Ace of Bass, How I Hate Thee

This post will be appearing in the Dude Write 7 lineup, you need to click over and read a whole slew of great posts, but then vote for me, thanks!

I was reading a pretty random post over at According to Jewels (whom you should read and follow) and she mentioned the horrible, terrible, Swedish “band” Ace of Bass. Normally this probably wouldn’t cause anyone undue harm, but for me the situation is different. Dramatically (as in high school-ish, pathetic drama) awkwardly, scathingly, different. I saw the sign and it basically closed my eyes, opened my mouth, and I puked out everything in my gut.

Classic scene: the guys are on the prowl, out for a night on the town, gettin’ wasted and pickin’ up wasted chicks. We looked hot, we were so cool, and chicks dug us. Or so we thought, naturally, we were in our early twenties and hell bent on wrecking the place. I was on vacation down in Galveston, Texas, visiting one of my best friends of all time, and I’ll call him G-Money or G$ for short. G$ was cut down in his prime and is no longer with us, but his memory lives on, and they were pretty much all incredible. This particular night was no exception. Except for the Ace of Bass song playing in the background.

 This is not actually where we were, by the way, this is just a picture meant to attempt to convey how freaking cool we were and the amount of fun we were having. Which was A FREAKING LOT. Because, as I mentioned, we were tearing shit up that night, for sure. So, we’re rockin’ it out, dancing with all the hot chicks in the place, making the other guy feel inferior, and somehow, UNIMAGINABLY, my buddy G$ decided it was time for The Night of Doing ALL The Shots.

At first, this wasn’t such a horrible idea. We had met some friends of G$’s at the club, were partyin’ with them, meeting their friends, and finding ourselves surrounded by gorgeous ladies, partyin’ dudes, and basically being the hit of the whoel freaking place. They loved us. We got quite a few of the ladies involved in doing ALL The Shots with us, but unfortunately (this was *awesome* at the time, but I know better now so…) this led to us being plied with more and more shots from everyone around us. If it was liquor and came in a bottle, I probably drank some of it that night.

Let me take a brief moment to back up and set the scene even further: I was down in Galveston visiting my friend for New Years. I’d been there a few days already and we’d not been kickin’ it much because G$ had been working. The next day (after this club flashback) was New Year’s Eve and G$ didn’t have to work, so even though we had big plans for NYE we were out knockin’ shit over for really the first time since I’d arrived in Galveston.

Back to the club. We drank, and danced, and drank, and dirty danced, and drank, and sucked booze out of women’s navels, and on and on and on, forever. At least it WOULD’VE been forever, and fabulous, and incredible, and some rich older guy probably would’ve yelled, “We’re all getting laid!”  a la Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack. Instead, alas, the last thing I remember was that god-awful song, “I Saw the Sign,” by that god-awful band, Ace of Bass.

You see, at some point before the super-fantastic-orgy ending of the night I had pictured in my mind, I went outside to get some air, maybe grab a smoke, stumbled over to G$’s car, puked all over the curb (and probably my shoes) and, because it was unlocked, slumped into the passenger seat and promptly passed out. Done.

I don’t remember that, or going home, or being directed into my room, or falling into bed, or sleeping. I only remember waking up the next day, with alcohol poisoning so bad I should have gone to the hospital, and so sick I couldn’t even keep the delicious healing elixir that is red Gatorade down. And it was NYE. G$ was, of course, unscathed, and to his credit, only at my insistence, he went out and partied his balls off again that night to ring in the new year. I remember vaguely regaining consciousness around Midnight NYE when the fireworks were going off above the canals, but I doubt I even raised my head from the pillow before falling back into the black.

It brings to mind a classic song from the late ’80’s that basically could have been written about me that fateful night. Thank God I wasn’t driving, but yeah, I overdid it. I wish I remembered this song instead of that damn Ace of Bass crap that ruined my night! (Yes, it was the song’s fault, not the 70 gallons of moonshine and whiskey I drank.)

Favorite Fives

I found this neat idea over at According to Jewels who found it at The Frisky Virgin and it’s been offered up for all to share. Be sure and go read those two ladies, you’ll be glad you did. This is a great way to let you all in on a little more of the party that goes on in my head. Take it and put your own list of 5’s on YOUR blog. This was MUCH more difficult than I expected!! Some of the categories were really tough to narrow down to just five choices.

 

 

 

Actors

  1. Harrison Ford
  2. John Cusak
  3. George Clooney
  4. Christopher Walken
  5. Kenneth Branagh

Actresses

  1. Kate Beckinsale
  2. Grace Kelly
  3. Audrey Hepburn
  4. Meryl Streep
  5. Cate Blanchett

Movies

  1. Star Wars
  2. Empire Strikes Back
  3. LOTR Trilogy
  4. The Princess Bride
  5. Say Anything

Books

  1. The Hobbit – Tolkien
  2. LOTR series -Tolkien
  3. 100 Years of Solitude – Marquez
  4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Adams
  5. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Murakami

Moments that Inspire(d) Me

  1. The birth of my daughter
  2. That part of the book where it’s so good you almost want to skip ahead to see what happens
  3. Bright sun in a crystal clear blue sky
  4. The moment you close your eyes in the middle of listening to a superb song
  5. Seeing someone smile with their entire face

Places to go (in St. Louis)

  1. Scottrade Center for a Blues game
  2. St. Louis Zoo
  3. Busch Stadium
  4. The Fox Theater
  5.  Forest Park

Places to go in the World (that you’ve been to)

  1. Quebec City, Canada
  2. Cancun, Mexico
  3. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
  4. Portland, Oregon
  5. Seattle, Washington

Best Live Shows I’ve Seen

  1. Phish, McAlister Auditorium, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (10/14/94)
  2. Grateful Dead w/The Band, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL (7/8/95)
  3. Phish w/Dave Matthews Band, Oak Mountain Amphitheater, Pelham, AL (10/15/94)
  4. Grateful Dead, Riverport Amphitheater, St. Louis, MO (7/26/94)
  5. Martin Sexton w/George Stanford, The Pageant, St. Louis, MO (4/26/08)

People I Could Live Without

  1. Rick Santorum
  2. Mitt Romney
  3. Nicki Minaj
  4. Nancy Grace
  5. Casey Anthony

I Believe, Do You?

This post is in response to the weekly writing prompt over at Studio30Plus, don’t hesitate to go there and see all the wonderful writing being shared.

“I can believe anything provided it is incredible.” ~Oscar Wilde

Look how small I was, of course it seemed big!

As a child, I can remember being able to entertain myself for hours on end well before there was an Internet to surf, or video game consols, or really anything resembling the electronic devices kids are inundated with today. I was lucky enough to have a fairly expansive wood behind the house I grew up in, complete with a great spring fed creek, rocks to climb over, and even some smallish cave-like areas, if memory serves. I spent much of my time playing there, pretending to be an army man, or one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, or a jungle explorer, or a treasure hunter. In the beginning, I didn’t even need toys to complete the scenarios invented in my head. The right stick or branch, and I had my rifle, sword, shovel, bow, and adventuring staff.

This is not to say that my parents deprived me of material playthings, books, or a fair share of television, just that my earliest pleasures could be created solely through my imagination. I believe it’s part of what ultimately led me to so deeply enjoy reading, writing, and languages both real and fabricated. I loved being able to get lost in a book or short story and often upon finishing a new chapter be outside re-enacting my favorite scenes, or inspired to create new characters in my head who might be an unwritten part of those tales, ones the original author just hadn’t discovered yet. I wrote some of those stories down, others I shared out loud with my closest friends. We hoarded some of those ideas, because they were SO magical, held such reverence for us, we didn’t want to lose them.

I owe make-believe for much of the enjoyment of my childhood, and yet, as we grow older, it seems society finds more and more ways to discourage us from it:

“Get real.”

“Come back to reality.”

“Welcome to the Real World.”

Thankfully though, no one has yet stopped writing books, making movies, or creating fictional television, and so make-believe lives on. I can be glad for make-believe perhaps giving me a little comfort in the face of real, adult inconveniences and troubles.

There came a time when my friends and I spent a bit less time romping through the woods and more of it seated around the kitchen table hunched over hand draw maps, dice, miniature figurines and role-playing booklets. We brought to life many of the characters we once created in our heads with pencil and paper playing games like Dungeons & Dragons.  Aside from the obvious lack of physical activity and exposure to sunlight, those games were the same as our trips to fantasy worlds in the woods. Whether it was swords and sorcerers, or spies, snipers, hit-men, and souped up Cadillacs (pretty sure we played an RPG based around those things, Top Secret maybe?)  Those worlds brought us make-believe in some of its finest forms at a time in our lives when we probably thought we were much too cool for make-believe. It’s been decades since I rolled any dice and traversed any paper dungeons, but I’m not too proud to say I played in those worlds.

Books and movies have always fueled the fires of make-believe burning inside me. I was 5ish when Star Wars first hit theaters. I think I’ve seen that movie now some 80+ times, and I’d watch it again today. My mother’s paperback copy of The Hobbit became dog-eared and ragged from all of my thumbing through it, over and over. Yes, I commandeered that tome and it’s here on my shelf now, though I have a feeling she still has my copy of The Silmarillion. I wondered where that went, lol. I feel like once I hit High School I lost a little of my faith in make-believe. There was no time for it when we had to have secret beer drinking parties, go to football games, and just generally try (and fail!) to look cool to the girls. I fear I would’ve stopped reading altogether then, had it not been for class requirements. Thank God for my English teachers from 6th through 12th grades who continually rekindled my love for books with such passion that now for a good part of my adult life I’ve wanted to become a teacher and a writer.

Even  today, as an almost 40-year-old, divorced dad, make-believe maintains a foothold in my life. My daughter has been a reader for years, and my heart swells with pride each time I hear about her writing skills in school, and most recently the award she won for being The Most Creative Author in her 3rd Grade class! Through school, she’s been writing and self-publishing her work since she was in 1st Grade and it prompted me to dig out (yes, I still have them) the “books” we made in 3rd Grade. I don’t think she was very impressed! While mine was cardboard and hand stitched, hers are done digitally, printed on the school’s computers, and bound with plastic combs. My fantasy games and RPGs were originally all done by hand as well, and now her’s are on the computer or some handheld device via WiFi.

Time marches on. Technology improves by leaps and bounds, almost daily. Despite the World’s best efforts, or perhaps because of them, depending on your perspective,  make-believe is still churning away, roiling and foaming like the great blue seas. Eroding the shores of worry at times, carrying us away to friendlier ones when we need to escape.

Summer Grilling: What’s for dinner tonight?

A fellow blogger, I cannot for the life of me remember which one, linked to a foodie chef blogger, Bev, over at Bev Cooks the other day. If you read this and it was you, feel free to give me a virtual slap upside my head! Anyway, when you visit Bev’s site, you are in for a TREAT. Frankly, everything she has posted on her site looks and sounds delicious, but she had made this lobster tail dish that makes my mouth water every time I see it! Check it out:

Seared Lobster Tails with a Garden Vegetable Sauté | Bev Cooks.

I also just saw this, which I love, and that dish has bacon in it, so yeah…

In all seriousness, that colorful base of veggies would be great under just about anything I can think of, or even on its own! It screamed SUMMER GRILLING at me, even though it’s not really a grilled dish. It made me want to cook something and it’ll definitely take another trip to the Kirkwood Farmers Market, which really is a treat all in itself:

I probably wont be buying any lobster tails any time soon, but hey, you never know. Some things I’d be more likely to grill this summer and would devour with those veggies:

  • tuna steaks
  • ribeyes (my favorite!)
  • lamb chops
  • B.A.S. (Big Ass Shrimp)

Eggplant and mushrooms are also awesome on the grill. Back in another life, I used to make Portobello burgers using the really big caps, grilling them brushed with olive oil, and adding roasted red peppers and a thick slice of gorgonzola cheese. Oh man, were they good. Use a bun that’s got a little substance to it, not a super soft one like you might for a beef burger, but not one so stiff the interior slides right out when you try a bite. Maybe add some arugula. Grill these up tonight and you can thank me later.

Do you need a hero?

Rememeber when we were young, I’m talking about before we were teenagers, and there were those certain pro athletes or movie stars you idolized and were in awe of? For me it was baseball players like George Brett, Nolan Ryan, and Rod Carew. I have also always been a huge fan of Harrison Ford and he is probably my favorite actor to this day. Those guys were all much older than I was then, and since we’ve all aged, they’re all much older than I am now, but what about the players and stars of today?

Famous people have this aura, to me anyway, of being somehow larger than life, maybe removed from normal time. Now that I’ve been thinking about it though, it’s weird to read about current entertainers and pro athletes and see their ages, and think good lord, he’s younger than I am. I’m certainly not old, but I feel a bit of the mystique is gone, a bit of that untouchable quality.

When you think of your contemporaries, people who grew up in the same time you did, and there’s all these famous people the same age or younger, could you really relate to them on any level? Maybe, fun to consider I guess? Is it weird that I feel this way? Maybe I’ve just become jaded. Maybe it’s a kid thing- famous folks intimidate the young because they’re so far removed from the reality of a kid.

Maybe the problem is that in today’s world, entertainers and sports stars, the performers of the world, are splashed around in every form of media imaginable. We are given the inside look to every aspect of their lives so there really isn’t any mystery about them. Nothing to really fantasize about.

I think another problem is that the stars cannot have any fallacies with out us knowing about them. Back when I was a kid, I’m sure (I know, thanks to the internet) that ball players and movie stars did drugs, caroused, and got arrested with the best of them, but it wasn’t splashed all over, we didn’t hear about it every day! I’m not sure there’s as many stars worthy of idolization any more. Hell, even my idols, guys like Brett and Ryan, had their not-so-shining moments. See “The Pine Tar Incident,” or “Ryan v. Ventura.”

Who are the people you idolized growing up? Do the stars of today still carry the same regal air?

 Dude Write

Now there’s something Meatier

Jewels over at According to Jewels once asked of her male readers, “Would you rather your woman be natural and have some curves than be bony and thin?”

My response was to say, that’s easy, Natural and Curvy all the way. I do NOT find the super skinny, bones showing through the skin, supermodel types to be attractive, at all.

When I think of the word “goddess” I do not picture a woman whose ribs, collarbones, and elbows are sticking out all over the place, I picture women like Sophia Vergara (Jewels had posted her pic, as an example of a more full figured sexy woman.)

I wanted to say a lot more but didn’t want to hog all the comment space, so I figured I’d continue it over here. Thank you Jewels, for inspiring me to write. That’s one of the best things about blogging and reading blogs and being part of online communities such as Studio30 Plus! But I digress.

I may just not be paying enough attention, but I thought society today was getting away from that image of the perfect woman being skinny and boney and moving towards Curvy, are We not? Am I not seeing that correctly? Seem like many women on today’s TV shows and in movies are more ample than in ears past. I guess I know the negative stereotypes perpetuate. “Plus” size models? Why do we have to call them “Plus?” They’re gorgeous and they’re models, can’t it be left at that? I don’t really get it.

I find this lovely lady

FAR more attractive than these women

;

I’m not trying to rip on super skinny women, I just don’t find them as attractive. Sure, some women (and men, I would guess) have health issues or emotional problems that lead them to starve themselves or what have you, I’m just saying I like a woman with some meat on her bones, that’s all.

I sometimes worry about my daughter (9) being too skinny because I’m constantly fighting with her to eat. She hardly eats anything! I worry about nutrition etc. I don’t ever tell her she’s too skinny, but I don’t want her growing up thinking she needs to have a stick-figure body because mainstream media depicts them all to be that way, so this concerns me far beyond the realm of what kind of woman I want to be hugging or checking out on the internet (not a bag of bones.)

Dude Write

What am I Afraid Of?

Hmm, interesting that I was just last week talking about this with my good friend from the office. A friend had passed away suddenly, far too young, and it gave me a bit of a jolt. I’m afraid of dying.

Part of me, the rational, scientific part, thinks it’s foolish to worry about it or be afraid of it, because ultimately what scares me about death is the “oh my god, what will it be like, what will I be doing, how will I deal with it?” part. I try and look at it from the standpoint that the answer to all those questions is, “Nothing, I’ll be dead.” Simple. I’ll have ended, I guess.

The other part of me, let’s call it my spiritual side, is terrified at the obvious (to me) change death will have wrought on my life. That barely makes sense, even to me, but bear with me. My spiritual side believes there will be something after Death. Something or somewhere or some state that my soul or conciousness, or my “being” goes on into. I’m not 100% sure what I think that will be like, but I know (how could I know?!) it wont be what my Life is like- seeing, breathing, driving, talking, listening, etc.

This is not a crippling fear for me. I think about it from time to time, and it’s certainly prompted when I lose someone from my life, or even read about or hear about other people losing friends, or relatives, or even when I hear about the deaths of total strangers on the news. I think about how fleeting life can be in some cases. I think about how truly fragile it can be. But then some random period of time passes and I’m of thinking and worrying about matters that I encounter every day.

I think not unrelated to this fear of Death is the fear of losing my daughter. While I would hate to even consider what it would be like for her to lose her father, I cannot even begin to fathom what many people have already gone through, the loss of a child. Honestly, I’m surprised I could even type that out because as I’m writing this I’m getting a bit emotional. I’m not going to think about it.

This was a rather unexpected post for me today, but I love the writing prompts over at Studio30 Plus. I am also, if I’m honest with myself, irrationally afraid of spiders. Spiders I don’t mind talking about, even though it creeps me out a little. I actually think they’re fascinating, but only OUTSIDE. If spiders are INSIDE, in my home for example, then the chance they might end up ON my person is exponentially higher, and that is simply unacceptable.

Musical Musings

I’m a huge fan of music, almost any kind.

I listen to it in my car, where I have The Shins four discs lined up in chronological order and listen to them over and over again. I don’t care for the radio because the DJs in my town are terrible, almost entirely. If there’s a good one he or she isn’t on a station I’d care to tune in. That’s part of the problem too- I like variety, and I like a lot of music that just isn’t played on the radio. I also like to listen to classic music while I’m driving. That has to be on CD as well because in Their infinite wisdom, the Powers That Be decided maybe a year ago to ditch the city’s only classical radio station.

I listen to my iTunes library on shuffle while I’m at the gym. It plays a lot of what I would call techno, “house,” and electronica because I like the heavy beats while I’m working out, especially while on the elliptical trainer. There’s some pretty heavy metal in there, something I’ve been able to accquire a taste for in particular moods or again, while working out. Hip Hop, Rap, Pop, it’s probably all in there. Might even be some holdovers from my daughter’s influence: Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, etc. though I can’t honestly say I dislike all of that type of music. And it’s not to say in the least that I don’t like female musicians. I love them, just not all of them or all of any certain musical genre. My iTunes library is about as diverse as they come, I’d like to think anyway.

I listen to music when at home now, more than I used to. I’ve not been able to get into streaming services like Spotify yet. I like the idea of being able to listen to what my friends are listening to, and to be able to share my own selections, but I haven’t “taken the plunge.” I usually listen to my iTunes library but I’ve also started surfing YouTube and finding a lot of really good music I might’ve otherwise missed. A lot of what I’m watching and listening to is stuff I already know, maybe live versions of Shins tunes, or even trying out random viewers’ attempts to cover those songs.

Over the weekend I found myself listening to some bluegrass- a genre I like a lot but haven’t spent much time with lately. I’ve always enjoyed listening to a really good guitar or banjo player cranking out sweet riffs and, coming from a vocal background of sorts, listening to the harmonies often found in bluegrass is definitely a pleasure. Last night I listened to some Steve Martin picking, and some Alison Krauss with Union Station live versions. Good stuff there.

I also found myself compelled this past weekend to finally, after literally at least a year, probably longer, restring my acoustic guitar and start playing again. I’ve never been very good because I’ve never put much time into playing. I can strum some basic chords, and given enough practice, even pick out a song here and there, but my fingerwork is woefully weak. I plan to play a little every night until my fingers are more flexible and get used to the strings again. Hello, callouses on my fingertips again!

 

 

Spinach, Mushroom & Cheese Quesadillas

This is still a work in progress and I’m just trying out a few things. Most blogs have a very specific theme, like perhaps a “food blog.” Well, I like food, so sometimes I post about it, but I’m mot sure if I want this to be a food blog or not, we’ll see.

 

This is something that takes a little time but tastes so good it’s worth it. Nice as an appetizer or party food. I am fond of baby portabellas in this dish, or just about any mushroom dish, but criminis would work just as well. Use what you like!

 

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

6 Oz any mushrooms, thinly sliced (2 C)

Salt & pepper

1 Lg zucchini, coarsley chopped

One 10oz pkg frozen, chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Med white onion, finely chopped

1 Garlic clove, minced

2 Med jalepeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped

1 Tsp dried oregano

1/4 C finely chopped black olives

1/2 C grated cotija cheese or crumbled feta (Manchego would also work well here)

3 Oz shredded mozzarella cheese (3/4 C)

Eight 8in flour tortillas

  1. In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter, add mushrooms, salt & pepper, sweat until brown, 6-7min.
  2. In a food processor, pulse zucchini until minced, add spinach & pulse till minced.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp butter in olive oil, add onion, garlic, jalepeno, & oregano, cook, stirring frequently until onion is soft, ~8min. Add zucchini mixture & olives, cook, stirring often for ~5min. Season with salt, remove from heat & let cool ~5min, then stir in cheeses.
  4. Top 4 tortillas with vegetable/cheese filling & mushrooms. Top with remaining tortillas and press firmly together.
  5. Brown quesadillas in a large skillet over medium high heat in 1/2 Tbsp melted butter.

Cut into quarters or eighths, depending on how many people you’re serving, and be sure to have salsa, sour cream & guacamole on the side.

Asking Yourself Things

Question of the day: “How many times can you tell yourself ‘It’s time for a radical change to my lifestyle’ before it’s just stupid to keep saying it because you don’t really do what you need to do to make the change?”

I was just perusing a website, http://www.toughmudder.com/, and man did it get me revved up, lol! Could I do that? Not right now, but if I trained for some predetermined amount of time, could I do it? I’d like to think so, but the electric shock thing, man, that sounds hardcore. Would I be up for that?

Now my brain is racing thinking about all the training I’d like to do- race or no race- and all the different ways I can see my life being that would require some major adjustments to the way I live. Eating, spending money, SAVING money, raising my daughter/being a Dad, being a friend, my work habits, finding a woman to share my life with, etc. EVERYTHING is being questioned by a part of my brain that is operating individually from the rest of it right now. I’m typing words here but all of those questions and things are being hashed and re-hashed in a back room. I can faintly hear yelling of some sort, but the door is closed so I can continue functioning in the mean time…

What kinds of things do you all find yourselves questioning in your own lives? I’m sort of asking this rhetorically, but if you want to share in the comments below, please do. Engaging in conversation is one of the reasons I first started this blog, and always hoping to catch some reader’s eye and get something rolling as a result of one of my rants.

I’m not implying that I hate my life or crying about things be bad or ‘Oh, woe is me” or anything like that. I just periodically get really pumped up about possibilities and see things from different perspectives which make me step back and evaluate, you know?