Travels Through Carcass Country Part 2

We stepped out of the van into the Albuquerque sun behind the aptly named Sunshine Theater. Instantly, I could feel the carcinogens forming in my skin. This place was dastardly hot. The only place to unload our gear was currently baking in the open sunlight, so we opted to leave loading until we could find shade for our multitude of meltable props. Sean and I headed in an Uber to Home Depot and picked up more crap to fix all our broken hardware. We came, we played, we got paid, we were on our way for a two-day drive to Memphis. Until…

IMG_6151

We were flagged down on the road by a woman pointing at our front left tire. I pulled off to the next rest stop and had a look. The rubber had quite literally been baked off the steel-belt of the tire, likely by the amazing New Mexico heat the day before. We avoided a blow out, but we did’t avoid being flummoxed by the lack of a tire iron in our rented van.

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Logarithmic Fades, Linearly Speaking

I had a very frustrating conversation the other day about a fade out on a song. I thought it sounded too fast. To me, it sounded very linear. I was trying to explain it should be a logarithmic fade out. Sarcastically, I was told I should teach a class on the subject if I flippin’ knew so much. So fuck it, class is in session. When speaking about audio, what does one mean when using the terms “linear” and “logarithmic?”

linear_v_logarithm
Nothing draws readers in like math!

For a linear fade out, a linear equation of the dB decrease could be shown simply as y=e*x+dB, where e is a negative number. That’s a straight line heading downward. When speaking about “logarithms” in audio applications, though, it’s actually describing several things: exponential and logarithmic curves, and their reverse functions. For a “logarithmic” fade out, the function would be y=ex*dB, where e is a number between 0 and 1; that is an exponential function showing decay. For fade ups, the function can be reversed to y=ex/dB to show an exponential increase in volume. Fucking confused, yet? YES!*

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9/30/82 – 9/18/04

Normally, even though sometimes it doesn’t look like it, I really do try to be reasoned and not get too into some of my heavier emotions on here. Anger is okay, some regret, empathy definitely… but I try not to dwell in sadness. I’m sure it creeps up, but I don’t want to dwell. Now, however, I am in mourning.
My friend Stevie died.
She didn’t JUST die… actually she died a year and a half ago. I just found out like an hour ago. The last time I’d written her was the summer of 2004, I think. I never got a response. I wrote again months later, then in 2005. She had an account on tribe.net that she had not updated in forever. I couldn’t figure out if I’d inadvertently pissed her off. She was quite the traveler, so I figured maybe she was training tigers again, or off on one of her other crazy adventures. Today, randomly thinking about her once again, I googled her name and found a R.I.P. next to it.
A little history, and I apologize if this comes across as rambling.
Impaled was on tour in the summer of 2001 with Vader and Skinless. It was a pretty rad tour, and miserable at the same time. It was an odd time as one of the other members and I were having a falling out. While our friendship mended and lasted, the band relationship didn’t.
In any case, we had a night off and were set to pass about an hour north of New Orleans. I looked at the map, and I told the driver he was nuts if he thought we could pass up a night in New Orleans. So off we went. So did all the other bands, it turned out.
I ended up getting absolutely ripped at this one bar. There were two emcees there, one boy and one girl. We ran into Skinless, and I remember talking to Noah about how hot the girl was. Absolutely lusciously beautiful with a rear we couldn’t stop talking about. Of course, she was working, and as Sean has always told me, you can’t peel the bartender, i.e. you can’t pick up on someone working. I proceeded to drink, get stupid, dance, pick up on girls I had no chance with, puke, etc.
At some point, I really hated life. I’d already puked and was drinking more. This was at a point when I had the most enormous crush on this one girl, and I had written her everyday during tour. It seemed like folly. When I was drunk and at that moment walking around the French Quarter, my whole life seemed like folly. I probably had gotten into an argument with our guitarist. I did a lot on that tour. Sherwood from Skinless found me and bought me one of those grenade drinks. It was uncommonly tender moment from him. I probably looked about as pissed off and hateful as I felt. At some point, he led me back to the bar I’d started at, and there was Raul talking to the emcee, and we somehow decided to head to another bar with her.
Here I don’t know what happened. The group got lost, and it was just me and this emcee girl entering this other bar. She described herself as French Quarter royalty, and sure enough, got us some free drinks like a Queen. Not only that, I found out she was only 20, and no one cared, ’cause somehow, she could just do things like that. I found out her name was Stevie.
She soothed me somehow, just talking. I think I play it off a lot, but I’m sure a lot of my friends know I can be really moody. I don’t know what she saw in me, or what she was thinking, but she decided to become my guardian angel that night. She “kidnapped” me, as she put it. We took off in her truck, away from the tour. She took my broke ass and bought me cigarettes. I could hardly walk at this point, mind you. She took us to the side of a river, and we chatted all night long. She told me about the graves in New Orleans, how she used to be goth and had to dress “shamefully” as a bar emcee (she looked gorgeous). We ended up kissing under the moon.
Eventually, as dawn was set to break, I had to go back to the smelly tour bus. We exchanged information and parted ways.
I exchanged a lot of emails with Stevie. She was there for me and listened to my griping through a fairly tumultuous relationship. I hear about her crazy travels from New Orleans, to Floridian Renne Faires, juggling, absolutely insane shit. I always told her I was jealous of someone with such freedom of life. She offered to be my angel again, anytime I wanted, and come and save me whenever I was down. I kept a picture of her that got me into a LOT of trouble. I couldn’t help it, though… she was just a dear, good person that meant a lot to me.
We corresponded for a long time, sometimes intermittently, sometimes more frequently. I’d told her she would always, always have a place to stay with me if she ever came to the Bay Area. Then, in 2002, she and a friend showed up. It was right after Burning Man. There was just one problem… the girl I’d had a crush on? I’d managed to get her to be my girlfriend. And she still had a letter I sent her about the “amazing girl” I’d met in New Orleans saved. And to top it off, after one of our infamous break-up/reconciliations about a year earlier, she’d found that picture of Stevie I had on my desk at work. That was really, really dumb.
My girlfriend would have none of it. I was to have Stevie nowhere near me, let alone staying at my house. Stevie couldn’t understand. She said, “Bring her over! I’ll show her I’m cool… we can play Monopoly till the sun comes up.” No go. It was bad. I felt so bad. Now, I have to feel worse, because to expunge this all from my soul, I have to confess to my girlfriend at the time, who is likely to read this, that I lied to you. I apologize. I allowed her to stay at my house. That was it. I stayed at my girlfriend’s, and Stevie and her friend stayed at my house. When I needed to be back home with my girlfriend, they stayed at my friend’s house, to whom I’m forever grateful towards. I spent some time with Stevie, but only as the pussy-whipped jerk that had to go back on his word of being a hospitable host.
Needless to say, our quality time was not quality. It sucked. Still, though, she cared. She didn’t like the situation, but respected what was going on. She told me before she left that if I ever had things different, or if I needed to be “kidnapped” again, to call her. She told me she meant it.
We wrote and talked. She was there when my life felt like it had lost all meaning. She lent support. She was just there.
Then, two years after I’d met her, she was coming out to the Bay Area again from Burning Man. She came at the strangest times… I wasn’t very happy in 2003. I’d lost the girl, another band member, and just moved into a house I thought I hated. She showed up, her truck covered in dust from the playa, with two gifts… a dirty bike, and a scorpion we named Fuck Frankie. Some of my friends have met that scorpion. He’s still an angry little fuckwad on my shelf. I know he hates me (scorpions hate everything) but I love him a lot right now.
We watched him eat for the first time, his little head opening up and swallowing a cricket whole. It was awesome.
She was gonna crash at my pad for two weeks and look for a place to live. All her stuff was in her truck and we moved it into my room. She was so beautiful, it’s hard to describe, and so vibrant. She taught me the rudiments of surface juggling, like David Bowie does in Labyrinth. She told me about helping to train tigers, learning to sword swallow, just crazy, intensely crazy stuff. We went to Folsom St. Fair where she broke a paddle across this hapless guy’s ass. Everyone wanted a picture with her. She was my gypsy, I told her. It was inevitable, we told each other. We ended up making incredibly passionate love and holding each other tightly.
This was an awkward time to say the least. I hated my brother, I hated the house I lived in, I hated the bands I played in, and I hated my friends. A girl I’d been casually dating had her heart elsewhere. Stevie was so ready to be my angel again. She cooked, she cleaned, she even tried to be super nice to my family. I wasn’t ready for it. Things were too tumultuous in my head. One night after I thought she’d been doing nothing to find her own place, I was really mean to her. When she asked what was wrong, I told her I didn’t sign on for a wife. She left as I chased her car down the street.
The next day, she came while I was at work and got all her things. I felt terrible. I felt even worse when I called her and found out all her things had been stolen from her truck. Everything. That was her life in there. I finally went to where she was staying. She’d decided to head home to Connecticut until she could get her bearings back. I held her as she cried and she asked me why. I wish I had an answer, even now.
As we parted ways, despite the turmoil, she told me again she’d always be there for me, whenever I needed her. She would rescue me from anything and take me away. I knew she meant it, too.
We continued to correspond and maintained our friendship. I spoke to her on the phone while she spent the holidays in her mother’s house in Connecticut. We emailed sporadically, again. When I got a new girlfriend, she told me that girl had better treat me right, or she’d take care of her. I too wanted her to find someone beautiful that made her happy. We had a good bond.
She was again going to go and work at Burning Man again, and possibly would come out and visit. That was the last email I got. I never heard from her again. I wrote a few times more, but nothing.
April 2005…It’s been so long since last I wrote you and no reply…
I just wanted to send you a note to let you know you were in my thoughts and I hope everything is going super-duper awesome for you.
XO
Ross
Now I’m looking at a memorial website to her, set up more than year ago. Apparently, she did find someone at that last Burning Man, and that is good. She looks really happy in all these photos. I understand why she never wrote back. She loved the desert, and that’s where she said her last goodbyes. Of course she would’ve written back if she could’ve. She never would have let me down. She was an angel.
Much love to you, Stevie. Thanks for touching my life.

Preserving your sister’s placenta

Well, after I my sister gave birth, she granted me the request of taking her placenta. I was determined to lovingly preserve this miraculous organ. I took it and met up with a friend at a bar. The placenta earned me a free beer. We refrigerated the placenta and I diligently tried to learn how to preserve it. My bandmate Aesop, from Ludicra, had done this before, though rather crudely. I intended to do the best job I could. The internet and phone calls to some strange shops were my main source of information. It took some time, but I eventually pieced together the best way for a layperson to engage in specimen preservation. So others don’t have the difficulty I did, I now present this fully illustrated article on how to preserve your sister’s placenta.


1. Gather the following… a specimen jar, latex gloves, petroleum jelly, some music, five bottles of Everclear grain alcohol (at least 75 ure), and your sister’s placenta.


2. Put on your favorite CD, which is of course Impaled’s 
Death After Life.


3. Drink some beer.


4. Get your gloves on. This may be your sister, but it’s still… 
Medical Waste.


5. Dump the Everclear into the specimen jar. You see, in the absence of formalin, which you need a license to get, pure grain alcohol is the best preservative available. Any preservative should be around 70 ure grain alcohol, and Everclear is 75àEasy, peasy, nice and squeezy.


6. Drink some Everclear.


7. Open up the placenta container. Hopefully, the hospital gives you a nice container, instead of a lasagna tray.


8. Dump out the blood. Don’t think about where it came from.


9. Remove the placenta from the container.


10. Wash off the excess blood clots and goop. Be careful, this is just a thin membrane… and don’t lose that umbilical cord down the sink!


11. Carefully place the placenta in the specimen jar.


12. Sweet!


13. Rub petroleum jelly around the lid of the jar. This will act as a sealant for the lid so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.


14. Cool! You’ve got a piece of a human in a jar. At this point you could call your sister and thank her.


15. Finally… be sure to keep it away from your dog.


I hope this helps anyone who is looking to preserve their sister’s placenta, though these basic directions can be used to preserve any number of things, like mice, octopi, pig hearts… whatever your sick, little heart fancies! Happy bottling.

Queen for a night

Who’s the hottest punk rock / metal head in drag? Me. Damn straight. Last night at the Jesus Fucking Christ / Death By Excess show and Pyrate Punx barbecue, the Pyrate wenches hosted a drag contest. Yes, I showed up in a dress, heels, make-up… God damned that stuff is hard to walk in. I also got a dollar off my admission, so this whole drag contest really appealed to my Jewish side. Right, so the other dude’s in drag… no competition. Except, surprisingly, Snake. He shaved his sleazy goatee even. Damn. And then outside he was smoking with a very limp wrist. Hilarious. So three of us competed, and those damn wenches made us dance. Keep in mind, I am wearing heels. No one else wore heels. Fucking hell… I did my best. And by audience applause, I was declared Queen and honorary wench. Just don’t look under the dress, right? I did my best impression of a Miss America winner crying and hugging everyone… My trophy is something else. After that, Anne and Greg took my drunk ass to Biggum’s. Like a good drag queen / Biggum’s customer, I did a little toot. I then proceeded to dance with I don’t even know who… chicks dig a boy in make-up, I guess. What did I learn from this whole experience? I learned I would be a very bitchy, high maintenance chick. Thanks to my female benefactors for all the help. Let’s not do this again real soon. Coke hangovers suck.

to all the people…

To all the people at the Gates: Thanks for the beer and pizza. Sorry about being bad luck. Sorry about how my balls drop 3 feet and my machismo goes into overdrive when I get around a bunch of Dommes. I’m like a feminist for men… 


To all the people at the 40th St. Warehouse Eviction Party: You all dance to sped up country music disguised as punk rock. But at least you know how to have a good time and dance like idjits. To the guy in the tutu… nuh uh. To the woman asking Krystal to move… go fuck yerself. To the woman asking for too many cigarettes… it was fun making you uncomfortable. To Matt… God dammit! I couldn’t find you to get the new Mass CDr you promised and I’m bummed.


To the people at the Rats Fight Party: Let’s see, I vaguely remember running into Dolores, Joannowar, John, Taija, Rooster, Julie, Crystal, and Justin. I kinda remember drinking too much. I kinda think I probably was really really drunk. I’m just SURE I was charming! Thanks to Georgina for watching me puke and not letting me drive. Semen-puke dred. Bleah. Sorry to John for ditching you, but at least you got a slurry phone message where your car was. 


To all the people at the Scum Angel show: HPG was in the fucking hiz-house! RESPECT!!! That was an awesome surprise to see Aime’e, the Queen of smiles herself, and the other folks there. Come to think of it, Wasted crew was there, too, and guess what? They were wasted. Scum Angel and Jesus Fucking Christ were pretty good, too, definitely getting some solid shit together, the both of them. To Brian… you didn’t really sign a 9×12 photo saying “Thanks for the Hardest Lovin” for me… I was just joking. I know it seemed plausible…

Irony and nostalgia

So in California, there was this train wreck that killed 11 people. It was caused by a suicidal guy who changed his mind, but couldn’t get his car off the tracks. Now, they’re charging him with murder and seeking the death penalty. Irony? A culture of life? A fucked up Tales From the Crypt story? Or just god damned hilarious? I went and saw a reformed Cruevo last night along with Blown to Bits and Old Grandad. So many old friends, had a great time… man that sent me back in time. It was like I was 26 again! Granted… that was just a three years ago… Fuck you. Don’t fuck with my nostalgia. Some girl was getting fucked with by this twerp, and she kept pushing him away. I asked her, “Is that your friend?” And she said yeah… but added “That was nice of you to ask.” This keeps happening. Girls keep weird friends these days. And by weird I mean stupid. Gud speling is untervalud thes dayz. Peeple shud uze spelchek mor. Thatz whut it is fur.

MANJA, MANJA!

Eat drink and be merry! The new day is upon us! Three weeks into this year, and one out of one crazy doctors agree… it’s sure to kick ass. Smiles, my children, as the glorious rays of sunshine beam down onto your glowing faces… unless you’re in New York in which case they sunshine might be good for thawing you out. But praise be to ME! Lo and behold, the only Democrat with balls is a woman! Thus a miracle was made… and a crush for yours truly to replace with the one on Martha Stewart. And lo, did a crazy German make us drink Pabst until our eyes did run with the Blue Ribbon ale of punk-rockitude! Eddie… Bush still sucks. And even in the land of sunshine, the snow drifts blow, and blow, and blow into everyone who’s heart aches and fills them with the spirit of Robert Downey, Jr. And behold, as money owed is paid and our coffers fill with heavenly lucre to buy more beer and cigarettes. And this Wednesday, the Bass Players That Matter numbers grow as our prodigal brother doth return to the stage. PRAISE BE TO THE FOUR STRINGS THAT DREW BLOOD! Praise be to my mirror soul! Praise be to my family! Praise be to my friends, even the cracked in the head ones! Praised be to my loved ones… and praise be to me! That didn’t make much sense. Actually, I meant to type a big long political diatribe… but my fingers slipped.