Friday, February 06, 2004

So a fellow blogger has a story on her site that is AMAZING!! Rather than retell the story or claim the credit for discovering it, I thought I would encourage you to visit her blog and check the story out!! (Her link is under my "Frequent" category: Anita's Blog.)

Her post for this past Wednesday is called "The Evils of Cable." For a good laugh and picture into the amazing mindset and metality of US citizens, check it out!! (And her site is worth visiting on a regular basis too!!)

Props and shout-outs to Anita.


So a friend of mine made a comment about my blog recently.

"T, your blog isn't nearly as self-deprecating as I expected it to be. What's up--are you changing and becoming more confident and optimistic??"

I want to clear up any rumors that might be floating around right now--I AM NOT PUTTING ASIDE MY MELONCHOLIC OR PESSIMISTIC WAYS!! I guess, to answer my friend's curiosity, I have been in a pretty decent mood lately and posted during those times. But don't fret boys and girls--the quasi-depressed guy that many of you have come to know and love (???--more accurately tolerate probably) still exists in my skin somewhere. He just happens to be wallowing right now and can't find the energies nor desire to fully express himself. In due time...

I hope you each enjoy my birthday greetings as much as I do... Today is a fun one.

Besides a few less "exciting" people who celebrate days of birth today (ie: Ronald Reagan, Tom Brokaw, Bob Marley) I wanted to give a big Hap- Hap- Happy Birthday to a couple major influences in my life.

>> Rip Torn, you turn 73 today. Your lisp and effeminate nature is an inspiration to many of us. It makes even the least masculine of men, like myself, feel like I am "oozing machismo!" (For those who keep up with my blog--you might remember "ooze machismo" as a potential band name... see previous post for more details).

>> Zsa Zsa Gabor is a whopping 85 today. I don't really care to wish her greetings or glad tidings... I just wanted to admit in "public" that I think she is DISGUSTING!! All in favor, please respond via 'Talk Back' and say "I" (and anything else you might want to leave for the internet community.)

>> Finally, "Welcome To The Blog" Axl Rose! Your recluse behind turns 42 today. That stringy red-head of yours has made each of us bob our own heads, as well as bringing tears to our eyes every time we catch a glimpse of your rock operetta/video "November Rain." So Axl, wherever you might be, from the fans of the baldtrain blog, we wish you HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You are OUR "Sweet Child of Mine!"


Thursday, February 05, 2004

OK, new "feature" on my blog....

Anyone who knows me will probably echo this loudly: I am a music snob. I know what I think is good and I'm convinced everyone should both agree with me and only listen to that which I think is "listen-able." I'm not really sure what to do with this part of me, especially since I have no desire to change. So, I decided I would at least do a little "educating" and let people know what I like and what I am listening to, besides what is forced into our ears by popular radio.

So, today we begin with who I have been listening to most the past couple weeks: Nada Surf. Most people would know them from their "hit" a few years ago, "Popular." Since then, they really haven't been... But like many "indie" artists, they seem both content with and proud of that. They had a new record come out not long ago called "Let Go." Gives a good peek into their "sound" I think.

So I have added a new link to the right dedicated to the week's "Featured Artist." (Because I'm sure these bands are DYING for some promotion from a nobody in Chicago.....) Check out the sites, most of which will give you an idea who the band is and music/video options so you can decide if you want to get to know them better.

And long live indie music!


Today is the birthday of one of my favorite actors and writers. No, its not Red Buttons, who does turn 85 today. And it's not Jennifer Jason Leigh, probably the cutest girl with a guy's name I've ever seen, who turns a shocking 42 today. Today boys and girls, Christopher Guest turns 56. Now for those of you not as well-versed in the Mockumentary genre, Guest is probably the genre's most celebrated and accomplished champion.

Beginning as a writer and sketch actor with SNL, he soon moved to create and star in his first masterpiece: "Spinal Tap." Held as the standard in the mockumentary field, Guest continued to raise the bar with his subsequent movies: "Waiting For Guffman," "Best In Show," and "A Mighty Wind." If you have yet to see any of these movies, YOU MUST!! In my links to the right, I have a site devoted to "Guffman." (See "Top 5 Movie" link)

The four movies feature just how diverse Guest can be, especially in his own character portrayals. Watched in a group especially, each of his movies provide plenty of laughter and shaking heads and remembering someone in your own life you have known who one of the characters remind you of....

So, from me and the many lovers of Mockumentaries, Hap- Hap- Happy Birthday Christopher Guest. May your remaining time on the third planet allow you more and more opportunities to grace us with your creative writing and acting!


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Hap-Hap-Happy Birthday to......

>> Natalie Imbruglia. This Aussie songstress hit it big with "Torn" and now has to do make-up commercials!! I think she is a KILLER singer. I wish she had more critical attention. (And she isn't too bad to look at)

>> Dan Quayle turns 57 today. Raise your right hand if you think he can SPELL 57. (Wait, which one is my right hand??)

>> Rosa Parks would be 91 today. She should be celebrated by all of us, regardless of our ethnicity. If only I could muster up the courage to stand up to whatever acted out against what I believe is good and right....

>> Alice "No More Mr. Nice Guy" Cooper turns 56 today. I have one simple request for Alice: MORE MAKE UP PLEASE!!


So I'm sitting in Border's. Not very many people in the cafe right now, but there WERE a few minutes ago. Let me set the stage for you...

I'm sitting in a comfy chair, checking email and messing around with the HotSpot before I get to the "real" work I'm here for. An older woman starts to walk around the cafe looking for a place to sit, carrying a hot drink and a cup of water. She appears to be recovering from some kind of outpatient procedure. There is a bandage on her lower neck, barely sticking out of the top of her charcoal sweater. She has the stereotypical "elderly look:" furrowed brow, pursed lips, disheveled hairdo. The kind of woman that I am going to hesitate talking to honestly.

Anyway, as she sits at her table of choice, she looks around the cafe slowly and piercingly. Almost like a bird of prey, spying its initial victim of the day. Little did I know... There is a man against the far wall of windows, talking on his cell. He's not being terribly loud or demonstrative. It's obvious that he is working though, sharing figures and timetables in the conversation. Even before she opens her Better Homes and Gardens (or whatever mag that resembles that...), she glares at the man and pretty loudly says, "Oh shut up! We're trying to read here!" Quite a few heads turn towards her and aren't sure how to respond. The one person who seems hasn't noticed: the man on the phone! She shifts around on her chair, rearranges the things on her table and keeps staring at the man. Jamming her straw into her cup of water, she then says "Damn it all.... This cup is broken!" She tosses the lid to the table and sips on the straw. At this point, I am afraid she will suck the straw into her throat and since I'm seated closest to her, I will be the one who has to stand her up and wrap my arms around her geriatric body and try to save her life. As I'm planning how to proceed once I see her choke, I notice a few people have packed up their things and started to leave the cafe, eyeing my soon-to-be-choking friend. At least 3 other times, she says pretty loudly, "Shut up!" and each time the cell holder doesn't notice. What a lucky man. Now, there are 4 of us in the cafe: the man on the phone, a middle-aged man staring into the face of his laptop, the choker, and me, her savior and only hope for future complaining and miserable existence.

The man has finished. He's gone to get a refill and my friend is eyeing the cafe again.

Uh oh... gotta go. She's staring right at me!


Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Not to sound like a "homer," but I have to let you know about a CD that would be worth picking up.

Starbucks' newest "release" is called "Sweetheart." It's a GREAT collection of songs, especially if you're into mellow independent stuff. I love virtually the entire thing.

Highlights: Josh Ritter sings a song inspired by the movie "The Jerk" called "Tonight You Belong To Me." And Rosie Thomas does a fantastic version of Lennon's "Real Love."

Especially if you support independent artists, this is a must-have!


Some time during the move this past week, I did such a thorough job of packing up my life, I deposited my ice scraper into a box. This morning, at 4:35, I made this discovery. No matter how fast my windshield wipers moved, the ice covering the window wasn't going to budge. Scrambling through my car, I decided to use the only thing that might do the job: a cassette tape. It was a mix-tape someone sent me a few years ago for my birthday. I'm pretty sure it had a song by Bel Biv Devoe on it..... After making a terrible noise, which my new housemate claimed he could hear, I sat in my car and thought: "Thank goodness for CDs! I don't feel nearly as bad about using that tape."

Hap-Hap-Happy Birthday to Morgan Fairchild (54), Norman Rockwell (110) and dSep's favorite: Gertrude Stein, who turns a stellar 130 today. Although, it seemed she always looked to be about 130 didn't she??


Monday, February 02, 2004

OK peeps.... I am back. Thanks to the couple of you who were soo concerned about my whereabouts. There is genuinely nothing to worry about. Though it has been too long since I posted something, it's just simply because of my moving. (See previous posts for my thoughts/feelings on moving..... grrrrrrr) I also took a trip to hang out with my best friend, Amish Aaron, and his family.

Plenty has happened since anyone has "heard" from me. The process of moving, besides causing great headache, came at a terrible time, since I did the majority of the actual moving on two of the coldest days I can remember!! What was I thinking? But what is more accurate probably is what were my friends Dave and Steve thinking? They chose to help me! There are different levels of friendship--no denying that. But they chose to enter in another's person HELL and live there a few hours. They were saints as they helped me load a U-Haul and toss everything into a storage place. I can't, and probably will never be able to, say enough "Thank You's" for their help and intensely persistent friendship.

One of my highlights with Amish Aaron was watching the Superbowl and eating TERRIBLE TERRIBLE things the entire night. (His wife Janet was gone, leaving us to be bachelors, albeit with two little girls under the age of 4.) We laughed and had stomach aches and fell asleep on the couch watching the highlights and newscasts once the game was over.

I think I have decided that I am less offended by the halftime show/unveiling than I am offended by the awful commercials. Undoubtedly a highlight of every year's SB, I was terribly unimpressed and felt cheated in some ways. It's disappointing when the most memorable commercial for me ends up being a flatulent horse!

I heard a guy today say something IDIOTIC on the radio today. (For those who don't know me very well, I have a big love for talk radio... don't know what it is.....) In his complaining about the halftime show, he actually said something like this: (what follows is a bad Troy-paraphrase) "Why can't they get some real talent for the Superbowl? Give me some Santana. Styx. Michael McDonald. Boston." I almost drove off the road!!! And he was serious. So for those of you who are wanting some real talent, cross your fingers and maybe next year we'll see Dennis DeYoung, during the instrumental version of "Lady" reveal one of Michael McDonald's mammaries..... only I'm praying he won't have a piercing.

One last thought. A couple times a week, while I'm at work, we have a "Top Five." Since one of my favorite movies is "High Fidelity" (with Mr John Cusak--a fave actor), I see the "Top Five" as a tribute. So this past week, aLink suggested this topic: "Top Five Break-Ups" We both ended up giving like 25 each, but... I wanted to share some more of myself with the blogging universe. So, for you:

"Troy's Top Five Break-Ups" (in chronological order)
(1) Wendy Calloway. Wendy was my very first crush. Only this crush lasted from Kindergarten until I moved the middle of 6th grade. I was crazy about Wendy. Wendy was crazy about Jesse Duncan. My favorite song growing up: "Jesse's Girl." I lived it! One day, Wendy wrote me a note, telling me that she liked me and that I was so funny and sweet. We held hands against the brick wall at recess. She broke up with me after recess, before Reading. I was crushed. My fourth grade heart, I was convinced, would never recover.

(2) Carmen Ferguson. Eleventh grade. I had a "thing" for Carmen for a couple years. Finally, her eyes were opened to the female juggernaut known as T-Roy. But, I had agreed to go to the Prom with another girl, since I had been twice already. (I told you... juggernaut...) So she decided she wouldn't go. I was thrilled. Then a guy asked her to go, she didn't want to say "No." (Besides, she said, "he has a cute butt." Ahh--the life of a high schooler....) I'll let you fill in the blanks, but... Carmen married her Junior Prom date.

(3) Brynn Wolfe. Senior year of HS and frosh year of college. Brynn is the nicest and most beautiful girl I have ever known! To this day, Brynn is the one girl I wish it could have worked out with! I don't know what got into me. I guess the life-change with college and all that uncertainty... I just grew distant and she tried so hard to stay close to me.... Eventually, we just stopped talking. I saw her once during a break... it was obvious that things were different. I haven't talked to her since. I can't help but wonder if that was the worst mistake I ever made!

(4) Melissa Dailey. Jr and Sr year of college. Melissa and I were engaged to be married. A couple months before, I found out she couldn't wait to be married any longer. She went back to her high school crush. We kept talking on the phone for a few months after that. Out of habit more than anything else, along with that desperate part of me that kinda wanted her back. Eventually, I realized I couldn't do it anymore. She's now married to someone else.

(5) Sarah (I'll leave the last name off, just to kind of 'protect' the not-so-innocent.) I add her because she is the only person who ever broke up with me while we were smooching!! I'll avoid the details, but she basically couldn't respect me cuz I wasn't strong or something... We were doomed from the beginning. But she gets added to the list just simply because of her choice of timing.

There you go boys and girls. My current Top Five Break-Ups. Feel free--please--to leave at least an abbreviated list as your comment. And for my fellow bloggers--a longer list for us all on your site!

OK--I'll be more consistent now. I promise. Don't want to make anyone worry anymore. And hey everyone--let's cross our fingers and hope that Michael McDonald does NOT get asked to next years Superbowl. (He's on my Top Five Hated Music People... but we'll save that list for another time!)

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