Sorry about my Blog hiatus but I have been caught up in fall fever. Preparing the house and the plants for the long nap ahead and lugging all of summer’s play toys into deep storage has made me feel like an anal retentive squirrel. But here is what has made it all bearable.
1) My new Robo Leaf Blower: This has not only saved a number of hard to find back muscles but it has also given the kids bigger piles in which to leap, rustle, hide, and eventually obliterate. For such a cheap Yankee curmudgeon as me this is a major change in leaf extraction methodology. Once a firm believer in manual raking, bagging, and composting while letting the smells and sounds of fall envelop the senses, I have relented to the two-stroke and my noise canceling headphones courtesy of my friend Toad. While I of course would prefer the smell of decaying foliage over fossil fuels (maybe they will make a bio-diesel blower soon and I can have the smell of old French fry oil instead) but the upside is being able to blast Ryan Adam’s “Halloweenhead” and plan extremely intricate costume that no one will get but the true music geek working the DJ booth, all without scaring the children.
2) Even though it’s still 80 friggin degrees outside, the Red Sox are playing some inspired fall ball. When J.D. (Nancy) Drew hits a bloody grand slam against the Indians in the decisive Game 7 you know that it’s not simply global warming, Red Sox nation is on fire; in fact I think Jacoby Elsbury might have just burst into flames. Case in point, in the middle of the mighty, mighty New England Patriots (7-0) complete dismantling of the once proud Miami Dolphins the crowd starts a “Let’s Go Red Sox” chant, IN MIAMI. Gotta love Red Sox Nation. To fully capture what it’s like to be a Red Sox fan listen to Ryan Adams’ “My Love For You is Real”
3) Football, Football, and Football , The New England Patriots (7-0), Tom Brady is like Clapton circa Derek and The Dominoes a.k.a. GOD. The Boston College Eagles are ranked #2 in the country, and even my Colorado Buffaloes took down then ranked # 2 Oklahomaand are on the way to bringing Buff pride back to the Foothills of Boulder. The downside is the more football you watch the more you are reminded by Mr. Mellencamp that “This is Our Country” over and over and over…. If you still love to get your Cougar on, but are having a hard time washing the Chevy stench from your ears, try “Check It Out” off The Lonesome Jubilee. Still gets me up every time… “Get too drunk on Saturday / Play football with the kids on Sunday / Soaring with the Eagles all week long/ And this is all that we learned about livin’ …. All the we learned about livin…. (hopeful fiddle, anthemic drums, guitar solo) I me this is pure J.C. ….Ryan Adams
needs to cover Pink Houses ASAP
4) During Fall I always get the itch for a Road Trip. The kind where you spend more time planning the playlist than the destination. Lately real life always seems to turn the odds against me. That’s why it was a little jolt to my wanderlust longings to be asked to take place in a marathon reading of Kerouac’s On The Road in his hometown of Lowell, MAto celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its publication. Although I only go to read a chapter it was still an excellent excuse to spend the day dreaming about trips gone by and those to come.
Like everyone else who has an affinity for the Benzedrine Bard, my outlook on what is and what is not beautiful or for that matter “real” was forever altered, by reading his works. Yet my transformation was even more adolescently trite and literary the most. Having somewhat of a mid-life crisis my junior year at prep school, a faculty counselor handed me a copy of Catcher in the Rye which up to that point I had inexplicably escaped reading. Not surprisingly, given my rebellious state of mind, it didn’t quite have the intended effect the lender had hoped. I saw Caulfield’s narration as a direct playbook and left school under the cover of darkness without telling anyone, headed to the Greyhound station and bought a one way ticket to NYC.
While reading the book waiting for the bus an older woman sat next to me, commented on my reading choice and went into a didactic analysis of every plot point and story line. Seeing that I was surprised that anyone over twenty could understand its contents, she explained she was a librarian at a juvenile detention facility in Fall River. She then asked what I was doing so late at night getting on a bus to the big bad city. Telling her the truth that I had no idea why I was going but I knew that I just had to go she asked me if I had ever read Kerouac. I told her I hadn’t. She smiled and pulled a copy of On The Road out of her work bag. Before she handed it to me she said told me that it was a library copy, the address was stamped inside and that had to come back to her. She also persuaded me to go back to school that night and read it before deciding when to leave for my “great unknown”. She said it would answer lots of questions. It did then and still does. Plus if it weren’t for Kerouac there would be no Dylan or Dead and thus no Ryan Adams. (listen to "Cold Roses") I opened it up and immediately saw the famous words highlighted.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'”