I’m puzzled by life

My son got a Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas, and one of the things he bought was a Beatles White Album jigsaw puzzle. It’s pretty cool…500 pieces, and on one side, if you’re a real masochist, you can try to piece together the cover of the album. If you’re like most normal people, you will try to put together the side that has all four sides of the LP.  Still, that’s no easy task. As you can imagine, my son got bored with it pretty quickly, so I decided to take on the project myself.

It was pretty easy at first, piecing together the labels. I already knew the songs on each side, and of course, there were two green apple sides, and two “sliced” apple sides. The border around the outside was a little more challenging, but as I pieced that together, the outside of the LPs started to take shape. Now I’m to the pieces that are just vinyl. All the pieces are black, so I’m going mostly by shape. I hope to have it done by the end of the week.


But I’ll get back to that.

I have to admit that I was pretty shaken by the death of Whitney Houston. I was never a huge fan, but I played a ton of her music when I was at WBNQ.  It was a perfect soundtrack for that time period. It was up, it was well-produced, and her voice was amazing. Seriously, it was just incredible. Very strong, very confident. And as a friend of mine who worked with me in those radio days remarked on Facebook, at that time she seemed like the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth. She seemingly had everything it took to make her a superstar for years to come.

Then it all started to unravel for Whitney. She started becoming tabloid fodder…bad marriage, rumors of alcohol and drug abuse, and her voice and image started to fade. And over the weekend, she joined the class of incredibly talented people who never made it to see their 50th birthday, either due to a fast, deliberate suicide, or a slow, painful suicide.

I tried to explain to my kids how popular this person was at one time. It was hard for them to grasp, since she had tried to stay out of the public eye pretty much since they were born. They couldn’t understand why someone who seemed to have all the elements of a great career would throw it away to drug and alcohol abuse. I didn’t have an answer for them, because I don’t really understand it either.

It started me thinking about those who seemed to have great careers, but decided to end their lives at the point of a gun or at the end of a rope. People like Don Cornelius, Kurt Cobain, Del Shannon (one of my musical heroes) and others. Maybe they just achieved too much too quickly, and couldn’t deal with the downside of a career. I have no answers there either.

Reading my last few blog entries made me feel like I was reading the rants of a crotchety old man who was determined to live in the past and felt out of place in the present. I guess when you get to be my age, you start getting resentful that there are elements in life that you just can’t keep up with anymore. Music starts to pass you by, not to mention technology. Man, I used to be on the cutting edge of all that…in radio, you had to be up on everything new and relevant. But I guess I have too many other things to worry about these days…knowing every artist that puts out music these days just isn’t at the top of the list like it used to be.

Then I went back to work on that puzzle. And it made me realize (prepare yourself for the profound point to this whole story) that life is a lot like a jigsaw puzzle. It starts off kind of easy, with pieces falling together quickly, and a form starting to take shape right away. You think “What’s the big deal? This is easy!” Then, the puzzle starts to get a little more difficult, but you still have a pretty good handle on things. You start to get a little cocky, but then you grab a piece that looks like it will fit into a spot perfectly, and when you try it, it just doesn’t fit perfectly…so you put it aside and move on to find another piece that looks like it will fit. When you find a piece that DOES fit perfectly, you get more of a sense of accomplishment than you did in the early going. You appreciate it more for some reason.  Soon, all the pieces that are left have trouble fitting in, and at times you feel like just giving up. Yet, you’re determined to see it through so you can look upon your finished product and admire the time and effort it took to get to the finish line.

Don’t worry friends…I’m not down, and I’m certainly not looking to take the “Hemmingway” out.  Just getting a little philosophical on yo’ ass, that’s all. However, I DO want this post to end on a happier note, so here’s a great musician joke a friend told me:

What outlook calendar does a jazz guitarist use to keep track of his gigs? DECADE AT A GLANCE! 

I love that one.

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Is the world getting younger?

A couple of events have happened in the past 48 hours that have made me wonder if the world is just getting younger, or if it’s just plain uninformed.

1-Like most ofAmerica, we were watching the Super Bowl the other night. I didn’t really give a rat’s ass who won, because I hate both the Patriots and the Giants, and I usually don’t buy into all the “Super Bowl Commercials” hype. But this year, I decided to actually pay attention to the commercials. There wasn’t anything that really blew me away, but when my daughter came into the room and said, “How are the commercials? Any really good ones?” I thought for a minute and said, “Well, the patriotic shot-in-the-arm that Clint Eastwood just did for Chrysler was a little cheesy, but pretty compelling I guess.” I was taken aback at the next words out of her mouth:

“Who’s Clint Eastwood?”

WHO is Clint Eastwood? My mind was racing, trying to find a frame of reference for her. Rowdy Yates from Rawhide? Nope, that’s almost before MY time…The Good, The Bad and the Ugly? A Fistful Of Dollars? Hang ‘Em High? Nope, she’s never seen a spaghetti western…Dirty Harry? Nope, I don’t think she’s ever seen a cop movie…Every Which Way But Loose? Nope, I would never subject her to that. I finally mentioned “Gran Torino”, but that didn’t even register with her. All of a sudden, it made sense. Why on earth would she know who Clint Eastwood is? Sure, he’s been acting for 50 years or more, but he’s never done a Disney movie, and hasn’t been on TV for years.

2-Every morning at work, we get our creativity going by playing an ongoing game of Family Feud. Yesterday morning, the question was “name a rock band with a single word name”. There were several good answers: Rush, Yes,Chicago (the number one answer was “Beatles”…guess the people who took the survey don’t consider “the” a word). My answer was “Genesis”.  I was taken aback once again when a member of our group in their early 20’s said:

“Who is Genesis?”

I said, “You know, the band…Genesis…Phil Collins? Mike Rutherford? Tony Banks?” She responded that she knew Phil Collins from doing a couple of Disney soundtracks. I started in on what a sell-out I thought Collins was, and how Genesis used to do great music, especially when Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett were still in the band, but it was no use. She associated Phil Collins with Disney, and try as I might, I would never convince her that “Trick of the Tail” was probably their last great album. It was recorded about 15 years before she was born.

We need to do a better job. The youth in this county have to be educated. Remember, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. And nobody wants another Dexy’s Midnight Runners, right? So find a young person, sit them down, and right some wrongs. These quick tips will give you a head start:

-Ozzy Osborne wasn’t always a dimwitted reality show star. He was the lead singer of Black Sabbath, one of the coolest metal bands of all time, before embarking on a controversial, yet awesome solo career. If you need an example, make them listen to “Black Sabbath Volume 4” and turn the volume up to 11. Nuff said.

-The word “cool” was invented to describe Steve McQueen. Although he never made any really GREAT movies, he was a good actor, raced motorcycles, smoked pot before hippies made it trendy in the late 60’s, and hung out with gorgeous women. If you need an example, make them watch Bullitt…if for no other reason than to watch the best auto chase scene of all time.

-Clint Eastwood was not always an old man whose voice was so raspy you could hardly understand it. He was a tough guy in the movies, but you always wanted to be on his side. Have them watch a Dirty Harry movie (The Enforcer is my favorite). You’ll soon hear them throwing out catchphrases like “Do you feel lucky? Well, do you? Punk?” or “Go ahead…make my day”.

-If they think Adele is soulful (I’m not knocking her…I like her stuff), have them listen to an Aretha Franklin or Etta James album. Yes, ALBUM. They should hear that music the way it was meant to be heard.

-Steven Tyler should never sing the national anthem. Why? Because he’s a wanker. Those two country hacks the other night at the Super Bowl should never sing the national anthem, nor should Katy Perry or Kelly Pickler or any current flavor of the month. Why? Because they suck. Instead, hop on YouTube and play them Marvin Gaye’s Star Spangled Banner from the NBA All Star Game…or better yet, give them a taste of Hendrix at Woodstock.

That’s a good start…I’m looking for more suggestions, so please feel free to submit them. It’s up to all of us to educate the youth of America…our future depends on it!

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That was an AWESOME concert

Quite a few people commented on my post last week concerning awkward concert moments, and it stirred up some good conversation. So that begs a question from the other end of the spectrum: What was your FAVORITE concert or concert moment?

Even when you’re going to see one of your favorite artists perform, there are so many intangibles that can affect your concert experience. So when you come away from a GREAT show, that means that all the stars were aligned just right to make the entire experience a memorable affair. For instance, a couple of years ago, my friend Autumn went to see Coldplay in Chicago. Her sister was taking her as a birthday gift. I asked her the next day how the show was, and she replied, “It was the best concert I ever saw!” Now granted, after show euphoria is quite common, but she followed it up with sound reasoning. She said that the whole day was great. She and her sister got to the city early and did some shopping together, had a great dinner, and both really enjoyed the show.  Thus, the entire experience was memorable.

Last night, my friend Melodie went to see Lenny Kravitz. When I asked her today how she liked the show, she said that it was the best live performance she had ever seen in all the years she has been going to concerts. It was at the Chicago Theatre, which is a great place to see a show, and she is a pretty major fan, so again, all of those factors combined to create a memorable event.

Some of the concerts I have attended have evoked some incredible memories: watching Sting joke with my wife backstage, talking with John Fogarty about how much we both love Delbert McClinton, hanging out with Def Leppard before and after their show and allowing me into their “private” backstage area so we could listen to the new AC/DC album, seeing Ben E. King sing his immortal “Stand By Me” and listening to women swoon as the great Jerry Butler sang “For Your Precious Love” and shaking hands with Butler after the show, being glued to a young Stevie Ray Vaughn in a small club and being literally astounded by his talent, and watching Paul McCartney cover his musical career in one night.

So here goes. From the hundred or so concerts that I’ve seen (hey, I worked in radio back when they would give you tickets for just about any show that came to town), I’ve tried to narrow it down to my:

Top 5 Concert Experiences So Far

5-Todd Rundgren at the Vic/Chicago-1990: This was one of the first shows my wife and I went to, right after the release of his “Nearly Human” album. It was a Friday night…we got to the theatre early and were able to park right across the street. As we were getting out of the car, a big tour bus pulled up. My wife said, “I wonder if that’s Todd’s bus.” I made some remark like “I doubt Todd’s travelling by bus,” but just as I said that, Rundgren came down the steps. I yelled and waved, but he was understandably in a hurry to get inside the venue. I’ve seen Todd more than once, but this show was certainly the best.

4-Grand Funk Railroad at ISU’s Horton Fieldhouse/Normal-1974: I HAVE to mention this one…it was my first concert, and what a show! I was (and still am) a MAJOR Grand Funk fan, and this was when they were hot! It was the “Shinin’ On” tour, and my brother and all of his buddies were going. I begged him to go, and when he said I could come along I gladly sprang the $3.50 for a ticket. When I bought the album, the inner sleeve listed all of the dates on the tour. Sure enough, there it was: “March 23 – Illinois State University, Normal”. Plus, their next album, “Caught in the Act”, was recorded during that tour, so whenever I listen to that CD, it takes me right back to when I was a young man wondering what that funny smelling smoke was.

3-Alice Cooper with Tesla at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre/Peoria-1987: This was my first Alice Cooper show. He was just getting back into touring with the guillotine and his whole act (he had just sobered up), and I couldn’t wait. I went with my friends Scott Robbins and Scott Sprouls, who were also major fans. Before the show, we hung out backstage with Tesla, who were young up-and-comers at the time, and they invited us to watch their set from the side of the stage. Right after they were done, we were hanging out talking with them, and I happened to catch a tall, dark figure out of the corner of my eye. It was Alice, and he was about 6 feet from us. He was pacing, and had his game face on. I nudged Robbins. As we both stared, he finally said, “Think we should approach him? May be our only chance to meet him.” I said, “I don’t think now is a good time…he has a pretty intense look on his face.” Years later, Scott and I were both able to spend time with Alice. We told him the story, and he jokingly said that he probably would have killed us if we had approached him (at least I think he was joking). After the concert, we went to a strip joint and the Tesla guys joined us there. What a hoot!

2-Brian Wilson at the Chicago Theatre/Chicago-2006: I was always a little reluctant to see Brian when he started touring again. Quite frankly, being the fan that I am, I just didn’t want to be disappointed. But when he and his uber-talented band finished the legendary “SMiLE” album, and he was playing it live in it’s entirety, my friend John and I knew we had to go. The first part of the show consisted of the band playing several Beach Boys favorites, then there was about a 20 minute intermission. When they returned to the stage, they played SMiLE from front to back. I had chills. I seriously could not believe that I was listening to a complete version of an album that was started clear back in 1966…and it was finally complete. Many of the bits and pieces I had heard over the years didn’t seem to make much sense…but when it all came together, it was magical. John and I saw the same show in St. Louis the following year, and since I knew a couple of the guys in Brian’s band, I was finally able to meet my idol face-to-face. It was a surreal experience, and almost worthy of it’s own blog entry.

1-Stevie Wonder at the U of I Assembly Hall/Champaign-1986: Stevie Wonder is a freakin’ legend in my eyes, and I couldn’t believe that he was touring. I got tickets right away, and they were pretty good seats. It was one of those situations where everything was in perfect alignment, and the entire experience was a memorable event…the people I was with, the buzz that I got on the way there (and on the way home), the events that occurred after I got home…everything came together to make it my most unforgettable concert memory. I have chills just thinking about it.

Well, you know what’s next. I want to hear about YOUR most unforgettable concert, or list your top five if you would like! I can’t wait to hear your stories.

On a final note, farewell Don Cornelius…a very talented man with great vision and a voice like no other.

May you rest in peace.

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OK, that was kinda awkward

Last year, Glen Campbell’s wife announced that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease…and Glen immediately announced that he was going to give a farewell tour. There were probably several reasons for the announcement. For one thing, Glen probably looked at the diagnosis as the end of his career, and he wanted to hit the road one more time. More likely, not being a major songwriter, he probably also looked at it as one last opportunity to make some cash to take him into retirement.

When the announcement was made, my friend Melodie and I decided that we had to go. Fortunately, we soon found out that we wouldn’t have to travel far…Glen was coming to Bloomington. We got tickets, and anxiously anticipated the show.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After all, Glen had played with some of the best musicians in the business, including what is known as the “wrecking crew,” a group of the hottest LA session musicians who played on everything from Dean Martin tunes to Beach Boys classics to Phil Spector legends. Who would he have with him?

Not long after he took the stage, we found out that the majority of his band were his kids, two sons and a daughter. That was good for Glen. Although he gave a pretty good performance (his guitar playing was still astounding, and his vocals were still pretty good, although he needed help with lyrics from teleprompters), it was easy to tell that Alzheimer’s Disease was already starting to take it’s toll on Glen Campbell. He seemed confused at times, needed a little coaching from kids occasionally, and was obsessed with the sound of his monitors, to the point where you felt a little embarrassed for him at some points.

All that being said, I’m glad I went. The man is a music legend, and opportunities to see a legend don’t come around that often.

Still, it was a little awkward at times. And it made me think of some of the other awkward moments that I’ve experienced from years of concert-going:

Johnny Cash – 1997: It was that year that Cash was diagnosed with Shy-Drager Syndrome, a form of multiple sympton atrophy(look it up). So when it was announced that he was coming to Champaign, I got tickets immediately. Again, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. He brought his delightful wife, June Carter, with him, as well as his son and daughter, and overall sounded pretty good. He was coughing a lot, and perhaps was experiencing some weight loss because he kept having to hike his pants up between songs. At one point, after talking with the band, he started a song and stopped it after one verse. He explained to the audience that his throat was hurting, and they thought they could do the song in a lower key, but it didn’t work, so they were going to start it again. At that point, someone in the audience yelled something about him smoking a joint. Cash responded nicely at first, but you could tell it bothered him. Finally Cash said, “Yell something again and I’ll have you thrown out.” Everyone cheered, but it was an awkward moment. All that being said, the toughest part of the evening had to be listening to his son and daughter (hmm, where are they now?).

Greg Kihn – 1985: The Greg Kihn Band, who had success with “The Breakup Song” and “Jeopardy” had broken up, and Greg was on the road doing a solo tour. He wasn’t exactly playing arenas…he was at the Scottish Rite Temple, which seated about 500 people. My friend, Scott, introduced him onstage, then came up and sat with me. It was obvious that Greg was pretty messed up…slurred speech, hanging on the mike stand, maybe even a bit of drool. Scott confirmed my suspicions. Here was his account: “These guys got into town about lunchtime, and sat at House of Hunan drinking sake all afternoon. Backstage, while going over the set list, he was smoking a joint the size of a Lincoln cigar, then did three quick lines of coke before going onstage. I’m surprised he can even stand.” That kind of summed up Kihn’s solo career, so now he’s doing what every washed-up rock star does…he has a radio show!

Eddie Money – 2011: I did not seek out Eddie Money…he happened to be on a bill with Styx, and I love Styx in concert, so I sat through Money’s set. It was the third time I had seen him, and the funny thing is, I never ever WANTED to see Eddie Money. The first time, I took my girlfriend to see him at the state fair. He was trashed. The second time, the radio station that I worked at brought him in for a show, and I was the stage manager. I thought he was kind of a dick. The 2011 show was awkward from the point of just plain being embarrassed for him. He lumbered around on stage like Lurch from the Addams Family, although I think Ted Cassidy would have sounded better. It kind of hurt to watch it.

Bruce Springsteen – 1996: I have never been much of a Springsteen fan (until recently…I get it now), but always heard that “even if you’re not a fan, you HAVE to see Springsteen in concert!” I’m sure the “Ghost of Tom Joad” tour was not what those diehard fans had in mind, but it was a chance for me to finally see the Boss, so I went. It was just Bruce and his acoustic. I usually like intimate shows like this, but I slept through most of this one. It just plain sucked. Fans were yelling things from the audience, hoping to hear an acoustic version of a Springsteen classic, but those yells were totally ignored by Springsteen, except occasionally when he would mutter “eh, shut-up” to the yellers. He was actually booed. Again, I wasn’t a big fan at the time, but I couldn’t believe that an artist of his stature was being booed.

Ever experienced an awkward moment at a concert? Please relate. I’m sure I’ll have more. After all, my buddy John and I have set a goal to see both Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis this year.

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The first REALLY random thoughts of 2012

My last entry had a few random thoughts, but these are the first REALLY random thoughts for 2012.  As Morgan Freeman would say, “Get busy writing random thoughts, or get busy dying.”

– I stand by my opinion that “Family Guy” is pure genius. It’s the most un-politically correct show I’ve ever seen, and every episode makes my laugh out loud at least once. Tonight’s LOL moment came when Lois said, “I don’t have any problems with gay people at all. I mean, I’ll watch just about everything David Schwimmer is in.” Any guy who has ever watched “Friends” and saw that douche with Jennifer Aniston will find Lois’ comment hilarious.

– Speaking of TV shows, my 13-year-old daughter’s favorite show is a teen drama called “Pretty Little Liars”. Every week, there’s dramatic music, missing people, murder, sexual overtones and, in general, kids having absolutely no fun. Where the fuck do these kids go to school? I’m sure that if I paid attention to it for more than 90 seconds I would probably learn that they’re in California. I spent my high school years in the good old Midwest. Here’s the only drama I ever experienced (in three acts):

Act 1:

Friend: We need beer. (dramatic music)

Me: I think I know where we can get some.

Act 2:

Friend: We need weed. (dramatic music)

Me: I think I know where I can get some.

Act 3:

My Mom: You need a haircut. (dramatic music)

Me: I think I know where I can get some.

My Mom: What?

Me: Um, I need to go get a haircut.

How’s that for some edge-of-your-seat shit?

-The new Van Halen tune sucks ass. Just sayin.

– My friend Melodie went to the dentist today. She said that he uses nitris oxide and follows it up with pure oxygen, so she pretty much floats out of his office. I went to the eye doctor for my annual check-up on Monday, and all they did was put some goopy drops in my eyes so the doctor could poke them to check me for glaucoma and it wouldn’t hurt. I’m thinking about having Melodie’s dentist do all of my check-ups from now on…dentistry, eye exams, ear, nose, throat…hell, I’ll even let him do a prostate exam if I can score some of that happy gas. Sometimes in life, you just need a good buzz.

-I had a hot dog at the basketball game the other night. If one more person who sees me eating a hot dog says, “You wouldn’t eat hot dogs if you knew what was in them,” I’m going to shove hot dogs into their nostrils. I must confess that I don’t know what’s in 95% of the crap that I eat, and you know what? I eat it anyway, because it’s GOOD. If I knew what was in everything that I ate, I would never drink soda, never go to McDonalds or Subway, probably never eat pizza, or twinkies for that matter. Ever look at ingredient lists on most food? There’s a lot of chemicals there, folks. A lot of man-made chemicals. In the grand scheme of things, whatever is in a hot dog may pale in comparison to some of the other things I ask my body to digest.

-I was watching CNN in our cafeteria while I was eating lunch today. Of course, since it is so noisy in the cafeteria, the sound is muted and closed captioning is employed. I was watching a dog food commercial, and not only did it caption the text of what the person in the commercial was saying, it also captioned the text of what the dog was saying. It went something like this:

“Because I want the best for my dog!” “bark”

Forgive me for coming off as somewhat cold and uncaring, but does a person who is hearing impaired really need to know what the hell the dog in the commercial said? Don’t you think that they would pretty much assume the dog would make a dog noise, like a ”bark”?  I mean, I wasn’t watching the text and thinking, “Well, of course the owner wants the best for his dog, but I wonder what the dog thinks?” “bark” Well, I guess it’s ok with him!”  And when there is a musical jingle in a commercial, they will put musical notes around the text, as to indicate “they’re singing this.” In my opinion, if you’re going to go to that much trouble, go the whole route. So the dog food commercial could be something like “Because I want the best for my dog!” the character is saying rather unconvincingly, showing very little actual love for his animal. “bark” the dog responds with a sad, unloved tone in his voice, knowing full well that while he is doing all the work in this commercial, it’s his trainer who is cashing the check.

That’s what is randomly clicking in my mind as 2012 gets going. Hope your new year is going well so far. Mine has been kind of “eh”.

Maybe I need to see Melodie’s dentist.

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Dogs who think John Lennon is Shakespeare, the vegetarian and other random thoughts

THAT headline ought to get some traffic to my site.

Let me explain. WordPress, which is the site that hosts this little blog of mine (I’m gonna let it shine), gives us bloggers a page that they call a “dashboard”. Simply speaking, I use my password to get into it, and it gives me all kinds of uber-cool stats. I see a bar graph that indicates how many visitors I’ve had each day. It tells me which stories were viewed the most. It tells me how many stories I’ve posted since I started (this one is 124), and how many comments I’ve gotten (369 to date) and how many comments have gone directly to my spam folder (1,545…geesh!).

Another thing that my dashboard tells me is the top searches that have brought people to my site in the past week. For instance, under top searches, it may say “Scott peed in his car” (and who hasn’t googled THAT before?). That means that if someone used a search engine, like Google, and typed in “The night my friend Scott peed in his car”, it would bring up my blog post as one of the options. In fact, I just tried it. I googled “The night my friend Scott peed in his car.” When the results page popped up, the first thing is said was “did you mean – the night my friend Scott speed in his car?” Nope, speeding is not nearly as funny as peeing. My blog showed up at number 5, after “How to get revenge,” “I pissed on my bed last night, and the night before,” “Michael Scott (character) quotes” from imdb, and “Recent roommate confessions on CollegeHumor.”

Quite frankly, it’s fun to occasionally see what searches led people to my site. Here’s the activity from the past week:

1-“all the resolutions from 2012 to come true” – This, of course, led to my blog from last week called “New Year’s resolutions…yeah, right.” It makes perfect sense. Some person was looking for some information about all the end-of-the-world crap, and instead got me talking about wanting to go on tour with Van Halen. This person was either amused, or pissed. I’m probably gonna go with pissed.

2-“I have 3 o’clock who has 4 o’clock” – This one didn’t make sense to me at all. Who even says that, let alone googles it?  “I have 3 o’clock who has 4 o’clock”? That’s just so freakin’ weird.  My research tells me that it took the searcher to my blog about Bill Haley which I entitled “1,2,3 o’clock, 4 o’clock rock.” While I have no clue in the universe what this person was looking for, I can guarantee they weren’t looking for a story on a 1950’s rock pioneer. My proof?  The comment they left below the story: “This is not what I expected, but thanks for sharing your experience.” Thanks for the nice comment, and if you ever drop by again, please explain to me what the hell you were looking for.

3-“john lennon on bran wilson” – Perhaps the great musician was having some trouble with his diet, so Yoko suggested he try some bran wilson instead of corn flakes in the morning.  WTF?  It seriously said Bran Wilson instead of Brian Wilson! That was probably the funniest thing I read all day. This searcher was probably happy with my story about Alice Cooper describing his experience with John Lennon meeting Brian Wilson repeatedly in the same night. By the way, have you ever tried bran wilson with bananas?  (sorry, that just freakin’ cracks me up!)

4-“thanks to them I had fun” – I have no idea what this person was looking for, but it took him or her to my blog entry about Terry Jacks, the guy who wrote “Seasons in the Sun”. The title was “We had joy, we had fun…thanks to Terry Jacks”.  Again, why would you google “thanks to them I had fun”? Probably the same reason I used to google “Marcia Brady naked”…just to see what happened.

So I thought I would use the above headline to see what kind of searches and comments I would get. I’ll try to report back next week. In the meantime, I have 3 o’clock who has 4 o’clock? Not me…I’m eating bran wilson cereal.

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New Year’s Resolutions…yeah, right

Does anyone really make New Year’s resolutions anymore? I mean, it’s such bullshit…no one follows them for more than a week or two. Just look at how many people are at the health club in January, then go back in April and do a head count. All of those people vowing to lose weight and get in shape have chucked their gym bags in the closet and are sitting in front of an entire chocolate cake with just a fork.

Instead of making resolutions, make goals. And what the hell, make those goals as attainable as those stupid resolutions that people make. After all, life is a cartoon, right?

Here are some of my goals for 2012, in no particular order:

1-I want super hero powers. Alright, I know that this one is a little “out there,” but think about it. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to turn invisible whenever you wanted? Or to have super-human strength to pick up the couch and vacuum under it without breaking a sweat? I think I know what my super hero power would be…sarcasm. That’s right, no one would be able to match wits with me, because I would have the perfect comeback to every line that was thrown my way. And when I would leave a group of people with their jaws on the floor, I can almost hear one of them say in stunned amazement, “THAT…is one sarcastic bastard.”

2-I want to star in a major motion picture. I’m not sure what my genre would be. Comedy? Drama? Action-adventure? I’m not really sure. But it would really be cool to hang out in my trailor between takes, watching a little TV or having cocktails with people who claim to be my friends. I could be condescending, but in a nice sort of way so that people who work on the set could tell their friends and family, “he’s really condescending, but in a nice sort of way. It’s hard not to like him.” And though I would donate some of my monstrous earnings to charity, I would also drop some heavy cash on stupid things…like paying $350,000 for the remains of Michael Jackson’s chimp (if he is, in fact, dead).  NOTE: I don’t even have to be the star of the movie…just want the trailor and fat paycheck.

3-I want to play for the Minnesota Vikings. All I want is to make the team so I can have one of those companies frame my purple jersey and I can hang it in my family room.  I certainly couldn’t do any worse than the team that’s currently in place.

4-I want to run for President of the United States. See number 3.

5-I want to open for Van Halen on their 2012 tour. Yep, the VH boys have announced that they’re going to tour this year with David Lee Roth up front. The only difference from the original band, from what I understand, is that Michael Anthony is not joining the tour, and Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, will be playing bass. Now, granted, I’m sure things won’t be nearly as crazy as they were on the 1984 tour, but you’ve gotta figure they’re still going to have some fun. After all, we’re talking about the band whose drummer (Alex Van Halen) once boasted, “Being a rock star is great. I just wish I had more than one dick” or something like that. I googled “Alex Van Halen dick quote” and nothing really came up (get it?)…but I swear I read it somewhere.

6-I want to invent something that will make my name known for generations to come. I’m not sure what it would be, maybe something as simple as a better mousetrap (hmm, just thought of you for some reason, Melodie). But it has to be something that would put me in the history books, like Edison or Fulton or Alexander Graham Bell. I just want to know that, years from now, some parent will look at their son or daughter and say, “You know, if it weren’t for a guy named Rick, we would still have to manually pour milk on our cereal in the morning” or something like that.

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