RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sorry, Canada! *it took awhile to figure out how to change the title.

I am turning 38 years old this year. I have indeed kissed a girl though.  In case you don’t know the title of this post and the reference in the prior sentence are from this song-

 

 

Why am I relating my birthday to a dour song by a Canadian rock band?  Well, I found the song beautiful in its somberness.  My twin brother Rob and I have a short history of embracing our nerddom in reference to our birthday. Last year we both were on this. He called and wished me a happy Dennis Day. I will break secret twin rules and say I was indeed thinking of it before he said it.

 

 

I bristle every time someone around me complains about growing older. Really?  It is bad that you are growing older… what the alternative is better? I personally have enjoyed some of the benefits of aging- I like to think I have acquired some wisdom.  I would have been an adequate father a decade ago.  I believe I am very good at this point and will only continue to improve every year.

I also enjoy (and often detest) seeing how attitudes, places and people have changed.  I am impressed that many states have decided make gay marriage legal (We don’t have enough love in the world to condemn any). I sometimes enjoy seeing changes – The Target plaza on Delaware in North Buffalo was hilly field for most of my childhood (development in Buffalo?)- and ones that make me lament the erosion brought on with time- The Central Terminal where I vaguely remember picking my Great Grandmother Effie a time or two,

I do not like the extra aches, the insomnia and various other things that start to infiltrate your day.  I now have to wear glasses while driving (though I often did anyway). The insomnia has lead to an appreciation for the 20-30 minute nap  after work.   It takes extra stretching to work out strains and loosen tight muscles.  I repeat, it beats the alternative.

I love growing older and love the thought of being 80, sitting on a porch and shaking my fist at 37, almost 38 year old version of me for how foolish I was about Fill in one of many possible blanks. With nothing promised I won’t count on it.  I will look fondly on the aging along the way.

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 02/29/2012 in Dirt

 

Tags: , ,

False Call

breathing in rhythmic

forty five feels fresh, false call

shuteye stays absent

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 02/28/2012 in The Squirming Coil

 

Tags:

Walter White and why you need to watch Breaking Bad, one of the most insightful shows on Television.

Yes I understand. It is a bold statement to try and use the word Television and insightful in the same sentence.  I think there are many cases in the last 10 years that may have helped alter the perception that watching television is exclusively  a mind rotting exercise (I know it mostly is!)- Lost, Oz, The Wire and Deadwood being other examples.

Breaking Bad takes all of these and throws them to the wind.  I am going to do my best to not spoil any major plot points because the goal of this post is to encourage people to engage this show and engage it from the beginning.

Breaking Bad is the story of high school chemistry teacher Walter White. He is a rather docile man with a wife, a handicapped son and a child on the way.  Walter goes in for a physical and finds out he has terminal lung cancer. He learns from his DEA agent brother in law, Hank, how profitable Methamphetamine is as a business.  While on a raid with Hank (he was on a ride a long) he sees a former student Jessie Pinkman leaving the scene of a meth lab from a second story window.  He later tracks down Jessie to convince him to cook Meth with him so he can provide a nest egg for his family before he passes.

The creator of Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan, has said this about the shows direction- (on Walter White) – “He’s going from being a protagonist to an antagonist. We want to make people question who they’re pulling for, and why.”

Bryan Cranston is one of the greatest actors working in TV today.  His portrayal of Walter White is stunning. He plays the transformation (to this point) with brilliance.  Of course, he won three straight Emmys for the role and probably would have won a fourth if not for the premiere date of season 4 falling outside the window for consideration.

Aaron Paul plays Jesse Pinkman.  The relationship between Jesse and Walter is as important as any other in the series.  I find myself aggravated with both during the course of the four seasons.  I realized it wasn’t the type of aggravation shows like Survivor have made me feel, but it was a feeling brought about by stellar writing and exceptional acting.

On a side note it reminds me of why Saving Private Ryan is one of my favorite (sometimes #1) movies of all time.  There is a scene at the end where Upham (played by Daniel Faraday from Lost 😉 ) has the opportunity to save a fellow soldier Mellish who is about to be stabbed by a Nazi.  Upham sees that he will probably die if he intervenes and stays out of it.  Mellish’s death scene plays out and I wanted to break my TV I was so mad at Upham and his cowardice.

To me, that is  a sign of good art- it makes you feel. When it is really good it makes you feel strongly. Like Saving Private Ryan, Breaking Bad achieves this level with me.

The show is dark.  The road looks even more grim.  The title pretty much gives you and idea of where things are headed.  The show does not pull any punches and it explores the dark side of people in a frank manner.  I can’t think of another television show I would recommend to people who like thinking drama.  The show delves into moral consequences of peoples actions constantly.

The first four seasons are available via Itunes.  In HD they are more expensive but season one can be purchased for $11.99 in standard format and season 2,3,4 for $21.99 or $22.99 SD format.  It is a good bet if you watch Season 1 the others will be high definition purchases.

Enjoy. I can’t wait to discuss the show with you.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 02/27/2012 in Dirt, Weekapaug Groove

 

Tags: ,

The Walking Dead

I have always enjoyed watching monster movies. I will always remember watching Night of the Living Dead for the first time. It scared the shit out of me.  But there, below the monsters attacking people was what was more scary than creatures themselves- the way the people treated each other in crisis.

The same is true of The Walking Dead. While the fear of the “walkers” as they are referred to by the survivors is always around I am most on the edge of my seat when it comes to interactions between the survivors.

Rick, a former sheriff’s deputy, is trying to adjust to the new lines in the sand of human interaction. He has shed every piece of his uniform, save his six shooter.  He has gone from clean cut to more of a seven o’clock shadow.  He has done things that he never would have considered doing before the world changed.  There is a taut scene in season 2  that is extremely well acted.*

Shane is Rick’s fellow deputy.  Shane is not having the same moral quandaries that Rick is entangled with.  I find myself waiting for his demise.  Am I sure it is going to happen?  Yeah, pretty sure.  The guy is plain unlikable.

The show follows these two characters as well as Rick’s wife, Rick’s son and a dwindling group of fellow survivors.

I would suggest renting season 1 on DVD if you have not watched the show before.  It doesn’t strike me as the type of show that lends itself to dropping in and starting from a middle point.  I learned that lesson trying to watch an episode of Mad Men Season 2 after never watching the show before. AMC dramas are sophisticated enough that you need to take it in from the start.

Check out Breaking Bad as well. It is one of the best shows I have ever watched.

* I decided to keep this vague so I didn’t spoil much (other than the two above mentioned characters are still alive as of this writing) for people who have not watched the show yet.

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 02/26/2012 in Dirt

 

Tags:

Final Conspiracy

I am a homebody. If I am given a choice of going out or staying in for the evening, well 97% of the time I will take the latter.  A friend from work has a daughter in a local band, Final Conspiracy. I admire how supportive Chris is of his daughter. Last night was the third time I broke out of my cocoon and went to a Final Conspiracy show.

Last night show was at the Guerrilla Gallery on Elmwood, near Forest.   It was the smallest venue I have been to for one of their shows.  While the sound levels didn’t seem quite right (the vocalists were often drowned out) they sounded more confident, more polished then the other two shows I was at.

Final Conspiracy is a hard rock/punk, by their own definition. I am more of a Classic Rock and 90’s alternative guy, but they hit on many of the things I like about music- excellent guitar work and evocative singing and they have fun up on stage.   As long as they play locally I plan on going to two or three shows a year.

On stage before Final Conspiracy was Billy Draws Two. While they are not a style I would normally seek out I was pretty entertained by them. They had a clever medley of songs that had everything from The Ghostbusters theme song to Thriller and some New Kids on the Block.

They also felt the need to re-purpose Brittany Spears “Hit Me Baby One More TIme”. They did a nice job with it I suppose, but following the medley it fell flat for me.

They played two songs where the bass was more upfront and I enjoyed those most of all. They had some great harmonizing as well.

I will leave you will some Final Conspiracy.

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 02/25/2012 in Dirt

 

Tags: , ,

An Aphorism

The world is a  Sithy place, I’m just trying to Jedi my way through.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 02/25/2012 in Dirt

 

Tags:

My Three Favorite Phish songs

I could probably do a top 20, even a top 40 and still have tough decisions to make.  Instead I will make it extremely hard on myself- I am going to go with three!

Now number one is the undisputed king. It has been my favorite Phish song since the 90’s.  Others have challenged. 2 through 20 are constantly in flux. I once considered hiring Casey Kasem to do a weekly countdown but he suggested I try Shadow Stevens. Anyway…They have all fallen short.  I speak of the best Page McConnell song in the catalog, the song from which the title of this blog was borrowed- Silent in the Morning, or as it is known in Phishy short hand- SITM.

I became an avowed Phish phan in 1993. The material that sealed it, well most came from Rift. I guess I should better qualify what made me a Phan-  8/7/93, my first live show.  My jaw was on the ground.  Some highlights of the show-

They used the trampolines, though I forget what song it was during(probably Mike’s Song.  They also performed eight songs that relate to their fictional land of Gamehendge. Finally, Jon Fishman, did a rendition of Purple Rain, complete with a vacuum cleaner solo.

#1.  SITM- I am a huge Page fan. He is my favorite singer of the group.  I was a night owl for a long time and still am when I can swing it or insomnia dictates it.  I think the best time of the day is 3:00-5:00 AM.  Silent in the Morning reminds me of this time.

 

 

#2   Down with Disease – This song always made me think of getting a different job. Of course the job I was working most of these times was 3rd shift at a sub shop.  The more I listen to the song I take it in other ways. Had a bad day or allowed a disharmonious attitude or person in your life, get on your way. Make the change.  Adjust your outlook.  Do something about it. Try and make that something constructive. There is enough destruction in the world.

I believe this is the only MTV style video Phish has done.

 

#3 Twenty Years Later –   This year is my 20 year high school reunion. I have been thinking about that lately. 20 years.  I am at the core the same person.  I would like to think I am slightly more polished than I was 20 years ago. I hope I am less naive without being more cynical…

I like the pace of the song and the vocals. It has a definite Trey vibe to it.  It certainly doesn’t strike me as a song Phish would have made 10 years ago, but we all deserve to grow and change.  That is certainly a pet peeve, when people expect their bands to make the same music for 20, 30 years. I find Rush fans to be this way to annoying ends- “Anything after Moving Pictures is crap man”.  Er, yeah, sure…   Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 02/23/2012 in Weekapaug Groove

 

Tags: , ,