The Run…

September 27, 2007

One of the great things about living in a city, like Philadelphia, is when a sports team goes on a run.

Now, every year, every sports team, challenges for the playoffs.  But its rare when one goes on a run.  A run usually is the following:

  • When a team is dominant for the entire year, from beginning to end.
  • When a team starts putting the pieces together at clutch moments towards the end of the season. 

Basically, when the sports team’s wins or losses are the lead story on the 11 o’clock news; when your (non sports fanatic) wife/girlfriend says “So how did the Phillies do last night”; when you can causally walk around your workplace and hear multiple conversations about a team.  That’s a run.

The last two years the Phillies have had a chance to win the wild card.  This year, the Phillies are challenging for the wild card and the NL East division. 

They’re the best offensive team in the National League.  According to most baseball writers the have three potential MVP candidates on the team (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard). And amazingly enough, it’s a likeable group of guys. 

And when the run happens, you just have to ride it. There’s that buzz that tingles up the back of your spine.  The anticipation of the game.  The dreams you have of a parade down Broad Street. 

Don’t get me wrong… The Philadelphia sports fan in me knows the story too well.  The ghost of the 1964 Phillies can be heard whispering in the shadows.  The memory of the petering out of the last two or three years is still evident.  And the curse of William Penn.

And then there’s the general pessimism that can be brought out by topics such as Phillies ownership, Pat Gillick, Charlie Manuel, or even Adam Eaton. 

But no…

This year feels different.  This team may not make the post season, but they will not go down.  They are going to fight til the end, smacking the ball out of the home stadium. 

And just to be sure, the Iron Workers of Local Union No 401 have been working for months on the new Comcast Center Building, which is to be the ‘new’ tallest building in Philadelphia.  And just to be sure, a new statue was placed on top of the beam to be used at the top of the building.

Just in case…

billypenn.jpg


Latest Routine

September 25, 2007

I’ve always had an inert desire to be a stand-up comedian.  The idea of being able to make a large number of people laugh really appeals to me.  I could never really be one.  I think pretty good on my feet, but not good enough.  My perspective is not unique enough (if at all).  And I’d probably try to turn myself into a Bill Hicks like preacher/philosopher before I actually had an audience. 

So every once in a while, I come up with a small bit, that if I were a stand-up comedian (like, if I were a samoan attorney) I would use.

It’s very weird to be inside the problem, rather than ranting outside of it.  Take for instance, kids these days.  I’m a new father, and it’s amazing the safety precautions and overprotection there is for these kids. 

There’s sippy cups that don’t spill, pressure gates so they don’t tumble down the stairs, latches and lights inside car trunks so they don’t die in there.  I mean where are the cautionary tales from our youth.  The neo-myths that cautioned us against certain behavior. The evils of combining coke and Pop Rocks. The cautionary tale of the kid who took the big wheel down a steep hill and split his head open. And of course the story of Ralphie and the Red Rider.

The only thing worse out there is the food.  We buy our son, one of those 100% juice brands.  Strawberry Bannana and Berry and such.  So I’m trying to teach him to drink out of a glass, and he wasn’t interested that day.  So I decided to not waste the juice, and drink it myself.

I mean, logical conclusion to the following condidions, right?  I like juice.  I have leftover juice.  I’m thirsty. 

I nearly spit the stuff out all over my son.  This was the nastiest stuff I’ve drank without a dare or a promise that it will make me feel really good. 

Turns out, I don’t like juice.  Nope.  I’ve been living a lie.  All of the juice that I’ve been drinking all of these years is just sugar water, with some juice thrown in.  When I was young, 10% of the daily allowance of Vitamin C was good enough.  Today, it has to be 100 percent juice, no sugar, no additives.  Cause SUGAR IS BAD.

I asked my niece if she wanted to try some Cherry Coke the other day, as she told me that she liked Cherry Coke candy.  She shrugged her shoulders, but her mother had a look of utter horror on her face. 

NOT THE SUGAR!!!!!!!!!  HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!!

We always go to far in this country.  It’s so ridiculous. 

I have a theory though.  And that is that the scientists of the United States spend the next 10 years investigating the causes of Autism.  And they discover that its not the mercury in vaccinations, or pollution in the air, or nuclear waste being dumped into our rivers that causes autism.

It’s the lack of sugar in our diet.  It is sugar that increases the connections in the brain, opens brain waves, and increases our observation skills. 

That’d be justice right?

(Actually, now that it’s done, sounds more like a Dave Barry piece… Oh well…)


885 Musical Moments

September 19, 2007

Well, here we go again.  This year my favorite radio station, WXPN, is counting down the top 885 musical moments.  For the past two months, they’ve been gathering top musical moments, submitted by listeners, in a blog/community/web 2.0 type thing. 

So, go here to vote:

My top 10 (in random order) are ones that have obviously impacted me, so that I noticed.  Obviously there were several on the list that impacted me more than these (like when the first record was created), but that happened outside of my knowledge. 

1.       Aerosmith and Run DMC collaborate on “Walk This Way,” 1986

2.       Unknown Bruce Springsteen plays the Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA, April 24, 1973

3.       Johnny Cash sings at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California, January 13, 1968

4.       Paul Simon records “Graceland” in South Africa, featuring South African musicians, October 1985-June 1986

5.       Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens die in a plane crash, February 2, 1959 – “The Day the Music Died”

6.       Phil Spector introduces his distinctive “Wall of Sound” production process, pioneering the 60s girl group sound as well as influencing future rock production techniques, 1963

7.       Elton John collaborates with Bernie Taupin and scores his first big success with “Your Song” in 1970

8.       Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” enters the charts in 1973, and stays there for 741 weeks, making it the longest running, consecutively charting album of all time

9.       The Rolling Stones release four landmark records in a row: “Beggars Banquet” (1968), “Let It Bleed” (1969), “Sticky Fingers” (1971), and “Exile on Main Street” (1972)

10.   Marvin Gaye releases “What’s Going On,” the title track of his influential 1971 album, and both the song and album become a huge hit 

Let me know what you think… If there’s anyone out there that is.  

Cheers,

Robert

885 Most Memorable Musical Moments


Wheel of Time Runs Over Fans

September 17, 2007

I just read the following article on usatoday.com:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2007-09-17-jordan_N.htm

And it’s certainly sad when anyone passes.  And when one is an ‘artist’ with a fan base that appreciates their work and mourns as well as to their passing.

But talk about a ‘sucks to be you’ situation.  I mean this guy kept his readers stringing along with a series with a proposed and promised ending, that never seemed to materialize.  I mean, this wasn’t an ongoing series, this was a series like Harry Potter that had a ‘finale’, except the author didn’t know when to call it a day. 

Vernon Hardapple: Why did you keep writing this book if you didn’t even know what it was about?

Grady Tripp: I couldn’t stop.

 The Wonder Boys (movie)

At last count the series tops out at 11 main books and 1 prequel (each about 700 pages or so) beating L. Ron Hubbard’s Mission Earth series by at least one, and he wasn’t even done yet. 

I bowed out of this thing years ago.  I have a good head for useless knowledge, especially when it comes to fiction.  When I would pick up one of his novels, I had to go back and review the old ones just to remember who half of the non-main characters were.  And he’d have an enemy, one of the Forsaken, get vanquished by the main character Rand, but then that enemy would be resurrected just two books later.  No rules, no rhyme or reason, just like he wanted to stretch out this fantasy epic.  Reading the novels turned into work rather than pleasure. 

Look, I feel sorry for his fans.  And I’m sure someone will come along, take his notes, and put the pieces together. But as fans of the Dune series know, that there is no replacement for the original author, even when it’s a blood relative.

So, let’s raise a glass to a gifted writer who was able to create a very detailed world and story that generated (perhaps) millions of fans.  And let’s piss on the grave of a writer who ultimately let his fans down by creating a beast that could not be killed in his lifetime.


As Bill Hicks Would Say…

September 14, 2007

Drink Coke…..

 http://www.wwtdd.com/post.phtml?pk=2877

I’m just surprised that it took this long.


Self Exploration

September 7, 2007

Most nights, I’m the one who takes my son Zachary up for his bath.  He’s nine months old now, and sits in the tub while he gets the scrubbin.

Recently, he discovered the location of his genitals, and proceeds to grab them while he’s in the tub. 

As a guy, I had two reactions to this.  The first reaction is one of conflict.  I certainly don’t want him to do this all the time.  You never know where habits begin.  But by the same token, I didn’t want to go all Victorian Age on him and have him think that “That’s dirty… you shouldn’t do such things… I’m taking you to the Priest on Sunday!!!”

My second reaction was more along the following:

 imp01.jpg

(Lovingly ‘borrowed’ from Berkeley Breathed’s site)

So, Suze was taking Zack to the doctor, and I asked her to mention it to the doctor.  More because that certain things are ‘signs’ that your kid is trying to relay to you.  When the baby tugs on his ear, it means that his sinuses might be bothering him. 

And I didn’t want a doctor saying in six months.  “You mean he was tugging at his junk six months ago, and you didn’t tell us?  If we had known, we could have spared your son the fate of conjunctive penisites.”

The comment from the doctor, was (basically) the following:

“No, it’s perfectly normal. Frankly, we would be concerned if he wasn’t touching it.”

If only I had this excuse when I was younger.


Too Funny

September 6, 2007