Last fall I went to my first college football game. Nothing big like Notre Dame or Ohio State but a Division 1 game featuring The University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Needless to say it, was a fun and great experience hanging out with some buddies and enjoying a Bearcat victory. Then all of the sudden, about midway through the first quarter, one of those dance music songs started playing during a timeout. You know, they do that sometimes to get people off their butts and shaking them in some way. I ignored it like all those other tunes because quite frankly I can’t dance and don’t want to. You will not see me doing the YMCA on the Jumbotron during a TV timeout at any sporting event. I am actually there for the game and not the music and dancing. But then I noticed everybody riding the pony during this song and thought, that’s a new one. I dismissed it and, quite frankly forgot it altogether.
So quietly this song, “Gangnam Style” (which I found out later is what it’s called from a coworker), is taking over my subconscious. It has now permeated through everything – MLB, NFL, Cyclones hockey, the library! – and is taking over my life. I find myself just randomly dancing “Gangnam Style.” If you don’t believe me, ask my family or even my coworkers. The song is stuck in my head forever, just like that classic, timeless Rebecca Black song, “Friday.”
The real question about this Korean music sensation is, is this only a Macarena-type fad, or is it here to stay like the YMCA or the Chicken Dance? It’s hard to say but the YouTube video has over a billion views - that’s ONE BILLION – and if my information is correct, it is the first video to do so. I guess 1 billion people can’t be wrong. I say, long live PSY and “Gangnam Style.” I’m actually doing it right now and I’m terrible at it.
I’m a guy, so I never cry. But, as the title goes sometimes, some things do make me cry. It’s a natural human emotion and I am man enough to admit to it. This, however, is not going to be about all the things that make me cry; you don’t care about that and I certainly have no need to share my sensitivities that only occur when it’s raining. Nonetheless, it’s time we share a tender moment together and delve into our feelings over a nice, freshly brewed cup of tea.
For me, nothing gets me crying more than a good Bruce Willis movie, like the Die Hard movies or Red or even 16 Blocks, in which he sports an outstanding mustache. In the grand scheme of things, a good Bruce Willis tear-jerker keeps it all in perspective for me. When poor John McClain gets sucked into another scenario where he is the only one that can be the hero and save the day, that just hits me right in the tear ducts man. The pain he goes through must really hurt – I mean emotionally, of course. Probably physically as well.
But, even more than that, sitting down next to the fireplace while sipping on some tea and reading a good emotionally gripping-novel with some historically accurate inaccuracies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. This book is so emotionally gripping that my copy has several tear-stained pages. There is not a doubt in my mind that the library’s copy has some of the same problems…from many other patrons’ leaking eyes.
Then there is Justin Bieber. “I’ll be honest with you, I love his music. I do. I’m a “Justin Bieber” fan. For my money, I don’t know if it gets any better than when he sings “When a Man Loves a Woman”.” Bieber brings on a whole other level of sentimentality. Every song he bellows from his velvety smooth vocal chords brings out emotions in me that I just don’t understand. He sends me to tears with one note. He’s just that good.
As you can plainly see, I’m an emotional fellow. I may not cry at every time a vampire shines like a diamond for me or for every lost love, but I have my moments and that is exactly what they are…my moments. Plus, I kinda lied; this did turn out to be about my times of tenderness.
P.S. I never Cry, never. I don’t care what you say…..never. Plus, I’m more of a Michael Bolton fan. He just gets me.
Well, I guess we made it to another new year and we avoided the apocalypse yet again. I don’t know about you, but I am extremely disappointed with this fact. I mean either I was going to become a zombie (unlikely), or I was going to hunt zombies (probably). Either one would have been great. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MAYANS and your false prophecy of doom! I guess you have now made yourselves completely irrelevant to much of modern society and it is time your ancient society fades into oblivion just like all those other societies that no longer exist and we can no longer remember. As a consequence, like after Y2K, we are left with a pre-apocalyptic world. Thanks for getting our hopes up with your calendar that ends for no reason.
There are, however, a couple of things I liked about 2012, and since the world did not end, you can check them out from the library.
C. Books….Unholy Night written by Seth Grahame-Smith, Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams written by Gareth Roberts, The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury written by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga.
Not necessarily in that order. So if you are frustrated with your pre-apocalyptic world and need something to take your mind off the regular everyday mundane world, those are just a few of the things that you can find at your friendly neighborhood library. It is okay if you don’t like the things I listed above, just stop reading my posts. Right now. I mean it. You are now dead to me…dead I tell you. Really, just find something you do like, that would be great.
Ahhh the flannel shirt….it is the iconic look of the angst ridden youth of the nineties, a time when rebellion meant looking like a lumber jack fresh out of bed. It was easy. It went great with a pair of ripped jeans. Plus, Eddie Vedder wore it and he was in Pearl Jam. It was a time when Miley Cyrus’ dad had a number one hit and big hair bands were still the rage. Underground grunge radio was emerging like Winona Ryder in a Tim Burton film (I’m not sure what that means so don’t ask).
Now that we are a decade into the twenty-first century all the music that inspired our flanneled-filled angst has returned with a vengeance. Many, many artist have returned to try and find the magic they once had back in the day. This seems like the place to list them, but who wants to read that? Plus, that would require me to look up each and every artist that has made said comeback and that is too much like work for me to do.There are at least 30 or more; you can sort through this list to find your favorite and then visit the library to check them out.
With that said, those now iconic flannel shirts need to be dug out of the back of your closet, because they are back and ready for revenge. Just ask George Lucas, he never got rid of his and he just made over $4 billion. So here is what should happen, everyone everywhere needs to grab their dirtiest, grungiest flannel and wear it every day to work until they make $4 billion. Because the flannel shirt is the new power suit. Or….OR just watch The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; maybe it is the old school power suit. Either way, flannel should be your everyday go-to shirt for everyday things such as meeting with the President or the CEO of your company.
While you are at it, grow some facial hair…mustache, beard, whatever…it will go nicely with your new flannel look. By the way here are some of my favorite nineties artists that released some new tuneage in the last two years…Foo Fighters, Cat Power, Flogging Molly, Radiohead, Ben Folds Five, and Eddie Vedder just to name a few. They all wore flannel and so should you.
Does anybody use a dictionary anymore? I mean the book, where you have to open the pages and have some semblance of the alphabetical order and maybe a slight grasp of how to spell the word you are looking up. You can’t replace the good old ink-and-paper, handy dandy dictionary (some aren’t so handy dandy; Webster has gotten a little bloated). Sure, you can now use the internet to look up the word you want (try dictionary.com). Most computer programs, if not all, have spell check. Even Words with Friends tells you that mess of letters you tried to play is not an acceptable word. So, I guess the good old dictionary is being replaced. I mean, I don’t own one.
Upon further review, it seems as though the dictionary is branching out. Trying new things. Exploring new concepts. Gradually sneaking up on you until all of the sudden you notice it again. Like an old friend that never really left your side even though you made new friends like the computer or spell check. Lo and behold, It’s not just for words anymore…..
Okay, so there are a lot of dictionaries out there. Plus, dictionaries are smart to diversify from just defining words and whatever else they were doing (balancing tables). So, head on out to the library and check out latest fad…dictionaries. That’s right, it’s a thing now.
With all the hubbub about all things London (they had some kind of sporting event somewhere in that area or something), I thought it appropriate to share a little London music. The band Mumford and Sons may not be known by everyone but they are slowly gaining international notoriety, including here in the states. Their debut album, Sigh No More, even garnered a couple of Grammys. So, in what may be a ploy to gain more fans, the band has decided to release another album called Babel. Both are available or soon to be available at CCPL. Their rootsy approach to music can certainly be compared to Americana even though they are British.
Meanwhile, if you are waiting for the new Justin Bieber CD, Believe, to become available to check out or that other Canadian Carly Rae Jepson and her catchy song “Call Me Maybe” to finally arrive at you local library or heck that Josh Turner guy that sings country music, try Mumford and Sons. They may not be in a constant rotation on your favorite radio station but you may find you just might like them.
If you find yourself liking the awesomeness of Marcus Mumford (that’s the Mumford in Mumford and Sons, but the other guys are not really his sons) and his merry friends, then there may be some other bands you may enjoy that might be at the library. For instance, The Black Keys, who are from Akron, Ohio, which is not England. Maybe try Band of Horses, who are also American. Or something new and not British like the Lumineers. One more non-Brit, you may like who is absolutely fantastic is Ray Lamontagne. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to check out new music at the library; it’s free (as long as you return it on time), so why not try it?
We all like different music and we all have different tastes. There are a ton of different musicians and music you may have never heard before but may come to like. Those were just a few suggestions; go to the library and find your own new favorite artist.
At the beginning of the summer, let’s say around May, my friend asked me if I wanted to run a 5k. I obviously said no. Then he said it was the Warrior Dash complete with obstacles, plus you get a fuzzy warrior helmet and other swag, and bonus, the proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. So I reluctantly agreed.
So in May I started running…. OK, I will not call it running, more like slow jogging, but not even fast walking. Let’s just say I got off the couch and moved my legs in a forward direction. I made it about a quarter mile and that was it. I was in trouble; I wasn’t really sure what 5k stood for but I was pretty sure I had a long way to go and a short time to get there.
Meanwhile, this so-called, quickly becoming my not-friend said, Let’s run in another race called the Mudathon. Me, being the genius that I am, said, what the heck, I won’t be able to finish the one, might as well not finish two. By the way, these two races have a two-week window between them, and both were set for August.
That gave me plenty of time to stretch my legs out and find all those 5ks that are out there (I guess that is 10ks now). So let me tell you, it takes a lot to get off the couch and train in any way, especially since the only time I normally run is away from somebody chasing me, which occurs rarely or in some kind of sport, but let’s face it, my sporting days are mostly behind me now. About a month into my training and not feeling like I was getting anywhere, I said to myself, wait a minute, I am smarter than this; I work at a library and I am sure we have books on training or getting in shape or something like that. Lo and behold, we do. I found a book called Galloway’s 5k and 10k Running.
After months of grueling training, the fateful day had arrived. Despite the 12:30pm start time and the middle of August date, the weather was perfect for the Mudathon. No rain. No humidity. A slight breeze. Plus a temperature in the mid 70s. A better day would be impossible. Well, except I had to run.
Not just run: I had to navigate 40 obstacles (for course map just click). I guess that is what I signed up for….but I am not complaining because I had a great time. My favorite part was floating down the lazy mud river; my least was the monkey bars. I cannot tell you how many bales of hay I had to leap over; it had to be in the thousands. (video)
Two weeks later was the Warrior Dash. At the end of this one was fire that you had to leap over. To train for this, I jumped over a candle in my living room every time the electric went out this summer, which by the way was a lot. There were far less obstacles in this one which made it easier (course map), but there was some swimming involved which increased its awesomeness! I hate to admit it but for this one I sort of wore a kilt, but so did some of my friends. Also, I’m not reluctant to share with you that wearing a kilt is awesome. I think I am going to wear it all the time. My only worry was losing it on the course in the water or it getting caught on fire.
The best part of the day for me was the camaraderie between runners. Everybody helped each other, either physically or with motivation. I can also report I did too, except for the ladies who had on Pittsburgh Steelers garb; I only heckled them (Who Dey!).
All in all, I had two great weekends with great friends. I met some really cool people and didn’t get injured at all (a little second-day soreness but that’s it, maybe third day as well.) If you have a chance to participate in these or events like this, do them: you don’t have to run or jog, think of it as a hike. As for my training, I can run a 5k, but when doing these events, it is also important to work on the upper body as well because you will be pulling yourself over various objects. If you don’t feel like you can make an obstacle, somebody will help you, or just go around it. The main thing is to bring a buddy and meet some new friends; what more could you ask for in a weekend?
So far, 2012 has gone off without a hitch. No zombies, no rapture, the poles have not reversed, and the sun has not exploded. But there is still time for these things to occur, so get your disaster kits ready because it is going to be a long and scary apocalypse, especially if the zombie thing happens.
For my money, the best investment you can make is to go to the library and find the various books that we have on our shelves about survival and apocalypse, then read them and maybe even practice some of the lessons that are contained in these helpful books. Obviously the library is the best resource for all your 2012 apocalypse needs. If you are looking through those books and said apocalypse occurs you can always use the books for fire or a hammer or something like that. (Don’t really do that, those books need to be returned to the library in the condition they left, even if zombies are the only ones working at the library upon return.)
Moreover, the government is selling off its unused cold war missile silos for very reasonable prices. It seems to me that an abandoned missile silo would be a great place to ride out any kind of apocalypse that may occur. Some of them may be fixer uppers, but what else are you going to do in this late stage of the game? December 21st is approaching faster than you think.
If you can’t afford a missile silo it is best to learn some survival skills that can get you through the end of the world or just in case you are lost in the woods. Here are some excellent survival books for those just right occasions. Click here now.
With all this doom and gloom upon us, it is also good to know that we have experienced and survived these things before. Who can forget Y2K? That was a close one. Thankfully all those computer geeks fixed that bug before everything shut down and caused mass hysteria. Here is an awesome list of past end times that we as people survived.
Lets not forget all the disaster, end of the world movies, that we all enjoy. Wikipedia has a great list of such films (just click on that link in the previous sentence to see it). I am sure we have many of them here at the library, so you can see what is going to happen and prepare accordingly.
Whichever way the world decides to end (zombies), it is always good to be prepared. There is no better place to get yourself prepared than your local library. (Except for maybe Fin, Feather and Fur Outfitters; have you ever been to that place? It is unbelievable; it is like a super amped up Pro Bass Shop.) I guess I’ll see you later, unless we are all dead, in which case I might just eat your brains.
“Take these three items right here. You can have this. WD-40, vise grips, and some duct tape. Any man worth his salt can do half the household chores with just those three things.” ~ Walt Kowalski
The other day I found myself in a conversation about the four tools that everyone should have in their tool box. Many opinions will surface, but here is the list that we developed based on our vast years of knowledge and experience: Duct tape, WD-40, vise grips and a tool that is to be named later.
For example, let’s say you have a leaky faucet. So a quick look under the sink to turn off the shut off valve, only to find it is stuck. Simple solution spray some WD-40 on it and wait. If you don’t feel like waiting and the leak is driving you crazy grab the vise grips and turn the valve with all your might. While turning the lubricated, stuck valve with your vise grips, it somehow breaks and sends water shooting all over. Now grab your duct tape and quickly seal it off. Problem solved, except now there is a faster drip, but at least you got to use your tools. Last tool, the cell phone, it is used to call a plumber.
Here are some other handy uses for your tools: Creating a hole in the wall (vise grips), fixing a hole in the wall (duct tape), causing a slippery floor (WD-40), temporary replacement for a steering wheel (vise grips), getting your sister to be quiet (duct tape), cracking a walnut (vise grips), fixing a broken tail light (duct tape), Free a tongue stuck to frozen metal in winter (WD-40), instant step for climbing (vise grips), and I’m sure there are multiple other uses for these wonderful tools.
Here is a book you can read that you may find helpful: The complete idiot’s guide to simple home repair.