Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sods and Odds

I’ve decided to call tonight’s entry “Sods and Odds”, which, I think, is German for “Off the Bench.” (or San Diego – I don’t remember – wait, doesn’t that have something to do with a whale? Never mind.). At the very least, since Sean Kilkelly has been missing his “Odds and Sods” lately, we could start a theory that I stole it (scratch that, then reverse it).

Wow, two very vague movie references in the first paragraph? I must be feisty.

It's almost like I've had a touch of writers block. I've got a lot of stuff on my mind - both personally and professionally - and haven't been able to get any thoughts down on paper (the electronic type). I've started writing a couple of times, but just didn't like what it said, so I trashed it.

I guess it's not truly writers block, as I come up with lots of great things away from the computer. Therefore it must be performance anxiety, right?

I’m kind of all over the place today. I’m facing some big changes in my life, hopefully for the better. Unfortunately for as personal as I have made this blog, there are just some things that I can’t reveal. Some things are just too personal, whether because it might hurt somebody, or it would be stupid to reveal, and might hurt me – personally and/or professionally. Was that clear?

Anyway, I guess I can offer that by as early as next Monday, I might finally have that new job I’ve been longing for. I’ve decided to not name the company, and any other particulars. It’s not that I won’t eventually; I just think that it’s best to lay low. I can tell you that I’m very nervous, and no matter where I go, my approach and attitude are going to be a little different. Past experiences have made me jaded and very weary.

There are personal things that I have to deal with, but I can’t get into them. I tried – this is probably my third writing attempt – but there’s no way to talk about it. In short, I just have to be more tolerant and patient. And I guess that I really can’t say what I mean. My brutal honesty is great, until somebody gets hurt.

To music – Sean Kilkelly has been telling me about a friend of his, Montgomery Delaney. I trust Sean’s taste (he’s one of only two people who can barely interest me in wrestling), so I figured I’d check Monty out. He has a website, which allowed me to listen to some of his work, and I really like it. His story is worth checking out (on the “Bio” page), and he’ll be performing at the Irvington Theatre in Irvington, NY on February 3. So try to get a babysitter (if necessary) and go check him out for yourself. We’re planning to go – for $25, that’s a good deal. Doors open at 8:00 PM.

I just finished converting a whole bunch of old records and cassettes that I had laying around. Some 350 tracks were added to my computer when all was said and done and, despite the tape hiss, and the overall quality, it reminded me how wide and varied my tastes can be. Obviously these were items that were either A) out of print or B) not worth upgrading to CD for – yet. Most were in the latter category. Among them was some Lynyrd Skynyrd. The great Skynyrd had become one of those classic rock bands that were just too ubiquitous. Face it – if you listen to a rock station, you’re going to hear probably “Dream On”, “Stairway To Heaven”, “Money”, “Light My Fire” and “Free Bird” before the day is done – every time you listen!! So after years of liking Skynyrd, I just stopped. I didn’t even have anything from them on CD. Going through the tapes though, I rediscovered how great they were back in the 70’s. I’m not saying that it’s going to be jumping into heavy rotation again, but it was still nice to hear.

I guess I should be more up front (not pun intended, Jon) about this. My father especially loved “Free Bird.” This from a man who taught me all about Big Band music. He also taught me about variety in musical taste. How else to explain it? He once told me that he wanted “Free Bird” played somewhere at his funeral – preferably back at our house, when everyone had come over for the usual food spread.

I don’t recall if the song ever got played at the house, but I do remember this. I was one of two eulogists at his funeral. Part of my eulogy included the following words:

“If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on now. There’s too many places I’ve gotta see.”

At least I think those are the words. I did a Google search on “Free Bird” and came up with multiple versions of those lyrics. Well you get the idea – those are the first lines of the song. The inspiration hit me the morning of the funeral. I’ve never quite listened to the song the same since.

OK, let’s get going with other stuff here. While I’m trying to turn over new leaves, there will still be plenty of biting commentary, such as:

I know I’m late here, but am I the only one who applauded The Donald when he bitch-slapped Rosie?

Did you hear about the radio contest in Sacramento that caused the death of a 28 year-old mother of three? “The Morning Rave” show on KDND hosted a contest in which contestants had to drink water and not relieve themselves. The person who holds on the longest would win a Nintendo Wii (pronounced “wee” which is relevant) video game. Jennifer Strange held on as long as she could and came in second. Later that day, after complaining that she didn’t feel well, she was found dead in her home. The cause of death appears to be water intoxication.

Now keep in mind that Ms. Strange signed a waiver, and participated in the stunt on her own free will. Also keep in mind that the nitwit radio hosts offered her concert tickets to stop. Yet a young mother is dead, three children don’t have a mother, and a husband is widowed. Sad story.

So how did the radio station react? They fired the entire morning show, along with other employees – 10 people gone in total. That’s a fairly typical “cover your arse” move by the station, but let’s face it – they will pay monetarily, because that’s the society that we live in. Doesn’t “Litigation” sound like a better name than “United States of America?” That’s what we’ve become, folks.

Incidentally, I would post links, but the Sacramento Bee is one of those sites that insist on having you register. So if you get there quickly, you might be able to read the article (the police might now get involved – yee-hah!!) and listen to some audio that they have. If you don’t mind registering, than party on, dude.

It’s great that the families in Missouri have a happy ending with the return of their sons, but obviously there are still some unanswered questions. Most notably is why neither of them ran – especially Shawn Hornbeck, who had been held for four and half years. Apparently, there’s much more below the surface. All one can do is wish them luck.

To sports now. I’m pleased that a hard-working individual named Jerry Reese is the new general manager of the New York Giants. It’s nice to see people who climb the ladder and pay their dues get rewarded by making it to the pinnacle of their profession. The fact that Mr. Reese is an African American (or dare I say, a “black”) is really of no interest to me. I guarantee it is of no interest to the number of Giants fans that I know. They, like me, just care about one thing: “just win, baby.” Therefore this quote from Mr. Reese just made me shake my head:

“I can’t win three games a year and expect that African Americans will be advanced.”

Excuse me? Did I read that correctly? This is New York, and these are the New York Giants. The people in and around this franchise are going to judge you on your record, not on the color of your skin. People in football will feel the same way. Quite frankly, your race will not be hindered by whether or not Eli Manning throws five interceptions in a game, or if Michael Strahan misses a tackle.

Please don’t play the race card, especially so foolishly. This is the kind of idiotic rhetoric that I expect from the mouths of Rev. Jackson and Sharpton, not a football GM.

Guess there will be no winter sports on WGCH. Sorry folks. I hope for other things to come down the pike. I always appreciated a little break following football season. I didn’t expect this. For the first time since I’ve been at WGCH, I have to basketball or hockey to keep me warm.

The Knicks are still playing, right? I’ve asked this before and nobody has responded.

In fact, other than the NFL, and some hockey, we’re into the dead zone now. I guess I should begin watching more college hoops. Instead I’ve been catching up on things that I’ve recorded, and other stuff. I finally watched “The DaVinci Code.” Quite good – as if anything that Mr. Hanks makes is ever disappointing. Costar Audrey Tautou is quite good as well.

OK, I’m talked out for tonight. The block is back. I think once I get this job stuff out of the way, I’ll be sleeping better and maybe writing more. Last week I was so wound up that I went to bed, and then woke up – at 2:30 AM. Then I watched TV until 5:00. Still nothing like a little Bugs Bunny when all else fails to take your troubles away.

The Son has finally embraced not only Bugs Bunny (he of the Greatest Cartoon Character Ever) but also is watching “The Flintsones” which he has done from time to time. Now he’s quoting them. My youth is coming back to me again.

One last thing – Muhammad Ali turned 65 today. Is it bad if I admit that I really don’t care? Is it bad that, while I respect Ali, and like Ali, that I’m just not going to genuflect when I see his image? I get it – the rest of the world does (Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and so on) and I understand his impact on society, but I just feel there were better fighters than he was. I’ll take Jou Louis, or Sugar Ray Robinson, maybe even Jack Dempsey or Gene Tunney. So while I’m here to wish the great Ali a happy birthday, just don’t expect me to fawn, OK?

When I’m talking about sports gods, I’ll take The Babe.

Wake me up when “American Idol” is over.

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