Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Take me down to the infirmary and lay me down on cotton sheets..."

One of my best friends died today.

We’d only known each other since November 2004, but as soon as we met we clicked and became inseparable. We very rarely argued, and when we did it was always about music. She had an affinity for techno and dance music, whereas I was always more eager to listen to singer-songwriters.

We used to drive to work together and could talk in nothing but song titles during the hour-long commute. Those were awesome times, and I missed them when I took a job in downtown and my commute got shortened to less than 10 minutes. We still hung out at the gym and on the weekends, but it wasn’t quite the same.

Last year she started feeling under the weather, so run down that she could barely function. She became forgetful, sluggish, had next to no energy, and got easily confused. After a series of tests we were told that she needed surgery, and even then there were no guarantees, but really, the choice was a no-brainer. She had the surgery and amazingly bounced back to her former, fun self for awhile.

It almost seemed as though we both knew she was living on borrowed time, however. I worried about her constantly and could never quite shake my doubt that she would have a relapse. Every time we were together I feared that something would happen to her and I wouldn’t know what to do. I mean, I know basic first aid, but that wasn’t going to be enough to save her if it came right down to it.

My worst fears were realized a few months ago when she began acting tired and run down again. She would be fine for a couple of days, but it was taking longer and longer for her to recharge and recover, which we knew was not a good sign. We danced around the subject, not wanting to admit that she was never 100% better after the operation, but I think deep down we both knew it was simply a matter of time.

She started having mild seizures, which were over almost as soon as they happened. She tried to act like they were nothing, tried to convince me that she would be fine, yet seemed completely unaware that she had developed a very weird stutter. She also began to behave erratically and was certainly not her old self anymore. I know that the worst thing you can do is research symptoms on the internet, but that’s exactly what I did, and the more I looked the grimmer it got.

Naturally.

Wading through the internet gloom and doom, it became clear that anything I tried to do to help her would simply be akin to dressing an amputation with a Band-Aid.

This morning on the bus she totally lost it—her erratic behavior reached a crescendo and she suffered yet another seizure. Frantically, I tried using the pointers I’d gleaned via Google, to no avail. It was obvious that she was sinking fast, and all I could do was hold her as she shuddered and sputtered. She never even gave me the chance to say good-bye.

We’ve been through so much together, and had so much fun, that I’m finding it hard to let her go. But maybe I’ll feel differently when her replacement arrives later this week.

Farewell 40GB iPod. There will always be a place in my heart for you.

Monday, April 23, 2007

"Another fine outing, pointing and shouting, 'Look, it's Baseball!'"

This weekend I went to my first baseball game of the season, and I’d just like to make one casual observation.

Adam Dunn has the worst musical taste in the majors.

Let me explain.

I have no idea if this is a normal occurrence at baseball games these days, or if the Reds are unusual, but as each player steps up to bat a snippet of player-selected music is played over the loudspeakers. Ryan Freel’s choice is the DNA Remix of “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega. No, I don’t know why. Do I care? No.

So anyway, back to Git-R-Dunn. The first time he stepped up to the plate, it was Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian.” [shudder]

The second time it was slaphead Phil Collins doing “In the Air Tonight.” So Adam, diggin’ those power ballads, are we?

The next time it was Billy bloody Joel’s “Big Shot.” ARGH! If there’s anything I hate more than 80’s power ballads, it’s ANYTHING by Billy Joel. I could happily live the rest of my life without ever hearing anything by that man again.

It’s no wonder the bastard struck out every time he stepped up to the plate Saturday night. I’d suck too if I’d chosen that tripe.

But I reckon I ought to look on the bright side. At least he didn’t pick something by Journey.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Now I can remember like it was only yesterday..."

iPod gave me a Back to the Future flashback this morning during my commute:

When I Write the Book – Nick Lowe
Super-Tuff - XTC
Unsatisfied - The Replacements
Deny – The Clash
Chemical Warfare – The Dead Kennedys
Farandole – Love Sculpture
A Question of Time – Depeche Mode

I miss doing Back to the Future on WOXY…

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Magnify my soul for all to see..."

I hooked up with some old friends last weekend for a laughter-filled evening of booze and music. Barb & Dave have been living abroad for the past few years and only recently moved back to the states, so it was good to catch up with them and compare notes and giggle uncontrollably all night.

We kicked off the evening with Pogo at Hofbrauhaus, then wandered over to the Southgate House to check out the Black Angels/Vietnam/Lab Partners show.

We ran into TC and talked and hugged for eternities. I told him about seeing a dude in the queue wearing a t-shirt for The Record Store. Just as I finished telling him, the cat cruises by and we both called out to him. He turned, grinning, and started over, only to realize he didn’t know who we were, so he turned on his heel and stalked off. We burst out laughing. The poor schmuck had no idea he was in the presence of greatness.

As enjoyable as Lab Partners were (even if they omitted "Magnify" from their set), by the time Vietnam was into their third song it was getting unbearably hot in the ballroom, so we made our way upstairs and hung out in Junie’s Lounge, watching a sweet rockabilly band shake the house. Why there were tables in the lounge is mystifying. Everyone wanted to dance! That thumping stand-up bass and twangy guitar forced feet to move, whether or not the body was willing. It was a completely different crowd up there—dressed as if 1955 never ended—and it was so refreshing that we couldn’t stop laughing and smiling and shaking that thang.

Back down the stairs to the ballroom, we were greeted by a blast furnace when we opened the doors and stepped into the inky darkness. The Black Angels took the stage a few minutes afterward, amazingly cool in the sweltering heat. Their mesmerizing drone captivated and enthralled, and for awhile we all forgot about the heat.