Minor annoyances in condo living…

Being a home owner is pretty dope, even when things kind of suck, like having to bourdon both the price and effort of repairs and maintenance.  As a condo owner, there are less of those responsibilities than that of different types of homeowners, like those in townhouses (or row houses, as they are often referred to in Baltimore) or single-family homes.  The lessening of load on condo ownership comes with a tradeoff, as one might expect, where you also lessen your agency over your own dominion.  I think for many people, this actually makes condo living a pretty damn good option for home ownership.  You don’t have to both with cutting the grass.  The water should always be on in the building.  There are also facilities to wash clothes.
For me over the last decade or so, and maybe a while after still, it works out OK.  But the inconvenience can really be a bit much.
This week the inconvenience comes at me twice, and in a way that is destined to repeat.  The condo association has opted to repave the parking lot.  I couldn’t possibly fathom why, the parking lot is perfectly fine and could stand at least another two years, barring the type of destruction it saw a few years ago from some rather reckless amateur snow ploys following some unexpected snowfall.  Repaving the parking lot means everyone living here has to park on the street, which isn’t really that big of a deal.  It’s further a walk for me, sure, probably takes me a few more minutes.  But it’s not like it’s a mile or something, and I could always use the exercise, even if I weren’t as fat as the queen of see cows, which I suppose I am not currently, but only just barely.
The inconvenience compounds with outside factors, in this case somewhat literally… which is a silly turn of phrase I didn’t intend, but here we are.  I live across from a school which, since these are the summer months, should mean this isn’t really all that big a deal, except that modern schools are also modern playgrounds and modern amateur sports fields, and the summer time is a great time for amateur sports playing.  With kids out of school comes summer sports camps and summer pee-wee sports leagues, and no-one on Earth seems to have solved the modern problem of parking, so street parking on our otherwise fairly quiet street during peak-kids-sportsing has become crowded.  So crowded that I have, in years past with situations like this, actually had to park on another street.  That’s a lot of fun.  Granted, when I’ve lived in cities, the parking was much worse but… come-on, trade-offs, right?  For having to park in another neighborhood, you get to have incredible culture, education, dining, and so much more.  We’ve got good education here, but our culture sucks and… man, I could really go on and on, but let’s not today.  Needless to say, nothing we have here is worthy of fucked up parking.  And instead of jammering on and on about our suburb problems…
Let’s compound this inconvenience a little further, shall we?  About a year or two ago, I was parking on the street for not-too-dissimilar circumstances for quite some while.  I was beginning to become accustomed to it, which if I had been paying attention to what that feeling was typically a harbinger of in my life, I would like to think I would have seen the queue and immediately mixed things up, but I didn’t.  Instead, after a relatively productive early-morning, I hurriedly approached my car to make my way into the office early only to find that on this day I would not be going into the office at all.  Instead, I would be spending a significant portion of my day dealing with the serious problem of having my car bashed the fuck in.
You see, my car being parked on the side of the road left open an opportunity for someone much drunker than my typical self to run into my very parked car causing somewhere around $3,000 worth of damage to a car that was just barely worth more than that.  Thankfully, my insurance covered most of that, but they also sought fit to raise my premiums for something I could not have possibly predicted and still managed to charge me a few hundred dollars.  Kind of makes you start to understand that crazy-assed stance where insurance is the devil, right?
Although, I suppose, in retrospect I do understand.  After all, I have been on that street afterward and seen other street-parked cars also bashed in on various times of year.  Different cars, different seasons, but all fresh in the morning.  Strange that they always seem to have the same colored paint bashed into them… you’d think that might be a clue for someone, I don’t know, law enforcement or someone?  Maybe they might try to color-match that streak across all of our cars against those other cars that frequent that road?  Is that crazy talk?  Hmm.
So following that mix-up, you might understand now why, much more than simply having to walk my fat-ass up a hill during the sweaty-for-anyone parts of summer, I’m pretty apprehensive of parking my precious car (which I just recently paid off) out there in The Wastes.  You know what?  Let’s go ahead and compound this inconvenience one last time so you can understand how salty I am.
I’m parked on the street, which is not where I would like to have my car parked at all, because of a repaving of the parking lot.  The parking lot doesn’t need repaving, but fine, maybe this will keep it from becoming too similar to the tire-eating streets of Baltimore.  Cool.  Keep it good.  But nobody is paving.
They haven’t paved all week, even though they told me that I not only need to not park in the parking lot, but they also threatened the homeowners by way of towing at our own expense.  So I’m parked on the fucking street under threat of towing damage to my car to a place I don’t want it to be that I will also have to pay for, and their not even fucking paving the lot?  Are you fucking me?
Alright, I need to wrap this up.  I’ll report back sometime… next week?  Maybe?

I played music in public for the first time in over a decade

To be fair, I can barely call it “in public”.  It was a friend’s BBQ on a lazy Sunday with just a speckling of folks I didn’t know.  It was just me and a couple of friends playing.  Probably wouldn’t even qualify as a band, and dudes, my definition of “band” is pretty fuckin’ loose.  We had drums and guitars and someone (me, sadly) sang, so I guess… well, sure, I guess we did qualify.  But also, we had no setlist, only practiced once, and couldn’t manage a bass so… you know.
Quick stop here – boy, it’s been a while since I’ve updated, huh?  Yeah, well, things have been busy.  Although, I can happily say now that unlike the last few times I went missing, this time things have been mostly busy with my own personal productively backdropped with some very good and well needed social interactions.  Though there are some other social interactions I would like to have, which is a subject for another time.
There is so much to say.  I have about a billion thoughts on that very brief session, not the least being on some of my overeagerness that resulted in a  fairly jacked-up thumb from wanting to bust out my recently refreshed bass skills (see previous lack of bass).  Also how I was just barely able to keep my word to myself and remain silent enough not to accidentally invite anyone, but also couldn’t quite keep my trap shut to people not invited moments before.  I wasn’t going to say anything about it even after it finished, as this, too, is just practice.  But there it went, and now here we are, talking about what should have been an unmentioned semi-practice.
The specific group of friends of mine and myself aren’t likely to play together again anytime soon.  Things really just sort of lined up because folks were in town for the summer from the various other corners of America and the globe they had shipped off to, which is not an annual thing for any of them.  On top of that is my own threat to vacate this town and state, which I don’t see happening soon, but will almost certainly happen unless something more concrete manages to tether me here.
But having done so, having gotten together with these rarely seen but much beloved friends, I am much invigorated to do so again.  There is a part of me that thinks this very stupid, but another part that thinks I should just fucking go for it – I should just play, and maybe even start a band.  What if I put out the most open-ended of Craigslist ads of “looking for band”, or perhaps even more open-ended?  What if we played together?  What if we wrote together?  What if  I just really gave it a go?
The last time I really got into music, the time I actually wrote some songs, I was able to because I had a standing date with a group of friends.  Including that rare few passing through town this summer, we were made up of just shy of a dozen.  All of whom loved to play, and where all happy to chip-in on a playspace, and to give eachother what little we could offer as twenty-somethings.  A part of that reminded me of being a teen here in town, where a few of us with jobs would pick up the check of the few of us that didn’t when we went off to eat late-night, before any of us were drinkers.
I’m older now, and have to figure that someone around my age is interested and perhaps has their own garage or farmhouse or something bigger and more isolated than my two-bedroom condo, and is also just as interested as I to have good folk come around and noodle their instruments with friends-to-be.
I think I should someday describe my ideal band.  But not today.  There is, as I said, much more to say.  But then, this is getting long and I need to wrap it up.  I dropped off posting again, earlier this year, because of that exact problem – having so very much to say that I can’t take the time to say the very little that is needed.  So I’ll just wrap up with this now, with one last over-long paragraph and  a few silly, unneeded sentences.
It went slightly better than expected, in spite (or perhaps because) of that jacked up thumb.  We had to pass on a few songs because I couldn’t manage to finger-pick for longer than 15 seconds, but I could hold a thin pick tightly, so it was all good on some electric jams.  And we had to entirely skip anything where I was to play bass, so that one Police song I’m kinda-sorta OK at was out.  But I showed up near the time we wanted to start, even though I stayed a little longer than planned at my niece’s own show, perhaps because I find myself much more invested in her progress than my own.  I played someone else’s guitar, one with a Floyd Rose bridge, which… also needs its own post.  Its own series, really, and maybe my intro to my amateur Luthier work.  Then, with a fairly thin and cheap pick pressed between forefinger and somewhat sore thumb, we eased our way into a bit of an odd version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”, which I usually play acoustically in a version somewhere between the original Trent Reznor and much beloved Johny Cash arrangements, but this time played the same but electric and with some distortion to an effect that seemed most folks rather liked… though I would have like to have played differently, to be honest.  Then some Beatles that I only sang in, some Misfits that I played and sang in, and a weird mix of Megadeth’s “Trust” that was a mix of my terrible high school power-cord understanding of the song, my most recent learnings from the arrangement in Rocksmith, and some knowledge I’ve been slowly compiling from various outlets’ interviews with the band’s head, Dave Mustaine.  Megadeth’s arrangements are much more complex than any of us mid-to-late 90’s players were capable of understanding, much like how all of us played The Misfits as power-cords, not realizing how that cantankerous and oft complex weirdo that is Glenn Danzig had actually set some many of their songs up as strange perversions of 50’s Doo-Wop.
And then we had some very cheap beers and some very nice BBQ.  Hard to complain about that, though I did have to listen to some guest who’s name I did not get describe, in length which I did not retain, the difference between “Baby-back” and “Saint Louise Style” ribs.  Thanks for wasting my time, dude.  Hopefully I will remember your tirade when I become a restaurant tycoon.
Side note time:  Being a “cover band” is not at all my goal in life, and not even my goal in music.  But in my earlier life, I completely neglected the knowledge and skills that one can accumulate from the study of those before you, which in music absolutely includes covers.  It is a major failing of my musical upbringing, one which I am desperately trying to fix now, as rapidly as I can.
And now, some lessons learned:
Breaking through my natural introvert ways and taking a chance always seems to work out for me.  It felt good to play like that again.
But also, be cautious of the slap-bass.  My thumb still hurts, even to just click the space-bar.

A thing about what’s going on in America

I feel like I should write more about this.  I have a few dozen pages written that are maybe a bit more incendiary than I should share, particularly in this environment.  They aren’t fully formed or edited thoughts that I think deserve more.  But fuck all that, I am going to say this…

President Barack Obama – I will miss you.  You are an absolute hero of our people, a paragon of all American truths, and I hope we see more of you in the future, especially in light of this horror show that is coming into office.

Thank you, Barry.  Thank you.

A Quick, Mini-Adventure

Well not really for me, but for them. I had intentions on writing today about some other stuff, but whatever, that shit can wait.

It’s snowing today, here where I live in a suburb-ish city outside of Baltimore, MD. Or rather, it snowed, earlier today, and I guess it might snow some more. Right at this very moment it isn’t snowing. It’s just cold, and cold enough for my northern born ass to get the chills. Alright, let’s get to the story.

I hope I haven’t oversold it, as this is hardly a story. In fact, it is about to pass by in about a sentence. Keep your eyes open or it might sneak by too quickly. Here it goes.

I picked up hitchhikers and everything was fine.

That’s it. Story’s over.

Well, I guess there are details. I was out driving around my town, heading back to my place after picking up sleeping aids – I have real bad insomnia and didn’t feel like battling it unequipped tonight. Nothing too special. I was heading down a road I’ve traveled a zillion times when I spotted a cop car pulled over and talking to some folks. I was going to pass around the cop, but the cop pulled away, off into the night. The group of folks turned out to be a trio of girls that were absolutely frantic, desperately flagging me down. Form my vantage, they looked pretty panicked, so I pulled over to see what the matter. For some reason, I thought they were either warning me of something up with that cop or in some scary trouble. Turned out, they just needed a ride.

They were trying to walk home from a nearby shopping area – nearby in a car, less so on foot. Anyway, I gave them a ride. They were about half-way from the shopping area to their destination which, if everything else were the same, they probably wouldn’t have even bothered with a ride. But, and it’s important to remember that I come from the land of the ice and snow, it’s fucking cold out today. I mean even for me, a very overweight adult-assed man from the frigid wastes, it was was fucking cold. It’s not as cold as there, don’t be stupid, but it’s about as cold as it gets here, which is cold enough for people around those parts to finally pull out the goosedowns. Whoa, I just got nostalgia chills from the thought of that. Anyway, these were three teen-ish(?) girls with accents implying they are from around here, so they must have been freezing their asses off.

Hitchhiking and picking up hitchhikers can be a real adventure. The hiker can be dangerous, the driver can be dangerous, the location can be dangerous. It’s usually not. This was of the later kind. But hey, they probably have something to talk about for while, right?

Anyway, that’s long enough for a post, right? I’ll be less boring next time, I promise. I don’t promise. Maybe I will be, I don’t know. Thanks for reading? I’m sorry?

I’m making some changes around here.

I’ve had this site for a while now and it’s sat largely dormant for the past few years. Part of that has been a general malaise of depression and some unaddressed, lingering PTSD stuff which, well, let’s leave that for another day. It was also partly not being happy with what I was putting out into the world, not being happy with how long it took me to do so and subsequently how infrequently I did so, and not being happy with the overall presentation and a handful of things that populated my place.

A lot of what I wasn’t happy with is easy enough to clear up, though I’m saying that as the person I am today. Back when this became a problem, even knowing how easy it was to fix wouldn’t have helped. I’m in a little bit of a different space now, and I’m just kind of rollin’ with it. As a result, some of these posts (like today’s) are not going to be well proofread and are going to be pretty damned boring.

Here’s the thing I’m taking my sweet time getting to – I’m change some stuff on the site.

I already cleared out some dump pages and I’m going to change the look. A few years ago, I made a full theme from scratch that was kinda nice… but was a little janky. So I never used it and instead went through a bunch of themes with the tag “minimalist”. It’s an aesthetic I really loved at the time, and still do, but have since grown to appreciate the utility in the more traditional “blog style” themes. So I’m going to switch over to one of those, as well. And… I think I might kill some of the content that’s on here. Some old posts, a few more racy than others. I’ll probably my brother’s stuff down, too, as I’m not so sure it’s stuff he wants out there anymore and even if it is, it really deserves its own space or to be a part of a bigger, more trafficked area. To be clear, I’m not destroying any of it – just taking it off of this site and preserving it locally, for possible future restoration elsewhere. Anyway, I figured I’d put that out as a heads up for the one or two people that stuck around in my hiatus.

Well, this has already gotten longer than I intended so, let’s bring back an old favorite…

tl;dr – I’m going to delete some old posts/pages that don’t make sense anymore, change the layout, and some other shit, I guess. Don’t be alarmed.

Immigrant Song, by [your band name here]

For whatever reason, at some point in 2016 I found myself compelled to listen to each and every version and cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”.  You know the song, right?  It’s the one that your dad and/or stoner friend gets really amped for right after the one about the hobbits or the other one that’s also about the hobbits?  It’s not one of the “borrowed” Blues jams and, as far as I can tell, it’s not one of their songs that they probably “were inspired by” [stole] from other bands they toured with.
The original song is shortish at just under two-and-a-half minutes.  The tempo is fastish.  Not, like, EDM fast or anything, but for a 70’s Rock/Pre-Metal song, it’s pretty fuckin’ fast.  Less technically, the song is a romping, wailing, thumping jaunt as a semi-historical Viking ripping through Europe in search of new lands.  It’s fun and borderline inspiring, if a little silly.
But that’s not the part that interests me.  I mean, sure, I like spinning up my running playlist with haunting screams of war just like any other red-blooded sociopath, but that doesn’t sell me on an afternoon of frantic wiki-ing and frustrated listening.  What does is the sudden realization that it has been covered so many times and by so many artists.  I mean, just look at this list!  I don’t even think that list is complete, nor is what I found on wikipedia, though I have to admit to losing track of which band did what when pretty quickly.
The realization came to me after stumbling on the 2016 cover of it by SOAK, an experience I think I had in reverse of most paired with “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, which is also a cover that has been covered a zillion times over, though I did not find that out until going through this exercise (original by Bonnie Raitt, and you might be surprised at the list of artists that have covered it.  Go ahead, google that shit).  The latter has since become one of my favorites and is in regular rotation, but I also super-duper dig that cover of “Immigrant Song”.
Almost immediately after having the thought that it has been covered a whole bunch, I also had the thought that there aren’t many of those covers that I like.  So now I had a mission – I was going to listen to every damned cover of this song and find the good ones.  About ten songs into this mission, I decided to change the parameters of success – I was going to “give a chance” to “as many I could easily find” covers of this damn song.  It was either that or being overwhelmed by dozens of covers ranging from very bland to very bad.  In other words, I was not going to be an archeologist and dig up every cover or iteration, nor was I going to listen to a whole song that immediately rubbed me the wrong way.  To be fair, I listened to a fucking lot of them, all the way through for most of them.  They’re just a few minutes long, for corns sake.
What I didn’t do, and plan to the next time I get a wild “have to hear them all” bug for another popularly covered song, is log my opinion of each one I hear as I go.  What I do want to do is offer some opinions on the standouts.  I re-listened to a handful of these today, just to double-check my memory, but I didn’t do that for all of them.  So no, this isn’t a definitive guide.  It’s also a highly subjective thing, so you know… just opinion here, folks, no need to be dicks about it.  Maybe some stuff I hate you love or whatev’s.
Before we get started, let me first say that I am a fan of the original album version, as it appeared on Led Zeppelin III.  My Dada is and, as far as I remember, always has been a huge Zeppelin fan, so I grew up listening to it.  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the  real original, as performed live in Bath as a part of the tour that inspired it, but maybe that’s for the best as I have found I don’t much care for most live versions, including those done by Zep themselves.  I’ll have links to listen to a few of these done there.  If there isn’t a link, sorry?  You can find just about all of them with the tiniest amount of googling or searching your music streaming service of choice.  Some can also be listened to through a somewhat clunky interface in the list linked above.  Alright, enough preamble.
Here are the standout covers of “Immigrant Song” with light annotation.
The Goods:
  • SOAK – The cover that sent me off on this ill fated quest in the first place.  It’s. Fuckin’. Rad.  It’s muted and stark but very clear.  No unnecessary appeals to overdrive peddles, no wailing that will never live up to Page, no burning guitar that can only mimic Plant.  It’s its own thing, but it feels good.
  • Galactic, ft. Boots Riley, Chali 2na, and Laidlaw  – When someone on the Internet labels something as “Best”, you can be assured it will likely be pretty far from it.  In this case, I personally wouldn’t call it the best, but wow… yeah, I do dig this.  It varies up the repetitive instrumental with some saxophone – yes a fucking sax – and then pours some raw rap fuel onto the fire.  In this recording, I find the lyrics largely incomprehensible and maybe, I suppose, if I could follow them, that might be a knock against.  But I don’t, so I don’t fucking care, it’s just another interesting twist.  Though maybe this one hits me a little harder because I’m a sucker for a crossover.
  • Karen O w/ Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross –  I guess most people first heard this song in a trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which is where I found it in some googling.  I lost the link and am too lazy to find it again, sorry.  Anyway, it rings as sort of a halfway mark between original and SOAK, and you can really feel the Reznor in it, which I like.  Especially in the drums, which I feel like must be drum machine driven.  It’s on Spotify if you’re hard up for a listen.
  • Adagio – Also found on Spotify.  This is a pure metal, instrumental version that is twice as long as the original and, by all rights, should absolutely suck.  But it doesn’t!  Surprise!  It nails the original feel while laying down a good plaster of its own personality.  Right around the end, when it should really start to drag ass, they start noodling around in Solo Land, which is a lot of fun.  It does, however, make me lament the lack of double bass and variation in the original.
  • Al Chez and the Brothers of Funk – I swear I can hear this behind the opening sequence of a Bond film.  It’s real jaunty and fun!  More horns!
  • The Bad Plus – At this point, I’m starting to feel weird about how populated this part of the list is by oddball covers, but… fuck it.  That’s what makes it work for me.  It’s like… jazz.  Piano, drums, and I’m pretty sure an upright bass.
  • Vanilla Fudge – This version is SO CLOSE to being on the list below, but the singer is doing such a strange thing with the melody that it is just fuckin’ nifty.
  • Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro – Give it a minute.  In the first few bars, I thought this was another one for the pile of generics, but nawh.  Just stick with it a sec.  There’s some really good funk guitar and bass and, oh, what’s this?  That’s right, a Wurlitzer!
The Meh’s:
  • Airship – It’s really not that bad, really.  And I’m sorry for using this band as my straw man, especially since their version is at least listenable.  The problem is that this is the best of the worst, the top of a pile doing their best to carve out an exact copy of the original, and I’m sorry… you just don’t have the voice.  Your tuning is good, your effects are good, but the amp sounds off.  Is that a Crate or something?  Okay, fine, I have one, too, and they are great, but they don’t sound like 1970’s Brit Rock.  Also, you can go ahead and swap out this pick with just about any other band trying to do that “exact cover” deal, or any version on a Karaoke track.
  • All the Queen’s Men – It’s not my favorite and honestly it kind of feels like something from a transitional era of music.  Somewhere near an Industrial park, a Folk Metal band tries to get in a commercial.
  • Amber Brooke Band – Better than Airship, but pretty bland.
  • Arjun Kaul – Good voice, but it’s boring.  There is an ocean of folks doing a cover of this song an an attempt to put it in “their style” and it’s… not.  Everything is almost spot-on the original, just a little off-brand.  While we’re at it, let’s throw the following under that label:
    • Atombombpocketknife
    • Arakain
    • Hollywood Undead
    • Stryper
    • Dark Angel
    • Ken Tamplin
    • Mighty Sphincter (gotta love that name at least, right?)
    • and countless more
  • Tomoyasu Hotei – Coming in from the late 90’s, I feel like this is the start of artists actually trying to do something different with the underlying music.  They just don’t do enough.  Also, it’s just dripping with too much late 90’s for me.
  • Informatik – See above.
  • Infectious Grooves – ALMOST gets me going by starting with some groove/funk bass, but then falls flat shortly before the vocals barge in without welcome.
  • The Sword – I love this band but this cover does not do it for me.  To be fair, I could only find a live version, so… if you can dig up a studio version, I’ll give it another shot.
The Uglies:
  • L.A Band – apparently from Shrek the Third?  I don’t know, but what I do know is it is wincingly unnerving.  I don’t even know what’s wrong, it’s like it’s discordant but rather… like the original was discordant in a way that feels real good and this tries to clean it up, thus killing off the personality.  It’s like they are trying their best to sound just like the original but all the notes that should be flats and sharps are just… there.  It feel kind of icky and I can’t put my finger on why.
  • Ann Wilson – I shouldn’t hate on this.  I shouldn’t.  All of the parts on their own are pretty good, and some are genuinely great.  The singer and namesake of the group is really nailing it, but I as good as her performance is, I just find it to be another, “how much can I ape Page”.  It just doesn’t do it for me.  I do applaud the effort, though.
  • Anno Daemonicus – This sucks and I hate it.  I understand you might like it yourself, but duder… Why is Opera Man hanging out with The Crypt Keeper?  And why are they on the set of A Muppets Movie?  Yucko.  I’m sorry, but I got super sick of the various iterations of “demon voice” in Metal a good while ago, to a degree that it has put me off of even some of my previous favorites, and this version of that voice just makes me wince.
  • Minimal Compact – Nope.
  • Dread Zeppelin – I guess I couldn’t make the list without including this cadre of goofballs.  I get what they’re going for, and bravo to them for really giving it an honest go.  Pffffftttttt, no.  Just, no thanks.
  • Coalesce – Another instance of them giving it a go and genuinely doing something different (at least for the time), but I just don’t like it.
The Idunnos?:
  • There is a Moby cover, I guess… I don’t know, I found links but they were all either broken or blocked by copyright.  Though to be fair, I didn’t look that hard.
  • Same for a Nirvana version that I couldn’t be bothered to find.
  • Cyro Baptista – I think I might hate this but I think I might love this… I’m so conflicted… is that a Concertina?  Falsetto apropos of nothing?  What is happening here?
  • There is apparently a series of Bluegrass covers of it?  I’d like to hear that.
  • Zoffy – Let’s be clear – it’s awful.  But holy smokes, they are going for it.  There is something I have to admire about that.
  • I could have sworn there was a Cindy Lauper one, right?  It was good, I think?  Was it only live?  I’m in the weeds here, kids.
There are a bunch I left off of the list because I hit a point of being uncomfortable slagging off so many artists that really seemed like they meant well.  Also, a mountain of string covers, mostly Quartets, that don’t deserve to be publicly ranked and judged.  All of them are pretty good, but I don’t think I’d enjoy them past the first listen or as a novelty thrown into a live performance.
What did I miss?  What do you disagree with?  What’s your favorite from the list, or do you think nothing lives up to the original?
While I’m on the subject, here are a handful of songs off the top of my head that I might want to give this treatment (or better) to in the future:
  • Halleluja – Leanord Cohen
  • All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan
  • House of the Rising Sun – Unknown
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • That Summertime song from Porgy and Bess
  • I don’t know, something by the Beatles, probably.
And finally, a Bonus:
Corinne Bailey RaeSince I’ve Been Loving You
I found this by accident in my half-assed research for this post and have to share it with anyone whom hasn’t seen it yet.  This thing is rad and that’s all I have to say about it.

Happy New Year?

It’s the first day of 2017, my first post of the year, and my first post in quite some time.  2016 was a real… thing.  Lot of bad, bit of good.  Outside of a couple of half-written drafts that accidentally posted on accident, I didn’t really blog last year.  I’ve also largely punched out of social media.  Let’s be honest, I’ve largely punched out of social anything, including real life, though at least some degree of that is just a matter of not having time.

I’ve found some of that lost time and, having relearned to use it on real living and not just barely getting by between work tasks, I have been feeling a very strong desire to reengage with some of my more positive habits.  One of those is maybe writing a bit more.  Yeah?  Well, I guess we’ll see.  I have a lot I want to talk about, though I struggle for how to talk about it with any amount of entertainment value, and I’d prefer not to bore the rare reader to tears.  So yeah, I’m looking to do some more gettin’ on here, this website what I pay for and has my name on it and all.  But I guess we’ll see.

Also, fuck Trump and any asshole who voted for him.

Fuck Provolone

There.

I said it.

I’ll say it again.

FUCK PROVOLONE.

For years and years and years, I have had to sit through friends and family act as if this bland, rubbery, boring, almost-mozzerella bullshit is the best cheese of all time forever.  I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.  You are so wrong that it upsets me.  Shut the fuck up, you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re a rube and you need to take your head out of Provolone’s boring asshole.  Think I’m wrong?  Bring it.  Here’s a list of seven cheeses that beat the absolute shit out of Provolone.

 

Dear Pornographers, What the fuck happened to the story?

And for that matter, what happened to the music?

Look, I’m a skeezy dude, so I don’t always need a story.  I think that most of the guys that I know would probably say that they never need the story, just the five or fewer minutes that it takes to finish.  But I like the story.  Even when it’s stupid and sometimes especially when it’s stupid.   I like

I have been to India

Yes.  I have been to India.  Like… ’bout a week ago.

I’ve actually put in some real thinky-time on this as to whether or not I’d ever been there, and I’m pretty damned sure I haven’t.  That probably sounds like an absurd statement, but there was a brief time in my life where I traveled quite a bit.  Most of that travel was professional and most of the places I visited during that time either don’t count as a visit or just barely do.  Years ago, I learned that saying you visited a place when you never left the airport is the mark of a real fuckin’ new guy.  Or real fuckin’ asshole.  Probably both.  At most, you can count that as a “passed through”, but I think the phrase isn’t very honest when applied to a layover.  Well… I guess if the layover is long enough and you get to leave the airport for longer than a meal, shower, and smirkoff in a hotel, then I think it’s fair to consider it as more significant than typical layovers.  Working travel can be fun or it can be a nightmare.  I suppose that’s true of any travel, but I think that business travel has the highest chance of landing in the range between disappointing and terrible.  Sorry for the pun.  They just kinda fly out of me sometimes.

There was a point to that.  My trip to India was for business.  So it wasn’t a fuck-off pass through an airport.  But even though I’d been there a few weeks, I feel like saying I have been to India is maybe not totally honest.  I mean, it was a fantastic opportunity and I am infinitely thankful for it.  But it was for business.  When you go for business, especially when business is already busy and relies too heavily on you, it is difficult to enjoy your trip.  I was there for about three weeks but, in earnest, I’d say the total hours I spent actually touring the beautiful country would add up to four, maybe five days.  I spent my arrival weekend mostly stuck in the hotel, trying to fix things back in the ‘States with an underpowered laptop while in my hotel room.  On the plus side, the hotel was a 5-star and it lived up to every star.  I mean, sure the room itself wasn’t great but… look, I’ve been in a lot of hotels.  I find the rooms are usually at least a little shitty, no matter how nice the hotel itself.  I’ve developed a bit of a theory about this, which I could probably spend some real length diving into some other day.  The long and short of it is that the rooms suck a little because they can suck a little.  Not to say hotels are deliberately being cheap, but rather there isn’t really a need for top-of-the-line anything.  I want a pretty decent bed with clean and comfy sheets, a decent internet connection, and a decent shower with towels I feel okay about drying my balls off with.  Really don’t give a shit about the quality of the TV.  Don’t care if the paint is shit.

Anyway, I have some pictures from India.  I have some more thoughts about it, but it’s almost 3 AM and I gotta get the fuck to bed.  I don’t know.  Laterz, yo.

tl;dr – I don’t know, somethin’ somethin’ India, somethin’ somethin’ hotels.

I should really get back to blogging again.