Bring your own fork

July 31, 2003 - Thursday

 Shecky, Get The Jet

This is my last night in Manchester, NH. I get to go home tomorrow, and “get to” really does convey the right feeling. I’ve only been here for 10 days now, but it feels like a month. I don’t know what it is, but this trip has just felt rreeaallyy long.

I miss my wife, I miss my daughter, I miss my own bed, I miss my stupid dogs and annoying cats, I miss my motorcycle, I even miss my bathroom. I will not be sad to close the door on Room 437 and leave this town behind.

My flight home is out of Boston tomorrow at 3:30, so I’ll put in a few hours at the station in the morning and then hit the road by noon. Then it’s a first class upgrade on the BOS -> DFW leg, move back to join the working class for the DFW -> Burbank leg, on the ground in Burbank at 9:20, into a cab and home sweet home by 10:15.

Just 24 hours and 45 minutes to go until I’m home. Not that I’m counting…

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 Gettin’ Gigli With It

I just read a blurb about the upcoming movie Gigli, starring Bennifer Lopeck, that says the story is about a guy trying to woo a lesbian over to the hetero side of town.

Wasn’t that called Chasing Amy last time? And didn’t it suck then, too?

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Godsmack blasting from the studio monitor in one ear, Huey Lewis & The News crooning on tech support’s hold music in the other.

Interesting, but ultimately not satisfying.

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FYI, I’ve added a kinda-sorta bio link to the front page, down in the links section. It’s a random sampling of 37 fascinating things about me. Because you’re all so interested in me, I just know it.

Aren’t you?


Is this thing on?

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 Forward THIS

Company email kills me. Some people will just forward ANYTHING, and when they do they usually forward it to EVERYONE. There’s no thought behind it, just “Duh… FORWARD!!!” regardless of content.

When writing email, I use different “voices” for different recipients — there’s one guy I’m friendly with who I call “Mah brutha” in email that’s just between the two of us, and I call him by name if I’m sending something “official.” It’s kind of understood that the “Mah brutha” stuff stays just between us. If there’s info I need to send along out of one of those emails, I copy/paste it to a separate email; I don’t send the whole thread. That’s the sensible way to deal with email, I think, and I sort of assume everyone else does the same.

Some people, though… “Duh… FORWARD!!!” I want to just slap them upside they head and ask “Did you read what you just sent to the VP of Lose Your Job? Did you notice the part where you (or I or someone earlier in the thread) said something really unprofessional? Didn’t you think maybe you shouldn’t have sent that, you tool? Didn’t you THINK?”


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July 30, 2003 - Wednesday

 80’s Flashback

I made it to the concert after all. Sue turned out to be much smarter than I had even hoped for and I was finished with her and out the door in 25 minutes. 40 minute later I was at the concert.

Unfortunately, I completely missed REO Speedwagon. I was a little disappointed by that, but reminded myself that they really only had three or four good songs, and the songs I thought were good (Time For Me To Fly, Roll With The Changes, Son of a Poor Man, Flying Turkey Trot) probably weren’t going to make the set list anyway. Plus, I’m sure hearing the has-been version of I Can’t Fight This Feelin’ Anymore would have made me want to jam popsicle sticks into my ears. With that in mind, I didn’t feel all that bad about missing them. And after seeing the band photo on their website, I’m actually kind of glad. Yikes! This is one band that hasn’t aged well.

Styx was… Well… A reality check, I guess. They were my first concert, back at the tender age of 16, and I remember how huge it all seemed — the crowd, the noise, the music, the spectacle… It was hugely exciting. This time around, though, not so much. It was a much smaller venue and crowd — about two steps up from a county fair — and everything was… duller, I guess.

The cheesy diamond-vision display with the MTV circa 1983 kaleidoscope effects didn’t help much. But the band was still working it, rocking pretty hard, trying to get and keep the crowd excited. But really, Tommy, you didn’t have to scream “All right New Hampshire!” between every single song. And I don’t think anybody believed it when you professed “There’s no place we’d rather be tonight than right here in Gilford, New Hampshire! Yeah!” Uh, no.

Still, it wasn’t a bad show. It all seemed a little faded and threadbare and I was getting bored with it, and then they played Grand Illusion. Suddenly it was 1980 again, I had hair again, it was the old Styx again. I was glad I came.

Ah, but Journey… They were really why I was here. Their music had a huge place in my life in high school (yeah, I admit it) and I was peer-pressured out of seeing them when I had the chance back then. This was my chance to right that wrong. Even without Steve Perry, I still wanted to see them. I had heard that their new singer really sound like Perry, so I was expecting faux greatness.

Well. Let me just say that Steve Augeri is no Steve Perry. He had me going for a little while there, I compared him to Perry for the first few songs and he matched up okay. I was beginning to be satisfied. Then he started singing Lights.

Um, no. Not Steve Perry.

He followed that with Open Arms. Really not Steve Perry.

I started walking. I might have stayed for the whole show, but these two disappointments came on the heels of:

  • A 5-minute guitar solo rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, followed by…
  • A song from their last album that nobody bought, a song that dropped the audience from their feets to their seats as though they’d all been shot simultaneously
  • Completely misreading the crowd and stretching this show-stopping (in a bad way) song out with another guitar solo and then coaxing the audience into a sing-along of the chorus that few of us knew
  • Augeri prancing around the stage like a gay flamenco dancer

So I was done. I’d seen Journey and could close the book on that unfinished chapter. I walked back to my car, and as I walked I heard them do another new “song” and a keyboard solo. I didn’t regret leaving.

I caught up to Styx’s tour buses on my drive back to my hotel. I passed and left them behind, literally and metaphorically.

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There is no coffee in the offices of the Manchester, NH radio stations. The nearest coffee is at a Dunkin’ Donuts half a mile away.

How do these people live???

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 Time Warp

It feels like I’ve been out here on the road for a month. I’m really ready to get back home. So it made me happier this morning as I was getting ready to head in to the station that today is Thursday and I get to go home tomorrow. Just one and a half more days to survive and then I’ll be off to the airport and on my way home.

Then I saw the newspaper in the lobby. Dated today. Wednesday.


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July 29, 2003 - Tuesday


There are occasional perques to working with radio stations — station crap, CDs, movie premieres, and most importantly concert tickets. I saw Barenaked Ladies in Syracuse, Tim McGraw in Pittsburg, I passed on seeing Hootie and the Blowfish in Akron last month (because I didn’t give a Hootie — God, I love that joke), and tonight I came thisclose to making the guest list for the nearby Robert Cray show and they felt so bad about not being able to hook me up that they lined up a VIP ticket for me for tonight’s farther-away Journey/Styx/REO Speedwagon show.

I’m kind of bummed about Robert Cray, since I’ve always wanted to see him. Almost did once, in fact — had tickets to see Cray and Clapton in 1986 and my girlfriend made us late for the opening act. We got there just in time to see Cray take his bow. I was sort of hoping I could complete the circle with the show tonight, but alas it is not to be.

So I’m kind of happy about the Journey/Styx/Speedwagon thing because these are bands from my high school days and I never did get to see Journey. I’ve been following this tour around the country all summer and keep missing it by thismuch, and I just happened to make a casual joke about it tonight and the Promotions Director said “Really? They’re here. The show’s tonight. Let me see what I can do!” So, cool, I’m finally going to catch the Dinosaur Rock show!

Only … not so much. They have a part-timer here who comes in at 5:00 who I have to show how to do a few things in the software before I can leave. It’s going to take me about half an hour to train her (if she’s smart — definitely NOT a given in this case), the show is just over an hour away, it’s 5:55 at this very moment, and she’s not here yet.

Don’t look like no circles gonna be closin’ tonight.

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 Freedom’s Making A Comeback

I’m not a big fan of Ashcroft’s new Patriot Act. Neither is the Boulder Public Library.

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One Year Ago Today (ish)



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