Friday, December 09, 2016

The Twelve Days of Gheorgemas: Day Four

On the fourth day of Gheorghemas, Big Gheorghe gave to me 

Four Random Thoughts
Three Punk Rock Playlists 
Two Digits Throughout History 
And the debut of Mac McFis-ty

I get to follow Clarence's opuses (opi?). Sweet. No way my effort comes across as half-assed after his anthology of punk. But let's plow ahead, shall we? I have four random thoughts I want to share. Some are long, some are profound, some are sophomoric. You get the drill by this point. This is TR you're reading, after all.

Thought 1: 2016 was a year of ups and downs, but was also a year that brought me three weeks of bliss. 

2016 was the first calendar year in a long, long time for my wife and I that we did not have to deal with a parent that was severely ill or passed away. Our family is now, sadly, much much smaller and it's still heartbreaking to acknowledge that. 2016 was also a year with one big suckfest of a job loss for me. It was an odd, protracted affair with a company slowly and visibly combusting in front of me, where I needed to formally be fired to extract the maximum amount of nickels from my employer. So yeah, that kinda sucked.

But you know what didn't suck? Getting lucky and landing a new gig as the old one smoldered away. By July 4th, I had inked a new contract. That left me three weeks of staycation time with the family. Since we had already committed to a family vacation in August, and since the kids were committed to camps, I just kinda hung out. I did a bunch of AM hot yoga, I chatted up the moms at the pool club during the day, I watched Zman's kids chillax in the baby pool of said club. I cranked Lionel Richie with my kids in the afternoon. The weather was mostly perfect during that stretch too. It made me long to not have to work, assuming the weather could perpetually be 80 degrees. Making lemons out of lemonade was a real joy in 2016.  And yes, I want to move to San Diego.

Thought 2: I found some great old and new tunes to dig into this year. I've said this here before, but there is no rhyme or reason to when I encounter new music. And by "new", I mean something I haven't listened to a lot yet.

Here's one example, from a YouTube mix I made to signify the decay of my old job. I cranked it almost every day for a few weeks in my office while strategizing about how to best pillage the supply closet for my personal gain. It comes from a nearly 20 year-old Dylan album that I own on CD, but I needed some real life experience to absorb the profundity of the song. This is a song that you almost have to be "olidish" to fully absorb:



Here's another one I may have referred to in a post before that gains poignancy as I age. While I like Bruce's original (even if he is a hack), the tragedy of The Band adds extra meaning to this tune. My wife and I had an epic night many years ago watching The Last Waltz, and she decided (very late in the night) that she loved Rick Danko. I was cool with that because, um, because he was no longer living.

We swore that night to name the first dog we would buy Danko. We have yet to buy a dog, and I might overrule her to name our first dog Dave Winfield. But The Band, and their bassist, remain epic. Everything dies baby, that's a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back.



And here's one last one because we all need to be lifted up after this death and layoff chatter. One of the closing bookends of my three weeks of glorious unemployment was a mid-week concert in Brooklyn. The wife and I went to see Broken Social Scene, the indie rock gods of the aughts who went their separate ways for many years.

The show was beyond tremendous and was the highlight of my 2016 concert experiences (although I'm crossing my fingers about the two Phish shows I'm hitting at MSG later this month).  The quality of this video is questionable, and it may mean little to you if you are not familiar with this eclectic Canadian musical collective, but it sums up the majesty of this band: 8-12 musicians on stage at any time, lots of harmonies, and a real sense of musical profundity, at least to me. As a somber book-end, this was one of two bands I listened to a lot in 2004, when my wife and I first encountered severe family health issues. It was the first time I really felt like a grown-up and listened to music as a grown-up. Fuck you, cancer.



Thought 3: Yes, I still think about my alter-ego's porn name. In Miami over Thanksgiving, one of my most vivid memories is of being at Hard Rock Stadium and hearing the PA announce the Dolphins' starting guard, Jermon Bushrod. My son who likes the Fins blindly cheered, as he did all the starters, but I stood up and started clapping, wondering why we haven't heard the Bushrod surname before in the annals of erotica. Way to go, Jermon.

Thought 4: I can't wait for my mid-life crisis to peak. 

This may only appeal to Mark, but I recently indulged in tattoo number two, after several years of apathy and sporadic consternation. This new ink is another result of my glorious three weeks of unemployment. The work was not done until October, but I laid the groundwork with the tattoo parlor (Bang Bang, which is headed by LeBron's personal tattoo guy!) in July. I'm now officially too old to give a fuck about my ink and any professional consequences. And I am already planning number three. Zero. Fucks. Given.


The enjoyment of bucking the traditional aging yuppie trend as a 40-something dude is quite enjoyable. While I still foresee a traditional mid-life crisis-type purchase on my horizon (looking at you, German convertible), I think there will be more bold, eclectic decisions. I told my wife that after our youngest goes to college, I want to sell as many of my possessions as I can, maintain a very modest home, and become a citizen of the world, traveling as much as physically possible. A 55 y/o man can take an ayahuasca journey in South America, right?

Happy Gheorghemas, ladies and gents. Let me know if you have an ayahuasca hook-up.

47 comments:

rob said...

i love this very much. bravo, tr. may we all grow old gracefully(ish).

Clarence said...

That tat is a beast! Highly impressive, TR.

TR3 is a decent band, but I much prefer this TR4. Equal parts amusing and poignant.

Marls said...

Very nicely done TR.
The new school mid-life crisis feels less like a crisis and more of a realization that dialing down life a few notches is ok. It's less about the sports car, hair plugs, and banging people half your age (not that there is anything wrong with that) and more about living a bit more simply, finding time to be with people you care about, and not giving a shit about living up to others expectations. It's not about trying to feel 20 again. It's about enjoying the time we have because we have lived long enough to realize there ain't all that much of it.

Danimal said...

aaaahhhhhsome....

Mark said...

Nice tattoo. I always approve of new tattoos. I'm actually going in to see my tattoo guy Ina few weeks to start planning my back piece. It's the only large empty spot on my body left (except for my neck...one day) and it's my 40th birthday present to myself.

Had an awesome meal at restaurant Eve last night with Teej, Mrs. Teej, Jerry and Mrs. Jerry. Currently freezing my ass off in DC being touristy. Lunch at Momofuku on deck and then drinks/mini summit for happy hour. Happy Fucking Holiday Gheorghies!

rob said...

i've told my daughter that i would get a tattoo if she designs one for me. unlike her father, she's a pretty gifted artist. like her father, she's lazy as shit. so the odds are about 50/50 for that ever happening.

Mark said...

Did I mention it's fucking cold in DC today?Jesus. I don't know how you people live up north. It was 80 degrees in Florida when I left yesterday morning.

TR wanting to name his dog Dave Winfield reminds me that my wife wants a Great Dane and to name it Randy Moss. And she doesn't even like sports. I want to get a French bulldog and name it Joakim. We lost (Jamal) Tinsley this summer and our house feels emptier with only one dog. Buying a dog is never a wise purchase but if I can try and buy the Space Jam Jordans tomorrow I can certainly rationalize another dog.

Jermon Bushrod is a really great porn name. Not sure how that never occurred to me. Oh, and TR'a kids have odd sports team allegiances for kids from New Jerusalem.

rob said...

we're all pretty sure tr sees himself as the male lion, right?

Marls said...

The best part is the electrolysis he had done so that his back hair only grows into the lions mane.

Dave said...

holy shit! did TR just give me permission to finally get a sperm whale fighting a giant squid on my back?

great post-- one million years from now this will be an anthropologist's delight.

i told my son ian as soon as he draws something cool enough, i will get it tattooed on my body. he's already drawn many things better than my other tattoos, and he was close the other night with a many-toothed sea monster. i can't wait to show TR's tat to my wife.

Mark said...

TR already showed it to her, Dave.

The brisket bao buns at momofuku may be my favorite sandwich in the world at this very moment. And the pork belly ramen from momofuku makes this cold weather worth it.

Clarence said...

My kids could draw things with their feet when they were 3 that are better than my tattoos.

Danimal said...

why do they draw with their feet?

rob said...

jumping off the back of the dinosaur, grabbing marls and headed for a mini-summit with mark, teej, and their better halves/battleaxes. much excite.

Mark said...

Get over here, tiny.

rob said...

efforting

Marls said...

Rollin' in the Robmobile. Battle axe in tow.

Danimal said...

Jealous

zman said...

Poopin on the Toto. Battleaxe on deck.

Danimal said...

You guys watching jmu football?

Mark said...

Good times at the mini summit. Rob is gone. Getting extra drunk with Marls, Teej and our collective battle axes now.

TR said...

Nope, but I watched Albert w/ the boys on Nick HD. It's an animated story about a small tree that wants to be the Rockefeller Center tree. It was conceived by Bobby Moynihan, who is the voice of Albert. It is...not strong.

It's 935 PM and I'm going to bed. Glorious.

rob said...

excellent mini summit. always a pleasure hanging out with my internet friends. met mrs mark, who's delightful - and a kindred wee person. charleston's next, kids.

TR said...

Three beers last night, followed by nine hours of sleep. It was glorious. I'll make up for it w/ some delinquent behavior tonight for sure.

Mark said...

Some Charleston pre-planning happened last night. I'm excited at the possibility of it actually happening.

Rob is correct. My wife is a wee person. And, at times, delightful.

zman said...

Do you call her Wee-Bey?

rob said...

trump is selling us to the russians, but at least he's not being subtle about it. enjoy your weekend, comrades.

Dave said...

sorry clarence, i attempted to post several mental age ruminations that did not actual post themselves. weird. always my favorite topic, and i appreciated your wisdom. i'm annoyed that my thoughts are lost in the bowels of the internet.

Dave said...

also, i deserve a toast. just beat the pants off my boys and one of their friends at risk. stormed out of australia and took seven risk cards from our eleven year old neighbor. taught him a hard lesson. nothing better than drinking beer and defeating middle schoolers on a cold winter afternoon.

Whitney said...

Truer words were never spoken. Um, maybe.

And any comment that begins "I beat the pants off my boys" is going to draw some attention.

zman said...

Im traveling for work. Finally got to London and the hotel accidentally canceled my reservation and they say they have no more rooms so I'm in a lounge watching CSPAN awaiting my fate. Just finished watching an Obama speech, now watching Trump. It's like going from an AP Literature lesson to a second grade class.

Whitney said...

I hope it works out for you, Zman. If you have to storm out of the hotel, announce that you will be making your "Brexit."

zman said...

I got a room and now some beer. All is well.

zman said...

This place might make me fall off the tobacco wagon, or really I should say make me face plant myself into a pile of Dunhills. Smoking is everywhere and the weather is cool and dry so it smells glorious. God help my lungs.

zman said...

The drunken Scotsman who is telling "Doont fook this oop John!" at the TV is making me want to watch more soccer. The family with young kids next to him isn't as enthusiastic.

zman said...

"Jayzoos Chroyst Joon!"

zman said...

"C'moon son, thaaaats fooking terriboo!"

zman said...

Father at adjacent table breaks scotsman's balls over west ham goal, scotsman's girlfriend cracks up laughing. Father looks at her, serious as a heart attack and says "Yae shoodna laff about that luv."

zman said...

Met an Irvine Welsh character of a man named Benji. Scrwany, strange ink, awful teeth, total jakey piker. The full Monty. He's from Leicester in town for a 'oliday. He implored me to support Leicester City. Then lectured me on US politics and he's pretty spot on.

TR said...

Zman - if you can sneak the phrase "chat shit, get banged" into the conversation, you will have a friend for life. Honest. Go to the googles if you don't believe me.

Dave said...

this is the best. i think i can pull of a scottish accent now.

TR said...

Jets are making my eyeballs bleed.

Danimal said...

Jags stat of the week....last home win: 363 days ago.

Danimal said...

And another...Shad Khan is 16-61 as an owner.

rob said...

khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

rob said...

khan also owns fulham, my english footy side. they suck, too.

zman said...

Fer fooks sake then rob, yae need to support Leicrster City. Don't be a daft cunt!

Apparently it's ok to call people cunts in England.