Welcome to your one stop shopping for all of the useless, mindless bullshit that permeates my brain at any given time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back In The Saddle Again...

Fuck, almost five years since my last 'ramble?'

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My, My...How Time Flies...

Man, it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted…Christmas & New Years have come and gone, and we’re damn near in the middle of January already!! I’m diggin’ the unseasonably mild 50 degree temperatures, and even a wee bit of sunshine coming through the grey skies of Rochester.

The apartment is almost completely set up. Woo hoo! Now I just need to rent some storage space for all of the boxes of shit Amy and I don’t need to or feel like unpacking. Just this past weekend, Amy and I went shopping for curtains for our living room & bedroom, and let me tell you—if you’re ever bored and
looking for a real good time, then hit up Target & Bed, Bath and Beyond and spend 4 hours looking at drapery!! Everything just starts to look the same after the first 90 minutes…

It seems that every few days, there’s something else we need to buy for the new place…a steam cleaner for the carpet…a new BOSE home theatre system…a new Sirius satellite radio receiver…new towel & TP hangers for the bathroom….an espresso/cappuccino maker…a new desk for the living room…it’s been a neverending outflow of cash since Amy and I have moved back to NY. I guess I’ll by psyched when we build a house in the next couple of years, because we’ll have most of the basic shit to set up the place. So I guess we’re saving some money in the long run by spending it now.

This damn weather has me letting my winter guard down, and I keep forgetting that February and March can be a wintery bitch here in Rochester. I keep thinking spring is around the corner, and it’s not!! Pisser for me…although the thought of the summer music festival season starting around May gets me psyched!! It’s so nice to be back on the East coast, where I can partake in multi day camping festivals with 30-50 of my favorite musicians and bands playing every other weekend. I really missed that…

I’m gonna be starting my festy season early this year, as my good buddy, CrazyTigerRabbitMan, and I will be trekking to North Carolina for the Grassroots Festival, which should be a hoot. We were wanting to catch Merlefest, but started our planning too late to really make it happen proper. Then there’s the AllGood Festival…Gathering of the Vibes…moe.down…Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival…Floydfest…

Too bad Phish isn’t touring….I miss spending a week or two at a time on the road catching shows & having a blast spending every day in the lot scene. No full-on tours for me at this point in my life, but I do still enjoy getting out there for a good number of shows & fests every summer & fall. All of that great music…friends….dancing…good Vibes. That shit just charges my batteries.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Missing My Folks...

There are certain times of the year when I really miss my parents. The Christmas holiday season is typically one of those times. Not for any reason regarding me reflecting on a stellar Christmas while they were around….it’s more of having spent a good number of years sharing the Christmas holiday with the families with friends, or of women that I have dated, and having spent so many holiday celebrations with people other than my own family, that makes me mourn not having my immediate family around for such occasions more often…

My mom died of Hodgkin’s disease in 1984. She was a mere 27 years old, and, even at the time of her death, was one of the most beautiful women you would have ever laid eyes on. She spent much of the last 2-3 years of her life in the hospital, which is a shitty thing for me to reflect on. The last time I saw her alive, I was all of 7 or 8 years old…and she had amnesia at the time, so she didn’t remember me….or my siblings. I can remember talking to her about my brother Travis at the time, who she thought was a duck. Crazy.

Even today, for as many memories from my childhood as my psyche &/or subconscious have repressed—I can clearly remember my father (who was also 27 at the time) pulling me into the bathroom to tell me that mom had died. And I remember being devastated. You’d think that an 8 year old kid couldn’t possibly understand loss to the effect that an ‘adult’ might understand….Well, let me tell you—even at that age, I was devastated to the point of lashing out at the world, in addition to experiencing a deep depression that was untreated, since I refused counseling. I think that, sometimes the young ones get lost in the tragedy of parental loss.

Skip forward to 1998, and me being almost 23—and here we are again, dealing with personal tragedy in the form of my father being killed in a motorcycle accident. Motherfucking fate. My dad’s death hit me so hard, because we had become such close, good friends and confidants in the 2 years preceding his accident. We had many good times….shared in many drinks and many interesting conversations and reflections on life in the face of my mother’s death. My dad had become a close friend to me, which made the loss that much worse. The sting still resonates, even today.

I have my celebratory rituals regarding my folks….I always have a beer (or 8) with my dad on his birthday in May, and on Father’s Day in June. I will admit that I could do better in remembering to buy flowers for the house on Mother’s Day, and to remember the anniversary of my mother’s death. That day is just tough, considering it’s my wife’s, Amy’s birthday, as well.

I’ve always been looked upon as the emotional ‘rock’ in my family. I’ve dealt with tragedy beyond compare, and have weathered situations many people will never have to worry about. While it’s a shitty thing to reflect on, I do realize that these situations have helped mold me into the person I am today. As I get older, I feel less like a rock, and more like a sappy mess. Holidays do not get much easier as time progresses and, at this point in my life—I don’t expect they will get any easier. Being the oldest of 4 kids who lost their parents, as well as 2 half sisters who are the product of my father and his dumb-cunt-of-a-second-wife….I feel an obligation to ensure that my parent’s memories are being well served in our daily meanderings.

I can only hope that we’re making our parents proud in the actions we take, and that we’re justifying their love and hard work in the decisions we make every day that guide our lives and lead us to being the people we are today.

Please give thanks to Virginia Rose and to Lance Rose Sr, for bringing me and my siblings into this world, and for doing a heluva job raising us, in the face of adversity.

Mom….Dad….you did well. And we love you.

Random...Stuff

**What I’m Currently Reading—

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Vegetarian Times
Writer’s Digest


**Last Movie Amy and I Saw in a Theatre—

Cronenberg’s ‘History of Violence’

(I really dug this flick. Classic Cronenberg in so many ways, yet more subdued than some of his other work. Definitely found this movie to be more ‘mainstream’ in its accessibility. Amy didn’t like the ending so much. I found it to be powerful stuff)


**In the CD Player for the Post-Work Drive Home—

Phish’s ‘Junta’

(YEM, Divided Sky & Fluffhead are brilliant pieces of music)


**Number of Weeks in the New Apartment (Also the Number of Weeks Spent Cleaning, Scrubbing, and Sanitizing the Previous Tenant’s Mess)—

Two


**What I’m listening to at Work Right This Very Moment—

Phish—‘Waves’ from their 12/28/03 show at the Nassau Coliseum

(We had 2nd row tickets for this show, but had to sell ‘em off due to our move to Texas 4 months prior)


**Current Weather in Rochester, NY

19 degrees (with wind chill factored in—7 degrees) & cloudy

What, Me Diet?

Growing up, I was always tall & lanky. Even when I shot past 6 feet, I never weighed more than 150 pounds through high school & college.

All of that changed about 5 years ago….and, moreso—after my move to Dallas 2 years ago. I think that 24 months of sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor eating habits (who can resist real Texan BBQ? Not me!!) and an increased beer intake has led to me having a bit of a gut here at the age of 30. A friggin’ pot belly!!

At one point in Texas, I weighed around 210 (I’m about 6’2” or 6’3”), I think. I can remember being at the doctor’s office when I had official word that I cracked the 200 pound barrier. Few months later, I was down to about 190, which is where I stand today. For my height, I’m not terribly overweight—it’s just that I want to get rid of this damn gut that has developed over the last 2 years.

During the last few days, I’ve been scoping the internet getting ideas for proper dieting and good exercises & weight routines that will help me shed the few pounds I want, as well as tone me up a bit. I’ve done way too much reading about caloric intake and random lifestyle changes that must occur if I’m going to do this with any amount of concerted, planned effort…and damn!! Let me tell you—it was nice growing up, never really paying much attention to what I was eating, since I never gained or lost weight. Now I’m looking at having to engage portion controls!! And actually pay attention to serving amounts.

WTF??

I’m not exactly sure what 3 ounces of chicken breast or salmon look like on a plate next to ½ cup of steamed veggies and 1/2 cup of rice, but I know this---it sure as hell isn’t enough to take care of my voracious appetite!! And ooooh!! I can have an apple for a snack. Or 12 pretzels. That’s the ticket!!

I could easily lose weight by not drinking beers for a few months, and by cutting out any and all fast food. I’ve done that before, and the pounds shed pretty quickly, even without exercise. My desire is to actually start paying more attention to the foods I’m eating, and start a regimented exercise program, as to help whip my 30 year old ass back into shape. I’m not going to completely abstain from my tasty brews, or good ‘ole BBQ, but I want to implement healthy changes to my lifestyle that I can count myself on following through ¾ of the time.

Don’t get me wrong---there are plenty of things I do now, to consciously work at my diet. My wife and I eat a fair amount of vegetarian foods and dishes, along with whole grain products and organic food when possible. I’m just too easily tempted to hit up a burger joint for lunch, instead of preparing myself a couple of tuna sandwiches the night before. Fast food is too easy, and too accessible! And when eating it, I can pound down a few thousand calories in one meal, easily.

All of this leads into my New Year’s resolution for ’06. I’m going to abstain from beer for a few months, and kick into gear some dieting by caloric limitations, along with a regular exercise routine 5-6 days a week. I figure come the end of February, I should be in better shape, and will have incorporated the changes to the point that I probably won’t be bothered by the little things like weighing out portions and paying attention to nutritional values on labels (THAT’S what all that stuff is there for!!). And then I can just continue living a healthier, more active life.

I want to grow old with my wife, and enjoy many, many more years of concerts, movie marathons, and enjoying the splendor of things like a nice hike in the woods, or a good camping trip. Pounding down bacon double cheeseburgers and slice after slice of pizza isn’t going to help me achieve these goals. But I guess once my goals are achieved, then the occasional burger or garbage plate will taste that much sweeter.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch...

If I wasn’t working at the crack of dawn tomorrow, my ass would be catching the midnight premiere of King Kong tonight. Epic movies like this one beg to be seen on the big screen on opening night. The crowd energy is different...more electric. And it’s just plain fun. Of course, there are the assholes in the theatre who ruin that vibe and quickly make me want to choke the very life out of their bodies. You know the jackoffs…

Idiots who don’t turn off their cellphones prior to the movie. And still fuckin’ answer the phone in the middle of the flick!! Or play Tetris…or send text messages, the whole time, cellphone casting out light bright enough for me to read my program from where I’m sitting…

Then there’s the talkers. Good God, they grate on me like nails on a chalkboard. If you want to keep a running personal commentary on the movie, then wait for the dvd & do it at home! I didn’t pay $7 to hear you yap your friggin’ flapper for two hours. How about the delicious irony of the talkers getting pissed at me when I ask them to keep it down?

How about the asshole who feels the need to keep kicking or pushing into the back of your seat throughout the entire movie? Or use your seat backing for leverage every time he/she gets up? Can’t forget about the guys & gals who feel the need to put their feet up on the seat in front of them, lounge style. Like I want a smelly size thirteen on top of the headrest in the seat next to mine…

Such douchetools always seem to end up sitting within a 5 foot radius of me. Every time. It’s gotten to the point where it makes for an unenjoyable movie experience for me. And lately seems to happen almost all of the time. Can’t I just go sit, relax & suspend my disbelief for a few hours without being bothered by someone who could care less about the movie?

My wife seems to think I’m getting more uptight & less patient with the younger crowds, which is probably true. It certainly does seem like folks are, overall, much less respectful today than years ago. And I’m only 30, so I can imagine what older folks think, compared to the 30’s or 50’s.

I can’t wait to build a house, so I can have my own theatre room and can sequester myself in there, never needing to bother with going to a Cineplex and dealing with crying babies or tubs of popcorn with that ‘buttery substance’ they dump on top. What is that? I’m frightened by the fact that the word buttery is used to describe it. By that virtue alone, it would seem to imply that there is no real butter used in the making of 'the substance'.

Gross.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wintertime Blues

It’s another grey, snowy day here in Rochester. The one thing I miss about Texas is the weather. I can’t stand the snow…I don’t mind the cold so much—it’s the constant overcast skies and endless frozen precipitation that this area gets. There’s actually a ‘Golden Snowball Award’ given out annually to the Upstate New York city that receives the most snowfall in a season. The original award was the result of a friendly competition of National Weather Service offices in Upstate New York. After the Rochester and Syracuse offices closed in the mid-1990s, the competition died out.

The award was revived during the 2002-2003 snowfall season, in which Syracuse won. Syracuse has won every year since then as well. The prize is accompanied by a ceremonial $100 check. The cities that compete for the award are Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.

There’s nothing about the cold snowy weather that makes me want to celebrate shit. I’d rather be outside enjoying sunshine and 70 degree temps, dancing at a show or camping out with friends at a music festival. Good weather inherently leads to better moods, a more active lifestyle, and an overall improvement in my general well being. I know, I know...here I am bitching about the winter weather of upstate Western New York, and the official start of winter is a week and a half away, not to mention the following 3-4 months worth of depressing weather.

This snow shit is for the birds. I’m sure it’s great for those who like to put multiple layers of clothing on to tolerate the frigid air for extended periods of time…or for skiers & snowboarders. Not for me, though. I guess it does give me reason to hole up in the house for some reading, writing, or movie marathons….

And makes me look forward to Spring & Summer that much more.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bring on the Mothership!!

I’ve been feeling a little run down over the last couple of days. I think it’s a combination of getting burned out on the whole cleaning-of-the-new-apartment situation. I’ve also been dealing with a sore throat, scratchy eyes, and a snotty nose. I’m thinking the 50 degree temps in our living room is the culprit there. The weekend just seems so far away…Work isn’t helping much, as December is a slow month, so I’ve had to keep myself entertained, which I can do as well as the next guy but dicking around on the internet for most of a workday isn’t as entertaining for me as it may be for some…

I recently found out that the George Eastman house here in Rochester has a theatre that shows movies every night. This is great news for a movie buff like myself. The theatre shows classics, new and old…restored prints…hard to find extended & directors cuts…and more. Well, it seems that this theatre will be playing my all time favorite flick, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, on 12/22. I watch Close Encounters a handful of times a year, and continue to add to my memorabilia collection for the movie. Unfortunately for me, I have yet to see the movie on the big screen. I came close, as my wife was going to take me to a once-in-a-lifetime screening of the movie back in September, for my 30th birthday. The movie was being shows (once) at Devil’s Tower, courtesy of the great folks from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, and their Rolling Roadshow series.

Shortly after purchasing tickets for the screening, and starting plans for a trip to Wyoming, I was told I’d be losing my job, which led to me finding a job back East, and moving home to NY. That whirlwind of events coupled with the outrageous amount of money the move cost Amy and I led our inability to make the trip to see the movie.

Now, some 3 months later, I find out I get to see Close Encounters on the big screen, at a sweet theatre within walking distance of our new apartment!! Woo hoo!! This is thrilling for Amy and I, since we both share a fondness for this movie. I’m a Spielberg whore, but Close Encounters takes the cake over Jaws and ET, as far as I’m concerned.

Another day, I’ll have to share the story of watching the movie for the first time with Amy on the first of what would end up being many ‘mushroom movie nights’ for us. And I'm not talking about Portobellos...

(enter naughty smile here)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Moving Woes

Moving sucks. In the last two years, my wife, Amy and I have relocated from Rochester, NY…to Dallas, TX…back to Rochester again. And let me tell you—if you think packing your shit and moving to another place in the same town/city is a hassle, try packing up and hauling ass 1600 miles and back. Not fun at all. When we left NY for TX, we moved ourselves. Had friends help us load our stuff into a U-Haul and we towed Amy’s truck behind us, then drove 30 hours straight through to Texas. At one point during our nonstop marathon drive to the Dallas area, Amy told me that we were never moving ourselves again like that. So when the time came to relocate back to New York, we decided to hire movers, and paid a company to transport one of our trucks for us.

I know, I know….I’m rambling and you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all of this. Well, after 3 months of living with friends of ours, Amy and I moved into a new place last week. We had movers transport our belongings from storage, into the new pad. With the actual loading & unloading of boxes, furniture, etc, usually being the biggest hassle during a move, we figured we’d be on easy street this time, since we weren’t responsible for that.

I was wrong. The move into our new place has been one of the biggest moving hassles I’ve dealt with.

This is no fault of the movers, as they were very cordial and did a great job getting all of our stuff in the place. Unfortunately, our new landlord did not ensure that the previous tenants cleaned the place to (what I would consider to be) acceptable conditions. Nor did she make sure the maintenance folks cleaned up after themselves after working on the place before we moved in. Apparently the previous tenants weren’t the cleanest folks, and the condition of the place is a testament to that.

Carpets were dirty….bathrooms grungy…kitchen stove a mess…walls and baseboards dirty…new coats of paint definitely needed in some rooms…floors dirty…back patio unkept…not to mention the tools & supplies (paint, plaster, random hardware) that the maintenance guy didn’t take with him…

Oh, but the fun doesn’t end there!!

Lights & outlets don’t work in our spare bedroom. The heat from the furnace isn’t pumping into our living room (which is on the 3rd floor or our place), and our dishwasher is in need of minor repairs. Then there’s the few spots where door handles have knocked into walls behind them, leaving dings and small holes in them.

Now, before Amy and I can even entertain the idea of fully unpacking & setting up our new abode, we have to take care of most of the mess, which has been a huge undertaking over the last 5 days. Amy spent 6 hours cleaning the upstairs bathroom over the weekend. Counters & tiles we thought were supposed to be beige came to be sparkling white when she was done. Some walls are looking better after I’ve scrubbed them down & cleaned spots, smoke residue and other random filth off of them.
We’re almost a week into living here, and have only unpacked 20% of our stuff. Here we were, thinking the move-in process would be cake, since we had them good ‘ole movers unloading our things. After all, all I needed to do was point to where they should put things. Little did we know that our first week would be spent cleaning things that should have been clean before we moved in.

The landlord’s temporary resolution for the problem with the heat in the living room? To give us 2 electric space heaters. WTF?? So we’re supposed to run these things and cover the outrageous electric bill we’ll get, considering it’s fucking December in Rochester and cold as hell outside? We’re not happy campers right now. The landlord seems to think that a cleaning of the ducts will resolve the issue, which I already know it won’t. There’s obviously a duct that closed somewhere, and I can’t seem to find it. So instead of having some urgency on her part, the landlord instead decides to call around for duct cleaning services, all of which are booked through the end of the month. I doubt she’ll be happy when she finds out I called the Department of Health to complain.

We should be enjoying our new place right now, not dreading the continued cleaning and work that needs to be done before we can start setting the place up. Maybe this whole hassle will make the impending enjoyment of the new pad that much sweeter when we are finally finished cleaning someone else’s mess.

Rant over. I've got more scrubbing that needs tending to...