Archive for January, 2005

Goodbye Johnny

Everyone’s heard the news, so it’s no surprise. And I suppose it should never be a surprise
because we all die. It’s just hard to say goodbye. Johnny Carson died on Sunday from emphysema,
the same thing that killed one of my grandfathers. Even though we’ve hardly heard a peep from him
in the last 13 years, it is still sad. 79 is not that old. It’s hard to fathom that he was the host of the
Tonight Show longer than I was alive. That’s crazy. He was such an icon for millions of people.
The crazy thing is, I can still hear the tweaks and slurs of his baritone voice. I remember watching
as a kid not understanding the jokes, but loving the skits and Joan Emberey bringing out all the
exotic animals. As I got older I came to enjoy his witty humor, whimsical persona, and that sly
smile when things didn’t go as planned……and of course, that signature golf swing.

During the summer my dad had to work late and he would get home around 11pm. My sister and I
would be at my grandma’s house a half mile away, and we had a code worked out with dad. If we
left the porch light on at grandma’s house, it meant we wanted to be picked up, if not it meant we
were staying the night at g-ma’s. I remember the warm summer nights when dad would drive up the
gravel road towards the house and we’d quietly get our stuff ready to go home. It became very
common that we would go home, get ready for bed and sit with dad to watch Carson. I can still
taste the Chicken in a Biscuit crackers smothered with over processed bacon cheddar cheese
spread that came from a small jar that doubled as a shot glass when empty. I remember the
excitement as 11:30 approached and the horns would blaze daaadadadaaaada, dadada da dada
in triumph as Johnny was about to come out. All three of us would be snuggled up on the couch,
giggling and smiling. I remember I loved to hear my dad laugh at his jokes, but I also loved to hear
Carson laugh in that way he would when something really got his goat. The table-slapping,
head-throwing back laugh. What a fabulous thing.

I admire Carson not only because he was a magician when he was younger (excellent), or a great
drummer (plus plus), or one of the nicest/gentlest people you’d ever meet, or because he had a show that now other late night show could compare with,
but because IMO he did it right. During his reign he was able to keep most of his private life private,
and even though off camera he was shy, and a reclusive person he had the ability to entertain
millions with the greatest of ease, without ever seeming too tired or boring. Also, he ended it right. He went out while he was
still on top so no one remembers the ’sad days’ as he was going downhill, because they do not
exist. And even though the show ended 13 years ago, I’m sure millions of people (myself included)
would have loved to see him, or hear his voice, but he stayed out of the public’s eye. I say what
better way?! Leave on top, make your money, then spend the last years of your life doing the things
you enjoy, while spending all the time with the ones closest to you. Just my opinion, but his
priorities seemed straight.

It’s sad he’s gone, but now all we can do is remember the good times.


Out with the stones, in w/the pebbles

I had a really mellow New Year’s eve night. That was nice since I’m getting so dang old, my bones just can’t handle all the rowdy ruckus like they used to. I really didn’t make any huge N.Y. resolutions, I had already planned on losing weight since I look like a mini-santa, and in general I want to be healthier. My biggest goal is to not have any more kidney stones this year. That was probably the worst feeling this last year except for the time I lost my elbow in that unfortunate drill press accident.



At work we are blessed most of the time to listen to the soft rock favorites of yesterday, today, and forevermore. Some of this music is pure crap invented solely for elavators and old people. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to listen to top 40 which is actually a big improvement over soft rock crap. The thing that I can’t understand is Bono’s group U2, and their new album. There has been this huge hype on the radio, giving away tickets, cd’s, bobbleheads you name it. I don’t understand all the hype because quite honestly the album sucks. U2 has always been the founders of wuss rock and this album is no different. Seriously. I don’t see what the big deal is. Maybe it’s the station that does it. For instance I really like Maroon 5, but since they have gained popularity, they’ve changed some of their songs, and not always for the better. They’ve really wussed up some of the songs, that’s kind of sad, but I suppose for money most people would.


Voice Recognized

Has anyone had any experience with these new voice menu systems on the phone? I think it’s really cool, but apparently its been around for awhile (according to Michelle). It’s cool that you can just “speak” what you want, or how much you want to pay on your bill, and it recognizes what you said. It’s a little cheesy when I pay my T-mobile bill b/c the woman’s recorded voice tries to sound like a real life person, but she’s not fooling anyone. I haven’t had any problems with it recognizing my voice, but I was wondering if it recognizes people with strong accents, or ebonics. I was thinking about busting out my German or Mexican accent, but I’m too scared to try it…..I figure the next thing I’d hear from the recorded voice lady was, “you’ve just charged $1524 to your account thank you!”



Y’know with this tsunami I can’t even begin to comprehend the numbers. I remember the day after it happened I was on the bus headed for home and I saw the headline that read “13,000 dead” and I couldn’t believe it. Now every day that I go to work I log on to cnn and the numbers increase by 20,000 or more. Now it’s over 150,000 damn, it just seems like numbers, I can’t fathom whole families, wiped away. I’m sad for all the victims and people still living, but part of me can’t even begin to feel how I should, it just seems so unreal. Tragic.



I’ve decided that I really like The Postal Service. I mean I really like them. I wasn’t sure at first, but they provide a breath of fresh air on the music scene. The Postal Service is the combination of Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello from some band I’ve never heard of. :) I didn’t really put two and two together until today, regarding the fact that Ben G. was also the singer in Death Cab. I always thought there was an extreme likeness in the voices of the two, and everytime my friends would listen to The Postal Service, Death Cab was soon to follow, now it makes sense. I’ve heard plenty of Death Cab in my day, but too many of the songs are a bit too………..moody/sad-like. T.P.S. has a bit more of an upbeat feel to many of the songs, and the songs are much more “synth-pop” then emo/indie-ish music. I’m not usually into anything that sounds “synthy/technoy/poppy” but it’s just the right combination. Many of the songs are very minimalistic in nature, and gosh darn it if they aren’t crazy catchy! They stick in your head, and you’ll find yourself bobbing your head and humming the tunes while you’re pickin’ your toenails at 2am. Since many of the songs have that synthy sound, they remind me so much of old Atari or Nintendo games. I really like “Such Great Heights”, “We will become silhoulettes”, and most definately “Nothing Better” which features added vocals by either Jen Wood or Jenny Lewis, I’m not sure which, but it doesn’t matter b/c it rocks. My absolute favorite intro to any of their songs is not even on their album entitled “Give Up”, but on their single “Such Great Heights”. The song is “there’s never enough time” you can hear a short 30 second clip of the intro here. Now tell me that doesn’t give you memories of sitting on the floor in front of the tv playing nintendo….seriously, I love it. I’ve also decided that when listening to it certain songs require you to stand up, turn around and dance like a robot. If you’re unsure what kind of robot you are go here to find out. You’ll notice that I am a “Mechanical Intelligent Construct Assembled for Harm” and so that is how I dance.