Monday, December 04, 2006

End o' the Year

OK so presuming FOR SOME GODFORSAKEN REASON you, once in a while, are so bereft of a life that you come visit this site to see what’s up, I thank you, probably like you a lot, and offer up, as Chris would never write, “a quick one.”

Thanksgiving was great. We went to Okeechobee (Indian for ‘nothing but a Wal-Mart here, Gert’) Florida to spend Turkey Day and a couple more with the in-laws. I loved it. I love them, so it works just fine. Turkey, the works, lots of double dipped chocolate peanuts, a couple really intense flea markets (one with homemade Black Walnut ice cream), and… adventure.

My father-in-law recently had very serious wrist surgery, so Dolli and I wanted a list of things to do around the house, things that he would otherwise likely do himself, wreck his wrist, and have to have yet another surgery, making everyone, himself first, and my mom-in-law a most unreasonably close second, miserable.

The primary job was the removal of the hurricane shutters on their single story home. No problem. He has a bit for his drill that grabs thumb screw nuts and whips ‘em right off. Great toy. The shutters themselves were corrugated sheet metal of some sort. No big deal, but to be safe, after some urging (from a man who has lost most of three fingers to an accident with tools), I wore gloves. They came off in no time, notwithstanding the 3 or 4 wasp nests erected behind a couple of them. Big Bad Johnny’s (what we sometimes call him) wrist was just fine when it came to squirting Wal-Mart’s Best Ultimate Wasp Death In a Can, so there were no real incidents outside of my jumping, when a few came calling, off the third wrung of a ladder and doing a pretty damned good tuck and roll.

We put most of the shutters in the shed, carrying them over on a garden cart pulled by a golf cart. I like the golf cart part when we visit, too. He lets me drive it whenever I want, and I can pretend to be 11 years old and getting to drive SOMETHING WITH A MOTOR. Then we did a second pass to haul over the much longer ones that covered the doors and here’s where the adventure part comes in. I placed the shutters that covered the back patio doors crosswise on the cart then climbed in and sat dead center with my back to Q’s (the other name we call him… like ‘M’ in the 007 novels, but not) as he drove.

Having arranged the shutters like wings to a plane, I held them steady with a manly, tight, work gloved grip. As we started off to circle to the front of the house, I figured by virtue of this placement, he’d have to take slow, safe, wide circles around to the front, so it would be fine, and at the very same time, as we crawled along, mused how, while my older brother, Larry was the athletic son, playing 6’ tall white boy basketball at Buchtel High for a bit back in ’58 and’59, and maybe a little track, I, the fat, lazy, mama’s boy, oddly turned out to be the son that, like my pop:
was willing to get my hands dirty, work up a sweat, and get a job done.

As I thought these thoughts in a baked beans/campfire and whiskey kind of testosterone glow, Bigbad Johnny Q (his given Christened name) turned the corner to the front of the house, onto the slightest of inclines, and suddenly … the garden cart rolled, throwing out all of us, the organic and inorganic contents of it. I reacted by contorting my supple 54 year old frame to at least come down on my tailbone as I held my legs out to ward off the tumbling giant corrugated guillotines should they be headed (cute, huh?) my way. This trajectory, as I rolled back, sent my knees up into my chest hard enough that they actually bent the glasses hanging from my shirt collar, blew most of the breath out of me and inspired the thought (this always happens in slo-mo… really, so there was plenty of time for all this) “This, what is happening to me at this very moment, just might be the real thing,” as in, I might have to be hospitalized when all is said and done.

My father-in-law jumped out of the cart making noises of surprise and chagrin as I lay there. The metal missed me. It, of course, would have anyway, I, as described above, having used my soon to be recognized super powers to position myself properly in order to avoid a certain grizzly demise. Mom-in-law and Dolli both eventually came to the front door to see what the ruckus was about. I gathered myself, claiming I was OK, rose, then ‘walked it off’ around the corner of the house and had to drop down to the ground again, the shock, I think making me a bit faint. My anus (as a result of the tailbone thingy) freaking out. Otherwise, very dramatic. Only a little alarming.

I got back up without crapping myself and we finished the job. I took a hot shower and three Ibuprofens, and then did the previously mentioned flea marketing, only able to eat about a third scoop of the wonderful black walnut ice cream. Upon arriving back at home I slept for about an hour. Today, you find me sporting, other than some ‘raspberry’ scab remnants, the tiniest bit of bruising in my chest, only to manifest as a mild soreness when I stop and lift runaway cars with endangered families (or villains, of course) off the ground, or when I stretch. I may NOT be a Golden God, but I am a super-hero!

Glad I got that story out. Maybe the nightmares will stop now.

On the Sunday-after-Thanksgiving, we drove our rental Lincoln Town Car (don’t ask) to Orlando, staying with friends Rich and Linda, as I joined forces at the wonderful Audio Recording Technology Institute with the Floridian chapter of ‘Team Harv.’ We transferred tracks, laid down a vocal, and mixed three songs done back in August by ‘Harvey in the Hall,’ made up of bassist Debbie Smith, drummer Bob Ethington and me, with sit –ins by Black Key, Dan Auerbach and, via long distance, former Byrd and Flying Burrito Brother, Chris Hillman gracing this BIG FAN with a bit o’ mandolin on one.

‘Team Harv’ Orlando :

-Rich and Linda, of course, with their friendship, encouragement. and grace, hosting us at the Circle K Ranch.

-My pal, my brother, engineer, producer and person extraordinaire, Mister Bruce Hensal, a man with great old stories and a great young brain.

-A.R.T.I owner, the talented, plucky, and beautiful Steve Pietrofesa the owner of the jernt, and with Bruce, the first people I ever heard to want to put a ‘smile’ on the drums.

-A.R.T.I Headmaster Keef (Fifi) LaBeau who sat at that ‘board’ (or whatever they call Protools controllers) regardless of what nonsense was coming across the speakers at him… or from my yap behind him. Talented guy.

- The young Russian A.R.T.I student who ran for water, extra headphones, coughed with regularity and wanted to hear princess like b/u vocals on “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” She didn’t get to hear said vocals… and won’t. Sorry, kid.

-Dolli. Always.

Honorable mentions to Tammy and Carol, respectively Steve and Bruce’s lovely forces of nature.

So then, blah, blah, blah, sounds great, needs a little tweaking, more songs to come, got a little lost on the way to the airport (saw the Epcot parking lot toll booths, though), had a smooth trip home on the Wednesday–After-Thanksgiving to;

Up at night with pup (NOT bassist) Debbie and her diarrhea. Like being a new daddy again at 54!! She’s better now but her brother Eddie, as of this writing… in fact I’m only writing this because I’ve been effectively up and down and up since 4AM with poor Eddie, has contracted his sister’s malady.

In the middle of the Debbie saga, eldest daughter Gayle came flying in this past Thursday evening to do a guerilla attack on the West Akron (more specifically, fashionable Highland Square) real estate market and may very well have found the house of the future for her, Kris, granddaughter Elliot Rose, and dogstuffs Lilah!!! That was a fair chunk of our weekend.

Finally, I’m packed and have been, since Friday, waiting for a call back from our friends and creators of a reality TV series for HGTV that we at Gold Teleproductions ( are about to shoot. As soon as we begin, I’ll be off to NY , back for Christmas, then probably in NY until New Years. This is the longest I’ll have been away at one time since I moved home to Akron, and do not relish it… but it is, at least, the city, where I lived for 14 years (along with 3 years in NY State in Woodstock, and another 3 years in Westchester County near Connecticut), and maybe, if the dogs are OK, Dolli will be able to come visit at least one weekend.

Since I’ll be off and busy, it’s unlikely that there will be another post before I get back so:



PS So now it looks like I'll be able to do a week or so, come home for X-Mas, do a week, come home for New years Eve, then do 10 days to a week, so a bit of a reprieve, i.e. we don't have to go get a Christmas tree tonight!! Still, unlikely I'll have time for another post so again, BEST TO ONE AND ALL TILL THEN.