Monday, January 29, 2007

"Veal Cutlet Come Down Tried to Beat the Shit Out of My Cup of Coffee...

...Coffee just wasn't strong enough to defend itself."

Lately I've been on a Tom Waits kick. Well, that's half true. I'm always on some kind of Tom Waits kick, but I've been playing the HELL out of Nighthawks at the Diner lately. I just love the live setting of the album, the intimacy of him playing to a small crowd, and the poetic creativity of this album, from the 'tween song banter ("I'm not weird about it, I don't tie myself up first.") to the actual songs. Tom Waits is a friggin' genius. You know this. I know this.

That's all I got. It's time to eat before 24. Talk soon.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

To the Sixth Dimension and Back

I have a phrase on my backpack. It reads, "To 42 Below and Back." I wrote that after a bottle of 42 Below vodka was broken in my backpack while spending the night in the Auckland airport. My bag, books, notebooks...everything was soaked in the sweet, sweet nectar of New Zealand's finest alcohol. It was a long night of drying everything under the hand dryer in the men's bathroom. For what my backpack went through, it was given that illustrious phrase.

After Wednesday night's experience with salvia, I feel like tattooing the subject line somewhere around my abdomen. Salvia, officially called Salvia Divinorum, is a legal psychoactive herb that comes from Mexico, and can be traced back to Mayan shamen using it for spirit journeys and the like.

Now Greg, psychoactive, you say? From something you can buy at your local head shop? Laugh away, fooligans, I thought the same thing until I got my hands on some (one of the many benefits of working for a magazine sent to smoke shops, and also working behind one, too). Well, we had done an article in Headquest back in June about the kraZiness that is Salvia, and we always have a bunch of vendors in the magazine selling the stuff, so I was curious. I kept hearing about it causing slight hallucinations, like the colors are more vibrant, textures start to move, you see the world in a different way kind of thing. It sounded like doing mushrooms, but this high peaked after five minutes and trailed off for about another hour. Whatev. They also STRESSED having a sober sitter if it's your first time trying it, which I thought was a tad overdramatic. Check the links above to read a little more about it (Don't worry, the Wikipedia article's a short read).

So like I was saying, I got my hands on some 10x extract of salvia...Purple Sticky Salvia, to be exact (but it was neither purple nor sticky, just a bunch of ground up leaves that looked like shake). My friend insisted I lead off, so I put some in a bong, as they said the smoke is hot and needs to be cooled, and I took a single hit. Granted, it was a big hit, but a single hit nonetheless. Best to play it safe and see what this salvia was all about. What happened next surprised the both of us.

I exhaled my hit, stood up and set the bong on the counter, then sat back down. The last thing I remember is drooling on my leg before blacking out. The next few minutes, what I remember, was a horrifying episode of utter blackness and fighting for my very existence. I remember hearing voices, completely forgetting where I was, and having the feeling I was in this dark cell, light years away from where I was but seconds ago. Few times I managed to break through the darkness and see flashes of my friend's apartment, and by this time I'm on my knees leaning against my friend's chair, looking at him, asking where I was and where the voices were coming from (I was told I spoke a LOT of gibberish). I was convinced that I was pleading my case to exist and my friend was the one person who helped keep me in this realm. I wish I was kidding. I can't remember the last time I was so scared. Once the blackness started to subside, I started to piece together where I was, but the visuals, including my friend's face, were horribly streched out horizontally. I'd slowly look around, trying to find familiarity, but for five mintues I was in another dimension. This I'm convinced of (I can only imagine what was going through my friend's head at the time). I'd go into more details, but I'm having trouble even talking about it, let alone writing it out.

After I came to, I still felt weird. I had The Fear. I sat down in the chair, made my friend turn off the TV, and had to sit and keep reconfirming to myself that I was here in the present. It lingered for another forty minutes, and I had this all-over body buzz, like shrooms without the visuals. I asked my friend if he wanted to try it. I think you know his answer.

I've never had a drug hit me like this before. Maybe it's because I tried a very potent mix as my first time, or maybe because I took too big of a rip, but it was unlike anything I had ever done. In looking at what I've written so far, I realize I'm rambling. I apologize, but this stuff is crazy. If I try it again, I'll be sure to half the dose and hope for a calmer peak. But for now, I'm still a bit dazed from the experience and happy to be among my fellow denizens of Earth. To the brave souls who have tried it, let me know if you've had this same trip from salvia. Until next time, have a good night, fooligans.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Lovin Spoonful of Spoon

After looking at previous posts, I realized that I have a LOT of love for Mike Patton (not necessarily a bad thing), but not nearly enough for Spoon, a band that seems to invade every musical player I own, from car stereo to Discman to CPUs at home and work. Now I say these guys are my favorite group, but where's the love here on the blogging medium? Where, I ask you? Well, here it is. So here's some more musical goodness from Pandering to Savages, this time in the form of an amazing quartet from Austin, TX. Enjoy, I know you will.

Or for those who want a literal spoon, here you go. See, I can satisfy both sides......I have no idea what that means. Oh well, sue me, I'm drunk.

Tony Hawk Who?

A magical thing happened a few days ago: I beat my previous high score in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 with a score of 783,068,500 IN A SINGLE TRICK!!! I don't know how may of you have played this wonderful game, but it's probably my favorite of all time. Great game engine, soundtrack, replayability...this was by far the best in the series. Plus, if you've played this game, you'll respect the hell out of this trick, even if I used an accidental glitch to start out with 6,000,000 off a Super Hand Clap air trick. Now, I have the picture for this score on my phone, but for some reason it won't send. I know, how convenient, right? Whatev. I'll be sure to post it once my phone decides to straighten up and fly right.

Over the years I've mastered THPS3 inside and out, and luckily I have a friend I can play with who can hang with me, but this latest score just goes to show the domination of man - or Greg - over machine. Score one for the human race here. Sure, it's not quite a billion points, but it's closer than my previous high of 525,000,000. RawK!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Obligatory Mike Patton Post

It's been about two months since last we talked about a certain Michael Allan Patton (far, far too long), so why don't we drop some more musical goodness, hmm? First, we have a performance by Tomahawk, a more recent collaboration that brought forth two albums of solid rock (and a soon-to-come third album in 07...yay!). The song is "God Hates a Coward," and yes, he's singing into a gas mask.

Second is "Golem II: The Bionic Vapour Boy" by Mr. Bungle. I thought you should see the fun, charismatic interaction between Mike and his audience. That, and I've always really liked this song. I wanted to show off "Retrovertigo," but couldn't find a version of it. Oh well. Anywho, do yourself a huge musical favor and buy California today. It's one of my favorite albums, if that carries any weight with you fooligans. Alright, enough talk. Rock out!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Me Encanta Pocoyo!

Buenos dias, amigos. I apologize for not giving my post-Mexico report yet, but I'm waiting for my sister to email me pictures of the perfection that was Ixtapa, seeing as the memory stick I bought at the airport didn't work in my camera. Oh well. Until then, however, I'd like to fill you in on something I discovered there.

It's called Pocoyo, an animated preschool program. I happened upon it flipping channels while sick in bed (bad meat), and I've fallen in love with it. Apparently it's all over Europe, along with Mexico (and I think even Japan), and both english and spanish versions are very well-made (although the voice of the spanish Pocoyo is unbearably cute). The show is about Pocoyo and his friends and the fun little adventures they get in. The other characters are Pato, a duck; Eli, a pink elephant; Lula, a dog; and various other friends who sometimes show up, like an manic octopus that talks in jibberish.

The premise of the show is really simple, and there isn't much beyond whatever props they're using (the background is a limitless white abyss like the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from DBZ). But the animation is really well done - I love their faces and the whole playful look it has - and the sounds and music work really complete the show.

Yes, I know I'm getting worked up over a show for four-year-olds, but watch and you'll agree; it's just an incredibly fun, innocent, enjoyable show. I'll start with "El Gran Estornudo" (The Big Sneeze), the first episode I saw. Following it is "Don't Touch," for those who'd like to see and hear an episode in english. After viewing these, you can visit YouTube for more. And more. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"You'll Go Over Like a Led Zeppelin."

Led Zeppelin? Hey, that's catchy. Thanks, Keith!

Yesterday marked a very important date in rock history, when on January 15, 1969, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham released Led Zeppelin I and changed rock 'n' roll forever.

Few bands have had the effect on music like Led Zeppelin. You know this. I know this. Everyone else knows this. So instead of more of my endless praise for the greatest band ever, enjoy a live version of the closing track from I, "How Many More Times," and rock the eff out!

Friday, January 05, 2007

When the Bread Drinks Milk, It Seems to Get Drunk

I don't...I don't know. Just watch.

And finally, I read this story earlier today about an FDA-approved diet pill...FOR YOUR DOG!! I wish I was kidding. Only in America would we make a pill that helps your dog lose weight. These people have to be the worst owners in the world if you have to feed your dog a pill because you've been too lazy to walk him. See, I just watched "Super Size Me" last night for the first time and I was sickened. SICKENED! And now I read this story about the most obese nation in the world letting their pets get fat, too. Sad, just sad. I have to pack, so I'm cutting this short. Plus, I'm too mad to think of more wit to write. So goodnight again, everyone.

Right Near the Beach...Boy-ee!

That's right folks, Pandering to Savages will be on hiatus for the next week. But this isn't one of those self-depricating, "Oh no, what do I write about," pouty hiati (hiatuses? is that the right plural?). No, I'm actually going to be in Ixtapa with my mom and sister through the 14th. Should be a nice change of pace from the unseasonably cold, snowy, and icy Albuquerque weather. The one downfall: I get in late Sunday night, so I'm going to miss the 24 premiere. Luckily, I have a friend taping it, so crisis averted.

So if I wasn't already bad enough not checking in on everyone, now you'll know why I haven't all this next week. But I'll be thinking of all of you as I'm poolside while my cabana boy rubs coconut oil on my back, or as I take my short to medium walks on the beach. Talk to you all when I get back, !vaya con dios!
(Can you find Greg?)