Def Leppard, Poison…and Tesla (St Louis, MO)

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”… The best part of Tesla’s abbreviated opening set for the rock show triple-header was their cover of the song “Signs”, originally done by Five Man Electrical Band. Soon thereafter, they performed their signature hit “Love Song” and it was not great. The years have not been kind to Jeff Keith’s voice (lead singer for Tesla). For much of their performance, the front man’s vocals sounded irritatingly enough like C.C. Deville’s cat-in-heat stylings to make my left eye twitch. But as I mentioned, the set was brief so mostly no harm no foul.

The setting: we were inside the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, having procured lawn ‘seats’. Once inside, we rented actual lawn chairs so as to not have to sit on the hard grass covered earth. For the record, the lawn seat rental was $5 for each chair. I mention this because it does not detail this information on Live Nation’s website and no one from their customer relations would answer my email on this topic. Moving along, Kristi rented a 25 oz Michelob Ultra beer complete with generic venue can coozy…and I opted to start with a souvenir size Wild Cherry Pepsi. The very flimsy plastic souvenir cup did have the caveat of free refills but I did not tap this renewable resource and later, left the cup for the clean up crew. Once these expenditures were checked off the virtual list, we proceeded to the merchandise booth. After a typical lengthy wait to advance to the front of the line, we surveyed the offerings ranging from bandanas to t-shirts to hoodies. (Sarcasm alert) Of course, I think I need a $65 hoodie when the outside air temperature is right around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If it was 90 degrees Celsius, I think everyone would have been nothing but charred meat because the Fahrenheit to Celsius ratio is almost two to one. So 90 degrees Celsius would equate to nearly 194 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s even hotter than Arizona most days I think. But it was a ‘moist’ kind of heat, as is the norm here in St Louis during the summer.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, in line at the ‘T-shirt Booth’ checking out the options. Here I will give credit though. Despite the outlandish prices, there were quite a few t-shirt options of each group for the consumer to consider. When all was said and done (paid for), I opted for a bluish background concert shirt, size large, of Poison with cool artwork on the front and tour dates on the back. Kristi opted for the ‘lineup’ concert shirt, which had all three bands on the front and the concert dates on the back. Let the record show, her shirt is black. After our transactions were transacted, we meandered up onto the hill (or the lawn) where it is policy for lawn seat customer to choose anywhere to sit. For those of you who have never been to the venue formerly known as Riverport Amphitheater (as named from 1991 through 2002), imagine a baseball or softball field. If you were looking from the outfield in, the stage would be ‘home plate’, next is the physical seating area or the infield and beyond that is the lawn seating or the outfield. For this event, we choose to put down our rental lawn chairs in deep right centerfield.

After Tesla grounded out weakly to the pitcher, next up to bat was Poison. They played their usual list of fan favorites and allowed the crowd to ‘Talk Dirty’ to them in chorus. Mr. Bret Michaels played my personal favorite song of theirs, “Something To Believe In”, partially acoustic. He dedicated the song to the military personnel and their families in attendance. The song’s back story is entangled with the events surrounding Bret’s personal bodyguard and close personal friend’s suicide. His friend was former military. I always feel a lump in my throat and tears form in the corners of my eyes when I hear this song. It’s just a close to the bone, heart-felt song about loss and daily life. Even from a few hundred feet away, the band sounded great and they had nice energy throughout their whole set. Bret mentioned St Louis about 35 times in their hour long set and it got a huge pop each time he said it. They took care of business and relinquished the stage to be prepped for the headliner: Def Leppard.

Def Leppard took the stage and opened with Let’s Go, from their 2015 self-titled album, which I was not familiar with until I looked it up today. They put on a solid show and I have to say my favorite song they played wasn’t even one of their own. Don’t mistake what I’m saying. Animal – great. Foolin – very cool. Love Bites – well done. Armadeddon It – always fun. Rocket – drunktastic! Bringing on the Heartbreak – nicely done. Hysteria – good good. Pour Some Sugar On Me – lots of pop and crown antics. But my favorite part of their set was their cover of the 1973 classic Rock On. Originally done by David Essex and remade in 1989 by Michael Damian (of Young and the Restless daytime drama fame) this song was killer. Gnarly. Awesome! Whoa! Tubular! Rock On!

Now some of you may have been in the house for this show or seen them in your own city and may be asking about one of their more popular songs: Let’s Get Rocked. Yeah they played it. Yeah it went over real well with the crowd. Yeah I sung along (because I know all 9 words to the song). But if I must be honest, I don’t particularly care for this fluff piece. And that is not a swipe at my friend Jacob Werner aka Fluff. It’s just me saying I think the song is a big nothing…like most of the band Kiss’s catalog. I was hoping against hope for an inclusion from their album ‘X’ in the form of track number five: Long, Long Way To Go or just about anything else from this effort. But no dice and a little disappointment for me. C’mon guys! You were a few measly hours away from my birthday…and couldn’t squeeze another four or so minutes in? Boo!

The 2.5 bands performed admirably but another huge component to the concert experience is the people watching. It is always interesting to check out the age spans in attendance for bands that started 36, 37 and 40 years ago respectively (Tesla, Poison, Def Leppard). Also as the night wears on and the thresholds for sobriety are breached, everything turns into a Jerry Springer episode. To the jackwagon who literally was throwing handfuls of sugar (LeBron James style) during Def Leppard’s performance of Pour Some Sugar on Me…to the two older ladies who were trying to accost me in the beer purchase line…it was entertainment at it’s finest. Footnote: To the dorkbags behind us in line waiting to initially enter the venue, shut up. Stop reading the set list for each group for the show. Maybe some of us do not want to know what’s coming up and just want to be pleasantly surprised when the first few chords of each song plays out. #MamasBasementDwellerDorksForLife

In closing, I think the shows duration and atmosphere were worth the $80 paid for the two tickets. I’m not sure if I can say the same for the amount spent on beers, soda and t-shirts but that’s the risk you run with going to such a show.

One last thing before I mentally walk out of the gates from last night; during the Def Leppard set, Kristi needed to visit the restroom facilities. I, being a gentleman, escorted her as it was now dark outside and amidst the thousands of peoples it’s just a better idea to stick together. On our return trip to the lawn, we encountered a gentleman who closely resembled the Poison front man Bret Michaels! But upon closer inspection and actually asking him if he was…the answer was no. It turns out the guy was a Bret Michaels impersonator and has performed locally at Pop’s Night Club over in Sauget, Illinois. Besides his likeness resembling Bret Michaels, his choice of t-shirt was what actually caught my initial attention. He was wearing a pristine Warrant concert t-shirt, with the band’s name in bright green neon letters. I had a short conversation with him and told him I liked his shirt and the world was still missing Jani Lane. He agreed with my sentiments and shook my hand. He waved and said for us to enjoy the rest of the show. It was fitting to see someone at this type of show wearing a Warrant shirt because for so many years (before Jani’s death) Warrant would tour with Poison for summer rock shows like this and at this venue no less.

Time to take a bow, wave to the crowd and slowly walk off the stage.

Peace.

Love Actually…Is Still All Around

It is mid-June and the temperatures outside are 90+ degrees so of course I am listening to Hugh Grant narrate the opening sequence of Love Actually (from 2003) in anticipation of the Christmas themed two hour movie. I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…

Sorry cheesy movie quote drop in was a must. Bill Nighy (Billy Mack on screen), I hope you are doing well. From here I can branch out into more than a handful of other Hugh Grant films but at the risk of having whatever shred of masculinity I still possess confiscated, we shall move along.

Today is yet another Monday. Each year seems to have about 52 or 53 of them but here lately the Mondays seem to flow like the waters of Yosemite Falls (which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world and resides in California). My work group tried to ensnare the Powerball lottery winnings but unless someone stepped through a wormhole portal into California this past week, I do not think my group will be ‘retiring’ just yet. As I talked about in my personal Podbean podcast (The Freak Show), I played some softball over the weekend and congratulated the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins on successfully defending their title. They are currently the John Cena of hockey.

I have tried Googling how many lobsters were at the birth of Jesus but the results are inconclusive.

I apologize there is not more goofiness and things to make you chuckle today, but perhaps tomorrow? Because “Tomorrow is another day!”

Have a great start to the week and check me out on my many, many forms of social media.

Also for those who understand and acknowledge my Love Actually references, I thank you. As a bonus I found out that they made a little mini-Love Actually sequel here recently called Red Nose Day Actually. The 15 minute or so long piece shows a bit of a snapshot into the present day lives of the characters from that original film. Note: not everyone was included in the sequelette. Obviously Alan Rickman passed away and another main character was doing a show on Broadway at the time of filming but several other characters are back. So as I often tell young Master Ayden, be grateful for what you get even if it isn’t everything you want. A little is still nice to have in lieu of nothing.

Happy Monday Universe!

Peace.

City softball into the Twillight Zone

Greeting, good day and all that funky jazz.

Today is Thursday. The day that follows Wednesday or at least has for the last few thousand years. Last night at Wilmore Park (in St Louis) my softball team played some ball under the league sanction of ASA. Two games were played. Thanks to the evil and literally heartless beast that is I-270, I was seven minutes late arriving for our first game. Our collective opponent was a decently competitively team on par with our team. In the first game, mental and physical errors cost us the game from a win and loss standpoint. In the second game, more miscues and lack of hitting doomed us again. The differences in the scorebook were underscored by the two teams differing approaches.  The other team was taking the games very seriously and treating them like a televised national tournament. My team (including myself), however, was just not all there. I know what my problem was as it relates to how I performed on the field: I do not like arriving late. For me it throws off everything: hitting, pitching, mental assignments et al. So we lost both games and potentially we could have at least split the two games.

As you are reading along I can hear you thinking: well this doesn’t sound too out there. The games themselves were just a typical night of recreational league softball. Somebody wins, somebody loses. Where the weirdness comes into play is here. Coaching third base for the other team was an elderly-ish gentleman not dressed for softball but more business casual attire but a harmless enough looking fellow. In between innings and between the two games, I crossed paths with him a few times and he would make mundane enough comments: Nice inning, not your guys night, good pitching, the team has really been gearing up to play you guys, couple of plays here and there and you guys win, and on and on.

For whatever reason, after the two games were over and the teams were dispersing, this elderly guy and some of his entourage moved over to our side of the field and placed their belongings on our bench. This is the point where things, for me, got weird.

Now keep in mind, I don’t really know this guy. I gave you a vague description of a semi-elderly, tall, thin Caucasian man casually dressed but not casually dressed for a softball game. I do not know his name. During the night we exchanged some benign small talk in passing and I mostly just nodded or gave a non-committal laugh or just answered ‘yep’. As I stated above, part of his group migrated to our bench and he made eye contact with me and said: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?”

Odd request stranger man, so I said, no thanks. He cocked his head to one side and said again: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?” All I could do was make a befuddled face and before I could decline again, he said, “You know, from Alice’s restaurant?” Seeing as I was born in 1972 and the only reference I could come up with was the TV show Alice, where Alice the waitress worked at Mel’s Diner, I asked do you mean Alice from Mel’s Diner?

He laughed. A goofy, crazy old man laugh of someone who cannot believe how stupid the person he is talking to is.

Sensing I was ready to back away slowly, he proceeded to tell me the story of the album and song from Arlo Guthrie from the late 1960’s. Apparently the song was 15-20 minutes long and was a protest song about the Vietnam War. Again, pointing to the bench, he said there is a passage about sitting on a bench with the mean, nasty, ugly people who are mother rapers and father stabbers or mother stabbers and father rapers.

OK timeout. Correct me if I’m wrong but there has to be some reasonable social etiquette involved with trotting out controversial 50 year old war protest lyrics? Even figuratively offering me a seat on the ‘mean and nasty and ugly bench’ seems a bit rude. I play softball, I write blogs, I record a sports podcast and I try to be a decent person to my family, friends and loved ones.

With enough rudimentary information of whatever this guy was trying to figuratively push across the table, I once again respectfully declined a seat on the bench and made my way to the parking lot area. The whole walk through the overgrown grasses I just kept shaking my head. No offense to Arlo Guthrie and his family, but I could’ve gone the entire rest of my existence without knowing about Alice’s Restaurant.

For you curiosity (if you have such), I have Googled and pasted the song in its entirety below. I’m sure there is some sort of YouTube video of the song but I don’t care. In a way Google and YouTube are like Alice’s Restaurant (hopefully with less Mother Raping and Father Stabbing) in as much that “You can get anything you want”.

Peace. (Highly appropriate considering the reference timeframe of the song)
(Song of protest against the Vietnam War draft)
(The Vietnam War lasted 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day – From November 1, 1955 until April 30, 1975)
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (album) – Alice’s Restaurant (1967)

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the
Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s
Restaurant.

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be
A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
Dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump
Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
Decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the
Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,
We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
Garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it. ” And
I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
Under that garbage. ”

After speaking to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone we
Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
Police officer’s station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the
Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
Police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and
We didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,
Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station
There was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was
Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I
Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. ” He said, “Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car. ”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
Quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where this happened here, they got three stop
Signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
One was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
The getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to
Mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
Wallet and your belt. ” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
Want my belt for? ” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings. ” I
Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
Toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
Out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the
Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
Nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
To the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,
And didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
Of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,
And Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not
What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
Day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to
Look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
To feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
And I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
Kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
Me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
Kill, kill. ” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “kill, kill, ” and
He started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
Yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
Sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
Detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
At the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
Hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
And I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
One question. Have you ever been arrested? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
The phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
Go to court? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W…. Now kid!! ”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
And said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage. ” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid? ”
And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
Said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
Things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
Up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-
You-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-
Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
Pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
Other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
The other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
Following words:

(“KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?”)

I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
Ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
Sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench
’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
Kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug. ” He looked at me and
Said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
Off to Washington. ”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
Study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m
Singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
Situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
Situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into
The shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get
Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. “. And walk out. You know, if
One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
They won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
They may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
Fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
Walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the
Guitar.

With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I’ve been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it
For another twenty five minutes. I’m not proud… Or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
Harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice’s Restaurant

Burden in my hand…

Close your eyes and bow your head
I need a little sympathy
‘Cause fear is strong and love’s for everyone
Who isn’t me
So kill your health and kill yourself
And kill everything you love
And if you live you can fall to pieces
And suffer with my ghost
Just a burden in my hand
Just an anchor on my heart
Just a tumor in my head
And I’m in the dark

A fitting passage today in the wake of news that the leader singer for the grunge band Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, is no more. He was obviously a musician as a solo artist, a leader singer and a collaborator but he was also a husband, a son, a friend and a social conscience. I did not personally know him but many of his songs, even a couple from Audioslave, were jams I liked. His absence going forward will be noticeable. He may not be on par for me personally with Jani Lane (8-11-2011), Robin Williams (8-11-2014) and George Carlin (6-22-2008) but still he was a great artist contributing to my enjoyment of music.

But such is the nature of life. Without fail…it always ends in death, we just don’t know the math in between.

So I leave you with the opening stretch from Chris’s last song from his last set, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s In My Time of Dying:

In my time of dying, I want nobody to mourn
All I want for you to do is take my body home

Well, well, well, so I can die easy [x2]
Jesus, going to make up

Jesus, going to make up my dying bed
Meet me, Jesus, meet me
Meet me in the middle of the air
If my wings should fail me, Lord
Please meet me with another pair

Well, well, well, so I can die easy [x2]
Jesus, going to make up
Instead of a moment of silence for those mentioned above, I am going to observe many moments of Mr. Cornell’s vocal artistry.

Peace.

Have a drink on me

Have you ever ticked someone off enough to have them throw a drink or food on you?

For me that breaks down into two separate questions. Have I ticked someone (or multiple someones) off enough to throw a meal or a beverage at me? Yes…quite a few times now that I think about it. Has anyone ever actually splashed me with their drink in rage or disgust? No. I’ve had people spill food and drinks on me (once a malt from Crown Candy – what a waste!) but to my knowledge they were not upset with me at those times.

Strange inquiry on my part? Perhaps. I was just listening/watching Pink’s video for Blow Me (One Last Kiss) and she doused a dude with some red drink (wine perhaps?) and it made me think back to the many sitcoms and dramas where a dude enraged a female and she decided he should wear her drink.

In this society of female-male equality it doesn’t seem to go the other way. Guys typically do not get pissed at their date/girlfriend/fiance/spouse and zing a drink in their faces. Now maybe in some non-heterosexual relationships that may not be the case but again the guy is the one wearing something made for sipping or slurping.

Now I’m wondering if a guy has ever had a Slurpee dumped on him and if so, did he experience a ‘brain freeze’ like when you eat ice cream too fast? Yes I sometimes think along a different path than most and often times at the end of that trail I am thinking: How did this train of thought start again?

Hopefully your Hump Day does not involve camel spit (or urine or feces) and a splendid sunset awaits you.

Peace.

 

Turning the Clock Back…

Peace.

Sometimes to solve a problem or unravel a mystery you need to start at the end and work backwards. With that premise, I have started this post with my traditional ending: Peace.

Now to channel my inner Scooby Doo. The good episodes -not that crap with Scrappy Doo and Scooby Dee- where the gang traveled around the country with unlimited gas money and never stopping to use an ATM. What source or sources did the ‘gang’ draw their funds from? Did any of them have a shellfish allergy? That last question is irrelevant but something that I often wondered about while watching the show and saw no real evidence to the answer. But if I was a betting man, I would have put money on Daphne. Not much, like a dollar.

So back to the mystery. In life there are societal things where across the board legalities are allowed. For example, legal drinking age at 21. Able to vote at age 18. Eligible to drive at 16. Smoking at 18 if desired. Entry into ‘adult’ entertainment venues at 21…I guess for the liquor provision. Cannot own a handgun or purchase ammunition under the age of 18 (CCW in Missouri is age 21). And the list of other restricted can do’s goes on…

Much of this I think is based on high school as a rite of passage. Obviously we do not want kids in the early years of high school showing up in their own car with a Playstation realistic handgun in a holster as they sip some vodka while Joe Camel peeks out from their shirt pocket.  Way too many hormones churning the waves of a spectrum of emotions to trust good judgement for some of the things mentioned above. Heck, there’s “adults” walking around who shouldn’t be trusted with guns, alcohol, vehicles or the power to vote. Just being honest. But the masses have spoken and agree that all you have to do is successfully survive on the planet for 6574 days to get access to smokes, a firearm and the right to choose your preferred idiot to run the country (let’s be honest, anyone running for president is an idiot). And then at day 7666, everything else is yours for the having except government office. For those you need to be at least 25 years old and in the case of the office of president or vice president you need to be 35 (only 30 to be a senator!).

If you are scratching your head trying to figure out where I am heading with the above stipulations and benchmarks, I will tell you.

At what point did things change from being a kid who pretty much couldn’t do anything without getting permission or a ride to go do something to being a full blown adult? Did the history book and the learning about James Madison’s War of 1812 secretly stick a pin in the balloon of childhood? What about getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time with your heart hammering in your chest with excitement and fear? Now it’s telling the little one in the backseat to buckle in so we can go. It’s crazy I tell you…crazy. So many experiences, good and bad, that tempered the person who is now free to do so many things in today’s world, only being bound by imagination and budget (for the most part).

I scroll through my Facebook friends, some jog the clock back farther than others, and it is hard to fathom. Clicking on a name and I am that pudgy awkward kid hanging around with my best friend, wondering if his mom really does cut his hair using a soup bowl.  A few slow blinks and the hazy memory dissipates like smoke in the wind. Time waits for no one which is good if you are waiting for something I guess. You don’t have to be too patient to get what you want, just don’t blink or you might miss it.

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Umbrellas For Sale

Hello and welcome to the month of May. Some of you may be in a row boat looking for the submerged Wi-Fi signal but keep paddling, it’s got to be around you somewhere. Yes I am trying to inject a small amount of levity into the humid and damp surroundings. But I am in no way poking fun at those people (and animals) affected by the flooding run rampant in and around the St Louis region. Many people are a bit shell-shocked with the after-affects from the Leigong family tree at present. Most people focus their concern on having a roof overhead when the skies ceaselessly pour heavily for what seems like days. How about when the roof overhead is not enough? Puddles combine into lakes and streams swell into rivers. Low lying terrain is all of a sudden a basin for countless gallons of water. Now what?

Welcome to Missouri where, every odd cycle of random years, some kids playing with a Ouija board or some forbidden passage of dark magic opens a portal overhead. This portal switches the weather patterns here for what normally occurs in the rain forests or Seattle. The sludged up Mississippi and Meramec Rivers overflow into the adjacent areas where, ideally, waters should not flow. Buildings are destroyed, lives are threatened, roadway options are clogged and the course of theoretical history is altered.

How is the course of history affected? Enter a form of the butterfly effect. Imagine that somewhere in the flooded areas there is an intelligent, gifted and creative person/child (female or male or choosing not to identify as either). Within this person’s brain there resides a cure for cancer or a dynamic option for renewal energy not yet discovered. But when their home is destroyed and they are forced to move out of the area, their notes/thought processes that contain the keys to untold revelations…are destroyed or disrupted. In the aftermath of the stress and upheaval, the building block concepts and preliminary ideas are forgotten.

So much in today’s world (biblical floods, crippling drought, lethal asteroids, unplanned death, undulating solar flares or what have you) switches the tracks on humanity’s legacy train. Not many people live undisturbed in a sterile bubble with lesson plans and projects lined up for the next two decades of their existence. Things of such insignificance can have infinite impact. In as much, an ill-timed text read while driving can forever change the course of a score of lives. Ripples on a pond of human existence and those circles cross over into other people’s lives and their ever expanding circles.

The point I’m trying to make is that in every one’s life there will be times of immense rain, times of moderately steady rain, times of spotty sprinkles and also times where there is no rain at all. As you are in a retail store and pass by a display of umbrellas, think for a moment if you need one. Has a large storm passed you by or is another one lurking somewhere down your path when you least expect it? Maybe pick one up for someone who is in your constant thoughts? After you figure out how to keep the rain off your head or someone’s head you care about, then figure out what to do when the water starts building up from below…

Some dark waters are literal and some are figurative. Do what you need to do to not let the rising waters overtake you. Have a safe and dry Monday my friends.

Peace.