Friday, July 31, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part XXXII: 225-201

Managed to squeeze another one in before July was in the rear-view.

Eight more of these and you never have to hear me talk about gratitude again.

Or...not that often anyway.

Actually, I'll probably reference this series a lot over the next few years.

So, yeah: Cancel all of that. No promises anywhere.

Thanks for reading, though.

Happy weekend...if you have that sort of thing in your life.

Two Hundred Twenty-Five: album-cover art and the ties between the color tones and music’s mood

            I have to use Phish for this. You can ignore it, or think about whether it works for your own favorite band. If you do think about it for your favorite band, let me know what you decide. As for Phish, I should specify: Of their 14 primary studio records, I’ll a) leave out their four most-recent records, b) include the first eight, and c) focus on the first five.

            Let’s keep it simple and save the detail for some other entry, but when I hear songs from Junta I see white. Lawn Boy paints my mind green. I feel like it’s dusk with odd orange-purple illuminations when A Picture of Nectar tracks play, and the hues of blue that Rift gives me challenge the oceans and the sky. Hoist swirls pinks and reds in my mind, and I say all of that to mention that I’m not sure if that was the artist’s intention, something that happened as my relationship with each album developed, or maybe a little of both. Either way, I dig it.

Two Hundred Twenty-Four: “Fearless” by Pink Floyd

            Love this tune. That opening string strum, the pastoral feel, the idea that this outfit could write something serene and introspective in a way that didn’t involve darkness, strobe lights, and LSD. Such a great cut.

Two Hundred Twenty-Three: Garcia Plays Dylan

            Didn’t know this album existed until last week. The discovery was one of those stop-in-your-tracks feelings and I loved it. Hope my copy gets here today.

            (Update: Got it. Only one listen in, but so far I dig it.)

Two Hundred Twenty-Two: American Beauty

            I give thanks for one of the most beautiful albums ever recorded.

Two Hundred Twenty-One: farts

            What better way than to make yourself laugh then by torturing a friend or a sibling?

(Neither one of us farted here. I think.)

          (Note: I used to fart in my youngest sister’s face. Last weekend she melted mine from across a deck. Guess payback’s a bitch after all.)

Two Hundred Twenty: the real recognition of another year passing

            January first kicks off the calendar year, but nothing really tells you another twelve-month chunk has lapsed like the first weekend of football season. An amazing feeling. Gives you that older/wiser sensation. Can’t believe we’ll be there in six weeks.

Two Hundred Nineteen: medicine

            I got strep throat the other week.

            Felt like garbage after a Tuesday-evening workout; hoped it’d be better by Wednesday. When it wasn’t I employed the same strategy for Thursday then did the same for Friday. When I opened my eyes Friday morning I knew the thing had worsened, so I went to the walk-in clinic at my doctor’s office. I tried to manage my irritation as my waiting-room stay grew from 25 to 45 minutes, and in just over an hour I left to resume my work responsibilities, then hit the pharmacy at day’s end. By the time I went to bed I could tell the medicine had already begun to work.

            While I cannot believe that, with all of the technology we have in the world today, a strep culture still involves the tongue depressor and the oversized cotton swab, I am grateful for the access some of us have to health care and the remedies that come with them.

Two Hundred Eighteen: iTunes

            Pretty nifty.

Two Hundred Seventeen: my father-in-law’s buddy Jeff Hall

            This dude has been working on a publication project for several years and reached out to me early on to be a part of it. If it pans out it could be a great opportunity, and for that I am grateful.

Two Hundred Seventeen: Manu Chao

            Got introduced to this artist 10 or 12 years ago and I often forget about him. Grateful when I remember his stuff and give it a listen.

Two Hundred Sixteen: World Clique

            ‘Member this Deee-Lite album? I always found it fun.

Two Hundred Fifteen: sleeping in the guest room

            Sometimes, if I need some extra sleep, or have stayed up later than my wife and want to read, or if -- like the other week -- am sick, I’ll catch my Zs down the hall. I can’t say why for sure (although I suspect it has to do with the more-comfortable temperature and the isolation from activity), but I sleep so well in there. In our room I wake up four or five times a night. In there, it’s once at most. It’s like a special treat.

Two Hundred Fourteen: a fourth gratitude associated with perspective

            One time, as a junior in high school, I stood in our neighbor Cal’s yard talking to the dad about something. I think I asked him for a favor and his response went something like, “Well, yeah. As soon as you stop driving 40 miles an hour up and down our street, I’ll be happy to do that for you.” This surprised me then and annoyed me for years after. On my list of wants the words “father figure” did not appear. I’d almost been pissed.

            He and his wife had two kids: a boy and a girl.

            A few months ago our neighbors across the street saw their eldest get his driver license. Then mom got a new car and handed down her old ride to her son. I’d seen them practicing driving a few times and he handled it just as I had at that age: slow and cautious. About a week later I caught him zipping down the block, probably in the 35-mph range. My brow furrowed and a frown formed on my face.

            Point taken, Cal. Point taken.

Two Hundred Thirteen: Microsoft Word

            I have a buddy that loathes this program and he has vocalized it numerous times, going back to some version where they changed something, or maybe a lot of things.

            I find Word difficult on occasion when I’m looking for a function I seldom use. I don’t understand certain formatting pieces, but for the most part, it’s what’s available and pretty simple. I like it just fine.

Two Hundred Twelve: Blogger

            I dove into this publishing service eight years ago and never looked back. WordPress sprung up not long after and if you asked around I’d bet most would say WordPress trumps Blogger in numerous ways. I may make the switch one day, but for now I’m thankful that Blogger was/is around and remains easy to use.

Two Hundred Eleven: Daft Punk

            I mentioned these guys when discussing DJ Hero, but I’ve got to give it up to them for being them and for putting out four solid albums. A true one of a kind.

Two Hundred Ten: Galactic

            Loved these guys the first time I heard them. Original shredders.

Two Hundred Nine: Liquid Soul

            I discovered these cats while DJing at KDUR and their sound blew me away. I overplayed many tracks from their self-titled debut and even used one of the cuts as the bed for a show promo. It’s too bad they faded away because for a minute there they’d caught fire. Grateful they made music, though.

Two Hundred Eight: Tom Watson

            My favorite golfer didn’t make the cut at The Open the other week, and that was probably the last time he’ll appear in any kind of major golf tournament that doesn’t have the word “senior” in it. I expected it to go this way, but I had hoped to spend the weekend on the couch watching Watson play, listening to the natives holler, “Toom!”

            I’ve never met Mr. Watson, but my dad always gushed over him and got to meet him a number of times. He once got his autograph (which I foolishly threw away) at the Peter Marshall Golf Classic in 1983. I’ve played the course which boasts Watson’s favorite hole (because of the view of downtown) in Kansas City, and I’ve always kept my eye on him in tournaments.

            Above all, I will always remember (with fondness) his run at Turnberry in 2009. I’ve never felt that emotional (Note: Okay. Maybe Phil Mickelson’s 2010 Masters win with his wife and mother having undergone recent cancer treatment. Maybe.) watching golf and that weekend might have been the apex of my Watson pride. I get goose bumps just thinking about all of the Scots and their “Toom!” calls.

            The feeling of rooting for a hometown guy is a great one, especially when that guy gets acknowledged by many as a great person, too. It’s been a heck of a career for Mr. Watson. I always wished that Joe Posnanski would write a book about him, and maybe I’ll buy it, even though he didn’t write it only about Watson. You’ve made Kansas City proud for over four decades. So grateful to have watched you play the way you’ve played and carry yourself the way you have.


Two Hundred Seven: Leo Kottke’s collaboration albums with Mike Gordon

            If you don’t own Clone and Sixty-Six Steps you’re doing yourself a disservice. Get them today. Wonderful music.

Two Hundred Six: the ability to close obnoxious pop-up windows while online

            Ads, ads, and more ads. You, too, Apple Software Updater. My QuickTime’s good, bro.

Two Hundred Five: Outkast

            The music industry needed a shot in the arm when these guys dropped Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

“Don’t want to make you feel strange, but,
Don’t let these words be in vain, so…”

            Thanks, guys. You reminded us all of the importance of a) dancing, b) making quality music videos, and, well, c) gettin’ busy.

Two Hundred Four: Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9)

            While it pains me to not type out the letters to spell that number word, the musicians of this outfit have brought me tremendous joy, both in the privacy of my home and car, as well as live. I had an epic experience seeing them at Wakarusa, and a pretty good time catching them at Liberty Hall (even though dozens of children fell onto me while falling over themselves while wrestling for the contents of a community bag of Molly).

            I appreciate the way these guys flat out rethunk the whole thing.


Two Hundred Three: Ween

            Talk about rethinking things.

Two Hundred Two: when Joy came out

            When Phish released their 11th studio album in the summer of 2009 it reinvigorated my life. It’s not my favorite record of theirs, but it launched what us Phishheads have come to know as 3.0, and, well, it’s been a glorious six years.

Two Hundred One: South Park clip #16: molesting priests

            There’s an even better clip than this one later in the episode, but I can’t find it. For now, enjoy this one:

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