Thursday, November 30, 2006
At 2 A.M., I made my way to bed and called it a night. After getting up at 6 and helping to get the kids dressed and into the van for school, I came back to bed with my alarm set for 10 A.M. and with intentions of meeting friends at Mothership BBQ. But at 9:30, apartment maintenance was knocking at my door so that they could replace the door to my laundry room. So I stay up and let them do their thing and smile because one of the guys looks just like Michael Bolton. It's not everyday that Michael Bolton fixes your door. And I don't mean the Michael Bolton from Office Space. ("Why should I change my name. He's the one who sucks.")
Anyway, I'm fighting the urge to play the original "When A Man Loves A Woman" while he works. I'm guessing he knows about the resemblance and I don't think I'll fuel the fire. He might like it.
The door is fixed. Back to bed.
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — The lead singer of the hugely popular children's group The Wiggles announced Thursday he will stop performing after being diagnosed with a chronic condition that causes dizziness, fatigue and nausea. more>>I've seen The Wiggles on television a number of times. I guess the nausea is contagious.
Speaking of "wiggle" and speaking of bad, here's Dylan circa 1991 singing "Wiggle Wiggle" in concert. My dad and I saw him on this tour at Vanderbilt and it was pretty much the worst concert ever.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It was a pleasure to see Tom Waits' appearance on The Daily Show. He chatted with John Stewart for a bit and John was clearly a fan. He asked a few questions, listened intently to Tom's replies and shared how nervous he was to be talking to him. Simply, the respect level was huge.
And then after a break, Tom took the stage to perform "The Day After Tomorrow." With only his guitar and Larry Taylor on standup bass, it was strikingly beautiful. It's a powerful and heartbreaking attempt to tell the story of a young soldier at war. Twenty-one years old and thinking of home. Armed for battle and contemplating the senselessness of it all.
But I suppose the show was running long and so with the song at its most tender part, the credits crawled and The Daily Show concluded for the night. Now I understand that these things can't always be helped. Producers have to pack a lot into a half hour show (less with commercial breaks), but with only one interview - Mr. Waits - it just seemed that a minute or so could have been spared elsewhere for this. It's not like it was just another musical act that was doing the promotional circuit. This was a musical guest that the host was clearly honored and elated to have on his show.
Oh well. I just hope that the studio audience got to hear the song in its entirety. It's a good one on record, but I'm happy to know how exceptional it is live. I must have heard it a dozen or so times on the CD and never paid it much attention. But when I heard Tom Waits perform it at the Ryman Auditorium a few months back, his voice and those lyrics grabbed me in a way that still gives me goosebumps.
All in all, it was great to see him. Now back to another fascinating night of C-Span.
But then I remembered a favorite album of mine from so many years ago that seemed perfect for relaxing in some well-deserved quiet time. And so now I am listening to The Cowboy Junkies' The Caution Horses. Margo and company soothe and satisfy. This is probably the most "comfortable" album I have ever owned.
My favorite lyric from "Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday Morning":
Telephone's ringing, but I don't answer it
'cause everybody knows that good news always sleeps till noon.
Good advice, Margo. And thanks for singing so sweetly.
Tom: "'Alternative sound sources' is the technical way of saying it, which could really be anything-- maybe something you found along the side of the road. I think hardware stores can be fascinating if you go in there with a mallet! I look for things that are left of center, something you've only seen your whole life, but never heard. Hit it! With a stick! I have a guitar made out of a 2x4 that I bought in Cleveland. You know, in Iraq, you can't have a guitar in the window of a music store because it's too sexy. You know, the curves. So I could go over there with these 2x4 guitars and really take the country by storm."
(click here for the whole interview)
Monday, November 27, 2006
Another cool feature allows you to see what songs are on a nearby Zune player. I'd love to see what the person on the treadmill next to me is listening to. As the article states, what a great way to get to know someone with similar musical interests. ("You like Robert Plant too? Care to squirt me some of that new box set?")
We sure do talk weird here in the future.
Today reminded me a bit of that point when I took them to the park so that they could play on this...
...but they spent most of their time playing in this.
I suppose my spouse would be able to compose a list of weird things about me pretty quickly. But if you'll excuse me, I have to go eat my ketchup and applesauce sandwich now.
I work nights and still haven't hooked up my VCR since my last move so I haven't seen the show yet. Some folks I know seem to like the show and so I may try to check it out.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Between Pacman's interceptions and Vince Young's scoring drives, it was a beautiful thing to view. Jeff Fisher said, "Wow." Giant's coach Tom Coughlin said, "We're going to be sick about this one forever." And my wife said, "I think I want a Vince Young jersey." But she wanted that one before the game anyway.
My favorite moment was the joke of a sack attempt on Young by Giants rookie Mathias Kiwanuka. Facing fourth-and-10 in the waning moments, Young dropped back only to be hugged immediately by the speedy Kiwanuka. It was a sure sack and I was sure that New York would take possession and handily wrap up this game with a well-needed victory. But the sack was not to be as Kiwanuka quickly released his grip from our rookie QB, assuming I suppose that this was simply a two-hand touch contest and his job was done.
The hug complete, Young took off for a 19 yard run, guaranteeing the Titans a first down and an opportunity to tie the game. Score and tie they did. One more Pacman Jones interception and a field goal kick later and the rest was history. The biggest fourth quarter comeback in franchise history and it feels good to be a fan.
[Edit to add: In defense of Mathias Kiwanuka's mistake on the attempted sack, he says that he had his head down and thought that Vince Young had already thrown the ball. He was concerned about a possible 15-yard penalty for driving the quarterback to the ground and so released his grip. I hope he redeems himself next week against Dallas.]
Cross-cultural research suggests that men generally prefer to hook up with younger women. The same does not appear to hold true for chimpanzees. A new study finds that the males of that species go for older females in a big way. Chimp researchers have long suspected that the animals prefer older females as mates. For example, Jane Goodall, who spent nearly half a century studying the chimps at Gombe, Tanzania, noted that some males were extremely attracted to older females.
The tube of static electricity.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Dark City, Sin City, and The Cooler are all on. At the same time.
Cable knows just what I like, but could it space it out a bit better?
Too many choices. (Which is better than not enough.)
She was a local girl working in the service industry (waiting tables) just like me (hotel bellman) and I found myself looking forward to each new post. Her blog is what got me hooked on this new medium and I soon decided that I may as well jump in and be a part of this whole new blogging thing.
Brittney, of course, landed herself one of those jobs that simply didn't exist a few years back. That in itself is pretty cool. I wonder how many people out there are working jobs that hadn't even been invented while they were in high school. Day in and day out, Brittney keeps all of us bloggers neatly aggregated and blogrolled. She reads our rants and our tributes, our political viewpoints and our very funny posts.
Quietly, I am a part of this fun and exciting community. Brittney, you probably didn't know that you inspired me to start blogging, but you did.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Seriously, it wasn't a big deal. While Beziats might be known for their skills in the world of automotive repair, we have been known to change the odd tire. And I'd prefer to think that all of the people who drove by my disabled car on a dark Thanksgiving night were just confident that I could do the job and do it well. And for their confidence in me, I am thankful.
On a less silly note, I really am grateful for the things that break which remind me of the things I have and the family that I miss which remind me of the family that I have. I wish them a safe return from Florida and I wish the best for you and yours.
My flashlight batteries were dead so I used the next best thing.
Anyway, the plan was to go up early and take some pictures of the town in all of its beauty. But I overslept and made it up there just in time for eating. So here's the link to some other people's picture of Hartsville via flickr.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I have a check to deliver, some pictures to take, and a movie to see. As for after the movie matinee, I have no plans yet. Is this what a life of leisure is like? I approve.
I've met fellow bloggers only to have them write about me later as being really tall. I've got to work on that. "Funny" or "really intelligent" are preferred adjectives. (I have given up on "good looking." That would have worked when I was in my mid-20s, but that was a long time ago.)
I really don't think of myself as particularly tall. Whether you are 5'2", 5'6", or 5'9", you are just another person who is shorter than me. But then, my brother and his friends are a good 6 to 8 inches taller than me. For a short time, I lived as an adult with my little - albeit much taller - brother and I would often come home from work to a house filled with his basketball playing buddies. There I would be, 6'2" in a room full of people a good half foot taller than myself. In those nights, I would smile, look upwards and think, "Wow. So this is how the rest of the world sees me."
Anyway, for those of you who are over 18 years of age, I will direct you to a site that I like to visit in these after midnight hours. Nerve.com is one of those sites I like because it is sexy but also because it is written for the internet surfer who likes a little literature and art with his sex. The writer of this nerve article writes of a "social convention for uncharacteristically tall people." (Warning: It starts out innocently enough but does get around to the topic of S-E-X. Just so you know.)
One closing note: Tip your hotel shuttle driver. We might make less than you think. If a taxi would set you back $10, then throw this driver a buck. You're still ahead nine. Thanks.
Holiday season. It means many things but it's very telling that this is when I see our boys in blue every few miles on my way back from work. "Don't worry about me, boys. I do my drinking at home."
I cross the dam and study the lights and their reflections in the water as I drive slowly to the place where my bed and my love wait for me. The only real color I see is the yellow Waffle House sign in my rearview mirror. The rest is like a black and white album cover, "artistic" but cheaply done.
Because I can, I built a domain for myself on the web. I registered www.chezbez.com via Microsoft's OfficeLive and simply used it as a link to this blog, my photography blog, and my myspace page. I'll turn to a friend to see if he can spiff it up a bit. For now, it's basic as basic gets. More importantly, it's also free as free gets. Everyone knows you can't impress girls with your website address if you have to add dot-blogspot.com to the end. Now I simply direct the ladies to www.chezbez.com and wait for the fawning to follow. (Note to self: Meet ladies. Another note to self: Watch lovely wife roll her eyes as she reads this.)
- Not blogging about work, but...remember in Office Space when the protagonist makes an error with the TPS reports and hears about it from several different bosses? We are all supposed to relate to him and his cubicle misery. Me? I watch that scene and every time, I think how lucky he is to have so many bosses on the same page. On a daily basis, I answer to any number of bosses who would approach any given situation with a number of different viewpoints.
The wine is now gone. The bottle is empty.
- Tennesseans. You mean well. You are patriotic. We get that. But many of you need to know something. You are flying your state flag upside-down. Its top star should be closest to the pole. If the star closest to the pole is on the bottom, you need to start over and hoist that rag opposite of how you hoisted it before. No biggie. It's an easy mistake. Even the local Air National Guard is flying it upside-down. So, if we are grading on a curve...you're cool.
- Red light runners. I counted so many of you while I was driving my hotel shuttle bus tonight. Stop it. You're gonna kill someone. And for what? A minute better on your travel time? "Bee alert. Arrive unhurt."
I heard a song on NPR tonight during a Tom Waits interview. I may be using it out of context, but I imagined me singing it to my little daughter as a lullabye. The song and its lyrics follow:
"Bend Down The Branches"
The sky's as deep as it can be
Bend down the branches
Close your eyes and you will see
Bend down the branches
You're like a willow
Once you were gold
We're made for bending
Even beauty gets old
Climb the stairs they're not so steep
Bend down the branches
Close your eyes and go to sleep
Bend down the branches
Sleep well. My lonely Thanksgiving approaches. But you read this and I smile.
Wanna see Casino Royale with me and my dad Wednesday afternoon? We're catching the 4ish showing at Regal Green Hills Cinema. Witnessing strangers saying stuff to me like, "Aren't you Chez Bez?" would really knock his socks off. I'll be the tall guy. (Tall people post above.)
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
I believed every word of his apology and wish everyone the best as we go about our lives forgiving and forgetting and trying to be good humans to one another. Michael Richards, I guess it's safe to say, provided for us tonight an example of what we should all do when we find ourselves on the wrong side of right. He wasted very little time in standing up and apologizing for the pain he caused.
As for the ill-fitting laughter heard from the audience, I wish to think that it was the result of the uncomfortable silences as Michael Richards struggled to find his words. Kudos to Jerry though, for admonishing the laughers by saying, "Stop it. It's not funny."
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I was reading reviews of Orphans tonight and followed a link blindly...and there it was. It really is a thing of beauty.
I stay current with The Eyeball Kid, but Tom Waits Supplement was the first site dedicated to Tom Waits that seemed to really get it right.
The cover is only $5 and all proceeds go to Toys for Tots. I'll be there. Who's with me?
Schoolhouse Rock Live! at Nashville Children's Theatre
How'd you get your laughs when you were growing up?
I remember the first time I thought about timing. Somebody was talking about something, I thought of something funny, but the guy wouldn't shut up to let me say it. I thought, "I've got to wait until he's done," but when he was done it wasn't pertinent anymore. I knew I couldn't say it then, so I threw a question out there that led him back to the original topic that I had thought the funny thing about, he said something, stopped, I said the funny thing, it got a big laugh, and I thought, "I had to manipulate that." I remember feeling powerful because not only did I think of a funny thing, I figured out a way to get back to it. This was long before I ever considered being a comedian. It was just learning how to be funny with your buddies.
Here's my wife's post about it.
On the TV was an old favorite show of mine, M*A*S*H. And my little guy had just politely been sitting on the couch watching it. One has to wonder what he had to make of it. No Dora or Diego to be found exploring the mountains of South Korea. Blue was not looking for clues in Klinger's tent. This was unfamiliar territory for Joshua. I guess he assumed it was a funny show, thanks to the laugh track, but I wonder how he was following it. A kid's just gotta watch TV sometimes, I guess.
A couple of nights later, my wife got up in the middle of the night and heard a sound coming from the living room. She ventured down the hallway at 4 A.M. and peered around the corner to find both children, Joshua and his little sister, sitting properly on the couch watching C-SPAN. I'll decide he's watching too many Senate debates if he starts wishing to be referred to as "the gentleman from Tennessee."
I guess it just comes down to this: The kids know how to turn on the television but they don't quite know how to change the channels away from what mom or dad were watching earlier in the evening. And at the hours they seem to be keeping, I guess it's best that we can't afford any movie channels.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
On my "Things To Do Before I Die" list is the goal of traveling across America by train. I envision a leisurely week or so of riding the rails with my camera and my notebook. Any destination is fine. I just want to feel relaxed for a period of time and gaze at my country's glorious scenery - not by plane where I am thousands of miles above it or by car where I am focusing more on the road than beauty around me, but by train where I can casually study the view out my window and reflect on all that has happened in this land over so many years.
Usually, when thinking about this, I imagine a trip up into the New England states. I think of timing it to witness the awesome fall foliage. But today, I was talking with my Montana residing friend and did a little AmTrak.com research. There is a route called the Empire Builder that travels from Chicago to Seattle with a stop very near her home. It'd be nice to finally meet a friend I only know through blogging. What a beautiful trip that would be. My wife has always wanted to live in Montana (she even subscribed to the Billings Gazette while in college at UGA). I doubt we'll ever move there, but it would be a nice gift to her to take a trip to Montana.
So, the "Things To Do Before I Die" list now includes AmTrak's Empire Builder route. Paige and I would leave the kids with my mother-in-law and we'd just disappear together for a while. No internet, no blogging, no punch clocks - just leisure time with my love as we get to know parts out west.
I found a nice article on that route and train travel in general at thelobby.com.
What's on your list?
Friday, November 17, 2006
With that in mind, I guess now might be a good time to check eBay for unwanted PS2s.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Suffice to say that I am finally home, I have beers in my belly, and I have Vern Gosdin playing on the stereo.
There's a song in my mood and disposition tonight. But Nashville is full of writers tonight and I'd just rather leave the writing to them. I've finally got walls, beer, music, and solitude. Ten hours on the clock and I'll take my reward.
[Edit to add: The funk is gone. Why? The workplace is a million miles away, Vern Gosdin has run his course, and I am now listening to 1991's fantastic Bone Machine by Tom Waits. I'm back on top.]
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
And then there is the car business. From dealers to repair shops, it seems that we not only lose out on the deals, but we just accept it as a foregone conclusion that we will be lied to and we will pay too much. We are just too weary to fight these battles. I would love to live in a city with better mass transportation. I would love to not need to own a car. Even if living in a city with a higher cost of living outweighed the price of driving a car in my current city, I would just feel better not having the daily worry of whether or not my car would start and how that would affect my family financially. And essentially, I want to be no one's sucker.
I'm thinking of this after reading the latest in alleged Bill Heard dishonesty:
"We would like to congratulate you on your ‘04 Trailblazer," a voice said.
It's a recording that'd been left on the car's message system by the salesmen at Bill Heard that closes with this zinger:
"I know you got f**ked, but still in the long run, you're going to be happy with it. So, take care!"
I invite your comments on the subject of trusted mechanics and car dealers. Shared knowledge is indeed shared power.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
And now The Go! Team is featured in a Honda commercial. It's like this Titans game is being brought to you by Vanderbilt's WRVU. I can't wait for the next commercial break. I'd like to request something by The Mountain Goats, please.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I write the blog because the fantasy is that one day I write for a living and stop punching a clock for a living.
When was the fantasy's seed planted? A long time ago. I was wandering about an old bookstore that didn't survive downtown Nashville's resurgence as a tourist destination. I couldn't have been but nineteen or twenty years old and already I was dealing with more than I was ready for in life. At the front end of one aisle of that old bookstore was a title of a book that caught my eye. It was called Women. I had never heard of its author, Charles Bukowski, but I liked the title and I liked what I read from skimming a few pages.
I bought that book that day, and from that night to this day Bukowski has been the man I always go to when I need to read the best. In Waffle House diners and in workplace locker rooms, I have settled myself down by reading his poems and his novels and his short stories.
Tonight, the kids are sleeping well and my wife has turned in for the night. It is only me and my bulldog occupying the main room and I am finally watching a wonderful documentary on the man called Bukowski: Born Into This. The bulldog is chewing on a blanket. I'll have to get after her for that, but I'll give her a minute or so of fun first.
I've got mine.
Oh, how the timing of that text message was perfect. It came from my wife while I was at work. It was just a random and sweet little reminder of her love for me.
Except that I was also experiencing another little random encounter at the time. I was standing in my hotel lobby talking with one of my coworkers when in walked R. This was the woman I had dated before Paige and I had gotten back together and decided to get married. R. was now married as well and had brought in her newborn baby for some of our mutual friends to see. (She used to work here, too.)
So while politely catching up with an old girlfriend and exchanging niceties, I received that little text message from my beautiful wife, "Love u. Miss u." Women really can sense these things, can't they? I was quick to text back. Finding no need for lengthy and profound eloquence, I replied simply, "U 2." And I smiled for our shared love.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
That said, I wasn't really very passionate about either one of our candidates for Senate. I would have voted for Ford Jr. but that would only have been me voting the party line. The thing that has me blogging is that right now, with 50% of the polls reporting, 930,660 (or 81%) of the voters have voted YES for the amendment to ban same-sex marriages. I won't dare argue someone's moral beliefs on that matter. I'm still young and I am far from wise, but it just seems like such a mean thing to vote for. I am a straight man and I have several gay friends who are feeling yet another slap in the face from society.
Whatever your religious beliefs, let's just approach this from a strictly legal standpoint. Let's just think about people and their rights. This is about hospital visitation if a loved one is sick or dying. This YES vote is about denying certain humans basic rights that the rest of us take for granted. Is it just the word marriage that scares people so much? What if it's just called something else? I know I need to do my homework on this before going on and on about it. I'm sure it's more complex than I know. It just makes me mad to read about so many people voting so passionately about something that really doesn't affect them at all.
I see amendments like these and think that it's just a ploy by one party to get people to the polls ("Don't have an opinion about taxes? How about gays?"). But then, in a tight race where Corker is currently winning with 53% and the amendment winning by over 80%, that tells me that a lot of Ford voters are voting YES, too. (Or does that mean that a lot of YES voters aren't casting a vote for the senate at all?)
I'm still learning, I guess.
It's not like you disappeared. You stayed in the news for reasons completely unrelated to music. Please, get with the right producer and make that kickass comeback album I know you have in you.
I imagine that he will be remembered as something of a hero by hard working newsroom staffs across the country.
Editor Is Forced Out at Los Angeles Times
Monday, November 06, 2006
I'm always at work and I am always dissatisfied with something that I have just been told to do. Last night's dream had me getting off work at midnight and being told that I had to come back in at 5 A.M. the following morning for a double shift (5 A.M. to midnight). I protested but relented and was on my way out the door when the most familiar part of the dream occurred. I fainted and fell to the floor only to immediately recover and continue about my day.
This dream happens about once a week or so. Always with the fainting and always with the quick recovery and on with my day. In last night's dream, I also found a quicker route home from work. My dreams seriously need new writers.
Wait. I'm in my living room in my Nashville, Tennessee apartment and the sound that I hear is actually just the dishwasher running its cycle. It's cleaning my children's sippy cups and other assorted dishes and glasses. Still, it's very relaxing.
I should do the dishes after midnight more often.