Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From The Stone Age

I'm a SansaClip kind of guy living in an iPod Touch world.

It's true. For our anniversary this year my beloved and I eschewed the traditional gifts so she received a countertop ice cream maker (for churning out lo-carb coconut milk ice creams) and I received a SansaClip with a whopping 4 G of memory. I brought it into work and had a fleeting thought to show someone... but then realized that this is a bottom of the run MP3 player. That's all it does. Well, plus FM radio. It plays music and nothing more, and that's all I need it to do. But I work in a tech firm so it's quite common for people to stand in line to get the latest greatest at midnight, fully loaded with all the latest options that will come at no extra charge in six months when the next latest and greatest comes out. "Watch this... I can start my car from three time zones away!"

However I should point out that technologically I have advanced to the point where I no longer use my Sony Walkman. Or rather my Panasonic Cassette-2-Go player.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Real Post

I've never been one for New Years resolutions but since 2010 was one big resolution and my family continues to ride this massive wave of internal positive changes I decided to not care if it's hokey or not and just go with the flow.

So for 2011 I intend to write and record four new songs and three new short stories. I wrote a couple of stories last year but never posted them, vainly hoping that I might be able to get them published and earn a penny a word. Either I'm so rusty with creative writing that isn't an album review or I don't know the market or didn't put in enough time trying to get my stories placed or I'm just a hack, but it didn't happen. So I'll dust them off and post them here soon.

That's it. No giant resolution to stop drinking Drano or huffing Windex.

This "creative resolution" comes from my plan to get satisfaction from somewhere other than work. It used to be that I had a boss who was ten years younger than me but he knew how to do my job and was extremely appreciative of my efforts. He even once said that if I found a new job that he would start looking for a new job as well. How's THAT for a confidence booster? In the middle of last year he got promoted and now my boss is about twelve years younger than me, has never done my job, doesn't know much about what I do or what I contribute, and isn't very handy with the compliments. What was a major source of internal satisfaction dried and withered like one of the dead roaches in our stairwells. His lack of understanding about the qualifications for my role resulted in him hiring someone to help with my job function but this someone is severely underqualified for the job indicating my boss's view that it doesn't take much to do my job, in essence that I'm just a barely skilled chump. But I can write one heck of a run-on sentence! I spent more than a few months at the end of 2010 being angry about this but I've let that go. After all, if management doesn't seem to care to make common sense decisions, or at least decisions that are based on their trumpeted FIVE VALUES then why should I care? It's insanity to try and, being more or less sane, I've decided that it's in my best interest to stop.

And so, with a lack of "attaboys" at work and my few chances of being able to creatively come up with solutions being cut off by increasingly stringent auditing controls I've decided that the workplace is not the place to be creative. Leading me full circle to the second paragraph. Which makes this paragraph a redundant rephrasing of what I've already written. Which doesn't make for very good reading. Which means this doesn't count as my first of three short stories, even if it does involve an elf named Herschel who was never able to get his shoes to curl just right and was thus shunned by the elven community and had to spend his life with the wood nymphs who are an accepting kind of folk but obessively talk about wood grain and sap flow.

With That I'm Done

Working the night shift
For what could be one last week
Let’s train that new guy!

Maybe the problem
Could be a blocked sewer vent.
The basement sure stinks.

Nyquil can be nice
On the night that you take it
Foggy the next day.

This night job makes me
Grouchy and a bit depressed.
Let’s train that new guy!

Christmas with my sibs
Even here I feel left out.
Time for a new branch.

Cleaning for Christmas
Longer than our guests were here
Next year let’s just not.

We missed church today.
We are a bunch of losers.
Or maybe lobsters.

Little diaper wipe,
Oh how you vex my sewer
And cost me big bucks.

I sleep on a ledge.
No more! To the floor with thee,
And your toddler bed.

Leftover turkey
The spoils from Christmas dinner
Yummy in tummy.

This is surely true:
I love my wife’s new hair cut
She graces my life.

Twenty-ten is gone
More good days than bad days but
I’m sure glad it’s done.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Next to Last

Lunch with my brother
Once a year – that’s all we do.
I’m wondering why.

The execs were here
They closed down/broke the mens room
Too full of doodie.

I wish that I knew
What I should make for dinner
That would please them all.

The tricky part is
To get all your shopping done
Before your cash ends.

Joshua forgot
And left his bookbag at home
The thing weighs a ton.

Five stinky hours spent
Snaking out a clogged sewer
I missed a phone call.

Christmas shopping with
The Amish at the Wal-Mart:
Did they buy a Wii?

Only on eBay
Can you sell your tainted youth.
Monster mags for sale!

My wife will sure love
What I got her for Christmas
At least I hope so.

Happy birthday, dear
You are such a great daughter-
Lyndi is the best!

Another Quickie to Bore My Wife

My wife skims over my musical blog entries so dah-link... this one will probably not be of much interest.

However on my drive into work one of the radio stations plays Heart's "Magic Man" and I remembered how much I loved that song when I was young. Young as in under ten. So in my quest for my musical genome it got me thinking about what I liked. Well, it starts with that backward sounding lead guitar and it's got lot of flanged, squishy guitar sounds. It rocks nicely, has a strong melody, and adventurously departs from tiresome verse-chorus-verse-chorus formats. There's also some rich analog synth parts that were new, at least back when I was seven or eight.

I also liked Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together." Bouncy fun chock full o' synths! My memory is foggy, because I was all of four when this song was released, but I have some memory of seeing some kind of video of them playing the song on a beach, perhaps on a "Good Morning America"-type show.

The dark ugly truth has finally come out - that this adventurous, proggy, music quasi-snob has his roots in Captain & Tennille.

Friday, January 7, 2011

More Musical Memories

It's the end of the year and the weekly publication for which I decreasingly write published my top five albums for 2010, along with top five albums of a bunch of other writers and local music-related-type people. One of the "related-type" is an art firm that specializes in music related projects and most of the people contributing to the article listed their first album.

So I got to thinking... what was my first album?

My mom used to get us Valentines presents and eventually I started asking for cassettes. One of the earliest that I asked for and received was Lennon/Ono's Double Fantasy. I was so young that I didn't realize that I was supposed to recoil at Ono's vocals, perhaps setting me up to embrace dissonance and an "anything goes musically" mindset. I think I also received Magical Mystery Tour about this same time.

But the earliest album I can remember going into a record store and buying would be either J. Geil's Bands Love Stinks or George Harrison's Somewhere In England, both in the fifth grade at the advanced age of nine, both on record, both purchases inspired by this new channel called MTV. Ringo's Stop and Smell the Roses was also purchased a bit later.

My top five for 2010? Since I had to restrict it to albums released in 2010 it was a much different list than if the list included albums I started listening to in 2010.

Released in 2010:
1. Devin Townsend Project - Addicted
2. Fair - Disappearing World
3. The Candles - Between the Sounds
4. Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day
5. The Lost Dogs - Old Angel

Listened to in 2010:
1. Devin Townsend Project - Addicted
2. Fair - Disappearing World
3. The Mustard Seeds - III
4. Muse - Absolution
5. Brandi Carlisle - Give Up The Ghost

Sadly missing from either list is the new Choir album. Sure, everything I read has fanboys raving like fanboys but to me it just seems incomplete. Not rushed like the album before their last, but definitely missing something.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Running a Marathon

Fished out one by one
Noisily go the peanuts
From a plastic dish

Seriously, folks,
Is there some kind of limit
To writing haikus?

It’s confession time:
While he was on vacation
I removed the squeak.

Have I yet mentioned
How much I really dislike
Training someone else?

Christmas is coming
But someone lost our fat goose
So we’ll have chicken.

Every haiku post
Has at least one where I write
Of my gorgeous wife.

“You’re too old for here
“And besides, you were sleeping.”
My taxes at work.

All I did today
Was zip and move lots of files.
Lots of big, big files.

You want me to train
Two more people plus Austin?
Please just kill me now.

They have changed their minds.
It’s only one trainee and
Someone else trains him.