Monday, March 21, 2011

The Listens, this day, 21 March 2011

Today wasn't my favorite. Nothing big (except for the hole that ripped in the ass of my pants). Last night's insomnia was part of it. Couple of bigger things kinda been eating at your old pal. Anyway. Took a walk to see if I could get rid of a little bit of pissed off. These were the listens:

1. Stomp and Holler Hayes Carll
2. Broken Hymns Dropkick Murphys (Probably my favorite off the new album)
3. Wipeout The Fat Boys and The Beach Boys (HAHAAAAAHAAHAHHAAA)
4. Don't Forget About Me John Mellencamp
5. Superman R.E.M.
6. Blue Moon The Marcels
7. The Boxer Me First and the Gimme Gimme's
8. Ebo Walker The Dillards

It was kind of a short walk. But, I was able to walk off some of the pissed off.

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, volume 393

An insomnia post?

There are two things that brought on this bout of insomnia, I'd say.

First, I've had the past four days off. And, if there's one time I can pretty much count on not being able to sleep, it's the night before returning to work, after a handful of days off.

Second? I mentioned, mostly in passing and not at all to brag, that I haven't had an insomnia night in quite a while.

Toward the first? I've had the past few days off. There were a couple of changes at work, as it concerned bonus structure and personal days in the year 2011. And while it's just now hitting me that Christmas expenditures need to start being budgeted Now, I guess I can handle a few extra personal days.

These past four days, taken off to take care of a couple personal errands, but mostly to watch a few games of basketball, were the first four such days off I've had in my time with the company. (I was under the mistaken impression that I'd gotten a four-day weekend for my cousin Michelle's wedding a couple of springs back, but turns out that was just a 3 day-job...also rare, but not worth writing home about.) Suffice it to say, I've been working ridiculously the past few months, and somehow, I've missed out on watching the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament for pretty much 4 years running, for one reason or another. Actually very glad I took the days off to catch a few basketball games.

Speaking of which, my bracket was destroyed Saturday night. I'd gone to see a movie, and grab a bite with a friend. Saw a highlight, during dinner, that Pittsburgh had fallen. Twice in two years, Butler single-handedly destroyed my bracket. Only difference is, this year, they did it in one fell swoop...last year's annihilation was bit by bit.

Surprised to see the Big East fall apart. Saw that while I did actually sleep tonight, Notre Dame lost as well. I'm as surprised as anybody. I drank that Kool-Aid. I had 3 Big East Teams in the Final Four. Of those three, only Connecticut is still alive, and they had to beat a Big East team to make it to the Sweet 16 themselves.

And I suppose it's as good a time as any to talk about what the bummer that was the end of Tennessee's men's season. Rough year. Troublesome to see as talented a bunch of ballplayers as we've seen in Knoxville basically quit. Very troublesome. On th year? Bruce Pearl revealed himself to be a cheat. In talking with my brother-in-law, I mentioned that I go back and forth. I don't want a cheat as a head coach. At the same time, I don't want to go back to it being a "good season" if Tennessee makes it to the NIT. Spoiled by a small taste of success, I'd say. Six years making it to the tournament will do that to a man. Is it worth it to keep him around? I dunno. Funny how I seem to sneer at Bonds, Sosa and McGwire, yet I waffle on Pearl.

Well. It's 4:53. Going to start getting ready for the job. Y'all take it easy. This has been an Insomnia post....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 books...

Just a brief listing of books read, to this point, in 2011:

The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood....Jane Leavy
I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas...Lewis Black
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland...Patton Oswalt
The Pleasure of My Company....Steve Martin
A Tale of Two Cities...Charles Dickens
American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic...Joseph Ellis
True Grit....Charles Portis
Full Dark, No Stars....Stephen King
First Family: Abigail and John Adams....Joseph J. Ellis
Requiem for a Paper Bag...Davy Rothbart, ed.
Alexander Hamilton....Ron Chernow
Dark Jenny.....Alex Bledsoe
Bloodshot....Cherie Priest

Just a couple of notes: Making a conscious effort to read more. Mostly it involves less television, and less surfing around the internet looking at that video of the monkey smelling his finger after picking his ass.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still looking at that video of the monkey picking his ass. I'm just not devoting the 16-20 hours a week to doing it.

Truth be told, I think I've worked more in the past 12 months than at any other point in my life. And that's saying something, if you're one of the sevens of people who've been reading this blogamathing since 2002. You seven know just what Tommy's Chronic Botardism is.

The one thing that has changed some in 2011 over previous years. I left XM back in November. I don't want to get off on a rant, but East Tennessee radio, but for a few bright spots, is pretty rough. Like I said, a few bright spots, but for the most part, I started filling the 45 minute (or so) commute with books on CD, which I've either traded for, or downloaded. I'm tending toward the nonfiction with those, simply because I'm apt to get wrapped up in a story, and I'm afraid I'll find myself two counties into Georgia on 411 before I realized I missed my turn onto Highway 39 way back in McMinn County....

Anyway. That's the books consumed, to this point in 2011. I recommend both Joseph Ellis's books...his writing style flows well. I enjoyed both American Sphinx and His Excellency, biographies of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington respectively, in the past. Both these books were quite enjoyable.

I also want to recommend Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars, which I call his best book probably since Bag of Bones. The shorter story form has always been his best style, and these stories are very, very strong. It probably doesn't hurt that they are concerned largely with retribution, as a running theme. It's a favorite theme of mine, as a story element, so I dug Full Dark, No Stars. Like I said, probably his strongest since Bag of Bones....

Also? My buddy Alex has his newest, Dark Jenny, coming out later this month. After a false start back in the winter, I took Friday. Read the whole thing in a sitting. It's a fun read, and I recommend it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

In which Tommy casts the Dark Tower series....

With word on the street flying that Javier Bardem is the choice to play Roland in Ron Howard's gigantor Dark Tower series, I'd just like to offer a bit of my own fantasy casting for the series. In fact, these are the faces I saw in my head, when I read the books:

Roland of Gilead: Bubba Smith
Eddie Dean: Steve Guttenberg
Susannah Dean: Leslie Easterbrook
Jake Chambers: Emmanuel Lewis
Oy of Mid World: Bobcat Goldthwait

Walter O'Dim/Marten/Flagg: Michael Winslow

Father Callahan: Gallagher

Alice: Amy Madigan
Brown: Sam Elliott
Zoltan: Jack Black

Young Roland: Bubba Smith, mustache shaved
Cuthbert Allgood: Brad Garrett
Alain Johns: Randy Travis
Cort: Randy "Macho Man" Savage
Stephen Deschain: Alan Alda
The Demon in the Speaking Circle: Martin Lawrence, in Big Mama gear

Enrico Balazar: Robert Davi
Jack Andolini: Jet Li
Jack Mort: Carrot Top

Shardik: George Wendt
Aunt Talitha: Phyllis Diller
Tick Tock: Kenan Thompson
Blaine the Monorail: Voiced by Larry David

Susan Delgado: Marion Ramsey
Cordelia Delgado: Terry Jones, in drag
Rhea of the Coos: Margaret Cho
Eldred Jonas: Sarah Silverman
Roy DePape: Tom Hanks
Clay Reynolds: Peter Scolari
Sheemie: Matthew McConaughey

Who plays the townspeople of Calla Bryn Sturgis are inconsequential to me, but I want all the Roont children played by Shaquille O'Neal.

Mia: Roseanne Barr
Ted Braughtigan: Anthony Hopkins
Dinky Earnshaw: Lou Ferrigno
Mordred Deschain: Louis Gossett, Jr.
Dandelo: Cedric the Entertainer
Patrick Danville: Tom Welling

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A brief note to the Lunatic Fringe

My buddy Mike threw this video up tonight. And by that, I mean he posted this video on Facebook. If Mike could throw up video pixels? I'd pay to watch that. Mike Toole: The Man Who Vomits Video. He's a good guy, who blogs stuff, from time to time. Check it out.

This? Not much fun to watch, especially if you're like me, and this Culture of the Loudest Shouter we live in bores and tires you.

You know, I was going to try to be funny, but outside of a crappy joke about how easy it is to find a megaphone? I got nothing.

We've got too much free time, in this country, especially for the lunatic fringe.

For a lot of us, but especially the lunatic fringe.

I say that, addressing the lunatic fringe. The great majority of this country is basically cool folks, who even if they disagree with what somebody does, they don't intrude into somebody else's business.

But to the Lunatic Fringe, I sit in wonder. Mostly because I don't have the time, much less the inclination, to go out to a street corner, and yell about somebody else having a meeting.

And if you are spending your time doing that?

Fuck you. And give me some of your spare time.

I'm not talking about your religions. I do not care.

I'm not talking about your politics. I do not care.

Instead of yelling at each other, how about going to do something constructive?

Feed a hungry person.

Clothe someone without.

Build a house.

Read a book.

Teach a kid to read that book.

If you're standing out on a street corner, yelling at another group of people to Get Out of My Country, you're the worst kind of asshole.

And me? I'm not doing enough of those things listed above. Not by a long shot.

But at least I'm not screaming at people out in public.

If I could go back in time, I would destroy megaphones, the media and the internet for making the Lunatic Fringe seem like it has a louder voice than it actually does.

Tired and cranky, I remain yours,