Let’s RUSH

I’ve had a forty-year love affair with the Canadian progressive (?) rock band, RUSH.  They were one of the first bands I sort of “discovered” on my own through the radio.  RUSH was also the first band for which I looked “back” to earlier albums, when I had caught up on what they had released in real time.  I listened to whole albums over and over and over again, like so many teenagers did at the time.  Like they still do maybe, even in this era of digital music and single song access.

It was a love affair with Rush.  It still is.

I’ve seen the band maybe ten times in my life; nothing like true “fanatics”, I suppose, but I still consider myself a RushHead (a play on the famous musical fan term, “DeadHead,” for fans of the Grateful Dead).   I once traveled to their hometown of Toronto to see them play live, at the Molson Amphitheatre.  It was EPIC.

So after 45 years of music, the trio — Bass/Vocals Geddy Lee, Guitar Alex Lifeson, and Drummer/Lyricist Neil Peart — have pretty well hung it up.  That was actually announced last year.  So make that 44 years together.  And make that 19 studio albums.  And make that 11 live albums.

As summarized so succinctly in Wikipedia, “The band released its eponymous debut album in March 1974. Since then, they have achieved 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush’s sales statistics also place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band.”

The love affair will continue, even if they have ceased playing live.  In fact, I’ll be seeing the latest iteration of the band’s music and performance history in a “one-night only” movie viewing tonight (Wednesday, 21 August), when I go with a couple buddies and my brother to see “Cinema Strangiato”.

Will have a follow up post to share the experience and further celebrate maybe the longest continuous musical relationship I’ve had.  THANK GOD.

Indulging is GOOD, when you’re into the right stuff.

 

 

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Even More Respect…

I’ve always respected single parents and the Herculean efforts it takes to keep their family together and on the right track. My respect was “at an arm’s length;” that changed recently.

A few weeks back my wife went to a conference out of town. She was gone for four nights.

Since it’s summer time, our kids weren’t in school. However, they did have YMCA Camp to keep them busy during the day while I was at work.

My routine the four work days my wife was gone looked like this:

* get myself ready for work;

* get the kids up and ready for camp;

* drop off the kids at camp;

* go to work;

* pick up the kids at the end of the afternoon;

* go home, make dinner, eat dinner, help every with bath or shower;

* help them get to bed; get myself to bed.

* repeat.

Overall it went pretty well. But I certainly had some moments of struggle. I think I put the following tweet up around Tuesday:

It’s not all peaches and cream. I’ve about had it with Number 2 and the *NIGHTLY BATTLE TO TAKE A F*CKING SHOWER. :-/

Ok, now back to the regularly scheduled GOOD. #dadlife #dadslife #parenting #alwaysworthitnotalwayseasy

Not proud of the implied profanity, but it conveyed my level of frustration at that bath-time moment halfway through the week.

 

Guest Post: “Ain’t got time for the summer time blues…”

One of my old college friends recently posted the following story on his website.   Yet another good example of taking that lemon, and making lemonade…or finding the good in a bit of a disappointing situation, or just flippin’ coping with how life goes sometimes.

Steve Debenedetti Emanuel, LMFT, and all around good dude.  Dad, Husband, Coffee Fanatic, and a Therapist, too; bright and thoughtful, his only downside is he’s a Dodgers Fan.  And Lakers.  But other than that, GOOD.

: – )

Check out his post, soak up the sublime insight, and wander his site a little too. 

#worthit

Ain’t got time for the summer camp blues

stevedbe_2019

Friday, Saturday, Weekend Good

I saw a classmate from grade school on Friday night. During the course of our conversation, she told me she reads my blog. She mentioned too that she could tell by some of the posts from time to time that “something was going on.”

That is good insight from an old friend and person I greatly admire and respect.

True enough, I do periodically (frequently?) write in a bit of a vailed manner. It’s an approach that allows to process and share thoughts on a given topic that might be otherwise too close or personal for me to write about directly, with a lot of intimate, maybe revealing detail.

In this post I’m happy to write in a very direct way.

It was FANTASTIC to see my old friend. Every time we get together (which doesn’t happen very often given the distance), we cut to the chase quickly to life events.

Super grateful for the time with her. Super grateful for our friendship. Even if a long LONG passes, we pick right back up and get current.

And then the next day, our family met up with another family who we hadn’t seen in a long while. My wife grew up with the woman; their family has two girls and a boy, just like us.

Though we hadn’t been together in a while, we settled into easy conversation pretty well immediately. And our kids played together like they were old friends too. It was another AWESOME day.

So I’ll say the obvious:

it’s friends and family that make the difference in life happiness. If you have that foundation, whatever the configuration, consider yourself blessed, consider it GOOD.

To top it off, the mundane and magical too on Sunday:

  • National Women’s Soccer League game on as laundry get’s completed –
  • Science experiments with a microscope to explore the world –
  • More chores around the house, we all gotta do ’em –
  • The highs and certainly lows to of kids’ behavior after sleeping in (sleep much needed) –
  • A sense of keeping up, catching up, which in turn lifts me up, a bit more –
  • Some work for Grammy –
  • Errands to load up for the week ahead –
  • A breeze blowing through the front screen door, cooling down the house –
  • Dare I say, looking forward to the week ahead…?   🙂

And Again, How is That? Just Write.

Play on words, used periodically to convey a simple truth. It’s certainly right to write in my view.
 I’ve been writing most of my life,  it’s provided me a baseline of thought, and outlet, therapy, entertainment, connection, continuity, just all of it.
 When blogging came about, it really seems that it was tailor-made for my type of expression, and my needs as a writer, as a human.
Thankful there seem to be a few people out there interested in listening, interested in the thoughts, the perspective.  Just a little bit of positive feedback is all it takes to keep the engine warm and running well.
I feel better when I write, when it’s a practice I’m engaged in frequently, daily.   It doesn’t take much.  A couple hundred words.
It doesn’t have to  be creative writing, per se’, although that’s one of my favorite forms.  Any writing is pretty well enjoyable for me, trying to put the ideas on the page, the exercise, the effort.
And so blogging is certainly enjoyable, and I’ve  taken once again the goal of putting content up more regularly.   We’ll see how that shakes down.
If all goes according to plan, we’ll all be better off.

Tostilocos, Doritolocos, Goodness

Tostilocos, Doritolocos, ahhhhhhh, what? Culinary Goodness from the ground level, from the street, from the everyday.

Found this basic content via NPR and a series they produced a few years back:  Borderland.   It’s still available in their archives, and narrates various aspects of the busy southern border between Mexico and the United States.

As part of that feature series, one of the highlights (for me anyway) was this very Mexican and American street snack.  The article called them Tostilocos (because the recipe called for using Tostitos brand tortilla chips).   Whether you use Tostitos or Doritos or any other similar bag of flavored tortilla chips, it’s gonna be a legit snack blending north and south, and down-home authentic for sure. The introduction from the piece spells it out:

Tostilocos. Tosti, as in Tostitos. Locos, as in crazy.
Origin stories vary, but the snack has proliferated in Tijuana — and has crossed the border into Southern California, too.
Vendors like Fidencio Rodriguez set up outside schools, at the beach and next to long lines of people crossing the border.
9 ingredients. About $3 on the street.
Here’s how you make it:
SALSA VERDE TOSTITOS (snack bag size), (CUT LENGTHWISE);
PEPINOS (CUCUMBER) AND JICAMA; CUERITOS (PICKLED PORK RINDS),
CACAHUATES (FRIED PEANUTS),
CHACA-CHACA (TAMARIND CANDY),
CHILE SAUCE
CHAMOY (PICKLED FRUIT) SAUCE,
SQUEEZE O’ LIME
fr: TIJUANA, MEXICO.  Sold on both sides of the border.

In this era of vocalized attitudes of nativism and anti-immigration in these United States, it seems appropriate to give similar voice to the counter opinion. Diversity and being inclusive and celebrating all flavors and colors and peoples, that is in fact a core strength of America, THAT should be respected and honored and protected.

Try the Tostilocos.  It might just take you over the top if you weren’t already so inclined, to celebrate and seek to protect our very precious way of life, blended uniquely here in America. A mixed bag of goodness.

[photo credit:  NPR]
[for the whole Borderland series, go to this URL: https://apps.npr.org/borderland/%5D

Highs and Lows

It’s part of life, pretty much every day. Highs and lows. They are really the essence of what life amounts to. Sometimes you’ll be up; sometimes you’ll be down. Sometimes you’ll be one of those for a long while. Might seem like forever.

Eventually the pendulum swings.

Consider Alex Howes. Who?, you might ask? Unless you’re a pro cycling fan, you very well might not know the name. I’m a sometimes cycling fan, but enough to know who he is and two recent circumstances that illustrate “high and low” pretty well.

Alex Howes, a professional cyclist with EF Eduction First Professional Cycling Team, won the US National Cycling Road Race earlier this summer.

He gets to wear the stars and stripes as US Champion now, incorporating those colors into his race kit for the next 12 months. It didn’t come easy.

He’s been racing as a professional for several years now. He’d come close in the past. He crossed the line first this year.

Of the achievement, Howes said [via the team website, great article overall, too — https://www.efprocycling.com/alex-howes-us-national-road-champion/%5D , “I’ve dreamt of this for so long, and it was way better than I had ever imagined it could be.”

AWESOME.

So what could be a down side for this guy?

More recently, Alex Howes struggled quite a bit during the Leadville 100, a very tough mountain bike race held in his home-state, Colorado, this past weekend. And he’s a Climber, in the road racing vernacular.

His Instagram speaks volumes; but not only to his struggle; more importantly, the attitude one might best embrace to battle through the difficulty.

INSPIRED. What’s the bottom line? KEEP GOING.

We go up, we go down. Sometimes both happen in the same day. Certainly in school, at work, in our chosen hobby, in marriage, in parenting, in life, we have highs and lows. This reality is universal. Even champions have rough days. They battle through. You can too.

Want more Alex Howe? oh man, YES…

On Twitter: @alex_howes

On Instagram:

https://instagram.com/alex_howes?igshid=3ny6frqjavm4

And EF Education First Professional Cycling? Yea baby…

On Twitter: @efprocycling

On Instagram:

https://instagram.com/ef.educationfirst.procycling?igshid=1nw05uzpq22w1