Things I Know To Be True

  • I’m a 10CC, Seals and Crofts, and Gary Wright fan. Deal with it.
  • I love bad horror movies and I force them on my friends.  They hate me for that.
  • I’m cocky when it comes to cinema history, rock/metal history, military history, darts, beer drinking, flying and project management issues. Everything else, I am a little intimidated by.
  • Given the choice of style, I always go with the style of ’73.
  • I snore but if I roll over, I stop.
  • I’m a shoe freak, thanks to a certain someone.
  • The best live show I have ever seen was Foreigner. I know, I still can’t believe it. They rocked.
  • Drive”by the Cars is the greatest make out song of all time.
  • I’d rather eat hamburgers than anything else.
  • Every time I go to the beach I sing “Take On Me” by Ah HA.         No idea.
  • I hate eating in public.
  • I spent 6 years in the military and spend everyday in guilt for not being back active.
  • I like naps, but hate waking up sweaty with something stuck to my face.
  • Two tattoos. Used to have two pierced nipples. Don’t judge me.
  • I am closer to Dad than Mom. I feel bad but it is what it is.
  • The prettiest thing I have ever heard is Vicki’s singing voice.
  • I get freaked out when I stand next to skyscrapers. I tend to crouch.
  • I think Dick Ducommun is the coolest person in the world.
  • My metal roots were planted by Heart
  • My turn offs are ignorance, racism, and sexism. You’ll never recover from that with me.
  • I love golf but don’t like the people who play it. Story to come later.
  • Wine makes me randy, beer makes me drunk and liquor makes me “that guy”.
  • I have seen What About Bob three hundred times and it keeps getting funnier, every time I see it.
  • The bend of the arm and knee and that soft part of the neck gives me the willies.
  • I like wallpaper over paint.
  • I have been arrested.  It was dropped but I still have a mugshot. It was over a traffic ticket that I paid but was never, I don’t know, sent to the magic land of driver license ticket already paid file. I hate them all.
  • I met Kevin Costner. When we met he said “I won’t sign an autograph but I’ll let you shake my hand.” My college roommate said, “Bullshit…you can shake mine.” I always looked up to that dude.
  • I will get into “Sex In The City” kicking and screaming. It is inevitable but I am giving the good fight. Sarah J. Parker does look like a foot.
  • I want what I can’t have.
  • I have been awake for the sunrise hundreds of times. I want to see it someday.
  • Lacey is turning 27 this weekend.
  • I used to throw a perfect spiral. It’s gone.
  • Kids who go to bed hungry make me stay awake at night.
  • I fart on escalators on purpose.
  • I tend to confuse escalators and elevators.
  • I miss my grandmother on my Dad’s side and my Granddad on my mom’s.
  • I think spinach was found to be edible on accident.
  • I want to be a dad
  • I don’t like to be touched by people I don’t know.
  • I’m waiting for the mustache to come back.
  • I want my best friend to know I am sorry.

Decline Of My Civilization: Part 1

This is a shitty intro to this post. Here are some of my favorite songs from an era when I had pajamas with feet and slept with the hall light on.

There is something about true British names that I dig. XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel” has been one of my all time favorites for years. Between the drums on phase effect and the over simplified guitar riffs it is hard not to hum this for everyone to enjoy. I do it a lot in the office. If I ever have kids I think the first born male will be Nigel. I’d raise him completely oblivious to his English name so when asked if he is from Great Britain he will roll his eyes and say, “no idiot, I’m from Georgia.”

God I love The Buzzcocks. I bought my first Buzzcock album in ’88 when forced to decide between that and Queen; Live At Wembly. It was a good choice because this song “Every body’s Happy Nowadays” was the theme of that summer. When most kids were rocking Beastie Boys and Winger I was forming my roots as a British Punk fan for life. I finally saw The Buzzcocks in’04 and I’ll be honest, Pete Shelly didn’t age as well as others. They still ruled though.

Gang Of Four can be tough for many to take. Personally I think they are brilliant and this song “He’d Send In The Army” was featured on the documentary Decline of Western Civilization: Part 1. I can best describe Gang Of Four as if someone swallowed a hand full of Alphabits, threw them back up and then tried to read what they spelled out. I attribute Radioheads success to what Gang Of Four started.

The Jam is the most underrated band in the United States. They were pretty big in the UK but for some reason they never really impacted the States like they should have. Paul Weller is my favorite front man and if you ever read his lyrics it is pure poetry. Bruce Foxton on base, well, listen and try to argue he isn’t the greatest post punk era bassist ever. His master of the base even makes up for his mullet.

Hang the DJ D! Just kidding pal. I am a Smith’s fan all the way but sometimes there can be too much Morrissey. I listen to “Panic” and it takes me back to 1996, sitting on the steps of the Cotton Club in Atlanta between shows smoking Camels and drawing pen art on my Doc Martins. Oh, I need to pick up smoking again.

The Godfathers really broke it down with the song “Birth School Work Death”. I think if I was ever to be in a band it would be like The Godfathers. They save money to produce amazing albums by only budgeting $100 for the videos. There is no need to be flashy when the band already kicks ass. Axel Rose missed that lesson. (Ok, you are going to have to look this one up on YouTube. Apparently the guy who posted this didn’t want to share. And I think he may be in the band. Get a life, man. I already bought your albums and now I’m kissing your coin purse. Take the compliment. Double negative.)

Midnight Oil are angry Aussie’s aren’t they? Actually it’s mostly the singer, Peter Garrett who, for the longest time as a child, I mistook for Michael Berryman. And please watch the full video to see Garrett’s dance moves. He dances just like my Great Uncle Mel, except Uncle Mel wasn’t dancing. He was having a seizure at a family reunion. It took the full song of the Electric Slide before we knew he wasn’t dancing at all. (That story is slightly exaggerated. I forgot what the song was.)

See? Very similar.

It’s true. I have had and have a huge thing for Kim Deal. I would love to be sung to sleep to “Gigantic” while I have my head petted. Somehow I think Kim would probably just lick her finger, stick it in my ear and spit in my eye. A guy can dream I suppose. The Pixies are never more than a CD case away on road trips. I even have a tattered Pixie t-shirt that has been banned by many a friend. I wear it proudly as I drink beer……alone. Sad Panda.

The Misfits are mostest bestest thing that ever happened to a skinny, bifocal-ed, themed sweater wearing nerd in middle school. To others I may have been little Billy but in my heart I was Glenn. “Astro Zomies” was on repeat in my head and one fateful day a few lines slipped out and was quickly recognized by the metal loving ostracized kid of the sixth grade. Soon we were like peas and carrots and out went the themed sweaters. Being a Misfit’s fan does have it’s advantages, right Kittymao?

Well, that is part one of my decline of civilization. I hope there are a few songs you like and maybe some you have never heard. It is true that many people believe I am a music snob. I don’t believe that. Unless you ask me about Shania Twain. Then I may get angry. You wouldn’t like me if I was angry…

Dog Poop and Homecoming

I don’t believe I have made a very good case for my luck here on VeggieMacabre. Really, I like writing down all the bad karma events in my life because in some way I feel that if I can share my misfortunes, than maybe someone can learn and lead a better life. Who am I kidding? I know people laugh and for that reason, it makes me feel a little better about the event. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you aren’t doing it right.

So today will be no exception. I wasn’t going to tell this one but after my teaser from the post about my hydrocephalic CareBear, I think it is time to let this one out of the vault. I’m going back to 1995 when life was simple. I just received my drivers license, Beavis and Butthead was the show to watch, Nirvana still topped the charts and I was focused on Homecoming. It’s no surprise that girls were a mystery to me at that stage but regardless I had a date and anxiety was high.

I went to a private high school far away from the town that I lived in and it forced my to have two social lives. I had my school chums and then I had my pals from the neighborhood. The school chums were great but I was never as close to them as I was with the neighborhood pals. We spent every weekend catching up on the times lost over the week. It usually involved MTV and this great quest to be the next Metallica. I know, I was in a shitty band, but who wasn’t back then? The real treasured memories I have of them is our complete lack of knowlege of the opposite sex. As the first in the group to go on an actual “date” they had me so spun up, the night was doomed before it even began.

I will admit, the days preceding Homecoming night was kind of a kick. My friends were absolutely certain I would be in the position to find out the workings of the female species so I needed to prepared. This involved concocting ridiculous assumptions on what girls liked to hear, buying cheap cologne and drawing straws to see who would purchase condoms from the gas station. We even went as far as putting my friend’s sister’s bra on the overweight Labrador to figure out the locking mechanism. The reason for that is no one would be a test subject and wear the bra for a realistic simulation. Regardless, the bra proved to be tougher than we thought. I think a person who is color blind has a better chance at solving a Rubix Cube than we would at unlocking that thing.

So the day came for me to go to the Homecoming dance. If it wasn’t for my buddies I probably would have treated it without much concern but I felt as if this was the turning point of my life and come Sunday morning, my view of the world as I knew it would be different. I had all my bases covered; tickets in pocket, reservations for the restaurant, money in wallet, flowers, cheap suit on, cheaper cologne on, and condoms in the….ok, condoms not in the car. I’ll get to that one in a minute.

Soon I arrived to pick up the date. She was from a rival private high school and I knew her from a mutual friend. Really, I had no business going out with her. She was smoking hot, popular and had every quality a 16 year old girl should not have. The summer before school we were at the pool and every college aged dude practically killed themselves just to talk to her. But for what ever reason she wanted to go to Homecoming with me, a skinny goof that had to borrow his dad’s tie to complete his used car salesman suit.

I parked the ’91 Explorer in the driveway, looked in the review mirror just to confirm I looked the same as I did 20 minutes ago, sprayed the final Binaca in the mouth and cut across her drive and some of the yard to the front door. As I rung the doorbell my pulsed race and I could her my heart beat in my ears. Then she opened door and man, she was stunning. I don’t know what goes into that transformation on prom and homecoming but somehow they start off as girls and then become princesses. I felt completely inadequate but a little smitten because I was taking her to Homecoming. Unless I completely screwed this up no one would be the wiser. So I walked into her house and I specifically remember my right foot feeling just a tad heavier.

I followed her around the den, through the living room and into the kitchen so I could meet the parents and put on the picture perfect corsage. This night was beginning to shape up perfectly until her sister came running down the stairs and around the corner screaming, “Ewww! Someone stepped in dog poop!” Instantly everyone’s eyes shot straight to the floor to see poop tracks starting at the front door, around the den, through the living room and into the kitchen, right to my foot.

They say at moments of sheer panic and distress you can have an out of body experience. I am fairly certain that happened to me because I saw the blood drain from my face. There isn’t much one can say when faced with such a dilemma. I looked at my date and she saw in my eyes that I was mortified so she immediately made an attempt to lessen the severity of the situation. Her mother followed suit with “honey this isn’t a problem” and “that happens to the best of us”. It didn’t matter what they said, I built this night up for a month and managed to destroy their carpet before we even met.

Her father opened the garage door and we chatted as I hosed off my shoe in the driveway. I could tell he didn’t have the words to console my broken spirit so he asked about our football team. I was a wide receiver so I used he opportunity to try and impress him. But that fell short because our team was 5 and 5 and her school was sitting on an undefeated season. I admired him for trying but it came back to the problem at hand when her mother stated that they needed to get to Home Depot to rent a steam-cleaner.

Before we left I apologized for the fifth time and made sure to not walk across the lawn. I saw her dog behind the fence racing back and forth and I just scowled. So with the shoe cleaned we headed off to dinner. The ride was a little quiet but soon we began to talk, leaving the thoughts of poop far behind.

The rest of the night was kind of a blur. I know I managed to not step in anything else and we left the dance a little early. Driving back we stopped at the river park and made out to “Emerson Lake And Palmer’s Greatest Hits” cassette, side A and B three times over. It was a perfect end to a disastrous beginning. I brought her home by the midnight curfew and walked her to the door with a final kiss. As I was backing down the driveway she wave from the window and I waved back simultaneously running over the curb. It was wonderful.

I drove home and pulled in the driveway elated by the first make out session and gathering thoughts of victory speeches for my buddies. Noticing the light was still on down stairs and I walked in to see my Mom sitting at the kitchen table. And then I saw the box of condoms that I had dropped in the driveway resting in front of her.

Died, I did.

Some Of The Things That Make Me Happy

It seems that many conversations I have been in directly or indirectly (because I’m nosy) always revolves around tragedy. There is rarely a time in a coffee shop, on an airplane or happy hour meeting that doesn’t, in some facet, involve someone dying or loss of an eye. Just the other day two ladies were talking about their friend’s mother who had a rash and two weeks later she died. With the same breath, they were talking about shoes. I can’t tell if other people’s tragedy brings comfort or misery really does love company. To me, I work hard at surrounding myself with positives because there seems to be a lot of wet blankets in the world. Here are some of the things that put a smile on my face.

Golden Retrievers are my favorite. I had one when I was a kid. His name was Guy which came from the Sesame Street character “Guy Smiley“, because as a puppy he was the one out of the litter that had a perma-grin. These dogs live a care free life of just being happy. Not really known for their intelligence they go through life rolling in stuff, shedding, napping, drinking from the water bowl then laying their wet mouths on your lap, and being goofy. Above all they just love people which makes them the easiest going animal on the planet. If there is truth to reincarnation, I wouldn’t mind being a retriever. Shit, I practically have the same traits now.

Stormy nights always scared the ba-Jesus out of me as a kid, no thanks to the movie Poltergeist. Today I find them very relaxing. It’s a good reason to unplug the TV and the computer, turn on a reading lamp and just listen to storm approach. At times I may open the garage and watch the show from the safety of my folding chair. Lucky for me, there hasn’t been any real dangerous storms here in a while. If there are, you know I’m going to be the asshole on the news that was found 200 miles away in someone’s tree. I never heed the warnings.

I’m an addicted runner but my addiction doesn’t make me a good one. I have been running most of my life but I just am not meant to be one. That’s why I turn to “Runner’s World” magazine for inspiration. The motivational stories keep me on track to get up, put my running shoes on and head out into the vast darkness every morning. Even though I still come lumbering in, snorting and huffing, side stitched and limping, I still did it. Plus the review of shoes is usually right on.

I know this sounds strange but I am a big fan of foreign vintage advertisements. I consider them more art than anything else and if I could find a print of this above, I would so hang that in the kitchen. Can you imagine a time when this would make you want to buy pork?

One of my new favorite pass times is cruising YouTube for old commercials of yester-year. I’m saving this for a full post later but it also is on the list that makes me happy. More over, I really dig McDonald commercials from ’86-’88. I believe I may have consumed more cheeseburgers during that time but I feel the real reason is that advertisements back then focused on stories rather than the product. Just take a look at this. Until the end, I didn’t know if this was for Trapper Keepers or hight-tops.

Tiki themed anything really floats my board, man. One day I am going to have a basement that will look just like this. I can picture drinking blue martinis and listening to Link Ray on the turntable while outside it’s a whopping 20 degrees. It’s a great reflection of my life; where ever you are, you can always be somewhere else.

Well, that was a pretty pointless post but I had to get some happy thoughts churning. Meetings and sad sacks get to me after a while and just writing about this stuff has already made the day a little better. You guys should try this. I swear it works.

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