Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PETA Gets Points For Publicity, But...

...are their stunts effective? I really want to know.

I respect protesters across the globe. Even when I disagree with the protests, I love seeing people stand up for what they believe in. When I see Americans protest, I am thankful that I live in a country where it is possible to do so without fear of being jailed. When I see people protest in countries where they do not have freedom to do so, I admire their bravery.

But PETA...does a mostly naked person in downtown Nashville (photos courtesy of Cotter) wearing nothing but panties and barbecue sauce really get a point across? I respect vegetarians and I try to keep my meat consumption to a minimum. One day, I might consume even less (or more), but I doubt my eating habits will be affected by a public stunt.

Just wondering.

Happy "I Have To Say I Love You" Day Is Coming Up

USA Today's Pop Candy asks how you intend to impress your love this Valentine's Day.

Can you beat Lloyd Dobler's boom-box scene?

It's hard to believe Valentine's Day is coming up in a couple weeks -- maybe that's partly because several Christmas trees still linger by the curb on my street. In any case, USA TODAY has just launched a search for readers' romantic gestures, and I figured some of you may want to contribute.

Me? I once took my love to a Chuck Klosterman book reading. (Wait. That might have been for our anniversary. Still...) This year's plans are still unknown but I hope that I can raise the bar a bit for once.

I've never been one to embrace the whole idea of showing my love with cards and flowers just because it happens to be February 14th. My Finnish friend says that in her country, the day is approached more as a day to celebrate friendships than romance. I like that idea a lot.

I'd rather be the American romantic who brings home cards and flowers at random times throughout the year. Sweet nothings whispered based on nothing more than the urge to bring a smile to my love's face seems much preferred to doing it because it is the day that everyone else does it. But that said, it's been a long time since I have brought home a card or a flower for no good reason. Life has been busy and exhausting lately and my lovely wife deserves a big show this year. Broke or not, this year had better be good.

I wonder if Chuck Klosterman will be in the area?

She's Two, What To Do?

My littlest has just doubled her age. She's as cute as ever and quite the smart little cookie. No longer does her big brother run the house without challenge. She may be smaller, but she holds her ground now. Her mother and I have loved watching her find her personality.

But how to celebrate her big birthday today? Nashville must have some fun things going on that she might enjoy. The Nashville Chamber Singers are holding auditions today. We could try out.

PETA is staging a naked protest downtown at lunchtime. We'll probably skip that though.

Einstein is a Dummy is performed today and The Wooten Brothers play tonight (maybe I'll teach her to sing "Brick House").

In all seriousness, the best idea is storytime at our local library. We've done that a few times before. But we are at home and the car with the car seats is not with us today, so we'll just spend birthday number two hanging around the house and playing with her big brother.

One thing is for certain - there is birthday cake for later this evening. Yum.

Hendrix, pre-Purple Haze

Jimi is in the back-up band on guitar. And I'm not sure I'll ever hear "Shotgun" the same way ever again. The choreography is a work of art. (Note: Some art makes me giggle.)

On Wynonie Harris

I've been spending a lot of time lately listening to Wynonie Harris and other popular jump blues artists from the '40s and early '50s. Tonight, I found a great piece on him by rock historian Ed Ward.

Big thanks to Pete of WRVU's Nashville Jumps radio show for turning me onto this music in the first place.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Or I'll Just Play Through The Pain Anyway

Three days with the scratchy throat. Two days drinking the blue help-the-scratchy-throat stuff. Let this be the day that it all clears up.

So that I may play in the snow later this week with my kids and get sick all over again.

Wintry Mix, On The Way

35° | 28°
Chance of Snow
37° | 17°

I can't wait.


While tidying up before bed, I just got my keyboard drunk. I thought the empty bottle was in my right hand and the almost empty one was in my left. While walking from the couch to the kitchen, I turned my right hand just so as I passed over the laptop. What was that sound I heard? The sound of liquid obeying gravity and falling onto my powered off laptop's keyboard.

Hurriedly, I ran a cloth over the keys and then turned it on for a test spin. So far, so good. But the alcohol on its breath is none too pleasant.

What should I do now? (Or what should I have done immediately following the spill?)

Ugh. Well, off to bed for me. I hope I have a working laptop in the morning. Otherwise ugagrad1995 is gonna be way pissed at me.

[Update: All is still working fine the morning after. The space bar is a bit sticky but otherwise functional. I figured it was time for a proper cleaning and popped up one key to get started. Man, it's filthy underneath! But now I can't get that key back on. I may just take it to a computer repair shop and ask them to give my laptop a thorough cleaning.]

Monday, January 29, 2007

No Post Too Unimportant

I'm home from work and reading blogs while the TV is turned to C-Span. It's just background noise and I figure that a little bit of political knowledge will find its way into my big brain without too much effort on my part.

I can't concentrate too much on my blog reading though because the guy at the podium sounds just like Tim Conway. I keep looking up expecting to catch some zany comedy skit.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Unhappy Meals

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.

... more>>

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Kid Turns 70

A funny age to turn, 70, and despite misgivings I have gone ahead and done it... more>>

Friday, January 26, 2007

Three Year Old With Camera

(click for full size)

Eat Your Camera

Sites that you wouldn't think are popular but are:

Bed jumping pics at

Running from camera pics at

So, why not big ad dollars at

Maybe not. ;)

But I do think it's a funny picture. Especially clicked and enlarged.


I Wish I Was Born By Centrifugal Force

There is a patent from 1965 for that very method of baby delivery. As states, "It's like the worst state fair ride ever."

That Sunday, by Adam Gopnik

My father has given me:
  • A long time ago, a trip to New York City, where we stayed in the wonderful Hotel Chelsea and visited, among so many other cool places, the Village Vanguard.
  • A few years ago, a book by Adam Gopnik titled Paris to the Moon, guaranteeing Mr. Gopnik a fan in me for life.
  • Over the years, an appreciation - if not love - for jazz.
Adam Gopnik's new book, Through the Children's Gate, arrived at my local library yesterday and I spent my dinner break in the cafeteria reading as much of it as I could in 30 minutes or less. I chose That Sunday, an account of Bill Evans' famous gig at the Village Vanguard from June 25, 1961. It was a perfect choice. Beautifully written, his love for the music and the story behind it respectful and charming, I moved my way through it, unhindered by the usual workplace noises of dishes and mouths. Gopnik took me back in time and showed me Evans in his most magical highs and his very sad lows (drug addiction and outrageous self-doubt).

I'm home now and I am listening to that recording, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, as I type this. My living room is dark, it's almost 1 A.M. and I should be sleeping. But the music plays, and I am back in NYC and I can see that wonderful jazz haven, its steps descending from the street and into that room of so much rich jazz history. The glasses clink, the small audience claps - and chatters - and I remember being there as if I can still smell the cigarette smoke on my clothes.

More about that trip later. Now, Adam Gopnik on Bill Evans and That Sunday. You have 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trying to Save the World, 24-7

Sam Davidson takes issue with An Inconvenient Truth director David Guggenheim's comparison of Al Gore to action hero Jack Bauer. Sam's right. We 24 fans know Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer is our friend. Senator, Al Gore is no Jack Bauer.

But he does believe in something passionately. He will not be bullied into silence about something that he believes affects the health of so many people. Jack Bauer uses his gun to get his point across. Al Gore just uses constant and insistent in-your-face confrontation. That is why I think the Jack Bauer comparison is all wrong. Al Gore is really our Erin Brockovich. Except that he doesn't use his cleavage to get attention. Thank God for that. Thank God.

I'm Now Officially Older Than Dirt

Jets, Raiders, Steelers...

They all have head coaches who are younger than me.

I'm not cool with that.

Directions to Gallantry

Following bad directions and finding myself in the wrong building, I wander about until I see a desk with someone behind it. I inquire as to where I can find a certain person.

"Oh, how nice. And who is he?"

She says this in a very condescending tone. I'm asking a simple question and I'm being polite. Great.

"He's a patient."

"Well, he wouldn't be in this building," she says as she rolls her eyes. "I'll find out for you."

She dials patient information and as she waits for someone to pick up, she just bothers me more.

"So, what's he here for?"

"I don't know..."

"Must not be too close a friend, huh? You don't seem to know much about him."

What the...??!! "He's my grandfather. I just got word..."

Her other phone rings and she mutters, "Figures."

Now she is talking on one phone while handing the first one to another woman who has just walked up. Her smile is genuine and kind. I like her already. The first one is now berating someone with a shipping company. It's the same infantalizing tone she gave me.

I was madder earlier, but now I am past it. This is nothing personal. She's just a bad egg or she's a good person having a rotten day. The second woman has found my info and is graciously giving me directions. And I am off to visit my grandfather. He's sick again and it seems that the worst is expected. But then he looked a bit better than I was preparing myself for. Weak but stable, and certainly in good care.

He's a gentleman, through and through. There are a lot of wonderful men and women in my family, but it's he who has set the bar so high in my eyes. He's a hero for his accomplishments and he's a hero for his humility and kindness. I still learn about how to be a man when I watch him interact with strangers. Whether it's the Fox 17 news reporter who interviewed him a couple of years ago about his days piloting a B-24 bomber in WWII or the nurse who is asking him critical questions today about his health, he always exemplifies the best virtues of humankind.

Gracious, humble and polite, it doesn't seem to ever cross his mind to talk down to another human being. The kind nurse asks him yet another question and he answers, "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am." Twenty hours in a railed hospital bed too short for his long, tall body, with every excuse for extreme grumpiness, and he's still the man I'm so proud to know.

This, in such contrast with the woman who appeared to take such pleasure in letting me feel her annoyances with me. I hope she settles down with her little attitude. It was so unnecessary.

Remembering Alice

Nextbook on Calvin Trillin's beautiful tribute to his wife.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Be Cool

Christian McBride contributes to NPR's "This I Believe" series.

Be Cool

Words to live by, indeed.

I Used To Think This Looked Ridiculous

I still do, but now I want one.
The Joby Gorillapod

Changes in Mellencamp Country

“People say I sold out,” John Mellencamp said, explaining his decision to license a song for a Chevrolet commercial. “No, I got sold out. Sometime during the ’90s record companies made the decision that us guys who had been around for a long time and had sold millions of records and were household names just weren’t as interesting as girls in stretch dresses.” ...more>>

Monday, January 22, 2007

Not Writing, Just Sharing

Woke up at the crack of noon and checked my reader for new posts by blogs I like.

A few:
Now if you'll excuse me, this foodie has some Chef Boyardee ravioli on the stove.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Super Bowl XLI: UT vs. Florida

At least that's how I imagine it will be seen by some of the die-hard SEC football fans around these parts. Chicago's Bears will be led by former Gator Rex Grossman and Peyton Manning of UT fame is under center for the Indianapolis Colts as they face off in this year's Super Bowl. Heck, Vandy's shining star Jay Cutler didn't miss the playoffs by much in Denver.

I heard an announcer tonight refer to Indianapolis as "circle city." I had never heard that before. I wondered briefly if it was because of the race track at the famous Indy 500, but then it would have to be called "oval city" I guess. Well, I looked it up. The answer is kind of boring. It would have been better kept as a mystery. IndyScribe has the facts:
Indy is called the "Circle City" because the original design of Indianapolis was created in 1821 by surveyor Alexander Ralston, who was strongly influenced by the design of the nation's capital. At the center of a Mile Square plat, Ralston placed a circle — originallycalled the "Governor's Circle" because the governor's mansion was intended to reside there. In 1902, when the Soldier's and Sailor's Monument was placed on the circle, it became known as Monument Circle, and has become a symbol for the Hoosier capital.

For the record, I don't really care who wins. I'm out of favorite NFL teams in the playoffs.
  • My hometown Titans? Out.
  • My dad's Bengals? Out.
  • McNair's Ravens? Out.
  • Cutler's Broncos? Out.
I might lean a bit toward the Colts for two reasons.
  1. Coach Dungy has only ever been the classiest and nicest coach. Tampa Bay was wrong to let him go and I'd like to see him finally get a Super Bowl ring. Especially since this time last year he was contemplating retiring.
  2. I have no love for Peyton Manning, but I tire of the whole "Peyton can't win the big game" argument. Sure, he's the signal caller and all, but so much goes into winning a game that goes beyond his own personal skills. People drop passes and people fail to run for first downs. Sometimes it's weaknesses in defense that even the best offense can't overcome. Whatever. But a win would kill that talk once and for all. And wouldn't that be nice?

Bears, Saints, and No Free TVs

Looks like the Bears are going to pull this one out against the Saints and advance to the Super Bowl. Who's happy about this? Bears fans? Well, yes. But who's happier? Cowboy Maloney's Electric City in Mississippi.

Back in training camp, they ran a promotion on flat screen TVs. Buy one then and if the Saints went on to win the Super Bowl this year, purchasers would get their money back. More than 80 shoppers took them up on the deal to the tune of about $1 million. And who really thought the Saints would go all the way anyway? Safe bet, right? But here we are in January and the Saints are playing a division championship game, one win away from playing in the Super Bowl. You know the owners of Cowboy Maloney's Electric City have been sweating bullets while Drew Brees has been throwing them.

Thankfully for them, Brees and his team haven't continued their recent magic and the Bears are winning by a score of 39-14 with four minutes left in the contest. No free TVs for 80-something extra sad Saints fans today.

In other news, my wife told me that a pregnant woman induced labor Friday so that her husband could go to Soldier Field to watch his team play. I imagine that the doctor was proud to announce that it was (classic Ditka voice here) Da-Boy.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why He Writes... why I write, too.

New Plans For Old Records

Got old records you never listen to anymore? Need a bowl for your confections?

Check out the coolest thing I've seen all day here.

Who Among Us Didn't Love This Album As A Kid?

It's a lazy Saturday and my wife and I are listening to it. We remember most of the lyrics and it's so nice to see our little son as he listens to it with us. So far, his favorite part is the whistle in "Everybody Loves to Hear a Bird Sing."

01 I Love
02 Sneaky Snake
03 The Mysterious Fox of Fox Hollow
04 How to Talk to a Little Baby Goat
05 The Barn Dance
06 Ole Lonesome George the Basset
07 I Wish I Had a Million Friends
08 Everybody Loves to Hear a Bird Sing
09 I Like to Feel Pretty Inside
10 The Song of the One Legged Chicken
11 I Care
12 Let's Go Shopping Today
13 Fox Hollow's Animal Train
14 The Dancing Tree
15 Let's Play Remember
16 Randy Raccoon
17 The Duck and the Rooster
18 You Are a Star (Brittni's Song)

[That was weird. I just happened to think of Tom T. Hall's children's album this morning. I'm not sure why, but it was nice to think of it and then pull it up on Rhapsody and enjoy it again. Just now, I clicked onto and saw a feature on the very same album (released in 1974). Quite the coincidence.]

Thursday, January 18, 2007

When It Rains, It Porns

Me (somewhat quietly): I'm reading a story about a Tennessee legislator who wants to tax porn and eliminate the tax on groceries.

Wife: Tax corn?

Me (a bit louder): No. Porn.

Wife: Oh.

Three year old son: Daddy. What's porn?

Oops. I forgot that's why I was talking quietly in the first place.

Me: Um...I said "pourin." I was talking about rain. You know. "It's rainin.' It's pourin.' The old man is snorin.'"

Three year old son (smiling): Oh, I love that song.

Wife: Good save, honey.

Me: Thanks.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


My one day off that was all my own this week. I was going to go have lunch with my sister in the Vandy area and stroll about the Hillsboro Village area and downtown with camera in hand. Great pictures were to be taken, I'm sure.

But last night, I get a text from my beautiful wife:
Sick kid. Joshua threw up.
Great. He'll have to stay home from daycare, thus canceling my plans of bonding with sis and wandering about my city. No problem. Comes with the territory. Happy to help.

Of course, the kid has no fever. He feels great and we've been hanging around the house putting together puzzles and fighting with lightsabers. I'm starting to think he was faking the whole thing.

There must have been a test at daycare today that he wasn't prepared for. Silly faker.

What's In Your Storage?

"In fact, there's been so much self-storage built in the US now that--I'm not kidding--every single person in the country could stand together inside self-storage units..."
- from a May 2005 NPR story on the self-storage industry
My storage facility is cooler than any storage facility I've used before. In addition to e-mailing me invoice reminders so that I don't forget and end up paying late fees, the owner seems to be treating his location as a social networking opportunity for his renters as much as a place for us to keep our stuff.

In an email I received today, he announced May's upcoming tenant appreciation cookout. Also, in what appears to be the kind of event that could potentially lessen tenants' needs for storage - although I'm sure that it won't - he is scheduling for April the 1st annual tenant yard sale (
"Open your storage door and sell your stuff!"). Essentially, one could sell everything and no longer have the need for the storage unit. However, if he has good turnout for this idea, I envision lots of people essentially trading stuff they've stored and forgotten about for other stuff that they will immediately store and forget about.

And the monthly checks will continue to come in. Some with late fees attached.

The Pants Must Share In The Blame

According to Gadget Lab, a Vallejo, Ca. man suffered second- and third-degree burns over most of his body when his cell phone in his pants pocket caught fire.
"I don't believe it's a problem with any particular cell phone maker," said Tweedy. "It's a piece of electrical equipment. All electrical equipment can have a malfunction. This is a freak accident. ... It could be any brand of phone that could do that."

Picaso's clothing and furniture choices contributed to the tragedy. He was wearing polyester double-knit slacks and a nylon soccer jersey and reclining in a plastic lawn chair, all exquisitely combustible.

A Couple Of Random Movie Related Links

Steve Buscemi in New York magazine on portraying the paparazzi.

Haven't seen it yet? Grindhouse trailer. And Tarantino and Rodriquez hold a contest: Make your own Grindhouse style trailer.

Thanks to USA Today's Pop Candy for the cool links.

On Evil

Below is an excerpt from a very insightful piece in the current New English Review by Theodore Dalrymple. In it, he studies how so much human damage was done in such a short time with only clubs and machetes. People who had been friends, neighbors, and even spouses for years were all of a sudden killing one another in Africa's Rwandan genocide.
The murderers were pleased with their work, they thought of all the corrugated iron roofing, cattle and so forth that they were ‘earning’ by it. They had never been so prosperous as during this period of slaughter and looting.

Link found at Arts & Letters Daily.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How To Impress Girls (Not)

Last week, I put my dog into my car and prepared to take her to the vet. It was a cold morning and the windows were still quite frosted. I started the car, turned on the defroster and gave it a few minutes as I sat in my seat and pet my dog. When I felt enough time had passed to make my job of scraping my windows easier, I moved to step out of my car to begin the task at hand.

Through a good spot in my window, I saw one of my prettier neighbors walking down the sidewalk with her dog. I'm no scoundrel but I don't deny the more flirtatious part of my personality. My wife and I are not jealous people and are always happy to turn on the charm a bit for people of the opposite sex. And so I see my neighbor walking my way and I am glad that I happen to look fairly presentable this morning. I look cool and now it is time to say something cool.

Stepping out of my car with ice scraper in hand and a friendly smile upon my clean shaven face, I am about to say hello to her when my peripheral vision spots something most uncool. My car is slowly rolling backwards and away from me. I had forgotten to reapply the parking brake. Shit. No time for hellos with pretty ladies. I have to chase after my car and fix my mistake. I hopped in, braked, and then accelerated in first gear gently and briefly back to the curb. My windshield, still covered with ice, played a nice role in hiding my embarrassed face from the world outside. When I finally emerged from my vehicle of humility, my neighbor had long since walked on.

I just hope she doesn't have a blog. That's a story worthy of a post, for sure.

2 A.M. and Thinking About Music and Radio

He used to drive me nuts with his NPR and his classical music. When I'd get a ride to school from a friend, I was guaranteed to hear some Dio or some Aerosmith. But when my step-dad drove me, there was no way around it. It would be an All Things Considered kind of morning on the radio of the family car.

Once, I negotiated what I thought was a pretty fair deal with him. We'd take turns with the radio while we drove around Franklin running various errands. This seemed like a good idea at the time. What I didn't count on was my three minute and change rocker was always dwarfed in length by whatever 20-minute classical piece that followed down there at the left end of the dial.

There's no mystery where I'm going with this. Here I am in my thirties with a teenage son and the poor country music loving guy puts up with the same crap that I did way back when. It's not just classical and talk radio for me, but even the rock I love ain't much like the rock he knows. He tolerates and I suspect he knows that he'll be telling the same story in a decade or two.

For more months than I care to remember, I've been without a car stereo. It wasn't all that great a stereo to begin with - the volume would drop down to the most shy and polite of whispers from time to time (Black Flag at the quietest of levels just kind of misses the point) - and the CD player would play some CD-Rs but not all CD-Rs. But a car stereo it was. And then one night, it just gave out. I recruited a coworker to take a look at it (car stereos were his specialty, reliability was not). He pulled it out and played with some of the wires and said he'd get some tools and finish fixing it later. That never happened and I was stuck with a radio that kept sliding out of its pocket and hitting my stick shift whenever I'd accelerate or climb a hill.

One night in frustration, I just yanked the thing out and tossed it into the abyss otherwise known as my back seat. With no replacement in the immediate plans, I continue to make my drives in silence. My iPod accompanies me but I don't listen to it while I drive. That's for the break room and the workplace gym. On the rare occasion that I am early for work, I just lean my seat back and listen to it in the parking lot - sometimes music, but mostly NPR podcasts. Now if I could get Vanderbilt's WRVU shows into my iTunes, things would be about as close to perfect as possible...for a music lover without a car stereo.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Local Artist In New York Times

I read a nice blurb on Nashville-based Cortney Tidwell in today's New York Times.
Ms. Tidwell follows the idea of pop music as a slow, unfolding, abstract dream... more>> (scroll to the bottom)
I listened to some of her songs on her myspace page. Nice stuff, indeed.

Everyone's A Critic

"Decent blog, Dad. I give it 'one pigtail up.'"

Shadows And Light And Elvis Presley

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Michael Brecker, Grammy Winning Sax Player, Died Today

Six months ago, I wrote that Michael Brecker was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome.

Sadly, he passed away today from leukemia.

His website:

My condolences to his family.

What Say Olbermann?

This Really Feels Like The Super Bowl For Me

I knew I was excited for this game between the Colts and the Ravens, but didn't know I was this excited.

Seeing a packed M & T Stadium crowd cheer for former Titan Steve McNair is just thrilling. I'm freaking giddy.

(I'm supposed to be doing my part by wearing my McNair jersey while watching the game. It's in my locker at work. Dang.)

[Edit to add: The jersey is not in my locker after all. It's in the washing machine. Had I known, I would have worn it dirty.]

6:20 P.M. - With only six minutes left in this ballgame, it is really feeling like the Titans/Rams Super Bowl matchup from the '99 season. McNair's Ravens are down by six and have held the high scoring Colts to only four field goals so far. They are doing all that they can to get some more points on the board, but you can't help but feel that Manning, like Warner in that Super Bowl before, will finally make that one big throw in the final minutes when it counts the most.

The drama continues...

6:35 P.M. - Seconds left and the Colts prevail, 15-6, an exciting game of only field goals. Congrats to the team that I was not rooting for. Whatever. My Steve McNair jersey is dry now.

Friday, January 12, 2007

One Way To The Future

Officer: Didn't you see the arrows?
Driver: Heck, officer. I didn't even see the Indians.

As further proof that being a three year old in 2007 is so very different than being a three year old in 1973 (me), my younger son and I had the following exchange today while walking through a parking garage:
Him: What's that, Daddy?
Me: That's an arrow. It's painted on the ground so that the cars know which way to go.
Him: Oh, that's right. An arrow. An arrow is for clicking.
Me (smiling): Yes. I suppose it is.

Updates on the Reported Misery

All is well here. (Wow! Big change from title to first sentence, huh?)

The No Go Car was towed to a dealership where I once worked and the damage was much less significant than previously suspected. Alternator is fine. Fuel pump is fine. Just a battery cable gone bad. To the tune of $80 plus labor mind you, but any trip to the dealership that only sets me back a C-note is good enough for me.

We'll pick up the car today but not before taking this blogger to the headache doctor. I'm hoping that he does more than prescribe some really strong Excedrin. I want to really get to this pain and let it know that it's not welcome in my noggin. As far as doctors go, I really like this guy. It's been reported that most doctors can only afford to spend about 12 minutes with each patient. So it's just some quick questions, a prescription scribbled out, and off they go. The first time I made an appointment with him, I kept that tidbit in mind and timed my visit. He was very interested in what I had to say and asked me a lot of questions. Many times during my exam, I wrongly guessed that he was wrapping up and on his way out, but he would ruminate on topics related to my concerns and was totally engaged in me as his patient.

Anyway, I look forward to checking my head and retrieving my car today. I don't go back to work until Monday so I will have ample opportunity to bond with the crumb-snatchers at home this weekend. Here's hoping for nice weather. We need some outdoors time for a change.

Before I go, a quick public thank you to my ride to and from work yesterday. I usually drive her home from work so she was happy to return the favor and be my ride when I needed one. Except she doesn't own a car and was driving a friend's car while that friend was out of town. And she doesn't like to drive so even though she came over to pick me up, I was the one doing the driving. So I'm not sure technically if I can call her my ride. She was more my car-bringer-over. Regardless, I'm grateful to my favorite Finn for her friendship and support.

Out the door.

Hold On

from "Hold On" by Tom Waits:

Well, he gave her a dimestore watch
And a ring made from a spoon
Everyone’s looking for someone to blame
When you share my bed, you share my name
Well, go ahead and call the cops
You don’t meet nice girls in coffee shops
She said, ‘Baby, I still love you’
Sometimes there’s nothin’ left to do

What Spunn Ideas?

Webbspun Ideas - The blog's author is one of Nashville's best ambassadors. He's got great civic pride and a well documented love for our local eateries - from diners to five star restaurants. Most of all, I check in daily for his excellent photography. Dude's got an eye for the perfect shot.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apply Within

Drudgery and auto maintenance abound. Dollars are few but dreams are high. I'd do just about anything for a view like this right about now.

I wonder if there are any grants out there for wannabe writers.
  • Must write 3,000 words a day.
  • Must stay at the Hotel Chelsea in NYC.
  • Requires writer to punch no clock or drive any bus.
  • Pay is generous, indeed.
Keep your eyes out for me. I'd apply in a heartbeat.

I've Got The No Go Car Blues

The day started out nicely enough.

Scratch that. The kiddos were whiny this morning, but I got them out the door and on their way to school with mom and I headed back inside for a few more hours of sleep. Minutes into Part Two of my slumber, I got a call from my wife that something was left behind and could I bring it by. Sure thing. I can always sleep later. Upon leaving the apartment, I decide to kill two birds with one stone and drop my dog off at the vet first.

Dog is dropped off, pleasant conversation exchanged with lady at reception desk, and I am on my way out the door to bring forgotten item to my wife.

Car won't start. F*#k.

It's probably the alternator. I can get a deal on a good one at DW Honda. Just shy of $200 plus towing and labor. I took a cab back home and will go in to work late today when my wife gets home.

The plan: Wait for her to get home, jump it, and limp it back to the apartment, and take her van to work tonight? Go ahead and tow it to DW now? Decision time awaits.

So, I'll be late for work today, and maybe tomorrow. My doctor's appointment is Friday at 3:00. I may have to reschedule and hope for no more headaches for a while. Better stock up on Excedrin tonight.

Also bouncing around my brain: I own two Hondas. They are otherwise good cars but with a lot of miles on them.
  1. The Accord wagon that wouldn't start today.
  2. A Civic that I love but haven't started since I bought the Accord. (It sits at my mom's house and I have neglected the poor thing.)
At this point, I really wonder if I could get a brand new scooter (Vespa maybe?) by trading both cars. I could handle some small payments especially with that famously good gas mileage. I could stand the chilly drives in this moderate Nashville winter and I rarely take the interstate anyway. My daily commute is only about six miles and the speed limit is 45 mph at the highest. My needs are not much. I just want dependability at a good price. Value.

[Edit: I just looked around the web for some typical prices. Even pre-owned seems to be a bit pricey for me. Back to fixing what I've got.]

I think I'll waste a dollar on a lottery ticket tonight...just in case.

I've Got The Worst Cephalalgia Right Now

I'm showing off. That's the medical term for a headache. I tend to get about two or three headaches a year. (My deepest sympathies to those of you who deal with them on a more routine basis.) I got a couple of them while on Christmas vacation and they just made me a bear to deal with. Loading up on pills seemed to help but the suspense of when the next one would hit remained.

Well, this morning was 2007's debut. And it knocked me on my ass. I crawled to the living room floor and kept the side of my head as hard against the floor as possible. Maybe the pressure would help? I'll try anything. Drugs and time conspired to put it behind me and I called my doctor. This Friday, I'll see him and we'll try to sort things out.

I'm remembering a Simpsons episode where Homer had an MRI or a CT scan and the doctors found an eraser lodged in his brain. They took it out and he suddenly found a wealth of high intelligence that had been blocked for so many years. Maybe that'll happen with me. They'll remove an eraser and I'll become the sharpest tool in the crayon box (or something like that). Good Will Hunting won't have a thing on me.

Realistically speaking, he'll probably just give me a prescription and send me on my way. Works for me. I'm just glad that we've long left the age of trepanning. That really had to smart.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Oldest, The Youngest, and The Duckiest

Jackin' Pop 2006

As long as we are talking music...

Jackin' Pop 2006
Just what the hell Jackin' Pop is, is here.

I have some running to do tonight. The waistline is defying fit by 34" waist jeans. The iPod is ready to accompany this runner.
  1. Rocky theme song ("Gonna Fly Now")
  2. Flash Gordon theme song
  3. "Ride of the Valkyries" from Apocolypse Now
And then there are some from the Verve Remix collection that provide good grooves for moving at a quick pace. Time to move.

This Blog Is My Public Storage Cabinet

Sasha Frere-Jones is interviewed by Gawker. Never does Sasha fail to bring me exactly to where I didn't know I wanted to be.
"I like high intensity, bouillon-style forms: pop songs, essays, poems, photos. Blogs can link to songs and poems and photos. Right? So if the bits all line up correctly, blogs create an extra high-density poetics. Blogs are flexible and fast; with no editor, you don't have to wait for yes or brace for no. The blogger can do parodies without consulting the Legal Department; drum up instant audience participation; or shift into mayhem."
Sasha writes about pop music for The New Yorker and maintains his own blog. I read both avidly. Before I read the interview, I had no idea no idea how much I liked London-based MC/rapper Dizzee Rascal. I pay attention to Sasha's likes and sometimes add to my own collection of likes.

Sasha on swag:
My new boss doesn't want us to accept gifts, so I must give wise men the Heisman. The old days were another matter. I was like a Senator playing PACs off each other. One day I'd get an XXL Jeru tha Damaja shirt, for no money. The next day, I'd receive a powder blue XXXL Nas shirt that made me look fat and harmless. (As my lifelong dream is to become fat and dangerous, this was a complicated feeling.) One day-this was such a day-I got an XXL t-shirt bearing the name of an MC I had never heard of. I lived well.
Instructions from Sasha, the guru:
Walk slowly and calmly out of your apartment building. When you reach street level, stop. Sit on the curb. Watch the passing traffic. Smell the smells. Hear the voices of laughing children and the lovers who speak to each other. Do not, at any point, become weak. Do not give away your keys to a pedestrian. When you have achieved satori, please call me. I will hang up on you.
Yes, master.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Another New York Hero Story

Two New York men are being hailed as heroes after catching a toddler as he tumbled four storeys from a fire escape.

Julio Gonzalez and Pedro Nevarez spotted three-year-old Timothy Addo dangling from a railing screaming for help and rushed to position themselves underneath him. ...more>>

Friday, January 05, 2007

So That's Where My Wife Was

Why was my wife in St. Barths and why was she dressed like a man? The answer revealed in the news story below.
Bon Jovi “manhandled” at party!

Washington, Jan 05: Rocker Jon Bon Jovi would not have minded being groped by an admiring female fan, however, when the person who grabbed his posterior happened to be a man, he had a very different reaction.

The rocker and his pals were partying at a yacht club on the Caribbean island of St Barths recently when another male guest grabbed Bon Jovi’s bum.

An insider at the do revealed that Jovi had been furious at being “manhandled”, but before he could get into an altercation with the man, his pals intervened and settled the matter.

"Naturally, Jon wasn`t best pleased at being manhandled, but his pals piled in before he could said anything," the Mirror quoted the insider, as saying.

As for what happened to the reveller who can now boast that he pinched Jovi’s bottom, well it seems the altercations turned quite “heated” before he was eventually thrown out of the party by security.

"It all got quite heated and the man was thrown out by security," the insider added.

Bureau Report with ANI inputs

Muffy Was Right

The lovely and talented Muffy over at Karmadgeon was right. A few months ago, I teased her about her occasional sharing of things bowel related over at her blog. I told her that it was a practice in writing that one would never find over here at Chez Bez. She told me that it was just a matter of time.

Mind you, it's not necessarily a blog killer to discuss what I consider to be about as yucky as yucky gets (Dooce shares her stories of constipation among family members and wouldn't we all like to have her fame and recognition?), but it just "ain't me, babe."

However, some domestic dialogue just begs to be blogged:

The potty trained child is whining that he doesn't want to go poop. He cries out that there "is no poop in my body," but I place him upon the potty anyway. I leave him to his protests and urge him to just sit there and try. I go into the other room and make eye contact with my wife. We are all too familiar with this scenario and it is so exhausting but necessary.

Not five minutes later, he calls from the bathroom with a voice reminiscent of Christmas morning's joy. "Hey Daddy, come here. It's the biggest poop ever. Look!"

From denial to pride in such short time. The book is right. Everybody does poop. And everybody's happy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Both Interesting and Heartbreaking

Only those in a similar situation were qualified to comment, they said. "Unless you are living the experience, you are speculating and you have no clue what it is like to be the bedridden child or their care givers.

"Ashley was dealt a challenging life and the least that we could do as her loving parents and caregivers is to be diligent about maximising her quality of life."

More on Ashley's story and her static encephalopathy here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Because I Like Free Music...

...and because I really love it when it's free, I'm keeping my eyes on SpiralFrog. A partnership with Vivendi's Universal Music Group and a business plan that relies on revenue from advertising promises to bring free downloads to us consumers.

The debut should be sometime near the end of January.

SpiralFrog press is here.

A Mighty Rescue

In a wonderful story about a dangerous rescue that I think should be titled, "Real Heroes Read Playboy" (or at least "Real Heroes Wear Playboy Hats"), the man pictured to the left, William Autrey, risked his own life to save the life of another.

A young man fell from the platform into the path of an oncoming subway train. Autrey jumped down to rescue the nineteen year old. His initial thought was to hoist the teen to safety but wasn't sure if there was time. So instead, he pushed both of their bodies down a shallow drainage trough beneath the train as it rode just over them with just a couple of inches to spare. Click here for the entire story at It's amazing.

Let's Get Rocked

Bed Surfing (circa 1988)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007

Safe and Secure on the Eve of the New Year

San Francisco Beat Denver?

All in the Titans organization have to be sick about that. Ugh.

Moving on. 2007 opponents have been determined. An away game against Denver to take on Jay Cutler's Broncos. A home game match up against San Diego. Could Volek find himself under center against his former Titans?

I'm ready for the new season.

Let's just try to keep the head stomping to a minimum, please.

"Written by fools to be read by imbeciles."

Joseph Rago, assistant editorial features director for Wall Street Journal, doesn't like my blog - and he doesn't like yours, either.

The Blog Mob

She Blinded Me With Science

Just when I thought I had reached the end of the internet, I found a wonderfully interesting website that is fresh and new to me. Arts & Letters Daily linked to today.
The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.
Today's question to the world's great thinkers: What are you optimistic about and why?

Or if you are like me this morning and have a hungover head, you can leave the high-minded stuff for later and read about the profundity of karaoke now.
A karaoke track is a kind of ghost-music, a dead tinkling into which heart and soul of the karaoke singer swells...

And The World Keeps Turning

Driving home from work tonight, I crossed Percy Priest Dam reflecting on the year and listening to "The World Keeps Turning" by Tom Waits. And it seemed to me to be the perfect song for ruminations on a year gone by and a rich life embraced. I crossed that dam and the moon's reflection put me in another place. The moon was soaked in the water and my eyes were a bit wet as well.

The struggles bring hope and the tears bring smiles. And the lyrics are here. They are beautiful and they live in me.

Sober earlier and spirited now. I love you all.