You know I love you, but I'm taking the week off to go on a somewhat well-deserved vacation. Take heart however, as I will undoubtedly run into a lot of idiots, kids and poop, guaranteeing the journal's survival for years to come.
So, as you are all aware, I am horribly and disgustingly vain. In that vein (ha) I have made the ABC Family Channel a very regular part of my surfing schedule when I watch tv. I make no apologies.
Usually I don't find anything that grabs my interest and keeps me hooked, I just flip by when American Chopper hits a commercial break to see if we're on. However, the other night Top Gun was on. Top Gun, people! One of the defining movies of my generation! And so I got sucked in.
The funny thing is that I got so sucked in I forgot why I was watching in the first place. And so imagine my surprise when, all tensed up by a particularly nasty confrontation between Maverick and the Ice Man, we went to a commercial and I heard our song. During TOP GUN! It is fair to say that I was excited and jumped up and down in my underpants for three or four minutes.
My ass is very sore. Now, before you go inventing your own salacious reasons for why this may be, let me give you the scoop - a scoop involving inept medical providers, a motorcycle and one right foot.
Poor Ladybetrothed Sarah did some kind of nasty thing to her right foot on Saturday night. She doesn't really know what, but by Sunday morning it was obvious that something was wrong. The ball of her foot and her entire big toe looked like they were part of a beige clown shoe. Not good.
Anyway, after much urging she went to see her doctor. Her doctor wasn't available, but unfortunately Ms. Bitchy Physician's Assistant was. MBPA immediately diagnosed the problem as gout, ignoring completely that LS is a) not a middle-aged dude or post-menopausal woman b) not a heavy drinker and c) not a large consumer of animal fat. People, I'm not doctor, but even I knew this was a load of shit.
Now, despite LS's protestations, MBPA put her on gout medicine. The neat thing about gout medicine is that it comes into your stomach and intestines, gives everyone in there about two hours to move out on their own and then gets very medieval on anyone remaining. Fun.
After a day of this "treatment" LS went to get a second opinion and some X-rays, this time from a real doctor. His opinion was that MBPA is a moron and that LS has just got some nasty irritated ka-ka in this particular joint. He wrote her a couple prescriptions, advised ice and elevation and sent her home. This was more like it, I thought.
Anywho, I volunteered to go and get LS's prescriptions because, well, she's a cripple. I hit CVS and handed the two slips over, noticing only then that one of the prescriptions was for crutches. It said "Kindly provide a set of crutches." What is this, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman 1872? You can't write a prescription for crutches! Again, I'm no doctor but even I know this shit.
So I handed over the prescriptions, fully expecting the lady at the pharmacy to take one look at the crutches script and start laughing. She, in fact, did just that. Dag.
I returned home with one prescription but now needed to fill the other - to find the proverbial crutches. I got on the internet and soon realized I would have to go to a medical supply store. However, the closest one was about two miles away. Making the mistake of assuming things would work out, I got on the bike and headed to the store.
Anywho, at the shop I picked up a sweet set of aluminum crutches and was happy my ordeal was over. Well, not quite over. I incorrectly assumed that when broken down the various crutch pieces would fit easily into my bag. This was, of course, not the case. And so I was left standing on the side of the road with two crutches, a motorcycle, a fiance with ka-ka in her foot and no idea what to do.
I finally decided to bite the bullet. I laid the crutches down on the seat of the bike and sat on top of them, wedging one of the crutch legs between my poor cheeks in order to keep everything stable.
Now, I don't recommend this style of riding to anyone. It isn't safe and, if you know the streets of Cambridge, it makes your poor ass feel like it took a severe Singaporean caning. But, despite its flaws, the gambit worked and LS has rejoined the world of functioning, mobile human beings. And people, isn't that what's really important?
So tomorrow night I am doing another solo show at the Lizard Lounge. The last time I did this I think I was a relative success or, more succinctly, no one left.
Despite this small bit of success I am nervous as all hell about this show. We've been so busy the last couple weeks that I have had literally about an hour to prepare. If you're Eric Clapton this is probably not a problem. I, sir, am not Eric Clapton. I'm more like the drummer from Gerry and the Pacemakers.
Anyway, tonight is my huge cram session to make myself presentable to all who choose to attend. The theme of the show is twofold: "Great Songs By Guys With Bad Voices" and "Joe Plays with no Picks". I'd choose between the themes but they're both so damn sexy.
So come bring me some support and I promise to be ready. Deal?
Hope to see you there.
1667 Mass Ave (btw Porter and Harvard Square beneath Cambridge Common Restaraunt)
It is currently 9 in the AM. We got off stage in New York City 9 hours ago, got home to our beds 3 1/2 hours ago, got up for work 1 hour ago, got into work five minutes ago and have been wishing for the largest crippling power outage the East Coast has ever seen for the whole damn time.
Saturday I played solo at a wedding. Now, being both a very mediocre guitar player and somewhat afraid of playing by myself, it will probably come as no surprise that I was out of my mind nervous.
This wasn't helped by the fact that the groom, who had asked me a month ago if I would play one song, told me three days before the wedding that he in fact needed me to take care of all the music, including the processional. His exact words were "You know, just noodle and dick around. It will be cool". Sounds like a recipe for success, don't it?
Now the great thing about playing a wedding, I thought, is the fact that it's not a day that people will remember fot the rest of their lives, so if you screw up it's no big deal. Oh wait a minute.....it's the most important day in many people's lives.
Anyway, I spent the days leading up to the big day practicing my ass off, literally. There is now just a tiny flat piece of skin where my ass used to be. And after three days I had a pretty good repertoire.
I got to the church early and warmed up for a while and then it was time to go. I was so sweaty that I looked like I was wearing a two toned shirt as I started to strum the intro music. Almost immediately I made a mistake and looked up expecting a lot of pointed fingers and angry leers. Nope.
It was then that I realized that playing a wedding is perhaps the greatest gig ever. The money is great, the atmosphere is nice, everyone's happy and no one, I mean, no one is paying attention to the sweaty guitar player. Do a passable job and there's a 100% chance that you will be completely ignored. And people, I like those odds.
After that I relaxed and ended up playing far better than I thought I would. The nervousness just kind of flowed out of me as I watched the service, maybe shed a tear and then played the people out of the church.
Ok, so last week I talked about going to the strip club with 12-Gauge and Brendo "Professional Strip Club Attendee" Frendo. I discussed getting my first lap dance and how it was nice, but a little awkward, uncomfortable and felt like I was getting a hooker.
Anyway, yesterday I went to the hair salon to get a cut for a wedding I'm playing at this weekend. What's the connection? Well, as I sat there in the wash chair, getting my head massaged and my hair cleaned and conditioned it hit me: the lap dance cost $30, this wash and haircut costs $40, a pittance considering that physical contact is both relaxing, about a million times nicer and smells at least 18 times less like a hooker. Add to that that after you get your head massage/wash/conditioning you actually get a haircut and the salon becomes a downright bargain.
So fellas, who's joining me for a little trim next weekend?
Ok, I have gotten a lot of responses to yesterday's journal. Most were positive "you go girl" type affirmations, but that's only to be expected from my mostly liberal friends and readers. I did get one very negative response and I'd like to share it, because this reader not only eloquently defends his position but also seems to think I'm a huge asshole, so it makes good reading.
Here is John's letter (in italics), complete with my replies:
"The entire purpose of our government is to NOT legislate
individuals's behavior in so far as it is not harmful to other
That is my quote and I stand by it.
You've shifted the argument to what constitutes harm. If I'm
opposed to gay marriage, doesn't having my taxes go to providing
spousal benefits to a married gay spouse harm me? Well, you say,
that's your problem for being a bigot. But you have harmed me,
economically and psychologically. Your argument boils down to
defending harming one set of people over another.
Legalizing gay marriage harms those who oppose it; making it illegal
harms its proponents. It's not a question of whether harm is done -
you are going to harm somebody - it's a question of who you're going
I'm afraid that none of this is true. I did not shift the argument to a discussion of what constitutes harm. I shifted the argument to a discussion of people's rights, and went on to make the point that, following the American ideal of "all men created equal", those rights in turn should be equal under the law.
Also, there is a big difference between law and feelings. What you define as "harm", John, is, in fact, your feelings and they have no place in this argument. I mean, of course people will be pissed off if gay people are allowed to get married. But a whole bunch of people are pissed off that black people can marry white people. Imagine the uproar if that were still illegal. My point is that you can dislike it all you want, but the idea of America is freedom for all and the expansive non-biased inclusion of many different ideas and lifestyles. Ideally, that means that no one gets it exactly his way, but still gets it better than say, in Iran. I mean, if I had my way, everyone would have to be really hot chicks and buy me pizza while telling me what a great guitar player I am, but as it is I only get about 90% of that.
In all seriousness, it's really like the equation used by many black scholars Race + Power = Racism. Prejudice on its own is ugly, but prejudice codified by law is a whole different un-American ballgame. I mean, hate all you want (Constitution has got you covered), just don't legislate it. That's when you step over the line.
And furthermore (although I do think that you should have to pay for the benefits of gay couples, just like I agree that I should have to pay for things I don't like, like Pat Robertson's benefits or this stupid war) you actually don't have to pay a god damn thing. Yet. Check it out. Spousal rights and their affect on taxes.
Think of how your argument applies to other issues and you'll
realize its lack of clarity. Apply to child porn, drugs, polygamy,
molestation of minors, and you'll see its weakness. Think about who
you would rather harm, and why you've chosen to harm one group above
another. The statement "not harmful to other people" is vacuous.
Now this is just silly. Let's get the easy ones out of the way first. Child porn obviously harms its victims in a substantial physical and psychological way. It is not remotely equivalent to someone having to watch gays get married. Molestation, same thing. To even compare them is ludicrous. If you really are going to be that horribly traumatized by some guy having his love for another guy validated by the government then it might be time to invest in a bubble to live in. This is 2004.
As for drugs and polygamy, I wouldn't legislate against them either I'm afraid. With drugs I always come back to the fact that America's drug laws are insanely hypocritical (alcohol and cigarettes are fine, but marijuana isn't?) and a waste of money (the drug war does not work. It creates more crime than it stops and is costing us far more than homosexual spousal benefits ever could....ok, topic for another time). Anyway, in my opinion, if you're an adult and you are not directly harming someone (driving stoned, beating people up, molesting children etc) then I think you can do whatever you want to yourself. And if you want eight wives and they want you back without being coerced, well then more power to you. What people want to do behind closed doors is their business. I might not like it, but tough shit. They might not like me making out with Ladybetrothed Sarah either, but we have to tolerate each other. That's the whole point.
You might also have a stronger argument if you backed up some of
your invectives against Mr. Robertson ("you don't understand in the
slightest", "extremist's bigotry", "institutionalized hate") with
facts to justify these assertions.
Ok, that's fair. I should have used examples. "You don't understand in the slightest" and "extremist's bigotry" are opinions and not facts. Sorry.
Now on to the other stuff. Pat Robertson and his bigotry are institutional, because he is an institution. He is a minister with many followers and he founded the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network). The views of this massive corporation, this institution if you will, are Robertson's own and are bigoted, thus institutionalized bigotry. They're not bigoted you might say? Well, try these on for size:
"When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany. Many of those people involved in Adolph Hitler were Satanists. Many of them were homosexual. The
two things seem to go together." -- Pat Robertson, January 21st, 1993 on the 700 Club
"When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" --from Pat Robertson's "The New World Order," page 218.
"The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening." -- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, Dec. 30, 1981
"It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation."--Pat Robertson, New York Magazine, August 18, 1986
"I think 'one man, one vote,' just unrestricted democracy, would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent now, a minority, and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 3/18/92
"NOW is saying that in order to be a woman, you've got to be a lesbian."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 12/3/97
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians." -- Pat Robertson, fundraising letter, 1992
And, just for giggles:
"There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore." --Pat Robertson, November 1993 during an address to the American Center for Law and Justice
"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."-- George Bush
God damn, that is some stupid and bigoted shit. And hell, I take it back, I think "extremist" is an apt descriptive.
Anyway, in conclusion I hope you all called your senators these past few days and urged them to vote NO on this amendment, which did NOT pass.
As always, I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think I'm right or wrong.
I don't like you, but that's not what this is about. What this is about is something you believe in very strongly and are working very hard for but that you don't understand in the slightest. This is about the proposed amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriage.
Last night I was watching the ABC Family Channel and having a few laughs thanks to "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" while waiting to have my ego stroked by our little commercial. Anyway, after "Whose Line" was over I still hadn't seen it and decided to stick around. That's when your show, "The 700 Club," came on.
Now, I have no problem with you having a show. I just think you should think a little more about what you're saying before you say it. Last night your show was about how much this amendment needs to pass. And while you and your extremist's bigotry and institutionalized hate is all well and good, you crossed the line in speaking of this law as if it were a) legal and b) fundamentally American.
You said "We need to pass this law because the liberal Supreme Court in this country has changed the meaning of the Constitution. People think the Constitution is now saying that homosexuals and their activities are OK. We need this amendment to restore American values back into the Constitution."
This is where you are very wrong. The entire purpose of our government is to NOT legislate individuals's behavior in so far as it is not harmful to other people. So, Pat, I'm sorry but the Constitution very clearly is saying that homosexuals and consensual homosexual acts between adults are OK. You might not like it, but that's how it is. I don't like you and your breed of money hungry hateful "Christians," but as far as I'm concerned you can spit out your bile until you're blue in the face. It's not my bag but I like that by the Constitution allowing you to do that it also allows me to tell you exactly what I think of you.
Apart from all this there is the FUNDAMENTAL issue you seem to be missing. Your values are not "American Values". They are the values of one segment of America. Don't forget that. You do not speak for us all. Additionally, you shouldn't be involving yourself in politics in the first place. The separation of church and state is not only an important American ideal, it is also one of the tenets that this country was founded on. And the point of putting that idea in the foundation was that it is supposed to prevent religious zealots from creating legislation based on their zealotry. The desire to escape societies who operated without this concept is, if you'll remember, why a good number of the original European settlers of this great land came here in the first place.
So, as far as I'm concerned, if you want to work 24 hours a day to make sure none of the scary homos get married in the Christian church, go knock yourself out. But do not presume to think that we ordinary Americans need you legislating what we can and can't do just because you don't like it.
Some guys love guys, some girls love girls. If you were living your life in as Christlike a way as possible (isn't that what you're supposed to do?) you would spend more time worrying about AIDS victims in Africa and starving children or stopping this horrible war (oh wait, you're a major war and Republican supporter. Dag).
Freedom is not yours to decide and hypocrisy is ugly,
In a not so rare moment of extreme vanity, I spent a good portion of last night watching the ABC Family Channel in hopes of hearing the promo they're running featuring our music. I caught most of an episode of Seventh Heaven (unintentionally hilarious and featuring the lovely Jessica Biel), a huge chunk of The Sandlot (actually pretty good as far as movies about baseball and dogs go) and a solid hour of Whose Line is it Anyway? (too frequently it's Wayne Brady's).
Anyway, in the course of my viewing I saw the ad. In the commercial Nice to See You is played as images of the Gilmore Girls and other ABC-company related hits fly by. It was pretty god damn cool.
It's funny how outdated the question "when did you first hear yourself on the radio?" has become. It used to be that radio was all there was and so it was the be-all-end-all of how you knew you were successful. But now, there are so many alternative (major and minor) outlets to get your music heard that it becomes tough to know when to have that epiphany of "holy shit, I made it! I'm the real deal!" I mean, I've heard us on the radio and the internet and on compilations, but they've all been relatively minor things and so it was hard to appreciate them as being important.
But last night was my epiphany folks. It hit me halfway through the first time I saw the ad (yes, I stuck around to see it twice) that we had been paid a not insubstantial amount of money by a major corporation so that they could have the right to use our music to promote their product. They, in fact, think that tying their fall lineup to our music will help make it more successful. Wha? Don't they know that we're just four assholes who practice in a basement and are complete frauds? I guess not.
Brendo Frendo and I saw Control Room, a documentary about bias in war reporting that centers on Al Jazeera, yesterday. You should see it. You should also see Farenheit 9/11 and read Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack. After that, you should go vote for John Kerry.
This country is driving me literally crazy. I, and I think a significant percentage of the populace, feel that we aren't being listened to or told the truth, that atrocities are being committed in our names and that these chickens will come home to roost in very bad ways. This scares me pretty badly.
But it seems to not be enough for us to be afraid for legitimate reasons. Our government actually wants us to be even more scared and this really pisses me off. The color coded terror index makes me want to scream. Listen Mr. President, you can't have it both ways. Either tell Americans to live their lives as they normally do and have the CIA move to take threats out before they materialize or get your ass on TV and say "there appears to be a plot to bomb a building in New York in the first week of August." I am so tired of reading headlines like "Al Qaida planning major attack that will make 9/11 look like a scraped knee: Americans urged to go grocery shopping and not worry." I mean, come on.
I almost feel like the Bush administration are the characters near the end of The Lord of the Flies, just waiting for the navy to show up and give them a reality check.
I don't know, I guess I have no real point. I just came in this morning and read a news story about the elections in November possibly being delayed because of terrorism, with no specifics given. It just makes me want to scream.
One of the best things about riding a motorcycle is the reactions you get from people. I own an old bike, so I get a lot of attention from vintage collectors as well as from people who had the same bike back in the day and want to reminisce. Also, there's a weird brotherhood of motorcyclists out on the road. We wave to each other, signal to inform each other about potential dangers coming up and generally just appreciate each other for enjoying what we enjoy. It's pretty nice.
But by far the best attention I get comes from little kids. Like with most things, kids are entirely polarized in their reactions to the bike. They either love it or hate with all their heart.
Today as I was riding I had two of the best reactions I've ever had. The first came from a small boy who was out with his mom. He was riding his tricycle on the sidewalk and had a huge blue helmet on. As I turned the corner and slowly passed him, he started yelling "Go! Go! Go!" while fervently turning his handlebars back and forth. Sweet.
About three seconds later on the same street I came across a small African-American boy also out with his mom. I mention his race only because you need to imagine this three year old, three foot tall kid in bright orange overalls with a fluorescent green shirt and an afro like an early Michael Jackson if MJ's afro had been recently slept on and kind of looked like Vanessa's haircut from the old Cosby show. Anyway, as I rode by he stopped in his tracks and just screamed. No words, just a pure ecstatic burst of little kid "holy shit!" energy. I like to beep at any kids who get excited about the bike and when I did he escalated the screaming by jumping up and down...oh, and screaming.
So today is 12-Gauge's birthday. Last night in celebration myself, Brendo Frendo and the Gauge himself all headed out to celebrate at that bastion of male fantasy, the strip club.
Now, prior to last night I'd only been to three strip clubs and had never had all that good a time. I'd like to say that it's because I worry about the girls and their mental state and so on and so forth, but that's not really true. Do I think stripping and doing lap-dances for countless strangers who come in all shades of creepiness is damaging to one's self image and dignity? Yeah, probably. Do I think it's my business to pass judgment on people and tell them what they can and can't do to earn a living? Absolutely not.
Anyway, the real reason I fear strip clubs is my antisocial personality, which is primarily rooted in how awkward I feel talking to people I don't know. Add to that that the people I'll be talking to are A.) women and B.) naked and you've got your classic anxiety producing situation. I mean, let's be honest here, it took me the greater part of 20 years before I found any naked woman I could be around without being an embarassing mess, so having 15 of them around me all at once offering me all sorts of stuff is still a little disconcerting.
Oh well, I vowed to have fun with the fellas and put my general aversion to stripping, er, sorry, exotic dancing, away. BF and 12-G were very helpful in that regard. I mean, these two are like strip club pros. They know where to sit, what to do, what to say, where to put your hands so you don't get your ass kicked, etc. And after about 45 minutes I found myself having an OK time, an OK time in the way you have an OK time at a casino. You know what you're doing is probably stupid and is definitely pretty gross, but you roll with it.
After a while, BF and I bought 12-G a couple dances. 12-G in turn bought me a dance after a lot of arm twisting. Again, it wasn't that I thought it was wrong per se, but the thought of it made me feel how I felt around girls when I was 14 - awkward, stupid, shy and embarassed although without the pimples and non-stop sweating.
There was no need to worry, however. Pete picked a very nice girl who was probably all of 20. She was actually very sweet and sat on my lap and did her thing to 50 Cent's "P.I.M.P." Mom would be so proud.
So, my first lap dance. It was nice in the sense that a pretty girl is pretending you're handsome and charming and that she wants nothing more that to be naked for you. It's also weird as all hell if you stop to think about it. So I chose not to. Instead I found myself thinking about the nature of infidelity. I had Ladyfriend Sarah's full permission to go and do my thing at the club but I still felt weirdly guilty. I mean, were this act to be taking place backstage at a show it would absolutely be cheating. But somehow, because it's in a nasty Providence strip club and I'm paying for it it becomes acceptable. That's a mindfuck, people. I think this is the only situation where I can come home smelling like a hooker and admit that someone rubbed their boobs in my face and be greeted with a laugh. Life is weird.
After my dance I went to buy a soda. I chose Snapple pink lemonade. It was five dollars. WTF? I asked the bartender if she was kidding. She said no. I asked how much a beer was. She said five dollars, but you could get 2 for 8. Could I get two lemonades for 8? She said no. Dag.
Anyway, Brendo got another dance, 12-G and I played Golden Tee and we called it an evening. All in all, I have to admit that it was pretty fun, even though I can't for the life of me get the stripper stink off me or that $100 back in my wallet.
Every once in a while it's good to step back and appreciate the small things in our lives, the things that we often forget are really the important things. Today, folks, I'm talking about friendship.
And today I'd like to recognize Fantelope, my true and steadfast roomie. If anyone deserves a little tribute, it's this guy. He appears to be our generally easygoing, artichoke eating, ant farm having, sexually potent vegetarian roommate, but underneath this facade beats the heart of a loyal she-tiger.
- On Saturday my computer took a big fat dump and simply wouldn't start up. This wouldn't be the hugest deal except that I'm scoring Brendo Frendo's movie and all my un-backed up music is on that one laptop. Now, despite having hours of his own work to do, computer savvy Fantelope took literally the whole day to help get me up and running again.
- When I was struggling to get phone help for the same aforementioned computer I ended up getting stuffed. Operator after operator told me they couldn't help or that I had been misdirected. After about an hour of this, Fantelope (seriously the most non-violent chill guy ever) tears the phone out of my hands and starts kicking ass AND taking names. I was stunned.
- He stayed on this phone call for three hours. THREE HOURS. By the end, the computer was fixed, I lost no data and could finish my work. Dag. That was some above and beyond the call of duty shit.
- Earlier this year I was shopping for my motorcycle (Mr. Bumbles). Now, as loyal readers of this journal know, I am terrified of new people, especially those who own motorcycles. I always get pushed around and talked into things I don't want and it's generally just really uncomfortable. But not this time. Fantelope the she-wolf not only offered to go with me, but actually asked the guy a million insightful questions, making my decision to buy a lot easier.
Anywho, the point is that today the Joe-journal recognizes Fantelope because he's a good guy to have a friend. Here's to you, she-ox.
PS. Ladies, he's on the market and is a great kisser.....er....I've heard. (cough)
Every once in a while - despite all the horribly bad things happening in our world right now, despite the incredibly inept leadership of our country, despite the hatred and fear we've all been led into feeling, despite all of this - every once in a while you have to look out at the place we're fortunate enough to live and say "God damn, I love that red white and blue!"
For me it happened on the 4th. I was riding the bike back up from the cape and emerged from the Callahan Tunnel onto the Zakim Bridge. As I looked around I couldn't get over the engineering accomplishment the bridge is. It really is a beautiful thing, a mass of millions of pounds of steel and concrete that people built with their own hands, put together their own ingenuity and good old American know-how. And perched on one of the towers was a huge American flag waving in the breeze. I know it's corny as all hell but I was pretty overcome. It was nice to feel a surge of patriotism without it being derided by those who would have you believe you can't love America without loving war as well as by those who would have you believe that you have to hate everything about this country if you hate its policies.
Anyway, about halfway across the brige I just started shouting "I love America!!!" And people, if you can't love a place where you can be a happy, severely broke musician riding a motorcycle across a giant bridge on a beautiful day then I think there is something very wrong with you.
Nothing too funny today. There was a very disconcerting violent incident in my neighborhood last night that has me feeling all jittery and non-silly. I want to calm down, collect my thoughts and write about it on Tuesday.
Anyway, happy 4th, have a good time, be careful and come see us tonight at the Lizard Lounge.
Yesterday I had to go to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned for the first time in 9 years. Dag. When I tried to think about all the horrible things I've eaten in the last decade it made me very nervous to think about what might have been left behind on my pearly whites. So, understandably, it was with great trepidation that I walked over to the MIT medical building.
Anyway, I shouldn't have worried about my fear of the dentitst at all because an even greater fear of mine was about to be realized. I got on the elevator and hit 5, the floor my dentist is on. Just as the door was shutting this guy poked his arm through, forced the door open and got on. This made me a little nervous because I fear enclosed spaces and like to get my elevator rides over as soon as possible, but it wasn't that big a deal.
I hit my button again and the door closed....almost. Once again an arm shot through the crack and opened the door. This time it was a very dour looking girl. By this point, with the claustrophobia, dental fear and my normal level of general anxiety I was getting a little jumpy.
The girl hit her button and the door finally closed. Thank god, right? Wrong. The second the door irrevocably closed the girl threw up. And threw up. And threw up. And threw up. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I CANNOT handle vomiting in anyone over 5. Hearing someone else toss their cookies gives me a bad combined case of the dry heaves and the heebee jeebees.
So as the vomiting is going on the other dude in the elevator is being completely sympathetic and caring. This was good, because my reaction to the situation was to do this weird cartoon dance where I contorted my body in many odd shapes while squeezing my eyes closed and sticking my fingers in my ears.
The other dude stopped the elevator at the second floor and helped Senorita Puklestein off. I also got off, although it took a Carl Lewis-esque leap to get over the puddle of ick.
It was so nasty I can't even put it into words. It makes me never want to ride elevators again. On the bright side, I guess in some ways it may have been a blessing because after that experience having my dental hygeinist hack away at my molars was no big deal. Life is funny.