Photos from the Drought-Stricken Central Coast

This weekend was spent with my in-laws in lovely Cambria, California. It’s a beautiful little sea-side town halfway between LA and SF. They’ve been having a drought down there since before it went state-wide. A lot of things are very dry there. Many of the plants are more drought-resistant succulents. And then many home gardeners, such as my in-laws, have put in tanks to irrigate their gardens with recycled water. I shot a bunch of instagram pix over the weekend to capture both of these.

A photo posted by Jason Buckley (@buckleybass) on

A photo posted by Jason Buckley (@buckleybass) on

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A Weekend Away – Progress and Pictures

It’s official, I am writing again. I’ve gotten past the couple of years pause in the zombie novel that I’ve been procrastinating on for a while. While joining the local writers group and meeting other people definitely helped give me momentum, I think the change of scenery and breaking free of the usual routine is just what I needed to actually type some new words. While writing a few pages of fiction is no huge accomplishment, getting past a spot where I really didn’t know how to get from point A to point B was a challenge.

I also took the opportunity of being away for a long weekend to update my blog template. That was a hassle! Just getting my laptop to run Artisteer was a struggle. I don’t use the laptop often, so when I do, it requires updates. Big. Resource-hogging. Updates! Every time I reboot, there’s more updates to install. But then once that was done, I was able to bang out this template pretty quickly.

I’ve also been enjoying taking pictures of neat things and instagramming them. Here are a few…

A photo posted by Jason Buckley (@buckleybass) on

Badass carnivorous pitcher plant!

A photo posted by Jason Buckley (@buckleybass) on

A photo posted by Jason Buckley (@buckleybass) on

Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Somebody found this tree stump in Florida and posted it to Reddit. So I thought, why not a post about Lovecraft? H.P. Lovecraft might not have been the best writer, and he was quite a racist, but he created one of the creepiest mythoses ever, one that has lived far beyond his work, and told some stories that will definitely give you the shivers. There have been lots of movies based on his work, but I’m not going to talk about From Beyond, or Reanimator or the Dunwich Horror, or even the upcoming Guillermo del Toro directed At the Mountains of Madness (which I think is going to probably be pretty damn amazing!). I want to talk about the ones specifically involving the old ones, the deep ones, the esoteric orders that worship them and the big winged tentacle-faced guy himself!

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Adventures in Rock and Roll

So last night was another band practice. We’ve been kind of in a slump since our last gig. We had a great deal of momentum coming out of that gig. We played really well and made a solid connection with our audience. We had another gig booked a few weeks after that one. And then our keyboard player fell ill. We heard through his girlfriend that he wouldn’t be able to make rehearsal. And then another rehearsal. And at that point we were a week out from our next gig which we had to go and cancel.

We scrambled to try to get somebody to fill in, but keyboard players are few and far between, not to mention ones who can play the complex music that we play. Although our keyboard player is back, we are still looking for another one to come in and make the sound bigger as well as to make sure that last minute changes in health conditions won’t mean having to cancel a gig. We’ve been asking our friends and trolling Craigslist for new members, and we’ve gotten some interesting (and some hilarious) replies as well as responses from people who are into the music we’re playing and just want to be on our mailing list.  We also heard back from this amazing sax player who was in our very first jam session before we were even a band. At that point we were not up to his level but he was a great sport and had a lot of fun playing with us. Now that we’re practiced and gigging, he’s into playing with us from time to time which would be a really sweet addition.

So last night we were practicing. We have a show in 3 weeks and we’ve been working as hard as we can without having any keys. Our keyboard player did manage to get there last night, though a bit late. He called me from outside so I could let him in. When I opened the garage door, I noticed that the entire block was sealed off inside a police line. A cop came over and asked that we all stay inside since somebody just got shot around the corner and they were looking for the shooter, whose car was parked with the door wide open right behind my guitarist’s car. I told him that we were just doing a quick load in and he was cool about it. And then, like the egotistical self involved musician I can be sometimes, I asked a guy who is working on immediate issues of life and death how we sounded from out there. He smiled, gave a thumbs up and said “alright.” We got back upstairs and dedicated the next song (Deep Purple’s Child in Time – definitely apropos of the situation downstairs) to the boys in blue outside, and by the time we were done all that was left on the street was a little bit of broken auto glass where the shooter’s car was parked.

Here’s a blurry cellphone shot of the police tape right over the hood of my car.

By the way, in case you were wondering, we sounded great! Our next gig is going to be a lot of fun – Friday, June 18th at the Baltic in Point Richmond.