Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Good Life

Lately Gheorghe: The Blog has become Gheorghe: The Celebrity Obituary -- with rainbow jimmies of Gheorghe: The Compost Heap of Inane Filler sprinkled on it.  But, in lieu of actual content, here we go.

Maurice Sendak, the author of a number of children's books, has passed away at age 83. His most famous work, Where the Wild Things Are, was published in 1963; the film version was developed and released a few years back.  As the book used to give me nightmares, I have yet to see the movie, but I know that the Avett Brothers provide a backing track for the film, so here it is:


Mr. Sendak was decidedly distinct in his stories and illustrations. While I'm more of a Seuss aficionado, there are legions of folks for whom Where the Wild Things Are and its accompanying works are the backdrop to years of their childhood. 

For whatever reason, the past week or so of my life has included a steady stream of reminders, whether painful or just curious, of the transitory nature of our existence. It began with the update that my stepdad’s latest mesothelioma scan can back clean, so he can stave off the dread of the disease’s return for at least a few months. Good news, but sobering, and if you know me, you know I’m not much into “sobering.” Then the MCA news hit . . . and, strangely, hit harder than I would have figured. Not sure why. I can’t say I was stunned; when Yauch missed the RnRHoF induction, I hypothesized glumly to someone that it surely boded ill for his health. Rather than surprise, I think my reaction owed more to a one-sided kinship with the Beasties by our band of random idiots. The three bad brothers you know so well who write for Gheorghe aren’t far removed from those three guys in age or mentality. And speaking of Seuss, although we were memorializing the good doctor in “Dr. Seuss,” our masterpiece is just as much a direct musical tribute to the B-Boys. (Assuming that “tributes” allow for blatant theft.) If you look at us, Rob is Ad Rock Shadrach while Dave P is Mike D Meshach, which leaves me as the scruffy-faced (right now, coincidentally, I’ve got a beard like a billy goat), deepest-voiced, baddest-assed MCA Abednego.

Anyway, it bummed me out.

Then my mom reminded me that like Adam Yauch, my Uncle Mike also died of cancer at age 47. Thanks, mom. The weekend came, and I began work on a collection of music for the next FlynnFest, wherein we’ll once again congregate to celebrate the life of a close friend who unceremoniously departed the planet six years ago. Taking a break from that, I lost myself in mindless television . . . somehow watching a chick flick that centers around an older gentleman trying to restore the memory of his beloved wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and then they die. Good times.

The best cure for that is ESPN, right? I immediately watch a pair of documentaries in the 30 for 30 series: first, the one about how Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic’s old friendship, torn apart by the war in Bosnia, never got repaired before Petrovic was killed in a car wreck; the second was the Terry Fox story, which, holy crap, was about the saddest, most unfair turn of events ESPN has recounted in the series.

All the while, I’m trying to plan summer visits with one of our G:TB staff who is dealing with a loved one battling cancer.

Finally, I checked in with a pair of young lady-friends who were attending JazzFest, certain that tales from the Crescent City would be a much-needed salve. And though they were, for the most part, the lone photo the girlies sent me was of a sticker on a signpost. Five years ago in New Orleans, we met a group of guys sporting “FUCK ETHAN” t-shirts; they go to the Fest every year and celebrate the life of a close friend who unceremoniously departed the planet, cursing his name all the while for leaving them too early. Very similar to Flynn. And here’s the photo I got Saturday:


So what does it all mean? Beats me. For now, I’ve had enough of these sad reminders that life's a fragile thing, and that one minute you're chewin’ on a burger, and the next minute you're dead meat. I get it. It’s time I got back to the good life. It’s time I got back, and I don’t even know how I got off the track.

And what does that entail? I’ll gloss over how it means time spent with my daughters, because although my girls make my entire world go ‘round, they don’t make for good blog copy, and The Density can tell you why in an upcoming segment, “Other People’s Kids.”

But music and drinking, yes, please. I’ll be hitting as many of these shows as humanly possible:

May 17 - Carbon Leaf (Neptune Park, VB)
May 18 - Willie Nelson (Ferguson Center)
May 22 - Steve Winwood (NTelos)
May 22 - Flogging Molly (Norva)
May 25 - Todd Snider (Jewish Mother)
June 2 - Steel Pulse (VB 5th St Stage)
June 12 - Bonnie Raitt (NTelos)
June 13 - Bonnie Raitt (NTelos)
June 13 - The Cult (Norva)
June 17 – Dave Matthews Band (VB Amphitheater)
June 19 - Phish (NTelos)*
June 20 - Phish (NTelos)
June 27 - Carbon Leaf (Neptune Park, VB)
July 3 - Beach Boys (VB Amphitheater)*
July 7 – Crosby, Stills, & Nash (NTelos)
July 9 - Van Halen (Hampton Coliseum)
July 13 - New Potato Caboose (Norva)
July 14 - Stevie Nicks (VB Amphitheater)
July 17 – Wilco (Wolf Trap)
July 18 – Wilco (Wolf Trap)
July 20 – Wilco (Charlottesville)*
July 21 - KISS / Mötley Crüe
July 25 - Smithereens (Sullivan Sq, Williamsburg)
July 29 - Merle Haggard (NTelos)
August 2 - Ingrid Michaelson (Norva)
August 4 - Gipsy Kings (Sandler Center)
August 6 - Dark Star Orchestra (Norva)
October 3 - Adam Ant (Norva)*

And gatherings with cronies, yes, please. Like Marls’ nuptials. And Teej’s. And being Abe Lincoln in the National Memorial Day Parade. And the Collegiate Rugby Sevens Championship in Philly. And the Outer Banks. Yep.

It’s easy to shake off the we’re-all-gonna-die-someday-and-I’m-ill-equipped-to-handle-all-that blues when you have a docket full of revelry, good comrades to run with, and tenets of the world like “A man will always be judged on the amount of alcohol he can consume. And women will be impressed with it, whether they like it or not.”

See you soon.

46 comments:

Geoff said...

You somehow left off the Fresh Beat Band's August 28 show at Wolf Trap.

TR said...

I went to my second (and last) Dark Star Orchestra show over the winter. Was good a decade ago. Was sad last winter. There was a taper there. I thought he deserved to be punched for his own good.

TR said...

To Geoff's comment, my wife and I like to make all kinds of inappropriate comments about the Fresh Beat Band. We decided the black one is gay (not a stretch) and that the 7 ft redhead has his way with both the women.

Along with sleep deprivation and the sensation that a vacuum cleaner is constantly draining your wallet, the Fresh Beat Band are one of the worst things about parenthood.

Geoff said...

The Fresh Beat Band is funded by Al Quaeda. The rapping red head is actually Chris "The Birdman" Anderson. The brunnette female looks like every Theta that ever attended William & Mary and I believe she went to Wine & Cheese with Shoumer in 1996.

TR said...

I believe the redhead is actually one of the Weasley twins.

T.J. said...

I have no idea what you guys are talking about, but I'm laughing my ass off.

Geoff said...

http://www.poptower.com/the-fresh-beat-band.htm

I heard a rumor that the black kid is actually the love child of
Ben Vereen and Kim Fields.

rob said...

i'm so very glad that my daughters have mostly graduated to mainstream pop. next step is to wean them off crap pop into a solid appreciation for good music. it's a work in progress.

rob said...

and both the 'where the wild things' book and movie are among my faves. love both immensely, in very different ways. the movie is quite sad and moving, and not actually a great kids' film, though it's visually stunning.

Mr KQ said...

We're kinda fired up for B-52s and Squeeze at Wolftrap. Last saw the 52s in Orlando the summer of '82. Did not know what the fuck it was.

Igor said...

If Squeeze is anything like when I last saw them, you're in for a treat. (That was 1987.)

zman said...

G:TB -- bringing you concert stories from old muhfuggahs since 2003.

rob said...

the new beach house record is pretty dope. that is all. carry on.

Mark said...

Never read a word of 'Where the Wild Things Are''. Thought I know many that love it. One friend even named his son Max due to his love of the book.

And I'm terrified of this Fresh Beat Band and what they may mean for my future.

TR said...

I have read Where the Wild Things Are to my (almost) 5 y/o at least 30 times.

I JUST read it to my (almost) 3 y/o for the first time last week. He loved it and we've read it a few more times since. Spooky.

mr kq said...

I'd put my Wild Thing number in the 250 range. Have at that what you will.

And Z - don't make me go all Blue Oyster Cult at Cap Center on you..

Mark said...

At this point, there's no way I read Where the Wild Things Are. Why? Because I've made it this far without doing so. And I'm an irrational, misguided person. It's basically the same reasoning behind why I'll never eat anything from Sonic.

TR said...

Late to say this, but another bang-up post by Whigor, our moral compass. A compass that usually points to the nearest bar, but a compass nonetheless.

Shlara said...

Love this post. Really sad about the double whammy of MCA and Sendek. I'm a huge fan of Sendek's work--Wild Things is on my top 5 childrens book list. I have a vintage Scholastic book poster from 1966 of Max with one of the Wild Things from my days working in children's literacy...its a very cool treasure.

For those of you with young children, here are some other wonderful classics to read with your little ones: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Make Way for Duckling, Corduroy, Go Dog Go

Igor said...

Thanks, TR. Marls and I are starting to plan a Mets-related outing this summer, so I'll be pointing you towards a bar to meet up with us sometime soon.

zman said...

Cris carter just locked himself out of the hof.

TR said...

I think the doors were already locked for him.

rob said...

what'd he do, z?

T.J. said...

I wish Carter had been successful in destroying Bill Romanowski.

TR said...

He admitted there were bounties in his days, which everybody already knows, but will now pretend is a big deal. Except for Merrill Hoge, who was concussed so many times he does not actually remember there were bounties. Much like he can't remember how to appropriately tie a tie.

zman said...

Carter admitted that he personally put bounties on other players, including Bill Romanowski. Tarnishes his Walter Payton award a bit.

Carter is ranked 4th in career receptions and receiving TD, and 8th in career receiving yards and total TD. He's also 26th in yards from scrimmage. He made 8 straight Pro Bowls and was twice First Team All Pro. I think he has a legitimate Hall of Fame resume.

Donna said...

I love this post, too. Chops to Igor! And all of you...you make me laugh. And we love Sendak, too. Give that book whenever we find out someone's having baby. Some other great kids' books: The Giving Tree (Silverstein, and really all of this stuff), Love You Forever (it'll make you cry!), and everything A.A. Milne.

Donna said...

that was supposed to say "his stuff" as in Sendak's!!

Igor said...

Cris Carter learned from the best in regards to the bounties. He played for Buddy Ryan in the Bounty Bowl I and II.

In the coming months, it's going to pain Roger Goodell as years' worth of bounty stories from yesteryear come out, potentially undermining his hard-line stance. But such is the way of the world. Bill Clinton got impeached for getting the same BJ that his predecessors got from way, way hotter interns.

mayhugh said...

Mark, to one of your comments and contrary to your mindset, one of my top priorities in life is locating, and eating food from, a Sonic. I have never seen one and their food looks awesome (relatively speaking) from the inordinately high volume of commercials I've seen. And I know there is something called "google" and something else called "gps" but at this point I need to just happen upon one by accident while I'm driving to the beach or something.

I think most would probably willing to give a "that was the old days" benefit of the doubt to Carter and others for those practices. It was before any focused research had been done on football head injuries (I guess). There was also a time when the NFL considered the Night Train Necktie and any tackle ever made by Pat Fischer as legal/justifiable, too.

Dave said...

mark, no reason to punish yourslef for the past-- read "where the wild things are"! it will be ten minutes well spent.

ad yauch's death hit me hard as well-- my mother-in-law is in the final stages of a battle with kidney cancer, so that's been the topic du jour in my world, and memorizing "paul's boutique" with igor and rob is one of the few times i believe i was listening and appreciating the best and hippest music of that time before it became venerated . . . i'm usually way behind the curve (or off it completely, thus, "the cult" tattoo).

Igor said...

Dave, if you noticed, The Cult is on my list of music around my town in the coming months. A couple of people have actually mentioned the show to me. If I can get a cheap ticket and some of those folks to accompany me, I'd go.

Point being, so maybe it wasn't the worst tattoo ever, or even the worst among ours.

Jerry said...

Just to balance things out, I barely read a word of this post, but I'm sure it's great.

To keep things unbalanced I've also never ate at a Sonic. Do they make you stay in your car?

Squeaky said...

This is a great interview with Sendak. Warning: Colbert does the interviewing.
http://goo.gl/oYQ6H

Igor said...

Wouldn't take much to push me over the edge to go to the Philly area for a second time this summer -- Avetts and Wilco playing a show together for the XPN festival in Camden, NJ on Sat July 21. For the low low price of $170 you can be in the small standing room section in front of the stage. Steep, and it's a 5 hr drive . . . but it's two of my favorite live acts.

Geoff said...

http://donortube.com/showvid.php?id=YNv6DG6duY4

Get some. Vote early/often.

Dave said...

i wish i could commit to some of this shit . . .

Danimal said...

Minutes away from owning a minivan. It's all over but the shoutin.

zman said...

Looks like TJ formatted that DonorTube site.

Danimal, your minivan will be cool if you get it in pistachio green. Trust me. Make it happen.

Danimal said...

Got some spinners on this bitch.

TR said...

A comedian once sad that driving off after buying a minivan is like hearing somebody say "Welcome to Loserville. Population you."

Have fun with that, Danimal.

rob said...

ate my first walleye tonight. also learned that butter is a food group in minnesota. some stereotypes are based on truth, friends.

Danimal said...

so ahhh, how 'bout that Time Mag cover heh Normy?

Mark said...

You ladies seen the 80th anniversary Redskins unis Nike unveiled? Can't imagine you're gonna be too psyched when you do.

zman said...

The helmets are pretty fly, they're painted to look like cork, right, so that the players won't get concussions?

Dave said...

i'm making some assumptions about " eating my first walleye" and using a lot of butter. good for you rob! i'm sure it didn't hurt a but!