Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jil's Yard; Karl in the hospital; I don't understand.

Jil knows yard. When we moved into our house at 1300 E. two years ago, the yard was not much. Yellow grass, bad looking bushes and mangy roses. However, after some attention and care, our yard has become pretty nice. It's amazing what regular watering and weeding can do. I still don't enjoy doing yard work but I do like the results.

Gabe with Lady Ramona, the statue from our last house. Just under Ms. Ramona's armpit is Hank's grave.

We have pink, red, yellow, orange and white roses growing around the perimeter of our house and they are very abundant this year due to all the wet weather. I thought they were annoying at first but I've come to realize that I can give Jil a dozen roses at any time, for free. It's pretty sweet and makes me look good.

Grow you little bastards, grow!
KT in the hospital
Karl was in Utah Valley last week and had quite a scare. (BTW, check out Voo's blog for some great photos of Karl). He is now back home and feeling better. However, it was a pretty shaky scene when we walked into his room on Friday night. He had a large breathing apparatus on his face that looked like that egg from the Alien movies that plants the alien monster into your stomach. He was kind of alert and was obviously happy to see his family there, studying the various charts and monitors that give an update on his vitals from moment to moment. But the room was so tiny. Apparently Utah Valley didn't plan on all the equipment that has now become such a part of patient care. Even so the room was way too small. I felt like we were visiting him in a closet. He was moved after a few days to another room that was larger and that helped.
Hospitals are so lame. They do exactly the opposite of what you want them to do: they make you feel sicker. How can you get better with sick folk all around you? Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful they had a place for Dad that could get him back on track and a good doctor that really seemed to care about him and his well being. But how many times when walking to his room did I have to look into another patients' room and see them in some sort of tortured state? It was like a never ending slide show of the infirm and enfeebled. I guess you just put your head down and don't look up until you reach your patients' room.
Plus, almost everything you touch feels a little sticky. I used those anti-bacterial bottles about once every ten minutes and still felt gross. The handles have some weird lacquer on them, the stainless steel appears to have a bunch of stains and the sheets looked gray. The food is barely worth mentioning at all except that it keeps you alive. The only redeeming factor of the hospital were the people caring for Karl. He had some really good nurses and one or two whackjobs. That's to be expected. It's like any experience you have in the service industry: some people just get it and others are clueless. It may be too much to ask for all hospital staff to have some kind of bedside manner, but why get in that profession in the first place if you don't genuinely care for sick people? I've never understood the Rude Nurse.
Other things I've never understood:
Homework for elementary school kids. If you have a child in school for eight hours a day and they come home with two more hours of school work, you have failed as an educational system. Kids need a break. They need some time to be kids. My kid comes home, does his homework, eats and then gets maybe an hour to be a kid before going to bed. It's ridiculous. These little students are not in college. Their capacity to retain information stops at about 2pm. Let's just stop with the worksheets, the huge spelling tests and the dumb as hell science projects.
Dropping the F Bomb (not THE F Bomb but the word) in a sales meeting. My boss is a great guy and I like him a lot. But the other day he said the f word in a sales meeting and it sounded so lame. He sounded like an idiot. He was trying to stress a certain point that he was angry about and felt it would be more impactful to tell us "This is f***ing bullshit". HIS boss, the VP of our company, turned red and rolled his eyes. Clearly it was not the venue for a naughty word. Here's some advice: when you've resorted to swearing to get control of your sales team, you've already lost control.
Thieves. Of all the crime related professions, this one is the worst (we're talking non-violent crime here). My friend Joey Watts is in town and staying at his in-laws (they are in Europe). He is also borrowing his brother in law's road bike and we have been able to go on a few rides this week. He left the garage door up for ten minutes on Thursday afternoon and when he went back to close it, he discovered someone had stolen the bike and a bunch of expensive power tools and a few other items. I can't tell you how many times I was robbed in Hawaii, from my credit cards to my day planner to swim fins to clothes. Also, I've had a bunch of CD's stolen from an apartment and my stereo ripped off from the parking lot of Gart Sports a few years back.
Thieves, BURN IN HELL.
The handshake/hug/bro hug/stones/knuckles/awkward greeting between guys. I met my friend Eric for lunch on Thursday at Market Street Broiler. We hadn't seen each other for a few months and I was looking forward to catching up with him. However, I wasn't looking forward to the greeting. Eric and I have always had a hard time greeting each other. We've known each other for 15 years and I would consider him a hug-worthy pal. Someone you see and just give a quick hug and pat on the back and say, Good to see you my friend. Come, let us eat and drink and discuss the affairs of our lives. But Eric and I aren't sure how to address each other upon arrival. He raises his hand for a...what? A high five? A sideways handshake? I kind of get ready for a hug but he's just ready for a shake. Cool, no problem, I move my hand to shake and then he opens his arms for the hug. I now have to move my arms out quickly and after we embrace, it feels soooooo awkward. The valet watching us I'm sure was just taking in the supreme goofiness of the whole thing. When we made eye contact after both of us just had this shameful, stupid look on our faces that made it even worse. I should have just said, "Boy that was weird" and we could have laughed about it. Our lunch was fine but I won't be calling him soon because we'll have to greet each other again. Painful.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Letter to Jon: I'm Sorry; David Lee Roth; Hank

Dear Jon,

I will admit when I'm wrong and I was wrong about you. You are actually the nice one. You actually want to be a good person and try to to do the right thing. And you are the one that deserves to be exonerated for your public misdeeds, not your shrill of a wife Kate. I did try to stay on her side and really support her efforts of being the mother of eight and a possibly sympathetic individual. However today, in my weekly quest for enlightenment that is the trip to Wal-Mart, I was reading a People magazine in line (scoff if you must but you do it too) and the headline read: Kate--From Mother to Monster--She's fired 40 assistants in the past three months; she cares about tanning and her appearance more than her kids; (and some other bad thing about her). And I just caught a recent episode from the end of last season that showed her yelling at Jon like he was a little kid, in a Target, while the other customers looked on with their mouths open. When they walked outside, Jon was pissed. "I'm mad at you," he says. She says, "Why? What did I do?" He says, "You yelled at me like I was a dog, in front of all those people. I was humiliated." She says, "I did? Honestly, I don't even think of anyone else when I am in that kind of mood. I didn't even see that there were other people in the store. What do you want me to do?" He says, "Apologize." She shrugs her shoulders and gets in their large Sprinter van.

I switched from her team to his team at that moment.

Fame may have made her awful Jon but I have a feeling she was bred to be a bee-aatch. Sure celebrity can have it's downside and it may have gone to her head. She has a successful book and a recognizable face. Who doesn't like to be recognized? She now has money and can provide her brood with the best. But she doesn't have to be mean. I really didn't think she was that mean but she's one of those F***ing Pit Vipers that Melissa Rivers keeps going on about (Celebrity Apprentice reference ya'll). I can see why you wanted to fall into the arms of another woman. You were looking for a safe haven and an understanding soul.

I wonder what you were both like when you met. You didn't realize who she was until it was too late; OR, it is just too hard to predict how someone will react when conditions change or their environment is turned upside down. People are a mystery Jon and it's hard to count on them. On the surface you suppose one thing and once reality hits, it's something else entirely.

Things just usually aren't what they seem.

Isn't this the truest thing in life? EXPECTATIONS ARE RARELY IF EVER MET. The restaurant you've heard and read about is not that great; your kids are given a task to do and they do it incorrectly if they do it at all; you wait for a phone call from your kids and it comes either too late or at the wrong time; you think your neighbor will mow their lawn and trim back their bushes but they don't; work is mediocre and tedious most of the time and on the day you think your boss will let you out early, he doesn't; the movie you've seen advertised that the critics say is the re-invention of cinema totally blows (hello Atonement) and on it goes.

Here are some things that will always meet your expectations Jon. Keep this list handy and refer to it when you feel off balance and need to center yourself. These things are exactly what you'd expect them to be and you can always count on them:

1. Drivers in Utah County are always awful. Don't know what it is about the driver education programs, the water or the lack of side mirrors, but drivers in the Village are hands down the worst ever. Never look when changing lanes, go through every yellow light even it it's pretty much red, go too fast then too slow and never wave when you let them in. Clueless and inept are their signposts. You can't avoid them if you're down there so just don't go down there.

2. Cormac McCarthy books are always amazing. This guy kills with every book and you can count on it. The Road, All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, Blood Meridian, take your pick. The prose is perfect, the characters are deep and you will think about these stories long after you read them. Pick one up on the way to your mistresses house and you can thank me later.

3. AC/DC makes the same album every time and it sounds exactly like you think (and hope) it will sound. So does Slayer.

4. Irish Car Bombs are the perfect drink. You take a pint of Guiness, throw some Baileys irish cream in there and then drop in a shot glass full of whiskey and drink it all down in one shot. It tastes like chocoloate milk and you can have three and you won't get sick (unlike Long Island Ice Tea which makes you sick after two sips). You will soon forget your troubles Jon and all of life's answers will be made clear. Or you'll quietly pass out and wake up to the nightmare that is your life. Either way, the drink is money.

5. Fiji is apparently the most perfect vacation spot on earth. I'm taking my niece's word on this (see Annie's blog and the photos) but it looks pretty sweet and not as touristy as Hawaii. Jon, go there as soon as you can and clear your head. Any tropical paradise at any time is ok by me.

6. Finally, listen to David Lee Roth in all his wisdom. Jon, you will not be lead astray if you follow the words of David Lee Roth. Here are just a few nuggets from the mighty DLR:

  • Music is like girlfriends to me; I'm continually astonished by the choices other people make.
  • I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.
  • I used to have a drug problem, now I make enough money.
  • He who knows how will always work for he who knows why.
  • Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.

Diamond Dave comin' at ya!

Good Luck Jon, you poor bastard. I hope it all works out for you.

With much sympathy,


HANK: R.I.P. mister

A year ago this Memorial Day
weekend, Hank was hit by a car and

died. Hank wasn't a good cat like our other feline O.C.; Hank threw up on Jil's couch and he made scratch marks in very expensive furniture. He liked to go away outside for up to 10 days at a time and he never told us where he went or what he was up to. He was a naughty cat but he was like the teenager that wrecks your car, has a party and leaves beer cans on the back porch and makes dumb teen age decisions. However, you can't help but love them because deep down they are pretty solid. Hank is buried in our back yard. He had a great life and lived in eight different apartments/houses and two different states. He was from Texas but I won't
hold that against him. I just miss him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Response to the Notorious Voo Quiz

I don't want to start a blog war but I've had enough of the Notorious Voo quizzes. They are way too obscure, demented and abstract. A Nazi general? Old timey Western gangsters? What's next, a photo of one of the producers of the The Little Rascals? Holy cow Voo, let's get into this century. And yes I know that those who don't understand history are doomed to repeat it so I appreciate your attempt at being The Helpful Scholarly Uncle.

But your quizzes suck.

Here is the Supremely Easy, Fun and Super Duper Informative Quiz from Costanza! And, I Give You the Answers for Instant Gratification! And, You Don't Have to Email Me the Answers Either!

This is Randy Blythe, lead singer for metal band Lamb of God. He does not drink, does not smoke and is a vegetarian. He also does daily meditation and practices a spiritual philosophy that dates back thousands of years. He is:
  • A pagan
  • A Buddhist
  • A Mormon
  • A Templar

ANSWER: Randy Blythe is a Buddhist. Go Randy!

This is the rapper Dolla. He is in the news this week because:

  • He likes the Atlanta Braves just like Dean Hatch
  • He has a tattoo on his hand
  • He was shot in the head outside the Beverly Center Mall in L.A.
  • He will be playing at the Stadium of Fire with the Jonas Bros. on July 4

ANSWER: He was shot by an unknown person. Just like Biggie, just like Tupac. He was 21.

Who are these guys?
  • Two regular dudes totally grateful to be out of the Village on Sunday and having a beer to celebrate
  • Two dudes hanging out at the Ducks Unlimited banquet after doing shots with The Dude (photo NOT courtesy of The Dude's Photography Studio)
  • Two dudes who star in kick ass movies that you should all see
  • Two dudes completely satisfied after having tater tots at Joanne's

ANSWER: Movie stars Jason Statham (Crank, Snatch, Transporter) and Vinnie Jones (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).

This horse and jockey won the Preakness Stakes this past weekend. They are:

  • Karl and Keno kicking ass one last time in the memory of Raz
  • Seabiscuit and Elvis gettin' nice on some sweet Maryland dirt
  • O'Neil Miner and his horse Dipshit doin' some damage on the brown top of Baltimore
  • Rachel Alexandra and Calvin Borel
ANSWER: The first filly to win the Preakness since 1923, Rachel Alexandra beat Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird by a length. Calvin rode Mine That Bird two weeks ago at the Kentucky Derby and called Rachel Alexandra the "fastest horse I've ever ridden. That horse is a freak, man."

Someone in this photo had a very bad bicycle accident two weeks ago. Was it...

  • Gabe?
  • Gentry?
  • Kris?
  • Irene?

ANSWER: Kris. She was on a road bike ride with her friend Vegas and a guy from the Trek Bike Store in American Fork. As they were going through a green light, the guy (sorry, can't recall his name) inexplicably turned around and waited for Kris and Vegas but they were going pretty fast and Kris ran into him head on. She was knocked backwards off her bike and banged her head on the road, while also falling over onto her hand. Her hand is in bad shape and she will have to get surgery to repair damage to fingers and tendons. Her bike was also totaled.

This guy left something behind this week. Who is he and what did he leave?

  • He is an extra from Brokeback Mountain and he left his rubber saddle somewhere in the musky sagebrush
  • He is an extra from No County for Old Men and he just left the Josh Brolin after-party where he realized that he will never be as cool as Josh Brolin
  • He is the drummer for Nickleback and he has just left a crime scene where he has lodged both of his drumsticks firmly into they eye sockets of Chad, the lame lead singer, who always has to have the attention and the chicks
  • Joe Wurzelbacher aka Joe the Plumber, who left the Republican Party.

ANSWER: Joe the Plumber has decided the GOP is just not for him. Wow. That party is in deep doo-doo if Joe the Plumber can't find a home there.

Michael Phelps returned to competition this week after being suspended for smoking pot. He raced six races. How many did he win and who was the rival that beat him?

  • He won one race, was beaten by Snoop Dogg, and later met him backstage for some more 'training' with the chronic
  • He won all of them and then sent a text to Voodoo Vern asking him for the number of his 'special friend in the agricultual department at Utah State'.
  • He won none of them and got so distraught that he phoned Matthew McConnaughy for some buddy bonding time in Matthew's trailer, equipped with the world's largest bong.
  • He won four, lost two and was beaten by Aaron Piersol.

ANSWER: Utah State University's Ag Econ department grows some sweet weed.

And finally, name this singer and her nickname:

  • Ah screw it, I can't think of anything clever or interesting here. It's Brenda Lee, famous for "I'm Sorry" and also known as the Little Dynamite because she was only four feet nine inches tall. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. I am currently enjoying a greatest hits CD of hers. My favorite song is "Break It To Me Gently."

See how much smarter you are? And without all the frustration of looking at gray photos of dead German dudes!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Letter to Kate (of Jon & Kate Plus 8)

Dear Kate,

Life sure has a cruel sense of humor, doesn't it? One minute you're Queen of the Reality TV Moms and the next you're The One He Cheated On. You have my sympathy and my pity and I will join with you in your anger for your wandering spouse, Jon. I will curse the heavens and shake an enraged fist at the fickle hand of fate that has thrown you so uncerimoniously to the paparazzi dogs.

In short, Happy Mother's Day.

What a bummer: you guys try to have kids, you can't, you take the baby drugs, you get pregnant and then pregnant again and then again and ad infinitum. Well, at least until you got to eight. Eight kids. I seriously cannot even imagine that life. The diaper changing alone would have me so far up the ass end of a bottle of Jack I would never come out. And the whining, the crying, the bitching, the complaining and the tantrums...from Jon. The kids are ok. It's that little bitch Jon that drives me crazy. He is a true milquetoast, not fit for you. I truly thought when I first watched your program that you were the harpy to end all harpies. I hated your smug, disgusted looks and the way you always talked down to Jon like he was just another soggy mouth to feed. But now I see what you were doing: you were getting ready for the day when you could plan your breakaway. You are brilliant Kate. You will end up making a ton of money (aside from the ton you've already made) when this is all over. You are on your way to Oprahville. Women who get cheated on and then recover have the sympathy and willing credit cards of millions. You will start a talk show, or write a book, or sell your rights to a production company or go on a self-help tour. Really, the possibilities are endless.

And what about that little pinhead of a husband, Jon? Where does he end up? My money is he finds himself where all true d-bags wind up: on VH1. He probably will make some money doing a dating show, or appearing in a porno or writing his own version of how things went. But that will be short lived. He has no spine. He has no will of his own. We all know you are the glue holding that family together. Oh, aside from the money he brings in which is a moot point now. You will be the Uber Bread Winner Kate. He has misstepped and now you are in the proverbial catbird seat.

As for the tears? Save them. Save them for your babies. Focus on your children because they really need you now. When they ask where Daddy is or why he's moving out or when will he come back, you have to be octo-strong for all of them. No time for self-pity or self-reflection. No time to ask why or spendng empty nights trying to figure out "where I went wrong." Kate, you did NOTHING wrong. You gave birth and that is all. You did it really, really well and that's ok. You married below your station and that will also change. Someone is out there Kate, waiting for the right time to come in and be the Best Step Dad Ever. Just be patient and hire a nanny.

Or four.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Library

The Library

The current recession and my own financial environment have driven me to frequent a place that many may find quaint and ancient: The Library. I am one of the few 41 year olds that I know that has an active library card (No overdue fines! Yay! I have no debt owed to the effing Library! That has to be a bright spot). I don't know any other card holders. But I have had a library card on and off for many years and it was especially handy in college. It is a good place to find current books, DVD's and CD's. In fact, I can check out 20-30 CD's, bring them home, listen, discard the bad ones, download the good ones on my computer, slap them on my iPod and I have free new music!! It's so cool. However, there is a downside. That downside is...actually going to the library itself.

Why? Primarily it has the lost world vibe that Wal-Mart has, like there was no other place for these folks to be but at the library on a Saturday--vacant eyed street teeagers looking for a warm place to hang during an awful SLC winter; smelly bums that have no way to get to the local shelter who have to find a place to sort out all the stuff in their various plastic bags. They usually do this on the tables right outside the main library entrance, in the enclosed courtyard area. The homeless carry in these bags (in no particular order): cans of soup, plastic water bottles, towels, tissues, strangely wrapped food items and other things that I dare not gaze upon. Suffice it to say, the library has its share of transigent customers. God help them. I can only give them a dollar and wish them well.

Other fellow library visitors include the harassed mother dragging an elementary school age kid around looking for books relating to whatever book report is currently due; young, spastic idiot teenage lovers (again with the teenage denizens--they are ubiquitous, no doubt about it. But, I think I probably copped a feel somewhere in the S or T aisle of the Orem library back in the day so I wish them no ill will. Sorry mom, it's the truth). These couples hang in one place and never move. Also, the heavy open mouth breathers, usually tall, overweight guys, who probably have no other important place to be and are looking for the entire Battlestar Galactica series on DVD so they can have something to look forward to on the rest of their lonely, gray and carbohydrate and soda laced weekends. Their skin color is also always bad. I try to manuever around these behemoths but they are surprisngly quick and agile once they see a title on the shelf that they must have. My advice is avoid them.

My favorite person to visit at the library however is the Check Out Person. You know how you can just tell a person doesn't want to be somewhere and they project that vibe about 100 yards before you ever get close to them? The Check Out Person gives off this vibe like the burning hot rays of 10,000 suns. THEY-HATE-THEIR-LIFE. And I would too if my whole work shift consisted of doing the same, lame, repetitive, soul destroying, mind numbing tedious task eight hours a day...holy shit. THEY ARE ME! I AM THEM!

I digress.

Anyway, this person does not say hi. Or if they say anything at all, it's in a very wee, small and dry "library voice", kind of like hearing a butterfly fart. Almost inaudible. I say, in my normal voice, "Hi, how are you? Busy today, huh?" They look at me briefly, the corners of their mouth twitch slightly, and they go back to checking out each piece I have in my basket (Yes, I walk around the library with a basket. And I have a City Library bag so I don't have to use plastic bags to haul my rented treasure home. Screw you, I'm proud to be a nerd). Once they are done with the check out, the slide all my stuff to me and stare right into my eyeballs. At this point, they say nothing. They are waiting for me to clear the area so they can bless the next person with the crystal pure aura of their soul. I look right back. I wait just until it almost gets uncomfortable and just when they start to dart their eyes and realize that I may be The Most Obnoxious Patron Ever for just standing there, I get my goods, throw them in my bag and move on. "Have a good day!" I say, chuckling as I cruise past the detector doors.

As a footnote, the SLC Library is quite beautiful. It's new, it has a lot of stuff and when it's sunny, you can get a great cup of coffee (they have a stellar cafe in the Library) and sit at one of the outside tables enjoying downtown. They also have a flower shop, used book shop, antique shop, art gallery, toy shop, and a comic book store which is supposedly one of the best in the state. They also have an auditorium where they hold seminars with titles like, "The Great Western Migration of the Horn Billed Swallow and the Future of Its Nesting Environs." Wow, score.

The Library + My Library Peeps = Good Times!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Depression; Baroness


Jil and I just finished a book called Darkness Visible by William Styron. Shellie gave it to Jil for her birthday. It is an account of Styron’s period of depression around 1985, at about the same time he won a prestigious literary reward from France. (For reference Styron wrote Sophie’s Choice and won the Pulitzer for The Confessions of Nat Turner).

This book was incredibly enlightening for me. I won’t speak for Jil although I know she really connected with Styron, but all I can say for my experience reading it is this: no one but the depressed understands depression. One of Styron’s complaints about depression is about the label “depression”. According to his thinking, depression in no way accurately describes the turmoil taking place in the mind. He feels that naming depression something more accurate would increase a universally more sympathetic response to those afflicted with it. His preference would be “brainstorm”—that there is quite literally a confluence of opposing forces colliding in the mind that create such upheaval and disruption that it can only be compared to a violent storm of the brain.

How many of us have said to someone who is depressed, “Just get over it?” or “It will pass?” Or “We’re all depressed, get in line” (one of my personal favorite retorts that I’ve inflicted on both my ex-wife and Jil)? I realize now that I don’t understand it because I’ve never had it. My ex used to say that depression made her think suicidal thoughts and that religion offered her no relief whatsoever in finding comfort. In fact, religion and its belief in an after life made her even more depressed. She wanted to die and not exist in any form, spiritual or otherwise. Such is the effect this brainstorm can create.

Jil has found a current marketing campaign going on around SLC particularly affecting. The ad states, "You wouldn't tell someone with diabetes to just 'Get over it'. Depression is real."

Depression can be overcome and it can go away. Styron found relief in finally sequestering himself away into a hospital where he was able to minimize any outside stimuli. Over a period of months, the storm subsided and he was able to move forward with his life (he passed away in 2006, not by his own hand as so many artists do. This was another fascinating part of the book—the link between great art and depression). So there is hope for those who suffer from depression, either through medication or time or both. I believe now it is not something to be trifled with or brushed aside as I have so often done in the past. It is real and it can be devastating.

An excerpt from Darkness Visible:

‘In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come—not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying—or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity—but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. And this results in a striking experience—one which I have called, borrowing military terminology, the situation of the walking wounded. For in virtually any other serious sickness, a patient who felt similar devastation would be lying flat in bed, possibly sedated and hooked up to the tubes and wires of life-support systems, but at the very least in a posture of repose and in an isolated setting. His invalidism would be necessary, unquestioned and honorably attained. However, the sufferer from depression has no such option and therefore finds himself, like a walking casualty of war, thrust into the most intolerable social and family situations. There he must, despite the anguish devouring his brain, present a face approximating the one that is associated with ordinary events and companionship. He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, God help him, even smile. But it is a fierce trial attempting to speak a few simple words. '

Baroness: the real metal deal

These guys are the real deal for classic metal. Heavy like Sabbath, melodic like Zeppelin, this band will not disappoint. All four members are from Virginia but currently reside in Georgia and bring an epic-minded sensibility to their songs that make them seem both immediate to the music scene now and also timeless, like they hail from another era. This is not stoner rock like The Sword, as good as that band is, but more nuanced and actually with a better lead vocalist. I have played their latest CD "Red Album" countless times through and still find new things to listen to each time. Awesome. They are in the Playlist.