Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day. The Steanso/Crackbass party was quite a success, despite the rain, and we'd like to thank everyone who came out for the soiree.

The party was fun. Andy and Rami showed up and publicly argued about whether or not they engage in nude photography (they do- this has been established on other occasions when they told us all about it, but apparently they were too drunk to remember this when they were arguing about it on Sunday). Sigmund was at the party and spent a lot of time pontificating and convincing Kraber to run away and join the pool-players circuit (don't go, Jennifer, we need you here!). Reed Shaw made a late night appearance and was roundly congratulated on the birth of his new daughter, Meredith. Chris Griego showed up and demanded sweet snacks. Then salty snacks. Kelly, Colleen, and Lisa (Colleen's sister) showed up, looking stylish as usual, and told stories of race cars and hair design. Rosa and Nathan showed up and Rosa argued with Dan about whether or not there was any value in letting cases get old and moldy before you offer a good deal on them. Heather Shaw came to the party and smoked a lot and tried to make me get her stuff whenever I stood up. We danced for a song or two, but I was pretty tanked, so I mostly stood and shuffled a bit while Heather twirled around me. The Pea was feisty buzzed and called Crackbass a bastard when he asked her a few pointed questions about an ex-boyfriend named Wayne The Stain. I'm not sure what Kim Bloom did, but you can bet it was funky.

Also this weekend, Steanso's parents were in town, so Steanso took them (with the help of the Wilsons) to the Nutty Brown Cafe, where we saw the Derailers, ate fried things, and danced the night away. We also ventured over to Casa de Shaw to meet little Meredith and bequeath presents to her. She didn't say a lot, but I think she was pretty impressed by the rattle and chew ring.

Yesterday we had Mono E practice, and we rocked out to such classics as Big Bottom and Last Dance with Mary Jane. Then I foolishly joined the Wilsons for a late dinner at The Outback Steakhouse (it really is like stepping right into Australia), which made Steanso sleepy, so he went home and went to sleep with his equally sleepy three-legged dog.

By the way, I think there's a brothel on my block, 4 house down. Crackbass called it first, and Steanso didn't believe him, but now Steanso's seen the hookers with his own eyes.

Crack would like to announce that we are now taking applications for auditions for The Chickenheads (i.e., the new Crack backup singers). All applicants must be female and funky. We can't promise you fame or fortune, but we can promise you cheap beer, the opportunity to suffer some slight sexual harrassment (and before you get bent out of shape, keep in mind that Crackbass and Dirty Sensat already sexually harrass the male members of the band), and the comradery of your fellow musical exploration team. Also, sometimes Crackbass cooks for us. But you gotta be funky. Hey ladies!!!!

OK, I got no political rant for today because I've watched no news all weekend. No wonder I feel more peaceful today....

Friday, May 27, 2005

So Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Time for eating barbecue and drinking too much cheap beer in the name of America's fallen veterans.

Here's something funny.
Tom Delay is rattled because a TV show with a strictly fictional plotline took a one sentence, indirect shot at him? It would seem to the uninitiated that Mr. Delay might have more pressing matters on his mind. Some might even say that his feigned outrage is meant to divert attention from this....
You would think that Tom would be expressing outrage over this civil judgement against his campaign cronies, but instead he seems to be fixated on the slander that he suffered by fictional characters on a TV show. It's almost as though he would rather find an easier argument to defend himself against than funding improprieties...

Christian is here again today at the office, playing with his remote controlled car and making things (he calls them monsters) out of sticky notes. If too many minutes go by without me taking a moment out to play with Christian, I typically end up with a sticky note monster stuck to my elbow or leg.

Anyhow, I hope that everyone has a good Memorial Day weekend, and I hope you all come to the party on Sunday at Wilson's place.

Be safe, everyone.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Remember how I was bitching about the new U.S. policies which are permissive of torture? Here's a bit more on that from Amnesty International:
I'm going to go ahead and make the risky general assertion that if your government is creating policies that makes other countries want to try your leaders as war criminals, then those policies should probably be reexamined. The Geneva Convention is stupid, anyway.

Last night I went with Jeff to procure his new barbecue grill at the Home Depot. It's shiny and exciting and we hope you all come to the barbecue party so you can see it.

Here's something else that's fun.
The Republicans want to cut $10 billion from Medicaid at a time when they are trying to cut taxes for America's wealthiest Americans (e.g., capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes, to name a couple), and at a time when Bush wants to set up Social Security in a way that will undoubtedly leave even more senior citizens in financial hardship (when their investment choices for their social security don't pan out). And now the Republicans are surprised when the Democrats don't want to be a party to their bloodletting on Medicaid (keeping in mind that Medicaid helps to provide health care for 52 million low income families)? Screw those elephants.

In more trivial news, I watched the season finale of Lost last night (and I'm not going to give away much, but here's your spoiler alert, anyway). The finale kind of/ sort of took a shot at answering a few questions about what the hell has been going on with the island, but really, it just gave us a few peeks at things we didn't understand, and which we will presumably have to turn in next season in order to have explained. I'm beginning to get frustrated with the show because it seems to just want to string it's audience along with the "secrets" of the island, but I'm afraid that, like the X-Files, the show will either fizzel and die before those secrets are revealed or (and this would be even worse) the secrets of the island will in no way live up to the hype that the writers have created by keeping all of these mysteries a secret for so long.

Well, that's all for today. Be good.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Congratulations to Jeff Wilson for his first day at his new job (with Joe Turner's law office), and congratulations also to Jennifer Kraber for coming in 7th/8th (I think) at her pool tournament in Vegas and for qualifying to become a Master (apparently this is a title not dissimilar to being a Master of Kung Fu or a Master of Ninjitsu- anyway, she can't play in the "Open" tournaments anymore because she's too much of an ass kicker).

Driving down Congress yesterday, I saw the marquee on the old Will Wynn campaign headquarters (which was, before that, a porn theater) adroned with the phrase "Let Qui-Gons be Qui-Gons" and on the other side, "Sith Happens". I'm glad I live in a town where people are happy to let their freak flags fly. I'm also happy to see people enjoying the conclusion of the Star Wars saga, even if the last three movies weren't quite up to the standards of the original three.
What else? Hi Rami! I understand you have been secretly reading my blog, but rarely if ever making a post. This is unacceptable. For those of you who don't know Rami, she is a tiny, elf-life person who cackles a lot and can drink like nobody's business. She is prone to telling somewhat embarrassing stories about herself and then claiming that either A) they never happened or B) she never told us that. If you're wondering why someone would do such a thing, see my sentence above about Rami's love of the booze. Rami also has a talent and a propensity for doing interpretive dances, typically of eighties songs, at unexpected moments. I have found these dances to be fascinating, entertaining, funny, and a wee bit disturbing, all at the same time. If you've never seen her do one, you must insist upon it next time you see her. Rami is also the person who first introduced phrases such as "The Rusty Trombone", "The Eelskin Watch", and the "Little Hitler" into the Steanso/Wilson lexicon. For this, we are endlessly grateful. Rami is a compulsive cleaner and organizer, and she has sat in on drums with the Mono Ensemble at least twice.

Also, this:
Record number of millionaires? It's good to know that Bush is keeping some people happy. As Bush said in Farenheit 911, these people make up his base. The rich keep getting richer while the middle class struggle to maintain their current jobs and income levels as their jobs are outsourced overseas. So people who are already very wealthy are getting wealthier. Kickass. Now if we could just healthcare coverage for senior citizens who are living on fixed incomes...

And last, but definitely not least:
Big surprise. Amnesty International isn't crazy about Guantanamo Bay. What's not to like?
The fact that hundreds of people are being held in custody without a right to fair trial or legal counsel is a good place to start, but probably the more alarming issue is the U.S.'s endorsement of torture, albeit in a somewhat bureaucratically disguised form (i.e., stress positions and enviromental and sensory manipulation). By violating our traditional ban on torture and saying that it's ok to use torture whenever we think we have good cause (and we haven't even see fit to demonstrate what a showing of good cause amounts to in Guantanamo Bay- surely the torture being used there is not effecting the immediate safety of U.S. citizens, because the captives at Guantanamo are not in contact with external forces because of their very incarceration), we have not only shown ourselves to be a nation which is perfectly willing to violate human rights in order to achieve its own ends, but we have also given other nations the go-ahead to use torture against Americans whenever they believe it to be appropriate. I see this as a huge step backward in the advancement of human rights world wide, and an unbelievably short-sighted and arrogant act on the part of the federal government.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Hotter and hotter.
The waiting room is full of people.
Stupid Priscilla Owen is going to have her nomination approved. Stupid Priscilla Owen.
The microwave in our office knocks out the circuit breakers when the air conditioner is running.
Travis is at a disciplinary review board hearing with some APD cop.
I had to go to Williamson County this morning. It was a wasted trip.
My parents are coming to town this weekend, and I'm hosting a party with the Wilsons, so it should be a busy weekend. I hope I can get my lawnmower fixed.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Crap. I just erased my post. Oh well.
To summarize:
The weekend was good. "Dirty" Andy Sensat had the Wilsons, Rami, and Steanso out to Camp Sensat for a Saturday of Wimberly fun. We floated in the Blanco River, drank cold, watery beer, taught Cassidy how to navigate currents and find shallow rocks to sit on, and ate Mexican food after we got home. Kudos to the Sensats for putting up with our shennanigans yet again.
Sunday I did some recording with Eric for the Mono E, and then we listened to our newest recordings with Jim and Reed.
The Mono E's newest album is getting dangerously close to being completed, and I think it sounds pretty darn good (in my totally unbiased opinion). The songs vary quite a bit, not just because of our normally eclectic tastes, but also because the songs on the CD were written over a relatively long span of time, and I think the band's approach to songwriting has changed a bit over that period.
Hope everyone is planning on coming to the barbecue/party next weekend at the Wilsons. The party is at Casa de Wilson, but I'm co-hosting, so if you've managed to wander onto this site, it's probably safe to say that you're invited. My mom and dad will be in town next weekend, and may stop by the party, so try to keep your pants on this time, people. Also, bring some sort of a cut of meat to throw into the Wilsons coi pond to feed their fish. My understanding is that it's Japanese tradition, and just good manners.

And in political news, here's another fun story:
Pat Tillman, an NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals and U.S. Army Ranger, was killed in Afghanistan in April of 2004. The military and the White House described the incident at the time as being a heroic battle in which Tillman died while defending his men from enemy fire. Now, it turns out, that Tillman was shot by his own men, allegedly at medium to close range.
I bring this story up in no way to dispararage the career or the contribution of Pat Tillman in the U.S. military, but rather to show, yet again, the deception and the obfuscation with which the military and the White House have treated the American public in disseminating information related to the "war on terror". Instead of just admitting that this was a tragic accident, the military tried to paint Tillman's death as a heroic battle, creating a set of lies and exaggerations which has left Tillman's family (like many military families who have experienced a loss) angry and confused. If we're going to send our fellow countrymen into battle, the least we can expect from our leaders and our military is the truth about what has become of them. In fact, the military's use of deception in attempting to turn Tillman into a war hero seems to now be breeding only conspiracy theories and distrust, as Tillman's family questions how their very recognizable son was shot by his own men at a range that should have made him clearly visible.
Just more lies and more deception. I wouldn't trust this administration to take care of my dog.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ugggh. It's hot again and Steanso is sweating through his shirt and tie as he runs around town representing his little heroes.
I had a lovely lunch today with Rosa and Kim. We spent a lot of time discussing courthouse politics, religion, and the vast, right wing political conspiracy.
DK and Liz cooked me and their friend Hillary a delicious steak dinner last night, so I send a mad shout out and props to them. Their house is really looking great after all the work they've done on it, and they need to host a party, but they keep putting it off. Party, I say!
I watched another episode of Revelations (starring Bill Pullman) last night, and I think I'm about done with it. The show would have us believe that the end times will be at hand when the Christians are besieged by an army of Satanists who rise up to take over the world. What the hell? If the current political climate is any indication, I think the Christians seem to be on the attack a lot more these days then they seem to be suffering from persecution. Plus, who wants to worship Satan? It just doesn't make any sense- he's evil and he only wants to hurt you in the end (why worship someone who only wants to cause pain and is dedicated to lying and double crossing people?) I think Christians like to believe there are people out there who worship evil because a common threat bonds Christian believers together. There might be a small number of mentally ill people who truly dedicate themselves to mindlessly causing pain, but in general, I think evil prevails in the world by depriving people of respect and fair treatment as human beings when people put their own agenda ahead of respecting the rights and human dignity of others- not because people are worshipping Satan. That's just dumb. Anyway, sorry about the theological diatribe, but every once in awhile Steanso's ol' philosophy degree wants to raise its ugly head. And Steanso believes that true evil is a lot more commonplace and banal than people want to believe- it takes root, as Kant would say, every time a human being treats another human being as a means rather than an end. Thus concludes this odd rant.

Well, the weekend is at hand. San Saba County will be playing at 10:00 tonight at Ego's. Go listen to them sing those songs about them West Texas girls. Good stuff.

By the way, here are some comments from Austin (Travis County) District Attorney Ronnie Earle which he has given in response to questions about his investigation of Tom Delay and other politicians who have accepted illegal corporate contributions in return for favors:

'They dictated laws; they enriched themselves and produced public anger that resulted in a reform movement. We really can't allow corporate wealth to translate into political power without abusing the public interest.'
— In a courtroom speech in which he likened the Texas Association of Business to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and to the American robber barons of a century ago.
June 2004
'This isn't about Tom DeLay; it's about corporate greed. They can always find another Tom DeLay.'
— To the Austin American-Statesman, explaining why his office was investigating businesses with links to DeLay.
November 2004
'This investigation is a little like clowns coming out of a Volkswagen in the circus. There's always another clown coming out.'
— Hinting to Newsweek magazine that his office's investigation into alleged illegal fundraising by Texans for a Republican Majority will result in more indictments.

The Republicans are clamoring for Earle's resignation and stating that Earle's investigation is biased, conducted only for political gain, but Ronnie Earle is entering his late sixties and contends that he has no plans to pursue a political career once he leaves the D.A.'s office (and what chance would he have, anyway, as a Democrat politician in Texas?) I have met the man and worked extensively with his staff, and I think that he just wants to see a little less corruption in our state. I think that the Republicans who work for the D.A.'s office stand by Ronnie Earle's personal ethics and know him to be a fair man. Once again, the Republicans are trying to shoot the messenger, but this time the messenger has some power to fire back....

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Yup, Reed Shaw is a poppa. Meredith Cynthia Shaw, who was six pounds and I can't remember how many inches long has popped into our world this week. 38 hours of labor for ol' Jen Shaw. With no drugs. Dear lord.
Who will Meredith be? Will she like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Will she share her father's kryptonite-like weakness for peanuts? Will she share her mother's love of health food and (yuck) tofu? Will she vote Democrat, or will evil eclipse her soul and turn her into a Republican? By the way, Reed, even if you continue to deny your inner Texan, Meredith will always be inextricably linked to the Lonestar State through birthright. Let's all say a little prayer that Meredith comes to embody the independence, toughness, courtesy, and self reliance of Texans without any of the prejudice or ignorance that our state's detractor's sometimes tag us with (and admittedly, sometimes rightfully so).
Thus begins the countdown to Jason buying Meredith her first beginner drum set in about 5 years (or maybe a bass guitar if she turns out to be too smart to be a drummer). Congrats again, Shaws.

On an unrelated note, here is the link for the Mono Ensemble in case anyone ever wanted to see what I do with my time.
On the site, you can see a car which is owned by no one in the band and also hear one of our songs (titled, somewhat presciently, 12 Steps). I can't remember if I've ever posted a link to it before, but one more time won't hurt.

Kudos to Larry Lee for his posting in the comments section 2 days ago about the moral ambiguities of lawyering on the prosecution side. It's an interesting viewpoint, and I can always count on Lee to understand when I'm whining about my life o' lawyering.

In other news, I can't believe that the Elephants think that John Bolton is their strongest cadnidate for ambassador to the U.N.
This guy, by all accounts, is a lying, meanspirited little shit who has historically attempted to alter or bend intelligence data to fit his own agenda (hasn't the U.N. gotten enough of that kind of treatment from the U.S.?). Bolton has bullied subordinates who questioned his opinions and his handling of intelligence in various matters, and although this may make him the perfect man to hold a post within the Bush cabinet, it does not lend itself well to dealing with other nations which already see the U.S. as having some major credibility problems (an understandable view, to say the least). Everyone email their reps and ask them not to vote for this schmuck.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Hey, kids! I have an unconfirmed report that their may be a new Shaw child amongst our greater family unit. If so, welcome to the world, little Shaw!

(The scoop is that I ran into the lovely and talented Karen Skowronski- wife of Mono E guitarist Frank Skowronski- at the courthouse as she was serving her jury duty, and she informed me that she and Frank had received an email saying that Jen gave birth to a baby girl after like 30+ hours of labor. I, personally, have received no word from the Shaws, email or otherwise, so this whole thing could just turn out to be another elaborate Skowronski family hoax. Nonetheless, I choose to tentatively welcome the Shaw child, assuming she has, in fact, entered our consensual reality.)

I have no news to eclipse the birth of a Shaw kid. I've been working my butt off in and out of court. Last night I got home at eight, watched an epsiode of The Deadliest Catch, a show about the apparently very dangerous crab fishing industry in Alaska (this is only like the second episode, and a boat has already sank, drowning five people, and another fisherman was washed overboard and drowned off a second boat).
I ate some mac and cheese, took the three legged wonderdog for a hop around the block, and went to sleep.
Congrats and good wishes, Shaws. And for the littlest Shaw- Welcome to the world. Hope you enjoy the ride. My words of advice are to listen to one of history's greates gurus, Mick Jagger.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need..."
Peace, little one.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Steanso just got some guy out of jail for an assault against his girlfriend when he already had a pending assault (possibly against this same girl- it's not clear). Steanso is not sure why the judge signed the bond, but the client's family brought money to Steanso to get client out of jail, so Steanso brought the bond to the judge, and lo and behold, the judge signed it. Steanso fervently, fervently hopes that this client does not go home and beat up his girlfriend again tonight.

I am totally slammed at work today. Maybe more later.

Monday, May 16, 2005

So it's Monday again.

I saw F4Fake this weekend, along with Buttercup, and both bands were pretty darn good. Buttercup was good and sounded tight, as always, but F4Fake was especially good. They had like 8 guys up on stage, the majority of them obviously talented musicians, and they just seemed to be having fun banging out their songs and doing their thing. I get the impression that this isn't a band that intends to take its act nation wide, and maybe it's because of the fact that they aren't aspiring to make this band their vocation that the guys in F4Fake seemed so laid back and to be having so much fun. Anyway, they were really good, with a sound that alternated between (I shudder to give this comparison, seing as how its been made so many times lately) being somewhat Wilco-ish and a southernized, bigger version of The Tragically Hip. Definitely worth checking out if you have the opportunity. Kudos to birthday boy Chris Griego for flying with me as my wingman to the Ruta Maya for this one and drinking many beers.

Congrats to Crackbass for landing himself some new employment. Jeff Wilson will apparently soon be joining our band of merry brothers as a criminal defense attorney in superattorney Joe Turner's office. Welcome to the only profession in the world which may eventually find you saying things with a straight face in open court like, "Well, technically, your Honor, having sex with a dog is not a crime."
In all truth, being a criminal defense attorney can be both incredibly fun and terribly frustrating, but I still find it interesting, and that's something that many people can't say when they've been doing the same thing for 7 years. The job basically boils down to listening to other people's stories and then being able to turn around and articulate them to other people in a way that makes sense. You spend a lot of time trying to humanize your clients, turning them from just a sentence or two with some statistics in an offense report (which is the only side of your client that the prosecutor or judge may see) into a living person with a family, a history, a job, and most importantly, a future. Things in life are rarely as black and white as police reports would lead you to believe, and our job is often just to make the prosecutors acknowledge the shades of gray that the legal system would like to ignore (i.e., yes, the drugs were in the car my client was driving, but he shares the car with a drug addict brother who tends to leave his stuff laying around.... yes, my client left a bruise on his girlfriend's arm, but she's a suicidal drug addict and he was trying to restrain her so she wouldn't hurt herself....). Sometimes these things are excuses for bad behavior, but sometimes they are just the kind of complicated situations that life throws at people which the legal system (which prefers neat little boxes) is not designed to deal with.
Anyway, being a criminal defense attorney is a job which rewards you for working well with people above all else, so if you like listening to or telling stories, it's a good way to go.

What else? We also had Mono E practice this weekend, which sounded pretty good.
Watched the Spurs lose to Seattle again. I'm not sure how the NBA managed to find so many chokers who are otherwise good players and stick them on one team, but the Spurs' continuing meltdown is an amazing thing to behold. If nothing else, it should be an object lesson for the kids- talent and skill can only carry you so far if your self confidence is nonexistent. Then again, it's kind of a weird chicken and the egg thing, because I'm sure it would boost the Spurs' confidence a lot if they could sink a few outside 3 pointers in the 4th quarter. Whatever.

Hope everyone is having a good day.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Steanso is very, very tired today after having made the trek up to Round Rock last night to celebrate the birthday of Christopher "Griegor" Griego and to watch the Spurs lose to Seattle in Game 3 of their playoff series. Happy birthday, Chris!!!!
On the way up to Griegor Manor, Weedo and I stopped off at Chateau de Gottula to listen to Erock's new Mono E mixes, which are still a little rough, but sounded really good, on the whole. Eric's music room at his apartment is an experiment in modern day mysticism, with chairs suspended from the walls, tapestries covering the ceiling, old photos, Simpsons paraphanalia, flags, candles, and strange objects in jars that look like brains or other bodily organs if you don't look at them too closely (more strangely shaped candles, maybe?). All of this stuff is packed in around a bunch of keyboards, drums, amplifiers, mixers, and other equipment that Eric uses in working his musical voodoo. It's just one of those interesting spaces that speaks volumes of truths about the person who works within it, existing as much in the universe of Eric's mind as it does in the suburban apartments of north Austin.
What else...?
Superfriend Jennifer "Killer" Kraber is playing in a 9 ball pool tournament up in Vegas this week, so let's all send her some good mojo so she does well and has fun.
Reed and Jen Shaw's baby is due any day now. No news on whether it will be a boy or a girl. I fully expect for the kid to be fully versed in Phish lyrics by the time of its first birthday, however, and for the kid to be playing some form of drums or percussion by age two to two and a half. I'm sure that the kid will have a working knowledge of the Vikings' offensive and defensive set formations at any early age as well, but I'm less inclined to celebrate this knowledge due to the lifetime of pain and sorrow that being a lifetime Vikings fan is likely to cause the poor little bastard. ; )
And here's something fun:
Big, big surprise. Tony Blair's notes from meetings with the Bush administration from 7 months before the invasion of Iraq indicated that U.S. intelligence was being manipulated in order to strengthen Bush's case for a move towards war (by making Saddam look more dangerous than he actually was). It was already felt at that time that military action was was "inevitable." Bush wanted to remove Saddam, and intelligence data was tailored to support such a conclusion. Weapons of mass destruction and terrorism were seem as underlying issues that could be used to rationalize the invasion, despite the fact that in truth, Saddam was seen as less of a threat to U.S. security than Libya, North Korea, or Iran.
This article doesn't contain any news that surprises me. It doesn't even shock or outrage me anymore. Instead, it just makes me wonder how history is going to look back upon Bush's two terms in office and this entire invasion debacle. I have a feeling that the recounting of these events is not going to read well for America. Then again, who cares? Apparently no one is reading these history books in the first place, or we probably wouldn't be in Iraq at the moment (see Vietnam War; see also Soviet invasion of Afghanistan).

ooookay. I just reread my blog, and I was wrong. I do care about being lied to in order to start a war, apparently for little reason other than to support the monetary interests of the Bushes and the Cheneys in the Middle East. It pisses me off and reinforces my belief that this administration is evil, evil, evil. For a second there I felt a sense of resignation coming on, but it's passed- mostly because I know that any feeling of resignation on the part of "liberals" is what these nazi conservatives have been fighting for this whole time, and giving in to them makes me part of their domination program, so I must never, ever be anything less than angry when they try to shove their bullshit down my throat.

"War is peace.
Ignorance is knowledge.
Freedom is slavery."
- 1984

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Steanso is still way busy today, kids. Last night Steanso did quite a bit of recording with Eric "The Slavemaster" Gottula, who made Steanso play all of his banjo, guitar, and bass parts over and over again until Steanso's poor fingers were aching. 'Tis a hard, hard life Steanso leads.

This Saturday, San Antonio band Buttercup will be playing at Ruta Maya at 9:00, followed by Charlie Roadman's band, F is 4 Fake. Charlie manages Buttercup, and his brother plays drums in that band. They are really good, with a sound best decribed as tasteful, alternative rock. I think they've been picked as the best band in San Antonio by the San Antonio paper for the last few years, and they just played South by Southwest here in Austin. I don't know as much about F is 4 Fake, but Charlie's a good guy and a good musician, so I look forward to hearing them play as well (although Charlie has assured me that his band is not as good as Buttercup, but isn't that the kind of thing a good manager would say?). Anyway, anyone without plans should consider going to Ruta Maya Saturday night, and maybe calling Steanso so he doesn't have to roll solo (my usual wingman, Crackbass, will be out of town).

What else....? Damn. I can't think of anything, and some client is in the waiting room with his five kids, waiting to see me. I guess I'd best go. Peace, out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Due to a much busier than average day, there is very little time for blogging.

I hope everyone is having fun.

Keep on rockin' in the free world.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tuesday. What can you say about Tuesday? It ain't worth a damn.

I have this felony case where this guy is accused of having exposed himself to some sixteen year old girl. He was sitting in his car in their office parking lot when she walked by, and she said she looked in the window and he was masturbating. Our guy, for his part, says the sixteen year old must have been mistaken because he was actually listening to classic rock and eating a bean burrito from the Taco Bell. (possibly playing some air drums to the sounds of Blue Oyster Cult with his burrito in hand? you can see how this kind of mistake can easily occur when food items are substituted for musical equipment) Burrito guy even brought his Taco Bell wrapper in to my office as evidence. I labeled it "defense exhibit one" and stuck it in my filing cabinet.
At any rate, when I was telling this story last night to my brother, Ryan "Roundball" Steans, his initial concern, surprisingly enough, was the extent of privacy which he should be afforded in his car.
"What? He got in trouble for choking the chicken in his own car?!"
"Yeah, man. Can't spank the monkey in public."
"But, but- your car is your castle!"
"Well, your home is your castle. Your car is more like your tree fort. Maybe less so. You can probably get away with some naked stuff in your tree fort."
"And what is this girl doing going poking her nose into people's cars looking for masturbators, anyway?"
"I don't know, man. She says she wasn't trying to look."
"Yeah, right. Whatever."

I bring up this conversation as one of Steanso's public service announcements. In case you didn't know- your car is NOT your castle and there are few, if any, legal reasons for nakedness therein. The court is not going to place the blame on the sixteen year old who looked through your window for invading your privacy when they find out that you were polishing your rod in your car in the middle of a public parking lot. I thought that this was common knowledge, but after my conversation with Roundball, it became evident that I needed to clear a few things up.

If you are like Ryan and you don't like the state of this law (perhaps feeling a need for the occasional bit of automotive nakedness), I can only encourage you to write your congressman. And to seek help.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hey, kids! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was good, but it went by too fast.
Friday night we had a Crack practice and barbecue, both of which met with moderate success (we burned the ribs and had some difficulty locking in on grooves during the first part of our rehearsal). Nonetheless, we perservered, and when Weedo showed up later in the evening, we invited him to sit in and jam with us, and everything fell back into place and the world was right again. I guess that sometimes just mixing things up with new friends can help keep the ball rolling. Saturday I ran some errands, hung out with Eric and listened to the Mono E's newest mixes for awhile, and then had dinner with Da Wilsons plus Mandy's mother and sister at Suzi's Chinese Kitchen. I learned a fair amount about Hot Springs, Arkansas, during dinner and got a look at Kelly's new tattoo. Saturday night we tried to watch Taxi with Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah, and it was so bad that we actually turned it off (and Steanso is, in general, not afraid to watch a crappy movie, kids).
Sunday I saw Kung Fu Hustle with Crackbass and Andy F. It was really fun, and I would recommend it to fans of the kung fu movies. Then we had band practice for the Mono E, and after that I watched the Spurs game with Weedo and Griego. Somewhere in there I squeezed in a Mother's Day phone call to me mum to thank her for having me and whatnot.

Here's something different:
Posada Carriles, an anti-Castro Cuban radical and suspected terrorist, snuck into Florida last week to seek political asylum. Carriles is suspected of having been involved in a plot that blew up a Cuban airliner in 1976 and an attack that killed an Italian tourist. Now, although he has acted in a manner entirely consistent with being a terrorist, he is seeking political asylum in America because his anti-Castro political beliefs comport with those of th U.S. Meanwhile, apparently both Cuba and Venezuela want Carriles extradicted for his crimes against their citizens. Further complicating matters is the fact that many anti-Castro Cuban Americans (particularly former refugees in Florida) will be infuriated if the U.S. hands Carriles back over to the Cuban authorities. In this camp, Carriles is seen as a freedom fighter by many.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that Carriles was heavily involved in the destruction of an airliner that resulted in the deaths of over 70 civilians.
Posada Carriles is a terrorist and should be punished as such, but will the Bush administration stay true to its purported principles and see that he is brought to justice, or will they overlook what is clearly terrorist action when its end result furthers their own political agenda? Kind of an interesting dilemna.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Friday. Nice.
Steanso is sliding into the weekend like an steroid-addled slugger coming into home plate. No one best get in the way.

Here's another feather in George Bush's cap:
Gut the national forests and sell out to special interests all in one fell swoop? It's the opportunity of a lifetime for the Bush administration! Don't worry, George- your grandkids didn't need to know what nature looked like, anyway.
This administration has really made me so angry that I literally feel like I can't process all of the bad things that are going on as fast as they are occurring.
At least Iraq is all cleaned up and in good shape, the prospering democracy that Bush promised us materializing before our eyes.
I really do challenge anyone out there to please, PLEASE tell me at least one positive change that this administration has implemented. Just ONE!
(and if your response is going to be that we captured Saddam, you can save it, because we've already killed more Iraqis than he did under his regime, we've managed to destabilize the entire region in the process, and we've killed a whole lot of young, American troops in the process of digging ourselves into the whole quagmire. Trading one madman for an equally fanatic and ruthless but more dispersed group of madMEN is not progress- it's just trading one problem for another)

Crack practice tonight and barbecued ribs for dinner. Yum.

Maybe more later.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Howdy, Chitlins!! Hope everyone's doing fine.
Austin City Limits Festival tickets are on sale now, and the lineup of some of the bands has been announced as well. I'm personally revved up for it, given how much fun I just had at Jazz fest and the lineup that they just announced for ACL. All of you guys should go, because it will be super kickass fun. The ACL festival was a little overcrowded last year, but this year they are releasing 10,000 less tickets, so hopefully that will remedy that problem.
Here is the email address so you don't even have to look it up!
There are some really great bands in the lineup, and there should be something in there for everyone.
Ryan "Roundball" Steans, my "special needs" brother, is supposed to be in attendance, following me around and drooling on himself while gawking at the pretty lights and sounds. Sister-in-law Jamie McSteans may also be in attendance, doing her robot dance and eating funnel cakes.
You people are probably wondering why I sound like an advertisement for ACL Fest, but basically it's because as fun as the festival is, it's even more fun if you've got a gaggle of friends who are also there to party with you.

And in a final little note for today, thank God the Texas legislature has gotten back to the important business of protecting its citizens from harm.
If only this law had been in effect when I was still in junior high, I'm sure it would have prevented me from thinking about sex every 10 seconds (along with every other adolescent male in my school). Anyway, screw the fact that schools across the state are cheating on their standardized test scores because their students are illiterate
and foster kids are being ousted from their homes because our legislature is homophobic- the important thing is that we stop the dirty old men in our legislature from being tempted by our hip shakin' high school girls!!!! (By the way, what have high school girls got to be thinking now that they've been informed that their ability to dance seductively presents a clear and present danger to the State of Texas? Surely their desire to control and dominate male Texans will be fueled by this acknowledgement of their superhuman pschosexual powers... Damn. I knew that it was only a matter of time before high school girls took over this state.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hey, I'm back. Jazzfest was a big success, and Steanso and crew had a good time (although I'm STILL feeling the after effects). We saw Widespread Panic, McCoy Tyner (with Ravi Coltrane, and Terence Blanchard), Trey Anastasio (including the Superjam where he played with Dave Matthews, Mike Gordon, and a Neville brother), The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and others. We drank way too much and ate lots of crazy cajun food (here's something you wouldn't expect, kids- turtle soup is better than you think). Also, we met lots of colorful people, including Drunk Amanda, Midget Bill, the drunk Cheeseheads, and a bartender or two from some crazy carousel bar that we kept winding up at.
Sure, New Orleans may be a big, obnoxious drunkfest, but that's why I love it. It always cracks me up to watch people once they're stripped of their inhibitions, and New Orleans is one of the best places on earth for that sort of thing. We whiled away many an hour just people watching on Bourbon Street and watching tomfoolery in the Quarter as revellers filed past the balconey of our hotel.
Three cheers for Crackbass, The Pea, Kim, Sigmund, and Jackbart for making the trip such a success.
Oh well, back to work now. I really am feeling quite beat down, even after having been back for a day, but I wanted to get back online and say hi.
So hi!!!!