I knocked off work 2 hours early so my son and I could play some golf on a lovely Monday afternoon. We get to the club and find out one of our selfish and thoughtless local women’s clubs decided to have a fundraiser golf tournament for The American Cancer Society. So no golf for me today. I haven’t played in a couple of weeks and I miss it. Now I have 4 hours on my hands, so I thought I might write a Chronicle about some other things I miss…
Downloading/opening email when I get to my hotel room:
For the last several years I get it fresh all day on my phone, this makes my evenings pretty much work free…so I sit around and think about all the exercise I’m not getting. I kinda miss the surprise of what went on all day while I was on the road. Maybe it’s also that I miss being disconnected. I don’t believe all this connectivity is healthy. It’s been said a thousand times, but it’s a marvel to me that we have all these tools to makes us more efficient in our jobs and yet it seems like there is less time, and more stress.
But on the other hand…In some ways, it seems the more connection circuits I have, the less connected I feel – especially to my friends. Maybe we take the connections for granted, we know they’re always there, so we feel less motivated to reach out. I don’t think it’s supposed to work like that.
I’m truly a blue collar guy doing a white collar job in a blue collar industry. When I was a kid, and even as a young adult, I worked on my bikes, my cars, and my stuff. I briefly worked in the maintenance department at a municipal facility while I was working my way through colleges I didn’t attend as I pursued the business degree I never earned. I miss the satisfaction that came with manual activity, and fixing things. I have never quite equaled it on a laptop computer.
Actually, all babies. I miss being around babies and little kids. When you have babies and little kids, you’re usually hanging out with other people who have babies and little kids…and they all kinda become your kids. It takes a village.
When your kids get older, the hanging with the children becomes more novelty than regular practice. I miss having someone sit on my lap for the magic of a story, and there being nothing more in this world that this child wants or needs but the words on the page as interpreted by you. This is a cruel fate, but a fate deserved for all the times I cursed the thought of having to read ‘Goodnight Moon’, or ‘The House That Jack Built’, “…just one more time, Daddy”. I would give just about anything for “just one more time.” If I knew that Heaven was going to involve reading books to little kids, I would probably be a better person.
I have become a coward in this new millennium. Back in the 70s, we could make fun of anything.
Here are some examples of Facebook posts, or LMC lines that I have written, and then deleted:
Just after Caitlyn Jenner’s “announcement”…Inspired by Caitlyn, I had gender reassignment surgery yesterday… got my fucking period today. I think I’ve changed my mind.
Just after Cecil the lion controversy…I’m so outraged by the cruelty regarding Cecil the lion, I can barely enjoy my veal.
I love sarcasm in the face of controversy. My whimsical, old school, soul tells me Bruce to Caitlyn is a crazy situation wrought with humor, in fact, Caitlyn herself drops little barbs here and there. But my conscience tells me that the world is changing, and everything doesn’t need to be a joke, or not everyone (me) is entitled to joke about everything. I think it’s kinda like black people and the “n word”, they’re allowed, I’m not. I understand.
And even if it is funny, I don’t wish to offend or disappoint anyone. I writhe with conflict in the battle of things I should and shouldn’t say. I really miss not caring about it…and it’s not that I don’t want to care about whose feelings I might hurt, because I do. I have good friends who are passionate animal rights advocates – the kind of people who have that Sarah McLachlan Humane Society commercial on DVD and watch it on Saturdays just to remind themselves of “the struggle”. And they’re not even posturing to get laid; they really care. A leveraged joke using Cecil as the fulcrum might upset one of these friends – I don’t want to do that. I think that kind of empathy is one of my few qualities. What disappoints me about me, is that I care about all the political correctness hall monitors and what they might think. The people who say that we “… can’t say that” – whatever “that” is. The people who take a position on a cause they don’t understand, but it’s trendy. Why should I care if I offend them?
I’m not just a coward, I feel like I’m selling out my beliefs to a degree. The people I offend with my Caitlyn jokes are mostly the same people who skewer Tim Tebow for his openness regarding his faith. Tim is as brave as Caitlyn…just not as trendy. This makes my head want to explode.
But my head stays intact, because bottom line; I just don’t want to fight, and I don’t want to offend. I want to smile, laugh and hug, without conflict. Like a little pussy.
Rock and Roll Guitar Heroes:
John Mayer? Really? This is the best we have? JM is a fine musician…I actually met him in Nags Head when he was just a 19 years old, sweet kid, full of humility and amazing talent. But I digress…fuck John Mayer. I want to hear a young gun who can make a Stratocaster scream like a tortured banshee in heat.
Where is this generation’s Pete Townsend, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Keith Partridge, Joe Perry, Rick Nielsen, Brian May, Santana, or Jeff Beck? I could go on and on…so many from “my generation”, and so few today. I’m sure they’re out there, it’s just that Taylor Swift has all the shelf space.
For the record, I’m not a Taylor hater…I actually like her, and I love her game. I just hate her shelf space, and what corporate music and capitalism is doing to the soul of entertainment. Aretha Franklin would probably not make it in the music industry today. Those may be the saddest words I’ve ever written.
And Speaking of Music:
I miss going to a venue with a real name. I went to concerts at The Capital Centre, (named for its location, not the “One Card”) and RFK stadium, and Merriweather Post Pavilion…not the corporate Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, and Citibank Stadium, or AT&T Theater in the Round co-sponsored by SONY Entertainment & Chick-fil-A. I understand capitalism, I love capitalism…the C in my “given” name stands for capitalism…but is everything for sale? Would James Brown have become the Godfather of soul if he had recorded his ‘Live at the Apollo’ album at PepsiCo Park? I DON’T THINK SO…
A corporate venue lacks soul…this is always true.
And One More Music Thing:
Albums. Black, vinyl, record albums. The artwork, the liner notes, the lyrics printed on the inner sleeve or the inside fold of the cover…lyrics written just for me. I think I’ve mentioned this before in another Chronicle, but it bears repeating. Man I miss that stuff. When I was younger, the only thing better than kissing a pretty girl was a new record album.
The Sins of My Youth:
Malt Duck, Miller pony bottles, Schlitz tallboys, Stroh’s…and sweet stinky weed (only on rare occasions).
I swear beer tasted better when you weren’t allowed to have it. I post lots of pictures on my Facebook page of beers that I’m in the process of enjoying; but I’ll tell you… the best beer that ever crossed these lady loving lips was the beer I drank after every home football game my senior year of high school. My buddy and I would drink one each before we went in to change for the game, and we left four on ice in a crappy, squeaky, dirty, white, Styrofoam cooler. After the game, on a cool October night, under the dim industrial blue and yellow sodium vapor streetlights of my high school parking lot, thinking about the girl you were going to ask to dance that night, we drank that ice cold Budweiser… so cold you could track it as it traveled down your throat to your belly. Almost 40 years later, no beer has ever been more appreciated or has tasted so good. That was pure adolescent magic.
The Junk Food of My Youth:
Red licorice, Charms Sour pops, candy cigarettes, Big Buddy Bubble Gum, 7 Up, Dr. Pepper (the drinks don’t taste the same today) a cherry Slurpee, Chilly Willies. Junk food was better when I was a kid. I would pay $50 for that foot long piece of cherry or banana flavored Big Buddy gum. It would be perfect if my sweetheart, Kathy, or her friends (and mine of course), Cindy or Pam had it folded in the back pocket of their baby blue corduroy Levi’s for about an hour and then broke off about a 3″ piece and gave it to me. When Big Buddy bubble gum was “seasoned” in the back pocket of your Levi’s for an hour or two, it softened up for immediate chewability. It had to be Levi’s… cords were a better seasoning vessel than denim, and it only worked in the hip pocket. Softened bubblegum from your favorite girl’s hip pocket was better than just about anything you knew about when you were 13 years old. An indisputable truth.
When I first got on Facebook, I thought it was so cool to see what was on your mind. You wrote down your thoughts, you talked about, or shared pics of your kids or your grandkids, you shared a music video, or maybe just wrote down a few lines of a song you liked. I really miss that stuff. You wrote about your work day, a visit with a friend, or a funny/sweet/intense/notable moment. Now it’s videos of cats laying beside a pitbull, pictures of food or beer (GUILTY!), postcards about how we should let go of people who don’t treat us nicely, political bullshit, or how much we like wine or guns or flags…or, how much we don’t. Social media was once a real connection, now it feels like a bulletin board in the lunchroom, and everyone is at Wendy’s.
I miss lots of other stuff too, but that’s all I have for now. I miss taking the time to write The Large Man Chronicles, sharing all the crazy, sick, twisted, & stupid stuff that rolls around my head all day. But I think I can do something about that.
I HAVE A LARGE ASS… .
…comment section below. What are some things YOU miss? TELL ME!
Thanks for reading!!