And Another Thing…

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37

So I turned 37 on Tuesday; not a big deal except for me and those that love me. 37 is not one of the cool birthdays, like officially being a teenager at 13, being able to drive at 16, being able to vote at 18, being able to drink and buy guns (a favorite combination of mine) at 21, or having your auto insurance rates drop at 25 (if you’re a white male).

Knowing that my actual birthday was not going to be a good day (I started my internship and had to work my paying gig that night) Chris and I decided to celebrate on Labor Day. We got together with some friends for a righteous feed at Famous Dave’s and then had desert with them at our place. There were a lot of stories exchanged and a lot of laughter and a good time was had by all (I hope). Carl and Shayna win the award for the best card of the evening, as it featured the one and only David Hasselhoff.

The internship: I am working for the local Department of Family Services in the Child Protective Services division. I opted for this placement for several reasons: it is a gap in my experience, I want to see what exactly they do and find out if it is for me, and I think that looking after at-risk kids is a necessity and a calling. Also, my field instructor is the supervisor of his division and being his intern will allow me to get into some policy and administrative work. My first day on the job was not bad; everyone is very helpful and I got to go out on a call. I will share what I can of my experiences, so watch this space if you are interested.

9/2 was not a total bust; my brother was in town so Chris and I got to have dinner with him and hang out a little bit, which was cool.

Oh, I almost forgot: Chris got me 4 great CDs – John Hiatt‘s newest, Same Old Man; it’s not his greatest album ever but the fact is the man hasn’t released a dud in more than 20 years. All of his songs demonstrate the same warm, witty, and insightful writing that has made him one of the most covered artists of the last 30 years, and Same Old Man is no exception.

She also got me 3 CDs by the late, great Danny Gatton; the best American guitar player of the past 50 years and possibly the most underappreciated guitarist of all time. There is a reason that his colleagues called him “The Master of the Telecaster” and “The Humbler.” If you don’t believe me, check out some samples of his work on his webpage or over at Amazon. He’ll make your ears bleed.

Filed under: Music, School, , , , , , , ,

Quick Hits – Summer Lovin’ Edition

If you read and/or commented on my last post, please see the update.

                   

This past weekend was chaos; controlled chaos to be certain, but chaos nonetheless. Friday evening and Saturday afternoon were initially set aside so that I could officiate at some friends’ wedding. Always an honor to be asked to fill such a role on a day that the bride and groom will remember for the rest of their lives. However, the bride and groom called it off. I don’t know why, nor do I want to know. However, I stand by the contention that a broken engagement is better than a broken marriage.

So, granted some serendipitous free time on Friday, I had a guys night: Famous Dave’s and some cheap cigars on my friend Matt’s back porch. A pleasant, relaxing evening with people I just don’t get to see that often.

Saturday, Christine and I cleaned the homestead in anticipation of her parents’ passing through on their return from attending their grandson’s elementary school graduation in Virginia Beach. We had a nice (albeit short) visit with them. I count myself truly fortunate to have in-laws that I like and who seem to like me.

Sunday afternoon my brother and his girlfriend came up from Staunton to celebrate his birthday and her graduation (Master in Counseling from James Madison University…congrats, Jenny). We took them to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Steve Winwood at Nissan Pavilion. I had heard several trusted sources expound on what a great show Tom Petty puts on, and he lives up to the hype. He and the band burned through their classics and even provided a treat for me and my brother by playing one of our favorite songs (but not one of Petty’s biggest hits) “Rebels” from the 1985 album Southern Accents. They even threw in a Bo Diddley tribute during the encore.

Steve Winwood put on a great show as well, concentrating on blues covers and his classics from the number of groups he has been a member of. He also demonstrated a proficiency with the guitar that I was unaware of. The highlight of the show (for me, at least) was when he returned to the stage during the Heartbreakers’ set to perform “Gimme Some Lovin’” possibly the most popular song he ever wrote and his biggest hit with the Spencer Davis Group.

Of course, since we were at a major concert venue, there were the requisite drunken and/or stoned douchebags who had to carry on, yell inappropriate things, and vomit on the sidewalk. Otherwise, a good time was had by all.

Monday Christine took the day off and we had a nice quiet day of just us, thank you very much. Monday night I met some of my classmates for dinner (Christine was in her art class). It was good to see everyone without the pressure of Dr. Sunshine hanging over our heads. At least two of my classmates are planning to move soon; one to New York and one to North Carolina. I am surprised that I made good enough friends in graduate school that this saddens me.

                   

I don’t know who I am going to vote for. McCain, who once appeared (to me, at least) to be a man of principle, has pretty much become a waterboy for the worst elements of the Republican Party. How he can even stand to be in the same room as Dubya without spitting in Dubya’s face for slandering him in 2000 is beyond me. None of this takes away from McCain’s heroism during the Vietnam War, but it does make me question his ability to lead our country.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to promise Utopia. That would be nice, but I really want to know how he plans to achieve this. I hope that the change and progress he is promising won’t be built on the backs of working people, the way most things are done now.

                   

Way back in January I made the admittedly safe prediction that all of the candidates would attempt to outdo each other in displays of religiosity. What I did not predict is how bad they would be at it. McCain managed to pick one of the most polarizing, end-times obsessed wingnuts as his spiritual adviser. As for Obama, well, we all know how that one turned out. Meanwhile, atheist bloggers are practically  crapping themselves over the idea that Obama may be a closet atheist or agnostic; yet they approve of his “pandering” to all us gap-toothed, subliterate religious folk in order to get our votes.

I honestly don’t care; I gave up on politicians reflecting Christian values a long time ago. Some may have been committed to the faith when they started out, but the compromises necessary in the pursuit of power have to wear their commitment down eventually. Considering the things that Jesus had to say about power and wealth (and I defy anyone to show me a politician who isn’t wealthy) I find it highly unlikely that any serious contender for the office of president is still devoting their utmost to his highest. I think the best that we can hope for is the person who lies the least. I will be happy if I am proven wrong, though.

Regardless, is it wrong to say how happy I am that Hillary is out of it? Close your eyes and say it with me kids: “No more Bushes, no more Clintons, no more Kennedys”

                   

Mystery quote:

“If you didn’t want him dead, why did you leave him with me?”

 

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