Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It is Tuesday afternoon and I just got home from work. I am going to write until MY WIFE gets home from work. I expect that will happen in about thirty minutes or so.
I have no plan other than to record the random thoughts that pop into my head. And when I say random, you best believe I mean random, R-A-N-D-U-M-B. God be with you.
On the way home, I was listening to a CD of Benny Goodman. The song that was playing as I pulled into the driveway was Sing, Sing, Sing. I’ve always thought that could be worked into a dynamite heavy metal jam. Other swing tunes that I’d like to see tackled by an excellent heavy metal band (Deep Purple comes readily to mind) are Glenn Miller’s In The Mood, Tommy Dorsey’s Opus One and Song of India (which is actually based on a theme by Rimsky-Korsakov) and Charlie Barnet’s Cherokee. I’ve thought about this sort of thing - an entire session of nothing but big band tunes done in metal style - for over thirty years now, ever since I was in my first band, but I’ve never done anything about it. I probably never will.
If I were a rich man (which would not make a good heavy metal tune) I would have electrolysis done on certain areas of my body. Should I say which ones or leave it up to your imagination? No, I suppose I should tell you. The things you could imagine would be way too gruesome. My ears. There is hair growing in my freaking ears. As a result, I stick a razor as far into my ears as possible once or twice a month in an attempt to stem the tide. Occasionally, in so doing, I cut my ear. Well, duh. That’s what happens when you’re dumb enough to stick a fucking razor in your ear. It’s still better than being aggravated (tickled, really) by the hairs if they get too long.
I mean, what the fuck. I started losing the hair where I wanted it to grow when I was about 20 and I started growing hair in all sorts of places I didn’t want it at all when I was about 40. Should I expect something hideously-hair-related to happen every twenty years? What, when I’m 60 will my chest hair migrate to my back? When I’m 80, will my eyelashes start growing out of my eyeballs? I want my money back. Life is a gyp.
Aw, that’s kind of cute, in a morbid way, but it’s not true. Life is good, generally. I just had a great Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas is coming up. The company holiday party is this coming Monday and that should be fun. We’re going to have an amusement center all to ourselves. Miniature golf, skeeball, air hockey, that sort of thing. I have a bet of sorts with our office manager. She said that she’s the Queen of Air Hockey. I told her that I’d kick her ass in miniature golf. If we end up tied after those two events, the tiebreaker will be the skeeball. There will, of course, have to be something good riding on this. Perhaps, oh, I don’t know, something to do with getting naked, climbing on top of a desk in the middle of the office, and singing a song about how the other person is the almighty all-time sports champion and rocks her entire world.
No, that wouldn’t be any good for her. I’ve got hair growing out of my ears, for goodness’ sakes, so why would she want to take a chance at seeing what might be happening under my clothes? And I can carry a tune, but only if you provide me with a bucket. I’m sure we’ll think of something good. I’ll let you know.
It is now officially after Thanksgiving, of course, so I’m not pissed off when I hear Christmas music. As a matter of fact, I’ve broken out the Christmas CDs at home and started listening to them. Here are my favorites, in no particular order.
Christmas Eve And Other Stories – The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Hard rock, metal and other interesting renditions of traditional carols, woven into a tapestry of original tunes. Powerful and moving.
Yules Of Yore – Various Artists (Nick At Nite Records)
Cheesy old renditions by folks such as Mike Douglas and Jim Nabors. Nostalgic.
All-Star Christmas – Various Artists
Like the above, but a bit less schmaltz. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and that bunch.
Twelve Songs Of Christmas – Jim Reeves
I don’t know. There’s just something about Jim Reeves voice that transports me back to a gentler time. One somewhat racist tune (Senor Santa Claus) but the rest is easy on the ears and makes me feel warm all over.
Merry Xmas From The Space Age Bachelor Pad – Esquivel
If you aren’t familiar with Esquivel, there’s no easy way to describe his music. “Weird” is the easiest adjective, but that doesn’t do it justice. Deceptively intricate orchestral arrangements full of odd backing vocals – “Zoom, zoom, boink, boink”.
Boogie Woogie Christmas – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Great rocking Christmas album. Big Band flavors with rockabilly guitar. Great stuff.
There are other Christmas CDs I like a lot – The John Rutter Christmas Album, Christmas Cocktails, Christmas On The Bandstand - but we have some 30 of them, so I have to stop somewhere. Anyway, I just thought of something else having to do with CDs and Christmas.
The other day, MY WIFE asked me what I wanted for Christmas. She does this every year. She does it because she loves me and she wants to get me something that I’ll really like. However, I’m always uncomfortable answering a question like that. It seems too greedy somehow. So, every year I never really give her an answer. This year, though, I’ve decided that I will answer her and the following is my answer.
I want some CDs.
For some time now, I’ve wanted the following CDs. I haven’t bought them myself because I’ve got a buttload of CDs already and we’ve been trying to cut back on silly personal expenses, you know, stuff like lottery tickets. If somebody wants to buy me some CDs as a gift, though, here are the CDs I’d like to have.
(If anybody aside from MY WIFE sees this list and decides to buy me a CD, that person should probably coordinate that purchase with MY WIFE who might, maybe, keep a master list of those being purchased, perhaps like.)
(Of course, the above is basically me begging people to buy CDs for me as presents. See what happens when you ask me what I want and I actually answer that question? The greedy pig in me comes front and center. Too late now, Pandora, I’m out of the box.)
(No, MY WIFE’s name isn’t Pandora.)
Grand Funk – Grand Funk (The Red Album, so called because, well, it’s red. If it’s not red, you’ve got the wrong one. Put it back and get me Closer To Home, so called because, well, that’s its name.)
The Allman Brothers Band – Live At The Filmore East
The J. Geils Band – Full House
Focus – Moving Waves
Steppenwolf – Greatest Hits
Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
Black Sabbath – Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath
The Beatles – There are two collections. The first is entitled something like 1962 – 1965 and the second is 1966 – 1968 or something similar. I’d like to have both of them, but I prefer the latter. The album covers both feature The Beatles posing on the balcony of an apartment building, as I remember.
And there you have it: My Christmas List.
MY WIFE just came home so that’s that, as promised. Bye!
(I just typed in the title of this piece while saving it to disk. Imagine that. 47 minutes for me to come up with this garbage. I sure as hell hope it took you less time to read it.)
P.S. Just in case it took you longer than 47 minutes, here’s another 5 minutes or so that might make it worth your while. I had a brainstorm this past Thanksgiving and I shall now share said brainstorm with you, you’re welcome.
Every year, it is a pain in the ass to get the turkey out of the pan. The damn thing usually weighs about twenty pounds and I somehow manage to get it out of the pan and onto a platter only by grabbing it with various kitchen implements like forks, spatulas and oven mitts and wrestling it precariously out, usually splattering pan drippings on the floor and burning my hands, as well as leaving pieces of the bird in the pan. This year, I invented a way to get it out painlessly and cleanly.
I used a pair of shoelaces.
What I did was drape a pair of shoelaces on the bottom of the pan before putting the bird in, leaving them dangling out of either side of the pan. They were about six inches apart. I then placed the bird on top of the shoelaces and tied the ends of the laces together. When the bird was cooked, I simply grabbed the tied shoelaces and lifted straight up. It worked perfectly.
Yes, shoelaces. Twenty-eight inch white shoelaces. I cleaned them before I put them into the pan, running them under hot water and scrubbing them in case there might have been some sort of finish on them. They were clean to begin with, anyway. They were new. I didn’t just take my dirty shoelaces from the sneakers I wear every day and put them into the oven with my Thanksgiving dinner. And nobody died.
(Now, there may well be a perfectly sane invention out there, of a similar nature, that I could have used and which you know about, but I had to think on my feet - so to speak. My method worked like a charm and I’m proud of myself, thanks.)
I’m going to go have my supper now – some lovely turkey, not even a tiny trace of shoelace in any of it - and then maybe shave my ears. If I don’t bleed to death or get botulism, I’ll see you tomorrow.