12.31.2009

A Rusty Knife (new poetry)

Here's some poetry I just wrote. Got it posted up in the Bipolar Confessional, where you may want to visit if you like stuff along these lines.

"A Rusty Knife"


Cool little blessed teddy bears
A million little blessed teddy bears
Come to the sundown ritual
Bring your spotless goldfish, just put him in a jar
And gather at the foot of the mountain
Where fools perish and prophets hide

Now my mind's gone blank is it sometimes wont to do
I've forgotten everything you've said not too long after you said it
And it frightens me but what else can a man do?
Price to pay, eh chap?
A trollop dropped a wall-full of bricks and made an awful divide
Betwixt the things I don't remember and the fine line which sunders in two
Knowing and not knowing
Being and not being
Thinking and not thinking
Living but not living.
Dying but not dying.
Betwixt the things I don't remember
And the things I can't forget

You seem very disappointed that I will not attempt to describe the way these episodes feel, what's going on in my mind, how I perceive "reality", it's purpose, the fleeting nature of the whole damn thing.

I am genuinely sorry for that state of affairs, but alas, what power doth mortal man hold to fuck around with the hands of time, to try to tie them behind his back. I reserve the right to keep my mouth shut and set out to do a shaker's dance. Just out behind the church, right front of the out house. Cross that field of flowers, crushing the lucky ones, and meet me, that's what it was all about, mister, you've got no idea, and furthermore, we weren't even shakers, only two kids too young to be messed up yet. So little of it survives in my memory. I can't even remember who she was. Or what she looks like, even. I only know that the cold steel of the blade she had hidden in her "Sunday Best" skirt was the most painful thing I've ever felt in my life.

It was a sharp blade. But old. Rust stuck to it and black dirty from all the blood shed carnage clinging onto the hard metal. This rendered the knife even more painful than a clean, sharp-edged sword.

Okay...give me a moment...

What was all that? I seem to have wondered off
Did you say
Something about shakers?
Or did you say quakers?
Soul Shakers and Earth Quakers

Could it actually be
Thor
Who crashes his camera
He hasn't a hammer
The flash is a freaky thing
It sticks to the back of the eyelid
It burns and it burns and it burns
Thor, is that you?
If it is...stop, please o magnificent god of thunder
cease from this mental torture you inflict
Upon one only humble
Your disregard for me saddens and discourages
I've worshiped you, Thor
I've brought burnt offerings to you
The spotless lamb, a pail for the blood
A pail for the blood
A pail for the blood
This suffering must come to an end
I'll take the rusty sword that brought me here
And slice the beast's neck
And hold it above, let it drain like a fountain
A pail for the blood
So, Thor, look down and consider your worthy servent
Mighty Thor, Manipulator of Gods
Trust me, if I thought I could
I would once more wield my dirty blade
...if I ever thought that this very blade had power to slay deity...
I would thrust it deep into Thor's guts, below the heart, so that the blade will cut sharp when I yank it up and cut in half the organ that pumped blood through his useless body.
Laughing, beaming

12.27.2009


Quite some time back, on this very blog, I published a post entitled “10 Reasons I’m Glad I Stopped Smoking Pot.” I don’t know, maybe there weren’t exactly ten of them, but there were enough to where your average Joe would say, “Wow, it’s a good thing you finally quit after all these years.”

Of course, he would have been right. Each of the reasons were good enough to make any sane doper think twice before firing it up again.

But I have a confession I’d like to make.

I never stopped smoking weed.

I didn’t even TRY all that hard.

I was doing the whole “Christianity thing” at the time and I felt like I SHOULD stop. I TRIED. But the lure of a good trip was too much for this old man to resist. After all, I had been a stoner for almost 20 years---which I realize is not all that long for a 47 year old man. I mean, I didn’t start until I was thirty years old, and most smokers I know began toking it up by the time they were in their teens.

So I started doing it again. Sometimes I would try to justify it and reconcile it with my “faith”. Other times I just resigned myself to “doing it even though I know it’s wrong”, figuring I’d be forgiven anyway. Kind of like a lot of Christians do with tobacco. And then there were times when I’d just say “fuck it, I like it, and I’m gonna do it.”

As time went by I grew further and further away from Christianity as a religion. Consequently I felt less guilt over my penchant for getting good and stoned.

But, in my defense to those who would judge me for smoking the demon reefer, my consumption did drop significantly. I went from being an EVERYDAY pothead to a pothead who only bought a sack every two or three weeks. I’d blaze through a quarter in three of four days and then I wouldn’t even want to THINK about doing it again. A few times I even thought about quitting. I’d say to myself, “If I could only focus on the really shitty things that come along with the overall experience I would be better able to lay it down for good.” Which, IMO, is very sound advice.

It would seem, however, that when the crappy aspects are put on the scales with everything I like about pot, they tip to the side of the good stuff every single time.

So you get the picture.

I was just fine with that. I admit I lied about it a few times when asked if I was still smoking pot. I liked to think in terms of relativity---after all, there is quite a gulf to bridge between the fortnightly dabble and the “wake and bake”. I might as well say I didn’t smoke at all.

I had no intentions of quitting---at least that was the case until a few months back.

It must be noted that it had been SEVERAL years since I thought my tolerance level would EVER be brought down to the point where I truly enjoyed marijuana like I did, say, 5 or 6 years ago. That, combined with the mood stabilizing elements of the medication I take, had me convinced that the “good old days: of getting REALLY fucked up were long gone history. Ha ha! Even now it seems absurd to think that a person would be able to maintain a good weed experience when the THC has to battle mood stabilizers that are already entrenched in the blood. Still, when you only smoke every two weeks the down time weakens the tolerance level so you can hope for at least one good night under the influence. Maybe two, if the dope is potent enough. Otherwise the rest of the baggie is wasted, and I’m not the kind who can just stash away any left-overs for the next time I’m ready. If I’ve got it, I WILL smoke it. That has been my policy and a rule that I have never been able to break.

Anyway, on the afore mentioned occasion I was with some guys---two good friends I’d known for a long time, and one guy who I had never met previously, but who seemed like a decent feller. We were to have a cook-out that evening and were on the way to Sam’s Club to buy some steaks when JF whipped out some bud and a pipe. JF has been know to sell a little bit now and then, but I’ve rarely bought from him because he never has anything but the real high dollar, ass-kickin’ weed. He’s good about sharing, though.

On this particular occasion I had no idea of just HOW ass-kickin’ his stuff was. I should have only taken one toke. Hell, a little half-sized toke would have served me well. It would have been more than enough. But the ol’ “smoke it if you got it” mentality kicked in. So I ripped off two monster hits.

If I had only known…

We walked into that huge store/warehouse and the next thing you know I’m giggling like a fool. I looked over to my companion, the one I didn’t know, and I could tell, by the expression on his face and in his eyes, that he was “stoned to the bone”. He saw me looking at him and at that moment a bond of friendship was forged.

I was in awe at the sheer immensity of Sam’s Club, with it’s countless crates of goods stacked almost to the ceiling. I sauntered over to the meat section where my other friends were picking out steaks for the upcoming BBQ. I can’t explain it, but I got the strangest, creepiest feeling looking at all the different kinds of meat. I wondered how many different animals made up the selection. I noticed the colors, the shapes, the sizes, everything about them. For some reason it really disturbed me, so I left that department and walked down one of the frozen food aisles.

I don’t know what triggered it, but all of a sudden I became convinced that I was going to die right then and there. All I could think of was that I was so far away from my wife and son. It saddened me to think of how they would take the news of my passing. The feeling was so strong that I feared I would crumble to my knees, that my friends would have to take me to the hospital or something. I wondered how they would react to the situation.

In the back of my mind, though, through all of this, I kept telling myself, “Calm down, relax. You’re just really high and you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be this intoxicated. Just ride it out. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun. Ride it out, you’ve been here before and done this many, many times---it will all turn out just fine.”

Once I saw the logic in this thinking I was able to chill out and the premonition of dying passed. I settled into a state of mind where I was inordinately interested in the other people shopping in the store. I’d take note of the food items they were putting in their carts. I’d watch them rolling from aisle to aisle and I realized that there was one common denominator among them all: they were ALIVE, living, and the engine of their existence was SPIRIT. ONE spirit. And so I felt a kinship with them because of this. It was simply fascinating to watch them, and that’s when I knew the hurdle had been crossed and I was in the initial stages of what promised to be a very good marijuana experience. (I realize that some or this may seem a bit strange, but so it goes in the wild and wonderful world of cannabis)

The night eventually turned out to be a very good one. The best moments occurred when I lay down at the end of the night, on the verge of passing out, and got lost in auditory hallucinations that reminded me of why I became a stoner in the first place.

Still, that whole “dying” thing had me thinking about quitting. Even though the rest of the night was great, you have to understand just how unnerving it was to be certain of my imminent demise.

Not long afterwards I was able to purchase another sack of the really good stuff. The expensive kind. Sure enough I had another experience in which I thought I was gonna die. It was like, I thought, “Everybody dies sometime and none of them know exactly when it is going to happen…How do I know this isn’t my time? Within the next few seconds, even?” And the paranoia kicked in, magnifying and multiplying the fear. I had to really try hard to occupy my mind with something else so I wouldn’t think about it. That wasn’t not easy, because most everything else was all out of whack, too.

I made it through that episode without losing my mind. Maybe it was the old cartoons I watched, with the sound turned down, that saved me? Or perhaps I broke through to a safe place by watching “Koyaanisqatsi”. Those are pretty much the only memories I have of that night, other than doing the “feel-like-I’m-fixin’-to-die rag”.

A couple of months went by after that without anything bad happening. Probably because the pot I was getting did not have the same incredible potency as the shit that messed with my head.

But the last few times I’ve smoked were incredibly intense experiences. In many ways even more frightening than the premonitions of death I had. I don’t really want to go into detail in describing those occasions or WHY they were more unnerving than those in the past. Suffice to say that I finally came to the realization that it would be best if I made a New Year’s resolution for the turn of the decade to get serious about quitting. I figure it shouldn’t be all that hard if I just call to mind the memory of how terrifying the last couple of trips were. If I could do that I should have no trouble leaving it behind.

I say that---I know it’s true---I feel like I can do it---and yet I still plan on buying and toking up one more quarter ounce before the year is over. Hasn’t come through as quickly as it usually does, so the weed I’d hoped to consume on Christmas day---which was supposed to be my last---still has not arrived. I don’t have any reason to believe that it WON’T come through, but since the order has already been placed I have no intention of cancelling it. If I get it in the next couple of days I will have it smoked up before New Year’s Day and can start afresh on the first of the year. BUT, if it doesn’t arrive in time I will just have to say, “Oh, well. This is my last satchel”, and enjoy it even if it stretches into the early days of the next decade. Then I’ll stop buying. Then I’ll stop smoking (the first resolution will be a lot easier than the second, but we’ll see. I won’t beat myself up for fudging on the second every now and again).

I know. I know. Why don’t I just nip it in the bud (pardon the pun) right now and don’t mess around with that last bag? Especially knowing what it’s capable of doing---the negatives, I mean, as opposed to the positive effects (which, regardless, always seem to overshadow the bad shit).

I can’t answer that. I imagine it’s like how a tobacco user wants to have “that last cigarette”.

So, if you’re reading this, whether you know me in person or not, won’t you please send out some good thoughts and positive vibrations of encouragement? I don’t think I’ll need them, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

To anyone who I have deceived, insomuch as not admitting that I have smoked pot during the last few years (and that list, I assure you, is a small one), I’m sorry. I never want to “lie”. If I have done so it was because I didn’t want people I care about to think lowly of me. But I suppose that, in the long run and in most cases, I should not care what anyone thinks anyway. It’s my life, isn’t that what they say?

I’m not ragging on weed in general. Far from it. I’ve had a lot of good experiences while under the influence. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have been shown a whole different way of looking at things that I might never have known had I not tried marijuana. I firmly believe that it should be legalized. It’s not for everyone and not everyone should use it. But for those who enjoy it, can handle it without becoming slackers, it should be readily available.

My reasons for quitting have nothing to do with it’s being legal. I don’t know how strong my resolution would be, however, if it WERE legalized. My issues with it don’t have much to do anymore with how easy or hard it is to procure. But, that said, the temptation could well break me down. Especially in light of how I’ve championed legalization for the last 20 years. You know, “IT’S FINALLY LEGAL!!! This is what I’ve waited for! Let’s go to 7-11 and buy a pack of hoglegs!”

I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that any time soon, though. Do you?

So…My New Year’s resolution is…

12.19.2009

My son had this posted on his blog...

I haven't laughed so hard in ages.



By the way, he is perhaps the biggest Beatles fan in town. At this very moment he is playing "Ob-La-Do Ob-La-Da" on his piano. It's one of at least 10 Beatles songs he knows how to play. Suffice to say that I am proud of him...and that the brainwashing techniques I used on him when he was but a wee infant were successful.



12.14.2009

Needed to get out of the house Saturday so I arranged an all-night recording session with my friend. We do a fair amount of recording, but until now haven't been able to throw down any useable tracks. Which is just fine, because I don't really go there so much to get songs on disc, but to have fun. Still, it has been a little frustrating that, of all the times we have done this, I had yet to come out of it with anything to listen to.

My brother came out and spent a few hours helping out before he had to go play a gig in OKC. Then he came back around at 3:00 in the morning to pick up where he left off. It was a testament to the success that my friend and I were having that when he finally came back we were still up and running. I couldn't go much further, though, with all things considered (wink*wink nod*nod), so I crashed at about 4:30 am, listening to Haydn symphonies in the guest bedroom before passing out.

As for the songs...well, they still need a lot of work. There are three of them, and each one needs to be EQed, balanced and mixed. There are some bum spots that need to be taken care of. Moreover, I'll have to replace a couple of instrumental tracks and at least one vocal. But even with that I am encouraged.

They are all in the "novelty" genre, as I seem to have a gift for goofy songs. That was okay, though, and may have been of some benefit...since they were humorous numbers, and not my more personal stuff, I think I might have been more relaxed and less critical of my performance. The titles kind of give their light hearted nature: "Beer w/ My Friends", "Trigger Fall" and "Green Slime".

I'll most definitely post them to my garageband page eventually. But it may be a while, because I don't want to put them out until they are produced well. In the meantime, here are the lyrics, to be read with tongue placed firmly in cheek.

"BEER W/ MY FRIENDS"

I like to drink beer with my friends
I like to drink beer with my friends
When the 4th quarter's over and the 9th inning ends
I like to drink beer with my friends
Yes, I like it

Meet me at the titty bar
Meet me at the titty bar
I got a pocketful of dollars and some gas in the car
So meet me at the titty bar
Won't you meet me?

I'd like to have sex with your wife
I'd like to have sex with your wife
You can have her back at the end of the night
But I'd like to have sex with your wife
Yes, I'd like it

Pick it, Mr. Guitar Man
Pick it, Mr. Guitar Man
I want to learn how to do what you do with your hands
So pick it, Mr. Guitar Man
Won't you pick it

I like to go to titty bars
I like to go to titty bars
I want a date with a porno star
So I'm hangin' at the titty bar
I got some money, got gas in the car
And I'm hanging at the titty bar

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"GREEN SLIME"

Green slime got a hold on my mind, yeah
Green slime oozin' all of the time, yeah
Got me a satchel and a bottle of wine, yeah
Get through the night with some green slime

CHORUS:

I'm D.U.I. of green slime
I'll be D.O.A. right on time
D.U.I.
Green slime
D.O.A. right on time

I got green slime drippin' down my lungs, yeah
I got green slime, I'm comin' undone, yeah
Don't try to tell me it's a sign of the times
When everybody wants some green slime

REPEAT CHORUS

Green slime and it's smellin' like pond scum, yeah
Green slime make me feel so damn dumb, yeah
I won't stop until it ain't no crime, yeah
To be addicted to the green slime

REPEAT CHORUS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"TRIGGER FALL"

I know he hurts you, baby
I know it all
Sometimes I wonder why you never call the law
Ah, but honey, before you make that call, why don't you
Pull the trigger...watch him fall
Pull the trigger...watch him fall

One of these days we're gonna take a little walk
One of these days we're gonna have a little talk
One of these days and it won't be long, you need to
Pull the trigger...Watch him fall
Pull the trigger, baby...Watch him fall
Pull the trigger

Up in the morning with the red cock's call
We're gonna put that bugger's back against the wall
I made some calls, cut a deal with the law, so you can
Pull the trigger...Watch him fall
Pull the trigger, baby...Watch him fall

I know he hurts you
I know he hurts you
But don't you call the law
I'll make a deal, baby
I'll make a deal for you, baby

12.11.2009

It's been just a little over 30 years almost to the day since my mother walked away and left my dad (and, consequentially, me and my brother as well). I remember three scenes from that day as vividly as I see what's in front of me now.

I never found out the real reason she left. She and my dad told contradicting stories about "WHY". But they fought like cats and dogs for a long time before it happened. He'd holler at her from one room and she'd fire back from another across the hallway.To this day I have no recollection of what the arguments were about (I was 16 years old at the time.)

Inevitably dad would try to drag me or my brother into the fight to confirm and/or prove some point he was trying to make to her. This made mom even angrier and the row would expand to include how she thought it was so despicable for him to do that (of course, she was right about that)..

All of which leads up to the first solid memory.

I was driving my dad's pick-up truck around town. I don't remember if I'd left as the result of another fight, but it is possible. I did leave sometimes when they got into it.

I came home. When I walked through the door I saw, in the living room, my family huddled up, almost like a football team between plays, on the couch. I had no idea what was going on. But it looked a lot like my dad was on his knees begging for something.

Maybe they were simply hugging each other. I think, now, that was probably the case, because I vaguely remember dad calling for me to join them. And I refused. I had come to the point long before where I felt like the only logical thing for them to do was get a divorce. Of course, I didn't know, at the time, how that would break my dad. I was only thinking it would be best for all if the fighting stopped. It seemed as if a seperation would be the only way.

I turned around, pissed off, got back in the truck, and drove through town again. I was gone for about thirty minutes.

When I finally cooled down enough to come home I saw what became the second indelible memory.

About a hundred yards down the road from our house I saw her. Walking eastbound, down the road. She didn't have any particular expression on her face. It was a cold December afternoon and she was wearing her coat - I only bring that up because I remember exactly what it looked like, but couldn't describe it now, even if I tried.

I knew what she was doing. I even thought I knew where she was going. She was headed to a restaurant where she worked, a couple of miles down the road. She had become friends with the manager, who, I'm sure, played a role in the whole mess.

She was on the left side of the road. I couldn't even tell you the expression on her face because I don't think she looked up at me. She didn't seem to be too tore up about it.

I'm kind of ashamed to say it, but not only did I NOT stop for her, I actually thought "it's about time" when I drove past. You have to understand that I only wanted what I thought was best for BOTH of them. I could have handled an amicable divorce and living in a single parent household. But, then, I had no idea that this afternoon would eventually lead to my father's nervous breakdown. Hell, I didn't even know what a "nervous breakdown" was at the time...no trips to the hospital, we wouldn't have thought it was the thing to do.

I drove right past her. Though I honestly felt it was for the best, I still became intensely angry. Even more so when I got home and walked in the door, only to see my dad on his knees, in the same place I'd left him earlier. He was bawling like a baby. Never - NEVER had I seen my father cry, and this made me even madder that I already was.

I returned to the truck, slamming the door, and drove to the restaurant where I knew she would be.

And this is the third memory - even though some of it is a bit hazy.

The restaurant was called "the 99'er" and the afore mentioned manager was a buxom, unattractive woman everyone called Red Top. Her nickname was derived from her red hair, which was, indeed, as red as a tomato. I worked there for awhile myself and I always HATED having to call her "Red Top". I thought it was one of the stupidest nicknames ever thought of...but I don't think anyone knew what her real name was.

As I mentioned earlier, Red Top had befriended my mother some time prior to all of this. No doubt my mom confided in her and shared a lot of her issues with the obnoxious woman. I'm positive she was the one whose advice was the catalyst for the separation.

Anyway, I broke the speed laws a couple of times getting to the 99'er. I busted through the double-glass doors and demanded to see my mother. Red Top was there, but I guess mom had sequestered herself in another room, not wanting to deal with me just then. I KNEW she was there. I could read it in Red Top's eyes and facial expressions and the way she kind of tried to reason with me (because I was just about as angry then as I ever had been in my life).

I stayed for a couple of minutes, exchanging heated words with the interloper. When I left I slammed the doors so hard I thought they would break from their hinges. But not before yelling, loud enough for anyone who might have been there to hear:

"YOU TELL HER I SAID SHE CAN GO TO HELL!"

Actually I don't remember the EXACT words I used.There may have been a few more. But I'm pretty sure I did say that.

I tore out of that parking lot, wheels kicking up gravel, and everything was a blur untli later that evening at church youth choir rehearsal. I won't go into what happened there...not that it's anything to be secretive about. I just want to wrap up this part of my story).

So...this bit of reminiscing is brought on by a dream I had last night. It was a VERY vivid dream and the emotions I felt within it were palpable.

My dad was not in the dream, although he must have been alive. I didn't know where he was, though.

It was just me and my brother, and somehow we found out that mom was leaving again. Apparently my parents had reconciled at some point since all the bad stuff went down. Now, for whatever reason, she was going away, just like she'd done 3 decades ago.

I was livid...even madder than when left, in the real world, when I was just a kid . I was pissed off at her because her leaving meant that I would have to go through the same hell I went through with my father in the months after she moved on the first time.

I suppose I should say something about that.

My dad, rest his soul, was totally wrecked. He would cry and wail. He would beg for me to go to OKC to try and talk her into coming back. For some reason he was convinced that I could persuade her to return. Most of the time I tried to get him to see how futile that would be. I tried to tell him it could not be done. Not by me or anyone else. So I had to say "no". Inevitably a fight would break out and he would come to the conclusion that, since I refused to talk to her, I must not love him, or care about him. Or that I just didn't want her to came back. Truth be told, I wasn't sure WHAT I wanted by this time.

He would keep saying, "My nerves are shot - my nerves are shot" - and at the time, as young as I was, I had no idea what he meant. Once he got so frustrated that he punched a hole in the wall with his bare fist.

It was one of, if not THE worst stretch of time in my life. I'm not looking for sympathy, though. I'm ashamed to say that I exploited the situation a time or two for my own gain.

At some point he pulled back together. I think he always loved my mother, evem till the day he died, with an ex and another wife in the picture between '77 and '99 (both of whom would be entertaining fodder for a novel, though for different reasons). I really think he would have given it all up if only she were to come back to him. But I don't know...Hard to say. People do change.

At any rate...let us return to the dream.

We had just found out mom was leaving dad for the second time. I'm incensed at the thought of this happening. Mixed with the anger are other emotions equally as strong. Sadness for what my dad would go through again. Fear of how I'd have to babysit him one more time. Resentment that she would put me in that position. Hatred for her and sympathy for my father. What would this do to him? Would he be able to make it through this time?

After a little while a pick-up truck pulled up with my mother and three black guys in the cab. I'm not sure what the significance of her companions' race could be.

I don't remember what led up to it, but at some point I wound up standing in the bed of the truck, looking through the window at the back of her head, and I screamed at her, with all the force and conviction of truth:

"I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!"

I raised the middle finger of my right hand and pointed it at her. I don't know why...her back was still turned away from me. If she had turned around she would have been terrified by the look of sheer loathing on my face.

But then, instantaneously we were standing, facing each other in the bed of the truck. For some reason I still couldn't see her face. In fact, I don't think I actually saw it at all during the course of the entire dream.

We hugged.

It was so strange... the only thing I noticed was the skin on her shoulder, with it's tiny birthmarks scattered about like stars in the sky.

And finally, just as suddenly, everything switched and I was standing in a dark room full of producers and engineers sitting in front of sound boards and video monitors. It dawned on me that everything that had come before in this dream was "only" a movie in the process of being made.

I didn't want to believe it. I COULDN'T believe it. But the next thing I knew I was watching another film they had made. A space shuttle launch is all I remember of it, and that was when I woke up.

I know this dream "means" something. I'm not one who puts a lot of stock in stuff like "dream interpretation" - so much of it is obviously bogus...but this one seemed to be a harbinger. Of good or bad, I don't know. Likely the latter, I'm afraid.

Still, I don't want to contemplate it or try to suss it out. I'm afraid of what I might find. I only wrote it down because it seemed like the kind of dream I'd need to remember someday. If I hadn't written it out it would be gone by this afternoon. I don't want to forget it. You know how it is..."write 'em down as soon as you wake up"...I never do that, even though I have some awesome dreams.

But this time...

12.07.2009

Jonsi & Alex Recipe Show

Jónsi & Alex Recipe Show - Raw Strawberry Pie from Jónsi & Alex on Vimeo.

Jónsi & Alex Recipe Show - Macadamia Monster Mash from Jónsi & Alex on Vimeo.


A new solo album from Jonsi looms near and I couldn't be more excited. Especially after listening to the first single, "Boy Lilikoi", countless times this morning. I mean, I like the Riceboy Sleeps stuff just fine, for what it is: ambient music. But I prefer to hear Jonsi's voice front and center. Apparently that's what we're going to get with this new record. "Boy Lilikoi" is an even more joyful sound than the upbeat numbers on Sigur Ros' last album, if you can imagine that. And it's in English. Whoa. I'm sure there are those out there who wish he'd do something a little darker, a la "()", but if this track is typical of the rest of the album I think they will be disappointed. To be honest, I hope the majority of the album is much more restrained (like the balance "Meo Sud" maintained), but I won't complain if it's not.

"Boy Lilikoi" is currently being offered as a free download at the newly constructed "jonsi.com" website. I don't think they've set a date for the album's release, but the website is being updated on a very regular basis.


12.04.2009

I lost about 23 pounds these last two months after starting the "low fat diet". I didn't go on the diet with the purpose of losing weight, but it is pretty cool to be slimming down a little bit. I hope to lose another 30-40 pounds to where I won't be "officially" overweight, but that could take some time, in light of the fact that I haven't been as faithful to it as I should be...I've gained back 3 pounds over the last few days. That's not too much, I know. Still, I am somewhat discouraged by not being able to restrict the fat that I eat. There were some circumstances that led to all the extra eating I've been doing the last 5 days, but I'd just as soon not say anything.

So, seeing as how I have nothing else to write about, here are some rambling thoughts inspired by some of the stuff I can see from where I sit.

I can't say that I've ever regretted buying the HDTV we own. It's an LG, and I couldn't even tell you how big the screen is, because I just can't be bothered to worry about such things. I have never been happy with the sound quality...not so much the sound itself but the volume level. It just doesn't turn up loud enough, and I can't figure out how to get the satellite sound to come through the home theater.

Speaking of the home theater...I can't say that I've ever been too happy with it. There is basically no graphic EQ to be manipulated so you're stuck with the factory sound. Which leaves quite a bit to be desired, even when playing back DVDs. It's MUCH worse if you attempt to use it as a CD player, even with it's 6 or 7 Dolby pre-sets. Nothing but lows and highs, with no mids whatsoever, which, I suppose, should be obvious when you consider the speaker set-up (two tiny speakers and a only a subwoofer for this function). I will admit that operas and classical music concerts do sound rather good with the DTS 5.1 sound...but I can't help but wonder just how much BETTER they might sound on a different (probably more expensive) unit. Had to send it back to the manufacturer a few months ago because it stopped reading discs. The warranty was just barely alive, but they did fix the problem, so I can't complain about that (seeing as how all I've been doing here is complaining.

Currently playing on the home theater is one of the discs from the "Gilligan's Island Complete 3rd Season". I'm not paying it much attention. I only have it on for company. The episode that's on right now is the one where the astronauts are orbitting directly above the island and the castaways are trying to find a way to signal them from below (driven into such straits that Mr. Howell's supply of brandy is sacrificed as starter fuel). I've got all 3 seasons of the show, but I don't really watch them very much. It's just a nostalgia thing, I'm sure. My middle school routine included watching "Gilligan's Island" as soon as I got home. They were cheap at Wal-Mart and sometimes that's the only reason a person needs. I don't watch too many DVDs anyway...I do have the complete "SCTV", and I very much enjoyed watching through it, show-by-show. But it will be a long time before I want to do it again. I got those extremely cheap as well, or wouldn't have bothered.

11.25.2009

Concentrate on the four dots in the middle of the picture for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes and tilt your head back. Keep them closed, and you will see a circle of light with Jesus in it!

Music Video of the Week: The Sensational Alex Harvey Band


"Framed"
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

11.24.2009

2009 PHS High School Talent Show

The high school talent show was yesterday afternoon, and, as is always the case, Bryan has been gung-ho about performing ever since the date was announced. He had worked up a very decent version of a song by The Fray (after a tedious process of whittling down potential songs), then was asked to sing in a budding rock band with his friends. Of course, he was extremely excited about doing that, which was something completely different than what he usually does. He's been one of the more popular acts at these talent shows, ever since he was in the 7th or 8th grade, so maybe that contributed to the organizers decision to let him perform both the solo bit as well as the rock band.

The talent show could best be described with one word...LONG. Almost unbearably long. At least it seemed that way...in actuality it was the same length as they usually are, but time just dragged on and on as "singer" after "singer" took their place on the stage.

I place the word "singer" in parentheses because of the lot there was not a single one who could actually sing. Some were more painful to listen to than others, but nary a one could carry a tune. It was made even worse by the fact that practically none of them used a karaoke track (I don't know that ANY did). The thing to do, apparently, was to just sing along with the song on the CD. To stand perfectly still and try to remember the words. All of which was made even worse by the fact that Miley Cyrus is so popular amongst the participants.

But even that would have been a little more tolerable if not for the AWFUL sound system in the auditorium. "Awful" does not even begin to describe it. There was absolutely no bottom end...or middle end, either, for that matter. The high end was piercing and so loud it actually made my ears ring (more than they usually do). They've got a couple of speakers in the foyer which, I assume, are meant to be of service to those who aren't lucky enough to find a seat in the auditorium proper. But they weren't working...most of the time...meaning that it sounded like there was a short in the wires leading from the mixing board to the speakers. The thing is, they actually had a good sound, well-rounded, the entire spectrum of recordable sound represented well, at least to the point where it is possible with speakers of that size. From where I sat it almost made the front speakers sound okay, filling in the sonic blanks. But they cut out so much (like every couple of seconds) that it ruined the possibility of saving the overall sound. This had to be obvious to everyone, most of all the person behind the board. All she would have had to do to end the situation is unplug a cord. Maybe she didn't know which cord to unplug, because it never happened. This only happened during the last 15-30 minutes of the show...I have to wonder what went wrong and why.

As for the show...it was fairly typical. A few juvenile comedy skits, the afore mentioned cavalcade of "singers", a cheerleader routine, and a couple of "dance numbers", one of which was so terrible that the MC said, "At least they didn't sing".

Of course I thought Bryan's solo song was, by far, the outstanding performance. Though I am obviously biased I think if you asked the teachers and most of the high school students they would have to agree. He brings a level of talent and even professionalism to the stage that none of the others would even dare to attempt. That's not meant as a swipe at any of the other participants, but Bryan takes it a lot more seriously than they do. That's just the kind of kid he is...he takes anything he cares about seriously.

But there were a couple of very good acts. The best of that lot was a young black kid (couldn't have been older than 10 or 11) who did a PERFECT imitation of the dance that Michael Jackson famous, complete with multiple moonwalks, and with a few cartwheels and a little hip hop technique thrown into the mix. For some reason he didn't use any music, so I'm thinking the thing was a spur-of-the-moment affair. Be that as it may, I bet his popularity level jumped by a few degrees when it was over.

There was a girl with a basketball dribbling routine, and she was actually very good. She didn't seem to enjoy being on stage in front of all those people, but she had a lot of confidence in her talent. It went on a little too long taking into consideration the relative lack of variety in her "tricks". But it was still impressive.

The "big finish" was the band that Bryan sang with (he's not sure if he's the permanent singer or if they just wanted him for the show...oddly, I don't think he's too concerned about it). They go by the name Famous Last Words. Not too crazy about the name, but that's what it was before Bryan got involved. They had a stage set up behind the back curtain with the whole set-up...monitors and stage lights, the drummer wearing face paint, the bass player sporting a dopey old fashioned hat (which, no doubt, he thought was cool as hell), and amplifiers turned up real, real loud. As is the trend these days, I'm sure, they played very aggressive hard rock...this is why it was so bizarre to me, because Bryan is not typically like that (at least not that I know, but then again, what DO parents know, eh?). He did a very good job, nevertheless, even more impressive when you take into account his limited exposure to "live" rock music (meaning that he doesn't really like to watch rock bands on tv or even music videos...I don't think he had a real template to work within).

All in all, they were pretty doggone good, especially when you consider their ages. That being said, if they decide to go on without Bryan I would be perfectly happy to never hear them again. Their guitar player closed the talent show with one of the longest, most excruciating Van Halen wannabe solos I've ever had the pleasure of walking out on halfway through. If there's one thing worse than some show-off noodling excessively it's a show-off excessively noodling in front of a crowd of people convinced that they are impressed with him (or that they should be). I don't know if any of the unlucky spectators were of the same mind, but I have no tolerance for it and was ecstatic that it was the last act.

And so, another high school talent show goes down in the history books. Who can tell what will be remembered and what will be forgotten? It can only be hoped that in the future some kind of audition process will be implemented.

11.22.2009

The Blasters: I'm Shakin'

I couldn't wait for the Music Video of the Week of Wednesday...had to post it now. Loved the album this was from back in 1981. This song was my favorite of the lot (though "American Music" is pretty good, too. Don't know why I didn't keep up with the band.


11.21.2009

11.12.2009

I haven't had much at all to report on the "health issues" I've been chronicling over the past 2 1/2 months. Which is a good thing. There were a couple of instances when I felt a bit of discomfort in the region of the heart, but nothing to be alarmed about. So I don't guess there's much point to any further updates...

As a result of the above mentioned health problems I have been more or less faithful to a non-fat diet that limits my fat intake to 20 grams. As a result it has become necessary to develop an appreciation of chicken. This has not been easy for me. I never ate chicken before all this...at least not since I was young. I can't say I've succeeded in this endeavour, but there are a few chicken-based dishes that I don't mind...most of which are part of Lean Cuisine menu. Their sweet and sour chicken isn't too bad, and they've got some other oriental style dish, the name of which escapes me. It's the better of the two. Chicken parmesian is okay, too. Outside of the "TV Dinner" line-up: barbeque chicken is okay. I don't mind Shake 'n' Bake or stir fry. And I really kinda like Subway's buffalo chicken sandwich.

It's amazing how I don't go crazy when I consider just how boring my life is. The only thing that keeps me from it is music...opera and classical in particular these days. Immersed in Wagner and Mahler.

Took the wife to the casino a few days ago. I'm sure she had fun, but we walked out of that place $75 poorer.

I'm thinking about renting "Drag Me to Hell" tonight. Generally I avoid "horror movies", but this one actually got some good reviews. So I'm interested to see what sets it apart from every other shitty scary movie. Same reason I sort of want to see "Paranormal Activity". No less a critic than Peter Travers said it was half decent...

I've cut my "message board posting" down to practically none. It's funny...that used to be one of my favorite things to do on the Internet, and now I could care less. What DO I like to do on the Internet these days? Not too much. I play Facebook Farkle quite a bit. Do a little Stumbling, though I don't light on any site for very long. I still watch the streaming movies on Netflix, and have seen some really good stuff. "Jesus Camp", for instance, a documentary that reminded me of why I walked away from the whole ridiculous phenomenon known as mainstream evangelical Christianity. Then there was "My Little Chickadee", the W.C. Fields/Mae West comic classic. What a pair! I can't remember laughing so much at a movie in a long time. Fields definitely deserves his exalted position in the pantheon of comedic geniuses and I gained an entirely new appreciation of Mae West's bawdy schtick. Also wading through the first few seasons of the British comedy series "Waiting for God". I don't know why I hate American television sitcoms but really enjoy the Brit counterparts.

I've got a "facebook friend" whose pretty deep into his religion (which just happens to be the Evangelical Christian hoo-hah I fled some time ago)...he made a post not too long ago saying that he'd made a commitment to reading the entire bible in a month. I know this guy well enough to be able to tell you that such a resolution will be easilly achieved. He has been a voracious reader since we went to elementary school together.I have no doubt that he reads at least 10 books per month. A very intelligent man, that's for sure (even if I do disagree with his right wing conservative political views). He's probably read the bible, in it's various translations, at least once a year for the last 30. Me? I've read it through two or three times. But even if I hadn't abandoned the literal view of scripture I don't know that I'd want to read it again. So I decided that, instead, I would attempt to read "The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces" in the next year. A small bit of mathematical computation revealed that the project would be do-able with a commitment of only 8 pages per day. It's a THICK book, actually LONGER than the bible...the kind of stuff I always wanted to read but was way too intimidated to embark upon. But if I could do it with "the word of god" I can surely do the same with this Anthology. If I accomplish it I have another book of western literature I may tackle next. It's even longer that the one I'm reading now. I thought it was kind of ironic, though, that I didn't want to read the bible again, yet the first 65 pages of the "World Masterpieces" is...you guessed it...from the bible. I'm done with that now, though, and have begun Homer's "Iliad".




11.05.2009

I got the test results from my cardiologist yesterday.

Sorry I could not reach you by phone with the results of your echocardiogram and your stress test. The stress test was normal and shows that your pumping function is normal at 55%. The echo (ultrasound) showed that the bottom of your heart is mildly enlarged and so are the top two chambers of your heart. It also shows insignificant fluid around your heart. At this time, there is nothing different to do for your heart.

Dr. ********** recommends that if your chest pain continues, you need to call us so we can look for other causes, such as doing a CT of your chest to look at the aorta. You would need a blood test first, called a D-dimer, to help us know if we need to also look for any blood clots in your lungs at the same time.


So, I'm not so sure what to think about that. For the most part it sounds quite optimistic. But then there is that bit about the enlargement of the bottom of my heart as well as the top two chambers. And the insignificant fluid---how much should I worry about that? I haven't had any chest pain at all since the night I went to the ER a couple of months ago, so I don't understand what they mean by "if your chest pain CONTINUES". Obviously I'm hoping it doesn't return...I'm not up for another episode like the one that brought me to this situation...the idea of it being a "continuing" thing is not one I want to consider.

10.31.2009




John Cage would have loved this.

Silly Facebook Q&As...Part 4

Last but not least...okay maybe least...here's one that veers slightly from the typical "question and answer" format. For better or worse. This is the last one I'm gonna post, too.

Rules:
Once you've been tagged, you can choose to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you.
If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. (sure you do, old salt, sure you do)

1. I have a perfectly realistic understanding of just how difficult I am to get along with.

2. I believe there is much theological significance in the effects of anaesthesia.

3. My ears ring constantly. The best I can do is distract myself. I believe there is great theological significance in this as well.

4. If a random blood test were done on me today it would show, among other things, a significant percentage of Dr. Pepper. No, I do not find any theological significance in this.

5. When I was 14 my mom and dad would go out dancing. They wouldn't get home until 2:00 am so they left me and my brother two Fox DeLuxe pizzas and a six-pack of Coke each and we would stay up as long as we could watching Saturday Night Live and The Uncanny Film Festival. I am almost positive we had more fun doing this than our parents ever had dancing.

6. As a result of being an outcast most of my life I have a strong aversion to anything that reaches a certain level of popularity.

7. I have never put much stock in the old saying that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Uncontrollable wildfires are worth fearing. So are tsunamis. And Godzilla.

8. I get really, really pissed off when there is not fresh pizza on the all-you-can-eat buffet. You settle for what little is up there and wait for something fresh to come along. It doesn't but you want to get your money's worth so you eat a little more of the pizza that was already there when you arrived. Then just as you get up to leave (or have eaten so much that your gullet is stuffed) they'll put out not only fresh pizzas, but all your favorite kinds.

9. I have no desire to travel anywhere outside of the continental United States, except for Iceland.

10. I love my laptop and I will kill for it. Unless the Internet is down. Even then...

11. I have a son-in-law and two grandchildren who I've never met.

12. I love the house my family lives in right now and have no desire to live anywhere else, be it mansion or castle.

13. I have seen Sigur Ros in concert twice. My son accompanied me the second time. Tornadoes blew over the theater but no one knew or cared. I have resolved to see them every time they play within a three state radius of Oklahoma. Make that a FOUR state radius.

14. I have AT LEAST 30 Sigur Ros concerts that I've downloaded over the last year.

15. I am very likely the only 46 year old you'll ever meet who thinks Sigur Ros is better than the Beatles.

16. I really believe that the Internet is the greatest argument for postmodernism that ever needs to be made.

17. As a result of several unique and often bizarre situations I have come to the conclusion that there is such a thing as deja vu.

17. As a result of several unique and often bizarre situations I have come to the conclusion that there is such a thing as deja vu.

17. As a result of several unique and often bizarre situations I have come to the conclusion that there is such a thing as deja vu.

17. As a result of several unique and often bizarre situations I have come to the conclusion that there is such a thing as deja vu.

17. As a result of several unique and often bizarre situations I have come to the conclusion that there is such a thing as deja vu.

18. One time I was working behind the counter at a Love's convenience store and this guy came in to pay for some gas. As he walked through the door he had his hand in his pocket reaching for his cash. When he pulled it out a big bag of marijuana fell to the floor. I'll never forget the look on his face.

19. When I worked at CD Warhouse I was always amazed by the number of hip-hop/rap CDs that got ripped off. Probably 10 to 1 over any other genre.

20. In the eighth grade my best friend and I used to pretend we were drug dealers. This is no lie. We'd put flour and sugar in plastic sandwich bags, take them to school and pretend to sell them to each other. We were abnormally obsessed with the movie "Super Fly". Surprisingly neither one of us used "real" drugs throughout the entirety of our high school days.

21. That same friend and I used to hide out in a vacant room on the second floor of the school building every day during PE. It is disturbing now, when I think back on it, to consider that no one seemed to know or care that we were regularly ditching a class.

22. That same friend told me that Bela Lugosi was his uncle and that he was also in some way related to Boris Karloff. This impressed me immensely because I was all into old monster movies before I got turned on to "Super Fly".

23. I would love to be a member of a nudist colony.

24. I currently subscribe to Esquire, Wired, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone.

25. My browser's bookmark toolbar currently displays the following: Yahoo Mail, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, Sedaka, RS.Com Castaways, Garageband, Last.fm, Pandora Radio, Wolfgang's Vault, Allmusic, Allmovie, Spirit Library & Speakeasy Internet connection speed test. Isn't that awesome?

Silly Facebook Q&As...Part 3

Even God doesn't care to know me this well... The title of this quiz is "45 Things About Me That You Probably Don't Care To Know!" That is definitely and understatement.

(blah blah blah) If you opened this, copy it and paste it into your own note - FILL IT OUT!!! Learn 45 things about your friends, and let them learn 45 things about you! (/blah blah blah)

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes I do...not straight up though. Wishbone salad dressing, babee. And not that nasty Kraft shit that tastes like Miracle Whip.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? I thought you shot up heroin? Didn't know it was smoked. Maybe if I had known... But seriously, NO NO NO. Heroin is one drug I swore I would never touch.

3. Do you own a gun? I don't need a gun. I've got a baseball bat and my hands are registered as lethal weapons.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Starbucks? I don't patronize Starbucks often, but I like Hazelnut. Hazelnut likes me.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Not unless they want blood.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? They look funny.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Christmas movies suck. Period.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? I don't care. Whatever's around.

9. Can you do push ups? A few. Like 4 or 5.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? The kind I can send to Cash4Gold.

11. Favorite hobby? Producing music on the Acid Music Studio computer program. I also enjoy working on my blog...the one that nobody reads.

12. Do you have Kids? I wouldn't call them "kids" anymore. But I do have a teenage son and a grown daughter.

13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? I'm a hateful S.O.B.

14. Middle name? Arthur...as in KING Arthur.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I wonder if those drops my opthamologist are working? I'll be spending a lot more time in this office since I moved the recliner in here. I have wasted too much time on my computer this afternoon and should put it away for the rest of the night. ***Bonus 4th thought: I probably won't. There are albums floating out there on the Internet that need to be downloaded and added to my collection.

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? 1. Nothing. 2. Nothing. 3. Nothing.

17. Name 3 things you drink daily. Water, Dr. Pepper, horse piss...okay, just kidding...that's about it.

18. Current worry? I should have found a psychologist a few months ago, before I actually needed one.

19. Current Dislike? The things I cannot change about myself.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? I let someone else bring it in. I couldn't be bothered.

21. Where would you like to go? Iceland

22. Name three people who will complete this? Larry, Curly and Moe. Hopefully Diane. She can always be counted on for a good laugh.

23. Do you own slippers? What would I need slippers for?

24. What shirt are you wearing? My extra large and comfortable grey one turned inside out because I don't necessarily condone the message emblazoned on the front anymore.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I don't think I would.

26. Favorite color? If I've told you once, I've told you a billion times, I HAVE NO FAVORITE COLOR. They're all pretty nice, but come on. What's the point in choosing a favorite?

27. Could you be a pirate? No. Pirates are rogues and thugs. Throughout history they have raped and pillaged. It amazes me that they are romanticized these days. They're no better than Nazis.

28. What songs do you sing in the shower? Singing in the shower is a pointless endeavour.

29. Favorite food? The tasty kind. The kind I like.

30. What's in your pocket right now? Not a damn thing.

31. Last thing that made you laugh? Listening to people laughing on Sirius XM's comedy station. Not the comedians, mind you. The audience. The comics are funny about 10% of the time, but the audience, they steal the show.

32. Favorite sheets? The ones on my bed, I guess. Favorite SHEETS? Come now!

33. Worst injury you have ever had? Brain sprained a leak one time.

34. Do you love where you live? Yep.

35. How many TVs do you have in your house? Three of 'em. I try not to watch them too often.

36. Who is your loudest friend? I tend to shy away from loud people.

37. How many dogs do you have? No doggies, only memories.

38. Does someone have a crush on you? I think so. But she only knows of me through a fake profile I put up on the NORML community forum. So it's not really *ME*. It's some guy with lots of connections and money to burn.

39. What is your favorite book(s)? "Be Here Now" (Ram Dass), "The Brothers Karamazov" (Fyodor Dostoevski), "Conversations With God" (Neale Donald Walsch), "A Widow for One Year" (John Irving), "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" (Dave Eggers), "The Book (On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)" (Alan Watts)

40. What is your favorite candy? I like Heath bars. Snickers, too. Snickers with Almonds. Skor. All that shit.

41. Favorite Sports Team? Whichever one is winning the game.

42. What songs do you want sung at your funeral? I don't want any "sung". I will one day burn a mix CD of my favorite Sigur Ros songs and that's what I want played. "Glossoli" will be on it. That's all I can tell you for now, as I am of the decided opinion that question such as these are quite morbid.

43. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Listening to fools talking on the Sirius XM radio "Talk" channels.

44. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke this morning? "I sure wish I didn't have to piss so bad or I'd stay right here."

45. Favorite place to be? In a pleasant dream.

Silly Facebook Q&As...Part 2

...a.k.a. even MORE than anyone could ever want to know...

(obligatory introduction designed to fill in the clueless as to what these stupid thinga are all about)...you know the rules. Tag people (if you want) in this note (including the person who tagged you!) to learn more about them. Also, try to tag people who you've tagged in other notes. Sometimes you learn things in new notes that you didn't know before about them.......(***end statement of the obvious)

1. First thing you wash in the shower? My hair

2. What color is your favorite hoodie? Unfortunately I have no hoodie, but if I did I think it would be brown.

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? I guess.

4. Do you plan outfits? "Plan outfits"?????

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? Bored (else I would not be filling out this questionairre).

6. Whats the closest thing to you that's red? My Webster's Dictionary.

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? It had something to do with my ex-father-in-law chastising me in a violent manner.

8. Did you meet anybody new today? Are you kidding?

9. What are you craving right now? Something I'm not suppose to have.

10. Do you floss? No.

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? Sauerkraut.

12. Are you emotional? Depends on the emotion.

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000? No. There is no point in such a futile exercise.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream cone or just lick it? One would think it would take years to eat a cone just licking it.

15. Do you like your hair? No, but I'm glad I still have some.

16. Do you like yourself? I don't feel sorry for myself, if that's what you're getting at.

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? If he's picking up the tab, I don't mind. We don't have to talk.

18. What are you listening to right now? An album called "Angelic Music" by noted new age composer/performer Iasos.

19. Are your parents strict? No.

20. Would you go sky diving? I say I would, but the "inner chicken" within me would probably hold me back.

21. Do you like cottage cheese? Yes I do, by God. I like it plain or with pineapple chunks. Small curd, and none of that nasty Sam's Choice/Great Value/Wal-Mart brand crap either.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity? I don't know if country and western stars are celebrities, but I met Wade Hayes and actually got to play music with him.

23. Do you rent movies often? I get 3 a week from Netflix. If there's anything new I just have to see (a rare occurance) I'll get it from the video store.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in? I can't say there is.

25. How many countries have you visited? One, but I was only there for about an hour.

26. Have you made a prank phone call? I used to love doing that when I was a kid. No such thing as Caller ID back then.

27. Ever been on a train? No,

28. Brown or white eggs? I can't stand, and will not eat eggs.

29.Do you have a cell phone? Yes, but it's just a cheapo model and I only use when I absolutely have to.

30. Do you use chap stick? If I need to. What else would I use for chapped lips? Whale Blubber costs too much.

31. Do you own a gun? No.

32. Can you use chop sticks? No...I had a friend try to show me how once, and for a moment there I thought I was getting the hang of it. Then the moment passed and I grabbed a fork.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight? The wife and the kid.

34 Are you too forgiving? NO.

35. Ever been in love? Probably.

36. What is your best friend doing tomorrow? All of my best friends are scattered hither and yon so how the hell would I know?

37. Ever have cream puffs? I don't think so.

38. Last time you cried? Back in January when the pooch died.

39. What was the last question you asked? "...how th hell would I know?"

40. Favorite time of the year? Opera season.

41. Do you have any tattoos? No. I've never wanted one. I'll not let my body be a sketch pad for a half-assed "artist". No offense intended to any tattoo "artists" who may read this, but...

42. Are you sarcastic? Way too much. Sarcastic, cynical, just an all around pain in the ass.

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? Unfortunately I have. I don't know what I was thinking when I rented that one.

44. Ever walked into a wall? I haven't walked into a wall, but I have turned around and stepped into the side of a door.

45. Favorite color? I have never had a favorite color. When I was a kid I used to say it was blue, but that was before I knew better.

46. Have you ever slapped someone? No, I haven't. Many is the time I should have done so, but no.

47. Is your hair curly? Yes.

48. What was the last CD you bought? I replaced my burned copy of Sigur Ros' "Takk" with the real deal.

49. Do looks matter? I hope not.

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? Probably not.

51. Is your phone bill sky high? No.

52. Do you like your life right now? It's okay. Could be a lot better, but hey, as long as there's air in the ol' lungs and the heart keeps a-pumpin'...

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? No way. Sometimes I like a little classical music.

54. Can you handle the truth? I don't really have a choice, do I?

55. Do you have good vision? No, and it just keeps getting worse.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? Only a long list of celebrities, not anyone I know in real life.

57. How often do you talk on the phone? As seldom as possible. I don't really like talking on the phone.

58. The last person you held hands with? Uh.....

59. What are you wearing? Cargo shorts, black boxer-briefs and a "M*A*S*H" T-shirt.

60. What's your favorite animal? Dog.

61. Where was your default picture taken? Sitting in a red chair in the living room of the dump we lived in before moving to our current residence.

62. Can you hula hoop? No.

63. Do you have a job? I'm not unemployed, lets just leave it at that, nosey.

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? Tickets to an upcoming performance of Bach's "Mass in B Minor" . I renewed my subscription to WIRED since then, but I don't know if that counts as "buying something".

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? Yes. That's just something you have to do a lot when you're trying to get into someone's house while they're away.

Silly Facebook Q&As...part one

...a.k.a. more than anyone could ever wanted to know...

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Dr. Pepper

2.Where was your profile picture taken?
In the front lawn from the driveway at our house, in 1975 or thereabouts.

3.Can you play Guitar Hero?
No, but I can play the guitar.

4.Name someone who made you laugh today?
I ain't been up long enough to find an occassion to laugh.

5.How late did you stay up last night and why?
About 1:00 in the morning. Lost track of time while listening to my XM radio. Then I was attacked by Munchies, ate a ridiculous number of caramel rice cakes then went to bed.

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you?
Probably Iceland, cause I could sure use a change of scenery. Otherwise I like where I live just fine and would rather not have to go through all the trouble of moving again, even if I were so inclined to do so, which I am definitely NOT.

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?
If I have I would not remember it. It's not as if you get to make a wish if you kiss under fireworks, is it? Because if that's the case, and I'd known it, I would have run around the park every fourth of July kissing random strangers (okay, not THAT random), because I've long known that the "kissing under mistletoe" method does not work.

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you?
They all live too far away.

9. Do you believe ex's can be friends?
In the big picture, I doubt that what I personally belive makes a damn insomuch as ex's are a curious lot and you just can't pin them down to say "well, this is the way it is, the way it always has been and the way it always will be" in regards to a transition between erotic love and philo love. Do I "believe" it? Well, why the hell not? It happens. Has it happened in my life personally? Nope. But, you see, there are usually some pretty good reasons that ex's part ways for good.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?
How do I FEEL about it?

11. When was the last time you cried really hard?
Really hard? That's pretty damn hard. Don't rightly know that I would want to share that information with just anyone who happens to see it here.

12. Who took your profile picture?
I'm pretty sure it was my brother, but that was so long ago I couldn't say.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Probably the wife. It's a lovely portrait of the back of her hand.

14. Was yesterday better than today?
I don't know...today just started. I can only hope that today will be better than yesterday, but as long as it doesn't get any WORSE I don't think I'll have a problem with it.

15. Can you live a day without TV?
I can live a day without anything. No music would be the hardest, but nothing to read might be even worse. No TV? Oh, boy. If the biggest thing TV has to offer these days is Jay Leno at 9pm 5 nights a week...it should be easy why there's no sacrifice involved in spending considerable time without it.

16. Are you upset about anything?
I am still a little upset that my good Bose headphones bit the dust a couple of months ago. I am upset that the DVD-ROM drive in this here laptop is dead and it will cost me a hundred bucks to get it fixed. I'm upset that the last two DVDs Netflix sent me were cracked (one was broken completely in half). I'm upset that the chances of eating brisket at the Fillin' Station are slim to none today. I'm upset with the steadilly declining quality of Sirius XM's programming. I'm upset that I don't have the money to raid the Half Price Books & Records store in Oklahoma City.

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
Of course, as long as you don't equate "worth it" with "getting what I want(ed) out of it".

18. Are you a bad influence?
I try to be.

19. Night out or night in?
Well, if there's an opera going on, I'm night out. Or a Sigur Ros concert or something monumental along those lines, I'll be night out all you need me to be. Otherwise, unless somethin's goin' down, you won't find me around.

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
Foodstuff. Beverages. A pot to piss in. Various music players and their respective media. And probably, hate to admit it, this damn computer.

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
I do not like to go to hospitals, so I don't do it unless I absolutely have to. As far as I can remember, the last time I visited someone in the hospital it was my dad, just a day before he passed away, right at 10 years ago.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
I don't use text messaging. I've discovered something far better and much more convenient. It's called a telephone.

23. How do you feel about your life right now
About the same way I FEEL about Dr. Pepper, only not quite so much.

24. Do you hate anyone?
Can't say that I really do, but who knows. Tomorrow's gonna be another day.

25. If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?
I imagine you'd find pretty much what you'd find in any facebook inbox...messages and such.

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?
There's absolutely no reason on earth that I would be given a drug test, so it's kind of like "if a tree falls in an empty forest, does it really make a sound?".

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
Yes, on many occasions.

28. What song is stuck in your head?
I don't think there is one in there right now. Just wait until Bryan starts learning a new song on the piano...that will be the one, whether I like the song or not.

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be?
Well, Ed MacMahon is dead now, so...

30. Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?
I've got 'em. I would hope that the majority of people would be delighted to have them before they turn 50.

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Finish up that stuff and make a resolution to give it, who knows, maybe even a whole month.

32. Do you think too much or too little?
Too much. Unfortunately most of my thoughts are considerably less than "lofty", so I might as well not be thinking at all.

33. Do you smile a lot?
No, but if you see me smiling you know I'm sincerely amused. I don't roll with that bullshit.