Archive for February, 2012

My upcoming week should be pretty jam-packed. Let’s see……….

I just got done watching Carolina beat the crap out of Maryland. On Saturday they’ll do the same thing to Duke. But more on that later.

Tomorrow (in addition to being the wonderful and magical day known as “Laundry Day”) I will be meeting a girl named Meghan, whom I have been emailing for the past two months or so. She was in Korea teaching and just recently came back to this neck of the planet. We’re going to meet up at the Carolina cinema for the Thursday Horror Picture Show, which this week will be showing Bride Of Dracula. Should be a fun time.

Friday I may or may not be getting together with Charlie. She’s been a bit hard to get ahold of lately and I’m not exactly sure what’s going on there. Her car is evidently having some serious issues, so if we do get together I’ll be driving there. But I still haven’t heard from her, so it’s all up in the air.

Saturday is the day of the aforementioned ass-whooping that Duke will receive courtesy of my Tar Heels. There’s absolutely no reason they should have won the first meeting, and you know Carolina is pretty pissed at themselves for letting that happen. I expect them to play with more passion than they have all year and put on a clinic on How To Beat Your Opponent Senseless. And let’s be honest, Duke kinda sucks at home this year. Unless Austin Rivers has another career night, things could get pretty ugly for the Devils. Just the way we like it.

And last, but certainly not least… Sunday I will be going to see The Lemonheads at The Orange Peel. Not only that, but I will be going for free, courtesy of my extremely awesome friend Sarah. I can’t even explain how psyched I am about this. They’ll be playing their classic album It’s A Shame About Ray in its entirety. I was about 14 when that album came out, and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, it pretty much shaped my musical tastes for the next 20 years. I spent most of my childhood listening to top 40 pop and my parents’ favorites such as The Beatles and old Motown classics. In the late 80’s I started to get into hair metal, and when Nirvana broke big in 1991 I was a full-fledged rocker. But there was something missing in all this loud noisy stuff I was listening to. That something was big melodic hooks that bury themselves deep in your brain and refuse to leave. Ever. When I first heard The Lemonheads’ cover of “Mrs. Robinson” I knew I had found what I was looking for – the perfect bridge between my earlier pop favorites and the loud guitar rock I was listening to at the time. I bought It’s A Shame About Ray (albeit the rereleased version that included “Mrs. Robinson” and changed “My Drug Buddy” to “Buddy”) and the rest was history. They never became my favorite band, but to this day that is one of my favorite records. Nearly every band I’ve fallen for in the past two decades has had that same combination of crunchy guitars, folksy strumming, and huge pop hooks. Now I’m about to see the band that helped start me on this crazy journey in search of the perfect power pop song. I’ll be sure and post some pictures, maybe a video, and a nice little concert review, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to wrap this up and relax a little. Last night I somehow managed to fall asleep at 10:30, but I’m still somewhat exhausted. I’m pretty sure my body hates me for all the sleepless nights and caffeine binges. The End.



Rick Santorum said that the president was a snob for encouraging everyone to go to college. The only reason I can see for him saying such a thing is that an educated populace certainly wouldn’t vote for an idiot like him. Keep them dumb and you’ll keep racking up the votes. After all, that’s been the Republican way since W’s first term.

He claims that college is a liberal conspiracy. Yep. Just like birth control. And JFK. Damn liberals, trying to ruin our once-great nation.

Ricky boy says that when people go to college, they fall away from their faith. Another time-honored Republican tactic. Thump your Bible, talk shit about gays and women, and call the other guy a Muslim, and it really doesn’t matter what else you stand for. You can basically write up any policy you like, no one will pay any attention. Jesus said we can’t take it up the ass, kill babies, or get along with people who believe differently than us. So fuck the poor and make it that much easier for giant corporations to take over the world. We won’t notice, and we won’t care. Because that other guy, the radical Moooslem, he wants to see abortion on the lunch menu at every middle school in the country.

Somehow this moron is actually getting votes. Not that I have a problem with it. If I believed in God I’d actually pray for a Santorum nomination. Regardless of what the usually way off base polls say, it would only lead to an Obama landslide. All six women who vote for Santorum will be devastated to see him go down in flames.

Also, anytime you get to use the words “Santorum,” “go down,” and “flames” in the same sentence, I’d say it’s a pretty good day.


Ideas and inspiration…

I keep finding myself really inspired to do things – start new paintings, write new songs, whatever – yet, once I start all of the ideas that were circling around in my brain have disappeared and all of a sudden I’m not sure what to do.

My room is full of half-painted canvases. I have lyrical ideas scribbled on random pieces of paper and saved to my phone. I can’t even seem to figure out what to blog about anymore.

I just started messing around with some glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint. I really don’t have any compositional ideas, I just wanted to test this stuff out.

I think maybe I just have too much going on inside my mind and my ADHD and conflicting emotions are keeping me from focussing and completing anything. Oh well.


Feels like forever since I updated this thing. So for all my concerned readers (this means both of you) here’s a quick recap…..

Continue reading


I am happy to report that The Muppets met my expectations in every way. And considering those expectations were ridiculously high, that’s really saying something. This was quite possibly the best movie I’ve seen in theaters in years.

Everything about it was perfect. The songs were great. The cast was awesome. The cameos were hilarious. It paid tribute to The Muppets that I grew up on, with plenty of inside jokes, obscure characters, and self-referential humor. There were a lot of breaking-the-fourth-wall type jokes as well. And not only that, but it really had a lot of heart. There was a great theme about finding yourself, and about realizing what’s most important to you.

In short, if you’re a Muppet fan, you need to see this movie. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sing along, and if you’re drinking something you’ll most likely spit it out of your nose at some point in time. My only regret was that I wasn’t able to see this during its first run in theaters, but in all honesty the vibe of the Brew-n-view fit this movie perfectly so I won’t complain too much. When this is released on DVD I plan on purchasing it, maybe springing for whatever deluxe edition they come out with, especially if it includes the Toy Story short that played before the movie.

Asheville peeps, you only have a few more days to catch this at APBC before it’s replaced by Tin Tin. It’s also playing at Cinebarre, but I’m not sure how much longer it will be there. If you don’t catch it in theaters, at least rent it. This is a movie that must be seen.


It’s about 1 AM and I’m not sure if I want to go to sleep or not. I’m physically tired but my brain is wide awake. So I got on here instead.

Tomorrow is date #3 with Charlie. We’re going to see The Muppets at APBC. It’s an early show, so I’m assuming we’ll grab some food after that. I decided to burn her a CD of some of my music since she has yet to hear anything. Eventually I’ll put some more stuff online so anyone can hear it, most likely at Bandcamp, since that’s what all the cool kids are doing.

Wednesday I’ll wake up, shower, load up my car, and drive to Fayetteville. My grandfather’s wake is between 7:00 and 9:00 PM. The actual funeral will be Thursday, I think my mom said it’s at noon. But since I can’t really afford to miss too many days of work, I’ll most likely head back fairly early Thursday so I can get to bed at a decent enough hour to wake up for work on Friday. Yep, that’s right. I will be driving there one day and back the next. About 10 hours in two days. Fun times.

Once all of this is through I really need to get back to work on making a website and increasing my online presence. I’m trying to find a good free or low-cost webhost, but not really sure who to go with yet. But before I do that I need to fully exhaust the various free networks for artists. I’ve already posted my flickr photostream, and whenever I stop being lazy I’ll be making pages on Imagekind, Etsy, and maybe another Deviantart page.

So I guess that’s about all for now. Maybe I’ll attempt sleep. Or something.


Ray Ortega, Sr. R.I.P.

I was just awoken by the phone. My mom called to tell me that my grandfather passed away. He had a massive heart attack, they tried to revive him but it was no use. I don’t know anything about the funeral plans yet.

Growing up we weren’t quite as close to my dad’s parents as we were to my mom’s, who lived with us for years and helped raise me and my sister. We always thought that grandma and grandpa were a little loony, but we loved them nonetheless. Grandpa has had countless heart attacks and bypass surgeries over the years, and every time he would get some new medications and change a few things in his diet and be fine. I guess this time his heart had all it could take and gave out completely.

The whole thing is a bit surreal at the moment – losing two grandparents in the space of about three months. Grandpa was always good for a laugh, with his recycled vaudeville era one liners and Cold War era Polish jokes. It sucks that he’s gone, and I’m sure eventually it will set in, but right now it just doesn’t seem quite real. It was so sudden, and before when I found out he had another heart attack or was going in the hospital it was almost a given that everything would be fine, because it always was. It really sucks for grandma, because she grew up in a time and culture where women didn’t really do much for themselves, and he was her everything. Even as his health was failing, he still took her places and did everything for her. Even as they were cracking jokes at each other and telling each other to shut up, you could see how much they loved each other. I’m worried about what will happen to her now that he’s gone. I’m also concerned about my dad’s side of the family, most of them were pretty close to grandpa. It’s life, people die, but that doesn’t make it suck any less.

Well anyways that’s about it for now. I need to start getting ready for work. I’ll post more details when I can.


I be flickn

Like all artists trying to make it big with as little effort as possible, I’ve decided to make a flickr photostream, which you can see at:

Most of the pics on there are from the portfolio scans and photos I got done not too long ago. A few were scans and photos of my own that I thought were good enough. The resolution on all images has been dropped to 72 dpi and the size shrunk to make for faster loading and to help make sure no one ganks my stuff.



Time to pick a book…

Okay literary WordPress peeps… help me decide which book I should read next. Here are the choices…

  • Ernest Hemingway – The Sun Also Rises
  • Frank Herbert – Dune
  • Victor Hugo – Les Miserables
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Idiot
  • other?

I currently have a few magazines and the collected poems of James Joyce to keep me busy until I decide on one of these. So let’s make it interesting. Comment and tell me which book you think I should read, and why. Assuming I actually get some comments, I’ll read through them and weigh your arguments and then decide. Whoever selected the winning book will get a special prize of some sort.

So who’s game?


I spotted this guy downtown yesterday on my lunch break and thought it was too good of a photo-op to pass up…



Also, while I’m posting pictures… Charlie sent me a picture of the pizza from last night. Bask in its epicness…