Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Alleviating Boredom and Inactivity: Exercise #16
Name the first musician(s) that pops into your head for each letter of the alphabet
ie. A - Ani Difranco

A- Adams, Ryan
B- Barenaked Ladies
C- Counting Crows
D- De La Soul
E- Elvis Costello
F- Fountains of Wayne
G- Guster
H- Hetfield, Juliana
I- Indigo Girls
J- Jellyfish
K- Kurt Colbain
L- LL Cool J
M- Mayer, John
N- No Doubt
O- Orbison, Roy
P- Phair, Liz
Q- Queen
R- R. E. M.
S- Sheryl Crow
T- Take That
U- U2
V- Veruca Salt
W- Weezer
Y- Yankovic, �Weird� Al
Z- Zebra

Extra Points: Explain why each artist is important enough to pop up first in your head

A- Ryan Adams is at the top of my favorites.
B- Barenaked Ladies are 2nd
C- I would listen to Counting Crows - August and everything after - when I was blue. Made me feel better.
D- De La Soul was one of the first hip-hop bands I really liked. I wish I could find �3 Ft. High and Rising�
E- I�ve been grooving on Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharat�s �Painted From Memory�
F- Fountains of Wayne� not sure� F was a hard letter to even think of a band.
G- Guster� Uh� If you have to ask, you really don�t know me.
H- The wife likes the song �Spin the Bottle� by Juliana Hetfield.
I- I only really like the first Indigo Girls album.
J- Jellyfish was simply amazing.
K- 10 or so years after his suicide, and I�m just realizing how important and influential Kurt Colbain is/was.
L- L.L. Cool J. stands for �Ladies Love Cool James�
M- John Mayer is a wonderful artist, but he�s gotten far too popular for me. He�s too sheik now� Not his fault.
N- I�m starting to like No Doubt again.
O- Roy Orbison� better than Elvis.
P- Liz Phair� How can you not like a chick who rocks a guitar?
Q- Queen� What else is there?
R- My favorite R.E.M album is Automatic for the People.
S- I guess Sheryl Crow was on the brain because of the Grammy�s and her anti-war stuff.
T- Robbie Williams was the bad boy in Take That before going solo.
U- Bono is up for the Nobel Peace Price.
V- I�m probably the only person who likes �8 Arms to Hold You� over their other album.
W- Weezer is just cool.
X- Seriously, are there any bands with X as it�s first letter other than XTC?
Y- �Weird� Al Yankovic was probably the more entertaining concert I�ve been to.
Z- Zebra is an inside joke. They still tour all over my hometown area.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

It would seem as if the social life is picking up. I can tell because when I woke up this morning my head was screaming and I couldn't tell what was worse, trying to get up or trying to go back to sleep. No, I wasn't hungover. Well, not technically. Personally, I think you can only call it a hangover if there's the possibility of puking. My head was just pounding. 3 glasses of white wine. Ok, it was outta the box, but it wasn't my party. I ended up in the shower just sitting there with the water pouring over me. That helped, but still I'm quite sluggish.

I can also tell the social life is picking up because this is the second weekend in a row that I've gone to bed after 1am because I was actually tired and wanted to. Normally, I don't really get tired. I just go to bed because, well, nothing is worth staying up for and I do have work the next day. We had a great time last night, and how can you not when karaoke is the main attraction?!?! Have I ever mentioned how much I like to sing? I knew I liked Roy Orbison songs, but until last night, I never really knew exactly how much. Can't believe I hit the hit note in "Running Scared."

Probably the best part of the social life picking up is the people were socializing with. They are all talented theatre folk we are doing Aladdin with. The long and short of it is that this is the first time that the wife and I are feeling a camaraderie while doing a show at my favorite theatre. In the past year, we've worked on 5 shows at this theatre and this really the first one where everyone has become close friends. There have been moments of friendship, but most of those bonds sadly ended when the shows were over. This is the first time I feel we're making real friendship bonds and theatre contacts since moving here.

You know what I find funny? A person who acts like a complete know-it-all, even to the point of sounding like an idiot just so they can be right even though they are factually 100% wrong. I mean, a person who would dispute that 2+2 does not equal 4. A person that will contradict everything others say just to be contradictive. Ok, that in itself is not very funny, but add this to the mix: this person being completely sensitive to being talked about behind his or her back. A person who tries to talk a good game and then worries that people are making fun of him or her. Ok, it's not funny funny... It's ironical funny. And, it's all about the irony, baby!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The People's Republic of Seabrook is hosting the Carnival of Vanities: Episode 22. Or, as I like to call it after looking over the list, Carnival of Vanities: Politics, War, and then, Me (please note, I'm not the bunny)... And wouldn't it figure my archives are all screwed up?? I'm working on that. Anyway, if you want to read my post, it's the last one on the page here... If the link didn't work, this is where you scroll down... Have a nice day.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Well, well, well, it would seem as if the boy is quite the lady-killer. After we got home from seeing Chicago the other night (that�s gonna be the next post), we discovered a message from one of the kid�s schoolmates. It would seem that she is quite enamored by my 9-year old. Apparently, he likes her a lot, too. She wanted to know what he wanted for Valentine�s Day. Damn, the kid not only has a valentine, she�s got it for him so bad that she�s willing to get him whatever he wants.

My first boyhood crush was for my first-grade teacher�s daughter. As I recall, she went to private school, but I guess I saw her when the private school bus dropped her off at our school. I was quickly smitten. I remember winning silly presents at the Fireman�s Fair and giving them to her mother to give to her. One was a blue plastic statue of Mickey Mouse. She later gave me a card. My name was misspelled phonetically, and it didn�t matter. It had to be love. I left the school a year later and didn�t see her again until 7th grade or so... She didn�t remember me, and even denied our flirtations. My heart was severely broken.

True, I did move on. I did. In 3rd grade, I fell for a little blondie. I was in love with her for four years. It wasn�t until some junior high dance that I was able to get nerve enough to ask her out. Blondie turned me down. Even worse, I didn�t know one of my friends at the time - knowing what a shy little boy I was - had already asked her out for me. My heart reeled from the rejection of a long and lost crush, the sting of losing a friend, and the embarrassment of junior high gossip� And never again would love come easily�

After my heartbreaks, an invisible wall as big as Yao Ming and as long as the wall in his homeland was built around myself. I didn�t date until the end of my junior year or high school. My first date was a disaster. The second - a friend from another school went with me to homecoming. She fell asleep on the ride home. My first true girlfriend was little more than a little heavy petting.

Damn you, AmieJay Andrasay* and EslieLay ErnardBay* for destroying my heart!

I hope this "first love" crush doesn't end up hurting my son. He makes friends with everyone and has a real interesting personality. It would kill me to see him lose that...

*names changed to protect the innocent

Friday, February 14, 2003

I've always wanted someone to hold hands with. Growing up, I was (and still am a bit) a hopeless romantic. There's that whole intimacy thing about holding hands. Plus, when you're walking hand in hand, you're announcing to the world who you're with. What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus? I wanna hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand... The point - not only was it imperative to "find someone" but it was also important to hold their hand.

Now that I'm married and have a hand to hold, I'm realizing the difficulties of hand holding. You don't think about it, but it's quite the task to walk hand in hand with someone. You both have to be in step with each other or it's just awkward looking. If you walk a little slower, it's hard to keep up. Let's not forget that arm length and height can make a huge difference. If the combination isn't just right, someone's walking with their elbow all crooked making it extrememly uncomortable. And comfort is part of the reason we hold hands.

In my case, what makes hand holding difficult is that the wife has carpel tunnel syndrome and a touch of arthritis in her hands. Her hands constantly hurt from all the sewing she does. So, when there's a chance to hold hands, we usually don't because it hurts too much to have that squeeze. Or if we do hold hands, it's when we're not moving and one hand is on top of the other. No pressure. No squeeze. Less pain.

So, if you don't have a valentine, don't fret. I bet you look just fabulous walking...

Monday, February 10, 2003

"Thanks, that was fun. Don�t forget no regrets� except maybe one." -- BNL, "Thanks That Was Fun"

The other day I was listening to a song I hadn�t heard in rather a long time. It held some special meaning to me because it pretty well sums up the relationship I had with another person a long time ago. Well, that bond is gone and that person isn�t in my life anymore. While I may wish from time to time to see them, or wonder how they are, the past is well in the past.

People come into our lives for a reason. Some are there for a moment, some for a while, others nearly a lifetime. And sometimes, the ones you want to stick around for a lifetime are only supposed to be there for a moment, and vice versa.

It saddens me that a lot of my friendship/relationship bonds aren�t what they once were. There are plenty of people I haven�t had communication with months, even years. Yet, I have no problem saying I still love them, and occasionally miss them.

But my life isn�t with them anymore, or at least not this moment. That could change. I�ll let you know. Or feel free to let me know, too.

The song doesn�t hold the same meaning anymore. Where wonderful memories once lived and danced to the melody, now lies in a grave of sorrow and regret. It has an entirely different meaning and feel about it. I don�t know if I like it anymore.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

I don't feel as old as I am. I'm on the cusp of turning 30... well soon enough, and I really don't feel like I'm that old or young. On the inside, I'm probably closer to 22. Good times, good times... 22. Old enough to be considered a responsible adult, yet still young enough not understand what that means. I never thought 5 or 10 years into the future. Where would I be? What would I be doing? I never thought about getting married or having a family. I mean, I figured I would, but it's not like there was a timetable or anything. I just keep on keepin' on until the keepin' on ain't keepin' on no mo'. Then, the keepin' on changes in some way and keeps on keepin' on... I think my brain just exploded.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

�So I�m lying here just staring at the ceiling tiles.
And I�m thinking �bout, oh, what to think about.
Just listening and re-listening to Smiley Smile.
And I�m thinking this is some kind of creative drought.
I�m lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did.
Lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did.�

Creatively, I think I�m nearly spent. All of my mojo is being used. The plays are taking up a lot of it. Being two different characters in two different shows releases a lot of my creativity. I�m realizing I�m a character actor. Best at comic relief. Even if I looked like a leading man, I doubt I could pull it off. Sure, I won a best actor award at my hometown theatre. But, I was playing Lt. Columbo - well, actually I was imitating Peter Falk - and that�s really a character role, not a leading man. Sweeps is on full throttle at work and that�s taking a lot of my juices, too. The best I can hope for is to avoid burnout and replenish my creative energy. Does the Playstation 2 help? The wife and kid are going away for the weekend. So, at least, I�ll have some time to myself and can focus on building the energy back up. Maybe I need an outburst. A chance to go nuts. A time for no responsibilities and absolut insanity. The blog�s being neglected somewhat because it�s also an extension of my creativity. When the energy is used up, there�s no blogging either. No music writing, or playing. Always listening. Always belting on the drive. Always singing. Always.

This and this are my latest �outlets.� You probably need Media Player or something to see them...

Sunday, February 02, 2003

There's no point in me recapping any of the tragic events of the shuttle Columbia. But, I do feel I need to say something about it.

Space, the travel and exploration of it, has grabbed hold of my mind ever since I was a child. So much that I even went to Space Camp. Remember that movie with Kate Capshaw and Leaf, *ahem* Joaquin Pheonix? Well, yeah, there is an actual Space Camp, and I went there for a week one summer. In the end, I was the Flight Commander for my teams' simulated shuttle mission. What I remember of that mock-up was everything going wrong. We had to abort the first take-off after already lifting off from the tower. After landing the glider safely, they restarted the mission and soon we were in simulated space. Not long after that, nearly every emergency light lit up and we had to figure out how to correct the problems. From lost communications to oxygen leaks, we had to fix it all and complete the mission. It was very nerve-racking and difficult, and I go so involved with "role-playing" the Flight Commander that I had to threaten the "scientists" who weren't taking things seriously with throwing them in the airlock so we could fix all the problems in peace. In the end, I think that threat was reviewed negatively and we ended up second place in the mission competions, behind by a point. But dammit, they shut-up and we completed the mission successfully. So, yeah, I really dig on space exploration. In fact, I have no doubt that one day man will be able to safely and successfully travel to galaxies far, far away.

So, I've been thinking a good deal about the Columbia tragedy. One thing you have to realize about space travel and re-entering the earth's atmosphere is that you have to glide that shuttle in at just the right angle. I mean, if the right angle is 7 degrees, you're toast if you bring her in at 7 1/2 degrees. It's a wonder that Luke Skywalker or Han Solo never had trouble coming in for a landing. I really do think space travel one day be as effortless as it is appears in the movies. Obviously, that day is a very long way off.

It's even more of a wonder that in over 150 manned U. S space flights, we've only lost lives on three: Challenger, Columbia and one of the Apollo missions. Add Apollo XIII to the mix, and we've only had major disasters with 4 flights. When you realize that we are actually dealing with rocket science, that is a staggering amount of success. It's truly amazing that more hasn't gone horribly wrong. And that's a testament to the spirit and raw guts of everyone involved in the space program. Every single astronaut puts his life at risk for the greater good. They know it and accept it. They know if they go up, there's a good chance they might not come down. Yet, somehow, they summon the courage to spit in death's face.

The day will come when man can book a flight to Planet X and it'll be like flying from New York to L.A. The day will come when man is flying a one-seater spaceship like Air Force pilots fly jets today. When that day comes, the people who risked their lives and died so humankind could become more advanced will most likely have been forgotten and will probably be nothing more than a footnote in history, and that is probably the biggest tragedy of all.