Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Update from Los Angeles

OK, actually it's technically Westwood. 515 Kelton Ave Apartment 129, to be completely technical.

I am now two days deep into classes at the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. I have to say, the classes are outstanding. But man it's been a challenge to be here.

Despite leaving 3 HOURS to get to the airport, (which I live 45 minutes away from), I missed my flight. I then was switched to flight into Las Vegas. But it was leaving in 15 minutes! The lady at the counter walks me to the front of security.

So that can be promptly flagged for the "whole security treatment." Yes, just my luck.

I tell them that I have a flight leaving in 10 minutes. They tell me that they will start inspecting me and all my stuff in as soon as 5 minutes.

After ripping apart all my stuff and degrading me, they are done and I have 2 minutes to get to my plane. So I run. Carrying about 60 pounds of stuff, I run. Untied shoes, and I run.

I am nervous. If I miss this flight I miss my first class. There are no more flights this day, or the next. I am hot and sweaty - literally soaked in sweat. But I get there.


The flight is completely filled, but I squeeze into a middle seat, a big hot sweaty mess that noone wants to be next to - including me.

And I notice that I am really feeling woozy. Like really seriously woozy. And my mouth is cotton mouth dry. I do something I have never done - I push that stewardess alert button. I must look terrible, because she looks at me with a great amount of concern.

"Sir, are you ok?"

"Not really, I feel horrible."

To the great joy of those sitting next to me, she brings me some water and a barf bag. I have a vague feeling of compassion for those sitting near me, for I believe they will be getting vomited upon.

But somehow I manage. For 5 and half increasingly delirious and feverish hours I manage to forestall the seemingly inevitable vomit. Yet I do have to make at least 8 trips to the tiny little bathroom. So many in fact, that I get really sick of having to make the "crotch or butt" decision every time I walk past the poor aisle dude.

On one of my trips I notice that there is an open aisle seat. On Southwest, seats are not assigned, so I take it.

Much to the chagrin of the dude in the middle seat, who I could tell was hating me.

Honestly, I was just about to faint so I couldn't care less. I did feel kind of bad however when I spilled my water on his legs. He was weird though, because his wife and him were watching this documentary about prostitutes in Nevada on their portably DVD.

I finally got to Las Vegas and my fortunes have changed because a connecting flight to LA is available.

Another 45 minutes and I'm in LA. My checked bag didn't make either flight. My fever is back and I'm too tired to care.

I take a random hotel shuttle, hoping that whatever hotel it takes me to will have a vacancy.

It does not. What it does have is some Maharesha Amman conference - this Holy Woman from India who blesses the world by - I am not lying to you - hugging it one person at a time. She has hugged 30 million people, I am told. There are 5,000 people in the lobby. Hippies, counter culture types, Hindus, Somalis. . . and me.

I don't want a hug, I want a bed. It's like 2 AM eastern time. I haven't eaten since lunch, but that is fine, just water for me.

I have to walk about a half mile down the street and finally I find a blessed Marriott with a vacancy. No hugging gurus here. Thank God.

In my grand plan to get around town, I buy a bicycle the next day. I get to enjoy it for 18 hours before it is stolen. Yes, I locked it up. Oh well. Now I'm walking around again.

But hopefully it'll all be worth it.

Lyme Disease Medication

I am on a medicine for Lyme Disease. It is making me so sick. I spent all morning looking like this. Thankfully, I only have 2 days left on the meds.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Public Parking in Tampa

The purpose of this post it to answer the question posed by xerxes, "What was the funniest thing that happened in Tampa?"

Well, the story goes like this. We were leaving the Imax after watching batman and going back to our car. We walked across the street to the garage where we had parked. A couple of the guys wanted to take the elevator up to the floor where the car was because it was about 1 in the morning and we were all exhausted from a long day. Jase, Joe, and I walked over to the stairs instead. The second we were out of sight, we sprinted up the flight of stairs like there were rabid dogs on our trail. We burst through the doors, spun around the corner past the elevator, and dove behind the concrete wall so that we would be out of sight. We were out of breath and laughing hysterically at the thought of the evil prank we were about to play, but we did our best to quiet down. Joe's conscience got the best of him and he walked towards the car.

We heard the telltale "ding" of the elevator and then the opening of doors. As the unsuspecting feet neared our darkened corner of the garage, the jingle of keys set off a switch in my brain, but it was too late to tell Jase. I had driven and the keys were in MY pocket!!! I watched in astounded and horrified awe as jason raised his arms, mustered up a roar, and flung himself around the corner only to find a lone girl with a can of mace on the other side of the wall.

Jase's mighty roar became a meek gasp of embarrassment just in time to save him from getting a face full of tear gas. The frightened girl hurried off to her car while jason, who was to embarrassed to speak, ran away without so much as uttering an apology. I was left at the scene of the crime because I could not pick myself up from rolling on the concrete floor in laughter. I am quite sure that Joe, who watched the entire debacle from a safe distance, would still deny ever knowing us if he were questioned about it by the Tampa Police.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A simple observation

The weblog's been kinda dead lately. What's going on with everyone? Tell me your stories. Of life. Of love. Of mushroom pizzas. Whatever.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Roadside Assistance

I have a habit. I am always looking for people by the road who look like the might need help, then I try to help them. It sounds pretty simple, but it's not. about 95% of the time they either don't need help or I scare them. Wouldn't you be scared if I tried to help you?

(Thanks beth for making me a real redneck)

Last week I made three stops. The first one was on my way to work. I was driving down route 1 at about 6:45 in the morning and I saw a giant snapping turtle on the shoulder. When snappers get it into their little brains that they should cross the road, there is absolutely no stopping them. You can turn them around, carry them away from the road, or whatever, but they will cross the road. Everybody drives about 70 mph down this road, so I knew there was very little chance of it surviving. Now I know that snapping turtles are not people, but I think they are worth helping too, so I pulled over on the shoulder, ran back to where it was, and realized I was barefoot. I grabbed the turtle by the tale and heaved him off the ground, trying to keep it away from my legs. He snapped over and over, and his mouth closing sounded like somebody clapping. I got across the road without getting my leg bitten off or being run over by a car, and I threw the turtle under the other gaurd rail. I don't think what I did was very appreciated, but little did he know what I had saved him from.

The next day on the way home from work I ws going down 273 when a car in the opposite lane swerved onto the shoulder and hit the brakes. An old man jumped out of the car and ran around to the passenger side of the car. He really looked like he might need help, so I pulled over, got out of my car, and called across the streed, "Sir, do you need any help?" Well, he took one look at me, ran back around his car and took off, looking terrified. I thought it was rather odd untill I saw myself in the rear view mirror. I'd been carrying rotten logs all day long and my face was covered in dirt. You could hardly see where my beard stopped and my face started, my hair was sticking everywhere, and I had a grimy button down shirt unbuttoned and hanging open. I looked insane.

A day or two later, I was looking for a shortcut home from work and I was lost, wandering around cecil county. I looked down a road I was crossing and saw a hitchhiker off in the distance. I had gotten off 45 minutes early, so I decided to go and pick the person up. I only hoped that they knew where they were going, because I had no idea where I was. As I got closer I noticed that it was a woman. I haven't had the best luck trying to help women in situations like this. Usually I just end up scaring them. Soon though, I realized that I would not be scaring this woman, she would be scaring my. Her hair was tangled and flying everywhere, she looked frantic, and her face... well, it was absolutely smashed in, twistet, and deformed.

I had been about halfway pulled over, but when I saw her I left. I couldn't do it. "This is not safe!" I thought. but as I passed her a thought came to me clear as day, "Jesus loved the unlovable."

"Well that was cool for Jesus," I thought, but he was God and stuff, that was his job. It would be crazy for me to pick her up. She might kill me, she might need much more help than I can give her, and I don't want to get in over my head. Besides she looks... crazy and dangeroud."

"I wonder what the guy the good Samaratan helped out looked like" came the other thought. I had clearly lost the argument. I turned around and picked her up.

As soon as I pulled over she yelled, "Thank you so much! I'm harmless, I'm so sorry about my face! I'm so sorry... I was in a horrable accident" I felt like a lousy person for not picking her up the first time.

"Hey it happens... I'm sorry" I said. I didn't know what else to say. "Where are you headed?"

"Just a couple of miles down the street, It's hot out and I need a drink. I won't lie to you, I need vodka. I've been tutering a dyslexic kid. It's frustrating cuz you talk to him all day and he can't comprehend nuthin and now my nerves are F___ed." He can't read or nuthin, he's got one of them computers that talk to you."

I drove her to the liquor store then I drove her back to her house while she took shots and gave me advice on girls.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Of Trees and Saws

If I were a tree, this would be my nightmare.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

3 steps to an excellent evening.

1.) Buy tickets to see Batman Begins.
2.) Buy Popcorn, a soda, and Milk Duds.
3.) Watch Batman Begins.

I still am in a bit of a shock about how much I loved this movie, because it completely snuck up on me and I was kind of tired of Batman after the late movies in the last franchise. But God Bless Christopher Nolan, because he has completely revitalized this character in my imagination and I could have watched Batman Begins and 4 sequels last night, I didn't want it to end. It was truly excellent. All the performances were pitch perfect, and a familiar story was made completely fresh and compelling.

I recommend it. Go see it!

PS. While watching the beginning of the movie, where Bruce Wayne is being mentored in the ways of the shadow warrior, it occured to me that this entire part would have made for an excellent 2nd act of the first prequel of the Star Wars movies. No corny pod racing and CGI belches. Give us mystically delicious training in the ways of a sacred order. Oh well. George Lucas you kind of redeemed yourself with Revenge of the Sith, but honestly it mostly highlighted how aggregiously awful and worthless the first two were. Revenge of the Sith (which I loved) should have been the first prequel! And then tell us what happens between the end of the Revenge of the Sith and the beginning of a New Hope!

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Well goodbye, everyone.
I will see you all in the fall.

I have one last question before i go. Here it is,

What about clones? Human cloning and stuff like that, you know?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Confession of an addiction.

My name is Xerxes and I'm a Halo-holic.

I try not to be. But there is something so good and pure about a shooting someone from across a board in the head when you know that they have a sniper rifle that is pointed at your head. Or walking up behind some opposing Elite who is looking over the edge of cliff, ready to pounce down on one of your teammates, and meleeing said Elite in the back of the head.

This said, it's not as bad as you might think. I still go to my job, am involved in a show at a dinner theater, rock out with TLM, and keep my life's affairs in decent order.

But, when I have a spare moment . . . Halo 2 on Xbox Live is like water to a parched soul. You see, as you play, and play well, you level up and play people of your similar rank. Also, you can join a clan, play big battles against other clans. Very cool.

I guess that's all I have to say. Though those of you who know who Josh Robinson is, should go here. It's a cool article, but the cool part is down where they have pictures of the ice cream eating contest.

Ranting completed.

P.S. I'm a level 20. That makes me happy.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Potential EP Artwork

JD had asked us to post some ideas. Well, here you go. Feedback is welcome, but don't be hurt if we don't take your advice. We can be stubborn like that.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Challenging Lord Vader

If you have spent your childhood (and adulthood) dreaming of facing down Darth Vader in a duel to end all duels, your time has come. For now he will read your mind at sithsense.com and you must use all your Jedi powers to fight him off.

Unfortunately, I lost. He guessed that I was thinking about a shark. Maybe you can do better.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I started working this week. It's been a mix of really hard and really nice. Below is a picture of paul on the Job site today. He is a real workaholic. I try to get him to relas some times and stop working so hard, but it's a losing battle.

Monday was really hot, and we were roofing. It was a really small roof, and it wasn't steep at all, so that was nice.

What wasn't nice was that it was really hot. So hot that I spent the day with a pounding headache and vomiting my guts up. It kind of sucked, but somehow I had fun anyway.

Today was a lot better. We were working on some flooring inside with the air-conditioner cranking. Thank God for cold air.

Monday, June 06, 2005

And . . . I'm still sick.

Well, I've been doing this, this, and this all weekend. I also did some of this, but that's because I was paid $200.

P.S. Here, Snake Man. You're the only person I e-know that will find this funny. In fact, you probably drew it. Sicko.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

New Digital Camera

I bought a digital camera today. I think it's going to be pretty cool. It's a Sony DSC-T1. It's 5 megapixels and about the size of a pack or cards. That's my detailed review. Here are some of the pictures I took today.

This is the kind of place I love. It just begs you to go exploring.

Our upcoming EP

So you know we've been recording an EP, that will hopefully be released by mid-summer. And we really like it, I think you will all be pleasantly suprised, it's a good deal better then our previous recordings (not to disrespect those, but they were done in my attic, with little equipment).

Anyway, I thought I'd let you in on some of the questions now facing us.

Here is the list of songs:
As Much
All Our Hands
My Name
Whipping Boy
Simpler than it Seems

And there may be some acoustic instrumental gems thrown in there too.

1.) Thoughts on track order?
2.) Any thoughts on names?
3.) Any thoughts on art direction?
4.) Any thoughts on anything else?

Not that we will necassarily take any of your suggestions to heart on any of these things, but it'll be fun to see what you're thinking.

The Creatures of Legend: real or not?

I am at times obsessed with "mythical" creatures and whether they could in fact be real. Let me be perfectly honest. I want them to be real. I HATE it in movies where they have "scooby doo" endings -- ie the scary or unusual things are just Ol' Man Higgins in a rubber suit. So in many ways, I want there to be at least some kernal of truth to most legends. So why don't you weigh in on the following -- real or not?

description taken from skepdic.com
The chupacabra ("goat sucker") is an animal said to be unknown to science and systemically killing animals in places like Puerto Rico and Mexico. The creature's name originated with the discovery of some dead goats in Puerto Rico with puncture wounds in their necks and their blood allegedly drained. According to UFO Magazine (March/April 1996) there have been more than 2,000 reported cases of animal mutilations in Puerto Rico in the last two years attributed to the chupacabra.

People have gotten so scared of the Chupacabra in parts of Mexico that they are now causing environmental damage by burning the caves we the creatures are purported to live. . .

The New Jersey Devil
taken from urbanlegendsonline.com
There are many different versions of the birth of the Jersey Devil. One of the most popular legends says a Mrs. Shrouds of Leeds Point, NJ made a wish that if she ever had another child, she want it to be a devil. Her next child was born misshapen and deformed. She sheltered it in the house, so the curious couldn't see him. On stormy night, the child flapped it's arms, which turned into wings, and escaped out the chimney and was never seen by the family again. A Mrs. Bowen of Leeds point said, "The Jersey Devil was born in the Shrouds house at Leeds Point."

Another story that also placed the birth at Leeds Point said that a young girl fell in love with a British soldier during the Revolutionary War. The people of Leeds Point cursed her. When she gave birth, she had a devil.

Some people believe the birth of the devil was punishment for the mistreatment of a minister by the Leeds folk.

Another story placed the birth in Estelville, NJ. Mrs. Leeds, of Estelville, finding out she was pregnant with her 13th child, shouted,"I hope it's a devil". She got her wish. The child wad born with horns, a tail, wings, and a horse-like head. The creature revisited Mrs. Leeds everyday. She stood at her door and told it to leave. After awhile, the creature got the hint and never returned.

Burlington, NJ, also claims to be the birthplace of the Jersey Devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a horses head, bat wings and a forked tail. It beat everyone present and flew up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exercised the devil for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890.

The Loch Ness Monster
Tied with Bigfoot as the quintessential "does it exist" creature, it may or may not inhabit an incredibly deep lake in Scotland.

I actually prefer calling it Sasquatch. . . just because I think that's a cooler name. Along with Sasquatch, there is also the Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, etc. Basically it's a large kind of ape kind of human creature that lives in remote areas and walks around. I read Frank Peretti's recent book Monster, which for the first time made me actually fear a Sasquatch, but still I don't think they are nearly as scary as the NJ Devil or the Chupacabra!

OK, that's all I can think of right now -- tell me if you think any of them are real. And let me know if I left any out.

For the record. Chupacabra -- probably vampire bats or something. NJ Devil -- I think there really was a deformed person who lived in the pine barrens and scared people. Loch Ness -- I think that a ocean dinosaur did somehow survive. But I think it's dead now. Sasquatch - yes, a North American relative to the ape makes sense to me.

Oh yeah, and Aliens. . . I actually DON'T want them to exist, because they scare me. But I kind of think they are real.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Could I Sing You a Lullaby?

Here is the softest rock vocalist in the world. Note the Micky Mouse shirt.

Jason Latshaw.


Anyone seen Ian's amp?
I just cleaned the basement for the first time since the show with the Mint.
taking inventory, we found it to be missing.
It's a Fender 2x12 Ultra Chorus.
I'm thinking that Collin or Drew has it in his car, because some other stuff is missing too.

It is sort of funny, you know, that we can lose something that size...

The hardest rocking guitar player in the entire world, even the universe.

Ian Palkovitz.

Oh, my swollen glands.

Well, I'm sick.


Sick and bored.

Anyone else ever been sick?

Care to share your thoughts?

That would be . . . nice.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mailing List

Hi all --

We're trying to beef up our mailing list and make sure that it includes all people who would want to be notified of events and goings-ons that are Look Machine related.

If you're not on it, or if you're not sure if you're on it. .. .

Send your name and email (and favorite band member) to:


Thank you all.

Audioscrobbler Update

Wow -- I just check online and now 31 people are recorded as having listened to the Look Machine. Thanks all! Keep signing up if you haven't already, because it's just plain fun, and of course whenever you can keep an amazing group (such as the VIEWING APPARATUS) from looking pitiful that's a plus.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Old Things Are Best.

I just saw the Eagles Goodbye Tour I with my dad. The band, the Eagles, was so amazing! It was a really good show. Unfortunately we saw it on TV and not live in the stadium.
Also, we watched the Andy Griffith Show. It was awesome.