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Horror!

On Monday Maggie asked me if I would like to go with her to see this Rocky Horror Picture Show Live thing. Her friend from grad school had a couple extra tickets. I said yes without really knowing what I was saying yes to.  I sort of just figured it was a theatrical performance. I was wrong.

Apparently fanatics of the movie dress up like the characters, get together in a huge theater, and go insane.  The group was selling “kits” of prop-like items that you would either throw, rip, hit, or spit during the movie. The first item was rice which we were to throw during the wedding scene.  That was kinda fun. Then it started “raining” in the theater so we had to put newspaper over our heads.  I don’t know where the water was coming from, hopefully it wasn’t spit.  There was also random throwing of toilet paper which was actually fun, I threw a big clump of it on a woman a couple rows in front of me. During the “toast” scene people actually had heated/hardened bread to throw.  I was hit in the thigh and I swear it left a bruise.

I suppose this was a good way to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show because I wouldn’t ever have otherwise.  Also, if you are a first timer to one of their events they ask you to be “initiated”.  Maggie and I evaded that because we didn’t want to get slapped in the ass with a canoe paddle. Probably a wise decision.

This movie is insane, and seemingly normal people go all crazy when they gather together to watch it. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life. Damn.

All At Sea

It’s always fun to realize that you can play one of your favorite songs by one of your favorite artists without much hassle. Jamie Cullum wrote this song, “All At Sea”. I figured about 5 people would want to hear this, so I shall post it.

I’m Afraid of Witches

This is going to seem ridiculous, but everyone has that one thing, real or imagined, that they’re completely frightened of.  For me it’s witches.

I’ve had this feeling before, but now I’ve realized it’s a legitimate fear.  I was at my cousins high school production of The Wizard of Oz (where she played the tallest munchkin ever) and all my witch fears came flowing back into my life.  The first scene with the witch was fairly frightening.  She was all green and nasty looking and pointing her broom and screaming at everyone.  And that evil laugh… damn.  This production also featured this weird slash creepy dance with a bunch of witches twirling around and screaming.  I really didn’t like that.

I think this fear stems from the first time I watched “The Witches” (a book by Roald Dahl).  I was like 8 or 10 and those witches could smell children, and would turn them into rats and smush them.  That was horrifying to say the least, and I did not sleep that night… or month.  Ever since then witches just creep me out more than anything else.  I know it’s irrational as a 23 year old male, but I also know that they could be real.  The Salem Witch Trials were real, and the witches in “The Witches” seemed pretty damn real too.

Here are some creepy videos of witches.  You might want to hide under some blankets or something…

 

What I do at work…

Oh, hey blog.

When I was in high school I never thought I’d work with kids or really have anything to do with children.  I also knew there was no chance in hell that I would be a teacher.  Well… things change.  Maybe because of camp, maybe because of some cosmic force that pushed me towards the field of teaching/caring for children.  I don’t know who played this sick joke on me, but apparently it was all for the best.

Right now I work for the Schenectady ARC at an after school program.  We have 8 students with special needs that are integrated into a YMCA elementary after school program.  Our 8 kids are great, and the majority of the Y kids are as well.  So far in my 2 months I’ve played a bunch of Uno and Connect Four, colored pictures of Spiderman, played with blocks, played with Legos, built train tracks, done art projects, played shark attack and lightning-thunder-fire, played on swings and monkey bars, played football, watched a talent show, and had tons of great snacks!  It’s tough work, and someone has to do it… right?  Along with all of this fun we do help our kids with homework, teaching them about social interaction with peers, and we help them reach goals that they have set for themselves. Sometimes you’ll get spit on, or a child will scream at you, or you’ll have to chase someone who is running away, or you’ll just be annoyed… but it’s really a great program!

I had no idea that I would ever work with kids, but now that it’s pretty much all I do, I can’t think of anything else that would be a better fit.

The Angel and the One

 

Rivers Cuomo and Weezer wrap up the Red Album with this song, it’s an instant classic.

These four albums could all be number one.  They are all complete works in which every song is something new and enjoyable to listen to.  They’re not all the same, albums 4 and 1 are a little harder than 3 and 2, however the melodies, chords, and lyrics are equally interesting yet unique.  I’ve listened to them all many times, and you know you like an album when you hear something new every time you listen.  If you didn’t quite figure out what type of music I like with the first 18 albums of this list, hopefully these four will clear it up for you, I know it was killing you.

4.) Our Lady Peace – Happiness… Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch

This was the band’s third album, before they sold out and started to sound like every other rock band out there.  Every song is good.  The lyrics are very angsty but it was the late 90’s so I guess that’s to be expected.  It’s nice to put a cd in and not have to skip over any tracks.

3.) The Gabe Dixon Band – The Gabe Dixon Band

The band’s second album really is a musical clinic in storytelling.  Gabe Dixon tells a story in each song and paints a picture with the melody, the lyrics, and the chords and instrumentation underneath it all.  I’ve only had this album since August however since then it has probably been my favorite to listen to.  His singing style is very soulful and rhythmic.  I don’t know, it’s just a great album.

2.) Jump Little Children – Between The Dim & The Dark

When I heard this album for the first time I was like, “yes, this is what I’ve always wanted to listen to.” It’s hard to describe, it’s just something that I hadn’t heard yet, but once I did I knew it was something that I loved.  Jay Clifford is my favorite lead singer of a band, and although it’s hard to understand his lyrics at first, his melodies certainly make up for that.  Their instrumentation is unique, complete with an upright bass and acoustic/electric guitars.  I loved this album from the word go.

1.) Silverchair – Young Modern

The album name was the nickname given to lead singer and guitarist Daniel Johns by Van Dyke Parks, a long time musician and composer.  His young hip sound is also modern and ahead of its time.  This album has it all really, love songs, a 3-part suite about birds, driving rock songs, and mystical ballads.  It’s a tangled journey but once you get to the end you realize you’re sad it’s over and you’ll want to experience it again.  Before this album, Silverchair produced Diorama, which was great and complete with orchestrations, but Young Modern was something that could not be equaled.

Come On

I know it’s not a secret that I like Taylor Swift… I mean I might have even played a few of her songs from time to time, however her life is starting to become annoying.  The original T Swift that wrote about the anonymous guy in high school was the singer that was intriguing and innocent.  Now her songs are about Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Joe Jonas, or probably now it’ll be Jake Gyllenhaal. I still like these songs, but the subjects could be a little less obvious… This link is funny though.

T Swift

Santa Baby

On the radio you either hear Eartha Kitt’s version which is classic and tasteful… or you hear Madonna’s version of Santa Baby where she sounds kind of constipated…  I went looking for other versions of this song on youtube and found a lot of them.  This is just a pointless entry really. Basically if you’re a female artist you record this song sometime in your life. Choose your favorite…

How It Felt: Auger Falls

On August 10, 2010 a 21-year-old man fell into Auger Falls.  If you’ve ever seen Auger Falls you know how dangerous it can be, and that falling in would be terrible. I just wanted to write about the day, it was one of the most emotional days I’ve ever experienced, and now I’ve had some time to reflect.

I was leading the Speculator Scavenger Hunt session for Triple A up at Camp Fowler, I had 12 female campers and a great volunteer.  The morning was a lot of fun, we were just hanging out, visiting different parts of Speculator and completing tasks at various locations, it was just a relaxing fun-filled day.  Throughout the morning the girls kept discussing Auger Falls, and when we should go because it was on our list of places to visit.  We first decided we would go sometime in the morning, however later on we decided we would go there in the afternoon and have some lunch.

We arrived at the falls around 2 pm and we were just about to eat lunch when one of my campers said, “I think that guy just fell in.” I didn’t really know what she meant, was she kidding, was she just seeing things?  I remember thinking to myself she didn’t really just say that did she? But I needed to check, so I turned around along with some of my campers, and we saw this young guy at the bottom of the steepest falls sitting on the edge of a rock.  His head was bloody and he was holding his arm.  The next thing I saw was his friend getting ready to jump in after him (it was his cousin).  My volunteer ran to the young man (as quickly as she could on the wet rocks) and stopped him from trying to jump in. Their dog was barking too, nonstop.  Meanwhile, my campers (all unharmed) were getting exceedingly more nervous about the situation, as was I. We were the only group there, and I had no idea if we could even help him, or if I could even handle something like this.

Then I remembered the gaping hole in cell phone service between Northville and Speculator, and I knew I would have to leave Auger Falls to call for help.  While my mind was racing my volunteer was trying to keep the two young men calm, and was doing a great job.  I started to look for ways to maybe pull him out, if I could just find a sturdy piece of wood, or maybe we could make a rescue rope out of bags, belts, and shoelaces.  Then I told myself, “self, that’s idiotic, stop wasting time, you can’t get him out.”  So I knew I had to run back to the van and book it towards Speculator to either call or find somebody who could help.  I told my campers to stay away from the falls, help our volunteer with whatever she needed, and try to stay calm. I began running the trail towards the van.  On my way I saw a couple of groups of hikers, not realizing what they were headed towards.  I didn’t stop to tell them anything, for one I didn’t have time, and secondly I just didn’t really want to get anyone else involved. I knew about the lack of cell phone service, maybe they didn’t, it was my responsibility to get help.

I got to the van and booked it out of that parking lot.  I was probably driving a little too fast for the van, but I thought the situation warranted some speeding. While I was in the van I was just praying, I didn’t know what else to do.  I knew that young man was down in the cold water, he was bleeding from his head, and my campers were there watching it.  What a terrible feeling, I felt absolutely helpless.  I kept saying to myself, “who knows if he has slipped off the rock now and slipped away from us completely?”  I know that’s awful to say, but I hated the thought of my campers experiencing something like that, how awful, and what about the boy’s family there, experiencing all of that?  I kept trying to call the emergency number but the service was so shotty. Finally I heard it ring and then someone answered but they couldn’t hear me.  Go friggen figure, damn cell phones.  So I just drove right to the ambulance corps building in Speculator and ran in.  I told them that a young man fell into Auger Falls, about 20 minutes ago.  That he was bleeding from his head and was holding his arm.  Also that he was barely sitting on a rock at the bottom of the falls.  They looked shocked but sprang into action.  I followed an ambulance back down to the falls, and on the way heard other sirens heading towards the scene.

When I got back to the parking lot it was full of emergency vehicles, cars of rescue personnel, and police cars.  I never felt so happy to see cops and ambulances.  I ran back towards the entrance to the trail.  To my surprise I saw my campers lined along the trail, leading the rescue personnel to the young man and giving them information along the way. I was extremely proud of them.  We got out of the way as more trained people showed up to help.  The boy’s mother was down on a rock across from her son, keeping him calm, talking to him.  3 search and rescue men jumped into action, creating a rope system from the shore, to the top of the falls, and down to the boy.

It was at this point when I heard some other onlookers talking.  The were taking video, which I could not believe…  There they were, this boy fighting for his life and they had the audacity to take a video and make comments! I’m laid back and very non-confrontational but this is one time where I just wanted to beat the crap out of these people. I didn’t, but I couldn’t believe them.  I heard one of them say, “if he were my kid I’d smack him around for being so stupid.” And that is not an exaggeration, I heard that.  It pissed me off so much; yea the boy made a mistake but there are other things to worry about now. What an ass! I hate that guy.

So it was now about 4:30, the rescue team was making progress, and it looked like the young man was going to at least be extracted and brought to a hospital.  We had done all we could, and I also realized that I was supposed to be back at camp at 4, and nobody knew where we were (sorry Lindsay). I forgot to call camp in all the commotion.  So we headed back.

Th van ride was very somber, most of the girls were okay but seeing someone’s life hang in the balance was something you don’t get over very quickly.  We had a prayer and all gave thanks for our blessings. I can’t really say how any of the girls felt, maybe how I did, maybe not, but we all decided it was extremely lucky that we decided to go to Auger Falls when we did.  If we went in the morning who knows what would’ve happened to the young man.

That night at dinner I felt so weird.  Like I was at camp physically, but I was just not really there.  Like everything else was a blur. I saw these happy young campers and all I could think was it could have been anyone of them who fell in.  I hated that feeling, like all of them were so vulnerable.

Luckily a life was spared that afternoon.  I received more information in the following days.  They airlifted the young man to Albany and a few days later he was released.  I didn’t think it was possible that he would be okay… but he was.  And because he was okay, I was okay.

My Christmas Wish

Christmas is a time for spreading joy, being happy for all of your blessings, and giving unto others. However, there are a couple of things in this world that put a damper on the Christmas season, things that are just horribly annoying. I’m not a Grinch or anything like that, I love the Christmas season, but these few annoyances really must end.

The biggest, most frustrating annoyance of the Christmas season are those decorations that inflate and light up at night, then deflate and look awful during the day (they look awful at night too). You know what I’m talking about, it’s either a snowman or Santa Claus or the Grinch. They just look so awful, and they mean nothing to me. How much work do people do to put up these decorations? What are the directions? “Pull plastic garbage out of box, take outside, ruin everyone’s Christmas.” Where’s the effort? They are not tasteful, they show no sign of any work or pride put into Christmas decorating, and yet, I see them everywhere. One of these years I’m just going to pop any that I see. Anyone want to join? There are also those Christmas lights that are like strobe lights, like I’m at the friggen discotec. The other night I was driving home and this house had 3 different trees lighting up and then going off every .012 seconds. It was so distracting. The car that was going past me almost crashed into me. Christmas lights and decorations are great, I put them up every year, and 85% of the stuff I see I really like, but that 15% of garbage is quite annoying. They should be fun but tasteful, not harmful or sickening, that’s all.

Also that “Need a little christmas now” song needs to be throat punched. I think it’s from that show “Mame”, but I just can’t handle it. Every time I hear it on the radio or anywhere else I vomit a little. It’s so cheesy and stupid sounding. Maybe I’m being a snob about it, but I like pretty much every other Christmas song so there must be something wrong with this song. It makes me cringe.

These are my Christmas wishes.

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