I Turn My Camera On II

OK, time to play “guess the picture.” Go ahead and guess. If you get it right, you’ll win nothing except for marginal admiration. Have fun.

I Turn My Camera On

I finally managed to re-size, crop and put together a photo slideshow of the recent visit from Sloan, who, may I remind you, are one of our world’s finest live bands. I still don’t think the pictures do much justice of the live experience. You simply have to be there to appreciate the effort these guys put in. Someone else was there shooting pictures, too, and some of those make me look like a six-year old amatuer with a camera.

Also grabbed this MVP Baseball screenshot from over the weekend – Dennis Tankersly gets beaned in the head by a line drive off the bat of Kevin Mench. First time I’ve seen that in this game – the ball ricochet’s right off the pitcher head.

Short On Tact In Long Island

Yesterday was one of those surreal business travel days where you end up in a haze of travel by late afternoon – planes, trains and automobiles, indeed. One specific event, however, capped it off.

My morning alarm went off at home at 5am, and out the door I went to catch a 7am flight to LaGuardia. Upon arriving at the airport, I discovered that my flight had been cancelled. After traveling so much for so many years for work, I seem to actually be getting used to cancelled flights these days. Mildly fearing I’d miss an important meeting, I was faced with making a quick decision: go to Avis immeadiately and just a rent a car and get down there, or wait in a long line to see what transpired. I elected to roll the dice and wait my turn in line to see if I had a shot. Good choice. I ended up on an 8:00am flight, no real problems. It was also a gorgeous day to be flying – nothing but sun.

From LaGuardia, it was an uneventful ride to Penn Station, where I met up with a co-worker and we hopped a train to Long Island. Again, uneventful. However, the next stretch of roughly ten minutes proved to be the centerpiece of the day, and not for any good reason. We stepped off the train and headed over to a cab stand, where they actually make you share a cab with others. Initially I was mildly agitated by this, as we just wanted to get to the place we were going. However, upon thinking about it I concluded this was acceptable, in an age when conserving gas and energy is going to become essential sooner than most think it will.

Joining us on the cab ride was an older woman, who sat in the front and a Middle Eastern woman, who sat with us in the back. So far, so good. We all cited our destinations and off we went. The Middle Eastern woman got on her cell phone and was speaking in a foreign language – most likely calling someone to let them know she was en route. After about a minute, the cab driver half-turns and actually says “Hey, shut up. I hate that foreign crap.”

Did you just pause? We certainly did. Both my co-worker and I looked at each other in amazement, mentally asking each other “did we really just hear that?” We did. As if that weren’t incredible enough, another minute went by and the cab driver blurted out in a very frustrating tone: “We’ve got a camel in the back seat there.”

We just couldn’t believe what we were hearing. It was just pure hatred and ignorance from someone in a very public seat. I was hoping and praying that the woman was paying too much attention to the person on the other end of her cell phone to hear this sad excuse for a human, but I’ll never know. We arrived at our destination, where, I might add, I paid this sad sack the exact fare and not a cent more. I was actually preparing in my mind what I wanted to say to him, but in the end quietly stalked off, not saying a word. In retrospect, I really regret not saying anything. I wanted that woman to know that most of us are compassionate, accepting people. I now fear that maybe she thought we just didn’t care. We did. Very much.

However, as we got out, she just continued talking on her cell phone, so I am going to try and believe with all my heart she didn’t hear a word the guy said. Look, I’m no fool. Sadly, these people exist and they walk among us every day, that’s just the way it is. I wish they could comprehend how sad their existence is and how hurtful a few sentences can be. I suppose they’re entitled to think and feel what they want, that’s their right. But to vocalize it like that? Just stunning. And so, so sad. Not to mention dumb.

Anyway, after our meeting, it was back in a cab to LaGuardia, back on the plane to Boston, back in my car and home by 6:30, with a nice traffic jam on the Mass Pike to top it all off. I really should just open an ice cream stand.

My Own Sweat Smells The Best

Today is Ray Davies 61st birthday. I’ve told many people who will listen (and that number is ever-dwindling) that I believe Ray Davies is without question the most underrated songwriter of all time and that I will match his pre-1975 songwriting talents up, song-for-song, against anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Davies ability to shine lyrical light on both the drudgery of the everyday human existence and the struggles with class lines in post-war England are simply unmatched. While the late-era Kinks music was more geared towards the arenas, much, if not all, of their work pre-mid 1970s was a stunning, unstoppable force.

So, gunshot wound and all, happy birthday to the guy who sings for my favorite band ever (probably) and penned many of my favorite songs (definitely).

’cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
’cause his world is built ’round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

’cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
’cause he’s better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father’s loot,
When pater passes on.

’cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the regatta,
And he adores the girl next door,
’cause he’s dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

’cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

When I Was Young, I Never Needed Anyone….

Inspired by a post on Ken Norton’s Blog, here are some things I would have written about had blogging been around in college (1989-1994):

– Rage Against The Machine is so overrated.
– Why I have to hear “Brown Eyed Girl” every time I go to a bar.
– Why only 800-1000 people show up to a Div. 1 hockey game at Kent.
– All the free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream I’m getting from working in the student center on the 10pm-3am shift.
– Saw Pearl Jam at Peabody’s Down Under with like 100 other people just before “Ten” broke huge. Incredibly intense show.
– Leaving the Helmet/Faith No More show without a shirt. In February.
– How my law teacher looks exactly like Seinfeld.
– The ubiquitous character called “Fuck You Bob.” He’s this guy with Tourette’s Syndrome who wanders around Kent, Ohio at all hours and no matter what you say to him (for instance, “Hello Bob”), his response was to show you his middle finger and shout “Fuck you!” very loud. I don’t make this stuff up. I never utter a word to him, but plenty of others do.
– Why can’t the Bruins ever beat the Penguins?
– How did I ever manage to get a luxury box with free beer & food for the U2 show at Cleveland? (first leg of the Achtung Baby tour)
– Working in a supermarket has its advantages. For instance, if anything is damaged, it could be eaten. There are lots of “accidents.”
– Why I always choose Ministry’s “Stigmata” on the jukebox at Ray’s Bar. Answer: the live version is about 15 minutes long.

Recent pod tracks:
Preston School of Industry – “The Furnace Sun”
Three Dog Night – “Shambala”
Bruce Springsteen – “Where The Bands Are”
Foo Fighters – “I’ll Stick Around”
The Clash – “Wrong ‘Em Boyo”
Apples In Stereo – “Tin Pan Alley”
G.L. Crockett – “Look Out Mabel” (from the fabulous Chess Recordings set)
Bare Jr. – “You Blew Me Off”
Screaming Trees – “All I Know”
Merle Haggard – “Workin’ Man Blues”
Vulgar Boatmen – “In A Minute”
Centro-Matic – “Calling Up The Bastards”