Monday, November 26, 2007


I brought this up once here about three years ago, but I have to ask again:

Who decreed that "My Favorite Things" is a Christmas song?


Jan and I have enrolled in a yoga class. JEEEZUS I'm out of shape. But I'm learning how to do various "easy" (your milage may vary) stretches and I'm doing them at home even when there's no class, which I guess is the idea.

Our instructor (the class is held on Saturdays at the community center near our house) is a longtime yoga teacher and he has a voice that sounds like nothing bothers him. I supposed that's the idea; if you want to teach yoga it's probably not a good idea to have a voice like Krusty the Clown.

So far I'm not doing so good. My "Downward Facing Dog," which appears easy when everybody else does it, looks more like "Badly Constructed Pup Tent, Foolishly Put Up By a Lefty."

But I yoga on. I do like the class.


Thanksgiving came and went; once again we went to my mom's and ate too much. Once again, as she has every year since 1979, my mom has said "This is it...I'm not making dinner again next year." Then she always does. However, this time she said, "maybe next year I'll just book rooms for everybody at a hotel and have THEM make dinner."

That might be nice but I bet they can't make green bean salad like my mom...


My 37-year-old youngest brother David announced that, finally, after what will be 38 years of singledom, he and his girlfriend of several years, Katrina, will be tying the knot, getting married, hitching up, getting legal, etc. next July in Las Vegas.

In July.
Well, I guess it could be worse. Could be HERE in July.

Plus, since Dave and Katrina live in Maricopa, I think Vegas is actually CLOSER TO MY HOUSE.

I bet it will work. When you wait that long to get married, you pretty much KNOW.

Katrina's a nice Canadian lady with two nifty kids, so Dave gets a family without having to do anything.

THAT'S convenient!


Back when I was a kid, there was this really godawful (read: deliciously bad for you) snack that Old London made called Cheese Waffies. They were basically waffle shaped crackers with a radioactive cheese filling.

I LOVED these things. I have not seen them in years.

Imagine my surprise, nay excitement, to discover that Cheese Waffies do indeed still exist. They're just made by another company now, a snack food company called Wise.

Imagine my dismay, however, to discover that there are no products available from said company if you're west of the Mississippi River. Drat!

If there's anyone on the east coast reading this, could you see your way to buying me a bag of Cheese Waffies? It would be great to indulge in a guilty pleasure like that again.


Monday, November 12, 2007


As I mentioned last time, I turned 50 years old on the second of November. However, my sister-in-law Lisa and her family couldn't properly celebrate it with me until Friday the ninth, so we met at the Cactus Road Voodoo Daddy's restaurant for dinner and birthday presents last Friday.

I had the crab cakes. DAMN good.

Anyway, Lisa and family got me the neatest thing: a turkish banjo/mandolin, made by the Cumbus factory in Turkey! It's loud, it's hard to tune, it's obnoxious and I LOVE THE HELL OUT OF IT.

Cumbus is not only a factory name; it's also the name of an instrument made out of a large cooking pot. My banjolin is made from a small cooking pot, and it resonates so loud that if you talk into it, it kinda works like a microphone.

Anxious to use it, I tuned it and popped a string on it last Saturday before my gig at Into the Bean. I retuned it with a new string, but being new, it hadn't stretched yet, so as I played it it went slowly out of tune. Sounded awful, but I LOVED IT!

I got some other neat things, too: An ipod that plays videos (only to discover that they have to be GOOGLE-APPROVED videos, so no boots, sadly) , and a fishbowl full of Boomer Candies and Gums-- Neccos, Abba Zaba, Oh! Henry, Beeman's, Teaberry, Black Jack, etc.

But probably the neatest thing that actually happened on my birthday was that I was the "UberBoomer of the Day" on November 2 at www.chucksigars.com. Chuck's an old college budd of mine whose blog is INFINITELY better written and cooler looking than this, so you should go check it out.


Prior to the gig, Jan and I ate at a converted Taco Bell/now a Vietnamese Restaurant called Nhat, right there on Southern in Mesa, on the other side of the bowling alley west of Into The Bean.


Jan had a noodle soup dish which she liked very much. I had lemon grass chicken on rice -- also a winner!

Heavy "M.o.T" presence (Members of the Tribe) there. Always indicative of a good place.

The Into the Bean gig wasn't very profitable but it was a good time and the place was pretty much filled and stayed filled until I was done!

This Saturday, I play a private party. Woo Hoo!


I heard a funny on the radio this morning, in light of Peyton Manning, possibly the best quarterback of the last 25 years, throwing SIX interceptions yesterday in the Colts' loss to the Chargers. Ron Wolfley on KTAR Sports radio said: "Watching Peyton Manning throw six interceptions is disturbing. It's like watching Gandhi have road rage."

Hee hee...


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Go here and take this quiz;


It's Rolling Stone's "Almost Impossible Rock and Roll Quiz." Out of 58 questions, I got 39 right. Had I gone with my gut on four others, I'd have answered 43 correctly. I am particularly proud of the fact that I got the Tupac/Steven Seagall question right, seeing as I don't like either.

Let me know how you do!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I turned 50 last Friday.

Given my medical history in the last 10 years, I'm happy to be here.

I haven't achieved everything I thought I'd have achieved by now, but come to think of it, I never had any idea what I wanted to achieve by now. Whatever it is, I don't know that I have it yet.

I was born at the right time.

I'm old enough to remember every moment of the Beatles phenomenon, from pre-Ed Sullivan to their breakup.

I'm old enough to have seen Frank Zappa five times. I can't tell you how many of the Zappa fans I correspond with envy my age, because they never got to see Frank at all -- he stopped touring in 1988 and died in 1993.

I was old enough to see the Cubs of the 60s, the Brewers of the 70s and the Diamondbacks of the 00s.

I met Gayle Sayers when he was a Rookie; Brian Piccolo, too. Actually interviewed Ernie Banks when I was eight! I've also met Bobby Hull, Bob Uecker, Rollie Fingers, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Bo Diddley (eight times), and scores more.

I not only got to meet baseball great Eddie Mathews, but I got to go to school with his daughter. This gave us something to talk about when I met him.

I have learned that the combined smell of Saturday breakfast cooking with the odor of unfltered Camel cigarettes is enough to turn you off of smoking for your whole life. I can still smell that in my head, and my dad quit smoking when I was 12.

I learned that it's time to stop being a Cub Scout when your Troop Leader tells you you're not a very good scout because you only sold one Christmas wreath.

I am old enough to have grown up with toys that could have KILLED me. That they didn't just goes to show that maybe they weren't so bad after all. You kids today don't know what you missed.

I was young enough to think the series "Batman" was serious. And old enough a few years later when, in syndication, I was able to get the jokes.

I grew up in an age where if you asked your parents what beer tasted like at a party, they let you taste it. Nobody got arrested. (Once, as a toddler, I pulled this trick on a bunch of folks at a party my parents were having, and after enough "little sips" I was dancing and singing in the back yard. A quick admonishment from my mother ("QUIT GIVING TOMMY BEER!") was all that was needed to remedy the situation. I slept it off. (For the record, I waited nine whole days after I was legal to buy booze. So my early imbibement didn't corrupt me for life.)

I married the right person the first time and only time. Fortunately, it appears that most of my married friends were able to accomplish the same thing.

I am definitely less introverted than I was growing up. I intend to keep going in that direction.

Aside from "make more money" and "lose some weight," there are things in my life that I have yet to master:

I still can't talk to pretty women who I don't know well without looking like a doofus. How my wife saw around this when we met, I have no idea. I'm convinced the women in my wife's dance troupe think I'm incapable of having a conversation. I really have no idea what to say. It's one of the reasons I was never big on topless bars. The girls want to dance in your lap and say stuff like, "How's it goin, hon?" And I always screw up and say something like, "That wart on your back looks like Alan Greenspan," or "I hate cell phones!"

I need to figure out how to write songs faster. I average about two songs a year.

I need to be less hypochondriac. To that end, I need to stop diagnosing myself on the internet.


I need to play more places. If I could figure out how to make it work financially, I bet I could fill a room in Seattle. I know that many people there.

I need to massage more people. Take a number.

I need to get more massages. Take a number.

I need to figure out how not to be the designated driver all the time so that EVERY SO OFTEN, I can have more than one beer when we go to a party.

I need to soak more. In MY spa. Or hot springs.

I have definitely not grown up yet.

And finally, now that I'm 50, I need to live another 50 years or so. Hang around with me and let's see if we all can do it.


Last Tuesday I played a comedians-only open mic in East Bumfuck (Chandler) called Bongo's. It's a bar and grill with the BIGGEST MENU I HAVE EVER SEEN. The comedians range from very experienced and funny to just getting their feet wet, and the always-interesting "experienced-but-trying-out-new-material." This can be scary.

Anyway, I played and got big laughs. Even got a guy from a radio station interested in my stuff! So all in all, a good night.


THIS Saturday, I'm at Into the Bean, 1710 W. Southern next to Cheba Hut Sandwich Shop. I'll be there from 7:30 - 9:30 and I'd appreciate it if you were there, too!


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