less cheesy and angry) - current downers of choice are: Neutral Milk Hotel, Velvet Underground, Bright Eyes, Radiohead, and Neil Diamond.

It's morning, and I'm headed to court. The Robinson Bros review is coming. Soon.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sometimes it is ok to be sad...

...It helps you balance out. Or, at least that is my take on it. Team Bloom and the Pea were shocked?interested? to hear of my "depression mix tapes" from high school and college. Didn't everyone have these? I made mix tapes for friends, mostly "party tapes" to be played while driving or riding around drunk in some poor freshman's four door coupe, paid for by his dad to make him popular.

While I did make the best mix tapes (similar, but better than those described by Nick Hornby/John Cusack in High Fidelity ), I seldom used those tapes' greatness to bed the beautiful girls I gave the tapes to. I was just too damned clueless, or too impressed with myself.
(ps- note the word "seldom" in the above paragraph, which implies that sometimes I did get laid just based on my bad-ass mix tapes. you can choose to believe this or not. I believe that I did, and still do, get laid based on those tapes.)

At the same time, I made my depression tapes. Mostly Cranberries, Smiths, Dead Milkmen, Dead Kennedys, Simon and Garfunkel, and Pantera. When I was up (and this was non drug related - thank you Baptist upbringing and Nancy Reagan), sometimes I needed to come down. If repeated viewings of Full Metal Jacket didn't work, one of the Jeff Wilson Depression Tapes would help. A good dose of Zombie (and some ealry Pearl Jam) and a bottle of Ruinite would knock me right off my pedestal of unwarranted ectstatic-ness, and bring me back to self loathing. Sometimes it is best to be with the one you know best. And I knew self loathing.

wow. i had no idea i was writing this. this was certainly not my intention. welcome to the world of insomnia. It is not like the hallucinogenic world of ed norton/brad pitt from Fight Club, but it is close. it is a world all its own. dreams and life can be inseperable...

This ramble has gone on long enough. It started as a review of the Chris/Rich Robinson acoustic show at the Texas Union Ballroom, but turned into this. A review and full endorsement of the show will be postd tomorrow. If you can get tix to any of the remaining shows, do so now. Good night, and good luck....

Doty's gone dark/ RIP SouthPark Meadows

David Brent Doty, where have you gone? Today I am lamenting the loss of two old friends. The first is Brent Doty. Brent was a fellow Cleburne High alum. Doty (pronounced dough-tee) was a cool kid in high school, a bit of a suburban rebel. Listened to the Dead, wore birkenstocks, and helped start the CHS Soccer team (bunch of drunks). He was in most of my classes, drove a camaro with bass, and the two of us snuck in to see The Doors with a twelve pack between us. He joined me and a few other Cleburne grads at Baylor. One summer I went to study in England, and surprise!, on my plane to Gatwick was Doty, en route to study in Ghana. This was back in the day when you got free booze on international flights, and between us, we drank all the beer and vodka they had in coach, and paid the flight attendent to steal us the premium vodka from first class. So that was nice.

For a pont of reference, this was me at the time of this trip. I have since calmed down. (I know that this picture doesn't really fit in with this post, and may actually detract from it, but it is the only remotely relevant photo I have, and I am trying to learn to post pics)

Summer after my first year of law school, I looked Doty up and traveled to Temple to spend 4th of July with his family and crew. Sadly, immediately after that, I lost contact with Brent.
Last spring, The Pea and I were shopping for plants at the Great Outdoors, and standing in front of the petunias was none other than Brent Doty. With younger brother and girlfreind in tow. We exchanged hellos and phone numbers, and were back in business. Doty had been working for a landscape company and landscaping golf courses in College Station, but had been transferred to Austin. So, we struck it up again. Doty and the girlfriend (Martha) joined us for bowling, and watching the whorehouse across the street, and landscape planning. Brent quit his job, started a landscape company in San Antonio, quit that job, split with the gf, started a new job, quit two days later due to illegal policies, and has now gone dark. His lease in Austin was up on March 30. I left a few messages, and sent some emails. No replies. I imagine Brent is staying at his folks' house in Temple, drinking Bushmills or daquiris by the pool. We miss you Brent. Come back to Austin. Hope you are well.

The second friend I miss is Southpark Meadows. Southpark Meadows was Austin's large outdoor venue (15,000 capacity?). It was south of town a few miles, just off the Slaughter exit. It was an open field on a slope, a small concrete pad in front of the stage, no covered area, no fixed seats. Parking was in adjacent fields and was free. Having seen concerts at this sized venues in 25-30 states (yes, I was a phish junkie), Southpark was in my top five venues. The Gorge in Washington, Deer Creek in Indiana, Great Woods in Boston, Shoreline in San Francisco (these all have new corporate names now) were the other great venues. Some people complained about the sound quality, but I never found it to be any better or worse than any outdoor venue. What I loved about Southpark was the open-ness of the place. There was no assigned seating, there were only chairs on the rarae occasion. The yard was sloped, so there wasn't really a bad spot to be in. The further back you were, the higher you wer, so as to give a view over people in front of you. But mostly I loved it because it seemed so natural. It was largely unchanged, aside from the stage and small concrete pad and bathrooms. As I mentioned, parking was free (at that time, parking was $8 almost everywhere else). And it was in a field. That made it dusty in the summer, but it beat the hell out of a parking lot. At some point around 1999, House of Blues bought Southpark, and planned on converting it into a cookie cutter amphitheatre. Southpark shut down (except for a Willie's Picnic on July 4), never to reopen. The HOB plan was scrapped, purportedly due to Verizon opening a competing venue 60 MILES AWAY outside of San Antonio. Austin has not had a large outdoor venue since. (The Live Music Capitol of the World certainly seems to hate live music.) Big Acts now skip Austin, or if they are smart, Texas altogether. Lots of bands like Austin, many of them got big starts here at SXSW, or just have good memories from Armadillo World HQ, Liberty Lunch, etc...But if they want to play here, their only option is the suck hole Frank Erwin Center. Whle this news is alomost 7 years old, my anger was rekindled yesterday when i drove past Southpark on my way to pick up Jajuan from Buda. It is now a lovely parking lot filled with such Austin-y places as TGIFridays, whataburger, a cinemark theatre, a Wal-Mart, a Circuit City; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Rooms to Go; Firestone Tires; Ashley Furniture; Hobby Lobby; Office Max; Ross Dress for Less; Johnny Carino's; Chick-fil-A and Wachovia Bank. Awesome, we need more of all of those places. It must be at least 5 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart. And they have the audacity to still call it Southpark Meadows. Bastards!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hot Easter

Well, Easter has come and is almost gone. For the first time in memory (maybe ever) I did not attend church. Which is fine, I guess, as Easter or Christmas are the only times I go anymore. Still, until I was old enough to drive, I was in chirch a minimum of two times a week, and generally more than that. Even after I could drive, it was still every Sunday morning and most Sunday nights. But, five years of Baylor began a trend of less church participation. And, sadly, the current administration and the religious right have done more to push me away from church than anything else. At this point, religion seems so synonymous with judging people and hate that it makes me angry.

Churchlessness aside, Easter was nice. My pops is out of town on a flight, and my mom has been incapcitated as of late from a bout with Bell's Palsey, rendering the right side of her face a bit slack. So she doesn't drive, as her right eye is not working so much. I picked her up this morning, and The Pea and I took her to Eastside Cafe for brunch. We offered to take her to church, but she chose brunch instead. Odd (or at least surprising), I thought, since my parents at one time were so religious. Maybe it is just because they are new to the area and don't have a church they go to yet. Or maybe she is mad at God for the Bell's palsey. Either way, we had a lovely brunch at the Eastside, and I came home and promptly fell into a coma for 2.5 hours. (I had planted some new bushes and a Palmetto on saturday, and it was 92 degrees. I think I was suffering from some heat exhaustion. And the two mimosas at brunch didn't hurt.) The Pea and Jajuan (my mom, aka The Iguana) went to shop, but Easter shuts down stores more than Christmas, so they were unsuccessful. So they came back to the house and talked in the backyard, while I slept and sweated out my demons on the couch, and later, the bed. A P.Terry's lemonade and grilled cheese later, we took Jajuan home. Back to the house for dinner with Steanso.

Now, dinner was to be nachos tonight, as the stores were closed and we had most nacho fixings at the house. It was during the nacho fixing time that I once again realized (and by realized, I mean I was made fun of by Steanso) that I have some OCD tendencies. Not as bad as David Sedaris' stories, or Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, but they pop up once and again. The Pea and Steanso were in agreement that nachos should be made by dumping a mound of chips onto a cookie sheet, then spooning some beans and meat on them, then covering this pile with cheese. This is just foolish to me. Many chips in this fashion get no topping, and others have all beans but no cheese. Or all cheese and no bean. And lets not even talk about the ground meat. This style is fine if you are in a hurry, and it is a Saturday afternoon snack. But this was dinner. My method was to carefully select unbroken chips from the bag, and place them in an orderly fashion on the cookie sheet. Next, each chip lovingly gets a spoon of beans, followed by a spoon of meat. Finally, some cheese is placed on each nacho (not dumped carelessly all over the tray), and the nachos go into the oven. Mandy made her tray, I made mine. Steanso poked fun at me the whole time. And as I was making my nachos, I wondered, "Am I crazy? No. I don't feel the need to lick the lightswitch three times. Well, maybe,I do count my steps and feel the need to touch each finger to my thumb the same number of times. But wait, this is just making nachos, and it is just the most efficient way to do so. Screw them, my nachos will be awesome!"

10 minutes later, nachos came out of the oven. Pea and Steanso grabbed hunks of chips, held togetyher by cheese, and put a spoon of sour cream in the middle. I looked at my orderly nachos, and placed a small dollop of sour cream or guacamole in the center of each nacho, then served myself. While we all received the same food into our bodies, I couldn't help but feeling that my meal was superior. This was confirmed when Steanso asked for some of my nachos. Ha! Validation.

It was 95 degrees here today (record setting). That does not bode well for the summer, or for the hurricane season, or for the ACL Festival. But, my only glimmer of hope there is that the recored we broke today was from 2003. 2003, as you may remember, started out hot, but was a very wet summer. The wettest June in history in almost all Texas counties. And it was the only ACL Fest to not be oppressively hot. So, I'm hoping that happens again. We certainly need the rain - last year we had a 12 inch deficit in annual rainfall. The aquifers are drying up. Steanso suggests we all live in underground dwellings, with luminescent moss light our paths. I'm not ready for that yet, so I'm hoping for rain.

I saw Thank You For Smoking last night with Andy Sensat and Rami Reid (The Elf to some). ehhh. It was ok, and thats about it. Look for a review soon at Nanostalgia.

Thats it. Good night, I hope. That nap may have killed my sleeping possibilites. I hope not.

The first one, again

Well, here is my second attempt at a blog. First time i just got busy and gave up (I also lost a job and get a little depressed and a lot busy, so the first iteration took back burner). But, as much as I look at others' blogs throughout the day, and since the old head shrinker told me writing shit down might help me sleep, here I go again.

I am CrackBass (that is "Bass" as in the bass player in the band Crack, not bass as in the fish, though I do fish for the bass on occasion). I am officially Jeff Wilson, more officially, Jeffrey Neil Wilson. Named after the late great Neil Diamond (thanks mom). Son of Donald Lee Wilson and Jajuan Rister Wilson, of Hawley (town of 600 outside of Abilene, next to Anson.) Live in Austin. Criminal Defense Attorney. Married to Mandy Wilson - formerly Mandy Gonzales of Beaumont, now aka "The Pea" or "Tiny Face."

This is enough to get me started. More to come. I hope.