Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Afterglow - Ani DiFranco

I won't be asleep until -Oh, maybe, 7:00 a.m. A long-lost word recently shoved back into my at-hand vocabulary by one of my favorite twitter people (@superbadgirl) describes my frame of mind perfectly. I am in an ebullient mood.

Ani DiFranco killed. Her acoustic power trio rendered the chairs provided for the patrons useless after the first note was plucked on her guitar. After she opened up with her dynamic voice, she owned the place. I had chills shuttling up and down the spine, all the while being entranced. Ani DiFranco already had me as one of her fans, but so have many other performers I have seen live. Rarely does a performance exceed my expectations as much as tonight's show. Only The Band, and Bruce Springsteen have pulled this off before.

I sort of dragged my wife along to this one. I usually go with a good friend or my brother-in-law to acts like the Ramones and Buddy Guy. She has heard me play DiFranco tunes and while not a big fan, is somewhat positive toward the lady. She loved the show, but stopped short of ebullient. The show flowed right along with good fan interaction, and a well thought-out play list. Ani DiFranco gets so much out of here diminutive self. Tremendous artist, even if you don't care for her somewhat esoteric styling. I'll slap a play list at the end of this entry so you can sample some of what we heard. I think you get the picture by now. I give the maximum amount of stars for this show as allowed by Indiana law.

Pre concert found us at Chatham Tap on Mass. Avenue . Highly recommended by @broelliaro and enthusiastically seconded by @q22 and other tweeps as a good place near the venue for pre concert food and beverage, it too exceeded expectations. My dear Patti chowed down on the Veggie Sandwich, while I went with a steak sandwich. [ Menu ]. I sloshed my food down with a couple of Gaffel K├Âlschs that were on tap. I made a good choice. Patti's water with a lemon on the glass rim was neither praised or damned. The atmosphere of the establishment is conducive to good conversation. It is cozy, yet comfortable. I can't speak for The English pub atmosphere as I only have only flown over England a few times. I did see a couple of British films with pub scenes, but that's the extent of it. Chatham Tap seemed authentic in at least a Las Vegas or Disney World sort of way. There was a football match on the telly. That helped as well as colours from the various teams in the Premiership on display. One thing fortunately missing from that of a real English pub was the smoke.

We went back after the show for another round then headed home.

Notes:

That fellow that lets out a big woot! during a particularly mesmerising song was in attendance at the concert. I hope he stands by me the next time I go to a concert because he will get some free on-the-spot dental work.

Weird rule: Patti had to check her camera, but hundreds of cell phone cameras were allowed to take stills and videos.

This was obviously a girl's night out. Ani is popular in the gay community and among liberal-minded females like my artist wife. The line for the women's rest room stretched for yards, while the few dudes in attendance could walk right into the men's room. A definite perk, but more men should be listening to the music of this great talent.

We had only fair seats. perfect acoustically, but a bit far back. Concert goers should be given a quiz about the artist with the highest scorers getting the the best seats. A few, albeit very few, folks were talking during the show and leaving their seats. Those folks would have failed an examination and should have been denied tickets.

There was no clapping in rhythm by the fans during the show. DiFranco's songs are almost all syncopated and complex. Loved it. This wasn't your "Thank God, I'm a Country Boy" type of folk music.

Struck up a conversation with a couple of folks at the bar after the show. Speaks well for Chatham's.



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Thursday, April 23, 2009

At Least I Thought I Had My Health

I say up late, I mean real late. Vampire hours, if you will. This makes me the target audience for every pill, tonic, topical rub, and medical device pitchman working after hours television. Let's start off with insomnia.

Ambien suggests that I will wake from an eight-hour sleep and wake up on 1000 thread-count sheets, with no stubble, no dried drool on my chin and, for good measure, a mate without morning hair. The drawbacks: Sleepwalking, and eating or driving while not fully awake, with amnesia for the event, as well as behaviors such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation, and hallucinations have been reported. Don't take it with alcohol as it may increase these behaviors. Hallucinations aside, I don't need this. ..and no - the alcohol stays.

Lunesta offers the same faux sleep , but precludes me from operating heavy machinery. While not a deal killer as I seldom tool around on a road grater at 3:00 a.m. to pass the time, alcohol is still verboten and it does not seem to enhance any of Lunesta's benefits.

Perhaps it's the bed. Passing out does not count as sleep, so we'll forego the meds for now.

Enter the blurry image and soothing voice of Lindsay Wagner. The former bionic babe has resurfaced as the spokesperson for therapeutic sleep. One of beds lets you set the hardness or softness of each side of the bed. This point is nearly moot. There but for the hour or two when my wife and I are sleeping at the same time, separate adjustments are not needed. When in bed, I couldn't resist jacking around with the remote that tweaks the hardness of my side. I'd lose sleep worrying about having the optimal setting. Then there are other bed related functions. Arguing over how to set the bed for sex could kill the mood. It must be mentioned that the bed costs $7000.00. But if you're on a budget and have a thing for LindsayWagner: http://tinyurl.com/dgjt24

The sleep commercials are soothing and help to some extent, but then WHAMO. Billy Fucking Mays and his 110 dB voice (best described as a cross between a theremin and and a jack hammer) blasts me to an alert state with his Awesome Auger. I don't know what this has to do with meds, but it may be an underlying cause to my insomnia.

Now about my dick. that certain part of the male anatomy. I find no fault with mine , but according to the numerous promos from the folks at Enzyte, Extenze, DermaMax, et al., a gerbil would be ashamed to wield my tool. What irks me is the tee-hee, 2nd generation Victorian tone in many of these ads. Hell's belles! Stop beating around the bush. Everything is on the down low but it's four freakin' a.m. The kids are in bed. Why doesn't the panel of size-seeking bimbos break out into a Sir Mix Alot style video? No mention of the organ in question. No before-and-after pictures. WTF?

No thanks to hair restoration. I am not rubbing any sort of vile tonic on my scalp. I am not going Joe Biden. A rug? Nope. Nothing a shaved head or a five-dollar hat can't fix if I ever get worried about having challenged follicles.

This leads me to the names of meds

Allegra: Rhymes with the disease Pellagra. Sounds like a musical term. The "g" in allergy has different phonetics.

Avodart - I do not want a sharp-pointed missile being tossed at my prostate

Lipitor - One of the Masters of the Universe? Botox in pill form? Lipids generally are bad. Like naming an anticongestant Snotmax.

Propecia - Most popular kindergarten child's name in 2014.

I'm taking a breather. I'll finish this later ....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Location, Location, Location, My Ass, My Ass, My Ass

I am a victim of what can be best described as geographical profiling. I live on the East Side. I am often perceived as being poor and uncultured. I supposedly spend my time living the life of a criminal or cowering in my home, lest I become a victim of crime. The perception is that our schools are not good schools. We are in a bad location. There are parts of your town that get a bad rap too. If you live there, I know you're feeling me.

If a crime is committed on our turf, the news people are quick to note that this was an "East Side murder." This puts the rest of the city at ease. The East Side may as well be Micronesia in terms of disassociation from the terrible event. Tell someone from across town where I live and I get the strangest looks Sometimes, it's an expression of sympathy as if I announced I live in a war zone or a shanty town. On occasion, I get a haughty look, which is followed by a round of condescending comments. The conversation often ends on the spot. Maybe I'm a bit chippy about this. Perhaps my body language says "I live on the East Side, MFer, wanna make something of it? Despite my over sensitivity there is substance to my claim.

The East side of Indianapolis does not have the amenities it deserves. Retailers, while not doing that well in any location, largely shunned us even during the economic boom. Our end of town is a densely populated as the others, yet new businesses are built miles away. Had they been built here, they would have enjoyed the same amount of success. The East side myth perpetuated by realtors has left us with a glut of loan shark outfits (PayDay Loans) , tanning salons, second hand stores, tattoo parlors, outlet stores, everything-for-a-dollar joints, and numerous cell phone shops. We may even be considered the Tire Store District or maybe the Discount Furniture District. We have 1 mattress store for every 6 citizens.

Our mall is a mausoleum. Few know what stores, if any, still exist behnd its grey and dirty facade. The last time I looked, there were mainly only more cell phone stores and a glut of cheap gold jewelry kiosks among the empty arcades. Some progress has been made as a sporting goods store and theatre complex were built with their storefronts facing toward the heavy traffic on East Washington Street, but an effort to dismantle the mall and rebuild a shopping and dining complex with easily accessible businesses has not happened. Death comes to any new store buried in the heart of the mall.

The main problem is that there are no destinations on our end of town. We are the last to get the a particular brand of store or restaurant. It, like the city as a whole, lacks character. But the perception is that the particular franchise on another side of town is somehow better than the one out east. This is true to a degree. Money is not spent to make our storefronts as presentable. For some reason we have the most burnt out letters on neon signs than anywhere else in the city. There are telephone poles lining our main streets. When a business fails, the property decays. Weed-filled lots flourish.

Ah, but there's good news. East Washington Street is being rebuilt. A few of the strip malls have upgraded their property. The realtors that are among the first to wake up and actually promote my side of town will flourish. There is money to made out here.