Saturday, January 24, 2009


Hot-tubs, plastic forks, gas stations, bar soap, I'm smiling, I'm traveling. Have a night off in Missoula. So far the run's been pretty good, though the winter weather has been a bit exhausting.

This is the first time ever that I've met a Steelers' fan at every single show. There were two in Missoula, one at each of the shows in Idaho, and then one in Billings last night. Steelers' fans aren't the most common thing in the rural Northwest. If I meet one in Spokane, then I will have met a Steelers' fan at every single room in this run, that doesn't even happen in the northeast.

Drinking lots of coffee, occasionally mixing it up with a Rockstar, had to wait an extra day to watch the premier episode of Lost, and while the Inauguration was going on I was background noise to a basketball game for an uninterested audience in Montana. On the upside though, I've met some super cool people, saw some beautiful countryside, some for the first time, and stared in complete awe and jealousy that top-quality lunch meat is $5.99/pound at most in Yellowstone.

Several days ago I was in Idaho and I was starving. It was several hours until showtime. I was in a fairly rural area and I didn't feel like driving, not to mention it was insanely cold. I decided to order a Pizza. I placed my order for delivery, and then as custom I gave the guy my info:
"What's your address?"

"I'm at the ________ Inn, on Main Street."

"Room number?"


"And your name please?"


"Could you spell that?"

(Brief moment of silence)

My last name, yeah, people misspell that all the time, but really, RON? I was silent, I had never been asked to spell my first name before so I was a bit taken aback, also I was slowly realizing that somebody, somewhere thought it was a good idea to let this guy handle money for a living, and in that particular moment, my debit card information.

Now, the second issue, how can I respond to that without sounding like a jerk? I mean really, I had to spell R-O-N, like I was the Dad telling the babysitter not to let the Dominos' guy have any C-A-N-D-Y. Seriously dude, R-O-N, like "ON," you know, the switch where when you put it up everything gets bright? Just throw an "R" in front and you're golden. No tricks here.

Of course, some people do spell it R-O-H-N. Which is stupid.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Retrospective

Happy New Year one and all. The past day and a half I have been huddled in my tiny apartment, recently re-united with my two cats in Seattle. In my two week absence the city got slammed with snowstorms unheard of in recent history. All the while I was in PA-OH-IN-WV where more often than not it was unseasonably warm. So it goes, fortunately I was able to sleep at night knowing that I was lucky enough to have the best cat-sitter(s) EVER taking care of the feline crew.

Anyway, the past two days have been filled with lots and lots of Football. It is bowl season, and it is a holiday. Pitt-Oregon State and Michigan State-Georgia turned out to be very heavily rooted in defense, both low-scoring, both forced teams to think outside the box to control the clock and rack up enough points on the board to pull out a win. Personally, I enjoyed the lop-sidedness of it all. I've never been one for shoot-outs, and being a life-long Steelers fan I have nothing but the utmost appreciation for good defense.

I have a gig during the BCS Bowl, I'm hoping to catch as much as I can as I'm expecting quite a game. Florida Gators have been an incredibly fun team to watch. As I couldn't care less who wins, I can watch for love of the game, as is the story most of the time when I watch college football. (I went to Indiana University--never had much to get excited about football wise).

I've been listening to lots and lots of Will Sheff, have been for a few years now, and thoroughly enjoy his song-writing. To all the critics out there--many of us Okkervil fans realize that the music is simple, we know the chord progressions are basic, and we don't care. Their lyrics are brilliant, they have great hooks with the slightest dash of folk that blends perfectly, and they're very tight live. Put that music degree to use and go teach some lessons instead of offering criticisms on pop music via YouTube comments. Sound good?

Back to Football. This could be a fun run for the NFL. Tennessee may be due for an upset, my Steelers could go anyway imaginable, Baltimore is going to be a strong six seat, and in the NFC Carolina is going to clean up, at least that's my prediction. New England is of the past for this year, yet sadly Indianapolis, in true serpent fashion have managed to slither their way into another playoff birth.

I dug 2008, hopefully 2009 keeps the same momentum. For those of us twenty-somethings that have just entered the "real world" this economic climate has been no picnic. But hell, I find the glory in it all. This is supposed to be a tough time regardless, so it's a little lousier, at least, my fellow peers, we're not close to retirement age. My true sympathies are for the baby-boomers, the early-sixty-somethings, and those struggling to support their families. As for the rest of us, those of us that don't have much to begin with, perhaps chasing dreams that may or may not ever come true but at the very least will give us a fuck of a fun ride, let's seize the year.