We were in this restaurant, outside, and this THING went lumbering by, dripped in the shadows. Couldn't tell what it was, thought it was a cat (it wasn't a cat), but all could tell that it'd run OUT of the kitchen. Follwed it with my eyes, until it got closer, and it was a rat. Then there was a flurry of activity, and five or six guys came running after the rodent, with brooms. He tried to jump over the little ledge, but he was too fat, and they caught him. Before the un-suspecting customers even knew what had happened, they'd killed it. They laughed as they whacked him on the head, and the bright red blood flowed. They gave us a free bottle of cola, for our trouble ...
But it's ok, because that rat is going to come back in the next life, and those guys will be the rodents. And he will hunt, as he was hunted. -Todd
Howl. Perhaps you heard, there was a big-ass earthquake here in southern Mexico. I've been through many in L.A., but this one was bigger: a 7.8 - strong enough to knock down houses, destroy the roads, and take a few lives. Mother Earth stood up and said, "Behold! I am mighty ... tiny earthlings, HEED MY CALL!" Which is what we all need to start doing anyway.
So yes, I felt it. This huge building I was in was shaking, people running. It's the strangest feeling in the world, because you just stand there, with the earth quaking around you, and there's absolutely nothing you can do ... it's as if some great spirit grabs us, trying to shake some sense into us all.
Maybe we ALL need to be reminded how precious life is, every once in awhile.
I must say I was the coolest of them all, though ... well, me and this guy with this huge machine gun (at the pool hall!), and I thought, "Oh, shit!" But he was just on his break (?) and it turns out, that they have armed guards at every ATM in this country. Guess that deters looting after an earthquake ...
-Todd (Shaken, not Stirred.)
In times of World Crisis, the Artists shine ...
They just dance through the darkness.
Shaving in a Mexican hotel room with a 32 cent razor, and I just start laughing because I'm reminded of something funny ... way back in 9th grade:
I used to sit by these two girls, and make them laugh. Their names were Kris Lowe and Heather Larson, two beautiful people (anyone out there reading this know what happened to them?), and Heather was so hot, she was even a Homecoming queen candidate. But no-one knew that she was actually missing a tooth right up front, and she would turn around and pop out that fake tooth, and cross her eyes and go, "Duuhhhhh", and make US laugh. And the teacher would constantly bark at us to keep it down. But we kept it up! And one time I wrote this really splendid poem, and that same teacher gave me an "F", saying that no ninth grader could have written a poem like that (they thought I copied it from somewhere ... Lesson: be mediocre, and get the reward). Anyway, I remembered all this, in the hotel room, because I used to crack them up by singing a tune of my own composition:
"Down in Mexicoooo ... where the REFER GROW!!!" -Todd
Travelin' south of the border with West Side Ken. Driving on a dirt road, made only for donkeys, and the January summer dust is filling the truck. Cough! Telepathy: Yep, we're lost. And we get to this checkpoint in the middle of NOWHERE, where these guys who look like they're about 14 give us the third degree ... their machine guns look bigger than them! They ask West Side in spanish, "How many people you got in there?" (Is this a trick question?)
He looks at me, and goes, "Um ... two." Just me and West Side on that road less traversed, and I mean NO-ONE was on that road.
Ok, ok ... there was also a fretless bass, two trumpet cases, a bass clarinet, a faggott (enter your own joke here), a trombone slide, reeds and strings, so I guess we weren't alone ... -Todd
"The desert is calling," someone said to me today. They had no idea how right they were.
I embark on a twenty-two hour journey, from Los Angeles to the southern tip of Mexico, with West Side Ken. Who is West Side Ken? you ask. A musical cohort and lifelong pal, who rocks on the Baritone sax. West Side is responsible for that fat bottom Bari sound, on the Calico CD's some of you may have. He's also known for the famous Swiss Nosebear story (see related links).
I won't tell you what route or car we'll be driving. But we'll be wearing wigs.