Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Anniversary

It was my ninth wedding anniversary yesterday. I believe you're all somewhat familiar with the lady.

It's not easy to find presents to give each other after dating/living together/being married for twelve years. Plus, in the first five years we were giving each other ridiculous numbers of gifts. Every decent idea has long since been exhausted.

I thought.

So this is what I get as annniversary presents yesterday:
Dumb Luck, a collection of the art of Gary Baseman. If you remember the terrific animated series Teacher's Pet, those were his characters. I've always really liked his drawing style, which somehow combines whimsy and menace in a totally unique. In the book, here's what Matt Groening says about Baseman:
Gary Baseman has the magical ability to look into the minds of cute little cartoon animals and masterfully paint their feverish, unsettled dreams.

That's the best description of his work I've ever heard. Here's an Amazon link:
Dumb Luck.

If you're curious about his style, just put your mouse cursor over the book, and when the pop-up menu comes up, choose "surprise me." That will bring up a random image from the book--the one it pulled up for me was a rabbit with a wooden leg, looking at a rabbit's foot that he's holding in his paw.

That's not all, though. She also got me two Billie Holiday DVD's, and they both look fantastic.

So the gift haul from the anniversary was outstanding this year.

Last night, we went to a legendary local dive to see a guitarist named Gary Clark, Jr. He's twenty-two, skinny as a rail, and an absolutely phenomenal guitar player. Some critics consider him to be in the same lineage as Stevie Ray Vaughan in terms of his style and ability, and it's amazing to watch him play. Here's a link to his website if you'd like to hear some of his music:
Gary Clark, Jr.

That's Austin for you. One of the best guitar players in the country, a guy who's going to be famous sometime soon, and he's playing a free gig in a club that holds maybe a hundred people. I bitch about this city all the time, and it's not nearly as much fun as it used to be, but when it comes to music, Austin has absolute scoreboard.

Now, for an abrupt transtition back to the story.

Gloria ordered a Dos Equis. When it arrived, she took a long drink and looked at me. "It's not very cold," she said.

"Not very cold?"

"Not very cold as in 'warm'," she said.

"That lady who served you that beer could kick my ass in a fair fight," I said. "Of course, I wouldn't fight fair."

"What do you think she'd do if I complained?" she asked.

"Pull out a hammer from under the bar and hit you in the face with it," I said.


"That's not the worst part," I said. "She'd use the claw end."

"Frosty cold," Gloria said, and kept drinking her beer.

A few minutes later, I had a discouraging personal revelation. I realized that of all the people in the crowd, I was the guy who looked like a record company executive. I used to look like I was in a band, a long time ago, but now I look like the prick who steals from the band. I suddenly realized that at some point in my life, my look went from bass player--to narc.

That was a discouraging moment.

Of course, I'm about as much an executive of anything as your ten year old nephew who can't stop making fart jokes.

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