Thursday, September 17
I turned 42 on Monday.
I've never been a big celebration person, don't like being the center of attention, but I married someone who although she thinks shes an introvert, loves being the center of attention...especially as it relates to her birthday. Tara loves her birthday and loves to celebrate her birthday, she actually attempts to celebrate the entire month. This is not a narcisitic thing - I mean, I guess it is but not in a negative way. She loves gifts and she loves to eat, two things that usually go with your birthday. Also, she wants other people to participate. I live gifts and I like food but I would rather people mail me the gifts and have dinner by myself - usually.
Therein lies the rub. How do we manage to celebrate my birthday? Tara knows I don't want to make a big deal but she does. I know that Tara enjoys making a big deal but I don't. We didn't make a big deal on Monday which was great, I still felt embarrassed when I saw the pile of gifts on the table (all from Tara). The bigger problem is since 1984 my birthday has been tainted by the death of my mother. She died on the 8th, I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan (my first concert) on the 13th and my birthday was the 14th. My discovery and obsession was one of the last and most enjoyable events I remember sharing with my mother. So maybe I just can't remember my birthdays before that fateful 1984 birthday week but this one has pushed the needle past the slightly depressed line.
We are going camping this weekend and as the stay-at-home parent I am responsible for getting a lot more together than I'm used to. Of course, that's life in general for the post-Julia era of my life, so it shouldn't feel any different than the last couple of months, right? Well, it does. Julia is more mobile every day. She's more determined to have things her way and she continues to be so very curious. All of this creates a more sporadic sleep/activity schedule which makes it much more difficult to predict when I can get something done. Of course, this week that has to be combined with the rain. Its been raining off and on all week, mostly on. I am less inclined to take Julia out in the rain, I am less inclined to be in the rain and I most likely bring Johnders inside and therefore have someone else demanding attention. As for me, I get my fair share of enjoyment from the rain but this week it has made me a little stir-crazy and even a bit claustrophobic.
So here I sit writing a blog post instead of getting camping gear together. Julia is asleep, it looks like Johnders is too. I am in a better mood than I was when I started this post thanks in great part to the opening bars of ironically and appropriately timed "Couldn't Stand The Weather" by Stevie Ray.
The frustration is still bubbling under but I think that has more to do with procrastination and, as I say to Tara all the time, expectations. Tara expects people around her to put as much in to what they do as she puts in to what she does, which sets you up for disappointment. I expect so much from myself and tend to expect little from others. Here I expect to be able to keep myself even keeled and keep everybody happy. On one level I know that's impossible and extremely unfair to myself. I cannot be in charge of everybody else's happiness. I know that I am less likely to be happy if I am focusing so much on everybody else. I spoke with my mentor about this to which she responded, if you don't take care of yourself you won't be around long and that guarantees you won't be able to take care of those you love.
How do I move beyond this intellectual understanding and make it actual? How do I make myself, cajole myself into looking after myself as well as others? I think this is the true cause of frustration. I've got it too good not to work on this.
Monday, August 10
I have found two other clematis plants in the yard, one I replanted and its growing but much more slowly, the other is in the middle of the lawn. I hope to get to it before Johnders tramples it and find a good spot for it.
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Friday, July 3
The excitement was energizing. Everybody was guessing which album there would be. Then we got inside and they gave out handbills, like the Broadway type, and not being a big Talking Heads fan I didn't understand the cover photo (Remain in Light with Phich members instead of Talking Heads).
We trudged our way up and up and up some more. We squeezed into the seats - they are much smaller when you are that high up and I filled Kevin in on the show. He'd never been to one of these type shows (3 sets, etc). So an hour or so later Remain in Light begins and it was intense. I didn't know they album so I didn't know what was going on. I remember being excited to see El Buho, who'd I'd gotten to know in Nashville and I remember thinking how afrobeat it sounded. It would be a decade later before I actually heard the original album and not surprisingly, recognize how true to the album Phish had been.
I'm not going but I am glad they are doing the show. The article below was written before MJ died so I think "Thriller" is a better guess than the author probably thought.
Phish’s Upcoming Halloween Show: A Few Suggestions For ‘Musical Costumes’
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Wednesday, July 1
Thursday, June 25
Tuesday, June 9
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 6:57 PM
To: Nashville Neighborhoods
Subject: Do you want commercial-type "LED" signs in your neighborhood?
Dear Nashville Neighbors,
DO YOU WANT "LED" DISPLAY SIGNS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
If not, now is the time to act. Please help protect Nashville’s neighborhoods against unwanted lighted signs. If a bill coming before the Metro Planning Commission this Thursday afternoon is approved, all residential neighborhoods in Nashville could be cheapened by the erection of bright, commercial-type, light-emitting diode (LED) signs, blinking from 6am.until 10pm. every night. Councilman-At-Large Charlie Tygard is sponsoring Bill #2009-463 that will allow the installation of electronic LED signs to in residential neighborhoods at specified locations (schools, churches, social clubs, etc.) at a distance of only 250 feet from nearby homes. We believe this is totally unacceptable and will have an extremely negative effect on the beauty and tranquility of the neighborhoods where we live.
We ask for your support now to stop passage of this bill.
1. E-mail the Planning Commission today, stating your opposition to Bill #2009-463. Make it clear that as a Nashville resident and homeowner, you do not believe LED signs belong in residential neighborhoods for any reason.
Here’s how to contact all members of the Planning Commission with one email message. Copy this address and paste in the “To” field: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PLEASE DO NOT DELAY. Send a message now! The Commission will be considering approval or denial on the bill THIS THURSDAY, June 11.
If you plan to speak Thursday, your remarks will be limited to two (2) minutes. The Planning Commission asks that people avoid repetition in their remarks. Look for something you can say to build our case in a unique or relevant fashion. If possible, let us know what your specific topic of opposition will be, or let us help you find one to focus on.Note: The Planning Commission staff is recommending approval of the LED sign ordinance, making it much more likely that the Commissioners will vote to approve. Let’s not take this lying down. The few moments you spend now may win or lose this battle!
4. Mark your calendar for the date of Tuesday, July 7. This is the date that the Metro Council will hold its second reading on the LED sign bill. We will again ask for your attendance and willingness to speak that evening. If the Planning Commission has approved the bill, then only 21 Council votes will be needed to finalize passage of the LED bill. If the Planning Commission has disapproved it, then 27 votes will be needed at the Council level to pass.
Burkley Allen (Hillsboro-West End NA) Trish Bolian (Hillwood NA) Kip Kirby (West Meade Park NA) Bell Lowe Newton (Woodlawn NA)
Directions to the Planning Commission’s public (but remote) meeting room: The Commission meets at 1417 Murfreesboro Pike at the very rear of the Genesco complex. This is best accessed around the corner off McGavock Pike, directly across from an airport runway. The meeting room is at the rear of a narrow parking lot between two wings of the building: between the Johnston & Murphy Store and some State Police classrooms. Need a Ride? Let us know! We will help arrange transportation if we can.
For more information from the Planning Dept. visit: http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/pdfs/main/greenhillsconferenceroom.pdf
Thursday, May 21
Wednesday, April 29
I never, or at least not yet, developed any handicraft skills. I did beadwork when I was a teen but I'm not a carpenter of anything like that. I haven't fished since I was a teen either. I don't have many friends and with the ones I do have we don't "do" things. At some point after meeting Tara and her mom I started seeing the things Bonnie was doing with gardening and somewhere along the way I heard about native plant gardening. I've talked about it before but the basic idea is you plant things that live where you live and they should survive, even thrive, with little effort on your art.. It is the lazy man's gardening. If done properly it is also a habitat building form of gardening meaning you create an environment that is beneficial to insects, birds, rodents, water use and run-off. HUGE positive impact on the world around you with minimal effort. And no chemicals needed, usually.
This is my new hobby. I love studying the plants, I like looking for the plants for different parts of my yard, I like the work involved and the results are great. When the first buds and flower heads come out I start getting really excited and can hardly wait for the first flowers. When the flowers are here I stop and admire, often. When fall & winter take them away I study the bark of the perennials and the evergreens and anxiously await spring again knowing the stuff I planted last year will be more spectacular the next spring.
Everybody who has read Tara, Jai & Julia - a Nuclear Blog knows we planted a tree for Julia. Quercus Alba (Swamp White Oak) which should be a good tree for climbing once she gets about 10 yrs old. When Mike from GroWild came out we wandered the yard and he made suggestions. One thing he made me realize was that I hadn't done anything in the front yard. The majority of my planting had been done in the back. At the same time my 2 Rose Verbenas came out to play. These little plants were pint-sized plants I bought on a whim during last summer and OMG! These things have come out with the most brilliant, most boisterous purple. I am hooked. So, I planned for a couple weeks and went to a garden store near me to get some sun loving plants including more verbenas.
Today is my first day as a SAHD and I decided to try and put some stuff in the ground. I started with the verbenas. I plants three parallel to the driveway and three on the opposite side (adjacent to the neighbor's drive way. I bought some thyme seeds which will, if they grow, be on the property edge in front of the mailbox. Behind that will be some oregano, sage and lavender. I expect to get a few more things go fill in near the mailbox. The postal delivery drivers will get a nice mix of scents and sights when they deliver to us.
Yeah. I finally have a new hobby.
Now playing: Booker T. - Get Behind The Mule
Monday, April 20
Jon was a college classmate of mine.The 2009 Pulizer Prize for a distinguished and appropriately documented biography or autobiography by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” by Jon Meacham (Random House), an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: “Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” by H.W. Brands (Doubleday), a richly textured and highly readable exploration of the inner Roosevelt, presented with analytical acuity and flashes of originality; and “The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century,” by Steve Coll (The Penguin Press), an epic tale extending far beyond Osama Bin Laden and the calamity of 9/11, rooted in meticulous research and written with an urgency, clarity and flair that entertains as easily as it educates.
Sunday, April 19
1604 8th Avenue S., Nashville, Tennessee
Why It Rocks: Five years ago, Grimey's Records outgrew their space and moved into its current stylized, three-pedimented building, which it shares with Thirty Tigers music marketing and distribution upstairs and popular venue the Basement downstairs. Grimey's is definitely the meat of this sandwich, with an amazingly broad selection (for its size), very affordable prices, and history as a stalwart of indie cool in a town that's known for a very different kind of music scene.
Fans Say: "Best store in Nashville (that doesn't deal exclusively in country music). They've got a real good selection of new/used vinyl, indie and import CDs, DVDs, and books. And they probably do some of the best in-stores anywhere. Pound for pound, it's one of the best in the country." -- Bob Mehr (music writer, The Commercial Appeal)
Friday, April 17
MTA will display one of its new 60-foot hybrid buses on-site to promote the use of public transit to help improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) also will have a booth with staff members available to talk about the Music City Star, car pools and van pools.
The free, city-wide event runs from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and features different sections of the park representing different areas of the environment, such as air, water, recycling and sustainable living/land conservation. The local festival includes family-friendly games, activities, food and live performances.
Friday, April 10
Years ago I started seeing Doris Kerns Goodwin on TV and whatnot. I was impressed, I thought, if my history teachers had been this cool I probably would have learned something. The Obama-mania started and she, being the author of his favorite book, was everywhere and I still liked her but figured I should check out the books to see if the hype is worth it.
It is. She is a wonderful writer. History books just aren’t this entertaining and its sad b/c there is so much to be had. Kerns had unique access to Johnson and that serves her well with fleshing out the man behind the title. She makes him seem real. She points out some very strange idiosyncricies and yet again, shows me that you’ve got to be messed up in the head to want to do this job.
Johnson intrigued me b/c I was so curious how a southern, white man could be so instrumental in getting the civil rights bill past. She answered that. She also answered how he screwed up with the Vietnam War and how that forced him out of public service.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in modern presidential history and I think you will also see that Obama is not only influenced by Team of Rivals but also Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.
Wednesday, March 25
Turn out the lights for an hour and see what happens!
In Nashville you should hop over to DrinkHaus or some other highpoints just outside of downtown to see the lights go out or you can do other stuff, just shut the lights out!
Saturday, March 21
All in all I had a good online experience shopping for my US National Team jersey at Soccerpro.com. If I were in the team buying/coaching crowd this site would have to be at the top of my list for soccer uniforms and training gear. Not being in that crowd this is a good site to check for deals but you have to be prepared for limited quantities on some items.
Tuesday, March 17
Friday, February 27
This morning my bus was late by a couple of minutes and as I was hoofing it past TPAC who steps off the Hillsboro Rd bus and says "Good morning." but His Honor, Mayor Karl Dean. How often to residents of a city the size of Nashville run into the mayor getting of the city bus, let alone on day that is predicting 60% thunderstorms? Mayor Dean is making some bold strides in the city and, of course, catching slack for it. Any mayor who rides the bus on a day like today can't be all bad.
The other example is the awarding of the Charlie Robinson Award to Donna Nicely (opens .pdf), Director of Nashville Public Library.
The Charlie Robinson Award honors a public library director who, over a period of seven years, has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library. The recipient should have been active in national and other professional associations and be known for developing and implementing programs which are responsive to the need of community residents.Proving that Nashville has the most creative library director in the world and anybody who has seen the programing and classes and catalog of the library knows this.
Congratulations to me and all Nashvillians for being members of an incredible community.
Thursday, February 26
Bonnie told me a few months ago that a friend of hers was participating and liked it. Bonnie thought it would be helpful for me. See, I am
Although there were some lifestyle changes as soon as Tara & I got serious - less beer consumption, less eating at places like TGI Friday's - more are needed. I don't get enough sleep, I can't stay motivated on any kind of exercise routine. I walk a little and go to the YMCA periodically.
So I have decided to participate in the grant funded program at Center for Lifestyle and Health Management. Today was orientation and I was assigned to a mentor as well as given a date (3/6) for my labs and first consult. For the first 6-10 weeks I will at least speak with my mentor once a week and I'm not sure how often we will meet after that. I am cautiously optimistic. One thing I have going for me is my weight is stable so if I get back down to where I should be I expect to stay there for awhile. If I get the weight down the hypertension will theoretically get better, my risk for other problems will also reduce.
Of course, this is all easier said than done. I have already intellectualized what my problems are but I haven't been able to divorce them from my emotions. Hopefully this mentor will find a way to help me do that.
Stick around for updates.
Monday, February 16
- Put Your iTunes (I used Media Monkey) on shuffle.
- For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
- You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
- Put any comments in parentheses after the song name.
- Tag at least 10 friends
What do your friends think of you?
Cuttin It Up; Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Killa Sun, Chip Banks & Polite
If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Two Shoes, Cat Empire
How would you describe yourself?
Each Wave That Breaks, Piers Faccini
What do you like in a boy/girl?
Peace, Prosperity & Paper; A Tribe Called Quest
How do you feel today?
Jailbreak, Thin Lizzy (I think this is more for Tara today)
What is your life’s purpose?
I Can't Go to Sleep, Wu-Tang Clan
What is your motto?
Whistling Past The Graveyard, Screamin' Jay Hawkins
What do you think about very often?
Go-Go Gadeget Gospel, Gnarls Barkley
What do you think of your best friend?
Shoo-Ra, Dr. John as Mac Rebennack
What do you think of the person you like?
Answer To The Want Ads, Bobo Mr Soul
What is your life story?
The Future (Remix), Prince
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Lost Along The Way, Jordan Chassan
What do you think of when you see the person you like/love?
Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Part 1, James Brown
What will you dance to at your wedding?
Life Being What It is, Kaki King
What will they play at your funeral?
Applause, Big Head Todd & The Monsters
What is your hobby/interest?
Here Comes The Sun, Richie Havens
What is your biggest fear?
Mr. High & Mighty, Gov't Mule
What is your biggest secret?
Premature, Toots & The Maytals
What do you think of your friends?
Tootin Through The Roof, Duke Ellington
What will you post this as?
Good Night, Irene, Dr. John
Friday, February 13
From my boss all the way to THE boss I see that on a daily basis, reiterated and reinforced, no matter the external nor internal conditions.
I do have a wonderful life.
Addendum: I do realize I have coworkers who's mileage will differ and I am saddened to hear that.
Tuesday, February 10
One person pulled a partial quote from Sen Lindsey Graham something about "the President is AWOL on leadership". The whole quote is Lindsey Graham criticizing Obama b/c he was doing a press junket (sp) instead of talking to Republican leadership about the stimulus. Well, the way I understand it is the citizens who vote are the republican leadership and the democratic leadership. This doesn't seem so far fetched to me. Obama won the election with a huge % of the electorate which plays right into his need and desire to take his position and explanation to the general public and they will, in turn, let their reps know what to do...
There was another person who pointed to some parts of the stimulus that seem questionable as to the immediate need. I do understand that the priority needs to be placed on creating jobs and alleviating the fear that builds with every day's finance reports but we have to tackle some long term issues like replacing gov't vehicles with fuel efficient ones, or making sure that the arts are supported by funding the National Endowment for the Arts.
Our gut says now but our brain has to say now and future. We have to proceed in such a way that we work to alleviate future costs and fears. I am not naïve enough to think that this is all good and I'm sure if given the opportunity I could come up with reasonable, viable solutions that weren't considered or find things that need to be removed b/c they don't work or are unnecessary. Although it seems like it happened in one fell swoop this situation has been developing for years and we did nothing to stop it. Now we are in panic mode. Now to a lot of people no solution will be sufficient.
We won't get out of this anytime soon but as a citizen of this country and a member of this society I am going to do my part to watch diligently, speak patiently and act justly (on an individual basis as well as national and global).
Monday, February 9
In our house it is something like
"Tara, Hold on. I can't hear you." or "Jai, I can't hear what you are saying when you walk into another room."Tara admittedly and sometimes quite obviously can't hear. I on the other hand still hear pretty well, especially considering my live music history.
At least we are considerate enough and smart enough to say more than "Huh?"
Tuesday, February 3
For a long time I used paperback swap and swap a CD but I hate their point system. Then I discovered bookmooch which I love everything about but I lamented that I had no place cool to swap CDs and movies. A couple of weeks ago I rediscovered swaptree, apparently I signed up last year but never used and forgot about it, which is just the place. On swaptree you can trade across platforms...CD for book, DVD for video game! I now have a place to get better stuff, not necessarily a reduction in stuff but a more efficient stash of stuff.
Signup and get some cooler stuff than you already have.
FUCK! Did these people not do their research or is it just that hard to find someone who doesn't cheat on taxes?
Performance czar withdraws candidacy : NPR
Tuesday, January 27
People love to hate. We all do it. I hate on people who date Scarlett Johansson or marry Halle Berry, people hate on me b/c I tell them no, East Coast hates on West Coast, Hollywood hates on America and the list goes on. Its ok to be hater depending on what you do with that hate. The good people shake their heads and move on the bad ones turn their hate into a real thing.
We all know republicans hate on democrats and vice versa. Now that democrats are in the White House its a full-time job for republicans. I think its nice to put things in perspective.
Thanks to Kevin for the comic...
Thursday, January 22
In addition to her political career, (Condoleeza) Rice is an accomplished concert pianist as well as aI knew she was a smart woman and I knew she was a concert pianist but I had no idea she was a football fan. Can you see Condi with one of the big foam horse hats? (Surely she's a Broncos fan, since there's no pro ball in Alabama.)big-time National Football League fan.
Tuesday, January 20
Friday, January 16
Most people who know me know what a powerful influence Jimi Hendrix was in my life. He lead me down a wildly diverse but unique musical road. He also gave me some inspiration. I was a black kid who liked his music, he was a black man who played his music.
Being an adventurous and slightly obsessive guitar fan I started to listen to rock radio and when I was a kid I heard “Rambling Man”, “Southbound” and “Jessica” on the radio all the time. I loved them because they had lots of guitar. As I read more and associated things…I thought Charlie Daniels was cool. I identified – quite bizarrely – with being Southern, and I mean redneck Southern. So, the Allman Brothers couldn’t be far off my radar.
In college I was moving from a metalhead to a blues fanatic and again, the Allman Brothers were there. They were played on the same radio as Metallica and AC/DC and all the classic rock – guitar rock – I loved but they played blues songs and really long versions. I was hooked. At some point in the 80s I saw them at the Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam, I saw Gregg Allman play at the Grand Ole Opry House, I saw Dickey Betts play at what was then called Summer Lights, a free arts fest in Nashville during the 80s. Somewhere along the lines I focused in on Duane Allman and started to find all these studio records he played guitar on, especially “Hey Jude” by Wilson Pickett and “The Weight” by Aretha Franklin. It was obvious that there was something special about Duane.
Two things happened in the late 80s that would cement this belief and my adoration of the band even more. They were arbitrary, unrelated and almost completely disconnected from the Allman Brothers. A friends band while in college…some local guys from Tullahoma adopted me into the band. I was a mediocre player and I was young but I LOVED what they did, especially their lead guitar player who’d actually seen Duane play. The second thing was while working at a record store I met the newest member of the Allman Brothers Band, the bassist who played a 12-string bass, Allen Woody. He came in with an Allman Brothers Band business card that had his name and “Bass player” on it. It was my brush with greatness.
Fast forward a few years when Allen & Warren Haynes started, along with Matt Abts, Gov’t Mule. I was living in Baton Rouge, I was dying to hear them and then I go back to Nashville where a record store friend hands me a copy of the first Gov’t Mule record and I lost my shit! The first song was a cover of one of my all-time favorite blues songs (and I was a full fledged blues fanatic at this point), “Grinnin’” by Son House. I’m not going to talk much about the Mule but sufice to say that by getting to know them and the Derek Trucks Band I got close enough to the Allmans to know real behind the scenes stuff and to meet several of the original members of the band.
Duane still remained an enigma to a degree. I knew the story, I knew the music but I didn’t know much about the motivation or causes. Reading this book I did get some of the information I was after. The book is pretty well written, lots of citations for solid sources. Its a fan’s book written by a fan so take that for what its worth. I would suggest you listen to some records and not worry about the rest.