Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Easter, Let's Party?

The blink of an eye that was Easter break came and went all too quickly, but not without it's fair share of memorable moments. I played some good ball with Jay and Roo with young fans who longed for nothing more than to play some 21 with the friendly giants before them. We played some 3 on 3 with them and as one of them time and time again claimed to never miss a shot and time and time again did, indeed, miss a shot, the other lofted many a pass to the middle of nowhere, expecting a teammate to materialize and put the rock in the rim, to no avail. A memorable moment was this six year old shouting, "C'mon Tom!" after such a pass resulted in a turnover. I admire his desire to win at all costs. We run a tight ship at Brenton Woods.

In addition to an impromptu trim of the locks, catching up with good friends, working on a new poem for May 2nd's poetry night, a full stomach, and gathering up some epic large hats for this Sunday's Rhapsody show, another highlight was unquestionably the Easter Sunday service. While it seemed near impossible to top last year's Ozzy-Osbourne's-Crazy-Train- interrupting-the-sermon incident, I do believe that overall, the bar was once again raised. A moment of reflection on Easter Sunday: The closest you'll ever get to tailgating before church being acceptable. It would seem as though a few people didn't exactly find this all too inappropriate. There were a lot of random "woos" and cheering. It was pretty darn ruckus for a church service. I felt like a should have brought a Packer Cheesehead and painted a giant "J" on my chest. Maybe that's a little much, but at least some thunder sticks or a towel to wave or something. It's bizarre to me as we walk around to greet each other how many people take the time to say, "He is risen." It makes me feel like saying either, "I know, it's the basis of this entire religion," or "Who is?" However, at the risk of being accused of pregaming myself, I smile, nod, and try to stay as still as possible to not draw attention to myself.

It's always interesting to see the kids you grew up with and don't know from anywhere else but church. The ones who show up on the major holidays and mail it in every other week. A group that I might actually now be a part of. I shoot the breeze with most of them. One always makes sure to mention that he's hungover. I imagine he does this to prove that his social life is an active one. Either that or it's a desperate cry for help, but for the sake of being able to sleep at night, I'll assume it's the former.

The drains in the urinal at church are shaped like crosses. Either this is the most cruel of coincidences, or someone has a twisted sense of humor. It makes me feel like I'm going to hell whenever I take a piss, no matter how much time I spend in the sanctuary three doors down.

I'm not a fan of the guy who shouts, "One more time!" at the end of every hymn. You just get through seven gruelling verses of a song that recycles the same essential point in seven different ways and see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Perhaps that's not the best analogy in this particular instance.) However, every congregation has the one cat who feels moved by the Spirit enough to speak on behalf of the rest of group and sing it one more time. I say the next time someone asks that we make them sing it alone in front of us. I'm sure that person will be afforded no shortage of "woos" and thunder sticks. I feel pretty safe in saying that God tunes it out after a verse and a half and checks back in during the sermon. But hey, who am I to speak for a deity?

Song of the Day: "Carvel"-John Frusciante
Jazz Song of the Day: "Silence Is The Question"-The Bad Plus

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Me and Harpua Couldn't Care Fewer"

Labels are starting to wear me thin, man. I think labels of any kind, whether dourogatory not, are incredibly limiting. I feel like once someone is labeled one thing it prevents them from being something else in another person's eyes due to the connotations of that label. For instance, politically, if you're labled a Republican, you may be inclined to automatically be against Democratic ideas. Labels don't even have to be that obvious. I'm not too fond of defining myself as a "Christian" because, honestly, while I believe in God and Jesus and whatnot, I find myself time and time again frustrated with the idea of organized religion and people who use their religion as an excuse to "speak on behalf of God" and push ideas on and/or harm others verbally and physically. I feel like my faith is stronger than ever, but no longer has too much to do with a church. To each their own. Recently, I was labeled a sportswriter. This was meant to be a compliment, (and explain why I knew such NBA news and notes for the past ten years so casually off the top of my head) but while not offended, I didn't really take it as such a compliment. It automatically implies that my fiction and academic writing is not worth note. Our interests, skills, passions and values go so far beyond what we do and what we believe in. I define myself as Tom Policastro, a man who happens to be American, with an interest in writing, music, radio, and basketball. Everything else is strictly subjective, and that's what defines me. I suggest you do the same (with your own name, of course). Song of the Day: Uncle-Xavier Rudd Jazz Song of the Day: Play-Paul Motian Trio

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thirsting For A Battle Of The Sexes

Stopping in the bookstore for a hot dog (not as much of a regret as you might initially assume) a young woman quite authoritatively tells this dude that she's with to grab her a smartwater (one word?). The cat struggles to find the water as he is searching in the wrong fridge. (He is surrounded by about three, not the hardest mistake to make.) Ever domineering, the young lady proceeds to haughtily make a big fuss about grabbing the water for herself. "Men are retarded," she says with much disdain. At this point, my "bitch-o-meter" is at about an 11. "That's a hell of a generalization," I say coolly, or what I imagine was coolly. She insists upon the truthfulness of her statement. I point out that she's the one paying three extra dollars for bottled water with an adjective in front of it. She says nothing, but her eyes pretty much tell me where she'd like to not so gently place her smartwater. I look around and receive bro-nods of unity from two other dudes in the store. I've won this battle. Something tells me I won't be invited to her end of semester party. Then again, given the ineptitude of my gender, I probably wouldn't have been able to find her house anyway. Maybe I should be drinking smartwater. Song of the Day: Nobody Weird Like Me-Red Hot Chili Peppers Jazz Song of the Day: E.S.P.- Miles Davis

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

To Be Still Nothing

I've been reading a good bit of David Shields lately. Being that I've recently met the man and he wrote a great book about race in the NBA, I've been testing out his flavors, so to speak. I'm struck by his reaction to what Dr. K said to him a couple weeks ago. Only now do I realize its significance. Dr. K told Shields about this poetry he'd been writing with quotes from graphic novels. His response was initially similar to my own: "That's cool, man..." awkward silence because I don't think bringing up that 'Batman's freakin' awesome' is an academically appropriate follow up to what the man clearly takes great pride in. Shields eventually asks whether or not Dr. K cites his sources in the poetry. Dr. K says no and instantly Shields is all ears and dying to see it. The revelation is this, sometimes the only solace you have in a life full of unyielding work, issues, and challenges is finding your favorite rule and breaking it... time and time again. Ah, the subtle charm of disobedience. Song of the Day- Sight to Behold-Devandra Banhart, Jazz Song of the Day- Mami Gato- Medeski, Martin, and Wood