Friday, December 30, 2011

R.I.P. The Heathen

I've been a few people in my employment lifetime: a fast food employee, stone quarry laborer, disc & karaoke jockey, and emergency services dispatcher. That's quite a range of tasks, I'll admit. Along the way, I've worked with many an interesting person. None of whom would normally earn a blog post.


One can't deny the stuff of legend. through the magic if recollection (and the lack of special effects on this board) we travel back in time to the booming mid-nineteen nineties; when I was at the quarry earning twice as much as I used to at the fast food joint under a freckle faced red headed girl, yet with half the stress. Times were good, except for the nasty seasonal lay-off every Winter (who wants to do construction when the ground and stock piles are frozen?) So when it came time for call-back in the Spring, I was open to do anything just so I could have a paycheck again.

This one particular Spring I was called back prior to the commencement of second shift production, which meant I'd be on the maintenance crew. I was intimidated, because the maintenance crew was a tightly knit, small crew of burly manly men. I could never hold my own among these guys. Yet there I was. The maintenance foreman was nicknamed The Heathen because he could out muscle and out endure anyone on his crew. Quarry legends have him hauling weighty electric motors up numerous flights of stairs all by himself. Another story has him pushing up a one foot square wooden truss beam by himself for it to be jacked as it was sagging under its heavy load and old age (in other words he was pushing against an entire section of floor in the building!) and yes, I'd witnessed his strength first hand. He expected almost as much from his men, yet if you put your best foot forward and you were reliable, he could be your best friend too. Many a night when the weather was nice in the Summer and the work was on schedule, there'd be a cookout for dinner. That's camaraderie. Over time, my muscles bulked up enough from the workload and I too could hold my own with the crew, even earning the moniker myself!

Alas, all of that machismo took its toll. In later years The Heathen was watching from the sidelines; back and muscles no longer invulnerable. Sadly, we lost our friend Heathen this week. He will be missed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Facebook, You Fool and Fickle Friend

I know I've blogged about this before. The only reason I even set up a Facebook account was so that I could search for a crush I had throughout the later half of my public school years, just out of curiousity whatever had become of her; only to no avail.

Today I logged into Facebook, one of the few times each year that I do, and I'm bombared with a list -- a SUPER LONG LIST that is -- of people I might know and whom I might wish to friend. Well, once I realize the page is going to keep adding all of these folks (like a sick six degrees of friends of Mr. Oz) I'm just about to bail out of that page when her name flashes across the screen, freezing me in my seat and prompting this entry.

Before I'm even logged into Fleeting History I've decided I'm over her. I;m not going to friend her just to glean what's happened or happening. I'm over her. Obviously not enough to have kept me from writing this entry, but I'm still not going to friend her. That's a part of my life that's best left alone.

IN the so mentioned previous entry about this I concluded any relationship would never have worked based on things I learned about myself through my failed marriage. THAT still holds true also.

But, oh, Facebook, you evil, demented friend for revealing her avatar to me. That's as cruel as the April Fool's Day joke from Jr High School.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
I KNEW you were out there...

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Destroyed My Ankle on the Journey to Heaven and Back

2011 has been a relatively good year to me. Granted I've had my share of frustration throughout the year but I've also been lucky. How many people can say they've attended two comics conventions (besides vendors and professional cosplayers that is).

That's right. The day Hurricane Irene made landfall in New York City I was attending the second annual ComiCONN (I split for home to rest for work ahead of the storm's arrival). Fast forward approximately six weeks and I made the trek to New York City's Jacob Javits Center for New York Comic Con. Of course, I had to buy a multi-day pass to get in on Saturday because the single Saturday tickets had sold out before I could guarantee someone filling in for me at work, but it was worth it.

I clocked off of work at end of tour 7am Saturday morning, stopped at home to change clothes, and headed right out for the train station getting into Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal sometime after ten (I wasn't too worried about time). Immediately exiting onto 42nd St I saw a group of cosplayers headed for the Con, including The Baroness
Following that photo I power walked a good six blocks (hence the ankle injury) for another group of costumed folk en route to the convention.

Upon arrival it was as if I walked into an actual Superhero Convention. You're familiar with the political party conventions or say carpenter's conventions or policeman's conventions? Imagine the same kind of event but with superheroes
DC Heroes
A veritable Who's Who of crime fighting AND villainy were in attendance.
0029_Ms Marvel & Wonder Man
0085_Dr Doom
The Nutmeggers who put on ComiCONN do a fantastic job, but New York Comic Con is an incredible experience. The convention immerses you into the character's world and it's as if you're really hanging out with and talking to your idols from the printed page or big and little screens.
DSC_1627-Poison Ivy & The Penguin
What might have been cool would have been to have Magneto at the Chevrolet display where he could have acted as if he were using his mutant powers to levitate the car (which was actually a giant balloon in the shape of a Chevy which flew about people's heads. An Obi Wan cosplayer though did take advantage of the situation and made like he used The Force to levitate the car over our heads)

Many of the costumes were very well done also:
Red Skull
Including those which lit up:
DSC_1614-Iron Man
Iron Man's repulsors and Jubilees "fireworks" at her fingertips
Of course Star Trek and Star Wars were well represented
0045-Starfleet member
DSC_1591-Kotobukiya Carbonite Mold
I think it'd be pretty cool to have frozen Han Solo cubes in my beverage or Solo shaped chocolates in a dish.

But I digress. The whole reason I attend is for the heroes and it's pretty neat, in my opinion when characters mix it up, like Waldo's Avengers
Waldo's Avengers?
So not only was Waldo found, but a Green Lantern and Luigi assembled too!

Sadly, my day had to wind down. My tired body (which had been up almost around the clock at this point) didn't have the stamina to endure the long food lines (though I admit it's pretty neat mingling among heroes doing such mundane things as eat lunch and share stories) but alas, I could no longer hang. It was time to trudge my aching ankle the dozen or so blocks back to Grand Central Terminal and a well needed restful train ride. As I began the trek my eyes caught another group of heroes gathering outside the center and how fitting they belonged to a group close to my heart
X-Men Exterior
So yes, being immersed in New York Comic Con was certainly a heavenly experience for me. It was an eye opening experience (like moving up to major league baseball from little league) and I have a better idea what to try when next I visit NYCC or even in the future maybe the granddaddy of all: San Diego.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I was the ugly bearded guy with sunburn and vacuous look in his eyes.

That's how one might describe my appearance at Susquehanna University's Homecoming 2011 this past weekend (September 16-18).

Now, as I'm a story teller I have to start at the beginning. Thursday I left work after the graveyard shift and made sure I had everything packed for my trip the next morning. I still needed to print out some writing pieces to bring just in case I got to participate in an alumni reading. Well, I wanted a bedtime snack (at what's considered traditionally as lunch time) and while gnawing on my last handful of spicy trail mix I noticed my trusty steed had a flat. Not surprising per se because there's all kinds of debris on the ground from the roof replacement debacle at HQ. That turned out to be an omen.

I was frustrated because bedtime was now abolished in favor of getting my flat fixed. In reality, both front tires got replaced. Now, before my trip I not only needed to print out the pieces I wanted to read (and failed to find one) but I also needed to get the lugs retorqued after the first 25 miles. Okay no big deal, I don't REALLY need to be on campus until 4pm.

By the time I was done arguing with my parents' computer I had been awake for over 36 hours, but I got the important stuff done and hit the road for the four to five hour trip to Selinsgrove, PA.

The drive was fine. Now, I'd been aware of flooding along the Susquehanna River throughout the region, but seeing first hand how families were STILL recovering over a week later was an eye opener. West Nanticoke and Shickshinny were gutting their basements filling roll-off dumpsters and piling destroyed items in large masses at the curb.
Flood Aftermath
Ruined Items from flooding
Skid steers were scraping mud like snow removal from parking lots and driveways (PennDOT should be commended for leaving nary a trace of earth on Route 11 so soon after the flood). In Bloomsburg, Fisher's Creek and the mighty Susquehanna both rose to converge upon the causeway which holds the fairgrounds and a neighborhood, opening up the earth and swallowing two homes up to their second floors.
Bloomsburg Damage
A gazebo roof was balanced by Mother Nature against the water side of the railing on the Route 11 bridge over Fisher's Creek. The National Guard was keeping order. I could easily believe the area to be a war zone.

I made it into Selinsgrove with about 15 minutes to spare and immediately set about attending the events I'd signed up for Friday night. There was a bittersweet memorial for a beloved instructor -- long time fixture on campus and following a fantastic off-campus dinner at Hoss's (of my own choice) I was back on school grounds for the ghosts and legends tour. The theme for Homecoming 2011 was Fear (hmm, wonder if it has anything to do with a certain Marvel Comics event or if Fear is a trend this season, like warm hues in fashion...achem I digress).

The tour Friday night was enjoyable but not very scary. Given more investigative time the SU Paranormal Society might have had a more informative and spooky event -- which they made up for with Saturday night's Haunted House -- but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Saturday morning I'd slept in feeling a bit under the weather. Likely the tainted air of the smoking room (I don't smoke and can be easily affected by it)combined with over 48 hours of no sleep the previous two days. Ultimately, that meant by the time I would make the pig roast lunch and catch up with classmates for our 15th reunion I would need to be at my next function, so I went to the Communications Department reception for noon. That was enjoyable as I got to mingle with my beloved former student advisor. The other side of the coin, however were the couples stopping by. I felt some pangs of loneliness.

My beacon of hope and intellect in the sea of uncertainty (my advisor from above) suggested I take in the book reading next on the agenda, which I hadn't originally intended, but she always pointed me in the right direction back in the day so I went and listened, stopping at the 9/11 memorial for that service along the way. (It came out of nowhere, it was listed TBA in all of the fliers. I happened to be in the right place at the right time for it).

There was a little bit of time to add some morsels to my system in order to partake a pain reliever (how did I EVER power-walk that campus 15 years ago? My ankles STILL hurt!) and then it was on to the Writer's Institute reception, where I got the warmest of receptions from the one person I recognized in the room, the department head. Turns out, I was the only author present who never benefited from a writing Major, as the program came into fruition the semester after I graduated. However, those who minored in writing were also invited, hence my being welcomed.

Here's where the other hiccup occurred. The Homecoming parade was scheduled and published to be at 4:30 pm. They ran it early so I missed all of the floats which were supposed to depict horror movies. B'ah!!!

So back ALL THE WAY ACROSS CAMPUS AGAIN for the alumni reading (which I wasn't a part of due to timing constraints which would have precluded me being behind the podium even if I had been able to RSVP sooner -- there's actually more to the story but due to space and time constraints those details aren't important at this time). Regardless I'm still bummed because I like to orate. (obviously right?)

Then, you guessed it 100% back to the opposite end of campus for the alumni dinner, which is winding down as it was concurrent with the alumni reading I'd just left from.

After dinner, back across campus AGAIN for the Haunted House. The Paranormal Club transformed the Chapel for the night. Some I've heard from since have said it was silly or hokey, but that's the nature of these attractions which need to be all ages. Hey, costumes, acting and decorations were all good -- especially the freaky thunderstorm and lightning in the auditorium of the building). I even got surprised by a decoration hanging into the hallway in the dark. That's my measure of a good attraction.

Once more back across the campus for the Badlees concert and one more last time back to the car. I wrote on Facebook I felt as if I watched everything (except the parade *frowns* instead of living it. All in all a bittersweet time overall. One really can't metaphorically go home again. I pined that night tweeting away in my hotel room that I was born too soon (instead of too late as in the old popular song) and wished I was the person I am now back then, things would be so different now. But then I rationalized I'd just get myself into trouble somehow anyway, and basically my feelings of loneliness are what's behind my ruminations anyways. Realizing this, I'm not sure how many future reunions I'll be attending. I've become the dirty old man ogling the women like who we used to make fun of in our younger days. It's very sobering.

So after tallying the scores, the low points outnumber the highs this year, the only thing that's the University's fault is events held concurrently with other events but admittedly there's only so few hours in a day. That's why agendas are drawn and followed by attendees. I just tried too much I think and had high expectations borne from nostalgia.

After checking out of the hotel and psyching myself up to be home and asleep to go back to work on graveyard shift I pointed the van home and made a brief visit atop Shikellamy's profile for some photos.

I navigated the steep decline with no troubles and headed for a bite to eat and pit stop in Danville. As I eased to a stop at the intersection of Routes 11 and 54 the brake pedal suddenly lost pressure and went to the floor, allowing the van to gain momentum and run the red light. THANKFULLY being a Sunday no one else was on the road at that moment. One last let down for the weekend and additional expense on an already pricey adventure.

So I limped all the way home, 200 or so remaining miles without brakes. Yeah, fun. Then, I couldn't sleep once I made it home. That graveyard shift was difficult.

How was YOUR last adventure?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our Banner Yet Waves

Never Forget
Two symbols of freedom are represented in this slide. Obviously, the twin towers of the World Trade Center as they appeared on a beautiful May 1991 day. Also, a point belonging to the Statue of Liberty can be seen on the left. That's because this view was photographed from inside Miss Liberty's crown.

This post is my tribute to those victims we lost (I knew two of them).

I wrote the following on October 1, 2001 to get some emotions on paper:

"Our Banner Yet Waves"

I can't believe what just happened today
in a neighborhood that's not far away
This blind hatred for you and me
People running and no one can see

At first I was surprised
at those unfriendly skies
Such a beautiful day
We all had not much to say

Well, it's not Jericho
It's New York dontcha know
Our freedom's at stake
In these terrorists's wake

With Mixed Information
The news washed over the nation
The Twin Towers had fallen
Our great land was balling

We'll never find all who are lost
The loss of life's a high cost
While I know we're all hoping
This great nation is coping

And now our ire's in rage
This man must be put away
For what he did to our friends
Our nightmares will never end

Well, it's not Jericho
It's New York dontcha know
Our freedom's at stake
In these terrorists's wake

Our memories won't fade
of the heroes that day
Whose resolve makes us strong
And Our Banner Yet Waves

--Mark J Osmun revised 9/9/2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another bizarre concoction from the brain

Imagine, if you will, Hamlet in the late 1960s just crossing the border into the early 1970s. Okay, the visuals are all your own, so don't blame me if you're suddenly picturing paisley print shirts and super wide flared bell bottoms, unkept scraggly hair and bandanas.

Hamlet, being the (then) modern day hippie counter culturist holds up the skull of his dear departed friend and begins to sing (with apologies to Dion DiMucci)

"Anybody here, see my old friend Yuric? Can you tell me where he's gone? I thought I saw him walking up over the hills with Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and John"*

(Originally Abraham, Martin & John)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

If There's A Rock & Roll Heaven

(title from The Righteous Brothers song of the same name)

RIP Clarence Clemens, big man of Bruce Springstein's E Street Band. Saxophonist extraodinaire, who also played on numerous big hits (including a duet of his with Jackson Browne).

We know darn well Santa brought him that saxophone way back on that chilly boardwalk night immortalized in song, and he's playing it now on stage inside the Pearly Gates.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ah, Just One More Thing...

Lt. Columbo, actor Peter Falk passed. May he rest in peace

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dangerous Imagination

Back in the early days of the 20th Century, as travel became popular, especially cross-country rail travel, entrepreneur Fred Harvey set up hotels and restaurants for the weary travelers to enjoy some amenities away from their homes. the waitresses became known as Harvey Girls and were expected to follow strict policies while in Harvey's employ. Upon mention of a Harvey Girl one will picture the long black dress with starched white apron hanging from neck to hem.

Well, what would happen if these ladies were Lee Harvey Oswald girls? Certainly travelers wouldn't make it much past Dallas before encountering black leather bustier clad goth chicks in fishnet stockings with hardware pierced faces.

THAT would be a wild west for sure; good, bad and such. Just another tidbit from the warped mind that is mine.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For My Mom

This Mother's Day my Mom is recuperating at a physical therapy rehab facility following knee replacement surgery. It done gave out after 35 plus years of dealing with arthritis. Now, I'm not a smushy "aw isn't that a nice sentiment" card kind of guy. I'm the one who buys the Maxine Shoebox cards kind of humor. So I presented Mom with a card about Good moms letting their kids lick the electric mixer beaters but GREAT moms turn the mixer off first.

She loved it.

BECAUSE once she made a pumpkin pie, but super talented cook that she is pulled the mixer out of the bowl before shutting it off, so pie mix went splattering ALL over the kitchen. 25 some odd years later I still laugh about it, and every once in a blue moon will bring it up to her. (Of course my family has MANY embarrassing moments -- some inappropriate for blogging!)

But on the schmaltzy, romantic, sentimental side of the equation -- despite the pie mess -- I have a great mom fer sure.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Horses, Whiskey, Women & The Loot

A tip of the writer's cap to Tom T Hall, whose lyric I've altered slightly for this title.

It dawned on me listening to his "Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet)" that a lot of the common sense people used to learn came from those who came before's experiences and observations -- a good amount of which was then passed along in song and text. Personally, I can't recall a modern day song which conveys wisdom. In fact, not since the mid 1980s can I put a finger on a tune which might relay some tidbit of education.

I think that lack of passing along such information has contributed to what our Global Society has become. Because of the political correctness of not wishing to offend any one single being, such lines and topics are being shied away from. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how it seems to me in casual observation.

Sure, at some point I'll contradict myself and eludicate about how imbibing of that magical amount of alcohol will turn the partaker into a blithering idiot -- I've seen it enough throughout my professional careers -- or how whatever certain topic I feel shouldn't be posed to impressionable beings is readily accessible to them, but hey, that'd be alright so long as they learn the right and wrong of it and make the appropriate decision wisely. Well, that much sounds like a load of Buffalo Chips, but that's my reasoning.

Nowadays, it's all about flash and eye-candy -- and while I'm all about the eye-candy -- lest we not forget how we get to enjoy all of that awesome visual stimulation. It's by being smart, taking the lumps when you have to, working hard for what you believe in, and being true to one's self -- for like the poet who gets called out by the cowboy in "Faster Horses" other people can see through the charade and one will just wind up alienated.

So, irregardless of how embarrassing a situation was to go through, share it with the next generation. Extemporate even the inane, forging past their reactions, for -- as I did growing up -- they do actually listen and figure things out, though it may take longer for some. Though, again, to overly generalize, I fear this rationalization is fading away from society, and I greatly miss it.

Can the mysteries of life be summed into four words? Perhaps not, but every three and a half or four minutes clue us in.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Look! MORE X-Men

Indeed it's true! I knew 18 months ago I had more good guys than bad guys and that I needed to rectify that situation. Additionally, Feral Female at Thoughts from a Yodelling Goatherder challenged me to do a Nightcrawler. I stepped up to the task and voila:
Crawler Close Up
Kurt Wagner hangs from the eaves of the florist's shop by his prehensile tail awaiting the cue to teleport into the fray below.
Crawler Overview
And what's a battle with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants without Magneto?
He's as much a staple to the mythos as Cyclops.
Magneto Battle
So there you have it. Sure the good still out balances the evil, but isn't that how justice prevails?

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Paparazzi TV Show

The fascination the American Public has with their celebrity actors/actresses, sports figures, and entertainers is legendary. That's why the tabloids sell so well and programs like Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, and TMZ garner such a following.

So I thought, why not spill it all? Even the embarrassing little routine stuff in one's life that no one should ever hear or see and mash that with a popular colloquialism for a program called TMI: Too Much Information. It could be an hour long, the first 30 minutes full of snippets and sound/visual bites about gross surgeries or poor private habits when one thinks no one is watching and the second half could be devoted to has been stars who would otherwise wind up on their own self-produced reality show and/or Dancing With The Stars.

And why stop there? Some animals are celebrities too, we can show them watering the backyard -- potty humor still sells.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Legend in His Own Mind

You might recall the anecdote I shared about gyrating my Underooed hips on the playscape at nursery school. So then it shouldn't come as a surprise that I make acceptible sounds with musical instruments (and have made musical instruments out of other objects by forcing sound from them). Additionally, then, this should come as no surprise:

Made with the Random Album Generator at Mflow (discovered through a link from a link from one of my favorite band's Twitter feed), so I'll hope all rights to the image allow me to continue to display this.

This cover pretty much sums up what my band (if I'd actually had one at the moment) would be like. Funny, trashy, and a scary wreck :-)

Hit Play and turn it up to eleven. Then look for a new place to live because the neighbors will hate you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Stopped Counting at 31

With my 31st birthday, an undisclosed number of years ago now, age became just a number. In fact, when asked I actually have to stop and do the math; sometimes I'm even wrong -- not even on purpose! Chalk it up to getting older.

What I'm getting to is this: I forget just how long I've been on this earth. My life over the past couple years has brought some stark realizations and friendly reminders that I'm 'getting up there'. For instance, one of my train buds would mention something that happened in the past that he'd read about and I'd reminisce about my own experiences along the tracks in whichever area we'd happen to be discussing -- implying he should recall himself -- except he's ten years younger than I so his reply is "Yeah but you were alive then." I needed a few minutes to reel my eyelids down from my receding hairline after that dosage of reality.

Just tonight at work we happened to be discussing the wonders of the internet and video entertainment providers hosting movies and television programs on the information superhighway. We'd tossed out old tv show names like Airwolf, The A Team, Quantum Leap, Northern Exposure, Greatest American Hero and more; rattling off actors and actresses names and such. During one point in our discussion the shift supervisor made a comment which made me realize I was a couple grades ahead of him in school. Then when I asked if my desk partner remembered "The Mighty Heroes" he said they were before his time. That was my next reminder that there are people younger than my age all around me and the number will continue to grow. But at least it doesn't hurt as bad as the time my disc jockey asked who the Beatles were.

So of course, thank goodness for the internet, I came home from work and searched for Diaper Man, Strong Man, Rope Man, Tornado Man and Cuckoo Man and laughed until I woke up the neighbors. Then it made me realize I'd been ingrained with superheroism from the earliest days of my youth...not that I'd ever complain about it.

I'll leave you with this quote from a friend of mine, who was speaking from experience "You're only young once, but you can be immature forever".

Next time I discuss anything number related in regards to myself it'll be a headspinning doozy. Stay Tuned for "How Many Roads" reprinted and revised. You've been warned.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Le Printemps Lament

Bridge of Flowers
I haven't minded the snow for the past few years. No reason to; I was indoors, it didn't bother me.

Now that I'm gainfully employed throughout the Winter instead of being laid-off for the season, there's been three major snow storms (one of them even got named!) and there's more predicted. Okay, seriously; whatever happened to January thaw? In Southern New England we traditionally get a week or two where the white stuff goes away on its own to make room for the last dregs of Winter's punishment. There was one nice day (today) with mild temperatures. Roadways are down to single lanes and lawns have mountains higher than houses. Yes, many of you readers deal with much more snow than I describe, but it's really hampered our geographical area.

So much so that I'm actually already looking forward to Spring. That doesn't usually happen until March 1 for me, as I'm a realist/pessimist. Usually Spring just doesn't do it for me, and I'm not much of a fan of Summer's oppressive heat and humidity, but I can't wait for the Crocuses, Daffodils, Cherry Blossoms et al to break the dirt and blow in tree boughs.

The six foot high piles along my sidewalk were a novelty for a few days, but I want to see green again, please?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Magical Mystery Beatles

Coming up next on ow-er blawg, four handsome lads from Liverpool *the sound of screaming young tweens erupts* The Beatles!!!
*Music swells and mop tops wave side to side as the lads harmonize about love*

"Who are the Beatles?" a young female disc jockey (yes they're still called that) at the college radio station I managed (that's a blog in and of itself) was playing something from Wing's Greatest Hits during her shift one afternoon and she turned to me and asked "Wasn't Paul McCartney in a band before Wings?"

"Yes, he was part of the Beatles," I replied, to which she posed the above question.
I continued, "You've heard of John Lennon?"

"Yes, I love his music," she gushed.

"Do you know about George Harrison and Ringo Starr?"

"Yes I do."

"All four were the Beatles."

"No, you're pulling my leg, that would be too awesome."

I reached down for the Digital Audio Tape of what's best known as the Blue album, and handed it to her saying "Give this a listen sometime," and had to step out of the room because even though I'd heard of young folks asking who the Beatles were, I'd hoped to avoid it myself for sometime longer than had happened. I think I blanched when she asked that also...

Frankly, I guess I shouldn't know so much about them either as they broke up three years before I was born. But it's well documented I'm a music junkie. Heck, I'd rock away the hours in my childhood home living room listening to the Blue album, the Grease Soundtrack, Barry Manilow... I was always asking Mom to put on the stereo. She must have been a least a little grateful, it kept me occupied and out of her hair. Guess it's no surprise I had a brief career (and a brief resurgence) as a disc jockey.

I'm certain none of the Beatles imagined the long lasting impact they'd have. As I lurk about the internet I see blog entries whose titles are lyrics from Beatles songs and young folks who could ALMOST (if I were just a tad bit older) be my own kids. It makes sense, in a way, that this newest generation (following Gen X -- not the comic, that's another facet of mine) would latch on and either discover the lads by nosing around the house or because someone like me or my Mom introduced them by exposing them to the tunes. I'll count those uninformed (such as our female jock example) as exceptions. After all, well, actually it's best if I discuss 21st Century popular tunes in its own entry, but it's because of today's seemingly "cookie cutter" music that kids are rediscovering what I stumbled upon and heard growing up and even what my parents listened to and bought when they were these current kids' age; because it's -- well, musical -- and not sample driven.

Where was I? Ah yes:

I practically wore a hole through the "Paperback Writer" 45 loving both sides equally ("Rain" is on the flip) and have just about done the same with the compact disc version as well. There's something simple but lasting in their music. Sure, some of it is whimsical and some of it just bizarre ("Revolution Number 9 anybody? Number 9, number 9, number 9), but the majority of the catalog is so universally known there's a Cirque du Soleil show based on their music and of course the video games.

Not only do the songs make us feel good, even forty years later, but John also made people think. He was inspirational and though I never met him I instantly felt his loss December 8, 1980. But his spirit is still out there. I can attest to that first hand, if I were to delve into sharing another dream I had, also relating to my brief marriage. In a conversation I don't much recall now, but it was mainly small talk, I initially didn't recognize the visage, but as I explained more about what I was feeling to this guy (in my dream) he nods in understanding and tells me "It's not worth getting yourself all worked up over. Do what you need to do and it'll all work out, you'll see."

Then the voice and face recognition hit me and my eyes opened up, I was laying in bed and I gained a little bit of perception, while I was stunned and honored by it. To this day, eight years later, I couldn't even say why we had that spiritual conversation, but I'm glad we did. It was such a treasured moment for me, that until now I've only told a few of my musician friends about it, and they, in turn, were honored that I thought highly enough of them to share that.

How's THAT for a band's influence upon society? This entry took some time, but then it was pretty chock full of ideas. I'd been thinking about it for a number of weeks, even contemplating not posting it until a relevant date, but tonight just seemed to be the right night to put it out.

(And had nothing to do with dusting and Elvis, honest)

Thank God Mom Never Did This

As usual, you'll likely need to copy and paste the link in a new browser window to see it. If you're lazy like me, it's a six minute long prehistoric infomercial for a Westinghouse refrigerator, advertising customizable panels to match whatever your heart's content.

I can't imagine having to grow up looking at some busy pattern in the kitchen day in and day out reaching in for my Snack Pack puddings or Frosted Shakes. Most likely I'd have developed epilepsy, so I'm thankful I never had to deal with such a tacky scene in those groovy days of growing up during the mid to late seventies and into the early eighties. After all, the kitchen set was some kind of green and yellow jungle pattern or something sea-sicky like that until the chairs self destructed. That's when the oversized padded set replaced it in the mid eighties -- around when fashion was big padded shoulders and more sedate tones. Anyways, I digress.

So, thankfully, there was no designer fridge (or any other furnishing) in the household, although during the re-roofing project my Mom made contact paper Easter Eggs to stick on the large dumpster to spruce it up while it sat on the lawn...

(I get no monetary endorsement by mentioning brand names)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Storm

Snow Storm
One bonus of working in a stone quarry was not having to be out in weather such as this. Alas, now I'm driving around in blizzard conditions to save people as stupid as myself for going out in such bad weather; not to mention the falls and heart attacks brought on by digging out.

The photo was taken early during its assault on the homestead. Rarely does a snow fall impress me, but there was something about this one that made me imagine the Canadian Prairie Winter images I'd seen in my lifetime. So with that in mind, I snapped away from the toasty side of the kitchen window. Oh, this is the third storm in a seven day period, two of which (the first and this one) dumping significant accumulations of the stuff upon us.

I already know before going to sleep at 0-dark-30 in the morning that it'll be a struggle digging out, driving to work, and dealing with the call load. Small price to pay for personal success. So when I hear the plow truck 30 minutes before my alarm rings, I throw on some clothes and open the door.

The snow is higher than the step. *sigh* I trudge through the white stuff which is fluffy and swallows me up to me knees. That's a record snowfall for my area, it must be; and it is still coming down as I write. I'd brushed a good four plus inches of snow off of my van just to move it so the plow could futilely open my parking space. And while he's not waiting for me and plows out all around -- including the walkway fronting my building -- I indignantly try climbing over the halfway up the van tall snow mountain piled on the grass just to deny the plow guy any appreciation I may have had for his making an opening. (There's friction between myself and the plow crews which goes back all seven years since I moved for another time).

Now it's just as snowy INSIDE the van as outside of it. I don't care. Hopefully, it'll get me safely into work and safely home again when I need it to.

To top it all off, there's almost as much snow back on my trusty steed as there was when I cleaned it off for the plow and there's still no end in sight and *sigh* I still have a whole day of work (at least!) ahead of me yet...

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Serendipity All Over Again

Happy 2011 everybody. I was initially going to post about the bizarre display of fireworks exploding above the horizon which borders my neighborhood, except fireworks launched from a sports complex don't hold a bottle rocket to ones fired off on your own land.

Instead, I'll relay musings of the coincidental kind. ever have a moment when you get a song you haven't heard in a while stuck in your brain, and then within a day or two it comes on the radio? Me too!!!

But that's not what this is about either. This time it happened with a person. That's right. I found myself the other night reflecting on one of my previous lives -- that of my college days, and in particular this one young woman, high school student at the time. We gelled at certain levels, but being the paranoid agoraphobe that I was, once I had trained her to be a disc jockey and the semester ended, we parted ways. Just tonight, through that mysterious hinterland known as Facebook, I received a message from said young woman.

Funny how life works sometimes...