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Friday, March 26, 2010

MCT and the Drunken blog...

I am writing this blog after Mancave Thursday, (MCT) which is kind of like a bowling league, it happens every week and there is drinking involved. This week we finally completed the paper football table. Not bad, it only took us 3 or 4 months, but a Mancave success is success nonetheless. It is kind of hard to complete any project when there is a hockey game, NCAA B-ball tourney,” Kelley’s Heroes” or MMA to watch. OR the Mancave is 50 degrees. OR there are too many daddy pops imbued by the participants. Sometimes we do get over-served…OR the team doesn’t show…
     Drunken blogging 101. Step one: get drunk. Step two: start writing whatever comes into your head. Step three: make sure Norman, the spell cjheckler is on. Oops I mean spell checker. See what I mean? Step four: concentrate on what you are really trying to say. Wait a minute that is difficult for me anytime. Step five: eliminate step four.
    MCT is all about the project. (And the company.) Keep it simple, stupid! Just like a bowling team, all members of Mancave should attend every week. However a few misses is okay. BLOWING OFF MCT EVERY WEEK IS LAME….(Unless you live three hours away)...kind of like bumper bowling…or rolling a 299, just one lousy pin away from perfect
     I know you may be wondering what exactly a paper football table is, and why on earth would anyone make one. I have made two. That makes me either twice as great or twice as stupid…you decide. I know what my answer is. A paper football table is exactly like what it sounds like it is.
     It is a table to play paper football on. The one we built has lines and a goal post and a beer spot to mark the “offs”. Three off and the other guy get to kick a field goal. I know it is all coming back to you now. You played this in study hall and in the lunch room. Remember penny hockey and penny basketball?
     I would include a picture, but techtarded is my middle name, so just picture it in your head. Remember back when I started this blog, I could not even link it correctly. Thanks to Chris B for the tutorial. If it helps, a football field is green. Not the color of Cookies house, but hey his house is a shade of green. Think Spartan Green. A football field has stripes every ten yards, is 100 yards (300 feet) long by 50 yards wide, so think proportions…I know that any rendition you come up with will suffice.
     Our first rendition of the paper football table was actually the run off table, for the table saw, in the “original” Mancave. One night Rich and I played a game of paper football and decided to make a paper football table. It was awesome. No. Strike that. TOTALLY AWESOME!! The proportions were not quite right, but it gave us another option after our “project” for the night was done, or the game of the week was over. I think a game of paper football burns off about 300 calories, so it is also healthy, however, not quite as much exercise as bowling.
     Anyone that reads this blog regularly may think that I write all of my blogs in and altered state. They may think that every day is MCT. That is partially true, as the many people I am, while they have an uneasy truce, are constantly vying for the attention they so rightfully deserve. Remember I do hear voices…
     It is kind of like a continual buzz. My head is like Alice in Wonderland. Well, at least the oddities that I saw in the previews for the new movie and the perception I have of the book. It is a nearly blind perception, as I have never actually read the book. However, politicians have never lived on minimum wage, yet they think that it is possible to live that way. That parallel really does not work, Alice…okay so how about this…It is like 300 Spartans defying the odds…nope on that as well…
     This blog is kind of like having me in the room with you. The difference is you can shut me up when ever you want simply by navigating away from the blog. That is what makes this interweb thingy so great, if you do not like the content, then you can simply go elsewhere. However, if we are face to face, I may follow you and keep rambling…Although I cannot imagine what other things you could do that cost so little and bring so much amusement. And remember, we all need a little more amusement.
    This seems like a lot of fun. Wwwweeeeeeee. Bruce’s blogger wild ride! Until I read the results tomorrow. Then I may feel a bit of shame, kind of like spending time in the penalty box. Probably not, as I usually do a couple dry runs and editing. Not this time! I am sending this out, hot off the presses. Roll the dice, baby see how it shakes out!!
     It is amazing that I slur my words when I type and there is little difference between sober and drunken typing. I suck at both. Imagine that? I don’t feel drunk, but my fingers are. “Honestly ossifer, I am not as think as you drun’ I am.” Actually, I had only two daddy pops tonight, (talls, with a splash of coke) maybe I had three, but who’s counting. I should not have had that coca cola chaser…caffeine…
     Counting your drinks is for amateurs. I am not an amateur. While I have a bit of a buzz, drunk is not a reality. Some things seem like a lot of fun when you are drunk. Then the harsh reality hits you like a 7-10 split, or a bazillion Persians. Or maybe 2 Parisians…Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I am not too drunk to think in the circular pattern that I usually do. WTF was my point? Oh yeah.
     MCT was a success this week. We accomplished a Herculean task. We stopped watching the NCAA round ball tourney, set down our daddy pops, stopped talking smack and worked as a team. The A-Team. That’s right Nabozniak, the A-team! We did all that just long enough to assemble the final parts and pieces. The sweet smell of success! The taste of victory! We rolled a 300…The perfect game.
Just another day in paradise

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hey aren’t you……

     I have always been an applause junkie. I have always had the travelin' bone. Even as a little kid running around the neighborhood sans diaper and turning on the neighbors hoses, I have craved attention. High maintenance has been a word to describe me. I have been mistaken for Richard Dreyfus. Not the old guy in his later years, but the guy that played Hooper in Jaws. I am not sure it that is a good thing or a bad thing...
     Actually, the young Dreyfus does look a little like me. “Hey aren’t you Richard Dreyfus?” “No, but he looks like me.” I was that street musician that played in Saugatuck.
     As many of you know I used to be a street performer. That is not to say that I was a great street performer, I didn’t juggle or swallow fire. I did not do magic. It was not as daring as that. It was simply a venue to play my music; you know those simple folksy story songs. I did not do it for the money. Although the money was sometimes pretty good, I did it for the fame, the applause, the notoriety. And as I love to attest to I was mildly famous.
     It had its ups and downs like anything else. I choose to remember it as a great time. Not just to look at it thru the old rose coloreds, but because it mostly was. I had quit smoking dope, and saved up enough to hit the road in the converted Chevy van with my dog Busker. Life was good! I also had the SEAMONKEY my sailboat to live in…Yeah it was the shit!! I was Hey aren’t you….I was THAT guy.
     Nonetheless, I was a street performer. I played in any town I could find that would allow me to play from Saugatuck on down to Key West. Which, BTW, were few and far between, but then again, I did not look very hard. It was more about being on the road than the destination. It was more about the music than the venue, but I even played on Mallory Square before they made it a bastardization of street performing with rules and auditions.
    I played in Pennsylvania at some college campus. (Turned out it was Penn State, which has a beauty of a campus in Wilkes- Barre.) Don’t ask me how Pennsylvania could possibly be on the way to Key West from Saugatuck, but suffice it to say it was long before the invention of Sheila, the girl in my GPS. Even back then the shortest route was always the one I missed a few turns back. I played in rest areas. I played in St Augustine. I played on the beach as well.
     I played at the Toledo Zoo on Thanksgiving week end. Damn it was cold, but I made a few bucks and so it was alright. Somehow on this same trip, I also got kicked out of a head shop. Not that I was still smoking dope, or that there is anything wrong with dope...I needed some papers to roll a cigarette.They kicked me out for saying, "Hey man that is a sweet bong!!" Apparently the term “bong” is not cool, or as they said, illegal...(as opposed to “water pipe” which is fine...just fine???) BTW...The LIONS even beat the vikes in a shootout that year on turkey day.
     There was a great article written featuring the street music scene in Saugatuck, in the Kalamazoo Gazette. It included my picture and a few quotes. It was a nice little publicity thing. Once you become an applause junkie, it never stops. You need the attention. "Hey aren’t you that guy in the paper?" Holland’s little news paper also did a little blurb on me and the street scene as well. “Hey, aren’t you that street musician in Saugatuck?”
     Mostly, I played on Butler Street in Saugatuck, next to the Sand Bar, and On Duval Street in Key West, anywhere I could find a spot. Eventually, the Saugatuck gig became political and they moved us down to the gazebo, where it ceased being street performing and became a stage act. Some how the intimacy faded when I got on stage, it really lost the flavor of the street, even though we were only 50 to 100 feet from the street. And don’t get me started on Mallory and all that, let alone House Boat Row.
     And then I got remarried. Hey aren’t you mildly famous was now a dad. Scary, Huh kids?
     Shortly after I re-married, Roxy, the kids and I were down in Key West. I ran into an old acquaintance, who asked me to sit in for a song or two. I, of course, said "Hell yeah!" As I was playing, the song Prisoner, some one walked by and said “Hey, Aren’t you that guy that plays on the street in Saugatuck?” I smiled and said yeah. Mildly famous. Jus' sayin'....
    Time passes.Again I took to the streets. I played in Rockford and again someone decided to write about me. “Hey aren’t you that mildly famous street music guy?” I guess being pegged as a street musician is better than being pegged in America’s Most Wanted, or in the Arrest News. Mildly famous is not enough, but it was all I could do. I figured really famous was a lot of work. Anytime your passion becomes work, it becomes a job and I really do not like the business side of music. Hey, I also love to fish, but I do not want to join the Bass Tourney circuit.
     Like anything else, the street gig came to a close; it became a struggle to maintain the purity. I did some coffee houses and a couple gigs at One Trick Pony. I played at the singer song writer’s gig at Schuler’s Books and Music. Mildly famous. It is tough to be a “where are they now” street performer.
     Time passes…
     Hey aren’t you mildly famous is now a dad, a soccer coach, and the Regional Commissioner of the Cedar Springs AYSO. Hey aren’t you mildly famous became “Hey aren’t you that soccer guy?”, and a lot of other names I won’t mention to try to keep this blog close to PG. Yeah, being Hey aren’t you... backfired in that little trip down the parenthood path. It was nearly as bad as being on America’s Most Wanted.
     Time passes. Years go by. I have packed away all of “Hey aren’t you mildly famous” in a box in the basement. I have also packed on some pounds. Now I am “the Fatty”, Roxy’s (sometimes jackass) husband; Chris and Libby’s step-dad, Rich’s Friend that did this or that in stories for his ninth grade class, and a lot of other things; some that are nice and some not so nice.
     Years roll on by. I now look more like Dreyfus in Mr. Holland’s Opus than Hooper in Jaws. I have a new gig. I do the best I can. I am sometimes not very good at my new role, but oh well…I do try... “Hey aren’t you mildly famous” is gone to live with Mr. Mo Jo Rison…
     Recently, I was at the Kalamazoo Home Builders Show, doing the working gig I do now, selling and remodeling. I was standing in the booth. A lady walks up to me and asks, “Hey, aren’t you that guy that used to play on the street in Key West?” “You’re a little older,” she says, “and less hair, I mean no pony tail, but that was you, right? I was doing an internship down there and saw you all the time” I am kind of taken aback. “Yep” I reply. Mildly famous.

Just another day in paradise