My mind is a dangerous place. Make sure you wear a cup.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

My iTunes Speak!


I got this idea from another blog.

Open iTunes/iPod or windows media player to answer the following. Go to your library. Answer, no matter how embarrassing it is.

How many songs: 4861

Hours of music: 13.3 days

Sort by song title:

First song: 'Cause I Like It That Way--SHeDAISY

Last song: Zydeco Gris-Gris--Beausoleil

Sort by time:

Longest: Freebird (Live)--Lynyrd Skynyrd (14:13)

Shortest: Dante's Lament--Clerks Sountrack (:04)

Sort by album:

First song: Sweetheart (with JD)--Mariah Carey

Last song: Smuggler's Blues--Glenn Frey

Ten Most Played Songs:

Georgia on a Fast Train-- Billy Joe Shaver

Woke Up This Morning--Alabama 3

Don't Pay the Ferryman--Chris De Burgh

Freeze-Frame--The J. Geils Band

I Still Dream About You--Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

The Ballroom Blitz--Sweet

Black Velvet--Myles Alannah Myles

Holding Out for a Hero--Bonnie Tyler Bonnie Tyler

Tulane--Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Goin Down in Style-- Robert Earl Keen

First song to come up on random:

She's Sexy + 17--The Stray Cats

Search (How many times does it come up):

Sex: 53

Death: 9

Love: 406

You: 583

Hmm...not too bad. I think I can still hold my head up high. Maybe I take a bit of a hit on Mariah Carey, but I think that is more than mitigated by the coolness factor of Alabama 3 or Beausoleil (got to love the cajun music).

I was a little surprised by some of the most played songs, but then I remembered that some of them were on a playlist I made back when I played the MMORPG City of Heroes. I would want certain music playing when my character was wading into battle with evil doers.

I think I just took another hit.

Friday, December 30, 2005

When I was a boy....

My first real job was as a service clerk at the Stop & Shop on King Street in Northampton, Mass. I was probably 17 years old.

I was an awesome service clerk. Helpful, hard-working, efficient. I could just about bring in more carts at a time than anyone. And I was a flashy bagger. I'd flip the cans and stuff around with a flourish. Think of Tom Cruise in "Cocktail" except with green beans and canned corn instead of vodka and tequila.

And I can still get it done, damn it. Once in a while I get a chance at Publix when they're short staffed and I dig right in. I've still got it. You never really lose it, they say.

And now today I look with scorn on these service clerks of the 21st century as they either bring in one or two carts at a time, or they use one of those new-fangled electric cart retrievers, or whatever they call them. Where is the pride?

Pussies. When I was a boy.....

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Told you I was a bad guy....

Greed:High
Gluttony:High
Wrath:High
Sloth:Medium
Envy:Medium
Lust:High
Pride:Medium


Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

I don't agree with these results! I demand a recount and a full investigation!

My Songwriting Hall of Fame


You act like you were just born tonight
Face down in a memory but feeling all right
So who does your past belong to today?
Baby, you don't say nothing when you're feeling this way
The girls in the bars thinking, "who is this guy?"
But they don't think nothing when they're telling you lies
You look so careless when they're shooting that bull
Don't you know heartaches are heroes when their pockets are full
Tell me you're trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, "when is he gonna give us some room"
The girls say, "god I hope he comes back soon"
Everybody's talking but you don't hear a thing
You're still uptown on your downhill swing
Boulevard's empty, why don't you come around?
Baby, what is so great about sleeping downtown?
Splitting your dice to be someone you're not
You say you're looking for something you might've forgot
Don't bother calling to say you're leaving alone
'Cause there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home
Just tell 'em you're trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, "when is he gonna give us some room"
The girls say, "god I hope he comes back soon"
Rosanne Cash Seven Year Ache

More Haiku

don't pet the leper
i touched him last week and now
i lost a finger

children like candy
bring it to the playground
get them in your car

massages are nice
slip the girl a twenty for
a happy ending

silly hitchhiker
wherever you were heading
now you won't make it

jehovah's witness
on my porch at first and then
in a shallow grave

monkeys in my house
they ate all my bananas
back to the market

a mother nursing
forty four double d cup
a lucky baby


life can be so hard
i need to escape somewhere

pass me the crack pipe

I don't know who I am channeling when I write haiku, but whoever it is has a very dark personality.

What to read?

I am depressed.

I have finished the last book in Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series.

Now what am I gonna read?

I have three other series for which I constantly anxiously await each intstallment. The above series, plus John Sanford's Lucas Davenport series, James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series, and Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. I savor each book. They are the kind of books you don't want to read too fast because you want to enjoy them and relish the experience.

None of the series has a new book on the horizon. Now I'll have to make do with Koonz, Grisham, Kellerman, Grafton, etc.

Heavy sigh.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Makes sense

The dreaded chore



I forgot to bitch about having to clean the electric turkey fryer. I think I bitched about it after Thanksgiving. I'm going to bitch about it again. And I'm going to keep bitching about it every time I have to do it.

Fried turkey is delicious. But the job of cleaning the fryer afterwards is a hell on earth.

And every time the job I do gets a little worse. My attention to detail wanes, and my attention span evaporates.

Each time it takes me less time. And I do a worse job. I don't do it on purpose. It's just who I am.

I figure after another 4 or 5 uses, it will easier for me to just throw it away and buy another one. It'll be worth the hundred bucks.

Ick.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Fun with Haikus

Haiku is one of the most important forms of traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku is, today, a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.

I am feeling creative today.

itching burning rash
my nethers, much discomfort
stupid prostitute

here kitty kitty
no more wandering outside
your head on a stick

sister, very cute
i can impregnate her now
in alabama

he got in my way
some acid and a bathtub
he is all gone now

delicious twinkies
so full of nice white filling
go right to my thighs

the blade shines brightly
between the fourth and fifth rib
i slide it right in

the child has candy
i push him down and take it
the pez is now mine


no appetite
trendy redrum heroin
can take the edge off

Feel free to bask in my creative juices!

The care and feeding of children

I don't have any children. But like most people who don't have any children, I have some pretty good ideas on how to raise them.
A lot of my friends at work have small children. I am always happy to dispense my advice to them. No one takes it, but I dispense it anyway.

And afterwards, I always say the same thing: "I should write a book."

Well, I don't have that kind of time. I'm a very busy man. But in the interests of making the world a better place to live, I feel it is my duty and responsibility to share with everyone my views on the subject.

No need to thank me.

  1. Diapers are expensive. Use old newpaper. Keep the babies out on the porch. That way, when the newspaper falls off due to baby's "business" you can just spray them clean with the hose and *poof* all clean! And then you can just hose the porch off.
  2. Oftentimes babies can be whiny and fidgety. Get yourself some duct tape and narcotic cough syrup. Employ liberal use of both.
  3. Sometimes it gets cold, and you can't keep baby on the porch. Teach them to use the cat's litter box when they're inside. Kill two birds with one stone.
  4. An old refrigerator makes a great fort for baby to play in.
  5. Babies need exercise. Set up a dog run in the backyard, put a collar on baby, and let him run wild!
  6. Sometimes babies wander off. Don't expend a lot of energy looking for them. They usually turn up. And if they don't, you can always have another.

I hope this helps. No need to thank me. I'm a giver.

Dan the Man

Earlier I mentioned that Carl Yastrzemski had been my hero growing up.

He retired in 1983. Luckily, Dan Marino came along that same year to fill the void. And I followed his career faithfully, until the day he retired in 1999. In fact, I saw his last game in person, that horrible blowout loss to the Jaguars in the first round of the playofffs that year.

Not a good day. Great seats, but not a good day.

Almost everyone I know who has met Dan Marino has said that he is an asshole and not very nice in person. Over the years I have come across many people who have said that.

The most recent occaison was this past friday at the KISS 105.3 radio remote. Sam, co-host of the Morning Flakes Show is from South Florida, and she maintained that not only was he an asshole, but he wasn't even that good looking.

Now wait a minute.

I can live with him being a jerk. Hey, if I was Dan Marino, and everyone wanted a piece of my time, would I always be unfailingly polite and gracious?

Hell, I'm not unfailingly polite and gracious now. And nobody wants a piece of my time.

But to say he's not good looking.....that is beyond the pale.

He's dreamy. I could just get lost in those deep blue eyes of his.

I say this with a staunch unblemished record of heterosexuality: I would let Dan Marino do me.

Secret Origins

When I was a kid, one of my favorite comic books was Secret Origins. Each issue would detail the genesis of a particular superhero.

I need a secret origin. The secret origin of Mr. Fabulous.

I like to think it would begin in a bunker somewhere in rural Costa Rica. Perhaps I would have been the brainchild of a rogue scientist at Bell Labs. Or the love child of Bela Lugosi and Doris Day. Or I would have been stolen away from the hospital under cover of darkness by a roving band of howler monkeys.

I might have stowed away on a tramp steamer bound for the Phillipines. Or have hijacked a cargo plane and diverted it to a hidden airstrip outside Mexico City. Or hiked out of the jungle with only my wits and a bottle of milk of magnesia.

I may have attended university at Oxford. Or had to quit school in the eighth grade once daddy died so I could work the cotton fields and take care of my mom and sisters. Or lived on the mean streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma, selling dime bags for a dope pusher named Marco.

I may have been recruited early by the CIA and been trained to kill foreign agents in exotic locations. Or gone to work as a fry cook in a greasy spoon diner in Brooklyn. Or become a sales manager for a Cracker Barrel in Alabama.

I may have been befriended by a wise old martial arts master who took me under his wing. I may have joined the French Foreign Legion and learned to love camels. I may have been bitten by a radioactive caribou and spent the rest of my days reading sonnets and collecting mason jar lids.

I think I am feverish.

Pound of flesh

this is an audio post - click to play

I think this says it all....

Happy Boxing Day!

Today is Boxing Day, for our friends in Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

I'm a little hazy on the origin of Boxing Day, and of exactly what celebrating it entails. I could do some research, but frankly, I have neither the attention span nor the cognitive capacity to do so.

But I feel strongly that I should observe it in some way.

So I have decided to not wear any underwear for the entire day today.

I think I like Boxing Day!

Bad Mother

Between my life in Massachusetts and my life in Florida, I had a life in South Carolina.

We lived there from 1992 to 1996. They were mostly forgettable years. We lived upstate, first in Walhalla, while the wife got her MBA from Clemson, and then in Laurens, home of the only Ku Klux Klan museum (I kid you not, it was right on the town square. We were so proud).

I don't remember much about those years, but I'll never forget Susan Smith. Remember that name?

In October of '94 I was driving back from a visit to Massachusetts, when in North Carolina I first heard the radio reports of a black man who had carjacked a Mazda Protege from a South Carolina woman, and had driven off with her two young children in the car.

For several days, while the search for the carjacker continued, it's all anyone could talk about. The incident took place in Union County, which was only a couple counties over from where we lived.

And then, of course, tragically, the truth came out. There had been no carjacker. Susan had made it up. She had driven to John D. Long Lake, parked her car on the access ramp, and let it roll into the lake with her two boys inside.

Wow. The thought of it still breaks my heart. All we saw for days was footage of those two boys. Happy, playing...and to think....

The next day off I had, I drove to John D. Long Lake. Afer having lived with the story over the last couple of weeks, and invested so much of myself emotionally, I felt I owed it to the two boys to go and, I guess, kind of pay my respects. I don't know if that sounds corny or not, but that's how I felt.

It turns out that plenty of others felt the same way.

It had been a week or so since the real story broke, and I guess I was expecting the site to be more or less deserted. But it wasn't. Dozens of cars were parked there, people were all around, and a huge makeshift memorial was near the site with all kinds of flowers, toys, cards, stuffed animals, notes, etc.

I walked down to the edge of the lake and stood on the access ramp, right at the spot where the car must have first rolled into the water.

It was....surreal. Humbling. Overwhelming.

I held it together until I got back in my car. And then I wept for much of the way home.

I think often of that day.

Gonna up my street cred...

Urban Dictionary is another one of my new favorite sites (click on the title).

I need to up my hipness quotient. This is just the site that's gonna help me do it.

Some words I have already made my own:

tickety-boo going smoothly, doing all right

rack of heads a large group of people

hinny diggle to pause or to waver; to be uncertain

off the rip the beginning or onset of some activity or likewise

Word!

I need to move....

We were out last night looking at Christmas lights. One of the subdivisions we drove through was called "The Enclave".

That's a cool name. Maybe the coolest name ever for a subdivision.

Webster defines "enclave" as : a distinct territorial, cultural, or social unit enclosed within or as if within foreign territory.

That rocks. "I live in The Enclave". Oh yeah, I'm all about that.

I live in Summer Creek. It's an okay name. But it has no cachet.

The Enclave has cachet up the ying yang.

I gotta move.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas Redux!

With A Bullet

Here is an interesting link (click on the title).

You put in your date of birth, and it will tell you what the number one song was on the day you came into this world. You can do it for both the US and UK charts.

The number one song in the US on the day I was born was Hey! Baby by Bruce Channel. I don't think I'm familiar with it.

In the UK, it was Rock A Hula Baby/Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley. Not one of the King's better efforts.

The site also suggests putting in the date you turned eighteen, claiming that the song that was number one is your life's theme song.

The number one song on the US charts the day I turned eighteen was Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen.

I can live with that.

Rock on!

Happy Birthday Jimmy Buffett


Jimmy Buffett is 59 years old today.

I am not a Jimmy Buffett fan. I am not a Parrothead. I know a lot of people who are. I roll my eyes at them regularly.

Jimmy's music doesn't have enough of an edge for me.

I do admire his ability, however, to turn about one and a half good songs into an entire cottage industry.

So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I wish him well.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

70's Schlock

The 1970s produced a lot of schlock. And one area where schlock ran rampant was popular music.

I have a soft spot in my heart for that schlock. I have no idea why. I just do. And it was a banner decade for melodramatic pop. Witness:

Rocky by Austin Roberts

Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. They buy a house. They have a daughter. Shortly after the baby turns a year old, the wife dies.

Blind Man in the Bleachers by David Geddes

Benchwarming football player convinces the coach to put him in the game for the second half, and he has the game of his life and leads the team to victory. When asked what motivated him to play like that, the kid reveals that his blind father died that day, and that was the first time he had seen his son play.

Indiana Wants Me by R. Dean Taylor

Man is on the run because he killed another man who insulted his wife. The police are after him, and eventually they corner him. He bemoans that he will never see his wife and baby again, and he quickly writes in a letter that he loves them. He is gunned down as the song ends.

Run, Joey, Run by Devid Geddes (again!)

Boy meets girl, they fall in love, girl gets pregnant, she tells his father, her father beats her, she calls her boyfriend to tell him to stay away, of course he doesn't, and when he comes over her father tries to shoot him but his daughter steps in the way and is killed, along with her unborn baby.

Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks

Dying man saying goodbye to his family and friends as he shuffles off this mortal coil.

Billy, Don't Be A Hero by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods

Soldier goes off to war, and he forgets his promise to his finance to keep his head down and out of danger. He volunteers for a dangerous mission and is killed. She tears up the letter she gets from the army telling her he is a hero.

The 70's. Good times, that.

Get Ta Know Me!

My bottled water of choice is Dasani.

I am allergic to peanut butter.

I am not a fan of pineapple on pizza.

I own two pairs of jeans.

I have not worn a tie in more than five years.

Soccer bores me.

I don't mind heat and humidity.

I can wiggle my ears.

I am a registered Independent.

I own three handguns.

All three handguns are revolvers, because I don't have the attention span to remember if there's one in the chamber.

I think Annette O'Toole was underrated.

I love to play air hockey.

And mini golf.

I do a great spit take.

At a Chinese restaurant, I always get sweet and sour chicken.

I have never broken a bone.

I have spent one night in jail.

I love public speaking.

I have never smoked a cigarette.

I have five scars, but none are sexy or interesting. Most of them are stupid.

I don't think the Three Stooges were funny.

The only famous person I have ever talked to was Willem Dafoe.

I don't like relish.

I do not suffer fools gladly.

Golden Girls need not apply....

My friend Galen suggested that I post my top ten favorite sitcoms.

He was very specific that it be sitcoms, not TV shows in general.

There have been a lot of great sitcoms. I remember watching All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, Happy Days. I enjoyed all of those.

I did not enjoy The Cosby Show, Saved by the Bell, Different Strokes, Kate and Allie, or Family Matters, I Love Lucy, or Three's Company.

But what is a sitcom? Was the Brady Bunch a sitcom? I guess so, although at the time I don't recall it ever being referred to as one.

Not that I was going to pick that anyway. The Partridge Family, either.

Are cartoon shows sitcoms? They're comedies. Hmm..... I guess technically, they are not Situation Comedies. But still....are they Animated Situation Comedies?

My tastes tend to be a bit out of the mainstream, in case you haven't guessed. So none of the above would make my list.

Okay, in no particular order, except for the first one, here is my list:
  • Seinfeld
  • Curb Your Enthusisam
  • The Office (with Steve Carrell)
  • Married With Children (first year only)
  • Buffalo Bill
  • Family Guy
  • The Simpsons
  • The Larry Sanders Show
  • Entourage
  • Police Squad!

I think that's a pretty smart and solid list. I can live with it.

Not a lot of "very special episodes" in that list. Not many lessons learned. Not many group hugs.

That's how I like my comedy. Squirmy. Dark. Mean spirited. Selfish. Caustic. Self-absorbed. Sarcastic. Smart. Sharp.

Andy Griffith, go fuck yourself.

Ante Up!

Poker has certainly become a big deal, hasn't it? World championships. Celebrity tournaments. ESPN telecasts. The proliferation of poker playing web sites. And I gather the game of preference is Texas Hold 'Em.

Bah.

I'm old school. I love to play poker. But real poker. Dealer's choice. Baseball. Acey-Deucey. Draw. Stud. Criss Cross. Gut. Whatever.

Around a table of good friends. There's got to be a little money involved, to keep it interesting. Nickle/dime/quarter mostly. The main point of the activity is the social aspect of it. The money was always secondary.

Beer. Soda. Chips. Cheetos. Music. Pizza. Jokes. Gossip.

Good times.

What's the big deal?

I don't get it.

I was just watching an SNL rerun, and No Doubt was the musical guest. I've never understood the hype about No Doubt in general, and Gwen Stefani in particular. What's the big deal? I don't find her attractive, and her music does nothing for me.

I've never cared for Gwyneth Paltrow either. She always seemed like kind of a bitch. I also don't like Martha Stewart, never have.

I feel better now that I have shared.

The Meaning of Christmas

I am not a religious fellow. But the years force a certain amount of wisdom upon you whether you like it or not. So I know a little bit about the meaning of Christmas.

It involves Jesus. And elves. And I think there is a snowman or two in there, as well.

Was Santa an elf? Jesus was an elf. Or he was raised by elves. Or he was raised by wolves. No, that's not right. Who was raised by wolves then? Maybe that feral kid from The Road Warrior. That was a good movie.

And there were Three Wise Men. And Three Stooges. And Three Amigos. And Three Days of the Condor, which was released in 1975 and starred Robert Redford back when he was a very attractive man. He would have made a dreamy Jesus.

Okay, so Jesus, Frosty, and Rudolph all moved to New York City and rented a loft together in Soho. But it wasn't a gay thing. In fact, Rudolph had a fiance back in Greenland. Her name was Felicia, and she had her own business, a nail salon. They had a good thing going.

Anyway...someone was born, right? No, everyone was already born. Born again, that's it! Frosty was born again when he wandered into a shelter in the Village, and met up with a street preacher named Artemis, who washed Frosty in the blood of the lamb and got him to accept Santa Claus as his personal savior.

So Rudolph went back to Greenland, and Frosty was born again, which is how he came to aquire that top hat. Everyone who is born again gets a top hat. Kind of like getting a toaster when you open a bank account. How come they don't do that anymore?

Jesus couldn't pay the rent on the loft by himself, so he was evicted. He became a street performer. I think he did an act involving sock puppets and origami. And no one ever heard from him again.

So Christmas commemorates Frosty the Snowman being born again. I'm not sure where the Christmas tree comes in. I don't think anyone does.

So then Frosty spent the rest of his days wandering around America, planting apple trees. And that is why we color eggs at Christmas. I think that's pretty clear.

Equally clear is that I should not be blogging at this hour of the morning.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thoreau and Hiatt--When You're Right You're Right

I'm feeling a little melancholic tonight. Pondering some of the big questions. Why are we here? What does it all mean? What the hell is the point?

Henry David Thoreau said:

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

John Hiatt said much the same thing, although in song:

"You get up in the morning
You get on the bus
You don't think about nothing
You don't raise no fuss
You come home in the evening
Turn the TV on
You ain't going nowhere
You just ride along, ride along, ride along

You get the Sunday paper
On Saturday night
You read the travel section
Until you're all uptight
'Cause it's almost Monday
Jack you know that song
You ain't going nowhere
You just ride along, ride along, ride along

They talk about you in the press
They got you figured out I guess
Though you never heard of the guy they mention
Sometimes that girl she'll slip you a kiss
But she's just another somnambulist
And you're tired of sleepwalking
The cats out but he ain't talking

You're just another joker
With one chance in hell
Of ever pullin' that trigger
Of ever feelin' too well

Yeah but you just might do it
Just to prove them all wrong
'Cause you ain't going nowhere
You just ride along, ride along, ride along
You just ride along, ride along, ride along"

John Hiatt
"Ride Along"

Maybe I need a hobby. Or a life.

Picking the Right "Path"

My friend Galen shot me an email the other day after sifting through my blog. He had this comment:

"This is the mindless ranting of a psychopath, but yet, fascinating. I know you well enough to know, that you have enough material to go for decades. "

Now, I like Galen. He's a good man. Anyone who is both a Red Sox fan and a Seinfeld devotee is aces in my book. But if I've told people once, I've told them a hundred times...

It's sociopath. I'm a sociopath. Not a psychopath. I'm not completely nuts.

Actually, what I think I am is a borderline sociopath. Now, I have another friend, Candi, who works in the mental health field, who claims there is no such thing as a borderline sociopath.

I respectfully disagree. I've done some research.

Now, there are degrees to sociopathology. I mean, I'm not cruising the streets in a van looking to abduct young women. There are no cub scouts buried in shallow graves in my backyard. I don't torture stray animals in the neighborhood.

There are no body parts in my freezer.

But...not all my synapses are firing all the time, people. Galen, who I used to work with, was always fond of telling people that I was dead inside.

Sometimes I think the only thing keeping me from becoming a serial killer is my distaste for manual labor.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Comic books and Baseball Cards

People say regret is a wasted emotion. Maybe so, but regardless, I regret a lot of things in my life.

Ah, the capriciousness of youth.

One of the things I regret is getting rid of my comic books. Sold 'em all when I was maybe 15 or 16.

What was I thinking? Why couldn't I just tuck them away in a corner somewhere?

I loved comic books. Batman, Spiderman, Green Lantern, Daredevil. Good stuff. And now they're gone.

Same thing with my baseball cards. Man, I had quite the collection. Got rid of all of them too.

You hear a lot of stories about how guys' moms throw out their collection. I can't even say that. It was me. Stupid, stupid, me.

But then, if I knew then what I knew now, I guess I would do a lot of things differently. I guess all of us would.

Oh well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm sorry, Billy! Forgive me!

Damn it. I left Billy Joel off the list of top ten albums. How could I do that? What was I thinking?

I didn't mean it, Billy. Mea culpa.

OK, I'm adding The Stranger--Billy Joel.

And I'm taking off......nothing. It's my list. It's my blog. I can have 11 albums on my top ten if I want!

OK, 12.

Add Hotel California--The Eagles.

I feel better now.

Whew.

My Favorite Albums

Last month a good friend of mine and I had lengthy discussions about our favorite songs. And today I hosted a radio remote at work and spent most of the four hours talking about bands and songs and music with Alan, the DJ and Christine, my co-host.

So I got to thinking, as I often do....

Songs are easy. Songs are plentiful. As long as I had 200 or more slots, I could pick my favorite songs. Well, maybe 300 slots.

But what about albums? There are a lot of good songs on mediocre albums. What if I had to pick 10 all time favorite albums? And no greatest hits collections--that would be cheating. Could I do it?

Let's see. Off the top off my head...

London Calling--The Clash
Get the Knack--The Knack
Purple Rain Soundtrack--Prince
The Outsider--Rodney Crowell
Bat Out of Hell--Meatloaf

Hmm...that was easy, but now I only have 5 slots left. And I'm already thinking of cutting The Outsider. I love it, but it was released this year, and I'm thinking to make the list the album has to have established itself as timeless....

OK, The Outsider is out. Replace with Born to Run--Bruce Springsteen.

OK, 5 slots left.....

I gotta have John Hiatt in there...so.....Ya'll Caught--John Hiatt.

4 slots....

The Stones....TPOH....Seger, maybe, but which one? Damn....

OK, Talking Heads '77--Talking Heads.

3 slots....

Hmm....DiFranco, Petty, oh damn, what about The Beatles.....umm....um....gotta have The Beatles....but which one......

OK, The White Album--the Beatles. It's a double album. Hee hee, more bang for the buck.

2 slots left I think...

This is hard.....

Ok, Warren Zevon's first album. Warren Zevon--Warren Zevon.

One more, kids...

Drumroll please...

Um.....I'm choking....

Ok....

J. Geils Band--Freeze Frame. No, that's no good. Hmm....

OK, I'm going with Exile from Guyville--Liz Phair.

That's the list.

Not bad for 20 minutes thought. I can live with it.

Words of wisdom

this is an audio post - click to play

Yaz! Yaz! Yaz!




Yaz was my hero growing up.

Carl Michael Yastrzemski. Played for the Boston Red Sox from 1961 through 1983. 23 seasons.

All this Johnny Damon stuff and rebuilding of the team over the offseason has made me nostalgic for the good old days when players stayed with the same team for their whole career or damn near.

I loved to watch him play. He played the game hard, and no one worked harder to get the most out of his talent than Number Eight.

I would stop everything when it was his turn at bat.

Captain Carl.

I miss him.

If

Years ago I came upon the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. It's a very well known poem. I loved it, and I always felt that if I could post it in my office I would be able to derive inspiration and motivation from it should the need arise. So I ordered an 8 1/2 by 11 print of it, and I keep it in a plexiglass holder on my desk:

IF
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
by Rudyard Kipling
Isn't that great?

It's never done a damn thing for me. I might as well have a picture of Britney Spears up there. Or a recipe for meatloaf. Or my third grade report card.

Nothing.

I have no soul.

The Evil Empire deals Red Sox Nation a heavy blow...


Johnny Damon to the Yankees.

Christ, it's all I could do to get out of bed this morning. It took every ounce of willpower not to just stumble to the medicine cabinet, down every pill in sight, stagger back to bed, and pray for the sweet sweet release of death.

Hello, third place next year.

I may not even buy the baseball package from Cox. Save the couple hundred bucks and buy some yarn and take up knitting.

Kill me. I'm begging you. Kill me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mortality, take it or leave it

I mentioned I didn't think I'd make it to 43.

In my early 20's I had a premonition for a long time that I wouldn't live to see my 26th birthday. I didn't know why, it was just a strong strong feeling.

And I guess I shouldn't have. I took a lot of foolish chances. Especially drinking. And driving. And drinking and driving. There were probably hundreds of times I should have been caught. And more than half a dozen times when I was stopped or went through a roadblock and still skated, whether by luck or design.

And, of course, I did get nailed eventually.

I got into accidents. Wrecked cars. Drove down stairs. Skidded. Spun out. And always came out without a scratch.

I drank more than a human being should. I was heavyweight champion of the world.

But I made it.

And then about 4 years ago I felt a similar premonition, that I wouldn't make it to the end of the year. I honestly felt that way. And I was OK with it.

But I made it again.

So here I am. I guess it's true that only the good die young. Billy Joel is so wise.

Cause I'm a bad guy.

Time Warp

Most people think I am younger than I really am. I am 43 years old. But a lot of people, when asked, will guess mid to late 30's.

I don't see it. There are a lot of days I feel every inch of 43. And I think I look it. And there are days I get out of bed creaking and groaning like an old man.

But people say it.

I guess I don't act my age a lot of the time. Maybe that has something to do with it. Most of the people I interact with at work are late 20's-mid 30's. Upstairs skews higher, but I'm a first floor guy.

I get asked to go out a lot at night to clubs, or parties, or what have you. Man, I can't do that anymore. I'm 43! I used to party professionally, but those days are long gone. Long gone.

Maybe not having had kids has something to do with it. I guess I never really grew up.

I have a friend at work. Her name is Robin. In fact, we're taking a really long lunch on Friday to shoot pool. We've got a bet.

Robin is 21. Every once in a while I flash on that. 21. She could be my daughter. And yet I rarely think of that or see her in that way.

Maybe in 20 years I'll be a really hip old guy. If I make it that far. I didn't think I'd make it this far. Not by a long shot.

Island paradise, my ass

About a million years ago I won a sales contest at the company I worked for, and one of the prizes was a trip for two to Puerto Rico for a week.

I was between girlfriends at the time, so I wanted to take along a buddy of mine. Figured we would have a grand old time drinking and whoring and....well, whatever they do in Puerto Rico. Cockfights, maybe.

The district manager hated me and he said I couldn't take a friend. It was couples or nothing. Prick. I loathed that old bastard.

So I asked my friend Janet to come with me. Janet was the manager of another store for the company. There was nothing romantic going on, we were just pals. She was one of the guys, a lot of fun to be around. She said yes, we got it by the district manager, and we were off to Puerto Rico!

We were in a beautiful hotel somewhere on the beach north of San Juan, I can't remember the name of the town. Very fancy, casino, the whole nine yards.

It rained the first day. And it went downhill from there.

We didn't get along. And all Janet wanted to do was play golf. I don't play golf. I went the first day with her and some others, and drove the cart, because I had always wanted to drive a golf cart.

Turns out golf courses have a lot of rules.

Don't try to run over the lizards.
Don't drive on the greens.
Don't see if you can get it up on two wheels.

Geez. What a bunch of stiffs.

So the next day I said fuck it, and rented a car to go exploring. Who needs her? Who needs golf? Plus, I had found out that plenty of other winners had been allowed to bring friends along!

I was not a happy man. This may surprise you, but I can be a brooding, moody, son of a bitch sometimes.

Well, the car didn't work out all that well. I kept getting lost.

The first evening I ran it up onto the beach and had to pay to get it towed out.

The second day I got stopped for speeding in Bayemon by a cop who couldn't speak English. I just jabbered at him mindlessly until he let me go.

The third night I ran it into a cane field and ripped the side molding off the passenger's side.

By then I hated Janet, I hated the other winners, and all I wanted to do was get off that damn island and quit the damn company.

Like I said, moody.

Finally, the last day, thank God. Janet went to play golf (of course), and I reminded her she had to be back by a certain time so we could catch the shuttle to San Juan.

I packed (my suitcases were FULL of rum), turned in my rental car (they never looked at it, I skated on the damage), and waited for Janet.

She didn't show.

I got a call from her from the sister hotel. They missed the bus over to our hotel. Could I pick them up in my car?

Oh gee, sorry. Already turned it in.

Did I wait for her? I think you know the answer to that.

I left her ticket at the desk, and told her to try to catch up with me at the airport, hopped the shuttle to San Juan, and never looked back.

As luck would have it, there was a hurricane brewing, and I got the last flight out of San Juan to Miami that night.

I don't know what happened to Janet. I never spoke to her or saw her again. A month later I left that company for another job.

For all I know she's still there. Maybe white slavers got ahold of her.

That would be a shame.

Houston, we have a problem...

My laptop is acting up again.

I've had to restart it about eight times in the last thirty minutes.

And yet I remain calm. Preternaturally calm.

Outwardly, at least.

Inwardly, I am wondering if I were to take it out into the backyard and shoot it several times, would any of the neighbors complain?

My guess is that they would.

So I do nothing.

I'm surprised it held together long enough for me to post this.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Man or not a man?

I don't think I'm much of a man.

Or at least, I could be more of a man. I don't know. I mean, at least I don't listen to Yanni.

But if being a man means:
  • Fixing things
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Building things
  • Owning lots of tools
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Pumping iron
  • Playing sports
  • Working on the car

Then I think I am in trouble.

However, if being a man means:

  • Enjoying the sight of two women making out

Then I am on firmer ground.

Hmm...The jury is still out.

Like sands through the hourglass....

I was in a reflective mood today on the way back home from the beach. I saw an A&W on Beach Boulevard. Not like the old ones, of course, it was one of those bastardized hybrids. This one was a combination A&W/KFC.

An abomination.

That got me started thinking about the A&W that used to be in Greenfield, Mass. It was one of those old fashioned ones, where the carhops would come out and bring your food to you.

My buddies and I used to go up there all the time. It was either Tuesday or Wednesday that was Chili Dog Day. We used to make sure we had the afternoon off from work, and then we'd go up and scarf down chili dogs and some of that incomparable A&W rooty-beer!

Heaven.

The A&W is long gone, of course.
As is the mini-golf course at Mt. Tom Amusement Park.
No more T.J.s.
No more Retreat.
No more....I can't remember the name of that dance club in Easthampton we used to go to all the time....
No more....anything, really.

I don't have any kids. But it occurs to me that if I did, and I tried to take them to places I used to go all the time, there would just be a bunch of other stuff there.

How about that.

Sell This House!

I like this program. I have been watching it for a while now. I have these observations:

I think Roger is gay.
Staging is everything when selling a house.
For God's sake, clean the house before potential buyers see it.
Tanya is very proud of her breasts.
A little money can go a long way.

I think that about sums it up.

Uber!

Would you rather?

Would you rather lose your wallet (or purse), or tongue-kiss a homeless guy?

Would you rather drink a glass of your own urine, or have fire ants poured down your pants?

Would you rather take a punch from a professional fighter, or be bitten once by a dog?

Would you rather run naked once around the block, or have all the tires on your car flattened?

This is what I think about.

King Kong

I caught "King Kong" yesterday. It was...OK. I mean, if it didn't have so much hype attached to it, I would have been more impressed. It was good, it just didn't blow me away. Given my druthers, I would have gone to see "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" or "A History of Violence" again.

It might have just been my mood. I should have picked an edgier movie.

I don't often get to use the word "druthers" It felt kind of good.

Druthers.

Unfortunately, I have no musical talent...

A few days ago I made a post titled "Crab Balls and Dog Tracks"

Yesterday it occured to me that would make a great album title.

I used to have a friend, I can't remember who it was, who once in a while would remark, after someone had said something pithy, "That would make a great album title".

Crab Balls and Dog Tracks.

I bet that would rock!

Maybe I'll start writing some songs.

Rock on!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Crab Balls and Dog Tracks

Going to the beach this weekend.

I like the beach, although I don't tan, and I don't like to swim in salt water.

The room will have a beachfront private balcony, although I don't usually go out on it.

The room will have a hot tub, but I won't use it.

Why am I going?

Crab balls. Love 'em! Joes Crab Shack in Jax Beach. Come on by. Mention my name.

And maybe the dog track. Although it has been many many visits since I turned a profit there.

Maybe the zoo.

Catch up on a some reading.

Try not not to think about work. The next three weeks will be brutal. Got to charge the batteries.

Know what I need?

A good, solid, old fashioned, socio-psychotic state of bliss.

Outstanding.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hookers are fun!

Well, that was a short hiatus. I didn't want to disappoint my one fan.

I have a hooker story.

I can be so naive sometimes.

Within a month after moving to Gainesville nine years ago, I was working as the Collections Manager for Mercury Finance. As such, it was my job to go out periodically to see people who were behind on their payments, if we couldn't get them on the phone.

I was looking for a house a few blocks south of downtown Gainesville. While I was stopped at a light some people crossed the street and a lady across the intersection smiled and waved at me.

I waved back, but I was pretty sure she had mistaken me for somebody else. After all, I hardly knew anyone in town. The light changed, and I drove on and forgot about her.

I found the house, the guy wasn't home, I left a note, and then I headed back to the office. I was trying to find my way back to Main Street and I was stopped at another light. While I was sitting there that same woman came around the corner and *bam* before I knew it she had opened the door and was in my truck.

Surreal.

She said she heard I had been looking for her. At this point I still have no clue. I said was she sure? And she said yes. I said I was sure she was mistaken. Then she said no, so-and-so said I was looking for some head...

Ahhh.....and the light goes on.

But the light has turned, and there are cars behind me. So I have to go. So now I'm riding around downtown Gainesville with a hooker in my truck.

She wanted to blow me for $20. I turned her down, and protested that I had to get back to the office. She must have thought I was haggling, because she eventually knocked it down to $10 and then finally $7.

You haven't lived until you've cruised around downtown talking price with a hooker.

She finally gave up and told me to drop her off where I had picked her up. I pointed out that technically, I hadn't really picked her up. But I got her close, and she hopped out.

I mean, I really had to get back to work. Otherwise......

Good times.

I could really go for a nice slice of homemade holiday pie!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hiatus

I'm shutting it down for a while. Getting my head together and my house in order.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Busy weekend

Went shopping for a hot tub today. Didn't buy one, but will need to soon if the damn addition ever gets finished.

I'm going to the Christmas party for the local branch tonight. I missed the Corporate one last weekend because I was traveling. I don't know why I want to go, I usually don't go to parties of any kind anymore. Usually the sticking point is my appearance fee...

I actually think the invitation to the party was extended for political reasons. There are two factions within my department over there, and one is trying to curry favor with me.

Can I be bought? Possibly.

We didn't have to drive to Jacksonville today to see the in-laws. Instead they are coming up here tomorrow and we're having lunch at Grillmasters. The Festival of the Inbred. Too bad. I like Grillmasters, and I probably will never be able to go back there after tomorrow...

I concur.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Let this be a lesson

Endorphins.

My wife's family is crazy. For the first 15 years or so, they were, for the most part amusing. Like a band of trained chimps might be. But for the last 5 years their antics have lost all their charm for me, and I avoid them like typhoid. Most of them live only a couple hours away in Orlando, but I think it's been a couple of years since I've had to see any of them. To her credit, my wife is tired of them also.

On Sunday night, as I was going out for a walk, her mother called.

It was a good hard power walk. Up a lot of inclines. Took about an hour. Got the old heart rate up and worked up a good sweat.

When I got back, I asked her what her mother had wanted. We had been invited to Jacksonville for a kinda sorta reunion with most of the immediate family. She had, of course, found an excuse and turned her mother down.

I was so high and pumped from the endorphins released during my exercise, and was in such a good mood that I actually convinced her it might be fun and we should go, at least for a few hours. She was shocked, but she called back and said we'd go.

Those endorphins have long since worn off, or leaked out, or skulked off, or whatever they do. Now I am looking at December 10 on the calendar and thinking to myself "was I fucking crazy?"
Stupid endorphins.

Toys and gravy.
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