Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And Slow but Sure the Sands are Falling as the Bridge Burns Beneath the Wheel

Cubbies and Comedies, moo-moo-moo movies, Chicago in the summertime.

Just as David Gray sings about the mystery of love, words prove useless in the face of how it feels. Today I strike one of the 'list of things to do in life,' which was to see a baseball game at Wrigley Field, one of America's oldest baseball fields.

Situated pretty much in the middle of a neighborhood, this experience has done well to rekindle my thoughts on pro sports, especially baseball in general. It's no frills, no instant replays, no distracting bullshit, just good old fashion baseball while enjoying an Old Style beer or two. I also went to the 'world famous' Cubby Bear, and if you look out in right field, I was at that pub talking politics with the local color. One dude told me its so windy in Chicago, that one of these big clunky ass newspaper racks (where I used to do some work) actually flew into a car.

Much to the late Harry Caray's dismay, Cubs lose, Cubs lose, which seems to be a normal tune. I can't believe I had this seat, I can't believe this picture turned out so well.

Gaw! This was so awesome, as I sound like a teenage girl. The last 6 or so baseball games I've been to or played at, I've feel asleep, didn't this time. There were all sorts of rich people around, talking about stocks and stuff.

Other noteworthy things, I climb up to the top of the Sears tower. I love going to high places and looking down. To me, skyscrapers represent the human and what it is able to accomplish, it gives me a breath of fresh air, even in this smog. Just ask Howard Roark about what it tells, he'll tell you all about it in this novel.

Smoggy, yea, one of the least anti'climatic tall places I've ever looked down from, no 'outdoor lookout station' but what the hell. Built for 250 million by Sears, sold for 1 billion when when sears lost bizness. Some dude said there's no mountains in the midwest, so they had to build one.

What can you say about Grant Park, its beautiful, and its also 'home' to Lollapalooza, If I strike the lotto anytime soon, I'll be back!

Kinda a weird picture here, there's Gavin playing in that puddle, haze, buildings, hardly anyone around.

Don't think your city has aesthetic value, put some of those old letters on the top of your building, build your city on a lake, get some huge parks, a man made beach, a pier, the mafia, and underground roads, you'll be fixed up.

Chicago, man I love it, or at least the little time I've spent there, history seems to just oooze out of everything. If I lived in Chicago, I wonder how long it would take being outside in the dead of winter to turn my head into a baldcicle.

Monday, May 28, 2007

This bottle of stevens awakens ancient feelings, Like Father, Stepfather...

Rollin' on 3 hours of sleep and a quad latte, Mummy, Jr and I brave downtown Minneapolis. The city has a sincere simplicity, modest and historic, I think I like it!

Here's a picture of the tall buildings. We were witness to so of the locals getting into a squabble, one chick throwing a big ol' rock at I guess was her boyfriend, it was funny I tried not to laugh so I wouldn't get beat up.

We went on a church hunt because mummy's brother my uncle said we HAVE to see this church. Here it is, kinda, hard to take pictures of big things you know? You get a flag, or a lamp post, or car, or some other nonsense in the way.

Then there's an old Cadillac (Catholic) church we stumbled on, it looked really cool, just over the hill from a Japanese sushi place.

Heading to Chicago and seeing Kenosha, Wisconsin on the map, I had to pop in the blue Weezer disk, 'Kenosha's own WEEZER,' you know, where the boys are playing in the Happy Days Diner in the music video that came with Windows 95! :)

Well, I'm here in Chicago, beat, but still want to go out and check out some seedy Chicago nightlife, but I'm afraid our van would get stolen, it does have spinnas you know ;) ...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Their Prey Gather in Herds of Still Knee-Length Skirts and White Ankle-Socks

Minneapolis, or Bloomington rather, welcome to the Mall of America, self-touted the largest shopping center in America, and a great place for kiddos to go to have fun. The retail centers are that which are in every shopping mall around the nation....anyone need a Journeys? how bout a Hot Topic?

I just can't seem to get one of these family pictures right, lookin' like Uncle Lerch in all of them.

There are the pictures, a sorta theme park inside the mall, even a big Ferris wheel, as the Grinch would say, o the noise noise noise noise. I walked the length of the 3 1/2 stories in just a tad bit over an hour at a brisk pace, stopping only for a pizza and mountain dew.

Grant and I have a fictitious band named 'Cecil Flesel' goin' on, and we try to 'one up' each other in dialogue. For instance, I will tell Grant, yea I saw the band just perform an acoustic set on the thrid floor. His response, oooo, I think I heard it, did they play that song, 'I Want it All,' and my counter-rebuttal, 'no, I think they played track 3 on the album first, you know, the one with the great guitar solo'.....and so on and so forth.

The night couldn't be complete without a night of excess in downtown Minneapolis. I met up with a long time friend of mine Jolen and she showed me the ropes downtown. We checked out a few Irish type pubs, have some Stella pints, got to ride a lightrail, and got a ride home from a cab driver from Kenya. Rollin' in as the sun is coming up, Mummy asks, where the heck you been all this time?

This is the 'target center' downtown I believe, but they had all the lights off at closing time.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Come Out of Things Unsaid, Shoot an Apple off My Head

Another day in Denison bonding with the family, bow shooting with Todd of all things, yes, I tried to get my brother in law to let me shoot and apple off my head, but considering this was the second time ever shooting one of these things, he didn't like the idea.

First time I shot one, around age ten, my buddy 'Boobs' and I 'dared' each other to shoot it straight up into the air, well we did, running for cover in fear of an arrow thru the skull, we wait for it to land, only realizing it came down, foot deep into the neighbors roof, yea, I put that bow up after that.

Here's me gettin' my gear on,' at the local Archery Club. In medieval times, I would have been a longbowsman, just like 'Fagalos' in Lord of the Rings.

As time went on, I got better at this stuff, and I never popped myself in the arm, this means that I got a 'good release' so I'm told. On the day, we hit some targets, that got boring, so we moved a BIG BEAR out there, after I got the kill shot, I aimed for the bears privates, I got close once, landing an arrow in I guess what would be a bear hip. We also brought out the wild hog, turkey, and we rounded the evening out with a skunk. Pepe Le PEEE-U!

Then we visited the 181 acres of beautimus family farmland. My great uncle took a chance, back in the day, the rumor was that you could get paid a lot more money raising corn in Iowa than cotton in Texas, so he loaded up the truck and moved to Denison. Terraces, timber, CRP, etc, there's a lot to learned in this neck of the woods.

Then there's CRAZY MUMMY who took some deer horns out and posed with them. The Texans coming to represent in Iowa have ZERO hunting experience, but we listened intently and did our best to understand.

There's a 'gator' and a 4-wheeler out there on the farm, cousin Todd asked mummy, wanna go for a ride, she said, YEA!, Todd was in disbelief that mom accepted the offer, but within' minute they were hotroddin' down the trail.

Somewhere in the mix, the gang went to see this OLD church, 200 years or something, that was uprooted from one area and moved to another area. Sure looks like the one Slash played his geetar in front of in the desert in the November Rain video.

Random walking time around Denison, Meagan is being a princess, trying to polarize boys vs girls, being gruesome, and lookin' at her dad as if he was insane rollin' down the hill.

Last but certainly not least, we couldn't leave Denison without Todd's promised trip to a 'Gentleman's Club,' in this case, 'Big Earl's Key Club.' I must say this joint is uber seedy, but they had an 'internet jukebox,' and before they knew it, the crowd was switched from AC/DC to Australia by The Shins. I even got a nod from one of the 'wait staff,' as if the say, 'good choice.' Too much silicon for me, but a wheat beer or two at a few different places made for a great nightcap.

Up next, twin cities, Mall of America --- maybe I'll buy me a pair of long pants, gettin' a bit chilly up ova here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mandy's in the Backroom Handling Out Valium and Sheriff's on the Airwaves Talking to the DJ's

The family vacation continues, drivin' cross country in the Chevy Van. Little Miss Sunshine you might say?

The dreaded Iowa sign, its nice to hop out at these things, snap a picture or two while cars whiz by going, 'Ha Ha Ha, Ho Ho Ho,' cough cough '*#$(%) em.' Iowa IS filled with fields of opportunities, just ask the Fast Food Nation peeps about the 'Mexicanification' of Iowa. Don't ask me what I was doing in this picture, perhaps taking a gander at my growing 'man boobs.'

We arrive in the quaint city of Denison, Iowa, their claim to fame, home of Diane Reeves, which is the 'Buffalo Gal' in 'Its a Wonderful Life,' it has consistently been a favorite movie of mine, and I've often been compared to George Bailey.

Today me and my second cuz Nick went to play some tennis, snapped this picture of the water tower.

The arrival to 'Neumann Acres,' our relatives posh abode on Maplewood Drive, lots of room, this crib we're at is the bomb, amazing accommodations, some amazing food, 'fresh meat', literally. No, their ain't any burnt carpet grass in the backyard with ants and stickers, this stuff is the real deal.

My uncle Harvey and aunt Leora both passed away a few years back, haven't been to see the family since before their passing. The family dedicated a bench to them on top of 'Yellow Smoke' Park, when I die, I'd like to get a bench named after me, with a comparable view to this.

The main line of the Union Pacific has trains rollin' thru the city about 88 times per day I'm told, reminds me of Taggart Transcontinental in Atlas Shrugged, as I hear the horn of the train, surely doesn't make the imagination wonder.

Here we are, well some of us at least by the bench, myself, Doris, Darryl (who's lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 30+ years, fun person to talk to), Lowell, Meagan with some surprise devil ears, mummy and Jr.

That's all for today, tomorrow is filled with more surprises in Denison before heading off to the Mall of America, and hopefully and Ozomatli gig at Harmony Park, Geneva Minnesota

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Walk These Streets, A Loaded Six String on my Back

Being on the road is inspiring and refreshing, despite a bad day for snappin' pictures, especially the 'before' picture which i forgot to take after being extremely drowsy after an all nighter.

Holla from Wichita Kansas, not a lot going on in this neck of the woods, but the Day's Inn is nice, and the staff here at the hotel are extremely tolerant of our loud 10.30 pm antics at the pool.

The cheese ritual is to snap pictures at the state lines, well, since the rains' came down and the floods came up, here's the best we could do.

at the time of the snap
Sitting in Row 1 - Brother in Law and Sis
Sitting in Row 2 - Mummy and Meagan
Sitting in Row 3 - Myself and Gavin
Sitting in Row 4 - Jr and Grant

Oklahoma, or moblihoma as my longhorn friends would say. I've had some fun times in the past here, most recently a Ben Folds slingshot trip, a trip to see John's band play at Okie Noodling at Paul's Valley (an eccentric little place), when I was young going to learn about Will Rogers, and for some reason Dad took us out to Oral Roberts (don't hold it against me folks, and Folds. Anyone Flaming Lips fans? Well the Fearless Freaks hail from OK City, many football zealouts in Norman, and but certainly not least, a man extremely ahead of his time and atmosphere, Woodie Guthrie, had the pleasure of driving thru Guthrie today. It would have been interesting to stop at Oklahoma's Turner Falls for a benchmark for Niagara, I'm wonder if superman is going to save anyone while I'm there.

Almost rollin' into Kansas, we see the noteworthy sunsets, I'd say this picture captures the essence of the area, nice sunset and surroundings, 'humble housing,' and truck stops.

More explorations to come. When my relatives came over on the boat, there were 4 brothas, 3 were in Texas, 1 in Iowa, we are going to make a pit stop in Iowa next for a day or so and play catch up with the family there. My cousin Todd promises me a good time, although google earth doesn't see too many hot spots around Denison.

The soundtrack of the trip thus far, Paolo Nutini, what can I say, I'm addicted to the new album, a heartfelt / clever dude from Scotland.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We Passed the Hash Pipe, And Played our Doors Tapes

Tomorrow myself, my brother, sister, brother in law, mummy, and nieces and nephews Grant, Meagan and Gavin are heading on a trip towards Niagara Falls.

For those of you who understand the eclectic-ness of the family, any adventure of this sort is an adventure, but rest assured there will be no hash pipes or Dorrs tapes, but perhaps a nice Billy Joel tune or so. I think Billy Joel is great for the road trips.

Here she is, the van of all vans, the one that's gonna bring to the other side of the continent. Jr and I spent an hour or so de-stinkifying the seats that have been in the shop for a year or so, not just febreeze, but AUTO febreeze :)

Here's the tenative route, sorta, I know we're hittin' some family in Iowa, I know we're hittin' the mall of America (nice when I got about 200 bucks in the bank account), Niagara, and a podunk town in Ohio.

And yes, this lovely drawing was done with Google Earth and Pbrush.

Tomorrow at 6am, I grab my sack full of technical gadgets of GPS, cameras, phone, blah blah blah, and my sack of a shirt or two, pants, shorts, sock and underwear and take what will be an epic journey across 13 or so states.

Stay tuned for pictures of me in front of cool shit :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Red Blood's a Powerful Fuel, Sweet Love Tasted Blood - My Heart Overfloods

Sittin' here digesting 'Love is a Mixtape, Life and Loss One Song at a Time' --real content of true passion, not only in the music element, but also the human element. A tragic story of love and loss, and recollection and reflection thru mix tapes. Many of us have made mix tapes for people, for all occasions, here's a short depiction of what it means to me.

To preface, I write postings like this by design, of what the Dahai Lama told Mike P and I....he reminds us to explore the small area between our ears more than we explore the vast outreaches of space and time.

Music is a commodity these days, with it comes mixed sentiments. Everyone needs music, hence enlightenment in their lives, and its marvelous to see that in this day and age it is pretty much available for anyone in the developed world to explore different likes and dislikes, to push the envelope of creativity, and find themselves in the process.

Finding one-selves, that's a tough one, the influx of music I feel has created some sort of identity crisis for people who 'consume' music to be 'open' and 'cool.' Just look at people's last.fm pages, there's a lot of 'experimental listening' going on. Artists that have no business being represented together are being combined in a 'as a matter of fact' way.

Somewhere in the 'music metasystem' of how it relates to your soul, I think there's some sort of 'base' that you as an individual come back to for comfort and your true identity. For instance, I dabble around in everything, but at the end of the day, the last 10 miles of the race, I come back to the mellow-contemplative-introspective-white-boy-music-genre, merely because it gives me insight into a lot of things, and one thing I believe we're here on this earth to learn, and consequently (I think), rather than coincidentally these bands are the progressive ones, because they strike the tuning fork in the hearts and minds of mavens.

Sent the 'hey guys, yall should check out this book email to my peeps,' this came back from my brother in law, the most frequent feedback contributor. He once said I married my first love after dating her for a loooong time, don't ask me about problems of the heart.....well, one thing I must say he's good at observation, and that's worth at least a gold bar or two.

We had nothing in common, except we both loved music. It was the first connection we had, and we depended on it to keep us together. We did a lot of work to meet in the middle. Music brought us together

Strikes me as a line that Robert B. may use one day when he finds the love of his life..

My response, damn right! I feel it extremely important to connect with someone on this level, for its extremely important and valuable to my life. It's my #1 source of knowledge and wisdom, for the most part, I ain' lookin' for shit that got a beat, I'm lookin' for someone who has something to say, that says it in a way that's concise, mysterious, entertaining, and articulate and most importantly personal. I'm looking for people that identify with the nuances of these thoughts.

It's really not about music, who cares for who, who does what to who, who can hurt who the most, its about achieving a state of mind, a state that's neither good nor bad, but a comfortable corner niche you find yourself in at the end of the day and at the end of life.

I agree with M Ward, its great to be alive, and it's sad that I'll have to give it up one day. I look back with no regrets, and I've taken perfect advantage of my youth (and still am). The future is what it is, I have a wealth of options to steer, polish, cultivate, and choose who is (to take a bad clueless reference) much more to me than a pair of shoes, hence I'll be picky about it.

The universal constant is that it is inevitable that the relationship with the 'dream girl' / 'ram to butt heads with' will ultimately revolve around music, and we'll make the rest up as we go along.

There IS a reason why music is the most popular thing in the world. From American Idol to the 'Band-Aids' at the concerts, it strikes a hunger and passion in each one of our souls. I've reached down into that metadata, and reached the correlation, and it makes me marvel at the sheer chance of a connection like this.

In the meantime, we all hop from Beyonce to Buckley, to AC/DC to The Shins, to Bon Jovi to Black Sabbath, Garth Brooks to Steve Earl and everything in between. We're tribal, we need organization, just remember the base for happyland, and broaden your horizons only after you've fortified your boundaries, hop into the metadata, make your connection on music, hope, and true love in the end will find you.

Welkommen, Welkommen, Shame About the Weather

Loads of fun to spending the evening with the AMF volunteers over bowling balls at the Dart Bowl.

Pictured, the heart and soul of the non-profit I volunteer with, both pillars. Amy my friend in the middle is going on a European stint for about a month, coming back for the summer, then going to study in Scotland for a long time, how awesome, mad props to her!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Masquerading as a Man With a Reason, My Charade is the Event of the Season

Love pullin' up the stop lights, windows down, blarin' some 'good ol' 80's nonsense, lookin' (un)cool, checkin' out responses, etc.

A Dallas pub crawl, of sorts, The Old Monk , The Slide In (or something like this), a jump start at Home Depot, The Elbow Room, Lucky's to eat, The Blarney Stone, and then some tejano'ish bar made for a great night in DTown. Not quite the debauchery as this hometown crawl, but surely deserves reference.

Let it be known, that on this day, Saturday the 19th, that a slew of Texas State Alumnists got together for some beers, dialogue and an overall good time. Who needs to hook em' horns when you can throw up the claw in one hand, and the state of Texas in the other :) --

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lisa Bonet ate No Basil

Pure brilliance, both videos, the Weird Al version, all palindromes! This ranks up there with Christmas at Ground Zero and Mr Frump and the Iron Lung.

Bob (parody)

Subterranean Homesick Blues (original)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Soccer / Futbol - Mumbai - Bombay, Whateva the Hell You Call It

A quick update on Toshi, who's representin' down in Mumbai / Bombay whateva you call it. I enjoy or occasional MSN messenger talks, he's always full of interesting stories, and I'm always being lamo and boring.

I have to start gettin' my (l)earn on because I'm runnin' my mouth on these extravagant trips I'm promising my peeps. First IS Japan, within' 10 years a trip to India with brother in law and Brandon, and I've been runnin' my mouth for world cup 2010 in South Africa.

Toshi, third from the left, top -- he got a new haircut, didn't even recognize! Anyway Toshi, I miss you bud, wish you were still here kickin' my ass in squash and making me eat 'crazy' food! hahaha

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'll Sing Statistics, and Hide the Truth

A night of contemplation, hence general rambling, I can derive some meaning and talking points from the below lyrics, M Ward of course.

'Where you're locked in coverage falling in time, and it’s hot enough just to let your ideas go by'

'the hardest thing in the world to do is to find someone who believes in you'

Expectations -- If you can't have them when the stakes get higher and higher in a relationship, friendship, business endeavour, etc, what's the use of upping the ante? I'm blessed and cursed with what I consider a commodity of close friends of whom I drift in and out of 'intimacy' in conversation, hopes, dreams, ideas, etc. I'm tenacious about going out of my way to make people comfortable and accommodating, in doing so I'm a happy. Why more often than not does this put people out of their 'comfort zone' if this has to be reciprocated.

Collaboration -- Why is it so damn difficult to find people to collaborate with in business endeavours 'when to going gets tough,' and what's up with all this instant gratification attitude we all seek these days. Why is it so difficult to organize a weekly same bat time same bat station geek session? Why is it when you get a group of what seems to be good friends together everyone is scared that their ideas are going to be ripped off, and whats so intimidating about putting your best ideas out there on the blogosphere for everyone to read?

Trolls -- I used to be under the impression that a good critic was beneficial to a circle of ideas, I understand now that all it does is stifle communication, or starts a downward spiral of criticism which leads to no, no, no. Why does it have to be black or what, why do we have to hurt one to love another....you get the picture.

Mixing business with pleasure-- I'd say one of my strengths is getting people who have no business getting together and hang out, communicate, integrate and buffer conversation until conversation stands on its on. In a business environment I think this is grand, in social context it takes on a different meaning. I constantly think hard on this, and only come up that circumstances are always case specific.

Individualism -- Lots has to add up with people to create 'synergy' time and place, collaboration skills, no trolls, and a willingness to raise the ante --- yes this is a lot. You can't control the movements of people, but you can certainly control the movements of yourself. Knowing yourself, you can build the next Rome or at least your Rome, and then order of business then is who's on the Senate, or do we just skip that part?

True indeed, the hardest thing in the world to do is to find someone who believes in you, so believe in yourself.

True indeed, life circumstances get hard amongst peers, true indeed, that ideas of life and the human element and business ventures should still flow freely.

Monday, May 14, 2007

how the water can flow like it's streaming out a fountains and all you got to do is find a sword and stone

Boy have I ever mentioned how much I love M. Ward, on a scale of 1 to 10 on the bad-ass-o-meter, he's a TWO BILLION. Today I strolled down to Waterloo and picked up an older album of his, Transfiguration of Vincent, truly amazing stuff.

Listening to this album made me remember this picture of my Iowa uncle Harvey (accordion) and his buddy Les. This was a magical day, the two playing a beautiful love song, and Harvy singing the words in German, then translating it. Harvey died a few years back, but his memory lives on.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Now My Bad Dream is My Best Friend

The boys from the Old 97's played Gruene Hall, I love it out here, all hail margaritas and bud light.

New song about pirates and the lord which was brilliant, and ran into some old friends. It's amazing how if you religiously follow a band around, you see lots of the same faces at the gigs. Also seems like the band is your friends, and not really the band anymore.

One time when the world was bad for me, I thought these guys were the only ones who 'understood.'

Not quite the front row, but close enough.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Importance of Content

Living in the digital era, it's safe to say that producers of content have a leg up on the competition so to speak. It's easy to start a blog, it's hard to be tenacious about it, my thoughts are because of the difficulty in organizing one's thoughts.

It's a long road of trial and error, one in which you learn along the way. If you 'don't know how to write,' after years of working at it, you become more skilled. If you blog about your life, there's plenty of self enrichment to be had, as you work thru things out loud, and often times get loads of feedback from friends.

My personal blog, something I'm not looking to per se aggregate an idea, but rather cultivate strong relationships with the people around me who care to be engaged with my life. I'd like to believe it draws people closer to me, my thoughts, feelings, all that touchy feel-y stuff. I feel as if I spit a lot of content on the page, and the people who have the patience and tenacity to read these thoughts and ideas are probably some of my best friends. Just being engaged, knowing what's going on in someones life, and showing a genuine interest builds the relationships that can move mountains. It all starts with one sentence or two, I wish more of my friends would blog, I'm genuinely interested in what yall have to say, and what's going on in yalls heads.

Random Blogging, is something I've picked up lately, blogging politics, blogging technology, this is the viral stuff I'm going to work hard to aggregate, for name recognitions sake.

Either way, ideas are being spread, and they will be picked up by people if you sustain the effort and actually have something to say. Thru the years as I blog, I hope to get some 'breaks' and some luck and acquire opportunities and friends, just by producing content and putting some brain power behind it.

I Look Around for Faces I Know, I Never Ever Want to Go Home

I stayed away from facebook for the longest time, but tonight I bit the bullet and joined the social network everyone is raving about. It used to be for college kids, but now it's opened up for the world, weird / verging on scary auditing capabilities, and I can only imagine the drama that goes on with these networks and circles of trust.

Well, I don't know if this link works, but if you're on facebook and need a friend, click on me.

Normally I'm an early adopter, guess I fell of the bus on this one, but better late than never.
Humor: I've come to love 'beer drinking songs' over the years, here's a 'cute' german one. I sure wish i could post it somehow, it's much funnier when you hear it.

Eisgek Hlter Bommerlunder

The lyrics are....
Eisgekühlter BommerlunderBommerlunder eisgekühltEisgekühlter BommerlunderBommerlunder eisgekühltund dazuEin belegtes Brot mit Schinken(yelled) Schinken!Ein belegtes Brot mit Ei(yelled) Ei!Das sind zwei belegte BroteEins mit Schinken, eins mit Eiund dazuThis is then repeated over and over, each time

the singer reaches "und dazu" the song is sung quicker, and higher, until they can't sing anymore.

roughly translated, the lyrics are:
Ice cold Bommerlunder(a type of schnapps)
Bommerlunder ice cold(repeat)
and with it
one sandwich with ham

one sandwich with egg
those are two sandwiches,
one with ham and one
with eggand with themetc.

Borat would have to say 'Very Nice' on this one.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ride On, Ride On

Life is interesting, people are interesting. Something occurred to me on my drive home from Crown this evening, the two buzz words sensibility and sensitivity.

Sensibility -- what can I say about it other than in the last almost a year staying with sis I've gained a tremendous amount. My days on Rolling Ridge have dried me out, in a good way, and certainly have put things into perspective for me, and when I move back to a nice small inner city dwelling I'll be able to take this sensibility learned out here 'on the road' with me, it all works for a reason, like the feather flying around in Gump.

Sensitivity -- Geeze, how do I explain this, other than a spiral of conversations I've had with people over the years on what this means, most noteworthy, a nice country drive with a bud back in Shiner a year or so ago. The question is 'why do people engage in actions that desensitize the human emotions that are so genuine and real to them. Where the hell did this 'as a matter of fact attitude' come from in everyone? Why do people insist on diluting deep and genuine connections with others and engage in the casual state of affairs known today.

I've vowed to keep thinkers close to my heart, and that has kept me out of awkward situations, and its really made me a happier person. I've vowed to be patient and stay true to my guns, and for the first time in my life I'm able to be truly mentally independent from the desolate thoughts of insecurity, loneliness, desperation and confusion.....I don't test for echo anymore, but I'll knows it when I sees it.

I think meantime, I really have no concern as to where to 'plug Robert in at,' I'm comfortable in my own skin, but more than most of the time I'm not comfortable with the world around me.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

And the Ditches on the Highway, Read Between the Seasons, Under the Bridges in Valleys, Till the Winds out on the Prairie, Wipe the Tears from My Eyes

86 miles on the bike. I must say this was no picnic, intense headwind the entire trip, Texas humidity, and a route that seemed uphill the entire way, for us non-traditional bikers, well, it spelled disaster, Here's a how it unfolded rest stop to rest stop.

1 -- Beginning to Fiesta Market -- The crew was yippie, we're doing the GASP, this is cool, giddy out of the starting block, surprisingly, lots of puke around mile 10, I saw it least 4 different piles along the way. You also notice all the roadkill around 183 and the other big highways. First rest stop, 100's of people, signs of achievement, etc -- and the saving grace, the 'power bar goo' with caffeine and carbs and all that other stuff athletes need (I guess). First song played on the antipod, Weezer, and 'The World Has Turned and Left Me Here.'

Here was the crew out of the starting block, left to ride, my nephew Alex, Red, Garth and Bob.

2 -- Fiesta Market to Rest #2 -- This is the part where I'm thinking, 'yea, this is going to be the 'hilly part,' and 'eventually this has to level out,' as the hills brought on more hills, you see a hill in the horizon, and think, geeze, this is gonna be tough. Here's where the separation takes place, Bob blazes the trail with Garth close behind, me hanging about 500 yards back, and Alex no where to been seen in the background.

3 -- Rest #2 to McMahon General Store -- This the part I had to prove that I was cool and 'lead' this portion of the race, so for hype music I popped in Greenday's Dookie and paved the trail, thru the hard drizzle. I even kept up and 'drafted' with some computer geeks who worked for a consulting firm in Austin.

On arrival to the general store ahead of the pack, I'm beat, I see Bob coming and tease him about how red he was, well, I wasn't much better.

4 -- McMahon General Store to South Texas Wood -- My O my, this is when it got interesting, just tough conditions, and a few massive hills left me fighting it, I see all the 'sag wagons' picking people up, and I kept thinking, I gotta make this, we're more than half the way there. I lose all my compadres, so as I head up a hill, I notice this other dude struggling, we befriend each other and make our way to the next rest.

5 -- South Texas Wood to Cistern Church -- The ride gets better, the power goo seems to be holding me up, I got a new buddy that rides at a leisurely pace, the road is good, it's in the county so no exhaust spilling SUV are blowing sut in my face, very scenic landscape, I'm thinkin, yea, things are good from here on out, peace, tranquility and a coast to Shiner.

6 -- Cistern Church to Downtown Flatonia -- All it takes is a turn, and hell comes with it, that's the oddball Highway 95 for you. Sinister uphill, wind blowing so freakin' hard that you actually have to pedal downhill, and the road, let me tell you about the road, its one step up from gravel, and it's pounding the hell out of you the entire time. It's not fit for man nor beast.

This is me, around mile 72, ain't no joy on my face, and for the most part, I'm riding alone, not too many peeps in site, my buddy 'sags' and the others I pass look absolutely miserable, almost like this self portrait I took on the camera phone.

7 -- Flatonia to Moulton -- I've probably done this drive in a car 1 million times, but on a bike, it truly makes you respect geography. After a 45 minute meditation session to 'wish the pain away', I partook in this 9 mile journey to Moulton, still bad road, still big hills, I think I can I think I can I think I can.

8 -- Moulton to Shiner -- Like the song 'runnin on instinct,' that me at this point, not too much on my mind, just remember I put on 'Travis's' The Man Who album to coast me in to Shiner. A woman passed me, said I was doing great, and said, 'Just remember, the mind gives out way before the body. I roll into Shiner, a LOT later than most, but I finish, the 'welcome wagon' of clappers has thinned down to a spatter as I roll in, unhook from the bike and grab me a Shiner Light.

Well, the muster was tested and I survived, yea, I'm proud of myself. I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore biker, and I did something that I felt was a bit hardcore in that realm, and that a lot of people wouldn't even attempt.

I'm getting 'nice biker legs,' but I don't want to turn my already fat legs into fat muscular legs, so I'll find the proper balance, and probably move on to another hardcore thing to do in another discipline and see what sticks, hopefully I'll have a lot of my life defined by 40 or 45 with this mentality.

Lots goes on in your head when you're tired and pushing your body to the limits, and I'm glad to say that for a spatter of time I'm content, maybe even a bit happy.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Know a man, his face seems pulled and tense, Like hes riding on a motorbike in the Strongest Winds

What can I say about the Pearl Jam song, Off He Goes, it meant so much to me as a young lad (21ish). I can imagine by this time tomorrow the face will be pulled and tense, because of strong winds, hot and humid Texas weather, and 86 miles from Shiner to Austin NOT on a 'motorbike', but rather a pedal bike. Got that right, it's Shiner GASP time.

Another point of interest, I read the Freakonomics blog all the time, and they hired a new editor, she writes for Opinionistas, sometime I look forward to reading in the future. Her advice on success, 'ditch your social life,' and surprisingly for the most part that's what I've done in the last few months, and it has seemed to work wonders on some part of my soul.

I'm sure missing out on a lot of Cinco de Mayo events, most particular, the St George's shin'dig where my nephew Collin goes. Kudos to Jeannie and Robert for all the hard work the put into this.

Time to load the antipod full of 'happenin' tunes for the ride to Shiner. Helmet, gloves, snap in pedals and the world, like Jenny on gump would say 'Dear Lord, make me light (haha) and flexible and get me to Shiner in one piece.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My Drunk Heart Won't Sit Still

Lawrence Lessig wrote a book, How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity, he puts his money where his mouth is, produces good content, releases it under Creative Commons, I stand by what this man says, especially about 'free', not in the sense of 'lets steal all this digital content', but free as in freedom, as a nation, transparency of laws, etc.

What has the advent of digital music, hence the advent of music as a commodity done for me? Well, the first song I ever downloaded was 'Last Kiss', the Pearl Jam version, I was in love with that song, couldn't buy it, it came on a 45 for the Pearl Jam fan club, so I downloaded the tune, rushed to compusa, bought a 350 USD 2x CD burner, and rolled thru town blarin' last kiss on cd, boy did I feel cool.

Creativity, the wider availability of music has certainly made for a more cultured society, and has further thrust what used to be counter culture into pop culture, and yes, this is a good thing. I've often been criticized by na-sayers 'why do you listen to those crappy named bands,' well those crappy named bands often have a lot to say, and the average person is not exposed to them unless they get some MTV airplay.

As I listen to The Cardiagans, I recall how I was exposed to back before the evil MP3, it was thru their 'pop' hit 'Lovefool' that was played on MTV, which really has no correlation to the actual substance of the band.

We all know big media doesn't care about introspection and artistic merit unless it can make a buck, myspace says come on ova, anyone, everyone, and yall can sift thru all this and make judgements yourself.

These peeps would be strummin' their guitars weather they get paid or not, and there needs to be a revenue model that can accommodate art as a commodity, but is the model the actual music, or in the future is that a marketing tool for shirts, gigs, puma contracts and corporate sponsors, that's my guess, as long as the pirates are around.

Its really done a lot for me, opened my eyes to society, gave me different perspectives, tore my heart up, built my heart back up, la-de-da, only to make me a better person, truly empathetic to people who feel tough emotions.

As it pertains to the current music industry, The Fraunhofer Society changes all of that with the invention of the MP3, leaving non-value-adding-people-with-big-houses-on-sides-of-lakes shaking in their Cole Haan's. Where does it all go? It paves the way for people to be more enlightened with music, if they do so choose, it enhances its popularity while making it a plentiful commodity, and its sending tons of 'old school' legislation and bureaucracy and to file 13.

This leaves a heart to heart bond with me, and an artist that understands me, perhaps in Norway, Russia, or anywhere in the flat world. In the new and improved model, the funds WILL come for the artist and those who truly help the them, anyone else can go copy papers or something.

All the purists in the industry, live by the zen proverb, leap and the net will appear.