this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2009 Wrap-up II

Hey yall! A years worth of love!

What was my 2009 like?

Jan-March - I believe I was unemployed, but at this point I still had savings I could just eat up while I found a job. RXR was going strong thru SXSW. In Feb I got a job that wouldnt start for another 6 weeks (it was supposed to start like 3 weeks earlier than it did) working at Texas Legislative Services. We would cover what was going on in the Texas Leg. Lots of drawing time and reading time which was cool, and also it was fun being in the capitol building feeling like basically an imposter. But hey, those people work for US. We the PEOPLE. This was the legislature when the "tea-party" shit lead by Gen. of the Texas Army, King Seceed his-own-damn-self Rick Perry. That man loves being the Governor of the State of Texas. Seriously, he is following his passion, which happens to be $1000 boots with the state seal of Texas on it. Walk Hard, Rick. It was an interesting session, I learned how sausage (aka "legislation") gets made, got a free Obama T-shirt from the labor unions, alot of free BBQ lunches, a fair amount of sanctioned drinking margaritas on the job, had an awesome boss who was a bigtime baseball guy, started reading political blogs, and what else, oh yeah, started working real weird hours. I also made some new friends, and really enjoyed working the night shift with Katy my now temporary roommate, and Katy, the awesome chick who was a barista at Little City. I saw her on New Years and slapped her with a Jimmy Johns Sandwitch at Midnight. It was meant to be a gesture of the most loving kind, but I think she didn't really know how to take it at first. She did dance with me some afterwards so It must have at the very least been "apology accepted."

April I was still working the same job, but my whole life was backwards. Chris had left RXR (he is in Europe now, gaining valuable and varied world traveler life experience) and we were sort of in a tailspin. I started playing a lot of music with Red, which eventually (about 100 bottles of wine later) "didn't work out." We both learned lessons the hard way, but I'm happy to say we can now once again enjoy being in the same room together. One thing I heard from a politician back at my job was an old Italian saying which is "after the game all the pieces go back in the same box" which I think means some Mafia dude is going to end everyones life, but maybe means you gotta love the one your with.

I was still in semi tailspin mode coming out of that, it was the low point of my year for sure, I was all messed in the head like after a bad breakup. But I was planning a tour and knew once it came it would bail me out. Summer in Austin got insanely hot insanely early and that was sort of a story there in itself. Everyone I knew was like "WTF is going on???" Then it was time for "Tuffin' Up 2k9" with the motley crew of Me, Dann, and Eddy. We killed that shit and returned to the land of good vibes.

After tour was over for the 3 of us (in Boston Mass) I had a little solo adventure over to Toronto (gorgeous city, first time out of States in like 3 years maybe?) and thru Ohio, culminating in a (semi-) memorable 3 day drunk in Athens, OH with Brian of the band Spooktober. It was ridiculous. His friends are all biker gang guys with guns from 100 years ago, and also random art school kids and hillbillies. Pretty sweet, although I was worried about random hooligans putting a brick thru my windshield for no reason (I heard about 3 windows smashed for no reason while I was chilling on his porch). It was a great time, followed by a 11ish hour drive thru 6 states down to Athens GA where I would spend the next 5 weeks playing guitar, reading, and helping on home improvement projects all damn day. That town is amazing and it will truly go down as an amazing time in my life. I got to go to the Blue Ridge Mountains and have a weekend up there with friends at an awesome vacation house, saw a dickload of free shows, and had my first experience being a door guy (at The Go Bar, a charming place. There is an Of Montreal song that takes place there and can be found for free performed in their daytrotter session.) Number one thing you notice is really nice people. Everyone is super nice, and also super into music. The whole town thinks they are 22, and its just music music music. Its great. Great friends, I cant wait to see them again, and go back to Athens again. It was such a perfect time to be there, the end of summer in Athens. I wonder if i can take a train there, and not put the miles on my car...

So then I got back from Athens Sept 15thish, just in time for the High Holidays and leaving myself just enough financial cushion not to have to immediately move into my parents house and beg for any job that would come up. The next period was marked most clearly in my mind by where I was living with and with whom. Living with Willard was so nice, he mentored me so good into being a man. Seriously. He is my guru. I learned a lot about space from him, and concentrating and shit like that. I made biscotti for my grandma's birthday, and me Willard and Dan Krinslock had some really good times watching Melrose Place. Those chicks are so catty!!! But great show, seriously. Willard really was the one who got me into home improvement building stuff. That house had great vibes. Next, I moved in with Mike a couple blocks from Rancho, and that was truly a Spiked Punch golden age as we wrote the first reggae set and were practicing and playing music pretty constantly for 4-6 weeks, something like that. I managed to make my move to a more pleasant couch situation at Rancho. Me and those ladies and the other 2 punker dudes living there had a pretty nice constant party going, which was another novel environment for me in a way. That was a Rancho Golden Age...they were going scorched earth with it bigtime and in a way it came back to bite them in the ass (neighbor problems) but in a way, it all worked out. Had a great trip to Houston with a couple of those ladies, originally to see Thee Oh Sees (who cancelled that and their Austin show!!! illness...)

November we finally found a place, me Mike and Julian, with a special guest live-in situation from Abe for the first month. There was a bit of static with that, but it was my best living situation in 4 months, so I wasn't really the one getting bent out of shape about it, and everything ended up working out. Thanks to Abe for hooking us up with a gorgeous small home, great location, and loooow rent. More good vibes, and Spiked Punch team unity, but in December Mike moved out, only to be replaced by our good friend Katy. Happy to report levels of House Unity to start 2010 are at an all-time high. I really enjoy all the roommate activities we are getting in, and I think everyone is pretty serious about enjoying the time we have together. So that is my year! I don't think I released any music (outside a tour-only odds and ends compilation "take it out of our deposit" which proved an all too prophetic title) but i did get much better at making it, and in a way get 2 bands off the ground, so that is cool. Here's to 2010 being a more productive year in regards to releases, I think it will be. Keep your eyes peeled for some extremely limited vinyl runs.

Late in the year I also got a sweet* (*it actually sucks, but the flexible hours are nice) data entry job and started doing shows at Club 1808. The shows have been going well and in case you were wondering I'm just trying to approach it one night at a time, making sure each night is awesome, because things that are awesome in this particular way in my experience, you never know how long they are going to last. The only way to make them last is to have them always be awesome and appreciate them while they are going on, so cheers to that, I have already seen a very high hit rate of awesome shows there.

Also, doing this blog has been alot of fun, I know its dropped off a bit lately, as bloggers pursue real life interests, but I think its a fun record for us all, and now that things are settling down a bit, I can see myself getting more into it.

mucho gusto, 2009 was some bad and mostly good for me. It was the people who made it good, and maybe the fact that none of my friends can get jobs in this economy really is a blessing in disguise because it means I get to hang out with them more.

xoxoxoxx Ervin Berlin

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