July 14, 2005

Bob Saget at the Funny Farm

Filed under: Events — Cory @ 11:11 pm

I flew in to Atlanta today to work for a few days, but first there was fun to be had.

As it turns out, my old college roommate Ty was in town, so Brian and I met up with him and headed over to the Funny Farm Comedy Club to see Bob Saget’s comedy skit.

Most people remember Bob Saget from Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos, but that was not the same person who performed tonight. Not even close. If you are into crass humor, then you should go see Bob Saget. During the show he mentioned how he googled himself and came across a fan site called Bob Saget is God. Well, as it turns, the guy who runs the site was in the audience, so Bob told him how freaked out he was about the site. Anyway, the show was absolutely hilarious, and Bob is a comic genius, really.

• • •

Cajun Night at WND

Filed under: Events,Friends — Cory @ 4:55 pm

Last night I headed over to the Wednesday Night Dinner, bearing Beignet’s for cajun night. I got there around 9, after spending a couple hours making a mess in my kitchen with flour, beignet mix and powdered sugar.

Andy grilled up these amazing bacon wrapped jalapeno shrimp that had me sweating for at least an hour. There was a pretty good turnout and among the other things that people brought were fried alligator, crawfish pie, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and fried pickles. Mmmm, good eatin!

After everyone finished eating, we sat around the picnic table and talked for a couple hours, until around 11:00 when Issac, Steve and I started playing music. Our main guitarist, the Professor, was not able to make it this week, so the band consisted of Issac on guitar, Steve singing, and me on mandolin. We played 3 or 4 songs and decided it was too hot, so we headed back to the picnic table and resumed socializing. I left shortly after midnight so I could get ready for my trip to Atlanta. Another great Wednesday night.

• • •

July 10, 2005

An Update, Finally

Filed under: Events,Friends,General,Music,Places — Cory @ 1:19 pm

Ok, so it’s been a week and a half since I last posted anything. I’ve been really busy, and haven’t been in the writing mood. Anyway, here’s the news…

Friday, June 1 was my last day with the CORE Team. I was with the group for almost 2 years and I enjoyed working there, but it was time for something new. Last Monday I started at my new position (still at Rackspace) where I will eventually be administering the DNS servers. This is much closer to what I am interested in, and I am excited to have the opportunity to work on something like this.

Last Saturday I went to see War of the Worlds with some friends. I was really disappointed with the movie. That’s all I’ll say about that.

On Sunday Brandon and I went over to Pepper and Ethan’s house to play nickel-and-dime poker. I had never played poker before, but I can totally see how that could become addictive. I think I ended the night down a dollar or two, which bothered me enough to know that I would never want to seriously gamble. Speaking of that…

This week I bought plane tickets to go to DefCon, which is in Las Vegas from July 28 – August 1. DefCon is the big hacker conference where all sorts of interesting ideas make their way to the public. I know of 6 friends that will be out there for the conference, so it should be a good time. I’ll be back in Vegas 2 weeks later for my college roomate’s bachelor party, after spending 3 days in Reno to work. On the subject of travel, I bought plane tickets this week to go to Tampa, Fl to visit Sarah. I’ll be out there Sept 9 – 12.

On July 4th I played music with Evan and Issac for a couple hours, and then headed over to Brett‘s house for the pool party. After 5 or 6 hours in the pool and hot tub, I was exhausted. I went home and crashed early that night.

Tuesday Brandon come over for cigars and movies. We watched two more episodes of Band of Brothers. We have watched through episode 7 now, and I’m really into it. Winters and Spears are my favorites so far, and Lipton is pretty cool as well. We’ve got 4 more episodes to go.

On Wednesday I went over to Issac’s for the Wednesday Night Dinner and had a great time. I took Crawfish Etouffee and rice, which tasted pretty damn good if I do say so myself. :) Evan, Issac and I played music for the crowd for almost an hour, including a soon-to-be-famous acoustic version of “Ice Ice Baby.”

Thursday I had to relax after being social for like 10 days straight. But it started all over on Friday night…

• • •

June 30, 2005

Wednesday Night Dinner

Filed under: Events,Friends,Music,Places — Cory @ 2:16 am

A few months ago when Chris was in town a bunch of people showed up at Rebar to hang out and catch up with him. I ended up talking with his friend Isaac quite a bit that night, and I remembered that he mentioned something about Wednesday Night Dinner. That was all I had heard about it until last night.

Chris is back in town this week, and he got a bunch of people together at Gruene Hall last night for the live DVD that Two Tons of Steel was recording. Isaac was there again and was telling us the story behind the WND. Apparently some people in Austin started the original Wednesday Night Dinner as a way to meet friends of friends, enjoy music, art, and of course, good food. Isaac started up the WND thing in San Antonio earlier this year, and last night he invited us to come over. Everyone brings something: food, drinks, supplies, or if you are Brett, cigarettes. Music is also a big part of the night, so he suggested that I come prepared to play something.

Lately I’ve been trying to make an effort to meet more people outside of work, so this sounded like a good opportunity. After work I stopped and bought some red beans & rice mix and a jalapeno smoked sausage, headed home and cooked it up. I showed up at their place around 9 (when things were supposed to get started) with the beans, my guitar, and my mandolin. Pretty much everyone was there by the time I arrived, which was great because I only knew like 3 or 4 people to begin with. Immediately it was time to eat, and let me just say how great it was to see some real food on the table. Green bean casserole, another type of bean casserole, and about 6 or 7 other types of casseroles (it was casserole night, if you didn’t pick that up). I ate a plateful of casserole and loved it. I topped it off with some sort of Oreo and whipped cream dessert, at Richard‘s recommendation. Whoa, it was all good.

Once the eating slowed down it was time for music. There were several guitar players there, so I grabbed my mandolin and handed my guitar to someone else. We played some Gourds songs (El Paso, Gin and Juice, and Ants on the Melon, of course), Friend of the Devil, and a few other things for about 20 minutes or so until some of the other musicians wanted to play stuff from other genres. That was cool too, because I wanted to hang out with people anyway. The rest of the guys continued to play on and off for the next 3+ hours, and it was fantastic. I really enjoyed just sitting back and listening to the music.

I guess around 20 people showed up this week, maybe more, but overall it was a great night. I hope to attend the WND as often as possible from now on, it’s just the type of social gathering I like: laid back with good food, good music and good people.

• • •

June 24, 2005

Broken Dreams – Eleven Hundred Springs

Filed under: Events,Music — Cory @ 10:33 am

Over the past few months I have become a big fan of Eleven Hundred Springs, one of Texas’ great young country bands. I bought their newest release, Bandwagon, several months ago at one of their shows at Floore’s Country Store. It’s now one of the best CD’s I own. I also bought their No Stranger To The Blues CD and I like it as well.

So a couple weeks ago I was in my truck flipping through the radio stations when I landed on KNBT. A song was playing and a female was singing and then it went to a pedal steel solo, I immediately recognized the style as Aaron Wynne’s. A couple seconds later I heard Matt Hillyer’s voice and knew then that it was an Eleven Hundred Spring’s song that I had never heard. As it turns out, it was a song from the Broken Dreams CD that they recorded with Kim Pendleton. I’ve since bought the CD, and although there are only 5 songs on the CD, it is extremely good. “Depends On You” is one of those songs that will get stuck in your head and be there all day, which is great because it is terrific. It’s definitely worth the $7.

Matt and the boys will be playing at Floore’s on Friday, July 8th. I’ll be there for sure. The following day they are inviting everyone to float down the Guadalupe with them, if the weather is nice I may head out there for that as well.

• • •

June 6, 2005

An Update, Finally: Virgina, Atlanta, San Antone

Filed under: Events,General,People,Places — Cory @ 12:16 am

So it’s been a while since I have posted anything, but I have been out of town and have been really busy, so here’s an update.

I flew to Virginia on the 26th of May to attend my cousins wedding. It was good to see my family, many of whom I have not seen in several years. The wedding was held at The Stony Point School, which is really very nice and has an interesting history.

Dad and I went fishing on Friday evening, which was a lot of fun. I didn’t catch anything, but I wasn’t really trying. Later that weekend we watched Napoleon Dynamite, which I had been telling them about for a long time. I really love that movie.

I left Virginia on Monday evening and headed down to Atlanta for a few days of contract work and hanging out with Brian. I love those trips because I actually get to be 100% productive, non-stop 10-12 hours a day, and it feels great. I wish I could figure out a way for my regular work to be that interesting. It’s also great hanging out with Brian. Tuesday night we started talking finance and before either of us knew it 4 hours had passed and it was 1:00am, that was a lot of fun.

I made it back to San Antonio in time to see the dance that Alana choreographed for me. The dance was to The Hot Club of Cowtown’s version of “Deed I Do”, and it was really awesome.

I also got my mom a new computer while I was in Virginia, but I will talk more about that in another post.

• • •

May 3, 2005

Jazz Fest 2005, New Orleans

Filed under: Events,Friends,Music,Places — Cory @ 12:13 am

I returned to San Antonio today after spending the last 5 days in New Orleans. A few months ago Mandi called me and said that she was planning to give Tate tickets to Jazz Fest for Valentine’s day, and she wanted to know if we would be interested in meeting up with them there. I am always looking for an excuse to go to New Orleans, so when Mandi told me they were going to be there for Jazz Fest, I bought the tickets right on the spot. Tate had no idea that we were coming, so while he was grabbing their luggage, Mandi called me where I was waiting in the rental car across the street from the airport. She told him that their hotel shuttle would be there in 5 minutes, but instead we picked them up!

We spent a lot of time hanging out and eating at restaurants throughout the city, it was a lot of fun. Mandi booked a suite a the Prytania Park Hotel, which turned out to be really nice. Chad let us stay with him on Thursday night, and we stayed at Prytania Park with Tate and Mandi on Friday and Saturday nights.

James joined Tate and me on Friday for JazzFest while the girls shopped on Magazine street. I had some great Jambalaya for lunch that day, and then I discovered fried plantain, that stuff is great! Later that night we had dinner at Figaro’s Pizzeria, a nice little Italian restaurant that I used to eat at every Sunday when I lived in New Orleans.

Ken flew in on Saturday from Oklahoma for his first visit to the Big Easy. After picking him up from the airport we all caught the Dave Matthews Band show at Jazz Fest. It had been raining that morning, so the venue was a little messy, but not bad enough to deter the DMB fans. After the shows we drove back down Carrollton avenue and met up with Chad for dinner. It was really great having that many friends from all over the place at dinner, it’s not too often that stuff like that happens.

Chris had been telling me about this band Mofro, and I was excited to see that they were playing at The Maple Leaf, a bar close to where I used to live. Tate, Ken and I showed up at 11:00, when Mofro was supposed to go on, we paid our $20 covers (a bit expensive, but i really wanted to see this band), and go inside. There was a band play who obviously wasn’t Mofro, but I figured they would be finishing up soon so we just stood there and tried to ignore the idiot fratboys who were dancing like idiots in front of us. The band finally finished up, and I said something to Tate about Mofro when the fratboy in front of us turns around and informs me that they aren’t going to be going on stage until 1:00am. This was a serious bummer, as we were all dead tired and probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place. So, after paying $20 to see 5 minutes of drunken college idiots dance to some local band, we decided to ditch the effort and call it a night. BOOOO…

The weather on Sunday was much better, but the bad news was that we had to take Tate and Mandi to the airport after lunch. It really sucks when good times have to end, but so it goes…. After dropping them off at the airport, Ken, Alana and I rode over the Maple Street P.J.’s Coffee to get a snack and check email. Once we were sure that the Internet was still moving along, we got back in the car and headed to our third day of Jazz Fest. We met up with Justin and Traber at the Trey Anastasio show, which was really good. I tried to get some more of that tasty fried plantain, but the lines were too long, sigh. We made a couple stops at the Blues and Gospel tents before finally calling it quits.

After the show we drove over to Covington to have dinner with the Taurman’s. It had been a really long time since I had seen my third family, and there was no way I could go all the way to New Orleans and not make a trip over there. As usual they had this amazing dinner for us, including my favorite artichokes. :) When we finished eating dinner we all went out to the famed back porch and talked for a while, consuming pound cake and coffee like it was going out of style. It was really great seeing them, and there is no way that I can go another year and a half without making another trip out there.

Earlier in the day we decided with Ken to get a double room at the Prytania Park Hotel for Sunday night. So after leaving the Taurman’s we made it back across the lake to the hotel by about 10:30. Ken had never seen the French Quarter, so I took him down there for the standard tour: Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde, etc. And that was pretty much the end of the trip. Alana and I woke up extremely early today to catch our flight back to Texas, and I should have gone to sleep hours ago.

I can’t wait for Jazz Fest 2006.

• • •

April 22, 2005

Cornyation – Labor’s Love Lost

Filed under: Events,Friends,Music,Places — Cory @ 1:41 am

The last two shows of Cornyation were performed tonight, and once again it was a lot of fun. Alana’s family came to see the first show last night, and they had an extra ticket so Todd came along and sat with them. Dave and his friend Kay came to see the second show tonight, which was probably the best show. Dave was wearing his kilt, of course. Even more strange was that he wasn’t the only person there wearing a kilt, but then again, it is Cornyation.

Since Alana was performing in the act with Johnny and Jesse, they invited me to be a part of their group. The theme of the group’s skit was “Labor’s Love Lost”, which involved Willy Wonka and his Umpa Lumpas battling Walmart. My role was to help move the large prop centerpiece onto and off the stage, and to help with whatever else was needed backstage. I had a blast working with everyone in the group, they were all a lot of fun. Between the first and second shows our group was told to stay in our dressing room. We were not sure what was going on, but we all went back and waited. Before long a large group of people appeared and presented our group with this year’s Spirit Award, and a huge trophy. Apparently the Spirit Award is chosen by the winner of the award from the previous year, and it goes to the group that is having the most fun and who puts on the best show. It was an honor to be a part of the group and to see everyone do so well. Johnny and Jesse deserved to win, they put together a great act.

Cornyation is held at the Empire Theater in downtown San Antonio. The Empire Theater shares a common underground dressing area with The Majestic Theater, which is around the corner on Houston Street. The walls of this underground area are filled with paintings of the different acts that have performed at the Majestic and Empire theaters. The paintings are signed by the actors and actresses who performed in the shows, and some are really impressive. I took some pictures of these walls so that everyone else could see what is down there. Some of the works of art are really creative, and my favorite has to be the one for Seussical the Musical. Notice how the cat’s hat is actually painted around a duct that is coming out of the wall, it really catches your eye when you walk by it.

I got home around 11:30 tonight and decided to restring my new mandolin. I’ve become a big fan of Elixir strings, both for my guitars and mandolins, so I bought a pack with my new mandolin last week. I’ve been playing along to Garcia and Grisman this evening, their music is so sweet.

• • •

April 20, 2005

First Night of Cornyation 2005

Filed under: Events,People,Technology — Cory @ 12:09 am

Tonight was the first night of Cornyation, a popular show that is performed during three nights of San Antonio’s Fiesta. Alana and I attended Cornyation last year and had a great time, it’s really something to see. Cornyation is a satire/mockery of the traditional Fiesta Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo. The show is performed by a dozen or so groups of individuals who create and organize 3 minute satiral skits of headlines from the past year. Most of the skits are extremely entertaining, but if you are not pleased with anything you can always throw tortillas! This year Alana is performing in one of the skits, and I am helping out backstage for her crew. It’s pretty neat to see how the show comes together behind the scenes. At the end of the show I came on stage with everyone to throw beads into the crowd, and my name is even in the show’s program that is handed out. I feel like such a star! ;) Anyway, tonight was just the first night and is actually considered a dress rehearsal. We have 2 shows tomorrow and 2 shows on Thursday, both of which have been sold out for months.

I took the pre-assessment tests today for the Red Hat Certified Engineer exam, and I did pretty well. Some of the questions were surprisingly hard and obscure, but it was fun to actually take a test, something I haven’t done in a while.

• • •

April 16, 2005

Coincidences in Bethesda, Ducks and Drums in Washington

Filed under: Events,Friends,Places — Cory @ 11:15 pm

So Alana and I flew to Maryland on Friday with her parents to attend a wedding of their friend. We are actually staying in Bethesda Maryland, so when we arrived at the hotel on Friday around 5 pm I opened up the laptop and sent an email to my friend Dave who lives somewhere around here. Dave and I had not seen each other in almost 2 years, and the last time we talked was over a year ago, so I thought it would be great to get together and catch up. Well, around 8:30 my phone rang, and the screen told me that it was Dave’s number before I answered the phone. So when I answered I said “Hey Dave! What are you up to tonight?” He sounded a little confused, and said “uhm.. not much, what are you doing?” So I asked him if he wanted to get together and have coffee or something. He asked where I was and I told him and he said that I was literally 2 blocks from his apartment at the time. So he came over to where I was and we were talking about how it was great to get together. I said something like “I’m glad you got the email” and that is when Dave said “what email?” As it turns out, when he called me earlier he was calling to ask me about a problem with his father’s website that I host, Dave had no idea that I was even in town! He never got the email that I sent him, he just happened to call when I was 2 blocks from his apartment, so weird.

Alana wanted to try out for MTV’s The Real World, so we took the Metro downtown and found Lulu’s Mardi Gras Club, where MTV was holding auditions. I dropped her off at 10, and then I started walking around downtown Washington D.C. I found Pennsylvania Avenue and started walking down that. Pretty soon I noticed that I was walking along a nice big mansion, with a pretty yard. Then it occured to me that I was looking at the White House. Next door to the White House is The Department of the Treasury. A few weeks ago I read a story on Yahoo news about a duck with secret service protection, and before I knew it I was looking at the famous Duck!

After seeing the duck I started walking towards the capital. Just as I reached the FTC building, a parade started up right in front of me. It’s been a long time since I have heard a marching band, but I really love hearing that type of music. The Eastern High School marching band was amazing, and I followed them down the street for 4 or 5 sets of music. I followed several other bands down the street too, but none of them had a name as good as the Bowie State University’s Symphony of Soul.

After watching the marching bands for about an hour I decided to head back towards Alana. We had lunch at a restaurant named “Le Bar”, and the crabcake salad was great. When we left the restaurant we met up with Alana’s parents at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where Alana wanted to see the Gem exhibit. Afterwards we walked to the National Museum of American History. Initially I was not excited about going to the History museum because, well, after 4 years of history in college, I have very little interest in history. But I was surprised to find out that the Americian History Musuem has a lot of exhibits on inventors and technology, it was pretty cool! I spent most of my time there at the Lighting a Revolution exhibit, which was all about Edison and the gang, very coool stuff!

I’m exhausted now, so I’m going to bed. Good night!

• • •
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