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Archive for March, 2008

It’s been a long time Mr. A to Z. Fans have been waiting.

Lyrics:

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you’re so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
And now I’m trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I’ll be giving it my bestest
Nothing’s going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it’s again my turn to win some or learn some

But I won’t hesitate no more, no more
It can not wait, I’m yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you’re free
Look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We’re just one big family
And it’s our God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

So I won’t hesitate no more, no more
It can not wait I’m sure
There’s no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I’m yours

Scooch on over closer dear, and I will nibble your ear

I’ve been spendin way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bendin over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and I laughed
I guess what I be sayin is there ain’t no better reason
To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
It’s what we aim to do
Our name is our virtue

But I won’t hesitate no more, no more
It can not wait, I’m yours

Open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plan and damn your free
Look into your heart and you’ll find that the sky is yours
So please don’t please don’t please don’t
There’s no need to complicate
Because our time is short
This oh this oh this is our fate
I’m yours

-end-

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Troubled

The trouble with snow in March is that it’s damn depressing – no matter how “big and fluffy” the snowflakes might be.

The trouble with restless nights is that by 2 p.m. the following day, I need a pillow for a nap.

The trouble with budding relationships when you’re 40 or older is that the optimism of youth is gone – replaced by the pessimism of age.

The trouble with teenage girls forced to grow up with divorced parents is that it makes her life suck just enough to really put it over the top on the suck-0-meter from time to time.

The trouble with an aging parent in a remote corner of the United States is the lack of good health care available to them…period.

The trouble with training for triathlon season is getting up and hitting the pool when it’s still below freezing outside and the closest pool is halfway across town.

The trouble with the Obama vs. Clinton conundrum is that both literally represent something that has never happened in the U.S. before – and Americans are uncertain about full-fledged change at such a high level.

The trouble with WordPress is knowing the difference between categories and tags.

The trouble with sex is created by imbeciles like Eliot Spitzer.

The trouble with death is dying – the sudden unexpected kind, not the withering on the vine as an independent oldster kind.

-end-

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Lyrics:

Well I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
Yes I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
With my brother standing by
With my brother standing by
I said Brother, you know you know
It’s a long road we’ve been walking on
Brother you know it is you know it is
Such a long road we’ve been walking on

And I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
With my sister standing by
With my sister standing by
I said Sister, here is what I know now
Here is what I know now
Goes like this..
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, in your love, in your love

But sister you know I’m so weary
And you know sister
My hearts been broken
Sometimes, sometimes
My mind is too strong to carry on
Too strong to carry on

When I am alone
When I’ve thrown off the weight of this crazy stone
When I’ve lost all care for the things I own
That’s when I miss you, that’s when I miss you, that’s when I miss you
You who are my home
You who are my home
And here is what I know now
Here is what I know now
Goes like this..
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, in your love, in your love

Well I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
Yes I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
With my brother and my sister standing by
With my brother and my sister standing by
With my brother and my sister standing by

-end-

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Hating Hate

I’ve stared at a topic within the last 24 hours that I haven’t given much thought to for years and years.

Hate.

We’re a hateful society. Admit it and agree with me. How many times a day do you literally let the word “hate” spill out of your mouth? As kids, we grew up learning to hate various aspects of our lives – even our parents on occasion. As adults, hate has, I hope, taken a back seat in life.

But last night I sat down at the High School auditorium to watch the most recent directorial effort from child number one. My daughter has become a student director of theatre productions in recent years. The high school’s spring play this year is, “The Laramie Project” and not only does it address a hate crime, it also addresses such heavy topics as religion, sexuality and morals.

I enjoyed the play, which is moving – especially since I can easily recall the actual Wyoming event in which Matthew Sheppard was brutally beaten and tied to a fence in the middle of nowhere – left to die by a couple of thieves who just happened to prey on a young, gay college student. Sheppard died and his two assailants are spending their lives in prison.

But what I liked more was the concept of high school students taking on a play that is rife with major moral issues – and pushing what is potentially the most memorable of all teachable moment they’ll be exposed to this school year to the entire student body – as well as to teachers, parents and even the janitor.

Because, while it’s easy for us to say we’re tolerant or tell our kids, “…correct is correct and you must do what’s correct…” for most, it’s all to easy to slip back to habits learned in our childhood – when the mere tone of the word “gay” coming from our lips might be slathered in spit-covered sarcasm – no matter who we were talking to or what context we used the word.

There’s only one kind of hate that kids need to learn from us – and that’s that we hate the very concept of the word when used against anyone no matter their religious background, sexual orientation, race, or strong affinity to dogs instead of cats.

It’s how we teach our kids what we don‘t know that will help make them better adults – and a better
society than we ever thought possible.

-end-

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Running

Since December, I’ve basically been running indoors.

Finally, today, it was still 40-plus degrees outside at 5 p.m.  So, I raced home, threw on the running gear and hit the street.

Wow! What a difference running outside can do for your motivation.

Spring? Bring it on!

-end-

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Darts and Balloons

The only game at carnivals and fairs I ever enjoyed playing was darts. I got dizzy on carousels, nauseated on ferris wheels and had a horrible experience in the Fun House that’s worthy of an entirely separate post on its own (in fact it’s probably novella worthy). But as a kid, when it comes to darts, there’s just something about aiming a sharp, pointy object and connecting it to a pastel-colored balloon – hearing the pop – and discovering what prize you’d just won.

I haven’t played darts at the fair since I was nine or 10. At that young age when the game goes wrong and bites your ass, you tend to steer clear of it. In my case, one errant dart throw caused the dart to bounce off the balloon and come back at me, striking me in the head – close to my right eye actually. The carnie thought it amusing. My dad, though, was pissed as hell. First because my head was suddenly bleeding profusely and he had to use his shirt to compress my temple. Secondly, because the carnie laughed first and showed concern second. I’m sure Dad demanded a refund and threatened a law suit – not that we’d get rich from suing the Mighty Thomas Show carnival (although, in hindsight someone was getting rich from operating the midway games that came through town each year for the county fair).

Safe darts have long since been invented. Plastic tips, bar room darts – that just don’t carry the same cachet and the more lethal steel tipped, feather-finned dart. The game, I hear, is huge in the U.K. and Ireland where being an expert dart thrower is akin to playing on a pro football soccer team (almost). But since that one bad experience throwing darts, I’ve never really picked up the game again. I’m a flincher. Risk averse when it comes to throwing sharp-pointed objects at rubber balloons – or the more forgiving cork dart board.

Such vivid experiences carry over to other regions of life.

The sting of verbal darts thrown between two people can be just as painful as a dart making contact with your scalp. And the hemorrhaging is just as real.

-end-

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It just occurred to me that we began daylight savings time today. No wonder I’m tired!

The weekend brought about excellent opportunities to get out and visit unique places in Minneapolis.

SevenFirst, the new sushi bar Seven, located one floor above R. Norman’s (a newly opened, high-end restaurant focused on great steak). In the time we sat at Seven, the atmosphere literally evolved. At 7 p.m., plenty of open tables and chairs – as well as lots of room to sit at the bar and sushi counter, which is where we chose to sit. The wine list was plentiful and the wait staff very attentive – even when it got busy later in the evening. By 10 p.m. the place had evolved into a class ultra lounge with great views overlooking Hennepin avenue. It was standing room only but the staff remained smiling – happy to be part of a terrific and popular venue. We held tightly to our chairs at the sushi bar enjoying a Spider and Winter roll all very well prepared and filled with flavor. People, a 20- and 30-something crowd for the most part, dressed in the most expensive suits to the shortest of painted-on skirts and blouses strutted through the venue as the music popped and grew louder. We never felt really out of place, but certainly got our eyes filled with skin and club-like behavior. When in Rome, right? Our visit to Seven ended shortly after midnight and it seemed the place was really just hitting its peak.

Then today, at The Wilde Roast Cafe, a cafe and coffee shop in Northeast Minneapolis, I could barely believe my eyes as I nearly had to push and shove for a table – ala after 9 p.m. at Seven the night before. But as I stood and waited for my iced mocha a table opened up just for us. Sharing a great tasting, fresh cranberry scone (which seemed like it’d just been baked even though it was 2:30 in the afternoon), we people watched again. There’s never a shortage of interesting…ahem…people trapesing through for their coffee or late lunches on the Northeast side of the city. The Wilde Roast’s Victorian-casual atmosphere, with deep leather-covered barrel chairs, a mix-and-match assortment of tables and straight chairs, high-top tables and stools and a hugely uncomfortable bench running the length of the north side of the shop, features breakfast and brunch as well as unique salads, pizza, sandwiches, desserts, and of course a great list of coffees.

Of course any bar, restaurant or coffee shop can be first rate if you’re in the right company. I was definitely with the right girl, which made the explorations of downtown and Northeast Minneapolis all the better.

-end-

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This incredible effect made me wince just watching it. Elijah Wood and Rachel Hunter participate in Keith Barry’s “spike” routine.

-end-

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“Only Love,” BoDeans

I just picked up the latest release from the Wisconsin-based BoDeans (and while the band may have formed in Milwaukee, those of us in Minnesota basically claim this group as ours). This band has been around for two decades and the latest music they offer on the CD, “Still” proves the group still has what it takes to write, sing, play and rock.

You can hear tracks from Still at this MySpace page. Be sure to check out “Hearing,” which is currently getting tons of play here in Minneapolis.

Until the group tours and fans start uploading video to YouTube, here’s a great track called, “Only Love.” A classic from a very talented group.

Lyrics:

See you walkin’ down the street now every day
Pushin’ by the people as you make your way
You’re walkin’ proud now baby
You got your head held high
Want you to know that this whole world
Sees your heart cry
Oh yeah I see how hard you try
To make yourself believe
It’s Only Love
It’s Only Love
It’s Only Love
It’s Only Love

Maybe love shouldn’t have to be so hard to take
Shouldn’t have to feel that burn
Until your poor heart breaks
So why you tell yourself
You know there’s no one else
When it just ain’t worth the waitin’ anymore
Oh baby don’t you wonder if there’s such a thing
It’s Only Love
It’s Only Love
It’s Only Love
It’s Only Love…

Oh you been lookin’ for a believer
A baby to hold too
Yeah, someone who’s been waiting
Oh baby just for you…and love
It’s only love…

If I could I’d take you baby in my arms
Take away all love’s blame
And all love’s scars
Maybe we could run away
Until we get so far away
And then I couldn’t see us coming back again
Well it’s only what you make of it
It’s only what you need
It’s Only Love (repeat)

-end-

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How Many Is a Brazillion?

General David Petraeus is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: “Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.”

Bush“OH NO!” the President exclaims. “That’s terrible!”

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, “How many is a brazillion?”

-end-

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