Sunday, August 31, 2008

"I ain't freakin, I ain't fakin this"

I was blown away the first time I saw Ben Folds Five live.
Mainly because it was amazing that just three people were able to produce that powerful of a sound.

Although I've never seen The Ting Tings live (hopefully that may change), I get the same impression.
It's just the two of them.
And they were just added to perform live at next Sunday's MTV VMA awards.

It will be the performance of the show.

NPR has a great live set from them streaming on their site

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend,

Friday, August 29, 2008

"It doesn't have to be good to be a classic"

I first heard the line from Kevin Matthews.
During his midday talk radio on the famous Chicago station "The Loop."
Probably heard it around 1990, when I was around 11.
It was mainly said a joke.
Spoken in a tone of a fake Disc Jockey of an imaginary classic rock station.

But I think the statement is true.
There are many factors that make something classic.
Cultural significance

But necessarily quality.

A television channel I've grown an affinity to over the past three or so years is AMC
That stands for American Movie Classics.
And it's not because of shows Mad Men or Breaking Bad.
(for the record, I don't like nor hate Mad Men but do like Breaking Bad)

They're rather reliable for a classic movie.
Classic in the sense I earlier outlined... not like TCM (Turner Classic Movies) which love to play very old movies.

For example, I'd list The Fugitive, The Usual Suspects, Die Hard as classic American movies. Fitting the title of the channel.

But tonight, AMC Failed me.
Right at 7 pm, as I was about to tear into a chicken breast / noodle thing...

Not Classic.
Not in any sense.
And you won't find a guy who appreciates JCVD as much as me.
Bloodsport is a classic.
Nowhere to Run is too (albeit for different reasons).
But not Timecop!

This is what got me to thinking about tonight's subject matter.
What's the item I feel most defines "Classic"

Here was one of my first thoughts:

I instantly agreed, then grew a tad sad.
Sad because, and this goes back to that chicken breast / noodle thing...
I'm trying to quit Coke Classic.
I have NONE of it in house.
I've got about ten cans of the new silver bullet: Diet Coke.

It hurts.
The transition.
People tell me there's a light at the end of this tunnel.
Coke is so damn good.
I don't think there's ever a situation in which I'd be offered a cold can of Coke and turn it down.

Full Strength

Give me the Sugar.
Give me the Calories.
Give me that Caffeine that's going to keep up past 3 am.

My will was almost broken at lunch today.
I was drinking a private label DIET Lemon Lime.
It was a free sample from a new vendor.
In a label we don't even market.
I ate more vegetables that I didn't recognize.
Probably the first time I've ever had that particular item.

One of my closest work friends celebrated a birthday today.
I ate a cupcake.
And one cookie.
It was the first diversion from this campaign that started Monday night.
It took just under 72 hours for me to break the plan.

Hopefully I can build a streak until next Sunday.
I'll be at a baseball stadium.
I refuse to avoid their hot dogs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ok, I admit it, I watched Oprah again.

First let me say that in Chicagoland, the home of the Oprah, the show's on multiple times a day.
Please don't think I'm taping this show.

Just like the other night, I'm flipping around the channels...
As soon as I flip to Oprah I realize she's talking to one of the seated people in the audience.
It's a man.
This is why I didn't flip to the next channel.
From my limited viewing experience, I didn't think men were allowed in that arena.

Before I can decipher what this informal Q&A is about, his name pops up with the subtitle:
"Says more sex makes him happier."

Thinking Oprah may have pulled a huge "get" and snagged Captain Obvious to be her next guest, I continue watching.
Turns out this man's wife, seated next to him, took a belly dancing class and...

You can see where it goes from here.

Some people forget that Oprah was a "Jerry Springer" in her early career.
Her shows were routinely mocked by comedians for featuring an ecletic mix of lesbians, alien abducts, and your standard fare white trash Americana.

Then she got legitimate.
She started a book club.
Found her spirit.
Endorsed Barrack.
And as much as I enjoyed it, reunited the Cosby Family the other night.

Thankfully, Neil Patrick Harris saved me from watching more Oprah.
He was the second guest on Letterman.
NPH, will be forever respected by yours truely due to this:

I loved that show.
I demanded that my bedtime be extended to include the program into my weekly routine.

And what about bedtimes?
I heard my cousin doesn't have one for his kids.
Some of my friends may have survived this parental training mechanism.
It was such an essential part of a new school year - the extension of my bedtime.

I was already at an odds during recess not having cable.
Now I had to contend with playground talk of last night's Carson?
(that's Johnny Carson, not Carson Daly - although I'm sure nobody reading this would make that mistake)

Oh, Nas is on Letterman now.
A track about Fox News?
It's amazing how much a live backup back and improve a hip-hop performance.
Nas seems to be wearing a leather jacket dedicated to Team USA
The 1996 U.S. Basketball Team USA.
And finally, an awkward moment between Dave and Nas.

Idea of the night from President Elvis:
Example of Power versus Power of Example.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Closing Thoughts on the Olympics and other thoughts at 3 am

Misty May may have won her second consecutive gold medal in beach volleyball, but that's no excuse for having a tramp stramp referencing a Wife Beater who's not your husband.

D. Wade made me proud to be an American and, as always, associated with Marquette University.

While at a party on Saturday, me and another guy were watching the 4 x 400 women's relay.
U.S. started gaining ground on Russia.
We both start yelling
Everybody stopped to watch it too.
We take some credit in the comeback.
I then yelled out, "That's why we won the cold war muthafuckas!"

Another guy at this party, was acting drunk.
Later, he got drunk, but he likes to act drunk.
I can only handle him in small doses - only see him maybe twice a year.
He kept referencing how "gay" Men's Diving was.
Ironically, he didn't (and probably doesn't) know that the Aussie to win that gold medal is the only openly gay gold medalist of the games.
Openly gay.
NBC should be ashamed for not showing his family and partner in the crowd.

Danny "Harry Potter" Radcliffe was on Conan tonight - said he watched the Olympics...
But he called it, "China versus U.S."
Great Britain won it's most medals in Olympic history, but he never saw one Brit Olympian.

Medal Count is bullshit.
As Herman Edwards said:

to WIN
the GAMES!

China wins the Olympics, they had the most gold medal.
This ain't a Bronze-off.
As another coach once said, I'll say about China:
"Crown their ass."


Pre-ordering off iTunes is the only way to go.
The Verve's comeback album (I know, their latest one) drops Tuesday.
I was able to download it at 10 pm Monday Night.
I'm listening to it now.

Too many sailboats in the Kennedy bio-pic at the Democratic National Convention tonight.
But... I guess it's okay to be an elitist if you're a KENNEDY.
Personally, I agree with Bill Maher when it comes to political elitism.
I want my politicians to think they're better than us.
It's a big job... Better think you're qualified.

Listened to the Slate Podcast today.
It was a story about what if Obama loses.
As much as an Obama victory will be a gigantic step towards equality.
An Obama loss will be as much a step backward.
Here we are, U.S.A...
A chance to try to right a wrong.
And many will say, "nope, let's not just stay racist - let's be more racist."

Watched a bit of Oprah tonight.
This is not a regular occurrence.
She had the kids from The Cosby Show reuniting.
Man, that show was great to watch when I was a kid.
I'd like to show that show to my children if I have the chance.
You know Dr. and Mrs. Huxtable would campaign for Obama.
They couldn't possibly be Alan Keyesesque Flat Taxers, could they?

Turned off Oprah after a half hour.
Theo and company left the stage.
Then Oprah announced that everyone in the audience gets all 8 seasons of The Cosby Show on DVD.
Crowd goes nuts.
Then, before she introduced David Cassidy, she holds up a pink smart phone from Sprint.
Oprah urges people, if they have a Sprint phone, to text something for I don't know what the purpose.
Then she mentions ringtones available that sound like Partridge Family songs.
This is her segue to Cassidy's performance.
The crowd goes bezerk.
Not bezerk for Cassidy, bezerk because Oprah - still holding the smart phone from Sprint - gives a sideways glance to the crowd and a sideways smirk.
They can smell free shit like it's a buffet day at the zoo.
People start literally shaking others in the audience.
Yeeaaah, can you believe this? Can you believe we're here? Can you imagine we can feel this alive? We have a free phone and 3 freaking months free... Am I dreaming?

Realizing that Rudy and Associates aren't coming back, I flip off and make the comment out loud in my empty bedroom, "And you know what else you get my fans? The antidote!."
And I laugh at my own joke.

If people can quit something bad instantly, can you start something good just as quick.
That's what I'm attempting.
I don't smoke.
Never have.
But if I did, and I tried to quit, I'd try the old "cold turkey" routine.
I'm starting "healthy eating" cold turkey.
Small steps.
Tonight my dinner included squash.
In an absolute WTF moment in my newfound (aka living on my own) life.
TQ eats squash with turkey meatballs.
No fast food in sight.
Hope it lasts.
Need strength.
That... and 2,000 calories a day.

Brian Westbrook, does "redeem team" mean anything to you?
This year, make me forget, forgive... Fortify.

Broken Social Scene announced an October show.
Not just any day in October.
The Thursday before my Friday My Morning Jacket Show.
Could that be the best back to back concert experience of my life?
Need to find somebody for that B.S.S. show first.

Back to this party from Saturday for a moment.
Someone asked me where I was from.
Although it hasn't happened in YEARS, I knew what she meant.
I said, "Des Plaines" knowing that's not what she wanted to hear.
(Before that)
I then said, "Prospect Heights" growing angry inside.
Before she added, "I'm american."
And she asked if my parents were born in America.
The anger is unknown to me.
In the past I felt shame at my speech impediment.
Used to collapse inside my shoulders when the thought was raised.
Recalling that memory before 6 year old soccer when some kid asked me, "Do you speak English?"
Pour the liquor out of your ears bitch.

I have no idea who Russell Brand is.
He's hosing the MTV Video Music Awards.
It's a new low of pop culture ignorance.
Bothers me, only somewhat.
But still... have I been passed by?

It's an urban legend. The "F" word is not an acronym for Fornicate Under Command of the King.

Do all young people in foreign countries think all Americans have the speech pattern and syntax of George W. Bush?
In the same way we assign the same English and Aussie accents as generalizations.
Is our forceful german mocking impressions a kin to Southern drawl jokes across the pond?

My penchant for dating strangers appears to be decreasing by the day.
Still at an unhealthy high level, it's refreshing to notice a decline.
I've seen the fish in the sea.
Participated in that pool.
It's exhausting.
Thinking of it makes me want to make another attempt at slumber.

Happy Thoughts,

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Today I bought my plane ticket from Chicago to Las Vegas.
The ticket price was $310.50 (roundtrip).
Thanks to an inconvenience I went through on a business trip last year, I had a $50 coupon.
So how did I pay for the remaining $260.50?

I had been planning this for a while.
A new poker room opened in Hammond, Indiana.
It's on the new Horseshoe Casino boat, which boasts the largest poker room in the Chicagoland area.

I took Thursday off of work, with the intention of going to the Casino after work on Wednesday night (and spending a significant amount of time there).

My goal was to play $1 - $2 no limit hold'em (cash game) until I made enough of a profit to fund a plane ticket.

Withdrew $400 in cash from the bank on Tuesday afternoon.
I started playing at 8:30 pm Wednesday Night.
Buying into the game for $200.
I stopped playing at 4:30 am Thursday Morning.
Cashing out of the game for $409.
Deposited $600 in cash Thursday afternoon.

I'm glad to have a positive session.
Regretful that I didn't fully maximize my last large pot of the night.
If I had, I would've been able to fully fund my airfare.
However, the $200 in profit brings the plane ticket down to a manageable $60.50.

As for my accommodations, I've earned $175 in MGM Mirage gift certificates through my Rewards on my Credit Card.
This will cover two nights at one of their mid-tier properties.
(That means I can't afford Bellagio or The Mirage)
So I'll probably stay at Treasure Island or Monte Carlo.

I'm waiting to book the hotel reservation.
Usually, "TI" e-mails me specials.
The next one I get, I'll probably utilize.
Hopefully I'll have some left over to provide me a free meal at one of their restaurants.

On a final note about this trip:
Currently, I'm going alone.
Thankfully, my Louisville trip showed me just how fun a solo-vay-cay can be.

I'm looking forward to the 11 pm Nightly Tournament at Caesars.
I'm looking forward to one of the many morning and afternoon tournaments at TI.
I'm looking forward to watching Bears vs. Packers Monday Night Football at the Wynn Property.

The rest of the time, who knows - it's Vegas.
It will be a bad trip if I wind up reading pool side.
It will be an okay trip if I wind up at the Caesar's blackjack table
It will be a good trip if I wind up at the TI craps table
It will be a great trip if I end up celebrating something at Tangerine
It will be an amazing trip for the ages if I end up celebrating something at Pure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yet another Phelpsian Post (hopefully the last)

I'm not ready to call Michael Phelps the greatest Olympian ever.
As far as I'm concerned, he's certainly the most accomplished Olympian.
The hardware in the above picture is testament to that.

Here are some others I've heard mentioned as being the best:

And that's just OUR COUNTRY... And to a lesser extent: just the Summer Games.

That being said, I owe Mr. Phelps an apology.
I wrote that he didn't win that race (100 meter butterfly) last Friday.
In the true spirit of Americana - there are now pictures to prove me wrong:

Sports Illustrated really turned up the volume on their coverage of this controversy:

So it looks like Phelps is going to lose:

Yup, give this one to the Serb:

Are they both touching?

Upon closer inspection (same photo as directly above - just enlarged):

And that's what one hundredth of a second looks like:

Even the Serbs, after reviewing the FINA footage, conceded.
I guess there's really no reason for me to stop hating.

Classic: Men's Synchronized Swimming

NBC Universal has pulled the full version of this sketch from the entire World Wide Internet. Although that's quite the accomplishment, it really sucks when you want to watch the whole parody again.

By the way, my cousin was a Synchronized Swimmer... It's true. I don't know how good she was at it, but she trained and everything... I'm pretty sure she would've laughed at this too.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Pardon this quick Olympic break to discuss Girl Talk's latest album

My bitch a choosin' lover
Never fuck without a rubber
Never in the sheets, like it on top of the cover
Money on the dresser, drive a Compressor
Top notch ho's get the most, not the lesser
Trash like to fuck with $40 in the club
Fuckin' up the game, bitch it gets no love
She be cross country, givin' all that she got
A thousand a pop, I'm pullin' Bentleys off the lot
I smashed up the gray one, bought me a red
Everytime we hit the parkin' lot we turn head
Some ho's wanna choose but them bitches too scary
Your bitch chose me, you ain't a pimp, you a fairy

This except from a DJ Vortex track is what Girl Talk chose to open his latest album "Feed The Animals." It is an instant bolt of energy that takes you for a great 53 minute and 27 second ride.

Girl Talk has firmly established himself as my "Band of the Moment."

("If you want to call it a band because it's a one name")

Girl Talk takes "the mash-up" to a new level. 100% of the album is sampled. The artistry appears in the beautiful blend he creates. (i.e. Jay-Z's Original Gangster laid over Radiohead's OK Computer)

What's also great about this album: it's for sale for whatever price you want to pay for it! You want to buy it for $5 - go ahead. You want to buy it for $3 - that's fine too!

This album has had me bumpin' at my desk for a solid week now. Last Friday the co-worker that first mentioned Girl Talk to me gave me his first album, and I'm looking forward for "Night Ripper" to provide next week's soundtrack.

Memo to Phelps: Stop pumping Facebook

On two consecutive nights either Bob Costas or Michael Phelps have mentioned his facebook page.


I've built quite an impressive wall between me and joining Facebook.
(Currently, I am not on Facebook)
Frequently, I cite that there is nothing Facebook can offer me that MySpace does not.

A really close friend finally walked over to the Facebook side - and he wants me to get over there too.

We came to the consensus that there is only one thing that Facebook can offer that MySpace can't:
More People.

This, I told him, was not a good thing.
This, I told him, will just make people I don't care about from high school find me easier.
This, I told him, might make me stalk down girls I used (yeah, who am I kidding - still) have crushes.

Now I've got the Olympics all up in my face promoting the site I'm trying to avoid.

And it's not just Phelps.

Local (Chicagoan) U.S. Diver Christina Loukas mentioned all the people who became her friend after the U.S. Olympic Trials:

For the time being, I'm going to stay monogamous as far as Social Networking Websites are concerned...
It seems that everybody thinks Facebook is superior.
I'm going to keep rooting for the underdog (no matter if it's a multi-million dollar property owned by Rupert Murdock)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quick Thoughts on the Olympics

I'm sorry, I think Phelps lost that race Friday Night.

What's worse, Americans playing beach volleyball in bikinis or The Aussie basketball team in this?

The Aussie women seem to wear the same uniform on the Softball diamond, is it a cost cutting venture?

In my last post I indirectly awarded a U.S. Gymnast a beauty award... Seemingly on cue, U.S. Softball was aired:

I'm more impressed by how the 100 meter was won by "Lightning" Bolt than anything Phelps has done

If you didn't see it, he only needed to run for some 80 meters.
He looked around, saw no one, and began celebrating
Not embellishing: he was thumping his chest BEFORE the finish line

And he set a new world record when doing this...
Finally, the guy's six feet seven inches tall... and is a sprinter?

I also mentioned Amanda Beard in my last post... In case you forgot who that was?

But the olympics isn't all about sex appeal:

Let the record show that I'm currently watching Women's Weightlifting... Giving it equal time that I have Finch and the U.S. Women's softball from the night before.

But I paid closer attention last night... well, who could blame me?

Looking forward to one more week of Olympic images:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Miss one night of the Olympics, miss a lot?

Wednesday night I watched the White Stockings shut out the Blue Royals.
One would think, without Phelps in the pool, I wouldn't miss much.

Here's what I missed (For the record, excellent use of the music from Requiem for a Dream

And a quick note on the U.S. Gymnastics Team.
The woman's team, specifically.
I'm speaking of the Team Competition, in which the American girls took the Silver.
Where the Chinese Embryos won the Gold.

Of the three women who preformed most of the events, two are competing as I type for the Gold in the Individual All Around: Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.
Those two are the better gymnasts.
They weren't the one that fell off the beam or sat down on the floor exercise...
But even though one may take a place in history next to Mary Lou Retton, Wheaties box and Today show interview and all, I don't think they'll be who we'll know in the coming years.

Because Alicia Sacramone has a career of celebrity ahead of her (if she wants it)
In an arena of girls - she was the woman.

Sacramone is the Amanda Beard of the Beijing Games.
We haven't seen seen the last of her, because too many surely want to see more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lunch, Olympics, and a hot bartender

Yesterday I asked if anybody wanted to go to Ozzie's for lunch.
Ozzie's is a bar with average, to above average, food that features High Definition Televisions.
I had no takers. I spent the lunch surfing the web for stories on the Olympics.

Today I asked again, this time checking the web to see what sports would be shown.
Although I now included Kayaking and Water Polo in my invitation, I still had no takers.
However, today, I just went to Ozzie's alone.

I decided to sit right at the bar, to give me point blank range at Benjamin Boukpeti of Togo:

This guy was great. He won the Bronze for single kayak slalom, the first medal in his nation's Olympic history. In his celebration he snapped his paddle in half across his bow (reminiscent of an angry Bo Jackson after a strikeout).
BBC news link on Togo, the boat, and Boukpeti's buoyancy
Boukpeti would've been the highlight of any lunch of mine if it wasn't for this interchange between the bartender and I:

(Setting: noontime at a nearly empty bar)
Jennifer (bartender): Quickly gives me the Coke I ordered.
TQ (author): Quickly drinks the glass.
J: said as refilling the glass with the Wunder Bar"Are you hungover?"
T: after a slight pause"No."
J: defensively"Oh, because I suck down pop that quick too when I'm hungover."
T: concentrating on her use of the word "too""Well, I'm not hungover."
(minutes pass)
J: shooting out another refill for yours truely"I didn't mean that you looked hungover, I'm sorry, it's just I drink that fast too sometimes."
T: sheepishly thanks her non verbally and attempts to watch the USA versus Italy Water Polo match
(more minutes pass)
J: "Do you want another refill?"
T: "Yeah, although I'm a little self conscious on how fast I'm drinking these, since they make you think I'm hungover."
J: laughs"Oh I'm sorry, it's just that when I first wake up - when hungover - I'm so thirsty for pop I just gotta have it like super quick."
(more minutes pass)
J: "Refill?"
T: "No thanks, I think I'm good for the afternoon."
I kinda want to go back there tomorrow for lunch...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NetFlix needs to catch Olympic Fever

Yesterday, I mentioned that I enjoy watching Olympic Events that I only get to watch every 4 years. There were a few that I listed – but it did not include Swimming, Gymnastics of Volleyball. Although I do only watch those events every four years, you can usually find examples of those sports in some capacity (U.S. Nationals, World Championships, NCAA Championships) in a non-Olympic setting. They aren't as rare as Judo. Judo, by the way, was an event I saw over the weekend and forgot to include on my list yesterday.

Rowing was another event I watched yesterday and failed to mention.
Which brings me to today's topic:

I saw Oxford Blues so long ago I barely know what it's about at all. However, I just remember that Rob Lowe was an American, he was at Oxford University (for some reason) and he got his ass in a boat and started rowing! Late last night - and I mean LAAATE (circa 2:30 am) - I was watching the 8 man rowing competition and getting hypnotized by the repetitive motion. It would've probably gotten me into slumberland easier if only I wasn't pissed at NetFlix...

For hours earlier I went to add Oxford Blues to my queue list and found the Rob Lowe Crew Flick nowhere to be found on the site. C'mon NetFlix, let's get some Olympic event appropriate titles up on there.

FYI: I think I'm going to be writing something Olympic related every day for the next fortnight... cue the Olympic Theme

Monday, August 11, 2008

Don’t cure my Olympic Fever

I've always loved the Olympics.
There are very few memories I have of the South Bend house of my Mom's parents - but one of them was me as a 5 year old watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Games in Los Angeles.

My first real memory watching the '88 Winter Games in Calgary, loved all the flags and was curious where nations like Finland were.

I love most watching sports that I only get to watch once every four years. Here are some that I watched JUST THIS WEEKEND:
Team Handball (wish I would've played that in gym class)
Fencing (no clue what was going on, both people celebrated every point)
Badminton (China is UN-STOP-A-BULL)

However, as much as I love the Olympics... it's probably not as much as this guy:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Radiohead Realized

I can't recommend playing the below YouTube clip for background audio enough!

Sunday August 3, 2008:
Noon - The time my friend Ryan was going to arrive at my condo.
12:15 - The time I actually woke up.
12:25 - I answer the door and Ryan holds back laughter because although I am dressed, I still have sopping wet hair from the shower.
12:30ish - Finally hit the road, We're takin the 'Rolla cause it's used to I-65 due to the Lebowski Fest Adventure
4:30 Local Time, which is an hour ahead of Chicago - Ryan pays for Food and Fuel...
This is a great deal for both of us… I got these tickets for free (a Christmas gift from my boss).
5:30 - Thanks to my Dad's Aftermarket GPS device, we find our way without much hassle to the parking lot and walk to stand in line outside the gates.

We were both hoping for an "older" crowd. In other words, a scene to not make us feel old.. We were right in the majority as far as age. A sea of people who either rocked to The Bends in Junior High, were mesmerized by OK Computer in high school or defended Kid A in college… (Maybe most did all 3).

I don't know why I was surprised by the fact that most women at the show could be lopped into the unassuming "hippie" category… It makes perfect sense. Hip music fronted by a very eco-friendly message.

The runner up for oddest wardrobe accessory went to the man directly behind me in line to get into the venue. He asked me a question and when I turned to ask him I realized that he was wearing a former favorite product of mine when I used to work at a toy store.

The outside of the sunglasses' lenses are mirrors, which allow the wearer to see what's behind your head without looking back. I instantly called him on it. The guy he's with confirmed my suspicion laughing that they belong to his son. I laughed too, asking if he planned on watching the show with his back to the stage…

Speaking of back to the stage, I'll get to the number one fashion highlight in a bit – but first my personal fashion addition…

The Radiohead Tour T-Shirt is $40. Part of the reason for the high expense is because the shirt is made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles and certified organic cotton. Whatever, I was already ahead on the ticket and gas to get there – so I got it. (actually, I'm a tad ashamed to admit I got two different ones, one white one black of different quotes).

I decided to pass on a T-Shirt for the opening act Grizzly Bear. That shirt was $30. "Who do they think they are?" I asked Ryan.

6:40 – Now that the gates have opened, and we've got our $40 shirts, Ryan and I find a place on the lawn directly in line with the center of the stage… Although some 400 yards away…

Killing the next 50 minutes was a tough task for Ryan and I… It consisted, on my part, of trying to block the setting sun's rays to my left and the very public display of affection from a couple ahead of me to the right while reading the text crawl on the jumbotron ahead. This scrolling text was somewhat entertaining. People could text a message like "OBAMA / YORKE 2008" and see it scroll across in big lights. Some of them were horrible to read (i.e. OHIO STATE FOOTBALL FOREVER), some where unimaginative (MCCAIN IS EVIL), some were borderline funny (JIM, IM PREGNANT)… Every once in a while I'd laugh (STEVE HOLT!) or be impressed (WHENIGOFORWARDSYOUGOBACKWARDSANDSANDSOMEWHEREWEWILLMEET).

7:15ish – The Publicly In Love Couple stand up to leave and buy either a cold beverage or birth control when I notice the number one odd wardrobe accessory. The guy was wearing a cycling cap – although it didn't look as cool as this:

It shocked me because I couldn't understand why some guy would want to wear that let alone why a girl would want to be with a guy that would wear that. Hey buddy, the Tour de France ended last month.

7:30 – Grizzly Bear begins their unremarkable, yet serviceable, set… Lasting less than 45 minutes, no complaints.

8ish - The stage is equipped with what appears to be gigantic wind chimes. However, later we realize that they are gigantic L.E.D. lights.

Not only did these provide a visual element never before matched at a live concert, but also they fell in line with their eco-friendly message. These served as the only stage lights, which used less energy than normal bulbed stage spotlights.
More info here from Element Labs, who made these lights for Radiohead

8:40 - Radiohead's appearance is imminent. We all stand. A crew of three some 20 feet ahead stretch and turn around. One of them sees my ACHIEVER shirt and yells, "Hey! Achiever! Hey Yeah!" I respond, "And a good day to you sir!" They respond with laugher and before they turn around yell "The Dude Abides!" Ryan asks me if that was a Lebowski exchange. It confirms in his mind that he was right to tell his wife on the phone a half hour earlier that they need to add the 1998 Coen Bros. masterpiece to their Rental Queue.

8:45 - Radiohead's set begins with the first track off In Rainbows "15 Step" The second song, "Bodysnatchers" is the source material for all the quotes on those $40 shirts earlier mentioned. My first yes, thank god they're playing this of the night was their third song of the set "There, There." Nothing, not even the cycling cap dude deciding to turn his back to the stage for a full-on-grab-her-head-make-out kiss, was able to disrupt my level of enjoyment during this song.

The set was focused on their recent album, which is to be expected. However, to zero complaints to yours truly because I love that album. Do yourself a favor and pick up In Rainbows if you don't already have a copy.

Older songs included "Climbing Up The Walls" and "Karma Police" from the album I'd want to be stranded on a desert island with: OK Computer.

Over two hours later their performance was over and I was still in awe. I will easily be willing to pay over $100 to see them perform again... And I'll probably have to.

1:30 AM Local (back into the Central Time Zone) - I'm home - at a much earlier them than I initially anticipated. I had a somewhat heavy foot through the Indiana County backroad shortcut led by my Dad's GPS.

And that's pretty much the story.

Also, allow me to add that the weather was perfect. A high 70s temp, slight wind, clear skies with not even a thought of rain. Seriously, it could not have been better.

If you didn't listen to the above YouTube, please consider the clip at the very bottom of this post - it's probably the best YouTube representation of their show:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Memories from the summer of 1995

I'd like to share my top five memories from my tenure at Walgreens.

5. Walking the 4 blocks to work and back. I think the only reason I decided to have Walgreens as my first job ever was because it was the only non restaurant job I could accomplish this feat.

4. Refusing to sell "a pack of Reds" to the piss ant jerk that lived down the street from me.

3. Selling a home pregnancy test to a co-worker (it was on special + the employee discount). Those of you who know me best will not be surprised that although I was 16 years old when this happened, I didn't realize what was actually going on until over a YEAR later.

2. A pack of Trojan condoms were not scanning properly. I called over a coworker to whisper for him to go find the price. The man trying to buy the prophylactics thanked me for my discreetness. Later that night, the mildly retarded man working the Liquor department announces over the store's speakers that he needs a price check for the same item. This happened when I was with the store's manager. The manager's reaction: using his hand to catch his falling head while repeating the liquor clerks name repeatedly.

1. A customer asks me about two candy bars near the register: Mounds and Almond Joy. She asks me what the difference between the two (because I assume the packaging is near identical in font and design)? I said it in the cadence to hopefully spark her memory of the popular TV commercial, "Almond Joy's got nuts (pause) Mounds don't-" It's a shame she didn't ask me "Why" because I had the follow-up verse locked and loaded.


The reason why I decided to walk down my retail clerk memory lane is because I saw a 36 pack of Trojan condoms at the local Costco. I had a very difficult time imagining the need for that volume of product. It appears that I'm still not that far away from that kid ringing up a home pregnancy test for a coworker.

Selling condoms were fun at Walgreens. It was in an era before they were nonchalantly advertised on TV. I respected (not to mention envious of) anybody buying them. A coworker once told me he sold a pack to a guy, and after he handed him the receipt (if you didn't it'd cost you $5) and autopiloted a "Have a nice night" salutation. The girl that was with the guy said, "Don't worry, he will."

I don't know if that story was true or not, but it made me smile then... and for a different reason - makes me smile today.