Saturday, May 31, 2014


The plan for today was to head into Brooklyn for lunch at my favorite pizza place before trekking back to MA. I spent a little time in the AM with my sister, niece, niece's friend who slept over, and nephew. I took a walk over to the beverage store to snag some Manhattan Special to bring back home - then around 11 am, made my way to Brooklyn.

I arrived at L&B Spumoni Gardens a little before noon. My plan was to let people know in advance where I would be and those who were able, could come visit (and eat). This is much easier and more efficient that me running around town, trying to find people home and attempting to park a bunch of times.

My old friend Nestor, along with his wife and kid came by and a little later, Rob and Janine. It was nice to see everyone - but especially nice to eat this:

Due to the destruction I did to my system yesterday with overeating, I was able to hold myself to two slices (a very hard task) and later, had a small spumoni (major treat).

I left L&B and stopped by for a visit with my sister-in-law then made the journey home - which took forever because of really crappy traffic.

Despite the horror of the trip, I was determined to see a band called "Afterfab" tonight. Despite the long drive and the fatigue, I got home, showered, changed and off I went to see the band - they were awesome!

Here I am, home for almost 2 hours, it's enarly 2 am, and I am typing this post instead of snoring! Tomorrow is another spwcial day, I can't yet reveal why but to sleep!

What about Thursday?

This is what Thursday was all about:

My niece Lauren graduated from college. I am so proud of her and that was the main purpose of my trip to NY, to attend her commencement ceremony.

The main event was outdoors, which cause be to get some nasty sunburn, even on my scalp (through my hair). I know this because it hurt like a MOFO (or more) when I ran a brush through my hair.

I volunteered to go pick up the cake they had ordered the day before from Costco and meet everyone back up at the house. I get he cake back and my niece insisted it was not the right one. When I got there, I asked for the cake, gave the name on the reservation, and was then asked what the cake said. I had no idea, but I assumed, out loud of course, that it said "Congratulations Lauren". they gave me a graduation themed cake that said this so I just went to pay and left. Turns out, the side panel of the cake box had details, I had in my possession a cake ordered by a dude named Sheldon, and not the one my sister ordered - Uh, Oh! Fortunately (I hope) for Sheldon, his pick up time wasn't until 5pm and it was only about 2 pm.

Lauren (my niece) and I brought the cake back to Costco in hopes of keeping Sheldon's and his Lauren's cake dreams alive while retrieving the proper cake for our Lauren. It took some work as the level of intellect for such "complex" problems was not easily found among the store's employees. We did persist and in time, got what we came for then went back to relax for a while before a big family dinner at a nearby restaurant.

To say that I overate at the place would be a gross understatement only out-grossed by the amount of food I shoved into my face; and I payed, dearly.

I'll just end Thursday here - I crashed at my sister's on this evening.

Wednesday Was Like This...

When last we met, I was heading out of MA down to NYC. I left at 8am and arrived at my destination at 1:30pm - most of the extra time was due to a ridiculous amount of traffic, slowed to a halt then barely moving on the George Washington bridge.

I got to my hotel, chilled for a short while and settled in, then left for Phillips Candy of Coney Island, a candy store that in owned by my friend Maria's Family. I din't actually go for the candy though, as hard as that may be to believe - I went to visit my old friend Maria (see for yourself):

After a visit with Maria, I stopped by my sister's place for a visit and later, to my cousin Jennifer's to have sinner and a visit. I hadn't seen Jen or her sister in 8-10 years and their bother Joey I hadn't seen in probably 25 years or more.

I then headed back to the hotel and was asleep before 11 pm! I knew Thursday was going to be an early day and a long one.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

En Route

By the time you read this, I should have already made it to NY, Staten Island to be precise. My niece is graduating college tomorrow and I want to be there to see it happen and celebrate with her; I am very proud of her!

Of course, can't make a trip into NY without attempting to visit with other family/friends - so a trip to Phillips Candy to see Maria, a long overdue visit with my cousins Jen, JoAnn and Joe (and a selection of their offspring) are already scheduled.

As I work my way back to MA, I am going to stop at a favorite pizza joint in Brooklyn, the legendary L&B Spumoni Garden - I am hoping that a few friends will be able to meet up. I did that once before and it's nice, instead of trying to run around to visit as many people as you can and driving around, I plant my ass, have great food at my disposal, and everyone that can make it comes by.

As I type this, I am moments from heading out the door and I already dread the drive...but it will be worth it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: A Great Deliverance

"The Inspector Lynley Novels, who wrote them again, oh, Elizabeth George, read those, those are good." That's what one of my colleagues told me as we were discussing books. My crazy form of OCD always wants to start these series from the beginning, even though it isn't always necessary. "A Great Deliverance", released in 1988, was the first of the Inspector Lynley novels and that is where I started in my discovery of Elizabeth George.

As I jumped into this novel, the first thing I had to adjust to was the British sensibility and back drop. While George is an American, born and bred, the Cast and locale of her story in in Great Britain and while I am not a stranger to these sensibilities, it's not a common thing for me and it takes some adjusting.

This book took me a long time to read, and while I adjusted at some point to the mindset, I never really rallied for any of the characters until the very end of the book. While the end was quite intense, overall, I was left with something missing and still have an uncertainty that lingers.

Since starting the book, two more people I know have raved about their love for Elizabeth George including one, an avid reader, English major and library buff, referring to George as her favorite writer. This all encouraged me to hang in there and forge ahead, and despite finishing this book with no real sense of how I feel about George as a writer, will at least get me to read another of her books.

After all I've already said, I can't clearly say that I liked this book but I am not certain I can in good conscience say that I didn't like it. I know, I am no help at all, right? Should you give it a whirl? That's going to be your decision - somewhere down the road, I will grab another of her books and try again.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mad at Mad Men

Back in March, in anticipation of this season of Mad Men I was vocal about how I hate how they decided to split the last season over two years. I also spoke of how I feel the quality of the show has degraded.

As I watched the last of the episodes in part one of the final season tonight, I look back on these 7 episodes and can without hesitation say that what was once one of the most promising TV dramas in history has fallen into a steady state of mediocrity and is struggling to stay there - I find this very sad.

Yes, there have been some okay moments, yes, there are still some characters I kind of care about, but overall, the writing has taken a steep plunge and I don't know if the series can be saved. I hope I am wrong - were I not so invested, I'd dump it, but I'm too obsessive to give up knowing there is an end in sight.

In My Ears 4

This period started with me popping in an old mix tape,er, actually mix CD that I made a while back called "Today's Country II". Those of you familiar with country music will know about when it was made from the songs - here is the back cover:

Here are the other CD's I listened to:

Jennifer Nettles - That Girl
I will always question why a member of a group or duo insists on recording a solo record, I need it to identify differently in some way that it would were it recorded with the duo or group - this one does, and it's good.

Aloe Black - Good Things
Just recently got into him from his more current work. The newer CD will appear in my next update, this is his previous one and its well crafted modern day r&b/Pop/soul music.

The Winery Dogs - The Winery Dogs
This "supergroup" escaped me until I saw them on a rerun of That Metal Show. Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen formed this band in 2012 and this, their first record, is fantastic.

Hugh Laurie - Didn't it Rain
Yes, the guy that played Dr. House. And, this is his second CD, both of which I've listened to and both of which I like a whole lot. Produced by Joe Henry, this collection of terrific, well known songs get a unique makeover.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Here We Rest

Jason Isbell - Sirens of the Ditch
Jason Isbell - Southeastern
I heard this guy interviewed on an episode of WTF with Marc Maron and had to learn more. I got these 4 CD's from the library and just love them so much. Gritty, Americana, Rootsy, Country, Southern and other influences. Something very special about how this dude sings.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

That Made Me a Little Sad-ish

Earlier, my daughter asked me if I could taker her back to her mom's in the morning. usually, on Monday holiday's, we spend most of the day together and just hang out, go somewhere and just have some fun. I told her that I was hoping that we could hang out and she said that she had plans.

My heart sunk a little. I know as she gets older, she's going to spend more time out with friends and in the world but in that brief moment of realization, I felt a very deep sadness. Yes, it was momentary - at least the depth, but it was real.

It was really sweet that she detected it because she kept saying she was sorry and that we could do something together on the next Monday holiday - that made me smile!

Parenting is hard!

20 Feet From Stardom

An astonishing documentary about background singers. There were times throughout this film I actually got goose bumps! What a great film filled with wonderful music, insightful stories from the singers themselves along with a number of the famous artists they backed up.

This film captures an important pieces of music history and of the music industry that anyone and everyone should know. Much in the way we study world history or American history (or the history of any country or culture), in the landscape of music history and its future, the content of this film is important to all.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Meme

1) Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family?
I am not a veteran. I was one of the early enrollees in the selective service system. My dad was in the navy but for Italy, during WWII. However, he became an American citizen in the 1950's and was a true patriot until he passed away.

2) Memorial Day also kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
I love ribs. Are ribs picnic food? Also, watermelon!

3) Let's celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with ice cream. What's your favorite flavor?
Chocolate. Unless of course you want to get into the mixes, but let's just say chocolate.

4) This marks the weekend when Americans step up their outdoor activity and do things they may not have been able to do during the winter months. For example, when is the last time you rode a bike?
I moved to MA in September of 1997 and before I moved here I sold my bike. I haven't ridden a bike since.

5) Or went hiking?
Is there a difference between hiking and walking? What distinguishes the two? I don't recall the last time I said "I'm going hiking" but I walk a lot.

6) Or rode a horse?
As a senior in high school, gym class was either bowling or horseback riding. At first, I tried out horseback riding - did it once, hated every second of it and haven't done it since. That was September of 1981.

7) Or toasted a marshmallow?
Last summer

8) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or window fan on?
No, it's a bit on the chilly side out there right now. There is a fan to the let of me though, just not on. I haven't yet turned on the A/C this season.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I Hate Hating, But I Hate This Shit!

This is the collection of signs I pulled up behind, parking meter to my right. I carefully read/interpreted both signs and was certain I was clear for both. I walked 2-3 car lengths in front of then behind the car to see if there were any other signs and found none different. I fed the meter and went off to my destination venue.

Imagine my surprise, disgust, disappointment, anger and every other negative feeling I can think of when I return to my car to find a $40 parking ticket with a violation code indicating "RESIDENT PARKING ONLY". Dear city of Boston, HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO PREDICT THIS IS A RESIDENT PARKING ONLY BLOCK IF THERE ISN'T A FUCKING SIGN!!!!!" I've been to many streets in Boston with such signage, there wasn't one here, certainly not where I parked.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Have I bitched and moaned about the painter? I have bitched and moaned so much (it feels like) lately that I lost track!

While waiting for the last pieces of the kitchen and the electrician, I hired a painter to paint the kitchen (ceiling and walls), plus a few other small areas. I would say most professional painters would complete the job in 3 days (4 would be a stretch but the absolute max). Today was my painters 7th day on the job, and finally, his last.

The worst part, it's just an okay job and I paid the same if I had a real pro instead of one who passes himself off that way. This guy did a bunch of pro-bono work in the basement of our church and was hired by a few other folks, all who raved about his work (what kool-aid were they drinking?).

Well, it's done with - I love the color I chose. Pics sometime after the whole kitchen is complete.

Huggles :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Touch of "Reality"


I gave up on Dancing with The Stars a few years back but got sucked in briefly last year because the Valerie Harper story was compelling. I DVR'ed it and only watched her segments then stopped watching again all together after she was sent home.

This year, I was drawn to the Amy Purdy story; the idea that someone with two prosthetic legs would be part of a dancing competition had me and I watched avidly throughout. I had recently watched the winter Olympics and had also thought Meryl Davis and Charles White would be interesting. It was hard getting through NeNe Leaks but I watched anyway. I was not disappointed as week after week I was blown away at Amy Purdy and her ability, her courage, her grace and every lesson seeing her performed taught; most times, I was brought to tears by her performances. Charles White was quite good and Meryl Davis was nothing short of angelic.

Last night's finale came down to Davis (partnered with Max) and Purdy (partnered with Derek). I won't spoil it here - I would have been okay with either winning, the end result was and the performances were stunning.

The Voice

The final three I may have questioned but only because I thought the third place winner belongs somewhere between 4th and 6th place. The top two though, for sure deserved to be there and again, I would have been just fine with either winning. There was something just slightly more special about the singer that won though that I think will help the show moving forward.

I must say, two shows both with very entertaining seasons.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Heart Hurts...a story

It's not the case of angina, it's not even costochondritis, i'm not talking about typical physical pains associated with the heart the kind of pain I'm feeling does have a physical aspect to it.

It all started right here in this space, many friendships were born here but there was one that's more than just a friendship, it's something very special, one of those very few in a lifetime type of friendships.

My feelings grew beyond friendship, I hope so much that somewhere along the line we'd be able to explore beyond friendship but I always want that friendship to be solid, and forever.

Obviously, there are a multitude of complexities and somehow, the last few months have been, well, different. I miss my friend, I miss you so much - but nothing has changed...I know how hard you work and how determined you are to reach your goal and I am always here cheering you on.

I just miss you vey much...and sometimes, so much it hurts.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Frustration and More

I just want to be done with contractors (sometimes referred to as asshats) and have my house back. One stupid bullshit thing after another, there comes a point where human error is no longer forgivable if it's a contractor on the other end!

So how are you doing?

Spring semester is in the books and today the first summer session started, I've already had a number of student interactions, so far though, so good. Six week accelerated courses are not easy, not on the student and not on the teacher.

I'm off to my kid's school in a bit to watch her accept an award for academic achievement. That, that is something that will put all the contractor crap on the backbiuner for a while! I am so proud of my little girl, who is less little each day.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

In My Ears 3.5

My friend Dan requested on FB that everyone send his song ideas to create a playlist. I can't recall the original reason for the playlist, workouts, summer walks, music to slice assorted cheeses by...

There was an abundance of songs sent forth, which gave me the idea to create a Spotify playlist based on these songs so that we can all share the fun and the music. In some cases, there were songs not available on Spotify, then there I tried to get as wide a range of people (there were a few who contributed many songs) and of course, I felt like adding a bit of my own touch.

the result was the following 34 songs that play over two hours and ten minutes:

Summertime Thing
Chuck Prophet
Atomic Dog
George Clinton
Nice to Be With You
Rip This Joint
Rolling Stones
Sister Golden Hair
Mrs. Robinson
Simon & Garfunkel
Shoot the Moonlight Out
Garland Jeffreys
Foo Fighters
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Twisted Sister
Heading Out to the Highway
Judas Priest
Under Pressure
My Chemical Romance
Come and Get It
Looking for Clues
Robert Palmer
Where Have All the Cowboys Gone
Paula Cole
Rat Trap
Boomtown Rats
You and Me
Alice Cooper
Bright Whites
Kishi Bashi
Brown Sugar
Rolling Stones
Brown Eyed Girl
Van Morrison
Do Ya
Electric Light Orchestra
I Just Want to Touch You
Paul McCartney & Wings
Pharrell Williams
Fat Bottomed Girls
Crazy on You
The Loco-Motion
Grand Funk
Hot Blooded
Synchronicity II
The Police
Under the Bridge
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Beautiful Day
Stranger on the Shore
Acker Bilk
Something About You
Dave Edmunds
Oliver’s Army
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Carolina on My Mind
James Taylor

There is no rhyme or reason to this particular order other than that was the order I entered the songs into the playlist. I listened to is in it's entirely this past Saturday, and on Spotify mobile, I can only listen in shuffle mode, it it was wonderful!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Little Bit of Pit

The firepit was a nice way to bring the party out of doors into the evening (though it didn't help me from getting feasted on by insects), but the whole day was nice hanging with friends and celebrating birthday's and the sort.

It was especially nice to not have an alarm to wake to, not having some stranger contractor whose neck I want to ring, nice not to have to lock up my cat....I just hung int eh morning and vegged out on the couch. I even chose to not read today, because that would require brain power and I didn't want to do anything that required any brain power :)

Some TV, some solitaire games on the tablet, then a bit later, a nice 3+ miles stroll about town. later afternoon it was off to the party.

A Good day :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Meme: What's the Story? (A version of the Friday 5)

What’s the story about the time you learned that two people you knew separately also knew each other?

This has happened a few times but the best case in particular is with this lady Maria that I know. Maria is from the old neighborhood I grew up in and is the sister of one of my neighbors. I will sometimes refer to Facebook as "The Six Degrees of Maria" - we share 10 mutual friends, many of which I've known for years, she's known for years, and we never new the commonality until Facebook.

What’s the story about the time you ran into someone you knew but didn't recognize him or her because your acquaintance with the person was specific to a completely different setting?

I just told this story to my daughter yesterday. A few years back, my friend Mark, who at that time, I knew mostly from church and gatherings of his family. I was to meet him at a local pub to chat and when I arrived, I walked into the bar and looked all over for him. Assuming he was late, I walked outside to look around then went back in, walked right over to where he was at the bar, not recognizing he was right there, and as I was walking away, he called out my name. So odd, for some reason, he just looked so different.

What’s the story about the time you lost something important and then found it after you’d already purchased its replacement?

Isn't that the only way that ChapStick® remains profitable?

What’s the story about the time you were tight with someone you normally didn't hang out with because he or she was the only person you knew at some function?

Happened at of all places, a funeral home. As if intentionally being in a room with a dead person on display isn't awkward enough!

What’s the story about the time you learned that someone you thought you knew only recently was really someone you knew a long time ago too?

If this has ever happened in my world, I don't recall it.

Poor Cat!

As tough as this damn kitchen remodel has been on Vickie and Me, Oliver (my cat) has suffered the most. Every day that contractors are on site, I have to lock him in a room. Of course he's got everyone he needs in there, water, food, comfy bedding and litter box, but he hates being cooped up and unable to roam his turf.

Almost all the time he is in there, he is howling and pushing against the door, just begging for freedom and I have to tell you, if I am in the house hearing that, it pains much and probably even more than one can imagine (except for other pet owners).

I wish I had some other solution, but it's way too dangerous for him to be free and even less practical when there is a painter involved. I try to be out for as much time as possible so I don't have to hear it but I know it's going on and still feel awful.

Sorry Oliver!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Great American Past Time What?

Last year, I pretty much abandoned baseball as Alex Rodriguez led the league in polluting the sport. I didn't watch a full inning of baseball all last season and to be perfectly honest, I didn't miss it all that much. It wasn't a full-out abandonment as I did occasionally check the standings and some stats but for the most part, there was no emotional attachment to baseball.

I was happy at the start of this season to see that A-Rod had been banished for the season and made a brief attempt to give a crap one more about the sport I loved so much growing up. For some reason, I still just don't give a crap.

Again, on random occasion, I'll check the standings and I can't say that I wouldn't go to a game were the circumstances right but the love of the sport has become more of a sadness as it dies a slow death.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tracking Tax...Fuck That!

I just read that California, following a few other states, is testing the idea of adding GPS technology to track and tax drivers by the mile in an effort to recover lost revenues from gas taxes as a result of more fuel efficient vehicles.

Look, I consider myself a liberal and understand the need for taxation, but there are several taxes you are never going to convince me are just and proper. One is the sales tax and another, for sure, is this mileage tax. Even if you could justify the mileage tax, I feel like the idea that anyone is tracking where I am going and when is unconstitutional and just wrong.

Also, I believe this in some way is almost a penalty to everyone who’s gone out of their way to be more fuel efficient, the car manufacturers and those of us who purchase those cars. I believe this is a travesty and I hope that the public will make it clear to any and all politicians regardless of party that this is not acceptable.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review - The 8th Confession

The eighth installment of "The Women's Murder Club" series (which as of this writing is now on book 13), did it's job for me - it provided a quick read, with familiar, yet interesting characters, had a story that held my interest, and served as a nice pallet cleanser for a few deeper reads of late.

I am pretty certain that in a review of an earlier book from this series I professed my crush on main character "Lindsay Boxer", I may even have mentioned the briefly lived TV series based on this group of characters and stories. It had been a long time since I read #7 so I guess partly that length of time along with the timing, added to my enjoyment of this book.

At it's core, you have a murder mystery, there's, as their often times is, a b-story, in this case, another murder mystery. Add the lives of the 4 main female characters, and the back drop of San Francisco - and there you have it.

I've had my issue with Patterson of late, in the grand scheme of things, I've read about half of his work - 50 something books thus far and in some instances, the stories seem boiler plate and diluted. This book held my interest and was not a waste of time.

I just read everything I wrote here a realize two things, it's a bit disjointed and more of me convincing you that this book wasn't bad rather than say how good it was and I guess that's just where I am with Patterson. There are some really great books of his that I've read, a few that really were a waste of time - this was a good one; somewhere above the middle of that spectrum.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Illogical Business Model

There are a few locations of a bar/pub/restaurant in these parts called "The British Beer Company". I've been to three different locations on a number of occasions now, all for the reason to see whatever band might be playing, but since there is food available, I also go with the  intent of enjoying dinner along with a pint or two of beer.

In one particular location, the service was so consistently bad, that the last time I went I felt compelled to file a formal complaint, so I wrote an email to the person in charge of the whole chain, who forwarded my note to the local restaurant where I had an issue and after some discussion, in an effort to keep my business, they offered me a $30 gift card; I accepted it.

Last night I went to the more local branch, in Framingham. I was pleased that the service was infinitely better than my last few experiences in Franklin, but similar to other branches, the band went on much later than expected because  there were still tables seated in the area that functions as the stage; this is flat out stupid!

If you hire a band, and pay them, knowing they are set to play at a particular time and obviously need to set up their instruments, why then would you continue to seat people in that area beyond a particular time?

No good excuse, there is no right answer other than hey should, based on their average table stay, determine a reasonable time to stop seating in that area so it can be cleared for the band. Period!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Book Review: Mortal Fear

As I closed the book after finishing it yesterday, I began to simply stare at it and repeatedly kept saying, "WOW!" My daughter was intrigued enough to inquire, so I chatted with her about how great this book is.

Folks, I've read a good number of books, certainly enough to know be able to say that writers like Greg Iles are very few and far between. Not taking anything away from some of the greats that we all know and love butthis guy really is something special, this is the second book of this that I read and both just blew me away.

You can read the synopsis out there on any of the book sites if you want to know more about the story, which is wonderful! I can tell you that because this book was written in the late 90's, there are a number of dated references, but that does no detract in any way form the character development, the imagery or the story line and incredible pace.

Folks, this is as good a book as I have ever read. I wish I was able to find a large print version to ease the middle aged eyes but every squint was worth it. WOW!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A Wee Bit Nervous

Time for my physical tomorrow, complete with blood work. For the first time in a few years, I'm a bit nervous. The last few months have been a bit more stressful than usual, the kitchen remodel has really turned things upside down and made eating right nearly impossible. Additionally, I had to put a stop to my exercise regimen to heal myself and getting that back to where it needs to be has been, as I knew it would, hard.

The odd thing, I always get anxious about my blood pressure. There were times when as they were taking it I felt myself have a little panic attack inside of me and was convinced it would be high, and it hasn't been...not for a very long time.

Cholesterol numbers have been good for a long time too, nervous about them too.

I'm always most nervous about blood sugar, I have a fear of diabetes because l watched it dismantle my mothers life and health over decades. I know things are different today and I am not my mother...all I can do is my best.

I hate the damn fasting!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Test Writing

I have to give an exam, rather exams, tomorrow and I spent a good deal of time writing these tests so that they are fair, but require the use of subject matter knowledge coupled with critical thinking skills.

I spent ample time reviewing for the test and I hope the students took the session seriously and come prepared.

I'm almost finished - but battling fatigue!

Lots of stress of late, thank god for small but wonderful favors, such as therapy dogs on campus today!

Gotta go finish up and hit the hay...later my readers and lurkers :) Peace!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Horrible Humans

I have way more respect for the steaming pile of crap on the left than the one on the right, I have almost as little respect for the parents who subject their children to the bitch on that ridiculous show from her dance studio.

What kind of parents are these? What shit stains on the world to allow some low life crap face who cares about nothing and nobody except for herself to talk to their kids the way this thing does?

What the fuck were the producers of Dancing With the Stars thinking letting her be a "guest judge"? (The whole guest judge thing on that show is a waste anyway).

Holy fuck nuts, this just makes me angry and I needed to blow off some steam.

I Wonder What if Feels Like to Be Struck By Lightning

I Wonder What if Feels Like to Be Struck By Lightning
How much would it hurt?
Would you even feel it or would it happen so fast you have no time to process it?
Is it possible that one might find salvation in such an occurrence?
Would it hurt more than the pain of losing the one person that means everything in the world to you?
Would it really make your hair stand straight up or is that just a false perception that some cartoon artist thought of?
I've always been mystified by lightning, always said that if I ever got "stupid rich" I'd build a lightning observatory at the top of my house.
Why is it that despite being so potent and dangerous, lightning is still so beautiful?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

What the Hell is With that Dumpy Area Anyway?

Despite my repeating how I will never bee seen at a particular dive in the city of Worcester again, I found myself there again last night as a loyal supporter of my friends "The Road Dawgs".You may recall from this blog my last time there when I was pulled over at random by the police.

Last night, I had to endure a DUI checkpoint, which is a real pain in the ass anytime but at 1:15 A.M., I just wanted my bed. I guess overall, it's good that this police activity takes place but it doesn't speak highly of the area and its inhabitants.

Of course, what the hell does it say about me that keeps going to that stupid place? Jeez!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

In My Ears 3

Since the last In My Ears post, here are the records I've passed through my skull:

Bastille - Bad Blood
You'll hear references to other bands but this is fresh and really good - I like this record a lot.

The Head and The Heart - Let's Be Still
Nice music, good listening.

Langhorne Slim - When the Sun Goes Down
Langhorne Slim - Be Set Free
Note previously familiar with his work, ventured in after hearing an interview with Marc Maron. This is gritty and real and very serious "country" music.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Unvarnished
The first time I heard any of this new stuff was a live performance on Kimmel and I was not impressed. However, the record is produced well enough to hide what Jett has obviously lost from the live game. Overall, this is a very good record.

Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles - Angels & Saints at Ephesus
Clearly not for everyone, must have an open mind. This is a haunting and beautiful record. I really love it!

Paul McCartney - New
I wrote off McCartney, despite his status in the industry, for the abomination that was his last record. However, I was wrong, this is a really great record - Sir Paul has something left to give and he gives it here. Also check out his contribution to Sound City.

Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
Bill Callahan - Dream River
I have no idea how to describe Bill Callahan but I can't imagine there could ever really be middle ground with him. I feel like it's a like him or not like him type of deal. This is not conventional music by any means but I happen to think it's really wonderful.

Haim - Days are Gone
Love it! Just listen...go ahead!

Lorde - The Love Clup EP
Lorde - Pure Heroine
Like most of America, my first dose of Lorde was hearing Royals, which I loved. These two records are her life's work to date but she's just a teenager and I think she's got something special, I like the work represented here and look forward to what might be next.

Sound City: Real to Reel
Not so much a soundtrack to Dave Grohl's brilliant Sound City documentary but the end result. This is a really terrific record with some great collaborations and wonderful surprises. McCartney's contribution will blow you away not only because of how amazing it is but also, how unexpected it is.

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
I prejudged what I would hear by the name of the band when I first heard them - the name, for me, makes it seem very gothic and/or heavy but this is a terrific rock band that makes current sounding music and makes it worth listening to.

Katy Perry - Prism
I've always like Katy Perry and most of her songs, I do have some reservations on some of the production choices and collaborations but overall, this is another solid radio record. Yes, there are some spots I would erase but all-in-all, enough good moments.

Brandy Clark - 12 Stories
heard this on NPR, All Songs Considered. Actually, heard one song then and was hooked, the whole record from this singer/songwriter is outstanding.

Poptopia! Power Pop Classics of the '70's
Go ahead, look it up, check out the song list. Every second of this amazing collection, had me singing out loud and feeling nostalgic and wonderful. Filled with licks, harmonies and songs that just stay great - this is a collection that is too much fun not to be listening to right at this moment.

Warren Zevon - My Ride's Here
Warren Zevon - Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School
Warren Zevon - Life'll Kill Ya
Warren Zevon - Mr. Bad Example
Warren Zevon - Preludes: Rare & Unreleased Recordings
Warren Zevon - Learning to Flinch (Live)
Warren Zevon - The Envoy
This is the first part of working my way through the great catalog of this very unique artist. After I read the book about him, I had decided to exhaustively revisit his work; as you can see, I meant it.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Windy City

They don't call it the windy city for nothing apparently. It was my first time there and I was standing on a lookout from South Lakeshore Drive watching over Lake Michigan and getting a good dose of that wind. Awaiting the arrival of a longtime friend whom I was meeting in person for the first time and there were butterflies. Over the course of a week, I felt a warmth and love for the city of Chicago, but the city wasn't the only thing that stole my heart.