Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fleetwood Mac review, April 27, 2013, Consol Energy Center

Coming off the heels of that nauseating, abysmal Steel Panther test of punishment and endurance, Gigi and I hit up the big Fleetwood Mac show.

It took awhile, but we managed to score 2 freebies.  Arduous but manageable.  One came from a New Jersey woman named Nellie Stillwaggon.  The other from a man in light blue button down shirt.

Earlier, I tried to reason with this group of ladies who had an extra.  Their friend was in the Cleveland clinic and could not attend.  Apparently they thought the spare ticket would be better served, if nicely framed and presented as a gift.  I attempted to persuade them that the woman might be more appreciative if the ticket were actually used but they refused to budge, preferring to eat it.  I tried to reason with them... after all, you could always just xerox one off afterwards.  But noooo, she would require definitive section, row and seat verification for her non-experience.  That sure was an inspired group of ladies - I wish I could have friends like that if I was in the hospital. 

They weren't the only ones.  Others opted to dine on print-outs as well.  Yummo, goodo.  Ticketmaster Mmmm.  I had this one guy who "threatened" to tear up his extra on the spot, just to spite me.  I sometimes wonder about humanity.  Make that always.  Why would anyone go out of their way to risk their own lives to improve a society comprised of about 25% assholes?  I truly sympathize with those returning from war zones or anyone who fruitlessly toils in the unappreciative public sector.  Time to get off the soapbox.

So we zipped in right at crunch time and scored KILLER seats in the FRONT row, Stevie Nicks side of the stage (our favorite region).

Excerpt from The Office:

Darryl: It's cool that you like the southwest. It's one of my favorite regions. [cut to talking head] "It's one of my favorite regions" --did I just sound totally lame? [thinks] ...huh, it sounded good. [cut back to talking with Deangelo] I love the desert. It's one of my favorite ecosystems.

The band seemed really energized.  All 4 - Lindsay Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and the bass player whose name eludes me.  Stevie Nicks seemed genuinely inspired, invoking "fond memories" of Pittsburgh without divulging any specifics.  But you could tell that she wasn't bullshitting.  She likely won't be using the same line tomorrow night in St. Paul, MN.

I thought this show was much better than the Fleetwood Mac 2009 tour opener at Mellon Arena.  The band seemed looser and more relaxed.  There were a couple scattered moments of errant musicianship, a couple jams that went askew, a few drum beats that were a little off.  But I think it made for a more heartfelt, authentic performance.

The woman seated behind us was kind of a pain.  She would occasionally murmur at people to "sit down."  I thought about engaging her, explaining the ins and outs of what happens at a rock concert, but had a modicum of mercy.  Plus, I didn't want to jeopardize our "freebie karma."

Gigi and I have been discussing how we've slowly been evolving into this Beavis and Butthead-like duo outside the concerts.  All these strange, errant comments.  Eccentric laughter and chompy snickering that only we can decipher, yet overheard by everyone.  So of course, once we got inside, we opted for the Super Nachos.  Nothing exemplifies the Beavis and Butthead idiot parade better than a giant tray of nachos setting us back $7.50.


Highlights for me were The Chain, Sara and Gold Dust Woman.  Especially the version of Sara.

During "Tusk," the pelvic thrusts of Lindsay Buckingham seemed a bit excessive, bordering into the blasphemous and obscene...  his Elvis-like gyrations mirrored this bizarre video that's currently making its rounds through social media.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

As disturbing as that was, I thought it was interesting.  Not amusing, but kind of intriguing as it was definitely rehearsed and likely occurs on what would appear to be a semi-regular basis.  There's even some degree of subdued choreography. 

We also scored some kind of discarded Stevie Nicks-like veil/shawl/tapestry.  Unlike the above video featuring our caped, groinal super-sexual hero, here's some rare-rear fully clothed, Talibanesque modeling...

This look is all the rage in Kandahar.  I defy you to name any city that sounds so wonderful and exotic, while at the same time being the embodiment of the worst location on the entire planet earth.   Seriously... give it a try.  You'll always come back to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

After the concert, we ran into a person who shall remain nameless, a Pittsburgh sanctioned, rogue maintainer of law and order -  he gave us some confiscated Fleetwood Mac tour shirts.  One of which we presented to the infamous Nellie Stillwaggon!  That's the woman who gave us her extra floor seat.  We ran into her after the show.

We also had another encounter with Doc Harris (Franco's son).  We talked for a little about the artificially generated stampede and the recent Associated Press twitter hoax that temporarily crashed the stock market.  He looked at me and smiled, "Hey man, I owe you an email."  Well... we shall see.

All in all, twas a great night that restored our faith in music after that atrocious Steel Panther sequestration. 

After a show like that, sometimes I think maybe there really is a god.  Well... at least a musical, treblicious god of some sort with tonal leanings.  Now there's a concept I can barely grasp.  Hell... it's a lot better than tsunami-God, ricin-God, Fukushima nuclear reactor-God, Holocaust-God, Boston Marathon-God, Sandy Hook Elementary School-God, and of course... the most vengeful God that will eventually someday be spoken of... artificially generated stampede-God.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Steel Panther - Stage AE, April 26, 2013

Gigi and I zipped down to Stage AE last night for a "show" by a "band" named Steel Panther.

We hooked up with two longtime buddies, metalmale and marnellmale.  Having secured a quad-allotment of freebies, we were all set.  On his way into the venue, our buddy had this weapon of mass destruction confiscated by venue security.

When asked why he felt the need to bring it inside, he replied, "I forgot it was in my pocket."
Do not fear though.  Gigi ended up securing the weapon.  It will soon be reunited with its proper owner. 

I'm not sure what's wrong with me.  I must be getting old.  Having been previously assured of the band's outright hilarity and stunning 80's musicianship, this event truly asked more questions than it answered.  It was atrocious.  I reached the rarely felt level of "absolute putrid disgust."  I will admit one thing though.  We were in the minority.  Everyone else in the venue seemed to be having the time of their lives.  Hooping and hollering, gesticulating and suck-it-ing...

Shades of brilliance, mirroring this...

"Saf, for cryin' out loud.  The whole damn thing's a parody.  It's supposed to be in poor taste.  Don't you get it?"  To that query I respond with the age-old, "Yeah... I get it.  I get it."  Who knows?  Maybe I really don't get it. 

The band itself was horrifically loud.  Much to their collective chagrin, I could feel the distortion coursing through the veins of genitalia.  It was a good 'ol fashion groin thumping.

The best part was the interactive banter.  The lead singer aka "self professed vaginal inspector" would drone on endlessly about fornication.  It mirrored a Rand Paul filibuster, but with costumes and profanity.  There was that one shining moment where I became a believer.  He surveyed the crowd and screamed, "This is a new song about fucking all night long.  It's called "I'm gonna fuck you all night long."

We ended up bolting about three songs in.

We did not have a good time last night.  In fact, the highlight was us breathing a sigh of relief as we exited the venue.  I think this band should alter their entire agenda.  Maybe rename themselves "The Steel City Panthers" and do something in the realm of softcore, loud volume, dirty talkin' pornography.  Perhaps in the male revue milieu or on the Chippendales circuit.   

I did snag a cool Marilyn Manson/Alice Cooper poster from above a restroom urinal.  Seemed well-suited for Gigi's garage of musical paraphernalia and rustic accoutrement.

In retrospect... there were three highlights.  Free parking, free tickets and the fact that we didn't get poured on during our trek back to the refurbished Honda Civic.  Other than that, I have absolutely no desire further discussing this shit. 

Hopefully, tonight will serve as a rebound.  We're heading to Fleetwood Mac at Consol.  We went last time they came to the defunct Mellon Arena.  Here's the review from 2009.

As I implied, things can only improve upon last evening's debacle.  Maybe a vehicular accident in which they pry us from the car with the jaws of life while we're both simultaneously chewing on tin foil and shaving our heads with a cheese grater.  Dare to dream...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

George W. Bush Presidential Library

Today marks the grand unveiling of the "W" presidential library or as I'd prefer to call it "G-Dubs big 'ol bunch of books."

It will be located on the Southern Methodist campus (how appropriate) in Dallas.  In keeping with the philosophy that everything is bigger and better in Texas, this sounds 'bout write.  Rest assured, it will be the biggest and the best...  assuming you define superiority in terms of that which is pricey and humongous (250 million bucks, 25 acres, 200,000+ square feet).

I've been following the coverage.  The library's main theme will revolve around "decision making."  Not a bad focus considering the fact that 9/11 certainly changed the world.  There's a statue of his pet dog Barney, the bullhorn from ground zero in Manhattan, a mammoth steel beam from one of the World Trade Centers.  What's missing are all the key figures of the administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz - basically the architects of the Iraq war).  And if you know me, you know that I think the invasion and occupation of Iraq was the worst fundamental policy decision in the history of the United States... most definitely in my lifetime and most certainly the 21st century.  I know... I know... the worst is Solendra.

During the Iraq War, Bush made a visit to our decaying town.  I felt inspired so I wrote this poem and stuck it on every god forsaken car window in all of downtown Wheeling.

It's interesting... reflecting back on these words.

I refuse to take any politician seriously (any Democrat or Republican who cast a vote in favor of the war), if they're unwilling to utter the words, "in retrospect, I think my vote was a mistake."  Why can't the media ask this most basic question to all the current players?  I'm not talking about John McCain or Lindsay Graham or the imbecile Palin.  I'm talking about John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, our current and former Secretary of States.  Call me naive, but wouldn't this be a good question by which to judge their decision making capabilities?  After all, these are the people who run the country.  Well, at least they think they're in charge.  More than me, I suppose.

Most people think I have this seething hatred of George W. Bush.  Not true at all.  In fact, he seems like a pleasant, likeable dude.  The kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with.

What I've always questioned is whether "the office of the presidency" was just too damn big for his britches.  I don't think he ever comprehended the magnitude of his words, the real-world impact of his policies.  I don't think he grasped an appreciation of history, a basic understanding of how the world works (beyond the lone star state).  I think he saw things through a very narrow perspective, an incredibly simplistic prism.  He didn't analyze, he delegated - a very dangerous "style of leadership" following 9/11.  But did I "hate" him as a person.  Absolutely not.

I think way too many people, especially in the age of facebook, assign notions of love and hate far too easily.  I despise this leader's drone policy or drug policy or immigration policy or stance on universal health care... therefore, I must HATE him/her.  That's the only way people will know where I stand on these critical issues.  It's far too difficult to have a rational debate.  I don't have the time or the necessary mental energy or acuity to engage in reasonable discourse.  It's much easier to copy and paste this picture of Mitt Romney emanating from a marble toilet w/ pure gold fixtures.  Caption reading "Mitt is... the Shit."  I haven't seen it, but I'm sure it exists.

I guess that's what I'm getting at.  I personally do not loathe George W. Bush.  I just detested his over-simplification of the major issues.  The "we must fight them there, so we don't fight them here."  The "they hate us because they hate our freedom."  And the absolute worst, "the people of Iraq will welcome us as liberators."  For me, that one was the tipping point.  I was always skeptical of the decision to invade Iraq, but when I heard that phrase, I absolutely lost it.  I may not know shit, but I've always known one thing... NOBODY LIKES IT WHEN SOMEONE BOMBS THEIR COUNTRY.

So my main beef with W is this...  the presidency was just beyond his grasp.  The office was simply too big for him.  When I look at Obama, Clinton, Bush Sr. and Reagan (maybe Carter to a lesser extent), I never come away with that impression.  They all seemed well suited to handle the awesome power of the presidency.  They all understood the scope and magnitude.  With W, I got the impression that he ran for the office mostly because he thought he could win it.  Turns out he was write.  Not once, but twice.

And if I remember correctly, he was supposed to be the "education president."  Turns out, he ended up being a "wartime president."  So while they're doing the dedication, I just thought I'd right down my thoughts.  Offer my two sense, if you will.  After all, it's a big fucking library.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

thoughts on the Steelers 2013 schedule

So the NFL just released the 2013 Steelers regular season schedule.

2013 schedule (All times ET)

Sept. 8 TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:40 p.m.
Sept. 22 CHICAGO BEARS, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Minnesota Vikings (Wembley Stadium, London), 1 p.m.
Oct. 6 BYE
Oct. 13 at New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Oct. 20 BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 3 at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m.
Nov. 10 BUFFALO BILLS, 1 p.m.
Nov. 17 DETROIT LIONS, 1 p.m.
Nov. 24 at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Nov. 28 at Baltimore Ravens, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 p.m.
Dec. 15 CINCINNATI BENGALS, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 22 at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.
Dec. 29 CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 p.m.

My thoughts...

First and foremost, on opening day we have a home game against the Titans.  From a potential stampede perspective, this does not bode well.  There are a total of 10 1 o'clock games on that particular Sunday.  Usually, there are 9.  The final day of the season has the most (12), but that weekend often suffers form weak attendance.  Since I'm the only person on the planet who's concerned about artificially generated stampedes, I won't harp on it.  I'll be there regardless.

Gigi and I will be out "cruising the Northwest" for the big nationally televised night game against Da Bears.  That one jumped out at me as a must-see, but I'll cope... somehow.

Our bye comes a little early in the season.  But that's always the case when you get a London game at the end of September.   They usually do inter-conference AFC/NFC match-ups across the pond.  Wise decision.  I don't mind playing the Vikes.  I'd rather see the Green Bay game played in Wisconsin and the domed Lions have to venture to Heinz Field for a relatively cold weather game.

At least we didn't get screwed on the London trip.  By that, I mean we still have 8 home games.  So you really can't bitch too much.  By the time we finally get back to Europe, there's a good possibility the United States may have fallen as a "great civilization/empire."  We'll likely have bigger problems to contend with.

Random stuff...

Cool that we open the preseason with a home game against the NY Giants.  Only I would find something like this to be of substantive interest. 

I like the fact that Miami has to come the Burgh for a late season cold weather game. 

They just announced that the Bengals signed James Harrison.  Fucking Fantastic.  What better a way to celebrate than our only prime time Monday Night game in the second week slot.  My prediction - he'll make one big hit or sack early on and then be rendered meaningless.  It's absolutely hysterical that the Bungles signed him to a 2 year deal.  How fitting.  I rarely complain about the players we sign or drop.  However, I can't believe we matched the offer on WR Emmanuel Sanders.  I do question that move.  Maybe Belichick was purposely bating us.  I suspect he'll under-perform this year.  Just a hunch.

Gotta love the Thanksgiving night showdown against the Ravens on the road.  Although who can forget the 1998 coin toss in Detroit.  Though I'm hardly what you call superstitious.  Should be a good knock down, drag out.  It always is.  Roger Goodell got this one right.  Congrats.

The balance of our schedule seems strong.  8 - 1 o'clocks. 4 - 4 o'clocks and 4 night games.  Not bad for an East coast team that went 8-8 and missed the playoffs last year.  Just ask the Browns who have 13 games at 1 pm and a sole crappy night game against Buffalo.  Sounds about right.   Can you tell who the NFL likes from a ratings perspective?

Looks like we'll find out "what's what" during the 4 game stretch following the bye week.  3 high profile away games (Jets, Raiders and Patriots) with a Ravens home game sandwiched in there.  There is a West Coast trip to Oakland, but it's almost an entire month after the London journey.  Shouldn't be a factor.  If we can go 2-2 in those 4 games, we should be good as we segue into back-to-back home games against perennial teams of squalor... Buffalo and Detroit.

We usually close the season on the road in Cleveland.  This year we get the Browns at home.  This game is almost always irrelevant.  I suspect 2013 will be no different.  And Cleveland's new owner, Jimmy Haslam, is under federal indictment.  It's related to his "Flying J" truck stops.  Maybe the FBI doesn't care for the public marijuana legalization insinuation/endorsement.  They probably think it sullies the stellar reputation of the league.  Just what the Browns needed.  If they weren't such a downtrodden, defeated laughingstock, it wouldn't be as nearly amusing.  Talk about kicking a team when they're down.  Over the years, it's grown increasingly difficult... maintaining that level of seething acrimony toward the Browns.  In today's world, you almost want to stick up for the team that gets bullied all the time.  Almost.  I think they've officially replaced the AZ Cardinals as the "victims of NFL bullying."  The Browns are offensive... because they have no offense.  Quite the conundrum. 

Our "power" or strength of schedule ranking came in at #22.  This sounds about right.  It looks relatively soft.  Our "oddball" AFC match-ups are Tennessee and Oakland.  I can live with that.  Though personally, I will miss Jeff Fisher's mustache.  Whenever the score is 28-7 and they show him wandering the sideline.  Then, they zoom in for a closeup of his face on the jumbo-tron, I get these bizarre, titillating, homoerotic goose bumps.     

All in all, if you openly bitch and complain about this schedule (from virtually any perspective), I'd have to say you're not too savvy.  I think this could be Roethlisberger's last chance for glory.  He's just been too banged up over the years.  His ability to shake off tackles and make those last second heroic plays...  well, last year was pretty telling.  And I'm not sure Bruce Gradkowski is the answer either.

It's always too early, but I think we're playoff bound.  Here's how I think the AFC North shapes up.

Baltimore 12-4  (the 2012 Ravens were hardly a fluke)
Pittsburgh 10-6
Cincinnati 8-8
Cleveland 3-13

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston marathon prediction

Although it's too early to make imbecilic predictions of "who, how many people, or what organization" is responsible for the multiple bombings at the Boston marathon... since it's all we're going to be hearing about for the foreseeable future, I might as well weigh in.

First.  I was fascinated by the social media response.  I don't do twitter, but I did monitor facebook.  It amazed me how many people instantly wrote stuff like "prayers to Boston" and "who would do such a thing?"  Many seemed to have this natural inclination to further "break" the story.  In this day of social media, everyone wants to "be" the news.  I'm guessing about half of them do it instinctively, without a second thought.  The other half seek to empathically aggrandize their stake in this world - hoping that others will know they're actively concerned about world events and humanity.

Second.  The big question - is this a foreign or domestic terrorist attack.  I noticed that Obama, in his initial address to the nation, made sure not to use the terrorist label.  Smart.  Here's why.  Although the media hasn't proposed the possibility, I think there's a strong chance that the bomber is a disgruntled American, probably an Iraq or Afghanistan war veteran.  My hunches tell me it's someone who has served multiple tours and was likely a bomb technician or actively investigates situations in the aftermath of improvised explosive devices.  Someone with real world knowledge and experience.   There are some eerie parallels with what happened in Boston yesterday and what happens everyday in our war zones.

It's amazes me how everyone is grief stricken by the death of this 8 year old boy.  And we're all worried about that single elderly runner who fell due to the concussive blast.  NEWS FLASH - this stuff has been happening almost daily for the last 10 years.  Maybe the mainstream media should start showing REAL news from the war zone, like I don't know... images from Al Jazeera and the fringe alternative media.

If this act was perpetuated by a "mentally disturbed" (and I use that term very loosely, because I think about half of Congress is delusional) war veteran, Obama using the word "terrorist" could very well come back to bite him in the ass.  After the "we stand united/we're all Americans love fest" subsides (AND IT WILL), the elements of the opposition party would crucify him for having sold out our abandoned veterans.

For years, we've heard about the extreme backlog of cases in the Veterans Administration.  The paperwork, the stalling techniques, the intrinsic methodology that all government agencies use to bureaucratize claims and benefits... I'm talking about the human toll that could drive a person to the brink of insanity.  And that's after having served multiple tours, having your entire life disrupted, your spouse leaves you, your compensation is a joke, your house is in foreclosure, your pet died, your kids spit on you, your car broke down... and all you see is that the ONLY thing Americans care about is...

this idiot >>>

this dipshit's haircut >>>

or Glitzy (Honey Boo-Boo's pet pig) >>>

These three alone could very well drive a SANE person to commit an act of terrorism.  And people have the audacity to ask, "who could perpetrate such an act?"

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pirates vs. Reds... epic fail

This Sunday was a beautiful, crisp afternoon.  Since I was heading up to Gigi-burgh, I thought I'd take in my first Buccos game of 2013.  She was working til around 3:30pm or so.  I figured I'd snag a freebie and hang til the 6th or 7th inning.

It's a Pirates game where tix are ubiquitous.  So I didn't even bother with a sign or anything like that.  And I generally try not to speak that much.  I just roamed the area holding my finger up - the universal sign for "I needs a ticket."  Eventually, I sat on the Honus Wagner statue platform... index finger raised, smiling and silently mouthing the words "need one."

That's obviously not me... but strictly for reference purposes, my head is pretty much where this woman's ass is located.  My finger would be adjacent to her cervix or gynecologically pressing the vulva.

Anyway, it's heading into the 2nd inning and I haven't had any bites.  No luck whatsoever.  So I stroll over to the deep outfield entrance by the Roberto DiClemente bridge.  There's a guy standing there with a small stack of bleacher tickets, maybe about 6 or 7.  I'd say he was about 30 years old, very tan with slicked back hair and the over-sized, expensive sunglasses.  Very GQish. 

I asked him, "Hey man, you got an extra to spare.  I was just looking to get into the game for a little bit."  He looked irritated.  Yeah, okay.  Gimme 5 bucks.  To which I respond, "Well, I was hoping for a freebie.  I won't be sitting next to you.  I just have some time to kill."

Then he looks at me with this absolute look of putrid disgust, "Why the hell would I give YOU a free ticket?"  I politely reply, "Well, maybe you could think of it as a gesture of goodwill."  He sharply retorted, "I'd rather fucking eat it (referencing the ticket, of course).  Then I respond, "Well, that's one option."  

Then, he scowled at me and purposely decided to enter the gate... as if to say, look asshole, I'm going to walk in with this stack just to spite you.  I just shrug my shoulders and walk away.

As I'm heading toward the 3rd base outfield entrance, I see some Reds fans talking with this scalper dude I know.  I ask the guy how much he wants and he replies, "5 bucks."  Another bleacher seat.  I explain that it's against my personal code of conduct to indirectly augment the fortune of Pirates owner Bob Nutting.  His buddy laughs while I strike up a meaningless conversation about Ohio State President Gordon Gee (he was wearing an OSU football shirt).

So it's between me and the scalper.  The scalper is offering him a grand total of $2.00 and I'm offering zilch.  The Reds fan tries to get me to bite, but I just will not relent.  "C'mon man, I only want five bucks.  That's less than the cost of a beer."  I reply, "Yeah, I know... I'm just not in the habit of paying to see a Pirates game."  He turns his head and grabs the two single dollar bills from the scalper dude and shakes his hand.  At this moment, the guy must have thought he was T. Boone Pickens staging a hostile takeover of Occidental Petroleum.

Anyway, they head toward the gate.  I look at the scalper guy (I know him well, but forget his name).  He looks at me and says, "I'd offer to sell it to you for cost, you know, 2 bucks.  But I know you ain't gonna do it."  I lightheartedly reply, "And you would be correct, sir."

So I guess I'm just venting.  I don't think I've EVER been shut out of a Pirates game.  I saw about 50 games from the limo driving days and never paid a cent.  My complaint here centers around the "smug arrogance" and the "dorky ambivalence."

You're probably asking the million dollar question, "Saf, couldn't your Jew-ass, Hebrew buttocks match that scalper's $2.00 offer.  Isn't that about half the cost of McDonald's kids meal?"

Since all the news is about guns these days... let me put this in terms you Northern WV varmint hunters and Southwestern PA yinzers can understand...

I'll give you that 2 bucks, when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Eric Clapton, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, 4-6-13

Yesterday, during a semi-arduous 6 mile run in which I accidentally wore two different running shoes, I took a brief break and ate lunch at Krogers.  Twas a sample tasting menu of culinary delights.  It commenced with a miniscule, rhombus-shaped quadrant of sponge cake from the Starbucks.  Then, it was off to the sushi stand.  I gobbled down 2 portions of the California roll and a steamed dumpling.  If you're wondering what the suggested sushi sample limit is... well, there's an unofficial limit of 8.  And if you take the entire container... well, in this establishment, that's frowned upon.

I don't know about you, but I've grown weary of the E*trade baby and his stocky brethren.

The dining expedition continued with a plastic dixie cup of field greens w/ roasted red peppers garnished with a spicy salamic slice, doused with a hint of Italian dressing.  Finally, it was off to the soup stand.  No soup Nazi in sight.  An elderly woman doled me out a mini-cup of some kind of Tuscan bean, pseudo-Progresso variant.

Dripping with sweat, I finished my Krogers dining binge and headed back on National Road.  I took a brief diversion down Washington Avenue and ran into the owner of Avenue Eats.  I STILL haven't dined there but will remedy that injustice by the end of this month.  I mentioned that I was going to see Eric Clapton and she inquired, "Oh... Wow... is Clapton on your bucket list?"

Needless to say, there are many things I wish to do before I die.  Milk a cow, feed the ducks, get a decent hole-in-one.  I got one on #17 at the Oglebay par 3 when I was a little kid, but I don't think that counts.  It was a line drive skidder that somehow ended up in the hole.  I'll never forget the name of the golf ball, a "GCI Faultless."  To this day, I've never seen or heard of that brand.  Saf, what's your favorite golf ball these days?  Gotta go with Slazenger but I'll play anything (with the exception of a Titliest or some Wilson/Spalding shit).

Anyway, as far as a bucket list goes, seeing the legendary dude who sings that sappy "darling, you were wonderful tonight" crap...  well, he's just doesn't do it for me.  (Kramer - "weather just doesn't do it for me").  Nonetheless, I would not be deterred.  So it was me, G Max and Slosh.  We made it to the gravel lot around 6:30 and hooked up with Gigi.  She had Snyder's chips and turkey-romaine wraps and mini turkey sandwiches on marble rye (not from Schnitzer's)

We also hooked up with the extended Wheeling crew (Tony Rocks, Capt. Lee and Perry (guy who tipped canoe in freezing crick).

I made a sign for the purpose of free ticket acquisition, but neither me nor Gig felt comfortable using it.

Tickets were a tough score.  I snagged a freebie from a sporty looking trio of guys in their 50's.  Gigi had a much tougher time.  She struck up a conversation with some neurotic weirdo-man from McCandless.  He had this poindexter nerd/slender Weeble-Wobble vibe going on.  He offered her the freebie but said he "needed her to go inside with him."  Of course, I nudged her off on the consolidated journey.  "I'll call you when I head in."  I went back down to the lower gate to hook up with the others and finish my wine.  And yes, if you're wondering... I'm officially 1 part boyfreind, 9 parts ass.  Not the proudest ratio.

So I saw a guy surreptitiously hide something underneath a garbage can.  I assumed it was narcotics, likely a stash of grass or something.  After he bolted, I went for the scavenge.  For the love of Ravenstahl, it was a weapon...

I ended up giving it to Slosh.

Anyway, Gigi comes walking out of nowhere.  Apparently, just as she was about to get scanned, the Consol guards swarmed her, the smarty-pants-Weeble-Wobble guy and this other freakshow... "tripping ballz pony-tail dude."  So she sidled off and wisely made the decision to retreat.

After exchanging some additional, meaningless pleasantries, we bolted inside.  We missed the entire opening act (The Wallflowers).  Clapton had just hit the stage.  We took our usual spot on the side.  Lower level, spacious seating instead of choosing to be crammed in with the condescending mongrel hoard.   The crowd just had this strange, pompous, Sewickley - Upper St. Clairish feel to it.  Kind of this reserved, sophisticated, "we know how to rock, but don't care to show it" vibe.

Clapton was decent.  Like I said, I'm not a huge fan but I did like "tempted by the fruit of another" Squeeze cover.  This version's from N'Awlins.

And the "Cocaine" closer was pretty cool.  All in all, Clapton and his fans just don't do it for me.

I'd have to say the highlights of the night for me were Gigi's turkey-lettuce wraps and her customary free parking at the Church of the Moops.

If anyone has ever seen my bedroom walls, you know that I save all my ticket stubs.  If you're bored to the point of tears (in heaven), there's some pictures in the 4th chapter of my odd, oh biography.  I've never admitted this... but one of the tickets is a FREAKIN' FUGAZI.  That's right.  It's from a show I never attended.  Pure blasphemy.  And it's a Clapton ticket from a 1998 show at the MGM Grand in Vegas.  My parents got some comp tickets at the main desk and checked it out.  They left a few songs in.  "Oh Rick, it was soooo loud.  It was basically intolerable."  Oddly enough, knowing my penchant for concert memorabilia... she mailed me the ticket stub.  So 15 years later in 2013, I finally got to see my Clapton-bucket list concert.  I suppose it all came full circle. 

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Wheeling Dog Park Revisited

I left an unusual comment on the local newspaper website.  
I'm curious to see if they take it down.  There's no profanity but it's kind of on the twisted side.
You be the judge.  Will they...

A.  Leave everything unchanged
B.  Remove only my comment (currently speaking, nobody else has yet to chime in)
C.  Remove the entire comment section thus disabling any future comments

My hunch is they'll choose option C.

No Dogs Allowed

April 2, 2013 - Heather Ziegler
There is a new sign posted at the entrance to Mount Calvary Cemetery in Wheeling. It simply states "No Dogs." It's a green sign placed next to the cemetery sign. You might miss it if you drive too fast past it, but people walking their dogs ought to be able to see it right away. The sign resulted after a woman, whose family is buried there, complained about dog dirt on the road and on gravesites. She lamented that it's holy ground and people ought to respect that. After all there is a park right next to the cemetery, a walking trail nearby and plenty of public sidewalks on which to walk dogs. Chad Carter, chancellor for the diocese, agreed and had the sign placed in the cemetery. Workers are encouraged to DISCOURAGE those found walking their pets in the graveyard. I applaud that effort. The woman who made the complaint told me that even if dog owners pick up their animal's excrement, the dogs are still urinating in the cemetery. "You can't pick up urine!" she said. The cemetery has enough challenges with wildlife -- deer, rabbits, geese, etc. -- and they don't need to be cleaning up after pets. Across the road at Greenwood Cemetery, pets have not been allowed in the graveyard for at least 15 years. It took some time to convince pet owners who walked their dogs there, but officials said it has finally sunk in to most people. If there was ever an argument for establishing a dog park in Wheeling, this is it!



I live adjacent to the Mt. Cavalry cemetery, so I feel my input is both relevant and justified.

Some random thoughts. Firstly, I applaud the politically correct reference to canine excrement as dog "dirt." Excessive vulgarity regarding animal waste expulsion is wholly unnecessary in a civilized society. Kudos.

Secondly, I concur with the aforementioned woman's observation. "You can't pick up urine!" Indeed... we hold this truth to be self evident. Perhaps the time has finally come for pet owners to establish a higher degree of accountability regarding future animalistic urinary endeavors aka "pee parties." I would suggest something in the way of attachable plastic "weenie bags" or in the case of b*tches... vag bags.

Finally, this post fails to address any problems associated with pet vomit. Dog vomit, or as I like to call it, woof-barf, is a growing epidemic. Mandatory "puker scoopers," enforced by the Ohio County Health Department could constitute a viable solution. The cause is just and it could become a significant, bone-us source of revenue for the city of Wheeling.