19 June 2005
More often than most I hope I am amazed by what man can create. Whether it is that haunting redneck past coming to roost yet again as the trailer boy meets the big city, or - infinitely more preferable = a healthy respect for things unique human, I'm likely to biased to say.

Today I went to the Rhode Island National Guard air show to work in a rather prefunctory capacity, pausing between making reluctant little kids get into oversized flight suits to please their overbearing suburban parents to catch some unbelievable aerobatics put on by... well, the folks that I guess put on aerobatics. I was surrounded all day by the production of the finest defense/industrial complex in the world with the cold relics of a forgotten war piled up around me like museum pieces. In even the most antiquated aircraft on display at the show was a work representative of millions of dollars and tens of millions of hours spent ingenious or indignant or indifferent. And yet the thing that I was most marveled to see was the $8.00 ticket at a bungee harness "ride."

"Ride" suggests a level of sophistication that this attraction may not merit. It was, literally, four sets with four stations a piece, with small rappelling harnesses attached to industrial-grade elastics. This ride, in stark contrasts to the bajillion horsepower ones that deafened the children from above, didn't require must more than simple carpentry and mathematics. However, in this uniquely human construction those little organized nuggets of the differences between us and the primates were most prevalent.

Economics at play as kids scrounge around their pockets for another eight bones to ride again. Power relationships dictate which kids ride when with codified law dashing the hopes of those under 30 or over 200 pounds. Vice causes the authority figure to turn the head to my fighting weight of 205 lbs. with a finsky slipped to the palm. The org chart of carny veterans and rookies is hashed out by the fuse box.

And for 5 minutes I had the best seat in the house from which to view humanity. Alternating from close and faraway in increments heartbeats in length; weightlessness punctuating the simple joy that is being human and the priceless gift that comes in all things this blissfully ephemeral.
posted by Rob at 9:23:00 PM

09 June 2005
Ever so often, having cable in the house pays off, especially when you don't pay for it. Tonight I caught the hardest of the hard core, the baddest of the bad ass, the absolute, magni-fucking-luminescent jumproping the United States has to offer. One half hour of my left spent marveling the hopelessly geek competitors of the US National Jump Rope Championships.

We're not talking simply fast jump rope. We're talking superfly double dutch Ninja Gaiden type shit here, dude. Single speed relays so fast it could slice ham. Single rope duos repelling off each other Batman style wrecking your shit with quadruple jumps and back flips. You want a judo kick to backstyle 360 mute air in your double dutch? My boys in the nationally renowned crew "Jumping For Joy" got you covered. It's a sport where the weak perish and the strong skip to victory. Fuck The Contender. I want a reality show hosted by Richard Simmons called "So You Want To Jump Rope For a Living?"
posted by Rob at 10:05:00 PM

05 June 2005
The ultimate goal was to pack each day of Mom's visit with things that she could never possibly see in Kansas. After sailing, cliff walking, huge plates of sushi, and Blue Man Group, I think I had done my duty. What I didn't know however was that my mom's companion, my Aunt Carolyn, would be showing me and the crew something *we've* never seen before, namely her intoxicated.

The show was a relatively unassuming one. We met up with Pete from Rattlehead early and got our gear set up for an early start to the rock. Halfway through our set I noticed some familiar faces out in the crowd dancing, namely Sommers from Hot Buttered Jesus and his boy Ben. However, after a few songs it became clear that they had a new found friend dancing with them who looked strangely familiar. It took T-dub pointing it out from under the lights, but it appearing Aunt Carol was getting a little friendly with the two representatives from the HBJ crew.

I, for one, had never seen Aunt Carol drunk. It was just something that never happened. But soon as I was reviewing the recording with Pete, Ro came up and indicated that Carol was outside the Century Lounge vomiting in the bushes. I walked past Marco and the other bouncers and asked, "How much has she have?"

"Two," Marco replied.

"Two? Two what?"


"Drinks? What drinks do this to a person?"

"Our shitty margaritas apparently."

Aunt Carol's small frame and prescription cough medicine created indeed a lethal combination. I returned after escorting the ladies to the car to Ted who promptly asked out my aunt was doing.

"She was puking behind the building."

Ted replied hopefully, "So she *did* see our set?"
posted by Rob at 9:58:00 PM

01 June 2005
Well, Mom wrecked that fucking plan. Not three hours into her first day of consciousness in Rhode Island during the trip does she turn to me - in front of my peers at work no less - and ask me, me if I've seen "that Star Wars movie."
posted by Rob at 11:28:00 PM

30 May 2005
Mom's coming up to visit tomorrow, and I'm pleased to hear she is sounding a bit more chipper. Often times I get the sense that she holds things together just long enough to hang up the phone, so her boy won't worry about her half a country away. She's never criticized me being here and her being there and us being the only thing we got.

I look forward to showing her again why I have to stay. And to have at least one conversation that hasn't in some way lead to a discussion of how much the Emperor blew in Episode III.
posted by Rob at 10:18:00 PM