Monday, January 21, 2019

Time to be jealous of me...I met Werid Al!

Ok...because you deserve it...I am going to complete this post.  Enjoy!

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I have been to many concerts.  Some better than others.  But, only two have brought tears to my eyes.

The first...Sir Paul McCartney.  It was unexpected.  I was excited to see him, sure.  But, 30 seconds into his first song (8 Days a Week), I had an epiphany.  I was singing a Beatles song WITH A BEATLE!  It gave me the cries. 

The second...2 weeks ago.  When I saw Weird Al Yankovic! 

Now...don't get me wrong.  I am not comparing Weird Al to Paul McCartney.  Weird Al is definitely better than Paul McCartney. 

Ok, I jest.  However, Weird Al has easily been the most constant artist in my life since I was about 8 years old.  That's when my dad handed me a cassette tape (remember those?).  I'm not sure where he got it, but it was not an original album...it was recorded from another tape.  On one side was the Greatest Hits of Blondie.  On the other was the Album "Dare to Be Stupid" by Weird Al.  Notable songs on this album are "Like a Surgeon" a parody of "Like a Virgin" by Madonna, "Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch" a parody of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cindy Lauper, and "Yoda" a parody of "Lola" by some band. 

Not as famous on the album, but songs I still loved were Weird Al originals!  The song "Dare to Be Stupid", "Slime Creatures from Outer Space" and "One More Minute."

In 1988, I got my first actual, original album.  Even Worse.  With songs like Fat, from Bad by Michael Jackson, "I Think I'm a Clone Now" from "I Think We're Alone Now" made famous by Tiffany (remember her?), and "Lasagna" from "La Bamba."  Not to mention "Melanie" and "Stuck In a Closet With Vanna White", a couple of my favorite Weird Al Originals.

Speaking of originals...most people know Weird Al for his parodies.  But, he actually has an entire collection of originals!  Typically, at least half of the songs on any given album are original songs by Weird Al.  These were never on the radio (that I know of) and rarely received a music video treatment (Dare to Be Stupid being the only exception I can think of off the top of my head...at least until his most recent album in which he did videos for almost all of the songs).

However, this particular Weird Al concert was ONLY Weird Al originals.  He and his band sat on stools, Unplugged Style and played 2 hours worth of Weird Al original songs.  As a person who has LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the likes of "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" and "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder" and "Hardware Store" even more than I loved "Eat it" or "White and Nerdy," this was an amazing concert for me.

Yes, yes...I know I am geeking out here.  But, seriously...this is 3 decades of music that I have loved.
And, to top it all off...my homie Andy and I were able to meet Weird Al after the show.  I mean, it was a total formal session.  Get in, say Hi, get your picture and autograph and get out.  But, during that 20 seconds, I was able to shake his hand, say Thanks for doing this concert and let him know that I have been a fan for 30 years.  If you ever watch an interview with Weird Al, you'll see that he is just a bit awkward.  I suspect he is a rather humble person.  I mean, he was a nerd in school.  He plays the accordion.  I imagine he never suspected he would be getting a star on the Walk of Fame in his 50s.  He gave a small bow, said "Thank you...we hope to do more of them if enough people like it."  and then turned for the photo.

I give you said photo:



Kim and I went to see Pearl Jam in a HUGE concert at Safeco Field a few weeks later.  It was maybe half as good as the Weird Al concert. 


Lastly...apparently Desmond has discovered a love for Weird Al.  He was bummed that I didn't take him to this concert.  I said, "I didn't know you even liked Weird Al."

"Dad...he's my favorite singer!"

Well, ok then.  He's coming back in 2019!  So, this time I will be taking Desmond!!!  It will be my first Weird Al concert without Andy Palmer...but, I'm sure he understands. :-)  

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Year...New Optimism

I didn't post much last year.  I tried a couple times.  I see a few drafts in here.  Most importantly a reflection on the passing of a personal hero: John McCain.  Also, a bragadocious post about how I met Weird Al Yankovic!  But, I never got around to finishing them.

2018 has been interesting.  I'll be honest...it's been pretty rough.  Not 2012 rough, that's for sure.  But, still...it will not go down as one of my favorites.  Lack of sleep, stress, family issues, deaths.  All in the rear view mirror, now.

Let's look forward, now.  Here's what I am excited for in 2019!!!

  1. VACATION!  Kim and I are taking a 10 day cruise in Feb.  With no children!!!  Don't get me wrong.  I love my boys.  But, being able to add "Sleep" and "Not needing to keep other humans alive" to my usual list of "No email, no phone calls and no commitments" is going to be very, very nice!
  2. My boys!  I feel like I gotta back up that last bullet with this one.  My kids are amazing!  Sure, Owen doesn't let us sleep and Desmond appears to be hitting that emotional pre-pubescent stage.  But, they are REALLY REALLY REALLY great boys.  Like, really great!  Opie is growing fast, talking up a storm and still loves to dish out hugs.  Desmond is killing it in school (almost straight As) and starting to take up more hobbies that don't involve a screen.  He's just wrapping up a dance class and is about to start volleyball.  As with every year, I am excited to see how they grow. 
  3. VACATION!!!  Did I mention this already?  Oh...well, I'm still excited! 
  4. Politics!  Just kidding...I'm not excited about that at all. 
  5. My wife! I have an amazing wife.  Probably the best wife in the world.  I can't say for sure because I haven't met all wives.  But, I have met a lot of them and I definitely scored!  2018 was tough for her, too.  Much harder than it was for me.  I am looking forward to more time together, just the 2 of us.  We've committed to locking in a babysitter so we can enjoy more adult time.  She deserves a better year.  I am hoping to help contribute to it.  
  6. Prayer.  Yeah, yeah...hokey, whatever.  But, I have been trying to really rediscover prayer.  I pray frequently.  But, there has rarely been much structure to it.  If been trying to find more meditation and contemplation in my prayer.  I have been busting out my rosary more often and really enjoy the time.  I even found a Catholics at Google group that prays together over video conferencing once a week.  I can only join once in a while, but when I do, I get a lot out of it. 
  7. Interstellar space travel.  Probably won't happen in 2019...but, it's coming!!!  Maybe even in my lifetime!  Might as well get excited about it, now! 
  8. And, a lot more! 
It's hard to list everything out.  I have friends who have had personal triumphs that bring joy to my heart!  I have others that have suffered personal tragedy.  Cancer has reared it's ugly face again to a friend.  Another friend is expecting a baby through a surrogate after many years of struggle.  

Maybe it really is a great time to get back to my blog.  Because no matter what, triumph, tragedy, heartbreak, love, success, failure, whatever...there is so much to be optimistic about.  Life is beautiful!