Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why gripe?

I don't know a lot about music.  Mostly I just like certain things I'm exposed to for reasons I rarely understand.  But when I hear something I really like, I become obsessed.

In the early/mid 80's it was the talking heads.  Those guys cracked me up.

The thing about music snobs, is they are unable to like the stuff they like.  They will never admit to liking something that is popular.  If they like a band you've heard of, they will immediately not like that band any more.

Back when the Talking heads hit it real big, they had been around for a while.  They had a couple of hits, but not a solid album.  At least as far as I was concerned.  Truth is, I never really heard of them until "Burning down the House."

Yeah, I knew "Once in a Lifetime,"  but who sang it?

All the cool kids loved the Talking Heads.  Then "Speaking in Tongues" came out and I finally got it.  These guys are awesome!

Oops.  Too late.  Now The Talking heads are all commercial.  "Speaking in Tongues" is crap.

That's when I realized that people "think they are better than you" as long as they remain in light and are not "making flippy floppy".

The video above is from the best music concert ever put to film.  Please watch it.  It is the closest thing to a soundtrack my soul has.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Teh Darkness

Sometimes people know you.  Not most of the time.  Most of the time, people look at your actions and try to learn about you from what those actions would mean if they committed them.

Sometimes people hate you.  Not most of the time.  Most of the time they just hate how they feel when they take their fucked up perspective of you and consider their own miserable lives.

Sometimes people attack you.  Not most of the time.  Most of the time it is a misguided attempt at self-defense or survival.

I don't wish ill of anyone.  I've been in a bad place for the last couple of weeks trying to overcome an extremely difficult circumstance.

This is the reason I was considering suspending the blog posts last week.

There is a Chinese restaurant on Leavenworth.  It is called Three Happiness.  I asked them once what the name meant.  They told me.  I'm at Two Happiness right now.  Not a restaurant.  A level.

I haven't been this upset for many years.  If there's a silver lining, it's that being this upset reminds me of how I always felt when I was young.  Sure, I was extremely unhappy, but at least I was young!  

Not like now, where I'm old.  My family is wonderful, by the way.  No problems there.  I'll leave the Chinese restaurant to explain the rest to you.

So since you didn't bargain for this kind of post, I will leave you with a joke.

It is a joke my dad started to tell me once when I was too young to hear it.  Actually, he had no intention of telling me the joke.  He just started telling the joke so my mom would hear and scold him.  Ah, what a prankster, that dad.  Anyway, here's the joke:

There was this kid who had this one hand that was crippled up.  Crippled up real bad ...


"I'm just kidding Carol, I wouldn't tell him that joke."

Then whispering to me, "When you're older."

So I never actually heard the joke.  Sorry.  Fine, I'll call him.  Hang on.


I was actually a little surprised he remembered.  Not only the joke, but the exact incident.  He was surprised I remembered since I had no whole joke to go with it.  

"how do you remember that?" he asked.  

"Well, I've just always wondered what it was."

Also, I was wrong.  He fully intended on telling me the joke.  Mom just stopped him.

"So one night as the boy with the crippled hand went to bed, he got down on his knees and said, Dear Lord.  Please make my one hand like my other one."

Luke 6:6-10 (director's cut, alternate hilarious ending)

... and sceeeeeeeeeene.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I guess I won't give up yet

Earlier this week, I had this post all planned out.  It was going to say "I am discontinuing this site indefinitely."

Or maybe, "Until further notice."

It's been a tough week.

But I'm almost done whining about it, so I might as well get back to blogging and stuff (shit).

Back when the Big 12 was formed by adding four Texas teams to the Big Eight, the Nebraska/Texas games were so painful (for a Nebraska fan) to watch that some people began to "Hate Texas."

Maybe some people already hated Texas.  I bet if you asked most Nebraska fans, they'd say they've hated Texas since Pearl Jam played the ranch bowl - or maybe even Peony Park.

I've never hated Texas.  It's stupid to hate a state or a team because they are better than the one you root for.  That isn't really their fault.

I think Austin would probably be one damn cool place to live.  Lots of great music has come out of there.  There's Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Others.

I was in Dallas once. I didn't care for it that much.  To me it seemed like a huge boring Omaha type of a place.  But I didn't hate it.

I hate it now.  I don't hate Texas, per se.  But Dallas.  What a bunch of fucking morons.

I'm not too scared about the ebola thing, but seriously, how far up an ebola patient's ass is your head when you think it's ok to get on a plane after cleaning up some ebola vomit and poo (shit).  I mean she took her temperature and found that she had a fever - but got on the plane anyway.

Granted, I don't know if that's how it went down.  I haven't read much more than headlines about it (I rarely read more than headlines).  They did say she was running a fever before she got on the plane.  I assume they know that because she took her temperature.  I hope it wasn't a doctor or someone at TSA or something.  Although since the city of Dallas has proven that they can't do the one thing they're supposed to do (keep their ebola infected off of commercial flights), it wouldn't surprise me.

I did read (in a headline) that the nurse said nobody told her not to get on a plane.

In conclusion.  People from Dallas are stupid (stoopid).

If you are from Dallas, don't be too sad.  You're a team of brilliant physicists compared to the people of Phoenix Arizona.  Also, I'm pretty sure it's only those born and raised in Dallas that shine like a box of rocks.

But in Phoenix, every single resident is an idiot.  If that guy with ebola had gone to Phoenix, everybody in the world would be dead by now.

... And sceeeeene!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Warning:  I'm going to use the word "circa" in this post.  I hate when people use the word "circa" so that's why I'm warning you.

I think it means "about."  Oh - I also hate when people say "begs the question,"  but if "circa" means "about",  it begs the question - Do Canadians also mispronounce "circa?"

Anywhos - I went to Lincoln yesterday to attend the Pearl Jam concert.  I'm not going to go on and on (right now) about how much I enjoy listening to Pearl Jam, particularly live performances.  I'm not going to "review" the concert.

I could never properly review a Pearl Jam concert.  It would be like: "It was awesomely awesome and kick ass and stuff."

I went last night unaware that I would be getting a much needed head conking.

I'm pretty sure from about (totally could use 'circa' here) 1950 to at least 1985, every movie where somebody had some temporary magical power, they got that power from being conked on the head.

Then all the hilarious hijinks would ensue until relationships were ruined.  The hero would realize the real gift was there all along.  Friends and family.  Sniff.  Unfortunately, the magical power had gone from a blessing to a curse.  Sniff.

Just as our hero was about to give up all hope of repairing his life, he'd get conked on the head again and the magical power would be gone.

Pearl Jam Rocking, circa last night
I've always liked Pearl Jam.  I've considered them my favorite band for about 8 years or so.  I had heard them on the radio, circa 1992, but never really thought much until I saw them on Saturday Night Live, circa 1994.

But the real problem came in July of 2013.  I had been a fan club member for a few years just to get a shot at the sweet advance tickets the members get.

I "won" the lottery for 2 tickets to the show at Chicago's Wrigley field. I was pretty stoked about it.

But there was a problem after I got back into Omaha. It was like being conked on the head.  I became obsessed with Pearl Jam.  I have rarely listened to anything else these past 15 months.  At first, it wasn't that bad.  The family could tolerate it for a while.  Now, whenever we get into the car, I'm careful to turn the music off or change it to something else before the complaints come.

From about 9 seconds after the Chicago show was over, I was thinking, "I must see Pearl Jam again as soon as possible."

For me - as soon as possible means something completely different than it does to the freaks you're likely to meet at any Pearl Jam show.  To them, it means, let's drive straight from this concert for 10 hours or so and get into line at the next concert.  We can sleep on the sidewalk.  That way, we can see Pearl Jam again tomorrow!

No.  When I say "as soon as possible" I mean "next time they're in driving distance".  Driving distance being less than 4 hours.

Well I finally went again last night.  See my awesome review about how awesome it was above.

But thankfully - and it may be too early to tell for sure - I got the much needed and unexpected head conking.

It happened way before the show started.

Of all the people I know, I am way more a freak about these guys.  We got to Lincoln yesterday afternoon and got into line for merchandise.  The people immediately in front of us and behind us in line had all gone to the show the night before in Tulsa Oklahoma.  The guy behind us said that after the show, they went back to their hotel, showered and left for Lincoln.  They drove straight through to Lincoln and got into line at 9:30 A.M.  The slackers in front of us took a two hour nap before doing the same thing.

"How many shows are you going to this tour?"  one of the freaks asked me. Conk.

"Um - one,"  I replied.  Which to me seems like the correct number of shows to go to.  I loved the show last night, but I wouldn't want to see them again for at least a year. Honestly though, I think it's time we start seeing other people.  I no longer feel the need to remain exclusive.

Various freaks all day and night kept saying things like, "How many shows have you been to?"

I kept saying, "This is my second,"  all the while realizing there is something seriously wrong with these people.  For one thing, they were asking only because they wanted to say "37" or "54" or "209!"

I toyed with the idea of saying something like "12 more than Eddie Vedder,"  but in the end, I just didn't want to be around them anymore.  They were really creeping me out.

So that's a problem, I guess.  Actually, I'm overstating it.  I didn't mind the uber fans.  In fact, we all had a ton of fun. I was just shocked imagining the time and money these people commit to this singular endeavor.

While I've been listening to mostly Pearl Jam for the last 15 months, I knew I should mix it up a little more.  It was an unhealthy music addiction.

Last night at about 11:30 P.M., I got into the car for the drive back to Omaha.  I immediately switched from "Pearl Jam Live at Uniondale NY 4/30/2003" to "Danny & Dusty,  The Lost Weekend."

It is probably fitting that Shim turned me on to "Danny & Dusty" a few years back.  Shim hates Pearl Jam.

I was right conked indeed.  I can listen to other music now.  Whew.  Thanks freaks.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Race is on

No not that race.  The other one.  I did sign up for a race on Sunday.  I think I will sign up for the races on next weekend as well.  Those are on Saturday and Sunday.  It was funny when I signed up for the one on Sunday because when it's road racing I always wait until the last minute before I decide not to race.

I do this because I don't want to road race in shitty weather (rain).  The great thing about cross is the weather is supposed to be shitty.  So I signed up for Sunday's race without checking the forecast.

Also, I signed up for Jingle cross.  I reserved a motel room too.  I can back out of it if I decide to make other arrangements, but it's 1.6 miles from the Jingle Cross site so ...

When I say "Make other arrangements,"  I mean my brother lives in Amana.  Amana is a pretty cool place.  It is filled with old fashioned German shit.  It's all family style restaurants and wine and beer.

Whenever I tell someone about going to my brother's house, they always say, "oh yeah - that's an Amish community isn't it?"

Then I always say "No.  You're thinking of something else."

If I say to you "You're thinking of something else,"  what I actually mean is "You are stupid."

The problem is Amana is about 25 miles from Jingle cross.  Actually, that is no problem at all.  I will definitely visit my brother if he's in town during Jingle cross, but I may sleep in the motel room I reserved.

I have a confession to make.  Not that you haven't noticed or anything, but I still must confess (it's my Catholic upbringing).  I wasn't brought up Catholic, I just grew up in the St. Cecilia's Cathedral area.  Actually, we went to a little church right next to St. Cecilia's Cathedral.  It was on 39th and Cuming.  It was called Calvary Baptist Church.  Back then, I thought Calvary meant "Soldiers on Horseback" but this isn't entirely my fault.  My dad pronounces both words exactly the same way.

Not that he ever went to Church with us.  Well, maybe twice.  But normally, he stayed at home on Sunday mornings.  Mom made us go with her.  Well - she rarely made us go to the actual church service, but we had to go to Sunday School.

The confession?  Just a minute.  I'm getting to it.

After Sunday school, mom would usually let us skip Church and go over to Grandma Surber's house.  That was wonderful.  All we had to do was be careful not to break her Thermos.

For years, I thought that the vacuum bottles made of glass had superior heat retaining qualities than the unbreakable ones.  Otherwise, why on earth would anyone have a stupid plastic thermos with a breakable glass interior?

I now think they must have been a lot cheaper or something because they don't really keep stuff warm any better than the unbreakable kind.

Mom went to a Sunday School bible study class before church.  It was called S.A.M.  That stood for "Singles and Married."  There was another study group down the hall from The "SAMmers"  It was a small dark damp room with no windows.  Not even on the door.  This group was called 'Group D' and was just a place where the Divorced members of the congregation could go and amplify their shame together.

Mom always took a thermos full of coffee to S.A.M.  But it was not allowed in the actual Church service.  So if Steve and I went over to Grandma's house, mom would have us take her thermos with us.  She gave us a stern warning every week.  "Don't drop it or the glass inside will break."

We took this seriously, because the last thing we wanted was for mom to drink a cup of coffee full of broken glass.  I think I somehow thought that it would break and nobody would notice until mom was clutching at her severed throat.

So we were careful.  Whenever we threw it to the ground, we always made sure it landed harmlessly in a mound of fluffy snow or a pile of leaves (depending on the season).

Once we got to grandma's house, we told her we had stomach aches. Pepto Bismol was the closest thing Grandma had to candy and we couldn't get enough of the pink stuff.  Yummy.

When I watch my kids now, pinching their noses and choking down about 3/4 of the recommended dosage before insisting they can take no more, I realize we spoil them.  "Back when I was your age, we chugged Pepto for its deliciousness.  You kids today, with your Oreo cookies and whatnot ..."

Oh yeah - the confession.  "Bless me Father for I have nothing to say.  What?  Two Hail Marys.  You know I  recently hurt my shoulder, right?"  (What the hell is Cube talking about - Shim).

I seem to have strayed off course.  Maybe I should investigate these things I've just typed and make a few separate posts out of them.  Naaaah.

Anyway - the race is on.  No not that race.  The other one.

Of course I'm talking about the race back to mediocrity.  I have lost some fitness over the last few weeks and have little time to get back to where I was. Honestly though, I wasn't really in that great of shape before all of the interruptions.  The nice thing is the time off has kind of recharged my desire to ride.

I think I'll just go ahead and sign up for next week's cross races now.  You talked me into it.  Thanks for that.  I was going to wait until after Sunday and see how it goes.  I was going to wait until I had secured the proper freedom.  I was going to wait to see how much the Pearl Jam Concert 2 days before the first Bellevue race takes out of me.  But no.  I'll just sign up now.

Did I mention that the race is on?

Like this one:
And this one (I signed up for Saturday too, but I was the only one.  At least EOB is with me on Sunday):