Friday, October 31, 2008

And now I must stop.

No more Huffington Post, no more Andrew Sullivan, no more Slate Magazine until after Tuesday. The tension is too much for me. I know who I am voting for and I know who I think you should be voting for. The next four and a half days will be a barrage of ads and "gotchas" from both sides and frankly, I'm done.

I wish I could vote tomorrow.
Riding into work this morning I heard "Lies" by the Thompson Twins, which immediately made me think of a high school girlfriend who loved, LOVED the Thompson Twins. In fact, she broke up with me after I was unable to attend the Thompson Twins/Corey Hart concert.

Mind you, I would have gone to see the Thompson Twins/Corey Hart concert, but I didn't have the permission of the parental units. Perhaps she thought that because I couldn't stand up to my parents and demand that I be allowed to see the authors of pop classics like "Hold Me Now" and "Doctor! Doctor!" (not to mention that "Never Surrender" dude) I wasn't rebellious enough to be a Thompson Twins fan and therefore not good enough to be her boyfriend.

Ah, the foibles of youth.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In case you missed it, the most anticlimactic World Series ended yesterday afternoon when the Phillies beat the Rays. Now I know why Fox was praying for a Red Sox/Dodgers or Phillies match up. I at least expected the Rays to play a little tougher. Sure, they played okay, but the Phillies just seemed to have more confidence going into the championship. What the Rays reminded me of was the Rockies last year- a young team a little starstruck in the big game. I hope that the Rays don't completely fall apart like Colorado did this past season.

Now, we go into the off season. The wait for baseball won't be as long, though. Major League Baseball will launch their new cable channel in January. THAT will be cool.

Basement Songs: Lone Justice, "Shelter"

Birthday wishes: I’ve never given much credence to the old “make a wish and blow out the candles” bit simply because most of my wishes, my birthday wishes, never came true. I don’t hold a grudge against the almighty birthday gods or fairies or whomever grants these silent pleas — it’s just that I’ve never felt their power touch me.

My whole life I’ve felt pretty blessed. I was raised by two strong, independently thinking, sometimes stubborn parents who protected me from the harms of the world they could control. A roof over my head, food in my belly, good schools and support in what I wanted to do with my life, they were there for me. They were not perfect, but I believe they did their best. Whatever grudges I held as a young adult have faded now; what’s the point in being bitter. From childhood to the day Julie and I loaded the U-Haul and drove to Los Angeles, they were my shelter, that’s for sure. To be blunt, I wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t decided to have a child number three 39 years ago.

While my mom and dad gave me my start, I wouldn’t be who I am now if it weren’t for one person: Julie. From the moment I first kissed her to this point in time, as we’re raising two children and facing many of the same struggles so many other people do, we continue to grow together, loving, laughing, sometimes fighting, sometimes hurting each other, but always standing side by side through the good and bad. She is my foundation; she is my shelter.

To read the rest of this post, go here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

7 days

It's hard to believe that within a week there will be a new President. In years past I have been anxious, following the campaigns almost like a game. This year, I know where my votes will be cast. Now we wait.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sorry there wasn't a new basement song entry this week. It's been an incredibly stressful four days and trying to dig up something proved a little too difficult.

That said, I'd like to share song with y'all. Maybe you've heard it before. It's Frankie Goes to Hollywood covering Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run."

I believe the measure of a great/classic song is whether you can hand it over to the most unlikeliest of artists to cover it and see whether the song holds up. Such is the case with Frankie's cover of possible the one song Springsteen is most associated with. What impresses me so much about this version is that producer, Trevor Horn, chose to just let the band play and didn't add too much frill to the production. Indeed, the only time the song feels "produced" is during the bridge when some keyboards and electronic bongos were added to create the sort of Jersey shore atmosphere Springsteen originally wrote about. Otherwise, it's just guitar, bass and drums, along with Holly Johnson singing his guts out. Of course, one can't sing "Born to Run" without pouring everything into it. I recall one night of karaoke with my brother-in-laws when I chose to attempt "Born to Run." Mind you, a couple of drinks were involved, but still, I thought I could handle it. The minute that snare drum came in, I was so jacked up to sing the lyrics that I shredded my vocal chords. It was on that night that I realized how punk the music of Springsteen can be. Remove the saxophone, organ and piano. and Bruce is back to his garage band roots. That's what Frankie's version feels like to me, a punk interpretation of "Bron to Run."

Riding in on the train this morning, I was practically bawling my eyes out. That last verse still gets me, and Johnson sings it with real conviction. He believes every word he's singing, and therefore, you believe every word he's singing. Like I said, you can't sing "Born to Run" without pouring everything into it.

Together Wendy we'll live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don't know when
we're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Man, how many of us are lucky enough to have a man or woman in our lives that we feel that way about. I am blessed that I have a woman named Julie who keeps me propped up when I teeter and rooted to the ground when I think I'm going to float away. But, we do that for each other.

Enjoy the song.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tonight, after sitting through another hour of "Grey's Anatomy," I glanced at a picture of Jacob from two years ago when we went to Disneyland. I suddenly teared up and nearly broke down crying. Sometimes just catching myself off guard like that makes the uncertainties of the future unbearable.

God I love those kids and my wife.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Woke up early this morning with no desire to run. Watched last week's "Mad Men" and wrote a partial review for Popdose and before I knew it, the time had slipped to 8:00. The thought of running has no appeal. My legs are tired, my shoes are shot, and I think I have enough muscle memory to get me through the race. Still, I decided to at least job a couple miles just to keep up the routine. By 8:15, I was out the door listening to my favorite version of Springsteen singing "If I Should Fall Behind." This version comes from a 1996 show from back east, either Columbus or Florida (I forget). In this particular rendition, he's singing like Dion, who had just covered the song on one of his records. Bruce alters the melody and moves away from the Dylanesque version he was doing at the beginning of the tour in favor of something more tender; something more touching.

Listening to that version and the couple other Springsteen acoustic songs I chose to open my run this morning put me in touch with why I'm out there in the first place. My legs don't hurt that bad and the shoes will last another month. So it's not about me, it's about Jake. The reason I'm pounding the asphalt twice a week and once on the weekend is to find a cure for my boy. Plain and simple.

Less than a month until the race.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Something happened between the last entry an this one.  Someone told me that she thought that some of my entries were just me feeling sorry for myself.  That kind of hit me hard and I took a lot of time to think about this statement.

To those of you who keep up with thinderbolt, I want you to know that I'm not seeking your pity when I write entries.  My sole objective has always been to be honest about what's going on in our lives and the trials that my family and I go through.  Good times or bad, I'm not looking for sympathy.  I hope that you all know this.  If not, I apologize for giving you the wrong impression.

Like I sad, it tok some time to sort through my feelings on that statement and I came to the conclusion that this person was wrong.

I like keeping this blig if for the sole reason to keep old friends and family in the loop. 

That's all for now.  More to come.  I have a half marathon to run in a month and everyone wants to hear about that, right?