October 25, 2003
12:40 PM

Holy Schmoly....24 hours.. That's how long I've been in Chicago. Oh boy my head hurts. Let's see, where to start. I flew out of San Jose, Ca. at 6:20 AM, so I was out of my house on the road at 5:06 AM. It's insane to see how many people are up and on the road at that time of day. It actually makes me want to get up early and get a head start on the day everyday, but that aint happening. Ok, so my flight is uneventful. They play no movies, but I do get to watch a documentary on the stock exchange and then an episode of that 70's show. And then remarkably I fall asleep. I calculate my sleep time to have been at least 1 hour. Next thing I know we start our descent into Chicago Midway. Hooray. Lots of turbulance on the flight, making me think "We're going down!!" out loud every time the plane jolted, but we landed safely as can be. Though the landing was not the smoothest either. I rented a car which I got on the internet for $19 a day. That's pretty cheap. A brand new oldsmobile with a cd player and cruise control to boot. Pretty cool if you ask me. Chicago is a crazy place to drive. To be honest, I'm pretty intimidated by the traffic and chaos of the city. Lots of aggressive driving here and poor little me was a bit frightened by it all. It's cool though... I made it.. I'm alive. First stop was meeting up with Lance Reynolds, an old and dear friend. He just opened a recording studio in Chicago and I got to check it out. It's right down in the wicker park area. So if you're in a band looking to record, email me and I'll give you his contact info.. It's cheap. Like $30 an hour and he's a real pro. We got a bite to eat at a place called PENNY'S. I had a tofu soup, but it wasn't that great to be honest. Back in California where noodle houses are everywhere and the food is so authentic, that the taste of Penny's was a step backwards for sure. For the rest of the afternoon, we just hung out at Lances new studio, played some music and then met up with the JUST A FIRE crew. It was my first time to meet two of the members and therefore an important thing for me to get some bonding in with the members. We went out to dinner at a mexican restaurant called Temeculuta or something of the sort. I can't remember. It was a sit down waiter/waitress type of atmosphere and the food was ok, but not great. I met up with my friend Melissa and her friend Michelle, whom I had met before, but didn't realize it til' later. And we just ate and talked and enjoyed the moment. Just a Fire was playing a show at the Fireside at 10, so they took off to load off and we stayed to finish off the food they leftover, or I should say I finished off the food. I can eat a lot kids. Went to teh Rock show, at the fireside. There were about 40 people at the show at the most. So, basically a small show, but nonetheless a great time. Got to see a bunch of people I hadn't seen in awhile and I met a few new faces. And I actually drank a beer. For those who know me, this is a rare, rare, rare feat for me. I have nothing against people who drink, but it's just rare for me to do it. I actually had two beers and felt a bit buzzed. Strange. 2 beers.. Yikes! My friend Gerry can drink 12 beers and barely feel buzzed. If I drank 12 beers I'd be in the hospital. Anyways, not quite sure where I'm going with this part of the story, but ummmm...yeah....Uhh.... I drank a few drinks and that's it. And the live show itself was great. I feel that JAFire is a rare band doing music that is complex and interesting and important. It's hard to describe. It's kind of like early Police meet the Clash, with hints of Dub and improvisational rock beats. Crazy grooves. By the time the show was over, it was 1 AM and I was pretty much at the point of complete exhaustion, but Chris Daly, the guitarist for JAF lived across the street and was having people over, so I headed over there and he had a foosball table and we spun records and played foosball til 3:30 AM. I stayed at Fred Erskine the singer for JAF's home and to my delight it was clean and smelled nice. He had a guest room where the bed is better than my own at home. My eyes finally dimmed with my last memory of time being just past 4 AM. I slept til 12:20 PM and first thing of the day is me writing. What a good boy I am. Not sure what the plan is today. I know a couple friends want to go to a haunted house, so I'm up for that. We'll see. Til' tomorrow be good, have a great weekend... Be productive and smile big.

Peace always, Mike Park