In the recording studio

Well the past weekend I've been busy with the band burying ourselves in a recording studio and I'm planning to spend most of this week doing the same. The studio is a pretty nice place and very well thought out to the layout of everything. My friend Corey who's the owner the Perennial Studio by the UW really know his stuff and was really excited to help us get the best sound possible.

Right now we're doing a one song test with the studio to see if we're interested in doing a full length album with them in the future. So far in 3 days, we've tracked the guitars, drums, and bass and they all sound better than any previous recordings; and that's just the raw tracks!! The only one left is me!! Crap, I always get nervous recording and performing....

We were doing setup yesterday testing out microphones and listening to some sample takes and I was thinking "Damn I really sound horrible". I got more and more demoralized with each microphone until I got to the typical stage mic and instantly felt a lot more comfortable with my stance and posture so naturally I nailed it. Problem is, that's a stage mic, and the producer won't let me record with it since it doesn't have close to the quality as the rest of his vocal microphones. But he now knew what I was comfy with and set me up with a microphone I can't touch but at an angle where I'm comfortable at. And I nailed it again and this time it sounded way better than the stage mic. So my recording session is tomorrow night and hopefully I'll beat the crap out of the song!

I really need to invest in a digital camera so I can post pictures easily, texts bores me and probably you too!

Great Mushroom Article

Notes on the Ingestion of Amanita Muscaria

By Lawrence Millman and Tonya Haff
Reprinted from the SOMA

Boiled to remove its toxins, Amanita muscaria can usually be eaten with impunity. David Arora serves it on his forays; Russians call it mukhumor and delight in its nutty flavor; and the Japanesereputedly prefer it to Boletus edulis. Recently, Lawrence Millman and Tonya Haff had an experience of A. muscaria somewhat different from the purely culinary experience they intended to have.

Tonya cut two large (18 x 8 cm) muscaria buttons into ¼" strips and placed them in two quarts of boiling water. The mushrooms were cooked for 3 ½ minutes (they were actually in the boiling water for 5 minutes), and after they were drained, both of us sampled a few pieces. We found the taste pleasant, indeed agreeably nutty, although Lawrence thought they also had a slightly metallic aftertaste. We browned several more slices in olive oil and found them quite pleasant, too. The remaining slices were breaded, then browned. Altogether we ate almost all of the two buttons.

Twenty minutes later both of us started to feel distinctly "off." Lawrence found himself staring vacantly at some LBMs we were trying to identify. Tonya noticed that he was holding his stomach and looking uncomfortable. Once we agreed that muscaria was the culprit, we called David Arora and asked him what we should do. "Take notes!" David said. So what follows are the notes we took during the experience:

18:56. We ate A. muscaria at 6:00PM. Tonya was initially feeling hot, but now she's feeling cold. Her sense of smell is heightened. Lawrence can't seem to concentrate on identifying our mushrooms.
19:09. Tonya is slurring her words. Her pupils are dilated, and there's a lump in her throat. She finds the cedar-like odor of Camarophyllus russo-coriaceus quite cloying. Her upper lip is sweaty. Her stomach is mildly queasy, while Lawrence's stomach is very queasy.
19:15. Tonya's fingers are clammy. She says her arms are unusually goose bumpy. The cedar-like odor of the waxy cap is really bothering her now. Music is bothering her, too ("Bob Dylan driving me up a wall"). Lawrence retreats to the bathroom.
19:23. Having vomited up some of the muscaria, Lawrence says he feels a bit better. Or at least his stomach feels a bit better. The rest of him feels buzzed and more or less out of it. He also feels quite hot.
19:27. Tonya is experiencing a heightened sense of touch. Lawrence's fingers on her forehead seem to be burning a cold hole in her. There's an acute pain in her eye, but it soon goes away. Lawrence still has a slight buzz, very different, he says, from the experience of being drunk. He remarks that he's glad he's not a Siberian shaman. (Note: Siberian shamans eat muscaria for ritualistic purposes.)
19:38. Our "highs" seem to have stabilized. Lawrence is again trying to identify some of our mushrooms. Tonya says she feels almost normal, whereas Lawrence says he can't feel normal because he isn't.
19:53. Tonya is starting to feel a bit hungry. Lawrence's head feels like foam.
20:00. Tonya feels dizzy when she rolls her eyes. Also sort of sleepy. Lawrence succeeds in identifying a Mycena.
20:30. Tonya's feeling clumsy and poorly coordinated, but otherwise okay. Lawrence can't seem to dial a friend's phone number, and likewise can't close the sliding door without getting his hand stuck in it. Also, he says the mushrooms we're trying to I.D. are talking to him.
21:15. Lawrence has been silent for a while, listening to the mushrooms. All of a sudden he's very talkative, although he's not making much sense. "Smooth circus" --neither of us knows what that means. "Mushrooms are people, too," he says.
21:29. Both of us feel euphoric, Lawrence especially so --he says he hasn't felt this good in years. We decide to go out to dinner, but first we call David Arora to tell him that we're all right. "Whatever you do," David says, "don't drive." So we appoint Tonya's roommate Mikey the designated driver.
21:54. At a Chinese restaurant. Tonya thinks our food has a consciousness of its own as well as a texture that's "very real." She also thinks everyone in the restaurant is high, and that Lawrence likes Republicans, although he's earlier made it clear that he doesn't.
22:10. Lawrence is drinking a beer and says he can relate to the bottle, that the bottle can relate to him, and that the two of them are actually enjoying each other's company.
22:15. Our food feels very textured, and we seem able to commune with each grain of rice. We also feel that we're moving fast, but that our thoughts are moving slowly. Lawrence keeps dropping his chopsticks. Coordination is difficult for both of us.
22:10. Both of us seem to be suffering from short term memory loss. Lawrence feels that his critical sense, usually very much in evidence, has gone on vacation. The word "euphoria" keeps popping up in our conversation.

At 23:00 we leave the restaurant. Lawrence says that objects have no meaning, but simply exist. We see a dead deer on the road, and he says the difference between a dead deer and a living one is negligible. Tonya still feels elated, exuberant but at the same time relaxed. She falls asleep around midnight without any difficulty. For the next three days her right ring finger tingles when she hits it with her thumb, but otherwise she notices no symptoms relating to the muscaria ingestion. Lawrence has a deep sleep and wakes up the next morning feeling refreshed.
Later we asked David Arora why we experienced the ups and downs of an A. muscaria trip when all we'd wanted todo was experience the culinary delights of a muscaria hors d'oeuvre. His explanation: that the mushrooms were far too big for the pot in which they were boiled, with the result that only as much of the toxins were dissolved in the water as the water itself could hold. Thus our trips included a certain disarray of the senses, but not the full disarray experienced by Siberian shamans; and thus, too, our trips did not require a different sort of trip --i.e., to the hospital.

Editor’s Note: As they say on TV, “Do Not Try This in Your Own Kitchen”. For a great culinary experience, I think I will stick with so many good and safe edibles.