Saturday, March 31, 2007

Run for Alive Hospice

I may or may not run in my first ever 5K. I haven't made up my mind yet.

Anyway, a friend told me about Purity's Moosic City 10K/5K run on April 14. It's $20 to pre-reg and all proceeds go to benefit Alive Hospice.

What amuses me is that because Purity is sponsoring it, the winner gets a one year supply of Purity Ice Cream. I don't imagine that too many serious, calorie-counting health conscious runners keep a steady stock of ice cream around. What's second prize? A carton of cigarettes?

I know, I know...all things in moderation. I'll keep running over the next week or so and see if I think I can handle a 5K run. My 4.7 mile run the other night really surprised me, but I haven't tried to run that far since. Most days before work, I run a mile or so and then use the rest of my time at the weights and the hot tub.

I've been off of the beers, sodas and sweets and have been living on fruits and veggies recently. I still have a bit more belly than I would like, but it takes less effort to suck it in now.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Hurt Because I Run

There must be something about running with a friend. Or maybe it was the fact that most of the running was downhill.

I left my apartment this evening for what I thought might be a mile or so of running. Last night, I was beat after a mile --and that was with a fifteen minute break and periods of brisk walking while trying to stick my ear buds back within my music loving lobes. But tonight, I met the evening air beyond my front door with some kind of hidden ability to defy the odds. I've been eating better lately, but I still don't exercise as often as I should.

Anyway, the plan was to run toward my friend's apartment and she was going to run toward mine. We'd meet somewhere in between and then probably go back my way and run to the dam. I don't think I'd made it close to the halfway point when I saw her running around the bend. (In fairness to me, I did have the uphill stretch and she's in much better shape anyway.) We ran to the dam, took a (much too) short break and sat at the foot of some stairs and talked for a bit. And then - her idea - we continued on with our run. (We were not too proud to walk when mood to do so struck, e.g. steep, uphill climbs.)

Here's the part where I show the reader what a nice guy I am:
We reached the part where I could go left for my home and she would go straight into the path through the woods for hers. It was getting quite dark and even though she goes through life thumbing her nose at fear, there is nothing in me that will allow a woman to go unaccompanied into a place of potential danger. (I can just see so many deceased ancestors looking down on me and saying things like, "He's such a good boy to go with her to keep her safe like that. He must be brave, because Lord knows he can't fight worth a lick.")

And so the run continued. Into the woods, my friend and I hit the same path again for my third time and her second. I walked a bit more now, and my long legs kept up just fine. We reached her apartment, hugged, and I retreated back again. By now, it was quite dark. As I entered the woods for my fourth time, I recalled the scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke trains on Dagobah and enters the cave, lightsaber in hand. As dark as it was now, I wished I had a lightsaber. Protect the girl, I did; but who's gonna protect me?

With small comfort of my cellphone as a potential source of light (if something or someone attacks me, I can use the light to see it just as it makes contact), I jogged on the path and thought of how amazing the human body can be. Medical science wows me as well. I recently listened to an interview with a woman who ran despite having lost both of her legs. ("It's really quite easy," she would say. "It's just one prosthesis in front of another.") I was not running and eating healthy to extend my life; I was doing these things to look good now (or however long it took). This was all just mere vanity, but that was good enough for me. We all need a reason. This was (is) mine.

In the complete darkness, I ran home quickly. This was easy for two reasons: (1) It seemed to be all downhill, and (2) I had a sudden realization that there could be snakes about and I wanted to get home before they could plot their attack on me. I arrived back at my door, still unaware of the pain in my calves (I'm aware of them now), and happy to enter my humble domicile. I ate a banana and went to the laptop to map out the route and see just how far I had run (give or take some walking). The surprise of the day is still not entirely trusted by me: 4.7 miles! My second day to this new commitment and I achieve this? I can't wait to get out again and see how far I can go without slowing it down to a walk. I'm far from a marathoner, but it feels good to cover that much ground so early into this.

I'm giving my running partner credit here. There's just something about pacing yourself to a good runner that seems to make it easier. Big thanks to her. She's invaluable.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The New Yorker: Bits and Pieces

From this week's issue of the New Yorker magazine, here are some highlights with links to the articles.

The Man Who Was There

“Joe Bowie and one of the Hungarian guys wrote these fantastic songs,” Boyd recalled. “English by a guy who doesn’t speak English. Lyrics like ‘You are strangling me with your love in your hotel room of permanent disorder.’

The hundred-and-twenty-nine-dish menu is long enough to be paralyzing, and can be perilously unpredictable. Request something not too hot, and it may prove spicy enough to trigger not only euphoria but also sweat and tears and intestinal corrosion. Then again...

Smart Cookies
It is sometimes suggested that schools no longer teach children values, but this assertion would not be true of P.S. 321, in Park Slope, which has been offering an “Ad-Busters” class as an after-school program, intended to impart radical skepticism to kindergartners.

The Valiant Swabian
When youthful and frisky, Albert Einstein would refer to himself as “the valiant Swabian,” quoting the poem by Ludwig Uhland: “But the valiant Swabian is not afraid.”

Faces Of Our Time
A collection of photographs by New Yorker staffer, Steve Pyke.

A Cool Word That I Had To Look Up

bailiwick - n.
  1. A person's specific area of interest, skill, or authority. See synonyms at field.
  2. The office or district of a bailiff.
A sphere of activity, experience, study, or interest: area, arena, circle, department, domain, field, orbit, province, realm, scene, subject, terrain, territory, world. Slang bag.

[Edit to add: The source, New Yorker magazine. The context is here:
Every year or so, the record producer Joe Boyd stops in at Caffe Dante, on MacDougal Street, for a pistachio gelato. It’s a matter less of nostalgia than of taste. “I can only like what I like,” he said the other day, during one of these visits. He was spooning up gelato but talking about music, which is his bailiwick, if it’s anybody’s. “I’ve always had the arrogance to feel that what I liked would still be around in thirty or forty or fifty years, and that what other people liked might not.”]

The Running Man: Day Two

A week of V-8, oranges, granola bars and a daily vitamin under my belt and now the urge to run is strong.

Last night's run with my iPod brings to mind a question. Am I doing it wrong or do I have weirdly shaped ears? The ear buds kept falling out as I ran last night. Do any of you runners have the same problem?

I'm off to the lake again as soon as my wife gets home from the store.

The new playlist? Cheesy but fun:
  • Rocky theme, Bill Conti
  • Flash Gordon theme, Queen
  • Jimi Hendrix - The BBC Sessions
Gonna fly now!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Good Health and Good Perspectives on Percy Priest Lake

Tonight I ran with Geoff Baker and Newton Dominey. Nina Simone was there for a bit also, but only for one song. They, of course, are my favorite artist selections on my iPod. It was 7:30 and quite dark already as I ran from my apartment to Percy Priest Lake. It's not much of a run -- only a half mile or so -- but it felt great to get out and move.

Upon reaching the lake, I rested and sat on a small ledge which faced the water and I allowed myself to truly enjoy my surroundings. With good music in my ears and no immediate responsibilities before me, I just gazed on what is such a beautiful area. It was light enough to see the families and lovers holding hands and enjoying the same night, but dark enough that I couldn't see much detail beyond that. Red lights on invisible boats moved quickly and quietly on the water of the lake by my home.

As I sat there, I thought of my family -- gone on a Florida vacation for a week -- returning and less than an hour from home. In their absence, I missed them but I also enjoyed the luxuries of sleeping in. I enjoyed a clean living room and a quiet living space. This was my last hour of that and it felt good knowing that I would get back to parenting and holding my wife. The break was nice, but it was too long. I looked out over the lake and reflected on the calm water; it reminded me of the calm of my relationship with Paige. We started dating almost 11 years ago in the summer of 1996. Even when we broke up in April of 2000, we didn't argue at all. We were apart for a year or so, but managed to reconnect in October of 2001. (Yet another romance, rekindled after 9/11.) Calm love and big respect have always guided us through life together.

I took a big, healthy breath and stood up to run home. Round trip, one mile...with a great moment of peace at Percy Priest Lake. And Newton sang, "All I Need Tonite." Perfect.

Click here for a collection of Flickr pics of Percy Priest Lake.

He Happy

The letter of all letters arrived in the mail today.

35,000 feet ain't too high in the sky for this guy.

My chance is here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

This American Life

My favorite radio show is now also a television program on Showtime. Here's a link to the first episode: This American Life

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Three New Photos

I put a few photos from last night's downtown wanderings over here.

I snapped over 100 shots and barely like five or ten.

Part of the process, I suppose. I'll add more to flickr or webshots later.

"Ain't no sunshine when she's gone."

What? Just because Jag's on vacation, she can't find the time to post an update every once in awhile?

Her brilliance is missed. And I hope she's having a great time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Flashlights in my window.

Last night, while entertaining a guest. (Wait, that sounds way too formal.)

Last night, while hanging out with a friend, listening to music and talking and laughing, my peripheral vision caught a glance of something on my wall. I looked up and didn't see anything. But a second later, it was back. A white light was moving across my wall. If I was a cat, my first reaction would have been to run to the wall and try to capture the light between my paws. Human that I am, I looked to my right and saw the source of the light coming through my window.

"Kids playing outside with a flashlight?" My friend had a good guess. It was 11:30 at night and I remember playing German Spotlight when I was a kid. Sometimes we played as late as that. It was a possibility. I went to the window and peered out the blinds but couldn't see anything.

I was ready to shrug it off and return to my favorite activity: Enjoying good conversation with music and wine. But then the rustling against the exterior began. And the flashlight was back. Milla and I looked at each other and she said, "It sounds like someone's trying to enter through the wall." Great. No more discussion about how Americans are seen overseas or how Luka Bloom creates such a good sound on his CDs. Now I had to play protector. There was a girl in the house and I had to keep her safe. I didn't hate this due to any fear; I hated this because I was annoyed.

Anyway, I figured that if she was right, I'd better not go outside and risk getting bonked on the head. I dialed 862-8600 but I didn't hit SEND. The rustling continued, and the flashlight was all over the place and I went to the blinds one last time. This time the noisemaker saw me and spoke.

"How're you doing?"

Well, as burglars go, he was quite polite. I saw that he was at the meter and had an NES hat on. I went to the door and said hi to him. He was just servicing a broken part. I offered him assistance ("Need me to hold your flashlight for you?") and he politely declined.

"OK, have a good night," I said, and I went back inside.

Late night for the NES guy. All was cool.

Imagine if my wife was home alone and watching CSI though. Do the work you have to do, I guess. But try to keep those flashlights on the meter and out of the window.

Why he was fired.

David C. Igleasias, one of the fired prosecutors:
Although we receive our appointments through the political process (I am a Republican who was recommended by Senator Pete Domenici), we are expected to be apolitical once we are in office. I will never forget John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, telling me during the summer of 2001 that politics should play no role during my tenure. I took that message to heart. Little did I know that I could be fired for not being political.

The link to his Op-Ed piece in the New York Times: Why I Was Fired

Bestiality, guns, and "a great Tennessean."

A headline in today's Tennessean:

Bestiality, guns and Justin Timberlake on tap for this afternoon's state Senate session

Our Senate is sponsoring a bill to honor Justin Timberlake as "a remarkable musical talent and a great Tennessean." I'm sure he's happy to receive the honor, but why does bestiality have to get top billing?

Kinda gives new meaning to the phrase, "Justin was great in Alpha Dog" if you ask me.

Kerouac's Typewriter

He did it here. Those fingers to these keys. Fueled by whatever drink or need, he typed it all out. Rejected, rejected, rejected. Seven years of rejection, and then On The Road was published. Roaming and writing. The Beat Generation. Jack.

I haven't given all of that Jack Cassady stuff a proper try yet. A friend at work is all over that stuff. Still, whenever I get into that mood, I tend to go to Bukowski.

But I hardly go a week without listening to Kicks Joy Darkness: A Tribute to Jack Kerouac. On that, people ranging from Allen Ginsberg to Morphine to Matt Dillon to Steven Tyler read his works and play their songs in his honor.

Matt Dillon also narrates On The Road on a 10-disc set. Not available for checkout at my local library, so it's unlikely I'll hear it anytime soon.

Still -- that typewriter above. I love looking at it.

Like my blues music thoughts in the previous post, the tools around the art may have gotten better, but they don't necessarily improve the art. Laptops don't make better poems as ProTools doesn't make better songs. But I do love my laptop.

Still -- that typewriter above.

"Handle Me With Care"

The record label that loves folks like you and me is reissuing both Traveling Wilburys albums (Vol. I and Vol. III) on June 12.
After being out of print for more than a decade, the two studio albums from all-star band the Traveling Wilburys will return to the marketplace in a variety of formats June 12 via Wilbury Records/Rhino, has learned.

"Traveling Wilburys Volume 1" and "Traveling Wilburys Volume 3" will be available together in one package with bonus tracks and a DVD of rare footage, as a deluxe linen-bound edition, a vinyl set and a digital bundle. The DVD boasts a 24-minute documentary and five music videos. ...more>>

Black Snake Moan

Black Snake Moan. That was a tasty burger.

If for absolutely no other reason whatsoever, see this movie and and hear the blues. Behind every scene, there was that angry, pissed off guitar, making you feel the pain of its player.

The movie: She's young, white, and has "the sickness." He's old, black, and his woman (with his brother) done did him wrong. She's beaten and discarded on the dusty road in front of his house and he finds her as he discards his trash. Here, it all gets biblical - his name is Lazarus after all. We've seen the trailer. He nurses her back to better health and chains the poor white girl to his radiator and sees to it that he's gonna cure her of her need for...well, you know. A moderately interesting story.

But that music. I've been trying really hard to get into Radiohead again lately. You know, the band that plays that "smart" music. Or that "smart" band that plays that "interesting" music. Whatever. I hear Bobby Rush in Black Snake Moan and it takes no time at all to remember that while music may have moved into other directions and gotten more technical and innovative, you just can't improve on the blues.

My friend and I walked out of the theater wanting to learn how to play guitar. I haven't seen a movie driven by that sound so much since The Hot Spot featuring the music of John Lee Hooker, Ta Majal and Miles Davis. I half felt like I was at a concert. The credits rolled and I felt the urge for a 2 A.M. visit to the Waffle House. I'll shoot for an early afternoon visit tomorrow to Mothership BBQ instead.

When you buy the soundtrack - and if you see the movie, you will want to - pay close attention to artist Scott B. Bomar. He's a local guy who contributes three tracks to the CD (and I suspect he might also be the sound behind the tracks on which Samuel L. Jackson is the singer).

Alternate spellings to the film as seen elsewhere in the cinema:
  • Black Snake MoanR - Seems we've already found our eventual porn title.
  • Black Snak - Looks to be misspelled, but a black snack does sound appetizing. Licorice, maybe?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A promise to my dog

You've been the patient but cooped up doggie these past few days.

Tomorrow, I'll take you to the dog park.

I hear that walking your dog is a great way to meet chicks.

(Just kidding honey.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

2nu - "This Is Ponderous"

I get what I deserve. And I deserve good music.

Not blogging about work, of course. But...what sane person would voluntarily go in for such inane subservience day-in and day-out? Tonight, I did the part of the job that I hate the most. After ten hours of fighting windmills, it remains the job most hated.

But it's all behind me now. I am home with Heineken, lounge pants, and "Tales of Mystery & Imagination" by The Alan Parsons Project. I actually got extra credit in high school English class once for bringing in the record to play behind me while I read a report on Edgar Allan Poe. I dig this up every three years or so and it always delights.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

From the Hurple Hoopla

My friend at Hurple Hoopla posted this. Get ready for Apple's iRack.

Of late, my favorite sports writer...

John H., ladies and gentlemen...
Watching Vandy play yesterday was like watching one of those old cliff-hanger ‘Perils of Pauline’ where our heroine is left at the end of each episode tied to railroad tracks, suspended from a cliff over a howling and infinite abyss, or in the clutches of an eeee-vil villain type. With one difference here - Vandy was in peril pretty much the entire first half. ...more>>

Highlights at midlife?

Her hair is now redder than ever before, and I have blonde highlights. It occurs to me that on some level, we really wish we were still in our early twenties.

On a seemingly unrelated note: If anyone has a free Of Montreal ticket for this Wednesday's Mercy Lounge show to share, I would gladly accept it and buy the giver a drink at the bar.


Early March 16. Less than an hour before she packed the kids into the van and headed down to Florida to visit family. We shared that kiss in the bathroom. Dora the Explorer entertained the little ones in the living room. Television gets a bad rap way too often. But it gave us five minutes of uninterrupted intimacy.

A kiss and a loving embrace. She travels to Florida knowing how crazy I am for her. She doubts nothing. I love the confidence that we have in our love. This might not be the famous Robert Doisneau kiss, but it's priceless to me. As is she.

This Life, It's Fleeting

I thought that I-40 was closed tonight due to construction. I was wrong. Traffic was already stopped because of one accident when another driver failed to brake and hit an SUV. That driver lost his life. Just like that. Thankfully, a person in the SUV who was taken to the hospital was being treated for non-critical injuries.

The Tennessean reports that police have not yet identified the man but say that he was in his mid-50s. I pray that those affected can find peace. I'm only guessing that he was being inattentive in his driving. And that inattentive driving sent someone to the hospital. But instead of a ticket for it, he lost his life. Tough price.

It's fleeting. And I hope that if I ever go in such an immediate way, that all of the folks who mean so much to me will know how I felt about them.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Family in Florida for eight days. Me at home with the dog.

My prediction: Three days of sleeping in and loving it. Five days after that of missing them and wandering about aimlessly and calling my wife every hour or so just to see what she's doing.

At least the weather should be conducive to spending as much free time as possible outdoors.

Extended Forecast 7-day Forecast Summaries »

51°F | 27°F

52°F | 42°F

67°F | 50°F

67°F | 49°F

67°F | 52°F

67°F | 49°F

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Beware the Ides of March

What? The day before March 15th wasn't bad enough? Now I have the Ides to look forward to?

I need a drink.

It'll be in anyday now. (Or...I may not be current, but it beats paying rental fees.)

Little Miss Sunshine [videorecording] / Fox Searchlight Films; Big Beach Films; Third Gear Product

Hermitage Branch - 253 of 308 holds

Baggage Claim

A poem by W. D. Snodgrass in the February 19 issue of The New Yorker: Baggage Claim

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My brain always catches up a few minutes later.

My family and I bumped into a friend and his daughter the other day. We exchanged brief pleasantries and then wrapped up to move on to where we were headed. This meeting occured in front of the public restroom at the Frist.

Him: Well, good to see you guys. I'm gonna step into the restroom and hope that no one kidnaps my daughter while I'm in there.

Me: OK. Good luck. See you around.

A minute or two later, the better reply comes to me. I should have offered to watch his daughter while he was "away on business." Oh well, I'm such a better and more aware friend a few minutes after the fact.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Her name is Georgia.

I have a dog. Her name is Georgia and, yes, I do that whole "who's a good girl?" goofy, silly voice thing for her.

If not for the beautiful and sane (but not during college football season) wife of mine, there is no way she'd be my dog. My wife, whose blog is named UGAgrad1995, is a proud graduate from, you guessed it, the University of Georgia. And so, when a family friend announced that he had bulldog puppies for sale, and those bulldogs were of the same bloodline as UGA, the University of Georgia's very famous mascot, I had no choice but to skip the whole "how much" query and just nod and say "OK" to Paige. (For the record, if not for loving my wife and her happiness as much as I do, there is no way I would have ever paid the eventual answer to "how much" for any dog, cat, or whatever.)

Within the week, we made the drive down to Paige's hometown of Nashville, Georgia to select the puppy who would soon be our baby. Among the litter were so many little cute doggies, but we were both drawn to the one with one brown eye and one blue - and blind - eye. There was just something about her and soon this young married couple had their first family pet. We visited, wrote that check, and then took little Georgia back to our home in Tennessee. She was so tiny then, scared of the stairs, scared of new rooms, scared of anything that moved toward her from the side of her face where there was no sight.

She's a big girl now and lacks not at all for love, but she's still scared of steps, new rooms, and pretty much anything that comes her way from the right. At one point a year or so ago, the blind eye was bulging out a bit and the vet recommended just surgically removing it. One successful surgery, and a week or so in a halo (how embarrassing!), and now she's affectionately known around here as "the one eye love."

We do love her so much. She's just over four years old now and although she used to be so much more active than her breed is famous for, she now mainly inhabits the quiet corner behind the couch, where she feels safe from the rowdiness of the kiddos. What does she do back there? Snores and farts. That's about it. I wish I had her life.

There Are Alternatives To Road Rage

The unofficial Chez Bez "Person of the Year" is the subject of this post from In My Head.


All You Need Is Love

I love this outfit of hers. It always makes me think of The Beatles for some reason. A bit Sgt. Pepper-esque, I think.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

They dance and they play.

Today, we here at Chez Bez ventured out for a second consecutive day of outdoor play under the warm and welcome warmth of the Sun. Oh, how the kiddos love to play.

At the Frist Center's Turner Courtyard, with Danny Salazar and his band playing beautiful Mexican music, my two littlest danced with abandon. (I regret that I only took snaps of them dancing hand in hand and video of them running around. I really should have gotten video of them as they danced. Oh well, another time.)
*************************CLICK TO EMBIGGEN************************

Video of the frolicking:

Get out of the house today. But go where?

Here's one idea:

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will open it's doors for free this afternoon to help celebrate the history and culture of Mexico.

Patrons are invited to enjoy an afternoon of live music, dancing and theater drawing upon a rich heritage that has made Mexico a cultural melting-pot in it's own right.

Ferdinand the Bull

Oh, how I love the library. Back in the early 70s, I saw a Disney film at school called Ferdinand the Bull. Even at my young age, the pacifist that was the bull really resonated with me. If for no other reason than a bull who only wanted to smell pretty flowers while surrounded by other bulls and matadors whose only thoughts were of fighting, I just thought it was the funniest thing. I thought of that cartoon the other day - I must have been 6 or 7 when I first (and last) saw it - and looked for it online at my local library's website. Sure enough, they had it and so I put in my request and now it's in my living room in DVD format.

Tomorrow, I'll play it and let my kiddos get a kick out of it. Tonight, I am learning things about it via the wonder of Wikipedia. (More trustworthy now than in its early days, right?) Apparently, it was originally a book which was released around the time of the Spanish-Civil War and was banned in many countries as it was viewed as a dangerous pacifist book.

Music group Fall Out Boy takes their third album's name from a phrase in the book ("From Under The Cork Tree") and singer-songwriter Elliott Smith had a tattoo of Ferdinand on his upper right arm.

I doubt I'll be getting any Ferdinand tattoos, but I can't wait to watch it again tomorrow. For the curious, there is a Portuguese narration version of it easily found on YouTube.


Saturday, March 10, 2007


As underwhelmed as I was by Steven Soderbergh's "Bubble," it sure has stayed with me. Shot entirely on Sony digital cameras, and using no professional actors, it's yet another experimental film by the director of such wonderful gems like "Traffic," "Out Of Sight" and 1989's "Sex, Lies, and Videotape." Maybe I'm being overly critical here, but I went in expecting it to be proof that an aspiring film maker doesn't need a ton of money to make a good movie. What I got instead was proof that an aspiring film maker doesn't need a ton of money to make a boring, uninteresting movie.

The more I read others' positive reviews, the more I see their points behind their accolades. Soderbergh paints a perfect picture of three hopeless residents in a small factory town. Lives filled with cheap, plastic drudgery who never even bother to show even the obvious emotion of despair - what good would that do anyway? - they take their places in life seemingly at peace with their pawn-like existences. Just as I was giving up on the story revealing any arc at all, jealousy and violence creep up to give the film just enough of a jolt of energy to hold me to the end credits. (Well, imagine a Vespa trying to jump start a Hummer, but a jolt nonetheless.)

For me, the movie as a vehicle for a story with rich and interesting characters was a disappointing flop. But maybe it'll be an important footnote in the history of cinema. Those who really pay attention to things like picture quality love what Steven Soderbergh was able to do with digital cameras. Film critic David Denby of The New Yorker speaks of the amazing depth of field in the picture. For only a million dollar budget, a lot was accomplished - and there will be five more low budget features to come in Soderbergh's deal with Mark Cuban's HD Net.

"Bubble" was not without its interesting moments, but still, it's the first 73 minute movie I've seen where I thought a good editor should have cut it down by a good 20 minutes or so. But then as I said, it's really staying with me. Maybe it's a much better picture than I thought.

Nashville. Lusty, and tough...with a wink.

For the last few years or so, I've always wanted to see the fun Panty Raid! Dames burlesque show whenever it performed in my native Nashville. Since I heard of them, I've probably had ten to fifteen opportunities and have not been able to make it out once. Whether it be work schedule or the "no mon, no fun" excuse, it just hasn't seemed meant to be.

Well, here comes another opportunity. In fact, Nashville is on their schedule a few times in the next month or two.
Well, that's quite the nice list of shows above. Of course, the one that looks to be the most entertaining is near the end. The April 21st birthday bash appears to be well worth whatever price they're charging. So...

Skip the early shows on purpose so go to the later one, risking something coming up and not seeing them at all? Or spend the bucks for the earliest opportunity, knowing that if something comes up and I can't go, at least there will be another chance coming up soon after.

No Wonder Her Head's In The Clouds

Her boyfriend is a wicked speller.

Beauty may be subjective, but I'm right about this.

It's a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The kids are napping and the house is quiet. It's the perfect time for my lovely wife and I to discuss serious issues in epistemology. But while we could talk and listen and learn all day long, I only really want to know one thing: What is it about Halle Berry that makes her so much more beautiful than every other living thing?

She's beautiful, yes, but when I ask around, no one else seems to have a chance. Almost every man I know gets all googly-eyed with any mention of Halle Berry. Just about every woman I talk to can think of no one prettier. When did she become the default image for perfect beauty? Personally, I'm more of a Beyonce man. But I bring up Beyonce to my wife and she's not swayed. There's just something about Halle, she says. Whatever. Beyonce's prettier.

Friday, March 09, 2007

For Bukowski

On this date in 1994, Charles Bukowski died of leukemia. Eight months ago, I took a stab at reading one of his poems outloud and uploaded it to youtube.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bezes at the library

Above: Big Dude and Little Dude pose.

Below: Two pics taken simultaneously, one by Big Dude and the other by Little Dude.

Now if you'll excuse us, we have some books to check out.

Photographer, 3 year old JBez

...and Tom Petty sings, "I Was Born A Rebel."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scattered, Covered, Chunked and Cheat Sheet

The hat tip goes here.

The answer to how the Waffle House cooks keep track of all of those orders is here. (Hint: It's all about condiment packet placement.)

The red-haired girl with all of those cool tattoos works Friday night. Maybe I'll order an upside down mayonnaise packet with a side of two packets of ketchup in a T-shape.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Electric Cinema At My Eclectic Record Store

In a story about country radio the other day, The Tennessean quoted country musician Clay Walker.
Then, nearly 20 minutes into the hour-long discussion, after not having said so much as "hello," country musician and panelist Clay Walker casually piped up.

"I miss payola," Walker said. "When I came out in 1994, you could take a guy out to a ballgame, buy him sneakers and pay for his kid's private school and you'd form a great relationship. These days, I mean, it's become holier-than-thou at every radio station you go to. They can't accept anything."

Immediately for me, one album comes to mind: Robin Crow's Electric Cinema.

Back in my record store days, we all felt like WKRP's Johnny Fever when it came to deciding what tapes and CDs to play over the in-store system. We played what we liked and it often helped to sell the under-appreciated artists that our ears usually gravitated to. Because of co-workers Tina and Elena, a lot of customers (and me) knew how good bands like Nirvana and The Flaming Lips were months before the rest of the world did. I made sure to play Jellyfish as often as possible when I first discovered them, and am proud to know that I expanded their fanbase by a good 15 people or so.

The power of in-store play is awesome. Customers usually suspect that at least one of the record store employees is a fan of the music playing and will sometimes seek out that worker to talk about what he or she is hearing. It often translates into a sale but it feels very organic amidst all of the commerce. My favorite part of it was when that trust in taste part of it came into play. More than a few regular customers would eventually just come to me, ask me what I liked, and buy it sight unseen (or sound unheard).

Anyway, it was just a matter of time before we had our Dr. Fever mojo taken away. That Cincinnati disc jockey successfully resisted having to play songs from a list not of his choosing, but we record store employees weren't so lucky. In May of 1992, an excellent album of instrumental guitar was released by Robin Crow. It wasn't unlike a Joe Satriani record. It had a lot of fire and energy and sounded amazing. There was only one problem with it though. It was decided by others that we had to play it. Daily. Three times daily. And there was money involved. If someone from some marketing company called and asked us what we were playing, and we answered "Robin Crow," we got paid.

Some of us resisted more than others. Regardless, we heard that CD a few times a day. It could have been worse. At least it was a good piece of music. Although I think it was tougher for the girls who had brought me Nirvana and the grunge scene. Our district manager used to tease the staff at our store as being the most bohemian of all of the Nashville stores. I think he was mainly referring to the girls, but it was true that most of us bristled at the thought of corporate interference. Never mind that we were here as much for the paycheck as for our love for music. Regardless of any bristling, we still managed to play that CD a few times a day for however many weeks the promotion ran. Some of us answered that phone call for its coming reward, while others of us listened to that disc play for free.

Remembering back to those days after reading the Clay Walker quote, I can't help but wonder if I was a sellout for playing the disc for some possible cash or if I naive for not holding out for sneakers and a private school education for my kid.

Parthenon Echoes...parthenon echoes

From The Tennessean:
A free Friday night music series in planned weekly at the Parthenon through the month of April, Metro Public Parks and Recreation officials said.

The "Parthenon Echoes" concerts will feature acoustic performances from a string quartet, woodwind quartet and a choral group. They will be held each Friday night starting Apr. 6 at 6 p.m. at the foot of the Athena statue inside the Parthenon.

For more information, visit or call 862-8424.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

"He's so money and he doesn't even know it."

There's this thing that I always notice about the two littlest at Chez Bez: She has this cute little laugh that is not unlike the laugh of Sesame Street's famous Ernie. He, however, laughs in a way that always reminds me of Vince Vaughn's drunken and arrogant Trent Walker from Swingers.

Oh boy.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I Hope She Sings "(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night"

Pops is taking me to see Madeleine Peyroux Sunday night at Polk Theater. I'm a fan of hers based on the very few of her songs I've heard on the radio.

Tonight, I am cramming. I've pulled up her releases on Rhapsody and am giving a good listen to more of her songs. Tom Waits fan that I am, I immediately recognized that she covers his "(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night" on her latest CD. It's a winner. She changed it up just enough to make it her own. That's a big plus. There's not much that frustrates me more than hearing a cover of a song that is not much more than standard karaoke. Madeleine Peyroux definitely gives us her special interpretation and brings something new to our ears. In that is always the wonderful reward.

Nashville Scene: Madeleine Peyroux may just be the next great vocal interpreter of our time

NPR: Madeleine Peyroux's Nearly 'Perfect World'

Anyone else going?

Live at the Met, in Nashville, TN

Thanks to Jon at the blog, mushin no shin, I have learned that Opry Mills hosts simulcasted performances of the Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinees. For the very affordable price of $18, this Nashvillian can get a taste of high culture from the Big Apple. I may be watching it on-screen instead of on stage, but I get to see it live as if I was in Lincoln Center itself - and not at prices ranging from $42 to $295 a seat.

The next performance is March 24 at 12:30. It is The Barber of Seville. I don't wish to give away the ending, but I am really looking forward to seeing the part where Bugs Bunny shaves Elmer Fudd's face ("Yoooou're so next!").

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Like Podcasts?

What are your favorites?


This He Believes

In my opinion, the following essay by Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips is absolutely required listening or reading.

For NPR's This I Believe, his essay is entitled Creating Our Own Happiness.

An excerpt:
I noticed two people huddled together at the bus stop. To my eyes, they looked uncomfortable; they looked cold and they looked poor. Their coats looked like they came from a thrift store. They weren't wearing stuff from The Gap. I knew it because I'd been there.

The couple seemed to be doing their best to keep warm. They were huddled together, and I thought to myself, "Oh, those poor people in that punishing wind."

But then I saw their faces. Yes, they were huddling, but they were also laughing. They looked to be sharing a good joke, and suddenly, instead of pitying them, I envied them. I thought, "Huh, what's so funny?" They didn't notice the wind. They weren't worried about their clothes. They weren't looking at my car thinking, "I wish I had that."