Yesterday I got home and this dude was in my bathroom ripping up the sub-flooring with a crowbar and less than a gentle touch. WTF, right?
Me: Hey, you have to rip up the entire floor?
Dude: (pause) What?
Me: Fair enough.
With that, the MCat and I headed outside to get in a little wiffleball and to escape the noise. And despite its inauspicious start, the afternoon yielded two good things:
1) We invented a drink called the "Teaparty Cocktail." To make a Teaparty Cocktail you need three things - 1) a bunch of workers tearing the shit our of your apartment without having had your landlord tell you about it and then putting their equipment all over your kitchen, so the only cabinet you can reach for cups has nothing but tiny crystal punch bowl glasses (this step is important) 2) Smirnoff vodka and 3) Sprite Remix. Mix equal parts Smirnoff and Remix in the two-ounce punch bowl cups and voila! Sip with pinkies extended and pretend to talk to stuffed animals for the full effect.
2) After removing my toilet, the workers placed it directly in the middle of the outfield. So we opened the lid and said any ball landing in the can would be an automatic game winner. No one was able to accomplish this, but while shagging a Brendo Frendo pop fly I ran right into the toilet and without falling down managed to both knock it over and catch the ball. It was, without question, one of the great moments in the history of sport.
Yesterday was a weird day all around. When I got home from my ass-dumb job (see previous entries) there were workers unexpectedly all over my house. What were they doing? Well, they had entirely taken out both bathrooms - all the fixtures, toilets, sinks, floors and ceilings. Now, I'm all for home-improvement but people, we only have two bathrooms, which I saw as a potential problem.
Me: How long do you think this will take?
Dude: Few days, man
Me: Where are we supposed to go to the bathroom
Dude: (pause) What?
Me: Fair enough...
So then we did what any non-bathroom having red blooded Americans would do - we went out in the thunderstorm and played wiffleball, taking frequent breaks to pee behind our tool shed.
Well, the funk of yesterday seems to be lifting somewhat, undoubtedly due to a serious afternoon of wiffleball and songwriting. Plus, it's hard to stay in a funk when there's so many exciting things happening soon.
As many of you may know, the band is gearing up not only for our June residency but also for spending another week in NYC pounding the new teenage symphonies to god into the proverbial wax. The plan is to package these new rock jams with the old rock jams, put them on some wonder bread with a little peanut butter and then give you the best PB&Rock Jam sandwich y'all have ever had. So be on the lookout for that.
In other news, we all watched the Willie Nelson 70th birthday special the other night, featuring John Mellencamp, ZZ Top, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow..etc. Anyway, near the end of the show Ray Charles comes out and people, I have to question whether the man is actually a human being at all. I mean, never mind that he has the best voice ever, at one point in the song he stood up, danced away from his piano bench for a minute and then sat down and started playing again....in the right key. WTF? I can't play guitar in the right key to save my life. So we think he's faking the blindness or, more likely, that's he's a musical robot who will one day destroy all of us.
I don't know is you've tried it, but coming back in to my awesome job after a long weekend of rain and no wiffleball is the BOMB. Ah well.
It's actually OK, I'm just really really tired and need some more rock in my life. This spring has been a slow one and I'm really just itching for the summer of rock to start up. What happens is, when we don't play too many gigs and don't record for a while then all we have to think and worry about is how we're wasting our lives at aggravating jobs that pay us no money and take up all our days. But Rock Summer '03 starts in a week, which I'm banking on being like a giant R&B Prozac show into my rock and roll brain.
Last night FXA took their first trip from the safe environs of Cambridge/Somerville to the unexplored frontiers of JP, particularly the Midway Cafe. I'm happy to report that the journey was worth it. I mean, Jordan did get cholera and Pete had some kind of yellow fever going on, but these things are bound to happen when you're exploring, right?
Anywho, the show was great and the BBQ joint next door was even greater. My mouth is still on FIRE. I had to drink a LOT of beer just to cool it down and lord knows I hate me some beer. (Ed. Note - Ha ha, alky.)
So last night we lost power at the Somerville rock house for a few hours. It's funny how something like that makes everyone instant friends. I talked to people last night who I've lived next to for a year but have never exchanged a word with.
And everyone in the neighborhood treats the loss of power differently. Our neighbor Ralph, an older, very traditional Italian guy who considers us "his boys," feels the need to take care of everyone. He got on the horn to the power company immediately, found a portable radio and put it in his window so we could listen to the sox and made sure everyone had a drink. Our very old neighbor Angelina simply kept tending to her garden and acted like she had no idea what electricity even was when another neighbor tried to explain the outtage. This neighbor in turn acted like this blackout was perhaps the single defining moment in western civilization, running around the whole street letting people know that they didn't have power. I'm pretty sure she's still talking about it now and will for the next ten years, when it will undoubtedly be known as "the great power loss of ought-three."
As for Brendo Frendo and I, we just headed to the packey for a few beers and then listened to the Red Sox game in my backyard. And even though in our hearts we knew that the lack of electricity made it the ideal time for us to loot all our elderly neighbors' homes, we eventually decided against it and just took it easy. It was nice...
As promised, here's a brief overview of what FXA was up to on Saturday, day two of the rockingest weekend this side of Sir Derek Rockingham, Earl of Rockford's, swinging rockanalia rock bash of 1758. Now that was a hype joint.
FXA split into two groups for the drive to NYC because, well, we hate each other. More specifically, Pete hates Gordon because Gordon likes me better than him but I actually like Jordan the best although he likes Pete who in turn thinks he smells. It's complicated.
Anyway, Pete, honorary FXA'er Brendo Frendo and myself set out in the rockmobile (Brendo Frendo's 2002 Saturn - you gotta start somewhere). The ride down was relatively uneventful, although a couple things happened which would gain significance later. 1) We started a very annoying game whose ground rules were that everyone in New York looked like The Nuge and that 2) looking like The Nuge was actually a requirement for being granted the right to live in NYC. We proceeded to spend the entire time we were driving on the island of Manhattan pointing out people like elderly asian ladies and asking "Hey dude....is that the Nuge?!?!?" The whole goal was to fool the person you're asking into thinking you actually have a serious question for them and then you hit them with the Nuge. Stooooooooooopid.
Anywho, the show itself was great. It made me agree with the timeless sentiment of Shaggy that our New York fans, especially the shorties, are "our angels, our morning angels, closer than our peeps you are to us." It was great to see the old crew as well as a few new faces, including the lovely Shannon and Lauren, whose dancing and singing along made Irene Cara look like a ham-fisted Carol Channing. They also claim to read the journal, so they prolly aren't right in the head, but as the Rain Man says "they were very good dancers."
After the show we decided to drive home. Yikes. Brendo and I headed out in the Saturn alone because apparently Pete and Gordon had sorted their issues out and now everyone hated me and Brendo Frendo, although they claimed it wasn't personal. Ah well, screw them. They missed out on four and a half hilarious hours of delirious Nuge jokes, culminating in our determination to create a slapstick sitcom that combines cloning, the CIA and complex moral and bio-ethical isssues. We're going to call it "The Three Nuges." Good stuff, right?
We finally rolled back to the Somerville rock house at 6:30, and as I hit the pillow after such a whirlwind of rock I only had one question, "Am I The Nuge?" I decided I must be and sleep came as easily as beating a three year old in a bike race....
We here in FXA had a weekend and a half. I mean, we literally squeezed three days worth rocking, rolling and general rapscallioness into the two days we were given. It's a scientific fact. (Ed. Note - not a scientific fact)
Anyway, so much stuff happend I need to split it into two entries, one each for Friday and one for Saturday. So here we go:
We leave the Somerville rock house and hit Toad at around 8:30 for some pre-show dining and a couple of drinks to loosen up. So there I am, eating my pesto chicken sandwich, blissfully unaware that this would be the show where I would get more comically hurt than at any other, and that's saying something. In the course of this band I've sprained every muscle, broken a toe and had LOTS of indigestion...
It all starts in the first song, where I inadvertently split my index finger open on one of my strings. Now, this happens a lot, but usually it's pretty minor. Not tonight. It's like Friday the 16th in there. And it doesn't help that I'm sporting my strat, which has a considerable amount of white on it. Soon it's covered in blood and the people in the front are wondering what the hell is up. Of course, the finger does not stop bleeding no matter what I do. I put on some band-aids, I wipe it off with a napkin between each song, I ask it politely and promise it nice things - nothing works. By the end of the first set, I'm ready to amputate the bastard with a salad fork and the audience is dutifully lining up at a field trauma Red Cross booth that has been set up to test for blood borne illness. Unfortunately, two people have caught malaria and one other contracted a nasty bladder control problem that I carry the gene for but don't actually have (Ed Note - Hmmmm).
Anywho, during the break before the second set I get the bleeder under control and so I'm on easy street, right? Not quite. During the rockingest cover of Good Times, Bad Times we've ever rocked on Gordon gets the idea that he should jump into the crowd and dance with the people. Of course, I can't let Gordon one up me so I jump into the crowd too. So there we are, dancing with the folks. I have my head bobbing, which lets them all know that I'm really rocking out. All of the sudden......BOOM. It's like I've been hit in the head by a hammer, or the non-hammer-back-of-Gordon's-head equivalent. Everything goes white, my jaw snaps closed and for a second I almost lose my rockitude. Fortunately I make it back to the stage and finish the song. But now my head is bleeding. It's like God is playing a practical joke on me.
We finish the show and I go home with an ice pack and a makeshift finger cast made of napkins, duct tape and the love of a couple of sweet women. I look like Wile E. Coyote on a particulary bad day, and to top it off I have to stay up for a couple hours to insure that I don't have a concussion.
Upside? Golden Girls re-runs are pretty god damn funny. Betty White is just an absolute scamp...(Ed. Note - Joe may have been hit on the head harder than we once thought)
People, there will be no diary entry today for a couple of reasons.
Reason the first - we didn't get home from our big rock show until 3:30 in the AM, which left precious little sleep time before my 8:30 in the AM roll call at work. Ouch. I am T-I-D-E tide. I'm too tide to even include the "r." And when I'm tide I do not write well. For example: here's the first sentence of my diary attempt this morning We had a fantastic time last night in Rhode Island, or, to those of you in the know, "good ol' Rhody". Now folks, that just isn't funny, or cute. Nor does it actually make that much sense. Nobody calls it "good ol' Rhody."
Reason the second - June Carter Cash passed away yesterday and that just makes me plain old sad. She was truly a powerful singer and songwriter and more than that just seemed like a really decent lady. I think I may listen to "Jackson" a million times today.
So screw it people....I'll see you on Monday.
(Ed. Note - Joe makes two mistakes in this journal entry in my opinion. 1) He mistakenly assumes that anyone cares whether he actually writes this pithy scatalogical tripe and 2) Does he think anyone is fooled by his non-entry-but-actually-an-entry-meta bullshit? It's just not that clever)
I got an email the other day from someone in Oklahoma who happened across the diary and read a bunch of entries. Her comments were mostly positive, but she asked "why so many entries about poop?" Good question.
I used to work a lot with kindergarteners. I treated this job essentially as a forum for practicing stand-up comedy material. Breaking the kids up was my main goal. And I tried all kinds of things - silliness, made up words, slapstick, etc. But the thing that you just can't fail with when you're trying to crack up a five year old is, you guessed it, poop.
I remember one day I made a pretty good (IMHO) crack about poop and, pardon the expression, the kids lost their shit. One of the kids was my favorite, he had a very deadpan way of saying things that was completely and unintentionally hilarious. While everyone else was still laughing and looking at each other as if to say "I can't believe he just said 'poop'!" this kid looked me right in the eyes, shook his head and said "Joe, poop is always funny."
So, Debbie from Oklahoma, that's why. I figure that if it's good enough for the K-1 set, it's good enough for me.
PS. They also think farts are very funny. I mean, really funny...
Here's a pretty funny/cool/very cute email we recently got from our good friend Peter, who is currently living in Brazil and teaching school....
>i used Nobody Knows for a listening activity in a few of my english classes yesterday and the students really enjoyed it. i mean they really enjoyed it. comments such as "where can I buy this??" and "tell them to come here to Brazil" and "teacher, play more of this music next time." As I write this I am reminded of one girl named Bruna whose whole face lit up when i asked her if she liked the song. It was a great moment for the cross cultural power of rock and roll sex appeal. I wish you could have seen her pretty eyes dreaming of y'all. As a follow-up to the song I had one class write some fan letters for you, here they are:
>I liked the song, it has a good lyrics. The drums is very good and the vocals sing very well. - Joao Ribeiro
>the music Nobody Knows is very good because the rhythm so good and the musicians are very harmonious to one pop band. - Flavio
>The thing I most like in music nobody knows is the vocals and the drums. And I liked the guitar solo too. I think this band has a lot of talent and future.
>I listened the music Nobody Knows. I loved the music. The voice, the drums,the guitar. Everything is perfect in that music... - Luiz
>I really liked this song. The rythm is very good. The singer sings well and the drums are very good. The lyrics are very good. The music is catchy.
>Best wishes, Pedro
>I listened the music Nobody Knows and I like the song. The vocals and the drums are very good. when your band go to Brazil? I love see your show.
> The fan, Ana Luiza
>I think this music because the guy who sings has a good voice. The group is carefull about harmony. the letter has mean and the solo guitar is wonderfull.
Awwwwww. How cute is that?
But, to play devil's advocate, before we go and feel all warm inside about this let's step back for a second, divorce ourselves from the fact that these are young Brazilian children who are probably incredibly cute, and take a look at the actual content of their statements. As adorable children's rambling goes, it's A-OK, but as rock critics? I mean, clearly only Luciana, Luiz and Luciene got any grasp of the song at all. Everyone else drones on interminably about the singing and the excellent drums with nary a mention of what Luciene very accurately terms the "wonderful solo guitar." It's like, did you other kids even listen??? The rhythm, the vocals and the harmoniousness are nothing without that sweet and wonderful solo guitar. I mean, everyone knows that...(Ed. Note - Joe is, of course, joking. I mean, for the sake of his soul I hope he's joking)
But seriously, thanks for the email, Pedro. That's the best thing I've read in a long time...
Last night Fooled By April officially formulated our plan for destroying the world with rock this summer. It all starts this Friday at Toad. Be there or be the proverbial square...
I was reading an article this morning about how a lawyer in California is suing to prohibit the eating of Oreos by kids. It seems that they contain a trans-fat that is like an e-vite for arterial blocking and coronary disease. Damn.
A few years ago I remember there was a similar stink about hot dogs. A study showed that eating a lot of hot dogs as a kid had some correlation to cancer. I say damn.
Now, when I was a kid my mom fed me the same lunch every day - a hot dog and American chop suey. It was all I would eat for like four years. And what did I get for dessert? That's right people, Oreo cookies. So essentially I'm screwed. I may not be a doctor, but I think it's safe to say that with my history I have 11 or 12 days left to live. Fate is a cruel mistress....
The weather is nasty, wet and cold and I'm in a testy mood. And so this morning when I got to work I said "self, you're in a testy mood. Why don't you buy yourself a diet coke and put on a caffeine buzz to see if that will help?" "Ok, self, I will!"
A minute later I walked up to the coke machine and this is when I got really testy because, as they say in Boston, "I looked like a friggin' retahd." I put a quarter into the machine and it didn't drop. Instead, it got stuck about an inch into the coin slot. And so, being the borderline genius that I am I figured that the best way to dislodge it was to put in another quarter. And when this didn't work either I put in another quarter. All told I spent $1.25 in order to get five quarters stuck in the coin slot.
Now, we've all seen someone do this and I think we agree that no one can ever look dumber than when they have lost money and think that losing more money will somehow bring the lost money back (i.e. casinos). But this morning I took it a step further. After losing my money I stuck my keys into the slot in a final attempt to dislodge my precious quarters. Of course, then I lost my grip on my key and it also slid into the coin slot. The only thing that finally saved me was my Shaw's Rewards Card, which got stuck outside of the coin slot and allowed me to retrieve my keys, but, alas, not my dignity. For shame.
Now, I know you all spent last night watching the Miss Dog USA Beauty Pageant, and if you didn't??? Well, you're crazy I'm afraid. But don't worry, because I'll tell you what else is crazy, the judging! I mean, for crying out loud, was the fix in or what? Let's take a look at the top five dogs and you'll see what I mean.
1) Disco - This dog should've won it all. I mean not only did she look gorgeous in her red sequined evening dress, but true to her name, this bitch could really dance. Her talent was disco-dancing through her owner's legs while said owner also disco danced. That's simply not easy. Fourth runner up? Please. For shame.
2) Daisy - This beauty also had a lot going for her. She looked fantastic in her gown, had more than a puppy chow bowl's full amount of elegance and poise, and most of all she wasn't a little doggie-snob about her gifts. That's class. She definitely deserved better than third runner up.
3) Sweet Pea - I really wasn't blown away by this dog, the eventual winner. I mean, I have nothing against her personally, but she definitely lacked whatever that particular magic is, that unique sprinkling of pixie dust that makes us look at a doggie beauty pageant contestant and say "Yes! That's a champion!" I mean, I personally found her evening wear atrocious and her talent, balancing a water glass, seemd a little butch for the proceedings. Her winning really taints the whole competition and makes you wonder who's footing the bribery bill.
4) Lady - Lady was just boring, plain and simple. She walked with an air of "all I care about right now is the next time I get to sniff a butt" and I found she performed her talent of jumping rope in a completely ham-pawed manner. Execrable and certainly not worthy of her high showing.
5) Miss Something or other (I'm so angry I can't even remember) - The people who cheered for this dog are the same people who once watched Life Goes On as a comedy. It's just not right people. She is an ugly ugly ugly little pug who is only appealing because of her hideousness. And her talent? Off key baying along to her owner's off key rendition of O Sole Mio? All I could think of while watching her was how much I wanted to get Disco and Daisy together, give them dog treats and assure her that it was all going to be OK. Jesus.
Just another example of what money and a complete lack of moral virtue can get you in this country. Damn
Birds are jerks. I'm serious. As much as I love the spring and especially the summer, I hate birds. They're dirty, annoying, smelly and people, they have it in for me. Well, one bird in particular does, Mr. "I'm a dumb ass chirp machine" O'Connor, or as I call him, Thaddeus.
I became convinced of Thaddeus' treachery recently during a double-header out on the wiffle ball diamond (i.e. the sexy Somerville rock house backyard of sin). As I was playing the outfield I noticed that he had pooped all over my bike, but people, and this is where it gets creepy, there was no poop to be found anywhere else. Call it coincidence if you must, but when I poop in my backyard....er.....if I were to poop in my backyard....I would choose the much more accomodating flower garden, or the back shed, or even my neighbor's canoe. Why the bike?
And then there's the issue of the chirping. I mean Jesus lord why all the frigging chirping? Some people have to work in the morning and can't just lie around eating seeds and pooping on bikes and need some god damn sleep. And I'm pretty sure he's speaking to me in the chirps. "Joe....Joe.....I'm going to poop on your bike all day...Joe...get up...get up JoJo...pooooooooop."
So screw you Thaddeus. (Ed Note - Joe clearly had nothing to write about today. I mean, clearly nothing. This is tripe. Crap. Does this Thaddeus even exist, or is he just an amalgam of all Joe's irrational fears and insecurities about animals? I like animals, for the record, although I will admit that I once knew a guinea pig named Doug who was kind of a jerk.)
Last week, as we brought the devastating power pop to the unprepared denizens of New York City, I had a realization. And people, that realization was that having your guitar strap fall off three times during a show, causing you to have to spend a minute on the ground each time vainly trying to pry it back on while also keeping up with the song and trying not to look like a moron in front of a crowd really isn't that much fun. Actually, as I think Mark Twain once said, it licks balls.
So yesterday after work I headed to Guitar Center. Now, let it be said for the record that I've always hated me some Guitar Center, and I think I've finally figured out exactly why. The place is like a mutant combination of Radio Shack and a used car lot, two places I would essentially rather die than go to. It's full of techy guitar dudes who are very eager to let you know that you don't know what you're talking about, but who also work on commission and so do that "I'm going to talk to you like we're really good friends until I get $600 out of you and then I'll go back to hating you because you get to leave after you buy the guitar and I never wanted to work here anyway but now I'm stuck and I have to talk to you like we're really good friends until I ...." You get the idea.
But just like sometimes you have to hit Radio Shack because you need one of those thingies to let you hook your busted ass old tv antenna to your new-fangled VCR, sometimes you also need a bunch of picks and nothing else is around. And so you go to the GC.
Here's my strap-buying experience:
GC: (on phone with a friend who apparently is named "dude") Give me a minute man. (Two minutes later - I guess the commission on a $10 strap isn't too exciting.) Cool strap man.
Me: (sensing what's coming) Thanks....that's all I need today
GC: Really? have you tried out the new Korgomatic Triphaser Transposifying Diphenylshaffen? It's only $300 and dude, it's rad. I bought one the first day I worked here. (Note: every time I've ever talked to a GC employee they have assured me that they own the very thing that I'm looking at and that it is, in fact, some variation of "rad")
Me: Nope, just the strap.
GC: Ok, dude, I can bring it down to $250, even though my manager will be pissed (conspiratorial smile)
Me: (Smile that says "Although I'm sure your manager will be very pissed at this completely non-transparent and extremely generous gesture on your part, it's just not going to work today") Nope, just the strap.
GC: (patronizing) Uh....OK dude (sigh) What's your name?
GC: For the computer
Me: I don't think so, just the strap
GC: No, I need your name for the computer
Me: Why? Will the computer be sad if I choose to just buy the strap and maybe mercifully end this 30 second transaction that has now stretched to ten minutes? (Note: much of this was not actually said)
GC: (Sigh) Fine, if that's really what you want to do.......(sigh)
And from that point until he had made my change he said nothing. Zero. Nada. Acted like I wasn't even there. And so I of course made a big show of thanking him and then I even tried to make small talk because, well, I'm a jerk. But he wasn't having it and just walked away. I was pretty pissed and was tempted to bring $5000 worth of crap back to the counter and then at the last second decide not to buy it. But that seemed like too much work so I didn't do it because, well, I'm lazy.
The lesson, people? I'm not sure but I think it involves supporting local music stores as well as the fact that I'm very petty. Ah well.
Although I'm sure you can hardly believe it, we here in the Fooled By April camp are a touch less than wealthy. As of yet the rock has not been, how do you say, lucrative. And so we all have to spend our days at pretty frigging annoying day jobs.
Now, the problem of having to actually work for a living is compounded by the fact that since we take a lot of time off to go rock in places like Columbus, Ohio, we necessarily have to work at jobs where taking lots of time off is acceptable. Unfortunately, those jobs usually entail working for people that are such huge pains in the ass and are so difficult to deal with that they'll give you a lot of slack as long as you agree to not quit. The jobs we work are positions notoriously difficult to fill because most people just can't take the abuse. And so, in exchange for sacrificing our dignity and self-respect, we get to go on tour. And usually it's worth it. At the very least it gives you funny things to bitch about.
Today my boss came into my office ostensibly to be nice...
Boss: Well, today is national secretary's day. Let's go out to lunch.
Me: Uh, ok. (Translation - Why on earth would we go to lunch when our main verbal communication usually involves cursing me out for stapling a report too high in the corner of the page or for having the gall to correct your horrible grammar?)
Boss: We'll go to Legal Seafood. Make the reservation.
Me: Uh, I don't really eat seafood. I'm allergic to quite a bit of it and it always makes me ill.
Boss: Ok, so we'll head over there around noon.
Me: Hmmm, well, I don't know if there will be anything without fish in it that I can eat.
Boss: You'll love it there. They put fish in everything.
Me: Fine. (Translation - You win, I'll sit there and drink a coke that I pray won't have fish in it.)
Boss: Noon it is. By the way, this letter is terrible. (Translation - You're a jerk.)
Me: Sorry, I'll re-write it. (Translation - Not as big a jerk as you are.)
Ah well, I'm off for a bowl of clam chowder and some antacid. Rock...
So the 25th Annual WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble starts today. For those of you who don't know about the rumble, it's essentially a big battle of the bands put on by a local radio station. There are huge cash prizes, tons of exposure, oodles of prestige, etc. It's really a great opportunity,and on top of that its just pretty darn exciting........ for the bands invited to participate. Boo.
Oh well, despite our jealousy and general nature of wishing other people ill, we do want to give our best to all the bands. However, we especially want good fortune to shine on our friends in the Halogens and Baby Strange, both of whom have graciously offered to change their names to Fooled By April for the duration of the contest and also to give us all their winnings. They're good people, people.
And what will we be up to during this period of rumbling? Well, we're forgoing rehearsal all week in order to stand on Somerville street corners and beat the holy hell out of passerbys and dogs. So look out, folks, it's rumblin' time.
Today is the two year anniversary of the death of a good friend of many of my good friends.
Robert Morris meant a lot of things to many people. Unfortunately, when I first met him what he meant to me was competion - competition for friends in a new environment (I had just moved to Boston), competition in music (he was an excellent musician) and competition in manliness (he had dated my girlfriend). So I wasn't his biggest fan, especially since... well ....he could really be kind of a dick sometimes. He was definitely a tough person for me to accept or even get to know. But eventually I did get to know him and I finally saw what my friends saw, that underneath everything he was a really sweet and good person and that the issues we had with each other were rooted in the similar insecurities we shared. We became almost sorta kinda friends.
I'm explaining all this because I want to remember him in an honest way. He wasn't my best friend and I wouldn't want to insult his memory, or his close friends, by eulogizing him as a perfect guy who I was especially close to. I do think about him and miss him sometimes though, and in my mind that definitely is worth saying. So, in honor of that sentiment I present my fondest memories of Robert Morris:
-He and I getting blindingly drunk in my Allston apartment and playing along to the fast part of Paradise City over and over again. He rocked the acoustic while I sported the fluorescent purple Gibson Explorer knock-off. Yes, it was as dumb as it sounds.
-Him heckling Jeff Tweedy at Lilli's during a Tweedy solo show until we almost got kicked out. Although this also qualifies as one of my most unpleasant memories of Robert, in retrospect it makes me laugh, especially when I remember Robert screaming the title of the song he thought Tweedy was about to play and seeing Tweedy mouth back "wrong!" when Robert looked away.
-Him letting me play with his Yellow Submarine figurines whenever I was at his house, and he had them all.
-Him letting me borrow I Me Mine. We both thought it sucked.
I guess that's it. I don't really know why I wrote this but it's what I'm thinking about today. Life is hard, people. I just hope he wasn't as unhappy at the end of his life as he probably must have been.
Thanks for bearing with me. The jokes will be back on Monday...
Perhaps it's the stress, maybe it's the alcohol, or quite possibly it's the constant voice in my head commanding me to make these diary entries worthy of your pity... Whatever it is, I have been having some funky dreams lately. Now some of you may be thinking "Joe, anyone who thinks their dreams are actually interesting to anyone other than themselves are not only delusional but probably self-centered egotistical jerk-offs as well." And while that's certainly true, I have nothing else to talk about so deal with it!
Anyway, last night I had a dream that I was in an arcade with the very handsome Pete Galea, the flashy Sean "P-Diddy" Combs and the...um...robust Phil Mickelson. Anyway, somehow we split into two groups and started playing adjacent games. I got stuck with Puffy playing a basketball game and Pete was with Phil playing a golf game. I was mad about this because I knew I had more in common with Phil and definitely am far better at golf games than their basketball equivalents. But, being the sportsmanlike person I am (Ed. note - Not true by any stretch of the imagination. Joe has been known to throw lawn furniture and bricks after bad wiffleball losses) I settled in for some BBall. But get this, Puff is a nasty cheater. He kept hitting buttons on my controller and blocking my eyes with his bling bling. I was pissed.
Finally, I had to quit because Diddy was just becoming too much to handle. I went over to Pete and Phil looking to get in on the golf, but despite Phil's eagerness to add a third, Pete emphatically said no. I was pissed. Then I turned around and was about to make out with Heidi Klum but she turned into a bird or something and then I was falling down stairs and I woke up.
Needless to say, I was pissed.
Lessons learned? Don't play dream video games with P-Diddy, Phil Mickelson is a nice guy with no spine and Pete is an uncharitable bastard dream friend.