Archive for December, 2010

He entered his friend’s home carrying a six-pack of Mickey’s Big Mouths and fifty bucks burning a hole in the front pocket of his acid-wash jeans.

The place smelled of young men:  Barley and hops, cigar and cigarette smoke, three extra large assorted topping pizzas, and the unmistakable odor of frequent and freshly minted farts hung in the air like a cumulonimbus cloud above the room.

He masked his jangled nerves by making an unfunny joke as he sat down at the octagonally-shaped, felt-covered card table.  His money was quickly exchanged for blue, red, and white circular plastic gaming chips.

It wasn’t until the third or fourth hand that he noticed the music that filled the gaps of their conversations.  Knowing Me Knowing You, Take a Chance on Me, and Lay All Your Love on Me.

From a perceived place of safety behind a fanned out wild card created full house, he stole glances around the table.  Nobody found it at all unusual that the soundtrack for the evening’s poker night was being provided by Abba.  In fact, he could even make the case that most of the guys in the game were surreptitiously mouthing along with the lyrics.

And although he bid a hasty and rather unceremonious adieu to his fifty bucks, the night wasn’t a complete loss.  He spent the next three hours nursing the same beer he was drinking when he went all in and lost, grazing on several varieties of pizza and other random salty snack foods, and learning to love every track on Abba Gold, which played non-stop for the duration of the evening.

There were reports that the young subject of this tale drove to Tower Records the next day and purchased his own copy of the greatest hits package but he could not be reached to confirm or deny these allegations.


Read Full Post »

I have probably seen the movie I Love You, Man at least twenty to twenty-five times since its release in 2009.  I saw it in the theater twice (one of those times was with an entire busload of blue hairs from a local senior center who took all the handicapped seating), four times on the DVD that we own, and the rest whenever I am flipping through the on-screen cable guide and it is playing on one of our fifty premium channels in our Comcast Xfinity package.

Besides being laugh out loud frickin hilarious, there is just something charming about the film and the way the characters speak to and relate to each other that gets me every time.

This past Sunday, after witnessing the hapless 49ers get handed their helmets and leading my equally inept fantasy team to its eleventh loss of the season, I decided to forgo the afternoon slate of NFL games in favor of watching my latest movie rental from Netflix:  Chocolat.

About a half an hour into it, Fehmeen and Emma returned home from their morning rounds.  She openly mocked me and told me that it looked boring as she went to the room to put Emma down for her nap.

Upon returning to the living room, I was able to convince her that she would really like the film (based on what little I had seen so far).  Five minutes after restarting it, she was absolutely hooked.

It would have been perfect if Fehmeen and I had shared a summer salad and a bottle of wine while watching it, but to quote Sydney Fife, it was “just delightful” the way it was.

Read Full Post »

The Best of the Most

Lying in bed yesterday morning, wide awake and waiting for Fehmeen to get caffeinated enough to deal with my typical morning routine, my thoughts turned towards my music collection, specifically to the groups and artists who I have at least three or more cds of and if I was forced to choose just one of those discs above the others, which one would it be and, briefly, why.

Here’s what I came up with:

Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory by a good margin over Definitely Maybe.  While I will miss tracks like Married with Children and the one about having lasagna, it was an easy decision.

The Beatles – Despite my obsession with the Rubber Soul and Revolver albums, I have to go with Abbey Road, not just for the entire record as a whole but for that amazing 16 minute medley at the end.

Gretchen Wilson – Here for the Party is the big winner because I love the song Redneck Woman (amongst a handful of others).

Ozzy Osbourne – I have to go with Diary of a Madman for sentimental reasons (I loved it as a youth).  That and because Randy Rhoads’ guitar work on that album is flat out incendiary.

Weezer- You’d think that I’d go with either the debut Blue album or their second eponymous record aka the Green album but I have officially dumped out my cup of Hater-ade and I’m taking the much maligned Pinkerton – which is clearly a great record now that I’ve actually given it a chance to grow on me.

Van Halen- It came down to the first or second album and after much internal debate I chose Van Halen II mainly because I’ve listened to their debut too many times in my lifetime already.

Garth Brooks – Ropin’ the Wind almost got the nod thanks to personal faves like Rodeo and Shameless but in the end No Fences won due in part to tunes such as Friends in Low Places, Unanswered Prayers, and The Thunder Rolls.

Tom Waits – Because he is my absolute one hundred percent favorite of all time, the rules don’t necessarily apply to my collection of Tom Waits cds and I get to choose my top five to take with me.  In no particular order:  Heart Attack and Vine, Rain Dogs, Swordfishtrombones, Mule Variations, and Frank’s Wild Years.

Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking is one of my favorite albums of all time so picking it here was a no-brainer.

Jerry Garcia Band – Gotta go with the eponymous double live album recorded at the Warfield in San Francisco in 1990, partially because I may have been there and mostly because it was my first exposure to listening to what Jerry can do to such an iconic catalogue of songs such as The Way You Do the Things You Do, Simple Twist of Fate, Stop that Train, and (one of my personal faves) Tangled Up in Blue.

Steve Earle – Another relatively easy selection for me as I go with Transcendental Blues.  If it came down to picking only one song on this album it would without a doubt be Galway Girl.

Elvis Costello – Although I am the proud owner of four different greatest hits packages in my Declan MacManus esteemed collection, I would have to take the green double disc compilation which spans his entire career that I picked up in London.

Rush – Are you serious?  Did you just meet me yesterday?  I hate that band.

Stone Temple Pilots – Even though I arrived late to the STP party, I’d have to go with Tiny Music … Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop for the simple fact that I sometimes enjoy it when bands get out of their comfort zone and expand their signature sound.

Kings of Leon – I will always prefer their Youth and Young Manhood debut album to their subsequent and more popular releases but not for the typical clichéd reason of I was into them before everyone else — although that’s true.  I just like it better.

And then I had to get up or else I could have gone on for days.

How about you?  What are some of your best of your mosts?  Do share.

Read Full Post »

If we lived in the days when pirates ruled the seas and were free to mete out their own form of walk-the-plank style justice, I would undoubtedly be sent to the briny depths for all eternity because of the things I have done in this lifetime.  Here are but a few recent examples.

For encouraging and allowing Emma to watch the Britney Spears episode of Glee on our DVR each night.  I mean, what two-and-a-half year old even watches Glee anyway?

For getting my church-going night nurse Mele addicted to the new television series The Walking Dead.

For actually purchasing William Hung’s debut cd when it came out.

For still owning it today.

For forcing everybody I know to watch my copy of Heavy Metal Parking Lot with me.  If you haven’t seen it, you really should.

For laughing so heartily at the one and only typo on La Entrada’s California Distinguished School application:  the charitable organization now forever known to me as One Warm Goat

For asking my former principal to bequeath to me upon her retirement the child-created poster advertising a community-wide book drive for impoverished Chilean school children that was hanging in her office that actually read Books for Chilly Children.

For proudly displaying that poster in my classroom upon receiving it.

And for dragging my retired school teacher friend Mary Lou — aka The Hen — to see The Last House on the Left in the theater.  Every time we hang out she reminds me of that experience;  especially the climactic exploding head in the microwave scene.

Read Full Post »

On Like Donkey Kong

Tomorrow is the first December meeting of the Thursday Afternoon Movie Club.

Harry Potter 7, The Next Three Days, and Faster were all considered but I decided to break out of my action/adventure/R rated comedy rut and watch something a little different this week.

I hope to see some of you at the 12:30 showing of Burlesque in RWC tomorrow.

I can’t wait to tell my caregiver Juan what he gets to see tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts