uncramming the nooks and crannies of the 'ol brain matter
1) Went to a family friend's 65th birthday party. Found myself arguing Indian politics with the uncles (any parental type not your own is referred to as an uncle in these circles). I might be officially old. Or, at least permanently banned from the "kids" table. Had a couple of odd moments where people I've known since I was a kid weren't sure that I was me. Guess that's what comes of having been away for ten years, and not seeing some of these folks but once (as far as I can recall) in that time.
2) Three former colleagues contacted me within the space of two days for feedback about my current work. Not sure if I feel like a Pied Piper, or a fraud. Which, come to recall the story, is kind of the same thing. I owe one of them another e-mail, my eyes were glazing over when I tried to send her information last night.
3) Eyes should be glazing over, it's 2 AM eastern time here. But since Florida and Nebraska decided to play 15 innings of softball instead of the usual 7, Michigan's game got pushed back to a near 1 AM start. And since I was gonna watch the game, I'm watching the game. And I decided to do another load of laundry while I do. What do you want to bet I forget about the clothes in the dryer?
4) Might be a lonely week at work. A lot of the personnel at my office are being pulled into duty for a hospital that is beginning to use the software we work with. Not sure how I escaped being pulled in for that duty, but I get to go to the usual spot instead of having to head into the city. I'm ok with that.
6) Got chills today listening to the Tyler Read song, "Heaven." I'd post a link, but youtube only has a live version with crappy sound. Something about the lines, "This is a year worth saving/
This is a time to drown our fears" really struck a chord with me today. I think it's a song about a doomed relationship, one last chance before letting it go, trying to "find peace in the pieces". But I was hearing those previous lines in and of themselves, about it being a year worth saving (remembering), about drowning those fears. Might have to figure out how to create a video and how to upload it to youtube, just to be able to share this song with you guys.
7) Michigan is hanging on to a 2-0 lead in the 6th. 6 more outs! I mean 5 more outs, another Sun Devil goes down swinging. 4 more outs, fielder's choice!
8) I oughta go down and rescue the laundry from the basement, should I?
9) Sparkpoints earned in February: 1400+
June: 87 whenever I get around to hitting post on this blog.
Helps to get a 25 on a wheel, huh?
10) Why isn't meteorology the study of flaming space rocks?
11) Kayleigh, by Marillion, since no one seemed to recall it when I mentioned it last week.
12) Another thing remarked upon, cryptically, last week, that no one saw through: I hit 38 years of age on the 21st of May. Hence the reference to the worm in a bottle chorus, with the line, "happy birthday to me", and the moment of depression at having to enter a 38 on the exercise bike.
13) I'm not superstitious, why do you ask? Oh, who am I kidding, of course I am. I'm just not triskadekaphobic.
14) 3 outs to go. C'mon Sara Driesenga! crap, base hit, tying run at the dish. DOUBLE PLAY! One out to go. Ignore the fact that the ASU runner might have been safe at first. BALLGAME! The sun sets forever on the Arizona State 2013 season, and Michigan moves on to face Washington...3:30 PM, eh? I think I can watch most of that before having to go to the airport tomorrow.
15) All right, all right, I'm getting the darn laundry.
16) GO BLUE!!
17) oh yeah, I did make it to the gym, first time in forever. Think I'll have to use the fitness room this week. I mean, heck, I got over a third of sparkpoints earned in may in just 27 hours of June, so, I might as well try to score a bunch of points, and exercise minutes are a good source of vitamin C i mean sparkpoints, so.
18) I'm rambling. Clearly, it's time to end this blog po
had facebook open towards the end of the day, saw someone post about watching Chicago play hockey tonight. That was interesting in and of itself, since Chicago was playing against my favored team, the Detroit Red Wings, but of more interest was the little notice of where the poster was posting from, namely, "near Mt. Prospect".
That was of interest because, well, I happen to have been staying in Mt Prospect the past two months. And also because it was a friend, someone I'd kind of failed to get in touch with even though he lived in the Chicago area. So I called him on the phone. And learned that, contrary to my thought that he lived in a southern suburb, it turns out that he lived within 5 minutes of where I'm staying. And he and his wife happened at that moment to be at the Buffalo wild wings on the edge of the mall in which my hotel is.
So I joined them. It was probably wise that I left my Detroit Red Wings hat in the car, since, after all, wearing enemy colors in a Chicago suburb while Chicago did battle with said enemy on ice would just be asking for getting a beer spilled over me.
Anywho, it was a nice chat. I hadn't ever really got a chance to get to know my friend's wife, so it was cool to get to chat with her a bit. And as I'll be here for a few more months, I'm guessing that I'll get more chances to do so, now that we know we're in proximity.
The part I in the title is a reference to the weekend in madison upcoming. Looking forward to just chilling with friends, catching a little of the college ultimate frisbee championships, and more chilling.
I managed to sneak down to the fitness room for a little bit on Tuesday night, mindlessly pedalling away at an exercise bike while reading, and taking advantage of the lack of any one else being in the room to turn the music up, without the headphones I'd forgotten at the office. It was, I must admit, a tad annoying to have to get to the point where the machine asks your age, and have to throw a 38 in there.
A song that's been running through my head today, for no apparent reason, "Yesterday, Today", by the Fixx. One of those earworms you don't mind, because it's a great song.
Title references a song by Fish. No, not the hippie jam band with Trey Anastasio leading the way, but rather the 6’6” stone bald Scotsman who once upon a generation ago sang for the band Marillion. You might recall their hit “Kayleigh”, if you’re of a certain age. Anyway, a dozen or so years after that, as a solo artist, he released the spectacular “Sunsets on Empire”, with the song “Worm in a bottle” on it. The song is pretty melancholy, really, the title character coming to that realization that things need to change, and vowing to himself to change. My interpretation, anyway.
A scintillating live version lies behind the first link, the lyrics behind the second.
The relevance? There are some. Even though the switch of the food/exercise thing was flipped in September 2011, lately there’s a bit of stickiness to it, where it’s somewhere in the middle, sometimes working, sometimes not. Most recently, there’s no there there, no spark worth mentioning. But maybe a glimmer, as per the last blog entry’s thought of a balancing point? Who knows?
Anyway, the song’s something that sticks with me every time I come to some moment of decision.
And besides, the chorus is applicable today, so there’s that…
I spent the last couple of weeks feeling blobby, never getting down to the fitness room in the hotel despite intentions. Got home, weighed myself for the first time in three weeks...and got the same number as I did then. So that's good, I guess. It's 10 pounds higher than the lowest I got to, 2.5 months ago. But at least the perception that I'd gained a bit more, threatening to break into BMI Obesity territory again, at least that isn't the reality yet.
Next couple of weekends won't help, what with my nephew's 2nd birthday party, and a trip to Madison to hang with friends over the Memorial day weekend on tap. Maybe it's a good thing I'll be alone-ish on my birthday, so as not overinlduge-ish?
Last weekend was great, except for the aforementioned never exercising. Before even getting to the concerts, I got to rescue a damsel in distress on Friday. I work with a guy named Tim. I knew him in Madison, we worked together then, and it's really through his recommendation that I got this job. He and his fiancee, Danielle, also a dear friend, had moved to Tennessee in 2011, but most of their family, including a cousin who was getting married last weekend, are still in the upper Midwest. Thursday, Tim drove from Chicago to Madison, en route to Duluth, Minnesota for the wedding. Danielle was to fly from Tennessee to Duluth on Friday. About 2:30, just as I started thinking about going downtown to try and beat the beastly Chicago rush hour traffic, I got a call from Danielle. Apparently, her flight had been cancelled, and after a bit of furious re-booking, she had hours to kill. Acting on Tim's tip that I was sticking around for the weekend, she gave me a ring, and I was all to glad to pick her up and spend a couple of hours chatting. I hadn't expected to get to see her until their wedding next month, so I was happy to get the chance.
Dropping her back off at the airport (we went two blocks away to a hotel that I'll be staying at starting in a couple of weeks - it has a bar/restaurant in the lobby), I headed downtown to catch my friends in Imminent Sonic Destruction, and waiting in line, I saw some other friends from Ann Arbor, who I didn't know were coming. So even before the music had started, my day, really, my weekend was made, getting to hang out with good friends from 700 and 400 miles away who I had no inkling I'd get to see.
The first band that evening was a local Chicago product called Mindwarp Chamber. Their music was ok, but the vocalist seemed like he was attending a different shows from the rest of us. He seemed like a smarmy radio DJ, or a game show host or something up there, repeatedly calling for a response (clapping or chanting of the chorus) from the crowd, and getting absolutely nothing. At the end of their set, they discovered they had a couple minutes more, and the guy made the mistake of forming the phrase "one more song" as a question, rather than an emphatic statement. I wasn't alone in thinking "NO!"
ISD kicked much butt, and after their set, I got to catch up with most of them, chat a bit. The next band up was the highly amusing Kingcrow, from Italy. Bought their new cd afterwards, it doesn't really live up to how fun their live show is. Pain of Salvation ended the night with a cool set. It's a band that has been pretty big stuff in the prog metal world since they began, but I'd never gotten into them in a big day. I enjoyed the show quite a bit, never really being able to tell how sick frontman Daniel Gildenlow was. Turns out he was fighting the onset of walking pneumonia, which would result in the cancellation of the next night's tour stop.
(to be continued...i started scribbling this a few hours ago, and forgot to finish the thoughts.)
And I'm seriously considering a stop into Ikea for some meatballs just to keep with the theme.
I'm sticking around the Chicago area this weekend, rather than heading back to Michigan, for the purpose of catching a couple of concerts. Tonight, I'm going to see a band called Pain of Salvation, who are touring in the US for the first time in 9 years. I'm a fan of the band, but not a huge fan. The real reason for sticking around to see this show is one of the opening acts, a band called Imminent Sonic Destruction, friends of mine from Detroit, who got picked up to open of Pain of Salvation for a two week stretch. They just got done destroying Canada, and I can't wait to catch them tonight.
Tomorrow night's entertainment is the mighty Opeth, with Katatonia (both Swedish), down in Joliet, IL. Opeth is one of my favorite bands, but I've only managed to see them once before, back in 2006. Katatonia, oddly, is a band I've seen a number of times, even though they've never been the band I've gone to see primarily. They always tour with great bands, like Orphaned Land. A couple of years ago, I went to see them back to back nights in Milwaukee and Chicago, mostly to see Orphaned Land, granted, but, hey, they were there.
Ear plugs at the ready, now I just need to move. I meant to sleep in, and then head to work for a couple of hours (even though I work 4 days a week), because I didn't feel like I had a very productive week of work, and had a couple of things I wanted to look into. It's 1 PM, an I haven't left the hotel room yet, even though I woke up at 8:30. It's a wonder that I'm not completely starving, since I haven't anything in here edible. It's not like I've been lounging in the bed the whole time. Listening to music from Pain of Salvation and another opener, Kingcrow, reading the book Moneyball. A decent day, really. Except now that I've typed the thought, I've suddenly become hungry.
I guess since I'm in the area, I can just run in to work (I don't have remote access) for a couple of hours at some point on the weekend, just to investigate a couple of issues, or set up work for execution on Monday.
The couple of bouts of exercise last week don't seem to have really kickstarted anything, as I haven't made it down to the fitness room at all his week. I guess that I could just go down right now...but I'm not feeling it. Plus, I suspect exercise now, when I last ate anything 15 or 16 hours ago might not be particularly vigorous.
Need to kick these excuses below the belt and just wander down there. I mean, heck, I've got a book that can be read while sitting at a recumbent bike just as well as in this chair in the room, right?
At least one trip down there on the weekend, this I command of myself. Now let's see if I'll require keelhauling for failure to obey. Having (just now) looked up what keelhauling really entails, I seriously hope not!