Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Truck Story

On the way to work on Friday I’m stopped at a traffic light behind a Ford pickup. The truck had been modified to rise high off the ground like the Tower of Babel. It could have just been the footpad commercial on the radio, but I thought I heard God smiting the driver for his hubris. The tires were so large that a family of Dominican immigrants was living in the wheel wells selling fruit to the drivers in the next lane. The side mirrors hung out so wide they clipped pedestrians in the back of the head as he drove down the road.

Everything was fine though, until the light turned green and the truck accelerated. At this point his two exhaust pipes, one on each side, belched out a cloud of smoke so black and so thick I saw demons in the center of it beckoning me with their blood-red claws. At that moment everything I had believed in was a lie and the music of Dan Fogelberg danced in my head like a malevolent, terpsichorean nymph. I wanted to race forward to clear my head of these awful illusions but I had to hesitate before accelerating because I literally could not see the road.

Following Old Pitch down the street was like being behind grandpa going through the buffet line. Every 20 or 30 yards the truck farted out a burst of black exhaust forcing me to drive through a toxic cloud of carbon monoxide mixed with gas particles where the laws of physics didn’t apply and the song of a gentle thrush was evil incarnate. For over a mile my poor, innocent vehicle was excreted on. I could hear it mewing softly as if asking what she had done wrong to be trapped behind this gassy behemoth. Flecks of paint peeled off striking the windshield in anger. The engine roared and the back end shimmied as my car demanded retribution. Finally, I turned right and the truck kept going straight. As we passed him, she spit a stream of wiper fluid at the truck and let loose with a string of anti-truck slurs.

I would like to speak to the driver for a moment. I don’t know your name but from the look of your truck I’m guessing Clem or Earl. I’ll go with Earl.

Earl, as a favor to mankind and Mother Earth, will you please stop spending your money on tires that belong on industrial rock quarry machinery and mirrors that can see back in time, and fix your exhaust problem instead. Your fellow travelers on the nation’s by-ways do not deserve to be regurgitated upon by your motorized dragon whose pilot light has gone out. Fix it, Earl. Do the right thing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Waiting

I love music. The styles I listen to are wide ranging which is the main reason my CD collection has taken over my home like a kudzu vine. I don’t know the exact number, my estimate is between 1500 and 2000 which doesn’t include the hundreds I’ve traded in, given away or sold over the years. Of course, among the forest of sounds there are a few favorites that stand out as redwoods among the pines. But lately a few of my bellwethers have been disappointing in their lack of output and possible demises.

Aerosmith: My all time favorite band has been in the news recently for every reason except the release of a new CD. Their last recording was in 2004 and it was a CD of covers. Their last CD of original songs was in 2001, 9 years and counting. In the past year one member has had throat surgery, one has had knee surgery, one has had shoulder surgery, one has had surgery on his head after hitting it on his Ferrari and another has had multiple surgeries as well as multiple rehab stints. They’ve reached the point where Steven Tyler has quit the band on Monday, re-joined on Tuesday, been kicked out on Wednesday and invited back in on Thursday. You might as well rename them the Desperate Rock Stars and move them onto Wisteria Lane. The lawyers have gotten involved now so I’m convinced the original band will never record together again.

Sarah McLachlan: The Canadian songstress with the ethereal voice has recorded 1 CD of new material in 12 years. You heard me. 1 CD in a decade plus. Surfacing came out in 1998. Afterglow didn’t arrive until 2004 and since then nothing. Oh there have been live recordings, Christmas collections, remixes and unreleased rarities, but lets face it, these are cubic zirconia friendship rings when I’m looking for more of a commitment. My God woman, sea slugs move faster than you. I’m still enjoying your previous CDs: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Surfacing are practically worn out, but how about some new songs? These are the prime years of your career and your output is so low if you were a bauxite mine you would be abandoned.

System of a Down: There were rumors of trouble in the band after the Hypnotize/Mesmerize tour was over. The band members themselves didn’t help matters by saying one day they were breaking up and the next day saying they were just taking a break. Great. Another band that needs a marriage counselor. Didn’t I see this drama already on Friends? Singer Serj Tankian recorded a solo disc that sounded a lot like System of a Down without Daron Malakian’s great guitar playing. Daron and drummer John Dolmayan formed Scars on Broadway and released a CD that sounded a lot like System of a Down with keyboards. A few weeks before the tour, Daron announced its cancellation because of “his lack of enthusiasm” for the project and he didn’t feel like touring. Since then he has dropped out of the music scene so completely people began to worry about him. Serj Tankian on the other hand is now working on a jazz orchestra CD. Excuse me? A few years removed from headlining the Ozzfest and the singer suddenly wants to be Michael Buble? Sadly, I see this trial separation becoming a divorce as daddy hides out in his den drinking gin and tonics while mommy becomes who she was always meant to be.

I find new artists to listen to nearly every week. Recently I picked up on Shaman’s Harvest, Corinne Bailey Ray and The Heavy. But you always return to your favorites and I’m getting antsy waiting for new CDs from these people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Really Getting to Know Your Friends

By now we’ve all received an email at least once titled something like “Get to Know Your Friends”. You’re given a list of 10-30 questions asking you things like ‘what are you wearing right now’, ‘what are you listening to right now’ ‘what is your favorite day of the week’ and ‘where were you born’. These questions are fine, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with them, but they lack the things I want to know about my friends. I’ve written my own list of ‘Get to Know Your Friends’ questions:

1. If you started a rock band, what would its name be?
2. Let’s talk pickles: sliced, spears or whole?
3. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
4. You’ve been on death row for 13 years. Finally the fateful day has arrived: your execution. What will you order for your last meal?
5. If you were in a sitcom would you be:
a. the plucky single parent
b. the wacky next door neighbor
c. the douchebag ex
d. the annoyingly cute young child
e. the unbelievably stupid best friend
f. other—give a description
6. What song would you like to hear on the radio that you never hear anymore?
7. What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
8. When you’re at work, how much time do you waste each day just staring into space wondering what your life would be like if you won the lottery?
9. It’s 3 a.m. on a Tuesday and an alien invasion begins. The first thing you do is:
a. scream
b. call the police
c. piss your pants
d. shit your pants
e. piss and shit your pants
f. look to the sky and beg the aliens to take you with them
g. lock the door, make something to eat and watch another re-run of Law and Order
10. Close your left eye, put 2 fingers from your right hand on your nose, wave with your left hand and stomp the floor with your right foot. How stupid do you think you look right now?
11. If you founded a country, what would your flag look like?
12. The dead have risen from their graves and are feeding on your neighbors. Do you:
a. scream
b. call the police
c. piss your pants
d. shit your pants
e. piss and shit your pants
f. join in because you enjoy a good nosh
g. start killing zombies like you’re in a video game all the while proclaiming yourself “King Zombie Slayer”
h. start cooking yourself in a garlic sauce to prepare for when they get to your house.
13. What song, book or movie do you love but everyone else seems to hate?
14. Go to the first closed door in your home, open it and describe what you see.
15. If you were a circus freak, what would your abnormality be?

Send this out to exactly 130 of your closest friends. If you only send it to 129, a virus will be released that converts all your documents to Mandarin Chinese characters. If you send it to 131, then may God have mercy on your soul.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Many Tweets Could a Tweeter Tweet if a Tweeter Could Tweet Tweets

I’m not on Twitter. I do not tweet. No offense to those that do, it just seems like another way for celebrities and faux-celebrities to spew their diarrhetic thoughts out into the ether and foul up the atmosphere. While trapped inside my home during the second 2 foot plus snow storm in 4 days I did wonder what I would tweet were I to use Twitter. So I imagined myself with an account and what follows are a sampling of what the world is missing with me not being a tweeter or a twit or a twither or whatever:

just got up—life pretty much the same as yesterday

I’m scratching parts of my body I didn’t know could itch

took my morning dump—WTH did I eat last night? can’t breathe—losing consciousness

made it to the shower—water woke me up—feeling much better

tweeting from the shower—soap eye—ct c xbds cfrub

out of shower—eye very red and swollen but ok

just read Ashton Kutcher’s latest tweet—didn’t anyone tell him 70s show cancelled—can stop being moron

where is my cheese log?

found it!

Why are congressman and senators tweeting? Shouldn’t they be, oh I don’t know, creating jobs, fixing healthcare, ending the recession, ending the war, banging their pages, taking kickbacks, etc.

Apparently Glenn Beck tweets. As bloated and pasty as he looks on TV I’ll bet he tweets a lot. Tweets, toots, farts, sharts, shits, shoots, lets

There’s just not enough time in the day to count all my paper clips

Is it unhealthy to think about Kate Beckinsale for more than 2 hours a day?

As you can see the world is better off without me being on twitter. I’ll just keep writing this ridiculous blog doing my part to clog the internet with crap.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Soap Opera of Aerosmith

Previously on General Guiding Aerosmith As Their Lives Turn:

Rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford cracked his head while getting out of his Ferrari, requiring surgery. When Brad woke up he couldn’t remember his 40 year career in Aerosmith instead believing he had just won the 2nd chair clarinet in his Junior High School band. He believed his doctor to be Mr. Lippy, the orchestra leader.

Bassist Tom Hamilton recovered from his throat surgery to find he could suddenly sing like a classically trained soprano. He had just informed the rest of the band that he was quitting Aerosmith to tour Europe as Rosina in a production of Barber of Seville.

Drummer Joey Kramer was confronted by his evil twin Jerry. Jerry threatened to tell the world the truth: he was really the drummer for Aerosmith and that Joey had spent the past 30 years as a flood insurance salesman in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lead guitarist Joe Perry was holding a press conference announcing the band was looking for a new lead singer to replace Steven Tyler who was in drug rehab for the 103rd time to break an addiction to Flintstone’s vitamins.

This week’s episode: I AM Aerosmith

Scene: Press conference with Joe Perry sitting in front of a bank of microphones.

JP: So we’re looking for a new singer to replace Steven while he . . . recuperates. We’ve talked to Reba McIntire and a guy named Stewart we found on YouTube.
Suddenly there is a commotion at the back of the room and Steven burst in popping Barneys and Bettys like they were candy
ST: Are you crazy? I AM Aerosmith! You can’t go on without me.
JP: We don’t want to sit around waiting for you. We’re all replaceable.
ST: Replace this.
Steven grabs his crotch and wails:
“Ach Ach Ach Ach Ach Owwww!”
Another commotion ensues and then Tom Hamilton appears.
TH: I can do better than that
Tom begins to sing
"Tyrant, soon I’ll burst thy chains
Sweeter bonds than thine to prove"
Brad Whitford bursts into the room, clarinet in hand and plays along with Tom’s singing. Steven tries to get the attention back on himself by dropping trou and screaming:
ST: get out my big ten inch . . .
Joe Perry grabs Joey Kramer
JP: Joey help me!
JK: I can’t help you with these guys but how are you set with flood insurance. You can never have too much coverage. Hartford Mutual has a plan to fit everyone’s needs.

The press conference descends into madness. Jerry the evil twin drops in from the sky light proclaiming “I AM Aerosmith” while his brother Joey has cornered the president of the Aerosmith fan club and is selling her an Act of God policy. Mr. Lippy shouts to Brad from the back of the room for him to clean his spit valve while Joe Perry yells, “A singer, a singer, my Stratocaster for a singer!”

Tune in next week for the continuing saga of the Bad Boys of Boston.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Space for Rent

This is the first sentence of this blog. (sponsored by Hank’s Hot Wing Hootenanny—6 locations in the tri-state area featuring Hank’s Hellzapoppin’ Sauce) In an effort to make some coin I’ve decided to get corporate sponsorship for Cosmic Overdrive. (This period brought to you by Boomer Davis’s paper route—always on your porch by 6 a.m.) I haven’t been able to attract any big names yet, but I’m working on it. (The first paragraph was provided by Mr. Spock’s Used Computers and Video Games, located at the corner of 6th and Main Streets, around the block, up the steps, through the broken wooden door, turn left, down the hall, 2nd door after the out-of-order bathroom)

I’ve always made fun of college bowl games being named after their sponsorship (the letter “p” is brought to you by the Key to it All Locksmith—“If You’re Out We’ll Get You In, If You’re In We’ll Get You Out, If You Don’t Have a Lock We Can’t Help You) and sports stadiums named after banks and insurance companies, but (connecting words sponsored by Hearty Hearts—The dating service for sickeningly sweet people) in these hard times we all have to do what we have to do. (Lame, overused phrase brought to you by McCullough’s Ebay Store—Bring your life to us and we’ll sell it for a percentage)

I know theses ads are annoying (for the best in compressed meat product, shop Dundle’s Surplus Market—we buy cheap for you) and I’m not sure this is a good idea, (Millie’s Mousepad Cozies—hand sewn since 2002) but the production costs for each entry of Cosmic Overdrive have sky-rocketed to over a million dollars an entry. (Come down to Starz Bar and Cars—the counties only combination car lot and pub. This week’s specials: $2 jello shooters and a 2005 Hyundai Sonata only $9550)

I may have to cut down on the special effects and high priced guest stars unless (Bermsderfer Dairy Farm—we love our cows more than we love ourselves) I can increase revenue. So thanks for bearing with me and see you next time. (Closing brought to you by Frook’s Mortuary—We’ll Turn ‘em or Burn ‘em, Either Way They’re Dead)