Archive for September, 2007

You ruined a funny joke you…get out of my offive.

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Thursday night I attended a family gathering at my uncle’s house to celebrate the multiple late September birthdays in my extended family. It was a pretty good shindig. I listened to my 86-going-on-70-year-old grandmother give a spiel about her new paid gig working for the city. I talked with my uncle (the one hosting the event) about Arsenal’s recent form. There was plenty of social interaction going on at this party between 6:30 and 8pm.

When 8pm does roll around, all the 20-somethings (the percentage of 20-somethings in this crowd was much higher than usual) convened in the living room to watch the season premiere of The Office. This proved to be difficult due to all the noise being made by the boomers and old timers in the next room. The volume was cut for the singing of multiple happy birthday songs (in this house they sing an alternate version of happy birthday following the traditional one) although my cousin and I had our ears pressed against the speakers of the television - desperately trying to hear the dialogue.

Cake and ice cream were distributed during the first commercial break. The situation became tense when the show resumed and volume was re-raised. Keep in mind there were over half a dozen of us trying to watch this - including one of the birthday people - it’s not like we were imposing this on the party - it was consensual.

My uncle got rather pissed that a television show had hijacked his birthday party. Under normal circumstances I’d be on his side, but this wasn’t just any television show - this was an event - and honestly I had even considered skipping the party because of it (of course that would have been anti-social and kinda pathetic). So when we refuse to turn it off, he declares that it’s going off in 5 minutes…and then he changes his mind and turns it off immediately declaring ‘anyone who wants to watch a television show can do it at their own house’. I promptly turned to each of my cousins, said goodbye and got the fuck out of there (I live 10 minutes away meaning I could still catch the 2nd half of the hour-long premiere). My uncle cheerfully said goodbye to me as I exited, I don’t think realizing (yet) why I was leaving (although my cousin was in the process of spelling it out to him before I was out the door).

Now, I realize that to some people my behavior comes off as shallow and immature. Those people are probably over 40 and don’t regularly watch The Office. My uncle thought he could strong arm his will on the party without having people bail and I proved him wrong. One of us had to do it.

The National @ the Vic, 9/22/2007

Monday, September 24th, 2007

w/ st. vincent

Closing Thoughts on the Denver Road Trip…

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

On the eve of my 12 hour fucking long return drive, I spent half the night lying awake in bed on the couch in between vomit trips to the bathroom. I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with the pot brownies (they’ve never made me nauseous before - plus this was over 48 hrs post brownie consumption) and everything to do with the flu bug my friend’s wife enjoyed Saturday and my friend had on Sunday. She was all cool about staying out of the community bowls for our benefit, but it never occurred to me that maybe I should refrain from using the same drug paraphernalia as the guy sharing the bed with the sick broad (SMRT!).

Well do you think this means you maybe oughta think about getting some new shit, what do ya think?

Well do you think this means you maybe oughta think about getting some new shit, what do ya think?

I had originally planned on departing by 6am local time, but that went out the window when by sunrise I still couldn’t stand up without feeling sick. As I slowly packed my things, I realized my primary bowl was missing. I grabbed my friend’s keys and scurried out to check his wife’s car before she left for work. As soon as I hit the pavement my bowels informed me that I would need to find a toilet in short order, but I had to check that car first. No dice. Then it happened - every human being’s worst nightmare - I sharted myself. They really need to start making underpants with ctrl-z functionality.

Fast forward to 7am Denver time: I’m wearing clean clothes, I’ve found and packed all my belongings and I’m on the road. So what if I’m attempting a 850 mile drive on less than 4 hours of sleep…after what I’ve been through, the driving seems relaxing. Then I hit Denver rush hour - nothing too painful, but it’s always frustrating to be stuck in traffic during a multi-state commute. I settled into a nice groove once I got out of Greater Denver, eclipsing 500 miles during my first 7 hours of driving.

Then came the rain and pretty soon I had to get off the road and take a break. I could sense my ability to focus on the road slipping, plus I was listening to The Who (roughly 8 years ago I totaled my first car on a road trip…in the rain…while listening to The Who) - so I found a Wallgreens parking lot and waited for the storm to blow through. After 20 minutes the rain stopped, but since the storm was moving in my direction, I found myself driving back into the rain - so I stopped again. This went on for 2 hours or so until I hit standstill traffic in downtown KC around 6pm. Never one to sit in traffic, I exited the highway and attempted to bypass the traffic with comically bad results…

Not only did I take a ridiculously inefficient route that required me to drive through dangerously high water, but as soon as I got back on the interstate I was back in slow moving traffic. Never have I seen so many accidents from a mere afternoon thunderstorm. I made many bad decisions on this day, but my decision to lay low during the rain may have saved my life (or at least my car). I ended up getting home at 9:45pm St Louis time - nearly 14 hours after leaving Denver.

For all my talk of loving the open road, I won’t be replaying this game anytime soon (the drive that is - Denver itself was awesome). Some days I just need to push the envelope and see what I can do (ideally without killing myself). Every day can be a unique learning experience in that regard. On this day I learned to always have a change of underwear handy, to never abandon the highway in a foreign city over a knee-jerk traffic impulse, and that while I’m capable of driving solo from Denver to St Louis in a single day, it’s not a course of action one should willfully pursue.

Arcade Fire @ Red Rocks, 9/17/2007

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

w/ LCD Soundsystem

Black Mirror
Keep the Car Running
No Cars Go
Antichrist Television Blues
Cold Wind
The Well and the Lighthouse
Ocean of Noise
Power Out
—encore break—
Windowsill/(Money Changes Everything)
Wake Up

Is this a…what day is this?

Monday, September 17th, 2007

It occurs to me why I rarely make pot brownies anymore - the 24-hour period of uber-lethargy that follows. It’s not a particularly painful hangover, it just lasts an annoyingly long time. Short trips to get food and supplies are about the extent of my capabilities during this period. This didn’t seem to be much of a problem when I was in my early 20s…


I thoroughly enjoyed watching Arsenal outclass Spurs on Saturday. It was a free flowing game chock full of classy goals and near misses. I spent the afternoon making brownies and watching episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (I’ve gone from kinda liking this show to craving it in the last month or so) before heading down to Red Rocks for Monolith.

Red Rocks is a chill venue and a nice place to hold a festival. Spoon and The Flaming Lips were enjoyable on the brownies - although the latter’s singer (Wayne Coyne) spent too much time talking between songs (it’s ok really, I also talk too much). Good set otherwise though - complete with a Coyne occupied hamster ball brought out by dancers dressed in Santa outfits, a round video screen (”like the one Radiohead used in Grant Park” says my friend) streamer cannons, massive balloons flowing through the crowd…it was a good show.

Alive in Denver…

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

No real problems to speak of from yesterday’s drive, although I was nearly creamed by a Suburban when I hit Denver’s rush hour traffic. That would have been a bummer to drive all that way only to be killed 3 miles from my exit. That’s what happens when everyone in the far left lane is some macho-SUVdriving-tailgating-asshole that can’t slow down fast enough when traffic hits.


Anyways…I’m here, the weather is beautiful, we’ve got this morning’s Arsenal/Spurs match Tivo-ed and ready to go, and as soon as I’m done typing this I’ll be getting to work on a batch of pot brownies. Life is good…

Arcade Fire - No Cars Go, 8/25/2005

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I’ve gone to look for America…

Friday, September 14th, 2007

In a few hours I leave for Denver. According to Google Maps I’ll be driving 849 miles over the course of 12 and a half hours. The primary reason for the trip is the Arcade Fire concert at Red Rocks on Monday, but I also plan on hitting the Monolith Festival on Saturday (also at Red Rocks) and checking out the city on Sunday with my friend and his wife (who just moved out there). Highlights from my last trip to Denver included my first ever viewing of Die Hard as well as enjoying endless promos for WWF SummerSlam89 (this was during my 12-month wrestling phase that also included the theatrical release No Holds Barred as well as the epic WrestleMania VI). So yeah - it’s been a while.

Most people I’ve told about the trip think I’m crazy for driving, but that’s just how I roll. Ever since my breakout summer of ‘98 when (at age 17) I made my first concert road trips (from St Louis) to Indy and Knoxville, I’ve managed at least one out of state concert trip each year (the year I graduated college I saw over 2 dozen out of state shows scattered across North America). There’s just something about going the extra mile for a show that makes the good ones that much more satisfying (especially if you’re sleep deprived and the delirium has kicked in). Over the next few weeks I’ll be seeing Arcade Fire twice more in KC and Louisville, with an additional trip to Chicago to see the National also in the mix.

It might make more sense to fly, but I prefer the adventures of the open road. I love knowing that while 85% of the world is working, I’m in my car taking pinch hits and rocking out to my favorite music for hours on end. Barring a catastrophe (I’m probably destined to die on one of these trips at some point - but let’s hope that’s not for another 3 or 4 decades), I should have plenty to report in the coming days…

Black Sabbath - War Pigs, 12/20/1970

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

You could have been a legend
…but you became a father

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

To procreate or not to procreate?…if you’re struggling with this question, congratulations - you’re the envy of every person who’s had parenthood thrust on them before they were ready. While the birth rate continues to decline to all-time lows in this country, there are still way too many people having kids that shouldn’t be (just stroll down to your local grocery store Wal-Mart if you don’t believe me). As much as I wish this wasn’t my problem, any society with a significant population of overwhelmed parents and neglected youth is going to have its share of problems spill over to the rest of us.

Now I’m not knocking procreation. After all, some people have to have kids. It’s just my opinion that discourse on the subject of when to have kids is (still) severely lacking in mainstream society. I’m not exactly sure why that is. Maybe it’s because too often it leads to the dreaded abortion debate - or possibly the non-breeders don’t want to come off as judgmental to their friends with kids. I’m sure on some level the wheels of the Baby Industrial Complex are turning to ensure naive kids keep knocking each other up - and then there’s the many facets of Organized Religion (some of which are just well disguised pyramid schemes). I don’t want to turn this into a Church-bashing exercise (there will be plenty time for that later) - just keep in mind that all religions stand to benefit from their members having as many kids as possible.

A few years ago shortly before I graduated from college, a Kenyan-born friend of mine came to stay with me in my hometown over an extended break. His impression was that far too many Americans settle down prematurely without really thinking about it. They get married, have kids, work Monday-Friday, and watch football on the weekends because that’s what they’re programmed to do. In retrospect I think he was on the right track but missed the overall point that people with kids are easier to program than people without kids.

For example, people with kids are more vulnerable to the scare tactics and propaganda used by our government and media. Absurd policies (like imprisoning hundreds of thousands of non-violent pot smokers annually - or launching a preemptive invasion into a sovereign nation) are carried out in the name of protecting the children. People with kids have got enough shit to worry about as it is without contemplating the negative ramifications of these policies.

It’s not all bad though. Having kids does force individuals to take on more responsibility which naturally causes them mature more rapidly and develop life skills they might not have otherwise. The problem is that when this maturation is forced too early in life, you end up with parents overcompensating for their lost youth at a time when their offspring need them to be setting a good example of how to behave as an adult. If Mom is bringing underage kids over to party in the middle of the night, she’s gonna have a hard time keeping her own kids in line when the time comes. Pretty soon her babies are having babies and the cycle repeats itself.

Regardless of what some slick marketing campaign might tell you, you can never get those years back - you are only young once. People should spend their 20s figuring out who they are and what they want to do with their lives - not changing diapers and falling asleep on the couch watching bad television. If by your late 20s and you’ve found someone with whom you’d like to raise a family with - knock yourself out. If not, you retain the freedom to do whatever you want with your life. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp - and one we should be teaching the next generation before it’s too late.