Posts Tagged ‘surprise’

 

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“More people will come if they think we’ll have punch and pie!” ~ South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999)

I am going to share with you a tale of humor and humility.

I suppose that I would have to admit that with my love for live music, I’ve been kind of a super troll lately towards local bands whenever they are promoting/announcing an upcoming show.

They are only doing what they can in order to get people into the venues. It’s their job. I know that. But whenever I see something like that, I always ask if there will be “punch and pie”.

This past weekend I went out to see several bands play live. One of which was “Skunkfest 2018”. Ten glorious rocking bands at one venue. One of those bands is “Inch of Dark”.

In the days leading up to the event, the band would just promote, promote, promote all over social media. And I kept messing with them about having “punch and pie”.

Well, I think the promotions worked because there were so many people there. It was so hot outside in the Texas summer heat that I wanted to go back inside, but there were so many bodies inside that it drove me almost crazy.

I had received a message several hours from one of the band members of Inch of Dark, and they said that they had a surprise for me when I showed up. punch

Inch of Dark wasn’t playing. They called me out to the max!

As I arrived at “Skunkfest 2018” I saw so many people that I knew that it was hard to say hello to all of them.

Then I saw members of Inch of Dark and they began to laugh and said “Wait here!”

They LITERALLY bought a pie and a bottle of Hawaiian Punch!! And they had saved me some. (I do wonder what happened to the rest of it.)

I was busted….

I was grateful for the surprise, even if it was a joke.

Inch of Dark is a bunch of great guys.  And I think even greater music. But I warn you, don’t mess with them because they will mess with you right back!!

I look forward to seeing them play live once more.

Check them out:

Inch Of Dark

 

 

 

 

vicodin_addiction_abuse“Vicodin, I got addicted to that little pill. The reason I don’t talk about it too much in the press is because it isn’t funny, and I love to be funny in interviews. If you joke about that period in your life, it doesn’t seem right.”~ Matthew Perry

This past Monday I was visited by my doctor.

In recent past, I haven’t found it to be a bother. But ever since Norco (Vicodin) was placed higher on the classification scale, ultimately deeming it an addictive substance, things haven’t really been the same between he and I.

It comes from a serious injury that I sustained many years ago from a situation that I was in with a man who was high on drugs and it turned violent. I was left with chronic pain in my back and he went to jail. There’s a blog post here some where that talks briefly about it.

My doctor however has been quite “stubborn” for lack of a better term. I understand completely that he could lose his license if he is audited and they think that he’s pushing Vicodin. But because of this chronic injury, I believe that I have had a legitimate case to use it. I’ve lost the argument so many times with the doctor that I just gave up fighting because apparently playing CYA is more important.

Anyways before I get off track some more, on Monday when he finally arrived at my home, I was particularly not feeling too well and had one hell of a migraine and was suffering the moment he arrived.

The companion nurse could even tell that I was miserable due to the fact that my blood pressure was higher than usual.

I was also sitting there looking at them with my head crooked and turned to the side because it was the most comfortable position to sit in. My intention was to lay down after they left and hoped that I would take a nap and it would dissolve when I woke up.

The very moment that the doctor heard that my blood pressure was unusually high and the fact that I admitted to being in severe pain, he pulled away (for once) from his tablet and stopped typing and clicking and looked at me and said that he was going to prescribe Norco for me for five days.

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Are you serious?

Wait, what?!??

Some how that captured his attention.

I thought I was dreaming when I heard him say it. Could it be real? Could he be totally serious?? I looked at him funny and he stared back with a straight face awaiting my decision as to whether or not five days of Norco was something that I wanted.

He asked if I wanted the prescription to be sent to a local pharmacy that would have delivered it directly to me. Probably the next day.

However the shenanigans doesn’t stop there.

During the time that I DID have a 30 day prescription of it, my insurance was switched and then suddenly the pharmacy was not accepting it to take care of the co-pay.

Instead of Norco costing me a few dollars out of pocket, it was well over $60!!

My insurance information at that pharmacy apparently has not changed either. So I said “No, send it to the pharmacy company that you guys use. I am dead broke right now that I cannot afford the co-pay.” And that means that five days of painkillers would be delivered to me in the mail. And I wouldn’t be receiving it right away. I would have to wait for it.

I could just HEAR the doctor sneering about it. Damnit, just do as I ask!! It is not like you’re going to go back to prescribing this stuff to me again. That is obvious.

So he did. And Tuesday I received a call from the company informing me that they received a new prescription for Norco.

But then over the phone I could just sense the confusion they had when they realized that it was only a five day supply. They knew that in my history that I was at one time receiving a 30 day supply. So only receiving a five day prescription was totally mind blowing to them for whatever reason.

Me too!!

I was told that it would be delivered and I should expect it on Friday. And because it is a painkiller that I was going to need to sign for it. Which is not a big deal.

Naturally that migraine did go away. And the medicine is still going to arrive. But it is going to help with all of this serious back pain I am currently dealing with because of the fact that I keep killing wheelchairs and keep having to switch to another temporary one. Even though it was only a year ago when I ordered a brand new one. I’m currently battling for a new one that would be taken care of by Medicare and not getting anywhere with it. But the point being that even though the migraine is gone, this medicine is going to help with all this chronic pain. All of that is for another post.

I just found it wildly interesting that I would go to war with the doctor for many months over painkillers and finally surrender the fight and trying to live with the pain and deal with it in other ways, only to be given five days worth simply because I had a headache that was temporary.

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“Comeback is a good word, man. “~ Mickey Rourke

Just when I thought that I was done writing about show reviews… I got blown away by something different. Something fresh. Something friggin’ AMAZING!!!

This was something unforeseen and unexpected.

Not to say that since I have not been doing show reviews in a while. Because I have.

I rolled into new and strange territory a few weeks ago along the Red River area to a place called THE MOHAWK to follow some singers that I had stumbled upon at this year’s Texas Rock Fest.

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The Reverent Few rocks out at THE MOHAWK

The band that was “newest” to me was called THE REVERENT FEW.

Rooted deeply in the Blues and cranks out the rock and roll in its purest form. Just like it used to be.

I sat there listening and for me, it was fresh, it was new. And a very distant thing from the particular genre of music that I have been accustomed to for such a long time. And I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that. However for myself, I must cleans the palate once in a while and spend time venturing out of that “comfort zone” and experience something different. And that’s what I did.

I found myself in a mystic world of heartfelt, soulful mix of anything and everything under the sun. Only BETTER!

Paige DeChausse on vocals and Nick Boettcher on guitar, these two rev it up and then blast off to the moon!! It has been a very long time since I have seen that kind of dedication and passion towards music while on stage.

But by the end of the night, I had tears in my eyes at least once and goosebumps the whole way! Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that once that happens I have to get in some more. And I won’t rest until I do. FEW22

And then the resident gig at EL MERCADO.

After a long flight back home from Los Angeles, a short rest, and a long bus ride to the other side of the city, I arrived at El Mercado Restaurant. Not to mention I was attempting to beat the weather to the gig, hoping to not get rained on.

Arriving a tad early, but in time to catch a sound check. .

However when the show officially started, that’s when total awe, magic, and pure rock and roll began. The entire world and its problems disappeared completely if only for a short evening.

It didn’t take long for about 30-50 people to arrive. Friends, family, fans alike. All joined together as one with a rocking common bond.

So let me begin this review as this build up is probably killing you. (Okay, maybe not. But let’s do this.)

Is Ladiest First okay? Good.

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The Reverent Few at El Mercado

Paige DeChausse obviously has the kind of voice to grab my attention. Otherwise this blog post wouldn’t be written. To try and describe Paige’s voice is like a mixture of Janis Joplin, Donna Summers, Alanis Morrisette (in some ways), Billie Holliday, and quite possibly a little bit of Adele. All strong, all vibrant, all powerful, and all influencing.

As I stated, the tears and the goosebumps came and I couldn’t stop them!

Nick Boettcher has one helluva stage presence with his guitar and backing vocals. Almost to the point where I wished I could sing like that. If you want a sound like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Billy Gibbons then Nick is your go-to-guy. If there’s ever an event that I am aware that needs a guitarist, I am asking him first.

Stage chemistry between the two of them is out of sight. And you’re stuck in this blissful confusion in trying to figure out which of them is causing you to move around.

I am given to understand that “home” to the two of them is actually near the Chicago, Illinois area and now they are here.

I for one, danced the ENTIRE night with The Reverent Few. But only from where I was sitting which was dark. So I doubt I have to worry about humiliating videos surfacing online of me “gettin’ down.”

By the end of the evening, there were surprise musicians from Ireland who sat in for a while, and they were just as lovely. They have a CD release party on the 1st of June at the Continental.

Yet half the room approached the stage and began dancing. I do hope that my camera flash didn’t bother any body. It is always a great idea to capture these kinds of moments.

I was met up by Nick’s mother who offered a dance and promised me that she would make it happen. She was dead serious. And I believed her. So funny!!

I had just one trick up my sleeve before everything came to a close.

If you actually research Paige DeChausse online, you’ll find something rather interesting about her musical career. I won’t say what it is, but now (at least in my eyes) she’s a celebrity, and she just happens to be local. I insisted for an autograph, she smiled kindly and obliged the request.

That’s all I am going to say about that.

When I said my farewells and departed I noticed that it was raining and raining hard. “Beat The Rain” may have lost in the first round but there was no way I was going to win on the return trip.

The restaurant staff caught me staring at the windows and doors at the rain. They asked if I had enjoyed myself with the show. And I had. Then I mentioned to all of them a comment about how hard it was raining.

I departed with these words: “At least I can say that the band got me all wet.”

Everyone who heard it was on their knees laughing as I popped open the front door and exited into the wet and stormy night.

As I waited in the storm, I was STILL dancing around, reminiscing the awesome tunes that I had just finished hearing.

It can’t be helped though. If you love to dance, THIS IS IT!!!

The Reverent Few caught me by surprise. And I cannot say that I will complain.

I’m stuck. I’m sold. They win. They have pulled me back in. Game Over. I’m going to do my best to follow their gigs and shows as much as I can. And if you love music and near the area, I encourage you to do the same.

 

https://www.facebook.com/paigeandthereverentfew/

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“I think we are at the dawn of a new era in commercial space exploration.”~ Elon Musk

Finally, this day has come.

But why did it take so long?

This morning, I rolled on through to the community room to have coffee and there was a sign displayed that today, there will be NO donuts or fruit.

I laughed to myself when I read it. To be honest, in the past four Fridays, there’s been donuts and fruit only TWICE.

I left that stupid game more than a year ago. I was tired of the violence. Tired of the greed. Tired of it all.

After I got my cup of coffee and was starting to turn into a decent human being, there was some chatter among the other residents in the room about donuts and fruit.

Well… depending on your bend, it is sad or it is a day at last arrived.

Residents were discussing the fact that there will be NO MORE DONUTS OR FRUIT. Period. Done. End of story. I tell you, if I could have done a happy dance, I would have.

If you’ve been with me for the longest time, you’ve read the previous posts about the avarice and the insanity of donuts and the residents that consume them like they are going out of style.

And even though I am glad that the fighting will come to an end, there will be more fighting. For those who want them, they will argue and fight about the decision to get rid of them, and their disapproval. So basically they will take one fight and replace it with another. That’s just how it works here.

Management was not available for comment. But I did go to the social services coordinator and congratulated her on the “smart decision” and told her that now all she had to do was get rid of the Food Pantry distribution and the BINGO every Tuesday afternoon, and this place will turn into nothing but a boring place of business where people will remain in their homes for the rest of their lives and never come out again or for those who will get out, they will leave the property for their social needs.

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“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”~George Burns

Well this wasn’t expected but here it is.

I’ve literally been surprised by with the news that Team USA Sledge Hockey’s Taylor Lipsett and team captain Andy Yohe have announced their retirement from the sport.

Over the last four Paralympic Games, Team USA has captured the gold medal three times. Andy Yohe being team captain in 2014 and in 2010. Back to back gold medal victories for Team USA.

It appeared as if Team USA had constructed a dynasty in sledge hockey with so many gold medals won whether at the World Championships or at the Winter Paralympic Games.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would hear about them leaving the sport NOW. Yeah sure, maybe ten or fifteen years, but I never thought it would be now. I am actually stunned right now as I write this.

Via Facebook, both Lipsett and Yohe made their statements on the situation as well as shared with them the online web article announcing their departure from the sport.

Andy Yohe said “Time to pass the torch on to the younger generation of sled hockey players in the US. I know the team is in good hands.”

Taylor Lipsett left a statement saying “Well I suppose it’s time to make it official… I have decided to officially hang up the sled and call it a career. It’s be an amazing 10 year ride, with ups and downs, but fortunately for me I was blessed with more ups than downs, and blessed with amazing teammates, many of which I know will be life long friends. I never dreamed of being able to represent my country when I was growing up until that divine intervention on a Sunday afternoon at the grocery store with Cheryl Lipsett! The last 10 years have been the most amazing years of my life both on and off the ice, but it is time to start a new chapter and focus on my family and my professional career. It will always be an honor to have been so fortunate to wear the red, white, and blue and the USA across my chest for so many years! And to have won a couple world championship gold medals and 2 Paralympic Gold Medals to top it all off! Thank you to USA Hockey, US Paralympics, all of my teammates over the years, my friends and family, and most important my Wife, Antonina Lipsett, who has sacrificed so much over the last 10 years to allow me to pursue my dreams! Thanks so much, and know I will always be cheering on Team USA!”

I never really did get much of a chance to sit down with Taylor Lipsett, since he is only a few hours away. But I have met him a couple of times before. I’ve shook his hand multiple times and spoke briefly but not as much as I would have liked. I had always wanted to sit down with him and talk about what it was like to be on the national team as well as what it took to get there.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Andy Yohe both on and off the ice in Houston, Texas. I played along side of him as sides were chosen and he was the best influential player there for both Austin and Houston teams. After the one time playing on the ice with him, everyone else who was in a sled was totally inspired. I remember some players attempting to copy his style of play, wanting to be a better player.

Man to man, player to player, I can say to both of them….. Thank you for all that you have done. Thank you for representing this great country. Thank you for inspiring countless people both disabled and AB’s. Thank you for wonderful talents that you have given to the sport.

The sport will not be the same without either of you two on the ice. But we will cherish the memories of those times that you were. The both of you are ice warriors and will be immortalized by the sport that you played in the hearts and minds of colleagues, friends, family, and supporters. We wish both of you the best in your new journey.

Thank you Andy and Taylor.

http://www.usahockey.com/news_article/show/401531?referrer_id=752796

 

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Nikko Landeros

“I’ve had great fans, and they’ve been so loyal over the years.”~ George Strait

Most recently, the USA Sledge Hockey team took a visit to the White House to meet the President of the United States of America.

It sounds as if they all had a thrilling and most wonderful time.

All of the members are still living with pride for winning GOLD for their country.

I have to say as a sledge hockey player that I am still proud of these guys that they have won back to back gold medals.

Even the President of the United States was thrilled to have members of the team there at the White House.

It seemed like a great day for everyone as there were Olympians and Paralympians together.

So then we introduce to you this national treasure: Nikko Landeros.  nikkoFB

He posted an interest on Facebook that he wanted to go to the George Strait concert this evening in his area. And then a little bit later he also announced that he is now on Twitter.

I guess sooner or later it happens to those who have become our nation’s top athletes that Twitter would be a necessity.

As much as I have heard a lot of people that don’t really care for Twitter, the story for Nikko Landeros today gets very exciting.

I don’t know exactly how long he’s had his Twitter account but it nikkowould pay off in spades.

George Strait contacted Nikki Landeros via Twitter and promised him PERSONALLY  that he would have tickets waiting for him at the show that he so desperately wanted to attend.

“Thank you for representing our country!” Strait says.

I’ve always known George Strait to be a very patriotic person, proud of the country that he lives in and he’s always proud of all of his fans who are so loyal to him.

Being that I’m not exactly into country music, I can just imagine that George Strait just as any other musician is grateful to have fans that enjoy what he does. And when it comes to his fans actually going to Sochi, Russia and playing for the USA and winning GOLD as a team back to back… that’s gotta make him so incredibly proud!

I don’t know what’s going to happen this evening for Nikko Landeros, but I DO hope that he takes his gold medal with him. And I do hope that he gets to meet George Strait in person at some point this evening.

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Thank you, Mr. George Strait

This story is great to write about. You never really know what’s going to happen when you reach out to certain people, especially on Twitter.

Thank you, Mr. George Strait for doing this for Nikko. And thank you again, Mr. Nikko Landeros for representing our country, playing your heart and soul out in Sochi, and winning back to back gold medals for Team USA. I am proud of you!

 

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“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~ A.A. Milne,  author of Winnie-the-Pooh

The moment is gone. She is gone. And now it is Friday evening with the knowledge that I will never see our social services coordinator again.

Another person will come and take her place. Just like the people before her.

The residence, MY NEIGHBORS, altogether collected $295 for her. I think they tossed it into a money order and put it in one of two greeting cards that were set aside for her.

This apparently is the most money that was ever collected for any member of SGC staff who was leaving their position here. And yes, this is saying a lot. Many of us were waiting for her to go to lunch. This morning as I was having my morning coffee, Mrs. Irwin mentioned that she was going to have lunch with two co-workers from which the agency that hired her.

It was going to be a 90 minute lunch. What were they going to do, fire her?? It was her last day of work here.

90 minutes was all that was needed in order to set up the room, put out a spread of finger foods and snacks, decorate a little with flowers and balloons and then sit and wait for her to return back to work in the dark.

She actually arrived a little bit after 1:00 PM and some of the neighbors were getting ants in their pants. But eventually she arrived back to work from lunch and the lights went back off, the door shut, and about HALF of all total residents who live here….. sat in total and complete silence.

The apartment manager was behind it all. And so was Mr. Irwin, her husband. He would show up later and join us for a brief time.

It worked. She admitted that she had convinced herself that she only THOUGHT something was coming, but couldn’t quite say for sure what exactly it would be. All of those neighbors who would have been the perfect candidates for letting the cat out of the bag, either by accident or on purpose, never gave her a clue that we were planning a gathering in the afternoon.

She admitted rather quickly that she became misty-eyed. But she did not actually break down into tears. She was given a plant from the collective group. She also received a nice bouquet of flowers that I know of and the money.

I personally wrote her a poem. Telling her that it is hard to say farewell but that we here on the property would remember her and miss her.

Her response?

“That’s impressive.”

Then someone just jumped on in and bragged that poetry is what I do best. I don’t know why they jumped in like that. Mrs. Irwin knew that I wrote poetry.

The event came to an end and Mrs. Irwin made a point to visit those who were unable to get out of their homes to say goodbye to them.

I told her personally that I would be back and I came home to take off the black suit I had put on. I did see her going along the sidewalk, passing by my front door, but I never chased her down.

I went over to her office and she was still gone. Or so I thought.

She was in the apartment manager’s office behind closed doors with all three members of staff together.

I kept getting looks from our maintenance man. A person who doesn’t have a very high score for resident approval ratings. He never gave me any indication of whether or not they were having a private conversation or just chit-chatting with the door closed. He just kept looking at me like he was privileged and I was an outsider.

It was pissing me off because he kept looking through the window in the door, but would not acknowledge anything about me being there. So I left.

Then a little bit later, no more than fifteen minutes I had received a telephone call that a home health nurse was coming to visit. So I scattered to go back to the office area to do what I had to do and say those words that I hate saying and be able to find closure to the situation.

But when I got into the building, she was gone.

I felt the tears building up. But the wind that was powerfully blowing into my face prevented them from falling down my face. I was asked later by the visiting nurse if I cried but I told her that I almost did but could not.

I never got to say goodbye to her. I did get the chance to give her the poem that I wrote and to take a photograph with her. But I did not get that opportunity to say farewell to her. sad-redhead-sitting-in-the-window-girl-hd-wallpaper-2560x1600-2895

And as you probably can already tell, I am so frustrated and disappointed and actually BLAMING the maintenance man for this missed opportunity. Usually when a door is closed, that means privacy. But he could have given me some sort of indication. And he didn’t. He could have, what a selfish man.

I’m pissed.

I ran outside and looked at the parking space that she had been parking in for the past eight or nine months and it was empty.

She was gone. The apartment manager even told me that she was gone and it was final.

Some will argue that since I didn’t actually tell her goodbye that I don’t have to and that she will come back. I do believe that anything is possible. But for her to come back to visit or whatever is less than favorable. At least for now. Maybe down the road.  claireirwin

I begin the weekend, angered and hurt and disappointed.

So farewell Mrs. Irwin. You’ve done so much more than what you realize for me and for the rest of us. I am going to miss you.