We’re baaaaa-aaack!


Some things never change, like that stupid expression.  But mostly things change all the time. I just changed my mind about that last sentence.  Life is change.  Two quarters and a penny are change.   We have changed.  You have changed.

We are bodhisattvas who died a million times on our spiritual quest, only to re-emerge smellier and covered with dirt.   Like Zombies, but smarter.  And with better skin.  We don’t really eat brains either, although that would mesh well with our current paleo diet.

But that’s enough about us.  Where have you been?  Wait.  We don’t give a shit.  

Let’s stick to the facts.

Fact:  We are both here now.

While we are tinkering under the hood, updating the live streams, playing with our noodles, whistling dixie–or is that now considered racist?– we thought we’d treat you to a little Austin way above ground:


AxA – Austin by Air: An Aerial Documentary from iMaerial on Vimeo.

You’re welcome.

A Piss Perfect Evening

Chillaxing with old and new friends at Icenhauer’s on Rainey Street, when Ree-chard shows up on an injured bicycle. “One of my pedals just fell off.”   He held up the severed bike wrist like a trophy.

We  settled into a chummy hubbub of patter-babble and fifteen minutes later Richard got up and left.

Naila held up a $20 bill and said:  “Richard just offered me $50 to pee in my shoe.  I told him I’d let him do it for $200.”

“What’s the $20 for?”

“It’s a deposit. Earnest money. He went to the ATM.”

Ree-chard is Chasing the Weird! 

When he returns, Naila balks at the offer.  “Breach of Contract,” is how Ree-chard described it later.  “I paid her escrow.  We had a verbal agreement.”

“I was just calling his Bluff,” countered Naila.


Fortunately for Ree-chard, AAG’s own KT inexplicably offered up one of his $75 pair of black gum-soled Converse skate shoes. He somehow agreed to let Richard soil the sneakers for $7.42. because…because… he wasn’t serious, was he?

“I definitely got the raw end of that deal.” Kevin declared later, gingerly walking back to the car in stocking feet.

Ree-chard took possession of the urine-free shoe and in true Cinderella fetish style, placed it on his left foot and proceeded to demonstrate that this was exactly the shoe he needed to work the broken pedal on his bicycle.

Then he threw the shoes on the roof.

Where they sit.

To this day.

It’s like a perfect evening.

Video has been removed to protect the identity of the guilty.  Too bad. If you were one of the 45 people who saw it before we pulled it, you’re welcome!







What Fits In Your Vagina?

Puck Ferry

There were many signs that resonated with me at the Unite Against the War on Women rally on Saturday at the Texas State Capitol, but perhaps the most poignant one read: “I Can’t BELIEVE I’m STILL PROTESTING this SHIT!” As a child of the sixties who had always taken women’s equality for granted – a done deal – I too was stunned by the thought-diseased, white-bread, limp-dick Republicans lashing out with their dying political breaths against fundamental human rights that have already been won in this country. Not only did these women have a right to be angry, but we should all join them and run the mudsuckers out of town with pitchforks and torches.

The political party that is constantly bitching about how incompetent government is, and then gets themselves elected to go prove that theory correct, is continuing to push for small government. Stay away from any whiff of regulation for the decadently rich and the mega-corporations, but go ahead and prowl around inside women’s bodies. Government so small it fits in your vagina.

So why were there so many smiles along with the fiery rhetoric at this rally?

It is because the sisters will win, and in a sense, they have already won. There was an almost palpable sense of “This Will Not Stand” running through the crowd. This latest legislative misogyny is just like an adult pimple – they pop up from time to time but it is extremely unlikely that full-blown teenage acne will once again ravage the skin. To an adolescent, it appears to be the end of the world. To the mature, there is comfort in the experience of having seen these blemishes dry up and heal.

Gays 4 Vajays

Listen up, elephants in the room:

Women are equal.
Gays are equal.
All races are equal.
All religions will be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

You will ultimately fail in your attempts to legislate society in any other way.


Capitol Steps

Sissy Farenthold, the first woman ever to be seriously nominated for Vice President of the United States at a major party’s convention (there were two previous ‘honorary’ nominations), was called to the podium to honor her work for women’s rights over the last half-century. Now in her eighties, this legend may not be known to the younger members of the crowd, but many of us knew that she was entitled to the most disbelief around the fact that we are still protesting this shit.

JusticeIn 1973, Sissy was elected as the first chair of the National Women’s Political Caucus. From 1976 to 1980 she served as president of Wells College in Aurora, New York.

Though the topics covered by the speakers at the rally all focused on women’s rights, there was definitely some clear anger aimed at Republicans in particular. Let’s take a look at why, shall we?Small Government

The beady-eyed governor of Wisconsin repealed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act of 2009 (they only had it for three years!) and the main proponent of the repeal, Republican state senator Glenn Grothman, salts the wound by completely denying all empirical evidence and spinning his yarn that women make less because they choose to take time off to raise kids.

Probe PerryHouse Republicans in D.C. held a panel on women’s health issues and did not invite a single woman to testify.

Republicans have tried on several occasions to redefine rape in order to limit a woman’s access to remedy.

And the surest way to legislatively piss off a woman? GOP lawmakers are passing laws requiring women to undergo invasive medical procedures against their will. Those cocks think they can mandate a vaginal probe? This boy’s club is claiming rights they don’t have and denying women rights they do have.

But Republicans argue that there is no War on Women. This is just imaginary Democratic campaign rhetoric, they say. After all, the reason that 31 Republican Senators voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act was not because they disliked women, it was because that bill would have provided protection against violence to gays and Native Americans, too.

But it is hard to keep that argument up. Republicans, who know very well how hard it is to keep things up, put forth H.R. 358, which would allow a hospital to let a woman die rather than perform an abortion if it is needed to save her life. They may not want to call that a war, but then again, these geniuses thought it was patriotic to change the name of French Fries after 9/11. Head scratching in 3 … 2 … 1…

Your Testicles Are NextBut c’mon, says the GOP, you women can own property now – heck, you can even vote. Why do you have to get all greedy and say you have a right to privacy about your body? And ladies, please, don’t even joke about requiring a colonoscopy for every renewal of our Viagra prescriptions; that’s just not funny!

Indiana Republican Bob Morris, who looks like he could be Vincent D’Onofrio’s idiot brother, has lashed out at the Girl Scouts of America, calling them a “radicalized organization” and that their role models are “feminists, lesbians, or Communists”. One could only hope that is true, Bob. Otherwise their role models might be narrow-minded gits in positions of power like the guy you see in the mirror each morning.

Am I the only one that is sick to death of the playground tactic on the right to take a perfectly legitimate group description and turn it into a slander just by saying it with a sneer? Liberal. Socialist. Feminist. Insanity like “Feminism is a lie of the devil” needs to go the way of burning witches at the stake.

There are a bunch of us dudes that would like to see the ladies in charge for awhile. And I don’t mean women playing men’s games just to get on the court, but an entirely female approach to governing. What’s the downside? Do you think they will screw it up more than the patriarchy has? Not much chance of that. Unless of course, you put Ann Coulter in charge. Or Sarah Palin. Or Michele Bachmann. Come to think of it, ladies, you are rife with idiots, too. Stay vigilant.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund,  has been quoted as saying, “Unlike Lehman Brothers, Lehman Sisters might have avoided default.”

Consider me on board. Dicks for Chicks. No wait, that might not be the best name for a male-based female advocacy group. On the other hand, membership drives would be very interesting. Heh heh. He said ‘member-ship’. Holy crap, we’re simpletons.

WoW speaker Let’s check back in with Doorknob Bob, our favorite Indiana A-hole. He also wrote that “the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood.” WoW speaker

Can we get off Planned Parenthood’s back? It has been around since before WWII and was funded in 1970 by none other than Richard Milhouse Nixon. This is a good organization and yes, the inflamed hemorrhoids on the right will scream at you that PP has services that deal with abortions. A whopping 3% of its services involve abortion and no federal money is used for abortion services. So, the anti-choice crowd is happy to throw out the baby with the 3% bathwater. I guess eliminating that 97% of mammograms, pap smears, cancer screening, abortion-preventing birth control, menopause treatments, STD testing and treatment … omigod, how is it that we are still protesting this shit?

One of the highlights of the rally was a passionate speech from a notable exception to the scrotum club in Congress. Rep. Lloyd Doggett whipped the crowd into a righteous fervor with tales of fights past and fights future.

Lloyd Doggett

Lloyd Doggett has been in Texas politics for the majority of my lifetime, beginning as a Texas State Senator in 1973. The Texas Commission on Human Rights was created by a bill that he authored, and he stands out from other career politicians in that he has been doggedly (sorry, couldn’t resist) consistent in his ideology over four decades. You have to admire the survival skills of a pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-immigrant, anti-war candidate in conservative old Texas. His major stumble in gay rights – voting for DOMA in 1996 – was mitigated by his voting against a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and also by his co-sponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act which would repeal DOMA. Rep. Doggett has been representing Texas in Congress since the mid-nineties, and continues to do so in spite of attempts to re-district him out of office.

No Pills No Pussy

Dudes, it is time to get on board with our sisters. I’ve got three good reasons for you. First, it’s the right thing to do. Second, if we don’t, they are going to kick our asses. There are more of them, they now have more college graduates than we do (even though they will only earn 70-80% as much) and – here is a shocker – women already have the majority of personal (private) wealth in the United States.

As for the third reason, well … um … the T-shirt that was being sold in front of the capitol on Saturday says it all.

The Latest Buzz Around Town

Squarerut Kava Bar

Kava Bar


It was just after midnight when the effects of the Kava finally wore off.    I’d taken my first sip of this rooty beverage from a half coconut shell around noon, quickly followed by a second and third bowl, the recommended dosage.  I hadn’t anticipated a 12 hour buzz, I had just wandered into the understated SquareRut Kava Bar on South Congress looking for a cup of coffee.

As it turns out, there are only 13 Kava bars in the United States, 8 of which are in Florida.  Texas has only one Kava bar and it is located at 6000 S. Congress Ave. in a very nondescript lonely square building surrounded by a field of grass.

The owners, Scott Pingel and Tracy Moreno were very welcoming.  It was early and I was the only one in the joint, so they took the time to explain Kava and the phenomenon that they hope will catch on in Austin.   After the third bowl, my tongue had turned to lava and rolled out of my mouth onto the floor.  Someone was telling my life story to these fine people.  I believe I muttered something to the effect that I have no doubt this strange little café will catch on in Austin.  We are the buzz capital of the world.  Or is that music?


Tongue - painting by Kevin Taylor

Kava is the root of the Kava plant– a reverential herb among the Polynesian cultures of the South Pacific islands.  The active ingredient is Kavalctones, which react to the GABA receptors in your brain similar to alcohol.  The effect is somewhere between 2 scotches on an empty stomach, the 15 minutes just before your eyes start moving around in tiny circles of an ecstasy buzz and a very tiny vaporized hit of high grade clean cannabis.   Like I’ve ever taken a tiny hit in my life.  The point is this shit is an inebriant.

And really, trying to describe any buzz is a fool’s game.  It’s like trying to explain your vacation.  No one gives a shit.  Don’t start talking about buzzes or vacations unless you’re willing to whip out a blunt or a couple of plane tickets.  It’s all about the experience, baby.    So let me just say this.  It felt so good, I’m surprised it’s legal.

Wait.  Let me rephrase that.  I’m actually surprised that any drug is illegal.  Why is altering  consciousness deemed illegal?  How is society being hurt by the act of one person getting high?

If you commit a crime by driving while intoxicated or robbing someone to obtain money to buy a drug, there is already a legal punishment for the crime. Sure, the cause of the crime was the drug ingestion or addiction but we don’t punish the cause of any other crime–with the possible exception of “hate crimes.”   If punishing the cause of crime were the norm, poverty would be illegal, our failed education system  would be illegal, lack of opportunity would be illegal, starvation would be illegal, greed would be illegal.

Put this on a billboard:  Punish the crime, treat the addiction.

But I digress.   Kava can do that to you.

So let’s get back to the taste, which is a little easier to describe than the buzz.   The Kava root is ground into powder, soaked in water and cultivated for two days.    The drink tastes exactly like that–a ground up root soaked in water.  Or imagine pummeling a number two pencil and soaking it in mud.  Yum, yum, right?  Not to worry, the Kava bar has flavored Kava, like mocha and peanut butter and coconut.    “You get used to it,” Tracy told me as she poured my second bowl– mocha-almond as a follow up.

A native American friend once told me his grandmother used to ask him why he bothered to put roses in the bathroom.  “Now bathroom smells like shit and roses.” I was reminded of that after drinking the mocha-almond-flavored Kava.   It tasted slightly better than the original, but it still tasted like root water with almond and mocha.   Look, Scotch tastes horrible the first time you try it as do cigarettes or peyote or mushrooms for that matter.  Hell, I’d suck on a log of shit if it gave me a good enough buzz.  That’s how I roll.

Wait a second. Did I just admit that I’d eat shit?  Strike that from the record. That’s the Kava talking.

Anyway, I was smitten with the place and as a parting gift, Scott and Tracy gave me a bag of Kava cookies that they had been experimenting with.   I shook hands, thanked them and pedaled out of there on a cloud.   I had plenty of energy for the bike ride home but I fully expected the buzz to have burned off by the time I had taken a shower.  Apparently it was only getting started.   I experimented with reading, but that was an abysmal failure.  My power of concentration was shot.  I took a power nap, woke up and the buzz was still lingering.

Truthfully after about 4 hours I was ready for the sensation to fade away, but it was still hanging around like a guest that wouldn’t leave.   The buzz was physical and calming, but for me at least, mentally debilitating.  My normal routine was shot.  I had no desire to finish up my taxes or write this article for that matter.  I only wanted to lay outside and soak up the beautiful spring day.  Which I did.

Wait, what was I bitching about again?

Here’s the deal.  If you consider yourself a connoisseur or collector of buzzes, you will want to experience the SquareRut Kava Bar for yourself.  The ambiance is mellow with live music on the weekends.  There is free wi-fi and comfortable couches and they even have extra large party bowls for a more tribal experience.   Maybe I’ll see you there.

And by the way, if you want to know the health benefits or potential side effects of drinking Kava, I recommend you let your fingers do the walking.  You know, Google it.  This ain’t a health blog.


SquareRut Kava Bar
6000 S. Congress Ave. Ste 106
Austin, TX 78745

Hours: Mon-Sun noon to midnight


 Acrylic on Canvas Painting by: Kevin Taylor 



Treasure Island Raided By Feds

Talk about poetic justice.  A whole slew of really crappy bars on and around sixth street just got raided by the feds, the Austin Chronicle reported on Thursday, March 22.  Feds Raid Sixth Street Bars for money laundering.  Apparently the owners, Hussein Ali “Mike” Yassine, his brothers Hadi and Mohammed and sister Marissa Marthe Ruales laundered over $200,000 in narcotics proceeds tracking through several of their bars.

A list of the bars effected by this raid are:  Treasure Island,  Pure Ultra Lounge, Spill on Sixth and Malaia World Lounge on East Sixth, Fuel on Trinity, Roial on West Fifth, Hyde (formerly Qua), Stack Burger Bar on West Fourth, and Kiss & Fly on Colorado.

Even if every one of these bars closed, it would not effect the live music scene in Austin because none of these venues offer up live music.

Apparently the Yassine clan was unaware of the irony of using pirates, who are notorious for illegal activity, as a theme to cover up their own illegal activity.  It’s a little like hiding your weed in plain view on the coffee table when the cops are banging on your door because you figure it’s the last place they’d look.

The Chronicle also reported that some of Yassine’s bars were purportedly gay bars, but not gay friendly.  This is the type of confusion you get when you are not really opening a bar at all but simply trying to find a place to put all of that cash you’ve stashed from selling illegal drugs.  They should have called at least one of the gay bars Santorum, to really drive home the point.

The Chronicle also noted that several ex-employees have filed a class action lawsuit against the owners for violating minimum wage requirements by not paying tipped employees.   So in addition to laundering money and being unfriendly to gays, the owners are apparently a bunch of cheap assholes.

Is it just me or do stories like this just warm your heart?   Cudos to the FBI, IRS and the Austin Police Department for cleaning up a mess on Sixth Street.  Let’s hope these allegations are true, so my biased  journalism is not called into question.  And as a final note,  not that I’ve ever seen anyone in any one of these bars anyway, but, if and until these bars are closed down, let’s boycott them in favor of a live music venue.