Break Time Calls

Corny or not my highlight of the day, any day, is when she either calls me on her break, or I call her on mine. My job sucks a bit, and her job is rewarding, and allows for really cute anecdotes of the world of taking care of tiny children. It isn’t without difficulties surely, but it is rewarding. The most rewarding thing about my job is really just a customer that gives more than just a little bit of a shit about me and what I am doing for them. But it’s all relative. I always find an annoying coworker or a weird person in the mall, or my boss to tell a weird story about. Otherwise it’s mostly snuggly fluffy butterflies. And that is more than enough. When we’re younger we seem to want so much stuff that we just miss the really simple things that we truly want, which are always just right under our noses. But as they say, that’s life. But nothing is really complicated as it seems, or as the powers that be want us to believe it is, and at the end of the day love wins, actual, simple, unconditional, lovely, love.

Fall

Fall is always my favorite, so I was happy that Autumn this year is an actual thing, even with some weird hot days in the mix. I got to eat pumpkin flavored stuff, pick apples, and peep at leaves, like I always like to do.  I love being able to bundle myself up in hats and scarves, and my awesome glove/mittens.  As hot as it was for much of the summer, it is welcome to just be able to put on my hoodie which I couldn’t even do at night much at all this summer. And now here we are, the final week of October, Halloween coming up on Monday, and the air is full of winter chills. And I already got the jump on creating more Christmas ornaments for this year, I think it’s already too late to rent a table at a craft fair or Christmas bazaar, but depending on how many we can make, this might just be the year we get to sell these delightful shiny baubles to all the festive folks that are still out there. Moan and groan all you want, but Christmas doesn’t make you feel good?  I find that hard to believe. But once the election is come and gone, if Donald Trump wins we need all the joy and peace on Earth y’all can muster, or he wins more than just this election.  The nation is hanging on with bated breath, dreading such an outcome. And we will be hanging by our last thread if we aren’t careful in the coming days, so bring your A game in compassion and love, or people like that will win.

Happy Halloween to all.

I’ve Been Decorating Our Extra Room

Old posters from college and possibly times before sit in the corner, and I decide its high time I root through them and create what is possibly the oddest clusterfuck of wall hangings that you could imagine.  My tastes have always been so random in regards to music, books, and movies over the years, that what I have to work with is bizarre even to me.  Subversive political slogans, stupid comedies, and old rock bands are only some of the things in this pile, but I am determined that our studio/work space/spare bedroom can finally feel a little bit of that shit we call life. Right?

I’ve Been Back At Work For A Couple Weeks NOW, and let me tell you..

I feel better than I have in months, and not just in the last month where I was suffering with my horrible and larger than it needed to be kidney stone.  That thing had to be lodged up there for a long time if you ask me.  My body acts more like it should, and not only that seems to run better.  I have more drive, more energy, more creative impulses than I’ve had in a while, so brace yourself for amazing things in store.

Kidney Stones Are Uncool

Believe me, I’m not an intolerant or prejudiced person by any means, but Kidney Stones are horrible horrible things.  And they deserve to not be inside anyone’s bodies.  I had a bout with them a few weeks ago, and let’s just say I was in a great amount of discomfort and full of bad feelings at the world for a couple weeks.   The first week was full of excruciating pain, drugged out stupor, lots and lots of movies, peeing a lot, drinking a lot of water, peeing even more, reading entire books in a day and sleeping.  While some of those are great things, some of those aren’t great things. And I missed seeing Dirty Heads and Sublime With Rome, which I bought the second the concert lineup was announced, months and months ago.  Oh well, better to be able to move around and be awesome again, than to not be right?  Missing a concert four hours away is really the best case scenario in all of this.  The stone couldn’t pass on its own, long story short, they had to stick something inside me and do some sort of business with a laser, I really don’t want to know more than I have to.  But to add insult to horrible pain, I had something inserted in my urethra, and getting that removed a week after my stone was removed, is an experience I don’t wish on anyone, not to mention one of the most embarrassing things ever.

Oh and another thing, who goes to med school and says, “I think I’ll focus on urology!” ?

The answer is, my urologist I guess….

So If You Weren’t Aware…

I went to Canada a couple weeks ago with my partner in awesome.  She’s the bee’s flippin’ knees by the way!  So we went to Canada yet again for Vacation.  We went last year to Niagara Falls, and it was beyond incredible, and beyond incredibly fun.  We even explored a little city further to the North of it, and the air was so pure, and the water on Lake Ontario was the clearest of blue that I had ever witnessed.  We ate poutine, went to museums, figured out that the speed limits were in kilometers, and explored the wonders that the Falls region had to offer. Loved it loved it loved it!  It was the third time I had seen Niagara and my mine was still blown, it’s really hard to grasp the magnitude of the situation.

We changed gears this year however, and visited a closer province, this one a straight shot North of dear old Leominster.  We went to Montreal, in the fair land of Quebec.  From the border here, it is different immediately.  Signs in French are really the defining factor here, seeing is it is straight farm land for almost an hour of car time.  It’s like Vermont’s French part.  Just kidding.  But really it’s all the ruralness of Northern VT, but in French, and with really cute looking houses.  Not that Vermont doesn’t have those, but even the ugliest house was pretty.  I don’t comprehend this place.  Okay, not every building was immaculate, but it was a great contrast to around here with an abandoned building on just about every street.

Montreal is a beautiful place, where trees and pavement aren’t in competition but are perfectly cohabitating.  Canada really gives a shit about the environment if you ask me.  And they spend more time on quality.  May I compare a Tim Horton’s to a Dunkin Donuts?  Sure I can, but there is no comparison.  The subway was a bit confusing, with most of the signing in French, but once we figured out how to get our tickets,( with me initially getting  a ticket for the wrong thing, which I still am unsure of how to use, so it came home with me) it was an ease navigating the train system.  And let me tell you, they move FAST like you wouldn’t believe.

So we visited the Entertainment District on our first day and from being in the 95% French signing in the train station, we entered a world where everything was in both languages.  Not only that, so many people just switched between languages like it was as easy as tying a shoe, and I guess in Canada, or at least this part of it, that is probably the case.  But do they chide us and mock us for not knowing the language?  No, unlike here in America, where if you don’t speak English you are the subject of much derision.  Good job Canada.  People jokingly speak of moving here, but if you’ve ever been, how couldn’t you think of it?

Poutine and late night drug stores that put CVS and Walgreens to shame is reason enough.  Okay, joking aside, I will return to our trip.  We next jaunted through the Olympic Park, site of the 1976 olympics, home to the Biodome De Montreal, the botanical gardens and a planetarium.  Let me just tell you how fucking amazing, this Biodome is.  Several climate controlled rooms house a variety of different animals.  A jungle habitat, a Northern Atlantic Ocean habitat, a Northern Forest complete with beavers, otters, raccoons and the like, and even a room with penguins.  How cool is that? Very cool I know.

I meant to write this up earlier, so I’m a little less detailed than I would have been, but the majority of the rest of our trip was spent at Parc Jean Drapeau at Osheaga Festival de Musique et Arts.  The venue was incredible and so were the bands, the food vendors, and dancing in the fountain.  The park is massive, and contained entirely on one of two gigantic islands right in the bay.  Yeah the subway tunnel is actually underground, seeing as for this stop, it actually travels,  UNDERWATER!  What?  I didn’t think of it at first, so I wasn’t scared until after the second day of the festival.  Silversun Pickups, Passenger, Nathaniel Rateliffe, Bastille, Haim, Red Hot Chili Peppers, St. Lucia, The Wombats, Death Cab, and FUCKING Radiohead, which was the initial reasoning behind the trip.  So much talent, so many bodies, and more Molson beer than I ever thought existed in one place.  People find out your American and they have the opposite of the expected reaction.

 

This was the best festival crowd I had ever been in, no extreme shoving matches, no people getting ejected from the festival, or if there were it was much more discreet. Seeing some of my favorite bands for the first time, and others for the second or third times in a year already filled with great concert going accomplishments, I can’t wait to see where the rest of this year is going in that regard.  But look up this park and this festival, you won’t be disappointed.

I’m still suffering reverse culture shock upon my return, so maybe I’m Canadian on the inside or something?

 

I’ve Been Away For A While It Seems..

So sorry, my adoring public.  And by that I mean the one person that probably reads this.  I don’t blog for recognition, nor to talk a big game about myself, so adoring or not, if there is a single reader, you are a public and that is saying a lot.  You know who doesn’t have an adoring public?  Donald JackAss Trump, that’s who!  But enough’s enough. Let’s talk about realass shit now, okay folks.  This happens almost every time there is an election.  If we don’t feed his flames, they won’t get bigger.  I mean that isn’t true.  But the media is rigged, and has always been so towards those with money and influence. But the truth of the matter is, even those with money and influence are being swayed further from him day by day.  Do you know why?  He only knows how to hold onto wealth, not how to distribute money throughout the land.  And everyone will lose, not just those that could do to lose a little.  But like I said, I’m not here to talk about him, and I am sick to death of talking about him, listening to him, being asked, “hey did you hear the latest thing he said, the latest thing he did?”  It’s sick and it’s foolish.  And am I scared?  Not any less than anyone else, but I have to live my life and better the world all the ways in which I can.

 

Peace and Love,

Craig

New Chucks

After long last, I finally got myself a lovely new pair of Chucks. My chucks of past years have gotten me through so much in life, like my black ones in High School, worn beyond possibility of wearing, through parking lot hijinx, gutter punk shows, and crazy Vermont hoopla, or my purple ones that lasted me four and a half years of college and then some, worn beyond all wearing, but still worn even when the canvas and the rubber were no longer connected, drawn on, and lying in state in a corner of my room, unable to let them go, it’s like letting go of part of myself, like letting go of my college experience.  I did though.  I really do lack an attachment to material things the way a lot of people do.  My material attachments are often things that enrich life, music, film, books, other kinds of artsy fartsy shit.  But one item I am vain about is my Chucks.  My Chucks just become imbued with their own power, their own special energy.  It is how I remember rock shows, dance parties, and bar hops.  It’s how I remember random meandering walks through streets new and old.  It’s how I keep track of events in a sense.  My new black chucks with the purple laces, they bring me places, and they retain residue of events.  I already broke them in this past weekend at the Keith Urban show, which was really good I might add.  I spent my young life being skeptical of country music on the whole, when I should have just spent my time on any artists worthy of respect regardless of type.  The person I was in those days was personified through the wearing of my chucks, the person I am now experiences the memories of the person I once was by extension through my new pair of chucks.  So essentially, it’s a way I walk confidently into the future by also keeping a close eye on my past. I guess..

“It’s Better To Burn Out Than To Fade Away..”

Kurt Cobain mentioned this Neil Young lyric in his suicide note, which really shook up the music world in a number of ways.  I mean his death in general impacted not just a generation of music fans and fellow musicians, it shook up the entire industry, it shook up entire schools of musical thought.  But all the same, it cemented the truth of Neil Young’s lyrics.  What does music mean to you, or to anyone?  What does making music do for us?  It’s just like what writing does for people like us, here at the bottom of the bottle.  Neil Young’s lyric will always ring true for so many of us.  Nobody wants to fade away.  I mean, I don’t really think anyone wants to literally burn out, right?  But nobody wants to fade, people want to remembered for something for anything.  People want to make a lasting impact or deliver a lasting contribution to this world that we were thrown into, and not by choice.  Nobody chooses the life they initially start with, but we do have at least some choice in the life we end up with.

I recently learned of the passing of a friend of mine.  I wouldn’t say we were close, but I’d say he did always leave an impression on me.  He always lived the way he chose to, and some of those choices, at a very human level, were certainly not great choices, just like all of us don’t always make great choices.  That’s normal.  We choose to smoke, when we know exactly what cigarettes do to us.  We choose to do any manner of things, knowing full well that they are habit forming or that they will kill us.  We choose to spend money on things we know are only fleeting. But that’s the other point of the song lyric.  If we truly live our lives, truly embrace our lives,  and the choices we make therein, we all have the capacity to burn very brightly.

But more on my fallen comrade.  He went out of his way to not be liked, and was the ultimate embodiment of everything my friends and I believed in during the parking lot days. Being uncool was always cool. Doing things just because others wouldn’t.  You would find him on the street any random day, playing some really shitty song on his guitar, because it was his right to be as good or as bad at music as he saw fit.  Addled by drugs at the best of times, my friend still danced to his own drummer, you get me?  He was a compassionate soul, even though he was always rough around the edges.  He couldn’t get out of his own head most of the time, but he always got into ours.  He made us think about choices, he made us think about freedom, and life itself.

He never asked the deeper questions, because he never had to.  Being near him, unsung hero of all that is considered Rock and Roll, of all that we decided to embrace as sidewalk punks and gutter trash, made us think, made us always question authority, and for that we are forever grateful to him for never letting us forget.  It is truly tragic, that some of his choices brought him to this end, but we owe it to him to burn ever brighter in spite of this.  And we also always have a choice on whether or not we look the other way, maybe we should pay more attention to the lost causes, to the people who can’t get out of their own way, and really even just stop and say hi, once in a while, it’ll make all the difference in your life and everybody else’s.

Bottoms Up to You My Friend…

 

Boston Calling Day 3

At long last, I can tell y’all about the final day of Boston Calling, which was a phenomenal ending to an amazing weekend, not to mention that instead of sweating to death we were actually a bit chilly.  Which worked in everyone’s favor, if you ask me.

The Vaccines were pretty cool in their classic punk vibe, and their awesome energy, and and pure appreciation of the crowd.  Again this was a case of us showing up a bit late, so we didn’t get to pay the utmost attention to it, but what we saw rocked pretty hard.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra was pretty interesting, but certainly nothing too memorable in comparison with what was to come, except maybe Vince Staples, which really didn’t move me much at all.  And then there was Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, certainly the oldest and most soulful act in presence, but they had incredible energy, and amazing stage presence.  To see a soul legend surrounded by so many contemporary, more modern sounding artists was great.

My most anticipated performance of the day was The Front Bottoms, who bring a gutter punk sound from Jersey, which is also filled with heart and killer hooks, and a real fun stage presence makes them pretty damn awesome in real life.  Funny, crass, and good at driving a crowd, they did nothing but impress.  Elle King brought her smoky, hillbilly blend of folk, rock and sheer awesomeness to the red stage, and really kept up the witty banter throughout her set, most memorably saying how hard it was to keep her pants on during Charles Bradley.  She also destroyed my shoes, because of how hard I was dancing to the tail end of her set.

Janelle Monae can surely do it all: command a stage, move a crowd, and boost a positive message of social justice, all while getting us to dance our asses off.  That being said, since Disclosure was ending the night, we had to take a breather during Haim, but we still saw their entire set, and they truly blew my mind.  The point where all three of them were playing the drums togethr was beyond awesome, not to mention their stage setup was terrific.  I don’t think anyone  there could play their instruments half as well as they did, and that’s saying a lot considering how amazing everyone was.

Disclosure do more than just the typical dj set, with a guy standing in front of a laptop and just pushing a button every once in a while.  They both had their own set up much the way that Chromeo did last year, with synthesizers, drums and keyboards.  Most of the singing was pre-programmed, but some of it was live.  But almost all the sounds other than this were live.  Not to mention how awesome their light show, and the media going across the screen non-stop was.  To end in a full on dance party was terrific, even if I could barely move the entire time.  It’s surely another Boston Calling for the record books,  not to mention all the free kind bars that I snagged, always a plus in addition to an amazing weekend, and the most fun you will have in Boston.

 

It may be somewhere else next year, but it will have all of the heart and all of the fun, and that’s a plus.Boston Calling in Allston, you know I’ll be there!!