Sunday, July 25, 2004

Check Me Out...I'm On Fire

I'm sunburned. Well, kind of.

I spent all day cleaning and re-surfacing my sundeck. Huntington might be the windiest beach town in Southern California, but it still gets hot as shit. And, thanks to my wife's less-than-thorough sunblock application, I've got a nice Gorbachev-shaped birthmark on my back. Sweet.

Unfortunately, home improvement is home improvement and the closest I got to surfing today was listening to the sound of the US Open announcer echoing throughout the downtown area. Last year I remember hearing Lit play on the final day, which was kind of cool considering we're like 8 blocks from the pier and yet could still distinguish one song from another.

It reminded me a bit of when Shoreline Amphitheater opened for business in Norcal (for those of you unfamiliar with Shoreline, it's almost exactly like Irvine Meadows...er, sorry...Verizon Wireless Amphitheater). Anyhow, the weird thing wasn't that people 10 miles away could hear the music, it was that people only 2 miles away could NOT. Turns out loud noise can sometimes do this weird thing where it kind of arcs up and out, similar to a water fountain (i.e. you stand right next to it and you stay dry, and yet if you move further away you get wet as the arcing water lands on your melon).

Speaking of music, I spent most of today listening to Indie 103.1. I don't want to turn this blog into a big plug blog (a "plog" perhaps?), but holy shit, this station continues to amaze me. I've actually started jotting down songs they play that I've never heard on the radio before. Here's just a sample:

"I and I" - Bob Dylan (from the Infidels album...amazing record from the early 80's)
"Debaser" - Pixies
"Somebody Got Murdered" - The Clash (from Sandinista!...the one Clash album most people don't own)
"Something to Believe In" - The Ramones (an incredibly underrated single from Animal Boy...the very first punk album I ever owned)
"Why Can't I Touch It" - The Buzzcocks
"Step On" - The Happy Mondays (BTW, if you've never seen 24 Hour Party People, run, don't walk to your local video store...it was, BY FAR, the best film of 2002)
"My Girl" - The Hoodoo Gurus

Bottom line is that this station is amazing. They play all this fantastic old stuff, combined with all the good new stuff, some of which you will  hear on KROQ or 91X (Bad Religion, NOFX, The Postal Service, The Killers, Modest Mouse) but a lot of which you will not (stuff like Grandaddy, Air, Scissor Sisters, and BRMC). Fucking great stuff. If you're not in Orange County or LA, lucky for you they stream live http://indie1031.fm/main.html

Oh, and in case anyone thinks I'm some sort of indie music snob, let me just list out a handful of songs that have been on my iPod playlist lately:

"Never Been Any Reason" - Head East
"Carry on My Wayward Son" - Kansas
"Red Barchetta" - Rush
"Renegade" - STYX
"Dream Police" - Cheap Trick
"Godzilla" - Blue Oyster Cult

Not sure I've ever seen a less cool setlist, but man, that late 70's / early 80's prog rock shit has been especially sounding good this summer. Fuckin' play some Asia, man!

So since we're kind of OFF THE SURF THING for a day, and it was hot as a motherfucker today, let's roll with the summer thing.

First off, the Dodgers, the Giants and the Padres...all scrapping over first place, as well as the wild card. How cool is that? The East Coast media can jerk themselves off all summer long to images of Jason Varitek and A Rod rolling in the dirt. As with the 2002 World Series, they're simply going to miss out on some of the best baseball (not to mention one of the best divisional races), of the year.

Fuck the Red Sox and fuck the Yankees. And while we're at it, fuck Roger Clemens, that bat throwing asshole, and fuck the Chicago Cubs and their 8 ZILLION transplant fans.

Speaking of which, has anyone else been to a home game (doesn't matter which team) in California against the Cubbies? Holy shit, how can there by anyone left in Chicago? With so many emigrated transplants, the Windy City should have tumbleweeds blowing through the streets. We took the train down to Petco for a Cubs/Padres game and the ENTIRE TRAIN had on Sammy Sosa jerseys. I thought maybe it was just a Chicago crew from Orange County. Nope. The crowd at Petco was just a sea of gaudy red and blue - easily as many Cubs fans as Padre fans, if not more.

I always thought Chicago was a pretty sweet city to live in. Apparently not.

So, a few weeks ago my sister graduated from the business school at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. We stayed at Sycamore Springs, which is pretty nice but smells a bit like sulfur from the natural springs. Anyhow, on our last day we all ended up at the pool. It was really hot and no one wanted to get out of the pool so we wound up playing Marco Polo like a bunch of 10 year olds.

It was so much fun, and we were feeling like such kids, that on our way home we stopped at a gas station and I bought a grape soda and a Whatchamacallit. Has anyone else had a grape soda and a Whatchamacallit since the 4th grade?

Well, if you haven't, you need to. Maybe it was the heat...maybe it was the chlorine stinging my eyes...maybe it was dry arugula salad I had for lunch. Either way, the Whatchamacallit washed down by an IBC Grape Soda was EPIC. It was so good that I highly recommend that you revist your youth one day this summer and toss back this snack of late 70's childhood champions.

One last little summer tidbit and we'll call it a day.

We recently bought my son a little inflatable kiddie pool for the front yard. Now, with the exception of some parties in college where guys filled a kiddie pool with ice and beer, I haven't seen a kiddie pool in many, many years. And actually, they haven't changed much. Minus this cool little feature where you can attach the hose and this little fountain of water shoots out the side, they're pretty much the same size, have that same plastic smell, and have those same funny little designs of whales and fish.

More importantly though, what hasn't changed is just how much a little toddler will GO NUTS when you strip his clothes off on a hot day and let him loose in the front yard with a luke-warm kiddie pool smack dab in the middle.

You know how you feel when you get down to the beach, and it's like 90 degrees and you've been in the car for an hour and the back of your shirt is plastered to your back and you see the waves are like shoulder high and it's glassy and there are peaks breaking up and down the beach and you pretty much trip over yourself running down to the water trying not to scream like a kook but unable to contain the little yelps and hoots as you splash into the water?

Well, that's how little one and a half year olds react to kiddie pools in their front yard. My kid just hacked and yelped and tripped and waved his hands like some sort of epileptic symphony conductor all the way from the front door to the pool, and which point he hit the side like a drunk driver hitting a guard rail, and flipped head over heels into the pool.

Now, I have no idea how good a surfer my kid will be. But as Felipe Alou likes to say, "Let me tell you somting...the kid is STOKED."

Okay, well, he says the first part a lot.

The Colonel says, "At ease."