Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Listens, this day, 29 May 2011

Just some stuff I listened to while I put fingers to keyboard:

"I'll Be Seeing You" The Blanks
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" U2
"Sam Hall" Johnny Cash
"Goodbye" Drive-By Truckers
"Baby Grand" Billy Joel
"Someone Keeps Moving My Chair" They Might Be Giants
"Bonita and Bill Butler" Alison Krauss and Union Station
"Dear Prudence" The Beatles
"Where Were You Last Night?" Travelling Wilburys
"God Bless Alabama" Shooter Jennings & Hierophant
"Will You Think of Me?" Roger Alan Wade
"Talking Again" Henry Phillips
"We're a Happy Family" The Ramones
"We Belong" Pat Benatar (Sometimes putting earworms on your MP3 player ain't that bright an idea...this one will be here for the next week...)
"The Illuminated" Shooter Jennings & Hierophant
"Fearless" Ozzy Osbourne
"Summer in Siam" The Pogues
"Thinking About You" John Mellencamp
"Sugar Baby" Legendary Shack Shakers
"Pleasant Valley Sunday" The Monkees (I can sing this louder and better than all of you, by the way)
"Big Time in the Jungle" Old Crow Medicine Show
"Superchief" The Asylum Street Spankers
"La Bamba" Ritchie Valens
"Annan Water" The Decemberists

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Armageddon Saturday

I don't spend a lot of time demeaning somebody else's beliefs. It's not my personality, and I while I enjoy being right as much as any of this generation, I don't seem to draw the pleasure out of proving anybody wrong that a lot of people do*. I just tend to disagree, but go on about my business, mumbling quietly to myself about all the idiocy in the world.

And there is much. Don't get me wrong on that count. You can't sling a handful of gravel without hitting three or four ridiculous ideas, especially in this neck of the woods. But most of them don't hurt people, and most of them are well-intentioned, so again, I just go on about my way. Especially since the local municipality has many opinions about my slinging gravel, largely toward the negative on that action.

All said, I tend to watch things with bemusement. It's how I do a lot of things. I'm a tremendous people-watcher. Don't know if I've ever mentioned that. Give me a good vantage point, and I can people watch and enjoy more than just about any sporting or entertainment venue.

And it was largely with bemusement that I watched May 21 approach, given Harold Camping's prediction of Rapture, with the End Times following immediately after. Don't know why this particular ominous announcement seemed to catch as much media attention (ahem, aside from the millions of dollars spent for self-promotion in terms of broadcast and roadside billboards, etc.) But the world picked this ball up and ran with it, and by the end of the week, you couldn't turn on the teevee without hearing even the guys on SportCenter mentioning it.

Most of it was tongue-in-cheek and I was not immune. I am nothing if not infinitely snarky.

But there was one aspect of this whole thing that really bothered me.

The money expenditure.

Money's been something on my mind a little bit for the past several weeks and months. There have been some expenditures that you have to make in the course of life, and there have been a lot of hours worked. It's one of those things...I say "working like a botard" a lot around these parts, but I think I've worked more from February to May than any other 3 month period in my life. The amount of money you pull in on salary really doesn't compare to the hours put in, especially with the price of gas going up, and having to spend money on life's little inconveniences.

I say all that to say this: while the numbers fluctuate depending on who reports them, I'm hearing a bottom line of at least 8 digits spent to advertise Camping's Idiocy, be it broadcast, print or roadside media, and that number could stretch into the 100's of millions of dollars.

I'm not a religious guy. I'll say that. There was a time in my life, but this isn't it. And a lot of this is why: too much Gloom and Doom...not enough using of resources to actually do some good in this world. How much of the money spent on billboards could have helped Tornado Cleanup efforts? Flood relief? Japanese Earthquake relief?

Look, I'm all for you spending your money however you see fit. Even the disaster movie fan in me has no use for the gloom and doom prophecy. My point, and I do have one, is this: If you have this disposable income, and it's just burning holes in your pockets, why not give it to a truly good cause out there. Red Cross? Cancer Research? Literacy Programs? Humane Society? Sending Tommy on a vacation that doesn't involve somebody saying "Staycation, huh?"

So anyway. If you're one of these people who lost your life savings sending it to a person I regarded as a Dementia patient from the moment I saw him? No sympathy over here, chief. I hope, this morning, you feel like the world's biggest idiot.

Not the way I normally feel about things, but that's where we are, this May 22. And since we are here, I thought I'd write about it.

Anyway, I hope the rest of you have a tremendous rest of the weekend.

*There are people I enjoy proving wrong with a passion, but mostly the revolve around the Designated Hitter rule....

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Statement from the Publisher of Big Stupid Tommy Concerning the Death of Randy "Macho Man" Savage

Good evening.

Many of you have inquired as to the well-being of the staff here at Big Stupid Tommy on this difficult day, following the death of Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Suffice it to say we are coping as well as we can. Staff was given the rest of the day off, and at this time, we are unsure as to when we will convene again.

On a personal level, as Editor, Publisher and Proprietor, I can say that I’m still feeling a great deal of shock over the events of this day. There are not words to describe the importance of Randy Savage in my life. He played very much a paternal role equaled in life only by my own father. I’m sure the following days and weeks will be difficult, as I learn to navigate the River of Life without one of the glowing beacon of The Madness to guide me.

Thank you for your thoughts and wishes, on this day. Even in the wake of this tragedy beyond reckoning, it is gratifying to know that there are so many of you who care about my well-being. Thank you for your thoughts, concerns and all the Slim Jims.

In closing, I ask for privacy from the members of the press during this heartbreaking and difficult time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I work to rebuild our lives. I will have no further comment. Thank you.

Big Stupid Tommy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Conversations with my Sister

More in the continuing conversation between my sister and me, usually via text or Blackberry messenger:

My sister chaperoned her school's class trip to Washington, DC, last week. On the trip back:

Tommy: So, are you guys driving back tonight?
April: Yep. And the kids are mad that the boys and girls can't sit together?
April: Dunno why I put a ? At the end of that.
Tommy: I was wondering.
Tommy: Man. I bet a lot of them wanted to do The Sex, too.
Tommy: You Teachers are assholes.
Tommy: Ass. Holes.
April: No. Chicken. None of us wanted to explain the doing of The Sex to the mommas.
Tommy: Why would you be doing The Sex to the mommas?


Her school year is fixing to end:

April: I am ready for school to be over.
Tommy: OK. How long do you have left?
April: 3 days with kids, and then a few work days.
Tommy: That's not bad.
April. No. But the 8th graders have reached the goofy point and are attaching my clothespins to their hair, ears, nostrils and lips.
Tommy: Oh. So it's like teaching me.
April: Yep.
April: I just had to tell one kid to keep the clothespins on his face. They don't belong on his nipples.


In which we're all afraid I'm going to end up a crazy old hermit:

April: The Chattanooga Library has Literary Speed Dating.
Tommy: What's that?
April: I don't know, but I think you get to meet people who like books.
Tommy: That's cool.
April: I thought so. Want me to look into it?
Tommy: You're married. Don't you think Jeff would be angry?
April: I don't think he would mind if my Book Buddy cleaned the house.
April: Actually, Jeff just told me he'd better mow the yard.
Tommy: He doesn't want you chasing him with a lawnmower.
April: Who? Jeff, or my Book Buddy?
Tommy: Both. Nobody wants you chasing them with a lawnmower. You crazy.
April: In my mind, the narrative voice of this message was Cleveland Brown.
Tommy: Mine too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, volume XXXVII, subsection B

I'm not sure what this crap where I dream about work is, but I'm over it.

What follows is a brief and incomplete list of things I would rather dream about than work:
  • Sex
  • Baseball
  • Having my own lightsaber
  • Driving my Truck in the Indianapolis 500
  • Flying
  • Being Bulletproof
  • Being Best Friends with Robert De Niro
  • Fist Fighting a Bear, and Winning.
  • Having the power to Declare "Topless Tuesdays."
  • Having my own little Hobbit House.
  • Having a gun that shoots Jell-O
  • A Mummy
  • Being World Famous for my Mad Etch-a-Sketch Drawing Skills
  • Pizza
  • Riding in a Taxi driven by Randy "Macho Man" Savage
  • Going to a church where everybody talks like Randy "Macho Man" Savage
  • Riding a Rhinoceros into war
  • The letter T
  • Going on Jeopardy and having all the categories be about my life.
  • Being called out of the stands to pinch hit at a Cubs game
  • Living next door to pinch-hitter extraordinaire Thad Bosley
  • Being in Philadelphia in 1776, and being taller than most, if not all, the delegates to the Continental Congress
  • Getting to slam doors in the face of Sting. (The Singer, aka Gordon Sumner. Not the Wrestler, aka Steve Borden).
  • Having a camera that actually does steal souls
  • Hiking on a trail in the mountains, and meeting my grandmothers
  • Going to Ireland
  • Going to Ireland, and finding that it is like a nation made up entirely of Etowah, Tennessee.
  • Pimp Slapping Howie Mandel
  • Having the power to Destroy American Idol with my mind.
  • Befriending an Extraterrestrial visitor to our world, who has the power to set things afire with but a touch
  • Arguing that The Letter B is actually a number, and that I should be allowed to wear it for the Tennessee Titans
  • Building a working time machine out of panty hose and a hammer.
  • Finding that I can run the government from my desk in the kitchen.
  • Boobs
  • That I am on the downside of Flowers for Algernon
  • Knowing a talking horse that tells the filthiest jokes you ever heard
  • Mickey Mantle comes back from the grave and beats the shit out of alcoholics where ever he finds them.
  • Driving a Train
  • Driving a Transfer Truck through a field of Popcorn, which pops whenever I drive my truck through it.
  • Knowing a guy that eats vinyl siding
  • Being able to clap and have Ernest Borgnine appear
  • The true story behind Wonder Bread
All of these are preferable to dreaming about work.

A few things that I would not like to dream about, but are probably about the same as dreaming about work:
  • That dream where there is a Q-Bert standup arcade machine in my house that only works when you pee into it.
  • That dream where I'm driving from Atlanta to my home, and aliens attack dropping "Spider-Bombs" from their heliothingamajigs
  • That dream where there's a big pay-per-view where Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston are going to fight it out over the song "I Will Always Love You." Only because they want me to take sides
  • Snakes
  • Wasps
  • A weird cotton candy cloud that is raining death upon the city
  • Any variation on the dream where the brakes on my truck stop working, or suddenly the forward gears and reverse work their opposite way.
  • That dream where I've skipped a class the entire semester, and it's time to turn in a paper, or go to the final.
Dreams that are unacceptable, and I actually prefer dreaming about work:
  • The dream where I'm asking somebody out, and they laugh
  • Funeral dreams, for my parents or close friends
  • Al Roker, coming to my house because he wants to rub on my booty

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Looked up, earlier today. Realized that we were 8 days into the 5th month of 2011.

It's not been fun. Not to mince words. It's not been horrible. It's just been a lot of work. A ridiculous lot of work.

We were short a manager, for one reason or another, a goodly part of the year. And since then, there've been projects that have kept me or a body or two from my staff wandering East Tennessee.

It's been a shitload of 6 day weeks, and an even bigger wheelbarrow full of 12 hour days.

Add to that a 45 minute commute.

I know I'm whining.

I'm just worn out.

Between work, and helping to clean up a friend's tornado damage last weekend, I feel like I've been going nonstop for 3 weeks. (I feel that way, because I have).

Taking a couple days break. Wandered out to celebrate Mother's Day today with Mom, Dad and the Sister, who's 17 days or so shy of a year's anniversary of being a Mom herself.

2011's not been my favorite. Could be worse. I get that. I just don't necessarily dig devoting 60 to 70 hours a week to it, every week.

Leaves very little time for me to go be my normally awesome self.

Very little time.

Things are looking up, though. Getting past the project this week.

And your old pal Tommy bid on a promotion!

And, if nothing else, there's a vacation here in a couple of weeks....