Music Friday 25

 

Is he being lazy? Two Music Fridays in a row?

Yes I’m lazy. How much time do you want me to sink into a dead blog?  And it’s another good sign off song…

“State of Euphoria” is an amazing Anthrax album. During the final week of high school, everyone was painting goodbye shit on their car windows. I used the phrase from this song. Five windows, five words…

Over, Finished, Done, Gone Out!

 

“Goodbye, Kids!”

 

Hey kids, what time is it?
That’s right… it’s time to put Clarabell down.  He’s had a good long run, but it’s over. Shoot him point blank in the back of the head, he’ll never feel a thing…

What in the hell is Morgan talking about?

This blog. It is time to say goodbye.

Yesterday marked the twelve year anniversary of my first post. I’ve had a great time but it’s time to close up shop.

solongandthanksforallthefish

We started this journey back in 2004, before the word “blog” was in widespread use. You had to explain to people what the hell a blog was. Now the word has come and gone and so has the concept of the blog. It’s a dead enterprise unless you are selling something. I’m not selling anything, I’m just a bum trying to keep you entertained. And hopefully in these twelve years together, I’ve done that on more than one occasion.

August 21, 2004. The first entry was simply an update on my attempts to create the space. I was eeking out some very basic HTML code and trying to find a way to add pictures. Then we moved servers, upgraded, changed things, reinvented ourselves a few times, tried to generate audio shows… All of it was an attempt to be your clown, to entertain you. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the show…


I’m sure you’ll want to know why.
Here are a few of my feeble reasons:

  • Financial. Yes, it costs money to run this thing and I’m not even denting the surface. Our good friend Wade has eaten much of the costs and it’s unfair to him to continue doing so. I cover the payments he reminds me of but I KNOW there have been years of unmentioned debt built up on this…

 

  • Finances are not the only reason. I can cover the cost if I plan for it. But I have to weigh the cost benefit. It costs “$X” to keep this thing on-air, and I have two consistent readers. It would be so much easier to just write these things up and e-mail it to two people… This is not a “woe is me, I’m so unpopular” lament, it’s just truth. I’ve looked back over the stats and there are more comments than I thought, I’m lucky to have each of you. Some of these people pop in and out and read the occasional entry, but day to day, I’m a nobody. Can I justify paying $X to continue being a nobody? Nope.

 

  •  Stress. I worry sometimes when I have nothing to post. So much so that I’ve burned out writing pap and I have nothing left to write up the good stuff. Last January I dedicated myself to making an entry on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday this year and up until this point, I’ve made it. But has any of it been any good? That’s subjective but I’m not especially proud of any of it. I think it might have been better to disregard the schedule and only post when I had something interesting to rant about. However, I was convinced that posting on a regular schedule would be better. I’m not sure how wrong I was, but I was not right.

 

  • Writing time. Not blogging will free up some essential writing time. I’ve slacked off on writing this year. Much of the time I used to dedicate to my stories has been eaten up by creating blog content. I’ll fill that time with my fiction once again. So I’ll still be writing just as much, but maybe I’ll get something done with it rather than just posting to post.

 

  • It’s just time.  I’ve said goodbye before (in much the same way it turns out…)  Very few will notice the absence. Again, not a pity-party, but seriously, who cares? It’s a blog. Blogs are dead as disco. With Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc… why would anyone read a blog anymore? That’s why I tried to reinvent the blog from time to time, create audio content, tried to keep the entertainment value up. Some of it succeeded, some failed.

 

  • All of this was fun and I sincerely thank you for enjoying the ride along with me. I had a blast.

Make no mistake, this is a celebration not a funeral.  We’ve done a twelve year run of nonsense and bullshit.  I think that’s pretty good.  I’m not sad or bitter, I’m happy and overjoyed that we had this space and time.  But it’s over now and time to say goodbye…

I have no idea why I love the melodramatic goodbye so much. I remember drafting up a resignation pre-WorldCom and it became an elaborate Shakespearian letter to the gods! The situation passed and I never had to quit, but that letter is still somewhere in my archived files and I wince at the thought that I once considered sending it.

There was always a “Never” post scheduled to drop two months in advance and I kept postponing it, resetting the schedule so that it never posted unless I died. A deadman’s post. It was a nice “goodbye” post with some thank yous and end-of-life appreciations. I reminded Teresa and Becca that I loved them… all the good death-bed shit.
Goodbye is so much fun when you let your stupid little ego run around unchained.

We’re scheduled to “go dark” on October 14th. I’ll keep posting little comments here and there but the end is coming soon, don’t be surprised by it.

And so it comes to this… the end…

Thank you.

missile_command_the_end

Music Friday 24

 

And now, we come to the end…

Saigon.  Shit… I’m still only in Saigon.  Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle…
This song will forever be inexorably intertwined with the opening of “Apocalypse Now”.

You can love or hate the Doors, and that’s probably based on your love or hate of Jim Morrison, but I love them.  Yes he’s a pompous and pretentious poet, but deep inside, so are each one of us…

What should I do?

 

The act of making a decision can be simple or painful, it depends on you. It may also depend on how important the perceived outcome will be.

I know people that have a difficult time answering “Where do you want to go for dinner?”

They weight the possibilities, they consider the options and they are never happy with what they decide because they “know” the alternatives were possibly better.

So you put your foot down and you make the decision. They are relieved because all the pressure is on you now. For better or worse, you are on the hook. If the decision was about dinner, the worst you can expect is heartburn.

But what about when the decisions are more intense?

  • Should I quit my job and join the circus?
  • Do we pull Granddad off life support?
  • Can I jump over that pond in my Honda Civic?

You fret and worry about the possibilities… but once the decision is made, you stick with it. No looking back. If you doubt your decision you’ll go back to fretting and worrying. Just weight the options, make the choice and go with it! The worry melts away and it feels so good to be on the back side of a decision…

“If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice!”

MTV Classic

 

VH1 Classic has become MTV Classic. And now I wait to see if I see less music than ever now that it’s officially MTV…

VH1 Classic was my last connection to videos. I’d watch “Behind the Music” on any band I was even remotely interested in and their “Metal Mania” was a block of old metal videos. That was about it. MTV has been dead to me for two decades and I thought this would finally be the end of music videos for me.

But I was wrong! MTV Classic replaced “Metal Mania” with “Headbangers” and it’s the same thing. I’ve been watching the show and they’ve been playing lots of the harder thrash metal, stuff that I love. Slayer, Exodus, Overkill. I’ve been getting some Motorhead, Anthrax and some of the underplayed Judas Priest too.

Teresa has been sitting beside me and giggling at me turning back into a teenager and getting pumped up at some of the old videos. She’s been commenting along, remembering some of the old songs I used to play when we were dating. Last night, she helped prove one of my oldest arguments…

We were laughing at the bands dressing in their girlfriend’s clothes, we laughed at the overt sexuality, potent masculinity and vulgar misogyny of undeniably ugly men. (Seriously, Blackie Lawless was not an attractive man and he didn’t age any better than Chris Holmes did…)

So a few more videos go by, Teresa is picking on some of my metal superheroes and commenting that they were an ugly lot (and they were). Then she points to the screen and says, “Now THAT is a good looking man! He’s a very attractive guy, so much prettier than Ronnie James Dio or Lemmy!

Kip Winger.

Kip fucking Winger

I bowed my head and smiled. My thesis has been proven, my entire argument has been validated. When they started worrying more about how bands looked and less about how they sounded, metal took a dive. She loves Sebastian Bach, I love Nicko McBrain! When record contracts were handed out to pretty boys rather than the guys who could actually play… well, it was one more nail in the metal coffin.

We know why it happened. Metal guys were broke, it was our girlfriends that were buying the tapes. If the record companies slapped a hot guy on the cover instead of a hot girl, the album sold more copies. We get it, we understand. But we don’t have to like it. And I don’t have to like your shitty overproduced glossy fancy-boys either. Is Kip Winger a competent bass player? Most certainly. Is he easy on the eyes? Sure is. Is he metal like Jeff Hanneman or Alex Skolnick? Nope, not even close.

So do you have to be ugly to play? No, of course not. Is it possible to be a metal god and a pretty-boy at the same time, sure, why not? But if you’re picking your frontman based on sex appeal and not on talent, you were part of the problem. Plenty of talent available but we got shit like Winger, Poison, Europe and Warrant because they knew it would sell.

Vanilla

 

Nothing exotic or crazy to report today. It’s been a heck of a week, I do have some of my standard boiling anger just beneath the surface that I want to expel but I’m just too tired to bring it forth. It’s not a physical tired, I’m just wiped out. Between worrying about Teresa and Becca on the long drive, taking care of those kids for three days and working hard to get caught back up at work, I just feel wiped out. So no rant today.

Instead, tell me your favorite “excitable” songs. The ones that you play on the way out of the parking lot on a Friday afternoon (even if your Friday is a Tuesday…) What gets you pumped up for your weekend?

Old tales

 

A story we all know. A story some of us have lived…

Little boy Max. He runs around trying to do everything. He climbs, he runs, he sings. Every chance he gets, he looks around to make sure we’re all watching. He’ll be a playboy, the young buck with every option open to him.

Little girl Aryanna. She’s loud, boisterous and holds her own against any of the boys. She’s sure of herself but quiet. She doesn’t care if anyone is watching her. She’ll hide any insecurities behind a wall of confidence.

Every day they play together. There are several other boys and girls in their cluster but soon, Max’s cries of “Hey everybody” turn to “Hey Ahnonna, hey Nonna, look!” His stunts and his achievements are solely for the attention of one girl. In a room full of children, Max only wants to impress her, even if he doesn’t yet know why…

Today one of the other kids started banging on the table and showed me she learned a new beat, so I pulled out the drums because TC isn’t home yet and we can make all the noise we want!

Five kids pounding on a djembe and everybody is happy. Mr. Chris shows them how to play loud, how to play quiet, how to play fast and slow. They are enthralled! A new toy! A new experience!

One by one the kids find other things to occupy them.

Except Max and Aryanna.

Max has wrapped himself in the drum straps and is playing the drum. Aryanna is dancing and twirling her dress. When one stops, the other looks up. She calls for him to play, he calls for her to dance.

Max is drumming for Aryanna, Aryanna is dancing for Max.

And me?

I’m remembering days gone by with bittersweet enchantment and love…

 

Crystalized

Daycare

 

This happens often enough that you may be tired of hearing this, but infrequent enough that it bears repeating…

Teresa’s job is harder than mine.

I work a corporate job with good pay and (for now) good benefits. Because I’ve been there for years, I get plenty of time off. Teresa owns her own home daycare, no benefits and far less than minimum wage pay. She takes one week off per year so any time she needs to take off, I put in for time off and work her daycare for her.

  • Day one, it’s easy. I’m a novelty and the kids are excited to have a change. I’m fresh and excited to be helping Teresa.
  • By day two, they’re starting to get bored with me and I’m realizing how hard of a job this is.
  • By the third day the kids are tired of my shit and I’m trying to stay awake…

Luckily this time she’ll be back midday on the third day…

Working from home seems like a dream to people that never have. And Teresa’s only benefit is that her commute is thirty seconds long. Other than that; this SUCKS!

12hr shifts, feeding, diapers, entertainment, education, exercise… I’m only six hours in and I’m already pooped with a splitting headache. I’m anticipating what I have to do tonight; I have to cook dinner and then I have to go to the store to get supplies for tomorrow.

I say it all the time, I know she hears me say it. But sometimes, especially when I get a small taste of the experience, it’s a good time to say it again…

Teresa works ten times harder than I do for 1/3 the pay and zero appreciation. All without complaint. She’s not human, she’s a living angel…

Revenge of the WTC

 
Shall I tell you of my unfathomable stupidity? I won’t bury the lede, here’s the punchline and you’ll know how the story unfolds… Last night I got my ass kicked by the World Trade Center.

I’ve been fighting a really bad pain in my wrist. At first I thought it might be a simple irritation that would go away on its own. Then I tried Aleve, then I started wearing a brace. When the pain didn’t subside, I simply switched hands when I did certain tasks that caused the pain. And now that it’s been a few months, the simple act of shaking hands sends me almost into tears. The wrong twist or turn and I almost black out in pain. So I made a doctor’s appointment.

I like my doctor. He’s a simple, no-bullshit kind of guy who explains the medical jargon to me so that I get a street level view of what the hell he’s talking about. So he’s a good guy, but the less I see of him the better. I pretty much have to lose a limb before I’ll go to a doctor, and that’s only if there’s no needle and thread available for me to try and sew it back on myself.

Level “C” De Quervain Syndrome. I saw him this morning and it turns out I’ve got severe tendinitis. De Quervain sounds fancy, but they also call it “Gamer thumb” or my favorite, “Nintendinitis”. I text less than the average, I don’t game to excess, I’m not a Blackberry addict. But years of turning screwdrivers and the combination of all my current activities include some version of agitation to my thumb/wrist. So we’ll try a cortisone shot and see how that turns out.

That was diagnosed this morning. Last night, I aggravated the pain to excruciating levels.

After band rehearsal I was sticking around to put things away. On one of the tables is a large, odd looking hunk of metal. Probably 3” thick, 8” square with an 8” crossbeam jutting out the top. It was crudely cut or welded and looked like some kind of garage-made anvil or something. One of the pipers standing by it is retired NYPD and auxiliary NYFD who lost many of his friends in the 9/11 response.

I ask him if that’s what I think it is, he says it is. He secured it for our upcoming 9/11 memorial. This crude hunk of steel has now taken on the aura of a holy relic. I ask him if I may touch it, he tells me to pick it up and feel how heavy it is.

Now I started this little story with the description of how much pain I have in my right wrist. So it’s fresh in your mind and you obviously know what happens next. However, I’ve been living with this pain for six months and it’s just become a part of life for me, I hardly think about it until I twist the wrong way…

I lift the hunk of metal with mechanical strength, determined to hoist it up without hesitation. I will not be the guy who can’t pick it up from the table and goes “whoa, that’s heavy!” Like Thor wielding Mjolnir, I lift!

About half way up, the inverted ~25 pound hunk goes top-heavy and turns on me. My wrist loses ALL gripping power, ALL strength and all my eyes can see are sharp white spiky flowers on a field of shimmering black threatening to envelop me.

My brain tells me that it’s a huge hunk of rusted metal, you can’t break it, LET IT DROP! My heart tells me this would be tantamount to letting the American Flag touch the floor, DON’T LET IT DROP!

My stupid heart won, I lunge at it with my other arm just as the top heavy jagged ingot is falling toward my face. I catch it, return it safely to the table with, “Whoa, that’s heavy!”

If my wrist hurt before, now it’s on fire. With a spike through it. And an elephant standing on it. Also, fire ants. And maybe acid under the skin.

I hurt.

So that’s the story of how the World Trade Center kicked my ass. Or, if you like, an average Thursday in my fucked-up life…