Monday, August 30, 2010

The old Lie

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

--Wilfred Owens

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What song do you want played at your funeral?

You can play a whole lot of them. I envision a jazz funeral where my casket is followed by a Dixieland brass band playing dirges and then some second lining. Music has always been a huge part of my life, from my young childhood growing up with my mother's Motown records, to my WHTG 106.3 radio-filled youth, to the obscurity I enjoy today. That's not including all the songs attached to memories I made with my friends and loved ones throughout my life; the songs I hear and think back to a wonderful moment where in some way we shared that song. However and with hope, I won't need to figure out exactly what songs I want played at my funeral any time soon -- a far-off decision, perhaps.

Ask me anything

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My working barometer

Today at some garage sales I found some real scores.

Problem is, I am embarking on a 100 Things Challenge, which requires me to drastically reduce the amount of possessions I have (down to 100 things, of course).

This 100 Things Challenge is going awful, considering I brought home two giant boxes of books, a Nintendo Entertainment System, a 1970s travel chess set and a 1960s working barometer from garage sales today.

While it was only $23 for everything, which is ah-maz-zing, it's still a lot of stuff.

I am so retarded. And yet, awesome. Le sigh.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nips of Harlem

Nips are those small, small, small bottles of alcohol.

At a birthday party this weekend a guest asked his fellow partygoers to reach into his cooler bag blindly, and try whatever alcohol they managed to pick.

Me, I picked something called Harlem.

Never heard of it. And I can spout off a history and hierarchy of alcohol.

I still have no idea what that stuff was, but it was not good at all. The label mentions it is 40 proof and made with a secret mix of ingredients. That does not sound good at all, does it?

Harlem bottles also contain the warning: made with caramel color. Seems like unintentional racist humor.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Yes, I shall accept your invite to the gay pirate party. = World's Most Obvious Statement.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Musical Diversity and Desperation

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I created this playlist in late 2007 but I added to it through mid 2008, when I reached the maximum songs allows in one playlist.

I inadvertently added songs to the end of the playlist when the mood struck, making the order of this playlist chronological. As I look over its songs, now more than two years later, I can tell what each song means and why I added it.

This is literally the soundtrack of my life at the time, as I'd wallow through different sadness, join roller derby, try to overcome adversity, attempt to escape into some happiness, and watch Shin Chan.

I added songs to this playlist after careful consideration, and yet also quite spontaneously. It is probably the most organic thing I've done, and looking back at it can still see the deep intimate reasons why I added each song.

At the time this playlist was posted on my myspace home page, and then myspace wised up and disallowed the html code of playlis.comt in lieu of its own myspace music player. And suddenly my quiet communication via song had no soapbox to stand and proclaim its message.

So I thought to post it here, on my newer blog. You probably have no idea what these songs are doing here. However, you hopefully will enjoy them.

For me it is bittersweet, and almost heartbreaking, to see this list of songs. But it is just so very honest, so true, so true, so true.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Everybody wants a box of chocolates and a long stem rose

Everybody Knows, Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The best roller derby joke I've heard in awhile

Skater 1, to group: Don't forget we have beer for after the bout. Yeaaaaaah!

Skater 2: Yeah but there's not too much time to get some, they rush us out of there.

Skater 1: Haha, yeah, it takes so much time to sign autographs and take pictures for all your fans! How are you ever going to get a beer?

Skater 2: Ha! Yeah... just leave a six-pack for me in the penalty box where I'll have plenty of time to drink it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dear Campers of scenic Bass River State Park last weekend,

Dear fellow campers,

I encountered you this weekend and didn’t say a word to you. Maybe you will read this and know the contents of my mind. But that is highly unlikely. Probably because you are in the forest somewhere.

Dear spooky guy,
You were all alone. You sat in your stadium chair and looked out onto the road that adjoined all our campsites. How lonely it must be to pick people-watching as a viable activity while in the woods, surrounded by so few people. How lonely indeed. I thought of you and your solitude. I wondered, was it peaceful? Was it self-imposed: were you a loner, a rebel, retreating from society, living the simple life, just you and your beard? Or did you have to live that way, because you were estranged from your wife and hiding from the alimony payments? Or maybe you are trying to shirk the rigid civilian prison that is Megan’s Law, hoping to stay under the radar as a registered sex offender? Who knows. But you have a picnic table full of Gatorade bottles and a tarp over your tent, and it all seems so hardcore. You play no music, your face bears no smile, no warmth of friendliness. You appear to be a cranky old man camping in the woods. And yet, as I walked to my car from the evening’s bluegrass concert, there you were in the back of the crowd, listening intently but stoically, save for what I believe was the reserved tapping of one sandaled foot in time to a Merle Haggard tune the band was playing. Where will you be next on your singular journey? Is that sadness in your eyes, or is it a bit of crazy? I cannot tell, it was so dark at the time.

Dear Hispanic teenagers in the bathroom,
So desperate was I to pee. So determined you both were, to straighten your hair. As I unloaded my bladder, you both stayed the course to applying makeup and hair products as though a night at an exclusive discotheque with finely dressed men was certainly on the itinerary. You seemed completely oblivious to the fact that you are in the middle of the woods, the one place where it is socially acceptable to smell like armpits and to have flyaways or frizziness. There were two of you, and your towels, make-up bag, hair dryer, hair irons and iphone charger took up all four sinks. I just wanted to wash my hands after peeing. You looked at me as though I was being unreasonable. Getting dolled up was going to take some time, and I was adding to it, apparently. I stared at you long and hard, as though you were symbols of vanity and stupidity beyond any I had ever encountered, and wondered, what to say to creatures such as yourselves. I could think of nothing that the steady whirr of your hair dryer hadn’t said already, and left knowing that no matter what body spray you were wearing, it’s all made a moot point by the scent of OFF!, anyway. Content that I had walked into a modern and ironic Jack London tale, I left you to spend your evening in front of the unflattering mirrors of a common-use bathroom’s fluorescent lights before vanishing your overdone selves into the darkness that is midnight in a state forest.

Dear Boy Scouts,
Why do we separate ourselves by gender, and then give these genders the exact same experience of camping in the woods? I don’t understand. I am sure there is some academic research suggesting such an arrangement, but it never made much sense to me. If I’m going to learn how to cook a hotdog over open flame it never mattered much that I had to be surrounded by girls for the reason that I myself was one (a girl). It seemed to me that the boys could have joined us. So I look with sadness upon your group of boys only, fatherly figures standing close by. Where my bitches at? Can’t we all go screaming through the woods, together?

Dear young children dancing at the bluegrass concert,
I remember being young, getting up and dancing. Running around like a maniac. Turning a pole into home base, so you could be safe as you raced toward it. You were the happiest children on the planet, and your mom yelled at you to stop disrupting the concert. But I am not so sure if you were. If you would have let me, I think I would have danced with you. It made me wish Robbie knew how to dance a two-step. Instead, because I am good at remembering choruses, I joyfully sang choruses to these newly learned songs. And though the lyrics have since faded from my memory, your dancing silhouettes and the shadows they cast upon the stage will not.

Dear young teen helping to administer the canoe and kayak rental,
You have the best job in the world. Please, I beg of you, do not go to college, find a steady job, retire late in life. Instead, forever be the person who helps folks paddling on a lake to get out of and into their rented boats. I am telling you: you have the right idea.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time Enough At Last

I get so much out of the intimate moment spent alone in a sunny spot with a book in my hands.

If only I had the time...