Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm gonna soak up the sun

OK, so my last couple of posts have been a little gloomy in tone, but by the end of the week I plan to be soaking up some sun and seeing some old friends in sunny Southern California.

I am optimistic that the warmth of a desert spring and close friends will be the perfect remedy for my spirits.

So in honor of my sunnier disposition and my Coachella Valley amigos, I'm offering a quick list of 5 Southern California/Coachella Valley/Palm Springs-inspired songs from the ol' iPod.

"Route 66" -- Depeche Mode
"Palm Springs Jump" -- The Frankie Capp Orchestra
"Hotel California" -- The Eagles
"California Dreamin'" -- The Mammas & The Pappas
"Back to California" -- The Wallflowers

And, as a bonus cut, another take on the Mother Road.
"Route 66" -- The Brian Setzer Orchestra

And, as a tribute to one friend who I won't be able to see.
"L.A. Freeway" -- Jerry Jeff Walker
Henry, thanks for the Jerry Jeff CD, my friend. You are, and will continue to be, missed.

It's just about time to...
"Soak Up the Sun" -- Sheryl Crow

Saturday, March 24, 2007

No joy

I'm tired. I'm bored. I'm uninspired. And I don't think I'm very much fun to be around lately.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Guilt: The gift that keeps on giving

My daughter has a birthday coming up. I'm feeling guilty. I haven't seen her in several weeks I'll have to go out of town the weekend of her birthday party. Fortunately, I will get back in town in time to at least see her for a little bit on her birthday, but it won't be during the big group celebration.

I've often missed her birthday, but for many years I was able to spend the week before her birthday with her. Her birthday generally follows spring break. When I lived out of state, I would try to schedule at least one week of my vacation on her spring break.

Most years we would have some sort of birthday celebration as part of her vacation. It was one of the highlights of every year to spend spring break right with her before her birthday. It didn't make up for 49 or 50 weeks apart a year, but it was quality time. Our relationship was largely built on those intensive visits and ime together spent a week at a time, two or three times a year.

I few years ago our spring break routine was disrupted when I had to attend a wedding for my then-fiance's sister. At one point we had offered to take my daughter with us on the trip to an exotic beach locale, but she didn't really feel comfortable making such a big trip to be surrounded by strangers. So for the first time in many years I wasn't going to see my daughter for her spring vacation or birthday. The guilt was profound and I bought a pretty extravagant gift, diamond earrings, for her. Perhaps it was a bit much for a young girl just entering her teens, but it was at a period of my live where diamonds seemed to be a way to say I love you.

Now, I'm heading off to another wedding, this one for a dear friend, and am looking forward to seeing several other friends whom I haven't scene in almost two years. So, I'm pretty excited about all that. But I'm also feeling that profound guilt of again devoting my daughter's time to someone else to attend another wedding.

But there isn't likely to be an extravagant guilt gift this year. I just don't have the funds at this point in my life. And I feel guilty about that too.

There's plenty of guilt about the financial situation, which has also cut into visits with my daughter of late. My trips to see her, though she's an only easy drive away, have been limited. There just haven't been the funds to fill the gas tank, or pay for dinners out. My poor old rig is neglected too, and more than a thousand miles overdue for an oil change. But the vehicle is rapidly approaching the end of its useful life, and not nearly the source of guilt that the lost time with my daughter inflicts.

So, I need to figure out a special gift for her birthday. Not too expensive perhaps, but personal and unique. Not that I have a clue what that might be. What's the perfect gift to give your daughter to tell her you are sorry for all the lost years, birthdays and holidays?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

New show takes me back

I just watched the first episode of the new series "October Road," and they were playing a lot of retro music. It got me sort of in a retro mood.

So, here's a little '80s party shuffle for the occassion.

Janie's Got a Gun -- Aerosmith
Hit Me with Your Best Shot -- Pat Benatar
Blister in the Sun -- Violent Femmes
Ain't Even Done with the Night -- John Mellencamp
Wrapped Around Your Finger -- The Police

Sunday, March 11, 2007

They didn't even say goodbye

I was getting ready to get into my car, but something stopped me, froze me where I stood. I was standing there staring at the front of my neighbors' apartment. Something was out of place, but I couldn't quite figure out what it was.

I scanned the area for a bit and noticed that there were some discolored areas on the patio and suddenly it clicked. All the plants and patio furniture were missing. Then I noticed that the blinds inside the apartment were open. Nothing was visible inside except a couple of small plastic bags filled with trash.

The neighbors had moved.

At first I was relieved. One of the neighbors who loved in that apartment was quite nosy. She reminded me very much of the character of Gladys Kravitz on the TV show "Bewitched." She was always peering out her windows, day and night, or standing on her patio, watching the personal business of seemingly everyone in our complex.

But then, I realized that I had absolutely no clue when the neighbors had moved out. Somehow two old women who lived in this complex for I don't know how many years, were able to disappear in the night, or while I was working, or while I was hiding away behind my closed blinds. And I realized, they were also the only neighbors in this place I actually knew by name and had any sort of interaction with at all, as creepy and uncomfortable as it may have been.

Yea, I'm sort of glad my Gladys and her mother are gone. But I also will sort of miss them too.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Party tunes for the weekend

It's Friday, the weekend is here, so here's a little party shuffle to get the groove going.

Here's the first 5 party chemistry songs that come up in the shuffle in my iTunes library.

"Nobody Drinks Alone" -- Keith Urban, Be There
"Weed With Willie" -- Toby Keith, Shock 'N Yall
"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" -- George Thorogood & The Destroyers (although I would recommend the original from John Lee Hooker too), The Baddest of George Thorogood & The Destroyers
"Have a Drink On Me" -- AC/DC, Back in Black
Six-Pack Summer" -- Phil Vassar, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

P.S. Is it a bad thing that I have a booze-based playlist on my iPod?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Confession of a cheater

I admit. During my hiatus I was cheating on my blog with a MySpace account.

OK, let me explain.

I know I'm tragically unhip. I missed the whole initial MySpace craze. I did create an account at one point a while back, but that was primarily to see what the hell my daughter was putting on her MySpace page. Shortly after a cardiac event and a frantic phone call to my daughter's mother to see is she knew what was on our daughter's MySpace page I saw the wisdom of not necessarily believing everything a teenage girl puts on her web page -- if for no other reason besides the fact that ignorance can sometimes truly be bliss.

So, I stayed away from MySpace for a while. But for some reason I got looking for something on MySpace and came across a friend who had a page. And then another. And another.

An odd thing happened. I started connecting with some old, and not so old friends. Most recently I've reconnected with friends from as far back as high school, including one now living in Europe. It's been nice to get back in touch with old friends and recall a lot of fond memories, that I didn't even know I still possessed.

I can't, I wouldn't, tell them about this blog. But in another place in cyberspace, I've found some old friends by cheating on all of you. And I don't feel a damn bit guilty about it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Really feeling the music

I was talking about iPods and music in my last post. I know I'm not having this much fun with my iPod.

I'll never look at a woman sporting earbuds the same way ever again.

Oh, crap! I just had another thought. Remind me to confiscate my daughter's iPod.

The End Debt Daily paper.li