Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"I'm not a workaholic. I'm a work slut."

Saw Henry Rollins last Friday night downtown. Goddamn...what an awesome show. Tickets were $35, the doors opened at 7, and he was scheduled to hit the stage at 8. At 8:02, he steps out on stage, grabs the mic, and off we go. As if to punctuate the act, he immediately vows that he does not want to waste one nanosecond of our time. Just like that, he puts overblown celebrities to shame who force their fans to shell out $100+ per show, then only deign to show up as they like, often an hour or more late. Fuck 'em all. Rollins is the real deal.

The man remains a coiled mass of caffeine, testosterone, wit and intelligence. Even at 51, he is a sight to behold; despite wearing the most workmanlike of clothes, he white-knuckles the microphone and doesn't let go for the next two and a half hours. He rocks back and forth in an athletic stance as if to prepare himself for an unknown onslaught. Sweat starts to drip consistently from his bared elbow only five minutes in. And the show really is just him and a microphone. No table. No chair. No water bottle. No life-soothing accoutrements, no creature comforts, nothing.

When Rollins talks, you best be paying attention. He starts the show talking at a frenetic pace, fueled by adrenaline and coffee (I'd imagine), and barely stops for a breath. I don't think I heard him say "um" once the entire time. And this includes a stunning verbatim recital of a speech a young Abraham Lincoln gave back in the early 1830s. He didn't even pause in the slightest during said speech when someone in the front row accidentally shattered their drink glass.

And you know he's gonna spill some amazing shit. The title of the tour is "Capitalism," since it hits every US capital between now and election night, where he ends in DC; obviously, he went to town on Republicans of all sorts. He described Ann Romney's RNC speech as being given by someone who was trying to squeeze watermelons through her tear ducts. He brought up reading Dubya's autobiography ("I read it for you," as if he were Jesus dying for our sins), as well as Cheney's; apparently Cheney has led a fascinating life, but is the most unimaginative guy alive, so sez Hank. And he feels badly for Republicans - he truly believes that no one would vote for Romney with any semblance of enthusiasm, he's such a weak candidate. They're all voting against Obama, and Romney just happens to be the guy to vote for. (He admitted that we had a moment in our not so distant past where Democrats had a similar scenario...remember that snoozefest Kerry?)

But the political stuff dies down soon enough, and we get treated to the fun stuff we really came for, what really makes Rollins the phenomenon he is: hyperbolic stories about his wild life. He brings up his life back in DC, hanging with Ian MacKaye and growing up around punk. As a long-time Minor Threat fan, I was hanging on every word Hank said about seeing some of their first shows...in their own living room. He also told stories about his excitement seeing Led Zeppelin for the first time ("He's taking out the bow! Just like on 'The Song Remains The Same!'"), but what really got me was his story of seeing the Ramones. Smashed, along with 800 other kids, into a Great White-like venue meant to hold maybe 500, he found himself withering in the anoxic, stifling environment, standing this close to Dee Dee Ramone, trying to lap up every drop of sweat that came off Dee Dee's nose to keep from dehydrating.

He also brings up his recent travels. Documentary work for National Geographic took him to India, where he was videoed drinking cow's urine, which apparently is considered by some to be a panacea. He also travelled to south Kentucky to witness a charismatic church service, poisonous snakes and all. Then he went to Haiti, where he befriended a whole shantytown by bringing them - by request - tons of soap and soccer balls. Needless to say, the guy leads one insanely fascinating life.

Oh yeah...the title quote? That's his MO. He will take any work, anywhere he can get it. He's slung ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. He's destroyed hundreds of rats (by order of his bosses) at NIH when they all got a tremendously contagious, fatal disease. Don't need to say anything about his musical career or spoken-word tours. He's starred in a number of B-grade movies. He's hosted his own talk show. He still runs a weekly radio show. He maintains a blog. He's a prolific writer. And probably a dozen (at least) other jobs/occupations I can't remember off the top. A work slut, indeed.

If you are lucky enough to live in or near a state capital, do yourself a favor. Get a ticket. It'll be the best show you see all year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Like a hug from baby Jesus.

Over at dinner at the parents' place tonight. Fairly low-key affair, me and the missus (oops...that should be me and Mr. Man), also low-key celebrating my aunt's 70th birthday about 3 weeks early, 'cause that's how she rolls. Flew into town today, driving to Santa Fe with Mom for the week...sounds fun.

After dinner, I walked outside quickly, and saw a "MITT" bumper sticker on my dad's car. As bumper stickers go, it was classy...traditional masculine font, three silver stars against a navy background. The "MITT" didn't surprise me in the slightest; the bumper sticker did, simply because the parents are VERY country club conservative, and bumper stickers are simply not done. And I reacted the same way my sister did when I unwittingly told her that her eldest shares the exact same name as Bill & Hillary's daughter: I suddenly felt profoundly sick.

Fortunately, we had no political discussions tonight; if we did, they would have ended immediately with me declaring that no self-respecting logical gay man would EVER, EVER vote for Romney. (And let me tell you how much of a mindfuck it has been this election season driving around town and seeing two - TWO! - cars with the following bumper stickers on them: 1) HRC 2) "I'm GAY and I VOTE." 3) ROMNEY - Believe in America. 4) the Gadsden flag - yep, the "don't tread on me" flag. Those boys have some serious issues.) But that bumper sticker...UGH.

Although I am no Republican, I do believe the Republican party is shooting itself in the foot by going all anti-gay and writing fiercely homophobic language into its platform. I mean, c'mon...to put it bluntly, sucking cock and adoring Ayn Rand are not mutually exclusive. You can be into fiscal conservatism and hot man-on-man sex simultaneously. (Obviously, the same applies to women who love their ladies and the bootstraps they pulled themselves up with.) The sooner the Republican party pulls its collective head out of its ass and realizes this, the better off it'll be. But until then, they're hurting themselves terribly...a fact I'm not really boo-hooing over at this point.

I have to say, though, that my acute attack of nausea was effectively halted by this beauty. Heh. Let's see Romney try to 'splain that one for the next 50 days, shall we? Who's got the popcorn?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gotta move on...

Blogging the morning after seems like such a great idea in the middle of a kick-ass night. But actually during the morning after? Won't say I'm hungover, but my mind's bleary enough that any excitement that could have been transmitted last night in crystalline detail is now stuck in a light fog of acetaldehyde, and...oh well. Just a few things that made last night awesome.

THIS. How could I have gone through over 37 1/2 years of my life without seeing this? I stood on the dance floor, staring at the screen, with the pleasure centers of my brain lighting up like the nuclear impacts map on WarGames. Random absurdity is practically my trade. Also, THE RAMONES. If this is your first time seeing this, then my work here is done.

Also, this. I have gone years and years without hearing this...to the point where I couldn't even remember who did this version. Gotta say, for a suburban kid in the '80s, Pseudo Echo was a pretty damned cool name...and Aussies to boot. Really shoulda checked them out more back in the day. And don't these kids look like they're having a blast?

So yeah, the music in the '80s room at the local big gay club was particularly awesome last night. Great to see good friends out, too...more than usual.

All this is to say...gosh, I'm losing some enthusiasm to get in these big workouts now. Squatting 230 is TOUGH, ya know? Much easier to blog and kvetch and procrastinate.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Every day, a grape licks a friendly cow.

Note to self: when the office has a 3-day weekend, don't bother keeping your Saturday mornings open! Lucky me, I'm the only person in the office today, and that was basically to drive down here (45 minute commute) for a 15 minute visit. Ugh. So now I get in my workout, and wonder what the fuck to do for the rest of the day. Mr. Man is in New Orleans for the weekend (I KNOW...but apparently Isaac didn't do a tremendous amount of damage to the French Quarter, where he is, so.) and I'm here, apparently bereft and adrift in a sea of what-the-fuck-do-I-do-nowitude. So here ya go...your solipsism for the day. Oh, and happy September.

- Unfriended about 125 people in one fell swoop about a month ago. Including some erstwhile choir girls with whom I have gotten along in the past. The vast majority of these were not due to anger or illwill. Just an acknowledgement that they aren't really a huge part of my life, or they post really annoying political shit all the time (from any part of the spectrum), or their posts, despite merely intending to be thought-provoking, resemble interview questions from hell (imagine if Stephen Covey and Dolores Umbridge were to have demon spawn). Yes, I have standards that are perhaps too high relative to the average FB user. But seriously, what sense does it make to have FB "friends" that are good for nothing but a cyberpoke once every few months?

- Love the bee commentary? Miss the bee commentary? It's gone from this here screed forevermore. You'll find it here, along with some more cerebral stuff. It may help lay the foundation for a secondary career for me, and if there's something I don't need to sully a reputation, it's intentional misspellings for effect, immediate references to "what-the-fuck-do-I-do-nowitude" and the like.

- Young coconut. To be specific, the stuff by Philippine. I picked some up at Costco recently, intrigued. Good GOD, people...if you like coconut, you HAVE to get summa this crack. May have a bit too much sugar in it to be healthy, but then again...14 grams of fiber per 1/3 cup serving? AWESOME! (I have heard, however, the sodium metabisulfite-preserved stuff is awful, and one should seek out the sulfur dioxide-laced goods at all costs. Yeah...we're not talking health food here.)

- "You have to have a look!" So sez one semi-fictional Maria Callas in a fabulous play, "Master Class." "And if you don't have one...get one!" Kinda makes sense to me. I hate to say it, but I may have drunk the "branding" Kool-Aid a bit. Lots of successful people have a "look," whether or not they realize it and whether or not it works for them. Suze Orman's earrings and swooped bangs, Donald Trump's unfortunate toupee and boxy suits, Paul Ryan's overgrown-Munster appearance, Michelle Obama's KICKASS style across the board (Jackie who?)...you get the picture. So I've been trying to cultivate said "look."

- Must write. No...must go to Starbucks to get my coffee before my workout. No...must eat, I'm starving. No...must read. Wait...what am I doing here at work, anyhow? Wasn't I done with my appointment an hour ago? GAWD. Procrastination 1, me 0.