I got older without noticing it

Age is a number, they say.  Age is a mental concept, they say.  You’re only as old as you feel, they say.  Well “they” can go and f…ondle themselves on a highway.  “They” are walking around with their head up their ass because growing old is inevitable but ridiculously hard to get used to.  I’ve gained a newfound understanding for how age can creep up on you and then jump and throttle you like a facehugger.

We spend our annual holiday camping at a family resort, which is basically paying a lot of money to live like a homeless person.  I used to be very anxious and actively involved in setting up our camp site making sure everything is done in a proper way because camping becomes a lot less fun when the wind blows your tent to the next country.  The resort we stay at has people who are more than happy to set up the site for you, at a fee of course.  Being who I am, I didn’t oblige because I have slaves working for free, my two teenage kids.   Continue reading

My love, your car hates me.

I’m 6’4″.  That’s tall.  In any country.  I’m proud of my height, I’ve worked damn hard to get this tall.  It took countless awkward moments throughout puberty and then some. My length allows me to be heavier than most people simply because the weight has a wider distance of distribution.   Or at least that’s what I like to believe.  It enables me to do things that normal people can’t.  Like getting the sales items that’s normally hidden on the top shelf of a grocery store.  You didn’t know?  I’m able to spot my friends from a mile in a crowd.  And then avoid them.  It allows me to have a perfect, unhindered view at any concert, whilst people behind me normally start swearing as soon as I stand up.

My length does make certain things a little more problematic.  Like taking a bath or buying a standard pair of jeans or walking around construction sites or being stuck in an economy seat for eleven hours with the rest of the cattle.  My biggest frustration for being tall is having to drive a normal sized car.  Which is why I don’t.  And which is why Wife does. Continue reading

Dude is funny

One of my life goals have been achieved.  I have kept my training regime long enough to allow Dude to catch up and reach the age where he can finally join me in my daily trips to the gym without making it seem like child abuse.  The one thing I didn’t expect was to age at least ten years as soon as I walked in with a teenager by my side.  I wanted to introduce Dude as a friend of mine but friends don’t call friends “Dad”.  At least not in the circles I move in.  He blew my cover in the first few seconds.  I suppose I should feel flattered that people were surprised to learn of my fifteen year-old son.  Or maybe I should be insulted?  The jury is still out on that one.

I cherish and savor these moments of alone time with him more than he would ever know.  Now I’m gonna man up, grow a pair and drop all this sentimental shenanigans… Continue reading

Art, it’s time YOU built a bridge over troubled water.

No roller-coaster can hold a candle to the real life twists and turns we encounter during our daily existence on this planet of ours.  People provide excitement, surprises, irony, weirdness and many other thrills, chills and spills that no man-made joyride can even attempt to reciprocate.  And I’m not even referring to the usual suspects like Miley, Kanye or Lady Gaga.

I just read an article on http://www.billboard.com where Art Garfunkel called his once, long time collaborator, Paul Simon, amongst other things a “monster”, “jerk” and “idiot” for leaving him in 1971 at the height of the duo’s career.  Bitter anyone?  For those of you who were born in the nineties or have been living under a rock, the duo I’m referring to is none other than Simon and Garfunkel.  Still doesn’t ring a bell?  “Mrs Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”  Still not?  I have to admit it was also before my time, as my Dad was still trying to get to first base whilst that song played on the radio.

The long and short of it is that Paul Simon dumped Art Garfunkel and went on his own merry way, wearing diamonds on the soles of his shoes, just as Bridge over troubled water became a world-wide phenomenon.  It became their signature song from their fifth and final album.  Not only did this song chart in every country, except Middle Earth and Panem, it also won six Grammy’s.  And sold over six million copies. (Too many sixes maybe…da da da…)

“I didn’t leave him because of his hair, I swear”, said Paul Simon. (allegedly)
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The irony is that this song was actually performed as a solo by Garfunkel himself.  Simon wanted taller bigger things, told Garfunkel to call him Al if he ever wanted to call him and left.  Art having lost half of the band’s name, became a math teacher.  Let it be known that there is nothing wrong with being a math teacher or a kindergarden teacher for that matter, but it’s merely another example of why we have the phrase “WTF?”  Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.  You can read the full article here, but please remember to close your mouth after you finished as it might be fly season.

There may be those who would argue that Art had reason to go public in a semi-rant over his long-lost pal.  And these arguments would fall in the same category as those defending the existence of fairies and other bull shit.  Not that I think fairies are bull shit, I just don’t think they exist.  Like the Tooth F… um, I mean like Santa Cl…shucks.

The reason for his badmouthing and foul mood is an obvious pile of sour grapes.  What is even more shocking is the fact that 1970 was 45 years ago and old FArt is still filled with resentment at Paul for seeking a successful solo career.  Way. Back. When.  Talk about beating a dead horse. Art Garfunkel gives new meaning to the concept of keeping grudges.  And seeking publicity.  And being a douchebag.

Don’t you think it’s time to move on?  Get over it?  And maybe do something about your hair?  Ever heard of gel? Or scissors? We’re not in the eighties anymore, my friend.

Looking back, you guys made great music, had a good run, did a few gigs together, became famous, and then they threw in a lifetime Grammy for good measure.  So. Just. Let it go.  It’s time to built your own little BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERA song that came full circle, performed by the great Simon and Garfunkel, or a duo I’m now going to call the “The Grinch and Paul Simon”.

10 Songs straight men can only sing in the shower

The Dude and I have this “thing”.  (Just to be clear, Dude is my son so this post will be a heterosexual point of view.)

Our “thing” is that we like to brag with new music/songs.  Both of us stream music from http://www.deezer.com so we have access to a gazillion songs we can share with one another.  It has to be said that we approach what one would consider “good” music very differently, as per requirement of our generation gap.  The high-five moment arrives when the other person likes the proposed song.

I get my new music from weekly visits to Billboard and the UK pop charts.  Dude gets it from somewhere else and he prefers anything with a headache inducing beat.  Continue reading

Writing 101 – Day 3: Free writing (3 Songs not meant for straight guys)

Clear your mind.  Don’t think of anything.  Just write non-stop for fifteen minutes.  Allow the emptiness of your thoughts to pour onto the pages…which might result in a blank screen, would it not?  Fortunately for me, it’s easy to empty my brain.  I mean, how difficult is it to tip half a jug?

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?  This actually struck a chord…

I have listed numerous songs over my blogging career.  Songs that have a very specific meaning on very specific moments of my life.  This week I’ve mentioned two already.  In order to prevent this blog from becoming a Rolling Stone article, I needed to do something completely different with the prompt.  Again.  Ignoring the obvious, continuing on my path of becoming a rebel writer.

On my way to work this morning, I was belting out a tune in the car, trying to shorten the ride and because no-one else in my family appreciates my singing.  I stopped at a traffic light and with my open window, it was evident to everyone around me which song I was karaoke-ing.  The lady in the car next to me laughed in my face, which made me stop.  For I realised that there are a few songs that should not be publically enjoyed if you’re a straight man.  The song I am referring to was “Single Ladies” from Beyonce. Continue reading

Barasti and being 23

Peter, Luke and Mark* (* actual names) met each other in a buzzling upmarket beach bar in the middle of the desert.  An oasis of televisions, live music and beer.  Paul, Matthew and John and the other six apostles were nowhere to be found.  Probably fishing.

We were young

We were young

The three met in the Bruce Willis section of the bar.  Where pecs, biceps, twelve hour stubble and weird hair were trying to impress high heels and plunging necklines.  The obvious problem being that the ratio was totally skew.  With 7 testosterone fuelled young men for every one girl.  The poor ladies all seemed like a deer caught in headlights.  Well not all of them.  Other were enjoying the free drinks, but had this weird it’s-you-and-your-hand-tonight sparkle in their eye.

Peter, Luke and Mark were observing this mad scramble for attention from a distance, for two reasons: (1) Marriage and (2) Maturity.

Eventually observing the ridiculousness became boring and the woman screeching through a melody to the monotonous beat of a loud drum a bit overwhelming.  It was rowdy and very loud.  Conversation was basically impossible.

They moved one level up to the James Bond section of the bar and sighed with relief.  The vibe was chilled with tables and couches scattered throughout.  Mature people were drinking whisky and settling comfortably listening to the live band.  Mellowness took over.  There was a few girls dancing on a small dance-floor surrounded by more desperate men.  They submitted more proof to the well-known fact that (1) White men can’t dance and (2) Desperation is never a good move.

Peter, Luke and Mark continued their discussion on the ignorance of youth and how it’s wasted on the young.  The guys on the dance floor were totally oblivious to the fact that their dance moves resembled a man taking a piss against an electric fence.  Way too much gyration of the lower half of the body.  And flinging your arms around like a windmill in heat should never be considered cool.  One must never consume that much alcohol.  Ever.

What Peter, Mark and Luke didn’t realise whilst sharing their endless wisdom, was the copious amounts of beer waiters were carrying to their table.  And the well known fact that beer causes people to grow younger.

Luke showed the first signs.  He stood up unannounced, hands in pocket, and had this very unnatural swing in his hips.  Mark and Peter should have realised immediately what was happening, but it was too much fun watching other people making asses of themselves.  Maybe they didn’t really want to.  But the evidence was clear.  The three friends were growing younger.  Yes, it didn’t lighten the dark spots on their hands or filled the crevices around their eyes but it was happening…

Mark was next to go.  He sat back in his chair and lifted his arms high, moving them like anemones on the sea bed.  In his mind he was matching the beat of the music.  It seemed more like a deaf-mute musical number.  Peter was laughing hysterically, until the band started playing that awesome eighties hit…  And he was lost too.

The next moment all three prophets were standing, growling like a pack of hungry wolves, focused on the dance floor, and the promise of release.

All restrictions held together by their grey hair and perceived wisdom; fell off like melting snow in the spring sun.  Landing on the ground with a loud POOF.  It didn’t matter whether they could dance or not.  It only matter that they had too.  They were turning younger by the minute.

Yes they were...

Yes they were…

To cut a very long story short, Peter, Mark and Luke ended up as 23 year olds in the Bruce Willis section of the bar.  Standing on a beach, jarring their fists at the DJ who was pumping beats into the Middle Eastern sky.  They were celebrating.  The night for being dark.  The music for having a beat.  The air for being invisible.  They celebrated being 23.  Being alive.  Letting loose.  And they had more beer.

Finally it ended.  It was time to go home and they parted with enthusiastic high five’s and brotherly embraces.  Never to  meet again.

***

Peter woke up two hours later to catch a flight back to his actual home, but stayed in bed for a moment after the wake-up call came.  Running through the nostalgia of the night before, trying to crack a smile.  But Peter could only manage a silent curse as he swung his legs off the bed.

The problem was that the mind of the 23 year old was still stuck in the body of someone slightly older.  And the body wasn’t impressed about the abuse he had to endure a few hours before.  So it was going to be a very long flight.

Train

I really like Train, maybe love would be a better word, but not in a “want to have their babies, kind of way”.  Do I think that California 37 is one of the greatest albums released in 2012, naturally. If you are pondering as to the reason why; then please head over to my Stupid Question page and post your question there.

However, this post is not an album review it’s a celebration of people who don’t take themselves to seriously and Train could be the poster child.  (I am not famous, otherwise it could have been me.)

Just listening to “50 ways to say goodbye” with the incredible hook and hilarious lyrics, will enforce the level of genius from the band.  The awesome “You can finally meet my mom” is a perfect homage to people who has left us and “This could by my year” a celebration of life.  Then add to the mix the hits, “Drive by”, “Bruises” and another unknown jewel “Sing together” and you have a soundtrack for eternity.

But what really impress me about Train is the fact that they can joke with themselves, as is evident in the music video for 50 ways.  And. I. love. that.  They know who they are, they know how they got there, they know who keeps them there, and they seem to understand how frivolous the industry is.

They are obviously not the only real people in a very plastic industry.  Another singer who screams “I will do my own thing,  f#ck you very much” is P!nk.  She is so unique with tongue-in-cheek social commentary on most of her songs.  Expanding my list to other celebrities, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, David Hasselhof (watch his roast!), Quintin Tarrantino, John Malkovich, Matt Damon, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen and Jim Carrey.

These people seem to have an air of easiness around them.  They know who they are and they seem comfortable in their skin.  It may be an act…but leave me in my bubble of thinking that these people are only doing a job they love, a job that pay millions and get them on magazine covers, but a job nonetheless.  These guys accept the reality which implies that doesn’t matter who you are, we all eat, sleep and wipe ourselves after #2.

I don’t get the “I’m better than the next guy” vibe from them.  On the opposite side of the scale, tipping heavily would be the Diva’s.  Those deuchebags and airheads who wants to only drink fountain water from the Himalaya’s filtered through sand from some small island in the middle of nowhere.  And this group is not only limited to celebrities.  We all know them, we have them scattered throughout our community.  Those who think there purpose on earth is to be worshipped by us, the lesser human.  They probably have someone who wipe them constantly, as they are so full of sh#t.

If I start listing names of those I think belongs on this list, I will probably end up using all of my free space allocated by WordPress. (and get sued in the process!)  It’s easier to just go back to Train.

Their music makes my heart smile.  Isn’t that what music is supposed to do?  Music is powerful, but it’s even more powerful when the person making the music is not a duechebag or a freak or an airhead or a dick.  The aura of a song is only a reflection of the person who is singing the song.  It is not the voice, it is the essence that is captured in the music.

If you’re an asshole, doesn’t matter how well the song is written, I just can’t get myself to like the song.  I have a mental block, a build-in fortress, preventing my brain from enjoying the music.  I cannot get myself to be open-minded enough to separate the artist from the material.  Take note Lady Gaga and Chris Brown and Kanye West.

Or is it just me?