Sorry for the long delay on this here old blogosphere, and a happy new years to you as well.
The holidays have passed, the new years is upon us and I made a cake.
Pineapple upside down cake. No biggie. Box cake mix. I grew the pineapple though.
I wish I could give you some exciting news. Like I had beers with the President, saved an old lady from a burning building or found Jimmy Hoffa. Alas, I can only attest to spending time with family, taking an editorial end of year rest from the blog and finally back here ready to take on another year of what you have come to expect of me. No one ever knows and whatever happens to strike my fancy.
Today a personal favorite, music.
The other night was the annual Grammys award show. Its shit and crap and I didn’t watch a single second of it. Caught some high lights from the mornings news and its about what I expected. Blah.
Black Sabbath, and Paul McCartney with the assistance of Dave Grohl and the remaining members of Nirvana won a Grammy. Thats cool I guess. As I have pontificated on this blog numerous times in the past, music today as a whole to me seems like crap. We have been trying to find the next big “thing” musically for about the last ten or so years if you ask me. I mean lets face reality for a second. If you’re Paul McCartney you can record yourself taking a good dump and if you can get Dave Grohl to stand around while doing it, you’re going to win a Grammy. I don’t blame the artists one bit. The industry that brings us music has been in such a state of flux the last fifteen years with the advent of file sharing, iTunes, internet radio that the lazy corporate music business model has been trying to find a way to screw us financially which is harder and harder to do in this day of instant sharing of information. Its not about musical talent any longer. Its about how many likes and shares and You Tube views you can get by teenage girls that dictates what we get to listen to.
Super Bowl is coming. Seattle wins. Heard it here first. Ok maybe you didn’t hear it here first, but I would like to see Seattle win. Frankly I’ll probably spend more time thinking about what kind of food to make and eat during the game then either of the teams involved.
Where were you on this day in 1986? I should back up a bit. Remember this day in 1986? Space shuttle Challenger blew to smithereens during blast off due to bureaucratic management bullshit about making a decision and owning up to it. None the less as I recall I was a freshman in high school sitting in a biology class. Word spread fast, Ronald Reagan said something about “Slipping the surely bounds of earth and touching gods face” or something close to that and a few years of investigation. Only to have the exact same problem with a lack of leadership and management decisions to be the leading cause of destroying the Shuttle Columbia on re-entry some years later. Some lessons are need to be learned more then once.
So thats about it really. I hope this finds you guys in good health. Oh yea Dragline and Coconut head say whats up. Let ‘er rip tater chips.
As you may all know by now from a previous post about my cousins battle with cancer, its with a heavy heart I have to report that Jess lost her long and arduous battle this past Friday.
I have been thinking about her and her story for a few days now. I was debating how to frame and relate such a story of courage and grace. The hardest part for me is the simplest. Its so cliche to say, “so and so unfortunately lost their battle with cancer.” Its a normal statement. Factually its a true statement. As many of you know me, I tend to shy away from the cliche and normal. To say my cousin lost her battle with cancer is as far as I am concerned a load of BS. Jess won her battle. I’ll tell you why.
For over seven years, from the time she was diagnosed this girl had a smile and such a positive attitude in her treatment to try and keep this disease at bay. Never a complaint. Never a bad word. Numerous surgeries, radiation, chemo treatments. After each surgery or round of treatment, this girl went back to work. Sick, feeling like crap, tired, she held her head up high, smiled and moved forward. She enjoyed life to the fullest and when faced with setbacks in her treatment, it was always a “Whats next? We move forward with positive attitude.”
I can’t tell you the amount of strength, dignity, grace and positive attitude this young lady displayed throughout this whole rotten situation.
Obviously and as most people will agree when you have a family member go through something like this you tend to think about your own mortality. You wonder what you would do. How you would react. I did. If I am honest with myself and you the reader, theres a chance I’d try and do the right thing by being positive and setting an example in my head-on treatment and fight against this insidious disease. Then theres the very possible reality that after reaching a certain point, I’d simply throw in the towel, take out every line of credit I could get my hands on, and call it a party of the century with my closest friends. Booze, hookers, drugs, bank robbery, and dynamiting the IRS. I mean really whats to lose at that point? Ok, I wouldn’t hurt innocent people, but you get the picture.
Thats me, and how I would have handled things. My cousin Jess is a much bigger and better person that I’ll ever be. She proved and showed the rest of us, that even when we’re saddled with insurmountable odds and a losing proposition you can still live with great happiness, and dignity no matter what the obvious outcome. That is a lesson I’ll forever take with me.
Did the cancer finally get my cousin Jess? Technically, yes, but Jessica did NOT lose the battle. No way. She won. She won in such outstanding fashion that her lessons and memory will live forever with those that met and knew her. I’ll call that winning every single day.
This blog in its current incarnation is officially one year old. I think technically the anniversary occurred last month but as you see it now its one year old. Its about where I expected it to be and for that I am pleasantly surprised. I have been mulling some small changes and updates with layout and graphics to keep things fresh. Fundamentally things will continue as they are and we’ll see where the next year takes us. I have some ideas and experiments swirling around in my head so stay tuned.
July already. Complete years and weekends go by so fast. Yet one single Monday at work can take the life right out of us five times over. Further proof life just isn’t fair sometimes. I don’t care though. July 31st I am going to see Black Sabbath and that doesn’t suck.
I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind
– Paranoid, Black Sabbath
Monday again. Another weekend blows by. Ever see a dead woman in a casket? Now you have. ———> We Sold Our Soul For Rock and Roll. Black Sabbath inside album cover, 1976-ish.
The last couple of years, Black Sabbath (with Ozzy, Butler, Iommi) have been rumored to be making new music and touring. When I hear these things I take it with a grain of salt. Ozzy and Sharron are pretty ruthless about contractual and legal issues in the past on any reunions, Iommi comes down with cancer, Ozzy falls off the wagon and starts popping pills and drinking, and well you get the idea.
Outside of all those things, Black Sabbath is probably the genesis and father of all things heavy metal. No one would know the name Ozzy Osbourne if there was no Black Sabbath. Sabbath was around and making music in 1968-69.
Doing a little internet surfing this weekend I see the North American tour dates have been expanded and guess who is going to see Black Sabbath? I go into these types of concerts with an open mind and low expectations. As a music lover, I categorize these concerts in the same light as seeing The Who, Santana, Clapton/Cream, Rolling Stones, Plant/Page as last of the greatest who defined rock music with the long gone other greats. You just have to go to say you saw them. I have seen Ozzy before and even years ago they’ve had to wheel his old ass out on stage in a wheelbarrow, I think he has a f’ing cane now. None the less I’ll go and see what I can see and hear what I can hear. Paranoid, Sweet Leaf, War Pigs, Iron man, pretty much every go to guitar riff laden song a young kid learns right after Stairway to Heaven and Smoke on the Water.
One of my nieces turns two this month. My mother is trying to teach her to swim and I am teaching her to swear and spit. She is progressing along nicely.
I think Jim Morrison said that once. Or maybe it was Oliver Stone who pretended Jim said it once in one of his movies. Either way its a pretty good quote and if nothing else a decent philosophy to try and live by.
A lot of people regard Morrison and his band The Doors as epically defining the 1960’s counter culture and the Rock and Roll music scene. There is no doubt The Door’s shaped a lot of what was to come. Personally I don’t think he was a musical genius as say McCartney and Lennon. Jim certainly had lyrical chops but again I suspect that was a result of his affinity for poetry and literature. Peyote and acid probably helped a great deal too.
One thing I find about some music is that I associate certain music with physical places. This isnt true for all music. In the case of The Doors when I hear any of it, whether its studio recorded albums or concert bootlegs I say, think and feel like California. In my mind The Doors are California. Doesn’t matter what song either. When I hear The Door’s I imagine and think about California period. I get the same exact feeling about the Smashing Pumpkins and Chicago. Lynyrd Skynyrd and thats North Florida all day long no matter how many times I imagine Forrest Gump running his ass across Alabama.
I have been to these places, met the people, ate the food and drank the drinks. This music reminds me of these places no two ways about it.
When I hear Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, I don’t think of Seattle. I Don’t think of London or Britain when I hear The Who or Rolling Stones. The Beatles however makes me think of Britain up until Sgt. Peppers. After this point all I can think about is Charles Manson,dirty hippies and death. It’s still good music and I enjoy it, but in my sometimes rather twisted brain it can evoke strange images and feelings. I guess thats how you know music is good.
All this being said, you can imagine the dichotomy of visiting Morrison’s grave in Paris, France. I have been to Paris three separate times in my life. Paris to me has nothing to do with great music, especially Jim Morrison and The Doors. To me Paris is great food, great visual art, but music? Just does’t hit me. Jim Morison died and is buried there though and people check out his grave as if its a national monument. I did once. Its weird being there. It has no feeling of music, or The Doors, or California. It’s just “Jim” if I had to put a label on the experience.
In any event, to try and sum this rather meandering and pointless post up, music has the power to take you places. The problem is not much of todays new “music” achieves this goal. In fact it falls short of taking my mind anywhere other then wanting to jam pencils in my ears. Where did the good music go? There’s a few groups out there trying and still holding true, but what is happening with the brand new music?
When the internet opened up instantaneous communications and people of all ages and background can upload a video from their phone to YouTube, we should be inundated with incredibly gifted musicians making incredible music right now. Where are they?
Is the best we can hope for and muster up, some ding bat Korean chink pseudo fucking his horse to a catchy beat to take over the musical world?
Where is the next Misty Mountain Hop? The next Yellow Ledbetter? Christ, I would settle for the next Jack and Diane or Pink Houses right about now. Where are they? In this day and age of self promotion, YouTube, iTunes, and 24X7 continuously connected world where are the next Led Zeppelin or AC/DC? We don’t need Sony or BMG or any of the other dinosaur music industry to find this new music and give it to us.
There is something better then some country pop chick who cant keep a man or some Disney child star lip syncing some auto tuned garbage. There has to be I just know it.
Until that time, I’ll keep my eyes on the road and my hands down my pants or upon the wheel.
Who you tryin’ to get crazy with ese? Don’t you know I’m loco?
Well it looks like Mr. Peabody has turned the way-back machine dials to 1993 this morning.
War was over
I was home from the Marines
Pearl Jam gave us Vs
Nirvana gave us In Utero and then suicide the following April
Cypress Hill broke us off some with Black Sunday
I catch myself in conversation and sometimes others catch me when referring to someone as old being like forty-five or fifty years of age. Then I, or someone else will go, “Old? Um, you realize we’re forty-something?” Opps! Then I immediately revise my statements to “Oh I mean old like really old, not our kind of old” in a pitiful attempt to not be old myself. Only walking away thinking to myself “Jesus, they’re right I am getting old too…..SHIT.”
Getting old isn’t so bad. Its just a number. You’re only as old as you feel you are. (insert any number of failing to make oneself feel better cliche type sayings here) I feel good. My health is good. My mind is good yeah well my mind is still there.
However sometimes I sit and think to myself. Is this where I am supposed to be? Was this all part of the plans I envisioned for myself? The only problem is, I can’t say with certainty what “the plan” really was for me. You have all the normal life’s goals of course. Do good, be happy, make money, support yourself, but past all that what was “my” plan?
I am at the old or young age of forty-two still unsure what my plan for life really is. Can I invent something that will save the world, or destroy it? Sure I could, but what is it? Can I paint or create the next artistic master piece? Sure I could, but what is it? Can I inspire millions of people, or just one person? Sure I could, but who?
There are so many variables that plot out and or influence either directly or indirectly in our lives to figure out ones place in the world. What do you believe in? What do you have faith in? Do you chase the plan down, does it come to you like a vision while scratching your ass in line at the grocery store? Do you just carry on believing it will find you? I have no clue. I guess I am still in the camp of not knowing what I want to be when I grow up. I am still waiting to see.
I am waiting to see. I have my eyes open. That wasn’t always the case though and at times I still need to remind myself to slow down and look around. Society pushes us in directions which we mistakenly think is normal and “the way we should go”. I used to believe and subscribe to this idea. Go to school, get a job, make lots of money, get married, have lots of kids, go in debt, curse the kids, curse the wife, lose the job, die. I used to believe all this too. Now, not so much. I watched my peers, family, friends do these things and I even did some of these things.
No, now I plot and follow a much simpler course. Do good, be happy, be me and wait and see. Oh, and of course second guess myself at every turn on this wait and see path wondering what it is I am supposed to see. If there is one thing worse then living by simple and sound advice its hoping the shit was right and it all works out. I am ready, willing and able for life, and I know theres more for me, but what? I am in no rush honestly although my age tells a voice in my head “well what the fuck lets get this thing on”.
In the end I cant complain. I am already rich and I am happy. I’m rich simply based on the friends and family I have and the work I do. I am happy with me. I got here honestly and while the road here took many turns, hills and valleys in the end I know I wound up here on my own and with clarity. I know I missed some opportunities on this path, and at times regretted them, but I know now, what I thought I wanted or needed really wasn’t for me. My eyes were closed in those times. Now my eyes are open and I wait and see.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Pop rock male artist of the year? Seriously? I know the AMA’s are bullshit and can barely suck the sweaty piss flaps of the likes of Rolling Stone magazine. I would have referenced a nice ball sack for Rolling Stone magazine but they don’t know anything about having a sack much less balls for the last 30 years.
“This is for all you haters.”
I am sorry for my foul language this morning, but as the Dude, Jeffery Lebowski would say, “this aggression on simple musical taste wont stand, man!”
What the holy shit has happened to us as a country, a nation, a world power? Where has our greatness gone? I caught this little blurb of a shithead accepting his award for male pop and rock artist of the year and between wanting to cry, vomit, and then slit my own goddamn throat, it dawned on me, this little shithead is exactly what went wrong. Well him and about a bakers dozen other little shitheads and twats that somehow gained popularity through the failed and homogenized corporate musical machine we swim through in our daily lives.
Where is a drunkin Nikki Sixx and bombed Ozzy rushing that stage knocking the mic out of that pussies hand and then squatting down shitting on him right for live TV?
Where is Zack de la Rocha climbing a stage curtain, lighting, then burning that shit show to the ground in protest of that ass zit of a kid accepting his rock male artist of the year on behalf of his “haters”?
Where was the camera when Scott Weiland and Lemmy from Motorhead were tag teaming this little twerps mother backstage and making her air tight? Oh wait that was in my dreams. Sorry.
This is such bullshit on a colossal level I almost can’t breathe. How does this happen? How do we break out of this horrible dream? This has to be some kind of bizarro world dream. This can’t be real. Its all a horrible horrible dream. I mean this kind of shit and the people that buy into it, would become a nation of pantload sissified gentry that would elect some cockamamie half bastard communist for a president. TWICE! Tell me its a dream. Please for Christ’s sake wake me up from this nightmare.
Anyone that knows me, knows I have a pretty diversified taste in music. Anyone that puts in the time and effort and truly creates musical art is deserving of all the riches and their just due as anyone else. This Bieber music and I use that term very loosely, is simply not music.
Bieber is essentially the cute and charismatic offspring of basically a teenaged slut, who had nothing in life more remarkable then a laptop with a Youtube account. Cute and charismatic kid, cheap webcam, silly haircut, youtube and its welcome to paradise. He’s bigger then the goddamn Beatles without one single iota of an ounce of talent. You think this little shithead is going to sit down at the piano then write and compose the next Hey Jude? Sgt. Peppers? This hump wont bust out the next “I think were alone now” ala 1987 Tiffany.
Knowing all this, who in the hell is listening to him? Obviously a heck of a lot of people. Well I have one thing to say to each and every one of you. Fuck You! You bought into this sham of entertainment and you created a monster in the industry that we’ll never get away from now. This turd realistically should be working birthday parties out of the back of his mothers broken down Celica while she blows frat boys for gas money. Instead he’s getting male pop/rock artist of the year and twenty million twitter followers because you sheep will follow a hand grenade off a cliff in hopes of a blue tomorrow.
Not me! I’ll sit here and bitch for something better. I’ll put out a good word for local music. The guys and girls working in shitty bars, busting ass, sleeping in vans. A chick sleeping in her car with her dog and guitar writing her own music, selling bootleg cassette tapes and teeshirts for her next meal. Those are the deserving artists that should be getting our support. Not these other losers picked from obscurity on the internet, thrown in front of a mic and AUTOTUNED to some corporate garbage Pepsi, Coke, Budweiser, or Ticketmaster thinks you want to listen to.
Oh, and you bastards listening to Flo-Rida, Chris Brown, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry arent innocent in any of this either. There is plenty of stink to go around and you’re all covered in it!
Here were are again. Another Monday another start to another wonderful week of work, and otherwise monotonous skullduggery to get us through to the next weekend. Never fear because I am here to help.
Finally this weekend I have found that Justin Bieber and myself have something in common. YES, can you believe it? I was utterly shocked as well. It seems we both feel the same exact way about his music and concert performances. Take a look. This is a full dose of awesome sauce from me to you. Well that is if awesome sauce is say….. a bag of Doritos and a quart of spoiled milk?
Who is singing while ol’ Bieb’s his hurking out his dinner on stage?
Does anyone have even the slightest idea of how pathetic this is? This little hump has something like a trillion followers on Twitter, Facebook, mommywasaslut.com
How is this Rock and Roll? How is this cool? Do you know how many hotel rooms Led Zeppelin trashed to be cool. How many times Keith Moon had to be carried off stage passed out from behind his drum kit in a puddle of his own piss and vomit. Hell even Axl Rose doesnt show up to his shows until he has combed all his pubic hairs, had his special Chai tea and painted his toenails.
Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Moon, Rhodes, Vaughn, Cobain, Staley is it any wonder why they all checked out long before their time? Maybe they were all visionaries that saw music heading into the abyss we now find ourselves mired in. If thats the case, who can blame them?
In any event, to watch Mr. Bieber puke and vomit while hunched over ass out to his adoring fans is a win for me on any Monday in my book. Enjoy.
Coffee is ready. Hang on a second and let me sooth my nerves.
Ahhhhh. That’s much better. Let’s continue shall we?
Football this weekend? Ugh! The Jets were supposed to play the 49’ers. Did anyone even notice if they showed up for the game? Who were the people wearing the green and white uniforms? Well a loss is a loss I guess. If you’re going to take a beating no sense in spending energy or risking additional injury defending against the inevitable.
October is an exciting month this year. Let me rephrase that last sentence. This particular October should be an exciting month. Presidential and vice presidential debates take place. If Mitt Romney has half a brain in his Mormon head or by chance someone running his election campaign has half a ball sack, they will have instructed and throughly prepared him to eviscerate President Obama to his soulless core every single question every single debate. Governor Romney needs to go for the throat and kill this bastard.
If it were me, nothing would be off limits. No matter the time limit or the question content. I would somehow for every time I open my mouth bring about the questions of Obama’s past. Topics would include but not limited to:
Obama’s communist father Frank Marshall Davis.
Obama’s association with Acorn and the typical Chicago corruption.
Obama’s association with Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright
Obama’s bogus SSN#
Obama’s college transcripts
Obama’s nepotism in Chicago for getting Michelle $300,000/year hospital job (turning away indigent patients to other hospitals…IRONY),
Obama buying his home with assistance with felon Tony Rezko.
All the way down to his nose job and plastic surgery. Who is hiding why change appearances?
I would slit his throat in the debates!
The bullshit this President has pulled over the mindless sheep in this country boarders on criminal. We’ll see if Romney plays it safe or goes for the kill. If he has any sense he’ll realize what the play it safe and passive route got John McCain in 2008.
Do your homework folks. Look past the silly 15 and 30 second sound bites on TV and ask questions. The answers are out there. Just don’t be too shocked about the answers you find to your questions when you start to think on your own.
Enough political commentary for today. These thoughts are mine and mine only. I respect everyones position and theres room here for all.
Oh yeah, my birthday and Halloween is in October too!
Nothing special this weekend from the corporate kitchens with the exception of Belgian Waffles and a decent Pizza Slut clone of cheese sticks/bread. Keep your eyes on the recipe section for those entries.
However, today in appreciation and honor of Octoberfest. I will be making beef rouladen with a dill spaetzle. Some serious German eats yo! Or is that Yohan? Or Gunther or Wolfgang? Whatever, some good German food today. Will post the results later.
The blog has been alive about two months now. I have been thinking about some commercial interests and since we have been discussing a lot of food lately, it may be about time to introduce you to another passion of mine, woodworking. Some of you may already know this and to some this may be new. I like wood. I have wood. 😉
Generally I have built mostly furniture, and some custom cabinetry. What I have enjoyed making in the past which have made great gifts and an obvious tie in to my love of making and shoving food down my throat is beautiful end grain cutting boards. Take a look.
I am thinking about making more cutting boards and selling them through this web site / blog. As you can see there are no limitations to color, size, or shape. The beauty to a properly made end grain cutting board is not only its appearance in your home, but if you are the least bit anal about your knives and cutlery you use in your kitchen then cutting food on an end grain cutting board is the best for your knives and keeps your blades sharper longer.
If you’re like me and pay upwards of $150+ for a professional Shun chef’s knife you care about trivial things like this. Everyone is like me right? LOL. Ok so you’re not so anal retentive or a maniac perfectionist when it comes to these matters. Well these cutting boards look damn good in any kitchen, and with minimal care last as long as you will live.
You want one of these cutting boards. You must have one of these cutting boards. You want one of these cutting boards for yourself, and you want to buy another to give to someone you care about for Christmas or the upcoming holidays. You must have one! When you sleep at night you dream about them! It’s all you can think about! You want to be the first one on your block to have your very own Whats Up Brock end grain cutting board.
Well my friends don’t you worry. I always got your back. In the next couple of days, I’ll provide the information to you on this very site/blog for you to order your very own What’s Up Brock end grain cutting board.
Be ready to jump when I open up the ordering flood gates. It’s going to be first come first serve. You will want to get in early for delivery in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
I know what your already thinking. “What are you going to do with the money fat ass?” I’ll tell you. I am going to get drunk and buy hookers. What the hell do you think? Ok I am kidding. Honest. I am however going to donate some of the proceeds to some charitable organizations that have moved me lately and need our help. So in a way by ordering a cutting board from me, you not only win by owning a one of kind, beautiful piece of kitchen/household functional “art” you will also be a part of helping some neglected dogs/cats and some truly deserving injured and broken Veterans and their families.