Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Being a punk pays off sometimes... Cheers!
At the beginning of this month I took a leave of absence from Kit Burns was framed! and told everyone that it was possibly the start of something big. I also said that if it didn't pan out, we wouldn't speak of it again.
Well I am pleased to report that it has worked out. I have just accepted a position with about.com to be their punk music writer! It's my first staff writing job outside of advertising, and I am so excited, I'm gonna pop!
What does that mean for my regular readers? A few things...
First, you'll have another blog to read my writing on, as well as articles, interviews and reviews.
Second, I have ten days to bring my site live, so my posts here will be sparse for the next two weeks. Once that site is up, I should have plenty of time to devote to both places. My posts at thisaremusic may suffer, as I will be writing about music in another place (sorry Mike!).
If this were an acceptance speech, I'd thank everyone who reads and comments here. This site has allowed me to exercise my writing skills and keep my chops fresh, as well as provided a place to get people to read what I have to say. Thanks guys!
I'll let you all know when the new site is live, and I expect you all to visit me there!
Friday, March 24, 2006
And Now: A Creepy Alabama Hitchhiker Story
Because it's been noted that I have an overabundance of happiness on this site lately, I must devote a moment to a bit of tragic high weirdness.
A man was hitchhiking through Alabama (I know, this has creepiness written on it from the word go), and he was picked up by a man driving a truck to Florida.
The pair stopped at a convenience store, where the driver pulled out a knife. He demanded his passenger sit on the floor of the convenience store and then...
...forced him to eat pizza. And drink wine. The police arrested him before he had a chance to force the man to eat a Klondike Bar and then take a nap, which may or may not have been part of the plan.
And, the hitchhiker didn't even have to pay for the pizza.
All in all, if you're gonna be abducted at knifepoint, it's probably the way to go. A free meal, a little excitement. Good times all around. Even if the floor was a little dirty.
Link to story
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Congratulations to Julie and Oliver!
Saturday, two very good friends of mine were married. I wish them a long life filled with happiness. But in order to do so, I guess I need to tell some embarrassing details as well...
Julie is my old college roommate. She, Nicole and I were part of a gang of misfits that rented not one, but two big old student ghetto houses over the course of two years. She was a great person to live with, and while we put each other through some hell, I consider her to be like a sister to me.
Oliver is a guy that Julie had a crush on well before I met her. When we lived together she talked about him all of the time. One night, about three years out of college, we all went dancing at a rockabilly/swing club in Pontiac, and the two of them were in the same place at the same time. Had it not been for Nicole's urging, they may not have gotten together that night, either. But she kicked Julie in the caboose, and Julie admitted how she felt about him.
A few years later, Oliver proposed to Julie in our backyard, where we were having a BBQ for Julie's birthday. Then... the... long... engagement...
Now, the kids are married, and they're gonna be alright.
Giving props, Oliver is also the very talented guitarist of the hotwalls. Check them out.
More St. Patrick's Day Fun!
This is my favorite photo of the day.
A St. Patrick's Day sneer from Stray Thoughts.
Agent Paprika enjoys a tasty sandwich.
A drunken leprechaun.
Remember kiddies, This:
Leads to This:
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Bionic Beer Muscles - How can this possibly be a good idea?
The concept behind beer muscles is nothing new. It's a simple fact that, while in an intoxicated state, the human body is capable of feats of strength that it couldn't accomplish while sober. Just as a mother on an adrenaline high can lift a car off her child, so can a couple of drunken college kids raise an old busted console television high over their heads, and carry it down the street and into an alley in order to properly work it over with a crowbar.
Beer muscles are not a force to be reckoned with. Improperly used, they can have devastating results. Fortunately, beer muscles do have a limit to their power- until now.
Science has decided to trifle with the affairs of gods, and create beer muscles of superhuman proportions.
Under the guise of creating stronger, more efficient prosthetic limbs, researchers at the University of Texas in Dallas have successfully developed artificial "super-strength” or "bionic" muscles that are powered by alcohol.
That's right. Super-powered muscles that are fuelled by alcohol. In the wrong hands, an evil genius could use these implants to create an army of stumbling supermen. Can you imagine? Fearless hulking beasts who get stronger with each sip of beer, until they go on a drunken rampage, overturning cars and pushing down walls.
I think we can all agree; science must be stopped.
Read the horrible truth here.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
And we're back...
St. Patrick's Day was a rocking good time. Unfortunately, my internet was down this morning, so you'll have to wait for some pictures from me. Fortunately, my friend Kim did send me a few photos.
Remember when I said I was on the lookout for this guy?
Well, it turns out he did show up after several dirty-big pints of stout. Just not where he was anticipated.
I'm so pretty.
We can safely say that this is the last remotely flattering photo of the day. It went rapidly downhill from there, and some salsa dancing happened.
I have many photos to share, as soon as I get them uploaded.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Almost there, stick with me!
I'll also be watching out for this guy. He usually makes an appearance right around the time I'm having my eighth pint of Guinness.
Second, for better or for worse, Kit Burns was framed! will come out swinging with renewed frenzy on Monday! If you guys have stuck with me, thanks. I needed to get some stuff done that's been eating up every waking moment.
Third, check out this blog. This is a dear old friend from high school. She and her husband have settled out in the wilds of Bull's Gap, Tennessee, and she's posting great photos of the homestead. Tell her I sent ya.
I also want to welcome to lovely ladies from Bust! They were all referred to the story of the cyst a few days ago. I hope you stick around, and realize this site is only about 60% grossout stories. Thanks for sending them here, plynn!
Additionally, one guy was referred to that post based on the keyword search of "how to fix being a hunchback". While the information you're looking for isn't there, I hope you did find what you're looking for somewhere on the Interwebs.
Talk to all y'all soon!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Bear with me...
I've got a lot of stuff on my plate right now, and I'm taking a few days off from the blogosphere. I'll be back soon, though!
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Baby No Name
This photo is a landmark. I think this is the first time I've ever held a newborn. I'm a bit afraid of them. They seem so breakable.
Baby No Name with Aunt Nicole...
Dad sporting Baby No Name's footprints...
Three generations of men in my family...
Great Grandma with Baby No Name...
And with mom...
And the brothers celebrating the birth of Baby No Name in a way consistent with our family.
In case you were wondering, Baby No Name has a name now (That happened at about 10 PM last night). He's a Jr. So, I'll call him Junior on this site from now on.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
It's Baby B!
And with Big Sister.
Today we're driving across the state to see my new nephew, who currently is called Baby No Name. This will probably be changed by the time we get there.
Photos of Baby No Name coming soon!
Friday, March 03, 2006
Babies, Babies Everywhere!
D sent me a photo from his camera phone. We're going to see them tonight, so I'll hopefully have a few more photos tomorrow.
Isn't she beautiful?
Not to detract from this excitement, but now, as I write this, my first nephew is being born! He's my brother's first baby, and he's also the first boy to be born in the family, so he'll be in line to inherit the massive family estate and holdings, which include, well it includes some stuff. I've got some old GI Joes he can have anyway.
We're heading cross-state tomorrow to see the newest member of the family.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Crud ripped it up, tore it down, flipped it over, set it on fire, and then turned it in for the insurance money.
Crud had such a light show going on, combined with so much smoke, that an ordinary flash wouldn't have worked anyway. It was all about pushing the button and hoping your exposure timed out with the lights.
Granted, I'm no artist, and it's not much of a camera, but I've been trying to take photos of live bands without a flash. I like the effect I get; using a flash washes out the stage lights, and takes away the feeling of being there. The resulting photos are a bit surreal, and I delete about 90% of them. But the ones I keep, I'm liking the atmosphere they give.
Give Crud a listen. They're a great blast of guitar-fuelled industrial music. There hasn't been a lot of that around for about 10 years.
Hoop! There it is... A few photos from the Punk Fitness Detroit Demo
This is Julie, our fearless leader.
And here's a few of the Hoopers (one of these days I'm going to remember this camera has a Red-Eye Reduction Thingie):
I think this is my favorite one from the evening. This captures the true essence of Punk Fitness Detroit.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
This has created a place for scrappers.
Scrappers patrol the hoods on trash day, collecting appliances, lawnmowers, building materials and scrap metal. I assume they fix what can be fixed, and sell what they can. It's pretty amazing to see how high these trucks get piled, their suspension sagging under the weight.
In such a distressed economy, it's an interesting profession to consider. People are always going to make trash, and scrapping is also a bit of an environmentalist profession. It keeps many things out of the landfills, and gets them back into circulation.
So here's to scrappers, and the part they play in saving the world.
Live on stage... for one night only... ME!
Tonight is the blowout pre-party at the Majestic Theater and, due to agreements and obligations, I will be on stage tonight as part of a Punk Fitness Detroit demo. This means that I'll also be sharing the stage with Crud, who tear it wide open, so I'm looking forward to that.
I think these Punk Fitness Demos are really important because it keeps people aware of exercise options they may not have considered. There are a lot of people out there who like to party, and may want to get in shape, but wouldn't fit into the gym mentality. That's who Punk Fitness is for. We have a beer, work out, and have some more beer.
If you're local, come on down for the party, and wherever you are, wish us luck! Hopefully nobody will hurl any heavy projectiles at us.
A tale of two medical procedures...
They are unrelated and not unexpected, but I wanted to devote a little space here.
First of all...
I just got a call from D. M is in labor right now, and baby B should be born any minute now...
Here's Mom, Dad and big sister last Halloween (they're the three on the left).
Hope everything goes perfectly.
I promised I wouldn't type his name, but regular readers know of Stray Thoughts from his comments here. He's going under the knife for a minor surgery today. It's a removal, but alas, it's not a vestigial twin, a tail, or even an extra toe... Here's the preliminary story (from an email reprinted with his permission) in his own words:
Warning, this is a bit gruesome, you won't want to read it if you're having breakfast right now.
The Back Story...literally...
Most of you know I've had a cyst on my back for a few years now. I think it made it's debut around '98 or '99, so I've lived with this thing on the back of my right shoulder for over 7 or 8 years now. My family doctor said it was just a cyst, and not a vestigial twin, totally dashing my hopes of a future career as a sideshow freak. It's nothing to worry about he said, and that I should make an appointment if it ever bothered me. This is assuming that the thought of being a hunchback didn't already bother me, but I didn't want to be a baby about it, so we let it be.
Last week, while I was miserable from a sore throat, the cyst started to feel sore too. I thought maybe it was having sympathy pains for me, but it was looking a little pink, so I thought I should take it to the doctor. I live on the other side of town now, so I figured it was high time I started to see a physician in my own neck of the woods. My new employer, an enthusiastic Swede, suggested his family "Dok-Tor" (that's just how he says it), so I called up to make an appointment.
The earliest appointment I could get was a week away, so I made the date & doubled up on my DayQuil with NyQuil. After self medicating in downtown Detroit over the Super Bowl weekend (with a constant dosage of alcohol, not crack, crack is wack kids), it appeared that I had drowned the sore throat, but the cyst was still sore.
By Tuesday it had become a nuisance and had also changed colors a few different times. Not, unfortunately, in a psychedelic way; there were no stoned college kids staring at my shoulder, mouths agape, muttering "whoa"s, which meant again, sadly, no sideshow career. But the area around the cyst was swollen & had gone from natural skin tones (ok, extremely pale skin tones) to pink to purple to blue to red, so I thought it might be a good time to stop by Urgent Care for a professional opinion. (Although I have a sneaking suspicion that any doctor at an Urgent Care Clinic might be stretching the term professional.)
There I made the acquaintance of a Dr. xxxxxxx with an accent of indeterminate origins (I can't say his name either, but it's on a bottle of yummy pills). My best guess is he was of Eastern European or Mediterranean descent, but you're guess is as good as mine, and "Where the hell are you from?" did not seem a question to ask of someone who's opinion you're about to require. His part in this bit of the conversation went something like this...
"So you've 'ad dis seest on your beek for a coople of years, an is bottering you new. So take off your shart and let me OH, THAS BEEG!"
After working "beeg" into his next ten statements, he then told me I needed surgery and explained that he could call a Doctor xxxxx who had office hours right now...to which I replied, "you want to operate NOW?"
Thankfully, he did not mean NOW. As visions of a dark back alley procedure and fear for the future of my kidneys dissipated from my mind, the Doctor told me to make sure I made it to my appointment for Thursday & gave me a prescription for antibiotics, Keflex.
Between getting the Keflex & the appointment for Thursday, the cyst started to creep towards painful, but the itching subsided. Did I mention the itching? There was itchiness. Anyway, I saw my new doctor today. He managed to keep his use of the word "big" to a minimum when he saw the "hunch", but then asked me, "How's your tolerance for pain?"
This question doesn't seem to be a good one, but it instantly brings to mind countless memories of injuries in my childhood where my Father, "The Coach", says things like, "Walk it off.", "If it hurts when you do that, then don't do that.", "That's why God gave you two.", and "Don't be a baby." (That last one might have been my Brother, but they blend together in memory, especially when they're golfing.) These thoughts flash through my mind in an instant and I respond, "Good. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain." To which a small voice in the very back of my mind says, "Huh?"
I proceed to lay on the table & the Doctor begins to apply some different kinds of gel to my back, while he explains that he is now going to cut open my back to relieve some of the pressure & hopefully remove most of the infected tissue. The little voice in the back my head tells me, "That's gonna hurt." To which another voice answers, "You can take it. Take it like a man." At this point a third voice chimed in & told the other two to piss off. I'm glad it did though b/c one voice sounded like my inner pussy & the other voice sounded like a bad war movie
This is where it gets graphic...You think you've felt a blade slice into your skin. How many times do we cut ourselves accidentally over the course of a lifetime? Well that's different. You don't know that's coming and it's often over before you realize it. Then you get the "Shit, I cut myself." response & wait to see how bad it is. This experience is more like the prick of a syringe that doesn't go away and then slowly moves across your skin followed by the slight feeling of warmth. It's like a
tiny boat slicing through the water of your skin; there's pain at the bow, cold
numbness across midship & aft, & then a warm, aching wake. All in all, it did not hurt very much, but if you can actually feel the tip of a blade cutting through you, then I felt each millimeter of progress, slicing the skin apart.
I was surprised by how bad it wasn't, until he grabbed the skin of my back & tried to pop the cyst like a deep, persistent zit. That was the painful part.
At this point he wiped my back up & asked me if I was at all squeamish, which I didn't think I was, then he asked me if I wanted to see what was coming out of the cyst on my back. I have to confess that I was extremely curious, if morbidly so, and wondered at the contents of this growth that I had lugged around with me for nearly a decade. So he proceeded to show me on a napkin. You know those cheap napkins/paper towels that all doctors and dentists keep within arms reach in every examination room. Just like that, but half drenched with my own blood and a lovely smear of yellow to clear puss in the middle.
After a second go at popping that sucker, he informed me that he was going to have to make the incision larger. This felt like he made the incision longer & deeper. Again, I felt every bit of progress the blade made cutting through my flesh. He went at my shoulder again & I felt the release of pressure and the tiny feeling of triumph that comes with popping a zit. He wiped again & he showed me the results again. I think he was proud, and with me being the only other person in the room, felt that I should see and share in his accomplishment.
Cysts are filled with some kind of rotting, coagulated, cheesy substance and it stinks. It reeks like month old sour milk. And the doctor was holding what was approximately a one inch diameter ball of it right in front of my face, surrounded by what appeared to be a puddle of my own blood.
He then informed me that there appeared to be a second hole in my cyst, that some "material" was being forced out the other side & that he would have to make another incision. He cut me again, and at this point I think I realized that he was enjoying himself. During the excruciating pain of having someone try to squeeze your flesh out of a fresh cut, I felt a drop of something wet on my ear, which the doctor attentively dabbed off for me, after wiping off the majority of my shoulder. He then decided to go back to work on the first hole.
My view as I lay on the table was of the wall, the closed blinds, and the window sill. The blinds were the beige horizontal cheap kind, but they were doing their job. The wallpaper was also beige and cheap, but textured in a way that makes you wonder how old it is. You know, when was this stuff put up, b/c it's not pretty? And is this old wallpaper sanitary? Those types of thoughts. I did spend some time with my eyes closed and some time with my head down, but I was looking at the wall when my blood splattered all over it. I guess the doctor had gotten what he wanted, and whatever he was looking for was now sprayed across the wall, the blinds, oh, and the back of my head. The doctor again dabbed at my ear, wiped the back of my head off, and I think he removed a chunk of something from my arm, but I was distracted by the surreal view of it all. Specks of my own blood sprayed across the ugly, beige wallpaper. Drops of blood with chunks of what looked like brains dotted across the blinds. And a chunky mess of blood & that cheesy substance on the paper covering the table, next to my face.
The doctor wiped up some more and went to the hall. I heard him apologize to his nurse and tell her that she might want to keep people out of that exam room for the rest of the day. She came in to change the garbage and laughed. I apologized too. She said it was all right, and as the doctor walked back into the room he said that she'd blame him anyway. I told him I blamed him too. It was almost a bad sitcom moment, well except for the huge splatter of blood. We did manage to keep it off the ceiling though.
I have to go back next week so he can take another look. I'm still on Keflex, but now the painful pressure is gone. I have painful open cuts on my back, though. The doctor says I need to have surgery if I don't want this thing to come back. I'm gonna opt for the surgery, I think.
I did learn a bit about myself though; some things I suspected already. I do have a high tolerance for pain...I guess I can thank my Dad & my Brother for that... although a high tolerance for pain might just be a polite way of saying you're too stubborn to yell uncle. If that's the case, then my Brother alone is the one to thank. And I'm not squeamish... I didn't have a problem with the blood, chunks of pseudo-brain, or pus... the worst part was the smell of that cheesy substance. I guess I'm rational about it. So I don't have any issues with gore... at least not with my own bodily fluids, who knows what's inside you though. I wish I could comment poignantly about health care in America, but I'll have to wait for the bill for that.
Now for the really bad jokes...I guess this the first time in a long time that I got to see what I was made of (literally). I'm calm when the shit hits the fan (or the wall, or the blinds, or the back of my head). Feel free to chime in with your own bad jokes...
That's it. It was just a strange day. I even went back to work afterward, too. I think Dad would be proud of that.
So, as he says good-bye to his "beeg" friend, I wish ST the best of luck on the table.