Sunday, May 29, 2011

Words to Live By.

Disclaimer: the basic idea behind this post has been gestating in my head all day. However, it is being written after a particularly potent G&T, probably particularly potent because it was made without ice. Made without ice because the Jeanners is sleeping, and when I got up to put more ice in my glass before making the G&T, she stirred in bed, and I heard her, and I didn't want to wake her.

End of disclaimer.

During my high school years, I lived by quotes that I learned from the movie Dead Poets Society. Carpe Diem and "What's the worst that can happen?" Actually, I think the quote that I used to have run through my head is, "Even if it kills me." And really, those quotes worked pretty well.

During my college years I didn't live by much at all, but I wanted to be sexy, and I wanted to be artistic, and I wanted to be the guy in the corner of the party drinking red wine and chain smoking. It wasn't that hard.

During my post-college years, I have lived by the mantras of "Want Less" and "Talk Less," but I think I have taken those about as far as I care to go with them. I'm going to stop pushing them.

And so, my mantras for my mid-thirties, things I need to work on:
1. Take a chance.
2. Don't be negative.
3. Life should be fun.
4. Hard work is usually fun. With the right music and/or the right company.

So anyway, that's what I've been thinking about today. From the time I took my shower this morning, and at work, and right now.

For th last hour or so, I've been watching CHEERS, and then Tom Waits videos on Youtube. Ouch. Sometimes watching Tom Waits videos makes my chest hurt.

Tonight I made a joke about Castlevania. I think if you're going to make a joke about video games, Castlevania is a good video game to choose to make a joke about. Contra is a close second.

Authors I want to read:
Flannery O'Connor
Charles Bukowski

Music I want to Download because I don't feel like paying the B&N price for the CD:
Mavis Staples, We'll Never Turn back

Movies I want to watch:
Teen Wolf on Netflix (it's streaming!)
Watch the rest of 8 1/2 even though it seems a bit too foreign for me.

The Wire. I really do need to watch it so I know what the hell "Omar comin'!" means. Ha ha. I doubt I'll like it as much as thirtysomething but who cares.
Match Game. I wish I still had the game show network so I could wear a bathrobe and watch Match Game all day long.

Disclaimer II: This post has been moderately proofread.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Not the Heat, It's the Stupidity

Who the hell went and made it all humid all up in here?

Hmmmm. Not too much shakin' this evening. Just went for a quick walk with the Jeanners and talked it up real good. Had a quick chat with the Beej (who is coming to visit this week! Geek games, Thursday night!) on the phone to make some plans, now I'm just drinkin' a beer and probably gonna go read a little Jack London.

Did some drywalling this weekend (last weekend's drywalling party turned into more of a framing party so the drywalling party got moved back a week). Yesterday we had one of Jeannie's Americorp volunteers from work offer to come over and help because she wanted to get some practice doing drywall (J's Habitat affiliate subs out all the drywall work these days), and we've got nothing in this house so much as drywalling practice, so she came over. It was nice having a third person working because then it was more like a mini-party and less like another day working on this fucking house, but a little weird, too, because most of my work pants/shorts have holes and my balls poke out. And I had a surprise fart that popped out and made me feel like an 80 year old man, but the Americorp volunteer either didn't hear or was very nice and pretended not to hear.

I bought tickets to see Daniel Lanois' new-ish band, Black Dub, at the 9:30 Club in DC in a few weeks. I'm pretty fucking excited, for several reasons:

A) I've been following Daniel Lanois since I was 10 years old and I saw on my Joshua Tree tape jacket: "Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno." And I thought that:
1) Those are really strange names
2) I don't know what "produced" means, but it sounds very important and it
seems like these guys must be responsible for the wonderful sounds on this
tape, almost as much or maybe moreso than the band themselves?
So I started looking for other things that had the name "Eno" or "Lanois" on them, and discovered some pretty great stuff. And this was way before the internet, so it meant lots of magazine reading and record store diving and just generally wonderful hunting time. So it'll just be nice to be in the same room as one of my life-long musical heroes.

B) The band includes Brian Blade and Daryl Johnson. Brian Blade is my favorite living drummer. He's actually a jazz drummer who shows up on a lot of pop stuff, too. The awesome drum pattern in Emmylou's "Where Will I Be"? Brian Blade. Anyway, he's not too flashy, just really funky and unpredictable and he's always dropping heavy bombs into the middle of his beats. Daryl Johnson is just a badass. Thick, funky bass. Once I was at an Emmylou concert and I thought it was Daryl Johnson playing bass, so I yelled out "Daryl!" but it turns out it was not Daryl. Jeannie still makes fun of me for that one. But anyway, Daryl Johnson is a badass, plain and simple.

C) Several other smaller reasons. Black Dub only has one album so they'll most likely play some older Lanois stuff. Lanois usually brings out the ol' pedal steel during shows, which is my favorite instrument but one that I don't get to see live very much.

Anyway, here's a little taste of the Black Dub (p.s. the singer is not my favorite but has been growing on me):

The Jeanners has gone to bed. I should probably follow suit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ghosts of High School Past

Tina B. and her man-friend, Dan B., visited last night. As previously reported, Tina B. is a friend from high school that the J-Dog and I had lost touch with and hadn't seen for 15 years. She's been living in Chicago since around 98' or so. It was really nice to see her. She seems to have aged in the same ways that the J-Dog and I have aged: a little more mellow, a little less wide-eyed, maybe a little quieter. But still fun and creative and down-to earth. It was just good to talk to her. I think if we all lived in the same place, we would all still hang out. Unless she thought the Jeanners and I are freaks or something. But anyway, it was really good to see her and catch up. And she and her fella are a really cute couple, and he's very laid-back and nice, and an interesting guy to talk to. It was good to meet him.

So -- hopefully it will not be another 15 years before we see Tina B. and Dan B. We now know that they are in St. Louis for a lot of the holidays, so we will make the effort to get in touch when we head that way.

Things we need to get before we have overnight guests again: suitable guest pillows. It is embarrassing to offer someone a pillow that smells kinda like it's been stored in your rectum for the last coupla years. It would also be nice to have a door up on the spare bedroom.

It's rainin' like hell right now. It's been rainin' like hell off and on for the last few days.

Had a run in yesterday at work with a crazy lady looking for "work" (not a job), but who refused to fill out a job application. Finally, she said, "Look. Just tell me, yes or no. Is there anything I can do here where I will get paid a hundred and fifty dollars, TODAY?" I had to tell her no. I should have told her that if she finds such a job that she should let me know because I, too, would be interested in throwing my hat in that particular ring.

Anyway, I think the Jeanners wants to check her shit (online shit, that is), so I will bid you a fond adieu.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Me

Today I saw a picture online and I thought for a second that it was of me. Then I realized that it was not me. But it sure does look like me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

All Good Things Must Come To an End (A Joke)

I have spent the evening watching old Cheers episodes on Netflix. I don't think there's annything in the world that makes me feel like a kid again as much as the sounds and colors of Cheers. The theme song. Somebody saying "Cheers is filmed before a live studio audience." The snappy bass-intensive jazz as an outside scene of the bar or somewhere in Boston is shown. And then into the episode. Cheers and Taxi and MASH. The shows that were shown in reruns after the news during my high school years. I don't know why it's those shows in particular that stir up such vivid memories, or really rather just feelings. No particular head pictures come into view, but more like stomach feelings. The world seems like a different world now than the world that I associate with Cheers, but I think that I'm pretty certain that it's me that's changed, more than the world.

I had the day off today and headed to the beach. A nice 3 hour drive down, listening to a mix of Fleet Foxes, K.D. Lang, Paul Simon, and Robbie Robertson. A nice 3 hours hanging out at the beach, swimming (Damn cold. Nobody else in the water), and a nice 3 hour drive home, listening to a mix of Fleet Foxes, K.D. Lang, Paul Simon, and Robbie Robertson (the Robbie Robertson and kd lang held up surprisingly well to 6 hours of repeated listening - the Paul Simon and Fleet Foxes, not so much). I got a bit of a sunburn, although it wasn't sunny the whole time I was there, a little cloudy when I first got there. I ate a hotdog and an ice cream. I read a little Jack London. I thought about going in an arcade, then decided I would be too depressed when the video games cost more than twenty five cents. All-in-all it was a good day. Got a chance to relax and reflect, to get off the feet for a little while, and to get tossed around by the waves a little bit.

The Jeanners gets back tomorrow. I am looking forward to her return. Life is very lonely without her. Plus, I stop eating vegetables and my poop gets weird.

Through the wonders of Facebook, our old friend Tina B. and her boyfriend will be stopping by in Baltimore on an East Coast roadtrip that they're taking next week. Tina B. is a friend from high school that the Jeanners and I haven't seen for about 15 years. Yikes. She's also the girl that taught me that girls can be freaks, too. And I mean that in the best possible way. She is a true original, and I look forward to seeing her and hearing what life is like for her.

Jeannie has put the kibosh on my plans to have a drywalling party after she gets back into town tomorrow. However, Sunday - drywalling party.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Music Round Up

There are quite a few decent albums out right now. We've been listening to some great music at work and I brought some of the CD's home, so now I've been listening to them both at work and at home. Here's a few recent ones that stand out:

Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What. (A-) It seems like pretty much everything Paul Simon puts out is at least excellent. This CD is totally solid all the way through, but my only complaint is that a couple of the songs start to sound alike, and there's only one song that really jumps out and grabs me by the nut hairs.

The Fleet Foxes, Hopelessness Blues. (B+) This CD picks up right where their first album left off, and adds a few new sounds and instruments to keep the material sounding fresh. But really, this CD is great to listen to for the same reasons as the first: gorgeous harmonies, interesting song structures, and some interesting songwriting. The songs can start to sound the same a little bit and there's only a few standout tracks, though.

Robbie Robertson, How to Become Clairvoyant. (B-) This one's my least favorite of the bunch, but it's got a couple of nice songs on it. Robbie Robertson puts out a solo CD about once a decade, and the one from the 80's was hit-and-miss, the one from the 90's was pretty bad, but this one's definitely listenable. I like his voice a lot. If Tom Waits' voice is 50 grit sandpaper, Robbie Robertson's is about a 150 grit. Maybe 200.

k.d. lang, Sing it Loud. (A) This one is, surprisingly, my favorite one. I've only liked one other k.d. lang album before this one (Hymns of the 49th Parallel), and I think I only liked that one because she was covering some great songs. But I've liked a few of her other songs along the way, too. But this album is listenable all the way through (although one of the worst songs is the first one, which is just a bad idea), and there are a few songs on there that are pretty perfect. The album as a whole reminds me of Josh Rouse's Nashville, although there's definitely some differences, too. But I was not surprised today to read that Sing it Loud was recorded in Nashville. Really nice pedal steel all the way through, some nice banjo, and some low twangy tremolo guitar. The songs, though, are really pop songs but with country instrumentation. Anyway, here's one song off the CD that I think is just about perfect:

Anyway, so that's what I've been listening to for the last week or two. After work, Jeannie and I spent Saturday afternoon putting in the sub-flooring in the rear bedroom, and we listened to a mix of all of the cd's, so now in my head, the songs conjure images of working back there together. Which is not a bad thing. Here's the room with the floor in it, by the way:

The tricky part was getting the new floor to match up well to the edge of the old floor, but I think we did a good job. Anyway, the new floor at least keeps the mosquitoes out.

The Jeanners left for Birmingham yesterday. I don't know if it was because I had the bed to myself or because I was pretty tired, but I slept like a log last night. I was completely suprised when my alarm went off this morning. But anyway, I talked to the Jeanners last night when I got home from work and she said that somehow she managed to score a cushy hotel room while most of the other folks at the conference are staying on a church basement floor. Which is nice for her cause she has a hard time sleeping and staying asleep. Also nice for her because it's easier to bring dudes back to a hotel room than it is to a church basement floor. Trust me, I know.

That is all I got. I am going to take an hour nap and then I am going to go down in the basement and start tearing shit up.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Edwin Ignatius Elliot Icabod O'Brien (E.I.E.I.O.)

Last night I had a dream about a deli where I used to go eat lunch during college. They had delicious 1/2 pound burgers for a dollar ninety-nine. I believe that included fries. Then, after enjoying one of said tasty burgers, I would sit back and enjoy (indoors) several STOCKTON cigarettes, which cost $1.16 a pack. The good ol' days. I think it was one of those good dreams that's gonna make me feel sad and ill-at-ease for the rest of the day.

I am working an unusual (for me) Friday night shift today, which is why I have the morning off. I have been busting my ass all week, so I don't feel guilty about having a nice, leisurely morning. I also just realized that because I have the morning off, I can make a nice, tasty breakfast. Unfortunately, I did not plan ahead and I have no biscuits in the house. I think, then, that I shall make some fried potatoes to go with the eggs and fauxsage. Fry up the potatoes and fauxsage, throw in some scrambled egg juice and mix 'em all up in a down home skillet.

In world news, Osama Bin Laden has been killed. But world news seems very far away these days, so I have no thoughts on the matter.

My feet have really been bothering me lately. I (perhaps unwisely) went for a pretty long run the other day (down to lake montebello and around the lake and then back home, and I'd never been able to make it all the way home before because there's this killer fucking hill that's on the way back that gets me every time--but the other day I made it), and it actually feels like running helps sometimes, but not long runs like I made the other day. Or maybe I just need to do some stretches before running or something. And, of course, standin g at work all day isn't helping. I now wear two different insoles in my shoes, which seems to help a bit, but my heels still hurt a bit. Anyway, boring stuff.

The Jeanners and I went to karaoke last Saturday night. We were supposed to meet some folks there, but they stood us up. But it was fun, anyway, although I only got to sing one song and it was Bon Jovi and unexciting. But it was some good people watching. We debated the beauty/patheticness of someone who goes to karaoke every week and drinks several pitchers of beer and wears lots of tough-guy biker gear (plus a very incongruous bluetooth ear thingie) and sings Guns n' Roses songs. There really is a great mix of people at this particular bar, though. And relatively cheap beer.

J-Dog leaves town on Sunday for a week. D-Bone flying solo. I have plans to lock myself in the basement and get some work done (not meant as a double-entendre) and come up only to shit and go to work.

Breakfastime soon.