Wednesday, February 27, 2008

27 Sneezes in 120 seconds.

First, the 3-year-old was sick. Then, just as her fever broke, her 4-year-old brother got sick. Today, their mom and dad (me!) started feeling crummy.

Ugh.

I can't speak for the rest of the family, but I'm nursing my stuffy head tonight with beer.

Wish me luck.

Today (Tuesday) was supposed to be my day off, but I went in anyway. My next day off isn't until next Wednesday. Here's hoping Beer and Lack of Sleep! is the new best way to get over what ails ya.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Q: What do these songs have in common?

1. “Innuendo” (Queen )
2. “Bullet The Blue Sky” – Live (U2)
3. “Synchronicity II” (Police)
4. “For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield)
5. “Welcome To The Machine” (Pink Floyd)
6. “Red Rain” (Peter Gabriel)
7. “Neon Knights” (Black Sabbath)
8. “Almost Cut My Hair” (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
9. “Heaven On Their Minds” (Jesus Christ Superstar)
10. “For The Love Of Money” (The O’Jays)
11. “Odissea” (Carlo Marrale & Cheope)

A: They're all on Queensryche's newest release, entitled Take Cover.

Thanks to Barbara at Layla's Classic Rock Faves for sharing the news.

For everyone who thought that "Silent Lucidity" was a new Pink Floyd song when it first came out (Michael Kamen's involvement would be the reason), enjoy their rendition of Floyd's "Welcome To The Machine."

Also, I'm chomping at the bit to hear their take on U2's "Bullet The Blue Sky." Now...Geoff Tate sings The O'Jays? I suppose I'm somewhat intrigued.

The Latest Fashion?

There Used To Be A Barn Here

My Stoic Teen

After The Storm, Surveying The Damage

She would have totally loved Letterman's old "Uma-Oprah joke.

For fun, the kids and I like to read the New York Times. Well, mainly we just look at the photos and play "I Spy."

Last week:

Ari: Who's this person?

Me: Her name is Condi.

Ari: And who's this?

Me: His name is Kofi.

Ari: Condi-Kofi-Condi-Kofi. (giggling) That's so funny, Daddy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Heroic Deed

Girl saves siblings as fire destroys house

This blog's phone lines are now open.

Although this blog doesn't quite have the traffic of Grand Central station (more likely the traffic of a remote stop in BFE, but with only the finest, prettiest, and smartest of travelers, of course), I've added a button to my sidebar for a Google-owned company called GrandCentral. See the button that says CALL ME? That's the one.

Apparently, not that I can think of a single reason why I need it but it does intrigue me a bit, readers can click the button, enter their number (privately if they like) and leave me a voicemail message from their phone. I can then listen to the message via an online inbox. (It can also be sent directly to my phone, but I'm not choosing that option just yet.) Click here for a better description of the service. And call and say hi if you like.

I can't believe I forgot to watch them today.

Every year, I reserve the right to claim the television as all mine maybe five or six times. One of my faves has always been the Independent Spirit Awards. You know my life has been out of whack for me to have forgotten all about it this year.

Thankfully, it'll be re-broadcast a few times Sunday as well.
  • 2:00 AM
  • 9:00 AM
  • 1:10 PM

One ticket for the 9 AM showing, please.

I look forward to looking back to these days with a smile.

Methinks Sisyphus, he of the eternal struggle involving boulder and hill, wouldn't trade his weary days for mine.

I continue to punch the clock, but the hours and their associated monies don't make the bills like they used to. It's that time of year when the kiddos take turns with fevers and flu and my beautiful wife and I take turns cutting our workdays short to stay home with the cute but runny-nosed crumb-snatchers. The good news is that we save a bit on daycare costs. The bad news is that bosses like employees who are always on time and dependable. So far, our bosses are cool, but my worried head is never too sure.

Those of you with grown children are welcome to remind me that it gets much, much easier with time. (Feel free to lie if you must.)

In other news, I had the pleasure of meeting a local hero of mine last night. With even as little as a handshake and a hello, she made a dull work night very nice for me.

Also, a friend who helped get me started on my path to a very cool job last year stopped in last night. In the end, I didn't get that job, but I still remember the whole experience as awesome and positive. I've got nothing but LUV for the good people at Southwest Airlines and I recommend them to anyone who is looking for a fun and rewarding career. I just may try it again sometime myself. (Note to self: Memorize, memorize, memorize those PAs.)

Anyway, call it venting, whining, or just killing time on a blog. Here's hoping I can figure out how to make a bit more money for my family this year. Everything else is good. Maybe Sisyphus would be lucky to be me after all.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'd better have good stuff to say when I get back to doing this blog thing from my living room.

Normal midnight ruminations should resume in a week or less. For better or worse.

Gosh, I've missed being online from places other than at work or at the library.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

To my lonely abode I go.

Work's dead. I'm going home early tonight.

Of course, there's no Internet there so that makes me sad.

But my incarcerated Georgia (doggie in her crate) will be happy to see me and I can get an early start watching some DVDs that a friend has loaned to me.
  • Syriana
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Snatch
  • Crank

With any luck, there will be copies of The New Yorker and Esquire waiting for me in my mailbox to keep me busy.

On advice from my Finnish beauty of a friend, I will forgo the previously planned cigar and instead buy a better wine to accompany my night of quiet bachelorhood.

Cheers!

Exemplary Customer Service Made Memorable

The writer at I Love Upstate shares a story about how a couple of hotel workers made her Valentine's Day away from home a nice one.

So I just checked into the hotel in Nashville. I was joking around with the folks at the front desk about how this is basically the 8th year that the Fiance and I have been apart on Valentine's Day. I'm always traveling or at a convention on 2/14.

So blah blah blah I order room service for dinner. About 10
minutes later there's a knock at the door. ... click for the rest

Friday, February 15, 2008

He sure plays a mean guitar.

While watching this old video of my little guy playing guitar, two things come to mind:
  1. I can't believe how young he looks.
  2. My carpet looked a lot cleaner then than it does now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Alone, Vacuum

The family, they leave me alone this weekend for sunny Florida. Thank goodness I'm broke and busy at work or who knows what I'd get into. I'm restless for rock clubs and copious amounts of alcohol. Instead, I think I'll give the apartment a good vacuuming and watch as much VH1 Classic as I can.

Don't tell the people who care about my health, but after work tomorrow I'll probably read some Bukowski, drink a cheap bottle of red and smoke a five dollar cigar.

Boy knows how to party.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Anywhere I Lay My Head, The Songs

Scarlett Johansson's collection of Tom Waits covers, Anywhere I Lay My Head is due out May 20. Billboard reports its track list below.

I've added original album titles and their release dates. It's apparent that she's not focusing on any one era of Tom Waits' career. Kudos to her for her interest in his work. I'm very excited to hear her interpretations of Tom's songs.

"Fawn" - Alice (2002)

"Town With No Cheer" - Swordfishtrombones (1983)

"Falling Down" - Big Time (1988)

"Anywhere I Lay My Head" - Rain Dogs (1985)

"Fannin' Street" - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (2006)

"Song for Jo" - original song written by Scarlett Johansson

"Green Grass" - Real Gone (2004)

"I Wish I Was in New Orleans" - Small Change (1976)

"I Don't Want To Grow Up" - Bone Machine (1992)

"No One Knows I'm Gone" - Alice (2002)

"Who Are You?" - Bone Machine (1992)

Joe Brancatelli's Hot Hotel Tips

"I don’t think much of the big airlines and the way they run their businesses. But, generally speaking, I like hotels. A lot.

Compared with the do-it-our-way airlines, hotels offer a panoply of choices. There seems to be a style of hotel for every $5 on the nightly-rate scale. Everyone from the janitor to the general manager seems empowered to fix something when a problem arises. Unlike the airlines, hotels don’t move in infuriating lockstep on prices or policies." ...more>>

Monday, February 11, 2008

Be you a traveler and/or a foodie, you might like this new blog.

Brad Nelson, vice president culinary and corporate chef for Marriott International, has started a blog. Recent posts include one about when Marriott elimated trans fats from its frying oils, French fries, and fried foods last year and another insightful post entitled "8 Words Not Forgotten."

Enjoy reading Marriott in the Kitchen. It's good stuff.

I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with Natalie Cole here.

Music veteran Natalie Cole says she doesn't think Amy Winehouse should have taken home any Grammys last night.
"This is about discipline and hard work, and you don't get to just do your drugs and go onstage and get rewarded," Cole told People.


I can appreciate where she's coming from with this. She's an awesome talent herself and a credit to the industry. However, a good song's a good song and a good album's a good album. Regardless of any measure of discipline or hard work on the part of the artist. Amy Winehouse, along with producer Mark Ronson and those awesome Dap-Kings made a heck of an awesome record. I'd be scared to spend more than ten bucks to see her in concert, unsure of her abilities to make it through a song, much less an entire show, but I'll buy Back to Black over and over again to ensure I've always got it close by. Whatever she's doing now doesn't matter. It's what she and everyone else involved did in the studio while it was being recorded.

Anyway, that was the best Grammy Awards Ceremony I've seen in years. It hardly felt like an awards show at all. Just awesome performance after awesome performance. Blueprint 2008 and repeat, please.

Says this nerd: The music on my iPod is great, but I long for my podcasts.

I wonder how all of my podcast subscriptions are doing. Lord knows I'll have a month or so worth ready and waiting for me when I get online at home again.

So many NPR podcasts... A wealth of Dawn and Drew shows to catch up on... I can't even remember what other shows I subscribe to, but I miss them all. Here's hoping I'm back to it within the week.

My wife sent the laptop off to a company that a friend recommended. The old desktop is being tinkered with by a fellow blogger in the area. I want my old midnight blogging and podcast listening habits back.

(Sidenote to a friend: I think I'm liking this Ryan Adams guy of yours. Thanks for the CDs!)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Heading Up To Hartsville

My grandfather's farm was hit pretty hard in last week's storm. His roof was damaged and several buildings on his property are no longer there.

The good news, of course, is that he is fine. We're driving up there today to see if we can help in any way.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

"Yes We Can"

Obama's "Yes We Can" speech has been put to music by will.i.am and it is wonderful. Here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

How We Roll

We'll be hanging around the house all day Sunday watching the Super Bowl and hoping that Ari is feeling better after throwing up all day Saturday.

Titans 21, Ravens 7

My wife went digging around our storage unit this morning to retrieve our old desktop computer so that we can see if we can get it back up and running. In the process, she found my old PlayStation console. First generation, circa 1997 maybe.

Waiting inside after all of these years for me to play it was my old Madden 2001 disc. I had it set up and spinning in minutes. My butt on the floor and my back against the couch, it was like old times. McNair, Eddie, Wycheck, etc. Those Ravens didn't stand a chance.

It was such a nice find. And it kind of takes the sting out of not being online at home.