Thursday, March 31, 2005

Steanso is tired today, campers. Last night he had a night on the town (or across two towns, actually) with part time ninja and Hollywood starlet, Erin Boyd (formerly Stewart). Erin went to good ol' Westwood High with Jason (home of the fightin' Warriors). Erin's been out in L.A. for the last decade and a half or so, but she's back in Austin, visting her family and considering a move back to Steanso's beloved city. She's got a son who plays bass guitar and a craving for fried okra. Erin's got a lot of stories from L.A. (and all over), and has been doing so much stuff since high school that to hear her talk about her life is to peer into a parallel universe where time moves more quickly and events are more interesting (but sometimes a little more scary). Anyway, she's got a razor wit and a smile that can light up a room- it's Erin, kids! To know her's to love her.
I went today to the O.G. (that's Olive Garden to the uninitiated) with my favorite triumvirate of justice- Rosa, Kim, and Jennifer. It was a good time and we ate lots of salad. I can't tell you how excited all 3 of these ladies are that their office is being renovated. I mean, it's a bit of an inconvenience for them, but they are WAY EXCITED about the bold, new look of the Travis County Attorney's Office.
I need sleep. It also looks like it might rain, and I left Cassidy outside today. Poor Cassidy.

And last, but not least, let me share with all of you the same advice I gave to one of my clients only an hour ago:
"It doesn't matter if the sex isn't forced- if your partner is underage and your sister, they're still gonna call it rape."
Words to live by.
Peace out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Johnny Cochran died? A moment of silence from Steanso out of respect for one hard fighting son of a beeyatch. Of course, Johnny took some unpopular positions and defended some unpopular people, but he was a criminal defense attorney (amongst other things), and being part of that happy brotherhood, such was his lot in life. He still seemed like an intelligent, articulate, conscientious guy whenever I saw him in interviews, and he was a first rate lawyer who seemed to have a genuine passion for giving a voice to people who might otherwise never get their side of the story heard. Steanso salutes you, Mr. Cochran.
What else? Last night was slow. Crackbass left town to go to Cleburn to shop for his new ride, and Steanso was left with no one to play with. I talked to the folks quite a bit on the phone, and surfed my way through quite a bit of useless programming on the telly. All in all it was a pretty slow night, but then again, by the time I got done working late and stopped off for a few groceries it was already about 8:00 p.m., so there wasn't too much time to get into trouble, anyway.
Man, I really have got nothing today, folks. If anyone has a blog topic suggestion, send it to my email or post it in the comments section.

p.s.- Can anyone tell me what the hell this is about?
The Texas Senate passes a bill prohibiting Texas teams from playing in BCS series games unless a national tournament is developed?
OK, children sit on cardboard boxes because we can't afford desks in South Texas school rooms, the Texas prison system teeters on the edge of collapse due to overcrowding, Texas drug rehab and homelessness programs continue to dwindle, and retarded inmates sit on death row because Texas can't get a "life without parole" statute passed, but the Texas Senate has time to debate and pass completely non binding legislation (or at least non binding on the BCS) regarding which playoff games our college football teams can participate in. To call the priorities of the Texas Legislature fucked up is one hell of an understatement. Pull your head out of your ass, people.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

'Ello there folks. Hi Uncle Bob (if you do in fact read this, as recent events have led me to believe).
Well, Crack had a practice last night which could only be described as.... loud.
We rocked pretty hard, took a break to watch a documentary on blacksploitation films (while drinking Lone Stars), and then we rocked some more. I hope we got at least some of our stuff recorded, but Crackbass and Andy F were handling production duties, so we may have nothing more than a couple of dull thuds and Sigmund belching into the microphone. Oh well. We call it art.
In the interest of branching out into new blog topics, I present to you.....

Events with Andy Sensat that have Left Emotional Scars
1. Item one would be Dan Hamre's "bachelor party". It having been some form of bachelor event, I am largely sworn to secrecy. However, suffice it to say that I hadn't known Andy for long at the time of this little get together, and it ended with one of us passing out in the bathroom at the Star Seeds Cafe while the rest of us scarfed down the fallen soldier's food like a pack of rabid dingos. My car was left running with the headlights on in the parking lot while we ate (I guess in case we needed to make a fast getaway), and one of our members had to be carried out to the car and driven home. Andy's house, where we had been drinking earlier in the evening, was equipped with a lot of wireless electronics, a piano, a cat named Ocho, and a "sound chair" which Andy had covered with stereo speakers so that the bass response on his hip hop CD's could "give pleasure to the ladies". My main memory of this evening is that the more Andy drank and smoked, the more wildly active and talkative he became. I remember Andy squatting on the arm of his sofa like some kind of crazed chupacabra, getting more and more animated with each drink, shoving beverages in other people's faces, and waving his arms around and poking at people who were on the verge of passing out. This made me scared, so I did not pass out.

2. Andy's "naked day". Andy, apparently, likes to be naked. Even moreso in the company of young women. On one such day, Andy was spending the afternoon in the company of a young lady (who shall remain unnamed at this point), and apparently they were hanging out in Andy's living room, drinking some beer and listening to Duran Duran records (it's not clear whether this was before or after sex or both, but that part isn't really imporatant to the story). As the story goes, Andy was really enjoying the Duran Duran, and was in the process of showing his guest some of his finest dance moves (involving leaps onto the sofa and wildly gesticulative arm motions) when said guest suddenly noticed a set of small eyes peering at them through an opening in the window near the air conditioner (or maybe it was just a window fan, but this is, once again, unimportant). Naked Andy apparently let out a bellow of rage, and lept into action to chase away the group of small children who had gathered outside his window (as the story has it, Andy was naked and howling as he ran outside to chase the kids away, but this portion of the tale remains unconfirmed).
Lord only knows what these children now believe is "normal" behavior for two naked adults of the opposite sex, but there is a distinct possibility that these flawed individuals may now believe that dancing to Duran Duran while drinking crappy, dometic beer in the nude falls under the rubric of normalcy. These kids will be going through their whole lives wondering what kind of weird shit is going on right behind that locked door in the corner. And because of that we salute this as an Event With Andy Sensat Which has Left an Emotional Scar.

ooops. client here. maybe more later.

Monday, March 28, 2005

I am filled with fear and trembling today, dear readers. Apparently my parents (and possibly my uncle and aunt) have discovered my blog site. Dear lord. Already the parental criticisms have begun to flow regarding my agnostic rant last Friday (about wanting a 3 day weekend for Easter despite my lack of religious faith). Oh well. This is my blog, and the stuff on it is stuff from my brain. T'ain't always pretty, but I'm writing it for me and no one else, because most days I'm not sure if anyone else is reading it. I'm just glad that Friday's rant wasn't about whiskey and strip clubs.
The weekend was pretty nice. I did a great deal of sleeping, cleaned the house and mowed the grass, watched some movies with Griego, had Easter brunch with the Wilsons, recorded guitars and vocals with mixmaster Gottula for some Mono E tracks, and had a fish fry last night with the Wilsons, Andy, and Rami. I had a short lunch with Jennifer today. I think we're both pretty stressed out with our jobs.
We got a new receptionist up at the office today. Her name is Christy, and she seems pretty nice so far. Via con dios, Elf! (the old receptionist)
Not feeling too well today. I fear that this beautiful spring weather is creating some allergy problems for ol' Steanso.
Also, Erin is supposed to be in town this week, on a jaunt out from L.A. to visit her family, but I haven't heard from her. Maybe she will pop her head up this week for a cocktail or something.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sort of Good Friday

Sorry blog readers. I wrote a short post yesterday, but then somehow it didn't publish when I thought that it already had. Now that post is, sadly, gone forever. Oh well.

Happy birthday to Jamie McSteans, beloved sister-in-law and one hell of a mean dancer. Jamie is 30 years old today, so let's all wish her a super happy birthday (even though she's leaving for vacation in San Diego today and probably won't read this).

And what's up with me having to work on Good Friday? I understand separation of church and state and all of that stuff, but I want a 3 day weekend sometime in the vicinity of Easter, damnit! Call it the Passover Break if you want. I don't care. Judges are fighting over whether or not they can post the ten commandments at the courthouse, and meanwhile I can't even get an extra day off to celebrate the resurrection of the messiah that I don't believe in! An outrage, I tell you.

Here's something else for you cats to chew on. How come Bush is all fired up to fix Social Security (when it's not even clear that it's broken), but meanwhile he won't lift a finger to fix medicare or the health care system in general as the elderly and disabled are being refused treatment because of skyrocketing health care costs? For your consideration I offer this suggestion- it's because Bush's cronies will make a mint off of the "dumb government money" being pumped into Wall Street by the privatization of social security, while the repair of Medicare and the medical system in general will probably require the regulation of medication prices and cost money to Bush's cronies in the pharmaceutical industry. These pharmaceutical companies are those same bastards who tell us that our drug prices are high because of their manufacturing and development costs, but at the same time they are sinking millions upon millions of dollars into their advertising budgets to produce commercials that encourage uneducated patients to tell their doctors which prescription drugs they need. These drug company jackasses are the same bastards who are helping to fund the GOP war chest while bending America over a barrel. It's all fucked up. Fix the health care system, George. We don't need people gambling with their retirement money- we need prescription drugs that people can afford without having to take out a second mortgage.

That's it for now. Got clients. Mayhaps more later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hey there. Not too much to report on.

I spent the vast majority of my day thus far in court, politely and delicately doing battle with the undauntable Rosa Theofanis. I was stuck in court until about 2:30, arguing about whether someone should have to do probation for smoking marijuana or spend six months in jail for beating his wife. The wife of the accused beater is now telling me that the beating never happened and that she wants the case dropped, but then again, the victims all say that on those abuse cases (as Rosa will quickly tell you).
Speaking of which, here's a side note for the ladies in the audience (though few they may be):
If your boyfriend ever hits you, dump him. Don't make excuses for him or listen to his excuses or let him suck up to you and beg forgiveness after the fact. Don't believe that all men are violent and he just got out of control one time (hey, as angry as I've been at some women, I can honestly say I've never wanted to hit one). If he hits you, dump him. Otherwise, you are in for a recurring pattern of violence follwed by ass kissing followed by more violence- a pattern which is manipulative and designed to slowly lower your self esteem and allow him to isolate and control the people around him (especially women).
Anyway, I'm off my high horse now, but this case today just got me thinking.
Never got a lunch today. Damnit.
This weekend is Easter, and I have no plans. The Wilsons are going on a romantic anniversary getaway, so someone better step up and entertain Steanso. I don't get any days off for Easter, though. What kind of crap is that? Here comes Peter Cottontail to kick Jason in the jimmy and go hopping off on his merry way.
Last night I watched Star Wars: Episode IV, a birthday gift from the lesser of the Steans brothers. You know what? That's still a damn fine movie and enjoyed the hell out of it. I can't put my finger on exactly why it's so cool, except that at the time Lucas and co. made it, they were still true believers. Instead of trying to sell some wierd sci fi movie to a reluctant audience, Lucas put his vision out there with confidence, saying, "This is cool. If you can't see that, it's your problem." Lucas had a strong understanding of myth and epic storytelling, and despite the fact that he was telling a wildly fantastic space saga, he didn't go about telling his story in a half-assed, apologetic, tongue in cheek style. His story was straightforward and displayed amazing events and things in a manner that underlined their importance as a fable. All I mean is, he didn't try to make his story too cute or goofy in order to get the audience to swallow it. Instead, he just threw it out there for the audience to accept or reject as though he were recounting history ("A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...").
Yeah, yeah- we all know Star Wars rocks. These blogs can be hard to write.
Last but not least, I submit for your consideration the fact that The Polyphonic Spree may, in fact, rock.

I know that they are dismissed by some as gimmicky, but they seem to all know how to play their instruments (and/or sing), and they're trying to do something which is actually fairly innovative- create and perform compositions for a large orchestral group that are still hummable pop tunes. I know that many other bands have employed orchestras from time to time, but this is a touring, functioning band which consists of a whole gaggle of people, and their income of individual members is probably substantially limited by the size of the group. In addition to the entertaining cult-like quality which they possess, they also seem to make some good tunes. This is probably harder than it sounds. If all of the people are playing the same notes, the songs will sound trudging, monotonous, and dirge-like. If there are too many different things going on, however, you'd probably just get a chaotic mess without a discernible melody. The Polyphonic Spree seem to be able to effectively use the large numbers of people in the group to keep things interesting without letting their large numbers destroy their ability to produce, fluid, straightforward songs. So like 'em or leave 'em, the Polyphonic Spree are at least creating something different, new, and sort of fun. Let's all give 'em a hand for at least being willing to wholeheartedly lend themselves to a unique, new endeavor.
Those kids are alright.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Hey, guys. I, for one, am tired of hearing about Terry Schiavo. Yet here I go. I think each person should have the right to decide how they want to die (assuming they have all of their mental faculties), and I think that if a person is incapable of deciding for themself, their most immediate loved ones should be the one to make the decision for them (people who presumably would best know the intent of their loved ones). The biggest problem in this case is the whole feeding tube thing. Even if Schiavo is still coherent somewhere in there, I doubt she wants to continue on this way. On the other hand, she probably doesn't want to slowly, painfully starve to death. It's ridiculous that we condone lethal injection for death row inmates, but reject similar measures for people who are gravely ill and seeking to end their own lives with dignity. This country is absurd.
Of course, there is something a little disconcerting about allowing anyone other than the ill person to decide when euthanasia is appropriate. I'm sure that most families would have good intentions in these situations, but every once in a while there's going to be somebody who wants the plug pulled on someone else for reasons other than mercy. That's where things get troubling.
Watched a good chunk of Alien v. Predator last night with Bart and Crackbass. It's a decent movie for the first two thirds, but then it starts to suck eggs. Stupid helper Predators....
So busy.... no time for bloggin.

Monday, March 21, 2005

It's Monday morning and Jason's brain is a wee bit foggy. All day recording session with the Mono Ensemble yesterday has sucked out my will to live.
Our recording session seemed fairly productive, but it's difficult to say until we've had a chance to overdub some stuff and Eric has had a chance to monkey around with the recordings. I had to lay down scratch vocals and guitar on a few songs (to be re-recorder later, but recorded with the original track so that people can know where we are in the song). I didn't have any headphones to monitor myself at the time, so I screamed a lot.

Here are some pictures of our recording session which Frank took, but look at 'em now b/c I don't know how long they'll be up....

For anyone who doesn't know, I'm the fat guy....

This is definitely a Monday. It started with a thunderstorm, and now it has evolved into a moist, sticky, lukewarm afternoon with clouds so low that they slap the ground.

I got a haircut on Saturday morning from the beautiful and talented Kelly Gonzales. I was hung over and foggy headed, and I think she did a good portion of my haircut with a straightrazor.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Well, I have to say that my birthday was a great success. I skipped out of work a little early and went and saw Calexico at Jovita's with Crackbass and Big Johnson. Then we hopped over to Freddie's and had a beer and then went to dinner at Asti's in Hyde Park. The Shaws, Wilsons, Big Johnson, Rami, and Heather Wagner were all there for dinner and we drank lots of wine and ate yummy Italian food. Then we went over to La La's, and I drank way too much and stayed out too late. Andy Sensat joined us out over there. This afternoon D.K. and Marty took me out for lunch at Hoover's. Now I am extremely sleepy and full of chicken friend steak. I just want to thank everyone again for making my birthday so cool. It was one of the best ones I've had in quite a while, and it was pretty unexpected. Gracias, ya'll.
I'm hoping to go and see some free shows tomorrow for SXSW. I went last year on Saturday and had a pretty good time. Of course, I may be doing some musicking of my own over at Reed
Shaw's house if the Mono E does a recording session. Ryan sent me a cow bell for my birthday (don't ask- it's Ryan), so that will undoubtedly be featured prominently in whatever recording sessions which occur. We'll see.
I've been milking this birthday thing all week at the courthouse- getting bonds signed and cases reset by whining to all the judges about how they need to be nice to me on my birthday. Next week it's back to reality, I guess (or whatever passes for reality in the Travis County courthouse).
In other news, I would like to welcome Nhut Tan Tran back into the Steanso family fold. Nhut Tan (affectionately known as Newt by the Steans brothers) was one of my few good friends in law school. We used to drink a fair number of beers together in law school, took turns arguing with my brother (especially regarding movies and comic books) and spent time bitching about how lame lawyers were (as a general group). Newt and I were both disillusioned former philosophy students, and I don't think either of us was really prepared for the kind of naked, money-grubbing ambition exhibited in law school by our classmates. Newt moved up to Dallas to do some kind of intellectual property work or some such nonsense after law school, and he kind of fell off the radar for awhile. He contacted me through an email a day or two ago, though, and it sounds like he's been doing well for himself. Hopefully he'll make a visit down to Austin at some point. Viva la Nhut Tan!
Well, I guess that's it for now. Maybe more later, but I'm awfully tired today, so maybe not.

Ooops. I spoke too soon. Reed has taken the time to answer my music questions, and I think that they need to be posted. I want to thank Reed for answering these because I know it took his obsessive compulsive little mind at least a couple of hours to complete this. Reed has a bit of a hard time narrowing things down when it comes to music, so sadistic little Jason knew that he would struggle with this when I sent it to him (but I also knew he would have fun with it). So here it is- some inside insight into the mind of longtime friend and darn good Mono Ensemble drummer, Reed Shaw:

How many total music files do you have on your 'puter?
On my computer at home I have the following complete Phish shows:
12/01/92 - 23 flac files
05/08/93 - 28 flac files
12/07/97 - 18 flac files
10/07/00 - 16 flac files
12/31/02 - 24 flac files
02/26/03 - 19 flac files
06/17/04 - 21 flac files
06/18/04 - 18 flac files
06/19/04 - 13 flac files
06/20/04 - 15 flac files
06/23/04 - 18 flac files
06/24/04 - 15 flac files
06/25/04 - 18 flac files
06/26/04 - 16 flac files
08/09/04 - 16 flac files
08/10/04 - 16 flac files
08/11/04 - 22 flac files
08/12/04 - 18 flac files
08/13/04 - 5 flac files
08/14/04 - 24 flac files
08/15/04 - 26 flac files
Total - 389 flac files (~ 3.5 Gb)
I also have a custom cd database on my computer at work so my computer cd player will display track and album information (including the release year). I say custom because I don't like the way the track and album information is reported when you download it from the internet. So I usually write individual database files for any cd that I bring into work to listen to. The database currently sits at 1152 files (cds).
What CD did you buy last?
The last CDs I bought were (I would say CD, but I bought multiple cds on my last trip to the record store):
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (Dual Layer CD/DVD Disc) (2005? Orig Rel: 1959)
Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles (1964)
Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage (1965)
Willie Nelson - Songs (2004? although it's a compilation covering his entire career)
Ween - 12 Golden Country Greats (1996)
(all of the above albums are awesome, and Kind of Blue is one of the greatest albums ever made in any genre)
What was the last song you listened to before getting this message?
Phish - "Check 1", Coventry Sound Check, Coventry, VT 08/13/04
Phish's 36 minute improv/jam sound check opener from their last festival on their last tour. I, along with Crackbass, Sig, Pea, and others had the opportunity to attend these final shows. Incredible stuff. I'm really going to miss those guys. I've never heard a better live band, or a tighter live band. I've never had more fun at shows than at the Phish shows. The chemistry that those four had was amazing. They will be sorely missed, but at least there's another 1000+ shows that I still haven't heard. Going to Phish shows was a unique, unforgettable experience. Almost a religious experience (for many that attended it was). The energy, and vibe at their shows was unmatched. The parking lots at these shows would fill up hours and hours in advance of the show. Almost like tailgating with die-hard college or nfl football fans. It was like a traveling carnival (similar to Dead shows, but still different).
List 5 songs that mean a lot to you
I tried and tried, but I couldn't reduce it to 5. I had to have 6. And yes, you're right Jas. It took me several hours to answer all of these questions.
1) "However Much I Booze" by The Who. The most underrated Who song on the most underrated Who album: The Who By Numbers (1975). Probably their darkest album, and the last great drum tracks from Keith Moon. Their follow-up album "Who Are You" (1978) is also a very good album, but by this point in time, Moon was becoming increasingly unreliable in the studio (fortunately they were able to get some tracks down). The music on this song is incredible and unique in The Who catalogue, and as I get older, the lyrics mean more and more to me. I had to include one Who song on this list since Keith Moon was the reason I got into drums in the first place. If I had never discovered the Who in high school who knows if I would ever picked up a pair of sticks. For that I will always be indebted to Moon and The Who. Plus getting into the Who got me off of listening to Van Halen almost 24/7 (as both Jas and Ryan would attest). The Who was the start of my musical mind opening... RIP John and Keith.
2) "Black Comedy" by Miles Davis. Only a drummer could write this song. It's off of Miles' 1968 "Miles In The Sky" album (this album as well as "In A Silent Way" were the precursors to Miles' invention of fusion with the 1969 Bitches' Brew album). Tony Williams, one of the most incredible jazz drummers in history wrote this song. I say that only a drummer could write it because it has a complex melody that changes time signatures. The form is four measures of 6 against 4, two measures of 4/4, one measure of 5/4, three measures of 4/4, four measures of 6 against 4, a measure of 5/4, and a measure of 6/4. Hearing Miles' second great quintet play this so effortlessly is mind boggling to me. Herbie Hancock, Miles, and Wayne Shorter solo off of this complex melody with ease. RIP Tony. It was a shame to see him go with a heart attack in 1997 at age 51 after routine gall bladder surgery. To get a sense of Tony Williams greatness, I thought I would mention that Miles first hired him in 1963 when he was just 17 years old!
3) "Frame By Frame" by King Crimson. I think this is the quintessential song of the 80s King Crimson (and even the current King Crimson). I know "Thela Hun Ginjeet" is more well known, but this song has it all. The second track off of argueably the greatest King Crimson album: Discipline (1981). Great music changes, interesting time singatures, guitar technics that make your head spin, the Chapman stick, and four bad ass, well respected, session players showing why they are in constant demand. Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, and Bill Bruford. Nothing else needs to be said.
4) "The Maker" by Daniel Lanois. A very powerful song that I can relate to. This song makes me want to cry. It's been covered by Phish, Willie and Emmylou as well as Bono. Willie's version on his 1998 Teatro album (produced by Lanois) is one of my favorites (and a great album). I've actually never heard the Phish version, but I bet Sigmund or Crackbass has.
5) "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" by Bob Dylan. I never got Bob Dylan or the hoopla around him until one day during my freshman year in college ('91), I was riding in the back of Eric's old Blazer (Frank or Jim was riding shotgun) turning off of Texas Ave onto the road that leads straight to the old Systems Administration building on A&M's campus when this song started playing off of Bob Dylan's masterpiece: "Bringing It All Back Home" (1965). I was totally blown away after hearing the song. I suddenly realized why people hail and regard him as a genius (I'm now one of those people). This song is still relevent today, and will probably always be.
6) "Africa (alternate take)" by the John Coltrane Quartet. This is off of the 1961 Complete Africa Brass Sessions (disc 2). There are three versions of this song on the two cd set: a first version, the released version, and an alternate take. The reason this song means so much to me is because it was the first time I heard Elvin Jones drum solo. A 3+ minute drum solo. A brilliant drum solo. One of the greatest drum solos I have ever heard. If I were the producer this would have been the released take. Don't get me wrong, the other two drum solos are incredible too, but this one really had the magic flowing. The song itself emphasizes the amazing chemistry that McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), Elvin, and Trane had. Hearing songs like this is why it's hard for me to focus on any instrument other than the drumset. Elvin Jones always reminds me of the old, wise, Medicine Man or Shamen of the drums. His understanding of polyrhythms, and his approach to the drum set was amazing. Unfortunately, Elvin died last year at age 76, but he played gigs up until a month before his death. RIP Elvin.
Who would you want to see answer these same questions and why? (3 people)
Sigmund Bloom - because he loves music and sports (two of my favorite loves), and has a vast knowledge and wide taste in music. I've only gotten to talk to Sigmund a handful of times on music and sports, but each time I've enjoyed our conversations. Sig has seen more Phish shows than anyone I ever met.
Jeff Wilson (Crackbass) - another person with an immense knowledge and love of music. Jeff's especially on top of the latest trends, and what the kids are listening to. If cool teens are into a band, Jeff probably knows about the band. I probably have a wider taste in music than Jeff, but he certainly is plugged more into the latest music scene than I am. Another one of my Phish mentors (50 shows), and another person I will always be indebted to for helping with the logistics and planning on the trip up to Massachusetts and Vermont to see Phish's final shows.
Stephanie Gottula - Eric's wife. I know she loves music, but since she's married to Eric, I've never been able to figure out what her favorite artists/albums are, and what she listens to when Eric's not around (Eric and I tend to hog the music selections from our wives at our respective homes). She likes a lot of the stuff that Eric likes (Dylan, Stones, Ween, Phish, Adrian Belew, etc), but some more so than others. I've never been able to figure it out. I've got a better idea of her movie tastes than music tastes.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patty's Day Happy Returns

Well, it's Steanso's 32nd birthday. Thanks to all of you guys who've sent birthday wishes. It really means a lot. Really. I have kind of a bad habit of tending to get just a little introspective around my birthday, but it always keeps me more upbeat when the friends chime in with the birthday wishes. So thanks!
I just had a very nice lunch with Rosa and Kim and Jennifer. We ate outside and soaked in the beautiful weather. Friend, colleague and superattorney Dierdre Darrouzet had the restaurant's owner send over a desert as well. Kickass.
I really don't feel like writing an especially long blog on my birthday. I do want to thank all my friends and family for their support on my birthday and otherwise. As sappy as this may sound, you guys make these little trips around the sun worthwhile. Gracias.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

S'up, groovers?

Not too much to report today. Went to court this morning, but it was really quiet up there. Last night I went to Rounders Pizza down on 5th Street with Crackbass and The Pea. It's a relatively new place, but they had some pretty darn tasty food, and the atmosphere was cozy with good music and a friendly waitstaff. All in all, I would recommend it.

The South by Southwest Music Festival begins today here in Austin. Like many Austinites, I have mixed feelings about this yearly event. On the one hand, I think it's a cool idea, and I'm happy to live in a town which has a strong commitment to live music. On the other hand, SXSW occurs during my birthday week each year, and it's kind of a pain in the ass trying to find parking or do anything anywhere near downtown (including restaurants, movies, music, etc.), as the town gets crowded full of hipsters and rock and roll wannabes from other states. Still, I'm willing and happy to deal with this as part of the cost of playing host to a national music event. But there are some other... issues. Unless you wanna drop a small fortune on a badge, it's difficult to get into the clubs to see any of the bands you are interested in seeing (you can stand in line for a long time with the hope of getting in, but you have no guarantee, and can be turned away if the venue gets crowded), and the festival caters first and foremost to bands from out of state, so a lot of local Austin bands can't even get booked. It seems like some of them are turned down specifically because they're from the Austin area. Combine this with a few experiences standing in line at the 7-11 listening to some guys with long hair and leather pants bitching about the fact that they host SXSW in such a "redneck state", and you might come to wish they would just move their little party somewhere else.
The festival started with an aim at showcasing bands who might not necessarily be local, but who were at least from this region of the country (thus, SXSW). The festival used to be meant to attract the attention of national record labels to regional talent. Now it's just a trade show for the national music industry- a cool trade show, but a trade show nonetheless. Bands which perform at SXSW have no particular ties to this region at all. Therefore, despite the fact that Austin was the first area with the ingenuity to come up with the SXSW concept, now we're chock full of artists from the 2 coasts and Chicago each year who stand around wondering why the record execs have decided to throw a party in Texas.
Anyway, I would say that the good still outweighs the bad, and that a good time is still a good time at SXSW, but the event moves a little closer to alienating the locals each year. More free shows and more local acts- that's what the organizers need to keep in mind. And if someone could just train these musicians and record company chumps to be polite when they're in someone else's town...

P.S.- Ryan sent me a meme or a stick or a bunch of questions that I'm s'posed to answer. Since this is a slow day at the 'ol office, I will endeavor to do so.

How many total music files do you have on your 'puter?
Uh, none. My computer at home isn't working and my computer at the office has no working speakers. I have a CD player at the office, but I rarely have it on b/c I have clients constantly coming in and out.

What CD did you buy last?
Arcade Fire's Funeral. It was ok.

What was the last song you listened to before getting this message?
The Shins "New Slang" off Oh, Inverted World. I absolutely love that song. Genius.

List 5 songs that mean a lot to you.
"Wave of Mutilation" by the Pixies. It reminds me of high school and the tranquility that comes with giving up on something.

"Golgi Apparatus" by Phish because it reminds me of good times that I've had with Weedo, Crackbass, and other friends.

"There's No Home for You Here" by the White Stripes. It's better to be angry than depressed. You bitch.

"12 Steps" by Eric Gottula (and the Mono Ensemble). OK, I know it's a song that our band plays, but Eric wrote a great fuckin song on that one and the lyrics are brilliant.

"Heart Attack and Vine" by Tom Waits. Tom Waits growls like the house piano player at Satan's bar, somewhere at the bottom of the nine levels. Even if the world comes to an end, Tom will have a smiling snear upon his face...

Who would you want to see answer these same questions and why? (3 people)
Reed Shaw- because he loves music, and having to narrow his choices down for something like this will torment him. It would take him forever to even try to answer these questions.

Andy "Dirty" Sensat- because his musical tastes are always fascinating to me. And he plays with Crack.

Jim Gillespie- because he's the quitest member of the Mono Ensemble, so his opinions are infrequently heard, but I know he loves music.

And I just read that Congress passed a bill which will allow oil drilling up in the Alaskan wildlife refuges (the ANWAR). What a bunch of short sited, greedy, ignorant assholes. Well, at least I guess our energy problems are solved now. Pricks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Tuesday, and the winter weather has returned. Hopefully this is the last gasp of coldness.

Had a really nice lunch today with Jennifer. We talked about justice, our jobs, and courthouse personalities.

I had my fresh fish dinner last night at the Wilson house with Mandy and Jeff as well as Jajuan (sp?) and Don, Jeff's parents. They're nice people with a cute wiener dog puppy (Daisy). It's funny watching Jeff try to enforce the Wilson house rules with his parents. I've long ago become accustomed to these little guidelines (i.e., no sitting on the leather sofa with the dogs, no picking the dogs up and playing with them at the dinner table, etc.), but it's funny trying to watch Crackbass maintain law and order when the perpetrators of the house violations are the same people who gave birth to him. Plus, it's amusing to watch the wiener dogs, since they have apparently come to realize that they can get away with murder with Jeff's parents. You can almost see the wheels turning in their little doggy brains as they sort out the angles- more treats and mayhem.
The Wilsons have also bestowed a lovely birthday gift upon me in the form of a small Buddha statue which I have placed in my front yard by my front step. I know that many Buddhas are depicted smiling, but this guy is really having a good time. All readers are encouraged to stop by The Hop-a-Long Lounge and meet my new guardian. Cassidy hasn't sorted out things with Buddha yet, and still growls at him a bit when out in the front yard. Buddha mostly laughs in response.
My 32nd birthday is fast approaching. I'm not sure what to make of it (possible fear and loathing?), and have no real plans for celebration. Maybe a brief happy hour on Friday? Possibly nothing at all? I'm not sure...
By all accounts my brother's new puppy, Lucy, is unbearably cute. I shall have to up the ante by adopting a koala bear and dressing it up in a panda costume. Top that, you desert-dwelling bastards!
Also of note, Austin has gained a new talk radio station at KOKE AM 1600 with a politically liberal talk format. I know that talk radio in and of itself may annoy some of you, but it's a nice alternative to Rush Limbaugh for those of you who are interested in such things. The reception in my car isn't all that strong on 1600 AM.... undoubtedly a conservative conspiracy. Anyway, this used to be a mostly Spanish language station (with Steanso's friend, Jeff Peek, one of their leading on air personalities- but that's a different story), but I guess they're mixing things up. Al Franken was in town to promote the station yesterday (their programming is nationally syndicated).
Well, that's it for now. Maybe more later if I can get a few free moments.

It's later. Terri Lynn Carrington. Thanks to Reed for correcting me on the name of Herbie Hancock's drummer. She was freaking wicked, and one of the best drummer's I've seen play live- man or woman. You go, Terri!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Spring break, '05!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so I'm still sitting in the office. That doesn't mean I can't get into the Spring Break spirit, though, right?
The weekend, you ask?
Alright, so I didn't make it to the freakin' kite festival. There. I said it. Berate me if you must.
Sunday Jason was a little hung over and sleepy due to a late night poker game and drinking binge the night before. I peeled my eyes open on Sunday sometime around one p.m., and immediately knew the kite festival would not be on the agenda (mostly b/c I had a splitting headache and knew that I couldn't deal with parking). Sunday was spent in the dark coolness of the house with the door open so that Cassidy could set her own agenda in regard to being inside or outside.
Friday night was Herbie Hancock at Trinity down in San Antonio. It was pretty bad ass. Roy Hargrove and Michael Brecker played with Herbie. They played mostly acoustic jazz, but Brecker played some stuff on an electronic wind instrument (which I still can't quite understand, but it was really cool). The drummer was bad ass, but I can't remember her name. Reed knows it. Tracy Lynn (Whittington?) something something? Anyway, she freakin rocked. Reed, try to post a comment with her full name so she can get her due props. I feel like a clown for not remembering it. Kudos to Greg Johnson for procuring a ticket for me.
Saturday I worked on the yard and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Saturday night I played poker with Jay, Anna, Reed, Jennifer, and Chris. Dark forces were aligned against Steanso, my friends, and he was the first one out. Steanso was Monkeyboy, as it were (the first chump out who has to fetch drinks for the others). Oh well- some nights you just don't have the cards.
Today is fairly quiet up at the courthouse. Everyone is gone on Spring Break with their kiddos. I'm also finding it hard to work.
Crackbass spent most of the weekend and much of today fishing. I suspect there may be a fish dinner in the works for me if I play my cards right. There was almost a fish dinner on Saturday, but The Pea caught sight of one of Jeff's fish floppin' around and was too grossed out to eat fish that night.
If we have fish dinner tonight maybe Andy will come since today is his day off and since no one loves fish more than Andy. Andy is gay for fish.
Not much else to report. If you go to Sonic, DO NOT order the Lenten special, I am told. Even Jesus wouldn't eat the Lenten special.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Howdy, kids. So very happy that the weekend is here...

How about that courthouse shooting in Atlanta? Crazy stuff. To be honest, I'm surprised that there aren't more incidents at the courthouse- not necessarily shootings, but violent outbursts or whatnot. Courthouses are places where very real violence is done to people's lives. I'm not saying that the punishment isn't justified, but putting someone in prison and taking a bunch of years away from a person's life is, in my mind, a violent act. That's why I say that it's surprising that more people don't rebel violently against it, whether it's deserved or not. As a society, Americans have grown accustomed to defendants quietly accepting their fate (or at least only protesting verbally or in writing- forms which can be safely ignored). I think that kind of acceptance of one's fate within the judicial system demonstrates a belief in the validity of the system on the part of most people (or resignation to the fact that it's useless to try to fight it). I'm just surprised that more people don't go down swinging.

Going to Herbie Hancock tonight. Woo hoo!!!

Don't forget about the kite festival at Zilker on Sunday, people!

Well, I know that my blogging this week has been sub par, but it's been hectic here at the office. I promise to try to do better next week.
Spring Break '05!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hey. Crap. Almost no time for blogging today. I know that you guys are not getting my blogging best, but damn, I'm busy.
I got court appointed today to represent a woman who was accused of trying to run over some woman who slept with my client's boyfriend. She did this while holding her baby tucked under one arm, the other hand placed on the steering wheel. The competition was sitting on her front porch talking to aforementioned boyfriend when my client came barrelling over the curb, across the lawn, and ran into the porch. Then she backed it up and ran into the house two more times, all the while screaming out the car window with the baby clutched up in her arm like a football. Her defense?
"I wasn't trying to hit that lady. I was trying to hit my boyfriend."
Dear lord.
I gotta run, but hopefully more tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

What's up, groovers? Very little blogging time today. Busy, busy, busy. Seems like lots of new crimes are being committed, and the people who have already committed crimes all want to know what is going on with their cases. Arrrgh.

Court this morning was ok. Judge Bender made fun of my picture on my court ID badge (which is pretty funny because I sneezed while they were taking the picture), but on the up side, I got some guy's second DWI case reduced to obstructing a roadway (which I like to think of as a glorified parking ticket).

We're s'posed to have Crack practice tonight, rescheduled after it was inexplicably canacelled on Monday.

In other news, Kelly is thinking about adopting the child of one of her old friends who is now in jail, I think on drug charges (this friend definitely has a drug problem, anyway). I'm skeptical, but we'll see what happens.

I am starving and looking forward to Mandy's Mexican casserole for dinner.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It's a truly beautiful day here in Austin. The birds are singing, the sun is out, and my lawn is growing by exponential leaps and bounds. Only problem is, it's a weekday, and it rained all weekend. God hates me. Maybe he'll let me go to the kite festival this weekend, though.
Crack practice was cancelled for unknown reasons last night. Jason was forced to resort to reading a book for entertainment. Cassidy doesn't understand what is going on when I read and spends a lot of time howling, jumping on me, and otherwise trying to break up the monotony of having Jason stare at an inanimate bunch of pages for hours at a time.
Friday I'm going to see Herbie Hancock in San Antonio. That should be bad ass. I am looking forward to it very much.
I'm doing this post from one of the courthouse computers and people keep looking over my shoulder to see what I'm typing. It's kind of unnerving.
Steanso's birthday is right around the corner (on St. Patrick's Day, the 17th). Somebody needs to help me come up with something fun to do the following weekend, because otherwise my folks want me to go to Houston to go to a wedding shower.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Well, the kite festival at Zilker was rescheduled for next Sunday (the 13th), so now none of you lazy bastards have an excuse for not showing up.
I spent large parts of my weekend sleeping, so I should be rested up, but unfortunately my schedule got all messed up, so I couldn't fall asleep last night until 2:00 a.m. and I'm exhausted today.
Crackbass had his birthday celebration this weekend, and lots of fun people came out to celebrate for drinks on Friday at the San Jose. The evening ended, as usual, with Jeff, Mandy, Andy, Rami, and I sitting around the Wilsons backyard, drinking whiskey and exchanging stories of debauchery.
I got up around 1:00 p.m. Saturday with a stabbing pain in my head and muscles that felt like they had been run over with a mack truck. I wandered around a couple of music stores Saturday afternoon buying vinyl albums and banjo picks, and had dinner with the Wilsons and Judy (another one of my delightful neighbors) Saturday night. About midnight on Saturday Reed Shaw showed up at my house to show me pictures of the trip he had just returned from (in Mexico) and to listen to some of the records I had bought.
Sunday it rained a lot, but I went out with Bart and Jeff to buy some more records and trade paperbacks at Austin Books (we used to call them graphic novels, but they're basically just really long comic books- they were on sale this weekend).
I bought Arcade Fire's first album, Funeral, this weekend, which I had read some raving reviews about, but I was a little bit underwhelmed. I mean, the album is definitely not bad, but I guess I just found it fairly derivative. I think that music which is new and truly unique should typically be an acquired taste rather than something you can sing and hum along to the first time you hear it. Maybe I'm just pining for the days of The Pixies, Primus, or Jane's Addiction, when you would listen to an album for the first time squinting and scratching your head, trying to figure out what the artist was up to, and then gradually, as you figured it out, you would come to love the music. This is the feeling that I primarily get from classic jazz records nowadays (although, ironically, rarely from modern jazz). Arcade Fire, while a decent band, doesn't seem to be really doing anything new. I know I sound like a whiney old something or other, but I hold firm in my belief that too much of the "new" music which is coming out today simply involves recycled mixtures of older styles. If the rockers out there can't come up with anything new, then rock is dead and it's time to move on. If it's going to stay alive, rock music shouldn't be about feeling comfortable and reminiscing- it should be about breaking new ground and finding new voices. Otherwise, it's played out as an art form and today's kids should start looking elsewhere for a sound to define themselves. Maybe breakbeat latin bossanova will be tomorrow's punk. I don't know. I just feel bad for all of these kids out there who should have some new stuff of their own, but instead just get a bunch of bands who are standing on the shoulders of their predecessors (and, yes, I know that back in high school we listened to a lot of bands that recycled stuff, too, but there was some original stuff out there, and it just feels like the originality of rock music dwindles more and more each decade).

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hey, it's Friday! Also Jeff Wilson's birthday. Hoorah!

The weekend couldn't have come at a better time. This has been a long week. Judge Kennedy appointed me to represent some woman this morning who had fired her lawyer because the judge wouldn't go along with the probation deal that the attorney had worked out (which wasn't the attorney's fault at all). Anyway, to make a long story short, she ended up getting five months in jail, but that should seem light since she was supposed to be looking at 2 to 10 years in the pokey.
I had another client who had been on felony probation which had been transferred to Arkansas, but then he tested dirty for drugs up in Arkansas (apparently, in an impressive display of fortitude, the client tested dirty for "every drug they have a test for"), and they sent him back to Texas. Judge Lynch made some wisecracks about what a bad person you have to be in order to be kicked out of Arkansas and then sentenced that dude to state jail.
Whammo! Jason works for an hour and a half and two clients end up in prison. Wheee!

We're supposed to go out drinking tonight for Jeff's birthday. I'm a little bit afraid. It's bound to be one of those Fridays which destroys my Saturday.
My mom and dad went down to the Valley to go visit friends Barbara and Paul Smith for Mom's birthday. Hopefully she will have a good birthday and sneak low cost prescription drugs across the border for her loving family.
No band practice for the Mono E this weekend. Eric, Reed, and Jim are all down in Mexico laying on the beach and drinking tequila. Bastards. Just remember, fellow Ensemblers- if the ocean suddenly rolls away from the beach and everything gets quiet, you should probably run. Inland. Tsunamis have been the downfall of many promising, young bands. Reed would definitely be washed out to sea in the case of a tsunami b/c he would have to stop and gather up all of his belongings and put them in his backpack before leaving the beach.

It has not escaped my attention that D.K. Punzi has been dodging me at lunch lately. I think she hates me and is plotting against me.

In the news,,2933,149397,00.html
Great. Some jackass kills four cops for raiding his pot farm. I'm sure the conservative media will make a lot of hay out of this, condemning evil pot users out there who are caught in the grip of "reefer madness" and are dying to shoot at cops. The fact that this guy was not your average pot smoker will, I'm sure, be downplayed (the suspect had a record that included illegal firearms and sexual assault). This case could have been written up as "Gun Nut Kills Four Mounties" since the guy had a history with guns and obviously was willing to use the guns currently in his possession against the police, but that story wouldn't have sold as well with Fox's conservative demographic, so instead we get a story about a pot smoker gone mad. Liberal media, my ass.

I've been a criminal defense attorney now for about 7 years and I've seen dozens if not hundreds of assault cases, and I'm here to tell you that for every violent crime that involves pot, there are about 20 or 30 that involve alcohol (and the ones that involve pot usually involve alcohol as well). People who smoke pot just don't seem to get as riled up and violent as people who are drinking, but the conservatives will never acknowledge this fact because: A) we have a long tradition of alcohol consumption in this country (and if my daddy did it, it can't be wrong) and B) this country has too much invested in the alcholic beverage industry to turn against it.
Write your senators, kids. The time for hypocrisy is over. Drunk driving and alchol-fueled fights will come to an end as people stay home to smoke pot, watch movies and order pizza. What a beautiful world. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

One last note. The Zilker kite flying festival is Sunday if it isn't raining. Everyone go to it, look up into the sky at the creations of your neighbors, and be happy.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Steanso is having a rough day, kids. I got in an argument about payments with one client this morning and she both yelled at me and cried before we were done. Then I got back to the office and found out I withdrew from a client's case who had paid us (I was given a note telling me to withdraw, but somehow it's still my fault). On top of that, I didn't show up in court for one client because I had been told he wasn't going to be there (Travis changed his mind and told the client to show up, but didn't tell me).
It's just one hell of a screwed up day. Had a pretty nice lunch with Jennifer at the little sandwich shop by the courthouse. I'm starting to think that the people who run that sandwhich shop make more money and have more fun at work than I do.
What else...? Watched M. Night Shyamalan's The Village last night with Crackbass. It was ok. Not as bad as I had heard that it was, but certainly not as good as The 6th Sense. M. Night seems to be pretty good at artistic direction in his movies (they're always fun to look at), but he seems less adept at writing solid scripts- in particular the dialogue. The dialogue in this movie seemed particularly strained, but that may have quite a bit to do with the fact that the movie was a "period piece" and Shyamalan was trying to write in the vernacular of the time. Anyway, I probably shouldn't spend too much time reviewing a movie that everyone has already seen except me.
Jeff "Crackbass" Wilson's birthday is tomorrow, so everyone wish him well. It's also my mother's birthday tomorrow, (Karen "Karebear" Steans) so wish her well, too!

My day eventually got better. Somewhat. Still feel like I'm a little overwhelmed at the ol' office.
Meatloaf tonight with the Wilsons, so that's a good thing. The Wilsons feed me a lot, which is good b/c it helps me eat better than I normally would and I like hanging out with them, but bad b/c I don't cook (making it hard to return the favor), and I feel like Cassidy gets neglected many nights when I come home and then immediately roll across the street to Casa de Wilson. I try to take the Wilsons out to dinner on a semi regular basis in order to reciprocate, but that doesn't do much to appease my 3 legged dog. Oh well, I think tonight I will just enjoy meatloaf and not overanalyze. A late night walk can make up for a lot of away time when dealing with the Wondermutt.

And in closing, check this out:

This woman tastes musical notes. Her senses are wired to her brain in such a way that auditory sensations become converted to taste. That's pretty awesome- at least for the short term. Makes me wonder what different songs would taste like. Sensation and perception are topics which fascinate me. What if we could hear different sights or see different sounds? (I guess that maybe that's just echolocation, similar to the abilities of bats or dolphins) Anyway, I just wonder if different senses would make us notice different things (or pay attention to different things), interpret things differently, and perceive the whole world in a different way. Then again, maybe it's a good thing that we can't see people passing gas...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Well, just a quick post while I wait on a friend to go to lunch. Erin has resurfaced, so we can all rejoice in the fact that she was not, in fact, buried by a mudslide.
All of the county employees seem to think their computers are down, and yet here I am using one to post on my blog site. Hmmmm.....

Here's a quick note to people who think it's a good idea to kill the families of judges- as your attorney, I would advise against it. Can't imagine that it would help your case. Also, it makes you go to hell.

Lunch with Crackbass at the Ranch 616. It was a good lunch. One of the waitresses over there is starting to look like she's a little strung out on something.
I tried to get Jennifer Kraber to dine with us, but she had to tend to her Court 4 flock. Maybe tomorrow.

Cassidy decided early this morning that she needed a belly rub. For this, she persisted in whining, licking, and stomping on my stomach for over an hour while I tried to sleep. Despite numerous threats to have her put to sleep, she perservered, and I eventually surrendered and got up to watch the news while administering a puppy massage. Bad, bad Cassidy.

Last night Crackbass and I went to the newly opened Guitar Center by our houses. Guitar Center is like the evil Wal-Mart of music stores. They have low prices on the stuff you want, but their service sucks, and they tend to drive all the little local music shops out of business. Also, they have sales people who call you "dude" and pretend to be interested in your shitty garage band. Still, the place is a musical wonderland, and I get lost in all of the beautiful guitars and other equipment. It's really easy to go in there and forget the importance of musicianship in the face of shiny equipment. After all, practicing your instrument may sometimes feel like work, but spending money on toys is just plain fun.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Howdy. Just got back from running to Williamson County, and, boy, are my legs tired. That joke never gets old.
We had a pretty good Crack practice last night, considering 3/4 of our members were tired and hung over from going out for the Pea's birthday on Sunday night. We're implementing new recording technology, via Andy's laptop. We'll see how that works out.
Happy belated birthday to D.K. Punzi. She's old as the hills, but she's only 3 apples tall. Let's all give her a hand, kids.
One of my clients sent me a thank you card for working hard on her case. This client is also incredibly good looking, but she always seemed really serious, and I though she hated me. Oh well. She's going into a career in law enforcement, so I don't think we were meant to be, anyway.
Still no word from Erin out there in Cali. I can only assume she was, indeed, buried by a mudslide.

And in what I consider to be an astonishing ruling, the Supreme Court ruled today that giving juveniles the death penalty is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has been kind of weird, lately. Despite their generally conservative slant, I think that our Supreme Court justices are generally in favor of a pretty balanced system and are becoming a little wary of the conservativism that is sweeping the country. I think they're shoring up some controversial positions while they still can (before one of them has to step down and Bush manages to cram some new Nazi appointee down our throats).
Well, not too much time for blogging today.