Saturday, December 26, 2020

I Need to Break Up with Reaction Videos but My Codependency Keeps Dragging Me Back In


            I’ve attended the Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual gala a handful of times across the last seven years, and on one particular occasion, the then-president of my employer’s local facility took my (babysitter-related) exit to make one of his own. Although my short-lived presence at the function had an aura of gratitude about it, I couldn’t help but feel weird leaving, having interacted with a number of folks I know well, but with whom I had never done business. Investing two decades in an industry to then transition to work for an entity that services that very industry served as a beacon of false hope in that said transition had come with a murky sense of confidence that bordered on arrogance.

            In the one-story elevator ride, I expressed this sentiment to the then president, who said, “Let’s schedule a day together to go after some of those white whales.” Months later, when we made that happen, we visited outside of an establishment prior to entering and he informed me of his awareness that my documentation practices did not match protocol, that their completion should be happening in an individual, time-relevant fashion as opposed to tackling them in bulk. My surprise probably sounded like a flustered excuse machine, to which he responded, “Good habits never form until you start them.”

            That phrase -- rooted in benevolence, I believe -- zapped me in the moment and became something I carry with me today. To be clear, I haven’t actually changed anything about myself; it was just like an, Oh, yeah…good lookin’ out. And that’s a tough spot, maybe one of our biggest challenges as human beings: to adjust, to change, to absorb something about the world and fold it in to your own existence.

            Developing new bad habits, though? Or recognizing the continuation of old ones and doing nothing about them? Or worse: a marriage of the two? Seems like we’re pretty good at those. Or at least I am. And my latest doozy is one of those that jars the noggin with beaming clarity like the clock tower did to Doc Brown: YouTube reaction videos. Or as my internal mutterings call the concept: watching people watch shit you’ve already seen.

            It’s. Bananas.

            Like a Costa Rican grove.

            It’s every bit of a, What…am I doing…with my life? It’s a time-suck and a barrel full of bad decisions in terms of consequences, which I imagine most time-sucks to be, but it’s crazy: the providers find their content monetized and the viewers experience…well, joy, if you’re doing it right, I guess. I dunno.

            I’ve seen all the top bits of my three favorite comics more times than I’ll ever admit and the Tube is -- as we know -- the rabbityest of holes; the hours I’ve murdered watching tons of other stuff are incalculable.

            Like music videos.

            We’re talking dozens of songs I’ve listened to many times over the years. And now I’m watching total strangers watch the music-video version of those songs for -- often -- the first time. And all of this is going down in the most crucial portion of the 24-hour cycle: when I should be resting. It’s crazy-making to ponder all of the shuteye I’ve sacrificed to watch this stuff.

            I won’t say that I’ve spent a ton of time in any particular lane, but I do have my go-to channels and songs, and sometimes there’s crossover underneath those two umbrellas; sometimes you just go where the hole leads you. So, I haven’t spent a lot of time watching grunge-music reaction videos, and I haven’t necessarily watched a lot of content that was spawned from MTV Unplugged, but there are particular videos from that show that seem like lots of reaction folks react to, and the Alice in Chains performance gets a fat dose of run in this community. I have found myself mentally embedded in “Nutshell” from that evening for a good bit now. And it never gets old. Ever. It is motherfucking gospel at this point.

            I don’t want to review the performance, per se, but it borders on breathtaking. All four minutes, six seconds of it. It is crisp. It is beautiful. It is hollowing.

            I’d love to spend a few lines talking about how grounded and amazing Jerry Cantrell is in it, but I won’t. And I’d love to talk about Layne Staley, but I don’t think -- at this very moment -- that I can.

            Alice in Chains, specifically, was pretty huge, but I never memorized their discography. I mean, Singles soundtrack? Sure. Facelift? Of course. Dirt? You know it. After that, I checked out, though. Not on purpose. It just sorta happened that way. Then came Jar of Flies and Sap. Or rather, those two E.P.s landed in my lap a little later, I think. Anyway, by the time I got to know those two records, I’d all but decided they’d been written and produced for me.

            It was as if they’d said, Oh, we’re a little too heavy for you at times? How ‘bout this shit then

            Such great records. Staples, even. For every collection.

            That Unplugged performance, though…

            Like, who was going to top Neil Young and Bob Dylan and Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots?

            Alice in Chains. That’s who.

            So, “Nutshell.” And more specifically, the Unplugged “Nutshell.”

            It’s the show opener and the stage-taking fashion is just bonkers.

            Cantrell, of course, is already out there…the anchor…

            The bassist joins him and brings this crisp, velvety, alien-acoustic tone on a gorgeous instrument with a burnt, hand-written message on it. Two more members join then Staley takes the stage and just walks right in to the song’s first lyric. In a world of tarnished and rote language, it is sincerely epic. The whole thing. A genuine masterpiece.

“We…chase misprinted lies,”

Pretty tough to open a track in a more intense fashion than they already did musically in this performance, but what an introductory line. Whew. I don’t even know where to start with those four words as a unit. If you split them down the middle and start with the first half, the subject and verb need no explanation. It’s that second half, though: misprinted lies. I can’t decide if it’s as basic as it was maybe meant to seem or if there’s a double-negative involved. I mean, basic would mean like, the newspapers, right? That the vein of conspiracy circulated enough to be relevant even as far back as 1993? Or was the vehicle meant to include magazines, too? Possibly even books? That all the written word we consume is bullshit?

One notch deeper and you wonder if the content producers -- the authors -- are giving truths to the printers and the printers are misrepresenting the writers. Even one click further than that, though, is that the artists produce fake shit. Lies. And then those lies get misprinted? So by the time it reaches the consumer they’re already two wrinkles of deception in? Never imagined a pair of words could present such confusion. If you’re dumb like me though, and keeping shit dumbed down makes the sea more navigable, then we’re all just a pack of dumb Americans. Right? I mean, here we are, chasing misprinted lies, i.e. that good ol’ American dream.

I can’t really envision a scenario in which you enter a story and find the subject so royally fucked that soon outta the gate. I mean, this song is basically a 14-line poem, and one line in we’re maybe being shown that we’re living in some version of The Matrix. Pretty tough to recover from that and with the mood set visually and sonically the way they are in this performance, things look and feel pretty bleak. And super, super sad if you have any back-story inkling.

My daughter climbed in to bed with me the other morning and -- as has been the case for weeks now -- this song was already in my head. She said something that had an element of emotional charge to it and I reached for my phone. She laid there with me and watched, not uttering a word until Staley wailed the all-vocal refrain a second time.

“Dad,” she said.

“Yeah, honey?”

“Is his hair wet?”

“We…face the path of time.”

Fuck, man. Just…fuck. So goddamned heavy. So goddamned poignant. So goddamned direct. And wild. And unfortunate.

It’s really difficult to think about Layne Staley and not think about Chris Cornell, whose also-tragic ending brought the heavy, and it’s really wild to think that -- even with money and fame -- these guys struggled (and perished) before the Internet changed the freaking world. I don’t know if the way that the Internet changed the world has made things harder or weirder or if it just feels that way now in Pandemicland, but there are obviously folks who have flourished in both eras while maintaining decent-or-better mental health. It’s just…man.

“And yet I fight,

And yet I fight,

This battle all alone,”

Watching these “Nutshell” Unplugged reaction videos offers some mysterious kind of numbing in knowing that almost every single content producer relates -- in some fashion or other -- to that three-line run. The battle can, of course, take many shapes; it can present itself, once, often, or repeatedly. It can be synonymous with life. Like Louis C.K. says in his bit about kids eating French fries and asking, “Why?”: “’Cause fuck it, man! We’re alone in the world! Nobody gives a shit!”

And in that battle line, I imagine double-entendre. Yes, the literal interpretation jumps, but it doesn’t only jump; it also barks and bites. There’s also the broader perspective, though, that the song’s title is addressing human existence, how individual it is, how cold and how lonely.

“No one to cry to,

No place to call home.”

I don’t know if that’s nihilism or what one might call it. Desolate, I guess. And probably accurate for a good lot of people. I imagine that sadness -- being one of the most intense feelings -- often gets addressed with self-soothing and self-soothing alone, and that the frequency with which one might feel left out or without a special, specific, carved-out place for them in the world could lend to a feeling of figurative homelessness. And when the canvas of the world is often painted with the imagery of community, it just might feel impossible to imagine being a part of a community when self-soothing in the cold, dark world remains your only accessible remedy.

“My…gift of self is raped,”

It’s tough to think of a better example than the word rape when pondering the way an actual word makes you feel when you see it written or hear it spoken. This one’s possibly an anomaly. Hearing that word is icky and chilling; seeing it written might wield an even greater power. It’s tough to consider the word and its meaning and not think of only violation on a human-to-human level, but -- unfortunately -- its got greater reach than even that, and I think that collectively the message is that a person, place, or thing -- having experienced that -- is forever changed. The fields, your body, or even…your gift of self.

I mean, what. The. Fuck. That’s crazy.

Your gift of self? Wow.

Imagine living most of your life never even acknowledging that you in your uniqueness and existence are a gift, that you -- by virtue of existence -- have value. Your self. Not your personality or your talents or your love. The part of you that -- as puts it under the philosophy subheading of the word’s definition -- “knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc….the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.” Now imagine having had awareness of your you and its value, and a person or a thing altered your you and your value, leaving you alone to rebuild yourself, re-appraise yourself, and view the world anew as the modified you.

The implication is that life, of course, is a gift, and that as part of life, there’s a sense of self inside everyone and we’re all moving about on this planet attempting to attach meaning to our own person and all of the other things in the world, and in doing so seeking connections between the two entities. Your gift of self, though, wound up violated and forever changed. Your whole became fragmented, and only at times feels sealable or that the seal in place will hold.

“My…privacy is raked.”

I suspect it to be common knowledge that us ordinary folks will never understand the concept of privacy on a level similar to those with fame. It’s just not feasible. We do, however, have a rudimentary understanding of what private means, or at least what we think it’s supposed to mean, especially now, in the age of Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (Note: I can’t believe that’s what the acronym stands for. Why have I assumed all along that the ‘P’ was for privacy?).

Safe, secure, and private, though. That’s what companies and entities are supposed to be diligent at and responsible for, right? And let’s not skip over our rights as citizens, either. We’re supposed to be allowed the freedom of privacy in our lives while following some semblance of public responsibility, I think. And if that freedom is jostled or exposed or collected from it really limits our ability to assign that meaning and make those connections, does it not? Pardon the rhetorical shit in here. It’s just quite the picture. I’ve been wanting to write about this song for days and days but the song itself keeps getting in the way. Beyond capitalism and citizenship, though, is -- I think -- the natural, organic notion of the want and wish for varying levels of privacy that cognition has encouraged us to expect and to cherish.

“And yet I find,

And yet I find,

Repeating in my head,

If I can’t be my own,

I’d feel better dead.”

Jesus, man. And that vocal refrain again, delivered -- just like the first time -- with seemingly no effort, next to no mouth movement. It’s all -- the whole thing -- the most frightful combination of comforting and haunting I think I’ve ever experienced.

And nothing about this whole endeavor could bring it home in any other fashion than Cantrell taking back the reins and delivering the briefest, most-perfect of gorgeous solos just before closing the chapter.

Truly phenomenal musicianship all the way around.

The reaction videos -- be they comedy or music or my 47th go with “Nutshell” -- are nothing but a double-edged sword in the lonely battle, though. The producers seldom meet my ridiculously placed expectation in terms of the whole thing cutting deep, but I think I hold out for the hope that they will. And I burrow further and further looking to have that thing met and yet I find that in doing so I get further away from doing what’s right and good for me: recharging for a better tomorrow.

I hope it’s a phase. I think it’s a phase. May be a little seasonal affect with a touch of holiday/winter blues. I dunno. It’s a wild world out there, though, and until I can shake it, this thing keeps repeating in my head.

Hopefully these words will help put it to bed.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

"I Was" (not really) "Savin' That Bacon"

            The only 10-speed bicycle I ever owned advertised its make and model -- the Cherokee Cherokee -- on both bars. I never considered myself a snob or an ungrateful human, but when I look back on a number of key childhood moments, it’s impossible not to disappoint my now-adult, father-of-two self. When I see either of my kids act snooty or exhibit a version of themselves that flirts with thanklessness, a flash of rage fills me, and I want to dunk their domes in a sanitary toilet bowl; a sterile swirly they wouldn’t soon forget.

            I think it was a Sears special, that roadster, and I’m pretty certain my mom gifted it to me for my 13th birthday. I’ve owned three bikes that I can recall, the third of which I bought myself off of a guy from Wisconsin named Salmon. It’s a Giant Iguana and I bought it for three reasons: a) he was selling it and I needed a bike and somehow came up with the $125 in 1994; b) I thought that Giant was an established, reputable, bordering-on-badassery brand; and c) The Salty Iguanas were the (in my mind) hippest ‘90s Lawrence, KS band that broke my live-music-seeing cherry, if you will. A year or so later I had Shimano components and a front-fork shock added to it with the assist of my buddy, Mike. I rode it some, but it has mostly sat or hung wherever I have lived. (Note: In editing, I’m reminded of a fourth, the one I learned on. I can’t really picture it, but I’ve got this The Wonder Years intro blob of a memory of practicing with both my dad and my stepdad. Fuck. Divorce is such a bitch.) (Additional note: Fuck. Now I’m remembering a fifth bike. Or at least a fourth. I’m recalling a blue bike and a black bike that came before my 10-speed, but I can’t remember if the blue bike’s the one I learned on. I’m pretty sure it is. We’re sticking with four. <director’s voice> Alright! Back to work, people!)

            It’s the bike I own and ride now and it still looks cool with its nerdy, front lamp and vintage stickers. The rear wheel got bent years ago, and that shock has oozed grease for longer than I care to admit, but it’s my bike and it’s what I use when I go riding with the kids. I’m still proud of it and I still like riding it. I’m also too stubborn to replace it as it doesn’t seem as though it’d be a wise spend at all.

            My mom surprised me with the Cherokee Cherokee, though, that day, as she opened the garage door to her shake-shingle Prairie Village house. And I was somewhat surprised and grateful to receive it, but my eyes cast judgment upon it at first glance, which I probably hated about myself then, but certainly do now and have in hindsight. It was red, fully functional, and got me out of dirt-bike mode, which had been embarrassing in our new neighborhood with every kid having transitioned to 10-speed land.

            I mean, my buddy Mike hastened to diss it.

            “The Cherokee Cherokee,” he said with volume and feigned gruffness. “And I thought the Roadmaster Scorcher” was bad. Mike’s parents had gotten him something a notch above the Cherokee, but each bike was a tough swallow as Nate zipped around on his Bianchi. He’d also had a different 10-speed and a badass dirt bike (a Mongoose, probably) with the pegs. And he still had them all. His parents not only gave him the goods, but they also let him have options.

            Anyway…yeah, I rode that thing wherever a kid would ride his bike. To friends’ houses, the park, the pool, down the street to the Village Shopping Center then back up that brutal, undying hill.

            I also used it to get places, though. And by “get places,” I mean errands. And by “errands” I mean to Peaches and Sound Warehouse at 75th & Metcalf or to Musicland or Sam Goody at Ward Parkway Mall. Once or twice to Xanadu for a poster or a tie-dye, but mostly to buy cassette tapes. Once old enough to drive, I had to save up to buy my car and I had to put gas in it and insure it and buy some of my clothes and pay some of my school fees (not to mention eating-out spends or reloading on alcohol and tobacco (when the time came)), but I always -- were it the bike era or the age of the vehicle -- managed to have some leftover for tapes.

            And I would probably whine like an ungrateful brat on the ride there, cursing traffic and inclines, possibly the weather. Not the ride home, though. That shit was always dope. I’d have that plastic bag swinging from the handlebars -- some days fuller than others -- carrying the cargo of precious, new cassettes in that form-fitting plastic with the adhesive to seal it at the tabs. The ride home was blissful, the taste of victory in my mouth, the crack of the cassette hinge’s first opening in my ear, the smell of fresh liner notes in my nose.

            And that’s where my money went in middle school and high school and college and a little bit after, too. It’s weird reflecting upon those memories and all of those dollars invested in sitting at a desk focused on active listening to and reading about the product you just purchased. And each thing took up space. You had to have them arranged and organized and stored, as opposed to now with just…household WiFi, a streaming subscription, and a device on which you can also watch shit on and from which you could send messages.

            Anyway…money’s been a weird thing for me all of my life, I guess. I mean, growing up in the ‘80s probably didn’t help much -- and probably everyone thinks this about the generation of their childhood, but -- I always looked like such a dork. My clothes, my haircuts, my sometimes-janky knockoff gifts/possessions. Now, being an adult with some level of awareness and wisdom, I can look around and say, I recognize that I’m a dork and I’m kind of okay with it. It just feels weird to look back at pictures and sit with your memories that all kind of point to being put in a dork’s costume as a young person.

            Another thing that’s probably true for parents -- I mean, we’ve got novels full of the When I was your age variety -- is that they think, believe, and feel that their kids have it better than they did. I’m no exception, hence the ragey toilet thing. And it feels totally justified and completely reality-checkish to think that very thing right now. With my kids.

            I dunno. They have it decent, I guess. No, better than decent.

            What they don’t know, though, is that things have gotten pretty complicated of late.

            I mean, just a handful of months ago, I took them to a Coinstar machine, and with our loot we bought Legos. Literally on a cold and rainy day, and as a gesture of kindness and gratitude for how good they were through the whirlwind of unexpected homeschool and quarantine.

            And today, I used the last remaining piece and-a-half of bacon and folded it into their scrambled eggs, which I served with Monterey Jack, hash browns, grapes, and banana bread that my daughter and I made Sunday night.

            I cooked the last six ounces of bacon last night for bacon cheeseburgers for dinner, essentially 86ing me on bacon. Today, after I dropped them off at their mom’s, I took the latest ration of coins to a Coinstar and cashed them in. One hundred twenty-nine dollars it yielded me. One hundred fifteen after they took their cut.

            I’d made them think that this was a thing we could just do all the time, though, and now -- having faced Internet and electricity cutoffs this week (along with paying a plumber and an exterminator) -- I was deviating from the idea and using these funds for trips to the hardware and grocery stores. And I couldn’t get away from the vanishing images of those lone strips of smoked pork belly.

            I never run out of bacon.

            I mean, I live and shop by backups. It’s the chef in me. And bacon should of course be viewed as a luxury item. No one’s going to go hungry because they don’t have bacon in the home. No one’s quality of life is going to dip ‘cause Daddy had to “make the breakfast with no hog.”

            That shit is bananas expensive, though, and I’m picky about my bacon. I insist on center-cut (thick for speshes occazeseges) and my go-to option for some time now has been the Hormel Black Label stuff, which rings in at like $8.39/pound. Think about it when you buy bacon. If you’re off-the-rack shopping at your local grocer, those packages are usually 12 ounces, so that price you’re seeing isn’t by-the-pound; it’s higher, Jack. And my par is a pack and change.

            Now, when I would pedal the Cherokee down the street to the Village Shopping Center there tended to be one of only a few destinations. Perhaps Nill Bros. Sporting Goods. Maybe the Jones Store Co. Possibly Bruce Smith Drug. In all honesty, though, it was mostly Wendy’s and the video store. I don’t remember what it was called, but you could -- with the appropriate membership card -- rent anything. And I went all in -- I mean all in -- on horror movies. All of the Nightmare on Elm Streets, all of the Friday the 13ths, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, you name it.

            I had a phase. I was intrigued by gore. And hey -- no shortage of boobs in those flicks, either. Am I right? I think I overdid it, though. I mean, I can’t watch scary movies now. Like, at all. They just give me an intolerable level of anxiety, and as I near the downward slide toward 50 years of age, I just don’t have room for that on my plate anymore.

            One movie that I really enjoy, however, is I, Legend.

            And that’s not even accurate. I don’t really enjoy it. I like it. It’s a good story. I’ve seen it a couple of times, so I know the parts that’re gonna make me jump. I just like it. In fact, I’ve considered asking my daughter if she’s interested in watching it with me. I don’t wanna give her nightmares or anything, but I’ve considered it as an example for introducing her to the genre.

            If you haven’t seen it, it’s a pretty wild tale about disease cure gone wrong. Will Smith plays the main dude and late in the gig he gets rescued by a woman and a small boy. They take him back to his place and in the morning -- while he’s still struggling to recover from his physically rough outing -- the woman prepares some breakfast. When he wakes she tells him how wildly lucky she was to uncover a ration of the morning meal’s favorite swine product. And he gets pissed.

            “I was savin’ that bacon,” he says.

            I couldn’t get away from that line last night, and it haunted me again this morning.

            I was savin’ that bacon, I said to myself as I discarded the rinsed, empty packaging. To be fair, I wasn’t, but I literally refrained from putting bacon in my cart this week at the store because I knew I wouldn’t have enough for it at the checkout line. I heard it run through my head again this morning as I crumbled those Tupperware’d pieces into our eggs.

            I’ve taken to lowering my par-replenishment numbers when shopping. I’ve re-introduced Ramen into my life for the first time since college. I cut cable and the newspaper months ago, and refinanced my student loans for a lower monthly payment until last week when I turned off auto-pay and e-mailed them the line, “I can’t make these payments anymore.”

            Yet none of it seems to be shifting me in a significant-enough direction that suggests that my kids and I can continue to live in this house. It’s sad and it’s frustrating and depressing and overwhelming and frightening. It’s also numbing and paralyzing to stand in the middle of it all as things appear to be collapsing, and to counter it all I want to do little more than nap.

            This has been a pretty perfect house in a pretty perfect neighborhood on a pretty perfect block. As I once wrote on another blog post in another lifetime, this is my 25th home.

            I thought it’d be my last.

            It’s tough now, though, to think.

            I mean, period.

            It’s literally tough to think when you suddenly feel like you -- having been a person that has moved for a lot of different reasons -- now have a new one. And that new reason is hopelessly associated with the feeling of inadequate parenting and provision. I mean, it’s literally -- on occasion -- suffocating.

            Sometimes the clouds part, though, and clear thought broadcasts its blue, and I can’t help but think about -- had I grown up with money -- whether or not my spending habits as a young person framed who I became. I have impulses and buy shit because I want it. Seldom do I save. I mean, I parcel aside, but I don’t demonstrate reserve, per se.

            I dunno. I’m trying to figure it all out. Now and always, I think.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Water

At one point during the hot minute that Dane Cook was on top of the comedy world, he had a bit about knowing a cry was en route. I think today has been one of those moments, but right now it’s acting like that sneeze that just won’t come already.

            It’s the first heavy, summerish day of 2020 in Kansas City. I’m in my home that I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to stay in, the lingering threats of COVID-19 are looped around the ears of the face-masked, and American unrest rises by the hour with every heinous act committed by police officers and the stubborn, unchanging minds of so many who just can’t seem to shift their thinking by two millimeters.

            I’m about halfway through A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs, and via a shot in the dark, I’d say this is my 50th listen. This record serves as a kind of medicinal antithesis, and what a dose might do for an ailment seems to be the opposite with depression; your brain magnetizes to things that seem to only pull you in a step further.

            I’ve taken two naps today (one of which was in the same room my kids were watching something), and worried continuously across the week that my air-conditioning unit will vanish like a dying Jedi at any moment. From my dining-room-window view, an Amazon van slows but doesn’t stop.

            The shit is thick and so I turn to one of my only forms of healthy therapy and start the mower.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Dream Fiction no. 7: Raccoons & Fishermen

Had I done a better job, had I had the wherewithal at age 30, I would’ve better documented the Ireland trip, and in hindsight, some key experiences cry out from memory lane, lamenting the faintness of their existence in my mind. Fiddle-playing John Madden from Killarney will always burn the brightest, but the Portuguese fishermen in Dingle remain a close second.

            There’d been the aged what-the-crick bartender who held a fleeting residence in the romantic corner of my mind, and of course my girlfriend at the time, whom I’d eventually marry (and eventually divorce). I’ve never been able to take my mind off of those fishermen, though. Their fervid drinking, wind-chapped faces, and hands that resembled those of Oswald Cobblepot. That I thought for a moment that I could converse with them proved somewhat correct; I knew Spanish, but had never heard Portuguese. Hell, it had probably never even occurred to me that other versions (beyond Castilian) existed.

            This young brunette, Rachel, and her son, me and my kids along with Emily and Jaden, Tiffany and a friend of hers, and Customer Service Manager Mickie Hammer, all of us…holed up in my old room, along with my mom, and a few others…the lot of us crammed into a somewhat-dilapidated version of my mom’s old house. There were wind gaps and leaks, snow on the ground outside, a possum that’d repeatedly gotten in, and then there was the Ben Katz crew at 5:00 in the morning with their dog that bites a lot…the angry fashion in which I’d asked them to leave shortly after their arrival.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Album-Cover-a-Day Runners Up


             You’ve seen the album-cover-a-day challenge on Facebook. Maybe you’ve enjoyed them. Perhaps they annoyed you. You might’ve even participated.

            The rules are that you do it for 10 days and you can’t say anything about the records that the album art represents. No reviews, no nothing.

            A bit of the way into mine, my sister commented that she imagined it might be hard for me to only pick 10, to not review any of them. And she couldn’t’ve been righter. So much so that I’d already been concocting a list of the albums that -- for one reason or another -- didn’t make it in to my top 10.

            No one said you couldn’t make that list and review those albums. So that’s what this post is.