Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Alas, as timing would have it the A-hole shows up at the Aunt's house when the Aunt is of course down at the river fishing. Turns out he beats the crap out of her, breaks her nose and her arm and then proceeds to rape her on the living room floor (did I mention the girl is 12 years old?) The mother shows up, catches him IN THE ACT and ends up sympathizing with him. AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! In the end she chooses the guy over her daughter and leaves her daughter at the Aunt's house to live. I assume she continues living with the child molester. Sweet Jesus! Go to sleep on THAT note. I'm watching some comedy with Dennis Quaid right now so that I don't wake up screaming with nightmares!
Anyway, Bastard Out of Carolina? I give it 2 thumbs down, but a "10" on the depression meter! If you're into feeling like shit buy your own copy and watch it back to back with Schindler's List!
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Last night I was in the gym on the treadmill and there she was again. She got up on the treadmill next to me and started organizing her headphones, cd player, etc. She was quietly talking to her self the whole time she was doing this. She dropped her stereo on the floor, and said, "Oops!" to me with a smile and then I realized she wasn't just talking to herself, but rather carrying on a really detailed 2-way conversation by herself. As she dropped the stereo she said, "Whups! Oh, let me help you with that. No thanks, I can get it myself, thanks though. Really, I can help you" and then I couldn't understand her, or more to the point hear her anymore.
Okay, at first I was thinking, "Man, the cheese has slipped off HER cracker!" but later when I was on the rowing machine sort of watching her out of the corner of my eye I started to have the thought of, "Is she really crazy?" Do you ever wonder why there are so many shows like Ghost Whisperer, Joan of Arcadia and Medium that are all becoming so popular? Why are people accepting these shows that wouldn't have previously been so readily accepted?
Another thought I had a few months ago while watching Constantine with Keanu Reeves. Okay, not a high end movie and not an Oscar calliber actor, but for those of you who don't know me very well I can tell you that I'm a strong believer that wisdom can come from ANYWHERE. No matter how unusual or intellectually insignificant that source may be, wisdom and guidance comes from all sorts of odd places. One thing in that particular movie that got my attention was when Constantine was telling about his "curse/gift" he had that enabled him to see deities and demons. He'd had this ability since he was a child. He's explaining this to the female charactor in the movie and he says, "Well, I had this vision that made no sense to anybody, so my parents did what any parents would do; they made it worse". They put him in a mental hospital and gave him shock treatments and really messed him up worse than he was before. And isn't that true? If somebody sincerely had some sort of a gift like that, who would ever believe them? They'd give them meds and keep them gorked for the rest of their lives as mentally ill. I often laugh about the whole, "Jesus is coming back". LOL! Jesus probably already DID and somebody medicated him and locked him up! Announcing that you are Jesus gets you on the mental ward express!
So, back to the girl at the gym: Was she REALLY talking to "herself" or was she talking to somebody none of us can see? There's another guy at the gym who's older and he was rowing next to me and talking quietly to himself the whole time, smiling away. Was he REALLY talking to himself? You know, the thing about these two people? They always are smiling and seem completely content. What does that say? I know there's the saying about "the happy idiot", but most of the world is overworked and overstressed about a whole bunch of bullshit. Their lives are whipping by and they are barely taking the time to acknowledge the good things. My question, who's really in the idiot group in this story? Think about THAT.....
Thursday, February 23, 2006
So, not to post twice about Bono in a row but something I read on another blog today brings up something I've been contemplating: Yes, Bono is SERIOUSLY over-exposed right now, and yes he is saying the same lines and same speeches on virtually every television network and magazine on the planet. I've noticed that too, and even I've stopped reading every word...I still haven't read the entire Time, Man of the Year story yet...just fried on the whole thing. BUT, and here is the big BUT, I get why he's doing it. You know the saying, "Squeaky wheel gets the oil"? Alas, it's generally ONLY the squeaky wheel that gets oiled. He's on his life's mission, and he's making a great deal of headway. The reason he's making so much headway is BECAUSE of how over-exposed he is. Even my DAD has watched an interview with him on television and knows what he's doing and why now. The fans who were already paying attention to everything he said are super sick of him...but we are the people he didn't have to work to hook...we've been there from the beginning. Now he's going after the Jessie Helms, folks like my Dad who only listens to the oldies station, and any other person who normally wouldn't have listened to a word he had to say. Yes, I'm sick of him to an extent with the rest of you, but because I love him and understand WHY he's doing it I'm going to grit my teeth and let him have at it.
Anybody who didn't listen to the prayer breakfast speech that is linked to my last post should listen to it. THERE is his brilliance in action; he's in a room full of the Christian right (by invitation) yet he never gives an inch towards "Okay, today I'm a Christian if it serves my purposes". He sticks right by his guns and never waivers...that takes balls and THAT is why I love him, repetitive or not.
Plus, it looks like the Edge got tired of the shadows and is hitting the Katrina Save the Music thing pretty hard....nice to see him stepping more towards the front. With this album/tour I've noticed that a lot. Good for you Edge!
Sunday, February 19, 2006
This is a good one. Check it out if you have time. Click on the link below that says "Bono's Speech" and it will take you right to it. Then click on the button that says "play" under the picture and it will play the audio of the speech for you.
Friday, February 17, 2006
I had a dog named Beau for the better part of 11 years, and he recently died from osteosarcoma in his hind leg. Well, enough time has passed, and I have the new puppy whom I'm actually convinced IS Beau since he was born 4 days after Beau died (but we won't get into that right now) :-) Anyway, Beau was a very good dog with a couple of flaws:
1. He viewed small children as "tasty". Had to watch him pretty closely to make sure he didn't pinch anybody.
2. Beau got too excited in the game during fetch and if a man happened to be throwing Beau would nip him in the ass and then take off after the stick. He was so fast at it that a lot of his victims had to really think about whether they had REALLY just been bitten or not. He never did it to women, just men, and he never tore the meat off anybody, just gave them a little hicky on their butt cheek. Pretty damned funny actually!
3. Beau loved to snack...and since he was smart he was quick at it and did some really great creative snacking. He had some good ones, so I decided to do a Top 10 list of his all time best weases:
Starting at #10. My ex took Beau with him fishing the day before we were going on our vacation to Reno. Martin called me at work in a panic because Beau had found a dead salmon on the beach and had a snack. Problem with that is that he had a piece of fishing line hanging out of his mouth and Martin had no way of knowing what was on the other end. I told him not to pull it for God's sake, and get him in to my work so we could x-ray. He got him there, we x-rayed and it turned out it just had a barrel swivel on the end of the line and no hook. He swallowed the rest of the line and then passed the whole thing...Gave us all a heart attack though.
#9. Lean Treats. It's a dog snack that looks like little pieces of beef in a foil package...very tasty. Well, I don't think I ever actually dolled them out to the dogs, I'm pretty sure every bag that was ever in my possession Beau found, tore apart and ate the contents. We are talking greater than 20 bags. About a week before I had to put him to sleep he found a way to use his weak hind leg and STILL stand up and get the snacks off the dining room table and eat them all. Call it Beau's Last Hurrah!
#8. I love those frosted pink and white Grandma's circus animal cookies. They used to have the giant twin pack at Costco, and I'd bought one. I'd just opened the first bag in the twin pack and then I got a phone call and left the room. 5 minutes later when I came back in the room, nothing but an empty bag, and Beau laying on the end of the couch looking at me like, "What?". Asshole.
#7. The other pack in the twin pack of the Grandmas's circus animal cookies (in the same day). I got that one out and had about 2 cookies, later had to go the bathroom. I come back in, empty bag, Beau looks at me like, "What?" I didn't think he'd do it twice because they were big bags and I figured the first one filled him up. I was wrong.
#6. Entire bottle of Pet Vites (and a little of the bottle as well). He chewed the bottle apart and ate a whole bottle of chewable pet vites. Okay, he probably would have been okay and they would have maybe given him the squirts if I'd just left things as they were. Unfortunately this wasn't very long after the circus cookie thing, I was still pissed about THAT so I swilled him with a good part of a bottle of Hydrogen peroxide. Great emetic for dogs. You are only supposed to give them a couple of tablespoons at a time, but after I thought it out I realized the reaction to overdose would be vomiting, which was my goal anyway. I tipped his nose up and glug, glug, glugged most of the bottle down his throat and held his mouth shut. About 10 minutes later Beau puked, and puked, and puked. In between puking he'd look at me like, "Oh Mama...what did you give me?" and then he'd go at it some more...I'll have to admit I was a non-sympathetic audience and may have even giggled a little bit.
#5. My brother lived with me for a little while. We were planning on having steak for dinner so I had the meat on the counter unthawing. When I got home I had this feeling of "something being amiss". Realized there had been 2 steaks on the counter when I went to work, now there was only one; the big one was missing. Sure enough, chewed up plastic bag on the couch, no steak. Kendrick gets home and I told him, "Beau has something to tell you..." and I pointed at where his steak used to be. Kendrick had just watched life with Eddie Murphy, so he made his best black voice and said, "Maybe I outta eat YO beefsteak..." Beau looked at him like, "What?". It was funny.
#4. I was having dinner guest over for fajitas and I'd bought whole wheat tortillas. I come home, get that feeling of something being amiss...where are the tortillas? Sure enough, in the living room, in front of the TV is the pile of tortillas, neatly unwrapped laying on the floor. They may have even been salvagable if not for the big bite that went thru the entire pile. Just one big bite, nothing more. I didn't even say anything to him, just turned around, picked up my keys and headed to the store to buy more before my guests started arriving. THAT'S how much I loved that dog. :-)
#3. I am one of the freaks of nature who owns a bread machine and actually uses it. I'd just made a new loaf and it was on the counter. I come home after work, "Where's my bread?" No evidence remained except for the completely spotless bread beater that had been baked into the bottom of the loaf...the rest was gone. Oh, and where was the beater? In front of the TV of course.
#2. I had friends over for a barbeque and Tina had made her homemade clam dip. We went outside to play catch for awhile. We come back in and in the clam dip bowl is nothing but a pile of clams in the bottom of the bowl, completely licked clean. Apparently he liked cream cheese and sour cream but didn't like clams. For a moment picture if you will a dog eating dip but pausing to spit out each and every little clam as he's doing it...just picture that for a minute. :-)
#1. And Beau's #1 all time snack weaz? Thanksgiving Day. I'd made a pumpkin pie and had set it on the table at my Mom's house. I left the room for a minute and when I came back in the pie is still there but there is no crust on it anymore...the entire outside crust had been nibbled off all the way around. Picture if you will a dog using his front teeth to gnaw off the edge of a crust while trying not to get any pumpkin in his mouth. I looked at him, looked at the pie and I decided, the hell with it....I took the pie upstairs anyway. Mom goes, "What the HELL happened to the pie???"
I merely said, "I don't know..." and I went in the other room to watch TV.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Here was possibly the most unexpected and sexy thing that EVER happened to me in my life. Don't worry, we're rated probably G here, so I'm not going to tell you things about me you really wish you'd never known! Anyway, I used to frequent a karoke bar and it was sort of my version of Cheers, the "Place where everybody knew my name". And I don't want any crap about the karoke thing either, do you have any idea how much money I saved in therapy while I was going thru my divorce because of karoke? It was a LOT. If I had a bad day I went to the bar, had a rum and coke and sang No Souvenirs, or Why or something like that; instant fix.
Well, at the bar was the mandatory hot, young bartender. Since I know he's no longer in the state I'll use his real name, which is Luke. Now I was about 33 and Luke was about 22...oh well...every woman's fantasy. My friend Virginia used to lament she would love to "die in the arms of a man much younger than herself!" Who wouldn't? He wasn't a big guy, but he had the prettiest green eyes you've ever seen in your life, great smile as well. I thought he was just a dumb little pretty boy, but he grew on me anyway nonetheless. I'd gained a lot of weight in my last years with Martin, and I'd spent the first year of my divorce taking it all off. I did pretty well, I was almost satisfied with my size so I went and bought the "little black dress", because now I could. It was just that simple. I got all dolled up, new lipstick and everything, and walked in the bar. Luke looked up, then did a double take and said, "Wow! You look GREAT!" THAT was exactly what I was looking for when I'd gotten dressed up...he actually exceeded what I thought I would get as a reaction. So, over the course of the rest of the night he flirted with me any chance he got away from the bar, I proceeded to get "too drunk to drive myself home" (yeah, right) so of course he had to drive me home. Exactly as I'd hoped, he took me to his home, not mine. Bingo. Well, as I said, this is a G story, so I will tell you that nothing went past 2nd base or so...didn't seem like the thing to do...but sometimes isn't that the best part of getting to know somebody, the part before you make it all around the bases? I've always thought so. The cool thing is that while we were hanging out talking he told me a bunch about his past I'd had no idea about...he'd had some really awful stuff happen to him as a kid. It wasn't the fact he'd endured awful stuff that got to me, who hasn't? What got to me is how matter of fact he told me, and with absolutely no "poor, poor me" inflected into it. I realized the water ran a lot deeper than I'd originally expected. After that we crashed, his room mate made me breakfast in the morning and he took me home...no big deal...one night thing, sort of interesting.
Sadly, he told one person and I told one person and between those two people it went all around the bar and became this HUGE thing. I'll omit the drama and hair pulling that ensued, but from the two of us having a cool night together it became this big drama with everybody involved in it. It REALLY sucked. Luke and I ended up fighting all the time and my safe haven became anything but a great place to be. This went on for several months with Luke and I pitching cheap shots back and forth all the time. I finally gave up on it and just let him act as he would and he eventually got tired of making the effort and we just didn't speak at all anymore.
Several months later Luke hooked up with a lady named Nikki who had begun hanging at the bar. Nice girl, and I think she was really good for Luke; he grew up a lot while they were seeing each other. At one point Luke pissed Nikki off but good so she broke up with him. Luke didn't take it very well and he was often seen sitting at the bar on his nights off with the sad puppy dog face. One night I walked in and stood next to him at the bar to order a drink and much to my surprise he initiated conversation with me. He looked like he needed to talk so I sat down and listened to him tell me about what had happened with Nikki and himself. Then to my even greater shock he turned the conversation to our old fighting days and said,
"I am so sorry for how I treated you back then...I have no idea why I did it. You were never anything but nice to me and I was an asshole. I repeat, I don't know why and I'm sorry".
Whew! Didn't see THAT coming. I told him it was no big deal and I thanked him several times for apologizing to me, I told him I'd never thought he had that in him. And no, he wasn't drunk and blabbering, he was completely sober drinking his first beer when he started this conversation. Truly amazing. But wait, it gets better.
My sister Tina was out with me that night and we were headed for the car to go somewhere else that night. The door to the bar faced out on the parking lot, and we were just standing around at my car discussing where we were going next. I had my back to the bar and Tina was facing it with this inquisitive look on her face. I turned around to see what had her attention and as it turns out Luke had come out on the back step and was casually leaning against the door looking at us. He looked REALLY sexy, like movie star sexy... When I turned around he gave me the "come hither" with his finger, and I LITERALLY did the stupid thing and looked over my shoulder to see who he we really gesturing to! Duh. As soon as I did that he smiled and said, "I mean you. Come here". In a low voice from behind me Tina said, "If you don't go I'm going to...my GOD that's sexy!" I had to agree. I went to him.
When I walked up to him he gave me a huge hug and said in my ear, "Again, I'm really sorry for how I was...you're a great friend and I don't know why I acted that way". He continued to hug me and I told him,
"Ahhhh Luke, you know I still love you no matter how big of a terd you are!" Whups, said the "L" word. I realized what I'd done and took a step back and looked at him and said, "You know I mean love like a friend, right? Didn't mean to pop that one at you".
He laughed and said, "You don't have to explain, I know what you meant" and gave me another hug. I walked back to my car on a cloud and drove all the way home on that same cloud. Tina was impressed, so was I. The best thing about it? It's not very often that one is wicked mistreated by somebody or done unfairly that they actually get to hear an apology or acknowledgement of undue pain being subjected in the past. I know it sure doesn't happen to me very often, and Luke was the LAST person I thought was capable of that. Goes to support my theory, rule out nobody when it comes to potential for great kindness.
There's not great crescendo of an ending to this story; Luke and Nikki got back together and they bought a bar in downtown Portland that did and still does quite well. I will admit I enjoyed Luke's and my newfound aliance a couple of times. One night some skinhead guy was picking a fight with me over a bar stool of all things and got in my face. Luke literally LEAPED over the bar and got between us and up in his face even though the skinhead guy was twice his size. The skinhead guy backed down. That felt good to be defended like that. (And once again, chicks like bad boys and that was pretty arousing how he leaped over the bar and jumped in front of me!)
Another time I was dating this horse's ass named Troy. I wasn't all that into him and we were at the beginning of the end anyway. We were out at Luke's bar and Troy was over at some other table talking to some other girl. I REALLY didn't care and I wasn't paying much attention to it. It was driving Luke NUTS and he kept asking me what the hell Troy was up to. I kept telling him Troy was a big boy, we weren't married and I didn't care. Luke ignored me and eventually went up to Troy told him that since he was there with me he was being incredibly rude and he needed to get back to my table. LOL! That didn't sit very well with Troy, and I actually think that may have been the last night we went out together. I'd be lying to say I didn't completely dig being watched over like that. Very empowering giddy feeling.
I haven't seen Luke in a couple of years; Nikki and he broke up and last I heard he's living somewhere in Florida now. That's okay, I wish him the best. The important thing is the memories I have because of him. It was nothing you could even closely call a relationship, but I will say it was possibly the most romantic experience of my entire life. Amazing considering I never even came close to sleeping with him. See, there still is some innocence left in the world...you just have to realize how to recognize it!
Although I hate the holiday, I will say "Happy Valentine's Day" to all who read this. I hope you had a great evening...I'm going to go watch TV with my dogs now!
Friday, February 10, 2006
I've seen Secondhand Lions on DVD a couple of times now, and I finally broke down and bought it. It's most definately a feel good movie, and the acting is good; with Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Keira Sedgewick and Hailey Joel Oswalt, well, how can it suck? It doesn't. My favorite thing about this movie is the speech that Robert Duvall gives Hailey Joel a small piece of towards the end of the movie. Haily Joel's charactor is upset because his mother (Keira Sedgewick) always lies to him. He tells Robert Duvall that he doesn't know what to believe in anymore. So Robert Duvall tells him there is a speech he's been giving boys who were almost men for many, many years, and he tells him he's going to give him just a small piece of it. This is what he says:
"If you want to believe in something, believe in it. Just because something isn't true doesn't mean you can't believe in it. Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most:
That people are basically good.
That courage, honor and virtue mean everything.
That power and money, money and power mean nothing.
That good always triumphs over evil.
And I want you to remember this;
That love,true love,
You remember that boy, remember that.
Whether they're true or not those are the things a man should believe in because those are the things worth believing IN. Got that?
I think that's my favorite quote from ANY movie EVER. And for me, that's saying a lot, because my entire life's philosophy is based on one movie/song quote or another. It's who I am.
I think this should actually be the "What Every Human Needs to Know to Actually Live" speech. The other thing I find as time goes on is that the most difficult thing to do is to learn to trust yourself and what YOU feel rather than what everybody has conditioned you or tells you that you should feel. It can be done, but it's a challenge. I have an entire novel on the way on that very subject. Nothing I'm working on right now, but give me time.
The movie trailer is here: http://www.secondhandlions.com/
Heartbroken In Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks had muscled their way into the Super Bowl after a mere thirty years of franchise existence. The entire Puget Sound area population was whipped up into a frenzied wave of Seahawks Fever; if a house didn’t have a Super Bowl party going on in it, that meant the house was empty and the occupants were at somebody else’s party.
Since I personally live in the Portland, Oregon area of the Northwest I’d not been very privy to all the hype. Honestly I didn’t even know the Seahawks were truly contenders until I was in the Seattle area at my parent’s house for Christmas and I overheard my brothers talking to my father about the Seahawk’s record. I’m an avid football fan, but this winter I’d been working full time and finishing my Bachelors degree so I had very little time for recreational television of any sort. I was understandably quite surprised and more than a little cynical the ‘Hawks would REALLY make it all the way to the big game. I’d been watching the many levels of disappointment for three decades.
My uncles bought season tickets the year the Seahawks were conceived. For the better part of a decade and a half they faithfully attended every home game the Hawks played. Every August from the time I was ten years old I would start hearing about how “this was the Seahawks year to go all the way”. All the men of my family coasted into the season with great hope and optimism for great things to come. By mid October the same men were talking about “all the changes we could make in the off season so we can do better next year”.
The memory that is drilled into my head from those early games is my step-father practically having a coronary and yelling at the top of his lungs, “Zorn you asshole!” Then, a few years later the same scenario only now the dialog was, “Craig you asshole! To get the true effect of that you need to imagine him saying it VERY loud and drawing each word out for quite a few seconds. It was scary then, it’s funny now! The quarterbacks changed but the scenario remained the same.
In 1983 my uncles finally decided the tickets were too expensive and the team was too disappointing, so they turned in their season tickets. 1983 was the first year the Seahawks made it to the playoffs and did quite well. Go figure.
The Seahawks went to the playoffs again in 1984 and managed to win one game and then lose the next. Next trip to the playoffs was 1987 (they lost), and then in 1988 (they lost again). My brother and my cousin decided the team was looking good and it was inevitable that their day was coming so they picked up the season tickets again. The Seahawks didn’t make the playoffs again until 1999 (they lost the first game). My brother and my cousin held onto the tickets for a few more years and then decided it was an unnecessary expense and gave them up last year. This year the Seahawks made it into the Super Bowl. Go figure.
Yes, the Seahawks have been a clear cut case of tough love for my family for three decades, but finally all the tears were to pay off; the Seahawks were going to the big game…finally.
I arrived at my parent’s house the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday; everybody was all aflutter. The local TV station KOMO had constant “countdown to Super Bowl” shows on with all sort of player and fan interviews. From the attitude on the television it was obvious the Seahawks were destined to win, or at least until you turned the channel to the National broadcasts. I sensed things were perhaps not properly balanced after briefly glancing at the TV in passing and realizing I always saw player in yellow and black on the screen. I did see the Seahawks represented by an interview with Coach Mike Holmgren a couple of times; I guess that should count for something. Heck, Holmgren took Favre and the Green Bay Packers to the bowl a couple of times, they had to interview HIM. As for the actual Seahawks team members and fans getting much airplay on the big sports shows, well, it was pretty slim picking’s.
I verbalized my observations to my father, whose face instantly clouded over and he said, “I know. I guess Pittsburg is playing themselves in the Super Bowl by the looks of it.” He added that Mike Holmgren had mentioned in his interview that the way you stop the nay sayers from saying you are a non-entity is to go out and win the game. Bold words, bold idea; however Dad didn't look completely convinced.
Sunday morning we got up bright and early and immediately began decorating the house in blue, green and white (Seahawk’s colors) in preparation for the big day. Maybe today the broadcast would be less lop sided. We were optimistic. Alas, Sunday’s pre-game was no different than the previous two days; mostly yellow and black with an occasional smidgeon of blue/green/white to at least acknowledge another team HAD flown in. My Dad was excited but he was starting to get a worried look that hadn’t been there previously.
We spent the rest of Sunday morning cutting vegetables and creating enough food to feed the actual Super Bowl audience, rather than just the small portion of it that would be in attendance with us. Isn’t over eating and over imbibing also a key part of Super Bowl Sunday?
At 2pm or so the gang began to show up and immediately the predictions of the game started flying around; “It didn’t matter if Pittsburg took an early lead because they were notorious for blowing leads”. Popular critique on the tube had been that the Seahawks were doomed because their defense was too small. Well, Pittsburgh’s defense was small too, so they in actuality should match up quite nicely. The theories flew back and forth faster than tennis balls at Wimbledon.
At last it was kickoff time, but I wasn’t in the house, I was outside playing ball with my dogs…oops. Bummer, because I missed Aretha Franklin singing the National Anthem, I hear it was good. I DID make it in the house in time to watch the Seahawks make their mighty field goal and make it on the board first. A wave of joy swept the room; everybody knows the first team to score in the super Bowl almost ALWAYS wins!
From the field goal it all went downhill fairly rapidly. Midway thru the second quarter anybody who had yet to start drinking got up and poured a glass of one sort of spirit or another. My Dad was sitting to my left talking about how “he knew this was going to happen and the Seahawks do it every time”.
One of my brother was sitting to my right and we had to keep laughing about how Dad had already written them off when they were only seven points down in the second quarter. My other brother was sitting behind us and he was deeeeeep into a whiskey bottle. He wasn’t saying much other than an incredibly loud “YEAH!” every time the Hawks came to life, and really loud booing noises when they gave themselves yet another penalty. The score was Seahawks 3, Pittsburg 10 at the end of the second quarter. I know this to be fact because those are the numbes I had in the football pool for the second quarter and I won a whopping $6.25. Hey, don’t knock it, money is money!
The halftime show was not too bad; the Stones rocked it like they’ve been doing for the last forty years or so, and the commercials were good. Second half isn’t really worth talking about. If you want an accurate breakdown on it I’m sure you can read it on www.espn.com. What I will say? It just got worse and worse until at last it became obvious the Hawks were going to lose. Dad literally looked like he was going to cry and one of the neighbors from down the street was so upset he went home before the game was even over.
So, what happened? Were the Seahawks completely outclassed? Did they choke? Should they have never been in the game in the first place and it was all a fluke? I think the answers to all of the above are all “No”.
I stated earlier I’d watched no football this year; that’s true. However, my brother Greg sat next to me thru the entire game and HAD watched football this season, all of it. He’d at least watched as much as any one person can watch on any one TV in a season. Every time there was a penalty and the family wanted to call dirty pool and say “the official are against us” I’d ask Greg what he thought. After watching the replays Greg felt all the calls were legit and I had to agree.
Did Pittsburg beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL? No. The Seahawks beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, pure and simple. Between ticky tack fouls, missed field goals, missed tackles and dropped passes, the Seahawks defeated themselves. Did the Seahawks look bad? No. They actually looked great; the ball just couldn’t quite make it past the goal line.
I asked Greg if the Seahawks had a young team and he said, “Yeah, their lineup for next year is pretty solid. One guy is going to be a free agent but I don’t think he’ll leave. Pittsburg is an older team and they are going to lose quite a bit of their line up next year”.
So there you had it. Yes, it was disappointing to lose and I wish for my Dad’s (and most of the Greater Puget Sound area’s) sake they could have pulled it off. BUT, the thing that’s true yet very difficult to see right now is the win comes in the form of the Seahawks making it there at all. I know there are MANY teams that started tough and later became dynasties. One of two that immediately comes to mind: the Denver Broncos. How many times did Elway have to get there before he finally got a ring? I could go look it up for sure, but I’m pretty sure it was three. Or who can forget the Detroit Pistons holding the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan from the finals again and again? I think the Bulls were turned back twice before they finally made it past Detroit and into the finals, and look how THAT turned out. If memory serves the Bulls took home five rings before their run was over.
No, the Seahawks didn’t get any respect from the press, and no they didn’t win the game. That doesn’t matter. They DID make it to the game, they all know what that feels like and every member of that team is going to do everything in their power to make it back in 2007.
Have a little faith Seattle. Have a little faith Charlie. Have a little faith Dad; there’s always next year. The winner has no place to go but down, the Seahawks have the ultimate motivation to make it to the mountain top. Just wait until September rolls around; it’s going to be a GREAT football season!
Thursday, February 09, 2006
First things first, how 'bout my favorite boys winning 5 last night? Did I hear you ask how many U2 were nominated for? Let me think...oh yeah 5. Way to go boys! I was pleased to see The Edge playing in the New Orleans tribute away from the rest of the band. It's nice to see him branching out and taking off on his own interests, Lord knows Bono sure has!
So far as comparing this year's show to last year? No comparison; last year was a lot better. HOWEVER, last year may have been the best Grammies I've seen EVER, so those are big shoes to try and fill. As good as last year or not, there were still some good performances. In my opinion U2 and Mary J. Blige stole the show with their One duet. Or more to the point, Mary J. stole the show. Even Bono had to back up and watch her go a couple of times; she was really something. Great performance!
The second performance that really stuck with me was Keith Urban. What I'm about to say goes hand in hand with my Todd Snider post from yesterday. No, I don't listen to Country anymore, HOWEVER, I did take some people back to Rock and Folkie land with me. Keith Urban is one of them. He was just debuting in America the year I was at Fan Fare in Nashville, and I was impressed from the moment I saw him. First things first, He's HOT (see the photo at the top of this article). I heard him interviewed on KUPL when he was in Portland and the female jock asked him what he looked for in a woman. Keith replied, "A pulse".
ALRIGHT! I have a pulse! I'm IN THERE!
Next he added, "and a sense of humor...I love a woman who can make me laugh".
ALRIGHT again! I have a pulse AND if I tell him 'knock, knock' jokes or something I can at least make him giggle! I KNEW I was in there...then he got married. Oh well, I'll put him on my "married guys to watch in case they get divorced" list and keep an eye on him!
So, musically, GREAT guitar player who I feel can take the Pepsi challenge with any of the current axemen out there today; his fingers FLY around those strings. And his writing and singing doesn't suck either. Last night he was slated to do a duet with Faith Hill. Before they sang together they each did a song of their own and he chose 'You'll Think of Me' which is actually off his break out album Golden Road and not his current album. Well I'm here to tell you that Keith sang his guts out! GREAT performance, very moving. And it's a jilted lover song you would expect a woman to be singing, but Keith turns it around and is the broken hearted male...that's refreshing! An excerpt to that song:
I woke up early this morning around 4am
With the moon shining bright as headlights on the interstate
I pulled the covers over my head and tried to catch some sleep
But thoughts of us kept keeping me awake
Ever since you found yourself in someone else's arms
I've been tryin' my best to get along
But that's OK
There's nothing left to say, but
Take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories I don't need'em
Take your space and take your reasons
But you'll think of me
And take your cap and leave my sweater
'Cause we have nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me, you'll think of me
If you want the whole song, here's a good link to it:
I reiterate, I was impressed. This relates to my post about Todd Snider yesterday. I feel the older I get the more I realize that there is no rules to where you may find something that "does it for you". No, I don't listen to Country anymore, but I did keep some people I met while I was there; Martina McBride, Tim McGraw has his moments, and Trisha Yearwood. The fact that Garth and Trisha finally managed to quit dancing around it and get together once and for all is the best thing in the world in my opinion. And, as for Garth? Well, I used to think it was just a Summer thing, but then I saw him singing his tribute to the late Chris LeDoux on one of the awards show...When I saw him up on that stage in Times Square with his headset on and that goofy smile on his face, yes, I'll admit I got those old familiar butterflies. Apparently it wasn't a fling, but Garth has a permanent place in my heart, and I'm okay with that.
PS: If you want to know more about Keith, his fan site is at www.keithurban.net which is a pretty typcial fan page. If you go to www.keithurban.com , well he has a bunch of his oil paint art on display there...I didn't know he was into that, but I guess that's what the page is for.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Here's something that is NOT about Bono, but about Todd Snider. Who is Todd Snider? Well, 5 years ago I didn't know either, but here's how I found out:
Awhile back I went temporarily insane and listened to nothing but Country music...Yeah, yeah, shut up, I said temporarily. Anyway I got really into the local station KUPL and went to a lot of the listener parties, promos, etc. I realized how easy it was to win tickets and go to virtually all the shows for free, so I did. I ended up at the Brooks and Dunn Circus tour the year Gary Allan was with them. I didn't really know who Gary Allan was, but come on, he's HOT no matter what music genre you like, so I paid attention. He did a couple of songs off his new album, one that was about getting too drunk and alienating all your friends. A memorable line from that song is;
This story is either being considered or is posted at a couple of different spots right now, and it has been verbally told MANY times...however, this is what I have for right now so I'll post it here for all posterity's sake!
Side note? I look like HELL in this picture, however, if you read the story you will know why my hair is sweated flat and my face is bright red!
All I can do is look at them blankly and eventually say, "Nobody...that was as high as it gets for me". To better explain that, allow me to go back to 1987.
I had just finished watching the pilot for 21 Jump Street and was still quite enamored with just how terribly hot I’d found that new guy, Johnny Depp to be…whew! I was flipping thru the channels looking for something else to watch and I ended up on one of the music channels. A video I’d never seen before was playing by a band named U2, and the song was With Or Without You. The video was shot in black and white and the music had an intense yet ethereal quality to it matched only by the man singing the actual song. He was wearing a leather vest, a cross necklace and he had his hair tied back in a pony tail. He had a guitar slung across his shoulder and hanging by his side and he was mostly looking down at the floor. When he looked up he had the most intense eyes I’d ever seen in my life….I was completely disconcerted by this man at first sight.
I knew very little about this band; I knew the man who was singing was named Bono but little else. I remembered seeing U2, Boy tour flyers stapled to telephone poles in downtown Seattle when I was in high school but I’d never seen the actual band play. My Aunt Polly was completely crazy about the Bob Geldof penned song Do They Know It’s Christmas as performed by the group of guest celebrities who called themselves Band Aid. The song was one of the first super group charity efforts to help save Africa from famine and disease and it was actually a pretty good song. My cousins had the video on tape and when we were visiting they would play it and then sit there and name off who each of the people were as they were singing their lines.
(And yet another side note; my cousins also could do a mean play along to the Morris Day and the Time Video, Jungle Love. My cousins Alan and Ryan had Morris Day and Jerome NAILED!)
But, back to Band Aid, the video had Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, George Michael, virtually everybody who was big in the ‘80’s. Bono’s line was the bridge which said (with a great deal of intensity and power) “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”. There’s actually a really great interview with Bono regarding that very line on a DVD called Out of Ireland. He tells how Geldoff came to write the song and how Bono came to be assigned the particular line he sang. I didn’t think much of his look at the time, but even then I had to admit despite the company he was in his intensity and presence stood out. In retrospect I saw that Bono was somebody special even back then; the point being I still remember him even though I barely knew who he was…for some reason he stuck in my memory. The first time I saw the With Or Without You video he did a whole lot more than just linger in my mind for a moment, he actually seemed to be stuck there!
In looking back on that day I can’t tell you whether it was the singer, the Edge’s guitar, the lyrics or the manner in which the video was filmed that got my attention; I think it was a combination of all those components. What I can single out is that Bono’s demeanor was the most intense and intriguing I had ever seen. I was hooked and I had no idea why.
I went to the record store and bought a copy of The Joshua Tree album that With Or Without You was on, and virtually played no other music in my car, home stereo or Walkman for the next several weeks. I liked every song on the album, I was in love with the feel of the guitars and something about Bono’s voice very nearly seemed to put me in a trance; the album made me feel things I’d never felt previously. I was hooked and from there embarked on what would be a love affair with U2 that would still be alive and well almost 20 years later.
I was approaching my 40th birthday and I had decided I needed to do something immature an irresponsible, so I got a tattoo. I'd wanted a tattoo on my calve for a long time but had never been able to decide what to put there. One day I decided on a U2 design that I didn't anticipate growing tired of and I made the appointment and had it applied to my leg. Although my Dad has tried to make me feel like an ass for getting a tattoo I just continue to tell him, "It makes me a little bit happier every time I look at it". It takes all the fun out of making fun of me for him, but that's okay.
Shortly after I got the tattoo a friend of mine said, "Now you should get Bono to sign it. THAT would be cool!"
I had to snort at him and say, "Yeah, and I think I'll have some monkeys fly out of my butt as well; do you KNOW how difficult it is to meet that man? He has several people on payroll who are there specifically to keep people away from him. I'm pretty sure I'll never get close enough to ask him that. Good idea though!"
My friend told me I had no vision and you never know where you are going to end up. I blew him off until I saw the ad in the Oregonian a couple of months later advertising that Bono was going to be the keynote speaker for the World Affairs Council of Oregon in October. As soon as I saw the ad I had to say to myself, "I'm going to meet Bono". I don't know why I knew that was a given, but I did.
I spent the next couple of weeks doing my best to appear a crazed stalking fan; I called EVERYBODY whom I thought might be able to help me figure a way backstage to meet him all to no avail. After about 50 phonecalls and the same number of e-mails I decided I needed to hang it up; I had a ticket to be at the talk and that was going to have to be good enough. I'd made my peace with it.
A week later I was scheduled to volunteer with DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) which is Bono and the Gates endeavor. Mind you, I was hungover and really debating bailing on the gig; it was volunteer work, what would be the harm? I had a strong gut feeling that told me to get my lazy butt of the couch and show up where I'd promised I would. I got up.
That night we were working a table to get people to sign the ONE campaign petition at a screening of A Closer Walk. As we were setting up the table I noticed the table next to us had an easel with a big display of the upcoming talk and Bono's picture. Of course I got to talking to the lady working the table about it, and she volunteered, "I have all these VIP tickets that allow people to get a picture with him and talk to him, but I don't know how I'm going to move them".
I stared at her sort of slack jawed and asked her how much they were and could anybody buy them? She told me the price and that yes, anybody could buy them. I had one reserved in my name that very night! I was to find out later that the lady whom I was talking to from World Affairs Council happened to be the President of said organization. That was handy.
As I was walking out to the car I was very much aware of the little bit of magic that had happened for me that night. My gut had told me to get up and go someplace I hadn't felt like going to, I'd followed it and gotten what I'd pushed, pulled and stalked after to no avail the month before. I was already quite a believer of "life guides you where to go, you just need to pay attention to the signs"; on that night any tiny doubts I had at all were squelched forever.
October 20th arrived and I sat in the front row for the talk, directly in front of Bono and felt pretty good about being that close to him....When I got back stage, I was still okay, but as soon as he was standing in front of me looking at me, my brain melted! I'd broken into a sweat and my face was bright red before I even said a word; I knew how those people you see in the movies who are trying to diffuse the bomb before it exploded felt as sweat dripped down their forehead! Bono was looking at me a little bit funny and I think that had something to do with my bright red face. All I could think of to say was, "Thank you! Thank you for everything you do." Then I told him I volunteered for DATA and the ONE campaign. I wasn’t trying to kiss his ass, I just couldn’t figure out what else to say.
He said, "Sweetheart!" and gave me a big hug.
I didn't see THAT coming...time stopped for me as he squeezed me and all I could think was "Bono has his face in my hair!" When he let go of me I took a step back and I said something incredibly stupid (along the lines of Baby in Dirty Dancing telling Patrick Swayze she had “carried a watermelon”), and had to walk away to recompose myself.I finally got myself together again and walked up to him and told him the one thing I had wanted to say...I told him I had been at the last North American stop of the Pop Mart concert in Seattle the night he shaved his head. He cracked up laughing and said, "Oh!!! That was the best show of the whole tour, Eddie Vedder was there, etc...etc..."
I told him that I remembered him saying that he felt like the tour had been misunderstood...that he had been trying to prove you COULD turn a casino into a cathedral; and how he'd said he felt like a lot of the critics had missed that. After I re-capped all that for him, he said, "It made sense that night, didn't it?"
I told him that despite the critics missing it, I had gotten it. He sort of smiled and said, "You did, did you? Good..."Since that exchange had once again sucked my brain completely dry I puttered off again to go reload my brain until it was was time for the photo line. Bono's assistant kept trying to get me to walk up to him, but for some reason I just couldn't make myself approach him again...She finally pushed me with both hands in my back and said, "Bono. This is Denise. She's shy."
He said, "Come here darlin'!" and put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me into him. I put my arm around his waist, and that is the last thing I remember! I had to walk up to the photographer later and ask him what I had been doing in my picture, because I had absolutely no recollection of it being shot! The photographer assured me I was smiling, and I shouldn't worry.
Last, but not least, I realized I had forgotten to ask him the one thing I had been planning. I got brave and grabbed him by the shoulder and said, "Bono, I HAVE to ask you for my one weird thing...My friends bet me I couldn't get you to autograph my leg!"
At that point I showed him my U2 tattoo on my calve...he looked at it for a minute with his head tipped sideways and then said, "Oh!", and kneeled down and drew a cartoon of himself and initialed it.
Very last thing, I gave him a cd of Todd Snider’s, Nashville Skyline whose lyrics I truly love, and something told me that Bono might like some of his stuff as well...I handed him the cd, and he looked at me like, "Why?". I told him that since he was my first favorite writer and I “get” his stuff, it just made sense to me that he might like my second favorite writer...He smiled and thanked me, and then his people led him off to go to the airport.As I stated earlier I'd been loving that man since 1987 or so...it took nearly 20 years, but something I never thought would happen did. I met possibly the most difficult to meet person in the world! And he was the NICEST, least pretentious person I have ever met. I got not one tiny wave of arrogance from him...My only regret is that I wish my brain had been able to take it better and hadn't basically shut down on me every time I got close to him! Hopefully our paths cross again someday and I deal with it a little better than I did this time! It was the greatest, yet most surreal thing that has ever happened to me in my life. That meeting is the reason I get so very irritated when I read things other fans say about the band being too material or commercial, or not having "the stuff" anymore....There is nobody who is kinder and more graceful with his fans than Bono, and he seemed more sincere than a lot of normal people I know in my regular life....I don't do very well with anybody trying to say otherwise about him or any other member of the band!
That night as I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep the thought occurred to me; "Remember how whenever you see people dancing with Bono onstage cheek to cheek you've always wondered what that feels like? Well, now you know".
If anybody ever tells you something is impossible, don't listen. That night I learned that anything is possible if you only learn how to listen to your instincts. I'm sure I drifted off to sleep that night with a smile on my face.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
That sort of looks like Bono, huh? You know why? BECAUSE IT IS BONO!!! If I'd been thinking clearly at the time I would have quoted a U2 song, such as, "If you wanna kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel. On your knees boy!" However, I only came up with that idea several days later. For the record he is autographing my leg, which also for the record I did have permanently tattooed on. Dad tries to make me feel stupid about it, I tell him it just makes me a little happier every time I look at it! Dad is giving up the battle.