Archive for April, 2009


Dave Matthews

OK, I can’t tell you the last time I went to a full-blow actual concert at a large venue. I’ve seen some bands in clubs or on the Duluth City green during its summer series, but a real concert? Can’t even remember. Maybe Lucinda Williams back in San Francisco at the Warfield with Dave. But that was, god, what? Seven or eight years ago? I suck.

Well, I was presented with the opportunity to go see the Dave Matthews Band last night at he new amphitheater in Alpharetta. So I jumped at it. Nice company, a pleasant evening (not too hot, a little breeze blowing through). No even the $12 beers were going to put a damper on the evening.

So, the Matthews and the boys have barely played one bar when that pleasant breeze takes on a kinda acrid tint. Oh, yeah… this is a Dave Matthews crowd, of course… and the aroma of pot settles in. I can’t see anyone actually smoking, but there is definite circumstantial evidence.

And the girl next to us says she say DMB play a few weeks before, and for an encore they did a version of the Talking Head’s “Burning Down the House,” which sounds like it would be interesting to hear. Looking forward to that.

The show was pretty good. The was a replacement for the original saxophonist who had died, and they added a trumpet—played by a 350-pound guy who looked more like a bouncer than a musician, but be had chops, boy. The combination of the two horns really filled out the sound. Very cool.

By the time Dave led the band through a couple of encores, and the drummer had tossed a couple dozen drumsticks into the crowd, these house lights came up and there was no “Burning Down the House.” Bummer… I had been looking forward to the DMB version for most of the show. Had I not known they had played it before, I would not have been disappointed when they didn’t key it up for us. Kinda put a cloud over the whole show.

The next morning, to somewhat of a surprise, I had a killer headache from the pot smoke and my feet hurt from standing up during the whole concert. I don’t want to think I’m getting too old for this kind of fun, but the evidence says otherwise.


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“To be or not to be. That’s not really a question.”

— Jean-Luc Godard

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When Dogmas Collide

OK, do you remember that Popeye cartoon where Popeye has a diner and Bluto opens one up right across the street? And then Wimpy, who must be the only customer in town, comes along. Popeye and Bluto then vie for his business, with the competition eventually breaking down into violence (as is par for the course with Popeye). Ultimately, the restaurateurs are throwing things across the street at each other while Wimpy, in the middle of the street, grabs things as they pass overhead and sits down to a several-course meal ? Do you remember that one?

When I have seen two businesses across the street from each other, offering the same product, I always think back to this cartoon. There were a couple of pizza places across the street from each other on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco that comes to mind. One was Peter’s Pizza, but the one on the North side of the street was better, but I can’t remember the name of that one. It had a bad mural of rural Italy painted on the walls, with plastic grape vines woven through trellises and Chianti-bottles-in-the-basket candle holders—totally cornball, but the food was better than at Peter’s.

So, yeah, I can see restaurants and hardware stores and alike fighting like this. But churches? That I wouldn’t have expected. Until I came across this series of photos from two churches across the street from each other, purportedly in Castle Rock, Co.:




OK, so it’s not really real… but you, too, can have this kind of fun with Church Sign Generator.


And I couldn’t resist… I found the Popeye cartoon, too… “Spree Lunch” (1957)


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“Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?”

— Richard Bach

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Kim and Debby are just two of millions of Americans who need help. They have lost their dignity—and their tans—and are in desperate need of some sun and, probably more importantly, a little education about melanoma. Will you please help?


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“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”

— Mohandas Gandhi

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The girl celebrating a goal with a teammate. Sometimes she plays like she know what she's doing, and other times, she's miles away from the field, lost in her own little world why the game roars on right past her.

The girl celebrating a goal with a teammate. Sometimes she plays like she know what she's doing, and other times, she's miles away from the field, lost in her own little world while the game roars on right past her.

The kids are playing soccer again this spring. The boy had been going back and forth about wanting to play baseball, but finally decided to go with soccer again this season. He says he’ll play baseball in the fall. The girl, who spent a couple of years as a cheerleader for the local Under-8 and under-10 football teams, decided cheerleading was boring and decided to play soccer again, too.

While there has been a lot of rain recently, washing away games and practices alike, the kids have managed to get in a few games. And while the girl was playing the other day, I realized just how much she is paying attention to what is going on during the game. There are times when I wonder what she is thinking about on the field, as she would be watching the action on the adjacent field instead of what was going on in her game, not noticing the other players streaking right by her fighting for the ball.

She’s gotten better at keeping her head in the game, but sometimes I can see when she is lost in her own world out there.

When she first started playing, she admittedly didn’t know much about how soccer was played, so her coach would sic her on the opposing team’s best player, with the instructions: “Don’t let her get the ball close to the net.” So she would shadow the other player, bumping and banging and generally menacing her to the point that she would lose control of the ball or it was collected by a teammate. Or she would be miles away.

Now, a couple of seasons later, the girl has lost some of that fire, maybe as she is starting to learn more about the game and a growing fear that she’ll doing something wrong on the field and the coach will get mad at her. I have told her that making a physical mistake because she was aggressive was better than not trying to make an aggressive play, and allowing the other team to take advantage. She’s starting to come around, but she’s still playing a little tentatively.

So the other day, on a bright, almost warm day in suburban Atlanta, the park was hopping. It was opening day on the baseball diamonds; there was a little carnival, with jumpy houses and midway-type games; and the soccer fields were in full use, with three games schedule for each pitch.

The game starts, and the girl is playing fullback. She is again assigned to mark the other team’s best forward, and our team jumped out to a quick, 3-0 lead. When I look up, the girl is running around, defending her half of the field as she is supposed to, but she has her hand on her chest. Was she hurt? I didn’t see her fall, and I didn’t think she would have pulled a muscle up there just by running. But she definitely had her hand flat over her heart. She didn’t look to be in pain, but there she was, battling for a loose ball along the sidelines, with one hand on her chest, over her heart.

Eventually, she dropped her hand and played the rest of the half normally.

At halftime, I walked over to the other side of the field and check in with her, asking is she was OK. She juts looked at me like I was nuts.

“You were running around holding your chest. Did you hurt yourself?”

She kept the are-you-nuts stare on me for a couple of seconds, and then her eyes widened, as she finally comprehended what I was asking. “No,” she said. “They were playing the national anthem on the baseball field, so I put my hand over my heart. But I kept playing, too.”

OK, she does pay attention to what is going on on the field. Sometimes, though, it’s not the field she’s playing on.

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