Monday, November 13, 2017

Rise Up

The Rise Up Chorus concert of thanksgiving for veterans was an incredible success -- both the adult and the children's choruses sounded amazing (as did the oboe interlude, playing an Ennio Morricone piece I'd never heard, "Gabriel's Oboe"). The songs were well-chosen and well-sung, and I'm thrilled and proud for Kathy to be a part of this group.
There was one moment toward the end, when the choir was singing a tribute medley to the armed forces, where the members of the various branches were asked to stand (or raise their hand) when their branch's song came up. There was a gentleman in front of us who stood when "The Army Goes Rolling Along" was being sung, and then sat down for "The Marines' Hymn." Then he stood up again for the Navy's "Anchors Aweigh," and I thought, "How many branches did this guy serve in?" But then he reached down, and helped the man sitting next to him to his feet, and then sat again while the rest of the naval theme continued. At which point he stood up and helped his friend back to his seat.
I guess what I'm saying is, it's important to remember we're all on the same team. We should lift each other every chance we get.
Rob

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

This Fucking World

“A zombie virus has spread throughout the world. The item to your right is your weapon. What is it?”

Got that meme on my Facebook feed today. The item to my right was a coffee mug. But it doesn’t really matter what it is, does it? We’re all humans here, and if there’s anything we’re good at, it’s using whatever item we have at hand and killing people with it.

Follow your bliss, I guess.

Rob

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Charlie and the Kibble Mush Factory

And now, a word about Charlie.
We'd been feeding him by hand all week, as he hadn't shown much interest in food. Just wet, mushed up kibble (sounds delicious, right?) scooped up off our fingers, a little bit at a time, at various intervals during the day. It was just an upset stomach, we figured, and he'd get over it in a couple days.
And he seemed to be, as he was a lot better off on Wednesday than he'd been on Tuesday.
I wasn't home for a lot of Thursday, so that was a setback, but we thought he'd probably go for his regular food soon. He didn't. Not Thursday, and even yesterday he would seem interested in it, but never take a bite. So yesterday I decided I'd take him to the vet today. Kathy wound up taking him instead, because she's a hero, and also because the bakery a block away makes some of the best doughnuts we've ever tasted. Nothing fancy, but oh, so good. So fluffy and sugary and...
I'm getting off topic. My apologies.
Anyway, it turns out that there's a small foreign body in Charlie, which is upsetting his stomach. He'll be able to pass it, but we're going to be giving him antibiotics and something to ease his stomach distress for the next week or so. (And laxatives, which are sure to bring joy to the entire household.)
So Kathy brings Charlie home, $288 lighter from the X-rays and the medicine and the doctor's visit. And she lets him out of the carrier...
...and he goes straight to the food bowl and starts chowing down.
Great timing, buddy. But we're glad you're feeling better!

Rob

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Nick Cave at the Beacon, June 14, 2017

I didn't know a lot of the songs he sang. A lot of it was new, and there's a lot of old stuff I don't know, too. But even when I didn't know the song, it was intense.
And the ones I did know were some of my favorites. There was "Red Right Hand," of course. Which was incredible. And he shocked the hell out of me by playing "Tupelo," which was the song that really first blew me away. (Although it was watching him sing "The Carny" in "Wings of Desire" that first turned me on to him.) It was so much like the album version -- the driving, insistent bass line, Cave's growling delivery -- but subtly different, and delivered with such thunder.
And then, in the encore -- as he pulled person after person from the audience, creating a writhing, dancing crowd onstage -- Stagger Lee. An old, violent song, and Cave modernizes the brutality, making it so crude and over-the-top, giving it almost Tarantino-like hilarity:

She saw the barkeep/
said, 'O God, he can't be dead!'/
Stag said, "Well, just count the holes/
in the motherfucker's head!
Pat Boone also sings a version of this song. Let THAT sink in.
Of the three go-into-the-bar-and-kill-everybody songs on Murder Ballads, my favorite is probably "O'Malley's Bar" -- but seeing this performed live, with all this infernal energy, makes me revise that opinion. Besides, with the similarity of our names, I've always felt like Stagger Lee was like this badass criminal relative my parents never told me about.
(He's not, of course -- "stagger" was a nickname. The real Stagger Lee was "Stag" Lee Shelton, an African-American pimp who killed Billy Lyons -- another relative's name! -- in St. Louis on Christmas night, 1895. Anyway, that's what Wikipedia tells me. Cave sets his version of the song in 1932.)
And after bringing the crowd into the gutter with Stagger Lee, Cave closed with a beautiful rendition of "Push the Sky Away." I'll leave you with that here.