Sunday, October 24, 2010

A "Bloody" Piece of Steak

Originally written and publish -Sunday, May 11, 2008 

Some of you know that I just returned to work after 6 weeks of medical leave because of a sever intestinal problem. Well needless to say money has been more then tight. But every single day I have scraped together 50 cents to go up to the local bar and sign the book (pay 50 cents sign your name and if they draw your name the next day you win the pot, which is now at $900.00).

Now you might think that was a stupid way to spend what little money I did or didn't have at the time, but every 18 months my name comes up like clock work. This is that time. So, on Friday I got my first paycheck in almost two months and it was for only for half the pay period. But it was so nice to have money again. Even if I could only pay a couple of the many overdue bills I have, I still allowed myself $85.00 to have in my pocket for if nothing else the enjoyment of being able to buy something.

So last night one of my favorite bands was playing at a bar 9 miles from my house and since it was an acoustic show I knew it wouldn't be more then a five dollar cover.

So, about 8:00pm after making a video for a friend on YouTube, I got ready to go out. Before heading out the door, I realized I needed to eat. I hadn't eaten since noon. My sister was putting away the leftovers from the dinner she cook for my dad. She cooked him steak, and my sister cooks a mean steak. Lately I haven't had a problem getting steak down, so I cut myself about three or four ounces and started to eat it.

After finishing most of it I realized that I was running late. The show started at 10 and I still had to go to Watson's sign the book, say hello to the regulars, and get my ass to New Lenox to see Mr. Blotto

When I got to Watson's I had this horrible feeling come over me, the steak must have dried out too much because it wasn't sitting well with me. So the best thing to do in this case is to get a tall glass of ice-cold water, and let my newly augmented stomach panic and send it all back up. The pain stops, and all is right with the world. Expect if someone happens to be in the bathroom taking too long.

So I get a cup from the bartender, and have at it, outside. Because you can longer smoke in any building with public access in Illinois I had an audience, but not just any audience a DRUNK AUDIENCE. You know the kind over dramatic, think that they know everything ECT, ECT... So after ten minute of BSing my way through their Jack Daniel's wisdom, I noticed the time and quickly jumped in my car and headed off to Blottopia.

I had a surprise waiting for me there, and I enjoyed my night and went home as soon as they stopped playing.

This morning I wake up, and realized I forgot to sign the book. So in a panic I ran to the bar and asked the bartender to sign for today, and if I could sign for last night. She said "the money has already been dropped for last night so, No you can only sign for today." As I left I told her" Don't let anyone draw my name.

At 6pm tonight I went back to the bar to get some ice, and when I walked in everyone was staring at me. Then someone pointed to the sign that showed my worst fear had come true.... They pulled my name.


The Soundtrack of My Life

Originally written and posted -Sunday, April 06, 2008 

 I took the time to create a list of 10 songs and share the significance they have had in my life. 
So here goes (In no particular order, except 1)

1.) "Magic" by Ben Folds Five
When my mother was dieing of cancer my sisters and I took turns watching her 24/7. Since I worked midnights at the time, I would watch her overnight on my days off. One night about a week before she die, I fell asleep and missed giving her the hourly "self dose" of Morphine. I awoke to the sound of her crying in pain. I quickly push the button, and began to sing to her every song I could think of. When she fell back to sleep, I went back to the chair where I was sitting and the words to Magic popped into my head. Every word seemed to fit the emotions I would go through, when she pasted away. As I began to cry, I realized I was giving up my attachment to her living forever, accepting the fact that the end was near, and hoping death would bring her the rest and peace she deserved and wanted. This is why it is the most important song of my life.

2.) "Box Of Rain" by The Grateful Dead
You can go ahead and say this song is about dropping acid, but I have always heard it in this way; Life is a choice to be created the way you see fit. That even your identity is something you choose, take the parts that work well for you, and use them to their fullest potential. The things that don't work, get rid of them. Go to work at breaking that part of you up, until it's no longer there. "Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare".

3.) "Punk Rock Girl" by The Dead Milkmen
This song never fails to bring me back to the summer I was 18 (the summer of my life). A time when, all that mattered was right now, and how much fun can we have. "Tomorrow" only existed if Naked Raygun was playing a show at The Riviera. When I hear this song any troubles of the moment disappear.

4.) "Wonder Beer" by Naked Raygun
This song seems to capture perfectly a time in my life of total indulgence, and wondering and hoping, that someday responsibility would have a place in my life.

5.) "Somebody's Baby" by Jackson Browne
It was the summer I was 10 years old. We were on our family vacation to Canada. As we drove down the "strip" of Niagara Falls in our Winnebago this song was playing on the radio. We saw wax museums, carnival rides, arcades, and every other thing a kid would want to be enjoying. My mind was filled with wonder, and this song just felt like it had the same sense of wonder. It was years before I discovered how right I was. Also it is on the soundtrack to one of the greatest movies all time "Fast Times At Ridgemont High"

6.) "Rock The Casbah" by The Clash
This was the song that was playing when my little brother shot my little sister.

7.) "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John
When I was very young, my father's family lived on the south side of Chicago. We living way out in the "sticks" would sometimes (after a family gathering) stop and have a meal at Papa Joe's Pizza. It was a family own "pizza parlor" on 123rd street. One time a customer played this song on the jukebox, well my sister Carrie started bopping her head and was swaying along to the music. With in a minute the whole family joined in the fun. Since then, every time we came in, the own (Papa Joe, I guess) would play this song. It was a tradition our family was honored to have, and it was such fun to be a family that enjoyed being together.

8.) "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths
In moments of disappointment in life, this song seems to be an old friend. Something to remind me, that everyone hurts, gets rejected, and is scared things won't ever work out. I listen to it so I don't feel so alone.

9.) "Closer To The Heart" by Rush
I couldn't leave Rush off the list. They are one of my favorite bands. My love of Rush is the only thing I feel, I have in common with my older brother. I love him, but it seems that Rush is the one thing on which, we can see eye to eye. 'Closer To The Heart' is not my favorite song, but it does capture the essence of the band (both lyrically as well as the power and precision of their music), and I guess I see this song as a metaphor about what is missing in my relationship to my brother.

10.) "Nostalgia" by My Big Beautiful
Till recently, this song was just a memory (no pun intended).  Having only heard the song three times, it has been one of my favorites for over ten years. It makes me believe that the phenomena's of wonder and wisdom can exist together, with out being juxtaposed. That idea inspires me.

I Got Tagged Again

Originally written and published -Tuesday, December 4, 2007 

I was once again tagged, this time by a childhood friend named Kelly to post 10 things about myself so that you may judge me more sufficiently....

1.) I had to rewrite this because I was on 9 and I hit the Backspace bar with out a cursor on the screen and it erased every thing!!

2.) Between the ages of 5 and 10 I collected raccoon stuffed animals. I had like 15 of them.

3.) Saturday night I went to the Christmas concert of the choir I am in (I took this season off because of my surgery) and I slipped on the ice while stepping on to the sidewalk. All the old people started freaking out, asking me if I needed an ambulance and what not.... It was F'ing cool, and I was fine.

4.) I hate the way choir is spelled. If you sound it out.... It should be spelled quior.... or at least chior....  What's up with that???

5.) To date I have 2,386 views on my blog, but only 4 subscribers.... who is reading/watching this shit???

6.) I have 7 cell phones scattered around my bedroom, I have used all but 1 (the one I bought for my mom, the Christmas before she died). I buy a new one but have never gotten rid of any of them.

7.) Yesterday I tipped 4 people for the great services they provided at a total of $50.11 (ok, the service at the Pancake House wasn't that good, but the broiled cod was, and she only got $3)

8.) My first kiss ever was from a girl in my first grade class named Jill Marth (she kissed me.... I was awesome)

9.) I have an allergy to the coagulant that holds the flavor to milk (or at least the one they used 30 years ago) I have never hade a real chocolate milk.

10.) The four dots that I use to separate ideas in these facts is a shout out to a former friend. And I miss you Moni 

A good Credit Score & 20% Down, You Can Dismantle My Childhood

Originally written and published -Monday, May 21, 2007

Toady I was on my way to my doctors office to get a hand full of referrals in preparation for up coming surgery, when I passed by the land where my childhood home used to be.

The local fire department burned it down 23 years ago for some good old fashioned practice. Since then it has sat there mostly untouched with all the trees and barns still in tacked, I could drive by and see so many memories, but now that to is a thing of the past.

Now that they are building new homes (and I suppose new memories). A sign posted near my old driveway said "Starting in the low 290's and going fast!!".

Now for that area 290 is dirt cheap. My parents paid 75 dollars a month for five bedrooms and 110 acres.

Although nothing of the old landscape remains but the driveway. I could still see so many things that haven't been there since Ronald Reagan was in office. ( by the way ... my little brother sued "Ronnie" while in office and at the age of  7, and got what he asked for)

As I drifted back to that place in time, I found so many memories waiting for me.  Like sending countless hours pretending my bike was the Mach 5 (from Speed Racer) or the garden where I spent hot summer days avoiding picking weeds, and dreaming of a life easier then the one I was given.

 So many things came up for me, it was sad and sweet......

My dad could throw a football about a mile and a half back then, and my mother made the best soup and bread on the face of the planet, but only on Saturdays.

I thought about the day my little sister Meghan was born and how I called out to my mother countless times to see if I could come down stairs and meet my new sister. Now Meghan has a daughter of her own.

In my minds eye I could see the chair that I was tied up to while my parent took turns beating me for an hour and a half, because of a Parent/Teacher Conference gone wrong. And the barn where walking out the backdoor magically took you to the land of Narnia. I saw the tree I cried under the night my dog Monty died.

I can't help but wonder what will happen there in the future, and if some guy in his mid-thirties will someday blog about it and the times he had growing up in that little place in the world I use to call home.

How To Be My Very Best Friend

Originally written and published - Sunday, April 08, 2007

Caution: If you are one of my sisters, you do not want to read this!!!!!
So it was Saturday night and I was watching SNL when I got a phone call. It was not the call I had been waiting an hour and a half for, but none the less worth picking up. There on the line are these two girls who only seem to call me when they're drunk. They scream into the phone and insist that I come drink with them, and every once in a while say if I come out "Bambi" will give me sex.

Bambi, as you may have guessed is not her real name. I am sure that if her employer did not regularly search for her name and image on the Internet, she would not mind me saying who she is. (Hint: the other "hoe" from Get Some G) (A movie made by some friends of mine five years ago, and at the end I get all the hoes!)

For some reason (for the first time ever) I show up. They offer to buy me a drink, but because I am on Vicodin & Naprosyn for cracking two of my ribs at work on Friday I decline and get a 7up instead. The small talk begins, and after about 5 minutes Melinda says " hey, Tommy I want to be your #1 friend on MySpace what do I have to do to be your best friend". Because Melinda has a big ass rock on her finger, I said "it's not what you can do ".

After a quick laugh and some whispering Melinda says "if "Bambi" kisses you, can I be your best friend?", and I agree so "Bambi" kisses me on the cheek. Now I am not stupid, so I say "that will get you on my Top 16". So then "Bambi kisses me (very quickly) on the lips, and I say "you're now on my Top 12", and that's when the negotiations start. So for the price of kissing with tongue and writing a bulletin about it using the name "Bambi" for her friend, Melinda is now my #1 Top Friend on my MySpace page for the next 2 months.

Now this may seem a little fucked up, but the really fucked up part is that I truly regret that kiss. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it. I did, but not until it was over, and then only for a couple of minutes. You see I have this insecurity a bout kissing. It may be due to the fact that I did not kiss anyone between the 7th grade and the end of high School. So I missed out on getting to "hone my craft".

I have been told by almost every woman since that I am a great kisser but I have never believed it.  Also in the kiss with "Bambi" we were not touching each other with our hands and my ribs were hurting, and we were being watched. It was kind of awkward, but when it was over, at first I was very pleased. It was longer then I expected and she was the more aggressive party (which I really like) but I realized that I forgot my best move, and I started obsessing about how much better I could have been. I wanted to ask her if she thought it was any good, but I know that is the wrong thing to do.

So, if you want to be my #1 Top Friend on my MySpace list, and you have a hot friend (female, of course) on June 15th I will have an opening available so drop me a line and I promise I will do a better job kissing the next time.

That's all for now,

Tommy D.

My First Ever Tag Blog

   Originally written and published -Saturday, April 21, 2007 

Tagged to post 10 things about myself so that you may judge me more sufficiently...

My most guilty pleasure (that's not to say I love this more than anything else, I don't, it's just the most embarrassing thing that I like). The song "We Built this City (On Rock and Roll)" by Starship (formally The Jefferson Airplane)

2.)  I love the smell of Brake Cleaning Fluid. It's not like I huff it, I just enjoy the smell when I am changing the brakes on my car, or when someone else is using it for its intended propose.

3.)  I am very agnostic…and still haven't made a decision of what exactly is the "truth"…even now, I continue to second-guess myself as to whether I am correct in believing in science, or a superior being. One of the principle theories of Quantum Physics is that: there is not a future out there waiting to happen, but multiple possibilities waiting to be discovered. I guess the same could be said about the truth. Whatever their is to prove, can be. It is merely a function of declaration. I don't know if it is because my mother was a nun, and I was raised catholic, but I keep waiting for a sign that never comes.

4.)  My house…. The one I spent my early childhood in, is a place I think about all the time. It haunts me…. And it comforts me at the same time. Life was never the same after I left that house…. The world is safer now (at least for me), but it's not as magical as it was back then and there.

5.)  I can say my ABCs backward…at least I have twice, and under very serious consequence if I could not do it. I should have been arrested both times, but for some reason, I never was.

 6.)  I am unable to make a group decision of where to eat…as long as they serve an alterative to French Fries, I'm good…

7.)  I HATE reading …well I did, until about three years ago. Now I can't get enough of it (in small doses of course).

8.) I love summertime…at least the idea of it. I love it so much, I want to take it behind a middle school, and get it pregnant!!!  It is for me a time of year that is full of possibility. As a kid, it was so much fun going on vacations, falling asleep in the racetrack grandstands four nights a week and it was the one time of year I felt safe. I didn't have to worry about getting my ass kicked by my parents for something I did at school. Up until the summer that I was 19, every single summer, was one I will never forget. Since then they have never lived up to my expectations, but for some reason the romance has never faded….   this year, will be the summer I am never going to forget.

9.)  My car is a complete disaster area…I need yellow caution tape…its a mess…I wish it smelled like pickles …I am currently interviewing to fill the position of my own personal "car boy"…this person would be required to drive me around and be available whenever I decide, I might need to be driven somewhere…this person would also be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of my car…which involves knowing what is important enough to keep and putting it in its appropriate place…and then trashing the remainder.

10.)  Sometimes, I feel like life is always going to let  me down.

ISU is not so Normal

        Originally written and publish - Tuesday, April 03, 2007 

 On Monday I went to Illinois State University (in Normal, IL.) to see Ben Folds. It was a night I will never forget. The set list was the better then any of the 37 shows I have seen in the past. The harmonies were perfect (from the band as well as the audience) and it seemed that the piano and drums were in sync. At this point you may be thinking what about the bass. I was asking myself that same question for 2 hours and 11 minutes (the entire show).
 I am sure that Jared Reynolds did a great job playing that bass, but no one in the second balcony heard it. Now I am not blaming Leo (Ben's sound man) he is not only a great guy, he is also one of the best soundmen in the biz. The blame can only be put on the designer and staff of the Braden Auditorium.
 Now I'm sure the designer of this auditorium did not have "rock shows" in mind when considering the acoustic qualities of the room, but due to the fact that I was unable to hear one spoken word the entire show makes me believe the designer was profoundly deaf. At some point in the history of this auditorium someone must have complained to the staff about how bad the sound is up there.
 The second balcony is about 400 feet from the stage, and about 50 feet above the highest set speakers. So the sound you get up there has bounced off every surface in the room at least twice, making it sound like it is coming out of a tin can stuck inside of a seashell. The solution seems very simple to me, put a row of speakers at the same level as the balcony. Maybe it is not that simple, but surely something could be done to improve the sound quality, that is, if anyone cared.
 So if you hear that a band you like is coming to the Braden Auditorium at ISU do yourself a favor, go on the Internet and see where else they are playing and go to that show, because even if you have to drive a hundred miles further to see them, it has got to be a better venue.

That all for now,

Tommy D.