Friday, December 9, 2011

Weren't You Saying Something About A Google Doc?

This past weekend brought me back to one of my favorite institutes of higher learning. A land where students are always smiling, the sun is rarely shining, and there's always a fresh supply of soap in the fountain; York College of Pennsylvania. YCP's a capella group, Rhapsody, where I used to hum my share of jingles, was having its winter concert and it was awesome to see the group perform from the audience for the first time since my first semester at York. I'll definitely get back to the show and whatnot, but I figure I'll start at the beginning of the weekend and work my way up to the concert.
As with any story worth recanting, it all began on the train rumbling towards Penn Station. I sat across from a young mother and her admittedly rather adorable daughter. She kept staring and smiling over at me, accidentally kicking me in the knee, and wanting me to play with her stuffed whale of some sort. Her daughter kind of kept to herself.
Just kidding, it was the daughter who was doing these sort of things and as a result I got to talking with them a little bit, which always helps the time go by a little quicker. Plus, what kind of 22-year-old man isn't secretly dying for an excuse to play with stuffed animals? No one I'd care to meet.
I made the transfer to the Lancaster-bound Amtrak at Penn and found myself sitting behind a group of about six Amish women. I was a little surprised at how loud they were throughout the train ride. I mean, I know it's not like they're nuns or under a vow of silence or anything, so it's not like my jaw was on the floor or anything, but I guess with their conservative dress code and semi-isolated lifestyle I kind of expected their demeanor to be as reserved as their clothing. While they weren't obnoxious by any means, they were anything but reserved and sounded like a bunch of gossiping women trading German/Dutch-accented stories. At one point I heard one of the women call another a "hot dog". The turn of phrase in combination with the thick accent made it quite chuckle worthy and fortunately I was far enough away that I wasn't exposed as an eavesdropper.
Their yakking continued well up until we were leaving the train and even as I met Dennis and Dunn in the train station lobby and the Amish ladies left behind, I commented to them both that they were pretty darn boisterous. Dunn, in his all-too-wise monotone replied, "we noticed." Dunn has this relaxed way of speaking sometimes that is really quite intriguing. He can say something with next to no emotion and still make you feel like he's in tune with something larger than the conversation at hand.
Not to jump ahead in the story too much, but when I returned to Dennis' house on Saturday night, I was about ready to pass out when Theo burst into the room with a hubcap in his hand. Such a suspicious, yet almost expected, sight was the perfect note to hit the sack on and after recounting the uncanny vision to a few through text, I passed out. The next morning, the boys noticed that one of the screens to their doors were knocked out. After spending a minute debating how it could have happened, Dunn spoke up and said, "I know Theo was looking to get...reckless." The whole room kind of got quiet and nodded. No one said anything more about it. That, my friends, is the power of Ryan Dunn.
Anyway, Friday stayed pretty mellow. You could tell it was my second time back because it felt more like truly being back at York. There was no real mad dash to see this person or catch up with another, especially with the Rhapsody concert all but guaranteeing I'd see most everyone at some point. I was able to grab a leisurely bite at a diner with Gloves, Dunn, and Sarah and then casually bounce back to what I'll call "The Beatles House" simply because listing everyone's names would take a while. Brett and I wasted little time jumping into NBA talk, Ben and I about headphones and matters of the heart, and Amber and I snide insults combined with truly supportive words of candor and kindness. A style of rhetoric I feel only a select few can pull off. I talked jazz with this cat I had just met, Will, and got to know this cat Dan Street who seemed like a solid dude. He seemed to really enjoy the style in which I spoke and suggested I get into radio, writing, or some sort of self-help field. Let's face it, statements like that are a good way to make a quick friend out of me.
Later on, a few of us slid down to the bar where I was THRILLED to unexpectedly run into my old freshman dorm-mate, Brendan. Definitely a highlight of the trip. Glad to hear he's about done and faring well. Ran the pool table with Joe Mayes while Jackie and Zach provided some on-point commentary. Not to make their jobs seem too easy, but pretty much all of the games went as follows: Poli gets off to a hot start, pocketing about four balls in a row and inexplicably goes quite cold leaving Joe to clean up his mess. After the pool run I caught up with some surprise faces, hit the dance floor for a spell and headed for my designated couch at Dennis' digs.
On Saturday I saw some of the same faces as Zappy was kind enough to extend the invite for me to check out his new domicile of Springetsbury (spelling?). Great spot. Nice to meet his family and housemate, John, who let me rub his snake. Take from that what you will.
With that it was concert time. I grabbed a row with the Czar, dear Sharnell, and the Sultan of Seeds himself, Greg Sullivan. The theme this semester was "Stereotypes" a theme I tossed out via text very much in jest many months ago. Imagine my shock when the theme was actually selected after it taking four years to win the majority over on the power of large hats. At first mention, I considered Stereotypes a pretty dangerous theme, but it was really quite tame, mercifully. With a few favorites of mine being Luke's "Villain" and Justin Rivera's "Redneck". The concert really FLEW by. I mean, I don't know if that's because there were less songs being sung, if there wasn't some blowhard president talking between songs, or if it just goes that quickly from an audience member's perspective. I was really floored at the quality of the tunes and everyone except Jaci did wonderful. I really couldn't pick a favorite if I wanted to, there was so much talent on the stage. However, I will give one quick acknowledgement to Doug Feeney for his work on "Bring Me To Life" I know from experience with that solo that's it's really fun the first couple of times you do it and then kind of a pain in the butt to muster such anger-fueled intensity time and time again. He did great work. As did the rest of the group. If I spent the time complimenting every little thing I liked, you'd be reading all day, so I'll spare you.
Just before intermission of the show, I was speaking with Sharnell and Amber about how in my time in Rhapsody, I really only remember one person keeping the money they won from the 50/50 money. I mentioned that I wanted to give the raffle a shot, but if I did win I'd have a REALLY hard time giving up the money so selflessly. I didn't want to be "that guy" especially "former member that guy" if that makes any sense, yet I eventually decided to just go for it and I bought a single a ticket while those ahead of me and behind bought bunches of five and ten tickets. Naturally, I was under the impression that my internal debate over my mini-morality crisis would be all for naught anyway. Nonetheless, me being me, I talked a big game and asked Sharnell if she wanted to see the winning ticket. She played along as only she could and we had a good time with it, wishing Amber weren't sitting in between us. As the ticket was about to be called, the gravity of the situation set in and I mentioned to Amber to brace herself if I won this. Either she or Sharnell then said, "just don't hit anybody." I laughed and almost missed the beginning of the number. Jaci appeared to call the numbers in slow motion as it was one of the few moments where you caught a glimpse of the uniformity of the universe and how you are but a section of a fingernail of the cosmos. Every now and again you get a cognisant glimpse of the universal being and this was one of those times as the final number was called and I realized I had won the drawing.
In hindsight, it's not like a did cartwheels or anything, but I got a little too excited about 34 dollars, but I just think winning a raffle can be cooler than the prize itself. In one of my less philanthropic moments, I took the money and a cookie from Renee. Carly was kind enough to mention my name to the crowd and they, in addition to the group on stage, gave me a nice ovation to return to my seat to. It was moving. Not like a tears well up kind of moving, mind you, but it was a warming moment.
After the show, I walked back to Brett's house with Amber and we started warming up for the Rhapsody communion. I implored Ben Scott to inject our ears with the Talking Heads and he obliged, much to everyone's (I hope) delight. Doug seemed especially excited for the music choice and after talking with him about the group for a bit, I encouraged him to "get involved" with more of their tunes. Apparently my budding buzz was causing me to channel my inner Thomas Wolfe. Doug seemed to dig the phrase and I, obviously, didn't care one way or the other.
On the walk over to the Rhapsody party, Amber warned me that at some point "Ants Marching" would have to be sung. I kind of expected as much and was neither looking forward to nor dreading the experience. I think overall I was excited at the prospect. Singing with Rhapsody in any context is always super fun, but I did expect to at least ease into the part first. I'm literally in the party for no more than 40 seconds when all of the sudden Amber and Carly are grabbing my arms and pulling me over to the group. Apparently it was showtime and a good time at that. Great to meet new members and catch up with my friends. Isolated stories from the night, but nothing worth troubling you about. On my way out, I signed Justin Rivera's face which, surprisingly, given how often the opportunity came up over the year we spent together, was a first. I feel bad about it, but I wanted him to know I cared. In a twisted way, mission accomplished. Back to Dennis', enter reckless Theo, and you're all caught up.
The next day, Amber was kind enough to have me in tow for her work commute to Harrisburg, dropping me at the station. Even though we left before the sun had risen, I can honestly say that commutes with the Czar are always memorable as even when the sun is down she finds a way to light up a room, or in this case, a vehicle. Okay that's a lie, Amber tends to be more of a cloud than a sunbeam, but nonetheless it was a great time hitting the road with her vibing about this and that. Now, maybe this was the sleep deprivation setting in, but in her cup holder, Amber had this charmingly small orange juice container and I couldn't get enough of it. It was the kind of carton that you give to like a five-year-old for lunch time complete was attached straw (not on that one, but typically.) For some reason, I was smitten with it. Now I realize that most of you (including Amber should she read this) are thinking to yourself, "Good Lord, Poli, it's just a damn juice box. Do you have to be so weird about everything you observe?" To an extent you're right and I apologize, but like I said, I was running on very little sleep and something about the image of Amber sitting in the faculty lounge sipping on her little straw really tickled a chord with me.
After I basically saved our lived by pointing out a "one way" street sign, we got to the train station without much incident and I headed inside after saying goodbye and thanks. I was Philly-bound to visit the Kernel Denny Basens and boarded out of the 'burg. Regrettably no sign of any hot dog Amish, but there was one thing of note that took place on the train.
I boarded the train with my jacket on. This other cat, who was wearing an Easter-yellow (if that's a color) polo with blue jeans and sneakers. He decided to sit next to me. Now, on the surface of things, there's nothing about that which seems peculiar in any way. Except, dear friends, I was wearing the exact same outfit underneath my jacket and that train was heating up quick.
Even now some of you are wondering what the big deal is and five years ago I would be amongst you wondering what the big deal was. However, that all changed one brisk autumn evening of my freshman year of college when Steve Murillo and I went to pick up a pizza. Steve and I both had the same York sweatshirt and happened to be wearing them at the same time when we were going to pick up the pie. He said that one of us should probably change. I was semi in a rush and didn't see what the big deal was and despite his appeals to reason, I stubbornly said not to worry about it and he relented and we left. Together. Matching. Walking down Jackson.
Not since my junior year of high school when I said the Chicago White Sox would win 2 of the next 5 World Series have I eaten my words so thoroughly. We were greeted with many an "aww" from girls and some jibes of varying friendliness from dudes. The whole time Steve was justifiably saying that he told me this would happen and we had to walk back to the dorm separately to avoid the same treatment on the return trip. I can't remember misreading a social situation worse than that in my entire life and to this day I apologize to Steve for a moment of embarrassment that was 110 percent all my fault.
Well anyway, back on the train I know the moment of truth is coming as this train car is really getting warm. Finally, I cave and take off my coat and there we sit, next to each other. Matching to the T. Fortunately the world doesn't implode, but lo and behold, after about five minutes this guy takes out a grey sweatshirt and puts it on. I know in my heart that wasn't coincidence and I wanted to say something like "I'm sorry it got too hot" but I never quite had the guts. In our hearts, we knew.
Spending time with Denny and his family was a good time. We spent most of the time playing basketball and catching up with our very particular brand of humor. The Basenses were very kind and his mother shared my passion for brushing our teeth frequently throughout the day. It was nice to meet a kindred spirit of dental hygiene. I also got to know Denny's new nephew, Devon, spending most of his day nibbling away on his own fingers. I gave him what advice I could about life and basketball and his big ol' eyes seemed to be very appreciative. Great time with Denny and in York. Thanks to all who made it special.
Song of the Day: Flower In The Sun-Janis Joplin
Jazz Song of the Day: I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm-Billie Holiday

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Been Through Astoria Past The Horse With No Name

It has been kind of a spell since I last chimed with my two shekels. For that I apologize. A lot of stuff going on as it at last seems some job leads are taking root after months of dutiful gardening, in the metaphorical sense. Most recently a lead in Lancaster which, it seems, may want to tune me into their operation. The NBA season is underway, which I tend to absorb myself in and I'm in the throws of working on a One Act play concerning contemporary faith and religion and a couple poems reaching their final drafts. A lot of writing going on, not enough focus on Yesternow. I aim to rectify that with this post.
I'll wind the clocks back to the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving and begin our journey in Astoria, Queens where I was staying with Ben and Jake in their pad which they were kind enough offer me for the night to make my commute to the city for a job interview the next day a bit less of a grind. I love how the first and last thing I see every time I board the N and Q to arrive in or leave Astoria is the mechanical horse ridden so expertly by Sean Taylor, tamer of beasts great and small, warm-blooded or electric. It warms my heart instantly.
It was great to just sit back and vibe with Ben and Jake without any real plans. I can think of few more relaxing and enjoyable experiences in recent memory. Don't underestimate the value of simply reclining with your good friends and sharing thoughts, ideas, and laughs. A highlight of the evening was watching Ben Kraus iron his shirt so painstakingly only to have it wrinkle again of its own accord as it rested on a hanger. It was, apparently, a "wrinkle-free" shirt Ben found on the clearance rack at Kohl's. I suppose now it's clear why the deal was so good.
Anyway, I hit the sack early and woke in the morning in the same fashion. While I was just finishing up my morning routine, I was treated to an unexpected visit from their very Italian landlord, Sal, a stout whirlwind of a man speaking a mile a minute and switching from English to Italian mid-sentence, probably involuntarily. Fortunately, I have some experience speaking the Mediterranean tongue and we communicated together just fine with me even daring to speak some Italian with him. After he fixed the thermostat and we traded some bilingual pleasantries, he bid farewell and was gone just as quickly as he'd arrived.
I left myself moments after him and caught the subway to my interview. I had the unfortunate luck of sitting next to man who was nursing a cold and kept making a god-awful snorting noise, presumably to contain a runny nose. As much as the noise wasn't pleasant, it wasn't big deal; not to me anyway. Apparently that wasn't the case for this young woman about my age sitting across from us. Each time this poor guy made that noise that woman stared absolute daggers at this man as if to say, "Can you tell how gross that is?" stopping the application of her make-up to make these looks to punctuate her point. As much as I'm sure everyone in the subway car was at least thinking something similar, it was clear that the guy couldn't really control his bodily functions. This girl, wrapped in her business casual attire with freshly applied red lipstick and modest blush, was not cutting this guy a break. I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculous overreaction of this impatient stranger and found myself observing the situation with quite a wide grin and a few stifled chuckles. Feel better, man, she doesn't speak for everyone.
The interview itself was solid. Less to say about it than you might think. It was for an internship with Flavorpill, which I equate to being a kind of hipster "Rolling Stone" for the NYC arts and culture scene. Just to give you some closure about the situation, they decided to go with another candidate who had more of a pre-existing knowledge of the NYC artistic underground. I can't argue with them and wish both Flavorpill and the new intern all the success in the world.
Following the interview, I found myself in the NYU area with the live-long-day at my disposal. I called up the myth and legend Elliot Greene, who I knew lived in the area and he was able to pass the time of day with me for a while. He gave me a first hand look glimpse into his Bohemian paradise as we strolled the streets and Franklin Square talking about the poetry scene, the highs and lows of academia, good cheap food, and the pursuit of literary creation. It was great to catch up with him and see that he was doing well. Shortly thereafter, I left Astoria leaving behind a family sized bag of Salt and Vinegar chips as a thank you to my hosts.
Two days later, the holiday weekend officially began and was largely uneventful in terms of blog-worthy stories. That Wednesday I met up at Matty's and was pleasantly surprised to discover that his brother, Kevin, was going to be joining us on the town that night. Kevin was wearing green, I was wearing blue, and Matty was in red. I commented that we kind of looked like Alvin and the Chipmunks, a notion which tickled Matty and I to no end and provoked us to attempt falsetto-laden renditions of a few of our favorite tunes. I think it's safe to say that after about three minutes Kevin wasn't nearly as thrilled to be out with us. In all seriousness, it was great time to be out with friends and as it is with most any Thanksgiving weekend, you wind up seeing a lot of old familiar faces which is always... an experience.
The holiday itself was a solid one and I hope you enjoyed yours. Nice to spend time with the family and whatnot. Among the highlights of the day were swapping a couple train stories with my uncle, as I've become quite the seasoned veteran of riding the rails to and fro and he is as well. I feel as though we were both holding back some of the stories we could have told due to my grandmother being three feet away from us, but it was nice to share some episodes in mass transit and hopefully we pick up the conversation again soon. It was also cool to hear a bit about my cousin's college experience. I feel as though his entering college kind of signifies the opening of a door to a new level of our cousin to cousin relationship. Already we were talking about some more personal experiences and feelings that in the past we had never really disclosed to one another. The prospect of us being a little more open with each other is, to me, pretty warming.
The next evening, I met some friends at the Kraus house and was greeted by some rather oppressive Christmas music coming from the house across the street from them. It only took about three seconds for me to be bothered by it and I realized that the music was coming from the neighbor's Christmas light set up. Before I even got to the door I was choked up with laughter at the idea that this bothersome soundtrack was not an isolated incident, but an all day everyday staple of life on Niagara St. Ben answered the door and I feel like from the wry grin on his face he knew what I was going to ask before I even said anything. I simply pointed across the way and said, "is that an all day thing?" All he said in return was "tell me about it" and I instantly doubled over in laughter. Emily went on to explain that here room was positioned in just the right way to get the Yuletide tunes in surround sound and again I was in a fit of hysterics. Poor Kraus'. Santa can't come soon enough.
This past weekend, I took a trip to York. Look for a post concerning that tomorrow.
Song of the Day: Phat Cat-Kyle Hollingsworth
Jazz Song of the Day: Rumor-Christian Scott

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Garnish of a Cosmopolitan is a Lime

I want to start off this post by plugging an absolutely wonderful non-profit organization that is worthy of your support. Response of Suffolk County is a crisis hot line that offers caring ears to those in need regarding anything from loneliness, depression, drug abuse, mental illness, family issues, grief counseling. We all have, in some way, dealt with, or are trying to cope with issues like this. It's great to seek solace from these issues by confiding in friends or family, but some don't have that outlet. Response of Suffolk County a truly great cause and are working hard to have a positive impact on those in need. You can help by texting 109471 to 73774 everyday for the rest of the month and helping them receive a grant from Pepsi to aide their operation. Help is a text away. Seek Response of Suffolk County on facebook or Google for more information.

I had the privilege of getting to know about the organization as I took part in a three-on-three tournament fundraiser for them last week. I was put on to the event by Sean Gallagher and signed up with Roo (like kangaroo) and Jay (like the letter) to take on all comers. We did pretty well, securing the 4 seed and upsetting the 3 seed before losing in the semis. Also, I (along with half the field) came in second place in the free throw shooting contest, just missing claiming a 16 dollar gift certificate to I-don't-remember-where-but-does-it-really-matter-it-is-free. I mention the tournament for the sake of plugging the program and a couple quick anecdotes.

In an homage to Bretton Woods' own, Coop, we chose the team name of "Say Cheese". As I mentioned we did a decent job living up to those lofty expectations, but to an extent it's a little surprising that I made it to the event at all. Obviously, I know where Stony Brook University is, but regarding its layout, I really have next to no idea where anything is. I was naively optimistic when I turned into the section of campus that said "Athletic Complex" My hopes for a smooth arrival were further fortified when I saw another sign for the complex with an arrow pointing towards the left as I entered the campus itself from the main drag. However, as I went to turn left, construction blocked the way of my car. I figured, "okay, if there's a sign here, it can't be too far away" so I made a quick right instead and parked in a lot no more than a few yards from the sign... and set out for a quick walk.

I was following the sign, so I never really got nervous about being lost or anything, but I did get a little concerned when I stopped a girl to confirm I was going the right way and she kind of winced when I mentioned my destination. She said aloud, "Let me think about which way would be quicker." She was debating between the direction I'd come and the direction I was going. Then it was my turn to wince and I resisted the urge to tell her that the godforsaken sign had told me to come that way. She eventually sent me on my way and told me to keep on going the same way I had been. Several, several, several minutes later I did traverse the bulk of that end of campus and make it to the tournament, needing a drink before we'd even shot a basketball. I have since been back to clock the trip and I had walked just under four miles to get to the venue. I curse the heck out of that sign, but by the time I realized that maybe this gym isn't as close as I thought, it was too late to turn back. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day outside.

Say Cheese's first matchup was against a trio of Gallaghers who were just a blast to play against and we had as many laughs as we did buckets that game. We pushed each other to our limits and thankfully we came out with the upper hand, but all six of us were pretty darn wiped after the tight game to 21. In spite of the sweat and hands-on-knees panting being displayed by both teams, no less than two minutes after reporting our score, Kevin and Matt were lined up at the starting line of the indoor track and prepping for a sprint.

Admittedly I had just really met Matt and Danny that day, Kevin and I hadn't a conversation more than a few sentences long since my freshman year of high school, and even Sean, whom I consider a good friend, is someone I don't see as often as I'd like, but I remember thinking distinctly "only a Gallagher would be lining up for a race moments after busting his hump on the basketball courts even though he was hurting." Quite a competitive crew. A special dynamic they have, from an outsider's perspective.

These past couple of weeks, Jay and I have been taking some far out bartending courses after which we'll be "certified" bartenders. This experience has afforded no shortage of memories that will last the better part of our lifetimes, including an older woman disclosing her dominion over the color spectrum and sexual aspirations, me being peer pressured into a pool game with a very drunk Spanish man armed with condoms but not fifty cents, and an instructor who among many other things has made us see fast food in a whole different light. These stories are not really worth blogging about because some of them are not funny for the right reasons and they're all pretty situational and not worth the narrative build up I'd have to give them before getting to the point, so you'll excuse my vagueness here.

I like the job because it's kind of a legal way to sell yourself. Mixing drinks is not necessarily easy when you're learning about ten new ones a night everyday for two weeks, but it's not exactly hard either and you could teach a monkey to do it. Likely a monkey with a drinking problem, but I digress. What makes a bartender good at what he or she does is the way they interact with their patrons and, modesty aside, that's something I feel like I'm darn good at. I'm excited to kind of bring the voice and vision behind this blog beyond the page. To put it much less poetically, I can't wait to provide a service by being myself. I think that's what a lot of people dream of as a profession, and I'm not saying I want to be a bartender for the rest of my life, but I'm really enjoying the aspects of the business so far and I look forward to getting more involved with it. Plus, just think of the inspiration a nightly dose of inebriated people can provide this blog.

In the class, we work with dyed water rather than waste alcohol, but this past weekend Jay and I got the chance to sample the drinks we'd been making for the past week as we made the trip into the city to celebrate Mrs. Taylor's 50th birthday.

Mr. Taylor went to great lengths (even threatening bodily harm to his own son) to set up an absolutely wonderful surprise party for Mrs. Taylor and I was honored to have been a part of it. I don't feel it's my place to tell you the ins and outs of how the surprise was planned specifically, but when she walked into the room and was suddenly face to face with loved ones from all sorts of facets of her life, the emotion in the room and in her face was indescribable. The first thing that crossed my mind was that we all deserve to feel like that. For about thirty seconds, everything that was and is messed up or askew in my life and the world in general just vanished. It was one of the more profound moments of my life in recent memory. To share the love in the room and just to know that there are people in the world who care enough about each other to make something like that happen was incredibly warming. I can't stress enough how eye-opening the experience was.

I realize that was likely was the most hippie-like paragraph in Yesternow history, but sometimes I just have to take the time to embrace that part of me. It was a beautiful, beautiful moment and the reason I'm writing this blog. Not that you need me to tell you this, but cherish love of all kinds when you find it because everything else in life will absolutely grind you to dust.

I had a real Rhapsody missing moment, which I have to say are surprisingly rare. That sounds insensitive and I always miss them all {except Jaci} to an extent, but this was one time where it was really prominent. Hopefully you understand what I mean by that. Kind of like how I'm sure Rhapsody misses me doesn't really think about all that often unless Jaci is talking.

Anyway, Mrs. Taylor entered the party to "It's Raining Men" a song that as a result of Rhapsody will always have a bit of meaning to it for me. While the couple of Lynchburg Lemonades I'd ingested are partially to blame, I got a little pumped to hear the song and kind of looked around to see whom else was digging it and saw no one under 30 returning my enthusiasm. It was kind of a deflating moment, though looking back, I probably would have played it cool too if I were a 22 year-old male who was pleasantly surprised to hear "It's Raining Men". While it's not like a screamed, jumped around, and started dancing or anything, I definitely lost some man-points with my all-too-passionate head bobbing and humming.

Sean Taylor, donning some extra-special spectacles which made him resemble Clark Kent to the T, took some time off from the Daily Planet to share the night with his family. At last Sean Taylor's numerous disappearances are explained. Every time he's made such stealth and spontaneous disappearances he was obviously off to slow a runway train or hurl a meteor into the sun. It's all so obvious in hindsight.

Considering he's the Man of Steel, I should probably take it easy on him, so I want to thank Kal-El personally for inviting me that night. In all seriousness, at one point during the night when the drink samples had already effect, I did call Mr. Taylor Jor-El and laughed for no audience whatsoever. As Jay would say, I think we were both a little too "loose" to have any form of serious discussion about it.

Anyway, after the party, we hit up a few of the Tribecca bars and I took some time to ponder our mortality and nearly ran out of gas as a result, but thanks to everyone's favorite name that I regret to say I can't disclose on this blog, I caught my second wind and drew many a strange stare as Jay, Grebe and I were chanting it as loud as we could over the house music. Works better than any energy drink you can think of, I promise.

I understand that bars are supposed to be dimly lit and full of mood, or what have you, but this last place we went to was straight up dark. It was eerily reminiscent to a Jackson St. basement, and not in a fun nostalgia way either. Other than watching your step, the bar was still pretty solid and "bumping" as the kids are saying these days (I hope). At one point I was chatting with these ladies from Ohio. Since my sister went to school there, I had enough fun facts and knowledge to shoot the breeze some. At one point, unbeknownst to me, one of girls walked away to get a drink and when she came back I introduced myself as if I'd not met her before. She pointed out that we had just met and I muttered a feeble "oh, sorry, it's really dark" but something told me just to get out of there and I said good-bye to everyone and we headed home.

Something tells me I'd better get out of this blog post, too. Hope all is gold, my friends. See you next post. In closing, I forgot to mention the best part of the night: Mr. Stockhausen's beard.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Sean Taylor!

Also, can you tell me why you read this blog/what you like about it and send it to Thanks, it doesn't have to be long.

Song of the Day: The Ascent Of Stan-Ben Folds
Jazz Song of the Day: Pretty Eyes-Horace Silver

Monday, October 31, 2011

This Blog Post Is Double Breasted

A happy Halloween to all from this Winter Wonderland known as the east coast which is contradicting the time of the season more and more with every flake at rest on the autumn ground. To be perfectly honest, my particular slice of the Long Island suburbs had no snowfall and therefore has a climate much more befitting the night of fright, but from what I hear of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other areas of New York, the same cannot be said of their situation. I had the pleasure of spending Halloween weekend in one of those less fortunate areas of New York, as I went with friends Astoria, Queens. The following is the account of a night and following day that will live in infamy from this day forward.

This past weekend, not only were we celebrating the one night of the year you can dress like a buffoon and be hailed for it, but it was also the one and only Deanna's birthday. We spent a fair amount of time and Ben and Jake's place where we had miscellaneous good times. I do have to say that my puns were on point that night. Not one to toot my own horn unless we're talking about NBA knowledge and opinions, I would hope that fact alone would vouch for the validity of my ego stroking claim. I mean, anytime Grebe is dressed up as a cow and Sean Taylor is dressed up as a dog, you're going to have some material to work with, but I was really outdoing myself, even by my standards. It would be overkill if I told you a few of them, but I do want to share my favorite of the night:

Jay's costume consisted of a fetus (complete with a nipple, disturbingly enough) attached to the side of his head. The wig which, relative to nothing, made him look a lot like Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees. Anyway, Jay, at one point, said something negative in jest. I replied, "I don't like your defeatist attitude." (Of course, pronounced de-fetus-t) I laughed to no end, and fortunately I wasn't alone.

For her birthday, Jay and I, with genuinely awesome back up voices from the group, performed a rather off the cuff, but pristine, rendition of "The Monster Mash" which we doctored a bit to better suit the birthday occasion. A tremendous time. Various other jams took place as Jay and Ben Kraus, appropriately dressed as Bob Dylan to match his sharp counterpart, Edie Sedgwick, portrayed by Deanna with a very convincing wig, jumped on the harmonica which he happened to have handy. Jake and I traded some rhymes, where I took the time to reference both Wilson Chandler and James Harden, much to Jay's udder delight. (That was a Grebe cow pun. Not the best, but better than a cow pie.)

After that we decided to brave the elements and head out to a bar where costumes were abound. I quickly made friends with a girl named Tamika. It was great to talk to her, for sure, because we wound up with a whole lot in common (appreciation of sports, jazz, fear of the letter "c", etc.) but our initial introduction had its hurdle. I asked who she was for Halloween, she gave various hints, I eventually guessed Columbiana (a recent movie about a girl who kicks butt that I don't think very many people saw), she corrected me, saying she was Rosario Dawson's character from Sin City. I promptly replied "wow that's an old movie at this point." I said it in such a way that was not at all sensitive, supportive, or appreciating. She justifiably just stared at me for a second and I apologized after realizing how impulsive I'd been. I must have seemed like quite the judgmental ass who was wearing nothing but a giant foam cowboy hat; not exactly the kind of costume in which you should take yourself too seriously. We shared a hearty laugh about it and spoke for another 10 minutes or so before I slid out to be with my friends. In one of the more moving moments of my life, my friends later raised a toast to me. Not too much to say about that other than it was a really awesome thing to do that I really wanted to take the time to thank them for.

We stopped at a second bar for about ten minutes. Nothing of note was happening except for a girl named Monica celebrating her birthday. Happy birthday, Monica, you're birthday is now immortalized in semi-permanent form on the Yesternow blog for all its small, but passionate, readership to acknowledge. HUZZAH!

(Did he just say huzzah in all capital letters? Is he drinking? Does he really think we care? Is Conan new tonight? Did I remember to lock my car?) All compelling questions, dear reader.

Anyway, the third bar we went to was really quite poppin'. (I don't think I can pull that word off) We had a great time meeting new people. For the record, I don't think there is any better wingman than a guy with a fetus on his head (strength in numbers). In all seriousness, Jay and I had a great time getting to know new friends.

Now, by no stretch of my rather active imagination do I consider myself a ladies man, but apparently there was another sheriff in the bar who was rather envious of the attentions I was receiving and he pulled a VERY FAKE ORANGE gun and starts kind of playfully instigating his dislike of me. It was mostly hat envy, I'm sure. I just took Joan, Jen and the others away from the scene and nothing really went further. I do believe that the guy, while far from being cool, was trying to joke around about the situation and was just either too drunk or socially inept to do so properly. Jay was pretty bothered by the exchange and hopped in to call him out and make him seem foolish. I hung by to make sure it got no further than that and it didn't and we carried on our night without further incident. In hindsight, I probably should have been more upset about it, but I was having too much fun otherwise and it's probably for the best of the whole situation that I let it roll off my back the way I did.

Eventually, the bar wanted to close so we were politely kicked out of the place. In the hustle to gather everyone together, we lost track of a few people, including our own friends much less the new ones we'd just made. (Between you me and the wall, kind of bummed I didn't grab Joan's number.)

It wound up being Sean Taylor (a dog mind you), Jay, and I finding our way back to Ben's place. We were going a way that neither Jay nor I were familiar with and wound up trusting Sean Taylor unleash his inner hound and follow his nose to lead us back to the pad. For a while it felt like the blind seeing eye dog leading the blind, but I have to say he did get us back in one piece, but not without some episodes along the way.

Now the entire walk home, Jay and I were had the uncontrollable urge to help our fellow man. The whole trip Sean Taylor kept lamenting how cold he was. Every time he did so, I insisted he take my coat. He never accepted, but as I sign of protest I walked home with no coat on myself. If my friend was going to freeze, by God so was I. Also on our trek, there was a guy around our age packing up these chairs at the end of the night. He was struggling to do so and a few of them were falling. Jay and I asked him if he needed some help. He distinctly said no thanks and we distinctly ignored him and helped him stack all the chairs. He was very grateful. No one was going to get in between us and a good deed that night.

At one point, Jay and I grew concerned about the direction we were going and wanted to grab a cab for ourselves just to be sure. Sean Taylor was adamant he knew what he was doing and for the record, he was right. Nonetheless, we stopped a cab and were greeted by two friends literally pulling a third out of the back. Now, this guy was OUT. We're not talking can't walk, we're not even talking can't stand, we're talking positively out in an unintentional drunk coma. As soon as the friends drag this guy out, he immediately slams flat on the sidewalk without even reacting to it. His boys are saying that he has to get up and are trying and failing to drag him on the sidewalk and get him up. Jay and I did not bother to help them, for they were beyond saving. As we went to hop in the car, we realize that the slumbering brother had hurled all over the back of the car. The cab driver tried to coax us to stick around while he cleaned the inside. Naturally, there was no way we were getting in that car. The driver said that all he needed was some alcohol to clean it up with. In my last pun of the night I said that it looked like alcohol caused this situation in the first place. We got out of Dodge and Sean Taylor got us home.

Ben Kraus let us in the apartment and immediately Sean Taylor bit the hand that housed him and laughed at Ben's attire, a double breasted jacket. Sean Taylor soon found himself in the doghouse, if you will. An d apparently quite the debate took place after I fell asleep as Sean knocked the double breasted look and Ben made fun of the "football pads" in Sean's sweater. The whole while, Jay laughed unabashedly while Sean Taylor threatened to punch him in the face. I wish I could be your primary source on this story, but by all secondhand accounts, it was incredible and Deanna has it on video which is wonderful news. Some moments deserve to live on forever.

The following morning we had planned to leave at a reasonable time, but it turns out Sean Taylor had forgotten his coat at one of the bars we went to and his car keys were in the coat pocket. A moment that was as inexplicable as it was unfortunate. We spent the day retracing our steps and hoping that at least the keys were turned in. No such luck... and no sign of Joan either.

Notice that the man making fun of the jacket last night had no jacket at all the next day. Also notice that the whole time Sean Taylor was saying he was cold that night, neither Jay nor I asked him where his coat was.

As if things couldn't get worse, Ben Kraus had blown a tire on the way to dropping off Deanna and needed Jake's jack to fix the flat. We all lent a hand and got the tire fixed with relative ease as soon as we figured out where, specifically, to put the jack. While we were struggling briefly, Deanna hung out in the car and was enjoying the show. After a while we realized that something was amiss and no one knew where Sean Taylor was. I wish I could say that wasn't a common occurrence, but I can't. After a couple minutes, we realized that a giggling Deanna had a guest in the car that was none other than Sean Taylor, grinning and in her Edie wig. To say Jay was mad is kind of an overstatement, but the combination of Jay's frustration with the jack, an empty stomach, and a loafing and grinning Sean Taylor whose missing keys were the only reason we were still in Queens in the first place, was a little too much for Jay to bear and he lost it a little bit, threatening to put his face in mud, powerbomb, and frogsplash him simultaneously. For a few minutes, Sean Taylor was in a worse situation than the jealous sheriff, but cooler heads prevailed and the tire was fixed.

I feel the need to mention that the entire morning Sean Taylor was white as a sheet, sweating profusely, and really not feeling so hot in the least. My heart went out to him. After the tire switch, we went to a diner and feasted in style. Over the course of the meal, a much improved Sean Taylor mimicked Ben and Deanna's expressions of affection on a very uncomfortable Jay, who did not want anyone leaning on his shoulder, much less Sean Taylor. (On the plus side, Sean had long since removed the Edie wig.)

Having no luck finding the keys, Jay and I left for home with Jake while Sean stuck around waiting for AAA. I feel like even though this is one of the longer posts I've written, I'm still only scratching the surface of this trip. All I can say is that it was wonderful and memorable and I'm glad to have shared it with those I care about.

Song of the Day: Lorelai-Fleet Foxes
Jazz Song of the Day: Blue In Green-Miles Davis

The Beggar And His Typing Machine

Over the past couple of weeks I've been trying to connect with a young entrepreneur out of Las Vegas by the name of Paul Carr. He is beginning a project called The New Gambit which will essentially be a one size fits all news outlet for e-readers like the kindle and iPad. Despite previous blunders, his new start up has a real chance to be successful because he's being well-funded and the media outlet which he's trying to corner lies in the grey area between Internet communication and literal hard copy publishing.

As a result of this news outlet not being so easily classified by either Merriam-Webster or, The New Gambit can transcend the partisanship and commercialism that has, unfortunately, infiltrated a great deal of our media sources both in news and entertainment. The New Gambit would be the first of its kind and, as a result, will have no boundaries in terms of what the voice of the publication will sound like, and what the Gambit will choose to do with that voice. I, maybe falsely so I admit, kind of equate the project to the literary equivalent of transitioning from the now seemingly archaic AM and FM radio to XM radio where the muzzles of self-expression are removed entirely.

What also makes his endeavor unique is the fact that he wants this news to not only be informative and thorough, but also humorous. As Paul puts it, he'd like "'The Economist' as written by 'The Daily Show'."
A couple of weeks ago, Dave Roman of Socialkind and quite an active blogger in his own right, forwarded Paul a mock cover letter that I wrote mostly to blow off some steam. Paul surprisingly reached out and said he felt there was a space in the start-up for me somewhere, but he was unsure just where.

Since that time I've been relentlessly communicating with Paul and sending him samples and letters about once a day trying to draw another response out of him and take this communication to the next level. I've been sending him a couple posts from here, some fiction work, and a few NBA articles that I hope illustrate that I can be informed, yet funny and conversational while educating and sharing my opinions with others. You know, just kind of letting him get a sense for my voice.

Recently I've kind of realized that perhaps taking The New Gambit into the sports world is more my vision than his, so I've been kind of branching out of my comfort zone and writing some pieces based on actual current events and messing with them a bit a la The Onion. This has been an incredible challenge to me because:

a. There's not much news in the world today that's worth smiling about
b. I have about 300 more LeBron jokes than Obama jokes, though Herman Cain was helping to bridge that gap for a while.
c. While I will be egotistical enough to say that I do believe I'm a pretty funny guy on my best days, I really never set out to be funny in my writing. Whatever humor that does come from my writing is really more of a reflexive side-effect of the story I wish to tell. These satirical articles that can be found on my wordpress account at were really probably the first pieces of writing since "Horseplay" that I approached with the mindset of please be funny...ready, go! It's a real adjustment for me.

With that said, I think you can tell I'm kind of new at the satire genre, but they came out pretty darn cool. Even if nothing comes of this, it has been cool to kind of tap this area of my creativity and I look forward to keeping up the what-I-hope-is-good work.

As nice as the experience will be regardless, I'd really like for this persistence to pay off and I'd love your help. My correspondence with Paul has been a humbling and growing experience which I feel is important for any professional, but with that said I still believe with 100 percent certainty that this is a project I can be a serious asset to and, if you don't mind, here's where you come in.

If you read my blog on any or all platforms with any sort of consistency, would you mind telling me why? What is it about my writing or personality that makes you care at all what I have to say and read more time and time again? Again, I'm thrilled with your readership, and I don't need the proverbial pat on the back or proof that what I'm writing is as special as the people who read it, but I fear Paul Carr would require such proof. Now, so as not to overrun his mailbox (or worse, have nothing show up in it at all), please don't email Paul Carr directly, but it would mean the world to me if you took the time to write something that can be as simple as two to four sentences that explains what makes my voice worth reading to you.
Please send your sentences, paragraphs, letters, novels, (kidding) to, and know that unless I have your direct permission after asking you, I will not be sharing your name or email with Paul Carr or anyone else. Thank you again. If you're interested, please do look up information on both Dave Roman and Paul Carr as they both will undoubtedly be changing and shaping the future in which we'll live.
Thanks, my friends.
Song of the Day: Have You Seen The Saucers?-Jefferson Airplane
Jazz Song of the Day: The Wizard-Albert Ayler Trio

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankfully The Girls Upstairs Don't Have A Balloon

Worlds did indeed collide and a reunion of sorts took place this past weekend as I met up with South Dakota's own, Jade Van Kley; best known for her sporadic but memorable guest appearances on WVYC's "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Where Did You Get That Corn?" Jade was blowing through my relative area as she toured with her good friends of Paradise Fears, who are opening for a little group called All Time Low on their "Rise and Fall of my Pants Tour." Paradise Fears, who over the past two years or so I've had the pleasure of casually getting to know and spending some time with, were kind enough to have me along for the gig and I can't thank them enough for their generosity.
The majority of this post will refer to the concert itself, but just to get the journal-esque portion of the post out of the way: It was great to see Jade again and catch up for a while. We caught a long lunch at this place called "Hot Bunz" (Naturally, it seemed appropriate.) and with the exception of her spacing a bit on the pronunciation of Myk Sno's name and her insisting on using this terrible New York accent in public with strangers, we fell right back into the old ebb and flow of our friendship, including her blaming me for the slow loading speed of her phone that afternoon. She was back alright. The only thing missing was an appearance from her bunny, The Cylinder. Even if she was good at the New York accent (which she wasn't) she couldn't get through saying anything worth tawking about with a straight face. It was unreal, I'd have had a ball with it on the radio.
From about 4:30 to 6:15 I was on my own while Jade and the crew prepped for the show. I took the time to hit up a couple bars and flex my Dale Carnegie skills to make some new friends. The first bartender I spoke to seemed eager to talk, but only about how she couldn't eat too much before Halloween in order to ensure her ability to fit in her Playboy bunny costume. As you can imagine, that conversation wound up getting stale pretty quickly. I went to a different bar and had better luck.
Eventually it was time to head into the venue. It felt pretty cool to walk by security with a VIP pass, but once I got to the actual performance area that's pretty much when the too-cool-for-school vibe kind of died down. The overwhelming majority of those in attendance were girls from 14-16 years old. I'm still a little too young to pass the time in the quiet corner with the few parents who came to see the show, so before the show started at least, I was kind of in no man's land, or more importantly, no people my age land. It wasn't too bad, though. I did exchange some very simple pleasantries with the people next to me and I had some time to check out the venue, which was small, simple, but pretty cool. Kind of like the Lizard Lounge of Lancaster for anyone who's been there, but a little more of a rec center with a bar feel. The place is called the Paramount and they're doing a good job booking some solid groups to play there. Apparently, Warren Haynes was there a couple of weeks ago. I don't how I missed that but I was pretty inconsolable for a good five minutes or so upon hearing the news.
Speaking of booking good groups, here's a sign of the times and the audience in attendance. The venue had these giant screens where future acts were advertised. When All Time Low flashed on the screen, the crowd went wild. When Taking Back Sunday flashed on the screen, the crowd went wild. When the Pixies and Bonham's son's Led Zeppelin Experience popped up on the screen, absolute crickets.
I'm not knocking the bands they did cheer for at all, just because I'm not the biggest fan of the music doesn't mean they should be any less respected for being out on the road and giving people the shows they want to see, but the day when Zeppelin and the Pixies get no pop from a concert audience that is clearly in the habit of cheering for what they like is a sad day for Long Island, America, and the world. I admit it's not like it's the real Zeppelin, but it's their music endorsed by the original band being performed by one of the original's own son with a bunch of other really talented musicians. The homage to the music itself is worth "wooing" about, even if it's not the real thing.
I also admit that I didn't get into the Pixies until my sophomore year of college beyond "Where Is My Mind?", but the sound of the Pixies is like that of a direct predecessor to this kind of alternative music that the crowd was there to see. I'm a little shocked that the Pixies aren't as big as the Beatles to enthusiasts of the All Time Low kind of genre, whatever you want to call it. As Mike Ditka would say, "C'mon man!"
Paradise Fears opened the show and did so with amazing gusto. The entire just grabbed you by the metaphorical (thank God) testicles and didn't let go until they were through with you. They were all over the place in the best way possible and supplied quite the adrenaline fueled groove to start the night off right. The 15 year old chicks we thrilled, along with some of their more maternal counterparts. It was a great show I enjoyed quite a bit.
Unfortunately after that the show kind of deflated for me, but there were a couple of songs here and there by the three other groups that performed that I got into, but for the most part that particular section of the alternative genre is just not my scene. I will say that all of the groups were immensely talented and it was an incredibly positive experience. I will say that the bands do keep the energy way up and that can be really infectious in a live setting. I respect the heck out of that from any group.
All Time Low was the headlining band at the show. Naturally, with a name like that I had to temper my expectations for the quality of the show as a whole. Everything I said above applies: high energy, not my thing, much respect etc. At one point they brought two service men on stage to get a nice pop from the crowd, definitely a classy move on their part. I loved it and got as loud as I'd been for Paradise Fears for the first time since their performance early in the evening. With that said, I did have one issue with the show.
I first want to clarify that I feel like the idea that these people, musicians, actors, and celebrities as a whole have an obligation to our youth to be role models is ridiculous. A person, regardless of their fame and stature has to answer to no one but themselves and/or God, depending on what they believe. Ideally, they would have enough respect for themselves and those around them to behave decently, but if they don't it's sure as hell not society's place to reprimand them. We're the ones who put them on a pedestal. If you don't like the actions of you're role model, find a new one, or believe in yourself. The fact that society looks to celebrities to set examples for our youth before themselves is wild. I realize that today behavior is arguably shaped by media as much as, if not more so, than parenting, but nonetheless, it's not a celebrity's job to keep our nation's youth on the straight and narrow, much like it's not the job of a teacher to pick up where parenting is absent and/or failed, but that's a separate story altogether.
I bring this up because All Time Low hops on stage and says various incarnations of "what's up motherfuckers?" and "where's the beer after the show?" and cursing this, shit, fuck, etc. These are not necessarily things I would say to any crowd, much less one filled with such youth as I mentioned before, but I'm genuinely 100 percent cool with it. Like I said, you need to be who you are as artists and whatnot, but then it gets weird. The stage is filled with bras that girls keep throwing on stage, and the group keeps referring to there being a lot of great boobs and sexy girls (and so on, I'll spare you) in the audience. I don't want to make what they said sound too gratuitous. I mean, it's not like they were scumbags or anything, but still, to be in a room filled with essentially children, 90 percent of which had to be up for high school and I'm sure middle school the next morning and make such open references about their sexuality and how it appealed to these 21+ year old men was just plain creepy. Again, it's not like they were sending open invitations back to the tour bus or anything. I don't want to make this into too big of a deal, but the confusion that a few moments in this show caused in me was undeniably a little sickening. They seem like decent enough guys and everyone I had the pleasure of meeting was really genuine and cool to be around, but that one bit was just plain weird and negative to me.
Don't let that last bit of debate fool you, I had a great time at that show and was, once again, thrilled to be a guest of future music changers, Paradise Fears. After the show, I bought Jade a beer following her turning 21 at midnight. She promptly spilled that beer all over the place before even catching a buzz to blame it on. Jordan of PF (I like how I waited until the last paragraph to take the time to shorten that.) came by as well and as soon as I saw Jade was well on here way to having a 21st birthday to both remember and forget. I hit the trail and headed home following an embrace and a warm thanks to her and the band.
Halloween in the city is on the near horizon. Look for a blog cataloging the experience.
Song of the Day: St. Stephen-Grateful Dead
Jazz Song of the Day: The Eraser-Christian Scott

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Menlike Gods At Rest Within The Tableau Of Loved Ones

My grandfather passed away last week. I wanted to take the time to dedicate a blog post to his memory by sharing a couple stories. I'd rather not talk about the wake and services period, much less on a blog for public viewing. I will say that I had the opportunity to give his eulogy, which was a tremendous honor that I'll never forget.
There are many people, especially within my family, who have had their lives impacted significantly by my grandfather, Jim. I do have to say that one of the things I felt was pretty exclusive to his and my relationship was our mutual appreciation for life's bells and whistles. In a sense, he and I were the same in that we could find some silly little observation that no one either understood or cared about hilarious enough to laugh about in ten minute segments over the course of a couple weeks. I will say that the generation gap at times hindered our ability to laugh at the same bells and whistles, but I feel confident in saying that there was a mutual understanding of this similarity between us that ostracized, yet endeared, us to our family. No one else quite thought of life the way we did, and from that acknowledgement we formed a strong bond and love for each other that unfortunately was becoming stronger than ever since my graduation from college.
Among a couple of his quirks (just for you to get to know him a bit) was telling strangers of all shapes, colors, and sizes that he was a mere 21 years old given that he was born on a leap day. Such an oddity of space, time and coincidence never failed to amaze and amuse him, and he loved to share that while the rest of us were unfortunate victims of time's cruel march towards the future, he only aged once every four years.
He also collected toys and dolls and placed them all over his house to amuse himself and my Grandma. As I grew up, I watched the dolls and toys dominate a wall, then a stairwell, then a basement, and eventually, an entire home. Now, those of you who really know me are likely wondering how I ever set foot in the house in the first place. I never told him how much the toys freaked me out and just how deep the waters of my phobia ran. He got too much joy out of adding to his collection and sharing it with others for me to dare saying a word about it. When someone you care about finds a passion that makes them happy, you have to embrace it. Plus, there's that whole bit about respecting your elders. Suffice to say, though, I kept my eyes on the steps in front of me whenever I had to use those stairs. I found out a couple of years ago that while not quite to my degree of discomfort, my grandma also didn't always appreciate the collection and had a hard time eating "with all the dolls staring at {her}" The sacrifices of love, my friends.
Hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea as to what kind of man my grandpa was and makes this post interesting enough for you all to enjoy. Strangely enough, my favorite memory about my grandpa involves a story that I wasn't actually present for, so I figured I would tell that one and a story in which I was more directly involved.
My grandparents live (now obviously just my grandma, but it's a reflex to refer to them as a unit. For the sake of the story, go with it.) in Manorville right near the game farm (It might be called the Long Island Zoo now. I'm not sure.) where you can find all sorts of farm animals, deer, gators, bison, peacocks, etc. One day, when I was no more than 6 or 7 years old, my grandpa mentioned that he had found a back way to the back-end of the deer field through the patch of woods that faced his condo development. If we ventured to make the trip, we would get an up-close and personal look at the deer without having to pay for admission (thinking like a Policastro). Essentially, we would be able to face the crowd looking at the deer from the game farm and get our own view of the animals. My sister and I readily agreed to make the trip with him and we set out on a rather crisp, but beautiful autumn day. To be honest, I can't remember a time in my life when my grandparents weren't chronically frigid, so my grandpa tossed on a rather no-nonsense winter coat while my sister Noelle and I donned less arctic outerwear.
My grandpa didn't really emphasize just how much of a trek this was, as we left behind all semblance of a woodland path and wound up soldiering through some really dense woods and some really tall grasses which, given my age and directly proportional lack of height, were taller than I was. I remember distinctly having a close encounter with a thorn bush that nearly engulfed me. Naturally, Noelle got quite a bit of enjoyment out of that. Naturally, I don't doubt I was already plotting my revenge. Despite the rural scenic route, we did make it to the deer and had a good time bidding them to come over and say 'hello' with mixed success. Eventually, we'd had our fill of inter-species interaction and bid adieu to the does. Which left us with one problem. How on earth do we get back?
That's right, ladies and gents, the three of us spent the better part of at least an hour wandering aimlessly in the grass that was taller than I was. We had completely lost our sense of direction and given that this was a bit before the the cellphone invasion, we were truly off the grid. Now I think the fact that we had planned this trip early enough in the day that we weren't at risk to losing daylight is that only factor that keeps this childhood memory a positive one rather than a suppressed brush with death (like the ill-fated "squirrel quarrel" incident). Time was indeed on our side, at least in that sense.
Grandpa was doing his best to keep our spirits up by singing various different ditties that we'd learned to sing with him over the years. I don't think that was too hard though, I think Noelle and I were still a little young to realize just how serious being truly lost is. Bear in mind that this was well before the release of "The Blair Witch Project". It was before the "Lord of the Rings", too, so it never dawned on us to ask the trees for directions.
Eventually, we came to this kind of pipe that gave gave grandpa some sort of idea as to where we were and we were bid to cross it. (Whoever came up with the over the river and through the woods anecdote clearly left out the pipe crossing balancing act in their description of how to get to grandmother's house.) Noelle and I did so pretty easily as we just kind of crawled across it. My grandpa had a much more difficult time with it and fell a good five feet or so into this miscellaneous brush. (It reminds me now of my struggles to cross the YCP creek.)
My grandpa was still young enough that him falling like that could still be considered the cream of the crop in physical comedy. I won't speak for Noelle, as she was a little older than me, but I was still young enough to consider the fact that my grandpa might be hurt a sheer impossibility and just one of the few instances of grown-ups proving themselves imperfect. I laughed hysterically and fortunately, grandpa was okay, climbed out of the little pit, and we got home a short time later telling grandma about our adventure.
Now, I know it's bizarre that my all-time favorite grandpa memory was something I'd never seen, but I was directly a part of it.
Throughout high school, I was quite active in musical theatre. ( *dons spontaneous surfer accent* Chicks did it, bro.) My Junior year, we performed Godspell in which I had the pleasure of being Judas alongside my brother from another mother, Matty Matura, as Jesus. (Despite the role he was given, he's my brother from another father, too... why is it near impossible to make a good immaculate conception joke? That's my new project, I think.) The role I was playing isn't relevant, but there are far too few Matty references in this bad boy. Anyway, one of the things we did as a drama club was create our own bios for the audience to peruse while waiting for the show to start and keep as a memory or whatever.
I admittedly don't remember the specifics of the show itself, but I can only assume that the first act ran smoothly enough seeing as the only in-show drama screw ups I remember is botching a "Tommy" entrance and a horribly timed attack of puberty during the run of the same show. Also, there was a random gunshot from the backstage area mid-show during Ragtime, but I had nothing to do with that.
Anyway, the first act seemingly went fine. Then Mr. Kramer (our director) enters the backstage area and calls my name out immediately. That's never good and while not the end of the world, usually means your mike is off, or your underwear is showing. Bottom Line: Something you did wasn't part of the plan. Mr. Kramer walks up to me grinning wildly (although you can only tell from the way his beard bends unless he's right in front of you; I got pretty good at using his beard to judge his mood) and grabs my shoulders and asks, "is your grandfather in the audience today?" I nod in the affirmative. "He's a wonderful man," he says and walks away. I'm a little perplexed, but inclined to agree with him. Following the show I get the lo-down from my Aunt Debbie as to what provoked Mr. Kramer's compliment.
Apparently, the copy of the bios that my grandpa received was missing the page that listed mine and right as intermission started, he walked to the top of the auditorium, quaint as it was, and approached Mr. Kramer to find out why it was missing and get a new one. Despite the protests from my Aunt and other family members who offered their own bios to him and pleaded with him to ask an usher for a new copy. My grandpa was undeterred and approached Mr. Kramer directly, which is a bit like telling President Obama to fix a pothole on your street. While firm, my grandpa wasn't rude about the situation and Mr. K apologized and had someone bring him a new copy right away. After talking with him about it later, I guess Mr. K got quite a laugh out of the ordeal and so did I after hearing both he and my family members (including my grandfather) recount it from their perspective.
Perspective is just what the story gave me, as it really personified just how much of a caring, unique, and charmingly stubborn man my grandfather was. I mean, it's easy to micro-analyze everything he said and did now that he's passed, but I genuinely never forgot that story and his reaction. It was one of life's bells and whistles that has provided me many a ten minute burst of laughter over the past many years, and will continue to do so.
One of the last things my grandpa ever said to me was:
"If there's one thing I've learned in this life, it's that if it doesn't break no laws or hurt anybody
you've got to do what makes you happy in life."
With that sentiment in mind, I dedicate this post to his memory and thank you from the deepest part of me for reading. It means a lot to me, and I'm sure it means quite a bit to him as well.
I love you, grandpa. I'll see you everyday.
Song of the Day: Top Rankin'-Bob Marley
Jazz Song of the Day: Every Time We Say Goodbye-John Coltrane

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Thank You Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin"

I'm likely the only one bothered by this, but I wanted to take two seconds just to point out that on the computer I use 95 percent of the time, I can't go back and edit my posts once I publish them. I have no idea why that is, but I feel it worth mentioning. I'd like to think that with the exception of one or two guaranteed typos in each post, they're pretty clear. Maybe I should edit them more carefully than I do before that first and only publish, but I get excited to share the posts with you and kind of don't... (awkward silence in type-form)
The post on my grandfather is still forthcoming, I've been working on other things like creative stuff, job apps, and trying my damnedest to get my father into Californication so I have someone to watch season 5 with in January. I plan on doing the post tomorrow, so look for it then.
The following is a quick post making its way to my blog simply because it's a little too involved to be a facebook status. I'm hoping I can get an 'Amen' or the secular equivalent by the time the post is through.
I've recently noticed a lack of variety in the "Thank You" card industry. Now, I'm not referring to style diversity. Having obviously been in the market for such a card recently, I can attest that you can find conservative, neutral-colored cards that will remind you of Hillary Clinton's wardrobe, classy cards with fancy script and flowers all over them, and ones with cute little animals that will melt your heart before you even open the card. What seems to be missing from this particular genre of cards are the subtleties of more casual gratefulness.
I mean, sometimes all you want to do is say "thanks" not "thank you". It seemed as though every card I picked out, even the more wacky looking ones with cartoon lettering and those same cute animals wearing sombreros and whatnot, seemed to give thanks in a really profound way for really life altering good deeds. I was just trying to say "thanks for the ride" and every card seemed to imply "thanks for taking that bullet for me, I'll grab the next one as soon as you're out of that hospital bed."
I propose a clear "appreciation scale" for thank you cards. A likely color-coded system that will accurately measure the magnitude of the gratitude (I like that) you wish to give the receiving party. This scale would range from: "Thank you for stepping in front of that train" to "thanks for spitting that lotto ticket" to "thanks for putting out that spontaneous house fire that formed while I was busy wrestling that grizzly bear" to "thanks for setting up that job interview" to "thanks for coming to the wedding and for having a star named after us as some sort of convoluted metaphor for our 'everlasting love', you cheap jerk" to "thanks for helping me move" to "thanks for the ride" and right on down the list until you get to situations where a simple high-five or bro-hug will suffice.
I suggest a similar scale for "sorry" cards called "Degrees of Apologies" that can range from "sorry I didn't step in front of that train" to "my bad for puking on your shoes, there's a reason I don't drink vodka; although you should probably blame Lloyd for bringing the pinata and making me drink that stuff anyway."
These are just my thoughts. I hope you see my point. If you do, thank you. If you don't, I'm sorry. Either way, the card's in the mail.
Song of the Day: I Need To Know-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Jazz Song of the Day: I Wanna Ride You-Medeski Martin and Wood

Sunday, October 9, 2011

With All The Songs To Sing When We At Last Return Again

With this blog, and I guess any personal online periodical, there's always an imaginary line drawn between the personal life you share and the personal life you don't. Three days ago, my grandfather died and that accounts for my lack of posts on any "Poli" (trademark pending) platform in a good while. Please don't be offended or taken aback if I never told you. I didn't really tell anyone unless they asked why I couldn't hang out. I didn't really want to bring other people down and I doubt very much that in the mysterious hereafter my grandfather suddenly had the desire to be technology savvy enough to consult my facebook to confirm I was missing the heck out of him, so I played the whole situation pretty close to my chest for better or worse. With that said, those of you that did hear about his passing, I thank you for your well wishes and support through the time.

So, I feel like talking about the ins and outs of the situation and various ceremonies would be emotionally taxing on both of us, but I did want to take a blog post to recount a couple memories and pay tribute to him in my own way. However, I also want to keep these posts in a somewhat chronological order. The bottom line is, with respect to my grandfather, I'm going to write this post as if nothing has happened. I wanted to preface the piece in this way just so it didn't look like I was ignoring the situation completely. Look for a post in the near future regarding his passing and until then, enjoy this one.

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to revisit my collegiate stomping grounds (I say that like I'm 50, but it's only been 5 months.) of York College. Armed with an Arizona green tea, judged by "Where Did You Get That Corn?" to be the greatest American deal since the Louisiana Purchase, I made the great sojourn with the Sachers (sanz Zach) who were off to visit Rosalie, who's just getting acquainted with the space I've come to love and call home for the past four years.

I respect the hell out of the way the Sachers run a road trip. They equip themselves with a variety of snacks and various libations and settle in for the long haul. Everyone was able to reign in their fluids until we were just outside of Harrisburg (a camel-like skill I inherit from my father) and we actually stopped at the same rest stop at which I lost my headphones sophomore year of school. They weren't there anymore.

Anyway, we made great time and talking with the Sachers is always a great experience. They needed some help bringing some random freshman essentials i.e. soup, ramen, and soda, up to Rosalie's room so I had the chance to take a look at York's new dorms. They might as well be a hotel. Don't get me wrong, I had the time of my life freshman year, but living in Laurel Hall was equivalent to setting up camp in a concrete box with plumbing. It had a couple of windows through which one could easily whisper "suck a cock" in the anonymity of the night. (It was one time.) The domicile was pretty basic. These new dorms are anything but.

Carpeted hallways, elevators, no distinct odor of bodily waste, common areas with cushy chairs and microwaves for community use, hand sanitizer, caviar serving butlers with quaint non-oppressive British accents... okay, that's a stretch, but the digs were unreal. The rooms themselves are pretty basic, and the bathrooms won't stay spotless for long, I have to admit, but still...

I wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, expecting my return to be emotional or anything. Like I said, it has only been 5 months, but I was shocked at how normal it felt to be there at first. It didn't feel like a visit, is what I'm saying, it just kind of felt like my summer was a little longer than everybody else's. I took the 10:30am walk over to Dennis' house, the confines of the 7-2-7 being kind enough to house me, and was reminded that on a Saturday in York College "morning" does not begin until noon. I found not a creature was stirring at the place until I roused Dunn from his slumber and he opened the door. Dennis was cajoled out of his nest a short time later and joined us. Having seen Dennis a couple of weeks ago, we didn't have all too much to catch up on, so I hopped over to Ben and Jake's to find Ben Scott hard at work cleaning up after what at the time could be presumed to be a homicide. Fearing for my well being, I agreed with everything Ben Scott said occurred. As much as I could make out, the story went like this:

Jake felt as though Ben's freshly made sandwich looked a little dry for his liking and, being the great friend he is, took it upon himself to moisten the midnight snack with a dousing of your finest light beer. Ben was so appreciative of the gesture that he sought a glass from the once closed cabinet and requested Jake wet his whistle with him. In his eagerness to share the brew, Ben put a little too much mustard on his toss and the glass struck and shattered on Jake's head. Jake insisted the incident wasn't a big deal and to prove it, offered him multiple beers in quick succession.

Short story: Jake soaked Ben's sandwich, he got pissed, threw a glass at his head cutting him open, after a thorough examination from everyone but a doctor, it was deemed okay that Jake go to bed. Fortunately, he woke up okay the next morning. It was good to see that not much had changed in my time away.

After becoming an accessory to the crime and helping dispose of the evidence, I went over to the indoor fall fest at the GC to catch up with Rhapsody. It was great to catch up with them and due to their lack of basses for their scheduled performance, I was able to sing some tunes with them. I think it was an experience that I enjoyed a lot more than I would have you believe. The only drawback was Mike Adams taking multiple photos of the performance. As much fun as it was, I'm not sure how I'd feel about showing up on the school website post-graduation. Again, I don't mean to present this as a negative experience, but it was a little on the weirder side. Words kind of fail me to describe this, but overall it was a great time I wouldn't trade for much.

I do have to say, the one and only, Justin Rivera, made the experience that day. He sees me and feels the need to tell me that he's going to be late for the performance. I kind of laugh because I'm no longer the guy to tell those kinds of things, and when I was the guy to tell those kinds of things, he never told me those kinds of things. I figure whatever though, old habits, or lack thereof, die hard. We both laugh it off. Then however, about ten minutes later he asks me where Rhapsody is meeting and what songs they were singing. At that moment the situation went from a mistake any Rhapsodian could make to something that could only be carried out by Justin Rivera. I, again, told him that being not a member of the group, I had no idea where anyone was meeting and when. He again laughed in the spirit of admittedly charming apathy and we sought the group together. Truly one of a kind, but I figure as long as I don't get any Sunday night texts on Long Island that he's going to be late for rehearsal, all's well that ends well.

The weekend worked out nicely in that it happened to be Joe Mayes' birthday. A lot of people came out to celebrate the occasion. It was great to catch up with so many people at Murph's. Prior to heading over, I met up with Sharnell and Jess (two of my favorite people) at Jaci's (not so much) and we caught up and whatnot and after a few backhanded insults to Jaci, it really felt like I was home again and we went over to Murph's.

A lot of us spent the evening lighting up the dance floor, which was a lot of fun, and Nate was wearing purple, which is a gift that keeps on giving. At one point a song which Carly apparently liked quite a bit came on and in her efforts to make it to the dance floor as quickly as possible, she nearly hurdles poor Joe, who was nursing soreness from the day's Frisbee tourney and struggling to get out of her way in time. Joe's few moments of clear discomfort with a grinning and uncaring Carly behind him was easily one of the funniest visuals I've seen in a long time and a highlight of the trip.

After a good while of dancing with everyone, Jess and I eventually wound up pairing off. I think it was a pairing we were both grateful for because I was running out of both gas and creativity for dance moves and we both had a distinct understanding of the 5 to 10 second transition period of dancing from one song to another. I had a great time with her and the rest of the crew and I left them with the sight of Jaci walking away backwards into the night. While anytime Jaci is moving away from me is worth celebrating, this was additionally special.

I then hopped over to Brett's to see some more friends, including the briefest of Czar sightings. The party was soon broken up by the cops, unfortunately. However, this was the first time in my life I saw a student cop interaction go by the book, so to speak. In my limited, but no less established experience with cops busting up parties, either the cop has seemingly been kind of a jerk, or some loud mouth punk tries to be tough and ruins the name of most all other college students. In this case, the cop simply said to get out and leave your beer or you're going in cuffs. Perfectly reasonable, he's got to do his job, and the kids really did leave in a quiet and orderly fashion. I mean, I saw some kids stuffing beers in their coats as they ventured into the night, but for the most part, the transition was a smooth one. It was warming to see a cop interaction handled so calmly by both the police and the students. It gave me faith in humanity in a subtle way.

I then when back to Matt's and had a first experience with Drunk Driver, (it's a card game, relax) I told a story that centered around a desert journey to a river of Jello while beards got tangled and people buried themselves in the sand while one poor soul continually offered to remove his shirt. Needless to say, after that it was time for bed.

Sunday was chill, went out to dinner with Brian and Sharnell. Always great to see and chat with them. Then the piece de resistance... Rhapsody practice. It was tremendous to be back and I was welcomed with a classic Nate sandwich, which is the highlight of any man's day. The group sounded great and to sing with them was a real privilege. The group was kind enough to blow the dust off Ants for the new cats (who all seem cool and nice) and we sang some old staples for returning alums. The highlight of the rehearsal however, was easily the spontaneous "Lion Sleeps Tonight" jam session. To have everyone get so immersed in something we just made up off the tops of our heads took me right back to my favorite times with that group. It was incredible. Words fail me for the second time. The new group was very welcoming and I thank them truly and deeply.

The next day, I caught a ride to Philly with the Czar; always a better time than I'd like to admit. We even made a quick stop in Port Deposit (not very cryptically named) and with the exception of a rather underwhelming well (pun wasn't intended the first time I said it, but by now... yeah, it is) sighting, I had a great time talking with Mr. Heaps about past great Baltimore Bullets, Wes Unseld, and Black Jesus, "The Pearl". I love talking about the old game man, a lot of fun. Amber and I spent the trip discussing, among other things, rainbows, the impossibility of excreting an actual brick from your backside, and the finer points of stripping as hobby and/or profession.

A trip to York I won't soon forget. Hoping to go back in late November, but if not, definitely this spring. Thanks again to everyone for catching up with me.

That Tuesday I had a featured poetry reading at a local coffee shop. It went really well and Jay was kind enough to lend a hand and we performed some spoken word and Marley songs. People really seemed to dig it, and with the exception of an aptly placed "chosen one" from Jay that very nearly through me off my game for good, everything went according to plan. The night was capped off with an ode to the one and only Sean Taylor, which is the best cherry to place atop any night. Look for a hard copy of that piece and a few others to make their way to the Internet as soon as tonight.

Song of the Day: Lenny-Stevie Ray Vaughan
Jazz Song of the Day: Only the Lonely-Keith Jarrett Trio

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Corn Is Found In Camden And Your Soup

As a four-time participant in York College's Intramural Football program (a career totaling roughly 50 yards receiving, 2 first downs, 293 mediocre football jokes, and a memorable touchdown, the awesomeness of which was eclipsed only by Nick Pappas' awe-inspiring leaping ability), I would say that it's a pretty safe assumption that I'm fit to talk football in pretty much any capacity. At long last, my expertise has been called upon as I had the honor of covering the first Rocky Point football game for the Patch. Despite the obviously fascias tone of the above, a really did handle the responsibility pretty well and if you're that interested you can find the article on the Patch website (which I fully endorse for all your local news needs in the Miller Place-Rocky Point area).
I bring up the football game because I found it so interesting to be a part of such an atmosphere. The electricity of the crowd was wild as they shouted for their kids and team, and shouted at coaches and refs. It was a scene that I never really was a part of in high school, in terms of playing those sports, having given up the pursuit of basketball in seventh grade for the lipstick and eyelin-- I mean, ruggedness of the theatre. As a result, I never really had that kind of experience in high school. Drama was like that in a way, but it's not like somebody yelled out in the middle of the show, "Hey, Kramer, take Policastro out. He's kind of struggling with the Harvard accent and has the dancing abilities of a jar of pitted olives!" (At least they were pitted.) Drama definitely had it's own buzz and I wouldn't change a thing about the experience, but an activity with a little more audience involvement definitely has its merits.
So, as mentioned in my previous post, I spent this past weekend in Philly and Camden to see and Incubus show. I'll pick up right where I left off.
Amber dropped me off and I was walking towards the station where "the most illustrious man in college radio entertainment", Dennis Madden, was to meet me. He got in touch while I was en route and we worked it out to meet on the street instead. It was bizarre to see Dennis suddenly turn the corner and give the greeting of "The Brotherhood" and then walk together to his car with the faulty driver's-side door lock and hop in. To say it was emotional is a severe overstatement, but it really was kind of a surreal outer-body experience for a minute or two. It felt like I was thrust back in time a year and was getting a ride after our radio show.
Of course, no trip to Philly is complete without sampling the customary cuisine of the cheese steak. We went to Tony Luke's to grab the grub. Now, at Geno's and Pat's (Philly's landmark Cheese steak eateries) they're pretty strict about the way you order and pretty much narrow down the entire process to one breath and three syllables at most. If you fail to order properly, you're promptly, and not so gently, told to get to the back of the line. My last visit to Philly with Jay, Wong, Denny, and others, we went to Pat's where we all handled the pressure well and got our steaks without incident.
Now, at Tony Luke's they're much more lenient about the style with which you order. I was relieved not to have such an ominous threat of exile hanging over my head as I ordered, but I wound up seeing just why Pat's and Geno's function the way they do. In my affable innocence and casual mindset, I wound up approaching the register and asking for a "cheesecake" rather than a cheese steak.
My embarrassment was immediate and I half expected to be either pummeled to death on the spot, stealthily sliced with a throwing star in the shape of the Eagles logo, or tarred and feathered in the spirit of our founding fathers. Fortunately none of the above occurred and the guy just smiled and said he knew what I meant. Sensing my obvious frustration, he also consoled me by saying that same mix up happened pretty often.
Later on that evening, we met Dennis' friend, Liz, at the speedline and took our lives into our hands as we entered the fair city of Camden. When traveling in Camden, it's almost unanimously agreed that everyone should travel in packs and keep their eyes vigilant and simultaneously straight ahead so as to avoid attracting the attention of strangers. Treat the city as if it's one big elevator, except your chances of being wounded are considerably higher (unless it's and M. Night movie). Liz (whom it was great to meet and put a face to the soup) and I seemed pretty experienced in this mode of transportation, but it was Dennis who failed to make it through the walk to the venue unscathed. He was shot and killed.
Just seeing if you were paying attention. Dennis accidentally locked eyes with a man moving our direction and subconsciously reached out to shake his hand. The man grabbed Dennis' had shook it firmly and brought it to his own forehead. Dennis remained pretty speechless and Liz and I walked away enough to not be involved while staying close enough to keep an eye on him. (That's what friends are for.) Dennis at last released himself from the man and caught up to us. We passed a couple of moments in silence to allow him to collect himself. When I later asked why he did that he said he "just froze". That may be so and I feel bad that was the case, but I told him that in the future it was important to freeze up while keeping both your hands at your sides.
The Incubus show was really, really, really good. Great would be a little bit of a stretch, but saying just good is a hell of an understatement. I have to say that next to Jason Mraz, Brandon Boyd might well have the best live voice I've heard at a show. The man was just belting and it was really impressive. They played songs from mostly Morning View, Make Yourself, and Light Grenades, but they made room for Certain Shade Of Green, so you can't complain too much. Highlights of the show were me calling the exact moment Privilege was going to be played, the Doors nod during Are You In?, and as cliche as it sounds, I did get chills during the Pardon Me encore.
My issues with the show were few, but with the exception of Switchblade and the single, the songs from the new album kind of sucked the energy out of the space. Also, I feel like this is almost hypocritical, but the songs, with the exception of Dig, sounded essentially just like the album. To an extent that's admirable, because that can be the consistent and whatnot, but with talent like DJ Killmore and Mike Einziger (whom I love in Time Lapse Consortium), I wouldn't have minded some jamming. That's not to say that every group I see has to suddenly jam out like Phish, but every solo was like a tease that left you wanting more, and I wish we got a dose of that. I guess the point of any show is to leave you wanting more, so I shouldn't really moan about it. They really did deliver and I recommend the show to anyone who finds Incubus in their area.
A great time with good friends. Until next time.
Song of the Day: The Horse-Phish
Jazz Song of the Day: Spanish Fantasy Part I-Chick Corea