I run into many interesting people during the course of my day in Boston. This morning a customer took me by surprise with a true story that was just too damn funny not to share. I am not making this up folks. May not be suitable for reading the kids before bed either. I made mention of the fact that I had made chili on Wednesday when BLH said, “I gotta good chili story for ya.”
In the (somewhat) paraphrased words of BLH:
“This was several years ago when I was living next to two gay guys. Great guys, too. They did their thing, I did mine, ya know? Live and let live, I say. Anyway, my kitchen window looked right into theirs as it was less than 15 feet away. So this one summer day, I’m making chili. Beautiful day, windows open, music on and I’m chopping up onions and garlic and Habanero peppers for my chili. I leave the kitchen for a minute to go and take a piss and resume my cooking. It’s not even 2 minutes later that ‘Mr. Willy’ starts to heat up. Like really heating up. I look at the Habanero peppers now nicely chopped and look down at my crotch and think, “Dear God, no.” Within 5 minutes, I realize that ‘Mr. Willy’ needs some serious medical attention. This is getting painful. And really hot. I get a facecloth, soak it in cold water and drop my pants right there in the middle of the kitchen. It didn’t take long to realize that all the wet facecloth did was move all the hot stuff down to my two soon-to-be ‘Hot Mexican jumping beans’. I was in too much pain and making too many oohs and ahhs to realize that I was also gathering something of an audience 15 feet across the way. With my crotch turning into a smoking Mojave desert, I was getting desperate. (Is that steam?) Christ, I’m on fire down there! I suddenly remembered buying a big container of sour cream for the chili and waddled like a penguin over to the fridge. I ripped open the container like a madman, took a fistful of the cool white stuff and began rubbing it in gobs into the raging fire down below. My oohs, ahhs and general sounds of relief were obviously misinterpreted by my now smiling neighbors across the way. There I am with my pants down, breathing heavy, and sour cream smeared all over my crotch. Beautiful. A proud Kodak moment for me, ya know? I’m close to my mother so I told her the story, and man, did she laugh. Two weeks later, I’m out to breakfast with her at a place she frequently goes. The waitress brings my breakfast of fried eggs, home fries and bacon but on the side of the plate is a small tub of sour cream. I asked the waitress, “What’s up with the sour cream?” She winked and said, “Your mother says you really like it.” (I am laughing hysterically now) You’ll be thinking about this every time you make chili now, right?”
Yeah, BLH, you are sooo right. Was it a funny Thursday morning for me? You betcha schweet bippie. Thanks for a great tale, BLH You have total attribution. I just hope I did you some justice. (BLH’s version is much funnier but has a different rating) Hopefully ’Mr. Willy’ has found some cooler climes by now. And, BLH, I hope you were using low-fat sour cream. That regular stuff is just plain nasty . . .
It was 5 years ago that I hit the ‘publish’ button for this post. Many things have happened since that innocent and ‘so me’ post. I like to think my writing has matured a bit and that I have taken many of you on my journey down the road of life. I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of my life (good or bad) for the past 5 years. You have enlightened me, guided me, made me laugh and have given me solace when I needed it most. You guys are incredible. I will pat myself on the back for blatant consistency. I think I can give me that. There are several people I need to deeply thank. Pamela, for believing in me when I no longer believe in myself. (and letting me know about it) My three girls for keeping me on my toes. Always. For Jon, he keeps me cooking. I love cooking, He is a man that will drive through hell and high water to have a bowl of my Cincinnati Chili, Thanks, Jon Last but not least, my family from Australia. Maureen, Mark, Kelly.Zoe, Mel, Steve, Tash, Stick, Wil, Stella, Lucas, Issac, Max and all! (who did I miss?) Thanks to all that have visited and commented. Read some ”’old”” Murph . . . . And watch the video at the end!
This is a piece I wrote several years ago but still seems to me to apply to the present day music industry. I am still a musician at heart but venues to work in are drying up faster than a droplet of water in a bucket of dry sand. It’s an abysmal state of affairs these days musically and sadly we all saw it coming. Some say business is cyclical. I wonder. Hey, Paul McCartney played the halftime show Super Bowl Sunday, right?
Remembering Miss American Pie
The musicians of the 60’s and 70’s had a wealth of powerful and insightful compositions from which to draw their inspiration. The songs had shine and creative musical integrity that would forever set them apart from today’s musical mainstream. The music spoke of the dynamic of the human experience; from love found and lost to political innuendo shaking hands with world peace. The older generation frowned upon these freedoms of expression and saw the music created as an irrevocable evil to be stamped out in the hopes of ending the reign of terror that floated over the airwaves. From the shaking hips of Elvis to the Mop-Tops from England to the androgynous and enigmatic David Bowie, the music written back then made us think and connect; it gave us an up close and personal view of the broken heart. So what the hell happened to perceptive content? Music, in its purest form is therapy, a most fundamental discipline of meditation the human race has, but along the way we altered the magic formula, ultimately changing its destiny as well. It’s supposed to make you feel good. Just think of a song that truly means something to you, take out a piece of paper, and jot down five things that come to mind immediately. Chances are you can come up with more than ten. That’s the miracle of music; when something unexpected touches the heart. Much of what I hear today is tainted, biased and so musically inept that when I hear one of these prized gems, I can only wildly shake my head and slobber saliva like an angry PBR bull (which tends to make loved ones around me very uncomfortable). A rule of thumb for future songwriters regarding lyrics: if it rhymes with shucking but has nothing to do with corn, get out a thesaurus and find another word. The English language is chock full of them. Really. It seems that few people write real songs anymore; that is a simple and yet sobering fact, not a generality. If it weren’t for artists like John Mayer and Dave Matthews, I’d have lost my mind by now. Much of the music today is like bad poetry, arranged, set to a groove from the late eighties, and thrown into a 4,000 track, all digital recorder (yes, all the tracks must be used, read the contract). Recently, while listening to a song on a brand X radio station out of Boston—the exact frequency slips my mind…you’re welcome—I remember thinking to myself, what language is this guy speaking? I strained to hear anything remotely intelligible. Musically speaking, the song was as mundane and pedestrian as an arrangement that oozes from a generic portable keyboard purchased at Wal-Mart. I also thought that somewhere in the midst of this urban cacophony, I could hear the sound of a dog being run over and over, and over again… I’m not positive about that and maybe it’s just me. Somebody call the ASPCA. The inspiration for this article came to me as I ambled down Main Street a few weeks ago (us old guys don’t walk, we amble…it’s much hipper) when a pulsating sub-compact Toyota Celica loaded with what sounded like two, maybe three 18-inch subwoofers drove past me towards City Hall, emitting music so thunderous it almost knocked down the lady walking next to me. Initially, I thought it was just wind. I didn’t get the license plate number because I was too busy bending over to retrieve my own two eyeballs off the sidewalk. Sound pressure levels that can cause buildings to vibrate precariously…hmm, I wondered if the Slater Building was up to code on that one. Nope, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Then there’s the whole debacle surrounding present day artists hiding behind the 5th amendment, and we all can see what a gush of rotting sewage that is, but it doesn’t mean we have to buy a bucketful of it. When a major proportion of the music available has a “parental advisory” sticker slapped on it, what’s left for those of us who prefer substance in what we listen to? Maybe we need a special store that caters to people fed up with listening to music and lyrics that insult our intelligence with the glorification of worthless profanity while wasting our hard earned money on garbage that someone in the recording industry somehow deemed fit for human consumption. Bon appétit. Maybe I’m not meant to understand what all the hype and excitement in the industry is about these days, because I’m no longer a child. But there’s always that outside chance that as I struggle with my own foreseeable mid-life crisis, I’ll pleasantly discover that perhaps I’ve grown a little bit wiser in the process. Just watch the Grammy Awards this year for a taste of the ultimate in garishness. In the end, the music we choose to listen to and support should remain solely in the hands of the listener, but the overall message that it brings should be more of a boon to society as opposed to an outrage against the machine. Comedian George Carlin hit the proverbial nail on the head when he stated that, “…inside every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud.” Get out your umbrellas, kids; it looks like rain.
Happy 5 To S&M!!!!!!! See you for the next five years . . . I hope!
Malarky Monday = the one day of the week me and my blogging freaks/friends try and make you laugh, spit, giggle and hopefully pass a bit of coffee out your nose. Actually, all we really want is a smile. You are not done until you visit my fellows in hijinx. Links will follow! This week I have some favorite clips. They’re not long but damn they’re funny. If you have some YouTube stuff or some zany webpage that you think I haven’t seen, email me and I will put your name in lights. (*translation, you will get some linky-love, or a mention if you don’t have a blog)
First up, a product infomercial gone horribly wrong. Epic FAIL!
I hate used car salesmen so I really enjoyed this clip. Almost too much.
Last up, a short vid from ‘The Kids in the Hall’, a comedy show years ahead of its time. Sadly defunct now. This video deals with the abuse of a particular word in the workplace. A classic, tbs (to be sure) I ascertained the fact that you should watch this . . .
Now, go and visit my fellow hucksters! And get more coffee! They won’t disappoint. I promise. HaPpY MaLaRkY MoNdAy!
A dear friend of mine died last Sunday. I just found out about it today. Ironic that I was looking for something in my closet just the other day and looked up on my bookshelf to see my old copy of “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, the cult novel by Robert Persig. Its pink and black cover reeking ‘classic lit’. Rod had given it to me many years ago during one of my visits to see him. I thought, “I should really call him one of these days.” Looks like I waited a bit too long. His last words were supposedly, “With a little more time, I would’ve gotten it right!” You were wrong, HRB. You got it right this time, from where I’m standing. Although there are no calling hours I thought some music would be appropriate. He loved music. This is your swan song, my dear friend. I will miss you.
Out on the street I was talkin’ to a man He said “there’s so much of this life of mine that I don’t understand” You shouldn’t worry yes that ain’t no crime Cause if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time).
You need direction, yeah you need a name When you’re standing in the crossroads every highway looks the same After a while you can recognize the signs So if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time).
Life is a liar yeah life is a cheat It’ll lead you on and pull the ground from underneath your feet No use complainin’, don’t you worry, don’t you whine Cause if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time).
You gotta grow, you gotta learn by your mistakes You gotta die a little everyday just to try to stay awake When you believe there’s no mountain you can climb And if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time (next time). “Get it right next time” by Gerry Rafferty
Chill. Grab a coffee, English Breakfast tea, Chai, cognac, scotch, bourbon, water and maybe a smoke, all depending on where you are in the world of time zones. Plug in some decent headphones and give yourself 7:40 minutes to just . . . Chill. This is ‘Both Sides Now’, Herbie Hancock from River: The Joni Letters Hancock is and has been a jazz piano God to me. Forever. And believe it or not he is 70 years old. (born in 1940) At any rate, get a drink, perhaps a smoke and just Chill. for 7:40 . . . Your brain will thank me. This is musical/cerebral Zen at its finest.
Welcome to Malarky Monday the one day of the week we try to make you smile, spit and spew milk (or coffee) out of your nose. Come on, you know you love it! I only had two comments last week and I’m not happy. So, this week I’m all about clowns. Not scary ‘Stephen King-like’ clowns. Damn right funny clowns. Why don’t cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny . . . A few short videos and I am outta here! Enjoy and please visit my fellows in hijinx afterwards.
A special Valentines wish for my wife, Pamela and three incredible daughters. I will never be at a loss to find love in my life on this one day of the year. You are my life, my loves, precious lights in the deepest of darkness, the sweetest inspiration. Put on your headphones. The orchestra is phenomenal. I love you all dearly. Happy Valentines Day. Be mine.
In the deafening silence of 12 I stare into the shiny anthracite eyes of midnight and wonder about the pointlessness of it all; the means to an end, the ying and yang of it all, black splashes of time that seem to ebb and flow washing away the truths I once knew, an innocence I once possessed, a faith that now longs for the simplest of me, the purity in this long begotten soul of mine My harbour of solace and hope is now closed to a raging sea I toss and turn, praying for some kind of rescue instead of praying for mercy . . . mercy, mercy me Maybe the reality is that I am truly broken, maybe I’ll just anchor far away from the rocks on shore but maybe I’ll just drift back and away, and away wait until 12 turns to 3 for me, all for the stygian likes of me Maybe . . .