Niagara Falls

June 10, 2019 Leave a comment

A few random observations about our recent visit to Niagara Falls, Canada.

I will say that the only thing I hate more that tourists is being one myself…..so I’m not the best traveler by any means. But I make up for any self-consciousness with my ability to ignore what others might consider to be indignities. In short, I just keep my mouth closed and pay without complaining. If I was worried about how much shit costs, I wouldn’t have visited one of the most touristy places on the planet in the first place. So when the total cost of an 18 oz Molson at the hotel bar came to $13, I was so non-plussed I ordered another.

Our hotel room view

That being said, the Falls are quite a staggering sight. From the US side you get an awkward view, like attending a concert and getting seated behind the band. But from the Canadian side the view is unobstructed and mesmerizing, and at night, all lit up, it becomes even more so. On our last day we hung out by the rim of Horseshoe Falls and just grinned like idiots for about 2 hours, snapping pictures by the score and trying not to get pushed over the edge by wild-eyed grown-ups wielding selfie-sticks like swords.

Ah, selfie-sticks. I thought they were dead and gone, like grunge or Coke Classic. Ha! Americans may have moved on, but the rest of the world adores them. I saw literally hundreds, and not only near the falls. I saw them being used at dinner tables, or being walked down the street, their owners apparently terrified of being alone with their thoughts. These people look like fools to me, but you can bet your ass their scrapbook is better than my scrapbook. So who am I to judge?

Canadians might be the nicest people on earth. They just seem less uptight….so much less willing to act dickish just for the sake of being dickish. They handle the daily invasion of the entire world with a patience and a guile that seems…well…unworldly. One of the reasons that Niagara Falls is so beloved is because the best parts of it are IN Canada. Anyplace else and the world might care a lot less and just look at the pictures.

Canadians are also smart. Very smart. Everywhere you go…..when you find the door to get out, it leads you to a gift shop. It’s uncanny. You can find a random bathroom, and when you’re done and walk out, somehow you walk directly into an aisle of T-shirts and snow-globes. It’s impossible not to spend money here, but they make it all so easy that you hardly even notice you’re going broke one door at a time. And if I’m going to spend what I don’t really have, I’d rather give it to a smiling Canadian than to some surly European with a superiority complex.

Some things you just have to do, like the boat ride to the rim of the falls…the one where they give you the rain gear. It’s kinda cheesy, and they know it’s kinda cheesy and you know it’s kinda cheesy but you do it anyway and you love it and you have to talk yourself out of doing it again (standing on top the second time!).

We visited the museum where they keep all the assorted contraptions assorted lunatics created to ride over the falls in…..some of which worked and some of which…well…not so much. We were told a 7 year old kid survived an accidental trip over the falls back in the 1960s, and that about 20 people a year travel near and far to off themselves with all sorts of style points in mind. There ain’t much more than a chest high barrier to stop anybody from taking a header if they so desire, and just last year somebody fell in while taking pictures standing on the stone wall above the falls (what a last pic that would be eh?) something I thought might happen about every 15 seconds from my vantage point.  There’s no security or patrols, so….you’re pretty much on your own. I like that about Canada too. They are totally cool if you want to risk your life to take a selfie.

We walked and bused and walked some more. We visited a botanical garden, and wandered among a beautiful array of butterflies. It was charming.

It’s about a 5 hour drive for me. Basically drive to Syracuse and turn left and go straight until you are stopped by a border agent. It just seems longer. A lot longer. I don’t know why. The GPS has some fun with you on the way home, cutting off mileage by re-routing you through assorted single lane roads until you are convinced you’re completely lost….until you finally see a sign for Binghamton. Once you hit 81 again, the pothole dodging begins, and you know home is approaching.

So thank you Ontario. You were a splendid host. I’m rooting like hell for the Raptors tonight. And I’ve become a huge Tragically Hip fan.

In a bit..

–tf

Categories: Uncategorized

The Circus

May 23, 2019 Leave a comment

When the circus comes to town, you go.

Because it’s the circus.

circusIt doesn’t come around often, so put down your phone, pile the kids into the family truckster, and prepare to be wildly entertained by folks who can do things you cannot do. Your senses will tingle. You’ll oooh and aaah and laugh and eat a bunch of stuff that’s no good for you…..and if you’re really lucky the clown will bring you into the ring with him….and you’ll feel goofy and silly but love it all, because nothing brings us together quite like a human touch. This isn’t the big screen….this isn’t fake. These are extraordinary people doing extraordinary things, literally yards away from you. You can’t hit the pause button, and nobody gets a do-over. There is, quite literally, no net.

These people have devoted their lives to making kids smile, and making adults feel like kids so they too can smile (and dance) like nobody is watching. That’s the thing about the circus. It’s impossible for grumpy-ness to take hold. And while they don’t ask you to suspend belief, that doesn’t mean that you’re not gonna say “did he’she really just do that?” over and over again. Yes, they did just do that. And you were there. You didn’t see it on a video. Or hear about it second-hand, You craned your neck and tried to figure out how high up that really is (30 feet was my guess….) . There really wasn’t a time I could totally relax.

There’s a cohesiveness to all of us when we’re there….performers and audience members alike. There’s no “look what I can do” bravado from the performers either. You know what you feel instead? “Look what we as human beings are capable of doing when we’re together.” Neither we nor them ever loses our sense of wonder.

They must have performed these routines 1000 times….but never did I get the sense that anybody was mailing it in. Despite the small mid-week crowd, the greatest show on earth lived up to its billing. And that sounds corny as hell but I don’t care, because last night when I was there all I saw were smiles, and if you can do better than that, step up and make yourself heard.

And yea, so you may need to hit an ATM machine on the way, but so what. You can’t take the debit card with you….and these next few hours are gonna stay with you a lot longer than the $100 you just dropped (and the blinking rubber nose you are gonna buy….you just don’t know it yet). Stop making excuses. For 2 glorious hours bullshit evaporates and we all just grin at each other like idiots and say “did you see that?”

Circus Bellucci is set up for a few more days in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Taylor. For me stepping inside that big tent was like giving a giant middle-finger to my crappy day, and walking out I grasped the clown’s hand and pumped it furiously. “Thank you thank you” I said over and over again. And he said…..”no….thank YOU.”

Perfect.

In a bit..

–tf

Categories: Uncategorized

Alabama

May 16, 2019 Leave a comment

world-us-canada-48275795When Alabama is in the news, it’s usually for something bad, like Nick Saban winning more games or a destructive hurricane or only being smarter than Mississippi. Or white men behaving very very douchey.

This week it’s been the latter…..coming on the heels of white men in Ohio and Georgia setting the douchey bar VERY high.

Alabama’s response?

“Hold my beer…we’re about to go all Sharia on you uppity squaws.”

(In case you are keeping track….abortions in Alabama would be banned, but assault rifles….not so much.)

So it got me to thinking….about being “pro-life” and all that. What it means and what it should mean and what it really means.

First off, I have mad respect for anybody with unwavering principles. Nothing pisses me off more than selective outrage. Have a position. Stick to that position. Be unwavering. The end. Anything else makes you a fake. A partisan hack. And it makes you pretty normal actually, because our nation is filled with fakes and partisan hacks these days. But whatever. Don’t be one of these. Because it annoys me.

(So, to clarify….if being President and fucking a porn star while married does not make evangelical voters mad at you, then any subsequent married President who fucks a porn star should draw no evangelical outrage. Even if he is a ””gulp”” LIBERAL. Same with releasing your taxes. It’s no longer a thing for Presidents. And it can never be a thing again. If you start screeching about it tomorrow and are fine with it today, you’re just an asshole.)

In the context of what follows, “pro-life” means “anti-abortion” surely, but also means that only “God” (presumably the correct deity of course, not the kind you believe in that makes you Un-American) can take a human life, which means ANY human life….because every human life is sacred. There are no loopholes. If we don’t get any, you don’t get any. Sorry dudes.

You don’t like abortion. You’re against it. Even in the case of rape and incest. Which is perfectly fine. Assuming the following is also true….

  1. You have a womb. If you don’t, you don’t get to play this game. Hers is not yours. You don’t get to tell a woman what to do with her own body any more than you can tell her that she has to wear a veil over her face. (Imagine her telling you how many guitars you can own? Crazy right? This is sorta the same thing.) Assuming you CAN dictate these things doesn’t make you pro-life, it makes you pro-dick. See how easy this is? We’ve already eliminated half the population, and we’ve barely gotten started. Onward….
  2. You are 100% against the death penalty with a grand total of no exceptions. Since in your view only God can take a life, it’s sorta silly that I even need to list this one. But I do. Because chances are your definition of the “sanctity of life” is fairly elastic, and completely breaks when you’re talking about convicted murderers on death row, especially if they’re brown, which just about all of them are. So if you are a woman, and anti-death penalty, congratulations, you’re still in the running.
  3. You are virulently anti-war with a grand total of no exceptions. War is killing, and life is sacred. The soldiers your government has told you deserve to die feel equally strong that the soldiers on your own team deserve to die. In other words, war is a complete shit-show. But all that is irrelevant because all life is sacred and only God can take a life…..even if we’re talking about vile shitheads who drive planes into buildings, as an example. This is a tough one, but you don’t get to pick and choose your rules. That would make you a godless LIBERAL. Still with me? Probably not but I’ve got at least one more. And this one is gonna drive you crazy.
  4. You support some type of common sense gun control. Because people are being shot with guns, and only God can take a life….and he’s not armed with an AK-47, so there’s really no need for you to be. If there’s no exceptions, that means no exceptions. You can hunt, but that’s it. You can’t even buy a gun for protection because all life is sacred and only God can take a life, even if that life has broken into your house and is trying to kill you. Sorry. This is the gun control equivalent of the “no exceptions from rape and incest” portion of the new ‘Bama law. Your rules, not mine.
  5. You care as much about actual babies as you do about fetuses. That means you take an active interest in their well-being, from health-care to education and beyond. I’m laughing as I type this one because…well….you know.
  6. You’re ok with women passing legislation that controls men’s bodies. Because, why the hell not?
  7. You don’t support children in cages. Duh.

So after tallying up the numbers, in my 52 years on this earth I have met  a grand total of 0 people that are truly “pro-life”. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not. A. Single. One. Living. Or. Dead.

Almost without exception “pro-life” people I know fail this test miserably.

How can these conflicting moral compasses be reconciled?

Actually, they can’t.

It’s blatant hypocrisy.

So the entire thing is fake news…..just more noise to distract us from the fact that the nation is now run by a small cabal of enormously rich racist white Tom Brady fans who claim “we’re not scientists so….” when denying that climate change is real, but are now, all of a a sudden, a pack of Jesus-fearing gynecologists.

And that, ultimately, we’re completely doomed.

You’re welcome.

In a bit…

–tf

Categories: Uncategorized

The Avengers “Endgame” for the uninitiated….

May 6, 2019 Leave a comment

I went to see the Avengers movie this weekend….knowing I’d be sorta confused because I don’t really know anything about the Avengers….having not seen any of the previous movies (I hear there are lots of them….both Avengers and movies about Avengers). But I love going to the movies with my family, so I went.

So what follows is not so much a review as it is a series of confused observations. I cannot state that it will NOT contain spoilers, but I can say that my confusion level is so high that I really can’t say that it WILL either. So, read at your own risk.

To level set, for the first hour or so I thought Robert Downey Jr was Captain America. I then learned that he’s Ironman, which I thought was a Black Sabbath song (bit of a chicken or the egg thing going on in my mind over this one). I have no idea what super-powers either one of these guys have, but since they kept getting their asses kicked by the big meanie guy with the chin that looks like a ball-sack, they both seemed seriously wanting. In one scene an emaciated looking Robert Downey Jr looked like Tom Hanks from the movie “Philadelphia”….so it’s no wonder he was getting tossed around like a rag doll. Dude needs to eat a sandwich. Ozzy Ozbourne could have done just as well against Josh Brolin, who the credits say was the actor who played “Thanos”, the bad guy with the dickface, even though he seemed all computerized. Acting is getting weird yo….

Thanos at one point killed half the universe by turning them into dust, which seemed pretty nasty. Not sure why he didn’t just kill all the Avengers instead and save time, but I’m sure he had his reasons. Once the time machine thing happens, the army he killed come back and they are REALLY mad…with good reason one might suspect, although it’s not clear if they knew they were dead before and are thus getting a re-do. The chronology is a bit fuzzy when you’re dealing with time travel.

(In any case, Mel Gibson should sue these guys for the Braveheart-ish battle scenes.)

I thought Captain America was Captain Marvel. I’ve never read comic books so I had no idea Captain Marvel was female. Every time I saw what I took to be a woman Avenger, I just assumed she was Wonder Woman, a tragic rookie mistake that I took a lot of shit for and am not ashamed to admit here.

(from here I learned of the DC vs Marvel thing, which I did not know was a thing. But it certainly explains why Superman never showed up. If he was around, it would probably be a shorter movie. Just saying…)

There’s that english actor who is in a billion movies who seemed to spend the entire movie holding back the ocean with one hand and drawing circles with the other. I bet he made millions. All I know is that I coulda done the same thing if they cast me….for a lot less cash. He’s the guy with the name that sounds like the part of the tuxedo that hides your beer belly.

I still have no idea who Don Cheadle is supposed to be. I swore I was told by somebody that Jeremy Renner was the Green Lantern, only to learn that he’s really somebody named “Hawkeye”…so I just assumed maybe he had some sort of Korean War past? No idea. Further clarification is needed. Every time he was on-screen I just started thinking about “The Hurt Locker”. And why does this Hawkeye have such awful hair? It looks like an ingrown mullet trying to avoid his ears. He is good with a bow and arrow though, so if you’re going on a big game hunt he’s your man. (He does a lousy job of keeping track of his family, that I can tell you)

The Hulk and Spiderman were easy to ID, for obvious reasons. I had no idea Spiderman was still in High School. I’d LOVE to see him try to explain his absences to his principal. Hulk doesn’t need to be pissed off to turn into the Hulk anymore. He’s just permanently green and seemingly sedated. I’m sure there’s a reason for this but I must have missed it. He also wears glasses, so there must be some sort of magic radiation thing that makes the lenses and frames grow exponentially.

I have a hard time telling Hollywood beefcake apart, so Chris Pratt and Liam Hemsworth and the Captain America guy (not sure of his name) seem like the same person. I was then told that one of them is not really an Avenger, but a “Guardian of the Galaxy” (no clue who they are) who I guess was just hanging around wanting to be in a movie? No idea. One of them was “Thor”….the god of something to do with hammers or Led Zeppelin. Still not sure which was which. There’s also a wise-cracking raccoon, which I thought was a bear cub but whatever. I didn’t know raccoons could talk. He had all the good lines, in any case.

Two Avengers die. One I still don’t know the name of…she died from a fall, which seemed especially cruel since she’s an Avenger and all of them seem to be able to fly and flit around whenever they want to. I think she offed herself to save the world. Or something along those lines. I guess her contract was up with the studio.

There is a green chick in the movie who reminded me the the Star Trek alien Captain Kirk boinked a long time ago. No idea what her deal is or which side she was on. Her loyalties seemed to waver.

Samuel L Jackson showed up at the end, apparently for no other reason than Samuel L Jackson is in every movie ever made. Keep in mind that for, literally, 3 seconds of work he was paid about 100 times more than you will make over your entire lifetime.

You’re welcome.

I didn’t know the Black Panther was an Avenger. I assume he is because he’s in this movie, but then again there’s the Galaxy people so…all bets appear to be off. I never saw the Black Panther film, and after learning that Captain Marvel was female, thought that maybe she was…or he was…or whatever. Then Captain America grows old (time machines….lots going on here) and gives his shield to yet ANOTHER guy…so I thought maybe HE was the Black Panther. To be honest, I have no idea who the Black Panther is even now. But apparently Captain America will now be black, which means Trump won’t be tweeting about him. SAD!

Who the fuck is Antman? Did they run out of ideas? He must have some powers, but other than being really boring I didn’t see any.

At the same theater at the same time was a movie about Shazam, which seemed very bad timing on somebody’s part. I assume he’s not an Avenger?

Oh, and after all the hard work and dying is completed, Gwyneth Paltrow suddenly shows up looking radiant….at which point I stopped asking any questions and just went with the flow.

All in all, I give it a thumb’s up even though I didn’t understand any of it. Because Sunday was a dreary, rainy day and I got to spend it with the fam, who loved it.

That is all.

In a bit..

–tf

Categories: Uncategorized

The Dirt

March 23, 2019 Leave a comment

I watched the Motley Crue whateveritscalled late last night. With weirdly placed voice-overs and actors speaking directly to the camera…..it’s sort of a movie/documentary/immorality tale that begins with a scene showing the drummer going down on a girl in the middle of a crowded party, with her eventually…er…squirting across the room. This sets the overall tone quite nicely….so that later when we see the lead singer repeatedly banging groupies in assorted (always unlocked…strange?) bathrooms, or the bass player shooting heroin into his neck and between his toes, it feels almost quaint in comparison.

The 80s were a strange time. If you were a rock star you could kill your friend and seriously injure 2 others in a drunken car crash and spend less than a month in jail. When you returned from court appointed rehab what do you do? Why, snort heroin of course.

You were also celebrated for snorting ants up your nose and lapping up urine with your tongue. As long as you looked good in spandex and had good hair. Of course there was some music involved, but I think the movie spends more time on the nameless girl who sits under the band’s bar table offering unsuspecting blowjobs than to the appeal of the songs.

The debauchery is only interrupted to deal with the tragic death of the lead singer’s young daughter to cancer (dealt with with all the aplomb of a bad Lifetime movie), and then picks back up with the death and resurrection of the bass player, who was revived from his latest heroin OD via not 1 but 2 shots of adrenaline straight into his heart.

Hardly any of the nearly always scantily clad women in the movie are even given names, although one of them gets enough screen time to be punched in the face by the drummer, who later marries his first Hollywood starlet (his second one is, for whatever reason, not addressed in the film at all). He calls his wife on a payphone after a show while he’s getting a blow job, but feels sorta guilty about it afterwards….especially when his wife discovers such things and files for divorce. This is not exactly the film the #MeToo movement has been waiting for….but you do get the feeling that these guys had a small hand in creating the movement anyway.

Rock and roll road hijinks are a-plenty….with plenty of bar brawls and trashed hotel rooms and TVs tossed out of windows. There’s enough cocaine to make the medellin cartel blush. In a nice touch, we learn that the band’s manager resorts to handcuffing the band’s rhythm section to their respective beds, so they can’t get up to any more mayhem. This was my favorite bit, actually. One wondered why he didn’t cuff them the second they walked off the stage….

Then of course….the Behind the Music-like redemption. The band elects to enter rehab collectively….or so we’re told. We watch them struggling to stay relevant in the 90s, flailing away inside a studio decorated on the outside with a huge poster of Pearl Jam. So it’s not like the filmmakers didn’t have a sense of humor.

The band splits up…..not sure how many times….they get a new singer….not sure how many times….they reform and tour again, not sure how many times. I’m alerted at the end that the band is still together, which was news to me. They’re portrayed as survivors, a band of brothers, a group of boys will be boys scamps….with a twinkle in their collective eye, and all sorts of war stories for the grand kids.

And not as….you know……complete assholes lucky to be both alive, and out of jail.

I never gave a shit about Motley Crue. Their direct appeal to the lowest common neanderthal never resonated with me…..but that didn’t stop me from buying a Ted Nugent live record, so who knows? Teenage boys are demented by design. I do think I’m a better human being for having a Pete Townshend poster on my teenage wall than one of Nikki Sixx, however.

I also don’t think any of the Crue would have lasted a week with Keith Moon. So there.

In a bit..

–tf

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Eat the rich…

March 17, 2019 Leave a comment

When I started reading the headlines about rich people using their money to gain unfair advantages for their spoiled douchey kids, I scrolled right past the way I scroll past articles about Trump saying something stupid. I’m unclear why this is even considered newsworthy.

Of course rich people, most of whom have gotten rich by being sketchy in the first place, use their money to influence all sorts of situations that would normally require……like…hard work and stuff. I must say that spending a cool half million to buy scholarship spots on a college crew team for your 2 daughters, neither of whom has ever stepped on a boat before, doesn’t exactly scream “high parental SAT score”, but then neither does being known for playing second fiddle to John Stamos. Subsequently marrying a fashion designer with a net worth of $80 million doesn’t make you any smarter. It just means you get to do your makeup and choose your wardrobe before the FBI arrests you.

eatWe’ve all heard about kids in academically prestigious schools, schools with acceptance rates in the single digits, and wondered how they could possibly get in without being able to recite the ABCs or read a wall clock. And I’m not talking about the ones who can tomahawk dunk or run for 200 yards a game. (Athletics are a special category, where classes are as optional as actually graduating, and under-the-table payments might force you to actually take a pay cut when you become a professional.) I’m talking about the random dolts who couldn’t get a 1600 on an SAT if they took it 5 times and added up the scores. Their only qualification, inevitably is coming from a family that has gobs of money. Of course these kids are stealing a spot from somebody way more qualified, but from the college admission perspective, the kids left out were too dumb to be born to rich parents so….fuck them.

Generally money is enough. There’s no need to doctor SAT scores, so this part is a bit confusing to me. You can only chalk this up to astounding hubris….the “my kid scores this”……type of hubris that separates the normal rich asshole parents from the supersonic rich asshole parents.

Even a school as pretentiously self-important as Harvard has their price. The fact that it took the slimy Kushner family a $2.5 million bribe to get Mr Ivanka Trump enrolled gives new definition to the term “the best and the brightest”. This is definitely not a case where more is better. Can you imagine how much of a fucking idiot your son must be if it takes $2.5 million of your hard earned stolen money to get him into a school?

Stunning how so many were involved in this scheme….at all levels. Apparently there is nobody left in the US who can’t be bought, from college admission directors, to coaches, to some blue collar schlub at the table set up at the SAT testing school, willing to wave the 50 year old white haired guy with the picture ID of the 17 year old girl past. But a hung- over college kid with bad time management skills who cuts and pastes sections of a Wikipedia page and forgets to add a footnote will be dragged before some insufferable academic board and systematically filleted.

Sounds fair.

But then again….ho hum. Catching a few Hollywood middling starlets (interesting how the husbands aren’t being pillared though, isn’t it? Things that make you go hmmm…) dumb enough to put their dumbness on display in traceable emails is not going to change the fact that while the earth is round (people who don’t believe this get into colleges too….), it is not fair. At all. Rich kids will always have the advantage over our kids. Our kids will work hard and work fair and follow the rules, and they’ll be allotted the scraps that fall off corporate tables.

And when they leave college, they will deal with dumb rich people in positions of authority over them for the rest of their lives. This is just the beginning, so they might as well learn it now.

The game is rigged Bubba. The only way to end this is to burn it all to the ground.

It’s said there is no replacement for hard work, but those who say that don’t have the ability to simply cut a check.

In a bit..

–tf

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Parade Day

March 9, 2019 Leave a comment

It’s Parade Day in Scranton.

Drunk_LeprechaunThe professionals are home today…..or gathered in out-of-the-way bars or man caves, as far away from downtown as possible. They have no desire to be vomited or spilled on, rear-ended, t-boned, shanked over the last parking spot, or forced to play peacemaker during the inevitable Hill Section brawls that will break out when the sun goes down, like wild-fires, all captured on video and posted on social media (Ok…I can’t wait for these, but that doesn’t make me a bad person).

And alas, we all remember the year Scranton became the romance capital of the year, as a parade dwelling couple bent over each other against a dumpster in an alley were made virally famous, to the horror of the Chamber of Commerce and, presumably, their parents. The stuff PTSD is made of.

So again……the pros stay away.

There’s a reason the day is widely known as “amateur hour”, as hordes of 20 something green-clad college students from Schenectady, most of them as Irish as Pope Francis, start drinking Keystone Light at 8am and continue until blackout, emboldened by a pack mentality, peer pressure, and and some Xanax to move things along. Clashes between townies and students are inevitable….and will light up Talkback-16 like a Christmas tree for at least a week.

The sheer disdain professional drinkers have for this day is palpable. Theirs is an orderly existence…….filled with routine. The same bar. The same stool. The same time. Not having to ask for a drink….but having one placed in front of them before they can get their coat off. Three long necks….then a pee. Repeat. Bartenders you can set your watch to. But today? That has been obliterated. Their sacred space has been invaded…..and there is no rank they can pull to get it back. If you want 3 beers today….you better order them at the same time. And if you think you have to pee before 10pm, start lining up now. (the girls have it way worse here…..by 9am the guys have already starting pissing in the sinks to move things along)

And in a nice touch, the weather is uncharacteristically perfect, which increases the potential carnage exponentially.

My musician brothers and sisters are out there…..spread out amongst the numerous bars, somehow negotiating the load-ins despite blocked off streets and zero parking. It’s good pay on parade day….much more than regular gigs….but they earn every penny, with half an eye always on the reeling drunks staggering in front of the stage, threatening to topple the sound system. When the band gets a break, somebody has to stand sentry over the gear, in case somebody takes the guitar in its stand as an invitation to re-create Hendrix at Monterey.

Totally rock and roll. Bands sleep well tonight Bubba. That I can tell you.

And somehow, amidst the maelstrom, a parade actually breaks out, and it’s wonderful. One year my father was chosen as the Grand Marshall, and I know it was a true honor for him. Music and smiles and kids and the joy of a community coming together for a day. Families gather. Old friends reunite. Over the years the cops have really cracked down on open containers, so the trouble mostly remains behind closed doors until after dark. So if you can survive the DUI bumper cars of the expressway and find a place to park, things can remain pretty kid friendly until you make your escape.

Or you can just stay home and watch it on TV.

In a bit..

–tf

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