Sunday, November 11, 2012

Industrial Racquet
I've taken upon myself to start writing comedic skits for a pilot show, a local variety show called Industrial Racquet, find them on FaceBook. Look forward to a regular character Reverend Patton Pockets hopefully making repeat appearances into 2013! Check out the outtakes on the nationofstrangers YouTube channel... Bird Sermon Outtakes I just wrote another script, an interview with a redneck, played by yours truly, who has come to the decision that Santa Claus is a communist/liberal conspiracy designed to indoctrinate our children into expecting yearly hand-outs! Looking forward to filming that skit next weekend! Yours truly JZ Some other Industrial Racquet content includes a performance by Juan Lee Reed, check out his music on iTunes... Juan Lee Reed-Rhode to Heaven

Saturday, May 7, 2011

CC 2011, Aspen, CO

April 29th, 2011

Drove through everything but hurricanes, humidity, or hail; but that leaves rain, snow, white out, sunny, cloudy, windy, calm & beautiful weather to get to Aspen. Several familiar faces were out and a lot more filtered in today.

Notable figures include a grower who had to close shop due to uncertainty in legislation, who will be speaking at the Wheeler Opera House 3:30am today.

Started off the night catching THE MARIJUANA LOGUES, something I missed last year but am totally stoked to finally see. It was a great way to start off the weekend. Wish I had my equipment out to capture them but they had something mounted at the sound board. I got some clips on the cellie I might put a snipped up.

Also met what I coined the Chicago version of White Fudge; I think they're called White Boys. They'll be playing frequently at the Hunter Bar. I want to see White Fudge & White Boys super group it for a track or two.

I will try to describe my state of mind that evening. I was not amateur, I was so pro I didn't give a fuck. K thnx.

Woke up this morning, after some butter on my bread, a morning workout, and a much needed shower, I'm feeling great. Winning, man, winning.

Then of all people show up in my hotel lobby this morning, the Cannabis Cowboy. The invisible face behind the 18% Indica Outdoor grown in this lovely country. He's working with a group I'll have to follow up and catch their name, for now I know they're working on a very effective cancer treatment. Of course cannabis is the answer. Also has a lovely lotion that can come with or without tincture and still have pretty much the same effects on pain.

More to come, this is just the beginning.

April 30th, 2011

Panel today was a very informative discussion of local issues in relation to the mmj community; there's some discouraging information, some encouraging. There's a successful story about defunding the Colorado Springs Drug Crime department due to their violations of several statutes required for Federal funding. Talk is to do this to the DEA, no simple feat but the evidence is there. The victims are us, and the will to fight is limitless when you're talking about people who's very lively hoods depend on this amazing treatment.

Not all news is good, July 1st is a bad date for Coloradan patients. Harder access, and the constant video documentation of you obtaining your meds! The progress made over the past decade has been backtracked by legislation, fines, and sheer illegal activity by local governments, we have to keep fighting. There are so many unfortunate stories out there about municipalities delaying and requiring fee after fee, licenses, background checks, reviews, and checks they will cash only to turn around and impose a ban on your practice of saving people's lives...

It's all about the ignorance of an establishment that exists out of fear, misinformation, and very little real concern for fellow citizens, even sheer denial of a possible solution to their own health problems.

But the renaissance in knowledge lives strong right now. Even the panelist from the Netherlands was very blown away by the scientific study we are ruthelessly pursuing in targeting strains & combinations that effectively treat a disease by essentially curing their symptoms. She was also skeptical that big pharma will not be happy with a disruption in their business model. One speaker was a little sales-ish, but clearly dedicated, to his current role with a company called Delta 9, who use a co2 process to synthesize pure cannabis oil with remarkable properties. They have began a very audacious research & development process to identify the unique characteristics & practical benefits, of any nature, of all 60,000 existing strains of marijuana. Sounds promising, especially if the knowledge is available and practical applications actually get put to use from it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

the Wedding Day

Off I went into the eastern sunrise with a cup of joe and internet radio fueling me to a temporary alertness. Along the way in a small Missouri highway town called Sweet Springs I found premium fuel for $2.49, it was little surprises like this that kept you afloat amidst the turbulence of this crazy trip. I should mention that in parting ways with Ed there are now parallel stories forming, as I called my mother and asked her if she would be kind enough to pick up Ed on the way to the hotel so that I didn't miss the wedding the same way I missed rehearsal.

For now, only one story is playing out because only one of us was conscious. The pick up with Olivia's mom was delayed because she can never do anything without basically packing her kids into the minivan, and the more kids you have, the more dangerous the variables become. Olivia's pjs, for example, turned into emergency wear for her younger sister, who decided to throw up on herself. It was at the meet up location that I got a call from the bridesmaid, my sister Hope, who told me the tale of what became of my father the previous evening.

Apparently my father overlooked the gigantic neon sign of the dinner's location, a barbeque restaurant in a cluttered development of shopping and dining. I must admit that I did this too, however, I did not do what he ended up doing. All I recall is something about him doing a U-turn and ending up on the side of the road, in a ditch, or just pulled over for an illegal U-turn. Whatever he did, the cops were soon there. Now my father is not much of a criminal, far from it, however he is cheap & likes to cut corners, which can get him in more trouble than doing things right the first time...let this be a lesson. It turns out he has an unpaid traffic violation, one that is severely late. The standard protocol for this is overnight in jail, and a hearing the following morning. Here's the deal, first off, this violation is something my sister knows of well, he explained to her earlier in the year that he kept sending a payment for his ticket and they kept returning it, because of insufficient funds, late fees and collection fees. He asked her to borrow some money to cover this ticket, she wrote a check for $350 and he cashed it. Clearly, however, he did not pay. Now, of all moments in his life, not covering his ass got him in jail, and since he could not pay it the following morning, the morning of his daughter's wedding, he was going to have to stay in jail when he should be giving away his youngest daughter.

It was shortly after that phone call that I got my own daughter. She was very happy to see me and to be in another wedding. We hightailed it back to Kansas City, where at this time Ed and my mom/stepdad were having their own hustle. I called Taylen's mom to see if she would be willing to drop him off at the hotel for some gas money, gratefully she did.

All I know about Ed's adventures at the time is that after they picked him up and went back to the hotel they realized that the van they were renting for the wedding party was right back in midtown where they originally picked him up, so they had their own issues going on as well.

Well we made it to the hotel and shortly after Taylen showed up, he looked a bit uncertain, not fully realizing he was going to see daddy in person for the first time in months. We all got into family mode quickly, playing around in the lobby. There was only one room reserved at this hotel and it was full of bridesmaids, mothers, and mimosas. Once they cleared out, stopping briefly to see us for the first time (Grace looked beautiful); giving a quick hug to Olivia and heading to the photo shoot, we went in to discover the remnants of their hotel room. Taylen took to eating ice while Olivia learned how to record with Ed's camcorder (we were hoping she would shoot from the front row). Tay & I had a quick bath, then I began dressing him and myself alternately.

We made it to the chapel and it's ongoing photo shoot. Inside Ed and I determined that setting up behind the priest and shooting out towards the audience while getting the bride and groom's face in was not going to happen. Also, Ed left one of the tripods in his Blazer, so it was up to him to hand record and hope the best for the other angle.

All this running around with two kids and you might have thought of something, food, and sure enough, my kids were starving. While we began taking party in the photos, the photographer had candies for kids who stood still enough or looked straight enough into the camera. They ate them greedily, and I asked Ed to find some chicken nuggets. Find them he did, along with a my little pony and astroboy. Kids were fed, Ed was a big time saver on that front, don't know what I would have done without this guy.

Before you know it, the shoot is over and wedding was to start in about 30 minutes. Taylen, unpracticed, is suppose to be the ring bearer, and I had to walk my mother down to her seat. Then, I had to take over my father's roll, just after Taylen's job. He was asking for daddy but somehow knew what to do and ran down the aisle to my mom and step dad. So it's around 6:30 at night, I'm on two hours sleep, been nonstop up until this moment, my sister's nervous arm grasping mine, and the person running the show comes up to us and says "they shortened the wedding dance, you can walk normal..." the doors open, and we flew down the aisle as if her dress was on fire, passing an usher who said "nice run..." thinking nothing of it, arriving at the podium to sit out about 90 seconds of the song playing. My sister Hope looked bewildered, though lovely, in her bridesmaid's position, and began laughing nervously, Grace joined. The priest had this fake smile on his face looking about the room, whispering "someone in a hurry?", I sat with a smile on my face, playing as cool as I can, whispering to Grace "Who is this guy? should I ask for a dowery?" motioning to Dave. The song finally ended after what felt like an eternity, and soon the priest asked who was giving away the bride.

"On behalf of the Zentz family, I do."

I circled around her dress and seated myself by my stepdad, taking over roll of pacifying Taylen, I couldn't see tiny Olivia, who was on the other end of the Zentz family, but if I did I would've noticed her holding a camcorder instead of recording with it, oh well...

Reception and following day to come later.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wedding Weekend Part 1, pre-ceremony...

So the wedding trip started off on a beautiful November day Thursday morning, the 4th. We decided to get on the road just a tad early so we could have a few hours of R&R in a 2 bedroom suite at the Holtze in Overland Park. However, since I added Ed to my rental at Hertz they charged another $13 a day, and to top it off, I must have screwed up when I rescheduled because it went from a 3 day rental to a 4 day. After deposit, my card was short $4, and they would not let us put it on two separate cards.

It was quickly decided that we'll save our money by taking Ed's Blazer, though it wasn't going to be much savings because he gets half the mileage the rental would have. But for the moment, we were freed up a good $400 bucks, with that in mind we headed straight for the liquor store (on the way to Costco gas, of course). One bottle of Macallan 10 year, a bottle of Bombay, and a tank of gas quickly blew $100 of that "saved" money.

Ed sped along at about 90mph while I plugged in the Hero (HTC android phone) to his aux-in and we both enjoyed internet radio with very little drops and GREAT sound all the way to the Kansas border! So far so good. Another app that we put to use was Where, a free app that gives you gas prices based on whatever location we wanted. We were gambling that we could save 15 cents a gallon if we made it to Hayes; but the smell of burnt oil and Ed's distrust in his car's mileage computer led us to stop 40 miles short of Hays to drop a few bucks in the tank and get some papers & oil.

In a flash we were back to the highway, and Ed was back to 90mph, the smell of oil came back too and almost as if you were expecting it, KA-BOOM. Smoke was coming out of the rear like there was something on fire and we lost all acceleration. Pulling over about 8 miles outside of Wakeeney, KS just in time to catch the sunset, we checked out the rear and there was our source of burning oil. Apparently the differential doesn't do well at 90mph when there's an oil leak, and it was split in two.

The Hero came to the rescue, living up to it's name, finding us a junk yard where we were quoted about $550 for a whole rear assembly. Fuck that nonsense, next thing to do was find out how the hell we were going to get to KC. My stepdad was due to head out the following morning and he agreed to haul a trailer out, where we'd leave both it and the Blazer in Wakeeney and worry about everything Monday on our return trip. Once again the Hero found us a tow truck that only needed to take us 8 miles, another $60 gone...

We get to Wakeeney and leave the Blazer in the parking lot of a 24 hour truck stop next to a beat up white truck the driver says he left there last night. There was a lil dog in it, barking away. We polished off a bottle of vodka, had a smoke, and decided to do the humane thing and feed outselves and the dog. We spied a McDonald's to the north and said to hell with it, we might as well eat crap-tastic nuggets and fries while we notify my lovely friend that we will not make it to Overland Park that evening. We v-blogged at McDonald's and Ed ate the last chicken nugget, I noticed in the middle of blogging and commented,"fuck the dog." Khetiwe, my friend working at Holtze in OP, texted me to say she cancelled our reservation and walked off the job. We cheered and headed over to Best Western to get quoted $90 bucks on a double bed room. That turned us around, and we went back across the street from the truck stop and got quoted $50 at Econo lodge, much better, and at this point there weren't many other choices. The guy at the desk sealed the deal by letting us know there was a 10% discount at the bar in front of the motel for anyone with room keys. We gleefully walk across the parking lot and I had a bitter sweet moment as soon as a spied a Boulevard Wheat neon sign in the window. It was on tap even! With the discount, the beers were around $1.50 a piece. That was the best $15 we spent so far on the trip!

Back at the hotel we poured Gin & Tonics and set up the Wii to play sports resort for a few hours all the while eye-balling the Macallan. We promised ourselves that it would be opened on a merrier occassion, when we made it to Kansas City. The bottle became something of an obsession to Ed, who began taking pictures of it, as did I.

The stepdad made it out to Wakeneey somewhere around the 9 o'clock hour. The Tow truck guys let us keep his trailer in their fenced in yard and that was that. The trailer-less extended cab truck hauled four of us, Ed, Darrell, Grandma Cox, and I as well as two very grown dogs, Rex & Peyton. We dragged through Kansas at a dismal 70 miles per hour, which feels like 30 in the vastness of the prairie.

We made it to Overland Park a little after 2, with 3 1/2 hours until rehearsal. The bride to be let us have her car, and I left my suitcase in the truck, I was in a hurry to get to midtown and show Ed what KC was all about. State Line road was a beautiful sight, as was the plaza and the beautiful fall colors that outshine Denver's vegetation. Of course, I have to make a roundtrip back to Overland Park for the suitcase and then head all the way up north for the Tuxedo. I didn't make rehearsal at all, but my dead-beat dad did! That was the last my sisters saw of him, however, until after the wedding. More to come on that. Suffice to say, he never made it to dinner, though I did, staying until about 9 but I was one of the first to leave after toasts were finally made...

I make it back to the hotel, stopping at Gate's BBQ to bring some to Ed, at least he got some KC BBQ while out there. The bottle of Macallan was cracked and we headed down to the Crossroads Art District for First Fridays. Some B-Boys caught Ed's eye, they were perfectly situated near a popular strip in the Xroads, and we walked around the block to find an opening. We quickly made friends with the man behind the beer table and began telling our tale so far. When we mentioned we were here to record the wedding his eyes widened, we happened to be talking to a digital film director with a background in theatre; kindred, if you will. The beers became free and we enjoyed a smoke in a store room deeper inside the building.

I couldn't let this be all that Ed sees of KC though, so I took him further downtown to see a glimpse of the Power and Light district, then swing back to my old Wii bowling stomping grounds, the Brick. It was karaoke night and the crowd was lacking; though I did meet eyes with a beautiful caramel complected woman I recognized but couldn't quite remember. It took me a week to realized that I shared a smile with the girl I used to see every Sunday at Hip Hop & Hot-wings at the downtown Peanut 2-3 years ago. She just finished singing and smiled at me as she headed back to her table and friends. It wasn't enough to keep us there,though; I had things to show Ed. There was no time for conversation with the girl I've always wanted to approach.

I took Ed to a much more crowded Grinderz Pizza for another beer. Ed really liked the bike shop across the street from the bar, but we didn't get very good pictures of the tangled mass of cycles hanging on a pole in front of it due to lack of proper lighting. I decided to take us back to the hotel and continue the rest of the evening walking around Westport.

First stop I should've known would be kind of lame; it was mostly a meat market at the Levee but it was so damn close to the Best Western Seville Plaza that it made perfect sense to stop in for a drink. I encouraged Ed to make a short hike to Westport with me. We strolled through the Vietnam memorial and up the street. I didn't want to continue to 39th, where I did have friends invite me to, but the Blarney Stone was not on my list of places to show Ed. We got to the heart of Westport and noticed music coming from behind the Hurricane, now called The Riot Room. We thought it was from another bar and were a little perplexed when we headed into the wrong place, I got a water and Ed went to the can to make water... We promptly left the fairly empty bar, then found the steps leading to the Riot Room's courtyard.

I had never actually been out in their courtyard before, but the night was perfect and the DJ was good, at least when we first got there. We were amidst lots of lovely ladies, many of whom conveniently brushed up against me or "accidently" bumped into me while dancing. Cute and all, but I'm not hooking up with a college girl this night, I needed some sort of rest. I recognized another face from The Peanut, a shorter pale guy who always has some sort of style going on, years ago it was a pair of aviator sunglasses, tonight it was a backpack and some sort of hat, I think. Ed and I both knew this was the best spot to close the bar. We would have too, if the DJ didn't start playing some really whack stuff. His closing song was "3 am", no, not Eninem, but Matchbox 20! It was terrible, and I don't care that it was actually 3am.

We followed some really cute girls who happened to be on the same route as us for a minute, we might have looked like stalkers but what can you do? The evening was beautiful, a little chill but Ed and I both noticed the humidity, something completely lacking in Denver this time of year (and most the year round actually). I got to bed a little after 4am, Saturday was going to be a big day, and it had to start in 3 hours.

More to come...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

don't drink & ride

nestled in the high plains of colorado amidst low hills that block the mountains to the west, where storm fronts form and move on to plague the midwest, lies a newly opened track. lacking perhaps the creativity of a name, the highplains raceway does not lack in a rider's happy & downs, blind corners & narrow lanes, at a moment you can feel like the only person on the plains, hidden from the screaming fans, the next you'll be tangled in a firey mess of novice riders.

damn i'm glad i'm not a rider, but i can capture their every move on turns 7-12, and that's just what i did that hot afternoon of August 29th; filming a promo video for a determined rider.

it was the weekend of the MRA's last race of the summer, and the cool night was welcomed by all; so were two kegs and free philly cheesesteaks. remembering an old college habit, and the fact that there was one beer left in our cooler, i attached myself to the tap of fat tire as if it were my umbilical chord. it was a heady mess when i got to it, somebody had to correct that error. and so it began, a night pouring cup after cup to perfection, with the occasional break to partake in my own heavy drinking, stoking a bon fire, & selling my services to the riders who either weren't racing the following day, or didn't care if they hit 160mph & 100 degree turns with a hangover.

chapel services at 9am the morning of the 30th; many a rider bowed, thanking the almighty for the fact that their bike is not in charred ruins, i find my atheist-self slightly bent, whispering a blessing for the man whose generosity allowed me to refill my can an infinite amount of times the previous night. sprints are today, and i'm about to put myself in the path of destruction for a few sweet high definition shots. i do my part.