F(orget) You!

I know y’all come to me for the cutting edge of pretty much everything and I do my best to oblige…so here it is.  This song is apparently the most popular and catchiest tune that you won’t be able to hear on the radio.  Why?!  Well, the FCC has some pretty clear rules about what can and can not be said over the airwaves and this song, even the title, can’t be uttered on the radio.  Thanks to my friends Kyle and James, they did play a radio-edit version on WFPK this morning.  And, while that particular version is good…this one just has so much more oomph behind it.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, but be aware that you can’t play this song loudly at work, unless you’re ready to pull a Steven Slater.  And, I even censored the title of this post because I know that you know what I’m saying already…and my mommy and daddy read this blog and I try to offend them as little as possible.  So, without further ado, I present Cee Lo Green singing F&*@ You!

See you in the funny papers!

Happy Wednesday

I think each and every one of you by which I mean, us, needs this today.  I want to thank James for playing it this morning on the radio and providing the impetus for posting it.  This is not the best recording of it in my opinion, but it’s pretty darn good, and it’s live at Bonnaroo…so enjoy!

See you in the funny papers!

The Wire

Our homeless citizens, those who have fallen through the cracks of our society, thosebaltimore_2007_06 who command the least of our attentions and efforts, they seemingly have little to endear themselves to politicians. They don’t vote, by and large. They don’t contribute to campaigns. They offer little to a city’s tax base and to the extent that our government is made aware of their existence it responds by trying to mitigate the damage done by their presence. We open a food bank here, a shelter there, we try to move them away from downtown, away from our communal areas, away from our schools, away from our homes. If you were to judge our society by the manner in which we treat those lost on our streets we would have cause to be shamed.

Well …I believe that we will be judged by what we provide to the weakest and most vulnerable. That is the test…

~Aidan Gillen as Mayor Thomas Carcetti

C. and I just finished watching The Wire, a series on HBO, thanks to S. and S. for loaning their DVDs.  I’ve not been engaged in a series like that in some time.  We spent the summer evenings watching 2 or 3 episodes at a time.  Unfortunately, five seasons is not enough of that show and I’d love to see more.  There is a saying, probably, somewhere, in entertainment to always leave ’em wanting more.  Well, I definitely want more.  I highly recommend it, if not just for quotes like the above which should be guidelines for all of our elected officials.

See you in the funny papers!

Photo courtesy of Husein Kadribegic

Tagged

Question mark in EsbjergIn an effort to be a little more proactive on updating this blog, I decided to read through a few other people’s blogs to see what might be of interest.  Turns out, my friend Julee over at Green(ish) Mama had already tagged me with a double dog dare.  The idea is to reveal seven things about myself that you may not know and you know, you’re not allowed to turn down a double dog dare…even if it means getting your tongue stuck to a flagpole in the middle of winter.  Anyway, the hard part of this will be coming up with 7 things.  After so many years of blogging, I doubt if I can come up with more than 1 or 2…but we’ll see if I can’t baffle a few readers with some new nuggets.  I hope that some of these are not so boring that you run screaming from the room.  Also, the photo to the left is courtesy of Alexander Drachmann via a Creative Commons license.

  1. I have a relatively large collection of vinyl records, most of which were picked up for free at the music library at the university.  Consequently, I have a lot of classical music on LP.  Operas, organ music, a couple of different versions of the Hallelujah Chorus (one directed by Bernstein, one directed by Ormandy) and some rather bizarre other stuff, not the least of which is the best of the Latin zither.
  2. It has always been a dream of mine to through-hike the Appalachian Trail.  I have zero plans to do this, but it has always been a dream.  I suppose I like the idea of traveling on foot for more than 2000 miles through the mountains of the eastern U.S.  Maybe in another life.
  3. I took piano lessons from the time I was seven until I was a sophomore in high school.  I was pretty good, but by no means a virtuoso.  I absolutely hated to practice and that was probably some of the downfall.  Currently, I can hack my way through enough music to play for the odd church service, the occasional wedding, and a few dozen Christmas carols during the holidays.
  4. I had exactly 4 girlfriends before I met my wife.  So any hottie who says they were with me back in the day is fuller of shit than a Christmas turkey.  They were, in order, Kathy, whose last name is different than when we dated, and who I’m glad has the life she deserves.  Kara, whose last name I don’t even remember.  She was kind of a bitch and I don’t think that’s going too far.  She might even agree with that.  Sarah, whose last name has probably changed since I know she’s gotten married, and who I still believe is on friendly terms with me, though I haven’t seen her in years.  And, Valerie, whose last name is withheld for privacy concerns, and who I hope is having a better second part of her life than the first part was.  I was mean, in an immature sort of way, to all 4 of these ladies and I hope that they didn’t have trouble moving on from me and were able to forgive me, on some level, for being a boy.
  5. In addition to Star Wars toys, which I’ve mentioned innumerable times on this particular blog, I also collect baseball caps, coins, my race numbers when I run, and bottle caps.  Yes, mom, I’m collecting bottle caps…merely to replace the collection I had years ago that “disappeared” one year when I went to summer camp.
  6. I absolutely love to swim in the ocean, except for the fact that I’ve seen Jaws one too many times, and I fear a shark attack every time I get in the water.  Yet…I still go out there, but the slightest brush from a fish, a piece of seaweed, or even a dark shadow will send me back to the beach to recover until I get the nerve to go back in the water.
  7. I’m still mad about getting a referral in the 5th grade on the bus for stepping on the finger of that little fucker Troy, who, although he probably had every disadvantage a kid could have, still was an asshole and I wish I’d punched him in the face instead of stepping on his finger.  But, what really pisses me off is the way the referral was worded because the bus driver couldn’t see a damn thing from where she was sitting and yet she claimed I stomped on his finger.  If I’d really stomped on his finger, he would probably have been a lot worse off.  I know, I know, it’s a stupid thing to be mad over, particularly as it happened 25 years ago…but damn it, it wasn’t my fault.

So, there it is.  Any surprises?  Anybody out there know all seven things already?  If you can honestly claim you knew all 7, let me know and I’ll try and come up with something that you don’t know.

See you in the funny papers!

Old School

Do y’all think I go away on purpose just to see if you’re paying attention?  It’s not true.  I know you’re out there, waiting, hoping, pleading with the gods that I’ll return and bestow some great wisdom and insight into your lives.  Unfortunately for you, it’s just the same ol’ crap, recycled, post after post.  I’m surprised you keep reading…but maybe you’re masochists, which is fine.  It’s a free country, unless you live in Arizona, Texas, certain parts of Nebraska, and the occasional tiny place in Pennsylvania Aside: states listed were valid at time of printing.  Your mileage may vary. To that end, I thought I’d do this post up nice; give you a little itinerary update the way I used to back in the day.  Also, you should know that is the 3rd time I’ve said/used the term “back in the day” this weekend, so I suppose I’m feelin’ a little old school.  Which, by the way, is hilarious since I was never old school, even when it was just school.  I guess I just like the way it rolls off my tongue.  So…sit back, relax, enjoy your Monday (because I know you’re reading this instead of doing real work) and pray that I don’t disappear again anytime soon.

MONDAY – I headed out to Pine Mountain State Resort Park on fall retreat with the new job.  It still feels like the new job even though I’ve been at it for over 6 months now.  Part of the perks of this job is driving a 15-passenger van full of young people around.  Seriously.  I love driving a 15-pack.  There’s something cool about driving one.  Now, I hate the fact that it gets less than 14 mpg, but they’re just fun to drive.  They’re smooth, I get to ride up high and you can move a lot of people/stuff with one.  Anyway, the day ended with a visit from Daniel Boone and Carla Gover.  I didn’t get to see the Boone presentation, but Carla was outstanding, as usual.  I could listen to her sing and play banjo all the time.  I think the students enjoyed her as well.

TUESDAY – A lot of PowerPoint slides.  O.M.G.  I’m not gonna get into it, but I drank a lot of coffee today.  Plus, as part of the entertaining portion of the afternoon, I flirted with death AND unemployment by poking fun at my boss.  Fortunately, she has a good sense of humor.  And, I’m not gonna lie…my spiel got the most laughs, so I’m thinking of hitching my wagon to comic writing out in Hollywood as a moonlighting sideline.  Gotta pay the bills, right?  Hiked out to Chained Rock and lounged around for a bit.  Took the precaution of bug spray which, I’m certain, paid dividends since it was ultra muggy.  Also, did my part by picking up some trash on the trail on the way out.  Plus, any time you get to visit “roadside attractions,” it’s been a good day.

WEDNESDAY – Hiked through Cumberland Gap today.  I love this portion of the state.  For some reason, I feel it’s a part of me.  I don’t really know if my ancestors came through the gap, though I like to think so since many of them settled near the area as recently as the great-grandparent generation.  I know that most of one side of the family came through St. Marys, Maryland via various parts of England.  But, the other side of the family came up from SE Kentucky, near Harlan, KY.  Still, I love to walk through the gap, particularly by Indian Rock, and just feel the history, as it were.  After lunch, and an informative Q&A with Senator McConnell which was enlightening, we headed out to the dubitable Thomas Walker House for a hilarious extemporaneous “lecture” and Q&A.  If you’re looking for a historical site to drag your kids to for maximum boredom and sheer ridiculousness, make sure you pick this site.  Mostly a complete waste of time, and I don’t say this lightly because I really think that Kentucky history, particularly in this area, is important…but honestly, this cabin could be placed anywhere and have the same value and effect as it does here on the back end of Barbourville.  It’s almost a shame really.

THURSDAY – Headed home after a discussion of the novel River of Earth by James Still with Herb Smith from Appalshop.  It was good to be headed home since I seem to be recultivating that nasty allergy that I lived with all last winter.  Seriously, this shit needs to just go away and stay.  Cough and congestion are the worst of it.  By no means will I let it take hold of me again.  I’m fighting it hard this time.  I’ve had enough with the allergy and cold ridiculousness.  Good to be back in the arms of my girls again.  I missed my wife immeasurably, and kids grow up so fast, so 4 days gone was practically an eternity with a 15-month old.

FRIDAY – Off work which was nice, but I still had things to do.  Ran a few errands, visited some folks on campus with IvyCat.  But, the worst is the heat.  It is ungodly hot.  I really know better than to complain about this, but it’s been in the high 90s for a month or more now, some days were 100 or better.  The heat index well into the 3-digit arena and that makes for some cranky people.  I know that come February I’m going to be wishing that there was at least some of this heat around to make me feel better, but for now I’m hot.  It will be nice not to stick to the sheets while I’m trying to sleep.  Note that I said trying to sleep.  When I can’t sleep, you know something is wrong, because I can sleep with the best of them.  Short dinner with J. and C. at the Irish Rover.  Cranky babies can make it a hassle to eat at a restaurant.  Still, I like to think we handled it with some measure of aplomb.

SATURDAY – C. and I had a mini-date this afternoon wherein we did little or nothing except have lunch and do a few errands.  Ate at Fleur-de-Lis which was decent.  It seemed like the kind of place that could be hit or miss depending on the day and the attitude of your server.  Fortunately for us, it was a good day.  After our date, we took IvyCat to a friend’s first birthday party which was enjoyable.  Always good to have beer at your baby’s birthday party.  Also smart not to schedule it during a televised Red Sox game.  Thanks to S. and S. for both…and happy birthday little A.  I missed my haircut earlier in the day due to an ill-timed extended nap, but I was able to reschedule for next Saturday, so I won’t look like a “grunge” reject for too long.

SUNDAY – Rough day for us.  IvyCat’s been off schedule all week due to her school being closed for professional development.  We did have an abbreviated lunch with J. and C. and little baby C. due in no small part to IvyCat not wanting anything but to be held by C. and go home.  Still, the reason I started this post is for the end of today.  I went back to church today to sing and while I didn’t look forward to it, I enjoyed it on some level. It was peaceful.  It was nice to relax into a small groove and I enjoyed singing even though my throat was not really up to it.  I haven’t been to church since early June (SHUT UP, I’m a heathen and I know it!) but it was good for me to return.  Plus, when I got home, I got into playing with IvyCat on a level that made me extremely happy.  She was giggling and running around and I was down on all fours like a good playful father should be, making her laugh.  It was the way life should be and it felt really good.

That’s what prompted this post…I needed to share how great life was over the last 7 hours.  Naturally, because I’m a wordy sumbitch it took me 1400 words to do it, but ‘fess up, you needed this today.  You needed me to talk about my life so that you could get back into your life.  That’s what I’m here for and don’t you forget it.  So, the message for today is enjoy yourself, enjoy those around you, and when your goddaughter calls you to give you her Chewbacca impression while she’s watching Return of the Jedi you just smile and take it all in, because life is good.

See you in the funny papers!

I just don’t even know…

  1. I’m not the perfect parent, I’ll admit that.  I’ll also admit that I’ve only been doing this for 15 months now.  But, if you’re letting your child walk around and disturb (even quietly) other patrons at a restaurant while you sit and chat idly about your day (I assume), then you’re not doing your job.  Make no mistake, it’s a job.  It can be a fun job.  It can be a crazy job.  But, it’s a job that you’re required to do.  So do it.
  2. If you’re a child, I give you a lot of leeway because I can understand that you don’t get normal social attitudes.  I’ll also allow for the fact that you may have some borderline social disorder.  But, if you’re standing less than 3 inches (no joke!) from my arm, staring at either me or my family while we eat, you need to back the hell up!  And, I say this with love, but if you continue to do this throughout life, you’re never going to have any friends.  Oh, and tell your parents (who are using the restaurant as a babysitter) that you need a belt, because when your shorts fall of your bony little body at your age, it’s not cute.  It’s weird.
  3. I agree with my wife.  Sonic, your commercials are so much better than your food.
  4. We’re in the midst of a nasty heat wave.  And, it’s not just us.  It’s the whole country.  I saw the USAToday map the other day and the whole thing was a version of orange.  Dark orange, light orange, orange like the sun…and just as hot.  Even I’ve started to sweat recently which lets me know that the temperature is out of control.  If I’m sweating, it’s hot.
  5. I’m so bummed about the Red Sox.  This year has been devastating in the injury department and I hate it when people make excuses to explain away poor performance, but most of this year they’ve been playing without a full complement of their players.  I don’t mean that the roster has gotten smaller, but the players that they broke spring training with have been missing from most of the games.  And, the loss of Youkilis for the rest of the season really puts a damper on the season.  I haven’t written them off, because even in the midst of all this, they’re still within striking distance in the most difficult division in baseball.  I’m still very proud of them for dealing with the injuries, but it’s going to be a long winter if we don’t make the playoffs.  A good showing against the Yankees this weekend would go a long way to making it feel better.
  6. My wife watches Project Runway.  I sit through it because I think Tim Gunn is cool.  My wife watches So You Think You Can Dance.  I sit through it because occasionally there’s a decent dance and Mary Murphy is no longer screaming on my television.

See you in the funny papers!