Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Blog Share

As part of today's Blog Share, I'm hosting an anonymous poster. Some friends who are also hosting are Julia and Tracy. Thanks to R for the opportunity.

Letters to the men in my life:

Dear B,
I do not know what to say to you. I tried so hard to understand you but I never did. I still don't.

Dear __,
Why? Why? Why? That question has been my frequent companion for the past 22 years. Why did you pick me? Why did you prey on me? Could you see how vulnerable I was? Why did you rape me that night? Did you know that your choice would haunt me for the remainder of my days? Did you know it would have some effect on every future relationship I entered into? Did you know 22 years later I would still feel the emotional scars almost as freshly as I did that night because I see the physical scars every day in my mirror? Did you know how many lives your actions would change in that instant? Would knowing have made a difference? Would you have made a different choice that night? Do you ever think about what you did? Does it haunt you too? Why?

Dear D,
You told me you tried. You said you tried really hard but could not be the person I needed you to be. I needed you to be honest with me. I needed you to be my friend and not my worst enemy. Sometimes I only needed you to hold my hand and make me believe things were okay. I didn't ask you for the impossible, or at least I didn't think I did. I don't understand exactly what went wrong but it did go horribly wrong somewhere along the way. Our relationship made me overwhelmingly depressed. Now I know that the depression was a sign that my life needed to change. You wore me out emotionally. I had nothing left to give you. I had given up so much. I lost myself. I hope I didn't cause you as much pain as you caused me. I do want good things for you.

Dear G,
Thank you. You helped me heal and you probably don't know that. You probably don't understand how deeply damaged I was when we first met in a bar that night. In fact, there could not have been a more perfect man in the world than who you were when you approached me on that fateful evening. I had a flawed opinion of myself and you helped change that. The friendship that has blossomed between us is a beautiful thing. Thank you.

Dear M,
I learned a lot from you. I learned of a few new things I am unwilling to live with in a relationship. I learned how cruel one human can be to another. The most important thing I learned was that I am capable of standing up for myself. I do have a backbone. I can be the one who chooses to walk away. The fear of walking away was much worse than the actual walking was. You reminded me of that and I thank you.

Dear L,
I had never met a man who held me in such high esteem before you came into my life. But you are too serious all of the time. The timing was not right for us. That's what you told me when you ended things anyway. You hurt me when you did that but I know you were going through some things and it was best that we break it off. I'm glad we still talk occasionally. I hope you find someone deserving of your kindness, your gentleness, and your wonderful heart. You are a good, good man. When we have talked, you have said that you are comparing other women to me and have not met anyone you want to be with. Please don't. You did not think I was perfect for you when we were dating. If you did, we might still be together. I did get hurt by my relationship with you, but I'm still happy to know you are sharing this world with me. I smile when I think about you. Your ex-wife was foolish to treat you the way she did. She lost out on a good man.

Dear E,
Where did you come from? You are one of a kind, yet I wish all of the women I know could experience love with a man like you. After all of this time, I still get butterflies in the pit of my gut everytime I look at you and I look forward to many more years together. Thank you for your acceptance of me. I am flawed in many ways and you love me anyway. I feel fearless with you. I am unafraid of love for once. I wish you could get inside my head and know what it feels like for me to be with you. It feels pretty great. I think it is possible that God put all of those other creeps in my life so that I would realize a really good thing. I love you E.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Busy "B"'s

It has been a somewhat hectic week in the west side of Jamestown. To date:

  • The right pedal arm on our elliptical machine began to tear at a welding seam. Same thing happened last year with the left arm. Out of warranty with Sears and Nordictrak. No extended warranty. Nordictrak won't replace the damn thing even though there is clearly a defect. Screw you Nordictrak. Way to stand by your product.
  • I hooked up my travel plans for a conference in Albany this April. For the price of mileage reimbursement (and a boring-ass six hour drive in my own vehicle), I'll be heading there in business class on a train. So much sweeter...
  • PGirlJr. had some fun with Chinese New Year in her classroom. Both of the kids were trying to eat applesauce with chopsticks this morning.
  • In related food news, GalootJr. "delivered" baby pieces of roast beef and turkey from his sandwich at lunch time.
  • The family rejoined the YMCA (I was an employee almost 4 years ago) to work out on someone else's elliptical machines. Kids will start swimming lessons next weekend.
  • The last 50 seconds of a close Kentucky/Arkansas basketball game blacked out (looked like a glitch), only to be replaced with the start of a St. John's/Duke game. I sincerely hope this was coincidence, because the last thing a Kentucky fan wants to see is Dook instead of their own true blue. WTF CBS?

Friday, February 22, 2008

"I'm Going Where....

...there's No Depression". It was the title of a Carter Family song. Uncle Tupelo, covered that song and appropriated the title for their first album. A couple of music writers from Seattle took it a step further and used it as the name of their magazine. Sadly, after covering alternative-country, cow-punk, Americana, roots-rock and basically all the music that Nashville has the balls to not consider "country" music for 15 years, the print version of "No Depression" is ending.

I've been a fan of these musical genres since 1991 when I heard Uncle Tupelo for the first time. After the group split in 1994, I was able to follow their type of music by reading what little coverage Rolling Stone gave it through groups like The Jayhawks, Freedy Johnston and UT's spinoffs, Son Volt and Wilco. Then, in 1997, I saw a band called Whiskeytown on the cover of a magazine I'd never seen before. Soon, I was picking up issues every other month at various bookstores, eventually becoming a subscriber.

No Depression introduced me to the wonders of Neko Case, informed me that Jimmie Dale Gilmore was part of a band before going solo called The Flatlanders, gave me some background on bands in my collection, including The Texas Tornados and The Flying Burrito Brothers. If you ever wanted to know more about Drive By Truckers, Iron and Wine, Alejandro Escovedo and Little Miss Cornshucks, No Depression was the magazine for you.

I heard Alden and Blackstock, the editors, on NPR last night. Sadly, it doesn't seem that they have much interest in keeping the articles going online. They're afraid that web-reader attention spans won't last past one page. I'm afraid they'd probably be right about that assumption. But I'd still read it all....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Expected Guest

I'm proud to announce that my first guest-post has made it to the blog of my dear Little Theater crony and native Oklahoman, Tracy at Tracy Outloud.

Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane...

Monday, February 18, 2008

What weekend?

The Galoot/PGirl family fully intended to clean around the house this weekend. With only a ballet class scheduled, we were set to go Mr. Clean on our house's ass. What a difference two days will make. Not only did we only manage to do laundry and keep the kitchen and living room straight, we also escaped the property for several hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Not that Friday wasn't cool. After drinks at Mojo's and the Wine Cellar and a vegetable pizza at SubZone, PGirl accompanied me to the cinema to see "Definitely, Maybe", which was far better than I had anticipated. We saw a funny trailer for a Tina Fey movie too...

After PGirl Jr's ballet class on Saturday, we hiked out to Erie, PA (about 40 miles away) to hit the east side Value City. Seems that the ballet's fundraising dinner in March is a black tie affair (I'm a recent board member and will emcee a post-meal auction). So, I figured I'd pick up a tux for a good price. Little did we know that Value Citys all over are closing shop and selling everything. We wound up getting a tux, a suit, two dresses (one each for our ladies), shoes for PGirl, two ties, a tux shirt, a toy each for the kids and a bunch of other shit you wind up buying when a store is closing. Seriously. I bought four bottles of Cumin. Yup. Cumin.

We skipped mass yesterday (PGirl didn't have Sunday school), lounged a bit around the house, then headed over to a friend's house for chili, adult conversation and a mess of kids. Joining PGirlJr. and GalootJr. were a 5 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, a 3 year old boy, a 2 year old girl and a nearly year old boy. The kids went wild in a good way. No one seemed to get hurt and the girls and boys didn't fight. It was fun seeing the childless adults who might be closer to having kids watch the proceedings with a mixture of humor and terror. Fun was had by all. And my kids (at 9:30 a.m. as I type this) are still in bed after a hard day of play.

Friday, February 15, 2008


While watching "Lost" last night, I caught a promo for ABC's teleplay of "Raisin In The Sun". I love this play. I dug reading it in high school. I dug watching the Sidney Poitier/Ruby Dee starring film of it. I dug reading it with alternative education kids as a long term sub and watching the same movie with them 18 years after my first experience. I even dug the "Strangers With Candy" episode where all the speaking roles are filled with white kids while the black kids are all cast as trees in the background.

What I can't dig is a major bit of casting for this latest version. Sean Combs in the lead. This is a travesty in my opinion. I realize that the recent Broadway cast was transferred over to the new version and he was part of it, but I didn't like his casting then and I don't now. I haven't seen the show with Combs. My problem then and now is there are loads of actors struggling to make it that could have done wonders with the part. For the television version, why not Terrence Howard or Mekhi Pfifer? You know, actors? Combs tarnishes everything he touches. Even the commercial mentioned him as an executive producer. Why not a mention of Lorraine Hansbury?

This casting is the latest in irksome choices on the parts of broadcasters who choose gimmicks over substance. The recent "Grease" competition show and MTV's "Made" are guilty here. Both provide funding for coaches and instructors to elevate the participants to new heights, which is a smack in the face to people who take the long road, training hard for their craft. Disgusting.

The only good I could imagine coming of this is a new generation of kids will be able to experience the play for the first time. I can live with that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


As a public radio fan, I try to catch as much programming as my work and family will allow. Mostly this entails listening to "Morning Edition" in the shower or "All Things Considered" during the last hour of work. On the weekends I try to listen to "Car Talk", "Wait, Wait" and "This American Life" on Buffalo's NPR hub, WBFO. "Fresh Air" and "On The Media" are also on my radar.

All of these programs are produced at different affiliates and syndicated around the country, leaving local stations to schedule them as they wish. Since these syndicated programs only fill up to 12 hours a day sometimes, the locals have to subsidize this with their own shows. This is where I usually tune out. WBFO fills up most of its own slots with jazz music, which I'm okay with. It is usually a good selection with minimal DJ commentary. On the weekends, the station fills in with blues shows which I'm not crazy about. Most of the artists seem to be middle aged guys who make bland, can't tell them apart type of blues music. South Florida was loaded with these acts. Wasn't crazy about them then, and certainly not now. (Though the Dillengers from Palm Beach County were pretty damn fun. And they played original tunes from time to time.)

What bugs me about WBFO (and the local NPR affiliates in South Florida) was that these stations were run from colleges and universities but seemed to offer little if no programming input from the students. I realize that most subscribers who keep these stations afloat probably don't listen to the Pixies or Spoon, but I'd imagine that there are some interns at these stations that have something to offer. I was spoiled in Columbia, Missouri by a local affiliate that played jazz, blues, alt-country, college and classical.

WBFO gets to me when they pre-empt "Fresh Air" with their "Meet The Author" series, a show modeled after...."Fresh Air". I don't mind that they produce the show. I mind that they get you used to a program at a certain time and then give you something else. It is shrewd marketing, but it nags the shit out of me. Turns me off immediately. WBFO's listener commentaries find me tuning out as well. The authors of these seem to be trying to nail down the way NPR commentators talk as opposted to, you know, writing pieces with substance. Gag me with a Baxter Black clone.

Lately, WBFO has turned a new leaf. They're offering "Buffalo Avenues" on Friday nights at 8pm. The show captures live performances and interviews with alternative and rap groups from the region. No pretense. No bullshit. It is what it is. And I like it. They've also begun airing a second stream of music on HD radio and online. It seems to be modeled after XPN in Philadelphia (home of "World Cafe") and even borrows live performances from that station.

In another note, they've begun playing "This American Life" four times over Saturday and Sunday. Not a bad start, though they shouldn't brag too much about being the only station in the country to play the program this much. "TAL" has over 10 years of episodes to play, but WBFO has chosen to repeat the same episoded over consecutive weekends. I known they're trying to hit as many listeners as they can, but they should know that a show this popular will have fans that will listen to four different episodes in a weekend.

I'll give them a thumb up for trying new things, and maybe even a hand in pulling their head out of their keister a little further...

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Future of Tomorrow

I must be an internet addict because I continue to be astounded by how people new to the technology handle it.

An internet hoax made it to Jamestown's local music forum yesterday. Turns out when a volunteer fireman (disguised as a policeman in an unmarked car) turns on the light on top of his Honda Civic to pull you over and rape you, a quick call to #77 won't necessarily put you in touch with a police dispatcher.

Here's another tip. If you do join discussions on these amazing things called "forums", someone might not necessarily share your opinion on the matter at hand. A local real-life soap opera is sputtering along here in Lucy's hometown. When I tried to chime in, my ass was handed to me.
I used my real name on this one. And if you don't know it already, you can find another man who borrowed it famously right here.

Knowing the internet doesn't exempt you from wasting yours and other people's time with it. Loads of people seem to upload the same video clip to YouTube ad-nauseum. A simple Google check would tell you that many folks have already discovered a clip and have shared it with the world. Some young filmmakers have even recut films with edits they feel were better than the original.

I'm not above this either. I recently discovered live chats in Scrabulous and Gmail. Who knew?

Some pioneers of this genre (pre-interweb) are my Aunt Janet who told me a Carol Channing story once removed from the source. And my 8th grade music teacher who once told me an encounter her friend had with Eddie Murphy.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Damn It All!

A head cold has been disrupting my sleep as well as these items:

  • A large standard poodle named Asa who lives with us, has recently discovered the joys of toilet water and kept nosing PGirl and myself a few nights ago.
  • A free credit report commercial whose jingle will not go away.

Something that has gotten into my head that I don't mind is a clip from "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show - Great Job!" on Adult Swim. If you view these videos, I cannot be blamed for their effects.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Day 7: We're Close To Heaven

Well, we made it. PGirl just opened the garage door and will soon be with us again. This morning started out with a blessing: at 5:40 a.m. I got an automated phone call from the school superintendant informing me of a snow day. Yeah, I had a lot to do at work, but it wasn't anything that couldn't be rescheduled. My 4 day work week turned into a two day work week and I couldn't have had a better time with my kids....

Day 6: Pick Up Sticks

Today was a wash at work. I managed to tackle almost none of what I'd hoped to as other work issues arose. Took the kiddoes to the Golden Arches for dinner and managed to finish the February newsletter while they played in Playland. We hit the hay early and woke up to....

Day 5: We're Still Alive

The boy was sick today, so I stayed home with him. Poor guy was snotty, stuffed up and coughing like mad. He slept for most of the morning and we had some homemade chicken soup for lunch. I managed to get some housework and work-work accomplished too.