I’ve never made a secret of my long experience with these three Canuckistanoids. I first saw them when in high school, at the Madison Coliseum, known derogatorily as The Clamshell, obviously:

This was the Permanent Waves tour, and opening was either Rory Erickson or Max Webster — this was still when they had opening acts. And they were still allowed to use lasers! It was overwhelming, and my Permanent Waves t-shirt was worn to pieces. And this was before I even knew much at all of the band or their music. Well, I caught up, pretty damn quickly…

Then I went away to cowtown land-grant college, and I became known as a Punk, because I was into the Cars and Elvis Costello and the Clash. But I met a girl. And I saw that Rush was playing their new tour, Signals, in Madison, so asked The Girl. Not realizing at that point that she had never seen a for-real big time rock show. It was at that same damn clamshell (incidentally, I also saw ZZTop there). /

As ever with Rush, the show was overwhelming. Outside of the opening act, Rush played for maybe 100 or 120 minutes. As opposed to tonight, where Concert Buddy and I sat in comfortable theater seats for 2 1/2 hours, back then we were young and could stand for the entire show. And after the show, we had an 85 minute drive back to campus, and The Girl was kind of quiet. I worried that I had miscalculated, and she was not into the rock show. I was worried. But I felt a bit better when The Girl was wearing the Signals t-shirt I bought for her the next day. Maybe it was OK….

Not long after, these Iron Rockers released Moving Pictures, which changed their careers in so many ways, and changed rock music too, showing how new wave and punk aesthetic could be integrated into complex prog music without losing the edge OR the melodicism. I was on a dorm floor at the time, and one of my neighbors borrowed the album almost as soon as I bought it, and he didn’t give it back until the end of the semester and it was a wreck when he gave it back.

But it was OK. Because when I approached The Girl, and asked her if she still wanted to go to That Damn Clamshell again to see the Moving Pictures Tour, she said OK. Maybe not as enthusiastically as I would have liked. I took it. We went.

And it was next-level over the top; Rush was escalating their skills and their showmanship to an unparalleled level. And I was coming off seeing Genesis on the abacab tour, but this was next level. This band was rapidly becoming one of my favorites, even while in most other music I was going deep into punk, new wave and avant grade.

During the drive back from the Damn Clamshell, we talked and the Girl admitted that after that first show, she had been simply overwhelmed. The onslaught of massed humanity (she was from a farming community and had never seen that number of people in one place) not to mention the onslaught of sound and lights had kind of tripped all her circuit breakers. She dealt with the Moving Pictures tour better, having a better idea of what to expect.

So after all was done and said, The Girl became my wife. She’s normally very smart, I figure those concerts bent her brain. Incidentally she wore that Signals t-shirt until it was threadbare.

Maybe some of you three people who still read this tripe may not know, but then there was a time when Neil Peart’s daughter and his wife died in rapid succession. So what he did was the only thing he could think to do; he withdrew (I relate) and he climbed on his motorcycle and went on what the Aussies would call a walkabout. He did, at least, promise his bandmates to stay in touch. His travels and how he worked through his emotions are written out in the book Ghost Rider. His bandmates were both agreed: if and when he is ever ready to come back, we will be here. but if not they were willing to say it was a good run, and no one could argue it, And after he drove over all of North and South America, he came back, he found a new life, and they did decide to try again.

And holy shit, did they ever, with the amazing album Vapor Trails. The cover is of a fireball, which is appropriate, because the album is fiery and vital, a band who is exulting in still being together and alive as they can be, and it’s no accident that the mascot on the tour was a fire breathing dragon.

We were close enough that when they blew those flame pots, we felt the heat.  And we also felt the heat of a reinvigorated band, who were completely committed to playing this way again.  The seemed unstoppable, they played for three hours.  It was amazing, especially considering that Neil Perat recovered from such terrible personal loss to come back to the group.  It was everything I ever wanted from this band.

Their next tour, the retrospective R30 tour, we took our son to it,, great seats, but this was when they were doing 2 set show, and son got a bit bored.  I don’t think he knew what he was looking at. We also took him to lots of theater and other stuff.  One just hopes some of it kind of germinated.

One of the things i have to respect of the band is that they will not do the same thing over and over.  Their final album, Clockwork Angels, was a full-on science fiction concept album that Peart co-authored and accompanying book, and the stage show was so over the top it was almost silly.  They also, for the first time, included other musicians on stage, a specially formed string ensemble that played in front of the flamepots.  The only thing missing was an 18 inch tall Stonehenge prop.

I learned later that Peart was suffering from increasing difficulties in his physical abilities. And also, that Alex Lifeson had some forms of arthritis looming over him (brothers, my tribe!). But they were able to afford physical therapy, and Neil had a designated guide and PT that rode along with him on motorcycles as they traveled. So fortunate that they had been so financially successful to tour the way they did, with the shows they did (although thanks to Genesis for paying for development of this swivel spotlights!) and who could fucking begrudge them? The killed themselves and built their fanbase from Cleveland to the world.

So we saw this band, the Rush Tribute Project. Because, Neil Peart has tragically passed, and the others have expressed that they have less than zero interest in revisiting the old days, and are aged in their own right and dammit, do they not deserve to rest on their laurels? I believe they do.

But this band is a heart favorite of mine, like Genesis, and I have spent much time seeing a Genesis tribute band called the Musical box, and like with Rush, the music they are playing will never be played by the creators ever again. We find there are people who are completely devoted to this music as we are, and they played it in an amazing hard heart show, for 150 minutes.

No, they weren’t Rush. And nothing will ever, for me, equal the show when Peart came back on the Vapor Trails tour which was completely explosive. A discussion on BookHell was about the Tribute band will never be as good. But brother, that is not the point.Theatrical groups do not bring Shakespeare back from the dead. The point is the creation that we can again see. And I admit that at least 5 times during the show, I was crying in joy. So yea, maybe Rush would have been better, but they aren’t touring and I could never afford tenth row seats if they did.

But sisters and capybaras, this still felt fucking good.

Posted: September 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

And here we fucking go.  I bet you four people and seventeen bots who still pay attention, figure I will do a Summerfest fangasm .  But I am not.

Because this is something more important.  it is about how we need to keep providing access to everyday lives for our fellows that have different levels of ability.

We went to the southwest, during HOT HO HOT but the worst part is that SLC airport welcomed is with an exterior ramp, of like 40 or 50 feet in elevation.  you do the math, at 1/12 slope and all the platforms in the median. It was not acceptable, but by the time I got to the top, this stupid thing had made some DVTs in my rebellious body move toward my lungs and I became unable  to functionally breathe. I barely made it, and the airport got me a wheelchair and a very nice man who got me through this ridiculously extensive airport.   DO NOT GO THERE.  But the guy on my  chair was very accommodating and we tipped accordingly.

After SLC airport destroyed me, I spent the rest of our time owes, picking and choosing.  Like when we were at Mesa Verde, where the altitude made it even worse. But at Taliesin West., I was so fervent that I walked all the way through.

And for the rest of our time, I made it an easy time of things, not walking so much and making use of scooters or wheelchairs when available.  picking and choosing the walking tours.  I was thinking for some time that it was High Altitude Disease because we were on Mesa Verde which was high enough to trigger it.  Let’s not string out the result:  It wasn’t.  When I went to the doctor, he sent me to the hospital here we got things tested and adjusted meds and this bastard DVTs had to leave.

And most recently, at Summerfest I told my concert buddy Rory, who is suffering from sciatica and other back distress, that he should not feel embarrassed by calling for a chair of the Wheel.  And at the last day, Rory showed rolling total pirate (he hasn’t figured out how to recover from Covid hair yet)  We had a great time watching Poi Dog Pondering, and he tried out MY mobility device -a knobby cane that also serves as a shillelagh.

But and here is the point

All those places we visited out west.  Every one of them offered some accommodations that might not be able to walk.  Might be differently abled.

and before 1984, that did not exist. Eventually, the ADA lumbered into creation.  As with most civil rights legislation it was ungainly and a mess of compromises, but it basically is designed to allow disabled folks to sue entities that won’t accommodate them.

But that’s not enough, and one of the national standards institutes had a readily availably accessibility standard, that Congress included by reference.  It was not force of law, and there was no enforcement ability anyway, but what it did was allow the various building code enforcement people to adopt it making it a defacto standard

And I recognize George Herbert Walker Bus for signing that fucker into legislation

So now, almost everywhere you go, the pathways, doors and toilets are accessible to people who a generation ago were limited to their own house and porch.

When I was having health issues out west, I was still able to see the museums and the other places.  I carry my cane into Summerfest, and walking is easier.

And because of that, and my encouragement for Rory to ride his wheelchair to the best seats could get, his ticket and chair allowed  him to upgrade to the best available accessible seats to see Guns and Roses.  And he had an excellent time, but it seems his departure was more problematic, which is a whole other story.

And I am fully willing to give a nod to George h.W. Bush for signing that damn thing into law.  Me and my friend have both experienced the benefits of it in recent days.  It was an amazing piece of legislation, and since it happened just after I got my Architectural license, I have seen the difference in public life but I have also experienced the difference in lived experience.

As I mentioned in the previous post, for the first time in about a decade, I did not attend the Opening Day of Summerfest. The new schedule made it seem like less of an event. So we went down on Friday for Drive By Truckers

At this point, I am going to extend all proper respect and thanks for people who run World Festival nc and the Summerfest staff for being so committed and inventive in figuring out how to put on this scale of event without it turning into Sturgis. It helps that Milwaukee is a Democratic city, and the city is over 76% vaccinated, and the festival requires proof of vaccination or a negative test, and has on site fast tests available. So when we were sitting on tables and bleachers, loving on the music, we could also love on the community we have been missing for 2 years without being terrified.

I first saw DBT also at Summerfest, Jason Isbell was still with the band, and I couldn’t believe how good they were;I am not normally well disposed to southern rock; but I’m going to say that this doesn’t qualify

Since then, I’ve seen them a couple more times, and Jason Isbell once on his own. I become more impressed. In recent years, DBT has development a bent for protest songs like Toughts and Prayers or The New OK. But on this night, the song that made me happier and resulted in tears rolling down my cheeks was this one (this will come up again):

Tonight was the fourth night we went to Summerfest. The first night was short, but the next two days were 10 hour+ extended mix long days. Tonight was a mix, about half a day, which allowed us to escape the crowds and parking before the Dave Chapelle crowd got rambunctious. (and how exactly did Summerfest land Chappelle?

So here, 2/3 of the way into an oddly scheduled festival, and by my count,, I have five more bands to see in the remaining 3 days. The fest is only 9 days total, rather than the typical eleven.But, and I told my great and good friend K that I am going to make a call on this, even if it’s premature…

By the second day, we noticed the sound was clear as a goddam bell. no feedback or ungrounded buzzes. And starting with DBT, ever band was JUST SO GODDAMNED HAPPY to be in front of a crowd , doing what they do after too long a time, that they don’t want to leave the stage. They all played over their allotted times, which is a big no-no at Summerfest, but the bands didn’t; give a shit because they were playing their music.

And every one of them was so committed to getting back to live, that they hit with all the force they had, and we saw blistering set after blistering set.

We saw locals doing a Joe Jackson cover set, and local legend Sigmund Snopek doing….well, what he does. It’s truly not quantifiable.

But then we saw people like Soul Asylum rip it up for a light crowd, and lovely local cow punks the Whiskeybelles singing about the love of whisky. As they do (except when the one was pregnant during the pandemic. I presume at the time, the other two were drinking for five.

And then we saw Joan Jett, and holy shit it all I have to say, and how in hell has it taken me this long to see her? And yes, she played her amazing cover of Paul Westerberg’s “Androgynous”

She snarled her way through her show in a way that also showed, over and over, how much she loved being there and playing for us and they’d their fucking guts out.

Which is the recurrent theme this year. Ever single goddam band has been so blue balled by not being able to play live – which, we admit, is one of the large reasons they do this, for the endorphin hit of the audience feedback. And they played their best and favorite material with everything they had. And it was apparent that every one of them had woodshedded until their fingers were shredded because as far as I could tell they never missed a cue or dropped or note (except the one time Dave Priner forgot a lyric)

And I also believe the sound system providers also felt the enforced vacation, as did the stage crews and support staff. The sound has been stellar. Not a single blown amp or bad ground, and the only feedback I’ve heard was at Sigmund Snopek’s. Every stage sounds stellar, whether you are up front where you’re not overwhelmed to the back, where the sound is still clear and satisfying.

Now, for a word about the schedule. The amazing get was Dave Chapelle, without a doubt. And I have to confess that I blew the call on not getting tickets for Green Day/Weezer/Fall out boy (my wife is not going to forgive me for that) But beyond that, my goob, we have Soul Asylum, the Whiskeybelles, Joan Jett, the Goo Goo Dolls, Brett Newski, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Drive By Truckers; and scheduling prevented seeing Filter, Wilco, Them Coulee Boys, Everclear, Berlin, Better Than Ezra, Living Colour, ZZTop (admittedly Dusty-less), Dave Matthews, Fishbone, Dropkick Murphys, The Psychedelic Furs, Jefferson Starship, Something to Do, Paul Cebar, Lemonheads, Poi Dog Pondering, Guns n Roses, Thurston Moore, The Flaming Lips. And these omit most of the bands I don’t know anything about, or the modern country I could give less than a shit about.

Well holy shit I nearly pissed myself just typing that out.

Last night had both Dave Chapelle at the amphitheater, and Kesha at the BMO pavilion (who I believe coined the theme of Summerfest 2021, with which I titled this post).; we left as th crowds for these shows were coming in, and the proper word is THRONGS. A friend drives rideshare, and he said he made 75 dollars an hour last night.

So pick your favorite bands out of their list, and if you don’t see them, look at the Summerfest schedule, because I left way more off. And I am almost completely convinced that they performed better than you ever imagined on their night.

My previous post revolved around one of my local faves Trapper Schoepp, who has completely impressed everyone I’ve taken to see them.And they were playing before Wilco; Trapper said the first time he came to Summerfest was to see Wilco on the very stage they were now playing. And that band was completely going to live up to that position; they did. I have seen Trapper and Tanner play several times in several configurations, and this was simply the best I have ever seen them.

So, circling around…. back when the 2008 recession threatened us all, but in particular my business, I found myself not able to respond emotionally to music in the way I had always done. Until an English Beat show, which seemed to be a one off.

(let me be clear here. When I refer to that emotional connection, I mean music bringing me to tears.)

Adding to the impact is the fact that we haven’t been able to do this for over a year and half. Before that, I usually saw live music 1-4 times a month. More during festival summers.

And in every day of music, at some point during some music performance, whether because I love it (Jane) to because the band absolutely hit the fucking marks (DBT, Let There Be Rock) I have, over and over again found myself weeping with joy and the feeling that after all we have been through, it is still possible to come together in communal ways that were not going to kill someone. (Texas, SD, and FLA not available for this offer) And while sitting there and talking with friends or making new friends, it was apparent that we have lots of friends who feel the same way. Almost everyone had masks hand, even they weren’t required in the grounds. And every single person was happy and dancing with joy. Summerfest, sisters and capybaras, Summerfest.

But thank my dog, but I haven’t been that happy and relieved since I first got the jabs. Also, since we are traveling out of country, we are getting flu shots next week. JAB ME.

I hope that this is a permanent reactivation of my feeling for music. If you see me crying about music, feel free to mock, but maybe just sit back and wonder what is moving me?

As a final note, even with 1/3 of the festival to go, I have to say that given the breathtakingly gorgeous early fall weather; the throngs of happy people at the World’s Largest Music Festival, the festival organizers who managed to figure out a way to bring us all together again SAFELY; the set and ground staff and crews who work from sunup to the next early morning to keep the grounds cleaned and prepared, and most of all the BANDS, who are, to a last person, fucking ecstatic to be here seeing us all again…

And as an exit strategy for this, I go back to Trapper Schoepp for a few years back, when they were touring with the Wallflowers. The irony here is that Trapper eventually wound up sharing writing credits with his dad. But here,Trapper and his original band the Shades, filled in on a singularly classic song.

In any case, I dearly love this is a permanent reconstruction of my emotions. It is fun and expanding feel this about the art we are exposed to.

Next up is how Summerfest and theaters are driving the increase in people, especially the idiot suburban Republican asshols, in getting the jabs….

I saw Trapper Schoepp the first time without warning, when he was working as Trapper Schoepp and the Shades on an afternoon with absolutely no plans, early in the day and I was just wandering around Summerfest to see what I could see. They fucking blew me away, and I have been a ridiculous fan ever since, and they released ever better albums, including co-writing a sing with FUCKING BOB DYLAN.

OK, I figured it out, and we now have a completely cute and local oriented video from Trapper. Including many cameos from people you might know, and some great locations.

An earlier video is also Very Local, in that it was shot on location in my neighborhood, and a Certain Celebrity is featured, but let’s just say it’s all about Jumping to Conclusions.

Tr

Trapper lived not so far from me, on the East Side of Milwaukee. and the video above was recorded probably a block away from my house.

But I am not here to talk about a band.

What (need to talk about is noise. Noise, and joy, and community, and connections.

We lost our lives back in 2020, after I had seen a great show at a local cafe, with Jon Langford, John Szymanski, Sally Timms and Bethany Newsome, who ripped the head off my concert buddy Rory who has traveled the country seeing blues artists. And then the next weekend we saw They Might Be Giants for like the 6th time.

And then everything went black.

So I will soldier on. As I have for the past 16 months.

Summerfest was canceled. Since we moved to Milwaukee, Summerfest has been an annual target, and since becoming fully employed, we have made it a center of our summer. And suddenly it’s canceled. For many years, I have attended every day, culminating iat one point in 50 consecutive Fest days. But this isn’t happening, obviously….

We broke the seal with a show by the Mountain Goats last week and the band felt the need to get it out as did we and they played for over 2 hours. John Darnielle seemed joyous to be in the Pabst theater.

So, after a couple of health issues, I am approaching Summerfest that is more accommodating and based n the schedule, I am, for the first time in years, am not attending the first day. The legend is fading.

The schedule is kind of legendary. The biggest headliners I looked at was Weezer and Green Day, which I passed on because the tickets were more costly than I paid for Springsteen, so I felt like Maybe, no. But we have tickets for Soul Asylum, Joan Jett and GooGoo Dolls.. But the biggest headliner is, amazingly, Dave Chappelle.

The whole thing also includes Poi Dog Pondering, Drive By Truckers, Berlin, Better than Ezra, Sigmund Snopek, The Whiskeybelles, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Filter the Gufs, Living Colour, Fishbone, Dropkick Murphys, and Thurston Moore. All on a lovely 11 acre state park on the shores of a beautiful inland sea.

It will be noisy, and the Fest has established that attendees need to prove vaccination. — in the face of Delta, it’s not a full protection but at least it makes sure that as attendees, we will not be hospitalized.

But let’s be real. I have been all about music of all kinds since high school, and when I moved to Milwaukee find that there were people just as involved as me and they played in bands – I once had a friend who put in my hand a cassette from someone called Couch Potatoes, and but the time I got to Milwaukee the had to change their name to Couch Flambeau, and they became legendary because the punks hated them and the metalheads hated them and they were ridiculously loud at Gordon Park Pub. It was ugly and loud and glorious. And I then which incorporated one of their songs into my architectural model building classes which made my teacher laugh and give me an A. Not sure whether he knew the band or just like the humor.

Ever since then, I have been a live music insane addict. I have seen almost anyone you can name, most of them more than once. I have seen large names like Rush maybe six times. I have seen Genesis 4 times. I saw Cloud Cult in a crazy small club and they reconfigured my brain.

But here’s the thing.

Music in most forms, hit my brain

And music in live format, makes my brain reformat.. When I see and watch live music – and for that matter live theater– it makes all my brain feel all the feels

I cried more than once during the Mountain Goats show.

we danced and me danced our dance our selves.

And we will dance on the shores of the Mighty Lake Michigan, and then we will be dancing in Turkey, and we will dance and enjoy insane food and coffee.

And if I ever figure out how WordPress works, I will make more entertaining posts.

I promise.

Unless I end up in the hospital again.

Quote  —  Posted: September 11, 2021 in Body Count, Shovels

As Many Candles As Possible.

Posted: August 24, 2021 in Uncategorized

(poof) (poof) is this thing on? No matter, hit the power switch and let’s see if it blows up.

I will just cut the suspense and reveal that yes, I did cry. In order to keep people reading, I will not reveal at which point that happened.

The last live music I had seen was They Might Be Giants, March 5 2020. In this exact same theater, in a weird piece of synchronicity. In fact, this show was scheduled for the following May, but then the world went to right hell.

If you know anything about me, that amount of time without seeing live music left me with a gaping hole in my soul and my brain. WE MISSED A GODDAM SUMMERFEST, PEOPLE!!

Fortunately, the people who run the Pabst Theater are good ones, and the tickets remained valid, although the constant rescheduling was hard to take, and going into the kitchen everyday, seeing those tickets hanging on the bulletin board, was like COVID was taunting me.

BUT; eventually, at least here in Milwaukee, some amount of control and behavior modification was effected, and the show was scheduled for tonight — at the Artist’s request, all attendees had to present proof of vaccination and wear a mask. And we did! Look at us all!!

The Mountain Goats are one of my favorite bands to see live. The first time I saw them, John the singer, played his acoustic guitar until it didn’t have enough strings to play anymore, then switched to his electric (tonight, he only broke one string). I immediately dragged my concert buddy Ror to the show the next time they played, and the band became one of his favorites as well.

John Darnielle is an insanely prolific writer (his second book comes out this year) and during the FUCKING PANDEMIC he and his band have released three albums: In League With Dragons, Getting Into Knives, and this year’s Dark In Here. He got started in the midst of the Lo-Fi movement, probably unfairly, because he ws writing songs and recording them into a boombox and selling the cassettes. Because that was all he had, and believe me, a boombox microphone was not kind to his voice or phrasing. But somewhere along the line, I picked up a cassette of one of his earlier efforts, Sweden, and although I admit it took me a few listens to muddle through, eventually the lyrics and unusual song structures started to get me intrigued. So when they came through for a show, I went, and it was completely overwhelming and intoxicating. Although his recorded songs are often muted, and he keeps his voice muted, on a live show he and his band turn it into a cathartic stomp — and that first show I saw was a there piece band. The have since expanded to a five piece, with two added multi-instrumentalists adding keyboard, sax, and more guitars when necessary. AND THEY OFTEN ARE.

OK, I ill admit I don’t have a setlist yet, and I will also admit that his songs sometime have a title that has little to do with the actual lyrics. They opened with a relatively muted number, but by the time the second song blistered into being, I said ‘yep, there we go, I’m crying’. Not at the song so much as that we were having a mass communal event, as safe as we could under today’s conditions, and there was a band that was putting a lot of pent-up anger, love, and energy into playing for us.

At one point, John, who is usually pretty taciturn during a performance, came up to the mic and said “We are so very, very, very happy to be here tonight and that all of you are too” and other than that, they let the music speak for them. and it did, O my friends and capybaras did it ever. They played for – maybe 2 1/2 hours? And they unlimbered a couple of old songs I hadn’t seen them play in some time.

At the end f the show, after an encore of 7 songs including a ‘gratuitously arrogant two new songs in the encore” John said “I think this is the first time I’ve played here when it hasn’t been cold as shit. I like it. We’ll have to do it more often.” Yes, you will John.

Concert buddy Ror has wanted to hear Pale Green Things, a quiet intense song, that John Stopped playing because the crowd got unruly. Well, I will say that a couple of times tonight, the songs got very quiet and the crowd didn’t peep. No Pale Green Things, though.

OKay, I know the none of you who still read this shit are wondering, but in the middle of the show, it struck me how much we’ve missed, and how much we have to blame people who don’t give a shit about us, or about music, or bands or restaurants. and that against all odds, all of us, and the doctors and nurses and scientists and restaurants and musicians and artists and just plain normal fucking people have been working to figure out a way forward, and we have, while fucknozzles like Ron Johnson are still trying to convince us to take cow drugs in the face of an effective, free vaccine, widely available. Those assholes hate when we have joyous ebullient things like this that make our lives better and open up our souls. I have a magnet on our fridge, from the Museum of musical Instruments in Phoenix that says “Music is the Language of the Soul”.

On a final reveal, by the time they blazed into the iencore, and they played Up the Wolves, No Children, and the song I don’t think John Darnielle ever intended as the theme song for this decade, This Year, my face was streaming with tears of joy and righteous rage and what we had lost and are struggling to regain.

Well, this was quite remarkable.

It was just as impressive as one of Obama’s better speeches, in its way. Oh, it wasn’t as soaring or spiritual, or soaring. It was pragmatic and grounded. It avoided grandstanding after accomplishing one of the most groundbreaking bills in history, while highlighting the idiotic mindless resistance of the GQP, who have apparently become fully possessed by 8Chan.

It emphasized how far we’ve come, and never once mentioned that the Former Guy left them with no actual plans or actions in place to combat either the economic disaster or the pandemic. Contrary to what Fox News sputtered in their response to this, Grandpa Joe went to great lengths to say this was for everybody in the country, not just his tribe. He even broke the plane of the podium to actually reach out, saying “I need YOU– All of you” yo help us bring this across the finish line, to play all four quarters and not feel like the accomplishments in control and vaccinations now allow us to get all kinky on the CDC guidelines.

Watching the inset ASL translator, I am now thinking I need to learn ASL.  She was great.

Even The Rude Pundit was moved to appreciation and mild optimism:

https://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2021/03/random-observations-on-presidential.html?fbclid=IwAR2ytgeamxZZAZzon0T6FIVbsKbIVTeLPzzmF8ZVEajg5xh53TU8DADXmmg

Yesterday, I talked with a longtime client. Hell, he’s more than that; I managed an apartment building for his father when I was in college, I have designed both he and his father’s offices more than once. I have designed his residences three time as his life has progressed. I have worked for three generations of his family, and I have to say he is also now a friend.

We had an issue on a current project that took about 4 minutes to resolve. there were a couple other things that we touched base on. But then we spent another 40 minutes talking about how we were dealing with the pandemic, about how he and his parents got the spike, and how he and his family have been dealing. He talked about getting the spike for his family, and that they are all having a family vacation in Florida, since his parents have had both doses too.

His office has been staggering office times, and they have all been keeping doors closed. In fact Have been sending everything digitally, and asking them to send my payments to my house, since I have only been going to my office once a week or less.

we are now friends , over the work we’ve done.  We have produced a few hundred ;living units in the city, and thousands of commercial square footage.

So we talked for like an hour. what we needed to talk about on our project took a bare number of minutes.  But as colleagues and friends, we talked at length about how much relief is felt, and how much relief there is that the Former Guy is in the rearview.

The palpable relief in the phone call was remarkable. We both acknowledged that our shitstorm is not nearly done — and there is certainly more we might not even see on the horizon– but that after 4 years of every day being continual horror show, suddenly we don’t wake every morning grabbing our phones in trepidation of what kind of shitting he has done.

His parents are both ardent Democrats, and he has, as is typical for kids of wealthy parents, has been a bit different. But in our discussion, the current political shit is not acceptable.

It is so totally amazing that we don’t have that every morning these days. And for my client, I am so chuffed for what he is able to do with his kids, who get to visit their cousins and grandparents, what a great relief and joyous time. (he celebrated by sending me a check!)

But the discussion we had is the thing. We have a President who is effective and is really great at what’s is needed in this moment. And he has put into place strong, effective and smart people to make this stuff happen. They have turned Vaccine delivery into a fucking machine, even if Q idiots refuse it. The previous administration didn’t give a shit about the operation of …well, anything, really. Smiling Joe has installed an administration that knows how government works, and is making out work.

Smart competent people repairing things and making them run. Dammit, it make me happy.

Goddamit it makes me feel optimistic.

Watching the Tom Hanks movie about Mr. Rogers, but it’s not really about Mr. Rogers. There is a scene in a restaurant, where Mr. Rogers asks the reporter to sit for a full minute, and think about the people who made him what he is and got him where he is. It’s an astonishingly effective combination of remembrance, thankfulness, and meditation.

My hair is nearly long enough to require daily hair control. Wife Sublime has maintained shorter hair, so I can’t even borrow hair discipline devices.

Of course, the top ones are my mother and father. I am more like them than I want to admit, and less like them than they had hoped.

A second grade teacher, who recognized my near sightedness and got me to an eye doctor.

A first grade teacher who showed me the joy of creating art and building stuff.

My fifth grade teacher who taught us about creating characters, and inadvertently teaching about ridiculousness, when she wanted to punish one of my friends by making him stand with with his nose against the an X marked on the board, which was a full foot above his head.

My high school art teacher, who let me leave class to go buy tickets to a Styx concert only if I could correctly identify the Styx reference. I did.

My high school basketball coach, who doubled as the drafting teacher, who saw my skills and pushed me as far as his classes allowed, and when that ran out, let me bail on the class until the rest caught up. And then encouraged me to go to engineering college, and when my younger brother informed him I was changing to become an architect, he simply said “well of course”

My first college architecture professor, Jerry (later tapped to be my thesis chair) who drove me to up my game in drawing, to the point the trees I draw look to have real shadows.

My taekwondo teachers, who made my son and I both into multiple black belts, increasing our skills and coordination far beyond what is typical in our family.

More difficult, I do also have to acknowledge the man who hired me out of college. He was a virulent racist, a rampant homophobe, a ridiculous misogynist who cheated on his wife openly. And when he hired me, he expected something very different from what I though he wanted, because he was also a terrible administrator of people; to the point where after two weeks I told my wife “I think I’m going to be fired” But we got beyond that, and after a bit of workout, I became lead designer. And let me tell you, that is not something that happens to someone a month out of college. and then I designed almost everything that came out of that office, millions of dollars in construction across the country. I took advantage of his vacation to re-design the streetscaping of 11 acres of the Third Ward. We ended our association by him offering me a partnership but when I asked a former partner of his, she said, “it’s not worth it” so I bailed to start a firm with some others. But as you might see, it was a huge part of my development and I need to acknowledge that.

Is it not a given that another is Wife Sublime. One of the most intelligent and no-bullshit people I have ever known. Sometimes I reflect on that I managed her respect.

This is by no means a complete list.

There is a light in the black. Doctor Who spent several episodes working on this, and it was never properly closed.

And Monday night, the light started to break. And we started to close that crack.

I started writing this on Monday night, but frankly, the drinks won out. The sheer relief at having made it through, and watching that THING be hobble by his lack of Twitter was more than a bit schadenfreudelicious.

But not before this bit of wonderful writing came in over the transom from FB friend Peter, about…well you know:

As I think back, a few moments stand out to me. I remember in late november of 16, still shocked and depressed by the outcome, walking around the lantern festival in westchester county, trying not to be so morose as to ruin it for the kids, and mostly managing by keeping my distance. It was a crisply cold night, with clear skies, and that familiar chill coming off the Hudson. It reminded me so much of my youth in NY, and yet the feeling of catastrophe very much the opposite of the feeling of safety I associate with childhood.And in February 2017, coming back to the US from a trip to Iceland (shitty place, btw, skip it and go elsewhere) to an America already changed. Detention at the airport of muslims and trump critics. Lawyers lined up outside offering probono help to those targeted for discrimination and intimidation.Nazis in the streets murdering people – evidently such murderers are “very fine people.”Children ripped from their parents and caged like animals.People dying in federal custody simply because of neglect by those officers charged with their care.Lies innumerable. And remarkably with no accountability for broken promises. We’ve blown the two-week timeframe for the GOP health plan by many years now.A rush to execute federal prisoners lest the incoming administration not murder them.400,000 Americans dead – and counting – for no reason other than a narcissist’s inability to consider anything important that does not feed one of his appetites.And so much more.I am grateful, relieved, and exhausted that in less than 24 hours Trump will be out of office. But the damage to our country will take much more than a change of administration to repair. And I doubt I will ever feel about this country what I used to. That’s probably not a bad thing, but it is heartbreaking to realize how shallow the veneer of goodness really is when 10s of millions look at the last 4 years and say, ‘more of that, please.’

As I responded to him, my memories of that night was watching the returns become bleaker as the night went on, and I became drunker. Wife Sublime popped out of her office to go to bed, saying “how does it look” and I said glumly “it looks bad.”

And it was. And it actually became worse than we ever imagined. No one ever thought it was going to end with an attempted insurrection. By internet-fueled cosplayers. Incited by Trump, and supported by Republicans at several levels.

Tuesday morning broke, and DC was completely calm. the Inauguration came off without a hitch, and it was fucking beautiful. All the real presidents were there (except for Jimmy, and I think at this point he deserves a fucking pass) And the Prominent Women were in coordinated jewel tone coats and suits that were plain lovely.. AnThe poem by Amanda Gorman was fucking gorgeous and brilliant and fuck me she’s FUCKING ONLY 22!?!?!? and let alone the fact that we are making up for lost time with TWO white house dogs, but also a WH cat, but having fucking top shelf ART be part of it again? I plotz.

The pomp was mostly passed by (although after the fact, I saw FLOTUS gown, and it was lovely and inclusive and understated Absolutely knocked out of the park) , because our new POTUS and VPOTUS took the “Day One” normal boilerplate seriously; Biden signed 17 Executive orders (and never bothered with the conspiracy idea of the 3-fold-video display, like a first grader showing off his finger paintings.

Well, look, I am a bit giddy. Trump left in ignominy and bitterness, and facing a life of lawsuits and (more) bankruptcies. We have a new Administration, and an entire country (well, a lot of us) who are now dedicated to repairing the damage and rooting out the rot — meaning destroying the fucking Republican Party.

And. That shit ton of fucking damage It and his servile fascist party has done for four years.

as I said to a friend, it is refreshing to not wake up every morning, yelling like Dorothy Parker “What Fresh Hell is this!!!”

Also, White House Press conferences now seems a pleasure, not an exercise in terrible mendaciousness. Although I am sad we won’t have more opportunities to see Melissa McCarthy drive that motorized podium around. Maybe the new Press Sec can borrow it for a quick run.

Anyways, so as I said I am a bit giddy, and here we are Friday, and Here it is tomorrow.

The New OK

Posted: October 29, 2020 in Body Count, Fuck You Friday, Uncategorized

It is incomprehensible that Fucker is even within the last 2 minute magic of winning this shit. American white supremacism is resounding in a way nobody expected.

Well, the polls in Wisco show Biden up either by 7 or by 17 (i read a commentary by public functionaries on the red west side of the state, who had a compelling on-the-ground response of the underground rebellion against Trump and the Wisco Republicans, and how the results of hardcore Republican nuttiness is damaging their lives) . count em and deal em. Frankly, I think the polls are pushing the numbers down because they get paid by the media who live for the horse race, and also that they have adjusted their models to compensate for their perceived failures in 2016.

Meanwhile, Fucker is killing his supporters in Omaha by abandoning them on a frozen highway, in lieu of killing them by making them sick. (this is where I would post a song from Eleventh Dream Day, “Frozen Mile” but can’t find an internet version.)

Marquette, a notably reasonable polling operation with slight rightwing bias, puts Biden up by 7 in Wisconsin. Trump’s campaign, who have no more money, abandoned Wisco.

2018 was a wave middle election. This one looks like a fucking tsunami.

I know, don’t count the eggs. But at this point, Clinton only had a cumulative 2 point advantage, which did not include the suppression efforts in the rust belt. Now, we see an advantage of 7 points, and the states that were fucked with last time have gone to great lengths to avoid the bullshit suppression.

But it seems the militias and police are completely fucking ready to roll violence (augmented by completely ridiculous military ordnance they are now armed with) and the paranoid rightwing militias who are armed to kill minorities and liberals.

Trump is already whining about invalidating mail and absentee ballots. And his rigged Court is already threatening changing vote counts if they need to. Considering how competent the Biden/Harris campaign has been to now, and the access to legal brilliance in the Clinton orbit, I have to believe they expect all of it and more, and have war rooms preparing rapid response, if not preventative.

I am normally an Optimistic Zombie. for the last election, I spent a night drinking beers with a good friend and trying to talk him down. later, I apologized for being wrong. I am still optimistic zombie. I have to think this may go the way of breathers. I don’t want to have to shamble you all down and eat you.

But there does seem violence on the horizon. Many paranoid idiots with terrible impulse control, little experience, and WAY too many terribly fatal machines that they view as toys. fortunately, this seems to be the level of competence:

Well, there you go. the perfect Trump voter, One can only hope that he his his testicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRE9vMBBe10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRE9vMBBe10

But there is this

Goodnight, Lucy. You were a Good Gurl.