May 28, 2011

Randomness.

  • We’ve been having one bad storm after another in my neck of the woods.  This has been going on since the tail end of 2010, when we had an unseasonably warm day and a freakish storm ensued in which a couple of tornadoes touched down in my metro area.  Since then, I’d venture to guess that tornado warning sirens have gone off probably 15 more times.  That is a lot.  I do not live in tornado alley, people, although it certainly feels like it lately.  We had other tornadoes touch down here earlier this spring, one about 9 miles from my house.  I love a good storm, but I have to admit that after all this, in combination with watching the aftermath in Alabama and now Joplin, I’ve become a bit skittish.  This week, Storm #1 took out a gigantic tree about 5 houses down, which proceeded to take down all electrical wires in its path, along with the transformer and my beloved electricity.  And of course, once your electric is gone, everything you want to do requires it.  Every damn time I wandered into a room, with my lantern mind you, I still found myself flipping the light switch only to feel like an idiot over and over.  This same storm literally blew the chimney off of the building across the street.  I can see the pile of bricks on the roof as I type this.  Storm #2 a few days later brought more tornado warnings, and as I was watching all of it on TV, they announced that the metropolitan police department was “going down to a skeleton crew” so that they could send officers home for the day to seek shelter with their families.  Pause…collect thyself….continue…. Yes, this actually happened.  Ok, let’s dissect this for a moment.  A major metropolitan city could potentially be hit by one of several tornado cells in the area, after which there would surely be destruction, looting and mayhem, and there will only be a skeleton crew of cops available to control things?  I’m sorry, but seeing as cops can put themselves in harms way on a daily basis, I think they could stick out a tornado warning somewhere safe in their jurisdiction, then resume normal duties when it’s over.  This was late afternoon just prior to rush hour, not 3 in the morning.  Not to mention that this brilliant decision was made as the tornado warning was already in place and the storms were on top of us - not the safest time to be heading home in a car.  That was one of the most asinine things I had heard in a while.  No wonder our crime rate is one of the highest in the nation.  Apparently we have a buffoon running things.

  • I went and saw Danzig live recently.  I must say, Glenn Danzig still sounds pretty damn good.  Some songs he sounded better on than others, but he’s still rockin’.  It was an odd show, in that there were major pat-downs at the door, they thoroughly searched my purse, any sort of camera was strictly prohibited, and they made everyone turn their cell phones off prior to entering!  What in the goddamn hell is up with all that?  I frequent this particular venue, and I have never experienced such things at the door for any show.  It made me wonder if there is something about Danzig I don’t know, such as a history of violence at their shows or something.  Or is Glenn Danzig just paranoid?  Or is he just a demanding diva?  I want to understand.

  • Yesterday I ate pork steak-flavored potato chips.  Yes, I said pork steak.  In as much as I love pork products of many sorts, the one thing I cannot eat is a pork steak.  Why would you, when you could have a lovely pork chop?  It makes no sense to me.  Yes, they are cheaper, but not by all that much and there is such a marked difference in the quality.  I simply don’t get the whole pork steak thing, and for years I really tried.  But me being a fool and hoping for the best, I thought I’d give the pork steak one more try in the form of those chips, so I got a bag to go with my bratwurst.  They tasted like charcoal with BBQ sauce.  Really, they did.  Despite tasting like ass, I ate several of them, thinking the flavor might grow on me.  It eventually became clear the opposite was happening, and the end result was that nasty charcoal taste in my mouth the rest of the night.  Then I made all my friends try a few, so that I didn’t have to suffer alone. 

That is all.  I shall not bore you further with my stories.   I bid you a most excellent Memorial Day weekend, full of delicious beer and BBQ that is pork steak-free.        

May 14, 2011

Misc. Things on the Ol’ Brain.



  • Well, I didn’t pick the Derby winner this year but at the party I did some wagering, picked Nehro to place, and I won $36!
  • While at the Derby party, I ate something called candied cayenne bacon, and it was extremely delicious and I can’t stop thinking about it.   
  • My initial review of the new Beastie Boys album?  It’s awesome, and getting better each time I listen.  Which, on average, is about 2.5 times a day.  Overall, very classic Beasties made better by their musical maturity.  This album offers a lot of variety and a trip down memory lane, as I find most of the songs are revisiting various eras of BB music.  It’s classic hip-hop, punk, funk, futuristic, and a teeny bit of reggae all rolled into one with some nasty beats and masterful lyrics.  My favorite tracks are #2 and #12 so go find them on the internets somewhere and have a listen.  Please, oh please, let there be a tour for this album.   
  • I just found out that my neck of the woods will be paid a visit this summer by evil incarnate, otherwise known as the 13-year cicada.  My, how 13 years flies by.  Oh, I remember the summer of 1998.  I remember riding on my friend’s Harley as cicadas whipped by us, trying not to panic or scream in fear so as not to fall off the bike or potentially get one in my mouth (*shudder*).  One hit my bare leg going about 40mph, it hurt like a bitch, and I had a welt for a couple of days.  If anyone out there is paying attention, you know that I have an intense fear of all insects, minus ladybugs and fireflies.  If a bug touches me, you will hear a blood curdling scream followed by me bolting faster than you’ve ever seen to nowhere in particular with arms flailing.  Last weekend at the baseball game I scratched what I thought was an itch on my neck, only to then see a big black beetle (that had presumably been on my person) fall at my feet and scramble.  I screamed bloody murder but under the circumstances could not run, and I shook up the older ladies in front of me for which I apologized and they laughed.  As did the people behind me.  Then I tried to kill it with my empty plastic beer bottle, but thanks to said alcohol my aim was off, I once again had caused a loud ruckus, and it got away.  Then I couldn’t relax the rest of the game, and I kept feeling itchy like bugs were on me.  Yes, I’m pure joy to be around in the summer.  You really want some entertainment?  Take me camping. 
  • Speaking of bugs, having ruminated about the forthcoming cicadas for the past 72 hours has forced me to admit something.  I tend to be pretty comfortable in my singleness and would consider myself an independent woman who certainly enjoys a fine man in her life, but doesn’t necessarily need one to be happy, complete, or whatever.  Well, I have come to realize that there are times when my husband/boyfriendlessness is painfully apparent.  Times when I can and have easily gone from Ms. Independent to completely dependent on my man.  Times when the strong woman becomes a meek girl who needs a man to take care of her.   I don’t like to admit that, but it’s true.  One of those times would be when there’s a bug nearby that needs killing.  Such as a giant, red-eyed, hissing, flying, evil cicada.  For whatever reason, guys overall don’t seem to be as bothered by bugs and that works out well for me if there’s one around when I have a bug freakout. Other times I really miss not having a guy around are when it’s raining and it would be really nice to be dropped off at the door, when I have computer problems, when it snows and I don’t feel like cleaning my car off in the morning, when something’s wrong with my DVR, anytime something’s broken, and when putting together IKEA furniture.  So yeah, I guess I do need a guy in my life sometimes.  Those obviously aren't the only times it would be nice, but it's those kinds of moments when I think about it the most.  I imagine guys have their own similarly stereotypical moments when they would ideally like to have a woman around too (other than sex).  I guess it’s not really a need, it’s actually more of a want that would make life easier but it feels like a need. 
I’ll stop now.  Go have a good weekend.  I’m gonna live it up now, before the cicadas hit and make me a prisoner in my own home.      


May 7, 2011

Derby Day!


Awwww yeah, it’s Derby Day.  Another one of my favorite days of the year.  I grew up a horse lover, thanks to the influence of my horse-loving grandmother.  To this day, I cannot pass up a horse without stopping to pet it.  If I cross paths with a horse, the world stops and all that’s on my mind is:  Must.  Pet.  Horse.  And it’s like a magnet pulls me until I find my hand on that horse’s big ol’ soft cheek gushing that I love him/her.  Now, you might be asking yourself where and when I might happen upon a horse, but you’d be surprised.  I’m not saying this occurs on a weekly basis or anything, but every so often I run into a random horse cop in the park or at outdoor festivals, and there’s also the horses pulling carriages full of tourists and young lovers around the city.  Those are the usual circumstances.  Anyway, as a kid my parents shipped me out of town every summer to spend it with extended family, including my horse-loving grandmother, and each year we took trips to Kentucky to hit up a few race tracks and visit all the famous, fancy thoroughbred horse farms.  These farms are big, beautiful, and pristine.  Like no stable you’ve ever seen.  The wood is rich, the brass is polished, it smells of delicious leather, and the horses are treated like gold.  It’s the life of luxury for some of the most famous racehorses ever.  I specifically remember our tours of Spendthrift Farm, which was my favorite.  The tour was essentially me, my aunt, and my grandma led by this really old, black man who was one of the stable caretakers.  He was wearing muddy overalls and I was mesmerized by his stories of the horses and the obvious connection he had with them.  A Horse Whisperer, if you will.  Looking back, the whole experience was so informal and intimate, and clearly nothing like it would be today.  Keep in mind this was approximately 1976-1981, when the world was still a somewhat safe place.  We not only had what amounted to a private tour by probably the most knowledgeable person at the farm, but he actually took the horses out of their stalls, let us pet them, and allowed me to hold the bridle all by myself while my aunt snapped photos of me with several of the greatest race horses of all time.  Do the names Affirmed and Seattle Slew ring a bell?  I highly doubt in today’s world any random Joe would be allowed to get that close to a Triple Crown winner.  I’ve had a few brushes with greatness in my time, but I have to say that having hung out with the last two horses to ever win the Triple Crown takes the cake.  That's pretty special in my eyes.  Note:  I’m sorry that photo proof is not provided, but it does exist.  I just don't have time to locate/scan them.  Plus I'm not sure I want my awkward childhood self on the internet.

So, as you see I not only have adulation for The Horse, but the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes hold a special place in my heart for another reason.  You see, growing up I was forced into Catholicism against my will, and as a kid I went to the Saturday evening mass at 5 with my dad, because if I they were going to make me go, I certainly wasn’t getting screwed further by losing sleep to do it on Sunday morning with mom.  However, magic ensued during racing season, because my dad was a big horseracing fan and on the Saturdays of the big three races, which always have a post time of 5:20ish, we got to arrive at mass late so as not to miss the race.  A huge bonus, and I’m convinced one of the reasons I grew to love the sport.

As an adult in the mid-90’s I finally crossed off going to the Kentucky Derby from my bucket list.  Which back in those days wasn’t called a bucket list yet, everyone just seemed to have their own name for it.  Mine was “Life List”.  Clever, I know.  I went to the Derby 3 years in a row and it was everything I hoped it to be.  As I struggling 20-something I couldn’t afford to be in the stands with all the celebs, but the infield is just as good because, well, you’re there.  At the Kentucky Derby.  That’s all that really matters. 

Nowadays, every year some friends of mine throw a Derby party.  They do it up right in the form of heavy wagering, hats, juleps, hot browns, and guys in oddly colored pants.  And of course, I will try to tell my Affirmed/Seattle Slew story yet again to anyone who will listen.  That long build-up culminating in 2+ minutes of anxious excitement is unlike anything else.  It’s like a drug that I’m glad I only get exposed to for 2 minutes a year, because otherwise I’d become addicted and end up on the streets looking for my next fix.  My dad, grandmother, and aunt are no longer around, but on Derby Day, the memories pass through my mind and it’s like they are right there with me.  Add all of that stuff up and I’d say that’s a pretty good day.  Now you understand why it’s one of my favorite days of the year.  My pick for the Derby?  I’ll go with Mucho Macho Man.


May 1, 2011

Loudness.


For reasons I cannot identify, I've had the 80's on my brain as of late.  The topic seems to come up in conversation with others a lot lately too, and not by me necessarily, which leads me to believe that I'm not the only one experiencing this phenomenon.  Then today, as I'm getting caught up with my blog reading, I see that 3 of my blog pals (Vincent, Ms. Corpse Cafe, and Johnny) have all mentioned the 80's in recent posts.  It's strange how the world works.  I chalk it up to energy.

Anyway, last night I was at a party and met a guy who it ends up I hung in the same punk/metal circles with back in the mid to late 80's.  Neither of us think we ever met before, but over the course of a long conversation, we realized we knew several people from back then in common.  We talked about all the great local bands during that era (it's never been that good since), then moved on to what national acts we caught live in the 80's.  I mentioned having seen Mötley Crüe on the Theatre of Pain tour, which is cool but not nearly as cool as seeing them during Too Fast for Love or Shout at the Devil would've been.  The impressive part was who opened for them on that tour.  Are you ready for this?  LOUDNESS.  Who out there remembers Loudness?  They had a couple of very minor hits in the U.S., but the fact that they were a Japanese glam/hair metal band is why most remember them.  Not a whole lot of Japanese metal bands out there in the 80's.  Well, this guy almost shit himself when I said I saw Loudness.  He actually did the extended-arm-bow to my presence, he was so wowed.  In fact, he broke out singing one of their two "hits" on the spot and could even name the lead singer.  That, to me, was much more impressive than the fact that I ever saw them live by accident.  Too bad this guy is gay, or we might be a perfect match.

I thought about Loudness the rest of the night.  I woke up thinking about Loudness.  And now, I shall share a small piece of my beloved 80's with you in the form of Loudness.  They could shred, by the way.  I remember the crowd loving them, if for no other reason than it was just weird to see a bunch of big haired Japanese guys with makeup on stage rocking out.