Memory Upgrade

So sometimes your memory betrays you. Okay, most of the time your memory betrays you. Like for example, how you may remember an argument with an old friend that caused a riff between the two of you. When you finally have that heart to heart and discuss things you realize you remembered things all wrong. That friend didn’t actually say what you thought they said. Or you watched a movie as a kid and you remembered it a certain way for 25 years. When you go back and watch that same movie as an adult you realized the ending in your head was all wrong. Even how you remember a person. My grandma died over 6 years ago. I think I remember how her voice sounded, and her laugh. But I don’t have anything to go on anymore. No old home movies or answering machine messages saved. I’m going on those pieces still lodged in my brain. A couple phone conversations just a few weeks before she died, and a visit to her house just a month before she was gone.

It’s all I got, so I have to run with it. Try to keep it fresh and glowing, like stoking embers in a fire. Once it’s out it’s out. No more kindling to throw on the fire.

There’s no lesson here I’m trying to teach. There’s no moral to any of this. I’m just thinking a lot about memories and the importance of making them. My oldest was home this past week for spring break. I took the last part of the week off so I could spend time with her. My wife had to work all week and the younger ones were still in school(they aren’t off until the first week of April.) When the oldest comes home on extended weekends she’s often either sleeping, hanging out with her old school friends, or with her mom on some shopping excursion. I’m here at home making sure she’s getting her favorite meals while she’s here. I’m keeping the gears running at the homestead. I’m not ever going on adventures with her. So this time I wanted to be able to do something with her, so she knows I care and that I actually do like to spend time with her.

Wednesday was taking her to the dentist and the eye doctor, then being at home waiting for the heating and cooling guys to put in our new water heater. Thursday wasn’t much, but then Friday my daughter and I spent the day in Fort Wayne shopping for books and music, eating quite well, and just enjoying time together. We hit three spots for books and came out of it with a stack for each of us. I wanted to hit up Neat Neat Neat Records as well as I haven’t been there in over two years. Hasn’t changed much, and I’d hoped for that. For lunch we ate at Bravas Burgers. Probably the best burger and fries I’ve had in a very long time. We will go back for sure. After a coffee refueling we hit the road and made it home by 5pm. Saturday was just hanging out at home mostly, which is what we all needed I think.

Today, my wife and mom are currently driving the oldest back to school while I’m home with the younger ones. Making dinner and keeping the gears turning at the homestead.

I look back at my life, even just the last 6 years, and there are these moments that stick out in my head. They’re good moments: family vacations down south, trips to record shops, Christmas eves with board games and snack-y foods, a Colorado wedding, school carnivals, and band concerts around the holidays. They’re not grand gestures like trips to Disney World or anything like that. They’re just these little moments that define such significant times in my mind. More than a grand gesture can do, the trips to the bookstore, or a cabin in the woods, or the cinema on a Sunday afternoon are what stick in our memories. More memories we make the easier it is to remember them all.

Anyways, that’s what going on in my head. We made some memories this week, and I’m happy about that.

Greetings From Holiday Island

FullSizeRender (4)Hello guys and gals! How have you been?

I hope your holiday season has been a pleasant one. I shared a few rum and cokes with the old man on Christmas and watched quite a bit of tv about older men dropping serious cash on vintage cars. The kids were thrilled with what was under the Christmas tree, and the wife was thrilled with her new coat, shoes, and the portrait my good pal Shane Darin Page did for us.

All in all, it was a great Christmas.

Saturday we headed to Indianapolis to spend some serious Christmas cash. We all had things we wanted to look for. The wife wanted to find some threads in the business/casual theme for work. My oldest had no idea what she wanted, so she bought the entire series of ‘Community’. My youngest daughter bought some boots and a scarf, while my son found his Mecca at the Lego store at the Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis. A Guardians of the Galaxy set and a Batman set were procured(they were both put together by noon Sunday.)

I had but two goals: get my Fossil watch running and grab some vinyl(of course.) Well the watch thing didn’t work out like I’d hoped. I dropped off my watch and told them I need a new battery. They said 20 minutes tops. So we all ate some grub at the food court and my son and I took off for our mall adventure. We hit Fossil up for my watch only to find out that there was a movement issue with the watch, not a battery issue. Fortunately they’ll fix it free of charge. They just have to send it off to get fixed, then Fossil will ship it to my house. I guess all I have to pay is shipping. Not sure how any of this works, but my watch is there with my information. I’m hoping for the best. I hope they can fix it, as it’s my favorite watch. I’ve had it since January of 2002. My wife and I went down to Indy for a night out and ended up buying me this great watch.

The second goal of mine was met wonderfully. First place we hit was Luna Music and I snagged Can’s Tago Mago(Unofficial European version from 2007) and Kluster’s Scharz(Eruption). Krautrock magic, right there. After four painful hours at the mall, we made our way to Half Price Books and I grabbed to wonderful jazz reissues. First was Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage. Classic album, period. I also grabbed Waxtime’s beautiful reissue of Bill Evans with Philly Joe Jones’ On Dolphin Street. Criminally underpriced vinyl right there. Finally, we stopped at Indy CD and Vinyl and I happily purchased Oneohtrix Point Never’s R Plus Seven and Wooden Shjips’ Dos. I also snagged an Indy CD and Vinyl t-shirt for $10. I was hoping to find Kraftwerk’s Computer World, but it couldn’t be found anywhere. Maybe next time.

Today(Sunday) was some tasty New Orleans French Roast I picked up at the Fresh Market on College Ave and grabbing some groceries. New Year’s Eve is coming up this Wednesday. I’m looking forward to it as my parent’s are coming over for some shredded beef sandwiches, euchre, and of course some libations. Maybe I’ll post something before then, maybe I won’t. Let me know what you’re New Year’s resolutions are. Let me know how your holiday went.

I’m out of here. Gonna go eat some tacos, watch Moonrise Kingdom, and get geared up for work tomorrow.

Good day.

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Happy Fourth of July

My vinyl haul on July 3rd
My vinyl haul on July 3rd

….or for my friends not in the lower 48, Happy Thursday!

For those of us that are in the lower 48, today’s the one day of the year where grilling your food over an open flame is mandatory and every man, woman, and child must light at least one fuse that is attached to some sort of explosive that could remove a digit if said digit is too close at the time of detonation.  Yes, Independence Day(not the alien flick either) is a holiday where things go boom and folks proudly display their American flags and American pride.  We kicked some Redcoat ass and we aren’t about to let them forget it.  Yup.  Well, I’m sure that’s a sentiment well worn and displayed in the lower “lower” 48 anyways.  But here, it’s basically an excuse to get drunk, get sunburned, and blow s**t up.  Oh, and eat hamburgers and corn-on-the-cob.  My personal feelings regarding the Fourth of July are this:  I appreciate the freedoms I have living in the U.S., and I really don’t need one day to look at explosions in the sky to be reminded of that.  I can just turn on CNN, BBC, or MSN and see the turmoil Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and the struggles between Israel and Palestine to know we’ve got it pretty good here in the U.S.A.  I have a government-sanctioned day where I don’t have to work.  I can stay home, hang out with my family, drink a couple beers, eat some grilled food, laugh, look at the amazement in my kids’ eyes as they watch those bottle rockets red glare, bursting in air.

So the last two days have been filled with nonsense and fun.  Let me catch you up, shall I?

Tuesday we had an old friend come by for a visit.  Actually, she’s the gal that set my wife and I up on a blind date back in January of 1991…our Junior year of high school.  She was supposed to come with us on this blind date but decided at the last minute she couldn’t.  So, it was a mildly awkward blind date where my wife came by and picked me up(yeah, I still didn’t have a drivers license…super cool) and we went and saw the movie Mermaids with Cher and Winona Ryder(equally awkward).  Afterwards it was breadsticks at Noble Romans.  The rest is history.  Well, there was lots in-between then and now, but that’s for another time.  So anyways, our friend came by with her four year old son and they stayed a good couple hours.  It was good catching up with her.  She lives in Virginia now and has finally found a good spot to grow old in the world.  That afternoon the kids and I headed into town and I grabbed a copy of Tangerine Dream’s Stratosfear for $5 and a new copy of Miles Davis’ Round About Midnight from my good friend John Vance over at Karma Records here in my neck of the woods. Davis has barely left the turntable.  Tuesday night we had a horror movie marathon.  We watched The Bay before my wife got home(super creepy and gross….it’s still not safe to get back in the water).  Then once she got home she made some caramel corn and we watched The Blair Witch Project.  You know, that movie still holds up in my eyes.  The kids weren’t nearly as impressed as my wife and I were back in 1999.  Oh well.

NNN Records new 45s selection
The mighty Sweetwater Sound

So yesterday the kids and I headed to Fort Wayne.  We stopped at Sweetwater Sound for a bathroom break and stayed for the arcade games.  They have a very cool game area where guests and employees can play billiards, ping pong, and skee-ball.  I grabbed a couple packs of guitar strings and drooled over various Gibsons and Fenders.  So after leaving Sweetwater we hit Neat Neat Neat Records and my friend Morrison Agen and I snagged Kraftwerk’s Autobahn and a Collector’s Edition of Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4 in clear vinyl.  We made our way to Hyde Brothers Booksellers and were blown away by the amount of books they have.  It’s literally floor to ceiling. A veritable maze of literature.  The kids made out like bandits and I snagged a John Coltrane biography.  Then we walked down the street to Shooting Star Records.  A hole-in-the-wall that is filled with vinyl treasure.  He got bonus points for having a cute cocker spaniel in there for my kids to “ooh” and “ahh” over.  An import copy of Radiohead’s Hail shooting star recordsTo The Thief made it in my grubby hands.  We got back to the car and headed to the other side of Fort Wayne to Half Price Books and I snagged NM copies of Led Zeppelin III and Miles Davis’ Milestones.  My oldest daughter found Douglas Adams’ entire Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series in one giant book…for $7.  She was thrilled.  I’d promised I’d get her a John Green book, but they didn’t have any, so our last stop was Barnes and Noble where she found two books of his she was wanting.  Well, dad obliged.  We got home around 5:30pm and I grilled pork chops and we read our books and listened to our records till 11pm.

So here we are.  It’s Thursday, the Fourth of July in 2013.  I’m four days into my vacation.  The sun is shining, the beer is chilling and there’s meat to be grilled.  And maybe even a fuse or two to be lit.

Life is good.