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Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Mango Song

First things first- I downloaded a Phish show the other day and found that I have been leaving an H off the end of Weekapaug… I am leaving it as it is, imperfect, but filled with the same feeling.

The earliest Phish album that I listened to was Junta. I believe the guy who owned it was named Mike and I found the album rather stunning.  What wouldn’t have been at the time, I had been listening to a lot of Guns N Roses, Warrant  and other “metal” and hard rock bands. I went from AC/DC to AC/DC Bag.  Still, there was something about Fee, You Enjoy Myself and even(sometimes especially) Icculus.

I borrowed A Picture of Nectar which had a very jazzy bend and is also home to perhaps my least favorite Phish song- Tweezer.  It also houses some of my all time favorites, especially The Mango Song.

Since Trey has embraced sobriety there seems to be less of the silly in Phish lyrics and while I wouldn’t say they are more literal now they certainly seem to be grounded more in reality than Gamehenge era up to Hoist.

The Mango Song has some downright silly lyrics, but the tone of the song is anything but.

Spasm waiter dropping to his knees, sees
Slander on wrap paper ties
Lifting up his head he feels the sunlight in his eyes

Grasp a kettle top and shoot the breeze, please
Ramble while slop scraper sighs
Tossing in his bed at night he’ll dream until he dies

Operations at the sink
The dribble liquid visible beneath his troubled eyes
Feels it tilt and start to slide

Mask a pretty hopper’s foot with squeeze cheese
Dangle some grape apple pies
Tranquil and serene until he runs out of supplies

Your hands and feet are mangos
You’re gonna be a genius anyway

Your hands and feet are mangos
You’re gonna be a genius anyway

Now you read that and you wonder how the heck can that be fantastic music.  If I could explain it better in words than listening does I would be able to make a living at this.

Some of the high points in my mind-

– the guitar that slides in and out of the song has such movement to it.  It slides through the refrain like an eel in water.  I feel like I am riding a roller coaster over small hills the way it slides in and out during the refrain and it just explodes like pop rocks in your mouth at “genius anyway”.

– At around 4:10 they break back into the  verses however each of the guys sing one verse at the same time.  It sounds amazing and in a moment of green mind I may have tried to figure out what the heck it sounded like.  I would imagine I ate and sandwich and fell asleep before finding out.

– Despite the nonsensical nature of the song it always lifted me up, gave me motivation.  Perhaps my hands and feet are mangos and while shooting for genius may be a stretch I can hit some high notes right?  I’ll just try and ride that guitar rift up there.

 
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Posted by on 06/28/2012 in Weekapaug Groove

 

New (to me) R.E.M. Up

I tried to think back to why I didn’t even consider purchasing this album in 1998 when it was released. The best answer I can figure is that I wasn’t purchasing much in the way of music at the time and golden liquid assets and cowboy killers were eating up any discretionary funds. So it goes.

After finding out that Collapse Into Now would be the last new fare R.E.M would be delivering I decided I would make it a point to engage the albums that I left by the wayside.  Oddly enough  one of the first cuts that I listened to after I popped the borrowed disk into my PC was Daysleeper– an activity that  at the album’s release was about to become my lifestyle for just over half a decade.

It has never taken much for me to relate to Michael Stipe’s point of view- it speaks to me for the most part. We do differ on some of the reservations he has of such a shift- I always enjoyed that time of day.  There is so much peace.  The fact that he worked Circadian rhythm into his lyrics made me smirk.

The very first track that drew me in though was At My Most Beautiful.  I had a feeling it would resonate as well.  The opening piano brought me Nightswimming and then the opening lyrics-

I’ve found a way to make you
I’ve found a way
a way to make you smile

That is me at my best, in a nutshell- attempting to elevafe others.  When I act goofy or share something with my daughter that touches her, brings either the giggle or the “ohhhhh” followed by a smirk of understanding I am unstoppable.  Those moments make anything else that is irking me, aching on me or troubling my thoughts head to the hills.  I have only given this song three turns around my ears so far and I am already sold.

The third and final song title that caught my eye was Falls to Climb. Much like many Pearl Jam albums I have found that R.E.M albums often house many of my favorite tracks at the end. Falls to Climb has an interesting tone to it, early on I would assume it is about weakness, but by the end it becomes apparent that any weakness being bandied about is that of the outside, not the voice of the song.

Had consequence chose differently
Had fate it’s ugly head
My actions make me beautiful
And dignify the flesh

Me. I am free, I am free

I plan to give the album a few listens over the next few weeks at work.  I will milk it.  My stash of new R.E.M is only so large.

 
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Posted by on 06/27/2012 in Weekapaug Groove

 

Moments

A soothing sip of coffee

A realigning crack of the knee

The first bite of a sandwich made with love

The first rays of the days sun shower me

The unconditional love in my daughter’s smile

A cloud shaped like Mickey Mouse

A picture of nature awaits

At the end of a limped country mile

Sometimes not given the proper weight

Overwhelmed by outside forces of
Ignorance and hate

Suffering and close minded attitudes
That I dream will abate

Moment by moment

This I foster and create

 
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Posted by on 06/27/2012 in The Squirming Coil

 

Observations on my shitty sports teams

I speak of my beloved and beleaguered San Diego Padres and my on the cusp, but short of the goal Winnipeg Jets.

My Padres had a good two week stretch in one area- they had two shut outs.  Now both took place against the Seattle Mariners, not exactly the bastion of Major League Baseball’s elite, but hey, we are talking about my Padres. The Mariners are better on paper then them, but again most teams are.

Their lineup continues to progress with the Carlos Quentin back.  He has cooled off a bit after busting out of the gate but Chase Headley has benefited from the added (only?) protection in the mostly anemic lineup. Cameron Maybin has had a frustrating season to this point and Padre fans can only hope he will take the mid-season break to recenter himself.

The pitching staff is still a mess, however two shut outs they turned in were nice. I would trade that for more consistent 6 inning outing from the guys.  Too many times their starters are giving them less than 5 innings though, which is going to kill the bullpen. At this point I am just hoping that the Rockies beat them in the race to last place. Edinson Volquez has put up two solid outings out of his last three starts.  They need two more starters to get hot. Huston Street has been money when the team has been able to get him in a save situation.

My Winnipeg Jets are making some nice moves.  The have locked up goaltender Ondrej Pavelec with a new contract.  No wonder I chose the Jets to follow, they have a very Buffalo model of not releasing details on contracts. *Sarcasm implied* He was solid last year and having your starting goal tender in place is crucial before building the rest of your team up.

The team drafted an NHL legacy in the second round-  a member of the famed Sutter family, Lukas. Lukas is the son of Brent Sutter, one of six brothers who played in the league in the 70s and 80s-  Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich and Ron were the other five.  He has the size 6’0 215 you like to have at the pivot and hopefully will have an impact on the parent club soon.

I don’t expect a very busy off season from my Jets, but that is OK because I grew up a Sabres fan before money bags Pegula skidded into town on an oil slick. My main hope is that the NHL and NHL Players Association get realignment done for 2013-2014 season, because as long as Winnipeg is in the East I don’t think they have a shot at the playoffs.

 
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Posted by on 06/26/2012 in Gamehenge

 

Why do people hate love?

As I slouched over a cup of coffee this morning I started reading The USA Today on my iPhone. It has not been a first choice paper for me since my teenage years when I would try to beat my brothers to the sports page.  They had the best statistics in that paper, especially their football breakdown.  News wise, eh, I am sure they are not much worse than the rest, but when everything is so slanted one teeter the wrong way and any credibility goes tottering with me.

There was a story about the one year Anniversary of Gay Marriage being legalized in New York State.  Apparently there are some Conservative groups that are working hard to repeal the law.  They claim sessions leading up to the passing of the bill were inappropriately held in private. They claim the matter should be put to a vote as a proposition for the voters of New York to decide.

I could go on my own diatribe on why I believe this law is just and right, how I had friends who were gay but perhaps I will just share an anecdote of when I fully understood that love was always love no matter who it was between.

I worked at a local sub shop for many years. My last semester of college- fall 2003- I decided to take the semester off from working the overnight shift 4-5 night a week to just doing 4 classes.  The thought was I could get more done in those classes and just get a nice break from my crazy schedule.

The last night I worked was a Wednesday.  It was around 2-3 AM and I was working with Josh, Tony and another person whose name I don’t remember.  Josh and I were smoking cigarettes near the back swinging door of the establishment, talking when we heard Tony start yelling.

We came through the doors and Tony was struggling with a man who was trying to take the cash register.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the man had raked Tony across the ribs with a knife already.

As they struggled Josh and I made our way through the side door to the dining room, hoping to stop the guy with the register.  Depending on your point of view it is either good or a pity that both Josh and I were not much for fighting- we moved right past the Louisville Slugger that was kept near the door.

Josh and I made it through the door as the man won the wrestling contest with Tony. He headed for the door.  Tony jumped the counter in front of Josh and I.  Two good Samaritans tackled the guy as he went out the front door.  One was sliced in the neck for his effort. The man dropped the money drawer when he was tackled.

Tony jumped on the guys back- the guy stabbed Tony in the hip/buttock.  Tony fell off.  I took a step forward, but feinted back when either good sense or recognition of having no weapon of my own took over. He ran after swiping the knife in my direction a couple times.

I went to the hospital with Tony.  We called his girlfriend.  I waited with Tony until Erin showed up.  I exited the room where they were keeping Tony taking one last glance over my shoulder.  Erin was holding his hand,gently stroking the backside of it.

Erin, or Aaron or whatever his original name may be is transgendered.  We had all made jokes about it before at work, though I didn’t often take part.  On one of the few occasions I did- the term he/she was used- Erin was at the counter, having just walked in while my back was turned.. I deserved every bit of shame I felt at that moment.

Seeing them looking at each other as Tony lay there being prepped for stitches- thankfully all the injuries were minor, the good Samaritan was fine as well, though extremely lucky the swipe with the knife missed his artery and vein- I knew that whatever preconceived notions I had about what love was or wasn’t needed some tuning.

Fight some other fight oh bastions of Conservative agenda. Let love be love.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on 06/24/2012 in Dirt, iJon

 

Aging male behind a desk in a small dying city

It was a shitty two weeks in cubicle 1A 95 Franklin St. In deference to my difference instead of going full Pink Floyd One of my Turns I opted for a more Jon approach- sayonara communication, hello introverted nature.

 

It’s not a large or difficult leap for me- but also not how I carry myself at work. I started this job off the unemployment line. It is the first job I can say I feel like I am making a useful impact on others lives, not just the usual lift the fellow peons spirits routine, but the actual job I get paid to do.

Besides spawning a run of mediocre to bad poetry these last few weeks have made me do an inventory of whether this environment is one that I feel I can thrive in. I don’t wish to just survive it, become chewed up and spat out like so many seem to have been. I am not fully sure of where I stand on that part yet, but I am working on a few side ideas and we shall see where they lead.

I know I would have turned the corner at some point, but a woman at work hastened my turn around. She asked me for help. I am a sucker for that.  Thank you Sherrie L. And so it goes.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on 06/22/2012 in Weekapaug Groove

 

Fire… heh

The summer weather is here and with it a want to fire up the grill.  This is desire has been satiated this year because, well, I finally purchased a grill.  It is a $40 Home Depot purchase complete with a set of wheels!  It also is charcoal which I really like.

Sure, temperature can become an issue with charcoal. You have much less control on the heat- too hot or not hot enough can be an issue.  This played out a few weeks ago when I disgracefully served a raw in the middle burger to my wife.

I decided attack this problem in the way I know best- this does not always jibe with what is the best.  Through creative and thorough use of lighter fluid I managed to get a roar going in our little red construct.  The menu item- burgers.

Things were going on great.  The opening side was cooking and while there was a slight issue with the meat bleeding through the grill it was not flagrant.  What was egregious was when I flipped them.  Burger number 1 was holding up fine.  Burger number 2 started oozing into the fire as if mimicking Belloq’s face when he viewed the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Or maybe it looked more like Major Toht…

I ended up eating the burger on a bed of potatoes- using a roll seemed wasteful and not well in proportion.  It tasted great.  It certainly wasn’t raw.  My companion (as they refer to dining guests in antiquated restaurant reviews) approved of her burger as well.

That was then, this is now. We used up all of the charcoal that is viable for lighter fluid.  My wife purchased some of the pre-soaked briquettes.  They worked great last night. We had hot dogs then and well, hot dogs now. Of course, last night there was no wind. Tonight was as if a tempest were in the yard and taunting me was on its menu.

I didn’t stop my crusade to get those briquettes to light . I didn’t bother to check the wind speed and direction, but from my layman’s view they were fast, pissed at me and swirling.  I used 30 matches trying to get it lit. I used the plastic slide as a wind buffer, I moved the direction the grill was facing, I moved the grill between the houses. Nothing would work.  The wind laughed at me.  I may have shaken a fist or two at the wind.

But it would not beat me.  No, we would be eating hotdogs and roasted potatoes.  Oh yes, we would.  I took the grill to the garage.  I had concerns about the heat, but allayed them with superior thinking- I would not leave the grill. I also must have been a sight to behold- I kept taking my hand from above my head down toward the fire to see how far and hot the heat was rising.

I added spent match sticks as kindling because the wind still had beef with me..  An aside on the match sticks.  They are the kind you would use to light a chimney fire or I guess a grill.  I think these matchsticks are a good indicator of economic health and the picture isn’t pretty.

The match head has 1/4 the chemical compound on the end for striking.  The wind was my main adversary, but the equipment was sub par as well.

 

 

After a total of 34 matches, 35 minutes and a fist well shaken I had fire.  Fire gave way to hot coals.  Hot coals gave way to a Ted’s style hot dog and almost there potatoes. Like I said cooking on coal is hit or miss.  Looking forward to trying again.

 

 
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Posted by on 06/21/2012 in Weekapaug Groove