Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wrecking Ball Tour - Part 3-Part 3: (Boston 3/26/12) How it All Happened

The names of these posts is getting ridiculous, dontcha think? It does entertain me though, in a silly way. So as you can see I had tickets, then I didn't have tickets, then I tried really hard to get different tickets and all I got was hit on (not a bad thing all-in-all but definitely weird in the way it happened).

It is now Monday morning, the day of the concert in Boston and I woke up at 5 am for my workout but did a quick check before hitting the gym to see if there were any new listings on Craigslist or responses to offers I out out and for the most part, not much. Over the next two hours I worked out, had my post-workout smoothie, spent some time with my daughter while she had breakfast, then I went and showered and got ready for work while Victoria got ready for school and basically had resolved I was probably not going to see Springsteen this night and I would just have to wait until the Albany show.

I figured that once I got settled into work I'd check Craigslist again and in fact, even planned to place a tickets wanted ad; several of them. My daughter and I get in the car, I drop her off at school and just as I begin to drive off, I hear my work phone ding with the email sound. Since I was still in the lot, I pulled over to check quickly and to my surprise, I receive an email from the original woman who was going to sell me the tickets, then decided not to, telling me that her plans changed yet again and that if I wanted, the tickets were mine at the pre-negotiated price of $100 each (less than face, amazing seats).

Embraced by elation, I responded immediately and told her that I can be wherever she is right now in twenty minutes or less. I then drove off toward work and hope for another ding, and there it went just a few minutes after. Again, I pulled over to read it, and she mentioned that we could meet at Whole Foods at 8:30. I didn't even bother going to work first, I went right to whole foods, had a coffee and waited.

Sure enough, 8:30 comes and there she is, "Chris?" yes, "Julie?" She drops the tickets in front of me on the table and I pick them up instantly to take possession. Then, I reach into my pocket and hand her $200 and we leave, walking to our cars. I told her of the text message encounter, she laughed and said, "you know, I happen to be a sexual harassment lawyer." I laughed out loud!

You know the rest.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wrecking Ball Tour - Part 3-Part 2: (Boston 3/26/12) How it All Happened

The (annotated) trascript of a somewhat bizarre series of texts with a ticket seller on Craigslist:

Sunday (evening before show)

Me: Saw your Craigslist ad for Bruce tix-I'm interested -still available? 7:01 PM

37 more messages Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Yes they are 7:16 PM

Me: I can pick them up tonight- where are the seats? 7:18 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Sec 325 row 15. Where are u located 7:19 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Im waiting to hear back from one other person 7:19 PM

Me: Thanks, not sure if I want to be behind the stage 7:21 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Totally understand. Behind the stage at Bruce isnt like other concerts 7:23 PM

So far, reasonably normal, right?
Me: If you absolutely get stuck with them and would consider taking $100 for the pair, let me know by noon tomorrow and I'd consider it. I have tix for Albany so as bad as I want to go, I'll only do it if I get the right deal. I know you're just trying to recover your investment - I wish you luck 7:27 PM

Time to turn on the negotiating charm.
Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Already been offered 250, but thanks 7:28 PM

Me: Great...be wrll 7:29 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Where u from 7:30 PM

What?

Me: Middlesux county 7:34 PM

Me: Well, Middlesex, spelling issues 7:35 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Lol. Sstton here 7:35 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Sutton. 7:36 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Have u seen bruce before 7:36 PM

Me: 11 times 7:36 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Wow. 7:37 PM

Keep the conversation going, hoping my intense fanatacism will get the seller to crack and take my offer.
Ticket Owner (Stalker?): I'll take u to td garden u take me to albany. Lol 7:38 PM

What? How do I respond to this (or do I)?
Me: Love him. Usually get good deals on Craigslist...I've also scalped at the show and got good seats real cheap 7:38 PM

Another technique implemented in an effort to get the seller to agree to my offer.

Me: I got my buddy mike waiting for Albany since I got them, I can't boot him.. Lol 7:39 PM

Playing along nicely - they have the tix, I want the tix.
Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Same here. I bought 6 tix and was planning on going with relatives, but didnt happen 7:40 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Get rid of mike im much funnier and cute. Lol 7:40 PM

???

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Only joking 7:41 PM

Now they are trying to cushion the blow, perhaps trying to get me to come up on my offer?

Me: Lol 7:42 PM

Me: Lol 7:42 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Age? Im 43 7:44 PM

Scared again

Me: Same generation as you. 7:44 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Favorite local restaurant 7:47 PM

Me: Working on another ticket lead....I like Cheng Du in Westboro a lot 7:50 PM

Here, I begin to question my judgement for playing along, it's not like these are great seats or anything - yet I play along. It does begin to occur to me that perhaps this person is hitting on me, yet neither of us actually know the other's gender (which you must admit is a bit odd).
Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Good choice. Kids? I have 2 7:55 PM

Me: One 7:55 PM

More convinced there's a pickup thing involved - what other relevance can being a parent have to this conversation. In my head, I am repeating the mantra - "Can I just have your rotten tix for $50 each you crazy-ish person". Yet, truth be told, while a bit uncomfortable with this exchange at this point, and I think it's odd, I'm not really convinced the other person is crazy so much as, well, odd.
Ticket Owner (Stalker?): I was having a drink with my sister when u txt me and i said to her it would be good to meet someone who like bruce. Lmao. Hence my weird questions. 8:00 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Im not wierdo dont worry. 8:08 PM

Me: Lol 8:09 PM

Questioning whether I should just laugh this off and say goodnight and hit Craigslist again.

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Yoy like bruce, u can negotiate for tix how bad can it be. We already have more in common them most people u meet on match. Lmao. 8:14 PM

Oh boy, confirmation there's something going on with the seller.

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): I cant believe im actually trying to flirt with someone i never met, yea that is kind of weird. 8:16 PM

Still no reall proof of gender here, on either side.
Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Favorite bruce song 8:19 PM

Me: Just saw all these, working with my daughter on something.... I love Bruce, hate to single out songs but I do have a major affection for thunder road 8:22 PM

Trying to let more time pass after receiving texts but ultimately, I wanted to go to show and here were tix - I continued to play along.

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Yup, great song. My kids are 9 (colin),and 6 amelia 8:26 PM

The TMI moment where I simply stoppeds responding.
Monday (Day of concert)

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): U going to concert 12:53 PM
Say what? Where did this come from? I though I was rid of this person. Not a clue who this person is.

Me: He's singing my song 10:17 PM

Bruce goes into "Thunder Road" and I could not resist messing with whomever this person is (stupid idea, I know - I blame beer).
Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Lol. Yes he is 10:29 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): He was anyways 10:29 PM

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): I thought i scared u off, some wacko txting you. Lmao 10:30 PM

Astute at least, I did kind of think this person was something not quite so harsh as "wacko" but whatever the nicer version of that is.
Tuesday

Ticket Owner (Stalker?): Great concert. Email me sometime if u want. ***********@yahoo.com 9:39 AM

Oh brother!!! I'm going to ignore this. Thankfully, that was the last of it.

I know yesterday I said I would conclude the story tomorrow (meaning today) but after going through this odd transcript again, I think I'll let you sit on it for a day and wrap this all up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wrecking Ball Tour - Part 3: (Boston 3/26/12) How it All Happened

When tickets first went on sale for this tour, my goal was to get seats for the Boston show. However, the morning tickets went on sale, Ticketmaster was not very cooperative and with all the scamming from scalpers, and Ticketmaster themselves, five minutes in, regardless of the fact that I was on three computers at once, I was shut out and the show had sold out.

Eventually, I made the decision to try for tix in Albany, a 3 hour or so drive from where I live, and was successful. My thought was to pursue Boston and if I got tix, I could sell the Albany tix but if not, at least I had tix to see the Bruce.

I began to keep an eye on Craigslist and decided that since I already had tix for Albany, I would only get tix for Boston if I could get them at or below face value. Just about everyone on Craigslistwas being unreasonable, asking for ridiculous amounts (on the high side) of money, so I one-upped them and offered equally ridiculous amounts (one the low side). from experience with Craigslist, I knew things would change in my favor as the show got closer so again, with no pressure (since I already had tix to see him in Albany), I waited out the price mongers and waited for the serious fans who had tix and as the show came near, plans changed and they were no longer able to use them; these folks are typically reasonable and will either accept face value or often less.

I won't go into the details of the many offers but will cut to the Friday before the show (show was Monday) where I found an ad, and responded by offering $200 for the pair. These were great seats, however, face value of the tickets, including the Ticketmaster vig, was about $120. The initial response from the ticket owner was that her cost was higher but I replied with a valid plea and simply asked if she would consider taking my offer and that if she would, it would make a real fan very happy.

After a while, the woman with the tickets decided to accept my offer, which brought me great joy, and we had plans to meet on the weekend in between her Boston Marathon training sessions. I was on edge all day Saturday waiting for her to contact me and it never happened. I had emailed her but received no reply. Sunday morning, I sent an early email telling her I was able to met her anywhere convenient for her and at 4:39pm Sunday (about 27 or so hours before the show) received the following:

"I feel terrible but I'm not going to be able to sell you the tickets. My friends who I previously invited are now making the trip to Boston for this, and I had previously promised them the tickets. I am sorry. I trust you can get tickets from scalpers tomorrow night. They always sell tickets night of event outside.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry".

Despite having Albany tix, I had been invested enough in the idea I was going to see him in Boston that I was instantly saddened by this news. I had made plans to go into Boston with a colleague to meet up with her three kids, all of whom I am friends with, to have drinks and dinner before the show. I had to get my ass back on Craigslist and see if I could pull off a miracle.

After responding to a number of ads, with long shot low ball offers, I found one with a phone number that basically implied there were tix, for a $100 per ticket price (below face) and a phone number. I first called and left a voice mail and after no reply within 30 minutes, I sent a text - which turned into a really odd exchange.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the transcript of the text exchange and the "thrilling" conclusion to this story.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wrecking Ball Tour - Part 2: Boston 3/26/12

I have once again had the opportunity to hear the gospel according to Bruce Springsteen and like the previous eleven or so times, I was once again moved in ways that only music can move and only in ways that the greatest living rock and roll performer can deliver.

Sitting in the best seats I've ever had for a Bruce Springsteen concert and only truly acquired that morning (the full story about getting these tickets will appear soon), I was treated to more than two hours and forty five minutes of Bruce Springsteen along with the E-Street Band - which now features a full horn section (called the E-Street Horns and includes the nephew of the late Clarence Clemons, Jake)  and a bevvy of vocalists (known as the E-Street Choir).

Here's the setlist:

We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Badlands
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Thundercrack
Jack of All Trades
Jackson Cage
She's the One
Easy Money
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Apollo Medley (The Way You Do The Things You Do/634-5789)
American Skin (41 Shots)
Lonesome Day
The Rising
We Are Alive
Thunder Road
* * *
Rocky Ground (with Michelle Moore)
Land of Hope and Dreams
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Raise Your Hand (with Peter Wolf)
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out

Like Johnny D mentioned, Bruce did the corny self-intro here as well. I agree it was corny but I was entertained by it but it did seem odd to follow that intro, which hearkened back to the style of the Apollo Theater in its heyday, with a song from the new record, which has no tie in to that era. That being said, I love the new music very much and I felt it translated very well to the live stage.

During "Wrecking Ball", when he sang the line, "Here where the blood is spilled, the arena's filled, and Giants play the game" the crowd booed quite loudly and actually got Bruce to laugh pretty loud. Seconds later though, all was forgiven here in Patriot land and when this the song ended and led into "Badlands", it was if all systems go, crowd in full aural arousal.

When "My City of Ruins" ended, Bruce got into some banter with some kid in the crowd, who requested a song that as Bruce said, "went way back". After a brief moment getting the band all on the same page, we were treated to the incredible "Thundercrack", a rare gem that Bruce mentioned was a song they used to close their shows with back in the 70's; great performance of a great song.

"Jack of All Trades", which some insiders refer to as the bathroom song, or the beer-run song, was compelling. Did it slow things down? Yes, however, in my opinion, in a very strategic way where Springsteen ins the master of the puppet known as our emotions ans he takes us up, down and around to the point of exhaustion and exhilaration. In fact, when the first chord of "Jackson Cage" was struck, much of the crowd exploded like sixteen thousand (or so) firecrackers as the delight of this rare live song from "The River".

I'll defer to John's review in the last post for the Apollo Medley, I couldn't said it better than Johnny did but I' repeat, it was truly infectious. It did however provide for another odd transition but once the mood was set through the haunting bass line, "American Skin", and it's message was not only heard, but felt and felt deeply. Just recalling it, I can feel that bass line pulsing through my soul.

The pre-encore set closed with what I think is my all-time favorite song, "Thunder Road" and while Bruce insisted on keeping up the crazy charade that musicians like to by leaving the stage, most of the back stood in place and he returned just a minute or so later to begin the encore set with "Rocky Ground" from the new record and featured singer Michelle Moore (who was very well received, deservedly so).

Also notable in the encore set was was the seemingly inevitable appearance of Peter Wolf, who seems to be making a habit of showing up for the Boston area shows, during Raise Your Hand but the real kicker was the last song of the night, "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out". When Bruce got to the line, "When the change was made uptown and the big man joined the band", the band stopped and the crown went berserk, most were pointing upward. The moment of "silence", loudest silence I've ever heard, lasted for about three and a half minutes before the band kicked back into the song and then came out for their final bows as everyone in the arena had realize that when Bruce said earlier in the show, "when you leave here, your arms are gonna be tired, your legs are gonna be tired, your body's gonna be tired...", he really meant it!

I am lucky enough to be seeing him in about three weeks in Albany and I'll let you know the details about that show too.

Wrecking Ball Tour - Part 1: Opening Night

For the Bruce afficianado's, I thought I'd offer up some great feedback I received from the man, Johnny Dee, who had the chance to see the official opening night of the Wrecking Ball tour in Atlanta. Here's the setlist from that show followed by some bullet points that Johnny was kind enough to offer up:

Atlanta Setlist 3/18/2012:
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Badlands
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
The E Street Shuffle
Jack of All Trades
Seeds
Easy Money
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Apollo Medley (The Way You Do The Things You Do/634-5789)
Shackled & Drawn
Lonesome Day
The Rising
We Are Alive
Thunder Road
* * *
Rocky Ground (with Michelle Moore)
Land of Hope and Dreams
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
American Land
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
from Johhny D:
I have to tell you, I’m really surprised by the negativity in the chat room on Backstreets. I thought the show was great. Couple bullet points:

  • Not a big fan of We Take Care of Our Own or Wrecking Ball, but they worked as openers, especially after the silly self-intro he did. They also set up Badlands really well. I would lose one and put in a classic.
  • Jake Clemons VERY well received for Badlands solo and throughout the whole show.
  • 10 new songs out of 23 total is a lot. I know he’s selling the record, and I know that number will decrease as the tour goes on. I was with a guy who hadn’t heard the new record and was a bit disappointed—that said, he did want to buy it after he heard it all, so the man did his job.
  • I find the Apollo Medley a blast—he’s clearly enjoying it and it’s infectious.
  • Shackled and Drawn and Death to My Hometown, which are highlights for me on the record, are highlights live as well, especially with the horns.
  • -I think if they figure out a better opener, and kill We Are Alive and maybe Rocky Ground (like both songs, but they kill the flow IMO).
  • I was pretty high up, and thought the sound was phenomenal—not sure if that was the venue or the system, but it was better than I’ve ever heard at the Garden.
I think you’re in for a great time. Let me know…

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Some Ramblings

Sad right now. I had worked out a deal with a woman to buy her Springsteen tickets for tomorrow nights show in Boston. I emailed her to see where and when she wanted to meet and she emailed me back saying she changed her mind about selling the tickets - that's so tough to take for me. I have tix to see him in Albany so it's not like I'm completely shut out but I love seeing Bruce so much, he's the best there is and once I was convinced I was going, it was full steam ahead, so the disappointment is major.
*****
Psyched that Mad Men is back tonight.
*****
The weather was unusually normal for this time of year today. sound confusing, I know, but so has the weather patterns of late. I am not complaining.
*****
Just started listening to Alec Baldwin's podcast, so far so good. Still loving WTF, Adam carolla, TBTL and while I cam to the dance on this one a year late, I am loving "This Week with Larry Miller".
*****
In a text conversation with a Crailslister selling tix and I think this person was hitting on me, funny thing is I have no idea of their gender and I am not sure they know mine. Bizarre-ish! Asked me which town I am from, age and favorite local restaurant. - Not sure if I should be freaked out or not...LOL!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crazy Photo Shoot

The newly clean shaven me decided to fiddle with a fun app on the iPad earier and these are the crazy photos that resulted:

This effect is super freaky, but vastly entertaining!

This one is rather puzzling:

The celestial me:

For promotional purposes:

This looks like either a book cover of my autobiography written by each of my 32 distinct personalities or like something hung on the wall of my evil stalker:

I can't decide if this reminds me of "High Anxiety" or "Vertigo"

I've always wanted to appear with a goofy grin on a national magazine cover:

Whistler's long lost (very lost) cousin:

I love the look of treacherous fear in this one (what the heck is treacherous fear?):

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Theft

During spring break week, it's really slow. There are a few drifters here and there but for the most part, it's really quiet. A student was working at a computer in the open lab and had really occupied all of the real estate in there spreading out her belongings, plugging in her iPod touch for a charge and making herself comfortable.

She called me over for some help with something and I advised her to go to speak to someone in the department she was trying to access on the web site. She asked me if she could leave her stuff and I told her the same thing I tell everyone that asks me that question, " you could, but we assume no responsibility and I would strongly advise against leaving anything of value unattended."

Ignoring my advice, she set out to the first floor and I went to my desk to proceed with my work. A little while later, the student returns from downstairs, gets to her workstation and totally goes nuts because her iPod touch was missing. She was so frantic that she was irrational at first but acting on emotion; she was very upset (understandably so).

She mentioned she had tracking set up and wanted to get in touch with Apple right away so I let her use my desk phone while I asked the librarian to call campus police to come up to the lab.

Skipping the long, often dramatic middle, there was no immediate resolution. Campus police made a point that the moment she left the iPod it legally is considered abandoned property and can only be reported as "missing", not "stolen" unless there was a witness or security footage proving otherwise (there was neither).

I told the student to contact the local Apple store with the details because if someone does bring it in to be unlocked, if she reports the serial # and is registered, they can withhold the item.

For me, it was sad because it was obviously taken and just feet away from the desk I spend most of my day. There are so many bad messages in this experience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Geocaching

Cuzzup has been trying to get me on the geocaching bandwagon for a long time now but I've not had the time to really consider it. However, this past Saturday, literally out of a moment of complete boredom, I though, what the heck and headed out for a treasure hunt.

[Yes, it's geeky/nerdy, but I don't judge]

I had downloaded a free app to my work phone, because this particular free app from Geocaching.com was only free on the iPhone. Using the GPS of the phone, it told me where the nearest caches were and one was just around the corner from me, so it was there I first headed. The app shows the approximate location of the cache on a map, where I am, and a series of arrows leading me to the prize along with an approximate distance to the cache and a toggle that allows you to switch between map view and compass view (which was super confusing). So I get within a few feet of the coordinates of the first cache and the app tells me to "keep my eyes open" so I begin scanning the area carefully. So as to not need to type excessively only to end up right back in the same place, and since I already wasted considerable time at the site and came up totally empty - out of frustration, I gave up on the site and used the app to lead me to another nearby site.

The second site was in a wooded area that I knew of, but have never been to. I was grossly unprepared for this whole thing and was so ticked from coming up empty from the last site and the app being quirky. There were moments where it told me I was 5 feet away and then literally took 1 step and the distance changed to 25 feet - so odd!

back to the woods, I was so caught up in the idea of wanting to find this cache that I headed right into the woods, staring mostly at the app and ending up deeper and deeper into the woods as the distance went from 500 feet, to 400 feet then all the way down to 20 feet and then it got closer then bounced around a bit. On one tree, there was a sneaker hanging there with a coupon in it but the clue mentions something about a "black otter box" - I have no idea what an otter box is. I search around more and came across a grouping of trees that had various Easter candies attached to them; one had a package of peeps, one had a bunny - it was nuts. I thought I was on to something when I noticed a coffee can attached to one tree but there was nothing in it.

Frustrated, I took a moment to look around and it hit me, I had no clue where I was. I was lost in the woods! I paid no attention to where the heck I was going here I was, not sure where I was. After a very brief panic, I thought hey, I've got two cell phones with decent battery power left, worse case I call the cops and just feel like more of a loser than I already felt in that moment.

I decided to pull up the map app and use the GPS feature and was able to see where I was in relation to where I parked, approximately, so after using that as a guide, I walked for a few minutes and then saw a house - so I started waling in that direction and soon saw a path marker and then followed the path markers until I was out of the woods and about to enter someones (a rich someone) back yard. Fearing I may get shot, because people can be nuts, as I exited the woods into the yard, I held both my arms up in a surrender pose until I was in the driveway and had exited the property and onto the main road en-route to my car.

I was sweating and disheveled and not thrilled with this geocahing game. In fact, minutes after I sat in the car, I deleted the app from the iphone and declared this my first and last geocaching experience. A few days later, I called Cuzzup, spoke of my horrible experience and she convinced me to give it one more try and how to better prepare. She pointed out another cache in my area that she insisted "should be easy" and while reluctant, I didn't rule it out.

After getting home from work today, I needed to go to pick up a few things at the market and I knew I would be passing the site of this cache that my cousin recommended I make a target and so I brought along my iPhone and jumped back into the pool. With relatively minimal effort, I broke the curse and found my first cache, a little pill bottle adorned in camouflage tape with two coins inside as well as a log book to sign. There is is - my first successful geocache experience and while I was glad to have found it, I am not certain yet about whether or not I like this game - we shall see.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Caption This

New Yorker magazine has a cartoon caption contest in every issue. I often find myself submitting captions and while I've never been selected yet, I keep giving it a go - it's a good exercise.

Here's last week's photo:
Without any thought, my first reactions was, "Doctor, is this gonna cost me an arm and a...?" Then after a brief moment of thought, I came up with, "It's not that I'm self-conscious on the dance floor, it's just that I have four left feet." I rather like this one but I cam up with another that I thought was killer and it's what I submitted: "Doctor, shouldn't I be the one on the couch?"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Worst Irony

Education is something I am passionate about; I work in education for a reason. I work very hard to try to find the right balance to inspire learning and then, teaching.

Right now, as my teenage daughter battles the hormones of puberty trying to find herself, her grades have suffered badly. I know my daughter, she is very smart but there is something preventing her from putting the required effort in her school work and I am very worried.

I've talked with her a few times and tonight, I tried very hard to listen to her, she's super creative and I think her mind just moves so quickly, it's hard for her to commit it to focus on the subjects in her classes.

I wish I could figure out how to make it all work. I love my daughter so much and I want her to be happy and successful. I hope I can help her to figure out how to find a way to balance her creativity with her schoolwork.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Parking - Continued

Fully expecting witch to hunt me down, she eerily avoided me, as I did her. I went about my day and when it was time to go home, I went to my car, started it up, put on my seat belt and then noticed something in the windshield, which turned out to be the warning.
I was furious but there was nothing I could do about it at that time so I had planned to make some noise on Thursday with the chief of police on campus. Aside from the warning being inaccurate, I was not taking 2 spaces, I am certain that the officer who wrote the warning was coerced into doing so by none other than witch (who incidentally had to walk the same distance to the public safety office than she would need to walk to her office had she just parked in the designated medical spot-but complained it was too far away from her office).
With public safety off-campus, I had to wait until Friday and I was still regrettably burning up inside, so I decided that Friday morning I would park by backing into the first spot and staying as far to the right and forward I could to make it virtually impossible for with to illegally park or get into the lawn area she makes a habit of. I wanted to do this Thursday but the spot was taken by the time I had arrived.

Friday morning comes, I arrive before 7:30 am and I park as I plan. I noticed the chief was in her office so I knock, enter, and pour everything out as professionally as possible. In my banter, I made a point to tell her out loud that I even parked as I did today and before I could even go on, I stopped myself and realized I had to get a bit of a grip. While I felt my gripes were legitimate, I let my anger get the better of me and began to stoop to the witch's level. I was handing the problem by creating another problem and that's not what I believe in - so I excused myself, went and moved my car totally away form the whole area and returned to the chief with a viable solution.

After running a few things through my brain, I felt it made the most sense to make first spot a designated medical permit spot. This would legitimately entitle witch to the actual first spot in an area closer to her office that the other designated medical spot and hopefully, prevent her from ever parking in the other place, The chief also ran some ideas and after facilities got involved, it seems that the medical spot idea is a go plus, they are going to plant some trees in an area that would make it impossible for witch, or anyone to illegally park to the left of first spot.

While I will never respect witch for her elitist and entitled attitude, I feel I did the right thing - by discussing how I felt (to the credit of the chief, she gave me an open forum where it was comfortable and safe to vent), recognizing that there is a way I could resolve this peacefully, and just moving past it all.

Now that there is a solution in place being worked on and I've put it all out there, I'm over it...there's too many other things to be concerned with.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Parking

The first photo is a warning I found on my car on Wednesday as I was leaving work. Notice how it states that I was taking two spaces, which is wrong.

Here is how my car was parked:

Note the reddish lines to the left, they mark off part of the lawn and at the front, just out of view is a curb. The car with the door open is mine, the spot between the two white line you can see in the photo is the first parking spot in this row (from here on referred to as "first spot").

Occasionally I park in this first spot but if it's not me, it's someone else who also gets in pretty early. There's this colleague of mine, a nearly 90 year old woman who is often miserable, unhappy, miserly (yet extremely wealthy), and has this entitlement complex that really pisses me off. For anonymity, yet accuracy, I'll refer to her as witch.

When witch arrives for work, she wants to park in first spot, which is often occupied, so she takes it upon herself in back into, and assume the area to the left of the first white line. Not only is this a parking violation for parking in an area that is not designated for parking but also in order to get her car in, she needs to drive over the curb that is just out of the view in this photo. Furthermore, she is almost 100% of the time so close to the car that is legitimately parked in the first spot between the pictured white lines, that she smashes her door into it while trying to get out of her car; I've witnessed it as has at least one other colleague.

I decided that I was tired of witch and her self imposed entitlement and so when I arrived on Tuesday morning, I parked as you see here in this photo so that witch would not be able to break the rules and park next to me in a spot that isn't there. Sometime that afternoon, witch came to my desk bitching at me for taking two spots at which time I calmly remind her that I wasn't and the area to the left of the first white line is indeed not a spot. Her reply, "it is for me".

I told her that I had to park like that because when I got there just after 7:00 in the morning, the cafeteria deliveries were situated such that I was forced to do so. But I saw that it bothered her that someone had destroyed her sense of entitlement so much that I decided to park that way again on Wednesday (that's the picture here).

---Ugh! I'm tired, it's closing in on 1 am...I'll complete this later...good night!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

The days are getting longer yet there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. For now, I am kind of coasting on auto-pilot. Lots of little dillies coming up aside from regular stuff. I know, that made almost no sense yet you kind of understood - ish!

Had a lovely chat with a young student today, reminded me why I am in the education business.

I'm all out for now - brain is just not responding and I can't keep my eyes open...thanks for reading my drivel.

Peace!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mini Post

Very frustrated at a colleague and I just want it all to kind of diffuse itself in my brain, I hope I can just let it pass.

I'm excited about planning a vacation to Chicago. I've wanted to visit the city for a long time and I'm looking forward to visiting with an old Brooklyn friend as well as Tori and hopefully catch a ball game.

My cat let out the worst fart ever tonight, crazy stinky!

Thinking a lot about little Matthew and Scarlett, two very young tots battling leukemia.

That's it for now-smile and laugh at every opportunity.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crazy Day For Sure

Today was a day filled with, oh - at this point, let's just say, "interesting people". It was a relatively stressful day but those have been scarce of late so I'll be grateful (at least now that I've had a few hours to unwind from it).

I won't delve into the negative, I've blown off the required steam...here are a couple of shots that help illustrate the unusual nature of the day:

This first shot is one of a teen icon, Justin Bieber. Well, not really, I think. I actually can't say with certainty that it isn't him for sure but when he cam up to me and asked for a sheet of paper, don't think I wasn't tempted to ask - really look just like Bieber; in fact, I tweeted the pic and received a reply suggesting I join the Bieber Fan club.

 And here, a dude in his 20's wearing a turtle backpack. I must confess this had me disturbed early this afternoon when I saw it and while its no less off, certainly, it's more funny hours later than it is/was.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Teaching is Hard Sometimes

I've kind of been bitching a lot the past few days while grading a discussion forum in my online classes. In a nutshell, the students need to select a specific technology related to "Adaptive & Assistive" technologies and provide some specific information about it. Nevermind the explicit detail I provided in the assignment or the extra effort I made offering an audio coach - this is an example of what I am reading:

The Tandem Master is a product I found online that was founded by a woman named Tania who was born with Cerebral Policy. She could not move both her limbs or speak and she started off with a word board that would point to the word's that she was trying to say with a pointer on her head which still had good control of. Things were hard but her parents never let up with her learning until a man named Al Ross who created the Morse Code Project. His project was a two year study that at first seemed hard to learn but turned to be a necessity for Tania to live and she was able to communicate with people regularly. Using the system allowed her to use her voice whenever she wanted and also prompted her to enter public school. The idea of her being able to communicate her needs without anyone's help put both her and her parents at ease. She ended up getting married with a son and wanted to work so a friend named Jay Pennell created the Tandem Master which combined all of the best qualities of the Morse Code system with a system that enabled her to operate a computer on as well. This invention was something I had no idea existed and found this women's story quite compelling and to live without the need of a device that needs to be constantly updated with the times makes people without disabilities quite lucky in that aspect. More information on this product can be found on their website http://www.tandemmaster.org/home.html

Am I crazy or does this compeltely horrible work, especially for a college student?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Goth Baby Return for St. Patrick's Day 2012

I was showing someone a portfolio of the many incarnations of "Goth Baby" when she said to me, "time for a St. Patrick's Day theme" - and the long awaited return of goth baby had become more than just a passing thought, but a plan of action.

And so, in the spirit of St. Patty's day, I give you the latest edition of Goth Baby:

Amazing what determination and a little Photoshop skill can do. I loved this hat so much, I had to remove teh person wearing it from the original photo I found so that I can add it to Goth Baby. Great fun :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Mid-Week Fire Pit

My friend Kathy decided that teh weather was perfect for a fire pit and with a Cosmo in her had and a sunset over her driveway, she made a few calls, me one of them, and so was born the mid week fire pit; featuring wine and tacos along with a great fire and good people.
Dig the moon! There was some cloud cover blurring it a bit but the moonlight was intoxicating, as was the Pinot Noir and some terrific fireside chat.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Wrecking Ball

Released today, the latest studio album by Bruce Springsteen (along with the E-Street band), "Wrecking Ball" takes a very different turn from what Springsteen in interviews around 2009's "Working On a Dream" refers to the most recent three..(along with Magic, released in 2007 and The Rising, in 2002).

I think "The Rising" was an extraordinary album, I place it right up there with "Born to Run" in overall musical impact. Magic and Wrecking Ball, both of which I like very much, take a shift into incorporating pop sensibilities (sonically) heavily inspired by the music of the 1960's.

With "Wrecking Ball", Bruce demonstrates the  true influence of the music he explored in "The Seeger Sessions" on his own writing. I find myself emotionally involved and while it is clear there is heavy political influence, and while Springsteen is not shy to tell us where he stands politically, I feel the message isn't preachy, just expressive. I'm particularly impressed with his experimentation in the contemporary blending hip hop sensibilities with Gospel and folk (particularly noticeable in "Rocky Ground").

Bruce has also continued a trend with his lyrics writing that I find compelling. I find his lyric patterns over the last few records following a modern pop sensibility yet when combined with the musical layers and arrangements that surround them leave something that attacks the senses very differently that some of his older music.

I'm looking forward to seeing how these songs get incorporated into the live show and how they influence how the older music gets played.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Would you rather be 4'5" or 7'7"?

This was just the first question of a meme type thing I came across and it sparked so many back and forth's that I thought it really warranted its own post.

Initially, I surprised myself by picking 4'5" because I thought it would be way easier to get clothes and fit in my bed. Big and tall clothes are way pricier!

Then I stopped myself and thought that emotionally, it might be easier to be taller than shorter and I switched to 7'7" as my choice. There's a stigma attached to being short and short people are far more likely to be made fun of than tall people. Plus, I was bullied in elementary school, where I was pretty short and I have those negative memories. at 6' tall, I'm not short as an adult but being 7'7" would certainly go a long (tall) way toward casting aside that stigma.

I then switched back to 4'5" because I suck at basketball and feel that if I were over 7' tall, people would have an expectation of me to play basketball and be good at it - certainly I wouldn't have gotten picked last as much as I did as a kid.

Odd how tough this question really is. The fact is that there are people in the real world at both heights and more important, well adjusted, happy people. If I put it all in perspective, and had to make a decision on the spot, I'd seek more self-confidence in greater height and opt for 7'7".

Sunday, March 04, 2012

RIP Ronnie Montrose


These two Montrose records were transforming when I first hard them. I got turned onto them by an old friend who played guitar and loved Michael Schenker and Ronnie Montrose. Plus, she knew I was a Sammy Hagar fan and he was the lead singer on both records.

Ronnie Montrose was great at what he did. He's one of those artists that should be way more recognized but the consolation for him not being super famous is the respect he's earned form within the industry and by the niche market who adored what he gave us.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Trying to Break Up with Bank of America

It's been my desire to break up with Bank of America since they first announced their since scrapped plans to charge a $5 monthly fee for ATM card use. The convenience is quite excellent but they are a horrible company and I hate that I am so tied up with them.

I'm actively researching options for switching right now - it's a fairly complex event but I really need to do this.

*** *** ***
Bits:
  • Springsteen on Fallon was epic!
  • Sad for all who've been ravaged by tornadoes.
  • Happy as heck for my pal Dan whose first novel will be published this year.
  • What do Kirk Cameron and Rush Limbaugh have in common? If hey turned up dead in an alley, no one in their right mind would give a crap.
  • Good evening!

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Burdened Lives of Strangers

Today was one of those days at the office where there were bits and pieces of things to finish up, loose ends to tie up, and on occasional, "hey, I have a question for you". However, there was an incredibly wonderful part of the day where I got to spend some time conversing with a relatively new colleague and I was very grateful that she was willing to share some of her work experience as a therapist.

I was so moved by our conversation that when I went back to my desk to tie up one of those loose ends, i found myself distracted by the blank sheet of paper and the pencil in front of me, calling me. I needed to express the inspiration I had received and as a result, composed the following poem entitled, "The Burdened Lives of Strangers":


The burdened lives of strangers
and broken hearted souls
they’re weighing on your conscience
and it’s all taking a toll

You try to make a difference
give them a piece of who you are
but sometimes when you get closer
you realize just how far

The burdened lives of strangers
will come back another day
there’s a time for you to own it
and a time to walk away

Know  you’ve made a difference
it’s the reason that you care
their lives are better  because of
the part of you you share.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Idol Fail

It's time for American Idol to sign off for good. The show has hit bottom for sure - there's not anybody in the crop that I can see sustaining a career in the music business. There are some traces of talent but meager, and definitely not commercial.

X-Factor season 1 was so bad, I won't even consider watching the next season.

The Voice is great!

In other reality news, I still enjoy:
  • Survivor
  • Amazing Race
  • Top Chef (though this past season was disappointing and may be a sign of death for the show)
  • Project Runway (though All Stars is only so-so, not the same without Tim Gunn and dare I say, Heidi)
  • Dancing With the Stars - not a great cast in the upcoming season but the smoking hot Maria Menounous will be wearing those outfits, so I'll watch :)
In real music news:
  • I have tix to see Springsteen in Albany on 4/16; I am still hoping to get something for the Boston show on 3/26 but not sweating it if I don't.
  • Van Halen needs to hang it up - just awful and jokey.
  • Loving discovering the Volbeat catalog.
I think that's about it for now - I'll close with an non-sequitor of sorts: Track Suit!