Friday, July 29, 2011

Song Spotlight: Missy Higgins - If I'm Honest



I was really excited to hear that Missy Higgins was down in Nashville working with Butterfly Boucher on a new record. Well, that work has now apparently all paid off and the new record should be out late this year or early in '12. Her last disc came out in '07 so the wait has been substantial.

But I ain't mad at her.

Missy headlined the Australia Rocks the Pier concert at Santa Monica pier a few weeks back and she graced the crowd with four new tracks. I hadn't herd Deep Red Dirt, Tricks or Cooling of the Embers yet so I'm still digesting them. But I had herd If I'm Honest when she performed it at Lilith Fair so this rendition was more familiar to me. Skip ahead to 3:03 to get to the start of the song. Enjoy:

Darling, if I’m honest
you’ve been on my mind
On my mind all day.
And lately, if I’m honest
I can’t bring my self
To think no other way

I’ve been finding all kinds of reckless ways
To forget your face.
Like going out on the town
Throwing around all that love I kept for you

But no one touches me like you used to
It’s a shame but it’s true
Nobody loves me the way that you used to

And darling
I’ve been moving
through seas of faces
hoping to meet your stare
And dancing
towards any stranger
with your crazy eyes
or way with golden hair

I’ve been trying of all kinds useless ways just to push it all down
Like spinning around, spinning around till I fall on to the ground
But no one touches me like you used to
It’s a shame but it’s true
No body loves me the way that you used to

So I painted over all the cracks
But now the paint is pealing back.
Oh Yeah
Oh Yeah, Yeah

It’s a shame but true…

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How Does Something Like This Get By Me?



The other day a few of the people in my training class were talking about this video and I had no idea what it was. So, when I got back to the hotel tonight I checked it out. God damn is this shit hilarious. I hope to hell this guy is for real and not just playing a "gay with attitude" for the video, because it is a riot.

The combination of the classical music, the NatGeo video and Randall's narration mix to form the perfect web video. His other videos are good (I also like the bullfrog one) but nothing could be better than Honey Badger. For me the only thing missing here is video of Randall watching the footage and narrating. If this guy wants to start his own nature show I'd watch for sure.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Away From Home

Since I'm spending so much damn time here at the Double Tree in Marlton NJ I thought I should give a little tour of my home away from home. It's a nice hotel and as welcoming as any place that you have to spend two months away from home it. The only thing missing is Inky...

...and a computer for the desk in the living room/office. I get pretty tired of walking down to the "business center" which consists of two computers and two printers.

It's nice to spend some time on the couch watching the TV after work. In a regular hotel when I traveled on business in past jobs you get the bed and maybe a chair. And even if you get a couch it's normally in the same room as the bed. The separate rooms allows for a sense of normalcy in that when I'd done watching TV at night I can "go to bed" in a whole other room.

The refrigerator is also a nice touch. I go shopping at the local Wegmans each Sunday night to get everything I'm going to need for breakfast for the week. That way I can have some OJ, a granola bar and some Greek yogurt in the morning while I sit on my couch and watch Sports Center.

The sink area is also quasi-separate from the living room and bedroom which allows a lot of room to get ready in the morning or to clean up after my trips to the hotel gym.

While this bed can't possibly live up to the high standard set by the Captain it's been getting the job done. The biggest downside to 40 nights in a hotel is I seem to be falling back into bad sleeping habits. Namely: sleeping on my back which causes me to snore. Inky did a great job of breaking me of that over the 15 years we've been together and now I'm regressing.

Lastly, it's nice to have a second TV in the place so when I want to lay in bed and watch TV I can. Then I can just turn the light out and fall asleep. Inky and I used to have a TV in the bedroom but we never used it. We'd always just rather talk to one another before falling asleep. I can't wait for that to be full time again.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Song Spotlight: The Living End - The Ending is Just the Beginning Repeating



I was struggling trying to come up with a new tune to post this week and then Inky reminded me that the new record from The Living End came out this week. This is the first track off the new record (of the same name) and it is fantastic. I'd expect nothing less from TLE who have been consistently making great records for over fifteen years now. This track is a worthy successor to other great Living End songs like White Noise, Long Live the Weekend, Prisoner of Society and Roll On.

We are the wounded soldiers
We are the refugees
We are the dead eyed workers
I am you, and you are me

We are the model citizens
We are the absentees
We are the politicians
I'm exactly like you, you're just like me

We are the tired and weary
We are the restless and bored
We are the start of something much better
We're the end of what came before

The ending is just the beginning repeating
The ending is just the beginning repeating
Everything goes away but comes back some day
The ending is just the beginning repeating

We're not always survivors
There are no guarantees
We have our drink, we drink to our health
And I am like you, so have one on me

We're getting tired of waiting
And the rain always comes with the storm
And they always say lightning never strikes twice
But then came the knock at the door

The ending is just the beginning repeating
The ending is just the beginning repeating
Everything goes away but comes back some day
The ending is just the beginning repeating

We are the tired and weary
We are the restless and bored
We are the start of something much better
We're the end of what came before

We're getting tired of waiting
So we're running into the storm
And they always say lightning never strikes twice
But then came the knock at the door
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Every Day at A&J

While most of the rest of the people in my eight week training session have opted for sit down chain restaurants for lunch, I was looking for something different. I've always thought that if you could skip a chain for a local place then you should, so I did a bit of shopping around during my first week here in the Philly burbs. Then I found my joint and I don't need to look any longer.

It's called A&J Deli and Grill on North Maple Ave in Marlton NJ. If you are in the area I strongly suggest you stop by. The first thing I had there was the Roast Pork with Provolone and Broccoli Rabe (picture above). It was so good it was also the second, third and fourth thing I had there. It got to the point that when I finally ordered something else on my fifth visit the guy behind the counter said that as soon as they saw me walk in they had already started slicing the pork for my sandwich.

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows... your order.

It was hard for me to stop getting the pork provolone and broccoli rabe. The pork is perfectly roasted and sliced to just the right thickness for it to be substantial but not chewy. It mixes so well with the sharpness of the cheese and the bitterness of the broccoli rabe that it is one of the most well balanced things I've ever eaten.

But, I didn't want to be a one trick pony, so I opted to explore the menu a bit the last few times I visited. I've had a buffalo chicken wrap, a turkey club and "The Bing" which is just like the pork sandwich but with a fried chicken cutlet in the place of the pork. So far they've all been amazing although I'm afraid that I may be messing with my weight loss plan a bit. I may have to have a grilled chicken wrap or sandwich or a panini in between some of the more classic deli fare over the next 4 weeks that I'm here.

Either way, I'm happy to have found such an amazingly high quality joint to eat at while I'm in my training exile.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Web Detox

On of the strangest side effects during my stay in New Jersey is the loss of my Internet appetite. During my career interregnum I spent quite a lot of time on line. I was looking for jobs, fucking around with fantasy teams and checking out new music. In addition to that regular stuff I spent an inordinate amount of time reading blogs to keep fully up to date on what was happening in the ever changing worlds of movies, music, sports and hot women.

Now that I'm in the hotel five nights a week with no lap top I've found that I can quit most of the habit with no withdrawal at all. I still check my email and look at FaceBook once a day and god willing we'll have a football season soon so I can get started on fantasy for the year. But all the other stuff sort of just fell away. And once it did a funny thing happened: Nothing. My life didn't become any less fulfilling or anything. I haven't once been embarrassed in a situation where someone was shocked to know that I hadn't heard about the latest on line gossip.

So not only did I get a new job out of this deal, but going to Jersey for two months has also cured me off the wild turkey.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Song Spotlight: Cults - Abducted



I've always found it interesting how I can hate the personality of a band or singer but love their music. I think Bono and Michael Stipe are both pretentious as all hell but I really enjoy U2 and R.E.M.s music. This phenomenon is most prevalent for me in the indie music scene since I downright loath hipsters, but I do find that they make some good music.

You don't find two folks who check off as many hipster boxes as Madeline and Brian from Cults, but their songs are right catchy. There is a lot of "retro girl group sound" going around right now, but I don't think anyone captures the vocal end of it quite as well as Madeline. The songs are well written and produced, and make for a great soundtrack to a lazy summer drive. Enjoy.

I knew right then that I'd been abducted
I knew right then that he would be taking my heart
I knew right then no one was above him
I knew right then that he would be breaking my heart

He tore me apart because I really loved him
He took my heart away and left me to bleed out, bleed out
He broke my heart because I really loved him
He took it all away and left me to bleed out, bleed out

I knew right then that she'd been abducted
I knew right then that I would be taking her heart
I knew right then that I'd never love her
The reasons I hope the dream hasn't left her scarred

He tore me apart because I really loved him
He took my heart away and left me to bleed out, bleed out
He broke my heart because I really loved him
He took it all away and left me to bleed out, bleed out

He tore me apart because I really loved him
He took my heart away and left me to bleed out, bleed out
He broke my heart because I really loved him
He took it all away and left me to bleed out, bleed out
___________________________

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Movie Review: The New Pooh Movie



If you've been paying attention to my posts here on Greazy's blog then you know I can't stand Pooh. He's a total airhead, a bad representative for our kind and a poor loser when it comes to women and cards. But, what's true in the human world is true in the teddy bear world too. Sometimes the best and brightest (like me) get left behind to suffer anonymity while the worst and dimmest (like Pooh) are thrusts into the public eye and held up as something to celibate.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Pooh is to the teddy bear world what Paris Hilton is to the human world.

And time and time again these bimbos get rewarded. Pooh gets another movie, Paris gets paid to open some club in Vegas and people just sit back and let it happen. Wake up people! We can't sit back while the pretty and the dumb rule our world. I'm calling on all humans to boycott this pile of shit and put Pooh in his place. Likewise, we should boycott anything staring a tart who made her name by fucking someone on camera and leaking the tape to the public to gain their fame.

Are you with me?
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quiz Show

It's been a long time since I was worried about grades, but my new job has me thinking a lot about them again. In the first 4 weeks of my 8 week training I will take 8 quizzes and two exams. I have to get at least an 80 on each of them to pass, and if I fail one more than twice my employment is terminated. That's a much more severe penalty than I've had in some time. The same was true of my first corporate job when I started it way back in 2000. I aced all the tests I took then and I'm doing quite well on the ones I'm taking now, but I've always been pretty good at taking tests.

Well, good in so far as I lived up to what ever MY standards for the test and the time were.

I was once overjoyed that I got a 62 on a final exam in college. The professor told us on the first day of class that the final counted for 100% of the course grade and that she had no attendance policy, among other things I'm sure. But, that's all I heard and I took it as a challenge to not go to any classes for the whole semester and then show up on the day of the final and see how I could do. And so I did. I got a 62 on my Western Civ II final based solely on my previous knowledge of the subject.

I was stoked. My parents didn't see it as the accomplishment that I did, however.

There was, however, another side to the coin. XL and I had one professor in our major that we both just couldn't crack. No matter how hard we tried we just couldn't get A's from the dude. Tests, exams and projects all yielded us a steady stream of B's and it pissed me off to no end. Sometimes it mattered to me, and sometimes it didn't and in most cases there was no rhyme or reason why.

Now, some 13 years on from my college days I still take the same approach. I measure myself against my own expectations while taking into account what I am expected to do. I need 80's on these tests, but I expect to be over 90 on each. And so far I am 6 out of 6 in that quest. Some of them I've studied for, and some of them I just trusted that I paid enough attention in class, or new enough going in to get my requisite 90.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
_______________________

Friday, July 08, 2011

Song Spotlight: Flogging Molly - Revolution



What do you get when a Celtic-punk band that already speaks for the common man sets up shop in Detroit to write their new record? Revolution, that's what. At least that's what happened when Flogging Molly decided to do their writing in the Moter City. Almost a decade after "Drunkin Lullabies" things around here have gotten a whole lot worse and Detroit is just about the perfect example of the cost of capitalism on the working man. Since lead singer Dave King and band mate/wife Bridget Regan both live in Motown they see an awful lot of evidence of where we're headed in this country and they did a great job of spelling it out in this tune. Enjoy:

I spent twenty-seven years in this factory
And the boss man says, 'hey you're not what we need'
The penguins in the suits they know nothing but greed
It's a solitary life when you've mouths to feed
But who cares about us?

Now I'm back on the streets
With my hands held shut
I'm a working man without any work
Well is this the way it's meant to be
Because I signed on the American Dream
Now, I write my name to the welfare scheme
The money in the bank, it's history

So take me down to where the worlds collide
And leave me here 'til I'm satisfied
So let the Revolution begin

Now I drag these bones
'Cross the barren land
Where once a city, now an outstretched hand
We can't lose our sense of dignity
While the fat-faced cats lap up the cream
Another disappearing act falls up their sleeves
While the shirts on our back seek refugee

So take me down to where the worlds collide
And leave me here 'til I'm satisfied
'Cause there'll come a day
When all of us will show, we won't be afraid
Although we're crashing, we won't burn
Let the Revolution begin

I spent twenty-seven years in this factory
And the boss man says, 'hey you're not what we need'
The penguins in the suits they know nothing but greed
It's a solitary life when you've mouths to feed

So take me down to where the worlds collide
And leave me here 'til I'm satisfied
Do take me down to where the worlds divide
And leave me here I won't compromise
'Cause there'll come a day
When all of us will show, we won't be afraid
'Cause from these ashes we will grow
So let the Revolution begin...

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Find Me Somebody to Love

After all the trouble I got in for my antics last week I'm really starting to see that I need a stabilizing force in my life. I have to face facts. I'm a 34 year old Teddy Bear with no nose, chipped eyes and a split tail. I can't keep chasing random hook ups any longer.

I need a lady in my life.

I blogged about this back in March and it's more true now than ever. With Greazy on the road and Inky hard at work writing I have a lot of spare time on my hands. Sure, I hang out with Bedford and Gray Dog but I need a physical connection to go along with and emotional one.

To that end, I've done painstaking research and come up with the "the one" for me.

Her name is Aurora and we are perfectly compatible. She's 10 inches tall, and I don't mind a lady that's a bit taller than me. She's a panda which didn't matter as much to me back in the day as it does now. I've had a few chats with her on line and we have so much in common. Hell, I'm ready to make one of those match.com ads where we talk about how we met.

Perhaps the most important factor in all of this is her price. I know that's a sensitive subject in the world of love for most humans but sadly it's just how us stuffed animals have to live. Greazy wasn't exactly open to my previous requests for a mate, partly because they were expensive and he was on his career interregnum and partly because they were total skanks.

But Aurora is a total angel and more importantly (to Greazy at least) she's less than a Hamilton! If I had fingers I'd be keeping them crossed right now that Greazy and Inky are going to be surprising me with a companion soon.
________________________

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A Boy and His Tivo

While it could never compare to how much I miss being away from Inky, I have to say that being away from my DVR is for the birds. We got our first Tivo way back in '04 and I dare say we were the first people we knew with one. At that point I think a lot of people looked at it as a frivolous extra expense but not Inky and I.

We knew the truth from day one. It wasn't just about being able to pause live TV and circumvent millions of dollars worth of advertising dollars. No, for us it was about cutting the cord that tied us to the picture box.

I'm not one of these people who says "I don't watch a lot of TV" because: A) the term "a lot" is relative, and B) this is America jack! We watch TV here. But what I never wanted was to be held hostage by the TV and there were times that we were. We didn't want to miss a show and we didn't feel like programing the VCR so we just stayed home and watched it. Or, there were two shows on at the same time that we liked so we watched one and recorded the other on the VCR. It was so prehistoric!

Well this work induced exile to the Garden State has cast me back in time to a time I think of as B.D. or Before DVR. For example, tonight there happens to be two shows on at 10:00 that I like. So I have to decide if I want to watch Tosh.0 or Covert Affairs at 10 and which of the two I'll watch on the DVR when I get home. I know, it's barbaric.

Soon enough this training will be done, and I'll be back in the White Rose with Inky and this will all be a memory. A sick, twisted, pre-2004 memory. Till then I guess I'll just have to be brave...
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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Another Weekend Behind Me

Time just keeps on marching on. I was so excited to get home to Inky on Friday afternoon but now it's Sunday night and I'll be heading back to Jersey tomorrow. This week I had the benefit of the holiday to give me more time at home but next week I'll have just about 48 hours at home.

This is going to take some getting used to. I doubt I'll actually become accustomed to it, but if I did I'm sure it would be right around the 7th week of my 8 weeks away. That's how these things normally work. I really don't know how my old man did this for almost a whole year when I was a kid. He worked Monday through Friday out of Headquarters in DC and came back to see us in Jersey on the weekends.

I have it light compared to him, so I guess I should keep my complaining to a minimum. Especially since all this time away is for a new job that I needed badly.

So I'll transition into talking about my most recent attempt to better my minesweeper score. It didn't go very well, but then again, I'm not spending a ton of time on the computer while I'm home. I was listening to the new Death Cab record while I played this 92 second game, and all in all, it's about as good as I could hope to do these days.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Song Spotlight: Arctic Monkeys - Brick by Brick



Knowing I was going to be on the road for the foreseeable future I didn't think I'd be getting to do another Friday song spotlight so soon. But then when I was driving from the office back to my home away from home the other night I heard one of the new Arctic Monkey's tracks on WXPN. I've been meaning to pick up AM's most recent disc for a few weeks now, but the career interregnum kind of got in the way. But after hearing Alex Turner channeling his inner Jim Morrison on Brick by Brick I was compelled to stop off last night at one of the local indie record stores and pick the record up. Hitler and UK fans might not like it, but I sure do and I hope you do too.

I wanna build you up
Brick by brick
I wanna break you down
Brick by brick
I’m gonna reconstruct
Brick by brick
I wanna feel your love

Brick by brick
Brick by brick

I wanna steal your soul
Brick by brick
I wanna rock ‘n’ roll
Brick by brick
I wanna rock ‘n’ roll
Brick by brick
I wanna rock ‘n’ roll

Brick by brick
Brick by brick

I wanna brick by brick
Brick by brick
I wanna blow by blow
Brick by brick
I want an empty soul
Brick by brick
I wanna brick by brick by brick by

Brick by brick
Brick by brick
Brick by brick
Brick by brick
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