Monday, March 28, 2011

Wanna see my scars?

You think you're big, strong and all but immortal until injury shows you differently. 
I am happy to report that I have lived these 36 years mostly free of debilitating injury, managing to keep my body strong and limber through years of yoga practice and a generally healthy mindset. My bounce back is pretty good and I don't tend to wallow in misery when something is amiss, in fact I will usually work through whatever ills I may experience in my day to day life. 
Though every once in a great while something will give way and I'll be forced to sit out a few innings, stewing over my lack of mobility and Wolverine-like healing abilities. 
Monday of last week started off innocently enough. I woke up, made yoga and left the house to spend a bit of time with my lady. A bike had fallen in the hallway as I was exiting the house and to avoid tripping up I stepped over and twisted my body in a seemingly normal position. One would think after an hour and fifteen minutes of yoga that I'd be limber and loose and able to traverse the span of a bike, but not this time. The universe decided differently as she generally tends to do when we're not expecting it. I didn't think much of the low level throb in the small of my back until I stepped down the slope at the end of my driveway and felt like I'd taken a knife in the spine. My whole being seized and I couldn't move for a solid fifteen seconds. "Oh fuck, this is bad. This is really bad." I said to myself as I tried to step one foot in front of the other finding some small relief in the fact that the searing pain gave way to slightly less searing pain and discomfort. I naively thought that over the next hour the pain would ease and I'd be good as gold but apparently my immortality is as based in reality as a skeleton bonded with adamantium. I'm no Wolverine. I'm no Superman. I'm a man who's getting older and as much as I hate it, I have to face the facts. 
There have been only a couple of times in my life when I couldn't take off my own pants before bed. As an infant i didn't have that life skill stored away and happily relied on my caregivers to do it for me. The last time was a couple of years back when I had my hernia surgery and basically was living with a stitched up abdomen and after the first day or so it wasn't all that bad. Tender but bearable. Well now I can chalk up a third round of inability to disrobe because on the night of said back injury, try as I may, I could not get those damned pants off with ease. I swear to God it took me at least five minutes a leg and then another minute to kick them off and by the time they finally exited my body I was so exhausted from the strain that all I could do was lay there moaning and feel sorry for myself. This was bad. This was really bad. There was little sleep that night as any movement sent shudders of incredible white hot pain through my mid-section and to my head so mostly I just lay there wondering, why me? 
I have heard that when you break your hip it feels as though you are falling apart down the middle. This wasn't as extreme as all of that but it was a reasonable facsimile for sure. Truth be told it fucking sucked.
Little by little over the following few days my back began to realign itself. Sleep became easier and walking became less of a constant reminder of my failing body on that fateful day. With the help of mindful awareness and the imbibing of a couple particularly strong weed filled brownies I began to regain my strength and confidence in the body's ability to move freely. 
And still a week later I feel a tightness and heavy strain in this ever so delicate part of my frame. I sit and sleep with a certain comfort but over time it seizes up and getting to my feet can be a bit of a working groaning process if I'm not paying attention and even when I am. I am confident that I won't be joining any heavy contact sporting teams any time soon, which is fine because I'm not really in to that. But I am in to freedom of movement and not having to be ultra-careful all of the time. 
And this is where the learning comes in.
I half-jokingly say that I'm getting older and all that, and as much as that may be true i also believe that you are as young and limber as you choose to be. This isn't to say that our bodies don't crap out a bit after sixty years or that you should be able to bounce back after a bad accident. Shit happens and i guess I have been spoiled with very little happening to me. But with what has, I am glad that i don't spend much time playing the victim because most of us know that is a waste of life. I know that shit happens for a reason, however subtle and hard to pinpoint and I know that this fun little adventure in handicapped land has been good for me. It has caused me to slow down and to be more aware. It has given me the opportunity to dive into a deeper and different form of yoga practice. It has given me reason to appreciate what i have a lot more. 
To think that i have "suffered" is delving into some fairly selfish and ignorant thinking. There are able bodied 25 year old's who have lost the ability to walk or hold their children. There are good hearted folks out there who are living with sickness that I wouldn't even want to imagine having for a minute. My week long little strained back issue is nothing because I still walk, talk, feel and fuck. I still work and I still write. I still love and I still enjoy life. For a brief moment in time i was "crippled" and it was disconcerting but here I am now writing about it with a sense of humor and in the spirit of letting go. I'm good and I will get better. I will carry on. 
And holy crap do I ever appreciate that fact.
Take care of yourselves friends, appreciate what you have and what you can do with it because in a second, with one unaware movement it can be taken from you. Try not to end up like this guy,,  even if but for a week. 
Be well and healthy. Thank you I love you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekly fun time random album reviews

OK, so as mentioned in my last post i was hungry for some topics to write about. I got a couple of suggestions and i will most definitely honor them over the next while but what I'm toying with right now is the idea of choosing an album at random whether new or old, listening to it and then offering up my impressions of it. I'd like to try this maybe once a week and probably will not limit myself to just albums. There are so many movies out there that I've not watched so maybe I'll try to offer some words on random movies once a week as well, time permitting. But let's hop along to my first order of business, the random iTunes album pick of the week. As i write this i have no idea what it's going to be. I'm leaving that up to the shuffle album function this time, but please feel free to suggest an album or movie you'd like for me to talk about. Like i said, i hope for this to be a weekly thing which means many more postings from me along with the usual fare.

Alright then. And this weeks winner is...........
Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love
Well, i thought this was going to be an easy one. Luckily this is an album i have an immediate recognition of. Having often listened to Vancouver's Pink Mountaintops three albums including this 2009 release i have my opinions, likes, distastes and otherwise. Putting it into words is another thing altogether as i feel that Outside Love though very good in its own right, is not a whole lot different than anything else the band has done. And don't get me wrong, what the band does is competent and definitely worth the listen if you're interested in shoe-gazey hazy stoner rock. But like with any good joint and a handful of sedatives i am rendered a bit speechless when it comes to whipping up a paragraph or two about this album. If anything Outside Love makes me feel kind of puddle-like, similar to that feeling about a half an hour after taking a couple grams of mushrooms, just before you peak and want to climb trees or fly, when you feel like your limbs are sliding off as if the joints connecting them to your body were made of melting butter and words though amazing in your head, end up releasing from your mouth in some kind of crazy alien dialect. This is music for the stoned, the laze-a-bouts and the melted. To some it may be fuck music and to others it may be music to rear your kids to, but for me i can only take so much of Stephen McBeans blue fog stew music for so long until i need a pick me up. 
That being said there is absolutely an awesomeness to Pink Mountaintops music that keeps me interested enough to keep collecting. I am a sucker for big fat sloppy riffs and wet just offish drums that play a part in creating something that sounds as though it could fall apart at any second but is held together by good playing and songwriting abilities. What i mean is that there is kind of an open feeling to these tunes as if some of them were recorded in an empty warehouse in one take. It's freeing music that doesn't feel overly rehearsed or pretentious. Vocals echo beautifully, hitting you with two or three times the power and filling you in a way that some vocals cannot. Drums resonate and wake you while guitar fuzz lulls you to laziness and the songs as a whole sometimes sounds very west coast sea and mountain chill on the large scale. Lyrics aren't a total downer and even offer some positivity such as in 'Holiday' where McBean laments that "everyone he loves deserves a holiday in the sun, almost everyday, until lions are off of their backs." Though this is a far cry from co-vocalist Amber(Amy?!??!?) Webber declaring on 'While You Were Dreaming', that "if I could find your heart I'd pull it from your chest and smash you with my fists until it was beating." Wide open, bleak and kind of beautiful, which for me sums up the Pink Mountaintops experience. The music is big and at times bordering on epic of sound. The musicianship is "not trying" excellent and the songs are memorable for the most part. Outside Love may have been a cut above the last two albums in some music critics minds but for me it was simply a continuation of a cleaner and wiser pre-existing sound. When it comes down to personal choice I'd much rather listen to their self titled album or Axis Of Evol any other lazy day of the week. Outside love is a pretty good album, but not their best.  
Winning track:
K, I'm out. Thank you i love you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A necessary rambling random short post

The time seems to fly by at a breakneck pace. Those things i looked so forward to for weeks on end are said and done and replaced with other new and exciting things to look forward to. The money in my pocket has dwindled and i eagerly await the next pay-day so i can take another round of care free living and fun. Oh wait, i do that anyway despite however many moths flutter from my wallet holding crisp dollar bills in their mothy beaks. It's easier to have fun and enjoy life when surrounded by free of heart people with good ideas. It's even easier to have fun and enjoy life when the weather begins to turn to a noticeably warmer temperature. Today it was quite apparent that Spring is barreling down the road toward us and frankly, i couldn't be happier about it. As much as i enjoy the hibernation of Winter and the endless rain she brings, it is the warmth of Spring and Summer where i truly come to life. Last year was spent largely indoors working and i don't plan on repeating that mess this year. I have a deep set group of friends, an amazing girlfriend and a serious penchant for the solar stuff and i will not let that slip by while i make coffee for the addicted whilst listening to their stories of how beautiful it is outside. Shit, maybe i should quit that scene and get a job at a hot dog cart. I'll hire Charlie Sheen and a bundle of bikini sluts and we'll do mountains of blow while getting the perfect tan. Then I'll write about it.
Speaking of which, i really would like to be posting here a lot more. Like every few days as opposed to every coupla weeks. I just don't know where to go with this sometimes. I've posted such poignant and personal stuff i feel like i owe it to myself and those few interested readers something other than a few lines and a fart joke. Perhaps i ought to be just writing about anything that tickles my fancy, such as an old movie i saw or the many shows i hope to get to in the next few months. I didn't want to turn this into a "review blog" but come on, there is only so much of myself i can give before it just gets boring and redundant. I guess I'm looking for a niche that isn't all music or of the personal nature. Recipes? Poetry? 
Here's an idea, you people send me ideas such as movie suggestions, books, restaurants/cafes, events and yes, even albums new or ancient and I'll spin a few words about them. It's not that I'm starved for content but I'd like to make this a bit more of a dialogue effort between myself and the people that read these words. Call it an experiment. If you read the shit that i have to say and you are remotely interested in what i might have to say about something you might be stoked on then please offer away in the comments below, especially you random strangers who stumble upon this blog and are reading this right now. Feed me your ideas because I'm hungry. Hungry like a tiger. Hungry like the wolf. Hungry like Billy Corgan back in 1993.
Okay chickens, as always i am humbled by your readership as i am humbled by your life. Keep on being and for gosh sake don't talk to strangers, don't even look them in the eye! Thank you i love you!