[02] "We are on vacation for FOREVER and a DAY"

Wednesday March 6

Friday March 8

Saturday March 9

Sunday March 10

March 6 2002

March 6 - Bloomington, IL - University Galleries Show!

Wow, we got to play an ART GALLERY today! University Galleries in Bloomington, Illinois, is awesome. It is run by a person named Barry Blinderman who has been a Poster Children fan since Daisy Chain Reaction. Somehow he got through the right channels and we landed this amazing free show here. We were really excited about it when we got to the place, and so was Barry.

Before we started playing, Barry asked us some questions in front of the crowd about art, music and technology and how we incorporate each into each other. It was REALLY cool - I loved answering questions before the show. He was worried about what the audience would think - and I was a bit worried about what Rick would think, but Rick was so happy to do it. I think it was the coolest show we've played in years!

I HAVE NO PHD but I am Wise

Plus, no stage! Those are the best types of shows. The audience was great, too. Although they were testy at the beginning of the event - one lady actually came up to me and showed me her ticket said to be there at 8:55pm and there she was, and Jimmie Soundguy was fixing a wire so we were delayed. I told her I was sorry and that we'd start soon, and she said, "Well, what do I know? My brain doesn't work anymore because it is too full from having a PhD. I have a PhD you know," she informed me. I immediately felt so sorry for this woman. What if I had a PhD too? What if I told her, "Well, my brain is too full also because I have a 178 IQ and I'm a member of Mensa" - or something stupid like that? What if I said, "Yeah? Well let's fight, woman!" She's going to get her ass kicked at some point if she wants to identify herself with her PhD, isn't she? Maybe not.

Anyway I thought for a while, ran through all possible choices of comebacks and decided upon congratulating her on getting her PhD. She seemed quite nice and I figured she must have gone through hell to earn that PhD, and must be very proud of herself if she is telling strange musicians that she's never met that she has it. Then she told me some more information about how smart she was, but I had to go back and tune my bass so I told her, "well, I'm just a lowly musician and wouldn't know about that stuff" and she replied, "Well, who's here to see who?" I'm happy for her. About 10 years ago I would have gotten really angry at her. Now I'm just amused. A lot of times I enjoy the way people act when they do odd things. This makes me feel wise.

Friday March 8 - Milwaukee at The Globe

We are playing Milwaukee tonight. I am dead tired. I go to my Typography class 9-11 this morning, I'm kind of happy because I got myself a little bit ahead in that class - right now the assignment is to lay out this 9-page history of Indo-European languages and I sort of got the cover part done. This class is really enjoyable; actually all of the classes I've been in have been incredibly enjoyable. All of the professors in this school (that I've met so far) are so nice - it seems they are obviously here to help and teach us. I don't know why I don't remember that from undergraduate school in engineering. I guess the higher up you get, the better school gets.

Anyway I think I finished most of my work and then we left this beautiful 70degrees town to go two hours north to pick up Jim and Matt. And we got terribly lost on the way to Matt's house. By the time we got to the western suburbs of Chicago it was pouring and freezing and it stayed shitty all the way up to Milwaukee.

The club in Milwaukee is really beautiful. The floor is that tile that you find in New York City bathrooms and it has green christmas lights. The basement smells like people have been peeing in the corners, that sort of New Yorky smell. Fliers all over the place. We've had some pretty crappy shows in this town though, so I'm a bit worried about tonight.

We walked into a healthy-food restaurant about a half-hour before it was closing and were told that we probably wouldn't get seated in time for us to be able to get fed there. It seemed pretty snooty. Rick wanted to leave; he hates this kind of treatment. Then we went to this medieval castle-looking building called "Pizza Man," across the street from McDonald's, which also seemed pretty snooty inside. We waited for a good half-hour before we got to sit down and order pizza and $12 pasta meals. They were good but I think they weighed us down on the stage.

The show was hard to play tonight. I felt very tired, and the stage was totally bouncy and kinda small, so we couldn't move around that much. I'm so conscious now of whether or not we're putting on a good enough show.

DJ, a fan from the pkids list (featured prominently in the DVD) was at the show, and had to have driven about 6 hours for it. I worry now when I see displaced fans at these shows where it's freezing out; I'm terrified something will happen to them on the way home. Please drive carefully if you're driving a long way to our shows!

From the stage, the crowd looks a bit subdued, except for the guys dancing around in front of the stage, pointing to all of us. That's nice.

It was a tough show to play! The stage being so bouncy, and right at the beginning of the show, we started the first song and then had to stop immediately because Rick's effects pedals' plug-ins were not working. Anyways. People seemed to like it, but at the end one guy who I thought really loved the show came up to us and was telling Matt that he wasn't moving around enough and playing hard enough! I was so worried that this guy made Matt feel bad, but Matt just thanked him for his feedback and said he'd try harder next time. I felt terrible for him. Matt plays a lot more like Johnny Machine - maybe combined a bit with Bob - more than Howie. In this way, he looks very zen when he's playing, those are the kinds of drummers that I find amazing, the ones that make the most noise without a huge expenditure of energy. Anyway the times I've been able to watch Matt, I've found him very entertaining. I think the guy who said this stuff may have been very drunk.

Everyone else comes up and congratulates us and tells us how much Matt rocks. And we know it.

Now it's pouring freezing rain and we're looking for our Motel 6. When we get there, it's one that we've been to already. We pull in, it seems to be in a very nice neighborhood with lots of businesses and a non-24 hour Perkins. But we pull into the driveway and there are like 3 cop cars with flashing lights in the pouring rain. It looked like a movie set. I asked the teenager behind the bulletproof window why there were cops there and she said "There has been some underage drinking." I would expect by her friends. Two completely plastered college students make their way into the telephone-booth sized check-in cubicle with me and Rick and talk drunkenly about how they've lost their keys.

People peer out of their hotel rooms in the freezing downpour while policemen walk around in the room directly above ours. It's still pouring rain and Rick goes to park the van. When he comes back drenched, he informs us that the back is parked up with its back against a fence. Learn that, all you newbie tourers - always try to make sure your van's doors are up against some physical thing that makes it impossible to open then and unload your equiptment.

Matt talks to his brother on the phone and finds out I've been writing tour reports about him. It's going to be weird, Matt, to read about yourself on the net now, you'll see that tour reports are skewed towards my perception of things that go on. I hope that you will agree to write some too!

We flop around in the hotel room for a couple of minutes and then I open my eyes and it's morning. I don't remember anything else from last night except waking up and noting that Matt was watching TV with the sound down, and I kept telling him he could turn up the sound. I think Matt tried to go to the Perkins last night but it was closed. And that's Friday.

Kind of boring.


Saturday March 9 - LaCrosse at the Warehouse (via Madison, WI)

We drive to Madison Wi, one of our favorite towns, and go eat lunch at Kabul, my favorite restaurant. Afghani food! Amazing. Then I get to go to my favorite store, Urban Outfitters. I run in there between the soup and main course and manage to spend 30 bucks on a book bag with sparkely things on it.

Our goal is to find our friend Brad's new vintage video parlor! We ask around but no one has heard of it. The best response was, I asked "We are looking for our friend's vintage video game parlor" and the girl comes back saying, "Well, there's no vintage video arcade around here, but there is a sit-down Ms. Pacman game in a bar down the street, I can tell you where it is." We laugh. When we get to The Den, the guy behind the counter helps us find AfterShock, Brad's video game arcade.

20 minutes later, far off campus, we pull up to AfterShock, laugh at the "Special Appearance today!! by Poster Children" sign that Brad hung up on the door, and walk into this paradise! I got to play Tempest, Tron, and Sit-Down Star Wars! It was like heaven! Rick played Robotron. That's his favorite game. Then Brad took us behind the scenes and showed us a special machine that he has to hide, a game named Death Race where you are supposed to run over little people and kill them. The game was recalled. There were only 500 made, apparently. Jim enjoyed playing that game.

I don't have too much to say about LaCrosse. The load in to the Warehouse (the club) is 3 flights of stairs up an the promoter and other guys had to help carry our equipment. It was colder than I've remember feelign it this year, outside with terrible winds and snow on the ground. When I called for the motel the woman at the front desk said "Oh, you're probably stopped here for the weather, right dear?" and I was like, "uh... yeah."

Most of the people who came to this show drove from either Madison or Minneapolis - Texas Kevin, now transplanted to Minneapolis, going to college at MacAllester, was at the show. And at least 3 guys from Madison drove the 2 hours to the show. Yipes. My bass amp stopped working - completely shut off - and Dave the soundguy had to shoot me straight through the PA. But it was still ok. Strange. I didn't even feel bad playing through the whole show with this broken amp, I just figured "oh well I guess I'll have to get a new amp at some point." But at the end of the show, boing, Rick reset the breaker and the amp started working fine.

This club is an all-ages club filled with sullen, fashion-teens - but not when we play. I don't think we are cool enough for this crowd. I don't know what bands they go see, but they are not going to see us. I don't even know where or how to get to this audience. So we will never play to a large crowd in this town.

There are huge posters hanging in the windows, with our faces huge in the windows. There's even an article in the paper about how great we are. And one of the smallest crowds in history. I personally don't care at all. I'm sorry that the promoter didn't make our guarantee, but he says that the show they had last night was so packed they had to turn people away so i'll guess they had some money leftover from that show. It's so sad, but this is reality. Even a 15-year old band like us is going to have a crappily attended show at some point.

Although after the show, people I've never seen before come up to me an say "that was really 'nice.'" That's one of my catch-phrases; people usually come up and tell us how "mindblowing" our show was. How we inspired them to play music. Once in a while someone will come up and shake my hand and say "That was really ... 'nice.'" This is usually followed by "I was very impressed."

Kevin, our lone-star fan, up from Minneapolis, stays in the same motel as us, what Rick calls a "minimum security prison" - I don't remember it from last time but Jim insists that we stayed in a room with 3 beds in it and watched "Tommy Boy." I vaguely remember something like this.

These tour reports are so boring they're putting *ME* to sleep. zzzzzzz...

Sunday March 10 - Drive home

This is a pretty long drive if you count 4 hours from Lacrosse to Chicago, another hour to drop Jim off and then 3 hours fo me and Rick to Champaign. At least it's bightly sunny out and Madison is on the way to stop in and get lunch at.

On the way home, Matt again asks what our ACT scores were. We refuse to tell him. I won't tell him because I don't want him to decide how intelligent he thinks I am, just by this stupid ACT test which only judges whether or not I'm a white person from the Chicago suburbs. I want him to hang out and hear what I have to say and make his own judgement. And I did not get a 35, but yes, I guess I did pretty well. I suppose you could say I'm pissed I didn't get a 35. But again, I especially will not allow myself to be judged in any way by the way I took a test some day back in 1982. Damn it!