Historical Fiction

Well, I have $45,000 in my purse. Oh, wait that’s chocolate. You want some silver bells, Caspar?


This lady didn’t want her town named but everyone knows she lives in Plano. Everything that happens happens in Plano. It could have been Garland, the town that King of the Hill is based on, but there’s not enough new money in Garland. It could have been Las Colinas, the home of Office Space, but those young urban professionals are spending money on big time dinners at Macaroni Grill because it’s good dinner.
So, I’m putting my money on Plano. So if she is from Plano then I want my $100 reward that I will use to go eat at Kathy’s Wok in Plano. That’s some good Chinese.
Now here’s my play with the names changed.
DANA: I tho...

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My Christmas

I had a good Christmas. I still have my parents and a grandmother so I’m grateful.
My flight got into Nashville fine but I-24 was closed. So, I was stuck in Nashville. The good thing was that my friend, Janet, was in Nashville staying at her mom’s. So, I had a ride and a place to stay.
Her mom is really, really nice. I think she was a beauty queen at one time. When she picked me up she asked if I was hungry.
“Do you eat meat?”
She asked this because Janet doesn’t eat any meat except fish. And by the way, this makes you a fisheater not a vegetarian. I dated a vegetarian whose dad got really excited when he found out I ate meat. Such joy is found in a meat-eating buddy.
“I guess we can just stop at a fast-food place and I can pick something up.”
And then she started dialing the...

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Living Room Show

I like playing living rooms.
I played in Jessica Delfino’s living room last night. It was a great show. It was a variety show with:
Epstein and Hassan www.theblackandthejew.com
Jessica Delfino
Haunted Pussy
Dan Fishback
Adira Amram
Nick Jones
and hosted by Mormon Surprise

I like playing living rooms. They’re extremely intimate and I don’t have to plug in. I’ve played them before at parties but nothing like this. Common Rotation, kings of the living room tours, reintroduced me to the charms of a stranger’s living room but this was the gold monkey of living room shows. Next time you gotta come.

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I’m sad. I think this weather is getting me down. It’s been cold and rainy and I want to go home and sit. But there’s an office Christmas party tonight. And there’s an open bar, free food, and office comaradery. I can’t pass that up.
I will rule tonight. I will hold my free Cosmopolitan that I only drink when free and make awesome small talk. Then, I will find that one guy when I’ve had five and tell him how things should be. More than five and I’ll let him tell me.
And then tommorrow I’m gonna play a show at someone’s parlor. I don’t even know where it’s at or when I go on. That’s livin’. That’s adventure. When adventure is lost you go find it. When writer’s block stands in your way you just walk through it because it’s never really there.
Tonight my rainy day is gonna be sunshin...

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Rufus Wainwright

I went to see Rufus Wainwright at Barnes N’ Nobles today. My friend, Jason, wears a knee brace so we took a cab from work. We got there in time to hear his last song due to traffic. It was a real good song. That guy is real good.
It was rainy so we walked-he wanted to walk- to Jonny’s Diner on 25th. It was good rainy day food. I got the Sloppy Jonny-chicken, bacon, cheese, coleslaw on a hero. That guy, Johnny, is a good guy, too.
I took Rufus Wainwright’s old manager to Jonny’s Diner once. He wanted to sign me onto his management. He enjoyed Jonny’s and appreciated that I was a cheap date. After our lunch meeting he concluded that I had lost momentum after MTV and Rolling Stone and The New York Press. That’s cool. At least I got a free Sloppy Jonny...

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Rainy Day

This day’s got me down a little. I can’t hide it. I don’t have a good poker face. It’s rainy and I saw a lot of carnage this morning, watching Dawn of the Dead before I went to work. What doom those people had being alone in a vast mall with lots of other people outside. Angry dead people wanting to come in.
I’m sad Mekhi Phifer died. He believed in me all through 8 Mile.
I wish I were on the road right now. Being on the road when it’s rainy is cozy.

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Alysha’s Birthday

I played a birthday last night at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco. It was all secret and shit. These folks brought me and I hid in this hallway so as not to blow the surprise for this nice girl, Alysha, and her 30th birthday.
It’s a nice room, the Hotel Utah. It’s got an upright on stage and the room is very intimate. Some shows go perfect and that one did for me. I’m always apprehensive to play parties because they are parties and not shows but that was a wonderful show.
I played a 4-year-old’s birthday a long time ago and it sucked. It was my bosses’ kid and he and his wife were real nice but it sucks playing to tiny children running around. This was nothing like that.
I kept the songs to the fun ones since it was a happy time. I’m enjoying playing piano at shows now...

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some other shows

I played 2 shows Friday night. I accidentally had 2 booked. The first one was at the Balazo Gallery in San Francisco and the second one was down the street at the Odeon Bar.
The first one was booked by my friend, Clitty. That’s his name. He used to come to my Wednesday night weekly shows in Dallas that were usually bare of anyone. He’s a good guy.
It’s a nice place with a bad sound system. It worked good enough. I liked those people that came. I liked them alot. Clitty’s band played and rocked me hard. Their singer looked like a lady, like one of the Bangkok Ladyboys. His mike went out and he shouted in everyone’s ear, one at a time. They’re called Triple Cobra. You should see them.
I finally met Chicken John. He used to do circus stuff with the Bindlestiffs I think...

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Common Rotation-Bitter End

I played a show with my Common Rotation friends last Friday. They’re a swell bunch. The tops. It was at the Bitter End. I like the place but the actual room setup is hard for me. It’s got audiences on the sides as well as the front so you can’t look at everyone at once. They do have a grand piano and I took advantage of it. They played a great set and put the full band on. Some girl had a birthday and she and her friends gave me a plate of wonderfully small baked pastries. And when I got settled after my set, Mr. 102-TMBG-Shows(aka TDK, aka Mike) gave me a bag of Hershey Minatures. He’s a real good guy. They were soon gone but not because of me but because my girlfriend was helping me watch my Lose Weight Exercise. It’s good because I’ve been running again.
I’m working on a new Qu...

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Magic Brian Show

Magic Brian’s show went better than it did the last time. I did Dr. Wankle better and played very well on the old piano. I like Parkside alot. Andy and Karen, the folks that run it, are sweet sweet people. And every time I come in that place at anytime Pete, who runs sound and does other stuff, usually buys me a drink.
My friend, Mackin, showed up. He’s a stand-up fellow. He did his Bobby Brady at my cd-release. We hung out for a long time. I hadn’t seen him in forever.
I played my horse song again. I like that song. I’ve been working on it for a long time and finally “finished” it.
I like playing piano at shows alot. One time I played at my friend Wilder’s house. He has a baby grand in this old Dark Shadows house in Staten Island. Parlor shows are the old living room shows...

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La Belle Epoque Halloween Show

One day I was getting off the subway to go to work and I saw thin red tape blocking one of the exits to the surface. At the stairs was this guy in a fedora, trenchcoat and a suit that looked as if he had gone to the detective clothing store to buy his workclothes.
I nodded to his direction and told my boss, “That cop bought his clothes at the detective store.” By the time I got upstairs, I realized it was part of a Law and Order shoot.
This morning I went to pick up a shirt at the cleaners and saw this lady on the corner dressed in fortune-telling clothes. There’s no other way to describe it. She had the dress of a fancied old world peasant and she had a red scarf made of lace as a bonnet. Anyway, she had a cup and was going up to strangers...

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Detroit and Huey Lewis

We played at an art school from 11:45 am to about 2:00 pm. It was a good crowd. It was in a tent and some people came and went. Una didn’t get to perform because it was a low tent. The plates go cut out because of time, also. I tried “Maybe Tonite” but my keys were sticking so I just played “Busey Boy” and “My Epilady” and gave out my e-mail address. I need to update my site and make it kick ass for the kids.

I’m in Toledo now. the home of Corporal Klinger. I just heard an Aerosmith song I’ve never heard. It’s epic and it kicks ass. I would love to do a large arena.

I wonder if I would benefit from running up a hill or garbage dump at dusk. Would I hang around? Maybe the romance of “getting home” for dinner makes it a good idea...

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The Triple Crown

I brought my lunch to work today. I didn’t make it cause I didn’t have time but I bought a sandwich real cheap from the bakery by my house. I spent almost $20 for a burger lunch yesterday. That’s bullshit. I shouldn’t be eating that anyway. I did have a salad but still. And they charged for an extra coke. This is at a pub. Irish pubs in NY serve old-timey poor people food at a rich people price. I guess if you have money then you don’t mind buying an $8 BLT or a $9 salad or $13 fish and chips or a $15 corned beef and cabbage. If you want that and you’re a bit low on cash go to McSorley’s. On a weekday. Because it’s too crowded on the weekend.
We had band practice last night and I had time to kill in the city and Sammy calls “Hey, come hang out here before we practice.”

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French Fry

I hadn’t hung out with my friend Janet in a while so we went to the Alligator Lounge. This place is awesome because it isn’t crowded and you get a free pizza with your beer. I’m not talking frozen bar pizza either. I’m a talkin’ about brick oven pizza. I had free pizza. The bar is a pizza party every day. I had my own pizza party. For free.
There’s another place down the street that had karaoke. And the place shouldn’t be called Sweet Ups. It should be called Good Times All Around. Except for this fellow sitting next to me.
“Excuse me, I’m European. Are all Americans this stupid?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean are they this stupid?”
Do I look French to you? Why are you asking me this?
“You mean singing karaoke and having a good time? Yeah!”
And then I turned my back on him.
I think he wan...

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Bad Show

I played at Magic Brian’s show the other night. It was me, Chris Rozzi, Magic Brian and Silvia Machete. I like doing this show. It’s fun and I’m with friends. I was doing a character named Dr. Wankle, a time-travel scientist, who helps the Randy Brothers find a way to go back in time. I sucked. I was ready and then when the show started it felt like someone took a spiritual shit somewhere and I was lost.
And then I played my set. I’ve gotten better at ignoring foreign sounds during shows but that night I was terrible. There was some incessant conversation going on and it was throwing me off because I always want to know what someone is saying. I forgot a whole line from a song and stopped playing to patter with the audience. And then I was thrown off by myself being thrown off.
And ...

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I recorded yesterday with Pete and Sammy. It turned out really well. We did a new version of Junior High and 3 other songs. I’m real proud of it.
I’ll probably go back in later and add some banjo and more vocals.
I rewrote the lyrics to one of the songs yesterday morning. It’s a good feeling when they turn out well. One of the songs I wanted to record I couldn’t because I can’t get the lyrics right. But this one just came out and worked out fine.
I had general tso chicken when I got home. I go to the place across the street. I think they started putting in MSG or they started putting more MSG in their food. I got a headache before I was done eating. I got bad fish from them last time I went. They’re nice but, well, I should be eating better anyway...

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from Toronto to Detroit

During my time in Europe with Planet Banana, I was hanging out with Clarke in his box truck/house while he was making me dinner. We had a terrible show that day at the Glastonbury Festival. Terrible show (including falling props, unattentive sound guy, and an uninvited volunteer on acid). And it would only get worse.

“But,” he interjected, “I love my life. I love playing shows. I love making dinner in my truck. I love that this is my home. I’m very happy with this.”

That’s the way it should be. And now, after playing a great show in Toronto, I’m on a train to Windsor, ON because I couldn’t find a ride to Detroit. And it’s a very nice adventure.

I love what I do. I love panicking to get a ride to Detroit. The shitty times of my life are dimming due to adventure...

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Empty Bottle, Chicago

Why I enjoyed the Empty Bottle:

-South Park pinball

-I tried out Golf Tee and liked it

-took pictures with perfect strangers in the photobooth

-got a “good job” pat on the back while in position to pee in the comode

-a guy blacked-out during my set (I gave him a cd)

-Tim cried during my set and said quietly at the end, “That’s my Jigger.”

(Jigger is his dad’s best friend’s name that’s become mine. The real Jigger named his son, Chevas. Drink-themed names are fantastic.)

-the staff were real nice.

-Staff member, Robert’s moustache

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Someone said, “Niagara Falls”

I left my lady and my friends in Hersey to come to Toronto on my own. I was worried about my friends and the merchandise and the fees to get them in so I felt it would be easier for them and me if I came alone.

I got a 9:15 Greyhound and had my own seat. I tried reading but I kept falling asleep. I got company in Syracuse.

We got off the bus at the border around 6:30 and I got to see Niagara Falls for the first time. The sunrise came through the mist and turned it pink. It was beautiful. There was this old Klaus Kinski-type guy who pointed it out to me. I got through customs easier than I thought. I paid my worker’s permit and got back on the bus.

Some older idiot from Missouri came up to his buddy who was waiting to have his bags checked by the customs agents said,

“They not th...

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Birmingham and Kinfolk

The great Starlight Mints scrambled to salvage the show in Birmingham. The Nick let us play at their Venue. I really like that club. The patrons are friendly and the beers were free. I got to see some old friends like Darren Thornberry who used to play with my ex-girlfriend’s brother, Josh, in Blue Demonstration in Dallas. Josh plays in Lift To Experience now. It’s cool when there’s that one guy who keeps your beer cup full and Darren was that guy.

My friend, Dru, came, also. I asked her to the Trigg County Basketball Homecoming dance back in 10th grade and she turned me down. Years later, I went to my first Cunningham family reunion and saw her dad there. Shit, I wish she had said yes if for nothing else but to have a true Kentucky relationship...

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