Monday, February 28, 2005

Craptastik Weekend

I was looking forward to a nice weekend out. I had a difficult week. After the Indian food that made me break out like a 14 year old had kinda worked its way out of me and I began feeling a bit better... well, I realize I hadn't been out in a while.
So I headed over to Alive One & Griffins on Saturday. Normally, I'd go see some music, but nothing caught my eye. This is the second weekend in a row where this had happened. February is always the toughest time of the year in the midwest, so I don't blame the bands for not coming forth until the Spring approaches, but I digress... I went to Alive One.
I grabbed a Newcastle from Lynzie. She's such a sweetie and a good bartender. Anyway, I talked about the Sox a bit with a couple of people. I even entertained a conversation about the Cubs. At the moment, I'm not too excited about the sport. I'm a bit pissed to find out that all these guys were juicing to bat dingers, but whatever. This is the time when most kids are getting their fantasy baseball leagues together. And by the time these guys talked about their night doing just that, I was ready to walk across the street to Griffins to see what was up over there.
I'm not sure who was playing, and I know I didn't care, but I saw a few friendly faces and that was enough. My buddy Matt told me later that night that they were towing cars from the lot he told me to park in. I knew that second my car was gonna be gone... and it was.
For my two beers, it cost me $8. For my cab ride to get my car $10. To get my car out of the klink $150. Total lesson cost: $168. No Visa/Mastercard punchline here, just a moral: When there ain't shit you wanna do outside in February, just stay in!


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Find Yourself a City

I like this place, and I like my job, but I don't love it. I was passionate about music and the music business. Since then I've become smart about business. I know how to develop and implement plans for success and I can get it done with in a reasonable time.
I love science and discovery and its been the driving force in my life in the last ten years. These past few years, while working in the candy business, my focus has been on increasing sales for the family company. And to those ends I've succeeded. Sales are up... really up! Accounts are stabilized. Lost accounts from the past are regained. Sahagian & Associates, Inc. is becoming recognized as a brand name and as a leader in the production of private label candy. The business has a website and is EDI compliant. There are more things that have gone on in the business since my return than have in the previous 10 years. And for all of this, Linda, has done pretty well. I haven't been paid well for my work... a pitence of what commissions should have been coming in. So, I'm looking again at potential job offers to see what awaits a man who can sell millions of dollars of candy in a single year.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson Signs Off

This has not been a good month for me and the celebrities of which I've crossed paths. Now we'll never hear from Hunter S. Thompson again, or maybe we will. I have a feeling that Hunter was the kind of guy that would have gone out making one last point. I wouldn't be at all suprised if he left a book or final journal entry that explains his mindset at the moment he pulled the trigger at his place outside of Aspen, CO.
I'm not sure what circumstances he had to do himself in. You'd think a drug overdose would have been the obvious choice for him. As a journalist you'd think he'd have more appreciation for life, his and others... plus the fact that he was one of those people who told others to reach out with their feelings and connect with others and tell the truth.
He was a man on the whim.
I remember meeting Ken Kesey on New Years Eve in 1996... which seems like many more than eight years ago and thinking to myself that Thompson would have been like Ken, but nothing could be further from the truth. Ken was a guy I could see tromping through the farm in boots and walking right through a pile of cow dung, cause its only cow dung... and Hunter was the kind of guy that would have gotten upset about it... he struck me as the kind of guy that would wear over the calf yellow socks and berks in the same situation, (horribly underequipped but do it anyway).
They both became signatures of the literary genius of their generation and though I'm not going to compare and contrast their work, its what just crossed my mind so I wrote it. I think Hunter would have liked us to just do exactly that, it was his thing... he said shit that others wouldn't or couldn't because of rules, regs, editors, and fear of offending people.
Its gonna happen when people are complacent. People like to put themselves in the center of everything and I think that's ok. Marley said every man thinks his burden is the heaviest and its true. Just think that its relative and people see that relativity as objectivity and its confused.
People can look really deep into any subject. Of course there will be as many layers as there is time to dissect it. And it follows that you can take those smaller elements and build it bigger until you've erected a mountain before you so high you can't see what's on the other side. Its micro all the way in and macro all the way out... and what's at the center?
Its overwhelming in a way because being at the center of everything, its kind of hard to get anywhere. Hunter, is that right? Maybe we'll find out this was his last gonzo report from the field. Maybe he'll come back and haunt us with a story of what its like on the other side? He'd probably say its like being on mescallin... though that was probably his description of everything.
"Hey, Hunter, how was that gumbo you got in New Orleans?"
"Well, it was kinda like being on mescallin..."
R.I.P. man.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Good Moments in the Last 6 Months

Here's a short list of things I've enjoyed and rather be doing than being in Chicago on a 20 degree (Farenheit) day:
1) Driving through the hills on the way to Santa Cruz w/ Sarah and her dog.
2) Lying down under the trees in Natural Bridges State Park and letting butterflies land on me w/ Laci.
3) Eating a big ol' omlette at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market w/ Ben & Tosha.
4) Swimming with the dolphins that hang out around Ft Myers Beach.
5) Listening to Keller Williams warm up before a concert.
6) Drinkin' a beer at the Beer Garden in Astoria w/ Franklin.
7) Hangin' out with my Dad in the bleachers at a game.
8) Watching Josh play ping-pong at Schuba's.
9) Playing my brother in chess (usually on Yahoo! games).
10) Eating a gelato on the Spanish Steps.
11) Finding old/missing CDs & updating my Ipod with new music.
12) Dancing with Moona in Madison at the Portal.
13) Meeting EP for the first time.
14) Finding the right stuffed animal for a old friend's child.
15) Seeing Steve @ the Barrymore smile for the first time in a while.
16) Late night around the campfire outside of Ft Collins w/ Chris, Tammer et al.
17) Juggling my soccerball inside the house.
18) Just about anytime I get to hang with Angela, Missy, Dustin et al.
19) Watching my sister work her horses.
20) Making sales.


Monday, February 14, 2005

Bah Humbug

I have a simple formula for not having a valentine this year, but instead of sharing it with you I'll just scorn this hallmark holiday as the load of crap we all know it is.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Great Chicken Shack in the Sky - Goodbye Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith popularized the Hammond B3 organ as a jazz
& funk instrument. As much credit as was given to Ray
Charles's life, Jimmy Smith should receive the same. Their
music continues to impact my life. I was fortunate enough to
meet Jimmy Smith in Madison, WI a couple of years ago at
a Luther's Blues concert.
In "jazz-world" its not uncommon for musicians to sit in with
one another. Jimmy Smith played with Grant Green, Lou
Donaldson, Stanley Turrentine, Jack McLean, Herbie
Hancock and just about every other great musician from the era.
Though he's best known for "Back At The Chicken Shack,"
my favorite Jimmy Smith track has to be "Give Up The
," a coordinated effort between Jimmy Smith &
Herbie Hancock.
His work was stellar enough to earn him the names:
"The Amazing Jimmy Smith" or "The Increidble Jimmy Smith"
We've lost another great musician to time.
I hope that the world continues to hold his work in high regard.
I will. Goodbye & have fun in the great chicken shack in the sky!


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Kung Fu Hustle

A great pick from my unlimited stash of possible distractions, a movie: Kung Fu Hustle

This falls squarely into the genre of Chop Socky Comedy and is well worth checking out! Its made by the creators of the movie Shaolin Soccer, a hilarious film about a rag tag group of kids who turn to kung fu as a way to score goals.
Jackie Chan made some funny movies, but they really don't hold a torch to what Chow does in Gongfu "Kung Fu Hustle." The story is about some sorry schleb who dreams of becoming a 1940's styled gangsta. The movie garnished a number of nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards... 16 nominations in a possible 18 categories!
Check out the website for the trailer & fun lil video games!